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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

From Figurehead Hero Discussion

Webrunner: Would "But Thou Must!" be a better name, as it's one of the first examples of it, from the original Dragon Warrior?

Agent CH: I was just thinking that as I read the article. Maybe it's me, but I think it gets the point across better too.

Tanto: Go for it, then, by all means.
Morgan Wick: The One True Sequence is a TV trope about how, in a Gotta Catch 'Em All plot, you always reach an item at the same time as your enemies. It really only has video game examples and certainly doesn't have anything to do with this trope. We do need a trope about how most "role-playing" games basically make you "play a role" along the path the writers set, however.


Dark Sasami: Aaargh, which Final Fantasy was it that had switches that, upon examination, prompted you with "Hit the switch?" and then, when you said Yes, commented, "Who wouldn't?"

Zeke: I may be way off, but I think it was in A Link to the Past somewhere. The game was full of jokes of that sort.
  • I played A Ltt P and I don't remember that. —Document N

  • Amplt0: Those particular switches are from Pokemon. That's what it tells you when you flip the switches in the abandoned research facility in Cinnabar... Not really relevant to the trope though, as you can say no...


Random Schmoe: I've heard this sort of thing referred to as a 'Communist Choice.' Better name, or should we stick with the most common example?


Custom Robo (GCN) subverted this trope in two places, one where the sidekick asks you to go to the bathroom with him. answer yes and you will fight some battles inside said bathroom. answer no enough times and eventually the sidekick will go alone, skipping those fights.


Wasn't there a ykttw about the similar phenomenon in game cutscenes, where your player character says/does things you never would have done if you had had control? —Document N
Tanto: As a result of the picture, this trope can't take a long page quote, so I moved it down into the examples. Besides, Yahtzee's usual bitching gives a new reader entirely the wrong impression — But Thou Must isn't inherently good or bad, it just indicates a difference in storytelling style. (Note that he's not actually criticizing the mechanic, he's criticizing linear storytelling in video games in general.)

Turcano: Yahtzee doesn't have any problems with linearity, just with pretensions to the contrary. He included an example that I excised because it would have made it even longer; I've added it in, now that it's no longer at the top of the page.


Deuxhero:Stop deleteing Never Winter Nights 2 from the examples, it is valid, I would get a picture of the horrible diaolge, but that would require me to play it again, and *shudders at the thought* ughh...


Fly: Cutting - (Ace Attorney image goes here)
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney discovers that 'No' isn't an option.

and replacing it with a picture both 1) more relevant to the trope and 2) smaller.

Tanto: Switched it back. Animated images are not allowed; see the Administrative Policy.

fleb: Just for the record, Fly put up a Dragon Quest GIF, from here.


fleb: I cut several subversions, mostly Nonstandard Game Over. A thing isn't an example of this trope if it's a pure Nonstandard Game Over choice.

Chuckg: Deleted the 'necromancer' entry for Oblivion. The argument was flawed - the Mages' Guild had lots more reasons for outlawing Necromancy than a mere 'zombies were icky', and that information was available to your character in the game. Reading the book "The Black Arts On Trial", available in the Mystic Emporium in the Imperial City, sums up the debate. (Note that the pro-necromancy position is later revealed to be disinformation from an actual necromancer.)

ced1106: Heh. Great entry. As a tabletop RPG'er, I'd say 99% of the prewritten adventures I've read are of the "but you must" variety. Some stranger comes up to the party and asks them for help. The party has the option of turning down the request, but, if they do, there's no adventure. There's a Dork Tower comic strip that (sorta) pokes fun at this trope; you'll find it in the Pokethulhu free RPG download. The gamemaster creates this elaborate dungeon. Except that the players completely ignore the it, instead asking endless questions about the *road* that's next to the entrance.

The "But Thou Must" trope is not limited to the video game world. In my computer system at work, on the screen where you select standard, two day, or one day shipping, I get the following prompt:

Cannot change shipment delivery time. [SUBMIT][CANCEL]

I click submit, and it says (guess what!)

Cannot change shipment delivery time. [SUBMIT][CANCEL]

So I can only cancel. Because thou must.
slb: Removed the italicized portion from this statement in the Daggerfall section:

  • You can turn down all minor quests in Daggerfall after reading the preamble to it; you do lose reputation with that faction, though, probably because you asked them if there was anything to do and then started being picky.

because it is a fact that you do not lose reputation points for turning down a quest in Daggerfall. A player can reject 10,000 faction quests and will never lose a single reputation point. However, accepting a quest and then failing it will result in losing faction points.
Great Pikmin Fan: Just dumping this here; just wondering if it fits or not:

  • AOL when it comes to canceling an account. To quote Software:
    ...They had policies in place to do everything to prevent you from canceling your account. Their phone technicians would ramble for hours about the benefits of staying and refuse to take "no" for an answer. Even if you got the person on the other end to acknowledge that you want to cancel, they would "accidentally" forget to cancel the account, and they would continue to bill you.
  • How to answer the pagequote from cracked without starting a fight: "Because you found the bodies?"