History Main / ControllableHelplessness

14th Jun '16 4:17:26 PM Andyroid
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* This is the conceit of ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}: In the Rhombus of Ruin''. During the mission to rescue the Grand Head of the Psychonauts (as seen at the end of the original game), Raz is immobilized and separated from his friends, and must use his psychic powers (including Clairvoyance, Psi-Poke, Telekinesis, and Pyrokinesis) to manipulate the world around him and complete the mission.
22nd May '16 1:24:52 AM Diask
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In some games, there is a point at which you can be captured or [[BoundAndGagged restrained]], and not able to move around, but you can still control your character. This might mean being able to wriggle around in your bonds, walk around in your prison cell, what have you, until you either die or are rescued. Other times, you are able to bring about your own rescue ([[ButtonMashing button-mashes]] freeing you from [[HarmlessFreezing being frozen]] is actually fairly common).

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In some games, there is a point at which you can be captured or [[BoundAndGagged restrained]], and not able to move around, but you can still control your character. This might mean being able to wriggle around in your bonds, walk around in your prison cell, what have you, until you either die or are rescued. Other times, you are able to bring about your own rescue ([[ButtonMashing button-mashes]] (ButtonMashing freeing you from [[HarmlessFreezing being frozen]] is actually fairly common).



* ''IllusionOfGaia'' has scenes in which your character is trapped in a prison cell, and in which your character is adrift on a raft. You can have your character move around, but nothing you do matters very much.

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* ''IllusionOfGaia'' ''VideoGame/IllusionOfGaia'' has scenes in which your character is trapped in a prison cell, and in which your character is adrift on a raft. You can have your character move around, but nothing you do matters very much.



* ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}}'' and its subsequent Episodes do this a lot--most notably in the Citadel, where you're first stripped of your weapons in an airlock-like chamber (you can move, but extremely slowly, and look around as your weapons are disintegrated) and later enter a suspended cage... cocoon... ''thing'' where the only thing you can do is move your head around.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}}'' ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' and its subsequent Episodes do this a lot--most notably in the Citadel, where you're first stripped of your weapons in an airlock-like chamber (you can move, but extremely slowly, and look around as your weapons are disintegrated) and later enter a suspended cage... cocoon... ''thing'' where the only thing you can do is move your head around.



* ''VideoGame/{{FarCry3}}'' has this with a twist where it is actually someone else's life that the player is helpless to save. In the beginning, when Vaas shoots [[spoiler:Jason's brother]] in the throat, the player is given the prompt to apply pressure to the wound. Whether or not the player does this has no affect on the outcome.
* ''VideoGame/{{FarCry2}}'' does this every time the PlayerCharacter meets The Jackal.

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* ''VideoGame/{{FarCry3}}'' ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' has this with a twist where it is actually someone else's life that the player is helpless to save. In the beginning, when Vaas shoots [[spoiler:Jason's brother]] in the throat, the player is given the prompt to apply pressure to the wound. Whether or not the player does this has no affect on the outcome.
* ''VideoGame/{{FarCry2}}'' ''VideoGame/FarCry2'' does this every time the PlayerCharacter meets The Jackal.



* Another Creator/{{Infocom}} example: Creator/DouglasAdams' game adaptation of ''VideoGame/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', coauthored by SteveMeretzky, includes sequences where the player character has passed out and stuck in a dark void, and getting out of said void is part of a puzzle. The trick is to see if you can sense anything at all, and then figure out which sense you can actually use to regain consciousness.

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* Another Creator/{{Infocom}} example: Creator/DouglasAdams' game adaptation of ''VideoGame/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', coauthored by SteveMeretzky, Creator/SteveMeretzky, includes sequences where the player character has passed out and stuck in a dark void, and getting out of said void is part of a puzzle. The trick is to see if you can sense anything at all, and then figure out which sense you can actually use to regain consciousness.



* In the climax of ''TimeQuest'' by Legend (founded by former Infocom designer Bob Bates after Infocom's demise), the PC is strapped to a chair by the villain, and not able to do much except ask the villain a number of questions about the plot, until the PC's past self shows up and the PC has to do the thing needed to complete the StableTimeLoop. Soon afterward, the PC is tied up as the villain and another character kill each other.

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* In the climax of ''TimeQuest'' ''VideoGame/TimeQuest'' by Legend (founded by former Infocom designer Bob Bates after Infocom's demise), the PC is strapped to a chair by the villain, and not able to do much except ask the villain a number of questions about the plot, until the PC's past self shows up and the PC has to do the thing needed to complete the StableTimeLoop. Soon afterward, the PC is tied up as the villain and another character kill each other.



* Running into a cobweb in ''GliderPRO'' will trap you, and kill you after a few seconds of struggling in vain to break free. Using [[NitroBoost batteries]] or [[RecoilBoost rubber bands]], however, can propel you out of a cobweb.

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* Running into a cobweb in ''GliderPRO'' ''VideoGame/GliderPRO'' will trap you, and kill you after a few seconds of struggling in vain to break free. Using [[NitroBoost batteries]] or [[RecoilBoost rubber bands]], however, can propel you out of a cobweb.



** Speaking of ''FFVII'', the prequel ''CrisisCore'' has a rather cruel example of this trope. We all know how it's gonna end, but rather than making it a cutscene, the game makes you play through the [[BolivianArmyEnding fateful showdown with the Shinra army]], and it goes so far to ''show Zack's life flashing before your eyes!'' Which still remains awesome, even regardless of the helplessness - something that few examples on this page can claim to be true. Yes, by the end of the day, Shinra is going to win. That doesn't mean you can't make it hell on them.

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** Speaking of ''FFVII'', the prequel ''CrisisCore'' ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'' has a rather cruel example of this trope. We all know how it's gonna end, but rather than making it a cutscene, the game makes you play through the [[BolivianArmyEnding fateful showdown with the Shinra army]], and it goes so far to ''show Zack's life flashing before your eyes!'' Which still remains awesome, even regardless of the helplessness - something that few examples on this page can claim to be true. Yes, by the end of the day, Shinra is going to win. That doesn't mean you can't make it hell on them.



* Once the nuclear missiles are launched in ''ShinMegamiTenseiI'', a 30-second countdown is displayed on-screen. You retain full control, so you can run around like crazy, maybe, for fun, see if you can get out of the building fast enough (or just cast Traesto, if you want to ruin the fun), but, of course, there's nothing you can do to stop the impact.

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* Once the nuclear missiles are launched in ''ShinMegamiTenseiI'', ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiI'', a 30-second countdown is displayed on-screen. You retain full control, so you can run around like crazy, maybe, for fun, see if you can get out of the building fast enough (or just cast Traesto, if you want to ruin the fun), but, of course, there's nothing you can do to stop the impact.



* Near the beginning of ''VideoGame/{{Dubloon}}'', Russel gets locked in a jail cell where all he can do is pace around until another prisoner talks to him from the cell below.



* Another example, seen above, is ''RuleOfRose''. Twice in that game, Jennifer is tied to a pole. The first time, she has no choice but to listen to the taunts and threats of her captors, until she is finally freed. During that time, you can use the control stick to wriggle around in the ropes. The second time, you have to free yourself by calling for your dog three times by pushing the normal "call dog" button, and he'll chew through the ropes.

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* Another example, seen above, is ''RuleOfRose''.''VideoGame/RuleOfRose''. Twice in that game, Jennifer is tied to a pole. The first time, she has no choice but to listen to the taunts and threats of her captors, until she is finally freed. During that time, you can use the control stick to wriggle around in the ropes. The second time, you have to free yourself by calling for your dog three times by pushing the normal "call dog" button, and he'll chew through the ropes.



* In the first ''WayOfTheSamurai'', this happens if you wind up [[spoiler: [[ChainedToARailway tied up on the railroad tracks]]. You're given ''one'' chance to free yourself, but it's not through struggling: a member of one of the clans walks by and offers to save your life in exchange for your loyalty. [[TooDumbToLive Refuse]], and he walks off, and [[NonStandardGameOver the train comes thundering along...]]]]

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* In the first ''WayOfTheSamurai'', ''VideoGame/WayOfTheSamurai'', this happens if you wind up [[spoiler: [[ChainedToARailway tied up on the railroad tracks]]. You're given ''one'' chance to free yourself, but it's not through struggling: a member of one of the clans walks by and offers to save your life in exchange for your loyalty. [[TooDumbToLive Refuse]], and he walks off, and [[NonStandardGameOver the train comes thundering along...]]]]



* In the original ''MarioParty'', once you've unlocked the final board, Eternal Star, and try to select any other board, the game will go through its board selecting animation, but force you back onto Eternal Star. This restriction is only lifted once you've played Eternal Star.

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* In the original ''MarioParty'', ''VideoGame/MarioParty'', once you've unlocked the final board, Eternal Star, and try to select any other board, the game will go through its board selecting animation, but force you back onto Eternal Star. This restriction is only lifted once you've played Eternal Star.
10th May '16 1:07:18 AM Noxian
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*** Earlier on, the mission "Second Sun" [[spoiler:puts you in the shoes of James Ramirez, an Army Ranger who is trapped in a downed Black Hawk helicopter. Although you can't move, you ''can'' fire your weapon, although you only have two clips. After a flash of light from the sky, you get to control [=Sat1=], an astronaut on the International Space Station who is watching a nuclear device launch from Russia. After you turn your head to see the nuke detonate over Washington, the [[ExplosionsInSpace shockwave]] destroys the station and sends you spiraling helplessly out of control while a mirror from the station careens towards you.]]

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*** Earlier on, the mission "Second Sun" [[spoiler:puts you in the shoes of James Ramirez, an Army Ranger who is trapped in a downed Black Hawk helicopter. Although you can't move, you ''can'' fire your weapon, although you only have two clips.magazines. After a flash of light from the sky, you get to control [=Sat1=], an astronaut on the International Space Station who is watching a nuclear device launch from Russia. After you turn your head to see the nuke detonate over Washington, the [[ExplosionsInSpace shockwave]] destroys the station and sends you spiraling helplessly out of control while a mirror from the station careens towards you.]]
10th Mar '16 5:24:40 AM Dark_Lord_
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* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', you start in the Imperial Prison, unable to do anything except listen to the mocking of the prisoner across the hall and examine your surroundings until Uriel Septim arrives.
** If you have insufficient gold to pay your fines when arrested, the guards will throw you in jail if you surrender. There are several methods of escaping, but if such methods fail, you're left with little choice but to hang around in your cell until you "serve your sentence" by sleeping in the bed provided.

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* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', you start in the Imperial Prison, unable to do anything except listen to the mocking The last two installments of the prisoner across the hall ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' franchise, Oblivion and examine your surroundings until Uriel Septim arrives.
**
Skyrim include this trope in their crime and punishment system. If you have insufficient gold to pay your fines when arrested, the guards will throw you in jail if you surrender. There are several methods of escaping, but if such methods fail, you're left with little choice but to hang around in your cell until you "serve your sentence" by sleeping in the bed provided. Also, most of the games in this franchise start with the player being a prisoner, who is usually set free by some strange twist of fate. Specific examples where this trope comes to play are:
** In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', you start in the Imperial Prison, unable to do anything except listen to the mocking of the prisoner across the hall and examine your surroundings until Uriel Septim arrives.
7th Feb '16 2:12:05 PM Ohio9
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* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'' has a similar situation to the one in Fallout 3. When you are first awakened in your cryo-pod, you can do nothing but look around as you watch the events unfold.
29th Jan '16 5:48:33 AM Ohio9
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* In ''VideoGame/TheLastExpress'', Robert gets knocked out and tied up by Slav militants. After waking up, you can do nothing but fidget around until the book of matches falls out of his pocket, enabling him to burn through his bonds.



* In ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'', if Madison is captured and tied up by the insane doctor there's a brief section where you can't do anything but move the controller to struggle and press X to scream.

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* In ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'', if Madison is captured and tied up by the insane doctor there's a brief section where you can't do anything but move the controller to struggle and press X to scream. Eventually you do get the ability to free yourself.
19th Jan '16 11:44:23 AM Imonlyperfect
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15th Jan '16 10:28:48 AM Griff4
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* In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky]]'', there is a scene where you're trapped in a jail cell. For a brief amount of time, you can move your character, but all you can do is examine the locked door to trigger the next cutscene.
31st Dec '15 11:45:22 PM phoenix
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* In the original ''MarioParty'', once you've unlocked the final board, Eternal Star, and try to select any other board, the game will go through its board selecting animation, but force you back onto Eternal Star.
** Although this restriction is lifted once you've played Eternal Star.
* Whenever your computer freezes, but you can still move your mouse.
** And you don't even realize it's frozen because the little circle on a tab keeps spinning too...

to:

* In the original ''MarioParty'', once you've unlocked the final board, Eternal Star, and try to select any other board, the game will go through its board selecting animation, but force you back onto Eternal Star.
** Although this
Star. This restriction is only lifted once you've played Eternal Star.
* Whenever your computer freezes, but you can still move your mouse.
** And you don't
mouse. You may not even realize it's frozen because the little circle on a tab keeps spinning spinning, too...
31st Dec '15 10:58:41 PM SalexNights
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** And you don't even realize it's frozen because the little circle on a tab keeps spinning too...
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