One very common, and fairly symbolic, way to begin a story is with the opening of a doorway. In prose or film, the act of passing through an entrance sets events in motion, transporting the characters into a new situation and bringing the audience along for the ride. In adventure games, a locked
or obstructed entrance often constitutes the first challenge for players, giving them a chance to apply their ingenuity before they delve into the plot line. Either way, it's a handy alternative to In Media Res
Variants may use an opening door to mark major transitions between phases of a story, or to kick off the main plotline following a Batman Cold Open
Ubiquitous in casual adventure games, so much so that aversions tend to feel like Subversions
Opposite of Door Closes Ending
; combining both tropes in the same work creates Book Ends
- The "Dance of the Hours" segment of Fantasia starts with the opening of stately palace doors. It ends with the same doors falling off their hinges.
- Although not at the very beginning of the movie, the famous door opening into Oz in The Wizard of Oz plays the same role in starting the adventure.
- The Searchers opens with the camera moving through an opening doorway, into a panoramic view of the desert. A matching scene of a closing door ends the film.
- In The Nightmare Before Christmas, the initial shot carries the viewer down among a ring of trees with holiday-themed doorways, and through the jack-o-lantern door to Halloweentown.
- Kenneth Branaugh's film adaptation of Henry V starts with the Chorus speaking backstage on a soundstage, and after the final words he throws open a door to show the first scene of the play.
- The Rocketeer starts with hangar doors opening and Cliff's brand new plane being rolled out.
- In the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical of Cinderella from 1965, a pair of gates to the castle garden opens at the beginning of the film. (I'm not sure, but I think the gates "bookend" by closing at the end as well.)
- The opening credits of Tales from the Crypt feature a continuous shot in which the camera closes in on the Cryptkeeper's house and enters the front door.
- Every episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood begins with Mr. Rogers entering his house while singing "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood."
- The opening credits of Dinosaurs starts with a P.O.V. Cam shot of a big dinosaur stomping through the forest as ominous music plays. Then we see the inside of the Sinclair's door as Earl sticks his head in: "Honey, I'm home!"
- Not the opening of the show, but the opening of every interval of movie-riffing on Mystery Science Theater 3000 began with a tracking shot though a series of bulkhead doors on the Satellite of Love.
- In the children's TV show The Magic Door the opening song encourages the viewer to "Open, come open, the Magic Door with me..." The eponymous door is the front door to an elf's house.
- They sort of did this in the earlier version of The New Treasure Hunt game show. Seen at about 0:36 on this clip. There was also a counterpart door closing in the end credits.
- Get Smart had the main character casually walking through a series of automatically-opening (and closing) sliding door pairs to get to his secret office.
- The Inner Sanctum radio show began with the creaking door opening, and Raymond inviting the listener in to the Inner Sanctum.
- Many early Dungeons & Dragons adventure modules used this trope, as they tended to omit depictions of the world outside a dungeon so that DMs could seamlessly transplant their content into homebrew settings.
- Although there's a short Cutscene before it, the player first takes active control in Riven when a cell's gate drops down into the ground, setting the Stranger free to explore.
- An early subversion in Zork. The house you start in front of has the door boarded shut, you have to go in through the rear window.
- Resident Evil
- Used in the early games (1, 2 and 3) to instill a feeling of suspense.
- This was done in Sweet Home, where Shinji Mikami got the inspiration from.
- Most of the "Ravenhearst" Story Arc adventures from Mystery Case Files start out with the Master Detective unlocking a gateway, or approaching the door to her client's residence.
- In Devil May Cry:
- One of the first things that happen in the original Devil May Cry is Trish breaking in Dante's office by driving her bike through his door.
- Devil May Cry 3, Mission 1 ends with Dante kicking his office door open to go outside, Mission 2 begins with said door flying outward from the impact with Dante walking out shortly after it.
- Devil May Cry 4 has Dante pulling a Super Window Jump from Skylight in the Opera Theater, kickstarting the plot after the Intro Cutscene.
- In Baron Wittard, your first challenge is to bypass the security system that guards the abandoned arcology so you can enter.
- A multitude of doors open and close in the opening animation of Pixar's Monsters, Inc., indicative of doors' importance to the monsters' operations. The last door opens to the apartment of Mike Wazowski and Jimmy Sullivan as their workday morning begins.
- The opening sequence of Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain begins with a camera zooming through the front door of Elmyra's house and through various rooms, while Pinky and the Brain themselves do the "What are we gonna do today?" exchange. The camera reaches the titular trio just in time for the Brain to declare, "Endure Elmyra, then try to Take Over the World!"
- A series of increasingly-weird doors and gates open up during the opening credits of Beetlejuice, and the viewer's perspective passes through them.
- Several members of the family pass through doors as they head home and converge on the couch in The Simpsons's opening credits sequence.