Created By: BeerBaron on December 21, 2012 Last Edited By: BeerBaron on December 28, 2012

Inexplicably Well-Lit Place

A cave, tomb, or ruin has artificial lighting when it logically should not.

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Trope
So you've spent hours trekking through the Lost Woods and the Evil Swamp until, finally, you arrive at your destination: an Ancient Tomb sealed shut by 8 magical runes and two-dozen master level locks. There is no way this place has seen a living visitor in centuries at least. You break the seal on the door and...

Lit torches line the walls and candles burn on every flat surface. It's as if the undead in this place were afraid of the dark. Welcome to an Inexplicably Well-Lit Place!

This trope can also refer to any other area that shouldn't logically contain lighting such as caves, ruins, abandoned buildings, etc. This is most commonly experienced in action/adventure or RPG video games, though can show up in just about any form of visual media.

It is also an Acceptable Break from Reality since being forced to use a torch or flashlight could be too inhibiting for the player. (Ex. forcing the player to use a one-handed weapon while holding their torch.) Even in games that offer a player-held source of light, expect the area to be light enough to operate without it.

Compare to Infinite Flashlight, Blatant Item Placement and Hollywood Torches.

Compare and contrast with Hollywood Darkness where the setting is dark in-story, but is light enough so that the audience can still see.

Examples

Video Games

  • The Elder Scrolls series - Centuries old tombs inhabited only by rats and the undead will have glowing braziers and torches along the wall. Player-held light sources are available but rarely needed.

  • The Dragon Age series - Same reason as ES above.

  • Fallout Series - Post-Apocalyptic world example. Subway tunnels and abandoned buildings will still have flickering lights decades or even centuries after the war. Pip-Boy can provide light, but is rarely needed.

  • Averted in The Witcher, where all tombs are so dark, you have to navigate them blind even with maxed-out display contrast settings. The only way to fix that is using a torch or the night vision potion.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • December 21, 2012
    Sagitta
    Caves, ruins and secret passages in films are almost universally well-lit, and most don't have the excuse of 'it's magic'.
  • December 21, 2012
    Sagitta
    The Lights Are On But Nobody'sHome might work as a title. Notwithstanding that in most fictional abandoned buildings somebody is home.
  • December 21, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Hollywood Darkness should already cover it.
  • December 21, 2012
    Jaqen
    And all they gotta do is include an extra scene outside the tomb, archaeologist break the seal,; inside the tomb, all the torches burst into life and it would all make sense as A Wizard Did IT.
  • December 22, 2012
    Koveras
    • Averted in The Witcher, where all tombs are so dark, you have to navigate them blind even with maxed-out display contrast settings. The only way to fix that is using a torch or the night vision potion.
  • December 22, 2012
    Arivne
    Compare Hollywood Torches, which covers torches that never burn out.
  • December 27, 2012
    BeerBaron
    To Stratadrake: I don't feel that Hollywood Darkness covers it. That is for when something is supposed to be dark, even pitch black, but for the audience's sake, it is still light enough to see the action.

    This is for when there literally are sources of light in a place that should not have them. Hollywood Darkness could fit if, for instance, the tomb or ruin in question does not have sources of light, yet you can still see. This would kick in when that place has inexplicable torches, candles, or other sources of light that should not logically exist.

    And thanks for the additional input. It is kind of in an rough-draft state at the moment, and I'm going to clean it up some.
  • December 27, 2012
    Koveras
    The new title reminds me of this YKTTW.
  • December 27, 2012
    Koveras
    @OP: If you click on the pen symbol next to someone's comment, it will open their original mark-up, which you can copy to your YKTTW write-up (instead of just copying the plain text, as you currently do). You should then click on the pen symbol again to close the comment edit form without saving it.

    I swear, this hint should appear in bold every time you edit a YKTTW.
  • December 28, 2012
    lakingsif
    This probably doesn't help at all as I can't remember the game's name, but the narrative or something says in one of these places that it's surprisingly well lit.
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