Automatic Notebook YKTTW Discussion

Automatic Notebook
The PlayerCharacter keeps notes on the plot so you don't have to!
(permanent link) added: 2012-08-12 13:08:48 sponsor: Laukku edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2015-06-18 05:25:35)

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Do We Have This One??

The protagonist of a Video Game carries a personal notebook, and automatically updates it offscreen with new information he or she has learned so far. The player can check it anytime to remind himself of past plot points.

This is mostly an Adventure Game trope and rarely seen elsewhere: This is because they tend to be very dialogue- and plot-heavy, especially investigation-themed ones, so that keeping track of it all can be difficult.

Some possible variations of this trope include:
  1. A list of major events and important facts, written in the protagonist's own words. This type is usually written more or less in a diary style, and can even be their actual diary.
  2. A complete transcript of all spoken dialogue so far. This is especially common in interrogation-heavy detective stories, as the player needs to remember every fact that a character may say.

See also Monster Compendium, which has a similar self-updating mechanic.


  • Broken Sword
    • The first two games didn't have notebooks, until they were added in the Updated Rereleases.
    • Both Broken Sword 3 and Broken Sword 4 have the "diary" type versions. As they have two playable characters that the player have to switch between at specific points, they both have their own notebook with only the facts that each character knows.
  • In the Lost Files Of Sherlock Holmes games, Watson follows the player (Holmes) everywhere and writes every conversation down in his notebook. There is a search function, which is useful because it can easily reach several hundred pages.
  • There is an interesting variation in Gabriel Knight: the titular character carries a tape recorder instead of a notebook, and records all conversations that way. In Video Game/Gabriel Knight 2, Grace Nakimura, whom you also play at some points, uses a diary-type notebook however.
  • April Ryan in The Longest Journey has a diary. Then there's Zoe's mobile phone in Dreamfall: The Longest Journey: she keeps track of her adventures via notes on it (though to a lesser degree than April in TLJ).
  • Grim Fandango has the dialogue transcript version.

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