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Always Check Behind the Chair


(permanent link) added: 2010-04-25 18:16:59 sponsor: Redesignated (last reply: 2010-04-25 18:16:59)

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Planned launch date: April 23rd 25th.

Rewrote the description hopefully just enough to distinguish it from Notice This. I'd appreciate it if tropers would look through the examples and make sure they are in line with the new trope requirements.
So, you've just made it through the latest ancient ruins or abandoned mansion, filled with rooms of oddly-present furniture at every turn. Along the way, you've killed monsters, triggered a cutscene or two, and picked open every treasure chest you could find. You could call it finished and head back home—or, you could turn those seemingly empty bedrooms upside down in your search for more loot. (And whatever else is there.)

Always Check Behind the Chair is the process of examining unsuspectable objects in case the developers placed something there. When this trope is applied kindly, there will be some sort of subtle deviation from the norm to show a secret's presence. Used in a more cruel manner, however, and it tends to dive into Fake Difficulty and/or Guide Dang It, especially when the item is plot-important or has literally no business being there. Such an example is placing the Infinity+1 Sword by a common bush.

What's Behind the Chair can be a number of things, but items, paths, monsters, switches and Easter Eggs are common. How they react to being discovered, however, is less concrete: switches may turn something on or off, but they're just as likely to unleash the Bonus Level of Hell's boss ramped Up to Eleven, start a mini-game, or provide some snark on particularly Willing Suspension of Disbelief-breaking events.

Some games feature a set of reusable locations for housing secrets, such as garbage cans and dressers, with the frequency of their placement capable of being a dead giveaway.

If the area becomes inaccessable after some point, the treasure may be Lost Forever.

Though primarily a Video Game trope, it can occur in other media, usually invoked by The Klutz or someone Genre Savvy.

Do note that this trope is different from Notice This: you aren't likely to check the spot in question unless you're aware of the convention of hiding things Behind Chairs. (Notice This in the inverse, where the game gives a clear, well-defined meaning to specific things to draw you in.) For that matter, Always Check Behind the Chair is related but seperate from Pixel Hunt, which is the equivalent of this in point-and-click games.

Examples of Always Check Behind the Chair:

Video Games:
  • An Untitled Story: Very, very, very present. If you're aiming for 100% Completion, it's smart to check every corner big enough to hide a Heart Container. Averted once you find the crystal ball in SkyLands: it will give you vague hints for an ever-increasing cost.
  • A Vampyre Story: You have to check under your bed for an item in order to proceed. No one prompts you.
  • Blue Dragon: Not only do some objects contain items you can take, but many more hold “Nothing,” which is apparently not the same as actually having nothing inside. Finding enough Nothing will let you get items from a certain NPC. The “Six Treasures” Downloadable Content includes a pair of glasses that places markers on top of things that are hiding Nothing.
  • Breath of Fire 3: chests of drawers, on more than one occasion.
  • Chrono Cross has this all over the place.
  • Chrono Trigger: there are two occasions where you're required to check behind a tombstone.
  • Final Fantasy absolutely loves this trope.
    • Final Fantasy III dances between Always Check Behind the Chair and Notice This: the DS remake lets you zoom-in using L/R, with spots hiding objects giving off a yellow-gold sparkle.
    • Final Fantasy IV: Many areas have hidden goods or passageways, but Eblan Castle deserves special mention due to the sheer prevelance of this trope. In summary, there are: secret corridors on basically every floor; a Sutra hidden behind the throne; a pit that you have to edge your way across to reach a chest; and then, just to confuse you, a different pit that you'll only fall through if you try to cross it. That's not even getting into The Very Definitely Final Dungeon's obession with paths under paths under paths, all obscured by the top-view.
  • The Godfather: Missions in the Wii version (and possibly others) have money bags hidden with varying degrees of visibility. If you don't get them while you can, they're Lost Forever.
  • King's Quest IV: There's an island where you have to check behind a ship's detached front, which is lying in the sand. Rearward of the wreckage is a golden bridle that: 1) has no business being there; 2) is completely necessary to win the game. The island is only accessable at one point during play, and after leaving, you can't go back. Oh, and using “look” on the shipwreck only works when you're standing in exactly the right spot.
  • Mega Man Battle Network: multiple ports and chips are hidden in the over-world.
    • The fifth set of games (Team Protoman and Team Colonel) has bosses reappear on select tiles throughout the Net; as well, the password system hides its codes where you cannot see them due to the camera.
  • Mega Man Star Force mostly follows in the footsteps of Network in its application of this trope.
  • Pok√©mon: Standards of the series are patches of grass with a darker shade than others, trash cans, the centers of plateaus, dead-ends, and rocks. Thank Arceus for the Item Finder when they're anywhere else.
  • Seiklus: Though there's usually an eye-like marker along walls with hidden goodies, the haunted crypt notably doesn't for a couple places.
  • Super Metroid: until you find the X-Ray Scope, at least.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind loved this trope. Easily the best gauntlets in the whole game were only attainable by searching behind a few giant coffins. They were easy to miss if you weren't a compulsive klepto, as there's nothing of note by the coffins themselves.

Western Animation:
Needs More Examples, but No Launching Please.
replies: 19

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