Location Subtitles
When you enter an area, the name of the area is displayed on the screen.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-09-20 08:46:51 sponsor: Discar (last reply: 2013-01-20 12:57:49)

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When you enter an area, the name of the area is displayed on the screen in order to let the audience know where you are. This trope primarily originated as a video game trope, but it's spread to other media as well. Now it's common in any work that takes place in a wide variety of locations and wants to make sure that the audience can follow the change in locations.

Subtrope of Title In.

See also Boss Subtitles, London England Syndrome, and Scenery Porn. Often overlaps with Cinematic Pan Out.

Examples:

Film

Literature
  • In Connie Willis's Blackout / All Clear, the chapters don't have names; merely location and date, like "Oxford--April 2060" or "Saltram-on-Sea--29 May 1940".

Live-Action Television
  • In The X-Files, this usually happens on a bottom corner of the screen when Mulder and Scully first go somewhere for a case. Sometimes the name of the town and the state appears as a second line underneath a specific building they are going to such as a hotel, government building, business, etc.
    • Amusingly, in the episode "Bad Blood" during Scully's recounting of the tale, the location name first appeared incorrectly until Mulder corrected her, and then the screen display changed to show the correct location.
  • In Fringe, the names of towns and other locations can be read as humongous hovering 3D letters within the establishing shot, sometimes even casting shadows or affecting rain drops.
  • The Mentalist frequently does this at the beginning of the episode to tell the viewers what part of California the CBI team has been called to.
  • Spooks uses this every time there's a change of location, even ones we see every episode like MI-5 headquarters.
  • Burn Notice did this at the start of the pilot to tell us that Michael was in Nigeria.
  • Alias always does this, except rather than a subtitle, the camera zooms through the words and into the scene.
  • Green Acres: In one episode, we get a Gilligan Cut to an insert of a New York City skyline, as well as the following subtitles:
    "Can you guess what city this is?"
    *Blank*
    "If you guessed New York, you're right!"

Video Games
  • In Tales of Symphonia, this happens every time you enter a new area, with the added benefit of a short line describing the town. Such as the starting town, "The Village of Oracles--Iselia."
  • Assassins Creed II mixes it with Title In: at the start of each memory sequence, the camera pans over the current city and its name and the current year are displayed. Also, whenever you synchronize with a view point, the camera does an Orbital Shot of the surrounding area, albeit without any subtitles.
    • Assassins Creed III lets you know when you've entered a new area. As the Frontier is a single HUGE area, it's been subdivided into a number of regions so players can roughly identify where important things are. It also allows for a hunting sidequest.
  • 3D Zelda games usually do this, starting with Ocarina of Time, do this not just with towns but also new environments, such as Death Valley or Hyrule Field. The same service extends to dungeons, as early as Link's Awakening.
  • Metroid Prime games show the area names, and do a pan-out of the areas, when you first enter them.
  • Final Fantasy XII shows the name of areas when you first enter.
  • Xenoblade not only shows the names when you first enter a new area, it also shows where there area is on the Bionis or Mechonis.
  • Pokémon gives the town name but there's no pan out.
  • Paper Mario: the Thousand-Year Door does this too, also with no pan out.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto series, each time you enter a new zone, its name is displayed in the lower right corner.
  • When you first visit a new landmark in Skyrim, the game displays "Discovered _______" across the top half of the screen. The area name appears again (much smaller, of course) in the upper corner when you reenter a previously visited area.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 displays the location you're entering on the short transition screen between each area. Or a random location name during the infamous Mind Screw sequence in Arsenal Gear.
  • An Untitled Story displays name of area the player enters in top-right corner of the screen.

Web Comics
  • In Homestuck, players' planets are typically introduced by showing them in the environment, then progressively panning out to show the entire planet with a subtitle. Subsequent appearances of these subtitles, sometimes seen hanging over the characters' heads, suggest these subtitles are actually there, floating out in space.
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