Created By: DiscarSeptember 20, 2012 Last Edited By: DiscarJanuary 20, 2013
Nuked

Location Subtitles

When you enter an area, the name of the area is displayed on the screen.

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Page Type:
Trope
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 Links 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.
  • Pokemon 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.
Community Feedback Replies: 44
  • September 20, 2012
    Koveras
    • 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.
  • September 20, 2012
    Telcontar
    Can be closely related to London England Syndrome.
  • September 20, 2012
    Discar
    Also, if someone has a picture illustrating this, that would be great. I tried to find one from Tales Of Symphonia, but no luck.
  • September 20, 2012
    Xtifr
    This happens a lot in TV and even movies. There's even a literary equivalent: starting chapters or sections with the name of the town (and possibly a date). For example:

    • 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".
  • September 20, 2012
    Generality
    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 Links Awakening.
  • September 21, 2012
    Koveras
    I think this needs to be clearly distinguished from Title In. If I understand correctly, the main difference is that this additionally shows off the city from aerial view, but the title doesn't indicate it a it should.
  • September 21, 2012
    Discar
    Title In is a much broader supertrope that refers to the action of actually putting the words on the screen. This is a subtrope.
  • September 21, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    • 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.

    Also, if it requires a pan of the area, the name should reflect that, to make the parameters clear.

    EDIT: Unless it doesn't require that, in which case the description should be fixed, and I would mention most of the Castlevania games that follow the Metroidvania'' style.
  • September 21, 2012
    chicagomel
    Yeah, I'm wondering as well...Pokemon gives the town name but there's no pan out.
  • September 21, 2012
    Tutups
    Is the "pan out" part critical? On Supernatural the camera often pans over or lingers on the welcome type sign of the town Sam and Dean are entering rather than following the Impala on down the road. In a variation, the camera will sometimes focus instead on a large road sign showing how many miles away the town is.

    Also the town and state is shown in the same typeface when appropriate but mostly at the start of shows or at scene changes
  • September 21, 2012
    acrobox
    ^^Pokemon doesnt do a pan out but in FRLG and HGSS at least it would cut to a prerendered image of the area before returning to gameplay.
  • September 23, 2012
    Discar
    I'm not completely sure how important the pan-out should be. On the one hand, the name just appearing on the screen feels different than doing the whole pan-out. On the other hand, we don't even have a trope for the pan-put itself yet, other than Scenery Porn.
  • September 23, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Well we could make that a Sub Trope, and examples that do that pan-out and this would simply overlap.
  • September 23, 2012
    Discar
    Seems like a plan to me. Cinematic Pan Out YKTTW.
  • September 25, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ The examples I listed a few replies above still fit this trope.
  • September 25, 2012
    GoldenFootballPlayer
    Paper Mario: the Thousand-Year Door does this too, also with no pan out.
  • September 26, 2012
    MorganWick
  • September 28, 2012
    Discar
    ^^^ And they're still Zero Context Examples. Same with ^. Just need a bit more detail. Saying "this happens" isn't very helpful.
  • September 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Well I added context, so they can be edited in.

    Also, Zero Context Example is singular. Remember to use curly brackets, like this:
    • {{Zero Context Example}}s
  • September 28, 2012
    NightNymph
    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.

    With this new description, I don't think that my Supernatural example fits any longer, because the town location does not appear as written words on the screen (like it does in the X-Files), but as part of the "scenery" - usually a road sign of some sort.
  • October 4, 2012
    LobsterMagnus
  • October 8, 2012
    shimaspawn
    I don't think this trope should be limited to towns. I can remember it happening in forests. In rural locations. In mountains. On the ocean. It's just a general new location trope.
  • October 9, 2012
    morenohijazo
    In the Grand Theft Auto series, each time you enter a new zone, its name is displayed in the lower right corner.
  • October 10, 2012
    shimaspawn
    How about Location Subtitle? This isn't a town trope.
  • October 14, 2012
    Discar
    ^ Liking that.
  • October 14, 2012
    Generality
    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.
  • October 14, 2012
    shimaspawn
    Location Subtitle is good. I'll rewrite the thing.
  • October 14, 2012
    StarSword
    Film

    Live Action Television
    • 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.
  • October 14, 2012
    StarSword
    Got another for TV.

    • Burn Notice did this at the start of the pilot to tell us that Michael was in Nigeria.
  • October 15, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
    • Silence Of The Lambs. When Clarice Starling went to the town of Belvedere, there was a subtitle with the town's name.

    I think this may have occurred in other scenes but it's been a long time since I last saw the movie.
  • November 16, 2012
    surgoshan
    • 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.
  • November 16, 2012
    lilliterra
    The TV show Alias always does this, except rather than a subtitle, the camera zooms through the words and into the scene.
  • November 16, 2012
    lilliterra
    Also, Jurrassic Park.
  • November 17, 2012
    Discar
    ^ Zero Context Example. More detail please. I don't remember that from the movie.
  • January 4, 2013
    InsanityPrelude
    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.
  • January 4, 2013
    Arutema
    • 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.
  • January 5, 2013
    Diask
    • An Untitled Story displays name of area the player enters in top-right corner of the screen.
  • January 6, 2013
    justanotherrandomlurker
    Live Action TV
    • 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!"
  • January 14, 2013
    Discar
    Bump. Also, I'd really like an image before this gets launched.
  • January 14, 2013
    Chabal2
    Solatorobo does this, but only the first time you enter a new location.

  • January 15, 2013
    justanid
    • Warehouse 13 does this, sometimes animating the text for emphasis.
  • January 15, 2013
    Hargrim
    • World of Warcraft does this every time you enter a new zone/subzone, along with different coloured text to tell you whether the area is neautral, friendly or hostile to your faction.

    • Game of Thrones did this with major locations in the pilot, specifically Winterfell, Kingslanding and Pentos so as not to confuse viewers.
  • January 15, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Do we REALLY need a The Same But More Specific version of Title In?

    My issue is this isn't thematically distinct from Title In in any significant way. It doesn't change the meaning in any way...
  • January 20, 2013
    Discar
    I suppose you're right. Title In just needs a bit more love. I'm gonna move the examples over there and add Location Subtitles as a redirect. Once all that's done, I'll be discarding this YKTTW.

    Thanks for the help, everyone.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable