Created By: SuperLlama on July 18, 2014 Last Edited By: SuperLlama on July 30, 2014
Troped

Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat

Edible food found in areas where it\'s unlikely to stay edible.

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So you're wandering around in a dark, dank dungeon hundreds of feet underground, and abandoned for years save for hordes of monsters. You've taken quite a beating and desperately need something to eat to kickstart your Hyperactive Metabolism. Suddenly, you spot a treasure chest out of the corner of your eye. You open up the treasure chest to find...

...a perfectly edible roast chicken.

A fairly common video game trope, especially in older video games. Not only do video game heroes have little problem eating food they find lying around on the floor for longer than the five-second rule allows, but even if that roast chicken had to have been sitting there for hundreds of years in someplace very unsanitary, it's still as fresh as if it just came out of the oven.

A Sub-Trope of Blatant Item Placement. Compare Inexplicable Treasure Chests.


Examples

  • Used throughout the Castlevania series. The pre-Symphony Of The Night games typically allowed the player to break open walls to reveal different kinds of meat. Games after Symphony Of The Night had food items just sitting on the floor out in the open or dropped by monsters, including cartons of milk that should've gone bad even faster than the meat. However, it also zigzagged this trope by including spoiled food items as well.
  • Other than first-aid kits, all health-replenishing items in Wolfenstein 3D are food, and all of them are just lying around on the floor, sometimes even sitting in hidden passageways (though at least they're left on plates and bowls.)
  • The Fallout series always has tons of pre-war food (even in the first game, the Great War happened almost 100 years ago) that's still perfectly edible, including the inexplicably popular Nuka-Cola. Fallout 3 and New Vegas work to subvert this somewhat, as eating pre-war food will still boost the player's health, but also inflict them with minor doses of radiation (and explicitly irradiated food that deals even more radiation when eaten can be found.)
  • A staple of the Gauntlet series. Apparently when Red Warrior needs food badly it doesn't matter where it's been.
  • In Earthworm Jim 2, there's a sandwich pickup called a Chip Butty that restores 200% health...even if it's been buried underground.
  • One survival horror game played on Gaming Garbage had the player restoring health by drinking cartons of milk and eating whole pizzas found lying around an abandoned insane asylum. Shmorky is quick to point out how disgusting this is.
  • Lampshaded with the Mysterious Wall Chicken in Dust: An Elysian Tail. Its in-game description reads "Found embedded in a wall, this fully-cooked and seasoned chicken comes from unknown origins."
  • A typical world in Minecraft has many abandoned dungeons, strongholds and mines where you can find chests containing food like bread, wheat, carrots, potatoes, melon seeds or pumpkin seeds, all fresh and edible (or in case of seeds, plantable).
  • The Pikmin series takes place on Earth 250 million years in the future (as confirmed by 3) and has a suspicious lack of humans, but some of the treasures in 2 include various foodstuffs that still look perfectly fine (and apparently taste perfectly fine, too, since the crew keep sneaking bites of them.)
  • In the DuckTales game for NES, Scrooge can find cakes and cones of ice cream hidden throughout Transylvania, Amazon Ruins, and the moon.
  • Perhaps parodied in StarTropics 2. The protagonist uses TNT to blast a hole in a mine, searching for a gold nugget. Upon finding it, he realizes it's a chicken nugget (keep in mind this was in a cave that was completely sealed off before the TNT blast). The protagonist then eats the chicken nugget and says it's delicious!
  • Zigzagged in Odin Sphere, where both killing enemies and clearing out stages will yield treasure chests that sometimes contain minor food items like milk and hot cross buns. With some of these areas it makes sense, like when you're fighting in the capital of Titania or Ragnanival, or on the Valentian battlegrounds where there's tons of soldiers running around everywhere, but then there's also the monster-infested Elrit Forest and the Volkenan Lava Pit where it's less likely to stay fresh. Once the player gets to the Netherworld, however, they quickly find that the only food items that get dropped are old and withered.
  • The original sidescrolling shooter Duke Nukem has Duke roaming around eight levels of Doctor Proton's Elaborate Underground Base, with an occasional turkey drumstick available to add about 12% health. Interestingly, Duke's handheld Wave Motion Gun can be used to "cook" a turkey drumstick into a complete turkey dinner worth 25% health. Averted with the soda, which is sealed in a can.
  • In Streets of Rage 2, you can find whole roasted chicken by smashing arcade cabinets, wooden crates, and trashcans. It may not be sanitary, or make any sense, but you take what you can get when you're being ganged up on.
  • TMNT IV: Turtles in Time: The turtles can find perfectly good pizza lying on the sidewalk, or down in the sewer, and even Shredder keeps some lying around the Technodrome.
  • Played with in Fable II, where you'll find food even in dumps like Wraithmarsh, but the quality will be much lower.
  • Zig-zagged in Dwarf Fortress. Food left around will decay and spoil, but it will be preserved almost indefinitely if put in a food stockpile — it can still go bad, but takes years. Played straight in adventure mode, where food you find will be perfectly edible.
  • Non video-game example: The pet cockroach of WALL•E is given a newly unwrapped Twinkie to eat / play in. This occurs in a setting where humanity hasn't been around for seven hundred years. Yes, Twinkies have preservatives, but c'mon, nothing's that good.
  • Recettear lampshades this with many of its item descriptions.
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • July 18, 2014
    KTera
    • Lampshaded with the Mysterious Wall Chicken in Dust An Elysian Tail. Its in-game description reads "Found embedded in a wall, this fully-cooked and seasoned chicken comes from unknown origins."
  • July 18, 2014
    DAN004
  • July 18, 2014
    Larkmarn
    I loved the original name, but even I think it was a bit unclear.

    Current needs to lose the "suspiciously." In Universe, it's not suspicious. Including that implies that it's a trap of some sort.

    Personally I think the Yum Yum Deviled Eggs is a much better fit from Fallout. Cola isn't known for spoiling. Eggs, on the other hand...
  • July 18, 2014
    Diask
    • A typical world in Minecraft has many abandoned dungeons, strongholds and mines where you can find chests containing food like bread, wheat, carrots, potatoes, melon seeds or pumpkin seeds, all fresh and edible (or in case of seeds, plantable).
  • July 18, 2014
    FerrousFaucet
    • In the Ducktales game for NES, Scrooge can find cakes and cones of ice cream hidden throughout Transylvania, Amazon Ruins, and the moon.

    • Perhaps parodied in Star Tropics 2: the protagonist uses TNT to blast a hole in a mine, searching for a gold nugget. Upon finding it, he realizes it's a chicken nugget (keep in mind this was in a cave that was completely sealed off before the TNT blast). The protagonist then eats the chicken nugget and says it's delicious!
  • July 18, 2014
    acrobox
    Isn't this already covered by point 4 of Hyperactive Metabolism? to quote:

    " Salmonella and food contamination are of no concern to your powerful digestive system. Food found in garbage cans or the crumbling walls of ancient castles infested with evil is just as nutritious as a steak ordered straight out of the local diner. This is not as rigidly adhered to as other points, as some games may have rotten food found, and a rarer few may actually have the food you carry spoil if not properly prepared or stored."
  • July 18, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ that's about food items replenishing health. This is about food found in pristine condition in illogical places. different points.
  • July 18, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Video Games
    • The original sidescrolling shooter Duke Nukem has Duke roaming around eight levels of Doctor Proton's Elaborate Underground Base, with an occasional turkey drumstick available to add about 12% health. Interestingly, Duke's handheld Wave Motion Gun can be used to "cook" a turkey drumstick into a complete turkey dinner worth 25% health. Averted with the soda, which is sealed in a can.
  • July 18, 2014
    DAN004
  • July 18, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Video Games
    • Played with in Fable II, where you'll find food even in dumps like Wraithmarsh, but the quality will be much lower.
  • July 18, 2014
    Larkmarn
    ^^ I think Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat would be a better name. While better than "Suspiciously," "mysteriously" still implies that there's some mystery to it, that you're supposed to think about it.

    Also, acrobox is correct. This is, technically, covered by Hyperactive Metabolism. But I think that lumping it together is honestly a bit silly and it deserves its own trope.
  • July 18, 2014
    MiinU

    Video games

    • In Streets of Rage 2, you can find whole roasted chicken by smashing arcade cabinets, wooden crates, and trashcans. It may not be sanitary, or make any sense, but you take what you can get when you're being ganged up on.
    • TMNT IV: Turtles in Time: The turtles can find perfectly good pizza lying on the sidewalk, or down in the sewer, and even Shredder keeps some lying around the Technodrome.
  • July 19, 2014
    Arivne
  • July 19, 2014
    DracMonster
    Perfectly Preserved Provisions for some alliteration? It struck me that this doesn't just have to apply to found food, but stuff a character carries in his inventory, too.

    • Zig-zagged in Dwarf Fortress. Food left around will decay and spoil, but it will be preserved almost indefinitely if put in a food stockpile — it can still go bad, but takes years. Played straight in adventure mode, where food you find will be perfectly edible.
  • July 19, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • The pet cockroach of Wall E is given a newly unwrapped Twinkie to eat / play in. This occurs in a setting where humanity hasn't been around for seven hundred years. Yes, Twinkies have preservatives, but c'mon, nothing's that good.
  • July 20, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ I've seen dat twinkie joke in Ghost Rider film as well... :p
  • July 20, 2014
    KyleJacobs
    • Recettear lampshades this with many of its item descriptions.
  • July 30, 2014
    bitemytail
    Why was this launched without any hats?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=cz84cwc8lmz6um0krsk864h9&trope=InexplicablyPreservedDungeonMeat