Created By: Comonad on August 15, 2009

Scripted Battle

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A battle in a video game, often an RPG, that follows a script instead of acting like a regular battle. Often serves as Gameplay and Story Integration. Most examples will be either Hopeless Boss Fight or Foregone Victory, but the reverse is less likely: a bunch of examples of those tropes will act like a normal battle, just one that happens to be impossible to win or impossible to lose. A Hopeless Boss Fight that immediately kills you on the first turn simply because the boss is so powerful can be an example, depending on how important the manner in which that's done is.

Could maybe use a wittier title, but I can't think of one that's at all clear.

  • The battle with Nyx at the end of Persona 3 is scripted to portray the protagonist charging up his Spirit Bomb and Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Cloud's last battle with Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII is lots of staring and one Omnislash. If you really want, you can replace the Omnislash with an attack from Sephiroth and a counterattack from Cloud, but it's clear that the Omnislash is how the battle is supposed to go.
  • Many games have scripted tutorial battles.
  • The third form of Kingdom of Loathing's Naughty Sorceress can take one of two paths depending on whether or not you have a certain item, and will either be a Hopeless Boss Fight or a Foregone Victory by the time you make it there. Either way, the battle consists of one entirely scripted attack (barring years' worth of Sequence Breaking).
Community Feedback Replies: 8
  • August 15, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In Tales Of Symphonia, you have to lose to Yggdrasil at the first Tower of Salvation and usually he destroys you in under three seconds because you've just fought the Angel and Kratos and you've defeated the first and you MAY have defeated the second, but that's not necessary. All this sets you on your quest for the rest of the game. In hindsight it IS a little bit weird that you think the big boss battle to end all boss battles comes twelve hours into a 60+ hour game
  • August 15, 2009
    Subtrope of Scripted Event.
  • August 15, 2009
    Revolver Ocelot's final form in Metal Gear Solid 4.
  • August 15, 2009
    feo takahari
    Final Fantasy does this quite a lot. Offhand, I remember the third battle with Ultros in Final Fantasy VI (you fight until Relm shows up, then win by using Sketch), the fight with Vargas in the same game (same, but with Sabin and Raging Fist), and the fight with the king and queen in Final Fantasy IV (proceeds normally until "the king and queen break free of their spells" and you have a long conversation in combat mode.)
  • August 16, 2009
    Okay, if most examples of this are either Hopeless Boss Fight or Foregone Victory, are you asking for more examples? Is this going to be a supertrope/index or what?
  • August 16, 2009
    It's not a supertrope, since the converse isn't true: plenty of examples of Hopeless Boss Fight and Foregone Victory aren't scripted. The path the battle takes has to be important and predetermined, whereas those tropes just determine the outcome. It's closer to being a subtrope of the union of the two tropes, but it's not entirely that, either. For example, the third Ultros fight mentioned above is a normal boss fight up until its one scripted segment, and it's entirely possible for you to lose.

    Also, some examples I forgot:
    • The ends of the battles with Shadow Rise and Izanami-no-Okami in Persona 4 are scripted.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, the first random encounters you come across in the World of Ruin have Sap and very low HP, so they tend to immediately die off on their own; this illustrates the bleak state of the new world.
    • Several battles with Golbez in Final Fantasy IV are entirely scripted, to the point where you never even gain control.
    • If you have Odin when you fight Seifer for the last time in Final Fantasy VIII, he'll appear at the beginning of the battle and Seifer will kill him. Halfway through the battle, Gilgamesh will show up, grab Odin's sword, and defeat Seifer for you.
  • August 16, 2009
    During the final battle of Paper Mario, at one point, the game cuts away to a secondary fight of Peach and Twink vs. Kammy. You control it like a normal battle, but each character has only one action, such that the outcome is unavoidable.
  • August 16, 2009
    The super-metroid at the end of Super Metroid is unkillable... although I managed to not get captured by it for almost 2 full minutes once. It is a storyline reminder of the creature's earlier encounter with Samus, and also serves to prime you for a way out of the immediately following unwinnable battle with Mother Brain. Two wrongs don't make a right, but it seems two unwinnable battles make a single certain victory... weird.