Created By: BreadBull on February 17, 2017 Last Edited By: rmctagg09 on May 28, 2017
Troped

Nice Day, Deadly Night

Day is peaceful and safe. Come nightfall though, you better be armed.

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Page Type:
trope
"The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night."

Imagine you're shipwrecked somewhere. At first glance it appears bright and cheerful, a pretty normal place. But then sundown comes and it's night, accompanied by a sudden flood of monsters who want to kill you. Apparently in this world all the deadly creatures are nocturnal, and usually also Weakened by the Light and the arrival of the sun.

Very common in Survival Sandbox games - usually you start off at sunrise and have until sundown to gather materials before night comes along with unwelcome visitors.

Most Cassette Futurism films (The '80s version of Cyberpunk) involves street gangs that have control of the cities and mostly come out at night.

Compare Darkness Equals Death and contrast Daylight Horror.

Examples

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    Video Games 
  • Alan Wake. During the daytime, life in Bright Falls is fairly normal. Once night falls, things get dangerous in a hurry, with Alan having to fight large numbers of shadowy Taken.
  • Interestingly, night itself in Don't Starve is deadly, which will slowly eat away at your health (shown as a monster you can't see) unless you go into an area that's lit up.
  • Dragon Age II has two separate sets of levels for the city of Kirkwall by day and by night: while the day levels are not completely free of violence, it is very uncommon to be mugged out in the open. Night levels, meanwhile, feature multiple gangs roaming the streets that attack passers-by without provocation.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Minecraft during the day is filled with passive animals like sheep, cows and pigs with almost nothing that will try to kill you, but hostile ones like zombies and skeletons will come out during night.
  • 7 Days to Die has zombies which are much more difficult to deal with during the night compared to day.
  • In Terraria it's actually dangerous during both day and night, but night, which has zombies and flying eyeballs, is significantly more dangerous than day, which feature slimes that tend to do just Scratch Damage.
  • In Slime Rancher, Phosphor Slimes only spawn at night. They aren't dangerous on their own, but when three or more types of slime are present in one area there is a risk that a Tarr outbreak will occur.
  • Starcraft II: One mission has you surrounded by buildings that spawn infested Terrans, who burn in the daylight due to the star's high UV output. They attack in vast hordes as soon as it gets dark, and the player is meant to attack with impunity during the day, but there's an achievement for attacking at night (Reapers. Lots and lots of reapers). The official map Left 2 Die takes this concept and adds Left 4 Dead-inspired bosses.
  • While Gensokyo in the Touhou series is fairly dangerous to outsiders at any time of day, youkai tend to be most active at night, and leaving the Human Village at that time is more or less taking your life into your own hands if you don't happen to be a protagonist.
  • In "Stardew Valley" if players pick the wilderness farm monsters will spawn at night. You can also toggle monster spawns at the farm if you offer a strange bun at one of the witches shrines.
  • Warcraft III
    • Inverted in the case of most neutral monsters which sleep at night, making it easier to approach them. However, some turn invisible and remain awake, turning a Curb-Stomp Battle against a few monsters into a sudden ambush.
    • Inverted for the Night Elves, who fight much better at night than in the day, being able to turn invisible and slowly regenerating.
  • The first The Witcher game has a day-night cycle, and while some monsters roam out in the open during the day, the vast majority come at night. This is especially noticeable in the first act, which takes place in and around a small village surrounded by woods, but happens even in Vyzima, a capital city, later on.

    Not Video Games 
Comic Books
  • In DC Comics, Batman's birthplace and HQ, Gotham City, is shown as a deadly city mostly by night, which is the moment when the Caped Crusader defends the city from threats ranging from thugs to supervillains.

Film - Animated

Film - Live Action
  • Aliens. After the drop ship is destroyed and the protagonists are trapped on the surface of the planet LV-426, Newt warns Ripley about the deadly threat the xenomorphs will pose to the Colonial Marine force once night falls.
    Newt: We'd better get back cos it'll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night. Mostly.
  • I Am Legend: The last human resident of New York, Robert Neville, is free to roam about during the day with his dog and do whatever he wants in the abandoned city. But at night, he has to board in his house, cover up his scent, and securely seal every window and door, lest the Darkseekers, who can only survive in the dark, come to kill him.
  • Pitch Black. Survivors of a starship's crash landing discover that the deserted planet they're on has three suns, resulting in almost constant sunlight. When a prolonged total eclipse occurs, they are swarmed by deadly alien monsters in the dark.
  • The world of RoboCop is pretty horrible at any time of day, but night is when the roving street gangs are at their most active.

Literature
  • H. G. Wells' sci-fi story The Time Machine has the Time Traveler journey several thousand years into the future, there to meet the Eloi, small dwarfish people that amble about the remains of civilization by day. At night, however, the Morlocks ascend from the depths of the Earth to harvest some of the Eloi. Though the Traveler is significantly larger than any Morlock, he's aware that he'd fare poorly against a Zerg Rush.
  • Beowulf : the titular hero's first enemy is Grendel, a monster that attacks each night before slinking away come morning.

Tabletop Games
  • Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Ravenloft campaign setting. Ravenloft is based on Gothic Horror, so as you'd expect the night is always more dangerous than daytime.
    • 1st Edition module I6 Ravenloft. At night, the citizens of Barovia bar their doors and tremble in terror. Strahd attacks the PCs at night with wolves and bats. Not only could the attacks easily kill them, but party spellcasters can forget relearning their spells. Random encounters at night are much more dangerous: not just wolves, but a deadly variety of undead monsters.
    • 2nd Edition Domains of Dread supplement. In the domain of Kartakas, wolves roam the streets of the cities at night and are strong enough to break down barred gates.

Western Animation
  • Kubo and the Two Strings: Feudal Japan is friendly and normal enough in the daytime, but come night, Kubo's grandfather the Moon King and his daughters (Kubo's aunts) are out to get him, in ways that are often deadly.
  • The Simpsons: Parodied in "Lost Verizon"; Bart is left home alone and becomes afraid of nature at night, resulting in an Overly Long Gag of Bart afraid in the dark and happy in the day ("Night is scary." "Day is awesome!")
  • Gargoyles: Since the title characters turn to stone in daylight, most of the series actions take place at night. The Four Part episode "City of Stone" played this up even more by cursing the human population of New York to turn to Stone during the night in the same manner as the gargoyles do during the day. Than the villain was shown smashing the statues.
  • Directors commentary of the Justice League episode "A Better World" said that, for them, the inversion was much more creepier when we see Alternative Universe Gotham entirely by daylight, which added to the dystopian feel that the universe's Justice League had created. In addition, the episode in question sets all events in the Justice Lord universe in the daylight and all in the Justice League at night.

Community Feedback Replies: 39
  • February 17, 2017
    Basara-kun
    Comic Books:
    • In DC Comics, Batman's birthplace and HQ, Gotham City, is shown as a deadly city mostly by night, which is the moment when the Caped Crusader defends the city from thugs to supervillains.

    Live-Action Film:
  • February 17, 2017
    Koveras
    • Dragon Age II has two separate sets of levels for the city of Kirkwall by day and by night: while the day levels are not completely free of violence, it is very uncommon to be mugged out in the open. Night levels, meanwhile, feature multiple gangs roaming the streets that attack passers-by without provocation.
  • February 17, 2017
    Chabal2
    • Twilight Princess: During the day, Hyrule Field has enemies that can be seen from a long way off. Come night, they're replaced by skeletal hellhounds who endlessly respawn near the player and attack in packs.
    • Warcraft III: Inverted in the case of most neutral monsters which sleep at night, making it easier to approach them. However, some turn invisible and remain awake, turning a curbstomp on a few monsters into a sudden ambush.
      • Inverted for the Night Elves, who fight much better at night than in the day, being able to turn invisible and slowly regenerating.
  • February 17, 2017
    KTera
    • In Slime Rancher, Phosphor Slimes only spawn at night. They aren't dangerous on their own, but when three or more types of slime are present in one area there is a risk that a Tarr outbreak will occur.
  • February 17, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Literature
    • HG Wells' sci-fi story The Time Machine has the Time Traveler journey several thousand years into the future, there to meet the Eloi, small dwarfish people that amble about the remains of civilization by day. At night, however, the Morlocks ascend from the depths of the Earth to harvest some of the Eloi. Though the Traveler is significantly larger than any Morlock, he's aware that he'd fare poorly against a Zerg Rush.
  • February 17, 2017
    InformalFallacies
    Quote for the page:
    "The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night."
  • February 17, 2017
    Chabal2
    Starcraft II: One mission has you surrounded by buildings that spawn infested Terrans, who burn in the daylight due to the star's high UV output. They attack in vast hordes as soon as it gets dark, and the player is meant to attack with impunity during the day, but there's an achievement for attacking at night (Reapers. Lots and lots of reapers). The official map Left 2 Die takes this concept and adds Left 4 Dead-inspired bosses.
  • February 20, 2017
    Arivne
    Film
    • Pitch Black. Survivors of a starship's crash landing discover that the deserted planet they're on has three suns, resulting in almost constant sunlight. When a prolonged total eclipse occurs, they are swarmed by deadly alien monsters in the dark.
  • February 17, 2017
    Arivne
  • February 17, 2017
    Arivne
    Monsters in this type of scenario are often Weakened By The Light.
  • April 14, 2017
    Arivne
    Film
    • Aliens. After the drop ship is destroyed and the protagonists are trapped on the surface of the planet LV-426, Newt warns Ripley about the deadly threat the xenomorphs will pose to the Colonial Marine force once night falls.
      Newt: We'd better get back cos it'll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night. Mostly.
  • February 19, 2017
    CactusFace
    • In Stardew Valley if players pick the wilderness farm monsters will spawn at night. You can also toggle monster soawns at the farm if you offer a strange bun at one of the witches shrines.
  • February 19, 2017
    Bisected8
  • February 19, 2017
    Kartoonkid95
    • The Simpsons: Parodied in "Lost Verizon"; Bart is left home alone and becomes afraid of nature at night, resulting in an Overly Long Gag of Bart afraid in the dark and happy in the day ("Night is scary." "Day is awesome!")
  • February 21, 2017
    Bisected8
    • An Implied Trope in the video for Gorillaz's "Clint Eastwood". Undead gorillas burst out of the graveyard and attack, but disintegrate when the sun rises (it's possible that the spirits possessing Russell summoned them, but later videos show them marching around the graveyard at night with no external influence).
  • February 21, 2017
    Leporidae
    This might count as an example?

    Literature
    • In the Issac Asimov & Robert Silverberg science fiction novel Nightfall, the planet of Kalgash exists in a system with six suns and never truly experiences night - until a previously unobserved second planet eclipses the suns completely and throws the planet's face into shadow. The native population begins to burn anything and everything they can get their hands on to keep the darkness at bay, completely destroying their civilization's infrastructure. But worse than the darkness is the stars that were previously hidden by the constant daylight, and the revelation that the universe is much, much larger than just the Kalgash solar system, which drives the majority of the population mad .
  • February 21, 2017
    AmourMitts
    Would The Purge count? In that movie, the "Annual Purge" takes place during nighttime.

    Also, in Mario Party 6, when a game shifts to nighttime, the DK spaces are replaced with Bowser spaces.
  • February 21, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Film Animated
  • February 21, 2017
    Arutema
  • March 6, 2017
    Getta
    Wait, we have a recent draft like this one... (Light Equals Hope, IIRC)
  • March 6, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    ^ This would be a Sister Trope to Light Equals Hope. This one runs on the clock: you're okay by day, but you'll die at night. This one allows roughly twelve hours to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse or whatever, then another twelve to survive / endure it; it's a recurring Badness. Light Equals Hope aims more for a single instance or something that doesn't depend on a Punch Clock Villain.
  • March 6, 2017
    TomWalpertac2
    • I Am Legend: The zombified infected cannot tolerate direct sunlight.
  • March 7, 2017
    Tuckerscreator
    Expanding on the I Am Legend example.

    • I Am Legend: The last human resident of New York, Robert Neville, is free to roam about during the day with his dog and do whatever he wants in the abandoned city. But at night, he has to board in his house, cover up his scent, and securely seal every window and door, lest the Darkseekers, who can only survive in the dark, come to kill him.
  • April 12, 2017
    Getta
    I remember a new trope that's launched that's very similar to this... I think its name is Light Equals Hope.
  • April 13, 2017
    Twoeyesshort
  • April 13, 2017
    sarysa
    Possible alternate name, since Simon's Quest is so iconic: Horrible Night

    Plus it won't make examples where the day isn't safe seem out of place.

    The Aliens example lacks any information on why the night is deadly.
  • April 13, 2017
    Getta
    I dunno, Cue The Sun also counts the corollary of "when the sun sets, or gets blocked by clouds, dark things comes".
  • April 15, 2017
    Synchronicity
    • Kubo And The Two Strings: Feudal Japan is friendly and normal enough in the daytime, but come night, Kubo's grandfather the Moon King and his daughters (Kubo's aunts) are out to get him, in ways that are often deadly.
  • April 17, 2017
    rmctagg09
    • While Gensokyo in the Touhou series is fairly dangerous to outsiders at any time of day, youkai tend to be most active at night, and leaving the Human Village at that time is more or less taking your life into your own hands if you don't happen to be a protagonist.
  • May 3, 2017
    hszmv1
    • Western Animation/Gargoyles: Since the title characters turn to stone in daylight, most of the series actions take place at night. The Four Part episode "City of Stone" played this up even more by cursing the human population of New York to turn to Stone during the night in the same manner as the gargoyles do during the day. Than the villain was shown smashing the statues.

    • Directors commentary of the Justice League episode "A Better World" said that, for them, the inversion was much more creepier when we see Alternative Universe Gotham entirely by daylight, which added to the dystopian feel that the universe's Justice League had created. In addition, the episode in question sets all events in the Justice Lord universe in the daylight and all in the Justice League at night.
  • May 3, 2017
    AgentSalt
    [[Literature/Beowulf]]: the titular hero's first enemy is Grendel, a monster that attacks the each night before slinking away come morning.
  • May 3, 2017
    Getta
    Again, as I've seen from its draft, Light Equals Hope is about when the night is scary and all around dangerous, just like this draft. Can examples of this be put there instead?
  • May 4, 2017
    Koveras
    • The first The Witcher game has a day-night cycle, and while some monsters roam out in the open during the day, the vast majority come (read: spawn) at night. This is especially noticeable in the first act, which takes place in and around a small village surrounded by woods, but happens even in Vyzima, a capital city, later on.
  • May 5, 2017
    Arivne
    Video Games
    • Alan Wake. During the daytime, life in Bright Falls is fairly normal. Once night falls, things get dangerous in a hurry, with Alan having to fight large numbers of shadowy Taken.
  • May 6, 2017
    Malady
    Disney.Moana: The storms that hit Moana's boats arrive only at night?
  • May 6, 2017
    Getta
    I'm surprised that Cue The Sun hasn't been mentioned already.
  • May 27, 2017
    NightShade96
  • May 27, 2017
    Malady
    If the Casette Futurism thing is true, you'd need some examples to support it. In the second post, which is the one that brings it up, it mentions Film.Robocop, Film.Streets Of Fire and Film.The Warriors?

    Robocop only mentions the night in its Urban Hellscape entry...
  • May 28, 2017
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Advanced Dungeons And Dragons, Ravenloft campaign setting. Ravenloft is based on Gothic Horror, so as you'd expect the night is always more dangerous than daytime.
      • 1st Edition module I6 Ravenloft. At night, the citizens of Barovia bar their doors and tremble in terror. Strahd attacks the PCs at night with wolves and bats. Not only could the attacks easily kill them, but party spellcasters can forget relearning their spells. Random encounters at night are much more dangerous: not just wolves, but a deadly variety of undead monsters.
      • 2nd Edition Domains of Dread supplement. In the domain of Kartakas, wolves roam the streets of the cities at night and are strong enough to break down barred gates.
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