Created By: Ryuuma on December 26, 2011 Last Edited By: morenohijazo on February 10, 2013
Troped

Optional Stealth

A video game mission where stealth is encouraged, but not vital to win.

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Trope
Needs More Examples Do We Have This One?

So there we are: just outside the enemy base, guards are roaming around, looking for you, and the MacGuffin is on a table protected by several closed doors and a little maze you have to navigate throught full of guards. Sounds like your everyday stealth mission....

Except that you have also a decent amount of weaponry, good fighting skill and the enemy AI isn't too bright in regards of disappearing guards. And if you decide to simply charge inside and shoot on everything that moves, you don't suffer from Non-Standard Game Over or other too unpleasant maluses.

Sometimes the programmers will be aware of the fact that obligatory stealth missions tends to be hard, frustrating and sometimes even bordering the scrappy status. So they'll decide to offer an alternate way to solve the mission. It can give some variety to the game, but has its disdvantages: the most common is that if you fail or ditch the stealth part you'll be penalized somehow (less points, the mission is listed as failed, don't get the 100% , less experience points ect.), or a successful stealth action will grant you more benefits. In other situations the enemies will be very strong or dangerous and so the stealth approach will allow you to avoid fighting this guys.

Compare with Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth. Do not confuse with Useless Useful Stealth, which is about stealth mechanics being present, but very hard to use and even disadvantageous at times.

Examples:

Role-Playing Games
  • In Drakensang there are a couple of missions where you're encouraged to adopt a stealthy approach:
    • In the first one in the Blood Mountains castle, you'll have to navigate the whole dungeons without being seen or activating traps. If you fail, the mission changes and you'll have to fight a lot and the boss fight will be harder.
    • If you're discovered while trying to recover the Duke's hammer in the Dark Eyes hideout, you'll have to fight your way out and will receive less reward from Cano.
    • Later in Grimtooth castle you'll have to avoid orcish patrol, or you'll have to face a whole garrison of them.
    • The sequel too has one, but is completely optional and much more easier.
  • In Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, at one point you have to navigate a forest of wandering Dusclops; if they spot you you get warped back to the entrance and have to try again. On the other hand, you can wait for one to turn its back and then attack it from behind to take it out.
  • Stealth is possible in Deus Ex, but it doesn't seem to affect the story. One mission can be played using nothing but a shock baton and the teammates still commend you for killing every last terrorist.
  • The first part of The Arrival DLC for Mass Effect 2 gives an achievement for stealthy completion, but is perfectly doable by killing all the guards instead of sneaking past them.
  • During Skyrim's tutorial, you and your companion come across a sleeping bear. The NPC will advise you to sneak past it (thus teaching you the Sneak mechanic), but he also hands you a bow and suggests you could just try and kill it.
    • Also in Skyrim, the Thieves Guild questline. In Oblivion, the Thieves Guild quests encouraged stealth by having guards put a bounty on your head if you got caught, and by fining you if you killed anyone while engaged in a mission. The Skyrim branch, by comparison, doesn't mind if you choose to hack or blast your way through the areas where you're supposed to be stealthy.
    • Boethiah's quest in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is stated by the goddess herself to be a stealth mission, with her telling you to kill all the bandits in the mine without them seeing you, but it doesn't matter if they see you or not, as once you get the Ebony Armor, the quest ends with Boethiah using the same dialogue.
  • The Mark of the Assassin DLC for Dragon Age II gives you an achievement for sneaking undetected past all the guards up until a certain point.
  • In The Last Story, there are many battles where you are encouraged to keep out of sight, attract enemy scouts from a distance and pick them off one at a time when they're alone. Attracting attention just means you have to face their entire group at once.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, on the 60th floor of Shinra Headquarters you have the choice of sneaking past the guards or getting caught and fighting them.
  • Tales of the Abyss has a stealth mission, but if you fail enough times, the game lets you kill everyone.
  • In Alpha Protocol, if the enemy doesn't see you, they don't try to blast your brains out, and if you manage to get right next to an enemy without being detected, you can take them down in one hit. And since The Dev Team Thinks of Everything, a fair amount of dialogue will change if you stealth your way through a level.
  • In Fallout3 and Fallout: New Vegas people specializing in Stealth can play in this way, sneaking about and using a silenced pistol, but breaking out a BFG and Power Armor whenever things get hairy.

Action-Adventure
  • Twilight Princess: To reach the Arbiter's Grounds, Link must pass through the Bokoblin Compound, a mini-fortress/guard station. If he approaches during the day, the lookouts will spot him the moment he enters the area, and call for reinforcements.
    • On the other hand, you can approach safely at night, which makes Link harder for them to see, while making it easier for Link to spot them, since their eyes glow at night. You can also douse torches with the gale boomerang, providing Link with more cover. And several of the guards who normaly patrol the compound will be asleep. You can either snipe them or, if you're good, walk on by.
  • The video game adaptation of The Amazing Spider-Man allows the player to have plenty of opportunities to stealth-KO any opponents who don't see them, and is the easiest way to dispose of enemies as opposed to a normal battle.
  • In Metroid: Zero Mission, when you reach the Zero Suit sequence, you have the option of using complete stealth if you have the right skills. Being spotted only affects the background music for the rest of the sequence (you can't kill enemies, only briefly stun them).

Survival Horror
  • As soon as you get your hands on the weapons in Dark Corners Of The Earth, you can still complete some puzzles in the stealthy way, but is much easier (and satisfying) to just whip out guns and crowbar and kill all those fishmen around.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines you're free to solve any kind of situation in the way you're most comfortable with, but a stealth approach will always grant you more points.

Stealth-Based Game
  • In Shinobido all levels are supposed to be stealthy, including duels, kidnappings and assassinations. You can still try to use a more direct approach, but it will be much more dangerous, and you'll get less reward if you're spotted. And the Golden Ending pretty much require absolute stealth.
  • In Thief you can also ditch stealth and kill everyone in sight, but is a lot more dangerous. Furthermore in some mission you mustn't kill, nor get spotted.
  • In the Hitman series you can play the game like a typical Third-Person Shooter, however you get a better rating (and thus unlock better weapons) by using stealth and deception to off your targets.
  • Metal Gear is a stealth-based game series-- Rather, it's the stealth-based game series. The games have varying difficulty levels. If one chooses the easiest difficulty, then it's a valid option to plow through the game without really needing to use its stealth elements. However, selecting anything above "Normal" makes using stealth absolutely necessary, as guards will be vigilant and difficult to take down, and using stealth is far easier than trying to macho one's way through. The most extreme gameplay modes in the Metal Gear series actually force the player to restart from the beginning if they are so much as noticed by one guard.
  • Perfect Dark Zero, but only on the lowest difficulty setting. It is a stealth title, but on the easiest setting stealth is mostly not required.
  • The original Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. It was a good idea to sneak through as much of the castle(s) as possible, because fighting German soldiers was a good way to get killed. However, you could fight them if you wanted to, and at times it was actually necessary (e.g. before you got a uniform or passes, or to "clean out" the room where the alarm box was located).
  • Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, despite being a stealth game, allows the player to just run through the game if they want, going so far as to let players choose an "assault" loadout that gives them extra ammunition and grenades instead of stealth tools.
  • Dishonored gives options in how you want to play the game. You could, for example, play through the entire game undetected... or become a whirling dervish of supernatural death. Notably, there's the Ghost achievement for playing through undetected and in a Pacifist Run.
  • In Stolen, you're supposed to use the shadows to sneak around the guards. In practice GameSpot's reviewer found it was quicker and easier to just beat them senseless.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, in the Silent Realms you are supposed to collect a certain number of items scattered around the map without being hit by one of the Guardians (as it's a one-hit KO). The Guardians "sleep" for a certain amount of time, waking when you run out of time, touch Waking Water, or if one of the little guys patrolling around spots you. While the best way to complete these trials is to avoid detection and make sure you collect enough of the items to keep the Guardians asleep, you can attempt to just dash through and not worry about waking them. However, because of how fast and big the Guardians are, this would be difficult to do, and probably only best reserved for a difficult spot if you can avoid getting hit and can pick up another item to send them to sleep quickly enough.
  • The Assassin's Creed series is like this most of the time. There are some missions that desynchronize you for being detected, but by and large it's just as doable to fight all the guards as it is to sneak past them or stealth-kill them.
    • There's also the first Assassin's Creed game, and the second one, for the most part. Later ones have tended to avert this by punishing being caught with game overs.

Hack and Slash
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle: In the prison infiltration level, you can easily charge through the prison killing mooks on Mild since they die in one hit. Averted on Bitter setting.

First-Person Shooter
  • In the Call of Duty games, the other characters hide against walls before entering rooms, and lots of the players do this. It's actually easier just to stand in the middle of the doorway and shoot as while you're trying to navigate around the edge of doors (massive pain), your enemies can get shots in. It's also far too hard to make your player drop to ground, but there is no additional penalty or chance of injury if you just stand up in the middle of the place. Being un-stealthy is, if anything, advantageous.
    • The Modern Warfare games have a few missions where your superior will encourage you to sneak past enemies or at least use silenced weapons on them. It's not required, though, and while you'll get mobbed it is possible to fight your way out. Said superior will chew you out, though. Plus, the missions "All Ghillied Up" and "Cliffhanger" have achievements for not being spotted.
  • In the second Timesplitters game some missions have an optional stealth objective. The Neo Tokyo level is the only one with a compulsory stealth objective (trailing a hacker) for every difficulty level.
  • Gears of War 2 DLC campaign add on "Road to Ruin" gave you the choice between using stealth or going in all guns blazing. There's an achievement for successfully completing the stealth element.
  • GoldenEye (1997) for N64 had stealth elements, namely in silenced weapons and alarms that mooks could trigger. Some levels were impossible to complete in total stealth (think Control) while others were very difficult if you blew your cover (think Frigate). Most levels were easy enough to barrel through guns blazing even on the most advanced difficulty, though.
  • No One Lives Forever, for the most part. Technically, you can complete most levels in NOLF with guns blazing, but stealth is a much better solution. I guess JAF1970 means that breaking stealth is not as heavily penalized as in other Stealth Based Games (which the NOLF series strived to be).
  • Halo 2: The Arbiter's Invisibility Cloak lasts for only about five seconds anyway, so ignoring it is perfectly viable option if you don't having to wear down all your enemies versus getting one free assassination.
  • Metro2033 is essentially this trope. You have a (useless) knife and a (lethal) set of throwing knives, almost every weapon is silent or has a silenced variant, and you can purchase a set of black stealth armor that helps conceal you from enemy vision. On the other hand, you have an arsenal of grenades and can purchase such weapons as a heavy automatic shotgun if stealth isn't your thing. However, it's certainly encouraged to sneak around, and the Golden Ending requires you to not only use stealth, but to not kill a single enemy on some of the infiltration missions.

Third-Person Shooter
  • In Freedom Fighters, stealth is crucial in earlier missions, and mission descriptions typically warn you to stay out of Soviet floodlights, but with a large enough squad and some good weaponry you can easily just charge straight through enemy defenses.
  • Most shooting levels in the James Bond game Everything or Nothing are like this. It is almost always possible to complete the levels all-guns-blazing, but it's often very punishing on the highest difficulty setting. You do carry silenced and non-lethal weapons, however, and you also have a few EMP grenades which can disable security cameras and alarm systems. Sneaky actions, such as disabling the alarms or killing the guards so it seems like an accident, often give you "Bond Moments" which unlock extra content.
  • In Second Sight, the very broad selection of Psychic Powers available to the main character means you always have the option of sneaking through a level vs. running through with guns blazing, though there are points where only one or the other is feasible. The game keeps a "morality" statistic and humanises some of the mooks in order to encourage stealth via Videogame Caring Potential.

Action Game
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum in most of the areas if you feel lucky you can bring down all the nearby mooks with violent means. However, stealth is much more safe, especially when gun-toting enemies are around.
  • In Hard Corps: Uprising, mission 5 has you sneaking into a laboratory. You can sneak past the Mooks, or just shoot them as normal.

Wide Open Sandbox
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, when infiltrating Area 69, you're told to sneak the soldiers: you must head to a control tower to open the gate to the base interior some distance away from the tower, then enter that gate. The problem is, is much easier to just kill any soldier in your way, ignore the gate (which becomes impossible to open once you're detected), and enter through an air vent near the closed gate.
    • This happens many times in this game; for example, earlier in that game you had to infiltrate a Vietnamese boat, and a bit later, a dam. The only time where stealth is strongly advised is when you must infiltrate an aircraft carrier: getting seen will make soldiers run to the stationed jetfighters and flee with them, before you can steal one of them, thus failing the mission.

Simulation Game
  • One mission in Ace Combat 3 advises you to stay under the radar net as you proceed to the enemy base. It doesn't matter if you are spotted or not, it only determines when you end up fighting more enemy planes.

Real-Time Strategy:
  • In Starcraft, all three races offer a substantial variety of units, so you can employ a Zerg Rush, use stealthy tactics or More Dakka. For example, in the final mission in the original game, the nominal strategy is to wage a war of attrition using stealth as a secondary tactic, but a more spectacular and equally effective (though more costly) method is to simply build a massive force for an all - or - nothing battle.
  • Similarly, in Homeworld II, you can choose to develop cloaking technology, which can be highly effective against opponents who don't plan for you developing it, but it isn't a necessity. In general a winning strategy requires developing a mix of forces that allow units to defend each other and win the resourcing battle, regardless of your actual combat tactics.

Other
  • Geocaching is one of these activities. Some members use stealth, others think it only attracts more attention.
Community Feedback Replies: 86
  • December 26, 2011
    Luc
    Alpha Protocol, Deus Ex. You can shoot your way through missions, but you can stealth your way through as well.

    And just about any RPG that has a Stealth System will give you the same result.
  • December 26, 2011
    Bisected8
    • In the Hitman series you can play the game like a typical Third Person Shooter, however you get a better rating (and thus unlock better weapons) by using stealth and deception to off your targets.
  • December 26, 2011
    ArtilleryOmni
    Metal Gear is a stealth-based game series-- Rather, it's the stealth-based game series. The games have varying difficulty levels. If one chooses the easiest difficulty, then it's a valid option to plow through the game without really needing to use its stealth elements. However, selecting anything above "Normal" makes using stealth absolutely necessary, as guards will be vigilant and difficult to take down, and using stealth is far easier than trying to macho one's way through. The most extreme gameplay modes in the Metal Gear series actually force the player to restart from the beginning if they are so much as noticed by one guard.
  • December 26, 2011
    Lyendith
    Do action games that have optional stealth kill mechanics count?
  • December 26, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Speaking of Thief, this only works in cases where killing someone (or getting discovered) doesn't violate a mission objective. The harder the difficulty level, the more you get objectives like "don't blackjack or kill more than X people".

    • In Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs, at one point you have to navigate a forest of wandering Dusclops; if they spot you you get warped back to the entrance and have to try again. On the other hand, you can wait for one to turn its back and then attack it from behind to take it out.
  • December 27, 2011
    Chabal2
    Stealth is possible in Deus Ex, but it doesn't seem to affect the story. One mission can be played using nothing but a shock baton and the teammates still commend you for killing every last terrorist.

  • December 27, 2011
    Falco
    The first part of The Arrival DLC for Mass Effect 2 gives an achievement for stealthy completion, but is perfectly doable by killing all the guards instead of sneaking past them.
  • December 27, 2011
    Bisected8
    • In the second Timesplitters game some missions have an optional stealth objective. The Neo Tokyo level is the only one with a compulsory stealth objective (trailing a hacker) for every difficulty level.
  • December 28, 2011
    Ryuuma
    ^^^^^ Only stealth kills? then no, they have to be stealth mechanics.
  • December 28, 2011
    Lyendith
    OK, I'll keep them for myself then :P
  • December 28, 2011
    robybang
    No More Heroes 2 Desperate Struggle: In the prison infiltration level, you can easily charge through the prison killing mooks on Mild since they die in one hit. Averted on Bitter setting.

    See also Useless Useful Stealth.
  • December 28, 2011
    KTera
    • The Modern Warfare games have a few missions where your superior will encourage you to sneak past enemies or at least use silenced weapons on them. It's not required, though, and while you'll get mobbed it is possible to fight your way out. Said superior will chew you out, though. Plus, the missions "All Ghillied Up" and "Cliffhanger" have achievements for not being spotted.
  • December 30, 2011
    morenohijazo
    In Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, when infiltrating Area 69, you're told to sneak the soldiers: you must head to a control tower to open the gate to the base interior some distance away from the tower, then enter that gate. The problem is, is much easier to just kill any soldier in your way, ignore the gate (which becomes impossible to open once you're detected), and enter through an air vent near the closed gate.
  • December 30, 2011
    ThornKing
    In Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas people specializing in Stealth can play in this way, sneaking about and using a silenced pistol, but breaking out a BFG and Power Armor whenever things get hairy. There's also the first Assassin's Creed game, and the second one, for the most part. Later ones have tended to avert this by punishing being caught with game overs.
  • December 30, 2011
    Koveras
    Like the Mass Effect 2 example above, the Mark of the Assassin DLC for Dragon Age II gives you an achievement for sneaking undetected past all the guards up until a certain point.
  • December 31, 2011
    OftenPartisan
    • Perfect Dark Zero, but only on the lowest difficulty setting. It is a stealth title, but on the easiest setting stealth is mostly not required.
    • Gears Of War 2 DLC campaign add on "Road to Ruin" gave you the choice between using stealth or going in all guns blazing. There's an achievement for successfully completing the stealth element.
  • December 31, 2011
    BlackMageJ
    During Skyrim's tutorial, you and your companion come across a sleeping bear. The NPC will advise you to sneak past it (thus teaching you the Sneak mechanic), but he also hands you a bow and suggests you could just try and kill it.
  • December 31, 2011
    Arivne
    • The original Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. It was a good idea to sneak through as much of the castle(s) as possible, because fighting German soldiers was a good way to get killed. However, you could fight them if you wanted to, and at times it was actually necessary (e.g. before you got a uniform or passes, or to "clean out" the room where the alarm box was located).
  • January 17, 2012
    Ryuuma
    Bump.
  • January 17, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ I would recommend to sort the examples by video game genre and do some formatting if you want to get hats.
  • January 17, 2012
    Ryuuma
    ^ In that case I'll need some help, because I'm not very expert on the various genres listed here.
  • January 17, 2012
    Gitman
    • The Assassins Creed series is like this most of the time. There are some missions that desynchronize you for being detected, but by and large it's just as doable to fight all the guards as it is to sneak past them or stealth-kill them.
  • January 17, 2012
    MiinU
    • Twilight Princess: To reach the Arbiter's Grounds, Link must first get through the Bokoblin Compound, a mini fortress/guard station. If you approach the compound during the day, the lookouts will spot Link the moment he enters the area and immediately call for reinforcements.
      • On the other hand, if you wait 'til nightfall, Link can approach the compound undetected, using the cover of darkness. What's more, the bokoblins' eyes glow at night, making the lookouts easy to spot and snipe from a distance, using the bow. You can also douse torches with the gale boomerang, giving Link more cover, and several of the guards that usually patrol the compound will be asleep. You can either snipe them or, if you're good enough, simply sneak past them.
  • January 17, 2012
    deltanine
    How about Mark of Kri, and its sequal Rise Of The Kasai?
  • January 17, 2012
    Ryuuma
  • January 17, 2012
    neobullseye
    In that case, I'm at least ordering the examples a bit.
  • January 17, 2012
    Ryuuma
    Thanks, now is much more better.
  • February 10, 2012
    Ryuuma
    Bump. @deltanine can you elaborate?
  • February 10, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Stealth Optional Mission? Alleged Stealth Mission? Can't call it Optional Stealth Mission, because it's the "stealth" part (not the "mission" part) that's optional.
  • February 11, 2012
    billybobfred
    In Alpha Protocol, if the enemy doesn't see you, they don't try to blast your brains out, and if you manage to get right next to an enemy without being detected, you can take them down in one hit. And since The Dev Team Thinks Of Everything, a fair amount of dialogue will change if you stealth your way through a level.
  • February 11, 2012
    billybobfred
    Also, how about Optionally-Stealthy Mission?
  • February 12, 2012
    Ryuuma
    ^... worth a try...
  • February 13, 2012
    TheChainMan
    Tales Of The Abyss has a stealth mission, but if you fail enough times, the game lets you kill everyone.
  • February 13, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    • In Metroid: Zero Mission, when you reach the Zero Suit sequence, you have the option of using complete stealth if you have the right skills. Being spotted only affects the background music for the rest of the sequence (you can't kill enemies, only briefly stun them).
  • February 13, 2012
    Ryuuma
    The only reason why I didn't put Mission in the title, is that sometimes the stealth part is extended to more situations and, in some cases, the whole gameplay.
  • February 24, 2012
    benjamminsam
    Golden Eye for N64 had stealth elements, namely in silenced weapons and alarms that mooks could trigger. Some levels were impossible to complete in total stealth (think Control) while others were very difficult if you blew your cover (think Frigate). Most levels were easy enough to barrel through guns blazing even on the most advanced difficulty, though.
  • February 25, 2012
    Generality
    • In Second Sight, the very broad selection of Psychic Powers available to the main character means you always have the option of sneaking through a level vs. running through with guns blazing, though there are points where only one or the other is feasible. The game keeps a "morality" statistic and humanises some of the mooks in order to encourage stealth via Videogame Caring Potential.
  • February 25, 2012
    SchrodingersDuck
    Third Person Shooter

    Most shooting levels in the James Bond game Everything Or Nothing are like this. It is almost always possible to complete the levels all-guns-blazing, but it's often very punishing on the highest difficulty setting. You do carry silenced and non-lethal weapons, however, and you also have a few EMP grenades which can disable security cameras and alarm systems. Sneaky actions, such as disabling the alarms or killing the guards so it seems like an accident, often give you "Bond Moments" which unlock extra content.
  • February 25, 2012
    Saturn500
    • In Hard Corps Uprising, mission 5 has you sneaking into a laboratory. You can sneak past the Mooks, or just shoot them as normal.
  • February 25, 2012
    Ninjat126
    • Metro2033 is essentially this trope. You have a (useless) knife and a (lethal) set of throwing knives, almost every weapon is silent or has a silenced variant, and you can purchase a set of black stealth armor that helps conceal you from enemy vision. On the other hand, you have an arsenal of grenades and can purchase such weapons as a heavy automatic shotgun if stealth isn't your thing. However, it's certainly encouraged to sneak around, and the Golden Ending'' requires you to not only use stealth, but to not kill a single enemy on some of the infiltration missions.
  • March 5, 2012
    TBeholder
    ugh, no, "you can use a stealth approach somewhere" is a bloatfest.
  • March 5, 2012
    Dawnwing
    • In The Legend Of Zelda Skyward Sword, in the Silent Realms you are supposed to collect a certain number of items scattered around the map without being hit by one of the Guardians (as it's a one-hit KO). The Guardians "sleep" for a certain amount of time, waking when you run out of time, touch Waking Water, or if one of the little guys patrolling around spots you. While the best way to complete these trials is to avoid detection and make sure you collect enough of the items to keep the Guardians asleep, you can attempt to just dash through and not worry about waking them. However, because of how fast and big the Guardians are, this would be difficult to do, and probably only best reserved for a difficult spot if you can avoid getting hit and can pick up another item to send them to sleep quickly enough.
  • March 18, 2012
    Ryuuma
    ^^ Uuuh... what? Seriously, I can't understand what you mean....
  • March 18, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Not sure if this counts:

    Real Time Strategy:
    • In Starcraft, all three races offer a substantial variety of units, so you can employ a Zerg Rush, use stealthy tactics or More Dakka. For example, in the final mission in the original game, the nominal strategy is to wage a war of attrition using stealth as a secondary tactic, but a more spectacular and equally effective (though more costly) method is to simply build a massive force for an all - or - nothing battle.
    • Similarly, in Homeworld II, you can choose to develop cloaking technology, which can be highly effective against opponents who don't plan for you developing it, but it isn't a necessity. In general a winning strategy requires developing a mix of forces that allow units to defend each other and win the resourcing battle, regardless of your actual combat tactics.
  • March 18, 2012
    nman
    • Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, despite being a stealth game, allows the player to just run through the game if they want, going so far as to let players choose an "assault" loadout that gives them extra ammunition and grenades instead of stealth tools.
  • April 10, 2012
    Luc
  • May 5, 2012
    MiinU
    Any reason why the Twilight Princess example doesn't count?
  • May 5, 2012
    Ryuuma
    Oh, sorry, nothing personal, really, is just that I didn't saw that one. Yup, you can add it to the list. My mistake.
  • May 5, 2012
    MiinU
    It wasn't personal. I was just curious.
  • May 5, 2012
    StevenT
    In Final Fantasy VII, on the 60th floor of Shinra Headquarters you have the choice of sneaking past the guards or getting caught and fighting them.
  • September 19, 2012
    m8e
    I think you can add "wasting ammo" as one of the disadvantages.

    But does this trope have to be limited to games? I think Optional Stealth is quite a common plot device in other media. It's used to opens a discussion between the heroes(for Character development, or just to explain the plan), cement leadership or just end up with a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors etc.
  • September 19, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    • Halo 2: The Arbiter's Invisibility Cloak lasts for only about five seconds anyway, so ignoring it is perfectly viable option if you don't having to wear down all your enemies versus getting one free assassination.
  • September 23, 2012
    Aries
    What is the difference between this and Useless Useful Stealth?
  • September 23, 2012
    MrRuano
    The video game adaptation of The Amazing Spider Man allows the player to have plenty of opportunities to stealth-KO any opponents who don't see them, and is the easiest way to dispose of enemies as opposed to a normal battle.
  • September 23, 2012
    SpiderRider3
    Geocaching is one of these activities. Some members use stealth, others think it only attracts more attention.
  • September 23, 2012
    Acebrock
    • Boethiah's quest in The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim is stated by the goddess herself to be a stealth mission, with her telling you to kill all the bandits in the mine without them seeing you, but it doesn't matter if they see you or not, as once you get the Ebony Armor, the quest ends with Boethiah using the same dialogue.
  • December 9, 2012
    Onitatsu
    Useless Useful Stealth is when there IS an option for stealth, but is very hard to use and basically useless. Here, the stealth usually works very well, is just that you're not heavily penalized if you use another approach. Got it?
  • December 15, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Still needing a good title for this one. How about Stealth Option?
  • December 15, 2012
    Onitatsu
    ^ You really think so? I thought it was clear enough.... but anyway...
  • December 21, 2012
    Koveras
    Compare Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth, where all three options are equally viable.
  • December 21, 2012
    StarSword
    Stealth Based Game:
    • In Stolen, you're supposed to use the shadows to sneak around the guards. In practice GameSpot's reviewer found it was quicker and easier to just beat them senseless.
  • December 21, 2012
    Stratadrake
    • In The Last Story, there are many battles where you are encouraged to keep out of sight, attract enemy scouts from a distance and pick them off one at a time when they're alone. Attracting attention just means you have to face their entire group at once.
  • December 21, 2012
    JAF1970
    No One Lives Forever, for the most part.
  • December 22, 2012
    Stratadrake
    How so?
  • December 22, 2012
    Onitatsu
    ^^ Please, be specific.
  • December 22, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Well, technically, you can complete most levels in NOLF with guns blazing, but stealth is a much better solution. I guess JAF1970 means that breaking stealth is not as heavily penalized as in other Stealth Based Games (which the NOLF series strived to be).
  • December 22, 2012
    Prfnoff
    Isn't this redundant with Stealth Based Mission?
  • December 23, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ No. Stealth Based Mission is where you are forced into stealth in an otherwise non-stealth game. This is where you are given an option for stealth, but can still use other methods to succeed.
  • December 23, 2012
    Earnest
    Dishonored gives options in how you want to play the game. You could, for example, play through the entire game undetected... or become a whirling dervish of supernatural death. Notably, there's the Ghost achievement for playing through undetected and in a Pacifist Run.
  • December 23, 2012
    Stratadrake
    The current description of Stealth Based Mission doesn't actually require a mission failure/restart if you're caught, but most of the in-page examples do follow that trend because it's the simplest way to enforce it.
  • December 23, 2012
    Koveras
    Combat Diplomacy Stealth has been launched.
  • December 24, 2012
    lakingsif
    • In the Call Of Duty games, the other characters hide against walls before entering rooms, and lots of the players do this. It's actually easier just to stand in the middle of the doorway and shoot as while you're trying to navigate around the edge of doors (massive pain), your enemies can get shots in. It's also far too hard to make your player drop to ground, but there is no additional penalty or chance of injury if you just stand up in the middle of the place. Being un-stealthy is, if anything, advantageous.

    Also, the Modern Warfare example would come as a bullet under this, as they are included in the Call Of Duty series.

    • At the start of The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time the player, as Link, is given the 'hint' to stay close in to the walls when going to retrieve the Kokiri Sword and is taught how to walk sideways along them in stealth mode. Trust me, hugging the wall does not prevent you from getting run over by the massive boulder, so you might as well just run along behind it.

    • Averted with the DS version of My Sims Agents, where if you're spotted on a certain mission by the mark you're following you fail and have to wait until the same time the next day to try again. This can on for Sims of years.
  • December 24, 2012
    Stratadrake
    ^ Neither of those last two are actual examples -- the last one in particular is a Stalking Mission.
  • December 24, 2012
    DRCEQ
    One mission in Ace Combat 3 advises you to stay under the radar net as you proceed to the enemy base. It doesn't matter if you are spotted or not, it only determines when you end up fighting more enemy planes.
  • December 24, 2012
    lakingsif
    ^^ Stalking has to be stealthy, right? And the Zelda one is - you're told to hug a wall but it's actually much easier if you do not.
  • December 24, 2012
    Astaroth
    Also in Skyrim, the Thieves Guild questline. In Oblivion, the Thieves Guild quests encouraged stealth by having guards put a bounty on your head if you got caught, and by fining you if you killed anyone while engaged in a mission. The Skyrim branch, by comparison, doesn't mind if you choose to hack or blast your way through the areas where you're supposed to be stealthy.
  • December 24, 2012
    Stratadrake
    ^^ But a Stalking Mission is explicitly failed if you can't keep stealthy and your mark spots you.
  • December 25, 2012
    Onitatsu
    ^ Yes, almost all the Stalking Mission have compulsory stealth, they rarely have a secondary approach. They can count if they are the stealth option opposed to an alternative choice. (For example: in order to find out the smuggler's lair you can either - 1) stalk the guy without being spotted or 2)fight against some thugs and force them to tell you where it is.)

    Now that I think of it, should I mention this thing too in the description?
  • January 1, 2013
    Onitatsu
    Bump.
  • January 1, 2013
    OathToAwesome
    In Freedom Fighters, stealth is crucial in earlier missions, and mission descriptions typically warn you to stay out of Soviet floodlights, but with a large enough squad and some good weaponry you can easily just charge straight through enemy defenses.
  • February 8, 2013
    Onitatsu
    Bump.
  • February 8, 2013
    Koveras
    I'd say, Just Launch It Already. One hat doesn't make much difference, and this is almost a living fossil now.
  • February 8, 2013
    Onitatsu
    Ok, but wait: what about the index?
  • February 10, 2013
    Koveras
    Put it on the Stealth Index... if you can find it.

    Otherwise, see Video Game Tropes.
  • February 10, 2013
    morenohijazo
    ^ The most similar index I've found is Invisibility Index, which doesn't fit.

    I'll launch this myself soon, unless someone else does it first. But first, someone could check the examples, if they're right, if they're sorted well...?
  • February 10, 2013
    Onitatsu
    they seems sorted enough and ready. I'll leave this to you. Thanks.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=jw7t86srpqvh2ayody25wzj9&trope=OptionalStealth