Created By: GlennMagusHarveyNovember 18, 2011 Last Edited By: GlennMagusHarveyDecember 29, 2011
Troped

Steam Vents

Steam vents as obstacles. Common in videogames.

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As suggested in DarthWiki.Tropes That Will Never Happen, here's one that's an actual tropable item: Steam vents as obstacles. Typically, they produce a cloud of hot steam right in front of themselves; this is the actual obstacle.

Such obstacles range from being minor inconveniences to being damaging. They are typically static or intermittent obstacles, but almost never move around, since the pipes they're attached to don't. May become Goddamned Bats if their hit detection is badly programmed. If they are minor inconveniences, they act as such by causing Interface Screw.

Examples:

  • A number of these occur in Batman Arkham City.
  • In Brave Fencer Musashi, there is an area outside of Grillin Village known as Steamwood Forest where random steam pipes spew high pressure streams of hot air; some shoot out steam at regular intervals to provide temporary obstacles, other continuously fire to create impenetrable barricades. After fixing the system that regulates the steam vents, Steamwood (you have to do this twice during the story), the vents cease to be a problem.
  • Call Of Cthulhu Dark Corners Of The Earth has several. They are damaging and can cause interface screw if they are releasing toxic gas; they are part of a puzzle in one location where they need to be turned on in the correct order.
  • Some in both Half Life and Half Life 2, some you have to time your passage through, others that are static and you just have to walk through them and take the damage.
  • There are a few of these in the construction zone level of Kendo Rage.
  • Sporadically used in Legend Of Zelda games. Twilight Princess not only has a few around Death Mountain, but while it's enveloped in twilight, a Goron even laments that the appearance of one particular fumarole makes the path "impassable".
  • Mega Man 5: Damaging puffs of steam appear in Wave Man's stage.
  • Metroid Prime: Steam vents produce steam that can clog up Samus's visor temporarily.
  • ODT: Escape, Or Die Trying had a level where pipes constantly leaked steam. And you had to use the pipes for moving.
  • In the third level of Viewtiful Joe 2, an air vent serves as an obstacle in a puzzle. There are two settings you can activate. Either can block the path below, or let you ride the wind inside it, depending on which side you come from.

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Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • November 18, 2011
    JonnyB
    Some in both Half Life and Half Life 2, some you have to time your passage through, others that are static and you just have to walk through them and take the damage.
  • November 18, 2011
    Noaqiyeum
    Call Of Cthulhu Dark Corners Of The Earth has several. They are damaging and can cause interface screw if they are releasing toxic gas; they are part of a puzzle in one location where they need to be turned on in the correct order.

    (This is from memory, which has been known to be inaccurate.)
  • November 18, 2011
    Katana
    Sporadically used in Legend Of Zelda games; I know Twilight Princess has a few at least.
  • November 19, 2011
    Omeganian
    ODT: Escape, Or Die Trying had a level where pipes constantly leaked steam. And you had to use the pipes for moving.
  • November 19, 2011
    surgoshan
  • November 19, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Twilight Princess not only has a few around Death Mountain, but while it's enveloped in twilight, a Goron even laments that the appearance of one particular fumarole makes the path "impassable". Wish I could grab a shot of that.
  • November 20, 2011
    X2X
    Video Games
    • In Brave Fencer Musashi, there is an area outside of Grillin Village known as Steamwood Forest where random steam pipes spew high pressure streams of hot air; some shoot out steam at regular intervals to provide temporary obstacles, other continuously fire to create impenetrable barricades. After fixing the system that regulates the steam vents, Steamwood (you have to do this twice during the story), the vents cease to be a problem.
  • November 20, 2011
    Koveras
    • There is a steam vent puzzle in Duke Nukem Forever that doubles as a Take That at Valve Software.
    • Steam vents are particularly irritating obstacles in Mirrors Edge because they require you to stop and rotate the nearby valves for a couple of seconds. This is a game where even braking down reduces your success chances.
  • November 20, 2011
    GlennMagusHarvey
    Should this trope have a better title?
  • November 20, 2011
    hevendor717
    In the third level of Viewtiful Joe 2, an air vent serves as an obstacle in a puzzle. There are two settings you can activate. Either can block the path below, or let you ride the wind inside it, depending on which side you come from.
  • December 5, 2011
    AxemTitanium
    Crash Bandicoot 1 has them.
  • December 5, 2011
    Generality
    Upward vents can also be used to lift a character to some high place. Skyward Sword and URU have both used this.
  • December 6, 2011
    Prfnoff
    ^That's Vent Physics. Perhaps this trope Needs A Better Title.

    Variation: Battletoads has vents that produce small puffs of poisonous gas.
  • December 6, 2011
    KZN02
    A part of Eternal Engine.
  • December 7, 2011
    Generality
    ^^ No, you just need to mention that trope in this one. (And this in that one, probably.)
  • December 7, 2011
    peccantis
    For goodness' sake, call it Steam Vent Obstacle or something, otherwise we'll be swimming in one word examples of works where steam vents make any appearance at all.
  • December 8, 2011
    Arivne
  • December 8, 2011
    Stratadrake
    It's worthwhile to note that while most of these obstacles are stationary, sometimes they can be affixed to moving parts (especially the Eternal Engine variety).

    • There are a few steam vents in the fire cavern of La Mulana, especially along one vertical shaft that hides a way to the chain whip upgrade.
  • December 26, 2011
    Prfnoff
    YKTTW Bump. (This keeps reminding me of "Steam Heat" from The Pajama Game.)
  • December 28, 2011
    GXMiter
    • In the iOS version of Mirrors Edge, these kill you faster than getting shot, and appear fairly often in levels that take place indoors.

    Also, thirding Steam Vent Obstacle.
  • December 28, 2011
    MagcargoMan
    Neo Bowser City/Koopa City in Mario Kart 7 has steam vents in a tunnel at one point that push you.
  • December 29, 2011
    Kellor
    In Metal Gear Solid, there's a blast furnace full of leaky pipes where you can pick up the optional body armor.

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