Created By: Koveras on April 24, 2012 Last Edited By: Koveras on May 4, 2012
Troped

Point And Click Map

Video game world map that functions like a menu: click on location to go there.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A variety of World Map where the player doesn't steer the Player Character across the map but only has to click on the destination location to instantly go there. The global map thus functions as just another game menu, albeit stylized and pretty. Optionally, it will have sub-menus (smaller-scale maps).

Accessing the global map often requires either reaching the edge of the current location or interacting with a special transporter item or character, overlapping with Warp Whistle (though not all Warp Whistles present themselves as world maps). When "traveling", the path may be tracked on the map to conceal the level loading sequence. En route, the player can be optionally interrupted by a single Random Encounter (rarely more).

At the beginning of the game, only a couple of destinations will be available, but more will be added to the map later, either by exploration (finding hidden exits from known locations), by accepting quests that lead you there, or by exploration and completing certain quests on site. If the destination has several entrance points, your original location will often determine which of them you will teleport to.

Examples:

Platform Games

RPG -- Eastern
  • Unlike many earlier installments, Final Fantasy X and its sequel utilize a map selection-screen for traveling by your Global Airship.
  • Pokemon franchise:
    • Pokémon Colosseum and its sequel, unlike most Pokemon games, use a World Map selection screen for travelling between locations.
    • The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series also uses a world map to move between destinations, although the only destinations aside from the home town/base are dungeons. A few dungeons require one party member knowing an HM move (like Fly, Surf, or Dive) to access.
  • Legend of Mana: You get to place destinations on the map as you go, which has an effect on the monster difficulty in that area.
  • Legaia II: Duel Saga features a map selection screen for picking which town or dungeon you wish to visit. Once you acquire your pirate ship you can select destinations across water. Later in the game you also acquire a flying dragon, and any time you select a non-adjacent destination, the game shows the dragon flying between destinations rather than your party leader running across the map.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World also features this.
  • Xenoblade gives players the option to travel between maps, via its quick travel function. Which is a good thing, because there's 20 maps and they're friggin' huge! Of course, if players prefer, they can take the scenic route.
  • In Dubloon, sailing is done by talking to Timber and picking a location on the Treasure Map, assuming the player found a map where it was drawn.
  • This is how you moved ashore in the original Uncharted Waters: clicking on one of up to nine buildings on the port map took you there immediately. This was removed from the sequel in favor of navigable 3/4 View maps.
  • Rogue Galaxy: While you can use save points to warp between locations within the same planet, interplanetary travel is controlled via a map screen.
  • Breath of Fire IV: You travel across the map using fixed routes; Random Encounters occur as a "?" appearing above the player's head, allowing the player to enter a generic field to fight monsters and/or locate items (but are otherwise not mandatory).
  • Super Mario RPG: The World Map is divided into several screens progressing in a circular fashion, and you can travel between any available destination at any time.
  • The Ogre Battle series has a map then minimap with the point and click interface.

RPG -- Western
  • The Baldur's Gate series featured menu-like maps of the Sword Coast and Amn (I and II, respectively). The first game's map had a rather obvious square grid structure, where if you wanted to unlock the location east of you, you had to reach the east edge of your current location, etc.. Also, the travel times were tracked on the In-Universe Game Clock: further destinations resulted in longer travel.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines had the map of Los Angeles, accessible by speaking to a cabbie. The four major hubs (Santa Monica, Downtown, Hollywood, and Chinatown) were unlocked as the main quest progressed, while additional quest locations were added to it as you picked them up. There were no random encounters while traveling.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series:
  • In the Dragon Age series:
    • Origins had the map of Ferelden (Amaranthine in the expansion) that functioned similarly to Baldur's Gate II: destinations were unlocked by exploration and quests, you could get ambushed, and there were sub-maps for the Deep Roads and Denerim. Due to lack of an in-game clock, however, you were always Traveling at the Speed of Plot.
    • Dragon Age II had the map of Kirkwall (by day and by night), as well as the Wounded Coast region nearby. The random encounters were removed (there was only a single plot-triggered one).
  • The Mass Effect series has it, but only with the top, Portal Network level of the galaxy map. To move within star systems and from star to star, you have to manually navigate the ship.
  • Evil Islands features multiple locations connected only via travel points. Accessing them summons the world map, where you can choose to travel either to the adjacent area's travel points or any area you have previously unlocked by completing quests there.
  • In another Russian RPG, GoldenLand (a.k.a. Heath: The Unchosen Path), the world map is accessed on reaching the edge of the location. From there one can travel to any available location, from permanent hubs to temporary quest locations. The progress is tracked on the map and you can be ambushed along the way.

Will go under Videogame Interface Elements.
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • April 24, 2012
    Stratadrake
    I hate to say it but "World Map" might be too broad a term for its own good as a trope (if it's specifically about the Final Fantasy style world map navigation).

    • Final Fantasy X and its sequel utilize a map selection-screen for travelling by your Global Airship.
    • Pokemon Colosseum and its sequel, unlike most Pokemon games, use a World Map selection screen for travelling between locations.
    • The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series also uses a world map to move between destinations, although the only destinations aside from the home town/base are dungeons.
  • April 24, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ I will have to trust you that those examples fit because I haven't played either of those three...
  • April 24, 2012
    chicagomel
    Actually the main series Pokemon games do have a map version like this; it's when you're using Fly. Normally the map's just a map, but after you select a Pokemon and select 'Fly', the "Fly to where?" map pops up and you click a spot, as long as it's a city you've visited already. (now I would sometimes like the ability to land in the middle of a route, but...)
  • April 24, 2012
    Stratadrake
    ^ Fly itself falls under Warp Whistle. Hey, come to think of it, we need to mention Warp Whistle as related, because that's one place where you'll expect to see a Map Selection Screen.

    Another examples I knew personally:
    • Legend Of Mana: You get to place destinations on the map as you go, which has an effect on the monster difficulty in that area.

    Other examples I found while preparing a TRS thread:
  • April 24, 2012
    Koveras
    There is an overlap between Warp Whistle (and it is mentioned in the first sentence of the write-up), but it is not the same: not all menu maps pop up at a specific trigger (e.g. maps that you only access after leaving a location) and not all warp whistles show you a map (e.g. ones that give you a plain list of destinations). For clarity's sake, I would like to keep the lists separate.

    Also I cannot add Zero Context Examples...
  • April 24, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Legaia II: Duel Saga features a map selection screen for picking which town or dungeon you wish to visit.

    Tales Of Symphonia Dawn Of The New World also features this.
  • April 24, 2012
    MiinU

    Eastern RPG

    • Xenoblade gives players the option to travel between maps, via its quick travel function. Which is a good thing, because there's 20 maps and they're friggin' huge! Of course, if players prefer, they can take the scenic route.
  • April 24, 2012
    Stratadrake
    A map from Super Mario Bros 3 could make a good page image; it's pretty classic.

    Regarding the Legaia example, once you acquire your pirate ship you can select destinations across water. Later in the game you also acquire a flying dragon, and any time you select a non-adjacent destination, the game shows the dragon flying between destinations rather than your party leader running across the map.

    Another note for the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon example: A few dungeons require one party member knowing an HM move (like Fly, Surf, or Dive) to access.
  • April 25, 2012
    Surenity
    The Legend Of Zelda CDI Games had menus like this.
    Gwonam: Here is the map. Where do you wish to go?
  • April 25, 2012
    Koveras
    I am surprised nothing has so far been added to my initial Western RPG examples. I would suspect that this trope is more more common in that genre...
  • April 25, 2012
    MiinU
    Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a platformer, not an rpg.
  • April 25, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Fix'd.
  • April 25, 2012
    Diask
    • In Dubloon, sailing is done by talking to Timber and picking a location on the Treasure Map, assuming the player found a map where it was drawn.
  • April 25, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Collecting examples from the TRS thread:

    • Super Mario Bros. 3: Every world has a map, and Hammer Bros. are often seen wandering around on it. (image)
    • A staple of the Donkey Kong Country series, including Donkey Kong Country Returns: There is one large map depicting the entire world, with each destination represented by a smaller map containing the actual levels.
    • Rogue Galaxy: While you can use save points to warp between locations within the same planet, interplanetary travel is controlled via a map screen.
    • New Super Mario Bros: The maps are linear affairs that progress from one level to the next. New Super Mario Bros Wii uses 3D rendered maps, similar to the 2D maps of Super Mario Bros 3 (even including wandering Hammer Bros).
    • Breath Of Fire IV: You travel across the map using fixed routes; Random Encounters occur as a "?" appearing above the player's head, allowing the player to enter a generic field to fight monsters and/or locate items (but are otherwise not mandatory).
    • Sonic Adventure 2
    • Super Mario RPG: The World Map is divided into several screens progressing in a circular fashion, and you can travel between any available destination at any time.
  • April 25, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Added the ones with context.
  • April 25, 2012
    Stratadrake
    (For the most part, I can only elaborate on ones I know personally....)
  • April 25, 2012
    Koveras
    I understand that, but I have to filter the examples, too...
  • April 26, 2012
    morenohijazo
    Evil Islands has a Warp Whistle entry, but I don't know if it's correct and if it also belongs here. I'll try to describe what happens there.

    OK, in that game there are several areas. Each area has a few points (they're easy to see beacuse that point has lots of glowing sparks to mark it). Each of those points is connected with another one in another area (this is to say, they're the route you must take to travel between areas).

    Walking at these points doesn't transport you to the next area, however, but instead sends you to the world map. From there you can click on the other area, and of course you'll then appear at the shining spot connected with the one you used to go the world map.

    After completing certain quests, areas become "unlocked". From that point, you can access the area from anywhere in the world map. It doesn't matter anymore whether you entered the world map from a shining spot adjacent to the area you're lookinf for or from an area on the other side of the world. Just click on the area in the world map and you're there.

    I elaborate as much as possible because I don't you can find anyone else who can answer your doubts. It's a game that Needs More Love.
  • April 26, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ I feel that it fits, but just to clarify: Can you summon the travelable world map from anywhere in the world or just from these "points"? When accessing a point, can you travel-via-map to any previously unlocked location and the points in other areas it is connected to or just to the latter?
  • April 26, 2012
    morenohijazo
    1-No, only from the shining spots.

    2-Both of them. To all unlocked areas, and to any non-unlocked area that is adjacent.

    And what about the Warp Whistle entry? Do you think it fits there too? That's the problem with many new YTTT Ws, when they're similar to already existing tropes, some of the examples had been shoeholed there because of the lack of a more appropiate trope.
  • April 26, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Yup, definitely fits.

    As for Warp Whistle, there is a considerable overlap, yes. But they are not the same, refer to my post from 2012-04-24 09:04:19. To sum it up: if it is a special item or location that allows instant travel and conjures a clickable map of the setting, then it's both an example of Warp Whistle and Map Menu.
  • April 28, 2012
    Koveras
    Clarified the distinction to Warp Whistle in the description.

    Hats, anyone?
  • May 1, 2012
    Stratadrake
    I wouldn't mind some more title brainstorming (I'm partial to Map Select Screen, even if it's not wholly accurate)....
  • May 1, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Sure, I am open to suggestions, too. Map Menu or Menu Map were the best I could come up with but I am not attached to them.
  • May 2, 2012
    TheEvenPrime
  • May 2, 2012
    Koveras
    That works. I will put it up in absence of better options.
  • May 2, 2012
    Rytex
    Add on to the Elder Scrolls. It wasn't just Oblivion. Skyrim does it too.
  • May 2, 2012
    Mauri
    Ogre Battle series are known for the map then minimap with the point and click interface.
  • May 3, 2012
    Koveras
    Could use a couple more hats...
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