A Fantasy Video Game
trope wherein horses (or other equivalent mounts) exist as riding animals in the setting but the Player Character
is barred from riding one (except maybe in cutscenes
). This may have to do with the game not having the horse riding (and mounted combat) mechanic implemented, or with the difficulty of controlling a Player Party
where not all members are in the saddle.
May overlap with its Sister Trope Unusable Enemy Equipment
, if there are mounted enemies but the player characters cannot ride anything themselves. Contrast Power-Up Mount
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is the only game in The Elder Scrolls series that does not feature any horses at all, let alone ridable ones. There are local equivalents (like the guar) but you cannot ride them, either. M'Aiq the Liar lampshades this if you ask him about horses: he'll say he likes them "with good cream sauce", or he'll suggest that the player buy passage on a silt strider if they want to ride a beast.
- Neverwinter Nights, being based on Dungeons & Dragons, added the Ride skill with patch 1.69, which you can invest skill points into—but there aren't any horses to be ridden in the entire game except the single premium module Wyvern Crown of Cormyr.
- The Dragon Age series has so far been completely horse-less, even though horses are a big thing in the lore, e.g. the Chevaliers of Orlais are defined by their combat role as heavy cavalry. It remains to be seen if this changes in Dragon Age: Inquisition, which is set in Orlais.
- Played straight and then sorta inverted by Nethack. The Riders of the Apocalypse (three of 'em, anyway) appear in the endgame, and have done since much earlier versions. As of version 3.3, the player character was able to ride horses and various other creatures, but this was never implemented for NPCs, so the "Riders" became conspicuously pedestrians.
Will go under Equine And Equestrian Tropes
and Gameplay and Story Segregation