Save Token
Saving your game from an item in your inventory
Needs Examples

(permanent link) added: 2012-03-15 13:02:05 sponsor: ccoa (last reply: 2012-08-16 10:21:37)

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This is part of an effort to fill in the missing save game tropes.


Save Games are mandatory for most modern games, as they've become too long to complete in a single setting. Saving from an item allows the player to save their game, usually whenever and wherever they want to, but with the added restriction that they can only save by using a specific kind of item in their inventory.

When the item is consumable, how common this item is can lead to strategy (and frustration) about when and how often to save. In games where they are not available for the player to buy, they may overlap with Too Awesome to Use.

This trope frequently overlaps with other forms of saving, such as Save Point. Often related to Save Game Limits. May overlap with Justified Save Point.


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Examples of consumable items:

[[folder:Action Game]]
  • Broken Helix, a PS1 game by Konami, uses Save CDs items for saving. They're few and far between, scattered in the levels, and only one save is allowed per Save CD before it's consumed.
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[[folder:Action-Adventure]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Eastern RP Gs]]
  • Wild ARMs 3 had Gimel Coins in addition to town-only Save Points. Gimel Coins allow you to save anywhere, but were not sold in shops. Whatever you found in chests or from the exceptionally rare drops were all you got for the entire game.
  • The original Final Fantasy had tents, cabins, and houses which, in addition to recovering your HP, also saved your game. The only other save option was to stay at an Inn.
  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter has ultra rare save tokens.
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[[folder:Simulation Game]]
  • The X series of space sims have autosaving every time the player docks, but if they wish to save while in flight, they need to purchase single-use "salvage insurance" contracts, which allow the player to save the game while out in space.
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[[folder:Strategy RP Gs]]
  • In the 2nd Summon Night: Swordcraft Story the "Save Diary" item replaces the suspend save of the first game and allows saving at any point in the game (not just save points) and is used upon a single use. It is cheap and the player can save from fixed save points even without them.
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[[folder:Survival Horror]]
  • Several games in the Resident Evil franchise have an interesting combination of Save Point and Save Item. You could only save the game at a typewriter, but you needed a consumable Ink Ribbon to do so. These ribbons were often few and far between.
  • The fourth Alone in the Dark game utilized one-time use Save Amulets.
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[[folder:Third Person Shooter]]
  • The PlayStation and PC version of Tomb Raider 3 had collectible save crystals that could be used at any time from the inventory.
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Examples of nonconsumable items:

[[folder:Adventure Game]]
  • In the Myst games, you can create a save at any time by taking a photograph with the camera in your inventory. The picture is stored in your journal and you go to it by opening said journal and clicking on the image. This does mean that you save any time you take a photo for another reason, but there isn't a limit.
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[[folder:Simulation Game]]
  • In some Harvest Moon games you can save from a journal in your inventory.
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[[folder:Stealth-Based Game]]
  • In the Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid games you saved by using your codec/radio/etc to call a "data analyst" and having them save your game for you.
[[/folder]]
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