Created By: Prfnoff on November 2, 2012 Last Edited By: spacemarine50 on November 7, 2012

Vehicle Needs Refueling Constantly

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A defect in many video game vehicles, ranging from spaceships to tanks, is that their fuel supply depletes at a rapid rate. This requires players to collect fuel tanks scattered around the levels, sometimes through wholly unrealistic means, or head for refueling stations that may be quite tricky to access.

Part of the reason for The Alleged Car. Like Timed Mission and Stalked by the Bell, this trope originated in old Arcade Games to keep players constantly on their toes. Compare Wizard Needs Food Badly.

  • In Scramble and Super Cobra, you had to recover fuel by bombing fuel tanks.
  • Parsec for the TI-99 had fuel stations inconveniently located in the middle of tunnels with Deadly Walls.
  • The Donkey Kong Country level "Tanked Up Trouble" was based around a moving platform with five lights serving as a fuel gauge. Fuel was restored by jumping into barrels (what else in this game?). If all the lights went out, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong would instantly lose the level even if they weren't standing on the platform.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • November 2, 2012
    Can be Truth In Television for certain real car models that have been souped up (by the factory or otherwise) increasing their fuel consumption, with the same size gas tank as the more economical base model.
  • November 2, 2012
    Tabletop Games
    • In the Serenity RPG, ships with the "Gas Guzzler" complication get only 400 hours of cruise endurance from standard fuel capacity, whereas a ship without that trait gets 600 hours.

    Video Games
    • If you do a lot of exploring and probe mining in Mass Effect 2, the Normandy will require frequent refueling. Fuel costs money, and there's at most one fuel station per galactic cluster.
    • Fuel capacity is among the many concerns one must balance while building a rocket in Kerbal Space Program.
  • November 3, 2012
    (OP: You mean Wizard Needs Food Badly, not fuel.)

    This can also be a case of Call A Hit Point A Smeerp if taking damage causes you to "lose" fuel.

    Video Games

    • In River Raid, you collect fuel by flying through various fuel stations in each level (assuming you don't accidentally shoot them first); how much fuel you get varies with your flight speed.
    • In Road Blasters, your HP bar is labelled "Fuel" and you have to collect various fuel orbs in each level to avoid running out.
  • November 3, 2012
    • The driving sections in Duke Nukem Forever are punctuated by on-foot sections, during which Duke has to procure gas for his Bigfoot. Curiously, the engine runs out of gas at precisely the same spots.
  • November 3, 2012
  • November 3, 2012
    • Ships in Sword Of The Stars have a limited fuel supply and need to resupply every few light years from a colony or tanker ship. This is a particular issue for Humans and Zuul, whose FTL doesn't allow refueling during transit, and in the former case are limited to Hyperspace Lanes.
  • November 3, 2012
    and, uh, where's a trope?
  • November 3, 2012
    Both controllable vehicles in Carrier Command, the Walrus and Manta, have rather abnormal fuel consumption rates, making frequent stops at fuel depots a necessity. Made even worse by the awful friendly A.I. that doesn't manage to simply dock at a depot to refuel even if ordered to do so.
  • November 3, 2012
    At each planet visited in Solar Jetman, the player must find the fuel necessary to continue the journey through space.
  • November 3, 2012
    If this is to be the vehicular equivalent of Wizard Needs Food Badly, then examples of "fuel" being used solely as a Level Goal or Plot Coupon (or the subject of fuel consumption in general) is not an example.
  • November 5, 2012
    • Armor Games Web Games
      • In the Indestructotank series, you must complete each level before you run out of fuel or your tank is destroyed.
      • MotherLoad. Your vehicle must return to a refueling station at regular intervals to fill up your tank. In the beginning you only have a 10 liter tank, so if you're not careful you can easily run out of fuel and have your vehicle blow up. As the game proceeds you can buy larger and larger fuel tanks, and eventually fuel mostly ceases to be a problem.
  • November 6, 2012
  • November 7, 2012
    The rocket barrel in Donkey Kong Country 3's Rocket Rush levels needs to keep collecting fuel barrels to keep going, which made it Nintendo Hard considering you only had the exact amount of fuel to make it through the level.