VideoGame trope common in {{Adventure Game}}s and {{RPG}}s where no matter how openly unguarded a chest is, no matter how easily it looks like your KleptomaniacHero should just be able to walk up and take it, the moment you touch it, someone bursts into the room to stop you.

See also SchrodingersGun. Compare TeleportingKeycardSquad. A prominent reason why IFoughtTheLawAndTheLawWon.


[[folder:Adventure Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'' episode 302: "The Tomb of Sammun-Mak", reel 3, despite Jurgen being on the other end of the train, or several trains away, despite being able to look around the rest of his room with impunity, if you try to touch his steamer trunk without [[spoiler:turning him into a vampire first]], he will immediately burst in and yell at you for it.
* The shopkeeper in ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland'' will appear in his shop instantly if you try and steal something, even if he was on an errand.
** Except for the scene where you break into his safe.
* Largo [=LaGrande=] in ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland2LeChucksRevenge'' will appear out of nowhere if you try to take anything from his room.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Zork}}'' I, as soon as you enter the thief's lair, "You hear a scream of anguish as you violate the robber's hideaway. Using passages unknown to you, he rushes to its defense."
** Old school [[InteractiveFiction text adventures]] in general were big on this -- the emphasis on TrialAndErrorGameplay and importance of the verb "take" made it necessary for game designers to go the extra mile in those rare situations where kleptomania was not the answer. Another example would be ''VideoGame/{{Wishbringer}}'', from [[Creator/{{Infocom}} the makers of Zork]], which had a card and novelty shop where touching anything would summon the owner from an adjacent room.
* In the ''VideoGame/NancyDrew'' game ''Warnings at Waverly Academy'', you are undercover as a student at a girls' academy in upperstate New York. Said academy has a 3:00 AM curfew. No matter ''where'' you may be at 3AM, even if you should be downstairs in the completely empty basement with the lights off, out of the door's line of sight, you'll hear the hall monitor start screaming at you.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* Happens all the time in {{first person shooter}}s, sometimes they are even triggered by walking into [[EmptyRoomPsych unimportant rooms]].

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* in VideoGame/DukeNukem enemies would literally teleport out of thin air when the player walked over certain spots. This meant that judicious use of the jetpack could prevent a large portion of the level's enemies even appearing.

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Pokémon Yellow]]'', at the beginning of the game you are given a table with a Pokéball, as soon as you try to pick it up, your [[TheRival rival]] pushes past you and grabs the Pokéball for himself.
* The city guards in ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' games play this straight, sometimes to ridiculous levels.
** The guards in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' will appear out of nowhere even in the middle of the night if you steal something or otherwise do something wrong, accompanied by the MostAnnoyingSound.
** The guards in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' aren't much better. You can steal something or kill someone in one town, then use a teleport spell to zap to the other side of the island. And, sure enough, the guards there are ready to arrest you as well.
** The guards in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' will remember if you have evaded arrest before, even if you hoof it to an entirely different town. NewsTravelsFast, after all.
*** Not only that, but if you commit a crime in a city, the entire city guard will zero in on your position. Break line of sight from your pursuers? You'll find half a dozen guards around the next street corner who somehow knew exactly where you were about to go.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' tracks each hold's bounties separately, and unless it's really high (say, 1000) the guards within a hold won't immediately arrest you. They ''will'', however, mutter that they recognize you from somewhere, then remember it was a wanted poster if you talk to them.
*** This trope causes a lot of problems when the player is tasked with assassinating targets, for instance during the Dark Brotherhood quests. Unless the player has a high sneak skill and the ability to perform a OneHitKill with a bow it is very hard to kill a town dweller without being seen. Sometimes the guards will still turn hostile even if you ''aren't'' seen, although you will have no bounty if you can manage to run away without killing them.
*** And as some kind of insult, being detected by your HORSE counts as being caught red handed!
** There's also the fact that any item that you've stolen is branded as such, even when there were no witnesses and it's virtually indistinguishable from any other of its kind, such as a stolen cabbage. ''Skyrim'' does have a mod that eliminates this for anything below a certain value. (It's assumed that anything valuable enough will be missed.)
* In one house in the original ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireI'', there was a chest that could not be opened no matter who was in your party, because you would always be caught in the attempt, arrested and thrown in a CardboardPrison.
** Makes more sense than most, as it's the owner of the house who catches you and calls for the police(Also, once you get the local Macguffin out of the Safe, you can rob the chest, which contains some gold)
* Being caught in the act of murder, petty theft, pickpocketing, or burglary in a ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' game will instantly turn the entire settlement hostile, at least for a few days; some towns, like Paradise Falls in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', will become permanently hostile.
** In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', your Reputation drops if you kill someone belonging to a faction, unless you are stealthed and use a silent weapon. Killing certain major NPC's automatically earns you infamy regardless of whether you are in stealth mode, and may make that faction permanently hostile. If the offended faction happens to be the NCR or the Legion, they will also spawn hit squads at certain points on the map. ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' similarly had Regulator (for Evil karma) and Talon Company (for Good karma) squads, although their appearances were somewhat [[RandomEncounter randomized]].
* Justified in ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' 2. Lan and [=MegaMan=] are sent to retrieve the Chng.bat program from a foreign network. Upon arriving and taking the program, they trigger a security system which spawns a series of powerful viruses to prevent you escaping with it.

[[folder:Simulation Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims3'', teenagers can be arrested for breaking curfew. Or rather, they ''will'' be arrested for breaking curfew, because cops will automagically appear to arrest them at the stroke of midnight if they're off lot, even if they're inside. The modding community generally refers to these cops as the 'psychic curfew police' and has devised various patches that reduce or eliminate their psychic powers.

[[folder:Survival Horror]]
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' has a seemingly unguarded treasure chest in Chapter 3-3. As you approach it, a cage drops around you, Zealots fill the room, and a [[BossInMookClothing Garrador]] jumps in for a cage match.

[[folder:Third-Person Shooter]]
* In the ''Star Trek Deep Space Nine'' game ''The Fallen'', Major Kira is at one point tasked with infiltrating [[spoiler:a secret Cardassian base]] and does so disguised as [[spoiler:a Cardassian scientist.]] She cannot use any weapons, up to and including her fists, until [[spoiler:she's entered the base proper.]] Even if she stands completely unseen in a remote corner and punches the air ''once'', she'll promptly be attacked by guards while an alarm starts screaming in the distance. Oh, and [[spoiler:the base's '''PHASER CANNONS''' will start shooting at her even though they're triggered only by ''sight''.]]

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* Used throughout the entire ''VideoGame/SaintsRow'' series. Particularly frustrating during some of the chop shop challenges, when multiple swat teams can be sent after you as soon as you get into a car that you don't own.
* The prefects and the police in ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'' will come after you for attacking a small child, a girl, or another authority figure, even if you're not in their line-of-sight.
* Whenever you hijack a Knox security van in ''VideoGame/SleepingDogs'', police cars instantly appear from nowhere the second your butt hits the driver's seat.