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Cutscene Drop
A type of Story Overwrite.

In a video game, upon triggering a cutscene, your Player Character very often gets teleported to a different position in the same room where the cutscene takes place. This is especially evident for cutscenes after Boss Battle, which usually teleport the player and the boss to the center of the room for the cutscene regardless of where they were when the finishing blow was dealt.

If you're lucky (or unlucky, depending on the circumstances), you could be left standing in that spot when the cutscene ends. If the boss dropped an item, you might be dropped a few inches away from it and staring right at it.

This is sometimes strictly necessary because cutscenes can change the room, making aversions possibly disastrous if the spot you were standing in before turns out to be over a Bottomless Pit after the cutscene ends.

Very useful for speedruns if it is possible to trigger a certain cutscene from a distance, thus saving some walking time.

Examples:

  • The Metroid Prime games — all three of them — are famous for doing this.
    • The cutscene in the first game which showed Samus watching Ridley fly overhead after obtaining the Boost Ball in Phendrana Drifts. It was possible to quickly boost off the ledge before the cutscene began, causing the cutscene to replace you on the ledge (and in unmorphed form, at that).
    • There's a glitch during the Chykka boss fight in Echoes. The fight takes place in an arena with poisoned water, and at several points in the fight a cutscene takes place where the boss Turns Red, and Samus is always teleported to the center of the battlefield. However, at the time Samus has an upgrade which lets her jump better in water, and if she's in the poison water when the cutscene starts she still has the physics of being in water despite being on land, meaning that proper timing makes a Good Bad Bug which gives Samus extended water jumps while being on land.
  • Metal Gear:
    • This tends to happen after the final Boss Battle with Solidus Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. The player fights him on the rooftop of a large building, and when the player defeats him, both characters are magically teleported to the center of the rooftop for the dramatic finishing blow (which replaces the actual in-game finishing blow).
    • Cleverly averted during the same game after the battle with Olgain. Olga has several specific points around the area where she likes to stand to shoot you (and where you can shoot her); and several different cutscenes were made, so that wherever you knock her out, Snake will find her slumped where she was. Some of the scenes actually play out differently, such as having her drop her gun or having Snake take it out of her holster depending on whether she was firing at the time or not. Again, in the same game, after the later battle with Fatman, a short scene was spliced into some versions of the game, implying Fatman staggering desperately over to the place where he eventually dies.
    • In 4, the final battle is divided by short cutscenes; both Snake and the boss teleport to the center of the arena. The battle with Metal Gear RAY is another example, as both Snake and the boss are in roughly the same positions at the start of the post-battle cutscene as they were at the start of the battle.
  • Happens with the final boss of Command & Conquer: Renegade. It doesn't matter if you walk into the room, attack Dr. Petrova from a distance or just fire a rocket into the room, you will be just at the entrance when the battle starts. Considering that the first thing to do against this boss is flee, this just adds to the Fake Difficulty of the game.
  • This appears at times in the Professional Wrestling games for the PS2. A maneuver can leave a victim prone in the corner, or near the ropes, but some moves for best effect rely on the victim dead center in the ring. When triggered, the wrestlers just end up in the right positions.
  • This happens in a very obvious manner in one of the storyline matches in SmackDown: Here Comes the Pain. In the Royal Rumble, one wins by throwing other wrestlers over the top rope however they can. To win, of course, you use various moves to 'assist' the opponents out. However, no matter what you do to get that last guy out, the storyline dictates that you and your new rival eliminate each other over the top, with 'video' from the event showing so.
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! has this in Luigi's Mansion, where winning anywhere teleports you to the foyer.
  • Final Fantasy games were typically immune to this because of separate world and battle screens. Final Fantasy XII overhauled the battle system, and had the main characters teleport after every boss battle in order to give their Victory Poses in a neat formation in the center of the arena.
  • Happens often throughout Guild Wars, though the later chapters learned the lessons of earlier mistakes. One particular cutscene (shutting down the portals in Hell's Precipice, then running over to encounter Undead Prince Rurik) dumps you so far ahead that to jog back for any dropped loot and/or achieving 100% exploration (which is really important) of zone takes a minimum of a five-minute round trip, with nothing worthwhile in the intervening space.
  • Half-Life 2:
    • Justified during the conversation in Breen's office — Gordon's stuck in a prison pod and so Breen can put you wherever the hell he likes.
    • The finale has this at the start of the scene. You can jump off the ledge just before the portal explodes, but once it does you're back up on the ledge with Alyx. Given said scene involves the G-Man stopping time, literal teleportation may be involved.
    • In Episode Two, once the Advisor wakes up it uses its psychic tentacles to yank Gordon up in the air—even if Gordon ducked into the crawl-space you came into the room through, meaning the thing pulled you up through the floor without breaking it.
  • Happens in the Cell phase of Spore. The first cutscene pans the camera far away from your cell to show an item appearing, and suddenly your cell is right next to the item.
  • Since City of Heroes and City of Villains use their own in-game model machinima for scripted cutscenes with pre-placed NPCs, there are times when you'll be able to 'insert' yourself into the cutscene by standing somewhere in the camera shot when the script triggers. For added hilarity, you can bind text and even emotes to keystrokes that will fire off during the scene where normal text input has been suspended.
  • Deus Ex:
    • This occurs with one of the possible endings. If you hit the button, then fire up your super-legs and run like crazy, you can almost make it out of the reactor room before the final cutscene starts. However, no matter how far you make it by that point, the game will always put you at the bottom of the ladder just outside the control room.
    • Takedowns in Deus Ex Human Revolution may move you and the person you're attack around and change orientation from when you initiate them to the actual scene. This is particularly obvious when you use a takedown on Namir when he's climbing over a wall — the only way a takedown will work then — who's suddenly standing on the ground, which is why some people figure it to be a bug instead of a deliberate case of Outside-the-Box Tactic.
  • Averted in Battle Moon Wars: Characters tend to stay exactly where they were at the end of battle for cutscenes, even if that means the attacks in the cutscenes can't actually hit their target, or someone ends up standing in the middle of a sword. The same thing happened in the game it's inspired by, Super Robot Wars.
  • An interesting variation occurs in Mega Man X. If you trigger the cutscene where Zero sacrifices himself while standing right in front of Zero, then Vile will very politely pick X up, take him to the opposite end of the room, and then walk back over to Zero's cell so that everyone's in position for the cutscene.
  • Psychonauts:
    • This has one when you open the isolation chamber — you are dropped to the bottom of the area. It also has another one if you give Edgar Teglee cards one at a time instead of all at once; this time, you are dropped to the bottom.
    • More noticably, if you cure any of the residents of the asylum you'll be back on the island for a cutscene, even if you accessed their minds from the Brain Tumbler.
  • The first Spider-Man game based on the movies averts this. The second battle with Green Goblin takes place in two different buildings. After Goblin takes enough damage in the first building, he retreats to the second, where the post-battle cutscene takes place. However, it is barely possible to do enough damage in one blow to exhaust Goblin's life bar while he's still in Building 1. Should this happen, the cutscene still occurs in its normal location, but Spider-Man and Green Goblin aren't there!
  • In Fallout 3, after obtaining a MacGuffin the enemy wants, you are ambushed and knocked out with a stun grenade. Even if you run past the ambush into the next room, the cutscene starts with you in the room where the grenade detonated.
  • Uncharted 2:
    • Mostly averted, since gameplay frequently begins immediately where Drake is standing, meaning that sometimes you begin a stage right in the middle of a heavy gunfight. The game even begins In Medias Res, requiring you to climb out of a train.
    • However, a variation exists with the checkpoints: Where you load from if you die is not even necessarily a point you've gotten to yet. This is annoying if you die from a good cover position and respawn in the middle of the guys who killed you.
  • Played annoyingly straight in Dragon Age: Origins. While this isn't too bad on the 'easy' difficulty, on anything else it can make otherwise simple battles incredibly painful. The game puts great emphasis on positioning and combat tactics, which — obviously — goes straight out of the window when your carefully planned ambush is dumped into a small cluster in front of an angry mage because you had a conversation before the fight.
  • Runescape has this quite a few times. On one occasion, a bug existed where other players could see player teleporting a few tiles away as these players entered the cutscene.
  • In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi, this happens with every cutscene Super Move. An example is that one of Mercenary Tao's special attacks involves pummelling the enemy into the air, and then slamming them back down into the ground. No matter where you were when the attack began, you'd always end up at the same place in the arena when it ended.
  • Warcraft 3 sometimes does this. It's not that obvious in the official cutscenes, but in less well-made fan ones...
  • StarCraft II:
    • This game does this with end of level cutscenes, although they tend to fit what actually happened pretty well.
    • No matter how much of the zerg you clear out in the third mission, they will overrun you base in the cutscene. Instantaneously.
    • Also noticeable is how in many levels the game doesn't care what your army was like - complete the mission Supernova with a tank division, for instance, and it will still show Marines and Banshees engaging the protoss for the end cutscene.
  • In Cave Story, this happens after a battle with Curly and the fourth encounter with Balrog.
  • No More Heroes:
    • This is inverted whenever a boss Turns Red: they move to a safe place, while you stay where you are. Unfortunately, this also brings any super-combo you might have going to a grinding halt.
    • Played straight in the sequel, where no matter where you are on the arena when you beat Alice, in the next cutscene, she'll be on her spider limbs machine on a higher area of the roof.
  • In Mass Effect 1, on Therum, no matter which angle you approach the last surface building from (to hide behind obstacles), the cutscene will show your party casually walking in the open in the middle of the base, just before the geth appear right in front of them — forcing you to run for cover, fast, immediately after the cutscene ends.
    • In Mass Effect 2's Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, the cutscene before the fight with the Broker begins with Shepard, Liara and their squadmate standing in a big open space in the middle of the Broker's control room. When the cutscene is about to end, Liara and Shepard are still in that open space in the middle of the room. When the player gets control back, they're standing behind a large desk-like object that provides cover from the Broker's attacks, and are no longer in the middle of the room.
    • During Tali's loyalty mission in 2, you can trigger a cutscene by dropping a drone behind your enemies; this will cause you to teleport to the area and beams the mooks around you into space, although this does mean that the ensuing conversation will take place with guns welded into your hands.
  • Doom 3 pulls this off with a cutscene before a boss, leaving you in the absolute worst position to start the fight. The cutscene consists of the hero walking towards that spot and standing still while the boss approaches him.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker uses this trope very much near the end of the game, when the developers were too short on time to program in the animations for walking through the room's door. However, Cutscene Drops can also happen inside a room. One example concerns the boss of one of the dungeons. After defeating this boss, Link is teleported to the very center of the boss room, regardless of where he was before. This can lead to an interesting glitch that occurs when Link is hanging onto the edge of the boss room floor as the boss is defeated. Link is teleported to the center of the room, still hanging onto the ledge, but now he is inside the floor.
  • In Donkey Kong 64, this happens after you arrive behind the warp pad in the main area of Jungle Japes with a cutscene showing where King K. Rool trapped Diddy Kong. After the cutscene is finished, you are teleported to the front of the warp pad so that Squawks can fly up to you to tell you about the golden bananas.
  • During important Arcade mode battles in BlazBlue, a conversation between the characters usually occurs in game before the battle beings. Characters are usually positioned where they will be once the round starts to avoid the need of a transition. After the battle ends, however, characters will teleport back to their starting positions for the closing dialogue, regardless of where any of the characters were on screen when you dealt the finishing blow. The use of certain characters' astral finishes make this even more odd, since opponents that were punched into space or transported into a different room will suddenly teleport back to the fight stage for more exposition.
  • Raven Squad gives you two squads, and also has cutscenes while progressing in the mission. Some of these cutscenes only need to be triggered by one group, but will teleport the required squad to the designated location for said cutscene even if they're left far behind.
Story OverwriteGameplay and Story SegregationNo Cutscene Inventory Inertia

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