Screw the guy who blasts through the undead scourge and penetrates the deepest levels of the sewers to save the president's daughter. We want to know about the guy who's so badass he beat us there and set up an item shop and shooting gallery. And hey, if he's so good at getting around, why doesn't he save the president's goddamn daughter, huh? And, couldn't he find an area with a wider customer base?In videogame dungeons, in the midst of Everything Trying to Kill You, one may find shops selling all sorts of items, varying from not actually useful to somewhat useful to absolutely necessary. If the shopkeepers are standard NPC types, there is the Fridge Logic question of how they made their way down there in the first place without getting slaughtered, and what shortcuts they are using to bring supplies in (as they often will restock after a while). The shopkeepers need not be Muggles, though; they might be friendly versions of the local monsters. See Intrepid Merchant. Shoplift and Die, naturally. For the inverse, see Dungeon Town.
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Action Adventure Games
- The Convenient Store Yoshi runs one in the Black Rock Fortress in Distorted Travesty.
- Many of the shops hidden in the ruins of La-Mulana are hidden behind walls. Some just sell ammo, but others (including one Guide Dang It! example) sell vital and otherwise unobtainable Plot Coupons, though they don't come cheap. The shopkeepers tend to be undead, and say that you're the first customer in hundreds of years.
- The dungeons of Spelunky have, besides the ordinary emporiums, gambling parlors, kissing booths and the super-secret Black Market. The shopkeepers are tough and well-armed, as players may find out the painful way, meaning that it is actually reasonable for them to have made it through the dungeons. That still doesn't explain why they feel the need to serve the vast customer base that typically appears miles underground. Or why they don't just grab the gold lying around themselves.
- Hammer sets up shops like this in the Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow games. Seeing as how he's a former military man and is seen with a bazooka at one point, it's fair to assume he can take care of himself. That doesn't stop Soma and Mina from questioning his sanity, though.
- The Castlevania 64 games have a shop master that appears with the activation of a scroll. Just don't get TOO greedy...
- justified in Symphony of the Night. The shopkeeper is Dracula's librarian and an old friend to Alucard. Note that he won't help Richter at all.
- In Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, a wandering merchant got lost in the castle,and so he set up shop there. No idea who the rest of his customer base is, though.
- The merchant in Prehistorik Man sets up shop in pretty much any non-friendly territory...though he'd not get close to the haunted Dinosaur Graveyard.
- In Black Tiger, some of the old men will set up shop and offer to sell something as soon as they are rescued.
Role Playing Games
- Torchlight has them. Possibly justified by the fact that they're travelling goblin (who might get a free pass from some of the dungeon's inhabitants) merchants.
- Wild AR Ms 5 has them in little jack-in-the-boxes.
- Santa shows up in Star Ocean: The Second Story and later games in the Bonus Dungeon and sells you stuff. Just be prepared to hand over a few mil for his goods, though.
- The Camp Gay brothers in Shadow Hearts: Covenant show up almost everywhere. They lampshade it in the Neam Ruins; when you talk to them, they bitch about having had to go through all the puzzles to get that far and demand you make it up to them by buying their goods. (They also offer you a ride out in their van.)
- Most roguelike games have sections of dungeons that contain items for purchase. Try to leave their store without paying, however, and you'll face some very nasty consequences. Played with in Desktop Dungeons, which has single-item shops. "After you make your purchase, the mysterious shop mysteriously disappears. Mysteriously."
- The Kecleon shops in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Games. Possibly justified by the fact that they're always at ridiculously high levels and will most likely kick your ass if you steal from them.
- Can be done, however. Requires a Pure Seed or a Trawl Orb depending on where you are in the level. One teleports the eater straight to the stairs, the other drags every item to you.
- Brax the Salesdemon from Dungeons of Dredmor almost makes sense. Being a demon, he can summon Debt Collectors (more demons), which explains why monsters don't dare attack him. Also, most civilians probably wouldn't buy merchandise from a demon, even one with a suit, so he just markets his stuff for adventurers who find his shops.
- One long dungeon in the first Phantasy Star game contains... a bakery, in which you must buy a cake - at an absurdly high price - and bring it to a security robot on another planet entirely to progress the story.
- One dungeon in Shining Soul II is actually a house and storefront that you are asked to infiltrate by the Hub Town's storekeeper. The entire purpose of going there is to secret-shop so that the storeowner can compare prices and undermine her rival.
- Atelier has you play as one of these shopkeepers.
- There are in-game examples in the Mana Khemia subseries: in 1, there's a student-run store in the Student Resource Center dungeon, and in 2, the person selling stat-boosting items is found in a dungeon. It's justified by the fact that at Al Revis, sending teens to face a dungeon full of monsters is a perfectly normal homework assignment, and anyone with so many stat boost items that they're selling them likely doesn't have to worry about random encounter monsters.
- The Cat Girl Koma in Super Robot Taisen: Endless Frontier games has a habit of setting up shops in the middle of dungeons, although depending on her mood and current employer, she might want to fight you first. Justified in the first game due to her being a competent fighter as stated above and in the second game, she's travelling with you. She almost gets left behind after temporarily separating from the rest of the party to peddle her wares when the Load-Bearing Boss's defeat takes effect though.
- These are a staple of the Final Fantasy series, first seen in Final Fantasy II under a waterfall in the Jade Palace, and last used in Final Fantasy XII in the Necrohol of Nabudis - where one of the monsters is a shopkeeper. Final Fantasy XIII gives access to shops through every save point, and scatters said save points everywhere. Worse, even, Final Fantasy XIII-2 replaces the old save point shops with Chocolina... a feminine humanoid thing that can just pop up anywhere in the space-time continuum, including the middle of a warzone, and sell you stuff with a smile and lots of chatter.
- Chocolina is justified, however; she is Sazh's chocobo chick, who asked to be of help in some way. Etro responded by making her humanoid, giving her the shop, and scattering her across all time and space, effectively meaning she literally is everywhere at every point in time to help Serah and Noel.
- Final Fantasy X has a blue chest in the underwater section of the Via Purifico that inexplicably buys and sells items. Perhaps Spira's equivalent of vending machines?
- Final Fantasy X-2: There are times when Barkeep will run into a room of a dungeon and offer to sell you items, usually stationing himself at the last save point before the boss of the area. Anything to help Mish Yoona.
- Justified in Ōkami. The only shops in dungeons are run by monsters. (And yet, they still sell the holy paraphernalia Ammy needs to do her job...)
- Neko from Secret of Mana would sometimes pop up in dangerous places, like a forest infested with monsters.
- Playfully avoided in Jade Empire: the main character has (from a very early point in the game) a personal merchant spirit that constantly follows him/her from the spirit world, making sure that you will always have access to a shop-full of magical goodies wherever you are.
- In Xenogears, a couple of dungeons had shops run by Fixbots; one could choose "I don't trust you" when talking to them, leading to a fight...but doing so would (obviously) remove the shop, seeing as you just killed the owner. Meanwhile, in the second disc, most dungeons had a shopkeeper/inn at the beginning, since you couldn't leave the dungeon until it was done.
- The first Paper Mario game has a bored storeroom guard in Bowser's Castle that will gladly sell Mario his inventory (at heavily inflated prices, of course).
- A shopkeeper randomly appears every 10 floors of the Pit of 100 Trials in both Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario.
- Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time has Monty Mole's Mole Mart, which is not just in a dungeon, but hidden in a dungeon. And Fawful's Bean'n'Badge, which is in the castle sewers (counts as a dungeon, since they're swarming with Goombas).
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has them in every dream world in the game except Dreamy Somnom Woods. Including Bowser's dream in the final dungeon. Oddly enough, they're always manned by the dream versions of the people you meet nearby in the real world, so that means Broque Monsieur in Dreamy Pi'illo Castle and the final dungeon, Britta in Dozing Sands, the tour guide in Wakeport, the Massifs in Dreamy Mount Pajamaja and Broque Madame in Dreamy Driftwood Shore.
- Don't forget Hinopio's shop in Barrel Volcano in Super Mario RPG! Also, Toad catches up to you at the end of the final dungeon - how did he get there?
- In Paper Mario: Color Splash, there is a Toad café deep within Fort Cobalt, Ludwig's HQ. There is in-game justification for it: The Toad who runs the place is undercover, selling drinks and food to the Shy Guys there while slipping information about Ludwig's plans, and its weaknesses, to Mario.
- Dark Souls likes to place its vendors in hostile environments: Andre of Astora may not be in a dungeon, but he's mere meters away from a fierce Titanite Demon; Shiva of the East can set up shop in Blighttown's poisonous swamp amid pestilence and toxic terrors; and then you have Vamos operating a forge in the darkest depths of the Catacombs, though technically, he is among his own kind and probably doesn't want too many visitors anyway.
- Played with in Dragon Age: Origins. During the "A Paragon of Her Kind" quest, the PC will encounter a dwarf named Ruck in the Giant Spider-infested Ortan Thaig. Ruck is deliberately hiding out in the ruins of the thaig and has become tainted from eating darkspawn flesh. Provided you don't kill him, Ruck will trade you items that he scavenged from the ruins.
- Then in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, literally two rooms before the final boss, you find Sandal, standing hip deep in Darkspawn corpses and with his father's full inventory available for you to load up. The game allows you to express your disbelief and demand an explanation, which is of course just answered with "Enchantment!"
- Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening features yet another salesman in a darkspawn lair. At least this time, the guy explains that he has an agreement with them to bring them supplies. You can convince him to move his business to your castle instead.
- Not only does Sandal do that again in the Dragon Age II endgame, but he also helpfully hauls your own party storage chest all the way to the final dungeon.
- Happens three times in The Legend of Dragoon: A (justified) merchant in Hellena Prison and the four brothers Primero, Tercero, Segundo and Quarto. The first two are met in a frozen glacier, the latter in an abandoned, mystical ruin.
- Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter has the three puppet ladies, who sell up items, weapons and the like in areas where no normal citizen would be able to even reach. They also move faster than the player's party, somehow...
- Legacy of the Wizard has over three dozen shops in the dungeon, not counting Trauma Inns. However, most of what they sell can be obtained free if you know where to look.
- The last merchant in Nox sits rather uncomfortably on the edge between the Land of the Dead and the Dismal Swamp, within running distance of the Necromancers' fortress.
- Dead Island has several merchants in the City of Moresby, Jungle, and Prison that hold out in fenced off areas that sell you things at insanely inflated prices in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse.
- Justified, since they are in areas where there would be a lot of traffic, they probably lived there beforehand, and have weapons to defend themselves.
- Persona has several examples in each game. There's a door to the Velvet Room in some dungeons in Persona 2 and Persona 1, 2 and 4 have NPCs in dungeons that will heal you for a pricenote
- Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne: The final dungeon of has as well as in a few other dungeons. However, considering that the towns in the game also obviously has a shop and is filled with Random Encounters, every shop may in fact be a Dungeon Shop.
- Digital Devil Saga: In the second game, Johnny owns the Express Mart which appears in almost every dungeon, even when the Embryon die and the final dungeon is the surface of the sun, he dies too and still sets up shop.
- RuneScape has several "Wilderness Merchants," shopkeepers that wander through various parts of the Wilderness, selling capes. Said Wilderness is the only place where players may kill and loot other players, and is potentially the most dangerous standard area, depending on who you run into.
- There's also a general store called "Bandit Duty Free" in the Wilderness; the shopkeeper can buy and sell at better prices, due to a lack of taxation.
- Outside of the Wilderness are "roving bankers," who exist in various far-flung areas. Don't ask how they manage to transport your stuff from your bank account....
- While not particularly prone to appearing in proper dungeons, wandering merchants can appear in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. In the latter, they have established trade routes that take them through some of the more dangerous areas of the Mojave and occasionally pit them against some of its myriad threats. It's not uncommon to exhaust yourself fighting a den of nightstalkers in a canyon, then turn around to find a merchant caravan behind the next rock, ready to sell you food, ammo, and stimpaks (at a price). Wandering merchants are not particularly powerful fighters on their own, however, but they'll usually travel in numbers and often have much better armed mercenary bodyguards accompanying them.
- Might and Magic X has this, with a trio offering various services near the entry to the final dungeon, which is itself within a dungeon. How they got there is made clear, though it does make it odd that the two who sell stuff has any stuff to sell (they were prisoners until you liberated them, and had been prisoners since before the game started). The The Falcon & the Unicorn DLC has another example, but in that case it is fully justified and a part of the plot of the quest — the shopkeepers are a few specific prisoners in an island fortification, given leeway by the guards because they can get stuff the higher-ups in the prison administration can't or won't provide, and because they can't escape anyway (unless they learn to breathe water, which they can't). They get their supplies by contacts with naga, who, being able to breathe water, can get in and out.
- The merchants in Pixel Dungeon set up shop every five floors beneath the ground. It's justified that these merchants are able to make huge profits from desperate adventurers paying up to 400% of an item's base price—and, given that the game is a roguelike, some of these items are in high demand. It's additionally justified that they have magic to protect them from the monsters that roam each floor.
- MOTHER 3: Osohe Castle features a small shop run by a ghost. Since there is no money system at that point in the game, you buy stuff with rotten eclairs (the ghosts' favourite food) instead. One such item, the Rope Snake, is required to proceed through the castle.
- An interesting inversion occurs in its predecessor game EarthBound. At some point you get the "For Sale Sign" item, which calls a customer over so you can sell stuff to them. This item works practically anywhere, even in dungeons, leaving one to wonder just how the customer manages to avoid all those enemies on their way to you.
- Lufia & The Fortress of Doom has a dungeon tower with an inn on the first floor. The innkeeper lampshades the convenience of this.
- Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals has a shopkeeper, Jaffrey, who can randomly appear in the Ancient Cave to sell you low-tier equipment and healing items, as well as combine Mystic Stones. He is a complete and utter extortionist with his prices, but since you have nothing else to do with the money you earn inside...
- Chantelise: There's a fisherman you can trade fish to, that appears in the first dungeon after you progress far enough in the game, and in the 60-floor Survival Dungeon, at the lower levels, there's a merchant to buy/sell things to on every 10th floor.
- A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: There's a merchant that sells you things at the beginning of a monster-infected corrupted area.
- The Merchant from RE4 plays this role in Rakenzarn Frontier Story, usually popping up before a boss fight in the major dungeon areas. While his timely arrivals might be handwaved by the fact that he knows of the Realmwalkers and might be affiliated with them, it still doesn't explain how he keeps getting there.
Shoot Em Up
- Downwell features shops where you can buy sushi and batteries in the middle of a well filled with monsters
- Forgotten Worlds presents us with Sylphie, the Arms Dealer with the shop which literally comes out of the ceilings/floors within enemy areas. One wonders how did she set up her shops that way...
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution has a LIMB clinic semi-hidden within The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. Mostly justified because the area only became a "dungeon" when an event caused most of the population there to go insane, and the shopkeeper managed to barricade herself. Transactions are all computer-based, which explains why the shopkeeper simply can't give you free merchandise. Still, it does come off as a bit silly.
- In an earlier level, the player encounters some gang members willing to sell weapons and ammo - on the perimeter of a FEMA base/detention center. Though the gang members at least have the sense to set up shop where there are no enemy patrols.
- In The Missing Link DLC, the player can buy weapons and Praxis kits from a shop in the middle of a Belltower base/detention camp. Somewhat justified, as the shop is also the base's official supply office, though it's noted that the shopkeeper also runs a black market side business and would otherwise not have access to such powerful weapons.
- Averted by the black marketeers in the Alice Garden Pods, who do not stick around when Belltower raids the building.note
- In Wolfenstein, BJ Blazkowicz encounters a black marketeer just prior to entering the zeppelin hangar who takes time from looting supplies to offer BJ pick of his find. Somewhat justified by all the intelligence BJ has found ranting about supply thefts and black market infiltration, though the fact that it's possible to have multiple firefights within sight of the black marketeer still tends to stretch the credibility of this one.
Third Person Shooter
- As alluded to in the Cracked quote, the pirate merchant from Resident Evil 4.
- Global Agenda. Why are there people standing out in the middle of the desert? Right near colonies of respawning robots? Alone? We have no damn clue.
- Also, why do they give you random stuff? Sure, I suppose she has a gun. But she needs that.