A standard RPG item
which allows the player to immediately exit the current dungeon with no questions asked, returning them to a safe harbor so they can treat their party's injuries (and save
their game) before attempting another crawl
Of course, the downside is that it may be a long trip to get back to that point in the dungeon, but this can still be preferable to getting killed outright
(especially if Continuing Is Painful
). Many seasoned adventurers will keep one or two on hand (even if it encroaches on their Inventory Management Puzzle
) just in case they run afoul of Demonic Spiders
or the Boss in Mook Clothing
The exact details and restrictions on an Escape Rope
will vary depending on the system, but common specifications include:
- The "safe harbor" is a predetermined location, usually with access to a Save Point and/or Trauma Inn — common destinations include the entrance of a dungeon, a nearby town, a Hub Level or the world map.
- It only works from inside "dungeon" areas: Creepy forests, marshlands, underground caverns, decrepit ancient temples, etc., which the player explores from the outside inwards. "Overworld" locations such as towns, connecting fields/roads between towns/areas, the Hub Level or the world map itself, usually favor the Warp Whistle instead.
- Note that if the dungeon is inverted, where the player starts in the middle and traverses outwards, the Escape Rope will probably return them to the middle where they started, or it may not even work at all.
- It generally won't allow the player to flee from Random Encounters or Boss Battles in progress — especially if a Fight Woosh is used to transition from field movement into battle. (That is usually the job for an Escape Battle Technique.)
Compare and contrast Warp Whistle
, which allows instantaneous travel to previously visited locations but generally only works from "overworld" areas like towns; and Escape Battle Technique
, which is similar but in battle.
See also Door to Before
, where the trip "back" from a dungeon conveniently unlocks a shortcut through the area so the player can make a return trip (and possibly future excursions) without as much hassle.
- Dungeons & Dragons had the cleric/priest spell "Word of Recall", which returned the user to a specifically (previously) designated sanctuary. The "Succor" spell created an object which allowed anyone breaking it to be teleported the caster's sanctuary.
- In Exalted, most gods have the charm "Hurry Home", which takes them quickly to their sanctum.
- Dragon Quest has the "Evac" spell used for exiting dungeons. It is distinct from the "Zoom" spell, which serves as a Warp Whistle between towns.
- The Divine Intervention and Almsivi Intervention The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind which teleport the player to the closest Nine Divines shrine (though in practice "nearest Imperial Fort", as they house the only ones recognized by the spell) or Almsivi temple (respectively). The most common use? Hauling more loot than you can carry by foot back to town.
- The Etrian Odyssey games have these, called "Warp Wire" in the first two games and "Ariadne Thread" since. Considering how deep the dungeons are and how unforgiving they can be, keeping one on hand is a must. There is also a skill which can do the same, but it's not guaranteed to work. It's useful to save money, but you'll want to carry another wire/string in case the caster faints or runs out of TP.
- "Warp"/"Teleport"/"Exit" spells in the earlier Final Fantasy games. A very important skill to have considering that in-dungeon Save Points weren't introduced until installment number four. Depending on the game, they may also work as a quick escape from random battles.
- Because most The Legend of Zelda games have a save-anywhere system, if the player saves and quits while inside a dungeon, they will pick up from the dungeon's entrance.
- In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, using the "Moon Mirror" inside a dungeon returned the player to the entrance. (Using it outside allowed the player to teleport from the Dark to the Light world.)
- In The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, playing Manbo's Mambo on the Ocarina teleports the player to the entrance of a dungeon. Outside of those, it teleports the player to a tiny pond right next to the Mysterious Woods.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Farore's Wind is a quasi-example, because the first time you use it in a dungeon it merely establishes a warp point at that location, and a second usage returns you to that point. Using your Warp Whistle inside a dungeon also allows you to escape the dungeon in the process.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, playing the "Song of Soaring" inside a dungeon returns the player to the entrance. (Outside, it functions as a Warp Whistle.)
- In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the birdlike Ooccoo can be found inside every dungeon, and allows the player to teleport out at any time—its son would even allow the player to teleport back in again to the same room they left.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has the Scoot Fruit, a straighter example of the trope—it's a one-use item that returns you to the dungeon entrance.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: In dungeons, bird statues have the secondary function of returning Link to the entrance if desired.
- Persona 3 and Persona 4 have the "Traesto" spell, which returns you to the entrance of the current dungeon; Persona 4 also features the consumable item "Goho-M" which provides the same purpose.
- In the spinoff game Persona Q the game will actually warn you if you try to enter a dungeon without any Goho-Ms in your inventory. Leaving dungeons in that game is very difficult without them!
- Most shops in the Pokémon series stock Escape Ropes, and the field move "Dig" provides this function if used in an underground area. The move "Teleport" can both flee from wild Pokemon battles as well as return the player to the nearest Pokemon Center, though like "Fly", it only works outdoors.
- Similarly, in the Pokemon Ranger spinoff series, Pokemon with the "Teleport" field move can return the player to the entrance of an area.
- The Roguelike Pokemon Mystery Dungeon spin-offs substitute Escape Orbs, which provide the same function. The lack of division between field movement and combat meant Escape orbs could be used even while fighting hostile Pokemon (except for Boss Battles).
- Some World of Mana games allow the player to purchase Escape Ropes from shops, while in Secret of Mana, it was a reusable item called the "Magic Rope".
- The "Hearthstone" in World of Warcraft allows the user to teleport to a previously designated "home" (usually an inn), but requires a cooldown time of 30 minutes after use. Usually, it cannot be used in combat because it has a fairly long cast time that enemies would interrupt... however, paladins also have a spell that protects them from all damage for a few seconds, letting them use hearthstones or items with a teleportation effect in combat. Many classes also receive special abilities which mimic the effect. Shamans have astral recall which is like having a second hearthstone linked to the same place, druids can teleport to Moonglade, and death knights can send themselves directly back to the Ebon Hand HQ (handy since, unlike everyone else, DKs don't have trainers in other cities or towns).
- In Angband, the "Word of Recall" spell (which can be obtained from various magical items) allows you to teleport to and from the top of the dungeon. The catch is that it doesn't take effect instantaneously.
- Mr. Gency's Exit in the Disgaea series and Makai Kingdom. In Phantom Brave, there's a job class with an innate "escape from this dungeon by spending X amount of money" spell.
- Both of the Diablo games feature the spell "Town Portal", which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but leaves the door open for a return trip to the combat zone.
- In the first game, it takes you to a specific spot in Tristram (sensible as it's the only town) and is a fairly low level spell that has the same effect no matter what your stats are, so even non magic-focused character builds could learn it. Scrolls would also drop fairly regularly.
- The third party expansion Hellfire added the Warp spell, which teleported you towards the nearest stairs. At best, it was a free escape from whatever battle you were in, at least unless the game was killing you the way it usually did or a free ride across half of the map. At worst, you were back where you started and had to walk across half of the map again.
- In Diablo II, it's no longer available as a learnable skill since the skill trees are now strictly segregated by class, but the game does include a compact storage system for carrying a large number of spell scrolls for this purpose. It always leads to the town of the current act. If you used one in the final battle vs. Diablo, he'd cast bone prison on it while you were gone, and you'd teleport into a trap.
- A common multiplayer strategy was to use the portals of a party member instead of yours, as the portal would only disappear after its creator took it; teammates could use it back and forth as many times as needed. Thus one could make a semi-permanent teleport to an area with just two party members and two scrolls - and since portals are labeled by player, its rather easy to perform.
- Warcraft III resurrected the scroll of town portal as an item for heroes that allows a hero and his/her retinue of nearby units to teleport to a friendly base.
- In Diablo III, the Town Portal is back to being a learnable skill, but now with a cast time.
- The "Retreat" Psynergy from the Golden Sun series, while technically a spell instead of an item, has this function -When cast inside a dungeon, it will return you to the dungeon's entrance. It is known by Isaac, Felix and Matthew, the three player characters.
- Phantasy Star I has the "Exit" spell to return to the entrance of a dungeon, and the "Fly" spell to return to the last church visited. The latter can make the game Unwinnable if the last church visited was in a town that becomes inaccessible for a period after certain plot events. The second and fourth games have the "Hinas" and "Ryuka" spells which have similar effects, although in the fourth game the latter is more a Warp Whistle. Items that copy these spells are available as well. The third game had an odd case in the "Grantz" spell which does this but cannot be used normally; it is only used in a Cut Scene at the end of the game.
- The "Escape Hex" in Resonance of Fate returns you to the world map from anywhere in a dungeon except an Inescapable Ambush battle (mostly bosses). It quickly becomes the standard way of exiting dungeons after finishing them, because you can't save in a dungeon and it would really suck to beat the boss only to die from the Respawning Enemies on your way out.
- Final Fantasy VIII: While in the Tomb of the Unknown King, the player can warp to the entrance by accessing the map and pressing the Δ button. However, this causes the player to lose a SeeD rank. Which may or may not matter to you depending on how long you've been wandering in circles.
- In MOTHER, the Bread Crumbs function as this where you lay down the crumbs where you want to come back to, wander around, then use them to come back where you placed them.
- MOTHER: Cognitive Dissonance has the Starman Larice use a warp ability to teleport you right back to your spaceship from wherever you are on the map or in a dungeon.
- EarthBound has the Exit Mouse, which instantly returns you out of an inside level. The game's rather easy, but it's still a good idea to have one on hand.
- Digimon World and Digimon World 2 have the Auto-Pilot to take the player back to their base. In the former, it's a one-use item you should keep a stock of in your inventory; in the latter, it's an option in your dungeon vehicle, but it can be jammed by traps, so you might still need a stock of repairs on hand.
- Metal Walker has several of these, including Crane and Get Blown, all of which return you to the last camp you entered.
- In Legacy of the Wizard, using a Crystal item will instantly warp you back to the surface.
- The original Dragon Slayer had a RETURN spell that transported the player back to the home.
- The "Escape Twine" from Slime Forest Adventure.
- In Dark Souls, the Homeward miracle and the Homeward Bone items allow you to instantly warp to the last bonfire rested with all your belongings intact. If you're out of those, you can also touch your Darksign to give up all your souls and humanity in exchange for a warp to the last bonfire, but that's mostly the same as dying (in fact it's slightly worse since dying gives you one chance of recovering your souls and humanity but the Darksign permanently loses both)—it mostly exists as a failsafe in case you're somehow stuck.
- Shining in the Darkness has the Egress spell, which can be used during battle (unless Pyra's running low on MP), and the Angel Wings, which can't.
- Deadly Towers had orange scrolls to warp you back to the holy flame (the natural destination after defeating a boss) and green scrolls to warp you back to the starting area.
- Okage: Shadow King has Guidance Jewels which warp you to the entrance of a dungeon.
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia has an item called Magical Ticket, either found in treasure chests or cheaply bought from the shop, which immediately warps you back to the central village to heal and save, replenish your hearts, turn in sidequests and/or stock up on supplies. You can use them anywhere, anytime, except during boss fights. You will probably use them a lot, given the general difficulty of the game.
- The Monster Hunter series has the Farcaster, a special kind of smoke bomb that warps you back to the base camp during a quest...as long as you aren't knocked out of the cloud it makes before it actually warps you. The troublesome part is that you can only hold 1 Farcaster at a time, despite being able to carry multiple of the ingredients that are used to make them.
- Neverwinter Nights: The Stone of Recall allows you to teleport back to the Halls of Justice (or a local temple of Tyr) for healing, then teleport right back. It will also automatically teleport you to get resurrected when you die.
- Hordes of the Underdark has the Relic of the Reaper, which teleports you back to the Reaper's Realm from where you can use one of the five doors you've bound to a specific location.
- In Atelier Viorate, the eponymous alchemist can synthesize a Flying Broom, which returns her to the overworld from a dungeon. It really saves on the days backtracking the dungeon.
- Willow for the Nintendo Entertainment System has the Fleet spell to get out of caves.
- In Faria, the Flash Ball gets you out of any tower or cave.
- Terraria offers two escape ropes in the form of a single-use recall potion and a multiple-use magic mirror. Both teleport the player back to their spawning point.