Graphic effect where you hit a Random Encounter
and the screen flashes, breaks, or does another psychedelic transition
before revealing a generic backdrop (usually themed according to the environment) upon which the actual fighting takes place. At the same time, the area's background music abruptly stops while the Battle Theme Music
While most games use a single transition sequence when fading from scenery to combat, some games may provide variations depending on context. Sometimes the Fight Woosh occurs without interrupting the background music
; sometimes the game may provide a different transition before a Boss Battle
, or the transition itself may hint that one side (either player or enemy) is going to get an advantage (such as a preemptive strike) at the start of battle.
Video Game Examples
- The original Blaster Master; when entering a boss room, the screen flashed repeatedly and an alarm sounded before the room faded to a black background where the player fought the boss.
- Blaster Master: Blasting Again's usual loading screens showed either Roddy or SOPHIA travelling through a void towards the next room. However, when encountering a Boss Battle, the loading screen was instead the word "Warning" flashing with an alert siren in the background.
- In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, every time you touch a big blue cloud of smoke, the screen would vanish, the music would change to the predetermined area for fighting, and the image would reappear with Harry (and, depending on the time, Ron and/or Hermione) in front of an enemy. Played with, as the setting was a lot like the place where you were before entering the fight.
- La-Mulana opens Boss Battles with a very understated version of this (probably because the player has to trigger it deliberately): the game falls silent for a few seconds while the Ankh turns into a wisp which flies offscreen, and the boss fades in.
- In The Guardian Legend, a siren sounds when a boss is about to appear, and in the overworld, the screen gets surrounded with blocks to prevent you from running away.
- Valis II(PC Engine CD version): "Warning! A strong warrior, [boss name] is coming here!", accompanied by a klaxon.
- Occurs in Quest for Glory III, where overland travel is performed via world map. A random encounter places you immediately on a "normal" savannah or jungle screen, with the opponent approaching rapidly before the melee begins. Most games in the series prefer keeping you moving between normal screens, requiring no transition.
- The Game Boy Color port of Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare traded in the real-time combat system of its console brethren for Random Encounters, signified with a dialog box of Carnby readying himself to fight. Obviously a concession to the much weaker hardware, but there are two extremely unfortunate caveats: you have no option for melee combat and no way to escape from these encounters, so if you run out of ammunition during a battle, you're pretty well hosed.
- A variant occurs in the Turn-Based-Real-Time-Strategy hybrid Total War series (From Rome: Total War onward). When two (or more) enemy armies engage on the Turn-Based campaign map, a top-down Fight Woosh zooms down to the block where the fighting takes place; after the loading screen, an exact replica of the block, but with much more details and massively upsized, will be used for the Real-Time battle.
- Chrono Trigger is a famous exception; there was no Fight Woosh, with the fights taking place on the same map as everything else. In some areas, such as scripted gauntlet battles, the music doesn't even change, either maintaining the normal stage theme or the battle theme for the duration of the segment.
- Final Fantasy XII is also famous for this, as anyone who skipped Final Fantasy XI (the first FF to do away with traditional random encounters) was caught off-guard by it.
- In Earthbound Beginnings, all battles are cued with an Iris Out and a simultaneous black circle expanding from the middle.
- In Earthbound, regular battles are cued with an expanding circular swirl whose color depends on which directions both you and the enemy you make contact with are facing. If both parties are facing each other, or the battle is preceded by some dialogue, the swirl is bluish-gray, and the fight starts normally. If the enemy is facing away from you, the swirl is green, and your party gets a free turn. If you're facing away from your enemy, the swirl is red (with a different, negative jingle to boot), and your enemies get a free turn. Most boss battles are cued with a swirl shaped like a four-pointed star.
- The same mechanics apply in MOTHER 3, but the swirls are replaced with a series of dots (or squares, for boss battles) that fill the screen up outward.
- Breath of Fire IV used this as well, with blue for normal, green if you got first hit, and red if the enemies did, although its prequel, Breath of Fire III, had no Fight Woosh and Random Encounters took place on the field.
- Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden has this effect too (and chooses randomly between a bunch of different patterns). Green if you have the advantage, gray if neutral, and red if enemy gets you from behind.
- The Tales Series also has color-coded whooshes of the glass-shatter variety. Blue is a standard battle. Gold-yellow is a boss battle or other unavoidable fight. And as in Earthbound, red is a battle where you've been ambushed, and green is for fights where you have a significant advantage at the start.
- In Tales of Vesperia, the "glass" will receive extra cracks in it depending on the number of mobs you pulled before the fight starts.
- Tales of Phantasia, the first one, only had a traditional spinning woosh. The shattering may have only started with the sixth-generation games (like Symphonia).
- A rather quick one happens in Tales of Graces where, due to the Dynamic Loading, there's a very fast flash to the battle field followed by a quick wooshing sound.
- Tales of Xillia has the screen get "slashed" from the top right and left corners of the screen leaving a large "X" gash over the screen. It's Colour-Coded for Your Convenience of course. Yellow (normal battle) , blue (caught enemy from behind) red (ambush) and turquoise (caught enemy from behind while they were unaware).
- Just about any Final Fantasy game has one:
- Final Fantasy X has two - the regular full-screen transition (The screen "shatters" and the pieces fly offscreen) before random fights, and a slight blurring before boss battles, which are fought on the same background where they were standing in the cutscene.
- Final Fantasy XII has the Victory Whoosh instead after boss battles, while your allies discreetly move into position for their Victory Poses.
- When ported to different consoles, Final Fantasy IV, V, and VI have used different whooshes.
- However, on the SNES, they used a more generic woosh that was used during that time (and the Final Fantasy: Chronicles port of FFIV on the Playstation retained this). On the overworld, the character sprite would disappear, and the camera would quickly zoom in on the location that the character got attacked. In a dungeon, it was switched to the screen pixelating quickly before going to black. Both transitions were accompanied by a quick two woosh sound that the zoom and pixelation were in tune to. Was actually a memorable transition, but did provide some with jump scares if they weren't used to it.
- Final Fantasy VIII also uses a different Fight Woosh for boss battles than it does for normal encounters.
- Final Fantasy XIII has a particularly cool fight woosh: The character will lock blades (or fists) with the enemy and the screen fades to black while streams of light that match up to specific elements (lights in the background, weapon glints, the metallic bodies of enemies) streak by.
- Final Fantasy IV: The After Years has the "shattered glass" variation for boss fights and two different ones for normal encounters.
- The reason for the jump scares over the Final Fantasy old school woosh? A PS1 game called Beyondthe Beyond used the zoom in woosh, as well, but the character remained visible, and the zoom never seemed to end (it continued to zoom in and out rapidly until the battle screen was loaded)! This resulted in seeing a rather ugly looking pixalated zoom in of the character at times. The sound was also a suddenly "PEAW!" sound that did decrease in volume, but the second you hear it, you also see a white flash while the screen is zooming in.
- Pokémon actually has hundreds of different Fight Wooshes, depending on the type of battle you're going into.
- Random Encounters use various transitions depending on the area (a wavy or watery effect while surfing, for example). These are coupled with different Battle Theme Music for each type too.
- Battles against other Trainers use different transitions with Poké Balls added.
- Starting in Generation III, important battles (such as Gym Leaders or the Elite Four) also throw in a Versus Character Splash.
- Emerald Version in particular really gets into this trope; all six of the stationary Legendaries in the game have iconic markings on their bodies, and when you initiate the fight with them, those markings flash on the screen.
- In Generation IV, Legendary Pokémon (and Rotom) now have a new transition where the screen pulls back, before zooming in while shaking.
- But Cresselia gets the regular one, meaning it turns up without the forewarning of the Woosh. Not fun if you encounter it when it's weak and, say, KO it by mistake.
- Pokémon Black and White have different Fight Wooshes for the different legendaries: Reshiram and Zekrom just have the screen pause and fade to black, Kyurem has some energy balls swirl into the center, the Raijin trio has a beam shoot across the screen and an energy swirl expands from the center, and the Musketeer trio have a sword that slashes across the screen a few times before it "shatters" and falls away to reveal the battle screen a la Final Fantasy X.
- All the Persona games, as well as most other Shin Megami Tensei games. Persona 3 and Persona 4 employ an "advantage" system similar to Earthbound mentioned above, where if you attack the enemy's model on the dungeon map from behind you get a blue flash (after the Fight Woosh) with the words "Player Advantage" and a bonus round, while if the enemy gets you from behind there's a red flash and "Enemy Advantage." There's no flash after the transition in the case of neither side having an advantage.
- Sa Ga Frontier does this as well.
- The single most popular Fight Woosh is making the screen break like glass to reveal the battle scene. It's shown up in Xenogears and Final Fantasy X, among others.
- Golden Sun uses this in the fight against the final boss.
- Xenosaga 2 uses this brilliantly: after beating the Big Bad, you're greeted with the usual post-battle results screen, without him changing forms or powering up...except the characters listed in it aren't likely match and everyone is lv 99...at which point the results screen shatters with the usual battle transition effect and the second part of the fight begins.
- Shadow Hearts (Covenant and From the New World) does that. The original game does a swirly-thing fight whoosh.
- Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles uses this sort of woosh for boss battles. Being an action RPG, it doesn't have or need wooshes for random battles.
- Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story uses this kind of woosh for its final boss.
- In Xenogears, you can usually hear the PlayStation's laser move just before the actual Fight Woosh begins.
- In Pokémon Black and White, this happens when you face off against the Musketeer trio. After three slashes appear across the screen, no less.
- Skies of Arcadia, pretty well-known for excessive random encounters, has a whoosh sound when you're about to fight coupled with a random special effect, including the screen breaking into pieces or spinning around. Also, on the Dreamcast version, you could hear it load before a fight would take place, at which point you could open the menu, change a weapon and it would prevent the fight... for a while. The Fight Woosh was shortened in the Nintendo GameCube remake along with battle loading times, and a reduction in random battles was thrown in for good measure.
- The Legend of Dragoon had a reeeeeally looooong Fight Woosh, but it wasn't so bad, because random encounters were less frequent than in, say, Final Fantasy games. You probably know how close you are to a fight by the marker over Dart's head. If it's red when you first enter an area, then you have to collide with enemies on screen to fight. This is always so in places like Hellena Prision or The Black Castle
- Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army has a very quick fight whoosh, and usually shows the enemy and your familiar teleport into the battle field.
- Parasite Eve changes the colors of the scenery to various shades of gray and an echoing heartbeat plays when you find enemies. In the sequel, only one heartbeat is heard and the color change is instant.
- Justified in The World Ends with You, as the battles actually take place in an alternate dimension. Or something like that.
- Wild ARMs 4 and 5, which take place on a hex "playing field", have the screen break into mini-hexes which then flip themselves around to form the battlefield. There are several different animations depending on what sort of battle it is (normal, surprise attack, boss, special boss).
- Inverted in Kingdom Hearts. Like Chrono Trigger, almost every fight takes place in the same area where you first ran into the enemy. There is, however, a fight woosh at the end of most event battles, especially boss fights, often followed by a cutscene.
- Played straight in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Re:Chain of Memories, as the special fight zones are needed for cards to only be used then and there. Unsurprisngly, the fight woosh features the heart from the logo flashing on screen.
- Suikoden V has a rather annoying fight woosh designed to mask the load times: The sun beams down on the screen while the transition to the battlefield occurs. It's much more interesting (and bearable) if you are playing the game off a hard drive.
- In The Last Remnant, there is a pretty energy-like Fight Woosh when you collide with a hostile. Unlike most RPGs, in this game, you have a button dedicated to starting a battle (complete with awesome pose), and when you enter a battle this way the playing field is even, and the Fight Woosh is a nice blue-white colour. If you allow the enemy to charge at you, your character cowers slightly and the Fight Woosh becomes a red-orange colour, and the enemy gets an advantage. Finally, boss battles begin with the screen dividing into several dozen little cubes that fly toward the screen.
- The Mario & Luigi RPG series transitions to the battles with a polygonal star. It also accompanies them with quips:
Mario: "Let's-a go!"
- The quips changed if Mario or Luigi got hit from behind or jumped on a spiked enemy:
Mario or Luigi: Oh no!
- And if Luigi was by himself:
- The fourth game lost the quips, but now there's five pictures used for the transaction: the star for when neither side has the upper hand, a hammer or a shoe for when Mario and Luigi hits an enemy in the overworld using a hammer or a jump, respectively, an exclamation mark for when the enemy manages to get the upper hand, and a picture of an angry starburst for boss fights.
- And for the last boss fight, there's a sixth; the iconic silhouette of Bowser's face.
- Averted in Rogue Galaxy, where the beginning of battle is simply a flashing warning message, and the battle occurs on the field map in realtime. Boss battles tend to be a bit whooshy sometimes, however.
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door had a stage curtain drop when a battle started, then raise to reveal the battle on a literal stage. The background elements were themed on the location where the battle was started, and in The Thousand-Year Door, these elements could randomly fall over, hurting Mario and his partner, the enemies, everyone on stage, or nobody, depending on the prop's size. The Fight Woosh was the same for every battle, though it had overlay text if you attacked the enemy on the field ("You got the First Strike!", followed by an extra attack on the enemy when battle started) or if an enemy hit you first ("The enemy struck first!"); the two First Strike messages are complimented by a burst of introduction music. Super Paper Mario didn't have Fight Wooshes, as all the battles (except one) were platformer-style.
- Due to its fully real-time battles, Project .hack and .hack Conglomerate games do not feature this. Instead, there's simply a warning sign where battle phase is taking place. In the second series, GU, while not wooshing, a "wall" encircles the fight area and the characters pull their weapons out. Not the case in the first four games since their weapons are out all the time (and no wall either; running away from enemies is always a valid strategy, except in dungeons).
- In Okage: Shadow King, upon entering battle, the screen will blur and swirl, before fading into a battle sequence.
- Ōkami has demon scrolls and gates that, when touched, send Amaterasu to the demonic plane, surrounded by a barrier of kanji and swirling colors. The game does let you escape by finding a weak spot and attacking it, although doing so causes you to take more damage in subsequent battles.
- In Endless Frontier, the music stops abruptly and there's an almost sub-audible "CRASH!" as bits of glass rain down the screen.
- That was just for bosses. Normal battles have a Final Fantasy-style zoom-in accompanied by blue motion lines and a "SHOOP!" sound effect.
- Resonance of Fate transitions from the map to random battles with several gunshot effects making bullet holes appear in the screen. This is more obviously a disguised loading screen than some because the number of shots can be different. Dungeon battles don't do this since you move into a new area to start each fight.
- The Chosen: Well Of Souls transitions from a map to a side view with background (each opponent starts on one side of the screen) in combat.
- Panzer Dragoon Saga uses a fairly simplistic Fade to White whenever a battle triggers with some teensy possible changes. Normal random encounters cause the flight in progress to freeze in place when the fade occurs; cutscenes which precede a boss fight continue moving as the fade occurs.
- In Legacy of the Wizard for the NES, the screen starts scrolling wildly when entering or exiting a Boss Battle.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age had level specific fight wooshes where something would obscure the screen accompanied by a monstrous shriek. For example, the first area, a forest, would have leaves gather up from the ground and cover the screen. They would then fall away and reveal the battle at hand.
- Mega Man X: Command Mission did this with screen blurring and a screeching guitar chord.
- In the Edutainment Game Slime Forest Adventure, a closeup of a slime momentarily blocks the screen.
- MS Saga: A New Dawn has the screen break into squares that fall away. They're color-coded for Random Encounter, Pre-Existing Encounter, or Boss Fight.
- Sailor Moon: Another Story for the SNES has a voice saying "Make Up" (the universal call for a Sailor Soldier to transform), and then for a large crescent moon zoom out as a fade to black effect before entering the battle scene. The make up line is somewhat justified, as sometimes the Sailors are on the field in their civilian form in the game when a battle occurs, so you would think they'd have to transform to be able to fight. Plus, it IS one of the most recognizable phrases in Sailor Moon, so it's somewhat of fanservice, too.
- In the SNES version of SimCity, when a disaster occurs, a siren and Scare Chord are heard, and a burning cityscape is shown with Dr. Wright describing the disaster.
- Heroes of Might and Magic V uses a Fight Woosh similar to Total War's one: The camera zooms to the battlefield, which (somewhat) resembles the environment.
- Combats in Odium start by the screen melting away to the sides and a Loading Screen with a rotating buzzsaw popping up for a while before the battle begins.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, each fight starts with a blurry zoom-in woosh before switching from the 2D grid to the 3D fighting characters.
Non-Video Game Examples
- Being that it was a parody of all things Fantasy, including Dungeons & Dragons, The Colour of Magic includes a random encounter, where a troll is whisked from its mountain home to the middle of a plain to attack the heroes, much to their—and its—confusion. The way it's described, it almost perfectly matches most of the effects described above, despite predating nearly all of them.