Video game characters, particularly in First Person Shooters and Adventure Games, have a seemingly superhuman ability to carry incredible amounts of stuff at one time, usually an array of weapons along with a couple hundred pounds of ammunition for each one. It doesn't limit their ability to run and jump and crawl through small spaces at all. What's more, when you see them during cutscenes in first-person games and third-person games, you can't see where they've stowed these things, even when they're wearing clothes that are more or less form-fitting. It seems they've put them away in the same realm where Hyperspace Mallets are kept.
In practice, a Hyperspace Arsenal serves to reduce the more annoying aspects of inventory management, removing the need to constantly shuffle stuff in and out of your backpack. Some games may choose to restrict inventory for balance reasons: It might upset the difficulty curve if the protagonist can carry around an infinite amount of healing items. This can be more realistic as in Halo's rule of no more than two weapons at once or still kind of exaggerated, as in many Adventure Games' "you can only carry twelve items"-type ruling. The result, more often than not, is the more annoying variety of Inventory Management Puzzle (and often leading to its own ridiculous situations — bazookas regularly take up as much space as gum wrappers, and in weapon-limited First Person Shooters you might be able to carry around a rocket launcher and a heavy machine gun, but lord forbid you try to carry around three pistols).
In fandom, this trope is often "justified" with the supposition that the Hyperspace Inventory is actually kept in the character's pants. (This however actually serves to answer exactly none of the objections to the trope.) Some less-than-serious works, such as Space Quest, Simon the Sorcerer or Monkey Island, take this very literally.
The reverse occurs in many text adventures, where (primarily for design reasons) the player character could only carry a specific number of items (often five) at any one same time. Regardless of how large these items are.
One odd effect of the Hyperspace Arsenal is that characters may struggle to support an item that they have "taken out" or "equipped," and they may not be able to wear something at all if they're not strong enough — yet presumably they're carrying this very item around all the time. Put another way, as long as you can't see it, it weighs nothing. (This could mean that the equipment is too heavy to be feasible in battle, though, again, this doesn't explain how you're lugging around a suit of plate mail you're too weak to wear, as it is actually harder to carry a suit of full plate than it is to wear it)
Another odd effect, usually found in Adventure and Role-Playing games, is an inventory limit on a single kind of item. The classic example is being able to carry 99 healing Potions and 99 Antidotes, but not 198 Potions or even 100. Some games have even more stringent limits, which sometimes are item specific, and oftentimes aren't internally consistent (you might be able to carry around 50 healing potions, but only 10 healing herbs, because herbs are a different item category).
Compare Extended Disarming, which often happens when a character is asked to empty out their hyperspace arsenal. Compare also Variable-Length Chain, where chains and whips can "stretch" to attack a far target without being long when unused.
Contrast Walking Armory, where the character is actually shown carrying all of their weapons on their body, and Limited Loadout, which is where there's a more (relatively) realistic limit to the number of weapons one can carry.
For more general (and non-Video Game) applications, see Hammerspace. For a specific item that does this, see Bag of Holding.
The series wouldn't work without this trope. On top of the ludicrously high number of missiles and special weapons, if you use 3rd-person view (as in "behind the plane") and move the camera underneath the plane, you can even see weapons magically reappear once they're available for firing again.
Operation Katina from 5 has much stricter limits than the normal games - you start with just 20 missiles and 4 of its special weapon. There are certain enemies you can destroy which replenish one of the two (10 missiles or 4 special weapons), but that's something entirely different.
The player's inventory in Achaea, as in most MUDs, is effectively infinite, and can hold (among other things) mounts. A character suddenly producing a full-size winged horse from his backpack is not regarded as odd. Herbs have to be kept in the Rift, however, which can only hold a few thousand units of each type.
The After Burner series has your Cool Plane start out with 50 missiles, way more than a real-life fighter plane can carry. And in After Burner Climax, they regenerate.
Air Rivals features one-man fighters that can potentially carry several hundred thousand missiles each. Of course, those same inventory slots could be used for 60 sets of armor plating that are each as big as the craft itself.
Another Centurys Episode uses this one. Most hand-carried weapons simply appear out of thin air when used (often replacing the weapon your unit is already carrying), then are gone just as quickly. When using melee attacks, the primary weapons simply disappear... Only to reappear if needed as part of an Evolving Attack.
Another Code: Like a good adventure game protagonist, Ashley has no problem carrying around loads of random junk she finds. It does make for at least one odd instance in the second game when she goes to return a briefcase and pulls out from behind her back. Unless you can buy that she had a regular-sized briefcase in that little fanny pack of hers.
ARMA II and its Operation Arrowhead expansion have a form of this: most weapons that can load multiple types of magazines only have one actual model for those magazines. Hence, you can load a 100-round Beta C-mag into the XM8, only for it to magically look like a normal 30-round magazine.
Taken to an extreme in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. By the end, Ezio (in addition to his four pieces of armor) can carry all of the following on him at once: two hidden blades, a hidden gun (with extra ammunition if you unlocked the online UPlay achievement), 15 vials of poison, at least one dagger or small weapon, one large sword, 15 parachutes, 15 vials of medicine, 25 throwing knives, several smoke bombs and a crossbow. Later on, you'll also carry The Apple Of Eden in one hand in addition to the aforementioned equipment (although you won't be able to equip weapons during this time). At some points he may also be carrying so much cash that his purse should weigh more than he does. Strangely, none of this extra weight appears to affect Ezio's swimming ability or parkour skills in the slightest.
By the end of Assassin's Creed: Revelations, he's also packing, alongside the aforementioned items, a hookblade, a poison dart launcher, and a dozen grenades of various types. Everything but the grenades, parachutes and ammo is modelled on his body. Even the throwing knives. Good grief.
Banjo-Kazooie: Banjo can carry 100 eggs, 50 red feathers, and 10 gold feathers, but can double that with secret codes. There's also the Mumbo Tokens, Jiggies, notes, and the Stop 'n' Swop items. These are all stored in Banjo's backpack, which is also occupied by Kazooie! Even worse is Banjo-Tooie, where there's even more items, like the Fire, Ice, Grenade, and Clockwork Kazooie Eggs. There's also the Cheato Pages, the Glowbos, and the many quest items... And finally, when Kazooie does leave the backpack, Banjo can even store other characters when needed, such as an obese polar bear child, a pterodactyl child who's too large to fly, a sick dinosaur child, live batteries, and floating creatures to allow Banjo to float without Kazooie!
In Batman: Arkham Asylum and its sequels, Batman can carry an infinite supply of all of his gadgets. This becomes particularly jarring during the fight with Clayface in Arkham City where you defeat him by throwing about fifty freeze grenades at him when its implied Mr. Freeze only gave you a few grenades.
The Battlefield series normally lets the player only carry two weapons at a time, plus extra equipment depending on class. However, there are supply crates in Bad Company 2's campaign that play this straight, in that you can grab any weapon you've ever picked up before from any such crate anywhere.
Battlestar Galactica Online: Even a tiny strikecraft can carry thousands of rounds of ammo, to say nothing of other pieces of equipment.
In Beyond Good & Evil, Jade & friends have a device called a "S.A.C.", which literally snorts up and reproduces unlimited numbers of items just like the imager in Tron. Fun fact : sac is the French word for bag.
In BioShock, the player character is physically enhanced to some unspecified above-human level, but seriously — a radio, a camera, a wrench, a pistol, a machine gun, a shotgun, a grenade launcher, a chemical thrower and a crossbow. And these are all 1960-level technology, so these things are pretty big and clunky — the radio is as big as a dictionary, the camera the size of a human head. And for each weapon you carry three types of ammunition, and that too is big and clunky. And this is not even getting to all the recovery items and collectables he can carry with him, let alone some key items like an EMP bomb the size of a nuclear warhead.
BioShock Infinite uses Limited Loadout and doesn't let you carry health, Salts, or food — you have to use them or leave them. But it still doesn't avert it entirely — it does allow you to take all of the dozens of voxophones, as well as every piece of Gear you can find.
Taokaka from BlazBlue, despite wearing a none-too-baggy hoodie, can fit a seemingly unlimited number of baseballs, bowling balls and even the occasional Kaka kitten.
Blood II slightly averts this in a sense: weapons correspond to number keys in the order that you find them rather than a predetermined order. Since there are about twenty weapons but only ten number keys, if a player comes across a new gun they want, they'd have to drop one they're already holding to make room for it. Of course, as noted, you're still toting around 10 weapons at one time (a knife and nine guns, some of which can be dual-wielded without taking up extra space).
BloodRayne is very strict with how many weapons you can carry, but none of them are seen on Rayne's person. A cheat code makes the weapons visible on Rayne, and it becomes obvious why they're invisible by default; it looks ridiculous and not to mention extremely cumbersome.
In Borderlands the character uses "Storage Deck", a literal Hyperspace Arsenal, to lug all your stuff around. Storage Decks have limited carrying capacity to start with: 12 inventory items, a rather low amount of each type of ammo, and two "active" guns to start with. As you progress through the game these limits increase, via the use of "Storage Deck Upgrades", or SDUs, to 42 inventory items (obtained by rescuing Claptraps), 4 active weapons (obtained by default in the main quest), and a ton of ammo for each weapon (obtained by buying Ammo SDUs at Ammo Vendors).
Exaggerated to a hilarious degree in Brain Dead 13, where Fritz has a ridiculous amount of weapons in his cloak. This is played to its fullest extent in the final battle, where he falls down a ridiculously high set of a stairs, and on every bounce four or five items fall out of his pockets, from knifes, to saws, to an anvil and a vampire Playboy.
The videogame version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer obviously doesn't wear such a thing as a jacket or a trenchcoat. She instead keeps all her items in her hip pocket. Including her crossbow.
In Chibi-Robo, the eponymous four-inch-high robot is capable of stuffing items it comes across into its head. Lampshaded twice: the first time it uses this ability, the family is noticeably impressed. Later on, Chibi stuffs a toy ship some twenty times its size into its inventory.
In Command & Conquer: Renegade, by the end of the game, Havoc can carry about a dozen different weapons plus ammo. However, in-game, the only weapons visible on his person are the weapon he's currently carrying, and the next weapon in the numbered sequence on his back.
Conkers Bad Fur Day: Conker holds on him a pan as big as he is at all times, plus all the money he grabs through the game. The "context sensitive" buttons take it even further, making him pull whatever item he needs at the moment, sometimes in unlimited quatities, such as trowing knives and rolls of toilet paper (It Makes Sense in Context).
In Crusader: No Remorse, the Silencer is limited to carrying five guns (though he can still carry a metric buttload—ten percent larger than an Imperial buttload, ya know—of explosives, medikits, and so on). In No Regret, even this restriction is waived, and you can carry one of every gun in the game. The games also seem to feature hyperspace magazines in some of the guns, as the grenade launcher mounts mags of nine grenades at once.
Dark Forces Saga's Kyle Katarn's Jedi utility belt can carry several rifles, a rocket launcher, anti-personnel mines and the ammunition for all of them. Even more in the Jedi Knight games. A trading card featuring scenes from the movies and EU shows a scene from the original Dark Forces, showing Kyle actually loaded with weaponry.◊
The Darkness. Jackie does not replace the magazines of his pistols or submachine guns, but discards the guns for new ones that are kept, presumably, in his coat. Preserve ammo in the game long enough and you'll see Jackie has no problem keeping upwards of 20+ separate guns in his coat.
Dark Souls, unlike Demons Souls, allows you to carry as many items as you want, as long as you're willing to deal with scrolling through all of it. If that gets tedious but you don't want to throw items away permanently, you can also get a "bottomless box" to put your items into.
Dawn of War falls into this trope while averting Crippling Overspecialisation. Almost every infantry unit possesses a ranged weapon and a melee weapon (with the exception of all Necron and Imperial Guard units whose weapons are dual-purpose), switching between the two as appropriate, however most of them are only seen carrying their ranged weapon when idle or when firing, pulling their melee weapon from nowhere while their ranged weapon disappears. Dawn of War 2 averts both, only the melee specialists possessing a dedicated melee weapon (a lot of which are still used at the same time as their gun) while other infantry use their weapon as a club or merely Good Old Fisticuffs.
The playable characters of Devil May Cry revel in this. In the first two games, Dante can hold his pistols, a shotgun and an explosive launcher, as well as other not-so-easily-classified weapons on his person. The third game, where one is limited to two melee and two ranged weapons, would appear to be more realistic... until one realises that Dante can hold two back-covering scimitars, a full-sized electric guitar, a sniper rifle and a rocket launcher. The fourth game goes to three melee weapons and three ranged weapons (at least for Dante), with the Pandora's Box literally reshaping itself via demonic tech into the desired mode. Even a Macross Missile Massacre-capable flying battle station that Dante can sit in. Then again, considering that all of them have some manner of demonic blood, it could be possible that some magic enables this.
The original game uses a 6x5 tile Grid Inventory system that allows you to carry, say, six assault rifles and six pistols under your trenchcoat (it should be noted that DX's actual item models are more compact than those in most games). This leads to some weirdness, such as items taking more room in the inventory than in-game, such as the Dragon's Tooth Sword, and others that have effects that only show up when the weapon is equipped, such as the GEP gun, which slows the player to a crawl when equipped, but causes no such problem when tucked away.
The sequel, Invisible War, dumped the grid system for a simpler one where every item, from a rocket launcher to a pack of smokes, took up the same amount of room (note that neither title considers ammo and other items to be competing for the same space).
Like its predecessor, Deus Ex: Human Revolution uses a Grid Inventory system. You start out with a third of your maximum inventory space available - enough to hold two or three small guns, a single rifle, a few odds and ends and a couple batteries. Later on, you can strengthen your arms via augmentation to greatly increase your capacity, letting you carry multiple heavy weapons, pistols, batteries...you name it. Yet, Adam has nothing more than his armblades on in the cutscenes.
The Diablo games have different inventory areas, each with a different amount of limited space, that represent easily-accessed belt pouches, holding space in a backpack, a treasure chest in town, etc. You still never see this backpack, and it can comfortably hold multiple suits of full plate armor.
In Diablo II, the player acquires literal (in-universe) hyperspace called the Horadric Cube. This item takes up four squares in the player's inventory, but opens up to reveal twelve squares of internal storage.
The MMORPG Dofus has a theoretical limit of weight: each item has a size, measured in "pods", which vary from 1 (most common components) to 100 (some very rare items). You can only transport 1000 pods of materials, which is huge by itself, since it means 200 pieces of wood. But... You gain 5 pods from every point you spend in strength (which can top several hundred with the good equipment). You gain 5 pods for every job level. When you reach lvl 100 in a job, you gain an additional 1000 pods. And you can have three jobs. There's a pet who can give you an additional 1000 pods. And also numerous items, who give you more pods: a low-level belt offers you 500 pods, and the best backpack in the game can go up to 1200 pods. And that's without counting houses' storage.
The Doom has always adhered to this trope, but Doom 3 is probably the most blatant perpetrator. By the end of the game you're carrying a handgun, a shotgun, a machine gun, a chaingun, a bunch of grenades, a plasma rifle, a rocket launcher, a chainsaw, a PDA, a flashlight, a BFG bigger than a microwave oven and a big metal cube, not to mention all the attendant ammunition, which can include fifty or so rockets and several BFG fuel cells the size of your head. Then in the cutscenes the character is seen carrying naught but a dinky shotgun. Even that though is nothing compared to...
Dragon Age: Origins: Every different item type takes up the same space in your inventory. That is to say 99 Health Poultices takes up the same space as 1 Health Poultice. Each weapon and armor piece also takes up an inventory space on its own. By the way, you start out with an inventory limit of 70 and it can go up to 125 with backpacks. So in theory you could lug around hundreds of potions and dozens of weapons and pieces of armor. Plot-relevant items don't take up any space either. Of course the only things you see on your characters are equipped items.
Caim can carry eight weapons in Drakengard. "Only eight?" you might ask, but given some of the odd dimensions of some of them, and the fact that no one of human stature could comfortably carry three axes and four staffs whilst fending off entire armies of baddies...
In Dubloon, your inventory can hold up to 4 pages of items. It doesn't count how many of each item you have however, so you can end up with 99 Shake-Bombs and still have space for a jerky.
Dungeon Siege sort of plays and averts this one. Although your inventory is grid-based, your speed is never affected by how much you're carrying, and the only thing you can see in your character, just like in Morrowind and Oblivion, is your armor and your currently equipped weapon. However, as you keep stashing your items into your packmules, you can see how the stack of bags and crates they're carrying starts growing.
EarthBound acknowledges the problem by using a courier service to drop off and pick up items that the characters don't have room to carry — but then again, a packet of salt seems to occupy the same space in the characters' pocket as a bazooka, or even a bicycle.
In The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall you can't pass a row of shrubbery while on a horse. So you get off the horse, jump over it, and get on again. At this point, Fridge Logic suggests horses are kept in the hyperspace arsenal too, thus making Tamriel horses infinitely more awesome than Earth horses. It's also possible to climb up a city walls from the outside, climb down on the inside, and get on your horse. It goes even further by allowing you to carry a cart which has a ludicrous weight limit which you could take anywhere (including the wall climbing trick mentioned above) except inside dungeons.
Morrowind and Oblivion limit what you carry based on weight. With magic spells and items to enhance your weight limit, walking around with hundreds of pounds of weapons, armor, and assorted detritus is fine. All that is visible, however, is your equipped weapon, armor, and/or worn clothes. Oblivion also allows increases to the weight limit by increasing the Strength stat, 5 pounds of weight per 1 point of Strength. Warrior characters who rely on this stat will have a much higher limit (500 pounds at max 100 Strength, in an unmodded game) than magician characters, who don't use the stat.
Skyrim uses a similar weight system, but it is dependent on the characters stamina instead. Some guardian stones and some enchantments can significantly increase the limit that can be carried by the player's already deep pockets.
In EverQuest II, your character is limited to what he can carry by their strength. But, after gaining no more than thirty levels or so, assuming you're not a Squishy Wizard type, you'll be easily able to carry six solid steel, 100lb strongboxes full of junk. Harvestables in the game also have a negligible weight and can stack in to groups of 100, so you can carry tens of thousands of units of rocks, precious minerals, gemstones and lumber without any decrease in movement speed. Also, you are able to craft and carry around furniture, even going so far as being able to fit two dozen full-sized four post beds inside one of the aforementioned strong boxes.
In Fable the character cannot properly carry around a weapon if it is too heavy, but can carry around an apparently unlimited amount of weaponry, food, augments, etc. In Fable II you can carry around freakin' furniture.
Falloutlampshaded this with the perk Pack Rat (which increases your carrying capacity); the picture for it showed Vault Boy stuffing a grandfather clock into his backpack. The second game was particularly odd in that the trunk of the car could carry any amount of items as long as its very high weight capacity wasn't exceeded, but if an item would exceed it, the game told you that there was no more space in the trunk. This leads to some of the best animations ever, such as when the Vault Dweller pulls a Bozar out of his/her pants with a distinct heaving motion.
The player's inventory itself in Video Game/Fallout3 is limited by weight, but ammunition and chems don't weigh anything. Thus, you can be carrying so much that a single knife slows you down, but you can still pick up 500 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition (or 500 rockets, for that matter) no problem. Much worse even, though there is a carrying limit, it is usually so ridiculously high. A character with a decent strength score has no problem carrying all kinds of firepower, including a miniature nuke catapult, a small assortment of chosen melee weapons and can still pick up an entire wardrobe of combat armor and several backpacks full of loot, and all you can see of it is what the character is currently wearing and armed with. This has the added charm of being able to stuff a rocket launcher inside a first aid kit.
Fallout: New Vegas'sHardcore mode has ammo take up weight, although stimpacks, chems, and a few other small items are still "weightless". A game mod adds weight to those as well.
F.E.A.R. only lets you carry 3 weapons at a time, but places no limit on how big those weapons can be. Your character can thus carry the 3 biggest guns in the game, the rocket launcher, repeating cannon and energy beam weapon, all at the same time. It's notable that the first 2 weapons on that list are almost as big as the character himself, but they will only slow him down if he is physically carrying one of them in his hands - holster then all to fight with Good Old Fisticuffs and you can move faster than most enemies in the game. F.E.A.R. 2 ups the number of weapons to 4, but still has no limit on how big they are - holding the missile launcher, .50-cal sniper rifle, pulse weapon and napalm launcher all at the same time is still fair game.
The NES version of Final Fantasy I does it both ways, giving players a bottomless joint inventory for consumable items, but providing a extremely small inventory for equippable items, which each character must carry separately. Some dungeons have so many equippable items that multiple trips are necessary to loot the dungeon without having to throw some of the equipment away!
Further sequels have a giant chocobo acting as storage for your extra units, but you can still carry a ridiculous amount of stuff with you. After Final Fantasy V, your party can be lugging 99 of everything (potions, swords, various things you can throw at the enemy, and armor) and enough money to ruin the world economy several times over.
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light tries to limit things by limiting the player to 15 items per character, but there's nothing theoretically stopping you for, for instance, carrying around 15 axes. And then there are the hundreds of gems you end up lugging around by the end of the game.
In Final Fantasy Tactics, enemy units have infinite stores of consumable items and throwable weapons, so you can exploit that to get otherwise rare items.
One particular scene in Final Fantasy X shows Auron handing Tidus a sword we didn't see beforehand, before pulling out his own. Yuna also gets a mention for having her staff appear while decked out in wedding garb.
In Final Fantasy XII, Larsa has an infinite supply of potions (unless you're playing the International Version, in which case he uses yours).
Many of the characters in the Dissidia: Final Fantasy games seem to be able to summon their weapons at will. The notable exception is Firion, who is seen to carry seven weapons around with him at all times. Conversely, Vaan is a particular offender, being able to wield even more weapons than Firion, but he summons them as he needs them (in fitting with his gimmick of switching between weapons for better attacks). Bartz at least has possible excuse that the weapons that he summons are but imitations of those of his teammates, and so may not be useable by anyone else for any other purpose.
Gaia Online zOMG: Ignoring the fact that most players routinely carry copious amounts of clothing, weapons, armor, animals, and on occasion children in their inventory as costume items, many attacks involve pulling a weapon from nowhere, using it, and then having it disappear almost instantly. This is explained away as G'hi energy being manipulated by the character's rings to form the weapon. But in a game that has you killing plungers and lawn gnomes, a Hyperspace Arsenal only adds to the charm. (Plus the ring that lets you fire 4 guns at once is really cool.)
The main character in the videogame version of The Godfather keeps a massive arsenal — a shotgun, 2 handguns, a Tommy gun, garrote wire, 1 stick of dynamite, 4 Molotovs, 1 bomb, and a burning two by four in some versions, along with all the attendant ammo — inside of his shirt. Plus you can upgrade your Street Smarts to increase the carry limit on your throwables, and upgrading your weapons increases the max ammo capacity.
GoldenEye1997 allows Mr. Bond to carry all weapons available in the game without trouble, which includes stuff like rocket and grenade launchers. Through some exploits, it's possible to see cutscenes of Bond, say, stuffing a rocket launcher down his pants and having it magically disappear before he leaves.
Arthur from Ghosts N Goblins can produce an infinite number of lances from nowhere, to which they quickly return. And judging that he can still hang onto them when he loses his armor, the only logical explanation is that he keeps them in his boxers.
The hero in the Gothic series can carry an infinite amount of anything he finds. It is not unusual to be carrying large quantities of weapons, a dozen suits of armour, and enough various foodstuffs to feed an army for a year. This is even more noticeable in Gothic 3 where some of the carryable items include large crates full of (presumably) heavy goods, barrels full of fish, and unbelievably large plants which have somehow never even been flattened when the hero takes them back out to eat them.
The "heroes" of the Grand Theft Auto series find room for a very large arsenal in their pants. Niko Bellic, of Grand Theft Auto IV, for example, is capable of carrying a pistol, shotgun, submachine gun, assault rifle, sniper rifle, an RPG (the weapon, not the video game genre), 25 grenades, and a baseball bat, along with enough ammunition for each to take out a small army. In fact, since C.J. (the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) is capable of changing his clothes, he could conceivably be carrying around a rocket launcher, a shotgun, and an assortment of other weapons in his boxers.
In Grim Fandango, Manny Calavera tucks all manner of bulky items, from fire extinguishers to metal detectors, inside his jacket. Then again, he does have a hollow torso... One notable item is a scythe, taller than he is, which he carefully folds up first.
The Half-Life series demonstrates this trope particularly well. The player character, Gordon Freeman, typically starts off with a crowbar, then expands his inventory to include a pistol, a revolver, at least two types of machine guns, hand grenades, a rocket launcher, and many more. The first game in the series is the worst perpetrator, as there are more weapons to collect as well as a much higher limit on how much ammunition can be carried, including but not limited to what is essentially a nuclear cannon (with boxes of depleted uranium for ammunition) attached to a backpack-sized generator. The Powered Armor cleverly masquerading as a hazard suit makes the weight issue more believable, but not where he puts all of it.
Halo allows you to carry just two weapons and eight grenades, although you can also carry as many as four steamer trunk-sized boxes of rockets along with your 4 foot long rocket launcher. He's a genetically-engineered Super Soldier in Powered Armour strong enough to flip over tanks. The only issue is where the ammo goes. Video Game/Halo3 further averts this, with both player weapons being visible, unless you pick up a turret. They still have no ammo pouches. A Bungie employee explained this due to Master Chief's armor being magnetized in some way. On the ammo and grenade supply: "Who knows? It's magic." This example is conspicuous because a large fraction of the serious-shooter gaming-industry has followed Bungie's lead with Halo, thus making the trope less common in the genre.
An exception is the videogame version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Arthur Dent can only carry a limited number of items and will start dropping other items if this limit is reached. The Hyperspace Arsenal is then Handwaved once the purpose of the Thing Your Aunt Gave You Which You Don't Know What It Is is discovered. It is basically something in which every item, with the exception of the spare improbability drive, can be placed. If the item is dropped it will magically return to your inventory a few turns later.
In the first Hitman, the eponymous character can put certain small items away inside his jacket. When he switches to swimming trunks in order to infiltrate a sauna, the same animation of him putting things away into his jacket is used, making it look like he reaches inside his own chest.
The sequel, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, takes the middle road. You can only carry a single "large" weapon, be it a Katana, an AK-47, or an anti-materiel rifle — but you can still stuff a lot of small arms inside your shirt: 3 different knives, 8 pistols, a revolver, a small SMG, a sawed-off shotgun, a bottle of anaesthetic and his trademark piano-wire. Also notable is that he can apparently transfer this entire arsenal to the jacket of another disguise in a matter of seconds.
Hitman: Blood Money went marginally more reasonable by only allowing 47 to start out a mission with one handgun, one SMG, and one unconcealable weapon alongside his non-gun equipment. Any collected handguns and SMGs can still be concealed on 47's person, but the inclusion of an ICA weapons storage crate could allow the player to feign realism.
The Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, and so on) use this indiscriminately. Each character is given a carry weight and twenty inventory slots. It doesn't matter if it's the shell of an ankheg (bug so large the exoskeleton alone of weighs 50 pounds) or a single, tightly-rolled scroll (effectively weightless). The weight limit believably penalizes weaker characters, who end up carrying a lot of gems and scrolls if you spend a lot of time away from settlements with stores. The space penalty was less believable on stronger characters, who could carry as many gems and scrolls as the weaker characters—and nothing more except the equipment on their person.
Reconstructed in Iji, as the title character only carries one gun, but that gun can rearrange its insides to make different weapons, whether Iji picks them up or combines two other guns; switching to another gun requires brief cooldown period. By the end of the game, it's possible to have sixteen weapons, ranging from shotguns and machine guns to triple rocket launchers and automatic shotguns to plasma cannons and explosive lasers to weapons normally reserved forspace combat.
Jet Force Gemini: You can cary a standard pistol, frag grenades, flares, machine gun, sniper rifle, homing rocket launcher, tri-rocket launcher, shuriken, fish food...
Appears in The Journeyman Project, where Gage can carry a rather impressive number of items, including a hand-sized key, some huge wire cutters, and a stun gun, all while wearing a skin-tight Biosuit. The remake gives him larger items, and turns the stun gun from a pistol into a rifle, but no new pockets to carry the stuff. Buried in Time features a diagram of the Jumpsuit in the manual, with one thing labeled "Null-Time Pocket Generator," likely an interdimensional pocket as a better excuse for carrying all this junk than most point-and-click adventure games have.
Just Cause 2 averts this with weapons; Rico can only carry three at a time, with a reasonable amount of ammo for each one. But he can summon up a parachute from his backpack, throw it away, and create another one an unlimited number of times.
Kingdom Hearts does this a lot. Almost every character is able to bring out their weapon out of nowhere at a moment's notice and then make it disappear again just as quickly. Granted, Sora and the other Keybearers can summon Keyblades via magic, likewise with the Organization and their weapons. And unlike many other video games, the weapon upgrades are easily portable *keychains*, not entirely new weapons. (Well, Donald and Goofy are the exception to this, but they're toons anyway)
Kingdom of Loathing's developers considered having a limited inventory at some point, but all that's left of this idea is a few rare "container" items, which were eventually converted into items for the newly-introduced "back" slot. Currently, your character can carry any number of different items, and billions of copies of any of them—even stuff like wedding cakes, "ridiculously huge swords," and BRICKO constructions the size of aircraft carriers—without becoming encumbered in the slightest.
The King's Quest PC game series from the 1980s always had the main character carrying dozens of possessions by game's end. The official hint books gamers could purchase for the games actually included the question "Where does my hero keep all that stuff he's carrying?" with the answer being "The same place Superman keeps his street clothes when he flies.".
Left 4 Dead and its sequel mostly avert this. Each survivor can carry one primary weapon as well as a pair of pistols or a melee weapon, a medkit, defibrillator or explosive/incendiary ammo pack for four people, a grenade and a bottle of painkillers or adrenaline injector. All of a character's equipment is shown on the model, but the ammo seems to be stored in hyperspace. It should be noted that "ammo" in the game is only picked up in an ammo pile. The only other way to get more ammo is to pick up a different weapon.
In Legend of Mana, you can not only carry a truly impressive amount of items and equipment (including magical instruments bigger than you are), your inventory also contains entire worlds (in the form of magical artifacts).
Link, in all of his itterations, has a huge carrying capacity. This is explicitly expanded, with regards to bombs, arrows, and Rupees, by several fairies and items in later titles. Perhaps even stranger, Link has kept iron boots and a huge ball and chain, both of which slow the character down immensely .when they're equipped. As soon as he puts them away, their weight disappears. It's kind of amusing to watch Link stand on a giant button, which doesn't shift under his weight, then change into his heavy metal boots, causing the button to sink.
This picture◊ shows what it be like if Link from the original game was carrying everything without a Hyperspace Arsenal. For those of you playing at home, that's a sword, a shield, a bow, a wand, a bracelet, a boomerang, a flute, a jar, a bomb, a key, a book, a ladder, a raft, and two different types of arrows. By all the laws of nature he should be over encumbered. And that's nothing compared to the later titles.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask doesn't only let Link carry more masks than he weighs and tons of other equipment (including a sword as tall as his human form), but lets him also carry a princess in a bottle in his pockets, and a Goron-sized barrel full of gunpowder as if it was a keychain. The mask salesman, oddly, needs a comically oversized backpack for his collection, even though Link carries dozens of masks apparently between the fibers of his tunic.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess shows early on that Midna is using magic to hold onto Link's items when he's not using them. Visually he still pull impossible things from his back pouch but it was the most a Zelda game did to address the issue at then.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword manages to slightly avert this by limiting some of his items to a pouch with 4 to 8 slots, which includes the classic bottles, shields, medals and items to expand the ammo capacity of some of his weapons. Some items are also too big to be carried by Link himself. There is, however, a point where Link reaches into his pocket and pulls out a fruit picked from the Tree of Life - an item that's nearly as big as he is. One must wonder if those Adventure Pouches are actually small Bags of Holding.
Leisure Suit Larry:
Leisure Suit Larry 2 does this with a vending machine. Unrelated circumstances mean that you can't actually leave the room with it alive, however. The exact circumstances are that Larry decides to get a Big Gulp drink. Which is about 32 gallons. The cup is as tall as he is. It takes two minutes of real time to fill it up. After filling it up, the second person narration idly wonders how you're going to carry that beast, before remembering "Oh wait, adventure game", at which point Larry stuffs the whole thing into his inside jacket pocket. Oh, without a lid, but no one mentions that...
Leisure Suit Larry 5 contains a section where Passionate Patti has to ride down a glass elevator naked, carrying a full inventory of items. Suffice to say, it might be best not to ask where she was keeping it all.
Inventory consists of five bags with 15 slots each, and each slot can hold either a piece of jewelry, a weapon, a piece of armor, 10 pieces of Vendor Trash, 50 Healing Potions or servings of food, or 100 pieces of crafting material, such as ingots of iron. Assuming each ingot masses one kilogram, a character (even a Hobbit) could potentially carry seven and a half metric tons of metal with no effect on their speed, fighting ability or appearance. On top of this, most quest items don't take up any of this inventory space, such as 30 crates of confiscated goods, and you can be on at least 40 quests at a time.
Lampshaded with one quest arc in Buckland: three NPCs send you out on Fetch Quests for goods their employer's inn needs. After completing these quests, they have so much stuff that they need a wagon to get it to the inn. One in particular states that "adventurers must be resourceful folk", since he can't figure out how you were able to carry ten bear hides, three pristine bear carcasses, three pristine wolf carcasses and three boar heads all at the same time.
Lost in Blue presents an odd example. Your characters' bags have enough capacity to hold exactly twenty items. It doesn't matter what they are. Just twenty items. One has to wonder how Jack and Amy can only manage to hold twenty leaves at one time, yet somehow manage to shove twenty logs down their asses.
The characters in Day Of The Tentacle carried everything in their pockets, and had no problem either removing absurdly large items, or putting them there in the first place. Even better: The characters can also swap almost every single one of these items through the Chron-O-John, a trans-dimensional port-a-potty, with the exception of living beings such as hamsters.
Marathon paid no attention to weapon or ammunition bulk/capacity, allowing all possible weapons (including rocket launcher, assault machine gun, and flamethrower) to be carried simultaneously. When set to Total Carnage difficulty, the game also allows you to carry unlimited ammo. And in Marathon: Evil, instead of a rifle, you have a freaking GATLING GUN.
Mass Effect both averts and falls victim to this trope:
All weapons in the game are capable of collapsing to roughly half their normal size. Those you have equipped on your person simply clip onto several hardpoints of your body armor and switching between them takes a few moments, requiring the player to think strategically. Ammunition is a non-issue since all guns work on a sophisticated system that simply shaves chunks off an inserted cube of metal and propels them via a miniature mass accelerator.
On the other hand, you can also carry up to 150 other items on your person at all times, including guns, upgrades, and even entire suits of body armor. It is stated in the codex that all upgrades consist of computerized blueprints and some specialized parts, with omni-gel used to affix them, but the weapons and armor are still physical objects.
Sequels avert this by ditching inventories altogheter. Every weapon must be equipped before each mission, and the rest are kept on the Normady.
Max Payne tucks his Berettas, Desert Eagles, shotguns, Ingrams, Kalashnikov, Jackhammer, grenades, Molotov cocktails etc, into his trenchcoat when he's not using them. The game attempts to make it more realistic in the cut scenes (untraditionally so), where Max is shown tugging around a huge black bag roughly since the time he acquires the "heavy duty persuaders" like M-16 and the Sniper Rifle. The third game averts this by only allowing him to carry two pistols and one rifle at a time.
There is a noteworthy scene in Mean Streets where Tex Murphy, who had been carrying a large, ornate birdcage in his pocket, pulls it out. In one of the cutscenes in Pandora Directive, Tex pulls a ten-foot pole out of his trenchcoat, very slowly and deliberately.
In Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, you can only carry two weapons and grenades, and the weapons are always visible, though you still carry an improbable amount of ammunition. Not to mention the various smoke grenades, radio beacons, laser designators, satellite uplinks, and multifarious support items you can carry. In the sequel, your character picks up briefcases full of money and car gas tanks both of which just magically transport themselves into your stockpile.
Metal Gear Solid starts its main character out carrying nothing but a pack of cigarettes... but Solid Snake quickly winds up carrying a pistol, an assault rifle, two rocket launchers, a metal detector, a cache of Claymore mines, enough rations for a week's march, and three cardboard boxes big enough to hide under.
Raiden of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has similarly large amounts of equipment. By the end of the game he has two pistols, four rifles, two rocket launchers, a grenade launcher, multiple frag and stun grenades, caches of both Claymores and C4, a high-frequency blade, coolant spray, multiple rations, five boxes big enough to hide under, body armor, an enemy uniform, two pairs of goggles, multiple bandages and Pentazemin pills, multiple magazines (of both empty "gun" and "pornographic" varieties), binoculars, a camera, four sensors, and a cell phone. All that is ever physically on his person are one of the pistols and the high-frequency blade, alongside the uniform, body armor, or one of the unlockable wigs if they're equipped before entering the cutscene.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater adds, besides an armories worth of firepower, caged animals, medical supplies, changes of camouflage clothes, and a collection of dead carcasses up to the size of an alligator or mountain goat. The series concept artist once had a shot at drawing the hero wearing his equipment, but forgot about the boxes.
In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Snake gains the Metal Gear Mk 2, a little robot the size of a small cat that holds his extra inventory, including automatically selling any spare weapons he picks up to Drebin. However, it still doesn't explain Snake carrying two assault rifles, a pistol, an anti-materiel rifle, a drum can, various bits of random inventory pieces (camera, the aforementioned cigarettes, syringes, etc.), and a twenty-kilo railgun capable of destroying APCs in one hit. At least. The only thing he keeps visibly on him is his knife, in a back holster, and a handgun in a hip holster.
Metroid might not be such an extreme example at first, but one wonders where the power suit stores all those energy tanks, missile tanks and power bomb tanks, the later of which in turn store a surprising amount of said items. And some of the games also have Fetch Quest items to account for, some of which are quite large. At least the powerups function aren't an issue here (in the Prime series, you can actually see most upgrades on the suit). Then there's the issue of how she kept all the upgrades when left in the Zero Suit. Maybe the second Power Suit came with all the upgrades. But that brings up the issue of how it always has the same exact number of missiles/energy tanks/what have you.
In Might and Magic VI and successors, you have a finite but large inventory - enough for, say, four suits of plate armour, or twelve or more spears, or about fifty potions. None of this space is occupied by food, gold or ammunition (arrows and crossbow bolts don't exist as items in the game, but the weapon's efficacy is unhindered). Dead party members are not only still ambulatory but retain their full inventory capacity, even if reduced to their component molecules (eradicated).
In Minecraft, the volume of material that can be carried around is about the size of a decent swimming pool (50 x 20 x 2 meters and more than 300 cubic meters to spare). If the player has an inventory filled with gold blocks (36 stacks of 64) then assuming the cubes are 1 cubit meter, Steve is effortlessly carrying 44.5 thousand metric tonnes. The game does however limit you to carrying 36 slots of items, and items stack in different quantities. Most items stack in units of 64, but some, such as snowballs, only carry in stacks of sixteen. This can lead to weird scenarios where you can't pick up a single piece of coal, because your inventory is full of string.
Guybrush Threepwood stuffs the various items he finds in his pants. This is simultaneously lampshaded and handwaved by explaining that Guybrush's pants are "baggy fit". The ridiculousness of this is acknowledged when he pulls a twelve-foot ladder out of his pocket. Not a euphemism, ladies.
In one memorable scene during Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, Guybrush picks up a dog, stuffs it into his coat, and smiles at the screen. Not to mention that he can pick up a petrified monkey too, and hold BOTH in his pockets at the same time. There is also a scene where Guybrush goes diving to recover the figurehead from a sunken ship. After struggling to move the obviously extremely heavy thing for a few moments, he puts it under his coat, and then has no trouble moving around with it.
The more cartoony feel of the third game, The Curse of Monkey Island, enables the animators to make a joke out of this, having him shooting a knowing glance at the camera as he pulls a bargepole out of his pocket, or animating him holding out the waistband, dropping the item in and his trouser leg billowing. Joked with when he gets a bottomless cup, which literally has no bottom. The lemonade simply falls through it.
One scene in The Secret of Monkey Island plays with this. When incarcerated by the cannibals, Guybrush can fit a banana picker as long as he is tall in his pants with nary a bulge, but can't escape with it through a hole in the floor because it's too large.
Mount & Blade: You have a limited amount of spaces in your inventory, but even on the most basic level, you can hold dozens of swords, spears, crossbows, bows, food, books, clothing, armor, even dozens of horses in your inventory. The inventory is somewhat symbolic. You use the horses as pack animals to increase your speed on the world map (while item weight decreases it). If you look behind you right after starting a battle, you'll see a small cart which you can use to swap your equipped items if needed. Those extra horses aren't visible though.
Nancy Drew: In The Ghost of Thornton Hall, Nancy literally carries around a cotton picker. Plus about 12 oranges. In other games she usually juggles at least two or three keys and other various small items. She's also been known to lug around completely full mouse traps, dozens of glass eyes, firewood, metal slugs, and bags full of food and/or candy.
In Nethack, the player's inventory is limited both by number of items (52, although items such as same-color potions or gems can stack) and net weight of all the items. Increasing the strength stat allows the player to carry heavier loads, while tools such as sacks can be used to increase numerical capacity. There are in particular Bags of Holding, which reduce the weight of items stored therein.
Neverwinter Nights uses a grid system to "limit" what you can carry. Never mind that you have room for at least a dozen sets of full plate armor. There are also magical bags (and their more powerful cousins, bags of holding) which reduce or eliminate the weight of items along with making them take up only as much space as the bag itself. The weight limit for strong characters can easily be a couple hundred pounds (prior to any magic items which boost strength), without limiting movement speed or ability to fight; it can be much, much more if one is willing to walk at a speed of a foot a minute. Of course, aside from clothing and worn armor, no equipment is visible on the character. The sequel doesn't bother trying to limit it this way and allows you to carry 140-some-odd items regardless of size, only limiting by weight.
Ryu Hayabusa in the remake of Ninja Gaiden carries an arsenal in a skintight, pocket-less leather outfit that would be humourously over-the-top were he not a murderous out-for-revengeNinja. It includes four different katana, two different types of nunchaku, a warhammer, two BFS, a large wooden oar, a spear gun and a variety of other items.
In Ōkami, Ammy can carry bags of feed, damaging items, jugs of sake, technique scrolls, and all of her weapons despite being a wolf with no pockets. Then again, she is a Goddess, so magic is most likely involved.
Oni, an earlier game from the creators of Halo, only allows you to carry one weapon at a time, as well as a limited number of ammo clips and health recovery items. The game was focused on martial arts, so this limit kept the focus off shooting. The main character can still make her weapon disappear by holstering it, though, and even the moderate supply limit is invisible on her Latex Space Suit uniform.
The Painkiller hero holds five large weapons, yet is never seen with anything but the shotgun on his person in cutscenes.
Parasite Eve 2 has limited inventory but provides storage boxes. Unlike the storage boxes of many Resident Evil games, these are not interconnected. Similarly, the game annoyingly considers a key to be the same size as a handgun. And the game has a lot of keys. This makes a keyring one of the most important items in the game, because it allows you to store many of them on one square.
PAYDAY: The Heist has the robbers carry 3 guns, which range from handguns, rifles/shotguns/light machine guns, and a secondary shotgun or sub machine gun. There's no visible straps on the characters and the size of the bulkier weapons would realistically be impossible to hide in the inside of a suit. The sequel tries to be a bit more realistic by limiting guns on a person towards two and the weapon mods make it possible to make a gun be smaller, not to mention each weapon has different amounts of visibility, which determines how fast civilians and guards notice you during stealth. For both games, before a heist goes loud, you can look inside a player character's model and see that their gun is actually floating inside their bodies.
Phantasy Star shows this trope, particularly in Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe. The latter however explains it with 'nanotranser' technology, a sort of Clarke's Third Law Bag of Holding that's worn somewhere on a character's body, and projects stored objects into realspace as needed. Not only is this trope played with a bit in the game's Offline Story Mode, when Tonnio steals the protagonist Ethan Waber's nanotranser, and thus his weapons, money... and clothes ('gave me a certain vindictive satisfaction, let me tell you), but the hyperspace arsenal was also the climax of the first story arc. The enemy at large was dealt with by shoving it into a Hammerspace induced by a giant, Lost Technology nanotranser called the Confinement System.
Phantasy Star IV: In addition to the usual items and old weapons, the party casually carries around two tanks and a hydrofoil, each of which can comfortably fit the entire party in its cockpit. One can only assume hyperspace technology is involved, since the game itself offers no explanation as to why each vehicle inhabits the same amount of space as, say, a chocolate bar.
Universe puts them to good use in one mission, where Ethan helps a Lou rescue another Lou who was injured. Rather than physically carry her double all the way back through a hostile area, Lou simply puts her into her nanotranser.
The Court Record in Ace Attorney can hold a surprising number of things... but this may not count, as most of what is in it are notes or facts describing the items in question, neither of which would actually take up much space. Still, it's hinted at least once that Phoenix has a large air tank in his pockets. Additionally, it's made explicit at one point that he's carrying around a large metal detector in his pants. Make of that what you will.
Lampshaded in Pitfall: The Lost Expedition when Pitfall Harry picked up a hang glider then commented in surprise on how it fit into his backpack, adding "Let's not question it."
The Perils Of Akumos: The narration breaks the fourth wall when you pick up a large potted plant, dismissing your ability to carry it as inherent to adventure games.
Pokémon is another ridiculous example, especially in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, where the item cap was changed from 99 to 999, along with item storage on the computer. By the end of the game you're carrying a Coin Case, a Fashion Case, an Explorer Kit, a bunch of keys, a bicycle (which would be too large unless it were a folding bike as stated in Red/Blue), various notepads, a Poffin Case, a Seal Case, a Secret Potion, a Town Map, and a Vs. Seeker, all in the Key Items pocket of the backpack. Add on top of that, the various medicines for your Pokémon, as well as the Poké Balls, CD-shaped TMs and HMs, Berries, Mail, and the Pokédex and Pokétch that you carry outside of the bag! The player character sure knows how to pack.
Postal 2 is a particularly big offender: not only will The Postal Dude be carrying multiple melee weapons, a pistol, a shotgun, an automatic rifle, grenades, gasoline cans, a hunting rifle, and two types of launchers all at once, but he's also got another inventory for carrying other goods, like cash, milk, lunch bags, weed pipes, books, and cats. Multiple cats. Naturally, he doesn't seem burdened by it one bit.
The add-on Apocalypse Weekend pokes fun at this (while taking it to huge extremes) by having him acquire a nuclear warhead bigger than himself and stuffing it within his trenchcoat. When he gets to Bullfish Interactive headquarters, he grunts with effort from pulling the warhead out of his coat and setting it down with an earth-rattling THOOOM.
In Prototype, the guns and vehicles you pick up from the Marines and Blackwatch troopers have an intriguingly high amount of ammo, and still increases with each mastery level. 4-7 rounds for the missile launcher, 500-800 rounds for the machine gun, 8-20 rockets on the APC...
Puzzle Pirates: Your ships have a definite volume and weight in the hold, but your player character can carry a truly ridiculous amount of items (including furniture) in your inventory and as much money as you can earn.
Rage, in the tradition of id Software games, embraces this trope. By the end of the game, the player will be carrying a pistol, a shotgun (two if you have the Anarchy Edition DLC), an assault rifle, a sniper rifle, a crossbow, a submachine gun, a rocket launcher, and a minigun. And that's just the weapons. You're also likely be carrying a load of quick use items, Item Crafting components, and a bunch of Vendor Trash. Unlike Fallout, there's no restrictions on how much junk you can carry.
In the Ratchet & Clank series, the eponymous Ratchet is a small, furry, semi-feline alien who seems to be able to carry more than two dozen weapons, some much larger than himself! When walking around unarmed, these weapons are completely invisible, and seem to just fold out into his arms when needed. A lampshade is hung on this in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, in the death course/death arena show "Annihilation Nation", when the announcer asks the all-important question, "Where's he keepin' all these guns? I mean, come on!"
The series take on this is relatively realistic: each item has to fit in a grid of space inside a backpack, suitcase, or whatnot. That said container (up to an "attaché case" large enough to contain the hero himself) is never seen is an exercise for the interested reader. Still, characters often find a way of stuffing a rocket launcher or an M4A1 assault rifle inside their pockets.
In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Jill Valentine is wearing a tube top and miniskirt (and later does get an equipment harness), but manages to carry much more than the temporarily playable Carlos, who's wearing combat gear with plenty of pockets, and is demonstrably stronger than her (he can shove objects she can't).
The Merchant in Resident Evil 4 is a huge example of this. He has, at one point, several handguns, 3 shotguns, 2 rifles, the minethrower, the TMP, all the attache cases, the RPG, the Chicago Typewriter, the Infinite RPG, and various other more believable items.
Resident Evil 5 takes this trope and creates a bizarre sub-branch. Any weapons larger than a handgun are visible on your body when they aren't equipped (i.e. if you're running around with an unequipped rocket launcher you can see it attached to the character's back, though how it stays magically stuck there without any visible straps is anyone's guess). However, if you have more than two weapons in your inventory one of them will disappear into thin air when you switch weapons, depending on what order you switch.
Exception: In Rise of the Triad, you can carry just two pistols, a machine gun and a single "heavy weapon" (usually a rocket launcher). That still leaves the question of where the player character manages to store ten rockets and an infinite supply of bullets while wearing a T-shirt and black uniform trousers.
In Rune, one of each class of stowed weapon (big sword on back, small sword on leg, axe on other leg, etc...) is always visible. However, the player can carry about 3 of each class simultaneously, and the really humongous weapons shrink when stowed.
In Runescape, each player has a 28-space inventory. However, even some of the largest items only take up one space. This means that it's possible to, among many other things, carry 28 cooked sharks with you at a time!
In Saints Row 2 you can only carry one weapon of each category at a time unless dual-wielding pistols or machine pistols (in which case they have to be of the same model), but that still theoretically allows for multiple long guns. Still less unrealistic than how nobody gives a hoot when he's visibly carrying around weapons, or how rivals (such as the Ronins) can be strolling down the sidewalk with katanas over their shoulders.
In Saints Row: The Third the Boss now pulls weapons of of the front of their pants, regardless of size and pointiness. Even if they aren't wearing any pants. This is carried over to Saints Row IV.
In the Sam & Max series, Sam wears a giant trenchcoat and generally only carries small items. Feasible. But Max wears no clothing at all, and not only carries a gun, but in The Devil's Playhouse, he carries multiple toys of power. When various villains take Sam's items, they're unable to take Max's (except in one case, where Max was actively using the item taken when captured), as they don't know where Max keeps them. And in Reality 2.0, during a "text adventure" sequence, Sam is surprised when he's able to carry an entire (unseen) building. This is finally explained at the end of season three, when Sam goes inside Max's body and can explore his legs, arms, brain, stomach ... and inventory, which on Max is apparently an unspecified bodily orifice. Max is still carrying items from Sam & Max Hit the Road in there.
Tony Montana can only hold three weapons, four if upgraded, and only one of each "type" (pistols, SMGs, assault rifles). However, they are nowhere to be seen on his business-attired person. Furthermore, the "restriction" doesn't prevent him from carrying a missile launcher, SAW, shotgun and sniper rifle, along with the attendant ammo. Add to that the fact that Tony can swap his arsenal from outfit to outfit.
Somewhat more amusingly used with leaders of enemy gangs, who cough up on death a large box of cash they could not possibly have fit into their clothing.
Similarly, the arms street dealers somehow pack an inventory limited only by Tony's considerable finances.
In Scratches, at one point the player free-rappels out an upstairs window and climbs into a lower one while carrying a magnifying glass, four keys, a large knife, a kerosene lantern, a grinding tool, a stethoscope, a newspaper, an oilcan, and a hammer — in a driving rain (which has served as a sort of meteorological Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence, keeping him inside the house).
Seiken Densetsu 3 has a ring menu which allows you to carry a limited number of infinite-use items and/or consumables (up to 9 of a single type of consumable), but outside of battle you have access an almost bottomless inventory of everything you've picked up (i.e., that inventory holds 99 of everything).
Serious Sam has the eponymous main character toting around an impossible arsenal that includes things like a minigun that's longer than he is tall, an only slightly smaller chainsaw, and a ridiculously huge cannon, unaffected by their weight. For comical effect, the weapon switch animations (when using the 3rd person view) show the character tucking all of these in the back pocket of his jeans. However, there is a part during The First Encounter where you keep your weapons but have to drop all the ammo except for shotgun shells, because you traveled through the desert for a few days. Somewhat strange, considering the above fact.
An especially ridiculous example is a "Great Knife" from Silent Hill 2, which is huge and extremely heavy and hard to use... but you can still stuff it into your clothes, at which point it seems to lose all weight.
Travis from Silent Hill Origins deserves a special mention as he manages to stuff up to 20 portable TVs in his jacket. Also: enough bottles of alcohol to start a distillery; more sledgehammers than Triple-H's closet; more tire irons and wrenches than a hardware store; and a couple of katanas to make every aspiring Samurai or Bruce Willis happy. All. At. Once.
They tried to avert it in Silent Hill 4. The inventory is limited — however, you now have the hyperspace box in your apartment. Further, you are limited to slots, not space. So a pickaxe takes up the same amount of space on your person as some coins.
The Sims: The titular Sims pull everything out of their pockets(even when they're wearing swimsuits). While weapons aren't involved, it deserves mentioning here due to the sheer variety of impossible things Sims can carry in their pockets, including a whole crop of vegetables, cars and helicopters. A pirate shipwreck? Why not?
Justified in The Space Bar. The main character has a futuristic PDA which can dematerialize and digitize objects into its internal storage and then rematerialize them as needed.
The Space Quest series of adventure games makes fun of this trope more than once.
In Space Quest 2 upon picking up a wastebasket the narrator responds "Aren't you amazed by how much stuff an adventure game hero can carry? You've just got to know how to pack."
In Space Quest 3, Roger must stuff a ladder as long as himself into his pants. The narrator comments on how much empty space he must have down there.
In Space Quest 6, hero Roger Wilco picks up a large 2x4 board, and the game's narrator says, "Bet you can't fit that in your pants!" Roger does, and the narrator is genuinely surprised.
In Star Fox Adventures the only limits on what you can carry are on scarabs and bafomdads, both of which can be upgrade by buying bigger bags for them. Krystal isn't playable long enough to accumulate much of an inventory, but you still have to wonder where she carried that large brass key when she's wearing nothing more than a loincloth and a bikini top.
In Star Fox Assault, the only other game in the series with "on-foot" segments, characters are capable of carrying multiple heavy weapons at once (including sniper rifles, miniguns, and rocket launchers) but the only one visible is the one they are currently using.
Star Trek: Elite Force offered an in-game explanation of this phenomenon; characters carried a "transporter buffer" which could store bulky weapons using some variant of Star Trek's familiar transporter technology. Visual effects show weapons and items being transported in and out of the character's hands.
Mario himself has always been able to carry at least 99 coins as big as his (regular) self in his pockets; this carrying capacity expands in the various RPGs, along with the ability to carry a couple dozen curative items, keys, clothes, weapons, and plot coupons.
SWAT 4 averts this - your inventory is limited to one long gun, one pistol, about five magazines each, and various other small bits of equipment SWAT officers would be expected to take on missions, all of which are either one infinitely-usable item or five of one-time use items. SWAT 3 was a bit more blatant: while gas grenades and breaching charges were still heavily limited, you were carrying upwards of 12 magazines for both your guns (generally a mix of hollow point and full metal jacket bullets) plus an infinite number of handcuffs to secure hostages or suspects that have surrendered.
A Syndicate agent is capable of packing eight miniguns without spoiling the line of their coat. Syndicate Wars changed this, so your agent would take one weapon and generate the energy-ammo from a internal generator, but it still meant they could be a walking war, carrying a minigun, laser, plasma lance, four nuclear grenades, gas grenades, medikits, auto-guard sentinel... Regrettably averted in the remake, which conforms to the now-standard two-gun setup.
Earlier games had Agent Logan carry multiple pistols, shotguns, submachineguns, assault rifles (yes, they're all plural), a sniper rifle, a taser, a flashlight, explosives, MacGuffins and Plot Coupons all in his pants. Literally - in the first game, an animation shows Logan reaching into and picking the item from his pocket, producing anything from a plausible 9mm to an absolutely absurd sniper rifle (the animation was removed in Syphon Filter 2 and later in favor of an instantaneous switch of weapons).
The later games averted the trope. You're only allowed to carry one type of weapon per "hardpoint", and unused weapons are clearly shown being worn by the agent on his back. However, it's still not clear where Logan is able to carry five spare magazines for each projectile weapon he's carrying.
In Tales of Symphonia, when the characters receive a boat they shrink it into a little box so they can conveniently carry it around. One might think this must be the way they are carrying all of their considerable arsenal of items, but most of the characters are surprised to learn about the shrinking boat in a box.
In Terranigma the main character Ark has a literal hyperspace arsenal he can walk around in. This is actually somewhat annoying, as traditional equipment screen are much faster and easier to navigate. He only walks around in specific plot points. For most of the game, it's a traditional inventory navigation scheme.
The Thief franchise both averts and plays the trope straight:
This trope (and Bag of Holding) was referenced by the developers as something they wanted to avoid in the original trilogy, via having Garrett lose most of his consumable items (including bombs, arrows and potions) between levels.
That said, Garrett can apparently carry his tools, weapons, ammunition and all the wealth of a richly appointed mansion or an entire freaking museum inside his cloak, since he's never depicted with any bags. Presumably Keeper training includes instructions on how to access an inter-dimensional pocket. One mission even has him carrying around a gramophone, and another four stone tablets the size of his head!
In Video Game/Thief2014, Garrett can carry all of the following on him at once: a dagger, his bow, several types of arrows, flash bombs, key items and several implements (including a wrench, prybar, wirecutter and razor) on him at all times, though none of this is seen in cutscenes. Likewise, he can also continue to sneak around while carrying several hundred wine glasses and enough cutlery to open a restaurant.
Parodied in the Tomba! series. Tomba, the main character, is a pink haired caveboy wearing nothing more than a grass skirt. Early on, he reveals to an NPC that he keeps everything in the inventory in his stomach and vomits it up as necessary. Yes, even living livestock needed for sidequests, as demonstrated when he rescues some baby chicks, swallows them, and throws them up later — alive and perfectly fine. A lampshade is hung by the same NPC he reveals it to, who asks what else he keeps in there, only to add, "No, don't tell me..."
Lara Croft from Tomb Raider has her infamous tiny backpack. Her twin pistols rest in holsters, and in later games she wears one long gun on her back, but switching weapons makes it magically swap to a different one. (A cynical observer may remark that the backpack exists to counterbalance her implausibly giant chest.)
The backpack is also played with in the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie. In the TR games, if Lara puts an object close to her backpack, it magically teleports into it. If she needs something from it, she puts her hand close, and voila! In the movies, she is never actually shown to put anything in her backpack; instead, she simply puts it close, the camera cuts away to another scene, and no one mentions it again.
In Total Distortion, the player character carries a guitar case which functions as an interdimensional portal to their own personal dimension. This guitar-case dimension's only purpose is to provide you with storage space for indeterminate amounts of items that you can find or make in your kitchen. In-universe, this is the primary use for the alternate dimensions - to greatly expedite shipping by teleporting items into another dimension and then teleport them back out at the point of delivery. The only limitation is that the larger the object, the more energy it takes to transport it.
Thanks to her mastery of boundaries, including dimensional ones, Yukari Yakumo has this as an explicit power - she just opens a gate to wherever what she needs is stored and grabs it. Thanks to this, she's been seen making use of such weapons as falling tombstones, flying signposts, and even a train.
Sakuya has an effectively infinite supply of knives due to her manipulation of space-time, both literally pulling them from a hyperspace storage place and the knives returning to said storage after they're used. In game this manifests as the player being on the receiving end of a solid wall of knives.
This also applies to anyone that uses a non-magical gimmick, such as Reimu and Sanae's exorcism seals, Alice's dolls, and Komachi's coins.
Lampshaded in The Trail Of Anguish as well, where you question your ability to carry your many items on a formal dinner. Your date, as it turns out, has a hyperspace arsenal or his own.
Unreal has your character carrying an arsenal of bulky, unwieldy weapons, then, when (s)he dies, the camera pulls back to see that not only is (s)he not visibly carrying anything, his/her clothes are skimpy and skin-tight to the point that (s)he couldn't be concealing so much as a pocketknife.
Partly averted in A Vampyre Story. If it's small enough that it could logically be placed in a purse or small satchel, Mona will take it with her, regardless of the danger of spilling, anything else she's carrying, or even the fact that she doesn't actually have a purse or small satchel. Anything that's too large or cumbersome (or that involve Froderick interacting with something else), she leaves where it is, but says she'll make a note of it and gains a ghostly blue icon of the item or combination. When the icon is used with it's requisite puzzle, it first shows Mona retrieving the item in question.
Interestingly subverted in Vanquish. You have the new prototype BLADE (Battlefield Logic ADaptable Electronic) weapon, an expandable carbon nanotube device which can re-arrange itself into any weapon stored in its memory, including weapons bigger than your torso. The catch is, the data needed to make up a whole gun-sized object, down to the molecular level, is so much that the gun's hard drive can only store three configurations at a time. These can be swapped by scanning different guns, which also provide more ammo.
Mostly averted in Vega Strike. Whatever you can physically fit that million-ton mining equipment in your ship's hold, you can transport—but this will impair maneuverability, unless your ship already was several times more massive. It's very noticeable on the starting ship — Llama is a light shuttle supposed to carry things like gases and food, so while it's pretty agile when empty, grabbing all available metals and stones off a mining base may take about 2/3 of the hold, but raise mass beyond 3700% of norm, making it almost impossible to dock with anything smaller than a planet. All ammo in gun mounts and missile bays is counted by volume, too — and some milspec ships can pack more than a basic version. Still, hardpoints for weapons as such are not measured even when internal, and it sometimes is hard to see how all the equipment you've outfitted your fighter with fits in there. It's no wonder to have 10,000 Ion Burster ammo per slot when they're 5 grams each, but with mass drivers...
In The Walking Dead Lee is shown stuffing a car battery down the pack of his pants. There's no protrusion, nor does the 40 odd pounds of weight slow him down in the slightest.
In Warhawk you can carry an entire arsenal including a machine gun, missile launcher, sniper rifle, binoculars, two types of land mines, a knife, a wrench, a flame thrower, a pistol, grenades, and ammo for everything. Additionally, if a player is killed they drop it all in a huge backpack about as big as a person which can be absorbed by anyone who gets near it.
The RPG Wasteland limited each party member to 30 slots. An apple was the same as a (variably-sized) box of 7.62mm ammo, a rake, a chainsaw, an assault rifle, and a meson cannon. One popular trick is to load your party down at generation with 30 pistols each, then drag yourselves to the nearest gun shop and get rifles.
In The Witcher, the player can hold 1 silver sword 2 iron swords/axes/maces/big weapon and a dagger/smallflail/torch, fair enough, as the protagonist is a Witcher who is meant to be inhumanly strong (and real weapons don't weigh as much as fiction makes them out to). The rest of the inventory gets confuseing though, as you can hold the brains of 50 of the roughly human sized Drowner monsters or 1-50 teath in a single slot of your alchemy pouch, same for 10 bottles of alcohol or a small gemstone in the main inventory. (Note:The game does not have a weight system on top of it)
Return to Castle Wolfenstein: By the end of this game if you collect everything you have a grand total of twelve guns, a rocket launcher, a flamethrower, a Tesla gun and two types of grenades plus all your ammunition.
Video Game/Wolfenstein2009 continues the tradition. By the end of the game, you'll be carry three real-life guns, a rocket launcher, a flamethrower, a Tesla Gun, a particle cannon, and a Disintegrator Ray.
Wolf Team plays this one in spades. While you can only carry a big gun, a pistol, and some nades, your encumberence is affected by the really big weapons, such as the portable mounted machine guns, which are the size of three men and have to be deployed to fire. However, if you switch to yout pistol or knife, the giant gun goes away and you can now walk or run at full speed. Oftentimes you will see hordes of players running with knives during the beginning of Capture the Flag mode just to run faster.
World of Warcraftexplains this (somewhat) by giving the player a magical knapsack which can carry 16 items, which they can never remove or lose. They can also find or buy up to four 'pouches' of sizes ranging from 4 to 28 items (or 32 for specialty bags). Items always take up only one slot, and for most unequippable items each slot can hold several of the same type at once for possibly ridiculous results. You never have trouble fitting them into the mouth of the bag. Money, keys, companions and mounts are also stored outside your bags.
X-COM: UFO Defense uses a grid inventory in which each unit has a certain number of cells, in different shapes, on his belt, limbs, in his hands, and in his backpack. However, the backpack and items carried are never actually shown, except for the gun they hold. It still qualifies as this trope as most player-controlled units are perfectly capable of stowing a human body (unconscious or dead) or most alien corpses. In both cases, the mass is not visible, though it has a seriously detrimental effect on how quickly the unit can move per turn.
In the Xenosaga series most of the weapons in the games, as well as the mecha in the third installment, are in fact pulled from a literal hyperspace arsenal, with visual effects showing them "warping in" when a character needs to use them. Jr. and Jin, however, prefer to carry their weapons the old-fashioned way. Jr. has, at least in the third game, a pair of holsters and Jin carries the sheath strapped to his waist. In the first game, KOS-MOS pulls the gun out of the pouch on her right leg.
Somewhat justified in ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal as the fairy bag Amy receives upon arrival to Magical Land is flat-out given a description of "an extremely useful invention that can hold an almost unlimited ammount of items without changing its weight or size".