Infinite Flashlight

So it's the middle of the night, you're being chased by mangled oversized toddlers with knives through a Kafkaesque take on a dark and twisted elementary school, and you realize that in all the chaos you've completely forgotten to change the batteries in your flashlight. Sounds like a problem, right? Wrong! Your portable light source will never run out unless the plot dictates otherwise. Of course, many games don't take enough in-game time to complete for four D-cells of battery power to run out. But even if you can take weeks or even months to complete the main plot, the flashlight will never run out. Definitely an Acceptable Break from Reality.

Commonly, this variety has a dimmer output than its contrasting counterpart, the Ten-Second Flashlight, the usual result when developers try to avert this one.

Such things do exist in some form in real life, but typically require shaking to provide kinetic energy to charge a capacitor to power a feeble white LED (granted, you're probably shaking hard enough as it is because of the fiendish killer knife toddlers). More usefully, "survival" flashlights use a crank mechanism and generator to recharge a battery, which is powerful enough to power medium-power LEDs.

A more recent development, "firefly"/"moonlight", is a mode that sets the flashlight to give off the barest minimum of light (low enough for any nearby light fixture, even natural moonlight, to make it useless, but bright enough to see by with eyes well-adjusted to the dark), in exchange for battery life. Even the comparatively small and gaunt AAA batteries can last almost a week, while burlier lithium-ion ones that run voltages closer to the nominal 3 volts of LEDs put out light for months. Even on not-so-dim settings, modern flashlights are no slouches: the Atactical/Wowtac A1, a budget torch from late 2016, can stay on in its Low modenote  for just shy of six days.

Often overlaps with Nuclear Candle, where a tiny matchstick is all that is needed to fully illuminate an entire room. Hollywood Torches are more often than not infinite as well. Curiously, tactical gunlights will be infinite 99 times out of 100.


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    Action Game 
  • Dante from Devil May Cry uses a nugget of Luminite as a makeshift lantern in the first game. The light never fades, which is helpful in later levels after the sun has set.

    Action Adventure 

    Adventure Game 
  • In Adventure (the text game from 1976) your first set of flashlight batteries will run out fairly quickly. After you replace them, the fresh batteries last forever.
  • The obscure 1984 computer game Below The Root (based on Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Green-Sky Trilogy) had an underground area that was pitch-dark. It was possible to obtain honeylamps that would provide light for a short time, but to fully explore the area and beat the game, it was highly recommended that you obtain an item called the spirit lamp, which provides light for as long as you hold the item.
  • In Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake, Nancy Drew can use her flashlight as much as she likes in the one area it's necessary. But of course, when she finds another dark space, the batteries instantly die and she needs to head off for more. After that, the flashlight works perfectly for the rest of the game.
    • Not only that, but judging by the icon in the inventory, the flashlight's turned on all the time...
  • Possibly justified in Rama, which takes place in the distant future. Arthur C. Clarke did hope that we would tap into zero-point energy someday.
  • The flashlight in Maniac Mansion comes with old, corroded batteries, that inexplicably last forever — unless you are in the one room where the game actually requires you to have a light source to do something, and a Pixel Hunt in the dark won't cut it.note  In that case, the batteries will burn out instantaneously, forcing you to find fresh batteries somewhere, which last you the rest of the game.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Left 4 Dead. You have the ability to turn it on and off to to sneak past the regular zombies and witches, both of which are less aggravated when they're not being blinded, which is a feasible tactic with the combo of Hollywood Darkness and Chiaroscuro that the game favors allowing for some fairly decent night visionnote .
  • Doom 3's flashlight has infinite battery; the in-game description handwaves it, saying that it has "a static transfer power supply, so battery replacement is unnecessary". It does get knocked out at one point in the gamewhere?  by some annoying electromagnetic pulses (that are also the reason why there's absolutely zero light in the location), but it's a temporary thing and it only happens twice, both when you are not in immediate danger. The same goes for game mods that add flashlights as Gun Accessories. The BFG Edition Updated Re-release, on the other hand, swaps the handheld torch for a shoulder-mounted Ten-Second Flashlight.
  • In Bungie's Pathways into Darkness, your flashlight will last for a week, but you only have five days to complete your mission before the Sealed Evil in a Can awakens to destroy ordered reality on Earth. Although there is a set of nightvision goggles necessary to get past evil creepy-crawlies that are attracted to your flashlight.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, at least before you get the titular character's 'eyeshine' ability.
    • Except for one level—and what a level it is. At one point, Riddick tackles a guard, dropping both of them down a very, very deep well and into the sewers. Riddick thus loses all his weapons and is forced to use the guard's shotgun. The shotgun has a built-in flashlight, as do most of the weapons, but it's been damaged in the fall and flickers continuously. What's more, it'll fail completely in exactly eight minutes, as the computer voice (in the shotgun) helpfully informs you. So you're down in the deep, dank sewers with only a few minutes until you're left in the dark forever. Oh, and did I mention the crazy sewer mutants who pop out of nowhere?
  • Halo: Averted in the original Halo: Combat Evolved, where the flashlight can indeed run out. The flashlights in Halo 2 & 3, however, are infinite, though this is handwaved as drawing power from your new suit's fusion core. 2's will however turn off on its own after a handful of seconds in areas with a light level any higher than "pitch black and underground", making it for all intents and purposes a ten-second flashlight that simply recharges fully and instantly upon running out.
  • F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin uses a headlamp with an infinite battery that flickers specifically during supernatural scare sequences. The previous generation (the first game and its expansions) instead uses a Ten-Second Flashlight, which only flickers lightly when the Point Man and the Sergeant receive an "unknown origin" radio signal and, in the expansions, may be shut off entirely during paranormal setpieces. When either is over, the light goes back to working without issues.
  • Team Fortress Classic still has the flashlight from Half-Life in the code, but because the power gauge was removed it now shines indefinitely. If you're curious, you activate it by hitting the ~ key and typing: bind <key> "impulse 100"
  • In The Nameless Mod, using a (somewhat rare) augmentation upgrade on your default light enhancement results in this. As a Deus Ex mod (where gameplay pretty much required dark areas), this comes in handy.
  • In Bioshock 2, your suit will automatically turn on in dark areas. Given that you're playing a not-quite-human thing that can change what color its body to express its mood, it's less of an "Infinite Flashlight" and more of "Making Yourself More Bright When You Need It".
    • In Bioshock Infinite the Police in the Soldiers Field Carry flashlights that won't go out after they're dead.
  • In Vietcong the player has a flashlight that never runs out of power - mainly useful for the mission segments when you must traverse through the tunnel systems of your enemies. However, some players never actually realized they had a flashlight during those missions since they'd never used it previously and ended up negotiating the tunnels in near complete darkness. A case of read the manual in those cases.
  • In Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, Artyom's headlamp and the night vision goggles share a power source, which can be charged with a universal charger. That is only really vital for the NV, though, which stops working altogether at zero power; the flashlight simply doesn't shine as brightly. But this doesn't mean that charging the power to use the flashlight is pointless - some enemies that live in the dark such as the plated nosalises and the spiderbugs will shrink back in a daze if confronted with a full-ish beam, which gives the player a few precious seconds to introduce their faces to a magazine of military-grade rounds or their bellies to a knife. If you have enough time and battery power, you can just keep the light on a dazed spiderbug and it'll burn up until it dies.
  • Downplayed in Unreal with the Searchlight. It is not in fact infinite: simply, its charge is so high, no sane player is likely to run out of power for it since you get it so late in the base game; if you take long enough to finish the game, it's likely you'll see its charge bar diminish a fair bit before the end. If somehow you manage to deplete it, a task that can happen in the expansion pack, the game doesn't even have tailored a message specifically for it (it says "Flashlight batteries have died." just like when the regular 60-second flashlight dies out). Another big difference from the regular example is that its beam is far brighter than the common flashlight.
  • Painkiller and its expansion Battle out of Hell both have infinite flashlights. In the first game it is literally a flashlight that emanates inexplicably from Daniel's chest (you never see the light itself, but it does flicker, make electrical noises and has a distortion in the center like a normal flashlight). in Battle out of Hell, the light has been replaced with a strange glowing yellow ball in the bottom left corner of the screen. Presumably, this is supposed to represent a lantern or candle instead of an electrical torch.
  • Black Mesa, the Fan Remake of Half-Life, removes the flashlight's power gauge entirely, allowing it to shine as much as you want. Which is good, as the mod is a lot darker than any of the official games, and the beam isn't particularly bright.
  • Cry of Fear ditches the traditional Half-Life flashlight for the light emitted from the player character's phone. It lasts until the battery goes dead for a plot event, forcing Simon to go through a section using flares that are not quite as permanent or portable as the phone until he can find a replacement battery. The optional Glock-mounted flashlight, the electric lanterns you find in the forest after a train crash robs you of your phone and all your other items and the conventional torch you find at the basement of the hospital all have likewise infinite batteries, Hand Waved in that they are implied to be LED-based and therefore very efficient. The night-vision gas mask you can unlock through "Doctor's Story" mode also applies as a straight example, with the added bonus of not taking up inventory space, and as such not being taken away with the rest of your inventory in the aforementioned train crash.
  • The first two Alien vs. Predator first person shooters avert this trope for the Marines - their shoulder lamps will only last several minutes, and their nightvision drains power way faster (although the power recharges over time, and rather quickly at that).
    • For Aliens and Predators, this trope is played straight, but it's justified by the species abilities and high-level technology respectively.
  • Far Cry features an angle-head torch (several, in fact, but you can only grab one). It's bright, throws a decent distance, and covers most of the screen when turned on, with the downside that it gives your position away.
  • In S.T.A.L.K.E.R., you can use the headlamp or whatever Night-Vision Goggles is in your suit at your leisure. However, that doesn't make the headlamp very useful: when it's on, other stalkers can detect you faster from idle state and see you easily when alerted, and it isn't bright enough to navigate the Zone's great outdoors in the darker hours. The goggles outclass it fairly fast, especially the high-tier ones that don't blur the image and don't flicker.
  • Flashlights, torches, candles and Night-Vision Goggles in 7 Days to Die work indefinitely with no tending to necessary. The mining helmet is also infinite, and will work even if technically it's broken (hit points at 0 and offering no armor protection at all).
  • In Contagion, one thing you don't have to worry about in the Zombie Apocalypse is battery changes. All flashlights will run forever.
  • Both flashlights (armor-mounted and handheld) in Empyrion Galactic Survival are infinite.
  • The Doom mod The Adventures Of Massmouth has the Zippo Lighter "weapon", used to light up the dark areas in the mine level. It's actually a replacement for the chainsaw weapon, that makes clever use of Doom's built-in Muzzle Flashlight code.

     Platform Game 

     Puzzle Game 

  • In NetHack, lamps and candles are available as quite rare light sources. Now normal ones burn out eventually (though lamps can be recharged with a potion of oil), but Magic Lamps last forever. Likewise, the Spell, Scroll, and Wand of Light create permanent fields of light.

    Role Playing Game 
  • The Pip-Boy wrist computer in Fallout 3, New Vegas and 4 can also be used as a lantern with an unlimited power supply, explained in-game by brightening up the screen to max. It's not explained how the light from a single screen shines in a full 360º angle, though. In 4, this also goes for the mining helmet headlamp, presumably because the Sole Survivor uses the Pip-Boy as the power source.
  • An interesting variation: in Final Fantasy Legend II there's a cave where it's too bright to see anything inside, aptly named Bright Cave. You need the TrueEye MAGI to see normally in the cave, but it never wears off, making the MAGI an Infinite... Flashdark?
  • Mass Effect 3 gives the crew muzzle flashlights, but it's plausible to presume they're run off whatever absurdly high-capacity battery is flinging minuscule slugs at absurd muzzle velocities all day out of the gun, and they're never on for very long anyway.
  • Sword of Vermilion has a Ten Second Flash Light in the form of candles, but lanterns and the Luminos spell last until you leave the current dungeon.
  • The move 'Flash' in the Pokémon games lasts until you leave the cave or use a ladder to a new room,but otherwise needs no refreshing.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, one torch is all you ever need (if you're even worried about illumination, as Hollywood Darkness is in effect even where there are no obvious light sources otherwise). Ironically, about the only light source in the game that will eventually die down again on its own is the Light spell, and that becomes obsolete by the time you find or make the first permanently glowing magic item at the latest.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption has got not only an infinite flashlight, available in the Modern Days, but also an infinite torch, that you use throughout the Dark Ages, that lights up when you get it and stops burning as soon as you put it in your pack.
  • Averted in Dungeons of Daggorath for the TRS-80 Color Computer, where you have three variety of torches (Pine, Lunar, and Solar) that will eventually burn out, requiring replacements. They start to dim as they near the end of their lifespan.

    Survival Horror 


    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a few, thanks to magic.
    • Everburning Torches, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. They're so inexpensive, almost every adventuring party above level 1 has at least one packed.
    • The Continual Light spell, which when cast on any random handy item turns it into an infinite light source, hails back to the earliest versions of the game.
  • Played straight in a lot of tabletop games, out of Rule of Fun. It's much easier to mark down "flashlight" on a character sheet than "flashlight and 500 AA batteries". This also allows GM's to shut off the flashlight when dramatically appropriate.