Wizards: What makes you think we're Wizards?
Not a spoiler about the interface
. This is when the way an in-game menu or other interface element is constructed gives away details about the rest of the game. It may be some unexplained question marks
instead of a menu item, a few suspiciously blank spots in a circle menu, or any number of other forms.
Like many meta-expectations, this is an interesting form of spoiler
, because it generally gives something closer to hints or foreshadowing
rather than actual details. You can see the Your Princess Is in Another Castle
moment coming when you've got half your equipment missing, but you still won't know exactly when or why it happens.
This may be partly excusable in the tutorial and early sections, where the game is still gradually introducing new mechanics, and the player shouldn't be messing with them beforehand.
Some game companies have a deliberate policy of this, so that people who have rented the game can imagine all the "wonderful prizes" yet to be unlocked and buy the game.
" lists will give things away about the game to come; for example, the names of certain bosses, levels, etc. However, others may avert this by leaving any story-related achievements hidden until they're achieved or only giving them vague descriptions like "Defeat the Final Boss
In games where characters' names (or lack thereof) are revealed in the dialog box or by selecting them, the player can learn people's names before the player's character does, and the player can use this to determine which characters will be important
. This, too is sometimes averted by hiding the name or showing a generic description until your character learns who the person is.
See also Missing Secret
, Disc One Final Dungeon
and Spoiled by the Format
. Can easily lead to Your Princess Is in Another Castle
. A Tech Tree
can be especially prone to this. Occasionally overlaps with Spoiled By The Manual
. 100% Completion
can actually create subversions
of this, by making it so that finishing the main game/storyline doesn't
also fill up a mission roster or what-have-you.
open/close all folders
- Games with a Monster Compendium that show the grand list with question marks in unfound entries or number the entries, particularly if they're roughly in the order that they appear. It becomes obvious that the end of the game is approaching when the entries near the end of the list start filling up.
- Games with equipment encyclopediae will typically list equipment in order of strength... so when swords near the end of the list start appearing, the Final Boss fight is likely nigh.
- Hotline Miami: The "final" chapter... isn't. As you could probably already gleam from the chapter selection screen, which, from the very beginning, includes four additional chapters after the "final" one.
- The Zelda series typically has inventory screens with each slot reserved for a specific item, and by the end of the game the player will have acquired most of them.
- The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess avoided this by using a Ring Menu for Link's inventory items, while keeping key items (including sword and armor) displayed on a more traditional "Quest Status" screen.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had the outlines of the sage's medallions already in the inventory-screen, long before the player even learned about them.
- Ocarina also has an outline of the Triforce in the inventory screen. You can't get it.
- Avoided in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: You actually do get the Triforce this time, but its slot on the Quest Status screen doesn't show up until you find the first piece. And it actually replaces the slot for another MacGuffin that has long since served its purpose.
- This trend drove fans nuts in the Oracle games. With every item found, there were still two empty item slots. Since equipping an item moves it from your inventory to the equip slot, these two empty spaces were for whatever two items you had equipped.
- Again avoided in Kid Icarus Uprising with Palutena's Treasure Hunt, styled in a similar way to the challenges in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The 120 individual challenges censor the names of potential spoilers until you've reached that point. (e.g. Defeat ??? using the ???) And then it goes one further: It only features challenges related to the first 9 chapters, supposedly the entirety of the game * , so it will seem to be near completion by the time you reach the "final boss". There's actually a second batch of challenges called Viridi's Treasure Hunt, which doesn't even appear until you meet her in the story. There's also a third set that won't appear until you've beaten the game, but there are no spoilers to hide at that point.
- You can tell the Disc One Final Dungeon of Ōkami just from the fact that you don't have all the brush techniques yet (and seriously, what kind of final dungeon has you making an appetizer for the boss?), but if that didn't tip you off, the fact that your equipment screen looks so empty is likely to.
- Cave Story - The number of puppies you bring back is one more than the number that would fit between Jenka and the door.
- By the point in Bastion where you are told there is one last core to collect, the map is barely half full.
- In Ys Origin, Toal goes through generally the same sequence of bosses as Yunica and Hugo, but when you reach the final boss there's still a slot left in the bestiary.
- In Another Code, four of the (otherwise unlabeled) icons on your menu become selectable very early on in the game. However, the final icon's purpose only becomes clear at the climax.
- In the NES version of Deja Vu, the game-over screen displayed when the player character dies note is a picture of the character's gravestone, which has his name written on it. However, the player character doesn't know his name at the beginning of the game, and the player isn't supposed to know what it is before the character remembers it.
- Harnessed to great effect by Gravity Bone. As you make your way through the second mission, you obtain several items which are set to keys 1, 2, and 4 on your keyboard. There is no item 3. Your character is killed before the end of the second mission.
- Invoked in the first Simon The Sorcerer game. You can locate a group of wizards at a bar using this method, and address them by their title. When they ask you how you knew they were wizards... see the page quote.
- Amnesia The Dark Descent pops up instructional messages at appropriate times during the game. Some involve how to avoid getting attacked by monsters, which most players take as a sign that a confrontation is mere moments away. Sometimes, they're even correct. This game is known for milking anticipation for all it's worth, and this trope is no exception.
- In general, going online in any fighting game before unlocking everyone and facing someone using a secret character.
- Many games are still fond of displaying these characters' portraits shadowed out and unselectable for first timers. Question marks optional.
- Soul Calibur IV was released for the Xbox 360 and PS3, and, like SCII, each platform had its own Guest Fighter, this time from the Star Wars universe: Darth Vader for PS3 and Yoda for the Xbox (and Starkiller for both). Many people figured that they would release the other system's character as DLC, but Namco didn't confirm nor deny. The suspense (if there was any) was ruined when the game had a single suspiciously empty square on the character select screen once everything was unlocked.
First Person Shooter
- Half-Life 2 and its episodes show some of their story achievements but hide others - for instance, in Episode 2, "obtain the Muscle Car" is shown, but "survive the White Forest Inn ambush" is hidden.
- BioShock: The Bathysphere menu spoils the number of levels, and the fact that you have more tonic slots than you can actually unlock before the confrontation with Ryan may tip one off as well. On the other hand, your wallet displays 4 digits, which seems to imply that there is some way to increase the maximum amount of money you can hold from $500. This is not the case, however. The extra digit is probably just a programming relic.
- Bio Shock 2 is an interesting case. More linearity/no train menu prevents that from spoiling, but every train station has a little chart of the route, with each stop clearly denoted by a dot. (Even the prison Persephone, whose very existence is supposed to be known to just a handful of Rapture's citizens and which doesn't even have a train station.)
- Maybe it's just the switching station where the train turns back (which happens to be next to Persephone)? After all Pauper's Drop has a spot despite being originally a maintenance station...
- Speaking of Persephone, said area's name is spoiled if you look at the enemy profile of the Alpha Series, which are first encountered in the area immediately before it.
- As Delta and Eleanor head up the elevator right after the final battle, the achievement "Heading To The Surface" pops up on-screen. Players can immediately pause the game and read the achievement, which reads, "Head to the surface on the side of Sinclair's escape pod", thus spoiling the surprise a few seconds later when the explosives detonate.
- In Halo 3: ODST, "Data leak on sub-level 9" (from the loading screen) hints towards the ending.
- The weapon menus in Red Faction Guerrilla and Wolfenstein.
- Borderlands spoils the existence of Eridian weaponry, which is supposed to be late game equipment because it has its separate skill on your character's stat window.
- Far Cry 2 has an ingame map, with most town being labeled with vaguely African names and other buildings labeled as "cattle ranch" etc and one twisting path through impassible mountains leading to a valley named The Heart Of Darkness. Guess where the final level will take place.
- Very common in PC First Person Shooters with remappable controls and the standard 1-9 weapon switching system. Chances are if you start a new game and go to the settings, it'll tell you the names of every weapon you'll get over the course of the game.
- Metroid Prime accidentally does this a lot. On the map of the first game, the legend outright stated the names of the weapons, as certain weapons were required to open certain doors. For example, the key on the map outright stated that red doors, which you don't even see in the game until very late, are opened by the Plasma Beam. The sequels (and remake) fix this slightly, by having the legend say that certain colors are "???," but that still gives a hint at what the later weapons are.
- Zero Mission also flubs on a major spoiler point when it states the certain power-ups are incompatible with your current suit. A simple one-word omission would have defeated an otherwise dead give-away, though they could never have completely taken away from the fact that they wouldn't give you powerups that you could never use...
- In Metroid Prime 2, the HUD's bar-shaped meters for the Light and Dark Beams each have four dimmed-out sections when those weapons are first acquired, hinting at the existence of Beam Ammo Expansions.
- The game's Scan Data also calls a certain boss "Dark Samus 1", indicating further encounters.
- The game's world map also has the Dark World function grayed out but not fully invisible, which spoils the player early that they are going to travel to another dimension.
- The Jurassic Park arcade Rail Shooter game concludes with a battle against two T. rexes while the player is riding on the back of a vehicle. When you beat the final T. rex down to a third of his health, the creature flees and the vehicle continues driving towards the gate, leading people to assume the game is finished... but the T. rex's health bar is still present on-screen, spoiling his eventual reappearance.
- In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, your PDA will list "contact" who you can talk to nearby. Near the end of the game, in the part of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant you can only enter if you find the decoder, this list will include someone called "C-Consciousness representative" before you're introduced to said character.
- In "The Darkness" the pause menu shows the titular evil twizzlers three chapters before you get them
- In killer7, Channels 9, 10, and 11 are just added as a reference to a certain type of TV. However, this leads to a very hard to figure out one: Whenever you can select Harman while on his channel, he says, "Ah, Garcian...how long has it been?" If you go to the Blood channel quickly, he still says it since no sub menus or voices can be shown there. Same goes for Channel 11 and Channel 10... but it stops at Channel 9. This foreshadows killer8, where there is someone who takes Channel 9 as his own.
- Fridge Brilliance: Harman may have many "allies" (people he and his team have killed but are actually okay/grateful about it) but only a few can physically manifest. Maybe Channels 10 and 11 were meant for Christopher and Samantha but either Harman tried to keep their deaths a secret or Garcian isn't that "resourceful". It's also possible that the three channels were meant for Izagami and his small dead family, but the reveal is that those three aren't the allies of the United States Government .
- The PC version of Unreal Tournament 3. If you're watching the installer, it shows you the names of the files being copied to your system. Now this includes the cinematics of the campaign. The name of one particular cinematic? Malcom Betrayal.
- =[Z Doom=], a source port for Doom, includes an option to mark the exit on the automap with a different colour. This, among other things, allows the player to easily tell whether or not the "exit" switch he's seeing is the real deal or if he's still in for a surprise.
- Most World of Warcraft achievements are fairly spoileriffic, but the achievement for the Trial of the Crusader raid hides the name of the final boss, only showing it as "Complete the Trial of the Crusader". The final boss is Anub'arak, after the Lich King breaks the floor of the Coliseum and makes you fall into the Nerubian tunnels below it.
- Later, even the name was spoiled by the raid-lock system, which limits players to killing each boss once per week and names the bosses that have and have not been defeated this week. By then, though, raid leaders generally insisted on either giving all first-timers a Walkthrough or having them watch one on YouTube, making a Late Arrival Spoiler inevitable anyway.
- A simpler example would be one quest of Sven's Revenge, when you are given clues to a person's identity. The person, obviously, then shows up on your minimap as a quest complete icon.
- This happens with a decent number of quests, where you're sent to find someone who has gone missing, and the quest objective will show "<character's> corpse found 0/1", showing that he's dead before you even find the corpse.
- This is a result of the writers being unwilling to lie to the player by including quest goals that won't actually be met. So if the goal of the quest is something vague, like "<character> confronted", there is probably a plot twist or a Hopeless Boss Fight incoming.
- In EverQuest, every zone of the last few expansions has a "Hunter" achievement which basically lists every "named" or boss mob in the zone. Is "Lord Bob" a quest person, normal trash mob or named (special loot dropping) monster? If he's on the "Hunter" list, you have the answer.
- The later Jak and Daxter games have your health in the form of little green dots around a circle. Starting with Jak 3, you can calculate how much more health you're likely to get based on how much of the circle it covers. Similarly, even if you were just handed a Jak 3 disc without a case and had missed the entire second game, you could easily guess that you eventually access Light Eco powers when you see that only half the Yin Yang symbol in your HUD fills up with purple when you collect the dark stuff.
- The Ratchet & Clank games tend to do this too, if you look deeply enough into the menus. The Skill Point lists tell you which planet each is found on, effectively spoiling every level in the game and making it easy to see Your Princess Is in Another Castle moments coming. A particularly egregious example from Up Your Arsenal: It's pretty obvious a certain character isn't really dead when you know you'll later visit a place called Qwark's Hideout. Another possible one from that game is "Crash Site." Although what exactly crashed may not be immediately obvious.
- There's also arena challenges such as "Defeat all enemies using only the Rift Inducer", which appear long before said weapons are available.
- The Monstropedia in the second game lists the home planet of each enemy; when it's not the world you first encounter them on, you know you'll probably be visiting it later on. Examples include all the Thugs 4 Less members being from Snivelak which you go to when you storm their base to rescue someone very late in the game, and all Mega Corp robots listing Yeedil, it's the location of Mega Corp's headquarters and The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. Subverted with some though, such as the B2-Brawler's home planet Cerebella, which has yet to make an appearance in the series.
- The challenge achievement for beating the game in both Mega Man 9 and 10 say "Whomp Wily!", despite the plotlines of both leading you to believe otherwise.
- Throughout the franchise, the menu screens almost always have exactly enough room for every weapon and item in the game. When you get one Sub-Tank, for instance, you can see where the Sub-Tanks appear on the menu, how much more room there is, and therefore how many more Sub-Tanks are in the game (generally a total of four).
- Iji spoils the existence of the Komato from level one as their weapons are an upgradable stat.
- In New Super Mario Bros. for the DS, you can scroll through and view the entirety of the current world, no matter which levels you've unlocked. Except for the last world, where once you beat the "final castle", Bowser Jr. runs across a bridge to the second half of that world, which previously wasn't able to be viewed.
- In Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, in the controls menu the 3rd option you can change is for the jet pack. Take 3 guesses as to how you beat Clockwerk.
- Jumper Two's unlockables menu blatantly spoils the existence of "secret" levels. Chances are that you will see said menu long before finishing the last sector (one requirement for secret stage 1. The other is getting total record time below certain threshold.)
- Psychonauts presents all the minds you can enter as doors. Already from the start, you can see how many minds you get to enter over the course of the game.
- It becomes especially egregious when you factor in the Meat Circus: just before you unlock it, you've passed the Point of No Return and you're fighting the Big Bad in an epic, presumably final battle...with the nagging thought of "Wait...wasn't there an extra door?"
- From the start of the game there's a silhouette of a brain jar with a question mark in it on the inventory screen. You don't find out you have to collect the campers' brains until you get to the asylum.
- Kirbys Return To Dreamland: I beat the Grand Doomer! Yay, I fixed the Lor and beat the ga- wait, why don't I have all of the Energy Spheres? And why does it have to say "Planet Popstar" on the world map? And why is a dragon attacking the Lor?
- In Portal, the new game menu appears to spoil the number of levels. Then you find out that the entire second half of the game doesn't show up on said menu.
- The sequel truncates the name of the last chapter ("The Part Where He Kills You") in the New Game menu for spoiler reasons. The achievements reveal the full title, but are worded vaguely enough that if you haven't reached a certain point in the game, you won't know who he refers to.
- Used to be played straight in earlier Source games like Half-Life 2, as described above.
- Subverted in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. The mysteries panel gradually fills up with "SOLVED" markers as the game reaches a climax... only for three of the mysteries to be re-solved, this time with "The Whole Story".
Real Time Strategy
- Star Craft II has achievements for each set of missions: the Mar Sara missions, the Hanson missions, the Tosh missions, the Horner missions, the Artifact missions, the Zeratul missions - and the Final missions, so named to avoid revealing that the last missions take place on Char. Also, the achievements don't mention that you can betray both Hanson and Tosh (separately) in their storylines or the nature of Zeratul's missions. They kind of blew it on hiding whose side Warfield and Valerian end up on, though. (Well, technically you join their side. Semantics.)
- In Brütal Legend, entering the multiplayer menu plays a tutorial cutscene which spoils Ophelia turning villainous.
- Less blatantly, there's the empty unit and solo slots.
- Played with in Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War II. You can get armor plating equipment that is listed as only able to be equipped by "Dreadnought," well before you gain access to a Dreadnought. Unlike the other squads, it doesn't tell the Dreadnought's name, Davian Thule, your commanding officer and Player Character of the Space Marines in Dawn of War: Dark Crusade.
- In Age of Mythology's campaign, during one of the earlier scenarios, Gargarensis is visible in an inaccessible portion of the map. Clicking on him, as with everything else in the game, brings up a description, which includes a description of his and Poseidon's plans, which are not revealed until about the halfway point of the campaign.
Role Playing Game
- Lunar Dragon Song lets you find a chest (in a room that is mandatory to clear, no less) with Gideon3's card inside. This happens even before you fight Gideon2 at the end of the game, quite the giveaway...
- Also, you'll find claws for Gabi on sale long before you even meet her. And equipment for Rufus is available in only one town (Although by then you've already met him, and he offered to join your party more than once), but unless you backtrack immediately after he joins he gets killed by Gideon before you ever get the chance to shop for his equipment.
- Children Of Mana has a similar situation: there are slots in your equipment screen for several weapons that you don't start with, and the gem inventory screen can rather taunt you with its emptiness.
- Shows up in Seiken Densetsu 3: The game leads you to believe that opening the gate to the Mana Holyland and acquiring the Sword of Mana will be the game's big finish. It's somewhat undermined by the fact that unless you've spent an inordinate amount of time Level Grinding, you're nowhere near the level needed for your second class change, and at that point in the game, have no obvious way of getting the MacGuffins needed for it anyways. (They can be obtained early, but it is unlikely to the point of Guide Dang It; they're plentiful later.)
- Super Mario RPG: The game's subtitle ("Legend of the Seven Stars") is already a clue in and of itself, but the Star Piece screen nonetheless displays seven specific slots, one for each piece you collect.
- Final Fantasy IV: Not so much an Interface Spoiler as Interface Foreshadowing, but Tellah is seeking out the spell Meteor for purposes of revenge. He finally gets it, and supposedly even has access to it in Random Encounters... but a quick check of the menu reveals that he does not and will never have enough magic power to actually cast it. What can come of casting something you haven't the power to use?
- A more blatant one comes when Baigan joins the party. That brings the party total to six, which is more than can even physically fit in the menu screen, so it's no surprise when he turns out to be lying.
- In the sequel The After Years, checking the Hooded Man's equipment shows he uses his left hand to hold his sword, which is a huge hint on who he really is.
- In Albion, shops sell weapons none of the party can wield (in the early game), though it is justified and otherwise would be plenty of Fridge Logic. The weapons, themselves, are described with a list of character classes which can wield them, revealing whom you can expect in the party later.
- Similarly, equipment in Summoner actually lists the name of everyone who can use it, including equipment solely for characters you haven't yet recruited.
- In Final Fantasy VI, you can always go to the (empty) "esper" menu. Even though it's about a third of the way through before you properly find out what espers are and how they work.
- Also, the battle menu, specifically the discrepancy between Terra and every other party member. At first, she can only use magic, and there's a gap where her special ability would be. Similarly, characters like Locke and Edgar have their special abilities, and a gap where the magic would be. Think people will eventually be able to cast spells, or that Terra will develop a secret power?
- A lesser example is that none of the permanent playable characters are ever mentioned by name until you are given a chance to choose what that name is. This means that if you see a character mentioned by name and you are not given the chance to name them, you know for certain they will never join your party. It also means that, when the name entry screen comes up for a certain ninja before he joins, or a certain airship-owning gambler even before you meet him, you know that they are going to be part of your crew eventually.
- In Final Fantasy V, Faris is Bifauxnen. You learn it early, but it's spoilered even earlier when you change jobs first: Faris uses female sprites (especially noticeable in the White Mage and Black Mage jobs)
- It's even more noticeable in the GBA port, where Faris has a clearly female face portrait.
- Exdeath's Castle, as climactic as it is, is not the final level. How do we know this? We're still missing all of the level 6 spells, and almost half of the Summon Magic. Granted, this game has a tendency toward the Guide Dang It, so a player without a guide could think they simply missed all of that...but there's no reasoning away the gaping holes in the game's bestiary for the GBA version.
- Final Fantasy XIII has a fairly subtle one; four of your starting characters have two ATB slots and get a third when they become l'Cie. Vanille, however, already has three slots before this happens, because she already was a l'Cie before supposedly getting transformed alongside the rest of them, a fact also hinted at by her relatively high starting stats compared to the normal humans.
- In Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne, the Cathedral of Shadows has 12 slots demons for use in fusion when you can only have 8 in your party at a time (the size expands by 2 twice before midgame).
- Persona 3 does get around the "list expansion" business - there are no individual slots, just blank space. (Then again, in that game, your Persona headcount is set by your level, not the plot.)
- Also, in Persona 4, you are still at Level 9 for the Fool social link when you get to a point which pretends to be the ending, giving away that it's a Bad Ending and there's still more plot to go. The link doesn't reach level 10 until you've found the path to the real ending. Plus, you haven't even unlocked the Judgement link until then, and it won't max out until you've beaten the "Final Boss".
- Rule of thumb for Megami games: If the game presents what appears to be the final dungeon or the final boss, experiment with some fusions. If the level of the demons or personae that come up are significantly higher than your current level—we're talking about a level difference of at least 40—you're not nearly close to finished yet.
- Chrono Trigger has a major one during a flashback, if you're paying attention: When Frog is recalling Cyrus's demise at the hands of Magus, Ozzie's dialogue is prefixed with OZZIE's name in all-caps, as you'd expect of an NPC, but Magus's dialogue is prefixed with a very PC-looking 'Magus'. Hmm... The DS version rectifies the problem.
- The worst offender is the DS version's "Dojo", which shows Magus in tech screenshots and it shows his two techs. Before you get him. The Item Encyclopaedia also shows weapons, which includes a portion of the list with scythes. Now who do we know that uses that type of weapon?
- In Chrono Cross, before you even leave the first town, you get to talk to a vendor, who offers the game's blacksmithy screen. On the blacksmithy screen you can see a huge box, mostly blank, reserved for characters who can equip the particular weapon, spoiling very early on that this game will have tons upon tons of player characters. Pointed out e.g. in this blind Let's Play: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bhMerWGQtw . Later in the game, when you encounter the disc one final boss, the fact that your character box is not even half full yet is another tip that this is not nearly the end of the game yet.
- Rogue Galaxy has a few examples of this. The "SP" folder on the inventory screen blatantly spoils two key item collection quests, and Jaster's Tech Tree unlocks the dual tech "Fated Passion", whose description (and animation) detail a romantic subplot that comes almost completely out of left field. (I say almost because the game is already so Troperiffic it's pretty freaking obvious in any case. Still?)
- In Shadow Hearts: Covenant, you can quickly see how many characters will join your party at the end by looking at the vertical spaces left in the main menu. That's assuming you didn't read the manual, of course.
- The game also tries to trick you into thinking Nicolai is a main character. He's listed alongside the rest in the booklet, he's in your party at the very beginning, and is even the first character you control outside of combat. But checking his bio not only reveals that he is not what he claims to be, but is a bad guy as well!
- You can tell how many characters you'll get in Tales Of Innocence and Tales Of Hearts because the menu has six slots for them.
- In the Dragon Age series:
- In Dragon Age: Origins, you can tell if a companion will join your group permanently because their character and inventory screens have an approval bar, while those of temporary followers do not. Temporary followers also don't gain any experience. Also, characters from the various origin stories that will show up later in the game have a background to their character portrait, but ones that will be gone forever have a plain black background.
- They try to avert this in the Awakening Expansion Pack. Mhairi will never survive her Joining, but she will acquire experience and gain/lose approval in the brief time she's with you. But it's revealed anyway: if you check the character info screen, you'll notice her contribution to party damage stays at 0% no matter how much damage she's done to enemies.
- Subverted in Neverwinter Nights 2: Shandra dies a plot related death a while before the end of the game, but functions in all ways like a normal party member, including an approval rating and even what seems to be a romance option... which can never be completed.
- Averted in Nie R, where the menu screen interface actually changes completely once you gain access to Grimoire Weiss shortly into the game. Before that, pretty much the only thing you could see was a list of your consumable items; these menu items get changed into completely different and much more comprehensive menus once you pick up Weiss.
- Lufia And The Fortress Of Doom has a rare case of a sprite spoiler, although it's rather subtle: Lufia's in-battle and menu sprite shows her wielding a polearm, though it's not actual weapon of choice in gameplay. Female, blue-haired and using a polearm—think back to the beginning of the game. Who else meets that criteria?
- Ultima VII's Dialogue Tree, as noted in this Let's Play:
It's important to note here that Klog is lying. Characters normally don't tell you they know nothing about a topic; you usually just don't get the topic to ask them about. Since Klog does have these topics, it means he does know something, but it will be quite some time before we can coax the truth out of him.
- The World Ends With You's save stats shows your current partner. Towards the beginning of the game this will spoil that you get more than one party member.
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the fact that enemies you don't use Tattle on have their entries given to you for the log if you can't fight them again supplies some spoilers. In particular, there's the fact that while Marilyn and Beldam are refought, Vivian is not.
- Each time you get a Crystal Star, the game will tell you about its special powers in battle and what they do. So when you get the Ruby Star in Chapter 4 only to move on without learning about its abilities, you know something's up.
- The pause menu for Super Paper Mario has a "Chapters" tab that shows descriptions of the chapters you've visited so far in the game. When Dimentio "ends your game" and sends you to the Underwhere, you unlock the description for Chapter 7-1, even though you aren't supposed to know that the Underwhere is Chapter 7-1 yet!
- In Yggdra Union, you can pick up various equippable items that can only be used by Russell and Elena as early as chapter 2. They don't even show signs of wanting to join forces with you until chapter 4.
- In Tales Of The Abyss, the records screen shows the names of all your party members, including a guest, right from the beginning.
- In Baticul, one of the citizens mentions that Princess Natalia is a master of the bow. The store in Baticul sells bows. None of your other party members can equip bows.
- The Disgaea series does this as new menu items are added. Especially in the remakes, where new ones that weren't in the original are added — in the PSP version of Disgaea 2, you have to play through the bonus mode to unlock an option.
- The Disgaea character creation/reincarnation screen also "spoils" the existence of class tiers once you start unlocking them, though the levels needed for each tier to unlock varies with each class, and there are certain classes that don't unlock unless you meet special requirements. Ditto Makai Kingdom.
- In Phantom Brave, however, character creation occurs on a Ring Menu where new choices expand the ring.
- In Planescape: Torment, the first time the player meets a future member of the party, an entry about him/her appears in the journal (in a specific "Party members" section). It is a kind of spoiler, because some of them join the player's party late after the first meeting.
- In Tales Of Symphonia when you reach the Tower of Salvation, Remiel tells you the reason Colette was brought there was to die and become the new body for Martel. Colette then proceeds to complete the transformation into a lifeless being. This would be an emotional scene if not for the fact that right after Colette completes the transformation and is supposedly dead you get a message that says "Colette Learned Judgement!"
- In Neverwinter Nights 2, in the first area you visit outside of your Doomed Hometown — the road to some seemingly-unimportant swamp ruins — the minimap reads "The Mere of Dead Men". Now, the player character knows the apt name of the creepy swamp their home village is built on, but the player isn't supposed to know that yet. Also, one of the initially greyed-out prestige classes is Neverwinter Nine, potentially spoiling the offer Lord Nasher makes to you much later in the game.
- Also, since the developers didn't bother to change the names of NPCs on-the-fly and weren't willing to outright lie to the player, you can tell that someone's going to try and deceive you about their identity if the overhead label that appears when you mouse over them says something vague, like "Man", instead of their actual name. Mask of the Betrayer demonstrates a plot-scripted character name change (Kaelyn the Dove can append a similar animal moniker to the end of your name), so we can put this down to Obsidian not caring enough.
- The identity of the main enemy of act one, the Githyanki, is revealed to the player by the interface almost immediately, but it takes most of the act for the characters to learn.
- Mass Effect has silhouettes of unrecruited party members.
- During the Noveria mission, the player comes across some bugs which, when aimed at, are identified as "Rachni". Naturally your party cannot see this, and will wonder what those bugs were until The Reveal.
- The moment you gain control of Shepard in the first game, you can go to the Squad screen with three points to give to your character. When you check out the Charm and Intimidate skills, it cheerfully informs you that you'll be allowed more points for them once you become a Spectre. This despite the fact that you're still a whole cutscene away from even knowing you're up for it.
- The target of Garrus's personal mission claims he's someone else. The subtitles don't agree.
- In Mass Effect 2, the silhouettes are replaced with datacards with information about your future party members, since the point of the main quests is to recruit them. However, others that Cerberus wouldn't have been aware of (or would they?) like Legion also have a datacard on your squad menu.
- Legion is also partially spoiled by one of the upgrades you can pickup in the levels unlocked after Horizon being "Geth Shield Strength"
- When you go into the Collector ship and find out the truth about them, the dialogue wheel, as usual, pops up before The Reveal has actually been said, and one of the dialogue options reads "The Collectors are Protheans!"
- If you go and customize your armor after the first mission (post-resurrection), you're allowed to pick what clothes you wear on the Normandy, which at this point is totally illogical given that the ship was destroyed in the tutorial level. Thus, the appearance of the second Normandy is somewhat less surprising.
- In Mass Effect 3, if you import your character from Mass Effect 2, the game gives you a quick review of all the decisions you've made thus far. Most of them are expected, but one of them is the choice of whether or not you saved Maelon's data, which is treated as a fairly minor decision when you make it. This makes it clear that the data is going to have an impact later on regarding the genophage cure.
- This is also averted in the same game during the mission on Palaven. When Garrus talks off screen they are listed as Turian Soldier in the subtitles. It's not until Shepard and the player actually see them that they are then listed under their own name.
- The "fill-in-the-blanks" party menu also appears in Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire. Basically, BioWare is very fond of this.
- In Jade Empire, Wild Flower has two portraits, one for each spirit possessing her. When Ya Zhen (the evil spirit) reveals that he may aid you in return for your support, it comes as little surprise.
- Sands Of Destruction features a Quip mechanic, where sometimes lines that characters say in cutscenes become equippable. They can gain these lines before they join your party, however, highlighting your incoming members.
- Checking the achievement list in Xenoblade will more or less make clear Fiora rejoins you at some point. To be fair, it's the most telegraphed spoiler in the game and bigger reveals are much better covered, but there you go.
- The fact that the quests you get in some places are ALL "timed", meaning you can't do them after a certain point, will also spoil for you that you won't be able to come back to those places and that the quests will be Lost Forever.
- There's also the fact there are no Heart-to-Hearts anywhere on Mechonis...
- And then there's the fact that Bionis' Interior has a collectibles page, but no collectibiles...
- An early point in the game features a notable Aversion that practically qualifies as an Interfect Red Herring. During the attack on your Doomed Hometown, Dunban temporarily joins your party. If you go to his equipment screen, you'll notice his currect gear can't be removed. Naturally the player would suspect he'd either be Killed Off for Real (heck, he pretty much has all the qualities of a Sacrificial Lion) or at least would never join your party again. In fact... he does rejoin you later as a fully customisable, playable character. It's his sister, the protagonist's Childhood Friend / Love Interest, who's killed in the attack, and she did have fully customisable equipment at the time. But see above...
- Played straight with Dickson though, who's temporarily controlable but has fixed equipment, lacks a Skill trait and only has two very basic Arts. It's pretty clear he'll never be a permenant party member.
- Suikoden has a somewhat subtle one in that Sanchez, who you go to to change your team, is not listed on the Tablet of Stars, which reveals which of the 108 Stars of Destiny you've recruited. It's because he's not on your side; he's The Mole.
- Suikoden V avoids this by taking a while before it gives you the Tablet of Stars. In doing so, it hides that one of your allies, Sialeeds, is set to betray you.
- Legend of Dragoon's pause screen includes a section devoted to Dragoon Spirits (enough to hold 8 of them) and the Addition section has a column devoted to SP gain (the meter built up that allows Dragoon transformations). Furthermore, the status section lists Magic Attack and Magic Hit (accuracy) on each profile, a stat that can only be useful to Dragoons. It's quite clear early on (after Lavitz gains his) that everyone in your party will eventually become a Dragoon.
- In Star Ocean: The Last Hope, in the weapon compendium, while the actual weapons are not revealed until you get them, it is staggered by playable characters. As soon as you get Lymle, you'll see that Faize's total amount of weapons is significantly smaller than Edge and Reimi's, revealing how he'll leave the party eventually.
- In the remake of the second Star Ocean, each playable character's name is rendered in ALL CAPS, so it's easy to determine who will (Or has the potential to) join the team.
- In The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, in the quest journal, there is decorative knotwork surrounding the name of the quest. This varies depending on the type of quest (main quests, guild quests, Daedric quests, etc.) For many quests this isn't a problem, but for some of the Daedric quests, A Night to Remember being a perfect example, it may not be obvious at first. Finding this out can be a major twist.example
- The game Live A Live uses static sprites for its enemies, which are usually larger than your characters (that is to say, they occupy 2x2 squares at least, while party members occupy 1x2). So when you encounter an enemy that has animation and is the same size as your party members, you know they'll be fighting alongside you at some point (unless that enemy was already playable, like Oersted or Straybow). This happens no less than three times.
- Pokemon Black And White introduces a seemingly random Trainer who challenges you to a Pokemon battle... and gets a close-up for his challenge like your rivals and the Gym Leaders. Hey, think this "N" guy might be important?
- Pokemon Red And Blue reveals the eighth Gym Leader's identity if you check the statues at the Gym's entrance. Hilariously, the Gym guide didn't know and he's stationed right next to them.
- There is a minor case in Ar Tonelico 1. It's easy to tell from the Reyvateils' status screen that exactly three of them will join the party at some point.
- The Area Jump menu in Inazuma Eleven GO 2 has an icon for each area, with the areas you can't visit yet displaying static. There are 6 icons, which would imply that there are 6 areas in all... except this trope is subverted when you gain access to a 7th area, and the original 6 icons move over to make room for 7 more (6 of which initially display static). This is subverted again in the Endgame Plus, where on two more occasions several icons scoot over to make room for another, eventually ending up with 15 icons that take up every last bit of real estate on the screen.
- The digital re-release of Final Fantasy VII has an interface spoiler through its achievements notification. When you get to the absolute final battle against Sephiroth with only Cloud, you get to use Cloud's ultimate Limit Break Omnislash and there's an achievement for it. However, the achievement for Omnislash pops up as soon as the cut scene leading to the one on one battle starts. This can cause new players to immediately know the game isn't quite done yet.
- Radiant Historia has a "Story" section on the menu in case you lose track of where you should be headed that shows a diagram of events. Given the game's mechanics and plot, this is pretty much required. However, any event where you can do something more will have a line trailing off where another event connects later. Following up on the mysterious loose ends is a good way to figure out when you need to go to solve plot-related problems.
- Whoever decided to name certain skills has some explaining to do. Was it really necessary to name half the Dead All Along guy's skills things relating to ghosts and/or death?
- Chapter 1 of MOTHER 3 is called "Night of the Funeral". Guess what happens halfway through that chapter.
- In most Ace Combat games, 2 being one of the exceptions, you can see in the hangar and plane select screens boxes either unselectable or empty that give away how many more planes can be bought.
- Dwarf Fortress attempted to Avert this but couldn't fully. While in development, it was realized that vampires would be unable to infiltrate the player's fortress without the UI giving them away. So, the UI and a few game mechanics were changed to accommodate vampire infiltration, including:
- Dwarves disappearing and anonymous crimes. In the old system, you are informed when a dwarf is attacked or killed and told who the culprit is. Now, you are only informed if there is a witness to notice the deed. Dwarves who haven't been seen recently are quietly added to a list of missing units, crimes will likewise be silently added to the justice screen if there are no witnesses. So dwarves can turn up dead and you won't know who killed them, but if you're attentive you'll know they vanished. Vampires can also frame other dwarves for their crimes.
- Migrant skills. Vampires were given old, unused skills before other migrants were. So, the vampire was the only newcomer with a half-forgotten trade. All migrants can have old skills now.
- Fake identities. Previously, you knew almost everything to know about a dwarf by reading his bio. Now they can assume false identities to hide their real age and potentially lengthy kill records. Their relationships can hint at their identity: a spouse not present in the fortress or armies of relatives suggest a vampire. This is were the Aversion of the trope fails: if the dwarf worships a god then that deity will be listed as a relationship. The deity's history can be viewed, providing a list of worshipers and curse victims, and listing a vampire's original identity. If you assign a nickname to a dwarf, the list will display the nickname rather then the assumed and real names. Thus, vampires can be spotted via the UI by nicknaming all newcomers, because giving Urist McCheesemaker the nickname "Doofus" results in the god's history reading "Cursed 'Doofus' McStonecrafter to prowl the night in search of blood".
- One that has nothing to do with vampires: Setting up a lever and trying to link it to a weapon or spike trap can be used to detect early on whether or not your fortress's territory includes an upright masterwork adamantine sword, the kind used to seal a Demonic Fortress.
- Madden NFL 10 would show a player's "potential" rating, which almost exclusively determined how well they would progress, removing any real difficulty in deciding who to keep or cut.
Stealth Based Game
- The weapon upgrade interface in Hitman: Blood Money does this. Unavailable upgrades lack name and description, but the icon still informs the player that he can look forward to two more silencer upgrades, three additional types of ammo etc.
- Also, in Agent 47's hideout in said game, customizable weapons are mounted on the wall with silhouettes behind them depicting their fully upgraded forms.
- Subverted in the version of Blood Money for the original Xbox, which has a space in the hideout for a Dummied Out weapon.
- In Assassin's Creed - at least the second game - you have a circle menu for your weapons which starts almost empty, and achievements such as Feather collection and Capes are to be found in the menu. In the Villa Auditore, there are rooms for all the weapons and armour you can collect, as well as galleries for purchased paintings and pictures of bested rivals. Needless to say, the walls are blank when you initially get there
- Worse — in Brotherhood you have a circle weapons menu which also starts out nearly empty. If you've played the second game, you already are aware of most weapons you will get. One prominent spot remains open until the end — it's for the Apple of Eden.
Turn Based Strategy
- About halfway through Chapter 3 of Final Fantasy Tactics, rumors begin appearing in bars stating Marquis Elmdor recently died in battle. But his biography still has his age listed, and it's only removed from anyone who dies, which means? Easy to miss, but he was undead the next time you saw him.
- Avoided with the class system though. The available classes are in a circle that expands as you unlock more (unlocking classes is done by getting class levels in other classes, per character), so you never know which classes you haven't unlocked yet, or which specific classes you need to level up in for the next class.
- In Super Robot Wars, the games (current ones at least) mark which units will you be forced to deploy next chapter. It gives away which series will be the focus next chapter, though sometimes this means they might just get a new robot or will appear midway the fight to save the day. This is a good thing, since if they're low in upgrades that's your chance to not get stuck in an unwinnable situation, but still.
- The Support menu in most Fire Emblem games show a full list of every character that can have a conversation with your currently selected one. This includes anyone you haven't unlocked yet, but those characters have their sprites blacked out until you get them. Normally this is enough to avoid spoilers, but in Awakening a savvy player can find one blacked out sprite that is clearly wearing Emmeryn's headdress.
- Advance Wars: Dual Strike gives you a unique character select screen in the Campaign Mode, with an empty slot for each character from each country you can control. Not only does this spoil how many characters you will get, but they are also categorized by country. The two empty slots at the bottom are a dead giveaway that two Black Hole characters, Lash and Hawke to be precise, will have a Heel Face Turn and join the Allies.
- A general example: due to Conservation of Detail and Effort, Visual Novels usually only give portraits to important characters. So if you're meeting someone new and a portrait shows up for them, you can safely assume that you'll be seeing them again.
- The character bio section of the Legend arc in Umineko No Naku Koro Ni tells you that Maria shares her fascination of the occult with Kinzo and has strange behavior before she started mentioning magic to her family.
- In Princess Waltz, shutting off the female voices prior to the reveal doesn't stop Chris' vocal tracks.
Wide Open Sandbox
- The powers menu spoils the number (and distribution) of powers in Prototype.
- In Famous shows you the number of powers in the upgrades menu, but not what they are called or how you get them. Also, some of these are passive bonuses or upgrades such as damage boosts, health boosts and upgrades to your lightning bolt power.
- In a scene in the last third of the sequel, Cole, Zeke and Kuo have a serious discussion in a train car about whether Cole is physically and mentally ready to use the RFI, having found "the last Blast Core". The scene probably would have had a lot of impact - if the player wasn't already aware from the on-screen text interludes between plot missions that show he still has two more Blast Cores to collect after this, as well as several locked abilities that haven't opened up yet.
- There's also a mission that has you firing a nuke at The Beast. It's quite clearly made to seem like this is the ending of the game, except A. that would be a hell of an Anticlimax Boss and B. it's still showing that you need to find two more blast cores, which would be pointless if this mission succeeded.
- In Batman Arkham Asylum once you gather all the Spirit of Arkham messages, you're supposed to deduce his identity. While you can in fact do so via the messages alone (especially the more recent ones) there's a more "meta" way to figure it out. If you look at the Spirit's character bio, it lists his/her "Debut" as being in the game itself. There are only three other characters in the game that have that same element in their bios: Dr. Young, Frank Boles and Quincy Sharp. The former two are dead by the time you have all the messages, which leaves Quincy Sharp and lo and behold, it's him.
- Batman Arkham City has deliberately cryptic and vague trophy descriptions to avoid spoiling the plot. Defeat Grundy? "Stop the unstoppable - Wrecking Ball". Defeat Ra's al Ghul? "We are legion - Sandstorm". Defeat the Final Boss? "All the world is a stage - Exit Stage Right".
- Astute players and fans of the comics might have picked up on the last achievement being a reference to Clayface, considering his past life as an actor.
- When the protagonist of the first Grand Theft Auto IV expansion The Lost And Damned was revealed to be Johnny Klebitz, players noticed that completing a mission featuring him and Niko unlocked the "Impossible Trinity" achievement, a blatant hint that the protagonist for the then upcoming second expansion also appeared in said mission. They quickly came to the conclusion that it had to be Luis Lopez, since he was the only character in that mission whose fate was ambiguous. Much later, Luis was confirmed to be the protagonist of The Ballad Of Gay Tony.
- The screen that notifies you of when you have enough respect to do a mission in Saints Row 2 shows the signs of the four gangs in the game—and the Ultor logo, foreshadowing the missions you'll eventually do against the Ultor Corporation.
- The Mahjong client Tenhou contains a minor one. The window showing the winning hand will show the yaku one by one, and then the not-immediately-visible ura-dora (if applicable) and reveal the hand's total score afterward. You can tell immediately whether the hand is valuable enough to cause a Non-Standard Game Over (like someone getting bankrupted, or the dealer on the last hand pulling ahead of everyone else) if the button at the bottom says "END" instead of "OK". Conversely you can tell when the game will continue past its normal endpoint (due to no one having the minimum 30,000 points needed to win) by the button saying "OK" on the last hand.
- In Story Of The Blanks, once Applebloom enters Sunny Town, the text boxes' border design changes, possibly hinting that something isn't quite right about the place. The borders go back to normal after Applebloom and Twilight Sparkle leave the forest, but the narration at the end still uses the alternate design.
Non-Video Game Examples