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- Older versions of Iji required this in the deep sector. The newest version made it less dark and thus unnecessary and firing the shotgun doesn't do anything to the light level anymore.
- inFAMOUS pulls this one too: When you first pop into sewers, you generally have to go across a complicated platforming section in extreme low-light conditions... It's a good thing the main character glows in the dark whenever he uses his powers! ...Though it gets significantly harder if you're evil, since the red color just makes things harder to see.
- In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, you can use your Ether medallion to temporarily show you where hidden paths are—you're supposed to light torches, but Ether is sometimes easier or more convenient, since you can use it anywhere.
- Pistols in Tomb Raider can be fired in rapid succession when few or no flares remain. This is especially useful because most games in the series give pistols infinite ammo.
- Part of a level in Alien Soldier. Includes a boss fight and a rapid climbing section. Each gun illuminates the segment differently, which looks pretty neat.
- Particularly easy to do in Devil May Cry, as the game grants you infinite ammo as a core gameplay mechanic and your starting guns are always a pair of rapid-fire pistols.
- In The Force Unleashed, Force lightning can be used as a light source.
First Person Shooter
lightsaberDragon Tooth Sword in Deus Ex could be used as poor-man's flashlight when your bio-energy was low.
- In Doom, muzzle flash will (slightly) illuminate the entire visible area for a split second, letting the chaingun act almost like a short-length flashlight. This is invoked in the Doom Comic when Doomguy encounters a dark room.
- In Marathon, this is pretty much the only way to see in dark rooms other than the extremely rare night-vision power-ups.
- In Left 4 Dead, most weapons generate more light when fired than your actual flashlight. SMGs and assault rifles in particular are most useful for this, being full-auto.
- In Quake II, the player starts with the Blaster. This gun is very weak, but it doesn't use ammo and its projectiles are slow-moving and glow brightly. This combination makes it useful for lighting up dark corridors, since there is no portable light source in this game.
- Some Star Wars games. Energy weapons AND lightsabers. What darkness?
- The darkness in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, is what. Manage those night-vision batteries well, 'cos you're gonna need 'em.
- Back in the earlier portion of the Dark Forces Saga, darkness was a fairly common obstacle with three solutions: burn your batteries to power the headlight or night vision goggles, bumble around in the dark, or start firing your blaster pistol at random and see who comes by while you navigate the darkness. Thanks to the pistol's Boring, but Practical efficiency and the ubiquity of blaster ammo, this is not as stupid a suggestion as it might sound.
- In Unreal, just about every projectile weapon has some sort of glow around its shots. The Bio Rifle's sticky projectiles can act as short-term flares, rockets can illuminate a large area for a brief moment, and the Dispersion Pistol can emit light almost non-stop (as it recharges on its own). The Nali Chronicles fan-made campaign takes it one step further with spell flashlights: spells like lightning and fireball can produce considerable light that doesn't depend on how charged the spell is (so you can use as little as necessary to make it count), and your Mana Meter recharges on its own given a bit of time.
- This could be done in the Metroid Prime Trilogy, although it's not awfully necessary, especially after getting certain visors. Charging your weapon also provides light.
- Bit of a twist on it in Halo with the Plasma Pistol — the flashlight has a habit of running flat even when they supposedly made it an Infinite Flashlight in Halo 2 and Halo 3, so charging up the plasma pistol to get the muzzle glow can solve the problem (except in 3, where this slowly consumes ammo to counter the previous game's "Noob Combo"). From Halo: Reach and onward, the Energy Sword emits a blue light that can act as a lantern as long as the sword has power.
- Only three weapons in Killing Floor have an attached flashlight, and most of the default maps are rather dark, so this trope is common. Taken to the extreme with the Firebug's weapons, all of which can set specimens on fire to both continuously damage them and light them up for other teammates to see them better.
- In Half-Life: Opposing Force, the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon provides a shitload of illumination, which is especially useful in the Voltigore tunnels.
- First Encounter Assault Recon's second expansion, Perseus Mandate, houses an interesting variant of the trope in the LP4 Lightning Arc Weapon. You don't need to fire it to have light (not that you'll be firing it much even for a good reason); its muzzle glows a faint blue light when you have it equipped, and while it doesn't reach very far, it is enough to find your way around, and unlike the Sergeant's headlamp, it'll never go out. It's generally not very useful outside of the scary setpieces that temporarily rob you of your light.
Hack And Slash
- Some of the jump puzzles in Guild Wars 2 contain darkened areas that are only very occasionally lit by brief, random flashes, making progression difficult. However, engineers armed with bombs can spam their attack skill to provide a near-constant light source.
- Doable if less practical (due to greater cooldowns) in The Secret World presuming you've got a suitable loadout prepared, for the rare missions when you're navigating in darkness and want to conserve things like flares. (Regular permanent light sources become available once you no longer need them.) A shade further away from this trope but still close to it, the projected targeting mechanism for some spells, while technically shedding no light before actually casting said spells, can be used to provide a sort of visual "sonar" suitable for fairly easy blind travel.
- This is utilized in one of Eggman's stages in Sonic Adventure 2.
- In Banjo-Tooie, you can use Fire Eggs to light up a dark maze over a Bottomless Pit instead of splitting up the characters so one keeps the light on, which you're supposed to do.
- Spelunky has annoying dark stages where you have to carry a box of flares to see. Or if you have a shotgun or a pistol you can just keep firing it to light the place up.
Real Time Strategy
- X-COM: UFO Defense has incendiary rounds for some weapons that spray fire over a wide radius and provide much better illumination than the hand-thrown "electro-flares" that are intended for the job. Thanks to the hitscan mechanics, this ended up being their primary use.
Role Playing Game
- In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion you could turn practically any weapon into this; magical weapons glowed, plus any spell or enchanted armour could include the "light" effect which made the target give off light.
- Dark Messiah has a "see in the dark" spell, but for those who don't like seeing in blue all the time, most spells and a few magical swords can be used as lights too. Lightning bolt is especially good at this.
Shoot Em Up
- In Jungle Strike's night level, pretty much the only lighting comes from weapon fire.
- Star Fox 64 has an underwater level that has little light, and your bombs are replaced by an unlimited supply of glowing torpedoes.
- In Nuclear Throne, projectiles from bullet and shell weapons (assault rifles, shotguns, etc.) as well as explosions and fire-based projectiles can help to light up the Sewer and Crystal Cave areas, both of which restrict visibility with a Fog of Warnote . Ironically, energy projectiles and explosions don't cause this effect at all.
Stealth Based Game
- The Toy Sword in Dead Rising emits a red-pink glow at night, which is supposedly extremely useful for SDTV players because the game was designed to play on an HDTV and it becomes very difficult to see anything at night on an SDTV.
- Seeing all four endings in Afraid Of Monsters: Director's Cut unlocks an assault rifle with infinite ammo. Consider how dark the game normally is, and one can imagine its primary use. Its Spiritual Successor Cry of Fear features a similar unlockable for beating Nightmare mode, with a similar ability to light things up.
- Guns in Terraria provide small amounts of light when shot, as do the bullets. Granted, there are melee weapons which do the same thing better for no ammo. Using the early-game 'Meteor' armor set and the 'Space Gun' weapon results in a Frickin' Laser Beam pistol with Bottomless Magazines, just the thing to light up dark underground corridors and perhaps get a few early shots on enemies.
Non-video game examples:
Anime and Manga
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the first time Yugi sees Panik's monsters is when his dragon fireballs them.
- The Dead Alewives comedy group has a famous sketch featuring Dungeons & Dragons players. One of them casts Magic Missile at the darkness ahead of him, which reveals an elf.
- A scene in the infamous Doom comic has Doomguy using the muzzle flare of his shotgun to illuminate the Chemical Plant area. When he finds the light switch, it turns out he accidentally shot all the Pinkies guarding the area.
- Brief strobelight-esque illumination occurs when Clarice kills Buffalo Bill at the end of The Silence of the Lambs.
- One scene in Equilibrium is lit entirely by muzzle flashes. Although the characters don't really need to see in order to fight.
- Variation in Saw. One photographer has to use his camera flash to try and see if there's an intruder in his house when the power gets cut. There is.
- Used in Alone in the Dark (2005) for a scene where they're fighting shadow monsters in a darkened sewer/abandoned gold mine.
- Jedi in the Star Wars Expanded Universe and Legends occasionally use their lightsabers for this.
- A Mortal Kombat novel had Liu Kang using his fireballs as a means of lighting the area in the dark.
- Harry Dresden resorts to this in Blood Rites after Lord Raith turns off the lights. It works better that Raith thought - Harry manages to shoot him through the gut, stopping the vampire king for a full minute, depleting the last of his non-renewable energy reserves and leaving him helpless before his long-abused daughter Lara.
- An episode of Doctor Who brought back the Weeping Angels, which can only move when no-one's watching, and turn into indestructible statues when they are. A squad of soldiers attempting to hold them off in a dark corridor were reduced to trying this as a last resort - that, or they were going for the good old Who tradition of Five Rounds Rapid.
- A few flaming weapons in GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy have the effect of a torch when active.
- And in Tactical Shooting firing guns in the dark can cause temporary blindness.
- In Goblins, Dellyn Goblinslayer uses the Magic Fang spell in this way - he's trapped in a lightless sewer, and the spell makes the sword glow.
- In Freeman's Mind Gordon at one point muses on how lucky he is that he doesn't have a Ten-Second Flashlight, as otherwise he'd have to navigate via this trope which has its own problems.
- This trope as used by Alone in the Dark (2005) has been parodied by both The Nostalgia Critic and Atop the Fourth Wall. Nostalgia Critic parodied it when reviewing the movie with Linkara and Spoony, and Linkara parodies it when review Doom. Both parodies have themselves and other Channel Awesome contributors firing randomly in a dark space, often killing random characters and contributors in the process, such as Todd in the Shadows, Mati, and Chester A. Bum, perfectly lampshading how the very concept is inherently stupid and impractical.
- On the night of October 6, 1973, during the battle of Booster Ridge, the Israelis were at a disadvantage because their Centurion tanks were not equipped with night-vision cameras comparable to the ones on the Syrian T-55s, so Lt. Col. Avigdor Kahalani used a burst of tracer rounds from his machine gun, fired into the air, to illuminate what he thought, correctly, might be an approaching T-55. Once his suspicion was confirmed, he knocked out the tank with his main gun, and the resulting fire illuminated the battlefield.
- Another point of Truth in Television: The muzzle flash of a good number of weapons is just plain ludicrous. A Mosin-Nagant's flash can set people on fire. The Mini-14 sans flash suppressor can produce a flash as long as the rifle itself.
- Some ammunition makers try to avert this by offering rounds with powder that is specifically designed to minimize flash, typically aimed for home defense purposes. Others turn this Up to Eleven; for instance, Dragon's Breath shotgun shells are designed to weaponize the muzzle flash itself by turning it into "muzzle 12-foot-gouts-of-flame". As one might imagine, this looks awesome, but is worse than useless in any kind of firefight situation and will quickly ruin your shotgun. For reference, a Youtube user tested the round and managed to accidentally create a grass fire behind the target that (thankfully) burned out on its own before it spread too much.
- Averted for the Type 38 Arisaka rifle. Its relatively low-charged ammo and long barrel meant that there was little wasted propellant powder, which meant very little to no muzzle flash. Japanese snipers with the Type 97, a lightened Type 38 with a scope, would use a special reduced-charge cartridge which meant that the snipers would be difficult to find due to the lack of muzzle flash, even if they had fired off several rounds at relatively close ranges in the jungle.
- It is said famous brazilian cangaço outlaw Lampião got his nom-de-guerre (which means "Oil Lamp") from his fame as a rapid-fire shooter, who always lit up the night with his shots.