These days, video games have pretty well-established genre conventions and standardized controls
, so you can pick up most any game and have a general idea of how to play them. However, a lot of games also have their own unique aspects, especially to their control schemes, and their use is sometimes required to pass obstacles. Woe betide those people who just pick up a game and start playing it, though, without knowing about these things...some of which are clearly described in the accompanying manual
The Trope Namer
is the nickname of a crumbling bridge
from Super Metroid
—the first place in that game where use of the unique (even to the series) run button is required. A common story is that newbies who pick up the game often neglect that button and are stumped at how to pass the bridge. The term also metaphorically suggests a rite of passage that a newbie would have to undergo to become competent at a game.
Another fairly common example for this is Sheathe Your Sword
, whenever it occurs in games that otherwise teach the player to slash/blast/nuke anything that moves (plus any important-looking stuff that does not move
). As a result, the average player will not even be aware that there is a button for doing so.
Can overlap with Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay
. Differs from Guide Dang It
in that the required information is often readily available but just neglected, rather than left to the player to figure out. Differs from Moon Logic Puzzle
in that these situations depend strongly on (albeit neglected) basic information. Generally a subtrope of All There in the Manual
, and partly caused by players being spoiled by in-game tutorials and not reading the freaking manual
. When it happens with control schemes (which is the most common occurrence of noob bridge), the noob bridge involves an unusual addition to a standard control scheme; for when the standard scheme itself is altered, see Damn You, Muscle Memory
. Designers can frequently avoid introducing noob bridges by including game mechanics in tutorials
Not to be confused with a Broken Bridge
, where completing a dungeon or level opens up a new area on the game map.
Compare Skill Gate Character
and Wake-Up Call Boss
for other forms of "player rite-of-passages".
- Euclid's Elements of Geometry includes a surprisingly old and surprisingly literal example: the fifth proposition is traditionally known as the "Asses' Bridge," because the diagram looks somewhat bridgelike and the proof is said to be the first one that is complex enough to scare off newbies to the subject.
- New DanceDanceRevolution players often return their feet back to the center tile after each step, not knowing that there is no penalty for leaving one's feet on the panels, something that several of the series' games point out in their respective tutorials. If you don't break out of this habit you will never clear songs beyond level 4*
- If you've never played Disgaea before, the first battle with Mid-Boss can be incredibly difficult because it's the first level where Geo Effects play a large role, as well as being the first level where you're supposed to use the throwing mechanic. If you forget that you can toss your troops to the Geo Effects rather than trying to get there normally, most of your team will be dead before you get a second turn.
- In Donkey Kong Country 3, people commonly have trouble figuring out how to beat Squirt when playing for the first time. It turns out that as Ellie the elephant, you can suck water by pressing L (or Down+R in the GBA version) while standing next to a waterfall. Next, you can squirt the water back at Squirt's eyes by pressing R. Once you figure that out, the boss becomes easy.
- There's also the probability that the player doesn't know that Kiddy can skip on water surfaces briefly by rolling from a ledge, which is the only way to reach some of the bonus rounds in some of the river stages. In terms of just completing the levels, however, this technique isn't vital.
- Doom Troopers has the Waterfall in level 1. The bridge acts as a Bottomless Pit, insta-killing your character. However, dead Mooks will float, allowing you to use them as platforms.
- In Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, the music puzzle that lets Zoe out of the caves into Marcuria has been known to cause lots of trouble for new players, who didn't realize that a certain item from the previous location could be picked up and used on the wall symbols (which only become visible if Zoe holds said item and are located in what looks like a dead end otherwise) to reproduce the melody hummed by random encounter enemies on said location.
- In Eversion, many people get stuck in world 2 and fully learn how the mechanics work only when they reach world 3-4, especially in non-HD versions. That's because eversion points are invisible unless you're standing right on them, and people often ignore the eversion point in 1-1 when they walk over it.
- The first battle with Ultros in Final Fantasy VI can be almost impossible for players who haven't figured out to put their characters in the back row.
- People new to Final Fantasy Tactics, or strategy games, will attempt a battle with just Ramza and Delita...not realizing that you can pick out your new units from a list.
- Dorter Trade City is also a choke point for SRPG noobs, this being the first real battle where players have to deal with both vertically-oriented maps and ranged opponents, and that success can't necessarily be granted by rushing the enemy with your squires (general key to victory: bring black mages and an archer with you.)
- Final Fantasy XII has two accessories that give a variety of benefits when equipped, but they mostly come at a heavy price. One accessory reduces your MP to zero and it can't be refilled until the item is removed and the other accessory gives the Silence status effect that can't be cured unless the item is taken off. Because most players saw the beneficial effects first and didn't bother to read past that, there were a ton of confused players asking on the internet why their character's MP was stuck at zero or why they could not remove Silence. This was a big case of read the damn item full description.
- Marathon: You'll be stuck on "Cold Fusion" until you figure out that you can activate switches by shooting them with grenades. The game kind of hints at this by giving you a bunch of grenades (which you'll need if you've already fired all of yours), but it's possible some people might not figure it out immediately.
- In Maze Of Galious, a gate blocks a corridor in the first dungeon, and it's not obvious how to open gates. (The way to do it is to stand next to the gate and hold down the direction control towards it for a certain amount of time.)
- La-Mulana has a similar door that works the same way, and is just as good at tripping up noobs.
- Meteos has Bavoom, which is very hard to use unless you use the speeder; and Hotted and Wiral, which are very hard to use without secondary ignitions. These two things are very important if you want to beat harder opponents.
- New pop'n music players on Battle Mode may not notice that they can attack their opponent by pressing their side's blue button. It is not uncommon to see two players in Battle Mode with attack gauges that stay at level 3 and never get used. Although outside of Japan, this is typically due to language barriers, as the game is mostly in Japanese.
- Sin and Punishment: If you're still using auto-aim by the time you get to Polestar at the end of Stage 2-2, stop. What many stuck players don't know is that auto-aim does less damage than manual-aimed shots, and will never do enough damage to reliably finish it off.
- Sonic and the Black Knight: The Will-O-Wisps are glowing blue orbs of energy that explode and can hurt you when hit. You're supposed to use the "kick" mechanic to kick them into things. Thing is, that mechanic is only really used twice in the main game, and those instances are easy to miss, so you might not even know you can when you find the Will-O-Wisps much more often in the post-game.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) In one part of Kingdom Valley, you play as Rouge and have to find three keys, one of which is behind a stained-glass window that can only be broken with Rouge's wall-bomb-plant move. Said move is never mentioned in the game or even in the instruction manual, and since this is the only time you actually have to use the move, you'll be more likely to discover it by blind luck then anything else.
- Street Fighter III: Parrying. While it is possible to get by the game without using this, God help you if you find yourself against a decent opponent, AI or human, who can bear you down back and forth one way or another.
- In Super Mario Galaxy 2, there is a chasm early on in Supermassive Galaxy that must be cleared using the long jump. While the game explains in a nearby tutorial monitor on how to use the long jump, this still stumped some players as the long jump was not needed in the first Super Mario Galaxy and was absent in Super Mario Sunshine, meaning players who had just recently gotten into Super Mario platformers may easily become confused about what exactly to do to perform a long jump.
- Super Metroid has the Trope Namer, described above.
- Though since the Dash button was described in the manual, the giant drop that required Wall Jumping to escape was a bigger noob bridge for people who started with the SNES game.
- Players who grew up with later Metroid games are more likely to fall victim to this, as those games don't have a run button.
- The game also has the "Noob Tube", a glass tube that needs to be shattered with a Power Bomb to pass. This is the only tube in the game that Power Bombs do this, and it's not the only way to get into Maridia. However, if one doesn't press start at the title screen, the subsequent montage of clips shows that this is possible, as well as several hidden (but never required) moves.
- An even more basic one is that the series includes doors that are opened by shooting them. The start of Metroid Prime 3 puts the player in the hanger of a friendly space station and door shooting is required to progress. The game assumes that this is obvious but for new players it is not logical to shoot friendly-controlled doors in order to open them.
- Several of the classes in Team Fortress 2 have integral aspects to their playstyle that are not readily obvious to new players. So, when you see a soldier who never rocket jumps, a demoman who never charges his stickybombs, a pyro who never airblasts, or a heavy that doesn't jump before revving his minigun, you know the person hasn't played TF2 for very long.
- Its predecessor, Team Fortress Classic has a similar problem, plus the in-game weapon models are much less obvious as to which weapons deal more damage. Thus, you get a lot of new players who use in combat whatever weapon the class spawns holding, be it the (all generally useless against enemy players) Engineer's railgun, Pyro's flamethrower, or Medic's Super nailgun.
- Tomb Raider examples:
- Tomb Raider: The Prophecy: In the Angkor Wat area, you have to sprint and long-jump to get to a certain door in time. Didn't know about the sprint button? Enjoy being stuck.
- In Tomb Raider, there's an area where Lara must make a long jump into a pool of water far below. There is only a small square of space in the pool that isn't so shallow that it would lead to a lethal fall. However, even a perfectly executed running jump cannot reach it. This is the only point in the game where she absolutely must perform a dive while jumping (which previously seemed like only a cosmetic addition) in order to reach the small square of deep water.
- The Batman Arkham Series has a New Game+ mode, which removes the onscreen prompts for countering enemy attacks and will seriously kick the butt of anyone who hasn't absolutely familiarised themselves with the surprisingly deep combat system. Seriously, people often find starting again on Hard Mode easier than the NG+ version of Normal Difficulty if only because of how easy it is to fall into the trap of relying too heavily on the onscreen prompts.
- Mega Man 4 has one in the form of the penultimate boss. Due to the height at which its weak spot is, good luck getting past him unless you know about the Drill Bomb's often overlooked "remote detonation" property (you can make it explode early by pushing B). This property is why the Drill Bomb is one of the best "explosive" weapons in the series.
- Mastering all the myriad uses of the boxing glove gun in Rockin Kats is necessary to get anywhere in the game. In fact, the player can't even beat the first level without knowing about being to use it to rebound off the floor and grab and swing from things. Fortunately, if the player leaves the game on the title screen long enough, it shows them all the things that can be done with the boxing glove gun.
- Stealth in PAYDAY 2 tends to be a brick wall for newbies. New players tend to forget that walking around with bulky armor and highly visible guns will have them spotted by cameras and guards several yards away. Before the stealth mechanics was changed in an update, players new to stealth would also frequently forget that they couldn't answer more than 2 pagers unless they had the Smooth Talker skill and only that player with the skill was allowed to answer up to 4 pagers.