So you're playing a game and you reach a critical point in the story. Something bad happened, and things got worse. Maybe the hero just took a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown
from the Big Bad
, or maybe the world has sustained massive damage
. Perhaps the time has come to take immediate action to stop the Big Bad
from carrying out his plot.
Alternatively, there is a lull in the story (or Exposition Bomb
), or another incongruous moment, like after a conversation, when things are about to get worse.
Either way, either something big has happened, or something big is about to happen.
Cue the Ominous Save Prompt, which often looks or works different from an ordinary save prompt.
Often used in a Downplayed
manner: a character says
that the game should be saved, (e.g. "We need to double check our equipment" along with a "Ready to go?" prompt,) but the Player must still call up the save menu normally.
Getting one of these in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon
is a sign that the Final Boss
is nigh. Granted, these could also show up in the Disc One Final Dungeon
right before you fight the Disc One Final Boss
(or, rather, not fight him
Subtrope of Suspicious Videogame Generosity
, in this case letting you know you should
save before (and/or after) the rough patch. Indeed, for most games where saves are usually automatic or handled by checkpoint, the appearance of any
save prompt qualifies for the Genre Savvy
Would you like to save before reading the Examples? You really should.
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- In the Interactive Fiction game Firebird, just before the PC is about to set off on the main adventure, he thinks about how this would be a good time to say a prayer for the journey ahead. Cue the unorthodox save prompt: "Would you like to save your soul?"
- The Infocom Interactive Fiction game Wishbringer prompts you to save before playing the "Transmatter" arcade game. Standard for the genre, and not the only situation where the wrong actions make the game Unwinnable, but they ramp up the ominous factor several times by asking if you really want to play and having the other gamers go quiet.
- If Ciel ever asks you if you want to save in a Mega Man Zero game, something is about to go down (assuming it hasn't already).
Role Playing Game
Shoot Em Up
- Sigma Star Saga gives you a somewhat-unneeded one of these (as you would probably have remembered to save before heading into the battle in question, anyways).
Stealth Based Game
- Metal Gear loves this trope. It even has one instance in which you are warned against saving.
- Right after The Reveal, Silent Hill 2 features a long hallway with nine save points right at the end game. The final two boss fights are right through the door past the save point.
- In Silent Hill 3, the room that lies right before the final boss fight features a very conspicuous save point.
- The Resident Evil games that use more than one disc had this, and treated it as a "free" save, as it didn't cost you an Ink Ribbon. In Code Veronica, it also didn't count against your rating, so it was the only place you could save and still get a perfect score.
- Prior to fighting the Black Guardian in Eternal Darkness, the game directly tells you to save.
- The Witch's House. Right when Ellen's ruined body starts stumbling towards you, the game prompts you to save even though the cat's dead body (your save station) was right outside the door. After the save point, you will die a lot. Also, this is the part where you perform the action that decides your ending.
- For most of Hatoful Boyfriend, you can save as and when you please. Your first hint that Bad Boys Love is going to be a real roller coaster is the game's first save prompt appearing.
- In the Ace Attorney series, this happens after every investigation or trial scene. It gets more notable when it happens in the middle of a trial, usually when there's a recess. More notable, still, when it happens in the middle of a trial and a recess HASN'T been called. Unnecessary because you can save at absolutely any point in time with very few exceptions, but it still lets you know something' going to come up.
Non-video game examples:
- In Scott Pilgrim, being a world run on Rule of Cool and Video Game Tropes, has a save point in a corner right before a fight with the 3rd evil ex. Note that this is the first instance of a save point within the book.
- Scott at first wonders what it is, and is told that "It looks like a save point." He reasons that if it is a save point, he has to go save because something really bad might happen.
- He doesn't reach the save point in time.
- Marble Hornets (er, sort of) - Jay learns that Jessica has all the symptoms of being stalked by the Operator, and decides that they really need to leave the creepy, apparently-deserted hotel. Unfortunately, he stops to upload this to his YouTube account before getting the hell out of there, leaving the fanbase dreading the next entry. By the time he's ready to go, not only has Jessica vanished into thin air, but the Masked Man has shown up again.