A cross between Escort Mission
and Hold the Line
where you're staying in one place and protect a stationary object or NPC while enemies pour in and attack your charge. Usually, you either have to protect them for a specific period of time, or just kill all the enemies.
It doesn't have to be one object. Sometimes it's an array of objects, and if a certain number are destroyed, you fail.
Tend to be easier than classic Escort Missions
, since you do not have to worry about the idiot escortees
blundering into danger. And apparently trying to make you think The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard
or A.I. Is a Crapshoot
See also Tower Defense
games, where you're generally tasked to protect a stationary object.
- Some of the missions in Wings of Glory involve defending allied observation balloons from German fighter planes. The observation balloons have no defenses, can't move, and they explode after one or two hits. You also sometimes have to defend various military targets from enemy bombers, including your own Aerodrome.
- [PROTOTYPE] has you protect a room blocked by a reinforced glass barrier while an ally works there and later a deployed toxin pump designed to flush out underground infected.
- Interesting variant would be the collection of biomatter outside of a hive that the military shows up to destroy. As long as you collect quickly enough, you may not even have to touch the military due the pair of hunters defending the hive against both them and you.
- [PROTOTYPE 2] has one where you will need to defend a downed helicopter with a plot-important person inside. In this case, considering you intend to consume him anyway, it makes little sense that you can't just pluck him out and get it over with instead of defending him first.
- Near the end of Half-Life, where you're about to teleport into the Another Dimension, you have to prevent aliens from killing a scientist who's busy setting up the teleporter until he finishes his job.
- Near the end of Half-Life 2 Episode 2 you have to protect White Forest Base from being attacked by striders.
- Pops up a few times in the tactical strategy Odium. Four times you have to kill the enemies before they kill a stationary NPC (who, of course, just stands there while enemies attack him). Once you have to protect some security monitors (why do the mindless monsters have an apparent temporary grudge against them is unexplained.)
- Zombie Horde 2. Every once in a while you have to protect a box from zombie attacks.
- Battle City series. Player has to protect the bird located in the bottom middle of the field from enemy tanks while staying alive as well.
- A (rather frustratingly difficult, at least compared to the rest of the game) battle towards the end of Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love has the party of PCs protecting various vital parts of an airship they're on.
- The classic arcade game Missile Command. "Defend Your Cities!"
- A few other games for the Atari 2600, Imagic's Atlantis and U.S. Games' M.A.D., are also based around the same premise.
- Final Fantasy VI has a few parts like this. Once near the start of the game where you have to protect an unconscious Terra from Imperial troops, and again with a similar mechanic later on when you protect a frozen Esper from more Imperial troops.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask requires you to protect milk jugs on the back of a wagon from Romani Ranch.
- The penultimate battle in God of War, where Kratos (you) has to protect the memory of his wife and child against hordes of evil versions of himself. It Makes Sense in Context, really!
- In God of War 2, you have to protect a translator from a bunch of enemies so you can have him read some writing. Naturally, Kratos kills him immediately after.
- Averted in God of War 3 though. Twice. First there's the Possidon princess. You don't have to protect her; she just sits there while you fight enemies. Of course Kratos kills her soon after that. The next comes late in the game with Pandora. You think you have to protect her from enemies but she does a good job of evading them while kill them. Meaning she never gets hurt by enemies, ever. However there are times where she falls into death traps you have to get her out of before she's killed though.
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has a mission on Elysia during which you have to kill all the Space Pirates and their ships before they destroy the Spire Pod, which is carrying the bomb that you need to destroy the shield protecting the Leviathan Seed. You're standing on the Spire while it's being attacked, by the way.
- World of Warcraft has several of these. One where you have to protect a crystal from several waves of enemies, and another where you have to protect the Hourglass of Eternity, with some help from your future self. Later, you get to do it again, this time as the future self, helping your past self.
- In WolfQuest, one of the missions is to protect your pups from the hungry coyotes and bears. It gets more difficult when you must move them to the summer hunting grounds and an eagle decides they look tasty.
- The Mass Effect games have several:
- In the second game there's Archangel's recruitment mission. He's not immobile and he fights back against attackers, but without your help, he's toast.
- Same game, there's a short sidequest that involves you finding the badly injured sole survivor of a quarian ship crash, and protecting her from attacking varren until your shuttle shows up to pull you out of there. If she dies, you lose.
- There's also the sidequest you get fairly early on, which involves landing on a planet to retrieve twenty boxes of valuable cargo. Trouble is, once you arrive, a bunch of YMIR Mechs move in and start destroying said cargo. The relative success of the mission is determined by how many boxes you manage to keep from being destroyed.
- Variation in the Overlord DLC: the final boss consists of shooting little holographic spheres sliding toward the VI core. If you don't kill them fast enough, then the rogue VI will upload itself to the Normandy, resulting in a Non Standard Game Over. Basically this has you protecting your own ship from a hacking attempt.
- In the third game, during the Tuchanka: Bomb mission, the final battle involves you preventing Cerberus forces from attacking Victus as he disarms the bomb.
- Tower Defense games are pretty much entirely focused on this idea.
- In Starcraft, a few of the Zerg missions require you to protect a mysterious Chrysalis. Eventually it hatches, revealing infested Kerrigan, who the Zerg had stolen in the penultimate mission of the Terran campaign. Only some of the missions technically count, as in the first few, it's small enough to be carried around by a Drone.
- In the sequel, you have to protect a laser drill while the Protoss send waves of troops against you. Fortunately, you get Siege Tanks in this mission, and you can aim the drill manually, making short work of any enemy unit that's not in the Fog of War.
- Ariel Hanson's missions involve you protecting a fleet of refugees from a variety of threats as they seek out a new home world. These threats range from infested zombie-like Terrans to full-on Zerg assaults to a purification squad helmed by Executor Selendis.
- The final mission has you protect the Xel'naga artifact as it prepares to expunge the Zerg influence from Char and de-infest Kerrigan. Naturally, she wants to wipe it out, and she will throw the kitchen sink at you to make certain you don't get to fire it off.
- Warcraft continues the long, glorious tradition. The final mission of Warcraft III is probably the most prominent: the object to be protected is the World Tree. Except you're not just protecting it — you're protecting it while it gets rigged into a gigantic magical bomb meant for an archdemon. The mission is also fairly unique in that you get two allies with bases in front of the enemy's advance than you must try to aid to further protect the objective.
- Several missions in Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles are like this.
- A particularly frustrating mission of Tribes: Vengeance is centered around Victoria protecting Daniel from onrushing Blood Eagles while he extracts the data from an enemy computer. The main problem is that the location is very poorly suited for prolonged defense, your resources are painfully limited, and there is no backup whatsoever (except a few automatic turrets).
- Bioshock 2 has ADAM gathers, where the player must keep a crowd of splicers away from a Little Sister while she gathers ADAM from a corpse. While the splicers won't kill the sister if they get close, they will interrupt the gathering process.
- In both of the Modern Warfare games, there is a mission where the player has to defend a stationary objective. In the first one, the player's Marine squad has to protect a M1 Abrams tank that has been disabled. If the enemy get close enough, they'll use satchel charges to blow it up. In the second game, the player's squad has to defend a portable hard drive as it downloads the contents of a terrorist leader's computers while dozens of mercenaries rappel in by helicopter to try and destroy it.
- Occurs in GoldenEye Wii when you must protect Natalya from enemy gunfire while she tries to stop the Goldeneye satellite.
- inFAMOUS has a particularly harrowing mission involving protecting a medical crate. If you've started down the Evil path, the waves of baddies can be subdued with a little mass damage... but if you have Good Cole's abilities... well, be ready to restart the mission a couple times until you manage to take out the gunner trucks and rocket launchers before they make your crate go kablooey.
- Protecting Hawk while he disarms a nuclear bomb in Soldier of Fortune.
- A number of quests in Dungeons & Dragons Online are this, including two of the quests of Korthos Island.
- Several times in Conduit 2, protagonist Michael Ford must protect the Free Drudge during the campaign.
- Fable II has quite a few of these, one where you have to protect Garth whilst he activates a gate.
- Resident Evil 5 has one of the BSAA members, Josh, inputing a code in order to turn on the power for the elevator for him, Chris and Sheva to escape on. You also have to do it again. He even remarks how much of a pain it is for you.
- The second half of the Water Room in Resident Evil 4, where you must protect Ashley from respawning Zealots with sniper cover while she hits a pair of switches to raise a bridge.
- The entire point of Sector Z in Star Fox 64 is that the Great Fox just stops in the middle of nowhere while the enemy fires 6 large missiles in 1-2-3 sequences at it. Thankfully, you have plenty of time to destroy each missile, and they always come from the same direction. This mission is also paid homage to in Level 8 of Star Fox Assault, when you have to protect the Orbital Gate from a lot more missiles coming from all different directions.
- Numerous examples from Fire Emblem. Most frequently, it's an incapacitated "Ally" NPC, or some other figure such as Royals who aren't as talented as yours at fighting. While many missions are "Seize the throne", there are a few where it's inverted which would also fit this trope. Some of them are also Luck Based Missions, since if you are unlucky, the character you are supposed to protect can get killed before you even have a chance to reach them — most infamously, "Battle Before Dawn" in Blazing Sword.
- In Solatorobo, during Red's Journey to the Center of the Mind, the software begins by creating a warmup for him from his memories. He winds up defending Elh from a bunch of bugs, seeing as that's what he considered the most laughably easy thing to come up with. A later simulation reuses the "don't let the bugs near Elh" objective, but that one was a Rescue Romance situation specifically set up by Merveille.
- "You must save the totem, Turok!"
- At the climax of Jade Empire, Silk Fox and Dawn Star (you control one) are defending a bridge while Kang the Mad sets up explosives.
- TRON 2.0 has several, mostly in terms of guarding the AI Ma3a who is carrying the algorithms needed to run the digitizing laser (Jet's ticket back to analog). One of them is sniping rival security Programs from a tower, another is fending off Thorne and his horde of virus-inflected Programs in a Bar Brawl.
- In Battlestar Galactica Online, you can call in mining ships to handle resource-bearing planetoids. The payoff from these is greater than spending an equal amount of time doing normal Asteroid Mining. However, the game spawns mooks to go after the mining ships, as well as creating an indicator on the sector map that may attract enemy players. Of course, you can invert this by going out and hunting enemy mining ships.
- The second of the mid-game missions in Mega Man Zero 2 contains a segment toward the end where Zero must protect Ciel as she disarms a bomb, which takes 90 seconds. The enemies coming after you two are quite weak, but there are a lot of them.
- Banjo-Tooie had a mission involving protecting a pig from incoming sharks.
- Protecting the American and Mexican presidents in Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter.
- There are a few of these in Mini Robot Wars as "Mission Stages"
- Fallout: New Vegas has you fend off a Legion raid at Bitter Springs during Boone's companion quest, "I Forgot to Remember to Forget".
- Age of Empires II has a few in campaigns. In the El Cid one, one of your goals is actually to defend the body of El Cid because it was propped up on a horse to convince people he was still alive. And yes, a dead body has hit points. Don't ask how. In almost any other scenario though, you're more likely to protect weaker cities or buildings.
- A number of missions in Borderlands 2 are of this type. The last phase of one of Tiny Tina's missions requires protecting a generator from a stream of bandits; a mission in Opportunity requires protecting a hacked drone while it destroys Handsome Jack's statues; one of the Slab King's missions requires protecting generators hoisting Slab flags in hostile territory; a story mission requires protecting a beacon from waves of loaders.
- Call of Duty: Ghosts has one in the "Clockwork" mission where you need to defend Hesh as he hacks the data center of the Federation base. You get a turret, several mines, claymores and tear gas, along with your teammates to help as the enemies try to flank you.
- Total Annihilation features one in the Arm campaign, defending a large mine from attacking naval forces. It can rapidly become That One Level.
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds has Monument victories, which involve building a huge and expensive structure and then guarding it for a while. The second mission in the final Wookiee campaign involves rebuilding the Government Tree, which uses the Wookiee Monument building, and then defending it from waves of Imperial troops, not helped by the Empire being a Tech Level higher than you. Expect to lose a lot of Anti-Air Troopers.
- A recurring challenge in Spiderman Shattered Dimensions is keeping NPCs alive while they open the next stage for you (after which, presumably, they escape). In the 2099 world, this is often a Two-Keyed Lock, so you need to defend both NPCs simultaneously.
- Point Blank:
- The series in general has the "Protect Dr. Dan and Dr. Don from the _____" stages, where you must shoot enemies to prevent them from knocking out the mascot you're protecting until the timer reaches 0.
- Point Blank 2 has "Defend Earth from UFOs", where you must hold off an Alien Invasion by shooting the UFOs; the larger ones split into four smaller UFOs when shot. If a single UFO goes below the screen, it's stage failed for both players.
- Transformers: Devastation has several sections where you must protect Wheeljack while he makes field repairs to something. His health regenerates when he's not taking damage, but on higher difficulty levels he's still fragile enough for it to be That One Level.
- Chapter 26 of Project X Zone 2 has you defending the Dragonturtle from enemy attacks on four sides. You have to deal with Pyron and Lord Raptor, Skeith and Azure Kite, and Nelo Angelo and waves of enemies surrounding them. If any of the enemies or bosses touches the Dragonturtle, it's an instant Game Over.
- It's a series tradition in Ace Combat to be assigned a mission to shoot down a flight of enemy bombers about to destroy the last allied base, usually in the first mission.
- Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies
- In the mission Shattered Skies, Mobius One is tasked with defending Riass Space Center while the crew on the ground attempt to launch a spy satellite. You're only up against fighters trying to secure air superiority, until bombers attempt to attack the base halfway through the mission.
- Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
- White Bird (Part I) is similar to the above-mentioned Shattered skies, protecting a launch facility from enemy attack. Though instead of fighters and bombers, the enemy this time is air-dropped tanks and cruise missiles.
- Chain Reaction tasks the player with protecting a civilian airport from a few squadrons of fighter-bombers... only to discover they were a distraction while Yuktobanian tanks begin attacking the airport by coming out of transport planes on the runway disguised as airliners.
- Journey Home starts out a simple ceremonial flight with no combat expected... until Yuktobanian planes begin attacking you and the crowded sports stadium the Vice President is speaking at. Fortunately, your planes were armed just in case.
- In Final Fantasy XIV, events called "FATEs" spawn at random times, and one type involves a selection of objects appearing out of nowhere that must be defended from hordes of attackers. While not too bad for tank characters, who can peel the monsters off the targets with their standard tanking abilities, there's a reason these specific FATEs are ignored even by players specifically grinding the other types of FATE. As with the obnoxious Escort Mission FATEs, there is a much less annoying leve version; protection leves are located in areas with no other monsters and generate only 1-2 enemies at a time, making them among the easiest available.
- The mausoleum levels in Cuphead are this. None of the Mooks can directly hurt you, but if they reach the urn in the center of the screen where the Legendary Chalice is imprisoned, it's an instant Game Over.
- The videogame-style comic Alastere has the main characters fight off a bunch of storm elementals, preventing them from attacking the engines of the airship they are on.