Save Games are mandatory for most modern games, as they've become too long to complete in a single setting. A save token allows the player to save their game, usually whenever and wherever they want to, but with the added restriction that they can only save by using a specific kind of item in their inventory.
When the item is consumable, how common this item is can lead to strategy (and frustration) about when and how often to save. In games where they are not available for the player to buy, they may overlap with Too Awesome to Use
This trope frequently overlaps with other forms of saving, such as Save Point
. Often a type of Save Game Limit
. May overlap with Justified Save Point
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Examples of consumable items:
- Broken Helix, a PS1 game by Konami, uses Save CDs items for saving. They're few and far between, scattered in the levels, and only one save is allowed per Save CD before it's consumed.
- Omikron: The Nomad Soul had special rings you had to find. You could use them either to save or to get a suggestion.
- Tomb Raider III had collectible blue crystals which saved your game on use in the PS1 version. (The PC version allowed saving at any point from the menu)
Eastern RP Gs
- Wild ARMs 3 had Gimel Coins in addition to town-only Save Points. Gimel Coins allow you to save anywhere, but were not sold in shops. Whatever you found in chests or from the exceptionally rare drops were all you got for the entire game.
- The original Final Fantasy had tents, cabins, and houses which, in addition to recovering your HP, also saved your game. The only other save option was to stay at an Inn.
- Final Fantasy VII mostly uses a Save Point system instead, but there is a consumable Save Token in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon that creates a Save Point anywhere the player wants.
- Final Fantasy IX somewhat qualifies at one point. Moogles located at specific locations save the game for you, thus serving as save points. But you are given a special Moogle's Flute item to call for them, if you need your game saved in the Overworld. You get it with no effort just before you go to World Map for the first time, never lose it and it costs you nothing to use (except Moogle's patience), but as a matter of fact it's still a kind of a Save Token.
- Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter has ultra rare save tokens, although there was fortunately Suspend Saves available if you really needed to quit.
- Tales of Symphonia had some of it save points locked untill activated by a special consumable item which always was, mercifully enough, a drop from one of the enemies in the area. Said items were also interchangeable between different unactive save points.
First Person Shooter
- Saving in Daikatana could be done at any time provided that you had a Save Gem in your inventory which, upon saving, was used up. You could only carry three at any given time however, which, when you consider that they were often in secret areas and became increasingly difficult to find the further you progressed (they were practically nonexistent in the last few stages), made things even harder than they had any right to be. Mercifully, a patch was soon released that made this rule optional.
- NYET 3: Revenge of the Mutant Stones, a Tetris variant. You start with one free save, but additional saves cost 100 coins (or 250 for a 3-pack), which may be used between the 108 levels. Coins are otherwise spent on other helpful items.
- The X-Universe series of space sims have autosaving every time the player docks at a space station, but if they wish to save while in flight, they need to purchase single-use "Salvage Insurance" contracts, which allow the player to save the game while out in space. X Rebirth does away with the system and allows players to save anywhere at any time.
Strategy RP Gs
- In the 2nd Summon Night: Swordcraft Story the "Save Diary" item replaces the suspend save of the first game and allows saving at any point in the game (not just save points) and is used upon a single use. It is cheap and the player can save from fixed save points even without them.
Third Person Shooter
- The PlayStation and PC version of Tomb Raider 3 had collectible save crystals that could be used at any time from the inventory.
Examples of nonconsumable items:
- In Myst V: End of Ages, you can create a save at any time by taking a photograph with the camera in your inventory. The picture is stored in your journal and you go to it by opening said journal and clicking on the image. This does mean that you save any time you take a photo for another reason, but there isn't a limit.
- In some Harvest Moon games you can save from a journal in your inventory.
- In the Metal Gear games you saved by using your codec/radio/etc to call a "data analyst" and having them save your game for you.