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
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.
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.