In most plot-based video games, there is ordinary conversation, and then there's the important stuff. The descriptions of what you need to do next, the motivations of the villain, the basics of playing the game, that sort of thing. In order to make sure the player understands all this, they'll then ask if the player would like to hear it all over again. If the player agrees, they'll do so, repeating it exactly
, even maintaining all the contextual cues that realistically shouldn't happen multiple times.
Sometimes asked as "Do you understand?", in which case you want to answer "Yes" to move on instead of "No".
If the cursor defaults to "Yes, I do want to hear that again" or "No, I don't understand", this may become a Scrappy Mechanic
, since a player mashing the "A" button
to skip the text as quickly as possible (especially if the text is dozens of pages long
and scrolls slowly
going to end up accidentally repeating it over and over until they learn from their mistake and say "No, I don't want to hear that again" or "Yes, I do understand". Similar to Welcome to Corneria
, only this happens within a single conversation.
Compare But Thou Must
, Parrot Exposition
. Common in Dialogue Trees
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- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has many examples of this trope:
- The owl—Kaepora Gaebora—is best known for this, as he gives Link the option to have him repeat himself almost every time he talks to you, regardless of significance. What's more, sometimes he asks "Do you want to hear what I said again?" and others it's "Did you get all that?", requiring you to have to read the question carefully or you'll give the appropriate answer to the last time you talked to him and he'll force you to listen to it all over again. Worse, the cursor will always default to the option for him to repeat, which means that if you mash the "A" button, you will be stuck in a cycle of blabbering.
- As a huge relief, Kaepora does not do this to you anymore once you enter the Adult portion of the game, and in fact does not show up at all while Link is an adult, aside from one small appearance in the middle of the Spirit Temple. Does not make his presence in the early part of the game any less obnoxious, however.
- Brawl in the Family has a comic on it, with Kaepora Gaebora featured in the comic.
- Somebody on thedailyrage.com made another comic of the infamous owl, this time of the "Do you understand?" variety.
- The two Composer Brothers at the Graveyard, Flat and Sharp, will tell you how they came to compose the Sun's Song and gave their lives to protect their secret from Ganondorf, and then they will ask if you want to hear what they said again, with "Yes" being the default option.
- After listened to Saria's advice after playing Saria's Song, the game will ask you if you want to hear her advice again. The default? "Yes", of course.
- After playing at the Bombchu Bowling Alley, the operator will ask you if you want to play again. If you're spamming "A" to skip the text describing the prize you won (if you won), you could easily select the default, "Yes". Making this mistake is especially frustrating because each game costs you 30 Rupees.
- What's perhaps most infuriating about it, however, is that, despite the annoyance of all of this reaching memetic status, none of it was changed in the 3DS remake. Either They Just Didn't Care or Nintendo indeed likes to watch you suffer.
- An odd subversion in Gabriel Knight 1. While most Dialogue Trees are repeatable (for that day) and no one has a problem repeating themselves, the professor will say, "I'm not in the habit of repeating myself" when asking him repeat questions in the tree. This leads him to repeat himself frequently about how he doesn't repeat himself. (To actually rehear his conversation, there is a recording system, also used for most important conversations in the game.)
Role Playing Game
- Earthbound, meanwhile, parodies it viciously. When Buzz Buzz gives his dying words, you have the option to have him repeat the entire thing (including all his wheezing and panting!) as many times as you like, and he won't die until you tell him to stop. And when Everdred does the same, he'll refuse to repeat everything he just said even if you ask.
- MOTHER 3 plays it more straight when Leder gives the surprisingly long explanation of the history of Nowhere Islands; he'll confirm that you understand each part before continuing to the next.
- As if the developers were especially fearful of forgetful players, MOTHER 3 even has key items that contain the repeatable words of some characters. For example, the Stinkbug's Memory lets you hear everything Leder says again at any time.
- Pokémon games often feature a variation on this via an old woman who will allow you to rest and heal your Pokemon. Afterwards, she asks if you'd like to rest some more. There is no benefit to saying "Yes", but that's where the cursor defaults.
- In Black 2 & White 2, Bianca asks this after explaining the Habitat List upgrade for the Pokédex. Of course the cursor defaults to "Yes".
- Averted in detriment to the player when the Pokemon games introduced "PokéRus": As this information is given to you essentially randomly after healing your Pokemon at the Poké Center, instead of the normal 3 screen goodbye message the lady says, you have now inadvertently and mechanically skipped past five screens of useful information by the time you realize she's saying something different than normal. And there is no "Shall I repeat that?" for this event. Ever.
- Pokémon Ranger is infamous for its long explanations of basic tasks, and then asking if you want them to repeat themselves. Woe unto you should you accidentally choose "Yes"...
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the cursed treasure chests are nice enough to ask things like "So do you understand the terrible curse you're under now?" and will repeat the details if you don't.
- Almost universal in Runescape's dialogue trees.
- Shining Force uses the trope any time another character gives you an instruction in order to make sure you understand what you're supposed to do next.
- Inverted in Final Fantasy VI. During the banquet, you get to ask the Emperor three questions. You lose points (gained from diplomatic talks and from persuading soldiers to peace) if you ask him the same question over. Moreover, he will ask which of the three questions you asked first after all of it.
- Also in Final Fantasy X where Rikku explains the Sphere Grid, but talking to one of the other Al Bhed will trigger the tutorial again. What makes this one nasty is, you don't speak the lingo yet, so you don't know what he's asking.
- Final Fantasy IV features an odd example — when you meet the king of Fabul, a lengthy scene happens where the king learns about Golbez and his motives, and asks you to help protect the kingdom's crystal. If you say no, it reboots the scene from the beginning instead of doing a But Thou Must. The Playstation translation has some fun with this.◊
Would you like to read all of that again?