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In some games, the player is expected to grab everything not bolted down
. In other games, if you have the option of not paying for wares, doing so makes a shopkeeper attack you or send powerful mooks against you
. Often, the attacker will be an Invincible Minor Minion
that you have no choice but to outrun. Good luck with that.
Other times, they'll just be brutally overpowered, to the point that they could probably tackle the dungeon themselves and conquer it without even breaking a sweat. Either way, you'll probably be wondering why you're even allowed to try
to shoplift, seeing as it near-inevitably
results in suffering Yet Another Stupid Death
See also Badass Bystander
, Super Stoic Shopkeeper
. Compare Ballistic Discount
, Disproportionate Retribution
, Cant Get Away With Nuthin
, I Fought the Law and the Law Won
, and Video Game Cruelty Punishment
- The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess has a parrot who attacks Link if he doesn't pay for his wares in a tiny box. However, since it doesn't do much damage (and you can down a red potion before leaving the stall), the bird isn't very persuasive. And it certainly doesn't help that Link can underpay (to the tune of a single Rupee) and the bird will only respond to this by calling him a cheapskate, sans divebombing. Of course, if you want, you can pay a little extra in the box, prompting the parrot to call Link a "generous young man".
- In an earlier game, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, if you're quick enough to steal from the shop in Mabe Village, you get a little message asking you if you're proud of yourself. Your save file is also renamed to "THIEF," causing everyone to call you that. And the next time you attempt to enter the shop, the shopkeeper kills you with Force Lightning for an instant Game Over. Mind, this is the best way to achieve 100% Completion, as the Bow costs an exorbitant 980 Rupees.
- It's required for 100% Completion in Link's Awakening DX; stealing an item gets you one of the photographs. But going back into the shop means you die, which disqualifies you for the Good Ending. This means that, in order to obtain both 100% Completion AND for the Good Ending, you have to steal from the shop at the end of the game and NEVER GO BACK.
- The Happy Mask Shop Keeper from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is also an example. He always has a grin on his face coupled with Eyes Always Shut, but if you don't have enough Rupees to pay back the mask you sold, he'll be extremely angry and the angry face alone can be Nightmare Fuel for some people. Luckily this is the only thing he will do if you are short on funds.
Beat 'em Up
- Shoplifting gets you shot in Leisure Suit Larry, Space Quest IV, (in a humorous way) and Police Quest: Open Season (in a more serious way).
- Perhaps more comical than Space Quest or Leisure Suit Larry, in Open Season a Korean woman shoots you, a LAPD homicide detective, in the face at point-blank range if you try to leave her convenience store without paying for an apple.
- Stiffing the cabbie in Leisure Suit Larry will not only have him killed by the cabbie's fists, but his carcass run over by his cab. Evil doesn't even begin to describe this!
- Police Quest: SWAT has an early mission where the team is called out to a Korean 7-11, after robbers enter and gunshots are heard. The mission can have the gunmen shooting the store owners or holding them hostage, or it can work the other way around with the store owners waving guns about, requiring an interpreter.
- In Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge, Roger Wilco orders a whistle via mail required to solve a later puzzle. In both Space Quest III and Space Quest V, the owners of the mail-order company dispatch Terminator-like androids to collect the huge debt incurred from the interest or kill him (but mostly kill him). What's strange about this is that the whistle is advertised as being free. In Space Quest IV trying to leave a software store without paying for an item will have the store's anti-shoplifting device fatally zap you. There's a change machine in the same game that will also defend itself with lethal force if you try and force it open.
- In Deja Vu, you may take one cab trip without paying the driver afterwards - try it again and he'll call the cops on you. Coupled with the murder rap you're trying to beat, it's ten to life for you. Taking a Ballistic Discount doesn't work either - it turns out that there's bulletproof glass between you and the cabbie, and he's even quicker about calling the cops on you if you test it. Perhaps you should try shoplifting from the gun shop owner instead...
- In the Streets of Rage fan remake, Blaze, of all people, pulls this trope if you dare to try to steal an unlockable without paying. If your computer clock is set between 6 AM and 7 AM, Blaze will be sleeping and you can attempt to steal one item. Regardless of if you manage to steal the item or not (its a coinflip), you will be banned access to the store at least until you complete the main game once. If you do manage to steal the item, Blaze will confiscate all the money you earn during the main game and won't open shop again for you until the debt is fully paid.
- If you break a shop window in Bioshock, the security system activates and sends machine-gun equipped helicopter robots to kill you. This comes across as an awfully extreme method of stopping shoplifters. Since the usual things you get from shop displays are inexpensive first-aid kits and EVE hypos, there's usually no reason to risk it.
- In Postal 2, one of the first tasks is to get milk from the store. If you take it and leave without paying, the owner will come after you with a gun. Of course, this being Postal, you can just shoot him. And of course, that's assuming you didn't already shoot him before even getting the milk. The game strongly implies that this is the preferred outcome: the objective is counted as complete as soon as you grab the milk without even hinting at actually paying for it. Plus, attempting to do so places you in ridiculously long queue filled with people custom-designed to irritate the player with their words and behaviour. That, and the shop owner is clearly a terrorist. Police response, on the other hand, is surprisingly measured. You can steal money from bank vault, or even loot a police station, but if you don't pull gun yourself, cops will not open fire on you. They will apply their batons on your back enthusiastically, though.
Role Playing Game
Wide Open Sandbox
- Net Hack's shopkeepers. The trope was formerly called Izchak's Wrath for a reason *. They get indignant if the player tries to steal, trying to kill the player themselves or sending the police - which happen to be the Keystone Kops - after the player. The shopkeepers will also charge you for damaged or eaten merchandise. They tend to be well armed (with the occasional Wand of Death); the Keystone Kops would be predictably ineffective but for their overwhelming numbers.
There's a delightful variety of complications: they're killable but that counts as murder for the non-chaotic, they can grab the character's backpack if they try to tunnel through the floor while standing too close, characters with uncontrolled teleportitis should be very careful indeed... On the other hand, a trained housepet can steal items and somehow avoid attracting any attention.
- Any monster besides the player can steal from NetHack shops without penalty. Only a few 'greedy' monsters will actually do so. Drop all your gold in the shop (for store credit). Lead a greedy monster in (a dwarf will do), then back out. Kill them for your money, while keeping the store credit. Much more reliable than pets.
- The black marketeer One Eyed Sam who appears in NetHack variants such as Slash EM and UnNetHack is even more aggressive about defending his stuff, and has several powerful guard-critters patrolling his store as well.
- It's the same story in ADOM, except the cops summoned are generic thugs, and the shopkeeper himself is a tough enemy — and shopkeepers can throw gold pieces with bullet accuracy. Stealing from a shop (unless your familiar does it) causes a drop in alignment (shifting the player from lawful toward chaotic). The casino shop prevents you from teleporting out.
- Shopkeepers in ADOM can also become hostile just because you have the unholy aura corruption ("Stop scaring away the customers!") By that time, it's fairly likely you can actually kill a shopkeeper, which is no mean feat. (Unless you got corrupted early on by unwisely playing with that powerful ancient scythe which just happened to be lying around the dungeon ... then you're screwed.)
- In the Mystery Dungeon games, some very nasty dogs are sent after the player if they somehow get away with shoplifting.
- In the Pokemon version, it's the Kecleon shopkeepers themselves that swarm the characters if you shoplift. Ironically, this is the only way to recruit one to your team. Said Kecleon also have a recruit rate of negative 33.9%, thus to even have the tiniest chance of recruiting them you need to be at least Level 90 if not 100, the level cap, due to the fact that the recruitment rates are highest at those levels, and be equipped with the Friend Bow. Even with the bonuses, the chance is 0.1%, as the highest bonus to recruit rate you can achieve is 34%. Have we mentioned that these Kecleon are superpowered, are at level 91, call reinforcements, and move at double speed?
- Chocobo's Dungeon 2 has the Grim Freaking Reaper attack you. With multiple bodies. In higher levels, each body is stronger than the endboss, and respawns if "killed."
- In Final Fantasy Fables, lifting a "super-rare" item will cause the shopkeep — *ahem* Dungeon Hero X to attack you. He moves twice a turn, knocks Chocobo into the far wall if he attacks, and has the "Mog Beam X", which always does 777 damage. You can try to escape the room instead to keep the item, but if you aren't quick, he freaking teleports on top of the stairs. However, this is the only way to get the Thief's memories.
- Shiren the Wanderer has a rather elaborate system to prevent shoplifting. First, upon picking up any item, the shopkeeper blocks the only exit until the player pays. If the player tries to attack the shopkeeper, he moves at double speed to eviscerate the player with powers rivaling the final boss. Finally, if the player manages to paralyse or otherwise subdue the shopkeeper, upon leaving the store the game will declare "Thief!" and then sic double-speed Guard Dogs and incredibly powerful Sheriffs on you until you somehow manage to leave the town or dungeon floor. To add insult to injury, if you actually are able to kill any of these creatures, you gain neither experience nor items. Small wonder the stats screen has entries for both times you stole items and times you successfully stole items.
- In Torneko, if you get something and leave the room without paying, or attack the gargoyle shopkeeper, many other gargoyles will come after you. And they're quick and kill you with a single blow.
- In Dungeons of Dredmor, stealing an item from a shop provokes the high-level shopkeeper to attack you and spawns mass armies of enforcer demons to kill you. Unless you have access to one of the game's many Game Breakers, in which case you can farm the enforcer demons for infinite XP. Or unless you can kill every shopkeeper on the dungeon level simultaneously, in which case no demons spawn and you can just loot all the shops.
- Been doing a little gambling in a casino in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, and you're a bit in the red? No problem, they'll give you time to pay them back...about five minutes real time. After that, the casino owner will send a hit squad of four guys with SMG's after you. Even if you happen to be the casino owner...
- And when you kill them, they drop a lot of money. An interesting way to pay off your debt.
- Saints Row had the First Born Loans company. Go ahead, take out a loan. But pay them back on time. If you didn't, they'd send two guys in a car with a knife. Then two guys with pistols. Then four with shotguns, etc. up to the helicopter with two assault rifle gunners (which would not stop spawning until you paid off the loan).
- Saints Row 2 allows you to rob stores by holding a gun to the cashier and leading him or her to the safe with their money. After they do this, or if you take your gun off them for too long, the alarm sounds and you're immediately given 3 stars of police notoriety.
- Saints Row The Third also let you rob stores; it subverted this trope, however, due to the fact that you could rob stores you own (giving you notoriety), only to walk outside and reenter the store (which removes all notoriety because you own it.) But really, you're given so much money you'd never have to do this (other than just to be a dick).
- In Way of the Samurai 2, it is possible to run off with items before paying. They won't chase you or harm you directly, but it does decrease your standing in the Karma Meter. You usually have two chances before the shopkeepers all over Amahara refuses to sell you anything. You then have to work for the townspeople to raise your standing all over again. If you're particularly unlucky, some random ronin will spot you as trouble and will try to take justice into his own hands...
- In the original Way of the Samurai however, there is only one shopkeeper in the game (the Blacksmith) who you can choose not to pay and will be attacked by. What makes him different from most games though is you can kill him, but will deprive yourself of a vendor for the rest of the game. You do get a unique weapon though.
- The third game has a variation on this: While the shopkeepers themselves will not attack you, their bodyguards will. An exception is the Legendary Merchant who is armed himself. The difficulty of the battles depend on who are you snitching from (both the Legendary Merchant and the guard for the Takatane Item Merchant are pretty bad; the rest of the bodyguards are quite decent), and the difficulty. Playing in Instant Kill Mode pretty much guarantees you to want to pay, or get the first strike in.
Non-Video Game Examples
- Pressing the attack key instead of the purchase key in Spelunky is a good way to be instantly killed by the shotgun-toting shopkeeper.
- Spelunky shopkeepers get angry over quite a few offenses, and there's a fairly complex system to determine their response to you. Killing a shopkeeper at any time, for any reason, causes the rest to be hostile to you for the rest of the game. Any other crime merely increases your Wanted Meter, which goes down by one each floor. Notably, for whatever reason, stealing from a shopkeeper who is already angry doesn't count as a crime, which can be exploited for consequence-free robbery. As if that wasn't bad enough, some shopkeepers will not be in their stores, but waiting for you at the level exit hoping to catch you.
- Easily angered is right. You can literally get into trouble for something either A)Isn't your fault or B) something that happened to the store that was your fault but wasn't intended to be. The best case of this is the exploding frog in the jungle area. You hit one in inflates a while before exploding. Knock one down near a store and don't/can't get rid of it in time? You might as well have thrown a lit bomb for all the shotgun pellets you'll be facing.
- While not taking place in the game per se, OC Remix's "Satomi Tadashi remix from Persona showcases the shopkeeper ranting about teens invading his store in an exaggerated Japanese accent.
- In Thing Thing Arena 2, if provoked the shop keeper will wail away at you with a minigun. It is, however, possible to defeat him and he will drop limitless minigun ammo.
- One of the puzzles in the online flash game Johnny Rocketfingers II is to figure out how to steal an item from a store without the shopkeeper blowing your head off. Fortunately, if you don't guess right, he gives you the chance to return what you stole before killing you, and only does so if you are an absolute idiot (i.e. "Don't move!" *do jumping jacks*).
- Truth in Television in many places. Even if there is no obvious security personnel, many shops have guns right under the counter, making any would be robber have a very bad day.
- Down in Mexico with its brutal drug cartels and occasional acts of domestic terrorism, some jewelry stores employ security guards armed with submachine guns. Attempting shoplifting and/or robbery at these shops would undoubtedly be a most effective way to commit suicide.
- PROTIP: Robbing the local gunstore, police office or Bad Guy Bar is a bad idea.
- In an episode of Drawn Together, Wooldoor steals a bag of candy from a store in the mall, prompting a security guard to threaten him into giving himself up by holding a woman at gunpoint. The woman's scream of "Run! He's gonna kill me no matter you do!" turns out to be true.
- Non-video game (but still relevant) example: In the webcomic Kid Radd, taking place in a world of video game characters, easily angered invincible shopkeepers are used as human shields/weapons.
- Another non-video game example is Ray Charles in the first Blues Brothers movie. Despite being blind, he just barely missed a shoplifter with his gun from across the room. The kid promptly left without trying that again.
- One of Cracked's 31 Life Lessons You Can Only Learn From Video Games is to avert this by putting a basket on the shopkeeper's head. "Robbery is easier than you think."
- Sign at the Renaissance Festival. "Shoplifter Special. Steal one sword get free throwing knife".