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Steam Vent Obstacle
Francis: Hey, watch out for that steam pipe.
Zoey: Man, I love steam.
Francis: Yeah, steam's alright, I guess. I just hate the pipes.
Left 4 Dead, Crash Course DLC

Steam vents are somewhat common as obstacles in video games. Typically, they produce a cloud of hot steam right in front of themselves; this is the actual obstacle.

Such obstacles range from being minor inconveniences to being damaging. They are typically static or intermittent obstacles, but seldom move around, since the pipes attached to them don't. They may become Goddamned Bats if their hit detection is badly programmed. If they are minor inconveniences, they act as such by causing Interface Screw.

If the vents are being pushy rather than harmful, see Vent Physics.


Examples:

Action Adventure
  • A number of these occur in Batman: Arkham City.
  • In Brave Fencer Musashi, there is an area outside Grillin Village known as Steamwood Forest, where random steam pipes spew high-pressure streams of hot air. Some shoot out steam at regular intervals to provide temporary obstacles, and others continuously fire to create impenetrable barricades. After you repair the system that regulates the steam vents, Steamwood (you have to do this twice during the story), the vents cease to be a problem.
  • Sporadically used in Zelda games. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess not only has a few around Death Mountain, but while it's enveloped in twilight, a Goron even laments that the appearance of one particular fumarole makes the path "impassable".
  • Metroid Prime: Steam vents produce steam that can clog up Samus's visor temporarily.
    • In the intro level for Super Metroid, Samus needs to escape a space station, while avoiding gushes of steam coming out from practically everywhere. If you get hit by the steam, you lose precious time to escape.
    • Happens again during the escape from planet Zebes, only the steam's escaping from the ground itself.
  • ODT: Escape, or Die Trying had a level where pipes constantly leaked steam. And you had to use the pipes for moving.
  • Mirror's Edge had steam vents in a few levels, requiring you to stop, find a nearby valve, and shut it off. The lengthy valve-turning animation turned these into some of the game's most irritating obstacles, as this is a game built around going fast
  • Some in LEGO Star Wars, at least the ones that release very cold air.
  • Tomb Raider Anniversary: Damaged pipes occasionally blowing bursts of steam are seen in Natla's Mines. The steam is blown at regular intervals, meaning Lara can easily climb past. Should she get hit, she'll merely lose some health, while staying attached to the pipe.

Beat 'em Up
  • In the third level of Viewtiful Joe 2, an air vent serves as an obstacle in a puzzle. There are two settings you can activate. Either can block the path below, or let you ride the wind inside it, depending on which side you come from.

First-Person Shooter
  • They appear in both Half-Life games. You have to time your passage through some, but others are static and you have to find a valve to shut them off with.
  • There is a steam vent puzzle in Duke Nukem Forever that doubles as a Take That at Valve Software.
  • Blood II's obligatory sewer level consists near-entirely of finding switches to turn off a series of steam vents blocking you from crossing a bridge to the exit.
  • Played around with in First Encounter Assault Recon - steam itself is rarely directly harmful to you, but half the time when you do see it something invariably explodes near it and replaces it with fire, which is the real obstacle you need to get around.
  • These appear in Rise of the Triad in both static and moving versions.

Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
  • Remnants Of Skystone has steam vents as obstacles, despite their supposedly having been untended for nearly two hundred years, often acting just to make you schlep all the way around to try a particularly tricky threading-the-needle series of spikes and nasties.
  • Guild Wars 2 features this as one of the more common obstacles in Inquest and Aetherblade bases. All cause some damage while a few will knock down the player as well.

Platform Game
  • There are a few of these in the construction zone level of Kendo Rage.
  • Mega Man 5: Damaging puffs of steam appear in Wave Man's stage. As well as Neptune's stage.
  • Variation: Battletoads has vents producing small puffs of poisonous gas that travel a short distance before dispersing harmlessly.
  • There are a few steam vents in the Inferno Cavern of La-Mulana, especially along one vertical shaft that hides a way to the chain whip upgrade.
  • Maze Of Galious has spots on various platforms that produce periodic bursts of steam.
  • Another World had deadly steam vents in the area where you're rolling your way through pipes.
  • This is often used in the Sonic the Hedgehog games.
  • Batman Returns for the Sega Genesis has annoying steam vents throughout the collapsed building level.

Role-Playing Game
  • One springs up in Martian Dreams once you've gotten the steam power working. It prevents you from shortcutting to the exit, and that's all.

Shoot 'em Up
  • Thunder Cross II has them in the fourth level. Unlike most of the examples on this page, you can destroy them.

Simulation Game
  • In the World Adventures EP for The Sims 3, this is one of the traps in the tombs.

Stealth-Based Game
  • In Metal Gear Solid, there's a blast furnace full of leaky pipes where you can pick up the optional body armor.

Survival Horror
  • Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth has several. They are damaging and can cause interface screw if they are releasing toxic gas; they are part of a puzzle in one location where they need to be turned on in the correct order.

Turn-Based Tactics
  • Odium has you activate a steam vent to remove some slime off a walkway. The steam then becomes an obstacle itself, to be deactivated by a different switch.

Non Video Game examples
Spikes of DoomThis Index Is in the WayDeath Trap
Surprise Slide StaircaseDeath CourseLaser Hallway
Stalking MissionVideo Game Difficulty TropesSuddenly Harmful Harmless Object

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