Quite frequently, game developers do not want you to be able to save anywhere and everywhere, especially while in battle. It encourages Save Scumming
, and can lead to a player getting stuck somewhere
because their only save is in an area they can't proceed or escape from. On the other hand, some developers also want to let players leave the game at their leisure without the punishment of taking them back to the last Save Point
How can they satisfy both requirements? The answer is implementing a Suspend Save system (sometimes called Quick Saves, instead, although that is also a term for keyboard mapped saving/loading in PC games). Suspend saves are a type of Save Game that has the following features:
- Only one can exist at a time.
- Saving in such a way always exits the game.
- Reloading a quick save deletes the save file - they are single use only.
- Reloading from a standard save file or starting a new game usually deletes the quick save file.
These are especially popular with handheld games, since a player may have to quit playing at a moment's notice and can't take the time to search for a Save Point
. They are also popular as the only
way to save in Roguelikes
that have Perma Death
open/close all folders
- This feature was added to the American release of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. If the player doesn't want to go through the entire three-day timeline in one sitting, they have the option of saving and exiting at an owl statue, to resume later. The only way to save one's progress in the game permanently is to go back in time to the beginning of the "Groundhog Day" Loop.
- The iOS port of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has this as a feature. If the app is closed during play, it will give you the option to resume from your suspend save the next time you open it. The GBA versions from Japan used it as well, but the DS versions took out the latter two restrictions, allowing players to save-scum.
- This feature was added to all of the handheld ports and remakes of the NES-era Final Fantasy games.
- Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior games also use this when you're in the field, you can only save properly in towns.
- In Nostalgia, you can chose to quick save. Then you are asked to turn the system off, and it deletes the save when you choose "Continue" instead of "Load".
- This was available in all versions but the PAL release of Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter.
- Resonance of Fate. Places to save properly are rare, but this and the ability to retry battles for a nominal fee prevent that from being too much of a problem.
- Pokémon Pinball uses a quicksave to prevent Save Scumming.
- The Game & Watch Gallery games would automatically perform a quicksave upon pausing and delete it when resuming or exiting, allowing the players to pause and then shut off the game at the pause menu, and still pick up where they left off.
Every single roguelike
has this as a part of their implementation of Permadeath
. However, there are some that play with it
to various degrees.
- The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games do this if you save while inside a dungeon.
- Dungeons of Dredmor's game saves are restricted to this when Permadeath is enabled.
- Dwarf Fortress has standard Suspend Saves for both game modes and adventurers can additionally retire, suspending their game over a longer period so a fortress or another adventurer can carry on from that history in the same world, then re-activated later. Eventually the ability to retire fortresses was added in the 2014 version of the game.
- FTL: Faster Than Light includes a save & quit feature, which has the further limitation of not being usable during a battle.
- Mario Golf allowed a suspend save at any time, which could only be used once. The main game data was only saved upon finishing a course or minigame.
- This would restart the course you were on, as opposed to where you left off, so it works really well for Save Scumming.
- Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon allows you to quick-save during a battle.
- This was added to Fire Emblem when the series moved to the Gameboy Advance. For those three games only, the game updated the one quicksave any time you did anything of note, which was both very convenient and almost impervious to Save Scumming. Shadow Dragon has a variant with mid-chapter save points that can be reloaded indefinitely (but they can only be used once before disappearing). Suspend Saves can also be used at any time in Radiant Dawn in the hardest difficulty (on lower difficulties, they're just normal saves).
- This is how the Hibernate feature works on most computers, as well as the Safe Sleep in OS X. The OS makes a save state of the entire system and saves it to the hard disk, then powers off.
- Virtual Console for Wii can suspend some games. It can suspend SNES games, but not N64 games. This feature is less than the save states in other emulators, because it prevents Save Scumming.