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- You can often escape enemies chasing you by exiting through the door. They will not follow between rooms but sometimes might hit you a few times inside the door before you get the next one. Backing in-and-out of them is not so useful because walking through the doorway resets each room. The exception, however, is Space Pirates in Zero Mission, who can still follow you from room to room, keeping up the chase.
- The SA-X in Metroid: Fusion will chase the player between rooms as well. SA-X encounters are scripted events, however.
- In the Metroid Prime series, Tallon IV metroids will explode if you trick them into colliding with a door.
- In the original The Legend of Zelda, no monsters or projectiles, except Blue Wizzrobes, can touch you while you're hiding in a doorway. Now, hiding in the door also prevents you from using any of your items, sword included, but at least you can wait until the monsters move into a more advantageous location. Doesn't work on bomb holes, however; as soon as you start to enter one, you automatically move all the way into the next room.
- In the arcade game Mappy, pictured above, your only defense against the cats chasing you is to open and close doors. For some reason, the cats knock themselves out if they open the door on the side of the knob, so the player can use doors strategically. Rainbow doors, which only the player and not the cats can open, unleashes a one-time shockwave that picks up any cat in its path and clears them off the screen temporarily.
- The Intellivision game Lock 'n' Chase was all over this one. The maze setup was a Pac-Man knock-off, but the player character locked the police (enemy) characters into corners or otherwise trapped them to buy some safety and score points.
- Hotline Miami makes judicious use of this trope, as opening a door into an enemy will stun the enemy. Given that the nature of the game is a Nintendo Hard instant-death fast-paced mixed melee/ranged deathmatch where you are frequently outgunned and always outnumbered, and killing enemies unstealthily will frequently cause more mooks than you can reasonably handle to rush the room, you will use this to your advantage.
- There is also a mask in the game that will make a door hitting an enemy instantly lethal.
- Downplayed in Pac-Man, where ghosts are slowed down when they try to cross the Wrap Around tunnels.
- This is a key tactic to surviving the levels in the Left 4 Dead series. If you happen to wait too long in the safe house before venturing out into the new area, eventually the AI director will send a horde after you, but they can't get past the door, and lets you kill them off through the barred window. A good way to rack up kill points for achievements or what-have-you. Elsewhere in the levels, you can close doors to temporarily prevent the zombies from attacking you, but this forces them to either seek out another entrance or eventually break the door down.
- Quite often in Halo one can back in and back out of the doorway, letting it take the enemies' shots.
- The Half-Life mod Cry of Fear uses the Resident Evil model... except on occasion, an enemy will simply break down the door, causing a pretty big Jump Scare and incidentally connecting two sections of the level together.
- While monsters can open many doors in Doom, there are several ones they cannot (particularly ones requiring keycards or opened by switches, although these are not the only examples). Similarly, players can quickly open a door, shoot into the next room and close the door again as a means of slowly picking off opposition from behind cover (or inducing monster infighting as the monsters end up accidentally hitting their buddies with fireballs).
- SWAT 4 has literal tactical door use: you have items called tactical wedges that can hold a door shut. Very useful for preventing suspects from roaming around and sneaking up on you.
- The Pelagic II in Perfect Dark is made simple by standing in front of doors and sniping guards through the portholes. Although enemies can normally open doors, the AI doesn't understand how to shoot through small openings, and the guards become confused when they take damage from a room not immediately accessible to them.
- In Duke Nukem 3D, it is possible to take out the self-destructing Sentry Drones by closing a door in their "face" as they activate and approach you—it triggers their proximity sensors and makes them go boom.
- In Killing Floor a lot of the maps have an abundance of doors to weld shut. This is usually used to channel a horde of enemies down a select number of paths so they won't all swarm the player, though sealing yourself in so that the enemies spend time battering the doors down is also an option. You can also lay a pipe bomb on the inside so that a large group gathers at the doorway before breaking through.
- None of the zombies in Dead Island know how to open doors. If there is a workbench and vending machine on one side, and a horde on the other, it can be easy to kill off the entire horde via a battle of attrition.
- In any Mario game with Luigi's ghosts in it, even though these translucent ghosts are probably top of the list of foes you'd expect to be able to float through doors, once you've opened a door they can't follow.
- Present in Super Mario Bros. 2, as illustrated in the famous Mayor Luigi Game Grumps bit.
Real Time Strategy
- It's not actually used in the game, but many custom maps for Warcraft III give you the ability to open and close gates at your convenience.
- Zigzagged in StarCraft II. Many natural obstacles are present that can be used this way, but the AI will now attack them as well to open up units for attack. The Terran's Supply Depot building can be sunk into the ground and walked on, allowing for a variant of this trope (if the enemy is stupid enough to let his troops get separated).
- Many creatures in Ancient Domains of Mystery are incapable of opening doors. If the randomly generated dungeon is kind to you, you might find a room that you can run to, close the door, and heal up. Opening up the door again gives you the benefit of fighting the monsters one on one as they come at you. With all the numerous items in the game, sometimes you can come across wands of door summoning, which creates a door for you. Doors can be destroyed, but most monsters don't have the capabilities to do so. Sentient creatures would sooner open the door than destroy it. However, whether enemies can eat through the walls surrounding the door is another matter altogether.
- In Angband, many low-level enemies, including notorious Explosive Breeders, can be trapped behind doors. Most later enemies can just bash down doors, though one can jam them with iron spikes to make that harder.
- In Dungeons of Dredmor, doors separate every room from every other room. And with the exception of the locked ones you chose to kick down rather than unlock, all of them can be closed again with ease. Since this is a Roguelike game we're talking about, erecting an indestructible barrier between you and your enemies will very often save your life, especially if you encounter a dreaded Monster Zoo. (However, beware that there do exist enemies who hold the mystical power of opening closed doors...)
- In Duskers, this trope is vital for your survival, along with Thrown Out the Airlock. It is essentially Tactical Door Use: The Game.
- In Nethack, closing the door is useful for evading monsters that have no hands (thus, cannot open doors). Locking the door is safe against most other enemies. Exceptions include oozing and teleporting monsters, certain giants that break doors down, monsters with keys, and some bosses which can just open a locked door through magic.
- Geneforge starts using this trope in the second game. The enemies you face are incapable of interacting with doors in any way, and what with doors being, well, doors, they're extremely plentiful, and on the higher difficulties they can be exceedingly useful.
- Subverted in The Elder Scrolls. Though the doors are indestructible, humanoid enemies are typically smart enough to turn the knob. Double Subverted in Morrowind, where casting a Lock spell fixes that problem. PC players in Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim can also use console cheats to do the same thing. Additionally, open doors may provide cover when fighting enemy ranged attackers in an empty room, leading to a case of Concealment Equals Cover in cases where the door should not be able to stop an arrow or a spell.
- While the enemies in the isometric Fallout games can open doors, they cannot unlock them. Which means if you are going to be initiating a fight where the enemies are divided into different rooms, you can use your lockpicks to isolate them into neat little cells where you can brutally dispatch them at your leisure. You can also use this with undamaged force fields, and in the first game, at least, to protect your woefully fragile and suicidal companions from powerful enemies.
- In the Retaliation add-on for Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, this option was added to the Firebase Reactor map. The players can now trap enemies inside the eponymous reactor by sealing its doors just as it is about to overheat, killing everyone still inside.
- Completely averted in Dark Souls. Either the enemies can just walk straight through after you, or it's a boss door and something worse is on the other side. If you're really unlucky, both.
- In Legend of Grimrock, a viable tactic to defeat powerful monsters is to open the door they are behind, attack once, and then immediately close the door again before they can strike. Monsters can't open doors, so it's just rinse and repeat.
- In the old computer game Dungeon Master, this trope is taken to its logical conclusion. Not only are monsters unable to open doors, allowing you to open the door, attack, and slam it shut again, all doors open and close vertically. This means you can lure a monster into the doorway and trigger the door, which will try to close, inflict heavy damage on the monster, rebound, try to close again, inflict more damage on the monster, and so on and so forth until the monster moves away from the doorway or is killed. It is often faster and more effective to crush monsters under doors while attacking them or instead of engaging them in combat directly.
- Very effective version in Diablo I: closing doors will stop certain demons in their tracks. Combine this with a grate nearby that allows you to shoot through to the other side of the door, and soon you've got a pile of dead demons lying on the other side of said door.
- Actually averted in the final boss battle for Eye Of The Beholder 3, the dragon you have to fight will burn his way through the doors as you use them to try and block it until all the doors are destroyed so they're only of limited effectiveness.
- In FTL: Faster Than Light you can upgrade your ship's doors to be nigh-indestructible. If enemy boarders teleport onto your ship, just lock them out of your vital systems and open all doors between them and the vacuum of space...no more boarders.
- The Advanced Edition introduced the Hacking Drone, which in addition to making a given system go haywire, locks the door to its room. Combining it with boarders allows the player to slaughter everyone inside while preventing them from fleeing to the medbay.
- In Dwarf Fortress the player can instantly lock or unlock any door in the fortress, without any dwarf under the player's control having to actually walk up to the door to effect the change. And any goblins sieging the fortress will instantly become aware of the change in the doors, even if they can't see the doors in question. Combine that with the fact that the goblins aren't that smart, and will always choose the shortest route possible into the fort, and the player can manipulate the goblins into marching back and forth across a Death Trap strewn corridor by repeatedly locking and unlocking a door. With clever use of Pressure Plates, this can even be automated.
- This is the easiest way to escape bees in the Animal Crossing games—find the nearest building and run like hell.
- In Space Station 13, this is the AI player's only weapon both for and against humans. Most crewmembers just treat it like a doorknob for places your laws don't say they can't go, but it can lock and shock doors freely depending on whether or not its laws allow it, and typically the only evidence it's permitted to tell the crew about traitors is whether or not the latter wants it to open the door to the Captain's Quarters. Some servers even allow it to crush people or vent the entire station in one button, though it's a quick way to get banned if you aren't a lawyer.
- Resident Evil's early installments used this, with loading screens between rooms.
- There are at least two instances of enemies attacking you through doors - a hunter attacks Chris through one in the R Emake, and zombies shamble through the loading screen in 2.
- Later games from Resident Evil 4 onward avert this with enemies who can get through doors even outside of scripted events, but they also gave you an advantage by allowing you to kick the doors open, stunning any enemies who were trying to break through on the other side.
- This is a key survival tactic in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Though the enemies can and will batter the doors down, blocking doors can give you crucial time to escape or find a good hiding place.
- And it gets used against you in one sequence where not only can your pursuer smash through doors rather quickly but you have a series of closed doors in your escape path, all of which need to be pulled inward to open in order to slow you down even more. Fortunately the monster can't climb the ladder that you use to escape at the end of the tunnel.
- Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth has you do this in an early sequence of the game, desperately locking doors behind you and trying to find a way out.
- Zig-zagged in Silent Hill 4. Regular enemies can be stymied (temporarily) in the few areas that have doors you can close behind you, but neither the Victims nor Walter are balked by silly things such as doors—in fact, Walter even chases you across screen transitions!
- This plus Resources Management Gameplay comprises the core gameplay behind Five Nights at Freddy's. The third game takes this trope further with the air vents that can be sealed off at various points.
- XCOM plays with it. The doors cannot be locked, and both your men and aliens can get through them. You also need a special trick (walking through the door) to slam it shut. However, doors can be used to hide or set up ambushes.
- Jagged Alliance series also in the same boat. Doors can closed after you open it, and can hide you from enemies. However, keep in mind all enemies (as well as guards/militias and civilians) can open just about any door even if it is locked, and they seem to close the door immediately after opening it unless they are interrupted right after opening.
- Invisible, Inc.: Door management is extremely important in keeping your Alarm Level low, especially on higher difficulties:
- Opening/closing a door that a guard can see will prompt them to leave their post to check it out. This is a standard way of setting up ambushes, and is covered in the tutorial level. Just make sure opening the door won't bring your agent into the guards' line-of-sight.
- Closing a door behind your agents after they pass through it will reduce the risk of getting caught in guards' peripheral vision and accidental body discovery.
- If a guard has gone into Hunting mode (read: they've made direct contact with the agents and are actively, permanently scouring for them) and you close a door in front of them, they'll subvert your tactic by simply kicking the door down, permanently ruining it.
- Empire Of The Overmind. Monsters can open doors but not unlock them. Certain locations have doors which can be closed and locked. If you can lure a monster into the location, you can go outside and close and lock the door, trapping the monster inside the area. One such location has a respawn point where monster re-appear after being killed. If you close and lock the door, you can kill the monsters and they'll respawn inside the room.
- Door Door, one of Enix's first games, was entirely about trapping enemies behind doors. Enemies would march right inside if a door was opened in the right direction, and any door they were trapped behind would never reopen.
- In Meritous, enemies cannot shoot at you if you are in another room. By taking advantage of the doors that separate rooms, you can either offensively use the barrier of a door to hit-and-run, or you can defensively retreat and evade from enemy attacks when they get too dense to dodge properly. It becomes a must in the lategame when enemies become more deadly.
- Similar to the Dwarf Fortress example above, dynamic Tower Defense games can be played this way. Players have to leave an opening so the oncoming creeps have a path from the start to the exit, but players can build the towers in a maze pattern with two exits, and by building and demolishing towers, can alternate which exit is open; this forces the creeps who were heading towards one exit, having to go back through the maze to reach the other exit, while being whittled down by the towers' cannons.
- In RuneScape the Birthright of the Dwarves quest ends with a boss battle against the leader of the Red Axe]] and his right hand man atop the Red Axe palace. A common strategy in this fight is to separate one of the two using a door in order to take them down one at a time.
Wide Open Sandbox
- Minecraft zigzags this one. Wooden doors cannot be locked, while iron ones have one built in because they need power to open or close. Villagers can go through wooden doors at their leisure, sometimes making them Too Dumb to Live. Zombies alone of the hostile mobs can use doors... as in, they'll break down wooden doors given enough time (and only on the highest difficulty at that).
- In Foxhole, heavy gates can only be opened by your faction. Thus it's possible to escape enemies by closing the gate behind you, but you can also trap them within your fortifications.
- The creatures in 'Fallout 3' figured out doors. Which allows the player, if fast enough, to set loose a Deathclaw on enemies hiding inside a structure. Or...innocent people inside. This turns into terrible options, however, if a bad thing breaks into a building and kills a quest giver.
Non-Video Game Examples
- A real life example: if there's a fire inside a home or building, it is usually a good idea to close the doors behind you as you get out to safety. Closed doors can significantly slow down the spread of the fire since the fire has to eat through the door first before it can spread to other rooms. If a door is open, then there's nothing stopping the fire from spreading.
- Moreover, closing the door creates one less opening to vent new oxygen in to fuel the fire.
- Some larger buildings have doors specifically designed for just that purpose, out of material strong enough to actually withstand the fire until it runs out of oxygen, limiting the damage to a portion of the building. This is usually why building security can be extremely anal retentive about removing doorstops and keeping certain doors shut even though those doors don't pose any obvious security risk. Most people are quick to assume the security people are just being, well, anal.
- Used against the aliens\demons in Signs given they're apparently weak to wood.
- Scream: Ghostface has received his share of doors to the face.
- In Sonic the Comic When the Metallix Mark 3 pursues Sonic, Tails pressed the switch to close the door and Metallix was crushed beneath it.
- When being chased by high-security mental hospital orderlies in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a hopelessly outnumbered Sarah Connor who moments prior had been feigning being heavily drugged, takes advantage of closing barred doors behind her to slow down her pursuers, who are forced to pull out their keys to unlock each door in turn. When she starts getting slowed down by having to do the same thing at the next several doors, she even breaks off the key in the lock from the other side to slow them down even more. It's super effective.
- Subverted in Jurassic Park.