[[quoteright:300:[[Website/{{Cracked}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/10-sec_9833.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[LiesDamnedLiesAndStatistics Now with 300% more output capacity!]]]]

In video games where the player is given a flashlight, it will come in one of two flavors: either its batteries [[InfiniteFlashlight run forever]] or a pitifully short time. This is the latter case.

Perhaps they put in some near-dead batteries, perhaps it's solar powered, perhaps it's simply a cruel trick being played on the player's avatar. Whatever the reason, few - if any - games have realistic flashlights with cells that last at least an hour before needing a replacement.

More shockingly, in most cases of Ten Second Flashlight, the battery will actually recharge by itself, and in in half the time it took to discharge, leaving questions as to why they simply didn't double up the power source. If it ''doesn't'' recharge, you may have to rely on your MuzzleFlashlight instead. Typically, this kind of torch tends to shine a brighter light than the infinite variety to compensate for the short runtime.

Used to be TruthInTelevision in the flashlight's early years - the reason it has this name is exactly because it could only be "flashed" in short bursts, or the batteries would die at about the rate a safety match burns out. TechnologyMarchesOn, however, and with it came low-powered models that could last a few good hours... provided the ''bulb'' held (the regular incandescent one hardly would last a full battery charge). Finally, since TheNewTens, [=LEDs=] can easily {{invoke|dTrope}} a {{downplayed|Trope}} version of InfiniteFlashlight: torches on low-output modes have ordinary batteries lasting ''months'' even when used nonstop.

In regards to the same modern flashlights, they ''can'' actually be ten-second, fast-recharge (in a sense; they don't turn off completely, but the output ''is'' lowered) for one reason: {{overheating}}. However, [[AluminumChristmasTrees good luck finding a single work (not just videogames) that takes that into account or a creator that knows that]].

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:AdventureGame]]
* In the classic computer game ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion'', there is a flashlight item that, when first acquired, is one of these. However, when you acquire fresh batteries, it becomes an InfiniteFlashlight.
** Ironically, the ten second batteries can last you quite a while in the game as long as you're just exploring the darkness, but they burn out in a nanosecond if you try to use them in the single place in the game where you actually ''need'' a flashlight.
* Justified in ''VideoGame/DejaVu II'', as the game states that since your character took poor care of the flashlight, the batteries are corroded and have little power. The game also pokes fun at the battery technology of the 1940s.
* The memorable Serpent's Grotto puzzle from the first game in ''VideoGame/{{The Legend of Kyrandia}}'' series involves clever use of multiple disposable flashlights. Serpent's Grotto consists mostly of a series of caverns with glowing Fireberry bushes growing at strategic locations throughout. Warmth (from Brandon's hand) causes the berries to decay and lose their glow (a Fireberry continues to give off light for exactly three screens when held); when they're on the cold floor, the decay stops and the glow remains constant. So Brandon must explore the Grotto by dropping Fireberries on the floor to light up otherwise pitch-black rooms. Get caught in a room with no bush and no berries, and [[DarknessEqualsDeath the results are predictably unpleasant.]]
* In a variant, the chemical glow-sticks from ''[[NancyDrew The Curse Of Blackmoor Manor]]'' will fail at least twice in a game, no matter how recently you acquired or activated them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Action-Adventure]]
* The lantern in VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaCDiGames ''Link: The Faces of Evil'' and ''Zelda: Wand of Gamelon'' lasts for just a handful of seconds.
* Averted in ''Videogame/AloneInTheDark2008''. Your two main inventory items are a pistol and a flashlight. The flashlight operates on batteries (which you find scattered throughout the game) and does eventually run out of power, but each battery lasts for a good few minutes, which can last you a while if you switch it on and off as needed.
** Not to mention the fact that after you burn one of the evil roots (don't ask, it's complicated), you get an ability that makes killing enemies easy, ''as long as you keep your eyes closed''. It's that kind of game.
* In ''Fester's Quest'', you keep on having to collect light bulbs so you can see inside the darkened sewers. Light bulbs shouldn't go out that quickly.
** Possibly justified in that this is Fester Addams of Series/TheAddamsFamily we're talking about. He's not putting them in a flashlight, he's putting them ''in his mouth'', which lights them. How long could you sit there with a lightbulb in your mouth while fighting aliens?
* ''VideoGame/TombRaiderII'' used flares, which lasted for a good few minutes before burning out and were plentiful. In ''VideoGame/TombRaiderIII'', they last only half as long as they used to.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:First-Person Shooter]]
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' and ''Episode One''. A [[LampshadeHanging lampshade was hung]] on it in ''Episode One'', and it was spoofed in the webcomic ''Webcomic/{{Concerned}}'', specifically [[http://www.screencuisine.net/hlcomic/index.php?date=2005-06-22 issue 20]], along with the fact that in ''Half-Life 2'', the flashlight for some reason uses the same power source as the "sprint" ability. Supposedly, the flashlight is attached to Gordon's H.E.V. suit, but how a light bulb drains power nearly as quickly as sprinting and pumping oxygen while underwater is anyone's guess. It's PlayedForDrama and horror in the "Lowlife" segment of ''Episode 1'', where you and Alyx have to go through a tunnel filled with monsters, and she will only shoot at the farther enemies if you're shining the light on them.
** ''Episode Two'' goes back to [[VideoGame/HalfLife1 the first game's]] concept and {{downplay|edTrope}}s the trope, this time by separating the flashlight from the auxiliary power supply and giving the light its own, longer-lasting energy gauge. A HandWave explains that the crash at the end of ''Episode One'' broke the old flashlight, and the new one was an improvised replacement. That it's better than the original invokes a bit of FridgeBrilliance: it's been twenty years since the first game, and TechnologyMarchesOn, which would include better flashlights becoming available.
* ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R.]]'': Only the first game. The InfiniteFlashlight comes in later installments. Although, it's in your best interest to leave the flashlight off if you don't absolutely need it, considering this is the one game where enemies will notice the beam.
* ''VideoGame/{{Unreal|I}}'' has flashlights that have batteries for a full minute only, and when exhausted, have to be replaced. [[JustifiedTrope It's likely that the ordinary torches you find lying around belonged to other survivors, and they would have been used, battered, or simply left lying for a long time.]] Later in the game, however, the player finds the searchlight, which, while not actually infinite in the game code, has enough juice in it to last until the end of the game, making it an InfiniteFlashlight for all intents and purposes.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', where the humans possess technology enabling interstellar travel, yet cannot make flashlights capable of lasting much more than the usual ten seconds, or even providing enough light to do anything other than give away your location to other players (play co-op and notice how much light reaches your partner's eyes compared to your own; this is how RealLife flashlights work, but for gameplay purposes it's useless). Actually made worse in ''Halo 2'' - Master Chief gets an infinite flashlight, however it automatically turns off after about four or five seconds if he uses it while in an area with any level of light above "pitch black" (meaning you only really get to use it for that twenty-foot stretch of tunnel in New Mombasa). His Covenant counter-part, the Arbiter, has no flashlight at all, which can be particularly annoying considering his levels tend to be much darker than the Chief's.
** FridgeLogic: Helmets with electronic HUD and yet there isn't night vision except when you have the sniper rifle? And then there's ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'', where the soldiers without all the fancy, expensive gene mods and nuclear powered armour get VISR mode. Then ''VideoGame/HaloReach'', a ''prequel'', gives you a proper night-vision mode. ''{{VideoGame/Halo 4}}'' at least gives the Spartans Promethean Vision - [[MutuallyExclusivePowerups but they can't wear other useful things like jet boosters and cloaks with it on]], and it ''still'' doesn't last very long... but it also works through walls, at least.
* The ''Aliens vs. Predator'' games are also worthy of mention. Despite giving you a flashlight, flares and nightvision, none of them last more than a minute.
** Except for the most recent installment. You get an InfiniteFlashlight, but now flares last for less time than it takes to empty a [[MuzzleFlashlight pulse rifle magazine]].
** The first game in the series, actually, allows unlimited use of night vision. It does disable your motion tracker, though.
* ''VideoGame/{{Metro 2033}}'' and [[VideoGame/MetroLastLight its sequel]] play with this trope: [[InfiniteFlashlight your flashlight will always work regardless of your battery charge]], but you're given a hand charger which can be used to make the light brighter for a few minutes. Considering most of the game takes place in pitch-black corridors and certain enemies can be BlindedByTheLight, whipping out the charger every so often is helpful. The night vision goggles play it straight: they ''do'' only last for a few minutes before you have to charge them. Justified in the sense that any working night-vision equipment, and the rechargeable batteries for them, will be ''at least'' 20 years old and [[AfterTheEnd kept in worse conditions than recommended by the manufacturer]].
* ''{{VideoGame/Doom}} 3: BFG Edition'' replaces the flashlight weapon from the original ''Doom 3'' with a ''Half-Life'' style armor-mounted flashlight. True to the trope, it lasts about thirty seconds but recharges in about three, so you can keep the hallways lit pretty much forever as long as you flick the flashlight on and off over and over.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}'' nanosuit has a night vision set which last sixty seconds or so.
** ''Crysis 2'' combines night vision and infrared vision into "nanovision", [[InfraredXrayCamera which also helps see through dust and smoke]]. It draws from the same energy bar as Cloak and Armor Mode, lasting around 45 seconds from a full charge.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Horror]]
* The flashlights in the ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}'' series devour batteries, each set lasting only a few minutes. The game explains this by saying that it's a really old, terrible flashlight. However, this applies to both your torch and another one that you find later on, so Phil must have ''really'' terrible luck. Fortunately, you have a glowstick [[InfiniteFlashlight that lasts infinitely]] and Phil's night vision is nothing short of ''stupendous''. In fact, these two mechanics are so useful that you shouldn't need to use the flashlight more than ten separate times in both ''Overture'' and ''Black Plague'' together.
** Interestingly, ''Requiem'' replaces this with an InfiniteFlashlight, supporting [[EpilepticTrees the theory]] that it's a JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind.
* ''SilentHill4'' does away with the flashlights used in the first three games; however, in the second visit to the Forest World, Henry must use a burning torch to retrieve a series of {{MacGuffin}}s from a series of darkened wells. Normally, this torch will go out after traversing three screens or so, forcing Henry to make repeated (and dangerous) journeys back and forth to re-light it. However, if he makes a detour back to his apartment and soaks the torch in oil, it will last much longer, effectively turning it into an InfiniteFlashlight.
* In ''AlanWake'', this is a core gameplay mechanic. Most of the time, actually, the Flashlights do not drain quickly, and the battery will actually flat-out ''recharge''... Except that you need to run it on a high setting to remove the darkness from enemies so that they can be slain - and one battery will only last around ''four'' seconds on this setting. [[ProductPlacement Even Energizers won't keep going and going to prevent this.]]
** Don't forget the flares! Road flares are made to last 15 minutes, but flares in the game last 15 ''seconds''!
** The implied in-game explanation is that whatever cosmic forces are battling over and with Alan are doing it. Channeling cosmic power through a D-Cell can't be good for its operational life.
* Played wonderfully in ''Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason'', where you find a soviet flashlight that runs long enough for you to forget how long its been on, and always seems to cut out just about when the creepy noise happens. You can then turn it on again instantly, to help change your pants.
* ''Film/{{Juon}}: Film/TheGrudge Haunted House Simulator'' on the Wii has essentially two types of gameplay: {{Lock and Key Puzzle}}s, and this. You'll find batteries for your ever-depleting flashlights -- and sometimes even ''other flashlights'' -- throughout the areas to allow you to continue exploring; just like ''VideoGame/{{Shadowgate}}'', the minute your light source goes out, it's an instant game over.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Interactive Fiction]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Zork}}'' has an electric lantern with a battery generous enough to finish the game with ''if you know what you're doing''. Its battery is finite and leaving it on when not needed will eventually run it down. This is an especially large problem since, unlike in other games, proceeding into darkened areas unaided is impossible, because [[DarknessEqualsDeath more than three turns in the dark will get you eaten by a Grue]]. Fortunately, ''Zork'' is usually kind enough to give you some kind of alternative light source ... though these tend to show up only very late in the game (''Zork II'') or be ''very'' easy to lose (''Zork I'' and ''III'').
** Hilariously, ''Sorceror'', set in the Zork Universe, has a potion that lets you see in the dark, and works perfectly as described. However, Grues have no problem with ''being seen''...
** The original InteractiveFiction game, ''ColossalCave'', also had a battery-powered lamp. Its batteries would last ''nearly'' the whole game, and could be stretched to last the whole game if you were clever. A vending machine found in the game would dispense new batteries, but at the cost of one of your treasures (all of which were worth points), forcing you to manage your battery life carefully if you wanted [[HundredPercentCompletion to get the maximum possible score]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:PartyGame]]
* Played straight with the "Luigi's Ghost Mansion" game in ''VideoGame/{{Nintendoland}}'' -- the flashlights have a limited charge, and you'll have to find another battery if it runs dry. Even the extra-large batteries run out in a minute if you leave them on continuously.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Platformers]]
* ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga]]'' has a required minigame involving minecarts, obstacles, diamonds, batteries... and a flashlight that starts dimming the moment you start. But the flashlight isn't for Mario's direct benefit; it's so you can see ''Luigi's'' obstacles and diamonds. The bouncing batteries need only be collected to start being effective; [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality no changing is required]].
* ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' games have a variation where there are usually one or two pitch black levels per game. The levels contain stationary insects that glow, lighting up their surroundings and will start following Crash if he goes near them. After a certain amount of time the insects will fly away, leaving the level pitch black again.
* A gimmick in ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles''' Sandopolis Zone, Act 2 is that it's dark, and various switches can be pulled to make it light for approximately ten seconds. Ghosts start chasing you when the lights go off.
* Gleamin' Bream in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry3DixieKongsDoubleTrouble'' - once Enguarde pokes it, it will give off enough light for you to see for a few seconds before it goes back out.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManZero 2'' has a variant in two areas of a specific stage where there are invisible crystal platforms over a long row of non-stop spikes. A mirror-like object follows you through those areas, changing color at random intervals and releasing flame-like enemies in whichever color it currently is when you hit it. Whichever platforms share the color of those flame-like enemies remain visible until they move off-screen after a few seconds or you kill them yourself.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RPG]]
* In ''Franchise/DragonQuest'', the torches that you can by from the store only lights a tiny 3x3 square and burns out at ridiculously fast levels; later, you can learn a lighting spell with a larger range and lasts much longer.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', the player has access to torches and racial abilities that enable them to see in the dark. However, these last for only a few minutes at most, leading to strange questions as to how exactly these people are supposed to be turning their eyes on. There are a few pieces of equipment that have permanent night vision or ambient glow, which act as {{Infinite Flashlight}}s.
** In ''Oblivion'' however, the torches last around 15 minutes, which is reasonable when combined with the fact that they're weightless and readily available. The main drawback is not being able to use a shield or two-handed weapon (''Morrowind'' light sources had the same disadvantage, except most light sources had durations more in line with this trope, and weren't weightless).
** Skyrim averts it, making all torches infinite. With them in the Misc. section, and most items there unable to be used, you'd be forgiven for forgetting or not knowing you can equip them. That said, there's also the same night vision, as well as the Magelight spell, which summons a ball of light.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Roguelike]]
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Angband}}'': even wooden torches will last for a while, provided you buy them from the general store. A brass lantern will go further on flasks of oil and gives more light too. A few FantasticLightSource artifacts provide light indefinitely, although they can be LostForever.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Simulation]]
* Both ''TraumaCenter: Second Opinion'' and ''New Blood'' feature operations in the dark (under different circumstances). As the operations progress, the sources of light continue to fail until the player is left using a camera flash to get a good view of the patient, and trying to continue from memory until the flash recharges.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Stealth-Based Game]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' features a flashlight attachment for weapons, which Snake will not actually leave on for two seconds[[note]]Those are the basics of "light discipline", to keep enemies from being able to keep a bead on you from your light and to prevent it from ruining your natural night vision, but in a game where natural night vision isn't a thing and you're likely to only actually aim a weapon with a light attached when the bad guys know you're there already, it isn't of much novelty or use[[/note]] and is essentially useful only for temporarily blinding hostiles.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', meanwhile, has a flashlight attached to the USP gained during the Tanker chapter that will last as long as you're aiming it, but which Snake will only actually turn on in three rooms.
* In ''VideoGame/EscapeFromButcherBay'', [[Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick Riddick]] is usually equipped with an InfiniteFlashlight mounted on a shotgun. After he falls into the Pit, however, his flashlight's battery is damaged, and he has six minutes to run through a maze of tunnels, fighting off wailing, naked ghouls, while his only source of light gradually dims. When Riddick finally receives his [[SuperSenses eyeshine,]] it's a godsend.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Non-Video-Game Examples]]
* The eighth Nintendo Adventure Book, ''Flown the Koopa'' asks at one point if the player found a flashlight so the Mario Brothers can safely explore a dark basement. Since you're reading about it on this trope's page, you probably don't need to be told about how it dies after a few steps and they get chewed on by a swarm of Mega Moles.
* A non-video-game example from ''Film/TheGoonies'': [[AsianAndNerdy Data]] activates his "Bully Blinders" because nobody else brought a flashlight to the cave. While the intense light does indeed blind the rest of the gang for a few moments, it also burns out the batteries just as quickly.
* The Ride/AltonTowers theme park in the UK does Halloween themed events, including growing its own cornfield to cut a maze into. Before going into the cornfield each group of participants is given a pair of flashlights, for the front and back of the group, [[EnforcedTrope all of which have been given nearly empty batteries]]. Even knowing that they're only actors and not actually zombies, having your torch die on you while in a cornfield at night, when you can hear the screams of the groups further along is, if not terrifying, [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief extremely immersive]]. It's for that reason that [[NoFairCheating participants are kindly asked not to use any lights of their own]].
* Those RealLife hand-crank LED flashlights, once their batteries have worn out sufficiently, tend to only last about a minute before needing a recharge. If you crank them fast enough, they will indeed recharge in considerably less time than the light lasts, but it is easier to do so with them off and not pointed in front of you, meaning they function almost exactly like video game flashlights, with the added drawback of being quite noisy and needing both your hands free to recharge them. Why aren't there any video games where you're stuck using one of ''these''?
* Flashlight apps are available for modern mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. They use the camera flash LED, and if the device doesn't have one, turn the screen itself bright white. Naturally, such devices are not optimized for providing constant light, though, so the battery drain is very fast.
* Most flashlights with variable outputs will have the highest setting draining the battery in an hour or so, sometimes even less than that. The low settings play the InfiniteFlashlight trope as straight as real life allows.
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' Bob makes a big deal out of carrying a flashlight (after having been caught in the dark in an earlier adventure), only for the batteries to die in the middle of a cave full of [[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti Bigfeet.]] This happens to him [[BreakingTheFourthWall explicitly]] so the [[InteractiveNarrator narrator]] can say, [[VideoGame/{{Zork}} "It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."]]
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