[[quoteright:346:[[Website/{{Cracked}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/40_seond_flashlight.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:346:[[LiesDamnedLiesAndStatistics Now with 300% more battery capacity!]]]]

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

Perhaps the batteries are near-dead, perhaps it's [[JustifiedTrope an inefficient light]] [[InvokedTrope recognized as such in-universe]], or 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 a solid in-universe hour before needing a replacement.

More shockingly, most Ten Second Flashlights will actually recharge their batteries by themselves, and often in half the time it took to discharge them, 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 light source tends to shine a brighter light than an InfiniteFlashlight, 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: decently-sized torches on extremely low-output "moonlight" mode have ordinary batteries lasting weeks or even ''months''. Even on not-so-dim settings, a state-of-the-art (as of 2016-17) flashlight like the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yY7nTfC6GY Olight S2 Baton]] and the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LufCpcJtJek Atactical/Wowtac A1]], for example, can stay on in its Low mode[[note]]10-15 lumens, about what one might expect of a typical movie or video game flashlight[[/note]] for just shy of ''a whole week''.


* 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 ''[[VideoGame/NancyDrew The Curse Of Blackmoor Manor]]'' will fail at least twice in a game, no matter how recently you acquired or activated them.

* The lantern in VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaCDiGames ''Link: The Faces of Evil'' and ''Zelda: Wand of Gamelon'' lasts for just a handful of seconds.
** The lanterns in the other Zelda games last as long as you have Magic Points left, as they consume them.
* 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'' uses flares, which last for a good few minutes before burning out and are plentiful. In ''VideoGame/TombRaiderIII'', they last only half as long.

[[folder:First-Person Shooter]]
* The ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' series zig-zags the trope between titles.
** [[VideoGame/HalfLife1 The original title]] and ''Blue Shift'' have a downplayed case. Gordon's and Barney's lights have a limited runtime and recharge when off (all signified by the opacity of the flashlight's icon), though it can stay on for a good three minutes and recharges in less than a full one. Same goes for Shepard's NightVisionGoggles in ''Opposing Force''.
** In ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' and ''Episode One'', it's played straight, draining quite fast and recharging just slightly faster. A [[LampshadeHanging lampshade is 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|Meter}}" and "{{oxygen|Meter}}" functions. Supposedly, the flashlight is attached to Gordon's H.E.V. suit and feeds off of a universal power cell, but how a light bulb drains power at just over half the speed as sprinting and pumping oxygen while underwater do is anyone's guess. It's PlayedForDrama [[RuleOfScary and horror]] in the "[[BlackoutBasement Lowlife]]" segment of ''Episode 1'', where Gordon 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, much longer-lasting energy gauge that recharges in less than 20 seconds. A HandWave explains that the crash at the end of ''Episode One'' broke the old flashlight, and the new one was an improvised replacement[[note]]the real reason is because Valve noticed that playtesters struggled a lot in the underground chase section, as they tended to leave the light on and that drained power until they couldn't sprint; the devs didn't want players to stumble in the dark, so they separated the power gauges[[/note]]. It's plausible to think that the new torch uses more advanced and efficient Combine technology than the original.
** As ''VideoGame/NightmareHouse'' is a series of ''Half-Life'' mods, the examples above apply. The standalone prologue employs the "same power source" from ''2'' and ''Episode One'', while ''Nightmare House 2'' (including a newer version of the prologue) uses the ''Episode Two'' setting.
* The first ''VideoGame/SystemShock'' game has a head-mounted lantern and infrared goggles that place a drain on your overall energy bar. The lantern, however, can have its intensity adjusted, allowing the power drain to also be adjusted.
* ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R.]]'' and both Vivendi expansions use a very short-ranged and short-lived headlamp that recharges about twice as fast as it drains. It's in your best interest to leave it off if you don't absolutely need it, considering enemies will notice the beam. From ''F.E.A.R. 2'' and on, you get [[InfiniteFlashlight the other variety]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Unreal|I}}'' has flashlights scattered throughout the levels that have batteries for exactly a full minute of use (and they dim down to nothing in the last 5 seconds), and when exhausted, have to be replaced. [[JustifiedTrope It's likely that they belonged to other survivors, and they would have been used, battered, simply left lying for a long time, or all of the above]]. There are also the more common flares, which when tossed, burn for some 20 seconds. Both are the crux of Prisoner 849's illumination tools until she finds the [[InfiniteFlashlight searchlight]], which, while not actually infinite in the game code, has enough juice in it to last until the end of the game, be it the core campaign or the expansion pack's campaign.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** In ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'', the humans possess technology enabling interstellar travel, creation of [=AIs=] from the brains of humans, and cryogenic storage and revival of people, 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; [[TruthInTelevision this is how flashlights work in reality]], but for gameplay purposes it's useless).
** Actually made worse in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' - Master Chief gets what should be an InfiniteFlashlight, but it automatically turns off after about three or four seconds if he uses it while in an area with any level of light above "total pitch black". Worse is that the game doesn't apparently make any distinction against the light provided ''by your flashlight'' for this requirement, so it will still turn itself off in areas that are ''effectively'' pitch-black because you can see where you're going (because of the flashlight) - the only point in the game where it will actually stay on is a twenty-foot stretch of underground tunnel in New Mombasa. His Covenant counter-part, the Arbiter, has no flashlight at all in favor of the Elites' usual cloaking field, which is doubly-annoying because A) the Arbiter is using a much older version of the Elite armor that has the exact same ten-second limit the ''Combat Evolved'' flashlight had, and B) his levels are the ones where you actually '''need''' a flashlight.
** ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' finally averts this; your flashlight can be left on forever.
** Subsequent games have dropped the flashlight altogether, though ''{{VideoGame/Halo 4}}''[='s=] Promethean Vision works similar to this trope; despite allowing you to do things like see through walls, it ''still'' doesn't last very long. For their part, ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' and ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' do give you infinite night vision; ''ODST'' gives the soldiers ''without'' all the fancy expensive gene mods and nuclear-powered armour VISR mode, and ''Reach'' (a ''prequel'') gives you a proper night-vision mode.
* 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.
* ''VideoGame/{{Prey|2006}}'': Tommy's Zippo lighter can stay on for only a short bit before its heat meter gets too full, then it lowers even faster. {{Justified|Trope}} in that [[{{Overheating}} Zippo lighters get too painfully hot to hold if they stay lit for more than 20 seconds or so]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}'' series
** ''Blood II: The Chosen'' includes an angle-head flashlight with a battery that lasts exactly one minute and forty seconds[[labelnote:+]]100 seconds[[/labelnote]] and a set of NightVisionGoggles that drain twice as quick as the light and don't actually help Caleb navigate, they just make enemies and items bright green a la ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D''. Since it's AlwaysNight in the game and the Nightmare Levels of the expansion, the torch tends to run out at the most inconvenient times, making the several choices of MuzzleFlashlight useful. The ''Extra Crispy'' GameMod takes note of the frustrations that might cause, and re-codes both items so they have ''huge'' battery reserves, even more long-lasting than [[InfiniteFlashlight the searchlight]] in ''VideoGame/{{Unreal|I}}''.
** In the original game, Beast Vision is a pair of goggles that fully illuminate enemies... and nothing else. They run out in less than a minute of continuous use.
* ''VideoGame/KillingFloor'' does this, along with the caveat that only a small handful of weapons, mostly weaker things like your starting 9mm pistol, actually had a light attached. It's plenty bright and can act as a decent crosshair for from-the-hip shooting, though. ''VideoGame/KillingFloor2'' initially did this the same way, with the addition of night-vision goggles for some perks that had a wider area of view, but blurred your view beyond a set distance and lasted for even less time (only 25 seconds before requiring just as many to fully recharge). A later update made this less of an issue, by adding body-mounted flashlights that can be used regardless of weapon and doubling how long both it and the [=NVGs=] can be left on, while letting them fully recharge from empty at the same rate they always did.

[[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, ''VideoGame/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]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Curses}}'' uses the 'dying batteries' version. Finding the replacement batteries is a significant puzzle.
* ''[[http://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=k8w3osnaz3zowmmg It Is Pitch Black]]'' has this as its entire premise: you're trapped in an abandoned antique store with a grue and have to keep a light source running at all times until you're rescued. Fortunately, the store has several light-producing items like a box of matches, an oil lantern, and a tap light -- but this being an antique store, none of these items work for very long and you need to figure out the ideal order to use these items to survive.

* 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:Platform Game]]
* ''[[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.
* Jason's flashlight in ''VideoGame/ShadowComplex'' expires in about two or three minutes and then recharges to full in a couple of seconds. Due to the somewhat slow drain time and speedy recovery, it's more forgiving than other video game flashlights.

* 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 [[PermanentlyMissableContent lost for good]].

[[folder:Role-Playing Game]]
* In ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'' and ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga 2'', the Light Ball is an item that works as a lantern for a short while (one full Kagutsuchi or Solar Noise cycle, depending on the game). If you traipse around in the dark where you're supposed to use them, you're going to be ambushed at every single random encounter, putting you at a major disadvantage.
* In ''VideoGame/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.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'':
*** Combining with TentativeLight - Torches, lanterns, and candles are available, but only burn for a finite, usually short amount of time. The same goes for spells (such as Light and Night Eye) which also have a finite duration.
*** Averted with [[FlamingSword Trueflame]], which you get in the ''Tribunal'' expansion. Along with being one of the best weapons in the game, it emits a decent amount of light when drawn which never expires, [[MundaneUtility making it double as a torch in dark areas]].
** In ''[[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. The torches do at least 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.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' averts it, making all torches infinite. That said, there's also the same night vision, as well as the Magelight spell, which summons a ball of light.

* Both ''VideoGame/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:Survival 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.
* ''VideoGame/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 ''VideoGame/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. Flares aren't much better, lasting roughly 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 portable illumination appliance can't be good for its operational life.
* Played wonderfully in ''VideoGame/{{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.
* ''VideoGame/{{Wick}}'' has the candles. They deplete and must constantly be replaced. [[spoiler: The exception is at 5 am when there is only one candle which lasts indefinitely, not that it's of much help.]]
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilRevelations2:'' Moira's flashlight can be used on a wide beam mode for lighting up dark areas, or a more focused one to [[BlindedByTheLight dazzle enemies]]. [[InfiniteFlashlight It lasts indefinitely]] if used for general area illumination, but when focused, the power has limited duration before she has to stop focusing and let it recharge.
* The Plastic Torch in ''VideoGame/TheForest'' lasts for close to ten minutes in real time, but produces a very small cone of not very bright light. You're better off wrapping cloth around a stick [[FlamingSword or any of your axes]] and lighting it up for a torch with a bright and wide radius of light that'll last for two minutes or so (longer if you craft it with booze, presumably soaking the cloth) as long as you don't strike at anything with it.
* The flashlight in ''VideoGame/{{LIT}}'' lasts for only a minute or so. Not exactly an issue for the most part, as its only purpose is to let you scope out the room without venturing into [[DarknessEqualsDeath the insta-killer darkness]].
* Ripley's headlamp in ''VideoGame/AlienIsolation'' eats rapidly through batteries. Even so, you're likely to be swimming in batteries before long, as since hostiles can notice the light it provides, it's only gonna be used sparingly.
* Your flashlight in ''VideoGame/{{Tattletail}}'' loses power pretty quickly, {{justified|Trope}} in that it's an incandescent Faraday "shake" light that doesn't hold much charge, and since it's 1998, it's running on an incandescent lamp instead of an LED[[note]]presumably, since [[AnachronismStew "shake" lights only started being sold in 2002, four years after Tattletail takes place]][[/note]]. You can shake it to recharge it, but this makes a lot of noise that can attract Mama Tattletail, and if you look right at her it goes dead instantly. [[spoiler:The secret ending grants you a Golden Flashlight that is brighter and lasts longer.]]
* In the short indie game ''VideoGame/TheLastLight'', [[PlayerCharacter Sophie]]'s flashlight lasts for about 30 seconds, fizzling out in the last 5 or so. It can be manually recharged in less than 10, but that is still too long, as ten seconds is more than enough for [[FogOfDoom the smoke thing]] [[DarknessEqualsDeath lurking in the dark]] to catch up and kill her. Flares, though certainly not {{infinite|Flashlight}}, do last considerably longer, and are a better option when traveling through long stretches of lightless metro hallways, but are very limited in number (Sophie can carry only 5), clunkier to light up, and can be easily wasted. The flashlight is best left for quick peeks into darkened corners or passing through short dark sections.
* ''VideoGame/NearDeath'' {{justifie|dTrope}}s its usage of this, and goes to lengths to do it. It's 1982, a time of already inefficient incandescent flashlights; alkaline batteries (the only ones available in bulk at the time) lose a lot of potential in extreme cold; and the [[NoNameGiven Pilot]] is stranded in an abandoned base ''way'' deep in the Antarctic, in the middle of winter, and the outside temperature reaches ''negative 80 degrees Celsius'' according to the thermometers[[note]]which makes sense, as the absolute coldest temperature ever documented was recorded in '83[[/note]]. The surprising thing is, as far as Ten-Second Flashlight goes, the batteries actually last for a decent amount of time despite being used ''[[WhoForgotTheLights a lot]]'' due to [[TheNightThatNeverEnds the weeks-long winter night]] and the lack of lighting in all buildings before the Pilot restores power.
* The camera in the ''VideoGame/{{Outlast}}'' games has a {{night vision|Goggles}} setting that drains the battery like crazy. Towards the end of a battery's life, NV starts to flicker and produce visual and audio noise, and after it's dead, there's no choice but pop in a replacement. Thankfully [[BlatantItemPlacement those are everywhere]] in ''Outlast'', and in ''VideoGame/OutlastII'', there are many scattered flashlights ([[UnusableEnemyEquipment that you can't use]]) with batteries nearby.
* The flashlight [[NoNameGiven You]] find in ''VideoGame/LoneSurvivor'' burns through batteries at a considerable rate, visibly dimming as it goes. Thankfully, you can go without it to navigate the less murky rooms or check the map, and for those times that you ''need'' to have light, replacement batteries are reasonably common[[labelnote:+]]although it's better to save a few for some video game fun to increase mental health[[/labelnote]].
* The Flashlight in ''VideoGame/{{Darkwood}}'' burns through a 9v battery in two minutes real time. The Military Flashlight is an even more pronounced example, being about 50% brighter but consuming a 9v in 90 seconds.
* ''VideoGame/TheLongDark'' features two examples:
** If you pull a stick out of a campfire to use as a torch, it'll have a ''very'' short lifespan, far shorter than if you craft a torch with oil and a rag.
** At a point in the Wintermute campaign, Will finds an old, beat up flashlight with dead batteries[[note]]it can also be found as a rare item in the sandbox mode[[/note]]. However, [[JustifiedTrope when the electric anomaly (signified by the northern lights) is in effect]], it works. Turning it on produces a stable and power-efficient beam, using its "AlternateFire" ramps up the brightness from 30-ish to [[AbsurdlyBrightLight at least 2000 lumens]], burning through the power in ''seconds'' but scaring away the otherwise unflappable and aggressive [[SicklyGreenGlow glowing wolves]], and when it's off the battery slowly but surely recharges. It's a good way to save up on lantern fuel (to light up the environment) and flare shells (to spook wildlife away) if you're low on supplies.
* The Zippo lighter in ''VideoGame/NoMoreRoomInHell'' is guaranteed to go out in 60 seconds or if you start sprinting (but can be re-lit with no downtime), may take a few clicks to light up, the circle of light is very short-reaching, and unlike the [[InfiniteFlashlight Maglite]], it can't be held alongside a weapon or wielded as a weapon itself. However, it has its upsides: it lights up a wider area than the Maglite's narrow beam, doesn't take up any volume in the inventory and every survivor has one by default. It's better used for scavenging an area for supplies, leaving the Maglite for combat-intensive sections. The "primary fire" control pushes it forward as if meant to light something on fire, but it's a feature that was never implemented.

[[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: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 [[spoiler: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 both 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, if it does not [[NightmareFuel terrify the visitor]], [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief makes for an extremely immersive atmosphere]]. It's for that reason that [[NoFairCheating participants are kindly asked not to use any lights of their own]].
* As far as real life flashlights go, a good rule of thumb is that you can expect an old incandescent torch to have the same battery life as a finger-long LED keychain light. There's more:
** Those 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.
** Flashlight apps available for modern mobile devices like tablets and smartphones use the camera flash LED, and if the device doesn't have one, turn the screen itself bright white. Though [[NotTheIntendedUse such devices are not optimized for providing constant light]], so the battery drain is alarmingly quick.
** Most models with variable outputs will have the highest setting draining the battery in an hour or so, sometimes even less than that. The lower settings play InfiniteFlashlight as straight as real life allows.
** More potent models ''can'' actually be ten-second, fast-recharge (whether they turn off entirely or just drop a fraction of the overall output varies from model to model) 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]].
** One more piece of the puzzle to complicate things further is the battery chemistry.
*** As far as 1.5v batteries go, nickel-cadmium ([=NiCd=]) cells work well in high-drain devices but has low capacity, while nickel-metal hydride ([=NiMH=]) are the inverse. A light fed a [=NiCd=] cell will shine brighter for a shorter time than if it was running on [=NiMH=], in which case it wouldn't be as bright right off the bat, but it'd sustain its max brightness for longer.
*** Much the same goes with lithium-ion cells. The IMR (lithium-manganese oxide) chemistry can sustain much higher current draw than ICR (lithium-cobalt oxide) without battery sag, but its capacity is lower[[note]]the highest-capacity IMR cell that's easy to find in the market holds 3000 [=mAh=], while the current ICR champion holds 3600 [=mAh=][[/note]]. The newer hybrid INR (lithium-manganese-nickel) muddies the waters, [[MasterOfAll having better capacity than IMR and better current draw than ICR]].
* 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."]].
* ''The Resurrected'', a 1991 film adaptation of ''Literature/TheCaseOfCharlesDexterWard'', recreates the scene where the hero has to navigate his way out of a MadScientistLaboratory of failed BodyHorror experiments after dropping his lamp. He's got a flashlight whose battery is on its last legs, and a pocketbook of matches. Fortunately the final match is enough to get him back to where he saw another hurricane lamp sitting on a table earlier.
* In ''Film/{{Cthulhu}}'', the protagonist must use his camera flash to navigate through some dark tunnels, also swarming with horrible monsters.