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There Are No Tents
In many video games, the Player Character is Walking the Earth, and has to rest for the night (or just to heal up overnight, in a world where nightfall never comes). Unfortunately, the PC and their party can't just set up camp in the wilderness; the only place where you can get a good night's rest is at an inn, which of course costs money. The cost depends on the area they are in (or the character's level, in some cases). This can go to ridiculous extremes, such as "inns" in the middle of dungeons.

In recent times the use of "inns" has decreased in some games, especially if the game's save points have the same effect. See also the multiple exceptions below; the trope isn't a very common one, although it occurs enough to cause headaches.

Examples:

Action Adventure
  • Quite possibly every The Legend of Zelda game ever. Then again Link rarely sleeps.
  • Quest for Glory I. The Hero had a hidden fatigue meter, usually based on the time of day, and if he didn't stay in the inn, the castle stables or got locked out in the woods during nighttime, he just slept on the ground. If not in a protected area, he could even be attacked. Later games gave him a permanent room at the Inn, which was either free or forced a weekly charge on him.

MMORPG
  • Kingdom of Loathing has a Noobsport Tent that's available from the Market Demon. It's the first step up from Sleeping on the Ground. (There are better options up to and including a full-size house, but you have to find them.) However, due to the fact that you can reach all unlocked locations from all unlocked locations without much trouble, you're not exactly wandering the earth, so a personal place for you to rest is all you need.
    • Or rather, up to and including a hobo fortress made of trash and scrap metal, which is apparently more than twice as restful as a normal house.
  • Averted in the old Runescape Classic, fatigue is an issue that has to be addressed by sleeping in beds or by... Sleeping bags. Got removed in the modern Runescape because it was a Scrappy Mechanic.

Platform Game

Role-Playing Game
  • Averted with Kingdom Hearts...sort of. You get "Tent" items which heal the party. However, each world's adventure is presented as a non-stop series of events that would only take a day or less, and Sora and the party have a space ship and hub world where they can rest their heads. The "tent" items seem to be a hold-over from the Final Fantasy series.
  • Storm of Zehir allows your party to rest for the night anytime in the wilderness (complete with tent icon),at the risk of being disturbed by wandering monsters.
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Mario is at one point shipwrecked, along with part of the ship's crew. When the crew construct a makeshift tent, they then charge him for using it.
    • This is actually made insulting by the fact that Mario was charged with leading the ship as captain, and everyone still refers to him as such and has him solve all the problems while shipwrecked.
    • In the first game, all of the Toad Houses are free. When storming Bowser's castle, there are a few beds in prison that Mario can take a kip in.
  • Tales of Symphonia is another game which does not allow you to use a tent in the field, instead replacing it with a "cooking" feature which allows you to make and eat food to heal your party. It can be very helpful, but there is never any biological necessity to do so. Raine also hs her "Personal" skill, which drops the cost of her healing spells to 1 when the party is sanding on a Memory Circle.
    • ...a system which began five years before with the PlayStation Tales of Phantasia. Tales of Eternia averted it completely. though. While the cooking system was there, you could also heal your HP (but not your TP) on the world map by camping. Dungeons also had fire pits at which the characters could pull out sleeping bags and camp for HP.
    • Also fully averted in Tales of Vesperia, which does have tents and other camping sets. Here camping provides the full benefits of a Trauma Inn, though cheaper sets heal less than 100% HP/TP. It even includes a plausible justification for why the item is consumed when used: a smelling monster repellant.
  • Final Fantasy: Most of the games with an Overworld Not to Scale utilise tents or cottages, but the later games fall into this trope.
    • Final Fantasy XI:Characters can simply use /heal to rest and recover HP and MP. There are no inns for players, either, but that's because every major city has a Mog House/Rent-A-Room that you can go into and restore your health for free. Heck, smaller towns even have Nomad Moogles that let you swap jobs and restore your health too.
    • Final Fantasy X did away with tents since now just interacting with a save point heals you.
  • Chrono Trigger averts the trope with Shelters, which function pretty much identically to Tents, including the single-use component.
  • The Shadow Hearts series follows in Final Fantasy tradition with the tent, but like so many other things, it pokes fun at the concept: the tents are described as "fully biodegradable," and the reason given for their single-use nature is that "no one can figure out how to fold them back up."
  • Another Exception: In Ultima 4 and 5 one could pitch camp in hostile territory, but you had to risk monster attack. Having a guard stay awake meant they didn't get any healing. Having everyone asleep during a monster attack resulted in very bad odds.
  • Further exception: Breath of Fire 3 actually has a "Camp" option that lets you put up a tent and camp overnight. The only drawback is that reduced maximum HP (the game's penalty for Non-Lethal K.O.) can only be healed in inns. The camping tent is the site of several cut scenes, as well.
    • The fourth one had a camping system too.
    • Dragon Quarter is also an exception to this rule — there are no tents nor inns anywhere in the game. There are a few spots where the characters will "take a break" and talk for a while, but no health is restored afterwards. This is justified because your characters don't have time to sleep since Nina needs to get to the surface before her lungs completely collapse and Ryu has to escort her there before his soul is completely taken over by the Wyrm.
    • In Breath of Fire II, it's partially subverted. You cannot pitch a tent, but you can, in at least one point, rest outside. It's like an in, but you don't have to pay. Partially justified in the fact that when roaming a field full of monsters, manipulating time, become a dragon, and probably magic exposure helps the need to not sleep, and the outside encounter is somebody inviting you to rest with him, meaning it's most likely safe.
  • One more exception: Valkyrie Profile allows you to spend "periods" of allotted time to heal your party on the world map.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, there are tents in the wilderness; permanent campsites, usually occupied by bandits you have to kill in order to sleep there. Nothing portable, however.
    • Though this is correctable via downloadable mods. If you have the PC version, anyway.
    • Morrowind allowed you to sleep anywhere, tent or no tent, as long as you were outside in the wilderness; if you want to sleep inside a city, you must do so in an inn.
  • SSI's Gold Box games made an effort to avoid this trope. You can camp and rest at any time except during combat, but resting outside of a designated area incurs the risk of interruption. Interruptions range from the benign (town watch urging you to move along if you sleep in the middle of town) to the dangerous (wandering enemies engaging you in combat, if you sleep in a hostile area).
  • The hero in Fallout can rest in the middle of nowhere. It's not like the world is infested with radioactive mutants, right?
    • In Fallout 3, the only rest points that actually restore your condition are beds (including mattresses or piles of makeshift bedding), and the game won't let you rest if there are enemies nearby. So as long as somebody abandoned a mattress in the middle of nowhere two hundred years ago, you're just fine.
    • Fallout: New Vegas continues this tradition, with some of the "beds" being nothing more than bedrolls or rush mats, yet still being non-portable. That is, until the Lonesome Road DLC adds the "Roughin' It Bedroll Kit," an item that lets the Courier rest any time he could Wait (i.e., when not falling or nearby enemies). Resting restores lost HP, and is necessary in Hardcore Mode, and there's even a Perk so that the Bedroll Kit grants the experience buff like the bed in your house.
  • Arcanum works similarly to Fallout, although monsters may attack you (waking you up and generally being a minor inconvenience.)
  • In the Baldur's Gate series, you can rest in many places, but there's a good chance your sleep will be interrupted by wandering monsters if you're not at an inn. The trope's title, however, is explicitly averted—when the party sleeps, a rendered video of a fire and a tent plays.
    • And if you try to sleep in the streets of Athkatla, a guard wakes you up and tells you to use an inn instead.
      • That happens in most cities, really— particularly if the city has an inn.
    • Its Spiritual Successor Dragon Age: Origins thoroughly averts this trope. You have a party camp, implied to be set up near wherever you happen to be (though always the same map), and the game depicts a complete camp with tents, bedrolls, campfires, food, a pit latrine, and even a merchant and his autistic enchanter son who camp near you for protection and sell you stuff. Hell, your Player Character and his/her significant other can even use a tent for. . .other activities besides sleeping. . .with funny comments from other companions who've overheard later.
  • Wasteland actually had a bizarre version of this—resting would cure any and all hit point damage, and the best place to rest was in the middle of the hottest you-take-damage-if-you-don't-have-a-canteen part of the desert, since no-one would attack you there. The second best place was a temple built on and to nuclear physics.
  • Grandia II partly averted this where the characters will set up a camp site when on a long journey, however they're scripted events that happen maybe three times. So it plays the trope straight most of the time.
    • This originated in the first Grandia game, where the party would oftentimes have excursions over large landmasses and would set up camp.
  • Super Mario RPG plays this one pretty straight, having "?" blocks with a mushroom (which fully heals the team) throughout the game's dungeons, oftentimes right before a boss. The trope is also taken to the extreme in one area, having an inn (along with item and armor shops) IN THE MIDDLE OF A FREAKING VOLCANO.
    • Said inn also shows you that Adam Smith Hates Your Guts; the owner's prices are the second highest in the game.
    • Comfort doesn't seem to be necessary to heal damage and restore star power. In the same volcano inn there are no beds (Mario wakes up laying face-down on a pile of crates in the corner).
  • Skies of Arcadia does not allow the party to rest and recover even when they're out sailing the skies. On a ship. With hammocks. Although random encounters are common while sailing which might explain the impossibility of resting, they do stop coming when the ship is not moving. And later in the game, you gain the ability to travel in the upper atmosphere, where there are no random encounters, but you still can't rest on-ship.
  • Mount & Blade averts this full stop, giving you the option to set up camp (and pack up and leave) anywhere and anytime on the world map. While camping, you can still engage in some minor actions, like trying to persuade captured bandits to join your party, or reading the books you bought to boost your intelligence stats. The only downside is, that unlike cities, villages and castles, your camp won't protect you from wandering hordes of bandits (if they're passing by and bump into you).
  • Averted in Opoona. You can carry pocket tents around and sleep in them outside whenever you want.
  • In Gothic series you can rest only on a bed.
  • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City introduced the concept of camping in the Labyrinth to the series; all you need is a campground and a Tent. Farmers can also learn Camp Mastery to buff up the benefits from sleeping, and an early Side Quest involves looking for clues about what happened to a cautious Guild at the campsites.
  • Somehow averted and exaggerated at the same time in Ar tonelico games. You see, you can take a rest in either save points or inns, no Tent items needed. However, much of the Visual Novel part of the game happens when you take a rest and chat with the girls to increase relationship value. While you do this, the background is that of a tent (large enough), even if you take a rest in an inn.
  • No tents in Dragon Quest, and very few dungeons have healing spots (which are strictly for healing, they are not save points). Healing must be done in inns, which tend to be much cheaper than in some other games.
    • Some dungeons do contain ordinary inns, but these are exceptionally rare and usually cost a lot more than inns at a town.

Simulation Game
  • Some of the Rune Factory games contain single-use sleeping bags that allow you to spend the night in caves and dungeons. In the first game in the series, the sleeping bag is a reusable (and upgradable) item.
    • Due to underwhelming use by the players, the sleeping bags and camping skill were taken out in Rune Factory 3.

Turn-Based Strategy
  • Exception: Ogre Battle 64 has a Camp option, that allows you to gradually restore energy (but not HP), but this option is only available if a unit is fatigued (ie. can't fight as well as they normally can), and also resting means fighting any enemies encountered with your unit asleep (unless you have Golems).
    • Strongholds would gradually restore HP, but not energy.

Wide Open Sandbox
  • Red Dead Redemption averts this, using a campsite as the main savehouse for the player that can be set up anywhere.
    • But he doesn't use a tent, and when told to let time pass (i.e. sleep), Marston just curls up into a ball and closes his eyes for a while.
      • A tent appears if the player purchases the camp site upgrade. Marston still doesn't use it.
      • Onscreen, anyway. For all we know, him sitting down is simply him relaxing and he uses the tent when he actually goes to sleep...

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