For sword impalements, dragon attacks, meteor strikes, gunshots, any and all of the Standard Status Effects, and even death, nothing beats a nice, refreshing, stay at an inn — guaranteed to cure all your wounds! When Walking It Off proves unsuccessful, you may just have to Sleep It Off instead.
In some games the inns only heal HP and MP, not status effects or death; others heal HP, MP and status effects, but not death. Most go for the whole lot. Sometimes you can save your game there too, resulting in a form of Healing Checkpoint.
The inn is surprisingly cheap, given how powerful it is (although it might get more expensive as the game progresses; apparently innkeepers have a "gouge the rich" philosophy). And somehow, the presence of inns that can heal any ailment for a pittance does not render traditional doctors and medicine obsolete. Of course, this can probably be explained by the fact that the game only considers your party members dead or poisoned on a gameplay level.
Often, the actual inn is optional and a guy standing in the middle of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon asking if you'd like to rest will get you the same effect. Forget about sleeping in your comfy bed on the Global Airship, though. That doesn't count. And There Are No Tents.
This is quickly becoming a Discredited Trope, as modern RPGs are steadily replacing the Trauma Inn with automatic healing at save points. When an inn actually appears in a game with save point recovery, it's either there for a plot event, or it's just decorative scenery.
Note that if the stay at the inn is unexpectedly free, there will be a Cutscene that night. It is highly possible that the Trauma Inn is an off-screen subversion of the Nobody Poops and Bottomless Bladder tropes (Inns have toilets right?).
See also Healing Spring, which usually provides the same function outside of towns; Resting Recovery, where you can rest pretty much anywhere to restore health; and Hyperactive Metabolism.
Not to be confused with Inn of No Return or Hell Hotel, which are themselves traumatic. Inn Security is an exploitation of this trope whereby a Quest Giver will wake you up with a task to do for them.
open/close all folders
Cave Story has beds that you can sleep in to repair all health, but they are mostly useless since there are usually health monitors that work much faster and restore all your ammo. One is used to advance the plot, and another is used to get a secret bragging rights item (Lipstick from a pink Mimiga who appears in the same bed you wake up in).
Aquaria has some beds that Naija can sleep in to restore her health back to full. Mostly useless as save crystals follow the above-mentioned trend and restore your health, but still useful when no save point is around and you want to conserve your food items. Sometimes, though, you just want to give the poor gal a break. Besides, it's kinda cute to see Naija and Li go to sleep together, complete with Mithala plushie!
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has the Great Fairies, which provide full health and magic healing any time you visit. In the 3DS remake, Link's bed in Kokiri Forest has the same effect.
Legacy Of The Wizard has inns scattered about the dungeon, all of which will fully replenish your HP and MP for a mere 10 gold.
In the Quest for Glory series, staying a night in an inn recovers only a modest amount of health, unless it was one of the QFG games where going to sleep even 5 minutes before dawn regenerated your health and mana completely (4, 5). Going from nearly dead to full health requires magical healing or multiple nights at the inn. Similarly, any poisoning could only be cured via the proper antidote - in fact, going to sleep while poisoned meant the protagonist would wake up in an even worse state. Beyond this small nod to realism, bedrest is still able to cure anything the games' monsters can dish out.
Resting in Erana's Peace, or really ANY of the clearings or spaces enchanted in passing by the enchantress Erana, would usually restore the player's health to full. This is explained by the fact that the space is, in fact, quite magical, and presumably just sitting there would cause injuries to mend at a drastically accelerated rate.
Achaea has sleep gradually restore Hit Points, but status effects must be cured using herbs, spells or various other abilities. Sleeping can be done just about anywhere; inns do exist, but mostly sell food.
Kingdom of Loathing spoofs this with the "tiny house" item, obtainable on the Penultimate Fantasy Airship, which you put on the floor and have everything go dark for a few seconds. It only heals a moderate amount of HP and MP, but unlike most items it does heal Status Ailments.
Ragnarok Online has one in most cities. They cost 5,000 zeny per use which is not something most new players can afford. They are generally not very conveient to use either as they are usually located in the middle of town maps, and after using the Trauma Inns you end up teleported inside a hotel room, which means extra walking to get out.
Wonderland Online has one in every country/city. Almost every one. The cost increases with your level and begins at LVL 11. Before that, it's free.
Neverwinter Nights does away with the inconvenience of inns altogether and just allows you to rest just about anywhere (even some dungeons). This is supposed to be your standard 8-hour sleep and cures the same ills, but it takes only 15 seconds or so while your party members kneel on the ground. In Neverwinter Nights 2, the time was further reduced to 5 seconds.
The Neverwinter Nights 2 expansions, however, play the rest mechanics closer to the rules of Dungeons & Dragons. Resting in Mask of the Betrayer takes 8 hours, but considering the spirit-eater mechanic, it becomes more practical to recharge spells by traveling instead. Storm of Zehir plays the Trauma Inn trope straight, as you can rest in various inns for the standard 8 hours. You can also rest in the wilderness on the overland map (where you have a chance to be interrupted by random encounters), but not indoors outside of inns and your headquarters.
The Dragon Quest series features this trope, except sleep can't revive dead characters and heal status ailments- you have to pay a few gold at the church for that.
In EarthBound, hotels did heal HP damage and restore MP, but didn't get rid of status effects. In fact, there were no less than four different people you had to talk to to get rid of different effects. To revive your unconscious party members you have to talk to a nurse in a hospital; normal status effects like poison, sickness, or sunstroke can be healed by a doctor at a hospital; strange status effects such as "mushroomized", "diamondized", or "possessed" can be fixed by a man in every hospital who just calls himself a healer; and homesickness can only be fixed by calling your mother and talking to her. Also note that "mushroomized" and "homesick" are the only two status effects that you can't heal via PSI powers.
Though the Doctor is pretty much useless, because by the time you're able to catch a cold or sunstroke, the player will most likely already have learned the magic to cure it themselves for free.
EarthBound also had a variant on "stay for free and get a Cutscene" in Threed. Upon following a suspicious woman into the hotel, the hotel's background music is off-tone and warbles. Continue to follow the woman, and, you get trapped and ganged up on by a mob of Urban Zombies to continue the plot.
MOTHER 3 skips over all that and just gives you hot springs, comfy sofas, and "instant revitalizing devices" (a single one of which appeared in Earthbound) to fix all your ailments.
The Final Fantasy Legend games (actually part of the SaGa series) had it so you had to pay for your inns based on how much HP worth of healing you needed, which made it cheaper to cast healing spells on yourself before entering and recharge your magic almost for free.
In the original FFL, though, all characters except the main character could only die three times before they were really dead. I guess Inns can't do everything.
Romancing Sa Ga 2 used a similar principle but Life points were the standard instead of hearts. If you the Artifact of Doom you actually lose Life Points when at any inn except the emperor's bed.
They basically took this from Final Fantasy II (except for the Final Death bit). Final Fantasy II and the SaGa games were both directed by Akitoshi Kawazu, and are similarly noted for being rather obtuse and sadistic in their mechanics.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, this becomes an irritatingly ridiculous trope, as there is only one Trauma Inn in the entire game: your character's house, which is not only the only place you can save, but the only place you can restore your life points inbetween duels, despite the fact that no other game in this series or even the anime required it.
Breath of Fire III had camps, which overrode the need for inns, unless you suffered a Non-Lethal K.O., which would reduce your max HP until you, yes, coughed up for an inn.
In Breath of Fire IV, resting at the inn provides the same benefits as the above example, as well as fully healing your dragon forms' Hit Points and the one-at-a-time only Dragon evocations.
In the Baldur's Gate series, inns restore your spells and heal between zero and eight health points per character, depending on how much you pay. All other damage and status changes must be cured through spells or temples, though BGII does at least give you an automatic "cast healing spells on rest" option.
In Betrayal at Krondor, resting in an inn will heal you, but to completely recover from "near death" (the game's version of being killed in battle) requires resting for almost four months. You're far better off looking for magical healing.
The early dungeon-crawl game Telengard had this sort of inn; until you found magical assistance, sleeping in one was the only way to gain back lost hit-points. (And the only way period of charging up your spell-casting powers.)
In the Pokémon games, simply sleeping in a bed on a ship or in your house is often enough to heal your Pokemon of all HP damage or status damage as well as revive fainted Pokemon. Despite all this, Hyper Mode and Reverse Mode (in Colosseum and XD) will persist, making those the only two statuses that good old rest cannot fix in the entire series (Pokerus is positive in nature and does not qualify).
Don't forget the absurdly simple "Chansey Dance" in Fire Red and Leaf Green, which does the same thing. What makes it absurd is that it only works in one specific NPC's house in the Sevii Islands, as if you couldn't just walk in place and turn around on your own.
Pokemon Centers are Trauma Inns themselves. Even more so in the anime where they also provide bed & breakfast in addition to Pokémon healing.
There's a house in the middle of the wilderness in Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald where an old woman offers to let you sleep for the night and restore your Pokemon. If you do, she'll ask you to sleep again. And again. And again. And again. There is no benefit to sleeping there more than once, so why the developers put this in is somewhat baffling.
There is another old woman in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum that does the same. They're probably just trying to be good hosts, making sure you and your Pokémon get enough rest.
Starting in Black and White Versions, in some locations (usually dungeons), there are Doctors and Nurses who, after you battle them, will heal your entire party. As well as every time you talk to them afterwards.
The fact that sleeping heals Pokémon might be justified in this case: There's a move called Rest that restores all HP.
But doesn't restore PP. Battles would go on FOREVER if that happened.
This is particularly silly in Secret of Mana. Since the game is action-based rather than turn-based, characters knocked to zero HP actually turn into ghosts (so they can continue to follow the other characters around). Yet even this isn't enough to stop their inevitable return to life after their teammates rest in an inn (and the ghost stands beside one of the beds.)
It's gets even sillier in Franchise.Kingdom Hearts. While it doesn't have any actual inns, there are sleep-related items like "Tent", "Cottage", etc. that let you restore your HP and MP to full immediately after using it in the menu, essentially making them cheap super-potions whose only condition is that you can't use them in mid-battle.
Murkon's Refuge, patterned after the classic RPGs of the day, naturally has one of these. The inn itself will only restore HP, though; the clinic is where you go to cure poison, paralysis, and yes, death. The lower-level inns and clinics are dirt-cheap, but the higher-level ones have ridiculously exorbitant prices (to avert Money for Nothing), so resurrection spells are more favored there than trips to the inn/clinic.
In Fallout 3, sleeping in a bed for at least an hour will cure any health problem, including broken bones. The only things sleep can't fix is radiation, which can be reduced with medicine or paying a doctor, and any addictions that the player may have, which can also be fixed by paying a doctor (world's fastest rehab), or purchasing a laboratory for your house. Sleeping for over eight hours will give you a "Well Rested" Status Buff.
Fallout: New Vegas works similarly, also adding an optional perk that cures radiation sickness while you sleep. "Hardcore" mode adds a requirement to sleep regularly (and you'd better be sure to eat and drink first or you might die of dehydration or starvation when you wake up), but removes the healing effects unless you own the bed or rented it — a serious drawback, as the requirement to sleep every night will see you sleeping rough a lot. So paying for hotels suddenly becomes worth the money.
Done similarly in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, where even waiting in one place for an hour cures virtually all wounds, even if it's in hell itself. You don't even need a bed, as long as there are no enemies nearby. Some status effects can't be cured this easily, and require you to drink a potion or pray in a chapel to have them instantly removed. Vampirism is the only condition which is a pain in the arse to cure.
Partly justified in that most characters will have at least a minor healing spell, and an hour of game time is long enough to repeatedly cast it until you are at full health while waiting for your magicka to regenerate between casts. For characters who can't normally regenerate magicka, on the other hand...
In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind health recovery is proportional to the amount of time slept, but doesn't cure status effects such as diseases. On the contrary, you get a message saying "Your case of [Disease] has worsened."
In Arena and Daggerfall you can rest anywhere (except in the innless areas of towns) and heal all your wounds, but this takes longer depending on how much health there is to restore. The real downside is, during that healing process monsters will most likely randomly interrupt it.
The later Wizardry games use this halfway — characters do slowly regain hit points when they rest, but usually much less than casting healing spells, and while resting tends to heal status effects that naturally fade with time, such as paralysis, confusion, and nausea, more permanent effects will remain, and others, such as poison and disease, will continue to deal damage as the party rests-it's quite possible for a poisoned character to die while resting.
Super Mario RPG has these EVERYWHERE. This is even parodied in the inn at Barrel Volcano, where the innkeeper tells you beforehand that you have to sleep on straw beds at exorbitant prices, yet it still recovers all HP and FP for everyone.
Paper Mario 64 has these in the form of Toad Houses. Your HP, FP, and Star Power all fill up.
The other Paper Mario games use hotels. You can sleep in a regular bed for free during Chapter 3 of Thousand Year Door, but it doesn't refill Star Power.
Beginning in the Final Fantasy series with Final Fantasy X, save points fully restore HP and status. Final Fantasy X-2 mocks the trope in Guadosalam. In one of the sections there, the player can ask for the use of an inn, to which the proprietor responds "There's a chair, use it."
Hilariously, Final Fantasy X still had normal inns which did what the trope entails, which seems rather superfluous when Save Spheres do the same, and are usually found inside the Inn.
Final Fantasy III averts this trope surprisingly hard. While an inn will restore HP and MP, it will not do a thing about ANY status effects, including KO. This in a game where status effects are rather more problematic than your standard RPG. (Early on, if you only have one caster and s/he only has one MP for level 2 spells, do NOT cast Mini on yourself for any reason until you level up enough to get a second MP) Oddly enough, there is a free inn on the airship.
Dragon Age doesn't have rentable inns, but it does have a party encampment. If you go to the camp from the world map, any KO-induced injuries incurred by your party members are removed. Clearly a bit of time spent reliving your scout days is the cure for broken bones, gaping wounds and profuse bleeding.
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has the Lady of the Fount, who guards a magical healing spring, so it's more or less justified. Except the Lady must be a keen businesswoman, as she charges not a fixed amount for everyone, but a fee for each character she heals, based on how much healing they need. This makes you bleed Macca at the beginning of the game, especially if you need to resurrect someone. This also makes Chakra Drops and Revival Beads extremely valuable commodities, especially in Hard Mode. Besides this, she can also dispel Curses imparted by the Magatama, at almost the same cost as reviving someone. And to add insult to injury, the locations of the Fount are quite scattered in-between.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has Healing Stations, which follow the Lady of the Fount's business model; however, there are more of these and they are often located near bosses and near Save Stations, making them a bit more bearable.
Etrian Odyssey series feature inns which can heal all your health and magic regardless of how long you stay, be it 24 hours or just 1 hour, as regardless of when the characters check in, they will always wake up during certain hours of the day, such as 5 AM or 6 PM on the first two games, or 7 o'clock in the third game. Death and petrification needs to be cured in hospitals outside the inns, although by the third game, the hospital has moved into the inn, making it technically possible to heal everything in the inn even if you have to choose different services.
Inns in Everlong provide full healing overnight, but they charge you more the more injured your party members are.
There is only one inn in Shining The Holy Ark but if you choose to sleep there you'll recover all your health and loose any status effects that are hurting you. However to raise your downed teammates from death you'll need to visit the church.
Ditto Shining Wisdom, only one inn, costs 10 coin to spend the night and your health is completely restored.
Partially averted in Albion. While resting at an inn will restore all health, it will not remove any status effects. In fact caracters with the "sickness" status effect will not regain any health at all while resting.
Discussed and Lampshaded in Legend of Legaia. In an optional dialogue in Drake Castle, Noa, a girl literally raised by a wolf isolated from society, asks Vahn what an "Inn" is for. One of the options Vahn can answer with is "A place for restoring HP and MP."; the game also plays the trope straight.
The Rune Factory games let you recover Hit Points and stamina (called Rune Points in this series) by sleeping or going to the bath house, but they won't undo adverse status effects, which must be cured by medicine or a visit to the hospital.
Dwarf Fortress averts this in the 2010 updates. Earlier versions of the game let dwarves sleep and recover from any injury that didn't sever the injured part, but the current version of the game requires a visit by a doctor trained to diagnose the injury, another visit by a doctor with the right skill to fix the injury, ample recovery time, and supplies of cloth for bandages, splints, crutches, and traction benches. Some poisons and diseases simply can't be recovered from except by amputation of the affected body parts, and dwarves can be crippled for life.
Turn Based Strategy
The Disgaea series has hospitals that can heal wounds, restore MP, and raise the dead, and charges higher the more you need to heal. Of course, they also give you gifts for being such good customers, and you can get some seriously high-level stuff if you're willing to get your butt kicked for it (or kick it yourself).
All of the Grand Theft Auto games since GTA III would allow the player to completely heal from any and all wounds, including gunshots, burns, massive internal bleeding and broken bones from being hit by a car or crashing one, deep gashes from knives and swords, and shrapnel from explosives, by going to a safehouse and saving the game (taking a 6-hour nap).
Also, when you get "killed", you just sleep it off in the nearest hospital and you're fine.
Red Dead Redemption, which uses the GTA engine, features something similar. While it has regenerating health which will put you right as rain after about 15 seconds, if you set up camp in the wilderness your ammo regenerates (despite the fact that your campsite is essentially a few logs and a cloth for a tent.)
In Terraria, beds are only good for setting your spawn point. You can't even sleep in them.
Non-video game examples:
Anime and Manga
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has an episode where the whole class takes a trip to a Cleansing Spring. It gives a brief peek at the sign next to it. If you pause the episode right there, it will say on the bottom line that it cures Petrification, Poison and other RPG-Debuffs.
House Jorasco in Eberron owns the hospitals, while Ghallanda owns the inns (and neither are free). However in the book secrets of xen'drik there is a mention of a place called "Last Chance", a farm community built around a large inn that is a joint effort between the two houses, and thus provides both services.
The mechanics in Erfworld dictate that all non-lethal wounds are healed at dawn. Also, clothing is cleaned and repaired, hair is shampooed, skin is scrubbed, all in an instant. As Parson points out, it'd be the perfect life for a slovenly gamer nerd if it didn't entail quite so much death and destruction.
The human body actually heals much more quickly and efficently when asleep then when awake. In fact that's one of sleeping's main biological functions, by shutting down higher bodily functions, the body can devote more energy to passive tasks such as filtering blood, digestion, and healing.