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Schmuck Bait: Video Games
Often a subtrope of Unwinnable by Mistake, Unwinnable by Design or (most usually) Unwinnable by Insanity.
  • EVE Online
    • Had an unintentional form of player bait. Pressing Ctrl + Q at the same time quit the game back to the desktop. Many a new player, when asking in a public chat channel how to, for example open the galaxy map or launch all their drones at once would often recieve the answer "press Ctrl + Q". This has since been removed.
  • Dragon Age: Origins
    • A great example during the "Nature of the Beast" plotline. There is a treasure chest near the Keeper of the elven village. Touch it once and you get a mild warning. Touch it again and the Keeper's apprentice now hates your guts.
    • There are 9 Revenants scattered around the game that will appear if you touch the wrong item and can easily mudstomp an unprepared player. The game does give ominous clues that the items (black vials or gravestones) shouldn't be touched.
  • Modern Warfare 2
    • Played straight in the Museum "credits" level. After browsing the lifelike dioramas re-enacting scenes from the game, the player will invariably notice a large button, to which the onscreen prompt responds "Do Not Press (whatever the action button is for your platform)". Pressing the action button results in all the figures coming to life and bloodily ending the unprepared player. If you're prepared, though, it's not all that hard to survive as long as you get out of the room fast enough.
    • Also in the Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer mode some players will use care package crates as Schmuck Bait, throwing them out in the open and waiting for an unsuspecting enemy to wander over and attempt to steal the crate. Doing so leaves the "Schmuck" standing still in a helpless state for several seconds, enough time for the other player to score an easy head shot or tomahawk kill.
    • Ironically the reverse can also happen to the owner of the care package. If a person with the Hacker Pro perk kills the owner before he/she can get the package the hacker can booby trap the crate and leave an unpleasant surprise waiting for their victim or any of their victim's teammates that happen upon the trap. Let the multi-kills ensue.
    • Modern Warfare 3 now gives us the Airdrop Trap support killstreak, which is a booby-trapped care package crate intended for your enemies. Savvy players quickly learn to never go near one (especially if it's placed somewhere stupid like in the middle of the map), but with a little bit of acting and a tantalizing prize inside (such as an Osprey Gunner)...
  • Doom: See that big health kit on the middle of this large, perfectly circular and otherwise completely empty room? You are free to take it. If you are ready to fight huge waves of monsters that will appear the moment you pick it from camouflaged trap doors on the walls, that is.
  • Doom 3. You will find rooms that seems to be perfect for an ambush with a large medkit on corner, but nothing will happen. However, you see that vacant hallway and a small stimpack in an opening in it, but touching that causes an Imp to appear behind you and maul your spine away.
  • Half-Life
    • Parodied in a mod, in which the player is led by several signs to a large button marked "Do Not Press". Leaving the room is impossible until the button is pressed. Played straight in the main Half-Life game. Early on, after the resonance cascade, you reach an elevator with a large warning sign next to it — "In Case Of Fire Do Not Use Elevators" — should you press the button, an elevator full of scientists will fall screaming to their doom. (The developer who thought this up said that it worked both as a game element and as a message to other developers — "Enough with the damn button puzzles already.") The elevator still falls even if you don't press the button. Though most people probably do anyway.
    • After killing the assassins, a room opens up revealing a first aid station. Naturally, the player will go for it straight away to heal up, but gets ambushed by some soldiers and has all their weapons taken away. Even if you know about this in advance, you can't avoid it.
    • Half-Life 2 and its expansions tend to leave small piles of ammo, health and power apparently in the open on the opposite end of seemingly empty rooms or vents, except when you go to get them the floor will collapse or something and leave you suddenly surrounded by headcrabs or somesuch. The first time you can probably be forgiven for falling for it, but afterwards not so much especially since you can grab the items safely from a distance with your gravity gun.
    • In time, you come to realize that the corpses you tend to find nearby are from the many people that sacrificed themselves setting those caches, and the things that killed them are likely expecting your arrival, too.
  • Left 4 Dead
    • If you see the Witch and manage not to instantly interrupt her, and everyone else tells you not to shoot her... listen.
    • Particularly annoying is in L4D2, where you get an achievement for not startling any of the 10-20 Witches in the sugar mill of the Hard Rain campaign. It's not certain what is worst; the tension and difficulty of the actual task, the constant reminders about not shooting the Witches from the AI, or the AI taking the Schmuck Bait themselves and shooting a Witch that could easily have been avoided and forcing the rest of the group to save them.
    • The sequel has jukeboxes at some places, in which you can put on music for use when zombie killing. The problem is, said music also attracts zombie hordes. A variation of this exists in The Passing DLC in which there is a stereo at a wedding... which causes the witch that always spawns there to get spooked and immediately attack the survivor that activated it, in addition to a horde being summoned.
    • The "Dead Air" campaign takes place in an airport. In one part of that airport is a metal detector that you can walk through in plain sight. Walking through it cause an alarm, alerting a horde of Infected. It becomes a But Thou Must in the sequel due to changes in the map that force you to walk through the detector.
  • Many Sierra adventure games, particularly Space Quest. It was something of a malicious joy for them.
  • Team Fortress 2 has the sprays, which can be used to lay traps for enemy players; apply a spray, hide nearby, and ambush them when they stop to look at it.
    • One griefer used images of scantily-clad ladies.
    • Some snipers will use sprays with small, hard-to-read text to trick players into reading it while they line up a perfect shot.
    • Clever Heavies can use their Sandviches as Schmuck Bait. Throw the Sandvich someplace where an enemy is likely to notice it, wait for the schmuck to take the bait, then pump 'em full of minigun lead. Works especially well with the Tomislav (every minigun except the Tomislav makes a loud WHIRRRR when preparing to fire. The Tomislav just makes a small click!)
    • Spies who can disguise themselves as high-priority targets from their own team (Such as Snipers or Medics) and make enemies follow them hoping to get an easy kill...only to go around a corner and back-stab them, or lure them into an ally Sentry Gun or Heavy.
    • One classic trick in the common map 2Fort is to lay a wad of stickybombs on the medkit in your team's sewer as you head out through it for the other team's fort. If the demoman encounters more resistance then planned, he just runs back to his own sewer and back pedals towards safety rather than going for the medkit. Since players instinctively jump towards the medkits when entering the sewers, they often stand right on the bombs. The tactic is so effective many players ignore the highly circumstantial nature of the trap and call it griefing.
    • New players can expect to be told to use unbindall in the console at least once, whether told it is a cheat command, or for a more legitimate purpose. The command, as its name implies, unbinds all your keys from their commands, preventing you from doing anything until you reset your keys.
  • Some of the Tropico games have a Print Money edict you can implement, with Flavor Text telling you to print more money, after doing so drives the price of building too high.
  • The PS1 game Blasto had buttons in the first few levels that had a big sign reading "DO NOT PRESS" over them. If you actually DO press them... you explode. Except for one particular button that instead reveals a secret pathway.
  • Commander Keen 2, subtitled "the Earth explodes", has an alien mothership orbiting Earth, with numerous death rays that will cause it to, you know, explode. Each of those comes with a convenient switch that allows the player to activate them. Oops.
  • There are numerous video games where, when reaching the final boss, said boss offers you to join him instead. Almost without exception, taking that choice either kills you outright or gives you a bad ending, or summons a horde of angry enemies. Examples: Streets of Rage, Ultima VII, Jade Empire, and many others.
  • The very short Interactive Fiction game Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die is one of the purest examples of Schmuck Bait ever created. And yes, if you pick up the phone booth, you die. (There is a way to win, by the way.) There is also the frozen pole in the IF game So Far. For any Genre Savvy player, the invitation to lick the pole is Schmuck Bait. But the game triple-dog-dares you to lick it anyway...
  • In The Neverhood, the only way to die partway through the game and get the "Game Over" screen is to jump into a pit, which is clearly labelled with signs that say not to jump there...
  • After you are released from the Human Juicing Machines in Prey, you come to a switch beneath an observation window overlooking the same machine. Pushing the switch causes the machine to resume its juicing of the other captives, and it cannot be deactivated again. Way to go, Hero.
  • In Thief II: The Metal Age you may come across a button labeled, "Do not push this button." Press it, and two angry giant spiders spawn directly behind you. You were expecting maybe a prize, genius? Actually a fairly reasonable trap to put someplace where you're expecting a thief. People who live there know better than to touch the button. An unauthorized visitor wouldn't be able to resist.
  • Myst
    • Say, what's this? Some old book? Hmm, what kind of language is — holy crap! A tiny movie screen?! Is that an island? Looks a bit dusty, lemme see if I can wipe some off...
    • The finale fits this trope, if you fail to choose the green book — or do choose the green book without its missing page.
    • Riven presents a couple of Zigzags on this trope. There are at least two major pieces of Schmuck Bait in the game, and both are inaccessible when you start. By the time you've unlocked them, you should have figured out what they do ... but in order to win, you must use them anyway.
    • Atrus invoked this trope when he designed his library. The shelves are full of books leading to worlds of bounty, easily plundered, but the two books given pride of place on lecterns are traps. Atrus explicitly told his sons never to touch them. Tragically, this might have contributed to the boys' Face Heel Turns, as they were driven by their fantasies of what the books might hold, but also caused them to be Hoist By Their Own Petard when they entered the books and found there was no way out.
  • Similar to the above, Mystcraft, a mod for Minecraft can have books such as this too. Fail to create a book linking to the Overworld before jumping into an Age you've created will, more often than not, cause you to be stuck in that Age. Alternatively, certain Age symbols that you use to write Ages carry with them a hefty toll. Good luck mining all that extra ore in that Age when the entire world is falling apart at the seams.
  • The final Baldur's Gate game hands you a greater wish. If you are stupid enough to wish to grow strong, you get handed a ton of enemies guaranteed to wipe you off the face of Faerun. That said, it's quite a fun fight and reasonably winnable at a high enough level. Admittedly this is only because you know it's coming and can get ready to spam short overpowered spells like Dragon Breath.
  • Soul Calibur III: After repeatedly trying to warn Yun Seong about Soul Edge, Seong Mina resorts to the next best thing: beat him to it, then set a trap... with pork buns. You'd think he'd at least wonder where they came from, but he actually falls for it and starts to take one. Which was just the opportunity Mina was waiting for.
  • In Planescape: Torment, one of the quests involves a box that The Nameless One is forced to deliver to several people because they don't want it, and they stated repeated to never open it, that is it not good to know what's in it and more importantly, to never, ever, under any circumstances leave the Hive (the part of the city the game starts in) while carrying the box. Classic Schmuck Bait. There are actually three ways to complete this quest: you can open the box yourself like an idiot and fight a low-level demon which may overwhelm your party unless you have a magic weapon, you can simply leave the Hive while it's still in your inventory (which causes the box to vanish with no apparent results other than the gem on it replacing it in your inventory), or you can complete a quest that has you run all over the Hive to find someone that will destroy the box and send its contents to multiple dimensions netting you some XP and a small amount of money from the guy who gave you the box, provided you manage to find him. Choose the second option and near the end of the game, you end up encountering "The Fiend from Moridor's Box", which turns out to be the strongest monster in the game. In fine D&D tradition, taking the hardest way out nets you the best treasure...if you survive.
  • The first Ys game features a room in one dungeon in which a lone treasure chest is surrounded by several statues that look remarkably like enemies you encountered earlier. Guess what happens when you open the chest? You really DO need what's in the chest.
  • Knights of the Old Republic
    • You are tasked with delivering a box to a Hutt and warned not to open it, or something very bad will happen. You have a choice as to whether or not to open it. If you do, your consciousness is transmitted to a Phantom Zone-like prison dimension. The inmate there challenges you to a contest of riddles, the winner of which will get to return to the real world and inhabit your now-mindless body, and the loser of which will be stuck in the prison dimension indefinitely. Even if you win and return to your body, you don't get any rewards. Unless you like riddles, it's best not to open the box.
    • At one point you visit a Sand People encampment. You're warned not to take anything from their camp without permission. If you do, every one of them turns hostile and attacks you.
    • There is also a mild example in the second game. When you go to Korriban and start exploring the Valley of Sith Lords, Kreia will contact you and mention that you shouldn't disturb the corpses. If you decide to loot them anyway, enemies spawn and attack you and Kreia chastises you.
  • Parodied in Evil Genius, with the trap "Do Not Touch Button".
  • Don't Shoot the Puppy. The whole thing.
  • Knytt Stories has a fan level called Don't Eat the Mushroom, with the laughable plot of Juni traveling three screens to deliver a package to a neighbor, running across a mushroom on the way. If you ignore the mushroom, you can deliver the package no problem. If you touch the mushroom, you drop into a psychedelic wonderland upon entering the next screen, and, upon completing the acid trip, you can either deliver the package or return home, or, alternately, go jump in the ocean.
  • The World Ends with You: Neku best summarizes it when Beat explains that if he sees a button, he has to press it after being asked why he didn't think about it:
    Neku: I think they design traps with people like you in mind...
  • The 580-point version of Colossal Cave has a button marked "EMERGENCY STOP — Do not push!". If you press it, the game deliberately enters an infinite loop. And this was written for a single-tasking operating system, so the only way to regain control of your computer is to reboot.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • In Sonic Riders, Sonic's arch-enemy Dr. Eggman appears on a gigantic TV screen and says he's holding a competition where entrants must give him their Chaos Emeralds. Sonic decides to enter and gives Eggman the Chaos Emerald he just found.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door contains a prime example of this trope that the game utterly delights in tantalizing you with. Midway through the sixth chapter, you encounter a ghost on a train who would like to help you on your quest but, before he does, insists you help him first. Turns out he left his diary somewhere in the baggage car and has been tormented for years with the knowledge that someone might find it and read it, preventing him from passing on to his next existence. He agrees to help you if you get the book, but he very sternly warns you that under no circumstances are you to open and read it. The game deliberately berates this point, meaning that if you are even mildly curious you will have your interest piqued. It even goes so far as to put a message on the game's bulletin board after the chapter saying, "Good thing you didn't read my diary!" Once you find the book in question, you can select it from your inventory and try to open it. The game will make you go through several confirmation screens before the diary finally opens. Your reward for your curiosity? An instant game over.
    • After bringing Hooktail, the first chapter boss, down to 0 HP, she will beg for mercy and offer to give you 1000 coins, a rare badge, and the opportunity to smell its feet (ew). Saying no to all of these will lead to Hooktail eating the audience and reviving half of its HP, but saying yes will lead to not only that, but also getting in a quick cheap shot for plenty of damage. The fact that many characters warn you of this tactic should be proof enough that it's a dumb idea.
    • And another regarding the story. Legend states that beyond the Thousand-Year Door beneath Rogueport lies untold treasures. However, that was a myth forged by Beldam. Grodus and the X-Nauts know the truth, which is that the door is the prison of the Shadow Queen and that the seven crystal stars are the locks on the door.
    • Subverted with the four creatures in the chests that "curse" you after tricking you into opening the chests (who are, in fact, not cursing you at all, but giving you useful abilities).
  • Super Paper Mario
    • The game keeps the tradition alive by Tippi warning Mario about going into outer space without a helmet. Oddly enough, you can refuse to put on the helmet — and if you do so enough times, you go into space and die.
    • Also, several rooms in one chapter feature mushrooms just tantalizingly out of reach. They move away if you attempt to approach them. If you chase them, various nasty things will happen to you — such as getting dropped into a pit. You actually collect the mushroom in all but one case, you can easily exit a trap with more health than you went in with.
  • A disconcerting large part of Fawful's scheme in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story relies on characters eating any piece of food offered to them by a complete stranger. Or, in one case, by the person you're trying to defeat.
  • At least one Super Mario World hack pulled a move that makes the infamous Kaizo Trap seem easy. At the start of a certain level, there was a message block saying not to hit the midway point. A little later, you see a seemingly inaccessible 3up moon with no way out. And then you see the midway point. If you hit the midway point and died later in that level, you'd spawn next to where the 3up moon was, and the message block there chastised you for not following directions.
  • The original System Shock sets you up rather evilly around halfway through. SHODAN plans to wipe out life on Earth with a massive barrage of laser fire from an orbital station, and naturally it's your job to stop her. Unfortunately, you stumble across an inadequately labelled laser-control switch. Play with it and...well. SHODAN will be pleased, at least.
  • Guild Wars has several treasure chests, heaps of gold and suspicious wall panels scattered throughout the Nightfall lands labelled "Do not touch". When you touch them, you will get a precious item and gold, but several Djinns will spawn and try to kill you.
  • Every Roguelike has tons of unlabelled potions and fountains and things that you just know have fabulous magical effects... of some sort.
  • Final Fantasy
    • In Final Fantasy V, while exploring in a cave, you may come across a narrow pathway where you seem to randomly pick up 1 gil. You move on, and, after a few more steps, you pick up 2 gil! And then 4! Wow! You're picking up double the previous amount every few steps! Surely no ill could come of this... If you do tempt fate, you'll wind up facing Gil Turtle, a horrible, undead turtle that is very, very difficult to kill.
    • Final Fantasy IV: The Trickster/Lil' Murderer. First of all, it's an imp. Secondly, the thing comes along, doesn't attack, and casts' Scan on itself, telling you it has a weakness to Lightning; it never does anything else. You know it's a trap, this is the Very Definitely Final Dungeon and you've just fought your way down like 10 levels of dragons, dinozombies, and ninjas just to get this far; there's no way it's this easy! But you can't resist finding out what happens, and cast a lightning spell on it. The scan's not lying, he is weak to Lightning, but that same spell just powered him up. A lot. Oops.
    • In Cecil's Trial in Lunar Ruins, there's one trial which involves you standing still on guard duty while a fellow guard has to make an urgent leave, and he warns you not to get distracted. Of course, some things will happen before your eyes and tempt you to check things when you should not, which will make you fail this challenge... Except that, even in Game Boy Advance, it was a bit glitchy, and you could move during some "events" within this challenge. Oops!
    • Cecil's Trial has you battle an imp in one of the challenges. But if you're in a rush, you'll kill the imp instead of waiting to listen to it, failing the challenge.
    • One of the surviving summoners in the town of Mist will tell you an anecdote about how Odin was badly injured when lightning struck his sword. When you fight Odin, if you remember this anecdote, and cast any lightning-elemental attack on him, he will counterattack with his finishing move, instead of waiting until the end of an invisible countdown.
    • Final Fantasy IX has several friendly monsters that ask you for an item, which they will give you tons of AP for it and their battle theme is different to show they're friendly. However, there's a monster called the Gimme Cat that tries to trick you by demanding a Diamond and if you give it one, it runs off with it and you leave with nothing. However, since the normal battle theme plays, that should tell you "do not listen to this monster". Be careful fighting it because it attacks with the powerful Comet spell.
    • In Final Fantasy XII, after you defeat a Mark in Bhujerba the Moguri who gave you the quest will ask you to go to the shop where she works to get her diary, and tells you not to read it. Inverted, since you whether you read it or not doesn't matter, but what you tell her when she asks you if you did.
    • Final Fantasy XIII: So you've just reached Pulse, now you can finally go anywhere you want! Hey, look at those gigantic tortoise-things! Surely they give massive CP! No need to worry, we just defeated a fal'Cie, we're Badass enough to handle this thing... No, no you're not. Have a Nice Death. Though they really DO give massive amounts of CP, and drop some amazing items, but by the time you're ready to fight them, you'll probably have maxed everyone's Crystarium anyway. Unless you use Vanille's Death spell... Mind you, it only has a 1% base chance of hitting, +1% per inflicted Debuff.
    • In the sequel you gain access to the Archylte Steppe very early on, in which, under sunny conditions a Long Gui spawns. You can fight him more or less right out of the gate. You won't last ten seconds.
  • At one point in Chrono Trigger, you'll get a chance to go to Ozzie's fort in 600 A.D. After defeating powered-up versions of Flea and Slash, you'll be led into a room where Ozzie's operating an obvious Death Trap, where a guillotine is guarding a delicious-looking treasure. Attempting to grab it while the machine's running will cause damage to your party. Instead, you'll need to go up the stairs to chase after Ozzie, at which point a greedy imp will attempt to open the treasure box, only to get chopped to bits by the guillotine. You can grab the contents after chasing away Ozzie, but there's not much of use in there anyway (just a Hi-Potion). There's a corridor on the lower right where Ozzie has hidden most of Magus' most powerful equipment. Curiously, he leaves this portion of the room unguarded.
  • In Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus, Dokuro-chan positively reeks of this trope in the Toradora! world. After all, why would her first action after leaving the room you just landed in be to casually flick a switch that releases poison gas in the first floor of Taiga's apartment? And then she pulls every switch at the beginning of each subsequent floor (despite everyone's protests, even), though these do demonstrate the traps waiting for you there. (Thankfully, she doesn't touch the four levers at the end of each floor, three of which initiate battles.)
  • The original Zork had a hint book in which the last chapter listed a number of things the player might try doing in the game. More than a few of them would result in the player's death, including desecrating dead bodies in Hades, burning a black prayer book, and waving a magic scepter while standing on a rainbow that the scepter made solid.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy
  • In The Lost Crown: A Ghosthunting Adventure, the Schmuck Bait turns out to be the crown itself... which you have no choice but to take anyway.
  • In Cave Story, the first time the pit of instant death appears in the game is adjacent to a sign saying: "Watch out! Deathtrap to your left! One touch means instant death!"
  • Dynamite Headdy has a stage late in the game with a couple blocks marked "Don't shoot!".
  • In Mister Mosquito, the just-barely-cracked-open microwave visibly has a huge load of heart rings inside. Upon entering, the microwave closes and roasts you alive.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines the plot-driving Ankaran Sarcophagus, though not for the reason the character is led to believe. You just know there has to be something bad in there, given the Arc Words are "Don't open it!", every even remotely trustworthy character in the game cautions you against it, and it is heavily implied to contain an immensely powerful vampire capable of bringing about the end of the world. In the end, the player gets to decide whether or not to open it. Its contents are a massive bomb and a mocking note from Jack, the tutorial man.
  • In Portal, the Big Bad pulls a Briar Patching gambit in regards to a weird object she just dropped, even going so far as to lampshade her use of Reverse Psychology. Messing with it is bad for you.
    GLaDOS: I wouldn't bother with that thing. My guess is that touching it will make your life even worse, somehow.
    I don't want to meddle with your business, but if I were you I'd leave that thing alone.
    Do you think I'm trying to trick you with reverse psychology? I mean, seriously now.
  • Portal 2 has quite a few examples. To wit:
    • The "missing" Emancipation Grill, which GLaDOS specifically tells you not to bring anything through. Sure enough, she just wants to Yank the Dog's Chain.
    • GLaDOS attempts to lure you to her "final test", which is conveniently already solved and has an open doorway ostensibly leading to the outside. Falling for it earns you an achievement... and a reload.
    • A door marked "GLaDOS Emergency Shutdown and Cake Dispensary — Keep Unlocked". She savagely lampshades this one, despite it being a case of Trap Is the Only Option.
    • Several of Wheatley's Death Traps, or as he refers to one of them, a "Death Option", He goes so far as to express pleasant surprise if you actually fall for them, and one earns you an achievement.
  • World of Warcraft
    Mimiron: Now why would you go and do something like that? Didn't you see the sign that said "DO NOT PUSH THIS BUTTON!"? How will we finish testing with the self-destruct mechanism active?
    • Also, a rogue class quest makes you go to the clan's secret base; the stated objective is "Survive the trial". When you find the secret entrance and wander through the cave, there's a lonely treasure chest that looks normal...but if you click on it, a much more higher level elite enemy will come and kill you with one strike. The kick? You must NOT click the chest, but calmly go through the cave. It's even lampshaded by the NPC you'll return the quest to: "Couldn't keep your hands away from the chest, could you? Don't worry, almost no one can."
    • Players in Battlegrounds will often set up some schmuck bait with the following "/e has reported you AFK. Type /afk to clear this status." Typing /afk marks you as "Away from Keyboard" and if you're in a Battleground, it removes you. The results of this with Munchkins are predictable.
    • Another battleground prank is for a mage to open a portal, and say to click on it to help summon free food and water. And everyone who isn't paying attention gets dumped out to a city and given a "deserter" debuff that prevents them from rejoining for 15 minutes. As demonstrated.
    • A weird example, as it first appeared in Warcraft III, but you get a flashback of it in World of Warcraft as well: Frostmourne is floating above a dais that has an inscription that reads "Whosoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit." Arthas decides that it's Worth It - and Trap Is the Only Option to defeat the current enemy.
  • Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee has fireflies that give hints if you stand still and chant for a while. One of those hints is: "Watch...out...for...that...bat" — whereupon the Goddamn Bats swoop down on you and kill you.
    • The very end of the game has a countdown until Deadly Gas floods the factory and, should the player rescue the last worker, they will be given the one-use ability to avoid capture through granting the ability to murder the evil C.E.O.s and the capturing guards almost instantly. Doing so, however, leaves the player alone in the board room with the still counting down gas timer and a lever labelled "GAS SHUTOFF", which drops two more guards into the room, forcing the player to be captured anyway or suffocate to death.
    • Near the end of the game, you'll find a lever marked "Ring for Service". Pulling it spawns a Slig that shoots you dead on the spot.
    • In a similar example to the above, one of the Magog on the March segments in Exoddus informs you "if you have any further questions, feel free to pull the lever to your right." Pulling that one sends a crate down to crush you.
  • In Fallout 3, it is possible to find a Garden of Eden Creation Kit (The G.E.C.K.) — and you may activate it. Trying to do so will warn out that it will destroy everything in a several mile radius for raw materials — whereupon you may confirm that you'd like to activate it.
  • Fallout: New Vegas
    • The final chamber of Vault 11. It's locked by a terminal which can only be accessed through a password, which itself is at the far end of the explorable space in the Vault. Everything you've read up to this point tells you this chamber is bad news, as in the "not compatible with continued living" kind of bad, but chances are you're going to go there anyway simply because you have to know what the fuss is about. The game awards you with a decent amount of XP for doing so, since it's an unmarked quest. ...If you survive the surprise.
    • There's also one in the "Dead Money" expansion, set up for plot purposes. You are explicitly told (before you have an opportunity to do so) that if you read "Sinclair's Notes" on the terminal in the Sierra Madre Vault you will become permanently trapped. If you do so, you'll get a Non-Standard Game Over where you starve to death. That said, just because you know about the trap doesn't mean you can't spring it on someone else...
    • The ghost people of "Dead Money" live by this trope, which many characters have pointed out. They leave out a bunch of seemingly innocuous and useful items, like food and bullets, as bait for incredibly lethal traps. Sometimes even the traps are traps themselves, tempting you to move in, disarm and salvage them. One example is a rigged shotgun that has a hidden land mine near it, so that when you salvage ammo from the gun, the mine goes off. Another is a pressure pad that, when pressed, discharges a shotgun into a cluster of fire extinguishers (which explode). While disarming the trap, you may find out that one of the fire extinguishers is actually a gas bomb, a type of mine rigged to proximity detonate. Surprise!
    • The base game uses the double-trap all the time with land mines, since it knows that you will never pass up the opportunity to disarm a useful, valuable mine and add it to your inventory. There are many areas where a prominent mine is placed within the detonation radius of one that is hidden. One example is just outside of Nipton, where the developers have placed hidden frag mines under the traffic cones near some not-so-hidden mines, such that stepping within range to disarm the obvious mines will activate the others.
    • The gold bars in the Sierra Madre vault are immensely valuable. You really don't want to leave without them... but picking up more than just a few will break your carrying capacity, slowing you to a crawl and ensuring that you won't get out of the vault before your bomb collar goes off. Death by Materialism is a major theme of this add-on.
    • The Toaster in "Old World Blues" offers you a super-rare Mojave snowglobe, if you stick your hand into his bread slot. What do you think happens when you stick your hand into the bread slot of a psychopathic, murderous toaster?
    • Early on, you're directed to travel to a town via a winding highway going south and looping back around. The town itself is a comparatively short distance east. Which provokes the obvious question: why not just go as the crow flies and cut across the desert? Scorpion Gulch, that's why. Remember the Giant Radscorpions in the previous game? Hideous to look at but not so tough? Well, they're back, except that they're much bigger, their poison is far more deadly and drives you mad, and shooting them with the weapons you will likely have at hand just pisses them off. And in Fallout 3, you'd only have to deal with one or two at a time; Scorpion Gulch is crawling with the things, you may be attacked by a dozen at a time and even if somehow you manage to kill them, more will just come out of holes in the canyon walls. Many players tried the "simple walk east" and quickly learned a valuable New Vegas lesson: unless you are armed for Deathclaw, stick to the damn roads.
    • And speaking of Deathclaws, Fallout 3 only had two types: Deathclaws and Enclave-controlled Deathclaws (as the name implies, they are enslaved by the Enclave and won't attack them). New Vegas, on the other hand has a whopping seven types of Deathclaws: standard Deathclaws, young Deathclaws, Blind Deathclaws (who possess a higher-than normal Perception trait), Deathclaw alpha males, baby Deathclaws, mother Deathclaws (who become frenzied if you hurt or kill one the babies) and, the Legendary Deathclaw (possessing double the health and attack power of the normal Deathclaws). All but the Legendary and Blind Deathclaws can be found in the Quarry between Sloan and Black Mountain as part of an unmarked quest.
      • The Lonesome Road add-on also has two types of Deathclaws: normal and Irradiated (Deathclaws capable of dealing radiation damage: in other words, a combination of Deathclaws and Glowing Ones)
  • The Path only gives you two instructions: Go to grandmother's house, and Stay on the Path. Guess what you do.
  • Interesting Subversion in Persona 3: on a date with Elizabeth she sees an open manhole sectioned off and assumes it's a trap preying on humans vulnerable to Schmuck Bait. It Makes Sense in Context, because Elizabeth is an... extradimensional entity?
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • In A Link to the Past, a sign says not to throw anything into a nearby circle of stones. This game allows you to pick up and throw signs. The first time you do this, you actually get rewarded for it; in fact, you need the item you get to complete the game. Do it again, though, and the creature that lives in the circle of stones throws an active bomb at you.
    • Played straight in the German version of Ocarina of Time. A hidden Gossip Stone behind the Deku Tree says (in German): "They say something mysterious will happen if one presses the reset button while playing." Of course, nothing happens besides your progress being lost.
    • In Majora's Mask, the fight with Goht only happens because you decided to shoot a Fire Arrow at the giant mechanical demon entombed in a block of ice. As usual, to continue with the game you have to release the monster, and then kill it.
    • The miniboss of Arbiter's Grounds in Twilight Princess, Death Sword. It's a honking great big sword, strapped to the ground with ropes covered in prayer strips. It practically screams, "Sealed Demon: Do Not Touch". But of course, you have to go and cut the ropes.
    • Also subverted in Twilight Princess in the bomb shop. Barnes has signs plastered everywhere warning customers that lit lanterns are forbidden in the shop. If you light your lantern, Barnes panics, drops his eye protectors... and harmlessly dumps water on you to extinguish the lantern.
    • Skyward Sword lampshades this via a treasure chest that appears while helping Batreaux. Batreaux will warn you, desperately, that this treasure chest is not to be opened, and goes on at length about the horrible Cursed Medal that lurks inside. You can repeatedly tell him you want to open the chest anyway. If you do open it, he admits that the curse is pretty easy to circumvent (the item greatly increases the chance that enemies drop items in exchance for being unable to open your pouch inventory and thus use your healing potions and all you need to do to circumvent the curse is to drop the medal off at the storage), and that the human tendency towards doggedly persistent curiosity is one of those things he finds so darn endearing about them.
    • Also in Skyward Sword, an NPC in a house warns you not to break her pots. If you've ever played any other game in the franchise, you'll know that breaking pots=cash, and most likely will see no reason why it should be any different here. Wrongo: bust her stuff and she'll charge you. A similar case happens in The Wind Waker if you go to the bottom floor of the House of Wealth and smash Mila's father's vases.
    • In addition to Skyward Sword, when you first enter The Lumpy Pumpkin, you can see a Piece of Heart hanging from the chandelier, and you're warned not to roughhouse on the second floor to prevent it from falling. Once you roll into the railing twice, it falls and you're forced to work to pay for a new one. Once you do a few jobs, the owner buys a more extravagant one and rewards you with another Piece of Heart.
  • In La-Mulana, one of the stone tablets says not to read the glyph again (which triggers more enemy spawns, if the warning is ignored), one of them warns not to use weapons in certain location (else a lighting strikes upon player) and so on. The Chamber of Extinction's Disconnected Side Area has a coin sitting out in the open at the end of a narrow side passage. It's a trap, since you don't get coins in this game except by breaking pots (and the occasional wall) or killing enemies. The remake changes the coin to an Ankh, which should be just as big a warning. There's also an Ankh Jewel sitting out in the open in the Twin Labyrinths and a Sacred Orb in the Inferno Cavern. Getting either is never that easy.
  • Obscure NES title Uninvited has a particular situation where attempting to go down a hole will result in the game warning you about the Giant Spider lurking around down there, and advise you to just leave it be. You can insist.
  • In E.V.O.: Search for Eden, in the fish level, you can attempt to go on land before beating the boss. Guess who doesn't get lungs till that boss is gone? Well, actually you get lungs, however there's no oxygen in the air until you defeat the boss, so they're useless.
  • Mega Man
    • 9 has the Metools disguised as 1-ups. In normal gameplay, these are a bit more understandable to be tricked by, but in Endless Attack, where you get only one life...
    • 5 has a room in Charge Man's stage where you have just climbed a ladder, to the left is the way on, and to the right is a long bed of spikes with no wall on the other side, which may lead one to wonder if something is on the other side (not a stretch given that similar tricks have been present in earlier games). If one has Rush Jet, one can climb on, fly over the spikes to the other end...and end up hitting the end of the room, falling onto the spikes, and losing a life.
  • Eversion. A cute, cheerful platformer? Just how could this be "not for children or those of a nervous disposition"? It is a very popular game to get Let's Players to do a blind run of.
  • Eye of the Beholder 2
    • If you are advised to not enter the little room filled with higher-than-normal magic items in a dungeon expressly made to kill you, guess what you should not do. Go on. Guess.
    • A very literal one also happens in this game. At one point, you receive a message from your mentor that the Big Bad is preparing a spell that will completely destroy your party, rendering you impossible to raise again. To foil the scheme, you have to go into the next room and let yourself be killed by the monsters. It is the Big Bad impersonating your mentor. If you do get yourselves killed, he'll mock you for your gullibility. If you don't, and slay the monsters, he'll just reveal himself and rage at you for not being a total schmuck.
  • Putting the PlayStation game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night into a music player results in finding a hidden audio track which starts with the main character Alucard reminding you that the disc is meant to be used on PlayStations only, and that track 1 contains computer data, so please, don't play it. He also hangs a lampshade on this by saying, "But you probably won't listen to me anyway, will you?" Whether anything does happen when you play the first track depends on the player you are using. Back when this game came out, CD-ROM data was not as common as it is today, and most of the earliest CD players would try playing the data track, resulting in a sound that can damage your speakers. To keep stupid people from doing this, a lot of games had a track similar to the one in the game in question.
  • The Harvest Moon games have this in the form of Golden Lumber. It's an indestructible building material, but in most games, it can only be used as fencing. It's also expensive (one piece usually costs 100,000G. By comparison, one stone piece costs 100G and you can make them yourself). In many of the older games, golden lumber is taken by your neighbors as showing off your wealth, so your friendship levels will drop, until you sell the pieces you have off. The only game where the stuff is actually useful is in HM DS/DS Cute, where you can make virtually indestructible buildings (and that's only really feasible late into the game or using the 1 Billion Gold glitch.
  • God of War II: Hold R1 to drain your godly power into one easily-stolen sword.
  • In Karoshi 2, there's a level where a message says "You will quit if you press "q".". Most people will try though.
  • The "Maze of Madness" scenario in the online game Dungeons & Dragons: Tiny Adventures opens with the finding of a jeweled scepter, engraved with a "Keep out of the Maze!" warning. Naturally, your immediate conclusion upon finding it is that anyone who uses jeweled scepters to send warnings must be loaded...
  • Wizardry's dungeon contains a dead end passage four squares long. In the first three squares, you received these messages:
    A dungeon is dark...
    When it's not lit...
    Watch out, or you'll...
The fourth square holds a pit trap.
  • Mass Effect
    • The entire galactic civilization turns out to be the result of this. The Abusive Precursors, The Reapers, created the Mass Relay Network and placed the greatest fortress in creation at the center of it, in a completely unbreachable defensive location. Since the only way to find the Citadel is through said network, any aliens who find it are already conditioned to blindly trust any Lost Technology they find. Said fortress also contains enough space to house millions of civilians, communicate with and house the records of census data of all known civilization, and is completely self-sufficient, with a benevolent race of servants that can perform any maintenance job, large or small. Unfortunately, it is also a massive portal generator, intended to allow the Reapers to launch a surprise attack against the heart of any civilization that discovers it, as they would undoubtedly have made it the heart of their empire, along with all of the data and records to let the Reapers know everything they need to know to pick off the survivors.
    • Occurs in gameplay as well. As you enter the ExoGeni facility, there is a locked room. You can hack (read: lockpick) your way in to find a crate full of loot and what looks like a dead geth armature (walking tank). Touch the crate and the armature wakes up.
    • There's an example in Mass Effect 2. So, there's this character called Morinth, see. She's an asari, an alien race that can mate with anyone by joining nervous systems. She has particularly rare genetic quirk that causes her to burn out the nervous system of whomever she mates with. This is extremely addictive for her and invariably fatal for the other person, but gives her a boost of strength and biotic power. Guess what she offers to you. Guess what one of your responses is. Guess what happens if you take her up on it...
    • There's a smaller example during Tali's loyalty quest. When you encounter Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib-Qwib Tali tells you not to ask about the name. One of the dialogue options is, of course, to ask about it.
    • When arriving at Sanctuary in Mass Effect 3, it becomes obvious very quickly that it's not really a luxury refugee camp open to any fleeing the Reapers. If you volunteer as a receptionist, you are promised even better accommodations once you're allowed to leave the reception area and enter the main compound, from which nobody returns. It's actually a Cerberus facility where they select people fit for being turned into brain washed cyborg soldiers. Everyone who does not fit the requirements gets turned into a Husk to become a test subject for research into Indoctrination.
    • Kai Leng in Mass Effect 3. He deals you your only mandatory defeat in the game using Cutscene Power to the Max which gets under Shepard's skin and likely pisses off the player. The thing is, immediately after, your comm specialist is able to track Kai to his final hideout and Kai sends you an email specifically to taunt you about your loss. This can cause you to want to forego any further asset building missions, starting the endgame battle sequences with fewer war assets than you would have if you were patient and leading to a more costly victory, or even a defeat.
    • Numerous in-game examples of Reaper Artifacts left over from previous Extinction Cycles. Various characters throughout the games have tried to study these artifacts for various reasons, either to try and learn how to stop the Reapers, or to see if it is something they can sell, or just to figure out what it might be. Most, if not all of these people, end up brainwashed servants of the Reapers and are often turned into Husks.
    • One of the series' most beloved Running Gags is the ability to punch out an annoying reporter on camera. Doing this at any point in the series will cost the player five or ten war assets in the third game depending on if she was knocked out there or if she was punched previously.
  • Star Control: Similarly, you're given repeated warnings to stop asking about the Androsynth. If you don't take the hint and find a different topic to talk about, the Orz turn hostile and attack... which sucks for you, because they're normally one of only two races in the game that are immediately outright helpful.
    • Late in the game, the Utwig will give you a very large bomb. Do not play with it.
  • In the Neverwinter Nights mod A Dance with Rogues, one mission involves pretending to be a stripper so you can infiltrate the mayor's mansion and steal a statue, which you are warned in no unambiguous terms not to tamper with. If you use the item's 'unique power', it summons a succubus (a demon, which is rather more powerful than you should be at that point).
  • Among the things said to Ecco The Dolphin by his podmates in the harmless first lagoon is "How high in the sky can you fly?" Trying to answer that triggers the abduction of your pod by aliens and the start of the game.
  • About halfway through the Plant chapter of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty there is an electrified floor that the player has to deactivate in order to progress in the game. Colonel Campbell specifically warns you not to test it. But you can anyway.
  • Spelunky contains various Indiana Jones-style traps, one or two different types per area. They're all very clearly marked by a shiny (and valuable) idol. Grabbing the idol will set off the trap, and — if you haven't seen that particular variety of trap before — it will kill you.
    • It is more effective if you run away too fast. Really do it.
  • Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow has the Magikarp salesman. 500 Pokémon Dollars for a low-level Pokémon that starts off with no useful moves? While it's still a bit overpriced, the good news is he's available far sooner than the fishing rods are, allowing you to evolve it into a Gyarados before you'd even be able to catch one normally.
    • The guy shows up in Pokémon Black and White too, but this time, it's after you beat the main storyline, and this is the only way you can get a Gyarados in-game, other than transferring or trading one; you can't fish for them in Unova.
  • In Pokémon Platinum, there is a member of Team Galactic running back and forth, looking up and down, about five paces each way, as if suffering an attack of epilepsy, in the Galactic Warehouse. He is one of the few Mooks in the building (and, indeed, in the game) who doesn't challenge you to a battle on sight. As those types are usually the ones who give the player useful items or information upon speaking to them, one is naturally inclined to do which point, he challenges you to a battle.
  • In Lemmings, the bomber skill will cause a lemming to explode. This is useful in some levels for removing part of the landscape or simply getting rid of a blocker, but no matter how you use it, it results in the death of the lemming you assign it to. In some levels, you are required to save 100%, but the game still gives you the bomber skill. Obviously, there is no way to use this skill and still complete the level successfully. It's mainly there to tempt idiots.
  • In Loom, legend has it that looking under the hood of a Weaver is fatal. When he's got Bobbin captive, Cobb can't resist finding out whether the legend is true. It is.
  • In text adventure game Asylum, at one point you find a written note that tells you to "look up". Something that you don't want to do.
  • EVE Online
    • A common tactic: a lone player will often wait somewhere off the stargate or station in low/null security space. When other unsuspecting players start shooting at him, not only do they find that said player has a strong tank, but several of his friends have warped in and/or decloaked.
    • The Amarr have several ships that are specifically Schmuck Bait, especially the Maller and Prophecy, both of which are minimal threat but insanely hard to kill for their size and cost. Bonus points go to the Imperial Navy Augoror, which is a faction cruiser and thus an automatic high-priority target for new fleet commanders, but if properly fitted is tougher to take out than a fleet battleship while being less dangerous than a frigate. Seeing any one of these three ships by itself minding its own business is almost always a new player or an ambush.
  • The Ultima series (specifically VI through IX) has the Armageddon spell. The beings who give or sell it to you specify that the spell will terminate all life in the current plane of existence. Who would be dumb enough to cast it? Well, there's a reason Sosaria's previous civilization came to a very sudden stop 700,000 years ago...
  • In S.T.A.L.K.E.R., anomalies, semi-invisible energy surges frequently serve as this. They produce valuable, powerful artifacts which can be seen floating in the air from a distance, but dash to grab it too quickly and the anomaly will be happy to rip you to shreds. In fact the Zone (the game world) itself serves as a form of Schmuck Bait, as people are drawn to enter it by the promise of a making a fortune finding artifacts, but the mutated wildlife, invisible anomalies and hostile warring human factions means your life will likely be pretty short. If anything, this acts as a form of natural selection - anyone who manages to survive in the Zone is an ironclad badass. Or obscenely lucky.
  • The Brass Bull, the Iron-Maiden and the Shoulder-Shattering torture chambers in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Go ahead, light the fire beneath the bull statue, and hoist the empty chains up to the ceiling. Or wander up and poke the Iron-Maiden's spikes.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy: "Hey! Let's prod this chained demon we found with the business end of our weapons! What could possibly go wrong?!"
  • In Luigis Mansion, when Luigi looks in a mirror in this one room, he sees a red button that says "Don't push" reflected on the other side. Considering Stupidity Is the Only Option here, he presses it and part of the wall rolls back to reveal a storage thing in the floor, and a poster that says danger. Again, the only way to proceed is to vacuum up the poster and then push the other Big Red Button, releasing all the Boos.
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms game Curse of the Azure Bonds, while exploring a tower you have the option of picking up a piece of parchment on avoiding the tower's traps. Tip number one: Don't read Explosive Runes.
  • Lennus II takes this to a cruel extreme. It is very easy to talk to a shady NPC and wake up with your money missing — for good.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has two cases of Schmuck Bait. The first one is Dive Rock, the highest point on the map with an incredible view of the game world and a very long drop. Yes, you can indeed dive off Dive Rock, achieving nothing but a messy you-shaped splatter on the ground below. Naturally. The other is attacking Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Madness, which goes as well as you may think - it even has similar results to the previous example.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a similar location named Bard's Leap, an outcropping of rock channelling a stream a looooong way down into a pool of water. Jumping down the waterfall and surviving nets you a speechcraft level from a bard's ghost, a man who also took the bait but didn't survive.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, Vyse can find a handkerchief hanging on the wall of Aika's house on Pirate isle. If you check it out, Vyse lifts it up to find a pinhole allowing him to see into Aika's bedroom. Aika is less than happy to find him inadvertently peeping on her, but Vyse notes that covering it with a hankie on the outside only draws attention.
  • In Super Mario World, in some stages you'll encounter Lakitu, the turtle enemy floating around in a cloud at the top of the screen, dangling a 1-Up mushroom at the end of a fishing line. If you grab the item, he'll rain Spinies down on you for the rest of the level. Luckily, he's easily killable and you can steal his cloud afterwards to bypass large parts of the stage. Amusingly enough, the ghost house levels feature Fishin' Boos instead which try to do the same, except with a blue flame that hurts you instead.
  • In Jables's Adventure, you encounter a mermaid who'd rather not talk to you, and keeps offering you useless things to make you go away. Eventually, she says, "Listen, if I tell you a secret, will you leave me alone? ...If you pester the mermaid too much, you're gonna have a bad time." If you talk to her again, she says "I warned you," and kills you instantly.
  • Golden Sun
    • The game makes stupidity the only option. You can find a pillar of the sort you are usually knocking down with Force deep in the Altin Mines, next to a sign saying "Do not strike the wall! Rocks may fall!" You have to trigger a rockslide here to continue in the game. This leads to two potential crowning moments of funny:
    • If you do not have the Force Psynergy to knock over the pillar, Garet will pop out, get pissed off at the dead end, and kick it down, causing the rockslide.
    • Whether you or Garet cause the rockslide, it results in Isaac having to make an Indy Escape from a giant rolling boulder (which knocks a hole in the floor of the mines, enabling you to continue further down).
  • In the online Choose Your Own Adventure game Fallen London some options contain a remark to the effect of "Don't do this, it's a bad idea." (Those curious enough to take this option will invariably find out that the remark was truthful.) Then there's Seeking Mr. Eaten's Name, an ongoing storyline composed of nothing but Schmuck Bait of the Lovecraftian sort that will destroy your character's stats, inventory, connections, pets, friends, health, soul and sanity. To top it off, it's unfinished, so you won't even get closure for your trouble. The Failbetter Games staff member responsible for most of the idea wrote it as an experiment on the crazy lengths players will go to complete a sidequest for no reward beyond learning what happens next.note 
    Alexis Kennedy: If you like, think of it as an alternative to Molyneux's 'Curiosity', except instead of tapping on a cube you're gradually peeling your own skin off.
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, at one point your augmentations start glitching and you are instructed to go to the nearest L.I.M.B. Clinic for a emergency replacement biochip. If you've been paying attention to the game or are suitably paranoid, then you'll have picked up on the numerous hints that the "unforeseen" glitches and biochip aren't what the Illuminati-controlled news media is telling you. Even the opening cutscene has The Omniscient Council of Vagueness talking about this plan before it goes into effect. Sure enough, if you get your biochip replaced then one of the Big Bads uses a killswitch to disable your augmentations before a boss battle.
  • In Swim, Ikachan!, there's a chamber full of fish that comes with a sign "Curiosity killed the cat". Trying to enter this chamber will shut the entrance and should you come without ability to thrust sideways, you will be left to die on a(n in)conveniently placed spike-bed.
  • What's that? You've just finished the tutorial to Dissidia 012: Duodecim, and think you're some kind of bigshot? You'll learn.
  • The Impossible Quiz, question 35. "Pressing this button will result in a game over." It is not lying.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan game Story Of The Blanks where you play as Applebloom, you are warned by Zecora not to go into the forest after dark and Twilight orders you not to go anywhere as she tries to clear the blocked forest exit. Of course, you have to follow that mysterious pony deeper into the forest for the game plot to progress...
  • In Vay, you'll run into an NPC guarding a treasure chest, warning you against opening it. If you give in to your natural RPG instincts and try to open it anyway, the chest will unleash what the Working Designs localization crew affectionately calls the "Gold Vortex", which gobbles up all of your hard-earned gold.
  • The Sims take this to Too Dumb to Live levels when it comes to the Cow Plant in The Sims 2: University (also downloadable content for The Sims 3). Hey, look! That plant has a slice of cake in its enormous tooth-filled mouth! Certainly nothing bad can come of--
  • In many Dragon Quest games, you always end up finding a sign in the middle of a toxic swamp that tells you to keep out of the swamp that you have to cross just to read the damn sign. Even funnier in Hand of the Heavenly bride when the hero comes across one, he's a six year old who can't read yet.
  • Fantasy Quest gives a whole series of options like "bang your head against the rocks." All kill you, but the game lets you undo each fatal move.
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV, go to on the in-game internet and COOL THINGS happen! note 
    • If you choose to take the Deal route at the end of the game. Sure, nothing will go wrong with working with Dimitri one last time for a huge payday, will it? Not that the other route is much better, mind you, but choosing to Deal results in a full-on Downer Ending due to your greed while Revenge still ends up being quite a downer but not nearly as much.
  • The first Quake has the Thunderbolt, aka Lightning gun. Out of water, it's a frighteningly effective weapon; underwater, it discharges all of its ammo in one shot and kills everything in the water - including the player. This is the game's final and most powerful weapon - the one that, more than any other, the player really really wants to try out now. You'll find it in a pond.
  • Dynasty Warriors 3 has the famous line "Don't pursue Lu Bu!" regarding an optional miniboss in the Hu Lao Gate stage... who in every incarnation of the series as a beat 'em up is actually more powerful than the actual stage boss.
    • The AI points out something strange? It's up to you to check and reveal that it was a Schmuck Bait... for the AI! It's even worse when you can't do a thing to prevent it.
    [The Wu Units are behaving suspiciously]
    [Cao Cao started a fire attack!]
    • Pang Tong makes this clear sometimes. He knows a place is perfect for an ambush and he FALLS FOR IT just so you have to save him. Actually, this could be him underestimating the enemy's strength or it could be he is not very good at fighting at all, but...
    Pang Tong: This forest is a perfect place for an ambush!
    [Wu Units came out of hiding]
    • You are close to reaching the Enemy Commander and then...
    [Enemy Ambush Troops appeared!]
    Allied Commander: What? An ambush! They are smarter than I expected!
    [Enemy Units are moving towards the Allied Main Camp]
    [Enemy Commander is moving towards the Allied Main Camp]
  • In the second to last level in Tomb Raider III, after crossing over a pit of fire, there's a Large Med Kit sitting in plain sight in a narrow hallway. Seeing how difficult the game is in general and how stingy finding health kits are (unless you actively been looking in secret areas for them), most players will happily try to take the item. However, stepping on the tile where the item rests on causes a spiked log to roll down from above and crush you if you don't react fast enough. Even if you do avoid it, the trap sits on top of the item, rendering it inaccessible.
    • You know that statue of King Midas in Tomb Raider Anniversary? The one with one of his hands sitting on the floor? Go ahead, try standing on it. Hey, just how did the legend of King Midas go, again...?
  • Chapter 2 of Kid Icarus: Uprising presents a section of its ground-based level that has a treasure chest, just sitting out there in the open, waiting to be plundered. Not. That chest's a trap, and Magnus even tells Pit how the facet of an actual treasure chest with actual treasure presented in plain sight is outright ludicrous.
    • And in case you think it'll still give you treasure, all it gives you is a heart. Have fun trying to make that worthwhile while facing a mob of two dozen enemies.
  • Suicide Booths in Futurama the game. Walk inside. Press the button. Restart from last checkpoint. Turns out they function just like they did in the series. Who would have guessed?
  • In Mother 3, a herd of enemies called Cattlesnakes roam peacefully about a field, making no attempt to fight you, but a nearby sign warns you not to try to battle them. You can battle them, but they're very hard enemies with very high offense, and when you first go to the area where you can find them, they will almost certainly steamroll you.
    • Also, if you approach an enemy from the back in Mother 3, it has to spend a turn turning around to face you from the front, leaving it vulnerable for a turn or two. Cue an enemy that launches missiles out of its rear.
  • Upon first meeting Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 3, Snake knocks him out. Once control is restored to the player, many a player took their knife to him, causing a Time Paradox. This nets an achievement in the HD version.
  • Detarou's escape-the-room games almost always have at least one schmuck ending. Sure, go ahead and press that Big Red Button on a conspiciously darkened wall. Why, of course approaching that Finish Line is the way to finish the game even though half of your inventory is still full. And you should definitely go in the direction that nice-looking panda is pointing in or pull that rope he really, really wants you to pull. You totally won't fall into a trapdoor and get a Bad Ending screen with Evil Panda laughing over your stupidity!
  • You can invoke this in Assassins Creed III: Entering a hiding place gives you the ability to whistle, which lures guards to investigate, allowing you to easily take them out. Hilariously, the opportunity for this is an example in itself, because this can easily send 4 guards your way, more often then not making your discovery guaranteed.
  • Ed Edd N Eddy The Mis Edventures: A switch in the Kankers trailer in level 6 with an obvious trapdoor under it is pulled by Eddy, thinking it will lead to his jawbreakers. It doesn't.
    • "Stupid Kankers. I'm way too smart for them."
  • A tablet in La-Mulana tells you to not read it again, or face death. If you do read it again, you do get divine retribution. Though in the remake, an Anubis is summoned, which given you the short life bar you're likely to have at the first encounter, Lemeza won't last long.
    • But since this is a regular Anubis, you can come back with the item that makes you immune to them and take the shmuck bait all you want.
  • You Have To Win The Game has this; one room has a sign telling you it's a bad idea to go left. It's not kidding, as doing so takes you to the beginning of a previous, very difficult room.
  • In the Dead Space series, the Markers are literally bait that the Brethren Moons use to lure entire civilizations into becoming willing sacrifices. Space is "dead" because every race that preceded humanity fell for the same trap, at least in the Milky Way.
  • In Dust: An Elysian Tail, half-crazed sidequest giver Reed asks you to find a mysterious box and repeatedly warns you not to open it if you find it...only for Fidget to do so when you're not looking.
  • Bioshock Infinite, "Dewitt, stop. Do not alert Comstock to your presence, stop. Whatever you do, do not pick number 77, stop. Lutece."
  • The monster houses in the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series look innocent enough, initially appearing to simply be empty rooms with a higher number of items in them then usual. However, the moment you set foot in them, close to a dozen enemy Pokemon will appear out of nowhere, and likely put you through a lot of pain if you weren't prepared for it. They also tend to be laden with traps, which can lead to further complications even after getting rid of the enemies if you don't tread cautiously.
  • Serious Sam absolutely adores this trope. While there are some that are painfully obvious i.e., a +1 Health pickup in the middle of a wide open area that would be ideal for encircling whatever schmuck took that bait and then blasting him to bits, there are some that trigger on picking up certain secrets as well!
  • The Deadpool game gives you the option to use a toilet in his appartment. You might think you're going to get a quick quip about that option but, no, he sits down and uses the bathroom in real time and calls you a freak for choosing this option.
  • The Vault in Borderlands contains The Destroyer and not the great riches promised but never seen.
    • Also the main quest Jaynistown: Getting What's Coming To You is an obvious trap... which you have to trigger.
    • And the Claptrap Rescue mission in the Robot Revolution DLC it's an ambush
  • In Cookie Clicker, the game tells you it's a bad idea to purchase the late-game upgrades "One Mind", "Communal Brainsweep", and "Elder Pact" in their descriptions and gives you a series of increasingly omnious warning messages if you attempt to buy them. If you go ahead and buy them anyway, expect for strange things to happen to your game screen.
  • The Story Nexus game "Final Girl" has an option to take a bath at one point, but mentions it's an obvious trap.
  • The potion is the "Drink Me" sequence in Dragons Lair.
  • The cakenote  in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
  • Never use the "pause" function in a Rhythm Game; no matter how much it looks like "pause", when you unpause it will be revealed that it was actually "quit".
  • In MARDEK Chapter 3, during the Sun Temple, you come across a save point. In the same room you find a conspicuous chest in the middle of your path. Opening that chest will unleash a Griffen that will crush you if unprepared. If you're using the official walkthrough though you'll be informed beforehand.
    • On a bigger note, after clearing the Sun Temple and gaining access to the world map you can go to a place called the "Desert Path." There is nothing special about the Desert Path except for a cave. Inside the cave is a save point and another conspicuous chest. The walkthrough doesn't tell you anything about this chest. You'd better have learned from your previous encounter with the Griffen and save before opening it. Opening the chest will get you ruined by the Bone Demon inside that's meant to be fought at the end of the game. Beating him however grants you the Infinity+1 Sword for a hirable mercenary.
  • Antichamber: "Don't look down."
  • In the preview trailer for WildStar, Buck, the Human Spellslinger Explorer, finds a huge derelict robot and curiously reaches for an exposed wire... with unfortunate results.
    Buck: ... Had to go and touch it...
    • When the trio crash through the ground and into some Eldan ruins, Buck has this to say:
  • Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror: At the beginning of the third level, a plant worker standing in front of a fuse box tells his coworkers not to throw the breaker switch. As Video Game Cruelty Potential, you can assassinate him by electrocution.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV has the boss fight with King Kenji. Towards the end, after losing enough HP, his sprite disappears and he claims to lose, and the game asks if you want to pick up the remote on the ground next to him. Astute players will notice that he hasn't done the standard boss explosion animation yet, that the boss music is still going, and that this choice occurs during battle rather than afterwards. Picking up the remote anyway results in Kenji sucker-punching you with an attack that causes physical damage and Sick status to all party members.
  • In Un Epic near the very beginning of the game, Daniel finds a massive pile of gold, the Demon who is trapped inside him, who very much wants him to die so he can escape, encourages Daniel to take it. Doing so quickly drains Daniel's life until he's dead. Though if you die, then avoid it, the demon asks Daniel why he didn't take the gold, in which he implies he learned his lesson from before
  • In Escape Velocity: Nova, you have the option of buying cheap versions of certain ship upgrades that seem like a good deal, until their timers run out and they either break, disable your ship in space, or blow it up. Also present is the Auroran Drop Bear Repellant, which claims to prevent the random Drop Bear attack, which is a real possibility for non-Aurorans in their territory. Buying it will actually ensure that you will get attacked at some point.
  • Not an alien concept by any means to the Dark Souls franchise.
    • The first game has Trusty Patches, who will generally reward the appropriate level of (clearly misplaced) trust by dropping you into a pit. Twice.
    • Dark Souls II has its own variation with the end of the Pate/Creighton sidequest, but has a far clearer example in Royal Sorcerer Navlaan. On his own, he is imprisoned in a laboratory, alternating between a scared young mage and an Obviously Evil dark wizard who bribes you to kill innocent NPCs. The Schmuck Bait comes into play with the nearby lever, which is preceded by a hallway full of signs warning you to not touch it and leave. Naturally, the lever releases Navlaan, who waits to ambush you elsewhere in the game. And five more times after that.
  • Jardinains! and its sequel Jardinains 2! have a powerup that looks like a prohibition sign. In the manual of 2!, its name is revealed to be "Very, Very Bad". The description is "Do not get this powerup. Do not get this powerup" (emphasis original). If you catch it anyway, you'll lose all the ball and paddle powerups you had and have to deal with a tiny paddle and a really fast ball for the rest of the level or until you lose a life. Granted, sometimes you have to catch the powerup to avoid losing the ball and sometimes you don't have time to react and move your paddle out of the way, but most of the time, it's Schmuck Bait.
  • A painting in Minecraft depicts the formation of blocks used to create the Wither, an extremely powerful Eldritch Abomination who will stop at nothing to kill you. If a player didn't know that the blocks were used to form such a creature, and built the formation of blocks out of curiosity, they would be in trouble.

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