All over the place: Press X To Die

Deadlock Clock: 11th Jan 2013 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [59]
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1 Spark919th Jan 2012 09:51:37 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
The page for Press X to Die is all over the place, and I'm not sure it's really a unique trope.

I see three different things on the page:

(1) As the page image illustrates, literally buttons you can press that cause you to die. Several of the examples use this definition. This, however, is the trope Schmuck Bait.

(2) The player can do something that gets him killed. Most other examples use this definition, but it's really People Sit on Chairs.

(3) The game accepts commands like "kill me" (in text adventures) or "use gun on self" (in graphical adventures) and so forth, with predictable results. This is probably a trope, but is not common among the examples.

So yeah, I think this page needs work. At least, many of the examples are either wrong or belong some place else.

Special trousers. Very heroic.
2 Martello19th Jan 2012 09:57:59 AM from Black River, NY
Hammer of the Pervs
I.don't think this is a real trope, and the name is a snowclone that's definitely going to be confused with the real trope Press X Not To Die.
"Did anybody invent this stuff on purpose?" - Phillip Marlowe on tequila, Finger Man by Raymond Chandler.
3 DragonQuestZ19th Jan 2012 10:07:04 AM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
The third item is the most legit trope in there. But it should definitely be called something else.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
I think the third item - there is a command or inventory item that serves no purpose and will blatantly kill you but the game lets you do it anyway, with predictable results - is a meaningful trope. Too many of the examples here boil down to "it is possible to deliberately kill yourself", which is true for absolutely any game that includes player death (and other than sports or racing games that covers most games).
Dragon Writer
Yeah, proposed usage #2 doesn't sound like a trope.

"Hey, in Mega Man there are Bottomless Pits and no railings to keep you from falling off. If you don't jump while trying to cross them then you're going to die! That's an example!"
I think "A game mechanic that allows the player to kill themself at will" is tropable.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
Cure Candy
[up] Very much so like a Warlock in World of Warcraft can hellfire himself to death.
I would say that the difference between Schmuck Bait and Press X to Die is whether it's in-character or not. IE, Schmuck Bait is for the characters ("hm, I wonder what this big shiny red button labelled 'do not touch' does...") while Press X to Die is Schmuck Bait for the players often as a way to check if The Dev Team Thought of Everything ("hm, I wonder what happens when I type 'use gun on self' in this Text Adventure...").

A command to kill yourself for legitimate reasons (eg, Adventures of Lolo gives you one for Unwinnable situations; Bushido Blade lets you surrender honorably, at which point the enemy kills you, if you're crippled; etc) seems like a separate trope.
I would argue that the text adventure games (where you can type "Die" to die and get a Non Standard Game Over) and games like N or I Wanna Be the Guy (where pressing the "Kill yourself" button is just a quick way to restart the level) are using the same base trope, but it's evolved over the years to have different implications as Death Is Cheap has become more popular.

So I'm inclined to classify Press X to Die as a supertrope with potentially-splittable subtropes.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
I'd say that it's the same mechanic (press a button to kill yourself) but different tropes (storytelling structure). One is an Anti-Frustration Feature designed to prevent you from being stuck in an Unwinnable or otherwise bad situation, the other is more akin to an Easter Egg or as part of The Many Deaths of You.

edited 23rd Jan '12 11:30:26 AM by NativeJovian

Cure Candy
Hmm those two are kinda different

To use World of Warcraft like this?
  • Warlock Suicide via an auto damaging skill (its a way to kill yourself just for kicks and to prevent equipment damage as its treated as a PVP kill not PVE)
  • And then there are several quests in the game in which you have to kill yourself to find a Quest NPC, or drink a potion that is given to you to do just that and be able to move on. (there is one ally quest where the LK shows up and kills you just for kicks knowing Death Is a Slap on the Wrist and you have to run up and smack him to move on.)

edited 23rd Jan '12 11:38:05 AM by Raso

[up][up] Yeah.

This trope, I think, is the "suicide button": basically a button you press to make your character die, just like the name says. So that covers them both, and then they'd be, like, subtropes, which some troper who's willing to do the YKTTW legwork can and should feel free to write up.

I don't think intentionally killing yourself with Friendly Fire attacks should count as this trope, though.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
13 DrStarky6th Feb 2012 01:25:07 PM from Corn And Pig Land , Relationship Status: Staying up all night to get lucky
Okay Guy
It think it should be named Suicide Button or Suicide Command.
Put me in motion, drink the potion, use the lotion, drain the ocean, cause commotion, fake devotion, entertain a notion, be Nova Scotian
14 Spark96th Feb 2012 01:52:54 PM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Using an ability that is Cast from Hit Points repeatedly until you hit zero hit points is a different trope, though.

I think this trope should be a simple command that automatically kills you. Note that "walking into a pit" in Mega Man is not a command: the command is walking, and the pit is context. Walking is a completely reasonable game action in other contexts.

This trope comes in two flavors or subtropes, as someone mentioned above. One is the "reset level" variety, where killing yourself is the easy way out of an unwinnable situation; and the other is the "joke death" variety, where clicking the sword on yourself results in slitting your throat Ha Ha!

Special trousers. Very heroic.
[up][up] Those names are a little too broad for tropes that are specific to interactive media. The current name works well for the supertrope, I think.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
Looking at the page now, it's the examples that need cleaning up. Heck, one of us could just go in and cut all the examples that don't fit, and we could close this thread early and knock off for lunch :D

I think the Laconic version would be a good guideline for determining which examples to cut: "A game mechanic or option that exists only to harm the player." We're talking Use Gun On Self rather than Bottomless Pits. Pressing X has no effect other than killing you, but if you don't press X then whatever would be triggered has no way of harming you.

For example, the first trope example on Press X to Die (at time of writing) is about a Minecraft mod that replaces Redstone with copper cables, and the copper cables shock you if you don't add rubber to them. This isn't Press X to Die, it's just an environmental hazard, and in Minecraft that's the kind of feature that powergamers LOVE to abuse for fun and profit
A good idea would probably to rename both Press X to Not Die and Press X to Die to Quicktime Event (which is already its alt-name) and Suicide Option repectively. Or something like that.

edited 22nd Feb '12 9:22:26 AM by AyaReiko

ha Ha hA HA hee Hee hEe HEe heE HeE hEE HEE
Dragon Writer
19 Elle23rd Feb 2012 07:44:27 AM , Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
Press X to Die != Quick Time Event (and rarely has anything to do with it). As for Press X to Not Die you'd have to make a convincing argument in another thread.
If we're renaming this, I'd call it Schmuck Bait Mechanic. It's a particular game mechanic that acts as Schmuck Bait for the players. I'm not sure if a rename is actually justified or not, though — someone should do a wick check, maybe?
21 Spark923rd Feb 2012 04:33:41 PM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
[up] This trope isn't Schmuck Bait Mechanic; indeed, any examples on this trope that are Schmuck Bait should simply be moved to Schmuck Bait instead. The discussion is about what to do with the other examples.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
If it's not Schmuck Bait Mechanic, then wouldn't that be covered by Trial-and-Error Gameplay? Either it's something that is obviously dumb but the game lets you do anyway (eg "use gun on self", Schmuck Bait Mechanic) or it's something that kills you without warning with no way to avoid it and makes you retry (Trial-and-Error Gameplay).
Note that for example in the video game LittleBigPlanet you can use a particular button combination to commit suicide; it's there in case you get yourself stuck, but you can use the ability any time.
Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
24 Spark924th Feb 2012 09:36:56 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
[up] Puzzle Reset Button is probably a sister trope. Some suicide buttons are there just to reset a puzzle (Lemmings is a popular one), but not all reset buttons use or imply suicide.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
Ah, okay, tho you lose a "life" for it. It is not really a puzzle reset exactly. And that trope doesn't exist.

Just saying this isn't necessarily Schmuck Bait or Trial-and-Error Gameplay, there are "positive" reasons for the mechanic to exist.

edited 24th Feb '12 10:25:28 AM by rodneyAnonymous

Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.

Page Action: Press X To Die
12th Apr '12 6:53:30 AM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:

Total posts: 59
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