Follow TV Tropes


Context Main / TreacherousCheckpoint

Go To

1%% Image selected via crowner in the Image Suggestion thread:˛%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.˛%%˛[[quoteright:300:[[VideoGame/{{Undertale}}]]]]˛˛You are trudging through ThatOneLevel, the EliteMooks have worn you down and you are almost out of HealingPotion. Finally, in the next hallway, you see the benign-looking statue that marks a SavePoint! Here is a chance to save your progress, possibly restore your vitality and, if nothing else, catch a much-needed breather. You eagerly approach the statue and wait for its benevolent light to wash over you.˛˛Instead you get blasted with an attack that drops your HPToOne and disables all your PowerUps and [[EquipmentBasedProgression Equipment]]. To top it all off, the statue transforms into a monster and gives chase.˛˛You've fallen victim to a Treacherous Checkpoint, a subversion of the oft-encountered CheckPoint or SavePoint. It could be considered the opposite of a HealingCheckpoint (a Harming Checkpoint). It applies whenever the Checkpoint, which is usually always helpful to the player, becomes undesirable and better-avoided.˛˛This trope is normally restricted to {{Platform Hell}}s, {{Deconstruction Game}}s, and the nastiest of NintendoHard games, for good reason. In the middle of a dungeon full of MalevolentArchitecture and EverythingTryingToKillYou the SavePoint may be, metaphorically, the player's only friend. A symbolic betrayal by this last friend may drive an already-aggravated player to RageQuit. But if used carefully, this can throw some ParanoiaFuel on an already-smoldering pyre: in a well-designed game a player expects the place where the game is ''saved'' to be, well, ''safe''. When the game betrays this expectation it hammers in the dread that ''nowhere'' is safe. ˛˛Compare PoisonMushroom and ChestMonster, in which hazards and monsters are disguised as desirable items. This trope can overlap but does not need to. And a treacherous Check Point can feel much crueler than treacherous loot because, unless the game uses a JustifiedSavePoint, it is not the ''characters'' within the game who are deceived by it: it is the ''player'' who is betrayed.˛˛See also InnSecurity, especially if the TraumaInn doubles as a Save Point.˛˛For more on the paranoia-inducing nature of the subversion, compare InterfaceScrew and TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou. The player naturally expects a game to challenge them with difficulty, even surprise. However it might be assumed that saving the game is merely a [[EnforcedTrope necessity of the medium]], that the SavePoint is in some sense ''outside'' the reality of the game and therefore ''off-limits'' for challenge. The game can rudely shock a player by revealing that it is not.˛˛Contrast PointOfNoReturn, a save point that may be ominous but not treacherous. If a fault in a game's checkpoint system makes it UnintentionallyUnwinnable, it is a GameBreakingBug.˛˛----˛˛!!Examples:˛˛* ''VideoGame/BattleKidFortressOfPeril'' contains a checkpoint that instantly deprives Timmy of the [[EquipmentBasedProgression equipment]] he's collected, forcing him to re-gather it in the next area. The checkpoint symbol is inverted to subtly warn of its malevolent nature. However, there's no way to avoid going through it.˛* ''VideoGame/BoxxyQuestTheGatheringStorm'' has a pair of treacherous save points. The first one shows up in Chapter 4 during a stealthy jailbreak, and using it alerts two nearby guards of your presence. (This is actually needed to progress, as the guards open a path to the exit while trying to reach you). The second appears in the final dungeon, in the hallway just before the boss, and triggers a surprise fight with a lethal draconic security system. This time, the trap is entirely [[SkippableBoss skippable]] if you know it’s there.˛* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' contains a fake save room opposite a real one in a side area. The floating pulsing icosahedron that marks the fake save point is clearly the wrong color compared to the real ones, sending a blatant "there's something wrong here" message to the player. It's technically skippable, but using it (and going through the NightmareSequence within) is required for the good ending of the game.˛* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' has a SewerLevel full of subterranean monsters who will attack the party if they make any sound. After avoiding various noise-making hazards Crono and friends may gladly walk into a SavePoint, which makes a characteristic "ding"... which [[LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn the monsters "hear"]] and rush out to attack. Once the monsters are defeated however, it works as well as any other save point.˛** In Magus's castle, falling through a trap door in one room will land you in a large cavern with four apparent save points, one in each of the four cardinal directions. One ''is'' a save point, a second is actually a teleporter that will take you to the room you fell from, and the other two [[ChestMonster trigger battles]] with multiple fake save points. These switch around every time you fall into the room[[labelnote:Hint]]The two fake save points are always opposite each other, and the teleporter is always opposite the real save point[[/labelnote]]. It is not bad, though, as these monsters are {{MetalSlime}}s that cannot damage the player and drop an absolute ton of TechPoints upon death.˛* The ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' series has Bonfires that normally serve as checkpoints, but:˛** In ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsI'', [[spoiler:the very last bonfire is actually the First Flame: by "activating" it, you Link the Fire, which is the ending where your character burns themselves to cinders in order to prolong the Age of Fire for a few more centuries. More than a few players got this ending by [[AchievementsInIgnorance sheer accident]] just because they expected the final bonfire to work like all the others]].˛** Subverted in ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII'': If you have the DLC installed, some Bonfires explode in your face when you try activating them, sending you flying across the room and releasing what seems at first to be an unholy monstrosity. However, that fiery explosion doesn't do any damage and the "monster" is actually a talkative NPC who leaves and lets you use the Bonfire normally after a CrypticConversation.˛** Thankfully, the entire series never plays this fully straight, though it hasn't stopped some sadistic--err, ''creative'' fans from discussing the possibility of [[ChestMonster Bonfire Mimics]], even coming up with fanart for them. The developers from Creator/FromSoftware even [[WordOfGod went on record]] to say they think that would be too mean [[NintendoHard (which,]] [[TrollingCreator coming from them,]] [[EvenEvilHasStandards is saying something)]].˛* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' the last Save Point is guarded by a boss that only reveals himself when you first try to use it.˛* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', the midboss Nelapa appears as a save point on the overworld. The fact it's located smack in the middle of some ChokepointGeography makes its disguise a bit less effective, though.˛* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' has monsters that impersonate save crystals and attack the party if approached. Fortunately they turn into regular save crystals if defeated. ˛* ''VideoGame/HollowKnight'' has a bench in the Distant Village within Deepnest. The first time the player encounters it, there are strange figures loitering around welcoming them to rest in this friendly place. The instant The Knight sits it gets immobilized by sticky webbing, and the suspicious bystanders close in. The {{Sneaky Spider}}s doff their disguises and leave the Player Character AllWebbedUp with the rest of their prey. Fortunately The Knight can escape easily, and this capture is the only way to access Herrah the Beast's lair, so StupidityIsTheOnlyOption (or The Knight is simply a HorribleJudgeOfCharacter).˛** In Crystal Peak, immediately following a gauntlet of laser-shooting enemies that a newer player will almost certainly lose health to, there's a bench occupied by what looks like a sleeping miner. Since they take up the ''entire'' bench, you can't sit on it unless you move them, and the only way to do that is to [[TooDumbToLive hit them, starting a boss battle]].˛* ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy'' has a save point that will attempt to kill you. In Impossible difficulty, it's the ''only'' save point. A GoodBadBug allows one to use it as a regular save point after killing it for exactly ''one'' frame, and this is the only way to save on Impossible difficulty.˛* ''VideoGame/LastScenario'' has monsters disguised as save crystals, and you won't know if any given crystal is a monster ahead of time unless you've played through the game already.˛* ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'': Beds could be considered checkpoints, as they allow you to reset your spawn point and bypass dangerous events. Trying to use one in The Nether or The End, though, makes it [[MadeOfExplodium instantly explode]].˛* ''VideoGame/{{Poacher}}'' has save rooms in which Derek can jump through a small hole and, thanks to WrapAround, emerge at the top. At the beginning of the Abyss there is a save room that you must use but, thanks to The Judge, the Wrap Around is subverted. Derek continues falling down a chasm to the bottom of the Abyss.˛* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' [[DiscussedTrope Discusses]] and [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructs]] what it means to "save" in a videogame. By the end it is hard to regard any save point as unconditionally good. A few are especially tricky though:˛** The [[spoiler: True Lab]] contains a familiar-looking save point which, when examined, transforms into a [[ChestMonster shape-shifting Amalgamate]]. Since it blocks your way, [[TrapIsTheOnlyOption you have to interact with it]].˛** The FinalBoss [[spoiler: can also "save" and "reload" and he uses this power against you in battle [[SaveScumming like the cheater]] he is.]]˛* ''VideoGame/{{VVVVVV}}'' turns checkpoints into an obstacle for any player seeking that LastLousyPoint. Collecting one Shiny Trinket [[DeathIsTheOnlyOption requires dying]] and re-spawning at another checkpoint on the same screen; pulling off this move means going around the long way while fastidiously ''avoiding'' checkpoints.˛----


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: