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Exactly What It Says On The Tin / Video Games

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Exactly What It Says on the Tin in video games.



  • Early NES games, particularly sports or arcade titles such as Pinball (1984), Golf, and Ice Hockey tended to be this. Even now, sports games almost invariably have titles in the format of [franchise] [sport] [year].
  • This was also somewhat common for games released on the Atari 2600.

Individual Games:


  • Animal Crossing: One of the many Funny Animal villagers is named Bluebear. She is, in fact, a blue bear (or bear cub, technically). Not the case for other languages, or for other villagers with seemingly-descriptive names, like Goose the chicken and Moose the mouse.
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock! has several:
  • Brütal Legend features a special attack called Face Melter. It causes enemies' faces to melt.
  • C-12: Final Resistance tends to do this a lot with the enemies. The Big Bad is named Alien Leader. He's an alien who leads all the other aliens. The Cyborg Soldier is a soldier that is a cyborg. The Cyborg Sniper is a sniper that's a cyborg. The Alien Scientist is a scientist that is an alien. And so on...
  • Catherine has a boss called Child with a Chainsaw. It is a huge baby, with a chainsaw as its arm.
  • Civilization: Reaching the Future Era in the sixth game allows construction of the game's strongest military unit, the Giant Death Robot.
  • In Club Penguin, there's the Penguin Band, a band made up of four penguins.
  • In Diablo II, if you click on a shrine labeled "exploding shrine", it... explodes. Similarly, poison shrines are poisonous.
  • In Doom, the BFG in "BFG9000" canonically stands for "Big Fucking Gun".
  • Some Doom II: Hell on Earth levels are this:
    • "Entryway" is the entrance both of the spaceport and of the game.
    • In "The Gantlet" one has to fight through swarms of monsters.note 
    • "The Crusher" prominently features a crushing ceiling over a Spider Mastermind.
    • "Dead Simple" is a very simple level — and if you're not careful you will end up dead.
    • "Tricks and Traps" is full of nasty surprises.
    • "The Pit" is built around a huge pit.
    • "Bloodfalls" is so named due to the prominent waterfalls of blood that feature in the level.
    • "The Living End" is the last non-boss level.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Many spell names in the older English ( pre-Dragon Quest VIII) localizations. Heal heals some HP. You can probably guess what Healmore and Healall do. Sleep puts an enemy group to sleep.
    • Dragon Quest is especially egregious, calling your offensive spells Hurt and Hurtmore; the first one hurts enemies, and the latter hurts enemies too, but more (later games changed these to Blaze and Blazemore).
  • DRL:
    • The game offers "Hell Arena". If you go in there expecting anything other then a fight with demons, then you will deserve what you get.
    • Some of the challenge game names are pretty self-explanatory. If you see a challenge called Angel of Shotgunnery, then guess which kind of weapons will be the only one you can use.
  • Elden Ring: The Tarnished (including the player), are guided by someone or something called the Two Fingers. Given that there's an entire order of "Finger Maidens" who are human, it's pretty easy to assume that the "Two Fingers" are a symbolic title. When you are granted an audience with them, though, it turns out they are literally two giant disembodied fingers, who "speak" by making gestures that the Finger-Reader Crones can interpret.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind has an item called the Boots of Blinding Speed. It's a pair of enchanted boots which, when worn, grant you 200 speed but make you 100% blind.
    • In Oblivion, the Imperial City has a shop called Rindir's Staffs. It's owned by a Bosmer named Rindir. He sells staffs. Imagine that.
  • In Far Cry Primal, there are bitefish in the lakes. Fish that bite.
  • Final Fantasy IX has an eastern Mist Continent, a continent full of Mist; Outer Continent, a continent just outside of the Mist Continent to the north; Lost Continent, a frozen continent that only handful of people know existed located at the northwest; and finally Forgotten Continent, a western continent that pretty much forgotten.
  • Guild Wars has quite a few skills that fall under this trope. Just guess what "Heal Party", "Heal Other", and "Can't Touch This" do.
  • Hellsinker is so loaded with proprietary terminology (even the options menu and exit command have unique names!) that this trope is the exception rather than the rule. "Kill" is how many enemies you've destroyed. "Timer" is how much time has passed within the stage. "Life" is your lives. "Subweapon" is your alternate weapon.
  • Almost every realm in Impressive Title has a name that matches its given biome, such as Desert being a Shifting Sand Land and the portal to Volcano teleporting you to a volcanic area. However, sometimes the name references the bosses that spawn there, so it's not hard to guess what lives in Wyvern Hills or Serpent's Pass.
  • Kindergarten has the Monstermon card "Literally Grass". It's just a normal patch of grass.
  • A Knight's Quest for Milk: The "Everything But Milk" store sells... everything but milk.
  • Let It Die has consumable mushrooms, many of which have names that explicitly state their effects: Toughshrooms make you tough by increasing your defense. Crushrooms let you crush your enemies by buffing your attack power. Boomshrooms go probably shouldn't eat those.
  • Referenced in LittleBigPlanet:
    • "The Material Changer is Exactly What It Says On The Tin. Or on the cardboard. Or the polystyrene. Or whatever else it is that you want it to say it on."
    • Some of the logic fits this too. The Game Ender ends the game, the Smoke Emitter emits smoke, and all of the sensors sense exactly what they say they do. Player Sensors, Water Sensors, Tag Sensors, Impact Sensors, etc.
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time:
    Toadsworth: I've dubbed this the Bros. Ball. Why, you ask? Because you are bros. And you form a ball.
  • Most of the Robot Masters in the Mega Man (Classic) series have a name based around their abilities, followed by the word "Man". For Example, Ice Man has ice powers, Tornado Man has wind powers, etc.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has a completely batshit insane, gloriously hammy monk named Ribsmasher. His moniker pretty much sums up his character: He is completely and utterly obsessed with smashing ribs.
  • PlanetSide 2's Halloween 2014 renamed several bases. The infamous "Subterranean Nanite Analysis" was renamed to the much more fitting "Pit of Despair". The base is built into an underground pit, and is a horrible, horrible meatgrinder for attackers such that players often just straight up log off in despair when their allies attack the base. Sadly, the name was reverted at the end of the event.
  • Pokémon:
    • Some attacks really don't require any explanation, such as Rock Throw, Double Kick, Triple Kick, Self-Destruct, and Quick Attack. The move Wake-Up Slap has the user slap the opposing Pokémon and if it's asleep, it gets woken up. Confusingly, Double Slap doesn't count because it can hit between two and five times (it's a poor localization of "Round Trip Slap").
    • The Japanese names in Generation 1 for certain Pokemon don't leave a lot to the imagination as to what it is. For example, Charmander is called Hitokage, from hi (Fire) and tokage (lizard), which describes Charmander quite well. Another one is Gloom, which is called Kusaihana, or stinky (kusai) flower (hana), which is what Gloom is infamous for.
    • The Chamber of Emptiness in Pokémon X and Y. It does have two items in it at first, but once they are gone, it's just an empty chamber.
    • There is a Gen 4 Pokémon called Spiritomb, which, of course, is a tomb filled with 108 spirits.
    • From Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, there are the Paradox Pokémon, Pokémon that were pulled from the distant past/future by either Professor Sada or Turo. While they physically resemble Pokémon of the present like Scream Tail resembling Jigglypuff or Iron Thorns resembling Tyranitar, they possess certain features that distinguish them from each other, which ultimately end up being the basis of their names. Scream Tail, Iron Thorns, Sandy Shocks, Iron Moth. The only exceptions are Koraidon and Miraidon, and even then they were called Winged King and Iron Serpent in Occulture Magazine.
  • In Pokémon Flora Sky, the small town you start your journey in is called Small Town.
  • The powers from [PROTOTYPE]. Claw gives Alex Wolverine Claws. Hammerfist turns his fists into "hammers" to pummel things with. Whipfist gives him a whip-ish long reach. Blade is a Big Fucking Blade Below the Shoulder. Musclemass boosts the size of his muscles. Shield gives him a Shield. Armour gives him Instant Armor. Disguise allows him to disguise as consumed victims.
  • Quake: The Ogre Citadel is full of Ogres. The Underearth is mostly underground. The Sewers is a Down the Drain level. Azure Agony uses mostly blue textures.
  • RuneScape:
    • Jagex is apparently fond of this trope, given some of the quest and area names. The Goblin Village is a village... with goblins. Dragon Slayer is a slaying quest that involves, yep, a dragon. Black Knight Fortress... eh, you get the idea.
    • In the skill Dungeoneering, when you mouse over the list of end of dungeon awards, you get information about that award. If you were unfortunate enough to get "Most deaths" and then mouse over it, the trope name appears.
    • The trope name appears on another item, fungicide. Examining the item gives this: "Does exactly what it says on the tin (kills fungi)".
  • Sands of Destruction features the World Annihilation Front. Guess what they want to do? They are opposed by the World Salvation Committee; no points for guessing what they want to prevent.
  • Terraria: Many of the herbs:
    • Daybloom blooms into a small flower during the day.
    • Moonglow glows with a blue aura during the night.
    • Blinkroot flashes rapidly when ready to be harvested.
    • In the non-PC versions, Fireblossom blooms while partially submerged in lava.
  • In the Touhou Project series, Marisa's spell card, Loving Heart "Double Spark", is quite literally two Master Sparks fired at the same time.
  • The Tree of Life: The Tissue layer has upgrade tabs called "Start", "Middle", and "End", each one corresponding to how far you got into the layer.
  • Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion: Turnip Boy lands in hot water with Mayor Onion for refusing to pay his property taxes.
  • WildStar has the Path system, divided into four distinct professions: the Soldier, who kills hostiles and handles security; the Explorer, who maps out the world, finds underground systems and hidden paths, and goes on surveillance/recon missions; the Scientist, who studies, re-purposes, and hacks the flora, fauna, and forgotten technology on Nexus; and the Settler, who builds their respective faction's infrastructure like buff stations, transportation, and supply caches.