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Auto-Pilot Tutorial

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Many games have tutorials that must be completed before the game can begin. Even if you've already beaten the game, if you start anew you must do the tutorial again, which can be frustrating. However, for someone who is just starting, tutorials can be more useful than reading the manual as it gives some hands-on experience before being thrown into the action.

An Auto-Pilot Tutorial, however, is more like watching a manual than actually practicing. Control is taken away from the player as the game demonstrates how to perform tasks by itself, usually with either voice-over or onscreen text explanations. Some people might find this more helpful than just being told what to do step-by-step in a controlled tutorial, as with the auto pilot the player has an idea of what they're expected to do and what it looks like to do so correctly. The downside is if this is the only tutorial for that mechanic, meaning the player doesn't learn how to do it for real.


Tutorials are on a sliding scale. Some are nominally "interactive" but lock down everything except what they want you to pick.

Compare: Forced Tutorial, which this almost always is, Attract Mode, which this resembles when not forced, and Justified Tutorial, which this never is.

Takes full control:

  • Some of the Metal Gear games shows the player how to play by automatically scrolling through the items and sometimes controlling the player character.
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney does this a few times. One where the game automatically goes to your evidence, scrolls to the next page, chooses a piece of evidence, and chooses to examine the item in 3D. The game also plays itself for a while when it shows you to how to do forensics at a crime scene.
  • Spoofed as early as Disgaea: Hour of Darkness where Etna delivers the tutorial to Laharl by forcing him to get beat up. "And that was what not to do." "But you made me do it!" The sequel has Rozalin and Adell replace Laharl and Etna, respectively.
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  • Pokémon traditionally has moments in the beginning of the game where another trainer takes you into the grass and shows you how to catch a Pokémon; it's impossible to skip. Pokémon Sword and Shield finally averted this; you get Poké Balls before you get to the tutorial, and if you catch a Pokémon before then, you wouldn't have to do the tutorial.
  • Pokémon Trading Card Game for Game Boy did this by having your first match against one of Prof. Mason's assistants be played with stacked decks and instructions that forced you to play particular cards. Later you could practice against this person by using the same decks but without restrictions on moves.
  • Ascendancy's tutorials used this.
  • Whenever you get a new Bros. Item or Bowser Army in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, if you choose to practice, the game demonstrates the move for you before letting you try it yourself.
  • The first two games in the RollerCoaster Tycoon series feature this. Thankfully, they are not mandatory and can be stopped at any time while they are running. The one in the first game can actually give you a nice head-start in Forest Frontiers if you interrupt it right before it exits back to the main menu.
  • The Puzzle League series of games feature these tutorials - however, they are welcome because they are optional and extremely in-depth (with six main sections and more supplemental sections featuring things like demonstrating the timing necessary for time-lag chains.
  • Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games has these.
  • In WarioWare: D.I.Y., the game-making tutorial is shared between Wario, Penny, and you. Oddly enough, this also qualifies as an Auto Pilot Tutorial for the in-game characters as well - Wario will try to do many counter-intutive things (like attempting to color the entire screen with the line tool), get bored, and Penny will take over and show him a better way to get things done (like the fill tool.)
  • Star Wars: Empire at War contains this. After completing the five-part interactive tutorial, the player may watch two additional scenarios explaining the basic features of EAW's skirmish modes.

Forces a specific next step:

  • Astro Boy: Omega Factor opens with a skippable tutorial about the hero's air dash, normal attacks and super moves. When attacking the enemies, you must do as Prof. Ochanamizu says or he'll repeat the task.
  • Final Fantasy X had the Blitzball tutorial, and it was interactive (to an extent). Picking an option OTHER than the one the game tells you to simply gives the response: "We'll be learning about that later, just click this one for now."
  • The seventh Fire Emblem game and the first Advance Wars game force you to make specific moves for a turn or two and then return control. The Advance Wars example is particularly interesting, as it applies this to the AI as well - for the first couple of maps, you see the enemy using them same interface and commands you do.
  • Every Mega Man Battle Network game begins with an unskippable warm up battle to teach the player about how multiple attacks can be equipped in a single turn and then how to use a special system (exchanging chips for extra inventory space/interrupting enemy attacks for a power multiplier). Each lecture will force the player to pick specific chips.
  • Pawapoke Dash features an unique "Card Baseball" system instead of the usual Baseball simulator, much to the protagonist's surprise on the story's first match. His poltergeist father gives out explanations on how to pick cards against the opponent and how to activate skills, and will prevent the player from choosing anything else. On subsequent runs, this tutorial is skipped.