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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.

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

Compare Forced Tutorial, an unskippable tutorial level, and Attract Mode, showing footage of a video game's gameplay for a bit to entice people to play it. Compare and contrast Cutscene, a non-interactive sequence inserted into the action of a game. See also Justified Tutorial, when the game gives an in-story reason for giving you a tutorial.


Fan Works

Video Games

  • Advance Wars: Some tutorial turns require the player to relinquish control to demonstrate specific moves. It applies to the AI as well. For the first couple of maps, you see the enemy using the same interface and commands you do.
  • Astro Boy: Omega Factor: The game 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.
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: Parodied. 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.
  • Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure: When the One-On-One is introduced during the story, the game overtakes the player character to demonstrate the new moves key to defeat the boss.
  • Empire at War: After completing the five-part interactive tutorial, the player may watch two additional scenarios explaining the basic features of EAW's skirmish modes.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy Tactics: Professor Daravon narrates the tutorial mode of the game while the player just watches. It's lampshaded, though, as Mediators' "Mimic Daravon" skill puts targets to sleep.
    • Final Fantasy X: The Blitzball tutorial is interactive only 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."
  • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade: The game forces you to make specific moves for a turn or two and then return control.
  • Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA: The original retro-styled music video is a form of this for the mini-game included with the first Downloadable Content pack for the first game, showing some of the mechanics which are not made immediately obvious by the game itself. It even shows Miku near-constantly watering the plant, which is how you unlock the orb that is needed to open the final door.
  • IL-2 Sturmovik: This game has tutorial videos; however, they also have a fair share of interesting and action-packed moments and very often even a joke or two.
  • Karateka: The Making of Karateka allows you to watch playthroughs of each version of the game. At any time, you can stop playback and start the game exactly where the recording left off.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: Happens whenever you get a new Bros. Item or Bowser Army. If you choose to practice, the game demonstrates the move for you before letting you try it yourself.
  • Mega Man Battle Network: Every 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.
  • Metal Gear: Some of the games show the player how to play by automatically scrolling through the items and sometimes controlling the player character.
  • Panel de Pon: The series features in-depth, optional tutorials (with six main sections and more supplemental sections featuring things like demonstrating the timing necessary for time-lag chains) that aren't playable.
  • Pawapoke Dash: It features a 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; it will prevent the player from choosing anything else. On subsequent runs, this tutorial is skipped.
  • Pokémon:
    • The franchise traditionally has moments at 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 Ranger: Unfortunately present in all three games, and worse, if you accidentally hit the wrong button or if your styler breaks, you have to sit through explanations more than once. In the third game, though, you are allowed to skip any tutorials that would have appeared in the first two games. But only those ones.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield: It finally averts this; you get Poké Balls before you get to the tutorial, and if you catch a Pokémon before then, you won't have to do the tutorial.
    • Pokémon Trading Card Game: Your first match against one of Prof. Mason's assistants is played with stacked decks and instructions that force you to play particular cards. Later you could practice against this person by using the same decks but without restrictions on moves.
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon: The first two games have tutorials in this format, which can be interrupted by the player but cannot be restarted once interrupted other than by going back to the main menu:
    • In RCT1 the tutorial builds a Merry-Go-Round and a Steel Mini Roller Coaster in Forest Frontiers; interrupting the tutorial right before it exits back to the main menu can actually give you a nice head start in that scenario.
    • RCT2: There are three tutorials using the "Build Your Own Six Flags" park —a "beginners" tutorial that builds a Merry-Go-Round, a "custom rides" tutorial that builds a Vintage Cars ride and decorates it with scenery, and a "roller coasters" tutorial that builds a Wooden Roller Coaster. The RCT2 tutorials were removed in OpenRCT2 due to the input system they used (recorded keystrokes, mouse movements and clicks) being incompatible with the infinite resolutions and flexible UI available.
    • RCT3 abandons these in favor of tutorials that told you which buttons to click and grayed out the buttons it didn't want you to click.
  • Unreal:
    • Unreal Tournament 2003: All the basic tutorials —e.g., demonstrating the Deathmatch, Double Domination, Capture the Flag, and Bombing Run game modes— require you to sit through a non-interactive, video-like tutorial showing the very basics. The story gets repeated with the Onslaught mode in Unreal Tournament 2004.
    • Unreal Tournament III has APT for the Capture the Flag (CTF-Reflection), Vehicle CTF (VCTF-Kargo), and Warfare (two tutorials) modes, placed at the first rungs of the Campaign. Warfare even gets two tutorials: one (WAR-Sinkhole) about the core Onslaught mechanics, and another (WAR-MarketDistrict) for the new introductions such as the Orb and the Support Nodes. Afterwards, the players enter the match with the specified rules (i.e. Sinkhole has no orbs nor support nodes). The only thing the CTF tutorial requires you to do before joining the battle is to use the Translocator to enter the arena (compare with the Deathmatch tutorial guiding you through the game's movements and the series' Alternate Fire system).
    • Unreal Tournament 4: While the Advanced Movement and Weapon tutorials were interactive training courses, the tutorials for each game mode (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Duel, Blitz, and Team Showdown) still required you to sit through a video, with a common match of the game mode following afterwards.
  • 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-intuitive 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.)
  • Zookeeper Battle: Every first level of any Invading Boss' Quest minigame robs the reins from the player to illustrate the mechanics of that particular minigame.

Visual Novels

  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney: In one tutorial, 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 how to do forensics at a crime scene.