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Blackout Basement

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"How are we going to find the Princess with the power going out?"
Luigi, Hotel Mario

(For the proper stroboscopic effect, open and close your eyes repeatedly as you read this.)

Blackout Basement is a level in a video game where the lighting is inconsistent. This can take a few different forms:

The darkness may apply only to certain layers, so that the player and (possibly) enemies remain visible at all times, but immobile hazards like Spikes of Doom are as invisible in the dark as the other elements of the background layer. Or the dark itself can be a hazard.

If the entire game is as badly lit as a Blackout Basement, you're looking at Who Forgot The Lights?. Expect Ten-Second Flashlight, Infinite Flashlight, Nuclear Candle and Muzzle Flashlight to play a big part of the level if any of them is present in the game. Not necessarily related to Creepy Basement, though the two can overlap. Subtrope of Can't See a Damn Thing. Not necessarily related to Dark World.

Examples of levels:

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    Action Adventure 
  • Older Than the NES: On difficulty levels 2 and 3 of Adventure for the Atari 2600, in the catacombs leading to the White Castle and inside the Black Castle, the entire screen is gray except for a yellow circle of light around your character and other sprites.
  • Finding Nemo: The stages "Mask Search", "Minefield", and "Whale Chase" are so dark that the only thing you can see is your character model.
  • Frogger's Journey: The Forgotten Relic: Dark areas such as the depths of the Cave will be completely pitch black unless Frogger equips the flashlight upgrade to OPART.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A staple of the series is the dark cave or dungeon where you need to use a lantern or some similar item to see the way forward. This can be just a little frustrating when you run out of lantern oil or green mana in the middle of a monster-infested cavern.
    • The Legend of Zelda: This starts and is most prevalent in Level 4 of the first quest, where nearly every room is pitch black. However, Level 5 is a close runner-up. In later dungeons, it becomes more of a random gimmick. The Blue and Red Candle (as well as the Magic Wand, once you've found the Magic Book to upgrade it) can light up the entire room, but it goes pitch black again should you leave. Since the candles have no resource requirement, this isn't much of a hindrance to the player, with the only potential problem being if the player's only light source is the blue candle (which can only be used once per screen) and they want to use it on an enemy after lighting the area up.
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: All caverns are dark until the Candle is collected in the first dungeon.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: Some areas in Ganon's Tower have invisible walkways that are revealed by lighting the torches in a room, or using the Ether magic. Lighting torches is usually the better option, as using Ether requires you to memorize the walkway locations during the Ether animation, then cross them afterwards when they're invisible again (since you can't move during the animation).
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess you have the standby of your wolf senses, but they are significantly nerfed in the aforementioned dark caves. The best thing to do is light the lantern.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, certain portions of the Tower of Spirits are almost completely dark, save for one or two torches near the entrance; you can use the Boomerang to transfer fire from them to the conspicuously unlit torches further ahead, but this only lights up small, circular areas. Ghost-like Nocturns also patrol the dark, and are completely invulnerable unless caught in the light, making it dangerous to stay in the darkened areas too long. One of the types of Phantoms encountered in these darkened areas carries a flaming sword which is its own light source.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has caves and dungeons similar to those in Link to the Past where the area is pitch-black except for a small dimly-lit circle around Link. The Dark Palace is a special case in that it reverses the effect: you can see the outlines of the walls and floor only in total darkness, and the lantern gives you conventional visibility in a tiny circle around Link but makes the outlines disappear, making navigation difficult. A few rooms revolve around dousing the sconces for you to be able to see.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • The Thyphlo Ruins, a forested area where it's Always Night — or Always Pitch Black, in fact, and a lot darker than the overworld night. You can only find your way by following and lighting the bird-shaped stone torches scattered about, which conveniently point straight toward the next torch, while dodging the skeletons, giant bats and wolves that roam the darkness.
      • The interior of Divine Beast Vah Rudania starts out pitch black outside of the glowing eyeballs of Malice growths until you get the map and open up its back panels.
      • "Path of Light", one of the shrines in the first part of the Champions' Ballad DLC, is pitch dark. Some of its hazards, such as lasers and jets of fire, are among the only clearly visible things in the gloom; others, such as a set of rotating spiked walls, are only dimly visible where they pass through small islands of torchlight. Notably, the normal feature of the Stasis run where items that can be stopped are lit up yellow is disabled in this shrine to prevent the player from easily telling where things are.
      • From the Master Trials DLC, Floors 6-10 of the Middle Trials of the Sword are like the Thyphlo Ruins. This time, you have to fight in total darkness, with each room only lighting up once everything is dead. Fortunately, enemy eyes glow so you can at least tell where they are, but you can't see when they begin attacking.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: The Depths start off totally dark except for ancient Zonai lanterns, the fires of monster camps, the glowing souls of wandering spirits, the Brightbloom seeds you light up, and Gloom. When you activate a Lightroot, the region around it will permanently light up.
  • Aquaria: The Abyss. You need Sun Form to be able to see down there, though there are bioluminescent organisms as you proceed further down (and anglerfish out to kill you).
  • Luigi's Mansion: As well as being one big Big Boo's Haunt, the game is also an extended exercise in Blackout Basement maneuvering. Normally, the lights in any given room of the mansion turn on when all the ghosts have been captured or otherwise defeated, but in the last fourth of the game, a mansion-wide blackout forces you to retrace your steps from the third-floor balcony to the basement to turn on a backup generator, enduring merciless ghost attacks and capturing a very elusive Portrait Ghost along the way.
  • Ecco the Dolphin: The level "Sea of Darkness" in The Tides of Time takes place in an underwater cave, where visibility is extremely poor. Ecco's sonar makes things light up for a few seconds.
  • Castlevania:
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has a Spikes of Doom-lined tunnel that must be crossed with the bat form. Said bat form needs to be upgraded with a sonar ability that will allow you to see in this dark passageway. Once you cross it and step on a lit-up platform at the end, the entire room lights up permanently.
    • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance has a similar area in which only the area immediately around Juste is visible, unless he equips a certain item, which only gives him a somewhat greater radius of vision, rather than brightening the whole room. Said area also has Spikes of Doom.
    • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia also has a pitch black room filled with spikes. It's possible to navigate between the moving spikes and absorb the glyph causing the darkness at the end of the room, or come back later with a certain ability that allows Shanoa to just walk through and break the spikes.
    • Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge has a room in Stone Castle where whipping all the candles (as Belmonts tend to do) plunges the room in pitch blackness. Not a healthy thing with Bottomless Pits all over.
  • In La-Mulana, the Chamber of Extinction drives home the point that the area is a terrible place – the lights are off in the first several rooms, and all you can do is grope around in the dark and watch as enemies dive-bomb you. Apparently, whatever happened there was so terrible that it even caused the lights to shut off. There's a few sparse hints that you can use the Flare Gun in certain spots to (temporarily) activate some lighting, but the only way to permanently dispel the darkness is to solve a puzzle that resides in a different dungeonnote .
  • Shaman King: Master of Spirits: One of the level paths features a dimly lit cave where you can't see much around you. You can light up the cave if you equip the spirit Gabriel.
  • An Untitled Story features DarkGrotto, the meaner, bigger brother of The Grotto, where the only light emanates from torches, the player, the boss and their shots.
  • Ghostbusters (1990) on the Sega Genesis: The Woody House level, which for some reason was bathed in pitch-black darkness note . Luckily, you CAN buy an Infrared Scope (read: Paragoggles) at the Item Shop. They're only useful on the one level, and the batteries wear out.
  • Goof Troop has dark rooms where Goofy and Max's visibility is reduced to a very small radius, or slightly less small if they carry a candle.
  • The "Darkness" levels of Monster Hunter (PC), where vision is limited up to only a circle of light around the titular Monster Hunter. Defeating the monsters is one thing, but finding the monster's spawners when everything is pitch-black is another.
  • In Mystic Tower, certain rooms are very dark and require you to activate light switches in order to see anything inside them.
  • The Shantae series:
    • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse: The Pumpkin Fields becomes this near the end of the game when the Pirate Master takes over Sequin Land Palace and covers the island in darkness. All you could see in the area are silhouettes that initially hide the fact that the early game enemies had been replaced with late game ones.
    • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero: One of the hidden rooms in the third level of Cape Crustacean is pitch black inside and filled with platforms and spikes, intended for Shantae to have the Bat Sonar ability to navigate, but it's not required.
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice: One of the Warrior Trials sees Senua thrust into a pitch-black area whose visuals eventually turn to film grain-littered grayscale to stress the emphasis she is putting on her other senses to find her way around. Her only comfort, as her love Dillion's voice reminds her, is that if she can't see the things in the dark, they can't see her, either. Stealth ensues.
  • Some levels in Spud's Adventure have the lights flicker on and off to make navigating difficult.
  • Most of Sword Of The Necromancer is set inside ruins, where your visibility is limited to a circle of light around your player hero. Including many of the boss battles.
  • ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove: Some levels are dark, making it especially hard to see transparent enemies like Boogie Men and Ghost Cows from a distance. The Torch, Flash Light, and Light Switch presents exist to help with these.
  • LEGO Dimensions: Played with. At one point in "A Dalektable Adventure", you enter a base that has the lights going on and off. That's not the problem; the real one is that the base is filled with Weeping Angels, which can only move if no one's observing them, and the switching lights prevent you from seeing them.

    Action Game 
  • Assault Suits Valken: The anti-aircraft base in Gunfire Mountains is very dark, thus requiring Jake's assault suit to illuminate the path forward while he's infiltrating. Also, the lamp cannot be used while Jake is blocking with his shield.
  • Ninja Gaiden II (NES) has stage 3-1, the path to the Tower of Lajha. Enemies and item boxes are still visible. The backgrounds' animation never stops, even if you pause the game, and you can use this to light your way and avoid falling into your demise.
  • Alien Soldier has a level in pitch blackness save for a few background lights that are not bright enough to help you see; the only way to light it up is via Muzzle Flashlight. It's best you use a weak weapon as you do not have Bottomless Magazines...
  • Level 4-10 of Plants vs. Zombies takes place during a nighttime thunderstorm, and you can only check the layout of the yard when lightning strikes. This is also where players can find the Zombie Yeti. Less annoyingly, all of Level 4 is at night, with the bonus of fog encroaching upon the yard which must either by lit through with a Plantern or Torchwood, or temporarily swept away with a Blover.
  • Action 52's third game, "Illuminator" had this. The lights would go out after a couple of seconds, restored when you killed a vampire. The results were terrible, as always.
  • NES Remix has some levels that make the level flicker in and out of visibility.
  • Hotline Miami allows you to invoke the trope with the Oscar mask, covering the level in darkness with your only illumination being a red strobe filter periodically flashing.
  • There exists two levels in Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number with dark conditions. Demolition takes place in an abandoned dark warehouse inhabited by the Russians during the events of the first game, with Richter taking up a fire ax to break through flimsy walls on the second floor. Seizure, the first level with The Son, takes place within a dimly-lit strip club. The Colombians inhabiting the club wear black and pink, making them hard to see. The level is widely considered frustrating as a result.

    Adventure Game 
  • The ghost-hunting game AMBER: Journeys Beyond starts with the Haunted House you were sent to investigate being pitch black on the inside, save for creepy red emergency lights meant to guide you to the house's breaker upstairs. The power also goes out again after you've helped one of the ghosts pass on.
  • In Chicory: A Colorful Tale, there's a dark cave which you can enter early, but you can't progress until you gain the ability to make glowing paint after defeating the first boss.
  • Colossal Cave is impossible to navigate without the lantern. Heaven help you if you run out of batteries.
  • Debris is set in the darkness underneath the Arctic's waters. For most of the game, your sole light source comes from the Squid, an underwater drone who lights the way for you.
  • In Elroy Goes Bugzerk, the final area is a small island during nighttime. There's a lightning bug that provides occasional light, and a conveniently placed semi-hidden lantern.
  • Indigo Prophecy: While Carla is visiting an asylum to learn about an incident that occurred years ago, the building's power goes off and causes the inmates' cell-doors to open. Carla then has to cautiously walk through the darkness, avoiding the roaming psychos, to reach the exit.
  • Towards the end of Monkey Island 2, Guybrush falls into a dark room, and you have to search the darkness pixel by pixel until you find the switch to turn on the light. Of course, when you do, turns out the Big Bad is standing right in front of you.
  • The Svartálfaheimr levels in Munin are notably dark, and so it's often intentionally difficult to see Munin or the feathers you have to collect.
  • The Stoneship Age in Myst required you to activate a wind-up generator to light up the pitch-black tunnels, then find a hidden room with a compass rose puzzle to light up the room with the linking book back to Myst. Getting the compass rose puzzle wrong will drain the generator, leaving you to find your way out in almost complete darkness.
  • The basement of Blackwood Manor plays this to great effect in Scratches. And at one point, during the second night, you have to go down there with an old oil lamp as your only source of light and climb inside a furnace there, to locate the source of strange scratching noises you hear echoing throughout the house.
  • An interesting variation on the usual Interactive Fiction darkness puzzle is the dark place in So Far, where you're not supposed to use a light; instead, you're supposed to navigate by the sounds emanating from various directions.
  • In Total Distortion, your entire Personal Media Tower goes dark if it runs out of fuel rods, and none of the equipment can be used except for the elevator that only goes down to the engine room to let you add more fuel.
  • The Dark World in Yume Nikki until you find the lamp. There's also a dark maze elsewhere in the game that can actually be bypassed by trial-and-error even if you don't have the lamp.
  • In Zork, there are certain sections of pitch-black cave. Until you get a source of light, the text will only say that the area is dark and you may be eaten by a darkness-dwelling grue.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Gekido: The second game, Kintaro's Revenge, have the underground stages where visibility is limited to a circle around your character.
  • One of the stages in Streets of Rage 3 is set in a disco, where the lights flicker on and off every few seconds.
  • The second stage in Splatterhouse 2 takes place in a basement deep under the ruins of West Mansion, where the only light comes from a few dim fluorescent tubes that periodically flicker off to reveal ghostly faces hovering about in the darkness.

    Driving Game 
  • Certain levels in the Micro Machines racing games are set in cellars lit only by candles; the level of illumination of the screen varies depending on your car's distance away from them. In addition, one of the selectable weather options in Micro Machines 96's Construction Kit circuit-building mode was a storm setting in which the track would only be clearly visible during brief flashes of lightning.

    Fighting Game 

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Blood II: The Chosen has Love Canal, which is rife with very dark sections full of Bottomless Pits. Being conservative with the Ten-Second Flashlight is essential, although firing a few shots (or even better, flares) can make enough light to navigate by in a pinch.
  • More than one stage of Bloodhound takes place indoors, is pitch-black, and your only source of illumination is your flashlight while more demons hides in the dark waiting for you.
  • Both installments of Death in the Water sees you exploring the deepest trenches or the interiors of underwater shipwrecks, where visibility is severely limited save for your suit's flashlight. Enemies like sharks, sirens and sea snakes tends to ambush you under the darkness.
  • Descent series features flares that the player can fire to light up an area, so the games are free to make some areas extremely dark:
    • The original game's first secret level has a large pitch-black room populated by Demonic Spiders such as Fusion Hulks, Drillers, and Class 2 Platforms.
    • Descent 2 let you do this yourself—all the lights in each level were destructible by stray weapons fire. An intense firefight could leave you in total darkness. Additionally, a particular enemy - the ubiquitous Diamond Claw - would short out all lights in the vicinity (and send a tracking ball of plasma your way) if attacked by a non-hitscan weapon, i.e. anything but the Vulcan and Gauss cannon. Thankfully the developers included a Headlight powerup for just such occasions.
  • Doom:
    • The original Doom introduced this to FPS games. The use of light, shadow, and strobe effects was one of the major selling points of the games. With the limited engine, varying light levels and effects are crucial to level atmosphere. There is a Light Amplification Visor power up that gives you perfect fullbright vision for a limited time, but it's rarely put in the levels; the invulnerability powerup also effectively makes everything perfectly lit as part of its inverted B&W vision effect, but being what it is, it's even rarer than the LAV. That said, at least two levels are notably gloomier than most: E2M5, "Halls of the Damned", in the original, and in II, there are Map 26, "Bloodfalls", and Map 27, "Monster Condo". As a rule of thumb, if you see a dark patch of a map, expect to be met with Spectres.
    • Doom³ is all dark, but there are two specific areas that play the trope consciously:
      • The Coolant Control Junction at the tail end of "Alpha Labs Sector 2" is a big section of walkways with no more than three or four working lamps, all spread far from each other, as according to a scientist, electromagnetic pulses have blown out all lighting. The only sources of light in the place are your own flashlight and the lantern carried by said scientist as you escort him through. There are several caches of goodies hidden off the beaten path, too, so it's worth exploring in full.
      • You never get a flashlight in Hell after you're forcefully teleported there. The dimension of the damned is just as dark and difficult to navigate as the UAC base, and the few glyphs showing where to land in the platforming sections aren't always clearly visible. You're SOL if you don't have a lighting Game Mod or aren't playing the BFG edition. Thankfully at the very start of the next level, back in the UAC base, it's impossible to miss out on one.
  • Common in Eternal Evil when you're exploring basements, attics, or outdoors (due to the Always Night setting). A small circle from your flashlight is your only source of visibility.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon: The abandoned section of the Old Underground Metro Area, a location explored in the Perseus Mandate expansion of the original game, is a section of Fairport that was buried in an earthquake and left abandoned, with the new Fairport being built on top of it. Lighting is very sparse, with only a few scattered strings of connected lamps providing lighting that serves more for mood than anything. Many times, your only source of light will be your own ten-second headlamp, even in combat. Keep in mind, you're up exclusively against paranormal enemies: Shades, almost invisible monsters that can only be clearly seen by the light from their glowing red eyes and their body's outline in the light, and Scarecrows, antlion-like enemies hiding in dark blotches that are nearly invisible unless the headlamp is on or there's a ceiling lamp right above. It's Paranoia Fuel through and through.
  • Fobia: St. Dinfna Hotel is set entirely at night, and most levels takes place in darkened cabins, creepy basements, or corridors without lighting and requires you to shine a torch to find your way across. Expect monsters to randomly pop out every corner.
  • One mission of Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter not only takes place at night in an ill-lit wooded area, but features jamming devices that mess up your optics. The thermal vision is of little help, due to its limited range.
  • Going into the Unknown have most of its stages set inside prisons, abandoned hospitals, and subways after dark, and your only source of light is the flashlight.
  • Half-Life:
    • The third chapter of Half-Life 2: Episode One, "Lowlife", features a long run through underground tunnels and garages where it's pitch black, and the only light sources are Gordon's suit light and a number of fast-burning road flares; the latter can also set fire to zombies, which will provide a modicum of light as well. The kicker is that you not only need that light to see where you're going, you're also severely under-armed and reliant on Alyx to shoot at the bad things, something she'll only do if the target is lit up. At the end, Gordon and Alyx are forced to wait on an elevator to escape the section, whereupon a whole horde of headcrab zombies pounces on them, complicating things even further.
    • Half-Life: Alyx has the tunnels under the Quarantine Zone. One stretch of tunnel is completely dark, providing Alyx with the objective of finding a flashlight to attach to her Gravity Gloves before venturing forth. Later on, a literal blackout basement is presented in the Northern Star Hotel, when Alyx is forced to go into the basement and turn off the power so she can get past a Combine forcefield, fighting her way past headcrabs as she makes her way back up.
  • Halo: The level "High Charity" in Halo 2 has several parts where it is nearly pitch black, the only illumination being provided by dim, red emergency lights and your own Ten-Second Flashlight. And there's Flood everywhere, shrieking in the darkness.
  • Heretic and Hexen, being based on updated versions of the Doom engine, rely heavily on sector light level contrasts for atmosphere, player guidance and as an obstacle. Inventory-activated Torches are a must in any map with very dark parts.
  • Some parts of the FPS areas of Jurassic Park SNES on the Super Nintendo are like this. However, without night-vision goggles, you'll get killed by raptors on the first step in.
  • INDUSTRIA has literal basements in a few areas, where you'll need to equip the flashlight on yourself to explore the area.
  • Whenever you have to go through tunnels or indoors in either Left 4 Dead game, the only light sources are from your gun-mounted flashlight. Since they're gun-mounted, you can't see a thing whenever you need to shove enemies or reload. And if you don't want to be horribly mauled, you need to turn off your lights whenever you start to hear a witch crying. While for the Valve-created campaigns the fog effect creates a downplayed Hollywood Darkness that can dispense the use of the torch, all bets are off in custom campaigns such as "Suicide Blitz 2" and the aptly named "Blackout Basement", where the lightless sections are absolute darkness.
  • Metro 2033
    • In some places of the Metro, there is an anomaly known as the Darkness. It disables Artyom's headlamp and Night-Vision Goggles, forcing him to either a) use his lighter's flame to illuminate the way and possibly light up torches and candles along the path, or b) if he has a gun with a night vision scope, navigate while aiming the gun, a slow walk with a very restricted field of view. It's intended to slow down the gameplay pace and create tension, and it's no comfort that nothing happens while it's in effect.
    • A more mundane version is Spiderbug dens. Any significant amount of light burns them (outright to death if the exposure is long enough), so they stick to the darkest tunnels and basements. Sections that take place in such dens center gameplay around running from light source to light source, lighting up lanterns and other such sources of firelight, until you can reach a powerbox and jumpstart the electric grid, driving all Spiderbugs away permanently.
  • Call of Duty
    • In Modern Warfare's second mission, which is actually titled "Blackout", you cut the power to the house where Nikolai is being held, and infiltrate by night vision. Likewise for the dark building at the beginning of "The Bog".
    • Modern Warfare 2's "Second Sun" takes place at night in the middle of an EMP-induced Big Blackout, which means your night vision goggles and other electronic gadgets are rendered useless.
  • One level of Pathways into Darkness has Goddamned Flying Rats that constantly attack you until you turn your flashlight off.
  • Perfect Dark: There are a couple darkened areas that require Joanna to use night-vision goggles that, curiously enough, are only in your inventory during missions where you'll use them. This happens twice in Level 1-3, where the lights temporarily go out at the beginning, then Cassandra turns them off again near the end. The kicker is, her bodyguards also have night vision gear. There's also an unlockable cheat that turns the entire game into one of these, night vision goggles included.
  • Perfect Dark Zero: In the fifth mission, you deactivate the lab's power generator and navigate under cover of darkness. Unlike the original, you don't come equipped with night vision goggles, you have to find them first.
  • Much of Perilous Warp takes place in a darkened space station, with a few areas set in corridors and large rooms with the lights out, your only source of light being the torch mounted on your shoulder. Alien monsters have a nasty habit of popping out of these darkened areas to ambush you.
  • Both Propagation and the sequel, Paradise Hotel, being respectively set in a Sinister Subway and a Hell Hotel after a Zombie Apocalypse, where the lights in almost every area are fried and you'll need your torchlight to avoid having the undead swarming upon you. The sequel even have you coming across a Peek-a-Boo Corpse while entering a dark vent.
  • Putrefaction takes place mostly in dark, enclosed basements and corridors, with your flashlight providing the only illumination source. The sequel averts this by setting the game at daytime, and outdoors.
  • Quake
    • Some levels in Quake have pitch-black rooms, such as the hallway in E1M6 that lights up after you get the silver key. The game as a whole suffers from some degree of Who Forgot The Lights?.
    • Quake II has a number of levels with this trope; picking up the power cubes in the Supply Station deactivates lights, and the Warehouse is dark until you replace the cubes there.
  • Operation: Crimson Hook in Rainbow Six: Raven Shield takes place in the dark. Good thing you have Night-Vision Goggles.
  • Serious Sam uses this for some challenges. One has you fighting waves of monsters while a wall of darkness sweeps up and down the hall. Another gives you a path of light to walk along across an otherwise dark room; straying off the path results in vicious attack by monsters waiting in the shadow. One is where the room goes dark and has to be lit by shooting a button.
  • The Marathon mod Siege of Nor'Korh, in addition to having state-of-the-art lighting effects overall, has this happen at least twice in the game, with the area going almost completely pitch black.
  • The last part of Soldier of Fortune's first mission is an almost pitch-black subway tunnel. And your night vision goggles are practically useless, while the enemies can see you just fine without goggles.
  • Team Fortress 2 has the fan-made map 2fort_night, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: the 2fort map under a dark, moonlit sky. Depending on where you are, the lighting varies from "lit by electric lights" to "dimly lit with shadowy corners" to "pitch black". There's even a corridor of flickering lights. The altered visibility changes gameplay somewhat, though unfortunately it's still 2fort. Team Fortress Classic has similar map called nao_2fort, which is set in night and bases are illuminated by some neon lights, with plenty of shades. It's an excellent playground for spies.
  • Unreal has three examples.
    • The Sunspire is mostly well-lit, but on the levels near the entrance, the kitchens, bathing chambers and bedrooms are all very dark, either because of the dim Tarydium lamps in the latter two or because there's no light whatsoever for no adequately explained reason. Flashlights and flares are especially valuable there, and thankfully they're very commonnote .
    • Towards the end of the game, there is a level called "The Darkening", where you have to retrace your steps through the Skaarj mothership base after you destroy their generator. The entire thing from beginning to end is pitch black, requiring you to keep your light on at all times. Right before this, you find the Searchlight, a powerful hand-held floodlight with a big battery.
    • There is a multiplayer/botmatch mutator called "Dark Match" where the match takes place in a level without any lights, and all players are given a Searchlight on spawn. The sequel, Unreal Tournament, has an "Eavy Darkmatch" add-on that re-adds this mutator and makes any map eligible for it.
  • Z.O.N.A: Shadow of Lemansk begins with a stage inside a mining tunnel, and your flashlight provides your only source of illumination. And monsters will periodically tunnel out the walls in the dark.

  • Most of Shade: Wrath of Angels, thanks to the game's setting being Always Night. You can only see the zombies and skeletons you're fighting through the glow of your holy sword.

    Light Gun Game 
  • Mechanized Attack has an infiltration mission where the screen is pitch-black save for circles where your torchlight is shining.
  • Time Crisis has a completely dark room in Stage 2-2, illuminated only by gunfire.
  • The mansion level in Silent Scope is dark until the power is reactivated towards the end. The night vision scope actually makes it harder to see.

    Miscellaneous Games 
  • Glider: Some rooms would be dark until you found the light switch (assuming there was one), keeping you from seeing the deadly furniture until then. This typically happened on basement levels.
  • Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown: The abyss levels' are pitch black. Thankfully, the playable character in these is an anglerfish which can light the area surrounding it. It can gobble down bioluminescent plancton to intensify the light emitted by its esca.
  • Overcooked! has level 4-2 set in an entirely pitch black kitchen. The chefs all have headlights, but they're dim, short-ranged, and when you're carrying something (as in all the time), the beam is blocked by the item. You only get full visibility of the map when lightning flashes, and only for a fraction of a second. This, among other reasons, caused the level to be widely disliked.

  • One of the most fan-loathed puzzles in Uru is the caves of Eder Gira. The last Journey Cloth is somewhere inside, and the caves are a small, pitch-black maze. Solution: the sister world of Eder Kemo has fireflies that follow you around if they can keep up (i.e. no running, and a certain number fly away whenever you jump, with all of them gone once you've jumped twice - that is, you have only one jump allowed). With these fluttering around you, you can find certain light sources in the caves and turn them on. Problem: the flies don't like water, and, true to form, the caves are behind a waterfall. Due to the means of getting around this, you need to do this twice... or more, if you fall in the water, get caught in the rain, or walk over a steam vent. Like the one that's right in front of your feet when you link in from Eder Kemo to Eder Gira. This one is made even worse by the fact that to put stepping stones in place so you can get behind the waterfall without jumping, you need to kick them around. There is no option to hand-position them. And they might not stay quite properly positioned when you link out and back.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The "Tomb of Immortal Darkness" was an April Fools' Day joke from Blizzard. Supposedly it was a new dungeon that would be added during Cataclysm and was pitch black; players could find gear that would give them a small bit of illumination around them, and rely on a Companion Bat's echolocation to detect monsters. Later on, World of Warcraft would get a real example in the End Time dungeon. In it, the Emerald Dragonshrine was plunged into darkness, and only spots of light appear as players make their way through the darkness towards the Echo of Tyrande.
    • Legion has the Vault of the Wardens which features a pitch-black basement leading to the final boss. One player (usually the tank) must click sentinel statues to obtain Elune's Light, which illuminates the path and eliminates harmful shadow patches on the ground when fighting the final boss.
  • The Azurite Mine is an endless dungeon added to Path of Exile in the Delve expansion, where if the monsters in the dark don't kill you, the darkness itself will. Stray too far from the light provided by the Crawler or the lamps it leaves behind and you suffer a stacking Darkness debuff that causes damage over time. The longer you stand in the dark, the faster you start losing health. You can use azurite mined from parts of the dungeon to make flares that provide a temporary light source, and purchase upgrades like Darkness resistance, a larger light radius, longer-lasting flares and the ability to carry more of them at once. Delving deeper into the mines imposes a penalty to your Darkness resistance and light radius, so you'll regularly have to upgrade them to explore (relatively) safely.
  • Guild Wars 2: One section of the "Weyandt's Revenge" jumping puzzle is mostly blacked-out but with flashes of light. Getting through that section requires either a great deal of patience and luck, using Muzzle Flashlight skills, or finding a torch.

    Party Game 
  • Mario Party:
    • Mario Party: In the minigame Pedal Power, the solo player is in a dark basement mounting a pedaling gizmo while Big Boo is behind. The player has to grant energy to the generator in order to lighten up the room and drive Big Boo away.
    • Mario Party 2: The minigame Lights Out has three characters carrying huge light bulbs being menaced by the one carrying a huge mallet in a dark area.
    • Mario Party 4: A one-versus-three mini-game called "Candlelight Flight" features one player carrying a candle and the three others carrying squirt guns. The three players must extinguish the one player's candle, but the wetter the candle gets, the harder it is for the three players to see it.
    • Mario Party 6 has two minigames set in very dark areas. The first is Light Up My Night, which puts two dueling characters in a deep-dark outdoors hall in the midst of a forest at late night. Each character carries a torch lit by a chimney, and has to light up five candles before the other player does (there are nine candles, so a tie isn't possible). The other minigame is Dark 'n' Crispy, where all characters are trapped in a barely-lighted vault with Bowser harassing them. The only sources of light are four luminous orbs in the walls and the stage lights keeping track of the characters. Bowser, who is purposedly in the dark, exhales fire to attempt to eliminate the players during 30 seconds. Whoever survives during that time will avoid his punishment.
    • Mario Party Advance: The minigame Tank-Down has two dueling characters drive tanks to battle against each other in a dark cave where visibility is limited. Instead of cannonballs, the tanks' cannons use large boxing gloves as ammunition for offense. Due to the darkness, each player has to stay alert of their surroundings, as they only have 5 HP each. Whoever has their health depleted first loses and renders the other player victorious (the cave will also be fully illuminated by then).
    • Mario Party 10: Murky Maze is a 2-vs.-2 minigame taking place in a dark maze. Before the minigame starts, a spotlight will move around the maze to give players a general idea of the layout. Each player is given a Glow Block that illuminates a small portion of the maze around them, and the objective is to meet up with your partner before the opposing team does.
    • Super Mario Party: The Co-op minigame Fireplace Race takes place in a pitch-black room with only a fireplace for illumination. Four players must work together to use torches lit by the fireplace to light all 30 candles in the room as quickly as possible. Occasionally, the room will be momentarily illuminated by lightning strikes.
  • Sonic Shuffle: In a mini-game called "Great Escape", the characters are in a maze atop a roof, which is completely dark, save for a spotlight hovering over it. To find their way to an escape rocket, they must carefully navigate the maze within the time limit, making sure not to fall into any pits that send them back to start. There are four switches in the maze, which turn the light on when stepped on, and turn it off when stepped off.
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$!: In All For One, one player is trying to play microgames on a Game Boy Advance, only for a power outage to occur that covers the room in darkness that covers the screen. The other players have to use flashlights to move a circle of light around the screen so the solo player can see what they're doing.

  • The "Neon Multiball" mode in Cirqus Voltaire is a three-ball multiball mode where the only illumination comes from the neon tube in the cabinet.
  • Done with "Lights Out" mode in The Wizard of Oz

    Platform Game 
  • Underwater levels in Hoa, where you periodically enter caverns and tunnels which are pitch-black and you can't see anything except your character. You'll need to find luminiscent plants to light up areas to proceed.
  • COGEN: Sword of Rewind has stage 4, Urban Planning Center. Lighting here malfunctions, and allows you to see only a small circle around you. In order to turn on lighting, you need to find a circuit breaker and hit it a couple of times. The light then gradually turns off again. However, while it's dark, some enemies can't target you, which can be useful.
  • The bonus stage "Who Turned Out the Light?" from Earthworm Jim is mostly black, except for Jim and the enemies' eyeballs, along with a few spotlights that serve as platforms to help guide Jim. Even when standing under one of the spotlights, Jim is shrouded in blackness. The boss of the room also gets this, which is represented by a pair of gigantic red eyes that chase Jim around the room.
  • Exorcist Fairy have plenty of these in the deeper caverns, where visibility is limited to a small circle around you. These areas are especially prone to contain killer drops and pits.
  • Glimmer In Mirror has the deepst depths of the underground caverns, where vision is limited to a circle of light provided by your loyal firefly companion.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit: The planet of Lagunicus in Episode C contains a pair of beach/underwater themed stages. The deeper the character swims, the darker it gets. There are arrows pointing the direction he has to take and TNT can be used to light up the place for a second.
  • In the Darkwing Duck Licensed Game for the NES, Liquidator's stage gets darker the further Darkwing delves into the sewers. Hanging from the light switches turns the lights on, and getting off them turns the lights off.
  • According to Howard Phillips the Ur-Example is the original arcade Donkey Kong. Specifically, A glitch on one faulty cabinet would cause all the ladders to become invisible and change the reds to blue. The game was still playable, and this would later be adopted by Mario Bros. and the Trope Namer.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • The Trope Namer is a stage from the original set in a factory basement wherein the lights flicker on and off every few seconds. When the lights are off, your characters are still visible, but the enemies, obstacles and pitfalls are all obscured in total darkness. Two other stages used similar gimmicks: "Loopy Lights" is set in a murky mine and requires you to find temporary light switches through the stage in order to light your way, and "Torchlight Trouble" has you followed by Squawks the parrot, who carries a lantern for lighting. "Bouncy Bonanza" is a downplayed example: the cave is gloomy, but not enough to hinder gameplay.
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong 64: The games have stages called "Glimmer's Galleon" and "Gloomy Galleon" respectively, both of which feature areas set in sunken pirate ships where you must use a passing angler fish for lighting. 64 also features a pitch-black warehouse in Fungi Forest where Diddy has to play his instrument in order to summon Squawks to light up the vicinity with its lamp.
    • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!:
      • In Murky Mill, you are forced to transform into Ellie, an elephant calf that is afraid of rat-like Sneeks. The mill is, as implied by the name, somewhat lacking in lighting, but there are a few lamps here and there, and if Ellie gets close enough to a Sneek lit by one such lamp (in the dark she doesn't react to them), she'll freak out, drop everything she's doingnote  and run back. Most of the level revolves around puzzles of taking out Sneeks under lamps, often involving a precise barrel throw.
      • The level "Floodlit Fish" is more conventional. The level takes place in a dark water maze where hitting lantern fish with Enguarde increase the light level for some time.
    • Donkey Kong 64: There are a few noticeably dark areas in Gloomy Galleom and Fungi Forest. In the former, since the area in question is the interior of a sunken ship, a friendly anglerfish lends the light of its alluring lamp so Lanky can see where he's aiming. In the latter (which is a dark attic only accessible during nighttime), Diddy plays his guitat to call Squawks, who approaches with a lantern to help him make his way through the wooden paths without falling into the pit.
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns uses on and off lighting in The Mole Train. The first time through, you can easily see the moles coming up and avoid them or stomp on them, while the third time through, the light comes and goes, making spotting enemy moles much harder.
    • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has the level "Rodent Ruckus" which also features Minecart Madness and a giant cheese wheel for a touch of Level Ate.
  • In Songs for a Hero, the first act of the third level called Konn Cave happens on a dark cave in which the only light sources are bioluminescent mushrooms, candles in skull-shaped vessels and the Hero's own sword, which can light itself on fire thanks to a previously obtained ability. Some of the said vessels open and close, making passing though platforms above Bottomless Pits much harder.
  • In the Super Mario Bros. games:
    • Super Mario World: The final room of Bowser Castle is a dark place, but Mario or Luigi can light it up by hitting a red block that turns on a swinging disco lamp at the top of the screen. The enemies present (Ninjis and Mechakoopas) can be seen more easily this way.
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System features several rooms where a bubble of light surrounds Yoshi in a dark room, so you can't see any enemies or hazards until they're very close to you. A more frustrating variation is an early fort stage, where lighting is provided by fireball-like enemies that turn on and off at will. Yoshi's Island DS has a few more examples, including the aptly named A Light in the Dark and a section of Yoshi's Island Easter Eggs with light switches that go off only a few seconds after hitting them, appropriately noted as 'Panic in the Dark!'
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii: Some levels in the game are in the dark. The players get a little spotlight, and fireballs can light an area around them, while players under the effect of a Super Star light up the entire room. Perhaps the most notorious is Level 8-4, which combines this trope with Down the Drain.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2:
      • Flash Black Galaxy, in World 6. You can't see any ground or walls at all except for about a second long glimpse every time the music beats (coinciding exactly with the time a lightning from the rainy sky appears).
      • There's also a variation on the 'spotlight' example: When Yoshi eats a Bulb Berry, he generates an aura of light which reveals/creates hidden platforms. This gradually wears off over time, and unless you make it to one of the safe zones, or eat another fruit, there will be nothing for you to stand on when it wears off. Have fun.
    • Super Mario 3D World has Worlds 7-2, 8-6 and 10-3. In the former one, there are several torches Mario can light up with the fireballs of the Fire Flower. In the latter two (a Big Boo's Haunt level and a harder version of World 6's swamp level), it is so dimly lit that you have to use Light Boxes to see the way through. Luckily, the Light Boxes also let you kill all the ghost enemies, who would otherwise be Invincible Minor Mooks.
    • Super Mario Maker 2 has the Night Mode variants of the Underwater and Ghost House themes, which are pitch-black save for a spotlight around the player and certain other objects. Fireballs can be used as a light source and the whole screen lights up after collecting a Super Star. In addition, hitting an ON/OFF Switch will make the spotlights smaller.
    • Wario Land II: The chapter "Go to the Cellar!!" has switch blocks that Wario must hit to alternate the lights so that platforms and doors can be seen. You can technically use the platforms and doors even if the room is dark, but it's harder unless you've memorized the layout.
    • Hotel Mario: The game features this kind of setting in two separate hotels. The second hotel of the game, Roy's HardBrick Hotel, has you deal with flickering lights that go out at regular intervals in parts of the level. Only by finding the toaster room (marked by lightning bolts flying from a door) can you correct this problem (by overloading toasters with surplus sourpuss toast, no less). The game's third hotel, Larry's Chillton Hotel, is a different story. Here, the entire level is dark except for the floor you're currently on. But did Mario bring a light? "No?"
  • Banjo-Tooie:
    • There is the Generator Room in Glitter Gulch Mine in which you must activate generators as you go in order to light your path. However, if you have enough gold feathers (or are using the infinite items cheat), you can easily light your way using the Wonderwing ability. Fire eggs will also illuminate an area around them, and they can be bounced along the ramps.
    • The Power Hut Basement is another dark section in Glitter Gulch Mine, where the intended way to light it up is to have Banjo hold down a switch that will turn on the lights, allowing you to navigate the path with Kazooie. Of course, the tricks mentioned above can be used here if you desire, especially since the Split Up ability first needs to be obtained from a later level.
    • Witchyworld contains a cave where lighting is provided by glowing green demons flying around at random. You can only see the way when one of them gets close to you, and stepping outside the maze-like path results in moderate damage. Hell, in most cases, looking closely can show you the edges of the path even without burning Gold Feathers. You could also just turn up the brightness on your TV.
    • Grunty Industries has the Cable Room, a dark room with a few rotating lights. The floor is lined with electrical cables that will harm Banjo and Kazooie if touched, so they need to proceed through the room with caution (or use Wonderwing).
  • Commander Keen: In the second Episodic Game (The Earth Explodes!), having the lights turned off will leave the areas darker, making visibility more difficult but also preventing the elite Vorticons from harassing Chip. This becomes vital in the last level. A hint bulb readable in an earlier level elaborates on this:
    Vorticon Elder: The wise Vorticon never jumps in the dark. In fact, even unwise Vorticons will not jump in darkness.
  • In the Mega Man (Classic) series:
    • In Quick Man's stage in Mega Man 2, between the stage's infamous two vertical shafts with deadly laser beams, there is a horizontal passage that is illuminated solely by a fire-type enemy — destroying them blacks out the stage, but at least you don't have any Bottomless Pits to worry about.
    • In Mega Man 3, certain enemies in Shadow Man's stage and Dr. Wily's third stage would black out the stage (though other enemies and certain platforms remained visible), and you had to destroy these enemies to re-light the area.
    • Bright Man's stage from Mega Man 4 is also a good example, where destroying one enemy cuts the lighting off, while destroying a different one turns it back on. Naturally, the former are more plentiful, and will attack you if left alone. They also serve as Ledge Bats during a moving platform section.
    • Mega Man 7 got in on the act with the later Wily stages with moving platforms on faulty tracks that cut the lights off every time you landed on them; you had to keep jumping and keep the room illuminated so you could avoid getting tossed off.
  • Mega Man X series:
    • If you visit Spark Mandrill's stage in Mega Man X after defeating Storm Eagle, you'll find wreckage of the Eagle's ship strewn about the opening area of the stage, and the lights will flicker on and off in two areas during the stage. If you play the stage before beating Storm Eagle, the darkened sections aren't completely blacked out, but you'll have to contend with flowing electricity.
    • The "Pitch Black" stage in Mega Man X8 is exactly what you might expect.
    • Two stages in Mega Man X6 can have this effect, depending on what order you do the stages in. Because of the Nightmare effect system, going to Infinity Mijinion's stage will result in his Nightmare effect showing up in Commander Yammark's and Rainy Turtloid's stages, unless it is overwritten by the other possible effect that can occur there afterward. His Nightmare effect causes parts of the stages to become darkened, lit only by a pair of spotlights that move back and forth.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid II: Return of Samus: In Phase 7, you gain access to one dark chamber that has a missile expansion, although given that it's in the roof, it's really more of a Blackout Attic. The manual claimed Samus' Power Suit was equipped with an infrared ray scope that would allow Samus to see in the dark, but no such ability existed until Metroid Prime.
    • Super Metroid features a firefly-like alien creature that inhabits dark areas. Trigger-happy players can shoot them if they want to, but doing so will significantly decrease the light in the room. A similar creature shows up in Metroid Prime, in a few rooms of the Chozo Ruins. Not a major inconvenience there, though.
    • Metroid Prime does this quite literally. After acquiring the Thermal Visor, the lab's power cuts off and you have to fight stealth Space Pirates (and freed Metroids) with nothing but your new powerup to track their thermal signatures by. Likewise, some areas of the Phazon Mines are completely black other than the glowing giant mushrooms and Phazon pools, requiring either the Thermal or X-Ray Visor to navigate.
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: You're required at one point to kill the power to get an item behind a force field—which also douses the lights and releases all those Phazon Metroids you've been safely walking past just to get here.
    • Metroid Fusion: Surprisingly averted with Sector 6 (NOC). You're repeatedly told that it is a pitch-black sector filled with dangerous enemies, but when you get there you find it's not that dark and the enemies go down easy (except the Blue-X, mind you). It's also possible Adam didn't want you to look around too much and accidentally uncover the Restricted Lab.
  • Common in the Crash Bandicoot series:
    • The first game features the levels Lights Out and the hidden level Fumbling in the Dark, where the player has to pick up an Aku Aku mask for illumination. Get hit once or dilly-dally around too long without picking up a new mask, and you lose your light source.
    • Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back: The levels Night Flight and the secret Totally Fly have fireflies, keeping the time limit of the luminous Aku masks from the first game but removing the one-hit penalty (the fly away from Crash after some time instead; there's also a brief area where the insect moves on its own and Crash has to avoid lagging behind for too long). There's also the hidden level "Totally Bear", where Crash and Polar have to ride through the frozen tundras during deep-dark overnight.
    • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped has the last regular level, "Bug Lite", which brings back the fireflies of 2. The hidden level "Area 51?" also qualifies, being a motorcycle race occurring during overnight, and being able to see obstacles ahead of you is critical. Thankfully, the latter level also lights up the areas immediately surrounding the UFOs that you're racing against, making it slightly more manageable.
  • Kirby:
    • In Kirby: Canvas Curse, there are levels where the player must find and tap lanterns in order to see. You can navigate blind if you've memorized the layout.
    • Kirby's Return to Dream Land features dark areas such as caves and are difficult to traverse, unless you are carrying a candle.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog games:
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles respectively feature the second act of Carnival Night Zone, where Knuckles cuts the power to the lights early in the level and you turn them back on later, and the second act of Sandopolis Zone, where you're trapped in a pyramid and must keep using switches to turn the lights back on, because ghosts appear and start attacking you when the lights get too dim. Neither one ever has total darkness, just a much lower light level.
    • Tails Adventure features Sonic's vulpine sidekick crawling through the Polly Mountains. While technically accessible before you pick up the Night Goggles, good luck getting anywhere in complete pitch blackness.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 has the second act of Lost Labyrinth Zone, where Sonic has to use a torch to illuminate the darkness around himself. Hey, it could have been worse — it was originally an entire motion-controlled Minecart Madness level.
    • The Sonic Adventure series has two of these. The first is Lost World, where one section finds Sonic making his way through the dark ruins by pointing lights at mirrors; doing so was necessary in the original Dreamcast version, but the area is just barely light enough to see without doing the mirror puzzle in DX: Director's Cut. The second is Lost Colony from Sonic Adventure 2 - since the ARK has been abandoned for 50 years, Eggman must maneuver to the control room in darkness, and the only way to improve the lighting is to shoot stuff.
    • The Wii U version of Sonic Lost World plays with this sort of stage with Silent Forest Act 4, in which some areas of the temple are dark. Sonic must find switches that turn the lights back on so he can see. The player, however, can see the background of the stage just fine, and Sonic, enemies, and solid ground are depicted as silhouettes. It's possible to navigate the place in the "darkness", but Sonic's Homing Attack is disabled when it's too dark, and that ability is required to get through.
    • The fan game When Tails Gets Bored has the second act of Minimalist Madness Zone, which is completely dark save for the characters' eyes and colored balls that guide you.
  • In Spelunky, any level outside of zone 3 may randomly be darkened. Your limited supply of flares combined with forced management of handheld items can make this problematic at times. And then there's the possibility that a drop is too high for you to see the bottom within your circle of illumination... Be sure to bring plenty of ropes. The upside is that those skittering golden scarabs you'll often see here are bonus loot if you can reach out and touch them and, in the HD remake, there are torches you can ignite, giving a source of light and something to relight your torch with.
  • Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy features a very dark section of the Spider Cave, greatly reducing visibility and thus requiring the player to hit crystals for temporary illumination.
  • Crystal Caves has several dark levels, one of which has inverted gravity, adding to the confusion.
  • In Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, Dark Sea of Tears has light enemies that, when shot with a Wind Bullet, light your path for a certain time. However, there is a twist: the darkness can attack you, making it important to complete sections quickly.
  • The cave stage (Act 9) in The Smurfs (1994).
  • The night tree stage (stage 14) in Prehistorik Man, where a trained firefly follows the player character around.
  • Some of the levels of the Wii version of A Boy and His Blob are dark, especially in the caves. The first time you visit one, Blob will eat a firefly that turns him into your flashlight—if you wander too far from him or leave him in one place, it'll be pitch-black. However, the "special" prize for the second world is a lantern that allows you to play every level in the dark like this.
  • The mine area of Bunny Must Die was only partially lighted by lanterns. You could find switches to turn on electric lights that illuminate the whole area, but if you did so, the light woke up some particularly annoying enemies.
  • LittleBigPlanet has The Darkness, where you need to use the light from your dog's flashlight, and candles to help you get out of the level intact. In its first sequel, part of the level "Fireflies When You're Having Fun" takes place in dark caves that are occasionally illuminated by fireflies.
  • The original Jumpman had a level called "Now You See It," where every time the player defused a bomb, the screen would toggle on and off. There were also multiple "Mystery Maze" varieties, where the level only became illuminated as the player moved around.
  • Par for the course, Rayman has one of these as well, with the infamous level Eat At Joe's. As far as level design goes, it's not quite as maddeningly difficult as some of the other levels in the game, but only being able to see your immediate surroundings (or having to use your fist to see any further) makes it just insane. An undercover blackout basement no less, as when this game was released, most common computers could not run the game on the "high" graphics setting; the low reducing the blackout to just dim lighting of the level.
  • Impossible Mission II frequently had pitch black rooms that required the Light Bulb item to light the way.
  • The first half of Bright Man's stage in Rockman 4 Minus ∞. Mega Man generates light to see. Destroying the lightbulb enemies reduces the range of vision, while destroying the fireworks enemies increases it.
  • In the Flash Horror game The Bright in the Screen, two levels are dark except for a flashlight that shines if you click on yourself and a few words in white.
  • Rockman No Constancy has one section of Flash Man's stage. Particularly infuriating in that you can't see certain blocks (one of which blocks your jump) until the end of the section.
  • The Jetsons: Cogswell's Caper! had the Blast Furnace level, where you had to keep pressing switches to turn the lights back on.
  • In Atlantis no Nazo, several zones are pitch dark. There is no way to turn on the lights permanently, but, with the light bulb powerup, throwing bombs will do so for one moment.
  • Darkave in Something Else. The blocks light up the way for Luigi and the only enemies are basically a Palette Swap of the green blobs in Super Mario World.
  • "Boo! Haunted House" from The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures uses the spotlight variation.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures games:
    • In the NES game of the same name, at the beginning of the final stage, Montana Max's Mansion, Monty's butler Grovely will briefly turn out the lights.
    • In Babs' Big Break for the Game Boy, the basement of Acme Looniversity has a flickering light in an otherwise dark environment.
  • Some areas in Shovel Knight are in darkness, but are periodically illuminated by lightning strikes. Even entities like the player and enemies appear as only black silhouettes.
  • In Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi, the second-to-last stage "Into the Darkness" is a cave with bands of pitch-black shadows obscuring the view.
  • Astal has "Into the Darkness," an Underground Level where the lights continually fade out and return.
  • In Maldita Castilla, the second half of stage four is a dark cave in which the only source of light comes from a seemingly friendly creature who serves as a guide. Several of the dangers take the light out of his torch more frequently than directly harm the player.
  • Certain rooms in Blender Bros are dark. They can't be entered unless you use a Mini Bro named Neon. In Shelltarl they're required to enter to proceed, but in other worlds they just contain secrets.
  • Hollow Knight has many areas with varying degrees of darkness, from dimly lit to completely pitch black. The latter require the expensive Lumafly Lantern to explore — the player can enter without it, but will be limited to seeing a small circle around the Knight that makes effective platforming and combat impossible.
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps has the Mouldwood Depths, with the twist that remaining too long in the dark will kill you, so you have to stick near the glowing plants and fireflies to survive, and when those are unavailable, use the Flash spell. The Giant Spider boss, Mora, also uses the darkness against you when she Turns Red.
  • Ninjish Guy In Low Res World: Some levels are set in pitch black darkness, the only consistent light being around the Player Character. For the rest of the level, the lights flicker on briefly at regular intervals, giving you a limited view of the level.
  • In Marsupilami: Hoobadventure, the first Temple level has this gimmick, with a spotlight following the player and everything else hidden in the darkness.
  • The penultimate level of Heavenly Bodies is devoid of light outside of the first and last rooms, so you'll need to rely on the flashlight and your map to get around.
  • The Legendary Starfy:
    • Densetsu no Stafy:
      • The Deep Sea can get quite dark. Thankfully, Starfy can hit Lytes to make it easier to see.
      • One section of the Sea of Sky is a different variant of this; the room is normally pitch-black, but occasional flashes of lightning from Crabolt will illuminate it. You have to make your way around the room using the lightning to guide you.
    • In Densetsu no Stafy 3, parts of Gabun Ocean Trench are pitch-black until you hit a Lyte or use the submarine's lamp.

    Puzzle Game 
  • The Forest Quartet takes place entirely in a dark forest. However, you are a ghost in this one, so thanks to Supernatural Light your visibility is limited to a circle around you.
  • Limbo places with very little light and even a few secret places that are pitch black.
  • Scribblenauts has a background as well as a level that is a dark cave. Good thing you can just summon a sun to light the place.
  • In Tetris Friends, after reaching level 20 in Survival mode, the game enters a bonus round in which the stack flashes on and off. And before that, we have the completely-invisible bonus rounds of Tetris: The Grand Master 2 and 3, which can only be attained after fulfilling a series of very difficult requirements, In 2, you need to survive for one minute to get the Grand Master rank; in 3, the bonus round is an opportunity to boost your grade by clearing lines, but surviving it won't necessarily net you GM rank (there are far, far more difficult requirements for that).
  • In Xor, frowning masks turn off the lights when collected. Finding a second one turns them on again. While the lights are off, only the walls are hidden; everything else remains visible. Sometimes frowning masks are placed so you have to take them to complete the puzzles.
  • In Closure, the levels are inconsistently lit with a major twist: when something is not illuminated, it does not exist.
  • In 1000 amps the rooms are pitch-black when entered and must be lit completely for the room to stay lit.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures: Wacky Stackers, if you have six tokens in Vs. mode, you can darken your opponent's screen. Montana Max will appear and leave a little bit of it brightened by shining a flashlight.
  • Downplayed with the Dimensiov realm of Ball Revamped IV: Amplitude. You only see a small area around the ball. There's a Power-Up that lights up the room, but also a Poison Mushroom that takes away what little light you have.
  • The Castles of Doctor Creep have a few rooms with black floors. The only effect this has is to hide the positions of trap doors and conveyor belts.
  • Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary has Searchlight mode. In that mode, everything in the play area is completely dark, aside from the piece currently being placed and whatever the titular constantly-swaying searchlight is currently illuminating. It's up to the player to try and remember where the pieces they've already placed are.
  • Pode has sections where it's so dark that you can't get anything done with just Bolder alone; you need Glo to light the way.

  • The Binding of Isaac: Any floor with the Curse of Darkness will have severely reduced lighting other than a circle around Isaac* and sources of dynamic lightexamples. If you either use the major arcana XIX -- The Sun or pick up a Night Light, the Curse is lifted; the Night Light also downplays the Curse's effects if it shows up in a floor after the item is picked up thanks to the beam of light it emits.note 
  • In Crypt of the NecroDancer, this can be invoked in any area by using the Shrine of Darkness. Activating the shrine will cause every wall torch in the dungeon (and your own torch) to disappear, and forcably give you a Ring of Shadows that further reduces your field of vision. In exchange, the shrine will reward you with three bombs, as well as a compass and a map to help you navigate the darkness.
  • Death Road to Canada: a few locations, such as the Dark Mansion, Haunted Mansion and Spooky Graveyard or the sewers in the "River of Death" gauntlet event, have the time of day (as seen in the Zombie Forecast) set to TIME TO BUY A NEW WATCH in all capitals and flashing colors. In these conditions, it's virtually impossible to see anything on the screen without a flashlight on at least one survivor, and the time of day doesn't change, so you can't just wait for the sun to rise back up.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Pikmin:
    • Pikmin (2001): The Forest Navel, a huge subterranean area, is very dark outside of the landing spot, which is the only part lit by sunlight coming through an opening at its top. The rest of it is shrouded in murk outside of a circle centered on the player, which makes it easy for enemies and dangers to go unnoticed until they're quite close.
    • Pikmin 2: Caves are almost entirely shrouded in pitch blackness outside of a small circle centered on the player. Combined with the narrow confines and winding tunnels of these areas, exploration is typically a matter of carefully feeling one's way along the tunnels while trying to identify enemies and treasures hidden in the gloom. This lasts until you get the Stellar Orb — a lightbulb — after defeating the Man-at-Legs, which lights up caves and allows you to see your way around like normal.
    • Pikmin 3: Instead of being pitch black outside of a small section, underground areas are typically uniformly poorly lit. Most are simply a little gloomy, but the Vehemoth Phosbat's cave in the Distant Tundra is almost pitch black outside of the small pools of light shed by glowing fungi. While there, the player needs to hug the lit areas to avoid both the Vehemoth flying overhead and the swarms of juvenile phosbats that stalk the darkness, as they're both Weakened by the Light, while completing electrical circuits to light up the cavern, stun the Phosbat and kill it.
    • Pikmin 4: A handful of the caves are much darker than the standard in the game, with the Headlamp upgrade being recommended to enter them. The earliest of these dark caves that can be encountered is Sightless Passage, which has this and using glowing mushrooms as its main gimmick. The Below-Grade Discotheque also features lights that flicker on and off, with that cave having the game warn the player to obtain the Headlamp as well.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Etrian Odyssey:
    • Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl: The 27th floor has very poor visibility, only allowing you to see a maximum of one square ahead (as opposed to three or four, usually). It's also dotted with pitfalls that plunge you into the floor below, and that's lined with damage tiles to give you a hard time on the way back up. The floor has several torches that can deal with the poor visibility, but lighting them also attracts the attention of nearby FOEs.
    • Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan: A few areas on the second and third floors of the Hall of Darkness feature pitch black rooms with teleporter traps on the floor. In actuality, the safe places to walk coincide with the patches of poison on the floor in the adjacent rooms.
    • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth: The hidden west portion of 13F in Fetid Necropolis grants a very limited visibility due to the dark mist spewed by the Zombie Dragon. While the mist vanishes after the party characters walk a few steps, the monster will spew the mist again shortly afterwards. The darkness is so severe that, whenever Random Encounters ensue during its effect, all party characters will get the Blindness ailment since the first turn, forcing one of them to use an ailment-removing skill or item to cure it. Also, the mist is highly flammable, so if an enemy or party character uses a fire-based attack, it will ignite the mist and burn everybody, potentially killing the weakest or most vulnerable. Once the Zombie Dragon is finally met in person, it's not recommended to initiate the boss battle until the mist vanishes.
  • Pokémon:
    • The "Flash" attack is useful for lighting up dark rooms and caverns, though in a battle it's a generic status move which lowers the opponent's accuracy. The player may or may not be required to use Flash to navigate dark places, depending on the game; it's recommended either way, but if the player isn't prevented from entering dark places without Flash, they may opt to simply stumble around in the dark rather than waste a valuable move slot, especially if playing a game where there's a very small illuminated area around the player character even without Flash.
    • Brawly's Gym in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire/Emerald is a rare non-dungeon example, as it expands the player's view as you beat the Gym Trainers. Particularly interesting since his badge allows you to use Flash... the most likely explanation is that the trainers inside use Flash themselves, and are lighting up the way for you as a reward for beating them, so the final reward is suitably learning how to light up the way on your own.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield don't have Flash, but in Glimwood Tangle, which is incredibly dark, the player can touch bioluminescent mushrooms to light up the area for a while.
  • During the prologue in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Second Chapter, Estelle and Anelace arrive at the hideout building of the mystery soldiers that attacked their training spot, traversing through the dark basement requiring night vision goggles to get through while fighting enemies.
  • Altmiller Cave in Golden Sun. You can make use of Reveal to see more of your surroundings, though this probably isn't an intended use for the spell.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time: There are areas where the babies navigate dangerous mazes in dark zones with special lightblocks that keep going out. The safe rails are so narrow that even if you memorize the layout, you probably won't get far without the lights on.
    • Super Paper Mario: Underwhere Road. Once you've gotten Bowser back into your party, he can use his flame breath on the lanterns hanging on the walls to illuminate the entire screen. The lanterns will go out after a short while, however, requiring you to keep lighting more as you continue onward.
  • Tales of... series:
    • The Temple of Lightning in the Tales of Symphonia games has hallways like this, lit up only by the occasional flash of lightning.
    • The Bonus Dungeon in Tales of Phantasia has two such rooms, one of which is a maze that will sour your opinion of rocks and stalagmites:
      • The lower levels of the Morlia Mineshaft become so dark at some point one can barely see the protagonist and sometimes the outlines of the walls. Worse yet, most of the rooms are mazes that are guaranteed to make the navigation of the place far more difficult than anything encountered earlier in the game, not to mention all the powerful monsters lurking here. There's an option to use some of the light-generating items obtained elsewhere like the Green Torch and that Blue Candle even if that doesn't help much.
      • By comparison, the Cave of Darkness isn't THAT bad as it is fairly straighforward. The difference that the previously mentioned items are mandatory here as they must be used to solve the puzzles whithin, including the hardest puzzle in the entire game.
  • The first stage in Mega Man Battle Network 3: White and Blue has a variant of this, as the level (just like, oh, all of them in the entire series) is a computer system. Oh, and while the lights are off, you can't see the Mystery Data (it's there, just completely invisible).
  • Every Dungeon in Dragon Quest. Hope you purchased plenty of torches, because you're going to need them...
  • Barheim Passage in Final Fantasy XII, but only the first time you go through it, when you have to kill all the Battery Mimics chewing on the electrical wire.
  • Inverted in Apollo's world in Final Fantasy Legend II where there is a cave that's so bright that you need the TrueEye MAGI to see anything.
  • In Hydlide, many of the dungeons will be dark until the player finds the Lamp.
  • Queen Hospital in SD Snatcher.
  • Dark Souls:
    • The Tomb Of The Giants is pitch-black, requiring a special item to get a practical amount of visibility. It's also filled with tough monsters and Bottomless Pits.
    • Also, the Abyss. It doesn't get any blacker than this, unless you close your eyes. No point in bringing a light though, as it's just a huge void where you fight the Four Kings.
    • This trope is in play to various degrees throughout Dark Souls II, as a new element is carrying a torch, sacrificing the use of one hand for better visibility, longer lock-on distances, and the ability to light sconces. In practice, though, you can see most things even in dark areas without a torch, and this trope is really only used in a few areas—namely the Gutter, certain parts of the Black Gulch, and the Lost Sinner's Boss Room.
  • Hellpoint:
    • The maintenance tunnels in the Sohn District are extremely dark. The Architect who is guiding you suggests you use your own light or stay with him.
    • You can adjust the brightness of all lights in Irid Novo through the game's options menu. Playing the entire game with the minimum light level gets you a rare achievement.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Played straight in Morrowind, where the majority of dungeons are realistically dark. Sources of light are available to alleviate this, in both physical (torches, lanterns, candles, etc.) and magical (Night Eye, Light spells) forms, but all are finite. Physical sources of light are also held in your off-hand, preventing the use of a shield or two-handed weapon. Players quickly discovered that increasing the brightness settings on your monitor/television will also work in a pinch.
    • Played with in Skyrim; the player's eyes will realistically adjust to dark areas. You do have the option of using light spells or torches, but they're almost never necessary. The main difference between the Conan Hyborian Age mod and an unmodded Skyrim is that Conan Hyborian Age plays the trope completely straight. Most of the Hyborian Mound is filled with complete darkness, the only exceptions being either rare rooms with lit candles or braziers, or rare instances of rooms with holes in the ceiling. The mod's description even explicitely advices to bring torches.
  • Faria has dark mazelike caves where you need a flashlight running on limited battery power to see a small area around you, except when trapped in the constantly occurring Random Encounters.
  • A Blurred Line had the Dark Catacombs inside Eisen's simulation, where it's literally pitch-black, the darkness only abating for a second when you use Dalia's fire attack. You can permanently remove it by lightning a torch, but those aren't always present and are typically far away from the entrance.
  • Sore Losers had a level where you're required to perform an assassination for your two friends to carry you out of the city. Several buildings and sewers there are very dark, and there's rarely a light source available. This means you would struggle to find items and detect enemies, who, on the contrary, have no problem in finding you.
  • Undertale has one room where it is too dark to see where you are going without repeatedly turning on lanterns, which will only light up the room for a few seconds at a time. It doesn't help that this room's paths are set out like a maze, meaning it might take a few tries before you find the right path to the next room (Which is slowed by an occasional Random Encounter). Thankfully, the room is permanently lit after defeating that area's boss.
  • The basement of the school in The Caligula Effect is this, mostly for atmosphere. Aria justifies its inexplicable darkness compared to the rest of the school by explaining that when creating Mobius, they didn't have much data on schools with basements, so they instead used video games that have this trope as a template for the basement.
  • A few levels from the original Wild ARMs have this effect.
    • Go far enough into the Mountain Pass and the level will become so dark you will only be able to see about an inch around your lead character. Fortunately, this is where you find Jack's lighter and can light a few lamps in the indoor parts of the level... so you can better avoid the poisonous plants around the place.
    • The Ghost Ship had this as well to suit the spooky atmosphere. Unfortunately there are fewer lamps in this level and some parts had no lamps at all, so getting around required a little luck with Jack's grappling hook.
    • The Abyss. You technically can light lamps here, but that locks off the last part of the level, meaning you don't get to fight the Optional Boss Ragu Ragla.
  • Ys: The Abandoned Mine in Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen, Galbalan's Island in Wanderers from Ys/Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Limewater Cave in Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, et. al.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • The third stage of Cloud Cutter is set entirely at night, and you target enemies by shooting at mooks you can vaguely see in the dark, before locating them by their firing.
  • Jungle Strike features a mission played at night. It's almost pitch black except for when you shoot your weapons, leading to lots of random chaingun fire to see where you're going.
  • Star Fox:
    • In Star Fox 64, the underwater planet Aquas is very dark in many areas, requiring you to use the submarine's homing torpedos for light (unlike the bombs on the Arwing and the tank, you have an infinite supply).
    • Star Fox Adventures has the GrubTub cavern in ThornTail Hollow, as well as the pitch-dark entrance of Krazoa Palace and the gold mine beneath CloudRunner Fortress. In all cases, Fox has to use a luminous green Firefly to temporarily have some visibility; he can store the ones he collects within a special flask purchased in the Hollow's shop.
  • Level 4 of Shark Attack, the Command Center, has a lot of fun with this trope.
  • The first leg of the Fortress in Gradius III (arcade, PS2, and PSP versions) has the lights blink on and off. As usual, you have Deadly Walls everywhere.
  • Tempest: In levels 65 to 80, the playfield is all black. Lanes still light up if you're in them, or if a Pulsar zaps them.
  • In Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night, the Stage 2 boss Mystia Lorelei uses her "night-blindness power" during her last few spell cards. During these attacks, only a small area near the playable character is visible.

    Simulation Game 
  • Night missions in flight simulators such as F/A-18 Hornet. If you turn the brightness up, it becomes Hollywood Darkness.
  • In Fisher-Diver, the sea depths become progressively darker until your entire surroundings are pitch black, save for the immediate area around you and what's revealed by your flashlight.
  • In Roots of Pacha, some of the sections of the cave system are so dark, you can't use any other tool but your torch to light your way through. There are several empty torches dotted inside that you can light up permanently, while there are some areas in the cave where you're forced to navigate in the dark while transformed into Owl or Monkey.
  • The Trauma Center (Atlus) series has in the dark operations. You get your assistant to hold a flashlight on a specific area so you can see, but the batteries eventually die and your replacement light sources get worse and worse until all you have is a camera flash that only gives you a second to see where everything is.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has the cave you fall into after your duel with Ocelot. There are four ways to illuminate your surroundings. Two of them (a torch and a set of night-vision goggles) are old standards for this trope. The third is Snake's cigar, which won't provide nearly as much light as the torch, but will help a little. The fourth way is a classic example of the attention to detail that Hideo Kojima is known for: just wait a couple minutes and the area will gradually grow brighter, to represent Snake's eyes adjusting to the darkness.

    Survival Horror 
  • In Ao Oni, the basement is pitch-black. When the player first goes down there, they must search around until they find a candle to light. The entire time the lights are out, the sound of heavy breathing can be heard. Nothing's there when the lights come on, though...
  • The basement of House Beneviento in Resident Evil Village is well-lit at first, but the lights go out as you explore deeper; all you have for illumination are red emergency lighting and your pitifully weak flashlight. Things quickly get worse as a monstrous Fetus Terrible appears and stalks you through the darkness.
  • The Otherworld segments of Silent Hill are typically pretty darned dark. Not only is this used to add to the tension, but clever players can use this to their advantage in a few of the games:
    • Most enemies have worse senses in the dark than the player, so putting out your flashlight could help you avoid conflicts, typically with the nurse enemies which tend to not move at all until you either touch them or shine a light on them.
    • Equipping the Great Knife and dragging it with your flashlight off in Silent Hill 2 will make enemies actively avoid you, since they think you're Pyramid Head.
    • Silent Hill: Origins allows you to obtain a pair of night vision goggles that not only avert this trope, but also prevent enemies from seeing the light of your flashlight. Unfortunately to obtain them you must beat the game without using the flashlight for longer than 3 total hours, firmly making this a Bragging Rights Award (even more so in the initial PSP version, which was bright enough to make the flashlight unnecessary to begin with, coupled with the fact that all versions still let you pick up items and activate puzzles with the light off).
    • In the otherwise very difficult to navigate Otherworld segments of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, heading toward the nearest source of light (be it the moon, the only still-working street lamp, or even the headlights of a car) will always lead you toward the exit.
  • In Silence of the Sleep, there are a few areas in the game that are practically pitch-black, with only your flashlight able to penetrate the darkness.
  • In Monstrum, some lights flicker with little effect on the actual (low) lighting, but the lowest levels tend toward pitch-black or nearly so.
  • Paranormal HK, a first-person survival horror game, have levels where you're in dark, dank alleyways, and your flashlight is your only source of light.
  • The entirety of Perception (2017) is this. Cassie is blind, which means the world is shrouded in darkness by default. However, she can use echolocation to make her way around, which is visually represented by nearby objects lighting up.
  • In Tattletail you have a flashlight to see if the basement gets dark, but it goes out quickly and you have to shake it to light it up again, which makes noise and attracts Mama Tattletail. She can also drain your flashlight when she's nearby, so you sometimes have to make your way around in near pitch darkness.
  • FAITH: The Unholy Trinity:
    • The inner reaches of the Candy Tunnel in Chapter II are pitch black, so John needs to find a flashlight to proceed. It creates a good bit of tension when suddenly a demon starts harassing you from multiple sides and you can only see what little the flashlight illuminates in front of John.
    • Moloch's Navel in Chapter III is another pitch black location, where you need to find a lantern to see your way around. It has shorter reach than the flashlight seen in chapter II, but illuminates in a 360º radius around John, which is handy to see the demonic monstrosities sneaking up behind you.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Jet Force Gemini:
    • The second level of the Tawfret level has a very dark basement that requires Juno to use Flares or a restrained charge of the Plasma Shotgun to have some visibility. It is there where the missing parts of Floyd can be found for him to be repaired.
    • The Spacestation, being a wrecked Ghost Ship stranded in outer space (but not too far from Goldwood), is dark in many areas, only having a few corridors illuminated with residual electrical energy.
  • Resident Evil 5 has the pitch-black mine tunnels in Chapter 2-2, where either Chris or Sheva has to carry a very bulky searchlight to see by; it's so unwieldy that the carrier can't hold both it and a weapon at the same time, and has to rely on the unencumbered partner for defense.
  • The Syphon Filter series has a number of areas where it is pitch black or nearly so (e.g. Rhoemer's Stronghold after you kill the power, the dark highway tunnels in the second game, the last part of the Quarantine Zone in Omega Strain), requiring you to use the flashlight or night vision goggles, which the enemy also usually has. In the first three games, this is done automatically.
  • Everything or Nothing has several parts where you're required to use Thermographic Vision in order to see. Needless to say, darkened areas are often absolute hornets' nests, so it's a good idea to switch on BEFORE heading in. Also note: Q-Spiders don't have thermo-vision.
  • P.N.03 has a night mission in Level 8, where the only lights are searchlights that give you away to the sentry guns. Level 9 turns into one of these after the Load-Bearing Boss is defeated and the Self-Destruct Mechanism activates.
  • In Dead Space, some corridors have flickering lights or aren't lit at all, forcing Isaac to walk around with his weapon raised, using the flashlight on it to see by. Those parts are mostly absent of Necromorphs... mostly. Dead Space 2 and on offer not even that small reassurance, with Necromorphs frequently ambushing Isaac in murky rooms where the flashlight is indispensable. At least that means his weapon is also raised and ready to fire.
  • Chapter 3 of Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls begins on the top floor of Towa Tower, which turns pitch black. The Detect ability will help you locate footprints that guide you through the dark area.
  • The Very Definite Final Dungeon of D'LIRIUM is almost completely pitch black, meaning the player must rely on their Infinite Flashlight for light alone.
  • The nighttime level in Gears of War has the Kryll, who instantly kill anyone without a light source. Good thing that Stranded have scattered butane canisters all around the place.

    Turn-Based Strategy 

    Tower Defense 
  • Plants vs. Zombies: The final fog level has no actual fog, instead the level is hidden by complete darkness save for when lightning flashes.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • In Garry's Mod, the default map gm_construct has an underground dark room accessible via either a brick warehouse building, or a staircase embedded into one of the map's walls. It's meant for testing out lights, meaning that it has absolutely none already inside, requiring the player to either use their flashlight or place down lights/lamps via the Tool Gun.
  • Minecraft has no Hollywood Darkness; thus, you will need plenty of torches (or jack-o-lanterns) for expeditions into any cave that goes deep into underground, not just for visual convenience but also to ward off dangerous mobs.
  • Terraria:
    • All worlds require you to stock up on torches, flares and glowsticks for the first few times you go spelunking, since it can get really dark underground and natural light sources are few and far between, so it's easy to blunder into a chasm or bounder trap while fumbling about in the dark. By the time you get a good light pet, this stops being a problem.
    • "For the Worthy" and "Get Fixed Boi" worlds have the Dungeon and Jungle Temple reduce lighting while inside of it, the latter more than the former, making for a trip through dark passages even with torches placed around liberally. When fighting Golem in the latter location, the surroundings become even darker and he is capable of knocking torches out.
  • Both Endless Ocean games contain an abyssal zone — the Abyss in the first game, the Zahhab Depths in Blue World — which are lit by nothing but your portable flashlight, which doesn't have very much range. You'll often find yourself hugging the crevice wall and sea floor just to keep some sort of orientation during your dive.

    Real Life 

Bet your eyes hurt, eh?



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