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Cash Gate

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"Why should the hero have the whole world delivered to him on a well-garnished platter? These heroes think they can get away with shaking people down for free skills!"
Bestovius, Super Paper Mario

A Cash Gate is a character or other obstacle that makes you collect a certain (very large) amount of Global Currency before you can move on with the story. This can include paying some sort of fee, or purchasing an item that is needed for progression. The point of such assignment is to make sidequesting and exploration your main quest for a while.

The difference between 20 Bear Asses/Fetch Quest and this trope is that you only get bear asses from a certain source (e.g. slain bears), while money can be raised through any number of activities, giving you a much greater degree of freedom and diversity in gameplay. Additionally, having that much money at one time may put you into the dilemma of whether to advance the plot or to buy that Infinity -1 Sword lying on the shelf... and then spend many more hours raising the money all over again.

Upon completing the quest, your money may or may not be lost forever. Compare Fame Gate, Beef Gate, and You Require More Vespene Gas. Subtrope of NPC Roadblock.


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  • At certain points in Epic Mickey, you need to collect enough power sparks to open up projector screens to the next part of the main game.
  • Star Fox Adventures:
    • The shop mixes this with standard plot advancement by selling items necessary to continue the adventure for large quantities of scarabs, each of which requires a larger capacity than Fox originally has. He gets the larger scarab bags while going through the plot normally.
    • The game also features Bribe Claws, bad guy dinosaurs who will let you pass only if you pay them enough scarabs. However, there are only two in the entire game, you only have to pay them once, and you can completely avoid paying the second one thanks to a nearby rocket boost.
    • You must also pay a fee to open the gate in Light Foot Village that leads to Cape Claw. The required amount is 60 scarabs, which can only be afforded after the first wallet upgrade (in turn, this requires having retrieved the second Krazoa Spirit to the Krazoa Palace).
  • In Psychonauts, you must purchase a divining rod which allows you to find hidden caches of arrow heads, which in turn allows you to buy a mental cobweb remover, which you need to complete the level which will take you to the second half of the game.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda requires you to purchase food/bait (60 Rupees at the cheapest) and arrows (80 rupees) from the merchant. These items are needed to advance in dungeons.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: A early example is used when you have to pay 10 rupees to the monkey to accompany you (as long as you don't get hit) and another 100 to open the first Dark World dungeon's door. You also need to collect at least 500 rupees before that to be able to buy Zora's Flippers. You also need 100 to buy a super bomb to blow up a wall that contains the Silver Arrows.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening requires you to buy the bow for 980 rupees. Or you can steal it, if you don't mind never being able to return to the shop and the subsequent scarcity of arrows and bombs, lest you be killed if you try to enter the shop again, after which you're called "Thief" by the entire cast of characters permanently.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: You must buy your first shield, and having one is mandatory. Mido refuses to let you see the Great Deku Tree (and, by proxy, the first dungeon) until you have both a sword and a shield — while you find the sword in a chest, you have to buy the shield at the store.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The Gibdos in the Ikana Well require a multitude of different items before they will let you pass them. While most of the items they ask for are normal pickup that can be found throughout the overworld, one Gibdo requires for you to give him five Magic Beans (or one, in the 3DS remake), which must be bought. When you reach the end of the Well you'll reach the Ancient Castle of Ikana, which eventually requires you to use a Powder Keg; while you do get a free one that you can use to enter Romani Ranch, you must purchase another Powder Keg in order to break a ceiling and use the incoming light to unlock the path to the last Mini-Boss.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: You may not proceed to the final dungeon until you have paid a combined total of 3184 rupees to Tingle for him to decipher the charts showing where to find the sunken Triforce pieces. The HD remake considerably lessens that amount, as there are fewer charts to decipher.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • You need to purchase the Slingshot in Ordon Village in order to progress through the first part of the game.
      • After you restore light to Lanayru, you will regain control of Link in Lake Hylia. The only way out of the lake at this point is to pay Fyer so that his cannon can blast you back to Hyrule Field. Downplayed in that it only costs ten Rupees.
      • The first time Fyer sends you to Gerudo Desert is free of change; any future trips will cost you ten Rupees. Should you warp out of Gerudo Desert before first accessing a portal there, the only way back will require you to pay Fyer.
      • Played straight with getting to the City in the Sky. You must pay Fyer 300 Rupees so that he will fix the Sky Cannon, which is your only means of getting there.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: The game has a few instances of this, but mainly in the form of Link's arsenal: most of the his items, which are necessary for beating dungeons and traversing the overworld, must be purchased from Ravio. If you're confident in your ability to not die at any point in the game, you can simply rent the items instead for lower prices, though you trade-off the ability to upgrade them in the process.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: In order to get into Gerudo Town, Link must be Disguised in Drag using Gerudo garb. Link can only get this outfit by paying 600 rupees to Vilia.
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow has a variant. It is not required to progress through the game, but there are three rooms that require the last three digits of your money to be a certain value (eg. 666) in order for them to open. Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin uses this for a couple of the subquests too, but in this case you don't get any more map space for it, but quest rewards.
  • An Untitled Story features gates that can only be opened by giving crystals to a man in a toll booth nearby. The reason these gates exist is to force the player character to hatch (the player can't communicate with most NPCs until they hatch).
  • The Toy department in Stage 4 of Illbleed requires you to have a set amount of cash with you to enter. It's probably to make sure the player cleans out the villain's hidden vault, since it's difficult to proceed if you haven't gotten that money and impossible not to proceed once you have.
  • In Olympia Rising, you need to defeat enemies to collect enough coins for Charon to allow you to progress to the next stage. If you don't have enough by the time you meet him, he takes all of your coins anyway and forces you to start the level over.
  • In the first Devil May Cry game, some doors require a certain amount of red orbs to open. The first instance is downplayed as it requires 45 Red Orbs, but later sealed doors require hundreds. It returns for a while in Devil May Cry 2; the first sealed door in Lucia's first mission is also a downplayed example as it needs 45 Red Orbs to open. They are all but gone in the next games.
  • God of Thunder has gates marked with large dollar signs, which deduct 10 or 100 jewels from your total when you touch them. The game's second chapter features a room packed wall-to-wall with these gates, requiring you to plan the cheapest path through.

    Adventure Games 

    Edutainment Games 
  • In The Oregon Trail, you can either pay for the Barlow Toll Road (which has a couple dangerous hill sections in II), or you can take the hard route by rafting down the river.

    Hack and Slash 
  • No More Heroes and No More Heroes III: Each Rank Assassin fight requires the challenger (the protagonist Travis, this case) to pay a fee in order to unlock the stage where the next opponent awaits. The money can be earned by completing mundane side jobs or requested assassinations. The highest-ranked stages verge into Money Sinks, since you'll also want to spend money on various other goodies. This isn't necessary in the second game.

    Fighting Games 
  • Any challenge that you can't pass in the Mortal Kombat 9 Challenge Tower has a price in Koins to skip.

    Party Games 
  • Mario Party 8: To complete Goomba's Booty Boardwalk in Star Battle Arena mode, the player must collect 50 coins before they reach Captain Goomba. If they don't have enough, he will send them back to start to try again.

    Platform Games 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2's bonus stages, you need to collect a certain number of rings to continue along the path to the Chaos Emerald. Also, getting to the special stages that give you emeralds is done in a similar way in the first game, the second game, and Sonic Colors (the DS version).
    • Sonic Unleashed's most infamous feature was requiring coins to enter other parts of the game in order to complete the story. This was made more tedious and difficult by how sparse and hidden these coins were.
  • The Amazon level in DuckTales has one where you have to pay a statue $300,000 to make a platform appear to reach a vine (and if you die, you have to do it again), although this can be bypassed via a hidden shortcut or pogo-jumping off an enemy. This gate was not only removed in the remake, but you can even destroy the statue to gain $400,000 in return.
  • This is the main purpose of the aptly named Moneybags in the Spyro the Dragon series. At least it is up until Spyro: A Hero's Tail, where he's there to sell you items. The closest there to a Cash Gate is the locked gate in the beginning where Moneybags tells you to buy a lockpick to open it. Onward, lockpicks are used for chests.
  • In Ratchet & Clank (2002) and Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, you'll commonly be spending bolts to buy infobots that give you coordinates to new planets, as well as to buy some of the gadgets. This has mostly phased out of the franchise, however, with the recent games making you earn them instead. Lampshaded in the second game.
    Ratchet: What? Now even the computers are charging us? That's it, this place blows.
  • In DLC Quest, coins are used to buy Downloadable Content. Naturally, as a parody of games that implement DLC poorly, many areas of the game need DLC to access.
  • In Conker's Bad Fur Day, some characters ask Conker for a certain amount of money at key points of the game (namely $10 by Birdy, $1000 by two servants of the Panther King, and $2110 by a mysterious character hidden in a barrel). But whenever Conker gives away the money, some seconds later the money literally returns to him, so he ultimately manages to pass through the Cash Gates for free.
  • In Hollow Knight, the main path to Crystal Peak is through a toll gate that costs 50 Geo, but to see the mechanism, you first need to purchase the Lumafly Lantern for a staggering 1800 Geo. There's another path into the area, but it's both out of the way and requires you to complete the City of Tears and pick up the Ground Pound ability.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, you need to pay Klubba in Kremcoins in order to access the Lost World. This is not required to beat the main quest, but is needed for 102% Completion.
    • Similarly, in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, you need to pay Boomer with Bonus Coins in order to access the levels in Krematoa. As with the previous game, these levels are not required to beat the main story.
    • In Donkey Kong 64, a character by the name of B. Locker (yes even his name is a pun to his status) blocks the entrances to levels, forcing the player to have the require amount of Golden Bananas to pass by him. Unlike the examples above, you're not exactly paying to access the levels, but it still counts as you need to go out your way to collect Golden Bananas.
  • Crystal's Pony Tale: To move forward in a stage, Crystal must give up either 5, 10 or 15 horseshoes at checkpoints, depending on the difficulty.
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair features a literal example with Trowzer's Paywalls. In order to progress through the overworld, you must pay Trowzer in T.W.I.T. Coins in order to get through his Paywalls, which get progressively more expensive as you progress through the game. Can be seen as a Take That! towards games that charge for Downloadable Content or contain Microtransactions.
  • The hub world of Kao the Kangaroo Round 2 features a greedy pirate named Bossman, who guards a gate that leads to the final levels until you bring him 3,000 ducats. The gate is partially artificial, as there's no way to gather all the ducats before the game expects you to have them, as Kao gets two 1,000-ducat awards naturally (one from winning a boat race and another as treasure from a temple); you just need to have 1,000 of the remaining ducats in the game to move on from there.
  • Each level in SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom has a hungry clam that can be fed with Shiny Objects, either to open the way forward or just to access small side areas, depending on which level you're in. The level SpongeBob's Dream is especially notorious for having a series of expensive tolls that SpongeBob has to pay in order to progress. There's also Mr. Krabs, who will trade Golden Spatulas (the game's main objective) for increasingly large sums of Shiny Objects, though these are never required for anything other than 100% Completion.
  • Played straight and then mocked mercilessly in the console version of Shrek 2: a leprechaun runs an upgrade shop and appears in two levels asking for payment to progress. He then appears in the penultimate level demanding a billion coins, which you obviously won't have, only for Mongo to step on him, allowing Shrek and friends to continue freely.
  • Pizza Tower: In order to fight the boss of each floor, Peppino must pay Mr. Stick money earned from collecting Toppins to open their respective Boss Gates.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Two examples in DROD: RPG. Greckle gates (greckles being the in-game currency) take a small amount of money, and their purpose is usually just to make the player decide about small trade-offs (e.g. 10 greckles versus fighting one monster). Closer to the usual trope are scripted merchants who may offer keys, stat boosts or useful items for much larger sums.

    RPG — Eastern 
  • In Breath of Fire, there's a part where you have to pay 50k GP to proceed. It's unlikely that you would have the money by now, but there's a side quest to obtain a gold bar that sells for exactly 50k GP.
  • While you aren't asked for a specific amount, Chapter 3 of Dragon Quest IV qualifies, since near the end you must buy a large amount of weapons and armor, so you need to hoard a crapload of cash. Thankfully, Random Drops during the chapter are really, really good, helping a lot. Additionally, you need 35000 gp to open the store (though you can get 25000 by selling a statue), and you need 60000 gp to build the tunnel. There's a person that will buy a certain set of weapons/armors for 60000 gp. And your store that you opened lets you get more than double the normal amount of gp by selling items, meaning that you'll be scrambling to come up with something to buy with the excess cash (items from Chapters 1-4 carry over into Chapter 5, but cash doesn't).
  • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, you must collect 100 coins in the local currency (which is apparently worth a lot more than the Mushroom Kingdom's) to get past a tollbooth (the guard for which attacks you anyway).
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
    • Subverted during the Chain of Deals you go through in Chapter 7. Goldbob will only give you permission to use the cannon in Fahr Outpost if you agree to give him every last coin in your pocket, regardless of how much money you actually have. Once you pay Goldbob, he will admit that he was just bluffing about needing your money and return it, while still giving you his permission.
    • A straighter example is imposed by Zess T. The first time you attempt to cross over to the western side of Rogueport, you will inevitably step on and break a contact lens belonging to Zess T., who in turn will block your path until you buy her a new one. Downplayed in that the lens only costs 10 coins at the shop next door.
  • Super Paper Mario:
    • In Chapter 1-1, Bestovius will only bestow the much-needed Flip ability unto Mario if you agree to pay him 10,000 coins. Since this is near the beginning of the game, when you'll likely have next to no coins on you (as well as the fact that you cannot possibly hold more than 999 coins), Bestovius will instead lower his price to every coin in your pocket. If you hold out on this second offer, Bestovius will give Mario the Flip ability for free, subverting this trope.
    • In Chapter 2-3, you need to make 1,000,000 rubees by working in a generator room after breaking one of Mimi's vases. In actuality, this merely involves raising around 1000 rubees to get access to the more lucrative work room, and then to buy the password to the vault which contains the remaining cash for 10,000 rubees. And the password is always the same regardless of which copy you play, so if you know it, you can always skip the whole sequence.
    • In Chapter 4-2, you’re required to purchase a clue to work out how to advance to the next area. Even if you already know the clue, you still need the scroll it’s written on so that your next party member can use it for toilet paper, which also frees up the restroom for Squirps, your sidetracked alien guide. Like with Bestovius, you can and must barter the price down to make it more affordable.
  • In Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, paying off Recette's Disappeared Dad's debt is one of these. Failing to make a repayment is still the Game Over condition, but the game allows you to begin the New Game Plus nonetheless — in fact, it's very difficult (but not quite impossible) to complete the game without doing this once. Clearing the Cash Gate by making the final repayment unlocks Endless Mode, where the game continues without the money pressure, allowing you to focus on dungeons and plot; and Survival Mode, where the debt constantly ramps and can't ever be fully paid off.
  • In Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, there's one part of the game where Jusqua has to raise 10,000 gil in order to restore Princess Aire, who got turned into a cat, even though he's got the wrong cat. To help with this, at this point you have the option to open your own shop and, fortunately, Karl Marx DOESN'T hate your guts!
  • Final Fantasy VII requires at least two trips to the Gold Saucer, and you have to pony up 3000 gil for admission each time. It's possible to buy a lifetime pass for 30,000 gil as well, which lets you come back as many times as you want without paying admission ever again.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, you need 3000 gil to ride the train to Timber and another 3000 to get to Deling City. Why SeeD doesn't spring this fee for you, considering it's a very high-profile mission, we're not sure.
  • Final Fantasy XII gets on with this in Archades where you have to pay an NPC and then do an obligatory and somewhat boring quest for them to progress with the story.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, after Vyse and friends are reunited, they decide to start building their home base on the island Vyse got stranded on, and upgrade their new ship's engines and hull to withstand stronger currents and debris fields. Both are done at the same time, and cost 100,000 gold for the upgrades and base. Fortunately, the dungeon you previously completed yields a valuable doubloon of a legendary pirate that sells for 20,000 gold, and the monsters in the skies around the home base act as miniature Money Spiders.
  • Boat trips in Tales of Phantasia cost money regardless of plot importance, and they are required at some points.
  • Between chapters in Tales of Xillia 2, Ludger will need to pay off a part of his massive 20 million gald debt before the story will progress. It mostly serves as a way of encouraging you to complete some of the game's many sidequests, as they provide plenty of money.
  • The Ginza area of Shin Megami Tensei IV features a section ruled by the Ring of Gaea that believes money is a form of power, restricting access to the spawning grounds of the most valuable Shop Fodder of the game and the shops stocking the best weapons and armor. To unlock them, you have to seek Hunters willing to sell you their access cards, and each is keenly aware of how much their cards are worth. In total, 155,000 Macca are required to purchase the necessary cards... after which the game will slap you with the obscene prices of every one of the stores.
  • In Persona 3, you need to pay Tanaka a total of 40,000 yen - one installment of 20,000 yen and two more installments of 10,000 yen- to access the Devil Confidant. Unlike Chihaya from P5, Tanaka never returns the money, but offers you advice as "compensation."
  • Persona 5:
    • In order to progress Chihaya Mifune's Confidant rank, a 100,000 yen holy stone must be bought from her. While she returns it later on, its quite the investment, especially in the early game.
    • Every meeting with Sadayo Kawakami costs 5,000 yen, whether you rank up or not, because it involves hiring her for a "maid cleaning service". The exceptions are Ranks 7 and 10.
  • Kingdom Hearts II: In day 2 of the "tutorial" section of the game (set in the simulated Twilight Town), Roxas and his friends try to earn Munny for a trip to the beach, and have about six different mini-games they can play to earn the cash. Unusually for the trope, you can get past this day by earning as little as 50 Munny; there's also a maximum cap of 1850, and earning that much immediately moves the plot forward. However, no matter how much Roxas earns, it all gets taken away at the end (though it's given to Sora later on).
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2:
    • Several blades require spending quite a bit of money directly (Sheba) or raising a lot of money to buy a large number of objects (Adenine and Boreas) in order to fill out their affinity charts and make their sidequests available. Sheba in particular requires a ridiculous amount of money, needing to pay 500,000 gold just to add her to the team and a further 1,000,000 to unlock every part of her affinity chart. This doesn't actually serve as a money sink, as you can get back all but 250,000 of the gold spent on her through talking to the shop keeper who sold her core crystal and finishing her quest.
    • In the DLC Torna the Golden Country, you'll run into this if you're trying to 100% the Community. One Community Member is the Noppon Halfsage. In order to get him to join, you need to defeat four Golden Monsters. These monsters will not spawn until you buy the maps to their locations off of the Halfsage and buying all four of them costs a grand total of 750,000 gold.
  • Pokémon Red and Blue:
    • In order to get into Saffron City, you'll need to give one of the guards a drink. The only way to get a drink is to purchase one from a vending machine in Celadon City. Fortunately, these drinks are fairly cheap. The remakes avert this by instead making you bring the guards some tea, a key item that you get for free.note 
    • In the Safari Zone is HM03 (Surf), as well as the gold teeth, which you can give to the warden in exchange for HM04 (Strength). Both of these HMs are needed to beat the game. Whenever you enter the Safari Zone, you need to pay an entrance fee. While the fee to get in is a paltry 500 pokedollars, in Red and Blue it's entirely possible for a particularly financially irresponsible player to prevent themselves from progressing in the game by using up all their money, throwing away all their sellable items and defeating every possible trainer, which will exhaust every method of making money. While this is a scenario that someone would almost certainly have do to themselves deliberately, it was partially fixed in Yellow, where a player with no money would be allowed to enter after talking to the receptionist several times, albeit with only a single Safari Ball.
  • In Pokémon Gold and Silver, Team Rocket is hanging out in a gatehouse on Route 43, and will force you to pay $1,000 every time you enter it. Fortunately, there is a path you can take that bypasses the gatehouse, although it does have tall grass you'll need to traverse. Once you chase Team Rocket out of Mahogany Town, they will also leave the gatehouse.
  • In Pokémon X and Y, you are forced to pay $1,000 in order to enter the Parfum Palace. However, if you don't have enough money, the guard will let you in for free.
  • In Yakuza: Like a Dragon, later on in the game Ichiban is required to come up with 3,000,000 yen in order to fund an election campaign, with the justification that other wealthier characters are either criminals with dirty money as well as being in dire straits that prevent them from personally putting up funds.

    RPG — Western 
  • In Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, you have to collect 20,000 gold pieces to pay the Shadow Thieves (or vampires) for breaking Imoen out of Spellhold. It gets reduced to 15,000 when the Shadow Thieves realize that you have a competing offer. Curiously, this happens the very moment you have 15 grand on your person for the first time while returning to Athkatla.
  • There is a minor cash gate on Taris in Knights of the Old Republic. To slice open the entrance to the Sith Base and advance the main quest, you need to purchase T3-M4, an advanced utility droid, for 2000 credits. You can lower that price to 1500, but it is still a considerable sum of money to give away at that point in the game.
    • The same thing happens on Telos station in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. If you want to buy the czerka technican's pass codes off him you'll need 2500 credits. If you want to be light side, otherwise you can just kill him and take it.
  • In Dragon Age II, you need to gather 50 sovereigns to finance Bartrand Tethras' expedition to the Deep Roads, which finishes Act I. This money is returned to you at the start of Act II. Interestingly, you can fail at this. Since there is only a finite amount of money to be had in Act 1 (~80 gold, unless using Runes of Fortune or other exploits), if you finish all the side quests but come up short because you bought too much stuff, an honest dwarf investor will offer to make up the difference. In Act II, he tries to extort you for more money, so you get to kill him.
  • There's a character in Neverwinter Nights - Hordes of the Underdark that knows and sells true names. You are only required to get Reaper's true name so that he teleports you to the main boss because the boss also knows his true name and specifically forbid him from doing so. However, you can buy lots of other true names, some of which don't do anything (apart from giving you dialogue options), but with enough gold on hand you can even buy the main boss in question's true name and tell him to kill himself or return to the hell from which he came.
  • Getting the Golden Ending in Fable III demands this: as King, your royal treasury is spent either on repairing the damage your predecessor did to the kingdom or equipping your army for the final battle against the Darkness. To manage both, you have to donate an immense amount of money from your personal funds.
  • Fallout: New Vegas requires you to have 2000 bottle caps on your person in order to enter the Strip, or pay 500 caps to purchase a forged passport (which can be negotiated down to 375 with a high enough Barter skill). Or hack the securitron that checks you with a high enough Science skill. Or curry a favor from the local gang leader for a fake passport. Or sneak aboard the McCarran monorail. Or pass aboard the monorail with enough NCR reputation or in Boone's company. Or shoot the robot-guards in the face with a hunting rifle.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In Morrowind, advancing to the highest ranks in any of the Great Houses requires building a stronghold. In all three cases, a payment of 5000 gold is required, though in different ways depending on the House (it's a straight payment of 5000 gold for construction costs in Redoran's case, purchasing a land deed in Hlaalu's casenote , while in Telvanni's case it is tower and guard construction costs for the first stronghold upgrade instead of the base stronghold). In the case of Great House Telvanni, you have to provide two filled Grand Soul Gems to initiate construction.note  Empty Grand Soul Gems aren't all that expensive, but no vendors have restocking supplies in the vanilla game. (The Tribunal expansion adds one.) A few vendors do sell already filled grand soul gems...which cost in the range of 60,000 gold.
    • Oblivion:
      • In order to get master level training in mercantile, you have to have 10,000 gold on your person. However, the master trainer doesn't take the gold from you, she just wants you to have it to prove yourself worthy as a student.
      • To advance in the Thieves' Guild questline, you must earn money though thefts (i.e. case an NPC or house, rob them and sell their stuff to the guild's fence). As with the mercantile example above, this is just to prove yourself and they don't take any money from you.
      • If you get kicked out of any of the guilds for whatever reason (usually for stealing from, attacking a fellow member, or sleeping in an owned bed), you then have to perform a sidequest that involves either 20 Bear Asses or this trope to get back in.
    • Skyrim:
      • Several bandits try to invoke this on you with a "user's tax". You can either pay the "tax" or smash their heads in.
      • Several of the quests in Skyrim can only progress if you fork over a considerable sum of money. Sold the scroll to Urag at the end of the main quest? Gotta pay up almost 50% more than what he gave you to get it back for Dawnguard.note  Want the title of Thane? Gotta buy some property (usually starting in the thousands). The side quest ones will likely hinder you for the majority of the game, but once you've reached a high enough level, flawless gems and dragon bones will pave your way, since they sell for thousands and are very common at higher levels.
      • In the Dragonborn add-on, the quest "Unearthed" is essentially a series of these under the guise of funding the excavation of a Nordic crypt. Finance the dig, kill the Draugr that the miners have disturbed, and repeat about 3 or 4 times, with each required sum of gold being somewhat more costly than the last.
      • If the player wishes to become Thane of The Rift, Eastmarch, Haafinger, or The Reach, they must buy the property for sale in the capital of said hold - not so bad in the case of The Riftnote , a bit challenging in the cases of The Reachnote  and Eastmarchnote , but very hard for Haafingernote .
  • In Mass Effect, you have to get the "Rich" Achievement to unlock the Master Spectre gear. Said achievement is awarded for having a whopping million credits in your purse at once. It also overlaps with a subtle Beef Gate later on: to get even better Spectre gear, you need the "Rich" Achievement and level 50 characters.
  • Dead Rising 2 Off The Record has a section where T.K. kidnaps Rebecca in retaliation for Frank foiling his robbery and demands $1 million in twelve hours. Frank can get it back if he takes down T.K.'s chopper in a later chapter.
    Frank: "How am I supposed to get a million dollars?"
    T.K.: "This is the land of opportunity, Frankie!"
  • In part one of A Dance with Rogues, the "Blackmailed" sidequest has a bounty hunter extort 50,000 gold from you or he'll turn you in (thankfully, it only seems to trigger if you have about 50k already, and your boss gives you some cash, as well — but the money is never returned to you, even if you find and kill the blackmailer later). Another sidequest, in Ravenstown, can only be started if you have 20,000 gold in your purse, but thankfully, you never have to actually give them away.
  • A large part of Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall is spent earning enough money to purchase vital information about the Big Bad from the local Knowledge Broker.
  • Essentially the object of the game in the DLC Quest duology, as you need to use in-game currency to buy certain features, that will allow you to access new areas, from a weapon to the ability to jump. In the first game, the seemingly useless "horse armor" isn't just a Take That! to the infamous Oblivion DLC, but it's also necessary to avoid getting the bad ending, since it prevents your horse from dying while Taking the Bullet for you, enabling it to kill the villain.
  • Traveling to the Skellige Isles in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt costs 1,000 crowns. A new player won't have this kind of extra money for a while, and by the time you're able to afford the fee, you're the right level for Skellige anyway (and likely in the correct place in the narrative as well). Upon reaching Skellige, it's even possible to get your money back by finding the corpse of the ship captain you paid near the shores where you crashed.
  • In Act 2 of Cyberpunk 2077, you have to pony up 15,000 eurodollars for Rogue, Queen of Fixers, to track down Anders Hellman, whose knowledge is needed to advance the main plot. By that point in the game, however, that sum should be relatively quick to procure. Earlier in Act 1, you also have to pay off your debt to your ripperdoc Victor (€$21,000), but doing so has no real advantages except for unlocking Vic's cyberware store and no impact on later story events.
  • This applies in The Outer Worlds for both major storylines in some way or form, both involving black marketeer Gladys.
    • In the Phineas path, in order to get a Navkey to Stellar Bay, the main city of Monarch you have to pay her 10,000 bits. She'll give you a few missions that can let you scrounge up the money to do so but unless you pass a 100 Persuasion check you'll still have to cough up the money. Alternatively you can still go to Monarch but by default you'll land near an enemy-infested area and have to trek your way to Stellar Bay.
    • In the Board path you'll have to pay her 8,000 for Udom Bedford's Board Seal. While this is relatively optional since the opportunity to work for the Board can come later it's one way of getting an early pass to Byzantium (typically only accessible in the second half of the game).
  • The JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Fan Game Your Bizarre Adventure ultimately downplays this trope. Midway through the story, the player character is tasked with collecting $5,000 to pass off as Passione's fortune. It's ultimately downplayed, since the player never actually gives the money to them – by the time they acquire it, Trisha informs them of another problem that's cropped up and sends them to deal with that instead.
  • OMORI, at one point, makes you pay a toll for several gates, with each new gate costing more money. However, the last of these gates can be circumvented by going through a side path, although that side path is full of enemies and a boss fight.

    Stealth Game 
  • Done subtly in the Thief series: in order to clear a level and thus to advance the story, you usually have to collect a certain difficulty level-based percentage of all valuables found in it. The valuables are translated into money after you leave, which can be used to purchase new equipment in-between missions.

    Strategy — Real-Time 
  • A mission in Warcraft III requires the player to harvest 10,000 lumber to proceed to the next mission. Similarly, a mission in the original Starcraft had Zerg, Protoss and Terrans team up to loot a Kel-Morian Combine harvesting facility for minerals. You could either harvest it normally, or spend some of it to raid enemy encampments for more.
  • They revisit this again in several StarCraft 2 Missions, such as Redstone, where you have to raise money in addition to being hounded by enemies. Either Spend the money now to save your skin and help expand, or hoard it to reach the goal faster (however, there are usually money pickups across the map, which would make it much easier to just spend all your money and go on an ass-kicking spree).
  • Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood has, for a good two thirds of the game, the main task of gathering 100,000 pounds to pay for King Richard's ransom. Thankfully, if you have spent too much money on bribing guards or buying hints and finished the main game quests while well short of that sum, the game lets you play infinite minor sidequests until you can afford to advance the plot.
  • One of the missions in the Hun campaign from Age of Empires II was to gather a large amount of gold. The only problem? There aren't enough goldmines on the map, so you have to harass the city of Constantinople and they'll give you a tribute to make you leave. Or you can build a huge army and raze Constantinople to the ground.
  • One of the Trade Federation missions in Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds wants you to gather 10,000 Nova Crystals by attacking the enemy and pillaging their reserves. An easier method is to trade with your ally on the map. Of course that takes a long time.

    Strategy — Turn-Based 
  • Heroes of Might and Magic 3 has the second mission of the neutral campaign, where you're required to gather 200,000 gold to advance. The justification is fundraising for a land-grabbing campaign. It's possible to gradually raise the money over time, or invade the rival player's territory and access the Border Guard, which grants you access to a large amount of gold in your territory.

    Survival Horror 
  • In Ultimate Custom Night, four animatronics (Rockstar Freddy, Circus Baby, Nightmare Bonnie, and Nightmare Mangle) require FazCoins, which you can gain by searching the cameras or blocking animatronics from getting into the office, to be placated. Fail to do so, and you get jumpscared. However, there are alternative methods for getting past them, which are risky but often necessary (especially if you're playing 50/20 Mode). Rockstar Freddy will occasionally demand 5 coins, and he can either be paid or forced to malfunction by using the heater, which will make him think he's been paid (but the heater will agitate other animatronics). The other three will stop their attacks if you buy their plushies- or, since they share the same attack pattern, you can stunlock them by keeping the correct camera on at all times (but beware that other animatronics need camera attention too, so unless you're playing on really high difficulty it's probably best to just buy the plushies).

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Grand Theft Auto III features two storyline missions that requires certain amounts of money to be unlocked. The first one is "Bomb Da Base Act II", which requires $ 100,000 for 8-Ball to make the explosives necessary for it. Later there's the final mission "The Exchange" which requires $ 500,000, the money is for Maria's ransom.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: You need to buy property to progress in the game, and said property is very expensive. If you spent too much bucks on guns or safehouses and failed to buy the building that allows you to participate in street races... well, it's easier to start the game from the beginning. And even if you bought it, it won't be pretty anyway. There is still one business you can obtain via the storyline in order to gain a cash flow, but its final mission is a pain in the ass.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a similar situation to Vice City — you need to buy an abandoned airfield to train your piloting skills and advance the main plot. The guy who tells you to buy it says you can blackmail the owners into selling it for a dollar, but you really have to pay 80 grand for it.
  • Endless Ocean Blue World does this. After the initial foray into the sunken temple, the cave is closed by an earthquake. You must raise 1 million Pelagos with guided trips, treasure hunting, photography, dolphin shows, the rare fresh fish, and so on to open the cave again.
  • Boiling Point: Road to Hell had a small number of story missions and a huge open world containing multiple factions with their own side missions. In general, the story missions asked for large quantities of money and the player was free to earn it however they wanted to advance the plot.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, one of the story missions requires you to raise 15000 drachmae in order to pay a mercenary for information about your mother's whereabouts. She at least guides you to various local ways to get money.
  • The Simpsons: Hit & Run has several story missions, at least one per chapter, where the player is required to purchase a specific car or clothing before being able to attempt the mission. The reasons given range from passable note  to downright ridiculous. note 
  • Yakuza has a sequence in Chapter 7 where you need 100,000 yen to get into a gambling house. This is not a game where money is hard to acquire, though - a player who goes through most of the sidequests up to that point should have funds in the low millions. You also get it back not long after, following the usual plot progression for Like a Dragon.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • In Time had excessive border tolls for moving between districts, which were larger for entry into richer areas and designed to keep poor people walled in. However, they were less than welcoming to people who did make it through.
  • In Real Life, there's a building owned by Morgan Meighen & Associates, where you need $1 million to proceed beyond the soft yellow interior.
  • Ever wanted to own a house? Or take an academic course? Wanted to get yourself your own car? Then you know this is Truth in Television.
  • Toll booths are literal cash gates. While you're likely be allowed to pass through anyway if you can't cover the funds, you'll still be billed for it via mail and possibly suffer an additional fee in fines.
  • The pinball machine for Congo has Diamonds as its central mechanic. You earn Diamonds for a variety of different things, and in doing so, gain access to more modes, including its Wizard Mode.
  • From SCP Foundation, in SCP-1549 a programmer shares his internet based portal network to The Foundation and is willing to cooperate. But instead of enjoying the beautiful webpages as intended, they are very uncooperative and rebuilds the network for the purpose of globally transporting resources. Eventually leading to war. At the end the creator gives up and blocks all the portals with a paywall requiring 10E10^100 USD in physical payment.
  • In El Goonish Shive, during the "Parable" storyline, Arthur names the price for Grace's services at 100,000 gold... but Susan makes more than 3 times that every 5 minutes.
  • In The Container, the truck driver stops the journey, and refuses to continue until each passenger pays him $50. And this is after the Agent negotiates him down from $100.


Video Example(s):


Shogun Studios

To get into Shogun Studios, you need to pay for a pass. There is the one-time Commoner Pass and the more expensive infinite-use Royalty Pass. The Royalty Pass also grants access to prizes and chests required for 100% completion.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / CashGate

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