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Continue Your Mission, Dammit!

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Ross: So my brothers-in-arms keep taking down these Nazis, but at one point the leader has something important to tell me.
Erik: B.J.! We need you defending us with the MG 42!
Ross: What? Did you say something?
Erik: B.J.! We need you defending us with the MG 42!
Ross: I— I didn't catch that. What?
Erik: B.J.! We need you defending us with the MG 42!
Ross: Okay, I heard "B.J.". I didn't catch the rest of it.
Erik: B.J.! We need you defending us with the MG 42!
Ross: Oh, the gun! You want me to use it?
Erik: B.J.! Man the machine gun and take out the incoming—
Ross: Yeah, yeah. You don't have to tell me twice.

Video games often suffer from a lack of a real sense of urgency, which can be jarring when the enemy's supposed to be rolling up in their supertank or the evil sorcerer taking over all the lands of the world by midnight. You don't want to use an actual timer to make the player advance since that can be frustrating, you'd have to be a total jerkass to just suddenly tell the player "oh, looks like the Big Bad finished taking over the universe while you were dawdling about, Game Over" and actually creating a branch into the plot where the villain succeeds without ending the game is just too much what can be done?

Well, one modern solution is to have the player be radioed or otherwise contacted constantly by a support character to provoke a false sense of urgency. Even when there's no hurry for you to get the C4 and blow up that door, you'll still be reminded of it every ten seconds or so, apparently on the basis that you might have forgotten. In particularly severe cases, there will also only be a handful of possible "hurry up" messages repeated endlessly. In some cases, the reminders are needed if the player gets off track too much or gets heavily distracted and forgets about the main objectives. Still, no matter how little or how long they take, they always make it with hardly any time to spare.

The trope is generally a combination of a slightly overbearing help system and an attempt to avert Take Your Time; typically, the result only emphasizes that there's no hurry, since the player is likely to rapidly realise that nothing will happen if they don't hurry up other than that they'll become progressively more irritated with the support character reminding them. In less severe cases, the character might simply remind them of an optional gameplay mechanic during any downtime; this is most common in Wide-Open Sandbox games.

Frequently used in modern "realistic" linear shooters. Usually used to keep the player on-task so they don't scour the map looking for secrets that don't exist and encounter an Invisible Wall or the Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence. Can easily result in the player failing an actual Timed Mission since the game has been Crying Wolf so much they're used to not taking it seriously. Alternatively, this can be averted by providing a time limit so long that it will never be relevant if the player is actually trying. See also Annoying Video Game Helper, for when this occurs when something is happening or when the game nags the player too much into completing their objectives.

A staple of Beat 'em Ups as a whole is the ubiquitous "GO!" arrow that appears when you clear a screen to push you forward to the next encounter. This is a side-effect of the nature of arcades (the longer you spend at the controls, the more money isn't being put into the machine so any action to encourage the player to always be on the move is essential).

A nightmare when combined with Now, Where Was I Going Again?, where you're told to hurry up but not told where to go. For cases where the nagging voice results in something more than just a mere annoyance coming after you, see Stalked by the Bell. Compare Anti Idling, for when the player is doing nothing at all and the game tries to hurry them up with punishment instead of nagging.


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    Action Adventure Games 
  • Batman: Arkham City has a case done by the villain, as while Batman is forced to take out a bevy of snipers outside the Monarch Theater, the Joker will constantly taunt him regarding how he has Talia al Ghul hostage and the Dark Knight better take his time in joining in.
  • This happens in Beyond Good & Evil towards the end in the Space Battle on the surface of the moon. It's a radically different game mechanic and one of the climaxes of the game, and can go on indefinitely, but will your team-mates just shut up and let you enjoy the Moment of Awesome? No. They'll even wrest the controls from your grasp and drop you near the landing strip every so often.
  • At one point in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Gabriel has to collect four crystal shards... Something which side character Claudia will endlessly remind him of.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Navi from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time constantly chimes in, urging Link to travel to the next place. On the other hand, her interruptions do overlap with "helpful" hints as to where to go next.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The game does, in fact, give players a timer in the form of a clock, counting down exactly how long one has until the Moon falls onto the world. Ironically, Tatl only reminds Link of his mission to find the Skull Kid during the first three-day cycle, likely because they won't need to worry about hurrying up after learning the Song of Time.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Done in the City in the Sky dungeon. You're urged to hurry up because the place is under attack by Argorok, and as you explore you get to watch said monster fly around and trash the place. You're not actually timed, but it's probably the first dungeon in Zelda history to actually create a sense of urgency without some kind of timer.
  • In Monster Hunter: World, you'll keep getting audio reminders of your next Assigned Mission from the NPCs every time you enter one of the hub areas. It eases up on this in later high-ranked missions, probably because you'll need to take your time grinding for monster parts and leveling up your gear if you want to take on some of the tougher monsters, such as Nergigante and the other Elder Dragons.
  • In the first level of Psychonauts, the coach's taunts throughout the obstacle course regarding how slow you are. It doesn't matter how fast or slow you complete the level, as either way you'll keep hearing him telling you you're slow and be the first to finish.
  • Shadow of the Colossus features a minor example; if Wander is taking his time killing a Colossus, Dormin will chime in with a cryptic clue regarding the boss' weakness. If he takes longer, Dormin will chime in with a much, much less cryptic clue.

    Action Games 
  • You could say that this is endemic to the Beat 'em Up genre, especially arcade games. Dawdle on a screen too long fighting baddies or just standing around, and you'll get a prompt on the screen telling you to move on in the stage. Some games reserve this notice as a means of telling you when you're actually done fighting everything off, not letting the screen advance until it triggers.
  • This is the worst part of the game Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2. Throughout the last half the player's commander constantly appears on a video screen to remind you to "Stop that nuke, dammit!" As if you had forgotten. The worst part is that the constant berating and atrocious voice acting mar a game that is otherwise darn near perfect.
  • This trope gets played with in an early part of God of War, where Kratos is tasked with saving the Oracle of Athens. When you finally catch up to the harpies that have carried her off, they drop her and leave her hanging from a rope high above the hard ground of the temple courtyard. She yells at you constantly to get her down while you are getting the items lying around that "Athens crumbles as you waste time", but there are no ill consequences if you Take Your Time. That is, until you reach a certain point of the platform hopping sequence. She suddenly starts to lose her grip and it becomes a Timed Mission where her pleas take on a new urgency.
  • Used, but not in a bad way, in MadWorld. The announcers and Agent XIII will chime in if you take too long getting to a goal (the boss, Bloodbath Challenges, etc.). However, they'll wait several real-time minutes before they say anything (and XIII will give you a hint as to where it is, since odds are the player's gotten lost).
  • In Smash TV, if the player remains idle after clearing a room, a spiked floating ball will appear and swiftly kill the player. In the sequel Total Carnage, if the player is idle too long, a giant time bomb will drop in the area and kill the player after it explodes.
  • Star Wars: Battlefront will punish people who try to leave the boundaries of the map by insta-killing them. However, if one has the Invincibility Cheat activated, they can explore the featureless landscape beyond the map's border.

    Adventure Games 
  • Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail!: The HMS Bouncy's announcer will gradually goad you to do various things to keep the plot rolling, including entering the ship's lounge to start the contest, or entering Captain Thygh's cabin when you win said contest. Wait around long enough and he'll start yelling at Larry (and by extension, you) personally.
  • The Limbo of the Lost chapter "The Machine" has you doing repairs for the Janitor while he constantly nags you to hurry up. These obviously occur at timed intervals, as they can interrupt his own intercom announcements, but it's impossible to get through any one task fast enough for his liking.
  • In The Space Bar, if you're ever taking too many turns to make progress in the game, you'll start either getting messages from your police chief boss or your partner being held hostage, or creepy taunts from the Big Bad doing the hostage-holding.
  • The Narrator in the The Stanley Parable will sometimes urge Stanley on if he loiters around in one place for long enough. The biggest example is in the HD Remix version, where if Stanley stands around in a particular broom closet for long enough the Narrator starts telling the player that, really, there's nothing in the broom closet and there's no reason to be in there. Then he starts getting angry and hurling insults at Stanley. Then he assumes that the reason Stanley hasn't left the closet is because the player controlling him has died, and tries to get the attention of anyone else nearby to continue the game.
    • Another HD Remix example is in one of the endings, where the Narrator suffers a breakdown when the player is separated from Stanley, leaving him standing immobile in front of the first fork in the game while the player is stuck in the ceiling watching the whole thing.

    Beat 'em Ups 
  • The Simpsons: After a while, morphs into Stalked by the Bell. Lollygag for too long while the "GO!" finger is urging you on and eventually it'll tire of your lethargy and flick you forward (which doesn't even move you forward, it just hurts you)!
  • Whack: In "Whack Your Boss", if you delay, a message on the screen will tell you not to keep "this poor devil" (the player character) waiting.

    Card Games 
  • In both Poker Night games, taking too long when it's your turn to make a decision will result in the other players berating you or telling you to hurry up.
  • Starting in the 2008 version of Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Tournament, if you don't do anything during a duel for a few seconds, your opponent will tell you to hurry up. They apparently have less patience than duelists in real life.

    Fighting Games 
  • If you lose a fight in Project Justice, the continue screen has your partners trying to urge on your last defeated character. Their lines during the sequence have this tone to them:
    Ran: Wake up! I didn't get the scoop yet!
    Nagare: You're still breathing, so you can do it!
    Edge: What the hell are you doing? If you aren't better the next time, I'M going to beat you up!
    Roy: Wake up! Aren't you mad that you lost?
    Wild Daigo: The mission isn't over, so you don't have the right to lie down!

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Aliens vs. Predator (2010) has this for the Marine and Predator campaigns (the Marine's is the only one that berates you in a language you can understand though), which is especially grating since you are also encouraged to explore the levels and find hidden items. The Alien campaign only has you told once, and you never get pestered, usually because an arrow tells you what you have to do.
  • BioShock uses this in a couple cases. Peach Wilkins in Neptune's Bounty will eventually chime in to complain that the player is taking too long getting the photos he asked for. It's nearly impossible to get the photos and get back to him fast enough, and he'll gladly interrupt any audio diaries you might happen to be listening to. Later, if Jack takes too long before making the Lazarus Vector, which will bring back the plants that give Rapture its oxygen that Ryan just killed off, Atlas will say, "Would you kindly get this thing crafted already. Air's only getting thinner down here."
  • BioShock 2 has a section where your train car has been hit with a torpedo, throwing you out of the cab and leaving Sinclair stuck in his passenger compartment in the flooded Dionysus Park station. You have to locate and activate a pump that will drain Dionysus Park. There is no limit to how long you can take doing this, but he will tell you at scripted moments that he's running out of air.
  • BioShock Infinite has Elizabeth accompanying Booker for most of the game. If the player stops progressing to look at setpieces that catch their interest and search for secrets, Elizabeth will... wander away from the player to look at setpieces that catch her interest and search for secrets. Word of God indicates they knew any amount of pestering outside of action scenes would only irritate players, whereas having their companion show some personality in what they chose to investigate and even help by pointing out pickups endeared her to them.
  • In the Borderlands series:
    • Played by the book in Borderlands. After you kill Baron Flynt, all hell breaks loose as the Lance attempts to seize control of Pandora. The ECHO network goes down, Crimson Lance troops are everywhere, and pretty much from now until the end of the storyline, the guardian angel gets on your case to get your butt to The Vault by last Tuesday.
    • Starting with Borderlands 2, your quest givers will sometimes pressure you to continue your mission with passive-aggressive comments. Since they're more meant for humor than for actual gameplay, these lines are usually only said once, and they often break the fourth wall.
    • On missions that involve following Claptrap, he will break out his signature "let's go!" in different languages if you linger behind him.
  • Call of Duty: "Martin! Over here! Get in the car!"
    • "Ser-geant Evans! Light up those bloody Stukas that aren't in bloody range yet with the bloody flak gun!"
    • Commissar Letlev in Call of Duty 2's tutorial. "If you wish to survive, you will do EXACTLY as I say." He means it.
    • Also happens in all three Modern Warfare games, particularly the second where Ramirez is issued a new order every couple of seconds.
    • It's taken to the point in this series that your CO won't even react when you die. The sole exception is the end of "The Gulag" in Modern Warfare 2, where for storyline purposes Soap is supposed to scream Roach's name when the actual gameplay in the level ends, butnote  he'll also do so if you die at any point shortly before you find and rescue Price. Call of Duty: Black Ops actually has a sort of unintentional Lampshade Hanging, where during the first Vietnam level, it's up to the player to rescue Woods from a VC soldier after his rifle jams because the rest of the squad is already moving forward and completely ignoring you both, even though the player just got knocked off their feet by an explosion.
    • In Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the frequency and urgent tone of "Get across the street, Mitchell!" can be grating when you are trying to carefully avoid cars on the road and enemy gunfire when crossing the street.
  • In Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, your brother constantly tells you to hurry up and do whatever your objective is, no matter the pace you're taking.
  • Happens near the end of the first mission in Command & Conquer: Renegade - if Havoc takes too long when approaching the NOD base, one of the GIs will call for his help.
  • Crysis: Strickland will shout at you quite often if you don't go fast enough, or if you don't take the canonical route, in "Assault" and "Onslaught".
  • In Deus Ex when you are sinking the freighter, you can stay for days in that sinking ship and nothing will happen. Of course the game will make you hurry, by having fake explosions that will only knock you around at best (which can be fatal if you are near an edge), and by throwing around random pieces of scrap that will not harm you at all.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution features a rather sneaky subversion before the start of the first mission. Players who get excited over finally being allowed to explore Sarif HQ before starting the main plot and spend too much time messing around like they did in previous games may find themselves surprised to discover that the Hostage Situation your boss has been nagging you about has actually deteriorated. Hope you enjoyed reading everyone's emails back at HQ, because a dozen employees are now dead because of it.
  • Half-Life 2 makes it easy to forget to stop and try to figure out what the heck happened to the world in the time you were gone as NPCs are always nagging you to do things if you stop for even a moment. Even Barney starts nagging at the Overwatch Nexus. In Black Mesa, the security guards will nag relentlessly for you to get a move on as well.
    • Deliberately averted in Half-Life 2: Episode One. The developer's commentary says that they originally had AI sidekick Alyx take the lead and pester the player to keep up to provide a sense of urgency. Playtesters hated being nagged when they wanted to explore, so Alyx's behavior was changed to let the player take the lead, provide a limited amount of hints and prompts but shut up and wait when the player isn't ready to move on yet. The result is perhaps a little unrealistic that Alyx doesn't get impatient watching you play with the gravity gun rather than getting on and escaping the city before everything in it is destroyed by the Citadel blowing up, but it makes players much less likely to shoot her in the face. It also has the somewhat heartwarming implication that Alyx implicitly trusts Gordon's judgement and is content with whatever pace he decides to set. Not that there was a whole lot of screwing around to do in the Citadel corridors anyway.
    • In Episode 2, though, Dr. Magnusson supplies an exaggerated version of the trope, nagging the player in scripted events that occurred whether the player showed any signs of dawdling or not. It's all a deliberate part of his characterization; players aren't meant to like him very much.
  • Halo:
    • This occasionally happens whenever you stall in accomplishing an allegedly urgent objective (even if it's not timed at all). For example, in Halo 2's "Cairo Station", Cortana will start nagging you if you don't start moving after getting the order to find where the Covenant planted their bomb.
    • In Halo 3: ODST, in the mission where you have to blow up the bridge in the beginning instead of fighting the Wraiths shooting at you, if you do not set the charges, you are reminded to do so, but if you still don't (and choose to fight the Wraiths), your partner will set the charges instead...when first placed, you are under the impression that you must set the charges quickly or the bridge will be overrun and that any attempt to fight the Wraiths will be fatal.
  • Played to an annoying extent in Homefront. Connor will bitch you out if you take a few seconds longer to do a task, despite the fact you are pinned down by enemy fire, or some other danger.
  • An interesting variation on this occurs in the Marathon games, which rely entirely on text to tell their stories. Sometimes when Durandal tells you what your objective is, if you access the same terminal right after that without completing the mission, he'll send you an angry message about how you should quit fooling around.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption:
    • A notable aversion happens during the prologue, and without a displayed countdown. You have about 7 minutes to restart the 3 power generators for the anti-aircraft guns before the comet slams into the military base you are trying to defend. The other bounty hunters and computer constantly remind you of this but there's no onscreen timer. Heck, you can see the comet in the upper atmosphere, seeming somewhat stationary. The thing is, it isnít—the comet really is moving and if you start wasting time it will arrive and collide, killing everyone and everything on the base.
    • Later in the game it's played straight. Just before Samus fights Ghor, reports are transmitted from her ship at regular intervals showing increasingly bad damage. The ship, however, is never completely destroyed and it is always ready to fly again at the same point in time.
  • Bain, the Mission Control in PAYDAY 2, will often chatter in the mic, and while most of his idle chatter is just comments and observations, he does play this trope annoyingly straight during bank heists if the crew is casing and preparing a stealth heist, with his constant, "Guys. The thermal drill. Go get it." Annoyingly enough, in situations where him constantly reminding you of something would be helpful (the various heists where you're trying to cook meth, for instance), that's when he chooses to tell you something only one time, often while it's being drowned out by gunfire from a gigantic wave of police, and then fuck off for what feels to be minutes at a time before deciding to tell you again.
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando has a rather annoying version regarding reviving squadmates. If you get incapacitated in battle and attempt to recall your squad to revive you, they'll often refuse by telling you that they have to take care of what incapacitated you first. At the same time though, if your squad gets incapacitated and you're busy taking care of what took them down so you can safely revive them, after a little while your advisor will completely ignore the danger and start shouting in your ear every minute to revive them right now.
  • In System Shock 2 Mission Control tells you to speed up at various points with lines such as "You must move faster. Your mind cannot conceive of the stakes we are dealing with" regardless of your actual speed (being triggered by performing mission critical actions or passing fixed points). Given that said mission control is SHODAN, it's in character for her to be rude like that.
  • They Hunger: Jerry Hoobs constantly nags the player during the final battle with the Sheriff with the words "Come on! Shoot that bastard!" Even if the player dies he won't stop! As long as the player doesn't load an earlier save and remain in the P.O.V. Cam, the Sheriff flies around the player indefinitely with Jerry's voice in the background.

    Licensed Games 
  • In one licensed game for Big and Small that involves handing characters musical instruments. If you go a while without handing anyone anything, the characters will say something like "How about handing me something?".
  • The Loud House:
    • Downplayed in "Living Loud: Surprise Party". If you idle, the player character occasionally rolls their eyes, and Lincoln's non-Lori sisters will sometimes tell the player character (Lincoln, Clyde, Bobby, or Ronnie Anne) to hurry up, but only when they're clicked on.
    • Heavily downplayed in "Living Loud: Summer School". If you click on Luan at Flip's Food 'n' Fuel after her task has been fulfilled, she will say, "Y'know, you don't have to stay here if you don't want to. Flip's is a bit of a flop."
  • Sesame Street:
    • In one game, that involves clicking on the picture to see an animation, the instruction "Click on the picture to see what happens next" will be repeated by the narrator about once a minute if you don't do anything.
    • In "Elmo's Potty Time", if you idle, the narrator will keep repeating the instructions. Occasionally, she will say, "If [character] doesn't go to the bathroom soon, [he/she] may have an accident" to create a false sense of urgency, when actually, there is no way of losing.
    • In "Bert's Bottle Caps", Bert will occasionally whine, "Please help me sort my bottle caps!" if you take too long.
    • In "Magical Numbers", if you go too long without doing anything, Mr. Mumford will ask, "Did you forget what to do?" and repeat the instructions.
  • A Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! game has this with the character menu; if you take too long, Widget will repeat, "Click on Daisy or Wubbzy".

    Platform Games 
  • The 1980 arcade game Crazy Climber did this by telling the user to "Go for it!" whenever the climber didn't move for several seconds.
  • Crops up a few times in the Ratchet & Clank games.
    • In Up Your Arsenal, Qwark will berate you for not returning from Aquatos with Nefarious' data drive quick enough, which would be quite irritating as Aquatos is home to the Sewer Crystal mine. But that's nothing compared to Big Al, who will constantly berate you when you're on the Phoenix if you haven't completed the latest Qwark Vid-comic which only become outright useful to the plot when Episode 4 leads to Metropolis.
    • Also used in Tools of Destruction when Clank will nag you after the story mission on Sargasso to return to Qwark who has information on the Dimensionator, which can be quite annoying since, like the sewer crystals, there's a Collection Sidequest for Leviathan Souls.
    • In Ratchet & Clank (2016), this usually happens whenever you loiter while on a mission when Cora is tagging along. It can also happen if you do the not-currently-important segments before you do the main ones, such as if you return from going outside with Clank in Nebula G34 instead of investigating what the top-secret experiment is, or doing the grind rail segment on Batalia before helping Cora take out the enemy forces invading the planet.
  • The Sonic The Hedgehog series likes to do this with Sonic's idle animations, where he gives the player a stern look for not moving onward, even making a "go forward" pointing motion in Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Heck, leave him alone long enough in Sonic the Hedgehog CD, and he'll jump off the screen in disgust, giving you an instant game over.
    • Sonic Adventure 2 has this in two levels: in Security Hall, where Eggman berates Rouge about once every minute; and in Crazy Gadget, where Eggman straight-up threatens Sonic.
      Eggman: "You're too slow! Sonic, if you don't come here, she will die!"

    Puzzle Games 
  • Early Chessmaster games have the in-game option "Force Chessmaster to Move". If picked, the computer will instantly take his turn provided that you've waited long enough.
  • Portal 2 intersperses scenes of genuine urgency (for example, during the first escape sequence, you will get crushed by a wall if you stand around gawking) with scenes of humorously exaggerated false urgency. In many cases the dialogue of the characters — especially Wheatley — gets more and more outrageous the longer you stand around and wait, to the point where you'll miss some of the game's best humor if you do what they say right away. This is also inverted in the Final Boss battle, where if you take the time to listen to all the Boss Banter and related dialogue, you'll fail the Timed Mission and die.
  • Portal Reloaded: At the beginning, the AI urges the player to travel through the time portal if they don't do it immediately. The final urging is noting that it's the only non-lethal option, since the other option is dying of thirst.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Largely averted in Battle Zone 1998, where the player usually only receives comms when a new order or information is given, as players are free to repeat previous comms with one tap of the "R" key. However, if your superior officers repeat an order, it indicates that the mission is timed. On Mars, if Grizzly One repeatedly ignores General Collins' orders to investigate Cthonian ruins, he will transfer Grizzly One's command to Lieutenant Corbin before ordering a court-martial.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars: Some mission objectives are repeated over and over again even if there is no particular time pressure, and the objectives are presented well enough as is.
  • Supreme Commander's single player campaign will repeatedly nag the player to hurry up in a tone that could quickly end a marriage after a certain amount of time for each mission. The Forged Alliance expansion nags the player particularly early and often throughout each mission.
    • Initially, they're comments like "Commander, you haven't built a transport yet. Is there a problem?" but later on it moves to outright aggravating territory with stuff like "Maybe you should check your objectives, commander."
    • Not only is it often ridiculous (basically to the tune of "Hey, Commander, we dropped you off on the planet alone 5 minutes ago and you haven't destroyed the enemy's huge base yet, is there a problem?") but sometimes gets infuriating given that it's combined with Trial-and-Error Gameplay. Good thing you listened to HQ and hurried to destroy that weak enemy. Oh, guess what? That triggered an event where there's now a huge army led by experimentals headed for your base. Don't have enough defenses? Too bad, you should have taken the time to build some up!...

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Frequently crops up in Alpha Protocol, with Mission Control often shouting in Mike's ear that he needs to hurry before his target gets away/the bad guys storm the gates/the bombs go off. The number of genuine Timed Missions in the game can be counted on one hand, though...and one of them is completely optional.
  • In Avalon Code, if you pause the game and leave it sit, the active spirit will start pestering you. Some are polite about it ("Are you thinking about something?"), others not so much ("Hurry up!").
  • In Bravely Default, opening the menu at any time shows Airy reminding you of what to do next - but after about the game's midway point, she gets impatient and every message is along the lines of "Awaken the crystals already!" Given that she turns out to be The Dragon and awakening the crystals is the Evil Plan, this is definitely intentional.
  • If you stand around too long in Diablo III, the three NPC hirelings will prod you vocally to get moving again.
    The Templar: While we tarry, evil grows stronger.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, it's possible to recruit Oghren and then abandon his quest, go back to camp, do sidequests or entirely different main quests, etc. If you try to talk to him before you complete Orzammar, he'll just angrily tell you that you are wasting time.
  • In the Fallout series:
    • Fallout, there is a very real time-limit. Every 50 days, you will get a cutscene reminding you to find the water chip before the water supply in the Vault runs out.
    • In Fallout 2, there is almost real time-limit, but you constantly get psychic messages from your village shaman telling you that you need to find the G.E.C.K. quickly and hurry back to the village, because there is not much time left. Supposedly they got rid of the time-limit in the sequel because fans had complained about it in the original, even though it wasn't particularly onerous and did add real drama. There is actually a time limit in the sequel, but it is ridiculously long (about thirteen in-game years), and was implemented due to engine limitations preventing the in-game calendar from going on any longr.
    • In the Honest Hearts DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, when you first encounter Follows-Chalk, he will invite you to go back to his tribal camp with him. If you stray off the path, he will remind you repeatedly where you are supposed to be going, with phrases like "Where are you going? That's not the way to the camp!" and "Hang on, you're going the wrong way!"
    • At the start of the main quest, a document for your delivery of the Platinum Chip informs you that if you don't complete your delivery, reclamation squads may hunt you down. This never actually happens, and only one of the routes actually requires you to deliver the Platinum Chip to its intended recipient.
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, after the Gullwings snag the "Awesome Sphere" and return to the Celsius, if you have Yuna go for the elevator, Buddy will tell her that the sphere analysis is complete and they should find out what's on it. If you try it again, he reminds her that it's Gullwing tradition that they all watch spheres together. Any further times that you try it, he tells her that she's "just being silly" and demands that she get back in the cockpit to watch the sphere with them.
  • If you go west from the Salikawood in Final Fantasy XII when you're supposed to go east toward Archades, you'll end up in the Necrohol of Nabudis, where party member Basch will explain what the Necrohol is and that going there is a "fool's errand", in addition to pointing out that it's the opposite direction from the party's actual destination.
  • The Golden Sun series:
    • In-universe in Golden Sun, when Ivan's foster-mother doesn't even ask what he's doing with Isaac & Co., but assumes it must be more important than her husband being held hostage so the Wretched Hive can extort from them, and tells Ivan so to his face. If you sidetrack to rescue Hammet anyway, Layana yells at Ivan for doing so!
    • Happens to Ivan again in Golden Sun: The Lost Age when he tracks down the last living member of his birth family... and she also scolds him to continue his mission with Isaac & Co. instead of wondering about his family and original hometown. Justified due to the world crumbling into itself due to Alchemy being sealed away, so Ivan and company are urged to take care of the world first before dealing with their personal issues.
  • In Jade Empire, at the start of Chapter 3, you will meet up with Silk Fox, who will join your party and ask you to infiltrate the Lotus Assassins, a group that is believed to be behind the corruption in the Jade Empire. If you return to camp without making progress, she will nag you to get back on task, and will complain if you take on sidequests with her as a partner.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, during the Hydra boss battle, Phil will repeatedly yell at Sora to "GET UP ON THE HYDRA'S BACK!" with no breaks in between.
  • In Kingdom Hearts III, there is a segment near the end where your party is reduced to just Sora and Jiminy Cricket hiding in Sora's hair. You're chasing a Heartless boss who stole your other friends' hearts, and a bunch of little Shadows and Neoshadows will try to get in the way. If you try to fight the flunkies, Jiminy will keep saying "We'll never beat them all!" and similar phrases, over and over and over. The trick is, this is a perfect place to get in some effective last-minute Level Grinding, and the boss will wait up for you no matter how long you take.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Grunt will constantly remind you to "hit the keystone" in order to continue his Rite of Passage.
    • The tutorial level contains scenes of people getting machine-gunned by YMIR mechs on the other side of windows from Shepard, but as soon as all targets are down they just stand there and stare.
  • In the multiplayer mode of Mass Effect 3, the announcer will tell you to hurry to the objectives of the special missions if you take too long, even if you are not particularly short on time.
    • Particularly egregious in a solo game, where kiting the enemy army becomes essential - chances are, if you retreated from the objective, going back as soon as you're told would be a very bad idea.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: At the climax, player control switches over to the other Ryder sibling, as they fight through a kett attack on the Hyperion. The ship's captain orders them into an access tunnel while she and some of the ship's crew hold off several Elite Mooks, while she repeatedly tells Ryder to get going. Trying to help is pointless, since you're only armed with a severely nerfed pistol and no powers of any kind.
  • In Mother 3, Fassad encourages Salsa to complete his task within a time limit, promising a reward. Thing is, Fassad is a complete Jerkass and, regardless of whether you complete the task within his time limit or not, he'll just lie about what the time limit was and zap poor Salsa.
  • Oracle of Askigaga: At the beginning of the game, if Hiroji tries to leave the three levels of Castle Askigaga, Oharu implores him to talk to his father, the king, first:
    Highness, we should visit the King... your noble father first. You... do recall where the throne room is?
    [Of course] [Nope]

    Of course:
    May I then suggest to be off then, and tarry no longer.

    Highness, it's on the roof of this very building! The staircases that lead there are on the left and right side
  • Persona 4
    • Your teammates angrily tell you you're going the wrong way if you have someone to rescue from the newest available dungeon but you decide to go to an earlier dungeon and then talk to them at the entrance. Even if you still have over a week to rescue the victim and you're just doing some sidequesting.
    • This gets especially bad near the end of the game, when the latest kidnapping victim is the protagonist's sweet little cousin. Every partymember will tell the protagonist, and the player, to immediately go to the TV World and rescue them. They are vicious in calling out the player for delaying the rescue in any way.
  • Persona 5 has every Palace receive a deadline to clear, with the Calling Card having to be sent out two days before the deadline at the very latest. After they become free to fully explore, the game gives the player free rein on when to actually head into them and secure a route to the Treasure. However, while the player can spend time getting the protagonist's social parameters up, read books, and hang out with Confidants to rank them up, they will get repeatedly reminded by party members that they need to steal the Treasure before the deadline. Even party member Confidants ask if it's really the time to go hang out with them or doing side-missions in Mementos. The Confidants become increasingly less available, the closer the player gets to the deadline, forcing the player's hand to have little else to do than to finally take care of the Palace.
  • In Rogue Galaxy, when you're taking too much time exploring or just trying to get stronger so the effin' Next Boss won't kill you instantly, while in the middle of a mission, you'll have your allies constantly shouting stuff like "we gotta hurry!" "Let's get this done already!!" to the point it makes you want to slack off MORE just to piss them. Sadly, they don't get mad, they just bug you even more about it. And each character has pretty much just two diferent phrases!!
    • On the plus side, the phrases DO change a little, depending on the mission you're currently in, and at some point in the game you can switch between allies so when you get tired of one guy's complaining you can simply summon another one to hear different complaints.
  • Player characters in Sacred 2 will start complaining if you leave them standing around too long, usually breaking the fourth wall in the process. The game also tends to give you lengthy books of lore, and doesn't pause while you read them, leading to your Seraphim thinking aloud that it's a good thing she's immortal and has time to waste.
  • At certain points in Sands of Destruction, you'll be locked into moving along a certain path. Attempts to take other paths will result in one of your party members scolding you that this is not a time for detours - sometimes Kyrie himself, sometimes another character. When the plot calms down, you can come back and poke around to your heart's content - with the exception of Taupy's house, which you can only enter during a couple of points and are never given the option to explore; he'll always say you have other things to do if you try to enter.
  • South Park: The Fractured but Whole: During the backstory mission, Cartman tells the New Kid, "You walked to the mirror." If the New Kid dawdles in their room without going to the mirror, Cartman will repeat "You walked to the mirror" in a frustrated tone and groan until the kid eventually interacts with the mirror. After that, Cartman instructs, "You left your room," and gets just as quickly frustrated if the New Kid lingers in their room for too long.
    "Seriously dude, just walk through the door already."
  • In the 3D remake of Trials of Mana, your party members will often remind you of your current mission after finishing a combat. Since you finish a combat roughly every thirty seconds, this starts to get old really quickly. Probably the worst is on Beuca Island, where your entire party will keep freaking out about the volcano erupting after every other combat, even though you've got all the time in the world to grind if you wish.
  • In Undertale, if you run from Toriel and go back to bed, you'll get a message saying, "Wake up, <character name>! You are the future of humans and monsters!", which is essentially the game telling you that you have to go through with the fight.
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon: Take Your Time is normally in full effect, but occasionally the map will remove all side quest markers and block off a few streets, leaving the player with little to do other than continue their mission.

    Simulation Games 
  • Baby Hazel: If you dawdle, the adult characters will get hangdog expressions, while the kids will cry.
  • Freelancer does this. "We need to fly faster!" Juni will tell you this even if you're actually ahead of her and thus waiting for her and the others to catch up, if you somehow manage to reach the waypoint in advance. Quite possible if you're using a mod that increases the Cruise Speed and you know the missions well.
  • Harvest Moon Animal Parade has Finn reminding you that you've got to go visit the Harvest Goddess whenever it's the next step in the plot.
  • Moshi Monsters: While most non-timed areas didn't feature this, if you idled at home, your monster would often try to encourage you to do something. They would shout things like, "What's with the cold shoulder treatment?" or "Are you blanking me on purpose?", Poppets would pop balloons, and Katsumas would do a creepy stare.
  • In The Sims Medieval other Sims during quests will often tell the active Sim to do something right away, but there are no penalties if the active Sim doesn't. There are only penalties if they ignore their Quest goal for several in-game days.
  • In Spiritfarer, the spirits constantly remind you of the tasks you should complete for them if they're not telling you that they're hungry, have resources to gift you, or have a new story to tell.
  • Star Fox 64 has this if you're wasting time flying around in all-range mode when you're supposed to be trying to attack the boss.
    Peppy: Quit screwin' around! Do something!
  • Starlancer: Not warping out when told or delaying request to dock will cause your copilot to complain - and you get a note in the debriefing that when you are given an order, you are expected to carry it through promptly without delay.
  • Star Trek: Bridge Commander has something like this. Your first officer will tell you what needs to be done next, even if you're already in the process of doing it or you haven't had the 2 seconds necessary to tell your helmsman to go to warp.
  • There Is No Game: If you take too long at one point, the narrator will assume you're stuck, wonder if you don't speak English, and eventually say, "OK, let me repeat the hint. I told you in my childhood, I used to climb what? A TREE!"
  • TIE Fighter has a unique variant to get you to end one particular mission - if you take too long returning to your command ship after the mission objectives are complete, it will dispatch a flight of TIE Advanced to shoot you down.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Assassin's Creed II: "HEY! EZIO! Over here!" Leonardo says this constantly.
  • Metal Gear Solid's final Escape Sequence has a 10-minute time limit purely to add tension; nothing happens if you let it run out. Story-wise this makes sense, because once you actually escape, your commander tells you that they called off the bombing run that the time limit was supposed to represent.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has Colonel Amus order you to defeat Solidus just before the boss battle. Once the second phase of the fight starts, he contacts you again mid-battle to tells you to defeat Solidus then starts talking about naming conventions of aircrafts.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Your AI buddy in the Army of Two games will frequently do this if you've cleared out a room and don't instantly make for the door.
  • Crackdown has the voice of Mission Control constantly urging you to go kill bad guys and repeating the same gameplay hints endlessly.
  • This happens a lot during the driving missions in James Bond: Everything or Nothing, although it actually improves the Pontchartrain Bridge motorcycle chase sequence. John Cleese's increasingly frantic voice acting ("Only four miles left! HURRY, 007!") considerably ups the tension. (Also consider that he's counting distance, not time.)
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game has this from all four of the guys. Ray and Winston are encouraging; Peter is sarcastic; Egon is...well, Egon.
  • Max Payne 3 had a lot of this from NPCs and even Max himself, through narration. Despite the fact that there are modes and weapons unlocked by finding collectibles, the game constantly urges the player to move faster. Of course, once in awhile there is an actual time limit, so ignoring the prod in favor of looking for ammo might result in game over...
  • The various Rogue Squadron games have the people the player is told to protect/guide/blow things up for constantly radio in if you start dicking around. This has a perfectly sensible in-game reason—you're part of the military and these people will die if you don't follow your oaths and orders—but to players, it can be aggravating, especially since it plays when you are busy dogfighting TIE fighters.
  • Splatoon 2: You actually have to prompt it by repeatedly talking to Marie if you see her in a map. If you talk to her long enough, she'll realize that you're just trying to stall for time. Continue talking to her at this point, and she'll stop responding and start thinking to herself. This includes musing about walking away from to get some pizza, whether or not she should replace you if you're going to be this needy for attention, and just wishing you'd "Shut your face and get to work already!"
  • The first game based on Transformers (2007) had your Voice with an Internet Connection remind you of your next mission every few minutes you weren't actively doing one.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • In The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man will constantly complain that his phone is not working when a jammier is set up to get you to get the mission objections back on the screen.
  • The first Destroy All Humans! game would have Pox telling you to pay attention to your mission objectives. You had to be seriously wasting time to get him to do that though.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV actually encourages you to stop playing the main game and engage in side missions by having friend characters constantly calling you up and asking you to hang out with them. If you refuse, they get annoyed and your friendship rating drops, eventually causing you to lose their special benefits. It is, however, possible to ditch these side missions without losing friendship: just accept your friend's invitation, then afterwards call them canceling. This mechanic was lessened in Episodes from Liberty City - in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned, you don't get constant friend calls, and in The Ballad of Gay Tony, there's plenty of time between calls.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Certain events -trigger- allies into harassing you into continuing the mission. Such as if you ...accidentally kill your Las Venturas casino employee girlfriend. Yeah, accidentally. That's the ticket.
  • Neopets never outright demands a player to do something, but it sometimes encourages them to for no reason:
    • Until the site got revamped after the discontinuation of Flash Player, Neopets could talk to owners. They would sometimes ask to play certain games ("Destruct-O-Match sounds like fun right about now"), buy things ("Do you think you could buy me a toy? Please?"), train ("How can I show my face in the Battledome like this?", "Is it time for training yet?" (even if they're already in training), "My puny arms can't even hold an Attack Pea!", "When's the last time we visited the Techo Master?") or fight ("Know anyone who's up for a fight?").
    • Sometimes in Random Events, Neopets asking you to buy food, even if they aren't hungry, or to buy toys, bottled faeries, or grooming supplies.
    • Nigel will occasionally appear by Random Event and ask you to invest in a particular stock, but this has no bearing on the actual stockmarket.
    • Adee will sometimes pop up by Random Event and remind you that you can send Neopets or postcards to friends, or tell the player about NeoBadges or World Events.
    • There's another Random Event where Sidney appears and asks if you've visited the Deserted Fairground lately.
    • Jhudorah sometimes asks you to do a quest for her in a Random Event.
  • In Red Dead Redemption, each quest-giving NPC has a few lines of dialog telling you to quit hanging around and go do the mission. This is triggered whenever you get near them, and thus is always triggered as soon as you exit the cutscene that introduces the mission. This means that you're being constantly derided for not doing a mission before you've even had a chance to take one step away.
  • In all the Taxi missions in the X-Universe games, the passenger will begin to nag you as your deadline approaches. The Boron will complain about their tentacles drying out, but due to the voice filters they have, it comes out sounding more like "My testicles are drying out!"
    • Plot missions do this, too. The second mission of the Terran plot in X3: Terran Conflict will have your commanding officer repeatedly calling you and telling you to head to X system to tail a ship to its destination. And of course in Albion Prelude you'll get constant calls from the military your gamestart is affiliated with to help them invade (or repel invasion of) a sector. Thankfully shutting them up is as easy as disabling mission guidance in the first case, and turning off war reports in preferences in the second.

    Non-Game Media 
  • Deadpool: The pinball machine apes the appearance of classic fighting games during certain modes. If the player doesn't make any shots to attack Deadpool's opponent for a while during them, he'll stop his Idle Animation, stare straight at the player, and confusedly gesture towards them.
  • In El Goonish Shive, during the "Parable" storyline, Arthur shows up twice to get Susan back on track after she digresses too long and considers not completing the main quest.
  • Near the end of Season 5 of Noob, Ystos starts chatting with other players in the middle of a series of quests. The Quest Giver is seen repeating that the world is in great danger several times during the conversation, then eventually going silent only to start fiddling with Ystos' armour. At that point, Ystos actually needs to push her away to be able to continue the conversation.
  • In the Teen Titans Go! episode "Video Game References," the NPCs try to keep Starfire on track in her quest to save the world from the Evil Wizard, but all she cares about is befriending the NPCs (including the monsters) and dancing. It ultimately ends with "While you were busy dancing, the Evil Wizard took over the world."
  • Discussed on Zero Punctuation's Extra Punctuation as a trait of the Ghost Train Ride, Yahtzee's shorthand for "Cinematic Linear Adventure Game".
    Short diversions from the linear path can be taken to find hidden collectibles or upgrade points, but these are never very long and the game seems to get nervous if you explore them for too long, having your NPC support characters badger you for wasting time.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Fake Time Limit


Link's Distractions

Link gets busy with a few sidequests while a villager urges him to save Hyrule.

How well does it match the trope?

3.5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ContinueYourMissionDammit

Media sources: