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"This is the Booyah Base, a shopping mall for all your Inkling needs. You can buy all kinds of fresh gear and weapons to use in battle. But check it — the staff in the shops can be a snobby bunch. They won't serve you if they don't think you're fresh enough."

A way to introduce a specific storyline progression to an otherwise Wide-Open Sandbox video game is to give the player a Stat Meter representing their current fame (or infamy) in the game world and only unlock main story quests after a certain threshold therein has been reached, whether by sidequesting or other interactions with the environment. Of course, this can also be applied to sidequests themselves.


Compare Beef Gate, Cash Gate, and Level-Locked Loot. Related to No Fame, No Wealth, No Service. Not to be confused with the Fame Game from Sale of the Century.


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  • World of Warcraft has always had gear locked behind certain levels of reputation, but Mists of Pandaria took the reputation mechanic to the next level by locking some of the story quests behind it, namely the Golden Lotus storyline (removed in patch 5.4), Klaxxi and Shado-Pan storylines, and the patch 5.1 Alliance and Horde storylines. In all cases, the story is told in small chunks, with a specific reputation level to proceed to the next one, mostly by doing daily quests.
    • While this does crop up again in the latest expansion - Legion - it is only confined to a single faction; one with whom the player only interacts once they reach the new level cap of 110 and are able to venture to Suramar; a story-centric zone which is home to the Nightfallen, an underground resistance faction comprised of exiles from the Nightborne, who are now living with the Legion patrolling the streets like an occupying army. So not only does the player have to become sufficiently badass for the Nightfallen's leader to even try contacting Dalaran, they then have to get in said leader's good graces so that their cause progresses.

    Racing Games 
  • Need for Speed: Underground has a style gate for certain points in the campaign, where you had to customize your car to reach a set stylish rating.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Uncharted Waters:
    • In the original game, the King of Portugal only hands out missions after you raise your Fame to certain levels by doing sidequests for merchants and guild halls (or by buying over ports, or by defeating pirates and Portugal's enemies, or by discovering new lands, or...). However, massive Sequence Breaking can ensue if your fame rises too fast, to the point where you can be sent to Save the Princess while still a lowly Squire (instead of the intended endgame Duke).
    • In Uncharted Waters: New Horizons, the various royals' missions are handed out the same way as in the original game, but so do some story missions (the ones that are not handed out immediately after beating the previous ones). Additionally, there are now three types of fame (explorer, merchant, combat), and each character has to raise one of them to advance their respective storyline. The kings, however, react dynamically to your fame and only hand out missions pertaining to your highest score (so if your combat fame eclipses your explorer fame, your king will stop asking you for discoveries and instead start sending you after pirates).
  • This is a core mechanic of Dragon Age: Inquisition: by doing sidequests and exploration, you get Power for the eponymous organization, which can be used to scout out new world areas and unlock main story missions.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind:
      • Certain Guild and Faction missions are only available once you reach a certain rank within said organization, which requires certain levels of internal reputation (as well as meeting the skill level requirements). This reputation (which functions something like an Alliance Meter within the organization) is raised by doing smaller sidequests for the faction. However, no single guild hall offers enough of them for you to raise your rank to the top. You'll need to seek out additional Quest Givers within the organization.
      • More like a Fame Bypass/Backdoor: Normally, you need to visit all Great House nobles and Ashlander chiefs to convince them that you are The Messiah, and only then will the Corrupt Church listen to your claims. But if you are already famous enough (at least level 20, with at least 50 Reputation,) the Archcanon will grant you a meeting immediately, allowing you to skip what would otherwise be a very long quest.
    • Oblivion:
      • Heaven Stones can only be activated and grant you their Greater Powers after the sum of your Fame and Infamy reaches a certain value. Also, the Knight of the Nine expansion has an inversion; it requires your character to be free of any infamy, which means (unless you've been an absolute saint for the whole game) you have to go on a pilgrimage to every single shrine in the game to receive a blessing.
      • You're barred from buying a house in Chorrol or Skingrad until you reach a minimum Fame score. Whether those cities only cater to luminaries or the vendors are just reluctant to deal with a wandering adventurer with a suspiciously blank history isn't explained.
    • In Skyrim, becoming a thane in most holds requires, among other things, establishing a good reputation with the local population, normally by completing 3-5 minor side quests for them, which effectively functions as a fame gate to thanehood.
  • In Pokémon X and Y, the Boutique in Lumiose City won't let you in if you aren't "stylish" enough. "Style" is gained by visiting various places around the city and making use of services. There are also a few places that won't serve you until you've proved you're stronger than the Pokemon League Champion.
  • In the Genesis version of Shadowrun, your Reputation stat influences whether you'll be able to get into certain clubs and meet with important people. In most cases, however, you can avoid the fee by paying a bribe or cover charge, or by advancing the plot to a certain point; there's only one mandatory event where you need a high Reputation to get in at all.
  • The third installment of Gothic has this everywhere. The main character earns reputation with various factions in cities and other places around the world but is only allowed to enter some areas (usually inhabited by the city leader) after completing 75 % of the local sidequests.
  • In Fable II, Reaver refuses to have anything to do with you until you hit a certain level of Renown. The quest to get his attention is even known as "Renown for Reaver".
  • Grim Dawn: Certain quests and every faction's better items can only be accessed and bought, respectively, after achieving a certain level of high reputation with them, which can be done by killing certain enemies they particularly hate, doing Bounty runs for them and certain storyline quests. In somewhat of an inversion, getting Nemesis bosses to spawn requires a certain level of infamy with that particular enemy faction, which is naturally achieved by slaughtering every last one of them you can find.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 has a mechanic called "Street Cred", which is effectively an secondary Character Level that represents how respected you are in the Night City underworld. You gain Street Cred by completing story missions and side quests (just like regular XP and levels) and unlocks additional side missions, as well as certain expensive offers in in-game shops. By decoupling Street Cred from Level (and having the former grow at roughly double the rate of the former), the game effectively lets you punch way above your current league, if you so desire, by unlocking missions intended for much higher character levels early.
  • Twice in Torna ~ The Golden Country (the prequel/expansion pack to Xenoblade Chronicles 2), the story stops while you have to build up your community level by doing sidequests and talking to various NPCs. While it helps explain why Addam is such a fondly remembered hero even centuries in the future, this is also with a war looming threatening the city, even occurring after the main villain has gained access to and is threatening to use a superweapon.
  • In Monster Hunter: World certain quests are locked until you've reached a high enough Hunter or Master Rank level. Some of those unlocked quests also act as a Cap on the rank until it's completed, though thankfully any accrued experience before it's completed will be retroactively rewarded afterwards.

    Simulation Games 
  • In the console version of Urbz: Sims in the City, you need to raise your "rep" high enough to unlock new districts, as well as to gain access to the VIP room in each district which contains unique features and is the only way to meet up with Darius so he can give you what you need to defeat the villain of that district.
    • The DS version also has certain missions that need your "rep" high enough. Furthermore, you have four meters showing your status with the four "Rep Groups": your own, your rivals, and two others. Raising the meter for your own Rep Group earns you rewards, and filling it gives you access to their clubhouse. Filling the meter for a different Rep Group allows you to join them.
  • Evil Genius has a "Notoriety" meter, which you need to fill by completing sidequests in order to progress the main quest.
  • 911 Operator: In the Career mode, you are only able to move on from the town you picked as your starting point to larger ones, and the correspondingly greater work load and more difficult situations, once your reputation grows high enough for the transfer to become approved.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • The shops in the Splatoon series will not sell to you until you reach a certain level of "freshness," which is gained by participating in multiplayer and online battles. However, the freshness required is actually quite low, making it a Downplayed Trope — being on the winning team just once is enough for friendly neighborhood arms dealer Sheldon to start selling to you, and the others will do so not long afterwards; even if you're on the losing team every match, an hour of play will be enough. Sheldon will sell weapons with varying levels of required freshness, which correspond roughly to their ease of use; he seems to not want to sell you something if he feels you're not experienced enough for it. The clothing shopkeepers, meanwhile, will open up their entire inventory to you once you're sufficiently fresh with them.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • In Grand Theft Auto 2, which missions are available to you depends on how much respect you have from each gang. There are three gangs in each level, and killing members of one gang decreases respect with that gang, and increases respect with another gang. Once your respect becomes negative with a gang, the gang stops giving you missions, and might even start shooting at you.
  • In Saints Row and Saints Row 2, every story mission costs a respect point to unlock. So you need to acquire respect from side missions and various actions (stunts, taking out rival gangs, cool driving, etc.). Additionally, in 2, you get unlimited respect if you pile up enough points.
  • In Scarface: The World Is Yours, story missions are locked to your Reputation level.

     Tabletop Games 
  • In the Iron Gods adventure path for Pathfinder, the party arrives at a Wretched Hive of a town where Asskicking Equals Authority. Downplayed in that the party could go straight for the final boss of the chapter right away, but building up their local reputation first by completing several sidequests makes the dungeon considerably easier.