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Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat

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"Yeah... I wouldn't touch that pie. I don't trust anything that looks that perfectly preserved after 200 years."
Mel, Fallout 4, while talking to the Sole Survivor

Not only do video game heroes have little problem eating food they find lying around on the floor for much longer than the five-second rule allows, but even if that roast chicken had to have been sitting there for hundreds of years in someplace very unsanitary, it's still as fresh as if it just came out of the oven. It might even still be piping hot, as if someone was watching you go through the level, managed to get ahead of you just in time to hide the meat and leave without there being any sign of a disturbance. In a similar vein to Inexplicable Treasure Chests, if the food item happens to be in a rather populated area, another question arises, in that why hasn't someone else taken it, eaten it, disposed of it, or otherwise removed it from its location before you got to it?

A Sub-Trope of Blatant Item Placement. Compare Inexplicable Treasure Chests and Indestructible Edible. Often invokes Hyperactive Metabolism.


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    Action RPG 
  • Castle in the Darkness: One of the items you can find in the Castle Entrance is the Chicken Dinner, found inside a breakable wall, which is one of the many Castlevania references in the game. Once picked up, it increases the player's maximum health by 2. Lampshaded by its item description, which asks who put it in the wall.
  • Used throughout the Castlevania series. The games up to and including Symphony of the Night typically allowed the player to break open walls to reveal different kinds of meat. Games after Symphony had food items just sitting on the floor out in the open or dropped by monsters, including cartons of milk that should've gone bad even faster than the meat.
    • Sorrow Series plays it straight as eating rotten food reduces Soma's HP but having the Demon Stomach soul (Flesh Golem in Aria and Ghoul in Dawn) equipped will allow him to eat it and recover health like any normal item.
    • Legends, a game that was retconned out of the main timeline, suggested that the Belmonts had struck a deal with a friendly supernatural power to provide them power-ups and supplies through the candles in the Castle.
  • Lampshaded with the Mysterious Wall Chicken in Dust: An Elysian Tail. Its in-game description reads "Found embedded in a wall, this fully-cooked and seasoned chicken comes from unknown origins."
  • Parodied in Infernax. The first dungeon has a Shout-Out to Castlevania with a chicken hidden in a wall. Eating it will cause Alcedor to become sick and vomit, since the food is long rotten. His squire Cervul finds it quite palatable, however. Presumably due to his more peasant upbringing providing him a more iron stomach.
  • In Odin Sphere, both killing enemies and clearing out stages will yield treasure chests that sometimes contain minor food items like milk and hot cross buns. Sometimes it makes sense, like in the cities of Titania or Ragnanival, or on the Valentian battlegrounds where lots of soldiers are running around and no doubt carrying rations. Then there's the monster-infested Elrit Forest or the Volkenan lava pits. Once the player gets to the Netherworld, however, they quickly find that the only food items that get dropped are old and withered.
  • Your main method of self-healing in Rogue Legacy are eating chicken drumsticks left lying around. The diaries someone left around the castle comment how insane it is to eat things lying around, but his hunger forces him to eat them anyway.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the Spiritual Successor to Castlevania made by Koji Igarashi, lampshades this trope at one point, with a journal entry where the author wishes that he could find such a meal. It's also played straight in a couple of places — in fact, near where said journal entry is found, a plate of fried eggs can be found by busting down a wall.
  • In Grim Dawn, you can find "untouched meals" in camps and dungeons that fully restore your health and constitution, which allows your character to rapidly regenerate damage out of combat. Most untouched meals can be found in logical locations, like camps occupied by bandits or in places where people had recently been. Some are a bit more questionable, like meals found in houses, camps, or caves where the occupants were killed or fled months ago.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • In Streets of Rage 2, you can find whole roasted chicken by smashing arcade cabinets, wooden crates, and trashcans. It may not be sanitary or make any sense, but you take what you can get when you're being ganged up on.
  • All 3 classic Konami Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Beat Em Upsnote  have perfectly good pizza lying on the sidewalk, or down in the sewer, and even Shredder keeps some lying around the Technodrome.
  • Similar to the Streets of Rage example, plates of meat can be found in Final Fight by smashing open steel drums, phone booths, and even found in the wreckage of falling chandeliers.
  • In the Cadillac & Dinosaurs arcade game, you not only find pieces of meat inside steel drums, armor suits, and wooden barrels but also salads, cakes, and even sushi and boiled lobsters.
  • Violent Storm also boasts an impressive collection of food for immediate consumption found pretty much everywhere.
  • Final Fight has the usual beat 'em up fare: burgers, pot roasts, and the like, found in locations such as crates and garbage cans. One particularly weird instance is Edi E's used chewing gum which only provides a minimal amount of recovery.

    Eastern RPG 
  • Chantelise: There's bread that can be found by breaking barrels located in ruins.
  • In Miitopia, you can find snacks and grub inside Inexplicable Treasure Chests. And they're still safe to eat!
  • Chests in Tales of Zestiria often contain snacks. Even those in ancient ruins. When you restore the Blessing to an area, the Lord of the Land will refill chests, so it's likely the food isn't always ancient, but some chests contain food the first time you open them, so it's not clear where that came from.

    Fighting Game 
  • Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Phoenix Wright can pick up food (and immediately eat it to restore health) while searching for evidence in Investigation Mode, regardless of whatever the stage is.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Booker DeWitt, the Player Character of BioShock Infinite, can replenish his health by eating and drinking various food items scattered across Columbia. This includes dining on stuff like hotdogs straight out of a trashcan and sandwiches looted off of rotting corpses.
  • Other than first-aid kits, all health-replenishing items in Wolfenstein 3-D are food, and all of them are just lying around on the floor, sometimes even sitting in hidden passageways (though at least they're left on plates and bowls.)
  • Chex Quest is a mod of Doom. Among many other things, it replaces Doom's healing items with glasses of water, bowls of fruit or vegetables, and "supercharge breakfasts." They all work as intended, whether they're sitting in forgotten caverns or slime-infested sewers.

    Hack and Slash 

    Platform Game 
  • In Earthworm Jim 2, there's a sandwich pickup called a Chip Butty that restores 200% health... even if it's been buried underground.
  • In the DuckTales game for NES, Scrooge can find cakes and cones of ice cream hidden throughout Transylvania, Amazon Ruins, and the Moon. The remake justifies this by revealing that Mrs. Beakley has been following Scrooge on his adventures and leaving snacks for him.
  • The original sidescrolling shooter Duke Nukem has Duke roaming around eight levels of Doctor Proton's Elaborate Underground Base, with an occasional turkey drumstick available to add about 12% health. Interestingly, Duke's handheld Wave-Motion Gun can be used to "cook" a turkey drumstick into a complete turkey dinner worth 25% health.
  • Parodied in Infernax, where Alcedor can find and eat some chicken in a wall a la Castlevania. It causes him to get sick and vomit.
  • Kirby games use 'Maxim Tomatoes' to completely heal the player character. Energy drinks and, on occasion, other foods are sometimes used for smaller amounts of healing. This can raise questions as to why, for instance, meat, cake, and a sandwich can be found in an underwater cave on planet Ripple Star (and somehow fail to dissolve and waft away in the currents).
  • In Shovel Knight, edible carrots and roast chickens can be found in such places like Under the Sea or in lava-filled underground ruins.
  • Tiny Barbarian has breakable walls that, upon breaking, contain perfectly consumable drumstick meat.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Pikmin: The series takes place on Earth 250 million years in the future (as confirmed by 3) and has a suspicious lack of humans, but some of the treasures in Pikmin 2 include various foodstuffs that still look perfectly fine, despite the conditions that they can be found in, from just lying around both above ground and underground, to being buried, even in the stomach of various creatures (and apparently taste perfectly fine, too, since the crew keep sneaking bites of them). 3 doesn't get that much of a pass, either. Some fruits can be found attached to vines and branches, but others can be found eaten by animals, partially buried within the earth, and sitting in caves for God knows how long. Sure, this can be excused partially because the crew wants the seeds and juice rather than the actual fruit itself, but you'd think the juice and seeds of an orange that's been submerged within a river would be at least a little spoiled...

  • Dungeons of Dredmor lets the player find steak, aged steak, fresh steak, and grilled steak, either lying on the floor, dropped by a monster, or conveniently stashed in a mini-fridge or grill. Not to mention the fruits, sandwiches, and the wide variety of cheeses available. Oh, and don't forget the danish.
  • Dungeon Crawl Earlier (pre-0.15) versions had the player traverse a massive, sprawling, labyrinth, with an equally massive variety of foodstuffs randomly strewn about the dungeon floors. It made some sense to find jerky, honey combs, royal jelly, ambrosia, loaves of bread, meat rations, and, to some extent, sausages lying about still fine and edible. How cheese, entie slices of pizzas, and innumerable varieties of fruit (from bananas and apples to snozzcumbers and chokos) managed to survive the dungeon without the slightest bit of decay was a bit of mystery, especially given how chunks of meat from monsters rotted away fairly quickly.
  • In Nethack, corpses left by the majority of enemies are initially edible, but they decay and become poisonous to eat after a while. Fruits and vegetables, however, don't decay at all and can be still found just lying on the floor waiting to be picked up and eaten with zero repercussions.
  • Pixel Dungeon: The presence of Pasties lying on the dungeon floor has no excuse.
  • Peglin: As a Shout-Out to Castlevania, Peglin also has the inexplicable wall chicken, typically packed inside a chest. How it is still edible remains a mystery.
  • Vampire Survivors has plenty of shoutouts to Castlevania, and the inexplicable, perfectly cooked and plated "Floor Chicken" that shows up when you break lighting fixtures and can be eaten to heal is but another. The level descriptions often bring it up; whoever narrates them is clearly happy to find random roast chicken lying around.

    Survival Horror 
  • One survival horror game played on Gaming Garbage, Slenderman Must DIE, had the player restoring health by drinking cartons of milk and eating whole pizzas found lying around an abandoned insane asylum. Shmorky is quick to point out how disgusting this is.
  • In the opening of Sir, You Are Being Hunted, the Narrator explicitly tells the player finding food powerups to "Don't look at it TOO closely.." as the robot patrols have exterminated the human inhabitants some time ago. The game overall zig-zags this trope. Notably, some of the food you find is in fact spoiled and not good to eat; why the rest is still fresh remains inexplicable, though.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising has food show up in chests, breakable objects, and drop from enemies that have no logical way of holding it. In at least a couple cases, there's no logical way random chicken wings and pizza could have gotten where they did. Also, mercilessly mocked by in-game dialogue.
    Palutena: [...]Though I have seen him eat some questionable things off the ground...
    Pit: (angrily) Floor ice cream gives you health!

    Western RPG 
  • The Fallout series always has tons of pre-war food (even in the first game, the Great War happened almost 100 years ago ) that's still perfectly edible, including the inexplicably popular Nuka-Cola. Fallout 3 and New Vegas work to subvert this somewhat, as eating pre-war food will still boost the player's health, but also inflict them with minor doses of radiation (and explicitly irradiated food that deals even more radiation when eaten can be found.) Lampshaded during "The Big Dig" quest in Fallout 4 when you run across one of the Port-A-Diners that has an inexplicably well-preserved piece of 200-year-old pie in it. For added humor, she's telling this to someone who's also perfectly preserved despite being 200 years old due to having been a Human Popsicle for most of that time.
    Mel: Yeah...I wouldn't touch that pie. I don't trust anything that looks that perfectly preserved after 200 years.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn and its sequel Horizon Forbidden West let you find edible, perfectly edible meat in personal footlockers and chests that are in bunkers that have been sealed for the last 1000 years before Aloy entered them.
  • You can find food, drinks, and potions in ancient crypts in the various The Elder Scrolls games, some of which have been explicitly sealed for years with nothing but withered (and occasionally ambulatory) corpses for company. Even those with no bandit presence to explain away the presence of food will still have consumables in them. Feel free to scarf down the half-dozen decades-old potatoes you find if you're low on health, your character won't know the difference. Though you might have sympathetic indigestion.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • In Minecraft it is not unusual to find chests in the bottom of abandoned mineshafts and dungeons containing several loaves of bread and apples that can be eaten right away.

    Other Media 
  • Press Start (2007): While scouring Count Vile's lair, Zack is injured and in need of healing, so Lin-ku offers him some chicken he finds in the dungeon. It's cold, slimy, and tastes nasty, but it does the trick.
  • Discussed by the Angry Video Game Nerd, who tries whipping walls and a candle like Simon Belmont of Castlevania fame. Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs and his carpets catch fire.
    The Nerd: I do have to say, that would be convenient; if all I had to do was just whip the wall when I was hungry. (starts whipping the wall behind him repeatedly) If this wall would break... If there's a fucking pork chop in this wall, I would so eat it!
  • In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, the Commander has to inform his men that eating food off the floor or out of trash cans will NOT heal you and reminding Cody that he had to get his stomach pumped for hours after his adventure.
  • In A Day in Dracula's Life, Dracula is about to enjoy his favorite, pot roast, when he finds out that Richter Belmont is on his way. Dracula hides his pot roast in a candle to make sure this Belmont doesn't take it from him.
  • The folks over at Immersion had a go at this, seeing if one could 'recover' from 'injury' (in this case, massive hangovers and sleep-ruining surprise wakeups) by eating food that had been left in questionable circumstances. The answer was a particularly revolting 'no,' as Geoff and Gus discover the hard way.
  • In Awkward Zombie, when fresh bread is found in a chest in a sewer they question where it came from, to which it shows a baker hiding in the shadows.
  • Given how dark and violent Castlevania (2017) is, one might not expect to see much in the way of Easter eggs and references, but the series did an incredible job respecting the lore of the characters. The Belmont Library alone has an incredible amount of Easter eggs pertaining to the monsters of the series. Lo and behold, in the final battle against Dracula, there are a few frames of animation where he and Alucard burst through a wall, whereupon one can see a barely-concealed, well-preserved bit of wall-chicken.
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Dungeon Train", enemies spawned in the train will drop fully cooked food whenever the adventurers inside it get hungry. This is part of how the train keeps them trapped in a never-ending dungeon crawl.
  • One Counter Monkey video has Noah recall the presence of a fossilized whole pizza found behind a toilet preserved by a thick layer of grease. He left it out as a prank, and sure enough, a coworker found one and took a big bite...