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New Weapon Target Range

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Now, y'know I can't let you take our new gal home without givin' 'er a twirl. Look, we got volunteers!

In real life, when people are handed a new tool, toy, or likewise, they instinctively have a feel for what the item is capable of: Hammers smash, axes chop, cars drive, and so forth.

In fiction, especially when dealing with exotic tools, weapons, or powers without real-world equivalents, the readers/players/viewers do not have the same instinctive feeling. How good is this gun that the character was just given? How is this new tool supposed to be used? What is this character's new power capable of? An Exposition Dump could solve that problem, but that goes against Show, Don't Tell and if not handled correctly this new item could end up with Informed Attributes.

Well, as luck would have it the next area is perfect to demonstrate the capabilities of the newly acquired ability/tool/weapon; it is the New Weapon Target Range.

If it's a weapon, the next area will be full of enemies that it is perfect to use against. If it's a tool, the next room will be perfectly suited to its use. If it's a vehicle, the next bit of travel will showcase its traits to its fullest.

A part of Instructive Level Design when used in games, though not an Antepiece or a Video Game Tutorial in that a New Weapon Target Range doesn't pull punches aside from being perfectly suited to the new 'weapon'.

Compare with Suspicious Videogame Generosity where you are given a lot of items that you are already familiar with to prepare you for a challenge ahead, This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman if it turns out the item really isn't effective outside that specific circumstance, and Ability Required to Proceed if you need this new item to navigate the challenges ahead at all. Usually has no relation to Testing Range Mishap.


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Videogame Examples.

  • It is a tradition that after you get a new item in The Legend of Zelda, you get locked into a room where you have to use the new item to get out. In addition, if the weapon or tool is found in a dungeon, most of the time, that weapon or tool is the key to defeating the boss.
    • Getting the Master Sword in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker ends the time freeze in Hyrule Castle, allowing the powerful enemies within to roam free. This gives players a quick chance to use their new weapon and appreciate how much more powerful the Master Sword is than their starting blade.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Once you get the Spinner in the sixth dungeon, the door locks, and you need to use the spinner to navigate the grooves in the walls allowing you to reach the exit.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
      • The First Town is a plateau that the player can't get off until they unlock the glider, by completing several Shrines (effectively self-contained puzzle rooms). Each shrine grants the player a new ability for their Sheikah slate and is solved only using that ability.
      • To proceed at this point, the player has to use the orbs they unlocked from these shrines to buy a heart or stamina upgrade from a nearby shrine (teaching the player the mechanic that rewards them for finding and completing shrines).
      • Upon unlocking the glider, the player must glide down from a rooftop (well, technically you could climb down, but why would you want to? You've got a paraglider!)
      • The rest of the game downplays the trope significantly compared to the first few hours and the rest of the series; every item is available from the start (since it's a Wide-Open Sandbox), but side quests and main quests where they're needed usually give them a ready source of the item in question (e.g. shock arrows in Zora's domain).
  • Medievil:
    • Cemetery Hill, the level in which Dan finds his first club, has a number of breakable rocks that the club can smash to reveal hidden areas and extra treasure, and a puzzle that involves lighting the club on fire then using it to activate a torch.
    • The dragon armour, found in the Crystal Caves level, makes Dan Immune to Fire and gives him a fiery Breath Weapon. The level immediately after that, Gallows Gauntlet, has a lot of enemies that are Weak to Fire and a burning gate that can only be safely passed while wearing the armour.
  • Assuming you collect all the chalices in Medievil 2, the weapons awarded will often have a specific purpose in the level immediately afterwards: the Cane Stick's charged attack can destroy the zombies in Kensington before the Necromancers can raise them, the hammer is particularly effective against the bearded ladies in the Freakshow and unlocks a bonus "Whack-An-Imp" game, and the throwing axe is useful for dispatching the mutant plant enemies in Kew Gardens.
  • In ShadowMan, every item that has a use besides being a weapon or Plot Coupon has examples of the "target" that the item can be used on in the room where it is found. For example the Baton can be used to warp between specific altars, so you will find one of those altars in the Baton room. Similarly the Marteau can be used to pound drums to open gates, so you will find a set of those drums in the Marteau room.

    Beat Em Ups 
  • Project Altered Beast: whenever you aquire a new beast form for Luke, or a new "Learning Genome" for one of the beasts, there'll be a place close by where the new abilities are immediately useful. E.g after defeating Sarcosuchus and getting the Learning Genome for Werewolf form, said form can now jump higher than normal, which is used to get past the high ledge that leads to the next area. After defeating Balrog and getting the Minotaur form, when you walk out of the cave you're in, you'll meet a dead end with a stack of dynamites that you can burn with said form's Flame Breath. And so on.

    First Person Shooter 
  • BioShock Infinite: Immediately after Booker obtains the pistol and Sky-Hook, he has to fight a number of weak (easily killed) guards. This allows him to (a) practice firing the pistol in combat and (b) inflicting brutal beatings and finishing moves, respectively.
  • In The Darkness, Jackie is attacked by Dirty Cops piloting a police helicopter at several points in the course of the game. The last of these is an ambush shortly after Jackie acquires the Black Hole superpower, which he can use to put the helicopter out of commission for good.
  • Doom has one on higher difficulty levels (Hurt Me Plenty and higher). At the start of Episode 2, the player gets into a darkened room with a brand new, heavy monster - the Cacodemon - emerging in front of him. Killing a Caco with the shotgun alone is difficult, but if you run around him and behind, there's a Plasma Gun waiting in one of the corners.
  • Doom (2016) has a room full of various Possessed right after obtaining thenote  BFG. Since a new weapon is always selected by default upon pickup, the player will be wielding the BFG and likely immediately fire it upon seeing the sheer scale of the demon-possessed hordes. It takes only one shot to turn everything in the room into Ludicrous Gibs and immediately gets the power of the gun across in less than three gorefilled seconds.
  • In Doom Eternal, right after you get the Crucible, you proceed to an arena with a ton of extra Crucible ammo. It even gets lampshaded.
    Samuel Hayden: I'm sure you'll want to try out your new weapon first before we leave.
  • In Far Cry 3, Jason receives the flamethrower at the start of the mission "Kick the Hornet's Nest", which involves burning down a marijuana farm controlled by Ruthless Modern Pirates.
  • Goldeneye Rogue Agent: The second level introduces the MRI Vision power and the Railgun. Very early on, there's a room with quite a few enemies and loads of cover behind which to play with this devastating new toy. The third level introduces the EMF Hack power, and there's plenty of occasion to disable enemy guns and remotely trigger death traps.
  • Half-Life: The crossbow is found in a shark cage that immediately drops you into the water with a big, swimming enemy, giving you the chance to learn that the crossbow is both the only weapon besides the pistol that works underwater, but it's also quite powerful.
  • Half-Life 2 hands you the Gravity Gun right before you go to Ravenholm, which is full of saw blades, explosive barrels, and other things that are exceptionally fun to throw at the zombie hordes. Additionally, Zombies don't carry guns and thus your only supply of ammo is what you can scavenge from the environment — so not only is the gravity gun all but required for the level, it teaches you to use it and the environment to conserve ammo when necessary.
  • In the original Killzone, the early chapters are tuned around the skills of the character the chapter introduce:
    • Chapter 2 starts in a dark tunnel (well-suited to Luger's heat vision ability) with the Helghasts having their back turned to the player, and ends with prolonged bouts of long-distance fighting, showing off both the stealthy attributes of Luger's silenced SMG and the usefulness of its Sniper Pistol alt-fire.
    • Chapter 3 is very straightforward and filled with lot of enemies in close quarters, showing off Rico's toughness and the power of his machine gun.
    • Chapter 4 is low on ISA weaponry, making Hakka's increased accuracy with the Helghan assault riffle all the more valuable, and has an alternate route making use of his ability to interact with Helghan hardware.
  • In Quake, the Grenade Launcher is picked up in the third level, The Necropolis, right before the player encounters their first pack of zombies, who can't be permanently killed unless blown into Ludicrous Gibs by an explosion.
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein: The Snooper (a Sniper Rifle with silencer) is introduced in a Stealth-Based Mission. It's located near the entrance to a Nazi base holding a rocket whose launch must be prevented.
  • Unreal II: The Awakening:
    • The Flamethrower is introduced in the Hell level, it's usefulness at crowd control in close range comes in handy when dealing with the Araknids, while the napalm alternate allows you to get rid of pesky pursuers by setting off traps. And there will be plenty of pursuing Araknids to get rid of.
    • The Widowmaker Sniper Rifle is first introduced in the Severnaya Waterfront level, where you have to snipe enemy Liandri Angels before infiltrating the dam in order to blow it up.
    • The Hydra Rocket Launcher, the turrets, and the defensive forcefields are introduced in the Kalydon level, a Hold the Line level where you need to hold a Liandri Angel invasion long enough for your ship to be repaired. The forcefields and the turrets help you to fend off enemies without you interfering, while the Rocket Launcher's alternate fire allowing you to target several enemies at once helps you take care of many mooks at the same time.
  • Wolfenstein (2009):
    • Many of the crystals granting Veil powers are obtained immediately prior to encounters in which they can be put to use.
      • Mire, which slows down time, is acquired just before the player enters a series of hallways in which they will be required to dodge high speed projectiles.
      • Immediately after obtaining the Shield power, the player is rushed by a number of enemies whose weapons are unable to penetrate the shield. Additionally, the power does not drain the player's Veil energy until after they leave the room in which they acquired it.
      • Empower, which grants increased weapon damage and the ability to shoot through shields and force fields, is acquired in a room which requires the player to shoot through a force field in order to exit.
    • a Veil Assassin spawns and rushes the player immediately after they acquire the Tesla Gun. As it does not need to be precisely aimed and fires a continuous stream of electricity, the Tesla Gun is notable for being hands down the most effective weapon against the fast-moving and often invisible Veil Assassins.
  • Double Subverted in Rage 2, whenever you get a new weapon or power, the game will load you into a virtual tutorial area to learn how it handles and what it does, then it will spawn a bunch of enemies outside the Ark for you to kill with your new toy.

    Hack And Slash 
  • God of War (PS4) sees Kratos return home to reacquire the Blades of Chaos he so prominently used in the previous games, to use against the denizens of Hel. These weapons are excellent against hordes of targets and offer excellent crowd control, even if their damage is weaker than the Leviathan Axe… and it just so happens that a horde of weak enemies has amassed outside Kratos' home in the time he took to re-equip himself.
  • In God of War Ragnarök, immediately after the cutscene in which Kratos receives the Draupnir Spear, he and Brok are attacked by some relatively weak, older enemies so the player can get familiar with the new weapon, while the area after that can only be traversed by using the spear's explosive properties.

  • Cave Story: When you get the Fireball in the Bushlands, there are a bunch of enemies resting on hills — perfect for demonstrating how the Fireball shots travel up or down inclines. If you get the Booster 0.8, you do so at the bottom of a pit, where using the Booster is the only way to get out. If you go out of your way to get the Spur, you find that the enemies suddenly multiplied in the corridor you just came through — and they're packed tightly enough for you to discover your new weapon's One-Hit Polykill ability.
  • Hollow Knight: Several abilities, such as Vengeful Spirit, the Mothwing Cloak, the Mantis Claw, the Crystal Heart, the Monarch Wings, Isma's Tear, and the Shade Cloak, are all followed by (or found in) rooms that give you a chance to see its ability in action and gain competence with them.
  • The Metroid series is full of this.
    • Super Metroid:
      • The High Jump Boots are located near several chambers that require you to make use of them to get around.
      • The Speed Boost gives you several rooms where your new ability will be useful for getting around, as well as offering sections to demonstrate that your ability can shred certain blocks.
      • The Grapple Beam is followed by a room with several grapple points, and pits of water underneath in case you fall.
      • In the room before acquiring the Plasma beam, you have to clear out a pile of enemies that take several shots to kill. After acquiring the Plasma Beam, you have to clear out that room again, and what took several shots now takes only two at max.
    • Metroid Fusion:
      • Acquiring missiles is followed by a long section full of enemies that can only be killed by missiles.
      • The Varia Suit is followed by a room full of Cold-X, all of which are now completely harmless to absorb, for your healing pleasure.
      • The Space Jump is followed by a large open room where you can practice jumping around to your heart's content.
      • You are given several Ki-Hunters to test your new Plasma Beam on after beating Nettori.
      • Shortly after acquiring the Screw Attack, you are given a chance to go nuts with it, in a room full of normally-invincible enemies, where you learn that the Screw Attack can destroy them with ease.
    • Metroid Prime:
      • The Space Jump Boots are followed by a short platforming section that leads you to the Temple of the Artifacts.
      • After acquiring the Thermal Visor, all of the lights go out, requiring you to use said visor to navigate.
      • You find the Gravity Suit underwater. It immediately grants you better vision and the ability to move freely, and offers you a short platforming segment to prove it.
      • After getting the X-Ray visor, you are forced to use said visor to escape the room, familiarizing yourself with it, as well as by siccing several Chozo Ghosts on you, showing that now you can see them even when they go invisible.
      • After obtaining the Phazon Suit, you are forced to make your way through several regions full of the substance, demonstrating the new suit's protective capabilities.

  • Star Trek Online uses this for all the faction tutorials.
    • In the 2409 Federation campaign, you gain control of the ship on your character's first away mission after your captain is killed and you become acting captain, with an asteroid field nearby to test out flight and pick up engine parts, followed by hostile Klingons and later Borg to try out your weapons and abilities as they gradually unlock.
    • In the KDF campaign, after the PC gets their first token for a new ship (according to the planned schedule), they're encouraged by the quest giver to take it for a spin against pirates in the system where their next mission takes place. They're instead attacked by survivors of the House of Torg, discommendated in the preceding Story Arc.

    Platform Games 
  • Most gadgets in the Ape Escape series tend to be heavily useful in the level they are introduced in.
  • Both Jak II: Renegade and Jak 3: Wastelander will put the player in either a gun course or an arena challenge to utilize the latest addition to their arsenal (be it a gun mod or a Light/Dark Eco power), including getting a gun in the first place to show how useful they are on enemies you can't use melee attacks on without taking serious damage. Occasionally, this extends to normal levels as well: one famous example in Jak II is the room in the Sewers filled to the brim with normal ape Metalheads, shortly after unlocking the Dark Bomb move that sends a shockwave across the floor.
  • Shovel Knight:
    • Several relics in Shovel of Hope are found in rooms that demonstrate these relics' utility; Phase Locket is found in a room full of electro-toads, Dust Knuckler's chamber is full of dirt blocks to plow through, Mobile Gear's chamber has Spikes of Doom that can be safely crossed over with the gear itself etc.
    • In Specter Knight's campaign Specter of Torment, buying a new curio drops you into a short dungeon which can be completed only by using said curio.
  • Ratchet & Clank: practically every game in the franchise does this over the course of each title. Many parts do this not just for the next room, but across the entire level, to the point where some levels are much more difficult without it (especially early on when you don't have many other options). For example, in the first game the level where you buy the Blaster has many enemies suited for it, as well as one enemy, a helicopter, who can only be defeated by it because it's the first long-range weapon in the game.
    • Up Your Arsenal and Into the Nexus apply this trope literally: you can try out a weapon in a target range before buying it to see if you like it or not.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Portal has the level immediately after obtaining the signature portal gun which requires the player to truly understand that both portals are two-way before being able to beat it. The level immediately after that teaches players about momentum. Both will be heavily needed to beat the game.

    Racing Games 
  • After the final race of Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005), the player is back in control of the BMW that was the game's Taste of Power, but it's better than ever and supremely upgraded. Good thing too, because your wanted level just rose to 6. Every. Single. Unit. of the police force is chasing after you in a climatic playable Chase Scene which ends with you performing a literal Broken Bridge Ramp Jump that the police can't make.
  • Progressing through Burnout 3: Takedown will unlock new classes of cars. At periodic intervals, the player will unlock new Events for a new class in a different region of the world, which will have wider, more gentle turns and longer straights to compensate for the speed increase. Some of the hardest events in the game involve using a car on a track not intended for its speed and still doing well.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Starcraft II:
    • Wings of Liberty is the most blatant about this: every mission is designed to rely specifically on the newly-introduced unit. Destroying trains? Meet the Diamondback, a hover tank that fires on the move. Lava planet with regular tides? Say hello to the Reaper, a jump pack-wearing soldier who can hop up to high ground. Huge energy fields that slowly disintegrate everything without Protoss shields? By happy coincidence, Battlecruisers (who have enough health to survive the field's effect until the generator can be destroyed with a few Yamato Cannon shots) are now available. The big issue is that because Wings of Liberty has so many of these types of missions, many of the units they introduce are never used again because of the fact every mission is designed around a specific unit. The aforementioned Diamondbacks are a prime example, since being able to attack while moving is something that is never really needed at all in any other mission.
    • Subverted in Heart of the Swarm: Several Zerg units will "evolve" into one of two different upgraded versions. Before choosing which one you want, you play a short mission designed to showcase the advantages of both versions, so you can decide which one of them you prefer. What makes it a Subverted Trope is that it is impossible to fail these missions, as even if you lose all the units, more are simply spawned in for you to play with, though this is never advertised anywhere.
    • Legacy of the Void is less blatant than Wings of Liberty, but it still has some examples: Colossi are able to walk up and down cliffs, but elevation play is only really used in the mission they are introduced. Immortals are great anti-heavy walkers capable of absorbing massive amounts of damage, and the mission they are introduced in has you fighting against a lot of Hybrid. The Khaydarin Monolith, a static defense structure with enormous range and power, is introduced in a Hold the Line mission, and the Carrier is introduced in a mission where it is impossible to launch an assault from the ground. (One character Lampshades this, noting how lucky it is they finally got Carrier production going right when they face a situation where they would be really useful)
  • Warcraft III's Frozen Throne expansion has a level in which Sylvanas has to defeat an army led by Varimathras while only having the ability to summon ghouls (basic melee units), banshees (Squishy Wizard spellcasters) and obsidian statues (support units with healing spells). The banshees have an ability called possession, which destroys the banshee but grants you control of an enemy unit, and the map is full of powerful and unique neutral creatures that the player is expected to "recruit" using possession to bolster Sylvanas' army, including two who grant the allegiance of a dozen other creatures when possessed.

    Roleplaying Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind:
      • There is an area accessible shortly after character creation where the game subtly encourages you to swipe everything that isn't nailed down. One of the items is an Apprentice's Lockpick. Conveniently, there is a extremely low level chest on a nearby shelf which even a character with a minimal Security skill will be able to pick.
      • The Boots of the Apostle, a set of legendary armor boots with a strong Levitate enchantment, are found at the bottom of a large cavern beneath an ancient Dunmer stronghold. The cavern extends quite far above, inviting the use of the boots of explore it. Up there, you can find several chests with loot and help a captured pilgrim (really the avatar of one of the Nine Divines).
    • In Oblivion, the Dark Brotherhood will set you optional objectives during your missions and award you magic items as a bonus if you complete all objectives successfully. One of these items is The Deceiver's Finery, a set of fancy clothes that boost your Personality trait and Speechcraft skill... and sure enough, the next mission they give you has you murdering people who are searching for treasure in a manor, and the optional objective involves using Speechcraft to convince them to split up so you can kill them without being discovered. Teinaava, another member of the Brotherhood, lampshades this if you ask him for advice about the mission, telling you the deceiver's finery would be extremely handy to take with you if you put the effort in to earn it.
    • At one point in Skyrim, your character uses an Elder Scroll to study the past and watch Alduin be defeated by mortal heroes using the Thu'um Dragonrend, which serves as a Brown Note when used on dragons. This allows your character to master Dragonrend for themselves... and when Alduin flies by and attacks you shortly afterward, you get the perfect opportunity to practice it.
  • One early quest in Fallout 4 awards you a suit of Powered Armor and a minigun with limited ammo. Shortly after you acquire them, a Deathclaw spawns as a Bait-and-Switch Boss encounter... fortunately, the armor makes you too heavy for it to use its deadliest attack (a Neck Lift that sometimes ends in the Deathclaw gutting you for a One-Hit Kill), and the minigun will do more damage to it than any gun you're likely to have found at that point in the game.
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield has two big fights near the end of the game; the first is against the Olympus Mons Eternatus which you end up capturing, followed shortly by a fight against Champion Leon. The Olympus Mons you just caught has a moveset which includes fire- and dragon-type moves that have a type advantage against 3-to-4 of Leon's Pokémonnote , and also has a Secret Art move which does double damage against Dynamaxed Pokémon, encouraging you to use it against Leon's Gigantamax Charizard. Leon himself will change his pre-fight speech if you put the Olympus Mons in your team, stating that he's looking forward to fighting it.

    Third Person Shooter 

  • In Splatoon 2: Octo Canyon, Sheldon will often ask you to complete a stage using a particular weapon, which he will airlift to you when you begin the stage. For instance, Octozeppelin Invasion is the first stage where Sheldon asks you to use the Hero Charger, which has a very long range but can only fire one shot every few moments. The aforementioned Octozeppelins float slowly through the air, difficult to reach for most weapons, but are enormous and go down with just one Charger shot. The bosses follow this pattern too: Octo Samurai is optimized for the Hero Roller, Octostomp is designed with the Hero Dualies in mind, and Octoshower is meant for the Hero Charger.

    Tower Defense Games 
  • Plants vs. Zombies tends to give you a new plant right before a level where that plant would be really useful — whether because of environmental gimmick or new enemy type.

Non-videogame Examples

    Anime and Manga 
  • Double Subverted in Berserk: After the Eclipse, Guts leaves Rickert and Casca in the care of Godo, a blacksmith he met who presents him with a finely-crafted flamberge and an artificial arm. Just then, an Apostle comes in, and Guts' new sword quickly shatters against it, though the fact that his new arm has a cannon inside comes in useful. Then Guts gets smashed into the blacksmith's storehouse, where Guts picks up the Dragonslayer, his iconic seven-foot-long slab of pointy iron and quickly displays how much more deadly it is by dispatching the Apostle with it. Then he leaves to kill Apostles, which officially ends the 13-volume prologue.
  • In Dragonball Super, Frieza is eventually recruited to fight in the fate-of-the-universe-deciding Tournament of Power. Although before he can arrive, he and Goku are ambushed by a horde of assassins, giving Frieza the perfect targets to demonstrate the powers he has obtained since he was last seen in the show to both Goku and the audience.


  • The Day of the Jackal: when the English sniper obtains his custom rifle from a Belgian gunsmith. He takes this weapon to some scrubland, where he adjusts the telescopic sight and fires standard cartridges at a watermelon target. One last test involves the few mercury-based bullets; one of these disintegrates the melon.