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Pre-existing Encounters

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In addition to Random Encounters, in which a fight can happen at any time either in a dungeon-type area, or on the overworld, Preexisting Encounters are those that you can see coming. This tends to happen in one of two ways:

  • The fight is a mandatory (often plot-dictated) event occurring at this point in the level or game design — which, as a rule, includes most Boss Battles.
  • Enemies which spawn and are visible on the overworld, and the battle doesn't begin unless (or until) you come into close contact or proximity to them. You may or may not be able to go around them and avoid a battle entirely, but you at least have the advantage of spotting them from a distance and having time to prepare for battle. Often an entire party of enemies will be represented by a single creature.

It should be noted that many games have a mix of two or more of the encounter styles, depending on the area you're in. See Roaming Enemy for when the gap between this and Random Encounters is bridged somewhat. Also, see Inescapable Ambush and Teleporting Keycard Squad.

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Examples of Set Encounters

    Action Adventure 
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link has certain squares on the overworld map that lead to a monster battle when stepped on, no matter what. There's a particularly annoying series of them near Death Mountain that you need to pass in order to reach the last part of the game. If your timing is just right, you can lure an enemy onto those squares and get off with a much easier encounter.
  • In the side-scrolling Action RPG Zombie Hunter, each stage consists of a series of predetermined enemy battles.

    Adventure Game 
  • Kentucky Route Zero: The Bluegrass State has a lot of roadside 'encounters' scattered about, made visible by markers on your map as you approach them. This being an Adventure Game, most of these encounters aren't important except for the sake of exploring, soaking in the atmosphere, and developing your characters.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Abyss Crossing: All encounters are random, except for minibosses known as "Floor Enemies" that show up as sinister red orbs. Unlike most examples of this trope, Floor Enemies move in predetermined patterns and don't chase the player.
  • Chrono Trigger (and its successor, Chrono Cross) often give the player the option to avoid fights if the player wishes. Sometimes, though, monsters jump out from out of nowhere and ambush the party in pre-determined locations, and other times they are visible but unavoidable. Interestingly, Chrono Trigger didn't transition to a separate screen for battles; instead, when enemies attack the Player Characters, the battle menu pops up on the same screen as when they are walking around (Chrono Cross, however, does not do this).
  • Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A.: Nearly every single battle is unavoidable because the monsters don't move on the field until the player (whose character is a "Sooper Deformed" variation of one of the Lyoko Warriors from the series) enters a monster's detection area, which is guaranteed to cover the whole width of the path that you must travel to the target of a mission, usually a Tower or a certain teleporter. As soon as you enter the field, the monster moves to you (surprisingly, Megatanks don't move, but battle still ensues when the field is triggered) and you enter the battle. The only skippable monsters usually guard alternate paths (which almost always lead to item-containing Data Packs, some of which contain vital Plug-ins (equippable items that require points to activate, similar to Badges in Paper Mario, except that point upgrades are automatic) or powerful items). Most battles can be seen coming, except for certain boss battles, where the boss hides offscreen until the battle is triggered. And all battles in this game are RPG-style, rather than the action-based battles of the first two games.
  • Due to the linear design of Dungeon Siege, which forces you to take one route from the beginning to the end of the game, all encounters are set. Avoiding them is virtually impossible, unless they are nestled in a "side-area" which can be skipped. And due to the bird's eye view 3D gameplay, you can always see what's coming up, and it is often necessary to prepare your attack and wear the proper gear before charging in. This is subverted in some areas (like going down an elevator) and in Dungeon Siege II (where enemies sometimes pop out of nowhere), but the vast majority of encounters are not surprising and not avoidable.
  • Dragon Age: Origins uses this, for good reason. Enemies scale with your party's average level, and since stat do have caps in that game, grinding to level 99 makes all of the enemies nigh impossible to defeat since theirs don't.
  • Magi-Nation goes in and out of this trope. in Shadow Geysers and the Shadow Hold, they're completely random - but in everywhere else, they're entirely skippable.
  • Fake Happy End: Unlike many other dungeon crawlers, all encounters, including regular ones, are shown as enemy symbols on the map. Regular enemies appear as small floating orbs while bosses and minibosses appear as monstrous faces.
  • Final Fantasy
    • You can't see them in Final Fantasy, but there are squares where you are guaranteed to get into a battle if you step on them. These are almost always squares adjacent to treasure chests.
      • An infamous area of Earth Cave, known as the "Giant's Arm" or "Hall of Giants", was a bending passageway where every single square was an automatic encounter against Giants and/or Green Ogres. This was removed from the Pixel Remaster version, along with tiled encounters in general. Instead they were replaced with hooded monster figures on the map that had to be spoken to, to initiate a fight.
    • Final Fantasy IV has three set encounters with a Behemoth on one-square-wide paths in Bahamut's lair. Unlike the set FF1 encounters though, these disappear once you've won them once.
    • A good number of the fights in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII are like this. The first dungeon uses them almost exclusively. The one battle required to complete a side mission in Crisis Core is this as well. All other battles give the impression of being random encounters, although they only trigger at specific locations due to the realtime nature of the game's battles and can often be avoided by hugging the walls.
    • When you first board the Ragnarok in Final Fantasy VIII, there are eight monsters called Propagators roaming the halls that will trigger a battle if you touch any of them. They come in four color-coded pairs; to keep them from coming back to life, you have to kill one Propagator and then kill its same-colored counterpart while avoiding the others.
  • In all Chinese Paladin games the monsters are physically represented on the map patrolling the areas. However, sometimes their sprites are tiny and blends in with the background, making it harder to see them coming. Regardless they all will chase the player, usually at a faster-than-walk pace, after they've seen you.
  • In Planet Alcatraz, all encounters are either part of the plot, or optional locations on the map you can visit or ignore at will.
  • Undertale has a handful. The game carefully fails to distinguish them from the Random Encounters, but you'll notice on replays that the Unique Enemies are all encountered just once, in roughly the same area of the same screen every time. The first Froggit is also a special scripted encounter. The Amalgamates in the True Lab don't pretend to be random encounters, but do disguise themselves as water, or a fridge, or your speech bubbles... or a save point.
    • Deltarune has the enemies shown on the overworld, and they move towards you quickly to initiate the encounter. If you're fast enough, you can avoid them, but most of the time, you won't. They also respawn in the same area if you leave and re-enter the room after defeating them.
  • Dragon Quest has four predetermined battles; the Golem at the gates of Cantlin, the Green Dragon guarding Princess Gwaelin's cell in the tunnel to Rimuldar, the Axe Knight guarding Erdrick's Armor in the ruins of Hauksness and the Dragonlord himself.
  • LunarLux: Enemy encounters appear as portals that Bella can run into, which don't chase the player like most other examples. Grey portals always spawn EX versions of previous foes.
  • Luxaren Allure has bosses which are represented by large monsters in a fixed place on the map.
  • Monster Racers: Wild monsters appear in the overworld as yellow orbs. You can also use an item to freeze them in place and avoid battle, but some of them don't move anyway.
  • In Child of Light, boss battles and some Giant Mook battles are automatically triggered when Aurora crosses an invisible line, which means you can't avoid them by flying over or surprise attack them.
  • Nearly every enemy in Cosmic Star Heroine can be seen on the field before engaging them in a battle. Some can be bypassed with careful maneuvring, but that is mostly detrimental as you always emerge from battle in the same state you went in, only richer and more powerful.
  • Helen's Mysterious Castle: The Undead Knight is one of the few encounters that are fought only when talked to. But also needed to finish the game.
  • In Haven (2020), Babulardo, Bodigado, and the first Hornet fight are inescapable scripted encounters that activate when Yu and Kay approach a certain area, and are not visible beforehand.

Examples of Skippable Encounters

    Action Adventure 
  • With the exception of the situations mentioned under "Set Encounters", the standard for battles in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is that, while walking off-road, enemy sprites will appear and move about the map, and if you can avoid them then you won't go to the battle screen. They can also be skipped to an extent by walking onto the nearest road, because running into an enemy sprite on a road results in the battle screen that appears there not having any enemies, after which Link can easily walk away and continue exploring the overworld.
  • The Harry Potter games for Game Boy Color. Enemies are represented as small sparkling blue clouds, whereas bosses are shown as larger versions of the same. You can avoid most random encounters, but bosses typically block progress until defeated.
  • Ōkami has Demon Scrolls, which trigger an encounter when they touch you. They follow you around and can be stunned with a brush stroke. There are also Devil Gates, for which you have to go out of your way to trigger the encounter. Some of the Devil Gates can be brutal. Demon Scrolls return in Ōkamiden.
  • Getsu Fuma Den has some enemy encounters triggered by running into their sprites on the overworld, though in most places they're impossible to avoid.
  • In Star Control 2, most battles result when an enemy fleet (readily visible beforehand) makes contact with your flagship. This can happen in planetary systems (where you can see the approaching fleet and its type, but not its strength) and in hyperspace (where all you see is an approaching hole). In both cases, a fast-enough flagship can maneuver to avoid the encounter altogether. The game also has several set battles, which cannot be avoided in order to finish the game.
  • The NES version of Bionic Commando and its Rearmed remake have enemy trucks patrolling the world map, which when encountered, transport the player to an overhead battle scene.
  • The NES version of Captain America and the Avengers has "Black Holes" at various points on the map, which lead to an encounter with a miniboss and/or a group of mooks.

  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 has Hammer Bros., Boomerang Bros., Fire Bros. and Sledge Bros. randomly wandering around the world maps. Mario is transported to a battle screen if they run into him, but can sometimes avoid them.
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii also has enemies on the world map which transport the player to the battle screen. The different is that to win, you have to collect the Toad balloons instead of defeating the enemies. The enemies are Goombas, Spinies, Ice Bros, Porcuppfers, Stalking Piranha Plants, Bullet Bills, Lakitus and Lava Bubbles.
    • New Super Mario Bros. U also has these, but you have to actually defeat the enemies to win, like Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • Super Mario 3D World: In each world until (but including) the seventh, Mario and his friends will find preemptive Enemy Blockades as they complete the levels and progress through the world maps. In them, they have to defeat an assortment of enemies of a specific species, and doing so will not only clear the way in the map but also yield Green Stars. Notably, in two of the blockades, they have to fight a Mini-Boss instead (Prince Bully), while in the last one they have to fight a Degraded Boss (Boss Brolder).

    Racing Game 
  • Some street racing games, such as Racing Lagoon, feature the player's rivals appearing and roaming around the overworld. They'll ignore you unless you challenge them.
  • Tokyo Xtreme Racer titles centered around highway racing will have the player's opponents already out and about around the Metropolitan Expressway when first starting a night. They'll normally ignore the player, regardless of how they behave: driving behind them at such a distance that their name and logo appears, then flashing the car's headlights at them signals the start of a battle. Game progression is tied to defeating them, however, making battles against them mandatory.

  • Most overworld combat encounters in For the King are visible on the map and remain stationary: they do not trigger until the Player Character enters their hex. There are, however, occasional Random Encounters where monsters will successfully ambush the Player Character. One Scourge's active effect will partly obscure overworld encounters, leaving the player able to see them, but not what monsters are involved.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • The 7th Saga has encounters appear as pixels on the minimap that you can avoid in theory. In practice, you won't be dodging most of them unless you're very skilled at it.
  • Astra Hunter Zosma: In the main story dungeons, enemies appear as blobs that the player can dodge to avoid encounters, though some of them carry gems above their heads. All enemies can respawn, except for the minibosses guarding optional content and the ones carrying gems.
  • All of the PlayStation 3 Atelier Series games (Rorona, Totori, Meruru, Ayesha, Escha & Logy, and Shallie) have enemy groups shown walking around on the dungeon map. Most are skippable, but there are also some that guard the exits to each level, and have to be defeated to proceed.
  • Normal enemies in Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden take the form of a wandering monster sprite that will chase you if it spots you. Catch it from behind and you will get to act first in an ensuing battle. Get caught from behind by them and they will act first instead.
  • Blue Dragon has enemies walking around most areas. Outside of encounters, you can attack them from behind, get the first attack on them, and use certain class skills within a fixed radius to attract, repel, stun, or sneak past them outside of battle. You can also fight them in consecutive battles, or even pit some of them against each other this way.
  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter gets rid of random encounters and has the enemies appear onscreen. It distinguishes itself from other games that do this by encouraging you to use bait and traps to lure the enemies into better positions for you to attack them.
  • In Child of Light, standard mooks, which are often Actually Four Mooks each, only trigger battle mode when you approach them. If one approaches you from behind, you will be Ambushed and they will attack first, if you do the same to them, you get a Surprise Attack.
  • Corruption of Laetitia: All encounters are symbol encounters, though if the player already allied with the faction the enemy belongs to, they won't initiate a fight upon contact and will even let the player walk through them. They also won't respawn if the player defeats them while sufficiently overleveled.
  • Dragon Quest
    • The 3DS remake of Dragon Quest VII has all its enemies visible and avoidable on the overworld and in almost every dungeon (though in the latter case you may struggle to avoid them as the dungeons tend to be cramped), unlike its original Playstation release which is all Random Encounters. The single exception is the Multipleximus Maximus dungeon, which still has to use random encounters due to its unorthodox design.
    • Dragon Quest VIII, in addition to its normal random encounters, also has some monsters for the Monster Arena visible on the world map. While they give chase if you are near by, they can usually be seen for some distance off, and can be avoided. This is changed for the 3DS remake, where all encounters are visible this way.
    • Dragon Quest IX has some, which is different for the series. However, similar to Super Mario RPG, one enemy on the screen represents a party, or a single monster. This makes hunting those elusive Metal Slimes a lot easier, at least until the Tower of Nod where the King metal slimes hide in groups. However, on the downside, they chase you, which certainly doesn't make it any easier to avoid them. (And later on, you run into enemies who block your way)
    • Dragon Quest XI has them on in its 3D mode, however when playing in 2D Mode, random encounters are in effect. Metal Slimes also do not appear on the field, only having a chance to appear in encounters. Ditto for the Rarified Monsters, rarer versions of pre-existing monsters.
  • All normal enemy encounters in Dubloon are represented as figures walking mindlessly around, with a sprite representing the "leader".
  • In EarthBound (1994), not only are enemies shown clearly on screen (though the sprites tend to hide their type), but the direction your character is facing when the encounter occurs makes a difference. If the enemy is facing away from you, you get an additional turn at the start; if you're facing away from it, the enemy gets the first turn. If an enemy is weak enough that you can kill it before it gets a chance to attack, it's defeated instantly. Getting an extra turn at the start of battle makes this much more likely.
    • Also, very small enemies— such as ants and slugs— who are actually quite tough will be squashed underfoot unless another enemy attacks you while you're immobilized. The Casey Bat banks on hitting an enemy when they're tuned away as it guarantees a free hit on them and adds to the Casey Bat's already powerful slugger hit which is great when you'll strike out if you don't.
    • In an interesting variation, once you've beaten the Sanctuary boss for a given area (or are, simply, highly enough leveled), enemies will run from you. This does allow you to get back-attacks on them much more readily, but at that point the experience provided is so low that it would almost certainly be faster to just call it a day and move on.
    • Mother 3 has a similar system, although back attacks never lead to automatic victory; instead, if you are on a high enough level, you can just dash through the enemies, gaining no rewards but also avoiding the encounters entirely.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion; enemies may be concealed by terrain or vegetation, but often can be seen at a distance, and indeed may not see the character, giving the player the chance for a missile attack or just to flee undetected. This also holds true for Morrowind, though the sheer number of Cliff Racers you face can make it seem like you're fighting random encounters every step.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy: In the third, fourth and fifth games, most foes appear on the map, and you initiate battles by interacting with them. The enemy encounters that don't appear on the map trigger when you step on specific tiles.
  • Although standard enemies are still random encounters, the Etrian Odyssey series also features several Bosses in Mook's Clothing called F.O.E. that are visible on the map, which generally should be run from when first encountered. One thing that makes them particularly dangerous is that they can continue to approach while you're fighting a random encounter; take too long, and the F.O.E. will join in, potentially turning a difficult encounter into a deadly one.
  • In Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, once you reach a certain karma (in the former) or faction infamy (in the latter) level, you will have hit squads sent after you. When you enter their spawning areas, they will always find you, although you can sometimes get off a few shots at them from a distance before they attack (though this counts as unprovoked attacking and thus will hurt your reputation even worse).
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, unlike the rest of the series, the monsters in the dungeons are always visible and in fixed positions. There are two exceptions, but there are items to counteract their invisibility (which, conveniently, are found in that very same dungeon). Luckily for you, they don't respawn until after you leave.
    • It's tradition to have Bonus Bosses roam in the overworld or a dungeon map. It began in Final Fantasy V with Omega roaming an area in the final dungeon. The path is narrow, so the player has to be careful or else they face this monster. The most famous examples are the WEAPONs from Final Fantasy VII: Ultima is flying over the skies, Emerald is underwater, and Ruby is buried under the desert surrounding the Gold Saucer theme park, with only its tiny head visible. Even Diamond WEAPON, which is fought as part of the story appears as a sprite in the world map advancing toward Midgar.
    • Final Fantasy XII has something like this as well, although you can't always avoid the enemies. Some of them come after you. On the other hand, some of them won't attack you until you attack them first.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has visible encounters as well. Some enemies completely block your path and you are forced to fight them. Preemptive strikes occur when you approach the enemy from behind without alerting them.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 has monsters spawn on top of you, but you can still run out of their agro radius to avoid fighting all but the fastest enemies, the game also has something called the Mog clock. The Mog clock has three sections, Green means you can do a pre-emptive strike, yellow means you can't, red means the enemy begins to chase you, and running out forces you into the battle without letting you retry from the beginning of the fight if you die (putting you back in the overworld with no guarantee the mob you were hunting will spawn again).
    • Final Fantasy XV has a combination of both random encounters and preexisting encounters: only a handful of enemies randomly spawn (usually from heavily-forested areas or the daemons at night) while most monsters and imperial soldiers can be seen beforehand and avoided should the player so choose.
    • The Final Fantasy Legend II and Final Fantasy Legend III DS remakes replace random encounters from the originals with monsters running on the world map representing battles. Most are possible to avoid.
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers are not only preexisting, but limited. Almost all of them are avoidable.
  • Freelancer has encounters set as 'Patrol Paths' which can be from any faction, although the factions they belong to are easy to deduce because of location and whether they're neutral, friendly or hostile.
  • Guardian's Crusade uses this, with enemy encounters represented as white ghost/tadpole-like things on the map. In addition, the ghost's appearance and behaviour denoted the kind of battle it would be - an easy battle with a weak enemy would be represent by a small, blue-eyed ghost that ran away from you, whereas a stronger enemy would be larger, have red eyes and actively come after you. The in-between ghosts had green eyes and just sort of wandered around.
  • In the Grandia series, not only are the enemies visible, but how you make contact with them effects whether you get first strike or not.
  • In Haven (2020) Mook mobs and many of the bosses visibly wander or lie in wait until approached or they catch sight of the protagonists.
  • Helen's Mysterious Castle: Enemies that aren't the set version of this, instead run around and trigger a battle when they make contact with Helen.
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 does away with the random encounters from the previous game and displays each enemy group on the map of the dungeon you're in. Every game in the Neptunia series since, including the remakes of the first three games has used it.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, the only game in the series which separates the battle screen from the exploration screen, you can skip random Mook encounters. Whenever they touch you, you enter combat with them. However, if you strike them first, then they begin the battle stunned (and, if you used the right card to form the room, pre-damaged). You can avoid them as much as possible, although if you use a particular kind of card to form the room, they will chase you.
  • Knight Bewitched 2: The game has a setting that makes the majority of enemies either roaming or random encounters, though some enemies in dungeons will always be preexisting while all world map enemies will always be random.
  • LISA: Every single enemy has a unique sprite and spot where they're fought. The only exception is the Figures that appear in a cave stretch in the first area.
  • Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has enemies visible on the screen in dungeons, allowing you to avoid them if you wish. You can also stun them with arrows to dart past them with ease. Some of the enemies move in unusual set patterns, others can teleport around the room, and some puzzles even require you to lure monsters onto switches. There's even one puzzle that has you bet on which monster will win a race!
  • Early games in the Lunar series use random encounters (with the occasional set encounter), while the remakes display the enemies as monsters, making battles potentially avoidable.
  • Enemies in Lunarosse are represented by blue flames you can touch or avoid. In some dungeons, they're represented by general soldier sprites instead.
  • In The Magic Candle, enemy parties are visible to you when they're one tile away. You're visible to them at two tiles' distance, and unless they're holding a position, they'll come after you. A Nitro Boost will keep you ahead of them... but may crash you right into another party. It's safer to use magic: the Locate spell will make all troops visible for a few turns, and Confuse will shake off a party that's caught your scent. (Later, the Teleport spell makes Locate obsolete — you can't 'port right into an enemy party, so you can check where they are by preparing Teleport, noticing the conspicuous unavailable tiles, and then cancelling.)
  • Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis shows enemies as blobs of varying shapes, sizes and colors, depending on their power relative to your party.
  • In all Mega Man Battle Network and Star Force games, V2/Alpha boss rematches are invisible encounters set at specific points on the overworld, usually on a random dead end. You can actually tell when you have it right - Mega Man will return to his standing position right before the Fight Woosh rather than freeze in the middle of a step.
  • Meritous: There's a limited number of monsters in the entire game, visible on screen once it the same room as them, provided they're not Invisible Monsters, and the heads-up display even shows you the total, as well as how many you've killed.
  • Okiku, Star Apprentice: They're floating black cloak-like blobs with red eyes that move around and fight Okiku on contact with her, or the blast from the Wand of Blasting.
  • Parasite Eve 2 uses both types. Some rooms may look clear but the minute you explore a certain part, you are ambushed no matter how much you try to get around it. For the most part, you can see enemies on the field and if you are sneaky enough, you can walk by them without triggering a battle.
  • 'Persona:
    • In Persona 3 and Persona 4, Shadows walk the map as blobs - black blobs are normal, red blobs are Elite Mooks, and gold blobs are Metal Slime. Hitting them with your weapon starts the fight. Hit it in the back and you get a surprise round; get hit first and they get the first move. If you level up enough, they run from you — and if you happen to fight them anyway, the enemies will suffer from the Distress status effect.
    • In Persona 5, enemies now have dungeon specific forms, like knights, security guards and police officers, who wander the maps. Battle starts when you attack them or they attack you. However, in keeping with the game's Phantom Thief themes, you now sneak up and Back Stab enemies to get an advantage in battle, instead of just hitting them.
  • In Planet Alcatraz, besides the plot-essential encounters, there are optional locations on the map you can visit or ignore at will.
  • Pokémon:
    • A majority of trainers in each game are entirely avoidable, while legendary Pokémon (except for the free-roaming kinds) appear as sprites on the screen that the player has to walk up to to initiate the fight, and most can be ignored completely. Though starting with Ruby and Sapphire, the cover legendary mascot must be encountered to continue the story. The only exception so far is Emerald, wherein the mascot Rayquaza only needs to be approached instead of fought; a battle with it can optionally be done later. The remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver (HeartGold and SoulSilver), the first games to feature mascot legendaries, even changed it so the mascots had to be encountered before the player could continue for the Pokémon League.
    • Pokémon Black and White add a new type of pre-existing encounter in the forms of shaking patches of grass on the overworld, clouds of dirt in caves, and shadows in the water. Moving onto either will start a battle with a wild Pokémon, but the Pokémon available in this fashion are often rarer than the norm or exclusive to this type of encounter, including even extremely powerful fully evolved Pokémon like Metagross, Tyranitar, and Dragonite.
    • Pokémon X and Y also have this, though in the form of shaking bushes that will trigger a Pokémon ambush if approached, along with shadows that appear in various caves and outside at Victory Road that will make a Pokémon dive down and attack you if you step under them.
    • The Generation VI remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire have the DexNav Pokémon, which must be snuck up on and often have moves they could normally only get from breeding, potentially also getting improved rates of top-tier stats.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon add on to the version from X and Y with some unique behaviors for specific Pokémon. These include Pokémon that charge at you in the grass, Pokémon feeding on piles of berries, and one Pokémon that runs from you so quickly that it's necessary to ride on Tauros to actually fight it.
    • In Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Eevee!, all wild Pokémon encounters are preexisting encounters - wild Pokémon pop out of tall grass (and anywhere in caves) and roam around the map, prompting an encounter only if you run into them. This is combined with the usual Random Encounters in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
    • Pokémon Legends: Arceus ditches the idea of Pokémon hiding in tall grass all together; in fact, it will often be the player character sneaking through tall grass themselves in order to catch Pokémon off-guard themselves, as all the creatures now freely roam the overworld as pre-existing encounters. You don't even have to instigate battle with them and can skip to attempting capture if you think you can get away with not weakening them first.
    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet onwards similarly have Pokémon freely roam the overworld, though similarly to Sword and Shield, you have to instigate battle if you want to catch them.
  • Prayer of the Faithless: Green and black enemies will track the player upon noticing them, red enemies move randomly and quickly, and blue enemies are stationary but tend to block important paths. Only green and red enemies respawn upon entering a map, though the Tower of Sinners has respawning black enemies.
  • In Project .hack and .hack Conglomerate games (that is, the first four games: Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine, and the GU games), all encounters are never random and can be seen clearly, though GU is less random than Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine. In Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine, enemies are represented by glyphs and while monsters correspond to area levels and keyword, it is still quite a surprise. In GU, all enemies are out in plain sight, going on a pre-existing path. Whether you want to engage or skip it is entirely your choice... to an extent. The way the Areas are mapped, usually consisting of separate "islands" or "rooms" connected by paths, you may or may not be able to prevent enemies from seeing you and hence avoid battle (except for the wide open Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine Fields).
  • The first versions of Rakenzarn Tales used balls of light for its enemies, with certain colors representing certain enemies. After the development of Rakenzarn Frontier Story, they were changed to black silhouettes instead.
  • Robotrek has normal enemies usually meandering around the environment. If they see the player they will usually speed up and give chase. Any time the enemies touch the player's sides or back, they get the first move in battle. Though there are also a handful of mandatory, non-boss encounters.
  • SaGa Frontier displays monsters on the screen as location and enemy-type relevant sprites. In many areas, it's possible to just walk around them.
  • Save the Light has you encountering enemies in the overworld, unlike in Attack the Light or Unleash the Light, where they have Random Encounters instead. This gives you a chance to preemptively strike them to initiate the battle, but if they strike you first, you lose 2 Star Points.
  • SD Snatcher shows enemies moving around on the screen.
  • In Septerra Core: Legacy of the Ancients, every battle is a set encounter. And if you leave the map and have to backtrack later, every encounter is respawned in the exact same location. Some battles are skippable only if there's multiple ways to get to the destination, and even then, there's almost always at least one encounter on each route.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV and its sequel Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse have enemies on the overworld represented by green digital stuff. Quest encounters are represented by red digital stuff.
  • Super Mario Bros.: The RPGs consistently use enemies in this manner, usually with one sprite or model representing a whole band, and often allow you to initiate battle with an attack in the overworld that will hit every enemy in the battle screen.
    • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is the first to display enemies walking around, but like the PC a single enemy represents the whole party.
    • Paper Mario has the monsters walk around in plain sight, with contact leading to combat. They can be avoided entirely, or the player can opt for a First Strike (leading to a bit of extra damage) by jumping on the enemy or hitting them with the hammer or certain partner skills. Some badges also provided other options. One of them instantly defeats weak enemies if you hit them on the field, while another stuns the first enemy instead of damaging it. In Paper Mario: The Origami King, as you grow stronger over the course of the game, you can instantly kill weaker enemies in the overworld with by striking first instead of heading into the battle screen.
    • Mario & Luigi games have this as well, including both the many-enemies-in-one model and the ability to initiate combat preemptively. If an enemy hits you before you hit it, however, they get the First Strike.
  • Tales Series:
    • Tales of Symphonia: Monster groups appear as somewhat unrelated models, like a floating skull, a slime, or some kind of long insect.
    • Tales of Phantasia normally uses random encounters but has a specific area of preexisting encounters during the Valhalla War sequence, where you are trying to find the enemy leader in the middle of the mazelike, contested Valhalla Plains. Encounters appear as skeletal ghosts in cloaks which replenish when you leave a screen and come back. Each fight takes up a chunk of your limited time to win the war, so you have to fight as few as you can to get the best reward for least cost.
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE: Enemies spawn in set locations when you step into a particular spot and they are visible. You can choose to battle them or avoid them. They generally spawn when you are still a few feet away from them, but some are set to spawn several at a time with you right in the middle of them and with only narrow openings to escape.
  • In the Trails Series games, which were remade for PSP, have their "random" encounters wandering around the overworld. They'll home in on you at close range, but if you're careful, you can pretty much avoid them completely.
  • Undertale mostly has invisible Random Encounters, but some Vegetoids in the Ruins are plainly visible and won't attack until interacted with.
  • The Valkyrie Profile games have enemies visible onscreen as shadowy shapes similar to Persona 3's blobs. These can be frozen and used as steps.
    • The third game, being a Strategy RPG, has Set Encounters rather than Skippable. There are only a certain amount of story battles total, with a handful of optional fights scattered throughout.
  • Valhalla Knights 2 lets you see the enemies wandering around the dungeon, and if you can get around them you can even start the battle with the advantage of a back- or side-attack. Of course, if they spot you and give chase, they can do the same thing to you.
  • The Citadel in Wasteland is filled with dozens of monks and nuns, and every one has a unique name. Consequently, although it's one of the most dangerous places in the game, it's also one of the only ones without random spawns.
  • Weird and Unfortunate Things Are Happening: Only in Vedim Space, and some are avoidable, while others are not.
  • In Wolf's Gang, enemies like adventurers walk around on the overworld and initiate encounters if the player comes into contact with them.
  • In The World Ends with You, you fight Noise by scanning your surroundings with the Player Pin and then touching those red monstrous-looking symbols to begin battle. In essence, battles that don't advance the story or clear out invisible walls are completely optional, though you miss out on pins, EXP, and PP if you decide not to battle a lot. This can make things very difficult later; even on easy mode, the final boss essentially becomes a Hopeless Boss Fight. But you later run into a type of Noise that head towards you whenever you use the Player Pin (which you also can't run from), and near the end you'll have a chance of being forced into a battle whenever you get to a new area.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and Xenoblade Chronicles 2: All enemy encounters are present in the world proper, helping to lend to the game's grand sense of scale. The player can choose to fight any of them at will (Or not. The first time you go through any given area, there will be enemies a good four or five times your level scattered about). While most enemies will mind their own business otherwise, other enemies will initiate the battle on their own; some will do so if they see you, some if they hear you, and still others if you use an Ether-based move in their vicinity. Likewise, even enemies that wouldn't pick a fight with you ordinarily might do so if they stumble upon you in the middle of a fight with another one of their species. Also as an anti-frustration measure, even aggressive enemies will stop triggering if you're ten levels or more higher than them, allowing you to freely explore certain areas with impunity after a while.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles X includes a wide array of leveled enemies in each area (including many that are above the player's level cap!). Added to the mix are exceptionally large monsters that will completely ignore your party on foot, but will suddenly become threats once you get Humongous Mecha. Similarly, smaller creatures will decline to mess with giant robots (unless you step on them).
  • Unlike Xenogears, the Xenosaga game series is composed entirely of non-random encounters.
  • Ys IX: Monstrum Nox has shadowy pillars of energy found throughout the local City of Adventure. Touching them spawns several Lemures to fight. Averted in dungeons, fields and during Grimwald Nox, since the former has all the enemies present from the very beginning, while the latter has monsters spawning in waves.
  • Zoids Saga games for the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS tended to switch between this and proper Random Encounters. In the first game, all Zoids encounters were represented by wandering (and then pursuing) avatars on the screen. You can out-run them if they don't get side-by-side or block your path. The second and third games used the more conventional Random Encounters mechanic. The DS remake (story-wise) of the first game brought back Pre-existing Encounters.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Every single Table Top Role Playing Game ever. The purpose of a Game Master (in almost all games) is to challenge their players and adjudicate the rules, and not to arbitrarily force them into combat encounters or other "rails". Smart players know this and look for ways to get to their goal with a minimum of fuss.
    • Let's start with the granddaddy, Dungeons & Dragons, and its spin-off Pathfinder. As fantasy games with many site-based adventures, there is usually a certain amount of predictability in the encounters. Players often have numerous spells and powers that allow them to see ahead and detect, avoid, or otherwise bypass enemies and perform a Dungeon Bypass. The exact methods vary by edition, but mundane stealth, invisibility, spells that allow clairvoyance and similar powers, gathering rumors away from the dungeon and putting clues together, teleportation, magic that reshapes dungeon walls, illusions, spells that create walls and barriers, and more are all available so you don't have to encounter every single enemy or trap between you and your objective.
      • Special mention must be made of D&D's numerous Story Breaker Powers in the late-game, which would in theory allow a party to spy on a villain, buff up, teleport into his bedchambers, and slaughter him. In practice, an experienced GM should plan for these eventualities, and some players purposefully avoid solving the plot like this as a matter of etiquette.
      • In D&D and Pathfinder, experience points are gained for defeating enemies and other methods. Thus, a party may decide not to skip the skippable encounters, not only because it cuts content, but because they miss the loot. Additionally, there is argument whether the GM should award XP for bypassed monsters, as that challenge was defeated in once sense, and XP is awarded for defeating encounters, not slaughtering enemies.
    • In some games, awarding XP for combat simply isn't done. Thus, the party has an incentive to skip mooks and other obstacles in order to minimize risk and conserve resources. This is doubled in games where loot from combat isn't consistently valuable and Money Spiders don't exist. For example, in All Flesh Must Be Eaten, zombies aren't likely to have anything on them you want, so avoiding enemies is probably the smart option in most scenarios. Likewise, in The World of Darkness or Unknown Armies, which are both Urban Fantasy, fighting is usually very deadly, very likely to bring unwelcome attention from law enforcement, and mooks are likely to have nothing on them you couldn't get much more easily somewhere else; so unless destroying those minions is an objective, using powers or clever skill checks to avoid them is a good idea.

Alternative Title(s): Fixed Encounters, Not So Random Encounters, Enemies Showing Up On The World Map, Predetermined Encounters