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Ridiculously Fast Construction

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A necessity of any Real-Time Strategy game in which units or buildings are built on the playing field.

All buildings can be produced and military units trained in a ridiculously short amount of time. Full-fledged headquarters can be built in just minutes, and even elite military units can be trained in under 30 seconds.

Note that this is not explainable simply by claiming that one second of "real time" equals a much longer time in "game time", because other aspects of the game, such as combat, are not sped up by as much. For example, a single construction worker can often build or repair a building faster than a tank can knock it down (very often instantly repairing it at the first moment of contact, at that). It can potentially be justified by invoking higher levels of abstraction; e.g., if each "tank" really represents a division, and the combats are battles lasting days or weeks of "real time" on end (which would be enough time to build the equipment for a new division by World War II standards — if still probably not to train the men for it).

Recent RTS games have danced around this issue by explaining new units as off-map reinforcements, or airborne troops, and/or new structures as "dropped in from orbit". Company of Heroes is somewhat idiosyncratic in this regard, since many of the units in the game, despite being described as "reinforcements" that the player has to "requisition", magically appear next to the barracks where they were requisitioned, in a manner similar to units in traditional RTS games. However, the player is occasionally able to spend resources to call in off-map reinforcements which roll onto the battlefield from off the edge of the map in a more realistic fashion.

For games set in The Future, it's sometimes explained that some kind of new high technology, like nanomachines or unobtainium-powered factories, does allow you to churn out a division of tanks or put up base defenses in mere seconds. Some fantasy games similarly explain it with magic. If it's addressed in the first place, a Person of Mass Construction may be involved.

Compare Easy Logistics, a related trope that simplifies another economic aspect of warfare by ignoring or downplaying the problem of supplying the troops once they are commissioned and deployed.

Often a prerequisite for Command & Conquer Economy and Construct Additional Pylons. One of the Acceptable Breaks from Reality. Subtrope of Video Game Time.


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    Action Adventure 
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King has Architek, a special kind of magic that not only builds buildings in a few seconds, but also summons residents to them, who will be in the house as soon as it is complete. Handy!
  • In Dark Cloud and Dark Chronicle, items and structures in the Georamas can be built and constructed instantly. The former game achieves this through a Power Crystal called an Altamillia, while the latter game has a special machine called "Carpenterion".
  • The Tarrey Town sidequest in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sees Link gathering wood for constructing houses and other buildings. He must subsequently find someone to move into the building that is being constructed while he is away; he will find the building finished immediately after sending that someone over there. Even if you take into account the speed of the in-universe clock, this will often only take a few in-game hours.
    • Its sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, has a few shrine quests involving bringing a crystal to where a shrine would be as a means of building a new one from scratch.
  • In the LEGO Adaptation Game series, the Person of Mass Construction ability almost every character has normally works rather slowly, but every game has a "Fast Build" unlockable cheat that makes them build things super-speedily. Most of the "superhero" type games also have characters with Super-Speed, which can inherently speed-build even without that cheat.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Partially Justified in Team Fortress 2, as the Engineer's complicated structures are pre-built, and just need to be unpacked. Why they can be unpacked faster by hitting them with a wrench is not explained. A huge lampshade is (repeatedly) hung on this in the sentry's operating manual with the Uhlman Build-Matic Wrench and lines like "Adjust top bolt located at rear of sentry (swing wrench downwards in a hammering motion)..."
  • Red Faction: Armageddon gives you an arm-based nanomachine repair device that can rebuild anything surrounding you in seconds; since odds are good you'll blow up a bridge or staircase you may need later, this is vital.
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla predates Armageddon with the fan-made Ricks SP Reconstructor Mod, featuring a repairer that looks like a bulky two-handed flamethrower.
  • Titanfall: The wait times for the eponymous Mini-Mecha to drop are because they are being built during the course of the battle, not just transported. Some Grunt dialogue questions how this is possible.
  • Deep Rock Galactic takes some pointers from Team Fortress 2 with their Engineer's turrets, that need but a few whacks from a hammer to be up and shooting. Same with other equipment; it's all prepackaged, and just needs some loosening, apparently. There's also the Engineer's platform gun, whose projectiles instantly splat against a surface to form a decent-sized platform; it apparently uses a mixture of volatile concrete-esque chemicals that quickly react to form a solid surface and shouldn't be ingested under any circumstances.

    Four X 
  • The Civilization series:
    • Inverted by default: it can take more time to train a single musketeer than any war of the 1400s-1700s actually lasted. The Marathon game speed in Civilization IV helped to ever so slightly mitigate this by reducing the number of years that pass per turn, increasing the construction cost of buildings more than it increased the construction cost of new units, and keeping unit movement the same. Scenarios also operate on completely different calendars from normal gameplay, allowing a bit more believability.
    • Zig-zagged in Civ V and VI, where most buildings and units can either be produced over time or purchased instantly. The question of where, for example, a cutting-edge spaceship megaproject component is being sold is not addressed.
  • In Galactic Civilizations, you can construct almost anything in a week provided you have enough money. Ships large enough to need a Reinforce Field to hold them together. Major monuments. Heavy-duty factories. Usually with options of three different hire purchase plans. You just email them the schematics and they slap it together in a few days. It might cost the entire GDP of your empire for that turn plus the cash you have saved up, but if you need that ship NOW (i.e. for a Superweapon Surprise), you can get it.
  • Sword of the Stars is one of the few aversions. Each turn is a year, but the distances involved are great enough that even travel at multiple times the speed of light could take years.
  • Star Ruler allows for instantaneous construction. If you have enough raw material and labor saved up, a ship will instantly be built when ordered. And if you use an orbital shipyard, the labor requirement doesn't exist. The instantaneous construction allows for players to crap out dozens of planet-sized battleships when their home system is invaded.
    • Star Ruler 2 adds conventional build times, though they are absurdly short - a Mile-Long Ship can be built in under two minutes.

  • World of Warcraft:
    • Lampshaded by the ingenious goblin invention "Town-in-a-Box" used in the goblin starting area, which houses several buildings as well as living goblins, who afterwards complain of it being dark and uncomfortable to be stuffed into a hundredth of your size.
    • Crusaders' Pinnacle in Icecrown. With your help, the Argent Crusade captures a chunk of barren land from the undead, and by the time you fly away to turn in the quest and return (which takes all of two minutes in-game), they have already erected a stone tower complete with fortifications and a flight master.
      • Stuff like this happened in the Twilight Highlands zone of Cataclysm, and in the Jade Forest and Krasarang Wilds zones in Mists of Pandaria.
    • Also garrisons in Warlords of Draenor, which reference the Warcraft RTS games. The garrison itself is built and upgraded instantly. Most buildings take one hour to construct.
  • The MMO PlanetSide also uses the Nanoconstruction explanation. Additionally, vehicles that you aren't using any more can be set to disassemble themselves and disappear, and characters with Engineering certifications can carry Nanorepair devices to "heal" machines, and multipurpose "mines" which can be transformed into turrets, mines and others things as needed. Refuelling the main nanotank at each base is part of the game, so that you don't run out of juice in the middle of a battle.
  • The online browser game Ikariam, while construction is much faster than is realistically possible, even the lower level buildings take at least six minutes and the higher level upgrades take hours or even days in some cases. Fortunately all units involved in an attack have double their normal upkeep and it takes a minimum of 20 minutes to transport units to another island, or players wouldn't be able to get any building done.
  • OGame: The time it takes to build a ship, defence or structure is based on how much metal and crystal it costs. The Robotics Factory exists specifically to reduce the time it takes to construct buildings, and you can later construct a Nanite Factory that provides an even stronger version of this effect to buildings, defences and ships. The most advanced empires with high level Shipyards and the aforementioned Robotics/Nanites can crank out heavy battleships in seconds, and Death Stars (a Detonation Moon inducing Mighty Glacier) within minutes.
  • All houses in Kingdom of Loathing get instant erection; no one pitches a tent like an adventurer. A cottage is made simply by slapping anti-cheese into a bowl of cottage cheese (where does the bowl go?). Just add water to the Instant House. Even pyramids, castles and fortresses can be built without spending a turn, not to mention the other, obviously absurd abodes.
  • Dynasty Warriors Online. If you break every single tower in a base, and them capture it, it will have fully built towers full of your troops. They work fast. Also, anything added to your house is instantly there when you get back.
  • Strongholds in Nexus Clash have Fortifications, which soak damage for faction members inside the stronghold, and which must usually be destroyed by raiders seeking to wipe out the inhabitants. It's possible for defenders with the right skills to rebuild the strongholds in seconds if they happen to log in during the raid, making structural engineers high-priority targets for successful raiders.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • In the Cossacks and successor American Conquest series of games, buildings can be constructed (the traditional way of workers hammering at the ground) and units trained extremely rapidly - in some cases literally in a matter of seconds. This is particularly evident in the late game as there are various upgrades in all of the games that greatly reduce build and training times. The effect is also especially pronounced on higher end computers.
  • Command & Conquer, naturally, and even justified with the Mobile Construction Vehicle, which is purposefully designed to be able to quickly unpack into the beginnings of a base. It stops there, however, and soon barracks with limitless supplies of troops and instantly-manned guard towers will start materializing out of the ground (part of the point of tiberium of a substance was to help justify/handwave fast on-field construction, but that only helps with the literal construction of things, not providing manpower).
    • In Tiberian Dawn Nod land vehicles (except for the initial harvester that comes with the refinery) had the justification of being off-map reinforcements flown in to an airstrip that served as Nod's counterpart to GDI's War Factory (it is implied the cargo planes are technically civilian and only contracted by Nod, hence why GDI's rules of engagements don't allow shooting them down).
  • In Total Annihilation, buildings are built using nanobots. Oddly enough, the game's opening cinematic seems to suggest that the build time in the game is actually slowed down. Justified, in that the whole game offers a logical reason why construction is so fast—namely, the whole concept of war is centered around the capacity of a single unit to make up an army from nothing in a matter of minutes. And they can do it because they have at their disposal the nanotechnological advancements of, approximately, a very very long time.
  • Similarly, in the fantasy-themed Sacrifice, buildings and units are not constructed at all, but summoned/created out of thin air by magic — literally, A Wizard Did It.
  • Partially explained in Starcraft and, to a lesser extent, Warcraft III:
    • In Starcraft, the Protoss teleport buildings and units to the base instead of actually constructing and training them, and the Zerg, whose technology is all organic, simply have their drones and larvae mutate into buildings and units, respectively. In addition, it is plausible that Terran SCVs, possessing future technology, can construct buildings in no time, and it's canon that humans are simply taken out of cryogenic storage and have armor bolted on. Terran buildings also seems to contain only the bare minimum of everything. Thus, they do not take long to create. The sequel's updated animations and lore also imply that the majority of their structures are simply assembled on-site from pre-fabricated components with some limited auto-assembly capabilities to aid the SCV in it's work.
    • In the Starcraft II Terran Campaign, you can obtain an upgrade that allows you to drop pre-built Supply Depots directly from the Hyperion in orbit onto the battlefield, which can save you a lot of time.
    • In Starcraft II Legacy Of The Void Artanis's Protoss get Ridiculously Fast Warp-Ins with the Warp In Pylon and Warp In Reinforcements support powers from the Spear of Adun, letting them warp in a Pylon (as well as four basic units in case of Warp In Reinforcemnets) almost instantly. In Co-op mode, Karax can warp in Pylons and defensive structures almost instantly.
    • In Warcraft III, only the orcs and humans use workers to build structures in the traditional sense. The undead instead summon them, and the night elves grow them like plants, even though only some of the buildings are sentient trees, and others are obviously artificial in nature. The game makes no effort to explain the ridiculously fast training for any of the four races, but in the single-player campaign, it is implied that all the units already exist and are fully trained, and the buildings only serve to bring them into action. In some cutscenes, as examples of Gameplay and Story Segregation, we see units training outdoors "for real".
  • Battlezone has "bio-metal", an insanely useful and multipurpose recyclable living metal that can be reformed and shaped innumerable times with the application of energy. It's Lost Technology, left behind by Ancient Astronauts — who seem to have inspired the Greek gods — that were subsequently slain when some of their creations Turned Against Their Masters. Chasing after bio-metal, as with the Tiberium in Command & Conquer, is the central plot driver of the game.
  • Dawn of War justifies this nicely, at least with Imperial forces. Prefabricated buildings are dropped from orbit and then assembled by servitors or a Techpreist. Units are requisitioned, and are shuttled in from orbit via pods or dropships. Eldar grow an unobtainium material using "psychic singing" for their buildings and use teleportation for their transport. Orks construct their buildings from a pile of materials dropped by a flyer, the results being rather slapdash. Chaos summons in its buildings and units via the Warp. Necron buildings are assumed to have been constructed long ago and stored in underground tombs, and then teleported onto the battlefield as needed. The fact that many of the soldiers are veterans with a history of combat stretching back years, decades, or in some cases even centuries or millennia, rather than new recruits (with those units supposed to be being among the game's weakest), also helps suspend disbelief in so far as the setting's premises are accepted.
  • Supreme Commander gets around this by making nano-assembler technology be an integral part of the game setting, to the point that the only resources the player needs to worry about are raw Mass and Energy. Units being constructed are even shown being molecularly assembled as they are built. All units, except for the Commander himself, are unmanned robots, which gets around the problem of having to staff and crew all those combat units.
  • Homeworld and its sequels get around this by also having molecular assembly technology incorporated into the setting. In addition, the crews of the combat vessels are assumed to be colonists from the Mothership that are awakened from cryo-sleep. As there are 600,000 of them, it is unlikely that the player will ever build so many units as to begin stretching disbelief in this regard. In Homeworld 2, the largest production-capable ship, the Shipyard, even explicitly described to be "so massive it needs to be hyperspaced into combat". This also necessitates said hyperspace technology module to be built first (and, in the Vaygr's part, manually researched first). Here, however, even the largest of units show up from somewhere as opposed to magically appear beside the ship, as every production capable unit has an "entry" and "exit" point for ships that can be produced to be deployed. This adds a very breathtaking moments (and also annoying to some extent) when a battlecruiser is finished and is clearing the production bay before it is sent on its order. The Homeworld: Cataclysm manual states that the two massive Explorer-class mining vessels (Faal-Corum and Kuun-Lan) were both completed in 35 days (for reference, each one masses 613,000 tons).
  • World in Conflict explains this by having all of the available units as off-map reinforcements. Whenever the commander needs more units, they are simply airdropped directly into the combat zone. Where exactly all these reinforcements (and the planes that are dropping them) are coming from isn't quite explained, but there are some points during missions where you're allowed to deploy a certain number of special units, with the reasoning that they're extra equipment being flown in from nearby depots and bases. This trope is also Lampshaded during one of the missions, where the Americans must take back Ellis Island from Russian Spetsnaz commandos. The Americans are at first confused as to how the hell the Spetsnaz have so many vehicles and equipment, and then quickly deduce that the American garrison on Ellis Island was horribly oversupplied.
  • Played straight in Netstorm, where much of the game depends on your ability to lay down bridges faster than your opponent in a manner similar to Pipe Dream. Of course, it only gets better when you realise that the entirety of your army consists of static buildings that take the form of cannons. The entire game is based on building your cannons in more advantageous locations than your opponent, and more quickly.
  • Act Of War Direct Action does not have you build tanks and other machinery at your base; rather, you build a landing pad, and your bought tanks are brought in as helicopter baggage. Of course, no explanation is given as to why your tank arrives within seconds of you ordering it. This makes one wonder if it wouldn't be simpler to find a flat piece of land near the enemy base and just fly ten or so of your tanks there.
  • Star Wars: Empire at War has a slightly different, but still pretty absurd, take on this one. Units can be produced only in the strategic galactic map, and take much longer periods of time to produce. And can be dropped into the battle in limited numbers. This would be a justifiable subversion if it weren't for the fact that you can build the Death Star from scratch in less then a month, (game time), and most units in less then a day.
    • Averted hard in the precursor, Star Wars: Rebellion. Travel times go from a couple days to hundreds and thousands, and the same goes for constructing buildings and vehicles. Fortunately, you can build multiple construction facilities (and later upgrade them), but even with the industrial power of an entire planet dedicated to manufacturing (and the resource and refinery worlds that supply it), it easily takes a hundred days to build a single capital ship. It's befitting one of the early examples of what would later be called a grand strategy game.
  • Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising explains this with nanotechnology. The 'base' in the game, the adaptive cruiser Antaeus, is equipped with "Creation Engines" which contain trillions of nano scale assembler robots capable of creating new vehicles from blueprints stored in the carrier in just seconds. The only resource required is 'metal' obtained by scavenger units using disassembler beams to reclaim various wreckage from the battlefield. The disassembling process does take time, presumably due to the lesser numbers of nanobots involved.
  • In Rock Raiders, once the Raiders have paid the necessary price of energy crystals and ore, already-completed buildings are teleported down from the orbiting LMS Explorer rather than being constructed on-site. Other construction efforts such as assembling Power Paths or repairing erosion still take two seconds at most, though. Additionally, training is still incredibly quick, for instance taking just three seconds to be trained as an explosives expert!
  • Averted, along with many other RTS tropes, in the many historical RTS games by Paradox Interactive, such as the Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron series. These actually feature realistic building and training times, so even though a game takes place over many years, you still really have to plan ahead to make good use of them. Hearts of Iron is an especially interesting example, as construction times vary wildly depending on what you're building. Replacing a militia unit takes about a month. What's that? The USS Enterprise was sunk? You're gonna have to make do without for a while, it takes almost two years to build a new aircraft carrier. It also varies depending on what else you've been building - order a run of multiple destroyers or divisions and each unit past the first will be produced slightly faster than the previous one as the factories already have the necessary tooling set up and experience in place.
  • EndWar justifies this by having reinforcements come in from off-map as well, flown in via transport chopper.
  • In the game Utopia (an old Amiga game, basically SimCity IN SPACE!!), buildings first appear as scaffoldings before they're completed. Curiously, this happens for landing pads too, even though they're just paved squares...
  • Justified in Halo Wars, as (similarly to Dawn of War) buildings, units, and almost all of your resources are brought down from your ship in orbit; UNSC supply pads periodically show ships landing and off-loading supplies, and the construction cinematic for a new base depicts two drop ships dropping the two halves of the base which are then welded together.
  • In Majesty, it's a good idea to recruit gnomes. They can build things freakishly faster than the peasants and dwarves. Get a group of 9 gnomes, all your buildings will be complete before you can type the "restoration" cheat.
  • Universe at War: Earth Assault: the Hierarchy actually has construction that seems to take longer then it should. Their buildings are constructed by their orbiting ships, all their builder units do is create unnecessarily elaborate circles to be scanned and read like bar codes. As for units, most of them units are teleported by their Humongous Mecha.
  • Rise of Legends plays it straight, but it might be explainable for the Cuotl (who look like they're just teleporting their units and buildings onto the map) and the Alin (who are masters of magic, and this is clearly shown.) No explanation for the Vinci, however.
  • Played straight in Age of Mythology, but can be exaggerated with a certain Cheat Code. This cheat code will allow you to train units as fast as you can mash the mouse button or shortcut key. A Wonder, the biggest building in the game, with 9999 "health", can be built in about 8 seconds. It usually takes 8 minutes... with 12 or 13 villagers working on it non-stop.
  • Played straight and averted in the Age of Empires games, depending on the building. Plenty of more basic buildings are built in an understandable amount of time, given how short each year is in real-time. Other buildings, however, are built incredibly fast, such as castles or walls. Like Mythology above, it also has a cheat that makes everything happen instantly, regardless of what it is.
  • Played straight in the Achron alpha. Buildings are constructed ridiculously fast, even for an RTS. However, this could be explained by the game being in its alpha stage: there's a good chance that it'll slow down to standard RTS speeds by the time the finished product rolls out.
  • Earth 2150:
  • Outpost 2 has structures built in a factory as a kit, which then has to be loaded onto a ConVec (Construction Vehicle), which in turn has to build it in a suitable area, usually one linked up to a tube (underground tunnel connecting the buildings).
  • The Warlords Battlecry series plays this straight. A eagle/pegasus/dragon nest (mostly made out of solid rock) can be built in less than 30 seconds, and takes about as much time as the construction of a first-level base (which often comprises multiple towers and structures housed around a single building). Building upgrades take roughly the same amount of time, and can comprise multiple building and/or feature additions.
  • Space Pirates and Zombies has no explained excuse for how INCREDIBLY fast ships are deconstructed, constructed, and teleported in. Huge repair projects are completed in a span of seconds.
  • In Colobot, all it takes to build a building is a single block of titanium and the player character shooting a specially designed gun at it for a few moments. And the factory building only needs about 15 seconds to turn a single titanium block into a new robot.
  • In BrĂ¼tal Legend all three factions can set up their stages and merch wells in a flash with everything being done in seconds... in real time. It makes sense if you see it as being a part of the world as fans demand merch as soon as possible and bands have to get ready for showtime in a flash. The units themselves make sense as they're all backstage and wait for their cue to get ready.
  • Dungeon Keeper: Zig-zagged. Your Elaborate Underground Base needs to be excavated and/or natural caves claimed for your territory by Worker Units and your Booby Traps need to be assembled in a workshop, but you can instantly outfit any area of your territory as any type of room — Lair, Casino, Torture Chamber, and so on — as long as you have the money to spend.
  • Company of Heroes attempts to justify this with the Allies. The Americans build everything out of sandbags and tents, and the British truck everything on lorries (cargo vans) that unfold into temporary structures. Both Axis factions, however, can still build fortified concrete bunkers inside of five minutes (the concrete wouldn't even have set within that time; let alone properly cured). The implication is that the Allies are the invading liberators, while the Axis are the dug-in, bunkered-down fascist defenders, who've had the time to build proper military bases (and you're just supposed to pretend that they've been there for years in multiplayer/skirmish). Everyone's HQ is a fortified civilian house as well.

    Simulation Game 
  • Animal Crossing mostly runs in real time based on the system's clock. But when another villager wants to move in, her house just appears overnight. And when you want to upgrade your house, it'll likewise be renovated overnight.
  • In the SimCity games, most buildings like power plants appear instantly. Zoning works differently; you simply designate an area and someone else builds there. Also, time rolls by faster, so...
  • Averted in some of the Harvest Moon games, where construction of new facilties on your farm take at least two days to complete, given the right amount of materials and gold. Played straight, however, in Island of Happiness, where the island's lone carpenter, Gannon, can put together anything overnight once you give him enough money to work with. This seems to suggest that he's really good at his job, or that he Must Have Lots of Free Time.
  • Rune Factory 3, in which all objects that you order to be built are in your house instantly, even the forge and the monster barn.

  • Pre-made Rollercoaster Tycoon rides can appear in an instant in the player's park. Real-life roller coasters are designed on computers and prefabricated off-site, so it's not too far from the truth as far as construction goes. Perhaps the biggest difference is the amount of testing and quality assurance needed before the public can have a ride: the game simply requires a single successful test run. On the other hand, designing your own coaster may take minutes or hours of real time, which can translate to many weeks in-game.
  • MechWarrior: Living Legends has players purchasing their units (be it 'Mechs, vehicles or aerospace) for them to be assembled in a hangar that opens up. It's one of the Acceptable Breaks from Reality due to the fact that these units, especially 'Mechs, take a lot longer to build in the lore of BattleTech or it would be a lot faster than flying the units in from offworld sites.
  • Present in every game of the City-Building Series. However, while the buildings are instantly placed, they aren't immediately operational: a walker needs to move past housing in order to recruit workers, and raw materials must be brought in for production to begin (though industrial buildings don't need to be staffed to receive the materials, storage buildings need to be fully staffed to work, for some reason).
  • The Railroad Tycoon series allows the player (via their company) to build track, stations, trains, etc. immediately, as long as they have the funds on hand to do so. Justified, at least somewhat, by the in-game time units being months.
  • Most of the Tropico series averts this, requiring available construction workers to build facilities, which can take up to several in-game months depending on the number and skill of the workers. However, 4 adds a Quick Build option that doubles the price of the building in exchange for completing construction instantly. Useful for immediately completing desperately-needed facilities or for when your workers are too busy wandering around doing nothing instead of doing their jobs.
  • Buildings in Frostpunk only take a few man hours to build. It does require you to have workers to walk there and be available, so you won't be able to construct buildings if every one of your citizens are busy working. Despite the fact keeping buildings warm enough and work hours reasonable are very important mechanics in the game, they'll take time off shift to put up buildings even in the middle of a blizzard. It's pretty much the only thing the citizens won't complain about.
  • Zig-zagged in Black & White 2: As a god, you can miraculously transform construction materials into finished buildings, but it consumes less material when your villagers build them the slow way.
  • Factorio has such examples as the player being able to, by hand, build a functioning electronic circuit from an iron plate and copper wire in half a second, or a car out of iron, steel, and some engine parts in 2 seconds. At first, assembly machines are slower than the player, but faster machines plus speed modules and beacons make these times seem slow.

    Tower Defense 
  • Towers in Defense Grid: The Awakening come pre-built, as they rise out of preplaced hatches then unpack their weapons. Upgrading towers takes a little longer, since the weapon usually needs to be repacked to fit back through the hatch, but the new tower pops up as soon as the old one is through. Hell, the hatch doesn't even close for this.
  • Plants in Plants vs. Zombies tend to grow ridiculously fast from what is implied to be a packet of seeds.
  • In Orcs Must Die!, the Apprentice can instantly summon traps, and guardians only need the time is takes to stand up to be ready for battle.
  • Construction in Gemcraft is instantaneous (it is, after all, magic). Moving gems into them, however, takes time. This evokes imagery of your wizard running up tower staircases carrying huge gems.
    • The Chasing Shadows installment finally disproves the Gameplay and Story Segregation hypothesis by introducing another being which "can move in frozen time" and thus making it clear that yes, you really are building instantly from the perspective of monsters.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Every building in the Heroes of Might and Magic is built instantly, ready for use from the moment it pops into existence. Whether you build a marketplace or an entire mountainside to put those dragon caves in, the only limitation is that you can only build in each city once every day (turn).
  • Game Boy Wars 3 has an Engineer unit with this trait.
  • In Makai Kingdom, you deploy buildings by, apparently, dropping them from high above, with no ill effects other than comically flattening out before resuming normal shape. (The exact same thing happens when you drop in soldiers.) Buildings are actually prepared beforehand in Lord Zetta's home area, and wished into existence, so no actual manufacturing takes place.
  • In Battle for Wesnoth, both newly recruited units and those recalled from earlier scenarios in the case of campaign play instantly appear in the castle whose keep your leader currently occupies, can be attacked by enemy units right away on their next turn, and can then move and attack on their own initiative starting on your next turn. While the day/night cycle strongly implying that each turn takes several hours makes this a relatively mild example by videogame standards, it's still fairly implausibly fast recruitment for a fairly traditional fantasy setting, especially considering that it can be done in any castle that has a suitable keep — even if it originally belonged to an enemy. One could come away with the impression that a sizable train of both old allies and random new recruits must accompany the leader offscreen everywhere he or she goes, only waiting to be actually paid in order to enter the map...
  • Ancient Empires doesn't allow you to construct buildings, but the sequel allows you to repair damaged buildings (which takes one turn, the same time needed for a Catapult to damage one). Unit production (which consumes gold, implying that you're hiring them) is instantaneous, so you can produce as many units in a turn as you have gold for.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Factorio has the player able to do handcrafting fairly quickly, turning a pile of rocks into a stone furnace in a matter of seconds, bashing iron billets into gears and tooling for an Inserter Arm in a similar time frame, and the same applies to drawing copper into wire manually before combining it with plates to make basic circuit boards. The crafting speeds get more wild with advanced Assembler machines, as with Speed modules installed, you can craft even complex machinery like chemical plants and nuclear centrifuges in a under a minute, condensing hundreds of concrete slabs, steel plates, and advanced circuitry into said centrifuge in unreasonably quick time.
  • Averted in X3 Reunion and the sequels. If you decide to build a capital ship instead of just buying it from a shipyard, you need to first reverse engineer the ship to learn the blueprints or buy blueprints (lots of money), build absurd amounts of resources, and then you need wait twenty hours in real time as your Player Headquarters builds the ship. Fighter ships take anywhere from 3 minutes to 3 hours to build depending on what class it is (i.e. a scout is quick to build while a heavy fighter takes over an hour); the reverse engineering and build time takes longer the larger and more advanced the ship is. The game thankfully has a device that speeds up time 10x. However, buying capital ships (or anything, for that matter) from race-owned shipyards results in the ship spontaneously being generated from nowhere with no build time - the only limit is how many credits you have. Space stations are also assembled instantly by your ships, regardless of distance, allowing players to build space stations inside enemy ships

Non-video game examples:

    Anime & Manga 
  • In One Piece Franky can build bridges out of scrap in seconds. And they're darn nice looking too.
  • Yatterman has Boyacky and Tonzura building complicated mechs in a short amount of time, given that they usually complete the mech on the same day they get all the money needed to finish it.
  • Like Boyacky above, Voltkatze of Yatterman Night is fairly good at this type of thing, often combining it with MacGyvering.
  • Bulma from Dragon Ball has a house stored in a capsule that she can erect or take down instantly.
  • The Castle Lord class in The Misfit of Demon King Academy are capable of raising sprawling, fully-furnished castles in seconds using magic, alongside raising barriers, anti-magic defenses, and reinforcement magic for their allies. Misha Necron is particularly notable for being able to construct three of them at once by herself where most other armies need several of them working in unison.
  • Monster Musume: When Mero moves in, a new room with a massive indoor pool is added for her in a span of only a couple of hours. Later on, the house gets "expanded" to better accommodate having seven monstergirls living in it (as well as add a bunch of added features) to the point that it looks like it was probably torn down and a larger house constructed in its place over the course of a weekend.

    Comic Books 
  • In one Asterix volume, a newly arrived Roman legion builds a camp in a matter of hours. Truth in Television and much easier since most of the buildings are tents.
  • A newspaper clipping from the Astro City "Local Heroes" trade collection mentions that Honor Guard often uses alien technology to quickly repair damages after super-powered fights.
    • It is also mentioned that quick repairs to the city's infrastructure is Serious Business to the Astro City Department of Public Works.
  • In an early issue of The Incredible Hulk Bruce Banner, a theoretical physicist, and Rick Jones, a no-particular-education teen, build an entire Hulk-holding bunker in just a few hours. An issue or two later Jones builds another one all by himself.
  • This is essentially Damage Control's job - quick turnaround construction after supers' fights.
  • In Tintin in America, an entire city is built on the plains in a matter of days. Tintin doesn't even have time to change out of his cowboy outfit before the surroundings turn into a bustling urban metropolis.

    Fan Works 
  • A Thing of Vikings: Because of the need to build new houses quickly after they get burned down by dragons during the Dragon War, the Hooligans developed efficient construction techniques that helps them rebuild quickly. These techniques gets applied to the Dragon Mail stations when the construction expedition begins, with one epigraph noting the expedition can finish constructing one within days of finishing the previous one.
  • Family of the Shield: The Golden Shogun Shield that Naofumi Iwatani collected has the Unique Ability known as [Territorial Reform]: which allowed for him to manage and construct the roads and buildings in any territory that he owns, which consisted of Luroluna Village, the greater Seaetto Territory of Melromarc, and possibly Siltvelt. He would then gift the Ability to his eldest son Monti after experimenting with the Shield and upgrading it to it's best quality possible before departing to handle a crisis in the Capital. By the time Naofumi returned a few hours later, Monti had already used the ability to build up most of the once-destroyed Houses in Luroluna and finished constructing a defensive wall around the town; even making the wall go down a sheer cliffside.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, the "digistruction" technology seen on Pandora allows ships and vehicles to be created in very short periods of time. This gives some carriers of the technology a mechanical Healing Factor. It's also the only way to take on the Flood at Intergalactic Stage since nothing else seems to be able to produce military units quickly enough. RISE knows this and was already building massive facilities to digistruct entire Star Dreadnaughts in a matter of weeks.

    Films — Animation 

  • While modern, Western lore generally makes genies into Reality Warpers, this is how they work in the legends. For example, the original Aladdin story has the genie build a magnificent palace for him over the course of one night, rather than just waving his hand and making it appear. (Same with people—he just flies off and grabs some slaves for Aladdin.)

  • Dungeon Robotics: Terra mages can construct buildings and fortresses rather quickly. However even they are out paced by the power of a dungeon core. Regan has repeatedly made large towers and other buildings in a matter of minutes. He just needs the mana to do so.
  • In Factory of the Gods, all construction in happens at ludicrous speeds, justified in part by being the product of divine power.
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom: Based on the below-mentioned "One Night Castle" legend, Kazuya develops a plan that makes use of the Forbidden Army's earth mages and pre-made materials to actually build a a fort in one night in front of Duke Carmine's city. The anime also leaves out that they actually occupied and rebuilt an old fort that had been abandoned in favor of the newer walled city, which lessened the workload.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted: Every Exalt with Craft charms has a charm that can drastically reduce the time scale of construction projects, completing in minutes or hours what might take days or weeks. Projects that might take years could be completed in scenes, assuming of course that the Exalt has the proper materials ready.
  • Inverted in Warhammer 40,000 as far as the Imperium/Adeptus Mechanicus is concerned: to reinforce the always-losing state of the nominal good guys, everything takes a huge amount of time to replace (when they're not made with Lost Technology and thus irreplaceable). Mile-Long Ship in particular take centuries to construct, partially because We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future is in full effect (one of the dangers of such ships is running into the inbred cannibalistic tribes descended from the workers who got lost during construction). Forge Worlds are entire planets devoted to producing vast amounts of ordnance, weapons and vehicles, but how fast they do so isn't stated.

    Web Animation 
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, Rogal Dorn pulls this by assembling a massive wall of psychic-resistant metal offscreen in less than a minute while Magnus the Red is rampaging through the Imperial Palace. The Captain-General is left rather flabbergasted as to how he managed to do it, or more importantly, why he thought that building a giant wall was the best option.
    Rogal Dorn: I am fortifying this position.
    Kitten: ...WHY!?!
    Rogal Dorn: The best offense is a good defense.
    Kitten: Aw, for Terra's sake, that's not even how it goes!

    Web Comics 
  • In Erfworld, as part of the general "world that works by strategy game rules" premise, units (including people) pop into existence as adults with basic skills and knowledge already in place. Not to speak of the cities, which build their own facilities, libraries included, the same "day" you pay their cost.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Due to nanotech fabricators, automated loaders and assemblers, and ubiquitous gravity technology, cities can be built very quickly.
    Narrator: Most 32nd century engineering programs require a final project unironically titled "Rome in a day."

    Western Animation 
  • Imps as depicted in Aladdin: The Series are literal whirlwinds of construction, in their debut episode rebuilding (and repainting) an entire city in moments. At one point our protagonists are following the character of the week up a flight of stairs literally being built up under them.
  • Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines: Klunk can build new planes very quickly as soon as the previous ones crash/otherwise get destroyed.
  • Family Guy: In "Amish Guy," Peter blows up an Amish community's barn, only for the Amish men to fully rebuild it in a matter of seconds, so he blows it up again. Rinse and repeat.
  • The Jetsons: In one episode, George is at work and watches a machine build a multi-story office building next door in under a minute. His boss, Mr. Spavely, briefly goes on a "back in my day" tangent about how it used to take a whole week to construct and furnish a whole office building.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • On "Bugs Bunny Rides Again", Yosemite Sam tells Bugs that "This town ain't big enough for the two of us!" Bugs runs out, you hear sawing and hammering, and then he comes back and asks "Now is it big enough?" In the two seconds he's out, Bugs has built about a dozen skyscrapers around the town.
    • 2004's Hare And Loathing In Las Vegas has Yosemite Sam's gambling casino put up over Bugs' rabbit hole faster than you can say "What's up, Doc?"
    • In "Rhapsody in Rivets", a skyscraper is built in the time it takes to play Liszt's ''Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2". By the end of the cartoon, the pace seems to be about five floors a second.
    • The plucky little rabbit in 1937's Porkys Building constructs a skyscraper with his ears alone to help Porky beat a bad-guy competitor's building. And within a minute, too.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • The boys built a skyscraper from their backyard to the moon in less than a day. They planned and fabricated it between when they got up in the morning and when their mom got home in the afternoon. Using less than a dozen ten-year-old kids for labor.
    • They built an eleven story tall backyard fort in a couple of hours, and a rock climbing wall that extended into the upper atmosphere.
  • Popeye:
    • In The House Builder-Upper, Popeye and Wimpy try to rebuild Olive's house after it burns down, and after numerous comic escapades that get them nowhere, Popeye eats some of his spinach and builds a fully-furnished dwelling in seconds ("Ready for the first mortgage!"). However, the whole thing collapses once he goes in and slams the door.
    • In Insect to Injury, Popeye's new house gets eaten by termites, so he downs some spinach and proceeds to quickly rebuild it with termite-proof metal.
  • In Rainbow Rangers, Bonnie Blueberry's gadget is the Construct-O-Max, which lets her build things extremely quickly.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Sean Has a Cold", Sunspot manages to build a kite flying machine in a matter of seconds.
  • A major part of The Yum Yums involves the Sourpusses stealing their Magic Toolbox, which is needed to repair the damaged park quickly enough for it to open the following day.
  • Storybots Super Songs: In the "Professions" episode, Bo manages to build a really big house out of playing blocks in a matter of seconds. It's also fully furnished and has a swimming pool.

    Real Life 
  • During the Sengoku Period of Japan, the construction of Sunomata Castle by Toyotomi Hideyoshi on orders from Oda Nobunaga is considered this in Japanese history. Hideyoshi was able to construct a respectable defensive structure in an extremely short period of time, practically on the doorstep of the Saito clan's Inabayama Castle. Its appearance so startled the Saito that the rumor began to spread that it had been built overnight, lending Sunomata the nickname "The One-Night Castle." The legend is only slightly exaggerated, in that historically Hideyoshi got Sunomata built in two to three days and it was more of a fort, but considering that raising such structures are usually weeks-long affairs, three days is still extremely quick for a full-fledged fort. Hideyoshi's apparently impossible accomplishment was thanks to his plan to haul prefabricated pieces of the fort into place and quickly erect them, giving the impression that they had been constructed on the spot.
  • During the Arab Revolt of 1936-39 in Mandatory Palestine, the British authorities attempted to appease the Arabs by restricting new Jewish settlements. The Jews got around this (and were able to create contiguous Jewish-populated regions to influence the inevitable partition plan) through the Tower and Stockade method, which took advantage of an Ottoman-era law that stated no illegal building may be demolished if the roof is completed. Because of this, most of the settlements were created in a single day, a bare-bones of a shed, a watchtower, and a fence around it.
  • The Liberty ships, a Second World War project to create a standardised design of cargo ship that could be built quickly and cheaply. Once the yards had refined the assembly process, a Liberty Ship could be built and fitted out in about six weeks, where a more conventional merchant ship design would take closer to six months.
  • Speaking of ships, the British battleship HMS Dreadnought was not only a revolution in warship design (to the point that a whole class of ships were named after her, as well as The Dreaded Dreadnought trope), but also a chance for Britain to flaunt her industrial might. Granted, a lot of the material and equipment was stockpiled in advance, and the men were working considerable overtime, but the first plates of Dreadnought were laid down on 2 October 1905, the completed hull was launched on 10 February 1906, and she steamed out of the harbour on 3 October, incredibly fast construction for a battleship, especially an all-new design.
  • A standard Roman Legion camp could and usually was erected in a matter of hours. While this doesn't sound terribly impressive, it's important to remember that a Legion consisted of 10,000 soldiers, and the camps had to be large enough to house all of them. They got away with it by having a standard layout for the camp, and every soldier contributed to setting it up. Perhaps more impressive, they could break down the camp in even less time.


Video Example(s):


Construct Rare Walled Springs

Having been given informal control over Rabby Village, Kunai builds high-quality amenities like Hot Springs Hotel in order to lure in rich and wealthy clientele to the region, while hiring on the Rabbitfolk who live there as his work staff.

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Example of:

Main / EnlightenedSelfInterest

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