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"There are people who say that preventing saves adds to the "tension" of the game. Sure, in the sense that the fact that your 360 could catch on fire at any moment also adds to the tension."

Please do not switch off the system or remove your memory card while Describing Save Point Here.

Video Games often place rules on when, how and where the player can save their progress in-game. Some of these were originally due to technical limitations of the hardware the games ran on, but with modern consoles having vast reserves of memory and storage space, these limitations are more because of tradition than anything else.


On the flipside, an unrestricted ability to save one's game literally anywhere can (as players using save states on emulators can attest to) leave the player stranded in an Unwinnable condition should they choose to save at the wrong time (...unless you have more than one savefile)] and placing limits on the player's ability to save can prevent this, making it a double-edged sword. Properly spaced Save Points can also serve as useful hints about when the player should save.

There are a wide variety of ways these can occur. Variations include:

  • Placing restrictions on when/where the player is allowed to access the save-game function, such as in between stages/missions, on the world map or the Hub Level, or at a Trauma Inn, or an explicit Save Point.
  • Saving the game state only in Broad Strokes — e.g., recording the player's status (e.g., Experience Points, Plot Coupons, general story chapter), but not their actual position and/or progress within a given level or mission. Thus, while the player may be able to save their data at any time, they always start from a designated location (e.g., see above point) when reloading it.
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  • Requiring a certain (usually consumable) Save Token to access the save-game function, thus limiting how often the player can save.
  • Only allowing a limited number of save files (especially if that limit is one). Or, alternatively, requiring that subsequent saves always overwrite the same file, thus preventing the player from keeping multiple active saves. In games where a player's decision early in the game can have later repercussions (including unwinnability), this can become a challenge for the player. In most games, however, the effective result of this is just that only a finite number of players can track their progress on a single installation at one time.
  • A "quick-save" or "suspend" option that saves and quits (in addition to dynamically saving every few minutes/seconds to prevent progress loss in the case of shutdowns and crashes), then deletes the quick-save data after it has been reloaded (which helps prevent Save Scumming, though industrious players may still find a way to cheat the system). When this is in place, you can save & quit whenever you want, but death will still take you back to the last Checkpoint. In some games, such as Roguelikes, this may be the only save system present: Quitting the game saves your progress, and winding up in any Unwinnable situation means the save file is effectively unusable and the player must restart the game from scratch.

Compare Check-Point Starvation, for when a level (or entire game) has very few, if any, Check Points or Save Points. Contrast Autosave.


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    Consumable Save Item 
  • The Resident Evil series, wherein you must find Ink Ribbons in order to save your game. Though most typewriters have those next to them, they are a finite-use item, and you will frequently want to save more often than merely once or twice per typewriter. This is made even worse when not saving at all is one of the requirements for receiving an A or S rank when you finish the game. Resident Evil 4 added autosaves between each chapter and did away with Ink Ribbons to use typewriters to save in the middle of one. Resident Evil 5 finally ditched the typewriters entirely in favor of the between-chapter autosaves. Resident Evil 7 brought back save points, in the shape of tape recorders, but they only require the corresponding tapes on its Harder Than Hard difficulty. Same with the Video Game Remake of Resident Evil 2; easier difficulties ditch the Ink Ribbons, but Hardcore difficulty brings them back.
  • In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, you have to purchase your saves with Banana Coins after the first usage of any save point. This was thrown out for the third game and the second game's GBA remake. Fortunately, banana coins are very easy to find, and the player can always go back and get some from a previously completed level.
  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter. You have to use save tokens, and the game is far from easy. It has a quicksave option that is deleted after loading. Unless you're playing the butchered PAL version.
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance autosaves when you sleep or start or finish a quest, but manually saving requires "Savior Schnapps", an alcoholic drink.
  • Omikron: The Nomad Soul had special rings you had to find. You could use them either to save or to get a suggestion.
  • Saving in Daikatana can be done at any time provided that you have a Save Gem in your inventory which, upon saving, is used up. You can only carry three at any given time however, which, when you consider that they are often in secret areas and becomes increasingly difficult to find the further you progress (they are practically nonexistent in the last few stages), makes things even harder than they have any right to be. Mercifully, a patch was soon released that made this rule optional.
  • In the NES game Magician you have exactly 15 saves for the whole game. As in, you can only save 15 times without starting the whole thing over. Thankfully, you have four slots to choose from (allowing at least some degree of Save Scumming) and the game only has nine levels, so it is not as restrictive as it could have been.
  • In the later X-Universe games, you are limited to saving in space stations until you buy Salvage Insurance. Salvage Insurance lets you save anywhere at any time, but each unit of insurance can only be used once - so you need to periodically buy some more. The player is also limited to ten save slots (with 3 autosave slots, made when you dock at stations).
  • In the first ObsCure game, you find CDs that allow you to save in any room provided it's been cleared of enemies, but which are limited in number. The second game tightens the restrictions and combines Save Tokens with Save Points by way of the mortifilia flowers, which are save points that can only be used once.
  • In White Day: A Labyrinth Named School, the player can only save at any noticeboard if they have at least one Felt-Tip Pen in their inventory.
  • There are no natural save points in Final Fantasy VII's Final Dungeon. Instead the player receives a one-time-use item called a Save Crystal that can create one anywhere. This included past the Point of No Return.
  • Ferazel's Wand uses statue plinths as save points, which can each only be used once. And this is a game with a lot of hidden goodies in side areas, which would encourage replaying old levels if there weren't so few opportunities to save your progress from those replays.
  • One of the ways Cry of Fear's Nightmare difficulty ups the challenge is by adding cassette tapes the player has to acquire — and carry around in their normal inventory like other, more immediately-usable items — to be able to use the tape recorders that act as save points.

    Other Resource Cost to Save 
  • In the American Sega CD version of Lunar: Eternal Blue, Working Designs added a constraint to the save system. Whenever you save, it costs a certain amount of Skill Points, with the amount scaling every time you save. These are the same points that you use to, well, learn new skills so you can defeat many of the very difficult bosses and such. This became especially troublesome if you didn't have the sort of time or skill to go without saving for large stretches of time. It also wasn't uncommon to end up short on Skill Points, especially since the cost becomes prohibitively high over the course of the game.
  • Some versions of Colossal Cave deducted points for saving.
  • X: Beyond the Frontier, unlike the later games in the X series, only allows you to save while docked. You also have to pay a save fee of 10 credits.
  • Bet On Soldier had terminals that could be used as Save Points, but not for free.
  • Enemy Zero has the player save and load their game using a handheld recorder which starts with 64 charges on its battery. Saving uses up three charges, while loading uses one, meaning that too much saving or loading could force you to start over.
  • Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors, Warriors Orochi, etc. all autosave between levels, and restrict in-level saves based on the difficulty setting.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest requires the player to spend a point of energy to create a save point. The energy points are also used for Area of Effect attacks and throwable projectiles.

    One Save File Per Campaign/Character 
  • In Dead Island, not only is there only 1 save file and the game saves automatically every time you do something, but the game makes it impossible to back up your save game, and destroys your save file if you're sneaky and try to do so.
  • The Rune Factory series was getting infamous because of this, Rune Factory, Rune Factory 2 and Rune Factory Frontier not only give you a small number of save files (two on the first two, three in Frontier) but they also required that every subsequent save always overwrote your file with no way to keep multiple active saves for a single campaign. This was an particularly big problem for Frontier, since it basically forced you to complete the game more than 10 times from the very beginning (around 50 hours each, at least) if you wanted 100% completion. The latter games thankfully averted this, Rune Factory 3 reverted back to 2 save files but you could overwrite both at any time, and Rune Factory Tides of destiny not only discarded the restriction but also gives you around a dozen of save files to use.
  • In Dragon's Dogma:
    • There is only one save file allowed, so you can only have one character and its pawn active at a time, though you can back up the save to other media as a means to swap characters.
    • Within the game, it autosaves when entering a new area or completing a quest, overwriting the previous save.
    • The game also allows you to overwrite the Autosave save any time you are not in combat, and you will restart exactly at that spot, making Save Scumming possible provided you don't do anything to make the game autosave in the meantime. The size and danger level of the game's overworld makes manual saves pretty important, since the player can go a long time between changing areas and prompting an autosave.
    • Just to make sure the game doesn't stick you in a bad spot with a dodgy autosave and make the game unwinnable, it keeps a separate save for the last time you rested at the inn or accessed a Rift Stone. That way, when you manage to just barely survive a dragon's ambush ("Now Saving...") and keep getting murdered immediately after by a chimera, you have a nice, safe, save file to fall back on.
  • Ōkamiden has only one save file. Unfortunately, there's a good deal of collectibles that are Permanently Missable — some of which are tied into New Game+ functionality. These limits do not apply to its predecessor, which has 30 save files (understandable, as its supporting systems are the Playstation 2, the Wii, and all systems where the HD version is available; Okamiden is a Nintendo DS game).
  • Pokémon:
    • This is the case for the series as a whole, even more so for the first few generations has this system where you can have only one file, and at least in the first few games, you didn't need to delete it to overwrite it with a new save file. Cue the arguments if anyone's sharing one copy of the game with anyone else, the lost data when you accidentally save on a new file over a completed one, and not at all helped by the first few games and the technical limits of their save system in the first place (the original games often lost data if you turned them off at the wrong time, or just after saving, and the save data could certainly get corrupted by various events). At least you can save whenever, wherever, and as often as you want, though, even if you are limited to one save file.
    • As of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and onward, the game now flat-out tells you that you can't save when starting a new game. In order to actually start a new game (as opposed for playing however much you could manage in a single sitting and being unable to do anything that requires you to save first, like online play), you have to enter a secret combination of buttons (listed in the manual) to first erase the saved game. This might have been intended as an Anti-Frustration FeaturePokémon is largely a child-oriented franchise, which means that if your little cousin wants to borrow your 3DS, it's probably a Pokémon game they want to play, and this prevents them from overwriting your save file accidentally.
  • Roguelike games save your progress when you quit, and erase the savefile when you return. However, in most cases (including mainstream games like Diablo and Borderlands) this can be beaten by simply making a copy of the save file when outside the game (though this is generally frowned upon amongst the fan community).
  • Dwarf Fortress, in both Fortress Mode and Adventure Mode, uses a save system that is under normal condition effectively the same as most roguelikes: saves are not deleted when you load them, but you can't stop the game without saving it (or finishing it, if you lose) and selecting "quit" from the main menu. Save Scumming is still possible by forcing the computer to close the program or manually copying the same file, but is considered cheating.
  • Diablo II does not allow you to save in any way except by quitting the game. Doing so respawns all monsters and teleports you to the town of the act you're in.
  • Hellgate: London goes one further and saves at regular intervals, and after doing something you'd rather undo, like spending 75k on an equipment augment and getting + ranks in a skill you can't even use. One save slot per character.
  • Torchlight I and II save files are mostly on the Diablo model, but a little more permissive of Save Scumming. They allow you to save at any time and continue playing.
  • Antichamber has only one save. You can't really let a friend try it fresh without losing your own progress. As this is a PC game, you can of course manually keep multiple copies of the save file; in fact, this is what the creator recommends doing, shrugging it off as a Do-It-Yourself Plumbing Project.note 
  • Almost every entry in the The Legend of Zelda series until Breath of the Wild has a limit of three save files. Rough times if the game is shared by a large family or in a dorm. Save files can be copied from the file select screen. note  Breath of the Wild, on the other hand, has one permanent save per account, and a few extra slots reserved for autosaves that get automatically overwritten. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (only in non-Japanese versions of the N64 release), The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks lower the save file limit from three to two.
  • Mario Party and Mario Party 2 allow only one save file. Mario Party 3 adds two more, which then becomes the standard for all subsequent Mario Party games except 9, 10, Star Rush and Super.
  • Undertale only limits you to one save file and anything you do is permanent. This is not because of the limitations of the software, but rather a plot point and one of the main themes of the game. It is possible to reset the save and return to the start of the game, but the characters will have varying amounts of Ripple Effect-Proof Memory regarding previous runs. After getting the best possible ending, however, a "True Reset" option opens, which erases all these memories and returns the game to (mostly) its initial state. A reset option is also offered during the worst possible ending, but it permanently taints your SAVE, so that Chara ultimately takes control of your body if you try to go for the True Pacifist ending. You cannot undo this in any possible way, barring the use of third party software to force the game to "forget" that you're a soulless monster.
  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 only has one save file, and it's Auto-Save only — you cannot save manually.
  • Done intentionally as part of the theme in Until Dawn. You have one save file, and the game autosaves after every decision or QTE. Once you make a choice, the only way to unmake it is to start the entire story from the beginning. You must live with every choice you make. The past is beyond your control.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X has only one save file per Wii U account.
  • Unlike the other games from the series, Paper Mario: Color Splash only has one save file for each Wii U account.
  • Miitopia has only one save file as well.
  • In Ravensword: Shadowlands, the game only allows you to make a single save per character while playing, and does not allow loading a save unless you're in the main menu. While in the main menu, you do have an option to go to an earlier save, but the game can only store 10 of them for one character at a time; if the point you wanted to go back to happened to be placed earlier than the earliest save available, then you're out of luck.

    Save Only at Hub 
  • Etrian Odyssey games only let you save at the inn or at geomagnetic poles, the latter of which appears only once per stratum after the first one, (Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan also has one per Land after the first). Getting a Game Over only lets you save your map and nothing else. In all other cases, you can only perform a Suspend Save.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy I, the only way to save outside of a town is to use a Tent, Cottage, or House, which can only be used in the overworld map. This makes for a particularly frustrating experience in the later dungeons, where you must traverse them for lengthy periods of time and then face a very difficult boss. Even more frustratingly, it saved before the item restores your health and spell charges, meaning you have to use two to keep the restoration if you die. And, like most NES games, there was only one save slot, so only one person could be playing through the game at a time.
    • The portable remake of Final Fantasy III retains the Early Installment Weirdness of the original's inability to save inside any cave, town, or dungeon; just the overworld. Fortunately, it did bring in a quicksave system, but this is of little use when you die to the Final Boss and have to redo an hour or two's worth of dungeoneering.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics only allows saving on the World Map, which isn't all that great if you're in the middle of a long battle and the power goes out.
  • Independence War 2: Edge of Chaos, having shifted to more of a Wide Open Sandbox, imposes save limits by only letting you save at Lucrecia's Base.
  • Mega Man:
    • the first game has no saves. Subsequent games give you a password after every level, except these passwords don't record progress through the endgame stages. After Capcom started overusing the fake-new-Big-Bad story starting with 4, these endgame levels grew to be half the game.
    • The Mega Man X series let you save between end-game levels, though they never grew to the absurd lengths the original series' did.
    • While Mega Man 9 uses saves instead of passwords, it has the same artificial limit as all original series games, throwing you back to the first endgame stage if you dare to save and quit during them.
    • Fan games keep the lack of saving while taking the end stages to their most gleeful extents.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, you can save freely on the overworld, but must use a save point anywhere else. Furthermore, about half the save points not in towns are not activated; you need to use up a "Memory Gem" to activate it, which is a drop from an enemy in the area. Mercifully, they stay activated forever and for unlimited uses, the Gems are interchangeable between all areas, they will always drop from the same specific enemy the first time you beat them, and on a New Game+ for a trivial amount of GRADE you can have it so any previously activated spots remain activated on the new playthrough.
  • In early Might and Magic games, to save one had to visit an inn and sign in there. This also allowed you to swap in and out party members.
  • NieR: Automata:
    • The game only allows saving within range of an activated Access Point. This is fairly generous (these are found in the field and activated to reveal the map too), but as the game repeatedly hammers into you, it will not autosave. While Death Is a Slap on the Wrist, a shocking amount of the game's Multiple Endings are triggered by a single action, and those will dump you back at the main menu with no chance to update one's save file. These save game restrictions also mean you have to clear the entirety of the prologue (which includes an Unexpected Shmup Level, a miniboss, an entire stage, and a prolonged multi-stage boss fight) without dying once.
    • After the destruction of the Bunker (where 2B and 9S' backup data is kept), Death Is a Slap on the Wrist no longer applies, and dying will end the game right then and there instead of allowing you to carry your experience and money into your next life and retrieve your chips from your dead body. Saving frequently thus becomes more important than ever.
  • Gravity Rush: The game autosaves frequently, but you can only make hard saves at Kat's home base. Your first mission is to build it.

    Broad Strokes Save 
  • Nightmare of Druaga. You can only save your character's stats and items, not your dungeon progress (every time you go into a dungeon, you have to start from scratch). What's more, each save can only be loaded once - if you reset the console and reload, the game will assume that you're trying to get around its (very harsh) penalty for dying in a dungeon, and treat you as if that had in fact happened, stripping your character of most or all of his equipment (and items lost this way are indeed lost for good). Even if what actually happened was, say, a power outage suddenly switching off the PS2.
  • Fable has a twist: you can save at any time, but if you do it during a quest, your progress as a hero (items, spells, experience points and the like) is saved, but your progress in the world (current quest status(es)) is not, meaning you have to start over. This is particularly irritating in the Bargate Prison quest, which is not really difficult, but very long, containing several cutscenes, some of them un-skippable. This double saving system was also notable in that you could abuse the hell out of it.
    • For example, two temples allowed you to make your hero a few years younger - but only once each. By doing this during a quest, "hero" saving, then reloading the game, you'd be able to repeat the process however many times you desired. Likewise, the hidden silver keys required to open special chests could be duped infinitely via a similar method. And perhaps most abusive: there are potions found on paths of certain quests that raise your XP. it is very easy to find one, drink, save hero data, restart, find, drink, save, etc.
    • Other examples: infinite silver keys (but don't go above 30...I heard that too many will cause a glitch) and doing the Arena multiple times.
    • However, Bargate Prison has Rescue the Archeologist quest in Fable, which has pretty a lot of potions that give XP, more precisely 1000 * multiplier. Guess what happens if you save at last area and fail to rescue the guy? Yep, you go through the mission again with all the exp you had at save moment, but potions respawn. Rinse, repeat.
  • Fable II chose to go with having only one possible save. Which is really annoying if you're the kind of person who likes to try out various quest endings or such, because you can't, for example, finish the game and then reload specific points.
    • The game actually forces you to save automatically. The creator was alarmed at some of the save scumming taking place, such as players reloading to avoid a scar or an unintended bad result. It's even worse if you run into some of the game's glitches, sometimes resulting in an unwinnable situation if the game forces you to automatically save shortly after glitching, and your only hope is to get the game to glitch back to a playable state. An example is that at some point, your child is kidnapped. During the mission to rescue the child, the child can become a normal NPC through a random glitch. If the game autosaves, you're stuck with the normal NPC version of your child, who doesn't trigger the rescue cutscene. The only solutions are to abandon your child, if the game is willing to let you, or kill every single thing in the entire dungeon and then hope that your child respawns as the quest NPC.
    • You can actually use hero save to your advantage if you have a second controller. This is probably well known already, but what you do is start up a multiplayer game with your sufficiently advanced character, press start on the second controller and create a new character save with the menu, have the high level character drink an experience potion, then have the second character collect all of it. Proceed to save the new character with massive experience that they should not be able to get so quickly and simply quit without saving the first character (or load it again to repeat this whole process) so your items are not gone. You can now start the game up with your super powered rookie, who knows more than your grizzled veteran!
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Whenever you save in The Legend of Zelda or Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, you begin at the starting point, though you keep all your progress in every other way. In the first game, this is outside the cave you receive the Level 1 sword. In Adventure of Link, this is the North Castle. Also, saving adds a death to your death count. Since you can already save whenever you die, the save function (which you need a second controller to use) is essentially a suicide code. Adventure of Link has one exception in the final dungeon, the Great Palace, likely due to its distance from the start and the fact that it's also behind a stretch of some of the most Nintendo Hard terrain there is, filled with invisible Demonic Spiders hovering over pits of death and so forth. So if you die in the last dungeon, you'll restart at its entrance.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a little more merciful: You have three possible starting points in the Light World and one in the Dark World, though saving and quitting still increases your death count too (except on the GBA). The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening averts this altogether by sparing the death count and having Link restart at the last entrance crossed.
    • Oddly enough, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time brought back the limitation of the player having to start from the same point (your house as a child; the Temple of Time as an adult) whenever you resume a game, the exception being dungeons (if you last saved inside a dungeon, you go back to the entrance). Unlike the portable remakes of A Link to the Past and Majora's Mask, Ocarina of Time 3D keeps this limitation.
    • From The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker onwards, in most games the resumed playthrough puts Link at the entrance of the latest location he was, dungeon or not, thus alleviating the limitations seen with previous entries in this regard. As usual, saving inside a dungeon usualy sends you back to the dungeon's entrance on restarting the game. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has Oocoo and her son (a pair of M. C. Escher-looking bird thing and head-with-wings respectively) who can be found in nearly every dungeon and allow you to teleport to the entrance and then return to the room you were in. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword adds save points in dungeon rooms (The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds doesn't, but the dungeons are usually brief and have warp portals as a shortcut). The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild mostly averts this, by retaining Link's exact position when saving anywhere in the overworld. However, reloading a save inside any Shrine or Devine Beast will always bring you back to the entrance.
  • River City Ransom EX has a weird save system, in that your character's stats are preserved, but his progress through the game isn't. That mirrors how the passwords worked in the original, and it isn't that terrible, as the game isn't very long.
  • The flash game Guild Dungeons, instead of having a save system, records your experience. When you quit, you lose everything you had, but your experience is used to determine how many resources you'll start with next time.
    This can be used to your advantage, since you can only have one of each stone-producing buildings, but if you get enough experience, quit, and then start again, you'll begin with thousands of stones, which is almost necessary if you want to buy a Keep (which costs 5000 stone and lumber) and unlock the highest-level units.
  • The first few 3D Super Mario Bros. titles (64, Sunshine, Galaxy) save only the number of Plot Coupons gathered and associated records for each one (such as coins collected or race times), along with whether you've used them to unlock new areas. Mario himself has his Video-Game Lives reset and is placed back at the starting point in the Hub Level whenever play is resumed. Super Mario Galaxy 2, goes on to save where on the Point-and-Click Map the Faceship is parked, so you don't have to start at World 1 every time. And Super Mario 3D Land onward saves the number of lives you've collected.
  • Distorted Travesty 3 allows you to save at (almost) any time in (almost) any room. However, doing so only saves which entrance you used or which checkpoint you've reached, and your condition when entering the room/reaching it; it doesn't save what you've done since then, or your current position in the room (with the exception that items & secrets collected in the current room will also be saved).

    Other / Multiple / Not Yet Sorted 
  • Hitman series. The first game has no in-mission saves whatsoever. Bad in a shooter, absolutely inexcusable in a stealth game. The other games allow for saving, but they are limited and there's often a catch (the fourth game, for example, allows saves but they are deleted when you quit as they are intended to be on demand checkpoints rather than actual saves). One of the biggest differences between the difficulty levels in the later games is the number of saves allowed — which, at the highest difficulty, is zero (as in Silent Assassin, Contracts and Blood Money), or one save in a single run (as is with Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2).
    • To add to the dilemma in the first game. If you did happen to get yourself killed, you had two extra "lives" in which you were respawned away from the action. However this doesn't reset the enemies awareness, thus the moment you stick your head out, everyone starts shooting at you again and defeats the entire purpose of having the safety net in the first place.
    • Absolution continues the series' trend, limiting saves to a single checkpoint midway through larger levels - and those available only at lower difficulty levels. The saves are erased if the player exits the level, and seems to keep track solely of the player's position and inventory - any enemies the player has already engaged will respawn when the save is reloaded. Oh, and if you're lucky, the save point might not be in an insanely out-of-the-way location.
    • Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 let you save anywhere on the lower difficulties, so long as you're not in combat, and autosaves are frequent and get triggered on a regular basis, or if you do certain scripted events. The highest difficulty levels only allow for one save per run, so you best know what you're doing!"
  • The first Alien vs. Predator game had no saves either. A patch enabled saving, but only with a limited amount of available saves. This was a deliberate design choice, of course, to preserve the pants-wetting terror of the Marine campaign.
  • The first Independence War did not allow for mid-mission saves, something that Defiance partially rectified.
  • In Grand Theft Auto 2, you could only save by walking into a church (there's only one in each level). This would cost $50000 (which could be hard to come by at the beginning of the game), and it wasn't possible to save during a mission. In GTA III and its sequels, you could save at specific "safe houses" for free instead.
    • Although saving was free in terms of money and can be done at any time in the Grand Theft Auto III era games, it would also advance the time by about six hours, both decreasing your Bragging Rights for completion time and making it trickier to save right before time-based quests.
      • Mostly fixed in Grand Theft Auto IV; it transparently saves your progress automatically after every mission, without advancing time. Manual saving, however, still advances time, and you still can't save during missions.
    • The original Grand Theft Auto was even worse - you could only save between levels. This wouldn't be so bad, but the "easy" first level took about an hour to complete. The last level took about six.
  • Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja only lets you save at the inn, and once a player saves, the game quits automatically, returning to the title screen, possibly as an Anti Poop-Socking measure. If the player turns the game off mid-play, the next time is game is continued, it treats the player as if having wiping out in a dungeon and all inventory and money that hasn't been stored away is lost (Ouch!).
    • Which is still much, much more benevolent than most Roguelike games.
  • The Tomb Raider series use of saves changes a lot between games and even versions; all of the PC versions of the original Core Design games let you save anywhere you want (and in Tomb Raider 3's case even kept the former save crystals and made them give a health boost instead). On the console versions:
    • Tomb Raider 1 had a type of checkpoint system with stationary crystals that could be used whenever you want, but only once.
    • Tomb Raider II got rid of this and used a save anywhere system.
    • Due to complaints of the Tomb Raider II system being "too easy" from various people (perhaps in a rare proof of Viewers Are Morons). Tomb Raider III took the save system of the first game and expanded it by letting you carry the crystals and save them up for use at any time. This backfired, as the "checkpoint" feel of the original game's was gone, leaving many players wondering when to use them, resulting in a case of Too Awesome to Use, combined with the fact that the game was much harder than the first game and that the save crystals were very rare (with there only being around sixty in the whole game, with a lot of them being hidden in secret areas).
    • The later games wisely went back to the save anywhere approach. After the Crystal Dynamics Continuity Reboot the series now uses a checkpoint system, with them being regular enough that it amounts to saving after every room... Most of the time
  • Dead Rising:
    • One save per profile per storage device; you can only save in the security room or a washroom. This can be particularly frustrating at certain parts of the game, notably when you're escorting survivors through another god-awful infestation of zombies and cultists, and you "accidentally" crush the head of one of your protectees with a sledgehammer because he just wouldn't get out of the way. Cue the reload...again. Veterans of the game know to save at pretty much every opportunity. This is still a small problem compared to Infinity Mode which has no saves at all.
    • Try getting the '7 Day Survivor' achievement which basically means you have to play on Infinity Mode for 14 real life hours without saving or stopping, pausing is allowed but very much not recommended as you're already risking your Xbox overheating as it is. This is made worse by the fact that your life is constantly draining so you can't even leave the game running. You have to be there the whole time using the malls limited supply of food to stop yourself from dying.
    • Saving requires the most strategy of anything in the game. If you go too long without saving, you'll have a lot of progress to make up. But if you save too often, you could end up leaving yourself with too little time to complete a case. Saving at the wrong time can leave you stuck past a point of no return in an unfavorable condition. According to interviews with the developers, this was their intention from the start.
  • The first Donkey Kong Land for the Game Boy had one of the worst save systems in history - every time you want to save the game, you must collect the four hidden K-O-N-G letters in a level. This would be bad enough on a console game; on a portable system, where a player may have to abandon the game at a moment's notice (or the batteries might run out), it's inexcusable.
  • In Pokémon Colosseum, you could only save at computers that you'd usually find in Pokemon Centers, though there was at least one in every dungeon. Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness removed this concept and let you save anywhere. Before saving the game, both Colosseum and XD will check to make sure it's overwriting the same file, meaning you can't copy your data or farm plot-specific items or pokemon to transfer to other games.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon has a quicksave option to save anywhere in a dungeon, but once you resume the game, it gets deleted, and counts as a loss if you turn it off before quicksaving again.
  • EarthBound let you save by calling the lead character's father. Free phones were usually found in hotels (though the cheapskate city of Summers has a pay phone), although for some reason he could call you anywhere to remind you to take a break. Quite annoying in the pyramid.
    • Your cell phone is explicitly designed only to receive calls, which is just fine and dandy (unless you're, say, in the pyramid, when you might start really wishing that asshole fruit kid who invented it gave it buttons to dial with). Incidentally, Summers isn't the only city with a payphone. It's just the only one without a free one (the game even cautions you that green phones cost money, so be careful about using them so you don't fritter away all your money).
  • In The Elder Scrolls: Arena, you can save pretty much anywhere except for temples, equipment stores, and taverns. The latter is perhaps the most absurd example of this rule, as taverns are the only locations in the entire game where the player can rest without ever worrying about enemies spawning and trying to kill them, and they'll need to leave the warmth and safety of a perfectly good tavern just to save their game (so it's best to do it wait until daytime before saving). While it is likely that this was done to stop players from Save Scumming when they failed to steal items from the store or sneak into tavern bedrooms without paying, it clearly didn't stick, since the later games in the series do away with Save-Game Limits altogether and allow the player to save whenever and wherever they want. Strangely, Arena has no qualms with allowing the player to save inside Mages Guild buildings or inside palaces (though only during daytime, since you'll be forbidden from entering at night, and you'll be kicked out if you're still inside after dusk).
  • Metroid:
    • The series has designated rooms to save in, along with Samus's ship, and in certain, albeit rare, occasions you don't get a save point for a long time with a difficult segment or boss in between. In the Metroid Prime Trilogy, these rooms double as Recharge rooms as well and will restore health. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption averts this by respawning you right at the last major cutscene you experienced. This is sometimes slightly annoying, as you respawn with the same amount of HP and ammo you had at the moment. But the most annoying part is when this happens in the final battle: you have to start back at Dark Samus even if you were in AU313's final stage. However, those are only checkpoints; if you reload the game you still end up at the last save room (or Samus's ship, which also serves as one).
    • Navigation Rooms in Other M serve as Save Stations as well, and are the only way, besides Samus' ship, to fully replenish her energy reserves. You can also restore all life and missiles with the Concentrate feature, but the life-restoration bit is only usable when you are about one hit away from death though.
    • Saving in Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission advances the clock by 7 seconds, which can become significant for speedrunners. The latter game also has both regular save points in the main game (the portion that remakes the original 1986 Metroid) that simply allow saving, and ones that are combined with recharge stations to replenish your health and ammo in the Extended Gameplay.
  • In La-Mulana, you can only save in the village where you start the game. In addition, you have to buy your first save slot (save slots 2-5 can be found much, much later in the game). This might not be so bad, except that there are several "mess up and you'll never get that fancy whip upgrade!" puzzles. However, this problem is alleviated when you acquire a teleportation item that allows you to flip back to the starting village anytime, effectively creating on-demand saving (which is in fact much better than in most games). The remake relaxes this by allowing you to save at any Grail point and providing multiple save slots from the start, but your health and coin pots are no longer restored upon reloading. Fortunately, the remake adds a Healing Spring two screens away from the grail point in the village, allowing for convenient healing if you happen to be near a grail tablet.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask game allows Suspend Saves at owl statues, but the resulting save disappears once restored. Permanent saves only occur when returning to the Dawn of the First Day, losing all disposable items, un-deposited Rupees, and unfinished quests, plus taking Link back to South Clock Town. The game taxes the Nintendo 64 to its limit, even with the included RAM expansion. Thankfully, the game's "Groundhog Day" Loop mechanic doubled as a way to take some pressure off the console by simplifying the save system — only Link's weapons, Plot Coupons, and banked Rupees need to be saved; where Link can go in the game world is determined entirely by what he is carrying, not by the status of the world itself. The Suspend Save was added as an Western-only Anti-Frustration Feature, but further taxes the console as a trade-off and drops the amount of save files from three to two, with the save RAM presumably being allocated in a manner that makes room for the additional owl save data — indeed, the Suspend Save feature was absent from the Japanese release, which did have 3 save files. The 3DS remake changes this yet again: this time you can only make permanent saves at the owl statues (you no longer need a sword to activate them), and reversing time no longer gives you the option. The remake also bumps the number of save slots back up to three because of the system's better hardware. However, this can get annoying to players used to the original's save system, who may lose their data because they didn't know that reversing time doesn't save your progress anymore.
  • Eternal Darkness allows saving anywhere...but only if the room has been cleared of enemies. If a room can't be cleared because enemies respawn, you can't save. You also can't save during the vampire pursuit, because of its timed objectives.


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