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Shall I Repeat That?

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Brentalfloss: And also there's this owl who will not shut up!
Dave Bulmer: Not one for reading, then?

In most plot-based video games, there is ordinary conversation, and then there's the important stuff. The descriptions of what you need to do next, the motivations of the villain, the basics of playing the game, that sort of thing. In order to make sure the player understands all this, they'll then ask if the player would like to hear it all over again. If the player agrees, they'll do so, repeating it exactly, even maintaining all the contextual cues that realistically shouldn't happen multiple times.

Sometimes asked as "Do you understand?", in which case you want to answer "Yes" to move on instead of "No".

If the cursor defaults to "Yes, I do want to hear that again" or "No, I don't understand", this may become a Scrappy Mechanic, since a player mashing the "A" button to skip the text as quickly as possible (especially if the text is dozens of pages long and scrolls slowly) is going to end up accidentally repeating it over and over until they learn from their mistake and say "No, I don't want to hear that again" or "Yes, I do understand" .(Although, considering the fact that this trope usually only comes into play with important text that you won't get to read again, it might not be a good idea to skip it at all.) Similar to Welcome to Corneria, only this happens within a single conversation.

Compare But Thou Must!, Parrot Exposition. Common in Dialogue Trees.


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  • In Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony, after watching the tutorial (which is a Forced Tutorial on a new save file, but becomes optional afterwards), the game will ask you if you want to watch it again. As is standard for this trope, the cursor defaults to "Yes".

    Action Adventure 
  • The Legend of Zelda franchise has many examples of this trope.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has the crystals in the dark world. Obtaining each crystal will reveal part of the story, after which a question is asked: "Do you understand?" with the options being "Yes" and "Not at all." Fortunately, the default option is "Yes."
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has the audacity to ask "Would you like to hear the explanation again?" when explaining how the energy gauge works. Guess what the cursor defaults to? If you guessed "Yes", feel free to throw your 3DS across the room in frustration—because you were right. Can Kaepora Gaebora communicate telepathically?
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time:
      • The Trope Codifier is Kaepora Gaebora, the advice-spewing owl. His advice tends to be very long and spans multiple dialogue boxes, which given the game's slow Scrolling Text, means it takes a while to finish. Unlike most other characters, he'll talk to you when you encounter him automatically (i.e. you don't have to initiate the conversation). And you can't just mash A to skip to the end, because he will always ask if you want to hear him again, and the cursor will always default to the option that makes him repeat himself. And he changes the questions up — sometimes it's "Did you get all that?", and sometimes it's "Do you want to hear what I said again?" — so you can't just aim for "Yes" or "No", because the answer will be different depending on the question. It's all enough to make him one of the game's most famously annoying characters, and works about the game often joke about him this way (like in this Brawl in the Family comic). Fortunately, you can press B to skip to the end once he completes a full spiel. Unfortunately, the game never tells you the B button can be used to skip to the end of text. He won't bother you as an adult, though (because he's actually Rauru, the Sage of Light).
      • The two Composer Brothers at the Graveyard, Flat and Sharp, will tell you how they came to compose the Sun's Song and gave their lives to protect their secret from Ganondorf, and then they will ask if you want to hear what they said again, with "Yes" being the default option.
      • After listened to Saria's advice after playing Saria's Song, the game will ask you if you want to hear her advice again. The default? "Yes", of course.
      • After playing at the Bombchu Bowling Alley, the operator will ask you if you want to play again. If you're spamming "A" to skip the text describing the prize you won (if you won), you could easily select the default, "Yes". Making this mistake is especially frustrating because each game costs you 30 Rupees.
      • What's perhaps most infuriating about it, however, is that, despite the annoyance of all of this reaching memetic status, none of it was changed in the 3DS remake. Perhaps Nintendo indeed likes to watch you suffer. Well, at least they made the text scroll faster.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games, characters who tell you "secrets" used to link the games ask if you want to hear the secret again.

    Adventure Game 
  • An odd subversion in Gabriel Knight 1. While most Dialogue Trees are repeatable (for that day) and no one has a problem repeating themselves, the professor will say, "I'm not in the habit of repeating myself" when asking him repeat questions in the tree. This leads him to repeat himself frequently about how he doesn't repeat himself. (To actually rehear his conversation, there is a recording system, also used for most important conversations in the game.)

    Horror Game 
  • In the therapy sections of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Dr. Kaufmann sometimes asks if you want to hear something again. Unlike a number of examples on this page, however, you indicate "Yes" and "No" by shaking the Wii Remote vertically or horizontally, respectively.

    Platform Game 
  • In Super Mario Sunshine, you're given the option to rehear both FLUDD's explanation of the gameplay mechanics and the backstory on the loss of the Shine Sprites.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: "Um, are you sure you got that?"
  • The 2012 remake of La-Mulana is guilty of this. Elder Xelpud will sometimes e-mail the player to return from the ruins to give him important information. Said information always ends with "You wanna hear that again?" Naturally, the default option is for him to repeat himself. Game, we understand you're meant to be a love letter to oldschool gaming, but we do not want to be reminded of the owl from Ocarina of Time. Fortunately, the game's fast text speed makes it far less likely for gamers to lose patience and start mashing the button to skip...unless you're playing the original 2005 version, in which case the text scrolls slowly and painfully.
    • The Fairy Queen and Mulbruk also sometimes do this, and once again the default option is to repeat.
  • La-Mulana 2 gets pretty carried away with this. There are multiple NPCs who give explanations and then ask if you'd like them to repeat themselves. Elder Xelpud, the four Philosophers, even regular NPCs found in the ruins...they all do it. And the default option is always either "Yes, I want to hear it again" or "No, I don't understand". Every. Single. Time.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Earth Bound, meanwhile, parodies it viciously. When Buzz Buzz gives his dying words, you have the option to have him repeat the entire thing (including all his wheezing and panting!) as many times as you like, and he won't die until you tell him to stop; in the original Japanese, even says something like "Now, then... I’m about to die now, but do you want to hear all that over again?" And when Everdred does the same, he'll refuse to repeat everything he just said even if you ask. (And he wasn't even really dying!)
    • Mother 3 plays it more straight when Leder gives the surprisingly long explanation of the history of Nowhere Islands; he'll confirm that you understand each part before continuing to the next.
    • As if the developers were especially fearful of forgetful players, Mother 3 even has key items that contain the repeatable words of some characters. For example, the Stinkbug's Memory lets you hear everything Leder says again at any time.
  • Pokémon games often feature a variation on this via an old woman who will allow you to rest and heal your Pokemon. Afterwards, she asks if you'd like to rest some more. There is no benefit to saying "Yes", but that's where the cursor defaults.
    • In Black 2 & White 2, Bianca asks this after explaining the Habitat List upgrade for the Pokédex. Of course the cursor defaults to "Yes".
    • Averted in detriment to the player when the Pokémon games introduced "PokéRus": As this information is given to you essentially randomly after healing your Pokemon at the Poké Center, instead of the normal 3 screen goodbye message the lady says, you have now inadvertently and mechanically skipped past five screens of useful information by the time you realize she's saying something different than normal. And there is no "Shall I repeat that?" for this event. Ever.
  • Pokémon Ranger is infamous for its long explanations of basic tasks, and then asking if you want them to repeat themselves. Woe unto you should you accidentally choose "Yes"...
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the cursed treasure chests are nice enough to ask things like "So do you understand the terrible curse you're under now?" and will repeat the details if you don't.
  • Almost universal in Runescape's dialogue trees.
  • Shining Force uses the trope any time another character gives you an instruction in order to make sure you understand what you're supposed to do next.
  • Inverted in Final Fantasy VI. During the banquet, you get to ask the Emperor three questions. You lose points (gained from diplomatic talks and from persuading soldiers to peace) if you ask him the same question over. Moreover, he will ask which of the three questions you asked first after all of it.
  • Also in Final Fantasy X where Rikku explains the Sphere Grid, but talking to one of the other Al Bhed will trigger the tutorial again. What makes this one nasty is, you don't speak the lingo yet, so you don't know what he's asking.
  • Final Fantasy IV features an odd example — when you meet the king of Fabul, a lengthy scene happens where the king learns about Golbez and his motives, and asks you to help protect the kingdom's crystal. If you say no, it reboots the scene from the beginning instead of doing a But Thou Must!. The PlayStation translation has some fun with this.
  • In the web game Trial of Temptation, the ghost questgiver will ask you if you understand his instructions, and repeat them if you say no. If you make him repeat it too many times, he eventually gets fed up and kills you.
  • Parodied in Undertale. When Papyrus explains the rules to the tile puzzle, he asks if you got that. If you tell him you didn't, his explanation changes, and he loses track of the tiles. When he asks again, you now have the option to say you understand even less. If you do, he gives up and leaves a note with explanations and asks you to do this puzzle once you understand them. However, the machine that activates the puzzle isn't even working (it would be if you had let him activate it himself... well, for certain definitions of "working") and the explanations are illegible.
  • Octopath Traveler has a variation on this. At each town, the player can find an Inn where they can pay a small fee to rest and fully heal the active party members. After resting there, the game remains on the Rest/Exit choice screen with the cursor defaulting to "Rest", even though there's no benefit to resting (and paying) again, although it's downplayed as the player can simply press "B" to exit.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
Films -- Live-Action
  • In Jumanji: The Next Level, this is the one rule Eddie appears to grasp fast. It helps that the "line of dialogue" ends with a beautiful woman kissing him.


  • A classic joke starts with the setup "Pete and Repeat were walking down the street. Pete fell down, who's left?" and the unsuspecting victim answers "Repeat" and the joke-teller asks again "Pete and Repeat were walking down the street. Pete fell down, who's left?" The person again answers "Repeat" and the cycle continues until the victim figures out that Repeat isn't just Pete's friend's name in this context. This may also be the Ur-Example of this trope.

Western Animation