Follow TV Tropes


Teleporting Keycard Squad

Go To

"..the game's habit of cheekily spawning [a monster] right around the room where you just solved a puzzle starts to get wearily predictable. It's like they're being summoned by the autosave function."

These enemies just appear out of nowhere.

You've blasted your way through the hedge maze populated by unspeakable monstrosities, and after spending what seems like most of your ammo, you've finally cleared the place out. And look! Up there on the pedestal! It's the keycard you need to open that door you passed a while back! Looking behind you once more to make sure it's safe, you take the keycard...

...and immediately hear the footsteps of enemies running in to murder you. You could have sworn you cleared the area of zombie chainsaw maniacs beforehand. And the area before that, too, and the only other entrance to this area is locked. So how the hell did these guys get here? They must have teleported in the moment you grabbed the keycard.

And that's what this trope is all about. Whenever you take something important like a key (or sometimes a new gun or upgrade item), the game spawns in new enemies for you to deal with, regardless of whether or not there were any enemies left in the area. Sometimes they're teleported in, possibly around the corner where you can't see them so the game can pretend they were there already, and sometimes they come out of hidden rooms that open up and disgorge them (which is often called "Monster Closet" gameplay).

Anything useful tends to be Schmuck Bait, especially any Plot Coupon. You have to get it and the writers know it, so they might as well punish you for doing the only thing possible. This veers into Stupidity Is the Only Option if you get no chance for at least taking sensible precautions. Like planting proximity explosives that don't trigger because the enemies spawn with their jaws already sunken firmly into your buttcheeks. Even worse is if planting those explosives makes the game Unintentionally Unwinnable because the game is waiting for an Event Flag that will never happen because it was waiting for those monsters to bite you.

If the game goes into a cutscene as you approach a Plot Coupon, it's almost guaranteed that this trope will come into effect.

Players beware: If that thirty-foot-tall dragon doesn't appear immediately when you take the keycard, he's probably waiting behind the door you entered the room from. Or maybe he's waiting for you back at the local Save Point. Or the dungeon's entrance. Or maybe he is the keycard. Or, sometimes you actually can grab the keycard without having to fight something over it. Hope you don't lose any sleep over which one it is.

If the new enemies are dropped off by a dropship or similar it's probably a Video Game Setpiece or Scripted Event. Compare Clairvoyant Security Force. Also compare Villain Teleportation. Compare Suspicious Videogame Generosity, where taking the "keycard" doesn't trigger enemies, but the nature of the item lets you know they're coming all the same. See also Mobile Menace. He Was Right There All Along is a similar trope that applies to bosses. Drop-In Nemesis is where an enemy appears and kills you without warning due to some stupid action by you.


    open/close all folders 

  • Inverted in Chaos Heat: The only exit in several areas is an electronically locked door, which you need to obtain a keycard to open, but said keycard will not appear until you've killed every single onscreen enemy the game throws at you. Once every mutant monstrosity is destroyed, a keycard suddenly pops out from nowhere for you to collect.
  • In God of War, every time the player acquires a new ability, he is ambushed by mooks, of whom he can try out his new ability on. Justified as every enemy in this game arrives straight from hell, and come rushing at you from portals of dark smoke in the ground no matter what the situation.

    Action Adventure 
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin has you grab a Gear which you need to put in a place at the clock tower. As soon as you take it, Legion appears in the room.
  • Cave Story drops minor Boss Battles on you when you get the Gum Base and, later, the Medicine. There's also a Skippable Boss battle that only happens if you open a conspicuous chest. Also, when you get the Infinity Plus One Gun, many more enemies are added to the area you have to backtrack through to give your new weapon a workout.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, after defeating the guards of a racket truck, one of them will drop a sack of cash. If you pick it up in a part of NYC still controlled by an enemy family, mobsters will spawn and start chasing you. Usually they come in a car. You will also see these if you pick up a stolen shipment, and some raids on enemy fronts may have enemies pop up to attack you In the Back even if you made sure to clear the path beforehand.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Getting the Boss Key in Forbidden Woods brings in two Moblins to the room where it was guarded, courtesy of some Kargaroks that drop them right in front of Link. And getting the one in Tower of the Gods activates the previously-inanimate Armos.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: Every time you get a big key in the central dungeon, giant disembodied hands appear out of the floor. They will move towards the Phantom carrying the key on sight, can force the Phantom to drop the key in one hit (they will then return it to its original location), and are positioned in the most inconvenient places possible for the player. Kill them? They'll just respawn.
  • Mirror's Edge actually averts this. Enemies who aren't directly in your path anyway spawn a distance away from the room where you meet each other. Slow players will find an ambush, average players will run into something like this trope, skilled players making good time through the stage will have been and gone before pursuers show up.
  • The rebooted Tomb Raider trilogy. Gntering seemingly empty areas is largely assured to trigger an ambush with huge numbers of enemies from just out of sight. It might not happen immediately, but happen it will as sure as the sun sets at the end of the day.
    • TR 2013 has probably the worst case in the trilogy. In the Japanese bunker en route to the Endurance, an assault rifle-toting dude spawns in a cleared room behind Lara while she's fighting other Solarii that appeared from another direction of nowhere seconds earlier. The guys drop an explosive barrel down the stairs when she approaches, which leaves the player no choice but to hustle back to where they came from... which is exactly where the aforementioned dude is lurking to fill Lara full of holes. Even if you manage to avoid the barrel another way, the dude will still be there when you're on your way back, turning him into even more of a nasty surprise since you really don't expect him there in that moment.
    • Rise is notably for being the only game of the three to avoid the worst of this. Enemies still fast-rope in on occasion, but it doesn't happen too often, shit like the one mentioned above never happens, and the vast majority of combat segments only throw the enemies at you that're already there when you arrive.
    • Raising any kind of alarm among enemies during stealth segments in Shadow instantly spawns an additional squad out of nowhere. The initial garrison doesn't even need to discover Lara. All it takes is the markers above their heads filling up completely in white, which makes them establish a search grid of the area, and all it takes for that to happen is someone discovering a dead body, or an explosion of any kind going off. Needless to say, blowing Lara's cover just makes this a whole lot worse. Your one saving grace is that this only happens once per area.
  • Tomb Raider III does this with a T-Rex. In the Crash Site level, there's a key next to a dead soldier's body. The exact moment you pick up the key is when the T-Rex suddenly appears to attack you.

    Eastern RPG 
  • Lampshaded in Final Fantasy X-2, with the Sphere Hunter credo: "Find the sphere, and the fiends appear."
  • In Wild ARMs, a certain NPC in the Photosphere only shows up after you've emptied a certain treasure chest. If you've been cheating and have the max of the item (a stat apple), this person never shows up, and you'll be mystified at how to get further into the dungeon.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 does this with certain quest items, but it's less often mooks and more frequently a hideously overlevelled Superboss you'll have to come back to half the game later to stand a chance against.
  • In the original Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen, after grabbing a certain treasure in Darm Tower, the statues in the room spring to life as deadly Demonic Spiders. Also, some bosses are spawned by attempting to open the treasure chest in the room.
  • Monster Hunter is infamous for doing this with its non-multiplayer item transport quests. When an item you pick up puts you in "transport" mode (usually heavy items like monster eggs), you cannot attack, your movement speed is reduced dramatically, and you'll drop and break the item you're carrying if you perform certain actions (most notably rolling and falling) or an enemy attacks you. So for transport quests that can't be done online, when you pick one of these items up and start to make your way back, you'll notice squads of Mook-type monsters that were not there previously. And just to make things worse, depending on how many of the item you've transported so far certain paths will be blocked off with inexplicable boulders, forcing you to take a longer path with each iteration.
  • In Etrian Odyssey, if a quest has you picking up a unique item from the labyrinth and you don't encounter any resistance up to getting the item, there's a strong chance that an Elite Mook, a squad of them, or an FOE will be waiting for you the moment you get your hands on the item.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Downplayed in Alien vs. Predator for the Atari Jaguar. During the Marine campaign, to get the Smart Gun (the Marine's Infinity +1 Sword for this installment) you have to go into the Predator ship docked to the space station. Which is full of Predators. But there are three that are cloaked, you can walk right through, and don't become aggressive to you until you take the Smart Gun. And two of them are in the same room as the gun. Of course, if you already know about them and where they are (having played the game multiple times, for instance) you can just pump about 40 pulse rifle rounds each into them before getting the gun, then listen to them keel over and die as soon as they reveal themselves.
  • Area 51 is very fond of this trope. Clear out an area entirely, go to next room, activate switch, return to previous area, find it with more enemies than it had the first time.
  • BioShock:
    • It's generally pretty good about having the characters already there (or more accurately everything is spawned by Scripted Events just before you get there.) There were a couple more blatant ones, though, the biggest one being when you grab the shotgun. The room is absolutely clear, but now you have to fight 8 Thuggish Splicers with the lights out. Fortunately... you now have a shotgun.
    • Occasionally, they also play this for horror. In one area, you can walk down a flight of steps into a large, nearly empty room with only one exit. There's a cabinet in the far corner. You can walk over, search the cabinet...and then, when you turn around, you notice a number of statues in the room that weren't there before. And as soon as you get close to one of them...
    • A room in the medical center combines this with a Jump Scare, leading the player to turn toward a medicine cabinet to grab the loot inside, at which point a Splicer appears mere inches behind you. Fortunately, he appears to be just as surprised as you are, and is easy to dispatch, but his sudden appearance in a game where enemies getting to melee range is very bad news is a delightfully nasty shock.
    • Crack a safe? A Splicer is probably going to teleport into the room behind you.
    • Also, Little Sisters bringing rewards literally appear out of thin air if you are near a Gatherer's Garden when they are sent in.
    • In the Apiary, every time you search one of the beehives, which you need to do for the randomly placed bee enzyme samples, a Splicer spawns. Made more blatant by the fact that the door locks when the bee smoker is activated.
  • The sequel BioShock 2 is more obvious. Anytime you enter an 'optional' room, Splicers walk in behind you as soon as you start looking around.
  • In BioShock Infinite, at one point you need to pull a lever. When you turn around one of the Boys of Silence is right behind you. He screams and summons many opponents to fight you, and may cause you (the player) to say Bring My Brown Pants.
  • In Blood, this happens very frequently.
  • At least one of the Call of Duty games had a shed-load of enemy soldiers teleport in if the player took control of a machine gun. In most games, enemies will constantly spawn out of view until the player advances to the spawn point or beyond, meaning that endless streams of enemies were the norm rather than the exception. In some cases the game actually complains about it in the console. The first game will note that it can't spawn because the 'player can see spawn point'.
  • Deep Rock Galactic has the alien bugs spawn near you (and sometimes a whole horde of them) the moment you take one of their eggs during the alien egg extraction missions. Justified due to the bugs being able to sense that you're messing with their eggs.
  • Descent generally justifies this by having Monster Closets open when you pick up critical items. If the walls are of the disappearing sort rather than the "hidden door" sort, it's impossible to know they're there beforehand. But the ultimate example is the Thief-Bot. He actually doesn't have the ability to teleport and appear out of nowhere, but it sure seems like he does! In truth, the Thief is just really good at exploiting secret passageways and using his extremely high speed to catch the player off-guard.
  • Doom:
    • Doom: You can't grab a keycard without unleashing demons from hell. The secret level Warrens takes you through an entire copy of E3M1, before forcing you to make all the way back with new enemies spawned in every area.
    • Doom II: MAP16: Suburbs has the biggest squad in either game - grabbing the first key brings in a stream of imps and pinky demons, spawning once every second or two, for nearly a full minute.
    • Doom³: It happens constantly throughout the game, though sometimes the enemies are just hiding behind doors that spring open whenever you grab the item(s); other times, waves of them literally teleport in.
    • Seen how Doom is one of the oldest games around that people still play, there are many, many level packs for it. Few among them don't unleash massive amounts of enemies whenever you pick up a keycard; most of those squads dwarf the original levels', with hundreds of enemies being spawned - sometimes all at the same time, and often involving boss-level baddies such as Cyberdemons. Most level packs don't even bother with justifying the enemies' presence, or making their appearance somewhat plausible: they're just teleported in place, replete with teleportation noise and effect. In fact, you can often hear their idle sounds from the rooms in which they're waiting for their scripted teleportation; if you've blasted apart everything in sight, and you can still hear growling from somewhere, you better break out the BFG before you grab that keycard.
  • Duke Nukem 3D has aliens which spawn in response to picking up a keycard, in addition to revealing laser tripbombs in the room. Also, enemies spawn as punishment for killing humans.
  • Happens regularly in DUSK, where packs of enemies will literally teleport in right in front of you. It is a Quake clone, after all.
  • Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier are as blatant as Rainbow Six: Vegas; most enemy groups don't appear on the map (and therefore cannot be seen with a UAV) until the script calls for them to to be there. Sometimes, you can see them materialize in plain sight.
  • Goldeneye 64; despite clearing the facility of all enemy soldiers, unlimited ones will appear once you are done talking to 006. Don't stay and fight — just set the damned charges, detonate them and run for it. Poor 006. Hope he doesn't hold a grudge.
    • Watch Alec closely when that sequence begins and you'll see him deliberately shooting at the wall below the door the guards come through. That specific point is where Alec implemented his plan to pull his Face–Heel Turn.
    • Another infinite teleporting keycard squad attacks at the end of Bunker 1, as well as Control.
  • Half-Life 2 has one memorable annoyance in Ravenholm. New zombies are constantly generated from multiple points all around the map as you kill off their predecessors. They're not there, then poof into existence. The level is otherwise quiet, until you move about one building down the street, whereupon without warning you're damn near overwhelmed by a horde including a couple poison headcrab zombies. You're left wondering, "where was all this crap when I was about 60 yards off and couldn't hear it at all?"
    • There's also a scene earlier in the game where you clear through the interior part of a gate control room so you can open the gate to take your boat through. Turns out you just need to blow up some explosive barrels to set off the controls and open the lock. As soon as you do so, a troop carrier flies in near the entrance and deposits some Combine. Although they're not teleporting in, they arrive WAY too fast to have gone through all of the complex to attack you as soon as they do. Unfortunately, it's a scripted event, so the Combine will show up to attack you as soon as you enter the area with the mounted gun, regardless if you head there immediately upon opening the gate or take your sweet time.
    • Also, there's a scene in the underground freeway where you get to a room, clear out some zombies, then take the elevator out. As soon as you call the elevator, though, you're beset by hordes of zombies, as the elevator takes its own sweet time clanking down to you. Contrived, yes, but it's pretty damn scary. In that same room you can be zombie-free, but if your flashlight goes out, the moans start. They're actually scripted to spawn faster when your light is out.
    • The Half-Life series in general seems to love this, and in the first series it's often justified, as enemies literally teleport in — but sometimes they 'port in huge numbers for no apparent reason, seemingly whenever you do something relatively important — or are trying to do something important, or are simply waiting for something like an elevator (similar to an example above). Waiting for a teleporter to warm up? Almost every kind of alien you've seen and even a kind you haven't 'port in! Trying to turn a valve to reset damping locks? A dozen aliens 'port in! Just finished aligning the focus emitters to activate a teleport device? You pissed off the enemy gods — a dozen aliens 'port in! Waiting for a teleport field to reopen? A dozen aliens — wait, nope, a dozen Marines cut open a door and ambush you! Waiting for a displacement beacon to power up? Get ready to Hold the Line against aliens suddenly 'porting in, including Manta Rays! Christopher Odd puts it well:
      Chris: [aligns the emitters] Well that was pretty easy, hopefully. ...I say that, now my face is about to blow off. [aliens start 'porting in all around exactly on cue]
  • In Halo, extra enemies don't teleport or appear from nowhere, but are usually inserted from dropships or come out of locked doors, ie monster closets.
    • Played straight in the first game, in the level "343 Guilty Spark". Despite the facility teeming with Flood hostiles, they only show themselves seconds after The Reveal.
    • In the level "Two Betrayals", every time you disable one of the generators, it immediately causes hordes of Flood or Sentinels to come pouring in through ducts in the ceiling, as well as the door you just came in through.
  • Happens quite often in Hexen. In fact, basic mooks periodically spawn on every level bar the very first, just to keep you entertained.
  • In Left 4 Dead, if you have to manipulate the environment in some way to advance it's a sure bet that a horde of zombies will attack as soon as you do. Justified in the case of noisy mechanical things like elevators, since the Infected are attracted to high-pitched noise; how they know to attack as soon as the rescue ship sets sail to pick up the Survivors is a bit harder to rationalize. Justified in Dark Carnival, since you are signalling with a rock concert. But why are they attacking when all you are doing is collecting gas cans?
    • Dummied Out lines from the helicopter pilot that rescues the players in "No Mercy", the first campaign, lampshade this; he says he swears that the Infected can taste hope, and they don't like it one bit.
  • Nearly every game in the Medal of Honor series pulls the same trick. Apparently half the SS is just waiting around for you to find an MG-42 before running out and getting mowed down. Some levels have infinitely respawning enemies after you complete an objective, or enemies that magically teleport in when you're not looking. They can even be triggered by walking into an empty house. Mook-summoning alarms sometimes automatically activate after picking up a Plot Coupon.
  • Metroid Prime has this when you grab the thermal visor in the bottom of a large tower. To do this, you must shut off the power to the security fields in the room, releasing a handful of Metroids from their storage tanks and alerting the Space Pirates to your location.
    • Prime 2 has you get the Gravity Boost, allowing you to move normally underwater. Then you begin to head back, and the Alpha Blogg attacks you. Just in time.
    • Prime 3 does this twice, but it's justified in that you can see the metroids caged up until you're forced to cut the power.
  • Perfect Dark:
    • In the original game's second level, a couple of enemies spawn behind you while you're decoding the Locked Door to Sector 4. In the fourth level on Perfect Agent, one of the additional objectives is triggered this way. Curiously inverted in the G5 Building, where the enemy carrying the keycard to the second locked door doesn't spawn until you examine the door, at which point the previous door locks and he teleports into the room along with two other Invisibility Cloak wearing enemies.
    • Perfect Dark Zero pulls a cheap one at the end of the first level, when you reach the top floor of the club after clearing it of mooks, only for three more with submachine guns (which are Demonic Spiders on Perfect and Dark Agent) to spawn behind you. Later levels will throw armored Elite Mooks with machine guns or magnums into the keycard squads.
  • Quake
    • Quake did this a lot, sometimes summoning Shamblers or Vores. A nasty case occurs on "The Door to Chthon", where, on all difficulties, a Shambler teleports in after you receive the Gold key, and you're in a dead end with no hiding spot. Then you reach what appears to be the exit door, but then the lights come on to reveal another Shambler.
    • Quake II has drop-in bosses, such as the Supertank that teleports in after you shut down the security grid.
  • Unlike its realistic predecessors, Rainbow Six: Vegas uses this rather blatantly. On a few points, it's possible to see them pop into existence if you order your AI henchmen ahead or equip the thermal goggles; you can even make this more blatant with the thermal scan in the second game, actually seeing more orange dots pop in out of nowhere past some arbitrary trigger. In most other cases, you'll notice it from the fact that there's nothing in the large room until you move two paces forward, at which points a smoke bomb will be dropped in the middle of the room, or enemies appear from 6 different doors and 3 ropes from the ceiling. And let's not get into the few Hold the Line sequences.
    • Same for Rainbow Six 3 (at least the console versions) and Lockdown.
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein is dirt cheap with this trope, such as dropping in enemies the moment you hit a switch to open a gate, etc.
  • In Sensory Overload, some levels have security cameras that trigger enemies to come out of locked rooms or compartments in the walls. The door leading to The Dragon's lair at the end of the game is equipped with a silent alarm that causes a dozen tankbots to come out of the walls.
  • Serious Sam revolves around this 7 times out of 10. Mostly that has to do with lone +1 health or armor pickupsnote , which will almost always trigger enemy spawns, a nasty surprise for the unwary. Hell, at one point Sam arrives in a room and hangs a lampshade on this trope by complaining about the enemies being slow to ambush him. Subverted in one secret in TFE, that uses the player's expectation of this to surprise them - pick up an item, and you hear the rapid sounds of multiple teleportations... and it's just the noise, because absolutely nothing spawns.
  • In the Soldier of Fortune series, enemies can even spawn in plain sight. In at least two levels of the series, an alarm will activate and summon Respawning Enemies after you complete the main objective.
  • Far Cry has this badly with certain enemy encampments, such as the one on "Pier", where some goons are visible and can be sniped from a distance, but others only spawn once you get closer.
  • Keys in Turbo Overkill are always trapped, causing enemies to spawn, as long as they are not in cramped areas.
  • Enemy spawns in the Turok series are, not surprisingly, often triggered by grabbing a level key or other item.
  • When you pick up a key or some significant item in 8Bit Killer, expect hostile reinforcements waiting for you in places you have already cleared of enemies.
  • Happens in Will Rock, though usually monsters will pop out of the sky or out of the ground with a distinctive sound.

    Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game 
  • Happens quite often in City of Heroes when a player clicks on an objective such as a crate or computer terminal. Usually the incoming enemies spawn outside the room and run in, even shouting orders to one another so that you know that they are coming. Then there are the Rikti, which will simply teleport in around you during the final mission of the Lady Grey Task Force.
  • Many a mission and quest is based on this in Final Fantasy XI - you're specifically expected to select a ??? spot on the floor to get some key item, and a mob just spawn there from thin air - only after you defeat it can you select the ??? again to get the item properly.
  • Occasionally happens in Star Trek Online. Justified, however, in that the enemy can simply use the Transporters to beam in additional troops as needed. Conversely, there are a number of missions where it's possible for the player to beam out without fighting the reinforcements, making the Teleporting Keycard Squad optional in those cases.
  • World of Warcraft is prone to doing this during quests, to the point where you often actually see the enemies spawn in front of you once you grab the Plot Coupon or reach the appropriate trigger point. Only rarely is this justified by the creature being a ghost or having a teleport power. Also, in Escort Missions, you can guarantee that you'll be ambushed by magically spawning enemies at least once on the NPC's scripted path. It's such a standard element of the game that most players are used to it by the time they reach mid levels. Spawning Mooks are also a common feature of boss encounters, even when your group has completely cleared any part of the dungeon that they could reasonably have come from. The Worgen starting zone prevents the visible spawns of Forsaken assassins by having several around three spawn points - no matter which way your camera faces, one of them is always just out of frame.
  • Done quite commonly in many quests in Final Fantasy XIV where you're tasked with gathering a requested item. The moment you approach the quest item or take it, enemies will spawn and attack you. You can see it coming a mile away due to the interactable object emitting a purple haze, which indicates an ambush.

    Platform Game 
  • Metroid:
    • Super Metroid, does this twice — with the same boss (Ridley) and the same Plot Coupon (Baby Metroid) both times.
    • Metroid Fusion has a nasty habit of spawning loads of X-Parasites from absolutely nowhere whenever you grab an item or open a plot-locked door. Justified, though, in the cases of security-level doors, because you just opened up a lot of doors for other things to come in too.
  • In level 4 of Prince of Persia 2, you get chased to the level exit by a bunch of sword-wielding skeletons, which were content to rest in peace when you ran over them on your way to unlock it.
  • In Ninja Gaiden Black/Sigma, enemy ambushes usually spawn when Ryu picks up a map or key item. Sometimes justified by them making a Dynamic Entry or appearing unseen around a corner, but other times they just teleport into the room.
  • The Elimination Platformer Penguin Brothers does this in every normal level: after one player grabs the key disc that appears when the screen is cleared of enemies, the background changes and a new set of enemies spawn. You're not obligated to kill these, though.
  • Done a few times in Iji, and completely justified by the fact that certain enemies have limited teleporters built in to their armor. Of particular note is the Assassin ambush in Deep Sector; Assassins have more advanced teleporters than everybody else, so not only can they beam in right on top of you as soon as you grab the supercharge, they can use those teleporters in the subsequent fight.
  • In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze's World 4-B (Shoal Atoll), when you collect the second-to-last key, more enemies inexplicably appear throughout the stage.
  • Levelhead: Grabbing the package in "Hover Stop" triggers a barrage of Lookannon missiles.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • A particular mission in StarCraft does this. After clearing your way to your target's base, you must escort him out, this time using his base to create units and deal with the hundred mooks that spawned on the way back.
  • X3: Terran Conflict does this once in the Treasure Hunt plot. Reaching the third clue causes a squadron of fighter drones to spawn and attack, which can be a pain in the ass to get rid of depending on what you're flying.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • Venture presents an early example of this: each room had a treasure guarded by enemies or traps, but the Two-Headed Room appeared to have no enemies until the treasure was grabbed.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • Metal Gear Solid, for example, has a bit where you get on an elevator and the weight limit warning light goes off, even though Snake is by no means heavy enough (well, except maybe for the Hyperspace Arsenal he's carrying around in his pockets). When you tell Otacon about this, he mentions that some optic camouflage units have gone missing. Oh no! It's a trap! The enemy soldiers decloak (actually, they just become slightly more visible, Predator-style, and you can use the Infrared Goggles to see them clearly) and you have to kill them. However, on subsequent playthroughs you can't just clear the elevator beforehand with, say, grenades or C4, or see them with the goggles, because as it turns out they technically aren't there until the game spawns them in specifically for the event. That's the very definition of Teleporting Keycard Squad, even though the game attempts to Hand Wave it with the aforementioned stealth unit business.

    Survival Horror 
  • As Yahtzee noted, in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, no matter how good a job you've done staying hidden, solving a puzzle usually means you'd better start running from Mr. Face and Mr. Tall.
  • Variation in Kuon with Ghosts. They're normally absent, but you make too much noise moving around in certain parts of the Mansion they will spawn from nowhere and come for you. There are also a couple of straight examples in chapter Yang, such as the suddenly-spawning Mizuhiki guarding the Mirror of Truth or the first encounter with an Adamushi.
  • Dead Space does this quite a bit, but it's done a little more subtly than most games, because there's sometimes a certain amount of delay between the trigger and the appearance of the slavering hordes of flesh-beasts; also, the monsters almost always come crashing out of the vents, so there's seldom any "how could they possibly have snuck up on me?!" questions: they got to you the way they always do, by crawling through the ducts. This means the player can sometimes think grabbing or activating an important item didn't trigger a mass invasion of a previously cleared area when he actually is just about to get swarmed.
    • Another common tactic the game pulls is to have corpses lying around which only rise as necromorphs after you've accomplished something nearby. Stomping on them a couple of times while they are still down prevents a nasty surprise later.
  • Fatal Frame does this on occasion, though in this case it's Justified because 1. Ghosts are well-known for randomly appearing out of nowhere anyway, and 2. You don't actually kill enemy ghosts... just drain their energy until they can't manifest themselves, which they eventually recover from.
  • Parasite Eve 2 does this after a plot advancing cut scene or when you take an important key item. Unlike the previous game, this game uses Pre Existing Encounters where there are enemies spawned in a set amount of rooms and stay gone when you clear them. When the game invokes this trope, the rooms you just cleared are now hot zones again. Not a bad thing if you plan to level grind or get more loot from monsters.
  • The Resident Evil series especially loves doing this, to the point where just grabbing a bit of shotgun ammo can be sufficient cause for a pack of betentacled wolves to leap out of the bushes and attempt to chew on your throat, which is appropriate as after a while, you start to fear success, adding to the atmosphere.
    • RE4 takes this to borderline-cheap levels, by throwing a Boss in Mook Clothing or two in the pre-acquisition squad that you have to beat just to get the item, like Dr. Salvador, JJ, or a Garrador, then throwing in a couple more of them in the Keycard Squad. Some of these encounters, though, such as the first one with Salvador in the village, are optional; ie he won't appear if you fight off the Ganados until they are called away by the bell before going in the shotgun house. On the castle road after the truck crashes, the Ganados don't spawn at the gate unless you're facing the opposite direction.
      • Resident Evil 5 is almost as bad. Every time you grab a key or other Plot Coupon, expect to be ambushed by a horde of Majini or worse. For example, the first Uroboros boss doesn't appear immediately when you take the Furnace Key, but waits until you approach the door that the key unlocks.
    • The remake of Resident Evil plays with this. One of the first rooms you have to go leads to a long staircase and at the bottom is a giant coffin suspended in the air by chains. Under it is a book. You know you need to get that book, and you know that when you get that book, something will come out. But it doesn't. So you examine the book and there's a key in the back. Then it hits you: When you remove the key, THEN the coffin will burst open. But it doesn't. Then you figure that when you attempt to leave the room, the door will shut and THEN the coffin will open. BUT IT DOESN'T. Only once you place the four Death Masks does Sir Trevor emerge from his coffin.
    • Resident Evil 2 has this happen a handful of times. In the "B" scenario, after obtaining the key item in the room next to the helicopter wreckage, a Licker will burst through the room's skylight to attack you. Likewise, taking the key item from the interrogation room will have a Licker jump through the window. Also in the "B" scenario, after you solve the puzzle to get the cog wheel, Mr. X will burst through the wall.
    • The remake of Resident Evil 2 also has its share of teleporting monsters. In Claire's scenario, there's a similar jump scare to the original in the interrogation room where a Licker breaks a window the moment you get the key item. In Leon's scenario, the moment you restore power to the jail cells, the doors release and a horde of zombies swarm towards you. What makes this more ridiculous is you can kill all the zombies in the cells along the way before solving the puzzle, which makes the extra zombies look like they came out of thin air.
    • Resident Evil Zero is similarly egregious. For example, in the Training Facility, you enter a vacant restroom and pick up a few items, but as you turn the corner to leave, you find that a Leech Zombie has teleported in off-camera. If you manage to take that one out, another may spawn in the hallway outside. Upstairs, taking the Crank Handle causes a flock of killer crows to crash through the windows. The game also likes to unexpectedly respawn zombies in rooms you previously cleared.
  • Crops up in the Silent Hill series. Things like three Hanged Scratchers dropping in suddenly when you grab the key in the sewers in the first game. Silent Hill 3 is fairly blatant about this, with fresh enemies filling the halls outside the room when you grab a key item. However, the games do have the sense to occasionally not do so when one is expecting it, or to put the keycard squad on a delay, which adds to the unsettling nature of the game.
  • System Shock does this unapologetically. SHODAN warns you that if you enter a certain room (containing the first floor's computer nodes), she'll send mooks to tear you to pieces. You do, and she does. This still exists in System Shock 2, but only to a lesser extent.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • In Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, Monokumas sometimes spawn when you visit a side room.
  • Mega Man Legends averts this trope when retrieving the first large refractor. Mega Man is even confused at the lack of traps or enemies. It's played straight after retrieving the second one, though. It should be noted that his confusion is because of the prior experience of having triggered a trap when he retrieves a large refractor during the prologue.
  • P.N.03 ambushes the player off-guard by literally teleporting in additional robots as they advance after clearing out the initial enemies in a room. The mission with the Self Destruct Escape Sequence has mooks teleported in on your escape route.
  • The Suffering has nice twists on this and many other tropes. Many times you can look through security cams, including at your own self. Sometimes you see things in the camera that weren't there before you decided to take a look. Sometimes they are there after, sometimes they are only viewable in the camera and sometimes you spin around in horror only to see nothing whatsoever. Explainable by the enemies being supernatural. Well, most of them. Fortunately the evil CO waits until you get to the camera before executing prisoners.
  • In Syphon Filter, you can actually see mooks "teleport" in on your Enemy-Detecting Radar. The Washington Park level is especially blatant with this. Once a CBDC agent begins disarming a bomb, the enemy is immediately all over you like flies on a carcass, and several more squads teleport in while you're backtracking from defusing the first few bombs. At least justified in the second game's first level with enemies parachuting in. Another irritating example is the Krivorozhstal Mill mission in Omega Strain while escorting the mill workers. This can even happen in stealth missions, increasing the risk of dead bodies being discovered, e.g. in Ivankov's Hometown, after taking out the guards by the hostage and approaching him, another guard is scripted to approach just out of view. Taking this one out spawns yet another coming from a side alleyway.
  • WinBack has similar; if you are lucky, one of them will frag himself on the Deadly Laser Traps that are all over the damned place.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Even Civilization has a variant: every time a civilization moves into a new area of the technology tree, barbarians spawn somewhere on the map and attack whatever's nearby.
  • Battletech loves this trope with its reinforcements mechanic. In most randomly generated missions reinforcements tend to pop in from a corner of the map whenever you begin attacking already present enemies or complete an objective, while in story mode and in base-conquering missions they tend to be delivered by — and instantly deploy from — a Drop Ship that suddenly appears out of nowhere, often without warning. Missions with Drop Ship reinforcements tend to be identifiable by there being a patch of ground with 'danger' symbols if you hover your mouse over it with a 'mech selected: Should anything be standing on that patch when the reinforcements arrive the incoming Drop Ship will land on it, with predictable results.

    Western RPG 
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution usually avoids this with one notable exception, the picus building. Even if you knock out /murder everyone in the building several guards will appear when you summon the Funicular. Before this you can block every door before the room 404 ambush and the guards still get in.
  • Diablo II pulls this when activating the seals to reach Diablo. Twice they have the courtesy to run in from off-screen; once they just pop up out of thin air. Of course, you're breaking Soul Jars in Hell, so this is pretty darn justified.
    • Earlier in the game is the quest for the Gidbinn. When you light up the fire in the village in the forest, a small group of enemies will come rushing at you, including the one that drops the aforementioned dagger.
  • Dragon Age II is particularly bad about this, not even bothering to hide the fact that enemy reinforcements teleport in mid-battle, usually behind your lines just in case you were silly enough to try to arrange your party tactically in what is ostensibly a tactical RPG.
    • Referenced in Dragon Age: Inquisition when Iron Bull calls Varric on this. (The Framing Device of Dragon Age II is that it's a story told by Varric when interrogated by Cassandra.)
      Iron Bull: Hey, Varric, I was reading your stuff. Where do your bad guys come from? <...> The way you write it is like they just fall from the sky and land on top on the hero.
      Varric: I like to leave some things to the reader's imagination.
  • This happens in a few quests in Dragonfable when you're supposed to go in and retrieve something or someone.
  • Fallout: New Vegas uses this on a few occasions. One NCR quest has you tracking down a missing squad carrying supplies. You eventually find the squad, slaughtered, and when you pick up the supplies, several legion soldiers appear out of thin air and attack you.
    • The Raided Farmstead appears empty, until you enter the camping trailer and trigger a raider ambush.
    • In the Broc Flower Cave, after you take out several deadly Giant Rats and approach the room with the Ratslayer, about five more spawn behind you.(They appear too quickly to have come up from the pit, and always when you reach the room's entrance)
    • And again in Silver Peak Mine, as you're heading up the corridor to the Legendary Cazador's chamber, a swarm of the wasps spawns out of thin air behind you.
    • If you have a negative reputation with either the NCR or the Legion, assassin squads will spawn. Unlike Fallout 3's hit squads, these are not random encounters; they always appear at the same locations. One of the worse scripted encounters happens on the road between Nelson and Ranger Station Echo, where a group of Legionary Assassins teleports in around the corner the moment you enter the pass, and they are likely to kill Private Renolds, resulting in failure of his quest. During said quest, after you exit the mine where the NCR hostages were held, another squad of Assassins spawns.
    • Vault 34 is very bad about this. It's filled with enemies that are all plainly visible (at least on radar) but are only released in scripted events. Head down a water-filled corridor, ghouls are there when you come back. Pop open a door, more ghouls behind you. Combine that with the annoying fact that companions only auto-heal when there are no enemies in sight, meaning they're ten times more likely to die than in a normal situation.
    • Lonesome Road has a particularly vile instance of this trope. If you walk into a certain RV, a Deathclaw spawns on top of it to block your escape (although it's not so much 'randomly appears on top of' as it is 'implied to have dropped down from a higher highway road and used the RV to cushion the fall'). Mind you, Lonesome Road Deathclaws are even tougher than normal ones at higher levels, so this is practically a death sentence to the unprepared. Towards the end of the Divide, in a cavern containing two nuclear warheads, the entrance collapses and a super-Deathclaw named Rawr, who leaps clear across the room and kills in one hit, spawns in the cave.
    • Old World Blues isn't even modest with how blatant or often it does this. Even if you're absolutely sure everything in a kilometer radius is dead, if you pick up one of the unique (and incredibly powerful) weapons in the overworld, you'll spawn at least three mooks literally ten feet away from you, sometimes appearing out of thin air in plain sight. Which weapons count is also pretty blatant, as they don't appear with the usual weight and value tags (mostly to keep NPC's from picking them up before you do). Dr. Mobius also sends a swarm of Robo-Scorpions after you almost every time you retrieve a MacGuffin. Another cheap incident is when you kill the Master Trauma Harness in X-12, only to have four more Trauma Harnesses wielding heavy weapons teleport in above (or in front of) you.
    • Dead Money does this after activating the Gala Event; despite the Courier having killed most of the Ghost People throughout the villa, the event triggers the spawning of countless more. Justified in this case as the event includes triggering automated fireworks and recordings on loudspeakers, which attracts the Ghost People. Accordingly, they are not specifically concentrated around the player, but appear all throughout the outdoor areas, including sections you are no longer required to travel through.
    • Honest Hearts has an inversion, where after you've collected all the items necessary to help the tribals leave Zion Canyon, all of the wildlife in the canyon de-spawns, leaving you to face nothing but White Legs and their mongrels. Very fortunate, since the wildlife consisted of everything you dreaded in the Mojave but now giant-sized and even deadlier, especially since for the final stretch you're allowed to neither fast-travel nor dump off any excess loot holding you down into the last companion's inventory.
    • Fallout 3 has this for one of the Super Mutant Behemoth encounters; you run across a wrecked train containing a cart cage with a teddy bear. Open the cage, and the bear waves its arms, then the Behemoth appears on the eastern horizon.
    • After you retrieve the medicine from the Super-Duper Mart in the Wasteland Survival Guide quest, a new group of Raiders enters the building, discovering what you did to their comrades.
    • In Point Lookout, after installing the Cogwave Jammer on the Ferris wheel, about ten hostile Tribals immediately materialize in plain view.
    • Fallout 4 is also very blatant with this trope.
      • One cruel example is on Spectacle Island, where activating the wrecked boat's generator instantly spawns a Mirelurk Queen a few meters away. Then when you activate the radio beacon powered by said generator, three Mirelurk Hunters emerge from the ground, one of which may be a Legendary variant.
      • In the basement of the Mass Fusion Building, which you have to visit if working for the Institute or Brotherhood, taking the Beryllium Agitator summons two Assaultrons, a Sentry Bot, and a Protectron.
      • "Special Delivery" has this when you kill the Raider boss in Parsons Creamery and retrieve the Cabot family's stolen Super Serum, whence three elite Raiders equipped with Combat Armor and Combat Rifles immediately spawn.
      • In the Boston Public Library, once you enter the control room, you hear a "Security Breach" alert and a horde of Super Mutants enters the building. Luckily, if you entered posing as an employee, the Protectrons and turrets will assist you.
      • The Sentry Bot at the National Guard Training Yard will activate without fail if you enter the Armory, even if you are stealthy and disarm the laser tripwires inside without setting them off.
  • One of quests in Gothic II involves opening the gates of a besieged castle. Cue a horde of orcs materializing at the gates, even though by that time you usually have slaughtered the whole orc army surrounding the castle.
  • Mass Effect is generally fair about cleaned areas staying clean, but set a timed scuttling charge or any equivalent thereof and see what happens.
    • Particularly blatant at the end of the Noveria mission. Once you've cleared out the Hot Labs, you can loiter around in them as long as you want without running into any enemies... but the moment you start the two-minute countdown for the neutron purge and try to get the hell out of dodge, the next room over is suddenly packed wall-to-wall with angry rachni. Things like this happen multiple times on Noveria. "Hmm, there's a storage locker, let me get it and leaOH SHIT RACHNI KILL IT!!" (The fact that rachni look like the mutated offspring of spiders and cockroaches doesn't help.) But those times never have more than one or two Soldiers; activating the neutron purge spawns about 10 Soldiers and 30 Workers. Luckily, you can just ignore them and run straight to the elevator.
    • After you wipe out Fist's men and get to him at the beginning of the game, the bar where you fought the first bunch is full again on your way out. Of course, otherwise having a three minute timer to walk twenty feet would be pretty stupid.
    • One particular sidequest also plays with this: when you board the ship, the radar is completely clear of any contact, but one of your squadmates will tell you right away that "we're not alone". However, it is only after you activate one particular console that an enemy will suddenly appear behind you.
  • Happens in Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle. When you fight the goblin king and drop his health to a certain amount, a small army of goblins will appear and attack, even though you may have cleared out the rest of the village beforehand.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • The mission "Vertical Bird" in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. If you don't blow up the other two Hydras before stealing the third, three of them will chase you. If you do blow up those two, a single one will chase you anyway. And if you are fast enough to get on the deck and destroy the Hydra that's taking flight at that moment (wich one would assume is the one that chases you later), at least one Hydra will appear out of nowhere and chase you anyway.
  • Uruk captains with the "Sneaky" trait in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The description reads "May show up unexpectedly". What this actually means is anytime you're dropped into freeroam after a mission or activity, said captain mayappear nearby and instantly spot and attack you.
  • In Driver, after making the drop during "Grand Central Station Switch", a fleet of FBI cars that wasn't there before begins pursuing Tanner. Similarly, a few seconds after starting the final mission, "The President's Run", the cops and FBI immediately spawn on full alert.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
Live-Action TV
  • In an episode of The Librarians 2014, Ezekiel finds himself trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop and stumped by a horde of "rage people" that shows up every time the gang tries to escape the facility they're trapped in. The fact that a mob shows up out of nowhere with no logical reason the second they open the gate is one of the first clues to what's really going on: Thanks to a magical computer meltdown, reality is being overwritten by a Left 4 Dead-esque survival horror game. Ezekiel is the player trying to escort the others to safety, which is why he reverts to a checkpoint each time someone dies, and there are event-triggered mobs just like any other zombie game.

Alright, I've read all the examples here, now to return with all of them in hand—oh gods, where did all of these guards come from?!


Video Example(s):


The Princess Peach Fire Bros

If Mario collects the MAX-UP Heart on the ship, a pair of Folded Fire Bros suddenly jump down.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / TeleportingKeycardSquad

Media sources: