Back in the 2D era, it was fairly easy to show characters getting into bed. One sprite for the back of the bed, one for the sheets or blanket, slot the character sprite between them. In fact, in countless such games the player can "lie down in bed" simply by walking his character into it from the side, at which point they look just like they're tucked in safely.
However, when games went 3D, players expected to see realistic bedsheets. This is nowhere near an easy task, as bedsheets need to curve realistically and be able to be sloughed off the bed when the character arises, something that's very difficult to do with polygons. This gave the developers three choices:
- Show a bedsheet as a single polygon slab (or at best several polygons). This is almost never done, because it looks awful.
- Go whole hog and program realistic bedsheets. For most games this is simply too much work for too little gain.
- Do what most RPGs do, which is simply remove the bedsheets entirely, or make them welded to the bed so the character sleeps on top of the blanket.
For many games, your hero will be lying in bed, but there will inevitably be no sheets or blanket on it; the hero may as well be lying on a slab of rock. The only exception may be when showing someone who is ill and not actually expected to get out of bed at all during the course of the game.
Compare No Flow in CGI.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- Shenmue on the Dreamcast. Ryo was a lazy bugger, he never changed his clothes for bed or even took his jacket and boots off!
- Oblivion boasted a day life cycle for each NPC, meaning that at night, they would go home and sleep in their beds. On top of their bedsheets. Fully clothed.
- Back to the Future - Marty wakes up in episode 4 on top of his blankets, fully dressed.
- Bully had sheets on Jimmy Hopkin's bed and being a teenager, he never bothered to make his bed, so the sheets are forever a tangled mess that he lays on top of. Some of the beds Jimmy could sleep in were simply undressed mattresses, though those tended to be intentionally crappy-looking with at least one resting on top of concrete bricks.
- Final Fantasy X: Whenever Tidus is shown on a bed, there is no blanket.
- Kingdom Hearts: This trope happens in every game in the series, with the exception of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, where there are no beds.
- Fallout 3: Many beds are like this.
- Grandia II: While all the beds in the game have sheets, the characters will only be shown lying on top of them, except for one scene with a bed-ridden character.
- Aversion conveniently enabled in Paper Mario. Since all the characters are 2D in a 3D world they can just slip under the sheets without anything needing to be changed.
- Averted in Rakenzarn Tales, as Kyuu will get under the sheets when the cutscenes show him in bed. In this instance, it's just overlaying part of the bed sprite on top of him, so when we see him get up, he just slides out from under them and the sheets don't move. Doesn't bother to change his clothes, but it's not like he had time to grab his pajamas before he got transported to Rakenzarn.
- Averted in Super Mario RPG. After spending the night at an inn or similar place, Mario can be seen under the blanket of the bed. You even have to hit the jump button to make him get up.
- A brief aversion near the start of Lunarosse where Channing is under the covers when he's sleeping in. Like the Rakezarn Tales example, it's a case of just overlaying part of the bed sprite, so when he jumps out of bed, he does so without rustling the sheets at all. He does also avert the tendency for characters not to change outfits before going to bed, as he comes out wearing only his boxers.
- Also averted in Rakenzarn Frontier Story as Kyoko is shown under the sheets of her hospital bed. Oddly, still wearing her usual outfit.
- Animal Crossing beds may or may not have bedsheets in their models, but characters will universally ignore them and just lie on top of them, using the same animation for a normal bed as they would for a hammock or a bench-press.
- Cube World has characters sleep on top of the bed and the blankets face down with their weapons still on their backs.