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This Is as Far as I Go

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A Stock Phrase usually used by a guide or mentor. After traveling with The Hero up until a certain point, they have to stay behind from there. Perhaps because they aren't the Chosen One or because they're no longer allowed to after what happened the last time. It's may also be that as a gatekeeper, they must stay back to guide travelers or protect their home. Of course, it's also possible that they're just a jerk or a coward and don't want to go.

A common trope, as it gives a Hand Wave for why powerful characters can no longer follow The Hero.

When this is played with a guy who's just scared, there's a pretty high chance that they'll get over their fear, have a change of heart, show up at the very last moment and save somebody. It's like a mini-Heel–Face Turn.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In one Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig episode, Togusa and a woman are looking for a man in a refugee city. They happen upon a teenager who worked with the man in a coal mine and owes his life to him for getting him out in time before the mines were sealed shut after an incident, with many workers trapped inside. When asked if he would take them to the mine entrance, the teenager initially refuses. But after some prodding, reluctantly leads the two there before stating he won't go any further.

    Comic Books 
  • In Return to Plain Awful, Flintheart Glomgold hires a guide to take him to the village of Plain Awful. When they reach a wall they could easily jump, the guide invokes the trope. Assuming the guide is just being cowardly and/or superstitious, Glomgold jumps the wall before the guide has the chance to explain why they shouldn't go further: Glomgold jumped off a cliff.

  • Very common in old horror films, particularly the various versions of Frankenstein. The protagonist would ask for a ride to the Mad Scientist's castle, and whatever frightened villager would be foolhardy enough to oblige would stop at the long road up to the castle, then explain that "I can take you this far and no further."
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army
    Goblin: Here we are... and there they are. Seventy times seventy soldiers. Sometimes I wish we'd never created them. Bim-bam went the hammers! Whoosh went the furnaces! One of those fires took my legs off. This is as far as I go. I'm not very good with steps. But if you're here to stop him, the Prince, I wish you luck. The Golden Army must not awaken. Undo what we did.
  • A variant in Wild Wild West. Coleman (the engineer of the protagonists' train) has been with them through several encounters with Loveless' forces. Now the heroes are about to take to the air in a primitive flying machine.
    Coleman: Here's a little bon voyage present for you guys. Gunpowder, nitroglycerine and .44 caliber primers.
    Gordon: How the devil do you know about explosives?
    Coleman: U.S. Marshal Coleman. The President wanted me to look after you. But I draw the line at defying gravity, so good luck.
  • Inverted in the film version of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring when The Hero, Frodo, chooses to go on alone into Mordor, although his far more experienced companions would willingly have gone with him.
    Aragorn: (to Frodo) I would have gone with you to the end. Into the very fires of Mordor.
    Frodo: I know.
    • Also when the hobbits are leaving the Shire, Samwise stops and says "This is it." then follows up with "If I take one more step, it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been." (Which inspires the question of how he knew that, given that he was in the middle of a field at the time) and proceeds to stay with Frodo throughout the rest of the story.
  • In Clockstoppers, Zack Gibbs enlists the help of Dr. Earl Dopler to rescue his dad from Quantum Tech. But when they reach the organization's headquarters, Dopler refuses to go any farther. He claims he is too traumatized by his previous imprisonment at QT to go back. But he apparently has a change of heart, as he reappears in the ending to help out at a critical point.
  • In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, the rangers went to another planet to seek the power to defeat Ivan Ooze. There, they met a warrior who agreed to guide them around but reached a spot where she said she'd grow older than Zordon if she ever went further.
  • The Prestige. Although supporting him at first, John Cutter eventually bows out of Robert Angier's quest to upstage his rival, saying that obsession is a young man's game.
  • In Star Trek (2009), Spock Prime tells Kirk that he can't go with him and Scotty to the Enterprise, saying "That is not my destiny."
  • In Hercules (1983), Circe utters "This is as far as I dare go" as she and Hercules arrive on the shores of the principal villain's kingdom, as she was exiled from it long ago as an enemy. Shortly afterward, she is slain by a mechanical centaur sent to stop them.
  • Men in Black 3: When J and K get ready to confront Boris at the Cape Canaveral launch site of the Apollo mission, the omniscient alien Griffin (who helped them to enlist the aid of the base commander with his powers) says that they are on their own from that point onward, as they don't need him anymore.
  • At the beginning of Arachnophobia, Dr. Atherton mentions that there is an area of the jungle where legend has it that anyone who goes in never comes back. As they go into the sinkhole where his expedition intends to explore, the Indian guide points them to the path that leads to the bottom of the chasms saying he will not go on, probably because the legend alludes to the killer spiders living there.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lampshaded in The Mighty Boosh episode Jungle. After Howard passes the test to prove his worth to Rudi, Rudi agrees to take him part of the way to the centre of the jungle. Rudi carries Howard forward about two metres before claiming it's as far as he goes.
  • Played with a bit in an episode of Boy Meets World. When stuck in Amish Country, Corey's trying to walk back home, when he's lapped by an amish man in a buggy. The man offers Corey a ride, but informs him he's only going as far as "that barn, there", somewhere nearby offscreen. Corey remarks on how useless the offer is.
  • In the two-part first episode of Pair of Kings, the Kings got help from the Tarantula people to get a new ruby. The Tarantula people refused to enter the temple, which surprised the Kings, considering everything else the Tarantula people agreed to do. However, given the dangers inside the temple, the Tarantula people were justified in their refusal.
  • Gwaine does this in season 3 of Merlin (2008), when he still can't come back to Camelot or Uther will kill him.

  • Gandalf does this in The Hobbit.
  • In Northern Lights (aka The Golden Compass), Iorek cannot cross the ice bridge, and thus Lyra must go alone to face her father.
  • In Rudyard Kipling's "Red Dog" Kaa the python helps Mowgli in his plan to attack the invading dogs and transports him safely down a raging river, but leaves before the surviving dogs reach Mowgli's wolf pack because it's not his fight.
  • Each of Dante's guides in The Divine Comedy can only go so far with him because of their divine fates. Vergil, his first guide, can only lead him to the end of Purgatory because he's bound to the First Circle of Hell (the "noble pagans") and his forbidden to enter Heaven.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Adventure I2 Tomb of the Lizard King. If the PCs have some mercenary guards accompany them on their journey, the guards will leave them once they reach the village of Waycombe.
    • Adventure OA6 Ronin Challenge. The PC party is escorted on their trip south by a squadron of Imperial cavalry. There is a bad omen and 1/3 of the troops desert. Shortly thereafter the officer in charge tells the PCs that he can accompany them no further and that they're on their own.
  • Call of Cthulhu supplement Fragments of Fear, adventure "Valley of the Four Shrines". When the party reaches the cave that leads to the Valley, any native porters hired from nearby areas refuse to enter.


    Video Games 
  • In Final Fantasy VI, Shadow does this a lot. The first several times it's because he's a mercenary who decides to leave you at one point or another. The last time he's staying behind to save the world, but you can wait for him.
  • Common Catchphrase for the cowardly scientists in Half-Life.
  • In Eternal Sonata, if the player attempts to exit Mysterious Unison without Claves's soul in complete unison, she states "I'm afraid this as far as I can go" and leaves the party until the player re-enters the dungeon.
  • Involuntary version in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. In the routes where you defeat the Adrestian Empire as Disc-One Final Boss, Edelgard will say that her path ends here and encourages you to strike her down, as her people will keep fighting as long she lives. She expresses regret that you did not walk with her and never quite fully finish her last words.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Paradox takes the protagonists to the edge of a section of space he's no longer allowed in because of an intergalactic treaty, but leaves before he draws attention to himself.
  • Spoofed a few times on Futurama:
    • In "The Honking", where the robo-villager hired to bring the main cast to the castle says the phrase... five feet from the front door of the castle.
    • In "Godfellas", Fry and Leela are guided by a sherpa to a monastery hidden in the Himalayas. Once they reach the long bridge leading up to it, their sherpa says:
      Sherpa: I must leave you now, for I am not holy enough to enter.
      Fry: Okay! (belches and spits)
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory TV movie "Ego Trip", Dexter and his 22-year-old future self went further into the future to see the utopia they'll create with their neurotomic stabilizer. A guide showed them the way to the home of an elderly Dexter but wouldn't enter for considering himself unworthy.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Road to Europe", Stewie and Brian hitch a ride with Mayor West to chase down a moving truck containing Stewie's teddy bear Rupert. However, the chase is cut short West stops at the state line.
    Mayor West: If I enter Connecticut, I'm entering every state Connecticut's ever been with.

    Real Life 
  • In WWII, the US bombers had a longer range than US fighters. Thus, when they raided Germany, the fighters would escort the bombers, but they'd have to turn back before the bombers reached their targets, leaving the bombers unprotected when they needed it the most.