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  • From Spyro: A Hero's Tail, when Spyro has been captured and Sparx and Hunter go to rescue him:
    Sparx: But what if it's already too late?
    Hunter: Don't worry, little buddy, Spyro's still alive. I know, because if he weren't, we'd be going back to a previous save! Heh, I rock.
    • In the scene just before Spyro gets captured, he mocks the standard boss pattern of the game by saying that all he has to do is run around until he finds the boss's weakness, then hit it three times. At which point he promptly gets stomped on.
    • From the same game, when Sparx finds a Dragon Egg at the end of one of his segments, he remarks that he has no idea how he carried it back out, lampshading the "warp" back to the main game after collecting the egg.
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    • In another instance, after Hunter gets a Dragon Egg, he turns to the camera and says "I'll give it to Spyro", referencing how all the items other characters obtain still count towards Spyro's inventory.
    • During the scene before the second boss battle, the camera zooms in on the boss's very obvious weak point, and Spyro gives an Aside Glance to lampshade said obviousness.
  • Bromantic Foil Sumiyoshi from Snow Sakura seems very aware of his role on the Visual Novel and sometimes talks about raising flags or complains about not having an ending.
  • During a dream sequence in Max Payne, the titular hero is momentarily made medium-aware of the game's graphic novel-style cutscenes, and later on in a hidden scene he is made aware of being in a computer game to boot.
    Max Payne:I was in a graphic novel/computer game. Funny as hell it was the most horrible thing I could think of.
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  • Medium Awareness is a running theme in Hideo Kojima's works: For instance, one of funniest moments in his previous game Snatcher occurs when the main character's Robot Buddy hears a faint ticking sound in an empty warehouse, and tells him to turn up the volume on his TV to hear it. Naturally, the sound is coming from a bomb, and the player character dashes out of the building just as the bomb goes off, leaving his ears ringing... obviously, his Robot Buddy quips, because he left the sound turned up on his TV.
  • Oh my, Metal Gear Solid... It starts when the Arms-Tech president forgot Meryl's codec frequency, but reminds Snake that there's a screenshot on the back of the game's CD case that shows the correct number. Snake notices that the background music has stopped playing, and shortly after Psycho Mantis talks with you about the savegames on the memory card of your PlayStation. There are many more examples, like in Metal Gear Solid 4 when Snake returns to the location of the first game. Otacon informs him that he has reached the point where he has to change to CD #2, but then remembers that the PS3 uses Blu-Ray and changing the disc is no longer necessary.
    • "Snake, use the action button to climb the ladder."
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2 Snake states that he had to use "First Person View" to spot an object. Apparently he normally has a third-person view of his surroundings.
    • There are several instances of this trope in Metal Gear Solid 2 when you reach the Arsenal Gear. At some point, the colonel says you have been playing the game for too long.
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  • The plot of The Simpsons Game is launched when Bart finds the manual for the game in the game, making him realize that he's a video game character with appropriate super powers.
  • In The Simpsons: Hit & Run:
    • While narrating a flashback, Grandpa Abe mentions that it happened so long ago that he'll have to describe it in sepia tone.
    • Homer will occasionally shout "he used a cheat code" when he's overtaken in a race.
  • Kirby Super Star features Kirby shooting an Aside Glance at you when the game calls him a "pretty jolly guy" (Spring Breeze tutorial). Its Video Game Remake added an Oh, Crap! look directed towards the bottom screen when, in the Milky Way Wishes tutorial, it informs you that Kirby can't copy abilities.
    • In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, the two times you can use the Hypernova ability against bosses doing so will also inhale their health bar.
  • Meeting with Ciel during the culture festival in Kagetsu Tohya leads to an odd conversation. For a moment, Shiki can't figure out why the background music suddenly turned so foreboding. Turns out, the play Ciel was supposed to be in was cancelled, mostly because (as she explains with a peculiar expression) it wound up being a lot of work, and she's not one of the more popular heroines, so they didn't bother. Then she pulls out an umbrella, just because she and Kohaku are the only ones with props in their sprites...
  • When Bowser explains the rules in one of the Nintendo GameCube Mario Party games, he mentions the A button, whereupon Mini Bowser adds: "A. That's the green one. <G-rated insult>"
  • It seems this way for Bowyer, the second Boss in Super Mario RPG, given the odd ability he has. When the Boss Battle starts, three buttons appear in the center of the fighting arena corresponding to the buttons on the player's control pad controlling the characters' abilities to make normal attacks, special attacks, or use items. At random times during the fight, he shoots an arrow and strikes one of the buttons, preventing the player from using that button and thus preventing Mario's party from performing any of the actions controlled by it, until he repeats the ability.
  • In Super Paper Mario, at various points characters explain to Mario the controls for a new technique he's acquired, which is par for the course for most video games. Mario, however, responds with confusion, because he has no idea what the "A button" is. The other character will then often refer to a "being from another dimension" that is watching them, and assures Mario that they will know what to do.
  • From The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening "Hey, man! When you want to save just push all the Buttons at once! Uhh... Don't ask me what that means, I'm just a kid!"
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker one of the tips on Sturgeon's wall advises the player not stay up all night playing the game. Also, if you hit Orca 999 times in the sword training minigame, he will ask if your left index finger is numb (from L-targeting him).
  • Shadow of Destiny and Time Hollow, both by the same director, have a Mind Screwy New Game+ where the character can confront the main antagonist with all the details of the game at the beginning... because they've already played through the game before, so they know the plot. Ow, my brain.
    • There's also a lady in the City Hall: when she gives you the old map of the town, she says that you should use the map button to view it.
    • The Time Hollow example is justified, because Hollow Pen users retaining their memories even if the past is changed drives the entire plot of the game.
  • This can be seen in Breath of Death VII when the hero, Dem, complains about the shortness of the game, and is reprimanded by the rest of the party in a Take That! against people demanding too much from inexpensive indie games.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, in one of the post-game dungeons, the main party come up against bosses they have previously faced. After defeating a certain someone, the party comments on the fact that they would never have been able to beat him if he was that strong in the main game.
    • Also, in a strange twist, near the end of the game the main characters move into "4D Space" - which is actually the real world. They quickly realize that they're all characters in a hugely popular game called Eternal Sphere. Very deserving game-within-a-game Inception references.
  • EarthBound and Mother 3 have you enter your real name partway through the game, for reasons that become clear and brilliantly pulled-off near the end.
    • Another instance in EarthBound involves gameplay tutorial. When characters take damage in combat, their HP gauge counts down to the appropriate number one point at a time, rather than subtracting it all at once. One result is that, if a character receives mortal damage he/she won't die until it counts down to 0, so if they're healed during that time, they'll be ok. When a character explains this to you, he calls it your HP meter at first and then back-pedals, saying "uh..I mean your life force."
  • Some characters from the Disgaea series exhibit this. Mao's quest in the third game begins when he steals Almaz's Hero title from him when he's not looking.
    • Disgaea takes a sledgehammer to the Fourth Wall in general. In Disgaea 2:
      • Laharl declares that the reason he lost to the player characters is because he's not the main character, and then tries to beat them again, so he can take over the story.
      • One of the motions you can vote on in the Dark Assembly has one of the guest characters wanting to be the main character. If it passes, it's a Non Standard Game Over.
      • At one point of the story Etna complains that she checked her status screen and noticed that her level was reduced.
      • If summoned as a DLC character, Gig threatens the text box that proclaims him a member of the party into giving him a better description. This causes the text box to change from "Gig joined the party" to "The invincible Gig has become an invaluable element of your team, but only because he wants to kill time."
    • There's also the NI character Asagi, whose shtick is this. After losing her original game due to being a Bonus Boss in Makai Kingdom, she now goes around the NI multiverse trying to pull a Hostile Show Takeover on all the games she feature in. This is usually heavily confusing to the games' actual protagonists, who don't understand what she's on about.
  • Everybody in Banjo-Kazooie and its sequels knows they are in a video game. For example, this conversation from Banjo-Tooie:
    Banjo: "Huh, looks like there's no one here."
    Kazooie: "Oh, yes there is, Banjo. The music's changed again. Every time that happens, some big enemy drops out of nowhere to fight us."
    [Klungo drops out of nowhere to fight them.]
  • In Flower, Sun and Rain, Sumio interrupts his mission in order to chase a kid who is engaging in massive fourth wall breaking. At the end of the chapter, he gets fed up with the kid and orders the chapter to end.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, one skit called "For Lazy People" has Lloyd complaining about having to walk through one of the dungeons again. Specifically, he asks "Couldn't they at least give us a Quick Jump option?" This confuses the other characters, who have no idea what he's talking about - he's referring to a few dungeons that can be skipped after you've beaten them once. It's done again by Tenebrae in another skit for the sequel.
    • This happens in other Tales of... games as well; these comments usually come from the main character, who often represents the player and asks questions about his world that should be common knowledge.
  • In what might be the ur-example in this medium, Mr. Do! featured an "EXTRA" at the top of the screen whose letters representing the five steps needed to gain an extra life. The steps in question were to kill the letters one by one after they climbed down into the gameplay area. And yes, like all killable entities in the game, they could kill you too. Also, the pre-shoveled-out areas of the levels formed the level numbers.
  • Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard is all over this trope.
  • In the point and click adventure The Secret of Monkey Island, Guybrush has to find a ship and crew, but as soon as they set sail the crew decides to mutiny and just laze about sun-bathing instead of doing their duties on ship. If you use the parser to perform the action "USE PIRATES" on the crew, Guybrush responds that "they're not the only ones being used around here."
  • NPCs in Thousand Arms are well aware that they're video game NPCs. They often complain about their limited roles and lack of voice overs.
  • The Typing of the Dead's Final Boss, in its final phase, asks you a series of questions. One of these questions asks what you love to hate, and one of the possible answers is "The Emperor Boss in this game."
  • Yukari from Castle of Shikigami laments the fact that she has to be the first boss of the third game, when she was originally boss #4 of the second game. If you defeat her while playing in Dramatic Mode, she'll chastise you for "cheating" because you were using "two players".
    • This awareness is briefly shared by other characters during that boss fight in the third game, and only during that boss fight.
  • A lot of the characters in My World, My Way, but especially the princess, use RPG terms frequently. Some of the characters direct her to other areas in search of "more experience points", an offer which the Heroic Wannabe princess is all too happy to oblige.
  • The Touhou series has some examples:
    • In Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Sakuya appears as the final stage's midboss, saying that she's got to at least make the heroine waste a bomb on her before her mistress gets angry at her.
    • In the same game, the Extra Stage boss Flandre Scarlet asks Marisa Kirisame to play with her. Players can't continue in Extra Stages, nor change its difficulty and initial amount of lives and bombs.
      Flandre: Will you play with me?
      Marisa: How much?
      Flandre: One coin.
      Marisa: One coin? You can't buy a life with that.
      Flandre: No, it means that you can't continue!
    • In Perfect Cherry Blossom, the game's second stage boss (Chen) reappears in the Extra Stage as a midboss. After Reimu defeats her and reaches the Extra Stage boss (Ran Yakumo), Ran learns of Chen's second defeat, as Reimu refers to her as being still a Stage 2 Boss afterall.
    • In Subterranean Animism, Marisa and Alice constantly reference video game tropes as they proceed ("Look, it's the Extra dungeon for after you beat the game! Good luck!"). However, they seem to think they're in an RPG, not a shooter.
    • In Undefined Fantastic Object, after Sanae defeats Ichirin:
      Sanae: Secret treasure ... ? Are you talking about those charms with "P" and "point" written on them?
      • Kogasa shows up as the EX-Midboss with a huge "SURPRISE!" because she's surprising us this time!
    • This trope's use in Touhou dates all the way back to Lotus Land Story, where Reimu chases and attacks a random unnamed youkai (the programming data calls her "Orange") only because there's supposed to be a boss at the end of every stage.
  • In Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, Asuka says to watch the OAV for more information about Ryōna.
  • Simon the Sorcerer has an early scene where Simon has to get past a group of wizards' attempted denials of their being wizards. The correct dialogue option is to mention that the word 'Wizards' pops up when the mouse cursor is pointing at them.
  • ALL of Artix Entertainment's games show notice that they're aware that they're in a video game. One particular example is the player character in AdventureQuest stating "I have the gift of fourth wall sight...I can see what's just off-screen!"
  • Also Ninja Ninja, from Afro Samurai: "Afro, you button-mashing motherfucker!"
  • In Shadow Hearts: Covenant, an Non-Player Character tasked with handing out items to the main character points out, in a fit of self-doubt, that "it's not like you can't finish the game without me!"
  • The narrator and protagonist of The Company of Myself seems to be aware that he lives in a puzzle platformer, and talks about his experiences therein in a near-omniscient manner. Even the preloader and volume control have relatively purple eloquence compared to nearly all other games. It's all in his head....
  • The opening cinematic of Hotel Mario infamously had Mario informing the player "If you need instructions on how to get through the hotel, check out the enclosed instruction book."
  • At the start of a tutorial in Final Fantasy VII a giant finger pops up to direct you around the screen: Cloud responds "Huh? Finger?! What the hell?!"
  • In World of Final Fantasy, when Lann, Reynn and Serafie are having a conversation regarding Sephiroth, Serafie states "Maybe you'll bump into him someday in some DL- ... oops, forget I said that." Sephiroth is a downloadable Champion.
  • Star Ocean: Second Evolution: When recruiting Welch, she gives you three options: "Please, join us", "Okay, fine, you can join us", and "Something's not right". The third will lead to Claude complaining that the selection menu doesn't have an option that lets him say no!
  • In Pokémon Red and Blue, the player character can go into a building in one of the cities with programmers inside, one of whom tells you that he drew you. Interacting with computers results in your character stopping you because he doesn't want to see the end of the script, or saying that he doesn't want to bug out the game by messing with the code. Several other games in the series have similar areas, up through Pokémon Black and White.
  • In World of Goo, the Sign Painter remarks that one of the goo balls said that life was a lot like a physics simulation, but it didn't matter as he fell off the cliff to his death.
  • Zepar and Furfur seem wholly aware that they are in an anime-like Visual Novel.
  • In Half-Life 2, Vortigaunts have a linenote  that imply they know about the player's control over Gordon.
  • In The Sims, sims seem to be aware of the green plumbob that marks the player-controlled sim. They will occasionally discuss it, and it appears on their national flag.
    • They also show themselves to be aware of being controlled when any needs are low - turning to the 'camera' to wave and call out for attention.
  • The fourth wall only appears when convenient in No More Heroes. Travis is willing to do some pretty stupid stuff only during cutscenes, and the characters actively work to stop the game from getting an AO rating and becoming No More Heroes Forever.
  • In zOMG!, Old Man Logan points out the Bass'ken Windmill to the player, only for the player to reply that they can only see one screen's worth of scenery at a time.
    • An April Fool's joke also included the player trying to explain to an NPC that the game crashed when trying to travel to the "secret area".
  • A prisoner on The Secret Island of Dr. Quandary begs the player to help him escape the Num Lock imprisoning him. The player character asks in all seriousness if they should use the Num Lock key. Both characters then give an Aside Glance, as the prisoner replies "Not in this program! You have to guess the number combination."
  • In Duke Nukem Forever, Duke seems to be aware that he's in a video game, and as such, lampshades and jokes about everything.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Azuregos, a lone wandering dragon and a Cloudcuckoolander, seems aware that he was a raid boss who could be killed and looted by players.
    • In the dungeon Zul'Gurub, Bloodlord Mandokir is not only aware of the process of leveling, he exploits it by leveling up mid-battle after finishing off a player.
      Bloodlord Mandokir: Ding!
      Jin'do the Godbreaker: Hey! Grats, mon!
    • There are two quests that send the player to the Bronze Dragonshrine, where time is warped. In both, the player is assisted by an NPC duplicating their own character, representing themself from the other quest. The latter quest has this, as the past version comments on the player's lack of gear and not raiding.
  • In Team Fortress 2 the Sniper is aware of respawning, and the Scout knows about ragequits.
  • Everyone knows they're in a video game in Kid Icarus: Uprising.
    Pit: What are we talking here? Mini-Boss? Final Boss?
  • Prevalent in the Neptunia, which makes sense as all of the major characters are personifications of game consoles and companies.
  • The Bard's Tale: Half the fun comes from the Bard and the Narrator arguing.
  • In the Discworld games, Rincewind can be seen making such comments as (in response to the player's unexecutable "pick up" command) "I can't just pick up a bunch of pixels, can I? Anyway, at this resolution, they're far too heavy."
  • In Hector: Badge of Carnage, the main character finds out that the tourist guide Barnes Nobles was also the terrorist that have kept Clapper's Wreake under siege throughout the series, he has this to say:
    "I had you pegged as a baddie from the first time I met you in Episode 1."
  • League of Legends is an interesting example. Every champion is well aware they're being controlled by someone, because it's how the League works according to lore. They even talk to you, and one of them, Sona can talk ONLY with you. There's also couple of fourth-wall-breaking jokes, like Akali's complaining about the matchmaking system.
  • Project X Zone has several characters occasionally make offhand comments that suggest they understand the laws of their native universes on more than a strictly In-Universe level. Reiji, Xiaomu, Kogoro, and Mii all have this fairly persistently, being Original Generation characters. The characters it's most prevalent with are Haken and Kaguya, who seem to be fully aware of the mechanics of the battle system (it probably helps that it's derived from the one in their home series).
  • Saints Row IV features a bit of this. Near the end of the mission "Emergency Situation", the boss winds up fighting the default player character from Saints Row, all of their voices regard him as a Worthy Opponent in an unsurprised deadpan, and when two of them show up at once, the Boss asks why and Kinzie says that it's the multiplayer character. At the very end, the Boss wants to stay in the simulation to fight a Warden because "I still have an empty slot in my power menu, I wanna fill it with something!"
  • Davesprite from Namco High is fully aware that he's in a Dating Sim, which offers him plenty of opportunities to crack wise about the genre and unfortunately means that he's fully aware that if Cousin tries to romance him, s/he'll just forget all about him once the New Game+ starts.
    • There are also multiple references to characters doing cheat codes, especially on Lolo's route, which requires Cousin to talk her out of it.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog is this. In the side-scroller games, he will get very impatient and give the player an annoyed look if the player does nothing. In the 360/PS3 versions of Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations, he will watch his score for the stage get tallied up. In the Wii version of Sonic Colors, he will call the Rotatatron the BBBEnote  and will destroy the scores in an attempt to obtain extra lives.
  • Star Control 2 has some examples of this. For example, when one talks to the Talking Pet after getting it with the Taalo shield, of course, he complains about music loops playing endlessly on the ship's cargo bay -even if he mentions the music played is Mozart or Iggy Pop-.
  • In Super Smash Bros. and its sequels, characters knocked off the top of the screen can fall forward and bounce off the camera as an alternative to becoming a Twinkle in the Sky.
  • The eponymous protagonist of the Danish-made Hugo TV game had a habit of knocking on the screen to get the viewer's attention.
  • The fighting game based on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure features the character Hol Horse, whose partner has a Stand named The Hanged Man that can only materialize through reflections. In one of his super moves, Hol Horse shoots the screen so The Hanged Man can attack his opponent through the broken glass.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day, which ends with the main character winning solely because the game crashes and Conker gets a programmer to come over and help him. Conker also talks directly to the player, Birdy sells the game's manual, and Conker and Franky comment on the background music. The giant buttons on the ground are visible to the characters, and so is the Idea Bulb that appears over Conker's head when he stands on one. In general, the game doesn't have much of a fourth wall.
    • In Live & Reloaded, during the war chapter, the bullets litteraly break the fourth wall - they make the screen look as if it was shot.
  • A puzzle in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass involves producing a stream of air to set windmills spinning. Blowing into the DS' microphone does the job.
  • The Mojo stage of the Sega Genesis X-Men (1993) game gives the player a time limit to reach the end of the stage. Once there, the player receives a message that he needs to reset the computer core to escape the level. This puzzle is solved by hitting the Reset button on the Genesis.
  • There was a pornographic demo, Dutch Breeze, on the Commodore 64 that required the user to wet a finger and rub it into the joystick port...
  • In Star Hawk (a 1980's coin-op space combat game), an X-Wing style spacecraft would occasionally rise from behind the horizon and shoot at the on-screen representation of your score; if you didn't shoot it in time, you lost points.
  • At the end of Aces Of The Galaxy, you can shoot at the text of the credits, while one of the bosses that you fought makes quips about destroying the Puny Humans before they can make a sequel.
  • Furcadia advertisement: "This advertisement is in Finnish when you're not looking."
  • Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion has a series of Apocalyptic Logs left by a Hero of Another Story; leaving notes behind in vain hope that he is the protagonist of the video game and not a doomed-side-character-leaving-notes-for-the-player-to-find-for-exposition. He has an Oh, Crap! moment when he finds out that he is one of those.
  • The Stitch summon in Kingdom Hearts II sticks and crawls on the surface of your TV screen... even when you're looking in first-person. And during his Limit Break, he stands on the command menu and licks it to restore your MP.
  • In Suikoden II, Shin and Genshu's unite caused them to to swing their swords and cut every single enemy, plus the screen, in half.
  • In Donkey Kong Country, after beating King K. Rool once, a set of fake credits scroll down the screen. And then he gets up and starts attacking again. First time around, most players might lose a life to this trick.
    • Though more directly, DK himself will break the screen open at the end of the game.
  • Kagetsu Tohya has numerous outright breaks in the fourth wall, often with Ciel complaining about her low popularity. In this case, however, during the school festival Ciel and Shiki are talking about the play when Ciel gets momentarily irritated then shrugs it off, saying it's nothing. 'If it's nothing, then why was the background music so threatening?!' They also continue to note how even if she isn't popular, at least Ciel gets some props in her sprite, right?
  • One stage in God Hand requires Gene to deflect cannonballs back at the ship firing them. How do you do that? Well, you have to hit the right button according to the four cannons that can fire... and incidentally the PS2 face buttons are painted onto the side of the ship, laid out just as on the controller, with each button corresponding to the cannon next to it.
  • The Paper Mario series in general gleefully demolishes the fourth wall at every opportunity, but there's one notable part in The Thousand-Year Door where a doppelganger steals your identity and voice, and you have to guess his name in order to get it back. If you already know his name (Doopliss) from a previous playthrough or by looking it up, you would think that you could just enter it into the name-entry screen and sequence break the chapter, but the doppelganger has removed one of the letters needed to spell his name from the text entry screen and hidden it, so you need to go track it down first before you can give the correct answer.
  • Bad Machine is an Interactive Fiction game that initially lies in its descriptions of rooms' exits - info that's assumed to be objective, out-of-character knowledge in most games. This ends once the player repairs a particular problem with the main character.
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail has the characters openly talking about gameplay mechanics as gameplay mechanics in the tutorial section at the beginning. Only Fidget continues to do that afterwards, but nobody else ever questions what she's talking about.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, after two failed attempts at fear gassing Batman into submission, Scarecrow decides to fear gas you instead, resulting in the game appearing to glitch up, crash, and restart from the beginning... except Batman and the Joker have switched places, with you controlling Joker as he leads an insane, raving Batman through the asylum strapped to a gurney. The camera then switches to Batman's POV as Joker shoots him (and by extension, you) in the face, resulting in a Fission Mailed screen advising you to either "use the middle stick" or "tilt the mouse" to dodge the bullet depending on whether you are using a controller or keyboard-and-mouse. Then the usual Giant Scarecrow Parkour stage starts up properly.
  • In Tales from the Borderlands, at one point the Handsome Jack AI notices the Telltale "[Character] will remember this" popup and goes, "What the hell is that?"
  • Bubsy will eventually knock on the screen and call out to the player or mess with their TV settings if left standing still long enough.
  • A few examples from Undertale:
    • The first example is when you fight Asgore. For a game that emphasizes pacifism and nonlethal resolution, Asgore shattering the MERCY button at the start of his fight makes it clear you have to take him down the hard way.
    • The second one is when you fight Flowey in the Neutral route. Flowey knows about SAVEing and LOADing, but his fight takes it one step further: Not only does he destroy your SAVE file, he actually uses SAVE STATEs during his boss fight.
    • The biggest one though, is Sans the skeleton whom you only fight at the end of the Genocide route. He never actually says it outright, but the way he acts makes it clear he knows how RPG-verse game mechanics work. He starts his fight with a Battle Intro as is traditional with any Boss fight... and takes the first turn, the only enemy to do so, straight into an Alpha Strike that can kill you in seconds. Then you re-fight him, and he interrupts his own Battle Intro to suckerpunch you with his Alpha Strike. His attacks may only deal 1 damage and he may only have 1 DEF and 1 HP, but 1-damage attacks don't trigger Mercy Invincibility, and every hit leaves you with the Karmic Retribution status effect on top of that. There are no evasion or accuracy stats in the game, which means there's no rule saying he can't simply physically move out of the way of your attacks and render your fancy new Infinity +1 Sword completely useless. Every single time you use it. Then he starts screwing with his own attacks, interrupting and switching attack patterns with a Smash Cut after Smash Cut. Then he starts attacking you in your menu, during your turn, in a turn-based RPG combat. And when all of that still fails to stop you, he pulls out his ultimate move: doing absolutely nothing. He realizes he can't possibly beat you, but if he never does anything, then his turn will never end, which means it will never be your turn, trapping you in combat with him for eternity. Or at least until he falls asleep, allowing you to sneakily move your cursor to the Attack button to avoid waking him up. All combined, they make him the hardest boss in the game by a large margin.
  • Almost every joke in Sunset Overdrive is someone, usually the protagonist, calling attention to and/or making practical use of various video game tropes and mechanics. Like being thankful that the game has fast travel when the quest objective is at the opposite end of the map, or calling the writers lazy for giving them the exact same lines whether they are male or female.
  • In Styx: Shards of Darkness, Styx himself breaks the fourth wall whenever the player dies, mocking them for getting him killed. In-game, he occasionally makes jokes about the writers or level designers.
  • In The Darkside Detective, McQueen and Dooley occasionally show awareness that they're in a video game called The Darkside Detective, and lampshade things like The Law of Conservation of Detail and the difficulty level of the puzzles.
  • A Hat in Time:
    • The Snatcher has noticed that bosses in the game tend to turn blue as a visual cue for the player that they can now take damage, so he decides he just... won't turn blue, and thus be permanently invincible. To get around it you have to coat him in a blue liquid (created by one of his own attacks), which he refuses to believe could possibly count. Too bad for him it does.
    • During the Final Boss, all the enemies from the game are now on your side, and they know that they will drop health pickups if they die, so they all start killing each other to provide you with constantly regenerating health, since they also know that if you win you will rewind time and bring them all back to life.
  • In Lost Pig, there is a topic-based conversation mechanism for interacting with the gnome, who is the only non-player character (apart from the pig). The game will suggest topics based on things the gnome has already said or things you see as you move around the game, but you can also arbitrarily suggest other topics to see what the gnome has to say about them. Introducing a topic relating to text adventure games will lead to the player character telling the gnome that they're both characters in a game, and the gnome replying that he finds that difficult to believe.
  • Shantae: Squid Baron in a nutshell. Whenever he's involved in the plot, he's bound to dip into this.
  • Cyber Grannies: Downplayed. The opening song makes it clear that, at the very least, Atoz knows that the grannies live "inside a machine," and that's why they're called Cyber Grannies. However, Atoz doesn't make it clear that the grannies are specifically in a computer game, or that Atoz themself knows that they're in the game too.
  • Ibuki in Street Fighter X Tekken looks at the player during her unique tag introduction with Rolento seemingly aware the player is the reason they are teaming. She also tells Marshal Law from the other series "Dizzy already? I though I had low stun" which is both a reference to the stun mechanic of the main series of games and also how her health and stun are always on the lower end of the spectrum. In the arcade mode of the game after defeating Pandora Jin and Xiaoyu she also tells Rolento "No way! Those guys were definitely last boss material".
  • Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous: The Mythic Tricks offered by the Trickster Mythic Path allow the player character to be so good at the various skills that you can do things that would normally be impossible, one of which is becoming so knowledgeable about the world that your character understands that their whole life is decided by dice rolls. This also means that your character realizes they can start using weighted dice, turning any nat 1 the party rolls into a nat 20.
    You now know so much about the world that you know that everything in this world is decided by dice. And you are good at dice. You have some very special dice that you will use from now on.
  • Henry Stickmin Series: If you choose "Stealth" in the Relentless Bounty Hunter/International Rescue Operation route, it will lead you to Fail Screen because when Henry attempts to sneak below the Toppat guard, the guard will notice the Skyrim's UI of "Sneak increased to 42".


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