Computer Games: Facing the Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence


Wed, Apr 13th, 2011 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Website tv|tropes has this hilarious entry about the Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence, that trivial obstacle every gamer that has played any game -- especially first-person shooters -- is probably annoyingly familiar with.

The phenomenon, found in countless video games, in which a seemingly trivial obstacle -- such as a Locked Door -- cannot be circumvented or removed with brute force, no matter how powerful the player character(s) is/are. This is more jarring when the obstacle in question does not mark the edge of the gameworld, but rather serves to force the player into taking a particular path.

I'm reminded of several such moments while playing Halo where I was forced to take a different route because the main path was blocked by things like the Unclearable Debris or the Adamantium Door no matter the number of rockets I threw at them.

Not all games have done this, though: remember Grand Theft Auto 3? The airport's fence would not open until you got your pilot's license, technically "locking" you out of that area. But the game included alternative actions: you could grab a truck, park it in front of the fence, jump on top of the hood, climb on the roof, leap over the fence and you were able to go for a joyride in a nice Cessna.



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