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  1. #1
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    Games with Collapsing Ceilings? (Help welcomed!)

    Hello RPS people,

    I'm currently working on an article on collapsing ceilings in games for my new blog, and was wondering if any of you might be able to name any games which feature ceiling collapses, or equivalent events, as prominent parts of the story or prominent stumbling blocks to narrative progression? Bioshock is my prime example at the moment, but I'd really appreciate any help finding any others, especially ones that have their ceilings collapse in interesting ways. I'll post a link to the article when it's done and credit anyone who helps find and catalogue these, erm, elusive collapsing ceilings.

    Thanks!
    Greg

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lambchops's Avatar
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    My initial thought with this was "doesn't this happen in every linear action game ever?"

    My second thought was "hmm can't think of any examples that spring to mind."

    My third thought was "wonder why that is? Is it just because there are so many of them they all bleed into one or are developers particularly bad at making ceiling collapses memorable? I men if they happened in real life they wouldn't be something you would forget in a hurry would they?"

    Err . . . yeah. Sorry for not being of any particular help here. i'll be interested to see how the article turns out, it's definitely not something I've seen written about before so kudos for that!

    To try and be more helpful, the Prince of Persia games did this a lot (though more commonly it was the floor crubling or you were on top of the ceiling rather than stuff falling on you). Also I guess it happened memorably to me in Spelunky on the ice levels. There's a giant yeti king guy and I found out to my displeasure that when he roars he can dislodge the celing and you end up getting insta squashed.
    Last edited by Lambchops; 04-12-2011 at 07:43 PM. Reason: Removal of particular sickening rushed typos

  3. #3
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    Sonic 2/3 don't some of the boss fights have rocks falling down...

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    The latest Alone in the Dark, I believe.


  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    NWN2's main campaign ends with the ceiling collapsing on your party in a very "rocks fall everybody dies" sort of way.

    The beginning of Skyrim gives you a linear path by having the ceiling collapse on the path you're not supposed to take (as well as blocking off potential backtracking).

    Battlefield 3's second mission has you backtracking through a battlefield after an earthquake knocks out every path but one.
    Last edited by Nalano; 04-12-2011 at 07:45 PM.
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  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Eye of the Beholder is perhaps one of the most famous examples. You enter the sewers, hear a noise, turn around and find the entrance caved in.

  7. #7
    Network Hub Taidan's Avatar
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    World of Warcraft has at least a couple of encounters that involved having to dodge debris that falls from the ceiling whenever the oversized boss you're fighting stomps his feet or something.

    Also, Red Faction: Guerilla is probably the Holy Grail of "Collapsing Ceiling" gameplay. Although, to be fair, it's more a case of "Collapsing Everything" most of the time.

    Oh, and a few notable bits in Another World.
    Last edited by Taidan; 04-12-2011 at 07:48 PM.

  8. #8
    Network Hub FunnyB's Avatar
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    In a thread on this subject, we must mention Resident Evil 1.

    "You were almost a Jill sandwich!"

  9. #9
    Activated Node Gnoupi's Avatar
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    King Arthur's Gold? Ok, not a single player game or with an actual story, but there sure is a lot of collapsing in there :P

    Besides, Batman Arkham Asylum, with the elevator and Harley Quinn? Or the collapsing floor with Bane?

  10. #10
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    In Medal of honor in one of the first missions you are standing on a roof and it collapses. Don't know if that counts, but maybe it can help you. You're on top of a collapsing ceiling?

  11. #11
    Network Hub Splynter's Avatar
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    Eh, the Uncharted games? Three in particular has the *SPOILERS (MAYBE?) burning chateau scene.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Just about any game with a load-bearing boss.
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  13. #13
    Lesser Hivemind Node TailSwallower's Avatar
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    I think Singularity uses it a few times - ceiling falling in to block your path at one point, and the floor falling in (well, it would be the ceiling if you were on the level beneath) so you end up stuck in some sewers.

    I don't know if you're specifically thinking of scripted events, or destructible environments, 'cause obviously a game with destructible environments would give you plenty of opportunities to collapse ceilings, and have them collapse on you.
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  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node Juan Carlo's Avatar
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    Sudden cave ins are an over used and cheap device for blocking return paths or preventing the player from going places the designers don't want them to--so it seems like there are tons of examples (even if I can't think of any right now).

    In terms of which games used it well or memorably, though, the original Half Life had some interesting sections where ceilings would collapse. In fact, in many of these you are usually on top of the ceiling and you "fall through" into the room below, so it's a bit of a variation on the usual "cave in to prevent progression" trope. In Half Life, though, it's just as often"ceiling collapse as an exciting set piece" or "ceiling collapse as a scripted means of abruptly switching environments" as it is merely a path blocking device.

    Also, not sure if it counts technically, but when I saw the title of the thread the first thing I thought of was the garbage level in "Dark Forces" (which had ceilings which could potentially crush you as a nod to the famous "Star Wars" trash compactor scene). This sort of "ceiling collapse" is more a staple of platform games, though (i.e. arbitrary crushing ceilings that you have to time running through just right in order to avoid being crushed)
    Last edited by Juan Carlo; 05-12-2011 at 06:35 AM.

  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node agentorange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunnyB View Post
    In a thread on this subject, we must mention Resident Evil 1.
    Resident Evil 2 also has a collapsing ceiling, when the 2nd form of Burken breaks through the ceiling in the labs.

    Painkiller has a boss which can only be killed by hitting it with sunlight, which you do by blowing open the top of the cave.

  16. #16
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    Skyrim: Used right in the beginning to keep you on a linear path

    World at War: Used as a setpiece during the Russian level, where Reznov saves you from the rubble.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    BioShock 2 has a lovely set-piece within the first hour of gameplay where both ceiling and floor collapse.
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  18. #18
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    Thanks a lot everyone, will consider all of these, please keep suggestions coming if you can think of any others. Thank you in particular to VexingVision; I'm already concentrating a lot on Bioshock as a particularly annoying example of this trend, but the Bioshock 2 example you've just raised is actually the complete opposite, it represents the opening up of player freedom rather than the massive squashing of it. If we're both thinking of the bit where you find yourself in (wait for it) deep water? ... ... (*cough*)

    And Lambchops, yes, my thinking on this issue is quite similar. It just seems a spectacularly literal and overused device to limit player freedom that I think most of us don't really even notice anymore because we've come to accept it as an essential part of the genres we play. I'll think more on this and try and put it into some coherent sense this week.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    The first Penumbra game. You're investigating an abandoned mine, I'd be disappointed if there weren't a cave-in.

  20. #20
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    Minecraft has "emergent" collapsing ceilings with its sand and gravel mechanics. Never dig straight up!

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