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Spikes, lava, trapdoors, you name it, they are all traps and they are only designed with one thing in mind; to kill you. However, what if these traps actually did nothing? You heard me right. A trap that is completely FAKE! A Fake Trap is a hazard that appears dangerous, but is actually harmless. Sometimes you cannot tell the difference until you take the plunge or have an item/ability that shows the trap is a fake. Other times, the fake may stand out, such as spikes looking very worn down. It can be considered Fake Difficulty if the player is required to plow through fake traps in between real ones in order to progress, which is the basis of Trial and Error Gameplay.

See also Leap of Faith.

And no, it's not that kind of Fake Trap.

Examples of Fake Trap include:

  • The first Metroid game had many pools of acid and lava that greatly harmed Samus, but some were actually fake, thus you fell through. Naturally, you had to make that blind Leap of Faith and hoped that killer pool was a fake in order to proceed. (Hint: don't try this in a room that scrolls horizontally.)
    • Super Metroid had fewer traps and the fake ones were spikes that were not animated compared to real spikes. The X-Ray Scope also pointed this out.
  • Final Fantasy XII has tons of traps all over the game that cause various effects when stepped on. However, sometimes, the same looking traps act as a healer that restores the party's HP.
  • La-Mulana has a "spike pit" full of objects that look identical to real spikes but are actually part of the background and have no effect on Lemeza whatsoever.
  • Marble Garden Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 has enemies that disguise themselves as spikes. The spikes are made of rubber, so they function like springs. The enemies aren't completely harmless, as they shoot at you, but you have to wonder why Dr. Robotnik decided on rubber spikes during the design phase.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 2, you normally want to keep a wide berth of green Nitro crates, as even grazing one will cause it to explode. However, halfway through level 20 ("Bee-having") is a pile of steel crates and Nitro crates arranged like a small staircase. These Nitro crates do not explode, and in fact climbing to the top step will warp you to a secret area with the Purple Gem, a necessary collectible to reach Hundred-Percent Completion. The giveaway to this fake trap is that these particular Nitro crates do not wobble and bounce like all the others, implying that their contents are inert.
  • A number of the traps in Chocobos Dungeon will heal or buff Chocobo. Some of them can be picked out beforehand, while others are indistinguishable from real traps or invisible.
  • Part of the glitchiness of level 8 of Stinkoman 20 X 6 is that some of the obstacles (like the lava falls) are totally harmless. Interestingly, they're completely harmless to Stinkoman normally. They can hurt 1-Up in the Escort Mission level, but that's it. People have discovered, through game hacks, that this is just how the lava falls are. There's no way for a normal player to know that, though.
  • Prince of Persia : Sands of Time features unstable-looking platforms that begin trembling the moment the Prince steps on them, and which fall into the abyss the moment he steps off. The trick is that they won't fall until the Prince steps off them; they exist to make the player feel he's just barely cheated death without actually making the game any more difficult. Crazy.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy has a spike that doesn't kill you if you shoot it down and land on the back of it, while every other spike kills you instantly if you so much as brush against it.
  • Getting one gem in Jumper Two requires passing through a fake fireball. Jumper Two Editor enables this with a "fake modifier", which can be put on top of any object to make it fake. No points in quessing where this is going.
  • You'll meet tons of these in Karoshi. The universe just wants to keep you alive that badly.
  • The frightening things that threaten you in Shivers include pits of bubbling tar, skeletons that fall on you, a hallway with foot-long spikes covering the walls, an electric chair, a guillotine, and a shadow of something just outside your vision. But none of these can hurt you; only the Ixupi can do that.
  • The voice that guides you in Depict 1 warns you that spikes will kill you instantly. Given that the voice almost always lies... You can pick the spikes up and throw them.
  • Weaponized in The Bartimaeus Trilogy - there's a spell that creates a perfect hologram of the target on the opposite side of the victim from the actual target. Works very well on fleeing suspects.
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