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Hello, troper. We would like to take this moment to inform you that you have failed. The world-destroying device...well, do I really need to say it? But fear not, young troper! You can rebuild! You have but one chance.

' Would you like to save?'

So you're playing a game and you reach a critical point in the story. Something bad happened, and It Got Worse. Maybe the hero just took a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from the Big Bad, or maybe the world has sustained massive damage. Perhaps the time has come to take immediate action to stop the Big Bad from carrying out his plot. Either way, either something big has happened, or something big is about to happen.

Cue the Ominous Save Prompt, which often looks or works different from an ordinary save prompt.

Alternatively, these may appear during what some people may believe is a lull in the story, or another incongruous moment, like after a conversation. Expect things to suddenly get worse. They also appear right before the Final Boss.

See also Suspicious Videogame Generosity.

Examples of Ominous Save Prompt include:

  • In pretty much any game where saving is done via checkpoints or the like to the point of exclusivity, the appearance of any save prompt qualifies as an Ominous Save Prompt to the savvy gamer who recognizes them as the instances of Suspicious Videogame Generosity that they are.

Interactive Fiction

  • In the Interactive Fiction game Firebird, just before the PC is about to set off on the main adventure, he thinks about how this would be a good time to say a prayer for the journey ahead. Cue the unorthodox save prompt: "Would you like to save your soul?"
  • The Infocom Interactive Fiction game Wishbringer prompts you to save before playing the "Transmatter" arcade game. Standard for the genre, and not the only situation where the wrong actions make the game Unwinnable, but they ramp up the ominous factor several times by asking if you really want to play and having the other gamers go quiet.

Platform Game

  • If Ciel ever asks you if you want to save in a Mega Man Zero game, something is about to go down (assuming it hasn't already).

Role Playing Game

  • Mother 3 prompts you to save at the end of each chapter, after the chapter epilogue has played and the screen has gone black.
    • A couple of the save frogs also have dialogue where they really recommend that you save now.
  • Similarly, Disgaea games will allow you to save after every chapter, either after the plot for the next chapter has been set up or before a twist will take place. The fact that there's no music and a mostly-black screen on the between-chapter save menus only adds to the ominousness.
  • Parasite Eve prompts you to save at the end of each day, and also does so after a particularly lengthy cutscene (and just before a particularly difficult battle).
  • The Play Station 1-era Final Fantasy games did this at the end of each disc, which were almost always immediately following major plot events (though a very obvious reason for it is simply a failsafe in case something goes wrong during the disc swap.)
    • The PC Porting Disaster of Final Fantasy VII seemingly missed that part and set the save-points immediately after the disc swap. Which would ofter fail thanks to the game's buggy disc-detection, forcing you to replay 15-30 minutes from the previous save point.
    • Final Fantasy XII would, at certain save points, recommend that you use a second save slot for that save, instead of overwriting your old one. This generally happens when you've passed a point of no return since the previous save and there's still some trouble to deal with before you reach the next safe area.
      • It had one rather odd example, though. Just before you head into the Raithwall's Tomb area, the game prompts you to save. It likely does this because there's a boss fight as soon as you step into the courtyard in front of the tomb, but one has to wonder why they didn't just stick a save crystal there instead.
    • Final Fantasy XIII give you the option to save at the end of each chapter. Since there's usually a significant cutscene at the start and end of each chapter, this is just a good idea, especially on the (three-disc) 360 version, which has you swap discs after chapters 4 and 9 (notably, the disc swap happens after you save, just like the PS 1 games).
    • Final Fantasy Tactics has one just after the first battle at Riovanes Castle. Either save in a new slot or pray your can defeat Wiegraf.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, the item description for the cursed lamp that contains a boss battle with Diablos is: "You should save your game before using this."
  • Knights of the Old Republic II sometimes gave you a "vision" of potential hazards nearby, or had Atton mention he had a bad feeling. It was pretty forthright about how you ought to save when it did.
  • In the remake of Wild Arms, the game normally gives you the traditional save points. But there are two occasions in which the act of entering a door causes a save prompt to appear. Both are preludes to fights with the Big Bad, and both of them are definitely warranted.
  • Near the end of Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, after blowing the Princess Shroob's Flying Saucer out of the air, Stuffwell urges the brothers to save the game before going after the princess, and also announces that he is capable of bringing them back in time to before they entered the final room, in case they wanted to go back to search for missing items. Predictably, after leaving the area with the save block the final battles begin.
  • Glory of Heracles DS will stop you at the start of dungeons with a message to the effect of, "You are about to enter a very dangerous area. Save?"
  • The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion recommends the player save as often as possible in the titular Another Dimension, since "the planes of Oblivion are a dangerous realm". They aren't kidding - Oblivion has plants that try to stab you when you go nearby.

Shoot'Em Up

  • Sigma Star Saga gives you a somewhat-unneeded one of these (as you would probably have remembered to save before heading into the battle in question, anyways).

Stealth Based Game

  • Metal Gear Solid loves this trope. It even has one instance in which you are warned against saving.

Survival Horror

  • Right after The Reveal, Silent Hill 2 features a long hallway with nine save points right at the end game. The final two boss fights are right through the door past the save point.
  • Same for Silent Hill 3, where the room that lies right before the final boss fight features a very conspicuous save point.
  • The Resident Evil games that use more than one disc had this, and treated it as a "free" save, as it didn't cost you an Ink Ribbon. In Code Veronica, it also didn't count against your rating, so it was the only place you could save and still get a perfect score.
  • Prior to fighting the Black Guardian in Eternal Darkness the game directly tells you to save.

Non-video game examples:

Comic Books

  • In Scott Pilgrim, being a world run on Rule of Cool and Video Game Tropes, has a save point in a corner right before a fight with the 3rd evil ex. Note that this is the first instance of a save point within the book.
    • Scott at first wonders what it is, and is told that "It looks like a save point." He reasons that if it is a save point, he has to go save because something really bad might happen.
      • He doesn't reach the save point in time.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • Marble Hornets (er, sort of) - Jay learns that Jessica has all the symptoms of being stalked by the Operator, and decides that they really need to leave the creepy, apparently-deserted hotel. Unfortunately, he stops to upload this to his Youtube account before getting the hell out of there, leaving the fanbase dreading the next entry. By the time he's ready to go, not only has Jessica vanished into thin air but the Masked Man has shown up again.
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