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Steam vents are somewhat common as obstacles in video games. Typically, they produce a cloud of hot steam right in front of themselves; this is the actual obstacle.

Such obstacles range from being minor inconveniences to being damaging. They are typically static or intermittent obstacles, but seldom move around, since the pipes attached to them don't. They may become Goddamned Bats if their hit detection is badly programmed. If they are minor inconveniences, they act as such by causing Interface Screw.

If the vents are being pushy rather than harmful, see Vent Physics.

Examples of Steam Vent Obstacle include:
  • A number of these occur in Batman: Arkham City.
  • In Brave Fencer Musashi, there is an area outside Grillin Village known as Steamwood Forest, where random steam pipes spew high-pressure streams of hot air. Some shoot out steam at regular intervals to provide temporary obstacles, and others continuously fire to create impenetrable barricades. After you repair the system that regulates the steam vents, Steamwood (you have to do this twice during the story), the vents cease to be a problem.
  • Call of Cthulhu Dark Corners of the Earth has several. They are damaging and can cause interface screw if they are releasing toxic gas; they are part of a puzzle in one location where they need to be turned on in the correct order.
  • They appear in both Half-Life games. You have to time your passage through some, but others are static and you have to find a valve to shut them off with.
  • There are a few of these in the construction zone level of Kendo Rage.
  • Sporadically used in Zelda games. The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess not only has a few around Death Mountain, but while it's enveloped in twilight, a Goron even laments that the appearance of one particular fumarole makes the path "impassable".
  • Mega Man 5: Damaging puffs of steam appear in Wave Man's stage.
    • As well as Neptune's stage in Mega Man V.
  • Metroid Prime: Steam vents produce steam that can clog up Samus's visor temporarily.
  • ODT: Escape, or Die Trying had a level where pipes constantly leaked steam. And you had to use the pipes for moving.
  • In the third level of Viewtiful Joe 2, an air vent serves as an obstacle in a puzzle. There are two settings you can activate. Either can block the path below, or let you ride the wind inside it, depending on which side you come from.
  • Variation: Battletoads has vents producing small puffs of poisonous gas that travel a short distance before dispersing harmlessly.
  • There are a few steam vents in the Inferno Cavern of La-Mulana, especially along one vertical shaft that hides a way to the chain whip upgrade.
  • Maze of Galious has spots on various platforms that produce periodic bursts of steam.
  • There is a steam vent puzzle in Duke Nukem Forever that doubles as a Take That at Valve Software.
  • Steam vents are particularly irritating obstacles in Mirrors Edge because they require you to stop and rotate the nearby valves for a couple of seconds. This is a game where even braking down reduces your success chances.
    • In the iOS version of Mirrors Edge, these kill you faster than getting shot, and appear fairly often in levels that take place indoors.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, there's a blast furnace full of leaky pipes where you can pick up the optional body armor.
  • Another World had deadly steam vents in the area where you're rolling your way through pipes.
  • Odium has you activate a steam vent to remove some slime off a walkway. The steam then becomes an obstacle itself, to be deactivated by a different switch.
  • Blood II's obligatory sewer level consists near-entirely of finding switches to turn off a series of steam vents blocking you from crossing a bridge to the exit.
  • Played around with in First Encounter Assault Recon - steam itself is rarely directly harmful to you, but half the time when you do see it something invariably explodes near it and replaces it with fire, which is the real obstacle you need to get around.
  • Thunder Cross II has them in the fourth level. Unlike most of the examples on this page, you can destroy them.
  • Some in Lego Star Wars, at least the ones that release very cold air.
  • In the World Adventures EP for The Sims 3, this is one of the traps in the tombs.
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