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Many games are designed so that in order to advance the plot, you have to trek to some godforsaken place miles from where you started. Then, inevitably, you have to head back to the starting point. And then to some other place and back, etc, until the game has reached the 40+ hours promised on the box.
Kind game designers will mitigate this headache by adding gameplay elements to shorten travel times. These usually revolve around getting the character onscreen to the next visible area in a quicker manner, by speeding up their movement animation or skipping the transition entirely. This would be unfair in any game where speed is important, of course, but it can be convenient in Role Playing Games, Adventure games, or in neutral areas of more action-based games, such as shops. The most common form is probably what's known as Dash Mode, usually a button which is held down to make the character run. This may require a special item, and may have a limit, though.
This is always Gameplay and Story Segregation. The teleportation here has no bearing on the plot; its only purpose is to reduce player fatigue. It can become a problem, however, if the player becomes overreliant on it and constantly skips over an area where something plot-critical has changed, or overlooks some detail of a particular room because they never spend any time there.
Compare Door to Before, a shortcut to a previous location, Global Airship, a vehicle that can get you to any part of the World Map quickly, Warp Whistle, an in-game teleportation device between fixed areas, and Sprint Shoes, an item required to make Dash Mode work. See also Run, Don't Walk, a tendency in later games for characters to just run everywhere.
- Whether traveling the vast expanse of the overworld or exploring its many dungeons, backtracking is a given in Zelda. Thankfully, many games in the series afford Link faster means of travel; such as on horseback, or the Goron roll or Bunny Hood in The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask. There are also numerous Warp Whistles.
- The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past had the Pegasus Boots. With them, holding a button would cause Link to charge forward at considerable speed, pushing aside or destroying enemies and obstacles and continuing until he left the screen, hit a wall, or was damaged mid-sprint.
- The series even has these in multiple tiers. First something that lets you go between a few specific locations (like, A Link To The Past has whirlpools that lead to specific other whirlpools, accessible once you get the Zora Scale) followed some time later by something that's an express flight to every major area (such as the original Warp Whistle, the bird in A Link to the Past, and the warp songs in The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. )
- Dark Cloud 2 allowed transportation to key areas from the pause menu.
- In the Diablo expansion Hellfire, the character's walk speed is doubled while in town. In the sequel, you can run in towns without depleting stamina.
- In the Metroid series, most of Samus' acquired items/weapons can destroy giant clusters of blocks that compose some areas one would normally have to take a long path around. The most notable are the Speed Booster, the Screw Attack and the Power Bombs.
- In Tales of Symphonia, the game often lets you "quick jump" through a dungeon you have already traversed when you have to go back to its final room for plot reasons. One time it simply doesn't happen. Lloyd gets amusingly frustrated about it in a rare moment of Breaking the Fourth Wall.
- In The Elder Scrolls series Morrowind has large insects you could pay to ride to set locations. Oblivion took this further with a fast travel system that allowed you to travel to any major city from the start (although a nominal amount of in-game time still passed). The next Bethesda title, Fallout 3, uses the same fast travel system, but requires that you visit a place before it became available. Skyrim uses a combination of all three. You can fast travel to locations you've visted, much like Fallout 3, and there are carriages you can pay to take you to any of the major cities like Morrowind.
- Myst is the Trope Namer here. If you were at the end of a linear series of rooms, certain hotspots would turn the cursor into a lightning bolt, letting you back to the beginning of the chain instantly. In the last two games, you would also be given thumbnails of hub areas so that you could get from one part of the game world to another easily.
- In the third Monkey Island game, double-clicking an exit would take Guybrush there instantly, which is considerate because he walks very slowly. Later games switched to a 3D format and a corresponding change in controls, replacing the teleportation with a Dash Mode (but in Escape you can leave the room you're in immediately by pressing O).
- Sierra's Point and Click SCI Engine games generally had the ability to adjust the character's walk speed up to a very fast rate, including installments of King's Quest, Space Quest, Gabriel Knight, Police Quest, and Quest for Glory.
- In at least some of the Leisure Suit Larry games, double-clicking on an exit will make Larry walk at hyperspeed.
- In Wrath of the Gods, waystations could be found throughout the countryside that would fly the main character via dragon to another location. This was a somewhat impractical method, however, as dragon flights cost money which was hard to come by in the game. There were also shortcuts through the underworld.
- In World of Warcraft you can pay to fly yourself from city to city (as long as you've visited enough cities or reached a high enough level to unlock the "flight path"). This system is restricted to given set paths, unlike the flying mounts instituted later.
- In Guild Wars, you can travel, at will, instantly to any public area that your character has yet visited, making it unnecessary to trek there more than once.
- A large number of RPGs, especially Eastern RPGs, utilize some form of Dash Mode, usually offering an alternative between run and walk modes. Games which don't offer this usually expect you to Run, Don't Walk.
- All Infinity Engine games had the issue of characters taking very long to leisurely walk across vast locations, so Planescape: Torment added the option to make all characters run while not in combat. It was enabled by default.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, party members told to hold position will later teleport to your controlled character's location when taken off hold (if they are far enough away). Since you can change which character you control at any time, this can make for some easier exploring and backtracking in some areas, though it is disabled in combat. Even more strangely, however, a rogue can stealth through groups of enemies and then teleport his allies to his location. All this despite being told that there is no such thing as teleportation in-universe.
- Minecraft has railroads, teleporting Ender Pearls, and Nether Portals.