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"Seems you'll need a bit of a tutorial... (sighs) Very well, we'll start simple."
Warren Vidic, with a big ol' lampshade

As games become more and more complex and the basic functions required become more numerous, players become less interested in reading through 20+ pages of manual just to find out how to open the inventory. For that reason, game designers are increasingly relying on integrated tutorials to tell the player what to do as he plays through the early parts of the game.

One way of doing this is to have the characters tell the player how to do his thing throughout the game, but if the protagonist is some kind of soldier or otherwise trained character it rather spoils the game's atmosphere to make him look like a rookie. It's even worse when the protagonist is being told stuff he already knows, and the designers couldn't think of a way to work in a tutorial.

To this end, the Justified Tutorial provides a special in-continuity tutorial section which allows the character to "train" or learn his stuff without it looking too forced. Sometimes these sequences are integrated into the start of the game; in others, they are optional from the menu. In either case, they are part of the game's universe rather than being self-contained tutorials.

The in-game tutorials are sometimes dependent on the difficulty setting, meaning that they aren't present in higher difficulty playthroughs.

Examples of Justified Tutorial include:

Action Adventure

  • The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess does this by Link's friends asking them to show off the slingshot and wooden sword he acquired, shortly before they chase after a monkey and Link gets his first taste of real enemies chasing after them.
    • The Wind Waker has Link engage in a sparring match with elderly wise man Orca at his cottage; doing so will obtain the sword needed to progress through the first half of the game. Players could also return much later to engage in a harder sparring challenge to earn some particularly nifty rewards.
    • In Ocarina of Time, the Kokiri and the elements that make up Link's home village perform a similar role to the Twilight Princess kids, i.e. one Kokiri asks Link to use his sword to cut the grass, another (sitting on a ledge) teaches him to use his new fairy to speak at a distance.
    • Skyward Sword has the sparring hall, which while it is optional, allows the player to get used to the new motion controls, while being able to get the feel of the enemies seen in the game.
      • Closer to the trope, they justify the flight tutorial with two reasons: one, Link's just been gliding with his Loftwing recently (right before a ceremony which requires great control over a Loftwing); and two, said Loftwing was very recently imprisoned, and Zelda wants to make sure nothing's overly wrong.
  • The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction begins with a soldier wearing a VR helmet to "simulate" being the Hulk, in order to learn his techniques and how he smashes.
  • The Batman Begins Licensed Game starts, like the film, with Bruce getting trained by the League of Shadows.
  • The first "level" in the game based on Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone involves Fred and George Weasley guiding Harry through part of the school. This teaches the player how to run and jump, to watch out for certain pitfalls, and about the importance of Bertie Botts' Every-Flavour Beans (the game's currency). And, of course, the built-in Wizarding School premise allows you to be taught how to do spells by the, well, teachers.
    • While in the Playstation version of the game, the tutorial hits as Malfoy steals Hedwig, causing Ron and Harry to chase after him, Ron teaching Harry how to run, jump as well as everything else covered in the PC tutorial.
      • The latter games, by which time Harry really should know basic magic, find a roundabout way to do this. Generally, when the game wants to teach you how to do X, a character will ask Harry, "Can you teach me how to do X?" with the explanation actually being for your benefit and your attempts to do the spell being Harry's "demonstration" for the other character.
  • In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Raziel gets toasted by the bossman Kain and thrown into hell. When he is revived, he is still a bit torn up (wings shredded, lower jaw missing, etc.), and many of his abilities have changed. His new benefactor is kind enough to walk him through the use of his new abilities.
  • Roughly a third of the gameplay of each Overlord game consists of Minion and strategy tutorials. The first game does it so well that it's hardly noticable - the sequel, unfortunately, is much less subtle about its tutorials.
  • Mirror's Edge does this quite smoothly - the player character's recent accident is mentioned, and so you have to show your operator that you're back in shape. The training serves as an introduction to both a vital NPC and the game's unique play style. Plus it can be skipped at any time.
  • Pikmin 2 has the first day spent controlling Louie.

Action Game

  • Kane and Lynch: Dead Men puts an interesting spin on this, with the hero and player character, Kane, actually training another character, Lynch, in the finer points of in-game combat, such as throwing grenades, precise aiming, rappeling, and whatnot. Functionally it's the same as other examples on this page, but works well since Kane is already expected to possess these skills.
  • The Iron Man game of the movie's tutorial is when Tony first puts on the armor to escape the cave he was held in. The tutorial proceeds as Tony gets used to controlling the armor, continuing in the second mission when he upgrades it to include flight capabilities and tests them out.
    • In the second one his armor is damaged at the beginning of the game and he only has limited systems available. It self repairs, however, and more functions return as the tutorial goes on.
  • Terminator: Dawn of Fate for the XBox has a nice twist. The good guys just built a new training facility and so they invite the seasoned operative, Kyle Reese, to test it out and see if it is cool.
  • Iji starts her self-titled game waking up six months after an Alien Invasion and implanted with some of their nanomachines. Her brother Dan explains to her how everything works via logbooks he left behind, which can be skipped. Hidden skills are explained in other logbooks throughout the game.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer used this in the form of a training run set up by Giles.

Adventure Game

  • The Journeyman Project 3 has the player try out the various interface functions as Mr. Exposition performs a diagnostic on his suit.
    • The original The Journeyman Project was less successful, however, unless we are to believe that it is part of Agent 5's job each day to read the instruction manual for his biosuit.
      • The remake Pegasus Prime actually fixes this problem from the first game, as it transforms the review of the biosuit manual from a daily task into a small portion of Gage's punishment for being late to work for the fourth time.
  • Subverted in Homestar Ruiner, the first episode of Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People: One of the objectives in the game involves disguising Strong Bad as Homestar Runner and entering the Free Country USA Triannual Race To The End Of The Race in his place. Of course, the first time you run the race you're going to do terribly because Strong Bad has no idea what he's doing and Coach Z flat-out refuses to tell him because, as Homestar, he's supposed to have been training for the race for a good while now.
    • And parodied in the game's actual tutorial, where Strong Sad complains that he doesn't want to be in Strong Bad's stupid tutorial, and where Bubs has apparently been paid to read his part of the script.

Fighting Game

  • WWE Day of Reckoning has a tutorial mode centered around Al Snow (the head trainer from WWE Tough Enough, the reality show that centered on people training to become wrestlers) teaching a pair of rookies how to wrestle. As a bonus, the two trainees are clearly modeled after John Hennigan and Matt Cappotelli, the two winners from Tough Enough season 3.
  • In the Dragonball Z game Burst Limit, the tutorial is justified in that you play as kid Gohan being trained in combat by Piccolo; this fits in perfectly to the Canon.

First-Person Shooter

  • The first Half-Life game features an optional Hazard Course section in which Gordon Freeman must learn how to use his HEV suit using an assault course in the Black Mesa labs. Broken versions of the Hazard Course turned up as parts of levels in the Opposing Force and Decay expansions.
    • Opposing Force details the HECU force preparing to leave for Black Mesa, and a crash course on how to utilize your PCV vest and sniper rifle.
      • Opposing Force also has Shepherd end up in a section of the Hazard Course, with the hologram reciting part of the tutorial in-universe (without references to keyboard commands).
    • In Half-Life 2, the training was seamlessly integrated into the game's opening; players had to pick up and manipulate objects with the basic controls before they were given a gun or an HEV suit.

 Civil Protection: You there, pick up that can.

    • Half-Life: Blue Shift. The Black Mesa body armor needs a little work getting used to so the guards are asked to run through an obstacle course.
  • Halo and Halo 2 both start with your character performing basic movements like walking around and using the camera controls so that the technicians can calibrate his suit. Your reactions to prompts like "look up" also allow the game to guess your control preferences.
    • Halo 3 had an interesting take on this trope, as the tutorial takes place out in the middle of the jungle. Having jumped from a spaceship and falled several kilometers, Master Chief's armour needs recalibration, because it is still "in partial lockdown" after having taken the brunt of his impact. A medic stands in front of you in your crater and holds up a little card, saying "look up here... now down here..."
    • Averted in Halo: Reach. The game checks to see if you want to invert or not, then dumps you into the campaign.
  • Crysis does it in a similar way to Halo: After you jump out of the plane with the rest of the squad, an attack causes your parachute to fail. Luckily, you are in a supersuit, and you land on water. You survive, but are miles away from the team who get scattered due to the attack. The suit resets, and your commander runs you through a series of suit checks as the tutorial.
  • Perfect Dark had a few tutorials presented as various training rooms in the heroine's home base.
  • System Shock 2 presents player tutorials as cyberspace simulations, and in-universe they're actually recruitment aids for the government's three military branches. According to the manual, the protocol droid stationed at the recruitment center's entrance is there to keep local teenagers from using the tutorials as a free arcade.
  • Call of Duty 3 begins with a brief training mission — after which you are bundled into a van and driven straight into a warzone!
  • Call of Duty 2 did the same, except without the van.
  • Call of Duty 4 has your character as a new SAS member; after passing Selection, it's his first day in the Regiment. As such, he has to go through some weapons familiarization (aka target practice) and a timed close quarters battle (CQB) drill... in a plywood mock-up of the beginning area of the first mission. This is not as useful as the real thing, since you're doing this solo instead of as a fire team in the real mission, where the AI teammates tend to beat you to the front of the line and thus block your fire while killing the tangos themselves... thus negating the point of that CQB drill.
    • Knowing the SAS, it was probably intended that every member of the team could fulfill the mission on their own, and knew every part of the mission, if for example, there was unexpected resistance or an accident or something that forced the helo away after only part of the team had landed on the ship. Also, the game will gauge your performance and automatically recommend a difficulty setting based on how well you do.
    • Modern Warfare 2 includes a similar tutorial, justified as a demonstration for recruits in Afghanistan, with a similar drill as a test of your character's skill in preparation for a special mission.
  • Deus Ex featured a preposterous training area for new agents: "Right-click to read the book." "R key, by default." Fortunately it was optional.
  • Metroid Prime starts out with Samus exploring a mostly-derelict Space Pirate vessel. Whenever she encounters anything that must be done, a message pops up on the screen telling the player how to do it (so, when she encounters a console that must be scanned, the player is told about the scan visor, while it's assumed Samus herself already knows how to use it). The tutorial mostly ends when Samus gets the Bag of Spilling.
  • America's Army includes a well done tutorial based on real-life Basic Training, with movement being taught on the obstacle course, combat covered during weapons familiarization and MOUT, etc.
    • It famously includes some First Aid information. Which is infamously delivered to the player by making his character sit in a classroom and listen to a long lecture. Which, as anyone who has been through Basic Training knows, is a very common teaching style in the military
      • The information given there is also real info given out to real medics. So much so that a man who had played the game used the info he learned there to save another man's life after a traffic accident.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Elite Force had a training mode that was obviously set on the holodeck. The sequel justified it even further, since the protagonist was now a hardened veteran: Starfleet regulations supposedly required annual recertification with phasers and tricorders and other equipment.
  • Geist never bothers with a how-to-shoot tutorial, but after the main character is separated from his body his spirit is immediately put into a training/brainwashing machine, where he's shown some of the basics of being a ghost - floating around, possessing animals, drinking plant energy. After that the machine is broken by a Creepy Child ghost girl, who shows him how to possess objects, do things with them, and then how to scare humans so they can be possessed.
  • Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay has an extremely clever justification for the tutorial level and the 'Press this for that' button warnings. A daydream on the way to prison...
  • Far Cry: Evolution, a sequel, has an interesting handwave. Apparently sitting in a bar for three months knocking back drinks doesn't do so well for your ancient-predator skills. So you need to go to some island and knock some fools around. Or something. After the hand-wave it makes little sense.
  • A significant portion of The Conduit tells the story in a How We Got Here perspective, with the very first tutorial level starting right in the middle of the action. The player character gets up off the ground after having apparently been knocked down by an explosion, and much of the tutorial consists of the Voice with an Internet Connection telling the character to perform several actions to check if his Powered Armor is still functioning correctly.
  • Kill Switch has a bog-standard tutorial level even though the main character is supposed to be a super soldier. It's justified in-game as being a test of the new neural interface technology rather than of his basic combat skills.


  • The X-Universe series has its share of justified tutorials.
    • X: Beyond the Frontier integrates its tutorial into you putting an xperimental combat shuttle through its paces. Then your jumpdrive goes haywire and you end up several galaxies away with no way home.
    • In addition to the obvious (and optional) "Flight School" tutorial, X3: Terran Conflict's first plot (there's nine altogether) is effectively one long tutorial, with "Press X for Y effect" popping up on your HUD.


  • RuneScape featured Tutorial Island, which is a bit Fourth Wall breaking for this trope but scrapes by.
    • This has since been redone into a Tutorial basement located under Lumbridge, wherein the PC must perform a number of tasks for a high-levelled NPC as he explains the world to you.
    • In the original RuneScape, it was just a house where a bunch of people told you how to do things.
  • Final Fantasy XI originally cruelly averted this trope by dumping a brand new player in his starting city with a coupon worth 50 gil, visible body armor and a weapon and, if you matched up the correct race with the correct city, a special ring. Go!
    • They later added a tutorial quest series that starts when you trade the coupon in, provided your character was created after that particular update.
  • Kingdom of Loathing holds your hand and tells you how you're supposed do everything during the first quest, to get you started. The quest is, appropriately, given to you by the puneriffic Toot Oriole.
  • The Matrix Online has a fairly well-integrated tutorial sequence, in which you, as a new Redpill, have to calibrate your in-world HUD (presented within your field of view directly by The Matrix) and are taught about combat.
  • Done very well in World of Warcraft's Wrath Of The Lich King expansion: On making a new Death Knight character, the player is introduced to the workings of the class, some of the expansion's new features, and a significant amount of plot by doing the bad guy's dirty work, including things like terrorizing a village from the back of a skeletal griffin. This is exactly as awesome as it sounds.
    • Other character classes in WoW don't get true tutorials, but they get a similar effect in two different ways. The most obvious way is, when you create a new character, every time that character is prompted to do something new (talk to an NPC, accept a quest, read the map) an exclamation mark appears. Click on it and it opens a window telling you how to do it. Experienced players or players who want to find their own way around can turn off that setting. More subtly, most classes get new abilities every other level until 40, more or less. That means you have two levels to learn to use the one you just got before you get another one.
  • The MMO Fallen Earth begins with the player character freshly decanted from a cloning tube, after being cloned, mindwiped, and killed for hundreds if not thousands of cycles of life and death, and thus justifiably unsure of how to walk. It goes downhill from there.
  • City of Heroes has on optional tutorial in which you play the part of a new hero who has just arrived in Paragon City. You are sent to help contain a chemical outbreak that is turning street punks into mindless killers. You are then taught how to use Inspirations and Enhancments, how the Mission system works, and how to determine an enemy's level by the color its name is. The actual control system is displayed in a window that shows whenever you start a new character.
    • The Villain's tutorial teaches all the same things, but the setup is even more justified. You are breaking out of jail and have to recover your powers, beat up guards, and plant a bomb before you can get away.
    • Though, a lot of veteran players will still opt for the tutorial because it give you just enough points to reach Level 2, allowing you to start the game proper with three powers, rather than two.
  • In Earth and Beyond, to learn new abilities, you would have to complete a short mission in which the use of that ability was required to succeed, ensuring that the player actually knew how to use said ability.
  • The online, MMO portion of Phantasy Star Universe handled its (optional) tutorial mission, "SEED-Form Purge," this way. All new player characters were assumed to be new employees of the GUARDIANS Security Corporation, fresh from its academy. Any actual explanation of gameplay mechanics was done through text on screen rather than through the characters, with character dialogue giving the impression that equivalent in-universe explanations were given to the player character.

Platform Game

  • Similarly, the early Tomb Raider games allowed you to romp around Lara's house and training grounds to get used to the various different controls.
  • Another World (AKA Out Of This World) was notable for no-manual, no-tutorial, no-mercy gameplay. Its one action button was used for everything from swinging on vines to operating a tank.
  • Psychonauts has Basic Braining. The young psychics go into Coach Oleander's mind for training in basic platforming on a live-fire obstacle course.
    • Additionally, shorter tutorials are given by teachers whenever the protagonist learns a new psychic ability.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the X Box. The turtles start out the game by breaking into the big bad's fortress; they end up entering in the training area.

Puzzle Game

  • Ghost Trick seems to be unique in that it has the tutorial first (Ray explaining to Sissel how to use his Ghost Tricks to save Lynne), but the actual justification doesn't come until later. Ray is manipulating Sissel into protecting Lynne, so the tutorial was actually a disguised way to make sure he saves her from the hitman.
  • Arguably the entire first half of Portal is a Justified Tutorial, since you're a new test subject and they do have to explain the concepts to you. The basic commands involved appear as pop-up instructions just as they did in Half-Life 2. Portal 2 features a more standard tutorial in the form of a routine check-up of test subjects in hypersleep; the ridiculousness of the commands you are given ("look up at the ceiling", "look down at the floor", "go stare at the painting") is integrated into the series' characteristic humor. It then parodies the trope in the next scene, where Wheatley asks Chell to say "Hello" and then "Apple", and the player is prompted to do both by pressing space, which actually just makes you jump.

Real Time Strategy

  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 featured a boot camp campaign.
    • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 puts a humorous twist to this: the three sides, represented by the main tank type each side uses, calls a cease-fire and bands together to train the new commander (the player) on how to play the game "so that you don't send men to die needlessly." Despite the truce, the three tanks frequently banter and even shoot at each other, most often at the Soviet Hammer tank.
  • In Starcraft, a marine says, "Permission to speak freely, sir? I don't really think you know what you're doing." and proceeds to explain the two basic modes of movement. As one is new to the job of being the local magistrate, it's understandable. In addition, one can skip this mission.
    • They integrate further minor tutorials into the first missions of the Zerg and Protoss campaigns as well (chiefly to explain the quirks of each faction).
  • In Sacrifice, the player character begins as a master wizard, for whom a tutorial would be rife with As You Know. Instead, the tutorial/prologue has the player control a different character, a novice wizard who appears in the game proper as an NPC.
  • Both Homeworld games frame the tutorial as a series of preflight tests for the newly-built mothership. There is also a tutorial on using the camera and issuing movement commands in three dimensions that is not part of the first level, and can be skipped.
  • The tutorial for Medieval II: Total War places you as a Lieutenant in William the Conqueror's army, in the battle of Hastings in which William invaded England and later became its king. The game itself begins in 1087, upon William's death, and the "suggested" campaign for new players is the English Faction campaign, which naturally continues that story if you've just played the tutorial. Whichever faction you choose though, the game will likely be heavily influenced by this new dynasty on the rise in the Island Kingdom.
    • Except if you are playing Scotland, in which case you are going to destroy them within the first 10 turns, or if you play Russia/Byzantine (Maybe Sicily) and thus are sufficiently far away (And sufficiently not a crusade target) for England to not really care.
  • In Desperados the game begins as the main hero meets his old-time buddy in the middle of a town festival and is invited to participate in some healthy and editorial activities, like flowerpot-shooting and knife-throwing. Each new member of the team later gets his/her own personal level to show off their abilities. Notable, that the tutorials for the last two members are done in full-blown combat conditions and can get them killed.

Role Playing Game

  • The game pictured is a part of the Pokémon series. Each game features a different set of characters, including the playable character(s), and all of the playable characters must learn how to catch Pokémon, which can be Harder Than It Looks even for players who are very familiar with the series. Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen came with a comprehensive easy-access manual so integrated into the game that you could access it while you were saving your game progress.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, the game starts at Squall's final test, so Quistis, as his instructor, lends a hand by reminding him of some "basic concepts" - like how to use his weapon.
    • Most other Final Fantasy games feature a "Newbie Hall" type of area in which NPCs teach you the basic gameplay mechanics. Some of the games have interesting takes on this. In Final Fantasy VII it's Cloud who's teaching the NPCs. In Final Fantasy IX you get an optional interlude scene in which a moogle is teaching another moogle. And in the above mentioned Final Fantasy VIII, most of the tutorial can be accessed, appropriately enough, from the classroom computers in the military academy.
    • Final Fantasy IV had a classroom in the first town full of students learning tactics that would give you advice. Oddly, in the 'Easy Type' American port, this classroom is copy/pasted into every town in the game, including the one you invade at the beginning!
    • Final Fantasy VI has a rather odd example - a school full of professors offering advice located at the outskirts of the town the main characters are trying to flee at the start of the game. And in the world of Ruin, their school is the only building unscathed on the planet.

  Professor: "We'll be here for you even if the world should crumble."

    • Final Fantasy VII also has a more specific example at the start of the game, when an embarrassed Barret confesses that he doesn't know how to use Materia, asking Cloud to teach him. If the player agrees, the game's Materia system tutorial then begins. Another more basic combat tutorial is triggered by three rookie adventurers asking Cloud for advice.
    • Final Fantasy XII notably averts the dangers of making the player's character look like a rookie when being taught by an NPC because Vaan is a rookie at the start of the game. Even before that, a lot of the game's tutorial is given to Vaan's brother Reks, who is himself a rookie soldier, taught by his more experienced commander. Quite the Player Punch when Reks is murdered at the end of the tutorial.
    • Final Fantasy X is another example of the protagonist actually being a rookie in battle, thus requiring the more experienced party members to explain to him how things work.
  • In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Roxas has just become a new member of Organization XIII. Different members get assigned to show him the ropes, such as exploring, attacking, using magic, and performing a Limit Break. Some of them aren't so nice about it, either.
  • Fallout 3 handles this in an unusual fashion. Your character's formative years are used as the framing device for both the tutorial and character creation. The character's gender, name, and appearance are determined during your character's birth, the last by the protagonist's father looking at a computer simulation of his child's growth. The movement tutorial and stat assignment portion involves you sneaking out of your crib as a toddler and reading a children's book called "You're SPECIAL" (SPECIAL being the game's stats system). The menu, dialogue, and combat tutorials involve you getting a BB gun and a Pip-Boy 3000 wrist computer at your tenth birthday party. At the age of sixteen, you take an aptitude test to help determine your three tag skills. Finally, stealth, hacking and lockpicking are learned when you have to sneak out of the vault at age 19.
    • Or, if that's still too much for you (or if you've made a bunch of alternate characters and are tired of the tutorial), you can make a save file just before you exit the vault, at which point you can remake your whole character from top to bottom in about five minutes.
    • While the original Fallout didn't have a tutorial, the sequel did. "The Temple of Trials" was a tediously uninteresting, empty, brown temple that the game forced you to go through every single time. It was supposedly added due to Executive Meddling, and it shows.
      • A properly sharp-tounged Chosen One can talk the dude guarding the way back to the village into letting him go by deconstructing the temple trial as a stupid and sensless waste of time that it is!
    • Fallout: New Vegas has your character just recently recover from a headshot, prompting Doc Mitchell to direct you to Sunny Smiles to set you up to be able to actually survive the Mojave. It's pretty useful to go through the tutorial for a few free items, but it's not necessary to actually do.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, there is a tutorial adventure when you have to win a competition in your starting village. Unusual in that you can opt to do this level without the tutorial.
  • The tutorial in Fable is made up to present the Hero being trained from childhood to young adulthood in a warrior's academy.
  • Both of the first games of the .hack series (Infection and Rebirth) feature the main character first starting to play The World and being taught to play by other characters. Also subverted in Rebirth when, after Haseo gets changed from level 133 to 1, a group of characters try to give him a tutorial again, causing an annoyed Haseo to explain that he knows everything already.
  • A couple of the Mega Man Battle Network games half-justify their tutorials by framing them as lessons or homework from Lan's school. Mega Man Star Force has something similar, but since Geo really is new to all this, it's not the same thing.
    • There's still the jacking in pulsing in tutorial (justified, as usual, by it being repair work), but the tedious battling tutorial is skippable.
    • The tutorial in Mega Man Star Force 2 is skippable, but you still have to do the three virus fights.
  • The World Ends With You has Neku waking up with full amnesia, having no clue what the things are that are attacking him, how the Phlebotinum pins he has work, or any of that. (Plus the little fact that he can't fight without a partner initially.) While the game does go out of the fourth wall to simply screendump you several times, it's made clear that he's learning things from scratch as much as you are - once you know the rules, he pretty much does as well. (That said, your knowledge and his aren't equatable after this point.)
  • Inverted for humorous effect and realism in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. When you first sign up for the Glitz Pit, Jolene the secretary goes through a lengthy explanation of the facilities and instructs you how to sign up for matches and the rule system under which you fight. After you've progressed almost halfway through the league, a new combatant signs up and Jolene gives him the exact same speech, forcing you to sit through a tutorial you've already heard and learned.
  • With the exception of its second installment, The Elder Scrolls integrates its tutorials into your character's escape or release from prison. This began all the way back in The Elder Scrolls Arena, where your guide is the ghost of Jagar Tharn's Empire-loyal apprentice.
    • Daggerfall had a tutorial dungeon where the protagonist wakes up after being washed ashore in a storm and has to fight his way up to the surface (just how exactly the "storm" pushed him some 100 meters underground is Handwaved).
    • Morrowind had a tutorial "mission", too, albeit rather simplistic. All you had to do was to walk from the the deck of a prison ship, through a prisoner release procedure, to outside Seyda Neen. And that's it. You have notoriously not received any combat training at all...
    • Oblivion did a very fine job of blending the tutorial mission, the story premise, and the implicit class choice at once: you start off as a prisoner who escapes his cell by following the Emperor who is fleeing the city through underground passages. The game runs you through some basic interaction with the environment (melee combat, shooting, lockpicking), then the Emperor is killed shortly before escaping (kicking off the main quest), then one of his guards finalizes your character creation by suggesting what class you'd be best off with based on how your playing style was during the tutorial dungeon.
    • Skyrim works the basic features of the game into you escaping a dragon attack (and your own execution). After a chaotic runaround above ground for basic movement and interaction, you head underground for combat. Once the sandbox opens, there are several people in various towns who will give you instructions on smithing, alchemy, and enchanting. In Whiterun, for instance, you can help a smith out at her forge as she walks you through the process step-by-step, and you even get a helmet and dagger out of the deal.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic you have to escape from a ship boarded by the Sith with Trask (fellow soldier and Exposition Fairy) holding your hand most of the way.
    • He's mercilessly made fun of in the Abridged version.
    • Yet its sequel, KOTOR II, had a really boring and unimmersive sequence aboard a disabled Ebon Hawk, with you playing T3-M4 trying to repair the ship enough to get to safety.
    • Although the sequence in II did explain (some of) how you wound up on Peragus, and more importantly can be skipped whenever you like.
  • The first chapter of Dungeon Siege II is basically a chapter of tutorial, which has you go in a quick training just before being shoved into warzone. If you're replaying the game in higher difficulty, the game skips to the second chapter immediately.
  • The Witcher's Prologue is a tutorial integrated with the plot, establishing character and over-arching motivation for the rest of the story. Practically every element of the rest of the game is smoothly introduced in justified contexts.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Luke has no idea how to buy and sell things, due to living a sheltered life on his father's estate. Hilarity Ensues when he grabs some food from a shop early in the game, not knowing that he has to pay for it.
    • Van Grants, who is Luke's sword master, delivers the battle tutorial early in the game. While it's completely justified, it's awkward to hear the final boss talking about "attack buttons" and "the Artes menu."
  • Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army opens with your main character, an up-and-coming rookie summoner, being tested by the watchers of the Kuzunoha clan. Each test shows the player how to fight, summon, and capture demons. When the test is over, your character has the right to claim the title of "Raidou Kuzunoha the 14th" and become a full-fledged Devil Summoner.
    • In King Abaddon, Raidou must take the test again to prove that he is still up to the task of being the Capital's resident summoner. Not only does it teach/refresh the player about combat basics, it also gives you a crash course on the new features in the game, such as summoning two demons and using the dodge roll and triangle button attack.
  • The opening mission of Might and Magic VII was meant to function as one of these, and beautifully so since it doesn't seem contrived or forced. New players will spend enough time hanging around Noob Island to learn the ropes of the game, while veteran players will either have fun blasting through it in a few minutes flat or try to wrestle a Disc One Nuke out of the island's resident dragon.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, you are a just-Embraced vampire. The tutorial is framed as an older vampire, Jack, taking pity on you after you're kicked out of the building and teaching you how to cope with your new status as a member of the World of Darkness. It then gets interrupted by a faction of enemy vampires attacking; this faction is a recurring antagonist throughout the game and you get some handy tips about their methods, so you also get a quick introduction to the combat system. You also get a free lockpick. It's actually very well-integrated, and if you don't want to take the tutorial, you can tell him so early on and either shut him down entirely, or get a thirty-second rundown on the basics.
  • In Episode 1 Chapter 2 of Phantasy Star Universe's Story Mode, Karen teaches Ethan about forming parties and how mission points are earned. It's done fairly well, presenting a plausible in-universe system that justifies several gameplay mechanics that come up during online play.
  • Dark Souls has one of these. It's basically you in a neglected, derelict prison scrounging around for any available weapons and gear and an escape, trying to deal with the few other escaped prisoners, and the Asylum Demon.

Simulation Game

  • The game Tachyon the Fringe has a unique approach to this. Your character, already a good pilot, is supposed to evaluate a new training officer by letting her train you.
    • During this mission (which is entirely optional), there is a malfunction, and the training satellites start shooting at you, providing you with some combat experience. This gets turned into a Brick Joke when TNS News reports that the training officer later saved her students when the same thing happened again later.
  • The Free Space series has two takes on this. In the first game, you're handed a fighter and a peashooter and have live-fire training with a tutor. In the sequel (32 years later in the continuity) live training has been phased out and you're put into a 'Training Simulator Module.' The stern but fatherly instructor has been replaced by a pre-recorded, overly enthusiastic AI.
  • Star Wars: TIE Fighter justified things (at least story-wise) with the player character (at least according to the book) getting to be a full-time pilot instead of a starfighter mechanic after he jumped into a TIE fighter and fended off four Rebel starfighters attacking an Imperial admiral's shuttle.
  • Averted in Steel Battalion, which features a "tutorial" stage that is intended to emulate the very beginning of Mobile Suit Gundam. After being told you will receive months of simulator training before even being allowed near the cockpit of the Humongous Mecha, a well-timed attack by the enemy occurs, and your main character says he will just use the manual to pilot it. The game is not only saying this for effect: It actually expects you to use the manual for the first, and likely subsequent, stages. Yes, it is that complicated.
    • Thankfully, the buttons you must use to start your mech's engine ignition are lit up on your forty-button controller in the order they should be pressed in. Just don't play the game, if you're starting out, in front of a friend who is well-versed in the basic fundamentals of mech piloting, unless you have very considerate friends. You don't get very much help at all otherwise, which is great for immersion but bad if you fail to notice the blinking buttons in your lap.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator starts you out with training missions, with your co-pilot explaining all the controls (and unavoidable things like 'press F2 to do this' the first time it comes up). Later missions assume you know what you're doing and leave you to it.
  • The player character of Warship Gunner 2 is a freshly-minted navy officer and the first few missions are a Flash Back to his basic training. A later tutorial runs him through the basics of submarine navigation.
  • Each Harvest Moon features different characters, and most of them are newbie who have just gotten into a farmwork. Players from Rune Factory have amnesia, plus they're instantly put into a farm for almost no reason.

Sports Game

Stealth Based Game

  • Three of the four games in the Hitman series (Codename 47, Silent Assassin, and Blood Money) use this trope. In the first, Agent 47 is walked through the basics of being an assassin by the mysterious Dr. Ort-Meyer as he escapes from an asylum; in the second, 47 tromps through some ruins to get back in practice after having temporarily retired from his trade; and in the fourth, the tutorial mission is placed in the context of a simple hit 47 is carrying out on a carnie. Curiously, the third game in the series, Hitman: Contracts, dispensed with the in-game tutorial in favor of a weird, shadowy dreamscape where 47 could go to brush up on his firearms and stealth skills; however, considering that pretty much the entirety of Contracts was a fever dream/extended flashback 47 had as he lay dying from a gunshot wound, this was entirely appropriate.
    • Although Contracts did have a series of hints and instructions flash up on the screen in its first mission.
  • The Assassin's Creed tutorial is actually quite seamlessly integrated into the game, as Desmond is literally being taught to use videogame-style controls to operate the Animus.
    • In the sequel the player still controls Desmond, who knows how the controls in the Animus work (which is like a video game). So instead of having him learn again the game will feature multiple points in the new Assassin's life, allowing a Fallout 3-like tutorial that will teach the player the controls.
      • Specifically, the gameplay mechanics are introduced in the first two chapters as part of Ezio's life; for example, the first story memory has Ezio fist fighting on a bridge (to teach melee basics), then when Ezio goes to beat up his sister's cheating boyfriend grabbing is introduced, and more advanced moves are introduced in the second chapter when Ezio undertakes combat training at his uncle's request.
    • In Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Ubisoft assumes that most players are already familiar with the basic controls, so you're cast into the plot straight away with only basic on-screen prompts to guide you.
  • The optional tutorial in the first game of Thief is a flashback to Garrett's training as a child just taken from the street, and in it he's given simple tasks to do the way he chooses. The third game's first level is a heavy-handed, mandatory tutorial where Garrett has to follow the blue footsteps on a routine job. The drop in tutorial justification subtlety is staggering.
  • Averting this (in the ruined atmosphere due to suspension of disbelief case) was the reason for the infamous Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty player character switcheroo.
  • The first level of Splinter Cell involves Sam 'calibrating' his experimental new suit. The button/action prompts appeared on the HUD, and the in-universe action prompts were over the radio. The sequels dispensed with the "calibration" entirely.
  • In Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror the player character (Logan) is stated as giving the new training a test run to give his opinion of it. He even tells the trainer to treat him like a new recruit and several times during the training has to remind the trainer, who says things like, "But, you know all this already." that he needs to be treated like a new recruit if he is to properly test the training.
  • Not quite this, but strongly related - in Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots, if you attempt to start the online game without having a PSN account, it "connects" you to a fake Tech Support chat program supposedly written by Otacon, who remains completely in character while talking you through the process of registering you and checking connection problems. If you repeatedly bring him in a loop or deliberately provide him with false answers, he'll even complain. Obviously, it can't be canon, because although the Excuse Plot of Metal Gear Online is that it's all a VR simulation, PlayStation 3 accounts certainly wouldn't be involved. But in that series, that's normal.

Third-Person Shooter

  • Gears of War's tutorial involves your newly-released-from-prison veteran soldier taking the long way through the prison blocks to get back into shape and shake out the cobwebs. The sequel has you training the squad's rookie. Unique in these tutorials is that both are integrated into the gameplay and are skippable depending on the choice you make. The first game allows you to fight enemies along the way with either path you take, as the whole jail-break is merely the prologue to the rest of the game.
  • In Second Sight, the first level sends the main character-- a parapsychologist accompanying a team of commandoes as a consultant-- through an obstacle course, in order to learn useful stealth and marksmanship strategies.
    • Actually, that's the second level. The actual first level may still count, being when John gains his psychic abilities and has to figure out how to use them in order to escape his cell in a hospital.
  • Played with in Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard. The tutorial is optional in the first level, and Matt, whose Medium Awareness and Genre Savvy are his defining traits, will actually comment on the tutorial, from mocking the very basics found in every third-person shooter to complimenting new wrinkles that will help him survive.
  • In Dead Space, the enemies don't bat an eye at head shots or even outright decapitations like in most shooters; they're vulnerable to "strategic dismemberment" instead. In the opening phase of the game, expect no less than five direct messages, from blood-scrawled advice on the walls left by victims who learned it too late, to your own suit's holographic info display, to audiologs left by the crew, telling you in no uncertain terms to cut off their limbs.
  • Gun has some nice twists on the tutorial. The walking and shooting part is done by your father, who is generally kind of an asshole who doesn't think anyone is as awesome as he is. So everything is 'Do this, do that, don't do that'. The horse riding and shooting part is done by a genial shopkeeper/betting man who is actually pulling a delaying tactic so his friends can ride up and kill you for your free ticket to a whorehouse.
  • Inverted in Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron, as the optional tutorial level in campaign mode consists of X2, the protagonist, retraining existing clones.

Turn-Based Strategy

  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance starts off with the protagonist moving from a really warm climate to a new school in the winter. Right before being Trapped in Another World, the other kids teach him how to have a snowball fight, which happens to precisely mirror the combat system employed in the Magical Land he is about to be transported to.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics a 2 doesn't have Luso learn how to fight in his world. When he gets thrown into the Final Fantasy Ivalice, he lands in front of a huge Cockatrice and has to join Cid's clan in order to not die. Since Luso never used weapons nor does he know how battles work, Cid teaches Luso how to attack, but strangely enough, also tells him how to "move" and end his turn. Even the Black Mage and White Mage tells Luso about other factors such as how to use magick (which is odd since only they can use magick at this point and Luso knows no abilities) and how speedier units generally go first.
      • The original Final Fantasy Tactics has an interesting variation. There is no integrated tutorial and the game itself leaves you to figure out the basics mostly by yourself. However, there is an optional tutorial mode. The reason that's a variation of this trope is because, despite being optional and acanon, it features an actual character who is referenced several times in the main game, but who only appears in this mode--the instructor Darlavon, who teaches new military recruits all of the basics. The academy he teaches at is also the one the main character went to, so it stands to reason that Ramza received his lectures off-screen.
  • Fire Emblem 7 was split into three stories, the first one being an elaborate tutorial when played on normal difficulty. The first time you play the game, you have no choice but to play the tutorial chapter and then the main story; after that, you can choose from any of the three, including a hard mode for the first section that removes the tutorial sequences and lets you do whatever you want. In addition, you can enter the menu and turn off the "handholding" option during the tutorial chapter.
  • Advance Wars had a whole tutorial campaign with Orange Star Chief CO Nell explaining most of the game in a series of fights against the invading Olaf. The real campaign picks up right after with Andy, who is a new CO that justifies every additional explanation or repetition. The later games instead had the tutorial during the first couple of missions in the campaign.
    • Days of Ruin features Will, who before the world-destroying meteor strike was a student at the Rubinel military academy. Since he obviously didn't get to finish school, almost everything about the combat system needs to be explained to him- and, by extension, the player.
  • Gadget Trial averts this: since the player character is a skilled veteran, there is no tutorial mode.
  • Nippon Ichi occasionally justifies the use of tutorials.

Visual Novel

  • Every Ace Attorney game does this with its first case.
    • For Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the first case is Phoenix's first case as a lawyer, with his mentor and boss, Mia, showing him the ropes.
    • Justice for All has Phoenix get amnesia from being clunked in the head, so his client must explain what he's supposed to do.
    • Trials and Tribulations's first case is a flashback to Mia's second case - it had been a year since her first one, so the reasoning is that she doesn't remember how the court works very well.
    • And with Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, it is again Apollo's first case with his mentor explaining how everything works.
    • In Investigations. Edgeworth has to explain his methodology to the eternally clueless Detective Gumshoe and sighs dramatically when Gumshoe attempts to explain the court record to him.

Wide Open Sandbox

  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has the tutorial sections slowly spread out throughout the game. Melee weapons are taught when you and ally decide to go bust up a crack house. In another example, you have to do the pilot school before you can (technically) access the airports and the piloting missions (and the heat seeker rockets in the airport). Doesn't quite work out when the piloting school is only defeated through trial-and-error, as the prop plane will stall if the player goes too high.
    • Fridge Logic ensues when you begin to ask yourself: What kind of demented pilot test is your PC being forced through? Seriously. What average pilot would need to know how to do a loop-the-loop or barrel roll? Or how to blow up moving trucks from an aircraft? It might be Handwaved as Toreno setting special tests so that Carl can carry out his covert missions, if not for the fact that almost all the bizzare stunts that you are forced to pull off to pass the test are completely unnecessary during the missions he gives you.
  • Scarface the World Is Yours does this with a flashback to the character's military training in Cuba. Then the first level starts at the stairs in the mansion... Later on, a completely within-the-Fourth-Wall (if slightly leaning on it) conversation between Tony and two Vice cops establishes the Heat system.
  • Saints Row 2 walks the player through a basic tutorial during the beginning prison break, and offers an alternative escape route in order to skip it.
  • Little Big Planet's first area is. It's the garden where the king and queen teach you how to play. It's just a easy level with text bubbles popping up telling you how to do X. They're skippable.


  • The Final Fantasy VII fanfiction The Zor's Pizza Chronicles has the characters having to explain battle mechanics to an incompetent boss. "Hey, that didn't do any damage!" "That's because I'm wearing a fire ring. I'm protected from fire." "This is confusing!" "Look, lets try again some other time, okay? Besides, you're already dead." (Character looks at his hit points) "Damn. Well, I'll be back!"