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These days, video games have pretty well-established genre conventions and standardized controls, so you can pick up most any game and have a general idea of how to play them. However, a lot of games also have their own unique aspects, especially to their control schemes, and their use is sometimes required to pass obstacles. Woe betide those people who just pick up a game and start playing it, though, without knowing about these things...some of which are clearly described in the accompanying manual, even.

The Trope Namer is the nickname of a crumbling bridge from Super Metroid--the first place in that game where use of the unique (even to the series) run button is required. A common story is that newbies who pick up the game often neglect that button and are stumped at how to pass the bridge. The term also metaphorically suggests a rite of passage that a newbie would have to undergo to become competent at a game.

Another fairly common example for this is Sheathe Your Sword, whenever it occurs in games that otherwise teach the player to slash/blast/nuke anything that moves (plus any important-looking stuff that does not move). As a result, the average player will not even be aware that there is a button for doing so.

Differs from Guide Damn It in that the required information is often readily available but just neglected, rather than left to the player to figure out. Differs from Moon Logic Puzzle in that these situations depend strongly on (albeit neglected) basic information. Generally a subtrope of All There in the Manual, and partly caused by players being spoiled by in-game tutorials and not reading the freaking manual. When it happens with control schemes (which is the most common occurrence of noob bridge), the noob bridge involves an unusual addition to a standard control scheme; for when the standard scheme itself is altered, see Damn You, Muscle Memory!. Designers can frequently avoid introducing noob bridges by including game mechanics in tutorials.

Examples of Noob Bridge include:

Please place examples in alphabetical order.

  • If you've never played Disgaea before, the first battle with Mid-Boss can be incredibly difficult because it's the first level where Geo Effects play a large role, as well as being the first level where you're supposed to use the throwing mechanic. If you forget that you can toss your troops to the Geo Effects rather than trying to get there normally, most of your team will be dead before you get a second turn.
  • In Donkey Kong Country 3, people commonly have trouble figuring out how to beat Squirt when playing for the first time. It turns out that as Ellie the elephant, you can suck water by pressing L (or Down+R in the GBA version) while standing next to a waterfall. Next, you can squirt the water back at Squirt's eyes by pressing R. Once you figure that out, the boss becomes easy.
  • Doom Troopers has the Waterfall in level 1.
  • In Dreamfall, the music puzzle that lets Zoe out of the caves into Marcuria has been known to cause lots of trouble for new players, who didn't realize that a certain item from the previous location could be picked up and used on the wall symbols (which only become visible if Zoe holds said item and are located in what looks like a dead end otherwise) to reproduce the melody hummed by random encounter enemies on said location.
  • Euclid's Elements of Geometry includes a surprisingly old and surprisingly literal example: the fifth theorem is traditionally known as the "Asses' Bridge," because the diagram looks somewhat bridgelike and the proof is said to be the first one that is complex enough to scare off newbies to the subject.
  • In Eversion, many people get stuck in world 2 and fully learn how the mechanics work only when they reach world 3-4, especially in non-HD versions. That's because eversion points are invisible unless you're standing right on them, and people often ignore the eversion point in 1-1 when they walk over it.
  • Marathon: You'll be stuck on "Cold Fusion" until you figure out that you can activate switches by shooting them with grenades. The game kind of hints this by giving you a bunch of grenades (which you'll need if you've already fired all of yours), but it's possible some people might not figure it out immediately.
  • In Maze of Galious, a gate blocks a corridor in the first dungeon, and it's not obvious how to open gates. (The way to do it is to stand next to the gate and hold down the direction control towards it for a certain amount of time.)
    • La-Mulana has a similar door that works the same way, and is just as good at tripping up noobs.
  • Meteos has Bavoom, which is very hard to use unless you use the speeder; and Hotted and Wiral, which are very hard to use without secondary ignitions. These two things are very important if you want to beat harder opponents.
  • Sonic and The Black Knight: The Will-O-Wisps are glowing blue orbs of energy that explode and can hurt you when hit. You're supposed to use the "kick" mechanic to kick them into things. Thing is, that mechanic is only really used twice in the main game, and those instances are easy to miss, so you might not even know you can when you find the Will-O-Wisps much more often in the post-game.
  • Super Metroid: the trope namer, described above.
    • Though since the Dash button was described in the manual, the giant drop that required Wall Jumping to escape was a bigger noob bridge for people who started with the SNES game.
  • Tomb Raider examples:
    • Tomb Raider: The Prophecy: In the Angkor Wat area, you have to sprint and long-jump to get to a certain door in time. Didn't know about the sprint button? Enjoy being stuck.
    • In Tomb Raider 2, there's an area where Lara must make a long jump into a pool of water far below. There is only a small square of space in the pool that isn't so shallow that it would lead to a lethal fall. However, even a perfectly executed running jump cannot reach it. This is the only point in the game where she absolutely must perform a dive while jumping (which previously seemed like only a cosmetic addition) in order to reach the small square of deep water.
  • People new to Final Fantasy Tactics, or strategy games, will attempt a battle with just Ramza and Delita...not realizing that you can pick out your new units from a list.
    • Dorter Trade City is also a choke point for SRPG noobs, this being the first real battle where players have to deal with both vertically-oriented maps and ranged opponents, and that success can't necessarily be granted by rushing the enemy with your squires (general key to victory: bring black mages and an archer with you.)