• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

In many video games where there is more than one direction to go, it is possible to become lost, or unsure which way to go next. Almost invariably, the way to go is the way the enemies are coming from. Relatedly, the area with dead enemies strewn around is backtracking. The opposite is when a monster breaks open a door, crashes through the floor or knocks down a wall to allow you access to the next stage, assuming you survive.

Examples of Path of Greatest Resistance include:
  • In Clive Barker's Jericho there are a number of places where there is no obvious direction until something tries to kill you.
  • Common in Final Fantasy games too. If you get stuck, pick a direction and if the enemies are challenging again, you're going in the right direction again.
  • Dead Space is trying to reduce this through the guide lines, but you pretty much have to kill everything that gets in your way anyways.
  • In Half Life, in the Gag Dub Freemans Mind he often says that when he gets lost, the best bet seems to be to follow the trail of corpses and bloodstains, and that the more dangerous the situation, the more he seems to be on the right track.
  • In Dune II the enemy units were created at (and came from) the enemy base. You could follow the trail of enemies back to their base and attack it.
  • Both Wolfenstein 3D and Doom were like this: if a room is filled with bodies, you've already been there.
  • Ever since Sonic Adventure introduced the Homing Attack, nearly all Sonic games since then have had paths identifiable (and accessible) only by finding a trail of stationary midair enemies. This is most commonly used to begin an expert path or for a shortcut; very rarely is it actually required.
  • In Real Life, this is the reason that Genre Savvy military pilots, particularly those operating from Aircraft Carriers, try to avoid flying directly between their mothership and the target. Instead, they fly a more roundabout path, so as to avoid showing the enemy which direction their ship is in.
  • In the Civilization games, this is very useful to determine the point of origin of an enemy whose camp or cities you haven't found yet.
  • Occasionally in the Silent Hill games it can be easy to get turned around or unsure of which direction to go. When you are attacked by one of those damned nurses when you open a door, you know that yep, this is the way.
  • Related to one item from The Grand List of Console RPG Cliches, #82:

  When you are confronted by two doors, the closer one will be locked and its key will be hidden behind the farther-away one.

  • The Resident Evil series seems to use respawned (or replaced) enemies as shorthand for "this is where you're supposed to be going now."