I love playing the ol' first person shooters. Nothing like blowing the crap out 30 monsters and then having 50 more in the next room. But I cant help but notice how horrably repetitive the games can get. This site is a tribute to all the cliches that make up the first person shooters.  Enjoy.

1.  Every problem imaginable can be solved with violence.

2.  Wars never end and seem to go on forever. Especially World War 2.(Medal of Honor Rule)

3.    Large corporations are EVIL.

4.  Even nerds are tough-asses.

5.  The entire world is always in danger of being destroyed and it is up to 1 person to stop it.

6.  The most delicate machinery is operated by a. shooting it or b. running in to it.

7.  You've had your voice box removed, so it's lucky you can communicate telepathically with everyone you meet.

 8. The one person that can save the world is blessed with the ability to run and fire a rocket launcher while carrying 3 pistols, 2 assault rifles, 7 sub-machine guns, the doomsday device and a truckload of grenades and ammunition in his/her back pocket.

 9.  You may or may not have arms but you never have legs.

10. You can run the 100m dash in 4,6 seconds.

11  Your sidearm has a range of infinity as you fire anti-gravity bullets.

Telegraphing Your Punches rule
12.  Piles of health on the ground is a really bad sign! Since balanced game play is somewhere down the list and well after big encounters! Every big event in the game will be foreshadowed by a sudden gift of health and ammunition even though you spent the last two maps using your knife/axe/pistol because you were so low. It should be noted that whatever you face will not use any of the weapons you picked up ammo for right outside his door.

13.     Shooting objects you need even with most powerful BFG does nothing whatsoever to them. Even most things you don't need.

14.  Your biceps and shoulders transmit such awesome energy that any object struck by them with another is likely to immediately explode, break or disintegrate.

15.   You can fire heavy weapons, run great distances without tripping and jump on average three meters in the air, all while having one percent health. Meaning one percent of your body is intact. What if that one percent were, say, a finger nail or lock of hair or a pinkie toe, then you're screwed.

16. No matter how many times you fight, and kill the end boss/monster throughout the course of the game, it is never really dead; and will return in the sequel.

17. There is always a way of getting up on a ledge if the ladder is broken.

18.    Just because it is a door doesn't necessarily mean it will open. If it does open, you only have to touch it to make it do so. Doorknobs are a thing of the past!

19.    Crates of ammunition and medical supplies can be found just lying on the side of the road. Persumably they really did "fall off the back of a truck."

20.  Firing a rocket launcher at your feet and jumping at the same time actually makes you fly through the air rather than just blowing off your legs.

21.  A grown man can easily stand on top of 6 bottles, four flour pots, five deer legs and a speed potion in the middle of a corridor, but as long as he's in shadow, passing guards won't take any notice of him.

22.   No matter how low on ammunition you are, you will always have a meleé weapon, or a gun with unlimited ammunition.

23 Even if you have a rocket launcher, or some kind of small nuclear device, you will always need a key to get through a door.

24.  It is possible to climb up ladders facing backwards and with a gun in each hand.

25.  You can run flat out for a mile carrying almost a ton of weapons and equipment.

26.  However, you can not pull yourself up onto a three-foot high ledge.

27.  When you are shot at while wearing a backpack crammed to the brim with rockets, grenades, C4 charges and unstable plasma cells, it does not explode and kill you.

28.  You can spend hours/days/weeks/years screwing around and still arrive just in time to save the world.

29.  Someone with no medical knowledge whatsever can stitch themselves from a bloody pulp to perfect health in 5 seconds.

30.  You can take about a million bullets without removing them and still be strong enough to defeat the end boss.

31.  When firing rockets, you can put the back end of the launcher against a wall and not be fried by the backblast.

32.  You can stitch yourself up, disarms bombs, open doors, operate intricate computy devices, use special items, etc. while keeping two hands on your gun.

33.  The key to the blue door is always behind the red door.

Perfect Every Time Guarnteed Rule
  Health kits are never out. Guns never jam. Grenades are never duds. Equipment left lying in the rain and mud for weeks on end will work perfectly.

35.  You can pick up any gun from any part of the world, and instantly be able to use it like you were born with it.

36.  You are a good guy. If you are a bad guy, there has to be some element involved, which shows you in good light.

37.  You spend a long time trying plowing your way through an army of more or less normal grunts armed only with some pesky bullet-spitters - when you finally get your hands on that rocket launcher and/or heavy&portable plasma-fusion-cannon, you suddenly notice that all your foes have turned into 3+ meter tall cyborgs with even bigger guns and 8-inch body-armour.

38.  If you are wandering in some otherworldly terrain where there is little chance anyone would have put ammunition, medkits, or armor, your path will invariably be dotted with the corpses of others who came that way and just happened to die before depleting their cache of ammunition and possibly power cells which *suprise!* just happen to be compatible with the weapons that you have.

39.  If there is some seemingly unpredictable plague or other ailment (often times body stealing aliens) affecting a major portion of the people wherever the game is set, you will for whatever reason just happen to be one of the people unaffected by the plague or conveniently passed over by the aliens. If you are infected, generally something will have gone wrong and you will be able to find a cure before you end up like the others.

40.  All space stations/space ships/orbital weapon platforms/little chunks of stuff just floating in space/etc. have uniform, planet-like gravity.

Robots and aliens don't get along.

42.  You can take over 20 bullets while wearing body armor similar to the other guys, but they can just take 2 or 3.

43.  It doesn't matter where you are shot, even if your body armor doesn't touch the spot that you get shot at you are still protected.]

Guards never, EVER call for reinforcements, unless they are a hair away from death.

Guards walk around loudly and whistle loudly, not expecting someone will hear them.

Guards will look for you if you just killed their buddy, but if he can't find you after a while, he'll just go back on duty like nothing happened, with the body right next to him.

You will always have to travel through a sewer to get somewhere.

  No matter what other rooms are locked, the toilets will always be open and usually contain a few bad guys to kill.

Enemy snipers have 10x better eyesight than you and will always see you at a great distance.

49.  There will be boxes and crates. Lots and lots.

The bridge is broken, or will break when you step on it.

There is always an abyss that you fall into that no amount of health will help save you.

There is always {insert lava/acid/radiation here} that saps your health rapidly until you run out of it.

Picking up 6 of the same type of armor will protect you 6 times as much.

When was the last time you saw or used a crowbar in real life?

55.  You don't need to eat or drink. Ever. It only heals a small amount ya know.

No matter if you are fighting Nazis, there it will be always a non human guy, or something weird to add to the story.

You don't find the really ultra super cool gun/superpower/shields/jetpack (which would have *really* helped duing the first levels) until the game is almost over, you don't really need it anymore, and the end boss is most often invulnerable to it.

Women are always the same height as men.

And almost all of the humans(particularly women) are perfectly physically fit and have 3% bodyfat.

Weapon and health stats hang mysteriously in the air before you.

No matter how complex, large, or otherwise high-tech some machinery is, it can be sucessfully operated with a single button or lever.

All enemy bases have a self-destruct feature.

If an enemy is low on health, shooting him in the toe will be the final straw and kill him.

You know that a door is useless if it doesnt make a sound. If it makes a silly sound but stays closed, you need to find the key. There is always a key.

You can jump exactly 1.0 feet. If a ledge is 1.01 feet tall, you must get a 1.0 foot crate and set it next to the ledge, then jump on it to get on the ledge.

The "quickest route" is always blocked by rubble or has been somehow destroyed.

Anyone important to the plot cannot be killed, at least not until the final level.

Enemies have a small vocabulary, repeating the same 3 empty threats.

Enemies always use their assigned wimpy gun. They will not pick up better weapons off the floor. On the other hand, at least they have infinite ammo.

Enemies are discernible by their uniforms. They would never try sneaky tactics to kill you. That would be against the Geneva Convention you know.

Any water will save you. You can dive head first into 2 foot deep water and be fine.

The character wears some sort of super fibro-armor that not only equalizes damage over all regions of the body, but also absorbs most of that damage. This allows him or her to take an incredible number of rounds and/or cheesy fake laser beam things in the chest (oh, let's not be forgetting rockets and RPGs) and anywhere else of the body with no negative side effects whatever other than the occasional temporary reddening of the vision.

No matter how skillful, agile, and combat proficient the player character is during regular play, all such attributes mysteriously dissapear during cutscenes, during which time the player can be killed or captured by his enemies with humilating ease.

No matter how wary and suspicous you are of the evil terrorist army or legion of annhilation that opposes you, you should always be infintely more wary and suspicious of your superiors within your own organisation, since they will often end up to be allied with the enemy, controlling the enemy, or setting you up as a fall-guy for some other misdeed.

You can always tell when something bad is going to happen ( a boss-fight, an ambush, etc. ) because the music will suddenly change speed and style, or stop altogether.

76.  When ordinary people die, they just die anywhere, often convienienly leaving power-ups on their corpses ( see previously stated rule ) However, when a person who has some vital item or device is killed, they always, inexplicably die in some obscure difficult to reach location ( in an underground bunker filled with radioactive waste, or at the end of a complex system of damaged air vents and maintence tunnels, or something ) even when there is no logical reason for them to be there, much less die there. No one carrying the vital keycard or secret code dies in an empty un-guarded office, or a well-lit open corridor, for instance.

You are mute, but that's not a problem at all. (Just step into the portal and I'll take that as a yes rule.)

There is always a prison level, in one form or another. It is also very easy to infiltrate/escape from.

Whenever you are captured and imprisoned by the enemy, no matter deep in the enemy's inner sanctum you are imprisoned, the guard sent to watch you and guard your cell will always be the most incompetent and weak guard around, and will usually have a weak bladder, be really nervous, easily distracted or have a similar convenient difficulty that will ease your escape. You will never find yourself guarded by a heavily armed cadre of Elite StormTroopers, or by the villian's attractive and skillfull right-hand-man/woman.

No matter how sophisticated and powerful the surveillance devices and automated weapons systems in the enemy's base is, all such equipment will be mysteriously missing from your cell and the area directly around it. After all, you wouldn't want to be able to immediately identify and attack an escaping prisoner, would you?

When the guards confiscate all your equipment and weaponry on capturing you, they never think to destroy it, or distribute it among themselves. Instead, they always put it all in a box or crate and leave it right beside your cell. If they're especially cunning and clever, they may leave it in a locked room across the corridor. If they're absolutely brilliant, they'll leave it in the Armoury. Don't worry though, the Armoury is never more than few minute's distance from the prison cells.

82.  Guards will often shout things like "put down your guns!" or "drop your sword!" or "surrender!". But if you try to put your weapon away or stop what you're doing, they shoot at your regardless.

You are the star of the show. You are the one who disarms the bomb, sinks the tanker, blows up the space station, and kills the bad guy. The accomplishments of your allies will never measure up to your own. If at any point you find yourself performing an action that merely supports the efforts of another group or person, you will eventually find that the mission was a failure/the team was wiped out/the transmission didn't get through/there was no help to be had from the military/etc., leaving you to perform whatever action you were originally simply playing a supporting role in.

84.  N
o one has the abilites that you do. Wheter it's using multiple weapons, climbing ladders, having a powerful shielding system or hazard suit, or hacking into a security system, no one has as diverse a skill set as you!

You can run non-stop through the entire gameworld from start to finish without even the suggestion of stopping to catch your breath.

Whenever there is a perma-locked door, there is ALWAYS a vent shaft that leads directly the other side of the door.

No matter how fast you can run and how many items you can carry in your arms, a small branch or piece of wood across the path will block you completely, preventing you from jumping or climbing over.(Impassable Small Branch Of Doom Rule)

Any secret government project is probably a teleporter. This teleporter will involve passing through Hell, the Elder Realm or some other dimension which has near-omnipotent rulers who then decide "Hey, those fuckers ain't building no hyperspace bypass through my dimension" and start invading our world. If there's no secret government project and aliens invade they probably came through a wormhole or portal of their own.

If someone has important information which they must tell you, you will reach them either just in time for them to tell you before they die, or just as they die. You just know they're laughing at you from the afterlife if it's the latter.

Whenever you're captured, you will be captured at some point, the boss will want to talk to you. He'll talk about how great he is or how you should have joined his side ect. He'll talk long enough for something bad to happen and for you to escape.

Whener you're captured, the enemy doesn't just shoot you in the head while you're handcuffed or passed-out. That would be dishonorable, even though said enemy could have comitted every crime known to man.

There are lightswitches only in a couple of rooms.

Characters in many games must be extraordinarily sensative to temperature, since they have an apparently insatiable desire for cool air. This leads them to ensure that any and all structures, not matter how security-sensetive they are, are ridden with large, easily navigable ventilation shafts. It does not appear to occur to the designers that these might pose any kind of security risk, since they seldom seem to bother protecting them with anything beyond easily removable metal gratings. The actual nature or location of the structure seems to be irrelvant, since even installations in the Antarctic or the Moon have them. Some of these buildings are so riddled with the things that it's a wonder they don't just collapse.

A character's clothing and general appearance have absolutely no bearing on their vulnerability. Armour is utterly useless and quite possibly painted on. A woman wearing nothing more than a black leather swimsuit, a soldier in standard combat gear, and a Super Samurai Death Shock Knight encased in heavy steel are all equally vulnerable to everything from a cruise missile to a lead pipe. Wearing heavy armor still generally seems to slow you down, though, despite it's apparent uselessness.

You can always carry about 30 clips from about 10 different weapons, even rocket launchers, grenade launchers, and mortars; in reality totaling over 300 pounds.

That one grunt has been shooting at you for hours, having seemingly endless ammo you kill him. And yet he only has 25 bullets on him, same as all the other 200 grunts you've killed.

When you find a new weapon it will always be more powerful than what you're carrying already.(The Progressive Power Rule)

The stronger the weapon, the less ammo you can carry for it. Despite the fact you are already carrying several hundred pounds worth of munitions already.

You will never be able to carry more than certain amount of ammunition for any given weapon, no matter how little/much you are already carrying.

No matter the trouble you can always outrun it by running to a point the guards/enimies will not look. Conversely you can kill all of the guards in a given location and never have to worry about others turning up there.

101.  No matter how big the gun is, or how close it is to your head, or how many thousands of rounds you fire, you never go deaf.

If the game has a flashlight, when they take all your weapons, they let you keep it. How nice of them.

The Enemy Can't See Lasers. Even if it's on their shirt or on their buddy's head.

104.  Every game must have a seemingly unpassable route involving water and electrocution. But don't worry. Either there will be a way around it, or a way to turn the electricty off.

Microwaves, lamps, Refridgerators, radios...you can nuke them and they'll still work. Flick a booger at a TV though, and the screen breaks and sparks fly.

Even if the game is sophisticated enough to have breaking glass, a howitzer can't break bathroom mirror.

The Explosions Do No Corner Very Well rule.
107.  It doesn't matter if the thing exploded a few centimeters away from you, as long as a small piece of geometry blocks the epicentre from your sight, you will recieve zero damage.

The Bare Knuckle rule.
108.  When using your fists you never hurt yourself no matter how hard the surface you decide to crack your knuckles against. Likewise whenever using a melee weapon like a knife you never ever injure yourself from knife handle abrasions the way you would in real life.

No matter what skills you have your enemies will happen to have the perfect way to neutralise them. You could be god itself, attempting to infultrate a child's treehouse and they will have exactly the right stuff to make you as effective as a paper spade.

Bullets stop once they have hit a target, ie. if there are two windows one in front of the other and you fire, the first will break but the second will be completely undamaged.

Shooting an article of clothing, like the edge of a helmet or the wrinkle of a sleeve, is just as fatal as shooting the person directly.

112.  Despite the fact you are carrying enough armaments and munitions to level a mountain, you can still swim unhindered. And after you've got out, all your guns will still be working fine.

The Manual, What Manual? Rule
113.  Apon finding a weapon that gives you more nuclear power than most countries, you immediately know how to operate it without any instructions.

Mission-Critical NPCs that you are charged with keeping alive will always be too stupid to live and/or suicidal.

The Find Your Own Damn Weapons Rule
115.  You are never given more than a pistol and a melee weapon to save the world with. This falls hand in hand with the "All New Weapons are Better Than What You Have" Rule. Also, ammo must be obtained on the feild, and any clip you find laying around will have full ammo, but the case is not always so with ammo dropped from enemies.

Weapons picked up from enemies are instantaneously converted into ammo, instead of just taking the clip, and no matter how many rounds the enemy is able to shoot, they never hold more than one clip on their person.

The Melee-Range Rule
117.  A knife in the back will be an instant kill, regardless of the amount of armor and the material it is constructed of. Blows to the head with objects such as a crowbar or a deactivated control baton will either kill instantly or greatly reduce health. You will be able to swing several times in rapid succession without tiring, and will nearly always kill your opponent. However, a direct shot to the chest with a rocket launcher will not kill anyone wearing body armor, nor will pistol shots to the head.

Every enemy has one spot they are particularly vulnerable at, usually the head and face. A shot to any spot on the head, even if it merely grazes an ear, will kill any low ranking enemy instantly, but a shot to the throat, heart, or lungs will only damage them about 75%, and only 10% if they appear to be wearing armor of any type.

The All-Seeing Rule
119.  On every floor monitored by cameras, there will be a tech in a room you can't reach looking at screens. If you shoot out the camera, he will do nothing, but if you, even in disguise, put so much as the cuff of your shirt in the very edge of the screen, he will immediatly sound an alarm and every guard will know exactly which camera you were seen in without any confirmation from the tech. Furthermore, if you go to a room or floor through a route not monitored by camera, the tech will still be able to train all of the cameras on you while you are there and you will exit into a room with a camera pointed straight at you.

The 3 key General Use Rule
Shotguns shall always be selected by the '3' key.

In every game there's a point of scripted enemies -- you can camp on a spot, play cardgames, dance around or have a party; but as soon as you pass the (insert special landmark here) nearby, there will be a hoarde of enemies popping up out of nowhere, trying to rush you.

There is no fear of dying, with the "Restart Mission" option on hand at all times!

The World Revolves Around Me Rule
123.  Every baddie/grunt/boss/trap/secret enemy installation has only one purpose: to make your life hell. Yes, you're just that important.

Subsequently, they only shoot at you, even if you're surrounded by your buddies, or that guy with the really annoying laugh pops up right in front of you. You'll still get shot.

A silenced pistol is literally silent, except to the wielder.

Every alleyway leads to somewhere very interesting. If it simply opens into a street, it's the only way onto that street.

An awesomely-accurate auto-mapping device with built-in GPS is standard issue for everybody. Any profession, any era, any planet.

Trains, monorails and teleporters require nobody to operate them. They may have a simple big red ON button, which has a delay of exactly the time it takes to board said vehicle from the location of the button.

And now time for a section dedicated to Project IGI:

1.  When a guard sees someone die from a silenced sniper rifle shot, they will stand still for a moment before going about their business as usual.

2.  When you get something in between you and an enemy, say, oh, I don't know, something like a pole, or a tree, or a truck, or perhaps a large building, the enemy will still know exactly where you are, and keep shooting at you.

3.  Bullets go through anything at any range. Walls, trees, trucks, etc.

4.  Bullets do not go through the glass frontpiece to that helicopter.

5.  Guns that don't have any human standing near them cannot be killed (see helicopter).

6.  Tanks can take several hundred grenades to the underside (weakest armour), but not a single rocket to the front (strongest armour).

7.  Helicopters can take any number of rockets, because they are made from solid metal, and can still fly through the air like a butterfly.

8.  When two fighter planes say they will shoot your  helicopter down if you do not land, the best thing to do is to keep going and see if they forget about you.

9.  Guards never check the contents of trucks.

10.  Guards never think not to lock trucks.

11.  When a guard wearing armour is looking down the barrel of a shotgun that he never heard coming, his first thought is "must reach for gun and shoot him, must not surrender, might die that way."

12.  Snipers can see everything everywhere, and will shoot you in the head from a distance of 270 metres, despite you having sneaked into the base on the back of a truck, IE they have no idea that you are there, or even that anything special is happening today.

13.  You can zoom in at a wall and aim at a guard 270 feet away, sidestep, and still have perfect aim.

14.  You can shoot anyone at any distance without having any kind of rest for your gun.

15.  Trained soldiers cannot shoot you more than once out of emptying an entire clip in your direction.

16.  You will enter the mission about to be discovered, after teleporting from somewhere without any sort of notice, like a large helicopter dropping you off.

17.  When a nuke goes missing, they do not send the army to find it. They send someone retired, because the army have better things to do, like get shot (see next).

18.  It is a good idea to simply give someone 3 minutes to wade through a small camp of fighters, climb a large water tower, and provide cover for six people taking on about 30 enemies.

19.  When you have a radio, do not use it. Instead, set time limits for unreasonable goals, and hope that they have done it anyway when time is up. Don't call them and say "Are you ready yet?" or anything.

The Grand List of First Person Shooter Cliches was a collaborative effort between Me and all the random users of the TTLG.com forumers that contributed to my little topic of the same name I started in 2002. If you would like to contact me, my address is
Me email adress