<a novref=true text=@key href=pattern-rescue.html>Rescue</a>


Rescue is the goal of freeing someone or something that is guarded.

A common plot in games is that an opponent has captured or imprisoned a character that players' characters know or care about. This gives the players a Rescue goal, which may consist of finding the location of the kidnapped character as well as Overcoming or avoiding the obstacles and enemies on the way there. Games using Rescue as the main goal often have the opponent as the final enemy that has to be defeated before completing the goal.

Example: Donkey Kong has as an over-arching goal for Marioto Rescue the girl that has been kidnapped by the gorilla with the same name as the game.

Example: Some missions in Counter-Strike involve scientists that the terrorists have to Guard and the counter-terrorist Team tries to free and lead to a safe zone.

Using the pattern

A Rescue goal can be designed as either explicit goals to Overcome some Guards or to use Stealth to avoid being detected, or a combination of both, possibly allowing players the Freedom of Choice between the two. In the latter case, Rescue goals provide the possibility of several subgoals: Stealth goals to enter areas without detection and Gain Information goals to learn the layout and positions of Guards, Alarms, and Deadly Traps. Games using Rescue as the main goal often have the character responsible for the kidnapping as a Boss Monster that has to be defeated before completing the goal.

Rescue s can be constructed so that they are completed as soon as the Guards and Obstacles are Overcome but may also be constructed so that the rescued people have to be moved into a safe area, i. e., places in the Game World that are both Goal Points and Safe Havens. The latter ones allow for opposing Capture goals and provides gameplay where the goals may change several times before reaching a final conclusion.


As a Rescue goal is defined by overcoming a Guard goal, it is a Preventing Goal and automatically creates Conflict. Although the goal object of a Rescue may be a Character or Unit, possibly controlled by another player, the structure of Rescue goals are often struggles over Ownership. Rescue goals are often used to provide a Narrative Structure in a game; the person to be rescued can have vital information or be someone that is loved by the player's character.


Instantiates: Conflict, Preventing Goals

Modulates: Guard, Narrative Structures

Instantiated by:

Modulated by: Goal Points, Safe Havens, Overcome, Alarms, Deadly Traps, Obstacles, Boss Monsters, Stealth, Ownership

Potentially conflicting with: