Beacon Locator

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Items that emit sound to ease their location.


Awareness , Identification .
Often uses:
Sound Effects , Directionality .


Frequently, some game entities are supplemented with a soundprint that emphasizes their presence. The role of such soundprint varies, but they all aim some form of Awareness. The fact that Beacon Locators provide information regarding aspects that may be out of sight, and that such acoustic queues are often distinctive, is instrumental for Identification of the source.

The most evident use is in supporting the spotting of collectible items. Often the soundprint of the emitters is not achieved through their own Foley but through some Sound Effect. As an aside, Beacon Locators associated to collectible items are usually immediately followed by a sound of Achievement, should the item be collected.

One other category of examples of Beacon Locator is to provide Awareness for the existence of enemies in the vicinity, sometimes with the advantage of also enabling to identify their direction, through Directionality. In such cases it is common that the detection is provided by aspects of the NPC's Character Soundprint, although it may consist of other sound manifestations of NPC interaction such as Chitchat, etc.


BioShock: There is no way the player would be surprised by these NPC. Their acoustic expression, in the case Chitchat (serving also as Unaware NPC), let the player know, at a great distance, of their presence.
Assassin's Creed 2: Treasure chests can be detected by their acoustic signature Sound Effect.
InFamous: A Beacon Locator eases the location of a item – in the case a "dead drop" containing Recordings.
[show less examples...]
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: The detection of out of sight Nirnroot plants is solely acoustic (Sound Effect).
Far Cry 2: The sound emitted by concealed briefcases containing diamonds is useful to spot them. In this exploration, the sound is only perceptible if the PC is close to the briefcase, and such items are also possible to find by checking a non-acoustic proximity sensor of the handheld GPS (not practical to keep equipped but with a wider range). In this game, tapes (Recordings) can also be found this way.
Papa Sangre: Beacon Locators are consistently explored in this game's gameplay.
The Path: The composition, which mixes Music and some Foley elements, is frequently instrumental in identifying the proximity of some interesting aspect.
Halo: Reach:

External Resources

Distress radiobeacon