Level Thumbnail YKTTW Discussion

Level Thumbnail
A small image used as a preview of the level you are about to enter.
(permanent link) added: 2012-02-18 11:28:26 sponsor: AlexSora89 (last reply: 2014-11-20 02:39:43)

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Pictured: an example from Mario vs. Donkey Kong.

Almost an Omnipresent Trope in Video Games, this trope is about any kind of visual aid that helps players telling levels apart with a small image depicting a part of the one they're about to access. Imagine a postcard for a level.

The Level Thumbnail can show up in The Hub, in a level selection screen, and even in a World Map (although more rarely).

This being such a common trope, listing examples might even be redundant, but notable ones are still welcome.

Level Diorama Preview ( only a not-yet-launched ykttw at the moment) is a Sub-Trope, about a more specific and more detailed variant of this.


  • Generally averted in the Mario Kart series except in Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart Super Circuit, where the thumbnails are scenery-only screenshots in the former and actual - and sometimes humorous - drawings in the latter.
  • The image above comes from the level selection screen in the first Mario vs. Donkey Kong. Notably, without these, the levels' names would make telling them apart nearly impossible, thanks to the "1-1"-like naming pattern the Super Mario Bros. series is famous for.
  • Some of the paintings in Super Mario 64 (like the one for Tall, Tall Mountain) act as this. Some don't, like the one for Shifting Sand Land.
  • Both Yoshi's Island and its DS sequel used these.
  • Mega Man used the Robot Masters' faces as these.
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