Created By: Unknown%2520TroperOctober 6, 2009

Cruel Gimmick Level

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In various video games, GimmickLevels often help to break up the monotony of some of the gameplay, and are often interesting uses of the Unexpected Genre Change.

However, usually, there are often two kinds... The warm up kind you get about halfway through the game, which puts you into a level where an underused gimmick or control scheme is key. Then... this. The inevitable Secret Level or Bonus Level Of Hell which is ALSO a gimmick level. The result? Frustration. Nintendo Hard gameplay to the max, and the kinds of levels discussed here.

There is one possible sub type:

1. The Rocket Navigating Minefield

Take one alternative mode of player transport. One where the controls are usually reversed or extremely sensitive. Add a timer or some kind of fuel limit, so the level scheme might as well resemble the game Moon Lander. Make the transport method fall apart at the lightest tap, and put said object (and player character) right in the middle of a canyon filled with enemies, spikes and exploding mines. That's this.

Other types:

  • The aforementioned other two Gimmick Levels in the other Trial Galaxy levels in Super Mario Galaxy, Rolling Gizmo Galaxy and Loopdeeswoop Galaxy. Possibly also the Matter Splatter Galaxy.
  • Possibly the poison floating canal section in Super Mario Sunshine, after having reached the island it's accessed from without letting Yoshi touch the water.
  • The hoverbike level in Battletoads.
  • The mud boating in Super Mario Sunshine's Corona Mountain
  • The Pachinko level in Super Mario Sunshine
  • Tubular in Super Mario World. Mario needs to be in balloon form through the whole level or die very, very quickly.
  • Star Fox 64 is a fantastic game. Except for the level where you're in the submarine. Then you want to throw your controller at the screen and scream obscenities.
  • Scrolling levels in platformers in general.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • October 5, 2009
    The Hoverski-level in that old Nintendo Hard side-scrolling brawler... what was the name? Uhh... Battle Frogs? Something like that... basically, that level is so legendarily hard, basically NOBODY made it past it, until many years later when emulators and savestates made it marginally tolerable. :p
  • October 5, 2009
    Iron Salticus
    • Finishing the poison canal in Super Mario Sunshine is generally thought of as being not as bad as just getting to it. A better example would be the mudboating inside Corona Mountain.
    • Super Mario World gives us "Tubular", throughout which Mario needs to remain inflated or suffer a very quick death.
  • October 5, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Star Fox 64 is a fantastic game. Except for the level where you're in the submarine. Then you want to throw your controller at the screen and scream obscenities.
  • October 5, 2009
    Scrolling levels in platformers often fall underneath this.
  • October 6, 2009
    If you mention Super Mario Sunshine, you have to mention the Pachinko level.
  • October 6, 2009
    Game Chainsaw
    I can't remember the name of the game, but this brings back unpleasant memories of a certain level in a Taz game where you were in a minecart and often had mere milliseconds to respond to obstacles... and hitting even one was certain death, even on normal.
  • October 6, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Ouch. This one definitely needs to be a subcategory under That One Level / Scrappy Level.
  • October 7, 2009
    Oh yes, getting to the poison canal level in Sunshine. Whoever thought that one up was a true psychopath, putting the canal level at the end of it was just the final touch.
  • October 7, 2009
    Iron Salticus
    And then there was "The Goopy Inferno". In fact, Sunshine as a whole could be called a Cruel Gimmick Game.
  • October 8, 2009
    The Immortal had a level with flame jets emerging from the floor and fireballs shooting from the walls - all relatively easy to avoid on foot - but you couldn't traverse the level on foot. The floor was infested with giant sandworms, so you had to fly on an insanely difficult control flying carpet.
  • October 8, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Well, I guess any more examples?
  • October 8, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Disagree with Matter Splatter Galaxy. Unlike the other ones mentioned, Matter Splatter is still standard platforming. Plus a majority of the fanbase wanted more of that level, so I doubt it would fit under cruel. A better example would be the Boo races.

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