Guerrilla Boulders YKTTW Discussion

Guerrilla Boulders
A type of obstacle that attacks until approached, all without reason
(permanent link) added: 2011-07-02 01:20:58 sponsor: UnobligatoryStunfisk (last reply: 2011-07-03 10:31:44)

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Not even looking into the mirror at an angle will show you whose doing this is.
Up for Grabs, Needs More Examples, Seen It a Million Times

The hero is busily traversing across the mountains. It shan't be too long before reaching their destination. Aside from the common mountain mooks and a few bottomless pits, this mountain isn't so bad.

Except, now they are being pelted with boulders! It's a weak avalanche that they can tell is coming from higher up the mountain. Something has to be causing all these boulders to fall down on them. After a short detour up the mountain, they were expecting to find the source of the boulders. It'd only make sense for there to be a reason for this avalanche, right?


Upon locating what would've been the source of the boulders falling down, the hero not only finds their-self without an answer as to why rocks rained on them, but now the boulders have simply stopped.

Enter Guerrilla Boulders, a form of obstacle in video games. Commonly being boulders, balls of snow, or even mook attacks coming from off screen, these obstacles ruthlessly attack the playable character until the player is close enough, in which case the obstacle simply has disappeared, despite nothing being done to remove it. At least two conditions for this YKTTW must be met, of which include:

  1. The obstacle activates on coincidence. It is never a constant obstacle that happens as a natural part of the environment. If the boulders are going to fall, you have to just happen to be in the way.
  2. You cannot see why the obstacle happens. Is someone tossing the boulders down? Are natural forces at work during this? Is there a reason why this only happens when you're in the way? You don't ever find out the exact cause.
  3. It stops as soon as you get close enough. Whatever the cause, as long as you're close enough to the source (but not out of range or sight), it will cease to attack. Think removing enemies by bringing them off-screen, only inverted.

The name deprives from Guerrilla Warfare, referring to how the obstacle tends to attack in set amounts before retreating or stopping altogether. Given the invincible nature of these attacks, they are often regarded negatively within levels.


  • The Legend of Zelda has a few of these.
    • A Link to the Past: On the way to the Tower of Hera, boulders will fall down on Link when crossing a certain area on Death Mountain. These boulders fall until Link reaches the summit, where, despite the boulders clearly coming from there, become barren of all activity.
    • Ocarina of Time: While going up Death Mountain, a volcano erupts boulders onto you when you specifically stand on the road in front of it. Getting to the wall means the volcanic activity stops. This even happens after Link rids the Gorons of their problem in Dodongo Cavern.
  • During a few levels of Super Mario Bros. 3, there is water along the bottom of the level, and when you pass through a certain region, the water level starts to raise and lower only to stop again at a certain point.
  • In Super Mario 64, in Bob-omb Battlefield, you travel up a spiral mountain which giant boulders constantly roll down. When you reach the top of the mountain, you see that the boulders were coming out of the side of it... but not with any explanation or way to stop it.
  • In Mario Kart 64, going offroad in D.K.'s Jungle Parkway will result in the driver having coconuts thrown at them until getting back on the main road.
  • System Shock 2 features a room with a cyborg ninja and a wave of never-ending metal crates falling down in it. The crates fell down on you, which only mysteriously stopped once you actually killed the ninja.
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