Now launched as Pickup Hierarchy.
collectibles come in all shapes and sizes, from coins
to precious gems and fruits
to mental cobwebs and human brains
. But not all pickups are created equal: Some carry more weight than others in the grand sceme of 100% Completion
, some unlocking new levels, others unlocking merely additional bonus diversions, and others unlocking the means to unlock new areas and so on. This index is to sort out the four basic types of platform game collectibles that appear in many collectathon games:
- Primary Tier Collectibles: Plot Coupons. Usually your stated goal in the game, and generally the most valuable of your collectibles. These are directly used to open the way to new levels, and collecting enough of these from all the levels is the fastest way to progress through the game. Quantity can range from one to as many as ten in a single level. Usually always MacGuffins, but can also be useful abilities in a Metroid Vania game. In more basic platforming games, just reaching the end of the level is enough to move the player to the next one, so any tangible "collectible" of this tier may be entirely absent.
- Secondary Tier Collectibles: Generally less important and more abundant than Primary Tier items, and often more challenging to collect. Collecting these generally becomes more important when attempting 100% Completion instead of simply beating the main game, but they can sometimes become obligatory in the main game as well. Quantity ranges anywhere between one and fifteen per level. HeartContainers are usually in this tier.
- Tertiary Tier Collectibles: The "junk" tier: usually higly abundant in a level, scattered all over the terrain for the player to collect. Nearly worthless in single units, but can yield great rewards when collected in abundance. In a game where new skills and collectibles are unlocked gradually, collectibles from this tier can serve as currency. A single level can contain anywhere between thirty to five hundred of these.
- Extra Tier Collectibles: Very rare pickups which can usually require a lot of effort to collect, such as beating hidden or otherwise difficult challenges that may not be immediately obvious. Generally one or two instances of these can be found per level at most, and sometimes as few as three or even none in the entire game.
Examples of tiered collectibles in games:
- Primary: Jigsaw pieces
- Secondary: Jinjos
- Tertiary: Notes, Mumbo tokens
- Extra: Eggs, Ice Key (which were part of the Dummied Out Stop'n'Swop mode and not actually attainable through normal gameplay, being only available through obscure cheat codes and serving no real purpose in the game proper)
- Commander Keen:
- Primary: Parts stolen from your ship in Invasion of the Vorticons: Marooned on Mars, Boobus Bombs in Keen Dreams, Wetsuit and Council Members in Goodbye, Galaxy: Secret of the Oracle, Grappling Hook and Giant Sandwich in Aliens Ate My Baby Sitter!. You need the Wetsuit in order to rescue one Council Member who's being held prisoner in the Well of Wishes in Secret of the Oracle, Boobus Bombs are the only things that can defeat King Boobus Tuber (the Big Bad of Keen Dreams), and the Grappling Hook and Giant Sandwich are used to scale a cliff and pass by the Grabbiter (map obstacles in Aliens Ate My Baby Sitter!).
- Secondary: None that I can recall
- Tertiary: Point items (usually candy and sugary snacks/drinks - all games), Lifewater Drops/Vitalin Flasks (Goodbye, Galaxy series), Vivas (Aliens Ate My Baby Sitter!), Rayguns/Neural