Created By: Unknown Troper on October 13, 2009
Troped

Pickup Hierarchy

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Main
Page Type:
Trope
Now launched as Pickup Hierarchy.

Platform Game 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:
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • 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
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • October 5, 2009
    Chabal 2
    • Super Mario Bros:
      • Primary: Keys, Super Mushrooms, Fire Flowers, Yoshi Eggs. In Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, Stars/Shines
      • Secondary: Red/Yoshi/Blue Coins, Flowers (Yoshi's Island)
      • Tertiary: Coins (100 for a 1-up)
      • Quaternary: 1-up mushrooms
  • October 5, 2009
    Wheezy
    Good idea.

    A lot of games that aren't pick up-based have variations of this trope (usually adding, removing, or rearranging the levels) also:

    • Your Average Racing Game
      • Primary: Trophies
      • Tertiary: "Style points" or some equivalent.
      • Secondary or Quatenary: Bonus cars and tracks.

    • Pokemon's Game Boy Games
      • Primary: Gym Badges
      • Tertiary: Low-level wild Pokemon, Money
      • Quatenary: Legendary Pokemon, "Shinies"
      • Secondary: All other Pokemon

    • Age Of Empires 2
      • Primary: Relics
      • Tertiary: Wood, Food, Gold, and Stone

    Also, the Primary Collectibles are almost always MacGuffins.

  • October 5, 2009
    Iron Salticus
    • The Legend Of Zelda
      • Primary: Medallions, Triforce Pieces, Four Giants, Pearls, Fused Shadows, pieces of the Mirror of Twilight
      • Secondary: Heart Pieces, Gold Skulltulas, Stray Fairies, various capacity upgrades
      • Tertiary: Bombs, Arrows, Rupees, and so on
      • Quaternary: Biggoron Sword and its ilk
  • October 5, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Actually, the Age Of Empires example is more in the vein of just Plot Coupons and You Require More Vespene Gas, since those are the only two sorts of collectibles.
  • October 5, 2009
    Sabre_Justice
    • Metroid
      • Primary: New powers, weapons and suits
      • Secondary: Energy Tanks, Missile Tanks
      • Tertiary: None
      • Quaternary: Energy cells (Prime 3)
  • October 5, 2009
    Ranger Six
    • 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 Stunners ('Invasion of the Vorticons and Goodbye, Galaxy respectively), Flower Powers (Keen Dreams).
      • Quaternary: Lifewater Flask/Keg-O-Vitalin (Goodbye, Galaxy), Queen Viva (Aliens Ate My Baby Sitter!) - usually well hidden, but these each give you an extra life.
  • October 5, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Super Mario Galaxy has a few more levels not in the other 3D Mario games:

    Primary: Grand Stars, Stars

    Secondary:.. More Stars

    Tertiary: Silver Stars, Purple Coins

    Quaternary: Coins

    Somewhere: Star bits

  • October 5, 2009
    SweetMadness
    Actually, the eggs and ice keys were recoverable again in Banjo-Tooie, and unlocked some pretty neat cheat codes and the Ice Key unlocked a Plot Coupon that turned Kazooie into a dragon. Complete with fire-breath. The actual Stop-N-Swop mechanic was resurrected for the Updated Rerelease of Banjo Kazooie for Xbox Live Arcade, but this time they only unlock minor cosmetic Bragging Rights Rewards in Nuts 'N Bolts.
  • October 5, 2009
    Ryusui
    They also unlock bonuses in Banjo Tooie for XBLA, FYI. (And now Banjo Tooie has "Stop 'n Swop 2".)

    Also, may I suggest Hierarchy Of Collectibles or Tiered Collectibles? Because Collectible Hierarchy sounds dangerously like "a hierarchy that can be collected".
  • October 5, 2009
    FreezairForALimitedTime
    Also, Banjo Tooie introduced Cheato Pages, which were probably "secondary tier." Also, to the trope itself: Heart Containers are often a Secondary-tier collectable.

    Donkey Kong 64
    • Primary: Golden Bananas
    • Secondary: Banana Medals, Banana Fairies, Blueprints (which were basically a midway step to Golden Bananas)
    • Tertiary: Banana Coins, Regular Bananas
    • Quaternary: Crowns, the Nintendo and Rareware Coins

    Vexx
    • Primary: Wraithhearts
    • Secondary: Soul Jars (literally called that, actually)
    • Tertiary: Heart Shards, 1-Ups
    • Quaternary: None

    Psychonauts
    • Primary: Psy-Cores, Emotional Baggage, Brains
    • Secondary: Psi-Cards, Scavenger Hunt items, Cobwebs
    • Tertiary: Figments, Arrowheads
    • Quaternary: Memory Vaults

    I have more. Burb.
  • October 5, 2009
    FreezairForALimitedTime
    Continued to avoid getting cut off by the weirdness of YKTTW.

    Sphinx And The Cursed Mummy
    • Primary: Crowns, Canopic Vases, Jewels
    • Secondary: Anhk Pieces
    • Tertiary: Monsters, Scarabs, Dark Scarabs
    • Quaternary: Medals

    Beyond Good And Evil
    • Primary: Pearls
    • Secondary: PA-1's/the vehicle equivalent, Animal Photos
    • Tertiary: Materia Crystals (money)
    • Quaternary: None

    Rocket Robot On Wheels
    • Primary: Tickets
    • Secondary: Health Packs, Machine Parts
    • Tertiary: Tokens
    • Quaternary: None, though some might think of the vehicles this way. (You don't really "collect" them, though.
  • October 5, 2009
    Iron Salticus
    • Beetle Adventure Racing
      • Primary: New tracks/cars/circuits.
      • Secondary: Red daisy boxes.
      • Tertiary: Numbered point boxes.
  • October 5, 2009
    FreezairForALimitedTime
    I have mo-oore!

    Diddy Kong Racing
    • Primary: Wizpig Amulet Pieces
    • Secondary: Golden Balloons
    • Tertiary: Bananas (original)/Coins (remake)
    • Quaternary: Keys (and by association, T.T. Amulet Pieces), Trophies
  • October 5, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    RE: Pokemon. HM's are needed to advance, so they should be second only to gym badges.
  • October 6, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Tertiary tier: We have a trope for how these objects are placed and what happens when you pick up enough of them, but not a trope for the objects themselves.

    In games without these objects hanging in the air everywhere, there will instead be Item Drops that take this place. (Wait, what? We actually don't have a trope for that? You're kidding me. We have Money Spider and Randomly Drops, but those both refer to RP Gs only...)

    The 3D Sonic games:

    • Primary: Emblems
    • Secondary: Powerup capsules
    • Tertiary: Rings
    • Quaternary: Character abilities
  • October 6, 2009
    Brickman
    I think you need to make a new name for the Quaternary category, since the current name implies they're less valuable and less rare than the tertiary category when they're just the opposite. Maybe "special" or "secret" or "hidden"?
  • October 6, 2009
    Unknown%20Troper
    ^I considered "Secret" and "Hidden", but both felt out of place considering the previous tiers' theme naming. "Double Decker Supreme Tier", anyone?
  • October 6, 2009
    Iron Salticus
    Extra Tier.
  • October 7, 2009
    Shellsh0cker
    Good idea. You should probably mention that the tertiary tier is usually where the game's currency can be found.
  • October 11, 2009
    FreezairForALimitedTime
    I'm gonna toss my vote in for calling it Extra Tier.

    Also:

    No More Heroes:
    • Primary: Ranks (Can you even qualify those as "collectables?" Hmmm...)
    • Secondary: Trading Cards, Lovikov Balls
    • Tertiary: Money, Clothing
    • Extra: Swords

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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