New Level On A Familiar Setting YKTTW Discussion

New Level On A Familiar Setting
A level that revisits (or remixes) the setting and themes of an earlier level
(permanent link) added: 2012-03-08 18:34:52 sponsor: SNDL (last reply: 2012-03-29 22:12:46)

Add Tag:
In most Video Games, particularly from the platform, action-adventure and RPG genres, each and every level has its own, unique setting or theme that is different from the other levels. You get the Green Hill Zone, the Shifting Sand Land, the Lethal Lava Land, the Bubbly Clouds, etc.

On rare occasions, a later level may reuse the same setting from an earlier level, even though the enemies and obstacles change or are remixed in some way. There may be a few ways to do this:

  1. The new level may be geographically closer to the earlier level, but it may not have been accessible at first due to a lack of necessary items, because it has to be entered through an alternate route, or simply because the storyline dictates so.
  2. The new level may be related storyline-wise (e.g. a major character or villain may be found on both stages), so it would make sense to give both areas a type of setting in common to favor consistency.
  3. The new level may correspond to another playable character, in the case the earlier level was only explored by another.
  4. Or simply the designers ran out of ideas when they were thinking about the settings.

Not to be confused with Hard Mode Filler, where the later level is actually identical, or extremely similar, to the earlier one, but made more difficult to be consistent with its late appearance in the game. Also, it doesn't count if all levels share the same setting.


  • Happened a few times through the Super Mario Bros. games:
    • World 6 of Super Mario Bros. 2. It remixes the Shifting Sand Land from World 2. World 3 borrows the Green Hill Zone theme of World 1. In both cases, the bosses are the same (Mouser in 1 and 3, Tryclide in 2 and 6)!
    • Levels 9 to 12 in Super Mario 64. Namely, both Dire, Dire Docks and Wet-Dry World are aquatic levels, and in turn borrow that to the much earlier Jolly Roger's Bay, Snowman's Land does this to to Cool, Cool Mountain (Slippy-Slidey Ice World), while Tall Tall Mountain does this to Whomp's Fortress (Death Mountain).
    • In Super Mario Galaxy, we have Dreadnought Galaxy, which revisits the Eternal Engine setting of Space Junk Galaxy and Battlerock Galaxy (and from the latter, it borrows the same boss, Topman).
    • In Super Mario Galaxy 2, various different settings that appear at first in the first worlds are carried over to the later ones. A Justified Trope, since the levels are much shorter, so this helps to take proper advantage of the themes.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Interestingly inverted in Banjo-Kazooie: The level Click Clock Wood, at first a Lost Woods level, is portrayed in a total of four different settings, each one representing a season of the year. Thus, when you reach it in winter, it becomes Slippy-Slidey Ice World. This level aside, Rusty Bucket Bay plays the trope straight, by revisiting the Down the Drain and Eternal Engine traits of Clanker's Cavern (but made noticeable more difficult due to the water being polluted and the obstacles being more hazardous).
  • In Jet Force Gemini, the Eternal Engine setting appears first in S.S. Anubis, and is remixed by S.S. Sekhmet and the Spawnship. It's justified because each of them is visited by a different character (respectively, Juno, Vela and Lupus). Later on, Gem Quarry reuses the Lost Woods setting of Goldwood, but it's shockingly shorter.
  • Hideout Helm in Donkey Kong 64. It's an Eternal Engine like Frantic Factory, but it has a more serious tone and atmosphere (no doubt for it being the final level).
  • Very common in the Mario Kart series. In both the SNES version, it's not strange to find larger and trickier circuits dedicated to Mario or Bowser. In subsequent games, courses from Mario, Peach, Yoshi and Daisy mimick the same generic style of Luigi (!). From Mario Kart DS onwards, the inclusion of retro levels provides a reciprocal example from the older courses to the newer ones.

Replies: 10