[[caption-width-right:350:8-bit gaming, Playstation 3 style]]

''3D Dot Game Heroes'' is a title for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation3. It's an homage to ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series and retro gaming in general. You play as a young hero trying to save the kingdom of Dotnia from some legendary evil. It references and parodies several gaming themes and clichés. It's not limited to gameplay, either. The entire game is depicted as a 2D title that has been converted into high-definition 3D; old-school sprites now look like giant chunks of polished {{LEGO}} bricks. Though hardly groundbreaking, its humor and nostalgia appeal to older gamers.

[[ShoutOut/ThreeDDotGameHeroes This Shout Outs list]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda is a secret to everybody]].
!!'''This game provides examples of:'''

* ActionAdventure: Much of game is based upon the first Legend of Zelda.
* AffectionateParody: Due to being a parody of the two, the base game is a hybrid of ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' and ''[[VideoGame/DragonQuest Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior]]''.
* AncestralWeapon: Your first sword belonged to your grandfather.
* AscendedExtra: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoAiH1-25j8#t=2m44s Shadow Mitsuo boss]] from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' that [[BreakingTheFourthWall tried to breach the fourth wall]]. The style from that boss made itself into its own game.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Missile Towers in Block Defense. Cost way too much to build and upgrade, take at least 8 waves to unlock, but they annihilate everything.
* BalefulPolymorph: Implied; it does turn out that just about every [[spoiler:dog, cat, or chicken]] in a village that you can "talk" to actually WAS a human under some unexplained curse.
* BigBallOfViolence: One of the game's user-created character sprites is this.
* {{BFS}}: The default swords can already reach a significant distance (3 or more tiles, from a character who is 1x1 tiles in size), but upgrading makes them ridiculous. You really can upgrade a sword until you can strike enemies from more than a full screen away.
** The best example of this is the fully-upgraded Giga-Sword. Forget hitting enemies from a screen away, you can hit them from a time zone away with this thing. It is quite feasible, with one spin attack, to not only clear out a room, but an ''entire floor'' of a dungeon.
* BossInMookClothing: You may occasionally encounter a large blue dragon wandering around in the overworld ... who will ''easily'' wipe the floor with you if you try to take the beast down.
* BowAndSwordInAccord: One of the weapons you'll get early on.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: You can ask an {{NPC}} for an Infinite Money Code. He'll just mock you and say to earn it yourself.
** Also happens throughout NewGamePlus.
* ButThouMust: Used, by name, by [[spoiler: the Princess after you save her and refuse to take her along. She will continue to say this until you agree.]]
* ButtMonkey: Spelunker. Some of the in-game dialogue is changed to accommodate his OneHitPointWonder status, with characters {{Lampshading}} how weak he is. Highlights include Lee the fairy screaming at you not to draw the hero's sword at the start of the game (since Lee was hoping for someone stronger to come along) and the Aqua Sage giving up on having you hurt her with sword strikes, since she can barely feel them.
* {{Cap}}: Every sword has a certain amount of "potential" (measured in G) limiting how far you can upgrade it. The lowly Wooden Sword has none whatsoever, making it un-upgradable.
** Subverted with the Giga-Sword, the only sword in the game without any caps on its upgrades.
* CharacterCustomization: The Character Editor lets you build and upload "any" 3D sprite you can think of.
* ClassicCheatCode: Entering the Konami Code (itself hinted at by a character in the developer room) hides the animation for your shield.
* CoolSword: Swords are retractable and long enough to slash through the entire screen at full power.
* DeathMountain: Right down to its northern location (and across a river, no less!), continuously falling rocks, and red color motif.
* DevelopersRoom: There's one accessible in Nialliv Valley, in the north.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: You can upgrade your sword's length and width. The innuendo did not go unnoticed by the game developers. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKTThEUweoU See this trailer.]] Not to mention acquiring the Freeze spell from the Aqua Sage Ohtu, which requires you to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Qu7e59sdno stab her repeatedly to create enough "stimulus"]] for her to release the magic power upon the Hero. If that wasn't blatant enough, she even groans and says "It's... COMING!!"
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Princess Iris has gone missing. Good luck finding her.
* EvilOverlord: Dark King Onyx
* EvilSorcerer: Fuelle, the Dark Bishop
%% * ExcusePlot
* ExpositionFairy: Lee provides most of the backstory.
* FairyCompanion: You start with Lee, and can gain two more.
* FetchQuest: Several of the sidequests.
* FissionMailed: Dashing into a wall in Spelunker mode. Also, repeatedly refusing a certain guard's request will cause the game to give a fake game over, with the guard warning that you almost got a ''real'' game over.
* GameBreakingBug: If you install the game to your hard drive to reduce load times, it will randomly crash. This is especially bad seeing as the game has no autosave.
* GameWithinAGame: The three minigames are implied to be this, as you're not the only one implied to be playing them.
* GenerationXerox: Dotnia's legendary savior was your grandfather. Guess what you get to do.
* GoodMorningCrono: The hero starts his/her adventure waking up at an inn; he's been summoned by the King.
* GottaCatchThemAll: The six sages and their respective orb powers. Also, the Bestiary.
* GraphicsInducedSuperDeformed: Intentionally invoked.
* GrapplingHookPistol: The Wire Rod.
* GuideDangIt: Good luck finding the Anchor Rod upgrade on your own.
** Or finding Ai and Sue.
** Or getting the Moon Sword.
* {{Hammerspace}}: There's no way you'd be able carry your sword otherwise.
* HarderThanHard: Spelunker Mode. Also qualifies quite literally as NintendoHard.
%% * HelloInsertNameHere
* HeroicMime: In keeping with the retro theme, the main character says nothing throughout the quest.
* {{Homage}}: To classic gaming in general, and to The Legend of Zelda specifically.
* HopelessBossFight: [[spoiler: The first battle against Fuelle, as you don't have the necessary spell to make him vulnerable.]]
* HPToOne: Getting hit by a Blue Roper will drain all your MP and drop your HP to a single half-heart.
* HyperactiveSprite: All sprites walk on the spot, even when not moving.
%%* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Aside from attacking with physics-defying swords, you can also wield a [[ShamuFu fish]].
* InfinityPlusOneSword: The Giga Sword becomes this if you spend a lot (and we mean a ''lot'') of money upgrading it.
** The ''true'' Infinity Plus One Sword is the Moonlight Sword, which you get for completing every sidequest, and when fully powered up is the most powerful sword you can have when you ''don't'' have full hearts, which not only reduces your sword to a much reduced length and width but also typically downgrades your attack power by a sizable amount.
* InfinityMinusOneSword: Excalibur, the best sword you can buy from King Block. It may not kill bosses as fast as the above blades, but max the power and it can one-shot everything but Golems and Knights. As an additional bonus, it's a King Block sword so (after the patch) unlike the two above swords once you get it you'll always have it.
* InterchangeableAntimatterKeys: Grey keys are standard finds in any dungeon, but on rarer occasions you may find Red, Blue, or Green keys too.
* KillerRabbit: Literal carnivorous rabbits are common low-level enemies around the central plains and forest.
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: Appearances by practically every Dragon Quest IV character (with slightly altered names), in addition to Dragon Quest II, Dragon Quest V, Final Fantasy II...
* LiteralMetaphor: How do you "book" enemies for your Bestiary? You equip the Bestiary book as a weapon and ''whack them with it''.
* LiteralSplitPersonality: [[spoiler: Princess Iris, split into the three fairies Ai, Lee, and Sue.]]
* LoadingScreen: Accompanied by illustrations in the game's signature pixel style, many of which are references to classic retro games. A compilation of the loading screens and the games referenced can be found [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDVp5pFj0KU here]].
* TheMaze: Getting to the second dungeon, the Forest Temple. One wrong turn will return you to the entrance.
* MeaningfulName: [[spoiler: The fairies Ai, Lee, and Sue. Put them together and you get [=AiLeeSue=], a (Japanese) phonetic pronunciation of "Iris", the princess and the true identity of the three combined fairies.]]
* MetalSlime: The Crystal Slimes have a fair amount of HP and are very fast. The NPC who initially tells you that the best way to defeat one is to corner them.
* MiniGame: Dash Circuit, Blockout, and Block Defense.
* MoneySpider: You can make a small fortune by killing bosses. Certain enemies (zombies, Centathrows) drop gold coins frequently.
* MultiArmedAndDangerous: [[spoiler: Onyx]]
* MultipleEndings: Aside from dialogue differences based on your character class (Hero/Scholar/Royal), [[spoiler: [[SaveThePrincess saving the princess]]]] also factors in, but can't be done in the same run as the regular ending.
%% * NewGamePlus
* NinjaMaid: You can play as one.
* NintendoHard: The first few dungeons aren't so bad, but once you get to the fifth dungeon ... half of the puzzles rely on finding red/blue switches to open or close matching blocks that block various passages. Die (and have to restart) with the switches in the wrong position and you could end up repeating half the dungeon just to get back. And this is ''on top of'' having to locate keys to open the doors. Oh, and the temple's boss is a dragon with significantly more HP than previous bosses...
** Not to mention that filling your Beastiary changes boss strategies into Endurance Battles, i.e. [[spoiler: Hitting them with a rather weak Book.]]
** Getting the Wing Sword and Wyrm Sword. Pre-patch 1.01, the Wing Sword was quite possibly too hard to even qualify for this.
** Spelunker Mode, due to being a OneHitPointWonder.
* NoBulkDiscounts: Averted. Items such as torches, lamps, arrows and bombs are sold in packs, and the packs are always less expensive (per unit) than they are if purchased separately.
* NoDamageRun: You're awarded a trophy for any boss you can defeat without taking damage (preferably, but not necessarily, at full HP). To make this a bit easier, even if you didn't get the trophy, you can choose to "revive" the boss for a rematch and try again.
* NoHeroDiscount: You'll have to chop through countless minor enemies and grassy patches to afford everything you'll need.
%%* NostalgiaFilter
* OneHitPointWonder: Spelunker Mode
* OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler: After you beat Fuelle once, the Dark Orb turns him into an incarnation of the Dark King Onyx.]]
* OptionalSexualEncounter: [[spoiler: If you stay the night in Raejack after rescuing the princess, one of these is implied by the innkeeper (and you'll also get the "Have a nice night?" trophy to go along with it).]]
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: They're generally of the Western variety, but four Hero sprites are small dragons with interesting summaries (e.g. "too small to breathe fire or fly").
* PauseScumming: One of the most common ways to beat the [[ThatOneSidequest teeth-grindingly hard Dash Circuit minigame.]] It helps that you can change directions in the pause menu.
* PermanentlyMissableContent: A lot of items and sidequests, actually, some with criminally short windows in which they can be obtained/completed. Particularly notable instances include the fairies Ai and Sue, the Ultima spellbook, the "Have a Nice Night?" trophy, and the entire From Cave sidequest. Extra frustrating in that some of the trophies require you to pretty much get every single item/sidequest that can be lost [[GuideDangIt in a single playthrough]].
* PlotCoupon: The six orbs in the six temples.
%% * PrincessesPreferPink: Princess Iris
* PuzzleReset: For the most part, leaving the room and returning is enough.
* SdrawkcabName: Don't be afraid of Hotel Nialliv; the long and boring story behind its name is just that it's located in Nialliv Valley, where the ominous Dark Tower also resides.
* SealedEvilInACan: Dark King Onyx
* ShiftingSandLand: Have fun getting to the third dungeon, the Desert Temple! There's lots of quicksand in your way. InconvenientlyPlacedConveyorBelt style quicksand, that is...
* ShoutOut: Many to classic and retro gaming in general, and VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI in specific. See the [[ShoutOut/ThreeDDotGameHeroes ShoutOut subpage]] for details.
* SpinAttack: While pressing the X button to thrust your sword out, you can press a different direction to swing your sword in that direction and (terrain permitting) hit enemies in a wider area.
* StockVideoGamePuzzle: Moving blocks, pressing switches, killing everything in the room, etc.
* SwordBeam: For the most part, having full HP empowers your sword to strike farther, wider, or harder than normal. But a few swords can shoot actual energy beams when used at full HP.
* SwordOfPlotAdvancement: One of the first things you acquire.
* ThrowTheBookAtThem: Smacking monsters with the bestiary is the only way to get their entry registered in it.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential / VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: Sure, you can go ahead and keep slashing that Chicken in Raejack village. But you probably won't leave the village alive....
* VideogameSettings: Everything from Octon-infested rivers to mummified golems in the desert dungeon.
* VideoGameTools: Boomerang, Bow and Arrow, Shield, Wire Rod, Candle, Lantern, etc.
* WelcomeToCorneria: Nearly all of the {{NPC}}s have fixed dialogue that doesn't change much as you progress through your quest. As a bonus, the name of the kingdom ''is'' Colneria.
* AWinnerIsYou: One of the Sages says this after the final battle.