That thing he's riding on? It's a maraca.
Quite a few video games have levels or other areas that are music-themed. No, we're not talking about an Unexpected Gameplay Change
to a Rhythm Game
here. (There might be a music-themed Mini-Game
or three, but that's not the whole point of the place.)
These levels make you "face the music" in a more literal fashion. They're made of musical instruments, sheet music, or (somehow) music itself, often of giant scale
. You might get blasted out of a huge trumpet, walk gingerly along a giant keyboard, or slide down a musical score. Often, moving around and interacting with your surroundings will "play" at least a few of the instruments. If the level designer is feeling especially playful, the background music itself may even be affected by what you do in the level
. As these settings tend to be light and comical
, they're sometimes used to indicate a Breather Level
. But don't count on it.
Compare Disco Tech
- Aero The Acrobat 2 had Disco Fever.
- Another whole Band Land game (though less on the colorful side and more on the badass side): Brütal Legend.
- The music levels of Bubsy II
- The level Music Madness in Donkey Kong Country Returns. All the machinery moves to the beat of the music. For added emphasis the grinders look like gigantic drums.
- This is probably the best term for where Eternal Sonata is set, though a lot of it's a matter of Theme Naming.
- Stage 3 of the Korean Arcade Game Hard Head has Floating Platforms that function as small toy pianos.
- Melody Town in Kirby's Epic Yarn.
- HarmoKnight has Melodia, an entire band planet. Characters even resemble musical instruments and notes, to an extent.
- The second to last world in Kingdom Hearts 3D is based off Fantasia. The hit sounds get replaced with stings!
- Mario Kart 7 has Music Park (or known in Europe as Melody Motorway), which sees you driving past giant trumpets, across piano keys and jumping over tambourines. Mario Kart 8 has the Electrodrome, which is a giant nightclub, and also features Music Park as one of its retro race courses.
- Mario Party DS has Toadette's Music Room, which is indeed a music-themed board. The Stars are even sold by musical notes.
- In Mega Man Battle Network 3, Mayl's home page has a background with part of a detailed musical piece.
- The bonus stages of Milons Secret Castle are patterned entirely on musical notation.
- The first level of Parasol Stars features instruments as enemies, with a matching boss.
- In Purple, you will occasionally have to pass through colorful corridors inhabited by flying deadly instruments, while clavinet music plays.
- The Trope Namer is Band Land from Rayman. Rayman Origins resurrects it as the Desert of Didgeridoos, which combines Band Land with a side order of Shifting Sand Land and a little bit of Gusty Glade.
- Planet Sonata in Ristar, which, as its name suggests, is made out of musical instruments and more abstract representations of music. The first stage of the planet even has you rebuilding the background music, bar by bar.
- The 'Sixties' theme in the Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 expansion Time Twister includes lots of parts for building this kind of theme park.
- Rootin' Tootin', a Maze Game by Data East in which you play a tuba.
- Stardust Speedway in Sonic the Hedgehog CD, which looks like a giant brass instrument.
- Music Plant in Sonic Advance 2.
- Musical Town, the sixth level of Sparkster (SNES).
- Squidward's Dream in SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom. In no way a breather level.
- In Super Mario Galaxy 2, a section of the Cloudy Court Galaxy has drums and a cymbal that you can jump on.
- Super Monkey Ball. Advanced Floor 11 is about rolling your ball on the strings of a giant guitar. It's definitely not a Breather Level. Also, Advanced Floor 18 is a downhill ramp in the shape of a treble clef, where you start in the middle of the spiral part and have to chase down the goals, which have a small head start and ski down the ramp.
- Tadpole Treble will take place entirely on a giant musical staff.
- The Sega 32 X game Tempo comes about as close as one can get to being an entire game made of this trope: although the levels are quite varied, they all have some sort of musical motif.
- An area of Toontown Online, "Minnie's Melodyland", features whimsical musical-themed fun.
- Vexx has a sub-level inside one of the worlds composed of nothing but floating musical instruments. You get there by jumping inside a giant piano. No, it doesn't make any sense.
- The first level of Wayne's World (SNES), set in a music shop full of various homicidal instruments.
- The second level of World of Illusion (mostly a sky-plus-mountaintops level) has segments that take place on giant keyboards suspended in space where stepping on each key generates a musical note that randomly changes into an item or a bomb. The Sega Master System version of its predecessor Castle of Illusion features a segment with a similar premise in the Library level, where you walk across the keys of a piano with a page of sheetmusic in the background, wherein some of the musical notes suddenly come to life and drop off the page to attack you.
- The second level of Zool has a general music theme, with not only musical instruments but also stereo equipment.
- The "Musical Madness" level of The Cat in the Hat has (natch) a music theme, with not only musical instruments all over but even musical equipment littering the landscape.
- The boss-stage of Bongo Bongo in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a giant drum, and Bongo Bongo is trying to hit you while playing the drum.
- The Land of Quartz and Melody in Homestuck, which is themed around music boxes. The Land of Heat and Clockwork also contains a few hints of turntables, such as the Beat Mesa.
- In the 1980's special Puff the Magic Dragon and the Incredible Mr. Nobody, Puff and a boy named Terry travel through the Fantaverse, which includes Cleftomania, a land made of musical instruments. They are instructed to "proceed harmonious through," but have to tame the Savage Beast first.
- One of Disney's "Silly Symphony" shorts, "Music Land" by name, portrayed rival nations called The Land of Symphony and the Isle of Jazz, inhabited by anthropomorphic musical instruments.