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Levels Take Flight

A video game area that takes place in a flying vehicle or animal of some sort in the air, much like Bubbly Clouds. Be careful not to fall off. May overlap with Gusty Glade.

On large transport aircraft, the backdoor will often open midair and cargo will slide out, presenting a hazard for players to avoid. Another thing to worry about is keeping said flying object in the air, as things as pressure drops, weather, etc. threaten it, its occupants, and cargo.


Examples:

  • The Cloud Realm in ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal is situated on giant platforms hovering a few kilometers over the north-eastern lands.
  • The final sector of Jumper takes place on a plane (if you can call it a plane at all) from which Ogmo must escape, as usual.
  • There are many examples in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
    • The aptly named Sky Chase Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Despite the mellow groovy background music, and relaxed pace, it's harder than it looks. The level immediately after it, Wing Fortress Zone, also qualifies, it's one of the most difficult levels in the game.
    • Flying Battery Zone from Sonic & Knuckles features a few segments where the player must navigate the outside portions of Eggman's ship.
    • Sky Chase Zone (in a slightly modified form) also reappears in both Sonic Adventure and Sonic Pocket Adventure. The latter is closer to the original stage, but the former also allows Tails to actually fire upon incoming enemies with his Tornado.
    • Egg Fleet and Final Fortress from Sonic Heroes. The former involves the player hopping from airship to airship as they gradually tear through Eggman's aerial armada before landing on his flagship.
    • Air Fleet from Shadow the Hedgehog, where Shadow has the option to either cover the President's escape from the Black Arms (Hero), find the Chaos Emerald (Neutral), or assassinate the big man himself (Dark).
      • Most of the stage called The ARK and parts of Cryptic Castle can be spent with Shadow riding on a dragon-like creature. The ride is required in Cryptic Castle, but Shadow can change objectives on The ARK and hop off the creature, going through the stage normally.
      • Sky Troops is also an aerial level, and it's the only stage in the game which has objectives for both Black Doom and Eggman, the latter of which is the "good" path.
    • Tails transports Sonic on his biplane once more in Sonic Unleashed for the two Tornado Defense stages.
    • Levitated Ruin in Sonic and the Secret Rings is set on a flock of rukhs. The stage gets its name because they carry the ruins of small cities on their backs.
    • Three stages in Sonic Colors' Wii version, one in Starlight Carnival, another in Aquarium Park, and the last in Asteroid Coaster, feature Sonic needing to keep up with some flying device with springs at its top, causing Sonic to constantly bounce. It flies slowly but steadily to the end of the stage.
    • Both Sonic Rush games have levels like this for their sixth stage: the first game's Altitude Limit, and the second game's Sky Babylon.
    • Aerobase in Sonic Pocket Adventure.
  • Bayonetta has the level in Ithavoll Group's huge cargo plane, with even a listing camera during the fight against Jeanne (on top of the flying plane!)
  • Mega Man 8 has Tengu Man's second stage and the third part of Wily's Castle, where you have to use the rush jet in those areas.
    • Mega Man 3 did it in the revisit to Needle Man's stage and the second Skull Castle stage.
  • In the Mega Man X series, the stages for Storm Eagle (X), Storm Owl (X4), The Skiver/Spiral Pegacion (X5), and Wind Crowrang (X7) all involve (in some way) their personal armadas, with the actual battle against these Mavericks usually taking place on their personal aircraft/flagship.
  • At one of the turning points of Mega Man Zero 2 (right after the failed attack on Neo Arcadia and Elpizo's Face-Heel Turn), Zero has to cross an entire air fleet of Neo Arcadian vessels in order to hijack and stop a missile launched at the Resistance Base.
  • Mile High Club, the Brutal Bonus Level from Modern Warfare.
  • The 4th level of the Modern Warfare 3 campaign is set on the Russian equivalent of Air Force One, with the player as part of the Russian Presidential security detail.
  • The Celestial Castle from Valkyrie Profile. It's not long, but includes a mandatory portion that consists of tiny platforms with nothing below them, and booby-trapped treasure chests that explode and can knock you off the edges. The game has a time limit, and every time you fall off you end up outside, and have to spend more time going in again.
  • Kirby: The Halberd, especially in the Revenge of Meta Knight game mode in Kirby Super Star.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Melee has Poke Floats.
    • At one point in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary, you're working your way across the side of the Halberd to get to the deck of the flying ship. Also, you're dealing with a constant wind in your face, slowing you down.
      • Really, most of the stages are just floating somewhere, including the basic Battlefield, Final Destination, and even the Animal Crossing stage, Smashville.
  • All of the airship stages in Super Mario Bros. 3 are presented as auto-scrolling, obstacle course, style levels above the clouds. Often times, players have to cross bottomless pits using bolt lifts, which require you to jump repeatedly to move them forward.
  • Super Mario 64 has Rainbow Ride, an assortment of odd floating structures way up high. Much of the level involves riding on the set paths of magic carpets, struggling not to fall from hitting the obstacles in the way.
  • Gelato Beach's "The Sandbird is Born" episode in Super Mario Sunshine, which has Mario riding the titular bird through a cloud filled course to collect red coins.
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii has two examples: One in World 5 involves Mario navigating across a flock of large flying manta rays going in his direction, and one in World 7 has Mario crossing a swarm of flying beetles smaller than the rays (but still very large for bugs) going in the opposite direction from him.
  • There was a good portion of a level in Yoshi's Story that took place on a flying dragon.
  • The entire overworld for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is one of these.
  • The final level of Bulletstorm takes place on an evac dropship escaping Stygia.
  • SkyTown, Elysia from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
  • Ecco The Dolphin 's sequel, The Tides of Time has a tube version of this, requiring Ecco to swim up the tubes while avoiding the open air areas that will send him plummeting back to Earth.
  • Resident Evil: Code: Veronica: Claire and Steve have to fight a Tyrant in the cargo plane they used to escape Rockfort island.
  • Resident Evil 6: Sherry and Jake have to deal with Ustanak on the BSAA transport helicopter they're traveling on. Leon and Helena have to contend with a C-Virus outbreak on the plane they were using to travel to China, all the while trying to keep the plane flying in the air.
  • The Cabal Airship level in Blood 2.
  • The Hindenburg-like airship in Ninja Gaiden(Xbox). After defeating the boss, the blimp goes down in flames, in a pattern similar to the real Hindenburg.
  • The third level of the NES Double Dragon II The Revenge takes place inside the helicopter that you spent the previous level chasing. The level itself consists of a single room in which you must fight a continuous wave of mooks to completion while a door to the outside periodically opens and closes. When it opens it pulls anything—items, enemies, and of course, yourself—out of the helicopter into certain death, requiring you to keep your distance and push against the vacuum.
  • Shadow Warrior: Wanton Destruction has the large "Airplane" level. At one point, you have to leave the plane to precariously walk atop the roof and make a dangerous jump to get a key which happens to be on the tail.
  • Playstation All Stars Battle Royale has a level which re-enacts the plane segment from Uncharted 3, except the plane can stay up indefinitely and remains incredibly stable throughout the battle. Even the Songbird crashing upon the players isn't enough to shake this stage.
    • The Invasion stage is briefly like this, recreating the introduction to Killzone 2 when the ISA are landing in Helghan on their Intruders. Unlike the above example, this one is quite shaky and staying on the stage becomes a part of the battle.
  • The Chase level in the SNES version of The Rocketeer is a rocket pack shmup level, followed by the Armada which is more of the same by pusher plane, then finally the Zeppelin, which is a Beat 'em Up on an airship.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose, the Buster's Sky-jinks level is built around this. First, Buster is sent up into the air on a giant balloon provided by Calamity. Then, he has to hop across some bubbles, provided by Hamton in a plane, as well as some more balloons. Eventually, he reaches a blimp which appears to be promoting the show the game is based upon, which he must ride while attacking some buzzards. The blimp eventually pops and Concord Condor airlifts Buster to the pinball temple, where the script for the next episode (leading to the final level) is. This level is entirely omitted from the "Children" mode.

Fluffy Cloud HeavenIndex in the SkyMid Air Bobbing
Lethal Lava LandVideo Game SettingsLighthouse Point
Dummied OutImageSource/Video GamesPinball Zone

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