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Macro Zone
In Macro Zone, Goomba stomps you.

"Somebody tell me how I got so SMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!"

An area in a video game where your character is tiny relative to his surroundings. The environment is usually some mundane area like a garden that is rendered interesting by the change in scale. Enemies are more often than not giant insects or old fashioned windup toys. Natural hazards like thorns, giant feet, bouncing balls, and frayed electrical wires are everywhere in these small scale environments.

If your heroes are naturally small, all of the game's levels may be various Macro Zones. Another common scenario is to have your characters shrink temporarily, often to sneak through a small opening, or retrieve an item.

Prehistoric levels may partially be Macro Zones, since everyone knows that the distant past was filled with enormous flesh-eating insects and Man Eating Plants. If your tiny character is inside another creature's body, you also have a Womb Level on your hands.

Named for the Macro Zone in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, where Mario had to work his way through a normal-sized house while the size of a bug. Rarely contains actual macros. For non-game examples, see Incredible Shrinking Man. See also Mouse World. Contrast Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever, which is what happens when your character gets super-big compared to the background, or Kaiju, a subtrope of 50-Foot Whatever, dealing specifically with evoking Japanese-style giant monsters.

Examples

Games where your character shrinks
  • The Trope Namer, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. The world map shows Mario entering the Macro Zone through a cave system that shrinks him on the way towards the house.
  • Sonic CD has a point in the final area of the last level where Sonic gets hit by a shrinking laser, and travels through Robotnik's fortress while tiny until he jumps into a grow ray.
  • Ōkami has a large area in the Imperial Palace where a miniature Amaterasu has to make her way through a garden, into the castle, and ultimately to a showdown in the Emperor's belly.
    • Later, she must also shrink down to enter the habitat of the Poncles.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap revolves around quests and puzzles where Link often must shrink down to a tiny size. Overlaps with Mouse World.
  • Soul Blazer featured a level where the hero shrunk down to fight evil toy soldiers on a model of a town.
  • Final Fantasy III has a number of dungeons where the party has to be shrunk via the "Mini" spell to pass through, with ordinary creatures now proving a dire threat.
  • Alice has to travel through some wilderness while shrunken in American McGee's Alice.
  • The Wonderland level in Kingdom Hearts has both the Bizarre Room and the Lotus Forest for the characters to explore (and be attacked by swarms of enemies) while shrunk. Both areas can also be experienced while normal-sized, but there's not much to do at that scale.
  • Return to Zork has a Timed Mission in which the player must retrieve an item from a ship in a bottle.
  • Donkey Kong 64's Tiny Kong has shrinking as her special ability and at least one of her Golden Bananas in each level involves this ability, whether it be a race against a remote controlled car or something lame like the door to an otherwise normal room is really small for no reason.
  • In the original Breath of Fire game, the party is shrunken down halfway thru a dungeon by one of the Elite Mooks and must take a detour thru a mousehole. Inside, they help out some mice with a roach problem and are rewarded by the rodents with a potion than returns them to normal size.
  • The Nintendo 64 game Snowboard Kids 2 features a level where the kids become tiny and snowboard through the house of one of the characters.
  • The Doom Game Mod Void features a part where your character is shrinked. Now you have to traverse a tiny cave system, fight off spiders, and "press" a button by going into its workings and manipulating the gears.
  • There is a Half-Life custom level where you get shrinked and have to traverse a living room and a kitchen, fighting miniature soldiers while hiding behind furniture, watching out for mousetraps and jumping on drawers to make your way to the floor.
    • The original level was called Rats! and had you inside a kitchen, and there were other "rats" levels in a similar vein depicting a young boy's bedroom, as well as a living room. The levels had various mouse holes that allowed you to traverse between the rooms and inside the walls.
  • Harley's Humongous Adventure
  • Psychonauts has Waterloo World, a mental realm in which Raz begins as the same size relative to the realm's host, Fred Bonaparte, and the mental image of his ancestor, Napoleon Bonaparte. The Bonapartes are locked in combat over a wargame, symbolizing Fred's madness over not living up to the Bonaparte name. Raz's objective is to help Fred defeat Napoleon, which he does by climbing into the large board game and shrinking down to the size of the soldier pieces, which enables him to move them as he needs to play the game. Raz also shrinks even further, to the point that the formerly small soldier pieces now tower over Raz like the Eiffel tower, and fights enemies to get the items he needs on the board to win the game. (It Makes Sense in Context.)
  • Fable III includes a quest that has the Hero shrink to play a Dungeons & Dragons knock-off game with some wizard gamers. While the level itself is also scaled to your size (as it's a model set up to simulate the adventure), at the end, you can see the wizards that talked you into the quest, in all their humongous glory.
  • Tales of Symphonia has the Meltokio Sewers, where the character's ring gives them the power to shrink. This lets them sneak through grates and walk on small pathways or spider webs. They also can sneak into mouse holes to get items, but have to fight the relatively giant mice. Oddly, those battles are easier than when the mice are tiny, since the giant mice are easier to hit and juggle.

Games where the enemies and scenery are oversized
  • Again in Super Mario Land 2: one level is a gigantic tree in which Mario must battle oversized insects, and another level is a mechanical statue of Mario inhabited by larger-than-life toys and moving parts.
  • World 4 of Super Mario Bros. 3 was giant themed. One level in this world had doors between normal and giant copies of the same level.
  • The "Huge" half of Tiny Huge Island in Super Mario 64.
    • The level is actually one singular island with pipes that alter its scale when accessed, but it isn't clear whether it's the island itself or Mario who is shrinking and growing.
  • The Toy Time Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy is a unique flavor of Macro Zone, taking place on a series of oversized toys floating in space in what appears to be a gigantic playroom.
  • Supermassive Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy 2, a probable nod to the abundance of this trope in the Mario series.
  • Final Fantasy Legend II features a Giant's Village with oversized buildings and furniture.
  • A hell of a lot of levels in Lemmings 2: The Tribes are filled with oversized objects going along the theme of the particular tribe.
  • The obscurish platformer Vexx has the Tempest Peak Manor, a giant house. As in, it explicitly belonged to a giant. It also has a bonus Band Land sublevel, inside—what else?—the enormous piano.
  • Logbox 720 in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is the innards of a giant Xbox 360 pastiche.
  • The Lost Underworld in EarthBound. You're normal-sized kids... the world is titanic. And there's dinosaurs.
  • The Dinotropolis levels in Fur Fighters features otherwise-benign household settings scaled up to dinosaur size.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the mad wizard Arkved's tower features rooms with huge tables, chairs and beds; there is also some oversized furniture in White Gold Tower's basement.
  • In Thief Gold, there is an extra are in Constantine's mansion with giant furniture. You get there from another area with a miniature town, right after you travel through a pipe...
  • In the PS1 version of Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4, the secret level, Little Big World is one of these, taking place on the worktop of somebody's kitchen.
  • Several Team Fortress 2 custom maps, such as cp_toy_fort, place the characters in a children's bedroom or other similar setting, making them the size of mice.

Games where your character is naturally small
  • Pikmin and its sequels, which feature a tiny race trying to survive in the undergrowth.
    • In fact, the instruction booklet for both of the games in the series shows Captain Olimar to be around the size of a US Quarter. Without his helmet and its tall antenna, he's three-quarters of an inch tall. The Pikmin themselves are around the size of pennies, including their "stem."
  • The NES Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers games.
  • The house Chibi-Robo takes place in is a Macro Zone, as the titular robot is only a few inches tall.
  • Various Tom & Jerry games on the NES and SNES.
  • The NES Monster In My Pocket game.
  • All of the various Hamtaro games.
  • The Army Men games whenever the characters are in the human world, it's completely normal sized in the plastic world. The discovery of the series Macro Zone didn't occur until the end of the first game (and it's 3D remake).
  • Any Micro Machines or RC racing game such as RC Pro-Am.
  • SimAnt
  • The Glider series. You're a paper airplane.
  • The early levels and early parts of some later levels in Katamari Damacy are along these lines due to the fact that the Prince is only a few centimeters tall, but because the game focuses not on you but on the ball you're rolling, you become the giant in no time.
  • Several custom levels for Team Fortress 2 are set amongst children's toys, as if the characters were toys themselves.
    • Ditto with custom maps for the Unreal series.
    • These are usually called either "toy" or "rats" maps.
  • Cool Spot. You're that red spot in the logo on a bottle of 7-Up.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy at times.
  • Bad Mojo feature a very disturbing variation on the usual setup. Instead of playing as an adorable little wind-up toy or a talking mouse in cute pants while you explore a colorful toy shop or a quaint suburban home, you play as a cockroach making his way through a disgustingly filthy tenement packed with dead rats, rotten food, and other assorted Nausea Fuel out the wazoo.
  • Mister Mosquito
  • Buck Bumble, where you played a cyborg bee and flew through a garden.
  • Spyro the Dragon games sometimes include Sparx Worlds, where the little dragonfly sidekick goes off by himself; in these, the enemies are spiders or other "big" bugs that Spyro could probably eat with one bite, but Sparx needs to shoot.
  • In Twisted Metal Small Brawl, you use RC cars rather than real ones.
  • Blockland, where you play as a small toy man, similar to a lego minifigure. (And in the old Alpha version, you WERE a lego minifigure.)
  • The Wonderland theme park in Theme Park World, exploring the small world of wonderment beneath our very feet.
  • Possibly the Ur Example, 1984's Henry's House puts the player in the role of then newborn Prince Harry exploring Windsor Castle.


The Lost WoodsVideo Game SettingsMarathon Level
In Case of Boss Fight, Break GlassImageSource/Video GamesFace Ship

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