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Mini Game Zone
Abandon all priorities, ye who enter here.
"Welcome to the Pianta parlor. Saving the princess is important, but it can wait!"

An area in a video game, particularly a platformer or Role-Playing Game, that is host to a number of minigames where the player can win items or cash, sometimes by betting money in a casino-like area. Most of it will probably be optional, but winning at some of the minigames may be part of the main quest, or give access to rare or important items. Often comes in the guise of a casino or theme park.

Pinball Zone is often, but not always, a form of this. Can lead to being Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer. Don't worry about the world-threatening catastrophe you have to stop, just Take Your Time.

See also Sole Entertainment Option.


Examples:

Action-Adventure Games
  • The Legend of Zelda series.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has several minigame locations, but many of them are found in or near the Village of Outcasts in the Dark World. The most profitable game is in the Light World's Lost Woods, where you bet 100 rupees for the chance to win 300. - You can quickly gain maximum rupees by locating the chest with 300 rupees; every time you enter, it will have moved one chest to the right.
    • Ocarina of Time Hyrule Castle Town as young Link - located in Kakariko Village as adult Link as a result of Ganondorf's unholy wrath.
    • Majora's Mask Similarly, several games in the east section of Clock Town.
    • Oracle Of Ages: Rolling Ridge, hosted by the Gorons. In Seasons, it's Subrosia.
    • Skyward Sword has several minigame locations, but most are located in the sky somewhere. The place that most fits the trope, however, is Dodoh's mancannon game of chance.
  • Little Big Adventure 2 The island of Otringal, on the planet Zeelich has two casinos, and more slot machines elsewhere.
  • Yakuza has at least two casinos, plus pachinko and a dice parlor.
  • In Banjo-Tooie, all levels have at least one minigame, but their greatest density is in Witchyworld, appropriately enough.

Adventure Games
  • Sierra Online. Lamentably mandatory in many early games, where you needed vast piles of cash and the only way to get it was a casino or slot machine. A leading cause of Save Scumming.

First-Person Shooter
  • Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl has a mini-example in form of the casino floor of the Phylex Tower. You can take a break from rampaging through the evil corporation HQ and the search for your daughter to play some video blackjack or fruit machines.
  • In TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, Mr. Khallos has a slot machine aboard his freight train (it occurs just before you try to stop the missile). Whether or not you can actually win anything from it is anyone's guess... Anna, the scientist at Mission Control, chides you upon playing it.

Live-Action TV
  • The Price Is Right: The pricing games — six per episode (since 1975), although their selection in a given episode is always pre-determined. This is the bread-and-butter of the 1972 revival, with the games testing contestants on consumer knowledge (along with luck, physical skill and intuition). Prizes range from a couple of thousand dollars in merchandise to trips, cars and (depending on the game) $100,000 in cash.
    • In between, the Showcase Showdown, where the three contestants spin the Big Wheel to determine who advances to the Showcases at the end of the show; highest score without exceeding $1.00 advances, but all previous winnings of each of the three contestants are safe. Achieving $1.00 in one or two spins earns a $1,000 bonus and an extra spin, which can be worth (depending on where the contestant lands) an extra $10,000 or $25,000 cash.

Metroidvania
  • Craz'd! has the Crazy Carnival, where each game was available for one ticket (worth 60 coins) each.

MMORPGs
  • Kingdom of Loathing The Casino on the Wrong Side of the Tracks. The Rogue Program familiar introduced in June 2010 added the Game Grid Arcade, which includes such mini-games as Space Trip and The Fighters of Fighting.
  • Second Life can probably be found in many MMORPG games, but this one made these things a damn cottage industry; at least one game built in SL has been licensed for use elsewhere.
  • Wizard 101 has the Carnival.
  • World of Warcraft has the Darkmoon Faire, a neutral amusement park with minigames to engage in for adventurers tired of killing monsters and taking their stuff.

Platformers
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series. Casino Night Zone and related stages, which appear in nearly every game in the franchise. Even the infamous Darker and Edgier Shadow the Hedgehog had at least one, if not two.
  • Unlocked after beating DDDark Castle in Something Else. It lets Luigi collect lives by playing variations of the minigame played every 100 stars. However, Luigi has to pay all of his stars in order to play. There's also a secret that lets Luigi do this without playing the mini-games.

Roguelike
  • Ancient Dungeons Of Mystery: The best way to accumulate a lot of money is to 'h'andle a slot machine in the casino, put a heavy object on the space bar, and leave for an hour to amuse yourself.

Role-Playing Games
  • Chrono Trigger The Millennial Fair.
  • Dead Rising 2 takes place in an Expy of Las Vegas there are several slot machines and casino games to play, the place is also crawling with zombies. Of course you could just kill the zombies and THEN play the casino games. The giant slot machine in particular can net you $100,000 out of a $1,000 bet and that's not including the terror is reality minigames where you can also win money.
  • The Dragon Quest series. Most every game since Dragon Quest IV has had The Casino, where in a remarkable fascimile of reality for a swords-and-spells turn based adventure, poker and slot machines suck up the player's time and gold like a black hole.
    • Dragon Quest V also has the T'n'T boards, which are basically board games, where a single character rolls a dice and moves around, fighting monsters and earning prizes.
    • Dragon Quest VI has slime battles, which, obviously, can only be entered by slimes, as well as the Best-Dressed Contest.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has, of course, the various casinos of New Vegas.
  • Final Fantasy VII, the former Trope Namer, has the Gold Saucer, a theme park with a futuristic motif.
  • Final Fantasy XIII Nautilus, which is presented as Cocoon's premiere amusement resort. Although the characters are too busy running for their lives to gamble or ride attractions, they do stop for the floor show and engage in a brief minigame for some items.
    • A more literal version appears in Final Fantasy XIII-2 with the Serendipity level, a zone featuring slot machines, card games, chocobo racing, and a prize kiosk.
  • Final Fantasy IX has the auction house in Treno, and the three areas that host the 'Chocobo Hot and Cold' game. The fact that the latter has such insanely catchy music probably helps.
  • The Calm Lands become this in Final Fantasy X-2
    • In chapter 5, Luca becomes this as well, with both Blitzball and Sphere Break available for the player's amusement.
  • The Kingdom Hearts Series
    • The first game has 100 Acre Woods as the center of most Minigames. The main games also have the Olympus Colosseum, which is filled with battle mini games.
    • Part II also has Atlantica.
    • Birth by Sleep has Disney Town and the Mirage Arena.
  • Golden Sun: Tolbi, Contigo, and even Lemuria have gambling locations.
  • Knights of the Old Republic has a cantina full of various people with which you can play pazaak (head-to-head messed-up blackjack) and a place to sign up for swoop races.
  • Legend of Legaia
    • In the first game, Sol Tower is home to both the Muscle Dome and the Disco Club.
    • The sequel, Duel Saga, has Phorchoon Casino.
  • Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals: Forfeit Island.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Little Fungitown has an arcade where the player can play minigames to earn yellow beans.
  • Mass Effect 1 There's a small casino in the Citadel.
  • Half the point of the Mass Effect 3 "Citadel DLC". There's the Siversun Strip, which comprises a casino level and the Armax Arena, where you can have holodeck matches with party members (including ones from previous games like Wrex, Jack and Miranda).
  • Persona 2:
    • Eternal Punishment has a casino with an optional dungeon attached.
    • The original Persona also had casinos, but they were mainly in malls. While your party members would reprimand you for going there, (especially Nanjo,) they're the only way you can get some of the rarer items and fusion materials.
  • Pokémon has the Game Corners.
    • The game corners in FireRed/LeafGreen and HeartGold/SoulSilver can spare you the effort of finding some Pokemon.
    • Pokémon's Johto region gained the Pokethlon, where you can use your pokemon in sports competitions. Winning earns you points, which can allow you to get those really hard to get evolution stones.
    • Also, the Battle Frontier from the 3rd generation onwards.
  • Super Mario RPG has Grate Guy's Casino, which is referenced a couple of times in the game, but actually finding it a Guide Dang It. Especially disappointing in that the games aren't terribly profitable.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story Fun City.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time Gemity City, in story. For the actual players, there's a fairly boring betting minigame and a battle arena, which isn't a minigame at all.
  • The Tales Series
    • Tales of Eternia Jini. There was actually not too much to do there, other than play cards and auction off your stuff for the area's native currency, which exchanged at roughly 100 gald to the Jini (the rate fluctuated from visit to visit) and was used basically to buy other auction stuff.
    • Tales of Symphonia Altamira, although you can't gamble because most of the group is underage. In the PS2 port Regal was able to.
    • Tales of the Abyss has the Keterburg Casino.
    • Tales of Vesperia has Nam Cobanda Isle.
  • The casino in Xenosaga Episode 1. Unlike real life, the odds on the "higher or lower"-type card game are heavily weighted in the player's favor.
  • Wild ARMs has their amusement park near the beginning of the game, and if you want to get valuable stat-raising items easily you'd better devote some time here before it disappears forever. They also have a gladiator-style area late in the game (a feature shared by others of the series).

Simulation Games
  • Harvest Moon DS The Sprite Casino.
  • The island in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, where you can play minigames to earn silver medals, which you can exchange for exclusive items. For 50 medals, you can join Club Tortimer, which allows you to play online with players all around the world.

Wide Open Sandbox
  • The Carnival in Bully fits this trope like a glove.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Las Venturas , which makes sense since it's modeled after Las Vegas. Not only are there casinos with several different minigames from slots to poker, there are also places to bet on horse races and slot machines in smaller bars.
  • Red Dead Redemption has several of these, and each saloon or bar contains at least one way to gamble away all your hard-earned cash.
  • Shenmue Avenge my father's death? Of course! Just after I've collected all these gashapon!


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alternative title(s): Gold Saucer; Golden Saucer; Minigame Area
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