Space, as presented in video games, comes in two varieties:
- The Shoot 'em Up version of space, in which you can only go in one direction, possibly thanks to 2-D Space — which by a crazy coincidence happens to be the direction swarming with enemies.
- The platformer version of space — which is basically like every other platformer stage, except that you might jump a little higher due to lessened gravity. It may take place in a space station, densely-packed asteroids or on an planet or moon surface where the atmosphere is missing.
Needless to say, Space Does Not Work That Way
Role Playing Games
Shoot Em Ups
- Deep Space from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, which is based on the prologue of Lilo & Stitch. Parts of the stage allow you to explore the areas outside of the spaceship and even allow you to turn off gravity to reach higher places in the spaceship.
- The Lylat System of Star Fox, the former Trope Namer.
- Gradius, R-Type, and all their variants and spinoffs. Special mention to the Genesis title Whip Rush. Several levels feature segments where your titular starship flies up, down, and even backwards, all while obediently facing and shooting to the right. It requires getting either missile or flamethrower powerups to be able to shoot in the direction you're going.
- Super Mario Bros.
- Star Man's stage in Mega Man 5.
- The final stage of Wily's fortress in Mega Man 10, along with the fight against the Wily Capsule.
- The seventh chapter of Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice takes place on a path that goes through outer space, and connects the game's netherworld with the human world (Which exist as separate planets, contrary to what the names may imply).
- The Sonic the Hedgehog series includes both space station levels (usually with reversed gravity) and True Final Bosses in outer space that require Super Sonic.
- The Death Egg from Sonic & Knuckles. There's also a shoot-em-up space zone: the Doomsday Zone.
- Starlight Carnival and Asteroid Coaster Zones in Sonic Colors.
- Sonic Adventure 2 has a bunch of these: Meteor Herd, Mad Space, Cosmic Wall, Final Rush, and Final Chase all come to mind. All of the other levels set on the ARK are lesser examples.
- X-Zone, the Moon Zone, Egg Utopia, True Area 53, and Nonaggression from Sonic Advance
- E.G.G. Station and Death Egg mkII in Sonic the Hedgehog 4
- Many Kirby levels, often featuring the especially delicious UFO enemies.
- "Project F" from Superfrog is a shoot-em-up space level, but World 6 after that is set on a space station in platformer space.
- Rocket Knight Adventures, a platformer for Sega Genesis, had a shoot-em-up level in orbit towards the end of the game.
- The Moon in DuckTales. "Hey Uncle Scrooge, you need a suit up there! How are you alive? You need heat! Also air!"
- The space levels in Ratchet & Clank (at least in the first game) seem to avert this trope. Ratchet can't go out there himself, but has to send his Robot Buddy Clank to explore. Then it turns out that the only thing Ratchet needed was an oxygen mask, and suddenly the space levels function exactly as the planet levels. Gravity works the same, there's no need for a pressurized suit, and even propellers work just as normal! Later games gave Ratchet some sort of commando suit, which kind of made more sense.
- Math Rescue has some of these in the second episode.
- "Space A Go-Go" from DK Jungle Climber.
- An amusement park actually called the Space Zone in Theme Park World.
- Mass Effect 2, when navigating in star system or cluster. All star systems and planets, plus ships and stations are in same plane.
- Although the game is careful to point out that this is a feature of the Galaxy Map and not an actual reflection of what the galaxy looks like - its the same reason that the Normandy is shown bigger than whole planets and how you can fly it through suns.
- Mothership Zeta from the Fallout 3 DLC of the same name. One part has you take a spacewalk on the outside of the ship.
- World 6 (Outer Nebula) of Super Mario Fusion Revival is Science Fiction themed, taking place in outer space, on alien planets, space stations, and spaceships.
- In The Adventures of Lomax, the last world is this. It kind of looks like pieces of moon's surface suspended in space. Despite its looks, the world functions just like the previous worlds and there's no difference in gravity and such.
- Gruntz has this as the last world as well.