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
. If the zone appears at the end of the game, it's an Astral Finale
First Person Shooters
Role Playing Games
Shoot Em Ups
- The Lylat System of Star Fox is a relatively narrow corridor of space with Invisible Walls keeping the player from moving out-of-bounds. The player can generally only fly in one direction.
- 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.
- The Space Zone in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is the Trope Namer, and also the first space-themed world in the series. In the levels, Mario wears a spacesuit there, and the gravity is lessened. The boss is Tatanga, who was originally the Final Boss of the first Super Mario Land.
- A few of the secret levels in Super Mario Sunshine have a space background.
- The entire basis of Super Mario Galaxy, though only Space Junk Galaxy consciously displays the setting among the main fifteen levels (as the others mix it with a different setting, for the sake of variety). Super Mario Galaxy 2 has Battle Belt Galaxy.
- The respective maps of all four secret worlds in Super Mario 3D World are space-themed, though only World Star has actual space-themed levels (namely Rainbow Run, Super Galaxy, Honeycomb Starway, Cosmic Cannon Cluster and Captain Toad Takes A Spin), and it's also in that world where Rosalina can be unlocked to play as her. There's also the earlier Beep Block Skyway from World 4.
- Also shows up in Super Paper Mario. You do need a space suit, but the space suit is merely a fishbowl on your head. One Boss Battle does an Unexpected Gameplay Change and turns it into Shoot 'em Up space. Hop on Carrie and it's already a Shmup in space.
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door you go to the moon as well, without any oxygen gear. Goombella tells you not to think about it too hard.
- Mario Adventure has World 5, Starry Slopes.
- Something has A Day in Space. This level is unusual because it is also a Green Hill Zone. However, it is a Brutal Bonus Level because there are lots of Munchers and flying Koopas to dodge.
- Mega Man:
- 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.
- 4th Dimension Space from Sonic Shuffle is one of the few in the series without a space station.
- 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.
- Starlight Carnival and Asteroid Coaster Zones in Sonic Colors.
- 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.
- The Asteroid Belt in The Adventures Of Rad Gravity, where Rad must propel himself with his gun in zero gravity.
- The first half of the fourth and final world of McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure takes place on the moon. Ronald and his friends crash their rocket looking for the treasure when it is revealed to be in space, and thus give up the hunt for a way back home. With the lack of gravity, Ronald is able to jump twice as high as before. The second half of the stage takes place inside the spaceship of the Alien King, who has captured Ronald's friends and is guarding the treasure.
- The last stage of Tiny Toon Adventures Buster Busts Loose takes place in space. It is based on the episode, "A Quack in the Quarks" from the cartoon series, and most of the enemies are characters that appeared in that episode, such as the Stormtwoopers. The final boss is Duck Vader, who attempts to zap Buster with a giant laser, which Buster must snatch from him and zap him with. At the end of the game, the stage is revealed to have been filmed in a studio, and Duck Vader is really a costumed Plucky.
- Cleemalt Soa (Saturn in other variants) in the arcade game Xain'd Sleena . This stage is a moon that features floating, non-moving asteroids, bottomless pits that kill you instantly, and a cool background with Saturn and its rings floating in the black, star-studded sky.
- The Fairly Oddparents: Shadow Showdown has the level "Vicky Strikes Back", a parody of old sci-fi space shows.
- In Snoopy's Grand Adventure, the third world, "Lunar Surface", takes place on the moon, where the goal is to rescue Lucy. Enemies in this world consist of robots. The boss of the world is a giant robot that resembles Lucy, who chases Snoopy throughout its level.
- The world "Spaced Out" in Monkey Shines, which is loaded with flying saucers, aliens and robots. Gravity Screw is averted.
- Yoshi's Island:
- In the original game, Raphael the Raven fights Yoshi on the moon.
- Yoshi's Island DS has several space rocket piloting sections.
- Throughout Taz in Escape from Mars, Taz travels to different planets, but the world that suits this trope the most is Mars, the first world in the game, as it takes place in Marvin the Martian's zoo.
- Galleon Galaxy in Yooka-Laylee which also has a pirate motif.
- In MechWarrior Living Legends, the map 'Extremity' takes place on a rapidly spinning asteroid near a bright star. Gravity is significantly reduced to the point where Power Armor players can stay permanently aloft with their regenerating Jump Jet Pack, and due to the rotation the level's ambient conditions change over the course of the match; at night, the temperature drops and the atmosphere freezes into lakes, while at daytime the temperature rises to dangerous levels, the lakes boil off and a steady stream of gas vents from the surface. The community map 'Deepspace' is a more straight example, set in a zero-gravity asteroid field where vehicles are limited to the Space Plane fighters and powered armor.