Video Game: Portal Runner
A one-time spinoff from 3D0's Army Men
franchise, Portal Runner
is an action and platform game starring a doll named Vikki, a journalist for the Army Men's Green Army (and girlfriend of Sarge). But outside the Army Men's world of plastic warfare, the spy Brigette Bleu (and her right-hand war bot, Rage) plots to abduct Sarge, sending Vikki a map with "the story of a lifetime" which shortly sees her attacked by Rage and thrown through a portal to another toy world. Chasing after her is a large lion, whom she befriends and names Leonardo ("Leo" for short), and together they set off through a variety of locales to put a stop to Brigette's plans.
Portal Runner contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Vikki may be an Army brat and freelance journalist/photographer, but she always carries around a bow.
- Androcles' Lion: The first thing Vikki does upon her arrival in the dinosaur world is tend to Leo's injuries and find some food; this is enough to get Leo's loyalty in return.
- Animals Lack Attributes: Justified in the sense that Leo is a toy lion figurine in a toy world, and not many toy companies include "those" details when manufacturing animal figures.
- Badass in Distress: Vikki and Leo are both captured during the Medieval world. While Vikki is simply left in the dungeon, Leo breaks free on a search to rescue her.
- Bag of Spilling: Vikki can hold nearly unlimited arrows, but they do not carry over from one level to the next. Even if she's depicted using them in a cutscene.
- Boss Arena Recovery: Boss arenas typically include a few health and arrow powerups which respawn over time. Regenerating powerups are also found across the game as a whole, frequently for puzzles that require special arrows.
- Bottomless Pits: While they're not strictly bottomless (one of the dinosaur levels features a fall which isn't far enough to actually be fatal, but is treated as a Bottomless Pit anyway to prevent Sequence Breaking), if it's not within jumping distance, it's probably lethal.
- Beast of Battle: There are a few levels that are played entirely from Vikki riding atop Leo. Other levels typically have Leo following alongside Vikki and acting independently.
- Cave Behind The Waterfall: Present in the first level. It's relatively well-hidden behind the waterfall spray, but Vikki even Lampshades it as the player ventures inside.
- Convection Schmonvection: Even as a plastic toy (which the Army Men franchise in general often melts with flamethrowers) Vikki has no trouble coming mere inches above hot lava with nothing but a Fur Bikini to protect her. (And even if she falls in, it's just minor damage.)
- Corridor Cubbyhole Run: There's one in almost every world: A hallway with rolling gumballs in an early level; a cavern passage with steam vents; a Medieval hallway with an array of arrows shooting down from the ceiling, and a futuristic passage with (lethal) balls of pure energy travelling from one end to the other.
- Crate Expectations: Found primarily in the Medieval world. A few arrows (or claw swipes from Leo) will demolish them, typically revealing health or arrows.
- Cutscene Boss: While Vikki readies her assault on the Martian Emperor, Sarge and Leo fight off Rage and a brigade of Martians in a cutscene.
- Descending Ceiling: One of Leo's puzzles in the Medieval world dungeon is to hit four switches and then make for the exit before a spiked ceiling kills him.
- Difficulty Levels: The game has four of them, three being "Easy", "Normal", and "Hard".
- Fisher Kingdom: Vikki's outfit changes with each world she traverses, from her default green army fatigues to a zebra-hide skirt and bikini in the Dinosaur world, to a silver-green jumpsuit in the Space world.
- Follow the Money: Gems are frequently arranged in midair to help the player align jumps from one platform to another.
- Floating Platforms: Every level has (at least) one platform with a lion's head on it, which is often the reward for solving a minor puzzle. Other platforms include floating leaves and chessboard tiles.
- Freelook Button: It's mapped to the Circle button by default. Doubles as first-person targetting for Vikki, but even Leo can use it to look around.
- Fur Bikini: Vikki spends much of the game in a white striped bikini and skirt.
- Gravity Screw: Near the end of the penultimate level, one puzzle involves climbing to the top of a huge spherical room and disabling its artificial-gravity generator, which subsequently enables some spectacularly high and far jumps between the platforms.
- Lethal Lava Land: The final prehistoric level involves Vikki and Leo reaching an exit portal located on the side of an erupting volcano.
- Level Up Fill Up: Vikki and Leo's HP are refilled whenever the player collects enough gems to earn a new Hit Point.
- Love Potion: In a non-"potion" example, Brigette commissions futuristic Martians to create a love ray, which she promptly uses on Sarge.
- Loyal Animal Companion: The only character Leo appears comfortable around is Vikki.
- One-Hit Kill: A few environmental hazards are instant death if you contact them. Others (even hot lava) simply inflict damage.
- No Arc in Archery: There is no apparent limit on the range of Vikki's arrows.
- Not the Fall That Kills You
- 100% Completion: Collecting at least 80% of gems within a level unlocks images in a bonus image gallery (generally of various scenes, called "vista points", within each level). Getting a perfect score across the entire game unlocks a few extra images of Vikki in the gallery.
- Orcus on His Throne: Outside the Army Men world (which at this point is firmly under Green Army rule), Brigette Bleu has grown a bit bored of her status as queen of various other toy worlds (particularly the Medieval world).
- Rise to the Challenge: In the volcano level, there is one puzzle that involves a cavern flooding with lava - fortunately, the player has safe footing on a platform that floats atop the lava, so it's unaffected as the player raises the lava level. Played straight with Vikki's rescue in the Medieval world, where the player must hit various counterweights on a platform to keep Vikki's cage away from rising poisonous goop.
- RPG Elements: For every 10,000 points the player acquires, Vikki and Leo both acquire an extra Hit Point on their Life Meter.
- Power-Up Food: T-Bone steaks are found in a few levels; they are generally placed on ledges to give Leo enough speed to jump across.
- Puzzle Boss: The tree in the Dark Forest.
- Save Game Limits: You can only save your game between levels, and the game utilizes only one save file (per memory card).
- Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Found primarily in the Medieval world dungeon; one hallway in particular has several rows of spiked cogs spinning across that the player must avoid.
- Spread Shot: "Trident" arrows are picked up primarily in the Medieval world.
- Stationary Boss: The tree in the Medieval world's dark forest, as well as the Final Boss. Rage also blocks the portal back to the Medieval world, requiring te player to defeat him with Leo.
- Timed Mission: One puzzle in the dinosaur world involves searching a canyon for eight key stones (within eight minutes); another level requires traversing the level to find the exit portal within ten. Both are played with Vikki riding atop Leo.
- Wedding Deadline: Vikki arrives just in time to stop an entranced Sarge from saying "I do" to Brigette.