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Game Breaker / Platform

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Game Breakers in platform games.

  • BIONICLE Heroes seems to have included this in order to avoid frustrating young fans: if you collect enough LEGO elements to fill up a meter at the top of the screen, you automatically enter Hero Mode, in which you are invincible, have double firepower, have a track playing over and over again, and can activate certain gold things (making it necessary to beat the game). The catch? These elements are EVERYWHERE and the required number is exceedingly low except in certain parts of certain boss fights; if you have any selectivity at all (even unintentional) about when you pick up pieces, you'll be invincible for about 4/5 of the game, so the challenge disappears.
  • The Legend of Spyro:
    • The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning:
      • The Earth element, specifically its sub elemental shot, is very strong. You don't get it until just before the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, but if you've been saving your EXP for it and put it all into the sub-shot of the element, it makes it a complete and utter joke. The sub element is a tornado shot that, on it's highest level, can stun even the larges enemies into the air while doing constant damage to them. This alone doesn't sound too great, but add on the fact that it can do this to multiple enemies at once, and the fact that doing this causes them to drop spirit gems which recharge your mana while they're still alive, when normally they don't do this until you've killed them, and you have an attack that not only stuns all enemies in the general area and keeps them from attacking, does constant, high damage to them, but also recharges itself for basically no cost at all. Once you get it, pretty much the only strategy for the rest of the game is "use tornado, wait for the attack to wear off, use tornado again" until all enemies are dead. The basic breath also does high damage, but it isn't as great because also does high damage to your mana.
      • Electricity is also very strong if you know how to use it, on top of the fact that you get it pretty early on. On paper, it's an element that let's you stun and toss enemies, while not doing much damage. Doesn't sound too spectacular, until you realize that enemies in this game take Fall Damage, and often get One Hit Killed even when falling off short drops, and when you throw them into bottomless pits, you still get their spirit gems regardless. If you level the basic breath version of it up all the way, you can toss even the biggest of enemies off cliffs and ledges, killing them instantly, making it amazing crowd control when the game starts getting spam happy with enemies.
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    • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon:
      • Cynder's Shadow element has a basic attack that uses almost no mana, is inordinately powerful, and can hit every enemy in a fairly wide radius around her.
      • The Roll ability's intended purpose is to quickly dodge powerful attacks, but you are invincible whenever you use it, to the point where an Earth Golem can smash its building-sized hand down on you, and if you roll you take zero damage. Using these two abilities in conjunction with each other can potentially get you through the entire game without ever dying, or indeed without any kind of a challenge.
      • The Shadow Strike ability hits everyone in the vicinity and will knock the smaller enemies into the air for several seconds, after which they'll spend several seconds after that getting back up. The shadow also "blinds" them and makes them start attacking each other. If one uses this ability right, you can get a whole room full of enemies all attacking each other without you ever entering the fray.
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  • In the NES game Super Turrican, the wheel form can easily be seen as this. In this form, not only are you invincible, but you damage any enemies you touch. The only downside is that it's kind of hard to control, but not so hard that you can't blitz your way through 90% of any given level without ever standing up. And it makes most boss fights an utter joke.
  • In Ratchet & Clank, the RYNO often qualifies.
    • The RYNO 4 from Tools of Destruction, to the point where its omega version's description warns players that using it could make the game no longer fun.
      The RYNO 4-Ever had been declared a myth by the Galactic Society of Implausible Weapon Designs. Rumors had persisted on the Holo-Web that this upgrade to the R.Y.N.O IV was theoretically possible, but the subject was so controversial that merely mentioning it made a person become grounded for six months in an intergalactic penitentiary. If you heard any information about the RYNO 4-Ever, let alone encounter the actual weapon itself, you were advised to cover your eyes and ears and loudly hum show tunes of your choice. This weapon, should it even exist, was far too dangerous, illegal and downright gameplay destabilizing to ever be used. Ever. We mean it.
    • The Rift Inducer of Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (and later, the Rift Inducer 5000 A Crack In Time) is this for any small to medium-sized enemy, which are instantly sucked into the black hole/eaten by Fred the Eldritch Abomination. It's totally ineffective for Giant Mooks and bosses though, at least the UYA incarnation.
    • The Groovitron immobilizes every enemy — including bosses — in range via uncontrollable dancing. In normal play, the game prevents you from abusing it by giving the device a tiny ammo capacity and making it replenishable through purchase only (or finding ammo in non-respawning Raritanium chests). Tools of Destruction's challenge mode, on the other hand, unlocks the Golden Groovitron, which has infinite ammo.
    • The (Heavy) Bouncer in Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal. It launches a massive ball that hits for massive damage, then splits into about 50 smaller bombs that all hit for equally massive damage. This allows you to clear entire areas with ease and turns the final boss of Going Commando into a joke. Furthermore, in Going Commando the ammo clip is absolutely massive, and with all the ammo crates lying around replacing 5-8 ammo per pickup, you're unlikely to ever run out of ammo for the thing (since, remember, a single shot is usually more than enough to clear out an entire room). They tried to nerf it in Up Your Arsenal by lowering the ammo amount, but it still hits just as hard; it's only prevented from being a true Game Breaker in that game by the presence of other weapons that are greater than itself (see Rift Inducer above). It's still one in the 2016 game, as it can be bought on Novalis for 100 bolts, and Heavy Bouncer's bomblets release explosions on each bounce, destroying most bosses with ease. They also now home into flying enemies, destroying everything both on land and on air. Its only drawback is that it's pre-order DLC, with no known plans for public release.
    • The Shield Charger/Tesla Barrier is an interesting example of this trope. It doesn't attack enemies mainly, instead it protects you fully from all forms of damage bar falling. Not only that but any enemy that comes into contact with the 360-degree shield takes a fair amount of damage especially with the upgraded Tesla Barrier. Sure, it runs out eventually, but nothing is stopping you from reequipping the shield immediately after it dissipates. Like the Bouncer example above, it was less effective in Up Your Arsenal with reduced ammo (5 instead of 15) but it was still a Game-Breaker.
    • Back in Going Commando, the upgraded Sheepinator: the Black Sheepinator. It transforms enemies into sheep at an alarmingly fast rate, enough to make it not-completely-useless against medium-to-large-sized enemies. On top of that, the sheep themselves are now evil, red-eyed exploding sheep that draw the enemy's attention to them, and it has infinite ammo. Not quite as game-breaking as the other examples, but its unlimited ammo and enemy-distracting properties turn the Impossible Challenge into a cake-walk, and unlike just about every other weapon, it works just as well in Challenge Mode as it does in the regular game, making it a good Disc-One Nuke to fall back on when you're still grinding for money to buy all the Mega Weapons. It's useless against bosses, though.
    • Ratchet: Deadlocked has, besides the obligatory Infinity +1 Sword (in the form of the Harbinger this time), two other contenders:
      • The Scorpion Flail can spread hurt over a large area and has a generous 20 shots, with each Ammo Alpha Mod granting another 5, while one ammo crate replenishes 20% of its current ammo capacity. That's a lot for a weapon that can, with the Shock Omega Mod and a few Area Mods, clear basically the entire screen of enemies in one or two shots. Its final upgrade also creates a shockwave that propagates straight and quite far. Its only downside is that it's ineffective flying enemies, but if you hit the flying enemy with it...
      • The Mini-Turret Launcher, while the last of regular weapons obtained, can make the game quite easy. While it has less ammo than the previous game (without Ammo Mods, that is), don't forget that this game features many more arena challenges where you can throw a few of these and wait while they obliterate enemies. Damage-wise, one shot doesn't do that much damage, but since they shoot fast and you can have as many as 5 active of them at the same time, that damage accumulates quickly. Full upgrade shoots lasers instead, making them even more efficient, and putting different Omega Mods on them means they can be used from slowing down enemies to brainwashing them.
  • Spelunky: While the game can be so Nintendo Hard that nothing truly breaks the game, having the luck to acquire a jetpack in early levels can render a great many of the challenges moot. Combine with the shotgun and a host of other gear, and you're golden.
    • Likewise, the scepter — while replacing the powerful shotgun — is a homing, one-hit-kill on just about everything short of the final boss.
      • If you have the kapala, the shotgun is even more gamebreaking due to the sheer amount of blood it can generate, rendering you nigh-invulnerable even to that angry shopkeeper near the exit.
    • The tunnel man is a definite Game Breaker. With the unbreakable mattock you can get tons of money early on to spend on shop items and avoid a ton of enemies. Getting to the city of gold with a jetpack becomes almost trivially easy, and the last boss can be avoided a lot easier as well. Even though it's impossible to attack while jumping, he starts off with no bombs or ropes and only 2 health instead of 4, playing as the tunnel man is still a lot easier.
  • Metroid, while generally averting or subverting this trope where it can, has several tricks that can lead to this. Infinite bomb-jumping and wall jumping are common tricks among the fans that can lead to sequence breaks; with enough skill and knowledge of where to apply abilities, one can entirely break the game. One example; in Zero Mission getting the Super Missiles before making it to Kraid destroyed him as even a minor threat; three super missiles kill him before he even manages to attack once.
    • The Screw Attack rips the game wide-open if you use it right. It kills any enemy in one shot, is often capable of killing enemies that are otherwise invulnerable, makes you invincible while using it, and never runs out of ammo. Taken even further in games with the Space Jump; Combining them turns Samus into an unstoppable one-hit-kills-all projectile that you control.
  • Super Meat Boy has Steve from Minecraft in the PC version which makes numerous levels extremely easy since he can create and destroy tiles at will. In fact, he's such a Game Breaker that the game disables achievements while he's in use. Often many other characters can break individual levels.
  • Jak 3: Wastelander might be easier than its predecessor because of the wider arsenal, but the Beam Reflexor, the second Blaster Mod really stands out. It is basically the same thing as the Blaster, except the bullets now reflect from enemies and walls. That in itself wouldn't be a Game Breaker, but the shots automatically home in one enemies, meaning you don't even have to bother with aiming. Just use the jump + spin + shoot combo (shoots five bullets in every direction) and you'll slaughter every enemy in the room. The Beam Reflexor's effectiveness diminishes in open areas, due to the shots taking longer to rebound, but it's still more effective than most other guns. Moreover, the gun is obtained very early on (after the second Arena Challenge) and doesn't even use up much ammo (it consumes one bullet when it fires and another each time a reflected shot hits an enemy). With the fully upgraded ammo capacity of 300, you can fire away to your heart's content. You may find yourself deliberately avoiding the Beam Reflexor to keep things at least somewhat challenging.
  • Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier has the Armageddon plane weapon, especially in the Hero-Mode-only plane known as the Jaguar. Without even fully upgrading the Judgment missiles it fires, it is possible to clear out pretty much any major aerial fight barring bosses in one big Macross Missile Massacre (and bosses are still fairly easy to disassemble). Let's put it this way: "hunt the transport" missions from pirate radio towers are set up so you have about four minutes to finish them. The Jaguar fitted with a block of 4x Level 4 Armageddon can complete that particular raid in twenty to thirty seconds, and that includes the flight from the tower to the target. And this is without the infinite ammo unlockable.
  • In the Flash RPG side-scroller game The Last Stand 2: Union City, the player character can recruit one of two companions that will accompany them (until either both characters or just the player character are killed, rendering them unusable) for the rest of the game. Normally, you can equip them with a weapon and they will be able to fire unlimited rounds. This includes the RPG, which can be found fairly early in the game. Give this to a companion, and you'll never have to worry about random hordes attacking ever again.
    • Due to the game respawning zombies after you leave a screen, the player can conceivably grind kills at the very beginning of the game to earn achievements (and, consequently, enough skill points to level up their characters far above the requirements for most of the game). Sure, the game stops awarding you after a certain point once you've leveled enough, but the tens of thousands of XP points you receive once you nab the achievements (some of which can be accomplished with 20 minutes of grinding) will give you an unbeatable advantage for most of the game.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the NES: The 'ninja scroll' special weapon. Pierces through multiple enemies, kills most minor enemies in one hit, and even inflicts massive damage to bosses. There are also several places in the game where the power-up icon respawns, potentially letting you hoard up to 396 of the things.
  • The Clockwork Kazooie eggs in Banjo-Tooie. They're meant to be used as remote-controlled bombs, but they're capable of picking up important items like Jiggies, Jinjos and Cheato Pages all by themselves. You can just fire them at the normally hard-to-reach object you want and completely bypass a lot of difficult platforming and puzzles.
  • Papa Louie 2: When Burgers Attack has Xandra. Her X-wand shoots stars that can kill multiple enemies, she can jump slightly higher than the other playable characters, and her gliding can carry her a massive distance.
  • The corner glitch in Within a Deep Forest allows you to bounce your ball character off corners at speeds that would normally break it in its glass form... if you hit the corner at the right angle. Now there are two official speedrun charts.
  • Wario Land 4 has the Black Dog, Black Dragon, Big Lips and Big Fist icons. Buy them with minigame coins before a boss fight, and with the exception of the last one (who still takes decent damage), you get to leave your opponent two hits from being dead before the battle formally 'begins'. It makes boss battles a hell of a lot shorter, especially given how it takes another hit (of the two or three the boss will have left out of about 20) before it Turns Red, giving you another easy target right as the battle begins.
  • In The Adventures of Lomax, the spin ability. Every enemy will be damaged by it, and it makes you invincible to Collision Damage and nearly every attack.
  • Dixie Kong in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Not only does she have by far the best jump-assist out of the three partners in the game, her Limit Break transforms every enemy within range into a special yellow heart. Yellow hearts break the normal limit of four hearts in your life meter, meaning that barring exceptionally poor play on the player's part, you essentially cannot die. As for the threat of Bottomless Pits, well, that's what Dixie's jump-assist was originally designed to deal with - and even if you do miss a jump, the game has green balloon items that pull you out of a bottomless pit.
    • Dixie Kong was also this in Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3. Without having to carry Donkey Kong's weight, her helicopter spin could cross huge distances across the stage, and give you whole seconds worth of course correction if you made a bad jump. That along with being almost as fast as Diddy (whereas DK was slower than him in the first game, and Kiddy in the third game is about as slow as DK) means there are only a handful of situations where Dixie shouldn't be in front if she's available. She's pretty much the Donkey Kong equivalent of Tails or Knuckles, but controllable at the press of a button.
  • In Valdis Story: Abyssal City, Reina can be this when built around the Agility stat. Normally Agility increases critical hit rate and the amount of time spent in Focus mode, but the fact that it doesn't boost base attack power means it's best as a secondary stat. Reina, however, has a skill that increases the damage of critical hits based on her Agility, and another skill that increases aerial damage based on her Agility - meaning the "low" power of a max-Agility Reina on paper does not translate into low power in practice, especially when her Agility gets high enough that every hit she makes becomes a critical, and her Focus mode lasts long enough to carry her through entire boss battles without needing to recharge the Focus meter. Combine with the accessory that drains enemy health on critical hits for laughs.
    • When playing as Wyatt, there's the Seraphic Blades weapon. Relatively easy to acquire (if you know where to look), the ridiculous speed of the twin-swords allows for nearly infinite combos. It's meant to be balanced out by each of those hits having low power compared to Wyatt's default sword, but the fact that it boosts aerial damage and drastically slows Wyatt's falling speed to allow him to stay airborne indefinitely means that the player can simply take most of the combo to the air. The weapon becomes even more powerful at the maximum level, where it starts increasing damage based on the player's combo count - by the time the combo finally can't be sustained, most enemies will be dead many times over. It's rather telling that most players' reaction to acquiring the game's Infinity +1 Sword was to try it out and then switch right back to the Seraphic Blades.
  • The Windmill Slash special weapon ability (not to be confused with the Windmill Shuriken) is extremely effective in the original Ninja Gaiden for the NES. The reason for this is how the game codes the damage for the Windmill Slash—the other projectile-based special weapons all inflict a set amount of damage to a target. The Windmill Slash, on the other hand, inflicts one point of damage... for every frame of the attack that touches an enemy. This turns the Windmill Slash into the ninja flipout cousin of the Screw Attack, making the attack a One-Hit Kill on any boss it can reach.
  • One of the late-game abilities in Yooka-Laylee is the ability to fly, and, unlike its Spiritual Predecessor Banjo-Kazooie, you can activate it at any point and anytime. Naturally, this allows many platforming sequences to be outright skipped, making quite a few Pagies in earlier worlds, that were designed to be obtainable without the ability, nigh effortless for the player to go back and get if they haven't already. The few challenges in earlier worlds that require the ability become something of a Guide Dang It! by extension just because of how unexpected it is — like getting to the top of the temple in Tribalstack Tropics.
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero has the Magic Tiara item, which provides infinite magic. That in and of itself is pretty overpowered, but it can be combined with Invincibility, the most upgraded form of the bubble that makes you immune to damage in exchange for magic, to gain Nigh Invulnerability that no attack can penetrate and never runs out. While it takes some sharp searching to acquire, it can never the less be found before even entering the final level of the game, rendering it and the final battle a complete joke.
  • In the City Siege Flash platform series, the Spy Unit stands head-and-shoulders above every other troop, despite being in a game where rocket-firing helicopters and heavily-armored tanks are some of the best endgame units you can purchase. The Spy beats all other units by sheer virtue of the fact that she doesn't draw enemy attacks until she is within a (helpfully-shaded) red sphere next to them. This makes most levels absurdly simple, as the Spy can simply waltz through enemy bases rescuing VIPs, with very little to stop her barring heavily-fortified structures. This is only balanced out by the fact that the mainline games only give her C4 as a defensive weapon... which is still enough to kill all ground units multiple times over, and can be placed directly beside them without drawing their attention, no less. Additionally, she is one of the cheapest units to buy, making her an early-game purchase that has far more value than most of the rank-and-file soldiers. Incredibly, the Spy was buffed in the third game's expansion pack (the FUBAR Pack), which gave her a shuriken that could be used to snipe enemies from halfway across the map without any aggression, even from air units. Come the following game, the Spy Unit was eliminated completely.
  • Balan Wonderworld has the Frost Fairy costume, whose power is to skip between up to 6 mid-air ice flakes, each one slightly higher up than the previous one. This gives it the best jump ability in the game (3m high and 15m long), in a game that usually doesn't allow jumping more than 5m long (if at all), meaning that if the player stocks up on a couple dozen of that costume, many puzzles in the second half of the game can be bypassed entirely, trophies are easier to collect, and the gameplay speeds up considerably. Its only drawback is that it's not particularly good for boss fights.


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