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Athletic Arena Level

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"Our tireless research has resulted in a thrilling discovery! Yes, today we learned that Inklings play basketball! The existence of a new stage, Goby Arena, indicates that Inklings may even play the sport competitively. [...] Furthermore, it appears that the arena is converted into an ink-battle stage during the offseason, and this unique location should make for exciting battles indeed."

The hero steps up to bat. The boss throws the pitch. The hero kicks, TOUCHDOWN! Wait, what's this? The referee is calling on the hero for goal-tending. The hat trick was no good.

An Athletic Arena Level is a sports-themed video game stage.

This isn't simply the arena that you play sports games in. Some games, especially action, adventure, and platforming games, design entire levels around the theme of sports. Expect to see linebackers barreling towards you, pitchers hurling baseballs at you, mooks lobbing tennis balls at you with a mean back-hand, hockey players picking a fight. Everything it takes to keep you from reaching the GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLL!!

Sometimes a gym or locker room, or even a coliseum might be the setting instead.

In short, expect to see Artistic License – Sports, Gretzky Has the Ball or Calvin Ball as the visual setting. Taking the concept beyond Video Games may result in a Tournament Arc or its bloodier cousins, The Thunderdome and the Gladiator Games.


Examples Include:

  • Strike Man's stage (pictured above) in Mega Man 10 starts off innocent enough. You're running your way through a giant baseball stadium in the background, and the first enemies you come across are baseball pitchers throwing curve balls at you. Soon enough there are enemies like robot ball storage containers, lobbing bouncing baseballs and footballs at you, giant robot goalies trying to crush you, sentient lockers, spike-covered rocket-propelled soccerballs that you need to activate and run underneath just to advance your way to Strike Man at the end. Strike Man himself is a personified walking baseball who not only uses himself as a weapon, but throws bouncing dodgeballs at you as well.
  • Asterix for the SNES a stage during a Rugby match, where the player is meant to reach the end of the level. While holding a ball. While avoiding Roman rugby players. Playing Rugby.
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  • In Ninja Baseball Bat Man, nearly every level is baseball-themed. Some enemies are actually baseball bats wielding baseball bats.
  • The Disney's TaleSpin game for NES has a level set in a baseball stadium.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures Buster Busts Loose, Stage 4 is the final part of a football game.
  • The final boss fight of Duke Nukem 3D/first level of Duke Nukem Forever takes place in a football stadium. If you succeed in killing the monster there, Duke even gets to rip its eyeball out and kick a field goal with it.
  • No More Heroes has Destroy Stadium, a setting visited twice in the game. What happens there includes killing bad guys by deflecting a pitch, battles in the vast outfield, and Playing Tennis with the Boss via a man-launching batting cage.
  • In the Aaahh!!! Real Monsters platformer for the Sega Genesis, the second level is a school Gymnasium. Obstacles include basketball hoops, arena stands, and basketballs bouncing everywhere.
  • The Super Smash Bros. series has a few stages based on race tracks (Mute City and Big Blue in Melee, Port Town Aero Dive and Mario Circuit in Brawl, Rainbow Road and a new Mute City in For 3DS, a new Mario Circuit in For Wii U) that all have cars racing around the track while you fight. 3DS and Wii U and Ultimate also have a Boxing Ring stage from the Punch-Out!! series. There's also the Pokémon Stadium stages which are based on the arenas used in Pokémon battling (a fictional sport). Ultimate also has a King of Fighters stadium which is included with Terry Bogard as DLC, which has barriers that prevent KO's from the sides of the stage unless a fighter is hit hard enough to break through.
  • Mischief Makers had a sports or rather Olympic themed stage where you had to win a certain amount of competitions to advance. 100, 200, and 400 meter dashes, hurdles, long jump, some weird ball catching game, and math problems were among the tasks.
  • Sports Gym and Space Ball Stadium in The Jetsons: Cogswell's Caper.
  • Sports Bear's route in the Glider PRO CD house "Teddy World" features soccer, football, baseball and basketball.
  • Lollipop Chainsaw had an Escort Mission "minigame" in the baseball stadium, in which you help a runner (whom Nick's head is attached to) round the bases three times while fending off zombies with the Chainsaw Blaster.
  • The Jiggosseum from Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. The level is a roman style colosseum/stadium with a sports theme. Most of the missions are also based around sports.
  • Rival Schools and its sequel, Project Justice have these as the Gorin High School Team's stages. The first game has the inside of a High School gymnasium (complete with squeaky noises from the characters running or jumping) and the second game has the characters fighting inside an outdoor stadium... Against a baseball player (Shoma), a volleyball player (Natsu), a soccer player (Roberto), a tennis player (Momo) and a swimmer (Nagare).
  • Pokémon Black and White and their sequels have these in Nimbasa City. You can battle trainers playing various sports on different days.
  • In Pokémon X and Y, The Cyllage City Gym is a giant rock climbing structure and the Shalour City Gym is a skating park.
  • In Pokémon Sword and Shield, almost every Gym has a massive stadium where battles against the Gym Leaders are held, with spectators cheering you on from the stands. The only outlier is Spikemuth, which lacks a Power Spot and thus can't support Dynamaxing. The Spikemuth Gym consists entirely of a small court with only a relatively paltry number of Team Yell members as spectators.
  • The essence of an entire world in James Pond 2: Robocod
  • Soccer Stadium in Saturn Bomberman turns soft blocks into soccer balls, and comes complete with nets.
  • The Sports levels from Lemmings 2. Most of the skills you get on those levels are athletics-based, such as the Pole Vaulter and javelin-throwing Spearer.
  • The Golden Coliseum in Paper Mario: Color Splash is an old, crumbling Roman-style arena used for chariot racing and gladiator duels. The Yellow Big Paint Star is located here, and Mario has to defeat Iggy, the champion, to claim it.
  • Trap Hideout in Freedom Planet begins as an underground ninja base, but in the second half, Carol and Milla emerge back to the surface and outside—and into the ninjas' enormous motocross stadium that, somehow, has remained hidden to the rest of the world. The boss battle against Spade, their leader, is set to a crowd of ninja spectators.
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops, the first DLC pack includes the map "Stadium", which is set around a hockey rink.
  • Goby Arena in Splatoon 2 is a stadium for the Inklings' version of basketball. The court and its surrounding areas get repurposed for ink battling, which is where Splatoon 2 is concerned.


Video Example(s):


Mega Man 10

Strike Man's stage takes place on a stadium, features enemies throwing balls, giant robot goalies, soccerballs, and other sport amenities.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / AthleticArenaLevel

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Main / AthleticArenaLevel