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Four-Seasons Level

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Same level, different season.
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In some video games, mainly platformers, there is a type of level that involves traversing the same terrain, but in different forms - one for each season of the year. For example, one might progress through the "spring" version of the level, then the "summer", "fall" and "winter". This often involves going through a door to travel from one season to the next. Such levels often use the seasonal varieties to create slight changes in each version of the world - for example, a lake in one version might be frozen in the winter version.

For some reason, this is most likely to be a forest/woods-themed level. Possibly because it's much easier and visually dramatic to show the differences between, say, spring, summer, fall and winter when the leaves (or lack of) on the trees are different for at least 3 of the seasons.

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See also Seasonal Baggage. Contrast with Forest of Perpetual Autumn, which is when one particular area is in autumn while the rest of the game world is not.


Examples:

Action-Adventure

  • Made into a core game mechanic in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. Swinging the Rod of Seasons while standing on a stump causes the seasons to change, making various paths open and close (water freezes and leaves fall off certain trees in winter, baba buds bloom in spring, et cetera).

Driving Game

  • Mario Kart 8 has an Animal Crossing-themed DLC course which changes seasons each time it's played.
  • Choro Q HG 4 has a seasonal change, so the atmosphere changes in every town depending on the months.

Fighting Game

  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros Ultimate has Yoshi's Island as one of the playable stages. During a match the stage changes scenery and colors between all four seasons, also changing the music. Nothing besides the graphics, colors, and music changes, having no effect on actual gameplay.
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Platform Game

  • Kirby Super Star: Grass Planet Flora has four different variants based on the seasons, which you can switch between by entering the doors sprinkled throughout. Each variant has slightly different geography from the effects of the weather (e.g. frozen water), so you need to cycle through them to proceed through the level and get the Copy Essences.
  • The NES game Mickey Mousecapade features a woods-themed level that merely uses a Palette Swap to differentiate between spring (pink blossoms/leaves on trees), summer (green leaves), fall (brown leaves), and winter (white leaves, white snow instead of green grass, and the path now looks like ice). Doors take the player between seasons.
  • Banjo-Kazooie has Click Clock Wood, a very large level that uses this trope, and again, it's forest-themed. A giant tree, with inhabitants such as a squirrel who collects nuts for the winter, serves as the focal point.
  • In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Mushroom Hill Zone Act 1 is filled with green plant-life. Almost immediately after starting Act 2, everything becomes orange. Near the end of the level the grass and trees turn a dull yellow. At the end of the level, you destroy a weather control dish and things return to being lush and green in time for the Boss Battle.
  • A similar concept to Oracle of Seasons drives the sensibly-titled action platformer Seasons After Fall; by merging with fragments of the seasons, the protagonist (a disembodied spark possessing a fox) can change the weather and plant life to reach new areas.

RPGs

  • Pokémon Black and White and its sequels have the region of Unova undergo this, with the season changing every real-time month. The effects of this include gaining/losing access to secret items and locations, changes in wild Pokémon rarity, and variances in the game music. An entire evolutionary line was introduced for these games that changes appearance based on the season, though this has no effect on its actual stats.
  • A mechanic that shows up in a northern forest in Secret of Mana.
  • Fable 2 gives us the Knothole Island DLC which gives us the titular Knothole island which is experiencing seasonal lock. It is up to the player character to find the secrets of the island and eventually you can set Knothole to be a different season.

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