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Green Hill Zone

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"Ah, the Petal Meadows. A plateau surrounded by hills far to the east of Rogueport. It's mild and pleasant here all year round. I love it! Doesn't it feel nice?"
A calm, colorful (usually green), vibrant land that may have tropical elements. Thanks to the Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography these are often the very first level (or world) and usually easier than the other stages, to let the player get used to the controls, powerups, and enemies, and typically the home of the Warmup Boss. Some games have lots of levels with this theme, usually mixing around the time of day or adding other elements so these levels don't all look the same. A more cheerful subtype of Green Hill Zone is a flower-themed level.

While these are often found in Platform Games, Green Hill Zone can exist in other genres as well. In non linear games a grassy nature themed area is typically The Overworld.

Kind of like the video game version of Ghibli Hills, except a lot more dangerous.

Named for the first stage of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Compare Palmtree Panic, a beach-themed area that's also a common choice for the first stage (later Sonic games often had elements of both), and The Lost Woods, a forest-themed area. See also Noob Cave for a similar warm-up area in less level-based games.



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  • In Jables's Adventure, the first area you encounter is the green fields outside the town. Ironically, it may be one of the harder areas in the game, as you start off with few health points and no weapon — and the path to the weapon has a number of erratically-moving bird enemies.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The starting locations in various entries of the series are typically such, with a focus on green fields, small patches of trees, and fairly weak and simple enemies. The Great Plateau from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a particularly "grassy" example. In the case of the game's Hyrule Field, it doubles as a Hub Level, as it's linked to many of the other mainlands in the games where it appears. Unlike most examples of this trope, however, Hyrule Field is also home to a gauntlet of very high-level enemies surrounding the final dungeon, and fairly inadvisable a destination until the mid to late game.
  • The Shantae series has Scarecrow Fields/Lilac Fields. It's a flat area found immediately to the east of Scuttle Town filled with tall grass, easily killed Scarecrow enemies, and only a few Bottomless Pits to jump over. It's commonly the first overworld area that Shantae must travel through in the games.
  • Star Fox Adventures: ThornTail Hollow is a grassy, serene plain with only a few hazards. It doubles as a Hub Level, as it provides access to the other area of the game (be it by way of on-foot routes, the Warpstone, or Fox's Arwing).
  • The starting zone in Horizon Zero Dawn is All-Mother's Embrace, a lush and verdant green valley full of plants and natural wildlife. It features basic crafting ingredients in large amounts and weak enemies who don't need complicated tactics to defeat.

     Action Games 
  • Gunner begins in some grassy field, with some bushes you can interact with, before proceeding into the more urban area.

     Adventure Games 
  • Broken Reality: Domo Paradisso, the first zone, is a tropical island and shopping mall filled with palm trees, dolphins, and bamboo forests.
  • The Crystal Key: The planet that Colonel Lifeson crash-lands his ship on is this. He even comes back to it later with a stolen alien ship and lands right behind his own craft.
  • In Obsidian, a minigame called "Cloud Ring" in the first dream world, is set in such an environment, with floating brass rings above a series of rolling hills and trees. The minigame largely serves as a tutorial for a Significant Anagram puzzle elsewhere.

     Fighting Games 
  • The Super Smash Bros. series has the actual Green Hill Zone from the Sonic games as a fighting arena in several games; however it's not the easiest stage, the dips, hazards and collapsing middle make it quite complicated. The stage Battlefield from Brawl onwards also fit; being largely peaceful grassland with trees devoid of any obstacles.

     First-Person Shooters 
  • The Adventures Of Square: Early levels of Episode 1 are bright grassy field with waterfalls and some buildings. Hazards like lava lakes are almost nonexistent, and enemies in here are not so threatening.
  • Far Cry 3: All of the Rook Islands . They're green and vibrant, have a tropical theme and yet it's full of Everything Trying to Kill You.
  • Metroid Prime: While it's not the first area you'll find yourself in, the Tallon Overworld is this early in. It's where Samus first lands her gunship upon visiting Tallon IV, shortly after failing to catch Meta Ridley upon escaping the frigate Orpheon.

     Hack and Slash 

     Party Games 
  • Mario Party:
    • Towering Treetop from 6 is set around a large anthropomorphic tree in a large green pasture, complete with honeybees, frogs on lily pads, and various other woodland creatures appearing as scenery. Woody and Warukio from 3 also return as an integral board element here, and they alternate with each other every three turns.
    • Windmillville from 7 is clearly based on the Dutch countryside, featuring windmills, a sheep farm, giant flowers, and Koopas dressed in traditional Dutch garb that run the item shops. Players can pay a certain amount of coins to own the windmills on the board in exchange for Stars.
    • Wiggler's Garden from DS takes place in a massive garden run by Wiggler, and as such has plenty of plants and vegetables growing about. At the top of the board is a massive Piranha Plant (who also serves as the level's boss) that breathes fire on any unfortunate player that lands on the Happening Space in front of it.
    • Toad Road in 9 takes influence from the traditional grassland levels that populate the first world of most Mario platformers, and takes players across a winding dirt road through the hills of the Mushroom Kingdom. There's also a small island that has a series of ancient ruins on it where players can earn Mini-Stars, and a small forest can be seen on the left side of the board.


     Platform Games 
  • Akane the Kunoichi has the Akamatsu Plains. They're the first (and easiest) of the game's five acts, and they're brighter and more colourful than subsequent environments.
  • Ape Escape: The first game has Fossil Field: small, easy level with green grass and palm trees.
  • Chapter 1 of Balan Wonderworld is a spacious farm-themed world filled with green scenery and is the easiest level of the game.
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Spiral Mountain, Banjo's home and the tutorial level of the first game. It has very basic enemies and its design is tailored for the study of the most basic skills taught by Bottles. It returns in Banjo-Tooie, although it's significantly gloomier thanks to the events of the game's intro and has been heavily ransacked by Gruntilda's minions. It appears yet again in Nuts & Bolts, serving as both the prologue area and later the battlefield for the last fight against Gruntilda.
    • Mumbo's Mountain, the first actual level of the first game, overlaps with Death Mountain by having three steep slopes (two of which can be tackled when Kazooie learns the Talon Trot move, and another which will be slippery no matter what). Other features include some stone monuments, a large termite mound, an area (over)protected by a bull (Bigbutt) and another by an angry gorilla (Conga).
    • Click Clock Wood is the penultimate level, it has a surprisingly gentle and happy feel to it despite it being one of the most difficult levels in the game and the last "normal" level before you face Gruntilda.
    • Banjo-Tooie: In addition to Spiral Mountain, the game also features the peaceful Jinjo Village, which is part of Isle O' Hags. It is here where the Jinjos live (though all of them except their King fled in terror due to Gruntilda's sisters, and an entire family was murdered due to their vehicle). The only enemies present are some Uggers.
    • Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge: Cliff Farm (with a farm theme). Also Spiral Mountain returns as the game's Hub Level.
    • Nutty Acres in Nuts & Bolts serves this role in terms of gameplay though its setting has a twist: everything is synthetic, including the trees, ground, and even the sky.
  • Binary Boy: The first two levels are set in a peaceful grassy field, during midday and at dusk, respectively.
  • Bug!: Insectia, a grassland level which is obviously full of insect Mooks (and the occasional snail).
  • Cave Story:
    • Grasstown is one of the earlier stages, but its difficulty level is a notch above easy.
    • The Mimiga village might be thought of as an example; it's greener than most of the other areas and gives you a chance to practice jumping at the beginning, with a Warmup Boss and some easy enemies in the Cemetery. And to practice firing downwards (Jump then hold down), on one enemy who's weapon blocks attacks.
  • Clustertruck: The second level is called "Forest World" but is closer to this than The Lost Woods due to a more plain like level with lots of trees and rocks.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day:
    • The respective areas of the Hungover and Windy chapters. Since the latter serves as the game's Hub Level, it overlaps with other settings, such as Under the Sea, Absurdly Spacious Sewer, a scatological Death Mountain and Hornet Hole.
    • The area that encompasses the Barn Boys chapter is a rural variant of the setting. It's a large field that features a stable inhabited by living haystacks (including a King Mook version which serves as the chapter's boss), a corral that houses several living pieces of cheese (to be given to a stinky rat called Marvin), and a busty sunflower.
  • Crash Bandicoot: N. Sanity Beach and the surrounding tropical forests in many of the games. There are some hazards like donut-shaped boulders, pitfalls and some spiky pillars placed by native enemies, but the levels are still beginner-friendly.
  • Croc:
    • The first world in the original game is like this, though its levels do contain lava and underground sections.
    • Croc 2 has the Sailor village, mixing this with Palmtree Panic thanks to the beachfront/jungle theme, with two cave levels to boot. Gets spiritually inverted with the bonus levels: you revisit the same locations, only now they're filled to the brim with Dantinis and traps.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Donkey Kong 64 has Jungle Japes, a basic tropical forest themed level where you first learn about many game mechanics and acquire basic moves. Even more fitting this trope is the training area where DK's house is. Fungi Forest combines this with The Lost Woods.
    • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has the Bright Savannah, which is actually the third world and not the first. Customary features include moving wooden gizmos, scarlet-colored brambles, wooden platforms surrounded by explosives, and large spiky fruits falling from baobabs. Some levels mix this trope with other settings, such as Gusty Glade (in the second level, due to a large sandstorm) and Lethal Lava Land (in the fourth level, due to a brushfire).
  • Freedom Planet: Pangu Lagoon. Unusual in that this is a late-game stage (with difficulty to match). Dragon Valley, the actual first stage, has some shades of this, but is much more rocky and mountainous than more examples.
  • Gex: Enter the Gecko had the Toon TV levels which true to the Trapped in TV Land gimmick of the series were also parodies of Zany Cartoons.
  • Giana Sisters DS: The first few levels are quiet, rocky grasslands, inhabited by weak or easily avoidable enemies, and mostly bereft of pits, spikes and other hazards.
  • Hey! Pikmin: The first playable area, the Brilliant Garden, is a flowery meadow home to only simply obstacles and enemies.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit: The planet Diamondus. JazzJackrabbit 2 would have this, but Jazz has to escape the castle dungeon first. If you go on an episode-by-episode approach however, it's fulfilled with the Flashback episode, which has Jazz revisiting the same worlds from the first episode of the original game in the same order, meaning Diamondus is up first yet again.
  • Kirby:
  • Klonoa:
    • The first level of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile fits this exactly. Lush fields, simple gameplay, and overall idyllic.
    • The first level of Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil is an inversion, however: it's a rocky and cliffy area, set in the middle of a huge storm.
  • Levelhead: The campaign starts with levels in the Tree of Maarla zone which features leafy environment tiles.
  • Ninja Senki has Scenes 9 and 10, which entirely take place in the tree tops of the large forest. Interestingly, the platforms aren't natural but are the result of enemy Red Ninjas using automatic circular saws on the trees. You even get to see some trees with the bark cleanly stripped off the trunk.
  • Prehistorik: The first level in the first game, overlapping with Prehistoria. The only major hazards besides the enemies are some spiky rocks that can be easily destroyed and some bonfires in the caveman houses. Otherwise, it's a conventional starter level to learn the basics of the game.
  • Quik The Thunder Rabbit: The first level is Angel's Meadow, where the ground is covered in green grass and jumbo-sized trees, flowers and mushrooms.
  • Shovel Knight, as a tribute to the classic 8-bit platformers it was based on, starts in one of these, a level known as "Plains of Passage."
  • Snake Pass: Bol-Dor's Realm, the first world, is a lush grassland.
  • Songs for a Hero: This is the main setting of the first level of the world, and like many other aspects of the game, pays homage and parodies Sonic the Hedgehog. The first part is called "greenish hills" and follows the conventions of the trope more directly, while the second act is a bit more visually distinct, getting a more fall-inspired orange and brown color palette, and the final act happens on a castle of said hills.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog: The Trope Namer Green Hill Zone serves as the first world explored in the game, and began the tradition by having this setting show up in almost every game as the first level often near the ocean and mixed with Palmtree Panic (and it's easier to list the exceptions). There are many curvy hills Sonic can take advantage of in order to learn the rolling move.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2:
      • The Sega Genesis version throws a little twist on the "Green Hill" trope in the Hill Top Zone. It is the fifth zone in the game, and combines it with Lethal Lava Land and Death Mountain. A more stereotypical example in the same game would be Emerald Hill Zone, the first zone in the game..
      • The 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the earliest exception: its first level is underground and its own Green Hill counterpart, imaginatively titled Green Hills, doesn't appear until the fourth zone. It's hardly a warm-up level either; the third act contains a series of blind jumps which makes the player lose lives like water in a sieve.
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles: starts out as a textbook example of this, until halfway through the first act, when the miniboss sets the place ablaze.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos: Mecha Green Hill is a Green Hill Zone mechanised by Eggman, with polluted streams choked with oil and chemicals, and exploding coconuts falling from mechanized palm trees. Complete with a reworked version of the music from the previous game's Green Hills. The Japanese Sonic CD theme was also a reworked version of Green Hills.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog CD: The Good Futures of Zones are generally garden-like paradises or clean hi-tech utopias completely devoid of enemies, with technology working in harmony with nature. They are also the easiest versions of the levels to pass through. The Bad Futures on the other hand are hideously polluted nightmares that are much more difficult to complete.
  • Sonic Adventure 2 has the original Green Hill Zone as an unlockable, but during the main game the similar levels appear about 1/3 in and are more Jungle Japes. The first levels of the two stories are a city for the Hero side, and a prison base for the Dark side.
  • Sonic Advance Trilogy: Sonic Advance 3 is another exception. The first zone is Route 99, a city level. The Green Hill Zone comes afterward.
  • Sonic Colors has Planet Wisp, a mash-up of Green Hill Zone and Eternal Engine. Unlike most examples, it's the fourth zone of six in the game, and could be played later than that thanks to having the option to do certain stages out of order.
  • Sonic Rush Adventure: Plant Kingdom is a mix of this and Palmtree Panic. As is Leaf Storm in Sonic Rush to a lesser extent.
  • Sonic Generations features other iterations of this trope from previous Sonic games, including the Trope Namer. In the HD version in particular, the Seaside Hill stage that originally appeared in Sonic Heroes as the first stage goes more towards Underwater Ruins and is stage 6, while Planet Wisp from Sonic Colors is the last level in the game and aside from a minute or so of greenery, has the main focus be on the Eternal Engine, much like the original.
  • Sonic Lost World: Windy Hill Zone is this, featuring plenty of archetypes from the Green Hill Zone. Sky Road Zone is also this to a lesser extent, as it takes place high up in the clouds.
  • Sonic Mania: The titular Green Hill Zone reappears . It pays homage to the original Green Hill Zone but with added features and a midboss.
  • Sonic Forces: It appears once again, although this time it appears to be mixed with Shifting Sand Land due to Dr. Eggman's industries taking over the area.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In video games, Jellyfish Fields tends to be the very first level and very fitting to the show as it's rolling hills and fields of grass and wildlife. It's the first level in SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob SquarePants: SuperSponge, SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman, and more.
  • The Spyro the Dragon games make use of this trope, with the exception of the Legend of Spyro games. In Spyro the Dragon (1998), much of the Artisans homeworld and two of its subworlds are this; in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, it's the Summer Forest homeworld; and in Spyro: Year of the Dragon, it's the Sunrise Spring homeworld.
  • Super Mario Bros.: The series is the Trope Codifier and most games place the first level here, serving as a relatively quiet setting with some occasional underground and high-altitude levels.
    • Super Mario Bros. 2 became the first game alongside Super Mario Bros. 3 (both games debuted the same year and month, but on different regions) to feature explicitly-identified grassland levels.note  There are no less than three grass worlds: 1, 3 and 5. The former one is the most traditional, having many wooden platforms, waterfalls and some caves; the latter two keep the setting but have a bigger focus on secondary features (for example, 3-1 has an incredibly tall waterfall that has to be climbed with Solid Clouds in order to reach the sky, 3-2 revolves around going back and forth between the grassy surface and an underground tunnel, 5-3 features large red trees and one of them has to be explored within, etc.) The later worlds also increase the enemy population and the complexity of the level design, so in terms of difficulty the trope's association with welcoming traits is abandoned in them.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 has grassland levels not only in the first world, but also in the first half of the fifth. Some levels (including the very first) have rocky textures on the grounds similar to those seen in the original game, but others do have green, grassy floors to properly display the setting. These levels are typically tailored for the use of the Raccoon Leaf, so Mario can practice flight with it. World 5-3 is notable for being dedicated to the Goomba Shoe, as no other level features it at all.
    • Super Mario World has the first two worlds (Yoshi's Island and Donut Plains), as well as a few levels from Special Zone. The main novelty in them is tilted semi-solid platforms and diagonal pipes. These levels are also used to introduce the game's defining features, such as Yoshi, the Cape Feather, and the concept of secret exits.
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins only has the very first level (which doubles as One-Time Dungeon as it cannot be replayed) and some grassland levels found in the mainland area of the map that is outside the themed Zones. These levels are ideal to practice with the Carrot powerup (and the first level is indeed tailored for it).
    • Super Mario 64: The first stage, Bob-omb Battlefield, combines this setting with some subtle Remilitarized Zone elements. Aside from the giant Chain Chomp, none of the regular enemies are big or threatening. There's also the grassy area outside Princess Peach's Castle, though it's devoid of enemies and technically not a level.
    • Super Mario Sunshine: Bianco Hills is a standard green area inhabited by Piantas, but it has a small mountain village, a huge windmill and a large pond present as well. Several tightropes are present, allowing Mario to maneuver them and reach higher places. The two caves found in the borders of the lake lead to special obstacle courses.
    • New Super Mario Bros.: The subseries has this in all of its games as World 1, known as Acorn Plains in New Super Mario Bros. U and by extension New Super Luigi U. Features include slopes, rolling terrain, calcified peaks in the background and some high-altitude areas filled with mushroom platforms.
    • In Super Mario Galaxy, the first planet of Good Egg Galaxy is your standard grassy fare, but the rest of it is a hodgepodge of various elements. Honeyhive Galaxy mixes this trope with Hornet Hole, as it's a grassland inhabited by friendly bees and governed by the Queen Bee; in later missions, Mandibugs will attempt to invade the kingdom, and it's up to Mario (and later Luigi in the New Game+) to stop them.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2: Yoshi Star Galaxy consists of planetoids made of plain grasslands and/or marble platforms, and only one is a mountain filled with fossils that has to be climbed.
    • Super Mario 3D Land: The very first stage of both the normal and special quests are both Green Hill Zones, with further stages of the archetype scattered through the game. The relatively open space in these levels provides Mario and Luigi an opportunity to learn to use the power of the Tanooki Leaf, and there are also wooden cogs that can only be spun with the Tanooki tail attack.
    • Super Mario 3D World: The map of World 1 and many of its levels are grass-themed, as are some levels from later worlds, such as Sprawling Savanna. These levels have hills that can be climbed with the cat powers of the Super Bell.
    • Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker 2: This is one of the settings present, and is available in all game styles. In the latter game, in Night mode, many odd changes occur in the behavior of items and enemies.
    • Super Mario Odyssey: Cascade Kingdom mixes this with Prehistoria as, on top of being a grassy hill with waterfalls, it houses two dinosaurs (one outdoors in the Fossil Falls and the other in a cave); it is actually the second world visited in the game, but even Cap Kingdom, the true first world, is more of a tutorial area and a Gray Hill Zone (mixed with Big Boo's Haunt). The game also features Mushroom Kingdom, featuring Peach's Castle from Super Mario 64, accessible after Bowser is defeated for the last time.
    • Yoshi's Island:
      • Two of the first stages that can be selected in Yoshi's Story are "Treasure Hunt" and "Surprise!"
      • The first world in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, its two sequels and Yoshi's Woolly World. In all of them Yoshi and Baby Mario venture through plain grasslands where the biggest threats are the larger enemies (such as giant Chomps). Caves and underground areas are occasionally present as well.
    • Wario Land:
      • Wario Land II has several levels with this theme in Chapter 2 ("SS Tea Cup") and the alternate Chapter 2 ("Invade Wario Castle").
      • Wario Land 3 has "Out of the Woods" and "The Vast Plain" among the first few levels you trek through.
      • Wario Land 4 has "Palm Tree Paradise" and "Wildflower Fields" in the Emerald Passage, though whether these are the first levels you go through or not is up to you due to the nonlinear structure of the game.
    • Beanstalk Way from Wario World is a lush, grassy valley filled with flowers, beanstalks, and other plant life. It even features monstrous trees that get in the way. Contrary to the usual expectations of this trope, it's a late-game level, being the sixth of eight.
    • Super Princess Peach has the first world, Ladida Plains.
  • Mario fangames:
    • Something series:
      • Night of Spikes in Something. It's unusual because it takes place at night and it has a lot of spikes.
      • Where Are My Coins? is a level where Mario somehow lost his coins and must retrieve 75 coins in order to reach the normal exit.
      • The Flower Island in Something Else. A major portion of World 5 takes place on said island.
    • Super Mario World: Piranha Island: Piranha Grassland and Piranha Hill. They are the first two levels in the game. They are unique in that they introduce Mario to the main gimmick: an abundance of Piranha Plants and Munchers. To make matters worse for Mario, piranha pollen is in the air for both levels, making it hard for Mario to see the fireballs from the Fire Piranha Plants.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Acme Acres in several video games, including the NES game of the same name, Babs' Big Break for the Game Boy, and Scary Dreams/Buster's Bad Dream for the Game Boy Advance. In particvular, Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive has two of these examples. The first is in the grassland levels, which have few level hazards, and enemies such as clones of Roderick Rat, Shrews riding balls (from the short, "To Babs or Not to Babs" from the TV series episode, "Weirdest Story Ever Told"), and Ravens that drop apples. The second is in the forest levels, which have pipe-like trees, ziplines, and wrecking balls Buster can use as platforms, as well as enemies such as The Wolverine (from the episode, "Buster and The Wolverine"), and Tomato-Throwing Trolls (from the short, "Day For Knight" from the episode, "Brave Tales of Real Rabbits").

     Puzzle Game 
  • In Gem Smashers, Green Hill takes place in a forest. The boss of the stage is a platypus.
  • Meteos: Geolyte is the planet/level that best resembles Earth (the rest of the planets are an aversion of All Planets Are Earthlike) and is usually the first level in Star Trip mode. What's worth noting is that while it doesn't have any special quirks like later levels, Geolyte isn't necessarily the easiest.
  • Puzzle & Dragons: World 1 of Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition is set in a grassy meadow, as per Mario tradition.
  • The Spiral Scouts: The Realm of Life consists of a forest with some straightforward puzzles to sort out, and is also where the Spiral Scouts' main HQ is located.
  • World of Goo: The peaceful-looking and green first chapter is even called "the Goo-Filled Hills".

     Racing Game 
  • Gran Turismo's iconic track High Speed Ring appears in every games but GT Sport. Said track is surrounded with grass and hills around and it's usually your very first track to race.
  • Horizon Chase: Horizon Chase Turbo's first track in World Tour and Endurance is Grass Hills from San Francisco USA stage.
  • The Mario Kart series has the many versions and incarnations of Mario Circuit, Donut Plains and Luigi Circuit, all set in quiet grasslands with no major hazards aside from occasional moats.
  • Pokémon Dash has plenty of Green to be seen. The tutorial area takes place on a grassy field as does most of the first cup.
  • Sonic Drift:
    • In the original game, the Trope Namer appears as the first track of all three GPs, differing only in layout.
    • In Sonic Drift 2, Emerald Hill Zone appears as the first track of the Purple GP, and the sixth and final track of the white GP.

     Role-Playing Game 
  • Bug Fables has Bugaria Outskirts in the Ant Kingdom, the lightly grassy area where the game begins. The only enemies you'll face are Seedlings, and it's a short distance from the Ant Kingdom City where most of your missions are dispersed.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: The green, temperate Ascadian Isles, in very great contrast with the Bitter Coast swamps, or even worse, the Ashlands and Molag Amur. Also subverted by the Grazelands, which appear green and peaceful, but are dotted with rogue Ashlanders camps, Daedric shrines full of insanely powerful monsters, and the occasional wandering monster out in the wild.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Falkreath Hold appears to be a relatively peaceful boreal forest surrounded by wartorn mountains, tundra, swamps, and glaciers.
  • EarthBound: The city of Onett is a very green and grassy town which is also the First Town since it is Ness's hometown.
  • Fantasy Life: The Grassy Plains are literally the first area with any enemies that gets unlocked.
  • Final Fantasy: Final Fantasy XIII-2: New Bodhum -003 AF-, where the game starts, is an idyllic seaside town with lots of greenery and hills. It is populated by a large number of monsters, but then again, it's located on Gran Pulse.
  • Justified in Gaia Online: zOMG!: the starting area of Village Greens is a suburban golf course, now overrun with Animated lawn gnomes and plastic flamingoes. More experienced guards will warn you off from areas with more dangerous Animated until your power level is high enough to continue.
  • Guild Wars:
    • Guild Wars: Two of the starting zones are this type of terrain: Pre-searing Ascalon and Shing Jea island.
    • Guild Wars 2 has Queensdale, Metrica Province and Caledon Forest — the human, asura and sylvari starting zones, respectively.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • Kingdom Hearts: Destiny Islands provides the tropic-themed Doomed Hometown Sora starts up from. It's all downhill from there on.
    • Kingdom Hearts II: The idyllic Twilight Town provides a more urban setting, though our resident Kid Hero steals a moment of blissful peace atop a literal green hill before everything goes wrong for him. The place isn't doomed, though, and can be eventually revisited.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Interplay's adaptation has a region literally called "Green Hill Country" in the Shire. (The name and the region are taken straight from the book.) Being just south of Hobbiton, it's likely the first place you'll visit that has any danger.
  • Paper Mario:
    • Paper Mario 64: Pleasant Path, the first true level, stretching through a meadow-filled area between two early-game towns and home to very basic enemies; and Flower Fields, a later area consisting of a large flower-filled meadow and home to animated flowers and large bees.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Petal Meadows, another early-game field area home only to a few Goombas and Koopas.
    • Super Paper Mario: Lineland Road, the first area in the game, is a green pathway explicitly based off of the first levels in early Mario platformers. There's also the first part of the Bitlands, based on a similar theme before the area progresses through other homages to classic Mario levels.
    • Paper Mario: Sticker Star: Warm Fuzzy Plains, a lightly treed meadow area home only to some simple Goombas.
    • Paper Mario: Color Splash: Ruddy Road, a pathway progressing through simple grassy areas.
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King: The area leading to and around the red streamer, the first area explored in the game post-intro and tutorials, consists of a lush forest, Toad Town itself, a flower-filled meadow and a low mountain covered in greenery, and is home to the weakest and most easily beat enemies in the game.
  • Sunless Skies: The Reach, the first region in the game, is a former star system where, without the guiding influence of a sun, plant life has grown so wild and untamed that it has formed an immense free-floating tangle of life. Location within it include a dark, sprawling forest, ancient ruins overgrown with idyllic grassy fields, and an artists' commune built atop an enormous flower.
  • In World of Warcraft, Mulgore (starting area for Tauren), Elwynn Forest (Humans), Eversong Woods (Blood Elves) and Azuremyst Isle (Draenei) are straight examples, being lush, green rolling hills, with varying degrees of forest cover and untamed wilderness. The Lost Isles for the Goblins on the other hand are more tropical (complete with exploding volcano). Meanwhile the Night Elf areas is more The Lost Woods. The other starting areas are quite different. Some other areas such as the Arathi Highlands and Hillsbrad Foothills qualify.
  • In Wynncraft, northwestern Wynn is where the player begins their journey, and is made up of sparsely-forested coastal plains.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles series: The games all have a huge primarily-grassland area that signals when the game has truly "opened up" for the player... and will have a giant Lvl 81 Monkey Boss in Mook Clothing just wandering around that will stomp your ass flat if you don't take care to keep an eye on him when you're passing through his route.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles: Colony 9 is the very first area the characters have access to, which is also the hometown of Shulk, Reyn, Dunban and Fiora. The area is just some green hills and a large lake, even the enemies are mostly small insects, bunnies, bats and frogs. Gaur Plains, the first "real" area in the game, is also an example, being an enormous, sprawling green field.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles X: The continent of Primordia is mostly green plains, but a fair amount of beaches give it some Palmtree Panic and a swampy land makes for a touch of Bubblegloop Swamp.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Gormott takes a similar role to the Gaur Plains, being a massive and luxurious landscape that also happens to be the first truly open-ended area of the game. It's even a bit of a plot point: Gormott being so temperate, rich in wildlife and easy to live in is the main reason the Empire of Mor Ardain is currently taking over the region.

     Shoot 'em Ups 
  • Kolibri opens in Kolibri's peaceful home meadow, and the first few levels (Warning Signs, Rescue, and Eruption) all take place in it. Later in the game, the levels Plains Infection, Terra Lesion, and Terra Decay take place in what appears to be an African savannah.
  • Touhou: In the 16th game, Hidden Star in Four Season, the first stage takes place in the bright green Magic Forest.

     Simulation Game 
  • Wonderland in Theme Park World, which takes place entirely in a lush grassy field.
  • The River stage in Pokémon Snap even though it is not the first stage.

     Strategy Games 
  • Warcraft 3 begins with the human campaign, the first part of which takes place in green and pleasant farming country before progressing to some noticeably more hostile environments.

     Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Minecraft: The game always spawns you in a biome like this, typically a variant of the Plains, Forest, Savannah or Taiga, where you can count of hills to dig into and freely available wood, stone and animals for food and on a lack of excessive natural hazards. The unluckiest you're likely to be is to spawn in a Dark Forest (where monsters can spawn in broad daylight) or on an island with no trees surrounded by the ocean.
  • Planet Explorers has the lush, green Plains biome.
  • Starbound; the first planet you always start on is the lush biome, with trees and weak enemies galore. In earlier versions though, this wasn't always the case.
  • TerraTech has the grassland biome where players begin their journey.
  • Trove has the Peaceful Hills and Medieval Highlands biomes.
  • Terraria often spawns you in a forest biome, complete with trees to chop down and weak slimes to slice up. Sometimes though, it might spawn you next to the snow biome due to how close it is to the spawn point.
  • Valheim has the Meadows, the starting biome, which consists of a lot of open grassland and light forest inhabited mostly by wildlife.

     Non-Video Game Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • Digimon Fusion: The Green Zone is an idyllic landscape comprised of hilly grasslands and forests, though it does have more cliffs and floating islands than most examples. Two of the main Digimon of the series have a hometown there and it's the first Zone that the protagonists arrive in when they get trapped in the Digital World. Fitting, since all of the other Zones they visit are essentially stock video game settings.

Film — Live-Action

  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020): A version of Green Hill is seen as part of Sonic's world. There's also a fictional town on our Earth called Green Hills, which is more of an In Name Only version that's depicted as more of a rural town in Montana.


  • Wade and a lot of other OASIS users have to start on a school world called Ludus that consists of nothing but green hills.


  • The Bible: David, the king of Israel, wrote Psalm 23:2 to demonstrate that he's willing to walk with the Lord through any terrain, whether it be peaceful meadows and streams, or the dark valley of the shadow of death.


  • Toothpaste For Dinner: Lampooned on October 18, 2009. Water, ice and lava are OK for later world themes, but the first world must always be just "outside world".


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Ghibli Hill Zone, Emerald Hill Zone


Picnic Road

One of the earliest areas in the game, with lush scenery and simple, weak enemies.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / GreenHillZone

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