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Invisible Block

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"I gotta just get right over there, wait for the firestick, aaaand up WHAT?! WHO PUT THAT THERE?! Where did that come from?"
"Okay, so just gotta get on that little jumpy platform, the little- AAH YOU FUCK WHY DID THEY DO THAT?"

In platformers, there are blocks. Blocks to walk on, blocks to jump on, blocks to hit from below for some reward. Not all of these are apparent, however; some are invisible.

These are primarily meant to be used as secret rewards hidden in the environment. Other times, these are the method of moving past obstacles - If you come across a gap that's too large to jump across, you can bet there'll be an invisible block somewhere that can be climbed and jumped off to help you gain some extra momentum to make the jump. In Platform Hell, they're very often a quick way to death; your Double Jump leads to blunt head trauma and a fall into the Spikes of Doom.

Sometimes interacting with the blocks will make them visible, but some may remain invisible. Sometimes, the blocks aren't even physically there until they become visible through some specific method. Compare Scenery as You Go, where the blocks don't appear until you approach them.


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    Action Adventure 

  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past features late-game dungeons with crystalline blocks that can only be revealed by bright light — either by igniting strategically placed torches, or by using a medallion that summons lightning-like magic. Once the lights goes out, the blocks vanish again.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has several invisible platforms that became visible when you view them with the lens of truth.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has invisible blocks at one point in the game—there is a random cave floating out a hundred feet or so from the edge of an icy cliff. The only way you can see these blocks is by talking to "the owl", who flies over and sheds feathers in the process, which land conveniently in the middle of each block. The cave has the Lens of Truth.
  • The first mansion, Berkeley Mansion, in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest is famous for having the invisible platforms that turn visible when you obtain and equip the White Crystal in the opening town of Veros. The mansions are also packed full of the invisible block's cousin, the Fake Platform.
  • Some platforms in An Untitled Story are visible only when you stand on them and for a short while after you flip the screens around.

    Adventure Game 

  • In the Lost City in Hype: The Time Quest you need to get to an otherwise inaccessible door by jumping on invisible blocks. However, when the camera angle is right, the stained-glass windows shine on them, making them appear VERY translucent red.

    First Person Shooter 

  • In Metroid Prime, one room in Tallon Overworld has invisible platforms, seen with the X-Ray Visor. Or by looking closely at the environment and noticing the ambient rain splashing on their surface. The Magmoor Caverns had some with no clue to their presence, aside from a huge otherwise-unused part of the room. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes had blocks you could only see with the Dark Visor, and platforms you could only hear (good thing you can use the Echo Visor to echolocate stuff, huh?)
  • Star Trek: Elite Force has an area with a Bottomless Pit and a bridge made of invisible forcefield "panels". The panels appear briefly when shot, meaning that one essentially has to walk around with their phaser (the game's Infinite Ammo weapon) blasting the whole way.

    Platform Game 

  • Tomb Raider had only one invisible block in the Sanctuary of the Scion level - the level's only secret with the Uzis as a prize. All you had to do was notice the unusual sight of a pair of guns hanging in mid-air.
    • The remake, Tomb Raider: Anniversary, did away with the platform and instead had the guns on the Sphinx's head. Getting down was a bit more tricky in this version.
    • Tomb Raider II featured a rather well-hidden secret: the entrance is hidden behind a perfectly unassuming section of wall that turns out to be a movable block, opening into a huge room with an invisible walkway to the other side.
    • And to complete the trilogy, Tomb Raider III featured invisible blocks that became visible if you had a flare lighted near them or some other fire source was present. A secret in the penultimate level required this knowledge in order to be accessible.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • Super Mario Bros. marked the debut of the invisible blocks in the franchise, and is probably the Trope Maker. However, unless the player hits an invisible block's location from below, it isn't "solid" (see also Directionally Solid Platforms). The more sadistic Platform Hell ROM hacks of the games often have them in places where you don't want them to appear (e.g. right above a Bottomless Pit), and as shown in this Brawl in the Family comic, the item coming out of the block is often a 1-Up to add insult to injury.
    • Kaizo Mario World basically started this trope off in Platform Hell games. And a hack called Furious Mario has to be the literal most annoying user of this as in this video.
    • Enigmatic Mario. Seriously. What the hell?!
      • ProtonJon, known for playing Super Mario World romhacks, got so fed up with people using invisible coin blocks that he made an entire level filled with them, in order to show what not to do when making a Mario romhack.
    • Special mention goes to Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Its use of this trope brings it closer to Platform Hell romhacks than pretty much any other commercially-released game.
    • In the Paper Mario series, item blocks are used as a means of obtaining items, but can also be used as platforms of their own. That said, hidden versions of these also appear on occasion:
      • Hidden item blocks in Paper Mario 64 can be revealed with Watt's field ability (i.e. lighting up to make hidden things visible), though it's not strictly necessary if you already know where to jump.
      • They come in two flavors in Super Paper Mario - one type is revealed by flipping to 3-D, while another type requires using Tippi to scan the screen.
      • In Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Paper Mario: The Origami King, blocks appear when you whack certain places with the hammer to reach places or objects you couldn't before.
    • Super Mario Maker and its sequel naturally allow users to create their own platform hells, and the placement of these is part of that. A common use of them works in a manner akin to a similar trick from Syobon Action wherein Mario falls into a dangerous area, only for a row of hidden blocks to stop him when he tries to jump back out (Here's an example of this trap as encountered by Arin and Dan of Game Grumps fame). Yamamura even specifically advises against it in the tutorial of the first game.
      Yamamura: Making tricks and traps is not a very nice thing to do! Try to keep things clean and simple for the people playing your course.
    • Mario Party 5: The minigame Bound of Music pits two dueling characters in a solid-cloud battlefield in the skies. Above them are 20 invisible blocks that can be hit, some of which are standard brick blocks and the other are Note Blocks; the latter kind is the priority here. After 15 seconds, or if all 20 blocks are hit before time runs out, the minigame will end and the characters will begin rising upward depending on how many Note Blocks each one hit. Whoever got to hit more such blocks will rise higher and win; but if both ended up hitting the same amount, then the minigame will end in a tie. Interestingly, if a player fails to unveil and hit any Note Block, they'll plummet to the ground because a hole will appear beneath them.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy has some of these. Of course because of the nature of the game they show up in groups and constitute major paths rather than giving bonuses.
  • In Within a Deep Forest, one part of the sub-level Shadowlands has invisible platforms that only become visible while the player is very close to them, so there's a good chance you'll hit one from below and bounce back down where you came from. Making this part more aggravating are the visible platforms that are not solid in the least.
  • In Mega Man 7, Cloud Man's stage has a section where the floor is invisible outside of a very limited radius around Mega Man. Additionally, this part of the stage is usually raining, making seeing the translucent platforms even harder. Shoot the weather machine robot prior to this section with the Freeze Cracker to change the rain to snow, which blankets the platforms and makes them much easier to spot.
  • Commander Keen: The blocks are at least vaguely visible if you pay attention. In the first game, they have one visible pixel which shows up against a black background, and never appear anywhere except against a black background, thanks to the block and background actually being the same tile; and in the fourth game, they sparkle briefly every few seconds.
  • Syobon Action, as in other Mario-based Platform Hell games, has plenty of them in the most uncomfortable locations. The game knows this and later, especially in the sequel, does some mean tricks if you try to reveal them from safe ground.
  • Secret Agent has an interesting example: You can't see the invisible platforms, or even stand on them, until you find some magic glasses.
  • In The Life Ending Adventure, a Japanese ASCII Platform Hell game that inspired I Wanna Be The Guy, there is at one point a Mario Shout-Out level that uses these sadistically.
  • Crystal Caves uses these infrequently; they appear, and actually become solid and physical, when you bump your head into their bottom. They mostly appear in the later games. There's a level where you first need to spend some 10 minutes building up a very sparse staircase of invisible blocks to get up to the higher parts of the level (jump off the highest current block, hit the next invisible block which is to the side and just barely within jump reach, fall to the bottom of the level and re-climb all the blocks). Not cool.
  • Bug! had Burrubs Scene 3. An area with blocks that only appeared when Bug was near. The first set was easy, as there were no enemies. The second set had a hell of an annoying snow flea throwing snowballs at Bug from the background, as well as acid-spitting flies that came from nowhere.
    • A similar case appears in Bug Too! At least there were enemies that crossed the platforms, so that you could see where it ended... but there were also random comets that traveled across a horizontal section of said platforms. Not fun.
  • Cheetahmen II has a few invisible blocks which give you coins when you hit them.
  • Halloween Man's stage in Hard Hat 3 has platforms that appear only when approached by Hard Hat.
  • At least two levels of The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures have blocks that only appear when you get close, and these often include death blocks.
  • Everybody Edits has the "secret package", which comes in two Invisible Blocks (along with a Fake Platform). One becomes invisible when touched, and the other is invisible at all times.
  • Kid Kool is filled with these, often placed in such a way that jumping into one may cause the player to bump into an enemy and lose a life. Ironically, these blocks also contain money bags used for the end-of-level Betting Mini-Game that gives you a rare chance to earn extra lives.

    Puzzle Game 

  • In Chip's Challenge, certain blocks are invisible and may or may not appear when touched. Since most levels are timed missions, this can get aggravating when entire mazes are built of them.
  • Certain Repton scenarios (Oceans, OAP and Victorian) make the safes invisible. They become visible when you collect a key.
  • Wesleyan Tetris has these as obstacles on some levels.

    Role Playing Game 

  • The Final Dungeon in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne had these.
  • The fortress of Organization XIII in Kingdom Hearts II presents an enormous abyss with random floating platforms scattered throughout. Only by running (or gliding) towards them could Sora reveal the prismatic pathways linking the platforms (and the exits) together. Edge Gravity remained in full effect, making the...invisibleness...just there for show.
  • A dungeon puzzle in Golden Sun revolves around trying to reveal an invisible bridge. It's possible to ignore the puzzle and cross it immediately though.
  • Lufia & The Fortress of Doom has one dungeon where the two visible bridges break and drop the party to the area below, and the solution is to cross an invisible bridge. An NPC that can be found in the dungeon gives you a hint for this.
  • Brain Lord has one room with an invisible bridge. A nearby plaque tells you to look before you leap; this is a clue to use the map-revealing X-Ray Glasses, as the bridge is visible on the map.
  • At the start of Tales of Zestiria, Sorey and Mikleo are exploring ruins and come across an impassable chasm. Sorey tries to jump over it from a higher floor, but gives up after seeing just how wide it is. Fortunately, while he was looking down, Sorey made some dust fall down onto an invisible bridge, revealing its presence. Mikleo then covers the rest of the bridge with ice to reveal it fully.
  • Shanghai.EXE: Genso Network: The path to the locked Mystery Data in City Area 2 is invisible, and only discoverable due to walking on it.

    Third Person Shooter 

  • Splatoon games have a few single-player levels with invisible platforms that must be revealed by spraying them with ink.

    Wide Open Sandbox 

  • Minecraft
    • In Creative, there is the "Barrier" block, a completely invisible and indestructible block as a tool for mapmakers. Parkour maps just got a lot more trolly...
    • There are glitches and hacks that let you place two separate types of these. Invisible blocks work just like any other block, but you can't see them. Intangible blocks, on the other hand, only interact with other blocks while the player passes through them just like air. The second block type is very useful for making elevators and other special redstone machines the player must pass through.

    Non-Video Game Examples 

  • Invoked in Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie. Upon entering Howard Scott Warshaw's house, the Nerd encounters a room filled with lava. Figuring correctly that this is some kind of test, he crosses the lava by hitting an invisible item block above him, then throwing the item in mid-air to reveal an invisible floating platform.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Invisible Platform


TOK invisible blocks

Mario hits invisible blocks into existence to make a bridge and get to the coin bag.

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Main / InvisibleBlock

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