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Macro Zone

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In Macro Zone, Goomba stomps you.

"Somebody tell me how I got so SMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!"

An area in a video game where your character is tiny relative to his surroundings. The environment is usually some mundane area like a garden that is rendered interesting by the change in scale. Enemies are more often than not giant insects or old fashioned windup toys. Natural hazards like thorns, giant feet, bouncing balls, and frayed electrical wires are everywhere in these small scale environments.

If your heroes are naturally small, all of the game's levels may be various Macro Zones. Another common scenario is to have your characters shrink temporarily, often to sneak through a small opening, or retrieve an item.

Prehistoric levels may partially be Macro Zones, since everyone knows that the distant past was filled with enormous flesh-eating insects and Man Eating Plants. If your tiny character is inside another creature's body, you also have a Womb Level on your hands.


Named for the Macro Zone in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, where Mario had to work his way through a normal-sized house while the size of a bug. Rarely contains actual macros. For non-game examples, see Incredible Shrinking Man. See also Mouse World. Contrast Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever, which is what happens when your character gets super-big compared to the background, or Kaiju, a subtrope of 50-Foot Whatever, dealing specifically with evoking Japanese-style giant monsters.



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    Games where your character shrinks 
  • Alice has to travel through some wilderness while shrunken in American McGee's Alice.
  • When Bendy and his friends run away from an apparently-over-sized sentient inkwell in Bendy in Nightmare Run, they run across tables and past bookshelves with books much larger than they are. A successful ending for this episode will show the selected player character dressed like a librarian and scolding a suddenly much-proportionally smaller inkwell boss.
  • Breath of Fire:
    • In the original Breath of Fire game, the party is shrunken down halfway thru a dungeon by one of the Elite Mooks and must take a detour thru a mousehole. Inside, they help out some mice with a roach problem and are rewarded by the rodents with a potion than returns them to normal size.
    • Breath of Fire II has the queen of Tunland, who has been cursed to become very obese. To help her lose weight, the party has to be shrunk down so they can enter her body and literally kill the fat by getting into fights against evil lipid monsters.
  • In Donkey Kong 64, Tiny Kong has shrinking as her special ability and at least one of her Golden Bananas in each level involves this ability, whether it be a race against a remote controlled car or entering a door to an otherwise normal room that is really small for no reason.
  • The Doom Game Mod Void features a part where your character is shrinked. Now you have to traverse a tiny cave system, fight off spiders, and "press" a button by going into its workings and manipulating the gears.
  • Duke Nukem 3D has a shrink ray where you can shrink your opponents and step on them. However, there is one part of the game where Duke has to be shrunk so he can get into one of the areas. Duke Nukem Forever continues this, where certain sections have Duke stepping on a shrinking pad and becoming small, forcing him to platform across a kitchen or drive an RC car until he can find a pad to re-size him.
  • One of the heads available in Dynamite Headdy does this, allowing Headdy to traverse smaller tunnels and the like. The first time even has smaller enemies in those tunnels that never show up anywhere else.
  • Fable III includes a quest that has the Hero shrink to play a Dungeons & Dragons knock-off game with some wizard gamers. While the level itself is also scaled to your size (as it's a model set up to simulate the adventure), at the end, you can see the wizards that talked you into the quest, in all their humongous glory.
  • Final Fantasy III has a number of dungeons where the party has to be shrunk via the "Mini" spell to pass through, with ordinary creatures now proving a dire threat. Unless you've got magic. This also occurs in Final Fantasy IV Advance in the Lunar Ruins.
  • There is a Half-Life custom level where you get shrinked and have to traverse a living room and a kitchen, fighting miniature soldiers while hiding behind furniture, watching out for mousetraps and jumping on drawers to make your way to the floor. The original level was called Rats! and had you inside a kitchen, and there were other "rats" levels in a similar vein depicting a young boy's bedroom, as well as a living room. The levels had various mouse holes that allowed you to traverse between the rooms and inside the walls.
  • Harleys Humongous Adventure
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • The Wonderland level in Kingdom Hearts has both the Bizarre Room and the Lotus Forest for the characters to explore (and be attacked by swarms of enemies) while shrunk. Both areas can also be experienced while normal-sized, but there's not much to do at that scale.
    • Birth by Sleep has the Tremaine residence in the Castle of Dreams, which is only accessible when the characters are shrunken (Ventus for the entirety of his stay, Aqua courtesy of the Fairy Godmother). Unversed are also appropriately shrunken.
    • Kingdom Hearts III has Sora, Donald and Goofy transforming into action figures while visiting the Toy Box.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap revolves around quests and puzzles where Link often must shrink down to a tiny size. Overlaps with Mouse World.
  • Ōkami has a large area in the Imperial Palace where a miniature Amaterasu has to make her way through a garden, into the castle, and ultimately to a showdown in the Emperor's belly. Later, she must also shrink down to enter the habitat of the Poncles.
  • Psychonauts:
    • Waterloo World, a mental realm in which Raz begins as the same size relative to the realm's host, Fred Bonaparte, and the mental image of his ancestor, Napoléon Bonaparte. The Bonapartes are locked in combat over a wargame, symbolizing Fred's madness over not living up to the Bonaparte name. Raz's objective is to help Fred defeat Napoleon, which he does by climbing into the large board game and shrinking down to the size of the soldier pieces, which enables him to move them as he needs to play the game. Raz also shrinks even further, to the point that the formerly small soldier pieces now tower over Raz like the Eiffel tower, and fights enemies to get the items he needs on the board to win the game.
    • When you're at the smallest size possible, you're able to walk to one of the buildings on the board and look into its windows...and the room inside is the room you're in at the largest size. Lungfishopolis on the other hand inverts this trope by having Raz becoming kaiju-sized and rampaging through the city.
  • Return to Zork has a Timed Mission in which the player must retrieve an item from a ship in a bottle.
  • The Nintendo 64 game Snowboard Kids 2 features a level where the kids become tiny and snowboard through the house of one of the characters.
  • Sonic CD has a point in the final area of the last level where Sonic (or Tails if you're playing the 2011 remake) gets hit by a shrinking laser, and travels through Robotnik's fortress while tiny until he jumps into a grow ray.
    • When said level, Metallic Madness, returned in Sonic Mania, so did the shrink rays. You even fight the boss while you're still tiny!
  • SoulBlazer featured a level where the hero shrunk down to fight evil toy soldiers on a model of a town.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Tales of Symphonia has the Meltokio Sewers, where the character's ring gives them the power to shrink. This lets them sneak through grates and walk on small pathways or spider webs. They also can sneak into mouse holes to get items, but have to fight the relatively giant mice. Oddly, those battles are easier than when the mice are tiny, since the giant mice are easier to hit and juggle.
  • The Legion edition of Karazhan - now a five-person instance - in World of Warcraft has a section where this happens. Upon first entering a circular library/archive room, the party is shrunk down so much that your next boss - the Mana Devourer - is revealed to be a run-of-the-mill mana wyrm once it dies and you're returned to regular size.

    Games where the enemies and scenery are oversized 
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has the Den of Behemoths, a larger version of the Garden of Silence that features enemies from earlier parts of the game, just gigantic. Even the treasure chests are bigger. The staged-up enemies lead to entertainingly glitchy visual interactions with some shards, like how Shurikens will quintuple in size upon hitting their target.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 is where this trope was introduced to the Mario franchise. World 4 is called "Giant Land", with tons of oversized enemies and scenery. One level in this world has doors between normal and giant copies of the same level.
    • Super Mario Land 2 does both version of this trope, mixing it with other settings. One level is a gigantic tree, the Tree Zone, in which Mario must battle oversized insects, and another level, known as the Mario Zone, is a mechanical statue of Mario inhabited by larger-than-life toys and moving parts.
    • Tiny-Huge Island in Super Mario 64. There are two versions of the level, one where everything is tiny, and the other, where everything is much larger, with no properly-scaled option. The two sizes can be switched via the pipes throughout the level.
    • The Toy Time Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy is a unique flavor of Macro Zone, taking place on a series of oversized toys floating in space in what appears to be a gigantic playroom.
    • Supermassive Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy 2, a probable nod to the abundance of this trope in the Mario series. It is the first level of World 4, which is analoguous to Super Mario Bros. 3 having Giant Land as its own World 4.
    • One of the DLC tracks in Mario Kart 8 is GBA Ribbon Road, which now takes place in a child's bedroom, much like Toy Time Galaxy.
    • The Sacred Forest in Paper Mario: Color Splash has areas where everything is massive compared to Mario, and areas where Mario is the giant. The changes in size were caused by Kamek's magic changing the sizes of each area.
  • Final Fantasy Legend II features a Giant's Village with oversized buildings and furniture.
  • A hell of a lot of levels in Lemmings 2: The Tribes are filled with oversized objects going along the theme of the particular tribe.
  • Vexx has the Tempest Peak Manor, a giant house. As in, it explicitly belonged to a giant. It also has a bonus Band Land sublevel, inside—what else?—the enormous piano.
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Click Clock Wood in the original game is a blend of normal-sized and giant-sized elements, with the giant-sized ones being more dominant overall. Some other levels, such as Mad Monster Mansion for instance, have oversized portions as well.
    • Part of Cloud Cuckooland in Banjo-Tooie takes place inside a giant trash can filled with oversized trash.
    • Logbox 720 in Nuts & Bolts is the innards of a giant Xbox 360 pastiche.
  • The Lost Underworld in EarthBound. You're normal-sized kids, but the world is titanic. And there's dinosaurs.
  • The Dinotropolis levels in Fur Fighters features otherwise-benign household settings scaled up to dinosaur size.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the mad wizard Arkved's tower features rooms with huge tables, chairs and beds; there is also some oversized furniture in White Gold Tower's basement.
  • In Thief Gold, there is an extra are in Constantine's mansion with giant furniture. You get there from another area with a miniature town, right after you travel through a pipe...
  • In the PS1 version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, the secret level, Little Big World is one of these, taking place on the worktop of somebody's kitchen.
  • Wiggler Park in Mario Golf: World Tour, full of tree-sized plants and enemies of a similar scale.
  • In Castle of Illusion, a giant study or library forms part of the fourth level of the Genesis version and the entirety of the fourth level of the Master System version.
  • The Realm of the Fey from Miitopia, featuring blades of grass that tower over your Miis, humongous lotus flowers, and lilypads on which Miis can walk.
  • The final zone of Shadowbringers in Final Fantasy XIV is massive, making you look like an ant compared to everything there. All the structures and NPCs in the area are a good dozen feet high or so and everyone you meet assumes you're a child because of how small you are compared to them.

    Games where your character is naturally small 
  • Pikmin and its sequels, which feature a tiny race trying to survive in the undergrowth. In fact, the instruction booklet for both of the games in the series shows Captain Olimar to be around the size of a US Quarter. Without his helmet and its tall antenna, he's three-quarters of an inch tall. The Pikmin themselves are around the size of pennies, including their "stem."
  • The NES Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers games.
  • Chibi-Robo! and its sequels.
  • Various Tom and Jerry games on the NES and SNES.
  • The NES Monster in My Pocket game.
  • All of the various Hamtaro games.
  • The Army Men games started out in their own fictional world where everything is sized relative to the plastic soldiers, but then at the end of the first game the protagonist discovers a portal to our world, where they are the size of plastic soldiers compared to everything else.
  • Any Micro Machines or RC racing game such as RC Pro-Am.
  • SimAnt
  • The Glider series. You're a paper airplane.
  • The early levels and early parts of some later levels in Katamari Damacy are along these lines due to the fact that the Prince is only a few centimeters tall, but because the game focuses not on you but on the ball you're rolling, you become the giant in no time.
  • Several custom levels for Team Fortress 2 are set amongst children's toys, as if the characters were toys themselves. One map that deserves special mention is the map "billiards", in which the goal itself is directly related to the setting: You're on a pool table, trying to knock your team's colored balls into the pockets before the other team can do so with theirs. There's even a scoreboard on the wall keeping track.
  • This happens with custom maps for the Unreal series.
  • Cool Spot. You're that red spot in the logo on a bottle of 7-Up.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy at times.
  • Bad Mojo feature a very disturbing variation on the usual setup. Instead of playing as an adorable little wind-up toy or a talking mouse in cute pants while you explore a colorful toy shop or a quaint suburban home, you play as a cockroach making his way through a disgustingly filthy tenement packed with dead rats, rotten food, and other assorted Nausea Fuel out the wazoo.
  • Mister Mosquito
  • Buck Bumble, where you play a cyborg bee and fly through a garden.
  • Spyro the Dragon games sometimes include Sparx Worlds, where the little dragonfly sidekick goes off by himself; in these, the enemies are spiders or other "big" bugs that Spyro could probably eat with one bite, but Sparx needs to shoot.
  • In Twisted Metal Small Brawl, you use RC cars rather than real ones.
  • Blockland, where you play as a small toy man, similar to a Lego minifigure. (And in the old Alpha version, you WERE a Lego minifigure.)
  • The Wonderland theme park in Theme Park World, exploring the small world of wonderment beneath our very feet.
  • 1984's Henry's House puts the player in the role of then newborn Prince Harry exploring Windsor Castle.
  • The LEGO Movie Video Game features a bonus area set in a real-life kid's bedroom where your characters are the size of an actual LEGO minifigure. Specifically, it belongs to Finn, the child "controlling" Emmet and friends who was Adapted Out of the video game.
  • LEGO Dimensions has a "Mystery Dimension" set on a desk in Joel McHale's house. Not a minifigure version of Joel McHale, the actual Joel McHale from real life.
  • Certain stages in the Super Smash Bros. series have all the characters and items suddenly become a lot smaller. Sometimes this is done to fit with the source material (like for stages based on Pikmin) and sometimes it's done for gameplay purposes (like the Nintendogs and Gamer stages, which take place in areas that would be far too cramped if the characters were regular size).
  • I Am Bread is a game where you are bread. An ordinary slice of bread, in ordinary environments, hoping to become toast. Everything, including the bread, is pretty accurately sized.
  • Tyler: Model 005 is set in a game where you play as a tiny robot in a normal-sized crumbling house.
  • Toy Story and Toy Story 2 revolve around this trope, as the toys are naturally smaller than what, for humans, is a normal-sized world.


Video Example(s):


Mondo Woods

Thanks to Kamek's magic, everything in this forest area is huge.

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / MacroZone

Media sources:

Main / MacroZone