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Power-Up Mount

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Saddle up, pard'ners!note 

"I know! We should team up! Come on! Hop on my back!"

A video game trope, mostly related to Platform Games.

A Power-Up Mount is sort of like a power-up item plus Mon. It is an animal (usually adorable) that the main character can ride on. Riding on a power-up mount usually does one or more of the following:

  • Grants another hit point in the case of a One-Hit-Point Wonder. Usually, getting hit while on it will kill it or cause it to flee.
  • Gives the player an alternate means of travel. Faster running, flight, gliding, digging, climbing, riding on lava, and swimming are all typical examples.
  • Gives the player a new means of attack related to the steed: long tongue for lizards, fire for dragons, boxing gloves for kangaroos, and so on.

Will overlap with Horse of a Different Color.


  • Adventure Island II features dinosaurs the protagonist Master Higgins can ride on, a red dinosaur who can spit fire and wade through lava, a blue dinosaur who can whip sparks from the tail and doesn't slip on ice, a pteranodon who can fly and a plesiosaur who can swim swiftly through water. Adventure Island III introduces a triceratops who resists quicksand and can roll into a wrecking ball.
  • Most mounts in Atlantica Online count, as they not only increase traveling speed but also grant a significant stat boost to the main character - although the mount isn't actually visible during combat.
  • The bizarre wasps and other creatures in Awesome Possum... Kicks Dr. Machino's Butt.
  • Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg has three: Rikol the kangaroo-lion who can jump quite high and spit fireballs, Datch the sheep-ostrich who can glide and has a green-charged attack... thing, and Kaboot the shark who averts your Super Drowning Skills and has a body-slam attack. They can also sustain several hits of damage, instead of just one.
  • In The Binding of Isaac killing the Headless Horseman or Conquest can drop a broom horsey that lets you fly, and charge every few rooms.
  • Boogie Wings have animals you can leap and ride on, should you lose your plane or tank and happens to be on foot, including horses, elephants, and a somewhat odd choice, giraffes (if there's a second game out there allowing you to kick ass on a giraffe mount, we'd love to hear about it).
  • In the single player mode of Brütal Legend, Eddie can find and ride various critters throughout the world, depending on the area. Most are hostile and will attack, but can be ridden after being stunned by an electric attack. They range in size from the deer-like Raptor Elk to the massive Hextadon. Each critter gives Eddie a speed boost compared to his car and has a unique attack that he can unleash. With the Call of the Wild solo power, Eddie gains the ability to summon animals to him, with exactly what he calls being determined by how far along the Hunter's quest he is.
  • The kangaroo-like Louies, and then later the Charaboms (especially Pommy) from the Bomberman series.
    • In some games, there were several different colors of Louies that provided different abilities. Super Bomberman 4 on the Super Famicom also let you ride certain enemy characters once you'd defeated them.
    • Saturn Bomberman exchanges the Louies for dinosaurs. Their name is "Tirra", if Bomberman Fantasy Race is to be believed, but Saturn Bomberman itself makes no such suggestion.
  • The ride mechs from Captain Commando, which have fire, ice, or really powerful arms.
  • Camels and alligators in Castle Crashers.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow has four kinds of mounts available: Swamp Troll, Giant Spider, Warg, and Pan (Using a horse form), the former three being enemies that are encountered many times during the story, but that can only be mounted after getting the Spiked Chain upgrade, and Pan, who is ridable only in the second mission of the game. When mounting enemies, they are invincible, and can (and must) be used to completely thrash other enemies and help Gabriel cross certain obstacles that he couldn't cross on his own, and like the above example, after using them, Gabriel kills them.
  • The Crash Bandicoot games produced by Naughty Dog have one such animal per game, with two levels in each game dedicated entirely to riding them through their respective obstacle courses (an unnamed wild boar in Crash Bandicoot, Polar the polar bear in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Pura the tiger, along with a baby T-Rex in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped). The Toys for Bob-developed Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time features the return of Polar as well as a baby alien called a Shnurgle.
  • In Dante's Inferno, Dante occasionally uses his scythe to take control of Beasts. Dante is effectively invincible during these sequences with the only threat being other demons trying to reclaim control of the Beast. The Beast will curbstomp the rest of the enemies with ease. At one point Dante will also use the Scythe to take control of Phylegas, a huge firebreathing rock demon that he just fought as a boss. To highlight how huge Dante's new mount is, Beasts are mice compared to it. Unlike other games that use this mechanic, Dante doesn't kill his mounts after their usefulness has ended. The environment does that for him. Hell is pretty dangerous after all, even for demons.
  • Darksiders allows you to obtain Ruin, The Horseman of War's mount.
  • Disgaea Dimension 2 replaces the Magichange system of the previous titles with this, allowing a humanoid unit to ride on a monster unit's back or shoulders to boost their performance and enable the use of a Combination Attack. Naturally, it looks a little awkward when done with one of the humanoid monsters like the Succubus or Nekomata...
  • The many animal buddies from the Donkey Kong Country series that are acquired by breaking crates. The most famous are Rambi the Rhino for land stages, and Enguarde the Swordfish for underwater levels. In comparison, DK: Jungle Climber inverts the trope. Diddy Kong is a power-up RIDER that Donkey Kong can launch off of his back to hit enemies from afar. He also gets an extra hit point out of the deal.
  • Sabrecats in the Dragon Quest series, like chocobos, have served simultaneously as enemy, party member, and transportation.
  • The Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series have horses the player can ride, by either equipping a harness or unhorsing an enemy officer. Dynasty Warriors also has elephants from DW 5 on, and DW 7 adds bears.
  • Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain gives the Prowl Rider PA-Gear the ability to summon and ride giant, mutated alien insects, starting with tank-sized ants.
  • An Egyptian Tale has a three-headed Cerberus in the hell levels which can be used as a mount. The middle head can breathe fire on your command.
  • Fresh Minty Adventure: By feeding certain enemies her Candy mints, Minty can befriend and and ride them. The first available being Timberwolves who increase her Life Meter by 1 and swap her candy throw for a bite attack.
  • God of War:
  • The Golden Axe series has always featured rideable animals called Bizzarians. The Remake made this the entire point of the game.
    • The red dragon (that shoots fireballs) is an absolute Game-Breaker, which is probably why you only get it on one level.
  • Guild Wars: You have to ride in Junundu Worms to get across The Desolation in Nightfall. Your Health, Energy, and skillbar are all replaced with Junundu Worm stuff when you enter it. Also, you have to prove your worth by defeating the Junundu Queen before being able to ride one.
  • Guild Wars 2 includes mounts in the Path of Fire expansion, giving players access to a leaping Raptor, a jumping Springer, a floating Skimmer and a teleporting Jackal. In addition to giving the player travel options, they also provide unique engage skills, giving players new opportunities to open a battle with enemies. Players who work hard and has the gold for it can earn a flying griffon..
  • In Gunsmoke, one of the powerups is a donkey, which you ride. It definitely increased the number of hits you could take above one, that's saying something.
  • Hangzo has a kirin steed you can ride on, where it attacks enemies by breathing fireballs as well as helping you jump further. Said kirin also serves as an extra life, where getting hit will deprive you of the kirin but you can still continue fighting on foot.
  • The second game of the Hero of Sparta series allows you to use larger enemies, like minotaurs or the Cretan bull, as mounts. By executing a grabbing move, you then leap on their shoulders, drives your sword on their backs, and use your weapon to manipulate them into attacking other enemies.
  • In Heroes of the Storm, mounts are available to heroes to get them across the map quickly, ranging from a classic horse to a Cool Bike or even to a Magic Carpet. Certain heroes cannot use mounts and instead have a special ability to move across the map.
  • James Pond 2: RoboCod has three types of powerup vehicles that give James more mobility and a ramming attack. The best of these is the flying bathtub.
  • The NES video game incarnation of Jaws offers a miniature submarine powerup that can be found randomly on the overworld map. Despite being ostensibly a vehicle, it actually functions identically to this trope, offering an increase in firepower, mobility, and a single extra hit upon which it is lost.
  • In Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], this is a common form of link attack for Sora's larger dream eater allies. It makes both him and the involved dream eater completely invincible, and allows them to ram into the opposition. Some of the dream eaters are also able to unleash one of their other attacks while being ridden.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby's Dream Land 2 adds Animal Buddies that can aid with Kirby's Copy Abilities and movement. Rick, Kine, and Coo are a hamster, sunfish, and owl respectively. Kirby's Dream Land 3 brings three new Animal Buddies to the mix: Nago, a cat that rolls Kirby around, ChuChu, an octopus on Kirby's head; and Pitch, a bird he can ride, then throw for long-distance attacks.
    • Kirby can ride King Dedede in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, allowing the player to break walls with his hammer.
    • The Helper Wheelie in Kirby Super Star Ultra: If Kirby splits off the Wheel power, the Wheelie it creates has a cowling and handlebars (unlike every other Wheelie in the game), and Kirby will ride it if he jumps on top. If you're playing two-player mode, Player Two (the helper) will control the motion, and Player One (Kirby) can fire short-range stars at enemies; otherwise, the player will control the motion but be unable to shoot stars.
    • In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, it's possible for Kirby and friends to ride each other, which allows them to utilize a Combination Attack when all four of them are stacked up in a tower. There's also a more traditional example with the dragon Landia, who serves as a mount for an Unexpected Shmup Level.
  • Knights of the Round have a horse-riding mechanic where your playable knights can mount on horses and continue fighting, with your attacking strength increased.
  • Various buddies such as seahorse, anglerfish and bunny in The Legendary Starfy series.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games let Link choose among a boxing kangaroo named Ricky, a blue flying bear named Moosh and a friendly swimming Dodongo named Dimitri as steeds for him. The choice is permanent, so Link cannot use all three (although the game lets you use all three first).
    • Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess have the fast-galloping and leaping horse Epona. The latter game also inverts the trope whenever Link turns into a wolf, in whose case Link is the Powerup Mount, for the dark imp Midna. In this formation, the two can can leap to high ledges, teleport and use a homing attack to wipe out several enemies at once.
    • Whereas in the prior games Epona is, once unlocked, accessible at any time, she is a true powerup-dependent mount in Four Swords Adventures, where finding a certain object allows the four Links to ride horses at a blistering speed, crushing enemies underfoot and clearing certain obstacles for a limited period.
  • LittleBigPlanet:
    • In LittleBigPlanet 2, Avalon has create several robotic animals you can ride onto. The RoboBun can jump to a great height and land a Ground Pound from above. The MechaPup can use its Sonic Bark to push heavy objects. The HamsterTron 2000 can roll through tunnels and boost toward any direction. And the Bee 2.0 can both pick up object and shoot projectiles.
    • Aside from the robotic animals created by Avalon, you can build your own mount from scratch using the Controllinator in the Level Editor.
  • The animal buddies in Little Nemo: The Dream Master. Some of them had added a touch of Nightmare Fuel, since in many cases, Nemo would ride them by crawling into their mouth, giving the appearance of wearing their skin.
  • In Low G Man, you can take over various vehicles from the Mecha-Mooks. All provide special abilities, and absorb hits at the cost of fuel.
  • Non-video game example: a few of the later Mage Knight sets included rider and mount figures. When mounted, the two characters move together but have their own separate actions. At least one combination of figures that both had the Charge power was recognized as a Game-Breaker.
  • Medal of Honor of all series got in on this in Rising Sun, the protagonist mounting an elephant with a saddle-mounted machine gun. It sounds like it should have been awesome, but sadly it ended up being a rather frustrating Rail Shooter section; the elephant saunters along at barely the player's walking pace, blithely unconcerned by the amount of lead flying around from several directions at once, and you have no cover whatsoever.
  • Rush from the Mega Man (Classic) series is Mega Man's trusty Robot Dog who, throughout the games, served as a spring board, a jet sled, a mini-submarine, three types of Powered Armor, a digging tool, a motorcycle, and a space capsule. Most of his forms have provided their own weapon, or altered Mega Man's Arm Cannon.
  • Mega Man X: The various Ride Armors and Ride Chasers you can take serve as this. The former gives protection and massive attack power, but is limited on certain terrains because it lacks wall-jumping ability that out heroes have. The latter is for speeding in certain stages.
  • Metal Slug has these feature prominently enough to be named after one - granted, most of these are adorable military vehicles, but the series features ridable animals from time to time, ranging from camel to elephant to donkey. The notable difference between vehicles and animals is that animals are technically indestructible, but the player can still be killed while riding them; vehicles, on the other hand, will explode after taking three hits.
  • Ninja Jajamaru-kun has Gamapa-kun, a giant frog.
  • In Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Abe can ride a creature named Elum in certain areas. They cut him out of the sequel because he caused so much lag.
  • Paladins has its champions respawn on speedy horses to get to the battle faster than they would on foot. They can be upgraded during the match to be even faster.
  • In Paleo Pines, the player can ride certain dinosaurs, known as helpers, which have different abilities. As seen in the demo, Lucky the Parasaurolophus can dash, and Styracosaurus can break rocks (Pachycephalosaurus was also shown doing this in a Twitter clip). The trailer also shows them using a Triceratops to plough a field, and the pre-order trailer shows a Tyrannosaurus watering plants.
  • Pokémon:
    • Any Pokémon that can learn Surf or Fly becomes this. At least in the games where HMs are a thing; Gen VII replaced them with Ride Pokémon, elaborated below.
    • In Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, you can capture Doduo for faster travel on land, Floatzel or Empoleon for travel in water (the latter provides the ability to smash through icebergs) or Staraptor to teleport between towns. Staraptor will leave the party as soon as you arrive at your destination, the Water types will leave once you leave the water and Doduo can be ridden until you need to enter a building, then it will leave the party (although this can be prevented by doing something that prompts the Ranger pose action, such as a Quest). Torkoal can be captured to traverse through lava.
      • In Guardian Signs, the player is able to summon the three Legendary Beasts to ride on them, each of them having different functions (Entei can ram through boulders, Raikou can leap over gaps and Suicune can run on water). You can also capture Staraptor again to fly in the skies, allowing you to teleport between locations or simply fly to them, but you eventually gain access to the ability to summon either Latios or Latias, who are superior to Staraptor in terms of flying.
    • The sixth generation Pokémon Gogoat serves as the first true rideable Pokémon, though only in Lumiose City. In one area, its pre-evolved form, Skiddo can be ridden as well. You can also ride Rhyhorn and Mamoswine on certain routes. They can also shatter rocks that are in the way.
    • Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have Latias and Latios ride you around the Hoenn region in their Mega Forms, and you can fly to various mirage islands and other locations that cannot be reached by foot. These locations also hold various legendary Pokemon like Entei, Raikou and Suicune, The lake trio, Dialga and Palkia, and Reshiram and Zekrom.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon add to the list of rideable Pokémon via the Poké Ride mechanic — Tauros, Stoutland, Mudsdale, Machamp, Lapras, Sharpedo, and Charizard. These ride Pokémon completely replace HMs and various other tools that were staples in previous games: Tauros replaces both the Bike and Rock Smash, Stoutland works as the Item Finder, Mudsdale can traverse rocky terrain, Machamp replaces the Strength HM. Lapras and Sharpedo both replace Surf, but you can fish from Lapras's back while Sharpedo is faster and can break boulders. Charizard replaces the Fly HM.
    • Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon adds Mantine as a Ride Pokémon, where (akin to the Eon Pokémon in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire) it's used to surf between Alola's islands in a surfing minigame where the player avoids wild Pokémon and does tricks in the air to gain points. The Olympus Mons Solgaleo and Lunala also get in on the act, being used to travel through Ultra Space in a similar fashion.
    • The horse Pokemon Glastrier and Spectrier in Pokémon Sword and Shield have their own unique powers that can be imparted upon their rider. They're too small for a human to ride, unlike Mudsdale, but they're the perfect size and shape for local Legendary Pokemon Calyrex — and uniquely to them, their ability is added to Calyrex's own instead of overwriting it, grouped under "As One".
    • Pokémon Legends: Arceus has five new Pokémon that can be ridden to travel through the untamed wilderness of the Hisui region (which would later be known as Sinnoh in the future). There's Stantler's evolution, Wyrdeer, which is ridden over land, Hisuian Braviary, which allows the player to fly (working more like a hang-glider then as a teleport to another town) and Basculegion, the evolved form of Basculin which can be ridden on water. Additionally, there's Ursaring's evolution, Ursaluna, which functions as the Item Finder, and Sneasler, the evolved form of Hisuian Sneasel, which can be used to scale cliffs and rock walls.
    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet feature Koraidon and Miraidon, two large, vaguely bike-shaped reptilians who the player can... well, ride on. Though initially limited to ground transportation, they gain new forms that enable water and air travel as you progress through the story.
  • The original Puzzle Quest and its Updated Re Release, The Legend Returns: Mounts grant a boost to one stat plus access to a spell. Example: The dragon spider will increase your Fire/Red Mana stat and grant you the powerful "Breathe Fire" spell.
  • Rayman:
    • Rayman gets to ride a mosquito a couple of times in his self-titled game. First you have to defeat it, then you get to use it all throughout a few levels.
    • Rayman 2: The Great Escape has the Walking Shells, essentially missiles with legs that chase after the player on sight and can be ridden to advance through the level.
    • Also in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, you get to ride Globox a couple of times after he's drunk plum juice.
  • In Roots of Pacha, some of the animals you can tame are big enough to be used as mounts, which increase your movement speed. You can breed them for faster animals and also participate in racing competitions with them.
  • In Sheep Happens, sheep, as the name implies, are all over the track and can be ridden on. Perseus can't glide while riding one, but it gives him an extra hitpoint. The Christmas update introduces bouncy black sheep that bounce instead of run. Pressing the jump button makes them bounce prematurely.
  • In Spyro: Year of the Dragon, Spyro can ride on a manta ray underwater to shoot some Rhynocs in submarines.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Yoshi is such a classic example that the trope used to be named after him. His basic mechanics have definitely served as a template for many other mounts. He's been a power-up mount in Super Mario World, Super Mario Sunshine, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros. U, Super Mario Maker, and Super Mario Maker 2. The gameplay is generally the same in all games though there are some variations in each. In Super Mario World, for example, Yoshi can be carried over after clearing a level, which is not the case for the subsequent 2D games where he'll leave his master as soon as the ending flagpole is touched; and even in the SNES game, he cannot join Mario or Luigi during a Ghost House, Fortress or Castle (instead, he waits outside until the departing character clears the level or loses an extra life). In Super Mario Sunshine, Yoshi cannot touch water or he'll disappear, which can complicate things a lot in certain cases.
    • Yoshi's Island is the inverse of this: you play as Yoshi himself and his friends, as they carry Baby Mario on their backs.note  The creators also thoughtfully included a Power-Up Mount for Yoshi, in the form of a large dog named Poochy. The dog carries his passengers across spikes and lava and things, but has a fairly steep learning curve for controlling it.
      • Yoshi's Island DS inverts it further by having a multitude of Baby characters for Yoshi to carry around, all possessing their own special abilities to assist Yoshi with.
    • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, your Yoshi partner is a Cute Boisterous Bruiser with the strength to carry a plumber three times his size.
    • Downplayed with Yoshi in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Yoshi can flutter jump,note  use his tongue as a hook to swing over wide bottomless pits and to eat enemies, and transform into Dash/Light/Balloon forms as power-ups. However, this is one of the few Mario games in which Yoshi does not provide an extra hit point at all, so taking a hit will result in both Mario/Luigi losing a health wedge/life, and Yoshi fleeing.
    • Plessie from Super Mario 3D World can carry all four player characters and race through river levels. Incidentally, Plessie even resembles a big orange Yoshi.
    • A rare enemy example comes in the form of Ostro and Autobomb in Super Mario Bros. 2, who are ridden by Shy Guys and predating the Yoshi by a few years. Ostros are more standard, giving Shy Guys greater mobility while chasing Mario and friends, while the Autobomb has the added ability of firing projectiles at the player. The player can remove the Shy Guy from their mounts, and then used as a ride themselves (Doing this is required in a few areas to cross some Spikes of Doom).
  • Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back has two parts where Luke can ride a Tauntaun for faster movement. The Tauntaun has its own life meter and once it died, you have to go the rest of the way on foot.
  • Take No Prisoners grants you hover-platforms and hovercrafts in a few areas, that can be manned by a single person and is equipped with a gatling turret for you to kick plenty of ass. You dismount if your ride is too heavily damaged, or you reach an area whose entrance is too small for your ride to enter forcing you to continue on foot.
  • Terraria: The player can use mounts for transportation or dealing damage. When a mount-summoning item is used, it applies an unlimited buff to the player, spawns the mount, and places the player on or in it. Like Pets and Minions, mounts can be used limitlessly, and their summoning items are not consumed.
  • Not a powerup, but Genji the turtle acts like this for Reimu Hakurei in early Touhou Project games.
  • The Cambion Drift in Warframe is home to velocipods, large insect-like creatures that the Tenno can hop on to ride like a K-drive and even perform tricks that can please the Ventkids. You can use your reputation among the Entrati family to get yourself a skin for your K-drive to make it look like one of these critters.
  • Wario Land II and 3 both feature a large owl with which Wario can hitch a ride, usually through aerial mazes of spikes or other obstacles. The owl itself does not appear to be an entirely willing participant, however; it's usually found sleeping (unless encountered during the night in 3), only taking to the air when rudely awakened by Wario.
  • Warriors of Fate have outdoor areas where you can collect gongs. Pick one up and the chime of a gong going off is heard, followed by a horse arriving instantaneously so you can ride on it to kick ass.
  • World of Warcraft has several utility mounts, including the Azure Water Strider for moving across water and the Sky Golem that allows for herb gathering without dismounting.
  • Wild 9 has a reptilian-cyborg mount called the Beast Engine, who can grab and gobble up enemies.

Alternative Title(s): The Yoshi