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A method of portraying three dimensional space in a two-dimensional plane. Basically, it's a tilted bird's eye view perspective in which both the top and front of an object is seen at the same time, and the vertical axis indicates both height and depth.note 

Most games that have this perspective will still have character sprites as if they've being viewed straight on, though some will have a more Super-Deformed style. (This was the usual way of drawing character sprites and things like trees in older games dating back to the Atari 2600, though the lack of graphical detail caused by low resolutions and limited memory generally disqualify such games as examples.)

Very popular during the 16-bit era for JRPGs.

Despite console games having largely abandoned this style in favor of full 3D graphics, it remains popular in handheld systems due to the lower demands on the system, although its appearances even there are growing rarer as portable hardware grows more powerful.

This view sometimes leads to secrets being hidden on the backs of buildings, which should logically be visible to the character but aren't to the player.


See also Isometric Projection, Top-Down View and Side View. For more information, see Graphical Perspective.


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     Action Adventure  

  • Android Two for the ZX Spectrum, which was actually sold as a 3D game, may have been the first game to use this perspective consistently. Characters are properly silhouetted in front of walls, but partly hidden behind them.
  • The overhead segments of Blaster Master.
  • Most Zelda games until the debut of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. (Handheld titles still used this kind of perspective until the launch of the Ocarina of Time remake for the 3DS.)
    • The original, at least was a very strange example that mixed top-down and ¾ view in the same game. Walls were top-down, and trees and stumps were a squashed ¾ view.
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link primarily used a side-view for its action segments, and only used a ¾ view for its overworld.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past had quite a good ¾ view for its sprites, though inside walls were top-down.
      • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds reuses the same ¾ view as A Link to the Past despite having 3D graphics, though it changes into a close-up view when Link turns into a painting. The way the game achieves this is a rather hilarious demonstration of liberties this trope takes with real-life perspective: they make everything lean back to an absurd degree to give the illusion of ¾ view.
    • Game Boy titles follow the same guidelines as above for the tiles, but sprites are Side View.
  • Probably every third-person action-adventure-RPG or RPG made solely by SSI in the early 1990s (see also Dark Sun in RPG):

     Action Game  

     Adventure Game  

     Beat 'em Up  

  • DownTown

     Platform Game  

  • The Dark Castle, Mirage Palace and Dragon's Hole levels in Brutal Mario, as well as other Super Mario World hacks using Seiken Densetsu 3/Secret of Mana graphics.
  • Super Mario World uses this on the world map screen, which causes, for instance, the peak of Yoshi's Island to obscure a small corner of the unconnected Donut Plains.

     Real-Time Strategy  


     Role-Playing Game  

     Shoot 'em Up  

     Simulation Game  

     Stealth-Based Game  

     Third-Person Shooter  

  • Voxatron has this, though the camera may be tilted a bit upward and downward.

     Wide-Open Sandbox  

Alternative Title(s): Old School JRPG Perspective


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