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Toggling Setpiece Puzzle

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On and off you go!

"Hm? Hm! Hmm... The ON/OFF Switch. No one knows how it actually works. Wireless protocols? Ancient magic? Get to the end of this course, and I'll reward you handsomely, hm?"
Doctor Gizmo, Super Mario Maker 2

Sister Trope (and, in practice, an opposite) of Control Room Puzzle.

A Toggling Setpiece Puzzle is, as the name suggests, a type of puzzle that is based on manipulating setpieces or mechanisms whose states (active and inactive, usually abbreviated as on and off respectively) can be alternated during gameplay. This is usually done by pressing switches (or pulling levers) that make all associated setpieces exchange their current states: Those that are toggled on will turn off and vice versa. What makes this trope different from a Control Room Puzzle is that, instead of having multiple switches that need to be pressed in a specific order (or, alternatively, each of them a corresponding number of times) in order to activate a single setpiece (often opening a door so you can continue your progress), here you only need to press one switch to trigger multiple setpieces. Even if there are multiple switches, pressing any of them will do the job all the same.

Most importantly, the setup isn't necessarily restricted to one room. Depending on the game, the state exchange may be carried over to all setpieces in the whole level or dungeon. So if you're in a building and cannot access a path on a specific floor because a certain wall or fence is blocking it, you may later find a switch on another floor that opens it; just keep in mind that some of the paths you traversed to get there may now be closed due to previously-inactive obstructions being switched on, thus requiring you to figure out an alternate path. Conversely, in some cases not all setpieces may be altered by pressing one switch (meaning the wiring isn't global). Instead, the setpieces may be identified by color or a symbol, so you can still tell what switch is controlling them.

If you're playing a co-op game (or a single-player game where you have an AI-controlled sidekick) and this trope is present, expect each character to help the other progress by pressing some switch to open up a path to the other. It's possible, though not mandatory, that this culminates with activating a Two-Keyed Lock.

Lastly, since Tropes Are Flexible, this type of puzzle isn't limited to using toggleable physical obstructions. If you're in an Eternal Engine level with lots of conveyor belts, there's the possibility that pressing a switch will reverse their respective directions. Or, if there are visible electric wires and surfaces, the switches will toggle the junctions that control where the electrical charge goes; and so on. The possibilities are endless.

If the puzzle's complexity requires it, it's possible that the setpieces can be alternated across more than two states (think, for example, of a cistern or reservoir where you can change the water's level between empty, half-full, and full; or a moving element that can alternate between moving fast, moving slowly and stopping). In these cases, the player will need to stay concentrated on the puzzle or obstacle at hand, or else they'll be at loss easily. It's easy to meet That One Puzzle this way.

Can be combined with other types of puzzle, such as Block Puzzle, Light and Mirrors Puzzle, or even Trick Shot Puzzle, to provide truly formidable brainteasers. Not to be confused with Set Piece Puzzle, which is based on manipulating a single setpiece in some way to solve a riddle. Compare Four-Seasons Level, which operates on a similar basis as this trope, but features changing seasons within the same level to introduce environmental gimmicks; in some cases, it may overlap with this trope. For games where the setpiece you can change between states is the entire overworld (or, alternatively, you're travelling across two versions of said overworld, be it dimension-wise or time-wise), see Dual-World Gameplay. For bosses that are clever enough to swap between their elemental and/or physical strengths and weaknesses during battle (thus forcing the player to figure out what kind of attack to perform next), see Barrier Change Boss.


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    Action-Adventure Games 
  • Drawn to Life: One of the puzzles in the Gearworks is a switch puzzle where flipping the switch makes one colored platform move and turns the others off. You have to backtrack and flip the switches multiple times to find out where all the platforms go and complete the stage.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: The third dungeon (Tower of Hera) features color-coded barrier blocks (blue and pink) whose states can be swapped by hitting luminous crystal orbs; by default, the pink ones are lifted while the blue ones are receded. Depending on the case, Link can either hit the orbs with his sword to swap the blocks' states and make his way through the dungeon or shoot at them from a distance with an arrow in case the active and inactive blocks are placed back-to-back (if he cannot hit them with arrows, he can drop a bomb near one and then run onto the part where he has to go before it explodes). Later dungeons bring back these blocks, and there's a room in Ice Palace that requires a clever use of them to solve a difficult Block Puzzle.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: Like its predecessor, the game features toggleable cubical barriers in some dungeons, as well as crystal switches that swap their states (and the wiring is always dungeon-wide); their most prominent use takes place in Eagle's Tower, where Link has to work around them as he aims to collapse the highest floor to make it part of the third by destroying the pillars that hold it up. Due to palette limitations, the barriers aren't color-coded (not even in the Game Boy Color rerelease, where all barriers are colored blue in Bottle Grotto and red in the other dungeons), though you can still tell visually which ones are lifted and which ones are receded (this is no longer a problem in the Switch remake, where they're color-coded).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: The Water Temple has two examples, one that is central to its overarching theme and a more specific instance in one of its rooms:
      • The water's level in the entire dungeon is full by default, so only the highest floor is relatively dry. However, as explained by Princess Ruto when Link meets her, there are three areas in the dungeon where Link can play Zelda's Lullaby to modify the water level: The first one empties it almost completely, leaving only the basement and certain higher areas with their own sources of water wet; the second restores the water to the middle, and the third one restores the water to the original full level. Since each of the major parts of the dungeon can only be accessed when its entrance door or path is reachable with a specific water level, it can become difficult to keep track of the progression (as failing to visit a certain area holding a required key will force Link to restart the level-changing cycle). Luckily, the game's Nintendo 3DS remake adds luminous marks in the walls that remind the player where Link can find the spots that modify the water's level (which, alongside the added ability to change between Kokiri and Iron Boots in real-time, makes the dungeon more manageable).
      • In the room preceding the illusory hall where Dark Link is, there's a red-colored crystal at the top of a pillar in the center. When it's hit (either with an arrow or with the Hookshot), it will turn blue, and as a result, the room's water will raise and certain dragon-headed statues with Hookshot targets will erect. This allows Link to make his way around the room by latching onto the statues with the Hookshot, but at one point he has to shoot the crystal once again to lower the water's level and the statues, allowing him to climb one of the statue's dragon heads and keep moving. He has to repeat the procedure until he finally arrives at the other end and reaches the famous room where he fights his doppëlganger.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The Stone Tower Temple features a gold-colored emblem that, upon being hit with a Light Arrow, flips the entire dungeon and the surrounding physical space, turning the ceilings into floors and vice versa, and the sky into an abyssal pit. Later in the dungeon, Link finds similar emblems that only flip their respective rooms: In the first such room, he hits the emblem to simply traverse a lava pond to reach the other side; but in the second, he has to do it frequently to solve a Block Puzzle (since both the ceiling and the floor feature parts onto which the block cannot be pushed).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games:
      • Ages features dungeons with toggleable cubical barriers that can have their states swapped by pressing switches, continuing the trend from previous 2D installments. Unlike in Link's Awakening, the barriers are color-coded, thanks to the games' improved palettes as they were worked upon the other's DX engine. Interestingly, the color-coding is inverted in relation to A Link to the Past, where the crystal's current color matched that of the blocks toggled off, and here it matches the color of the ones toggled on.
      • Ages also features specific instances with other puzzles that involve toggleable setups, like a room in Mermaid's Cave where a crystal switch rearranges the placement of the floor's tiles, a couple rooms in Moonlit Grotto that have crystal switches which protract bridges above a bottomless pit while retracting others, and floor switches in Jabu-Jabu's Belly that toggle the current level of the water. The crystal switch will often be placed in distant or inconvenient spots that call for the use of the Seed Shooter (sometimes even requiring the Seeds to ricochet with adjustable seesaw-like pieces, thus overlapping with Trick Shot Puzzle).
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: The early parts of the Palace of Winds feature switches that, upon being hit, extend nearby bridges while also retracting others, and Link has to hit them accordingly to make his way through the dungeon. At one point, he has to hit one of the switches via a trick shot (whether with the boomerang or a bomb), since it's placed alongside an obstruction that is preventing a direct shot necessary to extend the next bridge.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: Red and blue barrier blocks are present in the Temple of Fire, and as usual only the red blocks are active by default. Once Link collects the Boomerang, he can guide it onto seemingly impossible-to-hit orbs with the help of the touch screen of the Nintendo DS, thus overlapping with Trick Shot Puzzle.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: In the present time, some areas of Lanayru Desert may be difficult to run across due to the quicksand, and certain doors may be sealed shut due to thorny wires. When a Timeshift Stone is hit, the surrounding area regresses dimensionally to the past time, getting rid of the quicksand in favor of solid ground as well as removing the thorny wires. But as a tradeoff, other parts may now be obstructed by electric fences (which makes sense, since reviving the decayed machinery will also bring back the protection measures), as well as pillars of solid ground that had eroded or crumbled prior to the present. As the game progresses, Link has to frequently interact with both eras to overcome the obstacles present in each, and sometimes make the Timeshift Stone (or even a carriable Timeshift Orb) move so he can remove any incoming obstacle as he and the Timeshift object move forward.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds:
      • The Tower of Hera from A Link to the Past makes a return in this game, and so does its gimmick of featuring the barrier blocks that change their states when pressing the crystal orbs. The game also has the conveyor belts from Thieves' Hideout, whose direction can be inverted when hitting a nearby orb; doing this is the only way to make them transport a bomb (or a living explosive enemy known as Bawb) into an orb that is unreachable otherwise.
      • The Swamp Palace features faucet-like mechanisms that modify the water level on its floor. Their sides have levers that can be pulled with the Hookshot; pulling the one on the right will make the mechanism spin clockwise and raise the water level while pulling the one on the left will make the mechanism spin counterclockwise and lower the water level. The icon at the central top of the machine will tell the current level: One blue rectangle if the room is almost completely dry, two if the room is half-full, and three if it's full. There are platforms and areas that can only be accessed at certain levels, as well as rafts that can be used as bridges.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The four Divine Beasts have a very advanced design that allows the carrier of the Sheikah Slate to alter the placement or position of major parts, or even the position of the Beast as a whole, in order to solve puzzles of this type. In all cases, this can be done by accessing the map menu, and mastering this usage is the only way to access and activate all terminals that allow Link to regain control of the Beasts, freeing it from Calamity Ganon's influence.
      • Vah Naboris: Link can move the large cylinders inside the big central room, which not only opens certain sideway exits while blocking others but also controls the upper circuitry. Certain doors and mechanisms will only trigger when you arrange the cylinders in the way that connects the wires properly, allowing the green-colored electric charge to reach the required areas.
      • Vah Medoh: Link can toggle the angle of the Beast's wings, though both at the same time and not individually. This allows the young hero to move certain gizmos inside that are too heavy to push manually, as well as allow wind to activate mechanisms when they're positioned at certain angles.
      • Vah Ruta: Link can adjust the angle and height of the Beast's elephant-like trunk, which is permanently expelling water, so he can bring said element onto specific parts and make the aimed gizmos move or operate as soon as they receive it.
      • Vah Rudania: The toggle command is the simplest in terms of execution, but also the most significant in its outcome. The Beast, due to its lizard-like shape, can either stay positioned in the pool of lava at the heart of Death Mountain or cling onto one of the claw-like rock peaks surrounding that center. Shifting into the latter position will make the whole dungeon tilt itself 90 degrees, thus rearranging certain objects due to gravity and allowing Link to use the walls as floors and vice versa, granting access to parts that would be unreachable from the default position. However, there will also be parts that can only be reached when what you're walking onto is the floor, so you'll have to know when to make the Beast revert to the basic position.
      • The Final Trial dungeon, accessed during the climax of the Champions' Ballad DLC, allows Link to toggle the direction of all moving setpieces (clockwise or counterclockwise), which becomes important as several individual mechanisms will only work when the moving setpieces are rotating in either direction. This also influences how Link deals with the four elements (each previously present in one of the Divine Beasts), thus also invoking All the Worlds Are a Stage.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: In some locations, there are switches that toggle the gravity of the surroundings. These take the form of small pillars shaped like dragons facing each other, between which lies a stone component that brights orange when gravity is at its normal value, and green when Link hits it and makes gravity reduce its intensity (other visual cues include light-blue particles appearing in the atmosphere and the stone component hovering). Fittingly, all gravity-controlling switches present will show the current state of the surroundings, even though only one of them is hit at a time. Changing the gravity back and forth will be important to solve puzzles, since doing so will alter the weight of objects as needed.
  • Ōkami: The Ghost Ship allows Amaterasu to, in a certain room with a crack that grants a view of the skies, transition between day and night with the Sunrise and Crescent brush techniques. During day, the tide level of Ryoshima's sea rises, flooding much of the ship's interior; this allows her, Issun, and then-accompanying Rao to reach upper parts of the vessel that were previously inaccessible during night. At one point, however, they reach a crucial area that is flooded and cannot be entered in that state (since they don't know how to swim), so they have to enable a shortcut to the area with the crack and turn day into night, lowering the tide and granting access to the desired area (which has a Magic Mallet that grants access to the next dungeon).
  • Prodigal:
    • A lot of dungeons have floor tiles that switch between flat and raised, or bridges that you have to make appear to cross over with, and sometimes you're required to time their movements when completing puzzles that involve rolling barrels or reflected flames.
    • In the Crystal Caves, you have to switch the water in the entire area between thawed and frozen in order to access certain parts of it.
  • An Untitled Story: Two late-game areas in the game feature red and blue blocks alongside buttons which can be divebombed to toggle their colour, turning blocks of one colour solid and blocks of the other passable outlines.

    Gacha Games 
  • Honkai: Star Rail: Some platforming puzzles in the Herta Space Station require you to toggle between orange and blue Hard Light platforms in order to reach an objective. A gray platform can also be activated to provide a shortcut to a previously-used control panel, which then mandates you to toggle between the blue and orange platforms again.

    Party Games 
  • Mario Party: The biggest challenge in the board Luigi's Engine Room comes from the color-coded doors (red and blue) that either obstruct or open paths. In each turn, one colored set of doors will be closed whole the other will be open; but when the turn ends or a character lands on certain Event Spaces, the doors will swap their states, making it so the open ones close and the closed ones open. Cleverness (and, in some cases, also luck) will be important for a player to work around these doors and reach the current position of the Star to buy it.

  • 30XX: Penumbra features switches which, when shot, alter which blocks are active. They're used as light puzzle elements.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: During the Uga Buga chapter, Conker eventually gains access to the Rock Solid nightclub, and notices that Berri is trapped in a stone jail, being forced to dance for the present public. Beneath the jail are three doors, of which the second is open and the other two are closed. The open door leads to a path above the jail that has some dancing strippers and leads to a switch that opens the closed doors while closing the open one; and the closed doors lead to the ceiling right above the jail. The problem? The switch is a Pressure Plate, so the doors will only alternate their states as long as the switch is kept pressed. Conker has to get drunk and urinate onto a male Rockman to push it like a boulder to the open central door, and then push it normally across the upper path to the switch (while avoiding the moving strippers) so it's kept pressed. Then, with the closed doors now open (and the central one closed), Conker has to urinate onto two more Rockmen to push them respectively into the doors and make them fall onto Berri's jail, breaking it to free her.
  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time: Lani-Loli is the Quantum Mask of Space, and his main ability in the levels is to swap the physical state of objects, crates and obstacles, allowing Crash and Coco to interact accordingly with them (for example, when jumping between such platforms to avoid falling down). The objects that are phased out have their positions marked with hologram-like replicas, while those currently phased in have ghostly blue wisps floating around them. The toggling can be done by pressing a specific button in the controller, since Lani-Loli is accompanying the characters as a sidekick (like Aku Aku and the other Quantum Masks do), so employing the power is a matter of good timing.
  • Curse Crackers: For Whom The Belle Toils: There are levels with blocks which, when active, manifest like solid white-and-grey tiles, and when inactive they're absent and one can only see white dots marking their would-be positions. However, when Belle or Chime interacts with holes surrounded by purple octagonal borders, all blocks will swap their states, activating the blocks that are inactive and vice versa. Toggling these blocks will be essential to successfully navogate through the levels.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Donkey Kong Country: The level Stop & Go Station features uniquely-labeled barrels, called Stop & Go Barrels, whose use is vital to properly navigate through the path. By default, all barrels are turned on (marked with the word "GO" written in luminous green), which makes all lights in the otherwise dark cavern turn green and all resident Rock Krocs move relentlessly. When one of these barrels is touched by Donkey and/or Diddy, it and all other toggle-based barrels will change their states to off (marked with the word "STOP" written in luminous red), turning all the light sources in the level red and making the Rock Krocs fall asleep; after a while, the Stop & Go Barrels will revert to the default state, causing the light sources to turn green again and waking up the Rock Krocs. Because those enemies are invulnerable, the Kongs must make sure to touch all Stop & Go Barrels they find along the way so they can safely run past them, both in corridors and in hovering platforms above pits, and reach the exit.
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns: The World 7 level Switcheroo lives up to its name by featuring luminescent switching walls, colored red and blue. Only one colored group of them (the red ones by default) will be active at a time, acting as walls that impede DK's progress while the other group will be inactive and turned off. But by passing by spherical switches in the walls, their states will reverse, with the red ones retracting and the blue ones brightening and protracting. Later walls can be used as platforms to reach upper areas, and in some cases, DK and Diddy must avoid passing by the switches to avoid falling into a pit by removing supporting ground.
    • In Mario vs. Donkey Kong games, Mario (as well as the Mini-Marios in all games minus the first) can jump on color-coded switches (red, blue, and yellow) to activate objects (such as blocks, ladders, and bridges) of their corresponding colors. The catch? When you're pressing a switch to toggle on its associated setpieces, those of the other colors are toggled off (for example, pressing the red switch will enable the red objects but disable the blue and yellow ones), so you have to learn how to use each element in the right moment to make your way to the levels' exits.
  • Jumper Two features panels which Ogmo can crouch on to toggle their colour between blue and red, changing which blocks and spikes are touchable by Ogmo and which ones are simply intangible outlines.
  • Klonoa: The handheld platformers feature levels where you have to hit switches that move brown blocks from the background into the foreground (and vice versa for the ones initially placed in the foreground), allowing you to walk on them (or, depending on the case, pass through an area obstructed by one). One such instance is Vision 4-5 in Empire of Dreams.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man 8: The Astro Man stage features two Wrap Around mazes whose corridors have color-coded walls that can be moved (whether upward or downward) by pressing the switches that match their color: Red and green. The catch is that, when a switch is pressed, the wall that is wired to it will move to make way for a passageway, but then obstruct the one it's moving to (for example, in the first maze, the exit is obstructed by a green wall that can be moved with a green switch, but the wall then moves downward and obstructs the passageway that would lead to the part above with the exit). In both mazes, Mega Man has to work around the toggling walls as well as the wrap-around mechanic to make way to the exit.
    • Mega Man Maker has ON/OFF Switches, which are shaped like orbs. You can put them so they have to be hit to activate or you can put them to toggle through an automatic timer. The toggleable elements include blocks, spikes and ladders; and they're color-coded (red and blue, with the former ones being active by default).
  • Mighty Switch Force!: The key mechanic of these titles is block shifting: you're able to shift certain blocks in each level in and out of the foreground to transverse the level, solve puzzles, and occasionally redirect or defeat enemies (or yourself, if you aren't careful) with the press of a button.
  • Pizza Tower: There are switch blocks that activate and deactivate face blocks. While most of the time they're used to direct player's progress, at the end of Deep Dish 9, there is a minor puzzle where player has to figure out when to press the switch block.
  • Prison City: In Power Plant, shooting a lever makes it flip, altering the stage hazards. Some need to be set in certain way in order to proceed.
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens: In the Sea Vent Lab, there's blocks that turn from outlines to solid and back if an invincible monster in the same room as the blocks are struck.
  • Sonic Colors: Levels with the blue square wisp allow Sonic access to a set of blue platforms that can be interchanged with the blue rings at any time with a dedicated player input. Beware: any blue rings Sonic passes through vanish, meaning levels may become Unintentionally Unwinnable, forcing you to lose a life.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario World: There's a level in the second world (Donut Plains 3) where you ride a platform that travels across a rail. At certain points, you'll find ON/OFF switches that toggle the incoming junctions, and you have to press them so the platform goes through the right path and avoid falling upon reaching a dead-end. A later level, "Way Cool" in Special Zone, has a much more complex network of rails and junctions, and figuring out whether or not to press the surrounding ON/OFF switches will be key to reach safe ground and avoid falling into the pit.
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island: The castle level of World 1 features, in one of its rooms, platforms that are spiked on one side but not on the other. Some of these platforms are safe to stand on because their spikes are facing down, but other platforms have their spikes facing up. The platforms with green dots can be flipped by hitting green blocks, while those with red dots have to be flipped by hitting red blocks, and to successfully traverse this room (and get all optional items in the process) it'll be necessary to make clever use of these switches.
    • Super Mario Bros. Deluxe: The Vs. game, and its single-player variant You vs. Boo, include red and white blocks that appear throughout the levels. Each of these blocks are solid for one player but not the other, and can be toggled by hitting blocks with faces on them. In the more advanced Vs. levels, there are blocks that become damaging spikes instead of disappearing, as well as levels in which the blocks flip automatically on a timer rather than solely when a player hits a face block (though the timer blocks can be hit to flip them early).
    • New Super Mario Bros.: The first castle of World 8 features rails whose platforms (lifts) can have their positions switched with red-and-yellow switches. For example, if a lift is placed on an upper rail, pressing a switch will teleport it to the lower rail. Therefore, before you stand onto a lift (which will make it move forward), you have to decide its position (and potentially grab the castle's Star Coins, including the last one which requires a not-very-obvious way to spawn a lift into the rail right below the Boss Room's door).
    • Super Mario Galaxy: There are levels where Mario (and later Luigi) can find green arrows that point at the current direction of gravity. When one of these arrows is hit with a spin attack, they turn red and lean 90 or 180 degrees (depending on the case) to a new direction, shifting the gravity at it. In the case of Gusty Garden Galaxy, this is best illustrated by the color and brightness of the gizmos with toggleable gravity: When a planetoid is being pointed at by a green arrow, its biggest tiles are colored yellow with big red exclamation marks; when the arrow is hit and becomes red, those tiles turn off and become deep-green with clear-green question marks, indicating that their gravity has been turned off (Mario and Luigi then fall onto a previously-weightless planetoid that is now turned on, pointed at by the hit arrow). Using these arrows is important to make way into one of the level's stars.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2:
      • The Red-Blue Panels are unique in that they're not controlled by switches, but by Mario's and Luigi's Spin Jump. By default, they'll face upward with the red sides, but performing a Spin Jump will make all of them flip 180 degrees into an adjacent position and face upward with their blue sides. This proves vital in the level Flip-Swap Galaxy, where you have to time carefully the Spin Jumps to land onto a panel and avoid falling down. The presence of moving electric barriers and spawning round Chomps (which will roll forward if the nearby panels are placed properly in front of them) adds to the complexity.
      • The final regular level, Flip-Out Galaxy, uses color-coded walls whose states can be controlled with Spin Jumps. By default, the red walls are protracted from the standard mortar walls and can be used for a Wall Jump, while the blue ones stay retracted; but with a Spin Jump, the red walls will retract and the blue ones will protract, and vice versa with the next Spin Jump. To complete the level, it'll be necessary to not only time the wall jumps, but also the spins to swap the walls' states whenever necessary; the last part in particular is very devious for this reason, and the Comet Mission requires you to tackle it while fleeing from Cosmic Clones.
    • Super Mario 3D Land: The Red-Blue Panels from Super Mario Galaxy 2 make a return. In the absence of motion controls and the Spin Jump, the panels (which as usual face up with their red sides by default) will flip with a single jump, greatly increasing the difficulty due to how you have to keep in mind where the panels will move onto so you know where the landing spot will be. Their debuting level attempts to provide an Antepiece by placing at the start a couple panels above solid ground so you can practice the jumps and their timing, but it's still difficult to get used to them. These panels are used the same way in the sequel Super Mario 3D World.
    • Super Mario Maker 2: The ON/OFF Switches are added to the list of Gizmos that can be implemented in the courses, and to this end, there are multiple course parts whose states can be alternated by pressing these switches.
      • The Dotted-line blocks. They're colored red and blue, with the former being solid by default; the blue ones are initially absent, but their intended location is indicated by blue outlines. When you press an ON/OFF Switch, their states will swap: Red blocks will disappear but their locations remain traced with red outlines, while blue ones will appear and become solid. All sorts of puzzles and contraptions are possible with them, and several levels of Story Mode demonstrate it (for example, there's one where you have to guide a 1-Up Mushroom into you by making it move over these blocks).
      • Conveyor belts set to red will reverse their current directions and change their color to blue when an ON/OFF Switch is pressed.
      • Rail junctions, shaped like Y, will take all platforms, enemies, and terrain at one branch by default; when an ON/OFF switch is pressed, that branch is cut and the other will open, taking the aforementioned elements into an alternate path.
      • The 3D World-exclusive Spike Blocks, instead of appearing or disappearing, will have the states of their spiky shells swapped upon pressing an ON/OFF Switch: The red ones, which by default have their spikes protracted, will retract them and become safe to walk on; the blue ones, meanwhile, will then protract theirs and become harmful upon contact. The yellow ones act independently, protracting and retracting their spikes on their own periodically.
      • The 3D World-exclusive Rail Blocks work differently. Both the red and blue blocks can be moved by default (the red ones do it all the time, while the blue ones only move when you stand on them). What the ON/OFF Switch does is to stop them completely upon being pressed, and will remain immobile even if you stand on them; they will only resume their functionality when the ON/OFF Switch is pressed again.
      • The 3D World-exclusive ON/OFF trampolines, added post-release via an update. The active ones will be colored purple with blue dots, and act like typical Springy Spores, while the inactive ones will be generic colorless platforms. When an ON/OFF Switch is hit, the trampolines with swap their states, with the colored ones becoming monochrome and losing their bouncing properties, and the monochrome ones becoming purple (with blue dots) and being able to give a boost to the players' (and enemies') jumps.
      • A post-release update added the P Blocks, whose states are controlled by P Switches instead of ON/OFF Switches. All these blocks are colored yellow, but the currently-active blocks are visibly solid while the inactive ones only show their outlines. When a P Switch is pressed, their states are swapped, but only for as long as the effect of the Switch lasts. When it expires, all P Blocks in the level revert to their corresponding states.
    • Wario Land 4: In many levels, there are blue blocks (marked with a frog face) that Wario can step on as long as they're solid, but some of them are physically inactive (only their outlines can be seen) and cannot be used. When Wario presses the level's Switch (marked with the figure of a blue frog), all associated blocks will swap their states, so he has to reach the exit within the time limit while working around a new path (as the state switcheroo will make some previously-accessible parts off-limits and vice versa); for extra challenge, a few collectible items will only be available by then. On other levels, the Switch can toggle other types of setpieces (such as freezing the whole area of Fiery Cavern to turn all fiery elements into ice ones, or opening frog-marked doors in Hotel Horror).
    • Wario: Master of Disguise: As Wario explores Blowhole Castle in Episode 8, he'll find ghostly enemies that are harmless at first, as well as certain seemingly-useless blue flames located near areas with spots that are out of reach. However, when Wario presses a Spirit Switch (with the Cosmic Wario Laser), the ghostly enemies become actual threats and the blue flames solidify to transform into blocks. Pressing the Spirit Switch again (or simply pressing another one) will revert the states to default. Wario has to make use of this feature to solve navigation-based puzzles (for example, some blocks may help him reach previously-inaccessible spots, while others may obstruct usually-open areas; and in both cases, the ghostly enemies have to be accounted for) and make his way to the end of the level and meet the boss (Stuffy the 64th).
    • Wario Land: Shake It!: The Shake Blocks, which are marked with the face of the Shake King, operate in a similar way to the frog-marked blocks in Wario Land 4. At the start of a level, the blue-colored blocks will be transparent and marked with dashes (indicating that you cannot interact physically with them), while the red-colored blocks are fully solid and you can use them like platforms. However, after Wario frees Merfle from its cage, the blocks will swap their states, with the red ones turning transparent and immaterial and the blue ones becoming fully solid. As a result of the toggling, areas that Wario was able to traverse at first become inaccessible and vice versa, thus requiring to devise an alternate path to return to the level's entrance and clear it.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Baba is You: The overarching mechanic of the game consists of alternating the physical properties of all present setpieces in the levels so you can reach the goal (or even create one). In each level, there are special blocks that identify the setpieces present (walls, rocks, lava, water, flagpoles, etc.), blocks that provide the potential effects of said setpieces (solid, pushable, harmful, goal, etc.), and connecting blocks that link the setpieces with the effects ("IS"). So if the level has a three-block connection showing "WATER-IS-SINK", it means water is unsafe to cross; but if you manage to move any of those three blocks from its position, the effect will no longer be active and the setpiece (water, in this case) is perfectly safe to cross. Cleverness is vital to take advantage of these special blocks to alter the effects and properties of all setpieces, and in certain cases you can not only stack more than one effect to a specific setpiece, but even turn multiple setpieces into Babas and play as all of them at the same time.
  • Chip's Challenge:
    • The Toggle Wall is a tile surrounded by green-colored outlines. Some of these walls are inactive and can be traversed as regular ground, while others are active and will act as walls. When a green button is pressed, all Toggle Walls will alternate their states, making it so the ones previously acting as impassable walls are toggled into passable ground, and vice versa. Also, the connection is global, so pressing any of the green buttons present in the level will yield the same effect. The game requires you to use them in all sorts of ways, and sometimes it's a mook that is pressing the button(s) (in one case, you even have to lure a mook into doing this).
    • By default, the blue-coloured tanks will face forward onto a specific side and stick there, but pressing a blue button will make them turn around to move at the opposite direction until they hit a wall. Some levels, like Lesson 4 (level 4) and Firetrap (level 124) take advantage of this, as the local passageways are obstructed by tanks and you have to make them move by pressing the blue buttons so you can proceed. The level Memory (103) combines tanks and toggle walls, making up for an intricate (but pretty-looking) maze.
  • Deadly Rooms of Death: Navigating through the dungeons requires the player to work around solid barriers that can be toggled on or off by pressing switches. Since some of the barriers are lifted and others are receded, the switches will swap their states, so it'll be important to check what routes are available in each case and which ones aren't. For extra complexity, the connection between the barriers and the switches isn't always global, which means some of the barriers are only toggled by specific switches.
  • Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy: One of the main minigames you can play revolves around Sherl escaping from the dog pound where he's captive. The exit is in plain sight, but along the way there are several color-coded plates that are obstructing Sherl; for each colored group of plates, there's a button that swaps their states (lowering the active ones while elevating the inactive ones. Because Sherl cannot stop moving in each turn until hitting a wall or an elevated plate, the player has to think carefully about which colored plates to keep active or inactive, and when to swap their states. And in each level of the minigame, Sherl has a limited number of turns to reach the exit.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Pikmin 2: The Ranging Bloyster in Shower Room is a slime-like creature whose eyes and backside bud, which are all connected to the main body via antennae, are colored yellow when the boss is in a docile state. When one of the playable Captains approaches the boss, the latter's eyes and bud detect his presence and glow into the color matching the Captain's helmet bulb, enticing the boss to chase him for an attack. If the Captain is Olimar, the parts in question will glow red; if it's Louie or the President, they'll glow blue. When the player switches control between Captains, the Bloyster will stop chasing the one who is no longer active, and after a couple seconds its eyes and bud will accordingly swap colors to match that of the now-moving Captain so it begins chasing him instead. The strategy to win the fight is to use one of the Captains as a distraction to lure the boss and, upon proximity, switch to the other Captain and make him attack the bud with Pikmin; the two Captains have to swap roles (bait and attacker) periodically to efficiently defeat the boss. This video showcases the battle with this tactic in mind. An extra detail is that, as the Bloyster moves onto the active Captain, the sound it makes is also dependent on its current target.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Etrian Odyssey:
    • Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan:
      • The game features a Mini-Dungeon (Underground Lake) that consists of a large maze made of ice walls, and some of the walkable tiles have Frictionless Ice. At first, nothing can be done in this area, but when the character party acquires the Black Flame from another mini-dungeon, they can light a large chalice at the center to warm up the whole area. When this happens, all ice walls will thaw and become walkable tiles... but the previous slippery tiles will thaw as well and become impassable moats; as a result, the maze will change its configuration and layout, and the FOE that used to be frozen will warm up and come back to life. Extinguishing the flame from the chalice will return the maze to the previous form. The party has to work around both shapes of the maze in order to fully explore it and complete the sidequests that involve it (finding a piece of primeval ice and finding the fossils of a long-deceased monster).
      • Much later in the game, you'll reach the Hall of Darkness, whose last floor features large ice walls and slippery (but passable) ground tiles. The principle is the same: Turning a furnace on with the Black Flame will warm up the whole floor, thawing the ice walls to open paths but melting the ice floors to make them impassable; the party has to figure out the right navigation procedure with these perks in order to find the color-coded chemicals and put them into their canister in the proper order so they can weaken the True Final Boss before facing it in battle.
    • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth:
      • The higher floors of the first stratum (Tutelary Forest) have ancient statues that are connected to toggleable pillars. The connection isn't global, since each statue controls two pillars (one that is erected and is being looked at by the statue, and one that is buried and is placed at the left or right of the statue); but by touching the statue, you'll make it turn 90 degrees into the side where the buried pillar lies, making it rise; meanwhile, because the other pillar isn't being looked at by the statue anymore, it'll descend into the ground and pave a previously-obstructed way. There are multiple statues (each with their associated pair of pillars) on the fourth and fifth floors of the stratum (as well as the hidden part of the third), so you have to figure out how to advance by making the statues look at certain directions and open new ways.
      • In the fifth stratum (Untamed Garden), there are several devices that disable the gravity of the whole area, and it's only necessary to touch one of them to trigger this effect. In the absence of gravity, your character party can hover rapidly across the rooms, bypassing gaps and pits; as a downside, you cannot stop moving at the current direction until you hit a wall (effectively replicating the effect of Frictionless Ice), and there are areas that can only be accessed by detouring along the way, so eventually you'll have to restore gravity. Most importantly, the behavior and motion patterns of the local FOE will change depending on whether or not gravity is active, so you'll need to think sharply to take advantage of the two forms of the stratum and successfully navigate through it and reach the Final Boss.
  • Genshin Impact: Several switches are found across Enkanomiya which control its artificial day and night cycle via the Dainichi Mikoshi tower, and whether it is day (Whitenight) or night (Evernight) will determine the accessibility of barrier puzzles. For example, some barriers will only be active during the day but disappear during the night, and the same applies vice versa as well, prompting the player to cleverly use the day/night switches to their advantage in order to progress through the puzzles for rewards.
  • Ikenfell: The Spirit Oval features a lot of floor tiles that you have to keep switching between flat and raised to progress through rooms.
  • Mario & Luigi:
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: Three levels inside Bowser require Bowser to interact with an object from the outside world to access and alter the level geometry:
      • The Pump Works is located within Bowser's esophagus. By drinking from a statue, Bowser can flood the level, which allows the Bros. to swim, moves some obstacles, and rehydrates Bubble Bloopers. This can be reverted by having Bowser step away from the statue.
      • The Energy Hold is located within Bowser's torso. By activating the Boo-ray machine (pun on X-Ray), Bowser can toggle certain platforms on and off based on the presence of the machine's light (or lack thereof).
      • The Airway is located within Bowser's lungs. By inhaling from a source of cold air, Bowser can freeze the water in the area, allowing platforms to stay put and blocks of ice to form, at the cost of blocking some areas off.
    • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team: While most Luiginary Works are more akin to a single action, a few of them are, effectively, on/off switches for level navigation.
      • Luiginary Ice allows Luigi to freeze an area, holding certain platforms in place. In-universe, this can be undone at the press of a button.
      • Luiginary Gravity allows the direction of a level's gravity to change alongside Luigi's orientation in the regular world. The level cannot be completed without rotating Luigi several times.
      • Luiginary Antigravity turns gravity in the Dream World off entirely. This allows Mario to float freely, though at the cost of his typical moveset.
  • Pokémon: Various gym puzzles involve switching between states of something, which usually results in blocking off some areas and making others accessible until you're allowed to get to the gym leader. These include:
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire: Alternating electrical currents in the Mauville City Gym. As the player's character makes their way to the leader, they not only have to challenge the local trainers but also toggle the electrical barriers by pressing switches. Namely, when a switch is pressed, the current barriers turn off while others turn on, shifting the layout of the maze.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl:
      • Raising and lowering water levels in the Pastoria City Gym. To reach the leader, you have to navigate a maze designed around staircases, rafts that serve as bridges, and switches that control the water level. The color of the switch indicates the exact level it will shift the level into; the order from lowest to highest is: Yellow, green, blue.
      • Pressing color-coded switches to rotate large clockwork cogs to reroute path junctions in Sunyshore City Gym. Each switch is in the center of a clockwork cog, and pressing it will make both its cog and all others; some will rotate clockwise and others counterclockwise. Also, green and blue switches make the cogs rotate 90 degrees (the difference between both colors is that the green switches will make each cog rotate in a specific orientation while the blue ones make them rotate the other way), while red ones make them rotate 180 degrees. The player has to work around these setups to navigate through the junctions and reach the gym leader.
    • Pokémon Black and White: Raising and lowering parts of giant dragon statues in the Opelucid City Gym is done by stomping on switches from upper parts (since Ground Pound isn't a thing for humans in the game); the dragon statues will raise or lower their claws and bend their necks to reroute the paths, allowing the character to make their way to the leader.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield: Turning on and off different water spouts in the Hulbury Gym. The sources of the spouts are color-coded pipes that can be seen in the ceiling. The switches toggle the pipes that match their color (yellow, red, blue), and it's necessary to work around them because the spouts are too strong for the player's character to simply pass through them.

    Shoot 'em Ups 
  • Mythical Mirror has two Spell Cards with gimmicks that care about whether you're in focus mode or not:
    • In the final Spell Card of the stage 4 Dual Boss battle, both bosses have a rotating laser wheel centred on them. However, one set is only active if you're in focus, and the other is only active if you're not in focus. You have to switch between the two modes at the right time to get past the lasers.
    • The Final Boss has one attack where she fires dense, rotating streams of black bullet spirals. It's impossible to avoid unless you take advantage of the fact that it rotates clockwise if you're in focus, and anti-clockwise if you're not.