Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Marble Blast Gold

Go To

Marble Blast Gold (2003) is a Puzzle Game created by Garage Games. It shipped with several mid-2000s models of the iMac and iBook, but is also available on the PC. The game is a puzzle/platformer game in which the goal is to control a marble from a start pad to a finish pad in various levels. Some levels involve the gathering of a set number of gems to complete. Many levels have PowerUps that may be required in order to pass certain points in the level. An upgrade, Marble Blast Ultra (2006), has also been made. Every level has a "gold time", a usually-challenging time which can be beaten just for the sake of beating it. Some also have a qualify time, where you have to complete the level within a certain time limit to proceed.

Tropes present in this game include:

  • Attract Mode: A playthrough of Advanced level 40, Ordeal.
    • Some versions instead contain a playthrough of Advanced level 32, Whirl.
  • Bottomless Pit: Sort of. If you go over the edge, you fall indefinitely until you're declared out of bounds (OOB).
    • If you manage to go too far horizontally or even upwards or hit the wrong trigger in a custom level, you can also fall OOB. While this is easier to do with Gravity Modifiers, it's still easily possible without.
  • Cheat Code: If you click in the bottom right corner of the game window while a level you haven't unlocked is selected, it'll unlock the level regardless of if the level before it was beaten.
  • Darker and Edgier: Marble Blast Ultra, the Xbox 360 version, features darker lighting, a darker sky, and less cartoonish graphics, giving the game a more mature feel.
  • Diagonal Speed Boost: Moving your marble in a diagonal direction (based on how your camera is facing) causes your marble to pick up a lot more speed than if it were rolling straight ahead.
  • Floating Platforms: Pretty much the entirety of every level, though there are also some within some levels.
  • Forced Tutorial: Technically, most of the beginner levels are tutorials (although you can just skip to the intermediate levels if you want).
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • It's possible to get stuck in a wall, forcing a restart. This usually happens only on custom levels, and is a glitch based on scaling and rotating the game's built-in panels.
    • At least two of the built-in levels feature glitched out of bounds triggers, so if you restart the level just before going out of bounds, the game will declare you out of bounds as soon as the level resets.
  • Game Mod: There was once a very big and thriving modification community between the late 2000's and late 10's, consisting not only of fan-made levels (most of which use custom-made interiors), but also modifications of the game engine as a whole.
    • Marble Blast Platinum (2007) was the first major modification, adding 120 new levels and turning the difficulty up another notch. It features completely new textures, a full soundtrack, the Expert difficulty, rebranding of Gold Times as Platinum Times, the return of Easter Eggs and multiplayer from Ultra, and the introduction of the Harder Than Hard Ultimate Times on each level, requiring near-flawless gameplay to achieve. A Director's Cut was released with it featuring 27 scrapped levels, increasing the total level count to 147.
    • PlatinumQuest (2017) is a direct sequel to Platinum that again adds 138 all-new levels with a complete rework of soundtrack and textures. It also pushes the Torque 3 D engine to its limits by adding a range of graphical upgrades, objects, powerups, assets and triggers, altering the standard Marble Blast formula to become more diverse. It additionally reverts to the lighter theme seen in Gold, rather than the Darker and Edgier tones of Ultra and Platinum.
  • Gravity Screw: Gravity Modifiers can change the direction of gravity that you control the marble in.
  • Kaizo Trap: When you hit an out-of-bounds trigger, you have a couple of seconds where the game declares you out of bounds before it restarts you. Some custom levels place the finish pad in an out-of-bounds trigger. If you hit the trigger and reach the finish pad within about a second, then you can still finish the level. On the other hand, if you reach the finish pad after about one second, you still get the "Congratulations! You've finished!" message, but you haven't actually finished because the game will immediately restart you (and your finish is not recorded).
  • Leap of Faith: Advanced level 4 is called just that, it features a choice between a long narrow winding road and carrying out this trope via super-jumping across the level; at the end of it you need to fall down to a small platform, beside which the finish pad is located.
    • Perhaps an even better example is Advanced level 48 (Icarus), which requires a long chain of super-accurate jumps using the Super Bounce powerup.
  • Level Editor: Not only can you make your own levels with existing panels from the game, but you can also construct your own panels to make more levels in external editors, such as Constructor, Qu Ar K and Blender.
  • Lift of Doom: Several levels have these, some next to each other and requiring good timing to move between.
  • Mad Marble Maze: Three-Fold Maze (Advanced level 9), A-Maze-ing (Advanced level 14), and Escher's Race (Advanced level 19). Three-Fold Maze and Escher's Race have the same interior, but have different placements of gems, pads, and Powerups, and the latter has a time limit.
  • Mutually Exclusive Power-Ups: Sort of. You can't hold more than one Powerup at once, but it is possible to use two Powerup in rapid succession to get an added effect (for instance, a Super Speed followed by a Super Jump will give you a very high and fast jump). Many custom levels take advantage of using multiple Powerups in a chain.
  • 100% Completion: Unlike the other games in the series, 100% completion only requires completing all the levels in the game.
  • Pinball Zone: Advanced level 42, Pinball Wizard. Made very difficult as the whole level is at an angle, making control very difficult.
  • Sequence Breaking: Many levels contain many shortcuts that let you skip parts of the level, some intended, others unintended. Some Gold Times require some sort of shortcut to beat.
    • In the level Thrill Ride (Advanced level 1), the finish pad is close to the start pad. The game designers placed a large wall beside the start pad so people would have to take one of the long ways to finish the level. However, since then, people have found multiple ways to bypass the large wall and finish with a very low time.
  • Spring Jump: The super jump powerup. It can turn into In a Single Bound if you use one after landing from a large fall.
  • Super-Speed: One of the powerups is just that. Guess what it does.
  • Timed Mission: Some levels have a qualify time that limits how long you can take in the level and still unlock the next one.
    • Going for the gold time makes any level into one of these.
  • Wall Jump: While easily done by hitting a wall with enough speed and jumping beforehand, more than one walljump in a sequence generally does not push the marble further upwards due to spin unless powerups are used. Some custom levels require one to complete, and Platinum features this as a key game mechanic.