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Video Game / Mighty Switch Force!

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Mighty Switch Force! is a trilogy of Puzzle Platformer games created by WayForward Technologies, and functions as a part of the company's greater Mighty series of puzzle games (following Mighty Flip Champs! and Mighty Milky Way). 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.

The first entry, Mighty Switch Force, was originally released on December 22, 2011 for the Nintendo 3DS eShop. As a member of the Galactic Penal Squad, cyborg police officer Patricia "Patty" Wagon must locate and capture a group of convicts called the "Hooligan Sisters", who have not only escaped captivity, but have also unleashed monsters all over Planet Land. A HD version of the game, subtitled Hyper Drive Edition, was released as a Wii U launch title and later made available on Steam a few years later.

The sequel, aptly-titled Mighty Switch Force! 2, was released for the 3DS eShop on June 13, 2013. This time around severe fires are ablaze all over Planet Land, so Patty swaps out her cop gear for firefighter equipment in order to rescue the now-reformed Hooligan Sisters (as well as some crying babies) who have been trapped by the inferno. In addition to the core block shifting mechanic is your new gun: a dousing device that allows for new puzzles involving creative use of fire and water to complete your objective. A HD version was released for the Wii U later that year. A spin-off Pipe Mania!!-esque puzzle game based on this entry, called Mighty Switch Force! Hose It Down!, was released for iOS and Steam in 2015.

The third game, a pseudo-prequel called Mighty Switch Force! Academy, was released for Steam on November 23, 2015. It follows a younger Patricia during her early days at the Planet Land Police Academy, undergoing a virtual reality training simulation that immediately malfunctions, disabled the safety protocols and trapping her in a series of tests. The usual gameplay has now been made full-screen, and the title features four-player simultaneous gameplay, where players either compete or cooperate to solve the puzzles.

A Compilation Rerelease for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam, entitled Mighty Switch Force! Collection was released July 25, 2019, and collects Mighty Switch Force!, Hyper Drive Edition, Mighty Switch Force! 2, and Academy.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Patricia Wagon.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In the HD version, beating all normal and bonus incidents (not including the Hyper Drive levels) under par unlocks a playable Patricia in her gym clothes. This reward is also in the sequel, for finding all of the Ugly Secret Babies in each level
  • Animesque: Since this is a WayForward Technologies game, this is par for the course.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The second game's final boss (at least) automatically saves your current time at the beginning and restarts at the beginning of the boss fight and resets the timer to said saved time if you die. Considering it is a fairly difficult fight and the level before it is also a difficult Marathon Level compared to the rest of the game (with a par time of six and a half minutes), you can basically do a perfect run with the stage itself and not worry about ruining it if you die fighting the boss.
  • Black Comedy: In the sequel, when Patricia rescues one of the Ugly Secret Babies, they do not merely disappear when touched like the hooligan sisters do. Instead, Patty shouts "You're safe!" and kicks the baby out of frame!
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Bonus and Hyper (and Hyper Bonus) Incidents featured in Hyper Drive Edition of the first game. All of these levels requires you to use everything you've learned in the game and good reflexes to finish under Par time.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Patricia's gun never runs out of ammo, though this is probably because it's some sort of energy gun and not a traditional pistol. In the sequel, Patricia's backpack/firehose has an unlimited supply of water.
  • Camera Abuse: An example caused by the game's block switching mechanic: If you or an enemy stands in front of a background block and switch it forward, they will smack into the camera and shatter it, costing you a life or destroying the enemy. You/they even twitch like a bug for a moment before falling off the screen.
  • Checkpoint: The U.T.D., whose location you return to if you Telefrag or touch spikes.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: Academy has a mode where you and other players try to arrest the most Hooligans out of the others. In this mode, Switching is limited to whoever has a Hooligan, in which case they glow and can Switch at will. There are even items that players can get to help them get the jump on their opponents.
  • Cooperative Multiplayer: On the other side, Academy also allows players to play through the main game with friends. How easy or difficult this makes the game depends heavily on how well you can cooperate with one another.
  • The Dividual: The Hooligan Sisters. Their identities rely on being known collectively to a point that none of them are named.
  • Fanservice: This game uses it liberally, yet subtly.
    • Upon defeat, Patricia's armor disappears (not unlike Super Metroid). This is averted in Academy somewhat, as instead she just becomes a wireframe version of herself before disappearing.
    • The five convicts you must catch are scantily clad for convicts.
    • Some of the end level scenes, like having Patricia in a swimsuit in a hot tub. The ending for Mighty Switch Force has her in her normal revealing clothes.
    • Clearing all 16 incidents under the par time gives you an alternate title screen with Patricia out of her cop gear.
  • Fair Cop: The main character Patricia Wagon has some legs on her. She's also fairly busty, but her armor hides it well.
  • Fake Longevity: Going back and getting the par times for each level. There were only sixteen of them to begin with in the first game, but a later update added five new levels — you still have to beat the original 16 to unlock them, though.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Checkpoints are marked with the U.T.D. Which doesn't stand for something sensible and technological like Universal Tracking Device, but rather for Ugly Twitching Dog.
    • The sequel introduces the Ugly Secret Babies, or USBs.
  • Go for the Eye: Last level, in the first two games.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The first game's final boss. It is not even hinted at he's an alien-like monster, outside of the odd walls Incident 16 has. Most mooks are at least partially mechanical, so this comes as somewhat of a surprise.
    • The second game's final boss, (which appears to be a giant one-eyed dragon creature) also counts, though it is implied to be the cause of all the fires in the first place.
  • Hand Wave: The reason why there are robot enemies is because one of the Hooligan sisters dropped a flask with green liquid. The reason for the Final Boss is shown at the start of the last level as well.
  • Hartman Hips: Patricia is actually generally curvy, but since her armor conceals her bust, this is the aspect of it you'll see most of the time.
  • Hearts Are Health: 3 blue Heart Symbols, damage of any kind takes away 1, and losing all 3 means that Patty has to restart the level.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In the second game, the Hooligan Sisters have given up their criminal ways, but you still have to find them in each level. Though this time, you're saving them.
  • Institutional Apparel: All 5 convicts are decked in some form of stripes. This is no longer the case in the sequel, as they have reformed.
  • The Lad-ette: The Hooligan Sister that wears the jean shorts in the first game and black leather coat in the second game.
  • Large Ham: Patricia. "STOP, IN THE NAME OF THE LAW!"
  • Making a Splash: In the second game, Patricia uses a fire hose to combat the outbreak of fire. She can also spray enemies, who take damage, and the Hooligan Sisters, whose clothes get soaked and who each has a unique reaction.
  • Marathon Level: Incident 16 in Mighty Switch Force 1 and 2. While most levels have Pars ranging from 30 seconds to 1 and half minutes the final level of 1 has a Par of 3 minutes, the second game tops that by having the final level having a Par of whooping 6 minutes and a half.
  • Meat Moss: In the final normal level — at first, it's just in the background, but it starts cropping up on the foreground walls once you get far enough.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: The sequel is largely similar to the first, with a different weapon and new mechanics to match.
  • Nintendo Hard: In Mighty Switch Force, starting around the fourteenth incident, the difficulty goes up to eleven.
  • Obviously Evil: Gee, the "Hooligan Sisters" sure sound like a lovely and peaceful bunch, don't they?
  • One-Hit Kill/Piercing Attack: Beating all the normal incidents unlocks the Mighty Shot in the first game and Mighty Hose in the second. They kill any enemy and destroy any obstacle in one hit.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: One of the enemies in the second game is defeated by spraying in its mouth with enough water until it bursts, releasing the sister it had eaten.
  • Robot Girl: Patricia, who also doubles as a Ridiculously Human Robot. Amusingly, she's paired with her much more robotic-looking partner, Corporal Gendarmor.
  • Robotic Reveal: Beating the second game will show a scene of Patricia in her robotic body.
    • Some official material states she's actually a Cyborg, not a full robot. Due to the pre-existing dissonance between written info and the in-game art, the jury is still out.
  • Scenery Porn: The sprite work and animations stand out as some of Wayforward's best work.
  • Shout-Out: Patricia getting out of her armor at the end of the game is a reference to Samus Aran slipping into casual wear after you speed run the games.
    • Patty's death animation is an obvious homage to the death animation of Samus in Super Metroid, complete with Patty's hair turning blonde.
  • Stealth Pun: Patricia Wagon. Get it? Patty Wagon!Note to international readers 
  • Telefrag: It's the only way to destroy some enemies and is integrated into the level design, i.e. a type of block launches objects a certain direction if it collides with one on switch. It's fairly easy to self-destruct this way if you aren't paying attention.
  • Toggling Setpiece Puzzle: The key mechanic of the games 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.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The final level of Mighty Switch Force 1 and 2 removes your ability of switching at will. Switching will happen on its own after three beeps and you have to work around this handicap in order to finish a level that's already challenging even without this gimmick.