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Video Game / Peggle

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Yeah, sure, Mr. Sun. Drug dealers smile like that, too.

"I started playing Peggle around noon and emerged some time later to find that the authorities had declared me legally dead."
Yahtzee Croshaw from Zero Punctuation reviewing Peggle.

Peggle is a highly addictive series of puzzle games from developer PopCap Games, available for purchase via Valve's Steam service and Microsoft's Xbox Games Store.

The goal is simple: you're given ten balls and you have to knock out all the orange pegs on the screen by bouncing the ball off the various pieces of scene geometry. Succeed, and you're off to the next level. Beat all the regular levels and you can then try your hand at the challenges, which are the same levels, but with certain conditions that must be met to beat the challenge. Conditions include getting a certain minimum score (harder than it sounds), playing a variation of the usual level with more orange pegs than normal, or clearing every single peg to name the three most common ones.

The Peggle series currently consists of six games:

  • Peggle Deluxe: The original game. 55 levels and 75 challenges.
    • Peggle (iPod): An iPod port of Peggle Deluxe that is identical gameplay-wise, but features numerous minor visual modifications to suit the iPod's capabilities as well as providing 12 balls on level start instead of 10. All the same levels and challenges as Deluxe. Sold only through the iTunes Store.
  • Peggle Extreme: A sort of demo version of the game originally released as part of Valve's Orange Box, it contains unique levels themed for Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal and an extra Counter-Strike-themed level. 10 levels and 5 challenges. Available for free on Steam.
  • Peggle Nights: Dream themed game. 60 new levels and 60 challenges. An extra 10 levels (labeled "Spring Fever") were released around the time PopCap released Plants vs. Zombies.
  • Peggle World of Warcraft: Like Extreme, but for World of Warcraft. Also available for free.
  • Peggle Dual Shot: The Nintendo DS version of the game. Contains all of the levels from Peggle Deluxe and Peggle Nights, a new "bonus underground" mode, and a collection of new levels featuring art from Q Entertainment.
  • Peggle 2: Released December of 2013 for the Xbox One. Has a new animated visual style, new levels, and five new Peggle Masters (Bjorn and later on via DLC Jimmy Lightning are the only returning [playable] Masters), each with their own leitmotifs and abilities.
  • Peggle Blast: Released in 2014 for Android and iOS. Bjorn, Jimmy Lightning, Warren, and Tula return from the original games to join seven new Peggle Masters with new abilities. Also takes the Allegedly Free Game route popularized by Candy Crush Saga.

Tropes used:

  • Adapted Out:
    • Bjorn is the only playable master in Extreme, with all the others either completely absent or Demoted to Extra.
    • This is also the case for Peggle World of Warcraft. Though Splork manages to avoid this trope here, being the only other master to be playable aside from Bjorn.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Making an exceptionally good score in a single shot in Blast gets you this (in the same choir-like manner as the other ones, amusingly).
  • Boring, but Practical: Some of the more basic specials, like Bjorn's Super Guide and Kat Tut's Pyramid, can definitely come in handy on some levels. The Super Guide shows you where a ball will go after the first bounce, and the Pyramid is a good way to score easy Free Balls.
  • Boss Rush: One of the challenges revolves around beating consecutive Peggle Master duels.
  • Comeback Mechanic: A minor one, but fail to hit a single peg with a ball, and your character will flip a coin to let you have a chance at getting it back.
  • Company Cross References: In the original Peggle, Chuzzles are scattered around Splork's stages, Claude has a level called "Insane Aquarium", and in Nights, Warren reads 'Z-U-M-A' off a statue description. Chuzzle, Insaniquarium, and Zuma are other games made by PopCap.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The game's AI. Even watching Demo Mode is convincing enough. Heck, just shoot Master Hu's Zen Ball to see it—one of the few times you can actually use this to your advantage.
  • Cosmetic Award: One of the rewards for beating the Celestial Realm in Peggle 2 is bragging rights. As in, the reward screen outright states "Bragging Rights Unlocked".
  • Cute Kitten: Kat Tut, and in Nights, Lord Cinderbottom's stages consist of him saving the cats and kittens of a town from a fire.
  • Developer's Foresight: Tula's Flower Power can light up orange pegs anywhere on the board, meaning that it's possible to win a level by hitting a green peg instead of the last orange peg. However the game recognizes that this would still be a winning move, and therefore goes into dramatic slow motion when you're about to hit the green peg.
  • Dream Episode: The premise of Peggle Nights is that each Peggle host has a dream they want to achieve, but it all turns out to be fake.
  • Excuse Plot: The game's narrative premise is that you are learning to play Peggle at the famous Peggle Institute, and therefore must play endless levels of Peggle. One wonders who is willing to fund such a program.
  • Extra Life: Getting sufficient amounts of points - 25,000, 75,000, and 125,000 - on any shot can net up to three extra lives. Also, there's a moving bucket down at the bottom on the stage; getting the ball in this bucket grants an extra life.
  • Harder Than Hard: The AI difficulty levels are Easy, Normal, Hard, and Master.
  • Jaw Drop: In Peggle 2, Jeff's head goats, Berg, Luna, and Windy do this when you beat a level; Luna's jaw in fact literally does drop to the floor.
  • Limit Break: Extreme Fever in Blast, where all remaining balls are fired into the play field.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • It's easy for levels to devolve into whether you can land in the bucket twice in a row.
    • The placement of pegs at the start of a level may cause players to just go right ahead and hit restart if things like green pegs are in impossible locations, or if certain orange pegs are in obscure areas.
    • Some levels in Blast feature "Shuffling" between each shot. They remove some of the pegs (but bring them all back, even those that you just destroyed) and swap placements of all orange and green pegs.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Nights added one more Peggle master and Ace medals, but it's essentially 60 more levels and 60 more challenges.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Once you get the last orange peg, the game goes into super-close-up, super-slow-motion on the ball while Beethoven's Ninth Symphony belts out at full blast, almost as if you had just achieved world peace by kicking cancer right in the gonads.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: If you get near enough to the last orange peg to go into super-close-up, but don't hit it, the "Ode to Joy" chorus groans in disappointment.
  • No Antagonist: Played straight except in Extreme, World of Warcraft, and Blast. The latter introducing Fnord.
  • Pixellation: When you complete a level with Berg, he gets so excited he turns and cheers, with this trope censoring his exposed ass.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The "Even. More. Cheevos." achievement in 2.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Peggle Blast turned Fnord and Bjorn into brothers.
  • Score Multiplier:
    • Lighting up orange pegs increases your Fever-Meter, and once the Fever-Meter hits a certain level, every peg you hit will be worth more: first 2x, then 5x, then 5x, and finally 10x.
    • One of the possible benefits you can get from Warren's Lucky Spin is "Triple Score", which triples the score of your current shot as well as your next one.
    • The purple peg is worth five times more than the orange pegs, and fifty times more than the round ones. Because of the way the game's scoring system works, this massively raises the value of the entire shot, essentially making it a score multiplier in all but name.
  • Serious Business: The Excuse Plot of the game is that you're at "Peggle Academy" being taught by "Peggle Masters." Why there's an entire academy set up to teach people how to throw silver balls around is beyond understanding.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Kat Tut references the "More Cowbell" sketch.
    • Courtesy of Master Hu in Nights:
    • Master Hu's band in his dream is even called "The Hu".
    • If you pull off a particularly awesome shot, Jimmy Lightning (or The Heavy in Extreme) will pop out and yell a Totally Radical phrase in much the same way that Dan Forden does in Mortal Kombat. This isn't a coincidence, either; one of Jimmy's phrases is actually "Toasty!"
    • The Multiball Madness Style award is a direct reference to Medieval Madness, which shares the same name.
    • All of Jeff's quotes for his stage intros are references to The Big Lebowski. In addition, there's his name combined with the many bridges that show up in his stages, and the fact that his special ability is a bowling ball.
  • The Smurfette Principle:
    • Tula vs. 9 male masters (presumably Renfield the pumpkin and Splork the alien are male) in the original. Nights added a second girl in Marina.
    • For Peggle 2, it's Luna vs. 4 male masters. The DLC adds Windy.
  • Spelling Bonus: After getting Extreme Fever in Blast, you can hit the bumpers between the five holes that usually appear after the main objective is accomplished. Hitting all of them will spell out "BLAST" and give you 100,000 points.
  • Standard Snippet:
    • The opening theme is "Morning Mood" from Peer Gynt.
    • Recognize Renfield's theme? That music that plays when you activate a Spooky Ball is Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
    • The standard victory theme is "Ode to Joy". In Peggle 2, only Bjorn still uses it as his victory theme, with the other characters having other pieces of classical music as victory themes or leitmotifs; though "Ode to Joy" remains prominent.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Preventing this is the Excuse Plot of Peggle Extreme, more or less.
  • To Be a Master: The player's role in the in-game story.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: In Peggle Fever, Bjorn and Fnord are not brothers. Bjorn has his own brothers.
  • Variable Mix:
    • In the original game and Nights, the music changes each time the Fever-Meter's Score Multiplier increases, adding extra layers of instrumentation and becoming more complex.
    • Peggle Blast heavily utilizes this, with the music changing between each shot.
  • Video Game Tutorial: A subtle one. The first character you meet is Bjorn, whose special skill explicitly shows the player how the ball will bounce after striking the first target.