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Video Game / Shrek the Third

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Partially based on the third movie in the Shrek universe, Shrek The Third was a best-selling game at one point in 2007, mainly due to the better-than-expected quality and the lack of major studio releases at that point in time.

Shrek The Third provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The second-to-last level is one, complete with Spikes of Doom, hundreds of crates and dozens of prisoners, knight guards and even cyclops. However, it’s implied that this sewer section was modified beforehand.
  • Adapted Out: None of the princesses except Fiona and Sleeping Beauty participate in the prison escape.
  • Advertised Extra: Donkey. While he appears on the game's cover alongside Shrek and Puss and in several levels as an NPC, he's only directly playable in one level and a very short portion of another, the least of any playable character by far.
  • Airborne Mook:
    • The dragonlings are this, though most of them can only hover at 2-3 m heights and so can be defeated in close combat. The elite white dragonlings fly higher, however, and are savvy enough to remain out of reach for most of the fight.
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    • The witches all fly into the fray on brooms, but then drop them and fight on foot, allowing Shrek to defeat them. Maybe their brooms only have enough juice for short flights?
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The majority of the game is played with Shrek, but at various points you'll also take control of Donkey, Fiona, Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty and Artie.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The coins you collect are generally used to purchase outfits for Shrek and his friends. Shrek gets his king's uniform from the start of the movie (which is also used in the tutorial), his beach outfit from Shrek 2, his knight armor from the first movie and a pirate outfit, Donkey gets a costume based on Dragon (used in the Ice Cave), Puss gets an evil knight disguise, Fiona gets her funeral dress from the movie and Sleeping Beauty gets a black royal gown. Via cheat codes, Shrek can also wear scuba gear and a safari outfit.
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  • Anti-Frustration Features: All levels are filled with dozens of collectibles and it can be easy to miss some. When you repeat the game, the collectibles you already obtained are replaced by a ghostly shadow that gives you coins instead.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The enemy AI isn't very refined. They're geared solely towards attacking you and not much else, meaning they lack any pathfinding AI and tend to get stuck on objects or scenery.
  • Ascended Extra: While Sleeping Beauty was one of the main princesses in the third movie, she had very little plot relevance beyond acting as an extra member. Here, she's one of the six playable characters and actually helps rescue Fiona at one point.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Like in other similar games, enemies don't ever give up fighting, even when they would often have no good reason to risk their lives.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In the academy level, Shrek wanders in on a prince and the sword being walled off by a force field maintained by an elite witch. He fights and defeats the witch for the prince... only to find out that it was Lancelot and not Arthur.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: Averted with most of the playable characters who still take chip damage from attacks when blocking, but played straight with Arthur, who takes no damage whatsoever when blocking. Justified in that he has a shield to protect him from damage.
  • Bloodless Carnage: In keeping with the source material, the only thing left behind enemies is fairy dust, which is collected by characters to fill the combo meter. However, this still allows for some rather impressive finishing moves on more advanced enemies. For instance, knights will often have their helmets punched into the base of their neck.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: The elite red witches are protected by circular force fields Shrek can't bypass by punching. However, there's an infinite dispenser of breakable crates in the area. The only way to win is to launch them at her and thus bring the barrier down.
  • Brain Bleach: In-universe, that is the effect Shrek’s bathing suit has on the enemies he fights, giving you a mana boost from them.
  • The Cameo: On the pirate ship, there is a hideout underneath the ladder filled with breakable crates. Breaking the last one reveals Skipper from Madagascar.
    Skipper: We're going to the wide open spaces of Antarctica. To the wild.
  • Charged Attack: All characters have them. Besides simply being a slightly stronger attack, they’re also used to break enemies' shields and through the barricades.
  • Collection Sidequest: All levels have silver beer mugs scattered around each level. Certain levels also have thematic collections: poisoned apples in the witches' castle, golden oars and peg legs in the pirates' levels, theatre tickets in the city, etc.. In one level, it becomes part of the main game, when Shrek and Arthur need to drop a coin down the well to appease Lady of the Lake. They don’t have the coin, and to get it, they need to collect 7 crystal slippers for her first. Shrek is just as annoyed about it as the player by this point.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • One of the outfits you can unlock is the knight's armor suit Shrek wore in the first film when rescuing Fiona. Another outfit is the swimming trunks Shrek wears during the opening to the second movie.
    • When dressed in a dragon's suit, Donkey’s rant will include a phrase "How am I going to tell my wife about this?" referencing his marriage to the dragon.
  • Crate Expectations: Crates begin to be encountered from second level onwards. However, they’re nowhere near as persistent as barrels.
  • Creepy Doll: The pseudo-Pinocchios made by Stromboli in his laboratory underneath the castle.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Puss in Boots and Donkey get captured by a rather small amount of knights in the city, forcing Shrek to surrender to Charming.
  • Deadly Lunge: Frequent amongst enemies. Pirates do a spinning one through the mid-air, hockey players will jump several metres forward at you, etc. Even knights can do this in spite of their heavy armour.
  • Degraded Boss: Happens to most early-game bosses. Enemies with shields that appear as bosses become more frequent later, and same applies to the cyclops and elite dragonlings.
  • Double Jump: Puss' exclusive ability allows him to jump while in the air. The Catacombs Leap minigame grants Shrek, Donkey and Artie the ability as well, but they can't do so in the main story.
  • Easier Than Easy: Charming difficulty heavily nerfs enemy damage while boosting your own to the point where you can kill almost anything in a couple hits. The game becomes an utter cakewalk while it's active, but in order to unlock it you have to pay 15,000 coins in the gift shop. You also obtain less coins than you would on harder difficulties.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Charming difficulty heavily increases damage dealt to enemies while reducing damage taken just as much, but in order to even unlock the setting to use you have to pay a whopping 15,000 coins in the gift shop and you suffer a heavy coin reduction when using it. It's also Prince Charming's favourite difficulty and the icon on the shop shows him with a goofy propeller hat on, implying you're about as weak as him for relying on it.
  • Elite Mooks: Pirates and knights have shield-bearing elites, dragonlings have a high-flying white version that spends most of its time out of reach, witches have a mini-boss capable of creating force fields.
  • Enemy Mine: Released prisoners are willing to pair up with the guards to fight against princesses.
  • Excuse Plot: Let's be honest, what did you expect?
  • Expy: Early in the game, Shrek fights a pirate captain based on Captain Jack Sparrow, sporting similar facial features and a very similar theme to that of "He's a Pirate".
  • Fake Longevity: Each level typically has 2 collection sidequests, a bonus point for not dying, a child’s sketch of certain moment in the game, something notable to break and something entirely random (jump onto Witches’ bed, anyone?) In addition to that, there are 6 bonus minigames (many of which are much harder than the regular game) to keep you busy after you finish the campaign.
  • Finishing Move: While early-game enemies will die quickly, tougher enemies will often be stunned after several attacks, allowing for several different finishing moves.
  • Floating Platforms: Puss in Boots has to traverse two sequences of them on the Witches' castle level. Justified, because it's the only implicitly magic place there.
  • Flunky Boss: Fiona battles an axe-wielding, armored giant in sewers alongside many of his friends, in what is the most difficult boss battle of the game.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: When Shrek and Arthur reach the fairy, she asks them to drop a coin down the well to complete the graduation. While the player would likely have several hundred coins at this point, neither Shrek nor Arthur have any money on them in the cutscene, and so have to perform a fetch quest for her.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Donkey’s battle against the horse-drawn carriage. He has to follow it until it eventually crashes, while the occupants throw bales of hay at him.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Used during the "siege" levels where you're trying to bring down castle's towers with a ballista and a catapult. Every once in a while, a gold hot air balloon will rise from the castle. Shooting it down upgrades the projectiles to a next level until you miss. The last level of upgrades is gold.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Being an ogre, Shrek doesn’t need weapons and so he defeats most enemies hand-to-hand. Sometimes, though, he’s required to throw small objects (mainly crates and barrels) at shielded/faraway enemies.
  • Ground Pound: The mace-wielding knights can jump up and do one, complete with a yellow energy burst immediately at the point of impact.
  • Harder Than Hard: Grimm difficulty makes enemies much more aggressive and bumps their damage up to where some can outright kill you in two or three hits. It also has to be bought in the gift shop before it can be used, but doubles all coins collected when active.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Grimm difficulty heavily increases the damage enemies deal to the point where some of the Elite Mooks can take you out in a couple hits, but it doubles all coins collected.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Knight enemies. They’re still not that challenging due to the game's poorly balanced difficulty, but they do have enough health to allow for a variety of finishing moves on them.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: During early levels, it is sometimes possible to find a leg of roast meat, which restores health and gives plenty of fairy dust.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Downplayed. While the Easy, Normal and Hard difficulties are exactly what you'd expect, the Easier Than Easy difficulty is called Charming and the Harder Than Hard difficulty is called Grimm.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Invoked in the prison level when Sleeping Beauty finds the Gingerbread Man locked in a cell with candy cane bars. When asked why he couldn’t eat his way out, he replies "I’m not a cannibal!"
  • Improbable Weapon User: Frequent. Pirates attack with their oars, school's hockey players attack with their implements, servants in the tutorial attack with brushes and ice carving tools. Special mention goes to the prisoners in the sewer level, which fight with sharpened spoons and can perform complicated routines with them. There are also the common ranged bandits, which throw some sort of weak blue-red projectile from their pouches. It's never explained just what exactly do they use.
  • In-Character Commentary: Several levels have purchasable commentary from Shrek and his friends.
  • Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!: Happens to Arthur during the dragon boss fight if he gets hit by the dragon’s Ice Breath.
  • Joke Character: Donkey. He is only used twice, and the second time he's dressed in a crap dragon suit, something he constantly grumbles about. He also lacks any character-specific abilitiesnote .
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Arthur is defined by this trope. His shield is so powerful it can successfully protect him from Ice Dragon’s claws, head-butts and even ice breath.
  • Made of Iron: All characters can survive dozens of blows without blocking, due to the game being rushed out alongside the film before testing was complete. Special mention goes to Shrek, who can survive a cannonball here.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Ice Dragon has an attack where it shouts upwards to summon a hail of icicles downwards. Incidentally, it is practically the only attack it has that ignores Arthur's shield.
  • Mind Control: Puss in Boots is capable of stunning enemies by doing his "cute look" thing. Sleeping Beauty goes one step further, as she’s capable of forcing enemies under her spell to fight each other for her.
  • Mini Mook: In Stromboli’s laboratory, you can occasionally encounter miniature versions of the evil Pinocchio knock-offs. They’re often harder to fight, as they’re just short enough to slip underneath your fists.
  • Oh, Crap!: When you first encounter mace-wielding knights as a Sleeping Beauty, one of them is discussing Rapunzel’s betrayal and discusses Sleeping Beauty in derogative terms. When he notices her, his reaction is akin to this.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Shrek forces Donkey to wear a shoddy Dragon disguise to trick Artie into thinking he slayed a real dragon as part of his quest. It goes awry when Donkey accidentally encounters a real ice dragon and Artie has to rescue him - it's heavily implied Artie wouldn't have been fooled even if he met Donkey before the real deal.
    • Puss' unlockable evil knight disguise explicitly mentions that "only the stupidest of Charming's minions would be fooled" by it, since it leaves his face and tail exposed and doesn't do anything to hide how small he is.
  • Regenerating Health: Characters slowly regenerate health when not in direct combat.
  • Roboteching: Witches' magical projectiles firstly fly straight, then slightly arc towards your location.
  • Secret Level: Via cheats, you can play a secret level based around Shrek's nightmare about being a parent from the movie. In it, Shrek has to find ogre babies scattered throughout the level and return them to Merlin.
  • Shield Bash: One of Artie's finishers has him knock an enemy out by hitting them in the face with his shield.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Two varieties. There are the elite pirates with tridents and silver shields (which have lobster engravings on them), and knights with axes and heavy round shields. Both are immune to regular attacks and can only be defeated with ultimates or if their shield is broken by the Charged Attack first.
  • Shields Are Useless: Averted with Artie's shield, which blocks all damage no matter what when up.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Shrek’s first tier ability has him stomp the ground for a light green shockwave attack.
  • Slo Mo: Shrek and Fiona possess this as their ultimate ability.
  • Smash Mook: The cyclopi essentially boil down to this.
  • Spikes of Doom: A notable example occurs in the sewer level, where there's a row of curved, hair-like spikes going up and down, with a guard looking on. When Fiona begins to go through it, said guard will hesitate between giving up or encouraging her to go through and get skewered.
  • Spin Attack:
    • Used by the Sleeping Beauty and Arthur for their Charged Attack.
    • Fiona has a variety where she performs a pirouette.
    • The armored giant boss fought twice performs a powerful spin attack. An elite prisoner variant combines this with Deadly Lunge: they charge forwards, spinning around and slashing with their spoons in elaborate patterns.
  • Sword Beam: Artie's charged ability is to send one forward.
  • Take That!: Early in the game, Shrek fights an Expy of Captain Jack Sparrow. The sheer ease of which the captain goes down may be a jab at Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which came out around the same time as Shrek the Third.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Occurs twice with two levels devoted to the "siege" minigame where Shrek controls either a ballista or a catapult to bring down a castle within a set time limit. First time is at the end of Academy section and the second time is when you're bringing down the Fiona's prison.
  • Unique Enemy: Many enemies, like dragonlings or hockey players, are only encountered in their respective areas. Last level has Shrek fight against actors dressed like him for the Charming’s performance.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The first boss in the game, the pirate captain, is extremely easy and primarily exists to demonstrate that Charged Attacks are necessary to break shields. Once the shield is broken, he goes down just as easy as any other mook.


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