The 3-D Battles of WorldRunner (or 3-D WorldRunner, to use its Officially Shortened Title) is a 1987 video game created by Square for the Nintendo Entertainment System. In Japan (where it was titled Tobidase Daisakusen), it was one of a number of games Square published for the Famicom under the DOG label. It was the first Square game released internationally: Acclaim published it in the United States. Developed by the same team subsequently responsible for Rad Racer and Final Fantasy, 3-D WorldRunner was a Space Harrier-like game designed to be played with red/blue 3-D glasses.
The object of the game is to liberate the eight worlds of Solar System #517 from the invading Alien Serpentbeasts. These fantastic worlds are filled with checkerboard floors, bottomless canyons, ancient columns and (of course) various colorful evil minions. Gameplay consists of running towards the horizon, making well-timed jumps and shooting missiles at enemies. Its hero, named Jack, later made a cameo appearance in the PlayStation game Chocobo Racing as an unlockable racer.
This game contains examples of:
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Not developed by Nintendo, but this game effectively functions as a Space Harrier clone for their console.
- Bottomless Pits: These tend to be vast as well as numerous. Fortunately, there are springs in the middle of pits that can't be jumped in one bound.
- Darker and Edgier: The Japan-only sequel, JJ: Tobidase Daisakusen 2, features much more realistic graphics, and the enemies, particularly the Serpentbeasts, look much more alien and horrific. The ending of that game is just as cartoony as the first game, though.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Among the many types of enemies are robot heads, clam shells and evil television sets.
- Idle Animation: If the game is paused, the player character sits down, cross his arms, and yawns. He also takes out a cigarette and starts smoking it which Nintendo somehow forgot to take out in non-Japanese versions of the game.
- Man-Eating Plant: The Venus Die Trap. Despite the Punny Name, it looks more like a pitcher plant.
- 1-Up: Grab a heart to get an extra life.
- Poison Mushroom: Literal poison mushrooms. Items could be made to drop by bumping into columns, and mushrooms were the one bad kind of item.
- Segmented Serpent: The Alien Serpentbeasts, fought in the Boss Battles at the end of every stage.
- Updated Re-release: In Japan, the original game was released for the Famicom instead of on a cartridge. During the move to port the game to cartridge format for the Famicom, Square produced an update to the original with altered graphics, palettes, music, and an increase in speed, naming it JJ: Tobidase Daisakusen 2. It was released by Square for the Famicom eleven days before Final Fantasy.