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Video Game / Panel de Pon

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“Now, let’s go play together... under the clearest of blue skies."

"When the flowers bloom, the power of fairies works..."
— Translated intro of Panel de Pon.

Panel de Pon note  is a Match-Three Game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. While not the Trope Maker for the Match-Three Game, it certainly helped popularize the genre.

Gameplay is simple. You have a screen full of differently colored blocks (also marked by different shapes). You can swap the blocks freely horizontally, but you cannot swap them vertically. Get three or more of the same block in a row, and they vanish. Get more than 3 in a row, clear multiple sets of 3 at once, or create a chain — the blocks that fall in to replace the ones that you just cleared form more sets of 3 or more — and you get more points. However, the stack of blocks is constantly growing, and if it reaches the top of the screen, you lose. While a simple formula, it lends itself well to many variants: Play until you lose, score as many points as possible in a limited time, clear all the blocks on screen with limited moves, face off against a CPU to see who loses first (with unclearable "garbage" to speed up the process)...


The original Panel de Pon came out for the Super Famicom in 1995. The plot, such as it was, starred a flower fairy named Lip trying to rescue her fellow fairy friends from monsters, who are using evil magic to possess them and flood their homeland with an endless rainstorm.

Since it was believed that no self-respecting Western gamer would buy a game featuring 'girly girls' in those days, instead of roughing the marketing up like Kirby, Nintendo decided to do the infamous palette and name swap, the same way they did to Super Mario Bros. 2. The US version was dolled up as Tetris Attack in 1996 with identical gameplay but with a very superficial Yoshi's Island themenote , a few extra options and character profiles, and nothing to do with Tetris at all.note  This version was simultaneously released for the Super NES and Game Boy, and was also brought back to Japan as Yoshi no Panepon.


It later saw two Pokémon-themed reskinnings: Pokémon Puzzle Challenge for Game Boy Color, which was almost a proto-Puzzle Quest, and Pokémon Puzzle League for Nintendo 64, directly based on the anime, which introduced a "3D" mode with a cylinder of blocks instead of a stack. It had "battles" between Pokémon played out in puzzle matches, and some adventuring on the side. The name "Puzzle League" stuck in western releases: a Game Boy Advance compilation release (along with Dr. Mario) simply entitled it "Puzzle League," which had no theme whatsoever. The DS iteration, Planet Puzzle League, maintained the name while adopting a futuristic theme, though still with no characters.

An Animal Crossing-themed variant called Animal Crossing Puzzle League was released as a Game Within a Game for New Leaf after an update. This version of the game introduces a new game mechanic where if you fill up a gauge upon clearing panels, you will get the ability to use a special technique. By default, your ability is "Horizontal Wipeout", but if you use an Animal Crossing amiibo figurine, you get an alternate special technique depending on the figurine (for example, Isabelle's winter figurine gives you "Slow Panels", which decreases the speed of the gameplay).

Aside from Lip's Stick, a Mii Outfit, and her Spirit in Super Smash Bros., Lip has been nowhere to be seen in puzzle land for quite some time. She did, however, show up as a character in Captain Rainbow. You can also dress your Animal Crossing villager as Lip in New Leaf. Nintendo would finally release Panel de Pon to western audiences as part of its Nintendo Switch Online SNES games, although untranslated similar to Super Puyo Puyo 2 on the service as well.

An open-source clone based on the Super Nintendo games called Panel Attack exists, which features online multiplayer/matchmaking. Additionally, several Spiritual Successor games are available and/or are in development online, including Flipon (Released), Super Plexis (Early Access), and Swapette Showdown (Release Date TBA).

This series provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Richie in Pokémon Puzzle League goes from the first trainer who managed to end Ash's league run to the first member of the Elite Four.
    • Team Rocket, normally a Terrible Trio who are fairly easily beaten by Ash and company once an episode, function as this for Spa Service mode. They essentially get their own arc and, even without multiple difficulty levels, have a few end stages that are generally regarded as some of the harder ones for Puzzle League.
  • Adapted Out: Bumpty (the second stage) is completely absent from the Game Boy version of Tetris Attack. After beating Lakitu, you immediately go against Poochy.
  • A.I. Breaker: The AI always prioritizes the garbage block closest to the bottom of the well, even if there's a monster garbage block on top that poses the actual threat. If they can't clear that garbage block, they'll simply give up even if there's a solution to the garbage block on top.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: They switch sides depending on whether player one or two chooses them but if a character is holding something but everything will be in the same position regardless. Averted in Pokemon Puzzle League, as all playable characters have P1 and P2 backgrounds.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: A subtle in-game example; the Panel de Pon garbage blocks are dependent on the character who created them and most have cheerful smiles on them. In Tetris Attack, the garbage blocks are uniform and all have angry, grimacing faces on them (slightly similar to Thanatos' blocks in Panel de Pon). Likewise, Yoshi is much more of a snarky trash-talker than usual in Tetris Attack — especially compared to the tomboyish but much friendlier Lip — not unlike Kirby's similarly ruder and more smart-alecky Mascot with Attitude portrayal in Kirby's Avalanche.
  • The Anime of the Game: Inverted with Pokémon Puzzle League, which is one of the only games in the entire Pokémon franchise to take most of its cues from the anime. While Pokémon Yellow focused on the series' Third-Option Adaptation of having Pikachu as your starter and the appearance of Team Rocket's Terrible Trio, Puzzle League goes all the way and features the anime characterizations of the cast.
  • Animesque: Inverted. The original Japanese game has an artstyle and themes that are highly influenced by Western Children's High Fantasy series like Rainbow Brite and My Little Pony.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If the blocks are close enough to the screen for the danger music to play, the stopping effect of combos and chains will last longer than it normally does to give you a bit more time to get the tower back down.
  • The Artifact: The "lily castle" from Panel de Pon remains in the background of Tetris Attack's story mode.
  • Artifact Title: Pokémon Puzzle League was so-titled because it involved Ash from the Pokémon anime joining a new type of Pokémon League—not just a Pokémon League, but a Pokémon Puzzle League. While there haven't been any Pokémon-themed entries in the series since, the title stuck.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • The AI in Panel de Pon and Tetris Attack can't "see" the normal panels a garbage block is being converted to, and therefore won't chain off them. Chaining large garbage blocks this way is the game's only Comeback Mechanic, and the AI being unable to do it is a severe hindrance. This is fixed in subsequent games.
    • If the AI's stack contains an excessive number of garbage blocks, it'll just give up instead of trying to clear them; even when in theory, they could turn the game around.
  • Ascended Extra: While Giovanni is not typically an "extra", this is the first time in the Pokémon series Giovanni and Ash have squared off; Jessie is the one Ash challenged for the Earth Badge in the anime itself, implied to be because Giovanni was out testing Mewtwo for Pokémon: The First Movie and instructed them to hold the challenges for the time being. Giovanni and Ash wouldn't meet again until Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns towards the end of the Johto arc a few whole seasons later.
  • Auto-Pilot Tutorial: The games feature these tutorials - however, they are welcome because they are optional and extremely in-depth (with six main sections and more supplemental sections featuring things like demonstrating the timing necessary for time-lag chains.
  • Badass Boast: Team Rocket does this in the final Spa Service stage.
    Jessie and James: That's it! No more games: Now we finish this here. No costumes, no tricks, just the real Team Rocket!
  • Badass Cape: Lip's mother wears one, as does Kain.
  • Bash Brothers: Furil and Kain from Nintendo Puzzle Collection can team up and combine their garbage blocks.
  • Bishoujo Series: The art style of the first game in Japan, and the probable reason that Tetris Attack, the Western version, was a Dolled-Up Installment with a Yoshi's Island theme.
  • Blow You Away: Fairy of Wind, Windy.
  • Blush Sticker: Most of the younger fairy characters have them. but Pupuri stands out for having permanent pink cheek marks.
  • Bokukko:
    • Lip, the main protagonist, is a downplayed example. She uses the feminine atashi but otherwise has a relatively masculine way of speaking, such as using the plain copula da and ending her sentences with the masculine zo.
    • Sherbet is a more traditional example, being a tomboy with a somewhat boyish appearance.
  • Bright Castle: The royal castle is a bright blue structure loosely resembling the Sultan's palace from Aladdin (as mentioned above under Film) build inside an enormous water lily.
  • Cap:
    • The score capped at 99999 in Endless and Stage Clear mode in the original Super NES version. In Pokémon Puzzle League, this was increased to 999999. The GBA version lets you choose which to use, as well as sort of lampshading this by recording your fastest time to each one.
    • Versus Time Trial only shows four digits of score in the SNES version (it will roll over every 10,000). The full scores are displayed at the end though.
  • Cartoon Creature: Furil's pet Pupuri, a koala rabbit. Likewise, Watabou the Fluffy; Lip's furry flying companion who she's seen with in the title screen of the SNES game.
  • Catchphrase: Each character says something when you do a combo or chain with them.
  • Character Focus: Six characters in Tetris Attack/Panel de Pon (Yoshi/Lip, plus the representatives of the Breeze, Forest, Water, Blaze and Lunar stages) have special stages that are accessible in most one-player modes. The other characters are only playable during Mt. Wickedness (or unless if you cheat and allow them to be playable in the story mode) and in 2-player mode.
  • Comeback Mechanic: Clearing a garbage block turns it into regular panels (or in the case of larger garbage blocks, the bottom row turns into regular panels while the rest turn into a smaller garbage block). If you can line up the panels underneath before the clear animation finishes, the new panels can fall and create a chain. As a result, matches between top players usually turn into garbage tennis - each player sends a maximum-size garbage block to the other, who clears the block while using it as ammo to create another massive chain that generates another maximum-size garbage block. Repeat until one player can't clear the garbage block within the two-second grace period.
  • Credits Running Sequence: The VS mode ending sequence depicts Yoshi/Lip running on a rainbow bridge.
  • Cue the Sun: Monsters invaded the fairy world, brainwashed its denizens and used magic to cause endless rainfall in attempt to flood it. Rain clears on areas where fairies are freed from control, resulting in sunlight coming through the clouds and extending the rainbow Lip needs to get around.
  • The Cutie: Lip, as well as her successor/expy Furil.
  • Dark Reprise: Losing in Panel de Pon has a sad music box rendition of the normally-upbeat Lip's theme on the Game Over screen — punctuated by Lip herself crying.
  • Death Mountain: Panel de Pon and Tetris Attack have their respective final battles set in a mountain cavern, which PdP actually calls Death Mountain.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship:
    • In the story mode of the Super NES games, for the first eight stages the protagonist (Lip or Yoshi) battles their friends who have been put under a spell. Winning against them breaks the spell. note  You also gain fairy allies this way in the Nintendo Puzzle Collection version.
    • Beating bonus trainers after fulfilling certain conditions in Pokémon Puzzle Challenge's Challenge mode unlocks their Pokémon for you to use.
  • Death Mountain: A stage is literally called that in Panel De Pon.
  • Defeat Means Playable: The story mode lets you select new characters as you defeat them (though it's mostly a cosmetic change...the only difference is the color of garbage bricks you dump on your opponent).
  • Department of Redundancy Department: There is both a Fairy of Water and a Fairy of the Sea (represented as Froggy and Lunge Fish in Tetris Attack). Although this may be justified since the world is in danger of being flooded.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Almost every game in the series, at some point or another.
    • The first game was released as Tetris Attack in the US, and featured characters from Yoshi's Island, making it a double doll-up with both Tetris and Mario. This version was released in Japan for Game Boy and the Satellaview, without the Tetris license (it sort-of reverted back to the original name, being called Yoshi de Panepon).
    • Then there was Pokémon Puzzle Challenge on the Game Boy Color, which was a Pokémon game in all territories, but shows blatant signs of having been dolled-up during development.
    • Pokémon Puzzle League was released around the same time, and was localized by Nintendo Software Technology Corporation from the then-cancelled Panel De Pon sequel (later packaged as part of Nintendo Puzzle Collection for GameCube), giving the series a common western title.
    • Animal Crossing Puzzle League is released as a Game Within a Game for Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Welcome amiibo!, accessed through an in-game New Nintendo 3DS.
  • Doo-Wop Progression: Lip's Theme (particularly obvious in the Super Smash Bros. Brawl remix).
  • The Dragon:
  • Drop the Hammer: The Game Cube version of Thanatos hits the fairies with a hammer.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery:
    • The "story" modes of the SNES/GB versions wouldn't let you fight the "final" enemies on Easy. You don't even get credits — just an A Winner Is You congrats screen. If you stick around to see if it has any Easter Eggs... it yells at you for thinking you could find anything like that after beating Easy mode.
    • Pokémon Puzzle League's Easy mode has you winning against Giovanni for the Earth Badge, and his music and quotes have definite final boss vibes about them, only to be treated to no credits and a shot of a bunch of the series' iconic Pokemon dancing. Starting on "Normal", your next opponent, Ritchie, basically says "Giovanni hasn't even seen the Puzzle Master!" and reveals you're pretty much only a little over halfway by fighting Giovanni, and you don't even see the ending or the credits until "Hard".
  • Elemental Hair Composition: Sharbet has hair that looks like spiky ice formations. Think has "hair" which is definitely made out of ice, though more rounded like igloo blocks.
  • Embedded Precursor: A secret code in Pokémon Puzzle Challenge allows you to play a hidden version of Panel De Pon, including Lip as the player character. It's accessible from the "this game is only playable on the Game Boy Color" screen, so it's even possible to play it on an older black-and-white system. (It can be played on later systems, but a different code has to be put in to reset the game in backwards-compatible mode.)
  • Empathic Environment: Areas whose fairy has not been saved yet is covered by rain. This gets odd when this is considered bad in the Water and Sea worlds.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Thanatos's portrayal in the Super Famicom Panel De Pon though he is not real.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: Rainbows acts as pathways Lip/Yoshi/Furil can run on. They bridge most of the areas together, though not completely as they still have to jump to reach the destination in some cases.
  • Excuse Plot: Lip's fairy friends/Yoshi's monster friends getting kidnapped. Pokémon Puzzle League featured Ash taking part in a "new kind" of Pokémon battling league.
  • Expy: The entire fairy cast was replaced by similar substitutes in the GameCube Panel De Pon.
  • Feathered Fiend: Phoenix is perfectly willing to beat up on little fairy girls. (even if he is an illusion.)
  • Femme Fatalons: Joker sports these in the Game Cube Panel De Pon, thought they might just be how his gloves look. In the case of the same game's version of Thanatos, it is most definitely his nails.
  • Fiery Lion: A lion with a flaming mane and tail tip is one of the opponents you face in the story mode from the Nintendo Puzzle Collection version of the original game.
  • Final Boss:
    • Pokémon Puzzle League has Giovanni at the end of Spa Service, with his speed at level 45 and in 3-D. Unlike the Final Boss Preview with Cassidy and Butch, you have to beat him in order to progress any further.
    • The Puzzle League minigame in Animal Crossing: New Leaf has Cornimer. Much like Giovanni, chains and combos are the only way to win.
    • Pokémon Puzzle Challenge for Game Boy Color has Lance and his Dragonite.
  • Final Boss Preview: In Stage Clear mode, Thanatos/Bowser shows up for a one-shot challenge after you clear stage 3.
  • Final Death Mode: Losing with any character but the main one in Panel de Pon, and by extension its Western release Tetris Attack (Lip/Yoshi respectively), has that character become completely unusable for the remainder of the game, and they won't appear in the ending.
  • Floating in a Bubble: Furil while she explains whatever mode of the Nintendo Puzzle Collection Panel De Pon you may want to play. She also uses a bubble to transport the fairies too and from the sun.
  • Flying Seafood Special: A stage of the Game Cube Panel De Pon is a flying whale.
  • Fog Feet: Elias has normal feet, but her lower body transforms into a cyclone during her attacking animation. One of her official artworks evokes this, too.
  • Forced Transformation:
    • Mangari, Mingiri and Hindari from the Nintendo Puzzle Collection version can transform fairies into things like dolls, though they will quickly shake it off.
    • Kain is a victim of this, first appearing as Lion.
  • Gag Lips: Thanatos in the Game Cube version of Panel De Pon
  • Gemstone Assault: The Fairy of Jewels, Ruby. Jewels circle her head before she drops garbage blocks. Pure also hits opponents with shiny precious stones. Thanatos's garbage blocks are themed around the rings of Saturn.
  • Gender-Blender Name: There's the water fairy Elias, who has a traditionally male name but is actually a girl. A very feminine girl. Her counterpart in the Nintendo Puzzle Collection, Cecil, also fits.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Rinze from Nintendo Puzzle Collection has rather long braided pigtails.
  • Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: Panel de Pon uses a super-deformed style which, as seen in various in-game graphics and official artwork (particularly the single-player stages), is actually the default and it's the character portraits that are unusual for deviating.
  • Green Thumb: Fairy of Nature Thiana and Lip, Fairy of Flowers. In Nintendo Puzzle Collection, Furil's just like Lip and Rinze can hit opponents with leaves.
  • Harder Than Hard: Hardest in the Super NES version, Very Hard, Super Hard, and Intense in the later games. Generally only applies to 1-Player VS Mode, though.
  • Hint System: Pokémon Puzzle Challenge adds a hint-on-payment option in puzzle mode. Each round of 10 puzzles fully completed earns a star, which can be spent on any puzzle to have the game show you the first move to make.
  • Horned Humanoid: Thanatos. In the Super Famicom version he also has spiked shoulders.
  • Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: On Panel De Pon's select screen, Lip is seen suspended in the air by Watabou the Fluffy; a very tiny...cotton spore-looking thing with wings.
  • Human Ladder: Mangari, Mingiri and Hindari stand on top of one another when serving as the collective Final Boss of Nintendo Puzzle Collection's Panel De Pon section.
  • An Ice Person: Fairy of Ice, Sharbet. Think can make ice shards spring up under opponents.
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: In Pokémon Puzzle League, when you combo the destruction of same color blocks, the human character you've chosen will say various things eventually being echoed if you do good enough (five or more combos). In addition, if you do two or more chains, the Pokemon you've chosen will say some part of their name, even being echoed as well if you do good enough (five or more chains).
  • Improbably Female Cast: The original Super Famicom and GameCube Panel De Pon.
  • In Name Only: There's nothing Tetris about Tetris Attack. There's blocks in a well, and you lose if the well fills up, but that's it.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Almost every fight in story mode is like this.
  • In Their Own Image: The queen encourages the newer generation of fairies to remake the world, her illusions were tests to see if Lip was capable of leading the rest through the process.
  • Just Desserts: The witch trio in Panel De Pon for the Gamecube are shrunk after their defeat and a hungry frog happens to be nearby...
  • Kneel Before Zod: In Tetris Attack, you can take a look at all of the characters available in the Options menu, complete with a bit of text from that character. Kamek's text starts off with superiority and ends with demanding Yoshi to "KNEEL, KNEEL BEFORE YOUR NEW MASTER".
  • Land of Faerie: The kingdom where most of Super Famicom's Panel De Pon and its GameCube Nintendo Puzzle Collection incarnation take place in. It seems to be made up primarily of floating continents above a much larger landmass (which is in danger of flooding in Lip's game).
  • Lethal Lava Land: Flare and Rayea's stages, though the characters are a good deal away from it on solid ground.
  • Level Editor: Pokémon Puzzle League has a custom puzzle editor at Puzzle University.
  • Level in the Clouds: Windy's stage consists of clouds solid enough to walk on and build houses on. Sophia's stage features buildings made of clouds.
  • Life Meter: The boss battles in Stage Clear mode. Larger combos/chains will knock off more HP.
  • Light 'em Up: Sala appears to bring Star Power down on opponents; whatever it is, it's also this trope.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The stronghold of the enemies starts to crumble after defeating Corderia in the Game Cube version of Panel De Pon.
  • Logo Joke: Pokémon Puzzle League has the logo get captured by a Poké Ball, which opens again to reveal the game's title.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Its final boss theme, The Place where Evil Sleeps, which plays during matches against the Goddess of Light, Cordelia. In the American localization, Tetris Attack? Relegated to a short monologue from Bowser.
  • The Lost Woods: Thiana's stage, though it's pretty pleasant looking with the numerous fruit-bearing trees. The music's pleasant too, until someone starts to lose.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Cordelia turns out to be Lip's Missing Mom — even though it hadn't previously been established that Lip had a Missing Mom!
  • Lunacy: Fairy of the Moon, Seren.
  • Magical Girl Queenliness Test: If you complete the Hard Mode in Panel de Pon, it's revealed by the goddess Cordelia (Lip's mother) that the events of the entire game were a test to see if Lip had the strength to become the new Queen of the fairies. If you complete it without continues, Lip passes the test; if you used a continue, Lip says she's not strong enough to be queen.
  • Making a Splash: Fairy of Water Elias, whom a whirlpool forms around before she drops garbage blocks, and Fairy of the Sea Neris. Cecil attacks with bubbles, which may or may not be this trope, but is also water based. Nathia can make water erupt under opponents, even if they are already underwater.
  • Market-Based Title: Oh boy. It's consistently been called Panel De Pon in Japan, but it's gone under the Tetris Attack name in Western territories and later Puzzle League. More specifically:
    • Panel De Pon = Tetris Attack
    • Pokémon De Panepon = Pokémon Puzzle Challenge
    • Panel De Pon DS = Planet Puzzle League (NA) = Puzzle League DS (PAL)
  • Match-Three Game: And it usually represents the game play style in Nintendo's various puzzle collections.
  • Meaningful Name: In Gaelic mythology "Kain" is a sacrifice one can make to prove themselves worthy of using magic. That is exactly what Kain is, only instead of being killed he was made holy by being transformed into a servile Beast of Battle, suggesting the witches already had magic and had no good reason to do this.
  • Modular Epilogue: In Panel de Pon and Tetris Attack, the ending cutscene for story mode (Hard and Super Hard only) is a dialogue between the various playable characters. Any that were lost during this playthrough don't get to say their lines.
  • Mood Whiplash: In the GameCube version of Panel De Pon, after fighting off various monsters, including one with a very sinister motif, you're confronted by... a trio of ugly witches who serve as the Final Boss. Their musical theme is wacky, they don't look all that threatening, however they are still the Final Boss of the game with appropriate difficulty.
  • Multi-Armed Multitasking: Joker from the Game Cube Panel De Pon uses two arms to play a clarinet and two more to play and accordion.
  • Multiple Endings: Story Mode has four different endings, depending on whether you're playing Hard or Super Hard, and whether or not you lost while playing as the main character. If Lip/Yoshi lose at any point (it's okay if their friends lose), the ending will have Lip declare that she's not ready to be Queen, and Yoshi will state that it's not enough to simply beat Bowser, they must crush him. If the player succeeds and Lip/Yoshi haven't suffered a defeat, Lip accepts her mother's proposal and Yoshi celebrates his crushing defeat of Bowser.
  • Multiple Headcase: KickChop, the two headed dragon in the GameCube version.
  • Musical Assassin: Joker can blast fairies by playing his accordion.
  • Near Victory Fanfare: There's a music shift when either your or your opponent's well is almost full.
  • Nintendo Hard: Sure, the game looks adorable, but it will kick you to the curb if you don't get comfortable with the game mechanics.
    • Making chains (especially "active"/"skill" chains), which are the basis of huge attacks and high scores, is very difficult. It requires foresight on where panels fall, as well as significant amounts of dexterity to keep things going.
    • Try getting a "x?" (x14 and higher) chain in single-player Endless Mode. The board is only 6x12, meaning you need to both play dangerously close to the top and have the board filled with as many panels as the game allows for the best setups. The game acknowledges how many "x?" chains you made after the Game Over screen though, along with the other combo / chain counts.
    • Beating Corderia/Bowser on Hardest mode is exceedingly difficult, having incredible speed and execution that can tire you out trying to keep up.
    • Corderia/Bowser can't even be fought on Normal in the Super NES version. You have to be on Hard or Hardest to face them. The same is true for Lance, as well as Gary's rematch in Pokémon Puzzle League, and Mewtwo in the latter requires no less than Very Hard in order to take him on.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Used by both Seren and Cordelia in the SNES version. In fact, Cordelia's laugh is a slowed down version of Seren's.
  • No Fair Cheating: If you complete any mode with the "CPU Switch" set to ON in Tetris Attack, instead of an ending you'll get a screen admonishing you not to cheat.
  • No Final Boss for You: The last vs. computer level in the SNES versions is only available on Hard and Super Hard. On Easy, the second-to-last level is also removed.
  • Nostalgia Level: Planet Puzzle League ditched the mascot characters from previous games in the series, but did include Lip's stage from the SNES Panel de Pon as an unlockable skin. However, this was nowhere to be seen in international versions.
  • Not Quite Flight: Lip sits on a floating flower while she explains the modes you can select in Panel De Pon (as does Furil on her game's "press star" screen). She also has a flower that seems pulls her around after she throws it somehow with sparkles. Pure from the Nintendo Puzzle Collection version of Panel De Pon sits on a floating crystal, which plants in the ground if she loses.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: In Panel de Pon, the unused CP Switch does not work in story mode. The localized Tetris Attack uses a different patch, allowing it to function but replacing the ending with a screen admonishing the player not to cheat.
  • The One Guy: Kain is the only male on Furil's assembled team of fairies.
  • Open-Ended Boss Battle: There's a Final Boss Preview midway through Stage Clear mode. It's exactly as powerful as the real Final Boss, so if you lose, the boss just laughs at you and leaves.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: KickChop is very different from Dragon, who was in the preceding game.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Neris and Nathia are fairies, but have a fish tails in place of legs, making them look like mermaids.
  • Permadeath: In story mode, if you lose while playing as anyone but the main character, they're gone from your party for good.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Sharbet and Elias both have primarily blue color schemes and are both female, like the rest of the fairies.
  • Playing with Fire: Fairy of Fire, Flare. Fire burns in her hair when she drops garbage blocks. Rayea will also call fire down on opponents.
  • Power Floats: Thiana, Flare and Neris are usually floating slightly above ground. Seren from the original, and Cecil, Rayea, Rinze and Sala from NPP are usually floating well above the ground.
  • Power of the Sun: Kain can make hot plasma erupt underneath his opponent and his garbage blocks have a sword&sun theme.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Lip, given that she's the daughter of the Queen of Fairies, has no obvious martial inclinations or weapons at a glance and the story mode matches are supposed to be fights against opponents who often dwarf her in size(even if they are illusions).
  • Puzzle Game: The normal game is a puzzle game in the Match Three sense. "Puzzle Mode" is one in the truer sense of a series of puzzles — each level gives you a formation to clear in a limited number of swaps.
  • Recruitment by Rescue: After freeing Lip/Yoshi's friends from the spell that turned them evil, they offer to help face the monsters in Mt. Death/Wickedness, becoming playable characters. It's also possible to play as rescued characters earlier with a hidden button code, revealed after getting the bad ending on Hard difficulty.
  • Recycled Title: The GameCube follow-up of Panel De Pon is also called Panel de Pon. Guess what the Panepon portion of Dr. Mario & Panel De Pon is also called.
  • Regional Bonus: When the Panel De Pon sequel was finally released in Japan, it received the new feature of 4-player Vs., a feature that Pokémon Puzzle League didn't have.
  • Remember the New Guy?: If they don't appear in the anime, some of the opposing trainers in Pokémon Puzzle League have their teams based on the Pokémon they use in the role-playing games. But never have the Team Rocket trio used a Golbat in any continuity.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The GBA version features some kind of... flowery hamster thing as your visualization during the game, which reacts to how well you're doing in-game.
  • Say It with Hearts: Naval Pranha (a Yoshi's Island boss) peppers her dialogue with hearts in Tetris Attack.
  • Score Multiplier: Gameplay is highly reliant on combo-based multipliers, as the game moves at a relentless pace and requires such chains both to keep up and to keep the opponent at bay.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: "Neris" is "siren" spelled backwards.
  • Seashell Bra: Nathia's attire.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • The entirety of Panel De Pon's story was actually Lip's mother, the queen of fairies, trying to find the right fairy to make the new queen.
    • Pokémon Puzzle League is pretty much this with Mewtwo at the end.
  • Shock and Awe: Sophia from Nintendo Puzzle Collection calls down lightning on opponents.
  • Signature Headgear: The bows of Lip, Furil and Pure. Windy's feather. Ruby's dual headbands. Flare, Seren and Nathia's tiaras.
  • Sky Surfing: Sophia does this on a cloud.
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Panel de Pon has only a few male characters, most of which are monsters or other villains. All of the protagonists except for Kain are female, and the only on-screen ruler in the series is a woman.
  • The Smurfette Principle:
    • The original Japan-only version presents the Inverted Trope of many female characters and the only (confirmed) male character being Sanatos, the Big Bad.
    • The Western reskin, Tetris Attack, plays the trope straight, with Naval Piranha being the only confirmed female character.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: Despite having a very upbeat soundtrack, the original game and Tetris Attack end both with the melancholic theme "A Walk on a Rainbow".
  • Some Dexterity Required: Unlike most other Match Three Games like Puyo Puyo, this one allows the player to manipulate their stack while a chain is going on; making new chains this way is called a Skill Chain. One might think this is simply an Anti-Frustration Feature, but it is in fact required for high level play, even outside of the competitive scene; not knowing how to Skill Chain on the fly is a good way to get kicked around by the CPU and especially lifebar-based bosses.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: As your (or your opponent's) well starts to approach the top of the screen, the music will change to a "panic" variant, warning you of possible danger. Uniquely for a game that invokes this trope, the "panic" theme varies depending on what stage you're playing on or which character you're playing as.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The Fan Translation by Zuqkeo changed the names of Sharbet, Seren, Sanatos and Corderia respectively to Sherbet, Selene, Thanatos and Cordelia.
  • Stellar Name: Seren, the Fairy of the Moon, has that name because "Selene" is Greek for "moon" and was the name of the Greek goddess of the celestial body.
  • Superboss: Pokémon Puzzle League has Cassidy and Butch, who are faced between level 3 and level 4 of Spa Service Mode. The speed of their stage starts at level 45 (close to as fast as possible), and you only get one chance to beat them. However, the outcome of the level is irrelevant, since the story continues as if nothing happened whether you win or lose. The only thing you miss by losing is a short anime cutscene where Cassidy and Butch get arrested. In addition, they're a Final Boss Preview, since Giovanni also has his speed at level 45 (although you have to beat him to progress, and you can try as many times as you need to).
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Even the non-water fairies seems just fine in Elias, Neris, Cecil and Nathia's stages, which are submerged. This suggests the fairies would be able to survive for quite awhile even if the antagonists successfully flooded everything.
  • This Cannot Be!:
    • If you clear Tetris Attack 1P VS. mode on Hard or Hardest and Yoshi never suffers a defeat, Bowser is absolutely baffled that Yoshi trounced him so badly.
    Bowser: How can this be? What could I have been thinking?
    • Additionally, in the original version, Thanatos is left perplexed when the player beats him:
    Thanatos: ...I lost? This cannot be happening! Hwaaaaaaa!!!
  • Token Mini-Moe: Lip, Windy, Sherbet, and their expies/successors from the Nintendo Puzzle Collection sequel.
  • True Final Boss: Cordelia's existence in Panel de Pon is entirely unhinted at outside of Hard difficulty story mode. Thanatos is already the Final Boss of stage clear mode, story mode gives him the ceremony you'd expect of holding the same position there, and Cordelia's character bio doesn't even appear in Attract Mode (and the option to just look at them freely is locked away in the unused options menu). Tetris Attack averts this trope; Bowser being the final boss is just such an obvious choice that they didn't even try hiding it. In Gamecube version, magical whale Zilba is the final boss after you defeat Cordelia, but in Hard difficulty and up... Three Witch Sisters are actually this and you get the chance to defeat the trio as payback for taking Zilba's magical eyes.
  • Unending End Card: Clearing Panel de Pon on Easy informs the player that they're not getting any cool secrets for this and instructs them to hit Reset and try on a harder difficulty. Normal difficulty leaves Lip eternally running across the rainbow path, Hard tells the player how to switch characters in the early game if they got the bad ending, or how to unlock Super Hard if they got the good one, and Super Hard gives the player a The End screen — none of these screens accept any inputnote  and all require the player to reset to play again. Tetris Attack removed this trope (you can hit A at the end of any ending sequence to go back to the title) but left in the text referring to it.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: You fight the final boss (or minions with equal difficulty) halfway through the Stage Clear campaign. They're exactly as tough as at the very end. Butch and Cassidy are actually tougher than Giovanni because their stage isn't 3D, limiting the number of combos and chains you can make.
  • Villain Opening Scene: In the Updated version of Panel de Pon in the Nintendo Puzzle Collection, Thantos's army is shown mind controlling everyone with a special song. He does this in the first as well, but he is revealed to be an illusion created by Cordelia.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: In the SNES game, losing a story mode match with Lip/Yoshi results in a game over, while losing with anyone else just results in that character being eliminated from your party and having to pick someone else.
  • We Can Rule Together: In Pokémon Puzzle League's story mode, Giovanni tries to get Ash to join Team Rocket.
  • Weird Moon: The GameCube Panel De Pon shows the moon to be permanently crescent shaped and have a door built into its surface.
  • Weird Sun: In the game cube game Lion actually Kain lives in a pyramid built on its surface.
  • Winged Humanoid: Ruby has four semi-transparent wings. In the Game Cube Panel De Pon Corderia has bird like wings.
  • Your Size May Vary: The Giant Bird Phoenix and the Monster Dragon are hardly bigger than the fairies in their cut scenes but their VS sprites are noticeably larger than the fairies. Demon King Thanatos is gigantic in his cut scene but his VS sprite is only slightly larger than the fairies. The perspective Goddess Corderia is shown in suggests she's even larger than Thanatos but her VS sprite is only slightly bigger. In Tetris Attack, Bowser's cutscene sprite gets the same treatment as Thanatos and Cordelia did, but comparing his VS sprite to Yoshi gives the impression he's even smaller than his original NES appearance.

Alternative Title(s): Tetris Attack, Puzzle League, Pokemon Puzzle League