Grassy Platforms

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Ninja Kid 2, UPL (arcade)

This is some really good looking grass.

Ninja Kid 2
Ninja Kid 2, UPL (arcade)

Technically I suppose it’s foliage, not grass.

Yay, the first image in this post doesn’t even qualify.

Capcom really loves their grass. Each of the first three Ghouls n Ghosts games started off with beautiful grassy platforms.

Ghosts n Goblins, Capcom (Arcade):

Ghouls n Ghosts, Capcom (Arcade)

Super Ghouls n Ghosts, Capcom (Super NES)

The grass in Sonic the Hedgehog is sort of weird. The first two games have that two-tone geometric appearance that was the hallmark of Sonic games, but the third game… The grass sort of looks like the spectrum from a music player.

Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega (Megadrive)

Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sega (Megadrive)

Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sega (Megadrive)

Wonder Boy is all class. Always has been, really. Check out that grassy platform right there. Admire its purity, its focus and utter disinterest in adhering to society’s ideals of size.

“Fuck you, man. I’m a grassy platform and this is as big as I need to be.”

Wonder Boy V, Monster World III, Sega (Megadrive)

Wonder Boy V, Monster World III, Sega (Megadrive)

Wonder Boy V, Monster World III, Sega (Megadrive)

(Also, check out the WonderBoy Sprite History.)

The problem with Ristar is twofold: For every moment it charms you with its character art and play mechanics, it annoys the shit out of you with busywork and tedium, and it can’t decide whether it wants to look beautiful or garish as shit.

It just might be the only game with grassy platforms that are green and orange.

Ristar, Sega (Megadrive)

There was a lot to like about the TurboGrafx 16. Few consoles were quite as adept at leaving players scratching their heads and wondering what the hell…? Consider Keith Courage in Alpha Zones. It might not have been the worst game to launch a console with, but it was close. From the name, to the way it looked, to… well…

Grass grows on trees.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones, Hudson (TurboGrafx 16)

I’m done here.

Also on the TurboGrafx 16, Bonk’s Revenge – the game with… grassy platforms! Also flowers, butterflies…

Bonk’s Revenge, Hudson (TurboGrafx 16)

I’ve long admired the grassy platforms in Roc’n Rope. When I first saw this old Konami game in game mags in the 80s I thought it was just beautiful.

Roc ‘n Rope, Konami (arcade)

Around the time SNK made Top Hunter their MO seemed to be big sprites because BIG SPRITES. This visual assault of a game was all about BIG SPRITES and, frankly, very little else.

And grassy platforms of course.

Top Hunter, SNK (Neo Geo)

Nintendo’s love of grassy platforms started with Donkey Kong Jr. in 1982. These odd mushroom-like grassy platforms presaged the ones in Super Mario Bros. by more than half a decade.

Donkey Kong Jr, Nintendo (arcade)

[ Jun 13 2013 ]



Jun 19 2013

Want more grassy platforms? Check out Part Two or view the whole grassy-platform series!


Mar 15 2015

I know that this is an old topic, but I would love to see it revived! For example, any nice examples of an animated grassy platform? It is a risky proposition, because it could quickly become annoying unless (1) it is animated well (2) it cycles at an appropriate rate. I can’t think of any examples at the moment, though…

As for non-animated:

(a) MOSSY LOGS: Legendary Axe (TG-16) Stage 1 has bizarre “grass logs” that actually look nice in the context of the game…but strike me as odd now that I think about it. Grass logs, with green/yellow gradient, could also suggest MOSS. So maybe this is really a MOSSY platform.

(b) SHORT-n-TALL: Jackie Chan Action Kung Fu (TG-16) has a nice COMBO of (1) short grass on platform, with a healthy amount of (2) uncut, tall grass in background.

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