Metroidvania Gameplay Mechanics 3: Hidden Affordance (Ropes and Secrets)

The Fun of Developing a Metroidvania – Shmup Indie Game

One of the best things about making a game by yourself about finding secrets is that you can actually keep those secrets. From everybody 🙂

And one of the most fun things for me about playing a Metoidvania is figuring out those secrets.

Having said that, I’m going to show you a few of the ways now in which a player can use the tools that they are given in ways that they are not told about to access areas ahead of the normal progression curve, thus changing the nature of that player’s playthrough.

So, SPOILER WARNING applies here for anyone who would like to play the game with a completely blank slate.

(Though, having said that, this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of secrets in the game so it should by no means ruin the vast majority of player’s experiences. Indeed, in today’s age, I accept that most, if not all of my ‘secrets’ will be outed by the collective detective that is the internet come release day and so most people will be aware of these things before they even play anyway.)

Rope Swinging

But in order to talk about the secrets, I must first show you some mad rope skills:

It's Ninja Time.
It’s Ninja Time.

The ‘rope’ hand attachment will provide a useful and fast way of getting around for anyone familiar with the ninja rope from Team 17’s Worms. It can wrap around objects and so can be used to abseil and pull yourself back up where you came from:

Never get lost with your trusty rope at-hand.
Never get lost with your trusty rope at-hand.

You can, of course, use whatever is currently equipped in your other hand, be that a gun, a shield or some other device:

Shots fired affect your momentum so they make you swing.
Shots fired affect your momentum so they make you swing.

And, getting back to secrets, they can be used to access areas you shouldn’t by doing stuff like this:

Skilled players can use the rope in some rather 'inventive' ways.
Skilled players can use the rope in some rather ‘inventive’ ways.

In the gif above, the player swings along the ceiling and gathers momentum. They then use that momentum to propel themselves past the ceiling itself and into a position which opens up an angle for the player to shoot a new rope to a new ceiling above the one previously attached to, a feat which was otherwise impossible due to the first ceiling being in the way.

This means that a player who becomes adept enough with the rope mechanics in the game will be able to traverse areas and thus acquire abilities that a less skilled player would. Your reward awaits you…

Enemy Jumping

EVERYTHING is a platform.
EVERYTHING is a platform.

So, this one is pretty simple but worthy of note as most games actually teach you to avoid touching enemies. While it is true that in A.S.S. you take damage from touching enemies, since you also regenerate health whilst not shooting, it is entirely possible to survive touching most enemies briefly with no negative impact on the player at all.

This can, as in the gif above, be used to the player’s advantage as the enemies also count as ‘ground’ as far as the player’s feet are concerned, meaning that his ability to jump is reset when he touches them.

Super Jump

There will be many different variations of this one depending on which weapons are equipped at the time but here it is with the smg-type guns equipped:

I wonder what would happen if you tried that with a rocket launcher?
I wonder what would happen if you tried that with a rocket launcher?

Because the recoil of firing a gun forces the player to move in the opposite direction, you can make yourself jump higher than usual with a weapon that has either a high fire-rate or recoil stat. If you aim both arms downwards, hold fire and jump, the player is propelled upwards at a rate which depends on the weapon equipped. Rocket jumps for all 🙂

More soon,

Thanks for reading,

Robots Will Destroy You.

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