Level Ate

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Do not play these levels on an empty stomach.[1]


"There's cream in dem thar hills!"
The Doctor, Doctor Who, "Short Trips and Side Steps"
"That's fool's cream, that is."
Bill Oddie, The Goodies

For some reason, creators seem fond of designing settings that are literally made out of food. Indeed, stemming from the Oral Tradition, it is clearly Older Than Print—and possibly much older.

Obviously, these sorts of settings tend to have a rather whimsical or silly nature. Don't spend too much time thinking about where that river of milk is coming from, why it hasn't spoiled, how those pastry buildings stay up, or how that moon made of cheese could form.

A fairly popular subtrope is to focus on sweets, probably in part because the concept of a land made of confectionery already has a certain amount of stock symbolism invested in it. Cheese is also popular. Older variants, stemming from times when food shortages were commonplace, tended to have more variety in the foodstuffs. Its inhabitants, if there are any, might be Anthropomorphic Food themselves.

Video Game creators are especially fond of using this trope, particularly in Lighter and Fluffier games.

Not to be confused with the level where you are eaten.

See also Giant Food, Cheesy Moon, Edible Theme Naming, Gingerbread House.

Examples of Level Ate include:

Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]

  • A recent[when?] catfood commercial showed a cat wandering through this trope's feline incarnation, a land flowing with milk, fish, birds and other kitty treats.
  • The "Land of Dairy Queen" commercials from The Eighties, featuring a landscape of chocolate mountains, hot fudge rivers, and... ice cream... trees? Oh, and watch out for falling peanuts and strawberries.
  • The ad for the Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch, a Burger King-themed take on Big Rock Candy Mountain.
    • The National Cattlemen's Beef Association has the Land of Lean Beef, with mountains made out of steak.

Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • Cross Epoch, the official Dragonball Z/One Piece crossover one-shot manga, ends with everyone meeting the dragon Shen Long in the "world of confection", an island with mountains made of cake and rivers of tea (among other things), for the best tea party ever.
  • In The Movie for Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo, the characters visit the world of sweets by way of a giant oven.
  • The Junko Mizuno version of "Hansel and Gretel" has the witch create Foodland during a food shortage to lure everybody away. Of course, it turns out to be a giant illusion and all the people happily eating away in Foodland are really eating dirt.
  • Madoka Magica: Charlotte's labyrinth is made of desserts. Well, the parts that aren't hospital themed are. Like everything in Madoka Magica this is not Played for Laughs. In fact, Charlotte is the Knight of Cerebus.
  • Toriko's world seems to be half this trope, half Death World.

Film[edit | hide]

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has Wonka building a palace out of chocolate at the request of an Indian prince. There's also the Chocolate Room in Wonka's factory, which features a river of chocolate and has plants and grass that are actually candy.
  • Some of L. Frank Baum's earlier work contains Lands of Food, and some Oz locations are also food, e.g. Bunbury, not to be confused with Bunnybury.
  • In the Xanth novel Ogre, Ogre, one Dream World that Smash must track the Night Stallion through is a Level Ate.
  • A short story from the Doctor Who short story collection Short Trips and Side Steps featured the Doctor and Romana celebrating K9's birthday on a world apparently made entirely from candy. How this came to be is never fully explained.
  • Discworld examples:
    • Mono Island in The Last Continent, where foods such as chocolate, cheese and cake grow on trees. It turns out that this is because the island is the testing ground of the God of Evolution.
    • The Discworld also has large lard deposits under Überwald. And raw treacle deposits (caused by prehistoric sugar cane forests trapped in the geological strata) under Ankh-Morpork. However, most of Ankh-Morpork's treacle comes from toffee beds (in the Ramtops somewhere, IIRC).
    • In The Light Fantastic, Rincewind and Twoflower take shelter for the night in an abandoned gingerbread cottage. Apparently, it was once a popular architectural style for witches, but fell out of fashion due to the impracticality of, for example, cotton candy doormats.
  • In Lucian of Samosata's True History, the sailors visit, among other outlandish places, an island with rivers of wine, and an island made entirely out of cheese.
  • The children's book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (and the movie it inspired) are about this. The actual landscape isn't made of food, but (as you might guess from the name) the weather most certainly is. "Restaurants" lack roofs, and are mostly just nice places to sit while waiting to be fed by the sky.

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Nick Arcade has the Food Frenzy level from the video zone where a food fight occurs and the player has to dodge the edible projectiles and the gym teacher while picking up three textbooks.
  • Many, many of the obstacles on Nickelodeon's |Double Dare. Some of the physical challenges qualify as well.

Music[edit | hide]

Oral Tradition[edit | hide]

  • Older Than Print: Cockaigne, in a piece of medieval folklore, is an imaginary land of ease and pleasure, including such things as raining cheese; pigs that wandered, already roasted, with knives to make carving easy; cooked fish that jumped out of the water; streets paved with pastry; houses of barley sugar. The streets would be hell on cart wheels and horse feet. And visa versa.
  • The Big Rock Candy Mountain—a hobo song about a land similar to Cockaigne. In what are generally accepted as the oldest versions, Big Rock Candy Mountain also features streams of alcohol and cigarette trees.
    • Also, Garrison Kieller's "Out In The Catskill Mountains": a parody version about cats' beloved "land of milk and salmon", where the birds are found right on the ground and the mice run very slowly.
  • "Hansel and Gretel" - the fairy tale famous for its life-size gingerbread house.
    • In older variants it's a house of plain old bread—then the reason the stepmother wanted to be rid of them was a food shortage.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Trope Namer is "Level Ate", the eighth level of Earthworm Jim 2, which is made primarily of meat, with cheese, french fries, eggs, and eating utensils also to be found. There's also a secret level called "Totally Forked", which, as its name implies, is much heavier on the forks. Oh, and did we mention the boss of the level is a fire-breathing steak named Flamin' Yawn?
  • The original Populous had a cake-themed world that was insanely difficult.
  • Super Mario World has several levels with Edible Theme Naming, but Chocolate Island appears to be made of chocolate, including boiling hot chocolate pits where other worlds would have lava. By the same token, Choco Island and Choco Mountain from the Mario Kart games qualify.
  • Sweet Sweet Galaxy and "Bouncing Down Cake Lane" in Toy Time Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy.
  • The Lost Vikings features multiple candy-based levels.
  • Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension levels 1 and 3 are both made of food.
  • As James Pond 2: Codename Robocod takes place at Santa Claus's castle, a sizable fraction of its levels are some form of this trope, usually the "sweets" variant.
  • Every level in James Pond 3: Operation Starfish is made of food, and most are a dairy product of some kind. The game takes place on a moon that is literally made of cheese.
    • IIRC, the game takes place on the DARK side of the moon, which is the only side made of dairy products.
      • Many levels are given awesome names based on the type of terrain.
    • The game begins in a cheese area and ends in an ice cream plateau, progressing through custard, yoghurt, butter, blue cheese and a squicky green area (which happens to be the largest) referred to in-game only as "slime".
    • And to top it all off, the game also contains a fruit gun and giant fruit armour.
  • "Food Fright" in the N64 game Rocket: Robot on Wheels combines this with Big Boo's Haunt.
  • Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion both have areas that are made out of cookies and candy suspended in a sea of milk or cream.
  • Burger Time is mostly about walking over giant burger pieces to make them fall against each other. This helps deal with the pissed-off Anthropomorphic Food chasing you around the screen.
  • Palette's castle level in Graffiti Kingdom. Elevators are giant pancakes and on the stage there are giant bottles of milk, salt shakers, ice cubes, snowmen, and the main areas are completely made up of shades of pink.
  • The Candy Chateau in Rayman, which is also (amusingly and unfittingly enough) the final level and the contrasting villain's hideout. However, the level's boss arena is a radical departure from the stage itself (It is a generic castle room with no trace of this trope).
  • The secret "good" ending of Twelve Thirteen replaces the disaster that reduced the Earth to a seemingly-lifeless toxic wasteland... with one that turned it into a world made of candy, where the lead character rules as hyper-metabolic god-king for the rest of his life.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon of Psychonauts is the Meat Circus, A literal combination of Raz's own nightmares from his circus upbringing, and another character's nightmares from his father's butcher shop. As can probably be guessed, the level is very macabre.
  • A few of the maps in the Worms series are food displays.
  • The second level of Wayne's World, a Macro Zone where the obstacles and enemies are donut shop food/supplies.
    • Both Wayne's World games made by Nintendo had a level where you fought donuts and cups of coffee.
  • Everything except the walls in Pac-Man can, under the right circumstances, be eaten by either Pac-Man or the ghosts.
  • The Silly setting in Transport Tycoon, which features candy floss forests, sugar mines and toffee quarries, among other things. (It's also rock hard.) Considered a That One Level by fans of the game.
  • Speaking of Tycoons, Rollercoaster Tycoon has the unlockable Wonderland theming in some levels, including statues made of liquorice. You can create your very own Level Ate with it, if you have enough money. (Fruit trees count too.)
    • Or just build a lot of food shops.
  • Kylin's realm in SaGa Frontier is made of sweets and home to orphans.
  • The Game Cube RPG Baten Kaitos (the first one) had a town composed entirely of Gingerbread Houses and other confectionistic construction. At one point, the party does wrong by the inhabitants and is locked up in someone's house. Their third option is obvious.
  • Hansel and Gretel's stage in We Love Katamari has two missions: one is to destroy a Gingerbread House, and the other is to sweep up over a thousand candy wafers that form a mosaic.
    • A mosaic of Beethoven. Or sometimes a giraffe, or a dog, or a parrot...
  • The Futari wa Pretty Cure GBA adaptation with a really long name featured a dessert-themed world and a fruit-themed world. If you count the kitchenware-themed world, 60% of the game is about food.
  • The first stage of Jazz Jackrabbit... thing... "Holiday Hare" was full of sweets in the background, including gingerbread men... some with their heads bitten off.
  • Bible Buffet simulated a board game in the vein of Candy Land (but with action stages involving food that tries to kill you), only skewing more toward the "main course" side of things.
  • One level of The Simpsons: Bart and the Beanstalk had Bart jumping around on oyster crackers in a bowl of soup.
  • The Simpsons Game's tutorial level is based in the candy-filled dream-world featured in the show. Exactly how the collectibles gathered there make it out to the rest of the game world along with the player is anyone's guess.
  • The Gourmet Submarine Castle in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon.
  • The "Chocolate" theme in Spore's terraforming kit. One makes a chain of mountains shaped like chocolate pieces, another sinks gigantic trays into the ground.
  • The top-down arcade-style shooter Tyrian was in love with this trope. The game used fruit and its associations with a mythical religion in the game as a Running Gag, with fruit dropping from some dead spacecraft, religious leaders complaining about fruit floating in space, and escalating to an absurd final level that was entirely made of fruit, where you confront the enormous fruit-ship armada of the Church Militant. And it gets even weirder, for some levels of the fourth episode revolve around various floating body parts. As in eyeballs, ears, hearts, and brains, not those body parts. Also, the most powerful ship available to the player in the original 1.0 version of the game was a flying carrot that shot exploding bananas.
  • Level 3 of Gokujou Parodius, which parodies a level of Gradius 3 by replacing its sand dunes with delicious pastry.
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! has the battle stage Cookie Land.
  • Mario Kart DS has the battle level 'Tart Top', which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A level set on the top of a tart. Complete with strawberry cream puffs, cherries and love hearts as decoration.
  • Cheese Land in Mario Kart: Super Circuit.
  • The Sweets theme from Animal Crossing: City Folk/Let's Go To the City allows you to transform your house into a candy paradise, with a bed that looks like a cake, tables that look like flan and shortbread cookies, and more. The associated walls even look like the inside of a Gingerbread House!
    • Also, in all the games, the "Fruit" series contains several pieces of furniture that look like fruit: Pear-shaped dressers, an apple-shaped TV, a pineapple bed, orange- and lime-shaped chairs, and a table that looks like an enormous half of a watermelon.
  • Pikmin 2 includes one underground area called the Glutton's Kitchen, which is full of donuts, candies, and the like.
  • While not entirely made of food, Banjo-Tooie's Cloud Cuckooland featured at least one sky-island made of Jell-O and a giant trash can filled with foodstuffs, not to mention a giant wedge of cheese containing flying spiked oninons and an atmosphere so stinky it's actually toxic.
  • Zany Golf's Hamburger Hole.
  • One level of Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Zombie Ninja Pro-Am is made entirely from cake. And populated with psychotic monkey wrenches with golf clubs and tulips with machine guns. Really.
  • Ninjabread Man
  • Keen Dreams: the entire game is based around vegetable themes.
  • Little King's Story: The Ripe Kingdom
  • Chocobo Racing has a racetrack made of vasrious desserts, which includes a few turns made of slippery slidey iced gelatin.
  • One section of the SNES Cool World videogame featured a room made entirely of candy and sweets.
  • Cosmic Osmo's Vegetable Moon.
  • The Darkness Orb quest arc of Dragon Fable includes a raid on the Necropolis cafeteria. It's full of giant zombie apples, hot dogs, and slices of bread that say "GRAIIIIIINSSS... GRAIIIIIINSSS..." The Genre Savvy PC wonders aloud why the necromancers thought this was a good idea.
  • Interactive Fiction game Yes Another Game With A Dragon parodies the "witch's Gingerbread House" trope with a cottage made from Stock Yucks such as cottage cheese, spinach and rice crackers.
  • Cocoron, includes a sea of milk and a mountain made of ice cream where strawberry sauce runs like lava.
  • Big Joe's Island in Evil Twin: Cyprien's Chronicles. It's much darker than usual, though: the entire island exists solely to feed its ruler.
  • During the early 2000's the designers of NCAA Football tried to distinguish themselves from their big-brother franchise by making the game "wackier" with mascot games and joke stadiums, including a literal oversized Cereal Bowl.
  • Micro Machines has had a few tracks like this.
  • Populous has Cake Land. Yes, Cake Land. And the villages also follow a dessert theme.
  • Adventure Quest Worlds has Twig's dream world from the recent Friday the 13th event, composed of fish and ice cream. Yes, Twig is a weird little moglin.
  • Sweet Mountain Zone from Sonic Colors. This is especially prevalent in Act 2, parts of which have Sonic going around a giant cheeseburger filled with cake and jellybeans.
    • Eggman's PA announcements deconstruct the nature of this zone, describing various flaws (like melting rides) in that zone, and warning visitors not to lick the attractions (because that would be disgusting).
  • Kirby's Epic Yarn has Sweets Park in Treat Land (the Hub is made of this trope, even though not all of its levels are). Most Kirby game have this in one way or another.
  • Panic Restaurant for the NES. The whole point is that you fight your way through a restaurant full of mutated food for enemies.
  • While there are platforms made of stone to be found, the Golden Temple of Donkey Kong Country Returns has many platforms made of strawberries, blueberries, cherries, cinnamon sticks, oranges, and, of course, bananas.
  • One of the possible floor designs of the Item World in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten is a giant cake.
  • Victoria's Laboratory from LittleBigPlanet 2 mixes this trope with Eternal Engine.
  • Obscure Famicom title Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa has no less than three stages like this - a candy/cake word, a vegetable world, and a milk/cheese world. The crossover game Wai Wai World 2 has the same sort of food-themed level design in World 5, along with Upa himself.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

Web Original[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Simpsons: Homer Simpson's Land of Chocolate.
    • Fittingly, the Land Of Chocolate made it into The Simpsons Game.
  • Teen Titans: In one episode, Cyborg is infected with a computer virus, and hallucinates that the world (and his teammates!) are made of food. They aren't, as he discovers to his chagrin when he comes to his senses. (See also Meat-O-Vision.)
    • Mother Mae-Eye later turned the Tower into gingerbread.
    • Aren't they?
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack's Candied Island.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy—Well, somewhat. Sea of chocolate, chocolate buildings...
  • There was a rather scary one in an episode of Dexter's Laboratory - Dad, going mad from lack of muffins, hallucinates that he's in a world made of (and inhabited by) muffins. They make him their king.
  • The I Am Weasel episode "Dessert Island".
  • The Powerpuff Girls pilot has hillbilly Yeti Fuzzy Lumpkin developing a gun that turns everything in the city (including the city) into meat, as revenge for his meat-flavored jam losing a competition.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Deep Throats", Peter and Lois smoke so much pot that they see a 'magical land of desserts'. They both start to lick a pile of ice cream, which turns out to be an emotionally scarred Chris.
  • In the very first Wallace and Gromit short, A Grand Day Out, they go to the moon for vacation because it's made of cheese.
  • Adventure Time has the Candy Kingdom, complete with a Bubble Gum Princess.
  • Chowder pretty much is this trope.

Other[edit | hide]

  • Gingerbread houses at Christmastime.
  1. (clockwise from top-left: Parodius, Cocoron, Zool, Prehistorik 2, Rayman, Earthworm Jim)