Powerup Mount

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A video game trope, mostly related to Platform Games.

A Powerup Mount is sort of like a powerup item plus Mon. It is an animal (usually adorable) that the main character can ride on. Riding on a powerup mount usually does one or more of the following:

  • Grants another hit point in the case of a One-Hit-Point Wonder. Usually, getting hit while on it will kill it or cause it to flee.
  • Gives the player an alternate means of travel. Faster running, flight, gliding, digging, climbing, riding on lava, and swimming are all typical examples.
  • Gives the player a new means of attack related to the steed: long tongue for lizards, fire for dragons, boxing gloves for kangaroos, and so on.

Will overlap with Horse of a Different Color.

Examples of Powerup Mount include:

Raocow: Dog, you are the Yoshi of the Yoshi. You are a horse's horse. How do you feel about that?

    • Super Mario Bros 3 has a borderline example in the Kuribo's Shoe power-up. Though its status as "creature" is debatable, it does indeed grant another hit point, you ride around in it by bouncing, and it allows you to travel safely on spikes and jump on enemies you would not otherwise be able to.
    • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, your Yoshi partner is a Cute Boisterous Bruiser with the strength to carry a plumber three times his size!
  • Rush from the Mega Man series predates Yoshi, and is possibly the Ur Example of this trope. Throughout the games, Rush has been a spring board, a jet sled, a mini-submarine, three types of Powered Armor, a digging tool, a motorcycle, and a space capsule. Most of his forms have provided their own weapon, or altered Mega Man's Arm Cannon.
  • The dinosaurs from the Adventure Island series.
  • The animal buddies in Little Nemo the Dream Master. Some of them had added a touch of Nightmare Fuel, since in many cases, Nemo would ride them by crawling into their mouth, giving the appearance of wearing their skin.
  • Louie the Rabbit, and then later the other Charaboms (especially Pommy) from the Bomberman series.
    • In some games, there were several different colors of Louies that provided different abilities. Super Bomberman 4 on the Super Famicom also let you ride certain enemy characters once you'd defeated them.
    • Saturn Bomberman exchanges the Louies for dinosaurs. Their name is "Tirra", if Bomberman Fantasy Race is to be believed, but Saturn Bomberman itself makes no such suggestion.
  • The many animal buddies from the Donkey Kong Country series that are acquired by breaking crates.
  • Various buddies such as seahorse, anglerfish and bunny in The Legendary Starfy series.
  • The bizarre wasps and other creatures in Awesome Possum.
  • Rick, Coo and the rest of the Animal Friends from Kirby, and even King Dedede himself in Kirby 64.
    • Also, the Helper Wheelie in Kirby Super Star Ultra: If Kirby splits off the Wheel power, the Wheelie it creates has a cowling and handlebars (unlike every other Wheelie in the game), and Kirby will ride it if he jumps on top. If you're playing two-player mode, Player Two (the helper) will control the motion, and Player One (Kirby) can fire short-range stars at enemies; otherwise, the player will control the motion but be unable to shoot stars.
    • Screenshots of the Kirby platformer game that was originally announced for the Game Cube showed Kirby and his helpers creating stacks of up to four characters. The above-mentioned Wheelie Rider also showed up in at least one shot.
  • As one of many elements borrowed from Zelda, Darksiders allows you to obtain Ruin, The Horseman of War's mount.
  • Camels and alligators in Castle Crashers.
  • The Golden Axe series has always featured rideable animals called Bizzarians.
    • The Remake made this the entire point of the game.
    • The red dragon (that shoots fireballs) is an absolute Game Breaker, which is probably why you only get it on one level.
  • The NES version of The Empire Strikes Back has the Tauntaun which makes Luke much faster, and gave him increased jumping abilities.
  • In Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Abe can ride a creature named Elum in certain areas. They cut him out of the sequel because he caused so much lag.
  • In the arcade game Gunsmoke, one of the powerups is a donkey, which you ride. It definitely increased the number of hits you could take above one, that's saying something.
  • Rayman gets to ride a mosquito a couple of times in his self-titled game. First you have to defeat it, then you get to use it all throughout a few levels.
    • And the second game has the Walking Shells, essentially missiles with legs that chase after the player on sight and can be ridden to advance through the level.
    • Also in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, you get to ride Globox a couple of times after he's drunk plum juice.
  • Guild Wars: You have to ride in Junundu Worms to get across The Desolation in Nightfall. Your Health, Energy, and skillbar are all replaced with Junundu Worm stuff when you enter it. Also, you have to prove your worth by defeating the Junundu Queen before being able to ride one.
  • The Crash Bandicoot games produced by Naughty Dog had one such animal per game, with two levels in each game dedicated entirely to riding them through their respective obstacle courses (an unnamed wild boar in Crash Bandicoot 1996, Polar the polar bear in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Pura the tiger, along with a baby T-Rex in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped).
  • In Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon, Spyro can ride on a manta ray underwater to shoot some Rhynocs in submarines.
  • Metal Slug has these feature prominently enough to be named after one - granted, most of these are adorable military vehicles, but the series features ridable animals from time to time, ranging from camel to elephant to donkey. Unlike vehicles, riding an animal leaves the player exposed to enemy fire and may sometimes be a liability.
  • Not a powerup, but Genji the turtle acts like this for Reimu Hakurei in early Touhou Project games.
  • Sabrecats in the Dragon Quest series, like chocobos, have served simultaneously as enemy, party member, and transportation.
  • The Legend of Zelda Oracle Games let Link choose among a boxing kangaroo named Ricky, a blue flying bear named Moosh and a friendly swimming Dodongo named Dimitri as steeds for him.
    • Meanwhile, most of the 3D Zelda games have the fast-galloping and leaping horse Epona. Inverted in The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, where Link is the Powerup Mount, for the dark imp Midna. In this formation, the two can can leap to high ledges, teleport and use a homing attack to wipe out several enemies at once.
  • Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg has three: Rikol the kangaroo-lion who can jump quite high and spit fireballs, Datch the sheep-ostrich who can glide and has a green-charged attack... thing, and Kaboot the shark who averts your Super Drowning Skills and has a body-slam attack. They can also sustain several hits of damage, instead of just one.
  • The Empire Strikes Back edition of Super Star Wars has two parts where Luke can ride a creature for faster movement. The creature has its own life meter and once it died, you have to go the rest of the way on foot.
  • Any Pokémon able to learn Surf or Fly falls into this.
  • In Kingdom Hearts 3D, this is a common form of link attack for Sora's dream eater allies. It makes both him and the involved dream eater completely invincible, and allows them to ram into the opposition. Some of the dream eaters are also able to unleash one of their other attacks while being ridden.
  • The vehicles in Jetpack Joyride function like this.
  • Non-video game example: a few of the later Mage Knight sets included rider and mount figures. When mounted, the two characters move together but have their own separate actions. At least one combination of figures that both had the Charge power was recognized as a Game Breaker.
  • Starting some time around 2012, Champions Online began including vehicles—essentially travel powers with slots for weapons and other devices which "transformed" you into that vehicle—in their lockboxes. Basic vehicles often were actually power-downs, but when properly equipped could be game breakers. And destroying the vehicle didn't hurt you, you just lost use of it for a while.
  1. Clockwise, from top left: Yoshi, the seahorse, Rick, Moosh, Enguarde the Swordfish.
  2. Except in a few levels where baby Mario flies around