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Gameplay of Grass

Grass doesn't always exist in games only for aesthetic purposes; it has also been used to enhance gameplay. Typically it is used to conceal an item, enemy or even the player, but it can have various other uses depending upon the game.

As specific examples:

  • Titles in The Legend of Zelda series commonly contain long grass which can uncover items such as rupees (the game’s currency) or arrows/bombs (weapons in the game) when cut down.
  • Strategy games often use grass to enhance gameplay as well. City-building games such as the SimCity series require parks and other grassed areas in the city to help improve the city and the citizens' lives. Empire building games such as Civilization will often reward players with more food production for having grassy areas nearby their cities. Tactical games such as Pathway to Glory penalize the player less for attempting to move over flat, grassy areas.
  • A classic design trait console RPGs of the third and fourth console generations involved was lower ranking, easier encounters taking place on the grass (or "plains") tiles while more difficult enemies would be located in forested areas nearby. This was used in games as early as Dragon Quest and as late as Final Fantasy VI.
  • The Harvest Moon games have long grass which can be cut using a scythe to create fodder which can be used to feed animals such as cows and sheep.
  • In the Pokémon games, many Pokémon are “grass type”, which means their attacks are based on grass. This makes them effective against Water, Rock and Ground type Pokémon, but ineffective against Bug, Flying, Poison, Steel and Dragon types.
  • The Call of Duty series has recently begun exploring more advanced usage of grass. In Call of Duty 4, grass is used as a concealment mechanism in some stages of the game to hide from enemies. This usage method had previously seen use in other titles such as Operation Flashpoint and Far Cry, but its inclusion in Call of Duty 4 was the first time for the franchise. In Call of Duty: World at War grass can be set fire to using a flamethrower to prevent enemies from approaching.
  • Grass and foliage play an important role in Metal Gear Solid 3's camouflage system, which represents your level of camouflage depending on how well your current clothing and face paint blends in with the grass within which you're hiding.
  • Racing games have used grass as a way of slowing the player down when they venture off of the road (either by decreasing their speed or by spinning them out) since Pole Position, though there have been exceptions where this was ignored. Notably, Speed Racer for the PlayStation treated grassy surfaces identically to paved.
  • In Bully, there is a grass mowing mini game that the player can play to earn money. Whenever caught while doing mischief, Jimmy would have to mow a small field of grass behind the school. There are two retail titles of a similar nature (Hover Bower and Hover Bower 2: Grand Theft Flynn) where the objective is to mow 16 lawns with a stolen lawn mower without being caught.
  • No More Heroes also featured a lawn mowing mini game. However, it existed as a means for Travis to make money, rather than as punishment.

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