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A video game mechanic where the edges of the screen are hyperspatially connected: move past the left side, and you appear on the right. Or walk to the south, and suddenly you're in the north. It serves as an alternative to the Invisible Wall that would normally be present if one tried to walk off the screen.

How this trope is applied differs by the game's genre. In a Platform Game, typically only the horizontal directions wrap around, loosely implying that the game world is cylindrical. In other games, it's common for all four directions to wrap around, with the slightly more confusing implication that the game world is shaped like a torus.

Some games have use this mechanic in certain Gimmick Levels.

Wrap Around in some older games can also be unintentionally present and can be exploited only by using glitches. Tool-assisted Speedruns often exploit it.

Four-directional wraparound is quite often used in Role Playing Games' World Maps - see World Shapes.

The first example was Space War.

Not to be mistaken with Wraparound Background.

Examples of Wrap Around include:


Two-directional

  • Mario Bros.
  • Joust
  • Wrecking Crew has a horizontal wraparound passage on every floor.
  • Super Mario Bros 2 and 3
  • Kid Icarus
  • Frogger is a subversion -- the assorted obstacles and platforms do wrap around, but if the player tries it, they lose a life instead.
  • Most every Pac-Man game contains 'maze exits' that wrap around to the opposite side of the screen.
  • Wizard of Wor similarly featured Escape Doors connecting the left and right ends of the dungeon mazes for players. Worluk, however, would use them to quit the level entirely.
  • Astro Man's stage in Mega Man 8 has horizontal wraparound.
  • Some of the invaders in the Space Invaders Extreme series wrap around right-to-left, descending a little lower as they do so.
  • In the MSX version of Parodius, one of the powerups simply turns left-right wraparound on for 30 seconds. In a stroke of game design genius, this power is required to get past a solid impassable wall in the last stage.
  • Touhou:
    • Touhou 6: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil - Sakuya's knives wrap off of two or three sides during some of her attacks. Also, Flandre's last Spell Card.
    • Touhou 8: Imperishable Night - Reimu can do this if you fight her in Stage 4. Bonus points due to it appearing to Reimu herself that she's only flying in a straight line and apparently unaware she's doing it.
    • Touhou 10.5: Scarlet Weather Rhapsody - Yukari can wrap around either wall as an escape technique.
    • Touhou 11: Subterranean Animism employs horizontal wrap-around as Reimu's special ability when paired up with Yukari.
  • True to a ridiculous extent in Cortex Command, in which, on a small or mid-sized map, a weapon with sufficient muzzle velocity can fire a projectile that circles the world and ends up blowing off your own head.
  • Metal Storm has vertical wraparound, especially in Stage 2 and Stage 6. It allows the player to fall indefinitely instead of into a Bottomless Pit and lets enemy harass you from both above and below.
  • Scorched Earth lets you change the behaviour of the walls, including making them act like concrete (missiles explode when they hit it), padded (missiles bounce off slower), rubber (bounce off at same speed), spring (bounce off faster), and of course, wraparound.
  • Karoshi series often utilizes this variation in often clever ways.
  • Action 52 has several games to include that mechanic. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.
  • Happens vertically in Yar's Revenge.
  • Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel provide the same effect without the hyperspace element by having some side-scrolling levels in a cylinder. Some older games did this too, such as Battletoads and Dynamite Headdy.
  • In the NES game Super Dodge Ball, one could hit an opponent so hard that they do this a few times, and it's even possible to get them to land on your side if you do it right.
  • Horizontal wrapping appears in vertical sections in Purple. Things that chase you (like your frisbee, or some enemies) still respond to your position relatively to screen, making situations where you can put player character on one side, toss frisbee through the edge and watch as it repeatedly whacks an enemy on the other side of of the screen trying to get back to you.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series have vertical wraparound at several points, such as in Labyrinth Zone and Ice Cap Zone. Sonic 3 & Knuckles, since the two acts of each zone are Direct Continuous Levels, also has hidden horizontal wraparound, which means with the right glitches, you can loop back to a zone's first act, resulting in the graphics glitching up.
  • Civilization and its clones use flat cylinder-shaped Earth.
  • Animaniacs had a PC game set released; one featured Dot in a Mario Brothers -like game, but shooting limited ammo horizontally rather than hitting platforms. Dot and enemies both could warp around. Dot could even warp around to get hit with her own shots ... for limited invulnerability.
  • Rock Man 4 Minus Infinity had a vertical wraparound section as an homage to the Labyrinth Zone. There is a secret path hidden in the blocks.
  • In Flicky, the screen would scroll horizontally, but wrap around before too long.
  • In Nuts & Milk, the left and right sides of the screen were connected for Milk.
  • In Alpiner, wrapping from the left side of the screen to the right, or vice versa, was useful for avoiding trees. You could actually climb while straddling the wraparound border.
  • Bubble Bobble, but vertically instead of horizontally.

Four-directional

  • Space War and its Spiritual Successor, Asteroids.
    • As well as Star Control, which uses a similar battle system.
  • Chu Chu Rocket
  • As mentioned above, all sorts of Role Playing Games with World Maps do this. Most every Final Fantasy, for instance.
    • Lampshaded in this RPG World episode (as seen above).
    • These worlds must be donut-shaped... although even then the distances are wrong.
    • Defied (but not quite averted) in Final Fantasy VIII. When you bring up the mini-map on the overworld for the first time, the world is projected onto a sphere. Toggling the mini-map again switches to the classic flat map. In fact, the map wraps around in four directions, but the globe mini-map uses clever tricks to give the illusion that the world is a sphere.
    • Similarly, Secret of Mana's world map was a wraparound square, but when flying over it on Flammie, pressing START would display the map in a globe-shaped manner.
    • This becomes a plot point in Skies of Arcadia, when the crew decides to be the first to sail around the world after the acquisition of the Blue Moon Crystal.
  • The freeware game Jumpman plays with the wraparound trope by making the wrapped area smaller than the screen, revealing copies of the room and the player to the left and right.
  • Some levels, including treasure rooms, in Gauntlet (1985 video game) and Gauntlet II have this property.
  • Tetrisphere does this so you can scroll across the playfield in any direction without the orientation changing, but it keeps just a circular portion of the field visible at any time so it looks like a sphere.
  • The arcade version of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has levels which loop on all sides, the NES version uses 2D wraparound due to the fact that many-a-level have lava pits at the bottom.
  • Technically Bosconian has this; it occurs on the "radar" screen.
  • The entire main area in VVVVVV and some rooms themselves as well.
    • In fact, this is one section's entire gimmick.
  • King's Quest I the kingdom of Daventry wrapped around after six screens in a direction, both horizontally and vertically. King's Quest II, III, and IV had their worlds wraparound vertically, but not horizontally. Only from King's Quest V onward did the wraparound actually cease.
  • Action Biker on Atari 800/Commodore 64 does to. Probably due to the small world, its even more obvious than other games listed.
  • Solium Infernum has a wrap around map. Aesthetically, it shows Hell is a strange place. Strategically, it means your territory can completely encircle the map or flank an opponent.
  • In Portal, you can easily create a wraparound effect by placing portals on opposite sides of yourself (and at any angle), and this is an important mechanic for solving the game's many fiendish puzzles. For example, portals placed on the floor and ceiling of the same room create a space through which you can fall infinitely.
  • Populous the Beginning. The world is a globe, completely round, which is very rare for a Real Time Strategy game.
  • Monster Truck Madness 2: Drive in any direction in a straight line and you'll eventually get back to where you started. There is no border on most or all of the maps. Very few race games have this.
  • The 2D/2.5D entries in the Mortal Kombat series feature teleport moves that work this way, both horizontally and vertically.
    • Rain's roundhouse kick is notable for causing the other player to do this.
  • Almost every map in Yume Nikki does this. Makes much more sense than most examples, because hey, it's a dream.
  • Some versions of Snake have wrap-around.
  • Freeware game Fetus and it's sequel, Sutef. Except when it doesn't.
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