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Tilemaps consist of all of the ground, spikes, lava, clouds, etc. that do not move and do not interact actively with the player. Each tilemap consists of one or more tiles, which each contain several attributes specified in the tileset.

Tilemaps can be either solid or non-solid. The player can only interact with solid tilemaps (i.e. they are used for collision detection) but not with non-solid tilemaps. Non-solid tilemaps are usually used as foreground and background layers.

Multiple tilemaps of each kind may be specified. You can think of a tilemap as a layer of “blocks”. Each layer has an associated z-position where smaller values mean further back, larger values mean further in front.

z-position Use
-100 Default background layer
0 Default interactive layer
50 LAYER_OBJECTS (default object layer)
51 Tux, bonus blocks
100 Default foreground layer

Tilemaps are also scriptable if given a (unique) name, see ScriptingTilemap.

Tilemaps may also be given a path, which they will follow once scripted to do so.

Note that infoblocks, unstable tiles, bonus blocks, invisible blocks that can be activated, coins, and wooden bricks are not actually part of the tilemap; after the level is parsed, the tiles with the ID's or attributes representing those objects are replaced with the objects themselves and the tiles changed to empty.