Living Structure Monster
A monster that is a wall, or a floor, or a ceiling, or any other part of a building
DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft
It's like these people have never had a ceiling come to life and try to smother them before!Sometimes Malevolent Architecture in video games is taken literally, with monsters that are actually part of it. They take form of a wall, or a floor, or any part of the building you're in. How would a wall, floor etc be such a menace? Maybe it is capable of movement, and would try to crush you by its own "bodies"; see Descending Ceiling, The Walls Are Closing In, Advancing Wall of Doom and Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom. When they aren't mobile, they may still be harmful by another means, such as shooting things at people or sprouting Spikes of Doom if someone's nearby. They may or may not have eyes. If all those monsters are actually of one awareness, it overlaps with Genius Loci. This may also be one of the explanations behind a Mobile Maze. Compare Wall Master for creatures who are able to move through/along walls; in this trope, the walls (and floors, ceilings etc) are the monsters themselves. Compare also Chest Monster. Subtrope of Animate Inanimate Object. If the Living Structure Monster is a boss, an overlap might occur with Background Boss and Stationary Boss, or alternately Advancing Boss of Doom.
—Belkar, The Order of the Stick
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- In Attack on Titan, it is revealed at the ending of the anime/midpoint of the manga that the walls surrounding their City in a Bottle are actually living creatures. As in, the walls are made of Colossal Titans' hardened Instant Armor... with the aforementioned titans inside the walls as foundations.
- In an episode of the anime adaptation of Kaiketsu Zorori, a Nurikabe is recruited by Zorori to be a part of a soccer team, as a goalie. Being a literal wall that is as wide as the goal itself, the youkai provides an unfair advantage for Zorori in the corresponding soccer match.
- In One Piece, one of Gekko Moriah's zombies is a wall zombie, a literal wall with a human face stretched out and stitched on. It doesn't do much except appear and block an entrance some of the Straw Hats were going to use to escape from other zombies.
- In Marvel Comics, the Chrysler Building is a sentient being who came to life on at least one occaision in an issue of Damage Control.
- In The Great Yokai War, one of the Youkai featured is a talking, limbed wall. Just picture an extremely wide Spongebob Squarepants with a disproportionately huge body. Guy's just a literal Living Prop though, and does nothing much in the story other than being literally part of the background.
- The movie Labyrinth features a number of creatures that are basically part of the architecture of the eponymous maze. These include the talking door knockers, and the talking walls which give false alarms to passersby.
- In the horror film 1408, the entire hotel room itself, not just any specific piece of it, is evil.
- The titular creature of Monster House is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a monstrous, animate house.
- In the Discworld, Unseen University is explicitly described as a building complex that throughout its thousand year history has absorbed so much ambient magic that it is practically a living thing with emotions and a degree of sentience. Equal Rites has the witch Granny Weatherwax reaching out her mind and effectively borrowing it - ie, a sort of benign possession which a witch may only do with the mind of a living thing. She reads its mind and discovers it is frightened and fearful. Much the same happens in Sourcery, when the University dimly senses big trouble ahead, and doesn't like it.
- The Malus from the Doctor Who serial The Awakening was a monster lying dormant within an old church wall until it awakened to wreak havoc on Little Hodcombe.
- A demon who's also a wall, which inspires worshipers to fight over it, shows up in a second-season episode of Angel.
- In one episode of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Rita accidentally brings a brick wall to life. Brick Bully is literally a brick wall with an Upside Down Face, limbs, and various graffiti all over him. He can turn others into bricks and when he eats more bricks, he assumes a slightly more humanoid and mobile form.
- A rather well renowned youkai from Japanese folklore called a Nurikabe is an animated wall that impedes travelers. It is the basis for many characters such as the Whomps from Super Mario Bros. and the Monol monsters from Monster Rancher. Interesting enough, it's common depiction of being an animated wall is somewhat of a modern representation. Originally during the Edo period, one of it's early depictions was that of a three-eyed grotesque vaguely dog-like creature. Over time, it's depiction changed to a literal wall with limbs and very vague features.
- Another youkai is the Mokumoku-ren which is a monster created from shoji, the paper sliding doors and windows found in Japan houses. When shoji are not taken care of, they can become riddled with holes. If not repaired for a long time, these can become infested with eyes. The Mokumoku-ren is generally creepy but relatively harmless. It is however usually a sign of a greater infestation of youkai in a household.
- Dungeons & Dragons has had many structure base monsters in its history, especially in the earlier editions where Everything Trying to Kill You and Killer Game Master were in full effect:
- The Living Wall, which gains power by assimilating nearby corpses.
- Second edition had the "Greater Mimic". A larger version of the game's resident Chest Monster which could impersonate rooms or other structures.
- First Edition had the "Lurker Above" (just called the Lurker in Advanced D&D), which resembled the ceiling.
- Its counterpart, the Lurker (renamed the Trapper when the LA had the "above" dropped) disguised itself as the floor.
- The Dread Gazebo is an accidental version of this which came about when a player assumed a "gazebo" the Dungeon Master described was some sort of monster. Fed up with his insistence on attacking it, the DM decided it pounced and killed his character. Read the original story here.
- The Demon Wall is a recurring enemy in the Final Fantasy series.
- Rangda Bangda (pictured) from the Mega Man X series, which comes up twice: once in the first game, and once in the fifth game as its powered up form.
- In the first Devil May Cry, the blocked doors would attack Dante if you got too close, but otherwise left you alone until you got rid of them by solving a puzzle and/or killing some enemies.
- Icon of Sin, a wall with a picture of a demon on it, the Final Boss in Doom 2, attacks you by summoning his various demonic flunkies to fight you. His weakpoint is on a point on his "head".
- Grimwall from Shining in the Darkness.
- Wall enemies show up in one level of Wario World. They can't attack, their only purpose is to keel over and provide a bridge once punched sufficiently.
- In Monster Rancher, the Monol breed is a 2001: A Space Odyssey Monolith-esque Shapeshifting monster, meaning it looks like a rectangle wall, or rather, a door. It's capable of Size Shifting and Partial Transformation of it's surface to produce a humanoid face and spikes.
- RosenkreuzStilette: The Cross Wall is one of the bosses in the "fortress" stages. It attacks by summoning Living Crosses that homes in on you and fires energy shots from its "eye". It also pursues you forward.
- Secret of Mana has two different Wall Face bosses, both that function similarly. They have a central third eye weak point that has to be defeated to win, and try to crush the player if both of their normal eyes are killed first.
- In Terraria, the Wall of Flesh is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - a massive, moving wall with eyes and a mouth.
- Blockhead of Ōkami is a youkai based on Nurikabe from Japanese folklore. They appear in several places during the game, always blocking the player's path with their wall-like body. To get past a Blockhead the player must headbutt him to make him reveal his weak points, memorize them, and attack them with his Celestial Brush, after which the Blockhead disappears in a puff of smoke.
Ga-ha! I am Blockhead! I guard this place so that all shall pass! Er, wait... I mean, none shall pass!
- The exit from Cave Story's Noob Cave is blocked by a cyclopean door that hurts on contact, but is easily dealt with.
- Nest type enemy fused to a variety of walls/bulkheads throughout all 3 Dead Space games. They spawn nasty babies with missile shooting tails. They cannot be rerouted around and the babies Will kill you if they manage to shoot you enough times.
- The doors to a boss room in SuperMetroid and Metroid Fusion are covered by giant eyes that shoot eyebeams at the player and must be destroyed before you can enter the room.
- Several The Legend of Zelda games contain enemies called Flying Tiles. From a distance they're just ordinary floor tiles, but as you approach they levitate up, start spinning, then hurl themselves at you.
- In some games of the Shin Megami Tensei series (for example, Shin Megami Tensei IV and Strange Journey, the demon Orcus◊ appears as a brick gateway to Hell (If you look closely, a plaque reading "GO TO HELL" is attached to it) with part of a horned head visible at the top.
- From the Super Mario Bros., there are the Whomps which are based on the Nurikabe from Japanese folklore.
- In Kingdom Hearts II, there is the Heartless boss Thresholder. It is the possessed dungeon doors which impede Sora and company in beast's castle.
- Skyblazer has a Demon Wall boss that attacks by spinning and attempting to crush Sky against the edges of the screen.
- Genova, one of the bosses in Seiken Densetsu 3 is a demonic fireplace/furnace that attacks by spitting enemies out of its fire.
- Awful Hospital has the Flesh Door, which is not just a door but an entire room.
- In Girl Genius, Heterodyne Castle is alive, and is one giant death trap for anyone who is not The Heterodyne. Before Agatha arrives to repair it, convict work crews are sent in to attempt repairs, or die trying. Usually the latter.
- The Fairly OddParents! has Mike, the Evil Living Building as one of the Crimson Chin's enemies.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.