Charlotte: Huh?! Something's after us!A level (or segment thereof) in which the player must make rapid progress to outrun a giant threat. The threat in question can be anything from rising water levels, to giant robots, or, as the name implies, a slowly advancing giant wall lined with all manner of painful things. Other times, there isn't even a visible threat, and the screen simply scrolls on its own. Sometimes going off the screen or contacting the said wall means instant death, at other times, it simply pushes the player forward, over a cliff, or just squishing them to death if necessary. See also: Rise to the Challenge, The Walls Are Closing In, Descending Ceiling, Indy Escape, Advancing Boss of Doom and Outrun the Fireball for specific types of this. When the screen itself forces you to keep moving and anchors the camera to the wall, it's a Auto-Scrolling Level. Also compare Escape Sequence and Deadly Walls. May be justified with Living Structure Monster or an advancing Animal Stampede.
Jonathan: This doesn't look good! Let's run for now!
Jonathan: This doesn't look good! Let's run for now!
— Running from the Behemoth in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
open/close all folders
- In Badland , the whole gameplay consists of your character forced to move forward because of one, while also avoiding the chains, spikes, etc. and pick up one's clones along the way.
- The Castlevania series has more than a few of these.
- In Castlevania: Bloodlines, there's one going down to keep up with draining water. No idea why, since there's no huge drop to kill you (unless you go too fast and discover your Super Drowning Skills). That's not the only one in the game, by the way; the second level features one.
- Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse has several as well, including one 'rising water' stage, a few auto-scrolling stages towers (one up, one down), and one where the auto-scrolling occurs in noisy "jumps."
- Super Castlevania IV has a level near the end of the game where a huge circular saw blade chases you upward as you ascend the level to meet a Boss Bonanza before meeting the Count himself. It's also a level which automatically advances the screen whenever you move up (and, you die if you fall below it), which means you actually have two advancing walls to keep up with. Thankfully, the saw doesn't move that fast, meaning you're usually in more danger of falling off the screen than getting hit by the saw.
- Castlevania: The Adventure had a level that was MADE of this trope. Stage 3, Death Fair, featured a corridor where you had to destroy giant screws to keep the spiked ceiling from crushing you, a tower up which you had to slowly climb via ropes while being chased by a spiked floor, and finally another corridor where you had to outrun a spiked wall while killing enemies and balancing over bottomless pits.
- Castlevania: Rondo of Blood has the Behemoth chase you through part of Stage 2. The scenario gets repeated in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
- Kid Chameleon: The "Hills of the Warrior" level (pictured above). Especially bad because the giant wall of doom seems to have fairly strong Rubber Band A.I..
- Also a "feature" in two other levels. One is a series of timed block puzzles, and the other gives you a rather unwieldy tank to try (and fail) at navigating the level with.
- A level late in the game has the advancing wall segment that ends with a choice between top route and bottom route. If you pick the wrong one, "too bad!", there's a big wall, forcing you to die and start the level from the beginning.
- The difficulty spike represented by these levels (especially Hills of the Warrior, which was the first AWOD level, and Bloody Swamp, which was just plain goddamn sadistic), coupled with their music, can push them very close to the border of horror territory. Have a listen to this and tell me you wouldn't be soiling yourself if you were fleeing a +9000 Wall of Meat Grinding to the tune of this little number.
- L.A. Noire: In one segment late in the game Jack Kelso must get away from a bulldozer advancing on him.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time LOVES this. The Fire Temple has an advancing wall of fire, and the only way to escape it is to attempt a jump to a ledge that appears to be too far away to be grabbed, and Link does it. He's Just That Good.
- Twilight Princess has a puzzle variation, where you have to move blocks to get the height to leap off a ledge before a wall of flame reaches you.
- There's also one or two death traps like this in Nightshade, a game that spoofed 30s supernatural noir.
- In Rainbow Islands the player must keep above the rising water of Doom.
- TRON 2.0 also did this in one level, where you had to flee a "Reformat Wall", and got obliterated if it touched you.
- ‘’Typoman’’: A firey one of these pursues the player in Chapter Two.
- In the PC version of The Fairly Oddparents: Breakin' Da Rules!, one level has Timmy travel to the past and meet the younger-aged version of Vicky and Tootie's mom (named Nicky here), who romantically pursues him though the stage. The fact that she's the future mother of his nemesis and his Stalker with a Crush is one reason to keep away from her (the other being that you have to start the level over if she catches you).
- God of War Series has these a few times; the first two (one each in God of War and God of War II) are defeated by killing off the horde of Mooks that spawns on top of you, while the second is actually a time-based puzzle where you have to open a door.
- Gunstar Super Heroes has the File Crasher. If you get caught by it, it, um... erases your file. Actually, it only claims it will erase your save file, and only in the original Japanese version.
- Inspector Gadget: Operation Madkactus had quickly rising water in World 2-2, which invoked Super Drowning Skills. In the final mission, the wall of doom was the vehicle.
- Spider-Man/X-Men for the Super Nintendo had, in Gambit's first level, a gigantic spikey ball of doom, slowly crushing everything in his path.
- Wolverine's second level had The Juggernaut serving this same purpose.
- In the Spider-Man game on the PlayStation, the final level had you being chased by Carnage-Ock
- In Star Wars: The Clone Wars (a game that came out with the movie and featured mostly vehicle combat), there is a level where the player has to outrun the purple wave of death created by the Sith Harvester (ball shaped thing that absorbs the force from living things and stores it or some such thing).
- In LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, the level based on the assault on the Death Star II in Return of the Jedi ends with the player flying away from the ensuing explosion from its core. In LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, the level based on the episode "Legacy of Terror" ends with the player being chased by a swarm of Geonosian zombies.
- One of the later levels of Strider has a particularly frustrating one; if you lag at all, you won't have time to come out without being crushed.
Beat Em Up
- The original Splatterhouse has the player pursued by a creepy pulsing purple wall of...something. You'll only see it if you dawdle significantly, though.
- In Streets of Rage 3, Stage 3 has an Advancing Bulldozer Of Doom, which you must outrun while destroying concrete walls that are blocking your way. It can, however, be hit to knock it back a few meters. At the end of the section, the 'dozer slams into a support beam and a barrel falls from the ceiling, knocking the Mook out.
- Later levels of Express Raider have enemies pushing stacks of crates towards you, which you must break through before they push you off the train.
- In Stampede Run, you're being chased by three bulls the whole time you're running. Stumble and one will be right on your tail for about 5 seconds. Stumble twice in quick succession and you'll be run down.
- The Pig King Statue in Lucas' first stage of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's "Subspace Emissary" mode. Until Ness one-shots it with PK Flash.
- The Norfair stage in the same game has advancing walls of lava; two move toward the center of the stage from either the left or right side (though they don't go any further and move back after a while), while the third start from behind the stage and move towards it. Only a few characters can effectively jump over it, so a small safe room appears to assist those who can't. Getting hit by any of them is not a good thing.
- One of the Video Game/Metroid stages in Melee also has a giant advancing wall of lava that comes in to cover over half the stage.
- The worst one involves not only a scrolling screen, but randomly moving cars that you have to jump between on the "Big Blue" track.
- There's one of these in the Star Wars stage in Soul Calibur IV, but it never comes close to actually crushing you.
First Person Shooter
- In the first mission of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the ship you are raiding is hit by enemy aircraft and begins to sink. You must run behind your teammates all the way to the helicopter. If you lag behind just a little, you'll be "killed" and forced to retry the mission. It's made even worse by the fact that the ship begins to list heavily to one side, so you're actually running diagonally. And in the end, you need to jump over the side of the ship to reach the helicopter.
- In Condemned 2: Bloodshot, you have to outrun a rabid bear through a deserted hunting lodge. And when you finally do get a chance to kill it, it's in a One Bullet Left situation.
- F3AR features a cooperative AWOD mode, appropriately entitled "F**king Run!", in which a massive black cloud rushes at you throughout the level. Naturally, getting caught in this cloud is instantly fatal.
- A few custom Doom levels give the same effect as an AWOD by having the player chased through a maze of Insurmountable Waist Height Fences by either Exploding Barrels or revenants' homing missiles.
- Half-Life 2 has the advancing wall of the Citadel at the end of the level Nova Prospekt, which crushes you against a non-moving wall unless you can quickly find a small opening through which you escape in the latter wall.
- In the Armory level of Metro 2033, after being handcuffed by the Red Lines for simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time after stumbling on an interrogation, you and another prisoner must outrun the Red Line officers through a crowded station, and failure to do so results in a Red Line officer cracking your skull open with the stock of his shotgun.
- Quake has a few examples, the first notable one being in in E1-M6.
- Rise of the Triad has a few of these. Some just squish you, some burn and squish you at the same time.
- TRON 2.0 had one level where the protagonist is trying to outrun a hard disc reformat, rescue Ma3a and Byte, and get to the exit before they're all destroyed by it.
- Pac-Man 256 has The Glitch, the Kill Screen from the 256th maze of Pac-Man, closing in on you as you travel through an endless maze. It also appears in Crossy Road when you play the game as Pac-Man.
- The Intellivision game Maze-a-Tron (yes, based off the film) had the protagonist running through a maze of circuitry to reach the RAM chips in the center with the screen continually scrolling. Unusual in that meeting the wall wasn't instant death - but it did send you back to the beginning, forcing you to run the whole thing again. Other things, like forcefields and Recognizers were what could actually kill you.
- Dungeons & Dragons Online players in the raid known popularly as "The Shroud" must solve several puzzles, each inside locked rooms. Once the puzzles are done, players must avoid deadly invulnerable whirling blades as they return to the solved puzzle rooms to deliver water in each room. If the raid party takes too long, the dreaded Prismatic Wall appears and circles the entirety of the area, killing anyone it touches who cannot continually outrun it until the last of the water is delivered.
- In the MMORPG MapleStory, there is a particularly annoying area where you have to navigate through a maze of platforms while keeping well out of the area of a moving pillar that logically shouldn't kill you with one touch. But it does.
- World of Warcraft gives us Instructor Chillheart of Scholomance, who uses an advancing wall of solid ice, slowly shrinking the area in which you can fight. You have to slay her before it catches and kills you.
- The fight with Yu'lon has an advancing wall of fire.
- The Brawler's Guild has this in the form of fireballs that start raining down if you don't kill a boss fast enough. They slowly cover the whole ring and kill you instantly if they reach you.
- Final Fantasy XIV brings back the Demon Wall, which gradually advances on the party while summoning Ao E and single-target attacks. If the fight goes on long enough - which usually it does - it'll summon two giant gnats to terrorize the party (although they were removed in patch 2.2) as well as covering the rear end of the pathway with a dark aoe that will slowly drain away your health if stood in. It's also entirely possible to fall off the side of the platform to your death if you aren't careful.
- Rather than slowly and gradually advancing, the Demon Wall will periodically use a potent knockback move on your party before scooting up several feet. It's not clearly known what happens if he advances all the way back to the doors; most parties either defeat the demon wall or are defeated themselves before this ends up happening.
- A lesser version in World of Warships if you get a wide enough spread of torpedoes, especially if two or more ships launch coordinated salvoes.
- Aladdin (Capcom) and Aladdin (Virgin Games) each had a level in which Aladdin uses the Flying Carpet to escape the enormous wall of lava that is consuming the Cave of Wonders.
- Towards the end of the Sega Genesis version of Animaniacs, the entire level begins to disintegrate behind you after you open a door at the beginning, forcing you to run for your life. One mistake in this part of the game spells curtains for the Warner siblings.
- In Blade Kitten, Kit has to outrun an Advancing Kaiju of Doom called Acland at the halfway mark. Every so often, she has to stop and wait for it to smash through the floors so that she can proceed. If she is hit by the monster's large claws during the fixed-scrolling portions, it's usually instant death.
- Braid has a pretty strange variation in the final level where the advancing wall actually represents barrier between the present and the future, and dissapears when you replay the level forwards.
- Conker's Bad Fur Day has a rising water level. Although you can swim, the water rises toward exposed high-voltage wires you have to sever to prevent electrocution. Apparently water touching the now-bare but still-live terminals doesn't shock you.
- Bug had a few sections like this in Quaria. Oftentimes the wall was also lined with spikes, and one section had the wall be an instant kill (Bug normally takes 5 hits to die), but was thankfully slow enough to outrun with relative ease.
- The first Crash Bandicoot game had levels where you have to run from a giant boulder. The worst part being that you're running towards the camera, making obstacle dodging and box collecting very much a process of Trial-and-Error Gameplay.
- These levels even carried over to other games of the series, where you run away from such things as giant polar bears, dinosaurs, dragons, tsunamis, and giant fireballs.
- Decap Attack features this in Stage 3-1 with a kind of weird totem pole thing which kills Chuck in a single hit. It can be surprisingly hard to escape from at times.
- This is Dino Run's entire concept. It manages to still be fun because:
- You can get caught up in the doom wall and still escape with your life, and in fact can get bonuses for doing so, and
- The 'Pyroclastic Wall of Doom' is really, really cool looking.
- The Flash game Discount Mayonnaise (yes, really) uses a Sand Worm.
- The Distorted Travesty series loves these, especially the third installment. Even finding some especially unorthodox takes on the concept such as trying to keep ahead of an exploding floor to avoid falling to your death.
- Donkey Kong Country Series:
- The original has levels set in an ancient temple, where large spinning stone wheels will chase you.
- From the sequel, Toxic Tower and the unceasing rising level of toxic slime. The official Nintendo Power strategy guide even stated 'This level will eat up lives like candy' when talking about it. Good luck getting through without losing a dozen lives or more. Additionally, Castle Crush could also qualify, even if it's a lot more forgiving than the other level mentioned.
- In addition, Slime Climb and Clapper's Cavern have rising pools infested by a vicious piranha that can and will try to bite the Kongs if they wind up in the drink.
- The third game has Ripsaw Rage, in which a giant bandsaw is cutting through several trees, forcing the Kongs to climb upward to avoid getting cut, as the saw comes after them.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns:
- Returns has one of the most horrifying examples of this trope: a level where you're being chased by a cascading "wall" made up of thousands of spiders. Which later turns into a "floor" as you have to blast your way up. And because Retro just loves you, the level itself is Nintendo Hard.
- Subverted in a later level. Near the end, a wave of lava chases you for a short time, but no matter what you do, it won't reach you and will be left behind. It's more of a psychological obstacle and Scenery Porn than anything else. There’s also a rare cross-dimensional example in the beach, where you can see waves come from the background and wash everything in the game area off the stage.
- Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter has one in the aptly named Volcanic Eruption (Wilfre's Wasteland). Aptly named because the A Wo D is made of lava.
- In Dynamite Headdy, the "Twin Freaks" boss is an insane AWOD. The screen scrolls at a set speed, but the boss doesn't. On top of this, hitting various switches needed to make progress makes him faster and invincible.
- Eversion features two, the latter apparently made of blood.
- It's actually the avatar of Yog-Sothoth.
- One puzzle of Fez requires the player to rigger the rise of red water/lava as they navigate a series of challenging vertical jumps. At the end there is a platform which you must be on which will float to the room exit.
- Flashback has one of these, with insta-kill pits to jump over and a floating orb that will knock you flat if it gets in melee range. And you have to destroy it to roll into the end of the level. And it's a Timed Mission.
- The entire point of the Flood Runner games is trying to outrun the advancing threat, be it a big wave of water or lava or a Godzilla Expy.
- I Wanna Be the Guy has a segment where you have to outrun a big wall of spikes that originally starts off as just another expanse of spikes that just flips up once you've jumped over it and starts chasing you. And you have to wall jump and dodge flying
apples giant cherriesDelicious Fruit the entire way.
- Jak II: Renegade plays homage to its Crash Bandicoot roots in one scene where you flee a giant boulder through an underground tomb playing as Daxter. The boulder is revealed to be a giant spider egg.
- A similarly hairy chase sequence occurs towards the end of the game where you must run from a giant centipede — this time away from the camera rather than towards it.
- Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition has a flood variation of this trope in the cargo ship level.
- From the Kirby series:
- Kirby Super Star used this, much to the annoyance of some younger players. Particularly notable in the Great Cave Offensive, where one of them is hidden in a room that immediately scrolls extremely fast past the treasure and the door, showing a flaming skull on the wall to the right.
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards also did this on one level of Rock Star. There was also a segment of the factory stage in Shiver Star involving electric moving walls.
- Kirby's Epic Yarn also had giant angler fish chase you.
- The alternate dimensions in Kirbys Return To Dreamland, made worse by obstacles blocking your path that required a Super Inhale. It's not as bad in that the wall of doom moves SO slowly, and that after using a super inhale, you can spit the resulting star at the wall of doom to beat it back.
- The Legendary Starfy (the localized one) featured a series of stages in which fire chased our five-armed hero upwards. Touching it meant losing a heart and restarting that bit of the stage.
- In The Lion King, the Elephant Graveyard level had a rising geyser of doom.
- LittleBigPlanet has the Skulldozer, a giant skeletal machine designed to destroy everything in its path. Oh, and it emits an infinite supply of Horrible Gas that dissolves player characters. Not too long afterwards, you are sent running from a giant flaming boulder.
- Skulldozer (as well as Copernicus the Guard Turkey in the sequel) are arguably examples of Advancing Boss of Doom, though since they're "defeated" by outrunning them to the end, they can also be considered this trope. The boulder, on the other hand, is definitely an A Wo D.
- The custom level "Temple Run" and its hundreds of knockoffs.
- Marble Madness implemented this wall in two player games, and only advances it when the players go through the track. If one player moved quickly enough and the second player lagged behind, the slow player is teleported forward and loses 5 seconds.
- Taken to its logical conclusion with a giant 30 foot high Mario that destroys everything in its path in this video of the aptly named The Mario by raocow.
- Super Meat Boy features this on several levels, usually paired with a Retreating Wall of Doom to keep you from rushing too far ahead. One such level is the final boss level. Well, the first half of said level. The second half is not any easier despite the lack of either wall.
- There are also two auto-scrolling segments in Dr. Cossack Stage 3 in Mega Man 4.
- The mining equipment in Armored Armadillo's stage in Mega Man X can be destroyed with concentrated firepower, but will cause instant death if touches you. However, it's also completely possible to simply fake it out then climb up a nearby wall to let it pass by harmlessly.
- The same cannot be said of the advancing wall of magma in Area K of Mega Man ZX.
- Metal Storm has one of these in level 5, but it's so slow that it'll only catch you if you're deliberately waiting.
- Super Metroid had some rising lava pits. They didn't kill you right off, but they did sap your health.
- Metroid: Samus Returns has Samus chased by the Diggernaut's drill arms in Area 4. Contact with them is instant death, and Samus only escapes by rolling up and hiding in a nook at the end of the path. You fight the Diggernaut as a boss later, and while its drill arms can't kill you anymore, contact with them still hurts like hell.
- Played with in Mind Your Manors. Before the second boss, the player must outrun a rising cloud of perfume that drains their willpower. However, the cloud can't kill them even if all their willpower is drained. In fact losing all your willpower is the only way to get the White Orb of that segment, and you'll need to fight past the cloud anyway to get the Purple Orb.
- Papa Louie 2: When Burgers Attack has a rising wall of spikes right before the final boss fight.
- In the Prehistorik 2, one level has you platforming your way down a giant hollow tree. The screen steadily goes down and if you go completely off the top, or fall to the bottom before another platform appears, you die. The SNES version Prehistorik Man has no slow-descending level, but it has the tree on fire level.
- Psychonauts has two: First takes place in an air-bubble at a bottom of a lake, and there's also a rising water level in the Meat Circus level. (shudder)
- Rayman 2 features three walls of doom. One is in the cave of nightmares, where the monster pursues you down a slide - hit too many obstacles and it catches up, which means you have to start over. The other two are the cliff levels where the brittle bridges you hurry along break down as they are shot at.
- The first game, in addition to a few straightly played takes, has an interesting variation, which can't really be explained very well verbally. See here, about 2:25 in.
- If you cannot watch the vid: you are stuck between a Retreating Floor of Doom, specifically slowly decreasing deadly water, and Advancing Ceiling of Hopelessness, a wide flat stone that's pulled down by two stringbound... things. Unfortunately, the gap between the two is decreasing. To not get drowned, you have to cut both strings, so the ceiling stops. Now, in addition to all of this, you are cutting them with your spinning hair, a part of temporary flying power used in this level.
- Rayman Origins requires the protagonist/s to outrun an advancing wall of evil red fish in one of the swimming levels.
- Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc features some lava floods in the final levels.
- The first game, in addition to a few straightly played takes, has an interesting variation, which can't really be explained very well verbally. See here, about 2:25 in.
- Rocket Knight Adventures has a few of them:
- A sort of a maze/descending ceiling hybrid in the middle of Stage 5. This gets extra tough when you consider that rocketing around, your primary means of moving fast, has ricochet. Very easy to bounce yourself right back under the crusher...
- The fifth boss has Axle Gear coming after you in a giant robot. However, this level redeems itself from being a total Scrappy Level because you get your OWN giant robot at the end of it, making it one of the few such levels where you get to fight back, in rock'em-sock'em style even!
- In RosenkreuzStilette, you have the Cross Wall, which will move menacingly towards you. Like the example above and the Mecha Dragon from Mega Man 2, you get to destroy it once you get to a certain area.
- The Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog games had a few.
- In the first game, Act 2 of Marble Zone has lava that starts flowing from left to right when you get to its level, if not before. It's only one narrow, if longish, passage before you can jump up to a high open area, but for the length of that passage, there's an Advancing Wall of Doom — and if you're not careful, it'll advance almost as fast as you do.
- In Angel Island Zone, Act 2 of Sonic 3, there's a portion before the Boss Battle where the screen starts scrolling to the right, then Robotnik's airship starts dropping bombs at you. If you let off the speed for a second, you'll drift too far left and get hit. All you have to do is hold right for 20 seconds.
- On the other hand, the advancing brick wall in the very next level — the beginning of Act 2 of Hydrocity Zone — was pretty darn nerve-wracking.
- Then there's the section in Marble Garden Zone where an earthquake starts bringing the land and the ceiling together and you have run before your escape window is closed and you're crushed between the two.
- In Sonic and Knuckles, in between the two Boss Battles in Flying Battery Zone, Act 2, you have to run through the collapsing airship quickly, otherwise you'll be crushed between it and the single wall and floor that remain airborne.
- Then in the next level, Act 2 of Sandopolis Zone had several areas where throwing a switch would cause sand to pour from the ceiling, and the sand would form a floor rising from below. With the winding passageways of the level, you could easily get crushed between the sand and the ceiling if you dawdled.
- Yet again, the Death Egg Zone Final Boss isn't really an Advancing Wall of Doom, but sorta becomes one if you die on your first try (there's no place to get rings on subsequent attempts). He's pretty easy, though; it's the run afterward that's tough, as you have to stay ahead of a collapsing platform and hit the fleeing Robotnik at the same time. Doesn't sound too hard, but unless you hit Robotnik just right, the rebound as you bounce off will launch you to your doom or rob you of your momentum (causing you to fall to your doom).
- And then there's the pachinko-themed bonus levels, in which you collect powerups while outrunning a glowing double helix that crawls steadily upward.
- Sonic CD's Stardust Speedway Act 3. You are racing against Metal Sonic and Dr. Robotnik/Eggman is chasing after the two of you in his pod shooting lasers of death out from the bottom. If you touch it, you die. If you beat Metal Sonic, it slams against the locked door and then Robotnik flies at the door, blasting the mech to pieces.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) contains infamous mach speed (mock speed) levels where Sonic was forced to run forward regardless of what happened to him, including if he died. If hit, he reacted by what appeared to be break dancing while still barreling forward at insane speeds. It has to be seen to be believed.
- Sonic Heroes features a section where you have to climb out of a vat of "energy" (lava) that's rising up below you in Power Plant. It's more difficult if you're playing as Team Dark, but then again, so is most of the other stuff in the game.
- In the Ocean Palace level (the first level), there's a section where you run from one...then two...then three gigantic, ornately carved stone wheels. Apparently created and placed there for no reason other than to harass anyone who should happen upon that particular hill.
- The Master System Sonic The Hedgehog had a version during Jungle Zone Act 2. Most of the level is a vertical climb. The camera followed you up the level, but not downwards. If you fell and hit the bottom of the screen during that section, it was instant death time. The near identical Game Gear version didn't have this, I'd guess because it would've made the level stupidly hard with the Game Gear's lower resolution.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4 gives us Mad Gear Zone Act 3: Impending Doom, featuring an Advancing Wall Of Horrible Whirling Death accompanied by Red Alert lights and sirens.
- Lost Labyrinth Act 3 also has a wall of doom, but it's much shorter.
- The last level of Sonic Colors, Terminal Velocity. Act 1 requires dashing along the space elevator's girders while avoiding fleeing robots that pursue you from behind. Act 3 is a straighter example; Sonic must outrun the black hole that is consuming the space station. It gets him anyway, but the Wisps save him at the last minute, a la Super Mario Galaxy's ending.
- This is the entire premise of the SegaSonic the Hedgehog arcade game. One of these is always after you, be it lava, ice stalactites, tornadoes, or gears.
- Sonic Blast has a fair few of these in the Silver Castle Zone.
- In Speed Runners, a red shrinking letterbox appears after the first elimination in a race. Anyone that gets caught along the edges is eliminated, until only one racer remains.
- Stargirl And The Thief From The Exploded Moon has two. The second makes it much more annoying, since it randomly stops the scrolling for one of its attacks, either causing you to either miss a planned jump or throw the bomb just short of its hitbox.
- Super Mario Galaxy continues the trend, with two of the of the missions in the Dusty Dune Galaxy including a rising floor of sand trying to crush the player against the roof, and a later mission involving a whole mountain sinking into lava (at 3:25).
- New Super Mario Bros. has Mega Unagi, a gigantic Advancing Eel of Doom.
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii has such a wall of doom in the first level of world 8, with a giant wall of smoke/fire coming from behind Mario. Oddly enough, it's actually too slow for a whole lot of people to notice its existence.
- New Super Mario Bros. 2 has Boohemoth, a giant Boo that acts as this. Like other Boos, looking at him will cause him to hide his face and stop, but he will peek with one eye and inch forward a few feet every couple of seconds.
- Super Princess Peach has Advancing Walls of Boos.
- Super Mario 3D World has a level focused on dodging an instant-kill swarm of Fuzzies that rise and move through the area. It has a redone counterpart in one of the bonus worlds, which also has a Falling Wall of Fuzzies near the end.
- Taz in Escape from Mars has the drilling machine in Act 2 of Mole World.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation
- The level "Croc Conundrum", where the wall takes the form of a crocodile. This time around the croc is not a one-hit kill. He merely damages you. The level "Slide Down the Shaft" is a vertical variant which also includes a descending wall of doom, both of which are one-hit kills.
- "Slide Down the Shaft" has a variation with lasers in the floor and ceiling, forcing you to slide down the walls in steady pace.
- Thomas Was Alone has a few, generally in the form of rising water, though there is one spiked wall.
- The Tomb Raider series is chock full of spiked walls/ceilings that are too eager to impale and crush Lara. A secret room in the first level of Tomb Raider III is guarded by such a spiked wall of doom.
- Trine includes a variation on the rising water version, with rapidly rising lava instead.
- An extremely annoying version can be seen in this VIP Mario 4 video by raocow in the Temple of Homing level, where the entire second half the level is trying desperately to outrun a homing missile at top speed, including flight.
- The indie game VVVVVV has this in two areas with spikes, and it has a catch; you can't go too much faster than the screen, or spikes get you. Like other examples, you can't go too slow either.
- Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 uses an advancing wall of lava (which stays straight vertical the entire time, oddly) for the first in the volcanic stages.
- X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse opted for the pursuing wall of lava approach, first horizontally, then vertically. Made even nastier by random walls dropping into your path that had to be destroyed. This, in turn, made the section nearly impossible for some characters (while others, such as Wolverine, could plow through with relative ease).
- Yoshi's Island had featured sections where a giant chain chomp pursued you across a disposable platform. The chomp was accommodating, however, and as long as you ran and jumped in the proper locations, you were fine.
- ...the Potted Ghost boss battle was about fighting an advancing wall of doom in the form of the boss's potted body. You had to counter its efforts to knock you off the platform by knocking it off the platform instead.
- ... a later boss filled the whole space between the floor and the ceiling, advancing inexorably. You had to throw eggs to pound its jello body until its heart was exposed, then shooting its heart. Quite stressful.
- ...the Genre Shift final boss, on its last hit: it just runs toward the screen and must be hit in the mouth before it touches you... not that it would matter, because it simultaneously destroys what's left of the final castle, leaving only a Bottomless Pit. You only get one chance. Video here.
- Yoshi's Island DS often has you running from a giant spiked ball, over floating platforms that become fewer and fallier. Yes, it eventually gets Nintendo Hard.
- Uncharted has Drake running away from a crumbling city in both the 2nd and 3rd games.
- Ratchet & Clank has quite few of these; for example, in Into The Nexus you have to fly away from a sewer that's flooding on planet Silox after activating it.
- In Braid, the character (Tim) has to outrun a flaming wall of doom in one of the final worlds of the game.
- Even weirder, (bigger spoiler) since the whole level is actually playing in reverse of what "really" happened, the wall is actually The Future receding into the past. Cross the barrier between present and future and you enter the oblivion of what hasn't happened yet.
- Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure has a monster fish that chases you in one of the mid-game stages.
- Portal 2 has a version of this during the escape section with Wheatley. In a last-ditch attempt to stop you, GLaDOS runs two test chambers into eachother to crush the catwalk you're running on. You have to keep running to reach the elevator before you get squashed.
- Waveform has a black hole-like entity called "The Singularity" chase after you at the end of each planet. You'll need to collect nuclear-powered rockets to propel yourself forward fast enough to avoid getting sucked in.
- Wipeout has the Quake Disruptor powerup, which creates a wall of asphalt to rise up out of the track and rush forward, smashing into everyone in front of you. And unless they have a shield handy, there's nothing they can do about it.
Real Time Strategy
- StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty has the Supernova mission, where you need to build up your force and get the artifact before the supernova torches the planet with advancing firewall of doom. This map would be very difficult if not impossible for the Zerg or the Protoss, but most Terran buildings can slowly fly, meaning that your base can be moved from one resource node to the next as you use it up and/or the moving wall catches up to you.
- Crops up in the expansion StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm in the penultimate mission, in the form of the Psi Destroyer, which projects an "Instant Death" Radius that obliterates any creature inside it that is connected to the zerg Hive Mind. Your mission is to destroy the power links that allow it to function using Dehaka and his brood (who lack a hive-mind connection and are therefore immune) before it reaches your base. Then, while the device is non-functional, you have to do as much damage as possible before it comes back.
- In Baroque one of the enemies that you face is Bubugel, a meta-being who is a WALL WITH A FACE ON IT. Bubugel will rapidly close off the hallway leading to the next portal and turn its back to you, making you think that it is a dead end. If that wasn't enough, his attacks involve rushing at you and...screaming.
- In FTL: Faster Than Light, the entire game is spent running from the Rebel Fleet, a gigantic advancing fleet. Getting caught by the fleet forces you into a fight with a fairly tough rebel ship that only drops a single unit of fuel when it does go down.
- In Doom, the Roguelike, some of the randomly generated levels (and one special level, the Halls of Carnage) feature Advancing Lava of Doom. Doomguy starts near the left or right, the exit is on the opposite side and lava starts to flow in from the player's starting side, with speed proportional to the difficulty level. If the Doomguy has the right equipment, this can be used to his advantage, as non-flying non-boss enemies drown in lava within seconds.
- In One Way Heroics, the advancing wall of doom is the main force that sets the plot in motion. The Darkness your character is trying to stop is slowly consuming the world, forcing you to keep going forward or face certain death. The only way to stop it is to slay the Demon Lord who summoned it. During later runs, if you have obtained the right item, you can directly attack the Darkness to get a special ending.
- Exile and Avernum use Quickfire for a similar effect. Every time you move one square outside combat, it enlarges one square in every direction that isn't blocked by walls—and each turn you're in combat, it enlarges three squares in the same manner. Once it's unleashed, you need to either get on the other side of a door (proper or hidden), or get out of the area ASAP. That said, you can survive it in the short term, as it does damage rather than killing immediately.
- In the Test of Speed, the solution is to enter combat mode, where you get about four steps to its three (more if you have extra action points). Made a little harder by the goblins you have to fight in the tunnels, but the fire doesn't make use of Diagonal Speed Boost, while your character can.
- Final Fantasy IV manages to get one into a turn-based RPG — the Demon Wall. If you don't beat it before it gets halfway across the screen, it starts using its Crush attack, which is instant death.
- Final Fantasy XII brings back Demon Walls twice in the same area. The first one is an optional boss, one you're supposed to come back later to fight after you've done half a game's worth of level grinding (or you spam Quickenings or Reflected magick). The 2nd Demon Wall in the next room is the actual dungeon boss, the one you're required to kill to advance the plot. Both Demon Walls keep moving forward and if they press you against the door, it's an instant Game Over. The 2nd Demon Wall has a lot more space to work with than the first one and if you touch a correct flame during the fight, you can slow it down for a bit. Touching the wrong one will speed up the enemy's movement. Speeding up the game's battle system through the options menu does not speed up either wall's advancement.
- Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has the same boss, which largely resorts to hindering your ability to act so that it can back you up against the wall and start OHK Oing your units. While you can teleport behind it using the Fairy Shoes, it'll use Telega to warp any unit that does so in front of it, while simultaneously inflicting them with the Immobilize status to keep them from doing it again (Unless said unit happens to be immune to that status...).
- Final Fantasy X-2 has an irritating subversion in one area. The wall of doom is easily avoided, but you have to let it hit you to progress. Not because of anything special about the wall — it just cues a cutscene which lets the characters make a jump impossible in actual gameplay.
- In The Reconstruction, the Tatzylvurm has powerful "Ceiling Drop" attack which starts out at the backmost row but increases its area of effect by one column every time it's used.
- The Cryomancer has an attack that is nearly identical, though it also freezes the squares it affects.
- In Secret of Mana, the aptly named Wall Face boss will begin slowly close in on you once you've exposed its weak point by taking out its two eyes, eventually pushing you into the spikes at the back of the room. Not defeating it in time means game over, though this is only an issue if you're trying to defeat it with your weapons, as its weak point can be struck with magic at any time.
- Valkyria Chronicles features a mission where Squad 7 must divert the Marmota, the Imperials' battleship-sized tank into a detour. At the end of each turn, the Marmota would advance downwards on the map, decimating anything it ran over. If any of Squad 7 is unfortunate enough to be caught underneath the Marmota, they were not only instantly incapacitated, but instantly killed with no chance of a medic rescue.
- In Wadanohara, during The War Sequence, Wadda has to flee from an advancing wall of Tosatsu Kingdom soldiers. If they touch her, it's an automatic game over.
Shoot Em Up
- Abuse had a mining drill/bulldozer machine that tried to run you over. You could destroy it, but it had a ton of health.
- At least two stages in the various Metal Slug games feature a variant of this as Boss Battles. You have to not only stay ahead/above the screen filling menace but avoid its attacks and shoot back.
Stealth Based Game
- In the original Metal Gear game for the MSX2, the player had to destroy a bulldozer in a small corridor that would advance towards them pretty quickly. If it touched them, they would instantly die. However, the player could leave the room into the previous one if they failed to get a sufficient amount of hits in on time, but this would restore all of the bulldozer's health.
- Alan Wake has one level where you have to outrun the darkness (sorry, The Darkness, it's a personification) across a dam as it rips up things around you. It doesn't just destroy the dam ahead of you, and for good reason you’re the writer of this story, and have been writing yourselves out of such dead ends for quite a while by now.
- Alone in the Dark (2008) has an advancing road of doom in the first major driving scene.
- In Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, you must at one point escape an enraged shoggoth that fills the entire corridor behind you, shutting down bulkheads to slow its advance. Turning to see what it even looks like means almost certain death, but few people can resist the first time around.
- Fear 3's co-op mode, aptly titled [F$%^ING RUN!!!] is a 4-player survival shooter game where you have to barge deep into enemy territory to escape an encroaching wall of smoke and screaming faces. The designers wanted to create a unique, horror-based multiplayer shooter that fit with F3ar's horror-based gameplay... and it is awesome.
- The second Hysteria Project game has a moment where you're trying to enter a code on a keypad, while the ax murderer that has been stalking you throughout the series is advancing upon you. If you don't get the code typed out in time... It ain't pretty.
- Resident Evil 4, at one point, had you save Ashley from an advancing drill of doom in a narrow castle corridor. It made no sense to have it in the castle anyway.
- In Silent Hill 2, Pyramid Head acts as one of these in the alternate hospital basement. If he hits Maria too many times before you reach the elevator (or if Maria takes too many hits at any time), it's Non Standard Game Over. Do not use ampoules during this sequence, as Maria then can't keep up with James. However, it turns out to be a "Shaggy Dog" Story in the end, as Maria is given a Plotline Death.
- Silent Hill 3 has an harmless amusement park 'haunted house' with rather cheesy narration... until the exit, where a mysterious red light starts chasing you out of the building. If it overtakes you, it's instant death. (Made worse by a sudden perspective shift partway through that can leave you running the wrong direction.)
- There's another example earlier in the same house. The spiked ceiling quickly comes down low enough to kill Heather unless she crouches, then stops at the very last second. The narrator apologizes: It wasn't supposed to stop.
- In endgame of Silent Hill 4, your Damsel in Distress is compelled to shuffle into a whirling deathtrap while you fight the final villain. Defeating him before her doom is the only way to get either the Golden Ending or the second best ending.
- Spooky's House of Jump Scares has Specimen 7, an advancing red wall of screaming faces that chases you through a maze for a few rooms. Touching it is an instant game over.
Third Person Shooter
- Gears of War 2 is full of these in the level "Intestinal Fortitude," which is set inside the Riftworm. The Gears are trying to find a way out and to kill The Dragon's giant pet. At one point they have to avoid a "Debris Wall" or get crushed. Later in the level, while chainsawing the Riftworm's cardiovascular arteries (or whatever they are), you have to do it quickly and then escape the room before the rising water actually blood drowns you.
- Vanquish has you outrunning a collapsing highway of doom in Act 3-3.
- Every time you reset a Vault in Mass Effect: Andromeda, a baleful greyish-red energy cloud spawns at the center of the installation and proceeds to expand at a rapid pace, killing everything organic it touches and thus triggering a hectic sprint to the exit lest Ryder and team get incinerated. While the thing isn't instantly lethal to the protagonists, the roughly three seconds it takes for your shields and health to collapse don't leave much room for error anyhow, so you better memorize the Vault's layout before you hit its reset button.
Turn Based Strategy
- Advance Wars: Days Of Ruin had a map where you had to get at least one allied (uncontrollable) unit to an allied city which was on the other side of two Laser Walls. Behind you follows a whole army, who can deploy new units (you can't) and outnumbers you from the start. Your strongest unit is uncontrollable and works as a temporary wall (until it's destroyed).
- In a puzzle map in Wild ARMs XF, the player has to navigate two characters in a small maze of crates and teleporters while a One-Hit Kill laser moves one tile forward after the characters make their turn.
Anime and Manga
- In 666 Satan, Jio and Ball are in a pit with a spiked wall closing in, and given the advice that an enemy can be a friend. Jio realizes that they can climb the spikes to escape the pit.
- In Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior, due to the Big Bad's machinations, an enormous glacier between the valley gets knocked off of its foundations, and starts to move, destroying everything in its path. All the Pokémon in the valley try their hardest to stop it, to no avail. The guardian of the valley, Regigigas, was able to halt it, but only temporarily. The crisis was only averted when the heroes finally defeat the Big Bad.
- In One Piece, Donquixote Doflamingo uses his string-powers to create a "birdcage" of razor-wire around an entire island, which he then starts contracting. Luffy and the Straw Hats have less than an hour to defeat him before everyone in Dressrosa is reduced to Ludicrous Gibs.
- Crisis on Infinite Earths had the anti-matter wave, which was destroying all universes. Its "sequel" Zero Hour! had the Entropy wave, which destroyed time as it was going backwards and forwards (one character noticed the familiarity). Both stories had the heroes trying to figure out how to stop them.
- The Barrier from The Conversion Bureau and its Recursive Fanfictions. It's characterized as a shield existing around Equestria that expands out and is harmful to humans and destroys human-made objects. The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum has a much darker take on it - the started out as a simple shield in a portal, only to grow and disintegrate every human and human made object in its path and not only is it driving away and destroying any human in its path, but it's also erasing all evidence that humanity even existed, and it doesn't even leave behind dust to mark their destruction.
- The pyroclastic flow at the end of Dante's Peak serves as a version of this: a massive wall of ash and gas hot enough to completely incinerate you in seconds advancing at as much as a hundred mph., while the heroes desperately try to get their busted truck with its melted-off tires to go fast enough to reach a mine shaft before this wall of death reaches them.
- In Labyrinth, The Cleaners are this. They are quite horrifying.
- The movie for The Wall uses a variation of this during the scene for "Empty Spaces/What Shall We Do Now?", featuring a wall that advances by stretching outwards rather than pushing forwards, corrupting everything it builds over.
- An energy wall in TRON derezzes Sark's carrier while Flynn and Yori are still on board - although technically the ship is advancing into the wall of doom.
- A deleted scene in the film Caligula featured a wall of spinning blades that advanced and slowly chopped off the heads of prisoners who had been buried in the ground up to their necks.
- Two show up in Rogue One, both courtesy of a low-power test firing of the Death Star's superlaser. The first time, it blows a country-sized chunk out of Jedha, and the shockwave peels the crust off the planet in an expanding kilometers-high wall of earth — the heroes only escape by jumping to hyperspace moments before it hits them. The second time, on Scarif, takes the form of an approaching wall of light. They don't escape this one.
K-2SO: There seems to be a problem on the horizon: There's no horizon.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Starship Mine", the decontamination field advances along Enterprise in the form of a green wall.
- An episode of ''Codename: Kids Next Door features an expanding sphere of doom that not only chases the heroes down hallways, but sometimes emerges from the walls.
- In Damnation Decade, the Bloc's Purity Wall is described as a four-foot-thick iron wall mounted on tank tracks that demarcates its sphere of influence, which is expanding into Esperanto and Sina.
- Pyroclastic flows are also this. A pyroclastic flow is an avalanche of hot gas and rock produced by a volcano. They can reach speeds of up to 450 mph and can reach temperatures of up to 1,830 degrees fahrenheit.
- The 2.6-mile-wide tornado that formed on May 31, 2013 just south of El Reno, OK certainly looked like this when it was at its maximum width.
- This video shows an advancing landslide pursuing a truck along a slope, destroying trees, cars and houses in its wake.
- A Moving Barrage can be this, especially for the force not using it.
- A rare type of severe weather event known as a derecho (from the Spanish word for "straight") behaves like this. These form when so many severe thunderstorms occur in an area that they congregate together, forming a veritable bow-shaped wall of rain that plows onward for hundreds of miles. The gust fronts of each of these storms add up together as well, resulting in dangerously powerful hurricane-force winds that can span entire states.