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Advancing Wall of Doom
A typical Wall of Doom. Note the related Spikes Of Doom with which it is adorned.

Charlotte: Huh?! Something's after us!
Jonathan: This doesn't look good! Let's run for now!
— Running from the Behemoth in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

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 and Advancing Boss of Doom 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.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • 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. A Scrappy Level if there ever was one.
    • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood has the Behemoth chase you through part of Stage 2. The scenario gets repeated in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (which is not only the direct storyline sequel to Castlevania: Bloodlines - quite a nice bit of irony there - but also a Metroidvania game.)
  • 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 Scrappy 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.
  • In La-Mulana, Viy rises up from the bottom of the screen and has you continuously climbing up the endless chamber.
  • 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 Video Game/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.

    Action Game 
  • 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 has these a few times; the first two (one each in GoW1 and 2) 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. There were also a Scrappy Mechanic that made jumps more annoying.
  • 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 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).
  • 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 

    Casual Videogame 
  • 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.

    Fighting Game 
  • The Pig King Statue in Lucas' first stage of The Subspace Emissary. 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. Since this is very early in the game, you probably haven't gotten used to the correct "JUMP" button yet, so expect to die on the first try. In fact, the "Have a Nice Death" message actually says that "No one makes the first jump".
  • In Condemned 2, 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 Buwwet Weft situation.
  • F3AR features a cooperative A Wo D 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.
  • 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.

    MMORPGs 

  • 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.
  • 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.

    Party Game 
  • Some minigames in Mario Party use the collapsing-track version. They're races, and getting caught in the wall means you probably lost regardless.
  • NES Remix 2 Remix Levels contain Boos that can close in on the player when not looking.

    Platform Game 
  • 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.
  • Conkers 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.
  • The first Crash Bandicoot (1996) 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 polarbears, dinosaurs, and tsunamis.
  • De Cap 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:
    1. 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
    2. The 'Pyroclastic Wall of Doom' is really, really cool looking.
  • The Flash game Discount Mayonnaise (yes, really) uses a Sand Worm.
  • Donkey Kong Country Series:
  • 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 cherries Delicious Fruit the entire way.
  • Jak II 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.
      • Not as bad in Return to Dreamland 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.
  • 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.
  • In the Titus game 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, ala 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.
  • 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.
    • The Wii game 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 a giant Boo that acts as this, looking at him, as with other Boos, 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 Escape From Mars has the Moleworld drilling machine.
  • 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 3 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.

    Puzzle Game 
  • 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.
  • Video Game/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.

    Racing Game 
  • 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 
  • A rare RTS example: 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 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.

    Roguelike 
  • 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.

    Roleplaying Game 
  • 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 near impossible to kill unless you do some serious level grinding, or come back later in the game (or you spam Quickenings or Reflected magick). The 2nd Demon Wall in the next room is much easier to beat and is 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 any]]thing special about the wall — it just cues a cutscene which lets the characters make a jump impossible in actual gameplay.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • Video Game/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.

    Survival Horror 
  • 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.
    • Later on, there's an Advancing Giant Living Statue of Salazar; you're expecting it to make sense?!
    • Anyone who plays this should immediately recall the boulder and the second El Gigante.
    • The remake of original Resident Evil had an advancing statue-with-a-spinning blade of doom in one of its puzzles.
  • 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 Distressed Damsel 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.

    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.

    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).

    Non-Videogame Examples 
  • 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.

    Real Life 
  • Pyroclastic flows are also this. These are defined in short as dense, destructive mass of very hot ash, lava fragments, and gases ejected explosively from a volcano and typically flowing downslope at great speed. Imagine seeing something like this traveling so fast, heading your way that you must find a place to run. Good luck in surviving one.


Advancing Boss of DoomThis Index Is UnstoppableDeterminator
Death CourseThis Index Is in the WayBottomless Pits
Auto-Scrolling LevelVideo Game Difficulty TropesBottomless Pits
Auto-Scrolling LevelVideo Game SettingsRise to the Challenge
Advancing Boss of DoomDoomy Dooms of DoomAmusement Park of Doom
Kid ChameleonImageSource/Video GamesKid Icarus

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