Boss Corridor

A very common subtrope of Foreboding Architecture, in which a Boss Room or other especially challenging room is preceded by a perfectly straight empty corridor. This dead space serves as a pacing device to build anticipation for the upcoming challenge, and to physically separate it from the stage proper. It may also double as a Check Point or Save Point or provide free Healing Potions.


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  • Used throughout all of the No More Heroes games. The hallways usually have a full battery and health container (and a wrestling mask in the original game) as well as a convenient save point to help prepare for the upcoming battle. Played more straight in the first game, as there are long corridors that lead up to the fight, as opposed to the shorter boss corridors in Desperate Struggle.

    Action Adventure 
  • These show up often in Metroid games.
  • Ocarina of Time has some, such as the one before the spirit temple boss and the stairs in the final dungeon.
  • Castlevania games frequently have one before Dracula (or whoever is in the throne room), often to collect more hearts and whatnot. Rondo of Blood has one for every boss, complete with its own music.
  • Demons Souls has lots of minor ones, but the one leading to the Dragon God clearly stands out and tells you it's leading to something big.
  • The path leading to Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid is a good example. When you got the key to open the door, even the rest of the building seems entirely deserted, warning you that something is about to happen.
    • At the endgame of Metal Gear Solid 4, you have to cross a long corridor to the control room where the world controlling supercomputer is located. While the corridor is technically empty, the walls are covered in microwave radiation generators that almost bake Snake alive as he struggles to reach the other end.
  • Landstalker has a winding corridor and a very large staircase leading to the penultimate final boss battle with King Nole, all while this haunting music plays in the background.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Borderlands has one of these before the Boss Fight with Sledge.
  • id/Raven FPS games have a few examples:
    • Doom levels E1M8, "Phobos Anomaly", and E3M8, "Dis", both take this form.
    • Hexen has the Dark Crucible, in which a rickety bridge leads towards Korax's inner sanctum.
    • Quake IV has one of these leading up to the Makron fight.
  • Turok: Dinosaur Hunter has one before the endgame battle with The Campaigner. You also get a resupply for everything, as well as the final piece for the game's own BFG-type weapon.

  • A staple of the 2D Mega Man games. Even long past the point where Capcom knew they didn't actually need them anymorenote , they were kept in as tradition (much like the Resident Evil series' door loading screens).
  • One of these corridors precedes each of the world-end bosses in the New Super Mario Bros.. games, and each of the Boom-Boom fights in Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Purple has a corridor for each boss, between the ominous gate and boss chamber, and with boss mugshot right before the chamber to boot.
  • A miniboss corridor appears in Bug! for the only Mini-Boss in the game. Funnily, at the start of the corridor, you see a sign stating "Beware! Giant Ants!", and then you face off against three tiny ants that run away from you. Until you reach the end, confirming the sign's statement.
  • Every single boss level of Yoshi's Island has a corridor leading to the boss fight. In fact, in one boss level (the one pitting you against Naval Piranha), you can even kill that boss (before she is even transformed by Kamek) while you are still in that corridor by pelting her with a single egg within a certain angle so that you won't have to fight her!
    Kamek: Oh, my!
  • Sonic the Hedgehog does this with many bosses, and always does with the final ones.
  • Obani Draco of Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is a Boss Corridor. It's only purpose is to serve as a corridor towards the boss battle with Courtney Gears at the end. It is also one of only two places in the game (the other being Blackwater City) without a Titanium Bolt.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Portal: The room right before GLaDOS is a long hallway, where some ominous ambiance and music is heard just before you pass through the particle barrier leading into her room.

    Role Playing Games 
  • Chrono Trigger has one right before Magus in the depths of his castle: a dark, suddenly quiet path where torches light up on either side of you as you walk by.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door feature these in the final dungeon - one before the last boss, and one before Gloomtail (which later transforms into a heavily defended staircase to the lower levels).
  • The Elite Four battles in Pokémon are often segued with staircases to the next zone in between. The one between the last Elite Four member and the Champion is always longer.
  • Star Ocean The Last Hope has before the final boss a long corridor, staircase and a single landing before another staircase, which includes giant torches at the sides lighting as the player walks forward.
  • In all story modes of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, the Point of No Return leading to the Final Boss is marked by a long, narrow, jagged-walled corridor. It is one of the most foreboding things in the entire series to date.
  • Two Worlds II: The corridor leading to the final boss has lots and lots of potions along the walls.
  • Fallout 1 has the "Corridor Of Revulsion" before the Master's room, covered in living flesh. It actually serves a purpose: you get Mind Raped by the Master's Psychic Powers here unless you have the Psychic Nullifier item or the Mental Block perk. Once the fight actually begins, the corridor spawns reinforcements for the Master.
  • Mass Effect 3 ends with a long straight corridor on the Citadel, that leads to the big bad. The first half of it is filled with human corpses.
  • In Faria, all tower bosses but the final one lie on the top floor at the end of longish corridors, usually with one-way doors, running straight upward.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban has a strange example: you can get to the boss stage on the level map without completing the other stages that are there, but in doing so you'll have to fight the bosses of the stages you skipped before the level boss. However, if you complete all the stages, the boss stage will become just an empty corridor leading to your enemy.
  • Star Fox 64 has this before the battle with the fake Andross on Venom if you came from Bolse (the penultimate boss, Golemech, is also fought in a corridor, but since it's running away and its "attacks" involve causing the corridor to become more crowded so that you crash into stuff, it doesn't count as this trope). If you come from Area 6, the single straight corridor is replaced by a branching group of corridors where you get different power-ups depending on which direction you choose to go at each branch. The optimal route will get you the exact same group of power-ups that would be found in the straight corridor in the from Bolse version—two laser upgrades, three shield rings, and a bomb.note 

    Survival Horror 
  • Happens in Fatal Frame. What's worse is that there's a bend in the middle of the corridor, and anything could be lurking behind there.
    • Gets really irritating in the second game, where the Boss Corridor is absurdly long. If you lose, you have go through the tunnel all over again.
  • Happens in the Silent Hill series:
    • In Silent Hill 2, the only way to leave the Abandoned Hospital is through a long, twisted, dark corridor leading to an elevator. You encounter recurring boss Pyramid Head in this corridor. Except that in this case, he appears right behind you and is invincible. Hope you liked your heart attack, now RUN !
      • Played straight for other bosses, such as the hall lined with newspapers before the Abstract Daddy, and the hanging cages before the final boss. The Flesh Lips has no build up, though, so can come as a surprise when you're tossed into a fight out of nowhere.
    • In Silent Hill 3, in the same hospital, Heather has to run down an incredibly long, creepy and empty corridor with no music but the sound of metal grates closing behind her in order to reach the boss Leonard.
  • The 3rd Birthday: There is one before the Final Boss fight against Hyde. It's a white space out-of-time with blood floating in the atmosphere.