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Container Maze
You'll never guess what the stage's
Start-to-Crate Rating was.

Our heroes find themselves at the docks. The baddie or monster is lurking somewhere nearby; unfortunately, there's a whole mess of shipping containers piled up everywhere, forming an environment like a maze. The containers all look similar, so searching for the target is confusing for both the heroes and the audience. There could be anything lurking around any corner, or in any of the containers...

Any environment with a large quantity of similar-looking stackable items is a great candidate for one of these, e.g. packing crates in a warehouse, or cardboard boxes in a storeroom.

Not to be confused with a maze that's meant to contain something (Labyrinth of Crete).


Examples

Advertising
  • One of the BMW Films The Hire short films features a brief car chase in one of these. The hero tries first to hide in between the containers by turning off his engine and lights (presumably to demonstrate how easy it is to turn on and off the headlights), only for the bad guys to spot them and a chase to re-ensue.

Anime and Manga
  • Occurs in the Sailor Moon episode where Sailor Venus is unveiled. The Sailor Warriors and Tuxedo Mask have to navigate the stacks of massive crates and shipping containers at Tokyo Harbor to reach the location of the tied-up fake Sailor Moon (who is really Zoisite in disguise, but the heroes don't know that and think that they are rescuing an innocent civilian). After Zoisite has revealed himself, he chases an injured Tuxedo Mask through the stacks of crates inside a warehouse.

Film
  • Future War features this with cardboard boxes. Subverted when one character just smashes through the wall of empty boxes.
  • Batman Begins, when Batman is hunting mobsters by the docks.
  • Area 51 in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has a looser version of this.
  • Hanna has a chase scene in this kind of setting.
  • The A-Team climax occurs a dock loaded with containers, as part of an elaborate Shell Game.
  • This Island Earth isn't an example, but the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew treat it like it is:
    Tom Servo: Joe, I'm in one of these boxes. Find me!
  • Welcome to the Punch (2013). A clue written on the hand of a murdered witness is Punch 119, the number of a shipping container in a massive container yard where the final denouement/shootout takes place.

Literature
  • In The Quillan Games Bobby is attacked by quigs and chased by Dados through one of these.
  • Done intentionally in The Zombie Survival Guide. A zombie attack takes place on a crowded dock. The workers make a maze of packing containers to stop (or squash) the zombies.

Live-Action TV
  • Primeval episode 4.2, involving an extended face-off with a prehistoric crocodile.
  • The cargo hold of Red Dwarf is portrayed as such.
  • Torchwood once had to find an incapacitated Gwen in one of these.
  • Doctor Who, "Planet of the Ood".

Video Games
  • The second level of episode two of Doom, "Containment Area", has a rather famous crate maze filled with imps.
    • Map 11 of TNT: Evilution is largely one big crate maze.
    • Doom does it for performance reasons, and other games probably do too. The main area of Containment Area is one of the biggest in the game, but the floor-to-ceiling crates keep the draw distances from getting higher than the engine can handle — not to mention keeping all the enemies from swarming you at once.
  • Lots of the levels in Half-Life 1 (and its expansions) are this trope. Warehouses full of crates, yards full of shipping containers... Half-Life 2 has at least one.
  • At the end of Heavy Rain, the Origami Killer can chase Madison through one of these.
  • Max Payne, there's also the giant cranes and forklifts to contend with, making it somewhat mobile in spots.
  • In Metal Gear Solid the fight versus Raven, you have to hide between the crates that all look alike and take him down by firing at his back.
  • One of the later levels on Resident Evil 5 is like this.
  • A number of ship and warehouse maps in City of Heroes. Also shows up in Independence Port.
  • In inFAMOUS the Dust Men have basically constructed a fortress out of shipping containers in the Warren, with the flat sided sides preventing Cole from being able to clamber up them as he can with regular buildings, forcing him to fight his way through the maze until he can reach a ladder up on top of the crates which he then has to navigate without falling.
  • A big part of Total Overdose.
  • The second Army of Darkness tie in games. Those damned mouth-portals...
  • In one mission of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, you have to remove explosive crates from a burning warehouse maze, with paths becoming blocked as the fire rages.
  • Parts of the Factory and Control Center in Win Back, also occasionally using Mobile Maze elements.
  • Metroid: Other M contains a Boss Battle in a location like this.
  • Two secret levels from Super Mario Galaxy 2 involve helping a Gearmo burn crates in order to obtain a Power Star.
  • Dead Space 2 features a locking dock chock full of shipping containers. Oh, and a dozen or so raptor-like necromorphs.
  • Golden Eye 1997 has a few levels like this, notably "Depot" and "Train".
  • Perfect Dark has "Area 51: Rescue" as well as a multiplayer level based on the same ("Warehouse").
  • Driftveil City's Cold Storage in Pokémon Black and White. Made extremely frustrating by all the Frictionless Ice you have to navigate to get through it. And on top of that, you have to navigate it twice. Once during the game, and again post game because one of the Seven Sages is hiding there.
  • The Soldier of Fortune series has these in New York (first game), Prague, and Hong Kong (both second game).

Western Animation


Circus of FearVideo Game SettingsCyber Space
Company TownSettingsCool Airship
Video GamesImageSource/Video GamesEvil Is Not Well Lit

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