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Dangerous Terrain
Dangerous Terrain is a phenomenon in which some portion of the battlefield between or below the hero and villain is dangerous to both parties. If Dangerous Terrain is present, be assured that at some point during the battle, the hero and villain will wind up in a shoving or wrestling match very nearby, trying to push each other into it. (In videogames, this is a Ring Out Boss.)

If the terrain is deadly and not merely injurious (a Bottomless Pit, a Lava Pit, Spikes Of Doom) one can expect the villain to end up dying in it at the end.

This is a subtrope of Interesting Situation Duel.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • In a sense, the Jusenkyo springs in Ranma 1/2 are dangerous, which is possibly why they're advertised as "a legendary training ground."
    • Jusendo, the source of Jusenkyo, is explicitly dangerous. Its creators built the place as a huge maze of exploding hatches, trapdoors, dropaway floors, and hidden passages.
    • The Water Citadel in the Pantyhose Taro story arc is a hollowed-out mountain, filled with water at very high pressure. Pantyhose Taro jammed logs into it and loosened enough rocks to make it into a trap for his Jusenkyo-cursed enemies, so that the slightest misstep would turn a rampaging foe into a helpless black pig, a weapons master into a duck, and an Amazon into a cat —and his nemesis into a woman. Worse, Pantyhose Taro himself turns into a gigantic winged minotaur, so splashing him would make him nigh-unbeatable. "Team Ranma" learned to mind their step across the Water Citadel in a hurry.

Film

Literature
  • The heroes of The Belgariad make their way through an unmarked quicksand maze and then get ambushed by mooks. One mook gets chased into the bog, rides straight off the safe path, and sinks to his doom. Durnik regrets only that he couldn't save the horse.
  • Not nearly as dangerous as those already mentioned: in Robin Hood stories he first meets Little John (or sometimes Friar Tuck) when they both want to cross a river on a Lumberjack Bridge; neither will back up so the other can cross first, instead they decide to have a quarterstaff battle in the middle and whoever gets knocked into the water loses.
    • When spoofed in Robin Hood: Men in Tights the fight takes place over a creek just a few inches deep. When Little John is knocked off the bridge, he flops around and screams that he's drowning, and after a bewildered Robin pulls him up Little John joins him as per I Owe You My Life.

Tabletop Games

Videogames
  • Some of the stages in Soul Calibur II's story mode are like this.
  • The original premise of the Dead or Alive games was that it was Virtua Fighter with tits danger zones that send you or your opponent flying if they step into them. The developers eventually refined this into having stages that take place on uneven ground, pop-up traps, natural arenas with multiple heights that do tick damage if you fall off or get thrown off them, etc.
  • There is the constant threat of the ocean to worry about in Worms. Being worms, they don't swim very well and one default setting for Sudden Death is to slowly rise this water level until the entire map is submerged.

Real Life
  • By definition, any naval or aerial battle, where the combatants on both sides will share two enemies in common: Water and Fire (aviators like to wryly include the ground in this category). Back when battles between ships could be settled at very close range to the point of sword fights between the crews, it was not uncommon for a ship's surrender to be followed immediately by the crews of both ships working together to fight fires and prevent either ship from sinking. Similarly, there are stories of naval battles that were narrowly avoided because one or both fleets was driven off or scattered by a hurricane.

Cycle of RevengeDrama TropesDate Rape Averted

alternative title(s): Damaging Terrain
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