Death Mountain

One order of Hailfire Peaks, hold the ice.

"It's called Death Mountain 'cause YOU WILL DIE!"
Brentalfloss referring to Zelda II The Adventure Of Link

A stage in a video game, particularly platformers, that takes place on a mountain or similarly high, rocky place. Thankfully, the usual problems of low air pressure are generally not found in these stages. Instead, natural hazards include falling rocks, crumbling ledges, rope bridges, and of course, very, very long drops. High wind may be a hazard in some places as well. Enemies may include eagles or other high-flying birds, Bighorn rams, and whatever nasty things the world may have living in the inevitable caves.

Death Mountain is commonly merged with other areas. For example, the Lethal Lava Land version is of course a volcano, while others are snow-covered peaks. It's usually quite late in the Sorting Algorithm Of Threatening Geography. Often also a Monster Shaped Mountain.

Named after the recurring area in The Legend of Zelda series.


  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Donkey Kong Country:
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Red Mountain in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is a variation: the main dangers, instead of being very long drops, are the creatures infected with blight and corprus emanating from the crater. The Dagoth Ur Facility also has Lethal Lava Land elements. It is supposed to be much wider than it is tall. The entire island of Vvardenfell is, in fact, Red Mountain with its outer slopes.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim sends you up the Throat of the World, the highest or second highest mountain in all Tamriel (sources disagree). It is quite a bit easier to die from very long drops than what was the case with Red Mountain, which is rather encouraging, considering Red Mountain is supposed to be the other contender for highest mountain on the continent.
  • The natural habitat of the Fire Dragon in Gothic II. No actual lava, as the volcano seems to be dormant, but plenty of long drops and an assortment of fire-related nasties to battle - although the latter can be avoided by transforming into a bug and just crawling past them. They ignore anything that small. It's possible to make it all the way up to the crater and the dragon itself without a single fight.
  • Death Peak in Chrono Trigger is another snowy version. Your first obstacle is even passing through a very windy area without getting sent back to the start.
  • Panel de Pon and Tetris Attack have their respective final battles set in a mountain cavern, which PdP actually calls Death Mountain.
  • The first action stage in world 4 of Actraiser contains elements of this and Lethal Lava Land.
  • Mt. Hobs and Mt. Ordeals in Final Fantasy IV.
  • The Northern Mountain and the Hiryuu Valley in Final Fantasy V.
  • Mt. Kolts and Crescent Mountain in Final Fantasy VI.
  • Mt. Nibel and Gaea's Cliff in Final Fantasy VII.
  • Mt. Gagazet in Final Fantasy X. Even better that it's overflowing with powerful fiends, most of which are the lost spirits of former guardians and summoners. Like the one you're trying to protect.
  • Mosphoran Highwastes in Final Fantasy XII. And at the peak, is a battle with an Esper.
  • In Unreal Tournament, both the DM-Morpheus and DM-Plungemap maps are set at the top of skyscrapers so high that gravity is low. For some reason, no one wears oxygen masks or cold-weather suits.
    • DM-Peak from UT99 is a tiny wooden monestary wound around the top of a rocky spire with rickety bridges over long drops. The new, planetside CTF-Face(ing Worlds) in UT3 might also count.
  • The Shiverpeak Mountains in Guild Wars. As one might guess from the name, they're the icy variant, though even the lady Elementalists, whose preferred attire is a bra, miniskirt, and a lot of lace, have no trouble with the cold.
  • The Krasnogorje mountain in Metal Gear Solid 3. It's high up enough that the air is lighter, and as such Snake's stamina drops faster in this area.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Expedition Everest's Forbidden Mountain at Disney Theme Parks is as close as you can get to this trope in Real Life.
    • The former at Paris is even closer. Your train actually goes through broken trestles, falls through a bridge that has been washed out, a flooded cave, and an earthquake.
  • The Blue Mountains in Rayman, the Precipice and the Iron Mountains in Rayman 2: The Great Escape, the Summit beyond the Clouds in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, and the Mystical Pique in Rayman Origins.
  • An Untitled Story has the Curtain and Highlands, which precede the former. The Curtain has the game's usual jumping puzzles complete with lethal ghosts, while the latter has a constant danger in the form of falling rocks.
  • Spikes Peak in its entirety.
  • The Stonefang Tunnels in Demon's Souls.
  • The Nature Park in Water Warfare. It has damaging geysers (with delicious tempting items on top nine times out of ten), and its boss is even a cave girl.
  • The "Volcanic" levels in the Gradius series. Sometimes there are erupting volcanoes, III's turns into an Underground Level halfway, and IV turns it into an all-out Lethal Lava Land.
  • Alpiner took place entirely on mountain slopes.
  • Eldam Mountains(also a Slippy-Slidey Ice World) in Ys III, Ice Mountain and Fire Mountain in both versions of Ys IV, and Grana-Vallis Mountain in Ys VI.
  • Dragon Quest IX has the Heights of Loneliness and a volcano, the Magmaroo.
  • Vodkavania in Heavy Weapon is set on a rocky terrain, and is the first level in which you encounter enemy tanks.
  • Rock Range and Metal Mountains in HarmoKnight. These two worlds always contain flying, squealing seals that always glide in your face, and rolling meteorites.
  • Sector 7 in Jumper Two is a combination of this and Slippy-Slidey Ice World. It has dangers in form of usual Spikes of Doom as well as regularly blowing winds and slippy surfaces.
  • Mount Silver in Pokemon Gold And Silver and its Heartgold and Soulsilver remakes. There are no falling rocks, but the wild Pokémon are annoying enough, and then you face Red, the highest leveled trainer in any game to date, when you reach the top.
    • Also Mount Coronet in Pokemon Diamond And Pearl and Platinum. You have to slog through several dungeons (bring plenty of Repel), battle Team Galatic mooks, and then encounter the version's legendary at the top, at Spear Pillar. And if you're playing Platinum, you go right from there into the Distortion World.
    • Stark Mountain is that way too. It's full of falling ash, lava pits, a big maze inside, and high level wild Pokemon (especially the Koffing and Weezing that like to explode in your face).
  • Zion Canyon from Fallout: New Vegas: Honest Hearts. On a smaller scale, the main game has Black Mountain and Mt. Charleston/Jacobstown, both of which are irradiated Super Mutant strongholds.
  • The island of The Witness has a relatively tall mountain overlooking its southeast coast. It's also The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, as the whole game involves activating at least 7 beacons in order to unlock the mountain's summit.
  • "Tempest's Spine" is a raid in Dungeons & Dragons Online where you enter the base of a very, very tall mountain (surrounded by fire elementals and lava), work your way past many traps, respawning mobs, an underwater cavern and ambushes to the summit to meet an insane giant that controls the weather. One wrong strike from him and you will be flung off the summit. Without a "feather-falling" item, you'll get a quick and fatal understanding of the height of that mountain. But having a feather-falling item on if knocked off means that you're sailing far away from the mountain's base and to enemies that are unlikely to be nice to you as you try to regroup with your party.
  • Metroid Prime 3 has the Cliffside area of planet Bryyo.
  • Worlds 4 and 6 in Something Else take place on the mountain mentioned in the intro. In World 4, Luigi has to deal with Yoshis, Killer Bills, a very dark cave, and an underground mine. Luigi has to stop the invasion of the mountain village by Von Toad II and his frog cronies. In World 6, Luigi has two ways to approach the last castle. On one path, Luigi has to deal with exploding bullet birds and slippery ice blocks. On the other path, Luigi has to deal with slippery ice physics and plenty of platforming perils.
  • The setting of Summit.

Non Videogame examples

  • The Night At Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky.
  • The mountain Monkey in "Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey's Head" on Demon Days by Gorillaz.
  • Billy the Mountain in "Billy The Mountain" from Just Another Band From L.A. and "The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary" from Studio Tan (1978) and Läther (1993), both by Frank Zappa.