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Endless Corridor

"This is the Endless Corridor. A path that goes on forever."
La-Mulana, grail tablet for the Endless Corridor.

A corridor is very, very long. No, longer than that. No, longer than that.

This is used to either make a place seem bigger than it should or could possibly be, or to save budget money. Sometimes it's a desert or an ocean or even more rarely, a forest.

See also Absurdly Long Stairway. Compare with Scooby-Dooby Doors and games with looping world/nation/kingdom maps.

Examples:

Hallway variety
Anime and Manga
  • The Virtual World in Yu-Gi-Oh! has Honda and Otogi trapped in one of these. They then break the wall to escape the endless hallway.

Film
  • When Sarah enters the eponymous Labyrinth, she first finds herself in an endless corridor, before a worm shows her the invisible side exit. Unfortunately, the exit offers two paths, and it tells her to avoid the one which would take her directly to the castle, believing she would not want to go there, when in fact, she does.
  • The service tunnels in Grave Encounters become this at one point, after previously having different pathways to go between the asylum's various buildings.
  • The massive office building where Sam Lowry works in Brazil is presented as having these.
  • One exists in The Matrix, and contains every door (or a connection thereto) in that artificial world.
  • Hellraiser: Inferno. When Joseph visits the hospital, reality turns nightmarish and the hallway briefly extends out before him indefinitely.
  • Occurs twice inside the spaceship from Galaxy Quest. Once when the bridge crew visits the seemingly endless living quarters and again when Jason and Gwen head down an extremely long stretch of corridor.

Literature
  • In The Wheel of Time, an alternate world has a tower (or two) full of these. They also seem to loop the same section of corridor, passing the same rooms and windows. Mat is lead through one of these for several hours, going nowhere.
  • In The Phantom Tollbooth, the stairway to infinity land is, predictably, infinite.
  • Appears in House of Leaves, but begins with the 'Five and a Half Minute hallway' and soon becomes an Endless Everything or not, considering the house sort of changes depending upon the mindset of the person in its labyrinth.
  • The eponymous Fourth Dimension from Sonic the Hedgehog in the Fourth Dimension is this. It's literally nothing but rows and rows of endless corridors on-top of endless layers of floors of similar looking corridors.

Live Action TV
  • An episode of Angel (the one in which Summer Glau guest-stars as a ballerina) contains endless corridors in the basement of a dance house.
  • Charmed: There's one in Hogwa-err, the Magic School.
  • The TARDIS in Doctor Who is implied to have these, due to being Bigger on the Inside. In the tie-in adventure game, "TARDIS", when giving directions to his private study, the Doctor mentions that Amy would have to walk for about two miles before she reached it.
  • In Supernatural, after Crowley becomes the new Lord of Hell, he decides to get rid of the fire and brimstone. Instead, he turn it into an endless corridor where people are forced to queue forever, but never get to the front of the line.
  • Space: 1999: in the episode Mission of the Darians, Morrow finds himself in a very long corridor aboard the Darian's 20 mile long space ship. He starts to run.. The special effects don't quite stand up to high definition screencaps, but it can be seen here.
  • In the live-action version of Goosebumps "Haunted House Game", the protagonists have to escape the haunted house itself to win the game with their lives. The corridor to the front door stretches out into infinity before them, requiring them to pull it towards them with a fishing rod.

Theme Parks
  • The Haunted Mansion in the Disney theme parks uses mirrors to create the impression of one of these.

Video Game
  • Zork Grand Inquisitor: When you first enter GUE Tech, the hallways to the classrooms appear to be endless.
    • And they indeed are. To make them finite, you have to remove the first bit of the "Infinite Corridor" sign above the entrance.
    • Truth in Television: GUE Tech is based on MIT, which has an "Infinite Corridor" (actually 815 feet long).
  • Super Mario 64: If you didn't have enough stars to face Bowser in the final battle, you were doomed to walk up forever; there was a bug, however, where you could reach the end of the stairs without enough stars if you could boost Mario's speed high enough. Needless to say, Speed Runners milk this for all it's worth.
    • Strangely enough, no matter how far up you went, walking back down was always a very short trip.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has a looong stairway towards the end, descending this time. It's part of some kind of spiritual magic-induced dream sequence that culminates with The Prince making love to Farah.
  • No More Heroes: The path to the Rank 5 fight is literally a long, long, long hallway.
  • La-Mulana's aptly-named Endless Corridor. Which is funny, because it is NOT the Trope Namer! It contains four iterations of this trope (five technically, but there's a wall in the middle of the last one).
  • The hallways of Eientei in the Touhou game Imperishable Night were made this way through either eternity manipulation or inducing madness on the protagonists (depending on the stage). The ones made by the former do end, but only because the one who created it decided to just screw it already. It isn't known whether the latter would have been infinite, as the player characters go through an open door.
  • The hallway before the final battle in Silent Hill 2 is intended to invoke this, although it's not as long as most examples if the player chooses to run to the end (although they will miss most of the heartbreaking disembodied conversation that plays during the trek).
    • This is also incorporated into the gameplay - if you run to the end of the corridor and pass through the door without waiting for the end of the conversation it functions as a flag that directs you more towards the 'Maria' ending. Likewise, if you listen to the whole conversation it flags you towards the true 'Mary' ending.
    • In Silent Hill 4, if you don't get rid of the house key in the Forest World, a few screens after appear foggy and repeat endlessly. Though the game pretty much tells you it's coming.
  • A slight outdoor variation of this exists in the original Bard's Tale game, aptly named the Endless Byway. This street in the southeastern corner of the city would seem to go on forever by invisibly teleporting you back a few squares as you went down it. Turning around and leaving put you back in the city proper after a few steps.
  • Ultima VII Part II featured one as a trap in a certain dungeon. Unlike other hallways, this one became endless in either direction. The exit is an invisible side-passage.
  • The final level of the new version of Eversion dispenses with the random eversions of the previous games' final level and throws you into a series of looping corridors, starting with Layer 8 and having to find eversion points after in order to progress through the level until you reach Layer 1. If you missed an eversion point along the way, the part of the level you're currently on loops until you can find it and move on to the next part.
  • In some Super Mario Bros. games, taking the wrong path in a castle level would send you back to an earlier point in the castle, effectively duplicating the level until you found the correct path.
    • The Lost Levels also does this with some of its overworld levels, e.g. 7-2 and 8-2. In the former, you take a pipe to get out, in the latter, you have to climb a hard-to-reach beanstalk.
  • The first dream sequence in Max Payne has a repeating hallway maze.
  • Like the looping maze dungeons in Super Mario Bros., there are several sections in the Sonic the Hedgehog games that endlessly loop or Wrap Around until you find the correct path out, eg the Endless Waterfall in Labyrinth Zone Act 3, and part of Sandopolis Zone Act 2. There's also one in the Dummied Out Hidden Palace Zone.
  • In Dragon Quest I, if you take the wrong stairway in Charlock Castle, you end up in the infamous Infinitely Repeating Hallway. Luckily, you only need to go up the stairs once to get out of it.
  • In Leisure Suit Larry 5 Atlantic City's boardwalk is infinitely long (supposedly), and it will take you the same time to get back as it did to get out there.
  • The Woods level in Mickey Mousecapade consists of looping corridors where you must shoot the trees to find the secret door to the next section, and in the Winter area, the true door doesn't appear until you loop at least once.
  • Police Quest III has a Game-Breaking Bug that can cause you to get stuck on an endless highway.
  • The Path has a few examples. First, you can try running away from the house, but each time you pass the telephone, you are somehow pulled back. In the the house, there are two corridors that appear to be short, but suddenly extend when you enter.
  • In Dark Souls Gwyndolin magically creates one to fight you in. He teleports down it while shooting magic at you.
    • Subverted, however, since players have discovered that Gwyndolin's boss room does in fact have an end; it just takes about ten minutes or so to reach it.
  • Jade Cocoon has the Eternal Corridor which you can keep playing until Corridor 255 at which the game freezes.
  • Quest for Glory II features a Wizarding School where a magic using hero will be tested with a number of trials while walking along an endless, narrow pathway.
  • During the tutorial level of The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, Riddick enters a seemingly endless hallway after he's killed all the enemies and goes through the last door. Walking towards the end makes all the lights progressively go out as Riddick notes how the dark doesn't scare him.
  • The Bad Place is represented like this in Fur Fighters; where each person has their own personal torment and to travel between them you must traverse an endless hotel-like corridor.

Web Original
  • When in Faerieland in Neopets: the Darkest Faerie, You have to go down an endless stairway. It seems like it goes on forever, until you realise the fact the statues point the way to the exit.
  • The SCP Foundation entry, SCP-087 is a dark staircase that seems to go on forever, with what sounds to be a crying child coming at the bottom. Despite this, explorers can never get any closer to the source of the crying and typically tend to run afoul of whatever is scurrying around in the darkness instead.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons: In the dental plan episode, Homer is visiting Burns' mansion and has to use the bathroom, so he asks and is told it's the 23rd door on the left.
    • There's also a Couch Gag where they chase the couch as it disappears to infinity down one of these.

Web Comics
  • Irrelevator: In this comic, there's an endless staircase that they get ironically stuck in.

Real Life
  • MIT has an architectural feature known as the Infinite Corridor. Well, no, it's not actually infinite, and only about a quarter mile long, but it is a long hallway located right at the center of campus. Bonus points since, for one or a few days every semester, the sun will shine directly down the entire length of the hallway, an effect known as "MITHenge".
  • Similar to MIT, the University of Leeds in the UK has the 'Red Route', known as the longest corridor in Europe. It's around a fifth of a mile long, all on one level, and acts as one of the main thoroughfares on campus for students. The university even offers audio tours for people interested in the history of the route and the buildings it passes through...
  • The Vasari Corridor in Florence puts them to shame. This is a kilometre long elevated corridor built in 1564 over the roofs of houses and across a river to connect the royal residence of Cosimo I de' Medici to the government palace, so he didn't have to walk through the streets.
  • The address of Apple Computer headquarters is 1, Infinite Loop. Said street is technically infinite since it loops onto itself.

Desert variety
Videogames
  • The Endless Desert variety occurs in King's Quest V, even noted in the official (?) hintbook that trying to explore said desert may end up ruining your PC, if Graham doesn't die of exhaustion first. Specifically, after going about fifteen screens in one direction, the desert becomes truly endless, in that Graham cannot leave. There is, of course, no indication of when this happens.
    • King's Quest III has one of these as well. If you go 2 screens west into the desert, you can go east for quite a long time before going out (it's random). Setting the walking speed to fastest will probably get you out eventually. There is also an ocean, but if you swim in it too long you'll die.
  • Subverted in Quest for Glory II; the desert is massive, but you can in fact walk from the City of Adventure to the one in which the endgame occurs if you have adequate water and don't mind spending a LOT of time doing so.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Unlike the other GTA games, which stopped players from leaving the designated zone with an Invisible Wall, leaving the island (via boat plane or even swimming) would lead you through an endless zone of sea and sky. You can fly in one direction for an hour straight trying to get to Liberty City; it will also took you an hour to get back to land.
    • Subtly lampshaded in that one particular airplane mission happens a significant distance away from the map.
    • Actually subverted in GTA 4. If you travel far enough you get a message asking you nicely to "Go back to the game map, or get blown up". If you continue you get blown up.
    • Halo has a similar endless ocean on The Silent Cartographer. In the latter two games, going into the ocean will generally kill you, or you'll run into an Invisible Wall while flying.
    • And after going out a certain distance, you can't get back to land except by crashing or restoring the game.
  • Towards the end of the official multiplayer map for the first Dungeon Siege the players find themselves in an oasis at the edge of a desert that just goes on, and on, and on... Made even more frustrating by the fact that one of the NPC's met in the oasis gives a hint about crossing the desert to find The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. It's possible reach it after an approximately 5-minute run, but if you get your heading wrong by just a few degrees...you end up at a very dull-looking wall of cliffs.
  • All outdoor environments outside the city walls in The Elder Scrolls: Arena extend infinitely. They are procedurally generated on-the-spot, but are surprisingly detailed.
  • The second region of Secret of Evermore contained the Desert of Doom, a textbook wasteland dotted with spiders, rocks, and the occasional tumbleweed. You could fork over a rare Amulet of Annihilation for a quick ride across, but it was an awful long trip on foot.
    • Of course, just for sadism's sake, the Amulet of Annihilation is hard to get and expensive, and that's just after you cross the desert. You can purchase a "Chocobo's Egg" before and the seller will throw in a Amulet out of pity, but it's far more expensive than you'd likely have the funds for at the beginning - in other words, you have to run across the desert at least once. It takes about four minutes of real-time.
  • The Desert of Death in Breath of Fire III was literally endless, and you could only get anywhere by carefully looking at the stars and following directions. Get it wrong and you'll just run out of water and have to start over.
    • Made particularly evil by the fact that a) there are false stars, and b) you're given the directions verbally, and then given a note with the directions to take with you. The written directions are wrong, and unless you're paying attention, you'll never notice. Finally, the desert is not an enemy-free zone, and every battle screws up your direction.
  • Used in this XKCD strip.
  • The Legend of Zelda contains two areas which constantly repeat: The Lost Woods and the Lost Hills. You can only get out of them by going in the correct directions (typically something like up, left, up, right, up). The Lost Woods have become somewhat of a series staple and appear in subsequent games as well.
    • The final dungeon in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was like this. You needed to complete the Chain of Deals to get a magnifying glass to read a book that would tell you the proper route to the final boss.
    • The final dungeon in Oracle of Seasons is sort of like this. Avoiding the enemies and running straight through the room will cause you to re enter the same room. To advance you must kill every enemy ineach room (there are only 3 or so rooms).
      • There's also Tarm Ruins, where there are two possible ways through - one leads to a dungeon, the other to a sword upgrade. Both not only involve direction, but changing the season as well, making it even more frustrating. Not knowing that secret (both paths involve the temperature rising - winter, fall, spring, summer) can get you stuck.
    • The dungeon you unlock by beating a Oracle of Seasons/Ages linked game is also like this. If you don't know what you're doing you'll end up wandering the halls forever (unless you're damn lucky). To proceed you need to go through the door that none of the eyes look at (it makes sense when you actually see it).
    • The desert in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time keeps sending you back to the start unless you follow the path of the Phantom Guide. Same for the murky Great Bay in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
  • The forest mazes in the NES Metal Gear. And there are no hints anywhere in the game for the correct paths, Guide Dang It!
  • In Silent Hill 4's Forest World, if you try to go back through the gate after digging up the key, the same room keeps repeating. You have to leave the key in the apartment, then come back for it through a different hole in the level.
  • One dungeon in Final Fantasy I has an area that feels infinite if you don't know the trick (imagine the area as a grid, go two junctions horizontally and two vertically).
  • If you try to pass through the Sleeping Forest without first excavating the Lunar Harp in Final Fantasy VII, the first screen repeats endlessly whenever you try to move forward.
  • Akandia in DROD: Gunthro and the Epic Blunder. To progress, you need to find a clue in another level telling you how many rooms west and north to move; get the number wrong and you get stuck in an infinite loop.
  • Shining the Holy Ark features another dimension where the pious escaped to in an ancient war. There is only one village, surrounding it is one temple and an endless stretch of featureless desert. Probably wouldn't be so bad if not for the fact time has no meaning in that dimension so those people have been stuck there for thousands of years with no change at all (still has an inn though).

Other/Miscellaneous
  • Many, many, many screensavers, including those that simulate Star Trek-style warpspace. Other designs include texture-mapped tunnels, wormholes, randomly-generated terrain, and even one for XScreenSaver that does a flythrough of the "data stream" graphics from The Matrix.

Enclosed SpaceSettingsEvil Tower of Ominousness
Disconnected Side AreaArchitecture TropesForeboding Architecture
Anguished Declaration of LoveImageSource/Live-Action FilmsRock Monster

alternative title(s): Corridor Chase
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