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Indy Escape
Indiana Jones can't stop the rock.

Prof. Jones: (chased by a boulder) Why build a trap that destroys what you're trying to protect along with the people trying to ransack it?
Monty: It's traditional!

The character is chased down a tunnel by something very large, clichédly a boulder or a giant monster. There's only one thing to do: RUN!!

There's no stopping the rolling boulder. You cannot avoid it or reason with it. It will just keep rolling towards you, destroying everything in its path until it makes sure you are a steaming, bloody pancake on the floor. The only way out is to race down the corridor as fast as you can, and finally dive into some passageway that is too small for it to enter when you reach the end. Alternatively, clearing a pit which the obstacle will fall into will also do the trick.

In the event that the chase takes place outside in open space, it sometimes seems that the characters can only run forward.

Closely related is a bridge that collapses in the hero's wake.

While often an extended sequence, an Indy Escape scene can also be used as part of a Death Course.

In video games, it is sometimes possible to get behind the rolling obstacle of doom, making the whole stage much easier. In 3D video games, the camera will often fixate on the boulder and obscure the path you have to run, making the whole stage much harder.

Compare with Rise to the Challenge, Escape Sequence and Descending Ceiling. When the pursuing object or creature is full screen height, it's an Advancing Wall of Doom. After the escape is over, expect someone to quip "Wasn't That Fun?"

Unrelated, despite the name, to the Indy Ploy. In order to turn an Indy Escape into an Indy Ploy, the character would have to improvise pretty quickly.

If there are some nooks and crannies along the way, but a neverending supply of hazards as well, it's a Corridor Cubbyhole Run. If it's actually possible to evade the danger by moving sideways out of the way, but our character never does, he or she has fallen prey to One-Dimensional Thinking.

See also Raiders of the Lost Parody.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Pokémon episode "Battling the Enemy Within", Ash finds an ominous stone Pikachu idol on a pedestal. No prizes for guessing what happens next. Let's just say that Ash has probably not seen the Indiana Jones films. Ash's manner of escape is somewhat different, though. The boulder gets smashed to pieces by a Big Damn Regirock! Team Rocket ain't so lucky.
  • Both used and subverted in the 2003 anime adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist. After breaking into Lab 5 and getting past all manner of traditional Indy traps, Ed steps on a button tile and unleashes a giant, rolling boulder, apparently from nowhere. He runs a few feet, trips, and then simply squeezes himself into the corner where the wall meets the floor. The boulder, being round and thus unable to do jack with corners, misses him by inches. Afterwards, he remembers that he can just transmute the corridors to get rid of traps. Amusing since he almost thanks his short size, then realizes what he was about to say. (Ed's Berserk Button is being called small. He's also skinny, not just short. Had he been larger he wouldn't have fit in small space between the boulder and corner.)
  • Naruto
    • A filler arc includes a boulder that Naruto barely escapes from. Afterwards, one of the antagonists appears and complains that the trap was too cliché.
    • In the first film, Naruto is in a railway tunnel (well, cave) when a train appears. He has no option but to run straight down the rails and through the tunnel. While carrying a princess on his back.
  • In the early stage of Dragon Ball, such a trap appears in the form of a giant pinball machine in Pilaf's Palace. Pilaf has some fun launching giant boulders at the heroes, though more to frighten them than in any real attempt to crush them. The gang tries to escape from one boulder by ducking into an alcove. The boulder, instead, rolls back up and chases them into the alcove! Yeah, a boulder with an I.Q.
  • Subverted in an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh!: the gang is trapped in a cave and fleeing from a rolling boulder that turns out to be just a giant balloon with a speaker inside.
    Tristan: My voice gives me super strength! (boulder explodes) Holy <bleep> it really does!
  • Negi, Yue, and Nodoka's return to Library Island in Mahou Sensei Negima! after the Kyoto Arc had them flying down a corridor as fast as Negi can after Yue stepped on a floor trigger that released the boulder.
  • Bleach
    • Subverted in during the Hueco Mundo arc, when Chad stops the boulder with one hand. And then pulverizes it with one punch.
    • Anime episode 287. While exploring Uravira's mansion in search of the Snow Crystal, Ichigo and friends are caught by Uravira himself. Uravira pulls a cord and releases a giant ball from a hole in the ceiling, which rolls toward our heroes. They run away from it at high speed. It's Lampshaded when Ichigo says "A giant boulder! That's such a cliche!"
  • GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class had this with Kisaragi's Dream Within a Dream.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Tai
    • Episode 1. While Taro is walking down some stairs he accidentally steps on a trap trigger and a giant ball drops from above and starts rolling down the stairs after him.
    • La Vérité episode 7. While exploring an underground area below the mansion, Taro, Ryuuka and Ikuyo Suzuki have to run from a giant ball after Ikuyo presses a button she shouldn't have.
  • During the SSS's first in-show trip to the Guild in Angel Beats!, the second trap they encounter is exactly this: the giant rolling boulder of doom. In a parody of the trope, all but one of the group being chased survives.
  • Ranma ½
    • In the story arc where Happōsai rediscovers his "ultimate secret technique", the Happōdaikarin (in fact a big firecracker), after a pair of demonstrations against Ranma aren't that conclusive, the old master uppes the ante with a giant-sized firecracker, which he rolls by running on top. Female!Ranma has no choice but to run, pursued by the pervert and his giant ball of doom, until he gets distracted, and she pushes both down a cliff.
    • In the manga, book 30, "Angry Hair Heaven" chapter, Female!Ranma gets pursued in the street of Nerima by a giant black-and-white spiky ball... which is in fact her father turned into a panda and affected by a magic hairgrowth lotion... It Makes Sense in Context. Though it's just as ridiculous as it sounds.
  • In one of Urusei Yatsura's Beach Episodes, Shinobu wants to play Smashing Watermelons, but nobody in the village is willing to sell them because of a curse from the Watermelon God over this specific holy day. Later, the gang stumble over a temple with a gigantic watermelon, which Ataru and Lum makes fun off. This result in the angry spirit within it to chase them, making the huge watermelon roll down the temple steps, and later in the streets, all the way to the beach. In this case, swerving is of no use since the watermelon does follow them. Lum could have just flown away, though, but she likely didn't want to leave her Darling.

    Comic Books 
  • Uncle Scrooge #7 story "The Seven Cities of Cibola" by Carl Barks (1952). The scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark was inspired by a segment of this work.
  • Along with every trap possible and imaginable, this appears sometimes in the French comic Game Over. Unlike other examples of this trope, here the protagonist never escapes the boulder. The Little Barbarian once gets slowed down by spiderwebs until rolled over. At another time, he finds a hole in the ground where to dive, but the boulder bounces off of a wall and covers the hole, leaving the hero starving to death.
  • There's an issue of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book that includes this, as well as homages to Indy in general. Heck, Sonic even dresses in a fedora.

    Comic Strips 
  • In a Garfield comic strip, Garfield stumbles across (for reasons unbeknownst to everybody) an enormous ball of yarn on a hill. Unwittingly, Garfield removes a stake that keeps the ball in place, causing it to start to roll down and nearly squash him. As he runs away, the ball of yarn grows smaller and smaller, until he's made it back to the house and what's left of the ball has all but unravelled at his feet.
    Jon: Don't worry, Garfield! I'll protect you from that fierce piece of string!
    Garfield: I hate him.

    Films — Animation 
  • Toy Story: The scene where Buzz Lightyear gets thrown out the window.
  • Happens near the beginning of Chicken Little, where a water tower collapses and starts rolling toward a movie theater that was for coincidentally showing Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • In Chicken Run, just following another Indiana Jones shout out (a Indy Hat Roll), Ginger and Rocky make their escape of the crumbling pie-making machine pursued by some large rolling gears.
  • The Incredibles: When Mr. Incredible fights the Omnidroid for the first time on the island, the robot shortly tries to crush him by retracting its members into a perfect sphere and rolling through the jungle. Mr. Incredible does the sensible thing and jumps out of the way, but the Omnidroid is a learning robot, and so somehow steers its sphere form towards him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Indiana Jones
    • Of course, in both Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom.
    • Subverted in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when Indy and his dad are in a car being chased by a German fighter plane. They drive into a tunnel, the plane follows them, knocking its wings off the side of the entrance. The plane is now in flames but still following them with Indy's dad telling him to drive faster. The plane just goes past them with the pilot looking with astonishment at his plane on fire and it explodes after it leaves the tunnel.
    • Subverted again in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, at the end. Indy, Marion, Mutt and Ox escape the ancient temple as it's being pulled into an interdimensional vortex. A huge deluge of water comes after them and it forces them up, the only way out of the underground city.
  • UHF opens with an Indiana Jones spoof, including a parody of the famous boulder, which chases the protagonist all the way out of the temple and through the countryside. Interestingly enough, here the character being chased does think to swerve aside — but since this is parody, the boulder also swerves to follow him.
  • In another Harrison Ford movie, The Fugitive, the bus carrying Dr. Richard Kimble to prison drives off the road and rolls onto a railroad track just as a train approaches. Kimble escapes the bus through a window and jumps off just as the train crashes into it. The train then derails and chases after Kimble (whose hands and feet are still in shackles) frantically runs away from it. Kimble jumps into a ditch as it goes overhead.
  • The 1959 version of Journey to the Center of the Earth features some pre-Indy giant rolling boulder action.
  • In Stand by Me, the boys are taking a shortcut along a train bridge. Of course, they're halfway across when a train starts coming for them, evoking this trope.
  • There is a shadow of this trope in The Empire Strikes Back, during the duel between Vader and Luke. Luke is searching around the facility for Vader and ends up in a very narrow hallway. Vader pops out of a niche (he was holding his breath) and starts swinging at Luke, who can barely defend himself. The angle in which its shot shows just how massive Vader is, and his relentless assault mimics the unstoppable boulder from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • In the 1979 Disney Sci-fi The Black Hole, there's a scene with a magna-meteor boulder rolling down a giant corridor that nearly kills the film's heroes.
  • In Die Hard with a Vengeance, McClane flees the water gushing through the aqueduct in a dump truck when the villains attempt to drown him.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Avalanche, one of the challenges in Takeshis Castle, features this, and it involves the contestants running up a narrow tunnel and then running back into cubbyholes to avoid the polystyrene boulders.
  • In episode 3 of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Captain Marvelous and Doc are chasing a mysterious man in black and they end up in a cave where a giant boulder starts chasing them. Marvelous' solution is to throw his sword into the ground, then get down behind it, while the boulder goes over their heads due to the sword acting as a ramp.
  • The Christmas special of season four of Eureka has Carter running from a gigantic Christmas ornament.
  • In the Japanese superhero series Uchū Keiji Gyaban, the hero escapes from a boulder in every opening credits sequence — at least in the French version of the series, which is better known as X-OR.

    Pinballs 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons module B4 The Lost City. The PCs can encounter a Rolling Boulder Trap that acts exactly the same as the boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark. It activates when the PCs open a door and pursues them down a corridor. The module advises the Dungeon Master to not allow the boulder to kill the PCs unless they act stupidly (e.g. by not trying to avoid it).

    Video Games 
  • Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures also features the boulder chase — and throws in a nice Camera Screw as well, as you must hug the right side of the screen, meaning that if you don't know ahead of time when to jump, you'll hit a trap, recoil, and get crushed by the boulder in an example of Trial-and-Error Gameplay.
  • Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb pulls this off with a Drill Tank, in an insanely frustrating level.
  • Indiana Jones And The Infernal Machine has a chase involving an enormous boulder at the end of the revisit to Peru. What makes this one different is that you have to dodge the boulder twice - once when it's released and it rolls towards you from the front (requiring a hasty retreat to the room you've just left, watching out for the steadily collapsing floor which eventually forces you to run forwards again), then a second time when it has rolled up a slope behind you and comes back the other way, thus commencing a more traditional Indy Escape.
  • One of the Quake expansions has an example of this. If you die from it the Have a Nice Death message is: "Charname has been Jones'd."
  • Pepsi Man for the PS1 has one of these at the end of every chapter, and they're often hilarious: In one level, a Coca-Cola truck actively tries to run you over.
  • Every Crash Bandicoot game has at least one level like this. In the first one, if you glitch your way behind the boulder, It will (somehow) fly backward to fall on you.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • In the original game's Marble Zone, the player had to outrun some lava. In later games Rise to the Challenge was more common.
    • Sonic Team had intended to put a proper Indy Escape part in the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, boulder and all, back when they were still developing it for the Genesis/Megadrive, but due to the system's limitations or time constraints it was unable to be done.
    • The original Sonic Adventure has not one, not two, but three of these; first in Sonic's version of Emerald Coast, where you have to run from an Orca smashing through the water bridge you're on; second is in Ice Cap, where Sonic and Tails have to stay ahead of an avalanche; finally, in Sonic's version of Lost World, you get a Sonic remake of the infamous boulder run.
    • The introduction level to Sonic Adventure 2 featured a sequence where Sonic had to flee from a crazed Big Rig in this manner. It's later revisited in one of the last levels, where Sonic has to Outrun the Fireball of the Eclipse Cannon's explosion.
    • Sonic Heroes has one too in Ocean Palace, with first one, then two, and then finally three rolling demonic-looking boulders of doom that chase you at the same time. You can just run towards the camera in Speed formation as fast as you can for several seconds and outrun it, though. But if you're not in Speed formation when you hit the spring that takes you there, and you don't hit the switch formation button before you even land...
    • Also in Sonic Heroes, Lost Jungle has a giant alligator that chases you to the end (you have to jump from swinging vines instead of run). And right before that, there's some of the black frogs that summon rain that kills plants. Said rain is killing the lily pads you're on. Thankfully, if you choose to play as Team Rose the level ends long before this.
    • Sonic and the Secret Rings has a variant involving escaping from a rampaging Triceratops herd.
    • Sonic Rush has some levels (specifically Leaf Storm and Night Carnival) where you run down a steep slope while a big rolling ball with Eggman's insignia on it chases you down those steep slopes.
    • Yet another one is done in Sonic Colors DS this time with a ferris wheel chasing you at the very start of Tropical Resort Act 2, though it only last a few seconds and theres a floor you can use your pounding move on to skip it if you're fast enough to break the floor and the ferris wheel will pass over you.
    • Rolling over to the latest game, Sonic Generations has a few in both Classic and Modern Sonic's stages. One standout example is City Escape featuring said truck from Sonic Adventure 2 only this time it has SAWBLADES, and can drive through buildings like they were made of foam. But don't worry, as long as you're wall running you should be sa-HOLY CRAP IT'S DRIVING UP THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING!!!!
  • Donkey Kong
  • Armored Armadillo's stage from Mega Man X had a few mole-digging machines that would chase you down tunnels.
  • Dungeon Keeper allowed you to BUILD boulder deathtraps for use on unsuspecting heroes, as well as elaborate corridors to make the best use of them. The original game and Dungeon Keeper 2 allows you to set them off manually.
  • Some levels in Kid Chameleon had you running from an oncoming wall of (instant-death) spikes.
  • Resident Evil
    • This was done in the first Resident Evil game.
    • Played 100% straight a couple of times in Resident Evil 4, with the twist of being interactive cutscenes: if you didn't mash a button to get Leon running, the rolling boulder would turn you into a Leon patty. A variation later occurs with a giant Living Statue that chases Leon and falls over forward, taking out the bridge behind him.
  • A favourite trope of the designers of the Guild Wars: Eye of the North expansion pack. The dungeons of GW:EN are crawling (or possibly rumbling) with any number of steamroller boulders, steamroller snowballs, steamroller fireballs...
  • Max Payne has one of these where he's trapped inside a burning building and must escape before fire blocks his escape route.
  • Subverted in the online MechQuest game. The Museum at the far west end of town includes three quests for dinosaur bones. The Desert quest seems to trap you in an Indy Escape from which escape is apparently impossible...
  • Wario Land
    • One rather interesting version is one level where Wario is being chased by a Thwomp through corridors just big enough to fit it. Of course, running into it kills Wario, making it like this, but there are also parts where you have to jump on the Thwomp's head and ride it around the level, before getting off and being chased again. A later level does include a scrolling wall of lava that is more typical.
    • Wario Land The Shake Dimension also has giant boulder chases in Mt Lava Lava and Sneak Peak. The boulders don't actually hurt Wario, he just gets stuck to them and misses out on a ton of secrets along the way, so to get 100% completion you have to outrun them either long enough to get the treasure or somehow jump over the boulder. There are also sections with all these small boulders rolling down a path at certain intervals, which again must be avoided/jumped over.
  • WarioWare
    • The original spoofed this trope, along with many other action game staples, in the game that served as the final boss.
    • A framing device for the introductory level to WarioWare: Smooth Moves has Wario outrunning a giant boulder after stealing a "Form Baton" (a Wii Remote set in stone) from a temple somewhere in Diamond City. Run out of lives, and the boulder crushes him.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • A minigame from Mario Party 6 uses the run toward the camera variation, as the characters are chased by a boulder. The finish line consists of a wooden floor over a Bottomless Pit — the characters run over it, and the boulder crashes through it.
    • Paper Mario has two parts in Chapter 5 where you need to spindash to outrun giant thwomp-looking boulders with spikes in a volcano. Of course, the easier solution would be to use Bow's field ability to allow the boulders to pass harmlessly through Mario, but it (and the fact that the few true field hazards in the game only take one hit point from your health; far from lethal, especially by the time you reach Chapter 5) kinda takes the fun out of it.
    • Part of the "Slipsand Galaxy" level from Super Mario Galaxy 2 involved Mario/Luigi attempting to escape from several Rhomps that were launched out of a pyramid just right before fighting the level's boss, Squizzard.
    • Super Mario 3D Land has a section in W8-1 where you're outrunning spiked metal balls, as well as the last part of the final Bowser fight.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl's adventure mode, The Subspace Emissary, during Lucas's introductory stage, he must run from the invincible Pig King statue while avoiding or defeating enemies as the statue continuously advances on the left side of the screen. At one point, the statue falls in the water and sinks, and you think you're safe, but then it (or another one) falls from the sky and you must keep going. If you're not expecting it, the statue can easily kill you when it lands. Annoying!
  • In a few parts of Kirby's Dreamland 3, you have to outrun several rocks going downhill, although it's one of the slowest examples of this trope.
  • Castlevania
    • In Dracula X: Rondo of Blood as well as its remake, Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles, Stage 2 presents Richter with the unstoppable Behemoth, an enormous bull-like creature which will break through the outer wall and chase him relentlessly until he reaches a door to a different section. It's also present in the Super NES version, in Stage 1 instead.
    • Which gets revisited and done again by Jonathan Morris in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
  • The video game Spider-Man and X-Men: Arcade's Revenge tosses Gambit into a side-scrolling stage where he's pursued by a spiked metal ball which fills the entire height of the screen.
  • The Guardian of the Cave of Bad Dreams pursues Rayman in this manner in Rayman 2: The Great Escape.
  • One level of Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy had you fleeing from a giant cyborg rancor in a series of enclosed warehouses.
  • Harry Potter games:
    • The PC version of the video game of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has a nasty segment with a rolling boulder on the way to the bit with the basilisk and Lord Voldemort. Over a large area of small platforms that you have to be GOOD at jumping.
    • In The Sorcerer's Stone, you have to escape an angry troll at one point. The camera "conveniently" switches to show Harry's face from ahead, which effectively inverts the controls. That one is a little harder that the boulder mentioned above; what makes the level hard is the holes in the floor, which are there for no good reason.
  • American McGee's Alice contains a "flee from the rolling boulder" level. Actually, it's a rolling marble, and the circumstances that keep it following you are quite ridiculous.
    • The sequel, Alice: Madness Returns, has a couple of similar levels (mercifully short), though the part of the boulder is played by the indestructible Executioner.
  • Battletoads for the NES (and its Sega Genesis and Game Boy ports) had the level "Clinger Winger," in which you are fleeing from a glowing, swirling "hypno-orb" thing while riding some kind of vehicle that resembles a unicycle. If it catches up to you, you get squished. The "Terra Tubes" level had several wheel-like things that have no problem rolling up a vertical shaft. The Game Boy Battletoads game that's not a port of the NES version has you running, on foot, from a boulder that actually looks like a boulder, although it can climb vertically too.
  • The temple levels in Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame feature a new death trap: an ordinary-looking wall block which comes out on screws and tries to squash you against the opposite wall. You can avoid triggering all but one, which you'll have to escape by running toward it so you can drop down to a lower level (since it won't fall after you).
  • Batman Returns on the Mega Drive/Genesis also has this. The second Penguin boss fight starts off with him dropping a giant ball, which chases you down several flights of stairs. You have to keep ahead of it, and then finally jump a gap which the ball will then fall into, before you can fight against Penguin.
  • Brave Fencer Musashi has this just before the first boss fight.
  • Subverted in Final Fantasy II: a giant boulder is loosed upon the party. Three of them survive — the fourth, who stayed behind to hold the boulder back, does not.
  • The Xbox Ninja Gaiden had this. Of course, being Ninja Gaiden, the camera was in front of you, facing your character, and you had to dodge spikes shooting out of the ground and walls (they didn't kill you outright but often slowed you down enough for the boulder to catch up)
  • Condemned: Bloodshot had this, only the boulder was replaced with a rabid grizzly bear. It didn't help that the only hint the game suggested for your objectives was "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!"
  • Lunar: Eternal Blue starts with one of these.
  • Choosing Jack Van Burace in Wild ARMs gives you not one, but TWO of these directly after each other. Thankfully it was just in the cutscene.
    Jack: (afterwards) Damn, that was cool!
  • Aladdin (Virgin Games) has several such boulders throughout the level "The Escape." Being a One-Hit Kill makes them extremely annoying, especially the one at the end.
  • Some versions of Treasure Island Dizzy feature an extended cave area where you grab an item from a pedestal and have to run from a giant boulder. The Shout-Out is made funnier when you realize that Dizzy wears a hat which rather looks like Indy's fedora in the cover art of several other games.
  • The first Devil May Cry featured a fairly memorable scene: Dante walks out into the hallway and walks five feet from the door, at which point there's a short cut scene where he looks up... and the ceiling cracks open. Violently. Dante is then chased down a narrow hallway by the gigantic lava spider he just finished killing five minutes ago until he can find a door, at which point the spider forgets to care anymore. Made all the more fun by the face that you're running into the camera, leaving your hallway impossible to see. Makes it easier to see the spider shooting fireballs at you, though. (Which is about impossible to avoid.) Incidentally, players can run until the lava spider/scorpion gets stuck at a certain spot, then just turn around and kill him by hitting his fireballs back at him. Until then, however, this trope is played fairly straight.
  • Professor Layton and the Curious Village and its remote-controlled Ferris wheel of DOOM. Yes, it can turn corners.
    "I think it's chasing after us!"
  • Parodied in the first Discworld; after obtaining an important item hidden in a deep cave, the camera immediately cuts to a giant boulder rolling down a long tunnel heading toward Rincewind. He proceeds to escape the cave, with the camera occasionally cutting back to the same shot to emphasize the chase... and when he finally gets out of the cave, a tiny marble-sized rock rolls to a stop along the floor. Guess it wasn't much of an escape. Obviously, someone had Bloody Stupid Johnson design the deathtrap.
  • There's a freely downloadable game called The Rolling Boulder, in which you play this trope from the boulders perspective. You have to run over all the Indiana Jones sprites to keep them from violating the sacred fertility statues...
  • In Alundra 2, you have to run away from the second boss in this fashion.
  • Monster Hunter
    • Monster Hunter Freedom 2's opening features this using a Tigrex.
    • The Uragaan Ecology video in Tri does this with a Felyne and two Uragaan. You can tell precisely what the poor kitty is thinking shortly into the video.
  • In the Tomb Raider series, rolling boulders were a standard trap in level design, but only in a few places was this actually an Indy Escape:
    • Tomb Raider: Legend. Lara is chased by a giant boulder while dodging obstacles. At the end the boulder opens a shortcut back up to the current level.
    • Tomb Raider: Anniversary. In the "Atlas" room, you have to activate two switches to retrieve the key, which also causes the giant statue of Atlas to release the giant metal globe he was previously holding up. There are no nooks to hide in, and the pit at the far side is too wide to jump across without help.
  • LEGO Island 2 has one when you're doing a tomb seaching mini game in a desert. But then again, The Johnny Thunder series was created to be an Expy of Indiana Jones anyway.
  • Aero the Acro-Bat 2 has this in all 3 acts of Boardin Zone. In acts one and three, it's a giant snowball (which you can jump over or otherwise end up behind), but in act two, it's a flying bull-like Mook dropping spike balls in the snow and trying to make you run into them (or have them fall on you - either way).
  • Appeared in Sweet Home as an Instant Death Trap — if the boulder touches any of your team, they're Killed Off for Real. To even reach the platform where the item that triggers the boulder drop is being held, the player has to lay down several boards... boards which break if crossed over too many times.
  • Fittingly, La-Mulana has one. The puzzle to get the axe involves freeing a boulder to roll down a slope so that you can get to the axe. You have to do this while standing next to it. If you fail to outrun the boulder and get out of its path, insta-kill! (Lemeza being a ninja, of course, he can also Take a Third Option and just cling to the wall to let the boulder pass, if he's found the Grapple Claws by then.)
  • "The Ball" mod for Unreal Tournament III has a massive boulder as the primary weapon and tool. Until you get control of it, it could just as likely roll at you. But more often than not, Indy Escapes are attempted and failed by those you aim it at.
  • Warhammer Online has a potentially catastrophic version of this in one of the Land Of The Dead tombs. The party has to sprint down a winding series of corridors, whilst constantly being chased by a swarm of flesh-eating scarabs. The really nasty element is that players are randomly snared and cannot move unless a teammate uses a special granted ability on them to free them. Whilst the swarm is closing in on them. However, as long as there is a healer who makes it through, they can wait for the swarm to recede and then resurrect their party. If all the healers die, however, there's nothing more to do other than start over.
  • Penumbra: Overture has the classic giant boulder escape. Turn the wrong way at the end, and instead of safety, you'll find a nest of Demonic Spiders. It also has two scenes where giant worms act as stand-ins for the boulder — just that they can go around corners.
  • Affectionately spoofed and lampshaded in StarTropics with the Megatons, giant boulders that are in fact giant bowling balls. One of the end credit montage shows Mike running from a Megaton Indy-style.
  • One stage of Jumper Two has Ogmo running away from a mechanical ghost and his bouncing razor blade that pulverizes everything on its path.
  • The cave level of Out of This World has you run from a wall of water that you unleash to flood the cave so you can progress later.
  • Duke Nukem Forever does this a few times, such as when you are driving the Bigfoot up a narrow pass and boulders roll from above, or when you are scaling a staircase with explosive barrels rolling downstairs. Of course, this being Duke, you always have to dodge and push forward to survive.
  • Uncharted, befitting its status as the Indiana Jones' Spiritual Licensee, has a rather nice one in the first game, with Nathan Drake running down a hallway chased by monsters, and firing over his shoulder as he runs. The sequel pares it down to its basic premise — "Run Forward Fast Or Die" — and reinvents it not once but five times. The game begins In Medias Res with Drake trapped on a train dangling over a cliff — get to solid ground or go down with it — and everything on it breaks in juust the right way to annoy, yet not quite kill Drake. The next example is a jeep chasing Drake down a tight alley. Then the jeep is traded for a Big Damn Gunship — during a Traintop Battle. Run along the cars as fast as you can or get blown to salsa. Then the gunship is traded for a main battle tank — that smashes through walls in its attempts to squish Drake to a fine paste, and will not stop until Drake blows it to hell with conveniently located RPG launchers. Then there's a collapsing bridge with a similar sadism to the train. The climax of the game is a bridge collapsing in an explosion of blue flame.
    • You'd think they couldn't get bigger in Uncharted 3, right? Flesh-eating bugs, collapsing chateau roofs, wall of water — yeah, they got bigger.
  • The Lion King has a particularly nasty one during Simba's escape, with a hedgehog in the way. Though it's possible (but frustratingly difficult) to brute-force one's way through, the trick is to remember that hedgehogs are vulnerable to Rolling Attacks.
  • Being quite the imitation of the original, Earnest Evans has this in its first level. Though, due to bad coding, its possible to end up chasing the boulder that's meant for you.
    Diabetus: Follow that boulder, Indy!
    • Also, the credits show Earnest outrunning a boulder which runs over him in the end.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Link has to evade a boulder before he can access the boss room of the Earth Temple. Turns out, the boulder is the boss.
  • This also happens to Mickey Mouse in Land of Illusion.
  • Two dungeons (the second's just a mirror image of the first though) in Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure have a weak wall you can drill through, then another weak wall at the end of a fairly long, narrow, upward sloping hallway. Drilling through it reveals a massive boulder, which proceeds to roll down the slope toward you; your only option is to run back down the slope and out of the hallway to avoid taking damage.
  • Dragon Quest IV has a brief one in Torneko's chapter. While the boulder will turn left or right to follow you, it can only go down, never up, which is the trick to making it fill up a pit, forming a bridge that allows you to continue.
  • Dark Souls has this in Sen's Fortress. The area is a Booby Trap convention. One of the booby traps is a machine that launches giant boulders in various directions in various different directions throughout the fortress. The source of the boulder? A giant happily dropping the balls to a hole that feeds the entire mechanism. It isn't all that bad however, since the mechanism also creates paths to otherwise inaccessible treasures. It is also one of the ways gain access to Big Hat Logan's cell.
  • In Jak II: Renegade Jak and Sig must run away from a massive Metal Head chasing them.
  • At least once in every single Lego Adaptation Game.
  • Not necessarily a sequence, but there's a cutscene in Space Quest 6 where a shrunken Roger Wilco outruns a kidney stone rolling out of Stellar Santiago's liver.
  • Parodied in SPY Fox: Operation Ozone with a giant piece of chicle. He gets stuck to it on the way out.

    Web Comics 
  • Subverted and Lampshaded (as quoted above) in an Irregular Webcomic! mini-arc in the Vatican.
  • The webcomic Adventurers! has a strip with one of these. Subverted in that the heroes actually get hit by the boulder, but it only takes away a mere two Hit Points damage.
  • As can be expected, this can be found amongst the many, many traps of Castle Heterodyne in Girl Genius. The heroes react a bit unusually to the huge boulder covered in spikes, however. Gil runs toward it before jumping atop the boulder (with Zola in his arms, to boot), and Agatha flies above it with one of her little clanks. Professor Tiktoffen ("I wondered where that went on Thursdays.") and a sign on the wall both imply that the "rolling fun ball of death" is always in motion and has a preprogrammed course through the castle.
  • A typical Raider of the Lost Ark setting is lampshaded in one strip of Dawn of Time.
    Mantell: I guess the oldest tricks are still fresh right now.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamers Alliance, the heroes of the Grand Alliance have to run from a giant boulder which does its best to smash them inside an ancient temple in the Ruined Kingdom. It turns out that the boulder and the descending ceiling traps are actually activated simultaneously and thus they end up cancelling each other.
  • In Tails' Nightmare 2's fourth area, you are chased by a boulder made out of flesh.

    Western Animation 
  • The Raiders of the Lost Ark scene was then parodied by The Simpsons, casting Homer as the boulder and Bart (complete with trademark head-wear) escaping down the stairs with a jar full of change.
  • Also parodied by Western Animation/Rugrats.
  • The Megatanks in Code Lyoko sometimes act as such rolling boulders of doom. Ulrich gets pancaked (and thus devirtualized) once.
  • One episode of Codename: Kids Next Door ("operation F.L.A.V.O.R.") has Numbuh Five being chased down a hallway by a giant rolling ball of ice cream.
  • An episode of Dexter's Laboratory has a scene spoofing the temple escape from Raiders. Dexter exchanges the atomic power he was looking after with a doll, and it still doesn't stop a giant yarn ball from coming after him. It's only stopped by the doorway of Dexter's room.
  • The Raiders of the Lost Ark scene was parodied in the Class of 3000 episode "Eddie's Money", with Sunny Bridges as Indy. The boulder is just one of the hazards involved in accessing what turns out to be the world's most inconviently located gift store. (Turns out they do most of their business on-line.)
  • Happens all the time on Inhumanoids, in which a majority of the action sequences are underground and involves Kaijus with lousy aim.
  • The classic boulder appears shortly in Wakfu, episode "The Dragon-Pig", along with most typical Temple of Doom traps. Note that here the tunnel is perfectly circular, hence there's no corners where to hide from the boulder, even if you're a small piglet.
  • In Robot Chicken, there is a segment showing construction workers of the original temple trap from Raiders of the Lost Ark, as they do a run down on the design to the owner, who seems completely flabbergasted at how ridiculous it all is, as they enthusiastically explain it will look awesome.
  • The scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark is parodied in American Dragon Jake Long: as Jake, Trixie and Spud enter a cave, Spud activates a trap and a rock rolls toward them... Only to pass between Jake's legs. Then the rock activates the REAL trap, and that part of the cave start collapsing and burning.


Fake PlatformThis Index Is in the WayTrap Door
Imminent Danger ClueEscape TropesInfraction Distraction
    Death CourseTrap Door
Hand in the HoleDeath TrapLava Pit
Improvised ZiplineAction Adventure TropesIndy Hat Roll
Combat PragmatistImageSource/Live-Action FilmsSecret Government Warehouse

alternative title(s): Outrun The Boulder; Rolling Boulder
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