Island Base

A Supervillain Lair (or a Hero's Headquarters) At Sea! Isolated from any inference of those pesky heroes, our resident baddies can concoct their schemes of world domination in peace. At least until the third act.

Bonus points if the island, or part of it, is shaped like a skull. Extra points for having an active volcano form part of the base, despite the obvious problems with heat keeping such things from being practical in real life.

A Sub-Trope of Island of Mystery.

Often equipped with a Den of Iniquity. See also Elaborate Underground Base, Underwater Base.


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     Anime and Manga  

     Comic Books  
  • Wonder Woman and her race of Amazons live in a secret island.
  • Oolong Island served as a think tank for a number of Mad Scientists in the DC Universe. It is now where the Doom Patrol are based.
  • Monster Isle is the base of operations of the Mole Man in Fantastic Four
  • The Teen Titans' Titan's Tower is on an island.
  • Avengers Island, home base of the New Avengers, which was originally A.I.M.'s (it was probably called differently then) until Sunspot bought it. As in a whole organization. The island base was extra.

     Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami features several- all of which score bonus points for covering the active volcano, skull-shaped cave, and so on. Just not all at the same time. Zarekos' Islands were riddled with lava-filled fissures, due to the tremendous dark energy contamination, which Ami inherited from him, following his deafeat. Ami, naturally repurposed them for use as geothermal plants. Later, the battle of Dreadfog Island takes place on an island in a large swamp- and the island sports a skull-shaped cave incorporated into the fortifications.
  • Soul Eater: Troubled Souls: Cobra Island acts as one for Medusa in the titular Story Arc. She is huddled up in the snake monolith that takes up most of the island. It is also her place of birth. She's dragged Maka and the others to the island to enact the beginning of a revenge scheme.


  • Most of Billy & Howard and Duumvirate take place on one of these.
  • "Lincoln Island" is the headquarters of Captain Nemo and the harbor of the Nautilus in The Mysterious Island.
  • In The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells, the eponymous island, where Dr. Mpreau performs his experiments with human mutation.
  • In The 39 Clues universe: the Ekaterinas had a island base inside the Bermuda Triangle.
    • The Madrigals have Easter Island as a base.
    • There's also the Cahill ancestral home and the Gauntlet, on an island off the coast of Ireland.
  • In Soon I Will Be Invincible, Dr. Impossible used the same island base for 14 years before the heroes finally cracked it. At the climax of the novel, he returns to construct his new Doomsday Device in the ruins.
  • The Most Dangerous Game. General Zaroff has Ship-Trap Island, where he passes the time hunting humans.
  • In Warrior Cats, RiverClan makes camp on an island. That is until they are forced to move out of the Old Forest and travel to the lake, where they get a new, not-really-islandy camp. But they make up for it in Dark River when they take over the Gathering Island due to their current camp being unavailable to them.
  • Swellhead. The protagonists are sent to investigate strange events on the long-deserted and distant island of Skerra, somewhere on the ill-defined border between Britain and Island which for historical reasons even has a monarchy (not that she's ever set foot on the island before now) and is therefore an independent nation. Turns out an Elaborate Underground Base has been discovered on Skerra, despite the sheer impossibility of constructing one without vast resources and public knowledge. One which, as they delve further into it, looks increasingly like a classic Supervillain Lair... It turns out the base was constructed by a supervillain in an Alternate Universe, which is encroaching into our reality.
  • Goro Yoshida, the eponymous villain in The Man with the Red Tattoo has set up camp for his private nationalist army in Etorofu, which is one of the Kuril Islands, which reside in a disputed territory between Russia and Japan.
  • The Dresden Files: From Cold Days on, Demonreach has become this for Harry. It's secluded location and powerful Genius Loci make it far more defensible than his old apartment, but at the same time more vulnerable, as the island is the site of a massive supernatural prison constructed by the original Merlin to hold some of the baddest bads in the setting, and some of Harry's enemies are interested in setting those baddies loose. The isolation from his friends and allies his relocation to the island has caused is also a minor plot point.
  • Mystery Island serves this purpose for Cobra in Secret Agents Four.

     Live Action TV  
  • The island of Mad Scientist Dr. Boris Balinkoff in the Gilligan's Island episode "The Friendly Physician". He has a castle where he performs experiments on the castaways.


     Tabletop Games  
  • Champions
    • Adventure The Island of Doctor Destroyer. The title island Destruga holds the secret base of Doctor Destroyer, from which he plans to launch the Hypnoray satellite and Mind Control the entire world.

      In Classic Organizations, after being destroyed in its original location Neutral Ground relocates to this exact island, turning from a fairly posh club for supers of all kinds into an island resort in the process. Doctor Destroyer's legacy is brought up in the relevant chapter and used as a plot point in at least one example adventure outline.
    • The Champions II supplement has rules for constructing superhero bases. When choosing a base's location, one option is to build it on an island.
  • GURPS Illuminati. One potential location for the Illuminati main base is on a private secret island that has been erased from the world's maps. It could even be in the Bermuda Triangle - the reason so many ships and planes have disappeared there is because they got too close to the Illuminati base and saw something they weren't supposed to see.
  • Hollow Earth Expedition. If a character has the Resource of Refuge 5 they have a secret island base with everything they could want.
  • The Nazis have two of these. Since Space Is an Ocean they've built one on Mercury and one in the asteroid belt. Festung Sieg on Mercury. The other is built into one of two asteroids attached to an Erisian spaceship wreck.

     Video Games  
  • Fur Fighters has the last level set in a James Bond parody Island base...just off the coast of your hometown.
  • Mega Man Battle Network 3, the WWW has their base on an island, across the Demon Waters.
  • Metal Gear Solid
    • Shadow Moses Island is indeed an island - something the players (and at one point even Snake) needed to be reminded of.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker's Mother Base can become this with time.
  • In Phantom Brave, Marona lives on an island all to herself, called Phantom Isle, which she uses as a base. The Big Bad, Sulphur, also has an island of his own, called the Island of Evil, which he is sealed in.
  • Sonic
    • Prison Island in Sonic Adventure 2, though that's likely based off the concept of Alcatraz.
    • The Veg-O-Fortress in Sonic Spinball plays this straight. Built right on top of a volcanic island in the middle of the ocean. Robotnik even manages to incorporate the magma into the base's power systems.
  • In Thief II: The Metal Age, the Cetus Project is run from Markham's Isle, a former pirate base taken over by the Mechanists. As you learn when you go there, the administration of the project is a bit complicated, but Markham's Isle certainly fits the Island Base and Elaborate Underground Base tropes.
  • In The Curse of Monkey Island, King André operates out of Skull Island. Subverted in that Skull Island really looks like a giant duck;s head, prompting Guybrush to complain "It should be called Duck Island!"
  • Evil Genius goes for a twofer, having you tunnel into the mountain on your "Uninhabited Desert Island of Undisclosed Location (tm)". Midway through you're forced to move islands, because if you're going to use satellite-based doomsday weapons it's obligatory to launch them out the crater of an extinct volcano.
  • In Knuckles Chaotix, Dr. Eggman builds his latest Supervillain Lair on an island in order to get himself one step closer to several Chaos Emerald-like objects rumored to be hidden there.
  • Used and Lampshaded in Kingdom of Loathing; after your Nemesis pulls a Villain Exit Stage Left after your first battle with them, your class leader says they probably have a secret tropical island volcano lair. Sure enough, you eventually find a map to a secret tropical island volcano lair on one of your Nemesis's thugs and have a final showdown in the heart of the volcano, first with your Nemesis's normal form and then with its Demonic form. Troperrific!
  • Red Alert 3 features a secret island base. A secret Easter Island base. In a volcano. With cannons in the Heads. That shoot bears.
  • Dr. Nonookie's Nontoonyt Island lair in Leisure Suit Larry II.
  • The headquarters of Cipher, Citadark Isle, in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. They even have a machine that generates a constant storm around the island to prevent any unwanted visitors.
  • The game Device6 takes place on a seemingly abandoned one of these.
  • Legend of Hero Tonma takes place on one named Untrodden Island.
  • Governor's Island serves as the headquarters of Soviet forces occupying New York in Freedom Fighters. Two missions revolve around it, one to infiltrate it and assassinate General Tatarin and the final mission where it is stormed en masse by boat.
  • In both Rymdjakten (The Space Hunt) and Djuphavsjakten (The Deep Sea Hunt), the heroes are headquartered on an island solely owned and inhabited by them. They start out rather mundane, with just the home of the person(s) who discovered the central issue of the game and some kind of facility relevant to the game (an observatory in Rymdjakten, a lighthouse in Djuphavsjakten), but by the later portions they include, among other things, training facilities (for astronauts in Rymdjakten, and for divers and dolphins in Djuphavsjakten), construction facilities, laboratories, and in Rymdjakten two rocket launching pads. In both games, all of this is privately owned.
  • The Island of Claymodo in ''Clayfighter 63 1/3", home of the Mad Scientist Dr. Kiln.

     Web Comics  

     Web Original  
  • Villain Source (formerly Villain Supply) has options of either a Skull Island or a subterranean base on a volcano island.
  • KateModern Big Bad Michelle Clore's evil lair is located on (Real Life) Adak Island.
  • At the beginning of episodes of the Dr. Steel show, Doctor Steel's secret laboratory is shown to be on an island. Supposedly this island is located in the Pacific, near Hawaii.

     Western Animation  
  • Drakken and the Seniors both have island bases in Kim Possible.
  • Science Island is the headquarters for Jarvis Kord in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
  • The bunny-shaped island known as Bunny Island is the primary setting for Evil Con Carne.
  • Jonny Quest TOS. Dr. Benton Quest's island of Crab Key. It had dock facilities, experimental labs and a hovercraft.
  • Phineas and Ferb. Doctor Destructocon (Kevin to his friends), one of Dr. Doofenshmirtz's mentors, had a secret-hideout shaped island with the letter "D" carved into it.
  • Prometheus Black AKA, Meltdown has a underground lab on Dinobot Island in Transformers Animated. Blackarachnia moves into it later in the series. Apparently it used to belong to the government.
  • The Legend of Korra has Air Temple Island where Tenzin and his family live.
  • Super Friends episode "Too Hot To Handle". Kobar the Solar-Terrarian villain has his laboratory hidden under a volcano on an island.
  • Young Samson & Goliath episode "The Secret of Evil Island". The Big Bad Voltor has his base on Evil Island, which is just off the coast of New Guinea. From there he imitates Doctor No by hijacking satellites and using their fuel to power his city/continent destroying missiles.

     Real Life  
  • Principality of Sealand: A small former UK military installation used by various groups for a number of different purposes — from pirate radio station to server room. Declared an independent sovereign state at one point by the owners, which is taken seriously by absolutely nobody.
  • World War 2 involved a lot of these, which include:
    • The Hawaiian Islands, specifically Oahu and Pearl Harbor
    • Fort Drum (AKA the concrete battleship) in Manila Bay
    • Corregidor
    • The Channel Islands
    • Betio
    • Malta (its refusal to surrender to the Axis was a constant pain for Italian and German efforts to keep their forces in North Africa supplied)
    • Singapore (Winston Churchill called its loss to the Japanese in just one week the worst disaster in British history)
    • Iwo Jima
    • Iceland
    • Heligoland
    • Possibly Japan and Britain on a large scale (see also below)
  • During the Cold War, several U.S. allies acted like these as they hosted US military personnel; most notable were (and still are) the UK and Japan as they are actual islands, as well as Iceland (which didn't and still doesn't have a military when it joined NATO) and Taiwan (prior to the establishing of diplomatic ties between the US and China in 1979). Islands need not be purely geographical, either - Alexander Haig, Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, called Israel the US's largest unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Middle East.
  • Chagos Archipelago
    • It houses a massive US military base at Diego Garcia. It was used for reconnaissance in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and saw wartime use in the first Gulf War. After 9/11 it was key to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It may house nuclear weapons and may be a "black site" for detaining prisoners. It is more secretive than Guantanamo Bay - which is probably why most people have never heard of it.
    • In a true supervillain fashion, forty years ago, its people, the Chagossians, were unceremoniously removed from their homeland by a joint operation of the United Kingdom and the United States, and essentially left beached in Mauritius as human detritus. This was detailed in David Vine's book Island of Shame: the Secret History of the US Military Base on Diego Garcia.
  • Not exactly at sea, but during The American Revolution, Francis 'Swamp Fox' Marion had a base on an island in the middle of the South Carolina swamps. It's depicted in the Disney series from the '60s as Snow Island.
  • Haulbowline, which started as a British army base, then became a naval base. Today, the island is home to the Irish Navy.
  • Mobile offshore bases are a proposed idea of combining this trope with Base on Wheels (we suppose it'd then be a Base On Hulls) so as to be able to extend force projection far beyond one's own shores (i.e., the US's) while still remaining in international waters and thus avoid a lot of political problems associated with (American) bases and personnel stationed overseas (e.g., Saudi Arabia, Okinawa).