It's over. The empire is fallen, the golden age is gone, evil has won, barely anyone's left alive
. Only this one fortress remains against our impending doom, barely hanging on under a constant state of siege
. From here we can wage our war, stage guerilla attacks, or send a small but elite strike team to hit where it hurts most. If we buy enough time, we might even be able to get our hands on that one thing that can save us, and maybe, just maybe, we can win
. But if that fails, we can at least go down fighting
. That is, assuming we can fight back at all, and our efforts aren't just delaying the inevitable...
Compare: Undefeatable Little Village
Anime and Manga
- In MD Geist 2: Death Force, MD Krauser's armed fortress is the only safe place against the horde of flesh-eating robots that have ruined the planet.
- The Macross in Robotech after Earth is devastated by the Zentraedi invasion.
- In Attack on Titan, the giant, fortified three-walled city that serves as home for the last remnants of humanity after the eponymous, man-eating Titans have overrun the rest of the planet.
- The Lord of the Rings:
- Helm's Deep serves this exact function for the Rohirrim.
- Minas Tirith during Sauron's attack in The Return of the King.
- The underground military research facility in Robert A. Heinlein's Sixth Column.
- The Last Redoubt in William Hope Hodgson's The Night Land, a gigantic Arcology housing the remnants of humanity, constantly besieged by the horrors in the dark and doomed to fall once the Earth Current that protects it dies out. During the course of the novel another, forgotten Lesser Redoubt is discovered.
- In Harry Turtledove's The Man with the Iron Heart a fortress was constructed in the Bavarian Alps to house Reinhard Heydrich and remaining Nazi command structure as he plotted against the Allies.
- In the Supernatural Flash Forward episode "The End" Dean meets Future!Dean, who leads a small group of rebs based in a camp in the woods.
- Masada, about The Siege of titular fortress in Judea in AD 73. It is the last bastion of the Jewish Zealots.
- Dungeons & Dragons module Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits. The fortress of Kandelspire is the only thing that stands in the way of Lolth's invasion of the dwarven kingdom of Maldev.
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse: In the final source book, one of the listed scenarios details the PC's Caern being the last one on Earth.
- NieR: The Shadowlord's castle. From the Shades' perspective.
- Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver: The Human Citadel.
- Mega Man Zero: The aptly named Resistance Base.
- System Shock: In the first game, the survivors are holed up in a room in Beta Quadrant of the Medical Level. Or at least they were...
- Jacinto in Gears of War, until its sinking. Replaced temporarily by Port Farrall thereafter, until humanity was forced to move to moving bases instead. Ultimately, the true example is Azura, but only the elite even knew about it until the very end of the war.
- The Valais Air Base in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War is the last Allied stronghold that has not fallen to the Belkans yet. Naturally, your job is to bring the Allies Back from the Brink.
- In Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu, the Foreteress of Darna was this to the original Liberation Army, until the gods appeared to them and gave immense powers to the 12 Crusaders, allowing them to fight back and win against the Lopto Empire.
- The Ark in Halo 3, for the Covenant under Truth.
- Reach in Halo: Reach. Oh, wait.
- In Halo 5, Sunaion, a city on Sanghelios, is described as "the Covenant's final stronghold". And the Arbiter's Elites are laying waste to it.
- Bastion. Naturally.
- In an interesting subversion, the game remains mostly light throughout. There is no active threat or advancing army, for a while, anyway, and you're free to take your time and explore, even just before the final area.
- Ebonhawke in Guild Wars 2. It is the last bastion of the kingdom of Ascalon.
- Destiny has what is literally called "the Last City" built beneath the Traveler, serving as the last surviving bastion of humanity after the Collapse destroyed its space-faring civilization, and the forces of the Darkness moved in to try and put a permanent end to the human race.
- Red Alert 2: Point Hope, Alaskanote is the location of the last Allied base after the rest of the world is taken over by the Soviets, containing a Chronosphere which allows them to strike anywhere in the world. In a Perspective Flip, though, this is the last mission of the Soviet campaign - the player's mission is to wipe it out to ensure final victory.
- In Homestuck, the trolls manage to escape from the demon that's destroying their session by hiding on a meteor in the Veil - which is a giant cluster of meteors. While it was depleted by the Reckoning, they were safe enough that Jack didn't figure out where they were until they had to move the meteor. Tending towards the more hopeless portrayal of this trope, the trolls didn't genuinely believe their efforts would do anything more than delay the inevitable, until their chance to escape actually arrived.
- The Light Elf city of Vanaheimr in Drowtales is the last known city of its kind after the war that ended the Moons' Age, and the inhabitants mostly keep to themselves and exist in a strict caste system. It's not known how much longer they'll be able to keep this up since the surface recolonization movement has picked up steam.
- The inhabitants of the Domed Hometown in Sleepless Domain aren't sure if there are any humans left outside the city.
- During the last months of the Russian Civil War, Crimea was seen as this by the White command who were still planning some Back from the Brink.
- During World War II, the Germans had a massive stronghold called the Alpine Fortress, which was constructed in the mountainous areas of southern Germany. It was built with the idea that if Germany were overrun, top Nazi officials, their staffs, and a large number of crack troops could retreat there and, with a stockpile of supplies and some limited production facilities, continue to harass the Allies for many years to come. However, the Fortress was far from impregnable by the time it became needed and it was taken easily shortly before the Berlin occupation. Even so, reports of its staggering defensive strength were partially responsible for the Allies' broad front strategy to take the southern regions and the Fortress before moving onto Berlin, rather than the narrow charge advocated by General Patton.
- Switzerland has a massive fortification system called the National Redoubt. Put to use during World War II, the National Redoubt had a series of forts, cannon positions, and other fixed defenses throughout the Swiss Alps. The Swiss battle plan in case of invasion, which was no secret, was to fight a holding battle in the lowlands for as long as possible, and then pull back to the Redoubt. The fortifications also commanded Switzerland's many passes and tunnels connecting Germany, France, and Italy; any attempt at invasion would mean cutting off that vital traffic. After the war, the defenses were examined and found to have more and better cannons than both the Maginot and Siegfried Lines combined.
- For years after its defeat to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the Kuomingtang under Chiang Kai-Shek treated Taiwan as this, vowing to retake mainland China at some point. This played into its actions during the 1950's, notably refusing to give up Quemoy and Matsu Islands (only a mile or two from PRC-held territory) and eventually sparking the passage of the Formosa Resolution by the US Congress, as well as delaying implementation of infrastructure and economic reforms on the island until the 1960's (if they're only going to be there for a few years, investing was a waste of time). Cut to 60+ years later, the Republic of China still officially claims the mainland (plus all or parts of several of China's neighbors), though nobody (including the ROC government) takes them seriously.
- Winston Churchill invoked this in his speeches for Britain in the months following the fall of France in June 1940 and during the Battle of Britain, as at that point the United Kingdom was the only belligerent left in Europe against Nazi Germany. The Axis took over the rest of the Balkans (with some difficulty) in 1940 and into 1941, but it wasn't until June 1941 with Operation Barbarossa that another major European power (the Soviet Union) was brought into the fight.