"!" marks the spot!
The way to mark a definitive end to a videogame level without a Boss Battle
. Are often locked at first, or simply inactive until you do something. They can assume the form of doorways, portals, switches, or just unrelated items floating in mid-air as markers.
Usually (but not always
) an Instant-Win Condition
- Descent has exit doors which open only when you blow up the reactor in a level.
- Donkey Kong Country used an Exit sign for the first game, a target for the second game, and a flag for the third game. Returns uses floating barrels with star icons.
- Both Wolfenstein 3D and Doom had you flip switches at the end of a level; the end-level switches for Wolfenstein were located in elevators, but there wasn't much explanation for why Doom's switches took you to the next level.
- Duke Nukem 3D had self destruct switches, even though most of the levels were cityscapes (where, one assumes, self destruct buttons are rare).
- In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, each of the class test areas had a big gold star that you had to reach at the end of the test.
- Prisoner of Azkaban had those shields at the end of class challenges. Goblet of Fire made use of that, too.
- James Pond has exit pipes; James Pond 2 has an exit marker shaped like barber pole with a siren on it; James Pond 3 has the same barber poles, but modified into communication devices.
- To complete a level in Manic Miner you must enter a portal, which opens when you have collected all the items in the level.
- In Prince of Persia and Prince of Persia 2, the exit gates had to be opened on each level, and you could tell by the sound made when you stepped on the appropriate Pressure Plate.
- The first The Smurfs for the SNES had an exit sign.
- The goal sign in the early Sonic the Hedgehog games. It was later replaced by the goal ring. Sonic Generations uses both, considering the levels alternate between Mega Drive-style platforming-focused areas and Unleashed-style 3D running stages.
- The original Super Mario Bros. had the flagpole and castle, which New Super Mario Bros. brought back.
- Super Mario Bros. 2 / Doki Doki Panic had the "Hawkmouth" gates that need to be opened with the crystal ball (a different sprite was used in DDP). One of them attacks you.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 had the cards that cycled like slot machines through various cards which could be collected for a bonus.
- The usual exit to non-boss levels in Super Mario World was walking through twin poles; the standard alternate exit was finding a key and putting it into the keyhole; the Sunken Ghost Ship's exit was touching a question mark in a green circle.
- Wario Land:
- Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 usually requires you to pay 10 coins to open the locked exit door. In some stages the stage is cleared by hitting a giant ! block instead, which results in some big change happening on the world map.
- Wario Land II has a door with flashing star icons above it, as shown at the end of this video (about 6:56).
- Wario Land 3 has 4 chests in each level - gray, red, green, and blue - and you have to open a chest after finding its key to get the treasure inside. You can also clear a level by passing through an exit door in the location of a chest you've already opened.
- Wario Land 4 has the same portal that takes you to the level... only opening when you trip the Frog Switch at the other end of the level. It also starts a timer to destroy the level.
- Yoshi's Island has the end ring which was a ring with little flower icons going round, and if the flowers were where the cursor stopped, you played a bonus mini game.
- Super Mario Land had the giant tower with two exits, the top one leading to a bonus game.
- Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins had a door with a small bell hung at the top and a hanging sign saying 'Goal'. Secret exits were just a small black door.
- The Subspace Emissary mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl features glowing yellow doors that signify the end of a level, rather than the normal red ones that just take you to another part of a level. For the Great Maze, the end is shown by a ridiculously huge set of Amazing Technicolor Doors that only open when you defeat shadow clones of the characters and every other previously-fought boss.
- Bubsy had the titular character dash into a gigantic ball of yarn which turned around and show his face on it as a logo.
- Kirby had a door adorned with more stars as per usual. And usually a cannon sequence. And a little dance. Oh yeah.
- The level exits in Lemmings come in several varieties (functionally equivalent). Some levels have more than one exit.
- Various computer terminals were scattered around the levels in Marathon, and once you accomplished your objectives, you'd usually find one that would teleport you to the next stage.
- In Portal, to finish a test chamber, you have to reach the elevator at the end that leads to the next test chamber.
- In Purple, you finish the stage by hopping on green spring board surrounded by checkerboard design.
- Left 4 Dead has a safe house at the end of every map except the campaign's end, which has some location-relevant escape vehicle. Getting all active survivors inside and closing the door triggers a level complete as the survivors rest up before moving on to the next map. If a zombie happens to be in the safe room, the level won't end unless you kill it, even though the door is shut.
- Elastomania used a spinning flower.
- Bug! has the "Bug Stop", basically, he lands on it to finish the scene (because he's acting in a movie).
- Quake has portals, teleporters or passages opening into complete darkness as its goals.
- Blood has switches shaped like Tchernobog's head.
- Shadow Warrior uses bloody, bullethole-ridden yin-yang symbols as its exit switches.
- Secret Agent has the elevator door, which must be blown up with dynamite, and can only be entered if you destroyed the radar dish on this level.
- Crystal Caves uses rather complex-looking, big mechanical doors.
- Ballance has a wooden platform with balloons attached that takes off as soon as your ball ends up inside.
- Bomberman 64 has an exit location marked by a green arrow on the ground that appears when you finish the stage's objective (such as lowering a bridge, activating a ski lift, knocking down a platform, or deactivating a barrier). The form the exit takes is usually related to the aforementioned objective. Bomberman Hero is similar, with yellow arrows pointing to the exit, but there isn't always an objective that needs to be accomplished to open it up.
- Lode Runner: The Legend Returns and its expansion, Mad Monks' Revenge, have portals that appear after the last piece of treasure is either collected or destroyed, some of which are locked with color-coded keys. Custom levels that do not have portals in place follow the original game's goal, reaching the top of the screen.
- Asterix for the NES and Game Boy marks the end of a level with a board loaded with a boulder for Asterix to jump on and catapult himself out of the level.
- In Athena, Athena had to enter an ornate double door at the end of each area. Boss Battles didn't change this.
- In Little Nemo The Dream Master, at the end of every level is a door protected by a bunch of locks standing behind it.
- Corridor 7 has the elevator. It's unusual in that you start at the elevator and you have to return there when you kill enough enemies.
- The first Repton game has none; levels end instantly when you take the last diamond (even if it's under a rock and there would be no way of escape). Repton 3 introduces the timebomb, which must be defused as the level's final objective.
- Spacestation Pheta is an odd case. Ostensibly, the airlock furthest to the right is the level goal, other airlocks being obstacles you may have to open to reach the final airlock. In reality, "enter the airlock furthest to the right" works more like an Instant-Win Condition. You can win by destroying the rightmost airlock and entering the one that was the second-to-last.
- Lollipop and Billy Bob on Action 52 have doors at the at the end of each level. The third level of the former subverts it though by having three doors at various points in the level, all of which reset the game. Critical Bypass also has you enter some weird structure at the end of each level.
- Speedy Eggbert has a spinning arrow (or key depending on the level) which only end the level if you collect all of the treasure chests within it.
- In Alex Kidd in Miracle World, every level ends with Alex collecting a rice ball (or hamburger), which he then eats on the map screen.
- The Korean Arcade Game Hard Head has an exit door at the end of each level, but above that door is a goal net that you have to kick a soccer ball into.
- Vivid Conceptions: The goal on every level is represented by a red flag, similar to the one seen in the protagonist's village in the intro. Presumably, your fellow Bantams left these behind to indicate the right way to the goal of the game.
- In Sub Terra, every level has two level goals. One is the easy one, and one is for hard mode; the latter is usually in a hard-to-reach spot, of course, and can be destroyed by explosions.
- In Atomic Robo-Kid, the level exits take the form of small portholes.
- In Jetpack, each level is exited by double doors that open once all the Emerald Gems are collected.
- In Solomon's Key, each level is completed by passing through a door that must first be opened by collecting a key which may or may not be in plain sight.
- In Pepsiman, Scene I of every stage ends at a Pepsi vending machine, and Scene II ends in front of a large thirsty crowd.