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Locomotive Level
Welcome to Orient Express. We're arriving at destination any time now. For now, please enjoy luxurious travel.

Gordon: New Yorkers talk like they're all big and bad, but I bet they don't deal with half this shit on the subway!
(soldiers continue shooting at him, he returns fire)
Gordon: The next time I hear someone complain about their commute again, I think I'm just going to punch them in the face.
Gordon Freeman, Freeman's Mind

It's very common for our protagonists to find their way onto a train. After all, it's a prime location for adventure. You're stuck in a confined space, and you're unable to leave once the train is moving. You may have to show your ticket or passport, you may be held up by a bunch of robbers, you never know who you're going to meet, and nobody is ever completely sure if that strange-looking toilet door is correctly shut.

After you've run around on the train for long enough, the only way left to go is up, often leading to a Traintop Battle. The music will often have a gallop rhythm.

Not to be confused with Rail Shooter. See also Sinister Subway.

Examples:

  • Contra: Hard Corps had this as one of its stages, ending with a Humongous Mecha boss. Shattered Soldier also had a train top stage with a Humongous Mecha as the boss, in an obvious homage to Hard Corps.
  • Several levels in the Mega Man X and Zero games.
    • Charge Man's stage from Mega Man 5. It's worth mentioning that Charge Man himself is an anthropomorphic train.
  • One level in the original Blood.
    • And several levels in its sequel.
  • Gordon Freeman spends a lot of time on trains, although never during active gameplay. Half-Life famously started with him in an elevated tram; Half-Life 2 had him arrive in City 17 on a train; and in Episode One, he and Alyx hitched a ride on a Combine train, and later used a rebel-operated train to escape from the city. Actually considering the whole gimmick of the original game is that you're free-moving at all times, even when you can really only go one way...
    • The level On A Rail of the original game did involve active gameplay for Gordon
  • One level of Ape Escape 3 took place partially in/around a train.
  • A level in Wario Land 2, and two levels in Wario Land Shake It!
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • One of the Doc Ock fights in the Spider-Man 2 game took place on a train, and by proxy a portion of the film of the same name did as well.
  • Sunset Park Act 3 from Sonic Triple Trouble.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has three: you hitch a ride on a train and steal it's cargo, you're on a motorcycle keeping up alongside the train, the last is on on a jetpack flying around the train. There are side-missions where you can drive a train, but nothing interesting happens. At all. Unless you intentionally crash the thing.
  • The ghostly train to the afterlife from Final Fantasy VI, which is a boss in itself (and can be suplexed).
    • Again in Final Fantasy VII had the team take a train, only for the guards to catch up with them, leaving our heroes make a dash for it. There also is a haunted area named the Train Graveyard, full of derelict trains.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII there's the Timber Owls SEED mission (plus a bossfight) that takes place on two separate trains.
  • A good chunk of the second Professor Layton game, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, takes place on the Molentary Express, the most luxurious train in the world.
  • In Sonic Heroes, either Rail Canyon or Bullet Station had this as part of the level.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, as the name suggests, has some of these.
  • Unreal Tournament, AS-HiSpeed.
  • The original Viewtiful Joe has a train sequence in the latter half of the 5th world.
  • Skies of Arcadia has a train sequence as well while escaping from the Big Bad who slowly causally walks towards you.
  • Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project Has the start of one of the levels on the roof of a train and later (possibly in the same level) there is a boss fight on top of a much shorter train.
  • Golden Eye 1997, imaginatively titled "Train," which has Bond battling through a converted missile train in order to save Natalya.
  • The From Russia with Love game had a level that began on a train and led to a station - also titled "Train".
  • A level in Everything or Nothing.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose for the SNES, in the Western-themed level.
  • The game of Back to the Future III.
  • Jedi Academy had a level where you had to disarm a bomb on a crowded train, and then stop the bad guys from ramming it into the station.
  • Uncharted 2 has a few levels that take place around a train going up toward Shangri-La.
  • Mirror's Edge, where Faith surfs the train, in addition to one Train Escape.
  • Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow had a level where Sam Fisher has to infiltrate and interrogate someone on a train. He inevitably ends up on top of the train, and the sides, and the bottom.
  • The Last Express was set entirely on a train. The Orient Express, to be precise.
  • Act 2-1 in Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
  • TimeSplitters Future Perfect features a train level in the 1960s.
  • The first boss of Persona 3, Priestess, hijacks a train you're investigating. Also a Time-Limit Boss.
  • One level in Final Fight takes place in a metro train as well as station.
  • Part of one of the final dungeons in Secret of Mana takes place on an undead-infested metro train.
  • Resident Evil 0 starts out on a train infested with leeches, OH and the undead. Then it crashes into a mansion full of the things. Talk about a lousy trip.
    • The climactic battle with William Birkin in Resident Evil 2 takes place aboard an escape train fleeing the (naturally) self-destructing Umbrella lab.
  • One level in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.
  • One level in Commandos 3, where you're recovering some paintings.
  • Shining Force III had a whole chapter about sneaking onto a train, people talking about trains, fighting in the train and then a big fight on top of the train for good measure. This was your standard medieval themed RPG so it makes sense it was such a big deal.
  • The Egypt stage in the NES version of Strider begins with a train ride to the pyramid in question.
  • A mission in Zone of the Enders: the 2nd Runner involves chasing a train before it can deliver a deadly payload to the Redshirt Army. But since you have to destroy said train, it plays more like a Battleship Raid.
  • The second mission in Time Crisis 2.
    • As well as the last part of the second stage in Time Crisis 3.
  • The climax of Gears of War has you work your way up a train, fighting off every kind of Mook and Miniboss the game can throw at you, before the confrontation with the Final Boss.
  • Broken Sword has one; it Bait And Switches a Traintop Battle, only to have you climb back down into another carriage to stop a gunman shooting Nico.
  • Medal of Honor: Frontline has a level in which you must fight your way through a Nazi armoured train to reach the Big Bad at the far end. Excitingly, you can use its mounted guns to blow up other trains as they pull alongside.
  • Sector 3 of Jumper Two features Ogmo thrown on a train by the Conductor. Of course, the train was designed for a very luxurious travel.
  • Jean-Bison's trainyard in Sly 2 Band Oo Thieves features several Train Job missions.
  • Heather Mason has to fight through a train full of monsters in Silent Hill 3.
  • You find yourself amidst a Train Job in Red Dead Revolver while going to Brimstone.
  • One of the Boss Battles in Banjo-Tooie takes place on board Chuffy the locomotive.
  • Snake's Revenge has this.
  • The first level of Victoria's world in LittleBigPlanet 2 takes place on a train.
  • One level of Rocket Knight Adventures has your jetpack-wearing armor-clad laser-sword-wielding possum riding a little hand-car-thingie along the rails as he tries to catch up to the evil robot train with ray guns and clawed arms. Best boss ever.
  • Dissidia Duodecim has the Phantom Train from Final Fantasy VI as a level. The characters fight inside one of the cars and the seats are breakable. It's easily the most confined arena in the game, but it more or less works since the walls become partially transparent whenever doing otherwise would interfere with the camera.
  • Shadows of the Empire has the Ord Mantell Junkyard level.
  • Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament has this for the second area.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time has the "Bury My Shell At Wounded Knee" level, set in a Western-timed train.
  • Alice: Madness Returns has the Infernal Train level.
  • In Th3 Plan, a heist game, one of the first stages is on a train going through a very long tunnel.
  • Cactus Mc Coy has several levels on a train. And it's AWESOME.
  • Monster Tale has one of these levels.
  • A non-video game example from One Piece: Between Water 7 and Enies Lobby, the Straw Hats have some confrontations as they travel across the sea on the Sea Trains, the Puffing Tom and Rocketman.
  • Distorted Travesty has one, of course. It then parodies it by having the train's interior be an Absurdly Spacious Sewer.
  • All of the Hudson Soft game Stop The Express.
  • One level in the first installment of Soldier of Fortune.
  • Red Steel 2 has a train level which involved lots of working your way through carriages then finding the way is blocked and having to go up on the roof, then finding that way is blocked and going down through the carriages again. Interestingly your movement is hampered by the constantly swaying train.
  • Not quite a strict Locomotive Level per se, but the Macbeth mission in Star Fox 64 features a train which the team is trying to destroy. If one successfully flips all eight paddles and then manages to shoot the switcher-lever, the result is the gratifying spectacle of the enemy locomotive smashing into the supply depot, destroying the whole thing. If one doesn't manage to do so, then the locomotive, which tows a heavily armed "kite" mech, serves as the level's boss.
  • The Battle Subway in Pokémon Black and White and the sequels. Made worse because The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard and frequently becomes That One Level.
  • Riot Train in Sonic Shuffle, which is set on a runaway train.
  • Red Dead Redemption has two such missions, both of which have the player manning a gatling gun on one of the cars to fend off enemies attacking the train.
  • Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive has a level like this, entitled, Choo Choo Terrain.
    • Similarly, Road Runner's Death Valley Rally for the SNES has a circus train level, entitled, Train Runnery, with various circus animals either helping or hindering your progress.
  • McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive has a circus train in the first half of the second world.
  • The arcade game Western Express (released as Express Raider in North America) is another game that takes place entirely on train themed levels. It also has a western theme.
  • Prior to the above, an arcade game called Wild Western involves protecting a train from bandits.
  • The first real dungeon in Tales of Xillia 2 is a train being raided by terrorists. It seems like a normal enough scenario initially, but things get weird halfway through...
  • Radical Train in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
  • Team Fortress 2, as with any Source engine game, has loads of community created content and maps, one of which is a map called ctf_convoy that takes place on two massive missile carriers careening through a canyon.
  • The House Of The Dead Overkill (and by proxy the spin-off Typing of the Dead Overkill} has a level called Scream Train, a possibly reference to Resident Evil 0, it features a large double story over-night sleeper filled with zom-er, mutants.
  • In Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], the Solar Sailer in The Grid takes on an appearance similar to a freight train.

Lighthouse PointVideo Game SettingsThe Lost Woods
Just Train WrongRailroad IndexOrient Express
Locked In The DungeonSettingsThe Lost Woods
JumperImageSource/Video GamesJurassic Park: Trespasser
Loads and Loads of LoadingAdded Alliterative AppealLong Lived

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