There are really only a few good ways to end an action movie. You've got your car chase, your mano-a-mano showdown, and your grand, sweeping Final Battle. These are all well and good, but sometimes the Big Bad isn't gracious enough to come to you. In that case, you'd better go to them.
That means it's time to gear up and assault the bad guy's home base. Sure, maybe it's guarded by countless extremely well-trained warriors, a squad of bounty hunters looking for your head, and even The Dragon, but what choice do you have? Maybe the villain's got your secret sauce recipe, and he's not afraid to use it. Maybe he's gonna force your girlfriend to marry him. Maybe he just can't be trusted not to come back worse than before. In any case, the only way to stop him is to take him down.
In Real Life, particularly during the Middle Ages, actually storming the castle was the tactic of last resort, due to how most fortifications are built specifically to give the defenders every advantage possible. Hence why they're called "fortifications". Any sort of direct assault on properly built and manned fortifications required a hell of a numerical advantage, very solid morale, and often repeated attacks—and even then it would be an absolute bloodbath. More often sieges were won by cutting off the defenders from supplies and starving them to death or surrender (which could take years), by breaching the defenses from the outside and marching in that way (not always practical), or by convincing enemy soldiers within the defenses to Turn Coat and let you in (very difficult). Going through the front door is almost always a suicide mission (assuming it's even possible), but don't tell that to any Hollywood directors.
While Storming the Castle can take place before the story's climax, the results are generally less dramatic. If a villain does this to the heroes, it's All Your Base Are Belong to Us and/or The Siege, in which a small number of heroes Hold the Line against numerically superior invaders. Weirdly, the good guys tend to win no matter who's attacking what.
May constitute a Suicide Mission. Compare Foe-Tossing Charge, which is on a smaller scale.
In a variant, instead of directly attacking the castle with massive forces, a small party will sneak in (through the sewers, disguised as delivering supplies, etc.) and attempt to take the castle from within.
Its third season has two castles being stormed at the same time: Fate, Schach, and Verossa attack Jail Scaglietti's lab, while Nanoha, Hayate, Vita, and a ton of air mages attack the Saint's Cradle. Everyone else is preventing an All Your Base Are Belong to Us situation.
The Final Dirty Pair TV episode involves the girls rescuing their boss from Eagle's Dare Mountain. In an escalating series of plans that start with floating in with a hot air ballon wearing cat costumes (), and culminating with them walking through the front door after Kei flashes the guards.
The climax of Irresponsible Captain Tylor. Unusual in that it's not the Raalgon mothership they end up storming, but the UPSF headquarters. Shortly before this they actually do storm the Raaglon mothership, with not-immediately-obvious results.
Bleach has to date based two entire story arcs on this trope; first storming Soul Society to save Rukia and then storming Hueco Mundo to save Orihime.
And of course, more recently, there's the Impel Down arc. Not-at-all-Short summary: Luffy sneaks into Impel Down to save his brother, (yes. Luffy was actually stealthy. I kid you not) and meets several of his old enemies, such as Mr. 3, Buggy, and the bizarre Mr. 2 Bon Clay. They use a combination of fighting and stealth while making their way to level four of the prison, until the warden poisons Luffy and leaves him for dead on a really cold floor... until both Bon Clay rescues Luffy, then nearly freezes to death himself, and are miraculously rescued by Emporio Ivankov. It Makes Sense in Context. He (at that time) cures Luffy, who eats an inhuman amount of food in a gluttonous Crowning Momentof Awesome. Luffy and Ivankov start their second attempt at storming the castle, rescuing two of the seven warlords of the sea, one of which is a former enemy of Luffy's. With the help of several okama and prisoners they rescue along the way (It makes sense in... hell, never mind. It barely makes sense in the manga) they rip through Impel Down in a combination of an all-out brawl, a prison riot, and panicked fleeing. Around the midway point, a secondStorming the Castle occurs on the same prison, when Blackbeard betrays the Marines and breaks into it to recruit some prisoners for his crew.
Just to give a bit of a tl;dr: in the Impel Down arc, the castle is stormed three times: once by Luffy and a few of his friends to get in and down to the lowest floor, then Luffy and the Okamas to get back *up*, and finally, halfway through their breakout, they meet Blackbeard and his crew who are storming (more like leisurely strolling) their way down. Luffy and co then steal a ship in order to go to storm Marineford.
In Dragon Ball, As soon as received directions there, Son Goku stormed the Red Ribbon Army HQ by himself, to take the rest of the Dragon Balls from them, after their hitman killed his friend. While his friends did travel alongside him to back him up, expecting incredible danger, Goku managed to defeat them anyway, and take the Dragon Balls, so while it was a great show of support, their presence wasn't really needed. The look on their faces when Goku told them exactly what he did was priceless. A good thing to note is that Goku was only 13 when he did this, so the gang were reminded it's a good thing that Goku has a heart of gold as well his great strength.
Sasuke himself does this later with his own Quirky Miniboss Squad, storming the Five Kage Summit. He nearly dies — five times. In order: Jugo and Suigetsu have to save his ass from Darui's Genjutsu blitz; Gaara saves him when he's about to be decapitated (or at least have his chest compressed) by A, the Raikage; then Zetsu saves him when he's nearly melted by Mei Terumi, the Mizukage; finally, Tobi saves him right as he's about to be atomized by Onoki, the Tsuchikage. It was all so satisfying when he was kicked off his high horse.
That's four times, and the first two doesn't count: Sasuke saw through the Genjustu and was ready for the attack (and that was Cee's doing, and later Sasuke repaid him in kind), and Gaara was more worried for the Raikage sake, seeing as the idiot still didn't notice that is arm is on fire and was about to plunge the rest of his body into the same black fire of doom while Sasuke is still protected with susanoo, which already stood against two of his direct attacks with no sign that the third will be the charm in this case.
A did notice his arm was on fire, he ignored it, and went for the kill. A Mutual Kill if you will. Also, it does count because A had clearly broke through Susanoo the second time around after he boosted his Raiton chakra. Sasuke figured that he might do this eventually hence the Amaterasu flames to slow him down by an instant at the very least. It didn't take. So that's three times.
The finale of the manga version of Chrono Crusade has the good guy group storming Eden, Aion's base of operations...only to get caught up in his plans to storm Pandaemonium, the demon world. The end result is two battered, small groups rushing through the defenses of several hundred insane and feral demons to get to the throne room and fight each other over it.
Happens in YuYu Hakusho when Yusuke, Kuwabara, Kurama, and Hiei storm Gonzou Tarukane's stronghold to rescue Yukina who happens to be Hiei's sister.
Happens three times in the final arc of 20th Century Boys: firstly, when Kenji and co storm the 'castle' of Moroboshi's killer, and twice later on when the resistance storm Friend's tower. The second time is much easier for them seeing as how the guards have all lost their morale.
This is usually the general set up for the seasonal climax of Sailor Moon. After an entire story arc of dispatching the monster of the day and having the occasional skirmish with the Big Bad, the senshi would track down their headquarters and go to them for the final battle.
Soul Eater has done this 3 times so far. The first was the Baba Yaga Castle arc. The cast later attacks Noah's hideout. And the third being the Moon itself.
The final arc of Fullmetal Alchemist has the cast assault Grand Central, both above ground and underground (which is Father's headquarters).
In Princess Mononoke, San and her wolf "brothers" storm the heavily-fortified Irontown in order to assassinate Lady Eboshi, as retaliation for their mother, Moro, being shot by Eboshi's gunners. It works surprisingly well for San once she's over the town's walls, but she's easily trapped by Eboshi. Luckily for everyone involved there was a third actor there to untangle the mess...
Shana and Wilhelmina storm Seireiden in the first season finale to rescue Yuji.
In the third season, Khamsin Nbh'w and Rebecca Reed storm it again to rescue Shana.
Code Geass Lelouch and Suzaku attack the flying fortress Damocles in the finale of the second season. Another one happened in the later half of the first, with Suzaku storming the fortress of a secondary terrorist group, which ended in failure when his mecha run out of power... Until Lelouch swooped in with a spare battery and together they utterly stomped the remaining forces.
The Castle of Cagliostro: The titular castle is stormed by an army of Interpol cops led by Zenigata during the final act, at the same time that Lupin puts his plan to beat the Count into action.
The climax of Golgo13: The Professional has the titular character attack Dawson Tower in New York City, where the final shootout between Golgo, a squadron of attack helicopters, Snake, and Gold and Silver occurs.
The final episodes of HeartCatch Pretty Cure! has the Cures and Coupe storm Big Bad Dune's spaceship to rescue Tsubomi's grandmother and restore Earth to its pristine condition after being transformed into a desert.
In Final Crisis, after months of slowly falling to Darkseid and his forces, every free superhero teams up into one huge army and storms Bludhaven, where Darkseid's main base is. Superman himself is not part of this assult, but he arrives later and storms Darkseid's actual base, the Command-D bunker, single-handily. To find Batman dead and Darkseid dying.
Jewel Of Darkness: The Jump City arc ends with The Starscream leading the Titans to Midnight's lair, allowing them to catch her off guard. When the battle is over, Slade appears to drag the badly-wounded Midnight away and the base self-destructs.
Clan Gully and their comrades had to attack Khamja's base in Grazton to save Baron Beltorey and Cid during the Grazton Arc of The Tainted Grimoire.
Queen Of All Oni features a rare villain-on-villain example. When Evil SorcererLung captures Jade's astral form and tries to torture her into serving him, her Shadowkhan Dragons Left and Right track down his fortress (with some anonymous aid from Tarakudo), and proceed to curb stomp everything he puts in their way.
The climax of The Revenge of Player 2 occurs as Dib and Zim attack Iggins' lair in order to save a brainwashed Gaz.
Twice in The Inevitable Takeover — first, Dib and Tak lead the Group in attacking Zim's base in order to stop his wedding to Gaz. This fails, since not only does Gaz not want to be saved (and she gives Dib a pretty brutal Hannibal Lecture to prove it), but Zim completely kicks Tak's ass.
The second instance occurs at the climax, as the Swollen Eyeballs (who have forcibly drafted Dib and Tak by this point) launch a full-scale assault on Zim's European base, which happens to be an actual castle.
The Battle of the Everfree is primarily focused on the Loyalists storming Titan's Citadel in the heart of the titular forest.
The Pony POV Series actually has this as the title of one chapter in the Dark World arc. Specifically, the one where the Dark World Elements of Harmony do exactly as the name suggests and begin their attack on Discord's castle.
The climax of the Shining Armor Arc has the Allied forces under Shining's command assault and fight through multiple Hooviet strongholds.
Friendship Is Aura: Lucario, the Mane Six, and Luna, head to the Gates of Tartarus in order to rescue Celestia. Though Lucario and Luna end up being the only ones to actually enter, since the Mane Six are needed to prevent any more of Lord Tartarus' Mooks from escaping.
The Phantom Menace: The Fed battleship and Naboo Palace.
Attack Of The Clones: The Jedi Knights storm the Geonosian arena.
Revenge Of The Sith: The Invisible Hand, though this one's at the beginning. Inverted later on when the 501st storm the Jedi Temple.
Used realistically in Lord of the Rings. The orcs storm castles on three different occasions. The orcs only ever get as far as they do because they vastly outnumber the defenders, occasionally have superior equipment to break down barriers, and soak up a huge amount of casualties just to achieve victory, not that they care about individual lives. Even then, they only manage one victory and lose twice ( Osgiliath, Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith, respectively). And they only lose due to reinforcements for the defenders. In another instance, Frodo and Sam are the ones actually doing the storming, but all the fighting is done by the diversionary force led by Aragorn.
Moonraker ends with an assault on Drax's space station by U.S. Marine astronauts with laser weapons. Bond was already inside the station when it occurred.
Appropriately, the Austin Powers movies follow suit: Austin Powers ends with Kensington leading British forces to Dr. Evil's lair, while the The Spy Who Shagged Me ends with Austin infiltrating Dr. Evil's moon base, and Goldmember has Austin (with a little more help) invading Dr. Evil's underwater lair.
The first and second X-Men movies follow the trope, while the third one inverts it.
Tank Girl. Tank Girl, her tank, Jet Girl and the Rippers assault the Water and Power fortress at the end of the movie.
This happens twice in Max Payne movie, once to get into a bad guy's stronghold and once to shoot a lot of people and maybe do something about revenge. But mostly to shoot people.
Near the end of Buckaroo Banzai, Buckaroo, the Hong Kong Cavaliers and a Blue Blaze Strike Team some Blue Blaze irregulars assault Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems to recover Penny Priddy and the Oscillation Overthruster from the villainous Red Lectroids.
The Avengers (1998). Steed and Mrs. Peel infiltrate Sir August's base in order to stop his evil plot to control the weather and end up fighting The Dragon and Sir August himself.
Commando. John Matrix single-handedly assaults the mansion headquarters of a crooked crime lord planning a coup in South America, slaughtering dozens of henchmen in order to rescue his kidnapped daughter.
The Last Castle is actually an interesting reversal of the trope. The titular castle is a metaphor for a US military prison, and the entire plot is centered around the prisoners storming the castle from within in order to take it.
This is the premise of a splendid battle sequence in the 1958 Kirk Douglas vehicle The Vikings.
He gets in through an unguarded air shaft at the top, because nobody would think of building a rope bridge or go in Batman-style, right?
Subverted and then played straight in Timeline. The French arrive to Castleguard prepared for a year-long siege, exchanging arrows and siege weapon fire with the English. Then Gerard Butler's character blows a hole to the catacombs, allowing the French general and a dozen men to storm the castle from inside. They manage to open the gates, allowing the French army to enter. While, the end result is known, as lampshaded at the beginning of the movie, the battle is still on as the main characters are returning to their own time.
At the end of Bad Boys II, the titular bad boys and a team of volunteers storm the Big Bad's mansion in Cuba to rescue Marcus's sister and Mike's girlfriend (same person). They have to hurry, though, as the drug lord has friends in the Cuban government, who will send the Cuban army after them.
We see this about four times in Sin City. Two of those instances occur in the same story.
Marv geared up to storm the Farm in order to kill Kevin. A couple scenes later, he's heading to Cardinal Roark's mansion.
Hartigan storms the same Farm in order to kill the Yellow Bastard.
Dwight and the Old Town girls subvert this by luring the mob out of their building, into the alley out back before attackign them.
At the end of Scarface Sosa's mook army storms Tony Montana's mansion.
In Big Trouble in Little China, Jack and Wang Chi drink Egg Shen's magic potion and lead a group of warriors in an attack on Lo Pan's underground lair before he marries their girlfriends as part of an evil ritual.
Willow, Krull, Legend. Basically every 80s fantasy movie was required to end this way.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time opens with the Persian army storming a fortified city. It's a subversion, however, because Dastan notes that his brother, who's leading the charge, is an idiot who only knows how to attack from the front and would have sacrificed a lot of soldiers just to get inside. Dastan instead sneaks over a poorly guarded wall with his small group and opens the gates on that side, allowing the army in with a minimum of casualties.
Happens at the climax of all three Blade movies (except the first, where Blade fails and is captured; the Final Battle happens elsewhere)
Hero: The King of Qin fears that everyone is out to get him. He's right. We eventually get a flashback to when a battle-couple tried to kill him. By cutting right through his army and storming his palace, by themselves. To awesomemusic.Observe.
Double subverted in His Kind of Woman: the hero's single-handed attempt to Storm the Yacht and does not go well at all, with him being captured by the crew within minutes of getting on board. The second attempt, which has police assistance, goes somewhat better.
Cars 2 first did this with an oil rig in the Pacific Ocean, and later on with a casino in Italy.
In G.I. Joe: Retaliation Colton and Jaye attack the Cobra-controlled Presidential retreat to save the real President.
The Iliad portrays an episode from the ten-year siege of Troy, which also involves the Trojans storming the fortified Greek camp.
The Nibelungenlied ends with the climactic last stand of the Burgundians, who are holed up in king Etzel's hall and fight off several assaults by the armies of Etzel and his vassals until every one of them except Gunther and Hagen is dead.
The medieval Kudrunlied ends with the storming of the Normans' castle by the armies of Kudrun's fiancé and her relatives.
Robert Jordan seems to like this as much as George Lucas, because The Wheel of Time does it a lot:
Book 2: Falme.
Book 3: The Stone of Tear.
Book 5: Caemlyn.
Book 7: Illian. Subverted when Sammael runs away, and Rand has to follow him to Shadar Logoth.
Book 11: The Shaido camp at Malden.
Wizards First Rule, the first book of the Sword of Truth series, has the protagonists storming the villain's castle toward the end. Played with the twist that the villain, who believes himself invincible, lets them walk right in the front door.
The climax of the Elenium trilogy by David Eddings has Sparhawk and company storming an evil temple, in the final battle of their war against the dark god Azash.
And they do it again in a city with a temple in the Tamuli trilogy to rescue Queen Ehlana and Alean.
The storming of the pool ship at the end of Animorphs.
In the third book of the Tripods series, the kids attack the masters by storming and destroying two of their cities, after paralyzing the masters with alcohol.(the third fails)
S. M. Stirling's post-apocalypse Emberverse novels feature some castle-storming, but in a subversion it's far more common for both the heroes and villains to do everything they can to avoid storming the other side's castles, because such attacks are so dangerous and time-consuming.
In Dies the Fire,local good guys unfamiliar with the idea of a castle send two hundred men against a hilltop abby manned by a gang allied to Norman Arminger, who is very familiar with castles. The good guys lose twenty dead and over a hundred badly hurt to zero gain. Subsequent attacks fail at the "find anyone who wants to do this" stage...
In the third book of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles, the main character Uhtred and his adopted brother Ragnar storm Dunholm, the fortress of a rival Danish lord named Kjartan, who killed Ragnar's father about six years prior. This is one instance of a Storming the Castle happening before the story's climax, as the actual climax involves Uhtred duelling another rival and coming to a truce with said rival's army and the army of the king he supports.
In William King's Warhammer 40,000Space Wolf novel Wolfblade, when they discover the merchant Pantheus was behind an assassination attempt, they raid his asteroid kidnapping him and destroying it.
In C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Aslan, Lucy, and Susan after his resurrection do not go to aid Peter and the army, but storm the White Witch's castle, to restore to life the statues inside. (Aslan suggested Peter have a plan to storm the castle in case the Witch decided to fall back to her castle instead of committing to an open battle after killing him.)
In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000Deus Sanguinius, Rafen gets on the outside of a shuttle going to the spaceship to inflitrate it. He is the only loyal Blood Angel left, and the ship, which should have been a refuge, is enemy ground.
Happens in pretty much every Redwall book where the villain builds or steals themselves a looming castle fortress from which to rule the landscape. Examples include Terramort (Mariel of Redwall), Marshank (Martin the Warrior) and Castle Floret (The Bellmaker) Most of the other books have assorted villains trying to storm either Redwall Abbey or Salamandastron. Subversions include the Kingdom of Malkaniss, an underground fortress, and Kotir, which was flooded and destroyed with siege weaponry instead of stormed.
The Dresden Files: Proven Guilty ends with Harry, Murphy, Charity and Thomas storming Queen Mab's castle in Faerie to get Molly back. Subverted in that while they have to deal with some forces, they arrive to find that something has already been through and wiped out most of Mab's army...
While not always a castle, several other books end with Harry and company raiding the Supervillain Lair, including Bianca's mansion in Grave Peril, the Denarians' island baseSmall Favors, the meeting of the White Court nobility in White Night, and the Red Court's castle in Changes.
Many examples in The History of the Galaxy, a major one being the desperate assault of the Free Colonies' fleet against the heavily fortified Solar System. The only reason it succeeds is because the admiral in charge of the Earth Alliance defense shuts down most of the robotic systems right before the assault, reasoning that the rebels must succeed for humanity to survive (since he's killed in battle, this is a Heroic Sacrifice). Otherwise, the assault was doomed to fail. Interestingly, the author doesn't focus much on the battle itself but on the consequences, particularly for a young Earth Alliance pilot who has to learn to live in a galaxy controlled by the newly-created Confederacy of Suns, where people from Earth are looked at in disdain.
In the post-Apocalypse novel Malevil, Emmanuel and his men make preparations to besiege the lightly-fortified village of La Roque to overthrow the despot priest Fulbert. Unfortunately, the night before they do so the village is captured by a renegade military commander and his army. Inverted in the end as it's the hero's castle that is besieged at the end of the novel.
In Death: Eve and Roarke storm Icove's underground chambers in Origin In Death quite impressively.
In Warrior Cats, the characters will, on rare occasions, attack another Clan's camp instead of just fighting somewhere in the territory. This can be risky, though, as the home Clan knows the best way to defend it, will be fighting more fiercely and desperately to protect the defenseless kits and elders, and the raiding Clan is usually outnumbered. It's worked about as often as it has failed.
In Suzanne Collins' final The Hunger Games novel "Mockingjay". Towards the climax , this is subverted as a vengeful Katniss Everdeen has made her way through a now chaotic Capitol on her way to assassinate President Snow, only for several very sudden explosions to go off outside his mansion, collapsing President Snow's regime, setting her on fire and rendering her unconscious before she can take him down.
In The Granite Shield, Rhys personally breaks into a dozen castles and army camps, usually to kill the commanders and terrify or destabilize the defenders. Justified in that his country doesn't have the strength or equipment to fight a traditional siege.
A Song of Ice and Fire has a few examples, but they're outnumbered by far by proper sieges and more sensible alternatives. Stannis Baratheon attempts to take King's Landing in open battle in the second book (and fails because Tyrion burned his fleet down and the Tyrells relieved the defenders), the Wildlings make repeated attempts to storm the Wall in the third book after failing to infiltrate it from the inside (and fail, forcing Mance to bring out his Forgotten Superweapon only to be defeated before he can employ it), and Loras Tyrell is forced to abandon a siege and storm Dragonstone directly in the fourth book (he succeeds but is almost killed and loses a disproportionately large amount of men in the process).
The War of Vordarian's Pretendership in Vorkosigan Saga centered on a siege of Vorbarra Sultana by the loyalist forces led by Regent Aral Vorkosigan against Count Vordarian's attempt to usurp the Imperial throne.
Attempted against Sobol's mansion early in Daemon, which doesn't go well. Near the end of Freedom, Daemon operatives carry out another against the headquarters of an anti-Daemon task force.
Live Action TV
Alias. Just the whole series. Put on a brand new dress, storm a brand new castle/secret lab/secret base/locked room/other thing. Every week. Lather, rinse, repeat. Except when you or some other guy is attacking your castle, of course.
The Firefly episode "War Stories" sees the crew busting Mal out of a psychotic crime lord's space station.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer features this most notably in Season 7, where the Scoobies and Potentials charge into Sunnydale High, home of the Hellmouth, and finally bust the Hellmouth open, charging through to fight The First's army head-on.
Other notable instances of Storming the Castle are the assault on Glory's ramshackle base with every MacGuffin they could scrounge together and the incursion into the Initiative base.
There's also Buffy storming Angelus' mansion in the season 2 finale.
The very first episode of Angel had Angel storming Russell Winter's mansion to avenge Tina's death. He later stormed the Wolfram and Hart building a number of times, including once to kill a Senior Parter in Reprise. Angel and his gang later stormed their own base, the Hyperion Hotel, to stop the Big Bad Jasmine at the end of season 4. At the end of season 2, Wesley and Gunn lead a storming of an actual castle.
Star Trek has some good examples of this. Notables include:
A good example also includes Jadzia Dax and three old Klingon Dahar masters (all of whom faced Kirk decades prior and survived) storming the compound of the Albino. Two of them don't make it, which is just fine for a Klingon.
Mighty Morphin' Season 3: Tommy infiltrates Zedd's base to save Kat and retrieve the Falconzord
Might be worth noting that in the original intended ending for Season 1 Series Fauxnale Doomsday part 2, back when it was intended to be The Finale had the Rangers doing this to Rita when her base was on earth, Jason was going to recite an incantation the Rangers found when gaining access to her spellbook and trapping her in a urn.
In Space features two instances, the first doomed to failure since its mid-season, while in the second the Red Ranger goes in for the final fight on his own while the rest of his team prevents their enemies from All Your Basing Angel Grove.
Lightspeed Rescue has the Red Ranger go in to save his kidnapped teammates, doing mass damage in the process. Four episodes later, the few remaining villains invade the Rangers' base.
Ninja Storm has 99% of the population of multiple ninja academies kidnapped at season start, and near its end, Cam tries to rescue them and is forced to retreat. In the finale proper, Cam himself is grabbed by Lothor; the Thunder Rangers go to save him and rescue the other ninjas as well.
Dino Thunder sees Tommy abducted early on, and the Rangers come to rescue him. The finale involves another invasion of Mesogog's base.
Jungle Fury has possibly the best uses of this trope in the franchise. The first instance happens halfway through the season when the Rangers' masters get kidnapped and used as energy batteries, so the Wolf Ranger and his father rush in to save them. The second instance involves the Red Ranger, who feels guilty for his own small role in the villain possessing a fellow kung fu student, entering the enemy base in broad daylight and just wreaking complete havoc.
In Burn Notice, this happens about every other episode. Sometimes it happens near the beginning of the episode, because Michael needs to get the bad guy's attention in a major way. Sometimes it happens at the end of the episode, especially when Michael needs to rescue Fi or Sam. Either way, it always works, because Michael Weston is the man.
Edge Of Darkness: Parodied when the infiltrators stop in the middle of the raid to enjoy a three course meal, with fine wine, cigars and classical music.
Naturally done a few times in Sharpe, particularly with the great Spanish fortress cities of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. The novels add some more, like the sieges of Seringapatam and Gawilghur in India.
In the Stargate SG-1 season 3 premiere, "Into the Fire", SG-3, -5, -6, and -11 storm Hathor's fortress to rescue SG-1. But they get cut off, then captured on their way back out.
24 has Jack doing this a couple times. The most notable are in the first season where he invades Ira Gaines' hideout to save his family and during the fourth season where he storms the terrorists' hideout to rescue the captive James Heller and Audrey Raines. In the former he was going on pure rage, the latter was because he knew he couldn't wait for reinforcements. On Day 6, he storms the compound kills all the Mooks and hangs the BigBad. Then his reinforcements arrive.
This has happened twice in True Blood, the first time being during the Season 2 Finale, when Sookie, Andy, Jason, Bill and Sam enter the Stackhouse property (or at least the land around it) to deal with Mary Anne. Slightly played with though, as this was more of a cautious stealth mission than an all out battle due to Mary Anne's Complete Immortality.
Played entirely straight in the finale of Season 5 when Sookie and basically every major character with fighting abilities violently storms the Authority's underground base in an attempt to save Bill from himself as well as put an end to the now extremely corrupt regime.
Merlin Arthur had to storm his own castle to save it from his evil sister Morgana, who'd stormed it herself the episode before and declared herself queen.
In the Season 3 premiere, Morgause and Cenred are discussing storming the castle, which Cenred points out is near suicidal because the entire army is thousands of his men will die. They only go ahead because they have an ally in the court who summons up an undead army to attack Camelot from the inside. When that fails, he immediately calls it off. Likewise, Merlin is seen stocking up food for the siege, telling Arthur that they could be trapped in there for weeks or months.
In the Season 3 finale, Morgause storms the castle and succeeds because the army they rely on is over ten thousand immortal soldiers. Kind of hard to stop that.
In the Season 4 finale, Morgana obtains the plans to the siege tunnels and essentially sneaks in with her soldiers.
Bully, in the mission named...Storming the Castle. You launch a one-man assault on the heavily-fortified Observatory that serves as the base of the Nerd faction, breaking through several lines of defense, including a tripod-mounted, double-barreled, electrically-powered Spud Cannon, and finally blast in the heavily-armored gates to bust into the core and take out their leader, Earnest. Considering that the system was, apparently, designed to withstand an assault from the entire football team (the Jocks faction is the natural enemies of the Nerds), this is quite impressive.
Its ability to stand up to such an assault is later proven when you assist in its defense from the Jocks after putting indecent pictures of the head cheerleader all over town.
Final Fantasy VIII: You storm a flying battle-academy, and later on you storm a sky-scraper sized landing beacon for moon monsters.
Final Fantasy IX: You fly your airship into Memoria, going head to head with an army of dragons, when The Cavalry arrives in the form of an airship fleet that shows up and blasts most of the dragons to pieces. And it is awesome in every way.
Final Fantasy X: To rescue a kidnapped member of the group, the rest of the characters use an airship to storm the fortress-city Bevelle, guarded with robotic guards, warrior monks with flamethrowers, and a dragon.
Freedom Fighters plays this twice: first you infiltrate the Soviet base at Governor's Island and assassinate General Tatarin, then you and your entire rebellion storm the base, kick major butt, and raise the Stars-and-Stripes on the fortress.
In later incarnations of the Go Cross Campus game, which is basically massively multiplayer Risk, the developers introduced "fortified" territories. There's usualy a standardized 42-58 probability disadvantage for attackers, but for fortified territories, it was 30-70, meaning that for every ten units of "armies" (or later, "energy"). Sometimes, losing teams would hole up in fortified territories, and it would take overwhelming force to dislodge them. Sometimes they unexpectedly survived an additional turn because of this.
Grand Theft Auto IV and its expansions do this a lot. In the main game, you get to storm Mikhail Faustin's club, and then at the end the abandoned casino where Jimmy Pegorino (and Dimitri in the Deal ending) is hiding. The Lost And Damned has the Lost storming the clubhouse of their rivals, the Hell's Angels Angels of Death and ends with an assault on Alderney State Penitentiary. The Ballad Of Gay Tony has the tables turned on you, as Bulgarin's assassins storm Tony's nightclub in the penultimate mission.
The very first mission in Deus Ex involves breaking into The Statue of Liberty. More typically, the last was an assault on the Big Bad's underground bunker at Area 51.
Many missions in Mass Effect 2 are, actually. Grunt's recruitment mission, Tali's recruitment mission and loyalty mission, Samara's recruitment mission, Garrus' loyalty mission...And a lot of the ones that aren't are you holding a position against a bunch of enemies trying this.
Also Legion's loyalty mission, except the goal is to sneak in using the Normandy's stealth systems.
Half-Life 2: A mute theoretical physicist storms the Torture Cellar prison Nova Prospekt with a multi-ethnic Wrench WenchAction Girl and an army of infinite cannon fodder alien insects. And it's still one of the toughest two levels in the game.
Don't forget the Big Bad's stronghold itself, which comprises of the last level or so.
In Halo: Combat Evolved, the Castle was the Covenant cruiser Truth and Reconciliation to rescue Captain Keyes.
The Control Room was decidedly more castle-esque than The Truth and Reconciliation.
In Halo 2, it happens three times; assaulting Regret's temple, assaulting the Library, and then a very special case of assaulting the government towers of High Charity, starting from the inside.
It goes even crazier in Halo 3, which involves assaulting a Covenant-controlled city, followed by storming a Flood-controlled cruiser, then storming the communications relay held by Truth's remaining forces, and then storming the Flood-controlled High Charity.
Also used in Marathon when you have to assault the citadel.
Pretty much every mission in the Crusader games, though the exact reasons vary.
The second half of Freelancer is essentially one string of Castle Storms after another. First, you attack Governor Tekagi's fortress to retrieve the Proteus Tome. Then you attack a secret Rheinland shipyard with battleships under construction, guarded by seven capital ships. Then you attack a secret jail in the Alaska system guarded by the entire LSF. Then you attack a Nomad installation to retrieve a power cell. The game ends with an attack on the Nomad home worldsystem, complete with Dyson sphere.
Sadly overshadowed predecessor Starlancer has several missions that could fit the trope, even if you only count the ones where your task is to run interference for a boarding party and/or a cargo lifter trying to gain entry to the target, as opposed to simply blowing it up.
This is pretty much the whole premise of the original Homeworld, with the player's faction experiencing it from both sides at various points. The Great Nebula missions possibly constitute a semi-inversion.
In each main incarnation of the Pokémon games, your character storms the headquarters of the region's villainous organization. This happens roughly halfway through the storyline.
The Star Wars: Dark Forces series is all about storming bases. Be it Imperial battle cruisers, smuggler's hideouts, Sith temples or criminal kingpin outposts, you name it, you'll storm it.
In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, when Link storms the Forsaken Fortress at the start of the game, again at the middle, and later on breaks the barrier around Hyrule Castle to storm Ganondorf's tower, at the bottom of the sea..
Ape Escape and its sequels tend to use this trope whenever Specter's hideout is revealed . In fact, the first game and its remake has you do this no less than THREE times; you storm Specter's castle in the "Crumbling Castle" level, storm an office building hijacked by Specter in the "TV Tower" level AND you intrude his amusement park, Specter Land, in the "Monkey Madness" level.
Kirby games generally have at least one level (or several) that involves storming King Dedede's castle single-handedly.
Kirby Super Star's "The Revenge of Meta Knight" features Kirby storming an airship, which is large and complex enough to be considered a flying castle in and of itself.
Sonic Adventure 2 have a minor version of this, as both stories involve somebody invading Prison Island (in the Hero one, Tails to save Sonic; in the Dark one, Eggman/Robotnik to get Shadow, and later Rouge to steal Chaos Emeralds).
The endgame for Sonic Unleashed has Sonic, Tails and Chip storming Eggmanland, a continent-sized city.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Dark Crusade and Soulstorm metamap campaigns are completed by attacking every enemy faction's stronghold territory and conquering it. Admittedly they have elements of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, as the opponent starts in an understandably far superior position than your force.
The third mission from the end of the game in Mega Man Star Force 3 has Geo, Sonia, A.C. Eos, their wizards and 6 random Satella Police Officers decide to take the fight to the dealers. This attack begins by Goodal sending Geo on a recon mission to locate their base of operations and ends with Joker exploding taking A.C. Eos with him, and Heartless and Mr. King escaping to another base.
In fact, this actually applies to many (but not all) Mega Man games, especially the Classic series.
In The Godfather: The Game, you will have to attack and take over the warehouses, hubs and compounds of the other four families. As the trope suggests, you will have a harder time with these than with normal shops and rackets.
A few missions earlier, in Whiskey Hotel, you have to storm the occupied White House, and light signal flares on the roof before the Air Force bombs the area to Hell.
Played completely straight where Task Force 141 storms an actual Russian Castle used as a gulag.
In the second to last level of the first game, the joint SAS and USMC forces storm a hijacked Russian nuclear missile silo.
The finale in Modern Warfare 3 involves Price and Yuri assaulting Makarov's forces in a heavily defended Arabian hotel. While wearing Juggernaut armor. Previously, however, a literal Storming the Castle mission occurs in the fifteenth mission Stronghold to learn the location of Makarov.
Done in Mount & Blade. You can either besiege a castle for thirty days and wait for the defenders to starve out, or you can simply charge the walls and take it for yourself.
Notable in that it is more or less the only way to take castles, unless you enjoy being a sadist. Yes, they provide you with the siege option, but by the time the 30 days are up, your army will be either starved or deserting (or starved AND deserting). Apparently, recruits in the world of Mount&Blade get exceptionally depressed at being told to sit down and peacefully wait out a siege from a safe distance. It's also worth noting that sieging simply does not work- even after 30 days of tedium the enemy will STILL continue to thumb their noses at your demand that they surrender. So get over those walls, lad!
World of Warcraft consists largely of storming castles with other players in the form of instance dungeons. Not all of these are actual castles or fortresses, but most are home base to some kind of bad guy.
Some solo quest chains include a castle storming phase.
A variant on this is to attack the opposite faction's capitol and kill their leader. Killing all of the enemy's leaders awards a unique mount.
Most of the levels in Bungie's Oni are Storming the Castle scenarios, especially after the TCTF turns on Konoko.
In Heroes of Might and Magic, the only way to win (at least in most scenarios) is to capture all the other players' castles through direct assault.
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, ends with you not only storming the Siegfried Line, but also clearing a bunker, a network of trenches, a bridge, and finally destroying a pair of V2 rockets, all while Flak 88s fire at you, first from far away, then from the other side of the bridge.
Stronghold. You are either storming a castle, or building a castle that can withstand a direct assault.
In the Total War series, particularly Rome, defending a castle is often trivially easy, and a force of only a few squads can potentially hold off hundreds of organised attackers. Unfortunately, due to the enemy AI, assaulting a castle is often more a case of knowing which bugs to exploit than actual skill. Althuogh if you do try a good old fashioned head on castle assault it will certainly be heavy on casualties.
In the latest installment, Total War: Shogun 2, a castle can be defended from a full-sized army by an ashigaru (armed peasant) force half their number. This is often because a number of the attacking units will be cavalry, which are utterly useless when assaulting castles, at least the way the AI does it (wait until all infantry are dead or routing, then run to the castle and dismount). Archers on the battlements are heavily protected from incoming arrows, while the same cannot be said for the attacking archers. The standard way to storm a castle is for infantry to climb the walls, during which time they are extremely vulnerable to arrows and defending infantry. The AI never seems to try to destroy the gates and come in this way.
In Medieval II the victor of a siege was usually determined by a chaotic melee at the gates, or whichever part of the walls had been breached, making assaulting a castle a long and arduous, if not complicated, affair. The AI made defending settlements easier by positioning its entire army near the walls whilst they battered down your gates, allowing a lot of their army to be easily picked off by archers on the walls.
Empire had star-forts in the place of castles, and all infantry had grapple hooks, allowing them to scale the walls at any point without having to knock them down; theoretically, this made for more tactial siege warfare, although in practice the woeful AI, on the part of both the enemy and your own forces, made sieges best avoided, more so than in any other installment.
Automatically resolving the battle will usually lead to less casualties since the AI is more efficient at storming the castle.
While the first Bangai-O game is entirely spent around wrecking the Cosmo Gang's space stations and whatnot, the storming of their HQ (at the last level, naturally) fits this the most.
The Witcher 2 Assassins Of Kings begins with a castle-storming segment, with Geralt serving as The Dragon for the attacking king. To the game's credit, it manages to justify the reason for the storm (the king needs to rescue some high-value noble hostages from the castle, who also happen to be his own children), and the king came prepared: Heavy siege weapons and war machines were employed prior to the storming, as well as a comprehensive battle plan and the attackers heavily outnumbering the defenders. Geralt also mentions that the siege towers and all the running about on the castle walls was mostly just the nobles showing off: The decisive battle was fought by the levy infantry and mercenaries on ground level, and was apparently a bloodbath for both sides.
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is basically a one-man version of this, as the Prince infiltrates the Island of Time and proceeds to tear down the entire fortress one chamber at a time.
Fallout: New Vegas ends with an all-out assault on either Hoover Dam or the Legate's Camp.
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the climax of the Alduin and Civil War main quests involves storming the fane of Skuldafn to get to the portal to Sovngarde, and the siege of Solitude or Windhelm, respectively. Skuldafn is just you (and maybe any of your summons) versus a horde of draugr and a few dragons, while the sieges are you with the army of your choice.
At the end of Metroid Prime 3, Samus and the entire Galactic Federation does this to Phaaze, in order to get rid of the Phazon menace once and for all.
In the late game of Ys II, Adol runs amok in the Solomon Shrine, freeing a number of prisoners and trying his best to disrupt the villains' evil plans. He does have to be Disguised As The Enemy to gain entrance, but once inside...
In Assassins Creed I, Altaďr ibn La-Ahad and several other Assassins storm Masyaf after learning that Al Mualim is a member of the Templars.
In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, after learning that Sofia is in danger, Ezio travels back to her bookshop to find that Yusuf died trying to protect Sofia from the Templars. Enranged by the betrayal of Ahmet, Ezio gathers the Turkish Assassins and storms the Arsenal. Ezio can choose to kill every Templar in the harbor by himself or summon an infinite assassin army to fight along side him.
In Assassin's Creed: Initiates, Assassin Harlan Cunningham leads a small team in attacking the Abstergo campus in Rome to kill several Templar hackers tracking Desmond Miles. They manage to get the job done and escape, but one of them is followed back to their base by Otso Berg, which leads to the Templars storming the Assassins' base.
In Assassins Creed III', Desmond storms the same Abstergo campus to rescue his father and kill Warren Vidic.
Seinarukana has you and your band of True Companions storming numerous final strongholds of whichever enemies you find on the world you happen to be on.
24: The Game has two missions made up of this: one where Jack infiltrates Peter Madsen's hideout in order to rescue his daughter, and again during the very last mission where he assaults Max's boat to save Kate Warner.
In Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, after bailing out of a helicopter and being separated from his teammates, Cpt. Mitchell has to storm Chapultepec Castle solo.
In Neverwinter Nights 2 towards the end of act two, the PC has to lead an attack on Black Garius' castle, Crossroad Keep. It's somewhat justified that the pc has to go to him, as he's performing a ritual to steal the powers of the King of Shadows. The penultimate sequence in the game consists of defending your castle against an assaulting army, and the final level is storming the Vale of Merdelain. It's called, appropriately enough, the gauntlet.
Bayonetta's Chapter 15, A Tower To Truth, is a Recap Level that takes you through every kind of Mook (and several bosses) on a rampage through the Ithavoll Building that you've been trying to get to all game. And it is EPIC.
Until the first siege Saxons hold a truce between themselves. After any castle is stormed by anybody, it's a no-holds barred war.
There's a time limit for a siege. At the end of the month all fortifications are instantly restored.
Used several times in Sluggy Freelance, most notably in the story arcs "Vampires," "Dangerous Days," and "That Which Redeems."
The Order of the Stick opens with the titular heroes heading into the Dungeon of Dorukan to defeat an evil lich. In fact, this was the original concept before things got complicated. Later, Xykon has to invade his old tower to win it back from the good creatures that took over in his absence.
The Dogs of war and their french employers assault and storm a well defended airbase in the first chapter of Cry Havoc
Jonas suggests this strategy in the lonelygirl15 episode "Storm The Castle," but in the end they use a different tactic.
The later raid on Pleasant Manor could be counted as a (narrowly) successful castle-storming.
The Mad Scientist Wars had one of these in Chapter 11, as a threefold plan. Group One pretended to join over, offering someone as a fake bribe, Group Two sneaked in and sabotaged security, and Group Three just charged the gates and blew things the hell up. At least, that was the idea— Group One failed, though the other two more or less succeeded. Then, the chapter's Big Bad, an evil robotic arm, used his master stroke, and everything went to hell.
Associated Space has several variations on this trope, from Fatebane sneaking into the Executive Mansion to give a mysterious box to the President, to Fatebane rescuing David from his own wedding, to Fatebane and Nazar rescuing David from his mother's mansion.
Legion of Net.Heroes: At the end of a lengthy story arc in which Decibel Dude is framed for the murder of his girlfriend and on the run from everyone, including his partner, he manages to prove that he's innocent and that the murder was faked by his arch-enemy. He announces to the Legion that he's heading off to the villain's headquarters to free his girlfriend and arrest the bad guy, and walks away without looking back. When he gets to the headquarters, he finally turns around to discover the entire Legion is behind him, with his partner in the lead.
Episodes 15-17 of Rooster Teeth's "Let's PlayMinecraft". Having absconded the Tower of Pimps, Geoff tells Michael, Ray, Gavin and Jack that he hidden it somewhere and the first one who finds it and takes it back, wins. Midway through the episode, it's revealed that Geoff had hidden it in a fortress he built in the sky. Once they find out where he's hidden, the four attempt and fail to take back the Tower.
And also helped by two of those B.A.G's being juiced up by Sozin's Comet.
In what may have been meant to be the last episode of Birdman, Birdman and Falcon Seven finally track the Nebulous Evil Organization F.E.A.R. to their base in the Andes, at which point Birdman and Avenger single-handedly storm the place.
Samurai Jack storms Aku's castle in the pilot movie, and has been known to storm other castles belonging to blind archers, gargoyles, water spirits, and others.
In The Venture Bros., Spider Skull Island was once a bad guy base until Team Venture captured it. The original owner fled and attempted to initiate a self destruct, but it failed due to faulty hardware.
Done twice in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003). The first occurs in "Return to New York", where the turtles storm Foot HQ in order to kill The Shredder, and the second in "Enter the Dragons," where the turtles and a shitload of allies storm The Demon Shredder's keep in order to kill him.
Averted in Star Wars: Clone Wars. Obi-Wan and Anakin have been assigned to help out a siege effort of a clone army. Obi-Wan, bored out of his mind, asks a commander how much longer it will take for them to take the enemy's position. The commander, cheerfully responds three months, saying they're making good progress, while Obi-Wan moans about how long they've already been there.
In Castle, the animated adaptation of architectural historian/writer David Macaulay's book, showed in vivid terms just how tough storming a well designed, built and supplied castle could be in medieval times with defenses upon defenses in place to discourage it.
Transformers Prime: The series finale is all about the Autobots assaulting the Nemesis for a Final Battle, in order to save Ratchet and stop Megatron from using the rebuilt Omega Lock to destroy the Earth.
Towards the end of World War One, the British fought the Germans back to the Hindenburg defense positions: a network of barbed wire, gun positions etc. which made the Somme defense, against which the British had struggled for four months and generally suffered greatly, look like a joke. They were intended to be a line on which Germany could hold the British indefinitely, thus enabling peace negotiations from a position of strength. A castle, at least in strategic and symbolic terms, if there ever was one. The British cut through it in three days.
This was also the Pacific Theater during World War II for the most part, as it generally involved amphibious landings on well-fortified and bitterly defended islands and atolls all the way up until they got to Okinawa, nearly all of which suffered tremendous casualties. They were all stepping stones on the way to eventually invade Japan, an operation that was projected to last another 2 to 3 years and expected to lose over a million casualties. This is perhaps the reason why the Marines raising the flag at Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima is considered the Corps' Crowning Moment of Awesome (among many), because it evokes the fall of an enemy castle and signals triumph (though there were still about 6 more months before the war would end). This also explains the United States' tactics during the war — a conscious decision was made to avert this trope by bypassing the strongest points of Japanese resistance in favor of less-heavily defended islands and towns that could still serve as stepping stones, and cut Japanese supply lines to the still-garrisoned islands. This is why you never hear of a Battle of Truk, for instance.
A million dead was the conservative estimate, and even then they'd badly underestimated the Japanese.
A fun fact relating to this: In 1945, the United States minted 500,000 Purple Hearts in anticipation of invading Japan. Between that, and another 120,000 that were lost for a while and then found shortly after Vietnam, they didn't do another large-scale minting until 2000.
This also also happened when the Allies broke through the Siegfried Line near the end of WWII in order to get into Germany.
Also the cutting of the Channel Wall on D-Day and the earlier cutting of the Mareth Line in Tunisia.
The Battle of Seelow Hights was basically the Red Army's attempts to storm the last fortified barrier between itself and Berlin. They didn't do as well as most of the above examples, but they eventually did it. Berlin itself probably counts as an example.
Look up a little island called Malta. Then look up 'Siege of Malta, 1565'. This trope rarely happens in real life for a very, very good reason.
During the Battle of Alesia, Julius Caesar wisely recognized this trope, so he avoided it on purpose by building a castle around a castle. His enemies tried to storm his siege wall multiple times and failed, eventually surrendering.
During the Battle of Chapultepec, Mexican forces were made to defend the military school, which was based on the Chapultepec castle, against the American invaders. They... failed.
While stormings of castles and fortified cities were rare in the middle ages, there were a few famous examples such as the siege of Jerusalem during the First Crusade and the failed assault on Damascus during the Second. At Castillon in the final major battle of the Hundred Years' War the English tried to storm a heavily walled and entrenched French position (which was also defended by numerous cannons) and failed.
With advances of military technology sometimes favouring the attacking side and sometimes the defending side, the frequency with which fortresses could be besieged or stormed successfully rose and fell. A particularly bad time for fortresses was the late 17th century when led by Marshal Vauban the French army perfected siege and bombardment techniques, enabling Louis XIV to take an unprecedented number of enemy fortresses in a much shorter time than had been thought possible.
Vauban later wrote books on siegecraft and fortress-building, leading to a revolution in fortification. This led directly to the "star" fort (with low, immensely thick walls angled to minimize the effects of enemy artillery and make it easy to bring friendly guns to bear) and made sieges and fort-storming a bloody business up through the 19th century's Napoleonic wars.
Nevertheless breaching with artillery, then storming the breach remained the go-to solution for taking cities since it would be very hard to sustain a siege for any length, especially with the enemy's field army still around. Hence the Storm of Badajoz in the Peninsular War, and others.
The Battle of Peking during the Boxer Rebellion was this trope almost played straight. The entire city was fortified, and the Eight Nation Alliance was outnumbered by a force several times its size. At the end of the day however, they captured the city and suffered comparatively minimal casualties.