In fiction, The Tower may appear as:
- Big Fancy Castle
- The Black Tower: Tall, dark, and evil.
- The Evil Skyscraper: The Black Tower's modern incarnation:
home of the Corrupt Corporate Executive or Mega Corp. in a contemporary or futuristic setting.
- Impossibly Tall Tower: or Star Scraper, any structure whose height is beyond imagining.
- The Ominous Megastructure: like the Tower of Babel, A gigantic, unimaginably huge "looms-over-everything" structure.
- The Wizards Tower: or Mage Tower usually contains telescopes, orreries, hidden artifacts, secret passages, tomes of eldritch lore, and dangerous devices Powered by a Forsaken Child in a terribly-cramped footprint.
- The Haunted Castle: Ominous, foreboding and perched on a cliffside, accompanied by lightning and haunted by ghosts and monsters or mad scientists and their assistants.
- The Floating Castle: maybe ominous, maybe not, but always important.
- Lighthouse Point: Exactly what it says on the tin.
- Clock Tower: often the scene of a Cathedral Climax.
- World Tree: The Living, Genius Loci version.
Subtropes and related tropes:
- Big Fancy Castle
- Clock Tower
- Evil Tower of Ominousness
- Evil Skyscrapers (City Noir)
- Girl in the Tower
- Haunted Castle
- It's All Upstairs from Here
- The Lighthouse might come into this.
- Mage Tower
- Ominous Floating Castle
- Star Scraper: an impossibly tall tower.
- Tower of Babel: the literal type.
- World Tree
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Anime and Manga
- Kami's Watch Tower from Dragon Ball
- FLCL: Medica Mechanica is a gigantic building shaped like a steam iron that looms over Naota's hometown and occasionally vents huge clouds of steam.
- The Tower of Retribution from Berserk.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has the stand Super Fly, which is an electrical transmission tower.
- The Lunatic Eclipse Building in Tokyo Ghoul :Re. Not only does Matsuri refer to it as Daedalus's Tower, but it proves to be the site of a Bloodier and Gorier arc where Anyone Can Die. It concludes with Shuu Tsukiyama being thrown from the roof and Kanae leaping off to save him, dying in the process.
Films — Animated
- Shrek: In accordance to fairy tale tradition, Princess Fiona is imprisoned in the "highest room of the tallest tower."
Films — Live-Action
- The "New Tower of Babel" in the silent movie Metropolis.
- The "wizards live in towers" idea is used in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
- I, Robot: The headquarters of US Robotics is the tallest building by far in Chicago. Guess where the Evil AI is situated? If you said "the basement", shame on you.
- The Evil Skyscraper from Freejack is not just the tallest building in Manhattan (strike one) and the office of Anthony Hopkins' character (strike two); it contains the souls of paying customers who are artificially implanted into the eponymous freejack's bodies.
- The big pyramid from Blade Runner
- "Childe Rowland to the Dark Tower came..." is a line from an old ballad quoted in King Lear, retold in the English fairy tale "Childe Rowland", and used as the basis of a famous poem by Robert Browning.
- The Lord of the Rings has a striking number of significant towers — most importantly Sauron's fortress Barad-dûr (meaning "Dark Tower"), Saruman's Orthanc, and the fortresses of Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul, both of which are centered around a tower.
- Volume two even has the title The Two Towers.
- Stephen King's The Dark Tower is based entirely around this motif.
- One of King's other books, The Eye of the Dragon, has Peter imprisoned in a cell at the top of a tower for most of the second half of the book.
- The Ministries in 1984
- Frankenstein, Dracula, and countless others.
- Ulysses: The first episode of the novel is set in the Martello tower at Sandycove.
- Throughout Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Professor Trelawney can be seen going around mumbling about predictions, which no one heeds- particularly about how she keeps dealing the card of 'The Lightning Struck-Tower' foretelling great danger and upheaval. Then comes the chapter by the same name, which takes place in the actual astronomy tower, the highest part of Hogwarts. It's there that Snape kills Dumbledore, fulfilling the prophecy both literally and metaphorically.
- A Song of Ice and Fire has Harrenhal. It was built by the Ironborn under Harren the black, who wanted an impenetrable fortress to which he could rule the Riverlands in. But by the time it was finish Aegon Targeryen arrived in Westeros with his dragons, and burned it to the ruin with Harren still in it. Harrenhal was past over to many houses, all of who were driven to ruin, as Harrenhall was so huge, it could not be maintained so easily.
- Revolution: Played straight, and name-checked. We honestly don't know what it actually is called; it has been and may actually be called The Tower. The Tower is first shown in "Ties That Bind", mentioned by name in "The Stand", and shown in "The Love Boat", "Clue", "Children of Men", and "The Dark Tower".
- The first season of The Odyssey is a quest to reach the Tower.
- The entire point, setting and Series Goal of Tower of God. The Tower is a semi-sentient, self-contained Place of Power built god knows when, housing billions of people and creatures on 134 conquered and even more wild floors, each the size of North America and several kilometers high* . It has been said that everything and anything people have ever wished for can be found at the top of the Tower. Therefore, many people wish to climb it, giving up everything they have to obtain their one desire or having only their desires and dreams left. The lucky ones that get chosen to climb, the Regulars, must pass cruel, hard and strongly varying tests, which used to be held by the Guardians, but ever since King Zahard conquered the greatest part of the Tower, the inhabitants of the place took the Guardians' place. The Tower is a fantastical realm, as it contains a force known as Shinsoo, which can be breathed instead of air and enables those who know how wield it properly to do the impossible.
- The Bible: The Tower of Babel is probably one of the more infamous examples of the trope.
- BattleTech has the Mercer Building, built by Clan Steel Viper, and is the tallest structure in Clan Space, standing about 1000 meters. It fell along with Steel Vipers when they were annihilated in the Wars of Reaving.
- Hausser, the capital of the imperial principalitynote of Ilmora, in Anima: Beyond Fantasy is described to be a city full of towers, some of them so high -up to hundreds of meters, and because of the aristocrats who live there competing to see who builds the highest one- that are in the danger of collapsing if they continue to be heightened. Overlap with Mage Tower, since some of them are said to hold forbidden stuff.
- The Master Builder. The main character loses his life when falling from a high tower structure. Which he initially feared to climb.
- The Combine Citadel from Half-Life 2 certainty qualifies.
- The Tattered Spire in Fable II.
- The tower from Super Mario RPG was pretty evil... or is that more of a castle?
- In Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3, the tower is not only represented by a monk character who smokes and drinks at a local night club, but is also present in the form of Dark Hour version of the School.
- The Tower Of Babil from Final Fantasy IV cumulates evilness with impossible height: It starts in the underworld (which itself has enough height for airships to fly in) and even above ground, is still several times higher than mountains!
- The Tower of Zot, however, while it has the evilness, lacks the prestige because its exterior is never seen, anywhere.
- The Tower of Babel in Doom is the name of the level where the Cyberdemon, perhaps the most famous monster from the most popular video game of all time, is first encountered. It is the final level in episode 2. The level title is apt, as the Cyberdemon itself is the ultimate tower of strength in the game, unmatched in brute force (except perhaps by the Spider Mastermind), resistance to injury, not to mention sheer physical height.
- The last dungeon of MOTHER 3 which is, intended or not, somewhat relevant to the Tarot Motif.
- Final Fantasy VII: Shinra Building
- Shadows of the Empire: Xizors skyhook
- Ganondorf's tower from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, game that also has the Tower Of The Gods; Eagle's Tower in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and the Stone Tower in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask; and Agathnim's and Ganon's towers in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
- Final Fantasy VIII's Lunatic Pandora.
- The gigantic supercomputer from Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers is the Ominous Megastructure type. It destroyed the planet's weather and zombified its residents with an army of cyborgs (don't they all?)
- The entire plot of Makai Toshi SaGa revolves around one, with the doors on each floor leading to entirely new worlds.
- In Hellsinker from stage 4 and onward the main characters spend the remaining of the stages to climb up the huge Cardinal Shaft.
- How could we forget Devil May Cry 3, where the majority of the game takes place in a massive demonic tower that just bursts out the ground? In addition, the challenge levels take place in an ever ascending version of the same tower.
- The Tower of Babel from Xenogears, several kilometers high. It's actually part of the hull of the starship Eldridge which somehow managed to land perfectly vertically and remained stable after it broke up in orbit.
- Wild ARMs 1 has Ka Dingel, a tower with a transporter on it's top that sends people to an orbital colony, technically making it a space elevator.
- Dormin's tower in Shadow of the Colossus is by far the largest structure in the Forbidden Land, and can be seen even from distant corners of the land. Right from the start of the game, it is shown to be a place of magic that has the potential to bring people Back from the Dead, and it soon becomes apparent that understanding the tower is the key to understanding the plot of the game.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, Ferelden has two of these. The Mage Tower, Kinloch Hold, is a relatively healthy example of the Circle of Magi. The other tower, Fort Drakon, is the equivalent of the Tower of London and was built by the Tevinter Imperium during its reign. A city formed around it after the Tevinters' defeat, and it's now used to house prisoners.
- There's one at the end of Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn that the heroes have to fight their way to the top of.
- Antichamber: The primary endpoint for successful puzzle completion, and a good indicator of progress. As would be expected, the act of navigating this tower doesn't necessarily involve going up and down, and it's easy to find the various levels of it out-of-order. You start the main game in the middle of level 1. On the other hand, once you have the Yellow gun, enter the tower at level 1 and grab the light blue cube, and it will teleport you to a seemingly random place. However, complete the puzzle where you get dropped off, and you find level 2 of the tower, and so on until you reach the top.
- The big tower (or towers?) of Rod Land, where your mom has been kidnapped.
- Seen in any of the Dark Parables which feature a Girl in the Tower, including Curse of Briar Rose and Ballad of Rapunzel.
- Gargoyles: Xanatos Enterprises