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[[quoteright:256:[[VideoGame/BreathOfFireII http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/svscmvu.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:256:It took 10 years and 38 levels to get that door open.]]
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->''"Why are you so surprised? You have wandered in great circles across the planes in these countless lives you have lived. Such symmetry. Such futility. Go now, back to where it began. Go back, and die."''
-->-- '''Trias''', ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment''

Your rookie hero has left his hometown to answer the call. He learns from his mentor, fights minions, develops some really flashy attacks, perhaps takes down TheDragon, and angsts a lot. But now it's time to face the BigBad, and what better place to do it than back at his hometown, Where It All Began?

Alternatively, Where It All Began can be where the BigBad first struck. Sometimes this and the hero's home [[DoomedHometown are one and the same]]; that's [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive why the hero was chosen]].

There's a certain poetic symmetry to the idea that the hero's journey is a circular one, and indeed, returning home for the final showdown is often referred to as "coming full circle." It also reminds the audience (and the hero, who may take a moment to [[ContemplateOurNavels reminisce]]) how much the hero has grown since the last time we were here.

But most importantly, [[CutAndPasteEnvironments it means the producers get to use the old sets again.]]

Compare HereWeGoAgain, {{Bookends}} and GoBackToTheSource. SoNearYetSoFar is a variant where even the final climactic goal is known and likely even visible from the start, but you can't accomplish that goal until the finale. Not related to WhenItAllBegan; that is a chronology trope (although TimeTravel can cause them to overlap, specifically in cases of SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong).

This is an EndingTrope, so '''Spoilers Ahoy'''.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Anime/KidouTenshiAngelicLayer'' (manga only), Hikaru and Athena fight on a flat Layer, just like the one that Hikaru first fought on and the one that Athena used when she inspired Misaki to create Hikaru. This despite the fact that this entire TournamentArc used elaborate terrain layers.
* The final showdown in ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico'' takes place on Mars, the place where the Jovians first attacked and Akito's DoomedHometown from the prologue. And in TheMovie, they go back there ''again'' for the final battle against a (slightly) different opponent.
* In ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', the eponymous hero (and quite a few of his friends/rivals) first acquired his [[GenderBender curse]] at the Cursed Springs of Jusenkyo. The final arc involves returning to Jusenkyo to prevent the villains from draining it (and thus destroying a possible cure to the curses).
* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' the 2003 series had Liore. also lampshaded in ep 41 with a bar in liore called Motherland.
* Kagome, from ''Manga/InuYasha'', was first sucked into Feudal Japan via the Bone Eater's well. This is where Naraku's ([[spoiler:and the Shikon Jewel]]'s) final destruction takes place.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', the final duel between Naruto and Sasuke takes place at the Valley of the End, where they both fought once before as children [[spoiler:and where their ancestors Hashirama Senju and Madara Uchiha also battled long ago]].
* The final battle of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' does this not with a ''location'', but with its HumongousMecha. It is not between overpowered machines and a culmination of the LensmanArmsRace. No, it is [[spoiler: Setsuna reclaiming his old Gundam Exia, his first machine he used, going up against Ribbons using a suspiciously-recolored 0 Gundam, the first ever made using the first GN Drive. Made doubly more interesting since Ribbons is [[FanNickname Evil Amuro]] due to his voice actor and the latter Gundam is a deliberate homage to the original [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam RX-78-2.]]]]
* ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'' ends in Clow Country, where it all began. Specifically, at the eponymous reservoir, where [[PurpleProse the wheels of fate were torn asunder by the foolishness of love gone astray]] in the backstory.
* In the manga version of ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'', the final battle between Chrono and Aion takes place in the demon world of Pandaemonium--the place Chrono first decided to join Aion over 50 years ago.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Pirate King Gold Roger was finally brought to execution at his home town, Logue Town.
** In fact, for this reason Logue Town is known as "The Town of the Beginning and the End." It's even a themed name, as it refers to ''pro''logue and ''epi''logue.
** Twenty-two years later, the protagonist Luffy arrives at Logue Town. He is captured and placed in a stockade, ironically on the very execution stand upon which the Pirate King died. There, he proclaims that he ''will'' be the Pirate King, and as Buggy's sword came down to end his life, he apologizes to his crew...and [[GoOutWithASmile smiles]], echoing the death of the previous Pirate King. At this point, Luffy is saved by dumb luck (lighting strikes Buggy), and his act of defiance spurns Smoker, a marine captain, who witnessed the Pirate King's execution decades before, to chase after him. Thus, WhereItAllBegan is where the adventure begins again, but this time, with a new Pirate King.
* In ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', the final battle between Kenshiro and Raoh over Yuria takes place at the Hokuto Renkitouza, which is the place where the three of them met as children.
** The final story arc of the manga (which went beyond the Shura story arc the anime adaptation concluded the series with) is set at the same village where Kenshiro met Bat and Lin.
* In ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'', the secret behind the [[FlowerMotifs Rose Gate]] turns out to be [[spoiler: Anthy's resting place as the witch impaled by the million swords...which is where Utena first made her pledge to become a prince and save her as a child.]] Since the series is a bit of a MindScrew and full of CharacterDevelopment, even Utena doesn't remember the importance of it until about three episodes before the finale.
* In ''Anime/{{Claymore}}'' Raki returns to his hometown after the seven year TimeSkip as a [[FutureBadass badass Yoma-asskicking warrior]]. And yet they still talk shit about him. [[ShamingTheMob Raki sets them straight, though]].
* The [[BigBad obsessive collector]] in ''Anime/{{Pokemon 2000}}'' quotes this at the end, when he finds the first card he ever collected [[spoiler:in the smashed ruins of everything ''else'' he collected]].
--> "How it all began. [[spoiler:And how it will begin, again.]]"
* The WildGooseChase for [[MacGuffin Laplace's Box]] in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'' begins and ends in the very same space colony: Industrial 7.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', the city of Shighanshina is where the Colossal and Armored Titans first appeared and breached the Walls. Five years later, both are defeated in battle against the Survey Corps. Notably, Eren and Armin are the ones to bring down the Colossal Titan, while Mikasa strikes the final blow to defeat the Armored Titan. [[spoiler: Reiner narrowly escapes thanks to his superiors, while Bertolt is abandoned to his fate. He's later EatenAlive, allowing Armin to inherit the power of the Colossal Titan]].
* The FinalBattle of ''Manga/FairyTail'' (or part of it, at least) takes place on the same docks where Lucy first met Natsu and Happy at the beginning of the series. [[LampshadeHanging She makes note of this to Happy.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/MortadeloYFilemon'': In many stories where the heroes have to travel across the city or the world, the last chapter takes place on the T.I.A. headquarters, where they were assigned their mission.
* Dynamite's ''Radio/TheShadow'' Girasol arc started in New York City, and after travelling the world, returns to NYC for the finale.
* ComicBook/RedSonja's ''Queen of Plagues'' arc opens with Sonja and Annisia in the fighting pit of the King of Zamora and stages the climactic fight in the same place under similar circumstances.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' [[WhatCouldHaveBeen almost ended like this.]] [[spoiler:The Wuxi Finger Hold]] was still going to happen, only Po and Tai Lung would crash land in Po's bedroom, where Tai Lung would see all the Furious Five merchandise, and be confused- basically the script would not change aside from taking place in a different location. The writers moved the final confrontation to outside Ping's noodle shop, since the original version did not make as much sense.
** Played straight in the [[WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda3 third film]]. [[spoiler: After defeating Kai and being made the new master of the Jade Palace by Oogway, Po trains the others to use Chi in the Palace Arena, the same place where he was chosen to be the Dragon Warrior in the first film]].
* ''Disney/TheLionKing'' ends with Simba returning to the Pride Lands to [[spoiler: defeat his uncle Scar and take his rightful place as king.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/Madagascar3EuropesMostWanted'' has the climax take place at the Central Park Zoo, the same place that Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria left in the first movie.
* The final battle in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTheMovie2017'' takes place in Canterlot, which was the starting location of not only the film, but the series.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** The first movie of the Original Trilogy, ''Film/ANewHope'', begins on Tatooine, and the last movie of the Prequels ends there, so that probably counts, if you look at the films in order of production rather than in terms of in-universe chronology. Of course, the fact remains that we end up going to this desert middle-of-nowhere in five out of the six movies means we ''keep'' going back to where it all began.
** It doesn't conclude the movie, but Luke returns to his home planet of Tatooine for ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.
-->'''Luke''': I used to live here, you know.
-->'''Han''': You're going to die here, you know. Convenient.
* Both versions of ''Film/TheButterflyEffect''. The original does it well when the main character [[spoiler:goes back to the birthday party where he first met the love of his life and gets her to not want to see him again effectively erasing her from his life]], but the director's cut takes it to the ultimate extreme where the main character [[spoiler:commits suicide by strangling himself (in utero!)]]
* In a cruel twist of fate, the test subjects in ''Film/{{Cube}}'' [[spoiler:learn that the exit room was the very room they started out in, making their trek through the titular deathtrap dungeon a pointless waste of time and human life]].
* The protagonist of ''Film/TwentyEightDaysLater'' is introduced lying in a hospital bed and ends up in a similar setting towards the end of the film. The DVD commentary explains that it was deliberately done to invoke this trope (i.e., going full circle).
* Film/JamesBond film ''Film/TheLivingDaylights'' begins in Gibraltar and after much business in Czechoslovakia, Austria, Afghanistan and Pakistan ends in Tangier, just three dozen miles southwest.
* Marty's destination in ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' is to get back to where the movie started. We even get to see a scene from the beginning of the movie again at the end.
* Film/TheHangover
* ''Film/TheFugitive'' starts out at a hospital benefit at a swanky Chicago hotel, and ends at a similar conference at another one.
* ''Film/TheSecretOfMoonacre'''s climax takes place at the clifftop where the Moon Princess married Sir Wrolf Merryweather.
* The film version of ''Film/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' has its climax and ending in Arthur's home.
* ''Film/{{Highlander}}'' ends with Connor returning with Brenda to Scotland, where he was born.
* The final fight of ''Film/HanselAndGretelWitchHunters'' takes place right at the gingerbread house where the original story and the movie's prologue ended. The witch even uses the trope name when she comments on it. Hansel and Gretel react with an understandable "You've gotta be fucking kidding me."
* ''Film/Halloween5TheRevengeOfMichaelMyers'': Loomis and Jamie set up a trap for Michael in Michael's childhood home, the place of his StartOfDarkness.
* ''Film/{{Highwaymen}}'': In the opening, a SerialKiller named Fargo uses his car to run over the protagonist James Cray's wife. To spite Cray, Fargo kidnaps Molly, a lone victim whom Cray saved, and returns to the now abandoned motel (which Fargo bought in the intervening years) where he initially killed Cray's late wife to play the murder out again.
* ''Film/LordOfIllusions'' opens in the Cultists' compound in the Mojave desert before moving to Los Angeles, and the climax takes us back there when [[spoiler:Nix is revived]].
* ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' opens with the Avengers attacking HYDRA at Sokovia. [[spoiler: The final battle with Ultron also takes place in Sokovia.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Saw}}'': Happens a ridiculous amount of times throughout the franchise.
** ''Film/{{Saw|I}}'' features a duo of cops attempting to arrest the infamous Jigsaw Killer at his hideout, which is where the [[spoiler:now solo cop, his partner died in the first attempt to apprehend him,]] officer pursues him to yet again near the end.
** ''Film/SawII'' drops the bombshell that the entire film [[spoiler:took place in the same area as the first movie, and that the bathroom (the centerpiece of the original film) is merely one room in its catacombs]]
** ''Film/Saw3D''. It is revealed that [[spoiler:Dr. Gordon from the original films survived and was nursed back to health by the Jigsaw Killer to aid him as an apprentice. His final task was to lock another apprentice in the same bathroom he was chained to in the first film.]]
* ''Film/ResidentEvilTheFinalChapter'' sees Alice return to the Hive underneath Raccoon City, [[Film/ResidentEvil where the series started]].

* In ''Literature/DragonBones'' the protagonist leaves castle Hurog, travels far away from home ... and in the end, it is all about the eponymous dragon bones, which he has already seen at the start of the novel. The villains meet their end in the very cave where Ward found the dragon bones.
* The One Ring in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' can only be destroyed in the same place it was created.
** Also, the Scouring of the Shire (for the books only), in which Saruman is defeated for good in the hobbits' homeland.
** Sam speaks the very last words of the story in Bag End, where Bilbo was right at the beginning of ''Literature/TheHobbit''.
* The final showdown in Eric Nylund's ''Literature/AGameOfUniverse'' takes place in the same casino where the novel started.
* Simon, the lead of Creator/TadWilliams' ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'' series, starts out as a kitchen boy in the Hayholt and is [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive forced to flee]] when his mentor is slain by TheDragon. He finally returns after a [[TheHerosJourney long and circuitous path]] to confront the BigBad who has taken the place for his stronghold.
* In Creator/JamesSwallow's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} novel ''Faith & Fire'', Vaun's BackStory brings him back to where it all began; he explains, early in the novel, that he has been brought back to his birth place to deal with unfinished business.
* ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode'' starts out in the Louvre, and [[spoiler:we end up back at the Louvre only to discover that the museum is the final resting place of Mary Magdelene]].
* ''Literature/TheSagaOfDarrenShan'' has the protagonist going back to his hometown to battle [[spoiler: Steve]] in the 11th and 12th books. Same with TheMovie, although much, much sooner.
* In the first ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'' series, Lief and co. traveled back to Del after they [[GottaCatchEmAll gathered the]] [[PlotCoupons seven gems of the Belt of Deltora]] to drive back the [[EvilOverlord Shadow Lord]] from their land with the power of the belt and heir, Dain.
** In the third series' last book, ''The Sister of the South'', Lief and co. came back to Del once they figured out the [[KillEmAll last deadly Sister]] was inside the capital.
* Happened in the ''Literature/CodexAlera'' series. In the first book, Tavi is a young, powerless shepherd who takes shelter from a storm full of angry [[ElementalEmbodiment air elementals]] in a prince's tomb. In the final book, [[spoiler: he has now learned to use his vast power and learned his true identity as the son of that very prince, and he pursues the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Vord Queen]] across the landscape, finally killing her at his father's tomb, using two immensely powerful elementals to weaken her.]]
* A character arc went like this in OpeningAtlantis by Creator/HarryTurtledove. Francois Kersauzon's story starts in the fortress of Noveau Redon. One long military campaign against the English later, and he is waiting out a siege. The siege ends with [[spoiler: the English destroying the source of the fort's spring. This forces Kersauzon to move against them. He dies.]]
* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series, the Clans settle by a lake when their home is destroyed. Turns out that their ancestors (from way before the Clans ever formed) had lived in the exact same spot.
* T. S. Eliot's poem "Little Gidding" (the last of his ''Four Quartets'') includes these lines:
-->We shall not cease from exploration\\
And the end of all our exploring\\
Will be to arrive where we started\\
And know the place for the first time.
* In the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series, "where it all began" is [[WizardingSchool Hogwarts]]. For both Harry and Voldemort it's the place where they first felt at home and free from their confining upbringings. Of course, Hogwarts is where 90% of the series takes place, but Harry spends the last book, ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]'', away from school on a MacGuffin hunt, only to eventually realize he must return there for the last one. Voldemort figures out what he's up to at the same time, and events snowball into a GrandFinale BattleRoyale.
* Two of the books in the Shatnerverse of the StarTrek novels end this way. Star Trek: Avenger goes back to Tarsus IV, where a very young James Kirk survived the purges of Kodos. Star Trek: Preserver is the ending of the "Mirror Universe Sage" and ends at Halkan, the planet where Kirk first encountered the Mirror Universe.
* ''Literature/{{Curtain}}'', the last Literature/HerculePoirot novel, is set in Styles Court, where the first novel, ''Literature/TheMysteriousAffairAtStyles'', took place.
* [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]] in ''Literature/TheSevenCitadels''. The final sorcerer Kerish needs to find is in his homeland of Galkis -- but living deep in an unexplored jungle, nowhere near any place Kerish has been before.
* This happens twice in ''Discworld/SoulMusic''. Susan goes back to the mountain road where her parents died in a coach accident in the prologue of the book: the first time using TimeTravel to witness the crash and confront [[TheGrimReaper Death]] (her maternal grandfather) about his letting her parents die; the second time to save Buddy and his band from going over the edge in the same spot.
* Lampshaded in-universe in RobertAHeinlein's ''SpaceCadet'', when Matt and Tex return to the academy ship PRS ''Randolph'':
-->Matt and Tex showed their orders to the officer of the watch and left with him the inevitable copies. He gave them their rooming assignments—in Hog Alley, in a room with a different number but otherwise like the one they had had. "Seems like we never left it," remarked Tex, as he unpacked his jump bag.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Cheers}}''. The series begins with Sam coming out of the backroom and opening the bar. The series ends with Sam closing the bar and walking into the backroom.
* It has been revealed that the final goal of the heroes of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' is to [[spoiler: protect a magical light]] that is located in the same bamboo grove Jack awoke in in the first episode.
** [[spoiler:The final scene of the series mirrors its beginning, with Jack lying down in the bamboo field. Only this time he closes his eyes as he dies.]]
* The ''[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Enterprise]]'' (NX-01) visits the planet Rigel in the last episode, just like they did in the first.
** ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration The Next Generation]]'' not only had the same villain in the finale as they did in the first episode (Q), but they finished a story thread started in that episode, and through shifting timelines, we got to meet the ''Enterprise''-D as it was in that episode, including the old crew. Picard and Q also face off in the same replica 22nd century courtroom that Q brought him to in that premiere episode. Picard even comments on this in the finale.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': The first season centers around The Master attempting to open the Hellmouth. From then on, no seasonal BigBad cared about the Hellmouth itself until the last one, who once again attempted to open it. The high school was even rebuilt on top of it at the beginning of the season, allowing the heroes to return there as well.
** Buffy also had one other WhereItAllBegan with the same location; in the middle of the fourth season (making it pretty much halfway through the show's run, how appropriate), a trio of one-episode baddies tries to open the Hellmouth, necessitating a return to the ruins of the original high school. All of the characters comment on the memories, mostly painful, this evokes.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** The season 6 finale "Full Circle" was originally envisioned as a series finale. The series was renewed, so the plot was altered. It still however featured a showdown between SG-1 and Anubis on Abydos, the planet where both the pilot episode took place, as well as the movie.
** "Moebius", which was also meant to be the series finale, revisited Ancient Egypt under Ra's rule, and Apophis's prison on Chulak from the pilot episode -- the alternate timeline SG-1 even got to recruit Teal'c again.
** Also the climax of ''Film/TheArkOfTruth'' takes place in the City of the Ori, a place that Daniel and Vala visited early on in the ninth season. While not the start of the show itself, it was the start of the Ori storyline.
** Within the show's story, when the Jaffa kicked the Goa'uld's asses once and for all, the final battle took place on Dakara and they chose Dakara as the capital of their new country; for the express reason that it was also the place where they first became slaves. It was also a significant religious site like Mecca is to Muslims.
* Series/ThePrisoner finale
* The final showdown of ''Series/TheFugitive'' takes place in Kimble's home town of Stafford, Illinois.
* Bryce's storyline on ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' ended the second season finale WhereItAllBegan in the pilot: jumping into an Intersect control room to implant a powerful computer in Chuck's brain to keep a NebulousEvilOrganization from doing it to their own people first.
* The series finale of ''Series/{{Alias}}'' involves a return to Mount Subasio, which was last featured in the first season when it played a significant role in launching the series' MythArc.
* ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'''s FinalBattle occurred at the mountain where the Grongi were originally sealed.
* The 20th anniversary episode of ''Series/DoctorWho'', "The Five Doctors," notes at the conclusion, after the newly-appointed president of Gallifrey--the Doctor--bug off in the TARDIS with Tegan and Turlough:
-->'''Tegan:''' You mean you're running away from your own people in a dilapitated old TARDIS?
-->'''Doctor:''' Why not? After all, that's how it all started.
** This seems to have happened in all 10th anniversary specials. "The Three Doctors" ends with the Doctor regaining his freedom to travel in time and space. In the 30th anniversary story for Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine the First Doctor and Susan are shown leaving Gallifrey. The 40th anniversary story "Zagreus" from AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho has the Doctor again leaving Gallifrey, for new adventures in the Divergent Universe. For the 50th anniversary, "The Name of the Doctor" shows the Doctor leaving Gallifrey, while "The Day of the Doctor" reverses this with the Doctor departing to find Gallifrey and saying he has always been going "Home. The long way round." And in the story that started the 25th season "Remembrance of the Daleks" the Doctor returns to Totter's Yard and Coal Hill School where the series began. Also "The Day of the Doctor" begins with a Policeman walking past the Totter's Lane sign and Clara being a teacher at Coal Hill School like the Doctor's earliest new companions. Also a clock she passes at the beginning says 17:16, when the first episode aired.
** The RTD era of Doctor Who (2005-2010) basically began with the Doctor meeting Rose in the Powell estate in 2005. It ends roughly with the Doctor [[HaveWeMetYet meeting Rose]] in the Powell Estate earlier in 2005, though only briefly to prevent her recognising him later.
** Amy Pond's time on the show began with her meeting the Doctor in her garden at the age of seven. At the end of her final episode, the Doctor goes back to meet the young Amy just after he left and she is shown waiting in the garden for him.
** After nine series, the Doctor returns to Gallifrey in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E12HellBent Hell Bent]]. Specifically, [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor the barn he lived]] [[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E4Listen in as a child.]]
* ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy's'' "Journey's End" ends with the inhabitants of space-station Terra Venture escaping from it to the planet [[spoiler:Miranoi, where the Rangers escaped from in the premiere.]]
** The ending of ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' has Dillon revisit the lone flower he passed on the way to Corinth [[spoiler: now part of a beautiful garden in a healing world.]]
* ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' opens with the protagonist sheriff and his daughter driving into town and seeing themselves driving out of town. In the last scene of the last episode, as they drive out of town, they see themselves driving in.
* ''Series/AshVsEvilDead'': The VisionQuest Ash has halfway through the first season tells him that he needs to take the Necronomicon back to the cabin from the original movies and bury it there in order to stop the Deadites for good. The final episodes of the season take place there.
** The final episodes of Season 2 take this even further, as Ash and co. go back in time to the 80s, to the days before the events of the original movie, to [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong try and prevent it all from happening]].
* Invoked in the Season 5 finale of ''Series/{{Arrow}}'', as [[BigBad Prometheus]] kidnaps all of Oliver's loved ones and takes them to Lian Yu, the island Oliver spent most of his "five years in hell" on; Prometheus' plan is to kill Oliver where his journey towards becoming a hero began. The episode also brings the flashback storyline chronicling those five years to a close, by showing the events leading up to the series' opening shot of Oliver being rescued off the island.

* The final chord played in the song Octavarium by Music/DreamTheater is the same as the first chord on the album. This is referenced by the final line "The story ends where it began."
* Music/{{Sabaton}}'s "1648" mentions that Prague was both where the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar started (in the Defenestration of Prague, which kicked off the war) and where its last battle was fought.
* The penultimate song in Green Day's album Music/AmericanIdiot, aptly titled ''Homecoming'' is about the protagonist, a young runaway, finally [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin returning to his home]] after hitting rock bottom. In the final song he is presumably still there as he tries to move on with his life.

[[folder:Tabletop Game]]
* The epic ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' module ''Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil'' was written as a SpiritualSuccessor to -- what else? -- ''TabletopGame/TheTempleOfElementalEvil''. The players visit a few of the locations in the original game there, including Homlett, Nulb, and the Moathouse, but very little happens in those places (except the Moathouse) and can even visit the infamous Temple if they want, but at first, it seems deserted. Most of the module takes place in another temple complex called [[TempleOfDoom the Temple of All Consumption]]. However, the finale of the adventure does indeed take the heroes back to the true Temple of Elemental Evil for one final titanic battle.
* The Grand Conjunction adventure-arc for the TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} D&D setting concludes at Castle Ravenloft: site of the award-winning module that originally inspired the game-setting, ''and'' of the in-Verse events that created the Land of Mists.

* In ''Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung'', to save the world the Ring must be returned to the Rhine, from which its gold was stolen in the first scene of ''Das Rheingold''. The final act of ''Götterdämmerung'' begins on the banks of that river, and though the scene moves away, the river ultimately moves back in as the Rhinemaidens recover the ring forged from the gold. Reprises of the earliest musical themes of ''Das Rheingold'' drive the point home.
** Also the second act of ''Das Rheingold'' showed Valhalla having just been constructed. The final scene also shows Valhalla being burnt down.
* The stage adaptation of Music/AmericanIdiot has the two protagonists who left town returning in the second to last scene and each of the play's storylines finally coming together to reach the climax when they do. Specifically Johnny comes home from the city, apparently sober or at least attempting to be, Tunny returns from his military service [[spoiler: having lost his leg but with the Extraordinary Girl now his girlfriend,]] and Will and Heather [[spoiler: appear to finally reach a point where they can be friends and raise their baby together despite no longer being a couple]] when they welcome their friends home.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* A ''when'' variation occurs in ''Videogame/GhostTrick''. [[spoiler:Not returning to the start of the night at the junkyard, oh no, but to the event ''ten years prior'' that set everything into motion that culminated on the night in question]].
* Very popular in Bioware/Obsidian games:
** ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'': Irenicus returns to the place he first turned to evil, in order to finish what he started.
** ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'': You begin in the city of Neverwinter. The final areas take you back to the city with the {{Plot Coupon}}s you've collected to open up the caverns below the castle of the city's ruler. In the ''Hordes of the Underdark'' expansion, the final battle takes place outside the Inn you woke up in at the start of the game.
** ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'': Zhjaeve takes the player to reforge the Silver Sword of the Githyanki where it was originally broken long before the game started: in West Harbor. Which ''also'' happens to be the place where the game started, and the player's DoomedHometown. And again in ''Mask of the Betrayer'', where the final level is in a dreamscape version of West Harbor.
** ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'': The player's LastStand is held at the temple of Dirge, where the Spirit monks were all killed before the beginning of the game. It's also straight up invoked by [[spoiler: [[BigBad Master Li]], who sends you to a dream-version of [[DoomedHometown Two Rivers]] and forces you to fight your fellow students as the school burns around you.]]
** But subverted in ''VideoGame/BaldursGate I'': Your hero returns from Baldur's Gate to the hometown of Candlekeep in what appears [[DiscOneFinalDungeon to be the last chapter]], only to be sent to Baldur's Gate again for the final showdown.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' you face the BigBad and Dragon on [[spoiler: the Citadel, the space station what was where you were at the end of the tutorial-linear opening of the game.]]
*** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', [[OpeningTheSandbox the sandbox opens]] in the same system as the Omega-4 Relay, which is the only way to access the [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon Collector Base]].
*** [[spoiler:For Legion, who is strongly implied to be the first geth to take up arms against their creators (when the latter decided to begin genocide of the former), their story begins and ends on Rannoch, the quarian homeworld.]]
*** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' [[spoiler:starts on Earth and ends on Earth. Not only that, the first game also began in Earth orbit.]]
*** DLC for ''Mass Effect 3'', "From Ashes", includes a mission on Eden Prime, where the very first mission in the very first game took place.
** In ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'': the gateway to TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon turns out to be in the Mortuary where the game started, just a few feet from where the main character woke up at the beginning of the whole thing. Turns out that the crazy guy outside the mortuary at the beginning of the game was foreshadowing something different when he told you that you'd been in, and out, of there before.
** In ''VideoGame/IcewindDale'' the heroes [[YouAllMeetInAnInn All Meet In An Inn]] in a little town. They leave on their quest, then return in the final chapter to discover the main villain has been making himself at home while they were gone.
** Players with the City Elf background in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' will revisit the Alienage as part of the final battle. (The Dwarf origins and the Mage origin both return to where it began, and players with the Return to Ostagar DLC can, of course, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin return to Ostagar]], but none of these take place at the end of the game.)
** In the series' lore, when King Calenhad Theirin waged his war of unification in the land that became Ferelden, his first campaign led him back to the city of Highever, his home and birthplace, and he defeated the Couslands, making them the first to bend the knee to him.
** In the Witch Hunt DLC, the Dalish Warden returns to the broken mirror that tained him/her. You can literally reply to Ariane that it's the place where everything began.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' the FinalBattle takes place in the Gallows, the first part of Kirkwall Hawke sees when the family fled Lothering years ago.
** In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', the entire quest consists of [[spoiler:Revan retracing his/her steps]], only to end up back on the [[spoiler:Starforge]]. In the sequel, ''The Sith Lords'', the Exile also has to retrace his/her steps, returning to many of the key locations of the Mandalorian War, and ending on the ruins of Malachor V, the world the Exile destroyed to stop the Mandalorians and save the galaxy, the act which transformed [[spoiler:the Exile into a hole in the Force]].
** The final story mission in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' take place on the floating remains of the Temple of Sacred Ashes, where the PC awakened in the prologue.
* In the expansion to ''[[VideoGame/BlackAndWhite Black and White II]]'', the last island is the ruins of the Greek homeland, which you were forced to evacuate at the beginning of the main game. It still has the volcanoes that were summoned to destroy your first city.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** The final battle with [[spoiler:BigBad Ansem]] in the first ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts1'' begins on (what's left of) [[DoomedHometown Destiny Islands]], the first stage, before switching to the standard AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield.
** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'', Ven's story ends at The Awakening. Not only is that where we first see Ven, but it's also a tutorial level that appeared at the beginning of near every game in the series. Later, [[spoiler:the final battle between Aqua and the possessed Terra occurs at Radiant Garden, where Terra had his true StartOfDarkness]]. [[spoiler:Vanitas was created from Ven at the Keyblade Graveyard]], bringing their battle full-circle as well.
** Inverted in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', where Hollow Bastion [[spoiler:/Radiant Garden]], the penultimate stage of the first game, is the new hub world since Leon and Sora's other allies took it back between games. Played straight with Twilight Town, the world the game begins in and that Sora returns to at the end of the game to find the portal to The World That Never Was, the lair of the Organization.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' takes this to a logical extreme. The almost final area is Twilight Town, which is where Roxas gets his name from Xemnas, where he met Axel, where his first mission with Xion was, and where he, Axel, and Xion meet up to hang out. Not only is it the final area, but [[spoiler:the clock tower is the setting for the final part of the fight with Xion, which also drags you to three other worlds you visited throughout the game. Then, you're taken to The World That Never Was, which is where your main hub has been for most of the game. You then reenact the secret ending to Kingdom Hearts, which means it loops all the way back to the ending of the ''first game''.]]
** In ''coded'', this occurs across games -- the goal of the heroes is to find out the source and meaning of a mysterious message that's appeared in Jiminy's journal, and the final world ends up being Castle Oblivion, the very place Sora lost his memories and the journal was originally left blank back in ''Chain of Memories''.
** And once again occurring across games in ''Dream Drop Distance'' -- the final boss takes place in The Awakening once again, after which the environment shifts to Destiny Islands, and the player must answer questions mirroring the ones asked at The Awakening in the first game.
* The final battle with Chairman Drek in ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClank2002 Ratchet & Clank]]'' takes place on the first stage, Ratchet's home planet of Veldin.
** The final battle with Emperor Tachyon in ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFutureToolsOfDestruction Tools of Destruction]]'' takes place on [[spoiler:Planet Fastoon]], which isn't the first stage, but [[spoiler:Fastoon was where Tachyon destroyed the Lombaxes, marking the first conquest of his empire.]]
* ''Franchise/MegaMan''
** The final battle in ''VideoGame/MegaManZero 3'' takes place in the ruins of the underground laboratory where Ciel found Zero resting in ''Mega Man Zero''.
** The first stage of ''VideoGame/MegaManX5'' is an important location in ''VideoGame/MegaManZero 4''.
** In ''VideoGame/MegaManX2'', the last level is the same as Magna Centipede's stage, even with all the secrets, but stops in the middle. If you select Magna Centipede instead, you still stop for the final battle.
** The first stage of ''VideoGame/MegaManX7'' has Zero return to the first stage of ''VideoGame/MegaManX1''.
** ''VideoGame/Rockman4MinusInfinity'' has the fight with Pharaoh Man, which starts out in the very first room of his stage.
* Only if you play as Albert in ''VideoGame/RomancingSaGa'' the first dungeon in his scenario is the gate to the final dungeon. Turns out the monsters are stronger also when you enter the very first cave again due to the game's Event Rank system.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue''/''Yellow'' comes close - nothing much happens in Pallet Town after the beginning of the game, but Viridian City, the first stop immediately thereafter, turns out to be the home of the last Gym Leader, who also happens to be [[spoiler:[[BigBad Giovanni]], the leader of Team Rocket]]. The dwelling place of Mewtwo, the BonusDungeon, is behind Cerulean City, the town of the second Gym.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver''/''Crystal'': The path to Indigo Plateau from Johto? Surf east from New Bark Town. ''[=GSC=]'' also lets you go to Kanto after beating the Elite Four, where you can collect the badges there and gain access to Mt. Silver; waiting at the end is [[spoiler: Red, the protagonist of ''[=RGBY=]'']] and the strongest opponent in the game.
** And in the anime, Ash tends to end up back in Pallet Town between tournaments. Gotta visit Mom after all.
** After beating the Elite Four and the Champion in most games, next time you load your save you'll be in your bedroom, where you also started the game, except for RSE as you started those games in the back of a moving van.
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'', your first battle with [[TheRival May/Brendan]] takes place at Route 103. In the remakes, after you become champion, you meet said rival at Route 103 for one more battle.
** TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon of ''[[VideoGame/PokemonColosseum Pokémon XD]]'' is located right off the coast of Gateon Port, the FirstTown.
** Indigo Plateau and Victory Road (the place you battle the Elite Four and champion and hence FinalBoss) of the original games is just a bit left from Viridian City and hence right near the start of the game. Pokemon and XY also do this, with Victory Road being just off the first Gym town, and you can even access the entrance to it before getting a single badge!
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonColosseum'', Wes meets the TrueFinalBoss of the game at the Outskirt Stand, the first location he went to at the beginning after destroying the Team Snagem base.
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'', a significant chunk of the postgame is actually where the previous games started (the first two gyms and the Skyarrow Bridge, which were earlygame in Black and White but are locked off until the postgame in [=BW2=]), and you can even speak to the prequel player character's mother.
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'', you receive your Z-Ring as a stone from [[OlympusMons Tapu Koko]] just outside the Ruins of Conflict, which is also where you meet Lillie and Nebby. [[spoiler:After capturing Nebby yourself and becoming the Champion, Lillie takes you back to the Ruins, where you finally face off against Tapu Koko and prove that it was right to choose you. Tapu Koko itself even says "IT IS TIME" before the fight, which is extremely noticeable because Pokemon speaking human language is ''very very rare''.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheSimpsonsHitAndRun'', the final level is the same part of town as the first level, [[spoiler:only with zombies and other assorted chaos occuring]].
* The first ''VideoGame/GalaxyAngel'' game started and ended with the Angels launching from the White Moon and battling around it.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsDestiny'', The final battlefield is located in the South Pole; where you first get control of the Original Characters
* ''VideoGame/SuikodenI'' starts in what will become the final dungeon. Most of the endings of the second game involve the main character returning to WhereItAllBegan for a final confrontation with his NecessarilyEvil best friend.
* The climax and ending of ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' is set in Mid-Ocean, the territory and home region of Vyse and his father's legion of Blue Rogue pirates and the starting point of the game. The finality is threefold: the climactic last stand against Galcian's world-dominating faction that splintered from [[TheEmpire Valua]] takes place in Mid-Ocean, [[spoiler:the lost continent of [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon Soltis]] turns out to be sitting below the ominous Vortex that lingers in Mid-Ocean's lower sky and is bought back, and it is revealed that [[NoobCave Shrine Island]], the game's first true dungeon, used to be a part of Soltis and serves as its entrance.]]
* ''VideoGame/Persona2'': ''Innocent Sin'' begins at Seven Sisters High School. While the final dungeon - a massive, shrine-like spaceship called Xibalba - isn't there per se, the Narurato Stone, a small monolith that sits behind it, serves as the entrance to said dungeon.
* The entrance to the final dungeon of the normal ending of ''VideoGame/Persona4'' is in one of the first places you see in the TV world. The final dungeon of the true ending is the same place that the protagonist dreamt of at the beginning of the game and where the first fight took place.
* ''VideoGame/Persona5'' has a variation: [[spoiler:the last dungeon of the game is the lowermost depths of Mementos, the same underground maze that you have access to right after the first major [[EldritchLocation Palace]] is destroyed. The variation comes in that Mementos is completely optional, as its main purposes are serving as a hub for all of the game's sidequests and for extra grinding. However, it is ''not'' recommended that Mementos be skipped, because if you did not delve into it throughout the game, you will have to do so during the Endgame, and once December 24th comes and you go in, [[PointOfNoReturn you cannot come back out]].]]
* In ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarIV'', the gate to the final dungeon is on the same planet you started on, not too far away from the town you started in.
* In ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII'', the cave at the back of the hero's childhood hometown is the entrance to the final dungeon. Anything more would be spoilery.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' brings us many, many examples:
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'', the final task of the Light Warriors, after killing the four elemental Fiends and [[CosmicKeystone reviving the power of the Crystals]], is to go back to the ruined Temple of Fiends, site of their first quest. Using the power of the Crystals, they travel two thousand years into the past, to the true Temple of Fiends, in order to battle the four Fiends and their master Chaos on their own home turf. And to take it even farther, [[spoiler:the FinalBoss Chaos and the first boss Garland are the same person.]] [[spoiler: The remakes call the temple the "Chaos Shrine". That's right; Garland's hideout at the beginning of the game is a shrine to himself.]]
** For ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', the game begins with Cecil and the Red Wings flying back to Baron, and on the way is a flashback that explains they're returning from Mysidia after stealing their Crystal. Later in the game [[LaserGuidedKarma Cecil returns to the city]] and becomes a Paladin, shortly after which he returns to Baron. Then later still, he returns to the tower just behind the Crystal's resting chamber to witness the arrival of the airship that will fly them to the moon, where the BigBad awaits.
** In the sequel ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears The After Years]]'', the Mysterious Girl descends to Earth at Baron, and the party gathers their numbers and heads to Baron in the penultimate tale to confront her.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', the first scenario is in Castle Tycoon and the journey starts in the kingdom of Tycoon. [[spoiler:When the two worlds merge, the Void will absorb Castle Tycoon and leave a dark portal in it's place. This dark portal is the entrance to the Interdimentional Rift, the game's FinalDungeon.]]
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', the final dungeon in the World of Ruin is directly north of the first town you visit, but you have to find your friends and dig up an airship to get in. Said final dungeon is built out of the ruins of Vector. Earlier in the game, the player escapes from Narshe, and after joining the Returners they elect to return to the city, at which point a battle takes place to close the first story arc of the game and begin the next one.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' pulls off a similar feat. You spend at least a good 7-10 hours in Midgar at the start of the game and then can't get back in after you leave the city completely (unless you find the key to the gate in a mini game much later on and even then, it only lets you back into Sector 5 and 6). Towards the very end of disc 2 after beating Diamond WEAPON, your party parachutes into Midgar to stop Hojo and the music for the chapter is the same one you heard in the beginning of the game when you first started out. On top of that, Barret comments that he kind of misses Midgar after having come back, but then gets angry at himself for longing for a dump run by Shin-Ra.
** In the spin-off ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'', Zack finds out Genesis's base is under the ruins of Banora, which was bombed in Chapter 2 after the initial confrontation with Genesis.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', it is revealed that the main characters all grew up together at Edea's Orphanage. As part of Odine's gambit to find Ultimecia, far into the future, they allow the Time Compression to occur and then concentrate on returning to the Orphanage in order to emerge from the timestream... only to reveal that Ultimecia's Castle is ''anchored'' to it.
** Thematic parallel: in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', Tidus' journey begins in [[spoiler:Dream]] Zanarkand, which is then destroyed by Sin. At the end of the game, when the party has gone inside Sin to destroy Braska's Final Aeon, only to find its deepest layers a ruined recreation of Zanarkand. Also, before the fight with Sin, the entire game has been a pilgrimage to the real Zanarkand. Not only that, but when you are traveling to Spira at the beginning of the game, you pass through the same ruined Zanarkand recreation...
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' starts in Rabanastre, a desert city struggling under the rule of [[TheEmpire the Archadian Empire]], which is also home to half of the characters in the main party. The end of the game has the team facing off against the final boss at the top of a giant sky fortress that just so happens to be hovering directly above Rabanastre.
** ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', the prequel ''Dissidia 012'' begins Bartz's storyline in the Land of Discord after he's been captured. Once he escapes Zidane is captured, and Bartz has to head back to the Land of Discord to find him and fight his FinalBoss. The Warriors of Cosmos also return to Order's Sanctuary near the end of the 13th cycle once they have their Crystals, the first time all the heroes have been gathered together since the start of the 12th cycle, when Cosmos imbued them with her power so they could manifest said Crystals.
*** The game's backstory reveals [[spoiler:Chaos was created in the Cardian Islands laboratories at the behest of Onrac, his lair and the site of the final battle in the Land of Discord is on a floating island off the shore of Onrac, and the Cardian Islands link the Land of Discord to the mainland. The title of a Report, "Hill with View of the Water Temple" (the Water Shrine's approximate location underwater would be beneath Chaos's island) also implies that this is where Cid, Garland, Chaos and Cosmos arrived in World B and the cycles of war began]].
*** And as a meta-example for the entire series, in the ending sequence [[spoiler:the Warriors of Cosmos appear outside Cornelia in World A, and the Warrior of Light begins walking towards the castle, revealing the ''Dissidia'' games to be a prequel to the original ''Final Fantasy'' which started out the same way]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'': Serah's journey starts when a meteorite (actually a Time Gate) crashes just outside New Bodhum, her home since Cocoon's fall, and Noel appears. The pair end up in a ruined version of New Bodhum ([[AfterTheEnd in 700 -AF-]]), just before the VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon. The game also ends in Valhalla, where the tutorial and prologue took place ([[spoiler:on the same beach where Caius was shown laying Yeul to rest]]).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'' continues the trend by ending in Insomnia, the protagonists' DoomedHometown AfterTheEnd. Unlike most examples however, it was not accessible as a playable area in the beginning of the game, only appearing in cutscenes, the tie-in movie [[Anime/KingsglaiveFinalFantasyXV Kingsglaive]], and a short demo that was released before the game.
* The final dungeon in ''VideoGame/LegendOfLegaia'' takes place in the Heroic Mute's hometown... at least, where it USED to be before a giant monster consumed and assimilated it.
* In order to access TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', Ness and his friends not only have to return to Ness' hometown, but have to return to the crash site of the meteorite which set the entire plot in motion. The dungeon isn't there, though: the party needs a piece of the meteorite, which contains a rare mineral, to power the TimeTravel machine that will deliver them to the main antagonist's lair. It isn't easy though, as Ness' hometown has become over run with aliens in the meantime.
* Lara Croft tends to end up doing this in the ''Franchise/TombRaider'' games, generally after spending most of the game searching for a MacGuffin needed to activate something in the first location she visited.
* The final battle of ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar'' takes place on Liberty Island, the exact same place the first level of the original ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' took place. The map design is even incredibly similar, although alterations were made due to the limits of the console-based engine of ''Deus Ex 2''.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'' is fond of this trope; about halfway through the game, you end up backtracking through the levels you've previous been through, until the very last level which takes place on the very starship you began the game on in the first level. The first chapter title of the final level is even "...And The Horse You Rode In On."
** Likewise, in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', the final battle takes place in the Halo Control Room, identical to the Halo Control Room in ''Halo CE''. [[spoiler:You even face off against the same enemy.]]
** In addition, the entire final level in ''3'' is on [[spoiler:a recreation of the first Halo]]. Clever gamers will note that the final Warthog-run course is designed to be a near-exact silhouette of the island from popular ''Halo CE'' level "The Silent Cartographer".
** Bungie's final game in the series, ''VideoGame/HaloReach'', ends with the first scene of ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved''. Even more so, ''Reach's'' last level and the ''Halo's'' first level are both called "The Pillar of Autumn. This trope was even said word for word as part of the tagline:
-->"Remember where it all began. [[RememberTheAlamo Remember Reach]]."
* In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'' the first dungeon in the game is Bowser's castle. However, after you defeat Bowser, the true villains of the game appear and take over the place. You return to the castle near the end of the game, as you must defeat a boss there in order to teleport to TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon.
* Most of the VideoGame/{{Myst}} games do this for individual ages; the last puzzle to solve is usually in the first thing you saw when you came in.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Riven}}'', the player's final action in the game is to activate a device that is right near the starting location. Especially effective because the device in question has been accessible since the beginning, but the player doesn't understand what it's for until after the story is nearly over; successfully beating the game relies on opening what doesn't look like a safe with what doesn't originally seem to be a combination lock, that has been sitting right in front of you from the moment you arrived.
** Also, the last area unlocked in ''VideoGame/{{Uru}}'' is [[spoiler: Myst Island]]. Note, however, that Uru was intended to be -- essentially -- a ''Myst'' MMORPG, so it's not really the end of the Uru storyline. It's kinda complicated...
** Subverted, however, in ''VideoGame/MystVEndOfAges''. [[spoiler: Even though you have the option to, you don't WANT to return to Myst Island. [[DownerEnding Trust me on this one]].]]
* In ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'', Gordon Freeman arrives at the Combine-ruled City 17, passing through a block of flats and a trainstation, before reaching a friend's lab and then heading off to the coast, where he is later teleported back to the lab, except that resistence uprising has resulted in riots. This is most striking when the player escapes from some ruined apartments, to discover he is in the same courtyard has passed through earlier, and then goes on to find the train station exterior, now covered with Combine devices and walls. It's not nearly the end of the game, though.
* In ''VideoGame/StarTropics II: Zoda's Revenge'', the very last chapter of the game takes place on C-island, the first island of the original ''[=StarTropics=]''. And the game's ultimate dungeon? [[NostalgiaLevel A remix of the first game's first stage]], complete with music.
* The penultimate act of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' is set in the ruins of the Shadow Moses Island Nuclear Disposal Facility, where the entirety of the original ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' took place.
* In ''VideoGame/InFamous'', the final boss battle is fought at the site of the explosion that began the game.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Ico}}'', [[spoiler:after Yorda is taken by the Queen, and you maneuver your way through the castle's underground waterway, you come upon the very dock that you were taken to in the game's opening scene. And it turns out the Queen's throne room was right next to the room you were first imprisoned in.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'' directly invokes this trope in the opening narration. "This story, like all good stories, begins where it ends: in a tower, in a realm that is no more..."
* In ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'', if you finish the higher difficulty mode, you end up fighting the TRUE final boss [[spoiler:Henry]], in the parking lot right outside your own home where you'd be after every Ranked Fight.
* In ''VideoGame/TimeShift'', the first level has the player being dropped into a dystopian alternate timeline where the Occupant resistance is being mercilessly crushed by the fascist Krone Magistrate, and the level ends in a HopelessBossFight against BigBad Krone's HumongousMecha. The game's last level takes place in the exact same neighbor and ''at the exact same time'' as the first level, except you've altered history so that the resistance is winning (i.e. in the original timeline a helicopter would mow down several resistance members on a rooftop, whereas in the altered timeline the resistance members have rocket launchers to shoot the copter down with). When you reach the final battle you end up in a better firing position than you were in the original timeline, such that you actually have a shot a the Humongous Mecha's weak spot, as well as a weapon capable of harming it.
* Very subtly done in ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R.]]''. The game's first level is a non-combat tutorial where you search an abandoned building in a run-down neighborhood for the game's TheDragon. At the very end of the game, you emerge from an ElaborateUndergroundBase into a run down warehouse. If you look out the window, you'll see that you're in the very same neighborhood that the game's first level took place in.
** Also, the final "confrontation" with Alma takes place in a hallucination of the same building from the game's first level, which is revealed to be [[spoiler: the labratory where Alma gave birth to your character]].
* The final showdown in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'' takes place in the very same castle you began the game in.
* After completing TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon in ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'', the portal to the final boss opens up on Opassa Beach, which is just off the silent protagonist's hometown, and where he attempted to meet his girlfriend at the very beginning of the game.
* At the very start of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon'', your character is dropped into the Abyss while standing in front of the door to Dracula's inner sanctum. The ''entire rest of the game'' is a quest to get the key to that same door, behind which is the final encounter with Dracula.
* ''VideoGame/MidnightClub II'': the last two races in Career mode take place in the first city. In a further example, the final race's finish line is the gas station where the entire game began.
* ''VideoGame/GrimFandango'' plays this trope for all it's worth. Near the end, Manny returns to the city where he began the game working as a travel agent, now a [[FilmNoir corrupted cesspool of sin and debauchery]]. He infiltrates the heart of the criminal conspiracy, where the BigBad unwittingly [[spoiler:''offers Manny his old job. In his old office.'']]
* ''VideoGame/SystemShock 2'' does this in a bit of a roundabout way. [[spoiler:While in the original, Citadel Station was destroyed, the very last section of the sequel dumps you into a still-forming recreation of Citadel's medical level, big blue tiles and all- said medical level being the place where the Hacker first woke up in the original. It's still-forming because SHODAN is rebuilding it ''out of her own memory''.]]
* In the [[MindScrew endgame]] of ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland2LeChucksRevenge'', you can [[spoiler: emerge from a door on Melee Island, last seen locked in the original game]].
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/OracleOfTao''. WhereItAllBegan is some generic large town, that practically nothing happens (ever), much less an epic battle. However, in the PlayableEpilogue it does return to an origin place, the [[CosmicEgg Universe Egg]] where the world was created at the end of the first game.
* Near the beginning of ''VideoGame/{{Terranigma}}'', you are sent through a portal from your hometown at the inside of Earth to outside. Near the end, this same portal is opened again and you visit your hometown. [[spoiler: However because of the changes you've made on the surface, it has subtle changes and right when you talk to anyone, they turn into spirits and attack you.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SecretOfEvermore'', the game begins in Omnitopia before you get shuttled down to Evermore's surface. The rest of the game is largely spent trying to figure out how to go back home, which the protagonist believes can be done by returning to Omnitopia. And for the final areas of the game, he does.
* ''VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves''': The final battle ends in Paris, the area where [[VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRaccoonus the first game]] begins Sly's quest to avenge his father and his family's name. Paris is also the first level of the second game as well. It comes full circle in ''VideoGame/SlyCooperThievesInTime'', where the final level (also the tutorial level) takes place in Paris.
* ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}''
** ''VideoGame/HitmanCodename47'' opens with the titular character breaking out of the lab where he was created, and finishes in the same building, when he kills his creator.
** ''VideoGame/Hitman2SilentAssassin'' begins with 47 working in a church in Sicily, and features the final showdown in the same church, after which he leaves.
** ''VideoGame/HitmanContracts'' technically begins and ends in the same hotel room, but that's because he's been tripping the entire game on his near-deathbed.
* The final episode of ''VideoGame/Disgaea3AbsenceOfJustice'' takes place in the same location as the first episode (Though it's been remodeled from a fairly typical castle into a futuristic looking palace). The final battle of the Raspberyl story takes place in the same location.
* The second to last story stage of ''VideoGame/TimeSplittersFuturePerfect'' involves returning literally to the same location and time as your visit to the first story level of the game, so you can assist your past self.
* In ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain : Blood Omen'' Kain receives his quest at the Pillars of Nosgoth, which is also where the final boss is fought. In ''Soul Reaver 2'', Raziel begins the same fighting his way out of the Sarafan keep, and the game ends with him fighting his way back in.
* ''[[VideoGame/YoshisIsland Super Mario Advance 3]]'' takes you back to the Training Course in stage Secret 6, but not before getting though some of the hardest obstacles in this stage. The Training Course is the stage where you start a new game before entering World 1.
* In ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story]]'', even though it's not really the last battle, you fight the BigBad in the meeting room of Peach's Castle, where Mario first battled Bowser at the beginning of the game. Adding to this, you play as Bowser in the same position but with a different perspective.
** And in ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time]]'', after defeating the elder Princess Shroob and returning to Peach's castle yet again, her essence revives Bowser and you have to battle him one last time in the throne room, where baby Mario fought Baby Bowser before the Shroobs first appeared at the beginning.
** Both games use Princess Peach's Castle, the starting point of the adventure as the final dungeon albeit with some modifications made by the BigBad.
* The last stage of ''VideoGame/KirbysAdventure'' is a black-and-white homage to its UsefulNotes/GameBoy predecessor, ''VideoGame/KirbysDreamLand'', with two rooms for each of that game's four stages.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' the main character [[spoiler: is born at the Jefferson Memorial, but is led to believe he/she was born in Vault 101.]] [[WideOpenSandbox Sooner or later]], the player storms that same place twice in the main storyline.
** It goes a lot further than that. If you pay close attention and find all the right logs, you'll realize that the player character (assuming you disregard the expansion) dies on the ''exact spot where he was conceived'' - in the reactor room, fixing the problem his parents missed because they were too busy having sex.
** In addition, one sidequest tasks the player with returning to their old home, Vault 101, to quell a dispute between the residents within concerning opening the vault and venturing out. At the quest's conclusion, the player leaves the vault again, [[YouCantGoHomeAgain for the last time.]]
* Twice in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast''--first, you rescue Zelda from the Hyrule Castle dungeons, then return to the castle after obtaining the Master Sword to climb its [[DiscOneFinalDungeon central tower]]. In the Dark World, after completing the final dungeon the final boss crashes through the top of the Dark Pyramid you entered the world on to reveal a chamber inside where the final battle is held. Just to top it all off too, the Dark Pyramid and Hyrule Castle are in the same place between the two works. There are two other instances, as this game is the TropeNamer for DarkWorld--the first dungeon for each of the two worlds is in the same place, and the final dungeon of the Dark World is in the same place as the final dungeon of the Light World.
** The eighth dungeon in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendofZeldaOracleGames Oracle of Ages]]'' is in the same location as the first dungeon, merely in the past rather than the present. It's not as simple as just warping to the past once you've got the Song of Ages, however.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', Link begins the second part of the game in the ruins of Hyrule Castle Town, and later returns to the town to infiltrate Ganon's Castle floating where Hyrule Castle once stood.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendofZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'' the player starts off in Clock Town and has to wait until the end of the 3rd Day to climb up the clock tower and get their ocarina back from the Skull Kid to begin the game proper. Once the dungeons are complete you have to do the same and this time use the song you've learned to call the dungeon guardians to your aid.
** For ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'', the game proper begins in Hyrule Castle's dungeons where you meet Midna, and the final dungeon takes you through the rest of the castle.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap The Minish Cap]]'', the final dungeon is once again Hyrule Castle.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks Spirit Tracks]]'', it is noted that the entrance to the Dark World is located not far at all from Link's hometown.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'', the entrance to the final dungeon is about ten steps away from the cave where Link rescues his bird at the beginning of the game. And then the final battle takes place in the same place Link first descended to the surface.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar'', the prologue begins in Chalphy with Sigurd setting out to save Edain. In the final chapter, the last stretch of the war begins in Chalphy with Seliph setting out to end a 20-year Holy War and save Julia in the process.
** A rather meta example in the Tellius duology: the very first thing you see when booting up ''VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance'' (after the Nintendo and Intelligent Systems logos) is [[http://serenesforest.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/fe9cg01.png an ominous-looking still image of the Tower of Guidance.]] Guess where the last few battles of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn'' are fought...
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' does this for the Hard Rain campaign where the finale takes place in the Burger Tank, which is where you started in the first map, except it is more wrecked and now flooded from the hurricane.
** And The Passing as well; the whole objective of that campaign is to get to the other side of a bridge and lower it so you can drive the escape vehicle from the first campaign over it.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMario'''s first battle is against Bowser at Peach's castle. The [[spoiler: second-to-last]] boss, Bowser, is fought in the same room where the first battle was. As if that wasn't enough, the post-game scenes almost directly mirror the opening sequence, including why Mario is going to Peach's castle.
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'', the last few missions take place in the city where the first few did. The final mission ends [[spoiler: on Grove Street]].
* ''VideoGame/StarCraft'':
** ''VideoGame/StarCraftI'', the first and final missions of the Protoss campaign take place on Aiur.
** ''VideoGame/StarCraftIILegacyOfTheVoid'', the first and last mission chains both take place on Aiur. For bonus points, the penultimate mission takes place in the same location as the last Protoss mission of the first game.
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'', choosing the "Revenge" option takes you back to the ship you came in on.
* ''VideoGame/DigimonWorld3'', sort of. The final battle takes place in [[spoiler:an almost identical equivalent of]] the building where the player first arrived in the Digital World.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fable}}'', the final boss fight occurs in the Chamber of Fate. Although not technically where the game began, it is where your character is officially made a Hero, so it counts.
* ''VideoGame/DawnOfMana'' begins and ends with a chase through the same LostWoods... but the second time around, you're going after [[spoiler: the evil Sorceress after she's pulled a GrandTheftMe on UnluckyChildhoodFriend Ritzia]] and the monsters have all been corrupted by Echoes.
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'':
** The original ''[[VideoGame/{{Metroid1}} Metroid]]'' requires you to return to the first vertical shaft near the beginning in order to access Tourian. In a more literal sense, the final hallway with Mother Brain is just 2 screens above the start area. Also, if you beat Ridley before Kraid, you'll again be going through the area from the very beginning of the game to fight Kraid before heading up to Tourian. Less so in the [[VideoGame/MetroidZeroMission remake]], as there's more game to go after Tourian.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' gets partial credit for the fact that the pathway to the final area is fairly close to your ship and the first places you visit on Zebes (Ceres Station, the very first area of the game, is destroyed) and there's even a secret path near your ship that's effectively a second pathway to the final area, meaning you're very likely to be passing by your ship (possibly grabbing a save and fill-up while there) when doing a 100% items run (depending on your route).
** ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'' begins and ends in the shuttle landing dock of BSL.
** ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' has the final area be accessed from the first area of Tallon IV you land on. Quite close to your ship, too.
** ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime2Echoes'' has the final boss battle take place in the DarkWorld version of the area you first learn of the game's true objectives in.
** ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'' follows this, but only in the PlayableEpilogue -- the BonusBoss is in the very first area of the game, in a part you've been unable to access until now. The path eventually loops round to the other side of the control room where the first boss was, before the inevitable escape sequence back to your ship.
** ''VideoGame/MetroidIIReturnOfSamus'' ended with Samus taking the baby Metroid back to her ship. In the [[VideoGame/MetroidSamusReturns remake]], [[spoiler:Ridley appears out of nowhere right infront of Samus's ship for the final boss battle, playing the trope much straighter]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' briefly takes you back to the ninth test chamber (which is now a piece of cake, due to being able to fire two portals) before the final boss.
* ''VideoGame/ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'' is a SpoilerTitle by that sense.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' DLC ''Claptrap's New Robot Revolution'' ends in Fyrestone, the place where the Vault Hunters met the Claptrap that would be the Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap and the place where they started the game.
* ''Videogame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' brings you back to Fyrestone, the first area of the first game, in the penultimate mission of the main campaign.
* A fan sequel to ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}'', known as ''Necrologue'', has a level that bounces between all three games in one place, starting with the second level of Requiem, leading into a fan-made set of rooms that bridges between the end of ''Overture'' and the start of ''Black Plague''. Clarence and Philip lampshade all of this, saying that they've gone in a complete circle. You even get to relive how Overture ended if you go far enough.
* ''VideoGame/FullThrottle'' begins with Ben and his gang riding motorcycles. During the ending sequence, Ben is stuck on a wrecked plane at the edge of a bridge, and needs to get off the plane before it falls, a feat that's impossible to do on foot. However, a conveniently placed bike sits BehindTheBlack.
* In the first two ''VideoGame/RhythmHeaven'' games, the final remix ends with a Karate Man section. Karate Man was the very first mini-game in the first installment. (Which was [[NoExportForYou only available in Japan]])
* In ''VideoGame/NieR'', the gateway to the Shadowlord's castle lies just past the altar where Grimoire Weiss and Nier first met. When Emil comments on this, Weiss agrees that it feels strangely nostalgic.
* The jail cell in ''VideoGame/{{Purple}}'''s intro is actually located within TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon. In fact, it's just steps away from final boss' chamber.
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon in ''VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVSTheSoullessArmy'' must be accessed from the same bridge where your fist case began.
* After the tutorial fights aboard General Scales' airship, ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures'' opens in the sprawling, epic Krazoa Palace. Guess which place serves as the final dungeon?
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries''
** ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'' does this in a way. The final boss battle takes place at the theater Bruce Wayne attended on the night of his parents' murder, bringing it back to where it began not for the events of the game, but for Batman himself.
** Just before that, you enter the very same chamber Bruce Wayne was imprisoned in in the beginning of the game en route to [[VeryDefiniteFinalDungeon Wonder Tower.]] After the scene in wonder tower, you head to the theater, which, of course, is near the spot where Bruce's parents were killed, which is supposed to be one of the first easter eggs the player finds as Hugo Strange leaves a tape there for you in the beginning of the game. "''It will end where it began''" indeed.
** ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' also does this in a way with the Joker's makeshift lair, which is hidden in the extremely creepy Visitor's Center. The first time the player visits it, a cutscene plays where [[IShallTauntYou Joker taunts Batman]] and [[ItHasOnlyJustBegun foreshadows dangers to come]], and the player can continue to visit it throughout the game to hear him comment on events if they choose. The penultimate message the player can get is the Joker laughing at them on loop as a lead-up to the Joker boss battle. Additionally, the large Joker gateway over its entrance continues to be built throughout the game, only being fully completed by the end of the night, [[PointOfNoReturn and once the player enters the visitor's center at that point, the doors lock behind them]], a cutscene ensues, [[BookEnds and the game finally comes full circle]].
** Apparently, the Arkham series loves this trope, because in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins'' the final confrontation with [[spoiler:Bane and Joker]] takes place at Blackgate Prison, where the game began.
** And ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'' does it twice during the endgame - first off, the final confrontation with Scarecrow takes place in [[spoiler:the ruins of Arkham Asylum]], and then a hallucination takes Batman to [[spoiler:Crime Alley]]. Furthermore, the game's opening cutscene takes place in Pauli's Diner, which can be seen during the opening cutscene of ''Arkham Asylum'' - where the series itself began.
* ''VideoGame/JetSetWilly'' ends with the scene depicted on the game's cover art; Willy's head down the toilet in "The Bathroom", the game's starting room. ''Jet Set Willy 2'' has the same ending sequence, only on reaching the toilet Willy is transported to "Oh [[SymbolSwearing $#!+!]] The Central Cavern!", the first room of the ''previous'' game in the series, ''VideoGame/ManicMiner''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'' 5 has one if you join Ghaldring's faction. One of the final quests [[spoiler: but not the last one]] is to kill Shaper Rawal, who just happens to have his base in [[FirstTown Isenwood Spire.]] Even better is the fact that you can bypass most of his defenses by coming in through the [[NoobCave Foundry Core.]]
* The Hive, the heart of the Kreegan infestation of [[VideoGame/MightAndMagic Enroth]] during and before ''VI'' and one of the landing points during the Night of Falling Stars is located in the region of Sweet Water... [[DoomedHometown which is also your characters' home village, from which they fled during the intro of the game]], saved from death by a benign wizard. (Of course, this only counts if the cinematic opening sequence at the start of the game is considered the beginning.)
* In ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol'', the final mission takes place in the Graybox, Alpha Protocol's headquarters and the site of the game's tutorial mission. This is heavily [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]]: the final section of the game is entitled "Operation Full Circle" and the BigBad muses on how appropriate it is that the story's ending in the same place it began in the cutscenes preceding the mission.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', the adventure technically begins in Tataroo Valley. In the Epilogue, [[spoiler: when Luke/Asch/whoever comes back]], everything takes place in Tataroo Valley. It's also an example of [[DistantFinale a distant finale]], in that it all takes place two and a half years after the end of the game/anime.
* ''VideoGame/ShiningTheHolyArk'' sees the player heading into a dangerous mine at the start of the game to capture a criminal. Only it seems that the mine DugTooDeep and evil spirits have been released. So you're forced to go on a quest so you're powerful enough to go back into the mine to seal away the BigBad for good.
* ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone'' starts off at the Koryuujii estate. [[spoiler: The party goes back there twice, and the second time, it is revealed that the base of the enemy is ''underneath the fountain''.]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Contra}} Contra: Shattered Soldier]]'' one of the final stages is located Galuga Archipelago. The Stage Select screen even says, "This is where it all began before, and where we can put a close to this war."
* ''VideoGame/WarioLand 3'': the final music box is conveniently located at the first level. Then you can visit the BigBad at the temple, as in the first place you ever visit.
* ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}'': [[spoiler: The first game starts you landing on Lingshan, and the final cutscene other than TheStinger has you return to Lingshan.]]
* ''VideoGame/EccoTheDolphin'' sets out on a quest to find out what happened to his pod after it is abducted from his home bay. [[spoiler: When he discovers they were abducted by aliens, his only decent way of chasing them is to use time travel to return to his home bay at the time of the incident and get abducted with them.]]
* After travelling all over the US and touring to Canada and Moscow, ''[[VideoGame/TonyHawksProSkater Tony Hawk's Underground]]'' ends with a skate showdown with [[spoiler:Eric Sparrow]] across old neighborhood in New Jersey.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Robopon}}'', Cody has to return directly to Baba Village at the end of the second game in order to confront the Zeros.
* ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' [[SubvertedTrope sort of]] does it. The very first true level of the game takes place in the mind of Coach Oleander. The very last level of the game, after beating the [[spoiler: [[DiscOneFinalBoss Brain Tank]] ]], takes place in a nightmarish hybrid of Coach Oleander and [[KidHero Razputin's]] minds. It could be argued that this is actually a double-dose of the trope, since Raz also revisits the environment that he grew up in and escaped from immediately before the game started.
* ''VideoGame/GhostHunter'' begins with two cops talking about the abandoned high-school they're checking out. It ends with them in the same place, talking about how they're going to report what happened.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' [[spoiler:Garrosh and Thrall]] agree to have their final battle to the death at the place where the two met and bonded over [[spoiler:Thrall's memories of Grom]].
** The first battle in ''Warlords of Draenor'' takes place at the Dark Portal, which is also where the final battle against [[spoiler:Archimonde]] takes place.
** Another minor example in WoW occurs during the Siege of Orgrimmar, the final raid of ''Mists of Pandaria'', with portions of it occurring in Ragefire Chasm, the Horde's first dungeon.
* The final chapter of ''VideoGame/TheEvilWithin'' takes place at Beacon Mental Hospital, where the first chapter was. You even pass through part of the sewer system you did back then, access a door you couldn't and even find a note in the same place you found one back then.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'': TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon is in Prison Island, where the party had been to previously and where "Zanza" released the Monado's shackles. New areas of Prison Island can now be accessed due to the teleporters that have been activated.
* ''VideoGame/{{Loom}}'' has the big showdown on the very island you grew up on and left at the start of the game. It also takes place in [[spoiler:the cathedral where the events setting off the plot took place, and the draft that caused it (still echoing in the Loom) is used to save the day]].
* ''[[VideoGame/DynastyWarriors Dynasty Warriors 8 XL]]'' makes reference to this during the final stage of Lu Bu's Hypothetical route, [[spoiler: Recapture of Chang'an]], when [[spoiler: Zhang Liao comments that Chang'an was where all of Lu Bu's troubles began, having been forced out of the city earlier in the story. Lu Bu replies that this is different; this time, he is free to do as he wishes on the battlefield.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'': Remember the locked gate in Hunter's Dream? [[spoiler: This is the place where you put [[DeathSeeker Gehrman]] out of his misery.]]
* ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies2ItsAboutTime'': After lots of time-travelling shenanigans in the previous worlds, the final world, Modern Day, takes place just before the start of the game when Crazy Dave was about to eat his Taco.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxterThePrecursorLegacy''. Despite seeing Gol and Mia and Daxter undergoing his transformation on Misty Island, the FinalBattle takes place at Gol and Mia's citadel far away from Jak and Daxter's village.
* ''VideoGame/TheThing2002'': Blake fights the FinalBoss Thing at the excavated site of the UFO crash where it arrived on Earth.
* The final level of ''VideoGame/BlenderBros'' is your PlayerHeadquarters, the base of the Cosmo Keepers. The bad guys invade your base, and it's up to Blender to rescue his friends.
* The very last scenario of the Russian campaign of ''Videogame/EmpireEarth'' is not only at the exact same place as the first, but [[spoiler:at the exact same ''time'', as you have betrayed Grigor II and used TimeTravel to get there and stop him at the very beginning. Unfortunately for you, Grigor II has done the same to protect the original Grigor and his rise to power, and he's brought much more to bear than you]]. A Bad Case of Deja Vu indeed.
* ''VideoGame/TheWitness'': The GoldenEnding [[spoiler: is accessed by solving an environmental puzzle using the gate from the starting area. Of course, one of the first things the player does is turn the gate off, making solving it impossible; to turn it on again, they have to activate all of the lasers and complete most of the puzzles in the End to access the Caverns and find the gate's reactivation pattern. This journey clues the player in on the existence of environmental puzzles, which they'll need to find the ending, and, through audio logs, gives them backstory context they'll need to appreciate it]].[[note]][[spoiler: Of course, if the player just so happens to have figured out environmental puzzles within the first few minutes of the game, they can [[SequenceBreaking access the Golden Ending right away.]]]][[/note]]
* ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'' begins and ends the same way, with Sonic crashlanding on Windmill Isle after a massive fight as Super Sonic.
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'': In the Pacifist ending, [[spoiler:after the final boss fight with Asriel, Frisk wakes up in the ruins, where the game begins. In the playable epilogue you can find Asriel in the flower bed from the very beginning of the game. In the Neutral and Pacifist endings Frisk ends up in the surface world where they come from, in the former the objective of the game is to go home in the latter the monsters get to go home with you.]]
* ''VideoGame/RandalsMonday'': The finale takes place in the same place the story started on: Clayton's Cave.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Endstone}}'', [[http://endstone.net/2011/04/21/5-28/ Kyri returns not to her original home but where she lived with her husband and daughter.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses:
** In ''WebVideo/SuburbanKnights'', [[MacGuffin Malachite's Hand]] is buried [[spoiler:in the same field that the team start off in]].
** In ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'', the swallowed team ends up [[spoiler:in the same field as the final battle in ''WebVideo/SuburbanKnights'']].
* In ''Literature/MaleRising'', Paulo Abacar the ex-slave lived in a house at Oyo Square, Sokoto. [[spoiler: 177 years later, his great-great-great-granddaughter Laila Abacar visits the house - now a museum and shrine - in the epilogue. She considers moving her family there at the end.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'':
** In the original ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'' cartoon, the story began on the nearly drained Cybertron in "More Than Meet The Eye: Part 1". The final episodes take place on a recharged Cybertron in "The Rebirth: Part 3".
** The first season of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' ends where the adventure began: in the cargo hold of Optimus Prime's ship, with Prime and Megatron fighting for the [=AllSpark=]. Megatron even points this out.
** The two battle on board the same ship yet again near the end of the third season premiere, though that's a looser fit for this trope.
* The third season of the ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' uses this. When Valtor challenges them for the final battle, he deliberately chooses the very world he first invaded after breaking out of prison.
* The movie ''WesternAnimation/TurtlesForever'' essentially does this for the entire ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' franchise; the third act is set in "Turtle Prime", the world of the original Turtles comic books.
* "Awakening," the first episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', begins with the Wyvern Clan waking up from their stone sleep in Castle Wyvern. "Hunter's Moon," the final episode, ends with the Manhattan Clan going into stone sleep in Castle Wyvern.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Return of Harmony Part 1", Discord tells the main characters that they can find the Elements of Harmony back where they began. In the next episode, Twilight Sparkle finds the elements in the book that she is reading at the beginning of the pilot episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' episode "Mr. Mojo's Rising" is in effect a "where it all began" episode. [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirlsMovie The movie]] is essentially an inflated extension of the episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBeatles'' episode "Paperback Writer" has the head of publishing firm Dot, Clot and Blot telling each of the boys to submit a book telling how the group came together. The boys' individual takes are rather far-fetched (Ringo a Shakespearean actor, Paul a scientist, George a secret agent, John a World War I pilot, and each scenario with the others in supporting roles). They're so outlandish that the publisher kicks them out of his office.
-->'''John:''' Say, how ''did'' we meet, anyway?\\
'''Ringo:''' Same as now. We just sorta bumped into each other!
* Basically, this is how ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' concludes. When the Nibiru curse is destroyed, it reset everything in Crystal Cove as if the curse had never existed, and the gang -- once shunned by the townspeople -- are now considered productive members of the community. But the reset means there are no mysteries to solve and Fred's van is a plain, white van. After getting a recorded message from Creator/HarlanEllison, who had jumped the same timeline as the gang had, they dress up the van as their now-iconic "Mystery Machine" and set out on a road trip to solve whatever mysteries come their way.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Salmon: These fish are born in high mountain streams, at times hundreds of miles inland, past rocks and rapids atop the bodies of their dead parents. They travel downstream as they grow in size, some but not many (relatively speaking) dodging gauntlets of predators on their journey to the sea. The survivors, the most fit whether by disease resistance, speed, strength or luck, are the only ones to reach the ocean, where they are further culled by merciless mother nature. It is here they continue their growth and development for a few years, honing their skills and growing in strength for what lies ahead. At some point, they are called to the place where it all began, to spawn and join their ancestors in the hallowed halls of salmon valhalla. So they return, the only way they can, the hard way, swimming and leaping up the rapids and short waterfalls the entire route. Overwhelming their predators, man, bears and manbearpigs with sheer numbers, rock solid [[TheDeterminator determination]] and belly filling deliciousness, eventually enough of them make it back and engage in an orgy of death and babymaking before they shed their mortal shells and ascend into the heavens.
* Eels: Their life history is in many ways a mirror image of salmon. Instead of being born in high mountain streams, they are born in the open sea. They drift with the ocean currents, growing in size and eventually swimming on their own while dodging their own gauntlets of predators on their journey to fresh water. The survivors swim up rivers and streams, where they continue to grow for as long as 15 years while avoiding a new set of predators. Then, they go downstream, even crossing wet grasslands, until they reach the ocean. Eels then cross hundreds or even thousands of miles of ocean, overwhelming their predators in much the same way that salmon do, with enough of them making it back to the breeding grounds before entering eel valhalla.
* Humanity: The oldest modern human skeleton was found at Awash River.
* Evolution has done this many, many times, most commonly when a species whose ancestors left the oceans and adapted to land then returns to a marine habitat.
* Deliberately invoked by UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler in World War II. During World War I, the Germans signed a surrender with the French in a railway dining car; this was followed by the Treaty of Versailles which helped lead to the Great Depression and hard times for Germany. After the German Army defeated the French in the second World War, he went out of his way to move the dining car (by then in a museum) to the original spot that the surrender had been signed in to drive home the severity of their defeat.
* A pilgrimage to the city of Mecca, the birthplace of Mohammed and also the site of his first revelation of the Quran and thus the ''de facto'' birthplace of Islam, is ''de rigeur'' for Muslims.