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Advancing Wall of Doom

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The claustrophobe's worst nightmare.

Charlotte: Huh?! Something's after us!
Jonathan: This doesn't look good! Let's run for now!
— Running from the Behemoth in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

A level (or segment thereof) in which the player must make rapid progress to outrun a giant threat. The threat in question can be anything from rising water levels, to giant robots, or, as the name implies, a slowly advancing giant wall lined with all manner of painful things. Other times, there isn't even a visible threat, and the screen simply scrolls on its own. Sometimes going off the screen or contacting the said wall means instant death, at other times, it simply pushes the player forward, over a cliff, or just squishing them to death if necessary.

See also: Rise to the Challenge, The Walls Are Closing In, Descending Ceiling, Indy Escape, Advancing Boss of Doom and Outrun the Fireball for specific types of this. When the screen itself forces you to keep moving and anchors the camera to the wall, it's a Auto-Scrolling Level. Also compare Escape Sequence and Deadly Walls. May be justified with Living Structure Monster or an advancing Animal Stampede.


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    Action Adventure 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: During her progress through The Consortium's Elaborate Underground Base, Ann comes across a large red sphere of energy that chases after her, leading to a brief auto-scrolling segment to escape until she can find a weapon capable of destroying it.
  • In Badland , the whole gameplay consists of your character forced to move forward because of one, while also avoiding the chains, spikes, etc. and pick up one's clones along the way.
  • The Castlevania series has more than a few of these.
    • In Castlevania: Bloodlines, there's one going down to keep up with draining water. No idea why, since there's no huge drop to kill you (unless you go too fast and discover your Super Drowning Skills). That's not the only one in the game, by the way; the second level features one.
    • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse has several as well, including one 'rising water' stage, a few auto-scrolling stages towers (one up, one down), and one where the auto-scrolling occurs in noisy "jumps."
    • Super Castlevania IV has a level near the end of the game where a huge circular saw blade chases you upward as you ascend the level to meet a Boss Bonanza before meeting the Count himself. It's also a level which automatically advances the screen whenever you move up (and, you die if you fall below it), which means you actually have two advancing walls to keep up with. Thankfully, the saw doesn't move that fast, meaning you're usually in more danger of falling off the screen than getting hit by the saw.
    • Castlevania: The Adventure had a level that was MADE of this trope. Stage 3, Death Fair, featured a corridor where you had to destroy giant screws to keep the spiked ceiling from crushing you, a tower up which you had to slowly climb via ropes while being chased by a spiked floor, and finally another corridor where you had to outrun a spiked wall while killing enemies and balancing over bottomless pits.
    • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood has the Behemoth chase you through part of Stage 2. The scenario gets repeated in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
  • Demon Skin has a Hair-Trigger Avalanche in the first stage that you must outrun or lose a life.
  • Hollow Knight inverts it in an interesting way during the fight against the Radiance. When badly wounded, it begins to flee into the sky from the Knight's pursuit; as you leap up platforms to give chase, dodging its desperate laser attacks, a massive wall of darkness follows behind you. The wall is made up of the Knight's kindred void spirits, and catching up to the Radiance one last time allows your brethren to engulf it, letting you rip the Radiance into pieces and annihilate the threat of the Infection once and for all. Falling into the wall deals a single mask worth of damage.
  • L.A. Noire: In one segment late in the game Jack Kelso must get away from a bulldozer advancing on him.
  • The NES version of ''Strider'' features a corridor in Los Angeles where spiked walls advance quickly one after another, and one has to duck in holes on the ground to avoid getting damage.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • There's also one or two death traps like this in Nightshade (1992), a game that spoofed 30s supernatural noir.
  • TRON 2.0 also did this in one level, where you had to flee a "Reformat Wall", and got obliterated if it touched you.
  • Typoman: A firey one of these pursues the player in Chapter Two.

    Action Game 
  • In the final stage of Cannon Dancer, right after defeating a mirror copy of Kirin, a giant wall of fire/energy comes up and starts moving forward, erasing the entire stage. The player must run the opposite way, increasing speed as they run down a steep incline and then jump at the last moment before being caught.
  • In the PC version of The Fairly OddParents: Breakin' da Rules, one level has Timmy travel to the past and meet the younger-aged version of Vicky and Tootie's mom (named Nicky here), who romantically pursues him though the stage. The fact that she's the future mother of his nemesis and his Stalker with a Crush is one reason to keep away from her (the other being that you have to start the level over if she catches you).
  • God of War has these a few times; the first two (one each in God of War and God of War II) are defeated by killing off the horde of Mooks that spawns on top of you, while the second is actually a time-based puzzle where you have to open a door.
  • Gunstar Super Heroes has the File Crasher. If you get caught by it, it, um... erases your file. Actually, it only claims it will erase your save file, and only in the original Japanese version.
  • Inspector Gadget: Operation Madkactus had quickly rising water in World 2-2, which invoked Super Drowning Skills. In the final mission, the wall of doom was the vehicle.
  • Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge for the Super Nintendo had, in Gambit's first level, a gigantic spikey ball of doom, slowly crushing everything in his path.
  • In the Spider-Man (2000) game on the PlayStation, the final level had you being chased by Carnage-Ock.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, there is a level where the player has to outrun the purple wave of death created by the Sith Harvester (ball shaped thing that absorbs the force from living things and stores it or some such thing).
  • In LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, the level based on the assault on the Death Star II in Return of the Jedi ends with the player flying away from the ensuing explosion from its core. In LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, the level based on the episode "Legacy of Terror" ends with the player being chased by a swarm of Geonosian zombies.
  • The 4th boss in Run Saber is a large robot called Southern Jambalaya, and its first phase has it walking forward while he tries to kill the player(s).
  • The third level of Strider (Arcade) has a particularly frustrating one: it starts as a simple wall slowly moving forward while the stage auto-scrolls, but then becomes a frantic race upwards to avoid being flattened by two walls closing in; if you lag at all (or get hit by the small flying enemies coming from above), you won't have time to come out without being crushed.
  • Versus Umbra: The grinder in First Strike chases you through the entirety of 2-5 and kills you in one hit if it gets you, though it's possible to destroy it with good enough weaponry.

    Beat Em Up 
  • Two instances shows up in Bloody Zombies, firstly when you trigger a set of gears which pursues you relentlessly, and a later stage where you encounter an Advancing Zombie Horde of Doom near London's Tower Bridge where you must make a sprint to the bridge's other side before it opens up.
  • Later levels of Express Raider have enemies pushing stacks of crates towards you, which you must break through before they push you off the train.
  • Jackie Chan Stuntmaster have several stages with trucks pursuing Jackie down alleyways, with Jackie sprinting like crazy until he reaches a section too narrow for the truck to enter.
  • Shuihuzhuan: Liangshan Yingxiong have these obstacles in the underground mausoleum, and you'll need to repeatedly lash out and punch the walls to push them back and reveal an exit. Often, mooks will try getting in your way.
  • The original Splatterhouse has the player pursued by a creepy pulsing purple wall of...something. You'll only see it if you dawdle significantly, though.
  • In Streets of Rage 3, Stage 3 has an Advancing Bulldozer Of Doom, which you must outrun while destroying concrete walls that are blocking your way. It can, however, be hit to knock it back a few meters. At the end of the section, the 'dozer slams into a support beam and a barrel falls from the ceiling, knocking the Mook out.
  • The TakeOver have a bulldozer in the first stage that pursues you down an alleyway full of barricades and boxes, where you'll need to jump over or destroy.

    Casual Videogame 
  • Corridor Z: The zombies pursuing the Player Character will slowly get closer and closer until they catch up. You can knock them back by knocking down objects and vent shafts.
  • Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells: Devil's Snare will spread into squares next to it unless you take out at least one overgrown square with a match or item.
  • In Stampede Run, you're being chased by three bulls the whole time you're running. Stumble and one will be right on your tail for about 5 seconds. Stumble twice in quick succession and you'll be run down.

    Fighting Game 
  • There's one of these in the Star Wars stage in Soul Calibur IV, but it never comes close to actually crushing you.
  • The Pig King Statue in Lucas' first stage of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's "Subspace Emissary" mode. Until Ness one-shots it with PK Flash.
    • The Norfair stage in the same game has advancing walls of lava; two move toward the center of the stage from either the left or right side (though they don't go any further and move back after a while), while the third start from behind the stage and move towards it. Only a few characters can effectively jump over it, so a small safe room appears to assist those who can't. Getting hit by any of them is not a good thing.
    • One of the Metroid stages in Melee also has a giant advancing wall of lava that comes in to cover over half the stage.
    • A vortex serves as one in the sole bonus stage of Ultimate.
    • The worst one involves not only a scrolling screen, but randomly moving cars that you have to jump between on the "Big Blue" track.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Apex Legends features a large energy field around the play area known as the Ring. Anyone outside it takes damage at a slow rate, increasing in damage as the round timer goes on.
  • In the first mission of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the ship you are raiding is hit by enemy aircraft and begins to sink. You must run behind your teammates all the way to the helicopter. If you lag behind just a little, you'll be "killed" and forced to retry the mission. It's made even worse by the fact that the ship begins to list heavily to one side, so you're actually running diagonally. And in the end, you need to jump over the side of the ship to reach the helicopter.
  • In Condemned 2: Bloodshot, you have to outrun a rabid bear through a deserted hunting lodge. And when you finally do get a chance to kill it, it's in a One Bullet Left situation.
  • F3AR features a cooperative AWOD mode, appropriately entitled F**king Run!", in which a massive black cloud rushes at you throughout the level. Naturally, getting caught in this cloud is instantly fatal.
  • A few custom Doom levels give the same effect as an AWOD by having the player chased through a maze of Insurmountable Waist Height Fences by either Exploding Barrels or revenants' homing missiles.
  • Half-Life 2 has the advancing wall of the Citadel at the end of the level Nova Prospekt, which crushes you against a non-moving wall unless you can quickly find a small opening through which you escape in the latter wall.
  • In the Armory level of Metro 2033, after being handcuffed by the Red Lines for simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time after stumbling on an interrogation, you and another prisoner must outrun the Red Line officers through a crowded station, and failure to do so results in a Red Line officer cracking your skull open with the stock of his shotgun.
  • Quake has a few examples, the first notable one being in in E1-M6.
  • Rise of the Triad has a few of these. Some just squish you, some burn and squish you at the same time.
  • TRON 2.0 had one level where the protagonist is trying to outrun a hard disc reformat, rescue Ma3a and Byte, and get to the exit before they're all destroyed by it.

    Maze Games 
  • Pac-Man 256 has The Glitch, the Kill Screen from the 256th maze of Pac-Man, closing in on you as you travel through an endless maze. It also appears in Crossy Road when you play the game as Pac-Man.
  • The Intellivision game Maze-a-Tron (yes, based off the film) had the protagonist running through a maze of circuitry to reach the RAM chips in the center with the screen continually scrolling. Unusual in that meeting the wall wasn't instant death — but it did send you back to the beginning, forcing you to run the whole thing again. Other things, like forcefields and Recognizers were what could actually kill you.

    Miscellaneous Games 
  • In the iOS/Android game, Clay Jam, one would control a pebble by rolling it in various worlds while it was being pursued by a red mass of clay that consumed everything in its path. Failing to move the pebble quickly enough would result in a Game Over as it got eaten by the mass. Thankfully, the red mass wasn't that close to the pebble and moved rather slowly, so it wouldn't be a problem (except in later stages, where the mass would move much more quickly). This also applies to its defunct spinoff game, Play-Doh Jam. note 
  • The Eternal Cylinder is a Survival Sandbox game all about trying to outrun the titular Cylinder, an incredibly tall impossibly long Mechanical Abomination crushing everything in it's path. Gameplay-wise levels are divided between areas where the Cylinder doesn't move so you can collect abilities and advance the plot, and levels where you move as fast as you can to get to the next checkpoint that will temporarily halt the Cylinder.

  • The Club Penguin minigame "Catchin' Waves" involved a penguin surfing along the wave while trying to avoid the tube. Downplayed, because it could surf inside the tube, just not dive too far into it, otherwise he would be knocked out.
  • In DC Universe Online, in the Solo mission for the Atlantis DLC, the Player Character, Mera and Ocean Master are chased by the Crown of Thorns, which will kill the player if they touch it. Making the chase harder is various guards standing in your way that you need to take out before you can proceed.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online players in the raid known popularly as "The Shroud" must solve several puzzles, each inside locked rooms. Once the puzzles are done, players must avoid deadly invulnerable whirling blades as they return to the solved puzzle rooms to deliver water in each room. If the raid party takes too long, the dreaded Prismatic Wall appears and circles the entirety of the area, killing anyone it touches who cannot continually outrun it until the last of the water is delivered.
  • Final Fantasy XIV brings back the Demon Wall, which gradually advances on the party while summoning Ao E and single-target attacks. If the fight goes on long enough — which usually it does — it'll summon two giant gnats to terrorize the party (although they were removed in patch 2.2) as well as covering the rear end of the pathway with a dark aoe that will slowly drain away your health if stood in. It's also entirely possible to fall off the side of the platform to your death if you aren't careful.
    • Rather than slowly and gradually advancing, the Demon Wall will periodically use a potent knockback move on your party before scooting up several feet. It's not clearly known what happens if he advances all the way back to the doors; most parties either defeat the demon wall or are defeated themselves before this ends up happening.
  • In the MMORPG MapleStory, there is a particularly annoying area where you have to navigate through a maze of platforms while keeping well out of the area of a moving pillar that logically shouldn't kill you with one touch. But it does.
  • World of Warcraft gives us Instructor Chillheart of Scholomance, who uses an advancing wall of solid ice, slowly shrinking the area in which you can fight. You have to slay her before it catches and kills you.
    • The fight with Yu'lon has an advancing wall of fire.
    • The Brawler's Guild has this in the form of fireballs that start raining down if you don't kill a boss fast enough. They slowly cover the whole ring and kill you instantly if they reach you.
    • Though he's technically an Advancing Boss of Doom, the Lich King in the last sequence of the Halls of Reflection is more this in effect because there's no way to do enough damage to kill him and just being close enough to him causes you to undergo an area-effect damage that kills you within seconds.
  • A lesser version in World of Warships if you get a wide enough spread of torpedoes, especially if two or more ships launch coordinated salvoes.
  • Towards the end of the Star Trek Online mission The Khitomer Discord, J'mpok uses the mycelial weapon on Khitomer while the player and their away team are planetside. Escaping the expanding mycelial rift that the weapon makes while saving as many people as possible makes up the final portion of the mission's ground segment.

    Party Game 
  • The Jackbox Party Pack: In the final round of "Trivia Murder Party" and its sequel, the players must answer questions that involve identifying which entries fit a category, with right answers moving players closer to the exit and winning the game. After a few rounds, an ominous darkness starts closing in on the players, covering the last four spaces of the board when it first appears and then covering two additional spaces after each question. Anyone overtaken by the darkness will be eliminated from the game, and if all the players get caught before escaping nobody wins.
  • Some minigames in Mario Party use the collapsing-track version. They're races, and getting caught in the wall means you probably lost regardless.
    • Mario Party: Running of the Bulb has the players collaborate to get a lightbulb to the end of the level without Boo catching up to all four of them.
    • Mario Party 3: Cheep Cheep Chase has four players compete to outswim a giant Cheep Cheep.
    • Mario Party Advance: In the minigame Stompbot XL, a solo player is driving the eponymous vehicle to outrun a wave of lava that is pulsating its way forward. The driver has to dodge lava pits along the way, as they can take away one heart (the player's vehicle has three); there are rocks that obstruct the path and must be dodged as well. The minigame ends when the vehicle's Life Meter is depleted, so the player has to drive as far as possible until that happens to achieve a record. In Shroom City mode, they have to make it to a goal line to win.
    • Mario Party 7: Funstacle Course has all four players try to reach the end of the course while being pursued by the Koopa Kids in a flamethrower vehicle.
    • Mario Party DS: In the minigame Dust Buddies, all players have to flee from a vacuum cleaner that is approaching them. As they run forward, various objects like ribbons, buttons and balls will be sucked in, and the characters have to avoid them accordingly as well. The last player standing wins, though more than one can win if they reach the goal line at the end; conversely, if the last remaining players are sucked by the cleaner at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
    • Mario Party 10: Bowser in the Bowser Party mode. The player controlling him pursues the car the four other players are riding in, and if Bowser catches up to them, he forces them to play a Bowser mini-game that can damage and knock them out of the game.
  • NES Remix 2 Remix Levels contain Boos that can close in on the player when not looking.

    Platform Game 
  • Aladdin (Capcom) and Aladdin (Virgin Games) each had a level in which Aladdin uses the Flying Carpet to escape the enormous wall of lava that is consuming the Cave of Wonders.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation
    • The level "Croc Conundrum", where the wall takes the form of a crocodile. This time around the croc is not a one-hit kill. He merely damages you. The level "Slide Down the Shaft" is a vertical variant which also includes a descending wall of doom, both of which are one-hit kills.
    • "Slide Down the Shaft" has a variation with lasers in the floor and ceiling, forcing you to slide down the walls in steady pace.
  • Towards the end of the Sega Genesis version of Animaniacs, the entire level begins to disintegrate behind you after you open a door at the beginning, forcing you to run for your life. One mistake in this part of the game spells curtains for the Warner siblings.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt Series:
    • Azure Striker Gunvolt has a downplayed version in the Subaquatic Base. Rising water levels won't kill you right away. Rather, it slowly drains your HP, and also instantly overloads Gunvolt's electricity, gimping your damage output.
    • Azure Striker Gunvolt 2: In Gunvolt's intro stage Teseo sends a digitizing wave after him. Touching it deals very high damage, although it's possible to survive it with sufficient Level Grinding and preparations, that you wouldn't have the first time around. Given that it's essentially a tutorial stage, the wall is pretty easy to outrun.
  • In Blade Kitten, Kit has to outrun an Advancing Kaiju of Doom called Acland at the halfway mark. Every so often, she has to stop and wait for it to smash through the floors so that she can proceed. If she is hit by the monster's large claws during the fixed-scrolling portions, it's usually instant death.
  • Braid has a pretty strange variation in the final level where the advancing wall actually represents barrier between the present and the future, and dissapears when you replay the level forwards.
  • Bug had a few sections like this in Quaria. Oftentimes the wall was also lined with spikes, and one section had the wall be an instant kill (Bug normally takes 5 hits to die), but was thankfully slow enough to outrun with relative ease.
  • COGEN: Sword of Rewind: Stage 3 has a segment where you have to climb through a vertical shaft to escape from a rising wave of molten metal. Naturally, the shaft is full of enemies, inconveniently placed platforms and switches you have to flip in order to progress. The boss of the stage also features a similar segment in its second phase, but the shaft is effectively endless until you beat it.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day has a rising water level. Although you can swim, the water rises toward exposed high-voltage wires you have to sever to prevent electrocution. Apparently water touching the now-bare but still-live terminals doesn't shock you.
  • The first Crash Bandicoot game had levels where you have to run from a giant boulder. The worst part being that you're running towards the camera, making obstacle dodging and box collecting very much a process of Trial-and-Error Gameplay. These levels even carried over to other games of the series, where you run away from such things as giant polar bears, dinosaurs, dragons, tsunamis, and giant fireballs.
  • Curse Crackers: For Whom The Belle Toils: Some rooms will have a black wall with red skulls on it that can come from any direction, and quite fast as well. If you see one of these, it's a hurry to make your way through the room before it gets you, since touching it causes instant death. They usually come from below, but sometimes come from left or right as well, and at least one of them comes from above.
  • Decap Attack features this in Stage 3-1 with a kind of weird totem pole thing which kills Chuck in a single hit. It can be surprisingly hard to escape from at times.
  • This is Dino Run's entire concept. It manages to still be fun because:
    1. You can get caught up in the doom wall and still escape with your life, and in fact can get bonuses for doing so, and
    2. The 'Pyroclastic Wall of Doom' is really, really cool looking.
  • The Flash game Discount Mayonnaise (yes, really) uses a Sand Worm.
  • The Distorted Travesty series loves these, especially the third installment. Even finding some especially unorthodox takes on the concept such as trying to keep ahead of an exploding floor to avoid falling to your death.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • Donkey Kong Country: Some of the temple-themed levels feature Gnawties in giant stone wheels, which chase after DK and Diddy until stopping in an alcove. The underwater stage Croctopus Chase uses pursuing Croctopuses instead. Neither is technically a one-hit kill, but they're as dangerous as anything else since you can only ever take just two hits before dying.
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest: Toxic Tower and the unceasing rising level of toxic slime. The official Nintendo Power strategy guide even stated 'This level will eat up lives like candy' when talking about it. Good luck getting through without losing a dozen lives or more. Additionally, Castle Crush could also qualify, even if it's a lot more forgiving than the other level mentioned. In addition, Slime Climb and Clapper's Cavern have rising pools infested by a vicious piranha that can and will try to bite the Kongs if they wind up in the drink.
    • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! has Ripsaw Rage, in which a giant bandsaw is cutting through several trees, forcing the Kongs to climb upward to avoid getting cut, as the saw comes after them.
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns:
  • Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter has one in the aptly named Volcanic Eruption (Wilfre's Wasteland). Aptly named because the A Wo D is made of lava.
  • In Dynamite Headdy, the "Twin Freaks" boss is an insane AWOD. The screen scrolls at a set speed, but the boss doesn't. On top of this, hitting various switches needed to make progress makes him faster and invincible.
  • Eversion features two, the latter apparently made of blood. It's actually the avatar of Yog-Sothoth.
  • One puzzle of Fez requires the player to rigger the rise of red water/lava as they navigate a series of challenging vertical jumps. At the end there is a platform which you must be on which will float to the room exit.
  • Flashback has one of these, with insta-kill pits to jump over and a floating orb that will knock you flat if it gets in melee range. And you have to destroy it to roll into the end of the level. And it's a Timed Mission.
  • The entire point of the Flood Runner games is trying to outrun the advancing threat, be it a big wave of water or lava or a giant monster.
  • In Frogger's Adventures: Temple of the Frog, the second stage of Ancient Ruins has segments where Frogger is chased by a huge wave of water that floods entire hallways. He has to outrun the wave in order to survive.
  • Gato Roboto: The Ventilation area has a section where Kiki, sans mechs suit, has to run from a wall of spikes piloted by the mouse, and through a dangerous obstacle course.
  • The final level of Ghostrunner is spent trying to outpace and giant red wall that consumes the level as you go. If you touch it, it's an instant gameover. The wall represents the Architect's effort to erase Ghostrunner's peronality, personality, so you can only stop it by getting to the Architect.
  • Grey Area (2023) has a few chase scenes where Hailey maneuvers through an obstacle course while some kind of hazard follows after her. Chapter 3 has the level boss, the Guardian, chasing Hailey before the boss fight, and Chapter 6 starts with a wave of ghosts pursuing her.
  • In Between has a wall of darkness that is a manifestation of the protagonist's fear of the darkness in his Mental World, which can be forced back by facing the darkness and staring at it. This also happens later when he faces manifestations of his anger, which sometimes slowly pursue him, inflicting a time limit on the player in the occasions where he is cornered.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy has a segment where you have to outrun a big wall of spikes that originally starts off as just another expanse of spikes that just flips up once you've jumped over it and starts chasing you. And you have to wall jump and dodge flying apples giant cherries Delicious Fruit the entire way.
  • Jak and Daxter:
    • Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy: There's a segment where the duo has to climb to the top of an underwater tower to escape a rapidly rising flood of Dark Eco.
    • Jak II: Renegade plays homage to its Crash Bandicoot roots in one scene where you flee a giant boulder through an underground tomb playing as Daxter. The boulder is revealed to be a giant spider egg. A similarly hairy chase sequence occurs towards the end of the game where you must run from a giant centipede — this time away from the camera rather than towards it.
  • Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition has a flood variation of this trope in the cargo ship level.
  • Kid Chameleon:
    • Three of the game's levels feature a "murder wall", which could only be outrun to an extent. Poking it equals instant death. One is a straightforward introduction to the murder wall, a second is a series of timed block puzzles, and the last one gives you a rather unwieldy tank to try (and fail) at navigating the level with.
    • A level late in the game, Forced Entry, has a murder wall and ends with a choice between top route and bottom route. If you pick the wrong one, "too bad!", there's a big wall, forcing you to die and start the level from the beginning.
    • The difficulty spike represented by these levels (especially Hills of the Warrior, the first murder wall level, and Bloody Swamp, which was just plain goddamn sadistic), coupled with their music, can push them very close to the border of horror territory.
  • From the Kirby series:
    • Kirby Super Star used this, much to the annoyance of some younger players. Particularly notable in the Great Cave Offensive, where one of them is hidden in a room that immediately scrolls extremely fast past the treasure and the door, showing a flaming skull on the wall to the right.
    • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards also did this on one level of Rock Star. There was also a segment of the factory stage in Shiver Star involving electric moving walls.
    • Kirby's Epic Yarn also had giant angler fish chase you.
    • The alternate dimensions in Kirbys Return To Dreamland, made worse by obstacles blocking your path that required a Super Inhale. It's not as bad in that the wall of doom moves SO slowly, and that after using a super inhale, you can spit the resulting star at the wall of doom to beat it back.
  • The Legendary Starfy series:
    • There are two in Densetsu no Stafy 3:
      • Both stages 4-3 and 4-4 end with Starfy having to outrun a massive avalanche that acts as an advancing wall to his left.
      • Stage 6-4 has a similar event near the end of the stage, only given the location this time it's a huge lava flow you have to outrun.
    • The fifth game (the localized one) featured a series of stages in which fire chased our five-armed hero upwards. Touching it meant losing a heart and restarting that bit of the stage.
  • Lep's World: At least one level is formatted as an endless runner where the Player Character needs to stay ahead of one.
  • In The Lion King, the Elephant Graveyard level had a rising geyser of doom.
  • LittleBigPlanet has the Skulldozer, a giant skeletal machine designed to destroy everything in its path. Oh, and it emits an infinite supply of Horrible Gas that dissolves player characters. Not too long afterwards, you are sent running from a giant flaming boulder.
    • Skulldozer (as well as Copernicus the Guard Turkey in the sequel) are arguably examples of Advancing Boss of Doom, though since they're "defeated" by outrunning them to the end, they can also be considered this trope. The boulder, on the other hand, is definitely an A Wo D.
    • The custom level "Temple Run" and its hundreds of knockoffs.
  • Marble Madness implemented this wall in two player games, and only advances it when the players go through the track. If one player moved quickly enough and the second player lagged behind, the slow player is teleported forward and loses 5 seconds.
  • Taken to its logical conclusion with a giant 30 foot high Mario that destroys everything in its path in this video of the aptly named The Mario by raocow.
  • Super Meat Boy features this on several levels, usually paired with a Retreating Wall of Doom to keep you from rushing too far ahead. One such level is the final boss level. Well, the first half of said level. The second half is not any easier despite the lack of either wall.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man (Classic):
      • There are auto-scrolling segments in Dr. Cossack Stage 3 in Mega Man 4.
      • Mega Man 11 has large walls of One-Hit Kill fire in certain places in Torch Man's stage, as well as in Wily Stage 2. The first of these encounters is fairly relaxed, but the second and beyond are full of inconveniently placed walls and shielded enemies which the player is encouraged to use the Speed or Power Gears to overcome. Or you can just freeze the fire with Tundra Man's weapon.
    • ROM Hack Rockman 4 Minus ∞ has a very fast wall in Dust Man's stage.
    • The mining equipment in Armored Armadillo's stage in Mega Man X can be destroyed with concentrated firepower, but will cause instant death if touches you. However, it's also completely possible to simply fake it out then climb up a nearby wall to let it pass by harmlessly.
    • The same cannot be said of the advancing wall of magma in Area K of Mega Man ZX.
  • Metal Storm has one of these in level 5, but it's so slow that it'll only catch you if you're deliberately waiting.
  • Metroid:
    • Super Metroid features some rising lava pits. They don't kill you right off, but they do sap your health at a fast rate upon contact.
    • Metroid: Samus Returns has Samus chased by the Diggernaut's drill arms in Area 4. Contact with them is instant death, and Samus only escapes by rolling up and hiding in a nook at the end of the path. You fight the Diggernaut as a boss later, and while its drill arms can't instakill you anymore, contact with them still hurts like hell.
  • Played with in Mind Your Manors. Before the second boss, the player must outrun a rising cloud of perfume that drains their willpower. However, the cloud can't kill them even if all their willpower is drained. In fact losing all your willpower is the only way to get the White Orb of that segment, and you'll need to fight past the cloud anyway to get the Purple Orb.
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps has Ori flee from a Giant Wall of Watery Doom in the Wellspring, an avalanche on Baur's Reach, and a Sand Worm in the Windtorn Ruins. Three of the bosses (Howl, Kwolok, and Mora) also act as this during their chase phases, as getting caught results in a One-Hit Kill.
  • Papa Louie 2: When Burgers Attack has a rising wall of spikes right before the final boss fight.
  • In the Prehistorik 2, one level has you platforming your way down a giant hollow tree. The screen steadily goes down and if you go completely off the top, or fall to the bottom before another platform appears, you die. The SNES version Prehistorik Man has no slow-descending level, but it has the tree on fire level.
  • Psychonauts has two: First takes place in an air-bubble at a bottom of a lake, and there's also a rising water level in the Meat Circus level. (shudder)
  • In Rainbow Islands the player must keep above the rising water of Doom.
  • Ratchet & Clank has quite few of these; for example, in Into The Nexus you have to fly away from a sewer that's flooding on planet Silox after activating it.
  • Rayman 2: The Great Escape features three walls of doom. One is in the cave of nightmares, where the monster pursues you down a slide — hit too many obstacles and it catches up, which means you have to start over. The other two are the cliff levels where the brittle bridges you hurry along break down as they are shot at.
    • The first game, in addition to a few straightly played takes, has an interesting variation, which can't really be explained very well verbally. See here, about 2:25 in.
      • If you cannot watch the vid: you are stuck between a Retreating Floor of Doom, specifically slowly decreasing deadly water, and Advancing Ceiling of Hopelessness, a wide flat stone that's pulled down by two stringbound... things. Unfortunately, the gap between the two is decreasing. To not get drowned, you have to cut both strings, so the ceiling stops. Now, in addition to all of this, you are cutting them with your spinning hair, a part of temporary flying power used in this level.
    • Rayman Origins requires the protagonist/s to outrun an advancing wall of evil red fish in one of the swimming levels.
    • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc features some lava floods in the final levels.
  • Rayman M has such a wall in Speed Stress, the final racing level of the game. As the level doubles as an Interface Screw where the camera points towards the wall (and the player's face) instead of pointing ahead of the player, meaning you can only see 15m of the level ahead of the player, a heavy reliance on boost pads, and the fact the wall gets faster on lap 3 (coupled with shorter distance between the trampoline pads you'll want to avoid), makes this a very menacing wall to run away from.
  • Rocket Knight Adventures has a few of them:
    • A sort of a maze/descending ceiling hybrid in the middle of Stage 5. This gets extra tough when you consider that rocketing around, your primary means of moving fast, has ricochet. Very easy to bounce yourself right back under the crusher...
    • The fifth boss has Axle Gear coming after you in a giant robot. However, this level redeems itself from being a total Scrappy Level because you get your OWN giant robot at the end of it, making it one of the few such levels where you get to fight back, in rock'em-sock'em style even!
  • In RosenkreuzStilette, you have the Cross Wall, which will move menacingly towards you. Like the example above and the Mecha Dragon from Mega Man 2, you get to destroy it once you get to a certain area.
  • In Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, after the Final Boss is defeated, the very last level is Shantae sliding down a conveyor belt while being tailed by a wall of lava created by the destruction of Risky Boots' lair.
  • Skully has a couple of levels where you'll need to outrun obstacles, like your first confrontation with Wanda the Water Elemental leads to her delivering a tidal wave at your direction, and later when negotiations with Fiona the Fire Elemental has her launching a pursuing wall of flames.
  • The Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog games had a few.
    • In the first game, Act 2 of Marble Zone has lava that starts flowing from left to right when you get to its level, if not before. It's only one narrow, if longish, passage before you can jump up to a high open area, but for the length of that passage, there's an Advancing Wall of Doom — and if you're not careful, it'll advance almost as fast as you do.
    • In Angel Island Zone, Act 2 of Sonic 3, there's a portion before the Boss Battle where the screen starts scrolling to the right, then Robotnik's airship starts dropping bombs at you. If you let off the speed for a second, you'll drift too far left and get hit. All you have to do is hold right for 20 seconds.
    • On the other hand, the advancing brick wall in the very next level — the beginning of Act 2 of Hydrocity Zone — was pretty darn nerve-wracking.
    • Then there's the section in Marble Garden Zone where an earthquake starts bringing the land and the ceiling together and you have run before your escape window is closed and you're crushed between the two.
    • In Sonic and Knuckles, in between the two Boss Battles in Flying Battery Zone, Act 2, you have to run through the collapsing airship quickly, otherwise you'll be crushed between it and the single wall and floor that remain airborne.
    • Then in the next level, Act 2 of Sandopolis Zone had several areas where throwing a switch would cause sand to pour from the ceiling, and the sand would form a floor rising from below. With the winding passageways of the level, you could easily get crushed between the sand and the ceiling if you dawdled.
    • Yet again, the Death Egg Zone Final Boss isn't really an Advancing Wall of Doom, but sorta becomes one if you die on your first try (there's no place to get rings on subsequent attempts). He's pretty easy, though; it's the run afterward that's tough, as you have to stay ahead of a collapsing platform and hit the fleeing Robotnik at the same time. Doesn't sound too hard, but unless you hit Robotnik just right, the rebound as you bounce off will launch you to your doom or rob you of your momentum (causing you to fall to your doom).
    • And then there's the pachinko-themed bonus levels, in which you collect powerups while outrunning a glowing double helix that crawls steadily upward.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog CD's Stardust Speedway Act 3. You are racing against Metal Sonic and Dr. Robotnik/Eggman is chasing after the two of you in his pod shooting lasers of death out from the bottom. If you touch it, you die. If you beat Metal Sonic, it slams against the locked door and then Robotnik flies at the door, blasting the mech to pieces.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) contains infamous mach speed (mock speed) levels where Sonic was forced to run forward regardless of what happened to him, including if he died. If hit, he reacted by what appeared to be break dancing while still barreling forward at insane speeds. It has to be seen to be believed.
    • Sonic Heroes features a section where you have to climb out of a vat of "energy" (lava) that's rising up below you in Power Plant. It's more difficult if you're playing as Team Dark, but then again, so is most of the other stuff in the game.
      • In the Ocean Palace level (the first level), there's a section where you run from one...then two...then three gigantic, ornately carved stone wheels. Apparently created and placed there for no reason other than to harass anyone who should happen upon that particular hill.
      • Another one appears in the level Lost Jungle, this time with a colossal alligator. In this case, however, instead of running away from it, the heroes have to swing across a series of vines as it chases them or else they'll risk falling into the swamp and becoming its appetizer.
    • The 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog had a version during Jungle Zone Act 2, but only in the Master System version. Most of the level is a vertical climb. The camera followed you up the level, but not downwards. If you fell and hit the bottom of the screen during that section, it was instant death time. The near-identical Game Gear version didn't have this, probably because it would've made the level stupidly hard with the Game Gear's lower resolution.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 gives us Mad Gear Zone Act 3: Impending Doom, featuring an Advancing Wall Of Horrible Whirling Death accompanied by Red Alert lights and sirens.
      • Lost Labyrinth Act 3 also has a wall of doom, but it's much shorter.
    • The last level of Sonic Colors, Terminal Velocity. Act 1 requires dashing along the space elevator's girders while avoiding fleeing robots that pursue you from behind. Act 3 is a straighter example; Sonic must outrun the black hole that is consuming the space station. It gets him anyway, but the Wisps save him at the last minute, a la Super Mario Galaxy's ending. Also, in the DS version, Planet Wisp: Act 2 has a similar device, but it drills down, and it doesn't appear until Sonic is already in Yellow Drill mode and headed downward. You can get crushed by this giant drill machine.
    • This is the entire premise of the SegaSonic the Hedgehog arcade game. One of these is always after you, be it lava, ice stalactites, tornadoes, or gears.
    • Sonic Blast has a fair few of these in the Silver Castle Zone.
  • In Speed Runners, a red shrinking letterbox appears after the first elimination in a race. Anyone that gets caught along the edges is eliminated, until only one racer remains.
  • World 3-4 "Doodle a Sea Do" in the Game Boy Advance version of The Sponge Bob Movie Game features a curtain of bones that is constantly falling requiring SpongeBob and Patrick to continue moving downward to progress through the stage and avoid it.
  • Stargirl And The Thief From The Exploded Moon has two. The second makes it much more annoying, since it randomly stops the scrolling for one of its attacks, either causing you to either miss a planned jump or throw the bomb just short of its hitbox.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Galaxy has two of the missions in the Dusty Dune Galaxy including a rising floor of sand trying to crush the player against the roof, and a later mission involving a whole mountain sinking into lava (at 3:25).
    • New Super Mario Bros. has Mega Unagi, a gigantic Advancing Eel of Doom.
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii has such a wall of doom in the first level of world 8, with a giant wall of smoke/fire coming from behind Mario. Oddly enough, it's actually too slow for a whole lot of people to notice its existence.
    • New Super Mario Bros. 2 has Boohemoth, a giant Boo that acts as this. Like other Boos, looking at him will cause him to hide his face and stop, but he will peek with one eye and inch forward a few feet every couple of seconds.
    • Super Princess Peach has Advancing Walls of Boos.
    • Super Mario 3D World has a level focused on dodging an instant-kill swarm of Fuzzies that rise and move through the area. It has a redone counterpart in one of the bonus worlds, which also has a Falling Wall of Fuzzies near the end.
  • Taz in Escape from Mars has the drilling machine in Act 2 of Mole World.
  • Thomas Was Alone has a few, generally in the form of rising water, though there is one spiked wall.
  • The Tomb Raider series is chock full of spiked walls/ceilings that are too eager to impale and crush Lara. A secret room in the first level of Tomb Raider III is guarded by such a spiked wall of doom.
  • Trine includes a variation on the rising water version, with rapidly rising lava instead.
  • Uncharted has Drake running away from a crumbling city in both the 2nd and 3rd games.
  • An extremely annoying version can be seen in this VIP Mario 4 video by raocow in the Temple of Homing level, where the entire second half the level is trying desperately to outrun a homing missile at top speed, including flight.
  • The indie game VVVVVV has this in two areas with spikes, and it has a catch; you can't go too much faster than the screen, or spikes get you. Like other examples, you can't go too slow either.
  • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 uses an advancing wall of lava (which stays straight vertical the entire time, oddly) for the first in the volcanic stages.
  • X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse opted for the pursuing wall of lava approach, first horizontally, then vertically. Made even nastier by random walls dropping into your path that had to be destroyed. This, in turn, made the section nearly impossible for some characters (while others, such as Wolverine, could plow through with relative ease).
  • Yoshi's Island had featured sections where a giant chain chomp pursued you across a disposable platform. The chomp was accommodating, however, and as long as you ran and jumped in the proper locations, you were fine.

    Puzzle Game 
  • In Braid, the character (Tim) has to outrun a flaming wall of doom in one of the final worlds of the game.
    • Even weirder, (bigger spoiler) since the whole level is actually playing in reverse of what "really" happened, the wall is actually The Future receding into the past. Cross the barrier between present and future and you enter the oblivion of what hasn't happened yet.
  • In Candy Crush Saga, chocolate expands by one tile if no match is made near it.
    • Later in the game, Dark Chocolate is introduced. It works the same as normal chocolate, except that it has two layers.
  • Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure has a monster fish that chases you in one of the mid-game stages.
  • Portal 2 has a version of this during the escape section with Wheatley. In a last-ditch attempt to stop you, GLaDOS runs two test chambers into eachother to crush the catwalk you're running on. You have to keep running to reach the elevator before you get squashed.
  • Waveform has a black hole-like entity called "The Singularity" chase after you at the end of each planet. You'll need to collect nuclear-powered rockets to propel yourself forward fast enough to avoid getting sucked in.

    Racing Game 
  • One of the four "Special Races" game modes in Battle Racing Stars, UFO Apocalypse. It features linear maps with Professor Brains pursuing racers on the Flying Saucer. Getting caught by its tractor beam will result in elimination.
  • WipEout has the Quake Disruptor powerup, which creates a wall of asphalt to rise up out of the track and rush forward, smashing into everyone in front of you. And unless they have a shield handy, there's nothing they can do about it.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty has the Supernova mission, where you need to build up your force and get the artifact before the supernova torches the planet with advancing firewall of doom. This map would be very difficult if not impossible for the Zerg or the Protoss, but most Terran buildings can slowly fly, meaning that your base can be moved from one resource node to the next as you use it up and/or the moving wall catches up to you.
  • Crops up in the expansion StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm in the penultimate mission, in the form of the Psi Destroyer, which projects an "Instant Death" Radius that obliterates any creature inside it that is connected to the zerg Hive Mind. Your mission is to destroy the power links that allow it to function using Dehaka and his brood (who lack a hive-mind connection and are therefore immune) before it reaches your base. Then, while the device is non-functional, you have to do as much damage as possible before it comes back.

  • In Baroque one of the enemies that you face is Bubugel, a meta-being who is a WALL WITH A FACE ON IT. Bubugel will rapidly close off the hallway leading to the next portal and turn its back to you, making you think that it is a dead end. If that wasn't enough, his attacks involve rushing at you and... screaming.
  • In DRL, some of the randomly generated levels (and one special level, the Halls of Carnage) feature Advancing Lava of Doom. Doomguy starts near the left or right, the exit is on the opposite side and lava starts to flow in from the player's starting side, with speed proportional to the difficulty level. If the Doomguy has the right equipment, this can be used to his advantage, as non-flying non-boss enemies drown in lava within seconds.
  • In FTL: Faster Than Light, the entire game is spent running from the Rebel Fleet, a gigantic advancing fleet. Getting caught by the fleet forces you into a fight with a fairly tough rebel ship that only drops a single unit of fuel when it does go down.
  • In One Way Heroics, the advancing wall of doom is the main force that sets the plot in motion. The Darkness your character is trying to stop is slowly consuming the world, forcing you to keep going forward or face certain death. The only way to stop it is to slay the Demon Lord who summoned it. During later runs, if you have obtained the right item, you can directly attack the Darkness to get a special ending.

    Roleplaying Game 
  • Exile and Avernum use Quickfire for a similar effect. Every time you move one square outside combat, it enlarges one square in every direction that isn't blocked by walls—and each turn you're in combat, it enlarges three squares in the same manner. Once it's unleashed, you need to either get on the other side of a door (proper or hidden), or get out of the area ASAP. That said, you can survive it in the short term, as it does damage rather than killing immediately.
    • In the Test of Speed, the solution is to enter combat mode, where you get about four steps to its three (more if you have extra action points). Made a little harder by the goblins you have to fight in the tunnels, but the fire doesn't make use of Diagonal Speed Boost, while your character can.
  • Final Fantasy IV manages to get one into a turn-based RPG — the Demon Wall. If you don't beat it before it gets halfway across the screen, it starts using its Crush attack, which is instant death.
    • Final Fantasy XII brings back Demon Walls twice in the same area. The first one is an optional boss, one you're supposed to come back later to fight after you've done half a game's worth of level grinding (or you spam Quickenings or Reflected magick). The 2nd Demon Wall in the next room is the actual dungeon boss, the one you're required to kill to advance the plot. Both Demon Walls keep moving forward and if they press you against the door, it's an instant Game Over. The 2nd Demon Wall has a lot more space to work with than the first one and if you touch a correct flame during the fight, you can slow it down for a bit. Touching the wrong one will speed up the enemy's movement. Speeding up the game's battle system through the options menu does not speed up either wall's advancement.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has the same boss, which largely resorts to hindering your ability to act so that it can back you up against the wall and start One-Shotting your units. While you can teleport behind it using the Fairy Shoes, it'll use Telega to warp any unit that does so in front of it, while simultaneously inflicting them with the Immobilize status to keep them from doing it again (Unless said unit happens to be immune to that status...).
    • Final Fantasy X-2 has an irritating subversion in one area. The wall of doom is easily avoided, but you have to let it hit you to progress. Not because of anything special about the wall — it just cues a cutscene which lets the characters make a jump impossible in actual gameplay.
  • In The Reconstruction, the Tatzylvurm has powerful "Ceiling Drop" attack which starts out at the backmost row but increases its area of effect by one column every time it's used.
    • The Cryomancer has an attack that is nearly identical, though it also freezes the squares it affects.
  • In Secret of Mana, the aptly named Wall Face boss will begin slowly close in on you once you've exposed its weak point by taking out its two eyes, eventually pushing you into the spikes at the back of the room. Not defeating it in time means game over, though this is only an issue if you're trying to defeat it with your weapons, as its weak point can be struck with magic at any time.
  • Valkyria Chronicles features a mission where Squad 7 must divert the Marmota, the Imperials' battleship-sized tank into a detour. At the end of each turn, the Marmota would advance downwards on the map, decimating anything it ran over. If any of Squad 7 is unfortunate enough to be caught underneath the Marmota, they were not only instantly incapacitated, but instantly killed with no chance of a medic rescue.
  • In Wadanohara, during The War Sequence, Wadda has to flee from an advancing wall of Tosatsu Kingdom soldiers. If they touch her, it's an automatic game over.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • Abuse had a mining drill/bulldozer machine that tried to run you over. You could destroy it, but it had a ton of health.
  • Boogie Wings have a Ferris Wheel of Doom in Konyi Island that functions in this manner; halfway through the wheel breaks off and rolls after you, necessitating you to run to avoid getting squished. Enemy mooks and tanks getting in it's way will inevitably be squished.
  • At least two stages in the various Metal Slug games feature a variant of this as Boss Battles. You have to not only stay ahead/above the screen filling menace but avoid its attacks and shoot back.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • In the original Metal Gear game for the MSX2, the player had to destroy a bulldozer in a small corridor that would advance towards them pretty quickly. If it touched them, they would instantly die. However, the player could leave the room into the previous one if they failed to get a sufficient amount of hits in on time, but this would restore all of the bulldozer's health.

    Survival Horror 
  • Alan Wake has one level where you have to outrun the darkness (sorry, The Darkness, it's a personification) across a dam as it rips up things around you. It doesn't just destroy the dam ahead of you, and for good reason you’re the writer of this story, and have been writing yourselves out of such dead ends for quite a while by now.
  • Alone in the Dark (2008) has an advancing road of doom in the first major driving scene.
  • In Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, you must at one point escape an enraged shoggoth that fills the entire corridor behind you, shutting down bulkheads to slow its advance. Turning to see what it even looks like means almost certain death, but few people can resist the first time around.
  • Fear 3's co-op mode, aptly titled [F$%^ING RUN!!!] is a 4-player survival shooter game where you have to barge deep into enemy territory to escape an encroaching wall of smoke and screaming faces. The designers wanted to create a unique, horror-based multiplayer shooter that fit with F3ar's horror-based gameplay... and it is awesome.
  • The second Hysteria Project game has a moment where you're trying to enter a code on a keypad, while the ax murderer that has been stalking you throughout the series is advancing upon you. If you don't get the code typed out in time... It ain't pretty.
  • Resident Evil (Remake) has an advancing statue-with-a-spinning blade of doom in one of its puzzles.
  • Resident Evil 4:
    • At one point, you save Ashley from an advancing drill of doom in a narrow castle corridor. It makes no sense to have it in the castle anyway.
    • There's an Advancing Giant Living Statue of Salazar in the last part of the Chapter 4, shortly before confronting the real Salazar.
  • Resident Evil Village: There's a ghastly, fetal abomination. What it really is, how it got there, and why all your weapons have suddenly vanished aren't explicitly spelled out (you're trapped in the home of a malevolent Master of Illusion), but what's made very clear is that you don't want to be anywhere near this monstrosity and running away is the only thing keeping you from facing a very gruesome death.
  • In Silent Hill 2, Pyramid Head acts as one of these in the alternate hospital basement. If he hits Maria too many times before you reach the elevator (or if Maria takes too many hits at any time), it's Non-Standard Game Over. Do not use ampoules during this sequence, as Maria then can't keep up with James. However, it turns out to be a "Shaggy Dog" Story in the end, as Maria is given a Plotline Death.
  • Silent Hill 3:
    • There's a harmless amusement park 'haunted house' with rather cheesy narration... until the exit, where a mysterious red light starts chasing you out of the building. If it overtakes you, it's instant death. (Made worse by a sudden perspective shift partway through that can leave you running the wrong direction.)
    • The spiked ceiling quickly comes down low enough to kill Heather unless she crouches, then stops at the very last second. The narrator apologizes: It wasn't supposed to stop.
  • In endgame of Silent Hill 4, your Damsel in Distress is compelled to shuffle into a whirling deathtrap while you fight the final villain. Defeating him before her doom is the only way to get either the Golden Ending or the second best ending.
  • Spookys Jumpscare Mansion has Specimen 7, an advancing red wall of screaming faces that chases you through a maze for a few rooms. Touching it is an instant game over.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Fortnite:
    • In Save the World, "Eliminate and Collect" missions have the Storm gradually encroaching on the mission area. This serves as the primary danger in what would otherwise be a Monty Haul mission.
    • In Battle Royale, the Storm forms around the edge of the map just after a match starts, and the eye shrinks and moves around every so often. If the match goes on long enough, it'll stop pausing between circles, and if it goes on even longer than that, the eye will shrink away to nothing, leaving no safe areas at all.
    • In Creative, the "Basic Storm Controller" gadget lets the mapmaker control a Battle Royale-style storm, though the eye will always center on the gadget rather than moving around.
  • Gears of War 2 is full of these in the level "Intestinal Fortitude," which is set inside the Riftworm. The Gears are trying to find a way out and to kill The Dragon's giant pet. At one point they have to avoid a "Debris Wall" or get crushed. Later in the level, while chainsawing the Riftworm's cardiovascular arteries (or whatever they are), you have to do it quickly and then escape the room before the rising water actually blood drowns you.
  • Every time you reset a Vault in Mass Effect: Andromeda, a baleful greyish-red energy cloud spawns at the center of the installation and proceeds to expand at a rapid pace, killing everything organic it touches and thus triggering a hectic sprint to the exit lest Ryder and team get incinerated. While the thing isn't instantly lethal to the protagonists, the roughly three seconds it takes for your shields and health to collapse don't leave much room for error anyhow, so you better memorize the Vault's layout before you hit its reset button.
  • Vanquish has you outrunning a collapsing highway of doom in Act 3-3.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Advance Wars: Days Of Ruin had a map where you had to get at least one allied (uncontrollable) unit to an allied city which was on the other side of two Laser Walls. Behind you follows a whole army, who can deploy new units (you can't) and outnumbers you from the start. Your strongest unit is uncontrollable and works as a temporary wall (until it's destroyed).
  • In a puzzle map in Wild ARMs XF, the player has to navigate two characters in a small maze of crates and teleporters while a One-Hit Kill laser moves one tile forward after the characters make their turn.

    Non-Videogame Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • In One Piece, Donquixote Doflamingo uses his string-powers to create a "birdcage" of razor-wire around an entire island, which he then starts contracting. Luffy and the Straw Hats have less than an hour to defeat him before everyone in Dressrosa is reduced to Ludicrous Gibs.
  • In O-Parts Hunter, Jio and Ball are in a pit with a spiked wall closing in, and given the advice that an enemy can be a friend. Jio realizes that they can climb the spikes to escape the pit.
  • In Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior, due to the Big Bad's machinations, an enormous glacier between the valley gets knocked off of its foundations, and starts to move, destroying everything in its path. All the Pokémon in the valley try their hardest to stop it, to no avail. The guardian of the valley, Regigigas, was able to halt it, but only temporarily. The crisis was only averted when the heroes finally defeat the Big Bad.

Comic Books

  • Crisis on Infinite Earths had the anti-matter wave, which was destroying all universes. Its "sequel" Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! had the Entropy wave, which destroyed time as it was going backwards and forwards (one character noticed the familiarity). Both stories had the heroes trying to figure out how to stop them.



  • In Ice Age: Continental Drift, due to Scrat accidentally breaking up the continents as a result of him trying to get his acorn out of the Earth's core, a giant wall destroys the home the protagonists live in, forcing them out to sea to find a new home.
  • The slave-powered head chopping machine from Caligula qualifies. Its victims are buried up to the neck, so there's no getting away.
  • The pyroclastic flow at the end of Dante's Peak serves as a version of this: a massive wall of ash and gas hot enough to completely incinerate you in seconds advancing at as much as a hundred mph, while the heroes desperately try to get their busted truck with its melted-off tires to go fast enough to reach a mine shaft before this wall of death reaches them.
  • In Labyrinth, The Cleaners are this. They are quite horrifying.
  • Imhotep in The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns can create a wall of sand and water (respectively) sent to destroy his enemies. The walls always has his face roaring against Rick and his allies.
    • Ahmanet in The Mummy (2017) follows suit, as she summons a sandstorm with her roaring face in it for similar purposes.
  • Two show up in Rogue One, both courtesy of a low-power test firing of the Death Star's superlaser. The first time, it blows a country-sized chunk out of Jedha, and the shockwave peels the crust off the planet in an expanding kilometers-high wall of earth — the heroes only escape by jumping to hyperspace moments before it hits them. The second time, on Scarif, takes the form of an approaching wall of light. They don't escape this one.
    K-2SO: There seems to be a problem on the horizon: There's no horizon.
  • Toy Story 2: The Buzz Lightyear video game seen at the start of the movie features a moving wall of spikes Buzz has to outrun.
  • An energy wall in TRON derezzes Sark's carrier while Flynn and Yori are still on board — although technically the ship is advancing into the wall of doom.
  • The movie for The Wall uses a variation of this during the scene for "Empty Spaces/What Shall We Do Now?", featuring a wall that advances by stretching outwards rather than pushing forwards, corrupting everything it builds over.


  • The Sunlit Man: Sunlight on the world of Canticle is powerful enough to melt stone and metal and almost instantly kill anyone it touches. As such, life on this world is a constant race to try and stay ahead of the sun.

Live-Action TV

  • The main threat of an entire season of The 100 is a deathwave of radiation, which is estimated to reach the main setting in mere months. Everyone scrambles to find some way to survive it, as this is a force that simply cannot be beaten.
  • In CSI: NY's episode, "Death House," a penthouse was filled with booby traps, including one particular room whose walls would close in or, alternately, cook you to death.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Starship Mine", the decontamination field advances along Enterprise in the form of a green wall. And in "Remember Me," Dr. Crusher was trapped in a reality bubble where everything was being erased from existence, including the Enterprise, as the bubble grew smaller and Crusher was literally outracing a wall of consuming nothingness.
  • The WandaVision episode "All-New Halloween Spooktacular!" ends with Wanda expanding the boundaries of the Hex to envelop the S.W.O.R.D. base observing it, sucking them all into her sitcom Fisher Kingdom. Only Monica, Jimmy, Hayward, and two other S.W.O.R.D. agents are able to escape, and even then, just barely.


Tabletop Game

  • In Damnation Decade, the Bloc's Purity Wall is described as a four-foot-thick iron wall mounted on tank tracks that demarcates its sphere of influence, which is expanding into Esperanto and Sina.

Western Animation

  • The Gamma Dome created by the Leader in the "Gamma World" two-parter of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes is a spherical variant. It expands outwards from its origin point and would have grown to envelop the whole world and turned all of humanity into gamma mutants had the Avengers not stopped it.
  • An episode of Codename: Kids Next Door features an expanding sphere of doom that not only chases the heroes down hallways, but sometimes emerges from the walls.


  • Unicorn Jelly has one on a civilizational scale: the destruction of Myrmil resulted in a column of falling debris (extending endlessly both up and down due to the universe's geometry) which is gradually expanding by pulverizing the worlds it reaches. The government is well aware of this, keeping it a secret in order to keep society intact long enough to save a small portion of the population on an ark bound for a world further from danger. Such a migration has been undertaken many, many times before, contrary to the legend that the human characters' ancestors came directly from Myrmil. But even if they successfully rebuild civilization enough to relaunch an ark before the wall's arrival every time they're still doomed, since there are only so many worlds available that the calamity hasn't reached yet.

    Real Life 
  • Pyroclastic flows are also this. A pyroclastic flow is an avalanche of hot gas and rock produced by a volcano. They can reach speeds of up to 450 mph and can reach temperatures of up to 1,830 degrees fahrenheit. These [and surges] almost always have Oh, Crap! written all over them when they happen.
    • On top of that, you also have Pyroclastic Surges which are basically Pyroclastic Flows on steroids. Not only are they larger and faster, they are also hotter and can go farther. It's a perfect example of why you don't ever live near any mountain that explodes or has the potential to explode. Unfortunately, volcanic formations are highly unpredictable and if a Cinder Cone can rise up from beneath a farmer's corn field, then they can rise from anywhere, but there are limitations.
    • Many explosive volcanic eruptions usually end like this when it comes to well... their explosiveness. The violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius ended with a lethal Pyroclastic Surge plowing the entire city of Pompeii and town of Herculaneum like snow. Volcanic bombs took down boats like Mortar rounds and to put the cherry on top, volcanic gases basically suffocated anything that didn't get crushed by a bomb, drowned by a lava flow, or get its head exploded via Pyroclastic Density Current or Pyroclastic Surge.
  • Speaking of volcanic eruptions, volcanic gases are essentially this, especially when they're the result of a limnic eruption (expulsion of dissolved carbon dioxide from deep lake waters) or a volcano just decides to be sadistic and suffocate people occupying a nearby town or city.
    • Adding on to volcanoes here, lahars (fast flowing mudslides) and lava flows definitely count as classic awods. Lava flows are pretty obvious ones due to their very high temperatures and tendencies to overwhelm eveything that gets in their way, even if it's titanium. Lava may not be able to melt everything, but it doesn't have to if it can just climb right over it or literally force things out of its way.
    • In fact, pretty much anything expelled from a volcanic eruption counts as an advancing wall of doom, including the volcano itself.
  • Tsunamis by default are this. In fact, many tsunamis tend to behave as walls of doom. The fact that they can be caused by varying disturbances in the ocean floor (such as volcanic ejecta, volcanic eruptions, large explosions underneath the sea floor, earthquakes, large objects landing in the ocean, very violent storms, and so on) just makes them worse.
  • While not entirely walls of doom, runaway locomotives and rollingstock (or a combination of both as a consist) can really fuck up whatever gets in the way of them. There have been far too many instances where errors in railyard management (human or computer or just gravity) have resulted in rollingstock (and occasionally locomotives) rolling down mainlines, or damn near close to, unexpectedly into oncoming rail traffic and even cruising through railroad crossings with or without the signals activating. There is a Rescue 911 episode that recalls a runaway train incident involving a curious boxcar just rolling down the tracks by itself and killing an unlucky couple at a railway crossing which didn't even go off due to how slow the boxcar was going down the tracks. You'd think someone would have seen the moving boxcar before it just aimlessly wandered it's way out of the yard and stopped it before it could do any serious damage.
    • This is what makes the descending grade of Cajon Pass so infamous. While climbing the steep grade is already a challenge for many freight trains, going down is even more dangerous since the descending grade is literally notorious for sending trains flying down the grade without any brakes to use. Cajon Pass is the perfect route for trains to lose their brake shoes fighting with the descending hill or make a difficult trip down with an extremely long and heavy train, both of which are what caused or are the contributing factors to the infamous San Bernardino train disaster and two more runaways in 1994 and in 1996.
    • Cajon Pass is not the only route that's perfect for a sequel to Unstoppable either. One incident in Canada had an engineer following a typical unsafe railroad practice, that railroads had no business normalizing and allowing in the first place, which is not hooking the air hoses together when moving rollingstock around and in and out of the yard. The train the engineer was operating wasn't able to stop because there were no air brakes to stop it. The independent brakes couldn't even stop the damn thing. After barreling through so many railway crossings, it finally derailed. The engineer lived, but Canadian National attempted to sue the engineer. CN also lied to the engineer about the amount of railcars he was moving. Various organizations that protect engineers from unwrongful treatment by their companies had put CN in its place since the locomotive itself didn't come with dynamic braking nor did CN take action to prevent an incident like this from happening.
  • Speaking of runaway vehicles here, trucks are definitely advancing walls of doom if their brakes fail when traveling down steep grades.
  • Tornadoes can certainly behave like this, especially if they're large, powerful, and headed your way. A particularly extreme example of a tornado behaving like this would be the 2011 Smithville Tornado. Part of the larger Super Outbreak of 2011, and while often overshadowed by the Tuscaloosa Tornado and the Hackleburg-Phil Campbell Tornado (the former for going through two major cities and the latter for having the highest death toll), the Smithville Tornado deserves credit for a different reason: being what is likely the single most powerful tornado of the entire outbreak, and perhaps one of, if not the most, powerful of all time. Namely, it did damage on level with the feared Jarrell Tornado, and did that level of damage while moving at a forward speed of at least 60 MPH (for comparison, the Jarrell Tornado had been near-stationary when it did its famous damage). A survivor of this ridiculously powerful tornado described it as less like a tornado and more like a nuclear shockwave.
  • Large sandstorms often appear like this.
  • This video shows an advancing landslide pursuing a truck along a slope, destroying trees, cars, and houses in its wake. There's also the much more complete version that includes extensive footage of the aftermath here.
  • A Moving Barrage can be this, especially for the force not using it.
  • A rare type of severe weather event known as a derecho (from the Spanish word for "straight") behaves like this. These form when so many severe thunderstorms occur in an area that they congregate together, forming a veritable bow-shaped wall of rain that plows onward for hundreds of miles. The gust fronts of each of these storms add up together as well, resulting in dangerously powerful hurricane-force winds that can span entire states.
  • The swelling of the Sun into a red giant in 5 billion years will become this to the Solar System's inner planets as it gradually engulfs them as it expands when seen from the now-sterilized Earth's surface.



A horrific, baby-like creature that lives in the basement of Donna Beneviento's house.

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Main / AdvancingWallOfDoom

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