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Astral Finale

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We need to end the story with a bang. We need to really sell the Grand Finale. We need to use up the rest of our budget. We need something big: bigger than a volcano, bigger than humongous mecha, bigger than a battle royale with all the characters.

Well... There's nowhere to go now...but UP!

It's time to go to space, the final frontier! Nothing is bigger than space! Total big bang right there folks!

Yes, space trumps almost any other environment, so it's a natural place to give an ending some style. It doesn't have to be deep space, though: the moon will do, since it gives everyone something to stand on and is still pretty spacy, what with no atmosphere. Once everyone's gotten up there, all the space-related tropes apply, though since the action takes up a small portion of the overall runtime, don't expect to see the fruits of a lot of research.

Obviously this doesn't apply in settings that start out in space, or go there fairly early. The transition shouldn't happen any earlier than the third act. However, some series that start out by travelling to other worlds may have the climax take place in the vacuum of space itself.

In videogames, this can easily overlap with Amazing Technicolor Battlefield, and possibly with Final Boss, New Dimension. The finale might constitute a High-Altitude Battle.

Not to be confused with Recycled In SPACE, though that can happen if the creators are careless. Also not to be confused with an Astral Finish.

This trope can be used by producers who are looking for a Finale Production Upgrade.

As this is an Ending Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Buso Renkin: When the attempt to forcibly cure Victor failed, Kazuki used the Sunlight Heart Plus' full power to blast the both of them to the moon, so that their Walking Wasteland powers would no longer threaten the Earth. With a cure finally complete, the series' Dénouement has Kazuki's friends and comrades combining their powers to rescue the pair of them.
  • Scrapped Princess: The final battle has Shanon team up with Princess Seness, against the Peacemakers, which begins in the upper atmosphere, but soon escalates into an all-out battle royale in deep space!
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, from the beginning of the third act onward, is set entirely in space, specifically the home pocket universe of the Anti-Spirals. Venturing further into the cosmos is a major theme of the story: at the start the heroes are huddled underground yearning for the surface and sky, and by the end they have the power and will to traverse outer space and hyperspace. So it's only appropriate that for the finale, the outer space imagery gets really over-the-top. The showdown with the Final Boss is takes place in hyperspace, where galaxies are hurled like shuriken and the power of the Big Bang is wielded like Frickin' Laser Beams.
  • HeartCatch Pretty Cure!'s final episodes are set in space, leading to the Big Bad taking a One-Winged Angel form and the heroines taking up their own combined form of their own.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has Madoka herself one-shotting Kriemhild Gretchen to death and rewriting the law of the universe. While the universe is being rewritten, she and Homura have the now-memetic scene of "naked magical space lesbians". Madoka's final form might also be a Shout-Out to Heartcatch Pretty Cure, above.
  • Destiny of the Shrine Maiden: The final battle between Orochi Chikane and Himeko takes place in a Shinto shrine on the moon.
  • Symphogear: The closing part of the first season Final Battle has the three heroines going out to outer space to make a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Naturally for a series heavily based around celestial bodies, Saint Seiya Omega's Grand Finale takes place in space.
  • Kill la Kill has its final battle in low Earth orbit. Fitting, considering the show is something of a successor to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Super: The last stretch of Goku and Beerus's battle takes place far, far above Earth.
  • The final battle of season 1 of Tantei Opera Milky Holmes takes place in space.
  • Most Gundam series will have fights out in space, allowing the pilots to go all-out and rip each other a new one. Of the animated installments, only Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, ∀ Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans do not end in space. 0080, though, does take place in a space colony, so it might count.
  • The final episode of GO-GO Tamagotchi!, which is the series finale for the Tamagotchi anime in general, has the characters traveling into space to cheer up Tamagotchi Planet and allow the Tamagottsun which merged Tama Town and Dream Town together to end.
  • The final battle of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Detonation takes place in low Earth orbit, with Nanoha having to stop a Kill Sat from destroying the city.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency has a Downplayed example in the final battle between Joseph and Kars, which ends with a volcanic eruption launching the large stone slab they're on all the way to the very edge of the Earth's atmosphere, to the point where stars become visible. Unfortunately for Kars, he gets hit by chunks of debris from the eruption that push him just a little bit further, outside of the Earth's gravitational pull, and dooming him to float through outer space forever. Joseph, meanwhile, survives riding on top of that big piece of rock all the way back down to the sea.


    Films — Live-Action 

  • In the last few paragraphs of The Iron Dream by Norman Spinrad / Adolf Hitler (More precisely: Norman Spinrad conceived the novel as something written by an Alternate Universe Hitler who emigrated to the US and became a SF author), a spaceship leaves Earth — permanently polluted by radiation — to start the colonization of the cosmos.
  • Animorphs certainly uses this. The books before the Grand Finale certainly have examples of both a spaceship setting and adventures on extrasolar planets (three times in 54 books), but the vast majority of the action simply takes place on the surface of the Earth. But the final battle with the Yeerks involves infiltrating a large mother ship and fighting a battle while in orbit outside the atmosphere, and then convincing a fleet of Andalite battleships with the message that "We know you have plans to destroy the Earth, now cancel those plans." This climactic battle isn't the last thing to happen in the series (it's complicated), and the series ends with a suspenseful battle between two starships, this time very far away from Earth's solar system.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Styx, "Come Sail Away"
    I thought that they were angels; much to my surprise
    We climbed aboard their starship, we headed to the skies


    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: The third and final set of the Theros block, Journey Into Nyx, is set mostly in the titular sub-plane, hanging in the upper atmosphere of the greater plane of Theros. Matter itself is fundamentally magical there, and the Gods call it home. Elspeth and Ajani make the journey to kill the Mad God Xenagos.

    Video Games 
  • Cruis'n World has a final/bonus stage on the moon.
  • Both de Blob games do this: In the first, Comrade Black is fleeing the planet with his store of stolen color, but Blob manages to get on the ship at the last minute and wreak havoc. In the second, Black flees to his orbital Hypno-Ray and absorbs all the color from the planet at once, but Blob manages to commandeer a rocket and catch up.
  • The last region of Destroy All Humans! 2 is a Russian Moon base.
  • The area containing the last 19 levels in Dig Dug Arrangement is Area 6, the Moon's Surface.
  • The final third of Disney's Kim Possible 3: Team Possible takes place on the space satellite Disco Station 9.
  • The final level of Einhänder takes place in space, pitting the Endymion/Astrea against their own Selene forces, who have declared them outliving their usefulness. This culminates in a Final Boss battle against Hyperion, their own superior.
  • Excite Truck and Excite Bots both have Nebula, a bizarre spacy realm, as their final track.
  • In Final Fantasy IV, Cecil's journey to the moon fulfills a prophecy. There he learns about the identity of the Big Bad and himself, and enters the Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Final Fantasy XI is a massive fan of the Amazing Technicolor Battlefield for the Final Boss of expansions. The vast majority of which are very spacey, but none more so than the battlefield Empyreal Paradox where the god Promathia is fought at the end of Chains of Promathia (and later Shinryunote  at the end of the Abyssea battle packs). You're literally in space standing on an invisible "floor" with the planet Vana'diel clearly visible below you.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has done this for several expansion final bosses starting from Stormblood, with each one pushing out further beyond than the last. In your fight with Shinryu, the boss carries your party into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, starting phase 2 of the fight high in the sky. Shadowbringers takes your party fighting far, far above in orbit, with a somber view of the representation of the dying moments of the planet before its sundering. And Endwalker one-ups the stakes once again by having you face off against your greatest foes at the very furthest reaches of all existence, the far edge of the universe.
  • Played for Laughs in Freaky Flyers. Every single character's story mode, without fail, ends with Pilot X revealing himself to "challenge you to a battle in outer space!"
  • The Legend of Dragoon ends on the setting's resident Weird Moon, specifically on the inside, which is a strange dimension that apes various environments previously visited on the surface.
  • Grandia II has an evil moon that has to be visited in the end and destroyed, although its interior is more of a Womb Level.
  • LittleBigPlanet 2: The Negativatron is fought in the outer reaches of the Cosmos. The final part of his final battle is in front of a Space arcade game.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Galaxy: Inverted. While most of the game is set in space, the final galaxy, appropriately called "Grand Finale Galaxy", takes place in the Mushroom Kingdom, not featuring the crazy-shaped Baby Planets and Unrealistic Black Holes which are otherwise common.
    • Super Mario Odyssey: The final level takes place on the moon, in a region called Honeylune Ridge. There's also the Brutal Bonus Level Dark Side of the Moon and the Nintendo Hard Darker Side of the Moon.
    • Paper Mario 64: The final battle of the game is set in the stars above the Mushroom Kingdom, where Peach's castle is hoisted into space with Bowser's castle underneath.
    • Mario Kart: Rainbow Road, the final track in every game, is in space or at least the upper atmosphere. In Mario Kart Wii your character will catch fire and appear burned up on re-entry if they fell off the track. In terms of the Retro GP tracks in later installments, however, Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii avert it by using GCN Yoshi Circuit and N64 Bowser's Castle, but Mario Kart 7 and 8 finally play it straight with SNES Rainbow Road and N64 Rainbow Road, respectively.
    • Mario Party 9: The final board in Solo mode is Bowser Station, a space station where Bowser has taken all of the Mini-Stars. The players fly through space in a flying saucer, and make stops at various space colonies to take part in different Captain Events.
    • Mario Party: Star Rush: The final board of each world in Toad Scramble always ends with a boss fight against Bowser, and all three of his fights take place in space, with Bowser attacking from a flying saucer that transforms into a Bowser mecha, and the player characters moving around atop floating space stations.
  • Crash Bandicoot: The three racing games all end with racetracks set in space - Oxide Station in Crash Team Racing, Hyper Spaceway in Crash Nitro Kart and Craters on Uranus in Crash Tag Team Racing. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, being a remake of Team Racing with most of the content from Nitro Kart thrown in for good measure, sees both Oxide Station and Hyper Spaceway make an appearance, albeit the latter comes in a more compressed form due to the lack of anti-gravity. The Gasmoxia Grand Prix, being the final limited-time event, also caps off the post-release tracks with Drive-Thru Danger, a track set high up in the stratosphere of Gasmoxia.
  • The Crash platformers sometimes get in on this, too: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, and Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure all have final levels and final bosses taking place on space stations.
  • Mega Man:
    • Most of the Mega Man (Classic) Game Boy series have their final levels take place in space (the fifth game does not count due to half the boss roster residing in space levels, and the only game to completely avert the space setting is the third one). As for the main games, Mega Man 10 saves its very last stage for this trope, right after the usual four stages of a traditional endgame castle. Mega Man 2's final battle appears to take place in space, but it's just a holographic illusion.
    • For Mega Man X, X4 has its final two stages set on the Repliforce's Final Weapon space station. The finale of X8 involves traveling to the moon, where Sigma's base is located.
    • Mega Man Zero 4's final stages is set in the space cannon Ragnarok that is used by the villain Dr. Weil to destroy Area Zero that contains the last bit of nature in the ruined world to keep the citizens of Neo Arcadia under his tyrannical rule. The very final stage has Zero going back to the station as it is falling down to Earth straight to Area Zero that will destroy what's left of life on the planet. The final battle between Zero and Weil is on a time limit that tells how long until Ragnarok enters orbit and its a life lost if time's up. Zero ended up killing Weil which leads to Ragnarok splitting into debris that falls harmlessly on Earth, likely taking Zero with it.
    • Mega Man Star Force's final stage is set in a space station, and 3's is within a meteor that's headed for Earth.
    • Mega Man Legends second game has the final battle take place in Elysium all the way in space where the last true humans lived for centuries until they went extinct with the death of "The Master" and Sera, Yuna and Mega Man Volnutt remain trapped due to the death of Gats.
  • In Miitopia, the Final Boss is fought in low orbit. Fittingly, it took the appearance of a miniature golden sun. It provides the page image.
  • Done to great effect in the classic Infocom Text Adventure game A Mind Forever Voyaging; the epilogue has the protagonist and his family enter a rocket as part of the first space colonization efforts.
  • Portal 2 ends with the player using portals to go to the moon; Chell is rescued before the portal closes, but the villain is stranded in space.
  • Played with in Saints Row: The Third if you go to rescue your friends in the final story mission. The mission after that is "Gangsters in Space" where you fight Killbane on Mars. You're actually filming a movie.
  • In the last level of Super Scribblenauts, Maxwell's Evil Twin Llewxam steals the Starite in a UFO, then absconds to space; Maxwell must follow in the vehicle of his choice, shooting Starites at his twin until the latter crashes to earth.
  • The last two levels of Gunstar Heroes take place in space, starting with a side-scrolling space shooter stage as the player pursues The Empire's flagship, then fighting their way through said flagship.
  • The last area in SoulBlazer is the World of Evil, which resembles space with a ground and walls made of some transparent matter. The room just before the Big Bad's shrine is even called "Dazzling Space"!
  • In the classic arcade game Time Pilot the final level is in space in the future. If/when you beat the Boss you go back to the first level again, only it's harder this time.
  • The first XCOM game mostly involves fending off alien attacks on Earth. However, the grand finale is humanity's first manned mission to Mars, armed with alien technology and the biggest guns X-COM has to offer.
    • XCOM: Apocalypse ups the ante with a whole series of endgame missions where your soldiers turn the tables on the aliens and raid their military installations, all set on an alien planet in Another Dimension.
  • The latter half of the final stage of Metal Slug 3 entails the player and the Rebel Army teaming up after the Mars People abduct Morden and your previous playable character. With the Martians escaping into space, the heroes climb into rockets and chase them into the cosmos.
  • In City of Heroes, the final battle of the "Who Will Die" story arc takes place on an island the villain has levitated into Earth orbit.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door - Operation: V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E., the Final Boss fight takes place on the Moon.
  • Illusion of Gaia: The hero Will ascends to the surface of the rapidly-approaching Chaos Comet for the final confrontation.
  • The final battle with Vlitra in Asura's Wrath ends with this. The True Final boss fight with Chakravartin in Part IV: Nirvana takes this further, with Asura becoming bigger then any other planet sized character in the game, only to fight against Chakravartin's practically Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann sized fortress in space, leading to an awesome final battle that needs to be seen to be believed.
  • In Glider PRO, it's common for the last star in a house to be somewhere up in space.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has the party just plain walking(!) right out into space, going past planets from our solar system, on their way to confront the final boss.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: The final chapter takes place in a Space Station just above the atmosphere of the Earth, the same space station where Klaus undertook his experiment that led to the creation of the universe of the original Xenoblade Chronicles.
  • The Wonderful 101 takes this premise and absolutely blows the roof off with it, with the final battle against Jergingha taking place just over Earth.
  • The climatic fight against Jubileus, the Creator in Bayonetta takes at the confines of the solar system. After you defeat her, you need to punch her soul from Pluto to the Sun.
  • The final boss battle in the original Sin and Punishment has Saki go One-Winged Angel and growing about as tall as the country of Japan is large, in order to fight against a false planet Earth.
  • A recurring element in Sonic the Hedgehog games is the finale taking place in space.
    • The trend started with Sonic the Hedgehog 2, with its final stage taking place on Eggman's Space Station, the Death Egg. The final boss fight features a view of the Earth from orbit.
    • Sonic & Knuckles: The final zone of the game, where the first act takes place inside the Death Egg space station, with its second act being outside of it. The Earth is even visible from view in the latter act. If the player collected all the Chaos/Super Emeralds, then the True Final Boss takes place in The Doomsday Zone, where Super Sonic flies through space to pursue a fleeing Eggman carrying the Master Emerald.
    • Sonic Adventure 2: The final stretch of the story and final bosses take place on the Space Colony ARK, which is an abandoned space station. This includes levels that take place inside and outside of the ARK, with both Sonic and Shadow fighting the True Final Boss outside the colony, that is hurtling on a crash course to Earth.
    • Sonic Frontiers: The True Final Boss, has Super Sonic and Sage piloting THE SUPREME Titan fighting together against THE END, who takes the form of a giant moon as it leaves Earth. If the player is playing on Hard difficulty, they even get to fight THE END in a shoot-em-up sequence that orbits around the Earth.
  • The hidden track of the first Wipeout is set on Mars. The bonus track in Wipeout Fusion is set on an alien planet. In Pure it's levitating in the upper atmosphere.
  • The various final stages of the Aero Fighters series take place off Earth; the first two games take place in the Earth's orbit, while one of the third game's final stages is set on Mars. This is despite the player ships not being suited for flight outside of the Earth's atmosphere.
  • Blast Corps has an entire set of stages set away from Earth as the finale, taking you to the Earth's moon and several other planets in the Solar System, including planets that in-game are solid planets yet are gas giants in real life.
  • Viewtiful Joe:
    • Both games have a final stage in space. Since they take place in Movieland, they are beyond over the top and awesome because of that. The first game's finale, "Joe & Sylvia", is a Star Wars homage, culminating in a battle with space mecha atop the Earth, and you punch out the Moon at Mach Speed to make yourself go red hot with a flaming Battle Aura! Followed up by a duel with the Final Boss outside of his mecha in a one-on-one brawl. In a space station with lowered gravity, no less.
    • The second game's finale, "Starship Viewties", takes place on Cimmerian Planet Gedow, paying tribute to Alien with robots that look like the titular creature and then going wild with the difficulty curve with everything from a cyborg dino tank to a giant cyborg robo Buddha statue. But all that is topped when Serial Escalation kicks since the last game and the obligatory mecha battle, thanks to starship-class Combining Mecha, rises to the scale of the whole solar system. And now you get to punch out the Earth to cast your battle aura while fighting giant, blazing space dragons! However, the actual final battle takes place on Earth. And it is genuinely brutal. However, it boasts a joyously awesome final battle theme.
  • Snake Rattle 'n' Roll has the final level on the moon, for no discernable reason. With an appropriate change in gravity, which doesn't exactly make it easier, since it's a Boss Battle.
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes has the third-to- and second-to-last levels take place on Asteroid M in deep space, including one part in the penultimate level where you fly through the vacuum unprotected to reach another area, but the final level itself is a High-Altitude Battle on the deck of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier.
  • In LEGO City Undercover, the final level takes Chase to the moon.
  • The last level of Classic Mode in the Super Smash Bros. series is always a battle against Master Hand (and occasionally Crazy Hand) on Final Destination, a flat platform in a background that was basic black in earlier installments (and even Melee even had a digital feel to it), but in Brawl and 4 had become a deep space setting as stars and galaxies drift by the battlefield in the background.
    • This was also the case in Adventure Mode on Melee.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, Dark Falz Elder and the final boss of Episode 3 Profound Darkness are fought in space. The final boss of Episode 4 ESC-A Falz Mother is fought on Earth's moon.
  • A number of Kirby games end in this way, such as Super Star/Fun Pak, Squeak Squad and Planet Robobot. Some of the ones that don't incorporate Final Boss, New Dimension instead, since the franchise generally makes good use of its deep space setting.
  • Rampage:
    • World Tour has its final stage set on the moon, where Luna Tech is stationed.
    • Accounting for the "Universal" part of Universal Tour, its final segment is set across the planets of the solar system, a few moons (Earth's is the first stop), and various cities on the aliens' home planet.
  • The final battle in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 takes place in space with the Earth in the background slowly decaying as Galactus starts to devour it.
  • The final battle of Transformers: Devastation has Optimus and Megatron squaring off in space.
  • In the Arcade Game Sky Soldiers, the player ship is launched into space for the final stage, set in "AD 2110."
  • In the last levels of Slide the Shakes, as of now, is set in a spaceship. And this is a game about sliding shakes (or any random desserts and sweet drinks) into targets.
  • The race against Iceman in Slot Car Racer takes place in space.
  • The final and hardest minigame in Wii Play: Motion has the Miis navigate a space shuttle to assemble a giant space station.
  • Quite amazingly, Pizza Frenzy manages to pull this out: you think the Strombolis would be satisfied after implementing their restaurants in every town on Earth? WRONG! They manage to open pizzerias on the Moon and even Mars in the final levels.
  • Lost Sphear's final boss fight takes place on the moon.
  • Subverted by DuckTales. The game does have a Moon stage, which would usually be the final destination for a world-spanning treasure adventure, and the background music is fitting for an example of this trope. However, it's just a regular stage out of 5 that can be selected from the beginning.
  • The Final Dungeon of Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair is the alien invaders' spaceship, and the Final Boss battle is IN SPACE!
  • Developer Quintet, known for ActRaiser and Illusion of Gaia, had a fondness of having the final boss battle take place in space or at the very least, have some sort of space-looking backdrop. It's known as the "Quintet background" in fan circles.
  • Chroma Squad: No matter which way you get there, the final battle takes place aboard Villain X's starship, complete with a Humongous Mecha battle on the top of said starship.
  • Part Time UFO's last three levels take place on the moon, as you're trying to stop another group of aliens from invasing Earth.
  • In Bonk's Revenge, The Very Definitely Final Dungeon is a temple on the moon.
  • The finale of Beyond Good & Evil is set within the DomZ base on the moon.
  • Both Overcooked! games have a space world as their final world. In the first game, it's more of a space station; in the sequel, it's an alien planet.
  • Civilization: One of the recurring Variable Player Goals is the Science Victory, where you become the first nation in the world to colonise another planet, though most of the games don't feature gameplay within space itself.
  • The last few boss fights of Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal take place on the moon... then transition to inside a separate dimension forming on the moon.
  • The final stages of Neo Contra has you taking the fight to Master Contra on his space station.
  • The finale of Splatoon 3 takes place in space as the player and their allies fight to prevent the Big Bad from mutating all non-mammalian life on Earth.
  • Raiden:
    • In the first two games, after completing stage 5, the player's ship takes off into space for the remaining three stages.
    • The arcade release of Raiden IV features a straighter example, in which the player only reaches space in stage 5, the last stage of the game. In the console-exclusive modes, stage 5 is split into three stages, with stage 5 spent leaving the Earth's atmosphere and then the last two being in space.
    • Raiden V has the player going into space in stage 7 and then commencing an assault on the crystals' home planet in stage 8.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Fourth Ring of Furon

The last of the levels in Path of the Furon is a level that takes place on (or at least orbiting) the Furon Homeworld.

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