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Boss Corridor

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A Boss Room or other especially challenging room is preceded by a perfectly straight empty corridor. This dead space serves as a pacing device to build anticipation for the upcoming challenge, and to physically separate it from the stage proper.

A savvy Boss is likely to ambush there or set up Death Trap or Stuff Blowing Up to take you down for good.

It may also double as a Checkpoint or Save Point or provide free Healing Potions, and in the case of the Final Boss, sometimes, the Point of No Return is in this corridor.

On a more technical note, Dynamic Loading of the actual boss usually starts here.

A Sub-Trope of Foreboding Architecture.


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  • The Diablo III: Reaper of Souls campaign ends in Pandemonium Fortress, where Malthael is hiding. Levels 1 and 2 of the Fortress are full maps. Level 3 is just a single lopsided walkway, hanging in a huge foggy space, descending to "The Heart of the Fortress", which looks like a massive, ominous death orb.
  • A long enemy-free room loaded with nothing but health and ammo appears before every major boss fight in Jet Force Gemini. If the boss kills you you'll be dropped back into the Boss Corridor so you can quickly top up on supplies and immediately try again.
  • Killer7: Some levels feature a boss corridor before introducing new Heaven Smile types as mini-bosses, which the Smiths have to pay to enter using Soul Shells. If a Smith dies, their body will be left outside the entrance to the corridor for Garcian to pick up.
  • Used throughout all of the No More Heroes games. The hallways usually have a full battery and health container (and a wrestling mask in the original game) as well as a convenient save point to help prepare for the upcoming battle. Played more straight in the first and third games, as there are long corridors that lead up to the fight (and Sylvia calls him via cellphone about the next fight and the chances he has of dying), as opposed to the shorter boss corridors in Desperate Struggle.
  • Shadows of the Empire has a small corridor at the end of Xizor's Palace, which is a few rooms after planting the Glyph Mines to collapse the building. This corridor leads to an elevator that requires two consecutive switches to be activated in order to go up it (one outside the elevator to bring it down, and another inside to send it back up). Taking the elevator to the top pits Dash against Xizor's deadly Gladiator Droid, which has three phases and is the last foot fight in the game.
  • In Path of Exile, the game's first major boss, Brutus, is preceded by a winding hallway devoid of anything but a trail of bodies and blood at leads to the Warden's Chambers, a fairly standard arena where you fight Brutus. Version 3.15 made some changes to Act 1 to make it harder, and one change that caught many veterans by surprise is that now the Boss Corridor leading to Brutus is the boss arena now.

    Action Adventure 
  • Most bosses in Aquaria have these, usually with a save point in or near it. Since most of the game takes place underwater, some boss corridors are vertical, emptying out at the top or bottom of the Boss Room.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night: Being the Spiritual Successor to Castlevania this trope happens a lot.
    • Zangetsu the first time is fought in a perfectly normal corridor that connects to a different area of the castle.
    • The corridor before Bloodless is empty.
    • The room where Gebel is fought is preceded by a very epic Castlevania-style staircase.
  • Castlevania:
    • The ascent to Dracula's Keep is a recurring Nostalgia Level of the whole series, where the player climbs up a set of stairs outside heading up and to the left to enter his domicile. There's almost never any enemies, and Candles and chandeliers are scattered around to give the player a few more hearts, and perhaps some of the more powerful weapons, before the final encounter with Dracula.
    • A few games often feature an empty hallway with the boss room marked by a large, often glowing, door. Like above, there's usually a few candles around to restock your subweapons. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood marks them with a creepy and foreboding track warning you that you're about to deal with something nasty.
  • Demon's Souls has lots of minor ones, but the one leading to the Dragon God clearly stands out and tells you it's leading to something big.
  • The Dark Souls series enjoys this trope:
    • Dark Souls has the Kiln of the First Flame, a long descending path to a huge ancient structure in the center. There's a few Elite Mooks along the path, but generally allows you to appreciate the approach to the endgame arena.
    • Dark Souls II has the Throne of Want, another long descending path, though this one is devoid of enemies from the nearest bonfire to reach the Boss Room.
    • Dark Souls III brings back the Kiln of the First Flame again, though in this case it's a long upward path with the Dreg Heap gloriously hanging in the background.
  • Landstalker has a winding corridor and a very large staircase leading to the penultimate final boss battle with King Nole, all while this haunting music plays in the background.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has several, such as the one before the Deku Tree boss, the one before the Spirit Temple boss, the one before the Forest Temple boss, the one before the Water Temple boss (which is sloped and has three bladetraps), and the stairs in the final dungeon, especially the final stairway with stained-glass windows and a carpet, which is right before Ganondorf.
    • In both The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, the fight against Ganondorf is preceded by a long, decrepit upstairs corridor. The former game gradually mutes the background music to hype the upcoming battle via Quieter Than Silence, while the latter game gradually replaces the Hyrule Castle theme with Ganondorf's Leitmotif.
  • The bosses of the first, third, and fourth areas of Luigi's Mansion each have a long, dark corridor just before the rooms they are hiding in.
  • Metal Gear:
    • The path leading to Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid is a good example. When you got the key to open the door, even the rest of the building seems entirely deserted, warning you that something is about to happen.
    • At the endgame of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, you have to cross a long corridor to the control room where the world controlling supercomputer is located. While the corridor is technically empty, the walls are covered in microwave radiation generators that almost bake Snake alive as he struggles to reach the other end.
  • These show up often in Metroid games.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has a variation of this in the corridor outside the Emperor's throne room. While this is the last area before you face the final boss, Starkiller is met here by Darth Vader, who serves as the penultimate boss. This fight continues practically right up to Palpatine's throne, where the player is given a Last-Second Ending Choice to save the rebels from Palpatine, or finish off Darth Vader for the light or dark side endings, respectively.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Borderlands: Before the Boss Fight with Sledge.
  • id/Raven FPS games have a few examples:
    • Doom: The levels E1M8 ("Phobos Anomaly") and E3M8 ("Dis") both take this form; the former precedes the Dual Boss fight against two Barons of Hell (the only ones to appear in the game's first episode, and the first ones overall), while the latter precedes the Spider Mastermind.
    • Hexen has the Dark Crucible, in which a rickety bridge leads towards Korax's inner sanctum.
    • Quake IV has one of these leading up to the Makron fight.
  • Duke Nukem 3D
    • The first boss of the game, the Battlelord, has a long corridor right before the giant arena with him and the trigger point that summons him into the room. Said trigger point also shuts the door behind you; the corridor is technically part of the boss room, but hovering over the trigger point will summon the Battlelord but also keep the door open for Duke to retreat back to the anteroom.
    • The last boss of the main game in the extra Episode 4, the Queen, has a long stretch of plasma goo, a short cavern, and then an underwater cavern with two Atomic Healths before her underwater throne room; approaching the second Atomic Health will reveal her and start the boss fight.
    • Two of the expansion packs, Duke Caribbean and Duke it out in D.C., also have some sort of hallway prior to the room where you fight the Cycloid Emperor in these games.
  • Turok:
    • Turok: Dinosaur Hunter has three. The first one is at the end of the Ancient City level after entering this level's exit portal, before the boss fight with the Longhunter and his two Humvees. The second is at the end of The Final Confrontation level, before the sub-boss encounter with Thunder, the Campaigner's mechanically modified pet T-Rex. The final boss corridor is right after the T-Rex battle, and it leads to the endgame battle with The Campaigner himself. You also get a resupply for everything in this last corridor, as well as the final piece for the game's own BFG-type weapon.
    • The sequel, Turok II: Seeds of Evil, has two. The first is in the Lair of the Blind Ones after completing that level and defending its Energy Totem, and it leads to the Blind One boss fight (you pick up a plasma rifle in this corridor). The second is at the end of the Primagen's Lightship, and it leads to the level's exit portal, which takes you to the Mother boss fight. Like the Campaigner, this corridor is lined with a resupply for your weapons.

  • Phantasy Star Online always has an extra-long corridor before the teleporters to the final bosses of both episodes 1 and 2 regardless of the map layout.

  • A miniboss corridor appears in Bug for the only Mini-Boss in the game. It's actually a dangerous area since there's rolling and bouncing tumbleweed hazards that fly out from behind Obstructive Foreground. Funnily, at the start of the corridor, you see a sign stating "Beware! Big Ants!", and then you face off against three tiny ants that run away from you. Until you reach the end, confirming the sign's statement.
  • Hollow Knight:
    • The corridor preceding the first fight with Hornet in Greenpath qualifies as this.
    • Optional boss Nosk has a very long and winding one. Fortunately, near the end you can open a shortcut to the beginning, making it much quicker to return to the boss if you lose on your first attempt.
    • The interior of the Temple of the Black Egg is also an example, although by this point of the game, you have the Crystal Heart (super dash) ability to speed through it.
  • Often used in the Kirby series after Super Star. They often contain 3 Copy Essences and one Maxim Tomato, with the Copy Essences often being useful against the next boss. You're gonna need them.
  • A staple of the 2D Mega Man games. Even long past the point where Capcom knew they didn't actually need them anymorenote , they were kept in as tradition (much like the Resident Evil series' door loading screens). Note that the first game's corridors have several enemies and traps in them, making it the only game in the series to put something other than power-ups in a boss corridor.
  • Purple has a corridor for each boss, between the ominous gate and boss chamber, and with boss mugshot right before the chamber to boot.
  • Obani Draco of Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is a Boss Corridor. The moon base's only purpose is to serve as a corridor filled towards the boss battle with the Sadistic Evil Diva Courtney Gears at the end. It is also one of only two places in the game (the other being Blackwater City) without a Titanium Bolt.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog does this with many bosses, and always does with the final ones.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: The battles against Fryguy and Wart are preceded by a short corridor (though in the latter's case, you have to fight the Mask Gate as well before gaining access to Wart's chamber). The other boss rooms are accessed after either crossing a path filled with enemies, or defeating Birdo (or, as seen in World 5, both).
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island: Almost every Fortress or Castle has a corridor leading to the boss fight with this music playing. Before the Final Boss is a long auto-scrolling corridor with Kamek casting spells at Yoshi. Also, in one boss level (the one pitting you against Naval Piranha), you can even kill that boss (before she is even transformed by Kamek) while you are still in that corridor by pelting her with a single egg within a certain angle so that you won't have to fight her!
    Kamek: Oh, my!
    • One of these corridors precedes each of the world-end bosses in the New Super Mario Bros. games, and all of the Boom-Boom fights apart from the naval ship, airship fleet, and mega-tank levels in Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • Super Mario 64: A long corridor leads to each of the Bowser courses. In addition, one of the missions in Shifting Sand Land ends with Mario going down a red-block passageway inside the course's pyramid, which goes to the boss Eyerok and the Star they are holding.
  • The entire game of You Have to Burn the Rope consists of this, followed by a Boss Room.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Portal: The room right before GLaDOS is a long hallway, where some ominous ambiance and music is heard just before you pass through the particle barrier leading into her room.

    Racing Games 
  • Diddy Kong Racing has some sort of corridor leading to the room/wall/door/cave that goes to one of the game's boss races. The best example is the one that goes to the Final Boss race of the game; it's a small corridor behind the T.T. Door (you need 100% completion to go through this door) followed by a large red hall with a giant door of Big Bad Wizpig at the back.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Chrono Trigger has one right before Magus in the depths of his castle: a dark, suddenly quiet path where torches light up on either side of you as you walk by.
  • The Digital Shifts in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth all end on one of these, where the corrupted area gives way to a watery expanse consisting only of the Digital Shift's more surreal elements and the only solid ground is a narrow stretch leading up to either a powerful Digimon or an Eater.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The last approach to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, after all its security measures have been bypassed, is a stone bridge over a lake of lava. It's clear except for a warning that you're at the Point of No Return and, if Fane is in the party, a Voidwoken who makes one last-ditch request for him to rejoin them.
  • EarthBound (1994) has the iconic viscera-esque curving path up towards the Devil’s Machine in the last dungeon, the Cave of The Past.
  • Fable: In between the mentor who urges you to defeat Jack of Blades and the chamber holding the Final Boss himself, there's a short bridge over a magma river, empty except for a stray corpse with a longbow, just in case you need a ranged weapon for Jack's first phase.
  • Fallout has the "Corridor of Revulsion" before the Master's room, covered in living flesh. It actually serves a purpose: you get Mind Raped by the Master's Psychic Powers here unless you have the Psychic Nullifier item or the Mental Block perk. Once the fight actually begins, the corridor spawns reinforcements for the Master.
  • In Faria, all tower bosses but the final one lie on the top floor at the end of longish corridors, usually with one-way doors, running straight upward.
  • The Final Fantasy series makes use of this sometimes, and often has a corridor or bridge right before a game's final boss or Point of No Return.
    • Final Fantasy does this not for the Final Boss, but for the fourth Fiend, Tiamat. The floor she is on consists of a long, straight corridor leading up to her lair, and mostly contains the standard enemy encounters, with a 1/64 chance to encounter (and likely get savaged by) the super-powerful Warmech.
    • Final Fantasy VII has the first two boss fights of the game preceded by a walkway with a Save Point before it.
      • The last segment of the motorcycle chase that concludes the Midgar areas of the game takes place inside a tunnel, and halfway through this tunnel, all enemy bikers on the screen drop back as the Motor Ball boss barrels in from behind. You fight the boss in a standard battle right after this.
      • A small rock ledge comes right before a sinister face at the end of the Cave of the Gi. Approaching the face brings it to life, turns it into the Gi Nattak boss, and forces you to fight it.
      • The last major room in the Temple Of The Ancients is a long hall with murals of Meteor. This is the goal room, as Sephiroth is inside. He locks you in when you enter, and following him to the end of the room, where the Black Materia is, starts a conversation about his plans and brings a Red Dragon down on AVALANCHE when he disappears. A second Boss corridor follows this one to the temple exit, where a stronger boss, the Demon's Gate, blocks the door out. (This boss is the last boss fight that Aerith participates in, as she leaves the party afterwards to face Sephiroth by herself and is Killed Off for Real shortly afterward.)
      • A long cave follows a Save Point and healing pool at the top of the Gaea's Cliff, and an American addition to the game, Schizo, ambushes the team when they proceed down this hall.
      • Like the beginning of the game, a walkway precedes the Carry Armor boss in the Underwater Reactor.
      • The return to Midgar has short tunnels and walkways before each of its bosses (the Turks as a whole, which is optional if you did the Wutai sidequest, the Proud Clod, and the three forms of Hojo, in that order.)
    • Final Fantasy VIII:
      • The bridge to Ultimecia's throne room at the end of the game.
      • The hall in the President's Palace, which goes into the Commencement Room where Rinoa is under attack. Halls also precede each of the boss fights in the Lunatic Pandora and the time compression trip that comes after it (except for the first of these fights.)
    • Final Fantasy X:
      • There's a corridor behind the final Save Sphere that leads to the "Tower Of The Dead'', aka, the game's POTN. Entering the warp at the end of the hallway takes the pilgrimage into a crystal catching mini-game and then the platform with the last loseable boss fight of the game, Braska's Final Aeon, aka, Jecht, Tidus's estranged father.
      • A long corridor also comes before the battles with Seymour, as well as the Aeon boss fight with Issaru and the rematch with Evrae.
    • A hallway precedes the door to Orphan's Narthex at the end of Final Fantasy XIII, and entering the door and descending the steps behind it starts the very long endgame cinematic with 3 boss fights against Dysley and then Orphan sprinkled in.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • There are a few boss corridors in Kingdom Hearts, such as the two caves in Atlantica that each lead to the two separate phases of the Ursula boss battle, but the big one is after slaying Maleficent in Hollow Bastion. Upon returning to the castle chapel, a hole appears behind the room's save point, and it leads to the elevator shaft and then the actual Boss Corridor, the Grand Hall where the Princesses of Heart are kept in stasis. This room is the last chance to explore a rather easy overworld (and do a few sidequests), as once you pass through this corridor and make it to the stairway at the other end, a cutscene starts that takes Sora into the boss fight against the Ansem/Xehanort possessed Riku, and all hell breaks loose after this fight that makes the game much harder from this point.
    • In Kingdom Hearts II, right before the boss battle with the Master Control Program and Sark, the entrance to the former's lair is a long bridge from the last save point in Space Paranoids. And at the end of the game in The World That Never Was, you have to climb a staircase before the first boss with Xemnas.
    • In all story modes of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, the Point of No Return leading to the Final Boss is marked by a long, narrow, jagged-walled corridor. It is one of the most foreboding things in the entire series to date.
    • In Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]:
      • Both player characters have a long stretch after the last save point in The World That Never Was towards the bosses. Sora gets a broken bridge with a dead end towards his battle with Xemnas, which ends with his death at the hands of Young Xehanort. Riku has to climb a tower on a pipe through Flowmotion, where he discovers a dying Sora trapped in a nightmare, and the Anti-Black Coat waiting.
      • Right before the final boss, Meow Wow and Komory Bat invoke this trope by popping up on both sides of the entrance to The Castle That Never Was to create a Dreamline for Riku to help him enter.
  • Mass Effect 3:
    • The penultimate level features a long, upward-sloping walkway (with no safety rails) before the final room, where you face Kai Leng for the last time.
    • The final level ends with a long straight corridor on the Citadel, that leads to the big bad. The first half of it is filled with human corpses.
  • The original Paper Mario has 3 separate corridors with Hyper Goombas before reaching Tubba-Blubba's heart, the walkway to the Lava Piranha, the hallway with the fake Peach (4 Duplighost enemies) at the end of Bowser's Castle, before the third and final room with a Bowser head door, where you fight Jr Troopa for the final time after he wipes out the Koopa Bros., and finally, the upper halls of Peach's Castle, which lead to Bowser himself (these same halls are traversed in the game's prologue).
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door feature these in the final dungeon - one before the last boss, and one before Gloomtail (which later transforms into a heavily defended staircase to the lower levels).
  • Pokémon:
    • The Elite Four battles are often segued with staircases to the next zone in between. The one between the last Elite Four member and the Champion is always longer (except for the first generation games, where the corridor between the third and fourth Elite Four trainers is the longest, and the Champion, who happens to be The Rival, is in a smaller room past the door that is right behind the final Elite Four opponent).
    • There are also straight corridors in the overworld sometimes, such as before dungeon bosses such as the criminal team leaders (an example is the hall on the top floor of Silph Co. before the second battle with Giovanni in the company's boardroom) and the Legendary Pokemon (the corridor on the top floor of Ho'oh's tower in the second generation, which leads to said Pokemon.) A Boss Corridor also precedes the second generation games' True Final Boss, the player character from the first generation games, in Mt. Silver.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: If YHVH is the Final Boss, expect a corridor where he'll warn you to turn back if you don't want eternal suffering.
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope has before the final boss a long corridor, staircase and a single landing before another staircase, which includes giant torches at the sides lighting as the player walks forward.
  • Two Worlds II: The corridor leading to the final boss has lots and lots of potions along the walls.
  • In Undertale, the Last Corridor (so named by the Save Point there) is a stately hallway bathed in gorgeous yellow light which obviously leads the player straight to the final encounter with the King. However, one dialogue occurs in the middle of this corridor, and it includes a major Reveal. On a "No Mercy" run, the Final Bossnote  Sans is fought in the corridor itself.
  • The World Ends with You has the Shibuya River.

    Rhythm Game 
  • Boss levels in Thumper start with an empty tunnel. The level preceding the Final Boss is also entirely in a tunnel, but that one is one of the hardest levels in the game.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban has a strange example: you can get to the boss stage on the level map without completing the other stages that are there, but in doing so you'll have to fight the bosses of the stages you skipped before the level boss. However, if you complete all the stages, the boss stage will become just an empty corridor leading to your enemy.
  • Nuclear Throne: Unlike any other level in the game, the last level of the Palace has no enemies, as it is simply a massive hallway leading up to the Final Boss. Given how said boss operates, the hallway also doubles as a massive Boss Room.
  • Star Fox 64 has this before the battle with the fake Andross on Venom if you came from Bolse (the penultimate boss, Golemech, is also fought in a corridor, but since it's running away and its "attacks" involve causing the corridor to become more crowded so that you crash into stuff, it doesn't count as this trope). If you come from Area 6, the single straight corridor is replaced by a branching group of corridors where you get different power-ups depending on which direction you choose to go at each branch. The optimal route will get you the exact same group of power-ups that would be found in the straight corridor in the from Bolse version — two laser upgrades, three shield rings, and a bomb.note 

    Survival Horror 
  • The 3rd Birthday: There is one before the Final Boss fight against Hyde. It's a white space out-of-time with blood floating in the atmosphere.
  • Happens in Fatal Frame. What's worse is that there's a bend in the middle of the corridor, and anything could be lurking behind there. It gets really irritating in the second game, where the Boss Corridor is absurdly long. If you lose, you have go through the tunnel all over again.
  • Happens in the Silent Hill series:
    • In Silent Hill 2, the only way to leave the Abandoned Hospital is through a long, twisted, dark corridor leading to an elevator. You encounter recurring boss Pyramid Head in this corridor. Except that in this case, he appears right behind you and is invincible. Played straight for other bosses, such as the hall lined with newspapers before the Abstract Daddy, and the hanging cages before the final boss. The Flesh Lips has no build up, though, so can come as a surprise when you're tossed into a fight out of nowhere.
    • In Silent Hill 3, in the same hospital, Heather has to run down an incredibly long, creepy and empty corridor with no music but the sound of metal grates closing behind her in order to reach the boss Leonard.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Boss Hallway


Before Black Bowser

The room just before Black Bowser is empty, with a ton of torches and a full replenishment of health and paint, as well as a massive boss door.

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Main / BossCorridor

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