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Cave Behind the Falls

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"Law of Ōkami: if there is a waterfall, there's a secret behind it."

Waterfalls aren't just pretty to look at, they're also great for hiding stuff. Who would ever think to look behind Niagara Falls to find the hidden treasure of King Whatshisname II? And who would suspect that the Big Bad would keep his reserve of Mooks and the entrance to an Elaborate Underground Base in a cave where nobody would dare enter? The rush of water alone would keep any sane person away.

In video games, especially 3D ones, expect waterfalls to hide secrets.

This is geological Truth in Television to a certain extent, as the churning water at the base of a waterfall erodes the rock behind it faster than the merely flowing water at the top. However, unlike their fictional counterparts, these caves tend to be shallow, flooded, incredibly wet and mossy, and thoroughly devoid of Inexplicable Treasure Chests.

Naturally, such a cave would be at the bottom of the Inevitable Waterfall. If you try going that route before entering the hidden cave, chances are you'd be dead before you hit the bottom. But remember, as the Grand List says, "There's always goodies behind the waterfall", so sometimes the risk is worth it.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Great Mazinger: Venus A's main hangar is located behind a waterfall. Notice that the cave is big enough to house a twenty meters high robot.
  • Inuyasha: The Wolf Demon clan's lair lays behind a waterfall.
  • Metal Fight Beyblade: The Legendary Bey Galaxy Pegasus is encased in stone behind one of these.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: The main hangars at JOSH-A, the Earth Alliance's Alaska headquarters, is located behind a waterfall. The Earth Alliance even built a mechanism for parting the falls to allow the passage of ships and aircraft.
  • In The Mysterious Cities of Gold, one path behind a waterfall leads to Macchu Picchu.
  • Naruto:
    • The second ova introduces Takigakure, the Hidden Waterfall Village. Naturally, the whole village is one of these.
    • In the main story, the entrance to the temple where Kumo's jinchuuriki learn to control their bijuu was located behind the Waterfall of Truth.
  • One Piece: During the Wano arc, The entrance to Whitebeard's hometown is hidden behind a waterfall. Climbing up the waterfall via being pulled by carp is one method of entering Wano. The second method is entering a cave behind the waterfall which leads to a port with an elevator that goes up to Wano. Entering this cave, however, is only possible with permission from Orochi or Kaido.
  • The Speed Racer episode "Girl Daredevil" shows that there is a secret cave behind Niagara Falls, filled with gold.
  • In Star Wars: Visions - The Duel, at one point during their duel, the Ronin and the Bandit Leader end up on a log floating in the river, so naturally this trope shows up. Fortunately for both of them, it's a rather shallow waterfall so they easily survive. It also has a cave which the Ronin uses to get the upper hand over the bandit leader.
  • Toriko had one, with delicious fish swimming inside it. Oh yeah, and the waterfall was 1000 meters thick.
  • For maximum dramatic entrance potential, the hangar for Allen's airship the Crusade is located in a cave behind a waterfall in The Vision of Escaflowne. Lampshaded by way of Zelda reference in The Abridged Series.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: "Super Bem, the Synthetic Iron Beast" has a whole Galactor base hiding behind a waterfall. The 'garage door' swings upwards and outwards when being used.

    Comic Books 
  • One Alix story has a tomb behind a fall. The leader of a Gaul caravan dies, and is buried by first damming a waterfall, burying him, and then letting the waterfall resume its course.
  • Batman often has one of the entrances to his Batcave behind a waterfall, usually the one that the Batmobile exits and enters, somewhere near Wayne Manor. So people do not find it, the waterfall is located at the end of a condemned road, and the Batmobile has to jump a cliff to reach it.
  • In Lucifer, Mazikeen discovers her estranged mother Lilith's headquarters behind a fortified waterfall made of swords.
  • Mickey Mouse: There's one in "The Magic Shoe" and others in "Alaskan Adventure" and "The Legend of Loon Lake", for example. A natural underwater entrance to an inner part of an island shows up in "The Pirate Ghostship".
  • In the French graphic novel Pyrénée the Wild Child title character spends some time living with a wise old eagle in a cave behind a waterfall. The cave was once occupied by a human hermit, who left behind a cache of tinned food and some other interesting artifacts.
  • Tintin goes through one in Prisoners of the Sun which turns out to be the entrance to the secret surviving Inca kingdom, as shown in the page image.

    Comic Strips 
  • In some versions of the Buck Rogers franchise, Buck's headquarters is hidden behind Niagara Falls.
  • The home of The Phantom is in a valley that can only be entered through a tunnel hidden by a waterfall.
  • One Spy vs. Spy strip plays with this; the White Spy, in his patrol boat on a river, sees a black periscope disappear into a waterfall. Assuming that the Black Spy has driven his submarine into one of these caves, he zooms after it and smashes straight into the cliff. It turns out the Black Spy was swimming in scuba gear and poking an unattached periscope out of the water.

    Film — Animation 
  • In The Incredibles the entrance to Syndrome's hideout is a waterfall with a mechanism that stylishly parts the water for a dry entrance. He apparently likes this trope, as the entrance to his control room is concealed by a fall of lava that opens similarly. There is another cave behind a waterfall where Mr. Incredible found the password for Syndrome's computer.
  • Return To Never Land gives Neverland one of these. The Lost Boys use it to hide their treasure.
  • The Hidden City of Gold in The Road to El Dorado is in a valley that can only be entered through a tunnel hidden by a waterfall.
  • Disney's Robin Hood (1973): Robin and Little John's hideout is behind a waterfall.
  • In Shrek 4D at Universal Studios, Dragon pops out of one to save the protagonists at the last second.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The third Alvin and the Chipmunks movie takes place on a desert island where there's a load of treasure hidden in a cave behind the waterfall.
  • The Tumbler exits the Batcave of Batman Begins by leaping through a waterfall.
  • The titular MacGuffin Location (in which the MacGuffin itself is located) in Behind the Waterfall is a cave located... wait for it... behind a waterfall.
  • The Big Sky: Jim gets shot in the leg by the Crows. Boone, Teal Eye, and Poordevil wind up carrying him into a cave behind a waterfall, and they hide there for a week until Jim is able to walk.
  • Draco the dragon lives in a cave behind a waterfall in Dragonheart.
  • In the film version of Eragon, the Varden's home base is hidden behind a waterfall. This is acceptable in Eragon.
  • George of the Jungle attempts to "make Ursula George's mate" (with a gorilla courtship display, get your minds out of the gutter) in one of these, lampshaded by the narrator as the "really big and expensive waterfall set."
  • In The Hidden Fortress, the princess and her entourage is hiding in a cave behind a waterfall.
  • In Last of the Mohicans, the plot not only hinges on one, but the last three Mohicans actually jump out from behind it to escape. (after passionately kissing the Monro girls behind the fall.) Also, it's shot on location; God knows how they recorded in there.
  • In The Lost World: Jurassic Park, the protagonists (and a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of real-life Robert Bakker) hide in a cave behind a waterfall to escape the rampaging female T. rex. The Robert Bakker-lookalike gets a snake crawling down his shirt and panics, running right into the rex's jaws.
  • The Mask of Zorro has Zorro's hideout in a fairly visible cave behind a tiny waterfall.
  • The Myth (2005), starring Jackie Chan, who enters the mystical cave near the end of the film through one of these.
  • Oblivion (2013). During the Aerial Canyon Chase, the protagonist in his Future Copter uses one to momentarily hide from, and get behind, the Attack Drones chasing him.
  • Our Man Flint. There is a waterfall on the side of the Galaxy Island Base that falls into the ocean. The waterfall itself comes out of a cave in the side of the volcano, and at the base of the waterfall (i.e. at sea level) there is a cave behind the waterfall into which Galaxy submarines may pass. A Galaxy minion is invited up on deck to view the island, only to decline to spare them having to turn the waterfall off. Flint later does a High-Dive Escape from the upper cave to escape the exploding island.
  • In The Phantom, the home of the Phantom is in a valley that can only be entered through a tunnel hidden by a waterfall.
  • O Quatrilho: A cave behind a waterfall is the romantic setting for Teresa and Massimo's first kiss, as they give into temptation (each of them is married to someone else).
  • Shaolin Wooden Men, a way earlier Jackie Chan film, have Chan's character exploring the waterfalls behind the Shaolin Temple he was raised in, and discovering a cave behind the waters for the first time despite spending most of his life in the temple. And there's a disgraced, expelled martial artist living inside said cave, which teaches Jackie some new kung fu moves.
  • War for the Planet of the Apes: The apes led by Caesar built a refuge in a cave behind a waterfall.
  • Wild West Days: The gang of bad guys has just such a cave, where they hide rancher Larry Munro, while they try to torture him into revealing where the platinum deposits on his ranch are.

  • The Brotherhood of the Conch: In The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming, Anand is exploring Silver Valley when he finds a small, damp cave behind a waterfall. There, he has a vision of Abhaydatta and Raj-bhanu in need of help.
  • Whoever designed the sets for the South Seas Treasure Game in Dream Park likes this trope, as Griffin and Acacia find such a niche behind a waterfall in which to mess around. It's also where the thief hides the stolen vial of Neutral Scent.
  • Dr. Franklin's Island appears to be a Deserted Island, but there's a waterfall on a rocky cliff face which the castaways eventually discover hides a passageway through the wall of the caldera and into a Mad Scientists Volcano Lair.
  • In the Inheritance Cycle, the entrance to the Varden is located behind a waterfall.
  • Juniper Sawfeather: Near Cape Flattery is a small, hidden waterfall with no apparent source that pours saltwater into an inlet below. According to legend, a woman was transformed into the waterfall centuries ago after the death of the man she loved and now weeps a constant stream of tears. Behind the waterfall is a cave that looks shallow from above the surface, but has an underwater tunnel that leads to the cavern where Jolon the Rock Monster is imprisoned.
  • In the book version of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, after Alan, Tim, and Lex go tumbling over the Inevitable Waterfall, they hide behind said waterfall in order to escape the Tyrannosaur. Grant finds an access door and leaves the kids there while he makes sure it's safe; the kids nearly get eaten in his absence.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • The Ithilien Rangers' hideout was behind such a waterfall in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
    • One possible explanation for the name "Elrond" (given in the Letters) goes thus: after the Sack of Sirion, he and his brother were dragged away and later found beside a waterfall. Elros was playing in the water but Elrond had gone into the cave behind the waterfall, hence his name, "Elf of the Cave."
  • In Lumbanico, the Cubic Planet, the main characters find the subterranean tunnel leading from the Blue Valley into the Arista's vales behind the cascade of the River Okes.
  • Book three of the The Magicians House series is called The Tunnel behind the Waterfall.
  • In Navigating Early, Jack and Early follow a narrow, treacherous path behind a waterfall, where they find a series of small chambers and Martin Johanssen's fifty-year-old skeleton.
  • Riders Of The Purple Sage by Zane Grey (1912) features a secret passage behind a waterfall.
  • In The Saga of Grettir the Strong, a cave behind a waterfall is the lair of the murderous giants that haunt Bárðardalur.
  • In The Seventh Sword the hero, Wally, ends up in such a cave after being thrown down the waterfall for blasphemy. There he meets the demigod of volcanoes, the assistant of the river goddess for insulting whom Wally got executed. The demigod heals him and explains his mission once again in less vague terms. The cave is rather deep and quite far from the bottom. For all Wally knows, gods may've created it in the distant past retroactively just for this conversation.
  • The Valley of Adventure by Enid Blyton features one accessible through the cave system connecting to the cave near the waterfall that the 4 protagonists use to camp in upon becoming stranded in the eponymous Valley.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, the Tribe of Rushing Water lives in one of these, and actually is named after the falls.

    Live-Action TV 

    Myths & Religion 
  • Pacific Mythology: According to Hawaiian myth, the goddess Hina lives in the cave behind Rainbow Falls on the Big Island.
  • Journey to the West: Sun Wukong discovered Shuilian Cave after jumping through a great big waterfall. He was named king by his monkey clan afterwards, and they all moved in and made the cave their home.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dark Eye: The town Donnerbach is home to one of the main sanctuaries of the warrior godess Rondra, a large cave system behind the local waterfall. Unlike most examples, it is not at the bottom of the fall, but can only be reached on a narrow, slippery pathway with no guardrails, dozens of meters above the rocky basin. A test of faith for the pilgrims.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Module UK1 Beyond the Crystal Cave. In the title cave one wall has a waterfall that magically falls in slow motion. Behind the waterfall is a hidden observation room carved out of the rock.
    • Dungeon magazine #63 adventure "Hunt for a Hierophant". The underground stone tunnel that leads to the treant Evergreen's home lies behind an artificial waterfall created using a Decanter of Endless Water.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Sulfur Falls
  • Classic Traveller Adventure 2 Research Station Gamma. One room in the station has a Hologram of a rippling waterfall on one wall. Behind the hologram is a room containing a security station. The hologram is one-way, allowing anyone inside the security station to see through it into the other room.

    Video Games 
  • In Alwa's Awakening, a book collector is hiding out behind one of the waterfalls in the Forsaken Valley, the area where you start the game. He'll give you a special item in exchange for a book he's missing.
  • Anvil of Dawn has "Waterfall Hidden Cave" — a very small location halfway through the game, a Breather Level. Here you can rest or store items (some locations crash if you carry too many). Also, there's an NPC of minor importance.
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations: One of the Masyaf Keys levels has Ezio chase a boat of Templars through a couple of waterfalls leading into caves.
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, there's a small alcove behind a waterfall in Spiral Mountain. In it is an extra life.
    • In Banjo-Tooie, there's a cave which has one of the secret eggs. It' not so much behind the waterfall as it is the source of it, but the game still calls it "Behind the Waterfall."
  • In Battle Chasers: Nightwar, taking the left path inside the Path of Fangs will lead to a waterfall cave containing a few treasure chests' worth of crafting materials.
  • Betrayal at Krondor has the Dark Secret that ends Chapter 3 in one of these.
  • Featured in one level of Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg. The waterfall will push you back if you collide into it, so you'll have to use one of your Mons to freeze it, then shatter it with an egg.
  • One of the worlds in Black & White had a goodie behind a waterfall.
  • In Blackthorne, the first area (the mines) has several doorways behind waterfalls.
  • The boss of the fifth stage in Blazing Star is fought in such an environment.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm: You can walk behind the small waterfall near the fishing pond. It leads to a hidden room containing a unique set of "Hidden Falls" gear.
  • In Breath of Fire II, the second set of dragon powers is hidden in one of these. To get inside you need to have Jean in your party so it is recommended you do this before a certain plot event which removes him from your party for quite a while.
  • In the second commentary preview of Brütal Legend, the creators talked about how it was considered a bug if there wasn't something behind every waterfall.
  • Bug Fables has a cave behind a waterfall on Peacock Island, which Team Snakemouth must reach using Leif's ice magic in order to enter the Peacock Spider's lair.
  • Captain Comic II. This isn't hinted at either, but you can press the key for "enter doorway" in front of a waterfall to get to certain hidden areas.
  • Castlevania:
  • Chrono Cross: The only way to get the Titular Macguffin necessary to defeat the final boss correctly and get the good ending is to go behind a waterfall, whose location on the world map isn't labeled or even really mentioned clearly. Yeah.
  • Command & Conquer: Renegade has one in the second level. But be careful of the Tiberium and its mutants.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: The Hub Level has one with money in it too, but you can't go there until after Spooky.
  • In Croc 2, one could go through the waterfall during the first boat race to find an extremely helpful shortcut.
  • The Day the World Broke has this, concealing a set of stairs leading to Ozzy Jr's hideout. It's surrounded by an underground river on the outside, and well-hidden due to the rust hazard water poses to the native Mechanimals.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • When you return to the surface in Mission 14 of the first game, a waterfall near the Divinity Statue will draw your attention as it contains a Holy Water pickup underneath. You can enter the short passage behind the waterfall, but this is actually a circular path that leads you back to the starting point of the area.
    • In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, the Limestone Cavern is located behind the waterfall in the Subterranean Lake. The level design makes it obvious that you have to go there; a stone bridge specifically connects to the waterfall, and the cave's entrance has a few Red Orbs that are visible behind the waterfall.
    • In Devil May Cry 4, the tunnel passageway leading to the Mitis Forest is hidden behind the waterfall dam in Fortuna Castle. A switch must be activated to block the waters and draw the bridge that allows you to cross.
  • In Diablo III, a certain NPC magician hangs a snark-laden lampshade on this trope: "A secret door hidden behind a waterfall. How imaginative."
  • Diddy Kong Racing has a whole world hidden behind a waterfall, which is evidenced when the music changes when you get close to the waterfall.
  • The Patriarch's lair is one of these in Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga.
  • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! has a cheat code that allows you to go into a waterfall, discover a "memorize the sequence" mini-game that's normally reserved for Banana Birds, and get all 85 Bonus Coins if you clear it, but the final rating will call you a 'Cheating Chump'.
  • There's a couple of dungeons hidden this way in Dragonfable.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest V: The entrance to Cataract Caves, as you may guess, is behind a waterfall. Inside this dungeon, the specific cave containing the Circle of Water is also behind a waterfall.
    • The aptly named Waterfall Cave in Dragon Quest VIII is located behind a cataract.
  • The Text Adventure Dragons World has this. It turns out to be a back door into the lair of the game's Big Bad.
  • EarthBound (1994) has one with a twist: You have to wait 3 minutes to get in.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Throughout the series, as part of its propensity toward Always Check Behind the Chair, it's a good idea to check behind every waterfall you come across. Not ALL of them hold secrets or treasure, but enough of them do to make it worthwhile.
    • Morrowind's Tribunal expansion adds Bamz-Amschend, a expansive Dwemer ruin beneath the city of Mournhold. Beneath that is the ancient Daedric ruin of Norenen-dur. Within is the Wailing Delve, a deep cave-like section apparently carved out by the waterfall within. Following it down leads to treasures including skill books, soul gems, a Daedric cuirass, and the only unowned Daedric left pauldron in the game.
  • Endless Ocean has one of these for the final portion of its Great Aqua Caves area. That's right, an underwater waterfall.
    • Endless Ocean: Blue World has a waterfall that keeps you out of the temple area of the Cortica River until you turn it off.
  • Fae Farm: Many waterfalls have small caves behind them that contain decor recipes.
  • Fairune 2: There's a waterfall with a rainbow over it in Green Fields which hides the Dramos Cave.
  • One of the secret tunnels in Fashion Police Squad is located behind a waterfall. Inside a train.
  • Most Final Fantasy games make use of this.
    • You'll be asked to take your canoe through a waterfall in Final Fantasy to find a key that gives you access to the floating castle.
    • Final Fantasy IV has a waterfall cave in one of its early dungeons. The exit to the same dungeon is also behind a waterfall, which is guarded by Octomammoth.
    • Final Fantasy V has one of the tablets hidden behind a waterfall.
    • Final Fantasy VII hides, among many things, Vincent's ultimate weapon behind a waterfall.
    • Final Fantasy XI has a waterfall cave (inside a tree by the way) which leads to the battle with Ramuh.
      • Not to mention the other waterfall cave that leads to the hidden city of Norg. And the other other waterfall cave in Gustaberg.
    • Final Fantasy XV has one of the Royal Arms hidden in an icy dungeon behind a waterfall at the end of Chapter 3.
  • The God of War games make use of this in combination with the games' static cameras, making it so the player will only actually notice the waterfall with treasure behind it if they specifically set out to see if something's behind it.
  • Golden Sun: Some of the waterfalls in the Mercury Lighthouse had treasure behind them and a Djinn which could be easy to miss. Mercury Lighthouse is justified as the waterfalls, their caves, and the entire complex are artificially created; it's a stylistic choice on the part of the Lighthouse's designer. Not to mention that there's a whole dungeon behind a waterfall.
  • In Golf With Your Friends, one level in the Twilight theme has the flag in a cave behind a waterfall. It's easy to notice right from the beginning that you should send the ball that way; the challenge is in actually having the ball land and stay in the area.
  • Goof Troop has a cave behind a waterfall in Stage 4 that can't be entered until you do a puzzle to stop the waterfall.
  • In The Goonies II, at least two waterfalls have doors behind them. They both require pressing up as moving platforms go over them, one is a trap, as leaving both rooms means the platform is gone, and one of the falls is above a Bottomless Pit.
  • Gothic and its sequel have such caves up the river that separates camps from the Mine Valley entrance and the Old Mine. The treasure inside depends on patches.
  • The Super Adventure Box in Guild Wars 2 has several hidden treasure rooms behind waterfalls.
  • Some Harvest Moon games will have a waterfall with either a mine or arable land located behind it.
  • The Hobbit had a few of these, being heavily influenced by the Zelda games.
  • Haven (2020) lampshades this trope when Yu and Kay find a waterfall on Nekarow and the latter checks for a passage behind it, insisting that "There's always a secret path behind the waterfalls". Surely enough, there's nothing there, and the only reward for the player is the "Can't get wetter" achievement.
  • In Hydro Thunder, one is occasionally surprised by not finding a tunnel or at least a hidden Boost item behind one of the many, many waterfalls. Not infrequently, behind-the-falls tunnels are the main channel rather than any sort of secret.
  • ICO: Ico must block off the water to a waterfall in order for him and Yorda to advance to the extensive cavern behind it.
  • A jumping puzzle and the Key To the World lurks behind the waterfall of the Tarzan-themed world in Kingdom Hearts.
  • Near the start of the (first: US, second: Japan) King's Field game is a waterfall with a cave behind it with skeletons and not much else.
  • King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella has one of these. You can't walk through the water here, either, but you can swim as soon as you shapeshift into the much more muscular (?) form of a frog.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda has an old man who tells you "WALK INTO THE WATERFALL". Doing so yields an old lady who gives you a hint to finding the next dungeon.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has one in Zora's Domain, hiding a Great Fairy fountain. And oodles more in the Once Per Game Water level.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has an entire dungeon hidden behind a massive waterfall. It's the Angler's Tunnel, and to enter it the waterfall has to be shut down by opening a lock in front of it with the Angler Key (Link then has to make his way through the entrance itself by backtracking to the northern mountains).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time:
      • There's a waterfall whose hind cave is hiding Zora's Domain itself. A second waterfall inside the Domain hides two torches; figuring out how to get fire back there nets you a Piece of Heart.
      • Over at the other end of the map, an alcove behind the Inevitable Waterfall below the bridge to the Gerudo Fortress contains another Piece of Heart.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has a minor cave behind a waterfall, in the undead kingdom of Ikana.
    • Several waterfalls in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games have caves at the top.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: A cave behind a small waterfall in the outer area of Forest Haven is hiding Makar in the second half of the game.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: A variation. While there is a waterfall, and a dungeon behind it, there is no way to walk through the flow to get to the dungeon and it is visible through the stream of water.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: The game's single non-hostile Hinox lives in hiding in a rather well-furnished cave hidden behind a waterfall in Lorule's mountains.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Most waterfalls hide nothing in particular, given the mechanic of swimming up waterfalls when you have the Zora Armour equipped. However, a few do have secrets behind them; most simply contain a few treasure chests or ore deposits, but one of them even houses a shrine.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: The cave mentioned above for Breath of the Wild still exists and now runs even deeper. In Zora's domain there are now several caves behind waterfalls, one of which has itself a waterfall in it which hides yet another cave.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals has one, too, except that you enter from the other end.
  • The GBA version of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King has a cave as a bonus map behind waterfall in the map after the fight in Minas Tirith. It contains a free rune, and it resets enemy in the previous map. Sucks for someone who hates fighting trolls.
  • There's a tunnel behind the waterfall in Lost in Blue that takes you to the jungle and the grasslands.
  • In The Matrix: Path of Neo has a briefcase hidden in one of these during a training simulation.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Snake and Eva rendezvous in one of these.
  • Minecraft lets you build your own. You can also use lava for this, but you'll need some sort of mechanism that blocks the flow when you want to get past.
  • In a nod to this trope's ubiquity in video games, Nancy Drew: Resorting To Danger features a secret control panel that's hidden behind a decorative waterfall in the resort's laser-treatment room.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, a gold dragon lives in a large cave behind a waterfall in the Neverwinter forest.
  • Ōkami makes heavy use of this trope - making it easy to find secrets if you know it. Once Issun even tells you to jump down a waterfall, and though you don't have to, sure enough, there's a cave there with a wall you can bomb to get a Stray Bead.
  • Onimusha: Warlords has a cave behind a waterfall that contains the best armor in the game.
  • One of the tunnel entrances you must navigate on Ember Twin in Outer Wilds is hidden behind a sandfall.
  • One of the map events in Peglin involves a cave behind a waterfall with the option to check it or move on. There's a 50/50 chance that there will be a treasure chest behind the waterfall or there will be nothing and a monster ambush waiting for you when you come out, forcing an encounter.
  • Pokémon:
    "Be brave... Be the bravest ever!"
    • The mainstream games added one in the remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver, Heart Gold and Soul Silver. There is a cave behind one of the Tohjo Falls, in which a certain mafia-style villain had spent the past three years.
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire: Meteor Falls is a rather small dungeon, until the player unlocks Waterfall, opening the rest up.
    • Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs contains a waterfall hiding ancient ruins behind it. The Pokemon Pinchers use these ruins as their hideout.
  • In Portal Runner, one is present in the first level. It's relatively well-hidden behind the waterfall spray, but Vikki even lampshades it as the player ventures inside.
  • Purple uses this twice. One is for Bonus Stage and the other is for advancing further into the stage.
  • Resident Evil:
    • In Resident Evil, the underground passage to the Laboratory (or Lisa's hideout in the remake) is hidden behind a waterfall, which you reveal by closing the floodgate after unlocking an alternate path around.
    • Early in Resident Evil 4, the player must dam a river in order to enter a secret tunnel hidden behind a waterfall. There is a plot-critical key at the end of the tunnel. Interestingly, although there is no treasure inside aside from said key inside the cave, there is a treasure on a support beam right in front of the tunnel's entrance.
  • Satisfactory has one such cave in the swamp. It contains one of the rare uranium nodes.
  • In ''Save the Light, There are two secret rooms behind the waterfalls in "Waterfall Way", and Steven will comment on them if you discover them.
  • In Secret of Mana, Undine hides in a cave behind the waterfall near the Water Palace. In order to gain her magic, the heroes need to defeat a Biting Lizard boss.
  • ShadowGate Unlike most exits, this one isn't on the map.
  • Skully have one in the swamp stage near Wanda's lair, where Skully needs to locate and jump through the cascading water in golem form, suffering some water damage in the process. Luckily there's a mud pool behind the falls which Skully can use to heal himself immediately.
  • One of the Lo'as you rescue can be found behind a waterfall in the Hub Level in Skylar and Plux: Adventure On Clover Island.
  • The Great Falls, one of the three final missions in Sky Odyssey starts off with one of these. In the beginning of the level the player needs to find and fly behind a series of 2,600 foot waterfalls in the aircraft of their choice. Once there they then have to enter a massive series of caverns behind the falls and fly their way through.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Adventure 2's Chao Garden hides the entrance to the Chao Stadium inside a cave behind a waterfall.
    • Sonic Generations has the Modern iteration of Green Hill Zone, where Sonic goes through a waterfall into a tunnel, which opens out into a gigantic cavern with rail grinding and a giant mechanical fish chasing him, before blasting back outside.
  • Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge has the exit to a cave behind (i.e. through) a waterfall.
  • Several of these show up throughout the Spyro the Dragon series, the rewards varying in each game.
  • Star Fox:
    • In Star Fox 64's first stage, Corneria, if Falco is alive and you've flown through all seven arches towards the end of the stage, Falco instructs you to follow him through the waterfall. This leads to the alternate boss, the Attack Carrier, and opens up the path to Sector Y.
    • In Star Fox Adventures, the small waterfall in Thorntail Hollow can be bomb spored for some Fuel Cells and a couple of health items. Later, in Cape Claw, an item needed to open a door is hidden in a chamber you reach by swimming through a cavern beyond the waterfall. You can only get there by turning the waterfall off.
  • Steambot Chronicles has a waterfall where one of the mysterious sages lives.
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Supplice has an indoor waterfall in the Methuselah outpost, whose water turns out to be quite shallow. Walk through the cascading water and you'll find a secret alcove behind.
  • Supraland has a cave behind a waterfall. Discovering it yields a message "Obvious area found!".
  • Tales of...
    • Latheon Gorge in Tales of Symphonia comes to an end in one of these - although you repeatedly enter and exit the cave throughout the dungeon, the final entrance is opened by dropping a huge boulder into the waterfall, unveiling the cave entrance behind it. Of course, there's a MacGuffin and a huge Man-Eating Plant in there. Also, while there are no caves involved, there's goodies behind the mini waterfalls in the Torrent Forest later in the game.
    • Tales of Zestiria has the Water Trial Shrine hidden behind like this. Amusingly you access it by using the Wind field ability.
  • Every single waterfall in Tenchu: Stealth Assassins hides a cave with an item in it.
  • Them's Fightin' Herds:
    • The game has a waterfall with a cave that contains the entrance to the Salt Mines in the Pummelin' Prairie Pixel Lobby.
    • The "Hidden Waterfall" multiplayer stage takes place on the other side of one of these, giving a view of the mountainous region through the fall itself.
  • Several examples in the Tomb Raider series. The Lost Valley in the original game was an iconic example of this, being one of the first 3D examples of it. Tomb Raider: Legend attempts to outdo it by putting a whole open temple behind some falls.
    • Tomb Raider: Anniversary had a lot of things behind various waterfalls
      • In the "Lost Valley" level:
      • Shotgun behind the upper waterfall in the cave.
      • Exit from the level behind the lower waterfall in the cave.
      • In the "Natla's Mines" level the exit from the initial room is behind the waterfall.
      • In the "Final Conflict" level, for a change of pace, a relic is hidden behind a lava fall.
  • Tunic: All sorts of things are hidden behind waterfalls, from collectibles to entire rooms.
  • Ultima-clone Savage Empire has a plot-required cave behind a waterfall, but in a subversion of sorts this cave is plainly visible, but the dimension-travelling world-saving uber-fighter protagonist is unable to walk through the water until he diverts the stream. Supposedly he is afraid of getting wet.
    • Ultima V has a cave under a waterfall, where you end up by going down the waterfall by boat or by carpet.
  • In Uncle Albert's Mysterious Island, the titular Mysterious Island has a cavern behind a waterfall.
  • The appropriately-named Waterfall zone in Undertale has one waterfall you can walk through, leading to a cave with a useful item inside.
  • One of the Ages in Uru features caves behind a set of waterfalls. Moving something into the cave without getting wet is one of the Age's challenges.
  • In Warcraft III there are a 1000 gold coins hidden behind a waterfall as an Easter egg in the Founding of Durotar campaign.
  • In Wii Fit, the virtual island has one of these leading up to the highest part of the island and the little Mario-style castle.
  • Li-Li in World of Warcraft mentions this trope by name, saying that you should always check behind a waterfall for caves. The waterfall she's talking about doesn't, by the way. But you all looked there anyway.
  • Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim: The "Limewater Cave", which doubles as a Blackout Basement and leads to an Underwater Ruins.

    Web Original 
  • Kokopelli is first met in the petroglyph covered cave behind a waterfall in The Dreamwalker Chronicles.
  • Pirates SMP: Many secret rooms on the Isles are hidden by flowing water mechanisms, often under farm water-holes or fountains, and of course, behind several waterfalls.
  • We're Animals in a Post-Apocalyptic Town: Played straight and lampshaded during the Crystal Shores arc. When the group finds a waterfall in the jungle, Jack wonders if they might find a cave behind it, pointing out that it happens all the time in stories. Sure enough, there turns out to be a cave behind the waterfall, where the group encounters a sleeping giant salamander and a path to the cliffs above.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears:
    • Gusto Gummi's Studio
    • In one episode Cubbi and Tummi also discovered a Gummi Warrior training facility behind a waterfall.
  • Danny Phantom: One episode showed a ghost portal Wulf made to be behind a waterfall.
  • The Dragon Prince: Callum and Ezran were tricked into investigating a supposed treasure behind a waterfall by mischievous raccoons. No treasure... they just ended up soaking wet. In Season 2, there's an encampment inside a cave behind a lava waterfall.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons (1983) cartoon series does this in two episodes: Valley of the Unicorns and Cave of the Fairie Dragons
  • In one Futurama episode, Bender - having upgraded his processor to godlike levels - hides out in one of these. Then things get weird.
  • In Gravity Falls episode "The Legend of the Gobblewonker", Dipper frantically flips through the journal while being chased and thinks there might be a cave behind a waterfall. Mabel calls back, "Might be?!" before, wanting for other options, they shoot through it and true enough, there's a cave that brings them beyond the monster's reach.
  • Hilda: In the first episode, The Prime Minister's house is inside one of these.
  • In the Inspector Gadget episode "The Emerald Duck", the ancient Doomsday Device is hidden behind the Great Waterfall.
  • Kim Possible: In "The Twin Factor", Dr. Drakken's lair-of-the-episode is hidden behind a tall waterfall.
  • Lampshaded in Mike, Lu & Og:
    Og: Why does it always have to be behind the waterfall?
  • In the Sofia the First episode "Princesses to the Rescue!", the secret entrance to the Jade Jaguar's cave is behind a waterfall.
  • In Winx Club, the Black Willow Tree on Linphea is in a cave behind a waterfall. It's tears are what make the waterfall, which actually flows upward. Darcy lampshades it, wondering why there's always a cave behind a waterfall.

    Real Life 
  • Niagara Falls:
    • The "Journey Behind The Falls", consisting of an elevator descending 150 feet through bedrock to two portals and two observation decks behind Horseshoe Falls.
    • The tailrace tunnel deep under the decommissioned Toronto Power Company generating station (known as "Confluence" to urban explorers). Sadly, access appears to be permanently sealed off.
  • While it's not exactly a cave, the overhung gap beneath Igazu Falls on the Brazilian/Argentinian border provides shelter for a huge colony of swifts. These tiny birds are such agile flyers that they can slip between the plummeting drops to enter and leave their concealed nesting site.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Cave Behind The Waterfall


Mike, Lu & Og: Cave Behind the Falls

"Why is it always behind the waterfall?"

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Example of:

Main / CaveBehindTheFalls

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