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Colossus Climb

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See that tiny white thing hanging off its sword? That's you.

"Some mountains are scaled. Others are slain."
Tagline for Shadow of the Colossus

A specific exchange between two characters of different size scales, and a way for the little guy to get a leg up.

The smaller character attacks the bigger character by climbing their body, avoiding their ponderous opponent long enough to attack a vulnerable spot. Can involve climbing on fur, hair and clothing, or can alternately involve invasion under clothing. The climb may be made easier when combined with a Gulliver Tie-Down. If the attacker is swallowed, this can quickly lead to a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot.

Generally, this occurs between a normal-sized person and a giant monster, or a tiny-sized character and a normal-sized opposite. It is a feature in many Incredible Shrinking Man and Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever plots, and is a common tactic of rodent or insectoid animal characters, (talking or speech-impaired). Can also happen if the smaller person had no idea they were on the larger one in the first place.

A milder form has a small child trying to bring down an exceptionally big thug, but it almost never works.

Since most western animation is designed as kid-friendly stuff, this will most often not be done to a female character, and the vulnerable area attacked will not be the most vulnerable area. Though on the occasions where it is done on a woman, it is often a source of Fanservice.

Although it goes back to epics like Inferno, this has also become a common game trope, especially during Boss Battles. It treats the boss monster as an element of the environment, and designates parts of his body as platforms, to give a clear shot at his Achilles' Heel. Doing this to a Humongous Mecha often involves important wires.

See also Stepping Stones in the Sky and Monstrous Scenery. When it happens in a shooter, it's a Battleship Raid. Compare Level in Boss Clothing.


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  • This commercial for Trident Gum, as one possible explanation for the fifth "dentist of five", involving an interviewer, five dentists, and a squirrel. Only in this case, the vulnerable area is the vulnerable area.
  • A commercial for Capri Sun V has a young boy being attacked by a Cybear, a giant machine/bear hybrid. The kid manages to kill the "marauding Ursa Machina" by leaping onto his back with a trampoline and stabbing him with the Capri Sun straw.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan can be described as "Colossus Climb the Anime Series". The eponymous Titans range from being as large as houses to as tall as a skyscraper, and to reach their weakpoints, humans have to use waist-mounted grappling hooks.
  • In Digimon Data Squad, Masaru and Agumon pull one of these in the final battle against the Big Bad. It doesn't quite work out as planned (they get nabbed by the Big Bad's Combat Tentacles once they reach the top), but it's still awesome.
  • In the first volume of Getter Robo Go, a Robeast is going on a rampage through a city. Not having (yet) a Humongous Mecha to stop it, Go and Sho climb up its body to reach the cockpit and disabling the pilot, all the while avoiding its Combat Tentacles and giant pincers.
  • In Macross 7, a friendly fanservice example from The Movie. One of the giant alien Meltrandi women shares a campfire with the hero and the kid sidekick. The kid has a quite innocent play session in her cleavage (she's at least 30 feet tall, and her breasts are easily the size of beanbag chairs, and the kid is about four years old).
  • Played twice in MÄR with Jack as the climber in both cases.
    • The first, both characters are normal-sized, but Jack traps her in a beanstalk, forcing him to climb up to her. When his hand gets close to her breast (every indication is that he's going to keep climbing), she screams out that he's a pervert, which causes him to climb back down without doing anything.
    • The second time, Jack has been shrunk by an attack and climbs his opponent to give his beans a warm environment to grow in (they're on an ice field).
  • Mazinger Z presents an interesting example because it is an instance of a villain making this to one of his own monsters. In Episode 14, to destroy a Mechanical Beast that Dr. Hell had deemed useless, several Iron Masks climb up the several-meter-tall giant robot and plant a bomb in its body.
  • Naruto does this to the Four Tails Bijuu in the Fourth Shinobi War, in order to free him from Tobi's control.
  • The battle with Oars in One Piece. Particularly shown when Chopper manages to climb onto Oars's shoulder, tricking Oars into punching himself when he dodges and hides inside Oars's fist, and Zoro uses a special technique to slash his way up Oars's right arm. Kinda subverted by Franky, who just builds a staircase.
  • Rebuild World: As part of a desperate gambit to save his vehicle, Akira first has a teammate pour out sensor jamming smoke at a Mini-Mecha from the vehicle, then engages his Powered Armor’s Chameleon Camouflage, before jumping onto the back of the mech using his armor’s Sticky Shoes function to stay on, and shooting the back to create a weak point in the front of its Deflector Shields to exploit in a Combination Attack with Carol, who has to Catch a Falling Star when Akira leaps off.
  • Done briefly in the first Mini Squid Girl segment, with Eiko. In this instance, Eiko is normal-sized and Mini Squid Girl is doing the climbing.

    Comic Books 
  • In Issue 4 of Earth 2, The Flash is the last hero standing against The Atom when he takes out Hawkgirl and Green Lantern. Flash swiftly climbs up the colossal Atom and pummels his face until he falls over. It doesn't keep him down for long, though.
  • In Issue 2 of Image Comics' Rat Queens, Violet uses a self-propelled variation of a Fastball Special to land two swords in the side of a giant troll, which Betty then uses a moment later to climb up the troll and stab him through the eyes.
  • In Issue 20 of Archie Comics' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, a giant Foot Soldier is unleashed and begins destroying the city. After an initial futile assault is launched on its shins, they climb up in search of a vulnerable spot. Turns out that they only wind up being a diversion so that a fireman-turned-dragon (thanks to an old curio shop owner's powder) can defeat it.
  • In Tomahawk #92, Tomahawk clambers up a cliff and jumps into the mouth of a giant stone robot. After a trapdoor dups down into the foot, he has to climb up the inside of the robot.
  • In X-Men, the trope enabled the more melee-oriented Wolverine to pull his weight whenever the team had to fight the Sentinels. That is, if someone who had Super-Strength isn't around to serve him up a Fastball Special. Oftentimes, Wolverine is almost more than likely capable of climbing his way up to take them out head on. But downplayed in Ultimate X-Men when Wolverine fights the advanced sentinels and comments that they are smaller and more concentrated, making it easier as he can now simply jump up and attack the head without any climbing at all.

    Fan Works 
  • In the fan-made animation Godzilla vs. Wolverine, this is naturally how Wolverine has to attack Godzilla; first with his claws, then on a motorbike.
  • Soul Eater: Troubled Souls:
    • Black☆Star, Tsuji, and Rowena had to the fight the midsection of the titanic Anria, Gladiolus.
    • Black☆Star does it again against Atlas, starting from the arm all the way up to its ear to give it the final blow.
  • Done quite a lot in the Homestuck fan animation [S] Rex Duodecim Angelus, as it depicts the trolls' battle against the massive abomination that is their session's Black King, prototyped with Gl'bgolyb.
  • In chapter 5 of Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Fifth Path, Byleth tries (and fails) to climb the Demonic Beast that was formerly Kostis. This trope is specifically name dropped and linked in the Author's Note.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Dutch film Beyond Sleep has a scene which combines this with That's No Moon. Early in the film, Alfred has a dream that he's hiking on a mountain range. Then the mountain sits up, revealing itself to be the body of a giant naked woman.
  • Captain America: Civil War:
    • Ant-Man first shrinks himself to take down Black Widow and puts her into a hammer lock by running across her back while holding one of her fingers. He later reduces himself to sneak into Iron Man's armor and do his usual shtick of sabotaging from the inside, disabling the repulsor on his left arm before he's flushed out.
    • Once Ant-Man grows to giant size, it's Spider-Man's turn to climb on the colossus, first acting as a nuisance before using his webbing to entangle his legs.
  • In Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, a woman climbs on Godzilla himself to plant a device near his head. She survives.
  • During the climactic battle of Jurassic World, the Velociraptors do this against the Indominus rex.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, where Legolas climbs the Oliphant and shoots it in the head with arrows after singlehandedly wiping out the entire archer platform and sending it to earth. Which, according to Gimli, still only counts as one.
  • This is Reepicheep's primary battle strategy in Prince Caspian.
  • Space Monster Wangmagwi, a Korean kaiju film, have a little boy (appropriately nicknamed "Spider") getting snatched by the titular giant monster. Escaping the monster's grasp, Spider managed to climb up Wangmagwi's limbs before making his way into the monster's eardrums.
  • Starship Troopers: The hero climbs up on top of a giant bug that's attacking his squad. He blows a hole in the bug's body, drops a large explosive in the hole, and jumps off.
  • The twins vs. Devastator in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen ends up like this.

  • Discworld:
    • The standard attack of the Nac Mac Feegle (six-inch-high Violent Glaswegians) in the Tiffany Aching novels is to clamber up their opponent and headbutt him with an effect like lead shot.
    • Similarly, Wee Mad Arthur in Feet of Clay can skitter up a man's pant leg and break his kneecap. He also clambered up an out-of-control bull and headbutted it over and over until it collapsed.
    • This is also how the Clan deal with a highwayman in The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.
  • Older Than Print: The Hell-portion of The Divine Comedy ends with a middle-aged Italian and the shadow of a dead poet climbing the Devil's hairy back from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern. In terms of scale, Satan is so big that the author compares him to a castle made for men the size of castles.
  • The Mechas in Orson Scott Card's Empire, apparently designed by a particularly smart engineer, are nearly impossible to climb on. Our heroes have to get creative to take them out, by pushing on the legs to upset the balance, and then hitting it with two cars. They find a much, much easier method once they link up with the National Guard in the form of AT-4.
  • In Ender's Game, Ender attacks the virtual Giant in a video game by leaping onto him and digging into his eye.
  • In most adaptations of Gulliver's Travels, the Lilliputians use this, as a swarming attack, against the title character.
  • A Rustle in the Grass by Robin Hawdon is a novel about ants told in a Heroic Fantasy style. At one stage the anthill is attacked by a bird and the ant hero drives it off by climbing up its body to attack the bird's eye.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Curiously, Power Rangers (a show where Henshin Heroes typically summon Humongous Mecha in response to a Make My Monster Grow situation) has done this quite a few times.
  • Ultraman Taro has quite a few examples, where the protagonist, Kohtaro Higashi - Ultraman Taro's human host - gets flung upwards and ending on the backs or snouts of various kaiju. But one episode takes it up a notch with one of Higashi's friends, a gym trainer intending to impress some kids, where he uses a rope to climb atop the monster Bemstar, in an attempt to stab Bemstar's eye. And it works!

  • Clamavi de Profundis: In order to fight the demon who's taken over Hammerdeep, Boic jumps onto its back and holds on before driving a diamond into its skull.
  • Disturbed: In the "Land of Confusion" music video, The Guy inspires the civilians of the city to do this to the Fat Bastard Big Bad, bringing him down with hooked ropes before The Guy climbs up himself to finish the job.
  • Lit: In the video for Miserable, the band does this on a giantess (played by Pamela Anderson). In the video they start out on her butt then move onto her hip, knee, the top of her head and across her breasts. However she must not have appreciated it since as soon as the boys are standing on her face she eats the one standing on her lips before chasing down the others and devouring them.

  • Autumn tries one on Gemini in Sequinox, but ends up getting stuck in the star's putty-like body.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech:
    • This is standard operating procedure for Elementals, 8' tall Powered Armor-wearing Super-Soldier troopers, genetically designed by the Clans to be anti-Mech infantry. As even the smallest 'Mech is still over 6 meters tall, Elemental teams, operating in groups of five, often enact a Colossus Climb to destroy enemy 'Mechs, mostly to Attack Its Weak Point. Because of the construction of some types of 'Mechs, which often lack humanoid features like hands, this trope is considered a perfectly sensible tactic instead of a suicide run.
    • However, there are some Inner Sphere infantry units, who are not 8' tall nor clad in armor that can resist 'Mech-scale weapons, who will occasionally try to do this with varying degrees of success. It is possible for simple infantrymen to inflict critical leg damage to enemy 'Mechs this way, and the novels describe at least three instances where a 'Mech was captured or destroyed by infantry making climbs.
  • David Kills Goliath is a two-player "storytelling game" where the players take turns telling the stories of a giant monster and the hero who scales its body to slay it.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition: The "Giantbane" tactical feat from Complete Warrior includes the "Climb Aboard" maneuver that allows climbing on a giant creature during a fight, becoming harder to hit and following along if it moves.
  • Warhammer 40,000: At least one Titan has been defeated this way, by infantry swarming it to overload its onboard troops and weapons. The Imperator-class Titans, the largest in the Imperium's arsenal, are designed like walking castles with troops, gun emplacements, and fortifications literally from head to toe in anticipation of this tactic, in order to make it vastly more difficult.

    Video Games 
  • Possible subversion in the console version of Alien Hominid. When you fight the pudding boss, a downed lamppost leads straight from the ground to the monster's head. If you ever try to climb up the post, it immediately kills you.
  • In the Attack On Titan Tribute Game, defeating the Colossal Titan requires scaling it to get at the nape of its neck. Unfortunately, the hitbox is pretty small relative to the rest of it, and players attempting to slay it are in for a lot of frustration as it moves around. It even has a red smoke shield that kills any player still on its body for a certain amount of time.
  • In a unique non-boss example, Banjo-Kazooie requires the player to climb atop the eponymous giant mechanical shark of Clanker's Cavern.
  • Some of the boss fights in Bayonetta have boss climbs that are even bigger then the ones in Shadow of the Colossus.
  • Gathervira, the boss of the planet Montoj in Blaster Master Zero II, is an absolutely massive mountain-like mutant that can't be defeated by normal means. To defeat it, Jason must climb up to the top in his tank and inflict damage to the diamond-shaped core on its head, then enter the dungeons located on its body and defeat the Zaviras inside them.
  • Bloodrayne features a giant...Vampire... goddess... thingy... named Slezz, who is a variation of this trope. She spends the better part of the fight as an Action Bomb Mook Maker who's indestructible skin prevents you from harming her. Throw her own explosive children back at her and eventually the concussive force will blow a hole in her stomach. You then climb inside her to Tear her heart out from within. Rayne is not happy with this turn of events.
    Severin: Do you see a way to the upper level?
    Rayne: I have bowel in my hair...
  • Castlevania:
    • The boss Eligor in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is a giant centaur-like creature which can only be damaged if the player hits its eye. This can only be accomplished by destroying the jewels on its four legs, its two crossbows, finding a way to get under it and behind it without being crushed, and finally climbing up to its back and attacking its eye all while avoiding its various attempts to knock you off again. A certain glyph can skip a large part of this process however.
    • Optional Boss The Forgotten One in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is a colossal demon, but instead of climbing you fight him from an elevator.
    • The Ice Titan, Idol Titan, and Dracolich Titan in Lords of Shadow are huge constructs built for war (with the exception of the Dracolich) that are fought almost exactly like the Colossi from Shadow of the Colossus, right down to having to be climbed to strike at their glowing weak points.
  • Chasing The Unseen makes this a plot point. You live in a world inhabited by gigantic behemoths and kaiju-sized beasts who mostly serves only as Monstrous Scenery, and the whole game have you climbing up and down their bodies to see them up-close.
  • In Clustertruck the Final Boss of the game is a Satanic Archetype boss that you have to jump from truck to truck up its body to damage its weak point on its head.
  • Deadly Creatures has the final boss, Struggs, with the player controlling the scorpion. The scorpion crawls up his leg, crawls into his pants, and stabs him in the balls. THREE TIMES. And the second two times involve it avoiding a shotgun and being stepped on, too. The first time, Struggs falls on his ass and gets bitten by a Gilla Monster.
  • Mission 18 of Devil May Cry 4 consists of Dante leaping around dozens of platforms arranged around the Savior as he battles it to rescue Nero. He then has to climb a limb for the jewels that can't be reached normally. In the next missions' cutscenes, this is in tandem with Womb Level as Nero deals with Sanctus from within while Dante is still busy fighting the giant.
  • In Devil May Cry 5, Gilgamesh is big enough that Nero generally has to swing up with Grim Grips and climb it in order to get at its weak spot on its back.
  • People in the Dragon Age series tend to get really, really awesome dragon-killing animations involving climbing on top of it attacking it while it tosses its neck, flinging you up into the air, and come down right on its neck, hang on through some more bucking, and finally rip its head apart. You get awesome kill animations for ogres, too, but they aren't nearly as awesome.
  • All bosses in Dragon's Dogma involve you doing this, though it's not strictly necessary to defeat them; once you're strong enough you can kill them with regular attacks/magic.
  • Extinction have your human-sized warrior protagonist regularly fighting ogres and giant monsters. More often than not you'll end up on their arms or backs, at which point you can execute a deadly blow by hacking their limbs off from up close while still clinging to the appendages.
  • In Fe, after rescuing a giant deer from a Gulliver Tie-Down, Fe must ascend to its head via the trees on its body in order to learn the deers' language.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2's final boss makes up about 80% of the level, but only a few spots are vulnerable: the hand (opens a shortcut), a moving spark (protects the core) and the head/core.
    • Final Fantasy VIII: While not player-controlled, Squall's Limit Break employs this against several late-game bosses.
    • The Sin battle in Final Fantasy X is a variant of this. Sin is flying, so your party has to approach it on their airship in order to fight its parts separately, and there's a brief segment where you land on Sin in order to attack its core. Once Sin itself is defeated, you then have to go inside it to finish it off.
    • In Final Fantasy X-2, the entire final level is taken up by a climb up Vegnagun to get to its head.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: The fight against Bismarck involves using giant chained harpoons to bring him in close so you can do exactly this.
  • God of War:
    • The two memorable boss battles from the first game involve this, especially the minotaur fight. While you don't technically climb the Hydra in the first boss battle, you do have to climb the ships' mast to get eye-level with it and attack.
    • In II, the player climbs on and inside a literal Colossus: the Colossus of Rhodes, and faces Titans so massive their bodies often ARE the stage.
    • III: The battle with Cronos. The guy is easily the biggest boss in the series. For reference: your character is smaller than the guy's fingernail, which is more or less 30 foot tall.
  • The final boss of Gunman Clive 2. You need to shoot a weak spot on its right leg to remove the plating on it, then climb its foot so you can repeat the process with its other leg. The left leg contains a ladder which leads to its torso, where you must use the boss's gun and drill as platforms to blow up both sides, allowing you to climb up to its shoulders and destroy its head.
  • In Halo 3, two of the Scarab battles basically require you to blast its legs until it kneels, whereupon the player can jump aboard and fight their way to the glowing weakpoint at the top of the giant robot bug (If you're good/lucky you can defeat it without having to climb aboard, by shooting at its back until the armor around the weakpoint falls off, but it's tricky). The final battle, against two Scarabs, is much easier because you have an aerial vehicle.
  • The entirety of Heir is a series of these.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts:
      • Many of the enemies can be approached this way; anything big enough can be climbed on. Only Oogie's Manor makes it mandatory in the first game, but Cerberus, Dragon Maleficent and Behemoths are all vulnerable to getting on their backs, and jumping up a Darkside's arm nets you three tech points for every combo finisher to the face. A subversion happens with Giant Ursula where you don't have to climb since you're all underwater.
    • Kingdom Hearts II:
      • The Groundshaker is a boss the size of an African savannah, so Sora and Simba have to weaken it so you can make your way to its back to damage it some more.
      • Despite Memetic Mutation to the contrary, the Hydra fight is a subversion at most; the only time it's possible to climb atop the Hydra, its heads (the only vulnerable points) are sticking out of the ground elsewhere in the courtyard, and the only thing you can do from atop the Hydra's back is trigger a Reaction Command to stun them all.
      • Giant Sark can be defeated in a variation. Should he summon a wall to block the party, a reaction command allows Sora to One-Hit Kill him by climbing the wall and stabbing Sark in the head.
  • La-Mulana: Sakit is immune to ranged weapons (i.e. your subweapons), so you have to wait for it to punch diagonally into the ground, then climb up its extended arm and whack at its face.
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: Rather than fighting the city-sized Destroyer head on, Spyro and Cynder have to fly across its body and destroy the purple clusters of life crystal growing across it.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap:
      • The boss of the Fortress of Winds. They are two creatures that can fly, but Link does not fly. Consequently you spend the whole time standing on one or the other.
      • Multiple enemies require you to become tiny and go inside them to defeat them, including the final form of the Big Bad.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Two bosses in the game don't have to be climbed as much as getting high enough to use the hookshot on their weak point on their back. Cue Link sitting on the boss frantically stabbing said weak point with his sword until he gets shaken off.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: A variation occurs with Eox in Mutoh's Temple, as you get catapulted on top of it by hitting ancient seesaws with the hammer.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: There's the third fight against The Imprisoned, where you need to whack his seal back into his forehead by launching onto him with the Groosenator. A more-classic Colossus Climb is one of two viable strategies for the other two fights, as well.
    • Originally, this is how the final boss fight against Ganon in Ocarina of Time was intended to be fought, which would have made Ocarina the Trope Maker instead! However, due to camera and frame rate issues, it was scrapped and the smaller-scale version we're all familiar with was used instead.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Two of the large field bosses, the Stone Talus and the Hinox, can be climbed upon. For the former, it's necessary to Attack Its Weak Point unless you have Bomb Arrows to hit it from a distance.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom:
      • Two of the new field bosses, the Frox and the Flux Construct, can be climbed upon. The Frox in particular has rocky deposits on its back like the Stone Talus that are similarly weak spots.
      • The Marbled Gohma requires you to smash its legs out from under it so you can climb on its head and attack its eye.
      • The Demon Dragon, the final form of the Final Boss, requires you to skydive onto its back to destroy several growths, and then onto its head to destroy the Secret Stone. You are assisted by the Light Dragon, who will catch you on her head if you fall too far and let you orient yourself on her body before diving down again.
  • In Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, Gades' true form involves one of these. Sadly, there wasn't much to it, and the real challenge came from the rematch with his previous form.
  • In MapleStory, Gollux is so huge, he doesn't just take up the whole map, he is the map! His body is sort of like an eight-room dungeon (with summoned mobs inside) and the Boss Battle thus takes place on and inside him. Players must defeat all the mobs, then several monsters that count as sub-bosses (his shoulders and torso), gaining access to the true Boss, his head.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance:
    • The frost giant Ymir falls under this trope as you must jump in his oversized club to initiate a Quick Time Event; the only way to hurt him.
    • Although you skip the climbing and use cannons to get on top, it's also how you deal with Arcade.
  • The first boss of MediEvil 2 is a giant, animated T-Rex skeleton whole sole weak spot is it's exposed brain. As Dan, you can only harm it by either shooting it with your pistol from afar, or (in accordance to this trope) jump on it's spine, climb up it's back, and hack the monster's exposed brain while standing atop its head.
  • Mega Man X 4 has the General, one of the largest Boss in the series (not counting some of Sigma's One-Winged Angel forms). He can detach his hands to reveal cannons in his limbs, and the hands can act as platforms so the player can reach his weakpoint, the head. (However, since X can Wall Jump indefinitely and has the Force Armor that does persistent piercing damage at full charge, he can just cling to the left wall and bypass the climbing portion entirely.)
  • The Humongous Mecha Gamma's second form in Mega Man 3 is defeated by jumping up onto its hand, then hitting the cockpit with the mostly-useless Top Spin.
  • Quite literally occurs in the fight with Colossus in Mega Man Legends: The Misadventures Of Tron Bonne.
  • Snake has to climb all over one of the giant robots in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. It's functionally equivalent to a giant tank mixed with a battleship: the sucker is covered in guns and if you don't disable at least a few of them, it'll blow you away even as you climb it. In fact, it seems to have been designed specifically to fight off people who would try to climb it.
  • Metroid:
    • Kraid is generally battled this way; in the second phase of his boss battles in Super Metroid, Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Dread, Samus must jump on the spikes he fires from his stomach to reach a platform so she can shoot him.
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: Used in the boss fight against the Humongous Mecha Quadraxis. In the third phase of the fight, Quadraxis' head separates from its legs and starts flying around the arena. The player must climb the Spider Ball tracks on the legs, use the Boost Ball to launch onto the head, and then lay bombs in the weak spots in order to damage it.
    • In Nintendo Land's Metroid Blast attraction, Kraid increases in height after each successful attack on his weak point. If you're an on-foot player (playing with a Wii Remote and Nunchuck), you have to use the Grapple Beam to climb up platforms coming out of his body. If you're in the Gunship, its flight allows you to just get in the air above him anyway. If both an on-foot and Gunship player are teamed up, the former can Grapple Beam the base of the Gunship to hitch a ride as well.
  • Monster Hunter has had a few monsters large enough to qualify:
    • Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) introduces Jhen Mhoren, an Elder Dragon that hunters can jump on if he gets close enough to the Dragonship. In fact, it's necessary if you want to mine scales and ores from it as well as to hit the two weakpoints on it.
    • Monster Hunter 4:
      • The Final Boss of the high-rank multiplayer quests is Dalamadur, who remains the single largest monster in the franchise, being a 440 meter long snake-dragon. Part of the fight does involve climbing its body to reach its weakpoints. And it's suggested that that isn't even its maximum size: World features a Dalamadur skeleton in one level that is nearly the size of an entire biome, with its skull alone dwarfing most Elder Dragons.
      • The game as a whole introduces "mounting", a mechanic that lets you climb almost all monsters. It's become an integral part of the Monster Hunter metagame ever since.
    • Monster Hunter: World includes both standard monster mounting and battles with Zorah Magdaros, an Elder Dragon who is more or less a giant walking volcano, whose first phase starts as this and transitions into a Battleship Raid with some Climb elements. Zorah's so huge that standard hunter weapons are more or less useless against it; the smallest weapons that can hurt it at all are full-blown cannons.
  • Odin Sphere: The final battles against The Cauldron and Leventhan to reach their weak points.
  • Two bosses exemplify this in Phantasy Star Online 2: Big Vardha, a land battleship with an onboard giant robot for defense; and Magatsu, a Harukotan aberration so huge that it could ride on Big Vardha like a horse. The weak points on both bosses require players to climb on top of them to reach them, with Magatsu's boss fight featuring parts on its body that, after receiving enough damage, can act as footholds to hit its weak points. So massive is it that the only way for melee fighters to reach its weak points without Jet Boots is with Sukunahime's jump-enhancing blessings and binding arrow ballistas to pull it down to the ground.
  • Pikmin: Battling enemies in the series often ends up this way — naturally, since even the smallest monsters tend to be about twice your size. In Pikmin 3, the battle against the spider-like Shaggy Long Legs requires you to get your Pikmin to climb up the creature's legs to pluck out the protective hair on its torso and limbs that prevent you attacking it directly. This is one of the rare instances where it's an actual Colossus Climb, as usually Pikmin have to be thrown by a captain onto larger enemies.
  • Prince of Persia:
    • The Prince's signature move throughout the Sands of Time series is to use his great agility to run up an enemy's torso and vault over them, thus getting into position to whale on them from behind.
    • Most of the actual boss battles in Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones incorporate acrobatics on the boss itself. In one case, the Prince climbs a monster, and rides him into a wall at the end of a maze.
    • And before that in Thrones, in an arena he fights a much bigger giant and defeating him involves weakening him, then performing acrobatics to climb, cripple and kill him.
    • In Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, the Prince faces Iron Golems that could only be hurt by slashing at their ankles until they fell to their knees, then climbing up on their shoulders and stabbing them in the neck.
  • In the battle against the giant Butcher in Psychonauts, Raz must use the boss's own arm to reach his face for a melee attack.
  • Another computer game that features this is Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, where Rayman needs to run up the villain's arm to reach the magic thing in its back, in the second stage of the final boss battle.
  • Resident Evil 4:
    • El Gigante must be killed by shooting at him for a while, then climbing onto his back and slashing at the parasite controlling the beast as it emerges. Of course, the player can also just shoot the parasite as well, but that doesn't look nearly as cool.
    • A later puzzle requires you to ride the hands of a giant robotic statue of Salazar to reach the control switches for a bridge. After you raise the bridge, the statue chases after you.
  • Several bosses in Steambot Chronicles can be climbed (a few need to.)
  • Trope Namer: The game Shadow of the Colossus is an entire game of these battles, with some exploration and platforming in between.
  • Shantae:
    • Shantae (2002): One of the final bosses, the gigantic mechanical Tinkerbot, is a miniature stage on his own. You have to find a way into him without getting killed, and then climb around inside him to find and disconnect all his power conduits.
    • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero: The first phase of Giga Mermaid's boss battle requires Shantae to climb around the scaffolding surrounding the aforementioned Cute Giant and destroy the locks keeping her chained up.
  • The Simpsons Game, being an Affectionate Parody of various video game tropes, sees one in the appropriately named Shadow of the Colossal Donut level, the colossus in question being the Lard Lad Donuts statue. Much like the game it parodies from, the player first has to find the weak points (by using Bart's slingshot to knock open the panels on the back of the statue) then find a way to get high enough to press the buttons (either by gliding from a high point as Bart, or having Homer suck helium and ballooning his way up to the weak points). There are three such buttons, each one needing to be found and pressed to take the boss out, while the player avoids the statue's lasers and evil Krusty dolls attacking them.
  • Sky Serpents by Nitrome.
  • In Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, the final mission of the second chapter has A Simple Plan to destroy an evil mask go awry when Carmelita Fox unexpectedly shows up and is transformed into a giant berserker by it. The last part of the mission has Sly climb up Carmelita's clothing and hair to break the mask off of her face.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The second area boss of Sonic 3D Blast required you to jump on top of its hands when it attacked the ground, then allow it to pull you back up so you could reach its head.
    • Sonic Adventure 2:
      • The Egg Golem has platforms on its back pop out during one of its attacks, allowing Sonic to attack the control device on top. However, in the Dark story's version of events, Sonic reaches the top in one jump.
      • During the Biolizard boss battle, Shadow has to grind up a "support pipe" on the Biolizard's neck in order to reach its back, where its weak spot is.
    • In Sonic Rush, the final boss of Sonic and Blaze's story modes is a giant mech, and to attack you have to wait until it punches the stage, then run over its arm and shoulder to spin attack its head.
    • Inverted at the end of Sonic Unleashed, where Sonic has to save the colossus he's running all over rather than try to destroy it.
    • In Sonic Rush Adventure, the boss of Blizzard Peaks is a whale. Smack it open, jump inside to an obstacle course, then smack this weak spot at the end. Literally. While most bosses in this game take loads of hits, only 3 times of reaching this spot (different course each time too) is needed.
    • In Sonic Frontiers, the TITAN of each island (with the exception of SUPREME) has the last Chaos Emerald on their head. You have to climb up them to get to it in order to use the full set of Emeralds to transform into Super Sonic and start the real boss fight.
  • Splatoon:
    • In Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion, Agent 8 must defeat the NILS Statue, a humongous Greek-style statue equipped with a Wave-Motion Gun with world-destroying power, by completely covering it in ink to interrupt its solar-powered charge. Agent 8 also has to do it within the NILS Statue's 3-minute charge time, though to make the task possible, Marina attaches Hyperbombs to it, each of which ink a large portion of the statue all by itself. Agent 8 still has to do a lot of climbing around the thing though.
    • The series also includes couple of downplayed examples among their normal boss fights, including the Octonozzle in Splatoon, the Octo Oven in Splatoon 2, the Octostomp in both games, and Frye (who uses an Octostomp's husk as a coop for her eels) in Splatoon 3. Once one of these bosses reveals its weak point, the player has to quickly climb to the top of the boss so they can attack it before it shakes them off.
  • Star Fox: Assault: The boss of the second mission, whose form is loosely reminiscent of a Spider Tank, needs to be hovered onto with the landmaster tank, since its weak point is in the center of its flat top.
  • The Super NES adaption of Star Wars Episode V (Super Empire Strikes Back) has Luke — after escaping his snowspeeder before it was destroyed — climb up an AT-AT's leg, work his way up from the inside, and walk across its backside before fighting the head, all in three separate levels! This contrasts from the movie, where Luke instead tethered to its underside, cut an opening with his lightsaber, and threw a bomb inside to destroy it.
  • Super Mario Galaxy:
    • On the first Bowser Jr. boss battle, Mario must defeat a Humongous Mecha called Megaleg by climbing up one of his legs while avoiding homing missiles being fired from all directions.
    • There's also the Heavy Metal Mecha-Bowser star later in the game; it involves Mario climbing a massive windup toy of death, complete with spikes, flames and energy weapons and dismantling it as he goes.
  • Someone has made a special map for Team Fortress 2 that has one of these.
  • In Titanfall, opposing Titans can be "Rodeoed": an infantryman can climb on top of the machine, expose the internal machinery, and fire into them, allowing them to bypass the Titan's shields to do massively boosted damage directly to its hull. Once they're on, there's only a few effective ways to get them off: leave your Titan to shoot them off yourself (which they can see you doing and get off just as quickly get off to shoot back), get help from a teammate, use Electric Smoke, or bounce a Cluster Bomb off a wall to hit them. Even if they're removed, if they were on long enough to rip open a hatch, the Titan permanently has a giant flashing weakpoint.
  • One level in the Transformers: Armada game takes place on an aircraft carrier that transforms into the giant Tidal Wave for the Boss Battle.
  • ULTRAKILL: The final boss of the Violence layer, the 1000-THR "Earthmover" weapons platform, is so utterly gigantic it doubles at its own level, with its brain acting as the boss proper. You start the level at its feet and must climb it part by part and find your way to its innards in order to bring it down, fighting hordes of enemies and security systems all the while.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
    • One of the uberunits for Chaos (indeed, the only one before expansions added the Daemon Prince) is the Bloodthirster, a forty-foot tall winged demon with a giant battleaxe. He kills infantry by picking them up and chowing down on them. However, the Space Marines' primary commander unit, the Force Commander, carries anti-daemon weaponry (a daemonhammer called God-Splitter) and will always beat the Bloodthirster one-on-one (with or without using the Orbital Bombardment ability). Upon said victory, the Force Captain will crack the demon on the knee with his hammer, climb up onto its back, and whale on its head until it falls.
    • The Force Commander has a brilliant one in the sequel as well, against the Tyranid Carnifex. Launching himself at the thing's jaw, after avoiding acidic vomit, the Commander holds fast while being trashed around and unloading his bolter into the creature's head — when it finally flings him up in the air, he smashes it right in the skull with his melee weapon, dropping it like a stone. Win.
  • The Wolverine game on the X-Box 360 and PS3 has an AWESOME fight with a fully functional Sentinel. It's completely to scale, towering over anything and everything in the game, and you climb it in boh phases of the fight to destroy it. Hell, the second part of the battle has you doing this AS YOU BOTH FALL FROM THE STRATOSPHERE. The game could have ended there, and lost NOTHING.
  • Most of the fighting against the Flame Leviathan battle platform in the Ulduar raid of World of Warcraft is done with a variety of vehicular weaponry, but the demolishers (catapaults) are capable of launching other players onto its back to destroy its turrets. This is necessary in order to send it grinding to a temporary halt that both resets its continuous acceleration and lets all the other vehicles pound on it for extra damage.
    • The Spine of Deathwing encounter takes place on the titular dragon's back, fighting against his corrupted blood while trying not to be thrown from his back when he rolls to the side. The goal is to loosen metal plates and then destroy the tendons holding them in place to expose his flesh to a more powerful attack.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has this as its main conceit: the entire world consists of two giants, one organic and one mechanical, large enough to have entire cities and even multiple biomes on them. Thus, getting anywhere involves traveling across the surface (and occasionally the interior) of the giants. Fortunately they're both dormant, making travel much easier for most of the game, anyway.
  • X-Men 2 in Clone Wars for the Sega Genesis does this quite impressively on its second, third, AND fourth levels. Video games typically struggle with portraying one of the X-Men's major antagonists, the colossal robots known as Sentinels; often they are shrunken down to only slightly larger than human so they make a more manageable obstacle for the player. Clone Wars gets around this by having the X-Men attack a Sentinel maintenance facility while the Sentinels are off-line. You spend two levels fighting your way up scaffolding to reach one of the Sentinel's heads, and one level going inside a Sentinel and fighting a Boss Battle against its reactor core, then running partway back down the scaffolding before the facility explodes from the power overload. Parts of two Sentinels' bodies are visible in the background throughout the levels, and they are true to their gigantic depictions in the comic books and television shows.


    Western Animation 
  • BattleTech (1994) occasionally depicts Elementals doing this against Core World Mechs, using jetpacks to jump on before blasting away at them at point-blank range.
  • Ben 10: If Ben is forced to go into a fight as the six-inch-tall Grey Matter, this is generally a big part of his strategy.
  • Bugs Bunny: Bugs finds himself in this situation twice, once with Daffy Duck, running into giant Elmer Fudd's ears and ending up behind huge, window-like eyes... then running back down under his clothing, reducing him to ticklish giggles.
  • Canhead: Jay gets the better of the tin can-headed giant by climbing onto it and using the two halves of his broken staff to rap on its can head like a drum. This seems to tame the giant, who goes shuffling off with Jay riding on its head.
  • Chowder: In one episode, Schnitzel and Chowder have to climb a giant to make a delivery. Not to the giant, to the guy living on top of the giant.
  • Classic Disney Shorts:
    • Disney's classic short of "Brave Little Tailor" features Mickey defeating the giant in exactly this way.
    • "Giantland", "Mickey and the Beanstalk", and, in a way, "Runaway Brain".
    • Somewhat reversed in "Gulliver Mickey", as he's the giant.
    • There have also been instances where Mickey has latched onto Pete's back or climbed up him, as in "Two Gun Mickey" or in the House of Mouse episode "The Broken Thermostat".
  • Code Lyoko: Toward the end of Season 4, this happens twice with Ulrich and the aptly named Kolossus. First, to fight William on its shoulder, and then to dispatch the giant itself by striking its two weak spots; Ulrich manages to do this but is crushed by the falling Kolossus.
  • In Family Guy, while combating a giant monster made of paraplegics, Stewie climbs on the arm to get to the head (Joe).
  • '70s cartoon detective Inch High, Private Eye invades clothing often enough; in his appearance on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, he invades Gigi's bra.
  • Happens twice at least in Jackie Chan Adventures. The first time a shrunken Jackie and Hak Foo have to scale the entire body of the giant Tohru. They both end up in his ear and out his nose. The second time shows features a normal sized Jackie and Valmont climbing the hoodie of Jade, who is gigantic in this scene.
  • Kim Possible: This is Rufus' preferred attack against human targets; he does it to Drakken at least once. The producers were careful not to over-use it.
  • Monster Buster Club:
    • In the episode "Comic Book Heroes", Cathy attempts this with a Giant Robot Clown.
    • Danny does the same thing with the Living Statue of Addison Single.
  • The Real Ghostbusters: Ray Stanz ascends a possessed carnival ride in "Rollerghoster", looking for a way to communicate with it in a manner very reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus. It doesn't work.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, over-eager mountaineers try to climb a park ranger — even though all persons involved are normal-sized.
  • Steven Universe:
    • "Change Your Mind": The heroes try twice to climb the enormous Diamond Mecha. The first time, Sunstone, the fusion of Steven and Garnet, proves too small to make it up in time. So, on the second go, Steven and the Gems fuse to form the enormous Obsidian. While still much smaller than the Diamond Mecha, she proves large enough to be able to make it to the top.
    • In the movie, at one point Steven climbs up the villain's giant Doomsday Device by himself.
  • Super 4: Alex climbs upon the Black Colossus (actually the Black Baron in disguise) to fight him while reduced to tiny size. Not that he's doing any damage to the armored giant, but he takes him out by Deadly Dodging.
  • Transformers:
    • The Autobots as humans use this in Transformers: Animated against the far larger Decepticons.
    • In Transformers: Prime, Jack climbs Megatron in order to purge the Nemesis' fuel tanks. Fortunately for Jack, Megatron is in stasis. How that happened is a LongStory.
    • In one episode in G1, Spike had to climb the Insecticon Shrapnel in order to keep him from exploding.
  • Quack Pack: In “Return of the T Squad”, Huey distracts a giant robot while his brothers Dewey and Louie climb into its head to disable it.
  • In Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars, Jerry tricks Spike the Bulldog into climbing into the giant robot Invince-a-tron’s head, where Spike ends up destroying it.

    Real Life 
  • New evidence suggests that the "sickle claw" of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs (Velociraptor and the like) was used as a climbing crampon rather than a slashing blade. Yep, that's right. Raptors climbed on top of their prey.
  • Bugs do this all the time. Who hasn't got ants climbing unto oneself?
  • Pets:
    • Owners of hamsters will sometimes end up as the colossus.
    • Ditto for owners of cats.
    • Climbing their human is a favorite sport of many pet rats.
  • When a baby kangaroo is born (after only a month in utero), it is a tiny thing that must climb up his 6 foot tall mother's fur to her pouch. There, it finds and latches on to a nipple where it just feeds for about 6 months, before detaching part-time.
  • This can be seen in grappling Martial Arts such as Jiu-Jitsu during David Versus Goliath contests. Where the bigger opponent can comfortably rely upon any 1:1 strength being in their favor, the smaller opponent must instead commit more of their body weight to complete a submission. This creates the visual effect of David climbing and clinging to an assortment of limbs to maximize their strength, while also allowing them to outmaneuver the larger opponent, especially as they often have a greater degree of flexibility to their advantage.


Video Example(s):



Asura is a gigantic three-armed robot that generates force-fields and lasers. In order to defeat it, Sonic has to boost upwards and attack its three spires. (Or he could just wall-walk on it by chance)

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / ColossusClimb

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