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Death Mountain

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"It's called Death Mountain 'cause YOU WILL DIE!"

A stage in a video game, particularly platformers, that takes place on a mountain or similarly high, rocky place. Thankfully, the usual problems of low air pressure are generally not found in these stages. Instead, natural hazards include falling and rolling rocks, crumbling ledges, rope bridges, and of course, very, very long drops. High wind may be a hazard in some places as well. Enemies may include eagles or other high-flying birds, Bighorn rams, yetis, and whatever nasty things the world may have living in the inevitable caves.

Death Mountain is commonly merged with other areas. For example, the Lethal Lava Land version is of course a volcano, typically of the lava pot variety, while others are snow-covered peaks. In some cases, once you reach the peak, you can keep right on climbing into a Level in the Clouds. And if you find caves you can enter in, it can incorporate an Underground Level or even Minecart Madness. When you combine the Mountainous region with the Green Hill Zone, you get the Yodel Land. It's usually quite late in the Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography. It's often also a Monster-Shaped Mountain. Despite the name, it is not portrayed as being the opposite of the real life Death Valley. Mountain Warfare is often this trope combined with War Is Hell, with the mountain potentially killing off as many people as an enemy force.

Named after the recurring area in The Legend of Zelda series. See Scaling the Summit for instances when actual mountain climbing is depicted.

Video Game Examples

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  • An Untitled Story has the Curtain and Highlands, which precede the former. The Curtain has the game's usual jumping puzzles complete with lethal ghosts, while the latter has a constant danger in the form of falling rocks.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: The titular Death Mountain makes its first appearance in the first installment in the franchise. It has since appeared in The Adventure of Link, A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, A Link Between Worlds, Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom, and Hyrule Warriors, with varying characteristics. It is typically found in the northeast of the map, highly volcanic, and made up of complex series of ledges and plateaus that need to be navigated using a small maze of stairs and caves. Frequent hazards include falling rocks, pitfalls and steep areas, lava, and dangerous enemies like fire-breathing Lynels and Tektites that leap across ledges with ease. The Gorons, a people who can eat rocks and wade through lava, typically make their home here. In Breath of the Wild, Death Mountain is home to fire monsters and has lava lakes everywhere, and the extreme heat will set Link on fire unless he has protection. Interestingly, when Death Mountain appeared in the original game, it was just set up like the rest of the dungeons in the game. However, it's found in a rocky part of the overworld with the expected falling rocks and hopping Tektites.
    • In games where Death Mountain doesn't appear, a very similar area often will instead:
      • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: Tal Tal Heights, a mountainous region in the northernmost part of Koholint. It's one of the largest areas in the game, containing many cave systems and the final two main dungeons. It's also connected to Mt. Tamaranch, which is where the Wind Fish's Egg rests.
      • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Ikana Canyon is a tall, rocky landscape cursed with an evil aura that was unleashed from Stone Tower due to the Skull Kid's meddling. As a result, many undead enemies roam it, thus overlapping this trope with Big Boo's Haunt. Stone Tower itself also has some mountain-themed motifs, such as large boulders that roll towards the bottom, stone platforms that have to be activated with weight-sensitive switches, and pillars Link can latch onto with the Hookshot.
      • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games: Rolling Ridge and Mount Cucco are mountains located in the respective northernmost areas of Labrynna and Holodrum. Both feature complex networks of caves inhabited by Gorons, and visiting both is also necessary as they feature dungeons (Crown Dungeon and Dancing Dragon Dungeon, respectively). Rolling Ridge is also unique for acting as a Minigame Zone that is tied to the questline to a later dungeon (Mermaid's Cave).
      • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Dragon Roost Cavern is an example of the classic volcano subtype. As Link makes his way to the warm interior (where the Rito tribe lives), he has to use Bomb Flowers and move a couple blocks. The island transitions into Lethal Lava Land once Link approaches the entrance to the resident dungeon, Dragon Roost Cavern. There's also an optional path that requires the Deku Leaf (obtainable later in the game) and control of the wind to be traversed: Link can fly between the tall rocks to eventually reach a cave with a treasure chest holding a valuable rupee. When you put the Map of The Wind Waker on top of the Map of Ocarina of Time, several familiar places (like the Deku Tree) are in the same location. Dragon Roost and Death Mountain share their spot on the maps. We find out that there's a reason why some things are in the same places: the game's setting is a flooded, post-apocalyptic Hyrule and the islands were the old world's highest places, all that survived. Though it's not stated outright, Dragon Roost probably isn't just similar to Death Mountain.
      • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap has Mount Crenel and Veil Falls. The former stands in for the trope-naming Death Mountain (which is otherwise absent, despite the game taking place in Hyrule) with its usual ledge maze, and menaces Link with falling boulders, harmful spiky rocks and leaping Tektites; scaling it and going through the local Minish village is essential to reach the Cave of Flames. Veil Falls, meanwhile, is a rocky plateau east of Hyrule Castle with a large waterfall, jagged terrain, and a maze-like network of caves; in the topmost ground elevation lies a big whirlwind that takes Link to Cloud Tops.
      • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has Eldin Volcano. It's obviously the same old Death Mountain, just a long time in the past. It's filled with lakes and streams of lava, and is hot enough that Link will need to wear protective clothing to avoid taking damage from the heat. It's mostly home to fire-themed enemies, and features multiple paths and caves blocked with rubble that must be cleared with bomb flowers.
    • Some games, in addition to Death Mountain or an analogue, also feature icy mountains covered in snow and ice, often in the map's northwest.
      • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has Snowhead, frozen over with unnatural cold and home to white wolves and icy bats.
      • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has Snowpeak, a freezing highland full of slippery slopes and deep pits where you fight wolves and skeletal ice-people and encounter friendly yetis.
      • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has the Gerudo Highlands, a snowy mountain right next to the Gerudo Desert; Mount Lanayru, a tall peak rising in the central areas of the map; and the Hebra Mountains, a maze of icy peaks in Hyrule's northwest. The extreme cold here will hurt Link unless he has cold-resistant clothing or consumes an item that grants the same effect, and the slopes are haunted by a variety of icy enemies and scattered with snowballs set to start rolling downhill when Link approaches.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has the Cliffside area of planet Bryyo. Justified as the large chasm it is close to is the result of the planet remaining badly affected by the war between the opposing factions formed by its now-defunct inhabitants. It and the Thorn Jungle area are still part of the inhabitable 4% terrain within a Tidally Locked Planet, with the remaining geosphere split between Lethal Lava Land and Slippy-Slidey Ice World to make up for a varied Hailfire Peaks planet in the Galactic Federation system.
  • Castlevania:
    • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse: The second part of Stage 7 features some mountains climbing that eventually leads inside a tower.
    • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness: Baljhet Mountains feature plenty of hills and alternate paths. It's also here that we're introduced to Julia Laforze, the game's resident merchant.
    • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia has the Tymeo Mountains (true to what the blurb states, it's here that we can encounter the rare Yeti) and the Tristis Pass (which also features icy caverns and a frozen waterwall).

  • Alpiner takes place entirely on mountain slopes.
  • Jet Force Gemini has the Single-Biome Planet Rith Essa, where the main characters (Lupus at first, then Juno and Vela eventually) fight a horde of Drones who overrun the rocky crags. One of the later levels, Ascent, has a part where the currently-chosen character has to fly (with the help of Jet Pads) between very tall rocky pillars standing above the cloudy chasm. The last level is set inside an Underground Level instead, as it's a mineral cavern where Vela has to look for an important item (and do so with a Tribal disguise).

    Eastern RPG 
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm has Mt. Dramatica, the main dungeon in Chapter 3. Expect a lot of climbing around on cliffs, pushing boulders, dodging falling rocks… and fighting robots built by the Mad Scientist who's holed himself up in a cave at the summit.
  • Chrono Trigger: Death Peak is another snowy version. Your first obstacle is even passing through a very windy area without getting sent back to the start.
  • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth has the second stratum, Jagged Reach, an orange rocky landscape overrun by wild creatures, including a gigantic monster (the Primordiphant) that must be avoided at all costs until the postgame when it's fought in Superboss form during a sidequest. In this place, there are stone columns that can be knocked down to either make way through the floors, or incapacitate a F.O.E. (and deplete part of their HP in the process). Be warned that a specific kind of F.O.E. can do the same thing against you, however.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Monster Hunter Portable 3rd has the Sacred Pinnacle, a Boss-Only Level where the Final Boss Amatsu is fought. It is located in the upmost area of Misty Peaks.
    • Monster Hunter 4 has Heaven's Mount, which becomes plot-critical during the events of the single-player campaign. It is home to several Flying Wyverns like Rathian, Rathalos, Tigrex and Seregios. Close to this location are the Sanctuary and the Speartip Crag, Boss Only Levels where Elder Dragons are fought.
    • Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate has the Ruined Pinnacle. It is here where Valstrax, a recently-discovered Elder Dragon, is first seen. The lower zones are clear and temperate, but the higher ones are shrouded in a darker sky (and the highest one allows you to see the moon).
  • Mother:
  • Pokémon: This is usually home to Fire, Rock, and Fighting-types, and of course Zubats in the caves. It can also be home to Poison-types (if it's a volcano), Ice-types (if it's high enough to be snow-capped) and the Hiker trainer class, and tends to be associated with powerful trainers, Legendary Pokémon, or both.
    • Pokémon Gold and Silver: Mount Silver. There are no falling rocks, but the wild Pokémon are annoying enough, and then you face Red, the highest leveled trainer in any game to date, when you reach the top.
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire:
      • Mt. Chimney, a towering volcano that dominates the region, something especially noticeable in the Sky. The lake of lava at its summit was home to Groudon in Emerald, and the Pokémon that live on and in the mountain include slugs made of lava and Numel and Torkoal, who are essentially walking volcanoes themselves. The mountain's presence is heavily felt in northwest Hoenn — three separate Routes wind through Mt. Chimney's roots, volcanic ash litters Route 113 to the north, and Lavaridge Town, on its slopes, cannot be reached except by flying or cable car, due to unclimbable ledges.
      • Mt. Pyre, hollowed out to make a cemetery, combines this trope with Big Boo's Haunt. At the top, you can find the Red and Blue Orbs which awaken Groudon and Kyogre.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl:
      • Mount Coronet. You have to slog through several dungeons (bring plenty of Repel), battle Team Galatic mooks, and then encounter the version's legendary at the top, at Spear Pillar. And if you're playing Platinum, you go right from there into the Distortion World.
      • Stark Mountain is that way too. It's full of falling ash, lava pits, and high level wild Pokemon (especially the Koffing and Weezing that like to explode in your face). There's a big cavernous maze inside, and Heatran waits at the end.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon have the snow-capped Mount Lanakila, the highest mountain in Alola. Traditionally the place where the island trial was completed by challenging all four island kahunas, it is now home to Alola's new Pokemon League and Elite Four. It is also home to unique Ice-type variants of Vulpix and Sandshrew which developed their new typing to adapt to its cold environment, and Crabrawler will evolve into the Yeti-like Crabominable when leveled up here.
    • Pokémon Legends: Arceus: The Coronet Highlands, found on the slopes of Mount Coronet, serve as the game's fourth major area. The main gameplay gimmick here is that this is the game's most vertical location, steadily sloping up from the base camp to the boss' arena, and traversal here requires navigating multiple steep ascents. This is where the player gains access to the ride Pokémon Sneasler, whose sharp claws allow her to scale vertical walls, as her aid is needed to ascend the Highlands' many sheer cliffs.
    • Pokémon Snap: The Volcano, home to an egg which hatches into Moltres.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Vocaloid Story 1: The unnamed mountain northwest from Folder Town. It features various ledges which you could jump across, as long as the ledge is at most two tiles wide. It's where Neru lives after she got fired from her previous workplace. Rin and Len will need to reach the summit two times thorough the story to face Zatsune.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X: Mt. M'gando in the center of Cauldros is an active volcano with a spring at the bottom. The volcanic crater in the center is also a scenic viewpoint.
  • Ys: Eldam Mountains (also a Slippy-Slidey Ice World) in Ys III, Ice Mountain and Fire Mountain in both versions of Ys IV, and Grana-Vallis Mountain in Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim.

    First Person Shooters 
  • Unreal Tournament:
    • Both the DM-Morpheus and DM-Plungemap maps are set at the top of skyscrapers so high that gravity is low. For some reason, no one wears oxygen masks or cold-weather suits.
    • UT99: DM Peak is a tiny wooden monestary wound around the top of a rocky spire with rickety bridges over long drops. The new, planetside CTF-Face(ing Worlds) in UT3 might also count.
  • Water Warfare: The Nature Park has damaging geysers (with delicious tempting items on top nine times out of ten), and its boss is even a cave girl.

  • Bayonetta 3: Chapters 1 and 4 takes place in Thule, a grassy cliffside with waterfalls and pits. Scaling the mountain isn't difficult on its own, but some of the optional collectables will require precise platforming.
  • Demon's Souls: The Stonefang Tunnels, a huge maze-like series of tunnels that earned the nickname "Tunnel City."
  • While nearly all of the Downloadable Content in Act 5 of Diablo II is set in mountains, it's only towards the end game that you starts ascending the peaks. By the time you reach The Ancients you are looking down on the battlefields you've fought through, ready to take on the Final Boss at the heart of the mountain.

  • "Tempest's Spine" is a raid in Dungeons & Dragons Online where you enter the base of a very, very tall mountain (surrounded by fire elementals and lava), work your way past many traps, respawning mobs, an underwater cavern and ambushes to the summit to meet an insane giant that controls the weather. One wrong strike from him and you will be flung off the summit. Without a "feather-falling" item, you'll get a quick and fatal understanding of the height of that mountain. But having a feather-falling item on if knocked off means that you're sailing far away from the mountain's base and to enemies that are unlikely to be nice to you as you try to regroup with your party.
  • Guild Wars:
  • Kingdom of Loathing: The Big Mountains, especially Mt. McLargeHuge, where you can fight things like ninja snowmen and seven-foot-tall dwarf miners. Its peak, where you can only go if you have very high cold resistance, is full of yetis instead.

    Party Game 
  • Mario Party: Wario's Battle Canyon is a board located in the middle of a mountainous landscape. The board is divided into five colored plateaus (orange, yellow, green, blue and pale beige), and the ones located in the quadrants have each a functional cannon that takes a player to a different plateau (the segments are physically unconnected). The plateau at the center (which can only be reached by paying a Fly Guy) hosts Bowser, whose cannon isn't used in gameplay (Bowser throws away the caught character on his own, and still forces them to pay a fee).
  • Mario Party 4: The minigame Paths of Peril requires all characters to traverse narrow pathways on the top of scorched plateaus to reach the goal; if they fall down, a Klepto will put them back on track but precious time will be lost. In certain parts, a player will reach a fork and has to choose where to go (both paths converge eventually, but one will be longer than the other). Whoever reaches the goal first wins, and the next player to do so will secure second place (it's a Battle minigame where coins are wagered, so this matters); but if 60 seconds pass and no one finishes the race yet, the minigame will end in a draw.
  • Mario Party: Island Tour: The board Banzai Bill's Mad Mountain takes place near the top of a brown mountain, and the objective is to reach a fortress located at the top of a gray mountain's peak. The problem is that the lower and upper areas of the brown mountain are respectively guarded by two Banzai Bill cannons, in one of which a Banzai stands ready to be shot; and if a character uses their dice and get the image of a Bill Banzai, they'll shoot the Banzai and make it knock off anyone in its way (there are caves that serve as safe zones one can enter to be safe).

  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Mumbo's Mountain, in the first game, has two types of terrain: the grassy dirt Banjo and Kazooie can walk through without slipping to the bottom (with the help of the Talon Trot skill), and the gray rock terrain that will make them slip no matter what (unless they're transformed into an ant by Mumbo).
    • Banjo-Tooie: Terrydactyland is a taller Prehistoria variant inhabited by cavemen and a large pterodactyl named Terry. The mountain is surrounded by miry mud that is only safe to cross with Wading Boots, while the upper parts have precarious passageways where Banjo and Kazooie have to walk carefully to avoid falling down.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
  • Garfield's Fun Fest: During the eleventh level, Garfield and Odie have to climb a steep rocky mountain in order to ffind a bottle where they store water from a pond that is said to be magical. They have to climb rope ladders and avoid spiders, wolves and angry blue birds along the way. There's also an explorable small cave.
  • Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy: Snowy Mountain not only has areas covered in ice, which makes traversal especially difficult since there are several areas where Jak can fall and die, but Lurkers also roam the mountain. One particular area is absolutely infested with what looks to be murderous Lurker bunnies.
  • Sector 7 in Jumper Two is a combination of this and Slippy-Slidey Ice World. It has dangers in form of usual Spikes of Doom as well as regularly blowing winds and slippy surfaces.
  • Looney Tunes games:
  • Ori and the Blind Forest has Sorrow Pass, combined with Gusty Glade; and Mount Horu, combined with Lethal Lava Land.
  • Quest for the Shaven Yak: Starring Ren Hoëk & Stimpy has The Perilous Mt. Hoek, which serves as the game's fourth world. Enemies include geese, mountain goats, storm clouds, crabs, slugs, snails, bluebirds, flies, and vultures that lay eggs. In addition to them, Ren and Stimpy have to take care when crossing rope bridges, which can collapse from their weight. The boss of this world is a lumberjack who attacks by tossing axes.
  • The Blue Mountains in Rayman, the Precipice and the Iron Mountains in Rayman 2: The Great Escape, the Summit beyond the Clouds in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, and the Mystical Pique in Rayman Origins.
  • Songs for a Hero: A rocky mountain is the fith level of the game. It is divided in three phases: a waterfall at the foot of the mountain, a mine, and a canyon, with the Boss battle being at the summit.
  • Sonic Adventure has Red Mountain, which serves as the seventh action stage of Sonic's story, the third of Knuckles', and the fourth of E-102 Gamma's. It is a combination of this and Lethal Lava Land, featuring numerous bottomless pits, crumbling rock bridges, and zip-lines, as well as the occasional geyser and lava pool. The second half of the level transitions entirely into Lethal Lava Land as you traverse the magma-filled canyons beneath the mountains. Knuckles' section has him search for the pieces of the Master Emerald, while Gamma's section has him go inside the volcano to seek out and destroy E-104 Epsilon. Sonic's section consists of elements from both Knuckles and Gamma's sections, as he is first outside the volcano and must find a way inside, then must find a way out of the volcano so he can meet up with Tails.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario World: Chocolate Island serves as the sixth world. Its prominent feature is having hot mud that can kill Mario and Luigi like lava does in other levels. The Dino-Rhino enemies (green dinosaurs that spit fire) are at their highest population here. In Super Mario Maker 2, the design of Chocolate Island provides the "desert" motif of the Super Mario World style (since the original game didn't have any desert-themed levels and no custom desert theme was designed in this case).
    • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3: The second world, Mt. Teapot, has Wario exploring a lake and scaling up a teapot-shaped grassy mountain. Features include waterfalls and water currents, lava pits, and tall areas that have to be climbed with ladders. Notably, one of its levels has a secret exit that grants the only known access to another world, Sherbet Land.
    • Super Mario 64: The 12th level is Tall, Tall Mountain. It is filled with large mushroom platforms, Ukikis which like to steal Mario's hat, and a slide area that is far more perilous than all previous ones. The game also contains Cool, Cool Mountain as the snowy variant.
    • Super Mario Sunshine: Noki Bay takes part mostly at a cliffside that oversees the titular bay. The cliffside can be climbed by unlocking hidden areas within the walls, for which Mario has to spray water onto certain ancient Noki marks.
    • New Super Mario Bros.: The sub-series features World 6 in all games (being called Rock-Candy Mines in New Super Mario Bros. U) except New Super Mario Bros. 2 (in which World 5 is only mountain-themed in part, being otherwise a Level in the Clouds). The most common feature in these worlds, aside from the mountains being spiral-shaped (except in U), is that in certain parts Mario has to walk carefully (or move from beneath with his hands) through rocky ledges. Bullet Bill Cannons and Monty Moles are very common as well.
    • Super Mario Galaxy: The snowy part of Freezeflame Galaxy includes a frigid mountain whose top has a hidden star. Due to the altitude, Mario has to keep an eye on the moving walls to avoid falling.
    • Super Mario 3D Land has World 5-1, which includes a section where Mario (and later Luigi) has to move upward with a rising platform that is constantly invaded by enemies. There's also World 8-3, which brings back the background spiral mountains from the New subseries.
    • Super Mario 3D World has the map of World 4, which is modeled after an orange-colored canyon. However, only the first level (Ant Trooper Hill) is actually mountain-themed.
  • In Wacky Races (1991), Stage C-4 takes place in a rocky mountain, where Rock and Gravel Slag serve as the boss.

  • Panel de Pon and Tetris Attack have their respective final battles set in a mountain cavern, which PdP actually calls Death Mountain.
  • The Witness: The island has a relatively tall mountain overlooking its southeast coast. It's also The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, as the whole game involves activating at least 7 beacons in order to unlock the mountain's summit.

  • Sonic Drift 2 has Dark Valley, which serves as the third track of the Purple GP and first track of the Blue GP. Falling off the edge of the track results in a claw having to put your car back on it.
  • Stunt Race FX: Big Ravine is set in a massive chasm complete with lightning and falling rocks.
  • Mario Kart:
    • Super Mario Kart: The two Choco Island circuits, being based on the mountainous area of the same name seen in Super Mario World, look like a canyon road, and the liquid sections gives the impression to race in dirt. Both courses return in Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart Tour, and the second course also does in Mario Kart DS.
    • Mario Kart 64 has Choco Mountain (a brown canyon based on Chocolate Island from Super Mario World) and Yoshi Valley (a maze-like track set within a canyon whose pits are several meters deep). The former track returns in Mario Kart DS as a retro track (and later Mario Kart Tour, as well as part of the DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe), while the latter returns in the base Mario Kart 8 (and later Tour).
    • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! has DK Mountain, in which the drivers hop onto a barrel cannon to be shot towards a large gray mountain and then go back to the start line to complete each lap. It returns in Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart Tour, and (as DLC) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
    • Mario Kart 7: The Flower Cup course Rock Rock Mountain, known in the game's European version as Alpine Pass. It's a grassy alpine biome located in a tall, rocky mountain of great altitude the drivers ride across. At one point, they enter a cave with some Swoops and exit by gliding towards the alpine forest; this is later followed by driving upward through a steep ascent while dodging some incoming boulders. It returns in Mario Kart Tour and (as DLC) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
    • Mario Kart 8 has Shy Guy Falls, in which the drivers have to go through a large waterfall with anti-gravity.
  • F-Zero has the Red Canyon, which has only been featured in the 2D games so far (save for Chapter 2 of GX's story mode).
  • Shrek Smash N'Crash Racing: Mountain Pass and Dragon's Castle are both mountainous tracks with loads of rocky areas.

    Rhythm Games 

    Rom Hack 
  • Something: Worlds 4 and 6 in Something Else take place on the mountain mentioned in the intro. In World 4, Luigi has to deal with Yoshis, Killer Bills, a very dark cave, and an underground mine. Luigi has to stop the invasion of the mountain village by Von Toad II and his frog cronies. In World 6, Luigi has two ways to approach the last castle. On one path, Luigi has to deal with exploding bullet birds and slippery ice blocks. On the other path, Luigi has to deal with slippery ice physics and plenty of platforming perils.
  • Super Mario World: Piranha Island: Muncher Mountain, the third level, takes place on a very rocky mountainside. The first half is covered in thorns and hungry Munchers, so Mario has to take a Rocket Pipe Barrel to navigate it. If the pipe barrel touches anything dangerous, the barrel blows up and kills Mario, no matter what status he's in.

  • Cuphead: Rugged Ridge, a level set in an area of precarious mountains and ruins featuring bottomless pits, steep ridges, a ruined castle, and a population of mountain goat miners, Evil Living Flames, ooze monsters, dancing satyrs, miniature dragons, and a giant cyclops lurking in the ruins.
  • Krull: The 1983 arcade game was made by D. Gottlieb and Company as a tie-in to the Krull film. The first stage of the game involves guiding Colwyn around a mountain slope to retrieve the five pieces of the glaive while boulders roll down the slope with increasing frequency.

    Shoot 'em Up 

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: The Krasnogorje mountain is high up enough that the air is thinner, and as such Snake's stamina drops faster in this area.

    Western RPG 
  • Child of Light has the Cliffs of Erin, which require the assistance of the living mountain Magna to reach, because Gameplay and Story Segregation prevents Aurora from simply flying there.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: The Red Mountain is a variation: the main dangers, instead of being very long drops, are the creatures infected with blight and corprus emanating from the crater. The Dagoth Ur Facility also has Lethal Lava Land elements. It is supposed to be much wider than it is tall. The entire island of Vvardenfell is, in fact, Red Mountain with its outer slopes.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim sends you up the Throat of the World, the highest mountain in all of Tamriel. It is quite a bit easier to die from very long drops than what was the case with Red Mountain, which is rather encouraging, considering Red Mountain is supposed to be the other contender for highest mountain on the continent.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • Zion Canyon from Honest Hearts. On a smaller scale, the main game has Black Mountain and Mt. Charleston/Jacobstown, both of which are irradiated Super Mutant strongholds.
    • Back when it was actually a mountain, what is now known as Big Empty used to be this. Despite their good intentions for the progress of humanity, the facilities inside the mountain had created many, many dangerous weapons, creatures and machines. Some examples include the giant Roboscorpions, the incredibly venomous and totally sterile Cazadores and Nightstalkers, the Cloud that corrodes everything it touches including those who inhale it, and weather machines capable of producing skin-tearing sandstorms. Not only that, but many of the test subjects were in fact Chinese prisoners from the war times who were forced to live in the mountain's concentration camps. Fast forward to where the game takes place, not only have the creations begun escaping the labs, but the remaining head scientists that had lost their sanity long ago are dangerously close to discovering how to leave the mountain and taking their experiments to society.
  • The natural habitat of the Fire Dragon in Gothic II. No actual lava, as the volcano seems to be dormant, but plenty of long drops and an assortment of fire-related nasties to battle — although the latter can be avoided by transforming into a bug and just crawling past them. They ignore anything that small. It's possible to make it all the way up to the crater and the dragon itself without a single fight.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • Mountains are one of the biomes generated in worldgen, marked by high elevation, jagged terrain and impassable cliffs. You cannot start a fortress there, and you cannot cross mountain tiles in adventurer mode unless you can fly. Besides regular mountain wildlife such as mountain goats and yaks, mountains are also home to yetis, good and evil gnomes, giant eagles and rocs.
    • There are also volcanoes, which are essentially freestanding mountains with a large tube full of lava reaching from the lava lake at their top to the magma sea at the bottom of the map. One the one hand, they provide easy access to otherwise difficult-to-obtain magma and obsidian. On the other, they allow various types of fire elementals to make their way from the magma sea to your fortress.
  • Minecraft:
    • The game's original mountain biome, the Extreme Hills, consists of jagged, steep-sided peaks covered in snow. While it lacks dedicated native mobs, its primary danger is the likelihood of falling off high ledges and to your death far below.
    • The Caves & Cliffs update in Version 1.17, as part of its overhauls of world generation, restructures the game's mountains. In addition to the old Extreme Hills, now named Windswept Hills, there are true mountain biomes about twice as tall in elevation. In addition to peaks shaped to resemble real-life mountains more, this biome is divided into two sub-areas, slopes and peaks. Slopes can consist of either flowered meadows, snowy spruce forests, or snow-covered slopes. Peaks are tall, jagged spires rising high above the rest of the landscape and, depending on the climate of the biomes that they generate near, consist mainly of combinations of rock, snow, and masses of smooth ice. Their native dangers are wild goats, which semi-randomly ram headfirst into players and mobs to send them sailing off into the void, and patches of powder snow, indistinguishable from the regular kind until you step on it, sink to its bottom and start freezing to death.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 has a variation of a sort: the final quarter of the "Red Dead Redemption" mission if you go with John involves the Pinkerton gang attacking you on a mountain while you're trying to escort John out to safety. Once the Pinkertons are defeated, Micah launches an attack on you, and you have to fistfight your way to a draw. In the ending, if he doesn't kill you already as long as you're in High Honor mode, the tuberculosis definitely will while you're watching the sunrise.
  • Valheim: The Mountain biome brings swift death to any player not prepared for it. Not only is it hard to navigate and filled with flying dragons (whose attacks slow you), Lightning Bruiser wolves (who sometimes wander into neighboring biomes) and Fenrings (who summon more wolves), not having cold-resistant effects or clothes greatly reduces stamina regen, blocks health regen, and damages you every second. Going in the Frost Cave dungeons (filled with Goddamned Bats, werewolves, and werewolves with fire attacks) is actually safer.

Non-Video Game Examples

  • Discworld: The Ramtops are a high mountain range extending from the edge of the Disc all the way to its Hub. They're extremely high, steep and craggy, and while flat land is plentiful most of it is also vertical. What kingdoms there are are built on ledges and cliffs along the edges, with the plot-important kingdom of Lancre clinging to one of the largest. The higher crags are home to trolls, dwarves live under most mountains, and the peaks near the Hub, full of reclusive monasteries and yetis (essentially trolls with asbestos wool for fur), rise even higher than the rest, eventually reaching the icy spire of Cori Celesti, home to the gods, at the very center of the Disc.
    They rose tier on tier, speckled with snow, trailing endless pennants of ice crystals high overhead. No one skied in the high Ramtops, at least for more than a few feet and a disappearing scream. No one ran up them wearing dirndls and singing. They were not nice mountains. They were the kind of mountains where winters went for their summer holidays.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Mount Doom in Mordor combines remoteness, a lethal environment and its location in Mordor with the fact that it is also a currently dormant volcano. Minas Morgul, the entry-point to Mordor, is hardly any better: a potentially lethal climb is followed by an encounter with its guardians. Even in regions outside the control of the Dark Lord, there are places like Caradhras, which is a high mountain that does not welcome visitors or travellers.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: The Mountains of the Moon are a high, harsh mountain range that surrounds the Vale of Arryn and makes it impossible to invade, with the only path through, the High Road, being often no better than a stony track and completely impassable in the winter. Rockslides are common, and the peaks are infested with barbarians and vicious shadowcats. The Eyrie, the castle of House Arryn, is perched high on the Giant's Lance, the highest peak in the mountains, and can only be reached by a long, difficult climb up a steep, narrow goat trail. This makes the Eyrie completely impregnable to attack — unless you can fly.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The map at the beginning features a range of peaks named the Death Mountains in the far north. More generally, the mountains that have to be crossed in most quests in Fantasyland tend to feature impossibly high, sharp peaks and steep cliffs that don't seem to have ever been eroded, leading Jones to conclude Fantasyland has never gone through an ice age. This is where you'll find dwarves, who have likely hollowed out a few of said peaks for their Fastnesses, as well as cliff-dwelling clans that live alongside telepathic eagles and hawks.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Noumenon: The room called the Spider Mountain is a wide and long passage, sloping steadily upwards, as if a side of a mountain has been transplanted within the space. Giant boulders, sharp jagged rocks and pockets of mud meander up to the far side, where a visitor can just make out the exit — a darkened cave opening at the top. The mountainside is treacherous for an unprepared traveller.

    Theme Parks 
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Expedition Everest's Forbidden Mountain at Disney Theme Parks is as close as you can get to this trope in Real Life. The former at Paris is even closer. Your train actually goes through broken trestles, falls through a bridge that has been washed out, a flooded cave, and an earthquake.

    Web Video 
  • Fortnite The Movie: Fortnite the movie features Camp Lakebottom. Originally, this was The Cowboy's turf, but after Norm slaughtered most of The Cowboy's gang in The Cowboy Contract, it was left abandoned. In Fortnite the Movie 8: Enemy of the Clown, Jokeman Ranch would eventually find Camp Lakebottom and turn it into his own base, was well as command the remnants of The Cowboy's gang. Fortnite the Movie 9: Day of the Clown features Jokeman Ranch battling Dirt in said base.

    Western Animation 
  • The Dragon Prince: The Cursed Caldera is an extinct volcano rising high above its surrounding peaks, dominating the skyline as a looming presence over the horizon. Its sides are crossed by deep ravines, precarious paths and steep cliffs, dotted with dead trees and infested with horrifying monsters. The people who live in the nearby village are terrified of it and won't go anywhere near it, even though a miraculous healer is said to live at the mountain's peak. In truth, the monsters are nothing but illusions conjured up by the peak's resident, who is simply a skilled illusionist rather than a healer.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Mount Everhoof, the mountain on whose peak Gusty the Great hid Grogar's bell, is a high, snowy crag prone to sudden avalanches, buffeted by harsh winds that make flight impossible, cut by deep ravines and home to dangerous monsters. Nobody can reach its peak alone.

    Real Life 
  • Above 8,000 meters (26,000 ft) is where there's insufficient oxygen to sustain human life, appropriately called the Death Zone. Fourteen mountains are higher than 8,000 meters, but the most famous is perhaps Everest. And yes, people have died trying to scale it.


Video Example(s):


Rugged Ridge

In the first half of Rugged Ridge, the player runs through a mountaintop filled with bottomless pits and home to miner goats, dragons, mudmen and hopping satyrs.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeathMountain

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