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Disc-One Final Dungeon

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"Fake Ending: There will be a sequence which pretends to be the end of the game but obviously isn't—if for no other reason than because you're still on Disk 1 of 4."

Every Disc-One Final Boss needs a home, and that home is the Disc-One Final Dungeon. Somewhere between the Noob Cave and The Very Definitely Final Dungeon is a suitably epic fortress/castle/ruins/cave/space station that could feel like The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, if it wasn't at the end of the first disc out of four. This dungeon can be anywhere from the first quarter of the game to just before the end, as long as it's epic enough to fake you out into wondering if it'll be the final dungeon, or at least give the characters a strong impression of that. The Disc-One Final Dungeon is usually longer than previous dungeons, though that isn't always the case, and always culminates in The Reveal.

To clarify, the dungeon doesn't necessarily have to be a true fake-out to the player. Obviously, when a multi-disc game has an epic dungeon at the end of the first or second disc, it's probably not the last one. Still, for all the characters know, this is the final showdown with the Big Bad.

Occassionally this has been inverted during the times of cassettes and floppy disks, when the front side or first disk contained nothing but the intro sequence, the actual final dungeon and the ending, while the main gameplay up to this point was stored on higher numbered disks.

With the advent of higher-storage capacity mediums (DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, and internal hard drives), the ability for developers to successfully fake out the player with Disc-One Final Dungeons has been restored to SNES-era levels. As a result, more savvy players will start looking for other indications that the game isn't over (unanswered questions, empty inventory slots, locations not explored, etc).

See also Interface Spoiler, for a similar Meta-spoiler effect. Compare You Can't Thwart Stage One and Your Princess Is in Another Castle!, which this often intersects with. Compare and contrast Final Dungeon Preview, where the actual final level is visited early in the game (though the tropes may overlap if the first visit to this dungeon is treated as the last one).

This is obviously a spoiler trope, so read at your own risk. And please refrain from turning this thing into a river of unnecessary spoiler tags.

For a similar phenomenon in literature or TV, see Spoiled by the Format.


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    Action Adventure 
  • Blood Omen 2: Legacy of Kain, The Sarafan Keep, Kain seeks the Vampire hunter The Sarafan Lord for a rematch but then must exit the City and stop his plans to use a device that could threaten all life.
  • Castlevania:
  • In Cave Story, the Sand Zone is set up as potentially putting an end to the plot by destroying the Red Flowers, but simply ends with a Climax Boss instead. Two other dungeons actually have false endings afterwards: The Egg Corridor? and the Last Cave/Balcony/Tower. Only by having two certain items (The Booster 2.0 and the Iron Bond) can one access the area after the Tower.
  • The mission in Dishonored, where you are going to assassinate the Lord Regent by returning to the old tower where you were first framed. But a new enemy arises in the form of your former allies once they poison you, intending on taking the throne for themselves by manipulating Emily, the rightful heir.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising manages to pull this off several times:
    • Chapter 9: Ominous atmosphere, it's the underworld, showdown against the apparent Big Bad, All the Worlds Are a Stage AND Boss Rush, The Rival reluctantly appearing to help out, 11th-Hour Superpower, and Multi-Stage Battle. They've even gone through every boss from the classic games, what more material could they possibly have. It's even called "Medusa's Final Battle", which is technically true: it IS Medusa's final battle, but she's far from the final boss. The game even rolls fake credits afterwards, with Pit and Palutena congratulating each other on a job well done, until a third voice enters the conversation, and a giant hand rips through the screen, revealing the real leader of the Underworld Army: Hades. And you're not even halfway through the game.
    • Before long, with you still on your toes from Hades' appearance, in come a whole new set of enemies, the Forces of Nature. But then, one level before you gear up to confront their leader and get it back on with the Underworld Army...
    • In come more new enemies, the Aurum! They're far beyond the scope of any other enemy in this game, and it takes teaming up with both the Underworld Army AND the Forces of Nature to take them down! But just after they disappear as quickly as they appear and you seem to finally be getting along with your old enemies, everything changes...
    • There's also Chapter 23; after you've finally cleared out all the other opponents who've gotten in your way, you bring out the Three Sacred Treasures once again and it looks like you're going to have the real final battle with Hades, but it turns out they're not strong enough to beat him. So after escaping the Womb Level you have to go out of your way one more time to get an even better weapon that can stand up to Hades.
  • La-Mulana has the Shrine of the Mother, which is in fact the final dungeon...but not the first time you visit there (when you have to get items from there to unlock other areas). There's a Mini-Boss that just sits there and can't be fought, and it's even possible to reach the Final Boss room early, but all it contains a message from Lemeza's father saying that he couldn't awaken the Mother. Only after all bosses except Mother are defeated is the level transformed into The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver has the Sanctuary of the Clans and the Pillars of Nosgoth, the throne of Kain's empire and where you finally fight him after several hours of gameplay. Of course, you haven't even acquired the game's titular weapon by this point, so...
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: The game set the tradition in itself and subsequent games of featuring a progression format that involves Link getting three Plot Coupons before a major plot event occurs that pushes the player to search for another set of Plot Coupons. In this specific game, you face the assumed Big Bad, Agahnim, in Hyrule Castle Tower after getting the Pendants of Virtue and the Master Sword, after which the more expansive second half of the game opens up.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: The Forsaken Fortress. You got all three pearls and the Master Sword. Now you're going back to save your sister and defeat Ganondorf. Except the Master Sword is unpowered and worthless. Now you have to get more items, do two more dungeons, get the Triforce of Courage, and then defeat Ganondorf.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: The Ghost Ship. It's suitable for the final dungeon, because Tetra is there, but you still need three more items and you haven't explored half of the ocean.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: The top floor of the Tower of Spirits, in which you manage to reach Malladus' Altar, which was your goal from the beginning, and defeat The Dragon, Byrne. Once that's out of the way, though, you find that Malladus has already been resurrected in Zelda's body, and Chancellor Cole summons the Demon Train to spirit himself and the Demon King away, leaving you behind. It's not until you've completed one more Temple and a final visit to the Tower of Spirits' hidden levels that you manage to catch up with Cole and Malladus, this time on the Dark Realm.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: The game largely repeats the events of A Link to the Past, and thus Hyrule Castle once more displays the trope after this generation's Link has collected the pendants and Master Sword; it's where the existence of Lorule is revealed and Link first travels there.
  • Metal Gear:
  • Ōkami does this twice. The game leads you to believe that Orochi is responsible for all the evil present in the world, and the supposed final dungeon is Moon Cave. But it's only all the evil represented in a small area of the world. Exploring the rest of the world leads to Oni Island, and an epic dungeon where you meet the Lord Of Darkness. Surely that's the end? No, that's 2/3 of the game. Only when reaching the Ark of Yamato, home of Yami, you're finally on the true last stage.
  • Ōkamiden: The Underground Ruins. You've got all the brush techniques and you've explored the entire map. Also, the supposed final boss has a Humongous Mecha poised to destroy the world and kickass battle music. But after beating him, the true Big Bad appears and the game heads back in time. Later, the Moon Cave Nine Months Ago serves this purpose, seeing as the Big Bad headed there, many more plot threads have been resolved and there is a Point of No Return. However, it's not the last dungeon (the Dark Realm is). Clever of Okamiden to use the first game's disc one final dungeon as a disc one final dungeon.
  • Star Fox Adventures: The second visit to the Ocean Force Point Temple. You've got all the Spellstones back in place, Fox, but it's revealed that Sauria needs something else (the Krazoa Spirits) to be fully restored. Plus, there's still that little matter concerning the Big Bad and the Damsel in Distress.
  • Solatorobo does a pretty decent job in making you think that the insides of Lares is the final dungeon of the game, complete with an ominous tone that remixes the final stage theme from Tail Concerto, a unique boss theme for Bruno, the chapter it takes place being labeled as "Final Chapter" instead of being numbered like the previous chapters, and having a staff roll play out upon completing it... that is until The Stinger plays out, then the game suddenly announces that you can now play a new story by loading your "completed" save file. Said new story is actually the second half of the game, where Bruno is scarcely mentioned at all and the true Big Bad, Baion, appears.

    Action Game 
  • Jet Force Gemini: Mizar's Palace. It is there where the three main characters (plus Floyd after his Heel–Face Turn) reunite once their respective errands in the Tribals' solar system are completed, and where Big Bad Mizar arrives. The grand confrontation occurs, and Lupus (the team's dog) succesfully defeats Mizar...who then runs away and plans to reroute an asteroid to impact planet Earth out of revenge. Now the characters have to start The Great Repair to find the missing pieces of an ancient spaceship, reassemble it and catch up to Mizar to defeat him for good and find a way to prevent the Earth's doomsday. Bottom line, defeating Mizar for the first time only means 50% of the mission is complete!
  • Karoshi 2 does this about four times. After the 50th level, there are eight boss fights in a row, each one after the first claiming to be the final one of course (culminating with "I Bet This Is Not the Final Boss..."), after which it gives you a fake credit roll, and a "the end", sign, then it takes you to a Breather Level where the spikes run away from you, followed by another fake credit roll and a "really the end" sign. The game then closes, and reopens a few seconds later with "fooled you again". You then have to complete six "Super Karoshi Kart Racing 2000: Extreme Awesome" levels. And yes, there is a fake "thanks for playing" message (followed by the Awesome Smiley). AND THEN you have to complete this weird level called "Shadow Of The Bossus". You then get a screen with your character and a giant spike, which fades out to black and gives you the real credit roll, then a white screen, then a "thanks for play" screen. The only way to escape from this is to press escape, which takes you to the main menu, except that now, none of the buttons work. Pressing escape again gives a message saying "it's not over yet", and then fades back into the level with the giant spike. Touching it allows you to fly, and flying out the top of the level leads to a heaven level with a heart and a spike, simply saying "choose". Touching the heart gives a final pink and white screen with "the end". And yes, it's real this time. Touching the spike, however, sends you to Purgatory in the form of the first level from the first game, over and over and over again.

    Beat 'em Up 

    Card Battle Game 

    Fighting Game 
  • Punch-Out!!: World Circuit serves this role in the Wii game. Even after Little Mac escalates into the categories of the World Video Boxing Association and gains the title of champion boxer, he has to defend it by fighting all of his previous opponents, leading to the more difficult Title Defense mode. This mode itself has a second example of the trope with the World S Circuit. Even after proving himself worthy of the champion title, Mac has to keep fighting until his retirement in Last Stand mode.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • BioShock had Rapture Control, where you face Andrew Ryan for the first and last time, and have no choice but to kill him. Instead of a Final Boss, it's a cutscene that borders on a Mind Screw when you find out just how Fontaine has been controlling you all along. Most of the dungeon part is composed of the preceding Hephaestus level, in which you try to find a way through Ryan's defenses as he taunts you with his 'accomplishments'.
  • Borderlands averts this pretty convincingly. The Crimson Fastness seems like it might or might not be the end of the game, but your level is only in the low thirties (out of a possible 50-69, depending on what patches and DLC you have installed) and there is at least one obvious boss still ahead of you (Commandant Steele). In actuality, it's the last true dungeon, followed only by a run through a canyon to a cutscene where Steele is killed, followed by a (very quick) fight with the real final boss.
  • Played straight in Borderlands 2, when you attack the Hyperion headquarters with Roland and Brick to finally bring down Handsome Jack. You even go through some epic boss battles. However, when it's all over, you kill Angel who turns out to be a Siren and Handsome Jack's daughter. And Handsome Jack gets the drop on everyone; he kills Roland and kidnaps Lilith as a replacement for Angel. You still got work to do.
  • The first disc of Jedi Knight ends with the first boss duel, followed by a rather long escape from the evil fortress, culminating in the minor-but-personal enemy's escape.
  • Pirate Homeworld in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Hyped a lot for being the native planet of the Space Pirates, the Galactic Federation preparing a full-scale assault on them, and housing the final Leviathan Seed which is guarded by Omega Ridley, the Phazon-enhanced form of Samus Aran's nemesis. But after all of that, Samus still has to find her Evil Counterpart, Dark Samus, who is revealed to not be there.
  • The Cetan warship in Perfect Dark. In what might look like the ending cutscene, the heroes are preparing to celebrate when the villains of the piece invade the institute as one final act of revenge. In a careful aversion of Interface Spoiler, while this level has a briefing, it isn't shown upon clearing the previous level, only a simple "Replay Last Level/Continue" dialog.

  • Guild Wars has one of these in almost every campaign (Except for Eye of the North, which has rather small fake outs, it's told through three story arcs instead):
    • In Prophecies, You finally make it to the Gates of Kryta. The People of Ascalon can finally settle in piece but... WHO was that in the cutscene?! Now you gotta go help the White mantle!
    • In Factions, after getting the urn from the Kurzicks and Spear from the Luxons, you go back to thwart the Big Bad's plans once and for all. Only you still have quite a ways ahead of you...You haven't even explored the entire Canthan map yet!
    • In Nightfall, you have gone to every single Region of Elona. now all that's left is The Ruins of Morah to take out Varesh Ossa. So you take the Climax Boss out and now you're in the Realm of Torment!
  • In The Lord of the Rings Online, both Angmar and Dol Guldur qualifies. Both menacing places by their own, and in any other work, these places would certainly make for a fitting ending, but the actual ending will most likely take place in Mordor.
  • In RuneScape, for free players, Elvarg's Lair can be this. Then you get membership, and find out that compared to the rest of the game, it was pretty much a Disk 0.1 Final Dungeon. It is later invoked again in Movario's Base and the Stone of Jas area in While Guthix Sleeps, but there's ANOTHER quest that plans to top that and finally give us the final dungeon for that questline.
  • Almost any raid dungeon in World of Warcraft fits, thanks to how patches constantly add more throughout each expansion. At any given time the "current" raid is the Disc One Final Boss, you only get the expansion's final boss with the final content patch. A prominent example would be the first expansion's, Burning Crusade, Black Temple. Illidan was built up as the expansion's focus and final boss, but Blizzard, new to creating expansion content, screwed up their pacing and didn't include enough raid content/released it too quickly. So they were forced to throw in the totally unexpected Sunwell Plateau in order to keep players engaged until the 2nd expansion was ready. Other prominent examples of "patch final dungeons" typically awarding the tier of raid gear just below the final raid of each expansion are the ancient Titan-forged city of Ulduar in Wrath of the Lich King, the elemental plane of the Firelands in Cataclysm, the resurgent mogu empire's ancient capital, the Throne of Thunder in Mists of Pandaria, Blackrock Foundry, the blazing heart of the Iron Horde's war machine in Warlords of Draenor, and the Demonic beachhead on Azeroth at the Tomb of Sargeras in Legion, and the Eternal Palace of Queen Azshara of the Naga in Shadowlands.

    Platform Game 
  • Curse Crackers: For Whom The Belle Toils: World 4 has quite a big step in difficulty, it has the last of Claire's foods and the last of the Mages who need freeing, and at the end you finally get to fight Bonnie. But then Bonnie is kidnapped by Tedra and Leer, the two recurring antagonists who have been bothering you, and you have one more World that you must travel through to go after them.
  • A pretty minor example is present in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. The last proper world of the game is K. Rool's Keep at the very top of the Kremling's Island-Mountain home. The final level of every world is the Boss Battle, with this one called "Stronghold Showdown" located on the highest level of the fortress. Diddy and Dixie walk into the room where the presumed battle will take place, find Donkey bound in ropes hanging from the ceiling, and awkwardly begin celebrating as they are awarded with a Kremcoin typically given AFTER beating a boss. DK is pulled up to the ceiling, the small Kongs shout in surprise and climb further up the Castle. A small cutscene shows a huge, crocodile airship flying over the Castle as K. Rool climbs up from the Keep on a rope ladder with DK in tow. The Kongs have to go through one more level (apparently a portion of the seemingly massive rope ladder that has been twisted and bundled up like a power cord into a race track for birds) before they can fight K. Rool. The Game Boy Advance version features a short dialog with K. Rool before he escapes and summons a firebreathing boss called Kerozene. Furthermore, there is a hidden world and a second, hidden boss battle with K. Rool that is accessible only after beating K. Rool the first time and obtaining every Kremcoin.
  • Jak and Daxter:
    • Jak II: Renegade: Both first and second acts of the game are closed by fights against Baron Praxis, the target of Jak's personal vendetta, and following climatic levels, especially second act's Tomb of Mar. Of course both times he escapes and in the end he's even killed by the game's true Big Bad and Final Boss, who also happens to be one of your allies.
    • Jak 3: Wastelander: Second act is again closed by climatic level - a floating war factory which you've spent half of game trying to infiltrate and which is even preceded by impressive dogfight. At the end, you fight the Big Bad ... and again he escapes.
  • Kirby:
    • The fifth level of Kirby's Dream Land 3, Iceberg, is where you fight King Dedede. Though clearly, he's not the Big Bad, so the Bad Ending will play if Kirby defeats him without having collected all of the Heart Stars. Collect all of the Heart Stars, and you'll unlock the Hyper Zone, where you battle Dark Matter and their leader Zero.
    • Ripple Star in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. As Miracle Matter is The Heavy and the one in control of Ripple Star, defeating it without all 74 Crystal Shards will cause Dark Matter to escape and Kirby and his friends will leave to return home with the queen of Ripple Star still possessed by Dark Matter.
    • Kirby's Return to Dream Land does this twice. First, there's the final level on Planet Popstar, Nutty Noon. Did you really think the game would end there after taking on the king of the Doomers? We haven't even gotten all of the Energy Spheres yet! There's also Dangerous Dinner, where it becomes Kirby's mission to trek all the way up to Haldera Volcano to battle the Guardian Angel, Landia. But defeat him, and Magolor arrives to make a surprise...
    • The Decisive Battlefield becomes this in Super Kirby Clash as a result of being Demoted to Extra. Just like Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, you fight Landia EX and Parallel Susie before you encounter Parallel Nightmare... only this time, he summons King D-Mind to attack Team Kirby. And even though the credits roll after defeating him, it's clear that he's still on the loose, as more monsters begin attacking near the Grasslands.
    • Kirby and the Forgotten Land does this twice again. First, there's Winter Horns, where you battle King Dedede, the supposed leader of the Beast Pack. Defeating him, however, causes him to capture Elfilin and fly off into the unknown. Then, there's Redgar Forbidden Lands, the final level before you reach Lab Discovera. And guess who you encounter guarding the entrance to the lab? King Dedede again, this time brainwashed into the bestial Forgo Dedede. Defeating him frees him from Mind Control and leads directly into Lab Discovera, where you fight Leongar, and later, the true Big Bad, Fecto Forgo.
  • Mega Man:
    • In Mega Man (Classic) games, once you get to the fortress, each level is preceded by a map screen showing the various destinations you're headed for, ending with a special one that marks the Big Bad's location. In most games, once you get there and defeat the boss, an extra location appears that the map didn't bother to show you earlier. The fourth, fifth, and sixth games take a different route: there's another whole fortress after the one you're initially shown.note 
    • Mega Man Battle Network:
      • Network Transmission had the Zero Account that can only be accessible after defeating the majority of the first half of the bosses halfway through before reaching to Zero.EXE who serves as the Disc-One Final Boss.
      • In 2, the Mother Computer since it serves as the story's climax prior to the attempted destruction fo the country conducted by ShadowMan
      • 3 had the Undernet 3 where you fight FlameMan and after a struggle comes forth Bass who then seals MegaMan's victory upon securing his victory through tremendous power.
      • 5 had the Liberation Mission 6 as the forefront prior to it's area's restoration where the leader of each version corrupted by Dark Power had to be confronted prior to his restoration.
      • In 6, the Underground serves as one since Colonel.EXE who is one of WWW's top chain of command confronts MegaMan after the game's halfway progression.
    • Mega Man Star Force: Crimson Factory and Meteor G is this one as the leader's Wizard and the other elite members served as the story's Climax Boss before facing the Crimson Dragon.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
    • In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, the Thug HQ on Planet Snivelak may qualify. Red sky, lava, a level that's pretty much one linear path to a huge, ominous fortress, BGM that's MUCH darker than anything else in the game, a long It's Quiet… Too Quiet segment before having to fight your way through some of the toughest enemies in the game, all cumulating in a battle against the game's Recurring Boss in a massive Humongous Mecha to rescue the game's love interest. Is this the final level? HELL NO. But it is pretty close.
    • Koros from Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal might qualify as well. It's relatively somber level with powerful enemies and implies that you're destroying Bio-Obliterator right there and then. And you do. Wait, you didn't fight Big Bad, didja? Cue message from Mission Control they found second Bio-Obliterator and coordinates for actual final level.
    • Ratchet: Deadlocked is built around arena combat with heavy implication that current top Exterminator Ace Hardlight will be your final opponent. There are two more levels after this: The Ghost Station, which is not even shown on level list from the beginning like every other level, and Dreadzone Station Interior. And the final boss is Gleeman Vox himself.
  • The Last Castle in Something Else. The Evil Guy's real base is on the Moon.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic 2: In the Sega Master System and Game Gear versions of the game, Sonic fights Silver Sonic at the end of Scrambled Egg Zone. Whether or not Silver Sonic surrenders the sixth and final Chaos Emerald when he is defeated depends on whether or not Sonic has the other five in his inventory. If Sonic does, then he has one last world to complete; Crystal Egg Zone (also resulting in the Happy Ending if Sonic completes it). If not, Sonic doesn't get to go to Crystal Egg Zone and the game ends on a sad note with Tails remaining Robotnik's prisoner.
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles: If you're playing Sonic 3 by itself, the last level you play is Launch Base Zone, Eggman's attempt at reactivating his Death Egg. However, this only the 6th level overall between both games.
    • Sonic Heroes: Rail Canyon and Bullet Station seemingly have each team confront Eggman for a final confrontation. Nope, this was just a ruse and the Eggman you fight is Actually a Doombot used as a decoy as he mobilizes his armada, and Metal Sonic copies Sonic and Shadow's data for his endgame, and the second half of the game is stopping said armada.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros.: The first example in the series goes back all the way to the original game. Games of the time were usually a short sequence of levels that would repeat ad nauseam, with minor tweaks to increase difficulty along the way, so imagine the surprise of a gamer weaned on Atari 2600 games who makes his way through world 1-4 only to discover that, not only did he not just rescue the princess, but there's a whole new set of levels to run through!
    • Super Mario Bros. 3. Seven Koopalings have taken over seven kingdoms, so just go to those seven kingdoms (Worlds), defeat the Koopalings, and all is well, right? Wrong, because at the end of World 7, Bowser reveals that he's kidnapped Princess Peach, and now you must go into his homeworld (World 8) and save her!
    • The first two New Super Mario Bros. games have it.
      • The DS game apparently concludes on a normal looking castle at the end of World 8, with the boss being Dry Bowser. However, the boss music is the exact same boss theme you've been hearing when fighting the bosses at the end of each of the previous worlds. Further confusing matters is that upon dropping Dry Bowser into the chasm, you get the exact same sequence of Bowser Jr. taunting you and running off with the princess (just like when you cleared the previous worlds for the first time). Then the game returns to the map screen and a bridge suddenly emerges, leading to six additional levels.
      • New Super Mario Bros. Wii game has the Airship level in World 8 as the apparent final level. You've been chasing the same Airship the entire game, so it makes sense that the final level should take place there, right? Even Bowser Jr. ditched his ruined Koopa Clown Car for the bigger, original one...but the boss theme is no different from the first two encounters. After this, Mario (and/or whoever else if playing in multiplayer mode) finally meets Princess Peach on the deck of the Airship. A good place to end the game indeed. One problem, though; Bowser hasn't actually showed up in this game yet. So of course Kamek reappears and steals Peach, and it's off to kick Bowser's tail in the final castle.
    • Super Mario 3D Land: At the World 8 castle, you beat Bowser again, with the same boss theme as before. After beating him you go to the top of the castle and see Princess a cardboard cutout. You see Bowser again, with the real Peach who takes her away and then you have to do one more level and then the real final castle. After you finish the game though, you can enter pipes in the worlds leading to eight new worlds. From there a few things happen such as unlocking Luigi. So technically this game does it twice over.
    • Super Mario 3D World: The seventh world, World Castle is this. The entire world is the sort of Lethal Lava Land Bowser loves, you have a battle with Bowser in his Cool Car, and save the last Sprixie Princess. Sure, Mario games traditionally have eight worlds, but this one channels a lot of Super Mario Bros. 2 which had seven. But, after defeating Bowser again, he manages to come in and capture all of the Sprixie Princesses, and takes them to World Bowser, an Amusement Park of Doom.
    • Super Mario Odyssey has Bowser's Kingdom. If the name of the place wasn't enough, the entire level is structured as an enormous Japanese-style palace, complete with several courtyards. After making your way to the top of the castle, it looks like the final showdown against Bowser is about to begin...only for him to take off, Peach in tow, leaving the Broodals to deal with Mario. Once that's taken care of, it's time for the actual final showdown on the Moon.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Antichamber: The Tower, a seven-floor area that brings you to different rooms scattered across the whole map.
  • Chip's Challenge appears to have 144 levels, but a password secretly sneaked in level 34 can provide access to the final levels. This also applies to the four Fan Sequels.
  • Much of DROD: The Second Sky revolves around trying to race First Archivist to Nethlekempt Farrows, so that must be where the final showdown and end of the game will take place... but it turns out that First Archivist is not the main threat to the surfacers, and Beethro has another whole chapter of missions before he can reach the actual end of the story.
  • Portal: Chamber 19 is heralded as the last test chamber before the cake is dispensed. The cake is a lie. Chamber 19 itself ends with a death trap. Fortunately, however, the player can use the portal gun to escape from the trap into the true end game, where you run around the underbelly of the Enrichment Center to find the actual final boss.
  • Portal 2: Chell's encounter with GLaDOS after escaping from her test chambers and sabotaging her defenses. It's even at around the same time point for the Final Boss battle relative to the first game. Then GLaDOS turns out to be an Anticlimax Boss and the real Big Bad is revealed...and you've still got two thirds of the game left to go.
  • Professor Layton:
  • Room Escape Games place the player in a locked room, with one locked door as their presumed ultimate obstacle to escaping. The trope comes into play when that locked door either opens into a closet that contains more items to solve the other puzzles, or when that door opens into another room. Regardless, the true exit is somewhere else entirely.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars fakes the player out in the GDI campaign, in which the tenth mission (counting the prologue) and finale of the third act, is Sarajevo, Temple Prime. The player has access to all but a single specific defense structure, including access to the Ion Cannon, and is tasked with taking down Kane's headquarters while Nod throws everything it has at them. By every measure, it's the traditional final mission of a Command & Conquer title, but in reality, destroying Temple Prime detonates Kane's Liquid Tiberium Bomb and leads to the Scrin Invasion, with two more acts where GDI has to defeat the invaders and push Nod back into the shadows.

  • The godmodder at the end of the original Destroy the Godmodder had a massive fortress that the players had to fight through. It wasn't even the end of the first game.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • The Saturn game Albert Odyssey Legend Of Eldean (the only one in the series to get an official translation) has what looks to be the final boss only for the game to begin again with a Time Skip and another story arc. The giveaway here wasn't in the disc count, since it's a single-disc game, but the fact that at least three of the characters profiled in the manual haven't been introduced yet.
  • Baldur's Gate II has Spellhold, the place where the Big Bad has fled to and you have spent the entire game trying to get too. Not the final dungeon after all...
    • A better example would be Dragon's Eye from Icewind Dale — for a first-time player of Icewind Dale who is used to other D&D CRP Gs, this place just screams final dungeon, both thematically and character power-wise. The only hints to this not being the final dungeon is discussion about an "ancient enemy" — and the fact that you're only in Chapter 2.
  • Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean: Emperor Geldoblame in the Lava Caves, fought not even an hour into the second disc. Wait, what do you mean he's not the Big Bad? Then Kalas does the Face–Heel Turn...
  • The Spire from BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm is an utterly massive Evil Tower of Ominousness, far longer and more challenging than any other dungeon in the game has been up to that point. Everything about the place just screams “This Is The End,” yet the player remains unconvinced, since the whole reason you’re there to begin with is to find a way to get through the gigantic barrier surrounding the actual final dungeon. (The "actual" final dungeon, Arianna's World, turns out to be this trope as well, if you’ve completed all the sidequests needed to unlock the Sky Abyss during the epilogue)
  • The Bravely Default franchise makes it a recurring habit, though with different twists on the concept in each game:
    • Bravely Default presents the Eternian citadel, as it's the last new area on the map, all of the game's remaining villains are there, and it houses the last Crystal that Agnes and her fairy partner Airy need to restore to bring balance back to the world. It's barely halfway through the game, with the nature of the story radically changing after this point.
    • Bravely Second has the entire game be about chasing the Skyhold, Kaiser Oblivion's flying fortress, and by the time you can reach it you've again explored the entire map. Unfortunately, the Kaiser carries out his evil plans before the party even reaches him. To actually face him, the player needs to send the party back to the Hopeless Boss Fight at the very beginning of the game and win it via your power over New Game Plus, starting the second half of the game.
    • Bravely Default II has two fakeout final dungeons. The first is the temple under Musa where the Crystals are to have their power replenished every 200 years, and where Edna is working to break the seal on the Night's Nexus. Defeating her results in a Downer Ending, and reloading allows access to the second final dungeon, the Fountain of Knowledge, whose waters flow with the memories of all things. Defeating the Night's Nexus here still leads to a bad ending, and reloading again allows access to the true final chapter.
  • Angel's Tower in Breath of Fire III. This is where Ryu supposedly learns the truth about what happens to the Brood (his race). Instead, this is where Garr tries to kill him as the Last of His Kind to offer to the Goddess Myria. Garr fails, Ryu becomes the Kaiser Dragon for the first time, and escapes. After that, the Time Skip kicks in.
  • Bug Fables: The Wasp Kingdom Hive is built up throughout Chapter 5 as the place where the Wasp King is confronted, getting back the final artifact that he just stole, and just getting there involves a masive gauntlet through a jungle and a swamp. After sneaking past the military and ending in the Throne Room, Team Snakemouth learns that the entire thing was a diversion, and they fight The Dragon General Ultimax instead. While the Wasp King himself is the final boss, he's fought later, and not in the Wasp Kingdom Hive.
  • At the end of Child of Light's second act, Aurora enters the Magic Mirror at the Temple of the Moon that Norah told her would lead her home, only for it to warp her to the Forgotten Tower, where Norah reveals her true allegiance and Wicked Stepmother Queen Umbra imprisons Aurora and her friends, who must escape with the aid of Oengus. Upon defeating her Scaled Up stepsister Cordelia at the end, Aurora recovers the Moon, triggering her Overnight Age-Up. The Palace of the Sun would have filled this role had the proper Final Dungeon in Umbra's castle not been scrapped due to time constraints.
  • Chrono Trigger does it probably three times, in order:
    • The first third of the game is the lead-up to fighting the apparent Big Bad Magus from supposedly creating Lavos, but it reveals that Magus was actually trying to destroy Lavos.
    • The next is the Tyranno Lair: it seems as though your party is full, there are no more time periods to explore and that you're going to prevent this next apparent Big Bad from summoning Lavos, only for the game to reveal that Lavos is the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, and then the game sends you to 12,000 B.C..
    • The Ocean Palace is an even better fake-out — the music is ominous, you fight new enemy types, your party leader is close to acquiring his final ability (or does so during the dungeon), and you are going to go confront Queen Zeal, who is drawing on Lavos's power — and possibly face Lavos himself when she summons him. And it is all a fakeout. Lavos is a Hopeless Boss Fight, and not only beats down the party (and Magus, who tries to confront him), but kills Crono — there's not even a body left when Lavos is through with him. At this point, the final portion of the game begins, and the player finally starts changing history for the better.
  • Chrono Cross also does it thrice:
  • Dark Souls II does this amazingly. Over the whole game you've been told repeatedly to go to the castle to see the King. You finally get there, and the gates are shut tight. After Storming the Castle, you reach a room where a lone woman sits on a giant throne, far off from you. You speak with her, and she says...the king isn't here? What? Welcome to the last third of the game.
  • Deltarune does this at the end of the first 2 chapters due to the long waits between them.
  • Diablo III has this in Act III if you went into the game completely blind. The PC descends into Mordor, and there's a boss fight against the Big Bad who had been pretty built up for a good portion of the game. However, after you beat Azmodan, Adia betrays you and you go to the High Heavens for the real final dungeon and to face Diablo.
  • The seventh chapter of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten suspiciously declares itself the final chapter as the heroes storm President Hugo's mansion. After that is a second chapter labeled as the final chapter. And a third. And then there's a fourth.
  • The Deep Roads expedition in Dragon Age II was set up as the 'this expedition'll solve all our problems' mission, and turns out to be just the final mission of Chapter 1. And Chapter 2 has another: the Qunari invasion, topped by a fight with the Arishok.
  • The Dragon Quest series:
    • Dragon Quest III pulls this with Baramos's castle. Likely one of the first examples of this in role-playing games, and one of the most effective since you've already explored most of the known world up to that point.
    • In Dragon Quest VI, you spend several hours trying to find Murdaw. Then you fight a FAKE Murdaw in the dream world. Returning to the dream world, you go through a cave and Murdaw's castle and defeat him. There are two worlds and you have covered around half the map in both of them. There's still a long way to go.
    • Dragon Quest VII is probably the epitome of the Disc-One Final Dungeon. If the game had been a single disc, you'd have no idea that Orgodemir's initial defeat was only the first half of the game. Unfortunately, there's still a whole other disc to go.
    • In Dragon Quest VIII, the Dark Ruins. This is so effective in mimicking a final battlenote , in fact, that the game's real final battle, involving zooming, swooping shots of the night sky above the entire world, seems like an anticlimax.
    • Dragon Quest IX has Gittingham Palace, which was actually fairly convincing as the final dungeon until The Man Behind the Man made himself known.
    • Dragon Quest XI has two.
      • After spending about sixty hours assembling your party, gathering the plot coupons and doing some side quests, you go to confront Mordegon at Yggdrasil. He swats you aside and scatters the party, forcing you to assemble it all over again.
      • The climactic fight against Mordegon. Enormous build-up? Check. Pants-wetting dungeon name (Fortress of Fear)? Check. Dark and gothic architecture and incredibly convoluted pathway? Check. Final boss using a mix of other boss techniques? Check. One-Winged Angel form? Check. Credit roll after the win? Check. But the alert player might notice that there's a major dangling plot thread (the Shadow Tocle) and tons of pastwords and monster entries you haven't yet found. You're actually maybe two-thirds of the way through the game, and it's about to get a lot harder.
  • Elden Ring gives us Leyndell, the Royal Capital. The sprawling, ruined capital of the Lands Between, it's the largest, most complex, and least linear of the game's main dungeons, being a sprawling labyrinth of streets, back alleys, and rooftops filled with powerful enemies and mini bosses. You need at least two Great Runes to even access the region of the map it's in, which necessitates defeating at least two other demigods, and you also need to defeat the Draconic Tree Sentinel, a very tough Beef Gate of a boss, just to open the gate leading into the city. The city itself plays host to the Erdtree, which is the destination of the main quest and has been looming over the horizon for literally the entire game. It climaxes with a battle against Morgott, the Omen King, who has been your most persistent and personal antagonist throughout the story. Despite occurring likely dozens of hours into the game and feeling climactic as hell, the main quest is only halfway over after you beat Leyndell. Defeating Morgott and accessing the Erdtree leads to the revelation that Radagon's seal is preventing anyone from entering the Erdtree and becoming Elden Lord, and in order to complete their quest, the Tarnished is going to have to endure a lot more hardship.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind has Ilunibi, a vast and sprawling underground dungeon where you will likely face the strongest opponents you've encountered to that point in the main quest. Dagoth Gares takes up residence here, and will inflict the player with the Corprus Disease, setting off the rest of the main quest. Afterward, the game world changes significantly for the player. Caius Cosades is recalled to the Imperial City shortly after, and the plot changes from investigating an ancient prophecy to actually fulfilling it by slaying a Physical God Big Bad.
    • Skyrim: After delving into the huge dungeon of Blackreach to find the Elder Scroll, you use it to learn Dragonrend from the warriors in the past, just in time for a climactic showdown with Alduin — as Dragonrend is the only power that could bring him down. This is it! ...then he flees, and you still have several more quests and another ancient dungeon to go through before you can even reach the place he retreated to, to say nothing of what needs to be done there before the actual final fight.
  • Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan: The Echoing library, located in the homeland of the seemingly-antagonistic Empire (Cloudy Stronghold). The regal design, plus the ominous ambiance and the objective of rescuing the Medium from Prince Baldur, all portray this dungeon as the final destination for the player's guild. However, once the Prince is cornered, he takes the Medium with him through an emergency exit and the guild is distracted by the Cradle Guardian, the dungeon's actual boss. The real final dungeon is the Forgotten Capital, located beneath the withered Yggdrasil, but a long procedure involving the previous dungeons is required before it can be explored.
  • Without The Falcon & the Unicorn DLC, Ker-Thal is the final dungeon of Might and Magic X (though you can continue playing afterwards). With it, the game still ends in the same way...and then, once you're deposited back in Karthal for the post-victory gameplay immediately starts a new questline that continues the story of the game and ends with running the Modular Epilogue again, but with additions relevant to the DLC. There is no new cutscene...but it does have an ending scorescreen in the style of VI to IX, which the non-DLC game doesn't have.
  • Fallout 3:
    • The Jefferson Memorial during The Waters of Life. You've finally rescued your father and recruited his old coworkers to activate Project Purity, when the Enclave suddenly shows up to take control of the project. Your dad is killed, and you have to retreat to the Citadel to inform the Brotherhood of the Enclave's plans for Project Purity.
    • Both Raven Rock and the Jefferson Memorial during Take It Back! also become this if the Broken Steel expansion pack is equipped.
  • Common in the Final Fantasy series:
    • The Cyclone in Final Fantasy II, which is made even more convincing by the fact that you kill the Emperor at the end. But then a new threat arises. And then the Emperor comes back from hell.
    • The Tower of Zot in Final Fantasy IV. You've been everywhere in the overworld, all four known crystals have been accounted for, and you go to a futuristic tower that's not even on the World Map to attempt a Hostage for MacGuffin exchange and have a showdown with the Big Bad. Only afterwards do you learn about the underworld and the additional crystals. The Giant of Babil would also count except that you learn that Golbez is merely The Heavy just before going there, spoiling the effect.
    • In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Golbez' tale starts in the previous game's final dungeon, and he even fights Zeromus as his end-of-chapter boss.
    • Exdeath's Castle in Final Fantasy V. It's a large, terrifying castle where the Big Bad hangs out (complete with fleshy organ-like walls with ribcages and tortured fiends built right in!). You've already conquered the two worlds of the game and been everywhere, so it only seems natural that this'll be the site of the Final Boss battle; but when you finally destroy the shield surrounding it, fight your way to the top and clash with Exdeath himself, he completes his hitherto unknown plan to merge the two worlds together sending the light warriors unconscious away from the castle and with a whole new patchwork worldmap to explore.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, the Floating Continent miles above the earth, where the assumed Big Bad, Gestahl, and his assumed Dragon, Kefka, are trying to get the powers of creation would seem like a final dungeon to most players. Of course, on its original release, the inclusion of a completely different Feelies map labeled "World of Ruin" was sort of a tip-off.
    • The Northern Continent in Final Fantasy VII. You've already chased Sephiroth around the world, so it's easy to think that these ancient ruins could be the final showdown. Of course, this is barely the midpoint of the second of three disks.
    • Final Fantasy VIII. Maybe we'll stop the sorceress by shooting her at the big parade. Nope, just kidding. Hey, giant showdown between our floating university and her floating university! Sounds like a climactic way to end the ga—no, just kidding. How about on this weird floaty "Lunatic Pandora" thing? Not quite, but getting there. The second one technically does involve the defeat of the villain, but you learn there that someone else was behind it all along.
    • The entirety of Terra is a third disc final dungeon in Final Fantasy IX. This is where Kuja and The Chessmaster behind him are from, so it must be important, right?
    • Zanarkand in Final Fantasy X. It's the end result of your very linear quest, with Big Bad Sin at the end of it, right? Hmm...well, not so much. Sin is, in fact, the final dungeon. Also made tricky by Tidus narrating the entire game in flashback form UP TO Zanarkand, which may lead you to think that when the flashback meets up with the current time, you're about to face your Final Boss...
    • Final Fantasy XI: as an MMORPG with a few expansions by now, the plot has expanded as well — what used to be the final dungeon in the original game on release became the prerequisite for a new mission line that was made available when the 1st expansion was released.
    • The Pharos Lighthouse in Final Fantasy XII. We're talking a 100-floor dungeon with all sorts of boss fights and a giant Green Rock at the top. Admittedly the real final dungeon is much smaller (you can't even save inside it) so it's more of an anticlimax.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics, the assault on Fort Zeakden is the final confrontation with the Death Corps and signifies a major turning point in Ramza's life (and depending on how much Level Grinding you did can be a serious challenge), but it's only the last battle in Chapter 1. It's also part of one giant flashback from Ramza, so really, no one should have been fooled in the first place, especially since the first battle in the game takes place a year after the Fort Zeakden battle.
    • The run on the Palamecia halfway into Final Fantasy XIII has all the trappings of a final dungeon: a final powwow with your comrades before starting the mission, fast-paced music that plays continuously through exploration and battles, former bosses taking you on in groups, and so on. Finally, you get to the ship's bridge and prepare to face down the apparent Big Bad and his Dragon...Only to have the former kill the latter in front of you, allow you to "defeat" him (ostensibly to make sure that you're progressing fast enough to fit in with his plans), and then send you on your merry way to the Hungry Jungle you've been told is hell the entire game. And you unlock the ability to customize your party. Made more evident if one read the handbook, which has a section on cie'th missions for once you reach Pulse. And yes, it does say the missions are on Gran Pulse.
    • Final Fantasy XIV:
      • Happens repeatedly in the Heavensward expansion. First it occurs in the Aery. While it's betrayed by being a level 55 dungeon in a level 60 expansion, from a plot perspective it has all the markings. Its an ominous floating set of ruins concealed in a perpetual thunderstorm where the player goes to battle Nidhogg, the apparent Big Bad of the expansion. It even ends in Nidhogg's death! But then the larger conspiracy with the Corrupt Church comes into play. The following dungeon, the Vault, does this again, as the player storms the massive gothic church/tower in the centre of Ishgard's capital to take them down, but they end up fleeing. Finally the player catches up to them on a Floating Continent and battle them when they ascend to godhood. And despite this being the actual final boss of version 3.0, this trope plays again when it turns out that Nidhogg is Not Quite Dead, leading the plot to continue with Nidhogg as the actual Big Bad. The storyline did not come to a proper conclusion until patch 3.3.
      • Each expansion from A Realm Reborn onward concludes with a Final Boss at the expansion's level cap, the Ultima Weapon and Lahabrea/Thancred in A Realm Reborn, King Thorden and the Knights of the Round in Heavensward, Shinryu/Zenos yae Galvus in Stormblood, Emet-Selch/Hades in Shadowbringers and Meteion/The Endsinger and Zenos viator Galvus in Endwalker. While many of the end game bosses after these encounters (like Extreme Primals and Alliance Raids) are technically Optional Bosses, the game's main scenario quest actually continues onward from this point, culminating in the lead up to the next expansion; Vishap at the Steps of Faith in A Realm Reborn, The Griffin/Ilberd Feare in Heavensward, The Ascian Elidibusnote  in Stormblood and the Telophoroi Primal Lunar Ifrit in Shadowbringers are the actual final bosses of their respective expansions.
      • Happens with Shadowbringers with Mount Gulg, where the final Lightwarden resides; you'd think that defeating them would be the end, right? Only, you're level 79 in the level 80 expansion and there's one more zone you haven't explored...
      • In Endwalker there is The tower of Babil, this is where the villains up to this point are based, so storming up should put a stop to them right? well you're only at level 83 and the level cap is 90 so you're not even close to the end.
  • A bit of a recurring theme in Fire Emblem:
    • Genealogy of the Holy War has Chapter 5: Doors of Destiny. Sigurd is returning home from a long war to clear his name, has just received his signature weapon, and is going up against the greatest threats at this point of the story. Even though his father, as well as his sister and brother-in-law were just killed, some of his enemies turn on some others, so he still clings onto hope that things will be resolved soon. They don't. The enemies that supposedly turned to help Sigurd actually set him up. Arvis reveals to Sigurd that he had made Deirdre, Sigurd's wife, his own, and then proceeds to kill off Sigurd and his entire army. Cue Ominous Save Prompt and a Time Skip leading to the beginning of the second half of the game.
    • The Blazing Blade has the Dread Isle, a spooky island out in the middle of nowhere that nobody survives going to. It is here you fight Darin, marquess of Laus, who is the apparent villain, at least to the main characters. However, after he goes down, the true Big Bad Nergal makes his presence known, and the game proceeds to Chapter 20. Incidentally, the Dread Isle really is The Very Definitely Final Dungeon; you just return there at the very end of the game for the final battles.
    • Path of Radiance plays with this in that your party goes into Chapter 21 thinking it's The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: it's Daein's main castle and the Big Bad Ashnard is sure to be there, right? But you, the player, have seen several cutscenes from the enemy's point of view and thus know that Ashnard is in another castle and Ike's army is being set up. It's still a fairly epic chapter culminating in the game's first Climax Boss (a freaking dragon, no less), but in this case it's the characters in-story and not the player who's fooled.
    • Due to being split into four parts, Radiant Dawn actually has FOUR separate endgames.
    • Three Houses has Chapter 12 (Either To War or Outset of a Power Struggle if you sided with the Flame Emperor.) where the Flame Emperor's true identity has just been revealed, and they proceed to declare a full-scale war on the Church of Seiros. The level has you defending Garreg Mach Monestary from their army or taking it down alongside them, with many faces, both old and new, getting involved, including the Death Knight, who has been a constant nuisance throughout the story. Though it seems as if the player is able to get an advantage in the battle, suddenly Thales or Rhea in Outset of a Power Struggle launches a fatal attack on Byleth, rendering them unconscious for five years and kicking off Part II of the player's chosen path.
  • Fossil Fighters: Mt. Lavaflow. You go there to dig up the fossil of an incredibly powerful being from long ago, in order to defeat another incredibly powerful being from long ago resurrected by the apparent Big Bad, who is otherwise Nigh-Invulnerable without a counteracting force, and afterwards which you will go on to the final Inevitable Tournament and become a Master Fighter. But you're not done yet; oh no. Not even close. Also, Champions fakes you out in a similar fashion when you go to the Bare Bones Brigade Base to confront Don Boneyard. Much like the BB Bandits from the original game, however, he serves as merely the halfway point, and introduces you to the game's real Big Bad, Zongazonga.
  • Act Four of Jade Empire consists of the player character, having found all the pieces of the Dismantled MacGuffin, storming the Imperial Palace to confront the Emperor. After you defeat the Emperor...well, suffice to say that Act Seven consists of the player character, Back from the Dead, storming the Imperial Palace to confront the Emperor.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts has Hollow Bastion, Maleficent's stronghold and the former home of Sora's allies, which has a really climactic feel to it. After fighting Maleficent herself, you have a showdown with your rival that might as well have been the final boss fight for its difficulty and plot importance. This is, of course, nowhere near the end of the game, although it's a good fakeout.
    • Similar thing happens in Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. At the end of Hollow Bastion (again), you have to purge Data-Riku's body out of bugs (long story). You do that by entering other worlds and removing bug blox from them. Once all is done, you fight Dragon Maleficent, play a mini-game, then battle Sequential Boss that looks like the Final Boss... But it is not, as there is still Castle Oblivion and Final Boss to beat.
    • Kingdom Hearts II has an interesting variant on this trope. Throughout most of the game, Hollow Bastion (now on its way to becoming a populated town again) has served as the Hub Level, but halfway through the story The War Sequence begins and the plot twists are tossed out left and right. There's even a short confrontation with the Big Bad. But when all is said and done, this is only the halfway point in the game; you have to go through every world one more time before the true final world.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has Keyblade Graveyard, which actually is the Final Dungeon for Terra and Ventus' campaigns. For Aqua, however, there are a couple more things to do after that. Her final boss is fought in, ironically, Hollow Bastion (or rather, Radiant Garden). The Final Mix Updated Re-release demotes Radiant Garden to this status again, as it lengthens Aqua's campaign with an additional chapter in the Realm of Darkness.
  • The Legend of Dragoon manages to have several examples for the first disc. The tree where the man who killed Lavitz's father is holing up with the dragon who attacked you in the opening? Not the end of the disc. The assault on The Alcatraz you had visited previously, which the major villain Freugal runs, and also where Lloyd reveals himself to be The Man In Black and kills Lavitz? Not the end of the disc. The actual final dungeon of Disc One happens to be the castle of Emperor Doel, who appears to be The Man Behind the Man for Lloyd, and who just so happens to be a Dragoon.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel:
    • Trails of Cold Steel II has everything leading up to the Infernal Castle with Class VII battling against all the opponents they fought up til then. Though after the Disc-One Final Boss, the chapter ends on a bitter note with Crow dying after the battle and Rean being infuriated that the target of Crow's efforts; Gilliath Osborn is still alive and revealed to be Rean's biological father. Afterwards, comes a chapter showing Crossbell's fallout from the events that occurred in Trails to Azure, immediately followed by the epilogue that sends Class VII on one last journey into the Old Schoolhouse for the proper sendoff of their graduation.
    • Trails of Cold Steel III: The Dragon of Darkness is fought late in the game, beneath the imperial capital, and martial law will be declared on the day of the summer festival if the situation is not contained. Imposing name? Check. Significant location? Check. High stakes? Check. However, after you beat the boss, instead of resolving outstanding plot points you are encouraged to "enjoy the summer festival," work on your Relationship Values, and maybe do some side quests. Clearly, there is more to come.
  • Legend of Legaia
    • The first fake-out is Zeto's Castle; You have all three characters, it houses the source of the Mist that corrupts the land, and Zeto even has a battle theme not heard prior.
    • The second major fake-out is Zora's Castle. You've gone through all 3 regions, explored nearly every corner of the world map, and the final Mist Generator apparently lies within, flying high above the world, but the entire castle was just a trap to lure you in and kill you; the true source of the Mist lies elsewhere.
    • The final Mist Generator lies in Jette's Fortress. After that, you return to your hometown as the saviors of the world. Everything appears to be over, but it isn't until after clearing another dungeon that you head to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon...Juggernaut himself, who survived by fusing with Prince Cort.
  • Lost Odyssey: In Disc 2, the party encounter the villain, and get beaten and left for dead in a Collapsing Lair. There are four discs.
  • The Ancient Tower in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, where you fight and defeat Gades for good. Until he's revived later on. Soma Temple serves as this as the remake, and to reinforce this, its area music is the "Final Battle", which is usually reserved for the series's Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Lufia: the Legend Returns has the Tower of Death, once you go to finish Gades for good. Of course, at that point you've got only four of the nine party slots filled...
  • Lunar: The Silver Star had this in the form of the Frontier and the Grindery. You fight your way through the Magic Emperor's fortress of doom, gather your forces and finally stand against the Big Bad himself at opposing ends of a bridge. Then...there's a lot of talking. Looking up screenshots, the Magic Emperor says during the conversation, "This isn't the time for our final confrontation, dragonboy! As any dullard with an ounce of culture knows, that time is reserved for the third act!" The bridge separates, and the Base on Wheels heart of the Grindery drives away, requiring the full party to chase it. And disable it. And scale it. And confront the Big Bad again. If you're playing one of the remakes, it turns out that the Big Bad you fight here is Actually a Doombot — the Big Bad is alive and well, and the real, real final dungeon is The Fortress of Althena!
  • The Mario & Luigi series:
    • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has two of these: Woohoo Hooniversity, where you fight Cackletta for the first (and only time in her normal form), and Joke's End (the big climax after restoring the Beanstar).
    • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam does this with Bowser Castle. The Plumber Trio (Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario) have rescued the two Princess Peaches from the captivity of Bowser and Paper Bowser, but before they can get the chance to take back the book which holds the Paper Mushroom Kingdom, the two Bowsers come along and take their Castle up into the sky, thus starting the final act of the game.
  • In Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Doctor Strange teleports your party directly into the castle of Doctor Doom, the game's Big Bad. Once you arrive, you start to notice that everything seems to be made out of cheap props...then it's revealed that Baron Mordo tampered with Strange's spell and now you're trapped in Arcade's Murderworld.
  • Mega Man X: Command Mission pulls one in Chapter 9. You go to fight the Big Bad Epsilon, working your way through his base and even taking on Scarface. There's epic battle music, multiple parts in the battle, and a heartless angel-esque attack. You defeat Epsilon, then a cutscene plays and you return to Giga City to go home...only to realize that your boss is the REAL Big Bad and you've been playing right into his hands. So you have to go through The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and fight through the franchise's signature Boss Rush, then another powerful boss, and THEN the True Final Boss.
  • The nature of Might and Magic World of Xeen as a combination game of IV and V with an additional endgame questline unlocked means that the final dungeons of the individual games, Castle Xeen and Castle Alamar become something like this — Xeen being more 'Disc One' (being IV's final dungeon, so likely to be done first) while Alamar is more of the potential fake-out (it isn't obvious there is an additional endgame questline until after).
  • Miitopia has the Dark Lord's Castle. Oh, you thought that once the Dark Lord is defeated, everything will be back to normal? It doesn't.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The original final rank chapters in the traditional games become this in the G-edition expansions, as they're now followed up by the added high-rank quests. For example, in 3 Ultimate, it's the rank chapter (fifth) that was originally the last one in the Wii version (Monster Hunter Tri). After you defeat Ceadeus, originally the Final Boss of Tri and the Disc-One Final Boss in Ultimate, you'll be presented the first of the high-rank new chapters. This is repeated in 4 Ultimate in relation to the original, Japan-exclusive Monster Hunter 4, only this time the high-rank chapters are unveiled after you tackle the first quests of the original's Playable Epilogue, which makes the surprise factor even more effective.
    • In Monster Hunter: World and Monster Hunter: Rise, because their respective expansions (Iceborne and Sunbreak) were released as downloadable Expansion Packs, the disc-one final dungeon in both cases is the multiplayer quest list at the end of High Rank, as the story continues from there with the Master Rank quests (World has a unified quest campaign that doesn't seggregate between single- and multiplayer; and while that of Rise still does, the single-player campaign begins and ends with Low Rank, not being extended at all in Sunbreak).
  • Neverwinter Nights's Plague campaign, after Chapter 1 but before Chapter 2, there is an interlude chapter. In fact, the entire sequence on how to defeat the boss here is practically a dry run on how to defeat the final boss of the entire campaign. As you have to go through the same steps of destroying the invulnerability givers to make the boss vulnerable.
  • In Ni no Kuni you've beaten up 21 bosses. Restored loads of broken hearts. Killed off 5 nightmares an dar ready to lay the smackdown on Shadar in Nevermore. You do that. There's a huge celebration, wait, what's that weird ash stuff. OH GOD EVERYONE'S TURNING INTO MONSTERS!
  • The Persona series:
    • Persona 3: the fourth block of Tartarus; assuming you complete the block before the full moon in November, you reach the top of the block only to find that it's also the top of the massive tower. Only after three Disc One Final Bosses, two of which are fought simultaneously, and a Wham Episode, do the final two blocks emerge for you to plow through.
    • Persona 4 pulls this twice, and actually succeeds because you have the option of getting a bad ending at those points if you don't choose to pursue the unanswered mysteries. More than a few people have rushed onto message boards to complain about the horrible "ending" without realizing that they were only 80% done. And before those is another dungeon that the characters think will end things, even if it's a somewhat clearer fake to the player. Now Mitsuo's dungeon, on the other hand, is unconvincing; everyone acts as though they are finally going to get the murderer, but genre savvy players will note that they haven't even completed half the year the main character is meant to be staying. Or the fact that every other line he says makes it obvious he can't have been the murderer. Or that your characters and Personas at this point are around level 40-50, while attempting certain Persona fusions reveals the existence of Personas as high as level 60 or 70, implying the true length of the game. Also helps to note that Mitsuo's victim had nothing in common with the others.
    • Persona 5 meanwhile has three:
      • Sae Nijima's Palace a.k.a. the Casino Palace from the beginning of the game. You know how everything will end, only now you start to see the full picture of what happened. Assuming that you avoid the Bad Ending after this dungeon, you then proceed onto...
      • Shido's Palace, the Palace of the Big Bad of the game. It features climactic battles against the Big Bad and the Traitor. However, assuming you've been keeping up with exploring Mementos, after that is...
      • Mementos Depths, the very bottom of Mementos and what Morgana's character arc has been building up to. However, despite the Very Definitely Final Dungeon feel and the confrontation with the Greater-Scope Villain, the boss fight is a Hopeless Boss Fight and the dungeon only really serves as a set-up for the actual Very Definitely Final Dungeon, the Qlipoth World (assuming that you don't go for the very obvious Bad Ending choice).
    • In Persona 5 Strikers, the Osaka Jail is set up as the confrontation with the Big Bad, and the raid on it takes place when summer vacation is almost over, only for the game to continue after the end of that Jail.
    • In Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, the fourth labyrinth is set up as the final one, since there are four locks on the door to the theater that the protagonists are trying to escape, and each labyrinth has a key. The labyrinth goes into Hikari's backstory and answers some of the mysteries about the other three labyrinths. The end boss is Doe, a mysterious figure who had been thought to be the Big Bad, and after his defeat, his true nature is uncovered. But then after you open the door to the theater, you see another labyrinth before you, and come face-to-face with the game's true villain.
  • Phantasy Star:
    • The first game has the Air Castle, abode of apparent Big Bad Lassic. The fact that the player must ascend the tallest tower in the game just to reach it adds to the illusion.
    • Phantasy Star II had Climatrol. Nei killed in a Hopeless Duel Boss Fight, the first boss monster seen in the game so far, and there's the fact that this is supposed to be the source of all the biomonsters. And when you're done, there's a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moment.
    • Phantasy Star IV had Zio's Castle. Made more dramatic by the fact that the namesake permanently kills off a character and the second fight with him is more of a revenge battle. And then it does it two more times: At the end of artificial satellite Kuran, the party congratulates themselves on a job well done until Rika points out that the weather on Dezoris still hasn't returned to normal. And when that is solved by beating Garubek Tower, a nearby temple suddenly explodes and the existence of a whole planet never before seen in the entire series is revealed. Also notable is that the latter two dungeons end with a battle with the Eldritch Abomination that was the final boss in two of the three previous installments.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Gold and Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver: you've beaten the Elite Four, so you — wait, is that the Kanto region?
    • Pokémon Black and White:
      • You go to Dragonspiral Tower where N is summoning Reshiram/Zekrom. This takes place after the seventh gym, and in the other games, the plot was resolved after the seventh gym. So it looks like this is the last battle with Team Plasma, but N just summons the legendary and flies away with it. It isn't until the end of the game where the plot gets resolved.
      • The Elite Four becomes this; normally after that part you'd battle the Champion and call it a day. In Black and White, instead you find that N has just defeated the Champion. Then Team Plasma's massive castle rises out of the ground, and you have to capture the mascot legendary and use it to fight N. Then Ghetsis who turns out to be the real mastermind, and you have to use the mascot against him as well.
    • Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon:
      • Ancient Barrow has a major boss (a fake Girantina), and serves as the last major dungeon in Serene Village, even wrapping up a small plot arc. You can battle using any of your school friends. Not long after the dungeon you leave for Lively Town, and the true plot of the game begins in earnest.
  • Shadow Hearts series:
    • Kuihuai Tower in the original Shadow Hearts. Evil wizard is trying to do some very very big and bad evil magic, the forces of good are getting together at the very place where they fought him before, and now... there's an entire new part of the world for you to explore while you hunt the real Big Bad.
    • Shadow Hearts: Covenant has Idar Flamme, the place where the supposed Big Bad lurks. After you defeat him, his subordinate reveals that he has his own plans, and flees to the Apoina Tower, which also was the first dungeon of the game. But after you chase down and defeat him, he's rescued by another party, and the game, just like the previous one, moves to a new part of the world. This also happens to be a classic example of this trope, since Covenant is one of the few PS2 games with two discs, and the aforementioned dungeons appear at the end of the first one.
  • The Obelisk in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. True, it never once pretends to be the Final Dungeon (although it later becomes the entrance to it), but it's obvious the game's coming to a major climax here, considering: 1. It's the hardest and longest dungeon in the game so far, 2. It's the tallest tower in the Vortex World ("closest place to Kagutsuchi") and Nihilo's most highly guarded area and 3. It's where your teacher's, the person you've spent the entire game up until now trying to find, being held hostage. The Assembly of Nihilo earlier in the game could also count.
  • From Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey: Sector Eridanus. It pretty much fills up the entire remainder of the area-select screen, it's where the Vanishing Point — the link back to Earth — is located, and you fight a difficult two-part boss here. You defeat it, clear the way for the Vanishing Point, find you're hardly even done investigating the Schwarzwelt.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV has two points:
    • The first is Camp Ichigaya, where the Tokyo Perpetual Reactor is located. After encountering Yamato-Takeru (and fighting him, if you sided with Jonathan earlier), you activate it and the three of you are transported into the Expanse and made by the White to explore the two alternate Tokyos.
    • The second is right before alignment lock: Camp Ichigaya, but this time in Infernal Tokyo. It's after going through here and killing King Kenji that your alignment is locked down and complete the final quests for whatever alignment you end up in. Unless you choose to align with the White, in which case Infernal Ichigaya really is the final dungeon, as afterwards your sole task is blowing up the Reactor to destroy the universe.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse also has two:
    • Once again, Camp Ichigaya. Now merged with Lucifer Palace/the Chaos Zone, this is where Hallelujah and Abe finally settle things and where Armageddon happens. If you deny both Merkabah and Lucifer, the Divine Powers will re-emerge the next day; otherwise, it really is the last dungeon.
    • The second is the Cosmic Egg, the final Divine Powers dungeon. Filled with bosses and even the alignment lock, it marks Krishna's last stand. After, however, Stephen manages to shift the target to YHVH, leading to the actual final dungeon.
  • The Forgotten Planet in Sigma Star Saga likely qualifies. In addition, it's also That One Level and it wasn't playtested very well.
  • South Park: The Fractured but Whole It's easy to assume The Genetic Enginnering Ranch is the final level since it's where the Big Bad 'Mitch Connor' is producing his cat drugs. You fight his ultimate clone but he escapes and the real final level is the bowels of time.
  • The Labyrinth of Time and Space in Star Ocean. Again, the Big Bad you're chasing for the entire game is at the end of it.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story builds up the first showdown against The Omniscient Council of Vagueness in a suitably epic flying fortress stocked full of Lost Technology...then an Earth-Shattering Kaboom happens and you get warped to the world where the Big Bad came from and have to try to prevent them from attempting the same on this one.
  • Summoner seems like it's about to send you to the final dungeon shortly after recovering the four summoning rings, as Joseph's mentor Yago goes on about the Summoner and the Rings being bound together in one by the Forge of Urath — the flames of the Forge will not harm the Summoner, he promises...And Joseph proceeds to lose his hand in the Forge, along with his summoning powers, Yago turns out to have been possessed by the Big Bad, and the game immediately grows 2.5 times longer as you have to rescue Joseph, heal him, and recover four more summoning rings and re-bind the demons of the first four.
  • Super Mario RPG has Bowser's Keep. The game plays it up as the big climactic showdown and it isn't helped by the fact that many players (and game magazines) mistakingly think Exor is Smithy — you've still got another whole dungeon to go through after you beat him. Bowser's Keep does contain most of the game's Infinity Plus One Swords, though.
  • In Tactics Ogre: Coritanae Castle serves as this in Chapter 3 of the Lawful Route, with Rhime being a climax point of the same chapter later on in all routes. Then there are Barnicia Castle and Heim Capital on Chapter 4, both featuring climatic battles with the Dark Knights, but still not quite close to the end of the game.
  • Tales Series:
    • Tales of Phantasia has Dhaos' castle. You've explored the whole world in the past by now, and it's time to make the big guy pay. Only problem is you're just re-enacting the battle you saw in the opening, which means Dhaos runs away to fight another day. If only the party knew their Dhaos went 150 years ahead rather than 100.
    • Tales of Destiny. You have chased the Lens all over the world, tracked it down with the aid of numerous friends, fought several hard boss battles, and go through the end sequence...only to find out that half of the events of said end sequence were a Xanatos Gambit by one of your allies to imprison the Empathic Weapons and the Lens just got used in the NEXT superweapon of doom. Made more effective by the fact that the game is only one disk, and the Lens quest takes a while and involves everything on the box and previews.
    • Tales of Eternia has one at the mountain in Inferia. You're definitely not done yet considering you still got Celestia to explore now. The game follows up with a disk two final dungeon in Balir's Castle. Turns out the supposed Big Bad has been dead for 10 years, and his wife has been running the show this whole time. And she is possessed by the God of Evil, who quickly wipes the floor with your party. Good thing you still have another whole disk to learn how to beat gods.
    • The Tower of Salvation in Tales of Symphonia. It looks like the world regeneration is going to happen, but then:
      • The Spoiler Opening makes this one pretty obvious, thanks to the prisoner, the little girl, and the red haired pretty boy in it that you haven't even met yet, flying machines you haven't yet seen, and a snowy town that you haven't been to yet.
      • And then the Tower of Salvation again, and the Tower of Salvation, yet again. The second and third are more convincing fakeouts because they take place on the second of two discs.
      • The Torrent forest, the Big Bad has been defeated and this feels like a Playable Epilogue. Lloyd fights his father who wants to settle the score, and then Lloyd must fight and prove himsef to the Summon Spirit Origin, King of the Spirits, who has the power to fix the damage the Big Bad has caused.
    • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: Lezareno Building Number 2, despite leading up to a climactic battle with the head of the Vanguard, doesn't look like one at first, as the core he has would be, at best, your sixth. Then Lloyd does a Big Damn Heroes act, and suddenly seven of the eight cores are in the same place. And then you get done with the battle, Save the Villain from the influence of Solum's core, and find Lloyd battling Richter, who has the last remaining core. Could it be possible that you're about to get all of the remaining cores in cutscenes and this really was the last dungeon? Considering the fact that there's a cut scene every few seconds, this really wouldn't be surprising...but then Richter reveals Emil's true identity as Ratatosk, and the now not-insane Commander Brute reveals that Richter was the one who made the Vanguard into the militant organization it had become. Yes, the man whose actions the main character has been defending throughout the first seven chapters is the real Big Bad.
    • Tales of the Abyss: You've killed the Big Bad at the Absorption Gate and this last section is a playable epilogue a là the old King's Quest games, right? ...Yeah, not so much. This one was given away pretty quickly, though, since the pseudo-ending sequence included a pan over areas you hadn't been to yet that were very obviously playable dungeons because of the visible, unopened treasure chests.
    • Tales of Vesperia:
    • A few examples towards the end of the second act.
      • Firstly is the massive, mobile fortress, the Heracles, which the Big Bad travels in. The heroes conquer the fotress and also reach him on top of Zapias castle but are knocked off.
      • Secondly is returning to Zapias castle where the Bigbad is activating the final stage of his plan. You have to go the long way and travel through the Ilyccia contintent and bypass a battilion to reach it. The first game's castle is now overrun with toxic plants giving it a more demonic look.
      • The Enduring Shrine of Zaude where the party confronts the supposed, but not so Big Bad, Alexei and defeat him, only to find that he had revealed something greater that would bring about The End of the World as We Know It. The player will, however, have noted that you were told of Adephagos but have not yet seen it, so that can't be the end of the game.
    • Tales of Hearts has the Imperial Special Operations Unit Base Nibelg. Up until now, the quest has been to restore Kohak Hearts' soul, and the commanding officer of Nibelg has the last piece. So you beat him, get it back, and heal her...and then it turns out The Dragon is still alive...and then the Big Bad shows up...
    • Tales of Legendia does this three times. The first, the Bridge, isn't so surprising because it's only Chapter 4 and, even though you're fighting the supposed Big Bad, there haven't been any Mind Screw plot twists yet (and there definitely are). The second, the Wings of Light, is a bit of a surprise. It's the end of the main quest, but you've still got the character quests left to go, which give insight into the rest of the party. And then it does it yet again with the penultimate dungeon, the Wings of Light in Grune's character quest. What's interesting about Legendia, though, is that the real final dungeon, the Cradle of Time, is actually quite short. If it weren't for all the huge battles right in a row, it wouldn't feel like a Very Definitely Final Dungeon at all.
    • Tales of Graces:
      • The game has Baronia Castle as the Disc One Final Dungeon. The party's main objective is to aid Prince Richard in overthrowing his evil uncle and becoming king. At that point, you probably are around the level 20s, and are at least 10-15 hours in the came. The typical Tales Series average level should be around the 60s for the final boss, and about 30 or more hours depending on if you do sidequests or not. In addition, there are many unanswered questions as well, such as the mysterious origin of Sophie as well as Richard's peculiar and violent mood swings. So when the party does succeed, they discover that the new king is Ax-Crazy. Now the party's next objective to figure out what's going on and how to stop him.
      • Then the game fools you again with the Lambda Cocoon dungeon. Sophie is ultimately prepared to make a Heroic Sacrifice to kill Lamda, who is currently possessing Richard and causing mayhem everywhere. After knocking Lamda out of his soul, just then the mysterious woman Emeruade, who has been quiet up until now, knocks out Sophie and absorbs Lambda herself. After ANOTHER boss fight, Richard escapes with Lambda.
    • Tales of Innocence features the Sky Castle, which you go to after having visited every major nation in the four corners of the world already. The Sky Castle is the ruins of a giant floating city in the sky, where the main characters had lived in their past lives. Furthermore, you know that the Big Bad and her Dragon are there as well. Surely this must be the end, right? Haha...nope.
    • Tales of Xillia has Fezebel Marsh: The party has explored everywhere on the world map, titanic showdown between the armies of Rashugal and Auj Oule, site of a previous battle that changed the lives of many of the game's characters, suitably apocalyptic scenery, featuring a thunderstorm over a vast and trackless swamp that can only be navigated with the aid of magic items, and a marathon battle with Elite Mooks followed by multiple battles with major antagonists. And then Gilland (up until now a minor villain at best) activates the Lance of Kresnik, a mysterious army appears in the sky, and everything changes. As fakeouts go, it's fairly convincing if you ignore Interface Spoilers like level and abilities.
  • Trials of Mana has the Sanctuary of Mana. You've gotten every elemental spirit, and all three Big Bad factions have congregated at a single magical island in another realm. This has to be the end, right? Nope, just the halfway point. Interestingly enough, the real Final Dungeon actually is the Sanctuary of Mana, just much later on in the game.
  • Uncommon Time does this with the first visit to the Metronome Tower. You finally have a full ensemble and the complete Grand Score, the characters have all spent a very long time rehearsing, it's time to perform the World Tuning and Save the World, right? But no, of course you're not going to finish the story that early — the World Tuning fails, the party is scattered, and Alto is forced to try a different approach.
  • Chapter 15: Citadel Ghirlandio in Valkyria Chronicles. Previously, you dealt The Empire a crushing defeat on one of the major threats of the war, and now they're well and truly on the run. All that stands between you driving them out of Galia for good is their main base, which you've seen preview of in ominous cutscenes throughout the game. Furthermore, the chapter contains two battles, one of which is the incredibly tough last stand of a Recurring Boss. (said boss isn't the Big Bad, but you actually fought him earlier, and he doesn't seem like much of a fighter anyway.) Welkin even gives the typical "This will be our last battle, I'm really proud of all you guys" speech before you go in. And yet after you capture the citadel and leave, congratulating yourselves on a job well done...said boss blows herself up, taking 90% of your country's army with her. You then discover the Empire has a giant land-battleship headed towards your country's capitol and you're the only ones left who can stop it. Cue the final three chapters.
    • The Ghirlandaio fake-out happens twice in Valkyria Chronicles III. The first time, The Nameless is sent on a suicide mission to Ghirlandaio to assassinate Prince Maximilian. Selvaria appears and completely thrashes The Nameless, badly traumatizing Imca in the progress. The second time happens right before the event spoilered in the above paragraph, because Imca tries to settle the score with Selvaria before the latter can flee to The Empire. However, despite being able to wipe The Nameless by her lonesome, Selvaria have given up on fighting you and tell you to leave, thus sparing you from the fate befalling 90% of the Galian army. And the Calamity Raven have sneaked their own version of Bathomys into Randgriz. Cue the final two chapters.
  • The Wild ARMs series:
    • The original Wild ARMs had the Photosphere, lair of the leader of the demon invasion and supposed Big Bad.
    • Wild ARMs 2 has Heimdall Gazzo, an orbital space station in a wild west setting — which is what marked the actual Very Definitely Final Dungeon of the first game. And it could have been the final dungeon itself if the developers felt like ending the game there, since the plot of the second disc centers around a mostly unrelated threat.
    • Wild ARMs 3 does this twice. The first time you get to the top of Yggdrassil, defeat the Prophets and stop them from summoning the demons. But wait! The demon gets summoned anyway, and the game continues! The second time you get to the control room of Deus ex Machina, defeat the demon (and then again in a cool air battle), and watch Deus Ex Machina explode. But wait! There was yet another The Man Behind the Man behind The Man Behind the Man (Siegfried) behind The Man Behind the Man (the prophets) behind the original Big Bad (Janus). Cue more game.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt does this convincingly. After Geralt has an idea where Ciri is, he goes to all the people that could help him during the game (depending on if you did what it took to gain their trust), and ask them to meet at a location to prepare to what seems like the final battle. The game even warns the player about saving before going to rescue Ciri. After Geralt rescues Ciri, they prepare for battle and have an epic one against the Wild Hunt. Only for Ciri to reveal that she has a great, uncontrollable power, which makes the Wild Hunt retreat after nearly gaining victory. The storyline continues.
  • The World Ends with You. After the initial (and obvious) Your Princess Is in Another Castle! at the end of the first week, you could be forgiven for thinking the end of the second week would be the end.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 does this twice:
    • Sword Valley and Galahad Fortress, the location of the original final battle against the Mechon invasion where Dunban and his team fought them off. You kill the treacherous Metal Face and confront the Mechon leader, Egil, only for you to be blasted off into the Fallen Arm of the Mechonis itself.
    • Agniratha, the now-destroyed and abandoned Machina capital city where you fight Egil directly. Once you beat him, he retreats to the Mechonis Core, the path there consisting of a relatively short walk with no enemies or obstacles, and you fight him for good, then the real villains, Zanza and his disciples, reveal they have been using you. Ironically enough, Prison Island, which is originally hyped up as this before Galahad Fortress, turns out to actually be The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Solaris in Xenogears would count, if only for the epic battles, both played out and in cutscene, and the amount of information revealed. The only problem is how many questions said information raises, and the fact that you're still on the first disc.

    Rhythm Game 
  • In the Rhythm Heaven games, after completing what seems to be the final remix, a character from the game will appear and thank you on behalf of the staff, then present to you the credits and cast roll. After that's all said and done, you learn that there are still three or four more sets of rhythm games to complete, eventually culminating in the final exam remix.
  • In Space Channel 5 Part 2, the fourth stage has you dueling the Big Bad and trying to take him out with a surge of power from the ship's antenna just like the previous game...only it actually EMPOWERS him and destroys the station. It takes two more stages.

    Simulation Games 
  • FreeSpace 2 sets you up to fight the mighty Shivan Juggernaut-class ship Sathanas, as you have to take a bomber in to blow out its beam cannons so the Colossus, the pride of the GTVA, can tear it down without being blown apart itself. This comes at the climax of a lengthy campaign, and it's almost strange that the game sends you on mopping-up missions through the Knossos wormhole afterward, until you discover a Shivan transfer point where dozens of Sathanas ships are passing through, heading for GTVA space, and you've got a solid third of the game to go. Volition (who also made Summoner, mentioned above) loves blind-siding players with this trope.

    Shoot 'em Up 

    Survival Horror 
  • Alien: Isolation: after a lot of time trying to survive, you get Mission 10, "The Trap", a long, tense level divided into 3 sublevels where you are tasked to lure the xenomorph into a detachable section of the station that can be ejected into the nearby gas giant planet (you also finally get the long awaited flamethrower for the "final" confrontation). You succeed and that beast is dead forever, congratulations! Wait, the game doesn't end. You can't even take a breath that something's amiss. You are only midway through the game and the worst has still to come...
  • Haunting Ground: The Water Tower. After two very intense sections of the game (Riccardo's half of the mansion and Chaos Forest), losing Hewie and getting him back again and having to make a very linear — but very climactic trek up the tower, the final fight against Riccardo seems like it very well could be the end, until Lorenzo comes.
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis: You are informed that you can escape Raccoon City in the Clock Tower only to find out that Nemesis will come flying out with a rocket launcher, destroys the helicopter which was supposed to be your only way to escape, and to top it all off, you get infected. But don't worry: you still live.
  • Resident Evil 4: The game appears to reach a climax in the end of the fourth chapter, when Leon reaches the final part of the castle, escapes a giant Salazar statue, meets the real Salazar and chases him while climbing a decrepit tower full of mooks, and catches him at the top... and then Salazar tells him, right before the incoming boss battle, that Ashley was being taken out of the castle, meaning Leon won't find her there anymore. Next up is Leon facing a horrific hybrid between Salazar, the second Verdugo and the Queen Plaga, which is only a Disc-One Final Boss; and after he wins he descends the tower and, with Ada's help, go to the island where Ashley was taken. The fact that Saddler (Salazar's superior) is still alive by that point is another indication that the game wasn't going to end just yet. In the game's original version on the GCN, this prompted a disc swap, meaning the trope has a literal context in this game as well.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • The raid on Diaz's mansion in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which appears to subvert the ending of Scarface (on which Vice City is very heavily based).
  • Horizon Zero Dawn has the Project Zero Dawn Bunker. It's right underneath the Shadow Carja stronghold, there's a Point of No Return (Sylens tells you to finish up any sidequests first), there's The Reveal regarding the true nature of Project Zero Dawn, you actually fight a few enemies inside, Aloy retrieves the Alpha Registry, and she finally gets to meet Sylens. But is she done? Nope. There's still the matter of HADES, Helis, and the invasion of Mother's Cradle to take care of.
  • The Christ Crown of Thorns in L.A. Noire, an abandoned church (with a catacomb for bonus points) serves as the final showdown in the mission "The Quarter Moon Murders" against the Black Dahlia murderer which serves to tie up all loose ends in the Homicide cases. Cue the next-half of the game after the mission was completed.
  • Saints Row: The Third has Loren's tower. As you'd expect, it's a massive skyscraper packed with Elite Mooks. However, after killing Loren and blowing the tower up (if you so choose), it's revealed that Killbane has taken over leadership of the Syndicate. Meaning that you've got more work to do. This is a distinct tipping point though, where the Saints go from the underdog to the rising power in the city.