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Dungeon Bypass

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Screw it, I want that cheese now.

"Obstacle course? Mo' like ka-boom course."

So the villain is feeling quite secure in their dungeon/castle/tower/fun house/generic headquarters. The path to their location is filled with a maze of twisty little passages, all alike, each filled with death traps and Elite Mooks that would quickly kill the heroes, or at least inconvenience them by a lot and let the villain escape if they need to.

... but the heroes just fly up to the top of the tower where they are. Or blast a shortcut to their place (not coincidentally, blasting the villain in the process as well). Or enter an overlooked route. Or bypass the dungeon altogether and arrive right at the finish. All that dungeon preparation? Wasted. If the villain hasn't been taken out yet, they might complain about how these things were supposed to go.

Can sometimes be a Cheese Strategy, especially if the game itself revolves around solving these kinds of puzzles.


Makes players of RPGs, Action-Adventure, and other such games with dungeons wish they could do something as easy. Occasionally, they can. This usually results in Sequence Breaking. Some games have made Anti-Frustration Features where after you finish the dungeon, a teleporter appears teleporting you back to the beginning to save you an exhausted trip.

However, a Beast in the Maze could make a dungeon bypass a bad thing for the heroes. The creature hunting them is no longer restricted in its movements and sometimes it was the maze's difficulty to maneuver in that was the only thing keeping the heroes alive.

Compare with Cutting the Knot, There Was a Door, and "Open!" Says Me.



    open/close all folders 

  • An advert for jeans saw a man and a woman running through a series of walls, and by extension, rooms. Parodied in the title sequence of early series of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.
  • A similar commercial for Frosted Mini Chex involved timing a boy on getting through a maze as fast as possible. The boy's hunger is so strong that he gets dragged through every wall in the maze like a magnet instead.
  • A commercial for United Healthcare showed a senior couple approaching a huge hedge maze that represented their enrolling in Medicare. They tell their United Healthcare representative "I don't know how we're going to get through this." Her solution: They get into a tractor and plow through the maze.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, when Quattro learns that the heroine has found out where she is, she tries to console herself on the fact she's in the core of the ship while Nanoha's in the Throne Room, two places separated by many doors, swarms of drones, and a huge maze of corridors. She then notices Nanoha pointing her staff at the floor and powering up for a Blaster 3 Divine Buster, and promptly realizes that she is screwed. Made even more impressive by the fact the ENTIRE ship is covered by an anti-magic field... So the beam had to be also powerful enough to resist the anti-magic effect.
      Quattro: "She's going to just blast through the walls? Oh dear mother of God...!"
    • Exemplified by a fan comic, which also features two other examples. Fate, being an obedient good girl, just solves the maze, while Hayate follows the literal directions but not the spirit, and walks around the outside of the maze to the other exit. (Hey, it never said you had to enter the maze.)
    • This is foreshadowed in the very first episode of StrikerS, where Nanoha uses Divine Buster to break through the walls when rescuing Subaru from a fire. This is what Quattro is flashing back on when she realizes Nanoha's intent.
    • Teana repeats the feat in StrikerS Sound Stage X, having learned Starlight Breaker from Nanoha. This time, however, she's opening an escape route for Subaru from the outside.
    • An Ascended Meme as of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT, which has Nanoha traveling in exactly this way through a computer-generated maze of buildings.
  • Slayers:
    • In the manga version of the villainess had filled a five-story building with mages and warriors capable of matching Lina. Instead of going through them, Lina just flies straight to the top of the tower where the villainess was.
    • One of the OAVs does this too, with an underground dungeon a demon generates. Lina just blasts downward through all the floors, and comments that it's kinda stupid that the monster is always at the bottom floor of these things.
  • Hunter × Hunter:
    • During the Hunter Exam arc. Gon and his companions (plus Tonpa "The Rookie Killer", a Smug Snake who was acting like The Load on purpose) are near the exit of a tower full of traps when they come across a branch. The "easy path" goes straight to the exit, but the door to the easy path will only open if they leave two members of their group behind and chained to the wall. The "hard path" will allow all of them to exit, but will take too long for them to make the deadline for escaping the tower. However, the two exits are next to each other, so after some thought and a lot of effort, they manage to break through the wall separating the easy path and the hard path.
    • Gon also did this in a later story arc. He and his friend had been manipulated into a mansion by a tough enemy talented in anticipating their movements (and who knew where the doors were). The heroic duo started kicking through the walls...
    • One expert rock climber in the Hunter Exam tried to circumvent the tower entirely by simply climbing down. Unfortunately for him the skies around the tower were patrolled by man-eating giant birds.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed transmutes a Death Course into a perfectly inoffensive hallway.
  • In Fate/Zero Kayneth el-Melloi turns the upper floors of the hotel he's renting into a fortress filled with magic traps and summoned monsters. The highly pragmatic Emiya Kiritsugu simply levels the entire building with explosives.
  • Both subverted and played straight with the Maze Card in Cardcaptor Sakura; trying to fly over the walls causes them to grow (or turns the maze into an Escher masterpiece), but the Moon Bell knocks down the walls in a straight line.
  • One Piece:
    • Occurs during the Enies Lobby arc. The crew has to reach the top of a courthouse tower and Zoro, whose sense of direction rivals Ryoga Hibiki, is having a tough time finding his way. Eventually he realizes he merely needs to go up, and launches his Tatsumaki attack (straight upwards windcutting tornado) and clears a path upwards for himself, inadvertently sending Chopper and Nami up as well. Afterwards, Sanji presumably has the same idea and crashes through the room just after Zoro climbs out. At the same time, Usopp — uh Sogeking — gets himself thrown to the roof from outside by a giant he had recently convinced to switch sides.
    • Earlier, in the Alabasta arc, Sanji invokes this trope by realizing the easiest way to get to the clock tower in this maze of a city is to kick through the walls of every building in his way. This later comes back to bite him in the ass when he overhears townsfolk complaining about the repair work they'll have to do.
    • Much later in the series, several members of the Straw Hat Pirates find themselves in a spooky forest with animate trees that rearrange themselves to keep Luffy and the others lost inside. Luffy's solution is to simply destroy every tree that gets in his way — before long, the trees realize there are too few of themselves to trap the main characters in any non-obvious way. Not long after that, they just let the Straw Hat Pirates travel through however they want, as the trees are now the ones terrified of the pirates.
  • In a short story of Haruhi Suzumiya, the SOS Brigade are stuck acting out a typical Medieval RPG in simulated space. Not only do they bypass a lot of dungeons and battles (by threatening an NPC, no less), but the biggest use of this trope is found when they reach the final dungeon, still at level one and probably lacking all the key items and skills they need to beat the last boss. The solution? Mikuru accidentally casts two doomsday level spells at once, completely demolishing the entire castle and the Big Bad with it. And the hostages they were supposed to rescue.
  • The Cat Returns:
    • The King's henchmen put up fake walls in a maze to make sure the heroes can't find their way to the end. However, the Baron realizes a wall is fake, and the kicks it down—which, since the henchmen had unknowingly set themselves up like dominoes, causes a chain reaction of falling walls until they form a pathway straight to the exit.
    • Muta tries this earlier by climbing up the walls of the maze, but it turns out the guards expected that.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Hiei, Kurama and Kuwabara give Yusuke a boost to help him reach a window in Suzaku's tower on top of Maze Castle, enabling him to fight Suzaku while they work their way up to him.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! R: Seto Kaiba does this twice. First, he lands on the roof of the building in his Blue-Eyes Jet rather than Duel his way through the lower floors. As he Duels the first card professor, Mokuba hacks into the security system and unlocks the door, making the Duel for the keycard superfluous. Kaiba announces he simply needed a warm-up before Dueling Yako.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!: In the Duelist Kingdom arc, the Paradox Brothers use a card which forces Yugi and Joey to have their monsters navigate a maze in order to reach the brothers. Though the brothers are nominally bound by the same rules, their monsters are specifically designed to allow them to break the rules of the maze: a Ambushing Enemy, a Drill Tank, and a tunneling Sand Worm are among the ways they don't have to follow the rules. Yugi and Joey attempted this themselves by summoning Black Skull Dragon so it could fly over the maze's walls, only for the brothers to say flying is not allowed. In the end, Yugi played a card that allowed him to teleport Black Skull Dragon all the way to the end of the maze so it could defeat the brothers.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters: Yugi and the gang get caught in a maze until Tristan unlocks Shovel Crusher, allowing them to smash their way out.
  • In the Tower of Heaven arc of Fairy Tail, Jellal taunts the heroes on the intercom and challenges them to fight their way up to top floor of the Tower of Heaven, where he will be waiting. Natsu decides to skip that, steps outside, then he and Happy attempt to just fly to the top. Unfortunately, Fukuro intercepts them and knocks them back down, then calls them out for "cheating".
  • In Medaka Box: Abnormal the Student Council must descend 13 floors of goons to reach their objective. When presented with an elevator to take them down immediately, they decline. However, later in the arc they try to use it, only to be cut off by a group of henchman saying "Only a cheater would attempt to use this route!".
  • The second season of Space Battleship Yamato has a rather funny example. Chased by the Andromeda and confiding in the superiority of their navigator over the Andromeda's computer, our heroes try to lose the pursuer by flying through the Asteroid Belt... Only to find the Andromeda waiting for them on the other side, her commander being smart enough to fly around it at a faster speed the Yamato could keep in the belt.
  • In One-Punch Man, Dr. Genus activates traps on floors 1 through 8 of The House of Evolution- but Genos decides to simply vaporize the entire building at once and be done with everything. Turns out there was a basement though. Saitama calls him out on poor sportsmanship, and kinda wanted to see whatever challenge the villains may have had (if any).
  • In Mission: Yozakura Family, Shinzo upped the Yozakura's booby traps in an attempt to keep Kyoichiro out, but the latter was so pissed at Taiyo that he simply tore through all of them instead of dodging them.
  • Cannon Busters: In Madura City, when Sam is trying to find and rescue Philly from the Fetter, she determines his location and calculates the best route to reach him. Said route involves entering her Cannon Buster mode, obliterating everything between her and Philly, and creating a straight path.
  • In a rare example where this was completely intentional, Anos Voldigoad of The Misfit of Demon King Academy designed a secret passage in his dungeon that had no doors nor secret mechanisms or teleportation device, just a solid wall in front of it. To access it, one just has to be physically strong enough to break down the wall, which Anos does by walking straight through it. Apparently, this was the only surefire way to thwart detection magic and guarantee his most valuable treasure would remain undiscovered during the 2000 years it took for Anos to reincarnate.
  • In Episode 6 of the Lapis Re:LiGHTs anime, α (Alpha) finds herself trapped in a Haunted House that's being magically distorted to be Bigger on the Inside. Her solution is to use her Prehensile Hair to slice through the fragile wooden and plaster walls, walking straight back to the foyer.
  • In Sword Art Online, when Kirito and Asuna are looking for a house on Floor 22 to buy, they stumble onto Argo and a Wizard of Oz-inspired Quest. Since their levels are miles above that floor's, the three of them use shortcuts like jumping on balconies that they aren't supposed to be able to reach.
  • Faced with a 60 floor tower filled with traps and monsters, Goblin Slayer and temporary party members Spear Man and Heavy Warrior proceed to climb the walls of the tower rather than enter.

    Comic Books 
  • In Superman: Ending Battle, Superman gets trapped inside Bunny, a Living Ship, by Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman. Trying to bust out is nearly impossible, because the inside is an ever-shifting dimension. Supes fires his heat vision at the wall and keeps pouring it on. Since metal conducts heat, the heat travels everywhere and the ship overheats and shuts down.
    Cyborg: You're already twenty miles deeper into the ship than when you started... Make that forty. I can fold Bunny back in on herself indefinitely, a technorganic Moebius Strip. We're going to be at this for a very, very long time.
  • X-Men: In Kitty Pryde's first Danger Room session as a member of the X-Men, she's so terrified that she simply closes her eyes and becomes intangible, and then walks straight across the room to the finish line, passing harmlessly through every obstacle.
  • Something similar happened in Legion of Super-Heroes. The obstacle course consisted of huge metal pistons that the hero was supposed to dodge. Blok just walked through calmly, letting the pistons shatter against his rock-hard skin.
  • In a one-off story about the Rhino, he suffered from a midlife crisis and attempted to try to get smarter (so that heroes like Spider-Man wouldn't treat him like such a joke). As part of this, he had a scientist perform an experimental procedure on him to increase his intelligence before being made to run through a maze to see if it worked. Being The Juggernaut, he simply smashed his way through the maze walls until he found the exit, but he then discussed the results with the scientist using metaphoric terminology that were far beyond his previous ability, showing that he had indeed gotten smarter.
  • In The Search, Azula attempts to cut down on traveling time by burning down a forest.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Along Came a Spider has the Nova Cats pull a rather surprising one of these after having a vision reinterpreted rather firmly. Instead of fighting their way through the Federated Commonwealth, they broker a deal with them, allowing them a clear route straight to Terra.
  • When Naegi tries to ensure that Everybody Lives in And Again, one of the biggest roadblocks he runs into by the end is how Monobear only gives them access to the higher levels of Hope's Peak after a murder. The answer? Make their own way up with the entire arsenal of a SHSL Soldier.
  • In Diaries of a Madman, Navarone has to confront a warren full of diamond dogs at one point. Instead of a prolonged campaign against them in a whole warren of tunnels, he simply takes a set of changelings and asphyxiates the lot via fireball. Despite preventing a lot of deaths in the end run, this does not have a good result on his mental health. Later on, a somewhat simpler situation involves him avoiding a trek through the sewers and a confrontation with a variety of mob bosses by simply rushing to the boss and teleporting out.
  • Mentioned in Enslaved where a castle made with several twists and turns (so many that it can take half an hour to move from one floor to the next) was designed to keep out invading Germanians. Said Germanians just burned the castle down instead.
  • Being a Lyrical Nanoha fanfic, it was probably inevitable that this would happen in Game Theory. Although surprisingly enough, it's not Nanoha but Quint Nakajima doing the bypass. When one of her opponents puts up magical barriers to try to block her path, she goes through the unmagical walls instead.
  • In Harry Tano, both the heroes and villains exploit this trope in order to try getting the Philosophers' Stone. Ahsoka takes advantage of the Runes that shield Hogwarts and disrupts technology being powered down to send in a Magitek LAAT/i Gunship to the floor where The Mirror of Erised is stored at and cuts through the ceiling with her Lightsaber, and instead of figuring out how to retrieve the Philosophers' Stone from the Mirror; she simply steals the whole mirror. Meanwhile Landon Greengrass goes through the main entrance and through each and every trial in the way... by casting Bombarda on every obstacle in his path.
  • The issue of The Third Floor Corridors' effectiveness in protecting The Philosophers' Stone is brought up again in If Wishes Were Ponies by Twilight Sparkle when she is informed by Albus about the threat of Voldemort attempting to steal the Stone. Twilight bypassed the initial rooms by phasing through the doors. Twilight then readjusts the existing traps to make them substantially more difficult than they were before, along with incorporating an Age Line at the main entrance to prevent Voldemort from Mind-Controlling the students to throw them at the traps. It doesn't even work since Elly was able to shapeshift into a beetle to sneak through the cracks in the walls to try finding the Mirror of Erised after it was moved into the final chamber and accidentally takes the Philosophers Stone from the Mirror; unaware of what it even is. Followed later by Professor Quirrel utilizing the Book-Walking Spell to smuggle Harry Potter past the Age Line through a painting after capturing him.
  • In Juxtapose, the USJ Incident is completely avoided thanks to Izuku rescuing Kensei from Tsuchigumo, preventing the information leak that led to the attack. However, this also has long-term ramifications, as the League wasn't humbled by its defeat there, leading it to perform an even more ambitious assault on the whole of Musutafu, home of Yuuei.
  • The Legend of Cynder Series: This is one of Cynder's favorite tactics. Pretty much the only time she doesn't fly over hordes of enemies or dangerous places is when it would be more dangerous to fly than fight.
  • An accidental example occurs in Metallurgy during the Heroes vs Villains exercise. Momo booby trapped both entrances to the room she and Tokoyami are in along with every major chokepoint, stairwell, and blind corner, on top of using blackout curtains so Tokoyami could use his Quirk at full power. Izuku and Katsumi come in through the roof and just happen to land in the very room their opponents are in.
  • The Night Unfurls: Provided that there is an easier method of infiltration of a target location, it will be used.
    • Rather than strolling through the main gate, or directly attacking it in any way, Kyril and the Black Dogs infiltrate the Black Fortress via a secret passageway/culvert at the base of the southern wall. This is a downplayed instance, however, as they are still met with resistance, but they get through nonetheless.
    • Kyril invokes this trope during the Liberation of Ansur Arc, when he is trying to find a shortcut to enter the mercenary compound where Maia is held captive. While it is true that he can steamroll anything in his way without dying, the more time he uses to kill things outside, the longer Maia is in trouble. His fears turn out to be well-founded — he did manage to find a shortcut with Grace's help, but he arrives a bit late to stop Michelle from violating Maia.
    • Also invoked by the Black Dogs, who are looking into old sewer routes to enter the city of Ken while bypassing the majority of its defences.
  • In the Pony POV Series
    • this is purposely subverted as part of Canterlot Castle's security, the whole place is teleport proofed, except for Dragon Mail since it works by completely different rules (and trying to use it to teleport a pony of excess mass is potentially deadly).
    • Played with during the Rumors Arc. While the CMC fight their way up the World Tower, Featherweight climbs up on the outside, through he's taunted by his inner demons on the way up (but that might be just in his head). Once he gets to the top, however, he has to stealth his way through the whole place and absolutely avoid detection.
    • The heroes are offered a 'cut directly to the top' elevator. Applebloom, having been told fighting Nightmare Diamond head on is suicide, goes alone, forcing Sweetie and Scootaloo to actually go through the 100 rooms of puzzles to catch up. This is because You Are Too Late, and Diamond already destroyed the press (she finds another way and Featherweight and Button Mash's intervention helps save the day), so the defenses were unnecessary at that point.
  • The Rise of Darth Vulcan.
    • In the Castle of the Two Sisters, after a few false starts DV proceeds to bypass the palace traps by blasting through doors and walls with magic.
    • When they rob a train to steal the World Mirror, his way through the train is blocked by a magic force field. He blows the roof off the car he's in and climbs up on top of the train to proceed— only to end up face to face with Pinkie Pie's party cannon. It gets unpleasant.
    • Boss Hoss tries to escape retaliation by hiding in an armored luxury car in his own cargo train, with heavily armed stallions in the cars before and aft. The thestrals sent to deal with him simply disconnect the cars, wheel it down a side spur and peel it open like an orange.
  • Team Inferno in A Teacher's Glory take out several underground Oto bases by shooting fire and wind techniques down the air vents to turn the bases into ovens that take weeks to cool.
  • In What's in a Hoard?, Izuku bypasses the entirety of the obstacle course in the Sports Festival by flying over it, winning by a huge margin. Both Izuku and Present Mic lampshade that the course wasn't made with flyers in mind.
  • During the Mewtwo arc of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Ash's group briefly consider using their Pokémon to brave the storm to get to New Island, until Anabel decides that it'd just be easier to teleport them there, making them the first to arrive. As Mewtwo watches them, he admits he didn't expect that, but decides to allow it.
  • In With Strings Attached, Jeft pits the four and the Hunter against the essentially impregnable Twisted Temple and the death-touch-wielding Brothers of Doom. The Brothers have left two small windows open to lure stupid invaders into the temple. Unfortunately for them (and Jeft), this is a golden opportunity for Ringo to prove once and for all that no, he is not useless. He telekinetically removes each Brother one by one and drops them in a large box that John made out of ice.
  • Discussed in Worldwar: War of Equals. During the first meeting to get Switzerland to join the European Coalition, the Swiss government is confident of their military being able to hold off the aliens by using the Swiss mountains to act as a fortress. The plan is then mocked by the Swedish Prime Minister and EC representatives storm out of the meeting, since mountains are a terrible defense for space-faring aliens who can just fly over.

    Films — Animation 
  • At the end of Wizards, the two titular mages face off for a final battle. After centuries of fighting we're expecting a long, drawn-out climactic fight. Instead, the good guy mage says "Let me show you a little trick mother taught me when you weren't around. Oh, and I'm glad you changed your last name you *&$^%@!" At which point he pulls out an antique handgun and shoots the bad guy. Real short fight.
  • Lampshaded in The Emperor's New Groove, where Pacha and Kuzko have to cross a jungle and a castle and the secret passages to reach the Secret Lab, to find Yzma and Kronk already there despite earlier falling down a canyon in the rainforest.
    Kuzco: No! It can't be! How did you get back here before us?
    Yzma: Ah...uh... how did we, Kronk?
    Kronk: (pulls down a map of the dotted lines from the previous scene) Well ya got me. By all accounts it doesn't make sense.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, once Ralph discovers the golden medal at the top of the tower in Hero's Duty, Ralph bypasses all the traps and Cy-Bugs by climbing the wall to the top.
  • In Superman: Doomsday, when Lex Luthor's clone of Superman turns on him, Luthor retreats to an armored panic room that is lit by red lights (Superman needs yellow sunlight to retain his powers) and holds a pair of kryptonite encrusted gauntlets. Luthor attempts to lure the clone Superman in, but he merely locks the door, rips the entire panic room out of the building, and casually drops it to the ground a hundred stories below.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy has two examples: while Peter, Drax, and Groot had to fight through an army of Sakaran soldiers to reach the bridge, Gamora simply blasts a hole in the ceiling/floor and jumps up to stand beside them. A minute late, Rocket pulls one better by just ramming his ship into the bridge windows.
  • The Xenomorphs pull this one on the heroes in Aliens. After the humans supposedly barricade all the doors and air ducts, the Aliens just climb above the dropped ceiling.
  • Labyrinth:
    • Subverted shortly after Sarah enters the labyrinth, she asks directions from a small sentient caterpillar. "Don't go that way. Never go that way," he tells her, at which she thanks him and heads off in the opposite direction. When she's gone: "If she'd gone that way, she'd'a gone straight to that castle."
    • Which turns out to be good advice as Sarah probably wouldn't have succeeded without going through The Hero's Journey learning how to defeat the goblin king and assembling her Five-Man Band first.
  • In Casino Royale (2006), while the mook is going through a building under construction with Le Parkour, James Bond just goes through walls, shoots down an elevated platform for it to fall, even smashes through several obstacles with a bulldozer...
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, both Kitty Pryde and Juggernaut take the direct route to Leech's chamber. Kitty runs through the walls by phasing, while Juggernaut runs through them by running through them.
  • Star Trek:
  • Averted in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The Fellowship tries to go around Moria via a mountain pass, but Saruman awakens the mountain of Caradhras, causing an avalanche of rocks and snow that blocks their way, causing our heroes to have to backtrack and go through Moria anyway.
  • Played for Laughs in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Little John stands on a bridge and demands Robin fight him to pass. Achoo points out that the river beneath "ain't exactly the Mississippi". Or even a river, for that matter; "stream" would be generous. All while hopping from one side to the other.
  • The town borders in In Time are guarded by massive road barricades that you need to pay a toll booth to get lowered. Later in the film, Will and Sylvia plow their car through the toll booth itself to get through.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, at one point Sarah is trapped by a SWAT team in a clean room. John, watching on cameras, declares there's no other way out of that room. So the Terminator punches through a wall and pulls her to safety. Then he blasted a hole through another wall with his grenade launcher.
  • In Red, when Frank infiltrates the CIA headquarters, he comes across a secure door with an electronic lock that is impossible to hack. He gets through by punching a hole in the wall and manually unlocking the door from the other side; since the facility was built by government contractors, Frank knew the lock would be state-of-the-art technology, but the drywall surrounding it was put in by the lowest bidder.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eggsy manages to escape a locked room filled with water by destroying a mirror which he recognized was also a window.
  • In Ready Player One, Parzival discovers that this was how to beat the first challenge the entire time. After hearing a recording of James Halliday mentioning a desire to "go back", he decides, at the next race, to hit reverse at the starting line. He ends up finding a secret passage that bypasses the whole race and takes him to the finish line.
  • In The Deserter, Kaleb and his men enter the stronghold of the Devil's Backbone by scaling a mesa that stands fifty feet away from the rest of mountain range, and using a block and tackle to haul up their equipment and mounts. The Apache don't bother guarding the mesa as they don't think anyone could get from it to the range proper. Kaleb constructs a Rope Bridge from the mesa to the range, granting them a backdoor to the stronghold.
  • A meta example in In the Name of the King,which is based on Dungeon Siege. There is a literal Broken Bridge encountered by the party early on, which, in the game, forces you through a haunted crypt, a dwarven mine, and a mountain range. In the film, Farmer ziplines over (or at least, halfway over because the rope was slack). He falls in the gorge and is picked up by the kings army instead. Admittedly, this saves hours from the films run time and eliminates several scenes that have no reason to be there if you're not farming loot and XP.
  • In Jurassic Park, after finally getting the lock systems working so they can seal the control room from the raptor trying to kill them, she just jumps through the giant window right by the door.
  • Godzilla vs. Kong: Reaching the center of the hollow Earth is made out to be a huge ordeal, requiring a specialized vehicle, and even a powerful kaiju like King Kong has trouble getting in. When Godzilla needs him to return to the surface though, he simply blasts a hole straight through the Earth.

  • Lone Wolf:
    • This is actually the only way to beat the maze in the seventh book, Castle Death. One monster shorts out the overhead force field with its death throes, enabling you to climb up its corpse to the maintenance gantries. Trying to fight your way through the maze leads to certain death. Conversely, if you possess the proper skill, you can cheat in a different way — namely, when asked to pick one of two archways to pass through, you ignore them both and break through the weak spot in the wall between them, escaping the maze. Still, there is no "fair" way to beat the maze — all paths within the maze lead to those two arches, and both of those arches autokill the player if he chooses one.
    • In War of the Wizards, there's no way for the Army of the Freedom Guild to defeat Shasarak, and in particular his unleashing an army of the dead against them. The only way to beat him is to use a teleportation effect to scry-and-fry him when his guard is down.
  • Some Choose Your Own Adventure-style books have hidden endings that are not linked to any of the storylines — the only way you'll ever find them is by flipping through the book to see all the endings without following the storylines.

  • Discworld:
    • In Ankh-Morpork, which is primarily built on Ankh-Morpork, a man with a pickaxe and good sense of direction can walk from one end of the city to the other by knocking down walls — presuming he can breathe mud. Specifically the Patrician's Palace, as demonstrated in Guards! Guards!. In Night Watch, Vimes expects a tactic just like this... so he boards up the basements around the barricade ahead of time.
    • Cohen does this in the Imperial Palace in Interesting Times, helped by the fact that walls are made of paper.
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry takes a shortcut through a maze by blasting through the hedge in order to rescue Cedric. Yet it takes a spell and quite some fighting with the branches just to open a small hole.
  • In Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling, some outside force suddenly causes electricity to stop working all over the Earth. In Oregon, the main (human) villain begins establishing a brutal fiefdom, and orders the construction of a well-defended fort blocking an important pass. Fortunately for the heroes, hang-gliders still work just fine, and they land a strike-force on the fort's roof and breach the defenses from the rear.
  • The trope is discussed in The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force from Star Wars to describe the three different branches of the Jedi Order in something known as "The Locked Door Test": which entails that a Jedi is trying to get past a locked door to the other side. A Jedi Guardian specializes in their martial prowess and skill with the Lightsaber; when faced with a locked door, they would ignite their blade and cut through it. A Jedi Consular seeks mastery and understanding in both the Force and in Diplomacy and would forego using their Lightsabers only as a last resort; they would mind-control a guard to open the locked door for them. A Jedi Sentinel is more well-traveled having spent years or decades away from the Temples to pick up useful skills that other Jedi might often frown upon; they wouldn't use a Mind Trick or their Lightsabers, they would resolve to Slice into the doors control panel to have the Door unlock for them, and leaving not a trace of their presence afterwards.
  • From Loophole Abuse: In one of the Dinotopia spin-off novels, the Main Characters find themselves in a Lost City inhabited by Troodon samurai (just go with it). The Troodon challenge the humans to different contests to win citizenship, one of which is a race through an obstacle course. The human, Andrew, wins by bypassing the course and just running down the strip of land between his course and his opponent's, because there isn't a rule against it. This becomes very popular, and although the rules are immediately changed, "Pulling an Andrew" begins to occur in other activities around the city as well.
  • Ciaphas Cain:
    • In Sandy Mitchell's novel The Caves Of Ice, Cain, THE HERO OF THE IMPERIUM, and the fireteam he's deployed with come across a tunnel with recognizable signs of being carved by an ancient civilization ( specifically, the Necrons). Cain immediately orders the tunnel to be sealed off with explosives. When he returns to the spot some time later, however, he finds that a hapless ambull has tunneled around the rubble.
    • Earlier in the same book, an ambull came out of the tunnel wall to attack Cain who was "safely" in the middle of the party. This, of course, gave him an (unwanted) opportunity to show off what a badass he is with his chainsword.
    • Cain in general is quite fond of invoking this trope, thanks to the melta carried by his sidekick Jurgen. A weapon designed to blast through tank armour is certainly capable of creating a new doorway in just about anything.
    • Near the end of Choose Your Enemies, Cain, Jurgen, and two inquisitors need to get to the center of a hedge maze. The Chaos ritual in progress at the center is warping the maze, leaving no path, and Jurgen's melta would just torch the maze and everyone in it (including Cain, Jurgen, and the two inquisitors). Cain calls on his innate sense of direction and his chainsword to carve his way through.
  • In The Sapphire Rose by David Eddings, the heroes attempt to use captured minions to lead them through the deathtrap maze, only to realize that the minions didn't know the way either. Finally, they realize that there was no way through the maze so try going up through the ceiling. It works as they find the maintenance pathways, and funnily enough real access ways to the maintenance pathways.
  • A maze is a Leitmotif in Mary Stewart's Touch Not the Cat, and the climax is when the Villain with Good Publicity leads the Distressed Damsel heroine into the center of a complicated hedge-maze. The misunderstood hero uses hedge clippers to get to her.
  • In the Beverly Cleary Young Adult novel Ralph S. Mouse, the kids build a maze for Ralph to run. Ralph climbs on top of the walls to look for the cheese, to the annoyance of the kids (who were building the maze to see how smart Ralph was in the first place).
  • The protagonist of The Ion War was sent, as a test, into a maze — inside a furnace, with a five-minute timer on the device protecting him from the heat. He discovered that the walls weren't anchored, and toppled them like dominoes. He still wound up having to do an Indy Hat Roll to get to safety before the protection deactivated.
  • The Wheel of Time has Travelling and Skimming, which should be enough to bypass most dungeons, but Rand's secret of dealing with people who know that they're more clever than he is would have made Nanoha proud, in a horrified sort of way.
  • Spy School: On his first day at the eponymous school, Mike goes around the hi-tech obstacle course rather than going through it. His teacher is unamused, but has to concede that in the field, an agent is expected to take the quickest and safest route to stopping the villains.
  • Star Wars Legends: In one novel, Han Solo remarks that he "never saw a maze that couldn't be greatly simplified with a good blaster". This was probably inspired by Leia's way of getting herself and her rescuers out of a very tight situation in A New Hope. Granted, it landed them in a garbage masher, but it still counts for something.
  • Bolo: As Bolos grow bigger and heavier (in their later versions rivaling the size and mass of World War I battleships), the concepts of 'obstacle' or 'barrier' become less meaningful — they blow everything in their way up, iron it flat through the sheer weight of their passage, or both.
  • In When The Devil Dances and Hell's Faire, the "Screaming Meemie" units accompanying the 7000 ton "Bun Bun", tend to take full advantage of the passage of the SheVa smashing everything in its path flat. The resultant path is still impassable for wheeled vehicles, but for the tanks traveling through the impressions that each section of SheVa tread leaves isn't a problem.
  • In Codex Alera the Vord bypass an impenetrable Canim fortification by tunneling underneath it to attack them from behind. It took the Canim completely off guard because the Vord had enough reserves to continuously attack the front while tunneling behind.
  • In Esther Friesner's Elf Defense, our heroes are stuck in a magical semi-sentient hedgemaze, which has just separated the college professor being pursued by a dragon from the elven prince who actually knows how to fight a dragon. No problem: the Welsh au pair calmly picks up a sword and proceeds to chop her way through the first hedge in the way. The maze, not being stupid, immediately opens a clear path for her.
  • In The Mysterious Benedict Society, the final test which the main characters are put through in order to qualify for the mission is a maze of identical rooms. Reynie identifies a pattern of arrows (there are several different arrows in each room, each pointing different directions), while Sticky blunders through at random, memorizes the route instantly, and completes it perfectly when he tries again, but Kate simply opens up a heating duct and crawls straight through.
  • In Robert Asprin's Phule's Company series, the Omega Mob tends towards solutions like this. The key example comes in the first book, where Phule's troops (a gang of misfits that were already considered too irregular for the Space Legion, which is already an irregular military force) are going up against one of the finest military units in the galaxy in a series of competitions. The second event is the challenge course, which is to be run "under combat conditions" with full military gear. The regular Army unit runs the course perfectly, setting a spectacular time as they do so. Phule's company literally destroys the course, blowing down walls, cutting away barbed wire, and in general using their full military gear to wreck everything that gets in their way, and get away with it through Loophole Abuse and because the rival commander was too damned impressed to push the point - and because he admitted that if he had to get his troops across a real battlefield with such obstacles in the way, he probably would have done the same thing.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth, both the heroes and the villains are searching for Ariadne's String, which allows a Dungeon Bypass of the famous Labyrinth of Classical Mythology, which is now much larger, and beneath all of the United States of America. Luke finds it, but Percy works out another Dungeon Bypass, a "clear-sighted" mortal, who always know the way through the Labyrinth.
  • Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker Vasher uses Nightblood to demolish walls in the royal palace in order to reach his target Denth. It's not a straight example because it's not a dungeon but the effect is the same.
  • In The Big One there's a nested example of a Dungeon Bypass within a Dungeon Bypass. Faced with a situation where German occupation forces occupy most of Europe and it will require a massive effort over a period of years (with horrifying American and Russian Army casualties) to drive them back, the U.S. elects to destroy Germany directly by means of a nuclear attack aimed at its war production industry. (This is Truth in Television in that the plan used in the novel was actually that formulated by the U.S.A.A.F in 1941) Within that Dungeon Bypass is a second one; the Germans had built a comprehensive air defense system that was capable of inflicting severe casualties on any air force that tried to fly through said defense. The U.S. used the B-36 bomber whose high-flying capabilities allowed it to simply fly over the defenses (again, Truth in Television since the B-36 could fly 5,000 feet higher than even the best-performing German fighters and well over the threat of anti-aircraft guns and the missiles that existed at that time).
  • In the Ravirn books, Clotho at one point seeks to keep Ravirn and Cerice imprisoned in her maze by making it imitate a quantum computer, thus causing all the gateways to be simultaneously open and closed, and thus impassible. Ravirn, however, is a minor chaos power, and more than capable of simply forcing the superposed gates into the 'open' state where it's convenient for him.
  • Subverted in Doom. Fly gets fed up with hunting for key cards and fighting monsters over them so he blasts a door open with a few rockets. This is the only locked door he ever destroys: he meets the barons of hell shortly afterward and they can withstand four to six rockets apiece. From that point on rockets are reserved for emergencies and "boss fights" so he and Arlene run the dungeons looking for key cards. One time he suggests the option to Arlene to avoid entering a maze of unnatural darkness to find the key. Their rocket supply is dangerously low so they brave the dark maze instead of risking taking the next baron without ammo. They encounter a baron in the maze and they kill it for the key. Running the dungeon cost them all their rockets when the Dungeon Bypass would have used a few.
  • In Who Moved My Cheese?, after Cheese Station C has been emptied, Hem and Haw chisel holes in the wall to see if more cheese is behind the wall.
  • In The Pillars of Reality, when Mari is captured and locked up, Alain breaks into the dungeon simply by walking right through the walls with magic. However, he then lacks the strength to do the same for their escape, leaving him stuck in the dungeon too. He admits that he didn't think it through properly. Fortunately, he does have enough strength to create a hole big enough for Mari to tamper with the lock.
  • In the Thousand Sons novel Ahriman: Unchanged, Magnus the Red’s faction of Thousand Sons know that Ahriman is returning to the Planet of the Sorcerers and start preparing their defenses for his arrival. They send out daemons to watch for incoming fleets, their own fleet is ready to repel Ahriman’s, and they even reconfigure the planet’s geography to make a land invasion of the City of Towers impossible. Ahriman circumvents these defenses by using a ritual to teleport his entire force right into the heart of the City from a planet halfway across the galaxy, with their cataclysmic arrival throwing the defenders into disarray for good measure.
  • The Italian novel Per Puro Caso ("Purely by chance") is about the discovery of a gene that immensely increases intelligence. When its effects are tested on mice in a maze, they jump over its wall and run out of the lab.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bones did this once. A real dead body was found in one of those Halloween haybale mazes, so Booth kicks the bales down and cuts a straight path to and from the parking lot. Apparently, he was the only one to even consider this, as everyone else appears rather shocked.
  • The premier episode of Burn Notice has a drug dealer feeling secure behind his armoured, reinforced door. Narrator Michael Lampshades the trope when he shoots through the ordinary thin wall beside the door, wounding the dealer, then busting in through another wall where he'd previously removed the exterior sheeting so it was only the drywall he had to break to enter.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Mance reveals in "The Children" that, having seen how meager the Night's Watch's defenses are, he simply sent a few hundred climbers a short way down the Wall to avoid the defenders entirely.
    • In "The Door", the Children of the Forest attempt to defend their home by conjuring a Ring of Fire around it. As the White Walkers are immune to fire, they simply walk through it. Their Wight minions are not immune to fire, so they dig a tunnel under it.
  • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie, the Gokaiger have to climb all the way to the top of the Big Bad's tower to rescue Gavan, but once he's free they simply blow a hole in each of the successive floors to get them back to the ground level. Then, adding injury to insult, they pull out their BFG and fire it upwards, taking out a large section of the castle and killing all the bad guys they bypassed.
  • In an episode of The Librarians, magic causes a video game to superimpose itself over reality. Ezekiel takes on the role of the player while the rest of the team are escort targets. Any one of them dying results in returning to the save point (which Ezekiel originally mistakes for a "Groundhog Day" Loop). After eventually determining there was no possible way to safely conclude the escort, he finds a place where he can climb onto the roof of the building they're in and totally bypass the escape portion, glitching and crashing the game in the process.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • From the episode Rimmerworld comes this exchange:
      Lister: Why don't we scrape away this mortar here. Slide one of these bricks out. Then using rope weaved from strands of this hessien, rig up a kind of pulley system. So then when a guard comes in, stands on a tripwire, gets laid out. Then we put Rimmer in the guards uniform. He leads us out. We steal some swords. And fight our way back to the bug.
      Kryten: Or we could use the teleporter.
    • Again from "Duct Soup". The crew crawl through the ventilation shafts of Starbug after the ship apparently goes offline. Kryten made sure the doors were functional but didn't explain this until they got back.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Happens in the episode "The Serpent's Lair":
      Bra'tac: The shield generators are far below, there — in the very bowels of the ship. We must climb down several decks, through the length of the ship. Then, taking our weapons, we must—
      O'Neill: (shrugs and tosses grenades down the shaft; the generators explode; he looks back at Bra'tac) Grenades.
    • In a later episode, Sam, Jonas Quinn and Jackson are trying to find the Eye of Ra, and have spent most of the episode puzzling out how to find the compartment it's in. When they do find the compartment, there's another set of locks... but they're running out of time, so Sam just blasts through it with her P90.

  • In "The Rapture of Ridley Walker" by Clutch:
    There is no safe way out of here
    No passage below the dungeon

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Greek Mythology, Theseus tied his string to the end of the maze, dropped it, and it rolled down, where he just followed it until it eventually led to the minotaur. While not technically a bypass, he did circumvent the whole dead ends thing that a maze is supposed to have.
  • In some parts of Sweden, fishermen used to believe that every village was infested with little invisible gnomes, whose main desire was to get out on the sea. To do this, the gnomes would follow the villagers around. If a fisherman didn't get rid of the gnomes before going out in his boat, it would mean terrible bad luck. So how did they get rid of the gnomes? Easy: Dungeon Bypass! Every fishing village would have a labyrinth (mostly a simple spiral) built from rocks as big as a head or so. Before going out, the fisherman would walk all the way to the middle of the spiral, the gnomes presumably trailing him. When he reached the middle, he would simply run across the stones, down to his boat, and cast off. The gnomes, too small to jump over the stones, would have to take the long way out of the spiral, and would be too late to sneak on the boat. Though one wonders why no gnome ever got the idea of waiting by the boats...
  • Older Than Feudalism: In The Bible, rather than attempt to get through the heavily defended and fortified walls of the city of Jericho, Joshua and the Israelites paraded around the city for days before blowing their trumpets. This caused the walls to crumble completely. With the divine help of God.

  • Several times in Ruby Quest. One time they did this (smashing open a wooden door with a crowbar) is on the quotes page.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • A notorious tactic is the "scry and die", in which the player characters use divination spells to locate the Big Bad, then cast a teleport spell to ambush him wherever he happens to be, bypassing any and all elaborately prepared defenses he has set up. The "Mind Blank" spell is a hard counter to this — only deity-level power can scry someone under its effects. Unfortunately, as an 8th-level spell, your Big Bad needs to be almost that powerful themself to keep it running. For game balance reasons, editions up to 3.5 largely had to make the choice between "scry and die is possible" and "ambushing the players isn't". Later editions decided to just sacrifice a little balance and realism to focus on making the adventure fun to play.
    • The 3.5 splatbook "Complete Arcane" adds Anticipate Teleportation, a spell specifically to counter this strategy. Its duration is 24 hours, just like Mind Blank, but it's only 3rd level, because instead of giving the complete mental protection Mind Blank offers, it just warns you of an incoming teleport and holds the would-be ambusher for a round. The Greater version at 6th level gives three rounds instead; enough preparation to ensure that the Curb-Stomp Battle experienced by the would-be ambusher is the opposite of the one they expected.
    • In 3.5, 5th level Druids can summon Thoqquas, which can tunnel through solid stone and explicitly leave a usable tunnel. This is especially notable because at 5th level, you normally can't teleport yet, so the DM may not expect shenanigans like this.
    • Many RPGs have so many ways of doing this that it may be futile to try to list them all. There appear to be two main reasons for this: first, many games include countless different spells whose implications are often poorly thought out (though some of this is intentional: there's actually a D&D spell called "passwall", which creates a temporary hole in a wall of your choice). The second reason is many games try to write rules for every conceivable situation, including tunneling through a wall with a battle axe.
    • In fact, in Dungeons & Dragons Edition 3.5, all materials stronger than paper are allotted a hardness score, which dramatically reduces damage dealt to them. Weapons made out of Adamantine, however, ignore the hardness of objects unless they're built from materials equal in strength or stronger than Adamantine. This makes tunneling through a stone wall with an Adamantine Greatsword almost pathetically easy. There are also combat maneuvers which ignore hardness, in case you don't have an adamantine weapon.
    • However, in fourth edition D&D, items and walls no longer had a hardness rating, which means that a weak but determined character could punch through them.
    • Fifth Edition simply treats items like characters in terms of armor class and hit points.
    • It is quite easy for PCs to end up rewarded for this: most strong doors are made up of an expensive material, so simply using "disable device" or other methods to take it off its hinges winds up quite profitable.
    • Tomb of Horrors:
      • The remake tries to avoid letting players do this. It has replaced all of its Adamantine Doors with "Spell-Hardened Steel as Hard as Adamant, but loses its magic if you dismantled them." It also creates infinite hordes of demons that do nothing but repair the walls and reset traps all day and attack anyone who attempts a Dungeon Bypass.
      • At least one group of adventurers has made it through without a single casualty by having a team of dwarves dig around the traps and obstacles with non-magical mining equipment over the course of several weeks. The writers planned for ethereal travel, melding into stone, magical defenses, teleportation, etc. but never expected an ordinary pickaxe and a group of patient, careful adventurers.
      • Another amusing way groups bypassed the dungeon in the original was to completely skip the dungeon and merely steal the doors, 1000 cu. ft. of solid adamantine and mithral, probably worth more than all the treasure in the tomb itself. Also fixed in the 3.5 remake by having the doors merely by magically hardened steel that loses its magic once removed.
    • The Dungeoncrasher Fighter variant in 3.5 is actually designed to do this, as the name suggests. On top of its much-loved "super Bull Rush" that slams opponents into walls until their bones liquefy, it also gets, by 6th level, a +10 bonus to checks to break objects and a +4 to dodge or resist traps. Many Dungeoncrashers get through dungeons by simply breaking everything in them.
  • Mage: The Ascension doubles down on this with cooperative spellcasting, where the players sit in a circle and add effects to a spell until it fails or becomes too difficult to add further aspects or power. This means that a single character with access to the correspondence sphere (which allows scrying) means that the party can drop the majority of its offensive power on an enemy without showing up themselves to potentially be exposed to danger. Especially dangerous since in the Old World of Darkness the various types of supernatural creatures had no way to resist each others' powers, effectively making this the point where the Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards thing became completely insurmountable in any kind of mixed campaign.
  • Mage: The Awakening made major changes to no less than four fundamental mechanics solely to prevent this tactic: draconian limits on spell combination, severely reduced power when adding sympathetic magic, cripplingly specific prerequisites for scrying (to the point where you can barely scry anything you don't have regular physical access to anyhow), and scry targets have what is usually a near-unity chance of noticing the spell from their end. Joint casting was also removed entirely and replaced with an assist-boost mechanic. That's how unambiguously game-breaking and impossible to stop from the GM's end the tactic was.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has several game mechanics that allow you to put your forces behind your opponent's lines, such as infiltrating, outflanking, and deep striking. The Apocalypse and Planetstrike supplements also provide special strategic assets and stratagems that can also help your forces bypass defensive lines. Also, if you happen to have fast skimmer transports, you can literally just fly over enemy lines.
  • Exalted: Solars with the correct Charm can bypass locked doors by walking through them, and more veteran ones can remove the walls by punching people through them. Meanwhile, those with dematerialization effects can just stroll through walls, and experienced Infernals can just load up Pellegrina's Fury and erode away everything in their path. Of course, the point of Exalted isn't about whether the heroes can make it through the dungeon, it's about whether they should, and how they intend to solve the long-term problems that led to the dungeon attack in the first place.
  • In the Deadlands adventure Fortress o' Fear, the players are sent to locate a portal to the Hunting Grounds within Devil's Tower. If they enter near the base of Devil's Tower, it's a long and arduous journey through labyrinthine rooms and dangerous monsters. However, they have the option of hiring an Ornithopter pilot in City o' Gloom who will offer to fly them right on top of the tower, which is much closer to their destination and a lot less hazardous. Oddly enough, the adventure seems to push the players in this direction, essentially encouraging them to bypass the detailed dungeon they'd created.
  • An unintentional but still viable strategy when it comes to dealing with ambushes in BattleTech. Pretty sure that the only road through the city is mined and that there's a Hunchback, a Demolisher, and two Hetzers hiding in the side alleys just waiting for you to pass by? Don't even bother with streets—blast your way through the buildings instead. A lance of Battlemechs can carve through buildings, even reinforced ones, at an impressive rate. An Awesome can level a strip mall in as little as 10 seconds—that is to say, one turn.

  • In the BIONICLE (2015) Netflix series Journey to One, Onua finds a maze underground in his search for his Elemental Creature, Terak. Rather than try and solve the maze, being the Toa of Earth and all, he decides to just run straight through it, which works surprisingly well for him.

    Video Games 
  • Some games with randomly generated dungeons, such as Persona 3 and Baroque, will occasionally end up generating a floor's exit right next to its entrance. You can't bypass the entire dungeon this way, but you pretty much end up bypassing that floor. One speedrunner takes advantage of this feature to finish Diablo in a matter of minutes, by reloading every time the next floor wasn't laid out this way.
  • The Adventures of Rad Gravity's very definitely final planet has a nerve-wracking maze of Magical Mystery Teleporters, but it can by bypassed by glitching through the walls with the Teleport Beacon.
  • In Age of Wonders, Lizardfolk's innate swimming ability give them a powerful advantage on some maps, which is why they didn't appear in the sequels. Particularly since there was a water spell that flooded the map, giving them even more water to have an advantage with. Subverted in the mission which requires you to go through an underground tunnel under some mountains. If you try to go over the mountains instead, you'll run into a very aggressive red dragon. Also, even if you somehow managed to defeat the dragon, it actually takes longer than going the normal way because mountains give you a movement penalty.
  • The mad king of Armello has fortified his palace with deadly Perils in order to keep would-be heroes out. However, if you complete enough quests, one of your contacts points you towards a way to sneak past one of the traps, enabling you to enter the Palace Grounds. Still have to deal with the King's Guard, though...
  • In Asheron's Call every door that can be unlocked (including ones that require a unique key) can be unlocked from one side by simply using it. Due to the way physics works in game it's possible for two players to work together to glitch through a door.
  • Avernum sets these up intentionally in the first three games. Learn the Priest spell "Move Mountains" and look for cracked walls, and you can sometimes get around the baddies (or at least find sealed-off rooms.) Sadly, as of the fourth this is no longer possible.
  • Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal:
    • A variation appears upon teleporting to a city under siege. You're told that no one has been able to enter or exit using teleportation magic. The player, of course, can come and go as he pleases, though he can't target a location more specific than the point he left the city. This is probably due to this ability being linked to the fact that the main character is a proto-god at that point.
    • It is also possible to go past most of the Undercity plot by simply bribing the guards at the entrance (exit) and most other dungeons can be severely shortened through use of the transformation-teleport bug.
    • And unofficially, one of the most popular mods for Shadows of Amn is an NPC that just teleports you and your party to the end of the opening dungeon with any worthwhile items, quest hooks, and the equivalent gold roughly equal to the market value of all the junk that you could have picked off each damned corpse as well as a bunch of experience points. Because in a game with very high replay value, after a few times through, that dungeon really is that boring.
    • On that note, several mods also exist for other RPGs that allow the player to skip That One Level while still gaining all the things they could've obtained by playing through that level. Examples of this include the Fade in Dragon Age: Origins and the Peragus Mines in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.
  • The Jet Pack item from Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg allows you to float indefinitely, but only at the initial height you start floating from. Naturally, this means that if you can jump off from a high enough point, you can go over just about anything and go to pretty much anywhere in a level. At least one level in Blizzard Castle seems to encourage this to get around a particularly vicious slide.
  • The Binding of Isaac has plenty of items and bonuses that allow you to circumvent barriers or outright pass floors, albeit whether or not you can use them largely boils down to the luck of what items you draw, the layout of the map, and which enemies you encounter. You could beat all the enemies in a room to unlock the doors, or you could just blow them open with a bomb or lure the explosive attack of an enemy to do it for you. You could deliberately start a floor with only one heart and hope a boss-challenge room appears, or you could blast your way in via an adjacent hidden room. You could fight Mom, or just bring a bible and use it to end the fight instantly. You could carefully navigate rooms, or you could just unlock Azazel and fly over everything. It's actually hard to play a round of this game and not find a way to bypass at least a few challenges along the way.
  • This was the main reason the Teleportation Plasmid was removed from the original BioShock game, as using it in the right situations could have skipped major plots in the game.
  • Blue Stinger has a maze of ice blocks in a cold storage area. However, it's possible to just melt all the ice and swim across to the next room, but doing this means you fight a rather difficult miniboss in the next area.
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, the second dungeon requires you to find three of fifteen hidden books, and then use codes written in their margins to unlock a door. Which three books you need are randomly chosen each playthrough, but the codes themselves are not. So if you have a list of all fifteen codes, you can just input the ones you need right away and skip the whole mess.
  • Broforce:
    • Indiana Brones's whip serves this purpose. If used while a directional key is being held, Brones will automatically grapple onto a nearby surface and catapult himself upwards. This is extremely useful for dodging dangerous enemies.
    • The Brocketeer's rocket jump, though not as powerful, serves a similar purpose.
  • The Brominator's minigun pushes him backwards when firing at a rapid pace, allowing a skilled player to fly over an entire map without engaging a single enemy. In the spinoff, his palette swap Bro Caesar has the same ability.
  • In general, segments of many maps can be bypassed simply by digging underneath the relevant section using the game's destructible terrain.
  • Many of the bros have options to slightly increase their movement in various ways, most often by propelling them forward in an attack animation. Though very situational, these can theoretically be used to bypass segments of maps.
  • The normal way to play Castlevania: Harmony of Despair multiplayer is to go off in different directions and open doors that would otherwise take forever to each with one player. Or you can dive kick off another player's head (or Yorick's if you're Soma) and skip tricky sections that way. Or you can glitch the physics engine to pass through walls and skip even more sections of the map.
  • In Celeste, the Chapter 5 Crystal Heart requires you to take a hidden alternate path after picking up the Interchangeable Antimatter Key to bypass the door you would normally use it on, so you can instead use it to unlock the door to the Heart room.
  • City of Heroes:
    • Can be done on any mission that does not require every foe on the map to be defeated as long as the players have Stealth or at least one has Stealth and the ability to teleport their teammates to their location. Stealth can be taken by any character by level 6, and the Stalker archetype has it as a required power at level 1. However, some enemies later in the game have + perception powers that allow them to see through stealth as well as some maps featuring obstacles that will suppress stealth if the player gets too close to them.
    • In the final mission of the Katie Hannon task force, players are expected to beat their way through hordes of Red Caps, find a captured witch, and get her out through wave after wave of ambushes. This happens on an outdoor map, though, and the witch is capable of flying. As a result, it's become standard practice to fly to the witch, blow away her captors, and fly her out.
    • The old trial in the Hollows has two stages: fighting your way through the tunnels to the door to the cave, then facing a single massive room full of monsters between you and the eight triggers that have to be pressed simultaneously. You have 90 minutes to complete it. If someone on the team has a stealth power and Recall (teleporting someone to your position), they can get to the door and quickly teleport everyone there. Once everyone goes through the door, then do the same thing for each of the triggers (teleporting one teammate to each). Click the triggers, trial over in a few minutes, and quite likely zero enemies having to be fought.
    • There's also an Enhancement (a sort of power upgrade) which can be slotted to Sprint, an ability earned at level 1 - and which gives the character a sort of partial invisibility as long as Sprint is active. It stacks with Stealth, the level 6 Concealment skill, for a single power slot used... and then you can get Recall Friend, to pull other members of your team towards the single objective.
    • On the Oranbega maps, some portals are bugged so they send you to a random portal rather than the partner portal on the other side of the wall. If you get lucky, it's possible to be sent from a portal just inside the map entrance to one just outside the room with the mission objective(s).
  • The Chronosphere from Command & Conquer: Red Alert allows the Allies to teleport their troops all around the battlefield, bypassing the enemy defences. In a commendable aversion of Gameplay and Story Segregation, they use it story-wise as well in the final mission of Red Alert 2, when they teleport their army from Cuba to Moscow to end the war in one decisive strike.
  • In the first Crackdown game, a DLC pack came with a large number of Street Race missions. These would generally be quite tough, since everyone involved - you included - would be driving the exact same car. There was also a LOT of them. Players tired of trying to beat the near-perfect AI in every race soon found alternate solutions - while the street-races took away all of your main weapons (preventing you from just bringing a rocket-launcher to the party), you were still left with your default handgun, and a single shot to the gas-tank cap would instantly detonate a car. So once the race has started, you just park your car in some nice, out-of-the-way place, and start lifting any large, heavy objects you can find to build a barricade across the track. When the AI cars finish the first lap and get tangled up in your barrier, you shoot out as many as you can. If any get through, well, you now have several wrecked cars you can use to improve your barricade for the next lap. With all other racers destroyed, you just need to open a hole in the barricade, and then hot-lap your way to victory.
  • In Crash Bandicoot (1996), the second-to-last 'proper' level (not including bosses and a Breather Level) is long and difficult. If you acquired a gem from another similar level, you can take a shortcut, grab many 1-ups and finish the level in fifteen seconds.
  • In the Crusader games, virtually any door that you need a keycard or combination to open can be blasted open with explosives. This will, however, set off the alarm.
  • Dawn of War:
    • Dawn of War: Dark Crusade: During the Space Marine stronghold mission an early optional objective allows you to direct orbital bombardments from the Litany of Fury by co-opting the Blood Ravens' communications. The Imperial Guard stronghold has a scanner that gives you line of sight to one point anywhere on the map temporarily. Orbital bombardment can one-shot an enemy stronghold building.
    • The mission is even easier for Tau, whose commander has both long ranged weapons, jet pack and stealth. He can jump over the SM defences and blast the stronghold while remaining hidden from retaliation.
    • The Necron stronghold has a bunch of empty tunnels your forces can use (though you need to discover the tunnel exits to use them), one near your base and one near the Nightbringer. The goal of the mission is to get your hero to drop a bomb at the Nightbringer's room and evacuate before it collapses, which the tunnel makes a lot easier.
    • Eldar are extremely good in this in general, since their vehicles can skim across long distances and over obstacles, and their builder units can teleport across half the map and then build Webway portals that you can teleport your whole infantry army (and your whole base if you feel like it) through.
    • The Necrons can use their Lord's teleportation and immortality from the "Essence of the Nightbringer" skill to do this in the Imperial Guard stronghold. The Necron Lord simply teleports over a set of small islands in a river right to the enemy headquarters (the only structure that needs to be destroyed), activates the Nightbringer mode and gets rid of it; mission complete.
    • In Soulstorm, flyers in general are very good at this. Just fly them straight towards the target, overshoot a bit, then demonstrate the joys of More Dakka to the enemy.
    • The Hive Lord in one of the sequel's expansions is a monstrous creature, meaning it's flagged as a vehicle for the purposes of barging through things. Some of the missions were designed without taking this into account, meaning that the Hive Lord can counter-flank ambushes or take massive shortcuts just by smashing through a vehicle-breakable wall.
  • Deep Rock Galactic: Only natural when destructible terrain and mining pickaxes are a part of the game, but one class in one situation invokes it the most: When the Drop Pod comes down, and everyone must quickly get to it before it leaves, you could either backtrack and follow the M.U.L.E. and its flares, fighting off what ambushes you in the meantime... or just have the Driller carve a straight tunnel to it with his twin drills, and guard his back while he does. If you're lost, it's usually the easier way.
    Driller: Obstacle? More like a granite smoothie once I'm done!
    • The Scout can also completely ignore the terrain inside a cavern by using his grappling hook to traverse huge gaps. He even lampshades this:
      Scout: Going from A to D, skipping B and C!
  • Several Descent levels have this, e.g. Descent II's eighth level has a huge shortcut that allows you to go straight to the red key and the boss, bypassing about half the level. Level 2 also has a shortcut to the red key, which also allows you to go through the rest of the level backwards.
  • Deus Ex:
    • Many sections of the game could be skipped via alternate routes or player ingenuity (and which the designers praise the player for):
    • A smart player could run straight through the first mission (Liberty Island) to the boss and complete it in less than 5 minutes with minimal enemy contact. Once that happens, the UNATCO troops come up behind JC and kill all of the NSF troops. A player that knows what he's doing can force open the UNATCO door with a gas grenade, bypassing the mission entirely. The game acknowledges this.
    • There are several examples of bypassing danger by taking a stealthy route to the target, particularly in Castle Clinton, where the player can use the keypad near the vending machine, go through the vents, and then find the Ambrosia while only encountering one or two guards. Likewise, you can sneak through the maintenance tunnels in the Battery Park subway station past the terrorists (and rescuing the hostages if you so choose), bypassing the situation and the objective (and getting chewed out by your brother when you arrive in Hell's Kitchen).
    • After JC sends the signal from the roof of the UNATCO occupied NSF base, it causes every single soldier inside to turn hostile. You can either fight your way down... or put a bunch of mods in Leg Strength (which lowers fall damage) and jump off the roof. Alternately, you can also carefully knock out the UNATCO soldiers before sending the signal, leaving no one left to fight you as you leave (the game even anticipates this method and gives the player a special message from the guy who sent the kill order.)
    • Several parts of the game can be skipped if the player knows the passwords to certain locked doors: The MJ12 base underneath UNATCO can be skipped entirely if the player knows the code to the exit door. The game doesn't account for this.
    • In Hong Kong, the entire section where JC goes to confront Maggie Chow can be skipped if the player sneaks into Chow's apartment via grenade-jumping and steals the Dragon's Tooth Sword early on. Also, the sidequest about Max Chen needing proof of Maggie's guilt can be skipped if the player already knows the code to the police station vault.
    • Also, the player can skip most of Versalife if they know the codes to certain doors, which allows them to access the Level 3 labs and destroy the Universal Constructor before they're asked to.
    • Lacing the East Side Cemetery with LAM's before you visit Stanton Dowd results in all the MJ12 troops that spawn in getting blown to smithereens instantly. This can also be done in the 'Ton Hotel during the escape with Paul to trivialize an otherwise-hard battle.
    • The majority of the penultimate Silo level can be avoided completely if you run to the hatch leading from the surface down to the Silo, and fire a LAW rocket into it at a certain angle (which glitches through the grate and continues straight downward, killing Howard Strong). This can cause the level to be finished in under a minute.
  • In the Disgaea series, units with flight like the Mothman and Masked Hero can move through enemy units, and disregard the height of terrain, making them extremely useful for any map where you need to get a certain point to complete it, as both of those things will frequently pose problems for normal units.
  • The "Excelsior Transporter" from the dnd game for PLATO computers teleports the player from the outside the dungeon to a level of the dungeon they've already beaten, so they can skip past stuff they already played through. Notably, this only works on the way into the dungeon, so escaping the dungeon to level up or beat the game still requires you to manually beat each level again.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • The first game has six levels with a shortcut at the beginning that takes you to, or very near, the end of the level. This includes some of the hardest levels in the game.
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest has one of these in every level of the first and second worlds.
  • Many Doom levels can be completed in seconds by exploiting glitches to create shortcuts. In source ports that allow jumping, you can end certain levels within seconds by leaping onto the otherwise inaccessible exit switch/linedef.
  • DOOM Eternal: Partway through the game, the Doom Slayer faces a problem: the final Hell Priest he needs to kill can only be reached via a teleporter that is buried deep inside the core of Mars. It would take months, at least, to dig down to it, even without considering the apocalyptic demon invasion going on. Doomguy's solution? Take control of humanity's most powerful weapon, the BFG 10000, and... well...
    Samuel Hayden: You can't just shoot a hole in the surface of Mars!
    New Mission: Shoot a hole in the surface of Mars
  • In Duke Nukem 3D, several levels can be easily bypassed with Duke's Jet Pack.
  • The RTS game Dungeon Keeper 2 has a campaign level that has racing against the clock while your mission is to destroy the enemy Dungeon Heart, where the MacGuffin is stored in the far North, having to go through another enemy camp in the middle to get there and having overwhelming numbers against you with few resources while you're stuck in the far South. The obvious solution hinted by the mission briefing is to find the bypass. This can be done by building a bridge on the west side over the water and then tunneling past both bases straight to the enemy's Dungeon Heart. Another level gives you the choice of a frontal assault to be able to assassinate the enemy leader or to tunnel east and attack him in his own headquarters bypassing all his defenses.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Arena, included the spell "Passwall". It allowed players to permanently destroy dungeon walls, letting them bypass tough enemies and other obstacles. They didn't include it in Daggerfall, but enterprising players can make use of the wonky level geometry to move through the walls into a black space, allowing you to run along on top of the dungeon paths. Be aware, though, that while it's relatively easy to pass into the Void, it's rather more complex to get back out of it. These "features" live on in later Bethesda games, with the "tcl" (toggle clipping) console command. This is also possible, if one is lucky, to do in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: notably, using a certain scroll which enhances your jump skill to ludicrous levels may allow you to jump through ceilings, and land in other areas of the dungeon.
  • You can do this in Elona, and it's often a way to find hidden passages. If you have a really high digging skill, you can even break out of jail by just digging through the walls.
  • Evil Islands:
    • Can be done a couple of times, although you still want to complete all quests because of the experience bonus. Especially since the game's extremely steep level and equipment curve means that almost any area you're not supposed to be is going to be a solid Beef Gate wall extending forever. Instead of doing the long set of quests related to entering the Dead City, you could just traverse the cave that is available very early in the game. The other entrance leaves you about ten metres far from your objective in the Dead City.
    • If you don't want to avoid all of those quests, you can still shorten them. Getting to the observatory is far easier than the game tells you. Instead of making peace with the Lizard Men living in the Middle Mountains, you can just lure the ones near the dragon to kill them elsewhere, and then just sneak the dragon. Similarly, you can avoid the quest for freezing the lake by taking a side path that goes around the lake. There are some Lizard Men there, but you should have killed many of them already by that point, and they're anyway weaker than the skeletons you're forced to fight to get the crystal required to freeze the lake.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 2 allowed the player to bypass several levels of security in the Sierra Army Base if he had a high enough Lockpick skill to get to the personal elevator of the general who would have been in command of the base. A character could also bypass forcefields with the Repair skill.
    • Fallout 3
      • If you max out lockpicking completely, you can lockpick through the exit of the dungeons. Thus, literally bypassing everything.
      • Several dungeons, such as the National Archives, the Antagonizer's Lair, and Olney Powerworks, have a hidden back door that you can use to skip all the monsters and traps and go straight to the boss/MacGuffin item/mission objective.
      • In the National Guard Depot, you can squeeze your way through a debris pile blocking a stairway to the third floor, then jump down to the Armory switch on the second floor, bypassing the Training Wing and Offices.
      • The Metro service tunnel leading to the Family's hideout also has a hidden back entrance from Northwest Seneca Station, which is the way most players first discover during the Blood Ties quest. The main tunnel entrance is from the Meresti Trainyard, which is a fair distance away.
      • You can either take the hard route to Vault 87 through Murder Pass, or if you rescued Penny from Paradise Falls, ask Joseph to turn on the computer terminal for you to hack and open the back door.
      • During the Reilly's Ranger's quest, the main marker path leads you eastbound from Metro Central to Freedom Street and the Mutant-infested and irradiated Vernon Square, which is the main entrance to Our Lady of Hope Hospital, but Reilly recommends an alternate route to the hospital from Dupont Circle through the Dry Sewers.
    • Fallout 4:
      • Some doors are chained or barred from inside and normally serve as a Door to Before, but with a Jet Pack, Roof Hopping, or tunnel crawling, you can sometimes shortcut around the impasse.
      • A few Raider hideouts such as those in the Federal Ration Stockpile and Andrew Station have a hidden trapdoor leading straight to the ringleader's headquarters, sometimes requiring high lockpick or hacking skill.
      • Played literally in the sidequest "The Big Dig", where you use a mining robot to tunnel into Hancock's warehouse from below, the story quest "Mass Fusion", where you teleport (Institute) or ride a Vertibird (Brotherhood of Steel) to the Mass Fusion Building roof, which is the only way to reach the Executive Suites until you have the keycard, and the finale "Nuclear Option", where you blast your way underground into the Institute, which could previously only be teleported to.
    • Fallout: New Vegas:
      • There is a vault that contains a maze to reach the bottom for a mission. Or you can just repair the elevator at the entrance and go straight to the bottom floor.
      • Repair, Science, Speech, Barter, Lockpick and Disguises allow you to do this a lot over the course of the game. The difficulty of Dead Money is largely dependent on if you actually leveled your skills fully or used every possible drug, magazine, and equipment bonus to pass skill checks and put the bare minimum skill points in as a result.
      • Vault 19 has a hidden back entrance via the Sulfur Caves northwest of Whittaker Farmstead.
      • In the DLC Old World Blues, a mission requires you to test out a stealth suit by reaching a safe without being detected. You could carefully avoid and disable robots, turrets, lasers, and land mines. Or you could destroy all the obstacles before the test even begins. Even better, a player with a force-field disabling weapon can use the observation level to drop directly into the final room of the test.
      • When ascending Black Mountain, you normally have to go up a Super Mutant-infested and irradiated switchback path, but if you have a Lockpick skill of at least 75, you can pick the back gate and go straight to Tabitha's hideout.
  • In the PC version of Far Cry, in the second level, a lifeboat is hanging from the top of a beached carrier. A lucky shot from the lower deck of the carrier can break the chains, dropping the lifeboat into the water and skipping the section on top of the carrier altogether.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VII one can bypass much of the Shinra Building and its guards by simply taking the stairs as opposed to fighting your way floor by floor. This is, however, incredibly boring, time consuming, and you have to put up with your characters complaining the entire way. There are a few bits of nice loot on the stairs, however.
    • Final Fantasy XI had several "secret" areas in different zones which could only be accessed by passing through long elaborate and often dangerous dungeons, some of which having doors that required multiple players to open and at least one who's entrance was in a completely different area 3 zones away. These areas generally held valuable timed spawn Notorious Monsters or quest objectives. It wasn't until the "Battle packs" added between the 4th and 5th expansions that (most of) these areas finally became easily accessible through Abyssea and/or Voidwatch warps.
    • Early in Final Fantasy XIV, Dungeon Bypassing was the norm to pull off Speed Runs in the endgame. A few seconds after being engaged bosses erected magic barriers sealing players into (or out of) their battle area. These barriers also broke aggro for any mobs caught on the other side when they went up. Players would sprint from one boss to the next, tank leading the way to aggro everything, then stand right at the barrier edge as the boss was pulled, trapping the trash mobs outside and allowing it to be completely bypassed. Square largely killed off this behavior by adding mid-level barriers that require killing all the trash up to that point to open, either explicitly by just not opening while the mobs live, or practically by requiring several uninterrupted seconds of interaction with key items.
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates requires a lot of jump-climbing and in many cases the player has to meet an objective or solve a puzzle to unlock the next platform or lever or switch to allow them to climb to the next level... or, you could just dump the magicites from your inventory and strategically stack them to make a ladder. This becomes especially doable once you have Gnash (who can Double Jump) and Meeth (whose urn is a constantly-available stepstool). This is also possible in its Spiritual Successor Echoes of Time, but you have to use other party members which requires a bit of finesse as they move away from being jumped on (probably to avoid this exact thing).
  • In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, the objective in each map is to have Marth seize an important tile (either a gate or a throne). Most times in the franchise, there is a boss guarding that tile, but in the NES version, several bosses don't start the map on it, instead moving onto it during their first turn. The player moves before the enemy, so if you can get Marth to the tile in one turn, you can end the map incredibly early. The developers obviously assumed you wouldn't get to them in one turn, forgetting the Warp Staff that you get in Chapter 3, allowing you to cut short many long maps.
  • In Friday the 13th you don't actually have to do any of the "dungeons" or tasks. You don't have to enter the forest, or the cave, face Pamela Voorhees, or light the fireplaces. All you actually have to do is keep the children in the lakeside cabin alive and defeat Jason three times to win the game. All those extra tasks do is provide you with better weapons and Pamela's sweater which in effect doubles that one counsellor's health. In fact, a careful player can get his hands on the machete or torch without doing any of the dungeons at all. The former can be found by killing 60 zombies and the latter can be found at random in a large lakeside cabin after finding the note telling you to look for it, and the machete is a fast weapon that does okay damage to Jason while the latter is a slow one that does as much damage to Jason as the pitchfork.
  • In Gauntlet, one level has four exit tiles near the players' spawn point. Other levels have most or all of the walls replaced by exit tiles, so there's no incentive to explore those levels unless players are told to "find the hidden potion".
  • In The Godfather: The Game, the main goal is to run a protection racket for the Don. Scaring shopkeepers tends to bring in enemy soldiers. However, doing all the respect-earning tasks first, like finding Plot Devices and assassination missions can gain sufficient respect that most shopkeepers don't summon bodyguards. And -that- gains respect as well, allowing much of the game to be bypassed with no shooting whatsoever. In other words, playing like a real mafia man.
  • In Golf With Your Friends, you generally follow the path of the "fairways" in each level, but by taking advantage of the obstacles and physics, you can skip parts of the level. While it can save time and strokes, there's usually more challenge involved, and you risk landing out-of-bounds, incurring a penalty.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Grand Theft Auto III:
      • At the start of the game if you are careful you can turn around and jump the "broken" bridge, bypassing the entire first island.
      • You can also get to the third island earlier than intended by running a boat ashore near the pipeline that functions as a border in the water, and pushing the boat past it on land.
      • There's another way to get to the third island early. On the second island, there's a hospital with a big dark blue window high up in the air. A player could, with careful use of cheats, get up there and find the window wasn't solid. If the player drove a car through the window, they would fall and land inside a tunnel that led into the third island, bypassing the blocked tunnel entrance.
      • "Two-Faced Tanner" involves over-taking and killing an undercover cop. As soon as you attack his car, you get the cops on your case, coming at you with just about everything they have. You can't disable his vehicle beforehand. What you can do is get ahead of him, jump out of your car, and then destroy his car with an M-16. It takes about half a magazine, and when he dies the cops automatically desist.
    • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City:
      • is full of things like this. Instead of chasing cars all willy-nilly through the streets, it's possible, with proper preparation, to blow up enemy cars and win easily.
      • Or shoot their tires with a sniper rifle to make them helpless. Quite useful on the mission where you have to beat someone in a car race to hire him as your driver.
      • This is not so effective in racing missions in general, as the races tend to start immediately if you harm any of the other cars. However, some missions where you need to kill someone seem to be set to intentionally reward a player who thinks ahead and disables potential getaway cars first.
      • The street races in GTA Vice City can be made much easier by simply killing all of your opponents in the opening seconds with a tank cannon shell.
      • One mission has you perform a hit at a golf club. Your weapons are confiscated if you use the main entrance. It's infinitely easier to park a car by a wall and jump the fence, going in fully armed.
    • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:
      • The factory filled with Russian weapon smugglers. Half of it can be bypassed by driving a tall vehicle to the back wall, clamber onto the car roof and jump the fence.
      • There's a mission later in the game where you have to steal a skycrane helicopter from a military fuel depot. The caption tells you to steal a military vehicle (which it promptly provides by spawning a Patriot humvee leaving the facility when you approach it) to gain entrance, but it's much easier to just grab the nearest airplane (which are freely available at this point) and parachute right on top of the target's helipad or, if you completed the Flight School missions beforehand, clean up the bulk of soldier resistance on the rooftops with a Hunter attack chopper first. You can complete the game several times over the years without even knowing there was an entire part of the facility accessible and in place especially for the shootout that would ensue if you took the regular Dungeon path.
    • Grand Theft Auto IV:
      • Possible in the mission Pest Control, where you have to kill Ray Boccino. Before the mission starts, you can see his car sitting outside the building the mission starts at, so you can simply slap a car bomb on it and set it off when he gets in. You still have to clean up his guards, but you skip the entire pursuit section of the mission.
      • There's a lot of these in GTA IV. One mission from Francis has you tasked with entering a multi-story apartment building in the projects, cutting your way through dozens of guards on several floors, and finally either killing or sparing a gang leader after chasing and then cornering him on the roof. If you don't want to mess around with all that (and don't care about the choice to kill or spare) you can climb a crane a block away, zoom in with a military sniper rifle, and headshot the dude on the roof first thing.
  • Guild Wars 2:
    • Most jumping puzzles simply require the player to reach the end point and loot a chest. Mesmers who have reached said chest can then teleport other players up there for as long as they have an interest.
    • Mounts and gliders have the same potential for bypassing puzzles and mini-dungeons which is why the developers added no-gliding and no-mounting zones around a majority of puzzles. However some puzzles were not protected for one reason or another, most notably Troll's Revenge in Lion's Arch which held the title as hardest jumping puzzle for some time.
  • Halo:
    • This can often be pulled off, whether legitimately or with glitches. In fact, Dungeon Bypassing is a requirement if you're a speed runner.
    • Halo: Combat Evolved:
      • In the level "Assault on the Control Room", in the last quarter of the level, you encounter a group of Covenant Grunts, Jackals, and Elites. One of the Elites is piloting a Banshee, a flying vehicle. However, until they see you, they aren't doing anything in particular. One well-aimed shot with a plasma pistol, and you can take out the pilot of the Banshee, and wreck havoc on all Covenant forces between you and the final room. Other methods include either hanging on to your sniper rifle so you can kill the pilot before he hops in (you can even kill the pilot of the second Banshee further down the bridge), or using a rocket launcher to flip the Banshee over so he can't get in it.
      • Even before that, on the first bridge you cross in "AotCR", you can hug the cliff all the way down to the bottom. The rest of the enemies will not spawn so you skip about 95% of all the fighting in the level.
      • With a lot of practice and luck, you can even get a Banshee on "AotRC" just after you reach the first tank. A well-placed rocket launcher to the bottom of the platform high up on the chasm wall will knock off the Banshee sitting above it. You can jump in and fly your way through the rest of the level! It works because the vehicle spawns with the level, but the pilot doesn't spawn until you've walked farther into the next area. You can actually fly back and find a very lonely, very angry elite waiting where his ride should be.
      • "The Silent Cartographer" has the semi-famous "Squally's Jump." When you go back to the door you unlocked there's a ledge that triggers a cutscene showing off the near-bottomless pit. To the right, you can see the side of the complex you would be fighting through, and on the bottom floor, you can see an Overcharge. It's possible with good aim (or the fact that the game autosaves there) to land on it and take no damage. It also lets you sneak up on and kill two Elites guarding the way you were supposed to come from. The downside is, all those enemies you skipped by jumping? They stay there, and are joined by the enemies that spawn in after reaching the titular Silent Cartographer. Hope you're ready for a fight.
      • There's another spot on "TSC" where a door is meant to close before you can get to it. The intention is that you are entering on foot - with a warthog, you won't be slowed down by the enemies between you and the door, and with good timing and driving skills, you can wedge the warthog in the doorway, forcing the door to stay open. If you're also lucky, it's far enough through for you to hop out on the other side, bypassing having to fight your way to and through the back door.
      • There are in fact many more examples which can be found throughout the game, like another one in ''Assault on the Control Room" where you hug the wall down a huge valley, allowing you to take a ride in the Pelican dropship straight to the Scorpion tank.
  • Part of the plot of Homeworld is your fleet executing one: to reach Hiigara you have to penetrate the Taiidan Empire and the short way means you have to face the mighty Imperial border defences, so you pass through the Great Nebula, where the only defence is a small fleet near a research station because nobody (before you) has ever entered the nebula and lived to tell the tale.
  • Late in Iji, you have to destroy a generator protected by heavy doors, which you're supposed to open by finding the appropriate switches. But if you maximize you Tasen Weaponry, Komato Weaponry and Cracking skills (that's where the Nanofield Reboot ability comes in handy), you can hack together a gun that can shoot through the heavy doors, completely eluding the dungeon and its boss. This is mandatory for a true Pacifist Run as one of the switches is guarded by a boss who insists on fighting to the death.
  • One achievement in Jett Rocket tasks you to complete an Atoll level in under 20 seconds. As you might expect, doing this without glitching is impossible unless you pull a Dungeon Bypass in the Gimmick Level. Don't worry; no one will call you out on it.
  • In King's Quest: Mask of Eternity it is possible to take a shortcut through the Dimension of Death and avoid the hassle involving the bridge.
  • In the Square game Kingdom Hearts, a section in one of the final worlds requires you to lower the positions of huge blocks through different switches placed in the world to use as a staircase to reach a boss. However, by that point, you have a glide ability that allows you to slowly but surely reach areas across gaps. Therefore, you only have to partially lower one of the blocks to be able to stand on it, angle your camera, and then glide around the other block to land on the platform behind it.
  • Kingdom of Loathing:
    • The game lets you do this for That One Puzzle in the Nemesis Quest after you fail the puzzle enough times. You can restart the platform hopping puzzle by swimming back to shore... then, your character soon realizes that you can just swim to the goal that way. Through lava. You don't get the best rewards (really good spleen consumable and an accessory that gives HP/MP and sells for a lot) if you do this though.
    • Because of the New Game+ nature of the game, you can do aspects of the quest without entering the zones if you are in Softcore and pull the items. Before it was revamped, even the level 8 quest could be done without spending a single turn, as it was two Fetch Quests (for mundane items) and one test of elemental resistance.
  • Kirby. In Kirby's Dream Land you can literally float over whole levels. In pretty much every single level. Subsequent games put more of a limit on his flying ability, or otherwise took measures with level design and enemy placement to prevent the player from simply coasting through, even with unlimited flight.
  • Left 4 Dead is usually linear and when hordes arrive, most players hole up in small rooms or something similar, especially in the finales. However, the infected will sometimes make their own shortcuts by smashing down walls, catching the survivors off guard.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Link must return periodically to the Temple of the Ocean King, a multi-segmented dungeon that is FAR too long for its own good. Fortunately, they give you the ability to skip many many floors after certain points in the game. They did not go far enough though. Even in the end game getting to the bottom is very annoying.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks Link must climb up the Tower of Spirits. While it is very similar in function to the predecessor's central dungeon, you can now skip all previously finished sections and never return.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, when reaching the Temple of Time, you gain the Dominion Rod and thereby gain control of a monolithic, mobile, hammer-wielding statue, which you have to return to the first room. The hammer-wielding statue can break past all of the fiddly little gates and things that you had to work your way past on the way up. And kill all enemies in one hit. You do not know what fun is until you see an entire puzzle-room destroyed 'neath the mighty tread of the Hammer Golem!
    • In Ocarina of Time, the game only checks if you got the Plot Coupons from the last two dungeons, instead of the last five as it should. Normally, the game prevents access to the Shadow Temple until you complete both the Fire and Water temples by putting the entrance up high and only giving you the warp song after you complete them. And, normally, you cannot complete the Spirit Temple until you learn how to go back in time, which you can't do until you complete the Forest Temple. But Good Bad Bugs exist to get into the Shadow Temple and complete the Spirit Temple without having to fully complete the other three, making at least half-dungeon bypasses possible. Additionally, the Kakariko Well is not technically required, though it takes a lot of memorization to get through certain areas without the Lens of Truth it provides.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, each of the four major dungeons has a teleporter at the very beginning that leads directly to the boss room of that dungeon. However, it only activates if you have already defeated the boss in a previous cycle of the game's "Groundhog Day" Loop (or, in the Updated Re-release, if you had already been in the boss room). It still comes in handy if you couldn't finish all side quests that only open after a dungeon has been cleared in the previous cycle.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • The game is full of dungeons based upon puzzles, genuinely blocking the endpoint with high walls. Thanks to the game's physics-based abilities, it's a common trick to jump into the air, drop a bomb underneath Link, equip a shield for surfing on, then get knocked further upward by the exploding bomb. This propels you over the high wall and skips the dungeon entirely.
      • In a more extreme example, players have managed to use Octo Balloons, which can be attached to items to make them levitate, to a working airship (or, more properly, an air raft), which they then used to fly over The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and leap straight to Ganon.
    • There are two outdoor labyrinths that lead to shrines in the overworld. There is little to keep you from gliding or climbing to the top of the maze and hopping straight to the shrine's location.
  • In LittleBigPlanet 3, the Popit Puzzles teach you how to use certain tools in Create Mode. The final tutorial gives you Sackbots and you have to use them to solve puzzles. However, you can also just change the mesh of the Sackbot from Sackboy to Swoop the bird and use the "Record" function to take control of Swoop, have him pick up Sackboy, and fly to the end of the level instead.
  • Interplay's 1990 adaptation of The Lord of the Rings allows you to skip the Old Forest, if you play your cards exactly right. As in the book, if the Hobbits try to leave the Shire by the road instead of the forest, they will be set upon by a Black Rider. This would normally be an unwinnable fight, but if you learned the !Elbereth word of power from the Elves in the Shire, you can use it to drive the Rider off, allowing you to walk straight into Bree. This isn't even Sequence Breaking; the game just rewards exploration and offers alternative solutions to many problems. You're even free to go back into the Old Forest the "wrong" way if you want to explore it anyway.
  • In The Lost World: Jurassic Park arcade light gun game, successfully completing objectives at certain points (saving a triceratops, inputting a passcode to lock a door, etc.) enables the player to bypass some parts of levels.
  • Mass Effect:
    • A justified aversion in Mass Effect 2. On Illium, at the start of the mission to find the Assassin (whose target is in the penthouse of a skyscraper), Shepard notes "Why don't we just fly up to the top?" His/Her informant, however, comments "They have a lot of mercs carrying rocket launchers, just waiting for you to try."
    • In the Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC, Shepard's team has to break into the Citadel archives to stop an identity thief. Brooks mentions that it will be tricky finding a way inside. Vega's response is to hold up a bomb and say, "Not really."
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: One of the most frustratingly difficult bosses in the entire game, The End, can be entirely bypassed by simply saving during the boss fight and waiting an entire real-life week (or tampering with the system clock) - The End is a very old man who will have died of old age in the middle of the battle when you reload the save.
  • Metroid:
    • Besides the usual Sequence Breaking of the series, the Space Jump (allows for infinite jumping, and destroys anything you touch if the Screw Attack is equipped) and the "Shinespark" technique in Super Metroid and later 2D games (run until you get "charged", and then thrust in a chosen direction, jumping extremely high and possibly breaking some walls) are perfect translations of dungeon bypass.
    • Metroid: Zero Mission on the GBA let you use a morph-ball shinespark to acquire super missiles early, bypassing a few minibosses. It was a tricky technique, and probably more time-consuming than just killing the boss. Worryingly, the skipped bosses register as dead if you come back later, down to scenery-alterations caused by their death throes. If you didn't kill it, then what did...
  • In Might and Magic IV, the game's world has six magic mirrors that can teleport you to each other; all you need to do is speak their name or location and step into them. But one of them, the Sixth Mirror, has no name — and is portable, so nobody knows its location. Much of the game is spent searching for it, only to discover that it's been claimed by the Big Bad, Lord Xeen. Cue epic rush through his massive castle to reach him and stop him from using it for his nefarious plans... or, if you're smart, cue walking to one of the other five mirrors and typing "Lord Xeen", which teleports you to him instantly. You can even do this right at the start of the game before you should know it'll work, although that's likely to get your lowly level one party murdered by Lord Xeen.
  • Minecraft:
    • Strongholds and dungeons appear in the procedurally-generated terrain, and since any player is going to be equipped with a pickaxe one might think the walls of the dungeon would present no obstacle at all. But, to make the player think twice about breaking down a wall, the stone-brick block that comprises the dungeon walls are randomly populated with identical-looking blocks containing Silverfish, a vicious swarming enemy that can cut even an armored player down in numbers, and that tends to make more of itself when attacked.
    • For ocean monuments, the devs went a step further—besides the greatly reduced mining speed underwater (which can be eliminated with enchantments), each one of these fortresses includes three boss monsters who (using a lovely Jump Scare) repeatedly inflict you with Mining Fatigue, which reduces mining speed by a ridiculous 99.73%, making tunneling through the structure virtually impossible until you track down and kill the bosses. Some players just take this as a challenge, though, and come up with alternate strategies, such as using glitchy tricks to set off TNT underwater and blast their way through, or stockpiling milk and drinking it to nullify the status effect every time it's applied.
  • In Monaco, the Mole's whole shtick is this. His abilities allow him to dig through walls with his "freedom spoon," opening up long passageways through many dungeons.
  • In NetHack, a game which very much prides itself on its flexibility, you can begin the game with a pickaxe or acquire one very early on. A pickaxe can break down every wall, including the ones that separate one level from another. By diligent digging, you can literally bypass the entire dungeon, stopping only to bushwhack a few mandatory bosses before ascending to ultimate victory. This means playing with a very underlevelled character, but is quite exciting. The technique is known as digging for victory.
  • Neverwinter Nights:
    • It is possible to do this in the Golem Dungeon, as there is a door right at the entrance that leads straight to the final room of the dungeon. It takes a lot of lockpicking skill to open it, however.
    • In Neverwinter Nights 2, the supposed Door to Before in the Temple of Seasons can be opened from the "wrong" side by any decent rogue, skipping the entire dungeon.
  • Nocturne: Rebirth allows the player to spend Reviel's EXP and MP to break through doors and barriers that normally require a puzzle to bypass.
  • Nuclear Throne has almost as many shortcuts to bypass levels as it does regular levels.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest has one in the last section of the Misty Woods, where you can Bash to a ledge leading to a secret shortcut that bypasses a tricky moving wall platform puzzle. Another is in Sorrow Pass, where the first Spirit Gate can be skipped by projectile-Bashing a breakable ceiling below and behind it.
  • Akihiko Sanada does a bit of this in Persona 4: Arena during his story mode: The master of the dungeon he's going through made invisible walls in order to guide his path to the fight that he was supposed to take on. However, said master forgot that the windows of the dungeon could be shattered to completely avoid the invisible walls altogether. This ends up being subverted, however, as Akihiko gets into an unexpected fight with Kanji Tatsumi and the dungeon master promptly puts him on the correct path again, putting invisible walls in front of the windows to prevent any further loopholes.
  • The famous Photopia puzzle: to escape the crystal maze, fly above it with your wings. By the way, you have wings.
  • Pitfall The Mayan Adventure features two really tough boss fights against a duo of jaguars and a transforming jaguar-man. However, in some ports of the game (such as the SNES version,) the triggers for boss fights are wonky enough (requiring that the player be on the ground, for one thing) that the player can simply leap right over them and head straight to the exit.
  • Planescape: Torment differs from many RPGs in that instead of having to assemble the whole party in the transition zone in order to move to the next location, you just need bring one character there. If you have an experienced thief with well developed stealth ability in your party, you can bypass most of the heavily infested locations. Of course, sometimes the exit is behind a locked door but guess what? The experienced thief can steal the key!
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Red and Blue:
      • You can, after acquiring the usage of Surf and Fly, bypass the extremely annoying Seafoam Islands dungeon by surfing south from Pallet Town, landing in Cinnabar Island. It means skipping Articuno, but it's easy to pick it up later.
      • The Celadon city Rocket hideout can be skipped entirely by using a Pokedoll on the Marowak ghost.
    • In Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, your boss, Barlow, repeatedly deals with the age-old RPG problem of impassible locked doors by kicking them down. Over and over. Less awesome, it does not get.
    • After you get Cut in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Platinum, you can easily bypass repeat visits to Eterna Forest without waiting to get Fly.
    • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon:
      • The Mystery Dungeon series has the Pure Seed item, which teleports you to the stairs down instantly. However, your limited inventory space and the rarity of the item makes it so you can't skip through the entirety of a longer dungeon, making them best used for skipping floors with a high number of rooms (Where finding the stairs can take a long time), or as a means of escaping a dangerous situation.
      • There's also the Absolute Mover IQ skill, which allows the user to traverse any manner of terrain and plow through walls by simply walking into them. Certain Ghost type Pokemon as well as holders of a Mobile Scarf are also able to walk through walls, but won't destroy them in the process. These coupled with the Stairs Seer IQ skill made getting to the next floor a very easy task. Presumably for balance reasons, Absolute Mover ended up being limited to a single Pokemon in Explorers, while the Mobile Scarf became the sole method of wall walking in Gates to Infinity and gained the harmful side effect of rapidly reducing a Pokemon's HP for every turn it spends in a wall.
  • Portal:
    • Several levels have a "normal" solution which is also the hardest / most labor-intensive solution (notably level 14). Finding the shortcuts is usually necessary for solving the challenge levels.
    • In the commentary, the designers admit that there were a few bypasses that play testers stumbled upon, allowing them to skip portions of the puzzles. Many times, they decided to leave it in because the shortcut was less intuitive and a bit more challenging to use. Still, knowing how to do this could save some time.
    • In fact, in one of the test chambers, the commentary even explains how to bypass the entire puzzle!
  • In the first level of Unit 3 in Quake II, you can skip the Laser Hallway jumping puzzle by detouring through the moat and an underground passage that drops you out at the exit. Don't forget the secrets on the main path, though.
  • In Ragnarok Online the teleport skill and flywings would make bypassing dungeons possible if you got lucky enough. Some quests, such as the fox quest in Amatsu which is necessary to access the dungeon are nearly impossible without getting around the hordes of hydras guarding the shrine. Seeing as how this dungeon was the best way to gain levels for a new acolyte becoming a priest it made poor acolytes spend half an afternoon trying to get lucky enough with their teleport skill to bypass the hydras. The Abyss Lake dungeon normally requires a set of dragon parts to enter, one for everyone. A lucky teleport can dump you on the island with the entry and save some of those parts, though it doesn't open unless somebody does it the right way. The undisputed Kings/Queens of the Dungeon Bypass, however, are the Taekwon classes. Using the High Jump skill they are more than capable of jumping over walls as long as teleporting is permitted, even indoors. While a lucky teleport will get you there faster if it comes up early, jumping over walls is more reliable.
  • The old Ragnarok (Roguelike) had potions of phasing, which allowed you to walk through walls (except in the shop level) and even between planes, letting you skip the tedious process of looking for portals. If you walked off the map, however, you'd fall to Niflheim and take a lot of damage, usually dying.
  • In Rainbow Six: Raven Shield's ninth mission, a Stealth-Based Mission, leaving one operative in the Extraction Zone will automatically trigger the "mission complete" flag after the other operative completes the objectives, saving you the trip back.
    • Rainbow Six Siege fully embraces blasting your way through destructible walls and floors, especially if you are an attacker trying to avoid killzones and traps laid by the defenders.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
    • The series have had a couple of these, thanks to many platforms that the player should probably never reach still being made solid. In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, the final level of the game has a very large wall surrounding the entire first half of the level. Getting on top of it allows the player to essentially run around it until they reach the back of the level, jumping into a teleporter to let them skip to the second half of the level. (Using this, and an alternate dungeon bypass on Grelbin, one is capable of skipping the Hypnomatic fetch quest, which includes large chunks of Smolg and even completely skipping Allgon City, Damosel.)
    • Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is perhaps the most egregious example in the series, with a couple tricks taking advantage of physics with a well-known Game-Breaking Bug. The first of which is the Hyper Strike (when Ratchet slams his wrench down in midair), which gives you added height and length to your jump. A few areas in the game can be sequence broke by making a hyper strike in the right place, just barely getting over a wall or gap.
    • The most well-known, however, is the Razor-Claws glitch. (A weapon that, while cool, did not make it into A Crack In Time, for obvious reasons.) The weapon allows one to climb walls, which can turn platform heavy levels into a case of "Climb a wall, walk/glide over the level, land at the end/in the boss' area" followed by "Fly to next level. Rinse and repeat."
  • Red Faction has entire levels with destroyable walls, making it necessary to punch through them in order to bypass locked doors and the like. There are even achievements for bypassing levels with the least number of explosives.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil has the well-known "Jill Sandwich" trick. By approaching the room with a shotgun in it when playing as Jill, a cutscene will allow her to be rescued from that room instead of needing to find the broken shotgun to switch for the shotgun. This gives her early access to a mainstay "heavy" weapon and allows her to complete the game much faster.
    • In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, speed-runners prefer to face down Nemesis outside of the police station — not to fight him, which is extremely tough due to limited ammo resources, but because that way they can grab Brad's ID card and use it to access the S.T.A.R.S office, instead of needing to complete a long, winding route that requires passing through some heavily zombie-infested areas inside of the station.
    • Resident Evil 4:
      • If you fight off the Ganados in the village before entering the house containing the shotgun, Dr. Salvador won't spawn here. Don't go into the path leading to the next area, since he guards the door there. Also, fighting the second El Gigante is optional, although you have to fight a camp of Ganados and the "Chainsaw Chicks" if you take the alternate path.
      • A well known {Good Bad Bug in the game involves using the TMP to shoot locked doors from the wrong side. Normally you can only open such doors from one side (meaning many of which serve as Doors To Before) but it's possible to approach the "unopenable" side and clip through them to snipe the lock because of the way the TMP is shot from the hip. This allows for several bypasses, most notably in the Castle segment of the game.
  • Many Roguelikes share this property; ADOM also allowed you to modify the map on most levels. In fact, digging was the only way to reach the Elemental Temples.
  • RuneScape's Stronghold of Player Safety adds a teleport spot to every level you've cleared, which will allow you to skip from the beginning of that level to the end. Going up a ladder/rope/vine/tentacle/chain of bones also bypasses the dungeon and takes you out of the Stronghold completely.
  • Shadow Complex has one about halfway through the game. After your girlfriend gets kidnapped for the second time, you can make your way back to the Jeep which brought you to the area to start with...and just leave.
    Jason: "There are plenty of other fish in the sea..." drives off
    Award Unlocked: "Status Update: Single"
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Any game (with the exception of SA 2) in which Tails or Cream (who both have the ability to fly) is playable; also Knuckles to a lesser extent (he can't fly but he can glide and climb walls).
    • Sonic 3 (and some of the Sonic Advance series) took this into account though, providing alternate routes only reachable by using those abilities.
    • In Sonic 2's Oil Ocean Zone, Sonic neither sinks nor dies in the ocean of oil at the bottom of the level as long as he jumps out in time. One can run under the entire level until they hit a wall, jump on top, continue the level like normal, then drop back into the ocean and repeat.
    • Sonic himself can do this in open levels and a spindash, jumping over half a level with ease. Especially if he is Super Sonic (or, in the 3D games, Metal Sonic in the multiplayer of Adventure 2: Battle)
    • In Sonic Unleashed, there's one stage that can be won in under five seconds by Sonic turning around and railjumping to the exit. The Air Boost in this game alone can turn a platforming segment/puzzle into a two-second solution of "Just jump and boost over it," among a ton of other small tricks to speed up levels. Specifically, a couple levels in particular with the description of "Complete X Laps!" can be sequence broke by turning around at specific points, tricking the game into thinking you've reached a certain lap early.
    • In Knuckles Chaotix you can play as Charmy, who can fly for as long as you want without ever needing to land, so you can basically go straight through the levels without doing anything.
    • Due to an awesome Good Bad Bug in Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Knuckles was capable of unlimited air jumps. You can bypass so much of the game that an under one hour speedrun is possible.
  • StarCraft:
    • StarCraft I:
      • The 6th Terran mission in has you rescuing a downed ship in the center of the map, surrounded by a ring of mountains. The game expects you, with your base in the east, to circle around clockwise to the west, taking you through the enemy bases on the way before you ascend the mountains around the ship and fight your way down to it. But if you put some units along the cliffs to the west and get sight up there with an air unit or a comsat sweep, they can kill a couple of anti-air turrets to create a safe landing zone for you to ferry them up there and fight a much shorter, much easier way to the ship. Alternatively, the downed ship has two worker units, some mechs and two bunkers defending it—destroying one of the bunkers gives you room to build a barracks, and you can fight your way out from the inside.
      • The 7th mission can be completed in about thirty seconds by simply casting "Defense Matrix" on the SCV with the Psi Emitter and sending him directly to the beacon in the enemy's base. The right route there results in very few defenders in your way, and with the Defense Matrix they can't kill the SCV in time before he gets to the beacon.
      • The 7th Protoss mission is a terrible pain, pitching you against three strategically positioned enemy bases, but you only have to destroy a single building to win. Instead of building up your base and taking out theirs as is expected, you can simply utilize the Dark Templar's invisibility and go kill the objective in about five minutes, as long as you take the right way in that lets you bypass most of their defenses.
      • In the expansion pack, a mission has you escorting a leader unit to a beacon in the middle of the enemy base. If you take along an escort unit or two to clear the anti-air turrets on the way, you can use a Shuttle to fly her to the beacon, bypassing the enemy base entirely.
    • StarCraft II:
      • In the third-to-last mission in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty you are supposed to plough through a sprawling Zerg base in order to get to another downed ship. If you have the Deep Striking ability, you can send some Ghosts directly to the ship and nuke the three target structures. Lacking that, pack some heavy ordnance into the transports and fly them along the map edges, bypassing the base and facing only minimal resistance.
      • One of Zeratul's missions has you destroying three targets inside of a very well defended Protoss base. Building up the necessary forces to destroy the defenses is time consuming, difficult and requires a lot of skill. Simply creating seven or eight Dark Templar to bypass the minimal detection is quick and relatively easy.
  • In Stardew Valley, one of the craftable items is a stairway that you can place in the mines to take you to the next floor. Normally, you would have to find the stairway by clearing rocks or killing enemies. In the Skull Cavern, you can also find shafts that will allow you to bypass multiple floors.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Several games have shortcuts that lets you cut through large sections of the dungeon. For example, in World 1-2 of the original Super Mario Bros., for example, you can smash through the ceiling and run over the entire level all the way to the end... and then keep going and skip half of the game. Then, world 4-2 has another warp zone (better hidden, but still accessible) to let you skip to the last world, cutting out roughly 80% of the whole game.
    • In some levels of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, such as 8-2, these are required to exit the level. Worse, some warp zones send you backwards.
    • Playing as Luigi or Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. 2 allows you to easily bypass large chunks of several stages. The princess can skip straight to the end of 4-3 by floating over the gap separating the two towers at the beginning of the stage.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3
      • The Lakitu's Cloud item lets you skip entire levels.
      • Then there are the Warp Whistles, which let you skip entire worlds. There's two in World 1, and using them together can take you directly to World 8, bypassing almost the entire game.
      • Then there's the P-Wing, which can make almost any level a breeze (and unlike the cloud, they stay beaten if you die). Shame they are Too Awesome to Use (until you beat the game and get an inventory loaded with them).
      • There are also the Dungeon Bypass opportunities within levels. For example, there's a level where you go up against a fleet of battleships... but you can bypass all the weapons and enemies by swimming under the ships. In what is apparently lava, no less.[1]
      • In other levels in the game, there's a massive wall between the start and finish line, with the majority of the level in a cave underneath it. Which means anyone with the P Wing can just fly straight up, right over the wall and down to the finish block.
    • Same with the Feather, Flying Yoshi, or Lakitu's Cloud (again) in Super Mario World, on levels with no ceiling.
    • Once you gain access to the Star Road in SMW, you can skip the rest of the game straight to Bowser's Castle by keyhole-clearing each of its levels. Especially glaring if you get there through the Donut Secret House.
    • Super Mario Sunshine:
      • The Goopy Inferno is a No Fludd Run of a level covered in lava that requires you to climb around the village underside to reach the goal. However if you're careful and patient you can just walk along a fence to the giant tree and take a mad dive from the top straight to the end goal, all in all completing the level in about a minute.
      • The Runaway Ferris Wheel normally requires you to climb the maze on the back of the Ferris Wheel to reach the monster on top and take him out to slow the wheel back to its normal speed. However, if you run up the ramp that takes you to the Roller Coaster, which is much faster and easier, you can make a mad jump and easily wiggle past the fast-moving Ferris Wheel using the hover nozzle to bypass this entire mission in about 5 seconds.
    • In Super Mario Galaxy 2, halfway through Rightside Down Galaxy, you can backflip above the maze and walk around the top. Exploring the area nets you 4 1-Ups and the ability to re-enter right on top of the Star. There's also the first Bowser Jr level, the Fiery Flotilla, where you can skip most of the level by jumping on the castle walls and just long jumping to Gobblegut's boss arena.
    • Super Mario 3D Land, if it's not an exaggeration or parody, has W7-1. It's normally a water level, where you start on solid ground, go through an underwater area, then use a pipe to reach the flagpole, which is also on solid ground. As a matter of fact, you can even see the flagpole from the start of the level... and, if you have a Tanooki suit, jump over to it, allowing you to skip the entire level and beat it in 5 seconds.
  • In the Super Monkey Ball series, although most notably 1, 2, and Deluxe, a surprisingly large number of levels may be passed through manipulation of the floor's layout by means of physics exploitation. For example, upon coming into contact with a lip on the edge of the ground, the player will be popped upwards, and will fall back down. In certain situations, this may be used to completely bypass a handful of the more annoying levels of the game.
  • This is why you have bombs in The Swindle. Some parts may even be sealed off and require you to bomb your way in.
  • Parodied and subverted in The Sword and the Fish, where after slowly making their way through several screens of very tough monsters, the party is confronted with the entrance to a large dungeon. They figure they can be clever by just going around and using the back entrance, which indeed takes them right to the boss, who complains about how they completely avoided all of his lethal traps and mazes. Later, though, it's revealed that the front door to the dungeon led to an empty room with no enemy encounters which led directly to the boss chamber, meaning that sneaking around the back way actually forced the party to fight more enemies than they would have if they had taken the front door.
  • Deconstructed in The Swords of Ditto. Your first task in the opening cutscene is to infiltrate Evil Sorcerer Mormo's fortress. Since your Sword has very little practical combat experience besides killing a few mooks outside of her castle, she impales them with an Ether spike almost immediately after their arrival in the throne room.
  • Thief: The Dark Project has many secret passages that cut short levels. The most important example is in level 3, where you descend upon a big, deep catacomb full of undeads in order to steal some artifacts and then you have to backtrack all that Hell to the surface (unless you play on the easiest difficulty or you find a secret tunnel near the end). The most gamey example is a Sequence Breaking in level 6, where you are supposed to go inside a haunted cathedral, steal a magic item, try to escape, find that the doors have been magically sealed and then investigate all the structure and its crypts in order to find how to escape: but you can block the doors with a skull or a rock in the beginning, preventing their closure, which was NOT supposed to be how to play the level (this was fixed in Thief Gold where they close anyway).
  • Tomb Raider:
    • Older games often had methods to bypass Fetch Quests or large chunks of levels, some deliberate and some accidental, that could only be used by clever players or those with a firm grasp on Lara's Difficult, but Awesome acrobatics and platforming. The Colliseum for example has a massive skip where it's possible to gingerly drop into a pit with spikes without being skewered on them, effectively bypassing an entire segment of battling lions, while Palace Midas can be cut in half by a player who has a firm grasp on jumping from sharp-angled platforms.
    • Tomb Raider III had several of these, but they often resulted in you missing out on secrets, all of which were required to access the Secret Level.
  • In TOME, another roguelike, you can get a spell that can remove walls in all unblocked directions at once (with any class) as a result of a lost sword quest. Or make walls in all unblocked directions for when you want to wall in every annoying critter (breeders and stuff that summons greater dragons recursively come to mind) that saw you as a result of the first spell, and then pickaxe yourself a path around them. It's quite random to get either spell, but you usually get a few super powerful spells along the way.
  • Trove: Given the prevalence of extra jumps and wings / flying mounts, you can simply jump over most enemies in dungeons. Combine this with the ability to destroy certain blocks to enter dungeons, and you can simply make your own entry / exit point.
  • In Turok 2's first stage, you get the keys to both the second and third levels. Playing the levels in the order 1-3-5-2-4-6 is initially more difficult, but allows you to get the heavier weapons earlier.
  • Ultima:
    • Ultima I had spells which allowed you to instantly travel one floor up or one floor down inside a dungeon. Using these, you could skip all the dungeons entirely by simply spellcasting your way down to the appropriate level, killing whatever quest monster you were sent there for, then spellcasting your way back to the surface. Later games kept the spells, but subverted the trope by making your objectives in the dungeons more complex.
    • In Ultima IV, each dungeon presents two objectives: a magic stone somewhere inside, and the altar rooms, which hold Plot Coupons and connect to multiple dungeons. However, a secret passage in Lord British's Castle will allow you to skip straight to the bottom level of Dungeon Hythloth, whereby all three altar rooms can be accessed. The stones still take some doing, but since the altar rooms connect the bottom floors of all seven dungeons, and the stones tend to be on the lower floors...
  • Untitled Goose Game has a glitch that allows you to clip up insurmountable slopes or through closed gates by wiggling toward them while repeatedly dropping and picking up an item until you get past. Not only can you skip directly to the pub by doing this, but you can also skip the majority of the final task by abusing this.
  • Valkyria Chronicles:
    • This is usually the best (and sometimes only) way to get A ranks on missions. At max level with all of her potentials unlocked and their chance of awakening boosted with a special order, Game-Breaker Alicia can quite literally run across the entire map, shrug off or dodge anything the enemy can throw at her, and capture the enemy's base camp in the space of a single turn without having to fire a single shot.
    • Even before this is possible, using the Lancer's rockets or the tank to knock down walls to make shortcuts is also a common way to reach targets quickly.
  • Warcraft:
    • The third episode of the expansion's Nightelf campaign involved finding the current "evildoer" inside a complicated (but still pretty linear dungeon) then escaping before the timer runs out, using the main character's blink ability, which allows her to teleport short distances and even go through walls, as long as the destination was previously revealed. during the escape only, a hidden room is revealed, right next to the entry hall. The player can blink into the room, then through the wall, skipping almost half the dungeon.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Possible in many dungeons if you use an all-stealth group. Having all druids is most effective, as they can occupy any slot in a group (tank, healer, DPS). Though Blizzard got a bit crafty recently and allowed some of the enemies to detect stealth.
    • Rogues (and anyone with the Engineering or Blacksmithing professions) can pick the locks of some doors that ordinarily require keys found on bosses in that dungeon. Others can't be picked, however, and there's no way to tell except by trying.
    • Some dungeons however are designed in a way that lets player skip some bosses. The Botanica being the most notable since you can skip every boss, but given the ease of most of them, its pretty pointless to do so. They are the ones that give the nice loot, after all. In addition, crafty players have found ways to bypass several normal enemies with various tricks, although the usefulness of some are debatable. And one of these, the infamous wall-walking bug, was almost entirely patched out of the game after a number of rather blatant exploits.
    • Indeed, the Deadmines fall under this trope — but only so far: when the players reach the big evil's ship, rather than wading through hordes of henchmen, they can simply hang a left and move right on to the miniboss via the edges of the cavern and a conveniently-placed slope.
    • There's another anti-stealth technique used by some encounters, in which a boss will summon all the monsters you haven't yet defeated in the nearby area to assist it, with hilarious consequences.
    • Many dungeons have some bosses that are optional in this sense, that they are in an alcove or side room and you can clearly go on to later bosses without even disturbing them. A smaller number of dungeons, though, have small, nonintuitive, easy-to-miss, often one-way paths that let players circumvent content. This often requires jumping off a ledge, such as in Blackrock Depths, lower Blackrock Spire and the Slave Pens. Sometimes, like in the Slave Pens, if you don't jump at exactly the right angle it's possible to miss the ledge you're aiming for and make a lethal drop or simply fall below your goal and have to run back the long way.
    • Levels 60 to 77 were originally designed for players who didn't yet have flying mounts, but later allowed the use of flying mounts anyway. This meant quests that involve killing a specific NPC, normally requiring you to fight through a large number to mooks in the way, could simply be flown over. Levels 86 and up had similar setups—Mists of Pandaria, like prior expansions, didn't let you have a flying mount for the area until you hit the level cap, and flying mounts in Warlords of Draenor or Legion weren't available until the correct patch happened, and the players had to jump through some hoops even then (but at least once flying mounts for an area were unlocked for one character, they were unlocked for the entire account).
    • Attunement for Blackwing Lair and the Molten Core raids allowed players to teleport directly into the instances, whose actual entrances were located deep inside other dungeons.
    • The underground layout of AQ40 is such that the stairs on which you fight the first boss are directly above the chamber just before the final boss. One guild decided to use a third party hack tool to remove the stair's texturenote  allowing them to jump down the whole and bypass everything between the 1st and last bosses. Predictably, retribution was fierce with the Ban Hammer being applied to every member of the guild.
    • Starting with Warlords of Draenor many raids include quests to kill certain raid bosses, which in turn creates a portal or unlocks a door to later portions of the raid. This allows guilds that have no interest in killing the early, easy bosses to skip right over them.
    • Since Legion, Demon Hunter Players have managed to find a way to get to Illidan Stormrage faster in The Black Temple Raid from Burning Crusade, by using their classes Double Jump and Glide abilities to jump up the chain in the northwestern corner of the Sanctuary of Shadows to reach the second floor of the Den of Mortal Delights: bypassing four Raid Bosses.
    • Amusingly averted in one situation. During the legendary ring questline one sequence involves a lengthy stealth mission in an Iron Horde base. If the player attempts to skip this by flying over in any way, the quest giver teleports them back and snaps that this is a stealth mission.
  • In Wizardry 8, if you visit the Ascension Peak before the endgame and leave behind a portal, you can later teleport right past the Rapax, who bar passage to the Peak the moment you are told by the story to actually go there.
  • In the N64 Bond game The World Is Not Enough, the first level consists of obtaining the contents of a lock-box, infiltrating the bank, stealing files, and getting the drop on an NPC, all while not setting off any alarms. However, if the player chooses to trigger the alarm before opening the lock-box, they can obtain the items and walk out of the bank with a "mission cleared" in under 30 seconds, effectively skipping the whole level.
  • XCOM:
    • In the original (X-COM: UFO Defense and XCOM Terror From The Deep), most walls can be shot through with a powerful enough weapon. Eventually, units can be outfitted with flying armour and weapons powerful enough to punch through the hull of a U.F.O - making it possible to simply blast your way into the bridge.
    • Early in the game, clearing a house or even a stable of aliens can be very dangerous and time consuming. A simpler tactic is to throw a Heavy Explosive against a wall to make a hole and then fire exploding and/or incendiary ammunition into the building. This will clear out any walls or any other obstructions that can hide an alien. Any surviving aliens will end up in clear line of sight of your soldiers.
    • A favorite tactic for the Final Dungeon: The expected route is to fight your way through the alien base and destroy the central computer. A team of skilled psychics, on the other hand, can complete the mission in the first turn without even leaving the starting area, by simply mind-controlling the aliens to do it instead.
    • The final mission of X Com Enemy Unknown pits you against three Ethereals, one of whom is far more powerful than anything you've faced to date, as well as a group of Muton Elites. Sending a trooper far enough into the final room (far enough to see the Final Boss) triggers a cutscene and a cryptic Motive Rant from the Final Boss, all of which can be skipped if you simply lob in large amounts of heavy ordinance. Which is good, because the sheer amount of enemies in that one confined space can result in a Total Party Kill within a single turn.
  • X-Men Legends II has the "Ancient Labyrinth" section, which, true to its name, has a lot of mazes. One large maze takes quite a while to find your way through... Or you can just bash straight through the walls. The Juggernaut can even use his Super Move to casually stroll through the maze without breaking stride.
  • Acknowledged in zOMG!, which has guards stationed at the west and north entrances of Barton Town to try and prevent low-level players from leaving town in those directions (into Zen Gardens and Bassken Lake areas respectively). This doesn't work as well as you'd think, because the early-game areas don't have monsters that automatically attack players, so a surprising number of newbs ignore the quest chains, walk through the low-level areas without fighting anything and gaining experience, and then wonder why all the enemies in the higher-level areas suddenly aggro and oneshot them.
  • The bazooka in Zombies Ate My Neighbors could not only blast open locked doors, but could also blast open many walls and barriers. This mechanic made this weapon too valuable to actually use on enemies.
  • In the "Vacillia Battleships" stage in Zone of the Enders: the 2nd Runner, you're normally supposed to fight your way to each ship's Wave-Motion Gun and take that out, which leaves its weak point in the back vulnerable to a shot from your own Wave-Motion Gun. What they don't tell you, is that your Wave-Motion Gun is actually powerful enough to take down those ships outright through sheer damage. If they get close enough, you can cripple one ship, wait until another gets close, then fire your cannon and just sweep the beam down it's length, then finish the first ship off.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Little Busters!, one of the routes in Ecstasy feature a dungeon. You have to pass through it three times during the story, but you only have to navigate through it twice, because on your third pass you are given a heavy machine gun which is used to simply blast a hole on the ground on every floor as a shortcut to the next one.
  • Muv-Luv Alternative: The BETA bypass the Japanese defensive line between Kansai and Kanto by walking across the ocean floor and Storming the Beaches at Sadagoshima, while mounting a simultaneous attack on the line itself to pin any possible reinforcements. A third attack on the Suez Canal, which blocks BETA advancement into Africa which is feeding much of humanity at this point, forces potential American reinforcements to leave Asia to hold the more critical theatre, sealing Japan's fate.
  • In The Pirate's Fate, the Infinite Cafe is a Pocket Dimension of sorts consisting of a maze of endlessly repeating rooms identical to one another, and has been known to drive prisoners totally mad. The intended solution to escape is to stop resisting, calm down, and enjoy it for a while. It's a Secret Test of Character intended to teach patience. In one of the routes, however, Mila can get out by simply smashing through the floor and willing herself to escape thus learning the opposite lesson.

  • 8-Bit Theater:
    • Black Mage is able to complete an obstacle course by blowing it up. There isn't a rule against it, so he passed.
    • Invoked unsuccessfully much later in the comic. Upon arrival at the Temple of Fiends, Black Mage suggests that the Light Warriors land their airship at the top of the temple, crushing a few floors in the process and "killing their way" downwards, as he put it. Red Mage disagrees, mainly because the airship's autopilot (designed by omnipotent Jerkass elder Mage Sarda) had been pre-programmed to land them at the entrance and their previous attempts to manually control the airships given them were uniformly disastrous.
  • Right at the beginning of the rpg-story in Absurd Notions. Starts here, solution here.
  • Tesla of the Adventurers! does this here.
  • Bob and George has this happen with the Wily Castle in almost every game retelling. Some of the Robot Master stages, too.
  • This strip of Captain SNES: The Game Masta shows what's likely the ultimate example of this trope, where Magus, accompanying Mario, simply blows up the 7th castle from outside.
  • This strip in Chasing the Sunset involves threatening the dungeon into submission:
    Leaf: For all we know, the walls may be alive and move to trap us.
    Ayne: In that case, I suggest we just break through the walls until we find the way.
    Walls: (shift light and dark bricks around, spelling "GO" with a big arrow towards the party's destination)
  • Gort in Darken quickly tires of a confusing maze and its shifting walls and creates his own access route.
  • At one point in Exterminatus Now, our heroes are trying to end a minor zombie problem (not yet up to a full-fledged Zombie Apocalypse). After entering the tomb, Virus begins musing on how they'll have to track down a series of improbable objects to get through a specific door, which is chained shut. Lothar snaps the chain, and everyone walks off.
  • Used frequently in The Fourth by Skärva and company. It helps that villains know all the secret passages and maintenance tunnels to avoid the puzzles and traps they set up in the dungeons.
  • Inverted for laughs in one strip of Full Frontal Nerdity, Frank is trying to set up a campaign in a city that will be full of intrigue, mystery, and political maneuvering. The guys however, refuse to play along because they absolutely HATE any of Frank's campaigns based on political intrigue because they are far too complex and they're sick and tired of trusted NPC's always turning traitor and insist that they're going to the nearest dungeon. Nelson tells Frank to just let his plot work itself out and they'll attack whoever is saying "Hail Hydra" when they get back.
  • Girl Genius: While the rescue party is stuck in the labyrinth beneath Sturmhalten they are discussing how they are going to need to backtrack and go deeper when they reach a dead end. Krosp then hears singing and the Jagers happily use the sound to dig and punch their way into the castle dungeon above them which leads them directly out of the mess.
  • Goblins:
    • Duv attempts this (using slave labour to dig a hole) in order to gain an Artifact of Doom which will restore her lost power. However, she only manages to bypass the hundred-foot-high gates, rather than the whole dungeon. Why did she have to do it? The keys to the gate are INSIDE the dungeon, since the group of adventurers that previously used it... died midway.
    • Tempts Fate is fond of this trope. Being who he is Tempts uses it even when the normal route is safer, because he doesn't like it safe.
  • Andrew's "order" ability in Gunnerkrigg Court ends up doing this, even without him consciously attempting it during the quest simulations. It causes the MacGuffin to spontaneously appear at Andrew's feet before the plot of the simulation can even begin, much to his frustration and Parley's annoyance.
  • Homestuck: Why go in a dungeon when you can pull it apart?
    • In one scene, Tavros is insisting on going all around a dungeon and doing lots of puzzles to learn the story of the world they have been brought to. Vriska, his partner who does not care about the game's story, quickly becomes psychotically 8ored as a result. She gives Tavros a map with all the temples captioned with things like 'snore' and 'zzzzzzzz', and his eventual destination circled, ordering him to go straight there.
    • Earlier, Terezi gave John the code for a rocket pack so that he can skip building his house up past the second gate and zoom all the way to the seventh gate to sneak into the palace of the supposedly slumbering Denizen of his Land. It didn't end well, but Terezi didn't expect it to.
  • In Housepets! 5,000 B.C. Tarot is able to use mana she obtained from Karishad to teleport directly into the inner sanctum of Pete's temple. Though later on in "Temple Crashers II" she doesn't have that and they need to grind their way through the traps and monsters like the first time they were there.
  • Insecticomics 646 (during the spoof of Labyrinth): "I'm a jet, and you didn't put a lid on your maze, idiot."
  • In Kevin & Kell, Danielle, a Defector from Decadence who left Rabbit's Revenge, thinks she's safe in the Dewclaw house basement because Kell, a skilled predator, lives there and Rabbit's Revenge wouldn't risk facing her to reach her. Two members then tunnel into her room.
  • Knights of the Old Coding:
    • Subverted in this strip, the map of the levels the heroes have to go through is explained, but an alternative is suggested:
      CG: Why don't we simply cut across the gentle and harmless plains between the Forest of Peril and Makil's stupid stronghold?
      Link: Yeah?
      Kuros: Because he'll be expecting that!
    • But as the heroes find out during the confrontation with Malkil here, not only had newcomer Simon used the above tactic to quickly catch up to them, Malkil confesses that he "never would have expected that!"
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Early on in the comic, the eponymous adventuring party skips two levels of a dungeon by taking the service stairwell.
    • After making a Deal with the Devil that grants him/her ultimate arcane power, Vaarsuvius teleports directly into Xykon's throne room. Made even more awesome because the entire surrounding area was magically shielded from any attempts to teleport in, and Vaarsuvius powered through anyway.
  • Discussed and then averted In Our Little Adventure when Julie's group tackle the dungeon where the first Magicant Piece is believed to be. This aversion is because they want the treasure they think they'll find in the remaining towers.

    Web Original 
  • "POWERLEVELING: When you just don't have the time to dick around."
  • The RinkWorks game Maze Maker generates a random printable maze. The same website allows visitors to submit altered screenshots from the site as "RinkWorks Graffiti" (see here). Needless to say, it's quite popular to use this in Maze Maker graffiti. More specifically, one of the early "Graffiti" images was a maze with an extra wall drawn in, rendering the maze impossible to complete in the normal sense. A significant number of later Graffiti images are Graffitis of the original altered Graffiti maze.
  • This trope is on the list of Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG
    50. Not allowed to use thermodynamic science to asphyxiate the orcs' cave instead of exploring it first.
  • The SCP Foundation is fond of this trope in general, but special mention goes to the attempt to simplify exploration of the steel labyrinth found in SCP-432 using an acetylene torch. Subverted when the Beast in the Maze bursts through the hole and expresses its displeasure at their ingenuity.

    Web Videos 
  • In JourneyQuest, Perf and Nara accomplish this on the Temple of All Dooms, by accident!
  • In Vaguely Recalling JoJo, Tower of Gray crashes the jet onto the ocean liner where the heroes would have encountered Dark Blue Moon, killing its Stand User and skipping that chapter of the story. Instead, Jotaro's group washes ashore along with the runaway girl who was also supposed to be introduced in that chapter.
  • The Yogscast often wind up doing this accidentally in their Minecraft videos, since the Yogscast Complete mod pack has so many devices, jet packs, magic spells and explosives that the modders of individual dungeons couldn't predict.
  • A popular online meme says that the entire plot of Lord of the Rings could be averted if the Fellowship would simply do this by having the eagles fly the Ring to Mount Doom and drop it in. The Spoony One once delivered an epic rant explaining in detail why this wouldn't work.
  • Outside Xbox's Dungeons & Dragons party, the Oxventurers' Guild, has a particular gift for this. GM Johnny Chiodini has often lamented the way that the Oxventurers can reduce a simple social interaction to utter chaos in under a minute, burn half an hour on irrelevant digressions, but can also locate any way to get past a dungeon in seconds. "Tower Rangers", in which they managed to throw an entire layered deathtrap of a tower into chaos without even entering combat once, was particularly notable.
    Johnny: And that's the story of how you all climbed the outside of the tower, because I'll never learn.
  • One RWBY Chibi sketch starts with Yang using this method to "solve" a panic room exercise- by punching a hole in the wall. Winter, supervising the lesson, angrily tells Yang that she was supposed to solve the riddles and clues to get out. The end of the sketch has Yang using this method to get into the boys' panic room.
  • During The Runaway Guys' playthrough of Sonic Adventure, Emile uses Tails' flying to break the Windy Valley race against Sonic wide open by flying off the racetrack until Tails reaches the island where the Chaos Emerald is.
    Jon: Hi, Sonic! You are the fastest thing alive! I'm the cheapest thing alive.
  • When the Game Grumps are playing Zelda's Adventure and are lost because the walkthrough they were using ended prematurely, they get contacted by a Speed Runner who gives them instructions on how to beat the next dungeon, including the hilariously counter-intuitive advice on how to beat Pols Voice: "hit it for two minutes". While there is a ring to obtain in the dungeon that makes them die faster, going out of your way to get it is actually slower than just wailing on the thing for that long.
    Dan: THIS IS SPEED-RUNNING?! Is it possible Maxwell's just fucking with us?

    Western Animation 
  • The Awesomes: In an Indiana-Jones-themed episode, the group encounters a huge maze separating them from their objective. Prock starts to strategize the best way to tackle the maze. He barely notices when Frantic runs through it as super-speed, Muscleman bashes straight through the walls, and Hotwire and Impresario fly everyone else over.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • In the episode "If You're So Smart Why Aren't You Rich?", when faced with a deathtrap maze of The Riddler's design and time running out, Batman commandeers one of the maze's flying robots (the Hand of Fate) to bring him to the Riddler's would-be victim. Needless to say, The Riddler calls him out for "grand scale cheating."
    • Another episode had Batman clear Mad Hatter's maze made of giant cards by climbing up and running along the top.
  • The opening scene of the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "They Call Him Mister Ed" had Edd setting up a massive cardboard maze and placing Chunky Puffs (Ed's favorite cereal) at the exit. It was supposed to be an experiment of sorts, with Ed being the guinea pig (Edd even timed it), but Ed, simple-minded oaf that he is, simply runs through all the walls in a straight line to get to the cereal. Edd even complains "That isn't how you go "through" a maze!"
  • In the The Fairly OddParents episode "Operation F.U.N.", when Timmy and his friends Chester and A.J. were in a reformatory, and when they were doing the obstacle course, Chester says that they don't have enough time to climb the wall. A.J. had a good, but risky idea. Crossing to the other side of the wall by simply walking around. Timmy and Chester did the same.
  • In an episode of The Fantastic Four (1967), Diablo learns the hard way that a panic room is no match for The Thing:
    Diablo: He'll never get me now! This door is made of titanium! And with my timelock... (Thing busts through the wall)
  • Subverted in an episode of Futurama; Leela's having a Training Montage, in an army base. Zap comments she could've just run around all the obstacles.
  • Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures: The title character is stuck in a death maze within Quest-World, his dad's enormous virtual reality. He quickly comes across some snakes who turn things they bite into stone, and wastes little time into goading them to transform one of his hands and one of his feet; he uses these to tear down the maze's imposing grey walls for an easy exit.
  • In a Halloween episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse the gang finds a barrier of giant candy corn blocking their way and use a rope to pull themselves over it, except for Goofy who just eats through it.
  • In one of the segments in the Mickey Mouse (2013) Halloween special "The Scariest Story Ever", Donald Duck does this repeatedly in truly Gordian fashion... with a baseball bat:
    Narrator: Many a man had gone insane [in The Maze], their minds lost in the—
    Donald: [Bashes a path through the maze walls while shrieking in Angrish]
    Narrator: ...They still had to find a way through the castle doors. They were locked, solid oak, and one foot thick: obviously crafted by the—
    Donald: [Bashes down the doors while shrieking in Angrish]
  • Done by Wildwing in an episode of Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series when the Ducks find themselves trapped an an alternate universe based on fantasy tropes. Faced with a huge stone maze, Wildwing simply uses his grenade launcher to blast their way though.
  • Averted in the second season premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. When Rainbow Dash tries to simply fly over the royal labyrinth to find the stolen Elements of Harmony, Discord makes her wings disappear to stop her. And then it turns out that the Elements were never in the labyrinth to begin with, meaning the mane six could have just bypassed the entire thing.
    • After using his mask to find the fastest way through the maze, minimizing the amount of walls they had to blow up.
  • Subverted in an episode of Popeye; Popeye and Bluto are charting a course. Bluto wants to go around all the perilous obstacles, but Popeye scoffingly draws a straight line through them.
  • In Reboot Captain Capacitor asks Matrix how they are going to get over the wall to the prison. Matrix simply shoots it and they just walk in through the hole.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Treehouse of Horror V"'s spoof of The Shining, Bart escaping a hedge maze by chainsawing through the walls.
      Bart: Hey, I found a shortcut through your maze.
    • Another episode subverted this when Homer tries this trick and finds an electric fence inside the corn maze.
    • Barely in the scope of this trope, but in another episode Mr. Burns and Smithers use their security clearance to advance through thick steel doors and other obstacles that can only be opened through retinal scanners and the like, only to see a stray dog at the destination who entered through the back door. The back SCREEN DOOR.
    • And in another episode, when Marge was doing the tests to join to the Springfield Police Force, in one of them, she tried to climb a wall, but she has problems with it. Chief Wiggum notices that all the women had the same problem, that they don't use the door to cross the wall.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: From the unfinished "Crystal Crisis on Utapau" arc: When trapped on a Separatist ship, Obi-Wan and Anakin decide the most expedient method of getting to the hangar bay to escape with their giant Kyber Crystal (note: small ones are used in lightsabers; the big ones would later be used for the Death Star's superlaser) is to use its unusual energy attack to blow holes through the ship's corridor walls.
  • Subverted in Teen Titans. Faced with a maze inside Raven's mind, Cyborg and Beast Boy try the usual tricks — blasting the walls and flying over them — but are thwarted and forced to go through.
  • The Tick, after trying to fairly complete a death maze, makes a clever mythical allusion to the Gordian knot, and starts busting down walls.
  • In the second episode of Xiaolin Showdown, Omi, the enthusiastic combat monk, sets a record for the obstacle course, leaping through and beating down the obstacles to reach the target. But next to go is Clay, the stalwart Earth monk, who notices that the course is arranged in a circle. When the clock starts, he beats Omi's time by turning and walking all of ten feet from the starting line to the target.

    Real Life 
  • The Trojan Horse is history's most famous example. Forget trying to break down the mighty Trojan Door or Walls, we'll convince them to open the Door and let us in!
  • The Israeli army has developed tactics for urban warfare that probably count as an example of this trope. Instead of going through booby-trapped streets and narrow alleys in which troops may be exposed to sniper fire, Israeli soldiers literally walk through walls, using explosives to create passageways through houses and other buildings.
    • This sounds not dissimilar to an event on the Green Line in Nicosia (the divided capital of Cyprus). Reputedly, the local Turkish contingent were suspected of discreetly expanding a blockhouse so it extended into the UN secure zone. The local UN commander responded by going on patrol one morning... driving a bulldozer.
    • In actuality that tactic (often called mouse-holing) predates both of the previous examples. According to The Other Wiki this was used as early as the Battle of Stalingrad.
    • Taken to an extreme in the 2009 Israel/Gaza conflict. According to the accounts of some Israeli soldiers, Hamas gunmen and suicide bombers attempted to lure them into houses most likely rigged with booby traps. Instead of taking the bait, Israeli soldiers simply just knocked down the houses with bulldozers.
    • Also, American troops in Iraq often face insurgents who, when charged, run and hide inside a building they hope to defend, at which point the Americans promptly call in an airstrike. The situation's so common it's earned its own unofficial acronym. (AWR, for Allah's Waiting Room.)
  • In World War I, the Germans executed the Schlieffen Plan: the indirect invasion of France via Belgium, and nearly reached Paris. Some French generals had proposed to do the same thing in case of a war with Germany, but the French never adopted it.
    • The war ended in 1918 when the Germans realized that the Italians were about to do it on the largest scale ever: the Central Empires' plan called for Austria-Hungary to negotiate peace and Germany to fight through the winter and get good conditions for the peace, but then the Italians collapsed the Austro-Hungarian Empire and got unlimited access to their territory, meaning that the Germans had to give up to the German Revolution happening in the meantime and surrender before over one million soldiers marched all the way to Berlin effectively uncontested (most of the German army was stuck in France, and what remained back home was tied up with the mutinies).
  • World War II:
    • The popular version of the Battle of France is that the Germans executed a massive Dungeon Bypass by invading through Belgium to avoid the Maginot Line. If that's your preconception, then the actual history subverts this: the French built the Maginot Line precisely because they wanted the Germans to go through Belgium. But the French expected this would be the northern Belgian plains, so they sent their best forces there, while the Germans executed the true Dungeon Bypass of the campaign by going through the Ardennes forest in southern Belgium, which the French believed could never be penetrated with mechanized forces. See the Useful Notes entry on the Maginot Line.
    • The Maginot Line worked exactly as intended - it prevented attack from the east into the French heartland and was never penetrated. A Real Life example of Gone Horribly Right.
    • Another WW2 example: When the Allies were pushing into Germany near the end of the war, the depleted German army were trying to drag it out into city fighting in each town along the way, and were trying to coerce the populace to fight to the last man. Upon taking fire from the town, the Allied troops backed off to a safe distance and called in artillery strikes to reduce the entire town to rubble. When they reached the next town in line, they were usually greeted by the Mayor waving a white flag and the few remaining German troops having either fled the area or been haphazardly captured by the civilians as a sort of bribe for the Allied army.
    • Averted by the Market-Garden operation. It would've been a bypass if it had succeeded, as it would allow going around the Siegfried line. However, the operation failed. Out of 41000 airborne troops deployed, 17000 died. Oh, and the Nazis punished the Dutch who supported this operation, letting thousands of them starve to death the following winter.
    • Happened (again) on a larger scale (much, MUCH MUCH larger scale) during WWII when the Americans dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki rather than fight their way across Japan.
      • B-29s, including the bombers that dropped the A-bombs, were the first mass produced pressurized aircraft. This allowed them to fly much higher than competing designs, so high in fact that they could simply fly over Japan's air defenses and the air defenses couldn't attack back.
      • The United States military's plan should the Japanese government not have surrendered unconditionally when it did was to drop a third nuke - on Tokyo.
    • The entirety of the Allied island-hopping strategy: why dig Japanese garrisons out of every little island they've taken when you can cut them off from reinforcement, bomb anything they could use to attack you directly to rubble, and simply move on to the next island. (Stranded Japanese soldiers continued to camp in their outposts for years, sometimes decades, afterward, since they received no new orders and couldn't trust radio broadcasts saying the war was over — if their radios even still worked.) Of course, when they needed to clear out an island for whatever reason (Iwo Jima, for example), the result was a dungeon adventure akin to the Tomb of Horrors. The Allies attempted the same strategy in Italy with the Anzio landings to outflank German-Italian positions further south, but failure to properly exploit the opening gave the Axis time to respond: they held the Allies at the beaches long enough to withdraw to the north and establish a new defensive line.
    • During the Soviet advance on Berlin, the Nazis built three enormous Flaktürme (flak towers) around the city that doubled as emergency shelters for thousands of people. These were effectively castles with 3.5 meter-thick reinforced concrete walls ringed with heavy flak turrets that could depress to sweep the streets below. They proved impenetrable even to heavy bombardment from tank squads, so the Soviets ended up just ignoring them and going after juicier targets, then negotiating a surrender from the Flaktürme later.
    • Defied by Rommel and the Normandy landings on D-day. Rommel correctly guessed the general area and type of beaches the allies would try to land on and insisted on having them fortified. It's quite possible that without Rommel the D-day landings would have been opposed by a tiny group of German troops playing football or sleeping in lawn chairs, without any obstacles or bunkers.
  • In the city of Telmissus in Asia Minor, an ox-cart was said to be tied either to a post or its own shaft with a fiendishly complicated knot by the cart's owner, a man named Gordias; the knot itself became known as the Gordian Knot. It was said that whoever could untie the knot would conquer the world. Alexander the Great managed to untie it by cutting it in two with his sword. (This is the legendary version usually told; the real version is not so simple. In a sense, the story as told is something of a Dungeon Bypass for the story as it actually happened.)
  • Police SWAT teams discovered that getting past a door with many locks on it was a problem, so they just use a shotgun to blast out the hinges.
  • The Berlin Airlift. The Soviet Union attempted to force the proto-NATO powers to let them occupy West Berlin by cutting off all supplies coming into the city from the West by road and train. Instead of trying to recapture a corridor of land between West Germany and West Berlin, allied nations decided to just fly over by taking advantage of a prior treaty with the Soviets requiring them to allow air travel from West Germany to Berlin: if the Soviets interfered with these, they'd give the West an unambiguous Pretext for War.
  • When the Mongols decided to conquer China, they faced the Great Wall, a series of fortifications designed specificially to keep them out. Rather than fighting their way through it or riding around it, they took advantage of the Song Dynasty's unstable political climate, made a few allies within China, and bribed their way in.
  • A similar tactic got the Crusaders, and later the Turks, into Constantinople. It's a heavily walled city, but if
the emperor needs an army and you happen to have a horde of barbarian mercenaries for hire...
  • Undermining, or digging a tunnel underneath an enemy fortification to collapse it or blow it up from below.
    • While the Siege of Kazan in 1552 was your typical siege involving thousands of troops (with the Russians outnumbering the defending Tatars) and hundreds of cannons, the city was only taken when the attackers secretly dug a tunnel under a defensive wall and planted charges, blowing a huge hole in it. Later, Ivan the Terrible, who commanded the Russian forces, decided to safeguard Moscow from the same tactics by ordering basements to be built under each defense tower with copper plates mounted on walls. During sieges, people with good hearing would be sent into these rooms to listen for sounds of digging that would be amplified by the plates.
    • Also attempted by the Ottomans during the 1683 siege of Vienna, who attempted to dig underneath the city's walls and then detonate explosives to collapse them. Reinforcements from the Holy Roman Empire and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth arrived in the nick of time to relieve the siege and decisively crush the Ottoman army, with the "Winged Hussars" of King Jan III of Poland leading the way in the largest cavalry charge in recorded history.
    • During the siege of Petersburg in The American Civil War, the Battle of the Crater was supposed to have been a Dungeon Bypass, and it would have worked if General Burnside had been allowed to stick with his original plan: big explosion, specially-trained troops from the United States Colored Troops go around the crater (as opposed to into it), bypass the remaining defenses, and open the road to Petersburg. And then General Meade stepped in, replaced the well-trained USCT regiments with others that had no idea what would happen, denied Burnside the use of an electrical detonator so that his engineers had to use an umpty-thousand-foot-long rope as fuse, and...yeah. Oh, and Meade managed to deflect all of the blame onto Burnside, too.
    • In World War I:
      • The Battle of Messines saw the British dig under a series of hills fortified by the Germans and blow them clean off the map. The craters left behind have since filled with water and become large ponds.
      • On the Alpine front, the Italians blew the top off of the mountain Col di Lana to dislodge Austro-Hungarian forces entrenched there. It caused grievous casualties to the Austrians but didn't shift the front much: the Italians advanced onto "Col di Sangre" ("Blood Mountain") to find that their enemy had also fortified the mountains behind it.
  • One of the factors that contributed to the Fall of Constantinople (thus the Trope Namer for Istanbul (Not Constantinople)) was the failure of the Naval Blockade by the Christian defenders of the city. Not because Sultan Mehmed II broke through the blockade with his famed cannons, but because the Sultan transported his fleet overland: he ordered the construction of a road of greased logs across Galata on the north side of the Golden Horn, and rolled his ships across.
  • The above example is also one of the reason the infamous Vikings were such feared raiders and capable traders. Their light, flat and yet sea-capable boats, could be lifted out of the water and transported over short distances on land with relative ease, essentialy allowing them to go from shoreline into rivers or from river to river, saving time or bypassing defences. One of the most famous examples was using rivers in todays Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. By moving short distances over land between rivers they could go from the eastern sea to the norther sea and vis versa, bypassing most the entire coasts of Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark saving weeks or months of travel along dangerous coasts.
  • A typical tactic of siege warfare is to dig a tunnel under the wall of the besieged fortress / city and then collapse or blow it up to destroy the wall under it, or to just dig a tunnel inside and open the main gate by surprise.
    • The siege of Rochester Castle, for example, involved digging a mine under the wall, then slathering it with the fat of forty pigs and setting it on fire. The heat-induced expansion of the stone and the ignition of the wooden foundations caused a section of the wall to collapse. This was amplified and dramatized in Ironclad by burning the pigs alive.
    • The "blow it up tunnel" was adapted to trench warfare twice:
      • The first was in the The American Civil War, with the Battle of the Crater: Union general Burnside decided to try it and then, as the Confederates were still stunned by the explosion, have general Ferrero's black division charge at the sides of the crater to breach Petersburg's defence lines. Sadly, due to Meade protesting the use of black troops for political reasons, Ferrero's division was replaced at the last moment with Ledlie's 1st Division, with the drunkard general failing to brief his men on the battle plan. Ledlie's division failed to charge immediately after the explosion and charged into the crater, and was massacred when the Confederates regrouped and started shooting in the crater;
      • In World War I the British army reused the tactic at the Battle of Messines, where they detonated nineteen such mines under the German trenches. Between the much greater quantity of more powerful explosive used, a numerical superiority of almost two-to-one, accurate artillery and tank support and the troops charging in right after the explosions, the attack was successful.
      • Mining under the other side's trenches to blow them up was quite a popular move in World War I by both sides - Messines was just the biggest and most well-known example. (Incidentally, not all the mines were set off. Six were left (older accounts list fewer); one had been put out of action by German countermining and it was decided that the others were not needed after all. One of them was dug up after the war, one of them was struck by lightning in 1955, and the other four are still there...
      • The masters of this kind of warfare during World War I were the Italian and Austro-Hungarian mountain troops, that found smarter to dig under enemy-held mountains (mainly the ones known as Italian Tooth and Austrian Tooth facing each other on the Dolomites) and blow them up rather than trying a frontal assault. Usually there wasn't enough explosive to actually blow up the mountain, just the piece the enemy was on, but the final mine to explode was fifty tonnes of TNT that did collapse part of the Italian Tooth... Just in time to force the Italian to not detonate the equally large they had just completed right under the Austrian Tooth. After that, the (locally raised) troops stopped for fear of blowing up the whole mountain range and their homes with it.
  • North Korea has dug a number of invasion tunnels as a means of bypassing the hideously-fortified DMZ (among other things, it currently stands as the world's largest minefield) if they ever invade South Korea. Four of these have been discovered so far. There may be even more.
  • Many people who are concerned about security concentrate on securing their door so it can't be broken into by buying a metal door and/or putting a dozen locks on it. Some take the next logical step to put bars on their windows. However, these strategies tend to leave glaring weaknesses. Doors may have all the locks in the world but if the door is installed so that it swings outward rather than inward, it will leave the door hinges exposed. The pins holding the hinges together can easily be removed with a screwdriver and a hammer.


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Blaster 3 Divine Buster

Nanoha blasts Quattro from halfway across a massive starship.

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Main / DungeonBypass

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