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Dungeon Town

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I just wanted to buy some Phoenix Down, man!

"Upon entry of Zozo, the image you had of it quickly abandons you. You expected poor people; you encounter pure madness. Staggering through the buildings are madmen mumbling about minutes, hours, and seconds. The exotic dancers wield arcane spells no human is to possess. Bulking giants attack you, shaking the ground with every 20-ton step. Corpses rot on the street. Towering constructions reach into the sky. And somewhere in this chaos, Terra is waiting for you."

A trope usually seen in RPGs; instead of Bob the Warrior being asked by the villagers to travel to the Evil Tower of Ominousness, eliminate its guard mooks, defeat Emperor Evulz, and rescue Princess Alice, the mooks are in the town, Alice is locked in the city jailhouse, and Bob has to fight his way through the streets and houses to get to her. Logically, however, the town is still a town, so Bob can interact with Apathetic Citizen NPCs and buy things.

Many dungeon towns make use of the Absurdly-Spacious Sewer, because most big cities have them in real life, and it's an easy space to throw in some Underground Monkeys without breaking the game's immersion.

Related to Adventure Towns, as both tropes involve the characters having to use their wits or muscles to escape or enter the city, although this trope is generally exclusive to video games.

In some rather large cities, it may actually be explainable as you're wandering around the bad parts of the city and are getting mugged by criminals, or monsters have come into a city (where people don't bother to fight 'em out, condemning that part of the town anyways) and took up residence in the slums.

Contrast Dungeon Shop, where someone has inexplicably decided to open a dry goods store in the middle of the Dark Hall of Anguish and Torment, though the two tropes may sometimes overlap. In some cases, it may also be a Monster Town.


  • This used to be conventional in Western RPGs, with almost every town being populated by monsters to level-grind against. The Bard's Tale Trilogy and the first five Might and Magic games exemplify this; it's rarer to find an aversion than an example in these games.
  • The entirety of Alternate Reality: The City.
  • In Arc Rise Fantasia, the city of Jada becomes one when it's invaded by a summoner of The Undead.
  • Athkatla in Baldur's Gate II. Not only it is filled with quests within the districts, you are also caught in the middle of a war between the local thieves guild and an emerging guild of vampires, which will also require you to take a side and destroy the other. Assaults by bandits are not uncommon. The cowled wizards and the city guard will jump at you if you use magic (which is illegal). Many groups conspire against you and will trigger fights and challenges. Last but not least, the Absurdly-Spacious Sewer offers monsters of all kind, bandits, undead creatures, the laboratory of a mad wizard, the hideout of a cult of fanatics, a Monster Town filled with ghouls and the ruins of an ancient temple still inhabited by the last followers of the deity.
  • Many towns in the Blood Omen series, Meridian especially. Then again, your hero is a dangerous vampire.
  • In Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Arvantville is partly occupied by demons. Miriam, Johannes and Dominique secure a house with an expansive basement shelter (where they set up the shop and crafting workshop) and a field for crops, but the rest of the town is full of bats, zombies and other low-level chaff monsters.
  • Blue Stinger takes place on a research lab/town set on a solitary island. In between roaming the town and fighting monsters, you can raid stores and malls to use vending machines, which dispense almost everything from food to weapons to armor. Dead Space also uses a similar approach to obtaining gear.
  • Early in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Soma comes across a derelict village overrun with monsters (some of which are implied to be the former inhabitants of said village). Later on the village gets occupied by two friendly NPCs (Hammer, who sells weapons, and Yoko, who upgrades them)... Who help you out nonchalantly while monsters are still lurking right outside their doors.
  • In Champions Online, both the main city of Millenium City (a rebuilt Detroit) and the higher level zone Vibora Bay (a New Orleans expy) are teeming with bad guys — gangsters, robots, VIPER agents and more in the former, and werewolves, vampires, zombies, and fallen angels in the latter, among others. And yet, life goes on for the presumeably level 0 civilians...
  • Medina, a present day town in Chrono Trigger, is populated exclusively by Mystics/Fiends, whose ancestors lost a war against humans 400 years before. Although a small minority of them (namely, two friendly Imps you were lucky enough to meet first) are more than willing to let bygones be bygones, most inhabitants hold extreme resentment towards humans, and will either attack your team on sight or warn you to get lost (attacking you if you refuse to do so). These include those at the store and the inn (which are safe places elsewhere). If you defeat the fiends at these places, they will agree to do business with you... At ridiculously elevated prices.
  • In Cthulhu Saves the World, Dunwitch (obviously named after Dunwich), has been overrun with zombies by Nyarlathotep. Since Cthulhu's goal is to become a true hero (it's a long story), he sees a perfect opportunity to save the town and get some hero points.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, the player's Hamlet becomes one during the special event "Wolves at the Door," in which the town is raided by brigands. The player has to take a team of adventurers through the corridors of the town, fighting off elite and very dangerous bandits, until they reach Brigand Vulf, the bandits' leader, and kill him.
  • Several in Dark Souls, such as the castle Anor Londo, and the Undead Burg, Undead Parish, and The Depths all make up one big city.
  • Multiple instances in Dragon Age: Origins:
    • In the Human Noble origin, your own castle becomes the Noob Cave after you talk to everybody.
    • The Redcliffe village undergoes a Zombie Apocalypse for the duration of "The Attack at Nightfall" quest.
    • The village of Haven becomes this after you discover a certain altar.
    • The Capital of Denerim becomes the site of the Final Battle.
    • Both Amaranthine and the Vigil's Keep are invaded by the Darkspawn in the endgame of the Expansion Pack Awakening, though you can only visit one of them in a single playthrough.
    • The sequel is one big Dungeon Town; fights happen all over the city of Kirkwall all the time, particularly at night. These are mostly Fereldan refugees from the events of the last game who have turned to banditry but a couple of times there's full on civil war in the streets.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • In Dragon Quest, the desert town of Hauksness was destroyed by the Dragonlord and is now inhabited only by high-level endgame enemies that you have to fight through in order to find Erdrick's Armor. Appropriately it uses the creepy cave/dungeon theme for its BGM.
    • Dragon Quest II: The Castle of Moonbrooke has become ruins plagued by monsters and haunted by tortured souls after Hargon's devastating strike.
    • Dragon Quest IX has the Gortress, which is quite literally a prison complex inhabited by monsters and full of downtrodden townsfolk who were kidnapped.
    • Dragon Quest XI: The Ruins of Dundrasil are now inhabited by monsters, including a Green Dragon.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Dwarf Fortresses. Returning to an abandoned settlement from fortress mode while playing adventure mode leaves you to deal with whatever wiped them out. Armok help you if you run into the Hidden Fun Stuff.
  • EarthBound (1994) frequently has enemy encounters inside the city, with the frequency depending on the point in the story and where you are in the city. In Onett, there are many random encounters around the Sharks' base in the arcade, but after you defeat Frank and his robot, the enemies stop showing up.
  • Spookane in EarthBound Beginnings is the only town where enemies still appear in the main area. The residents all evacuated to the hills before the party arrives. Unfortunately, all the amenities are gone as a result.
  • Leyndell, Royal Capital in Elden Ring is basically an entire city as a dungeon and is by far the biggest in the game by sheer volume, spanning the walls of the city itself, several buildings, various streets and districts in various state of decay, the rooftops, a huge manor that is actually the real world version of the Roundtable Hold and finishing off by climbing the roots of the Erdtree the reach the royal palace. And that's not even mentioning the Shunning Grounds, a sub-dungeon set in the sewers of Leyndell.
  • Kvatch in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Though this one is tipped off from an Interface Spoiler — all the other towns have multiple gates, and the Imperial City even has districts. Kvatch just has a single fast-travel node. There's also the Imperial City at the end of the main quest.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Helgen, where you first get control of the character, gets attacked by a dragon, forcing you to escape through caves accessed from the Keep. If you return to the ruins of Helgen later on, bandits will have set up camp there. Also, during the Civil war questline, depending on what side you fight on, the cities of Solitude or Windhelm will end up being the sites of the final battle. If you joined the Stormcloaks, you'll also have to fight through Whiterun to conquer the city.
  • Fallout 3 makes downtown Washington, D.C. into a multilevel, maze-like dungeon, with mundane locations such as brownstone houses, coffee shops, toy factories, and comic book publishing houses serving as sub-dungeons. Played with in that downtown Washington, D.C is large enough to have multiple save-havens... including one full-on town (by the standards of the region).
  • Fallout: New Vegas continues the trend, particularly "Hopeville" in the Lonesome Road DLC. Which is packed to the gills with Marked Men.
  • Fallout 4 has Boston, the streets of which are absolutely lousy with raiders, feral ghouls, super mutants, and Institute synths. Like Washington, D.C. listed above, it's a very expansive city, enough to house not one, but two major settlements in the forms of Diamond City and Goodneighbor.
  • Fallout 76 has Charleston, WV. Unlike the other examples in the series listed above, in spite of its size, Charleston has no settlements and very few safe areas, the entire city being up to its elbows in Scorched and other wasteland creatures.
  • Fear & Hunger: Termina has the game mostly set in Prehevil and the surrounding countryside, which not only was caught in the middle of the Second Great War, but the location of Rher’s three Termina festivals, with the game proper taking place during the third. Common foes involve the Moonscorched townsfolk and the partially Moonscorched occupying Bremen Army.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The GBA and later releases of Final Fantasy include a few town-based floors in the Bonus Dungeons.
    • Bafsk and Fynn in Final Fantasy II. In the latter town, monsters roam the streets, and talking to NPCs initiates battle. Justified as it’s your Doomed Hometown, and the bad guys are still in the middle of occupying it.
    • The continent-sized kingdom of Saronia in Final Fantasy III has Random Encounters and a Bonus Dungeon within its walls. This is done because the army has shot down your airship and locked you in, and also just in case you need to level grind for That One Boss. The First Town also contains werewolves in a hidden corner of town. This game doesn't fuck around.
    • Final Fantasy VI has several:
      • Zozo is a town full of thieves, complete with Random Encounters and a Boss Battle while climbing a skyscraper to locate a missing party member (who, just for the record, was not kidnapped by said boss).
      • Narshe is a proper city, although it also doubles as the entrance to Noob Cave. The opening sequence of the game involves leading an Imperial squad through it (fighting off city guards) to capture an Esper located in its mines. After saving it from Imperial invasion later, you can then walk freely around the city, interact with NPC's and so on. Much later (after The End of the World as We Know It) it becomes abandoned, leaving behind only Random Encounters.
      • During the Imperial occupation of South Figaro, the player must find a way to get Locke out safely. Aboveground it is still a city (despite the Imperial guards occupying it and blocking off city exits), but the secret passages below it are full of Random Encounters.
      • The deeper parts of Ozwer's Mansion in Jidoor. Strange creatures took over his house and a demon possessed a prized painting of his.
    • Sector 6, Wall Market,note  and the Train Graveyard from Final Fantasy VII.
    • Every town in Crisis Core. Only the better parts of Midgar are safenote , and even then there's a few events that'll have you fighting.
    • The Golden Saucer Prison, where you get attacked by muggers and exploding sphere things while walking around town.
    • Every town in Final Fantasy VIII at one point becomes this except Shumi Village. Justified in that most of those are one-off appearances by Galbadian mooks invading town.
    • Final Fantasy IX: Burmecia solely exists to give players a Disc-One Final Dungeon. Later, Alexandria becomes one once Kuja has Bahamut fry the town.
    • Final Fantasy XIII, being designed on the philosophy of the Dungeon Crawler, takes this to the extreme of every town being a dungeon, filled with enemy combatants. The story justification is that your party has been cursed by the local Physical Gods and thus are wanted fugitives, citizens tend to attack on sight when they see your party, and Everything Is Online, thus eliminating the need to shop in a store and browse.
    • Invoked in Final Fantasy XIII-2: Proto Fal'cie Adam turns the citizenry into Cie'th to attack the protagonists in Academia 400AF.
    • A mild case in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. The city of Luxerion occasionally sees a monster or two prowling the streets, some places more infested than others, and when they do pop up the local Non Player Characters wisely run away until you take care of the thing. And it gets worse at night... It's really no wonder there are sentries around town that will kindly let you know what the current death toll is.
    • Final Fantasy XIV:
      • The game has this as the final dungeon for the Stormblood story. The city of Ala Mhigo is the last stand from The Empire as they fight off the Eorzea Alliance that are trying to take the city back. The players are tasked with sneaking in and dealing with the lesser forces and eventually the Big Bad himself.
      • Shadowbringers also has this for its first dungeon, Holminster Switch, a town being overrun by Sin Eaters. You get to see the monsters attack the citizens of the town and the wildlife in the nearby forest, and watch as they're horrifically transformed into more Sin Eaters.
    • Final Fantasy XV keeps its dungeons fairly traditional, mostly being caves and ruins, until the end. Noctis and his posse return to Insomnia after the world has been drowned in darkness for ten years. It's a haunting sight, such a large and sprawling modern city being reduced to an empty husk, prowling with nothing but monsters.
    • In Final Fantasy Type-0, missions involving liberating towns from Imperial occupation often end with your party entering the town to clear out the enemy commanders. A few story missions also take place in towns, as well as major cities.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance often has battles take place in cities. Most of the time, you can choose them from the city menu, just like with the city's other facilities, but there are a few occasions when you'll be thrust into a battle the moment you arrive in the city. Chapter 6 begins the first time you return to Cadoan after seeing Ezel's first scene, and Chapter 15 begins when you enter Muscadet after seeing another scene with Ezel and Marche.
  • Every Ganbare Goemon game prior to Ganbare Goemon SFC 2 (which includes Legend of the Mystical Ninja) has towns full of people who are inexplicably trying to kill the player, effectively turning all towns into these.
  • Gold Box: A lot of cities in the games. Phlan from Pool of Radiance is such an example: The party is hired by the town council to liberate the old parts of the town, now crawling with monsters and thugs.
  • All Grand Theft Auto games, by logical extension.
  • Kaineng City in Guild Wars includes several explorable areas, where the enemies are mostly gangsters.
  • To a limited extent in Guild Wars 2 with Ebonhawke. Unlike the major cities that are their own map, it is a part of a regular zone. In the other cities, there is no fighting aside from story instances or similar special circumstances; Ebonhawke regularly has to put down Separatist bomb attacks.
  • Gunple: Strange World Gunman's Proof had the City Of The Dead: a ruined village turned maze by fallen debris and underground crawlspaces and crawling with ghosts. It served as the fourth dungeon.
  • Hollow Knight is almost entirely set in Hollownest, an enormous, underground, decaying kingdom of insects. In its heyday, Hollownest was a civilization that included enormous cities, laboratories, sewers, and botanical gardens, and was well-connected via a mass transit system of elevators, trams, and tunnels with large insect runners as vehicles. While an apocalyptic event caused the kingdom to collapse and drove most of its inhabitants to death or insanity, much of the planned and built structures of the kingdom still remains by the time the game takes place:
    • The City of Tears is the current name for what was Hollownest's old capital city. It has several merchants, explorers, and hermits attempting to eke out a living, but is mostly inhabited by its crazed former citizens and guards who will attack you on sight. It somewhat serves as a Hub City since it is physically adjacent to many of the other areas in Hollownest and is the only area to boast Stag Stations.
    • The Forgotten Crossroads, the first part of Hallownest the player visits, is a ruined series of caves with old structures and buildings carved into the rock. While somewhat simpler than the City of Tears, it was evidently a very busy location in the past and features the ruins of old storerooms, temples, and villages.
    • The Distant Village, located in the far left corner of the map, is still functionally inhabited by villagers that want to kidnap the player.
    • The Mantis Village in the Fungal Wastes is inhabited by still-sane mantises who will attack the player until they earn the respect of the three Mantis Lords by beating them in combat. After this, the regular mantis inhabitants will stay neutral to the player.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, the Heartless (and other monsters) are present in almost all worlds, including those that consist of towns:
    • Traverse Town, Twilight Town, and Radiant Garden have designated safe zones where you can talk to NPCs and buy items, but also have numerous areas where enemies will appear to hassle you.
    • The Disney worlds are 100% dungeon, even those that are based on towns or other civilized areas. Agrabah, Halloween Town, Christmas Town, Paris, and Thebes are examples of towns where going anywhere is impossible without running into some monsters.
    • Disney Town in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, despite being the designated Minigame Zone, still has Unversed. However, it's possible to complete the area without running into a single battle, since you only need to play one minigame for the world to count as completed, and you appear right next to that game after entering the world for the first time. Birth By Sleep is also the first game that lets you go to the aforementioned Thebes.
    • Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- takes you to the Heartless-destroyed ruins of the Castle of Dreams world. Where Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep only let you go to the castle itself and Tremaine's manor, Aqua now has to brave the deserted town surrounding the castle. It's looking more than a little worse for wear, with Heartless everywhere and the landscape being torn apart by the Realm of Darkness.
    • Kingdom Hearts III introduces San Fransokyo, which actually shows news reports of Heartless showing up in a large city and the resulting panic. There's also the site of the final Sequential Boss battle, the deserted island city of Scala ad Caelum, which gets utterly trashed over the course of battle.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Taris. You run fetch quests, play minigames, go bottomside and kill monsters, get into street fights, etc. And this is just the Noob Cave.
  • In Legend of Legaia, any town you go to (save the Octam underground and Soren Camp) starts out as this before you revive the nearest Genesis Tree and lift the Mist.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, the original town of Kasuto was abandoned because it was invaded by invisible Moas. Once you get the cross, the Moas become visible, making it possible to explore the area (slightly) more safely. The towns of Saria and Darunia are dungeon towns too, but only if the player so chooses. Both towns have aches disguised as random villagers and talking to any of them has a chance of drawing the ache out to fight Link. Don't talk to anyone who's not relevant to the plot and you'll never know about the danger lurking within those two towns.
    • Thieves' Town from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Thieves' Hideout in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Not only are they located directly inside a traditional town (Village of Outcasts, in both cases) that also happens to have enemies alongside harmless inhabitants, but inside them you also have to interact with a female character and have her accompany you as you venture through the dungeons. In the case of A Link to the Past, the female character is the boss in disguise.
    • Hyrule Castle Town and Kokiri Forest become this in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time after becoming adult Link. The forest returns to normal after beating the associated temple.
    • The City in the Sky from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is the home of the Oocca. In addition to occassionally seeing Oocca wandering around inside it, there is a handy shop near the entrance.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword takes it to its most logical extent: an entire Dungeon Overworld. While the World in the Sky is largely safe, everything below the clouds — namely, Faron Woods, Eldin Volcano, and Lanayru Desert — is treated as just a half-step below official dungeon status. Players have also noted that, since the overworld itself is already like a dungeon, the dungeons proper have been freed up to have much greater variation from the standard Video Game Settings, resulting in some very distinct designs.
    • What's left of Hyrule Castle Town in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are decrepit ruins infested with Guardians. While there are no friendly NPCs or shops, the few buildings still standing have treasure chests and act as safe zones from the Guardians, which can't reach you inside.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom:
      • Lurelin Village gets razed by pirates before the start of the story. The villagers who escaped task you with clearing out the pirates so that you and Bolson can rebuild things afterward.
      • The surface of Gerudo Town is devoid of inhabitants because the sand shroud and the invading Gibdos make it too dangerous to live there; the Gerudo have almost all moved into an underground bunker in the meantime. While the bunker itself is perfectly safe, you eventually have to fight back a horde of Gibdos alongside Gerudo soldiers on the surface.
  • Mario & Luigi:
    • Toad Town in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, set in the ruins of an inhabited town where the main shop is still open.
    • While the main portion of Wakeport in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is perfectly peaceful, the ruins sections and the Dream World version of the town count as this trope. It also has the dangerous Hermite Crab enemies on the rooftops, so the main portion itself isn't all safe either.
  • Mass Effect features missions set on Dungeon Planets in all games, since you're generally fighting in populated areas. And the Citadel, a space station that serves as the capital of the galaxy, likewise has combat in multiple games.
  • Might and Magic:
    • Most of the towns in the first five games are full of monsters.
    • Darkmoor in the Mire of the Damned in VI is infested with skeletons.
    • Either Celeste or the Pit in VII, depending on which side you align with — both cities get unlocked when you align, but the guards (high-level creatures; Celeste has angels and archmages, the Pit has liches and Queens of the Dead) in the city of the opposing side are (naturally) hostile to you. The shops and inns, however, are not.
    • The Baltazar's Lair is flooded at the beginning of the VIII. It is still underwater by the time you get to it and it is utterly infested by water-dwelling Tritons. Once you drain all water through valves and kill all Tritons, it becomes a standard city. Also, if you form an alliance with Dragons in Garrote Gorge, then all shops and the like will become locked and all Dragon Hunters on the map, who also act as the city guards, will become hostile to you.
    • Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes: The setting of Chapter 2, the capital of the Griffin Empire (Talonguard). The city has been put under a state of exception, so even the once-peaceful alleys and streets are unsafe. After winning a tournament, Godric gets an audience with the Emperor in the castle and not only manages to get rid of Carlyle's lies, but also defeat Carlyle himself in a boss battle.
  • Chapters One and Four of Neverwinter Nights has the city of Neverwinter itself. In Chapter One, it is beset by the Wailing Death, zombies walk the Beggar's Nest Districts, and the Docks and Peninsular Districts are overrun by criminal gangs. In Chapter Four, it is besieged by Luskan and breached as far as the City's Core.
  • Between Nier and NieR: Automata, there is only one town/home base that isn't attacked and filled with enemies at some point.
  • No More Heroes III: The Rank 8 stage takes Travis to the urban Thunder Dome, located in a desert north of Santa Destroy. It's a lively city with streets like those of the aforementioned city (and the other surrounding parts, like Perfect World), yet at the end the next boss awaits (and Travis also fights him in said streets). After the boss is defeated, the place can be revisited anytime to perform the usual overworld activities.
  • Nox does it with all of its towns across multiple playthroughs (except the Village of Ix): Brin is always a war zone due to the recent Ogre invasion (even after it is repelled, it remains in ruins), while Dün Mir and Castle Galava are either overrun by the undead the second time you visit them, or populated by the sworn enemies of your character's class from the onset.
  • The maps Fish Market, Trade District, and Brightmarsh in Paladins are towns that have been turned into battlefields by the champions, with the control points located at the towns' centers. Brightmarsh, in particular, is significant because it is the hometown of the champion, Pip.
  • Paladin's Quest: Conshiuto.
  • Paper Mario:
    • Paper Mario 64:
      • While Flower Fields is not a city in the standard sense, a civilization does exist here. Mario has to go through so much trouble in Flower Fields because its citizens aren't very cooperative. Later on, Shiver City becomes one as well, as Mario has been framed of a murder and isn't allowed to leave the city unless he can clear his name.
      • In a sense, Toad Town becomes integrated into Shy Guy's Toy Box (gameplay-wise, not physically), the dungeon in Chapter 4, as objects found in the toy box must be returned to their owners around Toad Town to progress.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door:
      • The Great Boggly Tree in where the Punies live. The Jabbis have locked up all of the Punies and set up traps all over the place.
      • Glitzville also, as Mario stumbles on a conspiracy taking place there and, as Mario continues to stay in the town, he has to find passages to covertly listen in on things. In addition, as he is in a fighting league during this conspiracy, he gains access to new rooms and locations as he rises up, allowing him to continue following suspicious people.
    • Super Paper Mario.
      • The Overthere. The Overthere Stair, the path to reach the city, is the longest stage in the game, and once Mario and his allies get to the Overthere, the citizens are in the midst of a war, requiring Mario to fight his way through the place.
      • Chapter 5 of Super Paper Mario contains two, also: Downtown of Crag and the Floro Caverns. Mario arrives in Downtown of Crag as the Floro Sapiens capture some friendly Cragnons, forcing Mario to make his way through the city. Floro Caverns is the capital city of the Floro Sapiens, and Mario has to get through their rather heavy defenses (for sentient flowers, at least) that seems to permeate the entire civilization.
    • Paper Mario: Color Splash: When Mario first arrives in Port Prisma, Bowser's forces have drained much of it of its color, and Goombas and Shy Guys have stayed behind to fight Mario. The first Mini Paint Star involves him scaling the buildings of Port Prisma, reactivating machines and fighting those enemies along the way.
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King: Toad Town is initially overrun by origami and Paper Macho soldiers, though once Mario defeats them and gets more Toads to move there things turn back to normal. Shogun Studios plays with this; it's technically a theme park designed to look like a pre-modern Japanese town, but the whole "otherwise friendly area overrun by enemies" angle still applies.
  • Phantasy Star
    • Lashute, the final dungeon in Phantasy Star III. No shops to patronize, but plenty of Apathetic NPCs declaring how their evil regime will soon rise to triumph.
    • Phantasy Star Online 2 has a few examples, one of the earliest being the cities within the ARKS ships that are accessible during time-limited Emergency Quests. Episode 4 added two permanently accessible examples in Tokyo and Las Vegas.
  • Most of Planescape: Torment is set in the enormous (and enormously weird) city of Sigil, where thugs (and occasionally other things) attack you regularly.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon: Po Town, which is Team Skull's headquarters. The entire town is run-down and lacking basic utilities, populated only by Team Skull, who will battle you every step of the way through the place. Even the Pokémon Center is out of action, though the Skulls in the Center will still heal your team for a price (a paltry 10 Pokédollars).
    • Spikemuth in Pokémon Sword and Shield. It's a long horizontal trek filled with nothing but Team Yell trainers and Mr. Mimes that make literal invisible walls in a Streets of Rage homage. Complete with neon "Go!" signs! It has a Pokémon Center and a Gym, though.
  • Quest for Glory II: One of the cut features is the notion that if you're in the bad part of town, you can run into random brigands (serving as muggers). This was cut because the developers decided that Shapeir should be a safe territory.
  • Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army has almost no dungeons, most of the game and combat takes place in and around the city.
  • Romancing SaGa has South Estamir, where you can run into fleet-footed beggar children (who ask for money, then insult you if you refuse) and bandits (who demand all your money, then attack when you refuse). Estamir also uses the Absurdly-Spacious Sewer variation. As does Melvir, which becomes an even straighter example when the city is attacked, forcing the heroes to fight through the sewer and castle to save the king. (They can also take a detour to the dock for an optional boss, if they like — in fact, Hawke's scenario lets the player chase down this boss to finish them off, at the cost of leaving the castle to somebody else.)
  • RuneScape: has several.
    • Probably the best example is the pair of cities called Darkmeyer and Meyerditch, which respectively are the capital of the Vampyre-controlled nation of Morytania and its neighbor where they keep humans imprisoned like cattle. Meyerditch is a massive slum that is built like a maze and requires the player to hop between buildings to get from one section of the city to the next and they may get harassed by vyrewatch vampyres if they aren't wearing a disguise. Darkmeyer is much easier for the player to navigate but is far more dangerous without a disguise as it is populated by vyrelords and vyreladies that attack humans on sight.
    • Another one is Ape Atoll, an island upon which is a city populated by intelligent monkeys and gorillas that attack humans on sight and will throw you in jail if they catch you, forcing you to carefully sneak around until you obtain an item that lets you transform into a monkey or gorilla.
  • The Shadow Hearts series makes use of this trope.
    • All of Koudelka takes place in an inhabited monastery, although all items are found rather than bought.
    • Most of the China map in Shadow Hearts.
    • The wine cellar dungeon and a few locations in France, in Covenant.
    • One dungeon in From The New World takes place on the streets of Downtown Chicago and a large hotel. Another is set inside a college infiltrated by a Mad Scientist. A Bonus Dungeon is set in a movie studio in Hollywood.
  • The Sega Genesis Shadowrun has enemies randomly attacking you in every district in the game. You can be randomly assaulted by gangers on the streets of Downtown Seattle or the Renraku Arcology, for example (both ostensibly secure zones). In fact, these areas are more dangerous than the two Barrens districts, due to the Eye-Fivers being the most powerful and dangerous gang.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • Shin Megami Tensei I's Tokyo. Monsters can be found anywhere (which was a Western RPG tradition of the time that they borrowed), unless something very powerful is guarding the area. This includes the insides of most buildings; the very first demon encountered is found inside an arcade.
    • A plot element in Shin Megami Tensei II is your character getting into Center, the one part of Tokyo Millenium that isn't this trope.
    • Similarly, demons quickly wind up wandering the streets in the original Persona, which played very similarly to the main SMT series at the time.
    • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne follows suit, with you being able to be attacks at any time you are walking around any town.
    • Most cities in Shin Megami Tensei IV have demons roaming around outdoors, but not inside the stations. In Ikebukuro, however, even the station teems with demons due to the Ashura-kai not having control of it.
  • The floating stages in Star Fox Adventures. Unlike the Force Point Temples and Krazoa Palace, these are thematically based on what were originally non-dungeon parts of Sauria that got separated from the planet after General Scales removed the Spellstones from the core chamber the Force Point Temples are connected to. But Fox has to tackle them in dungeon fashion because it's there where the Spellstones themselves are now placed, and are also guarded by bosses.
  • In Super Lesbian Animal RPG Greenridge becomes corrupted into Glitchridge by the influence of one of Javis' Reality Scrambler machines, becoming both a Dungeon Town and a Remixed Level.
  • All of the towns in Super Mario RPG are at some point either A) Occupied by enemies; B) Under attack from a neighboring area; or C) Contain some kind of Optional Boss.
  • Louran in Terranigma is just a normal, if prosperous, merchant town in the desert. Except it's actually a Ghost Town whose residents have long since turned into zombies and other monsters.
  • Zig-zagged in Treasure of the Rudra. Everyone in the town of Avdol was turned into a zombie, and will fight any living thing they encounter. Since Surlent spends a good chunk of the game as a spirit Possessing a Dead Body, he can interact with the zombified townspeople safely; the zombified townspeople don't realize that they're dead, except for an odd yearning for LIFE spells
  • The first and seventh levels of Troggle Trouble Math take place in a park in Magenta's hometown of Santa Bongo. Dogs Love Fire Hydrants is very much averted here as the hydrants will attack you if you run into them. The levels' exits are a manhole and a phone booth respectively.
  • New Home in Undertale is a subversion. It is a city filled with enemy encounters, but the enemies don't actually fight you, they just lecture you about the history of The Underground to prepare you for the final boss.
  • Flanat in Wandering Hamster has lots of random encounters, but you can avoid them by walking on the path.
  • Weird and Unfortunate Things Are Happening has the city of Daybreak, where a majority of the game takes place- almost every area is filled with monsters, and save havens are the exception rather than the norm.
  • Wild ARMs:
    • The final level of Wild ARMs goes partway through the residential area of a space station. You also traverse a destroyed town in Wild AR Ms 4.
    • Wild AR Ms 1 also has a town (Saint Centour) that becomes infested with monsters. Adlehyde turns into this as well at one point.
    • Wild ARMs 5 has the TV station. You're (unwillingly) taking part in a TV show that's all about monsters fighting humans (and the episode will get low ratings because you guys won). Also from the same game, Mythysmere seems close, as at first, while wandering through the "town" portion, you run into monsters, until you fight the bosses in the dungeon portion, then people are in the town part and you don't fight battles there anymore. (But you can still go to the dungeon portion for battles.)
  • The World Ends with You, like Grand Theft Auto, is this by virtue of never leaving the city.
  • World of Warcraft features multiple variants:
    • Gnomeregan, the former Gnome capital, and Blackrock Depths, the Dark Iron Dwarf capital, are both dungeon cities in the "Vanilla" game, though only Blackrock actually resembles a city.
    • Stratholme in the Plaguelands, the remains of a city that was lost to the Zombie Apocalypse in Warcraft III.
    • Lost City of the Tol'vir involves the player and their party raiding a city full of hostile NPCs.
    • Dragon Soul, the final raid of Cataclysm, involves Deathwing's and the Old Gods' forces invading Wyrmrest Temple, the headquarters of the Wyrmrest Accord.
    • The final raid of Mists of Pandaria involves invading Orgrimmar. Whether or not the city is normally a safe haven depends on the player's faction.
    • Suramar, the main endgame area of Legion is a thriving Night Elven capital being occupied by the Burning Legion. Players normally need to navigate it using magical disguises, which allow them to interact with the various Non Player Characters, but can be seen through by many of the city guards. The Court of Stars dungeon and Nighthold raid are both set in instanced versions of the city, though the Nighthold is mostly centered on Suramar's seat of government.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles:
    • After a certain point in the plot of the first game, Alcamoth plays this trope straight. The High Entia with whom you have interacted have been turned into aggressive Telethia, and all subsequent quests taking place there involve Mercy Kill missions against former allies or retrieval of refugees and items.
    • During Chapter 8 of Xenoblade Chronicles X, New LA becomes a war zone when the Ganglion lay siege to it to steal the Vita. While your BLADE Barracks serves as a safe spot with the shop terminals relocated there, the rest of the city is overrun by enemies until you defeat the chapter boss characters, Ryyz and Dagahn. Even after the city is once again made safe, there are still wrecked Ganglion war machines scattered everywhere which you can search for materials.
  • Kislev prison in Xenogears, mainly the sewer parts. Also, the underground city.
  • Halfway through Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand: The Lost Desert Kingdom of Kefin'', Xandria becomes a dungeon town.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Dungeon Overworld


Castle Town

The world having fallen to the Darkness, what remains of Castle Town is a fractured shell of its former self crawling with Heartless.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / DungeonTown

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