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Elevator Action Sequence

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When Captain America offers you a chance to get out of the elevator, you should take it.

"Before we get started, does anyone wanna get out?"

Some places are just designed for epic fight sequences. The lush scenery, the rippling wind in the Badass Longcoat, the Greek choir blaring triumphantly in creepy tone...

And then there's the Elevator Action Sequence.

There are advantages to the Elevator Action Sequence which make it so common in fiction. The main one is that it forces an arbitrary restriction on the heroes: in a game or movie with many wide-open spaces, elevators (even large, moving ones) tend to be static areas from which it is impossible to escape. The situation forces characters into a fight whether they like it or not, and also moves everyone automatically, so that we can pay more attention to the battle than where they're going. That people on an elevator must be going somewhere is naturally a foregone conclusion.

Sometimes the elevator in question is an inclined elevator, where the elevator moves along a diagonal plane instead of straight up and down.

This tropes is most common in early nineties Beat 'em Up games, which often used a moving platform rather than an enclosed elevator, allowing the player to throw enemies off the side. Although those games are out of vogue these days, examples can still be found occasionally in platformers, Action games and RPGs.

Often parodied by having two combatants fight their way inside the elevator, then calmly wait for the elevator to arrive before resuming the fight.

Lift of Doom is a specific variant, usually found in Platform Games.

This trope is not to be confused with Elevator Going Down, which is another form of action entirely. Its polar opposite is the lack of action in an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment.

Compare Elevator Escape, where the action comes from the villain or monster reaching through the closing elevator doors, and Elevator Snare, when The Chase occurs between someone taking a lift and a chaser outrunning it by using the stairs. See also Evil Elevator. Sister trope of the Cable-Car Action Sequence. Has nothing to do with the Elevator Action series of video games, which has you fighting people pretty much everywhere except the elevators.


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Non-Video Game examples

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Afro Samurai, Brother 1 starts machine-gunning the elevator Afro and Ninja are in while standing on it. The doors open at the top of the mountain to reveal that Afro killed him somewhere on the way up. Apparently.
  • In K: Return of Kings, Seri and Izumo infiltrate a formal party hosted by the villains, and end up fighting mooks in an elevator, in fancy clothes. Yes, it's brilliant.
  • In one episode of Noir, a mafia boss enters an elevator with two bodyguards. A couple floors later, the elevator stops, Kirika and Mireille step in, shoot the bodyguards, shoot the boss, and then leave. Given their targets never get a chance to react, it's more Elevator Execution than Elevator Action Sequence.

    Films — Animation 
  • The fight between Emperor Zurg and Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 2 takes place entirely on the top of an elevator car.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At the end of the 1986 crime drama 8 Million Ways to Die, the climatic shoot-out takes place on funicular.
  • Aliens. Ripley and Hicks run for the elevator leading to the landing pad. They push the button and there's a moment of suspense when the doors don't close... then they do until an alien does a Deadly Lunge from the corridor outside, forcing the doors open again. Hicks fires at point black range, killing the alien but spraying acidic blood over his body armour.
  • Black Angel Vol. 1: When Ikko is fighting her way into the penthouse where Chiaki is holed up, a gang of yakuza thugs who have being trying to stop her fall back into the lift. They breathe a sigh of relief as the doors start to close, thinking they have escaped her, only to realize as the doors finish closing that she is in there with them. Cut to the outside of the lift and the sound of gunfire.
  • In The Case of the Bloody Iris, a prostitute, Luna, is buzzed into the high-rise apartment building of a potential client. She is stabbed to death in the elevator by a masked killer who vanishes before it reaches the top floor.
  • In Die Hard with a Vengeance, the hero unwittingly enters an elevator with no less than five mooks disguised as law enforcement. The mooks make a number of gaffes, betraying that they are neither Americans nor cops, before McClane notices that one of them is wearing a familiar badge. An elevator gunfight ensues.
  • Dressed to Kill has the brutal murder of Kate take place in an elevator.
  • In Drive there is a literal Curb-Stomp Battle in an elevator in which Driver brutally stomps in the head of a Mook.
  • Hitman: One action scene takes place on top of a moving elevator, between the main character (played by Jet Li) and an assassin trying to kill him. The assassin ends up accidentally falling into the elevator's gears and is minced to bits.
  • Internal Affairs (1990). The protagonist, Internal Affairs officer Raymond Avila, is riding the elevator in the police station when the doors open to reveal the antagonist, Dirty Cop Dennis Peck, who delivers a brutal beating.
  • In Ip Man 3, a Thai boxer confronts Ip and his wife in an elevator leaving a doctor's office, so Ip must defend himself and his wife in an enclosed space.
  • James Bond:
    • In Diamonds Are Forever, Bond starts a fight with smuggler Peter Franks in an elevator and ends up killing him outside it. A damn small elevator — might as well have been a phone booth.
    • A minor subversion occurs in GoldenEye: the elevator reaches its destination and the doors open, revealing Natalya apparently unconscious on the floor as a guard walks in in confusion. Cue Bond dropping down from the ceiling and smashing him into the wall while Natalya gets up!
    • In Quantum of Solace, Bond dispatches four guards in about as many seconds while riding an elevator. While handcuffed!
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: All too aware of his Super-Soldier abilities, the antagonists attempt to capture Captain America. Cap gets on the elevator, then several "friends" from his special ops unit join him. The elevator stops twice more to let on apparently innocuous suits plus some more soldiers until Cap is hemmed in on all sides. Realizing from their body language that something is wrong, he delivers the Pre-Asskicking One-Liner, then beats everyone up.
    • Avengers: Endgame includes an aversion as Call-Back to this scene when Captain America travels back to to the Battle of New York in 2012 to retrieve the Mind Stone from Loki's scepter. He gets into an elevator with the same S.H.I.E.L.D./HYDRA soldiers and tells them the Secretary told them to give the scepter. Just when it seems a similar fight is going to break out, instead Cap leans into Agent Sitwell's ear and says, "Hail HYDRA." Shocked, the HYDRA forces give him the scepter.
  • Men in Black II: Happens when Jay, Kay, and the worms raid MIB headquarters to confront Serleena. When they take the elevator down to the main level, a robot starts firing aimlessly into the elevator, while the heroes are hiding on the ceiling. When the robot runs out of bullets initially, Jay uses that chance to get out of the elevator and make his way down to save Laura, and the worms climb out the top to reach the power controls. Kay then attracts the robot into the elevator, hits the close button, drops a bomb, swings out, and lets the bomb detonate inside with just the robot getting caught in the blast.
  • The penultimate duel in Merantau takes place in an elevator.
  • In Mission: Impossible III, Ethan Hunt —after being slipped a pocket knife— waits until his restraining gurney enters an elevator to make his escape. He disables three guards (one with a telephone, yowch) while still strapped to his stretcher.
  • The short film Night Watch consists entirely of three goons trying to kill a man in an elevator. They fail.
  • In Oldboy, Oh Dae-su walks into an elevator full of mooks, and the very next shot is the elevator opening up and all of them fall out, badly beaten, while Dae-su walks out nonchalantly.
  • When breaking into the Arnold and Trent's control tower during the climax of Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, Orson dives into a elevator going up that contains three of their Private Military Contractors. By the time the elevator reaches the top floor, he is the only one standing.
  • In Single White Female, Allie and Hedy have round two of their climactic fight in the elevator.
  • Smokin' Aces features a battle between two characters wielding handguns on an elevator. Both are pretty much shredded.
  • So Close: When Kong and Siu Ma ride in an elevator and she’s quickly aware of being surrounded by a group of armed robbery recidivists, Kong immediately fights and defeats them single-handedly while protecting the distressed Siu Ma.
  • Sonatine has a gunfight in an elevator full of innocent bystanders. There is a lot of collateral damage.
  • Taken has a fight around an elevator that ends with a crime boss getting shot inside the lift... which then goes up, where a party is being held.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: Sarah, John, and the T-800 escape from the mental institution. The T-1000 attempts to sword-thrust its way into the elevator at several points.
  • In They, Sam takes the elevator in a final attempt to evade the monsters coming for him. They get him anyway.
  • Total Recall (1990):
    • There's an escalator fight scene where Arnie's character has to use a corpse to block bullets coming from up and down, being unable to dodge while stuck on the escalator.
    • Another elevator fight sequence occurs during the climax, ending in a gruesome way as Richter (Michael Ironside) gets crushed by the ascending elevator, leaving his hands behind.
  • Total Recall (2012):
    • The Fall is a massive elevator that shoots through the Earth at breakneck speeds. The climax takes place onboard it, and even features a zero-gravity gunfight.
    • Before that, four people (well three and a robot) fight in small elevator, ending with the lift exploding when the bad gal leaves a bomb behind
  • In The Usual Suspects, Kobayashi is riding the elevator with his two bodyguards. The lights go out, and the elevator is lit by twin flashes, then enters a windowed section of the shaft which reveal no bodyguards and two blood-splatters on the glass behind Kobayashi, who looks up to seen McManus pointing a silenced pistol, telling him to push the button for the roof.

  • The Dresden Files: Storm Front features an incident near the end where a big nasty monster is trying to kill Harry while he's in his fifth-floor office. He bolts for the elevator on the logic that it has big steel doors, which works okay until the giant scorpion jumps down the shaft and starts ripping through the roof. Harry Dresden being Harry Dresden, he uses a wind spell to lift the elevator to the top of the shaft, crushing the bug against the ceiling, then throws up a shield to survive the landing. He says in a later book that the elevator's never been the same since.
  • Matthew Reilly:
    • Contest has a fight in an elevator shaft beneath a descending elevator.
    • Area 7 is set in a base with a large aircraft elevator. There is a sword fight in it... using pieces of broken aircraft instead of swords.
  • Star Wars Legends: In Timothy Zahn's novel Scoundrels, a captured prisoner being escorted upstairs via turbolift recounts various reasons why trying to subdue his captors while in the lift is a bad idea — surrounded by enemies, nowhere to run, with an unknown fate waiting at the end of the ride. The turbolift does make an excellent place to undo his restraints, though... and the turbolift lobby an excellent place to spring his ambush. At that point, his captors will have a heightened sense of security and he can see for himself whether there are additional guards in the lobby to worry about.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Altered Carbon. In "The Wrong Man", Ortega and Abboud step into an elevator with their prisoner Dimitri, only to be followed in by a hitman disguised as a police officer who frees Dimitri, leading to a rather bloody fight that ends with one policeman dead and the other severely wounded. In a later episode, the protagonist finds himself in an elevator with that same hitman, and suggests they cut straight to the fighting. (They don't).
  • Arrow:
    • "Brotherhood" includes an action scene which, in a single long take, follows Thea Queen and Andrew Diggle along a corridor, into an elevator, down a floor, and along another corridor, beating seven bells out of each other all the way. During the portion of the fight conducted within the elevator (at brutally close quarters), both fighters are thrown off balance by its movement.
    • In "Welcome to Hong Kong", Oliver Queen has to break into a PLA garrison, starting with him dropping from a ceiling hatch into a freight elevator and fighting the four soldiers inside.
  • Blue Bloods: Danny Reagan and Maria Baez corner a pair of potential suspects in an elevator they all are sharing in a season 7 episode. Rather than simply pin them to the wall and cuff them (they had the positional advantage as the two got onto the elevator with their backs to the police), they draw their weapons, which only cause the other two to pull out their own guns and results in a shootout that only fills about twenty square feet of space, leaving both of the suspects dead at the scene.
  • Cannon: In "Dead Pigeon", two thugs are dragging Cannon out of the Big Bad's office to take him somewhere quiet to dispose of him. As the elevator doors open, Cannon punches one of the thugs in the face to drive him away from the doors. He jumps in the elevator as the second thug grapples him and gets dragged in, as the doors shut in the first thug's face. The scene then cuts to the doors opening in the ground floor and a bruised and battered Cannon steps out over the body of the unconscious thug.
  • Community: In the sixth season episode "Modern Espionage", the dean is attacked by rival paintball players in an elevator. This scene is a parody of the elevator scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was directed by The Russo Brothers, the director/producers of the first five seasons of Community.
  • Continuum: The second-season finale features a prolonged fight between Kiera and Travis, beginning in a corridor before moving into an elevator, and finishing on the roof of another elevator.
  • Gotham: The Season 2 episode "A Bitter Pill to Swallow" at one point features Gordon getting ambushed by an assassin in an elevator, and having a brutal fight as it continues making its way up.
  • Human Target: Chance slides down an elevator cable while shooting a handgun downward against the security chief of an evil corporation wielding a shotgun who's in the elevator. Once inside the elevator, they lose the guns and fight hand-to-hand, eventually with a metal cover and railing used as impromptu weapons.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Luke Cage: Zip tries to kill Shades in a freight elevator. "Try", as he decides to try strangling him from behind rather than just shoot him in the head. After a lengthy struggle, Shades is able to get his hands on a henchman's gun and kills both of Zip's men, then marches Zip out onto the roof and kills him as well.
    • Iron Fist: Danny Rand fights his way through a hallway full of hatchet-wielding thugs while one of them tries to drag Joy Meachum to the elevator. The fight continues into the elevator, ending when they get to the lobby.
    • The Defenders. In the final battle Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Danny Rand are escaping in an open cage elevator, when Murakami and other Hand mooks climb up after them, leading to a brief fight scene before they are thrown out. And it's a long way down...
    • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: While trapped in a virtual reality, Daisy Johnson beats up an elevator full of HYDRA agents.
    • The Punisher. In the final episode, Frank Castle has just been involved in a shootout with Pilgrim before he grabs Amy as a hostage and ducks into an elevator. As the doors close, another elevator opens to reveal several police officers who've turned up to investigate the shooting, so Frank rushes them before they can draw their weapons.
  • The Professionals. In the climax of "Kickback", Bodie gets into hand-to-hand combat with an Italian terrorist in a factory that ends up in a birdcage-type freight elevator. Further suspense is provided by another terrorist waiting for the slow-moving elevator to arrive on his level so he can kill Bodie with a submachine gun.
  • Treadstone. CIA agent John Bentley is suspected of having been turned into a Double Agent via brainwashing, so he handcuffs the station chief and takes his friend hostage so he can get out of the building. His friend sardonically congratulates him on having made it to the elevator, when two security officers enter and then get a radio message ordering them to detain Bentley...

    Web Animation 
  • The Dorkly Bits short, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Elevator Troubles" features a businessman named David Crussman interfering with the Turtles' battle against the Foot Clan soldiers in the elevator of the Technodrome from the SNES port of Turtles in Time, which includes holding the door open for the soldiers, and eating the pizza the turtles were planning to use to refill their health.
  • Happens twice in Madness Combat:
    • In Redeemer, Hank enters an elevator and gets into a firefight with several grunts that attempt to ambush him through the ceiling, which ends with Hank shooting out the cables and climbing the rest of the way up.
    • Briefly in Consternation, with Hank getting into a brief shootout with an agent in an elevator, cut short by Tricky landing on top of the elevator and smashing his way through, forcing Hank to retreat.
  • RWBY: Season 2's episode "Dance Dance Infiltration" has Cinder get into an elevator with two guards at the CCT Tower. When she arrives at the upper floor, both guards are knocked out.

    Western Animation 
  • In Code Lyoko, the elevator leading to the Lab and Scanners usually gives the heroes reaching it and closing the door in time some reprieve from XANA's latest attack — but sometimes the enemy slips in too for a good scuffle. And the elevator doors offer little protection against some of the most advanced of XANA's specters, that can actually make their host phase through walls.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • "Rise of the Old Masters": Kanan yanks two stormtroopers into a lift to be beaten up, which is heard, not seen, with the door closed on the fight.
    • "An Inside Man": Kanan and Ezra, disguised as a stormtrooper and scout trooper respectively, wind up in a small elevator with Agent Kallus. When he reveals he knows who they are, Kanan and Ezra start beating Kallus up before he can explain he's The Mole.
    • "Zero Hour": Kallus beats up the stormtroopers ordered to throw him out an airlock. We see them going into the elevator, Kallus smirking, and the doors close. When we come back, the doors open and Kallus is taking off his handcuffs with the stormtroopers behind him, unconscious.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "The Foot Walks Again!" Rocksteady and Bebop, along with a few foot-soldiers, break into an Earth Protection Force complex to steal stuff. Inside they have a brief scuffle with EPF soldiers on an inclined elevator.

Video Game examples

  • Contra:
  • There is an inclined elevator in the "Rugged Ridge" of Cuphead where the elevator goes down while enemies attack you.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • In Devil May Cry 2, the factory stage contains battles where you are swarmed by Flambats while riding inclined elevators. There are also short elevator battles while climbing the sky-scraper leading to Arius.
    • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening features elevator fights with an emphasis on speed. Mooks drop down from above, and if you don't knock them off or kill them quickly enough, the elevator will falter and send you back down to the bottom of the shaft. It's the main challenge of Secret Mission 4, but the Hell Prides are in their Devil Trigger state by that point.
    • In Devil May Cry 4, there are fights inside the elevators of the Order of the Sword HQ, but the elevators only move after you clear out the enemies, and some elevators are actually stuck regardless of the battle inside.
  • Gungrave:
    • The path to the Stage 5 boss has Grave fending off waves of enemies while riding an elevator/lift thingy.
    • One level in Gungrave: Overdose takes place on a giant AKIRA-style elevator.
  • Heavy Barrel has two stages that comprise of mainly traveling up on a large elevator. Which passes by multiple flights of stairs and cannons. No surprise as to what happens...
  • Metroid: Other M has an elevator in Sector 2 where you fight a swarm of space pirates, then a boss makes its first appearance of four. Thankfully, on subsequent jaunts to this elevator, it's completely devoid of enemies and exists purely for transport back to the entrance of Sector 2.
  • The "Mad Doctor" level of Mickey Mania has a part in which Mickey fights skeletons entering an elevator as it goes up.
  • Phantasy Star Online Episode II features a long battle against Olga Flow down an elevator shaft.
  • SAR: Search and Rescue have a level on a descending elevator platform, where you need to let it reach the bottom while fending off hordes and hordes of mutant enemies crawling from the sides.
  • The second area of Time Crisis is set on a cargo inclinator/funicular. Crisis Zone has an elevator sequence in the office building level.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • In Eight Man (1991) for the Neo Geo, The Very Definitely Final Dungeon begins on a platform that rises very slowly for almost three minutes while Mooks constantly descend on it in twos and fours.
  • Astro Boy: Omega Factor has an elevator ride in the middle of the second stage.
  • A inclined elevator ride exists in Stage 2 of the arcade game based on Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!
  • In Castle Crashers, there's an inclined elevator ride filled with baddies in the Industrial Castle.
  • Crisis Beat has a level where players make their escape into an elevator. Climbing to it's top, they are assaulted by a horde of Sharp-class enemies which they must defeat while standing atop the descending elevator.
  • The first level of Super Double Dragon has a fight in a glass elevator car. The enemies were originally supposed to break the glass, but due to the game being rushed, the animation was left out in both versions.
  • One of the last levels of Fighting Force takes place on an exposed lift with bad guys dropping in left and right. One of the earlier levels has the villain's penthouse elevator as a level. Very huge, with many items to smack the bad guys with. Both elevator ride times have in no way correlate with the size of the building they are in.
  • Final Fight:
    • The second scene of the Industrial Area stage is set on a lift where the player must enemies dropping from above before the boss fight with Rolento. The stage was missing in the SNES port, but included in all the other versions.
  • Hidden Dragon: Legend: In Dark Raven's mountain lair, you're on a rising platform with multiple puppets on both sides. You'll die if you step off the edge, but you can knock enemies over with some special moves, an especially useful attack against the huge Iron-Class puppets.
  • The Sailor Moon Beat 'em Up for the Mega Drive has a fight on a looooong elevator. The rising platform is open on one side, allowing enemies to be flung off it.
  • The Simpsons arcade game from the early 1990s has a sequence where you're riding an elevator, and mooks jump onto it at regular intervals, which you can either dispatch as normal or just throw them off.
  • Almost every Splatterhouse game involves some level where the hero is on a huge freight elevator with what seems to be a million floors, bashing monsters to a bloody pulp. The 2010 remake has a special element added: while you're fighting the monsters, they're attacking the elevator's engines. If they destroy both of them, the chains give way and you die.
  • Streets of Rage:
    • The first game has a very memorable outdoor elevator stage as its penultimate level.
      • Also made hilarious by the graphical effect of the special attack. In-game, the characters could call in what were effectively drive-in air strikes to clear a stage. In all previous stages, the cut scene involved panning left to the car driving up and launching the missiles, then panning back over to the players to show the damage. In the case of the elevator level, however, the camera pans all the way down the elevator shaft and then left to the show the car and missiles fired, then pans back the same way before exploding as usual.
    • In stage 9 of Streets of Rage 4, the heroes attack the villains' base and ride the lift, doing the usual head-cracking along the way (this time with breakable glass windows). On the top floor is an old ally, but he's not in the mood for a reunion.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game has a descending inclined elevator in the Technodrome where giant marbles roll past trying to squash you.
    • Another elevator battle occurred in the SNES port of Turtles in Time, where you fight several waves of enemies as you ascend five floors.
    • There is an elevator level in TMNT III: The Manhattan Project... on the outside of a building.
  • Time Commando: In the Future, an elevator ride gets interrupted twice by enemies.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Bad Dream, there's the Space Station, wherein the elevator goes up with each wave of enemies defeated; and Montana Max's factory, wherein the elevator goes down with each wave of enemies defeated.
  • Tokyo Beat Down has a couple of elevator sections in the later parts of the last stage.

    Fighting Games 
  • In Fatal Fury 3, you fight Hon-Fu over what seems to be a platform carried by a very large crane. A beautiful sight of South Town is in the background.
  • In The King of Fighters '95 the first seconds of each round in the stage of team Kyokugenryu/Mexico occur inside a wooden platform that raises to the actual floor of the Dojo. Inversely, the last stage before the boss fight in The King of Fighters '99 has the last round or two of that level (a sewer) occur over an elevator heading to NESTS' underground base.
  • The Mishima Building stage in Tekken 6 is, for lack of a better description, a glass platform with giant robotic arms climbing the inside of the building's central tower, this is also the stage where you fight Optional Boss NANCY-MI847J, who has the unique ability to cut holes in the floor with laser beams, killing you instantly if you walk into them. This stage makes a comeback in Tekken 7, and unlike in 6, it eventually reaches the roof and stops during the final round.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In 8Bit Killer, the battle with Kingdar takes place on a lift ascending towards the Master Brain's chamber. It's large enough to have walls serving as a cover.
  • Doom:
    • Doom II: In the final map of the Master Levels expansion, the aptly-named Express Elevator to Hell, Doomguy starts in a large octagonal elevator from which he can access to eight different paths (each one identified with a floor number). Problem is, several enemies will be in the paths' entrances ready to gun him down, so the character has to deal with them as the elevator goes up and down before going through the paths proper (starting with Floor 1). As the level progresses, some of the enemies from the then-opened higher paths will make their way to the elevator, thus prolonging the shootout sequence.
    • Memento Mori's Doom mod "Kinetics" has a short elevator descent in the beginning, where a marble platform with the player moves down and keeps going past shotgunners hidden in wall niches.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon:
    • In FEAR, there is a brief Escort Mission where the Point Man has to protect Alice Wade while traveling up to the rooftop for extraction. During this time, the Replica troops are forcing the elevator to stop on each floor. Fortunately, the Replica want Alice alive and thus are unwilling to throw grenades into the elevator, and won't assault the elevator itself, so it is possible to simply stay in cover and wait it out. The Muzak from Ipanema is included.
    • In the sequel, Project Origin, there's a long, drawn-out battle with the Replica as Beckett travels to Still Island via Armacham's underground tram system, which involves a crapload of Replicas attempting to first assault and then, in desperation, smash Beckett's tram car off the rails.
  • Half-Life:
    • Half-Life contains an inclined elevator fight, with a shoutout subtle enough to double as a Genius Bonus: the room at the base of the elevator is a faithful recreation of a panel from the manga AKIRA, which appears at the end of a major fight on a similar inclined elevator.
    • Half-Life 2 and its expansion Episode 1 both have scenes where you ride a slow moving elevator and fight off enemies from it. In addition both the two aforementioned and its most recent expansion, Episode 2, have parts where you must fight off enemies while waiting for one to arrive. A particularly memorable moment occurs when the Big Bad is ascending in an elevator-ish thingy, and you have to climb up to the top to meet him before he gets away. Kind of a reverse elevator action sequence.
    • In Black Mesa, one elevator sequence has you fighting off headcrabs that jump down after you. Also, the final part of "Interloper" has you riding an elevator to the Nihilanth's portal while fending off a veritable army of Alien Controllers.
  • Halo:
    • A good portion of Halo 2 occurs on various moving platforms, both horizontal and vertical. Examples include the elevator sequences on "The Oracle" and "Quarantine Zone" (both of which involve the Flood), the gondolas on "Regret", and the diagonal lift in "Cairo Station" (though this time it's the enemy using the elevator).
  • In Ion Fury a boss fight against the Mega Brutalizer Twins takes places on an inclined elevator as it is ascending.
  • Left 4 Dead: When playing in versus, the players occasionally have to deal with special infected dropping down onto the roof from above.
  • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: One of the multiple fights against Dark Samus takes place on an elevator. The first few moments of the fight take place as the elevator is moving upward and the rest of the fight takes place in the room where the elevator stops.
  • In the last level of the second episode in Quake, the enemies teleport while the elevator goes down for you to pick up the rune.
  • The arcade game Revolution X has a level featuring a freight elevator and all sorts of goons shooting at you as you try to get to the roof.
  • In the release version of SUPERHOT, one of the levels in the middle of the game takes place inside an elevator. Three mooks have pistols at your head at the start of the level, and it's your job to take them out. Once the elevator doors open, two additional mooks with shotguns await you from beyond the doors.
  • One section of Turok takes place on a massive elevator. The problem? You're swarmed on all sides by enemy troops, and the elevator itself goes excruciatingly slow. Your companion even comments on it: "There's a lot of them! Can't this thing go any faster?!"

    Mecha Games 
  • MechQuest has one optional quest with a very long elevator sequence consisting of a hundred floors worth of random mech attacks and monsters that come after you hand-to-hand.
  • The Virtual-ON stage Death Trap (Vertebrate Shaft in Oratorio Tangram) is just a single massive elevator — with bouts of combat thrown in the middle. Oratorio Tangram also features the Ascent Corridor, which is also equally-huge, and seemingly in an open area, which makes you wonder where it is, and where it's going.

  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn:
    • One of the storyline's main antagonists Gaius Van Baelsar is fought on an elevator. This is followed up with another battle on an elevator against Ultima Weapon. Interestingly both battles happen not only on different elevators but different types of elevator.
    • One of the Turns of the Binding Coils of Bahamut also takes place on an elevator, but it isn't exactly evident during the fight.
    • The last dungeon of Heavensward, the Aetherochemical Research Facility, has an elevator that stops halfway through and drops a few robotic enemies on you. Lampshaded by your Duty Support allies as of Patch 6.3.
      Scion Thaumaturge: I swear, every time you ride a lift...
      Scion Marauder: I know, right!?

  • In one route of Contra: Hard Corps, pursuing Deadeye Joe and surrendering to Bahamut's forces has the latter use the Alien Cell to create the Big Magnum, a superweapon that can devistate continents. Bahamut self-detonates his base, forcing the player to escape into the Space Elevator, where Dr. Geo Mandrake attacks in a robot.
  • Various Mega Man games feature such sequences.
    • Jakob from Mega Man X8 is an entire level set inside a space elevator.
    • The Giant Elevator stage from Mega Man Zero 3 has Zero fight against Tretista Kelverian in a descending elevator.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, toward the end, has a prolonged fight against sand monsters in a Azad's elaborate elevator. The third game also features such an elevator, and Farah mentions she'd love to see the one in Azad. The Prince is less enthused at the prospect.
  • Round 2 of Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master incorporates a fairly extended ascending-elevator action sequence. The final level has a similar elevator ride, only not as long.
  • Wolfchild: The opening and ending (before the boss battle) of the Laboratory levels consist of Wolfchild fighting CHIMERA mooks on an ascending, and later descending, elevator.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Avernum 5 has two lifts. On one, you fend off hordes of rats that are jumping onto the lift; on the other, enemy archers take the opportunity to fire at you while you can only respond with ranged attacks.
  • The final dungeon of Chrono Trigger features elevators on which the player party gets into fights with the enemies.
  • Disgaea 4: In Chapter 8, the Hades Party goes to the human world to pursue Judge Nemo, and take a cargo lift below ground. This stage in particular has a nasty Geo Effect, "Mighty Enemy" that makes the enemies invincible. It is combined with "Ally Damage 20%" to force the player to find an alternate strategy.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: In a first for the series, the Lonesome Road DLC has you descending on a lift platform to a nuke silo, with explosions and Tunnelers popping in and out spontaneously.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • There's a boss fight against a flying robot in Final Fantasy VII that has the party members riding an elevator. This is purely Rule of Cool, as you can't escape from boss fights to begin with.
    • Although it's not a traditional elevator, Final Fantasy IX has some battles on a giant leaf that acts as an elevator inside the Iifa Tree.
  • Mass Effect 3 has Shepard and company fighting their way through an elevator shaft during Cerberus's invasion of the Citadel.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance:
  • Towards the end of the main story in Pokémon Sword and Shield, Leon is missing after having promised to have dinner with you and Hop. You find out that he's with Chairman Rose at the top of Rose Tower, and you and Hop ride the giant elevator up, which periodically stops for Multi Battles with Macro Cosmos employees.
  • Sa Ga Frontier: Lute's final battle takes place on an inclined elevator stopping every now and then so Spriggan (Final Boss) can equip new parts.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, the last non-bonus Vigoro fight takes place on an outdoors inclined elevator leading to the Big Bad's Elaborate Underground Base.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: early in the game, the Faced Mechon "Xord" comes back from the ether river he fell into and attacks Shulk and the group while they are riding the elevator. The trope becomes subverted in that Xord, while damaged, is still the biggest threat. It is then played straight once the dismantled Xord teeters off and falls down the shaft, causing a massive ether explosion. It's a wonder that, as the elevator only slowly starts to leave in the same cutscene, Shulk and co. manage to get away from the blast in the next cutscene.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Metal Gear:
    • The boss fight with the Four Horsemen (previously known as Ultrabox) in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake takes place in an elevator.
    • In Metal Gear Solid, there's an elevator aboard which you fight a group of soldiers in stealth mode, and an inclined elevator more soldiers simply leap onto that Snake is using to leave. In either case, the restricted environment forces Snakes into combat — something normally discouraged in this game when dealing with regular mooks. Though, in the second one, at least, you can melee the mooks over the edge, though you won't get the items they drop.
  • The final mission of Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow, set on a dam, has an elevator ride where you have to take out the Big Bad's Doomsday Devices.

    Survival Horror 
  • Dead Space:
    • In the first Dead Space, most of the elevators are fairly small and thus do not have much in the way of action, so when you get to a very large elevator in the mining area of the ship, it's just natural that your first trip down involves necromorphs dropping down on you from all directions. The first elevator, although not directly an Elevator Action Sequence, certainly plays like one. You get into the elevator after running for your life from the first encountered necromorphs, the doors close, you're safe, and then the doors are torn open and a necromorph lunges, only to be decapitated by the doors forcing themselves closed.
    • Dead Space 2: In one rare event you open the elevator to find an angry necromorph trapped inside. In a later sequence, you ride a large elevator outside of the space station and have to deal with large necromorphs not only smashing through the windows to get at you, but also your limited oxygen supply after the elevator depressurizes. If you take too long to kill them, you'll run out of air.
    • At one point in the Dead Space 2 DLC Severed, you come along a large elevator in the mining tunnels and begin a slow descent, when everything suddenly stops. It's quiet, your only light sources are flashing red lights on the lift, and players are likely expecting an oncoming onslaught of Necromorphs. This atmosphere remains for a solid minute. Cue the brakes failing out of nowhere and the elevator falling at full speed towards the ground, an unholy squeal emanating from the grinding metal as you make your way down. Then you end up fighting Necromorphs on the elevator anyways — you just have to do it hanging upside-down off the edge.
  • The Resident Evil series has had several elevator action sequences — as in Metal Gear Solid, it's used to force the player to fight in a game which otherwise does not encourage mindless combat.
    • Resident Evil 0 has Rebecca forced to take on a tyrant outisde a cargo elevator. Billy isn't there to help you, and no convenient, helicopter thrown grenade launchers either.
    • Resident Evil 2 has you fight William Birkin on a cargo elevator, while it's actually moving. The remake also has Leon fight Mr. X on a moving inclined elevator.
  • One of the most annoying enemies in Silent Hill: Homecoming is introduced when several of them ambush Alex in a hotel elevator.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • In UT2k4 Mod Alien Swarm, there are several large elevators. Every single one of them has a huge fight associated with it. The first is accompanied by awesome music and slow-motion for the entire fight. The "stand-alone" Source version of Alien Swarm has the same, with the visuals lifted directly from Metal Gear Solid.
  • In the Hitman series, elevators are a perfect place for sneaky, quiet assassinations. You could also have shootouts in them, but not recommended if you want a good rating.
  • Max Payne:
    • The last level of the first game has a variant; the first elevator you make use of has a glass panel in the roof, and if you look up it you'll notice that the security team have rigged the lift shaft with Claymore mines, which you have to set off with gunfire. (Must've been cheap or past their use-by date.)
    • There are a few other elevators in-game, including quite a long one a bit later in the same level, but they're a welcome few seconds of relative peace to reload and let the Vicodin kick in. Except for the one where the helicopter starts shooting at you, and you have to leap from that elevator to another one in order to escape.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil 4 has one elevator, near the end of the castle. You are ambushed by groups of monks from above, and the best way to deal with these tightly-bunched groups of enemies is via shotgun.
    • Resident Evil 5 has a huge spiraling elevator that involves two fights (one after going down and another when you are going back up).
    • Resident Evil 6 has a large circular space with two separate lifts moving on their own separate tracks. The four protagonists are split to a pair per lift and enemies both drop onto the lifts and snipe from a distance.
  • Splatoon 2: The final segment of the escape sequence in Octo Expansion takes place in the Spinal Phase, which consists of a massive elevator leading out of the facility. While riding the elevator, you have to face off against a partially-sanitized Agent 3 before you can finally escape to the surface.



John makes an apology before he clobbers two UNSC marines in an elevator.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

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Main / ApologeticAttacker

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