After the Elaborate Underground Base, this is perhaps the most common form of a Supervillain Lair. A jaw-droppingly massive tower that, well, towers over everyone and everything around it.
In Heroic Fantasy, a castle like this, situated in Mordor or a similar wilderness, is often the home of the Evil Overlord.
In a modern setting, Corrupt Corporate Executives and Villains With Good Publicity usually roost in skyscrapers right in the middle of town, so as to flaunt their power.
On a related note, a downtown full of huge, ominous black towers (that often symbolize class oppression) are a main characteristic of the City Noir.
In video games, this building will almost always be The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, frequently involving It's All Upstairs From Here.
In mythology, often used in a desperate ploy by an Boyfriend-Blocking Dad to (unsuccessfully) prevent his daughter from getting pregnant. This results in a Girl in the Tower.
Because Evil Is Bigger, any towers frequented by the good guys will almost always be dwarfed by this. The villain in these cases is almost always male. Many come equipped with a Den of Iniquity for the Mooks during their downtime, and are not so well guarded against heroes who decide to Storm the Castle.
Such buildings are highly likely to be blown up, torn down, or set on fire. Sometimes, it's even all three at once.
- Creed from Black Cat has a big, tall tower as his evil hideout. He's shown moaning impatiently for Train to hurry up and come to him while taking a rose bath inside.
- The GENOM corporation of Bubblegum Crisis has several of these around the world. Most of them get destroyed by Kill Sat.
- Damocles, the ionospheric-low-earth-orbiting nuke-spamming doom fortress from Code Geass.
- The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Digimon Tamers. Any scene the building is shown, ominous music plays. One character even remarks he's gets a creepy feeling from it, despite the structure being a well-known landmark. It becomes even creepier when its assimilated by the D-Reaper after the latter invades the real world, eventually creating the Mother Reaper out of it.
- A fair share of these are seen in Fist of the North Star, such as the Cassandra prison tower and the Imperial Capital.
- In FLCL, Medical Mechanica owns a factory shaped like a gigantic steam iron, that looms over the town of Mabase.
- The giant skyscraper where immortal Marcus Octavius lives in Highlander: The Search for Vengeance. It is the center of his empire.
- The Ziggurat from Metropolis (2001).
- The leader of Akatsuki in Naruto has his base of operations in Pain's Tower, the tallest building in the Land of Rain. The tower has intestinal exterior plumbing, ominous spikes, and demon faces.
- The main villain of Revolutionary Girl Utena lives at the top of a massive white tower that, well, towers over the campus. And Utena being Utena, the phallic symbolism is very much intentional here.
- In the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman OVA, this is Cross Karakoram (although it's disguised throughout).
- Rezo's tower in Slayers.
- The Kaibacorp Building and Duel Tower in Yu-Gi-Oh!.
- Maze Castle in YuYu Hakusho.
- Arawn: The main character is an Evil Overlord, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he calls a giant scary tower his home. We eventually learn that it's actually built from the bones of a slain goddess.
- The Post-Crisis version of Lex Luthor held bragging rights to the tallest skyscraper in the world, even beating out the Petronas Towers of Kuala Lumpur. The original towers were a riff on Manhattan's World Trade Center, except with the towers shaped like Luthor's initials. This was later retconned into a giant claw-like monstrosity hanging over the city. Various incarnations of the LexCorp/LuthorCorp building appear in Superman: The Animated Series, Lois & Clark (in which Lex commits suicide by jumping from it) and Smallville, of which the exterior shots were of the Government of Canada building in Vancouver, which is right next to the Marine Building which serves as the Daily Planet.
- Lex: I must confess that I love the fact that everyone in the city has to look up in order to see me. (Lois & Clark, "Pilot")
- Wonder Woman (2011): The New 52 did away with Olympus' former Bizarrchitecture to replace it with an onimus huge tower that reflects it's current ruler. When the First Born kills Apollo the whole thing ends up covered in dripping shifting Meat Moss.
- In many fairy tales, the villainess put the heroine in a tower and gets herself in and out by climbing the heroine's hair. "Rapunzel" is the most familiar of these, but there are many others, such as "Snow-White-Fire-Red". These are always the work of the villainess, and the heroine is always eager to escape.
- Burning Black: There are eight Dark Spires dotting Dimmsdale's skyline that all work together to nullify fairies and their magic, a Master Spire and its seven Support Spires. They're to be upgraded later to National Spires, and it's this upgrade that Timmy and his friends are trying to prevent.
- Inner Demons: There's one of these in the middle of Tartarus that Twilight takes as her lair following her Villainous Breakdown.
- In Keepers of the Elements, Radcliffe’s lair is described as being this.
- The Night Unfurls: Downplayed for the Black Fortress, which is not a "tower" per se, but fulfils its purpose nonetheless. It is situated in Garan, a Mordor in the north, as well as the home of Evil Overlords like Olga (former) and Vault (present).
- Queen of Shadows: The Shadowkhan fortress has at least one of these, which contains the Queen's personal living quarters. Jirobo is later revealed to have his own tower as well. But since he's General of the Bat Khan, it makes sense.
- The Tears of Gaia: On the middle of Burzkala's crater, there is a very tall black tower. Inside the very top of the tower is inhabited by the Blight.
- In Igor, the country of Malaria, where mad science is the main export, there's a tower extending into the perpetual storm that blankets the land, topped with giant metal skulls that shoot electric beams every which way in the sky, ostensibly as a beacon to the world of the evil over their heads. The climax reveals that it's actually a weather control machine, and the beams are drawing in clouds to perpetuate the storm that makes farming impossible and forces Malaria to threaten the world with mad science to support itself.
- The LEGO Movie: With the way Lord Business acts, it would be highly uncharacteristic for him not to have this. It's a soaring, infinitely-floored Octan office tower built overlooking a swirling vortex of nothingness, complete with thunder and lightning. Also includes a Think Tank to imprison and torture Master Builders in. It's so absurdly tall, certain floors have spaceports for spaceships to dock onto.
- The first Shrek movie did a Lampshade Hanging; when Shrek sees the towering castle of Big Bad Lord Farquaad (an ill-tempered, tyrannical midget), his first thoughts are "Do you think maybe he's compensating for something?"
- In Disney's Sleeping Beauty, one of the scariest straight examples was the setting of the final confrontation. Also a rare female villain-version.
- Richard Williams's The Thief and the Cobbler has Zigzag's tower, which is ominous and foreboding from the outside, but is ridiculous in the end because all those hundreds of meters of height are just stairs, insanely long stairs leading to only one messy room at the top where Zigzag lives and works.
- Titan A.E. the Drej Mothership would be a mobile version of this.
- Batman (1989): The Anton Furst-designed Gotham City was a city full of these. Carl Grissom's penthouse suite definitely qualifies, though.
- The Brothers Grimm took its cues directly from Fairy Tales, so naturally a tower was needed. In the middle of a Haunted Forest, a tower with no doors, surrounded by twelve stone sarcophagi, and the nest for a murder of shrieking crows. Jakob wants to get in to meet the girl of his dreams. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
- The Dark Crystal has a smashing one of these in the Skeksis' fortress. In the end, we see underneath it is really a beautiful crystal tower of pure cut diamond.
- Game of Death: The pagoda in the original film appears as this when seen from distance. It's also the home of five of the most deadly martial artists in the world.
- Ghostbusters (1984): 55 Central Park West becomes one of these, thanks to its fictional backstory of being designed by Mad Architect Ivo Shandor.
- Inspector Gadget (1999): The gothic-looking skyscraper which houses Sanford Scolex's corporate headquarters. Although it looks like something created for a movie baddie, it is actually a real building, the PPG Place in Pittsburgh.
- I, Robot: The US Robotics tower.
- Krull: The Black Fortress is mobile and is even capable of traveling through space. In the film, it teleports around the planet. In the book, it's described as flying from place to place instead.
- Land of the Dead: Paul Kaufman's headquarters are located at a top of the tallest building of Fiddler's Green, and it's fittingly given an ominous feel.
- Left Behind: In the third movie, after an implied jump forward in time, the new way of things has been established and Nicolae Carpathia resides in a central "GC"-emblazoned building which dominates the DVD menu and blows up at the end
- Metropolis: The New Tower of Babel, Joh Fredersen's headquarters.
- Once Upon a Warrior: Sorceress Irendri's citadel is located in the middle of a wasteland, which used to be a lush valley full of life until she uses her supernatural powers to have the tower manifest in it's very middle. It's also modified based on a serpent's head, befitting Irendri's nature being a snake-themed villainess.
- The Shop on Main Street, shot in Nazi-allied, fascist Slovakia in 1942, has a wooden tower being built in the central square. It turns out to be a monument to the fascist Hlinka Guard militia, and it is dedicated in a chilling ceremony.
- Spider-Man has the Osborn Penthouse, which really is an Evil Tower of Ominousness, Big Fancy House, Big Fancy Castle (slightly, as it's gothic in design), and even Haunted Castle (with the eerie Green Goblin spirit haunting it) all at once.
- Star Wars:
- The second Death Star had a tower at its north pole, containing the Emperor's penthouse suite, complete with handy-dandy bottomless pit that led into the reactor core for some reason. The first Death Star had a similar tower in it, according to The Force Unleashed.
- The aptly, and affectionately nicknamed "Wizards' Tower", the prominent observation platform aboard the Confederate flagship Invisible Hand in Revenge of the Sith. It's clearly meant to be very evocative of the Death Star spire, too.
- Rogue One shows that Vader has a personal Supervillain Lair on Mustafar, which naturally includes one of these.
- Darth Sidious uses an abandoned industrial tower of some kind during the prequel era. He later has it refurbished into the headquarters and hangout for the Jedi hunting Inquisitors.
- Star Wars: Ewok Adventures: The brutal Sanyassans live inside a large castle which is introduced in a creepy fashion.
- Koopa Tower in the 1993 Super Mario Bros. (1993) film is the most imposing landmark in Dinohattan, and is where Koopa is holding Princess Daisy.
- Time Bandits: The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness.
- Tomorrow Never Dies: Elliot Carver's building in Saigon, which dwarfs everything else and has a giant poster of his face on the side.
- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: The titular chocolate factory has a very imposing appearance when it's first seen, not helped by the accompanying music. Subverted in that Wonka is ultimately a good guy and the interior of the factory isn't all that scary. (Except for the boat ride.)
- The Ministry of Truth in Nineteen Eighty-Four is an "enormous, pyramidal structure of white concrete, soaring up terrace after terrace, three hundred metres into the air." Not a wholly inaccurate exaggeration of Stalinesque architectural ambitions. But somehow an eerily prescient description of the real-life Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang from 1992 to 2008.
- The Belgariad has the gigantic tower of Cthol Mishrak, raised by the Mad God Torak after his Face–Heel Turn. He purposely built it taller than his older, kinder brother's Mage Tower, which leads Belgarath to snark that he must be Compensating for Something. It took a good eight hours to climb to the top floor, before Belgarath burgled it and Torak leveled it in a temper tantrum.
- In Bronding's Honour, there's the Bright Tower which can apparently only be seen as far as the Bronding's Hold, making a lot of other clans believe the Brondings are seeing things. It's ominous, but is said to be a 'good' place.
- Patricia C. Wrede's Caught In Crystal has the Twisted Tower, a black, bent tower inhabited by a shadowy evil creature. Our heroine was part of the first disastrous expedition to the Tower, and now must return, sixteen years later, to discover what really happened the first time and finally set it right.
- The Tyrant's Fortress (in original Italina "La Rocca") in Chronicles of the Emerged World.
- Ridjeck Thome (aka Foul's Crèche) from the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is a combination Evil Tower of Ominousness and Elaborate Underground Base in the tradition of Angband; though it features a truly ominous tower, the bulk of the structure, including Lord Foul's throne room, is below ground.
- The Shadow King in The City of Dreaming Books has a tower. Located in a huge vault in the deepest reaching of the city-spanning catacombs.
- Jessica Meats' Codename Omega stories have Grey's Tower. It's not much of a skyscraper but it is in the middle of York and there were planning permission issues — they weren't allowed a helipad. The fact that Mrs Grey was able to build it at all implies evil influence.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Scarlet Citadel", Tsotha's citadel, on its hilltop.
- The Dark Tower:
- Stephen King topped them all —- the Dark Tower stands at the center of the multiverse. It's a subversion in this case. The Crimson King is waiting for the hero there, but he doesn't own the place — he's been trapped by it. The Tower itself is actually a Cosmic Keystone that the Crimson King was trying to destroy, and it was somewhat able to defend itself.
- The MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas becomes a straight one for Randall Flagg in The Stand.
- The Emberverse's Castle Todenangst, built tyrant Norman Arminger, is a deliberate attempt to evoke this effect.
- The idea is satirized in Going Postal, when anti-hero Moist von Lipwig looks up at the Tump Tower, the nearest thing Ankh-Morpork has to a skyscraper office block, and reflects that the modern Dark Lord doesn't need the expense of an army of Orcs and ten thousand ogres camped around the Evil Dark Tower. All he needs to spread the maximum of evil and misery are amoral accountants and sympathetic lawyers. And they can work from indoors, inside the Tower.
- In Gorgo the Ogre, the citadel where the evil Black Ogres live is composed of a series of black towers, with the biggest one in the middle being the site of the throne room.
- Older Than Print: Kajebi fortress in ''The Knight in the Tiger's Skin'' (12th century)
- Most examples in The Lord of the Rings stand out as being former Nice Towers of Goodness before they fell to evil.
- Minas Morgul, aka the Tower of Dark Sorcery, was built as Minas Ithil by the exiled Númenóreans to protect Gondor from Sauron's forces. Then the Witch-King of Angmar, The Dragon to Sauron, showed up with an army and made himself at home.
- The indestructible tower Orthanc was built by descendants of the Númenóreans as part of Gondor's defensive network, eventually abandoned, and finally given to the wizard Saruman. Pity he turned out to be a Fallen Angel in human form.
- The Towers of the Teeth at the Black Gate of Mordor were constructed by Gondor after Sauron's defeat to watch against his return. Continuing Gondor's poor track record of Tower maintenance, the armies of Sauron eventually took them over and incorporated them into Mordor's defenses.
- Dol Guldur in Mirkwood, formerly a capital of the Forest Elves before Sauron overtook the place in the Second Age. The ruins then became Sauron's hideout during his early return to power before the White Council join forces to drive him out. It later gets razed to the ground by Lady Galadriel when lesser agents of the Shadow move in.
- Sauron's personal tower Barad-dûr, raised by his magic in the heart of Mordor to become the greatest stronghold of all Middle-Earth. With the final destruction of Sauron's power, it promptly fell apart. It provides us with the page image and quote. A massive castle with steel gates and a keep made of black diamond, set into a mountain-sized deposit of iron, surrounded by a moat of lava from the local volcano.
- Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn subverts this by having the Final Battle take place atop Green Angel Tower, a place of inhuman beauty and the sole above-ground remnant of the ancient Sithi city of Asu'a (humans built the Hayholt atop the old city after capturing it). It's also not coincidentally the location of the Storm King's attempted Heroic Sacrifice five hundred years ago, and the place he chooses to reenter the world in the present. It's still a big-ass tower where the heroes fight the Big Bad, though.
- Lord Dreadgrave the Necromancer's castle in Literature/Mogworld is affectionately referred to as a "Doom Fortress" by its undead staff, and is said to bear a resemblance to "an incontinent titan squatting over the river."
- Most of the conflict in Otherland occurs within the titular network, but a significant portion of the climax takes place in the real-world skyscraper that forms the headquarters of J Corp. Black, ominous, and massively taller than anything else nearby, it's a suitable home for Corrupt Corporate Executive Felix Jongleur and gets spectacularly flattened when the Other decides to commit suicide via Death from Above.
- A Practical Guide to Evil has the palace of the Dread Tyrant of Praes, known simply as the Tower. It has a footprint the size of a castle and rises hundreds of floors, some only accessible by flying, and each floor is more dangerous than the last, starting with an Eldritch Abomination built into the front door. It's been destroyed twice in Praesi history, only to be rebuilt even taller each time.
No wonder they all go mad. How could you live in that without coming to think of yourself as a god?
- The Riftwar Cycle has the Sorcerer's Isle, which holds an ominous castle that has a cold blue light shining from its tower's windows and sends sheets of silver light into the sky overhead. A subversion in that it's designed to be maximally ominous to scare people away, but all the lights and sounds don't mean anything. It's even largely left empty; the entire point of the tower is ominousness so the sorcerer in residence can be left alone.
- The Dark Tower from the Tale of the Unwithering Realm series. It's the heart of an entire multiversal empire, and it's absolutely colossal, inhabited by possibly the population of a country, many of which never even left it all their lives.
- A Song of Ice and Fire has a couple of examples:
- Harrenhal was originally built by a man named Harren as a fortress/monument to himself. It consisted of five towers, said to be among the tallest in Westeros. Then Aegon the Conqueror showed up with his three dragons and melted much of it, turning it instantly from some Jerkass's self-congratulatory monument to a cursed White Elephant of a fortress that brings bad luck to whoever makes it their seat of power. The "curse" actually has a fairly mundane in-universe explanation: the size of Harrenhal makes it an sought after by rivals for the prestige of holding it, yet is so big it is hard to effectively defend. No wonder it keeps changing hands and bringing ill fortune to those who try and hold it. The only person who prospered after sacking Harrenhal thus far has been Roose Bolton, who's such a Magnificent Bastard he's apparently even capable of subverting curses.
- The Targaryen fortress of Dragonstone is the most exotic castle in the realm, located on an island in the middle of nowhere. Many don't see the wisdom of shaping its towers to look like dragons.
- Then there is also the city of Oldtown and its leading house, the notoriously overlooked Hightowers based on the Hightower — a gigantic lighthouse/castle and the highest stand-alone structure in Westeros (even higher than The Wall) — the Hightowers are the patrons of both two of the most important organizations in Westeros, namely The Faith Of Seven and The Order Of The Maesters.
- Casterly Rock, the home of the Lannisters has all the above beaten. The fortress is three times the height of the wall. The Wall is 700 feet tall, Casterly Rock is 2100 feet high!note , stretches for two leagues (seven miles) and has never been taken before in battle. A fitting home for the likes of House Lannister.
- Prince Xizor in Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire has one, of the skyscraper variety. Partially subverted in that every building on Coruscant is a skyscraper. It collapses after Lando Calrissian drops a thermal detonator in the garbage chute.
- The Black Rose Tower in Tasakeru is a complex case, not so much evil, but definitely ominous. Originally built by a would-be world conqueror, it was quickly abandoned when said conqueror did a Heel–Face Turn. It was revealed later to have strange magical properties, including repairing itself when damaged and limited shapeshifting. The inside is even weirder: it adapts to the needs of whomever calls it their home.
- In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Dead Sky Black Sun, the end point of their quest is an evil tower, bordering on Ominous Floating Castle because it is suspended over a void.
- In Anthony Reynolds’ Warhammer 40,000 Word Bearers novel Dark Apostle, the Word Bearers enslave the population of Tanakreg and force them to build a tower called the Gehemehnet. Its bricks are mortared with the liquefied bodies of countless slaves, its mere presence thins the veil between the real world and the Warp, and it is so impossibly tall — almost fifty kilometres — that one of the slaves realizes the tower is actively breaking the laws of physics by not collapsing under its own weight. It is also sentient and evil, corrupting the work force so that they become utterly devoted to completing the tower. The Word Bearers normally use them to convert ordinary planets into Daemon Worlds, while Jarulek is using this particular Gehemehnet to shatter Tanakreg’s surface so that he can get at the Necrons ruins buried within the planet’s crust.
- The White Tower in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time books, especially after Elaida's Face–Heel Turn. Mazrim Taim builds and rules the Black Tower, but this is actually a village; the name was chosen specifically as a reference to the other one. Taim does build a palace that he rules from that counts though. And that's not including the Tower of Ghenji, which is probably a portal to a dimension with Alien Geometry. Or the Towers of Midnight, which were the place where the a'dam, a collar to enslave magic users were made. Or, for that matter, the tower that Moridin has recently started using in the Blight. While the 13th book probably won't show the (for the series) literal Towers of Midnight (they're several thousand miles away), it's probably not called Tower of Midnight for no reason. There's a lot of ominousness to go around.
- The Iron Tower of Carcë in E. R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros, lair of the sourcerous King Gorice of Witchland.
- Angel: Wolfram & Hart's Los Angeles branch corporate building. Angel partially lampshades this: "You set things in motion, play your little games up here in your glass and chrome tower, and people die — innocent people."
- Babylon 5 — Z'ha'dum, the home planet of the Shadows, had rather ominous-looking stone spires jutting out of the Mordor-like landscape.
- Doctor Who:
- The Battersea Power Station becomes the London headquarters of Cybus Industries in "Rise of the Cybermen."
- Classic series example: The Tower of the Three Who Rule in the Fourth Doctor story, "State of Decay." This being Doctor Who, the Tower is really a crashed, defunct spaceship.
- Also from the classic series, the Tower of Rassilon. When the Doctor spots it he knows he's in the Death Zone, which is unpleasant as its name suggests.
- The Daleks' headquarters in "Day of the Daleks" is a tower surrounded by post-apocalyptic wasteland. The original broadcast portrays it as a windowless tower block, while the Enhanced on DVD edition makes it far more intimidating.
- Frasier: Played for laughs and lampshaded when the staff of the radio station have to confront their boss in an office building known as The Black Tower.
- Game of Thrones:
- The five massive towers of Harrenhal are all the more ominous for having been melted by dragonfire.
- The House of the Undying in Qarth is intentionally shot at angles that leave its summit unseen to make it seem more imposing.
- House of the Dragon: The towers of Storm's End look quite intimidating during stormy nights, as Lucerys Velaryon finds out. Add the fact that the Baratheons side with his mother's enemies, and it's definitely not a welcoming place for him.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: After climbing a sheer cliff in the Forodwaith, Galadriel finds one of the fortresses Sauron used to hide in, just when everyone was ready to give up. The fortress is enormous, made of conical and tall black towers. There, she finds a redoubt where dark magic has been practiced and the sigil of Sauron, recently carved in cold stone. The fortress is implied to be, Utumno, first outpost of Morgoth.
- There are a couple in Merlin but the titular Dark Tower takes the cake.
- Subverted with the tower where Rapunzel is trapped in the Once Upon a Time version of that story: It seems like it should be this, but is in fact just an old tower of no special significance. Rapunzel is only trapped there by a physical embodiment of her own fear, created when she ate an anxiety-curing vegetable called Nightroot. It would have appeared to stalk her whether she was in the tower or not.
- Only Fools and Horses: Rodney Trotter has a dream in the episode Heroes and Villains where Rodney walks into Trotter Towers, an intimidating looking building, set in an alternate future where his brother Del Boy and Del's Corrupt Corporate Executive son Damian basically rule the world with an iron fist. He's relieved when he wakes up and realises it was all a dream.
- Super Sentai and its counterpart Power Rangers have a few of these as villainous lairs.
- Bandora of Kyouryu Sentai Zyuranger and Rita Repulsa from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers have a tower on the moon. In the second season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Lord Zedd takes this tower over from Rita.
- The demonic villains from Rescue Sentai GoGoFive and Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue have have a tower with a huge skull on top of it.
- Jakanja, the villain group from Ninpuu Sentai Hurricanger plunged their space ship vertically into the earth, resulting in a variation of this trope. The American counterpart Power Rangers Ninja Storm averts this as the villains have a completely different spaceship which stays in orbit of the planet.
- The song "The Dark Tower of Abyss" by Rhapsody is about such a tower.
- Naturally, The Lord of the Rings has Barad-Dûr, which the player must knock down.
- The "Tower" table in Ruiner Pinball is set in one of these.
- Novacom's radio tower in Adventures in Odyssey.
- In Cyberpunk 2020, the skyscrapers of the different Megacorps are the equivalent, with those of Arasaka fitting the bill quite well being black, very high (often the highest building of the cities where they're based), and having a design that is common to most of them.
- Parodied in the Discworld Roleplaying Game article "Call No Man Happy Until He Is Dread", which notes that the aversion Dark Lords have to outbuildings and courtyards presumably indicates that they keep their black horses indoors, and they must feel that maintaining the ominousness of the tower makes up for the smell.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- In the Ptolus setting, the city of Ptolus lies in the shadow of the impossibly tall Spire. Though not many people in the city realize it, the entire spire is hollow and holds a vault of evil artifacts, and on top of that is the castle so tainted by its former Big Bad occupant that the gods themselves still keep it locked tight thousands of years after his death.
- Halfway up the Spire is the fortress of a Slightly Less Big Bad. He plunged most of a continent into winter for years as a weapon of mass destruction, created monstrous laboratories in which to create monstrous armies, and generally was bad news for everyone and everything. And he measures up to the halfway point of the original big bad.
- Magic: The Gathering:
- The Darksteel Citadel on the plane of Mirrodin is the lair of the Big Bad Memnarch.
- Also, the Tower of Calamities, from the same set.
- Nicol Bolas also creates a giant citadel that looms over the buildings around it when he tries to conquer Ravnica in "War of the Spark". This is no mean feat given that Ravnica is already a City Planet with giant towers everywhere.
- Nagash, the lord of the undead, has not just an evil tower, but an entire mountain that's been turned into a gigantic fortress of evil!
- Towers stick out of Naggaroth, land of the Dark Elves, like it was a pincushion.
- The Chaos Dwarf settlements, while not as slender as the ones of the Dark Elves, also tend to take the form of giant towers with the sole exception of their capital which, despite being often referred to as the Tower of Zharr-Naggrund, is actually an enormous ziggurat.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- The Daemon World of the Iron Warriors, Medrengard, is an entire world covered with evil towers reaching into space.
- The Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red has a tower larger than both the Imperial Palace and Olympus Mons combined on the Planet of the Sorcerors.
- The Silver Towers of Tzeentch are not just towers but giant daemon engines controlled by a trapped daemon of Tzeentch while thrall-wizards control the many warp based weapons of the tower. They are Eldritch Abomination with Alien Geometries. They can carry armies of Daemons, Mutants, and Chaos marines and hover across the battlefield. They are also really huge for comparison the ships firing at the towers are many kilometers long◊
- The Tyranid Hive Fleets of Warhammer 40,000 also build large living towers that function as straws so they can siphon away the resources of the planet!
- Doctor Doom's Fearfall at Universal's Islands of Adventure consists of two massive industrial towers that stand at 199 feet tall.
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at the Disney Theme Parks. The ride's setting, The Hollywood Tower Hotel, is all broken-down and haunted after a lightning strike and is meant to look like this to oncoming riders.
- Sometimes the Tower will really drive this home as the building is equipped with lightning rods to deflect any bolts away from the riders while adding to its theming. Check out this amateur footage.
- Hotel Hightower, the Japanese Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea almost exaggerates this with its exuberantly gothic architecture.
- The Metru Nui Coliseum of BIONICLE. Despite this being LEGO, it was never made into a toy apart from its entrance gate, though it did show up in the background of all the 2004-2005 promo adverts and was prominently featured in the second and third Direct to Video movies. Originally a symbol of law and order, a sporting arena and storage complex, it was taken over by Makuta and then his minions Sidorak, Roodaka and the Visorak horde. The city's power plant was underneath, as was Mata Nui's core processor/brain module.
- Over the years, LEGO has produced a few different evil castles with towers looming over them: the Bat Lord's Castle◊, for example.
- After the War has the Portal, an Eldritch Location from where the Aliens spawn, located in a giant, bottomless tower.
- Astalon: Tears of the Earth takes place in the Tower of Serpents, a black tower in the desert that the game's protagonists traverse to stop it from poisoning their village's water supply. The tower itself is filled with fleshy abominations imprisoned in stone faces known as gorgons, as well as statues of hideous demons. The characters remark that the tower itself seems to give off evil energy.
- Baldur's Gate:
- Both Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II have towers as the Bonus Dungeon of the add-ons. Tales of the Sword Coast has Durlags Tower, a deathtrap dungeon build by a mad dwarf king, while Throne of Bhaal had the Watcher's Keep, which sits atop the prison of a Demonic Overlord of Hell. As a slight subversion, the Watcher's Keep is entered by climbing a massive set of stairs to reach the main door, located at it's top.
- In the expansion for the first game intended to bridge the gap between it and its sequel, Siege of Dragonspear, the final battle with Belhifet takes place atop a large basalt tower in Hell itself. Complete with a long elevator ride beforehand where you're flanked by demons.
- In the first console-exclusive Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance game, The Very Definitely Final Dungeon was in Onyx Tower that had something like fifty floors, though you actually played in less than half of them.
- Banjo-Kazooie has the upper building of Gruntilda's Lair while Banjo-Tooie has Cauldron Keep. The respective final boss battles take place at the top of them.
- Baroque: Nuero Tower, where most of the game takes place. It doubles as an Elaborate Underground Base in that while it is a tower, you're actually going down. And it's constantly changing shape too.
- The world 4 of Wii version of A Boy and His Blob takes place in a large evil emperor's tower. Surprisingly, there is a sleeping spot at the base of it.
- The final act of BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm centres on The Spire, an utterly massive black tower of Magitek that can take hours to climb. Its purpose is far from evil, though –- the Spire serves as a beacon, projecting energy that keeps an ancient, shattered Eldritch Abomination from putting itself back together. So it’s a… Good Tower of Ominousness?
- Breath of Fire I has many wonderful towers to climb, from beginning to end.
- The Castle Keep in nearly every Castlevania game, where Dracula is fought (there are several towers in the games, including the infamous Clock Tower where Death is usually fought, but the Castle Keep is always the tallest one).
- In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow the final battle takes place on the Lord of the Dead's Tower (Its a giant pillar that is larger even then the others, and is flanked by two massive lion statues.
- Chrono Trigger: Who can forget the scene where the party first sees Magus's Lair in all its gloomy glory?
- Chrono Cross:
- It's only the most chilling part of either Chrono series where the party first enters the Dead Sea and sees the creepy-as-hell Tower of Geddon looming on the frozen waves.
- Fort Dragonia, site of very dramatic events that change the protagonist's life forever.
- Terra Tower, built by the descendants of the Reptites in an alternate future.
- City of Villains:
- Ghost Widow's base is a tall tower in the first area (it's also a Clown-Car Base). Several zones in the game have a skyscraper draped in Arachnos banners that acts as a base for them.
- Lord Recluse's Broadcast Tower in Grandville is the biggest and most ominous of the towers on Primal Earth. It's big, red, spidery, and is designed to steal the powers of every Hero on Earth. In Praetoria, the honor goes to Emperor Cole's Watchtower in Nova Praetoria, which is supposedly visible throughout the city. It's not so much an Evil Tower of Ominousness as a Shiny Tower of Gray-and-Gray Morality, but it fits the bill.
- Clive Barker's Undying: One of the manor's towers has an unearthly purple halo stretching into the sky, marking the portal to Oneiros.
- Agency tower in Crackdown 2 is an example. In the end it turns out to be a giant flashlight, killing every freak in the city and causing an "Earth-Shattering Kaboom".
- The final island in the first Crash Bandicoot (1996) is a giant tower built on a rock. Mount Grimly in Crash: Mind Over Mutant counts as both this and Death Mountain.
- Cyberpunk 2077: Arasaka Tower is taller than all other buildings in Night City, Red and Black and Evil All Over, home of the most powerful, capital-E Evil organization in the game, and contains what is only describable as the closest thing to a gateway to Hell in a world without the confirmed existence of interventionist deities.
- Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening has Temen-ni-Gru, a tower in which most of the game takes place.
- The Tower of Babel in Doom, final location of the second episode. Actual tower properties are not apparent when you get there, though, as all you do once you get there is fight the Cyberdemon at the base of it, with the player character not climbing it until the end-episode text once said demon is killed.
- Dragon Age: Origins:
- Fort Drakon. Technically it's simply part of the city of Denerim, but effectively turns into an evil tower once the Darkspawn invade the city at the end of the game, which also turns the sky red and gives the tower an even eviler look. It also serves as the final dungeon after one of the Archdemon's wings is damaged and must land atop the tower.
- The Circle Of Magi's tower also looks like one (complete with a large full moon in the background), and like Fort Drakon, basically turns into an evil tower after a demon invasion from within. It gets better after you beat the mission, but still looks just as ominous as ever.
- You can tell the bad guys are serious in Dreamfall: The Longest Journey when they take over Marcuria and build a massive doom tower in the middle of it.
- In Dwarf Fortress you can build (or mold out of obsidian) one of these (or whatever the heck else you want), complete with black stone and spewing rivers of magma. Also, the Dark Fortresses the goblins build are bastions formed entirely from obsidian. Emphasis on formed: they're essentially giant, hollow pillars of solid obsidian.
- Dungeons in Daggerfall have random outsides but most of them involve a mound with inlaid stairs (going down, supposedly). However, it also includes full and ruined castle-like backdrops, some in what appear to be former cities or towns, or cut into giant trees. Rarely are their names correctly descriptive. All of the main quest dungeon exteriors are unique (Orsinium is the most unique one), save for the first and the last dungeons of the main quest. In fact, a plainclothes entrance to the Mantellan Crux is accessible on a very small island off of the main map, northwest from your ship.
- The Watcher's Tower in El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, which makes up the bulk of the game. As it was created by fallen angels, the interior is so mind mindbogglingly large, it's not so much divided into individual floors, as into individual worlds.
- Loren Darith, the Master's tower from Evil Twin: Cyprien's Chronicles, a tower so high that the top and bottom are always shrouded in mist.
- The Tattered Spire from Fable II, which, when completed, can be seen from any beach in Albion.
- Reconstructed with Fallout 3's Dunwich Building, a foreboding tower in an already Used Future, especially in contrast to the uncommonly bright and shiny Tenpenny Tower nearby. The entire site is an homage to H.P. Lovecraft.
- Fallout: New Vegas has the Lucky 38 Casino (based on the real-life Stratosphere Tower), home to Mr. House.
- In Faria, every tower in the game can be considered ominous, given how often townspeople mention that they're terrified of the monsters there. The tallest of the towers is the lair of the Final Boss.
- Geese Tower in Fatal Fury, the tallest building in Southtown, and the location of Geese's demise in every continuity.
- Towers such as these are staples of the Final Fantasy series:
- Mirage Tower in the original Final Fantasy, a spiral-shaped structure whose very top contains a teleporter into the Sky Warriors' Floating Castle.
- The Emperor's Tower within the Cyclone in Final Fantasy II. Castle Palamecia and Pandaemonium also qualify.
- The Crystal Tower at the center of the Ancients' Maze, in Final Fantasy III, where Xande awaits. It stretches upwards far, far above the clouds (it takes both of the Nintendo DS' screens to show just part of it) and holds the altar/ teleporter to the Dark World at the top.
- There are two of these in Final Fantasy IV — the Tower of Zot, where Golbez makes his lair, and the Tower of Bab-il, which extends into the center of the planet and has immense powers, triggered by the game's Plot Coupons.
- Fork Tower, Phoenix Tower, and the four Barrier Towers that maintain the shield around Exdeath's castle in Final Fantasy V. Fortunately, the party only needs to visit one; Fork Tower and Phoenix Tower are also optional. Walz Tower, where the Water Crystal resides until shortly into the game, sinks into the ocean and becomes an underwater dungeon for the party to traverse from top to bottom, but it's not exactly "evil" per se.
- Kefka has one in Final Fantasy VI. TWO, if you count the Cult of Kefka tower. And then there's the cutscene while flying to the Imperial Palace. It can be seen many miles from the continent it's situated upon. The opening cutscene, which shows its summit, is a vast edifice of checkerplate flooring and bastion walls.
- In Final Fantasy VII, Shinra HQ, which rises from ground level and serves as the Midgar Plate's central pillar, certainly has more than enough floors to count (and the player can choose to climb up the stairs). President Shinra's office sits on top.
- Lunatic Pandora in Final Fantasy VIII, a gigantic floating tower.
- The Iifa Tree in Final Fantasy IX fulfills this role in-game despite being, as its name implies, a tree.
- The tower of the Temple of St. Bevelle, seen very briefly near the end of Final Fantasy X and the "Tower of the Dead" seen even briefly inside of Sin.
- The Yadonoki Tower Bonus Dungeon in Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission''.
- Final Fantasy XI has Delkfutt's Tower, an immense structure made of white bone-like material ("cermet") where one of the major bosses of the Rise of the Zilart storyline resides. Castle Zvahl Keep might also count, especially since it leads to the Throne Room of the Shadow Lord, the game's first Big Bad.
- Final Fantasy XII's massive Pharos Lighthouse. Based on the real Pharos Lighthouse, except much, much bigger, and filled with vicious monsters. There's also Sky Fortress Bahamut, which has the appearance of a floating tower but you only get to travel in a small part of it. It eventually crashes just outside of Rabanastre and becomes a tower by default.
- Taejin's Tower in Final Fantasy XIII has a very Barad-dûr-like look to it, however in the 500-some years after the extinction of humanity on Gran Pulse, the top half of it has toppled over. Despite that minor detail, it's creepiness factor is not in any way diminished.
- Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: The Temple of Chaos is a downplayed example — it isn't evil, but it is definitely ominous. You also get to go all the way to the top to fight a storyline boss.
- These are all over the place in Final Fantasy XIV. There are the Castrums built by the Garlean Empire, the Crystal Tower, the Pharos Lighthouse, Eulmore, and the Telephoroi's towers.
- The Tower of Valni is taken over by monsters early on in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. More and more floors are unlocked for you to clear as the plot progresses.
- Flower has a large one at the end of the dream 6 which is basically nothing more than a metallic spire with grirders. It is turned into a giant blooming tree at the end.
- For the King: The final dungeon of the main campaign is Harazuel, a spiky black tower on an inaccessible island, where the Big Bad is attempting to summon a God of Chaos into the world.
- God of War II has the Spire of the Fates, which can be seen in the distance for most of game. On closer inspection it turns out to be not just an ordinary tower, though.
- In Golden Sun, there are four elemental lighthouses whose beacons can be lit with gems called the Elemental Stars. Lighting these beacons is the objective of the villains of both the first and second games, and every time you enter one of the lighthouses you'll have to fight a boss battle at the top. They're not really supervillain lairs, per se, but supervillains do tend to congregate there.
- Millenion's Tower in the original Gungrave. The Final Stage takes place inside of it. After an elevator sequence full of reveals, things get really weird from there.
- Half-Life 2.
- The Citadel. Supposedly one of many around the world, it serves as a dimensional teleport beacon, dark-energy reactor, storage for synths, and a cushy office for Combine collaborator Dr. Breen (and oh, it's also The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in Half-Life 2). It's so ominous and huge that its top is obscured by clouds, and the next two episodes in the game focus almost entirely on delaying its exploding before so everyone can evacuate, and when it does anyway, cleaning up the mess — and superportal — afterwards.
- The Depot at Nova Prospekt. When viewed from outside, it towers over the entire complex. Up close, it has the same kind of prisoner transport system as the Citadel's, and is literally made from the old prison's materials, thanks to the giant crushing walls nearby.
- In Black Mesa, the Fan Remake of Half-Life, throughout the Xen level you can see a huge tower hovering in the distance, with an enormous red portal over it that gives it an appearance strongly reminiscent of Barad-dûr. You finally reach it in Interloper, and spend much of the level making your way up through it. After you defeat the Nihilanth, it explodes.
- The Citadel tower in Halo 3. One of the OST tracks is aptly titled "Black Tower".
- Hype: The Time Quest has the Black Tower, final area of the game (which was previously visited when still in construction).
- Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II: The one in the middle of the city of Baron's Hed which the player has to get to the top while pursuing 8t88. It's black and sticks out high above everything else.
- Rokakku builds one in Shibuya Terminal in Jet Set Radio Future. It's a freaky piece of modern art, and contained in a warped space inside is the final battle zone. It has no name canonically, but due to one of Rokakku's lines when he's talking it up some fans have taken to calling it "Irrelevant".
- The lair of the Naughty Sorceress in Kingdom of Loathing is a fair example of this.
- Legacy of Kain had a few; the tower of Dark Eden in Blood Omen and the Silent Cathedral in Soul Reaver are the trust in the tower sense. The Sarafan Keep in Blood Omen 2 could also count.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- Ganon's Tower from A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, and The Wind Waker. The latter is in Old Hyrule, not far from Hyrule Castle, but since the whole area is inside an underwater dome, it's not visible from anywhere else. A Link to the Past also has the Tower area of Hyrule Castle, after it's usurped by Agahnim.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has two:
- The Clock Tower serves as the gateway between Link's home dimension and the world explored in the game, the ominous clock ticking off the time until the moon crashes, a representation of which appears on the screen throughout the game, the point where you reappear each time you rewind to the first day, the arena for both the first and the penultimate battle against the Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask, and the point from which you travel to the moon for the final dungeon and final battle.
- The Stone Tower Temple in Ikana Canyon. Notable because part of the dungeon is going back outside and hitting a switch to invert the entire place.
- The Black Tower in Oracle of Ages.
- The Tower of Spirits from Spirit Tracks. The only times you can't see it from your train are when there's physical objects (mountains, trees and the like) blocking your view.
- In Little Nightmares II, an ominous signal tower looms over the horizon of the Pale City, emitting all sorts of weird signals responsible for the nightmare monsters you encounter. The worst part is when Mono and Six finally reach it near the end of the game, and not only is it in fact sapient, it's not even made out of concrete and steel, but living, pulsating flesh.
- Lonesome Village's story begins with the appearance of an ominous-looking tower near the village, which coincides with the disappearance of all the villagers.
- Lost In Shadow starts with a boy's shadow being cut from his body and being tossed of a giant tower. That tower isn't this trope, the Dark Tower is.
- Lionheart Castle in MapleStory was at first inaccessible — It was just a looming, black castle in the background, outside of the El Nath deadmines. It's accessible now.
- The final level of Mass Effect has Shepard climbing the Citadel tower which has been seized by Saren's Geth. This is notable in that Shepard does not ascend the tower the way it's meant to be done, but instead by exiting it and walking up the side. The boss fight with Saren takes place at the top in the council chamber.
- Thane's recruitment mission in Mass Effect 2 involves fighting your way to the top of a pair of towers connected by a skybridge. Though since you take high-speed elevators most of the way you only actually fight on about five floors.
- An Evil Tower Of Ominousness shows up as the Very Definitely Final Dungeon in Medal of Honor: Airborne, of all places in the form of the Flak Tower, a giant concrete tower the size of a large town. Zero Punctuation remarks that "I was unaware the Nazis had a gigantic armored concrete tower that could only be described as a DOOM FORTRESS". Although the Flak Tower is a real WWII German war structure, the allies never actually attacked one during the war (and the Soviets could only siege them until the people inside ran out of food).
- Dr. Wily's castle in the Mega Man (Classic) series. In Mega Man 10, it reaches all the way up to space.
- Area X-2 from Mega Man Zero 3, which extends all the way into space.
- Metal Warriors: The eighth mission takes Stone into the Axis Communications Tower, a very tall building that serves as the base of operations of the enemy forces (though it's only the penultimate level). Save for a high spot having a brief switch Stone has to activate to open a passageway found within, the whole level has him enter the tower without being able to take his Mini-Mecha with him, so he has to make it alive on foot (he does has a Jet Pack to hover, though) until he finds another mech inside, and then proceed to go up until he meets the level's boss.
- Metro 2033 had the relatively intact Ostankino Tower serve as the game's finale. It not only overlooked the Dark Ones' hive, but also seemed to serve as a nest for the game's flying Goddamn Bats.
- Might and Magic VII features a downplayed example in William Setag's Tower. It's not actually that tall (any ominousness comes mostly from the fact that there are very few towers period in Deyja), and except for one specific optional quest all you do with it is talk with William Setag, self-proclaimed Villain — but it is definitely a tower that looks out of place and is controlled by evil (Setag does things like kidnap 'the fairest lady in Erathia' just for the sake of doing it).
- Miitopia has several of them, including the Nightmare Tower from the first world, the Sky Scraper which is used by the Darker Lord to admire the mayhem he causes in the land from high up and The Tower of Dread from New Lumos.
- The Shard in Mirror's Edge, which doubles as the Very Definitely Final Dungeon. It's a game based around Le Parkour, and in a city full of skyscrapers, it absolutely dwarfs everything else, and it's just generally made clear in every possible way that you are going up that thing at some point.
- Thunder Tower in Mother 3. More fitting, though, is the Empire Porky Building, which is in fact the home of the Big Bad.
- The most prominent feature of the Fire and Brimstone Hell plane of Stygia from Nexus Clash is a giant field of lava containing the dark fortress of Gulag Magnificent, seat of worship of the Manipulative Bastard demonic god Tlacolotl. Since the current iteration of Stygia is the evil Mirror World counterpart to the angelic plane of Elysium, the angels actually have a holy Ivory Tower in the same approximate place, though it's not any safer to visit.
- No Straight Roads has the NSR Tower, a massive skyscraper that looms over the rest of Vinyl City and is where the corrupt CEO Tatiana resides, so the main goal is to confront her there.
- Overlord has one of these — the game being what it is, it's your character's home base. However by Overlord II it has been destroyed when the Tower Heart powering it was tampered with, exploding and corrupting the lands of the first game with a magical plague. You still have sort of an Evil Tower as a base, though it's now located in the Netherworld and hangs upside-down like a giant evil stalactite.
- The Tower of Kagutsuchi, Tartarus in Persona 3, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and Karma Temple. SMT has a thing with towers...
- In Planescape: Torment, the Fortress of Regrets is a quintessential example. It's also one of the biggest: it is said to be almost the size of a plane in itself.
- Pokémon Red and Blue: Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town pulls this off very well, given it's a towering cemetery that happens to have some bad guys at the top. Which leads to one question: Since it's a tower... where are the dead buried? It appears in Gold/Silver/Crystal as well, but as a normal tower.
- Realgam Tower in Pokémon Colosseum, since it's controlled by the villains. The sequel gets rid of the "evil" and "ominousness" parts and just makes it a normal tower, similar to the above entry.
- Mt. Pyre in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire/Emerald is not only towering, but also houses two of the most important items in the game. Similarly, Sky Pillar is this in Emerald only, due to The End of the World as We Know It.
- The spinoffs have Altru Tower in Pokémon Ranger Shadows of Almia, the Sky Tower in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team, and Temporal Tower in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky. Inverted with the Tree of Life in Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon.
- Professor Layton and the Curious Village has a big dark ominous tower, which townspeople say eats people.
- Dr. Loboto's tower lab in Psychonauts, as well as the thorny tower in the Brain Tumbler Experiment.
- Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc's Tower of the Leptys fits perfectly this trope, being the last level and requiring you to get on top of it to fight the final boss.
- Rengoku: Rengoku towers are combat arenas for ADAMs with an explicit Hell analogy.
- Rise of the Kasai actually featured three, but the final level of Hassa is the most striking example. So much so that the tower itself functions as The Dreaded for the main characters.
- In Robopon, Dr. Disc's tower is this in the first game. There's no door for you to enter the tower, except at the very top. Your solution? Blow it up. Zero Castle is this too, though with the warp pads, you don't have to climb all the way up.
- Runescape being a High Fantasy setting has a few but the best example would be the main tower of Castle Drakan, whose foreboding presence looms over the Sanguinesti region. It's also upon its roof you face off against Lord Drakan and the Wyrd at the end of "The Lord of Vampyrium" and "River Of Blood" quests.
- Saints Row IV has a huge alien tower that serves as a docking point for the Zin mothership.
- The Secret World features the Orochi Tower, the Tokyo-based headquarters of the Orochi Group. A Burj Khalifa-esque monolith of steel and glass, it's ultimately The Very Definitely Final Dungeon of the Tokyo story arc: for good measure, it ends with a confrontation with Orochi Chairwoman Lily Engel AKA Lilith on the penthouse balcony.
- Shadow of the Colossus has the Temple that holds the 16 icons, which is a huge tower which can be seen from miles away. Also, the last colossus actually IS a tower.
- Shining Soul features a massive evil tower called, creatively, "Dark Tower". Filled with harpies and robots; the remnants of of civilization long since past.
- Shounen Kininden Tsumuji has a huge tower called the Shadow Tower which leads to the floating Demon Castle in the sky.
- Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers had the Xenon Super Computer dome in the Space Quest XII time period, which now served as Vohaul's base of operations. It looks like a "vast boil" on the ruined landscape.
- Meio's Tower in Strider (2014) is the Big Bad's main residence and the symbol of his absolute rule, and is so high that it disappears among the clouds.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Bowser's Castle in many games in the series, as well as the castle of other villains in the series. The Shroob Castle in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is this kind of sinister place with a huge statue of Princess Shroob, Castle Bleck is a huge castle/tower situated in the void and there's probably a lot of other examples.
- Mario Party: Island Tour has Bowser's Tower, which is placed by the evil Koopa king in front of Party Islands out of spite for being left out. It's a tall, cylindrical tower from which Bowser encourages everyone to come and complete his challenges. Its floors are guarded by evil clones of characters, made of bubbles and who will obstruct progress until they're defeated in minigames. Powerful bosses also lurk the tower.
- The Tower of Salvation in Tales of Symphonia subverts this in two different ways; its artful ivory countenance is rather un-ominous and serves as a symbol of hope for both worlds, even after you discover that the creators are evil, and the tower itself isn't a lair — it just contains a teleporter to one.
- The Tower of Tarqaron in Tales of Vesperia on the other hand plays it completely straight. A huge, flying, black city topped with a giant tower housing a Magitek weapon powered by the Life Energy of every human in the world.
- The Tower of Druaga is set in the Evil Sorcerer Druaga's 60-floor tower. The PS2 sequel, Nightmare of Druaga: Fushigino Dungeon, also features this.
- In Vampires Dawn an invisble tower is the home of The Dragon, while the Big Bad prefers an Elaborate Underground Base.
- Venture Tower in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, which serves as the headquarters of the local Camarilla and Prince Sebastian LaCroix. It dwarfs every other building in Los Angeles' downtown area, and the Prince's office is the penthouse. The climax involves fighting your way to the top, the final boss battle with The Dragon takes place on its roof, and the uppermost floors are blown to smithereens in some endings.
- Vermintide II: Holseher's Tower is the abandoned lair of a heretical scholar, situated on a rocky crag with a great view of the Chaos Wastes. Dilapidation and ambient magic have twisted it inside out; the player characters have to fight their way up a tangle of exposed rooms and unsupported staircases to reach the exit portal.
- In the Warcraft games:
- The Lich King's Frozen Throne is located on top of a tall spire of ice. Karazhan, the tower of Medivh, is a more straight example, being an ominous tower with evil things inside, including ominous pipe organ music.
- The Frozen Throne isn't just on top of a tall spire of ice, it IS the tall spire of ice. Another example would be Icecrown Citadel, a massive tower built around the Frozen Throne. It's a giant evil tower built around a giant evil tower.
- But the original and still the best is Blackrock Spire, a black dragon doom fortress made out of a Blackrock/Black Tooth Grin orc doom fortress made out of a Dark Iron Dwarf doom fortress originally intended to carry out the commands of a chaotic demigod made of lava. And it still houses all of them!.
- And then there's also the tower of Auchindoun, though it may not count because it only became evil after it blew up. Also, it is more of an evil ring of remaining tall support beams for a dome or amphitheater of evil.
- The Sunfury Spire◊ in Silvermoon can be quite ominous.
- The Mana Forges in Netherstorm are massive structures that drain magic from the space around them, but the big daddy of all these is Tempest Keep which MOVES.
- Catacylsm boasts both the Twilight Citadel and the Sulfuron Spire, made of twisted metal and on fire respectively. The latter of which is the little brother of the MASSIVE spire that houses the Elemental Embodiment of aforesaid fire.
- In the Shadowlands expansion, there is Torghast, Tower of the Damned. In addition to being the inspiration for the aforementioned Icecrown Citadel, it's located at the center of the Maw, which is the Warcraft equivalent of Hell.
- Syrup Castle in the Wario Land series. An absolutely huge skull shaped castle on a mountain, it's probably big enough to hold a small town, and in both games it appears in has the entire last world inside it. So much in fact the first level inside the area in the second game is actually called 'Get to the Castle' and has an ominous opening cut scene showing Wario looking up at the building.
- Ka Dingle from Wild ARMs is so feared by the Guardians that it was sealed away for a thousand years until Zeikfried raised it. However, it's not actually the final dungeon or a villain lair, but an elevator to the New Moon Malduke, the actual final dungeon. Thanks to the final battle occurring in subspace (not advised in the Wild Arms verse as you could explode from the energy you produce), Ka Dingle goes up in a ball of fire at the very end.
- The Dark Savant's Tower in Wizardry 8.
- In Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen, Darm Tower is so massive that takes up about half of the game, with about 25 floors in the entire tower. In the prequel Ys Origin, it takes up the whole game, but features more varied environments like a flooded prison, lava area, and sand-filled area.
- The BIOCOM Tower from Broken Saints.
- Bob and George: How to find Bob's fortress? Actually it's kind of hard to miss. Wiley also builds them and rather resents the way they are blown up.
- In El Goonish Shive, the tower in which Jay is held during the "Parable" storyline is described as "so detailed and evil that it would take several hours to draw if not in silhouette".
- In Endstone the Eternity Spire. Where Jon intended to destroy the world.
- Monster Lands has Castle Lorry, which is raised up in the middle of a huge pit and does not look welcoming.
- In Moon Crest 24, Aleck von Zander stands on one in the prologue.
- Xykon raises one of these out of the ground in the fourth story arc of The Order of the Stick.
- qxlkbh has one in 91: zcomicrg as the zvillains'rg lair - it's so evil its name is the "Evil Spire of Utmost Evil".
- In Radio Active Panda, students from a rival ominous tower of mad scientist-type evil (from the OTHER mad scientist tower/academy of mad robotics who has a moon base) pull a prank by stockpiling garden gnomes all the way to the on the 42th floor. The pile of gnomes is a third ominous tower in its own right — considering the pile is probably telescope-visible from earth as a red spot and the largest known nuke wouldn't remove them all.
- Tower of God is set in a tower that makes up the whole known universe.
- Templar Towers in TwoKinds are huge, gunmetal grey edifices surrounded by orbiting red panels near the top. They house a barracks, an absolutely huge Power Crystal, giant magic batteries, and a mind-control beacon that interacts with specially made Slave Collars to ensure that those wearing them can't rebel. Even without the collars, they have a dampening effect on non-human minds, slowly turning the brains of Bastins and Keidrans into mush, making their lands ripe for a Templar invasion.]].
- Count Disdain's castle in Van Von Hunter. Van, unable to find Count Disdain's lair, asks a local for help. The local asks if he's "tried the ominous fortress on the mountaintop."
- The Witch's throne in The Witch's Throne rises to the sky like a tower and appears to be visible from very far away, making it not only ominous but threatening, seing as the Witch's sole purpose is to exterminate all living things.
- In the Alice Isn't Dead episode "Omelet," the long haul trucker Character Narrator is disturbed by the strange, unreal visual quality of a tower she sees incongruously jutting out of a hillside in the distance, which serves to Foreshadow her far more up-close experiences with the paranormal throughout.
Narrator: Creepy. Gut creepy, like something gone wrong. Like a terrible crime.
- The Meyer Security building in Door Monster's The Guards Themselves.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, the aptly named Dark Tower serves as the headquarters of the dark cleric Zarnagon and his son Xerathas in the city of Myridia during the Third Age.
- In Running with Rats, one of the Dream Lands that the protagonists infiltrate features a government building functioning as this in the middle of a maze of floating platforms in the sky.
- Bohu from Worm is a living example of this trope.
- Web Video/Dynamo: Shade Tower, the headquarters of what appears to be the main antagonist of the series as well as the founder of the city of Shade, Les North. The tower, miles-high with neon-like lights running up its sides, is the point at which the police chopper aircrafts of the Superintelligence Agency are located, and the tower is seen in various shots, mostly looking sinister and foreboding.
- Dynamo Dream: Shade Tower, just barely glimpsed during Jo's train ride, where Jo gets dizzy and passes out.
- Mozenrath's Citadel in Disney's Aladdin: The Series is one of these, complete with snake decorations on the doors and death traps and zombie guards inside.
- Doom Tower from Avenger Penguins.
- Tex Hex's Hexagon from BraveStarr is a giant tower in the shape of an "X," complete with a storm present around it.
- Courage the Cowardly Dog had the Tower of Dr. Zalost, from which the eponymous doctor launched cannonballs that made everyone depressed. Doubled as a Base On Legs.
- From Gargoyles; the Erie Building is the world's tallest, located in Manhattan. It's the home and office of villain David Xanatos, and just to crank up the ominous factor, it's topped with a real Scottish castle from the 10th century. Plus live gargoyles, at the beginning and end of the series.
- Invader Zim: As opposed to Zim, who operates out of an Elaborate Underground Base beneath his house, when Tak arrives on Earth she creates a base inside a giant skyscraper housing a pump set to hollow out the planet.
- On Kim Possible, Dr Drakken's Caribbean lair, the only one he uses more than once, is a tower, on a mountain, on an island, that's supposedly haunted.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- King Sombra magically converted the central castle of the Crystal Empire into this during his rule a millenium ago. It turns back to normal in his absence, though it still contains several dark magic traps that remain active, along with some tricky Pocket Dimension effects to disorient and delay any intruders. He also used it as the hiding place of the Crystal Heart, because he knew his subjects were so terrified of the place that none of them would ever dare enter, no matter how desperate their situation became.
- The Changeling Hive in "To Where and Back Again" resembles an odd combination of a tower and a deformed cave. Either way, it certainly gets the evil part right.
- In Phineas and Ferb, Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated is headquartered in a big purple skyscraper.
- Mojo Jojo's observatory in The Powerpuff Girls at the top of a volcano.
- Aku's Tower in Samurai Jack. Shaped similarly to Aku himself on the outside with the inside resembling Fire and Brimstone Hell, it's located at the center of an empty crater. He doesn't need any other infrastructure since anyone on the planet can go there with a teleporter (which Aku himself doesn't even need).
- The Fright Zone in She-Ra: Princess of Power, home base of the Evil Horde sports Hordak's command center, a massive tower that can be seen easily via wide angle shots of the place.
- The Republican Party's headquarters on The Simpsons
- The Shredder's main headquarters in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) is one of these. In a manner reminiscent of the Gargoyles example above, it includes a Japanese pagoda on the top floor.
- Tom Terrific's foe Isotope Feeney resides in an ivory tower.
- In the Total Drama All Stars episode "You Regatta be Kidding Me" Mike discovers one in his own mind setting up a Story Arc, considering with him meeting and freeing his other personalities along the way.
- In Transformers: Prime, the Decepticons created their own evil tower on Earth called Darkmount.
- Watership Down (2018) has a mundane variation with the dictatorship warren of Efrafa being hidden underneath the ruins of a human building. The walls and roof have long gone but the brick chimneys remain standing; along with the "iron trees" of nearby powerlines, it gives the warren an ominous appearance.