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Journey to the Sky

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And he later has to climb beyond the tower's top to reach Kami-sama's Lookout.

"I get the feeling that little by little, we're getting closer to the sky..."
Midna, during her and Link's quest for the City in the Sky in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

At one point during a work's story, either as part of its central plot or as a Story Arc, a character wishes to reach the sky. Not in a spiritual sense when the character dies (that would be The Journey Through Death), but in a physical sense while the character is still alive. They wish to reach there for a specific purpose, be it to find a Plot Coupon, to find something or someone who might help them in the adventure, or it's mere curiosity. So the story shows the character undertaking a trip to the sky. They may do it by climbing a ladder or beanstalk, or reaching the highest floor of a building or tower (in this case, the clouds have to be seen around or beneath the floor's height, to ensure it is within the domain of the sky). As a last resort, the character might need to build something (such as a tower or a flying vehicle). The objective is the same regardless of the means.

The character may end up finding an Ominous Floating Castle or a Floating Continent. On rare occasions, the character might reach so high they find themselves in outer space or an otherworldly landscape.

This trope is Older Than Feudalism, and its popularity is attributed to religious and mythical lore as well as man's desire to learn what lies above everyday ground. It has become a frequent instance in high fantasy and science fiction media.

Compare Climbing Climax. Sister Trope to The Journey Through Death (for cases when the character dies and manifests themself afterwards as a soul aiming to either come back to life or reach the angelic sky to rest peacefully) and Stairway to Heaven (when the character's soul walks upstairs to reach the spirit realm); both of them, especially the latter, are often combined with Ending by Ascending. The next logical step of this trope is Interplanetary Voyage.

Super-Trope to:

  • Scaling the Summit: When a character aims to climb a mountain to reach its top.
  • Tower of Babel: When an entire society tries to build a tower leading to Heaven to meet God.
  • Call of the Wild Blue Yonder: For cases when a character wishes specifically to fly through the skies and enjoy doing so, either by riding a plane or becoming a bird (namely one capable of flying).
  • Beanstalk Parody: When a character climbs a beanstalk and makes a big discovery when reaching the cloudy sky. This one is often done to parody, pay homage to, or otherwise reference Jack and the Beanstalk.

The opposite of this trope is Dug Too Deep, when the character reaches Hell or a sinister location by going too far towards the opposite direction.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Battle Angel Alita: Alita's love interest Hugo dreams of going to Tiphares (Zalem), a literal city in the sky that Hugo believes is paradise. The city is supported by orbital rings, connected to a Space Elevator, and supplied by the Scrapyard below using Factory tubes that connect the ground to the sky. Hugo is so obsessed with reaching Tiphares that he falls for a scammer's false promises to take him there and steals spines trying to raise the money. He gets a bounty on his head for his crimes, and is mentally shattered by the scammer's admission that he was never going to take Hugo there. When Hugo tries to climb up to Tiphares via the Factory tubes, he gets torn to pieces by its security measures until he can't hold on and falls to his death.
  • Dragon Ball features two instances, both in the original series preceding Z:
    • During the Red Ribbon Story Arc, after Goku loses a fight to Tao Pai Pai, he's told about a sacred tower where a wise, 800-year-old anthropomorphic cat known as Karin (Korin in the English dub) lives and holds the secret to enhance one's strength. Goku, wishing to defeat Tao Pai Pai to avenge the murder of Upa's father, proceeds to climb the tower and eventually meets Karin at the very top.
    • After defeating Piccolo Sr. but being unable to revive his fallen friends due to the murder of Shenron (by Piccolo Sr. himself), Goku is told by Karin that his Power Pole was originally designed to be placed at the very tip of the tower's ceiling and then enlarged to its fullest extent so one could climb even higher and reach The Lookout, the homeland of Earth guardian Kamisama. Goku then uses the Pole to do the extra climb, as meeting Kamisama will be the only way to revive Shenron (and, subsequently, his friends) and train with him and Mr. Popo to fight and defeat Piccolo's son one day.
  • One Piece: The first half of the Skypiea Saga concerns itself with this kind of plot, as the protagonists are attempting to reach the aforementioned Skypiea, which is a island in the sky (floating above a dense mass of clouds). They manage to do so by sailing through a gigantic water spout that is conveniently timed to erupt just below the cloud mass where the island is.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann begins in a society of people forced to live underground. Kamina's dream is to reach the surface and see the sky, with the help of Simon, whose Arc Words are "The drill that will pierce the heavens". Over the course of the show, they not only reach the surface and see the sky but eventually reach space, using Humongous Mechas.

  • Survivors of the Calamity: This is a plot point retained in Breath of the Wild, from the source material of the same name (albeit adjusted to the context and tone of the fanfic). Medoh is the only Divine Beast that Link cannot physically reach on his own, as he's incapable of flight. As a result, Teba is one of the only companions that Link absolutely needs in order to infiltrate Divine Beast Vah Medoh. Thankfully, he quickly earns Teba's trust, partly because they bond as fathers who are determined to create a better world for their children.

    Films — Animation 
  • Castle in the Sky: The story is about the search for the lost kingdom of Laputa, which floats somewhere in the sky. Eventually the young protagonists (Pazu and Sheeta) have to team with a crew of Sky Pirates to get there before government agents do.
  • Despicable Me centers around Gru, the Villain Protagonist, who wishes to buy a spacecraft in order to reach the moon and shrink it so it can be grabbed. This was derived from two experiences: His rival Vector having stolen the pyramid of Giza in a similar fashion and making him jealous, and more importantly, his frustrated dream of becoming an astronaut and reaching the moon due to his lack of support from his mother.note  After many struggles, including stealing Vector's shrinking ray and funding the construction of a spacecraft, he succeeds, but at the cost of losing the trust of his adopted daughters (whom he promised to see during a ballet event) and the need to rescue them from a revenge-seeking Vector.
  • In The LEGO Movie, after Emmet and Wyldstyle meet up with Vitruvius in the Old West, the heroes venture towards Cloud Cuckoo Land, located in the skies of Middle Zealand, to assemble an army of Master Builders to defeat Lord Business.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Aeronauts portrays a pair of balloonists making a high-altitude flight so one of them can prove his theories that weather follows predictable patterns.

  • Angels & Demons: During the start of the climax, when the antimatter canister that was planted in the Vatican Necropolis is finally located, the Camerlengo quickly takes it out of its location and, once in the then-crowded St. Peter Square, mounts an helicopter with the canister at hand to fly upward as far as possible. In the book, Robert Langdon is accompanying him, and mistakenly believes that the Camerlengo tries to drop it in a lake; the real plan is to make the helicopter take the canister so high into the sky that its explosion wouldn't damage the Vatican too much. There is only one parachute in the vehicle, which the Camerlengo takes to escape (at that point, he plans to let Langdon die with the explosion because he was fearing that Langdon would find out that the whole Illuminati conspiracy was his idea all along; Langdon survives and, with the Camerlengo's betrayal fresh in his mind, eventually finds out the truth anyway). In the film adaptation, the Camerlengo drives to the sky alone, and Langdon discovers his evil plan alongside Vitoria in a different way.
  • In The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton, the titular magical tree grows right up into the clouds, and climbing to its top usually leads to some Magical Land (a different one every week), although the length of time each land stays can vary from days to hours, which can result in characters being stuck there. On one occasion, in order to rescue someone who had become trapped in the Land of Marvels, the others have to get there via the adjoining Land of Giants, which they access by climbing Jack's beanstalk.
  • Fate/Apocrypha: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, also known as the Aerial Garden of Vanity, is the largest floating vessel owned by Semiranis, being her (and the Red Faction's) base of operations, and is located very high in the skies. After the main characters (Ruler, Sieg, and the Yggdmillenia faction) defeat Jack the Ripper and all that remains is their strongest enemies, they prepare to storm the Gardens by piloting large airplanes from a local airport and head to their fated destination (though Rider of Black uses his hippogriff instead). The anime version's episode is even called "Soar Through The Sky".
  • From the Earth to the Moon: Originally, the plan of the members of the Gun Club was to merely shoot a large bullet to the moon for the sake of experimentation, but then a Frenchman suggested to them the idea of building a hollow projectile so they could launch themselves to the revered satellite. The voyagers manage to execute the launch, but don't actually manage to land on the moon as they end up stuck in decaying orbit and land back in the Pacific. This concept is revisited in the book's first sequel (Around the Moon), and popularized the idea of Interplanetary Voyage in science fiction and eventually real life.
  • Jack and the Beanstalk has the eponymous protagonist climb the magical beanstalk that grew overnight out of a set of magical beans he obtained by trading a cow he was supposed to sell for money. When Jack reaches the top, he discovers a castle inhabited by giants.
  • The Magic School Bus: In both the books and the TV animated show, Mr. Fizzle and her students perform a travel to the skies on several occasions to study a particular topic, like when Ralphie wants to show Keesha that he can control the weather while roleplaying as the Weather Man. There is, however, one episode where they don't do this for leisure or an educational goal, but to solve a more serious problem: In the Season 4 episode Goes On Air, they get stuck inside an open jar, and by the time they prepare to get out the time capsule where they had to place a science project (specifically one showing how air works) takes off to head into space. Two of the children board a magical rocket powered by air (supplied by the magical bus) and manage to intercept the time capsule in the stratosphere to open it and deposit their project.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Once Upon a Time: First in season 2, and multiple subsequent times, characters climb a beanstalk to reach the kingdom of the giants.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible has a unified, single-language civilization attempt to build a tower in Shinar, the Tower of Babel, in order to reach Heaven and meet God. God Himself does not approve of this, so He makes it so the builders end up speaking different languages to make communication impossible, thus rendering them unable to proceed with the tower's construction.
  • Classical Mythology: Bellerophon attempted to fly to Mount Olympus on Pegasus, but his mount was stung by a gadfly, causing Bellerophon to fall into a thorn bush and lose his eyesight as a result.
  • Mande Mythology: Ndomayiri fashioned an iron chain which he climbed up to the sky. In those days there was no moon, so Ndomayiri crafted one from iron. When the crescent moon appears, he is heating it up. When the full moon appears, it means he has finished his work. Unfortunately for mankind, the chain to heaven broke after Ndomayiri’s ascent and death came into the world.
  • Nyanga Mythology: Shemwindo planted a ficus tree which grew high enough to reach the heavenly abode of Nkuba.
  • Serer Mythology: The Mbos tree once grew until it reached heaven. Roog was displeased by this intrusion and cut off its head, demanding it stay closer to earth. The tree was ashamed and intertwined its branches so nobody could climb it. The first humans took refuge under it.

    Video Games 
  • The Alliance Alive: Azura lives in a perpetually rainy world, so she's fascinated by old artwork of a clear blue sky. She doesn't get to see the sky after it's cleared (due to her blindness) but she does get to live in an airship and feel sunlight on her face.
  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter: Centuries after humanity was driven underground by rampaging dragons, a teenaged Ranger named Ryu must take a "winged" girl named Nina from the polluted slums at the bottom of the rebuilt civilization to reach the pristine skies of the surface.note 
  • Etrian Odyssey: In the second and fifth games, this is the end result of reaching the top of the Yggdrasil Labyrinth (I and III revolves around going downward instead, IV is about simply reaching the Yggdrasil and Nexus is about traveling around it to access it at the end).
    • Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard: After the player's character party defeats the Overlord in the last standard stratum (Heavenly Keep, which is itself placed at the top of the Yggdrasil), they can continue climbing further and discover a beautiful, yet deadly location in the high skies: the Forbidden Wood. Serving as the game's Bonus Dungeon, it is a sacred forest where the Overlord (the then-defeated Big Bad) encased his deadliest creations; it takes cues from the biblical Eden, and there are floating islands one can reach by using warp points.
    • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth: The top of the Yggdrasil in this game topples the planet's atmosphere, and houses an artificial forest (the Untamed Garden) that is home to the Eternal Tyrant, whom the player's character party has to defeat to save the world and conquer the Yggdrasil. Yet, during the Playable Epilogue, the characters are encouraged by the mysterious girl who's been guiding them (Arken) to go further upward, and doing so takes them to the realm of outer space, well beyond the atmosphere of the planet. This leads to one more stratum, the Empyreal Bridge.
  • Huje Tower: The "Hujos" are bacteria which live in sewers. One day, they saw the sky. They decided to reach the sky. That's it.
  • Kid Icarus: The plot of the first game revolves around Pit climbing the Underworld to eventually reach the Overworld, and from there continue his travel to reach Skyworld (where he has to further climb upward) and save Palutena.
  • Kirby Air Ride: This is actually quite easy to do. In City Trial mode, there are a few ramps- and a volcano- that will launch you straight to a transparent, circular object in the sky that you can climb on top of. Despite not looking much like a garden, it's referred to in-universe as "the garden in the sky". The first time you do it, you'll unlock an achievement.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games: In Oracle of Ages, Queen Ambi's original plan was to build a tower tall enough to guide her Love Interest in his return to Labrynna. However, after Veran pulls a Demonic Possession on Nayru and travels back in time (400 years) when the tower has only begun its construction, she persuades Queen Ambi to make the tower so tall that it reaches the heavens, and to this end Veran persuades her to use the power of the Oracle of Ages to cast a spell that freezes time and thus makes the working day endless, thus forcing the builders to work upon the tower's construction permanently. By the time Link completes the seventh dungeon, the tower is finally complete and, when Veran reaches the roof, she gains enough power to stop time even without Nayru's powers, allowing her to ignite the Flame of Sorrow so the Twinrova sisters make one step closer to resurrect Ganon in a linked Oracle story. Despite Link managing to defeat Veran and save Labrynna, that last evil goal is successful.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: Link has to climb to the top of the Veil Falls to find a tornado that takes him to the Cloud Tops. There, he has to traverse through a maze-like area (and hovering from one part to another with mini-tornadoes in the process) to find another big tornado and rise to the Wind Tribe's homeland, and then walk upstairs to the exit of the highest floor to find yet another tornado that takes him up to the Palace of Winds, where the last Plot Coupon (the Wind Element) can be found.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The Mirror of Twilight is shattered into four fragments, and the last such piece lies in the City in the Sky, homeland of the Oocca. To reach it, Link has to travel across Hyrule to find some ancient statues and move them with the Dominion Rod (which in turn needs to have its power restored by completing a prior task) to acquire the characters in sky language written beneath them. Doing this will complete a text that, once read by Shad in the basement of Renado's sanctuary, allows a nearby statue to be moved with the Rod and reveal a Sky Cannon. Unfortunately, the Cannon is broken, so Link and Midna have to transport it to Lake Hylia and pay 300 Rupees to Fyer so he repair it. Only then can the young hero use it to launch himself skyward and reach the City in the Sky.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:
      • Guld, the leader of the Mogma tribe, tells Link during the last arc of the game that he's tired of the usual lifestyle of digging underground through Eldin Volcano in search of treasure, and wishes to spend his retirement time living in a very high place to enjoy the scenic view of the sky. Link fulfills his wish by taking him (with the help of Scrapper) to Pumpkin Landing, one of the floating islands in the sky. Once there, Kina entrusts him the job of plowing the pumpkins' field (which is why Link looked for him in the first place), but he's very happy with this. When Link returns to Eldin Volcano and is asked by another Mogma what happened to Guld, he responds by saying that Guld is "in the sky"; the Mogma is saddened to hear that because he thinks Guld died and didn't realize that Link was talking in a literal sense.
      • The case of Link and Zelda is an inversion. The two already live in the sky, alongside the other students of the Knight Academy and of Skyloft's population. But during the game's prologue, Zelda feels like something or someone from the surface is calling her, though she tries to brush it off. After she's forcefully taken downward by Ghirahim, Link is guided by sword spirit Fi to the inside of the Goddess Statue, where they open a hole in the clouds connecting to the surface. With the encouragement of Zelda's father (Gaepora), Link embarks on a journey to the earth in order to find his childhood friend.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: One of the Divine Beasts corrupted by Calamity Ganon is Vah Medoh, which has since begun to fly across the northwestern skies and terrorize the Rito tribe. When Link reaches Rito Village, he is tasked by the Rito chieftain (Kaneli) to find a way to free the Beast, for which he has to find Teba and ask him to take him to the sky in order to reach Vah Medoh (being a Rito, Teba can fly). After Link earns Teba's trust (by passing a target test), the two embark on the travel and reach their destination; however, they'll also need to disable the Beast's protective barrier by destroying its energy sources with Bomb Arrows while avoiding the Beast's ballistic attacks. Once that is done, Link is able to enter the Beast and start looking for a way to save it.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: The game overall is a zigzagging example. The opening scene shows Link and Zelda exploring the caverns beneath Hyrule Castle. When catastrophe ensues upon Ganondorf's awakening, Link is transported to the Great Sky Island, where he gains new abilities from the ghost of Rauru, and he then dives back down to Hyrule. Most of the rest of the game involves going back and forth between the surface and the sky for various quests. The two story quests that are the most straightforward examples of this trope are the Wind Temple and Water Temple arcs, as reaching the temples involves starting on the ground and carefully jumping and gliding up series of Sky Islands to reach your destination.
      • The Water Temple is made accessible by opening up a waterfall pouring from a sky island, which allows Link to swim up to its top with the Zora armor. This leaves him at the start of a winding series of sky islets, where he and Sidon then contend with low localized gravity and killer robots to glide between the different islands, climb up floating pillars, and ride drifting orbs of water until they reach the Temple.
      • The Wind Temple sits in the middle of a permanent windstorm high above Hebra Peak. To get there, Link and Tulin need to first reach the top of the mountain, from which they can access the lower end of the Hebra Rising Island Chain. This lets them slowly pick their way up the chain of floating rocks and platforms, which switches back and forth on itself and is gradually replaced by sky ships carrying trampoline-like structures, which serve as the main way of gaining height, while fighting robot guardians and flying beasts. Eventually, the ships replace the rock platforms entirely, and the final stretch requires Link to leap from trampoline to trampoline among a small flotilla of ships orbiting the blizzard, until he eventually gets high enough to overtop it and glide down into its eye.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: The game has a symbolic example with the Very Definitely Final Dungeon. The Luminoth, once aware of the Emperor Ing's whereabouts, discovered that they needed ten Temple Keys in order to open the path to its throne, due to it being suspended several hundreds of meters in the sky (hence them christening it the Sky Temple, while naming the aforementioned keys the Sky Temple Keys and the ground terrain of Dark Aether guarding the entrance's gateway the Sky Temple Grounds); they needed to get there to defeat the Emperor and retrieve the biggest source of sacred light that kept planet Aether stable. Unfortunately, only one of the Sky Temple Keys could be retrieved and put into the gateway before they lost the war. During the events of the game, Samus Aran retrieves the other stolen sources of Aether's light by conquering the other Dark Aether temples, and then receives the Light Suit from Luminoth chief U-Mos so she looks for the remaining Sky Temple Keys through all of Dark Aether, puts them into the gateway, and activates the light that takes her all the way up to the Sky Temple. Once inside, she still has to climb upward with the Screw Attack to finally meet her ultimate enemy.
    • Metroid Dread: After Samus reaches the surface area of ZDR, Hanubia, and manages to defeat the final E.M.M.I., she's told by Adam that Raven Beak isn't located there, but in a hovering vessel named Itorash, located far above the rainy clouds of Hanubia and within the clearer skies of the planet. Samus then goes to the upmost area of Hanubia and uses a transport capsule built by the Mawkin tribe of Chozo to embark on a trip to Itorash to meet her enemy. Even the game's map, when viewed in zoom-out form, makes clear how high the vessel is in relation to the planet's geography.
  • Ōkami:
    • As Amaterasu and Issun explore the islands of West Ryoshima Coast, they eventually reach one in which the fabled Catcall Tower was erected. As they try to figure out the origin of the meows (audible even in the surroundings of the island), they proceed to climb it thanks to the luminous golden marks left by Kabegami, the god of walls and one of the 13 brush gods. It's a very tall tower divided into eight levels (the number is not a coincidence), its top is shrouded into the clouds and has a large cat statue. Reaching there and feeding the nearby cat (the one who is meowing) summons Kabegami, who proceeds to grant Amaterasu the Catwalk ability; this skill proves useful later for the location of the Dragon Palace, the homeland of the now-enraged Water Dragon.
    • At the end of the game, after Amaterasu manages to defeat Yami the Lord of Darkness, she and Waka start piloting the now-purified Ark of Yamato to embark their trip to the realm of heavens, since their duties to protect Nippon have only begun.
  • Only Up!: True to its name and premise, the game revolves around the protagonist climbing several floating or suspended objects (such as trains, rocky platforms or even a factory) to leave the ruined city in the ground and reach the skies.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team: The Very Definitely Final Dungeon is Sky Tower which, as the name implies, is a tower floating in the sky and is made up of clouds. It has a total of 34 floors, of which the last nine comprise the Sky Tower Summit. The heroes need to head there and reach the highest floor to request help from Rayquaza, one of the Olympus Mons, in stopping a meteor from destroying the planet, for which they have to defeat it in battle. The first arrival can be done with the Teleport Gem, but in the postgame the object is damaged so the tower can only be reached with the Fly ability (this is no longer necessary in the game's remake).
  • Stella Glow:
    • 1000 years before the events of the game, Elcrest, Xeno, Dr. Veronica and the witches of that era climbed the Yggdrasil to reach the moon in order to meet Mother Qualia, as they aimed to kill her and save humanity. The Yggdrasil, from its roots to the upmost branches, have provided a physical link between the Earth and the Moon, which allowed the aforementioned travelers to climb onto the whereabouts of Mother Qualia. Unfortunately for them, their mission failed when Xeno got corrupted by their enemy's influence after he put himself in Elcrest's place to save him. At his request, the others retreated by returning to Earth, but Elcrest ended up dying anyway due to his wounds, and wouldn't return to life until 985 years later as Alto, the game's protagonist.
    • In the present time, after a series of critical events in the last two chapters, culminating with Marie's abduction, Alto and his friends resolve to travel to the moon by navigating through one of Yggdrasil's roots to kill Mother Qualia for good; during their journey, they face strong opposition from the angelic army at key points, which requires defeating them in battle so the characters can finally reach their destination.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: The last level of World 6 has Mario and his friends climb a series of tall beanstalks that take them well above the usual Shifting Sand Land of that world, and reach a pyramid in the sky where the boss (Tryclyde) awaits. This part of the game is not only important for the conclusion of the world, but also because it leads to the next world, set in the cloudy skies, as it's there where Big Bad Wart lies.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3: One of the invaded kingdoms is located in the Sky. World 5 starts as Mario and Luigi venture through a few land-based levels and then reach a spiral tower whose top has a blue beanstalk leading to the sky portion of the world's map. The spiral tower is played as if it was a Fortress, but Boom Boom (the usual Mini-Boss who would guard it) is absent.
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins: To reach Space Zone, Mario has to reach the top of a tall plateau in the overworld map and enter a level where he uses a hovering Hippo bubble to travel across it (and gather coins in the process) until he reaches the upper exit; this is the only way for Mario to ascend higher and reach outer space, because getting to the lower exit will kick Mario back to the overworld (close to Macro Zone). This procedure has to be repeated whenever he wants to return there.
    • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars: While searching for the sixth Star Piece, Mario and his team are sent to Bean Valley, at the end of which is a series of beanstalks that leads to Nimbus Land, a city in in the clouds where Mallow was born.
    • Yoshi's Island DS: At the start of the final regular level, Yoshi has to use a rocket to fly upward in order to reach King Bowser's Castle, which is suspended in the skies. During the flight, Yoshi has to avoid clashing against the moons (some colored green, others orange) as well as the Rocket Guys. Clashing against either will destroy Yoshi's Rocket and kill him instantly. Interestingly, this gameplay is also present in a preceding level, but in that case Yoshi was piloting the rocket to go back up, after having extensively descended through the fortress (and he went down again anyway after a Free-Fall Fight against the fortress's boss).
    • Mario Party Advance: The minigame Cloud Climb, as the name suggests, has a solo player hop across bouncy Solid Clouds to climb from the ground to the high skies, reaching the upper layer of the atmosphere from which the stars of outer space can be seen. Along the way, the player can use springboards to jump higher, but must also avoid electrified Amps. In Shroom City mode, the climb is shorter (the goal is located in a lower spot), but must be performed under a strict time limit.
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King: The Great Sea segment focuses chiefly on Mario completing a series of puzzles needed to unlock the Sea Tower, followed by ascending it in order to reach Shangri-Spa, an earthly paradise/spa resort mix floating high up in the sky.
    • Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii, a fanmade game, has World 7 divided into two parts: The first is Sky Mountain, in whose last level (Beanstalk Ascent) Mario has to climb a series of beanstalks to reach outer space. This is revealed to be the setting of the world's second half, Starry Skies, and it's there where one of Bowser's Koopalings (Ludwig von Koopa) awaits.
  • Touhou Shoujo Tale of Beautiful Memories: Reimu and many of the friends she meets along the way need to go above the clouds to reach the Heaven to find one of the twelve Boundary Fragments.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: The starting Sibling Team, after fighting their first boss, climbs the titular rope to a Floating Continent.

  • Pomp's Pomps: This is the premise of the chapter "Space-goers", which also combines Wacky Racing with In a Single Bound. Two Pomps compete to see who reaches higher after the first jump; one of them gains momentum by stomping on the other, and then flutters its legs to gain even more. The Pomp reaches outer space, and realizes too late that it's unable to breath there. Some time later, a baby Pomp plans to do the big leap as well, but now having a space helmet at hand.
  • Slumber Town: In the resolution scene of The Pearl, Romy, Echo and Boone ascend to outer space via a path of stars drudged up by Romy's imagination. This is shown as a demonstration by Echo of how parts of the town can be "manipulated" using the psyche, but it's also symbolic of Romy letting loose and finding a path toward connection with her two new friends.

    Web Original 
  • Your World Of Text: Done when travelling to Sky City. You'll have to scroll 1000 coordinates upwards, some even taking 1-2 hours to complete.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In an episode after the introduction of Finn's father ("The Tower", from Season 6), Finn attempts to build a tower using whatever he can get his hands on so he can find his dad and take revenge on him. He starts to asphyxiate as he gets higher into the atmosphere, passing out once he hits space.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Season 4 episode "They Call Him Mr. Ed" revolves around the Eds trying to build a tower of junk (the Sky Elevator) to reach the moon, for which they start a business known as Ed Co. and convince people from the cul-de-sac to help this cause. They actually do end up reaching the moon, but their attempts to grab it cause the tower to fall, ending the episode with them holding on for dear life.
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: In the Season 3 episode "Pooh Skies", the animals who live in the Hundred Acre Woods believe erroneously that the sky is tearing apart (the misunderstanding originated when Pooh tried to grab a beehive from a tree and ends up knocking a cracked eggshell instead). So they travel into the clouds to figure out what's going on.
  • Ninjago: In the fifth episode of Season 5, "Peak-a-Boo", the ninja use their mechs to climb the tallest mountain in Ninjago, the Wailing Alps, to reach the "Blind Man's Eye", a storm cyclone which is one of the only ways to travel to the alternate realm known as the "Cloud Kingdom".
  • Rupert: In Episode 6 of Season 3 ("Rupert And The Cloud Pirates"), Rupert and Bill are greeted by a friendly, sentient cloud (Dewey) who needs to return to the rainy sky. When this cloud takes them above the stormy cumulus, they come aboard a skyship (led by Captain Peebles) that has been stranding since the disappearance of the Four Winds that regulate weather. It's later revealed that the Four Winds were abducted by cloud pirate Captain Stubbs, so the characters aim to rescue them from the villain to restore the weather before it's too late.
  • South Park: In Episode 12 of Season 6 ("A Ladder To Heaven"), the boys (Stan, Kyle and Cartman) decide to build a ladder so they can meet Kenny (who died at the end of Season 5 and, for the longest time, hadn't done his usual revival, making everybody believe he died for real). They want to see him so they can retrieve a ticket he won alongside them in a contest, but since the adults are unaware of this intent they think the boys are still sorely missing Kenny and build the ladder to to see him again, which moves them emotionally. This becomes international news, to the point the Japanese plan to build their own ladder while the US military soldiers believe the soul of Saddam Hussein is building a chemical warfare plant in Heaven. At the end of the episode, and upon Cartman discovering that Kenny had placed the ticket in his house before dying (he learned this by reliving Kenny's memories due to having eaten his cremated remains), they decide to suspend the ladder's building. The adults, still unaware of why they wanted to build the ladder in the first place, interpret this as the boys having accepted Kenny's death and moved on, so the whole international story ends. Unbeknownst to the soldiers, it turns out Saddam's soul is building a chemical warfare plant in Heaven.
  • Steven Universe: In the Season 1 episode "Ocean Gem", Lapis steals the Earth's ocean and makes it into a tower so she can reach Homeworld. When Steven convinces her to have a polite conversation with him, Lapis admits she knows it's not going to work, as Homeworld is galaxies away and the tower is barely able to break into space, but she had to try anyway.