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Last Bastion

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It's over. The empire is fallen, the golden age is gone, evil has won, barely anyone's left alive. Only this one fortress remains against our impending doom, barely hanging on under a constant state of siege. From here we can wage our war, stage guerilla attacks, or send a small but elite strike team to hit where it hurts most. If we buy enough time, we might even be able to get our hands on that one thing that can save us, and maybe, just maybe, we can win. But if that fails, we can at least go down fighting. That is, assuming we can fight back at all, and our efforts aren't just delaying the inevitable...

Compare: Undefeatable Little Village.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In MD Geist 2: Death Force, MD Krauser's armed fortress is the only safe place against the horde of flesh-eating robots that have ruined the planet.
  • The Macross in Robotech/Super Dimension Fortress Macross after Earth is devastated by the Zentraedi invasion.
  • In Attack on Titan, the giant, fortified three-walled city that serves as home for the last remnants of humanity after the eponymous, man-eating Titans have overrun the rest of the planet.
    • Played with later on, as the rest of the world and humanity are actually fine (even if in a state of war). The Island of Paradis is however the last remnant of the Eldian Empire, save for some descendants in the country of Marley.

  • The Matrix: Zion, home of the last free humans and party scenes that are way too long.
  • In Star Wars, Rebel or Resistance bases tend to be this, since we're usually only shown one per movie and it's implied that's the only one. Somehow they always manage to come Back from the Brink.

  • The Last Redoubt in William Hope Hodgson's The Night Land, a gigantic Arcology housing the remnants of humanity, constantly besieged by the horrors in the dark and doomed to fall once the Earth Current that protects it dies out. During the course of the novel another, forgotten Lesser Redoubt is discovered.
  • In Harry Turtledove's The Man with the Iron Heart a fortress was constructed in the Bavarian Alps to house Reinhard Heydrich and remaining Nazi command structure as he plotted against the Allies.
  • Bastion in Tsun-Tsun TzimTzum, true to its name. It's an enormous fortified tower in the sphere of Kether, at the very holiest site in the universe. At the time of the story, it's also the last place in that or any other world that is not ruled by the Big Bad Lilith either openly or spiritually.
  • Animorphs: After the Yeerks discover they're human and they're forced to flee with their families, the Animorphs take refuge in the Hork-Bajir Valley. It's not the last free human settlement, but it is the last refuge of the only people who have any idea how to fight the Yeerks, or even that there's an alien invasion.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Supernatural Flash Forward episode "The End", Dean meets future Dean, who leads a small group of rebels based in a camp in the woods.
  • Masada, about The Siege of titular fortress in Judea in AD 73. It is the last bastion of the Jewish Zealots.
  • Power Rangers RPM, in a Darker and Edgier turn for the franchise, has the heroes fighting a losing battle while operating out of the only city in the world not annihilated by a Robot War.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dark Astral, an offshoot of Zweihänder, was heavily influenced by Warhammer 40,000 but things are even worse for humanity. Humanity had taken to the stars only to lose their place against the coming alien legions (the Other). The surviving humans had to make an exodus back to Eden (Earth). Succesfully arriving, they are only able to establish a single city Outremer as the hinterlands of Eden have become warped beyond recognition and human forces including their superhuman Astrotemplar stem the tide of mutants outside while the Abyssal forces from beyond are making their way to Eden through the use of Wytchstone.
  • Dungeons & Dragons module Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits. The fortress of Kandelspire is the only thing that stands in the way of Lolth's invasion of the dwarven kingdom of Maldev.
  • In Apophis Consortium's Obsidian: Age of Judgement, the Zone is the massive Citadel City of what remains of the United States against the Legions of Hell. The Zone is the only major settlement of humans who aren't bandits, tiny villages or slaves to the demons and the Zone houses a whopping 80 million citizens in its cannon-studded walls, though there are plans to establish the Bastion, a second Citadel City, after several earlier failed attempts. Outside of America, the other continents fared a lot better.
  • The residents of the Lost City of Alhambra in Princess: The Hopeful certainly consider their city to be this. Alhambra is the only city that survived after the Darkness swallowed the other Kingdoms, living in stasis behind a magical shield. Since the Alhambrans consider the survival of the city to be the highest priority, this justifies their "taxation" (i.e. literally stealing light and hope) from the "Rebellious Provinces" (i.e. the rest of the human world).
  • In Unhallowed Metropolis London is the only remaining bastion for the United Kingdom (the status of the colonies and the rest of Europe are unknown) and the undead are held back by the mighty Deathwatch military elite and independent Undertaker bounty hunters. Starvation is only held back by constant meals of a nutritious but disgusting algae slime.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: In the final source book, one of the listed scenarios details the PC's Caern being the last one on Earth.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: Some dwarf fortresses are like this, ever since the continental rearrangement that completely wrecked their subterranean empire.

    Video Games 
  • System Shock: In the first game, the survivors are holed up in a room in Beta Quadrant of the Medical Level. Or at least they were...
  • Jacinto in Gears of War, until its sinking. Replaced temporarily by Port Farrall thereafter, until humanity was forced to move to moving bases instead. Ultimately, the true example is Azura, but only the elite even knew about it until the very end of the war.
  • The Valais Air Base in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War is the last Ustian stronghold that has not fallen to the Belkans yet. Naturally, your job is to bring Ustio Back from the Brink.
  • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, the Fortress of Darna was this to the original Liberation Army, until the gods appeared to them and gave immense powers to the 12 Crusaders, allowing them to fight back and win against the Lopto Empire.
  • Halo:
    • The Ark in Halo 3, for the Covenant under Truth.
    • Reach for humanity in Halo: Reach. Oh, wait. Afterwards, Earth itself is this during the original trilogy.
    • In Halo 5: Guardians, Sunaion, a city on Sanghelios, is described as "the Covenant's final stronghold". And the Arbiter's own forces are laying waste to it. And you get to help him do it.
  • Bastion. Naturally. In an interesting subversion, the game remains mostly light throughout. There is no active threat or advancing army (for a while, anyway), and you're free to take your time and explore, even just before the final area.
  • Ebonhawke in Guild Wars 2 is the last bastion of the human kingdom of Ascalon. It withstood constant Charr sieges for more than two centuries until a truce between the two races was signed, ending the long conflict.
  • Destiny has what is literally called "the Last City" built beneath the Traveler, serving as the last surviving bastion of humanity after the Collapse destroyed its space-faring civilization, and various alien forces (including agents of the Darkness) moved in; some to try and put humanity down for good, others to simply claim their newly abandoned territories. There are some human settlements outside the Last City, but they're just puny villages and tribes squatting in ruins, and their number shrinks day by day as they either relocate to the Last City or get wiped out by various threats.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Point Hope, Alaskanote  is the location of the last Allied base after the rest of the world is taken over by the Soviets, containing a Chronosphere which allows them to strike anywhere in the world. In a Perspective Flip, though, this is the last mission of the Soviet campaign — the player's mission is to wipe it out to ensure final victory.
    • The first battle of the Allied campaign in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 sees Europe on the verge of being completely overrun by the Soviets, with only Britain still free when the player commander is put in charge of the Allied defense at Brighton to repel the Soviets' attempt to land.
  • Dawn of War: In Dark Crusade and Soulstorm, every campaign begins with you controlling only your stronghold, and attacking from there to eventually defeat the other factions, in the name of the Emperor/Dark Gods/Greater Good/Craftworld/Waaagh!/C'tan/Kabal.
  • Mega Man Zero: In the backstory, when the Elf Wars were still raging, Mega Man X created an organization named Neo Arcadia that served as shelter for the refugees and victims of the wars. Eventually, it grew big enough to be a whole city, and as of Elf Wars' end, it became the only large city left standing. X later became the city's ruler.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt: In the supplementary materials, it's implied that the country where the Sumeragi Group resides and controls (implied to be Japan) is the only functioning civilization left on Earth after the conflicts between Adepts had turned the rest of the planet into chaotic wastelands. An Adept supremacist group called Eden is trying to assault this country in order to Kill All Humans, and frequently clashes with Sumeragi.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the village of Haven not far from the Temple of Sacred Ashes serves as this for the Inquisition in the first half of the game. Then it gets assaulted by the Big Bad and his army in an All Your Base Are Belong to Us mission. What's left of your forces flees and makes a difficult trek across the frozen mountains. Fortunately, one of your companions knows of another place - a powerful mountaintop castle called Skyhold, which becomes your new base and a place to rebuild the Inquisition.
  • After the shocking developments that occur around Dragon Quest XI's Time Skip, there is a new settlement literally called "The Last Bastion", where survivors from the Heliodor region have set up their final line of defense after monsters besieged the capital. It's built on the ruins of Cobblestone Village, your hometown.
  • In Borderlands 2, Sanctuary. Handsome Jack mockingly refers to it as "the last stronghold of the resistance!" early on, and he's not wrong. When you first arrive, bandits are at the gate, Hyperion is bombing the city from orbit, and the city's energy shield is running low on power. Despite the problems, it's basically the only place on Pandora that's safe from Hyperion and the rest of Pandora's general crapsackiness.
  • AI War: Fleet Command: Whichever planet you start out in is the last bastion of humanity worth mentioning, the very last few that the AI is too busy to finish off. From there, you must start taking important planets and hardware, build your strength, and perhaps build enough for a final, surgical strike — without raising too much hell, lest the AI actually start making an effort.
  • Primordia (2012) is set in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity is extinct and only the robots they left behind inhabit the ruined world. The only real city left is Metropol, a sprawling Mega City that holds the vast, growing desert it rests in at bay. There are a few other settlements, but only tiny ones with small populations clinging on by scavenging from ruins. The protagonists are two such robots living in a crashed airship, and the plot is kicked off when they're forced to trek to Metropol after losing their power supply. Metropol quickly turns out to be vastly worse than the wastelands; its controlled by an insane AI that murdered the city leadership to rule over it with an iron fist. Depending on you choices, this bastion either falls into ruin (and takes everyone with it) or gets abandoned by its freed inhabitants to start a new bastion elsewhere that can properly rebuild civilization.
  • XCOM 2: After their base is overrun by the aliens and Earth is taken over by ADVENT, the survivors of the original X-Com project eventually commandeered and retrofitted a crashed alien warship to serve as their mobile HQ, dubbed the Avenger. It is from here that the eventual liberation of Earth is waged over the course of the game.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 features the locale merely referred to as "the City", the final refuge of humanity free from the power of Moebius, in which they're born naturally and have full lives without the need to kill constantly to fill a Flame Clock. It's actually a surviving bastion of a previous bastion, that Moebius managed to all but wipe out. This history probably contributes to why the modern City is capable of relocating itself in the event that it's discovered.

  • In Homestuck, the trolls manage to escape from the demon that's destroying their session by hiding on a meteor in the Veil — which is a giant cluster of meteors. While it was depleted by the Reckoning, they were safe enough that Jack didn't figure out where they were until they had to move the meteor. Tending towards the more hopeless portrayal of this trope, the trolls didn't genuinely believe their efforts would do anything more than delay the inevitable, until their chance to escape actually arrived.
  • The Light Elf city of Vanaheimr in Drowtales is the last known city of its kind after the war that ended the Moons' Age, and the inhabitants mostly keep to themselves and exist in a strict caste system. It's not known how much longer they'll be able to keep this up since the surface recolonization movement has picked up steam.
  • The inhabitants of the Domed Hometown in Sleepless Domain aren't sure if there are any humans left outside the city. However, there is one man who is implied to have come from outside.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The mountaintop fortress of Masada was this to the Jewish rebels fighting The Roman Empire. The defenders held on for three years after the rest of the country had been conquered, until the Romans managed to build a giant ramp and they committed mass suicide.
  • During the last months of the Russian Civil War, Crimea was seen as this by the White command who were still planning some Back from the Brink.
  • During the later years of World War II, the Germans spread rumors and disinformation about a massive stronghold called the Alpine Fortress, which was supposedly constructed in the mountainous areas of southern Germany. Originally proposed by Himmler under the idea that if Germany were overrun, top Nazi officials, their staffs, and a large number of crack troops could retreat there and, with a stockpile of supplies and some limited production facilities, continue to harass the Allies for many years to come. However, no serious planning or resources where allocated to the idea and the German leadership made no attempts to evacuate Berlin. Even so, reports of its staggering defensive strength were partially responsible for the Allies' broad front strategy to take the southern regions and the Fortress before moving onto Berlin, rather than the narrow charge advocated by General Patton.
  • Switzerland has a massive fortification system called the National Redoubt. Put to use during World War II, the National Redoubt had a series of forts, cannon positions, and other fixed defenses throughout the Swiss Alps. The Swiss battle plan in case of invasion, which was no secret, was to fight a holding battle in the lowlands for as long as possible, and then pull back to the Redoubt. The fortifications also commanded Switzerland's many passes and tunnels connecting Germany, France, and Italy; any attempt at invasion would mean cutting off that vital traffic. After the war, the defenses were examined and found to have more and better cannons than both the Maginot and Siegfried Lines combined.
  • For years after its defeat to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the Kuomingtang under Chiang Kai-Shek treated Taiwan as this, vowing to retake mainland China at some point. This played into its actions during the 1950's, notably refusing to give up Quemoy and Matsu Islands (only a mile or two from PRC-held territory) and eventually sparking the passage of the Formosa Resolution by the US Congress, as well as delaying implementation of infrastructure and economic reforms on the island until the 1960's (if they're only going to be there for a few years, investing was a waste of time). Cut to 60+ years later, the Republic of China still officially claims the mainland (plus all or parts of several of China's neighbors), though nobody (including the ROC government) really takes them seriously.
  • Winston Churchill invoked this in his speeches for Britain following the fall of France in June 1940 and during the Battle of Britain in the subsequent months, as at that point the United Kingdom was the only belligerent left in Europe against Nazi Germany — they did have their overseas Empire to back them up but that too was coming under pressure (e.g., Japan capturing Singapore which Churchill considered one of the most devastating defeats Britain would suffer in the war). Long-term, though, Churchill and most of the British leadership figured that all they had to do was wait for the Axis to make a strategic mistake and let the German economy collapse in on itself under wartime strain like it did in World War I. The Axis did take over the rest of the Balkans (with some difficulty) in 1940 and into the next year, but it wasn't until June 1941 with Operation Barbarossa that another major European power (the Soviet Union) was brought into the fight.
    "Sir, I have myself full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made—as they are being made — we should prove ourselves once more able to defend our island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years... if necessary alone.