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Lethal Lava Land

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Lava crocodiles? We're in trouble!

Juni: Why is it that every video game has lava in it?
Francis: Technically that's not true. There's no lava in Halo. And in Metroid, it's molten magma.note 
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over note 
A stage in a video game, particularly platformers, that takes place in
a volcanic area or another area with pervasive heat, such as a flaming tower or factory, a volcanic planet or even a kind of Fire and Brimstone Hell. There are also variants that have a Green Hill Zone or Lost Woods level that is on fire. Almost always features large lakes of liquid lava. The puzzles and challenges in such an area generally revolve around navigating around flames and lava. Generally, the player will be fine as long as he doesn't touch the molten rock, and may be even able to boat across it on some vehicle. Of course, if they do fall into lava, it won't be pretty (Or it could be pretty funny).

The music in these levels tends to be percussion-heavy and angry and/or mischievous sounding, often with a tribal-sounding chant. Usually comes late in the Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography.

May be a volcano located in Prehistoria.

A Sub-Trope of Lava Adds Awesome. Compare Planet Heck. Contrast Slippy-Slidey Ice World. Hailfire Peaks is what you get when you combine this trope and the previous one.


Video Game Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Action Game 
  • Kanatia Volcano in Bomberman Hero, especially Magma Lake and Magma Dam; you take damage constantly when in the regular area, but you can avoid damage and regain life by entering little ice crystal zones.
  • The old SNES SWAT Kats video game had one of these on the last level, as well. Complete with lava fireballs shooting up in circular patterns to be dodged/avoided.
  • The volcano level in Jurassic Park for the Sega Genesis.
  • Ultimate Ghosts'n Goblins:
    • Stage 4 is a particularly enraging Lethal Lava Land called Scorch Mountain. The biggest threat here isn't even the lava — it's the frequent earthquakes from eruptions that stun you for 3 whole seconds! These can be avoided by simply flyingnote  to stay off the ground, but then there's Pterodactyls to deal with... Thankfully, this Stage has only one part before the boss.
    • Stage 4 in the original Ghosts'n Goblins and Stage 3 in Super Ghouls'n Ghosts.
    • Stage 2 of Ghosts'n Ghosts has one point where both the floor and the ceiling are swathed in flames.
  • Stonefang Mines in Demon's Souls. Home to the Lizardmen, a draconic god, and home to That One Boss: the Flamelurker.
  • Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain: Dark Eden, a land twisted beyond recognition in a project of the guardians of nature, energy, and states. And then it starts raining fire... This may not be a case of Convection Schmonvection, since Kain and the creatures there are all unnaturally resilient, and the world's foundations are rather loose by this point anyway. This trope is also used in the Dark World version of Nosgoth seen from Nupraptor's keep.
  • The sixth level in Bujingai starts as a series of caverns which eventually brings you into a volcano. And you must reach the top in order to finish the level.
  • The MSX2 version of Contra has two Magma Areas.
  • Evolva: Levels 6, 7, and 8. There's also a single Lava Pit in level 5, but it's extremely easy to avoid it in contrast to the ones in later levels.
  • The first half of the second stage in Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu.
  • The circle of Greed in Dante's Inferno is one of these, except that the lava is replaced with pits of molten gold.
  • Bayonetta: Vigrid's town area becomes this in Chapter III when Fortitudo sets the place ablaze, turning an ordinarily quiet town in to burning ruins with pits of lava. The same chapter has the Catacombs, a more traditional "volcanic cavern" area.
  • The Wonderful 101: The Lost City of Lowrule briefly begins as a jungle, but soon the team ventures in to an active volcano that is a part of it. This is where most of Operation 005 takes place.
  • The planet Eschebone in Jet Force Gemini is entirely volcanic in its geography, though the game also provides two Womb Level stages as, at one point, the current playable character (Lupus in the first visit) has to enter the body of a gigantic worm. Lava is a non-issue for Juno, thanks to his heatproof armor, while Lupus can use his hovering skill to avoid touching lava whenever possible; however, Vela lacks those respective benefits and has to be more careful (especially since there's a part of this world the player has to reach with her to finish the game, and for that she has to deal with this deadly hazard). Lava is present in a limited fashion in other levels, and hide areas meant for Juno.

     Action Adventure 

     Adventure Game 
  • The inner circle of Atlantis in Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is a volcanic crater with fountains of lava pouring from the walls into the bottom of the crater and a massive god-producing machine in the very center.
  • A.I.M. (Artificial Intelligence Machine, or Mech Minds if you're Russian) has the Volcano sector, where one must avoid vapor geysers, electromagnetic fences, ravines, and lava lakes of varying sizes. Not to mention the hostile gliders, who are more powerful than previous sectors.
  • The planet Ortega in Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon, which has its surface constantly reshaped by volcanic eruptions. It's also lethal to walk around there without first putting on Thermo-Weave Underwear. And even then, a fall into the lava pits below nets you a Have a Nice Death.
  • King's Quest: Mask of Eternity: The Barren Region. You WILL get tired of hearing Connor scream when he falls into the lava.
  • The inside of Mondo Mountain in Rocket Power Beach Bandits plays this trope straight.

     Card Games 
  • In Shadowverse, Dragoncraft's default background stage is set inside a volcano, with a floating island serving as the "board".

     Fighting Games 
  • The SoulCalibur fighting games often include a stage where the fighters are going at it on a rock floating in a river of lava. A ring-out involves the player falling in with a dramatic splash of flame, and yet they're perfectly fine come the next round.
  • In Godzilla Unleashed, the impact of evil space crystals causes Seattle to become one of these, with a volcano erupting next to the city and smothering much of it with lava as well as birthing Obsidius.
  • The "Volcanic Rim" stage in Street Fighter IV, which is located in Hawaii, and features an erupting volcano and fighters battling atop solidified lava.

     First Person Shooters 
  • Borderlands 2 has the Eridium Blight and Hero's Pass.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II brings us 'Magma' for part its second DLC pack, which is a Japanese village being destroyed by Lava. Complete with Climactic Volcano Backdrop and lava rivers. Also, the "Green Run" Zombie aps that come with the game also have lava. although unlike the magma multiplayer map, the lava doesnt insta-kill you, but does heavy damage over a few second time span, leading to fast deaths if stood on for too long.
  • Evolve had these in its initial stages, but they were eventually cut due to the balancing issues of both making lava dangerous and not making it a One-Hit KO.
  • Turok 2: Seeds of Evil has this in the lower reaches of the Lair of the Blind Ones.
  • Team Fortress 2 has not only Hellfire, a Mannpower map taking place in a facility right above ravines of lava, but also Hell itself at the very end of a match in Helltower.

  • In World of Warcraft:
    • Ther's Searing Gorge, Burning Steppes, and Shadowmoon Valley (the Outland version; the one on Draenor is a Green Hill Zone). There's also the Blackrock Mountain dungeon complex which, along with including the infamous Molten Core, has what appears to be a volcanic crater right in the entryway.
    • The dwarf capital city Ironforge has...well, a giant forge, filled with molten iron, right in the center. One would think the city would be a giant Dutch oven, but you know what they say about that. Back in vanilla it was deadly to fall into, but now anybody can survive for long enough to teleport out from it using your Hearthstone. Classes with healing capabilities and mages with their fire protection can survive indefinitely. And if you don't have any means to teleport out of there, magma becomes a Mercy Slap On The Wrist. At some point they put up invisible walls to keep players from offing themselves in the forges.
    • The starter instance of Ragefire Chasm.
    • Mount Hyjal in the Cataclysm expansion, the southern and lowest part of the zone has become a Lethal Lava Land due to Ragnaros the Firelord re-emerging to burn the World Tree. Lakes of lava, walls of flame, islands of rock, elemental giants of magma and a rare volcanic turtle. Patch 4.2 introduced the Firelands raid dungeon and the Molten Front daily quest area, which are this trope all over.
    • Frostfire Ridge in Warlords of Draenor is a mixture of this and Slippy-Slidey Ice World.
  • The Karamja Volcano in RuneScape.
  • EverQuest's lavaland is aptly named Lavastorm.
  • The planet Oricon in Star Wars: The Old Republic is almost entirely covered by a vast ocean of liquid rock. The small habitable island that players can actually explore is only kept stable by a mixture of advanced technology and sith sorcery.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, the Valtz Duchy has several factories built over rivers of lava.
  • The island of Padres Del Fuego in Pirates of the Caribbean Online is a giant volcano, which will occasionally shake and erupt. There's even a cave inside the volcano itself, the Lava Gorge.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 has the Volcanic Cave area of planet Amduscia.

     Party Game 
  • Several games in the Mario Party series include a volcanic board sponsored by Bowser, as well as numerous minigames that have lava pools (which usually disqualify any character who falls into them). Notably, the board Magma Mine in Mario Party 9 does not belong to Bowser.


     Puzzle Games 
  • Meteos has three fields/planets that fit this mold in different ways; worth noting is that they don't always follow the "angry-music" rule. Firim is a fiery planet that's home to pyro aliens and features a rock and roll soundtrack, Jeljel is a magma/brimstone-infested Planet Heck accompanied by an Ominous Music Box Tune, and Hotted is a cube-shaped planet made out of molten and glowing-hot iron where synthesizers play the level's music.
  • World 7 of Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition.
  • In Gems of War, the island of Broken Spire is volcanic, and seems to have plentiful lava; whether the resident Lava Wrym is a cause or a consequence isn't stated. The lava doesn't have a gameplay effect, though � it's just for flavour.

     Racing Games 

  • Act IV of Diablo II is fought in Hell, which is probably as Lethal Lava Land as you can get. However, the lava actually behaves the same as walls and there is no way to step on it.
  • Diablo III has lava landscaping in several non-Hell areas, including Leoric's dungeons and the lower levels of Bastion's Keep. You can't fall into the pits, but a typical trap has periodically-erupting lava underneath a grate floor. Don't be standing there when it goes off.
  • In NetHack, some of the Quest sub-levels feature lava. And towards the end of the game the player has to pass through four "elemental" levels, one of which is fire, which of course means lava. If you have fireproof water-walking boots, you can stroll around on the stuff, and all those highly flammable scrolls will be just fine.
  • The Binding of Isaac: Antibirth has the Mines, an alternative to the Caves floor that has some pits of magma and various fire-themed enemies. It is also heavily earth-themed and, as the name implies, features minecarts (for the enemies only).

  • The Ys series has this in most of its games, eg Burnland/Moat of Burnedbless in II, the Ilvern/Alcaino Ruins in III/Oath, Fire Mountain in Mask of the Sun, the Lava Fields of Nelgal in Dawn of Ys, parts of the Ruins of Amnesia in The Ark of Napishtim, etc. In most cases, you can't even fall into the lava, due to Edge Gravity or insurmountable barriers.
  • Mt. Zublo in Breath of Fire III.
  • The Magic Knight Rayearth SNES game features such an area.
  • The Rapax Rift in Wizardry 8, home of the titular demon-like Rapax.
  • The Ring of Fire, and some eye of the north caverns, in Guild Wars.
  • The Fire Spring in EarthBound is the last normal dungeon to be unlocked. All the enemies here are represented by flame sprites.
  • Fire Mountain in Mother 3.
  • Eternal Sonata has the Wah Lava Cave, though the only "danger" other than the enemies within is that they might catch a cold from going from one extreme of temperature in the Sharp Mountains to the other.
  • In Lords of Xulima there's Vilak, the volcanic homeland of the demons. Without a divine artifact to protect your party, even going near the great lava lake will cause significant damage with every step.
  • The Monster Hunter series has three different hunting grounds simply named Volcano (one in each of the first three generations) and the Volcanic Hollow from 4 (revealed to be Sunken Hollow in an active state) as regular locations, and Battleground, Sacred Land, Lava Canyon and Ingle Isle as single-area locations reserved for particularly strong monsters. The heat of these areas will slowly drain your health if you don't consume a Cold Drink or equip an armor with the Heat Cancel skill, and the monsters that live in these locations tend to have an affinity for Fire.
  • Pandora's Tower has Crimson Keep and Blazing Citadel. They're ancient foundries where the molten metal is processed to make new weapons and armor. Historically, that weaponry was used by the conflicting kingdoms that surround the continent.
  • The continent of Cauldros in Xenoblade Chronicles X. Because of the high amount of lava, using a Skell to explore is recommended.
  • Undertale has the penultimate stage of the game, the aptly-named Hotland. There's flames, lava and hot air vents everywhere, and the weather is dry enough to give fish-woman Undyne some trouble, though the spiders seem to find it hospitable enough. You can't fall into the fire here, but you can pick up a Frying Pan of Doom.
  • In Child of Light, the innards of the sentient mountain Magna consist of lava caverns.
  • In The Longest Five Minutes, the party's quest takes them to a volcanic cave near a hot spring resort appropriately titled the "Gates of Hell". In addition to the damage caused by walking over lava, some paths are blocked off by stray flames that can only be extinguished with Clover's ice magic.
  • Eternal Twilight: Sidamo Mountain is a dungeon full of hot lava, so hot that being around it causes the party to get exhausted and lose HP, MP, and TP over time.
  • Molten Caves in Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City, which is located within an active undersea volcano but still part of the Yggdrasil Labyrinth. Due to the extreme heat, some of the floors are harmful for the explorers, though there are skills that help them mitigate the damage.

     Shoot Em Up 
  • Star Fox:
    • A little different, but in Star Fox 64, Solar (the Sun) is a lethal lava land, and the intense heat causes you to steadily lose health. Your team members take damage too, but since they can't be healed mid-mission the level designers made it so they only take some heat damage when their dialogue box is open and the damage stops when fighting the boss, otherwise they'd all be dead one-third of the way through the mission.
    • Certain parts of the DarkIce Mines are like this (particularly underground), as well as the Volcano Force Point Temple in Star Fox Adventures.
  • The Touhou series finally gets one in the 11th game, Subterranean Animism.
  • Burning Heat in Gradius II, the Fire Stage in Gradius III, and the second half of the Volcanic Stage in Gradius IV. The Volcanic stages in most of the games, while they have erupting volcanoes, are more of standard Death Mountain or Underground Levels.
  • The Phoenix Mountain/Volcano in Kid Icarus: Uprising.
  • In Galaxy Force II, Mission 2 takes place over a lava planet, with fiery plumes erupting from the surface in arcs.
  • Chapter 4 (Fire Devildom) in Phelios.
  • In Elemental Master, the Fire zone takes place on platforms surrounded a lava sea, with waves of fire shooting up from underneath, along with the occasional volcano spewing rocks across the player's path.
  • A different kind of on-rails shoot-em-up but Pokémon Snap had the Volcano Stage.
  • Darius II has Zone A (Sun Stage), complete with flaming flying fish.

     First Person Shooter 
  • Marathon has a few of these, most notably "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!" in which you have to wade through lava and stay alive, and "Six Thousand feet Under, in which failure to avoid the lava results in death, along with a few in Marathon Infinity, particularly "Eat the Path" and "Whatever you please," which are both freakin' weird.
  • Many levels of Descent involved lava at some point. However, there was at least one level where the entire thing was lava. Being the first game, lava behaved differently.
  • The planet Brimspark in Descent II. And yes, the heat of the lava does drain your shields.
  • The Stone Rain level in Shadow Warrior.
  • Level 6-1 in Medal of Honor: Frontline has a giant blast furnace that you can knock Nazis into and watch them get crisped.

  • Dwarf Fortress lets you build a Lethal Lava Land. Not only does it give you a useful source of heat for forges and obsidian for building, it lets you drown your foes (or dwarves) in a sea (or river, or waterfall...) of molten rock.
  • MySims Agents has the Fire Room, with both lava pits and flame jets. You can't walk or jump into either; the latter is part of the temple's puzzles, and the former just can't be crossed unless there's already a bridge there.
  • One of the three final missions for Sky Odyssey takes place in an active volcano. As the player you have to fly in there while it's erupting in order to reach the games final goal. On top of lava plums that you have to dodge, you also need to avoid rockslides and lightning generated by the volcano.
  • In MechWarrior Living Legends, the descriptively named 'Inferno' map takes place within an active volcanic caldera. Volcanoes violently erupt off in the distance and in the center of the map, the ambient heat level is enough to kill an unprotected person, and the lava flows will literally melt nearby battlemechs to death in seconds via Over Heating. The battlefield is extremely rocky, cramped, and vision is obscured by dense ash clouds. Flamer uses rejoice on this map, as the ambient heat level makes overheating enemies to death that much easier.

     Sports Games 
  • Deep Inferno from Pangya. Complete with pyroclastic flows for "rough", lava pool "water hazards" and lung-clogging ash filling the air. Did I mention this is a golf game?
  • Lava Dome in Backyard Football, which has lava on only one side.

     Stealth Based Game 
  • At one point in Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf, you get a time machine that allows you to go to the prehistoric past. This past seems to be this.

     Strategy Game 
  • These levels also exist in several of the Fire Emblem games.
  • Starcraft II:
    • The game has a level that floods with lava every few minutes. Just to be mean, all the resources are in areas that flood. In a nice touch, the local fauna is programmed to flee to higher ground in the seconds before the lava arrives, except for the Brutalisk, who may be more focused on killing your team than evacuating the flood. One achievement requires you to kill the Brutalisk in this fashion.
    • The planet Char is also a Lethal Lava Land in most of its incarnations, except for one appearance in Heart of the Swarm that shows an acid swamp. Lovely place, that Char. Probably the most impressive example is "The Belly of the Beast", which takes place inside a series of tunnels and lava tubes dug into Char's surface. Your job is to plant seismic charges that will flood the whole place with, you guessed it, more lava.
    Raynor: Lava and zerg. Two of my favorite things.
  • Devil Survivor: In later days, one of the areas, initially the Diet Building, becomes "contaminated" and lava-filled potholes will appear. You can't walk in them though. And later, when you fight Jeze-FUCKING-bel, the area in front of her is a lake-turned-lava-pool, and ending a character's turn in it will damage that character's team unless its party is immune to fire.
  • Barathrum from Total Annihilation, although this doesn't actually have much effect on game play aside from the fact that you can't build naval units given that the 'seas' are made of lava.
  • Shows up pretty regularly in Rock Raiders. And they are much despised because your miners don't seem to realize that cutting corners across lava isn't a bright idea.
  • A number of levels in the Dungeon Keeper games feature lava heavily. You can build bridges across it though, and some creatures can walk through it unharmed or fly over it.
  • In My Singing Monsters, we have Earth Island, the final natural island that houses Quarrister.
  • In Colobot, at least one planet is like this, with freely flowing lava and plenty of Convection Schmonvection to go along with it.

     Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Minecraft has the Nether, in which the only three sources of light are glowstone, randomly burning netherrack, oh, and did I mention the oceans of lava as far as the game can render?
  • Subnautica has the Lava Lakes, the Lava Castle, and to a slightly lesser degree, the Inactive Lava Zone that contains the latter and leads to the former. note  It probably helps that the entire accessible game world is found within the crater of a giant dormant volcano.

Non-Video Game Examples

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 10 episode 23, the final level of the game the Supermen have to Win to Exit is filled with lots of lava and features a volcano monster for a boss.

     Collectible Card Game 

     Comic Books 


     Tabletop Games 

     Web Comics 

     Western Animation 
  • Gatto's Keep from Trollhunters.
  • In Adventure Time, the Fire Kingdom. Notably, non-natives can't survive there for long without a magic spell to make them heat-resistant.
  • In Storm Hawks, the Wastelands between the habitable Terras are rabidly volcanic, sporting nigh-endless rivers and lakes of lava. While Convection Schmonvection is in full effect, most of the local wildlife can live in the lava itself and is deadly enough to be a significant danger to heavily-armored airships.

     Real Life 
  • The Sun, and many stars in our galaxy are all literal Lethal Lava Land.
  • Because Venus lacks plate tectonics, it is thought that every billion years or so, pressure in its interior builds up until a large number of volcanoes erupt all over the planet's surface, replacing nearly all of Venus's surface features.
  • Our own planet Earth was like this at least a few times early in its geologic history, and it will again be a lava-covered world once the Sun goes red giant.
  • Io, one of Jupiter's famed Galilean moons, is locked in an orbital resonance with both Europa and Ganymede that stretches it, causing extreme friction that stimulates volcanic activity. Io is so volcanically active, that it doesn't actually have a crust, and can replace every one of its surface features in less than twenty years.
  • Lava planets, that orbit extremely close to their stars as Kepler-78b, and being so hot that their lava could have water-like viscosity.
  • For (liquid) methane-based life that could exist in places as Titan, Saturn's largest moon, at temperatures of around -200°C where granite-solid water ice replaces there rock and liquid water takes the role of lava, Earth with its oceans of liquid water and clouds of water vapor would be a hellish Lethal Lava Land.
  • Hawai'i, the largest island in the US state of the same name, tends to skirt into this due to its constant eruptions. These eruptions are not directly hazardous to most of the island, but do produce significant lava flows which frequently destroy houses and cover the roads. Additionally, a few patches of the island are completely covered in solidified lava - although one can typically find the liquid state not far beneath it.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Fire Level, The Fire Level, Lethal Lava Level


Super Mario 64

Course 7 is Lethal Lava Land, an area covered completely in lava, also having fire enemies. It's the Trope Namer as well.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / LethalLavaLand

Media sources:

Main / LethalLavaLand