Follow TV Tropes


Level Goal

Go To
Just a little further, that's it!


The way to mark a definitive end to a video game level without a Boss Battle. Are often locked at first, or simply inactive until you do something. They can assume the form of doorways, portals, switches, or just unrelated items floating in mid-air as markers.

Usually (but not always) an Instant-Win Condition.

Compare Every Episode Ending.


    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 

    Action Game 
  • Food Fight: The goal of each level is to reach the ice-cream cone on time before it melts.
  • Non-boss levels in Gain Ground have a big exit space. To clear stages, either move all of your characters to the exit or kill all enemies. The latter is preferable, but sometimes isn't possible if you don't have any characters alive that can reach enemies on high ground. Additionally, the only way to collect new characters is to collect them on the field and deliver them to the exit before you eliminate all enemies.
  • In Jet Force Gemini, there are two types of goal: The current character's spaceship in a landing site (which will take them out of the current planet or space vessel), and a door leading to a new area placed within the current planet of space vessel. The latter type, in turn, tells subtly the player what to expect next: If there's just a starry green hologram, it means the character is about to access a standard area; if there's a starry red hologram instead, it means a free, resting zone lies ahead; and if both holograms are present, it means the current area will be directly followed up by another of the same type.

    Digging Game 
  • The first Repton game has none; levels end instantly when you take the last diamond (even if it's under a rock and there would be no way of escape). Repton 3 introduces the timebomb, which must be defused as the level's final objective.
  • In SubTerra, every level has two level goals. One is the easy one, and one is for hard mode; the latter is usually in a hard-to-reach spot, of course, and can be destroyed by explosions.

    Fighting Game 

    First Person Shooter 
  • Each level in 8Bit Killer ends when you pull a lever on a black machine that appears to be a comm-station.
  • Blood has switches shaped like Tchernobog's head.
  • Corridor 7: Alien Invasion has the elevator. It's unusual in that you start at the elevator and you have to return there when you kill enough enemies.
  • Descent has exit doors which open only when you blow up the reactor in a level.
  • Both Wolfenstein 3-D and Doom have you flip switches at the end of a level; the end-level switches for Wolfenstein are located in elevators, but there isn't much explanation for why Doom's switches take you to the next level.
  • Duke Nukem 3D had self destruct switches, even though most of the levels were cityscapes (where, one assumes, self destruct buttons are rare).
  • Left 4 Dead has a safe house at the end of every map except the campaign's end, which has some location-relevant escape vehicle. Getting all active survivors inside and closing the door triggers a level complete as the survivors rest up before moving on to the next map. If a zombie happens to be in the safe room, the level won't end unless you kill it, even though the door is shut.
  • Marathon had various computer terminals were scattered around the levels; once you accomplished your objectives, you'd usually find one that would teleport you to the next stage.
  • Quake has portals, teleporters or passages opening into complete darkness as its goals.
  • Rise of the Triad has arch-shaped gates.
  • Shadow Warrior (1997) uses bloody, bullethole-ridden yin-yang symbols as its exit switches.

    Maze Game 
  • Bomberman 64 has an exit location marked by a green arrow on the ground that appears when you finish the stage's objective (such as lowering a bridge, activating a ski lift, knocking down a platform, or deactivating a barrier). The form the exit takes is usually related to the aforementioned objective. Bomberman Hero is similar, with yellow arrows pointing to the exit, but there isn't always an objective that needs to be accomplished to open it up.
  • Lode Runner: The Legend Returns and its expansion, Mad Monks' Revenge, have portals that appear after the last piece of treasure is either collected or destroyed, some of which are locked with color-coded keys. Custom levels that do not have portals in place follow the original game's goal, reaching the top of the screen.
  • In The Tower of Druaga, every level has a randomly-placed exit door, which needs to be opened by obtaining the randomly-placed key.

    Platform Game 
  • On Action 52, Lollipop and Billy Bob have doors at the at the end of each level. The third level of the former subverts it though by having three doors at various points in the level, all of which reset the game. Critical Bypass also has you enter some weird structure at the end of each level.
  • In Alex Kidd in Miracle World, every level ends with Alex collecting a rice ball (or hamburger), which he then eats on the map screen.
  • Asterix for the NES and Game Boy marks the end of a level with a board loaded with a boulder for Asterix to jump on and catapult himself out of the level.
  • In Athena, Athena had to enter an ornate double door at the end of each area. Boss Battles didn't change this.
  • Blue's Journey for the Neo Geo has a bell tree for you to jump on at the end of each level.
  • Bubble and Squeak: At the end of each (non-shmup) level is a small blue-and-orange pole sticking out of the ground, with a glass dome on top of it. To clear the level, both characters must be present at the pole.
  • Bubsy had the titular character dash into a gigantic ball of yarn which turned around and show his face on it as a logo.
  • Bug has the "Bug Stop", basically, he lands on it to finish the scene (because he's acting in a movie).
  • Castle Of Pixel Skulls: The goal of each level is to reach the door with the blue rug underneath it.
  • Commander Keen: In the first three episodes, the levels end when Billy enters a gateway leading to a luminescent corridor (the color of the corridors changes with each episode: Purple in the first episode, blue in the second, and green in the third). In the fourth, sixth and Dreams episodes, the majority of levels end when Billy simply moves forward to a border identitied as an exit by a letter written in the Standard Galactic Alphabet (the exceptions are the levels where Billy gathers a Plot Coupon or a valuable item, in which case grabbing them will end the levels automatically). In the fifth episode, most levels end when Billy enters a door that is unlocked by collecting a special key (not the same kind of key as the gems, but instead a crimson-colored keycard), whereas the others end when he disables the generators that are fueling the Omegamatic.
  • Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure: Across all three episodes, there are three types of levels: Those which end when Cosmo touches the exit sign (even if the exit isn't placed directly in front of what would be theorietically a path leading to another location, as seen in the bonus levels which have multiple exit signs and just touching any of them will conclude the levels), those which end when he uses a warp machine that isn't connected to another within the same level, and those where he is eaten by a monster (a plant in Level 4 of the first episode, and a crocodile-like orange monster in the other instances).
  • Crash Bandicoot: for the first game, in every non-boss level, there's a "warp pad" that serves as the finish. In the second game, they're more elaborate teleport chambers. In the third game, they're simple "time warp balls".
  • Crossbow Crusade: At the end of each level is some kind of construct made up of dead bodies. To complete the level, you must go up to it, which will automatically make the Player Character tear it down.
  • Crystal Caves uses rather complex-looking, big mechanical doors.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • Donkey Kong Country: You know you're approaching the end of a level when you see a wooden sign saying "EXIT".
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest: Every level ends with a "Test Your Strength" Game, where your strength is determined by if you've fallen on the target from high enough. This goal also contains an item on the top that cycles between different options, requiring a bit of timing if you want a particular prize.
    • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!: Each main level ends with a hoistable flag that can be pulled upward from a rope attached to it.
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical Freeze both use floating barrels with star icons to conclude a level upon contact. These barrels also act as slot machines, as several images are shown one after another, and whichever one is displayed when a Kong touches it will become their prize: A banana, a bunch thereof, a coin, a balloon, or a DK icon that allows the player to shake the Wiimote (and Nunchuk if also used) to trigger a multiplier for a randomly-selected collectible.
  • In Elasto Mania, levels are completed by touching the spinning flower after collecting all the apples.
  • In Everybody Edits, this comes in the form of a gold trophy.
  • Fox N Forests: At the end of each level, Patty the Partridge can be seen sitting on a see-saw while singing a song (which replaces the level music when you get close). You have to jump on the see-saw and launch her into the air to complete the level.
  • Garfield's Nightmare: Each level that isn't a Boss-Only Level concludes when Garfield touches one of the rotating arms of a pole striped yellow and red. The arm marked with a red X doesn't yield anything special, but the one showing the black silhouette of a meal gives Garfield donuts.
  • Each level in Heavenly Bodies ends with you returning to the mission console you spawn next to and grabbing onto a walkie-talkie to tell mission control you completed your objective.
  • James Pond has exit pipes; James Pond 2 has an exit marker shaped like barber pole with a siren on it (you can only exit when it's flashing); James Pond 3 has the same barber poles, but modified into communication devices.
  • The Korean Arcade Game Hard Head has an exit door at the end of each level, but above that door is a goal net that you have to kick a soccer ball into.
  • In Jetpack, each level is exited by double doors that open once all the Emerald Gems are collected.
  • Kirby had a door adorned with more stars as per usual. And usually a cannon sequence. And a little dance.
  • In Little Nemo: The Dream Master, at the end of every level is a door protected by a bunch of locks standing behind it.
  • To complete a level in Manic Miner you must enter a portal, which opens when you have collected all the items in the level.
  • Mountain Troll: These take the form of doorways that only open when the troll collects all the bags in the level.
  • In New Adventure Island, the ends of levels are marked with flags of hands holding up the V-Sign.
  • The first Papa Louie game has a cage with a pulley on it. When Papa's holding the requisite number of pizza boxes, the cage rises and frees the tenants trapped within.
  • In Pepsiman, Scene I of every stage ends at a Pepsi vending machine, and Scene II ends in front of a large thirsty crowd.
  • Pizza Vs. Skeletons: The skiing levels have a giant snowman with a skull head that the pizza has to destroy at the end of the level, while the balancing levels have a giant gong at the end that destroys the skull on impact to complete the level.
  • Prince of Persia: In Prince of Persia and Prince of Persia 2, the exit gates had to be opened on each level, and you could tell by the sound made when you stepped on the appropriate Pressure Plate.
  • In Purple, you finish the stage by hopping on green spring board surrounded by checkerboard design.
  • Raccoo Venture:The levels in the game are cleared by stepping onto the glowing circular patch of ground.
  • Ratchet & Clank: The Level-Map Display shows the goal being marked with a star.
  • Road Runner's Death Valley Rally marked the end of each stage with a checkered flag.
  • Secret Agent has the elevator door, which must be blown up with dynamite and can only be entered if you destroyed the radar dish on this level.
  • A few bonus levels in Shovel Knight end when you reach an glass orb post that normally is a Checkpoint.
  • Skeleton Boomerang: At the end of each level is a large treasure chest. To complete the level, you open up the treasure chest to collect the horned golden skull within.
  • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus: At the end of each level, Treasure Keys are kept in a glass casing that Sly breaks open and collects with a unique posture.
  • The Smurfs (1994) had an exit sign.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The 2D games used a signpost with Eggman's face on it, that flips over to the current character's. Additionally, the final Act of each non-final Zone had a capsule full of animals that ends the level when broken open by hitting the release button instead of the signpost.
    • The 3D games replaced the signpost with a goal ring. Sonic Generations uses both, considering the levels alternate between Mega Drive-style platforming-focused areas and Unleashed-style 3D running stages.
    • Lampshaded in Sonic Frontiers with this exchange:
      Sage: What is your end goal?
      Sonic: It varies. Sometimes it's a spinning sign, sometimes it's a big ol' ring...
  • In Solomon's Key, each level is completed by passing through a door that must first be opened by collecting a key which may or may not be in plain sight.
  • Spacestation Pheta is an odd case. Ostensibly, the airlock furthest to the right is the level goal, other airlocks being obstacles you may have to open to reach the final airlock. In reality, "enter the airlock furthest to the right" works more like an Instant-Win Condition. You can win by destroying the rightmost airlock and entering the one that was the second-to-last.
  • Speedy Eggbert has a spinning arrow (or key depending on the level) which only end the level if you collect all of the treasure chests within it.
  • Super Mario Bros. games have used various kinds:
    • Super Mario Bros. and The Lost Levels both have the flagpole and castle, which the New Super Mario Bros. sub-series, the 3D duology, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder brought back.
    • In each regular level of Super Mario Bros. 2 (and, by extension, Doki Doki Panic), there's the Mask Gate that needs to be opened with a crystal ball that is usually guarded by Birdo (a different sprite was used in DDP). The levels with bosses have instead a door that appears when the bosses are defeated.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 has the cards that cycle like slot machines through various cards which can be collected for a bonus. In fortresses and airships, the goal is an item dropped by the bosses when they're defeated.
    • The usual exit to non-boss levels in Super Mario World is walking through twin poles; the standard alternate exit is finding a key and putting it into the keyhole; the Sunken Ghost Ship's exit is touching a question mark in a green circle.
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and its sequels have the end ring with little flower icons going round, and if the flowers are where the cursor stop, you play a bonus mini game.
    • Super Mario Land has the giant tower with two exits, the top one leading to a bonus game.
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins has a door with a small bell hung at the top and a hanging sign saying 'Goal'. Secret exits are just a small black door marked with a star above.
    • Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy, and its sequel all used the game's Plot Coupon as a level goal, as the levels' objectives were fairly linear (Super Mario 64 has many of its coupons obtainable in any order in the levels). This also applies, though to a lesser extent, to the story-related Power Moons (as well as the more valuable Multi-Moons) in Super Mario Odyssey.
    • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 usually requires you to pay 10 coins to open the locked exit door (if it isn't a stage where the exit door is open to begin with). In some stages the stage is cleared by hitting a giant ! block instead, which results in some big change happening on the world map.
    • Wario Land II has a door with flashing star icons above it.
    • Wario Land 3 has four chests in each level - gray, red, green, and blue - and you have to open a chest after finding its key to get the treasure inside. You can also clear a level by passing through an exit door in the location of a chest you've already opened.
    • Wario Land 4 has the same portal that takes you to the level... only opening when you trip the Frog Switch at the other end of the level. It also starts a timer to destroy the level.
  • Turtle Pop: Journey to Freedom: The objective of each level is to get all the turtles through the rainbow. Do that, and you get a bonus where more turtles appear in the level to get through the rainbow.
  • Vivid Conceptions: The goal on every level is represented by a red flag, similar to the one seen in the protagonist's village in the intro. Presumably, your fellow Bantams left these behind to indicate the right way to the goal of the game.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Catherine: At the top of each stage, there's a bell that Vincent must ring to open the stairway to the top.
  • In Portal, to finish a test chamber, you have to reach the elevator at the end that leads to the next test chamber.
  • In Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative the ends of the levels are marked by an entrance to the Aperture Science Vacuum Delivery System.
  • Ballance has a wooden platform with balloons attached that takes off as soon as your ball ends up inside.
  • Chip's Challenge and all of its Fan Sequels, as well as the official sequel, have a blue-colored portal that is usually blocked by a socket that will only open when the required amount of (computer) chips is collected.
  • The level exits in Lemmings come in several varieties (functionally equivalent). Some levels have more than one exit.
  • Played with in Baba is You. Instead of being one specific object, the goal of a level is whatever is defined as "Win"—and you can change that by moving "Win" to define something else as the goal.
  • English Country Tune has a blue square used as a level goal in some levels. However, you'll have to fulfill the requirements for all other gimmicks before you can finish the level.

    Role Playing Game 
  • In Miitopia, each and every level ends with an inn in which the Miis regain their health and MP, eat and socialize with each other.

    Shoot Em Up 

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Splatoon: Each level goal in the series' story mode has a significant item held in a field that's open by being blasted with a weapon.
  • Most missions in Warframe are finished by fulfilling the goal and then reaching the extraction point, either a landing pad or a dock which allows the Tenno to enter their Drop Ship in style.

Alternative Title(s): Exit Gate