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Living Structure Monster

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"It's like these people have never had a ceiling come to life and try to smother them before!"
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Sometimes Malevolent Architecture is taken literally, with monsters that are actually part of it. They take form of a wall, or a floor, or any part of the building you're in.

How would a wall, floor etc be such a menace? Maybe it is capable of movement, and would try to crush you by its own "bodies"; see Descending Ceiling, The Walls Are Closing In, Advancing Wall of Doom and Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom. When they aren't mobile, they may still be harmful by another means, such as shooting things at people or sprouting Spikes of Doom if someone's nearby. They may or may not have eyes.

If all those monsters are actually of one awareness, it overlaps with Genius Loci. This may also be one of the explanations behind a Mobile Maze.

Compare Wall Master for creatures who are able to move through/along walls; in this trope, the walls (and floors, ceilings etc) are the monsters themselves. Compare also Chest Monster, Womb Level and Our Gargoyles Rock (since a gargoyle is basically an animated rainspout). Contrast Smart House. Subtrope of Animate Inanimate Object.

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If the Living Structure Monster is a boss, an overlap might occur with Background Boss and Stationary Boss, or alternately Advancing Boss of Doom.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga  
  • In Attack on Titan, it is revealed at the ending of the anime/midpoint of the manga that the walls surrounding their City in a Bottle are actually living creatures. As in, the walls are made of Colossal Titans' hardened Instant Armor... with the aforementioned titans inside the walls as foundations.
  • In an episode of the anime adaptation of Kaiketsu Zorori, a Nurikabe note  is recruited by Zorori to be a part of a soccer team, as a goalie. Being a literal wall that is as wide as the goal itself, the youkai provides an unfair advantage for Zorori in the corresponding soccer match.
  • In One Piece, one of Gekko Moriah's zombies is a wall zombie, a literal wall with a human face stretched out and stitched on. It doesn't do much except appear and block an entrance some of the Straw Hats were going to use to escape from other zombies.
  • In I Became The Demon Lord So I Created A Dungeon, we have a rare protagonist example. Yuki is a human from Earth reincarnated into a Demon Lord and bound to a dungeon. The dungeon is a living being and both it and he are dependent on each other to live.

     Comic Books  

     Films — Animated  
  • The title creature of Monster House is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a monstrous, animate house, specifically because it's haunted by the spirit of an extremely bitter woman. Mostly it manifests as Malevolent Architecture, but in the climax, the house shows its ire with the protagonists by uprooting itself and chasing after them.
  • The twelve-headed dragon from Son of the White Horse is a living, shape-shifting city who wears smog as clothing.
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     Films — Live-Action  
  • In The Great Yokai War, one of the Youkai featured is a talking, limbed wall. Just picture an extremely wide SpongeBob SquarePants with a disproportionately huge body. Guy's just a literal Living Prop though, and does nothing much in the story other than being literally part of the background.
  • The movie Labyrinth features a number of creatures that are basically part of the architecture of the eponymous maze. These include the talking door knockers, and the talking walls which give false alarms to passersby.
  • In the horror film 1408, the entire hotel room itself, not just any specific piece of it, is evil. The rest of the hotel is fine though.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has a Hedge Maze that acts like this in the third task.

     Literature  
  • In the Discworld, Unseen University is explicitly described as a building complex that throughout its thousand year history has absorbed so much ambient magic that it is practically a living thing with emotions and a degree of sentience. Equal Rites has the witch Granny Weatherwax reaching out her mind and effectively borrowing it — i.e., a sort of benign possession which a witch may only do with the mind of a living thing. She reads its mind and discovers it is frightened and fearful. Much the same happens in Sourcery, when the University dimly senses big trouble ahead, and doesn't like it.
  • In Myth-ing Persons, the vampire city of Blut uses the mouth of an animated dragon-head statue at the top of a tower as a prison cell. Should a vampire confined within attempt to break out, it swallows them; if they try turning to mist to escape, it inhales them.

     Live Action TV  
  • A demon who's also a wall, which inspires worshipers to fight over it, shows up in a second-season episode of Angel.
  • In one episode of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Rita accidentally brings a brick wall to life. Brick Bully is literally a brick wall with an upside down face, limbs, and various graffiti all over him. He can turn others into bricks and when he eats more bricks, he assumes a slightly more humanoid and mobile form. The Monster in question was adapted from "Ninja Sentai Kakuranger", whose monsters were designed as "Bronx Youkai". In this case, it was a modern incarnation of a Nurikabe.
  • The Outer Limits (1995) used this trope in "If These Walls Could Talk", when what at first appears to be a Haunted House turns out to have been brought to life by a former owner's tinkering with enzymes from space. At least, he'd been tinkering until the house got hungry.

     Mythology  
  • A rather well renowned youkai from Japanese folklore called a Nurikabe is an animated wall that impedes travelers. It is the basis for many characters such as the Whomps from Super Mario Bros. and the Monol monsters from Monster Rancher. Interesting enough, its common depiction of being an animated wall is somewhat of a modern representation. Originally during the Edo period, one of its early depictions was that of a three-eyed grotesque vaguely dog-like creature. Over time, its depiction changed to a literal wall with limbs and very vague features.
  • Another youkai is the Mokumoku-ren which is a monster created from shoji, the paper sliding doors and windows found in Japan houses. When shoji are not taken care of, they can become riddled with holes. If not repaired for a long time, these can become infested with eyes. The Mokumoku-ren is generally creepy but relatively harmless. It is however usually a sign of a greater infestation of youkai in a household.

     Tabletop Games  
  • Dungeons & Dragons has had many structure base monsters in its history, especially in the earlier editions where Everything Trying to Kill You and Killer Game Master were in full effect:
    • The Living Wall, which gains power by assimilating nearby corpses.
    • First Edition had the "Lurker Above" (just called the Lurker in Advanced D&D), which resembled the ceiling.
    • Its counterpart, the Lurker (renamed the Trapper when the LA had the "above" dropped) disguised itself as the floor.
    • Combine those three with the Gelatinous Cube, which is transparent enough to pose as the empty space, and you can construct literally the entire room from disguised monsters.
    • Second edition had the "Greater Mimic". A larger version of the game's resident Chest Monster which could impersonate rooms or other structures.
    • The Dread Gazebo is an accidental version of this which came about when a player assumed a "gazebo" the Dungeon Master described was some sort of monster. Fed up with his insistence on attacking it, the DM decided it pounced and killed his character. Read the original story here.
  • The House of Lament in Ravenloft. This is a small Domain, but it is a case where the Domain and the Lord are the same. It is a Haunted House that is possessed by the restless spirit of a girl who was tortured and murdered there, who can now control the place completely, and prevent anyone entering from escaping, usually refusing to do so until one member of a group dies. (Legends say the spirit can be laid to rest forever if a selfless hero volunteers himself, but thus far, no-one has been willing.)
  • The house itself in Betrayal at House on the Hill can be one of these in one of the end-game "Haunt" scenarios, with different rooms representing organs, such as the Kitchen being the digestive system, and the Conservatory acting as the lungs.

     Video Games  
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Demon Wall is a recurring enemy in the series. The Final Fantasy series also has Alexander, a recurring summon/boss which usually takes the form of a gigantic living castle.
    • Final Fantasy IV also has, in the same dungeon with Demon Wall, a Trap Doors. They look like regular doors until you try to interact with them, when they just attack.
    • Final Fantasy VII has Hell House, a fairly dangerous random encounter that first appears as an ordinary house, before revealing mechanical limbs, head, and weapons.
    • Armstrong from Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, a literal haunted house possessed by the lingering grief of its former occupants as they succumbed to the miasma that overtook Tida.
  • Death Wall, which probably is the "cousin" of the above-mentioned Demon Wall, hailing from the Rune Factory series.
  • In Ultima III, just before you reach the Big Bad's lair, the floor of its antechamber attacks you, with a high potential for a Total Party Kill. In gameplay terms, it just means a battle against multiple completely invisible enemies named "Floor".
  • Rangda Bangda from the Mega Man X series, which comes up twice: once in the first game, and once in the fifth game as its powered up form.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • In the first game, the blocked doors would attack Dante if you got too close, but otherwise left you alone until you got rid of them by solving a puzzle and/or killing some enemies.
    • The second game has Nefasturris, the "Tower of Sin", an enormous demon which is summoned into the human world using an entire skyscraper as a conduit.
  • Icon of Sin, a wall with a picture of a demon on it, the Final Boss in Doom 2, attacks you by summoning his various demonic flunkies to fight you. His weakpoint is on a point on his "head".
  • Grimwall from Shining in the Darkness.
  • Wall enemies show up in one level of Wario World. They can't attack, their only purpose is to keel over and provide a bridge once punched sufficiently.
  • In Monster Rancher, the Monol breed is a 2001: A Space Odyssey Monolith-esque Shapeshifting monster, meaning it looks like a rectangle wall, or rather, a door. It's capable of Size Shifting and Partial Transformation of its surface to produce a humanoid face and spikes.
  • Rosenkreuzstilette: The Cross Wall is one of the bosses in the "fortress" stages. It attacks by summoning Living Crosses that home in on you and fires energy shots from its "eye". It also chases after you.
  • Secret of Mana has two different Wall Face bosses, both of which function similarly. They have a central third eye weak point that has to be defeated to win, and try to crush the player if both of their normal eyes are killed first.
  • In Terraria, the Wall of Flesh is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - a massive, moving wall with eyes and a mouth.
  • Blockhead of Ōkami is a youkai based on Nurikabe from Japanese folklore. They appear in several places during the game, always blocking the player's path with their wall-like body. To get past a Blockhead the player must headbutt him to make him reveal his weak points, memorize them, and attack them with his Celestial Brush, after which the Blockhead disappears in a puff of smoke.
    Ga-ha! I am Blockhead! I guard this place so that all shall pass! Er, wait... I mean, none shall pass!
  • The exit from Cave Story's Noob Cave is blocked by a cyclopean door that hurts on contact, but is easily dealt with.
  • Nest type enemy fused to a variety of walls/bulkheads throughout all three Dead Space games. They spawn nasty babies with missile shooting tails. They cannot be rerouted around and the babies will kill you if they manage to shoot you enough times.
  • The doors to a boss room in Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion are covered by giant eyes called Gadoras that shoot eyebeams at the player and must be destroyed before you can enter the room. Metroid: Samus Returns introduced three-eyed variants called Gigadoras that can only be defeated with the Spazer Beam.
  • Several The Legend of Zelda games contain enemies called Flying Tiles. From a distance they're just ordinary floor tiles, but as you approach they levitate up, start spinning, then hurl themselves at you. Ocarina of Time has living fake doors that attack Link if he approaches them.
  • In some games of the Shin Megami Tensei series (for example, Shin Megami Tensei IV and Strange Journey, the demon Orcus appears as a brick gateway to Hell (If you look closely, a plaque reading "GO TO HELL" is attached to it) with part of a horned head visible at the top.
  • From the Super Mario Bros., there are the Whomps which are based on the Nurikabe from Japanese folklore. Super Mario Odyssey has a variant called the Stairface Ogre, which has a more Oni-like face and attacks with a big mallet.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, there is the Heartless boss Thresholder. It is the possessed dungeon doors which impede Sora and company in Beast's castle.
  • Skyblazer has a Demon Wall boss that attacks by spinning and attempting to crush Sky against the edges of the screen.
  • Genova, one of the bosses in Seiken Densetsu 3 is a demonic fireplace/furnace that attacks by spitting enemies out of its fire.
  • The old Former Building in Albion. The floors have mouths and try to eat you. The reason is that one of the building's former Iskai inhabitants has fused with into a Genius Loci. This might make more sense knowing that the Formers are wizards who specialise in living plant architecture, and that the Iskai can transfer their minds into an infant's body through a semi-telepathic organ on their foreheads. Well, a little more sense.
  • Yo-Kai Watch has Noway/Murikabe who inspirits people to make them say "no way" (or "impossible" in the original Japanese version) when asked to do anything. The way to make them do anything is to ask them to do the opposite of what you want, like "Don't stop that Roughraff from attacking that kid" or "Let Jibanyan eat all of those doughnuts".
  • Epic Mickey has the Clocktower, who went insane after listening to "It's a Small World" for far too long. His face, once a bubbly, happy smile has since melted away, leaving a hideous scowl. He attempts to crush Mickey with his massive, metallic fists while a nightmarish version of the well-known song plays hauntingly in the background. If the player chooses to kill the Clocktower, its arms horribly twist and fall off, and his face falls into the lake of Thinner below, lamenting, "Oh dear, my time has come. I don't feel too good..."
  • The Ultra Beast Stakataka (pictured) from Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon takes on the appearance of a castle tower. Each of the individual "stones" is actually a separate life form with an inward-facing eye, hence its code name, "UB Assembly".

     Web Comics  
  • Awful Hospital has the Flesh Door, which is not just a door but an entire room.
  • In Girl Genius, Heterodyne Castle is alive, and is one giant death trap for anyone who is not The Heterodyne. Before Agatha arrives to repair it, convict work crews are sent in to attempt repairs, or die trying. Usually the latter.

     Web Original  
  • One of the more memorable creatures described in the Gearworld is an entity that has somehow evolved a hunting mechanism by which it dangles from a ceiling, disguised as a spiral staircase. Utterly convincing until a hapless explorer tries that first step.
  • There are several Creepy Pastas about creatures that masquerade as Old Dark Houses and eat the people who come inside for whatever reason.

     Western Animation  
  • The Fairly OddParents! has Mike, the Evil Living Building, as one of the Crimson Chin's enemies.
  • In the Adventure Time episode "All Your Fault", the Lemongrabs have produced their own children, one of which, Lemonjon, is so big he takes up much of the castle, and his body is intertwined with the building.
  • The Steven Universe episode "Horror Club" has a Corrupted Gem that is merged with the lighthouse above the temple, and manifests a giant maw in the wall.
  • In Dofus: The Treasures of Kerubim, Louis is a Shushu possessing a whole house, and is able of manipulating rooms, floors, corridors, doors and furniture inside as he wish. He can also sprout spider legs to move around. He serves as Kerubim's shop for the time being.

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