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"What we all dread most is a maze with no centre."

The characters are wandering through a maze, except that they just turned around, and the door they just came in from is now a wall...

Perhaps this place is a Living Structure Monster, is possessed by a demon or inhabited by a spirit, making it a Genius Loci, or it was built with tracks, pistons and engines to move according to the beat of an arcane clockwork heart (or high-tech AI), but usually, there is no way to stop or even detect the mechanism. You must let it herd you or puzzle out the trick it wants. Alien Geometries (especially Oh Look, More Rooms!) may complicate it still further, along with any door being possibly a Cool Gate. As can the possibility of being eaten.

Sometimes it is, in fact, a mind game: the character's sense of direction is confused, or he can no longer recognize which parts he has been through.

The Maze is the parent trope. If paired with a Psychological Torment Zone, it becomes a deadly Closed Circle. Compare to Unnaturally Looping Location.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Bleach, Szayel Aporro Granz can control the passages of his lair with his mind. Any path someone tries to take will lead back to him. On a wider scale, this is also true for the whole of Las Noches. Gin manipulates the corridors to ensure Rukia meets Aaroniero.
  • The Maze card can do this in Cardcaptor Sakura, also creating Escher-like Alien Geometries.
  • In The Cat Returns, the king of cats tries to trap Haru-chan by having her traverse a maze, and sending in cats holding fake walls to block the path. Unusually, the Baron is able to knock them unconscious and clear their path.
    • The original manga gave us a labyrinth built on sliding concentric circles. Hilariously, this produces, at certain brief intervals, completely clear paths towards the center.
  • Parts of the dungeon in Delicious in Dungeon behave this way, especially in the lower, more dangerous levels. The changes are dramatic enough that it's not uncommon for adventurers to struggle with exhaustion, exposure or starvation just because they got lost following maps that are no longer accurate.
  • Played to hilarious effect in the General White arc of Dragon Ball. Goku and Android 8 ("Ha-chan") must get through a maze to reach the Red Ribbon officer. The maze is completely normal, except for a single wall which can be toggled to block one of the two passages out. After running back and forth between the apparent dead-ends for a while, Goku and Android 8 finally decide to just split up and take both passages at once. Top-notch security system there, General.
  • One Piece: The Seducing Woods in Whole Cake Island are, in fact, plant and tree Homies who deliberately trick intruders into walking around in circles by moving when no one is looking. The only way out is with express authorization by Big Mom or one of her subordinates. Alternatively, if someone happens to have Big Mom's Vivre Card, whose aura mimics that of her soul, the Homies will be compelled to obey them and step aside. The more extreme method is to simply start levelling the entire forest, at which point the terrified Homies will be more than happy to just get out of the way.
  • In the episode of Ulysses 31 featuring Theseus and the Minotaur, at one point the whole Labyrinth starts to move around, making Ariane's tracker useless and threatening to separate or even crush the heroes.

    Board Games 
  • The board game The aMAZEing Labyrinth has this as its gameplay mechanic, as each player can choose to either move their own piece or push a new tile onto the board, displacing a row or column.
  • The flowchart — I mean dungeon — in Drakon is built a little at a time and changes frequently.
  • The Spy vs. Spy licensed board game has up to four playable Spies digging tunnels towards strategically placed bombs to capture them. Tunnel tiles allow a Spy to navigate further and eventually form a twisting maze that often doubles back on itself... and part of the gameplay involves the actions of enemy spies, either setting traps to cut off your tunnels or digging out new paths over your existing ones. The end result is a fairly chaotic board that is quite prone to re-shaping itself every few rounds and often ends up with at least one player forced to step onto a booby trap tile or the dreaded Death Circle, where a player (through bad luck or crippling incompetence) is trapped in four joined 90-degree corner tunnels with no option to dig back out, forever going in a loop.
  • The classic Wizwar has entire sections of its labyrinth spin in place.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum is a (relatively) benign example. Strange's friends and allies have no trouble getting around, but it becomes a dangerous trap for his enemies.
  • The basement of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac's house is like this. It's a less benign example.
  • Ducklair Tower from Paperinik New Adventures qualifies as this, as the AI Uno can control and shift around the entire inside. In one story, he uses this to keep a group of robbers, the police and Angus Fangus from running into each other for four hours.
  • Wonder Woman: There have been hints since Wonder Woman (1987) that Olympus' already confusing Alien Geometries shift and change but Wonder Woman (2011) made it explicit that the place is structured by and changes with the whims of whomever is currently ruling.

  • In the Facing the Future Series, Walker's prison is shown to be this, with only Walker and his men able to navigate it successfully. Fortunately, Danny and Sam get through it thanks to their special link.
  • Harry Potter and the Boiling Isles: The ancient tomb that the Owl House gang go to investigate in Chapter 19 turn out to be one of these, constantly shifting around everything within its walls. This is because it's meant to be a prison for a large number of Dementors.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Page Turner mentions having read about these (and mazes that use other magic to trick and trap people) in chapter 24, leading to a discussion on ways to get out of one and wondering which version of the story is the original.
  • Vow of Nudity: The entrance to the fey bandit hideout is guarded by one of these. Taking any wrong turn within it will teleport the visitor back to the entrance, sic monsters on them, and then randomize the maze so intruders have to do every attempt completely blind. There does turn out to be a logic to it, which Gloria deduces by analyzing how the mazemaker himself must navigate his own creation.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The temple in AVP: Alien vs. Predator. It's designed as a challenging hunting ground for young Predators.
  • Highly malicious non-sentient (we hope) one in Cube and its sequels.
    • Near the end of the first movie the characters discover to their horror that all the rumbling machinery they've been hearing are rooms shifting around and they've been jumping from location to location the whole time. The Cube is only escapable when a specific room reaches the outer edge before the entire things locks and the room makes its next days-long journey through the maze. It's in fact the very room they started out in.
    • Further complicated in Cube 2: Hypercube. The hypercube has been built in an alternate dimension of non-euclidian space. The rooms instantaneously move around and loop back on themselves. One character in particular, before meeting the others, marked the rooms he was in to track his movement. He always wound up in the same three rooms no matter what direction he took. It's revealed at the end to have essentially been one room duplicated countless times in different dimensions and points in time.
  • Like its citizens' personality traits, the eponymous Dark City keeps shifting around.
  • The hospital of the Grave Encounters movies. It's also a Genius Loci that seeks to actively torment its victims, by doing things such as putting a hallway down an exit door they just came through, a hallway that never ends, and a red door covered in chains and padlocks. It takes one trapped protagonist about nine years before he opens it, to find... just another empty hallway.
  • A less extreme example is the rotating Grand Staircase in Harry Potter's Hogwarts Castle. Although not truly a maze, it's still easy for students to get lost on their way to class, in the books it's implied it only moves when there is no one on it which makes it slightly easier to navigate.
  • The world of the Cenobites in Hellbound: Hellraiser II is presented as an infinite, every changing dark labyrinth of stone under the control of a floating rotating silver lozenge called Leviathan.
  • The Definitely Final Dungeons in Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Rasputin's tomb and the Elf Kingdom, respectively).
  • In the Tall Grass: The grass maze is constantly changing itself to frustrate travelers. Not just through space, but through time as well.
  • The Labyrinth in Labyrinth often reconfigures itself, sometimes silently off-screen to the surprise of Sarah and sometimes with moving mechanisms or creatures. At one point Hoggle even evokes it to help Sarah escape the Oubliette by propping a door against a wall and opening it to reveal there is now an exit behind it... but not before first putting it up backwards and revealing a broom closet instead.
  • The labyrinth in Pan's Labyrinth actually helps Ophelia at one point, opening a direct path for her before closing back up to keep Vidal away a little longer.
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: The Enchanted Forest concealing the location of Ta Lo is one of these, consisting of moving bamboo. Pockets of safe space rapidly open and close throughout the forest, with the forest killing anyone who leaves them. You also need to know exactly when and where to turn if you want to actually reach Ta Lo, outside of one time a year when a direct path opens.
  • The Hedge Maze in The Shining. It only appears in Kubrick's version, not the book or the TV miniseries (which feature a topiary instead).
  • The Virtual Room in Spy Kids.
  • The Thir13en Ghosts glass house. The reason the house keeps changing is because it's actually a giant machine designed to open a gateway to hell, and it's been moving into its final configuration.

  • In one of the many Flashbacks of BIONICLE Legends #4: Legacy of Evil, the six Piraka try to murder their boss the Shadowed One, but find that his transforming fortress has been leading them into his trap.
  • The Boy Who Reversed Himself had a 4 dimensional version of this, used by the 4-space creatures to try and convince the main characters to show them how to get to 3-space (our plane of existence).
  • In the Castle Perilous series, the entire castle acts this way. The outer regions are especially chaotic and unstable, the Guest areas are relatively safe with only a few minor gravity and perspective shifts every so often. Since the castle is also a massive Portal Network to 144,000 worlds, a trip to the bathroom can lead to adventure, terror, or the bathroom.
  • This trope appears a few times in The Chronicles of Amber and its companion role-playing game:
    • The Logrus is an ever-changing labyrinth where you had to rely on your luck and intuition to ever find a way out. Also, you pretty much need to be a Lord of Chaos to survive it. Also, it is suggested that those who survive are those who somehow shapeshift into the Logrus itself.
    • The Hall of Mirrors is a slight variant. It is not clear whether this maze rearranges itself, but it definitely moves around, sometimes vanishing entirely. Also, its mirrors display visions that are different each time it is visited. Also, in this maze, you may meet long-dead people while they are visiting it.
    • It is hinted that the caves under Castle Amber sometimes reconfigure themselves. Guards have been known to remain lost in them for years.
  • The Maze on Minos in Terry Pratchett's The Dark Side of the Sun. It doesn't shift once formed, but everyone who goes in experiences a different maze pattern.
  • The Labyrinth in The Death Gate Cycle. It was supposed to be relatively benevolent, keeping the Patryns trapped while they were 'reformed', but when those charged with controlling it died, it mutated and became a labyrinth of death instead...
  • Pixel is confined to one in the sixth book of the Diadem series. Not only does the maze shift around silently, there's some sort of giant rat monster after him. He escapes by predicting the walls' next move and jamming them open.
  • Both the Forest of Wayreth and the Hedge Maze surrounding the Silver Stair in the Dragonlance series qualify.
  • The eponymous forest of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede is a variant of this — its geography is constantly shifting, such that the royal castle can at best be said to be located somewhere near the center of the kingdom. This is because it explicitly obeys fairytale/mythical/plot-determined geography, on top of showing signs of low-level sentience. Directions must be given in classic fairytale style and obeyed precisely if a traveler wants to reach their destination. Even then, the forest can effectively trap or re-route someone who it doesn't want to reach their destination, or make a journey quicker for someone it wants to aid. So heroes can always be sure to arrive just in the nick of time.
  • Harry Potter:
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's The Gods of Mars, John Carter and Tars Tarkus are trapped in such a maze — with monsters for more fun.
  • House of Leaves combines this with Darkness Equals Death.
  • Keys to the Kingdom has the Great Maze, the section of the House used to train the Glorious Army of the Architect. It is a one thousand by one thousand grid of one mile by one mile tiles which randomly switch their positions every day. (Or rather, not randomly but unpredictably if you don't have a magical map.)
  • In The Lord of the Rings, the Old Forest subtly shifts its paths to force the Hobbits down to the Withywindle River valley.
  • In Lords and Ladies, Lancre Forest starts doing this when it comes under the influence of The Fair Folk. This pushes the Lancre Morris Men towards the Dancers, and prevents Granny Weatherwax from returning to Lancre Castle, much to her annoyance.
  • In The Maze Runner, all the main characters are trapped in a small, protected area called the Glade, which is inside a giant maze that rearranges itself every night.
  • The maze in M.R. James's "Mr. Humphreys' Inheritance".
  • A slightly more primitive version appears in The Book of D'Ni. A "maze game" exists which is composed of rooms that shift around. It's powered by slave labor, and fatalities are the norm when they turn the rooms.
  • The Labyrinth built by Daedalus (yes, that Daedalus) in Percy Jackson and the Olympians is said to grow and change over time. It is now under the entire United States, and possibly the entire world. It's tied to Daedalus's life force, so if he dies, it will collapse. When the protagonists have to sleep inside it, they have trouble due to the constant mechanical sounds of it reconfiguring itself.
  • Felka, of the Revelation Space series, created a miniature version to run mice through. She was studying emergent behavior and wondered if it was possible to produce a mechanical AI in this manner. Note: Felka is effectively insane.
  • The Sapphire Rose includes a maze which changes so no one can ever leave. The heroes defeat it by smashing a hole in the ceiling and climbing onto the top, saying "if you don't like the game, don't play it."
  • Secret Histories: The hedge maze at Drood Hall works this way. And a good thing too, else Moxton's Mistake would've found its way out decades ago.
  • This Used To Be About Dungeons: The Herbury Meadows dungeon turns out to be mobile, when the party opens a door and discovers that the room on the other side isn't what was there before. It quickly becomes apparent that rooms shift approximately every five minutes, accompanied by a loud noise reverberating through the dungeon, and that there are potentially hundreds of rooms. The one saving grace is that open doors aren't affected, so it's still possible to clear an area. And it stops shifting once they manage to kill the boss at the centre of the maze — leaving only the question of whether the maze is actually in a solvable state afterward. And whether they can survive hundreds of low-level but tiring monster encounters.
  • Warhammer 40,000 novels seem to use this trope a lot. Examples include:
    • Brothers of the Snake: The Royal Mound appears to be this, although that may be psychic effects.
    • Gaunt's Ghosts: In First & Only, Mkoll is certain that their map does not match their path through an ancient structure, and that their path had changed from five minutes ago. (His coming from Tanith, where the trees can move, gives him acute sensitivity to such changes.)
    • Horus Heresy: In Legion (are we sensing a theme here?), Grammaticus, in the city of Mon Lo, finds himself unable to orient himself. At one point he concludes he just went one street too far, and doubles back, and what he expected was not there. (He can determine that there are strong psychic influences, but not stop his bewilderment.)
    • Ultramarines: In Dead Sky Black Sun, the city in the Eye of Chaos (possibly with some Alien Geometries help).
      There was no rhyme or reason to the layout of the fortress, if even such a thing truly existed. Travelling down the same street was no guarantee of arriving at the same place, and doubling back did not return to them to whence they had begun.
  • The Wheel of Time: The realm of the Snakes and Foxes is one giant mobile maze that bends to their very whims. Brigitte tells Mat that she wandered around in there with Gaidal Cain for weeks without crossing the same room twice. Fortunately, Mat gets out because he's Born Lucky.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Avengers (1960s): In "The House That Jack Built", Mrs. Emma Peel gets trapped inside one of these created by a long time colleague.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the episode "Fear Itself", the Alpha Delta fraternity’s haunted house turns into one of these.
    • Sunnydale High's basement in Season 7. Xander notes that blueprints are no good here (and he built the place!) because the walls seem to move about.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Horns of Nimon": The alien Nimon demand sacrifices from the Skonnon Empire to provide for them. They use victims from the planet Aneth, who find that the walls seal behind them. (A Twice-Told Tale based on the legend of Theseus and the Labyrinth.) It turns out the labyrinth is actually a giant computer and the changing walls are the circuits making connection. The entrance is actually a hologram of a wall.
    • "The God Complex": The Doctor, Rory and Amy are trapped in what appears to be a seventies hotel, with corridors that twist and shift and can end up going on for miles. The above-mentioned Nimon also receives a Shout Out- the Monster of the Week is said to be a distant evolutionary cousin of it.
    • "Heaven Sent": The Doctor is trapped inside his own confession dial, creating a prison of his own nightmares, which is represented by a huge, concentric castle, deserted aside from himself and a shambling, silent, cloaked figure which never stops chasing him, except for a few seconds when the Doctor tells a deep, personal truth. Whenever the Doctor tells the truth, the castle's walls move, opening some doors and closing others. Also, whenever a room is left on its own, the contents reset itself to their previous position before the Doctor's visit. Aside from this, nothing else changes, so this is a Downplayed example.
    • "The Haunting of Villa Diodati": The hallways of the titular house begin to twist around themselves, with several groups of characters suddenly finding themselves trapped in one room and returned there no matter how many times they try to leave. The Doctor eventually discovers a Perception Filter is involved, and it turns out the cause of all the warping is the Cyberium, a powerful Cyberman-created AI, twisting the house as a defence mechanism.
  • Ik Mik Loreland: Mik asks for a map to find her way out of Doolgaarde. It turns out there are literally hundreds of maps because the maze changes every day, and there is no way of telling if you have the right one.
  • In the One-Episode Wonder Lost in Oz, Loriellidere's labyrinth is easy to get into, but when the heroes try to escape, the hallways shift and lead them straight back to the Witch.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, a Negative Space Wedgie turned the whole ship into one of these.

  • The Gilligan's Island pinball has the island's jungle represented by a turntable with multiple chutes; shooting the pinball up the Jungle Run ramp will send it going in one of several different directions depending on how it's positioned.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Hedge is a realm that lies between Arcadia and the "real world" in Changeling: The Lost, forming an ever-shifting hedge maze that keeps the captives of the True Fae from easily escaping back to Earth. It can be reached via portals that temporarily borrow real-world doorframes. The Hedge's thorns are capable of tearing away small pieces of a traveller's soul as they pass through, and terrible ravenous creatures called Briar Wolves dwell there, but it's still generally better to risk it than stay in Arcadia.
  • Dungeons & Dragons gives us "Neth, the Plane that Lives", a sentient dimension which resembles a Womb World, complete with breathable pink fluid in its passages — and a habit of sealing randomly-selected visitors into bubbles filled with digestive fluid. It later spawns a copy of their head from the wall of its "brain" and talks with their voice along with dozens of previous victims'.
    • The maze created by the Maze spell to momentarily trap a character is also described as shifting.
  • Mage: The Awakening: The Abyssal manifestation known as the Twisting Mazes turns any area it manifests in into one of these. Over time, it becomes harder and harder to navigate the location, until eventually it becomes so warped that the entire place is pulled into the Abyss, leaving no sign it ever existed. The only way to banish the Twisting Mazes is to walk the entire affected area as though it were unaffected, from point to point in order, which reestablishes the proper shape of the location. Of course, the Twisting Mazes isn't just going to let you do this...
  • Much like Dungeons And Dragons, Pathfinder has a similarly-functioning Maze spell, but also ups the ante with the delightfully-named Maze of Madness and Suffering, a 9th level spell that works just like Maze, but is actively harmful to the unfortunate target trapped within. As the victim wanders the maze trying to escape it, it encounters various obstacles, from creepy forests, fiery hellscapes and madness-inducing circuses to outright Eldritch Locations.
  • The realm of Tzeentch in Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar is described as appearing to mortals as a huge crystalline labyrinth that endlessly shifts and changes to trap any would-be intruders. You will be lost on your very first step, every path you took will disappear forever, and the maze itself is filled with colors and objects that don't exist in normal space. At its center sits the Impossible Fortress, a huge structure not bound by the laws of physics, geometry or sanity. Windows and doors constantly appear and disappear on its surface, and interior rooms and passages keep constantly changing. Even gravity changes in strength and direction at random. Oh, and since this labyrinth is in the Warp, not even death will free you from it.

    Video Games 
  • Some of the architecture in Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs changes as Mandus moves through the corridors of the machine. He might go into a small side area, only to turn around and have a much longer backtrack through a series of unfamiliar halls, or going into a small cul-de-sac might have a different exit when he turns back around.
  • Borderline example is Dracula's castle in Castlevania. It's a "creature of chaos", so it changes layout between games.
  • The Oldest House that Control takes places in occasionally undergoes what the Bureau of Control calls Building Shifts, where some sections and wings of it change their layout. There is a way to stabilize the House through the Control Points, but there are still parts that will change without warning even with the Control Points kept calm. There's also a supernatural ashtray, an Object of Power which generates a maze resembling a 50's hotel around itself. Only the person bound to the Object and those they give permission can pass through, while anyone else will find the maze constantly shifting around them, making it impossible to navigate.
    • At the climax of the game, the Ashtray Maze starts out moving Jesse in the wrong direction, but gradually shifts to helping her defend the House against various Hiss. Hiss appear, and are regularly blocked off, and it stops her from progressing only as long as there are those parasites in the room. At the conclusion, it actively shows her Hiss, and then blocks them off from her, as though saying, "Get rid of these jerks, would you?"
  • Descent II had some areas like this, particularly in the later levels, which often featured doors that locked behind you, or fences and forcefields that would literally appear out of nowhere, boxing you in. Sometimes you had to counteract the effect by destroying a control panel, and sometimes you had to find a way around, usually involving a secret passage of some sort. While the main game was bad enough, the secret levels were maddeningly difficult to find your way through, even becoming Unwinnable in certain circumstances (at which point you could usually exit the level, but you couldn't retry it). All of this game's mazes were 3D?
  • Final Fantasy XI has the Sacrarium, which possesses a maze that changes it's layout every game day.
  • GRiD 2 is a rare case of this trope applied to a racing game. Its "Liveroutes" events feature an endless route through one of the game's cities, contructed on the fly ahead of the player by placing barriers and signs. The route can cross itself and the grandstands and billboards you just raced past will have moved themselves into a different configuration while you weren't looking. Due to the technical requirements of the mode, your minimap is disabled. The overall effect is a little spooky, especially in multiplayer once you realise that some of your opponents are physically in the same location as you but you can't see them and it looks different to them.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, up until a revamp in January 2015, the Naughty Sorceress Quest had a hedge maze which you needed to rotate using puzzles of said hedge maze.
  • The Cemetery level in Left 4 Dead 2's The Parish campaign is a more meta example. While the level is static after it's loaded, the path to the exit changes each time you play. This demonstrates the new power of the AI Director.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Sky Keep is a perfect example of the player-controlled variation, with consoles that change the rooms like the tiles in a slider puzzle.
  • Shifting mazes are a standard feature of MUDs. It's common to navigate them by dropping markers in the rooms, though it's still tough to make it through before it shifts again. And if there are mobs that pick up items left lying around, then...
  • Ori and the Blind Forest has one of these in the Misty Woods, changing configuration each time you pick up a Keystone.
  • Tartarus in Persona 3, The Abyss of Time in Persona 3 FES, and the TV World in Persona 4 are all labyrinths that generate randomly each time you enter, with the exception of a few key rooms. In addition, leaving a room in Persona 3 typically causes the stairway to vanish behind you.
  • Planescape: Torment:
    • Rubikon, a dungeon simulator built in Limbo by a group of Modrons to determine what the deal is about dungeons and adventurers' relation to them. As Modrons are beings of pure law while Limbo is the plane of pure chaos, the place is insane. The dungeon can be reset to respawn items and baddies, and also set to three difficulty levels; doing so will change the layout. It also offers decent experience and some unique loot, as well as an additional party member.
      Morte: It feels like I'm in a cuckoo clock. A cuckoo cuckoo clock.
    • Ravel's Black-Barbed Maze. She seems to have control over its changing shape.
    • Sigil itself, in so many ways. Any given doorway or archway can become a portal somewhere else, under the right conditions. The Lady's servants, the Dabus, are constantly arranging and rearranging the structural layout of the city, according to whims that baffle life-long natives. And certain parts of the city can awaken to consciousness and, like living beings, grow and even give birth to new avenues.
  • The Aperture Science Computer Aided Enrichment Center in Portal can be considered a Mobile Maze in that the walls can be attached to pistons and moved in order to keep test subjects like Chell trapped inside the designated testing area. Exits can be opened or (more often) closed, not to mention that the entire place can, at any moment, be flooded with a deadly neurotoxin.
    • In Portal 2, this is amplified; Every test chamber is on rails and every single chamber wall is attached to an Aperture-brand "Panel" robot arm with an obnoxiously high amount of configurations.
  • Primal has a Mobile Maze that must be shifted by the player. Three switches must be found that change the configuration of the maze. Activating a switch makes it possible to reach the next switch. The final switch opens a straight path through the center of the maze.
  • One of the earliest examples of this trope applied to video games is Pulsar, a 1980 arcade game by Sega. The player controls a tank driving around a maze, and every couple of seconds a random segment of the maze wall shifts positions, closing off one path while opening up another. A tank that is carelessly parked in the wrong place can even be crushed by a shifting wall, a most painful way to die.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has some very nasty examples, such as the sticky floors of Sector Delphinus or the endless illusions of Sector Grus.
  • Silent Hill 3: The Borley Haunted Mansion has a Mobile Hallway that you must negotiate while running from the Advancing Red Fog of Doom.
  • Taboo [Maze of Love], one of Flandre's spell cards in Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, evokes one of those. Flandre fires thick walls of bullets with built-in gaps, the "intended" way to beat this attack is to keep close to her and spin around, passing through the gaps. However, the walls of bullets are not quite solid, so a skilled player can take their chances brute-forcing their way through.
  • The sewer-like maze in Vanish change as the player goes through it, making navigation extremely difficult.
  • The endless hallway with the Giant Eye of Doom in the white chamber plays this for pure Nightmare Fuel.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Cave of Two Lovers in Avatar: The Last Airbender has shifting walls caused by the excavations of mischievous badgermoles.
    Chong: The tunnels… they are a-changin’.
  • An episode of Batman: The Animated Series introduced The Riddler with a "Riddle of the Minotaur" video game and a real-life amusement park labyrinth based on it, with robotic monsters and moving walls.
    • The Mad Hatter had a similar trick.
  • Played with in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien in that, instead of a maze, it's a Three-dimensional cube called the Perplexahedron (a security system for a Plot Coupon) full of many death traps, including guards. Bonus points for making the only way to the plot coupon involve setting off all the guards.
  • Code Lyoko: Carthage/Sector Five. Bonus points for not only being deadly in its own right (not true death, just devirtualization in most cases), but also having dangerous creatures inside it.
  • The Illuminati's main prison in Gargoyles was based around one of these: a condemned hotel with constantly shifting booby-trapped rooms.
  • The train in Infinity Train has the ability to shuffle the order of its cars at will. This can either be used beneficially by the train itself, forcing passengers to pass through cars that help them confront their issues, or by the Conductor to move cars for other reasons.
  • In one episode of Pinky and the Brain, the scientists experimenting on the mice put them into a virtual reality maze with rotating corridors.
  • Steven Universe features one of these in "Serious Steven". Steven becomes increasingly uncomfortable throughout his time in the maze, and for a while, the Crystal Gems are stumped. Whatever direction they choose, they always are returned to the start after going through three rooms in a straight line. It baffles everyone until Steven realizes that the reason he isn't feeling well is because he's feeling motion sick. The hallways of the maze are moving so that they always lead to the center room. Garnet then breaks the floor, exposing the mechanism that controls the maze.

    Real Life 
  • Done at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando for the 2001 event with the haunted maze "Run", which was placed in a maze of fencing that would, on occasion, change its paths to confuse repeat visitors (often as simple as a scareactor closing a door). Unfortunately, it was stopped after about a week due to the inevitable back-ups and confusion resulting in visitors walking through the wrong door.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Living Labyrinth


Ashtray Maze

The Ashtray Maze protecting Dimensional Research opens and closes routes freely to keep someone from getting to the end. When Jesse gets help from Ahti to pass through it, things go crazy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / MobileMaze

Media sources: