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Nurikabe

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Mario finds himself between a rock and a hard place.

"When [you are] walking along a road at night, suddenly a wall appears infront of you, and you cannot go anywhere. This is called nurikabe and it is feared."
The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore
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A Youkai from Japanese Folklore that takes the form of an animate section of wall. It has the power to turn invisible, and likes to use this power to impede travelers. 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.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Osaka suggests that Chiyo-chan could dress up as Nurikabe for a haunted coffee house themed cultural festival.
  • Mononoke Sharing has Oi-chan, who spends most of her time acting as a section of wall in the cast's apartment building (since she can't hold a human form for long periods of time).
  • Petopeto-san has Nuri-chan, one of Hatoko's classmates. She is humanoid, but made out of concrete. Her little sister is more of a wall-shaped creature with arms and legs.
  • Most versions of GeGeGe no Kitarō have Nurikabe as part of the core cast and one of Kitaro's close friends. He usually acts as The Big Guy and rarely has dialogue other than "nurikabe".

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • The game Nurikabe - invented by the same company as Sudoku - where the player begins with a grid with scattered numbers and must by blacking out tiles create a continuous wall, lacking two-by-two squares, such that each number is alone in a white region of the appropriate size - is named for the youkai.
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    Video Games 
  • The Final Fantasy series has the recurring Demon Wall boss. which also acts like an Advancing Wall of Doom. In Final Fantasy IV it lies in the Sealed Cave and blocks the way to the last Dark Crystal, and in Final Fantasy VII it's the last obstacle in the Ancient Temple.
  • In Idol Hakkenden Erika finds herself unable to go to Mt. Kakinabe for some reason. When she checks a poster in a village, she discovers a warning that the area is haunted by a Nurikabe ghost and freaks out. In Kakinabe Supermarket, she asks a girl about it and sings a song which gives a clue about how to deal with the ghost. When she returns, she sees the ghost which looks like a wall with eyes and gets rid of Nurikabe by using the broom to dust off its feet.
  • Monster Rancher: Monols are a breed of monster that resemble large, flat, rectangular walls made of black stone. Strangely, they can morph their surface to resemble a face, or use it as a weapon by creating spikes or tendrils. Monols excel in defense but have very poor speed because they move by gliding slowly over the earth, using their powers over gravity and electromagnetism.
  • Nioh features Nurikabe as minibosses who pretends to be part of the scenery until you approach enough, causing them to open up an eye: they count as Skippable Boss since you can either provoke it into a fight (which reveals its massive arms and ability to throw stones) or tame them with the correct gesture, which causes them to sink in the ground and open the path ahead.
  • In Ōkami, there's a family of nurikabe that go by the name "Blockhead." They each claim to be "the only one", though. They serve as puzzles where Amaterasu must memorize their hidden weakpoints and knock them out with her celestial brush in order to proceed past them.
  • Pokémon: Bastiodon series resembles the early depictions of nurikabe, being a stocky dinosaur with a large, flat face that acts as a shield.
  • Secret of Mana: The monsters Wall Face and Doom's Wall are based on Nurikabe.
  • Senran Kagura: Nurikabe (translated as "False Wall") is a name for an enemy in Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson, though it appears as a large Rock Monster with crystals sticking out of its body, one of them hiding a girl what has been fused into the monster.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Whomps, Thwomps and Wallops are based on nurikabe, being animated blocks of stone that make themselves a nuisance by getting in Mario's way — or by attempting to crush him under them. In the Mario Party series, they often block pathways just like the real Nurikabe. In the main games, the Wallop is the closest in behaviour, as it will mimic Mario's movements to obstruct his path (including jumping when he does), and needs to be tricked in order to pass.
  • Yo-Kai Watch has Noway ("Murikabe" in the original version). While it doesn't physically block people from passing through, it can make anyone it inspirits refuse to do anything they're asked to.

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