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The main character is walking through The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, and approaches what appears to be (let's say) a broken bridge! Is this a Broken Bridge, or is it the variety of Locked Door where you need to find a completely alternate route? It's neither — as you approach it, rocks and bits of masonry magically float up from the chasm below, constructing the bridge before you — sometimes only creating part of it, and adding more as you keep going!

It doesn't have to be a bridge, per se, but it must (a) allow the main character to progress to the next area with no other means of getting there, and (b) occur independently of the character's own actions, except that he's simply approaching it. So the scene from the X-Men movie where Magneto creates his own platforms doesn't count.

Compare Invisible Blocks, where the blocks never get to appear, but they can still be used as a bridge.


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  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has two staircases during The Maze level that just as you walk up, the bits and chunks of stair float back together so that you can cross.

    Action Adventure 
  • Makes an appearance several times, mostly in the Black Throne and the warps, in Darksiders.
  • American McGee's Alice does a variant on this in a couple of rooms. A path over infinity leapfrogs over to you, making a path as you go. And behind you, the path is disintegrating at a somewhat alarming pace!
    • Alice: Madness Returns has this in spades in Cardbridge. Pretty much everything you walk on is made of playing cards, and sometimes they're not there until you approach where it's supposed to be, whether be walking, sliding, or taking a leap of faith in the direction of an entire card structure.
  • ICO has two of these in the reflector buildings.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the Timeshift Stones can turn quicksand into traversable ground and make rocky outcrops spring from the ground.

    First Person Shooter 
  • In Prey (2006), this happens with entire rooms near the end.
  • In Doom³, in Hell, at one point you're stuck on a floating platform the size of a city block until you kill a bunch of Imps, at which point a bridge creates itself leading to a nearby structure, though that's more an example of "kill all monsters to open the Locked Door".
  • This happens in Clive Barker's Undying, in the floating city of Oneiros. At several points you will see a floating platform of some sort, far out of reach of any jump, and a path on your current platform seemingly leading off into oblivion. Walk towards the end of it and, just as you reach the edge, floating tiles will appear.
  • The gimmick of the custom Unreal Tournament 2004 map "DM-Reconstruct" is this very trope.
  • Halo's Light Bridges. Pointless, solid, bright, and always off, they are turned on by you.
  • In Will Rock, during the last level, Zeus is nice enough to provide you a stair of floating platforms leading across a HUGE lava-filled chasm and to his lair. However if you're not fast enough the platforms will crumble.
  • In Metro 2033, Artyom is trapped in a psychic maze by the Dark Ones and this is how the last area manifests. Notably, running too fast, before allowing the path to fully form can actually kill you as you fall into the abyss.
  • Towards the end of BioShock Infinite, Elizabeth's multiverse-manipulating powers manifest fully and she transports Booker and herself to a space between universes, represented by zillions of lighthouses poking out of the ocean. Walking towards any one of them makes a wooden bridge materialize out of the water right under Booker's feet—even if you change directions half-way.

    Hack and Slash 

  • In Super Mario Galaxy, a jumping puzzle involves this in the Space Junk Galaxy, as Mario moves around an invisible maze that appears as he goes while collecting star fragments on a timer.
    • There's a much bigger puzzle of this variety for Space Junk Galaxy's Purple Comet. Ten groups of Purple Coins scattered across a huge field with more complex paths. And the black hole below it appears to be bigger, but like the first puzzle, as long as you don't fall off, you're fine.
    • And in the final level, during one of the 2D gameplay segments, there will also be blocks being summoned up that you'll have to make use of. Mind you, they also disappear again if you're not moving fast enough.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2 also has the Space Junk example on one of the rolling balls, which are very difficult to stop when the materializing path takes an unexpected corner.
  • In Prince of Persia, after merging with the Shadow, you are faced with a gap that would appear to be insurmountable even with a running jump. Run across it, and floor tiles will instantly appear.
  • Starlight Carnival Zone from Sonic Colors, in certain areas.
    • This also appears in the Frog Forest/Lost Jungle stages of Sonic Heroes, where you have to find giant treefrogs whose rain makes the plants around you grow, usually resulting in fruit growing massive for you to bounce on or sets of ivy growing out across chasms for you to grind on.
  • The last level of Shovel Knight features blocks that rise from the Bottomless Pits to create stable platforms as you approach.

  • One sub-mission in Mondo Agency has a maze of floating tiles that appear when approached by the player or laser indians.
  • The last room in Windosill is in what appears to be an unfinished colosseum, or a construction of one. When you drag the toy train up the outside spiral of the colosseum, the unfinished sections suddenly float up and become a rigid road.
  • Played with in Antichamber. Some puzzles feature this, and sometimes, the newly created bridges between the start and the destination stop appearing just before the final step, preventing you from reaching the exit, forcing you to find another bridge at a not-so-obvious place that actually brings you to your destination.

  • In Final Fantasy XII, Giruvegan and the Great Crystal are full of walkways that materialize just as you step on them.
  • The rainbow bridge to Asgard in Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria seems to only actually materialize where you're actually standing. As you run, it materializes under your feet, and disintegrates behind you.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, Sora & Co. run into a great chasm within The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. A shimmering staircase materializes beneath their feet as they cross it, stopping only to do battle at every landing.
  • The Last Remnant has architecture that shifts around allowing you to advance in The Sacred Lands and beneath Undelwalt.
  • Bastion does this from the very beginning all the way to the end. The narrator even mentions it. When you reach an area's power source and grab it, though, everything starts to collapse again.
  • In Chrono Trigger, blue flames appear on either side of the party as they approach Magus' summoning circle in otherwise complete darkness. When they reach Magus, the flames form a circle around the group.
  • In Mass Effect 3, during one TRON-like sequence, Shepard is inserted into a geth server bank to help undo Reaper sabotage. The terrain takes the form of rectangular platforms of all different sizes that fly in from various directions as Shepard approaches and interlock into long, sweeping staircases and irregular landings.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • The Highways of Iacon City in the Autobot campaign of Transformers: War for Cybertron. Story-wise, they were reactivated offscreen by your allies, but once you're cruising down them, they automatically construct themselves in front of you as you drive.

    Other Media 
  • Occurs at one point in Elephant's Dream, with small metal platforms on robotic arms rising from the darkness below the characters.
  • In Girl Genius, the bridge to the library of Castle Heterodyne is constructed by the castle whenever someone wants to cross, and deconstructed afterwards. Unfortunately, the castle likes to think it has a sense of humor.
  • Happens in reverse in the film version of The Lord of the Rings. On two occasions the heroes have to flee via bridges or elevated passages that collapse as they cross them. But the collapse almost seems choreographed to be only just behind them. Run the film in reverse and it would be this trope to the life.