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Temple of Doom

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Also called the main characters' special graveyard.note 

"Where there's ruins, there's riches! And booby-traps we can steal ideas from!"

An ancient temple or city, usually buried deep within the jungle or in the middle of the desert. The temple is often full of ancient yet sophisticated machines and Booby Traps that still work to lethal effect even after thousands of years without maintenance.

The Temple of Doom is almost always inhabited, often by the same Mooks and monsters found in the surrounding environment — oddly, they know how to avoid every single trap in the Death Course with well-timed steps — but you can also expect things like ghosts, skeletons, living statues and other ancient guardians. And naturally, whatever treasure you go in there to find will be found in the very spot the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere has decided to make its home.

Occasionally, the Temple of Doom will be co-opted by the Big Bad to use as his base, which would explain why the traps still work. In which case, you can also expect his Mooks and a few high-tech surprises as well.

Named for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which serves as an obvious inspiration for these levels.

May contain valuable artifacts. Logical location for Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair, if the work is philosophically inclined.

May be part of an Advanced Ancient Acropolis, and imply a Mayincatec religion, culture or whatever.

Compare Ruins for Ruins' Sake, Dungeon Crawling, and Landmark of Lore.

If you’re an author: See Write a Jungle Opera


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    Comic Books 
  • Classic Carl Barks stories with Donald Duck and his relatives usually featured this as a plot device. There are also two scenes which Indiana Jones copied from such stories, which both Lucas and Spielberg proudly admitted. The one is the introduction idol and boulder scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was taken from the Seven Cities of Cibola and the other is the water bursting through the tunnel to the canyon side, near the end of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. This wasn't an actual trap of the temple, in the movie, but it was in the original comic, The Prize of Pizarro, which also contained some other traps used throughout the Indiana Jones films. After Barks, other writers would too feature such temples and ruins.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • BIONICLE: Mask of Light: Takua, the Chronicler, decides to visit the Ta-Koro volcanic shrine to inspect an ancient totem. Him picking it up activates a pressure plate that causes an earthquake.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Avengers: Endgame subverts the trope: When Rhodey and Nebula go to get the power stone on Morag, Nebula opens the vault where the Orb is located. As she is about to enter, Rhodey stops her, mentioning this trope and his certainty about booby traps in such place. Nebula looks at him like he's crazy and simply walk into the main room. Rhodey is surprised when nothing happens.
  • Not only does Indiana Jones have the trope namer, but it also has the ancient idol resting place from the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the temple of the Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and the eponymous Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • Played straight in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider with the temple originally hosting the Triangle of Light, with all the six-thousand-years-old mechanisms (and traps) still in working condition, if only a bit dusty. Averted in the sequel however, where the Luna Temple is only hazardous because an aftershock from the earthquake that uncovered it hits while Lara is inside.


  • One holds The Bands of Mourning, hidden deep within the mountains and containing a long, trap-ridden hallway with the corpses of the last explorers piled within the first fifteen feet. The lore states that it was built by a God-King centuries ago to keep the Bands safe when he returns. Wax and Allik have a discussion on why it's set up like this; Wax wonders why the Bands are "hidden" in a large temple when a cave would be more discreet, and Allik says that's why some people think the Sovereign made the Bands as a test. Wax asks why the Sovereign would leave such spectacularly lethal traps and risk dying himself, and Allik claims that traps wouldn't affect him. The answers? The Bands aren't inside the temple at all. The whole temple is a huge decoy for the real location: the "Bands" are the spearhead on the statue at the temple's entrance. The prominent temple ensures that the Sovereign won't lose track of it, and the lethal traps won't touch him because he's not going near them. Whether it was a test or not is up in the air.
  • In The Barbarian and the Sorceress, Barnabus and his slave Kira are living in a long lost temple to an Eldritch Abomination in the middle of a desolate wasteland.
  • Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard: Common in the stories. The problem in "The Devil in Iron" kicked off when a fisherman disturbed a body of a Necromancer; "Black Colussus" opens with a thief raiding a ruined city.
  • Deconstructed in Reaper Man. The temple of doom is staffed by a pair of bored priests. About the only excitement they get is listening to interlopers get killed by the deathtraps. There's even a little thermometer fundraising poster on the wall for the Temple of Doom Roof Repair Fund.
  • Temple. An ancient South American temple buried in a giant pillar of rock, full of demonic cat monsters. And treasure, obviously.
  • H. P. Lovecraft's story The Temple takes place within a strange ancient temple isolated by thick jungle near the Yucatán peninsula. Another story, "The Nameless City" takes place in an abandoned city lost in time and the great deserts of the Arabian peninsula, with Lizard Folk inhabitants. Lovecraft extends this ancient lost temple/city motif to the bottom of the sea with The Call of Cthulhu; the short story which is the Trope Namers for the CthulhuMythos and the Cosmic Horror Story.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Legends of the Hidden Temple: One cannot count how many entered the Shrine of the Silver Monkey and never returned.
  • On Lost, the Others are mentioned as having a temple of some kind in the third season finale. In typical Lost fashion, it isn't seen until the sixth season premiere. It is guarded by a large stone wall, a tunnel system, and various other weapons, and contains a healing pool of some sort. The Temple's exact significance is unknown.
  • The title edifice in the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Murdoch and the Temple of Death", which is a booby-trap-filled duplicate of the Hagia Sophia built in the Canadian woods to hide the Holy Grail.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Fittingly, Mayan Religion has one in the form of Xibalbá, an underworld city inhabited by sinister deities and protected by monsters and booby-traps.

  • Destroy the Godmodder 2: The temples of the ancestral artifacts are straight-up examples, although the godmodder bypasses the traps by teleporting in.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Many a dungeon crawl fits (and possibly made) the trope. Don't get old-school gamers started on the Tomb of Horrors and Temple of Elemental Evil, both of which might as well have been called the Tomb of Doom and the Temple of Elemental Doom.
  • Exalted has more than a few of these, but one stand-out example is the city of Denandsor. Buried in the jungles of the Scavenger Lands, it's full of the treasures and wonders of the First Age, as well as the means of production to make more. So why hasn't anyone claimed it yet? Well, when the Great Contagion hit, the guy in charge of the city (who didn't fully understand how it worked) turned on every defense at once in the vague hope that it'd do something. As a result, not only is it full of giant automatons that will stomp any intruders, but it's also cloaked in a field that instills horrible dread in whoever enters the city walls. If people survive getting into the city, they usually don't stay for long.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has some of these. In general, they tend to contain Things Man Was Not Meant To Find. This is part of the hat of the Necrons in particular, though their architecture is a metallic version. Imperial scholars have been studying some of the surface bits of them for generations, but it is only in recent history that the Stasis Tombs have begun to "wake up", their Inter-spacial Gates opening with a Sickly Green Glow, and legions of metal skeletons animate and begin their terrible work. Considered actual temples by the Adeptus Mechanicus, who think the metallic Necrons are the servants of their god (they may be right). The result being that they open a tomb, enthusiastically start running around poking things, and are surprised when they get slaughtered by the now-awoken Necrons, who go on to attack other systems.

    Theme Parks 
  • At the Disney Theme Parks:
    • The Indiana Jones sequence in The Great Movie Ride is (fittingly) set inside one.
    • The setting of both versions of Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. The rides have a deity — Tokyo has the crystal skull, although its bears no relation to the movie and its interior reflects the second film's in some areas. Disneyland has one similar to Kali Ma's. However, the interior and the traps reflect those of the first and third movies.

    Video Games 
  • Albion has the Drinno, the abandoned section of the Druid School. There's also Khamulon that is built on this theme, but it's actually a city.
  • AMID EVIL has the Sacred Path, an abandoned pilgrim's path through another ruin on the same world as the Gateway of the Ancients. It's full of hostile statuary, plant monsters, and floors covered in burning coals. The secret level is an obstacle course through a third ruin ending on an Easter Egg.
  • Assassin's Creed: Valhalla: The Tombs of the Fallen has Eivor going through several ancient tombs which were touched up after the fact by a Roman architect with all manner of puzzles and lethal booby-traps (with a justification that apparently Emperor Nero felt he had to forbid people going there, but was also forbidden to directly kill anyone. So just leave a lot of sharp spikes around, and if anyone who just stumbles onto it gets killed, problem solved!)
  • Banjo-Tooie: Mayahem Temple is the first world in the game, and in it Banjo and Kazooie can venture through a pyramidal maze overrun by tiger-like enemies (Moggies). Collecting 10 statues along the way will open a chamber with a Jiggy, while collecting 20 will open a second chamber that is identical to the first and has a Jiggy as well, but it's guarded by the deity Targitzan (the world's boss).
  • Bug Fables: The Ancient Castle, a giant sandcastle in the Lost Sands, is an ancient structure left behind by the bygone Roach civilization that the main characters need to traverse to find one of the ancient artefacts that serve as the game's Plot Coupons. Its local enemies consist of a number of robotic constructs left behind to guard the complex, alongside some desert scorpions, and the area culminates in a boss fight against an undead guardian watching over the artefact.
  • Bujingai: Downplayed. The temple itself is full of light and looks quite normal, if it weren't for some traps and the demons all around.
  • Crash Bandicoot: A large number of levels in the franchise, such as Sunset Vista in the first, Road to Ruin in the second, and Sphynxinator in the third. Hazards include walls that move back and forth (and can push Crash onto a pit), rotating platforms, totems that swing between sides, bat swarms, spear traps, and tarry floors. These levels are usually long as well.
  • Curse of the Dead Gods features not one, but three of them: Ty'atanwic, the Jaguar Temple, dedicated to the Jaguar God T'amok', Hucawic, the Eagle Temple, the abode of Yaatz the Eagle Goddess, and Chucwic, the Serpent Temple, dedicated to Sich'al the Serpent Goddess. Each of them comes with their own variety of deadly traps and enemies.
  • Dark Souls has Sen's Fortress, full of swinging axe blades, arrow traps, and the classic rolling rock of doom.
  • Deadfall Adventures has three (of a reputed seven), each featuring several means of being chopped up, crushed, impaled or roasted. Oh, and mummies. Lots of mummies.
  • Demon's Souls: The Shrine of Storms fits this trope to a T, especially the second stage. Deadly falls everywhere, explosive spheres of energy, arrow traps when you least expect them, enemies positioned in such a way that you can't see them until it is too late and invisible enemies that ambush you and are more than happy to backstab you when you are busy dealing with other enemies. Also, did we mention the place is pitch dark in some places?
  • Diablo
    • Diablo II has lots of them, naturally. There's the various Tombs of Tal Rasha; the temples under the Flayer Jungle, large parts of Kurast...
    • The original Diablo was a series of Basements of Doom beneath the Tristram Cathedral.
    • Diablo III continues the tradition of trap and monster-filled desert and jungle tombs.
      • The first story arc of Act I takes place in the same Cathedral as the first game and later in the act the player visits a sacred Nephalem temple.
      • In Adventure Mode the player can visit the Temple of the Firstborn, where angels and demons first birthed the Nephalem. It's been overrun by an evil cult led by the demonic Lord of Envy.
  • Donkey Kong Country
    • The original Donkey Kong Country has a "Millstone Mayhem" stage as the last non-boss stage in Monkey Mines, as well as a "Temple Tempest" level near the end of Vine Valley. In them, Donkey and Diddy have to venture through temples overrun by dangerous mooks, as well has large stone wheels that roll back and forth. Said levels served as inspiration for the Angry Aztec world in Donkey Kong 64.
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns has a world centered on this, and features many samples of Bamboo Technology that has to be interacted with in order to progress. Also, every world has a hidden temple that serves as a Brutal Bonus Level; beating each one unlocks another temple, which is actually Level Ate aside from the immediate entrance.
    • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has the Rodent Ruckus stage, but instead of a rock the Kongs are rolling away from a big wheel of cheese. The hidden temples make a return, and the complex gizmos within make them the most formidable levels in the game challenge-wise.
  • The Shadow Warriors' hideout in Double Dragon.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has a few, one being a stronghold built to protect the Urn of Sacred Ashes, and one being a not-fully-explained Tevinter ruin in the depths of the Brecilian Forest that changed hands a few times long before the players arrived. Both share the same tileset, but have very different arrays of enemies inside.
  • You can build your own in Dwarf Fortress, should you so desire.
  • Ecco the Dolphin has an underwater version as part of the Atlantis area of the game. Lots of mazes, occasional bricks that can squish you if you screw up your timing, and various angry sea creatures await. Plus, you have to search constantly for underwater air pockets to avoid drowning...
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In Morrowind, Vvardenfell's plentiful Daedric ruins primarily fill this role. Once upon a time, they were used by the ancient Daedric-worshipping Chimer. However, after the Tribunal Temple formed and banned Daedra worship, they became prime real estate for cultists, bandits, necromancers, and any other hostile outlaws.
    • Oblivion's Ayleid ruins manifest as a combination of this trope and Advanced Ancient Acropolis.
    • The various ancient Nord barrows in Skyrim qualify, being filled with booby traps and mummified tomb guardians. The Dwemer ruins also have a temple-like design, complete with several contraptions and setups that have to be dealt with during exploration.
  • Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem features two: an ancient temple in the Angkor Thom region of Cambodia, that is home to Mantorok (as well as all kinds of traps), and the Forbidden City, which is home to the essences of the Ancients at the start of the game (though not quite as trap-filled as the former).
  • Etrian Odyssey:
    • Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight: Ginnungagap is an ancient temple located not too far from High Lagaard, and is visited by the player's character party in order to help Arianna perform a centennial ritual. Due to a grave incident that occured 100 years ago during the then-last ritual, now remembered as the Anomaly, it has been abandoned by humans, and turned into a perfect habitat for dangerous monsters, including powerful bosses like Basilisk and Demi-Fafnir.
    • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City has the fourth stratum, Abyssal Shrine. It's a dark, mysterious labyrinth that was originally part of the city of Armoroad, but has since been sunken in the ocean. As the player's characters venture through it, they'll find doors that will be open for access; but if they're crossed through in the direction they're facing, they will close and it won't be possible to turn back. The stratum is home of a sapient, yet hostile species known as the Deep Ones.
    • Etrian Odyssey Nexus: There are four Shrines built in the floating islands of Lemuria, surrounding this land's Yggdrasil. They were built to keep the monster Jörmungandr sealed, as it would bring doomsday to the world if it were released. The Eastern Shrine merely introduces the temple archetype to the game, as it has only one floor and has no gimmicks or even F.O.E. on its own, serving as a Noob Cave. But each subsequent Shrine, on top of having five floors, adds a new concept: climbable walls in the Southern Shrine, boulder-like F.O.E. that can be pushed (up to twice, as a third push would awaken the monster and chase the player's party) for puzzle solving in the Western Shrine, and floating rafts that can take explorers from one spot to the other in the Northern Shrine. They're also overrun by all sorts of F.O.E. and deadly enemies, becoming even more dangerous as a result. It is revealed by the game's Big Bad, that in their efforts to conquer these strata, the player's characters have contributed to the seal's weakening. Completing all four Shrines unlocks the final dungeon, the Yggdrasil Labyrinth itself; this dungeon features hovering rafts like those of Northern Shrine, but these drag two wagons attached to them and which make their management trickier (as they impede someone from backtracking directly to their previous spot); there are also pressure plates that raise or lower each time they're stepped on. Lastly, the Abyssal Shrine (not to be confused with the one from The Drowned City) serves as the Bonus Dungeon, and not only brings back the boulder concept from Western Shrine (though with a stronger version of the F.O.E.) but is also there where the True Final Boss awaits.
  • Expeditions: Conquistador has "the Temple of Death" in the Mexico part of the game, which is filled with Indiana Jones style deathtraps which can end up doing do a really nasty number on the expedition party, but the player will get richly rewarded if they can make it through.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: Blackberry's pyramid is functionally this. The ancient pyramid of Diamond Mine which she calls home is a labyrinthian tomb populated by the phantoms of those bound to the pyramid, fire-breathing statues, various traps, treasure secrets, and a supernatural guardian. At least her inner sanctum is cozy, with a robust library for magical research and a table for guests.
  • Lost Temple, the final round introduced in Season 5 of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, is a sprawling maze temple, with each room having randomly-generated obstacles. Players must traverse through the obstacles and break through the temple doors (and avoid fake ones) in order to reach the crown at the end of the temple.
  • Fallout 2 begins with a Temple of Doom called the "Temple of Trials". There's no justification for it in game or real world history, but it's so Doomy that surviving instantly makes you The Chosen One, even though one of your tribesmen are waiting for you inside. Fans hate it as it forces you to run around in a temple killing overgrown ants with a spear at best and heal with medicine that makes it harder to hit and then fight a fellow tribesman with only your fists, all the while using a character who will most likely not built for such a dungeon. You can talk him out of a fight if your speech is good enough (~30-40% should be good enough) but if not well...
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII: The Temple of the Ancients.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has Centra Ruins and Tomb of the Unknown King, the latter being less spooky, but a frustrating deadly maze.
    • Final Fantasy IX: Ipsen's Castle is never directly referred to as a "temple", but it serves similar purposes and has traps galore.
    • Final Fantasy X has three lost temples, each with a sidequest that unlocks an Aeon.
    • Final Fantasy XII: While conspicuously light on the booby-traps, there's the Tomb of Raithwall, complete with That One Boss, an Optional Boss, and lots upon lots of undead things crawling around. Also the Stilshrine of Miriam. And Giruvegan. And the Pharos at Ridorana. And the Sochen Cave Palace. It makes you wonder why modern civilization bothered to build anything, since there's probably enough hidden temples and lost cities to house a nation.
  • The Temple of the Swivel Chair in Harry the Handsome Executive.
  • Jumper Two begins with Ogmo falling into such a temple. Sector 2 of Jumper Three also fits this trope.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the Hidden Temple, which is loaded with all kinds of traps involving arrows, poison gas, boulders, swinging blades, and an homage to the Indiana Jones puzzle that used stone tiles engraved with letters. Although a few of the puzzles are necessary to locate the Hidden City during the level 11 quest, most of the incentive for visiting the Hidden Temple lies in the traps themselves, which provide quick stat gains if you can keep your HP above zero, with the caveat that you'll gain no items, currency, or familiar experience like you would from adventuring somewhere with monsters to fight. The Ancient Buried Pyramid is another Temple of Doom, this time filled with monsters that impede your progress in solving the puzzle in the lower chambers. It's worth noting that these two examples are located in a jungle and a desert, respectively.
  • La-Mulana: The ruins are basically one giant Temple of Doom, with the various stages being different parts of it.
  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning: The Tall Plains are a labyrinthine set of jungle-covered temple ruins swarming with armadillos, animated stone constructs and apes in Mayincatec costumes, where Spyro must solve ancient stone-based puzzles to progress and navigate around rows of sharpened bamboo stakes, traps that spit volleys of sharp darts through the air, and swinging pendulum-like logs.
  • The Legend of Zelda has featured a large number of these as dungeons. There's the occasional level inside a suitably enormous creature, and occasionally a level still inhabited by its original builders, but most dungeons are of the Temple of Doom variety, frequently mixed with some other theme. In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, not only are all seven dungeons Temple of Doom-type, the monsters within them are ostensibly not on the same side as the ones on the Overworld Not to Scale.
  • Little Big Adventure: The "Temple of Bù" contains traps, skeletons and stuff, and is located underground in the middle of the desert. In the second game, it got turned into a Theme Park and the aliens' secret base.
  • Sword Man's stage from Mega Man 8 is a Cambodian temple-like arena featuring lava cavern.
  • Metroid:
    • The series has some, though the temples are mostly futuristic (the biggest being "Temple Of Doom meets Eternal Engine" Sanctuary Fortress from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes), and the most dangerous aren't contraptions, but post-abandonment inhabitants (or in the case of the Sanctuary Fortress, old inhabitants, the haywire-security robots).
    • Super Metroid: Ridley and company inhabit what appear to be ruins of Chozo civilization, deep within Zebes.
    • Metroid Dread has Ferenia, a stony complex described as once being used by the Mawkin tribe for various rituals.
  • The simply named 'Abandoned Temple' in Might and Magic VIII is this to a Snote , Mayincatec style included. Apparently once built by a gone serpentine race, they created snakemen servants and traps that could be activated in case of danger, lost control over the snakemen, activated the traps and found that somehow the correct sequence to getting through unscathed had been altered.
  • Minecraft has three types of doom temples.
    • Desert temples are pyramids in desert regions with hidden basements containing treasure chests. The treasure room is hidden under a conspicuously colored block positioned directly over the trigger for a TNT trap.
    • Jungle temples contain treasures hidden behind a puzzle system. There are no TNT traps; instead, the hallways have tripwires connected to arrow dispensers, which will shoot anyone who doesn't disarm them first.
    • Ocean temples are massive complexes only found in deep ocean regions. Their treasure rooms contain several blocks of gold and there are no traps. Instead, the danger comes from the Guardians and from drowning in the completely flooded buildings.
  • Minecraft Dungeons: The Desert Temple, which is filled with all kinds of traps and undead mobs.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Scream Team: The Tomb level, whose interior can only be unlocked after Mike or Sulley places the three moon-marked blocks into their corresponding luminous sports near the entrance. Once inside, they have to climb tall walls, jump across ancient seesaws and pass through periodically-lit torches.
  • Mother 3 features the Chupichupyoi Temple; however it isn't a dungeon, but a key location, and it doesn't try to kill you at all.
  • Paladins has many temple/jungle-themed maps, such as Frog Isle, Jaguar Falls, and Serpent Beach for Siege mode, Hidden Temple for Payload mode, and Primal Court for Onslaught mode. In early development there was a large map called Temple Isle, but it was reworked and divided into Frog Isle, Jaguar Falls, and Serpent Beach.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time features the Lost City's appropriately named Challenge Zone Temple of Bloom.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Gold and Silver has a rather tame version of this. The Ruins of Alph contain puzzles which you can solve, but once you do, the floor drops out from under you and strange creatures attack you with mystical power. The remakes have that, plus the Sinjoh Ruins, that you access from the Ruins of Alph by having Arceus as your lead Pokemon. No traps or danger there, though, just a big Mind Screw event.
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire: The Mirage Tower, the Sky Pillar, and the hidden chambers which house Regirock, Regice, and Registeel.
    • Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen have the Tanoby Ruins on Seven Island. These function again only to give you encounters with strange creatures after completing a puzzle.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Solaceon Ruins is an almost exact duplicate of the Ruins Of Alph, lacking only the sliding panel puzzles.
    • Relic Castle in Pokémon Black and White and its sequels. Sandpit traps ahoy!
  • Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame: Levels 10-13 are set in a temple, which actually contains most of the Mooks in the game. Levels 6-9 are in a the ruins of a palace, now inhabited by snakes and flying heads.
  • A couple of examples in Quest for Glory:
    • Quest for Glory II features a temple deep in the desert, where Iblis is trapped. The main villain's Evil Plan is to find a hero who can get past the traps in the tomb so that he can unleash Iblis.
    • Quest for Glory III features such a temple as the base of the demons looking to do a divide and conquer on the different peoples of Tarna.
  • Resident Evil 5: Chapter 4 mostly takes place in a Temple of Doom. It uses an ancient African ruined city as a setting. It has a few traps, some more ridiculous than others.
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse: The Lost Catacombs, an ancient ruin found under the deserts of Tan Line Island. Shantae will need to contend with the Scorpion People and giant mantises currently inhabiting it, as well as various spike and descending ceiling traps.
  • Shining the Holy Ark has three. South Shrine which is part Shifting Sand Land with weird corridors that turn you upside-down. West Shrine which is one big puzzle to get a door to open and East Shrine; which is overgrown with giant ancient trees.
  • Skies of Arcadia: Nearly every Moon Crystal is found in one of these.
  • Something series
    • Oldschool Temple in Something. The graphics come from the Pyramid Levels in Super Mario Bros. 2 and the Labyrinth Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog. The music is a remix of Marble Garden Zone Act 1 from Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The level is filled with Rexes, Charging Chucks, and large pits in the first half and Thwomps and spikes in the second half.
    • Puzzle Itemple in Something Else. To complete this optional level, Luigi has to solve the puzzles, which requires proper use of the springboards and P-Switches.
    • Snowy Fuzzy Temple in Something Else. It's in the brutal bonus world because Luigi has to deal with ice physics, the obstacles, enemies and the giant FOE.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog has so many, it'd be quicker to list games in the series that don't have one of these.
  • Star Fox Adventures, being an action-adventure game instead of a shooter like the other Star Fox games, has various examples: Volcano Force Point, Ocean Force Point, Walled City, and Krazoa Palace. The former two are where the Spellstones have to be taken back, and rely more on puzzles than traps or obstacles. Walled City is a more open-ended location, as its design is based to put into test whoever wants to claim the Spellstone and later a Krazoa Spirit (though, due to the wrongdoings of General Scales, it will also be necessary to defeat the RedEye Tribe for the former Plot Coupon). Krazoa Palace is where all Krazoa Spirits have to be deposited, and it's there where Krystal remains imprisoned due to Andross, who plans to return to physical life.
  • The Ceras Lake Ruins in Suikoden V. Ask not, "why give a sluice control for a dam a complex three-layered lock that can only be unlocked by three buttons on the far sides of a labyrinth, a door controlled by a one-of-a-kind magic rune and fill it with magitek robot guardians?", because the game certainly isn't going to tell you.
  • Super Kiwi 64: The fifth and sixth levels are set within ancient ruins filled with traps and obstacles like green boulders, swinging axes, purple-colored flames, and pools of toxic liquid. And in the sixth level, some of the gems are encased within sarcophagi that have to be opened by pressing switches.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2: The Clockwork Ruins Galaxy consists of giant stone blocks forming its planets, decorated with carvings and dotted with a variety of traps such as blocks of stone that try to push Mario into the void and rolling millstones that must be carefully navigated to progress.
    • Super Mario Bros. Wonder: North of the Sunbaked Desert is an enormous palatial city which features levels themed around regal, ancient buildings. One of them is Color Switch Dungeon, where Mario and his friends have to deal with puzzles and hazards built upon toggleable contraptions like blocks and conveyor belts, and its Wonder Flower's effect summons an Evil Counterpart of the leading character. There's also the levels Secrets of the Shova Mansion (also located in the aforementioned palace), where the characters have to move large crates to enter (or even rebuild) doors.
    • Mario Kart 8: Thwomp Ruins takes place within a winding set of ancient ruins populated by giant stone Thwomps that try to crush anyone who passes underneath them.
    • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars: Belome Temple is a large underground complex beneath the desert of Land's End, seemingly built to honor the monster Belome, and inhabited by mercenary Shamans and giant lizards.
    • Paper Mario:
      • Super Paper Mario: The Yold Ruins are a vast, ancient ruined complex deep within the Yold Desert. They're filled with obstacles and traps, including quicksand pits, rotating bars of fire, and rolling balls of spiked stone.
      • Paper Mario: The Origami King: The Vellumentals' temples and the Sea Tower are a series of mazelike dungeons that Mario must navigate to find and battle the elemental spirit resting at its deepest point, and will hamper his progress with complex puzzles, pits filled with sharp spikes or burning lava, and a variety of ancient but perfectly functional stone deathtraps — including, of course, the classic giant rolling ball.
    • Super Mario Party: Whomp's Domino Ruins and its Partner Party counterpart, Domino Ruins Treasure Hunt, are the first board in their respective modes. The boards take place in an old temple out in the jungle, with images of Whomps engraved into them. The northernmost area of the board has some traps that the players can activate that can send rolling boulders their ways, and Whomps appear at certain points to block their progress unless they can pay coins.
    • Super Mario Fusion Revival: In World 2-S3: Parthenon Peril, the Rebel Army has taken control of the Parthenon and its underground labyrinthine maze. Rumor has it a beast named "Tryclydius Maximus" was seen somewhere in the catacombs...
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl has a Ruins level in the Subspace Emissary, featuring many enemies (including those part of the Subspace Army) and traps like falling spikes and fire jets; it is here where Pokémon Trainer captures Ivysaur and Charizard (his starter is Squirtle). In the Ruined Hall, one of the bosses (Galleom) is fought.
  • Tales of Symphonia has eight Temples Of Doom, one for each element, where you find the summon spirits.
  • The iOS game Temple Run is set in one of these.
  • Tomb Raider: Oddly enough, sealed-up tombs with no apparent exits to the outside world apart from the door Lara Croft has just opened still contain live animals, burning fires, etc. There are some bits of bone or shredded clothing that indicated a... sticky end for some explorers in some levels.
  • Uncharted. Since it's Tomb Raider without the mummeries, it has all the same temples and nearly as much doom.
  • Both Valkyrie Profile and Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria have about half a dozen of them.
  • The second level of Viewtiful Joe 2 even references the title- Viewitiful Heroes and the Statue of Doom.
  • Wario Land:
    • Wario Land 4'' has the entirety of the Golden Pyramid. Of course, 16 of the 18 levels are accessed via portals leading out of the place, but the entry and golden passage levels are still within.
    • Wario: Master of Disguise'' has the fifth and sixth chapters. The former is set in a pyramid where Wario is looking for one of the Wishstones, and has to tackle assets like invisible platforms (which can be seen with the Genius powerup) and torches that open doors and activate ladders; when Wario defeats the boss, the latter confesses that the Wishstone isn't there but in the Ancient Waterworks (Chapter 6), a temple in ruins located in a waterlogged jungle.
  • WarioWare: D.I.Y.: In Mona's chapter, she ventures through a tall temple in search for treasure. The microgames you play along the way represents the obstacles and dangers she overcomes while inside the temple.
  • The Egyptian waxwork in Waxworks (1992) takes the player to an Egyptian pyramid filled with traps.
  • The Wild ARMs games are full of these, often just lying around inexplicably, often with fiendish traps that just happen to be able to be bypassed using one of the tools the party has picked up along the way.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Sunken Temple is a large temple to the serpent god Hakkar, sunk beneath the waters of a lake, hence the name. Infested with dragons and zombie trolls.
    • The Black Temple was once a holy place of the Draenei, it has been defiled and is home to demons, crazy orcs, a big bad and an eldritch abomination.
    • The larger troll ruins such as Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman tend to pull double duty as cities and temples.
    • Zul'Drak is a leveling zone that is a Temple of Doom. There is a more classic enclosed Temple of Doom at the far end of it.
    • The Temple of Ahn'Qiraj is a massive temple that houses the body of the Old God C'thun, tended to by his insectoid servants.
    • The Tomb of Sargeras was originally a massive temple dedicated to Elune, patron deity of the Night Elves and is even built upon a Titan facility, doubling the holiness. Then Aegwynn sealed Sargeras's corpse inside, where it proceeded to corrupt the building and its inhabitants.
  • The Domino Dungeon level in Yo! Noid 2: Enter the Void fits the mold, filled with archaic architecture, desert-level-inspired music Lock and Key Puzzles, and devious traps.
  • Canopy Heights in Zapper is an outdoor, vaguely Mayincatec ruin with crumbling pillars and rotting wood as platforms and pressure plate tiles rigged to fire giant darts.

  • The fantasy satire The Fourth opens with one of these, though it ends up being more of a Noob Cave than anything else.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The temple of the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Firebending Masters", with killer spikes, a secretly-cached MacGuffin, and a room that fills full of killer glue. It also has a justification for the fact that everything's still working: the ancient civilization that built it is not actually extinct, and they follow a strict policy of isolationism to keep it that way - Hence all the booby traps.
  • In Ben 10 the Tennysons race against the Forever Knights in retrieving an ancient sword in a Mayan temple, filled with booby traps, and guarded by a Mayan Death God.
  • Fairly OddParents: In "Remy Rides Again", the final item on Timmy and Remy's scavenger hunt list is the "Treasure of the Peruvian Pyramid". Said pyramid is a typical Mayincatec-style trap-filled gauntlet, to the extent that Timmy realises Remy didn't steal the real treasure because lifting it from its pedestal didn't trigger any booby traps.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The ancient ruins Daring Do explores in "Read It and Weep" and "Daring Don't" are filled with gauntlets of deadly traps, and the former were apparently built on top of an active lava flow that can also be utilized as a trap. Justified since she's an expy of Indiana Jones.
  • Star Wars Resistance: In "The Relic Raiders", Kaz, Eila and Kel discover an ancient Sith temple long-buried underground that's absolutely full of booby traps and very easy to get lost in.
  • A Thousand and One... Americas: In the seventh episode, Chris, his pet dog Lon and a friendly priest enter a pyramidal temple to look for clues that might help them discover who stole the sacred Pakal mask and/or where it was taken to. Soon they discover that going within is far from safe, as one of the chambers traps them inside with no apparent way out, and when they use a secret passageway to proceed forward they have to go through a dark maze where Lon guides the two humans by using his nose to follow the right trail to the exit. Chris thinks the expedition was in vain, but the priest tells him otherwise, as he noticed something fishy that is revealed later in the episode (namely, it was the mask's thief who activated the chamber's trap, and the priest knows who did it).


Video Example(s):


Radish Ruins

The eighth area of the Mirror World is set within an ancient run-down temple, filled with booby traps and humongous hallways.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / TempleOfDoom

Media sources: