Follow TV Tropes


The Lost Woods

Go To
Wherever you go, there's really no way out. note 

"Are you going to VIRIDIAN FOREST? Be careful, it's a natural maze!"

As a setting for video game stages, forest based levels are a cousin to the Green Hill Zone, and frequently occupy the second level — apparently operating by the logic that a forest is a little more dangerous than Ghibli Hills but not by a whole lot, and that plains and forest aren't too different considering that both are defined by the type of vegetation they have. Unless the stage is placed much later, then things will usually be a lot more difficult. Common foes will include woodland creatures and animated trees; if the Woods are haunted (later stages often are), ghosts may also appear.

Games which have more than one forest dungeon usually have a scenic, relatively calm and sunny version near the beginning (bordering on Ghibli Hills) and a heavily-shaded, more sinister version later on. The late-game forests have a stronger tendency to be a Forest of Perpetual Autumn, both due to the Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography and for the sake of plain old contrast. You may also find sections that require you to go inside the trees or even above them. A way to tell it apart from a forest-themed Green Hill Zone is by the type of forest it is. If it's a friendly looking forest, it's Green Hill Zone, if it's a spooky looking forest, it's this.

A common element of these levels is that, as the name suggests, they will be very easy to become lost in. This can be achieved by simply making the area very large, with lots of branching and winding paths with identical areas to confuse the player. Trees and other vegetation may also be placed as barriers growing across paths and may need to be burned or cut away to progress, or thick fog may further complicate pathfinding; thorny vines and brambles may also appear as a local variant of Spikes of Doom. If the Lost Woods are also an Enchanted Forest in-universe, they will have more obviously supernatural obstacles in place; a popular variant has players redirected to the forest's entrance or center if a wrong turn is taken when the path branches. The layout of the level could also be built around the existence of warp points to further disorient. Traversing the area often requires following specific instructions or figuring on the "trick" that points the player in the right direction.

Frequently a Genius Loci, but it's not required. For a slightly more realistic setting, see Wild Wilderness. Compare The Hedge of Thorns, Forest of Perpetual Autumn and Jungle Japes. A Sinister Deer Skull is a common way to add some foreboding atmosphere, as are Spooky Animal Sounds such as hooting owls and howling wolves.

Named for the infamous Recurring Location in the Zelda games, mayoi no mori (迷いの森) an idiom in japanese about being lost in mind and body.

See also Don't Go in the Woods and Enchanted Forest


    open/close all folders 

  • Dante's Inferno:
    • Dante first sews the tapestry into his chest in the Dark Wood described at the beginning of The Divine Comedy. The place is made into a proper level in one of the game's DLCs, wherein Dante chases the assassin through a series of portals through the ruins and trees of the forest. The portals form a number of simple puzzles based on the direction of the moonlight. The level creates something of a Continuity Snarl since Dante has the cross and Beatrice appears in her ghostly form.
    • Thw Wood of the Suicides is the middle section of the Circle of Violence. In a bit of Values Dissonance carried over from the original poem, the souls of those who took their own lives are imprisoned in trees that resemble the bodies they left behind. In places, the trees will drop glowing fruits that Mind Rape Dante and any nearby demons into taking their own lives. The harpies and hellhounds that populate the forest in the source material are nowhere to be seen.
  • Devil May Cry 4: The Mitis Forest employs this trope in two ways:
    • The appropriately-named "Lost Woods" area consisting of a series of crossroads in which you must figure out the correct path using light and shadows as your guide, lest should you choose incorrectly, you will be taken to the "Hidden Pit" - a dark corner where you are forced to fight enemy encounters.
    • In Mission 13, the forest is under the malevolent influence of its boss, Echidna, who now taunts you off-screen and imposes purple mists that break up the usual exploration. The mists teleport you to a different location of the forest, encouraging some Trial-and-Error Gameplay. Chances are, if you've already visited a location recently and feel like you're going in circles, you'll have to try out the different paths. The correct sequence may also require you to enter specific purple mists; it's basically a matter of memorizing where you should or shouldn't go.
  • Hyrule Warriors:
    • In the first game, two different versions of the Faron Woods serve in two different stages. The Skyward Sword iteration is part of the Sealed Grounds stage, but it largely serves as background to the spiral pit; Faron Woods stage is better suited to the trope. Though it resembles the Twilight Princess iteration in design, it is actually a completely original version for the game, as it contains a giant Great Deku Tree which serves as the stage's centerpiece and a Tree Top Town built around it.
    • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity: The Lost Woods as seen in Breath of the Wild return. This time the heroes need to enlist the help of the korok Hestu to navigate through the thick mists and confusing paths, and are further hampered by the bad guys turning it into a Big Boo's Haunt by summoning hordes of Dem Bones.
  • No More Heroes: The second half of the Rank 1 stage takes place inside an illusory forest (the place Travis reaches to after the highway chase sequence in the first half) with branching paths. Choosing the wrong way will take him back to the start, but the spirit of his late mentor guides him by pinpointing the correct paths. Interestingly, the boss Jeane, who ends up killing the 1st Rank assassin is fought in a Shifting Sand Land battlefield.

  • Guardian of Paradise: Parts of the Earth Area. As it's a homage to The Legend of Zelda franchise it also has a section where it becomes a full-on maze, but you're guided by a ferret/cat you saved earlier.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night: The Ancient Grove is a deep, unexplored forest, where navigation requires platforming off of fallen trees and branches to move over areas where plant growth, stumps and rocks block progress; one bonus area is located entirely among tree trunks over a bottomless pit, and Spyro must carefully pathfind across branches and giant floating jellyfish to avoid a deadly fall. Aggressive animals and Treants make up the local enemies; a giant Treant is the final boss.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Trope Namer is the Lost Woods, the series' go-to forest area since the first game. It typically takes on one of two forms: an actively supernatural area that Link must cross by following a very specific path or else find himself back at the entrance or a regular if mazelike forest.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past sees the first return of the Lost Woods as a tangle of winding paths, dead ends, and areas only reachable by crawling through hollow logs, as well as the establishment of it being a common resting place for the Master Sword. The game also has Skeleton Forest (the Dark World counterpart to the Lost Woods), as well as the dungeon located within (Skull Woods).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening also features the Mysterious Forest (it's a little bit mysterious, says a signpost), labyrinthine in layout but otherwise nothing too unusual.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has the Kokiri Forest, home to the eternally youthful Kokiri fairy-children, where the protagonist grows up as an outsider. Connected to the Kokiri Forest by a hollow treetrunk is the Lost Woods, where visitors, upon staying too long, will supposedly turn into Stalfos if adults or Skull Kids if children. Link and the Kokiri are immune to this because they all have a fairy with them, but this doesn't protect you from getting lost and wandering back to the entrance if you take a wrong turn. Lastly, there's the Sacred Forest Meadow, a labyrinthine grove that leads to the Forest Temple.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The Woods of Mystery. Instead of having to navigate them yourself, you get to follow a cute monkey through them, probably because the path through changes each day.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games:
      • Oracle of Ages: The Fairies' Woods, which are ordinarily quite easy to navigate. However, on your first visit, you'll be forced to play a Hide 'n' Seek game with the eponymous fairies — for the duration, the woods become an Unnaturally Looping Location, with each screen chaotically leading into others. You later return to rescue your animal friend after the fairies accidentally trap him in the woods.
      • Oracle of Seasons: The Lost Woods return, this time in the middle of Tarm Ruins. They're another example of the "every part of the woods looks the same" version — successfully navigating through them requires shifting the seasons as you progress in specific directions. Following the alternate directions you're given at the end of the Chain of Deals gets you an upgrade to your sword instead.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: The Forbidden Woods make up the second major dungeon, featuring a large number of branch platforms that move from one side to another, Baba Buds that launch Link onto high spots, and enemies like Peahats and Mothulas (with their adult leader serving as the Mini-Boss). It's a separate part of the Forest Haven, which is inhabited by the Great Deku Tree's descendant and the Korok race. Much later in the game, Link reaches the sixth dungeon, the Wind Temple, which combines this trope with Gusty Glade (it is overrun by grass and Makar can plant trees in certain spots, but the bigger focus lies on wind currents). Lastly, there are the Forbidden Woods and Wind Temple corridors in Ganon's Tower, which require Link to fight Kalle Demos and Molgera, respectively, during a black-and-white Boss Rush to open the tower.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: The Minish Woods are an evergreen forest containing the Minish Village and the Deepwood Shrine, the first proper dungeon in the game where the Earth Element resides. Also, the first half of the Royal Valley is a dark, purple forest full of ghosts and crows that can only be traversed by following directions set out by each area's sign.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • The Faron Woods, the game's first major area, are very peaceful and serene until the dark forces of the Twilight Realm corrupt them. Afterwards, the forest teems with goblins, bats, and carnivorous plants. Several areas consist of gloomy, winding hollows and tunnels while a large section is filled with dense fog, and in some spots Link must navigate up, down and across the trees themselves. The area's dungeon, the Forest Temple, takes place within the cavernous interiors of the forest's largest trees.
      • The Sacred Grove, where you follow a Skull Kid from Ocarina of Time to find the Master Sword in a clearing similar to the one in A Link to the Past, and also very reminiscent of (and structurally identical to) the Temple of Time in Ocarina of Time, for good reason.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has a brief area in the Forest Realm you have to navigate through, with intersections where you must look at the direction the nearby tree's branch is pointing to choose where to turn. Top it off with the last intersection in the puzzle being accompanied by a tree designed to point opposite of where you're supposed to go (a man from Whittleton does warn you about this, though). Reaching the end of this maze takes you to the Forest Temple, which contains various rooms with toxic smoke that can only be cleaned with the Whirlwind, and is guarded by a massive insectile monster posing at the top (Stagnox).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword brings back Faron Woods, the area that eventually becomes Kokiri Forest and Lost Woods. The main area is rather maze-like, the inhabitants are Plant People, and the Master Sword ends up resting there. However, as the game takes place hundreds of years before the other examples in the series, the area is much more open than in other games.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds sees the return of both the Lost Woods and Skull Woods as they appeared in A Link to the Past. This time, the former also includes a maze in the "enter the wrong path and you return to the entrance" style.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes sees the woods in World 1, the Woodlands, which also incorporates Green Hill Zone areas.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • The game sees the return of the Lost Woods, now completely encircling Korok Forest. As usual, attempting to just run through them will result in getting teleported back to the entrance while fog closes around Link and a mysterious voice murmurs "turn back!". Link must examine his environment closely to look for clues as to how to proceed — most prominently, the wind (and consequently sparks from torches) will blow in the direction he needs to go, while foxes found in the forest will flee along the safe path once startled. Interestingly, the Woods aren't depicted as malevolent for once: very creepy, yes, but there isn't much actual danger in them and the Koroks can navigate them just fine (though they don't like to, on account of the aforementioned creepiness).
      • The Thyphlo Ruins, a forested area just north of the Lost Woods, combine this trope with Blackout Basement. The stone ruins strewn throughout the forest create a natural maze that Link must navigate, but the most significant obstacle is that the Ruins are shrouded in supernatural darkness that does not let in even a single ray of sun- or moonlight. The only light present will be what you bring with you through torches or glowing weapons and in bird-shaped lamps you can light with these, which will only create small pools of light in a sea of darkness broken only by the dim shapes of broken monuments, tree trunks and arching roots, the occasional glowing mushroom, and the gleaming eyes of wolves on the hunt.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: Typhlo Ruins no longer has the supernatural darkness it had in Breath of the Wild, so it's more of a Ruins for Ruins' Sake location with several riddles pertaining the Sages and their connection with the Zonai. The Lost Woods, however, not only keeps its disorienting fog but has also become far deadlier due to the Great Deku Tree suffering a grave illness caused by the Gloom (and part of it, in turn, creeping into the sacred tree's deepest roots due to the presence of Phantom Ganon). As a result, the aforementioned fog has gotten a dark-purple hue, and the Koroks within the forest have entered a state of trance that make them unable to communicate properly with Link. Fortunately, once the young hero finds the root of the problem and defeats the problematic boss, the Deku Tree is healed, the forest returns to its former glory, and all Koroks recover their consciousness.
  • Ōkami:
    • Agata Forest is a misty forest with a murky lake where, according to legend, the moonlight cannot be reflected because it was literally eaten by a big fish known as the Whopper. The forest is also home to the game's first dungeon, Tsuta Ruins, an ancient temple full of flora and toxic water.
    • The forest of Yoshpet in Kamui was very magic even before the dark forces moved in. The forest expels any outlier after a time limit, so Amaterasu will need the guidance of Kai (and later Issun) when heading to a destination that can only be reached through this forest.
  • Shantae: The Spider Forest/Tangle Forest is a recurring wooded area populated by one-eyed spiders and flying orcs. It's located to the east of Scuttle Town and is often the second overworld area that Shantae travels through. The games also sometimes have a later, darker Lost Woods area populated by larger insects and the undead, such as the Ghost Forest in the first game and Spiderweb Island in Shantae and the Pirate's Curse.
  • Shounen Kininden Tsumuji: The Misty Forest, a maze which goes on in circles until Tsumuji overhears information from the nearby village which directions leads out of the forest.
  • The Simpsons Game: The early parts of "Lisa the Tree Hugger" take place in an active lumber camp, mixing this trope with Eternal Engine. Bart and Lisa travel through a series of forest clearings while navigating platforming puzzles made out of tree stumps and buzz saws stuck into tree sides, before eventually leaving the woods for the main factory complex.
  • Warden: Melody of the Undergrowth: The setting of the game is a forest that's full of magical creatures. With Nyona bound in chains in the dream world and unable to fulfill her duties as guardian spirit, the denizens have become hostile to outsiders like Tavian.

  • Badland is built around this. Complete with sparkles and rainbows during the day, and ominous glowing eyes at night.
  • King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! has the Dark Forest, home of a Wicked Witch.
  • Quest for Glory had three of these during its run.
    • Quest for Glory I: The forest of Spielburg is a rather gentle Arcadia to some extent, but there are plenty of monsters roaming around to keep you on your toes. At night, however, it turns into a real Shadowland kind of forest, with much tougher monsters and more eerie occurrences (naturally, sleeping in the forest means instant death). The shift between these two types of Lost Woods is explained through the magical protection of the fairy mage Erana, which is stronger around the town and especially during the day. At night the magic can only defend her magical garden.
    • Quest for Glory III, with its east-African setting, has a vast jungle on the edge of the savannah, three days away from the Shining City. This jungle is home to Leopardmen, a primitive Tree Top Town, a World Tree, and even a Temple of Doom. It also contains incredibly dangerous monsters. Naturally, since most of the game (particularly its earlier parts) take place mostly in the savannah and city, you can expect to be told often not to go in the woods.
    • Quest for Glory IV: The forest of Mordavia is suspiciously similar to that of the first game, and yet contains many important differences. Instead of a west-central-European Lost Wood, it's an eastern-European Überwald suffering from the increasing effect of several local Leaking Cans of Evil. It's a little creepier during the day (and somewhat more dangerous too); but it is decidedly more dangerous at night, with nearly Everything Trying to Kill You. Except — again — at the magical forest garden which — AGAIN — was built by the very same fairy mage Erana.

    Edutainment Games 
  • Logical Journey of the Zoombinis: The Deep Dark Forest is a forest that contains one of two paths that the titular Waddling Heads can pass through on the second leg of their journey to reach Shade Tree Base Camp. As its name suggests, it's a deep forest whose canopy blots out the sun. That said, the only really dangerous things in it are the Fleens. It even has a hotel that the Zoombinis can stay in. Provided you can figure out what rooms they're supposed to stay in, of course. The other path, the Who's Bayou, is also heavily forested, but two of the three puzzles there take place on huge rivers.

    Fighting Games 
  • Mortal Kombat: The Living Forest is a forest made up of trees with faces that frequently growl. Deception's Konquest mode also implies that they may bleed red blood (as you can see some cut down trees with red stuff inside of them).
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl:
      • The Distant Planet stage based on the Forest of Hope from Pikmin (2001), makes an appearance. The plants and leaves are overszed (with some of them acting as platforms), to replicate how Olimar (a very small character himself) explores the biomes of PNF-404. Periodically, it rains and the water makes the rocky slope very slippery, increasing the risk of falling into the pit for the characters. Every once in a while, a Bulborb appears, and opens its mouth to potentially have a character fall onto it to eat them.
      • The Trope Namer gets a reference in The Subspace Emissary, as the place where Link obtains the Master Sword and meets up with Yoshi, and makes up for the ninth level of the story: The Forest, although it quickly moves into a ruins level on grasslands near the end.
      • The Lake has mixes of this with Temple of Doom, it implements Dual-World Gameplay on a forest zone. The player's character has to enter doors to travel between the dusk and dawn versions of the forest, as the paths in one version will be block off but open in the other (and vice versa).
    • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U: The 3DS version brings back Distant Planet from Brawl, while the Wii U version has Garden of Hope, a pristine forest based on the Pikmin 3 area of the same name. The latter is a large, wide-open biome where some Pikmin from the wild proceed to build a clay building, though a Peckish Aristocrab passes by and ends up wrecking it. Sometimes, a Bulborb roams nearby, becoming a threat for the fighters as well.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Not only does the game bring back the forest stages based on Pikmin from Brawl and 4 respectively, but also showcases the trope-naming Lost Woods from The Legend of Zelda as one of the three areas of the corrupted Golden Realm region in the Dark World segment of World of Light. The map shows a dense, foreboding forest whose layout and paths can get very confusing, and it'll be important to follow the signposts' instructions to avoid getting lost (there's also a chest hiding a path to where Chrom can be fought and recruited). The light world's map also has some forested areas (including one that houses the Jungle Japes from Donkey Kong Country), but they're relatively more upbeat and pristine.

  • Aquaria has the Kelp Forest, which is an undersea version of this. Instead of trees, the landscape is dominated by several different types of kelp and cave walls are overgrown with algae. Thorns form barriers in multiple places and the local wildlife includes literal leafy sea dragons among other Planimals. A civilization of plant people called the Druniads used to live there until the Creator destroyed them and drove their nature goddess insane, leaving the semi-sapient Forest Sprites as the only remaining residents. Defeating the nature goddess grants you the Nature Form.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Nibel Forest, so vast the game never leaves it. While nearly the entire game takes place in woodlands, the best example is the Misty Woods. It's dark and thanks to the magical mists spilling from the altar, the path shifts as you move through it.

    Mobile Games 
  • Last Cloudia: The heroes travel to the Badal Rainforest in their journey to procure the final elemental ark. However, they find themselves going in circles. Even after providing the gem necessary, they still get lost and find out they need to catch a fairy in order to pick the right path.

  • City of Heroes:
    • Perez Park is an abandoned, overgrown, gang-infested city park that's a Scrappy Level for a number of reasons. One of which is that there's no reason to go there, thankfully. Villainside there's Nerva, and all forest areas in the game tend to be infested with the Circle of Thorns.
    • While Croatoa isn't entirely covered in forest, it does fit the trope better with the perpetual night/twilight, fog, and various magical creatures running about. Then there is Eden, which has tree mazes filled with various mutant plant life, including trees that suddenly come to life.
  • The Endless Forest: The entire game world is a boundless, enchanted forest dotted with ancient ruins, and home to magical deer.
  • Kingdom of Loathing: The Distant Woods are an extensive forest area divided into many smaller, themed zones, such as a Spooky Forest home to Halloween monsters or a white and a black grove each home to monocolored monsters.
  • Warframe: The entire planet Earth has been transformed into a single massive forest. Brief journals from the time of the Orokin Empire imply that Earth was abandoned and polluted at the time, but the Orokin scientist who was being forced to build the Titania warframe ended up spreading her trees across the planet, partly to make sure no one could ever use it for industry ever again. Somewhere in the forest is the Silver Grove, an Eldritch Location still guarded by Titania. While some people still live on Earth, they stick to the few clear spots rather than going into the forest.
  • World of Warcraft features a few of these, typically anywhere Night Elves make their abode:
    • Ashenvale is a prominent example, with the lighting always at essentially night-time levels and full of things like giant wolves and big, stompy four-story walking trees.
    • Also present in a small part of the Blade's Edge Mountains where the night elves have set up their lone town (versus Cenarion Expedition outposts) in Outland, which they've terraformed into a small slice of the Lost Woods.
    • In Drustvar, Glenbrook Hunting Grounds. Dark, foreboding, and even the rabbits are out for blood. Formerly home to a Wicked Witch, and now to her utterly adorable (when not singing) successor.

    Multi-User Dungeons 
  • Lusternia has the Glomdoring forest (which in the tongue of the fae means "Forest Without Mercy"), populated by the prerequisite living trees, harpies, and angry sentient grass. There's an underground commune consisting primarily of Drow-esque crossbreeds between Elves and The Fair Folk.

    Party Games 
  • Mario Party 3 has Woody Woods, a forest-themed board. This board is inhabited by Monty Mole and Woody the Tree, as well as other forest creatures. Every turn, Monty pops out of his hole to switch the directions the players move. He also does this whenever a player comes to his army-like hut to pay him five coins, or lands on the nearby Happening Spaces. Woody the Tree gives players Plus Coin Fruit (which gives them five coins) or Plus Block Fruit (which allows them to roll again). The player has to decide which fruit to have by going either left of right, and if they can't, Woody will decide for them. Woody's Evil Counterpart will give the players Minus Coin Fruit (which takes away five coins) or Reverse Block Fruit (which makes players roll again, but backwards). This board returns in Mario Party Superstars.

  • 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue: One of the later levels is a dark, convoluted forest. An NPC you meet there mentions that Cruella DeVil living in the vicinity is the reason why it looks this way.
  • Akane the Kunoichi: The third act features the Nocturne Woods. This act introduces natural hazards (specifically, waterfalls and streams that carry you away) in addition to the regular enemies.
  • Banjo-Kazooie has Click Clock Wood, which uses the concept of season change to show the progression of various events. Logically, the level becomes Slippy-Slidey Ice World in winter. On a different note, one of the dropped levels was Fungus Forest, which was put in Donkey Kong 64 instead as Fungi Forest. There's a framed photo in Banjo's house of Banjo standing in what is presumably Fungus Forest.
  • Fittingly for its setting, the forest level is a staple in Castlevania games, at least for those that don't start you out in Drac's castle right away:
  • Commander Keen: The first four levels in the fourth episode — Border Village, Slug Village, the Perilous Pit and Hillville. They're dense forests consisting of living trees in the background with smiling faces, but they're inoffensive. It is also inhabited by strange creatures like Slugs which poop periodically, aggressive round enemies named Licks which exhale fire, and weird living creatures (Bounders) which are friendly.
  • Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure has a few levels set in forests, but the fourth level of episode 1 best exemplifies this trope, with its creepy-looking trees (with eyes looking out of them), ghosts, and thunderstorm.
  • Cuphead: Forest Follies runs through a woodland area where the player must platform along tree stumps and logs, jump over pits filled with thorny vines, and fight a horde of animated flowers, mushrooms, tiny slimes, jumping carnivorous plants, and dive-bombing acorns.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Donkey Kong Country: Vine Valley is a pine forest that makes up for the third playable world in the game, located not too far below Gorilla Glacier. In addition to receiving limited sunlight due to the dense vegetation, it's also home to a treetop village overrun by enemies and a nearby Temple of Doom with kingsnakes, as well as a palmtree region where rebellious Kongs (known as Manky Kongs) attack their benign relatives with barrels. The boss is Queen B., a large Insect Queen who rules the Zinger mooks.
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest: Gloomy Gulch, located in the Kremlings' homeland, is a haunted forest with spooky inhabitants like rope-like ghosts that can be used as vines (except they fade in and out periodically, so timing is key), Kloaks that are dressed with waistcoats, and stalking skeletal ghosts that inhabit a mansion. One of the levels is the trope-naming Gusty Glade, where wind currents are frequent and shift their rate and direction. The boss is the ghost of Krow, who was previously killed in the first world.
    • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!: Kremwood Forest, the second world, is a woodland region, containing forested levels and a few Tree Trunk Tour stages. One of the levels is notable for featuring a clear record by Brash, who gets upset if the Kongs beat it (it's easier said than done, due to the presence of bee swarms); another level has Ellie use her trunk to put barrels into water moats to cross them and avoid the predatory Nibblas who swim in them. The boss is Arich, a malicious Giant Spider who hangs around tall trees and can only be hit in the face.
    • Donkey Kong 64: Fungi Forest is a colorful forest filled with grassy areas and fungi. It's relatively peaceful during daytime, but when night falls, it earns a more sinister vibe, filled with spooky enemies and having limited visibility. It is also the biggest world in the game, featuring special regions like a Fungus Humongous area with an exceptionally tall mushroom, and a Forest of Perpetual Autumn where a friendly rabbit can be raced against.
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns: The fifth world, simply called Forest, features a wide array of elements like the trope-naming Springy Spores, buildings and objects that can be clinged onto thanks to their populated grass patches, moving totems, large vines that can be used for swinging, and a region where spiders proliferate at an alarming rate. Interestingly, the first level is named after the forest world from the first Donkey Kong Country, Vine Valley. The boss is Mangoruby, an electrified caterpillar that can only be hit when it's exposed to the sunlight (as it's only during that time when its electricity is negated).
    • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: There are two examples. Autumn Heights is a Forest of Perpetual Autumn variant with unique features like falling leaves that can be used as platforms, chapels whose bells can be rung to trigger cetain effects, a Minecart Madness segment where the Kongs have to evade numerous trunks and round saws, and a cavern with lots of cheese. Much later in the game, the Kongs revisit a part of the Forest region from Returns once they return to Donkey Kong Island; the twist is that, like the rest of the island, it's now under an Endless Winter, resulting in an abundance of gigantic snowflakes that are harmful upon contact.
  • Darkwing Duck (Capcom): Bushroot chooses, after escaping from the police, to hide in a forest in the hinterlands that can be accessed by the highway that connects the island of Saint Canard to the rest of the country.
  • Garfield's Fun Fest: The sixth level takes place inside a dense forest where Garfield and Odie have to retrieve four playing cards Junior the bear lost. During their search, the duo has to climb between tree branches and check for items in small crags, all while defeating flies, angry clue birds and hungry wolves. Later in the game, in the eighth level, Garfield and Odie race deeper into the forest, needing to jump between tree branches and traverse the interior of a cavern at one point.
  • A Hat in Time's third Chapter, Subcon Forest, happens entirely in a haunted forest with swamps where spirits try to drag you in, headless statues run after you if you make the mistake of leaving them offscreen for one millisecond, fox spirits create giant firewalls and destroy them only if you throw paintings with trapped people inside into a fire to kill them (as they asked) and an evil spirit called the Snatcher steals the protagonist's soul and will only give it back if she accepts life-risking missions. Parts like Subcon Well and the path to Queen Vanessa's Manor are ice and snow-themed instead.
  • Jables's Adventure has a forest area. Enemies include slimes, nut-throwing raccoons, and bears. The boss is a lumberjack. There are also Talkative Loon mushrooms as NPC's.
  • Looney Tunes games:
  • Nihilumbra: The Living Forest, where you learn the color green, and where you first start finding some of the really risky Voidborn enemies.
  • Prehistorik: The Dark Forest, also seen in Prehistorik 2. It's a dense forest filled with enemies, including squirrels that throw acorns at Sam and red snakes that serve as stationary hazards. At one point in the first game, the level employs Tree Trunk Tour so Sam reaches the higher areas of the trees, and at the end he goes back down by defeating a swan enemy to make a wooden platform descend.
  • Quest for the Shaven Yak: Starring Ren Hoëk & Stimpy has the Blacker Than Black Forest, which serves as the game's first world. Enemies include squirrels, birds, woodchucks, porcupines that shoot quills, woodpeckers, tree lobsters, skunks, and flies. The boss of the stage is a mean bulldog.
  • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc has Clearleaf Forest; And just like a lot of other video games, Rayman 3's forest level is the second world of the game.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2: A forest-themed level called Wood Zone was removed late in development, although some fan mods of the game include it. Mystic Cave Zone looks like this, but the leaves and bushes are actually crystals and stalactites.
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Act 1 of both Angel Island and Mushroom Hill Zones take place in a lush jungle, the latter stage having giant mushrooms that the player character can bounce on. Act 2 of these stages downplay this, as the settings are starting to show signs of devastation as a result of Eggman's exploitation.
    • Sonic Adventure 2: Green Forest and White Jungle take place in a lush jungle near Prison Island. The former serves as the fifth action stage in the Hero story, and the latter serves as the ninth action stage in the Dark story. Both of these stages also have time limits due to Eggman planting bombs set to blow up Prison Island; eight minutes for Green Forest, and ten minutes for White Jungle.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom: Kelp Forest is an undersea variant. It lives up to its name in being a massive maze of kelp, and it takes place at night to help give it an "out in the wilderness" vibe. It also has elements of Jungle Japes because of its tropical theme, and Bubblegloop Swamp with its lower portions being flooded with goo (the game's "water").
  • Super Kiwi 64: The first and second levels take place within a dense, sprawling forest where flora has reclaimed what seemed to be an ancient city (there are some ruins and monuments). There are many large mushrooms that can be used as springs.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario World: The Forest of Illusion, whose overworld map is composed of trees with grinning faces and in which all of the standard levels' exits simply send you around in circles. In fact, even among the secret exits, only one leads to the boss level (Roy's Castle), and by extension to the next world. Indeed, the Japanese name of the area, Lost Woods (Mayoi no Mori), was also used for Forever Forest in Paper Mario and the Forest Maze in Wario Land 2.
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island: World 2 is a wildland filled with various types of enemies, including the giant-sized Shy Guys.
    • Super Mario Galaxy has Honeyhive and Gold Leaf Galaxy, which are a bit more whimsical than your standard Lost Woods, but they do have giant bugs, lots of bees (including a power-up), and in Gold Leaf, rabbits. Enemies that are standard fare for these worlds appear too, like Wigglers and Monty Moles. Gusty Garden Galaxy is like this to an extent as well, although it's not an actual forest.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2: Tall Trunk Galaxy, in which there are various planets either shaped like trees, logs, and even a giant slide much akin to the one seen in Super Mario 64.
    • New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U feature the middle of Soda Jungle, taking place inside a gloomy area where two of the levels can only be truly conquered when one finds the secret exits, as the normal ones only unlock useless loops in the map. The rest of the world is Bubblegloop Swamp.
    • Super Mario Odyssey: The Wooded Kingdom mixes this with Eternal Engine for the main portion of the stage, as it's basically a big greenhouse maintained by robots. The Deep Woods beneath the main level are a more straightforward example, as it's a less mechanical portion of the forest where giant trees shroud everything in deep gloom.
    • Super Mario Maker 2 has this as one of the added settings, being present in four of the game styles (including the one based on Super Mario Bros., which originally didn't have explicitly themed worlds at all). Super Mario Bros. 3 has instead a Pipe Maze theme (based on the original game's World 7). Water is safe to swim in these levels during day, but becomes toxic during night.
    • Wario Land:
      • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 has Parsley Woods (or "Parsely Woods"; the spelling changes when you drain the lake). It is a deep, dense forest with special features like trees that drop spiked balls, levels set inside trains, a Cumulonemesis enemy that drops lightning bolts to harm Wario, and a large tree that has to be scaled upward.
      • Wario Land II has a brief section of Chapter 2, as well as the entirety of Chapter 3 (aptly named "Maze Woods").
      • Wario World's first level, Greenhorn Forest.
    • Super Mario World: Piranha Island: Most of the second world appears to take place in a giant forest. The trees are much bigger than Mario and there are plenty of thorns to dodge and avoid.
    • Something: World 3 takes place in the woods. It has Munchers, Spiny/Muncher hybrids, and strange eggs with enemies inside. There's a section where the leaves are flashing in many different colors.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures games:
    • In the 1991 NES game of the same name, Stages 3-1 and 3-2 take place in a dense forest with thick tree trunks and branches that can be used as platforms. The local bestiary is plentiful and hostile, and includes black hedgehogs that roll into the player's character, owls that feint onto them on sight, and squirrels that run fast. The second level has a creepier atmosphere, featuring trees with menacing grim faces that can unleash swarms of bats, as well as beehives from which bees come out to attack. Uniquely, there are no carrots to collect in these levels, but green apples; regardless, Hamtom will still accept them when you trade them for extra lives.
    • In Babs' Big Break, much of Level 3 takes place in a dark forest that leads to a haunted castle.
    • Buster's Hidden Treasure has the Forest, which continues from where the Grassland left off. Buster can scale the tall trees all while avoiding critters like owls, tomato-tossing trolls, and The Wolverine (from the TV series episode, "Buster and the Wolverine"). One of the levels has an alternate level exit that determines which path Buster takes through the area. The boss of the stage is Calamity Coyote, who is under Dr. Gene Splicer's mind control.
    • In Scary Dreams/Buster's Bad Dream, Stage 2-1 takes place in a dark forest.
  • Wacky Races (1991): The second half of Stage A-3 takes place in a forest, where gorillas, snakes, and owls serve as enemies. The boss of this stage is Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth in the Buzzwagon.
  • Wardner has enough of a horror theme to have this as its first stage. Its third stage is similar, though more open and verging at times on Lethal Lava Land.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Gems of War: There are three forest areas, with varying characters. The Forest of Thorns is a fairly benign, inhabited by elves and talking trees. The Maugrim Woods are cold and harsh, inhabited by hostile wolf-people. And finally, Zhul'Kari is perpetually dark, conspicuously evil (as opposed to simply unforgiving), and full of spider-esque horrors.
  • Gem Smashers: Goug Tree takes place in a dark forest. The boss of the stage is a spider.
  • Gyromancer is set in one of these. It's controlled by a powerful being called the Lord of the Wood, and at times, has the ability to close itself off to the outside world, preventing anyone from entering or leaving.
  • The Witch's House takes place in a house in the middle of the Lost Woods. The forest takes on a life of its own under the command of the witch, Ellen, and traps Viola behind a wall of roses to force her to search the titular house.
  • The Witness: The island has a wide array of biomes (especially for its small size), but it is primarily covered in temperate forests. Strangely, one of the forests is in autumn while the rest are in spring/summer.

    Racing Games 
  • Jet Moto: Sequoia Forest in Jet Moto 3 goes from the surface to bridges suspended hundreds of feet in the air, but you can never see the tops of the trees.
  • Mario Kart: Forest-themed courses are rare but they exist:
    • Mario Kart DS: Luigi's Mansion mixes it with Big Boo's Haunt: The parts of the track that don't go through the eponymous mansion do go through the haunted, gloomy forest where it is located, complete with slippery mud that makes driving harder. The course returns in Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart Tour as a retro track.
    • Mario Kart 8: Wild Woods and a track based on Animal Crossing were added to the game as Downloadable Content. The latter is a traditional course whose season changes per playthrough, while the former is a more unique approach where the drivers travel through the inner side of a forest with an anti-gravity road. The Deluxe port features these tracks in its base content.

  • Sunless Skies: Traitor's Wood is a vast, dark and unsettling forest of giant Bronzewood trees. At its center lie the eerily silent Regent's Grave, which is the tomb of an important king, although scholars disagree on which is the one buried here. You might help them out by taking mutiple and dangerous expeditions in the woods to enter the Regent's Grave and solve the mystery.

  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm: This area is simply called "the Woods" and serves as the dungeon for the horror-themed Chapter 5. You'll find plenty of ghostly enemies, pathways that twist back on themselves or lead unexpectedly back to the entrance, and a chilling encounter with an entity who never wants you to leave...
  • Brave Soul has a forest called the "Lost Woods" because people get lost in it easily. Unless they have a map.
  • Child of Light has Mahthildis Forest, where the heroine begins her journey in Lemuria.
  • Chrono Cross had a few of these.
    • Shadow Forest, like most of Chrono Trigger's forests, is actually very accessible to human foot traffic in the game, but retains its ancient pristine cloud forest feel.
    • Gaea's Navel is far more remote and inaccessible, located on a plateau island with steep cliffs on all sides, complete with an unspoilt Lost World on top.
  • Chrono Trigger subverts this in that most of the forests in the game are not pristine, forming more of an urban green belt in places. However, by its famously moody music track Secret of the Forest, one could easily forget this for a moment.
  • Darkest Dungeon:
    • The Weald is a frequently dark forest with rotten wildlife and infested with mushrooms which are alive and can pilot corpses.
    • Darkest Dungeon 2: The Tangle is a large forest filled with dense vegetation with numerous bushes and large trees tangled in vines blocking the player's view. It's also the site of an old battlefield, as one can see abandoned cannons, tents, barricades and small mounds indicating grave pits, as well as the occasional Outpost or even a Keep in which the level's boss resides. The party is most likely to fight formations of the Lost Battalion, undead soldiers animated by plants that still keep on fighting, with drummers, bishops, arbalests and knights supporting the foot soldiers.
  • Dark Souls:
    • Dark Souls: Darkroot Garden and Basin are poorly-lit, surrounded by rock walls and long drops, and home to the Forest Hunters.
    • Dark Souls II: In the Shaded Woods, the camera zooms in to reduce your field of a densely fogged forest with invisible enemies who backstab as soon as they catch up with you. Trying to find the exit can very well send you to a dead end where the invisible warriors will kill you. Even worse, you'll just end up at the beginning of the Woods.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has the Brecilian Forest, inhabited by many dangerous spirits due to being the site of an ancient massacre of elves by a human army. However, the player party will be sent in to deal with a werewolf problem.
  • Dragon Quest V has the Neverglade, a dense, thick, labyrinthine forest surrounded by natural barriers and inhabited by fairies which hides the gate to Fairy Lea. The main character needs his children's help to navigate through the woods and find the way out.
  • Elden Ring:
    • The Bower of Bounty is a midgame area located in the autumnal Altus Plateau that consists of a deep, foggy gulch inhabited by dozens of the disgusting Wormface enemies. Visibility is limited due to the area's natural shade and dense fog, meaning it's very easy to run into a whole pack of these freaks if you're not vigilant.
    • The Mistwood in the starting area of Limgrave. A foggy forest filled with demihumans and massive, ferocious Runebears, it's one of the more dangerous areas a new player might wander into at the start of the game, as the fog makes it very easy to aggro 2 or 3 Runebears at once, each of which is individually a Boss in Mook's Clothing. It also houses some ruined temples, graveyards, and an elevator leading to the underground Siofra River.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Most games in the series have at least one forested area that fits. Oblivion has several areas thick with trees where mist curls around the roots, half-light is the only light to see by, and you are treated to the odd sight of an Ayelid ruin peeking out of the trees. The only areas that aren't forested are the higher parts of the Jerall Mountains and the stretch between Skingrad and Anvil. Skyrim has numerous as well. Simply wander off the road in any well forested area and it becomes this quickly, whether it's the taiga around Solitude and Dawnstar or the more temperate woodlands around Falkreath.
    • Valenwood, the sacred forest home of the Bosmer (wood elves), is an almost province-wide example. Massive dense forests stretch as far as the eye can see and most Bosmeri settlements are connected only by narrow footpaths. Some of the trees there are even migratory, traveling to different regions of Valenwood depending on the season. Few outsiders venture too far inside, preferring to stay around the more "civilized" coastal areas.
  • Etrian Odyssey: Several strata are entirely this, which makes sense for a series where you're exploring the labyrinthine body of a World Tree:
    • Etrian Odyssey: The Emerald Grove in the original game and the remake Millennium Girl is pretty rudimentary in terms of gameplay, but serves as a starter place for explorers willing to delve into the depths of the Yggdrasil. It is overrun by wolves led by the stratum's boss (Fenrir).
    • Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard: The first four strata in this game and the remake The Fafnir Knight (each based on a season, thus carrying over a Seasonal Baggage), as well as the Bonus Dungeon, are of this kind:
      • Ancient Forest is Summer, and is rife with stone ruins of which only some pillars and walls have survived the test of time; there's a bat-like species of F.O.E capable of flying over those stone ruins, which makes escaping from them more difficult (especially since, this way, they can move through different rooms freely whereas explorers can only use the doors); lastly, the remake Fafnir Knight adds a second gimmick in the forms of thin floors the explorers can use to temporarily trap monsters.
      • Auburn Thicket is a Forest of Perpetual Autumn, and has many floor tiles that are harmful to the player's characters, though it's possible to mitigate the damage with skills. Among the F.O.E. present are Baby Salamanders which spew fire as soon as someone enters their line of sight, and they're the children of a larger Salamander which is a Skippable Boss.
      • Frozen Grounds is Winter, thus being a Slippy-Slidey Ice World with slippery frozen water and ice blocks used for puzzle solving.
      • Petal Bridge is Spring, blessed by cherry blossom trees and inhabited by the Birdfolk; this stratum's earlier floors bring back the damaging tiles, and these are even more harmful than in Auburn Thicket. The latter floors, meanwhile, have hovering platforms that allow players to pass through large chasms and reach distant areas.
      • The Forbidden Wood, only accessible after the game has been cleared for the first time, has the looks of a serene, beautiful forest. However, it houses the deadliest creatures gathered by the Overlord, and as you progress you'll find some harmful obstacles like damaging floors and fog. Also, since the forest consists of floating islands, the teleport spots will take you to different islands depending on the time of day (the islands have their own orbits, after all).
    • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City: Waterfall Wood and Porcelain Forest. The former is a lush, lively forest brim with beautiful floral life and waterfalls. There are muddy tiles that halve the explorers' movement, which becomes troublesome when dodging F.O.E. that can walk over them just fine (thus having twice as much movement as you do). The Porcelain Forest, meanwhile, is an enchanted ecosystem with gates that teleport explorers from one spot to another, as well as spaces that cannot be drawn in the map nor do they allow any sort of annotation.
    • Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan: Lush Woodlands and Misty Ravine. By extension, this also applies to their respective overworld whereabouts, Windy Plains and Scarlet Pillars, plus the mini-dungeons located in them.
      • Lush Woodlands introduces F.O.E. so aggresive that, while chasing you, will break any cluster of fallen tree trunks obstructing certain corridors, which of course is a good thing; this concept is also seen in the Mini-Dungeon Dense Bushland, whereas the other mini-dungeons in the Windy Plains (Old Forest Mine, Small Orchard and Valley Spring) are more generic forest locations in comparison (the Old Forest Mine in particular doubles as a Noob Cave).
      • The Misty Ravine is a mystic forest filled with Wrap Around corridors, meaning that the map will display routes that end in a point but continue in another within the same axis; the remaining locations in the Scarlet Pillars rely on other gimmicks instead: Miasma Forest has a putrid smell in its central area's atmosphere that forces the player's characters to retreat after 10 steps, Moth's Garden have F.O.E. that won't aim at you unless you're engaged into an enemy encounter, and Noisy Marsh is a Bubblegloop Swamp with F.O.E. that move diagonally (a very rare sight in the series).
    • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth: Tutelary Forest and Untamed Garden. The former is a dense forest with strange gizmos that have to be manipulated in order to progress; you first deal with statues that, upon being broken, open doors located at a distance within their same axis (as if there were invisible wires connecting them); you later deal with statues that instead move a stone barrier from one spot to another, allowing you to enable a path while also blocking another. The latter stratum is a more futuristic variant that was conceived in a terraformed area beyond the planet's stratosphere, and thus it's equipped with devices that turn off gravity; this stratum also brings back the Wrap Around concept from the fourth game's Misty Ravine, though its existence is for a different reason this time around.
    • Etrian Odyssey Nexus, being a Megamix Game, brings back some of the forest strata seen in previous games (namely Lush Woodlands, Waterfall Wood, Petal Bridge and Ancient Forest). The Small Orchard Mini-Dungeon returns as well, and new mini-dungeons based on the forest-related main strata are added (Alpha Plains, Untrodden Basin, Blossom Bridge and Buried Castle).
  • Ever Oasis: The Forgotten Forest, the third dungeon. Because the game is set in a desert, the forest is made of cacti instead of trees.
  • Final Fantasy: There are many of these in the games:
    • Final Fantasy: The Earthgift Shrine present from the Dawn of Souls rerelease onward has a floor that consists of a mazelike purple forest containing a lot of Pre-existing Encounters in addition to the random ones. The battle screen even uses a Palette Swap of the standard deep forest background.
    • Final Fantasy V had the Great Forest of Moore, a vast forest in Galuf's world that hides the Guardian Tree where that world's crystals hare hidden. When the worlds merge, most of it is obliterated by the Desert of Shifting Sands, reducing it to a single grove around the Guardian Tree. The Very Definitely Final Dungeon also has a section like this. It's the forest outside the Phantom Village in the single frozen moment when it was pulled into the Interdimensional Rift.
    • Final Fantasy VI had the Phantom Forest. As its name suggests, it's full of ghostly enemies. The Phantom Train's track also runs through the forest. Otherwise it's pretty serene, with its healing spring being a large pond that reflects the tall trees surrounding it.
    • Final Fantasy VII: Ancient Forest is a sidequest example of this trope. There's also the Sleeping Forest, which is integral to the plot, and cannot advance unless you have a magic harp in your possession.
    • Final Fantasy VIII had the Chocobo Holy Land, which was not actually a dungeon but was very old-growth, very remote and very hard to reach (except by chocobo).
    • Final Fantasy IX had the Evil Forest, which was actually quite evil.
    • Final Fantasy X had Macalania Forest, which was rather unusual in that it was also always frozen. The forest is implied to be made out of crystal which, somehow, is caused by the Fayth.
    • Final Fantasy XI: Jugner Forest. There's a twist, however, in that you actually can go back to ye olden days. As such, it's incredibly dangerous.
    • Final Fantasy XII has several. Golmore Jungle is a dark, eerie forest home to the xenophobic and isolationist Viera and guarded by the Elder Wyrm. The Salikawood is a brighter forest whose floor is flooded by the waters of the Phon Straits, as can be seen from its transition area to the Phon Coast. Finally, the Feywood is a high-altitude forest locked in endless winter and overflowing with Mist that conceals the way to Giruvegan.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has the Gapra Whitewood, with the twist that the trees are all cybernetic. It's used by the Sanctum for research into the creation of the cybernetic monsters that fight alongside its soldiers. Lightning and Hope have to fight their way past both said cyborg beasts and the monsters that they're created from in order to get to Hope's hometown.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has the Black Shroud, with Gridania deep within. The Shadowbringers expansion adds the Rak'tika Greatwood, forest home to the Night's Blessed, which is also the First's counterpart to the Black Shroud.
    • Final Fantasy XV has the Nebulawood in northern Duscae, commonly filled with a thick fog (to the point of having previous been known as Mistwood in the Episode Duscae demo). An old battle-scarred behemoth called Deadeye makes its lair in the Nebulawood.
    • World of Final Fantasy: The Pyreglow Forest is a deep forest lit by pyreflies and glowing mushrooms. The protagonists run into Yuna there and there are ponds despite the region being in the branches of enormous trees.
    • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius has its own Phantom Forest, a dark, eerie, misty forest with small ponds everywhere and whose trees have purple leaves. Half of the enemies that appear there are some variety of undead. Also present are the Latius Woods, a more conventional woodland containing plant- and animal-type monsters from previous games. The Lanzelt Snowfields and Lanzelt Mountains also have areas consisting of snowy forest.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep:
      • One area of Castle of Dreams is the forest near Lady Tremaine's mansion, now infested by Unversed. Aqua fights the Cursed Coach here after Tremaine summons it in an attempt on Cinderella's life only to be killed by it herself. The area is also used as arena for the Wheels of Misfortune series of battles at the Mirage Arena, culminating in a boss fight against a stronger version of the Cursed Coach. In 0.2 this area serves as the first area of Castle of Dreams and the site of the game's tutorial. Thanks to being dragged into the Realm of Darkness by the Heartless, it's looking a little worse for wear.
      • Dwarf Woodlands also includes the forest around the dwarves' cottage. Here, Snow White's hallucinations of monstrous trees are made real by the Unversed and Ven has to lead her to the safety of the cottage. Ven also fights the Mad Treant here before leaving for the next world.
    • In Kingdom Hearts III, most of the Kingdom of Corona is taken up by a deep, dense forest where Mother Gothel hid Rapunzel. Sora and company run into Marluxia here along with his Nobody minions, the Reapers. One section, the marsh, is dark and foggy and especially easy to get turned around in due to the low visibility.
  • Knights of the Old Republic has the Shadowlands of Kashyyyk (already mentioned under film above; also, probably not the trope), the dark and dangerous ground level beneath the homes of the wookiees on the trees.
  • The Last Story: The Mysterious Forest, explored in Chapter 15, is a lush woodland with ancient ruins that has been overrun by several monsters like undead skeletons and Reptids, as well as the boss Mystic Spider. Despite the apparent good health of its ecology, it is noted by Mirania that it too is dying due to the degradation of the land of Lazulis (later revealed to occur due to the suffering of the Outsider).
  • The Legend of Heroes -- Trails:
    • Trails in the Sky has Mistwad Forest; a forest that consists of fog and numeral paths. In FC, it had to navigated to locate the Sky Bandits. In SC, it was the source for the major fog covering Rolent, and to find the source of the fog, Estelle and the others have to follow the direction of a bell sound. If taken too long, the party will be immediately sent to the fog's source.
    • Trails of Cold Steel III and IV have Isthmia Great Forest and The Eerie Woods, both immense forest with effects by the higher elements. The Eerie Woods also contains an Optional Boss that can be fought if the party's levels are optimal to battle it.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Interplay's 1990 adaptation implements the Old Forest as a fiendishly difficult maze, complete with Old Man Willow at the end of it.
  • Mana Series: Nearly every game has at least one of these, owing to the series' central environmental theme. The most pristine, ancient and undisturbed of these forests usually is home to the game's Mana Tree plot device.
    • Seiken Densetsu/Final Fantasy Adventure/Sword of Mana had the sacred land Illusia, located atop an unreachably high plateau and being home to the game's Mana Tree. There's also the Mushboom Forest, a dense, deciduous woodland named for the hostile mushroom-creatures that live it its southern section.
    • Seiken Densetsu 2/Secret of Mana had several of these, with playable areas being small parts of bigass undeveloped forest land covering vast stretches of the world map. The Mana Tree's forest is located on the island of Pure Land, inaccessible from the water because of high cliffs, and inaccessible from the air because of dense clouds that never clear. With its deceptively peaceful zen-like music, Pure Land actually has some of the most difficult normal enemies in the game.
    • Trials of Mana:
      • The Sanctuary of Mana, actually set apart from the main world map and occupying a separate space. It's a maze-like area that is home to — you guessed it, the Mana Tree. Later in the game, the layout becomes even more maze-like.
      • The game has a forest maze, Lampbloom Woods, that hides a Hidden Elf Village; the correct trail is marked by glowing flowers at night.
      • In Charlotte/Kevin's routes, the final dungeon is hidden beyond the Jungle of Illusion, and the maze must be navigated by listening to the sound that plays when you pick a path.
    • Legend of Mana: Vadise lives in such an ancient forest, and the first time you go through it, Larc sniffs out the correct direction. (In subsequent visits, you're on your own.)
    • Dawn of Mana: The Hidden Elf Village on the Island of Illusia where Keldy grew up is in such a forest, and you discover that it, in turn, is sitting on the Mana Tree, which also happens to hold shadows from Malvolia.
  • Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes: The setting of Chapter 1, the forest of Irollan where the Sylvan live alongside several magical beings that are native to it. It's a beaufitul, idyllic forest that used to be peaceful until the war begun. During her campaign in the chapter, Anwen has to look for the Blade of Binding before the demons do, find Godric, and protect the Druid Tree which is under attack.
  • Monster Hunter has the Forest and Hills (renamed Verdant Hills in Generations) in the first generation of games, Great Forest in Monster Hunter Frontier and Freedom Unite, Misty Peaks in Portable 3rd and 3 Ultimate, Everwood in the Monster Hunter 4 and 4 Ultimate (notable for changing its layout upon each visit, so the Expeditions and quests set here rarely feel the same) and Ancient Forest Monster Hunter: World (which has the added caveat of roughly half of it being one giant tree). As a side note, despite Flooded Forest (third generation) and Primal Forest (fourth) having those names, they're actually Bubblegloop Swamp and Jungle Japes respectively.
  • Pokémon: This is a common setting that comes in two flavors: in all generations, it is encountered very early in the game, and is home to common, low-level Grass, Bug, and Normal types, and on occasion Pikachu. It's often a bit of a Wake-Up Call Level — running into rats and birds in some tall grass right next to towns is one thing, but here is the first long stretch of wilderness infested by wild Pokémon that you need to traverse on your own, which inherently can make these woods fairly creepy. Forest paths also tend to be more convoluted than routes usually are, often involving branching paths, one-way ledges and thick bushes blocking off paths, and are thus more difficult to navigate. More rarely, it is found again in the late game, where it will be inhabited by stronger Mons and put a greater emphasis on the mysterious, maze-like nature of the Lost Woods.
  • Riviera: The Promised Land: Wiese Forest has an area like this. Cierra leads you in this direction, thinking it's a shortcut to the next area, only to have Serene berate her for getting lost. Furthermore, you have to navigate through two different sequences to get out.
  • Shadow Hearts: Covenant: The Black Forest Bonus Dungeon. Listen to the flowers and you'll get through... but remember that you want to get out when you reach the last junction, or you'll never get out again.
  • Shining the Holy Ark has two. One is the second dungeon that leads to a cemetery (complete with secret underground passage). The second is just before you reach the Haunted House. In both cases expect the dead to be roaming around and for trees to pop out of the ground to attack you.
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth has a maze-like Lost Forest similar to the one in Ocarina of Time. You can go there to fight enemies such as wolves and Nazi Zombies, though you can also get to Canada by heading North and the Woodland Critters by following a set of instructions in Stan's room.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars has Forest Maze, a labyrinth of forest paths and tunnels with a "one of these paths is not like the others" puzzle, and inhabited by enemies such as giant caterpillars, hopping mushrooms and giant bees.
    • Paper Mario:
      • Paper Mario 64 features Forever Forest as the setting for Chapter 3 up to the transition to Gusty Gulch. It is haunted, after a fashion, though the scary bits serve as hints more than haunts; and the enemy population consists of Fuzzies and Piranha Plants. Like in certain incarnations of Zelda's Lost Woods, going the wrong way just takes you back to more familiar settings, so becoming irretrievably lost from Toad Town is not a concern, except for the critters...
      • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Boggly Woods is this area with a twist: the entire area looks like a photo negative. The later Twilight Trail is dark and scary, though the ghosts don't show up until later.
      • Paper Mario: Sticker Star: The Bafflewood, which Mario must take a very specific path to cross — going down a wrong turn will bring him back to a previous area or reset his progress entirely.
      • Paper Mario: Color Splash: The Sacred Woods is an actual forest but the Violet Passage is an area that plays more like an actual Lost Woods.
      • Paper Mario: The Origami King: The Whispering Woods, the first area in the game, are filled with living trees and home to Grandsappy, an extremely old tree with the power to trap people forever in the forest if he so wishes — if he does, then all paths you take will lead you back to the center of the forest. While enemies are very basic due to the early position of the level, hazards occur in the form of patches of spiky brambles and navigation puzzles mainly involve the use of large logs.
    • Mario & Luigi:
      • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga: Chucklehuck Woods is a large forest where the Bros. must navigate a complex network of branching paths, and home to plant-themed enemies such as the Pestnut and Fuzzbush. It's also home to non-hostile Treants in the form of Chuckleroot and his granddaughter.
      • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time: Toadwood Forest, an area haunted by ghostly Shy Guys and with certain paths blocked off by thick tree growth.
      • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: Dimble Wood, which is also the largest area aside from The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, is full of trees that Bowser has to burn away to get anywhere and crawling with evil animated trees.
      • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team: Somnom Woods, characterized in-universe as being the most underdeveloped area of the island, and also being the second-to-last area visited. The final Dream World portion of Somnom Woods is especially maze-like.
      • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam: Gloomy Woods, which is broken up into an east and west half, one explored early on in the game and the other much later.
  • Tales of Symphonia has two: Gaoracchia Forest is dark and creepy and hosts some light-based puzzles and one-way trips, while Torent Forest is pleasantly lit in exchange for an infamous, plot-mandatory puzzle.
  • The Tenth Line has the Indigo Tines, a dense evergreen forest where the roots are so thick that some secret areas can only be accessed after Tox destroys clusters of them with his Breath Weapon. The area's main sidequest is to clear out multiple large packs of Savage Wolves. The Hollow River Valley is also densely forested and the deciduous trees there survived Syx's poison seeping into everything with no environmental damage whatsoever. The town of Hollowford is sandwiched right between the two.
  • Terranigma has Norfest Forest. It seems easier for the local wildlife to make their way around than humans, what with the view-obstructing trees and the area being The Maze, on top of a specific artifact being required to enter.
  • Unhappy Ever After begins in the Ash Forest, which is populated by giant flesh-eating ash-snails, Hansel, Gretel, and the person-eating witch who adopted them and brought Sophia to their world to cook and eat her.
  • Vagrant Story has the Snowfly Forest, source of endless frustration for many a player thanks to its mazelike series of teleports. Ashley mentions that he need only follow the snowflies to escape, but people get lost anyway because it's the concentration of flies in one area you have to watch out for, not the direction they're flying.
  • Forest Prison in Wild ARMs is the only place where monsters are in the Elw Dimension because, as the name suggests, it is their prison. Similarly it is a dark forest where most of the paths look the same so it is very easy to get lost. You have to traverse it to find the Life Guardian to heal Rudy.

  • Catacomb Apocalypse: The Dark Forest is such a nasty example it's practically Mordor at the same time — dark and full of nasty, black, twisted trees, many of which try to kill you, and are left standing there burning, apparently staying alive in that state indefinitely, after you defeat them.
  • Jet Force Gemini has the first world, Goldwood. It's a lush planet full of waterfalls and green flora that used to be peaceful until Mizar's army overran it. There's also Gem Quarry, located not too far from Goldwood, accessible during the second Story Arc.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. features the real-life Red Forest, stated to be where most of the Zone's mutants come from. Doubles as the game's second Bleak Level, after the Wild Territory.
    • In Shadow of Chernobyl, the entire place is rife with mutants, including the nasty strain of Pseudodog, the Psy-Dog. Before you kill the Brain Scorcher, the only "human" presence to be found is the Brainwashed and Crazy Monolith troops. After you do, there are a few batches of Loners at the roads, as well as Duty and Freedom duking it out near Pripyat, but the place still remains quite hostile, with Electros, Whirligigs and bucketloads of radiation if you so much as take a step off the paved road.
    • In Clear Sky, you visit a different, actually forested part of it, one closer to the trope's basic description. It's well-known for a large clearing with an odd rock formation filled to the brim with anomalies, the Pseudogiant that lives there, the many Burnt Fuzz anomalies in nearly every tree, and the Forester. Interestingly, it's actually more peaceful and less remote than the section the Marked One treads through, with a number of Duty patrols constantly securing the area against dogs and Snorks.
  • Touhou Project: due to the nature of the setting, half the damn place could be considered for this trope in some way or other. Notable are the place actually called the "Forest of Magic", infested with poisonous hallucinogenic mushrooms and inhospitable to humans and youkai alike, but well-loved by magicians due to an abundance of reagents (both Marisa and Alice make this place their home), and the Bamboo Forest of the Lost, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a massive bamboo forest where people often get lost.

    Simulation Games 
  • Stardew Valley: There is the Secret Woods, an area to the west of the player's farm. It's the only viable place to get hardwood if your farm doesn't have the forest layout, and it also has slimes to fight, rare foraging items, and a mysterious statue searching for the "perfect sweetness."

  • The Battle for Middle-earth: A good campaign has a mission in the Eaves of Fangorn where a group of Rohirrim save Merry and Pippin from Saruman's forces. In both it and Fangorn proper, the Ents are recruitable allies, but only for the duration of each battle. Fangorn is also the site of the second mission of the evil campaign, where the objective is to destroy the Entmoot. The dense trees make for an easily-exploitable resource for your lumber mills. Mirkwood is also an optional mission for both campaigns, but isn't nearly as dense as the lore would suggest, having much easier terrain than Fangorn.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics:
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has the Nubswood, Koringwood, Salikawood, and Materiwood, whose in-game descriptions invoke this, though the maps themselves downplay it. As maps in the game tend toward large and open, trees tend to be at the edges of the map with things like stumps and broken tree trunks forming raised areas and obstacles respectively. That said, they have a lot of features associated with forests such as thick leaf litter, dense plant growth, and the aforementioned broken trunks.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Seven of the eleven regions of the western continent of Loar have at least one forest map each. While still generally on the periphery of the maps, the trees themselves are a lot more prominent. The maps also have a forest-themed background behind them.
  • Pikmin:
    • Pikmin (2001): The Forest of Hope is a vast grassland with exotic flora and a large body of water. Dangerous creatures like Bulborbs (red, fanged creatures that chase Pikmin if they wake up), an Armored Cannon Beetle (a dark brown insect which shoots boulders from its mouth) and Snagrets (underground bird-like animals that can seize and eat several times in a row with their beaks) inhabit it.
    • Pikmin 2 brings back the Forest of Hope, renamed the Awakening Wood, while also introducing the Wistful Wild, a Forest of Perpetual Autumn variant that somehow merges the mainlands of Impact Site and Final Trial from the original game, and gives Olimar an unnerving sense of melancholy according to his treasure logs.
    • Pikmin 3 has the Garden of Hope, which is an original location that still borrows many of the characteristics seen in its previous games' counterparts, while also featuring a large tree slump guarded by a crystal-covered monster named the Armored Mawdad as well as a muddy field where the Quaggled Mireclops rests.
  • Total War: Warhammer:
    • A general motif for the Vampire Counts. Their brand of The Corruption is marked by the spread of dark forests across the land they encroach. Indeed armies not made of the undead will wither and eventually die if they spend too long in vampiric lands. They even have a building chain consisting of upgrading a dark forest from a Sinister Copse (allowing the raising of Fellbats and Dire Wolves) to an Abyssal Wood (for raising Vargheists) and into a Haunted Forest necessary for raising Varghulfs and Terrorgheists.
    • The Beastmen make their home in the darkest, wildest forests of the Old World, and can use the Beast Ways, hidden paths through the wilderness known only to them, for fast travel across the map.
    • Athel Loren, the home of the Wood Elves. It existed, wild and unsettled, long before the Elves ever set foot in the Old World, and belonged to the dryads, treemen and forest spirits before it ever did to them. Athel Loren itself is an Eldritch Location, where time flows in strange ways and the forest is aware of what goes on beneath its canopy. The Asrai are the only ones who have ever been able to live there successfully, and only because they submitted themselves to the forest rather than trying to conquer it.
    • Just to emphasize how nasty the forests of the Old World are, in many places an army that leaves the roads in order to travel more quickly will begin to suffer attrition simply because they are encamped in a forest for too long.
    • Battles fought in certain forest areas, chiefly Athel Loren and the Beast Ways, take place in maps made as an exaggerated version of regular woodlands where the ground level where the battle is actually fought is thickly covered in regular trees and the borders and roof of the map are bounded by absolutely titanic trees, covered in giant mushrooms and organic growths in the Beast Ways' case, which tower to the size of hills and whose stumps appear in the battle map itself as terrain obstacles.

    Survival Horror 

    Visual Novels 
  • Nasuverse: The Forest of Einnashe. Anything that wanders into its fifty-year cycle manifestation is swarmed from all directions by the forest and has its blood drained.

    Virtual Pets 
  • Neopets:
    • The Haunted Woods features a quest-giving tree with a brain where its leaves should be, a witch in a tower, an always-hungry monster in the ground, a haunted fairground, and a dilapitated town. The area's description calls it the "spooky Halloween land."
    • Neo Quest II: The fourth act takes place in the Haunted Woods. The Haunted Woods are home to a Demonic Spider living in a cave, two Friendly Neighborhood Vampires living in (very) isolated castles, a boss (or bosses) that is widely considered to be the game's That One Boss right outside of a haunted house (and there's a World Tree of sorts nearby to boot), and an Eldritch Abomination living in a bog. The Haunted Woods in the site itself gives off this vibe as well.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Minecraft
    • The Woods map setting in Indev generated a game world with dim natural light and covered in dense trees, with lots of mushrooms on the ground.
    • The common forest and birch forest biomes are some of the game's most common terrain types. The interlocking canopies mean that light levels can be fairly dim, and undead creatures often take refuge from the sun by hiding in the shadows of the trees during the daytime.
    • The dark or roofed forest biome is marked by the presence of dense, old growth trees thanks to the biome's "dark oaks", which possess thick, wide canopies that form unbroken roofs overhead with only small gaps to let in the light. Giant mushrooms are present as well, and together with the thick canopy ensure that the forest floor is always dark enough for mobs like zombies and skeletons, which burn in the sunlight, to take shelter in it during the day. A roofed forest may also contain a Woodland Mansion, a strange building inhabited by the hostile Illagers.
    • The crimson forest and warped forest biomes in the Nether are dense stands of giant fungi that serve as the local tree equivalents. The crimson forest is inhabited by wandering Pig Man tribes and giant aggressive boars, while the warped forest is actively avoided by most mobs but haunted by usually large numbers of endermen.
  • The Twilight Forest: This Minecraft mod adds a strange and wondrous dimension where it's always dusk, but never fully day or night. Across the land, there are massive trees that create a multi-layered canopy, which look as fantastical as they are majestic. This is carried to their rendition of dark forests, shadowy woodlands with incredibly thick canopies. What light that comes from the permanent dusk in this dimension is utterly unable to penetrate the thick leaves, leaving the ground as dark as the deepest caves threading through the world, spawining numerous monsters.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Lost Woods


Enchanted Forest Act 1

The Enchanted Forest is the first overall level of the game. Unlike most standard grass-themed starting levels, this takes place in a forest where it is easy to get lost in.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheLostWoods

Media sources: