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The Lost Woods
aka: Lost Woods

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Aragorn: Of course the woods are enchanted. They all are.
Gimli: Nature Boy is right. When was the last time anyone saw a regular, non-enchanted forest? You can't grow two trees next to each other without some wizard or demon coming along and enchanting them.

The Lost Woods are no ordinary forest. They are a vast old-growth forest where the trees reach into the heavens. Their canopies cover the sky, leaving only shafts of sunlight streaming between the branches. The trees themselves seem to leer and scowl and even normally tiny mushrooms are huge and imposing. (Whatever size they are, it's probably not a good idea to eat them. Probably. Especially if there's people living in them.) Nature has run wild, and man is not welcome here. If you are forced to enter, it's best to lower your axe or else risk the attention of the Ents.

Besides your usual forest creatures, all manner of strange things lurk in the shadows. In any setting, it may be home to a Tree Top Town or Hidden Elf Village. In ye olden days, the Lost Woods were home to The Fair Folk, the Wicked Witch and the Solitary Sorceress, the Savage Wolf, The Marvelous Deer (which might lead you astray), the Unicorn, and the occasional tree out to kill you. In the modern day, they're home to the axe-wielding Serial Killer, and campers — particularly those of the teenage variety — had better stay out of them. In The Future, they're home to cloaked snipers who want to make a hunt out of you. And Ewoks.


On the other hand, the Lost Woods may not always be dangerous, but they're shadowy and creepy and only a Crazy Survivalist, Nature Hero or Jungle Princess would actually try to live in this place. Thus, they are commonly used in European and North American settings as a closer-to-home version of the Jungle.

This trope frequently goes hand in hand with The Maze; fairly often, portrayals of the Lost Woods will emphasize the difficulty of finding one's path through them and the ease of getting lost in their depths. Some cases will go beyond the regular difficulty of pathfinding in thick forest and will depict this as a supernatural effect, sometimes bordering on Alien Geometries, where specific paths must be followed to avoid becoming hopelessly lost or being taken straight back to the heart of the woods.


This may also be a Shadowland for even Arcadia, but even more likely for a brilliant and happy city.

As a setting for videogame stages, the Lost Woods 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. They may or may not be haunted (later stages often are), but either way, expect everything to try to kill you. 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 (e.g. Tales of Symphonia, Golden Sun). The late-game forests have a stronger tendency to be a Forest of Perpetual Autumn. 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.

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.

Named for the infamous Recurring Location in the Zelda games.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon Fusion has the Forest Zone, a forest of tall trees that stretches from horizon to horizon that is home to insect and plant Digimon. Though it's not tropical, there are vines everywhere. The forest floor is dominated pools of water that perpetually give off streams of bubbles. At its center is a gate that leads into a much more colorful woodland home to the Code Crown's guardian, Deckerdramon. The Green Zone and Lake Zone also have patches of forest, but there's nothing terribly unusual about them. Perhaps fittingly, the Bagra Army invades it with a swarm of beetle Digimon.
  • Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Though it only appears briefly in a flashback, the anime has a Canon Foreigner Witch named Raspberry whose labyrinth looks like a gradient-tinted forest of mostly dead trees and living undergrowth growing out of sand dunes. Being a labyrinth, the forest is only home to the many-armed Witch herself and the murderous, jumping, person-sized bees that are her familiars.
  • One Piece: The Seducing Woods in Whole Cake Island combine this with Level Ate and Crapsaccharine World. It has edible surroundings to lure people in, and is home to and/or can conjure up lots of weird and dangerous phenomena, like talking and clothed animals, living trees and flowers that regularly move around to confuse and trap visitors in a game of death, and even mirror versions of people who copy their every move and action. How do the Straw Hat Pirates get out of the Seducing Woods? By wrecking enough of the place that the moving trees have problems re-aligning themselves, then wrecking even more of the place so the remaining vegetation submits to the Straw Hat Pirates out of self-preservation (particularly Nami, who exploits and abuses a loophole in their leader's rules.)
  • Windaria: Haunted Woods to be precise. It looks creepy enough but evil spirits live there too. They prey on fear and can lead to death and confusion.

    Comic Books 
  • Long Ago And Far Away: The appropriately-named Haunted Forest that Jason and his ally have to traverse through at one point.
  • Robin (1993): Stephan's woods are actually more of a pocket dimension, filled with plants and animals that no longer exsist on earth and which never exsisted together or in such large size. Anyone who enters without Stephan's protection will be lost in them forever.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Usually one fifth of every set, as the basic Green land is forests, which, coupled with Green's love of giant monsters and the untamed wilderness, regularly leads to this trope.
    • Dominaria has had a long list of such forests, most of them ancient, vast, possibly sapient in their own right and home to elves, druids and treefolk. As a rule, their inhabitants are very reclusive and rarely welcoming of outsiders.
      • Argoth was the earliest one to appear in the lore, located on an isolated island and home to treefolk, fairies, an order of druids, and Titania, a demigod who watched over them all. Argoth was ravaged during the Brothers' War when Urza and Mishra clear-cut most of it for resources and then destroyed when Urza detonated a Fantastic Nuke there, destroying the island entirely. The survivors fled to the elf-ruled Fyndhorn on the nearby continent, which remained an important forest haven throughout the Ice Age until it was flooded by the rising waters of the Thaw. The surviving elves and druids then migrated to Yavimaya, another forest that was already home to talking apes, more treefolk, and another forest demigod, but which always remained wild even beyond the humanoids' own comfort.
      • Other major forests include Llanowar, so thick that the elves that live there can spend their whole lives in its canopy without seeing either the sun or the soil, and Krosa, a forest notable for not being home to any elves and instead housing a reclusive order of human druids, centaur tribes, and a lot of wild monsters.
    • Lorwyn and Shadowmoor took place in the same woodsy fairytale land, the first being enchanted and the second being cursed.
    • In Innistrad, there are the forests of the Kessig province, especially the vast and trackless Ulvenwald, home to vast packs of Savage Wolves and werewolves alike and primordial forest spirits. There is also the Somberwald in the mountains of Stensia, home to an enormous variety of wild beasts driven out of Kessig by hunters and werewolves.

    Fairy Tales 
  • Babes in the Wood. Sometimes combined with Robin Hood as a Pantomime.
  • In Biancabella and the Snake, Biancabella's mother-in-law orders servants to kill her. They carry her off into the forest to do so, but only mutilate and leave her there.
  • In "Brother and Sister", the title characters run off into the forest to escape their Wicked Stepmother. Because she is also a Wicked Witch, she enchants the streams they come to and finally turns Brother into a deer. They live in the forest until the king finds her there and falls in Love at First Sight.
  • Hansel and Gretel got lost in a forest, where they met and were captured by a cannibalistic witch.
  • The One-Handed Girl hides from her brother in the forest; a prince finds her there and marries her. When her brother tracks her down and convinces the king and queen that she is a witch, she goes back; there she rescues a snake, gets back her hand, and receives a magical ring, with which she wins back her husband.
  • Our Lady's Child was abandoned in the forest for refusing to confess to having looked through the forbidden door; the king finds her there and falls in Love at First Sight.
  • In Schippeitaro, this is where the evil cats live.
  • In The Six Swans, the king meets the Wicked Stepmother to be in the forest; later, her stepdaughter runs away to find her brothers in the forest; another king finds her there and falls in Love at First Sight.
  • In The Three Little Men in the Wood, it is, of course, in the woods where the stepdaughter meets the three little men.
  • In True and Untrue, where True hears the Talking Animals.
  • In "The Two Brothers", collected by The Brothers Grimm, one of the brothers goes hunting in a deep, dark forest with a sinister reputation, and encounters The Marvelous Deer and a Wicked Witch who turns him into stone. After the witch is killed by the other brother, "the forest opened of its own accord, and was light and clear, and the King's palace could be seen at about the distance of a three hours walk."
  • "Morozko": The snowy, densely forested area near from the old couple's hut is home to Father Frost, the benevolent but short-tempered spirit of the Winter. No sane person dares to walk into those woods when night falls.

    Fan Works 
  • Hearts of Ice: The mountain where the Ancient One — a divine dragon — dwells is surrounded by an old, vast and impenetrable woodland. Nabiki remarks how creepy it is: they are three days away from the nearest human settlement, and she can feel the tall, thick, dark trees glaring down on her and whispering silently that humans are not welcome in their forest.
  • Legend of Zelda: Rings of Dualty: Korken Woods, as well as the first dungeon, the Forest of Peril.
  • My Little Balladeer: The Everfree Forest, much like in the original show. It says something that, between the usual monsters and the Sunny Town undead, it's not a place even John cares to wander through — especially at night.
  • Souls Art Online: The forest, where Everything is Trying to Kill You and does so in a way to lead to a Cruel and Unusual Death. And may the Sun help you if you light a fire, because then the forest gets mean.
  • The Sun Soul: Viridian Forest. At a certain point, the canopy covers the sky completely, not letting any light in. The air becomes completely still. The temperature drops sharply in certain areas. The trail gets ever narrower, making it easy to get lost. And God help you if you stumble upon a silky white pod or a clearing full of them... even Indigo Plateau Rangers, some of the toughest survivalists Kanto has to offer, aren't safe, as Ash and Misty eventually find out.
  • Through The Well Of Pirene: The Everfree is this to an even greater degree than in canon: besides the regular monsters and its treacherous, swampy terrain, it’s home to a hidden goblin fortress and is riddled with interdimensional Ways, leading it to teem with Misplaced Wildlife that gives a downright surreal air, and if you know how, its paths can be followed to other universes entirely.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines hints that Viridian Forest is a lot more dangerous than in canon, even leaving a warning sign that has a day count about the last known casualty. An even more terrifying example is shown in the Agatha & Sam Gaiden sidestory, as young Agatha and Samuel Oak traverse it as they try to find Agatha's younger brother when he runs off into it, facing numerous evil Ghost-type Pokémon who see them as little more than playthings.
  • The World is Filled with Monsters: The Creeping Gloom, a vast forest outside the borders of Equestria. Its trees are thick enough to block all light and make the one path through it seem more like a tunnel than anything, it's shrouded in constant fog, and at the start of the story it's become home to a colony of Giant Spiders.

    Film — Animated 
  • Frozen II has an enchanted forest that was magically cut off from the rest of the world when Elsa and Anna's father was very young, and to which the heroes journey in this film.
  • Princess Mononoke: The forest is a place of magic home to giant wolves, giant boars, and a deer-god of life, death and rebirth.
  • Quest for Camelot has the Forbidden Forest, which is home to many various plants and trees that are alive and serve as obstacles to Kayley and her group.
  • Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure has the Deep, Deep Woods, which the dolls are warned to stay away from by Marcella. While at first it seems to be a normal forest, made spooky by the darkness of night, it ends up being the gateway to the Greedy and Loony Land.
  • Strange Magic: The Dark Forest, home of the goblins, is like this. The trees are only big in comparison the characters though, given that the main characters are fairies and even smaller elves. They avoid going into the forest because the Bog King imprisons those who dare enter. He reveals the subtle and understated beauty of the Dark Forest to Marianne during their Final Love Duet.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Avatar, in which the entire forest, besides being home to countless alien monsters and the hostile Na'vi, is also one massive planetary ecological hivemind of sorts.
  • Beyond Sherwood Forest: A mystical portal in Sherwood Forest leads to a realm known as the Dark Woods: a magical, darker version of Sherwood Forest, filled with all manner of fantastic and deadly beasts.
  • The Brothers Grimm: The forest, at the heart of which lies the tower of the evil sorceress queen.
  • Evil Dead:
    • The Appalachian woods in the first two movies. An ordinary forest under normal circumstances, once the Book of the Dead's been read aloud, it transforms into a twisted, fog-shrouded Genius Loci of living trees, shifting paths, and roaming, unseen spirits. The spell might have the same effect anywhere: the evil it awakens is said to lie dormant in "the forests and dark bowers of man's domain".
    • Two sequel video games have different takes on what happens when the book's read in an urban environment. Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick portrays it as more or less a standard Zombie Apocalypse, but Evil Dead: Regeneration (a Continuity Reboot sequel) shows a wrecked city engulfed by mist and overrun with giant, living tree roots, as though it were in the process of changing into a Lost Wood.
  • The Field Guide to Evil: In keeping with the fairy tale nature of the story, Tivald is required to travel trek through the deepest, darkest forest in the kingdom in order to locate the loosestrife pool and complete his Engagement Challenge in "The Cobbler's Lot".
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: The forest concealing the portal to Ta Lo. It's a Mobile Maze of trees that only opens a direct path to the portal once a year. It is possible to make the trip at any time, but only if you know the correct path and timing, and if you fail the forest eats you.
  • Sleepy Hollow (1999): The headless horseman's burial site is located in a creepy forest completely devoid of animal life, which is probably a consequence of the level of black magic practicing that took place in there to the point that the infamous Tree of the Dead is a gateway to HELL.
  • Snow White and the Huntsman plays with this trope with The Dark Forest and the Sanctuary. One is an evil forest and one is full of fairies, but they're both undoubtedly ancient forests filled with strange creatures. However, the Huntsman, being one of the only people to have survived entering the Dark Forest before, has learned that while it is treacherous and filled with dangerous creatures, the real danger is that it is full of hallucinogenic spores. Combined with the superstitions of the average person of the time, a person wandering the Dark Forest perceives it as much more hellish.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Forest Moon of Endor, covered in thick redwood forests and home to the tribal, indiscriminatingly carnivorous Ewoks and the savage Gorax.
    • There's also Kashyyyk, home of the Wookiees, covered in gigantic trees and so lush with vegetation that it manages to be this and Jungle Japes. And that's just on the coast where the trees are thinly spaced and stunted; on most of the planet the trees are so tall that the arboreal Wookiees almost never climb within a kilometer of the ground.

    Legends and Myths 
  • Arthurian Legend: The Forest of Broceliande in Brittany, the location of many adventures of the Arthurian knights. Broceliande was known for being inhabited by fairies and home to the Lady of the Lake. Other notable locations in Broceliande are the Val sans Retour (Valley of No Return) where Morgan Le Fay imprisoned her lovers, the Fountain of Youth, and the tree where Merlin was imprisoned, as well as the Tomb of Merlin.
  • Classical Mythology: Forests (and mountains, valleys, or anywhere else where nature dominated the landscape) were considered to be "numinous": haunted by spirits and immortals. It also helped that there was a god, goddess, demi-god, nymph, maenid, sprite or other spiritual creature in charge of every natural feature from rivers to trees to small hills.
  • In the legend of Genevieve of Brabant, she lived in the forest after escaping Malicious Slander. Fortunately, a magical deer helped her there.
  • Norse Mythology: Járnviðr (Jarnvidr), which means "Iron-wood", is a forest inhabited by giantesses and giant wolves. Norse heroic legend also has "Myrkviðr inn ókunna", "the unknown Mirkwood", a vast and little explored wood located somewhere in Eastern or Central Europe.

  • In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, by Patricia A. McKillip, the enchanted forest swallows up Talis.
  • Chronicles of the Emerged World: The Forest, a thick and trackless wood that dominates the Land of the Wind's southern border. As most of the Land of the Wind is open prairie stretching out to the horizon, the Forest's thick vegetation and restricted sightlines are alien, claustrophobic and frightening to the Land's inhabitants, leading to the rise of numerous legends about the Forest being a dangerous place with vicious monsters lurking in its depths. In truth there's little in the way of danger in the Forest, and no actual monsters — but it is home to a large community of pixies, as well as a Father of the Forest.
  • Deltora Quest: The Forests of Silence, which appear in the eponymous first book of the series, is a series of three forests with a bad enough reputation to be considered unusually terrifying even in a land heavily infested with monsters and horrors. The first forest is home to a vicious monster called the Wennbar and to a tribe of creatures called the Wenn that worship it and bring it captives to eat, while the second contains a hidden grove where there grow flowers whose nectar gives eternal life.
  • Conan the Barbarian: The setting "Beyond the Black River", with raiding Picts and a swamp demon.
  • "The Dead Valley": The titular valley exists somewhere in the Swedish wilderness and, although surrounded by the Lost Woods, the valley itself is entirely empty, except for a great skeletal tree, a layer of animal bones, and something that wakes up when the sun goes down...
  • Discworld:
    • A recurring location throughout the novels is the Forest of Skund, an extensive stretch of wilderness known for having some of the highest levels of wild magic in the Disc. It is home to things such as gnomes who live in toadstools, reclusive shamans and talking trees, as well as the feared Five-Headed Vampire Goat (at least before a passing Barbarian Hero happened to it). It was also the birthplace of the legendary witch Black Aliss, whose gingerbread cottage is still standing in the forest.
    • There's also Cutshade Forest in "Troll Bridge", which Cohen the Barbarian calls "proper darksome" and full of giant spiders... at least before it was sold to a lumber mill, chopped down and replanted with spruce.
  • Earthsea: The setting is made up of many islands, but the most magical place in the world is Roke, the Isle of the Wise. One of this island's wonders is the Immanent Grove. At a glance the Grove seems like a modestly-sized forest that can be found on the island. However it can't always be found in the same place, and a hike into it reveals it's Bigger on the Inside. It is implied to be a major font of magic to the whole world.
  • The Edge Chronicles: The Deepwoods, the Twilight Woods, and the Nightwoods are all fitting examples of this trope.
    • The Twilight Woods are shrouded in eternal twilight and slowly erase the memories and sense of self of those who cross them, and anyone who loses their path will wander in the forest forever.
    • The Deepwoods are an enormous coniferous forest (later books show that they take up far more territory than all other lands in the Edge combined) and are teeming with dangerous peoples, monstrous predators and Man-Eating Plants.
    • The Nightwoods are a forest beyond even the Deepwoods, dark and deadly and full of vicious waifs, found on the other side of the Thorn Forests. An extremely dangerous crossing of the Nightwoods is also the only way to reach the legendary land of Riverrise.
  • Enchanted Forest Chronicles: The series takes place in an unpredictable, but usually benign, enchanted forest. (At least, the later three do; Dealing with Dragons takes place in the Mountains of Morning, where the dragons live.)
  • Gaunt's Ghosts:
    • Tanith used to be like this, with mobile trees, before it was destroyed the day the regiment Tanith First & Only, Gaunt's Ghosts, was founded. The Ghosts themselves are marvelous at stealth, and Gaunt attributes it to their learning how to get around on their homeworld.
    • In Straight Silver, the forests of Aexe Cardinal remind the Ghosts of Tanith. They also contain a mysterious woman who makes predictions to Gaunt and lends him a car that just vanishes (along with its keys) when it gets them where they are going.
  • The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan, which takes place in a boarding school, has the Forest, a bizarre parallel world that some of the school's students can visit. It is inhabited by mysterious creatures like dogheads and whistlers, giant blackcap mushrooms and bloodsucking flowers, and a lot of other weird things.
  • Green-Sky Trilogy is set in a benevolent version. The forest covers the entire world and is a friendly, nurturing place to the tree-dwelling Kindar people. The Erdlings, who have spent many generations trapped underground, eulogize the forest as a lost paradise, but the first Erdling to escape from the caverns experiences the forest as both lonely and threatening at first.
  • Harry Potter: The Forbidden Forest is home to centaurs, unicorns, a colony of giant spiders, and other magical beasts, to the point that students are punished by having to go in it at night. Over the series, the Hogwarts staff also uses it as a way of disposing of dangerous magical creatures they no longer have a use for, which are typically just released within the forest.
  • Hexwood: The eponymous wood — either it's a small piece of wooded land near a housing estate where the local kids go to play (littered with crisp packets, and you can see through to the other side in places) or it's a vast forest containing a rushing river with waterfalls, caves, an Arthurian-style castle and dragons. Or both. And that's not all that's going on, either.
  • Into the Heartless Wood: The Gwydden's Wood is an ever-reaching kingdom of ash, birch and oak. The Gwydden and her daughters harvest the souls of their victims to expand the wood across the land.
  • The Iron Teeth: The setting's forests are haunted by many different types of dangerous monsters. They are incredibly dangerous and a lot of people perish within them.
  • Journey to Chaos: The Rose Forest is made of trees that are constantly watching its inhabitants. Carnivorous Venus fly traps can mimick the effects of sirens. Every animal living here can wield magic and they don't take kindly to strangers. This is aside from the Always Chaotic Evil monsters roaming the area. When Eric first arrives in A Mage's Power, he would have died on three occassions if not for a local escort. The best part? This is not a "special magical forest". This is a "normal forest".
  • The Marvellous Land of Snergs: The Black Woods is a vast, gloomy, swampy forest where tall, thick, dark trees grow among the pools of black, muddy water until blotting out the sun. There are no living beings there but sinister plants, giant bats and a wicked witch.
  • Mythago Wood: The cycle makes heavy, heavy use of this trope. Ryhope Wood, the focus of the books, is a remnant of very ancient forest that brings to life figures from the collective unconscious. From the outside, it's a small wood that's nearly impossible to penetrate. From the inside, it's an enormous stretch of primordial wilderness, where time runs differently.
  • Inheritance Cycle: Du Weldenvarden, where the Elves have been living in hiding since the rise of Galbatorix. The forest's magic makes it one of the "safer" places in the books, but the magic of the elves is fading due to Galbatorix's use of Black Magic, and in order for the Elves to ensure their safety, Galbatorix must fall. Eragon also goes there for training in being a Dragon Rider.
  • Phantastes: This is what Fairy Land is like. There are some exceptions — a desert, a rocky underworld, a sea and an area of farmland all appear — but most of Fairy Land is covered in a deep, enchanted forest, teeming with fairies, spirits, and animated trees.
  • The Raven Tower: The Silent Forest is inhabited like a Genius Loci by the goddess who shares its name. She eventually allowed for one road to be built through it and for humans to collect some lumber; anything more, and people walk into the trees and never return.
  • The Reynard Cycle: The forest of Maleperduys has this reputation, and for good reason. It's a literal maze inhabited by Wargs.
  • Saga of Recluce: The Accursed Forest (later Naclos), a sort-of-sentient being whose massive Order and Chaos flows tie all of its animals and plants together into a single entity. While no more dangerous to simply pass through than any other forest, it fights back with deadly force against anyone attempting to tame, cultivate or cut it.
  • Septimus Heap:
    • The Forest is a lawless wilderness well beyond the Castle's authority (despite being literally across the river from it) and home to carnivorous trees, packs of vicious wolverines, and the witches.
    • The woods surrounding the House of Foryx are full of...well, Foryx, whatever those are. You don't want to be on the ground when they run past.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has numerous examples:
    • Most northern forests, especially those with weirwood trees growing in them, due to their association with the children of the forest and the Old Gods. The most notable example would be the Wolfswood, which takes up almost a fifth of the North, as is home to a lot of... well, guess.
    • A malevolent version would be the Haunted Forest beyond the Wall, home to barbarians, giants, prehistoric creatures, and the Others, as well as the last Children of the Forest.
    • Further south there is the Kingswood, which is home to great boars, white deer, a legendary band of outlaws in the setting's backstory, and, later on, a Barbarian Tribe.
    • Seen briefly in the first book is the Forest of Qohor, which takes two weeks to cross on horseback and houses numerous strange animals, such as lemurs and spotted tigers.
  • Stardust, by Neil Gaiman, has the "serewood", where the trees will eat you if you leave the path.
  • Tasakeru: The main characters live in the titular forest: an ancient, abandoned, mostly unexplored wilderness that is home to not a few strange things...
  • Tailchaser's Song has the Ratleaf forest, a vast and mostly unexplored forest north of the cats' lands. It's old, foreboding, distressingly close to the Big Bad's fortress and even home to a Barbarian Tribe of squirrels.
  • Tales of the Fox, by Harry Turtledove, has the forest around Ikos, where strange things live, which has a mind (or minds) of its own, which doesn't necessarily care for people, and where roads only exist at the forest's sufferance. It can also make unwanted travelers vanish in unexplained but silently ominous ways. It's implied that the forest exists to protect the Oracle of Ikos, placed by the all-seeing god Biton.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium: Tolkien liked this trope, and ancient, enchanted forests show up at numerous points in his works.
    • The Lord of the Rings has the Old Forest, whose trees are intelligent enough to hate intruders and will actively shift to attempt to cause visitors to become hopelessly lost, and Fangorn Forest, home to the Ents and viewed with superstitious fear by the neighboring Rohirrim.
    • The Hobbit has Mirkwood, with trees so thick they block out all light and home to Giant Spiders and Silvan Elves alike. Spontaneous magical phenomena also occur within the forest, including things such as rivers whose waters cause drinkers to fall into enchanted sleep.
    • The Silmarillion has Nan Elmoth, where the trees grow thick enough to block out the light. The elven kingdom of Doriath also counts for anyone who doesn't have permission to enter.
    • The Old Forest, Fangorn and Mirkwood are some of the few surviving remnants of a primeval forest that once covered most of Middle-Earth, and their trees are often old enough to remember having ruled the land before humans, dwarves and elves came to clear the woodlands for lumber and land — and at least in the Old Forest's case, to actively resent this.
  • Trash of the Count's Family has "The Path of No Return", a route through a forest which is filled with Ominous Fog. No one who enters ever leaves... until On, who is able to navigate it with her fog manipulation.
  • The Treachery of Beautiful Things: Jenny's brother Tom is swallowed up by the forest while walking through the woods. When Jenny returns seven years later, it swallows her as well.
  • Uprooted: The Wood is a particularly malevolent version of the dark woods of legend and fairytales. It's dark, twisted and saturated with magic, actively hates humanity, and is home to dark and terrible creatures that it sends out against the outside world. At the end, after the Wood-Queen's influence is mostly removed, it returns to being a more peaceful and natural forest, although one still home to supernatural beings and pockets of dark magic.
  • "Young Goodman Brown": The eponymous protagonist is a colonial Puritan who ventures into these and learns some disturbing things about everyone he knows and respectsor does he?

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "In the Forest of the Night", apart from having sprung up overnight instead of being older than memory, the forest takes on many aspects of the Lost Woods. At the end of the episode, the Doctor theorizes that the forest that features in myths and fairy tales is a remnant of a cultural memory of an earlier occasion when something like this happened.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The vast, primeval forest beyond the Wall is known as the Haunted Forest.
    • Each castle in the North contains a godswood, a grove of old-growth forest sacred to the old gods.
  • Kingdom Adventure: The area under Zordock's influence is called the Dark Wood and is pretty sinister-looking, and is said to be full of dangerous beasts and next to impossible to escape alone. The protagonists also live in a forest, but it's a friendlier-looking one.
  • MythQuest: The Blood Trees from episode 5 . Yuki-Onna, a snow demon, lives there.
  • The Sopranos use a real-life one in "Pine Barrens", in which Chris and Paulie go to the New Jersey Pine Barrens (mentioned below) to dispose of a body. Things went horribly wrong. For a realistic show with a setting in an honest-to-God real place, they managed to make it really creepy.

  • Agapeland: Nathaniel the Grublet has Direwood, a spooky forest that causes any Grublet caught there after sunrise to disappear (whether it effects anyone else this way isn't clear). It even has its own song, sung by Thurl Ravenscroft.
  • Calibretto: "Don't Go in the Woods" falls at the end of the mostly tongue-in-cheek Dead by Dawn EP, yet it's an oddly sincere song, with the narrator lamenting that he didn't warn his "baby" strongly enough to stay out of the woods. What happened is never explained, but "I fear I'll never see you again".
  • The Cure: "A Forest", from the album 17 Seconds, if the lyrics are to be understood literally, is about the protagonist looking for a girl lost in the woods, until he finally gets lost himself and realizes "the girl was never there" and "I'm running towards nothing."
    The sound is deep
    In the dark
    I hear her voice and start to run
    Into the trees, into the trees
    Suddenly I stop, but I know it's too late
    I'm lost in the forest, all alone.
  • The Decemberists' rock opera, The Hazards of Love, is set in woods such as this, ruled over by the dread Forest Queen.
  • Lord Huron's "Meet Me in the Woods" is sung by someone who went into the woods, and came back changed. They can only describe it as an endless night where they met something that they could not perceive, and when they finally got out, less time than they thought had passed.
    I took a little journey to the unknown
    And I come back changed, I can feel it in my bones
    How long, baby, have I been away?
    Oh, it feels like ages, though you say it's only days
    There ain't language for the things I've seen, yeah
    And the truth is stranger than in my own worst dreams

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Changeling: The Lost plays on the idea of the Lost Woods with the Hedge, another dimension that makes up the gap between Earth and Faerie. There are wonders in it, yeah, but it's also a predatory dimension full of hobgoblins and soul-rending thorns. And it's remarkably easy for ordinary humans to get lost in...
  • Exalted has the far East, surrounding the Elemental Pole of Wood. This serves as the source for the very concept of plantishness in Creation. Eventually, the trees grow so thick that the branches and leaves fill up what would be the sky, and the roots crowd out the earth itself, leaving nothing but an endless procession of trunks, roots, and branches.
  • Legend of the Five Rings has the Shinomen Forest, which is almost completely unexplored and seemingly full of mysterious ruins that predate humanity. Legend holds that these were built by a race of snake-people who sleep within the forest. This turns out to be true, but is actually a good thing, as the snake-people are quite heroic.
  • Numenera:
    • The Westwood is a large forest of redwood trees taking up nearly the entirety of the kingdom of Navarene's western coast. It has a reputation for being infested with dangerous spirits and monstrous beasts, and as such has been completely uninhabited for most of its history. Recently, Navarene has begun settling it and building towns and roads within it, which has brought it in conflict with the spider-like culovas that live within it and viciously ward off trespassers.
    • The Ba-Adenu Forest is an enormous wilderness in the Beyond, large enough to be divided in three distinct biomes — dry forest, jungle and muddy swampland. It is inhabited by jiraskars (ferocious, predatory theropod dinosaurs) and a mysterious vampiric humanoid.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Golarion's forests tend to be vast, primal wildernesses beyond the control of the nations that claim the land they cover, and are often home to dangerous and unpredictable fey, green dragons and an assortment of predators such as owlbears and Savage Wolves. The full list of forests and the dangers each hides runs quite long, but highlights include the goblin-infested Chitterwood; the Grungir Forest, home of powerful fey courts and a legendary linnorm; the Fangwood, where the geography has a tendency to shift with the seasons and murderous redcaps and an ancient green dragon make the local orcs a secondary worry; the Shudderwood, already infamous for its werewolves before demonic incursions filled it with corrupted fey, mutated animals and rogue demons; the Lurkwood, where time doesn't flow right; and the enormous Verduran Forest, which straddles three nations and is home to druids, carnivorous plants and centaurs, in addition to all the usual forest denizens.
    • Among blights, evil and intelligent Blob Monsters that hate civilization and sapient thought, forest blights inhabit deep woodlands and specialize in actively turning their forest homes into weapons and deathtraps. In particular, plants with their domain will act like living things and attempt to clutch and grab at intruders, and the blights can control the wildlife of their home forests and set them against trespassers.
  • Ravenloft has Lost Woods in spades. Much of the southeastern Core (the main landmass) is covered in thick, primeval forests. Notable areas include Verbrek (full of savage werewolves), Kartakass (full of intelligent wolves that hunt humans by shapeshifting into seductive human forms), and Tepest (where the goblins are the least of your worries compared to The Fair Folk and the hags).
  • Scion: The Dark Forest is the manifestation of the very idea of the Lost Woods, filled with secrets and monsters. Creatures of myth, such as the titular Scions, can visit it through one of the many mortal forests it connects to by becoming completely lost but keeping their destination in mind.
  • Summerland has this as a central motif — the world has been spontaneously covered by a supernatural forest called the Sea of Leaves, inhabited by sentient beasts, ghosts and spirits, eccentric hermits called the Lost, and savage Wild tribes, who have forgotten they were once human. Those last two were normal people, but had their personalities overwritten by the Charm Person effect the Sea has on normal people (the Lost are treatable, the Wild are not). You play as a Drifter, a person immune to the call... which is probably worse than being normal, since it requires having such overwhelming trauma in one's past that you can't deal with normal people.
  • Warhammer: Much of the Old World is covered by dark, vast forests full of mutants, Beastmen, Minotaurs, giant wolves, giant spiders and worse. The citizens of the Empire and Bretonnia are advised to stay well out of the woods, and with good reason — wander into a forest, even one just outside town, and eventually you're bound to run into Beastmen or a nest of goblins or a troll or worse. Not that only evil things dwell there, mind — many forests are also home to unicorns.
    • In general, the Empire consists almost entirely of unbroken primeval forest with incidental tracts of towns and farmlands here and there, connected by a spread-out network of roads winding through the wilderness, some entirely roofed by old-growth canopy for considerable stretches. Much of the Empire's land is consequently only nominally under its control, and the many Beastmen warherds and forest goblin tribes thriving in its depths are a serious problem. This is less an issue for Bretonnia, where most woodland is farmed and coppiced and true forests only exist in a few concentrated spots, but those are still dangerous, primal places — the Forest of Arden is home to dragons, orc and goblin tribes, various monsters and a legendary Beastman warlord; however, while the Forest of Châlons's eastern reaches are ruled by more greenskins, it's also home to the enchanted pool where the Lady of the Lake dwells.
    • The Wood Elves reside in Athel Loren, a magical forest filled with forest spirits, from cruel dryads and vicious fairies to mighty treemen and forest dragons. Magic is thick in Athel Loren, and time flows oddly — if the Wood Elves don't kill trespassers, then they'll likely end up getting lost in the forest for days and come out like it's been years. The forest is divided in several realms, many with their own temporal peculiarities and takes on the trope: Modryn’s forests are shrouded in eternal night, the woods of Atylwyth are always locked in winter, and it is always summer daytime in the glades of Arranoc. The forest itself is implied to be a Genius Loci, granted sapience by the extreme levels of magic that permeate it and aware of what goes on beneath its eaves.
    • Laurelorn Forest, within the Empire, is home to a secondary population of wood elves known as the Eonir. It's not an otherworldly Genius Loci like Athel Loren is, but it's nonetheless a vast primordial forest cut through by few roads or towns — the Eonir make sure of that — and travelers permitted to go through it will find a twilit wilderness where the canopy blocks out most of the sun's light, animals seem far more intelligent and aware than they should, strange noises issue from the forest's depths and arm-like branches beckon to follow them away from the path.
    • One of the realms of the High Elven homeland, Avelorn, is thickly covered in ancient forests and home to a variety of magical creatures such as unicorns, spirits and treemen much like those found in Athel Loren. It's also noted to be the most innately magical of the High Elves' kingdoms. While the presence of High Elven civilization and it being the homeland of the Evergueen make it a much more benevolent take on this trope than the setting's other examples, Avelorn's forests are not without their dangers — the magic saturating them is more than capable of making incautious travelers lose their way, and likewise serves as a magnet for the monsters of the mountains looming over it; Avelorn is more prone to monster attacks than any other elven realm.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • Badland is built around this. Complete with sparkles and rainbows during the day, and ominous glowing eyes at night.
  • 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.
  • In 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 you 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Darkest Dungeon: The Weald is a frequently dark forest with rotten wildlife and infested with mushrooms which are alive and can pilot corpses.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Darkwood takes place in a forest somewhere in Russia or Poland, home to Beast Men and infested with zombies.
  • Digimon World has the Misty Trees. Native Forest is really more of a Green Hill Zone or Ghibli Hills.
  • Donkey Kong: Vine Valley in Donkey Kong Country, Gloomy Gulch in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (which is also a Big Boo's Haunt), Kremwood Forest in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, and World 5 (Forest) in Donkey Kong Country Returns. Fungi Forest in Donkey Kong 64 downplays the trope — the theme is forests, but the stage has no forest-specific obstacles or hazards (except for those weird enemies that disguise themselves as mushrooms).
  • 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 Faerie Lea. The main character needs his children's help to navigate through the woods and find the way out.
  • Dragon's Crown has a Lost Woods called...the Lost Woods.
  • 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.
  • The Endless Forest: The entire game world is a boundless, enchanted forest dotted with ancient ruins, and home to magical deer.
  • Etrian Odyssey: Several strata are entirely this, which makes sense for a series where you're exploring the labyrinthine body of a World Tree:
    • The Emerald Grove in the original game and the remake Millennium Girl. It's 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).
    • The first four strata of Heroes of Lagaard and the remake The Fafnir Knight (each based on a season, thus carrying over a Seasonal Baggage), as well as the Bonus Dungeon:
      • 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).
    • Waterfall Wood and Porcelain Forest in The Drowned City. 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.
    • Lush Woodlands and Misty Ravine in Legends of the Titan (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).
    • Tutelary Forest and Untamed Garden in Beyond the Myth. 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 Preexisting 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 Black Shroud, with Gridania deep within. The Stormblood expansion adds the Rak'Tika Greatwood, a denser forest home to the Night's Blessed.
    • 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.
    • In 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Golden Sun has Kolima Forest, which has a Deku Tree style dungeon, and Mogall Forest.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A Hat in Time has the Subcon Forest, where you're immediately warned to stay on the path.
    The people here get... kind of crazy when they leave the path.
  • 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.
  • Jade Cocoon takes place entirely in Lost Woods. Then the Dark World counterparts of said forests.
  • 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.
    • In a cutscene-only example, Kairi and Lea spend most of the time during the events of III training in the Secret Forest, a perpetually-sunset woodland where time flows differently than it does in the other worlds.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! has the Dark Forest, home of a Wicked Witch.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 a Bonus Boss that can be fought if the party's levels are optimal to battle it.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night: The Ancient Grove is a deep, unexplored forest untouched by civilization, shrouded in constant gloom by the canopies of its towering trees and by an ever-present shroud of fog. It has no intelligent natives, although plenty of aggressive animals and animated plants roam its shadows. Spyro travels through it in search of a tree he saw in his dreams, although, once he finds it, the tree pulls itself from the ground and attacks.
  • 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: 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).
    • 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 has Faron Woods, which is very peaceful and serene until the dark forces of the Twilight Realm corrupt it. There's also 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. Last but not least, there's the Forest Temple, which is more organic than its Ocarina of Time counterpart.
    • 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). There's also the Forest Temple, which contains various rooms with toxic smoke that can only be cleaned with the Whirlwind.
    • 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.
    • In Hyrule Warriors, 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.
    • In Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity the version of the Lost Woods as seen in Breath of the Wild returns. 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.
  • 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.
  • Looney Tunes games:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Minecraft has the Roofed Forest biome, 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.
  • 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 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 in the fifth (Monster Hunter: World; the added caveat is that roughly half of it is 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Neopets contains a browser-based RPG called Neo Quest II, and the fourth act of that game 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.
  • Nihilumbra: The Living Forest, where you learn the color green, and where you first start finding some of the really risky Voidborn enemies.
  • 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 ([[spoiler:Jeane, who ends up killing the 1st Rank assassin) is fought in a Shifting Sand Land battlefield.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pikmin:
    • Pikmin: 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 peaks) 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.
  • 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.
  • Quest for Glory had three of these during its run.
    • The forest of Spielburg in Quest for Glory 1 was a rather gentle Arcadia to some extent, but there were 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.
    • In Quest for Glory 3, with its east-African setting, it was 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.
    • The forest of Mordavia in Quest for Glory 4 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.
    • Quest for Glory 2 had no forests, as it was set in and around a city in the desert. The role of the creepy forest was suitably filled by that creepy desert, as well as the city's own narrow alleyways (though they aren't very dangerous... usually).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • SCP – Containment Breach has given its own spin on SCP-860 after two years in development; a dark blue key leading to a blue-hued, foggy forest with distant sounds and wailing. Then there is its guardian watching over and ready to strike at you any time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Slender: The Arrival features Oakside Park, which changes layout each time you replay it.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In 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.
    • Green Forest and White Jungle in Sonic Adventure 2 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.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, there was a forest-themed level called Wood Zone that was removed late in development, though some fan mods of the game include it.
  • 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.
  • 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").
  • STALKER 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In the Mario Kart series, 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 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.
    • 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.
    • 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, an 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. There's also a magical spring there that will revitalize and renew whatever is dipped into it.
    • 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 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.
    • Wario Land:
    • Most of the second world in Super Mario World: Piranha Island 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • World of Mana: 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.
    • In 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.)
    • In 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.
  • 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.
    • Duskwood qualifies as well.
    • Northrend adds the Grizzly Hills and Howling Fjord.
    • 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.

    Web Comics 
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: The forest next to Dr. McNinja's office is haunted and filled with various undead horrors. He hates the place.
    Alt Text: Doctor McNinja was not informed about the ghosts when he bought the property.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Gillitie Wood is home to a great variety of nature spirits, fairies and talking animals, as well as the Glass-Eyed Men, and is ruled (so to speak) by Coyote the Trickster. It used to exist in harmony with the Court, but after the two societies parted ways on bad terms and Coyote created a deep ravine to separate them, the people of Gillitie Wood made a point of destroying every building and trace of civilization on their side of the divide.

    Web Original 
  • Brackenwood: The planet of Brackenwood is covered pole-to-pole by a deep, trackless forest, home to many strange, magical beings.
  • The Gamer's Alliance: The Land of the Living has had its share of ancient magical woods over the past ages. In the Third Age Survivor's Woods in Libaterra turned into a dark, magical forest when two rival Faerfolc settled into it and changed it to suit their needs while enthralling giant spiders, nymphs, treants and wisps to do their bidding. Another mysterious magical forest is Kitsune Mori in Yamato where the secretive shapeshifting foxes known as the kitsune dwell.
  • Marble Hornets: Rosswood Park fits the bill, complete with Alien Geometries, trees as far as the eye can see and an Eldritch Abomination from The Slender Man Mythos seemingly residing within.
  • Neopets has the Haunted Woods, a forest of mostly dead trees that mostly serves as the website's Halloweentown setting, being full of ghosts, vampires, werecreatures, and other classic halloween stuff. Post-Colony Drop, Faerieland hasbecome a more naturalistic example of this, becoming a more ordinary forest aside from the presence of the Faeries and their city.
  • Noka: The Tensian Forest north of Sterling is teeming with gates that periodically allow anything from simple steam to outright Eldritch Abominations into the normal world. Located in the forest is the guild HQ of Dire, who devote an entire division to patrolling the forest 24/7 for anything... terrifying. The only reason the guild seems to stay in the forest is for its beautiful scenery (along with the fact that the officers of guild possess the skill and strength to handle anything within the forest).
  • One Hundred Yard Stare: Macy might have wandered into this in episode five.
  • The Other Wiki has its own article on the subject of enchanted forests, discussing their use in folklore, chivalric romance and recent literature, as well as the sorts of things you are likely to find living in such forests.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-416, the "Infinite Woods". An intersection of six-dimensional space in our three-dimensional environment, any foot travel inside of it renders the traveler unable to leave by foot. The only way of safely extracting a person in it is via air-lift. GPS trackers on personnel who enter the woods show their objective rate of traversal falling off to zero the further they go into them, even if their subjective experience is that of maintaining a constant speed. The forest itself is rendered particularly surreal by the total absence of animal life and the fact that its flora is made up of plants with no business growing together, such as joshua trees, baobabs, wollemi pines and manchineels.
    • SCP-860 is a key that causes doors to open into a foggy and heavily forested Pocket Dimension. It's haunted by at least one Animalistic Abomination that does not like visitors and likes attempts to destroy the doors to and from the place even less. There also seem to be other anomalies about the place.
    • SCP-1660 is a decorative lamp that creates a portal to a forested Pocket Dimension containing several unique plant and animal species and surrounded by an impenetrable wall. One of the animal species is sapient and its members view the Foundation as guardian spirits for saving them from safarigoers brought there by Marshall, Carter, and Dark.
    • SCP-4000 is a Pocket Dimension forest inhabited by The Fair Folk, neither of which can be referred to by the same name more than once, as giving the place or its inhabitants a name gives them power over the visitor.
  • The Wanderer's Library: The Ravelwoods, described in detail in The Journal of Aframos Longjourney, are a textbook example. Technically a universe in their own right consisting of a seemingly endless enchanted forest containing every type of woodland imaginable, from the traditional temperate wood to frozen taiga to rainforest, their depths are home to an endless variety of strange creatures and full of magical sights and phenomena, from streams that run uphill to a mirage city always on the horizon to the appropriately named Swampsea.
  • Whateley Universe: The Grove near Whateley Academy. The spirits there will happily do favors for Fey, who's the reincarnation of an ancient Sidhe queen, and respect at least some of her friends, but the average human is still very much not welcome. Campus security has an eye on that forest and makes an effort to intercept people (including students) heading there without authorization for generally good reasons.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • For the Japanese, Aokigahara, sometimes called the Sea of Trees, is an incredibly dense and hard-to-navigate forest. It's also the second-most popular site for suicides. It has very few wild animals, though.
  • Canada:
    • Anywhere that counts as part of the Boreal Forest. A 10-minute drive out of your local Northern town, and you find yourself literally facing the same countryside that the first settlers had to deal with. Great for hiking and hunting. Can overlap with the Ghibli Hills, especially in summertime.
    • The Trans-Taiga Highway in Quebec is 362 miles of unpaved road through the taiga forests.
    • The country itself before the First Nations and the Europeans.
  • Most parts of eastern and northern Russia.
    • The taiga, a.k.a. the Other Green Lung of the Planet. There are thousands of kilometers of unpaved and badly-paved roads through the taiga forests, with settlements few and far between. And that's the settled area. Futher north, there are no roads, only directions. Evenkia and Western Yakutia, for example, have no permanent roads, only zimnik (seasonal roads that become available when mud freezes in winter). Sometimes, zimnik is endearingly called “Grandfather Frost’s asphalt” by the locals (Grandfather Frost being the local Santa).
    • While not as vast and sparsely populated as the East Siberian taiga, the Scandinavian and Russian taiga (which includes the central and northern parts of Sweden, Norway and Finland, and the northern part of Eastern European Russia) definitely counts.
  • The Black Forest in southern Germany. Supposedly named because the tree covering is thick enough in some areas to kill all light.
  • Finland. As the Russians found out, the inhabitants not only included more than one Savage Wolf, but also a more dangerous type of predator, though most of these woods have been rather tame industrial forest for nearly a century. Wood was Finland's main export followed by paper, until consumer electronics were invented. But in the dead of winter it doesn't make much difference.
  • Even in an area like the Blue Ridge Mountains, with civilization relatively close by, it's deceptively easy to get lost if you're dumb enough to start wandering off the trail.
  • The Amazon Rainforest. Go in without a guide (preferrably a native) and it's a fair guess you won't make it out.
  • The Red Forest, so called due to the staining of the trees by a caesium isotope during the Chernobyl disaster. It actually has a high incidence of mutation in its trees, leading to gigantism and albinism in the plants, leading to pretty surreal landscapes. Being hideously radioactive has ensured that exploration is few and far between. A surprising amount of wildlife can be found there thanks to the lack of human activity, including a large population of wild boars.
  • The south-western corner of Tasmania is still nearly uninhabited even today — and its World Heritage Zone listing bids fair to keep it that way. It's sufficiently densely forested and isolated that it's possible that thylacines still survive in it, and we'd never know...
  • A fair bit of southern New Jersey, with the exception of Atlantic City, is covered by the Pine Barrens (also called the Pinelands or the Pines), a large stretch of pine forest that has managed to remain such due to growing over sandy soil completely unfit for cultivation. Driving down the Pine Barrens roads at night can easily give you the impression that you're somewhere in Lovecraft Country. The pines have reclaimed several small towns. Wander through the wrong section of the barrens, and you might find bits and pieces of what used to be houses. The Barrens are also the supposed haunt of The Jersey Devil, but there's an impressive collection of other urban legends and ghost stories that's grown around the Pines, including a white stag that supposedly helps lost travelers and the Blue Hole, a (real) lake of clear blue water (despite all nearby lakes being muddy brown) supposed to both be bottomless and a favorite haunt of the Jersey Devil.
  • The Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York have large swathes of land like this. Keep in mind that the Adirondack Park is 9,375 square miles in area. Yes, there are towns, but don't stray too far off the beaten path unless you know exactly what you're doing. Cell phone reception is notoriously unreliable; population is thin on the ground; and the wildlife isn't exactly friendly. Trails through the forests and on the mountains are often little more than ill-marked old logging or herding trails. Getting lost in the Adirondacks is far more dangerous than one would think.
  • A whole lot of the surprisingly sparsely populated tropical African nations. Drive an hour away from any major city and you might as well have gone back to the stone age. Just miles of badly paved (if paved at all) hills, swamp, and jungle. And instead of wolves and bears, there are leopards, snakes, giant spiders, crocodiles, and forest elephants. Luckily, if you do come across a village (and are in one of the better countries) someone probably has a phone you can borrow.
  • Hawaii's Highway 137, which is utterly surrounded by deep jungle. Yes, that tiny, windy, one-way trail is officially a state highway.
  • Białowieża Forest on the Poland-Belarus border, one of the last old-growth fragments of the ancient temperate forests that covered most of Europe. Besides titanic oak trees, bears, wolves, lynxes, and wild horses returned in the past century, it is notable for its herds of European forest bison, who were reintroduced there after going extinct in the wild.
  • Most of Europe was like this once, with enormous oak and beech forests stretching unbroken from France to Russia along the northern plains, with similar woodlands covering much of England and the Po Valley of northern Italy. Although these forests had receded somewhat by Roman and medieval times, they still remained large, common and very wild. The most famous example would be perhaps the Hercynian Forest of ancient Germany, which stretched east from the Rhine until... somewhere in Eastern Europe, and was home to wild Celtic and Germanic tribes, aurochs, forest bison, bears, wolves, and, according to Roman historians, Unicorns, elk whose knees did not bend, and birds with feathers that shone like fire.
    Sadly, very little of this wilderness survived medieval times, with most being cut down for coal and livable land. Today, only small and isolated fragments endure, such as the Black Forest, the forests of the Ardennes, and the aforementioned Białowieża.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Lost Woods


Vine Valley

Vine Valley is the third world in Donkey Kong Country, located after Monkey Mines. It is a large pine forest area of Donkey Kong Island featuring several forest areas, a treetop village, and a temple ruins. In the center of the world, there is a large bay connected to the ocean. The boss of this area is Queen B. From the world map, Vine Valley appears to take place during sunset.

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Example of:

Main / TheLostWoods

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