Advancing Wall of Doom

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A typical Wall of Doom. Note the related Spikes of Doom with which it is adorned.

A rather frustrating form of That One Level in which the player must make rapid progress to outrun a giant threat. The threat in question can be anything from rising water levels, to giant robots, or, as the name implies, a slowly advancing giant wall lined with all manner of painful things. Other times, there isn't even a visible threat, and the screen simply scrolls on its own. Sometimes going off the screen or contacting the Advancing Wall of Doom means instant death, at other times, it simply pushes the player forward,over a cliff,or just squishing them to death if necessary.

See also: Rise to the Challenge, The Walls Are Closing In, Descending Ceiling, Indy Escape and Advancing Boss of Doom for specific types of this. When the screen itself forces you to keep moving and anchors the camera to the wall, it's a Auto-Scrolling Level. Also compare Escape Sequence and Deadly Walls.

Non-video game examples


  • In a video made by the Department of Homeland Security about declaring any fruits, vegetables, and meats you bring when entering the U.S., an anthropomorphic dog has a nightmare where he sneaks home with his fruits & veggies, opens up the bag, and finds bugs crawling all over. These bugs then turn into an advancing wall of doom made of flies, chasing everyone out of town.

Anime and Manga

  • Towards the end of the Impel Down arc in One Piece, Chief Warden Magellan upgrades to Advancing Wall of Doom. Previously, the heroes were running from him while occasionally taking potshots to slow him down. Once he loses his temper, he unleashes a poison so deadly it spreads along walls, floors, wax, etc. and dissolves everything it touches in a horrible Grey Goo scenario, and immediate escape becomes priority.

Comic Books


  • The death machine from Caligula.
  • Labyrinth had one too. It was apparently called "The Cleaners."
    • Which turned out to be a couple of goblins on a bike with a giant drill attached to the front.
  • Curse of the Golden Flower
  • The Conductor from Hellraiser, not to be confused with the Conductor from The Hellbound Heart.
  • TRON has the Derezzing Wall of Doom that Flynn and Yori must escape from while being trapped on board Sark's Carrier.
  • Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Chewbacca found themselves trapped between TWO Advancing Walls of Doom in Star Wars when they ended up in the Death Star's trash compactor. Fortunately for our heroes, R2-D2 was able to save them.


  • The final trap in Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum.
  • The wall of fire that Katniss must escape in the arena in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games
  • The Darke Domaine in Septimus Heap, once you're caught in it, you can't escape anymore.

Live-Action TV

  • The episode "Starship Mine" of Star Trek: The Next Generation has the Enterprise in spacedock for routine cleaning by an energy ray that must sweep from stern to prow of the temporarily unpopulated ship over the next few hours. Needless to say, its nature as a very effective Advancing Wall of Doom becomes obvious when Picard is trapped aboard while playing cat and mouse with a group of arms smugglers.
    • Also near the end of "Remember Me", where Dr. Crusher has to escape the steadily collapsing bubble reality she is trapped in.
  • Sometimes the dungeon in Knightmare featured this.
  • The Japanese Game Show Dasshutsu Game DERO has a game where a team of players are placed at the end of a corridor with an animatronic stone statue of a Chain Chomp Expy that slowly advances on them from behind, a giant button on the opposite end, and three panels blocking their path, one every 5 meters from the start. They have to solve word puzzles to make the panels move aside, in order to reach the button and hit it to win money. If the stone monster catches them, they fail and leave empty-handed.

Action Adventure

  • The Castlevania series has more than a few of these.
    • First, in Castlevania Bloodlines, there's one going down to keep up with draining water. No idea why, since there's no huge drop to kill you (unless you go too fast and discover your Super Drowning Skills). That's not the only one in the game, by the way; pretty much the entire second level features one.
    • Castlevania III has several as well, including one 'rising water' stage, a few auto-scrolling stages towers (one up, one down), and one where the auto-scrolling occurs in noisy "jumps."
    • Castlevania: The Adventure had a level that was MADE of this trope. Stage 3, Death Fair, featured a corridor where you had to destroy giant screws to keep the spiked ceiling from crushing you, a tower up which you had to slowly climb via ropes while being chased by a spiked floor, and finally another corridor where you had to outrun a spiked wall while killing enemies and balancing over bottomless pits. A Scrappy Level if there ever was one.
    • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood has the Behemoth chase you through part of Stage 2. The scenario gets repeated in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (which is not only the direct storyline sequel to Castlevania Bloodlines - quite a nice bit of irony there - but also a Metroidvania game.)
  • Kid Chameleon: The "Hills of the Warrior" level (pictured above). Especially bad because the giant wall of doom seems to have fairly strong Rubber Band AI.
    • Also a "feature" in two other levels. One is a series of timed block puzzles, and the other gives you a rather unwieldy tank to try (and fail) at navigating the level with.
    • A Scrappy Level late in the game has an Advancing Wall of Doom that ends with a choice between top route and bottom route. If you pick the wrong one, "too bad!", there's a big wall, forcing you to die and start the level from the beginning.
    • The difficulty spike represented by these levels (especially Hills of the Warrior, which was the first AWOD level, and Bloody Swamp, which was just plain goddamn sadistic), coupled with their music, can push them very close to the border of horror territory. Have a listen to this and tell me you wouldn't be soiling yourself if you were fleeing a +9000 Wall of Meat Grinding to the tune of this little number.
  • Viy in La-Mulana rises up from the bottom of the screen and has you continuously climbing up the endless chamber.
  • The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time LOVES this. The Fire Temple has an advancing wall of fire, and the only way to escape it is to attempt a jump to a ledge that appears to be too far away to be grabbed, and Link does it. He's Just That Good.
    • Then there's the room in the Shadow Temple with two spiked walls that want to crush you.
    • Twilight Princess has a puzzle variation, where you have to move blocks to get the height to leap off a ledge before a wall of flame reaches you.
  • There's also one or two death traps like this in Nightshade, a game that spoofed 30s supernatural noir.
  • In Taito's Rainbow Islands the player must keep above the rising water of Doom.
  • Tron 2.0 also did this in one level, where you had to flee a "Reformat Wall", and got obliterated if it touched you.

Action Games

  • God of War has these a few times; the first two (one each in GoW1 and 2) are defeated by killing off the horde of Mooks that spawns on top of you, while the second is actually a time-based puzzle where you have to open a door.
  • Gunstar Super Heroes has the File Crasher. If you get caught by it, it, um... erases your file. Actually, it only claims it will erase your save file, and even then only in the original Japanese version.
  • Inspector Gadget: Operation Madkactus had quickly rising water in World 2-2, which invoked Super Drowning Skills. In the final mission, the wall of doom was the vehicle. There were also a Scrappy Mechanic that made jumps more annoying.
  • Justified in any Indiana Jones game involving the boulder scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Justified as in it was in the movie, so why leave it out of the game?
    • The same goes for outrunning the water flooding the mineshaft in the second movie.
  • Spider-Man/X-Men for the Super Nintendo had, in Gambit's first level, a gigantic spikey ball of doom, slowly crushing everything in his path.
  • One of the later levels of Strider has a particularly frustrating one; if you lag at all, you won't have time to come out without being crushed.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars (a game that came out with the movie and featured mostly vehicle combat), there is a level where the player has to outrun the purple wave of death created by the Sith Harvester (ball shaped thing that absorbs the force from living things and stores it or some such thing).
  • In the PC version of The Fairly OddParents: Breakin' Da Rules!, one level has Timmy travel to the past and meet the younger-aged version of Vicky and Tootie's mom (named Nicky here), who romantically pursues him though the stage. The fact that she's the future mother of his nemesis and his Stalker with a Crush is one reason to keep away from her (the other being that you have to start the level over if she catches you).

Beat'Em Ups

Fighting Games

  • The Pig King Statue in Lucas' first stage of The Subspace Emissary. Until Ness one-shots it with PK Flash.
    • The Norfair stage in the same game has advancing walls of lava; two move toward the center of the stage from either the left or right side (though they don't go any further and move back after a while), while the third start from behind the stage and move towards it. Only a few characters can effectively jump over it, so a small safe room appears to assist those who can't. Getting hit by any of them is not a good thing.
    • One of the Metroid stages in Melee also has a giant advancing wall of lava that comes in to cover over half the stage...
    • The worst one involves not only a scrolling screen, but randomly moving cars that you have to jump between on the "Big Blue" track.
  • There's one of these in the Star Wars stage in Soul Calibur IV, but it never comes close to actually crushing you.

First-Person Shooter

  • In the first mission of Call of Duty 4, the ship you are raiding is hit by enemy aircraft and begins to sink. You must run behind your teammates all the way to the helicopter. If you lag behind just a little, you'll be "killed" and forced to retry the mission. It's made even worse by the fact that the ship begins to list heavily to one side, so you're actually running diagonally. And in the end, you need to jump over the side of the ship to reach the helicopter. Since this is very early in the game, you probably haven't gotten used to the correct "JUMP" button yet, so expect to die on the first try. In fact, the "Have a Nice Death" message actually says that "No one makes the first jump".
  • In Condemned 2, you have to outrun a rabid bear through a deserted hunting lodge. And when you finally do get a chance to kill it, it's in a One Buwwet Weft situation.
  • F3AR features a cooperative Advancing Wall of Doom mode, appropriately entitled F**king Run!, in which a massive black cloud rushes at you throughout the level. Naturally, getting caught in this cloud is instantly fatal.
  • A few custom Doom levels give the same effect as an AWOD by having the player chased through a maze of Insurmountable Waist Height Fences by either Exploding Barrels or revenants' homing missiles.
  • Half-Life 2 has the advancing wall of the Citadel at the end of the level Nova Prospekt, which crushes you against a non-moving wall unless you can quickly find a small opening through which you escape in the latter wall.


  • In the MMORPG Maple Story, there is a particularly annoying area where you have to navigate through a maze of platforms while keeping well out of the area of a moving pillar that logically shouldn't kill you with one touch. But it does.

Party Games

  • Some minigames in Mario Party use the collapsing-track version. They're races, and getting caught in the wall means you probably lost regardless.

Platform Games

  • Aladdin and Aladdin each had a level in which Aladdin uses the Flying Carpet to escape the enormous wall of lava that is consuming the Cave of Wonders.
  • Towards the end of the Sega Genesis version of Animaniacs, the entire level begins to disintegrate behind you after you open a door at the beginning, forcing you to run for your life. One mistake in this part of the game spells curtains for the Warner siblings.
  • In Blade Kitten, Kit has to outrun an Advancing Kaiju of Doom called Acland at the halfway mark. Every so often, she has to stop and wait for it to smash through the floors so that she can proceed. If she is hit by the monster's large claws during the fixed-scrolling portions, it's usually instant death.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day has a rising water level. Although you can swim, the water rises toward exposed high-voltage wires you have to sever to prevent electrocution. Apparently water touching the now-bare but still-live terminals doesn't shock you.
  • The first Crash Bandicoot game had levels where you have to run from a giant boulder. The worst part being that you're running towards the camera, making obstacle dodging and box collecting very much a process of Trial And Error.
    • These levels even carried over to other games of the series, where you run away from such things as giant polarbears, dinosaurs and tsunamis.
      • And a walrus.
  • Decap Attack features this in Stage 3-1 with a kind of weird totem pole thing which kills Chuck in a single hit. It can be surprisingly hard to escape from at times.
  • This is Dino Run's entire concept. It manages to still be fun because:
    1. You can get caught up in the doom wall and still escape with your life, and in fact can get bonuses for doing so, and
    2. The 'Pyroclastic Wall of Doom' is really, really cool looking.
  • Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter has one in the aptly named Volcanic Eruption (Wilfre's Wasteland). Aptly named because the Advancing Wall of Doom is made of lava.
  • In Dynamite Headdy, the "Twin Freaks" boss is an insane AWOD. The screen scrolls at a set speed, but the boss doesn't. On top of this, hitting various switches needed to make progress makes him faster and invincible.
  • Eversion features two, the latter apparently made of blood.
    • It's actually the avatar of Yog-Sothoth.
  • Donkey Kong Country has levels set in an ancient temple, where large spinning stone wheels will chase you.
  • Flashback has one of these, with insta-kill pits to jump over and a floating orb that will knock you flat if it gets in melee range. And you have to destroy it to roll into the end of the level. And it's a Timed Mission.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy has a segment where you have to outrun a big wall of spikes that originally starts off as just another expanse of spikes that just flips up once you've jumped over it and starts chasing you. And you have to wall jump and dodge flying apples giant cherries Delicious Fruit the entire way.
  • Jak II plays homage to its Crash Bandicoot roots in one scene where you flee a giant boulder through an underground tomb playing as Daxter. The boulder is revealed to be a giant spider egg.
    • A similarly hairy chase sequence occurs towards the end of the game where you must run from a giant centipede - this time away from the camera rather than towards it.
  • Jurassic Park Rampage Edition has a flood variation of this trope in the cargo ship level.
  • From the Kirby series:
    • Kirby Super Star used this, much to the annoyance of some younger players. Particularly notable in the Great Cave Offensive, where one of them is hidden in a room that immediately scrolls extremely fast past the treasure and the door, showing a flaming skull on the wall to the right.
    • Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards also did this on one level of Rock Star. There was also a segment of the factory stage in Shiver Star involving electric moving walls.
    • Kirbys Epic Yarn also had giant angler fish chase you.
    • The alternate dimensions in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, made worse by obstacles blocking your path that required a Super Inhale.
      • Not as bad in Return to Dreamland in that the wall of doom moves SO slowly, and that after using a super inhale, you can spit the resulting star at the wall of doom to beat it back.
  • In The Lion King, the Elephant Graveyard level had a rising geyser of doom.
  • LittleBigPlanet has the Skulldozer, a giant skeletal machine designed to destroy everything in its path. Oh, and it emits an infinite supply of Horrible Gas that dissolves player characters. Not too long afterwards, you are sent running from a giant flaming boulder.
  • Marble Madness implemented this wall in two player games, and only advances it when the players go through the track. If one player moved quickly enough and the second player lagged behind, the slow player is teleported forward and loses 5 seconds.
  • There are also two auto-scrolling segments in Dr. Cossack Stage 3 in Mega Man 4.
  • Metal Storm for the NES has one of these in level 5, but it's so slow that it'll only catch you if you're deliberately waiting.
  • Psychonauts has two: First takes place in an air-bubble at a bottom of a lake, and there's also a rising water level in the Meat Circus level. (shudder)
  • Rocket Knight Adventures has a few of them:
    • A sort of a maze/descending ceiling hybrid in the middle of Stage 5. This gets extra tough when you consider that rocketing around, your primary means of moving fast, has ricochet. Very easy to bounce yourself right back under the crusher...
    • The fifth boss has Axle Gear coming after you in a giant robot. However, this level redeems itself from being a total Scrappy Level because you get your OWN giant robot at the end of it, making it one of the few Advancing Wall of Doom levels where you get to fight back, in rock'em-sock'em style even!
  • In Rosenkreuzstilette, you have the Cross Wall, which will move menacingly towards you. Like the example above and the Mecha Dragon from Mega Man 2, you get to destroy it once you get to a certain area.
  • The Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog games had a few.
    • In the first game, Act 2 of Marble Zone has lava that starts flowing from left to right when you get to its level, if not before. It's only one narrow, if longish, passage before you can jump up to a high open area, but for the length of that passage, there's an Advancing Wall of Doom—and if you're not careful, it'll advance almost as fast as you do.
    • In Angel Island Zone, Act 2 of Sonic 3, there's a portion before the Boss Battle where the screen starts scrolling to the right, then Robotnik's airship starts dropping bombs at you. If you let off the speed for a second, you'll drift too far left and get hit. All you have to do is hold right for 20 seconds.
    • On the other hand, the advancing brick wall in the very next level—the beginning of Act 2 of Hydrocity Zone—was pretty darn nerve-wracking.
    • Then there's the section in Marble Garden Zone where an earthquake starts bringing the land and the ceiling together and you have run like hell before your escape window is closed and you're crushed between the two.
    • In Sonic and Knuckles, in between the two Boss Battles in Flying Battery Zone, Act 2, you have to run through the collapsing airship quickly, otherwise you'll be crushed between it and the single wall and floor that remain airborne.
    • Then in the next level, Act 2 of Sandopolis Zone had several areas where throwing a switch would cause sand to pour from the ceiling, and the sand would form a floor rising from below. With the winding passageways of the level, you could easily get crushed between the sand and the ceiling if you dawdled.
    • Yet again, the Death Egg Zone Final Boss isn't really an Advancing Wall of Doom, but sorta becomes one if you die on your first try (there's no place to get rings on subsequent attempts). He pretty easy though, it's the run afterward thats tough as you have to stay ahead of a collapsing platform and hit the fleeing Robotnik at the same time.
    • And then there's the pachinko-themed bonus levels, in which you collect powerups while outrunning a glowing double helix that crawls steadily upward.
    • Sonic CD's Stardust Speedway Act 3. You are racing against Metal Sonic and Dr. Robotnik/Eggman is chasing after the two of you in his pod shooting lasers of death out from the bottom. If you touch it, you die. If you beat Metal Sonic, it slams against the locked door and then Robotnik flies at the door, blasting the mech to pieces.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 contains infamous mach speed (mock speed) levels where Sonic was forced to run forward regardless of what happened to him, including if he died. If hit, he reacted by what appeared to be break dancing while still barreling forward at insane speeds. It has to be seen to be believed.
    • Sonic Heroes features a section where you have to climb out of a vat of "energy" (lava) that's rising up below you in Power Plant. It's more difficult if you're playing Team Dark.
      • In the Ocean Palace level (the first level), there's a section where you run from one...then two...then three gigantic, ornately carved stone wheels. Apparently created and placed there for no reason other than to harass anyone who should happen upon that particular hill.
    • The Master System Sonic The Hedgehog had a version during Jungle Zone Act 2. Most of the level is a vertical climb. The camera followed you up the level, but not downwards. If you fell and hit the bottom of the screen during that section it was instant death time. The near identical Game Gear version didn't have this, I'd guess because it would've made the level stupidly hard with the Game Gear's lower resolution.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 gives us Mad Gear Zone Act 3: Impending Doom, featuring an Advancing Wall Of Horrible Whirling Death accompanied by Red Alert lights and sirens.
      • Lost Labyrinth Act 3 also has a wall of doom, but it's much shorter.
    • The last level of Sonic Colors, Terminal Velocity. Act 1 requires dashing along the space elevator's girders while avoiding fleeing robots that pursue you from behind. Act 3 is a straighter example; Sonic must outrun the black hole that is consuming the space station. It gets him anyway, but the Wisps save him at the last minute, ala Super Mario Galaxy's ending.
    • This is the entire premise of the SegaSonic the Hedgehog arcade game. One of these is always after you, be it lava, ice stalactites, tornadoes, or gears.
  • Stargirl and the Thief from the Exploded Moon has two. The second makes is much more annoying, since it randomly stops the scrolling for one of its attacks, either causing you to either miss a planned jump or throw the bomb just short of its hitbox.
  • Yoshi's Island:
  • Super Mario Galaxy continues the trend, with two of the of the missions in the Dusty Dune Galaxy including a rising floor of sand trying to crush the player against the roof, and a later mission involving a whole mountain sinking into lava (at 3:25).
  • New Super Mario Bros. has Mega Unagi.
    • The Wii game has such a wall of doom in the first level of world 8, with a giant wall of smoke/fire coming from behind Mario. Oddly enough, it's actually too slow for a whole lot of people to notice its existence.
      • It's actually a Pyroclastic Flow, which are known in real life to vaporize anything not-burned that gets engulfed in them. It's a bit of realism that touching it is an instant death. Major props to Nintendo for making a creative and somewhat realistic Advancing Wall of Doom.
  • Super Metroid had some rising lava pits. They didn't kill you right off, but they did sap your health.
    • It also had a living Wall of Doom as a boss. Crocomire's attacks aren't particularly dangerous, but he will gain ground on you if you aren't fast enough at feeding him missiles. If he advances far enough to crush you against the wall of spikes at the end of the room, you're finished.
  • Taz: Escape From Mars has the Moleworld drilling machine.
  • The Tomb Raider series is chock full of spiked walls/ceilings that are too eager to impale and crush Lara. A secret room in the first level of 3 is guarded by such a spiked wall of doom.
  • Trine includes a variation on the rising water version, with rapidly rising lava instead.
  • An extremely annoying version can be seen in this VIP Mario 4 video by Raocow in the Temple of Homing level, where the entire second half the level is trying desperately to outrun a homing missile at top speed, including flight.
  • The indie game VVVVVV has this in two areas with spikes, and it has a catch; you can't go too fast than the screen, or spikes get you. Of course, like other examples, you can't go too slow either.
  • The first Wario Land uses an advancing wall of lava (which stays straight vertical the entire time, oddly) for the first in the volcanic stages.
  • X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse opted for the pursuing wall of lava approach, first horizontally, then vertically. Made even nastier by random walls dropping into your path that had to be destroyed. This, in turn, made the section nearly impossible for some characters (while others, such as Wolverine, could plow through with relative ease)
  • Taken to its logical conclusion with a giant 30 foot high Mario that destroys everything in its path in this video of the aptly named The Mario by raocow.
  • The Legendary Starfy (the localized one) featured a series of stages in which fire chased our five-armed hero upwards. Touching it meant losing a heart and restarting that bit of the stage.
  • Rayman 2 features three walls of doom. One is in the cave of nightmares, where the monster pursues you down a slide - hit too many obstacles and it catches up, which means you have to start over. The other two are the cliff levels where the brittle bridges you hurry along break down as they are shot at.
    • The first game has an interesting variation, which can't really be explained very well verbally. See here, about 2:25 in.
    • Rayman Origins requires the protagonist/s to outrun an advancing wall of evil red fish in one of the swimming levels.
  • In the Titus game Prehistorik 2, one level has you platforming your way down a giant hollow tree. The screen steadily goes down and if you go completely off the top, or fall to the bottom before another platform appears, you die.
  • The Flash game Discount Mayonnaise (yes, really) uses a Sand Worm.

Puzzle Games

  • In Braid, the character (Tim) has to outrun a flaming wall of doom in one of the final worlds of the game.
    • Even weirder, (bigger spoiler) since the whole level is actually playing in reverse of what "really" happened, the wall is actually The Future receding into the past. Cross the barrier between present and future and you enter the oblivion of what hasn't happened yet.
  • Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure has a monster fish that chases you in one of the mid-game stages.

Real Time Strategy

  • A rare RTS example: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty has the Supernova mission, where you need to build up your force and get the artifact before the supernova torches the planet with advancing firewall of doom.


  • In Baroque one of the enemies that you face is Bubugel, a meta-being who has is literally a WALL WITH A FACE ON IT. Bubugel will rapidly close off the hallway leading to the next portal and turn it's back to you, making you think that it is a dead end. If that wasn't enough, his attacks involve rushing at you and...screaming.

Role-Playing Games

  • Exile and Avernum use Quickfire for a similar effect. Every time you take a turn in combat mode, or move one square outside combat, it enlarges one square in every direction that isn't blocked by walls. Once it's unleashed, you need to either get on the other side of a door (proper or hidden), or get out of the area ASAP. That said, you can survive it in the short term, as it does damage rather than killing immediately.
    • One square? Try three to your one. That's why you can't merely pace the stuff. Unless I'm recalling it wrongly?
      • In the Test of Speed, the solution is to enter combat mode, where you get about six steps to its three. Made a little harder by the goblins you have to fight in the tunnels.
  • Final Fantasy IV manages to get one into a turn-based RPG—the Demon Wall. If you don't beat it before it gets halfway across the screen, it starts using its Crush attack, which is instant death.
    • Final Fantasy XII brings back Demon Walls twice in the same area. The first one is near impossible to kill unless you do some serious level grinding, or come back later in the game (or you spam Quickenings or Reflected magick). The 2nd Demon Wall in the next room is much easier to beat and is required to kill to advance the plot. Both Demon Walls keep moving forward and if they press you against the door, it's an instant Game Over. The 2nd Demon Wall has a lot more space to work with than the first one and if you touch a correct flame during the fight, you can slow it down for a bit. Touching the wrong one will speed up the enemy's movement. It should also be noted that speeding up the game's battle system through the options menu does not speed up either wall's advancement.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has the same thing too, a giant demon wall that pushes the player units forward, eventually past the edge of the map (where units are promptly KO'd). Thankfully the wall has ridiculously low health and is easily dispatched.
      • Or you can avoid the wall altogether by equipping the Fairy Shoes, which lets you teleport instead of walk, thus you can attack the wall from behind and it can't move backwards.
        • It has a spell called Telega which teleports the target in front of the wall (and inflict Immobilize).
    • Final Fantasy X-2 has an irritating subversion in one area. The Advancing Wall of Doom is easily avoided, but you have to let it hit you to progress. Not because of anything special about the wall—it just cues a cutscene which lets the characters make a jump impossible in actual gameplay.
    • One word: Tonberries.
  • The mining equipment in Armored Armadillo's stage in Mega Man X can be destroyed with concentrated firepower.
    • The same cannot be said of the advancing wall of magma in Area K of Mega Man ZX.
  • In Secret of Mana, there's a particular boss that you have to fight, whilst trapped in a room, that's a wall that slowly pushes you towards a pit of spikes on the other side of the room. Not defeating it in time means game over.
  • Valkyria Chronicles features a mission where Squad 7 must divert the Marmota, the Imperials' battleship-sized tank into a detour. At the end of each turn, the Marmota would advance downwards on the map, decimating anything it ran over. If any of Squad 7 is unfortunate enough to be caught underneath the Marmota, they were not only instantly incapacitated, but instantly killed with no chance of a medic rescue.
  • In The Reconstruction, the Tatzylvurm has powerful "Ceiling Drop" attack which starts out at the backmost row but increases its area of effect by one column every time it's used.
    • The Cryomancer has an attack that is nearly identical, though it also freezes the squares it affects.

Shoot'Em Ups

  • Abuse had a mining drill/bulldozer machine that tried to run you over. You could destroy it, but it had a ton of health.
  • At least two stages in the various Metal Slug games feature a variant of this as Boss Battles. You have to not only stay ahead/above the screen filling menace but avoid its attacks and shoot back.

Stealth Based Games

  • In the original Metal Gear game for the MSX 2, The player had to destroy a bulldozer in a small corridor that would advance towards them pretty quickly. If it touched them they would instantly die. However, the player could leave the room into the previous one if they failed to get a sufficient amount of hits in on time, but this would restore all of the bulldozer's health.

Survival Horror

  • Alone in the Dark 08 has an advancing road of doom in the first major driving scene.
  • Resident Evil 4 had an advancing drill down a narrow castle corridor. Of course, it made no sense to have it in the castle anyway.
    • Later on, there's an Advancing Giant Statue of The Dragon; you're expecting it to make sense?!
    • Anyone who plays this should immediately recall the boulder.
    • The remake of Resident Evil 1 had an advancing statue-with-a-spinning blade of doom in one of its puzzles.
  • In Silent Hill 2, Pyramid Head acts as one of these in the alternate hospital basement. If he hits Maria too many times before you reach the elevator(or if Maria takes too many hits at any time), it's Nonstandard Game Over. Do not use ampoules during this sequence, as Maria then can't keep up with James. However, it turns out to be a Shoot the Shaggy Dog in the end, as Maria is given a Plotline Death.
  • Silent Hill 3 has an harmless amusement park 'haunted house' with rather cheesy narration... until the exit, where a mysterious red light starts chasing you out of the building. If it overtakes you, it's instant death. (Made worse by a sudden perspective shift partway through that can leave you running the wrong direction.)
    • There's a pseudo-example earlier in the same house. The ceiling comes down on you but stops at the very last second. The narrator apologizes: It wasn't supposed to stop.
      • Not quite pseudo, actually. If you don't hold the Aim button to make Heather lower her stance while walking through that area, her head will be high enough for the spikes to reach, killing her instantly.
  • In endgame of Silent Hill 4, your Damsel in Distress is compelled to shuffle into a whirling deathtrap while you fight the final villain. Defeating him before her doom is the only way to get a pleasant ending.
  • Alan Wake has one level where you have to outrun the darkness (sorry, The Darkness, it's a personification) across a dam as it rips up things around you. Why it (sorry, It) doesn't just destroy the dam ahead of you is not adequately explained.
  • Fear3's new co-op mode, aptly titled [F$%^ING RUN!!!] is a 4-player survival shooter game where you have to barge deep into enemy territory to escape an encroaching wall of smoke and screaming faces. The designers wanted to create a unique, horror-based multiplayer shooter that fit with F3ar's horror-based gameplay... and it is awesome.
  • The second Hysteria Project game has a moment where you're trying to enter a code on a keypad, while the ax murderer that has been stalking you throughout the series is advancing upon you. If you don't get the code typed out in time... It ain't pretty.
  • In Call of Cthulhu (tabletop game): Dark Corners of the Earth, you must at one point escape an enraged shoggoth that fills the entire corridor behind you, shutting down bulkheads to slow its advance. Turning to see what it even looks like means almost certain death, but few people can resist the first time around.

Third-Person Shooter

  • Gears of War 2 is full of these in the level "Intestinal Fortitude," which is set inside the Riftworm. The Gears are trying to find a way out and to kill The Dragon's giant pet. At one point they have to avoid a "Debris Wall" or get crushed. Later in the level, while chainsawing the Riftworm's cardiovascular arteries (or whatever they are), you have to do it quickly and then escape the room before the rising water actually blood drowns you.

Turn-Based Strategy

  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin had a map where you had to get at least one allied (uncontrollable) unit to an allied city which was on the other side of two Laser Walls. Behind you follows a whole army, who can deploy new units (you can't) and outnumbers you from the start. Your strongest unit is uncontrollable and works as a temporary wall (until it's destroyed).

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Inverted in a Couch Gag on The Simpsons in which the entire back wall and couch of their living room moves away from the family, who chase after it.
  • Played horrifically straight in, of all things, Pink Floyd: The Wall, during the animated sequence for "Empty Spaces/What Shall We Do Now?" In the sequence, a wall of personal possessions (cars, stereos, TVs, etc.) turns into a wall of buildings, which turns into the titular white brick wall. The Wall moves across the land at frightening speed, turning flowers into barbed-wire, and babies into skinhead goons. It even plows its way through a church, transforming it into a neon-lit casino that spews neon bricks.
  • Blurr from Transformers Animated is trapped by a pair of these and crushed into a cube. On-screen.
  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Once And Future Thing, Part II", a destructive temporal wave is seen approaching Earth due to Lord Chronos' tampering with history, causing so many changes in history that time itself has become fluid.

Real Life

  • In the Tour De France (and any other lenghty bike race) there's the peloton, the main body of riders, gradually creeping up on any group of riders who dare to try for a breakout. Since being inside the peloton means you have an easier time due to reduced wind resistance and teamwork, attackers need to spend considerable energy to stay ahead. Especially near the end of a race when attackers get tired they tend to get overtaken by the giant, slowly approaching wall of riders.
  • Huge swarms of army ants.
  • A large tornado.
  • Tidal waves.