Boss Corridor

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A very common subtrope of Foreboding Architecture, in which a Boss Room or other especially challenging room is preceded by a perfectly straight empty corridor. This dead space serves as a pacing device to build anticipation for the upcoming challenge, and to physically separate it from the stage proper. It may also double as a checkpoint, Save Point or provide free Healing Potions.

Examples of Boss Corridor include:

  • A staple of the Mega Man series — though the first game's corridors had several enemies and traps in them.
  • These show up often in Metroid games.
  • One of these corridors precedes each of the world-end bosses in the New Super Mario Bros.. games, and each of the Boom-Boom fights in Super Mario Bros 3.
  • Borderlands has one of these before the Boss Fight with Sledge.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door feature these in the final dungeon - one before the last boss, and one before Gloomtail (which later transforms into a heavily defended staircase to the lower levels).
  • Happens in Fatal Frame. What's worse is that there's a bend in the middle of the corridor, and anything could be lurking behind there.
    • Gets really irritating in the second game, where the Boss Corridor is absurdly long. If you lose, you have go through the tunnel all over again.
  • The Elite Four battles in Pokémon are often segued with staircases to the next zone in between. The one between the last Elite Four member and the Champion is always longer.
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope has before the final boss a long corridor, staircase and a single landing before another staircase, which includes giant torches at the sides lighting as the player walks forward.
  • Used throughout all of the No More Heroes games. The hallways usually have a full battery and health container (and a wrestling mask in the original game) as well as a convenient save point to help prepare for the upcoming battle. Played more straight in the first game, as there are long corridors that lead up to the fight, as opposed to the shorter boss corridors in Desperate Struggle.
  • Ocarina of Time has some, such as the one before the spirit temple boss and the stairs in the final dungeon.
  • Portal. Oddly enough, even some FPS games do this too. The room right before GLaDOS is a long hallway, where some ominous ambiance and music is heard just before you pass through the particle barrier leading into her room.
  • Purple has a corridor for each boss, between the ominous gate and boss chamber, and with boss mugshot right before the chamber to boot.
  • The obscure SNES game Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban has a strange example: you can get to the boss stage on the level map without completing the other stages that are there, but in doing so you'll have to fight the bosses of the stages you skipped before the level boss. However, if you complete all the stages, the boss stage will become just an empty corridor leading to your enemy.
  • In all story modes of Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, the Point of No Return leading to the Final Boss is marked by a long, narrow, jagged-walled corridor. It is one of the most foreboding things in the entire series to date.
  • A miniboss corridor appears in Bug!! for the only Mini Boss in the game. Funnily, at the start of the corridor, you see a sign stating "Beware! Giant Ants!", and then you face off against three tiny ants that run away from you. Until you reach the end, confirming the sign's statement.
  • Castlevania games frequently have one before Dracula (or whoever is in the throne room), often to collect more hearts and whatnot. Rondo of Blood has one for every boss, complete with its own music.
  • The first Fallout game has the "Corridor Of Revulsion [dead link]" before the Master's room, covered in living flesh. It actually serves a purpose: you get Mind Raped by the Master's Psychic Powers here unless you have the Psychic Nullifier item or the Mental Block perk. Once the fight actually begins, the corridor spawns reinforcements for the Master.
  • id/Raven FPS games have a few examples:
    • Doom levels E1M8, "Phobos Anomaly", and E3M8, "Dis", both take this form.
    • Hexen has the Dark Crucible, in which a rickety bridge leads towards Korax's inner sanctum.
    • Quake 4 has one of these leading up to the Makron fight.
  • Every single boss level of Yoshi's Island has a corridor leading to the boss fight. In fact, in one boss level (the one pitting you against Naval Piranha), you can even kill that boss (before she is even transformed by Kamek) while you are still in that corridor by pelting her with a single egg within a certain angle so that you won't have to fight her!

Kamek: Oh, my!

  • As an homage to the original Castlevania, there is a room filled with ? Boxes before each boss in Super Mario XP. If Mario dies during the boss, he restarts in said room.