Marathon Level

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Average lap time: 1:30:00. Estimated time to finish: around 52 minutes.

"How much farther do we have to go?! This place goes on forever! Ah, there's no point in complaining about it. We must press onward! After all, how much more could there be?"

So, you've been spending about four hours charging through the Bonus Dungeon. It must be over soon, right? It's been about sixteen rooms worth of dungeon, you've fought past at least three Mini bosses, battled heroically past hordes of Goddamned Bats and Demonic Spiders and just have to be near the boss, right?

Nope, this is the Marathon Level, which means getting from start to finish is gonna take some doin'. The Marathon Level is to a dungeon what a Marathon Boss is to a normal boss: one that is incredibly long, and takes a huge amount of time to complete; e.g., a one hundred floor tower, or something similar. Heck, most examples of this are either the Bonus Dungeon or Very Definitely Final Dungeon, and at least half are literally a hundred floors high or deep.

While Marathon Levels can be easy to hate, don't judge them too harshly. These levels can be some of the best-designed levels in the game (sometimes), though they can also be susceptible to Space Filling Paths and Cut and Paste Environments. If you're particularly unlucky, a Marathon Level may end with a Marathon Boss. This trope is almost a given if it has a name like 'Cave of Ordeals'. A Marathon Level may arise from an attempt to prevent Unwinnable by not allowing saving where the player could easily become stuck, such as a Timed Mission or dungeon that can't be left until it is finished.

See also Marathon Boss, the boss version. Not to be confused with a level in Marathon. Check Point Starvation can make these levels quite maddening, and heaven help you if it's combined with Bladder of Steel.

Examples of Marathon Level include:

Action Adventure[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Okami:
    • Any completionist who's ever played the game has spent untold additional hours getting the stray beads. Specifically, a set of three beads requires you to fight through a total of thirty demon gates in groups of ten each. The first set isn't bad... fifteen minutes to half an hour depending on your skills. The third one however is at least an hour and a half of the toughest enemies in the game, below bosses. You can't save, and if you leave after finishing any gates you have to start the stage over.
    • Oni Island, the fifth dungeon, is the longest in the game. Lots of racing segments, tricky obstacles, fairly tough enemy battles, and That One Boss. Even getting to the place takes a while.
  • Ecco the Dolphin has at least one: the infamous "Welcome to the Machine" from the first game. It's a five-minute long Auto-Scrolling Level, which doesn't sound so bad until you understand that it's also The Maze and Under the Sea, so it scrolls in all kinds of ridiculous directions. One wrong move and you get an Ecco pancake and have to start over. The wonky controls don't help either. And the final boss that follows has an attack that acts as a Mook Bouncer, sending you back to the Machine.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • The Silenced Cathedral in Soul Reaver is the only area that has two warp gates linked to it instead of just one. It's a huge, sprawling maze of a place full of puzzles (both block and otherwise) and the creepy, wall-climbing Zephonim vampires. It takes about two hours to complete if you know what you're doing, and it's only the second stage of the game!
    • And that's the final version. It was supposed to be even longer, but a good portion of the Cathedral was Dummied Out due to various reasons.
  • Chapter 19 in Kid Icarus: Uprising consists of climing a very tall tower from the bottom floor. Constantly lampsheded by Pit repeatedly asking his Mission Control "Are we there yet?" (and annoying the hell out of her) and saying "This place is so huge, we even had a loading screen back there!"

Viridi: Pit, I've got good new for the both of us. The Chariot Master is up ahead. SO YOU CAN FNALLY STOP ASKING ME IF WE'RE THERE YET!

Action Game[edit | hide]

  • Barkhang Monastery and Temple of Xian in Tomb Raider 2, some of the climactic levels in the game and each frequently regarded as a Best Level Ever.
    • At least half the levels in Tomb Raider 3 classify as marathon levels by the standards of the rest of the franchise (and the genre as a whole for that matter), this, combined with Nintendo Hard is the main reason behind its Love It or Hate It reputation.
  • Devil May Cry 3 has the Bloody Palace which is 9999 levels. Fortunately you can skip 100 levels at a time.
  • Similarly, Bayonetta has Angel Slayer, which is divided into 51 levels, with a brutal boss every 10 levels and no saves in between. Didn't like Jeanne alone? Well, now fight three of her! As for the finale, what could possibly be more dangerous than three Jeannes? That's right — Another Bayonetta.
  • Nearly every single level of Ninja Gaiden II is this to an extent, few of them taking less than half an hour to beat. The most brutal however is chapter 11, an endless gauntlet where you will be assaulted by armies of mooks every ten meters, with a healthy dose of Check Point Starvation and a boss at the end. This is usually considered the Best Level Ever by hardcore fans on the series.

Beat'Em Up[edit | hide]

  • The Amiga game Yo! Joe! has a first level that takes over half an hour to complete.
  • Streets of Rage has the boat level (stage five), which seems never to end, and on top of it is That One Level as well, and contains That One Boss.
    • In the third game, most of the levels are really long. Especially stage 5. It literally takes you about 15 minutes to beat it.
  • The final mission of the Japanese version of Super Double Dragon is more than twice as long as its American counterpart. In fact, it was originally planned to be split into two separate levels. The third and fourth missions of the NES version of the original were also very long, incorporating many areas not found in the arcade version.

Driving Game[edit | hide]

  • BAJA: Edge of Control has 3-hour long BAJA 1000 races. Keep in mind that these races are on extremely rough terrain, with trucks that require players to monitor heat, clutch damage, suspension damage...
  • Mario Kart:
    • The Rainbow Road track in Mario Kart 64. So long, a controller pack usually didn't have enough memory to save a track ghost.
    • The All Cup Tour in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, featuring all 16 tracks, which takes about 45 minutes to do on 50cc.
  • The Gran Turismo series had this with the Special Stage Route 11 for the first three games, later replacing it with the Real Life Nürburgring Nordschleife and the Le Mans circuit (including a version with the original and uninterrupted six-mile straight), both of them measuring around the 25 kilometers.
    • And then there are the endurance races. They all clock in at at least a couple of hours, and the longest one, the 24 Hours of Le Mans... well, it lives up to its name. Your best bet is to either get some friends to help you out or use B-Spec mode, which shortens the race to a more bearable 8 hours when sped up. It also lets the AI do all the driving, so you can do something else while your B-Spec driver does the racing, but you still gotta be there so you can tell him to actually pit.
    • And Special Stage Route 7 in GT 5, although it's mostly straightaways.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune has the Metropolitian Highway (Tokyo) time attack course, which combines all four Tokyo courses and takes over 12 minutes to complete with a fully-tuned car. Maximum Tune 3 adds the Kanagawa version, which is a 7-minute runthrough of Yokohane Line and Wangan Line. Due to their lengths, playing one of these courses requires you to insert an additional credit.
  • Fatal Racing's 3rd bonus race takes around 15 minutes to finish on Girlie mode... and over 40 minutes on a good day on Impossible, with low damage. Every other course can be finished (1st place, all laps done) in under 15 minutes on Impossible, even with high damage and a full house of 16 cars (15 or 14 computers). It is highly suspected that this is due to a mistake in the course's configuration.
  • Endurance races in the Forza Motorsport series, the longest of which are the 17 lap(238 km) La Sarthe race and 187 km Nurburgring race, the two tracks that are already marathon courses in their own right. At least there aren't any 24 hour races here.
  • Ridge Racer V has the 99 Trial mode, which is literally a 99-lap race around the Sunny Beach course. You need to get first place in the race to get the ultimate prize (It's just an in-game trophy, which the game built up way too much).
  • Need for Speed: Shift has one set of races designed to infuriate anyone going for 100% completion: Endurance. It consists of 5 races: 3 of them are 10 laps on ostensibly long tracks (the famed SPA GP being one of them), one of them is 30 laps on a tiny figure-eight track, and 3 laps on the legendary Nordschleife. THEN you get to challenge the 'Endurance champion' to complete the race sets. Even with heavily modified Tier 3 vehicles, the entire thing will take you a good 2–3 hours.
  • FUEL has Endurance races, which take at least 20 minutes to complete, but then there is the Mt. Rainier Endurance race, the last of them all, where you have to cover 100 miles of offroading up and down mountainsides in a Muscle Car that is built for going offroad. It takes an hour and 15 minutes to finish. made worse by the level getting glitchy from the chunk loading process.
  • The aptly named Gigatrack in Trials Evolution. In a game where 2 minutes is normally the average track length, this one can take well over 15 minutes to complete.

Fighting Game[edit | hide]

  • The Great Maze from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It marks a shift from shorter, individual platforming levels to a larger Metroidvania-styled labyrinth of interconnected areas. There are save points throughout the level though, and it's not necessarily meant to be played all in one go. Which is good, because the Great Maze alone takes up one-third of the "Subspace Emissary" story mode.
  • The "100 Fight Kumite" mode in Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX pits you against 100 fighters, with no continues or pause breaks. Win or lose, you have to complete every single fight for your score to be recorded.
  • Bushido Blade features a 100-enemy slasher mode. Quite difficult since it's possible to be killed with a single well-placed attack, finishing this unlocks a hidden character.

First-Person Shooter[edit | hide]

  • Borderlands DLC Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot requires you to finish twenty rounds each consisting of five enemy waves to complete her "harder challenge", made worse by becoming ball bustingly hard a little less than halfway in to the extent that the only really practical way to finish these is to have max level characters join a low level host's room. It's still probably take you about four damned hours to complete one however, and there are three of these damned things! Easily the most likely reason you wont get 100% gamerscore.
  • The Cetan Ship in Perfect Dark is huge, features a difficult Escort Mission, and has enemies with cloaking devices or very tiny anklebiting aliens who attack you in dark places. Worse yet, the level is actually longer on the higher difficulty settings, both extending the time spent there and decreasing the odds of success.
  • The Library in Halo does seem to go on for ages and ages...
    • Get comfy, because Halo 3's The Covenant is the longest level, not only in Halo 3, but in the entire series. On Legendary Difficulty, it can take over two hours to complete.
    • Assault on the Control Room. Then you do it backwards, in Two Betrayals.
  • The Serious Sam games are known for their long levels.
    • The Great Pyramid in The First Encounter can take a while to complete. However, not only the final level is marathon level. Metropolis and Karnak are just extremely long and have the highest enemy counts in the game.
    • Grand Cathedral from The Second Encounter. The next-to-last War Sequence, in particular, is a real endurance-tester. Second Encounter also has the City of the Gods, Ziggurat, Courtyards of Gilgamesh and Tower of Babel, all of them which can take about an hour to complete on first playthrough.
    • While most of the levels in Serious Sam 2 are relatively short compared to 1. the Mental Institution's par time is an hour.
    • Later half of Serious Sam 3 have levels which last about an hour. Guardian of Time, the final level, can take even more with waves after waves of enemies.
  • For actual Metroid games, Metroid Prime 2 has some sequences which Save Game Limits kick in (save - walk a long distance - face a boss - walk some more - save again), most memorably before the Alpha Blogg and Spider Guardian fights.
    • The original Metroid Prime has the section that's topped off with the Elite Omega Pirate boss.
    • Even the first run of Phazon Mines, up until the Invisible Sentry Drone, is like this. You're talking about roughly ten straight rooms of Space Pirates, Elite Pirates, and such without a single save room.
    • Prime 3 has Phaaze, where you have to go through an area for half an hour without saving, THEN beat the final bosses, which can take up to another 20 minutes if not more. Thankfully, dying only puts you back at the bosses - too bad it's the first of the three!
  • The Super Spy has only two missions, but both take a long time to beat. The first mission takes place in a three story building with a basement, and the second mission takes place in a 16 story skyscraper. Even rushing through the buildings and skipping all non-essential rooms can still take several minutes to clear.
  • Turok 2 has only six main stages, but they are incredibly long, with some sublevels as long as the major levels of many games. Often easy to get lost in.
  • Medal of Honor: Airborne's seven missions are quite long (with additional segments after completion of the initial objectives), as well as being nonlinear and Nintendo Hard(even on Normal).
  • The Golden Lion (probably the longest) and other long levels in Medal of Honor: Frontline, since there are no in-level save opportunities.
  • The Caverns in Golden Eye 1997 is an extremely long and difficult level. Playing carefully on Secret or 00 Agent, it can easily take 20–30 minutes.
  • Some custom Doom maps can take a long time to beat. Deus Vult II comes to mind, with maps like "Stargate" and "Unholy Cathedral"; playing them for the first time can take over an hour.
    • And then, there is the Memorial map, which is essentially all 32 levels of Doom II packed into one megamap. Even if you're absolutely familiar with the maps, you'll be going at it for a while.
  • Likewise, Left 4 Dead 2 has a custom campaign, Suicide Blitz 2, which takes about twice as long as a Valve-created campaign. Even worse, you're down to three party members because one of them is carrying Gnome Chompsky [sic] to the end of the campaign, where it unlocks an Easter Egg, and is thus unable to use guns. (Or he could put the gnome down to shoot... and have it fall through the level geometry and be Lost Forever.)
  • In Team Fortress 2, the third stage of Dustbowl as RED team will usually take about 20 minutes to win, because the first point is very easy to take in comparison to the first. Although some maps will take longer, this stands out just for the sheer length of time spent in a single area of a single match.

MMORPGs[edit | hide]

  • World of Warcraft raid instances, particularly the early ones. Molten Core, the first of their kind, could maybe be cleared in two hours or so if you had a well-equipped group that was capable of cutting through the trash mobs quickly...though if your group had the gear to pull that off, they probably didn't need anything from the dungeon in the first place. Parodied in Penny Arcade as Time Sink Cavern.
    • Blackrock Depths also qualifies, a gigantic disorienting underground labyrinth of a city it was always just that place you had to go to get attuned, or to get the repair bot schematic or to farm dark iron ore etc. Point is the place was so damned huge non-linear and its major points of interest so widely dispersed nobody really ran it, they just used often quite unusual tactics (such as swimming in lava) to make their way to a particular thing they needed for endgame progression then left. While every other endgame instance was run ceaselessly it was extremely rare to meet anyone who had ever actually seen let alone fought the final boss of Blackrock Depths since honestly the gear from the place wasn't even very good. Gnomeragon followed much the same pattern, but since it never contained anything important to endgame progression it just never got run period.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has Fernswarthy's Basement, an infinite-floor dungeon. The current record is about 11000 floors deep. Subverted somewhat in that you can always stop and go back to the exact same floor you just left.
  • In City of Heroes, the task force you can get from Doctor Quaterfield is twenty-four missions long, with several "defeat all enemies" missions and repetitive maps. Based on the official formula for calculating completion rewards, the median time for running it is over six hours.
    • In order to encourage more people to play it the developers had two options: make it shorter by cutting out the redundant missions or increase the reward at the end. Guess which option they chose.
    • The "six hours" time is typical for current runs, after seven years of increasing player skill, increasing character power, and added fast-travel options. When it was originally added to the game, completion times upwards of ten hours were common, including around two hours just spent traveling to mission locations.
  • The Fissure of Woe from Guild Wars can take several hours to complete even with a fairly-well prepared group.
    • Domain of Anguish could potentially take MUCH longer. Although it consists of four sections you could theoretically do on separate sittings, the rewards are far better when all four are done in one sitting. Each of these individual sections can take an hour or more, and some (Foundry in particular) can take several hours. Back before the last expansion, Domain of Anguish full runs could take eight to ten hours, and that isn't even including the final boss. (which thankfully you can do separately without an effect on the reward)
  • Vindictus has Resenlian's Labyrinth; which also features Cut and Paste Environments and Doppelgangers.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has Belsavis. At first it's a rather interesting planet (hidden prison world that becomes unhidden in the middle of a war). That is, until you are then you are forced underground by the story. Then it becomes a slog of Cut And Paste Enviroments, Goddamn Bats, and Demonic Spiders, fighting the same aliens over and over. Overall, it's almost twice as long as most other planets. Not to mention how long it can take to get from one place to another.
  • Wizard 101 has a few instances that can qualify but the worst has to be The Tower of the Helephant. It has seven floors (just above the average size of a dungeon). The kicker is that two of the three bosses in there do not play fair. The first boss is actually a Dual Boss that only one of the bosses can be harmed without a 90% resistance to all attacks while the other can cause your spells to lose an additional 50% from their hit chance, if any your spells fail (even after the first of the pair dies) then you're punished with an attack that rapidly drains of more health than most schools have max health. And after the first of the two dies, the second flings about an extremely powerful storm spell. And the final boss calls in a minion every turn and can use a strong attack that hit's all players. With a fairly powerful and skilled group it can still take up to four hours to complete and teammates are expected to die during the dungeon.

Platform Game[edit | hide]

  • The French Amiga game Nicky Boom (recently resurrected for cell phones) invokes this for every level. It's quite good.
  • Lampshade Hanging in the Yoshi's Island games:
    • Level 6-5 of the original Yoshi's Island is called The Very Loooooong Cave.
    • And a level in Yoshi's Island DS is called The Cave That Never Ends.
    • A bonus level in the remake of the original for the GBA is called "Endless World of Yoshis". How endless? Even the Tool Assisted Speedrun takes over 7 minutes to finish the level (which is amazingly long for a non autoscrolling 2D platformer). It is also Nintendo Hard, and even has elements of Platform Hell.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog uses this trope a lot.
    • Eggmanland in the HD versions of Sonic Unleashed can (usually) take up to an hour to beat the first time through.
    • As far as the classic games go, Sandopolis Zone of Sonic & Knuckles qualifies. It might not have been intentional, but the zone is still way too long, especially for Knuckles as it has a puzzle towards the end. If you can't figure it out immediately, you are going to run out of time. Very much Guide Dang It territory.
      • Death Egg Zone Act 2 is not significantly longer than the Sandopolis stages, and after defeating the zone boss you immediately move on to the final boss, carrying whatever rings you may still have. Problem is that your time also carries over. You restart the final boss with a fresh clock if you time out, but there are no rings...
      • There's also Act 2 of Carnival Night Zone, which is apparently designed to make you waste time, and get a time out while fighting Robotnik at the end. Especially if you get stuck at the infamous Barrel of Doom... Knuckles's CNZ Act 2 is almost comic in comparison. It can literally take less than 70 seconds (no boss).
    • Metropolis Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 also counts - it has three acts instead of the usual two, and each one is quite long.
    • Nearly every level in Sonic Heroes is upward of 10–15 minutes, which is really damn long as far as Sonic games go. Special mention goes to Team Chaotix's trip through the haunted mansion, and having to put out every torch in the building for some reason—backtracking to the beginning of the level if they miss a single one (it takes about half an hour).
      • The fact that most levels take more than 10 minutes is especially notable because the Genesis games gave you a Time Out if you took longer than 10 minutes. It's extremely off-putting when playing the game for the first time and not realizing how long each level takes; the clock constantly ticking upward, with you expecting it to kill you if it reaches 10 minutes is somewhat stressful, to say the least.
      • And there's the Power Plant.
      • Bingo Highway. If you want the emblem for level B you need to collect twenty chips. The first nineteen are tricky. but if you're not lucky enough to notice the one almost taped to the ceiling in a position you can only see when rotating the camera 180 degrees then you can stripe a good hour of the remainder of your life.
      • Final Fortress, which also crosses over with That One Level.
    • Sonic Adventure 2 (and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle) has the "Last" stage, a single, straight-shot marathon level with a mini-level for each of the six playable characters, plus a double-feature boss fight.
    • Sonic Generations features Planet Wisp, which is the last level and is pretty long. It's not actually that hard, but the level design can get quite convoluted. It can take around 6–7 minutes compared to most of the levels being around 2–3 minutes.
  • The Slumberland sewer area in Glider PRO was an obvious Scrappy Level, and not so much because it was difficult or maze-like—it was just long.
  • Every single level in the Wii Platformer/art game De Blob. The average time of completion for a single level is approximately 2 hours, with no saving allowed in between, and without 100 Percent Completion.
  • Battletoads, considering its fast pace in some of the levels, seemed to have quite a few levels which seemed to last for a long time, especially for those who were used to Sunsoft NES games with fairly short levels. Levels 2, 3, 4 and last level are examples of it.
  • Most of the levels in Wario: Master of Disquise take at least an hour to complete the first time through. Going through them again won't be nearly as long once you get all the upgrades and gained knowledge of the levels, but most of them will still be longer than your average video game level. Since there are only ten levels (not counting the 5 special episodes that reuse maps), it makes sense.
  • Super Metroid Redesign has the escape sequence timer extended from 3 minutes to 25 minutes. There is a very good reason for this.
  • We Love Katamari has two. There's the 17-minute As Large As Possible 5" level in which you create the big bang itself. It lasts about twice as long as any other level in the game and feels really long, which in this case is a good thing. Then, there's the Million Roses level which has you pick up one million roses. Thankfully, you can do it over multiple sittings.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The bigger Super Mario World levels show up as a big dot on the map. And IF these aren't enough for you, try ROM-hacks. Even if it's just one of the dime-a-dozen Kaizo Mario World rip-offs, many hackers decide that longer = better. Particularly infamous for this is Super Mario Infinity's level Dark Depths, a cave level that essentially takes you to hell. It's been said to be worth an entire world of Super Mario Infinity levels. The individual levels before Dark Depths are thought to be worth a world of the original game each, which essentially makes it this trope squared.
    • The final level in the original Super Mario Bros game was much longer than any of the equivalent levels earlier in the game. In an early case of Guide Dang It, you also had to know how to go down a pipe in order to beat that level, even though pipes weren't in the instruction manual and were optional in every earlier level of the game. (But of course, pretty much everyone did know about pipes.)
    • World 8-1 (also in the first Super Mario Bros: Long stage + only 300 "seconds" = guaranteed chance of hearing that ditty advertising that your timer is running low.
    • World 6 in Super Mario Bros 3. Ten regular levels and 3 fortresses.
    • "The Sinking Lava Spire", the first Melty Molten Galaxy mission of Super Mario Galaxy. And later you have to do it again untouched for 100% Completion.
    • SMWCentral's 9th Door Contest had this as a surprisingly common feature. Since they were supposed to be comparable to the 8 doors in Super Mario World's final level, the ones that were marathon-length were docked points.

Raocow: This is unreasonable! Look how long this... freaking thing is! It -- it goes on!

  • I Wanna Be the Guy has the Impossible difficulty, which is exactly the same as Hard (and, for that matter, all the other Difficulty Levels) but removes all save points, making the entire game into one extremely long Marathon Level.
  • The Dragon City from The Legend Of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon. While it's only somewhat more lengthy than other levels, it's extremely chaotic, and the later half of it is basically an endless stream of combat. Not to mention constant running back and forth between several places you need to be on a strict time limit.
  • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse has the mountain range block (one of the two possible entry level castle areas, the one you have if you take the Alucard-optional route), which consists of SEVEN stages containing FOUR bosses. Even if you make generous use of Alucard's ability to bypass entire long sections of the block as a bat, you're still in for quite a long and grueling ride.
  • Click Clock Wood from Banjo-Kazooie (literally four times bigger than any other level, due to its season-changing concept), and pretty much the second half of Banjo-Tooie (with levels that approach the gargantuan scope of the Donkey Kong 64 levels).
  • Ultimate Mode in Super Monkey Ball Deluxe,where you have to go through all of the Beginner, Advance, and Expert stages in one sitting. You are able to save, but it possibly won't help that much. Also, this is the only way to unlock the Master stages.

Puzzle Game[edit | hide]

  • Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival has the Grease Burger attraction. Solving a 3x3 word square may be difficult, but this puzzle set gives twenty seven of them in a row.
  • Tetris the Grand Master ACE has the Another Road, a set of missions that can take over 15 minutes to clear.

Real Time Strategy[edit | hide]

  • Although it's mentioned in bonus levels above, Tactics Ogre deserves special mention. The Hell Gate bonus level is 100 floors long, each floor containing a full campaign battle (more than the rest of the game combined), without the free HP refills and saves you'd get between normal battles. Every floor contains some of the deadliest enemies in the game, many of which have petrify (gorgons in particular, can petrify numerous party members at any distance in one move!). In the PSX remake, you can save in battle and thus break this up into segments, and redo a level if you screwed up big time, but in the Super Famicom original, it's a 10+ hour mission, no saves, no free heals, and the game featured permanent death if you didn't resurrect the player before the end of the battle (meaning before you kill everything on the floor). Both of your rezzers petrified/dead? You lose, even if you were on level 99 and spent the entire day on this. Now that's a wonderful failure. To be fair, the items gained here were mostly of the gamebreaking variety: full screen, unlimited range nukes, Infinity+1 Sword type weapons, and a spell that could be abused to gain virtually unlimited stats, plus you could recruit some of the enemies, including gorgons. Finishing this dungeon was not only infinitely harder than the final dungeon, the gear obtained totally trivialized any other content, even if you didn't abuse the infinite stat spell. In the original version, possibly qualifies as the longest marathon level in any console game.

Rhythm Game[edit | hide]

  • Rock Band:
    • Endless Setlist: All 50+ songs on the first Rock Band disc, in a row.
    • Endless Setlist 2: All 80+ songs on the Rock Band 2 disc, in a row! And no pausing!
    • There are also a lot of individual songs (some DLC) that are real long:
      • Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock: "Through the Fire and Flames" is over 7 minutes long and has a Harder Than Hard note chart. Worth 3722 notes.
      • "The Camera Eye" by Rush (Rock Band DLC) is over 10 minutes long.
      • Jailbreak (live) (from the Rock Band AC/DC track pack) is over 14 minutes (though Jailbreak does have a long bridge that might have been exciting to watch at Donnington, but is essentially the music equivalent of a Space-Filling Path).
      • Guitar Hero: World Tour has "Pull Me Under". And Stranglehold (granted, most of it IS an extended slow part, but still).
      • Guitar Hero 5 has "Do You Feel Like We Do" (LIVE) by Peter Frampton, which is over 14 minutes looooong.
      • Can you say "Free Bird"?
      • The Beatles: Rock Band has the entire Abbey Road album available as DLC. This includes the B-side suite, which you can either play separate sections of... or you can play the whole thing joined together as the Abbey Road Medley, which will take over 16 minutes.
      • "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock" let you play Rush's 21-minute long masterpiece 2112... which you have to play in seven separate sections. Rock Band 3 too released 2112 as its inaugural DLC for the year 2012... which you can play as one uninterrupted track, PLUS with Pro Guitar and Pro Bass.
  • Beatmania IIDX has "Scripted Connection=> (Long Mix)", a 5 1/2-minute song that combines all three versions of "Scripted Connection."
  • Dance Dance Revolution 5th MIX and some versions of Pop'n music have several "Long Version" songs that take up two stages and were about 3–4 minutes long, in contrast to normal-length songs that last between 1.5–2 minutes.
    • Some Oni courses on PlayStation 2 versions, such as Hardcore in DDRMAX, are up to 20 songs long, which is a total of about 30 minutes.
    • The arcade version of DDRMAX2 also had the Oni Road course, which was the longest course ever in an arcade DDR, made up of 10 of the hardest songs in the game at the time and ending with Maxx Unlimited. It was over 15 minutes long and contained 3,783 steps (if you count jumps as one step). And it was playable on a single credit, which was probably why it was removed from later versions.
    • In the Wii game Hottest Party 3/MUSIC FIT, players can do this to themselves as a Self-Imposed Challenge. There are two songs that are about 4 minutes long each, which are megamixes of the best or most popular songs from Hottest Party 1 and 2 respectively. Doing 6 of these in a row in a custom non-stop course? Hope you have a lot of energy, and I hope you didn't pick Expert!
  • Pump It Up NX Absolute has a Special Stage called Beat No. 4 Full Version. It's five minutes long and contains somewhere between 1000 and 2000 steps (it's difficult to be sure because of the way that Pump it Up counts freeze arrows). Fortunately, the Crazy chart has a mostly empty section in the middle to give you a breather. The Nightmare chart, on the other hand... doesn't.
  • Literally any long piece of music will become one if you load it up in Audiosurf, Beat Hazard, Vip Ribbon or any other game that generates levels from music.
    • Not to mention DJ mixes.
    • Beat Hazard also includes a Survival mode that continues until you run out of music or lives.
    • Audiosurf has an achievement for getting stealth (avoid all grey blocks) on a Marathon Level (13+ minutes; there's also one for 7+ minutes) on Ninja Mono. Time to break out the Epic Rocking.

Roguelike[edit | hide]

  • The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games have a few 50-floor dungeons that push any player's patience, but the 99-floor dungeons take the cake.
    • The Orre games have Mt. Battle - you are forced to ascend the first Area as per the story, but afterwards you can go back there and scale 100 battles' worth of trainers. You can save on your way up, and transfer to and from each zone on demand, but if you want a special prize from the region, you need to do it all in one run (saves are permitted, mercifully).
  • ADOM has the Infinite Dungeon. Thankfully, most players won't ever have to do anything in it beyond grind at low levels or look for spellbooks. It's only important for Ultra Endings. Players will need to kill Filk the Ratling Bard, who is on a dungeon level decided by what the player's first kill was, multiplied by how many times the player has killed that monster. God help you if it was something common like a rat or kobold, because Filk will be hundreds of levels down into the dungeon. Secondly, the player needs to kill Malakai the Chaos Knight, who is on level 66 of the Infinite Dungeon, and has to be reached in one try.
  • The ultimate goal of Azure Dreams is to reach the 40th floor of the monster tower. Since it's magical, the tower always sends you back to the 1st floor when leaving it, forcing you to do it in one go, entering and leaving the tower before a lot to train your familiars and collect items so you can actually best the higher floors' monsters.

Role-Playing Game[edit | hide]

  • Absolutely ANY multi-level gauntlet area in a game, apparently. Paper Mario and the Pit of 100 Trials, The Legend of Zelda and the Savage Labyrinth and Cave of Ordeals...
    • In Super Paper Mario, there is the Flipside Pit of 100 Trials, beating the boss at the end unlocks the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials. Getting to the end of that one has a second boss say "I'm impressed, come back again and we'll fight." So you do the Flopside pit a second time and you can fight the boss. That's 300 levels in all, with two boss fights, escape pipes every 10, and checkpoints every 100.
      • These are made worse by the difficulty gradually increasing...
    • A Mario World hack (Demo World The Legend Continues) has a 100 floor tower for Big Boo in a similar style, and there's another which is literally called the pit of 100 trials.
    • The Savage Labyrinth was especially punishing, because 30 out of its 50 floors are mandatory to finish the game.
  • Ys has the Darm Tower. 25 floors of madness, and four bosses. Also, the Solomon Shrine in Ys II.
  • Most Bonus Dungeons, period. From that page, Final Fantasy, Lufia, Tactics Ogre, Wild ARMs, Star Ocean and various others seem to have 100 floor labyrinths as their bonus dungeons.
    • At least Final Fantasy X-2's Via Infinito lets you return to the floor you left off on.
  • The last dungeon of Final Fantasy III, since it consists of a long climb up a tower, a boss battle against what was up to that point considered the Big Bad, the appearance of the real villain, a Hopeless Boss Fight, and then another dungeon before the real final boss fight. And there's no save points. And the sequence after the first Big Bad is a Point of No Return. So if you die to the final boss (a very real possibility since this isn't one of the wimpy final bosses of later Final Fantasy games), you get to do the whole thing over again.
    • That's not even counting the extra dungeon in the basement (which contains the infinity plus one equipment). But you can save right outside it, so it's still not nearly as bad as the final dungeon.
      • The game sort of intends that you go there first. NOT doing so is an exercise in madness.
  • The Azure Sky Tower in Boktai starts out 12 floors tall, and adds 3 more every time you complete it. It may not seem big at first, but there's a reward for getting it up to 99, and you have to start from floor 1 every time you try, and it's even worse if you got all the Emblems, since you need to fight a difficult boss at the end. Depending on your luck, individual floors can take anywhere from a minute (where the key and door are right nearby) to much longer (if you accidentally miss the damn Undead hiding the key while making your sweep, for example).
    • Dream Avenue in the second one works similarly (though thank the gods, the number of floors are fixed). This one depends on enemy layout however - since you'll want them to trip the switches that may drop the key, or nuke anything around it.
    • Vambery in Lunar Knights too, but you can do it in 10-floor segments. No hunting here - just kill everything in a small section, and you move on. Problem is that the area level is scaled to the floor level.
    • All three require you to finish the entire section before you can save - die or use a Fool Card/Escape, and the whole thing doesn't count. Souped-up bosses also appear at the end of both Dream Avenue and Vambery, up to the last miniboss in Dream Avenue, up to a L99 version of the final boss in Vambery.
  • Arc the Lad had a 50 floor long bonus dungeon. It didn't let you save. The dungeon returned in the sequel with additional floors if converting the save file from the first game.
  • Super Paper Mario had Sammer's Kingdom—after it's restored in the postgame, it's a 100-man gauntlet. Optional, but if you want an audience with Lord Sammer, you better have some time on your hands...
  • Seeing how you can play through most levels and subquests of Vampire Bloodlines in under 15 minutes, the Nosferatu Warrens are VERY long by comparison, as you can spend several hours finding your way through them. Luckily, the levels have two emergency exits (the only instance of such in the entire game) for you to replenish spent ammo etc.
  • Beyond Oasis has a hidden 100-floor dungeon. It's worth it for the Infinity+1 Sword at the bottom, but wow.
  • The Pharos Lighthouse in Final Fantasy XII. Contains 100 floors, and you actually do have to climb almost all of them.
  • Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne has the Obelisk (145 floors) and the Tower of Kagutsuchi (666 floors). Although they both have elevators that'll take you past a good majority of those floors, it's certainly going to feel like you're walking up each and every one yourself. Also, as if to emphasise its sheer length, while the Tower has three large Terminals, the Obelisk only has S-terminals, which means if you have to go back down for whatever reason, you have to start the entire dungeon all over again. And it's not like they're not filled with incredibly annoying puzzles, extremely difficult bosses, powerful Mooks and a ludicrously high random encounter rate]].
    • Digital Devil Saga ups the ante with The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, the Karma Temple. It's three times the size of any other dungeon, filled with the toughest encounters in the game and multiple mid-bosses, and features confusing mazes filled with false walls, invisible teleportation circles and damage floors. Also, it has very few save points and only two healing stations: one at the start and one at the two-thirds point.
  • Golden Sun has a number of these, with the biggest offenders being the Rocks in the second game - doubly insulting because they're not even the set of elementally-themed dungeons you're supposed to be visiting as part of the main plot. Air's Rock in particular.
    • And there are a few in Dark Dawn. Belinsk Ruins, anyone?
  • At least half the dungeons in Avalon Code. When you're only 15 hours in and the dungeon consists of over 25 screens, each with their own mini-puzzle and monster battles, you know you've got a long haul ahead.
  • Wild ARMs 3 contains The Abyss, a hundred level dungeon with every encounter being an ambush with out a certain skill on all the characters. It also contains Ragu Ragula,one of the hardest bosses in the game.
  • The Eternal Tower in Phantasy Star Zero certainly lives up to its name. It's 101 floors long and while each one is short it eventually adds up. There's no saving so you can't turn off your DS during this. You can't use telepipes and can only return to town after beating a boss after every 10 floors. If you want the full rewards you have to beat it a total of three times, once for each difficulty.
    • And to top it all off, you HAVE to beat it on Hard if you want to play on Super difficulty offline, once for each character you have. Thank God for the DS' Sleep Mode function...
  • Missions in Crisis Core can get really, really long at times, not counting the time you spend fighting the ridiculously healthy Demonic Spiders. Cetra forbid you die to the mission-ending encounter.
  • The last dungeon of Exit Fate (Vanaheim) contains three bosses before you get to the final boss, and the paths between them are fairly long; in a game where most areas have two or three save points, this one has five.
  • The Sky Museum level from Persona 2, has this combined with a time limit.
  • The True Moon in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. First, you enter its Subterrane, which reproduces the entire final dungeon of Final Fantasy IV, full of hard monsters and boss fights every three floors or so. But then, near the end of the Nostalgia Level portion, you go through three two-to-three floor areas based on the Elemental Archfiends you haven't faced yet. At thee end of that, at about Basement 16 of the Subterrane, you have a climactic battle with The Dark Knight. Your reward for beating that? You get to continue on and enter the Depths. There are roughly twenty-odd floors to the Depths, with four mandatory boss fights every five floors or so. And it just gets harder and harder and harder as you descend. The True Moon is, without hyperbole, longer than the other chapters of the game combined.
  • Baldur's Gate II has Watcher's Keep: Not that many floors, but when these floors include a teleporting maze, a dozen different puzzles, some of the toughest monsters in the game (including the Bonus Boss of the un-expansion game encountered pretty much just by randomly entering a room) it literally takes about as much time as the rest of the expansion content. Luckily you can save the game.
  • Dragon Age doesn't exactly have short levels to begin with, but completing Orzammar in it's entirety is twice as long and twice as hard as anything else in the game, involving a huge amount of time spent running around both city and subterranean roads, encountering hordes of enemies and sidequests, several bosses (often lumped in quick succession), and a freaking tournament. It is exhausting.
    • While not as mind-bogglingly gigantic as Orzammar, the Circle Tower deserves a mention. It would be a typical Dragon Age level if it weren't for the fact that in the middle you suddenly get sent into the Fade and separated from your party, requiring you to first track down multiple Fade forms to shapeshift into, a process which in and of itself requires you to enter every part of the Fade about seventeen different times, and find all your party. When that's done you get to go back to the Circle Tower and complete the level. Oh, and once you enter the Tower, you have to do the whole thing without returning to camp for supplies or to switch out party members, something even Orzammar lets you do.
  • Mass Effect doesn't have very many main quests to start out with, so most of the missions are slightly longer than usual. However, Noveria makes up the bulk of the game. You must manage to find a way into a garage after breaking into a back office and finding computer evidence. Then, you must drive your vehicle all the way to a ruin site, repair a broken computer terminal, then use that in order to take a train to a human colony. You must then find some health supplies for an infection that has broken out, and THEN you finally fight Matriarch Benezia, the boss.
    • And not only that, there's loads of geth and rachni that you must fight along the way.
  • Final Fantasy I's Very Definitely Final Dungeon is this, especially if you depend on your mages. Each floor is long and capped with a boss fight (on a trigger tile, no less; one misstep and you're doing the fight twice), and then you finally get to fight the end boss. Your mages, at max level, get 9 casts per level of magic (which is often the most efficient way to clear a crowd). Hope you left them something to do in that last fight...
  • The Demon Shaft in Dark Cloud is 100 floors long, and each floor has a random layout. Thankfully, you can leave the dungeon, and come back to the last floor you were on at a later point.
  • Etrian Odyssey has a quest called Explorers Guild Trial. It involves spending five days of game time on level B 8 F. This can take three hours, and the only thing that makes it beatable is the spring nearby that heals all health and mana.
  • Any time you go into an Oblivion Gate in The Elder Scrolls IV. You have to go around and find a way to get to the main tower where the Sigil Stone is before you can get inside, then you have to fight your way up (which can take hours since your enemies level up with you) and then take the stone.
  • Infinite Undiscovery has the bonus dungeon, the Seraphic Gate. While it's only 17 floors deep, and most of the floors aren't particularly huge, the enemies are all very powerful, and simply running from them all is a good way to get your party members killed (you must sheath your weapons to run). The floors that ARE big are very big, some of which take over 5 minutes to run through without fighting anything. There's only one save point (halfway down and just past a difficult bonus boss), one teleporter back to the surface (in the save room, also meaning there's no easy way out if you're simply farming for experience or item drops), and the super powerful boss of the dungeon, Ethereal Queen, can only be fought if you first beat another difficult boss immediately before her. And the dungeon's longest and most dangerous floors are AFTER the save point, meaning if you lose to Queenie, you've got another long slog ahead of you. The worst part? If you want full gamerscore, you have to kill her on Hard and Infinity mode, both of which can't be unlocked until you beat the game on the difficulty before it, meaning you have to beat the game 3 times (the Gate only opens up when you beat the game and load your save).
  • Fallout3's final mission, Who Dares Wins, is about the length of two regular missions, consisting of Sneaking into the Metro Station, then reaching the Enclave's final base, getting into their mobile platform, and either recalibrating the targetting system or letting it destroy what's left of the Pentagon. Also, if you're higher levels, you will meet about 4-5 Feral Ghoul Reavers...at once. Not even those Sentry Bots can save you.
  • Baten Kaitos Origins has Tarazed. It's far larger than any of the other levels, and all the rooms look the same. It's practically guaranteed to take at least a couple of hours to get through, and the only way to save is to head all the way back to the central hub, which takes even longer. Also, Machina Auto-Turrets roam the halls, and can easily wipe your party if you can't kill them off quickly. If you haven't guessed, the first half of Tarazed is That One Level. On the bright side, the music that plays is easily one of the best songs in the game.
  • Chrono Cross has Terra Tower, a Reptite city dragged into time from another dimension. Not only is is very, very long, but it's also full of Goddamned Bats and irritating minibosses that take far too long to defeat. There's no real challenge to anything; everything just feels like it's trying to add two hours to the game's runtime. By this point, you're probably just praying the game will wrap itself up soon.
  • The original Chrono Trigger has the Black Omen, which while optional is the game's equivalent of the Very Definitely Final Dungeon. It comes complete with a lot of minibosses, some Goddamned Bats, and a three-form boss at the end. Worse, there's a shop and teleport back to the entrance about a third of the way in, but nothing of the sort at the end, when you'd actually need it to get ready for said boss.
  • Several levels in Diablo 2 qualify in the higher difficulties, but the most egregious is the Durance of Hate second floor. What makes this example especially annoying is that, besides its incredible length (its area is several times a regular level), there's a chance for it to be filled of Stygian Dolls. Good luck making through that incredibly long level while fighting them every three rooms.
  • The thankfully optional Gladsheim in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is so enormous and labyrinthine that the most common method of dealing with it is to get a paper and draw a map of it as you go. There's 10 floors, only two of which have save points on them. And don't bother going online to look for a map of the place - it's randomized. Generally agreed to be the worst That One Sidequest in the Tales (series), which is saying something.
  • In Magi Nation, we have the Shadow Hold. How bad is it? The Shadow Geysers and other dungeons are only about 20-30 mins. The Shadow Hold is at the very least three times that long, with enough dead-ends and false openings to lead anyone insane. It's so bad, it's actually optional.
  • Some dungeons in Dungeon Siege can take a long time to complete, especially the later ones. One of the worst offenders is the Goblin steampunk dungeon, where your party has to hack through giant mob after giant mob of high-level enemies. Even if you get fed up with it and decide to just rush through, it will still take at least 15 minutes until you finally reach the end.
  • Idea no Hi lacks save points in any area you can't leave freely after entering to avoid Unwinnable or breaking the mood by letting the party grind and rest repeatedly on situations like a sinking ship, the nightmare domain of Freddy or when locked in a cell. A result is these long dungeons all have to be completed in a single go with no resupplies.

Shoot Em Ups[edit | hide]

  • The entirety of the original Ikari Warriors. The second and third games had reasonably shorter levels.
  • The glider/shmup level of The Adventures of Batman & Robin (Sega Genesis) is somewhere between 13 and 18 minutes long, depending on who you ask.
  • While previous Metal Slug games would settle for having six reasonably sized levels (five normal and one FINAL MISSION!), Metal Slug 3 smooshed together the last two levels into a gigantic fifth and final mission, which starts with your PC's aerial assault on the enemy's rocket base, has its first false ending with a reenactment of the original Metal Slug final battle, launches you into space in a cutscene, runs you through a mock vertical Shmup section, crashes you into the enemy spaceship, has you assault the alien hordes within alongside the mooks you were just killing five minutes ago, gives you another faux final boss, forces you to escape the self-destructing spaceship, throws hordes of clones of your previously abducted PC at you, throws hordes of ZOMBIE clones of your previously abducted PC at you, before sucking you out of an airlock and then FINALLY giving you the actual final boss...
  • Almost every non-Shoot'Em Up level in Turrican II.
    • Which is a good thing, since it's possible to go from the start of World 1-1 to the final boss in 30 minutes. Half the fun of the game is searching for the bajillion secret areas and shortcuts. The penultimate level is a true marathon, though, with almost no secrets and a forced trek through every corner of the record-length stage without any of the Crowning Music of Awesome that the rest of the game consists of.
  • R-Type Final's Extra Stage. And you only have one life and no continues.
  • The Training mode in Raiden DX is one continuous, 15-minutes long level, which may not be as long as some of the other examples on this page, but is very long for a Shoot'Em Up.
  • Any level in Toaplan's Truxton games.

Simulation Game[edit | hide]

  • The infamous Desert Bus, part of the unreleased prank game compilation Penn & Teller's Smoke & Mirrors. Surviving the entire eight-hour drive earns you one point, at which point you turn around and drive back the other way for eight hours. There is no end to the game, or to the torture. Adding insult to misery is the fact that the bus veers slightly to the right while driving, meaning you must stay at the "wheel" the entire time, or risk running off the road, at which point you will be towed back to your starting point. In real time.
  • Many Harvest Moon games have a mine that goes down for many, many floors. The one in Friends of Mineral Town is 255 floors deep, and you have to get to the bottom in order to get one of the items—luckily, said item is pretty awesome. The deepest mine in DS is some 60,000 floors deep. The only reason to tough them all out? Bragging rights.
    • This is made much more difficult by the fact that the player character has a Stamina/Fatigue stat that brings you closer to blacking out with each action you take. Even if you can last 255 floors, your character can't without preparation.

Sports Game[edit | hide]

  • SSX 3 has the peak events, where you start at the top of one of Big Mountain's 3 peaks and have to either race or beat the trick score of an opponent all the way to the bottom of Peak 1. The All Peak events (where you start at Peak 3, the very top of the mountain) take around 25 minutes to complete.
  • The official Formula One computer games allow you to select what percentage of each race you actually want to do, out to a whopping 70 laps around the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Brazil.

Stealth Based Game[edit | hide]

  • Metal Gear Solid. The stairs in the Comm Tower. Oh man... the stairs in the Comm Tower.
    • MGS3 and its goddamned mile-long ladder. It only lasts a few minutes, technically, but a few minutes of tactical ladder climbing action is far too many.
  • Project IGI has it on a few levels, which is especially frustrating as there is no way to save a level midway through. You die and you start the whole thing again.

Survival Horror[edit | hide]

  • Parasite Eve has this for the Chrysler Building. 77 floors tall and every floor except the 1st, every 10th and the last 7, have randomized floor layouts so you can't exactly go and remember the patterns. There is an elevator, but you can't use it unless you obtain a key from a boss that is located on every 10th floor. No save points are here either, which means either you go all the way and fight the next boss to get the key and get back down the fast way, or you take the slow way by running down the stairs.
  • Resident Evil 4: Two words: Level 4-1. Where to begin? Assuming that you don't backtrack to get the free Broken Butterfly magnum, you have to retrieve the last piece of a puzzle key in a room with fire-breathing horse heads to unlock a door to progress further. Then, you have to obtain 2 Grails to unlock a door, one of which protected by 2 sets of 3 suits of armor with Plagas controlling them. Then after Ashley gets kidnapped (again) you have to survive an onslaught of flying insects. THEN you have to head to a clock tower to get it running while surviving flaming rocks catapulted at you and the tower is swarming with Zealots inside and out. And when you leave the tower, you have to deal with another crowd (the leader of which has a freaking rocket launcher), then try to simply survive a locked room with TWO Heavy Armor Garradors (the other Zealots in the room are the LEAST of your worries!) And if you should survive THAT, as well as a Press X to Not Die cutscene, the last thing to do is simply survive the encounter with Salazar's 'right hand' until the elevator shows up! Count on spending at LEAST an hour playing through this nightmare. The single hardest part of this level (if not the game PERIOD) is between the start of the clock tower to surviving the cutscene, because there's no typewriters in between, so no opportunities to save. Bottom line, if you can come out of this level with your sanity intact, you have the patience of a pope. Though, in the Playstation 2 version, the programmers at least had the MERCY to put a typewriter right after the clock tower, making the fight with the 2 Garradors much easier to prepare for.

Third-Person Shooter[edit | hide]

  • Gall Spaceport (the canyon level) in the Nintendo 64 game Shadows of the Empire takes almost half an hour to finish. It does have a cool boss battle with Boba Fett, though.
  • The final mission in Scarface the World Is Yours. Tony's raid on Sosa's mansion requires you to go through one large bunch of mooks, an Anticlimax Boss, another bunch, then a second boss before you finally get to Sosa and a third boss fight. Drug distribution runs can also get lengthy, especially once you have to deliver to fronts in all four main areas. Best hope your Heat isn't high enough that no belligerent gangsters try raiding your fronts.
  • Rith Essa in Jet Force Gemini.

Turn-Based Strategy[edit | hide]

  • Item World in the Disgaea games tend to be like this, especially in the high-numbered levels. Even if you can leave and save every ten floors, it can be a very long, tedious ten floors unless you have a huge stock of Gency Exits. If you're going for the hyperdrive, you must do 100 floors in one sitting (on the highest level item possible). Makai Kingdom is even worse - dungeons can literally be thousands of levels deep, and the most number of floors you can skip with an item is 100. (Phantom Brave, thankfully, has an "escape" spell - so long as the phantom that can cast it is available, that is. Savvy players Fusion it to Marona.)
    • The Item World is only that bad if you actually plan to complete each floor, which is only desirable if you want to grind character levels or farm items. If you only want to improve the item you're inside, it's just as good to bypass floors. With the right equipment, skills, and strategy, most floors can be skipped in seconds, and few take more than a minute.
  • Chapter 17 of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, in the massive, burnt-out Serenes Forest. It's the longest slog in the game and is the only chapter split into multiple stages. Four of them. Fortunately there are save points between them, and you're also allowed to call in two reinforcements from your party at each stop.
    • The sequel Radiant Dawn had a ton. Chapter 1-6 is split into two stages with only a save point between them. Part 3's endgame in an interesting subversion in that it looks like (and is described as) a massive "rout all the enemies" bloodbath - there is something like 80 enemies to start and tons of reinforcements - but the battle immedeately ends once any 80 units are killed thanks to an urgent plot development. Still, the enemy phase on every turn takes a long time. Almost every chapter in Part 4 is a tiring rout-all-enemies marathon. Lastly, there is the epic final chapter, split into 5 stages much like PoR's chapter 17, but you only get to choose 10 units (plus the 5 that are forced and one Heron) to last all 5 maps. You still get save points and, unintuitively, access to your supply convoy inbetween.
    • The Sacred Stones has the Tower and Ruins, optional dungeons that are 8 and 10 maps long respectively. They both become increasingly Nintendo Hard the further you go, and you aren't allowed to perma-save between floors. The only consolation is being able to swap anybody you want in or out of your party at each break. You also get to flee anytime (either through the menus or resetting and not choosing to continue the map), which is good to remember considering the series standard of All Deaths Final.
    • Every chapter of Genealogy of the Holy War is a Marathon Level. The maps are atypically huge and there are always several castles to seize before you complete the chapter, among other numerous things going on in the meantime.
    • Blazing Sword has two of these chapters toward the end: "Cog of Destiny", a sprawling map where you must rout the equivalent of a small army to win (with 15 people, of course), and the appropriately-named "Victory or Death", a map so big it has three different routes to your destination, and almost as many enemies - including reinforcements that literally appear from thin air when you step near them.
  • Most of capstone levels (and quite a few others) in the assorted campaigns in Battle for Wesnoth.