The Lost Woods

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Aragorn: Of course the woods are enchanted. They all are.

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

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

Besides your usual forest creatures, all manner of strange things lurk in the shadows. In any setting, it may be home to a Tree-Top Town. In ye olden days, the Lost Woods were home to The Fair Folk, the Big Badass Wolf, Plant Person and the occasional tree out to kill you. In the modern day, it's home to the axe-wielding Serial Killer, and campers- particularly those of the teenage variety- had better stay out of them. In The Future, it's home to cloaked snipers who want to make a hunt out of you. And Ewoks.

Okay, the Lost Woods may not always be dangerous, but they're shadowy and creepy and only a Crazy Survivalist (or Nature Hero / Jungle Princess) would actually try to live in this place. Thus, they serve as a closer-to-home (for Europeans and North Americans, at least) version of the Jungle. (When very dangerous, may edge into Garden of Evil.)

Frequently goes hand in hand with The Maze.

May be a Shadowland for even Arcadia, but even more likely for a brilliant and happy city.

As a setting for Video Game stages, The Lost Woods are a cousin to the Green Hill Zone, and frequently occupy the second level—apparently operating by the logic that a forest is a little more dangerous than Ghibli Hills but not by a whole lot, and that plains and forest aren't too different considering that both are defined by the type of vegetation they have. Unless the stage is placed much later, then things will usually be a lot more difficult. They may or may not be haunted (later stages often are), but either way, expect everything to try to kill you.

Frequently a Genius Loci, but it's not required. For a slightly more realistic setting, see Wild Wilderness. Compare The Hedge of Thorns.

Named for the infamous Recurring Location in the Zelda games.

Examples of The Lost Woods include:

Anime[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Windaria Haunted Woods to be precise. It looks creepy enough but evil spirits live their too. They prey on fear and can lead to death and confusion.

Fairy Tales[edit | hide]

  • "Hansel and Gretel"
  • In "The Six Swans", the king meets the Wicked Stepmother to be in the forest; later, her stepdaughter runs away to find her brothers in the forest; the king finds her there and falls in Love At First Sight.
  • Snow White is abandoned in the forest.
  • "Our Lady's Child" was abandoned in the forest for refusing to confess to having looked through the forbidden door; the king finds her there and falls in Love At First Sight.
  • The One-handed Girl hides from her brother in the forest; a prince finds her there and marries her. When her brother tracks her down and convinces the king and queen that she is a witch, she goes back; there she rescues a snake, gets back her hand, and receives a magical ring, with which she wins back her husband.
  • In "Biancabella and the Snake", Biancabella's mother-in-law orders servants to kill her. They carry her off into the forest to do so, but only mutilate and leave her there.
  • In "Brother and Sister", the title characters run off into the forest to escape their Wicked Stepmother. Because she is also a Wicked Witch, she enchants the streams they come to and finally turns Brother into a deer. They live in the forest until the king finds her there and falls in Love At First Sight.
  • "Babes in the Wood". Sometimes combined with Robin Hood as a Pantomime.
  • The Estonian Folk tale "Wood of Tontla" features the titular Tontla Wood, a forest of tall, thick trees, inhabited by evil, man-eating spirits. In spite of the horror contained in it, the Wood is described as a "beautiful wood".


Film[edit | hide]

  • Star Wars had Dagobah and Endor. Also Yavin 4 (the site of the Rebel Base in the first movie) though we don't see much of it, and Kashyyyk, which is so lush with vegetation that it manages to be this and Jungle Japes.
  • Pan's Labyrinth.
  • The Fire Swamp from The Princess Bride.
  • The Brothers Grimm.
  • That creepy forest from The Wizard of Oz.
  • The woods through which Tristan travels in Stardust.
  • The Appalachian woods in the first two Evil Dead movies. An ordinary forest under normal circumstances, once the Book of the Dead's been read aloud, it transforms into a twisted, fog-shrouded Genius Loci of living trees, shifting paths, and roaming, unseen spirits. The spell might have the same effect anywhere: the evil it awakens is said to lie dormant in "the forests and dark bowers of man's domain".
    • Two sequel video games have different takes on what happens when the book's read in an urban environment. A Fistful of Boomstick portrays it as more or less a standard Zombie Apocalypse, but Regeneration (a Continuity Reboot sequel) shows a wrecked city engulfed by mist and overrun with giant, living tree roots, as though it were in the process of changing into a Lost Wood.
  • Avatar, in which the entire forest is also one massive planetary ecological hivemind of sorts.
  • The headless horseman's burial site in Sleepy Hollow is located in a creepy forest completely devoid of animal life.
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy A Musical Adventure has the Deep, Deep Woods, which the dolls are warned to stay away from by Marcella. While at first it seems to be a normal forest, made spooky by the darkness of night, it ends up being the gateway to The Greedy and Loony Land.
  • Princess Mononoke. The forest has its own ancient tree spirit, giant wolves, giant boar...
  • The Hinderlands in The Nightmare Before Christmas might possibly be this. Maybe.
  • Where Lilli runs away to and meets the miners in Snow White a Tale of Terror.


Legends & Myths[edit | hide]

  • In Norse Mythology, Járnviðr (Jarnvidr), which means "Iron-wood", is a forest inhabited by giantesses and giant wolves. Norse heroic legend also has "Myrkviðr inn ókunna", "the unknown Mirkwood", a vast and little explored wood located somewhere in Eastern or Central Europe.
  • In the legend of Genevieve of Brabant, she lived in the forest after escaping Malicious Slander. Fortunately, a magical deer helped her there.
  • The above quote from DM of the rings was actually considered true by the Ancient Greeks. Forests (and mountains, valleys, or anywhere else where nature dominated the landscape) was considered to be "numinous": haunted by spirits and immortals.
    • It also helped that there was a god, goddess, demi-god, nymph, maenid, sprite or other spiritual creature in charge of pretty much every natural feature from rivers to trees to small hills.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Old Forest and Fangorn Forest from The Lord of the Rings, Mirkwood from The Hobbit and Nan Elmoth from The Silmarillion. Doriath also counts for anyone who doesn't have permission to enter. Tolkien liked this trope.
  • Garroting Deep, and the other remnants of the One Forest, in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
  • Ratleaf Forest from Tailchaser's Song. It's old, foreboding and 'The big bad sets up his fortress there.
    • It's arguable that every Tad Williams book has an example.
  • The books of Robert Holdstock's Mythago Cycle make heavy, heavy use of this trope. Ryhope Wood, the focus of the books, is a remnant of very ancient forest that brings to life figures from the collective unconscious. From the outside, it's a small wood that's nearly impossible to penetrate. From the inside, it's an enormous stretch of primordial wilderness, where time runs differently.
  • Both the Deepwoods and the Twilight Woods from The Edge Chronicles are fitting examples of this trope.
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Tanith used to be like this, with mobile trees, before it was destroyed the day the regiment Tanith First & Only, Gaunt's Ghosts, was founded. The Ghosts themselves are marvelous at stealth, and Gaunt attributes it to their learning how to get around on their homeworld.
    • In Straight Silver, the forests of Aexe Cardinal remind them of Tanith. They also contain a mysterious woman who makes predictions to Gaunt and lends him a car that just vanishes (along with its keys) when it gets them where they are going.
  • Discworld has Skund Forest, home of gnomes, witches and talking trees. There's also Cutshade Forest in "Troll Bridge", which Cohen the Barbarian calls "proper darksome" and full of giant spiders ... at least before it was sold to a lumber mill, chopped down and replanted with spruce.
  • Harry Turtledove's Tales of the Fox series has the forest around Ikos, where strange things live, which has a mind (or mids) of its own, which doesn't necessarily care for people, and roads only exist at the forest's sufferance. It can also make unwanted travelers vanish in unexplained but silently ominous ways. It's implied that the forest exists to protect the Oracle of Ikos, placed by the all-seeing god Biton.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has weirwood forests, especially those with a heart tree, due to their association with the children of the forest and the old gods. A more malevolent version would be the Haunted Forest beyond the Wall, due to the Others.
  • In Chivalric Romance, where the knights went on their quests. Also, where Percival's mother lived in fear her son would Turn Out Like His Father, a Knight in Shining Armor; it didn't work.
  • A benevolent version is the setting of Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Green-Sky Trilogy. The forest covers the entire world and is a friendly, nurturing place to the tree-dwelling Kindar people. The Erdlings, who have spent many generations trapped underground, eulogize the forest as a lost paradise, but the first Erdling to escape from the caverns experiences the forest as both lonely and threatening at first.
  • The Forbidden Forest in Harry Potter is filled with centaurs, unicorns, giant spiders, and other magical beasts to the point that students are punished by having to go in it at night.
  • The Forests of Silence, an example of this trope are a major plot point in the first book of the Deltora Quest book series; it's also the name of the first book.
  • In Patricia A. McKillip's The Book of Atrix Wolfe, the enchanted forest swallows up Tanis.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "B Beyond The Black River", the setting. With raiding Picts and a swamp demon.
  • In Josepha Sherman's The Shining Falcon, the forest. Exactly how evil depends on whether the leshy like you.
  • The eponymous protagonist of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is a colonial Puritain who ventures into these and learns some disturbing things about everyone he knows and respects--or does he?
  • The Saga of Recluce has the Accursed Forest (later Naclos), a sort-of-sentient being whose massive Order and Chaos flows ties all of its animals and plants together into a single entity. While no more dangerous to simply pass through than any other forest, it fights back with deadly force against anyone attempting to tame, cultivate or cut it.
  • The Enchanted Forest Chronicles take place in an unpredictable, but usually benign, enchanted forest. (At least, the later three do; Dealing with Dragons takes place in the Mountains of Morning, where the dragons live.)
  • The Forest in Septimus Heap is this in spades.
  • Neil Gaiman's Stardust has the "serewood", where the trees will eat you if you leave the path.
  • The eponymous wood of Hexwood - either it's a small piece of wooded land near a housing estate where the local kids go to play (littered with crisp packets, and you can see through to the other side in places) or it's a vast forest containing a rushing river with waterfalls, caves, an Arthurian-style castle and dragons. Or both. And that's not all that's going on, either.
  • The Black Oaks in The Sword of Shannara.
  • William Morris' The Wood Beyond the World.
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower has "The Endless Forest".
  • Mocked in Bored of the Rings by the Evelyn Wood, a dark and dangerous forest which had once been a sunnier and more friendly demesne known as the Nattily Wood before being corrupted.
  • Flamingo Feather by Laurens van der Post includes an area known as the Forest of Duk-aduk-duk. This sounds pretty silly to English speakers, but the name refers to the sound of your heart pounding in terror because it's such a spooky place.

Music[edit | hide]

  • Horror-punk band Calibretto's song "Don't Go in the Woods". It falls at the end of the mostly tongue-in-cheek Dead by Dawn EP, yet it's an oddly sincere song, with the narrator lamenting that he didn't warn his "baby" strongly enough to stay out of the woods. What happened is never explained, but "I fear I'll never see you again".
  • The Decemberists' rock opera, The Hazards of Love, is set in woods such as this, ruled over by the dread Forest Queen.
  • The Agapeland album Nathaniel the Grublet has Direwood, a spooky forest that causes any Grublet caught there after sunrise to disappear (whether it effects anyone else this way isn't clear). It even has its own song, sung by Thurl Ravenscroft.


Tabletop RPG[edit | hide]

  • Changeling: The Lost plays on the idea of The Lost Woods with the Hedge, another dimension that makes up the gap between Earth and Faerie. There are wonders in it, yeah, but it's also a predatory dimension full of hobgoblins and soul-rending thorns. And it's remarkably easy for ordinary humans to get lost in...
  • Exalted has the far East, surrounding the Elemental Pole of Wood. This serves as the source for the vary concept of plantishness in Creation. Eventually, the trees grow so thick that the branches and leaves fill up what would be the sky, and the roots crowd out the earth itself, leaving nothing but an endless procession of trunks, roots, and branches.
  • Ravenloft has Lost Woods in spades. Much of the southeastern Core (the main landmass) is covered in thick, primeval forests. Notable areas include Verbrek (full of savage werewolves), Kartakass (full of intelligent wolves that hunt humans by shapeshifting into seductive human forms), and Tepest (where the goblins are the least of your worries compared to The Fair Folk and the hags).
  • Legend of the Five Rings has the Shinomen Forest, which is almost completely unexplored and seemingly full of mysterious ruins that predate humanity. Legend holds that these were built by a race of snake-people who sleep within the forest. This turns out to be true, but is actually a good thing, as the snake-people are quite heroic.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy Battle, much of the Old World is covered by vast forests full of Beastman, Minotaurs, and worse things.
  • Indie RPG Summerland has this as a central motif-the world has been spontaneously covered by a supernatural forest called the Sea of Leaves, inhabited by sentient beasts, eccentric hermits called the Lost, and savage Wild tribes, who have forgotten they were once human. Those last two were normal people, but had their personalities overwritten by the Charm Person effect the Sea has on normal people (the Lost are treatable, the Wild are not). You play as a Drifter, a person immune to the call...which is probably worse than being normal, since it requires having such overwhelming trauma in one's past that you can't deal with normal people.
  • Usually one fifth of every Magic: The Gathering set. Lorwyn and Shadowmoor took place in the same woodsy fairytale land, the first being enchanted and the second being cursed.
  • In GURPS Russia fantastic version presents the setting as an onion with a peasant's village in the middle and getting stranger as you go deeper in the forest.


Theater[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Forest of Illusion in Super Mario World in which all of the standard exits simply send you around in circles.
  • Mushroom Hill Zone in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
    • Green Forest and White Jungle in Sonic Adventure 2.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 there was a level called Wood Zone that was removed late in development, some fan mods of the game include it.
  • The Viridian Forest, Ilex Forest, Petalburg Woods, Eterna Forest, Pinwheel Forest, and Lostlorn Forest in Pokémon, particularly the second, fourth, and sixth.
  • Vine Valley in Donkey Kong Country, Gloomy Gulch in Donkey Kong Country 2 (which is also a Big Boo's Haunt), Kremwood Forest in Donkey Kong Country 3, and Forest in Donkey Kong Country Returns.
  • Fungi Forest in Donkey Kong 64 downplays the trope—the theme is forests, but the stage has no forest-specific obstacles.
  • Mazewood in Romancing SaGa. It is also the Domain of the Forest God; Cyril.
  • Boggly Woods in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is this area with a twist: the entire area looks like a monochromatic photo. The later Twilight Trail is dark and scary, though the ghosts don't show up until later.
    • Paper Mario features Forever Forest as the setting for Chapter 3 up to the transition to Gusty Gulch. It is haunted, after a fashion, though the scary bits serve as hints more than haunts; and the enemy population consists of Fuzzies and Piranha Plants. Like in certain incarnations of Zelda's Lost Woods, going the wrong way just takes you back to more familiar settings, so becoming irretrievably lost from Toad Town is not a concern, except for the critters...
  • Wood Man's stage in Mega Man 2, and many others scattered across the entire series. Of course, all the animals are actually robots. Sometimes so are the trees.
  • Gaoracchia Forest from Tales of Symphonia
    • Tales (series) likes this trope, and it appears in almost every, if not every, installment. Tales of Symphonia even has TWO: besides Gaoracchia is Torent Forest, which while not as dark or creepy does require you to follow a specific path or you'll just end up wandering around indefinitely.
  • World 1: Magic Forest from Superfrog
  • The Distant Woods from Kingdom of Loathing.
  • There are many of these in Final Fantasy games:
    • Final Fantasy V had the Great Forest of Moore.
    • Final Fantasy VI had the Phantom Forest.
    • Ancient Forest in Final Fantasy VII is a sidequest example of this trope.
      • There's also the Sleeping Forest, which is integral to the plot, and cannot advance unless you have a magic harp in your possession.
    • Final Fantasy VIII had the Chocobo Holy Land, which was not actually a dungeon but was very old-growth, very remote and very hard to reach (except by chocobo).
    • Final Fantasy IX had the Evil Forest, which was actually quite evil.
    • Final Fantasy X had Macalania Forest, which was rather unusual in that it was also always frozen.
      • The forest is implied to be made out of crystal which, somehow, is caused by the Fayth.
    • Jugner Forest in Final Fantasy XI. There's a twist, however, in that you actually can go back to ye olden days. As such, it's incredibly dangerous.
    • Final Fantasy XII has several, including Golmore Jungle, the Salikawood, and the Feywood.
  • Rainbow Butterfly Woods in Dark Cloud 2
  • The Black Forest Bonus Dungeon in Shadow Hearts: Covenant. Listen to the flowers and you'll get through...but remember that you want to get out when you reach the last junction, or you'll never get out again.
  • Zelda:
    • The Trope Namer is the Lost Woods from The Legend of Zelda. In its first appearance, it was a homogeneous Maze, a trait shared by its many later appearances.
    • The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past sees the return of the Lost Woods, as well as the establishment of it being a common resting place for the Master Sword.
    • The Legend of Zelda Links Awakening also features the Mysterious Forest (it's a little bit mysterious, says a signpost), a dream version of the Lost Woods from A Link to the Past.
    • The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time has a setting called Kokiri Forest, where the protagonist grows up as an outsider. Connected to the Kokiri Forest by a "Cave Tree" is the Lost Woods, where visitors, upon travelling in the wrong direction or staying too long, would become Skull Kids. Link and the Kokiri are immune to this because they all have a fairy with them but that doesn't protect you from just appering into the entrance if you take a wrong turn.
    • The Lost Woods are also present in The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask. But instead of having to navigate them yourself, you get to follow a cute monkey through them.
    • The Forbidden Woods make up the second major dungeon in The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker.
    • The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess has the Sacred Grove, where you follow a Skull Kid from Ocarina of Time to find the Master Sword in a clearing similar to the one in Link to the Past, and also very reminiscent of (and structurally identical to) the Temple of Time in Ocarina of Time, for good reason.
    • The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks has a brief forest area you have to navigate, with intersections where you must look at the direction the nearby tree's branch is pointing to choose where to turn. Top it off with the LAST intersection in the puzzle being accompanied by a tree designed to point OPPOSITE of where you're supposed to go, because...well, why the hell not? This is Nintendo we're talking about here after all.
    • The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword features Faron Woods, the place that comes to be known in later games as the Lost Woods. The main area is rather maze-like, the inhabitants are Plant People, and the Master Sword ends up resting there.
  • Folklore's "Faery Realm" is a cross between this and technicolor Ghibli Hills.
  • World of Warcraft features a few of these, typically anywhere Night Elves make their abode. Ashenvale is the most prominent example, with the lighting always at essentially night-time levels and full of things like giant wolves and big, stompy four-story walking trees.
    • Also present in a small part of the Blade's Edge Mountains where the night elves have set up their lone town (versus Cenarion Expedition outposts) in Outland, which they've terraformed into a small slice of The Lost Woods.
      • Terrokar Forest would perhaps be a better example.
    • Duskwood qualifies as well.
    • Northrend adds The Grizzly Hills and Howling Fjord.
  • Lusternia has the Glomdoring forest (which in the tongue of the fae means "Forest Without Mercy"), populated by the prerequisite living trees, harpies, and angry sentient grass. There's an underground commune consisting primarily of Drow-esque crossbreeds between Elves and The Fair Folk.
  • Super Mario Galaxy has Honeyhive and Gold Leaf Galaxy, which are a bit more whimsical than your standard Lost Woods, but they do have giant bugs, lots of bees (including a power-up), and in Gold Leaf, rabbits. Enemies that are standard fare for these worlds appear too, like Wigglers and Monty Moles. Gusty Garden Galaxy is like this to an extent as well, although it's not an actual forest.
    • Well, both of the 'forests' are like a mix between forest and hill zone, with big open sunny skies and the general upbeatness. Gusty Garden seems more like a hill zone, too. At least it's not Evil Garden or some such.
    • Tall Trunk Galaxy from the sequel is actually a more straight example of this, in which there are various planets either shaped like trees, logs, and even a giant slide much akin to the one seen in Super Mario 64.
  • Forest Maze from Super Mario RPG, the Chucklehuck Woods from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Toadwood Forest from Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time, and Dimble Wood from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
  • Several stratums in Etrian Odyssey are entirely this.
  • Wiese Forest (Chapter 3) in Riviera: The Promised Land has an area like this. Cierra leads you in this direction, thinking it's a shortcut to the next area, only to have Serene berate her for getting lost. Furthermore, you have to navigate through two different sequences to get out.
  • Xenogears had the Black Moon Forest.
  • Chrono Trigger rather subverts this in that most of the forests in the game are not pristine, forming more of an urban green belt in places. However, by its famously moody music track Secret of the Forest, one could easily forget this for a moment.
  • Chrono Cross had a few of these.
    • Shadow Forest, like most of Chrono Trigger's forests, is actually very accessible to human foot traffic in the game, but retains its ancient pristine cloud forest feel.
    • Gaea's Navel is far more remote and inaccessible, located on a plateau island with steep cliffs on all sides, complete with an unspoilt Lost World on top.
  • Nearly ever World of Mana game has at least one of these, owing to the series' central environmental theme. The most pristine, ancient and undisturbed of these forests usually is home to the game's Mana Tree plot device.
    • Seiken Densetsu/Final Fantasy Adventure/Sword of Mana had the sacred land Illusia, located atop an unreachably high plateau and being home to the game's Mana Tree.
    • Seiken Densetsu 2/Secret of Mana had several of these, with playable areas being small parts of bigass undeveloped forest land covering vast stretches of the world map. The Mana Tree's forest is located on the island of Pure Land, inaccessible from the water because of high cliffs, and inaccessible from the air because of dense clouds that never clear. With its deceptively peaceful zen-like music, Pure Land actually has some of the most difficult normal enemies in the game.
    • Seiken Densetsu 3 had the Mana Holy Land, actually set apart from the main world map and occupying a separate space. It is home to—you guessed it, the Mana Tree.
      • The game also has a forest maze that hides a Hidden Elf Village; the correct trail is marked by glowing flowers at night.
      • And in Carlie/Kevin's routes, the final dungeon is hidden beyond the Jungle of Illusion.
    • In Legend of Mana, Vadise lives in such an ancient forest, and the first time you go through it, Larc sniffs out the correct direction. (In subsequent visits, you're on your own.)
    • In Dawn of Mana, the Hidden Elf Village on the Island of Illusia where Keldy grew up is in such a forest, and you discover that it, in turn, is sitting on the Mana Tree, which also happens to hold shadows from Malvolia.
  • The unofficial remake of King's Quest II had a swamp like this, but not the original game.
  • Neopets contains a browser-based RPG called Neo Quest II, and the fourth act of that game takes place in the Haunted Woods. The Haunted Woods are home to a Demonic Spider living in a cave, two Friendly Neighborhood Vampires living in (very) isolated castles, a boss (or bosses) that is widely considered to be the game's That One Boss right outside of a haunted house (and there's a World Tree of sorts nearby to boot), and an Eldritch Abomination living in a bog.
  • The forest of Yoshpet in Okami was very magic even before the dark forces moved in.
  • Perez Park in City of Heroes is an abandoned, overgrown, gang-infested city park that's a Scrappy Level for a number of reasons. One of which is that there's no reason to go there, thankfully. Villainside there's Nerva, and all forest areas in the game tend to be infested with the Circle of Thorns.
    • While Croatoa isn't entirely covered in forest, it does fit the trope better with the perpetual night/twilight, fog, and various magical creatures running about. Then there is Eden, which has tree mazes filled with various mutant plant life, including trees that suddenly come to life.
  • The Nasuverse features a monster forest named the Forest of Einnashe. Anything that wanders into its fifty-year cycle manifestation is swarmed from all directions by the forest and has its blood drained.
  • Jade Cocoon takes place entirely in Lost Woods. Then the Dark World counterparts of said forests.
  • Banjo-Kazooie has Click Clock Woods.
    • One of the dropped levels was Fungus Forest, which was put in Donkey Kong 64 instead as Fungi Forest. There's a framed photo in Banjo's house of Banjo standing in what is presumably Fungus Forest.
  • The Living Forest from Mortal Kombat; it's a forest made up of trees with faces that frequently growl. Deceptions Konquest mode also implies that they may bleed red blood (as you can see some cut down trees with red stuff inside of them).
  • Golden Sun has Kolima Forest, which earns bonus points for having a Deku Tree style dungeon, and Mogall Forest.
  • The Dark Woods of the Serpent from Shadow Warrior.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has the Brecilian Forest, inhabited by many dangerous spirits due to being the site of an ancient massacre of elves by a human army. However, the player party will be sent in to deal with a werewolf problem.
  • The Path takes place in one of these.
  • Jolly Roger Island and Bowish Island from Dubloon consist mainly of forests.
  • Brave Soul has a forest called the "Lost Woods" because people get lost in it easily. Unless they have a map.
  • Played straight in Three D Dot Game Heroes, where the first dungeon is called the Grass Temple and the second dungeon is called the Forest Temple.
  • The second level of Bujingai Swordmaster. Made all more interesting by the fact that it's actually a bamboo forest.
  • Jabless Adventure has a forest area. Enemies include slimes, nut-throwing raccoons, and bears. The boss is a lumberjack. There are also Talkative Loon mushrooms as NPC's.
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has the Shadowlands of Kashyyyk (already mentioned under film above; also, probably not the trope), the dark and dangerous ground level beneath the homes of the wookiees on the trees.
  • Wario World's first level, Greenhorn Forest.
  • Cosmos Cosmic Adventure has a few levels set in forests, but the fourth level of episode 1 best exemplifies this trope, with its creepy-looking trees (with eyes looking out of them), ghosts, and thunderstorm.
  • There are multiple sequences of traveling through a special zone of the forest in Brave Fencer Musashi.
  • LJN's NES adaptation of Friday the 13th has a forest maze.
  • Darkroot Garden and Basin in Dark Souls, poorly-lit, surrounded by rock walls and long drops, and home to the Forest Hunters.
  • The entirety of Magical Whip Wizards of Phantasmal Forest takes place in the eponymous forest the wizards are trying to escape.
  • The Elder Scrolls series has a number of these scattered through its games. Go into a thick one with mist curling around the roots of the trees, half-light the only light to see by, and the odd sight of an Ayelid ruin peeking out of the trees, and you have a good example.
  • Digimon World has the Misty Trees. Native Forest is really more of a Green Hill Zone or Ghibli Hills.
  • There are two in Shining the Holy Ark. One is the second dungeon that leads to a cemetery (complete with secret underground passage). The second is just before you reach the Haunted House. In both cases expect the dead to be roaming around and for trees to pop out of the ground to attack you.

Web Comics[edit | hide]


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • The Woods in Warlock Games
  • The Grove near Whateley Academy. The spirits there will happily do favors for Fey, who's the reincarnation of an ancient Sidhe queen, and respect at least some of her friends, but the average human is still very much not welcome. Campus security has an eye on that forest and makes an effort to intercept people (including students) heading there without authorization for generally good reasons.
  • Tasakeru: The main characters live in the titular forest, an ancient, abandoned, mostly unexplored wilderness that is home to not a few strange things...
  • Neopets has the Haunted Woods.
    • Post-Colony Drop, Faerieland has become a non-dangerous example of this. We hope.
  • The Tensian Forest north of Sterling is teeming with gates that periodically allow anything from simple steam, to outright Eldritch Abominations into the normal world. Located in the forest is the guild HQ of Dire, who devote an entire division to patrolling the forest 24/7 for anything...terrifying. The only reason the guild seems to stay in the forest is for its beautiful scenery (along with the fact that the officers of guild possess the skill and strength to handle anything within the forest).
  • One Hundred Yard Stare: Macy might have wandered into this in episode five.


Western Animation[edit | hide]


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Probably the best example for the Japanese, Aokigahara, sometimes called the Sea of Trees, is an incredibly dense and hard-to-navigate forest. It's also the second-most popular site for suicides...
  • Anywhere that counts as part of the Boreal Forest, especially in Canada. A 10-minute drive out of your local Northern town, and you find yourself literally facing the same countryside that the first settlers had to deal with. Great for hiking and hunting. Can overlap with the Ghibli Hills, especially in summertime.
    • The Trans-Taiga Highway in Quebec is 362 miles of unpaved road through the taiga forests.
  • Most parts of eastern and northern Russia. Especially the taiga.
  • The Black Forest in southern Germany. Supposedly named because the tree covering is thick enough in some areas to kill all light.
  • Finland. As the Russians found out, the inhabitants not only included more than one Big Badass Wolf, more to the point, a more dangerous type of predator.
    • Though most of these woods have been rather tame industrial forest for nearly a century. Wood was Finland's main export followed by paper, until consumer electronics were invented. But in the dead of winter it doesn't make much difference.
  • Even in an area like the Blue Ridge Mountains, with civilization relatively close by, it's deceptively easy to get lost if you're dumb enough to start wandering off the trail.
  • The Amazon Rainforest. Go in without a guide (preferrably a native) and it's a fair guess you won't make it out.
  • The Red Forest. So called due to the staining of the trees by a caesium isotope during the Chernobyl disaster. It actually has a higher incidence of mutation in its trees, leading to gigantism and albinism in the plants, leading to pretty surreal landscapes. Being hideously radioactive has ensured that exploration is few and far between.
  • The south-western corner of Tasmania is still pretty much uninhabited even today - and its World Heritage Zone listing bids fair to keep it that way. It's sufficiently densely forested and isolated that it's possible that thylacines still survive in it, and we'd never know...
  • We could probably list the entirety of southern New Jersey, with the exception of Atlantic City. Driving down the pine barrens roads at night can easily give you the impression that you're somewhere in Lovecraft Country.
    • The pines have reclaimed several small towns. Wander through the wrong section of the barrens, and you might find bits and pieces of what used to be houses...
  • The immense woods around the Great Lakes region used to be a scene of bloody wars and massacres with raiding parties going to and fro looking for trouble(Iroquois slang called it The Great Warpath). If you believe in ghosts this is a good place to put them, and once upon a time supernatural threats weren't the only ones.
  • Any reasonably thick forests can be made out as that with some imagination. The play of firelight, moonlight and the shadows of trees can allow you to very easily pretend there are Strange Things there.
  • Not to mention that even in well governed areas, nature can take a turn for the worse, or a hunter might mistake you for a deer or what not.