The Very Definitely Final Dungeon

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Welcome to the Gravekeeper's Palace
"This is a temple dedicated to evil. It's built on the desecrated ancient burial ground where other more ancient desecrated burial grounds went when they got evil stuff built on them. The architect was a necromancer and the contractor was in the eldritch mafia."
"This door just screams endgame."

A video game with any sort of combat (and a few without) can be expected to end with a dramatic Final Boss battle. Console Role-Playing Games in particular tend to be downright obsessed with epic final showdowns. This clash needs an appropriate venue. Some get away with an ordinary castle, Elaborate Underground Base or the like, but that real twang takes a place that might as well bear the words "FINAL CONFRONTATION HERE" in spiky laser-shooting letters three hundred feet high.

It could be the tallest of spires or the highest of mountains. It could be outside the world entirely, or in the distant past. In a Scavenger World, it's a fully armed and operational battlestation from legend. Often it's the very Weapon of Mass Destruction the Big Bad wants. In any case, it embodies the words "Serious business," and just entering it can merit an FMV or a Boss Battle (on the first try; from there on, it's easy as pie). Extra credit if it forms/arises/descends/erupts just when everything seemed all right, if it's more dangerous than would be allowed for any real place, and if it has a pretentious, overblown name.

And sometimes, just to screw with the player, the Very Definitely Final Dungeon seems peaceful and quiet... too quiet. Of course, It's A Trap.

If they're going for a nostalgia feeling, there may be a bit of each terrain/level/mechanism from earlier in the game put in there, making a final conclusion of the game as a whole.

Interestingly enough, it's usually stressed that it will be incredibly difficult, maybe even impossible to leave the final dungeon once you've entered it. This only applies in gameplay. Most characters who enter the final dungeon simply leave after the boss has been defeated, sometimes barely finding a means to escape, but at other times with no explanation at all. Unless they die there. This sometimes does not come into play, as it is the boss's power causing some obstruction to leaving.

Where It All Began is a particular type where the final dungeon has some connection to—or in some cases even is—the spot where the game started. Can naturally be combined with Bonus Level of Hell, Storming the Castle, or Amazing Technicolor Battlefield. See also Bonus Dungeon. For the exact opposite of the spelunking spectrum, see the Noob Cave. Beware of fakeouts by the Disc One Final Dungeon!

Examples of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon include:

Action Adventure

  • Shadow of the Colossus takes this trope seriously when you fight the Final Boss who lives on a dark mountain - under a huge rain storm. Said Final Boss virtually counts as a Very Definitely Final Dungeon unto itself, as well; it's big enough that more than one player has initially mistaken it for a last obstacle to climb before you reach the Final Colossus -- until they notice the tower is moving.
  • Okami subverts this, as there are in fact three locations forshadowed in this way (Orochi's Cave, Oni Island, and the Ark of Yamato, the third being the actual final dungeon).
  • The final area of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, The Abyss, isn't even on the castle map. It has an entirely separate map of its own.
    • Fans of the series will recognize the very definitely final boss chamber as what was almost certainly the home of the Legion boss you had been expecting to fight all game. Someone got there first, though...
    • The same goes for the Chaotic Realm in Aria of Sorrow, except the Chaotic Realm map doesn't even display.
    • The Inverted Castle in Symphony of the Night.
    • In Order of Ecclesia, Dracula's Castle itself becomes this.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask the final dungeon, set within a terrifying grimacing moon, appears to be a beautiful field containing a single tree with children playing around it. Children wearing the masks of all the bosses.
    • While Majora's Mask definitely leads the series in this most of the other games aren't slackers though. Ocarina of Time is probably one of the best examples of this, with the transformation of Hyrule Castle into Ganon's Tower, a giant black monolith floating over a sea of lava. Twilight Princess also has the immense Hyrule Castle, which is this time sealed in a force field for most of the game and is visible almost anywhere in the overworld. Although in the end bits of the final battle take place outside the castle as well.
    • Don't forget Link to The Past which has its final dungeon inside a giant glowing tower. And a final battle that takes place inside the pyramid that was your starting point for the last two-thirds of the game. And Link's Awakening which has a final "dungeon" maze and battle inside the giant egg on top of the mountain that every single NPC talked endlessly about all throughout the game.
      • The final dungeon in A Link to the Past is the pyramid, in the exact same location as the light world's final dungeon, which was also the light world's first dungeon, and you knew from Day One that it would be the light world's final dungeon. The glowing tower is simply the next-to-final dungeon, in the exact same location as the light world's next-to-final dungeon.
        • Except that the pyramid is just a room with a boss fight and does not have the structure of a dungeon.
    • The Minish Cap has Hyrule Castle again, only Vaati's magic has warped it into a much more sinister structure than it was before.
    • The Wind Waker had you go to another one of Ganon's towers, though underwater, but then final fight took place atop that tower, with the entire ocean raining down around you.
    • And in Zelda II the Adventure of Link, where it's called The Great Palace and is the longest level in the game, big enough for you to get lost.
      • Not only that, to get to it, you have to travel through a lava-strewn terrain, which only exists in that one part of the world.
    • In Oracle of Ages the villain spends the entire game building the final dungeon, right next to the village, and it ominously gets taller and taller as her plot progresses. Also, It's All Upstairs From Here.
    • Both the DS games have one start out in one place and move the end to another. Phantom Hourglass has the Temple of the Ocean King with it then moving to the Ghost Ship. Spirit Tracks has a Final Boss, New Dimension for the train portions and Phantom portion but kicks back to New Hyrule for the final parts.
    • Death Mountain in the original has a unique, nightmarish music piece.
  • The final battle in Beyond Good and Evil takes place in a gargantuan cavern inside a large moon, on a slab of rock surrounded by green glowing water, with a giant statue-like Domz creature looking over the battle, and all your friends and other citizens of Hyllis locked in permanent paralysis in green Matrix-like pods lining the walls of the cavern. Doesn't get much more final than that.
  • La-Mulana has the Shrine of the Mother, where you don't quite fight the final boss yet. Only after defeating all the other bosses and chanting a series of mantras do you unlock the True Shrine of the Mother, a Palette-Swapped, badly-damaged version of the Shrine, the center of which you fight the final boss in.
  • When you finally get out of the caves and reach the top of the island in Cave Story, you see a huge, ominous tower. Guess what happens there?
    • Is it as exciting as what happens in that unassuming hut nearby?
  • Predator: Concrete Jungle had a pretty epic final battle which started beneath a gigantic hologram of Earth and ended in the right palm of a two-hundred-foot-tall statue of the Big Bad.
  • Krazoa Palace in Star Fox Adventures. Where better to end it than Where It All Began?
  • Nazo no Murasamejo has the titular Murasame Castle, where the floor is black and the walls are Nothing but Skulls.

Action Game

  • The last stage of Gungrave is reached through an incredibly tall elevator which dwarfs the city it extends from. In stark contrast to the urban crime drama of the rest of the game, is an ancient floating temple with crystals hovering around, populated with blue-skinned monsters which look remotely human at best. And no, the game doesn't explain where it came from. There is an explanation, but it isn't in the game, it's in the artbooks.
    • The last stage of the sequel takes place in the "basement" of a previous stage (The Laboratory). Said "basement" is really The Methuselah Starship, an alien craft that crash-landed on the planet hundreds of years ago, and the very place where the technology necessary in engineering the Seed and Necrolyzation Projects originated from. Again, it makes more sense if you read the art book.
  • Ninja Gaiden II could be said to have invented this trope: during many of the game's cutscenes, you could see the final tower in the background, and after beating one stage, you see the tower in question in a final cutscene before actually entering it. However partially subverted in that the REAL final battle takes place in a hell dimension inside the tower.

Adventure Game

  • Professor Layton and the Curious Village has the Tower. You've been talking about it since the start of the game, heard strange noises coming from it, and just acquired the obscure key needed to unlock the way to it. Now you just need to complete 10 extremely difficult puzzles to get to the top and have everything revealed.
    • Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box has Herzen Mansion. Believed to be haunted by a vampire, Layton and Luke must traverse the woods, lake, and bridge leading to the castle where they must then be tied up by the Big Bad only to escape, solve several more puzzles, and prepare for the final confrontation where everything is revealed.
    • Professor Layton and the Lost/Unwound Future has a gigantic mobile fortress full of weapons ready to destroy London, controlled by The Man Behind the Man who ran away during The Reveal kidnapping Flora on the process. It's even more awesome than it sounds.
      • In fact, the Layton games all go out of their way to point out their final dungeons, popping up a message box to alert the player that, from this point, there is no turning back.
  • Torin's Passage has the player spending most of the game trying to get to the next progressively deeper layer of the planet. The final battle takes place inside the Big Bad's house... located in the very center of the planet (which you've been banished to as a punishment, rather than seeking out and entering for yourself), where gravity pulls from every direction, causing one to float in midair except inside said house. The house itself isn't all that special, except that the entryway is lined with all of the people the Big Bad has imprisoned in giant crystals with her powers, including Torin's parents, some of the game's creators, Sailor Saturn, and Darth Vader.

Driving Game

  • F-Zero GX has two of these. The second-to-last race in the storyline takes place inside a volcano, while the final race takes place on an ethereal virtual track that cycles through the colors of the rainbow.
  • Mario Kart has Rainbow Road. A large, hazardous racetrack in space (usually. Once it was floating over a city) with dramatic, upbeat music and looks like it's made out of a...well, rainbow. There's one of them in every game and it is always the last track in the game (if you do the cups in order).

Fighting Game

  • You might think the final levels of The Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl take place in Subspace. And you'd be right... mostly. Actually the final dungeon of Brawl is The Great Maze, which is a literal maze made out of previous levels, where you have to fight off every character you've unlocked, and every boss you've faced so far in order to open the final door to Tabuu. Needless to say, it does feel very definitely final, and even looks final. A big grapeshaped cluster of worlds floating in darkness, with an ominous staircase leading to it and everything.
    • And the ominous shadowed gate with the trophies of all those you defeat inside the Great Maze. The Very Definitely Final Part of the Very Definitely Final Dungeon within the Very Definitely Final Dungeon.

First-Person Shooter

  • Xen in the original Half-Life - having spent the first nine-tenths of the game in a mostly-underground military facility, you spend the final tenth suspended in the sky of an alternate dimension, fighting gigantic aliens atop semi-organic purple floating islands. Opinions are divided.
    • The Citadel in Half Life 2: towering ominously over the entire rest of the game, blaring alarms and occasionally releasing hordes of airborne enemies, this miles-high spire (lit by deadly balls of energy, and consisting almost entirely of poorly-safeguarded catwalks) clearly fits the definition.
  • Metroid Prime's final boss fight(s) take place inside the Impact Crater, the source of the space-borne mutagen infecting Tallon IV, which you have to collect a bunch of meaningless Artifacts and defeat Meta Ridley to get into.
    • Metroid Prime 2's has Dark Aether's Sky Temple, which, to get in to, you had to steal the planetary energy from the rest of Dark Aether, get back all of the weapons and abilities you lost, obtain your Annihilator Beam, and collect the (sigh) Nine Sky Temple Keys. It doesn't hurt that you're told ahead of time that the lord of all Ing is in there, either. He's not the final boss, but a Sky Temple Gateway filled with mutagen, while the world is collapsing, where you fighting a doppleganger, also fits this trope.
    • Metroid Prime 3 (last one, honest) brings you to the planet Phaaze, the source of all suffering and evil from the last two games.
  • Deus Ex, which takes place at Area 51. Not only do you find out that you're a clone and there are more nano-augmented agents like you, but it's also the place which can bring down the entire world order, has the mastermind of the Gray Death virus stationed there, AND has a malignant AI that wants to merge with you. Either way, it doesn't go down well, especially since the following game retconned the fact that you killed the mastermind, merged with the AI and destroyed the government AT THE SAME TIME.
    • Deus Ex Human Revolution has Panchaea. A massive building hollowing out a section of the ocean built by one of the richest men on the planet. Due to his plans, it's also infested with augmented people being driven mad by their chips.
  • Bringing things full-circle (Incredibly Lame Pun ha), the final mission of Halo 3 takes place in the Halo installation being built to replace the one the Master Chief destroyed in the first game.
    • To top that, the recently released REACH ends with a firefight taking place on a platform overlooking the yet-to-depart Pillar of Autumn in the far distance. After firing the MAC at a dozen or so Phantoms and destroying the glassing laser on the Covenant cruiser, Noble 6 is then left behind in a foggy wasteland as endless and increasingly difficult waves of soldiers advance to take you down.
    • Halo: Combat Evolved has the crashed Pillar of Autumn. Also where the game began.
    • Halo 2 ended at the building that housed Delta Halo's control room. You fight a lot of Brutes, and then you get to the control room itself where the Final Boss takes place.
  • The final part of The Darkness has you on a island with a lighthouse where the lighthouse is the where the final fight takes place. The area begins in full daylight, which as it's light you loose you powers, but soon after a solar eclipse happens, making the being inside you extremely powerful... for some reason, who then subverts this trope by destroying everything and body in a mile radius.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl ends inside the Chernobyl nuclear power plant itself, the location you've spent/struggled the entire game trying to reach.
    • And during a period where you spent you time doing blind local teleportation, you surprisingly do one long distance teleportation on the very first place you began to play.
  • Somewhat averted in the Turok games, as the rest of the game contains such interesting locales that the final dungeons aren't that much of a telltale shift. The biggest indicator they're the final areas are the fact they're named after the Big Bads of any of the games. (Primagen's lightship, etc.)
  • Borderlands has this in the DLC The Zombie Island of Dr Ned, with you heading to the giant, mansion that can be seen from nearly everywhere on the island.
  • Resonance of Fate: The Basilica. If the entire gameworld is an enormous tower, where else can the ultimate confrontation be but at the very top?
    • And then the Bonus Dungeon takes place at the bottom of the tower.
  • Near the finale of F.E.A.R. you descend into a vast underground base with Star Wars-like bottomless pits, flashing lights and a massive sphere covered by a wave-like forcefield containing a murderous ghost girl who has been trapped in there for decades. Compared to the relatively mundane office buildings and warehouses that you spend the rest of the game running around in, the contrast is pretty jarring.
  • The final level of Crysis 2 takes place in Central Park. A Central Park suspended more than a mile in the air by a Ceph lithoship previously buried underground. A Central Park you have to navigate while massive chunks keep falling off and the Ceph hunt you across its surface, while you have twenty minutes to reach and destroy the lithoship before U.S. command launches a nuke at it.
  • Doom 2. Icon of Sin. A giant lake of blood, a demon hundreds of feet tall, and a reverse shooting gallery with rows of monsters blasting away at you.

Light Gun Game

  • The final battle in Time Crisis II takes place in a space center, where the Big Bad actually wields the Weapon of Mass Destruction against you. Of course, unless you're a real pro at that kind of games, that means you'll have to spend at least four usually expensive continues.

Mecha Game

Miscellaneous Games

  • In a unique twist, the first game of Katamari Damacy doesn't present a "final dungeon" per se... but while you've been rolling around discrete areas and secluded locations in previous levels, the last stage is actually the entire world (which contains all the previous locations, but by the time you get to them you're likely far too large to recognize them.)
    • And then, We Love Katamari goes one step further. The final level is essentially rolling every planet and star around to roll up the sun. Keep in mind the planets and stars are made from levels. The final level is rolling everything you ever rolled in the entire game. In both games if you've imported the save data from the first.
      • In a nice twist, you actually have to play this final stage early on in the game, long before you're able to finish it successfully.
      • And then, in Beautiful Katamari, you roll up all the stars and planets, asteroids, strata, constellations, nebulae, King of All Cosmos himself, and if you are exceptional at it, you can roll up the Black Hole in Space that the King caused at the very beginning of the game itself. Very Definitely Final indeed.
        • Taken Up to Eleven in Katamari Forever. You start about 2m high and work your way up to rolling up everything as in Beautiful Katamari, but the four modes for each level mean you roll up every other level up to four times. Then there's sort of an encore level or two.


  • In Phantasy Star Online, the bizarre and dark Ruins end incongruously in a flowery field with a pleasant stone monument in the center. Then Dark Falz appears and the ground turns into skulls. Animate, shrieking skulls.
  • Although it's not the final final dungeon, the final dungeon on zOMG Chapter one is suitably epic. Divided into four parts, the final instance takes place below the Shallow Sea as your fight your way to Labtech X's Underwater Base. It is by far one of the most challenging areas in the game, so far.
  • Mabinogi, set after Humans defeated the evil Fomors in a great war, ends 2 of it's 3 mainstream storylines in a parallel universe in which the Fomors won instead. Interestingly, the ending area of Generation 1, is home to Zombies that are very useful for training the Windmill skill to rank 1. And most people who mastered it on a human can attest to how hard that is.
  • A MMORPG like World of Warcraft doesn't have any real "final" dungeon, but the scenery and environment definitely gets more badass and threatening as you progress. When you arrive on the continent of Northrend, you start out in areas that are recognizable as normal, more-or-less realistic environments - tundra with some geothermal hot springs in the east and coastal fjords to the west, populated mostly by mundane fauna and primitive humanoids - which happen to be getting fought over by various hostile factions. Far to the north, though, the Lich King has made his citadel on Icecrown Glacier. Nothing ever lived on the glacier in the first place, by the time players get there it is so overrun with undead that the only safe bases of operations are floating airships, and the citadel itself is made with the blood of an Eldritch Abomination. With, of course, a skull motif on everything.
    • In terms of visual presentation, the "Tempest Keep". Although not the last or most difficult dungeon in the expansion, it definitely is a very important point in the story: it is the hiding place of an evil prince, who has corrupted his entire people for the lust for power, betrayed the highest demon-lord for his lust of power and stole a humongous crystallized fortress floating along the edge of the shattered remains of a planet in aetherial streams while being surrounded by 3 smaller, but still gigantic fortresses, that all where home to some of the highest beings in existence, on one level with the demon lords in power, and then he ENSLAVED those for his lust of power, because his actions and the actions of his people made it impossible for them to get these powers any other way ( practically, he enslaved god because he was too evil to get into the religion ). Oh, and the keep is constantly sparking and creating magic turbulences. And it is able to travel through dimensions. And all the knowledge of over 10,000 years of dimensional travel is stored on it. Finishing the dungeon closes one of the three main story arcs the expansion has added to the game and grants you the gratitude of a god. It is most likely the most-rad thing in visual terms that has been in the game so far.
      • And that got topped by Black Temple. A corrupted temple turned by Ner'zhul into a fortress, Twisty spirals of doom, a massive questline requiring raids just to enter it and requiring defeating another raid boss on the steps of it, where you don't even go in the main gate, but instead blow a hole into the sewers. Then fight up and up until the final boss of the expansion waits on the roof. The entire Zone is designed so all the plot elements do nothing but lead you to the gates, and from there it's straight up.
    • Classic WoW had final dungeon duties divided between two dungeons, which were on the opposite sides of the map to each other, aptly enough.
    • At the northern end of the Eastern Kingdoms, located in the heart of the blighted plaguelands, we had Naxxramas, a vast floating necropolis. Home to Kel'thuzad, Dragon to the Lich King, Naxxramas featured never-before-seen monsters, bosses that tested raids like never before, buckets of horror, Nintendo Hard dificulty...oh, and K.T's pet cat, Mr Bigglesworth. It was such a good dungeon that Blizzard had it return as the entry-level raid for Wrath of the Lich King.
    • And at the southern end of Kalimdor, deep in the deserts of Silithus, we have Ahn'Qiraj. Part blasphemous temple, part insect hive, and home to an Eldritch Abomination who whispered disturbing messages to the raid group. Sealed up by ancient protectors millenia ago, players have to undergo a massive quest chain that takes them all over the world to re-open it and bring death to the horrors inside.
      • Ahn'Qiraj was probably the hardest and most awe inspiring dungeon of Vanilla WOW. Populated by enough insectiod aberrations to wipe out several armies and reinforced by gargantuan colossi that were made in the image of one of the most terrifying Eldrich Abominations in the WOW universe, just opening the gates required a quest chain that took you to some of the longest and most challenging raids of the time and resulted in a world event that simulated a several day long war between the entire server and the denizens of the dungeon. The actual area was split into two regions each with about a dozen extremely hard bosses while the final boss of the forty man raid was completely UNKILLABLE until Blizzard scaled down the difficulty from impossible and fixed a few bugs. The actual mechanics of C'thun's fight could scale the damage to points that reached the tens of millions and massacre half a raid in a second.
  • While there still is some way to go until the players reach Mordor, which most likely will be the very final dungeon, in The Lord of the Rings Online you will notice when you're at the conclusion for the storyline you're currently following. While Angmar itself felt like this from the start, that storyline didn't end until the final chapter, seven updates after the game launched. The Moria/Mirkwood storyline doesn't end until the players get to Dol Guldur, one of Sauron's fortresses. For raiders, the final challenge is climbing the fortress all the way to the highest tower, where they face one of the Nazgul and it's flying steed. Speculation is that the latest storyline will end at Isengard.

Platform Game

  • Mega Man Zero 4: The Ragnarok orbital cannon, falling from space and burning its way into the atmosphere, with only two minutes provided to defeat the final boss of the entire series. Nintendo Hard indeed.
  • Mega Man X 4 is a partial exception—the Kill Sat on which the last battle takes place is a superweapon that X (or Zero) is trying to stop.
    • X2 subverts this hard. After completing 4 levels in the North Pole, you see the X-Hunters' base utterly destroyed. So where does X teleport into? Bizarrely enough, Magna Centipede's stage, or just the opening half, replacing the annoying sword with possibly Zero and Sigma. In fact, going to Magna Centipede's stage at that point in time (rather than selecting Sigma) will still make it the closing level.
    • The, ahem, architecture, of Dr. Wily's fortress makes it obvious in Mega Man. A skull? Really?
    • X5, originally the final chapter of the X saga, has Area Zero as one of this. Notice how eerily different the area feels from the final dungeons in the other games, including those after X5; the background is solely consisted of untouchable electric light animation, giving the creepiest and the worst feel of loneliness out of all the final stages in X saga.
  • The various space stations from the Sonic series, beginning with Sonic the Hedgehog 2‍'‍s Death Egg, Sonic 3&Knuckles‍'‍ reassembled Death Egg, Sonic the Fighters‍'‍ Death Egg 2, Sonic Adventure 2‍'‍s Space Colony ARK, and various others in the Sonic Advance series. Of them, ARK has been the only one shown to have planet-destroying power, but they are all implied to be Weapons of Mass Destruction.
    • Sonic Unleashed trumps all previous examples of the series, because it doesn't get much more Very Definitely Final than a city that the villain has spent at least five games trying to build.
    • The last level in the original 16-bit game looked like Scrap Brain (a reasonably ominous factory\city). The name was simply: FINAL ZONE. Fear.
    • Sonic Drift 2 maintains the tradition by making the Death Egg the final track of the Blue Grand Prix. But it turns out there's one after that...
    • In the Sonic Game Gear game, you chase the boss from what appears to be the final area to his flying base
  • In Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, the final battle occurs at the top of the Tower of Babel, which provides a panoramic view of ancient Babylon on your way up.
    • Additionally, the battle with the Big Bad at the top of the tower is followed by an epilogue of sorts where you chase the game's other Big Bad through a weird landscape of swirling mists, neon platforms, strange perspective tricks, and an occasional flash of a scene from the previous Prince of Persia games. Finally, you confront him in a room where the decor is dominated by... a pair of elegant thrones.
  • The rest of the Metroid games are no slouches either:
    • The original Metroid had Tourian, home of both the Mother Brain and the only place you'll find the titular Metroids.
    • Super Metroid also has a Tourian with the same defining traits, with the added bonus of also being the place you finally see the Metroid infant.
    • Metroid Prime Hunters has Oubliette, a surreal... place that Gorea was banished to.
    • Metroid II: Return of Samus has the final nesting ground that holds the source of all suffering and evil from the entire series.
    • Metroid Zero Mission has Chozodia which happens to contain the Space Pirate Mothership, but considering it more or less just becomes another area later on and the entire anti-climaxiness of the end boss, it's pretty borderline.
    • Metroid Fusion has two final dungeons, actually. The first one, is the secret part of the space station, where the metroids are being bred. AFTER that, you head to SR-X's secret underground labs, which resemble tourian. Both this, and the final bosses represent the trope Where It All Began
    • But of course, Samus tops it all off by destroying each and every one of those places, some way or another.
  • The Mario series has had a few Definitely Final Dungeons, but the best examples are probably the Galaxy Reactor in Super Mario Galaxy (the centre of the universe with multiple planets) and Bowser's Castle in Super Mario World, which actually does have the fifty foot neon letters on the front saying 'BOWSER' (which, amusingly enough, has both a front door that can be reached absurdly fast and a back door that leads directly to the room before the boss).
  • Iji has a Very Definitely Final Rooftop, complete with an apocalyptic musical score, an enemy the size of a building himself, a skyline that is literally on fire from planet-destroying orbital bombardment, and the fact that if you win the fight you've put down almost everyone in the game who the writer gave names to.
  • The final level of the third (and, so far, final) Sly Cooper game is the Cooper family vault, where not only are you going through the entire history of the Cooper family, but you're also having to use all your moves to get through it.
  • Subverted in Conker's Bad Fur Day, with the windmill. It's visible right in the middle of Windy for the entire game, but teasingly, there's no way inside. Then, after the War chapter, it gets destroyed. "Oh no! Where did the windmill go? I was sure that was the final level!"
    • Instead, the actual final level is the Bank, which has been just out of reach for the entire game until the very end, similarly teasing the player.
  • The final level of Psychonauts is Very Definitely Final not only in appearance, but theme. Visually, it's a Circus of Fear made entirely out of raw, bloody meat—quite possibly the creepiest thing in the game thus far. Thematically, it's inside the head of the Big Bad himself, and, due to Applied Phlebotinum, the hero's head as well. In the previous level, you've fought the Freudian Excuses of assorted people; now you're fighting your own demons, and those that made the Big Bad who he is.
  • Wario Land II's "Really Final Chapter". Basically, Wario had to beat all the other endings to fill out a map that contained the location of the Black Sugar Pirate's secret hideout. Additionally, this level was the only level in the game with a Time Attack.

Real Time Strategy

  • The original Command & Conquer featured GDI forces assaulting the Temple of Nod, an evil looking building with tall spires that glows red. The temple serves as the main Nod headquarters and has its own built-in nuclear missile silo. Curiously the final mission briefing implies that GDI had difficulty in locating Kane's headquarters despite the fact that a temple with tall spires and red glow should have been quite distinguishable on satellite surveillance or aerial reconnaissance.
    • In fairness, the expansion pack (and sequel) show that it wasn't the only Temple of Nod. It later becomes a standard building for Nod. Then the third game reveals that there is Temple Prime... Which gets besieged (three times, by different forces) and blown up by a Kill Sat in the middle of both campaigns. exactly what Kane wanted.
    • Similarly the final missions of Tiberium Wars certainly feel like a final dungeon. You start off the campaign in the Blue zones either containing Nod insurgents or causing havoc as Nod, where the tiberium levels are low and contained. Then the action moves into the yellow zones as the fight is taken to Nod's front door, where tiberium proliferates and structures are all dilapidated. The final levels take place deep in red zones, where tiberium contamination is so high there are whole glaciers of the stuff and the blasted landscape looks more alien than anything, and that's besides the gigantic,glowing towers.
    • Kane's Wrath features one where the Oh Crap meter boinks the roof. The enemy will spare no expense towards your destruction and you are awarded by Kane all three Nod Factions for use in the mission, allowing you to build three super weapons (normally restricted to one) and all of their units. There's also a count down timer to doom hanging over your head, with the Tacitus going ever more critical the longer you drag your feet.


  • In both Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, the final dungeons both involve some sort of floating tower. You can tell that they are the final dungeons because 1) They're floating towers, 2) They have the epic "this is going to be our final journey" music, and 3) Both dungeons are located disturbingly far away from civilization and many NPCs are telling you that you must not fail or else the world is doomed before you head out.
  • The final level of Nethack is the Astral Plane (AKA Heaven) where you battle swarms of hostile angels and the other three Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
  • Similarly, ADOM has the final battle (with an Elder God no less) take place in the realm of primal Chaos.

Role-Playing Game

  • Ultima, the granddaddy of them all, set its final confrontation in a cavern beneath a volcano, 1000 years in the past. It may have been monochrome and not that visually impressive, but it was about as very definitely final as one could hope for on an Apple II computer in 1980.
    • The Great, Stygian Abyss from the fourth and fifth installments of the series should also qualify, if only for its name and the damnable somersaults you have to perform to get in there. In Ultima IV, the player characters need to have completed a number of highly virtuous tasks in a highly virtuous manner, learned the Word of Power, and collected several MacGuffins; in Ultima V, you have to drag your tired arses halfway across the Underworld, the Word of Power is needed again, as are several other items (actually usable items with other functions) and it's combined with the fact that once you go in, you can't leave until you reach the very bottom and hopefully have everything you need to complete the final puzzle.
      • It's the Stygian Abyss in Ultima IV, but in Ultima V The Very Definitely Final Dungeon is Dungeon Doom. Same concept.
  • The Fortress of Regrets in Planescape: Torment is a fortress that stretches for hundreds of miles, located in a Plane of total entropy, built from the regrets of all the vastly terrible deeds in the main character's countless past lives and populated by the shadows of all the people who have died because of him. Oh, and the portal leading to it turns out to be in the room you started the game from.
  • The World Ends With You decided that an awesome spot for the final several fights would include God (or a god)'s drinks parlor/pad and that the ultimate final cutscene would occur In a massive room where soul-stuff gets refined and remade. And promptly does, post scene.
    • The door to the former is lampshaded by one of the characters - "This door just screams of endgame!"
  • Final Fantasy is big into this.

In order:

  • The final dungeons of the World of Mana tend to take place in or near the World Tree. Exceptions:
  • Enix games aren't innocent, either: Outer space, between two planets bound for impact, the Dark World, a comet, Death Heim (which rises from the sea), atop an endless staircase inside the sun of the internal face of the planet, etc.
  • The Star Force games have their own VDFDs as well, each on their own more VDF than many of the Battle Network games.
    • Leo/Dragon/Pegasus take place inside a space station that went missing for three years, and everyone onboard with it. The FMians who came to invade Earth under a Gemini-influenced Cepheus use it as their staging point and a place to store EM wave-eating Andromeda as well.
    • Zerker x Saurian/Ninja has the floating continent of Mu, which Lady Vega raised as part of her misguided agenda to take over the world. While she does earn woobie points for how she suffered due to idiots being in charge of her home nation, it doesn't completely justify raising a continent as well as restoring all its weapons with it.
    • Black Ace/Red Joker takes place inside Meteor G, a meteor-sized cluster of Noise! King tried using it to take over the world, Jack and (Queen) Tia want to use it to destroy the world's technology, and in case you thought a plot thread was left hanging for two games, Kelvin Stelar has been in there for over three years as an EM body slowing the damn thing down to the best of his ability. Saving your dad, and the world with him, put this head and shoulders above the others easy.
  • The first Shadow Hearts game had its final dungeon be a gigantic castle that acted as a beacon for an alien of godlike power. This castle was also a biomechanical space station. In a game set in Asia and Europe in 1913. Telltale shift in scenery doesn't even begin to describe it.
    • The first arc of the game has its own Very Definitely Final Dungeon, in the form of a huge wizard's tower near Shanghai. It's very obvious that this portion of the story is ending, although it's not quite the radical departure the true VDFD for the game is.
    • Shadow Hearts: Covenant gives us the Asuka Stone Platform, which when activated teleports one to the Vessel, a massive series of tiers powered by crystals, with bizarre shapes floating by in the distance.
      • Also, although it's definitely not the Final Dungeon (we're still on Disc 1), honourable mentions go to Idar Flamme, which did a great job of capturing the feel of a Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
    • From the New World has The Gate to the World of Malice, basically the very dimension where all Malice originates, complete with a black sun that's the game's Final Boss (well, him and Lady/Grace Garland).
  • Baldur's Gate had a rather modest abandoned temple of Bhaal, but Baldur's Gate 2 ramped it up to Hell itself, and the Throne of Bhaal expansion had the final fight at, you guessed it, the Throne of Bhaal (which looked rather futuristic, for the home plane of a god in a fantasy setting).
  • The final battlefield of Mass Effect turns out not to be the planet Illos, as initially suspected, but the Citadel itself. And you climb a kilometer-high tower in zero-gravity fighting Killer Robots while being buzzed by their Big Damn Gunships. And then the Foreshadowing really hits - near the beginning of the game, Ashely mentioned that the stair arrangement in the Council chamber makes for a great defensive position. Now you have to fight through it just to get to the boss!
    • Mass Effect 2 has the Collector base. An enormous (Citadel or bigger) biomechanical space station, suspended in the middle of a huge ancient debris field. In the accretion disc of the supermassive black hole at the very center of the galaxy. Yeah. Gonna be interesting to see how they top that.
    • In Mass Effect 3 it is attempted, but falls flat. While Earth could be considered to be the Final Battle, it is esstablished very early on that the entire assault on London is to reach the teleporter to the Citadel, which would be The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. However, there are no fights on the citadel and you "defeat" the enemies in two dialogs.
  • Fallout had either the subtle cult's main base: a cathedral built over a Vault infected by its resident, the Master OR a former military base in the Sierras filled with Super Mutants and vats of the F.E.V. Both were pretty ultimate and like everything else in the game, you got to choose!
    • Fallout 2 had the Enclave base. After juryrigging a (extremely large) supertanker to sail out to it, you're treated to an FMV of the city-ship being dwarfed by a figurehead on the side of the base. As a bonus, the Enclave are so well equipped, they even have a spare GECK sitting in a storeroom closet, after you've scoured the wasteland for one the entire game.
      • After everything you'd done to get there, the FMV of the ship leaving the harbor felt like a happy ending all its own. Quite a grandiose example of enforcing the Chosen One's will on the post-war world.
        • Fallout Tactics, set in the Midwest, takes it to a bit of an extreme. Pretty much everything from your first run-in with Super Mutants is basically leading up to the end of the game, which sends you further west than you've ever been, up into the mountains, where you do battle at the entrance of freaking Cheyenne Mountain. Just getting into the vault beyond involves carting a nuclear warhead up to the door then setting it off. And once you're inside? All bets are off. Once you leave for Cheyenne Mountain, you can't go back to your home base. Oh, and you're surrounded by angry robots who want to murder you, and once you've blown the door off the whole place is a radioactive hellhole.
      • Fallout 3 features an assault on Project Purity alongside a gigantic robot; BrokenSteel continues the storyline and eventually has you invade the Enclave's personal base, hijack their tech, and destroy them using their own beloved orbital bombardment.
      • Fallout: New Vegas has this inside the game's MacGuffin, Hoover Dam. The game asks you if want to commit to this final quest before you start, and automatically creates a savegame either way (not an autosave, an actual permanent save) so that you can go back and explore more of the Vegas sandbox if you so choose. The end result will be a fight with either Legate Lanaius or General Oliver, depending on who you sided with (though only Caesar's Legion sympathizers will fight Oliver).
        • New Vegas has a smaller Very Definitely Final Dungeon for the Honest Hearts DLC. Embarking on this quest will re-enable travel to the Mojave and cause most of the name character (including the only merchant) to leave. Interestingly, it's not an actual dungeon, but rather the entirety of Zion National Park with fast travel disabled and filled to the brim with White Legs tribals.
  • The Knights of the Old Republic games were based on the Star Wars franchise, so the final battles (and most boss battles, for that matter) were guaranteed to take place at impressive locations. In particular, the first game ended at the Star Forge, an Artifact of Doom factory that could pump out entire fleets. Did I mention it siphoned a sun for a power source? But don't Take Our Word for It. You can see its introduction right here.
    • The sequel set the finale on Malachor V, a less visually impressive but still very definitely final dungeon - a planet literally torn apart by a gravity weapon. Again, don't Take Our Word for It. You can see it here.
      • Oh, but wait, there's more. Because there's also a secret academy under the surface, with the final boss fight taking place in the center of a hole in the force, above a pit of fiery death.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts series we have The End of the World (a messed-up world formed from the shattered remains of worlds lost to the Heartless) and The World That Never Was (an artificial world created by Organization XIII, complete with floating castle and evil city).
    • With a final battle in 2 that takes place literally nowhere—how do you top that?
      • Well, since it's nowhere, couldn't you easily top that?
        • Not at all. It's not simply "nowhere". It's in a place made of nothingness itself.
    • And in 1, we have a final battle in an expanse of swirling darkness, but only after you finish the part where you fight in a battlefield formed from the broken remains of Sora's world.
    • Sora spends all of Chain of Memories in Castle Oblivion, but the last floor still fits - every previous floor had retold the story of a world he'd visited. The thirteenth floor, however, is simply Castle Oblivion itself. In Re: Chain of Memories, the final battle takes place on the back of a giant creature in the middle of what may be described as the inside of a giant star globe.
    • Subverted in Birth By Sleep in that while the Keyblade Graveyard- an eerie barren world filled entirely with abandoned Keyblades created from the titanic Keyblade War- serves as the final dungeon for all three scenarios and certainly has the tone and style to match, there is still one more scenario with Aqua, culminating in a boss battle against the newly minted Xehanort at Radiant Garden. Also, said graveyard pops up as a dungeon early on in Ven's scenario as well as in various cutscenes in Terra and Aqua's scenarios.
  • Xenogears have you fight inside the big bad itself. Xenosaga episodes 1 and 2 have you fight on the Weapon of Mass Destruction of that game's Big Bad (though it turns out both are throwaway badguys... and both are albinos with white hair. Hmmm...). Episode 3 definitely screams "FINAL BOSS HERE" as well.
    • It's not quite the definitely final dungeon, but Xenosaga still subverts it quite powerfully towards the end of the third game when you enter the huge, heavily foreshadowed giant space station of doom to confront a major enemy. It's a staggeringly detailed place, full of unusual game mechanics and stunning scenery… but when you reach the end a mook calmly informs you that Your Princess Is In Another Castle. In fact he had the same idea as you did and is currently in your base, killing your dudes. Said killing then takes place in a cutscene, just to show you just how badly you screwed up.
      • The biggest component of the subversion is that the core of this false final dungeon looks almost exactly the same as the final boss' area in Xenogears.
  • The first half of the final battle in Chrono Trigger takes place inside Lavos's shell; the second half, meanwhile, is fought at a point where all time converges, shifting from one place in history to the next. The final battle in the sequel, Chrono Cross, likewise goes down at the junction of all possible dimensions. Both of these are really an aversion, since you don't need to go to a dungeon to get to the final boss, and in fact, the Multiple Endings require you to fight the final boss at arbitrary points in the middle of the game.
    • The Black Omen in Chrono Trigger. An ominous evil edifice constructed by pure evil out of the remains of the Ocean Palace that floats above the earth for eternity, and it's black and covered with spikes, domes, and weird eyes. The very definition of the Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
      • The very definition except for the fact that it's entirely optional. Still probably counts, though, since beating it does drop you directly in front of Lavos.
      • Also, you can do the Dark Omen more than once by going backwards in time.
  • The first Wild ARMs has a final dungeon that cannot be mistaken for a typical dungeon. It's a friggin' orbiting space station set in a wild west motif. If that's not a telltale shift in scenery, then nothing is.
    • And let us not forget that 2 takes you to the living heart of the planet through an inverted spiral tower that stretches on for deities know how long full of its own mini-bosses, and 4 takes you to a deranged, ARM-particle-infested Alcatraz overgrown with crystal and bizzare ARM mutants, with its own Load Bearing Final Boss... Hurr.
  • Subverted in Phantasy Star; King Lassic's tower of Baya Malay is at first glance the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, until you reach its peak and discover it's merely the gateway to King Lassic's invisible flying city. The game then subverts the trope the second time when, after finishing the dungeon and killing Lassic, the real final dungeon turns out to be an unimpressive catacomb beneath Paseo, where the Giant Space Flea From Nowhere has taken up residence.
  • The other games in the Phantasy Star series, however, usually play it straight: The control center for the entire solar system, an ancient city, the other side of a dimensional prison, etc...
  • Soltis in Skies of Arcadia is a whole continent, but fits this trope perfectly. It appears ominously from the happiest and lowest-level area in the game, raising up dark clouds and the game's strongest monsters with it to change everything around. Everybody in the world automatically fears it, even when they can't see it. It was the original home of the Crystal Spires and Togas civilization that bore the Mysterious Waif and White-Haired Pretty Boy, and inside is the power to destroy the world.
  • Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean had Cor Hydrae, the ancient castle of Malpercio currently floating in the middle of a dimensional rift.
    • And the prequel gave us Tarazed, a colossal machina construct powered by captured afterlings and serving as both the new capital of The Empire and said empire's continent-shattering superweapon.
  • The final dungeon of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is behind the titular door.
    • The final dungeon of Super Paper Mario was an entirely black-and-white castle completely inside of a black hole.
    • The final dungeon of the original Paper Mario is a flying castle (Bowser's). The final battle is on a special Bowser-boosting arena mimicking the appearance of his Clown Car, and is accessed via a temporary bridge leading from Peach's Castle, which is on top of Bowser's Castle.
      • And all this happens IN OUTER SPACE.
    • And the sequels are not to be outdone. Paper Mario: Thousand-Year Door features the Palace of Shadow beyond the eponymous door, a gigantic downward-going complex that houses powerful monsters and the entombed soul of a demon. Super Paper Mario features Count Bleck's Castle, an ominous structure floating in the middle of a void that threatens to devour all of existence. In both cases, with the way they are designed, as well as the dark and bleak moods of the places, there is no doubt of their validity as TVDFD.
  • The Shin Megami Tensei series has no shortage of epicness, and the final dungeons are no exception. In particular, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne climaxes in a climb up a tower which leads to the center of the inside-out Vortex World.
    • But none of them can beat the spinoff game Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 2. The final dungeon of that game is the afterlife, after all the main characters have died and Serph and Sera have fused into a superbeing on the way. Oh, and the afterlife is inside the sun, and the reason they're going there is to speak to God and convince him to stop destroying the world.
      • Also, the inside of the sun is apparently purple and kind of sparkly. Looks pretty, though.
    • How about Strange Journey? While the entire game takes place in the Schwarzelt, the final sector, Horologium just plain screams FINAL AREA. The influence of Mem Aleph's presence is so great that the area takes the form of primordial Earth—ie, Fire and Brimstone Hell. The fact this sector is absurdly large and filled with powerful demons, as well as featuring a very confusing move-tile maze, contributes to making this sector one hell of a trek.
  • The Suikoden series subverts this trope somewhat by relying on the series' emphasis on war: the last dungeon in most of the games is usually the other army's biggest fort or capital city. In the latter case, it almost feels anti-climactic, as the player had to fight to said city, ensuring most of the enemy army would be in tatters. However, in the third game in the series, the final confrontation takes place in a suitably ancient series of ruins, which also happens to be the Lost Superweapon central to the (arguably) Well-Intentioned Extremist antagonist's plan, and in the second, the last dungeon is not the last (optional) confrontation, which occurs near the scene of the game's beginning.
    • Played mostly straight in Suikoden Tierkreis, the tower of the Order of the One True Way functions as this well enough the first time through, but after that, The One King arrives and turns the whole thing into a giant, but hollow, statue of himself, which you have to go through again.
  • Dragon Quest, traditionally, sets your final battle in Charlock, the home of the Dragonlord.
    • Dragon Quest II has its final battle in Hargon's Castle, which has you facing off against Hargon and Malroth.
    • Dragon Quest III, after beating the Disc One Final Boss, Baramos, has you journeying to the Dark World (actually the world of the original game) and has you returning to Charlock for the showdown against Zoma.
    • Dragon Quest IV, sends you to what is essentially Hell and has you battling demon lords before storming the palace of Psaro the Manslayer and then climbing his mountain to do battle with him.
    • Dragon Quest V returns to the Demon World and eventually has you climbing another mountain to face Grandmaster Nimzo.
    • Dragon Quest VI has you facing Mortamor in his castle in the Dark World.
    • Dragon Quest VII has you battling Orgodemir in what was once the Crystal Palace.
    • Subverted in Dragon Quest VIII, in which The Very Definitely Final Dungeon becomes the final boss.
    • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in Dragon Quest IX is the Realm of the Almighty, twisted into a hellish place by the Big Bad.
  • Legend of Dragoon has the Moon That Never Sets.
  • Dungeon Siege (the game, not the terrible movie) concludes with a final fight against the resurrected master of a long dead evil race, in a cavern below a castle, with walls made of human faces and screams echoing in the air.
  • Vagrant Story takes place in the city of Lea Monde, which was governed by a theocracy. The entire city is a giant Grimoire, its walls inscribed with magical runes and ancient languages. At the very locus of the city, where all the power of the Dark gathers, stands the Cathedral.
  • Before you can face the Elite Four in the Pokémon games, you must go through Victory Road. It has a rival confrontation either right before you enter or as one last Trainer for you to fight at the exit.
    • Averted in Gold and Silver (and by extension HeartGold and SoulSilver), where Victory Road and the Champion are a Disc One Final Dungeon and Disc One Final Boss, respectively. The real final dungeon is Mt. Silver, a gargantuan mountain in between Kanto and Johto. And at the top you fight Red, the protagonist from the first games.
      • The remakes up the ante by having you fight Red on that same gargantuan mountain, but this time you're in the middle of a blizzard.
    • Black and White have N's Castle, which N, the leader of Team Plasma, summons after the battles with the Elite Four. You have to go through the castle and when you reach N, either Reshiram or Zekrom appear depending on the version and you have to catch the legendary. Then you fight N who has the opposite legendary. After you defeat him, Ghetsis, one of Team Plasma's seven sages appears and reveals the true intentions of Team Plasma and you have to battle him as well. After that the game ends.
    • Pokémon Colosseum ends in the Realgam Tower. It spends the entire game being constructed, and in the final act it opens as a glittering Vegas-style resort complex run by the Cipher syndicate. You dismantle Cipher at the top of the spire by battling on Realgam's private Colosseum, while thousands upon thousands of screaming spectators view your final struggles.
    • Pokemon XD, the sequel to Colosseum, sees Cipher confronted in their newest base—still under construction, the tunnels in the complex weave in and out of an active volcano.
  • Earthbound has the final battle take place innumerable years in the past - to be sent there, your party's souls are transferred into robots, and it's made pretty clear that there's no going back.
    • However, its prequel, Mother 1 (or MOTHER 1), has either a very small final dungeon, or a very large final dungeon if you count all of Mount Itoi.
    • The final chapter of Mother 3 takes your party to New Pork City. It's clear that there's no going back, since the overworld has been completely abandoned, and just about every NPC you've ever met is there with you. The final battle itself takes place deep underground, like in EarthBound.
  • Golden Sun has Mars Lighthouse, the final Cosmic Keystone that you've hiked across six continents (and two games) to reach, located at the very edge of the world. It isn't even marked on your map.
    • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has the Apollo Sanctum, which sits on top of the world's tallest mountain, has you spend a good chunk of time scaling the mountainside just to reach it! If that doesn't scream final dungeon, the last portion of it also has you walking through a shower of light that is so strong it will completely destroy you unless you use the Umbra Gear, which creates a shadow barrier to protect you temporarily from the intense light.
  • As predicted by the title, the last battle of Lufia and The Fortress of Doom... is in the Fortress of Doom, which sits on a floating island. Not too surprisingly, this is also where the game usually sends the players in all the other games...
  • In Eternal Sonata the Final Dungeon is just some tower out in the desert. However, that desert is located on the Moon, which acts as the dreamworld's Purgatory. The final battlefield (accessed by a portal at the top of the tower) is implied by That Other Wiki to be the core of the dream, but by others to be the ruins of the Tenuto flowerfield.
  • Tales of the Abyss ends at the Absorption Gate, a castle located at the North Pole where all the world's energy returns to the Core. Then the game pulls a Your Princess Is in Another Castle on you and it turns out that the real Final Dungeon is Eldrant, a replica of an entire island, which is now capable of flight (until it crashes by way of your party), and resting place of the Crystal Dragon Jesus.
  • Tales of Symphonia has Derris-Kharlan, which is a purple, gaseous comet, Planet that is just a bit too close to the planet where most of the game takes place. Inside you've got really powerful undead monsters, evil angels, and it ends with a busted up castle with what appears to be a black hole behind it. Yeah, Amazing Technicolor Battlefield. Oh, when Derris-Kharlan appears it is started with the Big Bad hijacking the body of The Hero's closest friend (who may be his lover) then causing the Tower Of Salvation to EXPLODE, sending chunks of it raining down as meteors. If that's not enough, when the dungeon does appear, it is seen with it so close that bolts of space lightning are raining down from it and its gravity is causing huge storms on the planet. Oh, and it turns the sky purple.
    • The sequel sets the final battle at the Ginnungagap, the gateway in between the heroes' world and Niflheim, the realm of the demons. Failure means the heroes' world will become one with Niflheim. But seriously, no pressure.
  • Tales of Vesperia has the Tower of Tarqaron, a floating city which has been converted to a Magitek weapon of enough power to annihilate an Eldritch sacrificing the life force of every human on the planet for its power source.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Broken Angel uses the highest tower on a castle, which was built for some inexplicable reason by the leader of the town, who isn't even a villain. Fullmetal Alchemist: Curse of the Crimson Elixir goes even further by having the final area be an enormous super-pyramid (the Spire of Lebis) in the middle of a reconstructed ancient city (complete with Golems imitating era-accurate people), and then when you reach the top of that, you're transported to the basement of the Spire, which is a humongous cavern (the ceiling fades to black), characterized by stone ledges built seemingly in the middle of an abyss with torches of blue fire set along them. Oh, and did I mention that the far-off walls have rocks with glowing red eyes carved into them?
  • Neverwinter Nights: The Source Stone in the original campaign. The Netherese city of Undrentide in Shadows of Undrentide. The frozen wastes of Cania in Hordes of the Underdark.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 ends with one of these as you attack the Big Bad's stronghold. Of course, you just drove his army away from yours minutes earlier...
    • And even though it's really short, Mask of the Betrayer has you fighting through the depths of your own soul.
    • The second Expansion Pack, Storm of Zehir, has the Temple of the World Serpent. Subverted in that you can continue adventuring afterward a la The Elder Scrolls.
  • Most all of the dungeons in Dragon Quest Monsters Joker take place in your typical temple locations. However, the final dungeon, in order to stand out, takes this trope way over the top. Basically, Infern Isle, which was once merely desolate, has been transformed into a barren hellscape covered in dark purple clouds, soaring demonic monkeys, and a couple lava flows here and there. Then you get to the top of the island, enter a creepy-ass stone face, and end up in Tartarus, which is somewhat of a mix between a Womb Level and Hell; all the scenery is purplish, veiny, and occasionally even pulsating, the enemies are all some manner of undead, one room features a sea of ghastly purple faces, and another features a pair of giant pulsating organic tubes that continuously spit out and swallow what appear to be enormous balls of tormented human souls. Sweet Christ.
  • Most of the settings in Contact are lush, peaceful islands with the occasional high-tech military base or island version of Akihabara in between, but the game makes no bones about it when the last island has a great big sinister castle.
  • The Mythic Dawn's Paradise from Oblivion is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, an idyllic paradise inhabited by the souls of those slain in the service of the Mythic Dawn. Oh, except for bloodthirsty daedra who assault and torture the land's inhabitants... and that's only the fate of the loyal servants of Dagon. Those who question him receive a worse, and more traditional treatment.
    • Not to mention the Imperial City afterwards when Mehrune's Dagon launches a full scale assault on the city.
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has the Tower of Guidance, a sacred tower dedicated to the Goddess Ashera who is said to sleep there for 1000 years - only she wakes up prematurely thanks to war. She will be your final opponent, though not before you finally get to take out every other villain you've wanted to throttle, plus a couple of unexpected foes Oh, and the tower itself is glowing like a beam of light. If that doesn't scream "final dungeon", I don't know what does.
    • As a bonus the dimensions are distorted inside, though you only get to find out when it is already firmly established as The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
    • It's also the only place in the entire game where simply standing on a tile can boost one's magic power or defense. Before then, only mundane terrain like bushes could help with defense.
    • Also worth noting are the Dragon's Gate in Rekka no Ken and the Dragon Temple in Fūin no Tsurugi. Have I mentioned that the Fire Emblem series really likes dragons?
  • Interesting aversion from the original Persona: The alternate path has you battle the Snow Queen, whose final dungeon is the school the kids go to, as she's really one of the teachers.
    • Persona 3 has also a middle aversion since the final dungeon is the only dungeon. Doesn't stop it from being difficult to reach the top, especially if it is the first play.(It also has the fact that most of the time, there timed barriers.)
      • It's not really an aversion, the blocks of Tartarus are large enough to constitute dungeons in and of themselves, so the final block is more or less the final dungeon, though it has much less epic buildup than the rest of the examples on this page.
        • On the other hand, after the game-long trek through the tower, the very top is mesmerizing in both its simplicity and the ominous feeling inspired by what architecture there is: a simple flat platform that contains, along the edge, small monuments from which black feathers endlessly float towards the sky. And overlooking everything, the full moon.
    • Persona 4 is tricky, given that there are many that wrongfoots the characters and even the player. While Mitsuo's dungeon is an obvious Disc One Final Dungeon, both Heaven and Magatsu Inaba could very well count, depending on what ending the player gets. The real Very Definitely Final Dungeon is Yomotsu Hirasaka, where the game's real Big Bad lurks.
      • The true VDFD has a bit of a Genius Bonus that adds to it's VDFD-ness, too Yomotsu Hirasaka is the slope that leads to Yomi, the underworld in Japanese mythology.
  • Ys series by Falcom is a big fan of these. Let's elaborate:
    • Ys I: The Darm Tower - the huge architecture built by demons to reach the floating continent Ys, blocked off to the outside world by a one-way door. Unusually for this trope, it takes up about half the game (except in the combined Ys Book I and II, where it's only the final dungeon of the first part of the game).
    • Ys II: The Center of Ys - the headquarters of the ancient kingdom Ys that houses the Black Pearl, the source of all magic.
    • Ys III/Oath: The Genos Island.
    • Ys IV: The Temple of The Sun (or the Golden Temple in the SFC version).
    • Ys V: Kefin, the lost kingdom of sand.
      • The really definitely final dungeon is the inner keep of Kefin Castle.
    • Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim: The titular ark.
    • Ys VII: The Well of Souls.
    • Ys Origin: The Darm Tower (same tower from Ys I since it is a prequel) - rare case where the whole game takes place in one of these.
  • Due to it having 2 mostly independent stories, Tales of Legendia has 2 of these. First is the Wings of Light, which is ridiculously obscenely long and has 3 distinctive sections, each of which could qualify as a full dungeon on its own. The second, the Cradle of Time, isn't so impressive length-wise, but it's a place that exists outside of time, and is made of small floors that on each one is a boss fight.
  • The final dungeon of Tales of Phantasia is Dhaos's Castle. Not the same Dhaos Castle that was the Disc One Final Dungeon; this one has a totally new layout and it's hidden in a different time period. The heroes have to bend spacetime to their will to even make it to the front door.
  • In the Might and Magic-franchise you can usually tell that you are close to the end of the game once Sci Fi-elements start showing up. The VDFD is usually some kind of starship or control room for the planets, in almost every game except the very, very bad MM IX.
  • Super Mario RPG had a double subversion. Bowser's Castle. The sword sticking out of appears to be the final boss... except that the sword is the gateway to the true final dungeon, Smithy's weapons Factory (complete with Smithy, the Final Boss and Big Bad, at the very end).
  • Radiata Stories ends in the City of White Nights, a decaying structure located at the literal end of the world that is shrouded in perpetual night. At the top is the castle of the Gold Dragon, where all reality is due to be reset any time now...
  • "Mother's Lair", the core of the Ghost Planet you've spent 90% of the game trying to reach, serves this role in Rogue Galaxy.
  • Dragon Age: Origins doesn't get more final than the assault on Darkspawn-occupied Denerim, which is a Point of No Return. As a sort of final-dungeon-within-the-final-dungeon, at the far end of Denerim is Fort Drakon. The Archdemon's at the very top—and it's rude to keep him waiting.
  • Diablo 2 features a gigantic hellish pentangle in an infernal cathedral at the end of a river of lava. Also, the expansion ends in a room with an enormous crystal, in the deepest level of a holy cavern, at the top of a very tall mountain.
  • Jade Empire - the Imperial Palace is a gigantic, floating palace inhabited by the Big Bad, the Bigger Bad, and the source of their power. The entire purpose of the fourth chapter, the Lotus Assassin Fortress, is to gain access to the palace. Then you storm the palace and defeat the Big Bad, only to be killed in turn by your teacher, who set the whole thing up. You get better and promptly come back to the Imperial Palace to kick even more ass.
  • The final dungeon in Drakengard is the skies above Tokyo.
  • The Hanging Gardens/Eden in Tactics Ogre. A surprisingly tranquil looking place full of palm trees and waterfalls...until you get to the final stages, which are crawling with undead and a gate to hell.
    • Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis features the prison of a fallen angel. It's surprisingly beautiful.
  • The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind drops you in a volcano for its final dungeon. The Elder Scrolls: Arena puts you in the imperial palace. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim puts you in an afterlife. For extra bonus points, the background music actually chants your title in this final dungeon. Daggerfall's final dungeon is a number of islands and structures floating in space.
  • In Cthulhu Saves the World it's, surprise surprise, R'lyeh.

Shoot'Em Up

  • Front Mission: Gun Hazard scores a double; first defeating The Society by crashing their enormous flying carrier, then (surprise!) it's time to head up the Atlas space elevator which has been on the map since the beginning of the game but never given you a reason to visit until now.
  • If you can complete all the objectives in Xeno Fighters R, you get to make a decisive raid on the refitted Space Colony the BRES army calls home. And of course, that means a very, very large fleet of fighters is there to make life short and exciting for you. It doesn't help that this isn't just BRES's administrative base; it's also an industrial colony—in part, their main shipyard. So yes, a few of their capital ships and a lot of their recently-constructed higher-grade fighters are ready and willing to fight. Have fun!
  • Final boss fight locations in Touhou include: outer space, the moonlit sky, the River of the Dead, and the deepest bottoms of Hell.

Simulation Game

  • The Electrosphere in the American version of Ace Combat 3 Electrosphere (and one of the multiple endings in the Japanese version), a stunning void space crisscrossed by infinite planes covered with shiny luminous grids, with a big green vortex on the background, where you must fight a really tough UI4054 Aurora fighter. Fortunately, by that point you're already flying the mighty XFA-36A.
    • Ace Combat 5 had you raid the entrance of and then fly into a giant underground tunnel with an enemy ace on your tail.
    • Ace Combat Zero had you fly through a canyon with heavy anti-air fire, then into the interior of a dam.
  • ActRaiser 2 has a generic Fortress of Evil, made distinctive by the fact that entry requires taking the Sky Palace, the throne of the Almighty God, and crashing it through the walls. The final level is littered with dead cherubs and surviving angels are being exterminated, because shit just got real.
    • Not exactly a generic base considering it's Hell reached through the mouth of a volcano. Unlike the first game, this time you have to sacrifice Heaven in order to crash through and reach it.

Stealth Based Game

  • Assassin's Creed II, with the majority of the game taking place in Florence, Tuscany, Venice, etc. has the last level as Rome, your objective being to head through dozens of Templars trying to stop Ezio getting to the Vatican. You'll have to use all your horseback, blending and sword-fighting skills to make it to the end, and the final boss battle does not disappoint (Unless in terms of difficulty, but it's satisfying.)
  • Thief, the first game. After visiting such Victorian/medieval/steampunk locations as a mansion, a cathedral, city streets, an opera house, a prison, a thieves' guild etc., the last level is the Maw of Chaos, a hellish dimension of weird layout, magic and the Elements, spewing forth an unlimited horde of monsters. With an Elder God inside that most people in the enlightened world no longer believe in.

Survival Horror

Third-Person Shooter

  • The final showdown of Max Payne takes place atop the Aesir Tower, headquarters of Aesir Corporation and Big Bad Nicole Horne. Max Payne 2's final battle happens inside the Woden Manor, and is initially a two-person castle storm until Mona is gunned down by Vlad at the end of the second to last level, at which point Max chases the Big Bad straight to the top for the final level and faces off with him for the last time.
  • The final showdown of the John Woo game Stranglehold has Tequila storming the gates of Wong's Manor in order to save his daughter, with the showdown with Wong and Dapang proper taking place in the big chamber with the huge jade dragon statue.
  • Dead Space at least has quite a big change of scenery, while Dead Space 2 has you see the Artifact of Doom and the Convergence they have been talking about for all of the two games all through the final section. And all culminates in your own mind, fighting off The Plague.
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves' final boss fight takes place within the mythical neon-blue, glowing Life Tree that was mentioned very early on and then repeatedly discussed the entire game.

Turn Based Tactics

  • The X-COM games all feature some variation on this. Even the final hidden star system in X-Com Interceptor can be considered an example of this trope.
    • The first game in the Spiritual Successor UFO: After Blank series stays true to the spirit and ends with a do-or-die assault on the Reticulan mothership docked on the far side of the Moon.

Wide Open Sandbox

  • Scarface the World Is Yours ends in Sosa's rather large mansion, fighting through his large personal retinue of mooks to finally give him his comeuppance. It's small hat compared to pretty much everything else on the list, but the game is fairly realistic as it stands, so it should be forgivable.
  • Saints Row 2's main storyline (initially) ends with the player character singlehandedly assaulting the Philips Building, a massive Combine Citadel-esque black tower that's been standing in the middle of the Saint's Row district for the entire game. First with an attack helicopter, and then breaking in and fighting the rest of the way up the building on foot.
  • Minecraft "ends" rather aptly, in The End, an Eldritch Location filled with nothing but endless expanses of air, a background that looks like TV static, making it very hard to see, tons of Endermen, massive Obsidian towers, and the Enderdragon.
  • The final dungeon of Dead Island takes place on a prison island, in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by floating mines, in a building run by the big bad and filled to the brim with hoardes of hungry undead. Oh, and did I mention you can't leave once you've travelled there? Very Definite Final Dungeon indeed.