Womb Level

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The worst thing that could happen isn't letting that god be born. It's letting the girl win.
"Great. We're inside a giant worm. What the hell are we gonna do now?"
Damon Baird, Gears of War 2

Biologically based levels are pretty common, especially in shoot-'em-up games. However, it's not always enough to explore a Green Hill Zone or enjoy some Jungle Japes - no, sometimes nothing will do but to have the whole level made out of meat.

And such a videogame level that takes place inside of a giant creature or otherwise huge organic structure is referred to as a Womb Level. Expect to see lots of blood pools, deadly digestive organs, climbable veins, deadly bone spikes, pulsating hearts, and floors, ceilings, and backdrops made of pink, squishy meat. Lots and lots of living, pulsating meat. Yummy. Mysteriously, things tend to be relatively spacious, well-lit, and full of breathable air.

This is usually because the level is set inside some kind of Enormous Eldritch Abomination of some kind, especially ones that like to swallow characters whole, but sometimes it's just because the level designers felt like it. Also, because giant organs can be creepy, as can the very idea of being inside a living thing. These qualities also make Womb Levels popular candidates for being The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, especially when it doubles as the game setting's Netherworld or Hell.

If the outside of the creature involved is shown, expect it to be Bigger on the Inside. Or maybe you were just shrunk.

The trope gets its name from a set of unfortunate side effects of the games they are in:

  • If it's in a horizontally scrolling game, it tends to be a Tube Of Meat that you are flying through, and
  • Far, far, too often, the boss of these levels is either a giant egg or an actual 2001-style Giant Space Fetus.

If actual biological systems are invoked, expect all laws of anatomy to be cheerfully disregarded.

Another version of this has alien bio-goo subvert and consume some previously normal technological structure. It may also be a Living Ship.

When not dealing with the alien bio-goo, this is similar to a Fantastic Voyage Plot. The usual difference is tone and intent. A Fantastic Voyage Plot is typically voluntary, and involves going into somebody's body to do something to it. A Womb Level rarely provides more than a different ambiance and setting for the same sort of experience that is otherwise typical.

The polar opposite of Eternal Engine.

Compare Organic Technology, Swallowed Whole.

Examples of Womb Level include:

Video Games[edit | hide | hide all]

Action[edit | hide]

  • The Contra games, starting with the arcade original, usually feature a womb level at the end of each game after the usual series of seemingly normal military bases and jungles. The few aversions of this trope are usually in games like Operation C and Contra: Hard Corps, in which the Big Bads are not actually aliens, but other humans who are using cloning technology to create alien-based weapons.
    • This trope wasn't averted at all in those two games. Even though they aren't the very last levels, they're still there.
    • The second arcade game's fourth stage has pulsating red and blue blood vessels along the walls.
  • Devil May Cry 3 has a level in which you must "carve your way out of the Leviathan's womb", despite the fact it ate you. Given that the game names each room you enter (you start in "Leviathan's Stomach", for example), and none have anything to do with reproductive systems, one can assume they're being poetic. After you defeat Leviathan's Heart, Dante makes his way through its body to the head and cuts his way out of the eye to start off the next level.
    • Likewise, in the first game the underworld had the appearance of the innards of a giant creature, but it wasn't (hopefully)...
    • Fourth game has the inside of the Savior. Even though it's a statue (an enormous demonic statue, but still) the inside looks alarmingly organic.
      • Actually, that shouldn't be so surprising, considering that the Savior "holds a millennia of demonic matter and spirit melded together." In other words, it is made from demon flesh.
  • The Force Unleashed features an Imperial base set around - and inside - a Sarlacc pit.
  • One level of God of War 2 has our sociopathic hero Kratos traveling in and around the Titan Atlas. Of course, seeing as he's made mostly out of rock and lava, it doesn't really feel like a Womb Level.
    • In the original, Hades (the underworld, not the god) is composed mostly of spiked meat suspended mid air over a sea of blood.
    • Though very short, Kratos also makes short ventures into fleshy environments in the first and third games. In the first, he must enter the dead hydra's mouth and walk to the boat captain to retrieve a key. In the third game, Cronos swallows Kratos in an attempt to finish off his grandson before realizing it's better to chew your food BEFORE swallowing.
  • Another "whale" of an escape (and a case of Guide Dang It) is in King's Quest IV. Rosella has to escape a whale by climbing its tongue, and tickling it with a peacock feather.
  • Ninja Gaiden 2 (NES) The final stage is a gauntlet of challenging jumps and horrible enemy placement through a cavernous hall of flesh, beating hearts (among other raw, exposed organs) and more.
  • In Evolva, level 12 takes place mainly inside the Parasite's body.
  • Super Ghouls And Ghosts put one in Level Four. Doubles as a Gimmick Level with the constantly changing gravity.

Action Adventure[edit | hide]

  • The Playstation game Alundra 2 featured a level inside the belly of a whale, only said whale had been turned into a cyborg due to the player's actions early in the game. Thus, while there were occasional organic elements, the majority of the level ended up looking more like an Eternal Engine.
  • In the second-to-last level of American McGee's Alice you discover that the huge, gently pulsing tentacles that stick out of the landscape here and there are actually part of the Queen's anatomy. Then you get to fight her inside her disturbingly organic castle, from which her "body" seems to extend.
    • The sequel Madness Returns allows you to return to a more putrefying version of it to visit the Queen of Hearts again.
  • The indy game Aquaria has not one but two womb levels. Both are unsettling enough to classify as Body Horrors, too.
    • In comparison, being swallowed by a whale at another time is positively tame.
  • The eighth area in both Blaster Master and Enemy Below. It's also home to both games' Big Bads.
  • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness. The extra bosses are within the Cathedral, are the most evil beings in the game (even more than Dracula, bringing forth the question of why evil is in the CHURCH), and most of the lower levels leading to its lair seem to be made of flesh.
  • Crusader of Centy/Ragnacenty/Soleil has one, where you enter the innards of a monster making up a mountain range and eventually kill the monster by fighting her beating but otherwise unmoving heart in a boss battle. It's part of a running theme of "killing monsters willy-nilly is not a nice thing to do."
  • The Dantes Inferno video game features Gluttony, which the creators of the game have described as like walking around in a giant stomach.
  • The final level of Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future takes place inside the Foe queen, with the final boss being her heart, filled with acid blood.
  • In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver in the second dungeon at the top of a giant citadel you have to wander into the "body" of your evolved brother, Zephon has become entangled with the actual building and you fight him inside... himself.
  • La-Mulana is a very, very tangential example: the ruins are the body of the Mother.
    • More literally by the end, when the Shrine of the Mother transforms into the True Shrine of the Mother: the entire area is reshaped by the appearance of massive protrusions of flesh and bone radiating out from the center...which, naturally, happens to be the final boss room.
    • One room features a diagram of the female reproductive system. It has a counterpart room with sperm floating in the background. Yes, this is part of a puzzle.
  • At least two Zelda games include a level inside Jabu-Jabu's belly.
  • The Impact Crater at the end of Metroid Prime has suspiciously fleshy surfaces, and platforms in one room look like giant, misplaced teeth.
    • More to the point, the Leviathans in Metroid Prime 3 are destroyed by crawling into their "mouths" and searching for a gigantic eye inside their bodies. Plus, a ship used late in the game has the cockpit INSIDE ITS BRAIN CAVITY, with eyes staring at you from all directions. Inside its head.
      • Phaaze later on is basically a planet-sized Womb Level.
      • Due to retcon, the Impact Crater could have been the remains of a Leviathan, making it a literal Womb Level.
  • Okami does this twice. Once in the stomach of the Emperor of Japan, another inside of a giant dragon. This trope is partially subverted in the dragon level, as it turns out all that meddling with the dragon's internal organs does kill him. Whoopsie.
  • Prototype does this twice. At one point Karen Parker sends Alex into an Infected Hive to collect samples, where you fight Captain Cross, and later in the game he enters another hive, chasing a leader hunter that's kidnapped his sister Dana, and using a Thermobaric Tank to break in. He ends up fighting the Supreme Hunter within. The outsides of the hives appear as buildings covered in disgusting fleshy red welts that occasionally spout out Hunters, but on the inside the walls are thickened with pulsing red and orange masses, and the floor seems merely damaged until Hydras pop out.
  • The Meat Circus in Psychonauts.
  • In the second part of the first level of Ren & Stimpy: Veediots, Ren travels through Stimpy's mouth, avoiding nerve-endings and other hazards, fights a Tooth Beaver on the tongue, then must escape before the Descending Ceiling crushes him. And the final stage, "Marooned", of course, takes place inside a giant monster.
  • The fourth level of SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab is set in the stomach of an Alaskan BULL WORM!!!
  • One of the chapters in StarTropics consists of being swallowed by a whale and, like the Kingdom Hearts example above, navigating an anatomically improbable labyrinth.
  • The last two levels of Tomb Raider take place inside the Great Pyramid of Atlantis, which appears to be sentient and has walls covered in pulsating flesh and veins.


Adventure Game[edit | hide]

  • Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3: Lair of the Leviathan is almost 2/3 Womb Level, spent inside the belly of the giant manatee that Guybrush and the entire Screaming Narwhal were swallowed by at the end of Chapter 2.


Beat'Em Up[edit | hide]


Fighting[edit | hide]

  • The various Dragonball Z series all have a stage set inside Super Buu, ripped straight from the show.
  • Pictured above, the final battle against Jedah in Darkstalkers 3 takes place in a giant womb, complete with the giant fetus of a dark god in the background. It is appropriately named "Fetus of God" ("Creator's Fetus" in the English version of the PSP re-release).
  • Related: Jiraiya from Naruto can summon the stomach of a cave toad to change the environment to this in battle.
  • In the PC fighting game Xenocide, Parasite's stage (presumably his home "world") is made up of raw flesh, with toothy mouths in the walls.


First-Person Shooter[edit | hide]

  • With all the talk of Glomar being a creature and its "heart" traveling through "veins," Alpha Prime heavily implies it will end this way, but it turns out that they are just euphemisms after all (for the most part).
  • Blood had second-to-last level "In the Flesh" take place inside a monster . Its elevator-and-switch-based biology allowed it to stay alive for centuries, feeding only on zombies, gargoyles and robed cultists.
    • "House of Horrors", the secret level of the first episode, is set in an evil funhouse within a Circus of Fear that is mostly made of living, breathing flesh.
  • Several of the hellish sections in Doom 3 are covered in living flesh.
  • Halo 3 has its next-to-last level set inside what was formerly the Covenant city of High Charity, but is now fully engulfed by the Gravemind. Leaving you crawling inside what is essentially a city-sized mass of pulsating icky Flood guts, with only occasional peeks at the structure of the original High Charity, now serving as scaffolding for Gravemind's bulk.
  • The Hive from Duke Nukem Forever.
  • When playing as the Alien in Alien vs Predator 2, you have to bite your way out of your first victim's chest.
  • House of Flesh, a fictional Doom-like video game based entirely on the trope, is being programed by the male protagonist of the horror novel The Golem. The author, Edward Lee, appears to have not known how common the trope really is, referring to it as an "utterly new graphical environment". Enemy "Fungiforms" would infect areas to prevent healing, and the levels (Dermatropolis, Tumor Town, Viralville, the Labyrinth of Leprosy, etc.) sound similar to settings in Lee's earlier novels about Hell.
  • Much of Prey takes place inside what is effectively a giant biomechanical organism. With lots and lots of sphincters.
  • In System Shock 2, one of the final levels takes place inside the Many, a giant mass of flesh that has grown around the spaceship you're in. Along your journey through the biomass, you can find and listen to the recorded observations of a scientist who was dragged through it ahead of you.
  • The final battle in the Quake-clone Chasm: The Rift was against a giant worm; the only way to beat it was to get swallowed by it and destroy its heart.
  • While not technically inside a creature, the Strogg of Quake IV (think Clive Barker meets the Borg) have a tendency to use biological material interchangeably with machines, and as such, one level contains a giant, mechanically augmented heart with a tesla coil for a pacemaker, and a hallway make of writhing intestines. In theory, the building itself is one enormous cyborg. Each time the tesla coil made the heart beat, this building would scream in pain.
  • Unreal II the Awakening features a planet that actually happens to be a gigantic living organism. The latter half of the level is spent inside it.
    • It has giant hairs sticking out like freaky trees on the surface, and lots of teeth in a few places too. Oh, and little wiggly white things when you're inside that look a bit like they might be a physical representation of energy in it's nervous system. Cute.
    • Understandably it's rather pissed off when you blow part of it up with some demo charges to get a piece of the what-turns-out-to-be-an-Artifact of Doom, and tries to kill you with the equivalent of antibodies that are about as big as you are and attack by charging into you and exploding.


Hack and Slash[edit | hide]

  • In Gauntlet (1985 video game): Dark Legacy, the stage Your Worst Nightmare in the Dream Realm starts with the players going through a large disembodied mouth, and includes such features as a bits of giant ribcage and a giant beating heart among the squishy meat scenery.
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade has Momohime and Jinkuro in an oni's belly at one point. Cue the buzzsaw technique to get out before you're killed by the stomach acid.


MMORPG[edit | hide]

  • One of the explorable areas, the Domain of Pain, near the end of Guild Wars: Nightfall is this sort of level.
  • In the MMO La Tale, you have to annoy a giant worm-like monster (with teeth!) named the Behemoth by trying to dig it up. If you succeed, it will swallow you, leading to a level full of germs, pukes, and blood cells. The only way out is to find the uvula at the very end(!) of the level and whack it with your weapon.
  • World of Warcraft gives us Nespirah, a ginormous shellfish goddess. Despite looking creepy as hell, she's actually on your side; the Naga have her mentally subdued as they steal her pearls, and players are tasked with freeing her.
    • There are actually three creatures like this one in Vashj'ir. One of them have a Twilight Cult temple built at it's center. Another Womb Level (though much smaller) is the Old God's stomach in the Twilight Highland. If you stay outside of the NPC's shields for too long, a green meter starts filling up and you get digested. Also, one of the phases of the fight against C'thun in Ahn'Qiraj involves being teleported to it's stomach.
    • The hives of the Silithid and most of the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj take place in disturbingly fleshy surroundings. And if that's not enough, during the final encounter with
  • The final two phases of the "Dilemma Diabolique" incarnate trial from the defunct City of Heroes took place inside the body of the death god Mot.


Platformer[edit | hide]

  • The Final Boss of Adventure Island II can be found inside a dinosaur of Dinosaur Island.
  • The relatively-unknown SNES game Ardy Lightfoot contains a level in which you're swallowed by what can only be described as a HUGE... worm-thing, after beating one of the bosses, who also gets swallowed. You have to navigate through its body to get out, and find the body of the boss you just beat... ... and now I have to go add a bit of Nightmare Fuel for that level.
    • It's scarier in the Japanese version, since you see her bones lying there. In the American version, the sprite was altered so we just see her lying there dead.
      • It's even scarier when you look at the beta picture for what she was supposed to look like. The sprite isn't designed very well, but she was originally supposed to be in the middle of getting dissolved. You can see it on this website, although you'll have to scroll down quite a bit.
  • In the Gameboy title Balloon Kid, Stage 3 ends with the player willingly walking into the open mouth of a surfaced whale. (If only the screen would scroll high enough to just float over it!) Stage 5 (after the whale-innards level) begins with EXITING a whale's mouth as well, meaning this is yet another case of a two-headed whale...
  • Happens surprisingly often in the Banjo-Kazooie series, culprits including Clanker the mechanical whale, a giant turtle named Tanktup, a overgrown fish, and a 'Chompasaurus' plagued with stomach ulcers.
  • Bonk and Super Bonk did this. In Bonk's Adventure this happens when you're swallowed by a stegosaurus; in Super Bonk this happens when you're swallowed by a pterosaur that's smaller than you.
  • The little known Genesis/SNES platformer Radical Rex has the Innerworks level, which takes place inside a large brontosaurus. Here, you must get past amoebas, leeches, weird ghost-birds, and pits of acid that dissolve you instantly.
  • Pretty much every version of the first Earthworm Jim but the Super NES one had the level "Intestinal Distress", which took place in a giant alien's intestines; the boss was named Doc Duodenum. Earthworm Jim 2, even the SNES version, followed this up with the "Villi People" level, which appears to be a giant set of intestines. According to the manual, it's actually a planet that looks like a giant set of intestines... and it's also Doc Duodenum's summer home (although the doctor does not appear).
    • One of the (randomly selected) questions in the trivia game show at the end of the level asks you to name Doc Duodenum's favorite cheese. It's Camembert.
  • Levels six and seven of Flashback take place in the Morph homeworld.
  • The deepest part of the Metal Head nest in the Jak and Daxter series.
  • Joe and Mac Caveman Ninja, a cartoony game about cavemen and dinosaurs, has the inside of a T-Rex's body as the final level, complete with a giant, realistic beating heart.
    • The sequel (in Japan) Congo's Caper also has a level where you fight the devil inside a T-Rex's body. While there's no still-beating heart to contend with, the player has to totally submerge in and swim through sickly-yellow digestive juices instead.
  • The Klonoa series have a few examples of this. In Door to Phantomile (and its remake for the Wii, just simply titled "Klonoa"), the final boss is a giant slug/frog-like beast named Nahatomb that shoots enemies out the cannon-like hole on its back (perhaps a strangely-designed and placed anus?) that you must throw into your friends' cannons so they can blast him. Once they do, it eats you and everything else, so the rest of the battle continues inside its body.
    • In Klonoa Advance 2: Dream Champ Tournament, there is a level that appears to be inside a whale, but with platforms, doors, items, etc. for some reason.
  • The third stage of Magician Lord is one of these.
  • From a certain point onward, Gemini Man's level in Mega Man 3 has platforms and a background resembling cells, and features what appear to be fertilized eggs that block the player's way. When shot, they release what could only be tadpoles.
  • Some platform games played this for cuteness, for instance The New Zealand Story and Yoshi's Island, where the main characters were swallowed into the belly of a not-quite giant monster (an ice whale in the former, a frog in the latter. In fact, you are shrunk down in the latter rather than the frog being big.) and had to beat up on a cutesy uvula to escape. In the Yoshi's Island level, Yoshi gets out through the back passage... and gives the camera a look of absolute shock as the boss dies.
  • The original Ape Escape had a level inside a dinosaur-like creature named Dexter. It was lampshaded, even if unintentionally, by a mailbox from Natalie/Natsumi telling you that Dexter had a 'complex labyrinth' inside his body - "don't get lost!"
  • In Scurge: Hive (for DS and GBA), there are more Womb Levels than can be safely counted. In fact, nearly every level is at least partially a Womb Level. Considering the game has you attacking an infectuous biomass, it's not too much a surprise. Of course, unlike most Womb Levels, actually stepping on or standing in the squishy red/pink stuff is actually pretty bad since the stuff is trying to constantly infect you as well. (Though you can jump like crazy and have almost no effect.)
  • The last stage of the Turtle Zone Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is inside a whale.
    • Except for the bonus level, all of Turtle Zone takes place in a turtle. This makes the last stage a Womb Level within a Womb Level.
      • BWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG!
  • Super Monkey Ball 2 has a level that takes place inside a giant whale, though the whale has apparently eaten all sorts of buildings and trees, so the level looks more like a city.
  • Tempo has a womb level as one of the first levels in the game. You start off inside the mouth of what appears to be some sort of white, fuzzy beast, and then once you go into its body, you encounter hearts which are literally heart-shaped (and there seem to be many of them) and walking cheeseburgers. Then, once the level is complete, you randomly fight a boxing glove. FOR NO REASON. Then again, the whole game in general is filled with trippy/bizarre/nonsensical stuff.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension video game for Wii and Playstation Move, there is a boss battle where the giant hairy monster that Phineas and Ferb faced earlier in the movie comes back. If it eats you, you have to use the Sticky Gloves to climb up the esophagus, grab the uvula, and then shake the remote for it to spit you out.
  • Wario Land II for the Gameboy Color: In the last level of the game, "Steal the Syrup's Treasure" you enter a cave behind Captain Syrup's castle that has pink walls that resemble flesh and are covered in eyes, ears, noses, mouths, and sections of intestinal tract, complete with conveyer belts that look like intestines. For extra creepiness, there are also enemies from the game that are embedded in the stage's skin-like background that have a look of shock on their faces.
  • The second half of level 3 in Shinobi III.


Puzzle Game[edit | hide]

  • Even something as innocent as the puzzle game Lemmings contains one level set where the lemmings walk on intestines and have to bash their way through bones. Even their building blocks are bloody-pink!
  • Out of the many planets in the game Meteos, the planet Globin (the name should be a giveaway) is shaped like a giant red blood cell, is actually a living organism and is populated by an alien race that behaves like blood cells, distributing nutrients and repelling invaders. The background music is composed of heart beats, heart murmurs and a magnified breathing sound, creating a very creepy effect.
  • There is no way you can die in the educational game Think Quick!. If you get eaten by a Slime Worm, all that happens is that you have to escape from the Slime Worm Belly.


Role-Playing Game[edit | hide]

  • Breath of Fire 2 has one level that takes place in the body of a giant whale. (You have to hit its uvula in order to enter inside.) Interestingly enough, the whale becomes your Cool Ship once you've finished the quest. In another level, the heroes are shrunk and then have to enter the body of an obese queen in order to defeat the "fatty demons" located inside of her. (Although this is more of a Fantastic Voyage scenario.)
    • This particular Womb Level is actually fairly accurately modeled on a human heart, down to featuring red and blue color schemes in the appropriate areas: several dead ends are even quite clearly the branching arteries leading to and from the lungs. (The fan translator was so impressed by the discovery that he broke his "no abbreviations" rule to fit "L. Atrium", "R. Atrium", "L. Ventricle" and "R. Ventricle" into the twelve lettters alloted for location names.)
  • The penultimate battle against Lavos at the end of Chrono Trigger takes place within Lavos himself. Well, sorta. One could say that what everyone thought was Lavos was just an outer shell or armor. And thankfully the insides lack lots of fleshy meat.
  • The first episode of Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure ends with Cosmo being swallowed alive by a giant alien as a cliffhanger. The first level of the second episode takes place inside of the alien.
  • The final dungeon of Dragon Quest VII looked like this, for some inscrutable reason. Probably because its freaky hell.
  • Etrian Odyssey's Claret Hollows has walls made of flesh and skulls, powerful cells as enemies, damage tiles that look like stomach acid, and the final boss is called the "heart of the labyrinth". Cool huh?
  • Leviathan's stomach in Final Fantasy II.
    • Metaphysically, the Giant of Babil in Final Fantasy IV. It's mechanical, but it is shaped like the human body, and the sections are named after parts of it.
  • The true form of Exdeath's castle in Final Fantasy V is like this.
  • Final Fantasy VI had monster called Zone Eater that can eat your party one member at a time. If he manages to eat your entire party, you then get to explore a dungeon inside it. Something of a subversion, though, as its innards really... don't look different from any other cave dungeon you go through right down to the wooden bridges.
    • The floating continent in Final Fantasy VI and Kefka's tower, while technically not womb levels, have a "womb" feel to them.
  • Final Fantasy X's final battle takes place in a strange dimension located within the body of Sin, the flying, mountain-sized monster that appears and destroys the world every ten years or so. Though it doesn't look like a Womb Level once you're inside.
    • Given that Sin is essentially made from Jecht's dreams, it makes sense that it kinda looks like Jecht and Tidus's Zanarkand within...Kinda...
  • In SaGa 2, the party shrinks to nano-size and enters the body of the human priestess Ki so that they can retrieve the MAGI inside her, which enemies are killing her to attain. Ki's body doesn't look disgusting like the typical Womb Level, but the party does have to battle her germs and phagocytes.
    • And the music (in the DS remake) is creepy as shit.
  • Grandia II has the heroes battling the Pope deep in the bodily recesses of the giant demon Valmar, which is orbiting high above the Earth. (No. Really.) Earlier, the gigantic Body of Valmar (Valmar was somewhat... in pieces at this point) is defeated by entering its monster-infested and strangely puzzle-filled insides and destroying its core.
  • .hack has a number of dungeons which are entered via a creature's mouth and appear as if you are traveling inside a living being (granted, a living being with nonsensical anatomy).
  • Hellgate: London has at least two Womb Levels - one involving an Exospector, and the other somehow involving a portal to Hell through the Resident Butt Monkey's mind.
    • The Exospectors are those giant floating whale-like things that could be seen over the city. It's believed they act as troop transports. You get to run around inside of one after shooting it down. As part of a quest chain, someone asks you to go inside it and bring out whatever powers the accursed thing. This of course leads to pocket dimensions, as you cover enough winding tunnels to give the subways a run for their money, when it's shown that the downed Exospector can't be much bigger than a four-floor building, inside which the amount of ground covered would never fit.
    • Inside aforementioned Butt Monkey's brain, you get to fight his Id, Ego and Super-Ego in one of the most anti-climactic boss battles ever. It could have been awesome, but it just ends up as this chaotic brawl in a tiny squishy chamber. On the other hand, all three bitch constantly and voice said Butt Monkey's thoughts, notably saying "Want me to turn my back so you can stick a knife in and twist?!" several times during the fight. Poor bastard. Given he's assigned to one of the looniest lords means he ends up being the guinea pig for many of said loon's experiments.
  • Kingdom Hearts has your Gummi Ship swallowed by Monstro, a Space Whale version of the whale from Disney's Pinocchio.
    • Of course, if Kingdom Hearts is accurate in its whale anatomy, the sea creatures are actually filled with nothing but fluorescent purple stairs, glowing portals, radioactive polka dots, and lots of wooden barrels.
    • Also, you can drop from the "bowels" back into the "mouth". Squick.
    • And then you have that bizarre...flesh-spaceship-with-faces thing from the last battle.
    • Monstro reappears as a level in Chain of Memories, and also in Kingdom Hearts 3D, where it makes up the entirety of Riku's version of the Prankster's Paradise world. (And in Birth by Sleep Final Mix as a Bonus Boss who swallows you at regular intervals).
  • Lands of Lore II has a more literal instance of a Womb Level than most. The Ancient God Belial anticipated his own death, and created a "Mother Beast" - a truly enormous immobile biological monstrocity made for birthing smaller monstrocities - to guarantee his rebirth. Over the course of the game, it gestates and produces progressively less-and-less malformed versions of its creator as its worker-ant monstrocities bring it more fragments of Ancient magic, and is nearly done gestating the flaw-free incarnation at the end of the game. The last level has you traipsing around the fleshy chambers inside the Mother Beast (at least in this instance it's justified - the room- and corridor-like spaces were probably meant for use as such by the worker and soldier monstrocities milling around like the thing's body were an ant colony), the goal being to prevent Belial from incarnation with his whole power by finding the chamber with the evil god fetus and stuffing Ancient magic in him the wrong way to induce a miscarriage. The final boss is the miscarriage.
  • Legend of Legaia finished the game with a battle inside a giant Seru, which was really just an excuse for an Amazing Technicolor Battlefield. Many of the levels before that had been semi-organic and Seru-made.
    • And then there's Conkram - imagine a marble-and-gold kingdom making sweet unholy love to a Womb Level and baptizing the child in terror. And unlike the Bio Castle, it's been like this for ten years.
  • In the SNES RPG Maka Maka, the party gets eaten by a fat princess appropriately named Gourmet, and they must escape from inside of her.
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time has the Bros get eaten by a giant alien Yoshi known as Yoob. They also get out through the back passage.
  • Partially played in Mass Effect 2 during the attack on the Collector base. Not only is the base highly organic and filled with any number of analogues for natural defenses in a living being, but it becomes a literal womb level when you face the final boss, a giant Reaper embryo.
  • Although it's not a literal one with flesh and all, the island, the temple on it, and the final dungeon of the game (behind a certain door within the temple itself no less) in Mystic Ark can be metaphorically be described as such. Just watch the ending and figure it out.
  • Paladin's Quest has a cave dungeon called Dragon Mountain filled with monsters with names like Virus and Parasite. When the characters exit on the other side, the "mountain" reveals that it was alive after all and that the characters have just crawled out of its mouth. Guess what the entrance really was.
  • Not so much a level, but in Paper Mario, you fight some fuzzy caterpillar thing on the inside of a whale. And it's dark.
  • Phantasy Star IV has the Garuberk Tower, which is more or less a giant pillar of organs, veins, and eyes, which Chaz has to interact with in a nonspecific way in order to make the fleshy walls tremble and make new areas accessible. The truly unsettling about it is that the Tower isn't a creature—it's just a huge tumor rising up out of the earth, existing solely as a power base for Dark Force.
  • In the old Amiga game Pools Of Darkness, a D&D RPG, you at one point end up on the gigantic, comatose body of the ex-god Moander. In order to complete the events there, you have to enter his body. Not only do you have to fight both enemy cultists and various immune-system baddies, but travel is done mostly through blood vessels, and Moander's heart still beats now and then, resulting in some VERY squicky tides. The BBEG of the area hides in the heart, and will happily stab it whenever you approach, flushing you out again.
  • The Final Dungeon of Romancing SaGa: Quietus is one large Womb Level, it is especially disturbing near the final chamber where there is a giant pool of blood smack dab in the center of the passageway.
  • The Meifumado Citadel in Throne of Darkness starts out like any other castle encountered so far (except with creepy murals and much darker walls) then the room with the stairs up on the second level, is covered with flesh, and the stairs are made of bones. The next levels are all living, with pulsating walls, giant constructs of flesh and bone, and green steam coming from suspiciously anus-like holes in the ground.
  • The Heg from Treasure of the Rudra. Add very disturbing music and you have the stuff of horror. Ruins of Meifa also counts too as the boss is fought in front of a giant heart and then fuses with it when you win
  • At one point in Wandering Hamster, Bob gets eaten up by a giant snake, whose interiors are populated by alive seagulls and ducks and comes complete with a mini-golf course.
  • A good portion of Xenosaga takes place inside the Cathedral, a planet sized Gnosis that also doubles as a mothership for the alien species. Fortunately, there's not a lot in the way of blood and guts since somehow the aliens are made up of salt.
  • One of the last dungeons of Xenoblade takes place inside of the Bionis. Not nearly as yucky as some other areas of its sort, due to most of the environment being fluorescent colored and very alien in nature. You fight both the literal and figurative immune system of the Bionis there, in the form of giant single celled organisms and the bizarre Telethia, respectively.
  • Not that it was easy to tell from the horrible graphics but the original X-Men game for the NES had a couple of levels inexplicably inside a giant space whale. In the comics these were used as starships by the alien Brood.
  • The final room of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon of Shin Megami Tensei: if... is a brain, complete with fetus final boss.
  • The last, eerie walk to the Big Bad of EarthBound seems to take place on a large, pulsating optic nerve/brain... thing.
  • Minor one from Queens Crown the iOS game: after beating the final boss for the first time, NPCs with gateways in their bodies appear. The gateways inside them lead to a regular looking dungeon... with regular looking mooks... THAT SURPASS THE MAIN CHARACTER'S MAXIMUM LEVEL BY HUNDREDS. Use magic or die.


Rhythm Games[edit | hide]

  • Elite Beat Agents had a stage where the agents had to cheerlead the white blood cells in an athlete's body into fighting off a fever.
  • Loco Roco finished each level with a pink, squishy stage where you were swallowed by an animal and came out the other end - this included a frog, a penguin, and a gigantic Moja.


Shoot'Em Up[edit | hide]

  • In Abadox: The Deadly Inner War, the hero journeys inside a Planet Eater to rescue a princess.
  • Amiga game Anatomic Man takes place in a human digestive system, where you need to shoot bacteria.
  • The Amiga shoot-em-up Apidya has two, both bonus levels. One takes place inside a giant pike after he eats you, the other is when you fly into the guts of the dead rat that you just blasted open. I'm not kidding.
  • The final level in the NES game Attack of the Killer Tomatoes took place inside a giant monster tomato.
  • Bio-Hazard Battle is a fairly standard Shmup except for the playable ships and all the enemies being organic, and the levels get more like this the further you go along.
  • Blazing Lazers has Area 4, which is inexplicably full of Mook Maker brains.
  • The Neo-Geo shooter Blazing Star ends the game with a semi-cybernetic version, complete with Cyborged Giant Space Fetus.
  • The second level of the Amiga shoot-em-up Disposable Hero, which, in addition to the requisite teeth and blood vessels, features a fire-breathing wasp made of meat which squelches eggs out of its abdomen at you as its first sub-boss, followed by a skeleton that spurts blood when you decapitate it, and culminates in a boss fight against a tusked skull - which you have to kill by shooting off the top of its head, and then popping its inflating brain sac.
  • There's usually at least one in each Gradius game as well; Gradius V has three, though two are of the "bio-goo takes over a capital ship" variety. The other is full of pulsating meat and ends with an ovum battle, though.
    • Actually, that's a heart.
    • While Gradius was the staple for womb stages, it was the sister series, Salamander, that pushed the envelope for extremely graphic representation.
      • Both of the series' organic stages tend to have regenerating walls, which after being destroyed, can regenerate on top of your ship and kill you if you're not careful. Gradius ReBirth has a rather dickish variety that grows even larger whenever it regenerates.
    • Life Force is the ur-example, which takes place inside the Planet Eater Zelos.
      • In the original version of the game, Salamander, only the first level was a womb level. However in the Japanese Arcade version of Life Force; which was a tweaked remake of Salamander, almost all of the levels and enemies had pallet and sprite swaps to look organic. The game also included an announcer which, when you reached a new level, told you what organ of the monster you were entering.
  • The Guardian Legend has a flesh zone.
  • Legendary Wings had mid-level punishment segments in which you would be sucked into a giant's mouth if you failed to dodge his whirlwinds. These levels were really creepy.
  • Naizoh Habitat in Nanostray 2. "Naizoh" even means "guts".
  • The last boss of the forgotten shmup Philosoma has you whittling away at a giant ovum, all the while your A.I. Is a Crapshoot onboard computer kept saying "Fertilization" over and over at differing tones. Granted, you needed to free your wingmate from inside the ovum. Also, the ending, while the two of you escape, the computer proclaims "Fertilization succesful" and as you flee from the planet, the planet turns into a...planet-sized fetus. It could only be explained that the planet is a gigantic egg.
  • R-Type likes it too; R-Type III is particularly Egregious.
    • X-Multiply, by the people who brought you R-Type, is composed entirely of Womb Levels because it takes place inside a woman who is infected by a microscopic alien queen. And to top it off, the very last stage is the woman's actual womb.
    • There's, of course, the boss that looks like a literal womb at the end of the original's second stage, which also reappears in later games.
    • The Final Boss of many of the games is the Bydo Womb.
  • The eponymous Lost Planet of Silpheed: The Lost Planet is largely turned into one of these, but the organic nature of those stages is downplayed.
  • 8th area in Zanac takes place in such location.
  • The Binding of Isaac, stage 4. Ew.
  • In Utero, which features a sperm. The game was designed to celebrate the new baby boy of Tom Fulp, who runs Newgrounds.


Stealth Based Game[edit | hide]

  • Played straight in Metal Gear Solid 2, as checking your map during the final act of the game gives you the pleasure of area names like 'small intestine' and 'duodenum'. While this seemed to be just a naming quirk at the time, either in-universe or on the part of Kojima, the creepily organic properties of the Gekko units in MGS4 provide the delicious possibility that it may have been very literal.


Survival Horror[edit | hide]

  • Clive Barker's "Jericho," a horror themed PC game, features this in its final Sumeria time slice, replete with dangling organ sacks.
  • Dead Space doesn't have an outright womb level, but several areas of the ship, as well as the structures on the colony below, have areas where every surface is covered in alien flesh, sometimes with monsters embedded in the walls.
  • Arguably, the entirety of Silent Hill 4: The Room, all of which takes place either inside the titular apartment or inside villain Walter Sullivan's alternate dimension. So why is that a womb level? Because Walter Sullivan is so convinced that the apartment itself is his mother that he created an alternate dimension built around this truth, and almost succeeds in bringing the apartment to life. That, and there's this colossal, flailing umbilical cord coming out of it. And yes, you do eventually have to contend with flesh-covered walls while fighting baby monsters.
    • Also, the much of the hospital stage in Silent Hill 3 is eventually covered with pulsing meat.
      • In that case the meat is actually Alessa's burnt flesh. The true womb level is the final boss chamber, in which God literally gestates. You actually enter it through a (previously) small metal slit on the floor which can be only described as the womb's cervix.
    • There's also Angela's room in Silent Hill 2, which is all red and pulsating. Also, it's where you fight the child abuse monster, so yeah.
  • Done with a twist in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines: Andrei's lair (an otherwise unassuming Beverly Hills mansion) is filled with furniture and decorations made entirely out of human flesh. Even the walls bleed when you cut/shoot at them. In VTM lore, Clan Tzimisce is notorious for being able to, uh... manipulate flesh.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • "Nightmare Keep", a Forgotten Realms module for either second or third edition D&D (I can't recall offhand), is all about this trope.
  • The original setting for the Warhammer 40,000 spinoff game Advanced Space Crusade, a spinoff and (relatively) family-friendly dumbing down of the previous "Space Crusade" and "Space Hulk", was inside Tyranid "bio-ships", sabotaging crucial "organs".
    • At least one published adventure for Deathwatch (one of the free ones on the game's website) has the player-characters doing the same; going into a Tyranid bio-ship in order to kill it's link with the Hive Mind, also cutting off the rest of the attacking force. At least one part of the adventure had the Kill-Team moving through a hibernation chamber where various ground units (Genestealers, Warriors, hormagaunts, etc) slept while the ship was in-transit. Make too much noise and the GM better be ready for someone to start quoting Private Hudson (although possibly with a nats more eloquence).
  • Planescape's Guide to the Ethereal Plane features Neth, the Plane that Lives, a demiplane that consists entirely of the innards of a very curious organism.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons the 92nd layer of the abyss is called Ulgurshek. and it is a "living layer" Its not really a living layer, because it is not a layer at all. its a creature called a draeden, and has been around pretty much since the dawn of time, only Lolth and her most trusted servants know this though. the abyss grew around it, probably kind of like how some trees grow around part of a metal fence


Third-Person Shooter[edit | hide]

  • Fallout has one of these as the Master's lair, kind of.
  • Taken to its logical extreme in the final stage of Act 2 in Gears of War II. It even ends with you performing a triple chainsaw bypass.
    • "Oh, this is just wrong...I'm coughing up blood that ain't mine!"
  • Most of the Eshebone level in Jet Force Gemini takes place inside a giant creature, entering through the mouth and exiting out the... other end.
  • The final boss battle in MDK2. The player fights a giant froglike monster who sucks the player into his body at intervals. While the player is inside the body, he defeats the boss by destroying each of the boss' organs. When all the organs are meat jelly, switch to end cutscene.
  • Similarly, one of the tracks in the PC game Megarace was set up inside a Fractalian whale.
  • And in the Transformers Armada video game, one level takes place on a large battleship who happens to be the Decepticon Tidal Wave. However, you don't find this out until he transforms at the end of the level and becomes the level boss.
    • A similar is shown in Transformers: War for Cybertron, where it turns out the giant Kill Sat that you've been flying inside throughout the second-to-last level is actually Trypticon's alt mode, which you don't find out until the final minutes of the level where you have to destroy his conversion cog and fly out before he crushes you from the inside, and he becomes the level boss for the remainder of the game.
  • Subverted with Lost Planet 2: there is no complete womb level, per se, but the boss of the first chapter has a weakspot in its body. To reach it, you have to blow off its legs, then climb into its mouth, shoot at its organs while fending off the smaller Akrid it has eating, then shoot back out it's rear end.


Visual Novel[edit | hide]

  • In the Fate/stay night visual novel, there is one scene in Unlimited Blade Works where Shinji turns into a giant pile of what seems like the blown out insides of a strange animal multiplied in size over 9000 times.
  • The entire Earth can become this in Saya no Uta.


Wide Open Sandbox[edit | hide]

  • One of LittleBigPlanet 2's levels has you shrunk down and entered into a character's body in order to fight an infection inside his brain.


Other[edit | hide]

  • All three tables in the pinball video game Alien Crush Returns.
  • The interior of Muud in Lusternia. Intended as a hunting ground for very high-levelled players.C'thun players will sometimes get swallowed and end up in his stomach.
  • The Web Original physics based side scroller Triachnid featured this as the final level. To kill the creature who took your mate and your babies, you had to do it from the inside—and don't forget to grab your babies on the way out.
  • You Have To Fertilize The Egg (from the creators of You Have to Burn The Rope) is literally all about this: The player takes the role of a royal sperm (with a fancy top hat) who races against other sperm in a woman's womb in order to fertilize an egg to give birth to a princess, all the while singing a catchy song about swimming around in a vagina and creating a princess. Couldn't make this up if I tried.
    • It's not just them. A prostate cancer charity made a game about getting all the sperm to the prostate so they can become semen. (Hot spots and cold spots kill sperm.)


Non-Video Game Examples[edit | hide]

Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • Roots Search After being presumably killed and sent to hell Moira and Buzz end up in some ... thing that looks positively alive.
  • As mentioned above, Dragonball Z had several episodes panned out where Goku and Vegeta end up inside Super Buu's body and have to avoid the hazards of his antibodies, stomach acid, imagination, steam, and worms.

Film[edit | hide]

Literature[edit | hide]

  • In the first DOOM novel, Marines Flynn Taggart and Arlene Sanders are transported into a giant womb, and have to exit it via a giant pulsing vagina. Arlene quips "Hey, Fly. Do you ever feel like you're being born again?" to which Taggart politely asks her to STFU.
  • Leviathan has any scene taking place inside the eponymous airbeast. One illustration has Deryn taking Dr Barlow to the bee colonies, with the whale's ribcage forming the ceiling.

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Many of the obstacles on the Double Dare Obstacle Course qualify: "Pick-It" (a giant nose); "Down the Hatch" and later "Big Gulp" (huge mouths); "In One Ear" (a big head filled with "earwax"). "Foot Locker"/"Toe Jam", a huge foot, may also qualify somewhat.

Religion and Mythology[edit | hide]

Toys[edit | hide]

  • It's been revealed that the entire Matoran Universe is at Mata Nui's Womb Level in Bionicle.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • "Yes, Jolonah, There Is a Hell", a story in the Orion's Arm universe, has an unfriendly (and insane) archailect, an existence that is to us as we are to bacteria, decide that there needs to be a hell. So it creates one. Being that Hell is this archailect's body, this certainly qualifies - as womb level, body horror, values dissonance, eldritch horror and nightmare fuel. Read it, for a view on how AI could go Really Fucking Wrong.
  • The NES Godzilla Creepypasta has the second-to-last levels before the final boss, which are made of disturbingly photorealistic gore, just like the monsters that live there. The fact that it's too detailed to be 8-bit just makes it worse.
    • There's also the "Orange Tumor Cave" of Pathos.
  • The website called The Miasma that promises to be "An unflinching celebration of the bizarre and extraordinary". It appears to be an entire forum made out of living tissue and is run by an administrator named Neurovore.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • South Park did it, naturally: Lemmiwinks in Mr. Slave's ass!
    • And later Paris Hilton too!
    • And also when Kenny (who was really a kid from Cartman's fat camp in disguise) climbed inside of Ms. Crabtree's womb on a bet.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Whales can be a potential real-life example.

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