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And if she asks you why,That I'm tired of castles in the air.
You can tell her that I told you
—Don Mclean, "Castles in the Air"
It's absolutely fine for a character to own a castle, especially if they have delusions of royalty, but some take it too far. This isn't just a large castle. This thing is absolutely ENORMOUS and usually sprawls hundreds of acres and is filled with traps, guards, Secret Passages, hidden rooms, Elite Mooks and at least one throne room in the center. Bonus points for a moat made of lava, or if it's floating in the sky. Or both.
- In Pokémon, Team Galactic owns a large skyscraper in the middle of a large city. It towers above every other building in that city and probably in the entire nation.
- The Castleof Cagliostro.
it presently became easier, and led him into an avenue of trees which ended in a splendid castle. It seemed to the merchant very strange that no snow had fallen in the avenue, which was entirely composed of orange trees, covered with flowers and fruit. When he reached the first court of the castle he saw before him a flight of agate steps, and went up them, and passed through several splendidly furnished rooms.
Then his road lay through a forest, and in the midst of it was a splendid castle, and near the castle stood a tree, but quite on the top of the tree, he saw a singing, soaring lark.
On the opposite side of the lake stood a splendid, brightly-lit castle, from whence resounded the joyous music of trumpets and kettle-drums
The black beast carried the beautiful maiden to his castle where everything was beautiful and wonderful. Musicians were playing there, and below there was the garden, half summer and half winter,
they went into a castle where there were many brilliantly lighted rooms which shone with gold and silver, likewise a large hall in which there was a well-spread table, and it was so magnificent that it would be hard to make anyone understand how splendid it was.
- Vector's fortress in Despicable Me includes the pyramid of Giza in the backyard for gods sakes!
- The title sprawling castle in the Gormenghast series.
- The Imperial Palace from the Star Wars Expanded Universe is this. It's the tallest building on Coruscant, stated as being three kilometers high and over two square kilometers large, with over two thousand rooms.
- Hogwarts from Harry Potter is a thousand year-old Big Fancy Castle with large grounds, trap doors, and at least seven stories (not including dungeons).
- Dungeons and Dragons
- Ed Greenwood's Dragon (magazine) #76 article "The Nine Hells Part II. The 7th plane of the Nine Hells holds Baalzebul's great fortress Malagard, which sprawls for many miles. Malagard's rooms, passages, and dungeons are so numerous that it is said not even Baalzebul himself has visited all of them.
- Speaking of Ed Greenwood, The Palace of the Purple Dragon in Suzail is a house for Obarskyrs and three more royal-blood families. Of course, it's also full of courtiers, servants, guards and so on. Known to have hidden passages, towers and whatnot as it's pretty overgrown. So much that the Blue Maiden Room on top of a tower lost in the middle of it became proverbial in the city... as the place where palace guard captains post underlings who annoy them.
- Castle Ravenloft
- Warhammer 40,000: The Emperor's palace covers most of Europe, because the setting has no concept of "over the top".
- Champions supplement "The Blood and Dr. McQuark". Azor's palace is described as being large and sprawling.
- Bowser's castle in the Super Mario Bros. series varies from game to game, but it often counts as one of these. In various incarnations it has included seas of lava, giant pinball machines, dungeons, and even a tennis court?!?!?!
- Each world in Yoshis Island and its DS sequel ends with one of these.
- Paper Mario has many examples:
- Tubba Blubba's mountainside house, sure it's mostly vertical, but it still counts.
- Count Bleck's fortress. You know you have one of these on your hands when it takes the heroes an 8th of the entire game to reach the end.
- The home bases in Suikoden games are often castles large enough to house 108 main characters and various random bystanders. By the time you get most of your cast together, the player can spend a good half hour just visiting every room in the base and checking in with all the people.
- The Maharajah's castle from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time may qualify. Lets see... it has the throne room, the treasure vaults, the trap-activating puzzle chamber, the zoo, the harem, the baths, the other baths, the ginormous tower (aka the other treasure vaults), the observatory, the random huge underground tomb...Somewhat justifed, though, in that it's a Le Parkour game, and thus needs room to jump around.
- The fortress from Warrior Within is pretty much the same way.
- ...But Two Thrones subverts it, being set in a city instead.
- The eponymous castle from Castlevania. Sure, the Dark Lord's stronghold may be Chaos Architecture that always reappears as a Haunted Castle, but that doesn't stop it from including a multitude of rooms such as laboratories, lavish throne rooms, elegant personal quarters, and a Gothic-styled chapel. Countess Elizabeth Bartley's Castle Proserpina in England and Celia's replica of Dracula's Castle in Dawn of Sorrow also qualify.
- The Labyrinth of the Castle from Sonic Labyrinth is a rare Sonic example of this trope.
- The eponymous castle in Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
- Hyrule Castle in many forms but most notably in The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past and The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess.
- Pokémon Black and White has the castle of Team Plasma. It rises out of the ground to encircle the entire Pokemon League (while also being a good three times taller), features a decorative waterfall on every floor and has a throne room at the top big enough to hold a battle involving the two legendary dragon mascots.
- Linda's Castle from Snowboard Kids 2 is a castle so big that it serves as a level in a snowboarding game.
- CloudRunner Fortress from Star Fox Adventures. It even has Magitek and a freaking gold mine underneath it!
- At least in the original series, Megaman's foe Dr. Wily gets a new one every game--sometimes two. For some reason, they always have a giant skull on the front, usually with towers/minarets that look like bones. Besides that, there's usually giant laser turrets, random bits of architecture, and science-tubes.
- Anor Londo in Dark Souls is basically a whole city built based on this concept.
- In Tales of the Questor, during the "Night Terrors" story arc, Quentyn describes the Artificers Guild headquarters thus:
Quentyn: "It's housed in the oldest building in the Sevenvillages... and old rebuilt castle predating even the first settlers here. Every generation of students has added a little bit to the old thing -- a turret here, a tower there, a flying buttress or causeway out back. By now it looks like a berserk wedding cake. They say it has over a thousand rooms and nearly five miles of corridors, or some ridiculously huge number like that. If you stick to the main hallways and follow the signs, though, you're supposed to be able to get around without any problem. So, naturally, I got completely lost in minutes.
- Castle Heterodyne, in Girl Genius, fits this trope. It's huge, its systems extend out into the surrounding city (the streetlamps in the city are part of the Castle's anti-aircraft defense battery), it's full of traps, it can rearrange itself, and on top of all that, it's conscious, sapient and sentient. And completely insane, since it was first given the personality of its original builder, a psychotic, homicidal megalomaniac; then later had its operating system broken into at least twelve different parts, none of which can talk to each other. Its corridors are patrolled by "The happy fun ball of death" rolling faster than walking speed... and its full route is still a week long.
- Brian and Angelo's Castle in Our Little Adventure looks pretty pimped out.
- Nitrome's work Tiny Castle, despite being Exactly What It Says on the Tin, it can change dramatically in many ways, thus making it SEEM large and confusing.
- In Thundercats 2011 an Epic Tracking Shot reveals Thundera's sprawling Bright Castle, the grounds of which play host to a giant Sphinx and a huge amphitheatre, while the castle proper indeed has Secret Passages.
- The Sultan's palace in Disney's Aladdin is easily the biggest building in Agrabah by far.
- Canterlot Castle, and the city of Canterlot itself, from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is built into the side of a mountain, as a Shout-Out to Minas Tirith from Lord of the Rings.
- The Jade Palace in Beijing is said to be the largest palace on the entire earth. It is said that if a king is shown one room every day from the time he is born, he will be over 21 before he sees every room of the palace.
- Mad King Ludwig's castle in Bavaria, Schloss Neuschwanstein. It was built because the King of Bavaria thought fairy tales were Serious Business and wanted to live them out in Real Life. Not so mad, actually, considering the fantasies of some kings.
- The Castle of Budapest actually takes up an entire district of the city and contains several buildings and streets, including houses, shops, market squares, restaurants, regular taverns, several parks, museums, a church, and even a hotel that doesn't exactly belong there. The other half is the royal palace.
- Kremlin anyone?
- Winchester House
- Blenheim Palace
- Versailles could technically be the Trope Codifier.
- It lead to a lot of Follow the Leader