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The climax is supposed to be the coolest part of the whole story. And since Lava Adds Awesome, it's a good bet that there is going to be a volcano involved. What better way to portray the tortured, desperate emotions of the characters then to juxtapose them with scenery that could have come straight out of a Fire and Brimstone Hell?

May be some overlap with Battle Amongst the Flames, Lethal Lava Land and Lava Adds Awesome. Related to Incendiary Exponent and Chekhov's Volcano.

Examples of Climactic Volcano Backdrop include:

Anime and Manga

  • At the climax of the second season of Dragon Ball Z when Goku is fighting Freeza and the planet Namek is collapsing, lava geysers go off behind them - and even before Freeza blasts the planet's core, a column of lava erupts behind Goku at the climax of his "I am the Super Saiyan" speech.
  • The Final Battle between Joseph Joestar and Cars in the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure "Battle Tendency" arc happened on the top of an erupting volcano.
  • Mazinger Z: Several climatic battles happened next to volcanoes and lava pools. In episode 25 Kouji fought Aeros B2 and B3 next to Mount Fuji's crater, and lava bubbled and spilled out of the pool as they brawled, threatening with engulfing them. In one manga chapter penned by Gosaku Ota, Kouji and Holzon V3 battle took place into the crater of Mount Fuji, with the sheer walls of the volcano as background, toxic fumes rising and swirling around them and magma sizzling and churning under their feet. And then you have the episode where Mazinger-Z got dunked in lava...
    • Great Mazinger: One battle between Great Mazinger and Marquis Janus took place in Janus' Volcano Lair. As Tetsuya battled Janus and her troops, the volcano erupted and vomited lava, rocks and cinders, walls crumbled down and the place collapsed around them. It happened in the Gosaku Ota manga episodes.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the battle of the Dai-Gunten took place with a background of erupting Volcanoes. Also, from the movie Lagann-Hen, they manage to somehow, through sheer-hot-bloodedness, summon a galaxy-sized volcano In Space.


Live-Action TV

  • Naturally, in the Doctor Who episode "The Fires of Pompeii". Notable in that the climax takes place inside Mount Vesuvius. Oh and the Doctor has to make it erupt to save the world.

Tabletop RPG

  • Champions adventure "Nova" in Adventurers Club magazine #4. The adventure takes place in a crater in a volcanically active part of Iceland. At some point during the final conflict a nearby volcano may erupt, covering the area in lava.

Video Games

  • In the sidescrolling Super Mario Bros. games, Bowser's castles almost always featured lava.
  • In the fire temple in The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time you fight on top of a pillar jutting out over a huge lava pit and Ganon's castle is floating above a huge lava pit.
  • The final missions of Guild Wars Prophecies take place in a volcanic area.
  • The final battle with Wesker in Resident Evil 5 is in an active volcano.
  • Dark Crater, the (real) final level of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky.
  • Arachnia in Bug!! has one in the background. Bug pushes the Big Bad into it after he defeats her.
  • The second stage of the fight with Mundus in Devil May Cry involves him fighting you inside a volcano. Mundus stands waist-deep in lava, with Dante having to hop on rock platforms to get close enough to attack him. He'll also summon dragons made out of lava to fight you.
  • The battle with the Vigoor Emperor in Ninja Gaiden also takes place inside a volcano. For his first form, Ryu must leap from floating platforms in order to attack him, while in his second form, he stomps about in the lava while Ryu is stuck on a convenient patch of rock.

Western Animation