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Dangerous Terrain is a phenomenon in which some portion of the battlefield between or below the hero and villain is dangerous to both parties. If Dangerous Terrain is present, be assured that at some point during the battle, the hero and villain will wind up in a shoving or wrestling match very nearby, trying to push each other into it. (In videogames, this is a Ring Out Boss.)

If the terrain is deadly and not merely injurious (a Bottomless Pit, a Lava Pit, Spikes of Doom) one can expect the villain to end up dying in it at the end.

This is a subtrope of Interesting Situation Duel.

Examples of Dangerous Terrain include:

Anime and Manga

  • In a sense, the Jusenkyo springs in Ranma ½ are dangerous, which is possibly why they're advertised as "a legendary training ground."
    • Jusendo, the source of Jusenkyo, is explicitly dangerous. Its creators built the place as a huge maze of exploding hatches, trapdoors, dropaway floors, and hidden passages.
    • The Water Citadel in the Pantyhose Taro story arc is a hollowed-out mountain, filled with water at very high pressure. Pantyhose Taro jammed logs into it and loosened enough rocks to make it into a trap for his Jusenkyo-cursed enemies, so that the slightest misstep would turn a rampaging foe into a helpless black pig, a weapons master into a duck, and an Amazon into a cat --and his nemesis into a woman. Worse, Pantyhose Taro himself turns into a gigantic winged minotaur, so splashing him would make him nigh-unbeatable. "Team Ranma" learned to mind their step across the Water Citadel in a hurry.



  • The heroes of The Belgariad make their way through an unmarked quicksand maze and then get ambushed by mooks. One mook gets chased into the bog, rides straight off the safe path, and sinks to his doom. Durnik regrets only that he couldn't save the horse.
  • Not nearly as dangerous as those already mentioned: in Robin Hood stories he first meets Little John (or sometimes Friar Tuck) when they both want to cross a river on a Lumberjack Bridge; neither will back up so the other can cross first, instead they decide to have a quarterstaff battle in the middle and whoever gets knocked into the water loses.
    • When spoofed in Robin Hood: Men in Tights the fight takes place over a creek just a few inches deep. When Little John is knocked off the bridge, he flops around and screams that he's drowning, and after a bewildered Robin pulls him up Little John joins him as per I Owe You My Life.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • Some of the stages in Soul Calibur II's story mode are like this.
  • The original premise of the Dead or Alive games was that it was Virtua Fighter with tits danger zones that send you or your opponent flying if they step into them. The developers eventually refined this into having stages that take place on uneven ground, pop-up traps, natural arenas with multiple heights that do tick damage if you fall off or get thrown off them, etc.
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