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Cquote1
"This is the Endless Corridor. A path that goes on forever."
La-Mulana, grail tablet for the Endless Corridor.
Cquote2

A corridor is very, very long. No, longer than that. No, longer than that.

This is used to either make a place seem bigger than it should or could possibly be, or to save budget money. Sometimes it's a desert or an ocean.

Compare with Scooby-Dooby Doors and games with looping world/nation/kingdom maps.

Tropes used in Endless Corridor include:


Hallway variety

  • The Simpsons: In the dental plan episode, Homer is visiting Burns' mansion and has to use the bathroom, so he asks and is told it's the 23rd door on the left.
    • There's also a Couch Gag where they chase the couch as it disappears to infinity down one of these.
  • Zork Grand Inquisitor: When you first enter GUE Tech, the hallways to the classrooms appear to be endless.
    • And they indeed are. To make them finite, you have to remove the first bit of the "Infinite Corridor" sign above the entrance.
    • Truth in Television: GUE Tech is based on MIT, which has an "Infinite Corridor" (actually 815 feet long).
  • Super Mario 64: If you didn't have enough stars to face Bowser in the final battle, you were doomed to walk up forever; there was a bug, however, where you could reach the end of the stairs without enough stars. (Strangely enough, no matter how far up you went, walking back down was always a very short trip).
  • Speaking of stairways, Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time has a looong one towards the end, descending this time. It's part of some kind of spiritual magic-induced dream sequence that culminates with The Prince making love to Farah.
  • No More Heroes: The path to the Rank 5 fight is literally a long, long, long hallway.
  • La-Mulana's aptly-named Endless Corridor. Which is funny, because it is NOT the Trope Namer! It contains four iterations of this trope (five technically, but there's a wall in the middle of the last one).
  • The hallways of Eientei in the Touhou Project game Imperishable Night were made this way through either eternity manipulation or inducing madness on the protagonists (depending on the stage). The ones made by the former do end, but only because the one who created it decided to just screw it already. It isn't known whether the latter would have been infinite, as the player characters go through an open door.
  • The hallway before the final battle in Silent Hill 2 is intended to invoke this, although it's not as long as most examples if the player chooses to run to the end (although they will miss most of the heartbreaking disembodied conversation that plays during the trek).
    • This is also incorporated into the gameplay - if you run to the end of the corridor and pass through the door without waiting for the end of the conversation it functions as a flag that directs you more towards the 'Maria' ending. Likewise, if you listen to the whole conversation it flags you towards the true 'Mary' ending.
    • In Silent Hill 4, if you don't get rid of the house key in the Forest World, a few screens after appear foggy and repeat endlessly. Though the game pretty much tells you it's coming.
  • A slight outdoor variation of this exists in the original Bard's Tale game, aptly named the Endless Byway. This street in the southeastern corner of the city would seem to go on forever by invisibly teleporting you back a few squares as you went down it. Turning around and leaving put you back in the city proper after a few steps.
  • Ultima VII Part II featured one as a trap in a certain dungeon. Unlike other hallways, this one became endless in either direction. The exit is an invisible side-passage.
  • The Haunted Mansion in the Disney theme parks uses mirrors to create the impression of one of these.
  • An episode of Angel (the one in which Summer Glau guest-stars as a ballerina) contains endless corridors in the basement of a dance house.
  • In The Wheel of Time, an alternate world has a tower (or two) full of these. They also seem to loop the same section of corridor, passing the same rooms and windows. Mat is lead through one of these for several hours, going nowhere.
  • When in Faerieland in Neopets: the Darkest Faerie, You have to go down an endless stairway. It seems like it goes on forever, until you realise the fact the statues point the way to the exit.
  • The final level of the new version of Eversion dispenses with the random eversions of the previous games' final level and throws you into a series of looping corridors, starting with Layer 8 and having to find eversion points after in order to progress through the level until you reach Layer 1. If you missed an eversion point along the way, the part of the level you're currently on loops until you can find it and move on to the next part.
  • In some Super Mario Bros. games, taking the wrong path in a castle level would send you back to an earlier point in the castle, effectively duplicating the level until you found the correct path.
    • The Lost Levels also does this with some of its overworld levels, e.g. 7-2 and 8-2. In the former, you take a pipe to get out, in the latter, you have to climb a hard-to-reach beanstalk.
  • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon has an area called the "Eternal Corridor". It is fairly long, though not infinite. Granted, however, this damn castle has been around for long enough to be considered "eternal".
  • The first dream sequence in Max Payne has a repeating hallway maze.
  • Like the looping maze dungeons in Super Mario Bros., there are several sections in the Sonic the Hedgehog games that endlessly loop until you find the correct path out, eg the Endless Waterfall in Labyrinth Zone Act 3, and part of Sandopolis Zone Act 2. There's also one in the Dummied Out Hidden Palace Zone.
  • In Dragon Quest I, if you take the wrong stairway in Charlock Castle, you end up in the infamous Infinitely Repeating Hallway. Luckily, you only need to go up the stairs once to get out of it.
  • In Leisure Suit Larry 5 Atlantic City's boardwalk is infinitely long (supposedly), and it will take you the same time to get back as it did to get out there.
  • The Virtual World in Yu-Gi-Oh! has Honda and Otogi trapped in one of these. They then break the wall to escape the endless hallway.
  • The Woods level in Mickey Mousecapade consists of looping corridors where you must shoot the trees to find the secret door to the next section, and in the Winter area, the true door doesn't appear until you loop at least once.
  • Police Quest III has a Game Breaking Bug that can cause you to get stuck on an endless highway.
  • A rare film example: when Sarah enters the Labyrinth, she first finds herself in an endless corridor, before a worm shows her the invisible side exit.
  • The Path has a few examples. First, you can try running away from the house, but each time you pass the telephone, you are somehow pulled back. In the the house, there are two corridors that appear to be short, but suddenly extend when you enter.
  • In Dark Souls Gwyndolin magically creates one to fight you in. He teleports down it while shooting magic at you.

Desert variety

  • The Endless Desert variety occurs in King's Quest V, even noted in the official (?) hintbook that trying to explore said desert may end up ruining your PC, if Graham doesn't die of exhaustion first. Specifically, after going about fifteen screens in one direction, the desert becomes truly endless, in that Graham cannot leave. There is, of course, no indication of when this happens.
    • King's Quest III has one of these as well. If you go 2 screens west into the desert, you can go east for quite a long time before going out (it's random). Setting the walking speed to fastest will probably get you out eventually. There is also an ocean, but if you swim in it too long you'll die.
  • Subverted in Quest for Glory II; the desert is massive, but you can in fact walk from the City of Adventure to the one in which the endgame occurs if you have adequate water and don't mind spending a LOT of time doing so.
  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas: Unlike the other GTA games, which stopped players from leaving the designated zone with an Invisible Wall, leaving the island (via boat plane or even swimming) would lead you through an endless zone of sea and sky. You can fly in one direction for an hour straight trying to get to Liberty City; it will also took you an hour to get back to land.
    • Subtly lampshaded in that one particular airplane mission happens a significant distance away from the map.
    • Ditto GTA 4.
    • Halo has a similar endless ocean on The Silent Cartographer. In the latter two games, going into the ocean will generally kill you, or you'll run into an Invisible Wall while flying.
    • And after going out a certain distance, you can't get back to land except by crashing or restoring the game.
  • Towards the end of the official multiplayer map for the first Dungeon Siege the players find themselves in an oasis at the edge of a desert that just goes on, and on, and on... Made even more frustrating by the fact that one of the NPC's met in the oasis gives a hint about crossing the desert to find The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. It's possible reach it after an approximately 5-minute run, but if you get your heading wrong by just a few degrees...you end up at a very dull-looking wall of cliffs.
  • All outdoor environments outside the city walls in The Elder Scrolls Chapter I: Arena extend infinitely. They are procedurally generated on-the-spot, but are surprisingly detailed.
  • The second region of Secret of Evermore contained the Desert of Doom, a textbook wasteland dotted with spiders, rocks, and the occasional tumbleweed. You could fork over a rare Amulet of Annihilation for a quick ride across, but it was an awful long trip on foot.
    • Of course, just for sadism's sake, the Amulet of Annihilation is hard to get and expensive, and that's just after you cross the desert. You can purchase a "Chocobo's Egg" before and the seller will throw in a Amulet out of pity, but it's far more expensive than you'd likely have the funds for at the beginning - in other words, you have to run across the desert at least once. It takes about four minutes of real-time.
  • The Desert of Death in Breath of Fire 3 was literally endless, and you could only get anywhere by carefully looking at the stars and following directions. Get it wrong and you'll just run out of water and have to start over.
    • Made particularly evil by the fact that a) there are false stars, and b) you're given the directions verbally, and then given a note with the directions to take with you. The written directions are wrong, and unless you're paying attention, you'll never notice. Finally, the desert is not an enemy-free zone, and every battle screws up your direction.
  • Used in this XKCD strip.
  • The Legend of Zelda contains two areas which constantly repeat: The Lost Woods and the Lost Hills. You can only get out of them by going in the correct directions (typically something like up, left, up, right, up). The Lost Woods have become somewhat of a series staple and appear in subsequent games as well.
    • The final dungeon in The Legend of Zelda Links Awakening was like this. You needed to complete the Chain of Deals to get a magnifying glass to read a book that would tell you the proper route to the final boss.
    • The final dungeon in The Legend of Zelda Oracle Games is sort of like this. Avoiding the enemies and running straight through the room will cause you to re enter the same room. To advance you must kill every enemy ineach room (there are only 3 or so rooms).
    • The dungeon you unlock by beating a Oracle of Seasons/Ages linked game is also like this. If you don't know what you're doing you'll end up wandering the halls forever (unless you're damn lucky). To proceed you need to go through the door that none of the eyes look at (it makes sense when you actually see it).
    • The desert in The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time keeps sending you back to the start unless you follow the path of the Phantom Guide. Same for the murky Great Bay in The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask.
  • The forest mazes in the NES Metal Gear. And there are no hints anywhere in the game for the correct paths, Guide Dang It!
  • In Silent Hill 4's Forest World, if you try to go back through the gate after digging up the key, the same room keeps repeating. You have to leave the key in the apartment, then come back for it through a different hole in the level.
  • One dungeon in Final Fantasy I has an area that feels infinite if you don't know the trick (imagine the area as a grid, go two junctions horizontally and two vertically).
  • If you try to pass through the Sleeping Forest without first excavating the Lunar Harp in Final Fantasy VII, the first screen repeats endlessly whenever you try to move forward.

Other/Miscellaneous

  • Many, many, many screensavers, including those that simulate Star Trek-style warpspace. Other designs include texture-mapped tunnels, wormholes, randomly-generated terrain, and even one for XScreenSaver that does a flythrough of the "data stream" graphics from The Matrix.
  • Jade Cocoon has the Eternal Corridor which you can keep playing until Corridor 255 at which the game freezes.

Real Life

  • MIT has an architectural feature known as the Infinite Corridor. Well, no, it's not actually infinite, and only about a quarter mile long, but it is a long hallway located right at the center of campus. Bonus points since, for one or a few days every semester, the sun will shine directly down the entire length of the hallway, an effect known as "MITHenge".
    • Funny how the Elder Xelpud in La-Mulana actually sometimes calls the Endless Corridor area the "infinite corridor".
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