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The Lift of Doom is a special kind of Floating Platform, or sometimes the floor itself, that rises for a long duration. As it rises, it is completely intangible to all objects and platforms... except you.

It is a gameplay mechanic which appears in a lot of Platform Games, usually for only one level. The level involves standing on the lift as it rises, requiring you to run back and forth using Shoot'Em Up-type movement tactics to evade the Floating Platforms that threaten to crush you should you get stuck between them and the lift. If you're lucky, other enemies will be susceptible to getting crushed as well. Rarely, this will be justified by having the platform be something like rising sand.

A specialized version of the Elevator Action Sequence. Compare with Rise to the Challenge, where you're actually trying to avoid touching the rising floor.

Not to be confused with the Myth Busters "Elevator Of Doom" episode, or the Hellevator.

Video-Game Examples

Action Adventure

  • The second battle against Black in Gunstar Heroes takes place on one of these.
  • The God of War games are fond of this, though there's no platforms to crush you. You just need to kill the enemies in time.
  • One level in Super Castlevania IV has you running through a gauntlet of rising blocks of doom.
  • Two of the elevators on the Golden Roar in Solatorobo are like this. Red lampshades it.

Fighting Game

  • One of the enemies in the Subspace Emissary story mode of Super Smash Bros Brawl actually uses this as an attack, looking something like a hostile flying carpet and lifting you off the screen to instant death if you weren't careful. Thankfully, it's easy to avoid and/or destroy.
    • There's also a more traditional example in another part of the story mode. As the lift travels down, you must evade Primids and spikes jutting out from the walls.

First Person Shooter

  • In the level "Defend This!" of the original Marathon, there is a trash compactor-style Lift of Doom room, where the only way out is through an invisible door. Another one appears in "No Artificial Colors". Sometimes the player is required to traverse these to access optional items, such as the gauntlet of Lifts of Doom (not the lift puzzle) in "Colony Ship for Sale", and the "wave" in "Cool Fusion".
  • Variation at the beginning of Half Life 2:Episode One. Alyx and Gordon are on an elevator and debris is falling down. The goal isn't to dodge, as the debris will destroy the elevator, and both will plummet to their deaths, but to grab the objects and throw them away from the elevator.
    • However, you aren't actually told that you're supposed to do this.
      • On the other hand, you're standing on a structure obviously made of glass, Alyx draws your attention to extremely large falling objects, and you happen to have a souped-up gravity gun at your disposal... it doesn't really take a nuclear physicist to figure out what to do.


  • The level Castle Crush from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest is probably a well-known instances of this trope.
  • A section of Boomer Kuwanger's stage from Mega Man X featured a rising elevator with these properties.
    • In X4, the second area of Split Mushroom's stage includes another instance.
      • Actually subverted- the terrain and the vine enemies will be destroyed as soon as the platform hits them.
    • And X8 has the Space Elevator level that consists entirely of this.
    • Mega Man 3: In Sparkman's stage, you have to jump between rising platforms over a Bottomless Pit and under a Spikes of Doom-lined ceiling.
    • 5: Gyroman's stage, and the 3rd stage of Protoman's fortress.
    • Mega Man ZX Advent: the final level also had one. Though it didn't feature crushing platfoms - only a lot of enemies and spike-lined walls.
  • Super Mario World contained a very unique instance of this trope: A late-game level required you to walk through an oscillating hallway formed by a Lift of Doom and a corresponding ceiling. If at any point you ran to the wrong place, you would instantly get crushed by the maze-like cave structure this stage took place in.
  • One or two stages from Super Mario Bros 3 had this sort of feature, but you didn't die from being caught between the lift and the platform (unless it was spiked). Instead, the lift died, leaving you to gravity's mercy.
    • New Super Mario Bros and New Super Mario Bros Wii both have this kind of level with a rising elevator, deadly obstacles and platforms, and the addition of giant metal spiked balls rolling around and killing pretty much everything in their path.
    • Played with and inverted in the original Super Mario Bros. If you go down the wrong pipe in world 5, you will be sent to an underwater section, complete with Sushi of DEATH. One lift goes up and can trap you there as time runs out (or the fish, which are apparently infinite, take your hit points). The other one goes down, straight into the abyss. You know why the underwater soundtrack is all violins? Because the programmers pity poor Mario.
  • This occurs in Hill Top Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. At one point the whole floor rises up, appearing to move behind the platforms and ceilings already in the room. However, should Sonic find himself between the floor and one of these, he is crushed to death.
  • One of the last rooms of I Wanna Be the Guy is like this, and it's quite long. And in typical I Wanna Be the Guy style, it'll make you want to hurl your controller out the window.
    • Another "room" has four elevators, whose shafts are partially blocked with Spikes of Doom.
  • In Castlevania Chronicles, the elevator isn't intangible to the obstacles - each one breaks a piece off, giving you less room to move.
  • Cave Story features two rather short lifts in the Labyrinth. You have to exploit the game's unique Jump Physics just to get on the first lift without getting crushed.
  • The very last level of I Wanna Be the Guy has a Advancing Floor of Doom. It will crush you against spikes many many times over.
  • I Wanna Be the Fangame has one of these in the final area. While you don't die if you get crushed, you clip through the thin floor, where you can't see what you're doing. There's no way back up, resulting in a forced restart from the last savepoint. However, the Trophy Room area can be accessed by pulling this off, letting you see your secret items, and it allows you to skip a frustrating later part of the lift section.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure for the Genesis has 2 of these, the first is in the Ice Caves, where Buster must ride to the top, avoiding enemies until he reaches the top, where he must jump out quickly, or be flattened. The 2nd is in the Lava Cave, where lava rises up and Buster must jump onto platforms to get away before the lava touches him.
  • Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards featured this with a room continually filling with sand until the exit at the top was reachable.
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