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File:Barad-dur by itself2 1898.jpg the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.


And yet
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,

And blew. 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.'
Robert Browning

After the Elaborate Underground Base, this is perhaps the most common form of supervillain lair. A jaw-droppingly massive tower that, well, towers over everyone and everything around it.

In Heroic Fantasy, a castle like this, situated in Mordor or a similar wilderness, is often the home of the Evil Overlord.

In a modern setting, Corrupt Corporate Executives and Villains With Good Publicity usually roost in skyscrapers right in the middle of town, so as to flaunt their power.

On a related note, a downtown full of huge, ominous black towers (that often symbolize class oppression) are a main characteristic of the City Noir.

In video games, this building will almost always be The Very Definitely Final Dungeon (compare with It's All Upstairs From Here).

In mythology, often used in a desperate ploy by an Overprotective Dad to (unsuccessfully) prevent his daughter from getting pregnant. This results in a Girl in the Tower.

Because Evil Is Bigger, any towers frequented by the good guys will almost always be dwarfed by this. The villain in these cases is almost always male. Many come equipped with a Den of Iniquity for the Mooks during their downtime.

Such buildings are highly likely to be blown up, torn down, or set on fire.

Examples of Evil Tower of Ominousness include:

Anime and Manga

  • The Kaibacorp Building and Duel Tower in Yu-Gi-Oh!.
  • The main villain of Revolutionary Girl Utena lives at the top of a massive white tower that, well, towers over the campus. And Utena being Utena, the phallic symbolism is very much intentional here.
  • In FLCL, Medical Mechanica owns a factory shaped like a gigantic steam iron, that looms over the town of Mabase.
  • The Ziggurat from Osamu Tezukas Metropolis.
  • Rezo's tower in The Slayers.
  • Creed from Black Cat has a big, tall tower as his evil hideout. He's shown moaning impatiently for Train to hurry up and come to him while taking a rose bath inside. Yikes.
  • Damocles, the ionospheric-low-earth-orbiting nuke-spamming doom fortress from Code Geass.
  • Maze Castle in Yu Yu Hakusho.
  • The GENOM corporation of Bubblegum Crisis has several of these around the world. Most of them get destroyed by Kill Sat.
  • In the Gatchaman OVA, this is Cross Karakoram (although it's disguised throughout).
  • The giant skyscraper where immortal Marcus Octavius lives in the anime movie Highlander the Search For Vengeance. Pretty much the center of his empire.

Comic Books

Fairy Tales

  • In many fairy tales, the villainess put the heroine in a tower and gets herself in and out by climbing the heroine's hair. "Rapunzel" is the most familiar of these, but there are many others, such as Snow-White-Fire-Red. These are always the work of the villainess, and the heroine is always eager to escape.

Fan Fic


  • Star Wars: The Death Stars, if not in shape then in spirit. The second Death Star had a tower at its north pole, containing the Emperor's penthouse suite, complete with handy-dandy bottomless pit that led into the reactor core for some reason. The first Death Star had a similar tower in it, according to The Force Unleashed.
    • Not forgetting the aptly, and affectionately nicknamed "Wizards Tower", the prominent observation platform aboard the Confederate flagship Invisible Hand in Revenge of the Sith. It's clearly meant to be very evocative of the Death Star spire too.[1]
  • The Brothers Grimm took its cues directly from Fairy Tales, so naturally a tower was needed. In the middle of a Haunted Forest, a tower with no doors, surrounded by 12 stone sarcophagi, and the nest for a murder of shrieking crows. Jakob wants to get in to meet the girl of his dreams. What Could Possibly Go Wrong??
  • The headquarters of US Robotics in is the tallest building by far in Chicago. Guess where the Evil AI of I, Robot is situated? If you said "the basement", shame on you.
  • Time Bandits: The Fortress of Ultimate Darkness.
  • Metropolis: The New Tower of Babel, Joh Fredersen's headquarters.
  • The Evil Skyscraper from Freejack is not just the tallest building in Manhattan (strike one) and the office of Anthony Hopkins' character (strike two); it contains the souls of paying customers who are artificially implanted into the titular freejack's bodies.
  • The big pyramid from Blade Runner.


  • The Lord of the Rings
    • Barad-dûr, which literally means "dark tower".
    • And Minas Morgul.
    • And Orthanc, in the middle of the circle of Isengard.
    • And Dol Guldur in Mirkwood. As it happens, Minas Morgul (originally Minas Ithil), Cirith Ungol, and Orthanc were originally Nice Towers of Niceness before being repossessed; having been built by good guys in the form of the exiled Númenóreans. Minas Anor/Tirith in Gondor was one of the few such towers that was spared from being abandoned or taken over by evil... and of course, there was an older Minas Tirith in the First Age that Sauron did take over.
      • As Orthanc and Minas Ithil were still military fortresses when held by Gondor they would be more like good towers of not-niceness even then.
    • And the Towers of Teeth at the Black Gate.
    • The original Big Bad's base in The Silmarillion (Utumno), however, was a classic Elaborate Underground Base. Except that it seems to have been approximately the size of the entire country of Gondor. It was so freaking huge that even rubbish heaps it produced passed for outer walls and Evil Towers Of Ominousness of their own right.
    • Likewise Morgoth's second base, the triune mountains of Thangorodrim.
  • The Dark Tower: Stephen King topped them all --- the stands at the center of the universe multiverse. It's a subversion in this case. The Crimson King was waiting for the hero there, but he didn't own the place — he'd been trapped by it. The Tower itself was actually a Cosmic Keystone that the Crimson King was trying to destroy, and it was somewhat able to defend itself.
  • The White Tower in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time books, especially after Elaida's Face Heel Turn. Mazrim Taim builds and rules the Black Tower, but this is actually a village; the name was chosen specifically as a reference to the other one. Taim does build a palace that he rules from that counts though. And that's not including the Tower of Ghenji, which is probably a portal to a dimension with Alien Geometry. Or the Towers of Midnight, which were the place where the a'dam, a collar to enslave magic users were made. Or, for that matter, the tower that Moridin has recently started using in the Blight. While the 13th book probably won't show the (for the series) literal Towers of Midnight (they're several thousand miles away), it's probably not called Tower of Midnight for no reason. There's a lot of ominousness to go around.
  • Southwatch in Heritage of Shannara.
  • Discworld: Although not necessarily evil per se, Terry Pratchett plays with the trope of the wizard's tower (with influence from The Lord of the Rings as well as fairytale tradition) by saying that, when magic is running at unusually high levels in Sourcery, each wizard is biologically compelled to build his own tower and start fighting the others, like a snail growing a shell.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Dead Sky Black Sun, the end point of their quest is an evil tower, bordering on Ominous Floating Castle because it is suspended over a void.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dark Apostle had the construction of one of these by the Word Bearers as the main part of the story, it went into vivid detail of it being built using the enslaved populace of the world as both labor and mortar for the slabs of stone. The foul corruption of the tower eventually made the work force grow to love the tower and some jumped to their deaths in the pit surrounding it to become closer to it, dragging any who were on the chain line with them but not under the tower's sway with them.
  • Prince Xizor in Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire has one, of the skyscraper variety. Partially subverted in that every building on Coruscant is a skyscraper. It collapses after Lando Calrissian drops a thermal detonator in the garbage chute.
  • The Shadow King in The City of Dreaming Books has a tower. Located in a huge vault in the deepest reaching of the city-spanning catacombs.
  • The Ministry of Truth in Nineteen Eighty-Four is an "enormous, pyramidal structure of white concrete, soaring up terrace after terrace, three hundred metres into the air." Not a wholly inaccurate exaggeration of Stalinesque architectural ambitions. But somehow an eerily prescient description of the real-life Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang from 1992 to 2008.
  • Harrenhal from A Song of Ice and Fire was originally built by a man named Harren as a fortress/monument to himself. It consisted of five towers, said to be among the tallest in Westeros. Then Aegon the Conqueror showed up with his three dragons and melted much of it, turning it instantly from some Jerkass's self-congratulatory monument to a cursed White Elephant of a fortress that brings bad luck to whoever makes it their seat of power.
    • The only person who prospered after sacking Harrenhal thus far has been Roose Bolton, who's such a Magnificent Bastard he's apparently even capable of subverting curses.
  • Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn subverts this by having the Final Battle take place atop Green Angel Tower, a place of inhuman beauty and the sole above-ground remnant of the ancient Sithi city of Asu'a (humans built the Hayholt atop the old city after capturing it). It's also not coincidentally the location of the Storm King's attempted Heroic Sacrifice five hundred years ago, and the place he chooses to reenter the world in the present. It's still a big-ass tower where the heroes fight the Big Bad, though.
  • Most of the conflict in Otherland occurs within the titular network, but a significant portion of the climax takes place in the real-world skyscraper that forms the headquarters of J Corp. Black, ominous, and massively taller than anything else nearby, it's a suitable home for Corrupt Corporate Executive Felix Jongleur and gets spectacularly flattened when the Other decides to commit suicide via Death From Above.
  • Older Than Print: Kajebi fortress in The Knight in the Tiger's Skin (12th sentury)
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Scarlet Citadel", Tsotha's citadel, on its hilltop.
    • The title "The Tower Of Elephant", too.
  • The Tyrant's Fortress (in original Italina "La Rocca") in Chronicles of the Emerged World.
  • In Bronding's Honour, there's the Bright Tower which can apparently only be seen as far as the Bronding's Hold, making a lot of other clans believe the Brondings are seeing things. It's ominous, but is said to be a 'good' place.
  • The Emberverse's Castle Todenangst, built by Genre Savvy tyrant Norman Arminger, is a deliberate attempt to evoke this effect.
  • The Iron Tower of Carcë in E. R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros, lair of the sourcerous King Gorice of Witchland.

Live Action TV

  • Frasier: Played for laughs and lampshaded when the staff of the radio station have to confront their boss in an office building known as The Black Tower.
  • Wolfram & Hart's Los Angeles branch corporate building. Angel partially lampshades this: "You set things in motion, play your little games up here in your glass and chrome tower, and people die - innocent people."
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Rita Repulsa stands atop one each time she summons Lokar.
  • In War and Remembrance the transportees are shown being taken through the gates of Auschwitz and it makes Barud-dur seem like a luxury hotel. Not only that but they used the real Auschwitz for a movie prop in that scene making it Truth in Television.


  • The song "The Dark Tower of Abyss" by Rhapsody is about such a tower.


Tabletop RPG

  • Warhammer 40,000: The Daemon World of the Iron Warriors, Medrengard, is an entire world covered with evil towers reaching into space.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy Battle Nagash, the lord of the undead, has not just an evil tower, but an entire mountain that's been turned into a gigantic fortress of evil!
    • Towers stick out of Naggaroth, land of the Dark Elves, like it was a pincushion.
  • From Magic: The Gathering: The Darksteel Citadel on the plane of Mirrodin is the lair of the Big Bad Memnarch.
    • Also, the Tower of Calamities, from the same set.
  • In the Ptolus setting for Dungeons & Dragons, the city of Ptolus lies in the shadow of the impossibly tall Spire. Though not many people in the city realize it, the entire spire is hollow and holds a vault of evil artifacts, and on top of that is the castle so tainted by its former Big Bad occupant that the gods themselves still keep it locked tight thousands of years after his death.
    • Halfway up the Spire is the fortress of a Slightly Less Big Bad. He plunged most of a continent into winter for years as a weapon of mass destruction, created monstrous laboratories in which to create monstrous armies, and generally was bad news for everyone and everything. And he measures up to the halfway point of the original big bad.
  • The Fighting Fantasy gamebook (kinda a halfway-house between an RPG and a Choose Your Own Adventure book) Tower of Destruction. There's one of these, and it flies around destroying things. Oh, and demons.

Video Games

  • In Ys 1, the Tower of Darm is so massive that takes up about half of the game, with about 100 floors in the entire tower.
  • Both Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2 have towers as the Bonus Dungeon of the add-ons. Tales of the Sword Coast has Durlags Tower, a deathtrap dungeon build by a mad dwarf king, while Throne of Bhaal had the Watcher's Keep, which sits atop the prison of a Demonic Overlord of Hell. As a slight subversion, the Watcher's Keep is entered by climbing a massive set of stairs to reach the main door, located at it's top.
  • God of War II has the Spire of the Fates, which can be seen in the distance for most of game. On closer inspection it turns out to be not just an ordinary tower, though.
  • Shadow of the Colossus has the Temple that holds the 16 icons, which is a huge tower which can be seen from miles away.
    • Also, the last colossus actually IS a tower.
  • Agency tower in Crackdown 2 is an example. In the end it turns out to be a giant flashlight, killing every freak in the city and causing an "Earthshattering Kaboom".
  • The La Croix building in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines.
  • The Citadel in Half-Life 2. Supposedly one of many around the world, it serves as a dimensional teleport beacon, dark-energy reactor, storage for synths, and a cushy office for Combine collaborator Dr. Breen (and oh, it's also The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in Half-Life 2).
    • It's so ominous and huge that its top is obscured by clouds, and the next two episodes in the game focus almost entirely on delaying its exploding before so everyone can evacuate, and when it does anyway, cleaning up the mess — and superportal — afterwards.
  • The final level of Mass Effect has Shepard climbing the Citadel tower which has been seized by Saren's Geth. This is notable in that Shepard does not ascend the tower the way it's meant to be done, but instead by exiting it and walking up the side. The boss fight with Saren takes place at the top in the council chamber.
  • Thane's recruitment mission in Mass Effect 2 involves fighting your way to the top of a pair of towers connected by a skybridge. Though since you take high-speed elevators most of the way you only actually fight on about five floors.
  • Towers such as these are staples of the Final Fantasy series:
    • Mirage Tower in the original Final Fantasy I, a spiral-shaped structure whose very top contains a teleporter into the Sky Warriors' Floating Castle.
    • The Emperor's Tower within the Cyclone in Final Fantasy II.
      • Castle Palamecia and Pandaemonium also qualify.
    • The Crystal Tower at the center of the Ancients' Maze, in Final Fantasy III, where Xande awaits. It stretches upwards far, far above the clouds (it takes both of the Nintendo DS' screens to show just part of it) and holds the altar/teleporter to the Dark World at the top.
    • There are two of these in Final Fantasy IV—the Tower of Zot, where Golbez makes his lair, and the Tower of Bab-il, which extends into the center of the planet and has immense powers, triggered by the game's Plot Coupons.
      • The Tower of Zot was never seen from the outside, and is presumably in space...
    • Fork Tower, Phoenix Tower, and the four Barrier Towers that maintain the shield around Exdeath's castle in Final Fantasy V. Fortunately, the party only needs to visit one; Fork Tower and Phoenix Tower are also optional. Walz Tower, where the Water Crystal resides until shortly into the game, sinks into the ocean and becomes an underwater dungeon for the party to traverse from top to bottom, but it's not exactly "evil" per se.
    • Kefka has one in Final Fantasy VI. TWO, if you count the Cult of Kefka tower. And then there's the cutscene while flying to the Imperial Palace.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Shinra HQ, which rises from ground level and serves as the Midgar Plate's central pillar, certainly has more than enough floors to count (and the player can choose to climb up the stairs). President Shinra's office sits on top.
    • Lunatic Pandora in Final Fantasy VIII, a gigantic floating tower.
    • The Iifa Tree in Final Fantasy IX fulfills this role in-game despite being, as its name implies, a tree.
    • The tower of the Temple of St. Bevelle, seen very briefly near the end of Final Fantasy X and the "Tower of the Dead" seen even briefly inside of Sin.
    • The Yadonoki Tower Bonus Dungeon in Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission.
    • Final Fantasy XI has Delkfutt's Tower, an immense structure made of white bone-like material ("cermet") where one of the major bosses of the Rise of the Zilart storyline resides. Castle Zvahl Keep might also count, especially since it leads to the Throne Room of the Shadow Lord, the game's first Big Bad.
    • Final Fantasy XII's massive Pharos Lighthouse. Based on the real Pharos Lighthouse, except much, much bigger, and filled with vicious monsters.
      • Sky Fortress Bahamut has the appearance of a floating tower but you only get to travel in a small part of it. It eventually crashes just outside of Rabanastre and becomes a tower by default.
    • Taejin's Tower in Final Fantasy XIII has a very Barad-dûr-like look to it, however in the 500-some years after the extinction of humanity on Gran Pulse, the top half of it has toppled over. Despite that minor detail, it's creepiness factor is not in any way diminished.
  • The setting of the game The Tower of Druaga.
    • The PlayStation 2 sequel, Nightmare of Druaga: Fushigino Dungeon, also features this.
  • Hera's Tower, Hyrule Castle Tower, and Ganon's Tower from The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past.
    • Ganon's Tower from The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time.
    • The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask had the Clock Tower, which serves as:
      • The gateway between Link's home dimension and the world explored in the game...
      • ...the ominous clock ticking off the time until the moon crashes, a representation of which appears on the screen throughout the game...
      • ...the point where you reappear each time you rewind to the first day...
      • ...the arena for both the first and the penultimate battle against the Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask...
      • ...and the point from which you travel to the moon for the final dungeon and final battle.
        • Also, the Stone Tower Temple in Ikana canyon. notable because part of the dungeon is going back outside and hitting a switch to invert the entire thing.
    • The Black Tower in Oracle of Ages.
    • Hyrule Castle in The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess for the win. You can see it from nearly any out of town location around the center of the map.
    • The Tower of Spirits from The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks. The only times you can't see it from your train are when there's physical objects (mountains, trees and the like) blocking your view.
    • Wind Waker had Ganon's tower in Old Hyrule, not far from Hyrule Castle, but since the whole area is inside an underwater dome, it's not visible from anywhere else.
  • Overlord has one of these—the game being what it is, it's your character's home base. However by Overlord II it has been destroyed when the Tower Heart powering it was tampered with, exploding and corrupting the lands of the first game with a magical plague. You still have sort of an Evil Tower as a base, though it's now located in the Netherworld and hangs upside-down like a giant evil stalactite.
  • Area X-2 from Mega Man Zero 3, which extends all the way into space.
  • The Tower of Salvation in Tales of Symphonia subverts this in two different ways; its artful ivory countenance is rather un-ominous and serves as a symbol of hope for both worlds, even after you discover that the creators are evil, and the tower itself isn't a lair—it just contains a teleporter to one.
    • The Tower of Tarqaron in Tales of Vesperia on the other hand plays it completely straight. A huge, flying, black city topped with a giant tower housing a Magitek weapon powered by the Life Energy of every human in the world.
  • The Castle Keep in nearly every Castlevania game, where Dracula is fought (there are several towers in the games, including the infamous Clock Tower where Death is usually fought, but the Castle Keep is always the tallest one).
    • In Lords of Shadow the final battle takes place on the Lord of the Dead's Tower (Its a giant pillar that is larger even then the others, and is flanked by two massive lion statues.
  • Geese Tower in Fatal Fury, the tallest building in Southtown, and the location of Geese's demise in every continuity.
  • The lair of the Naughty Sorceress in Kingdom of Loathing is a fair example of this.
  • Professor Layton and the Curious Village has a big dark ominous tower, which townspeople say eats people.
  • In Golden Sun, there are four elemental lighthouses whose beacons can be lit with gems called the Elemental Stars. Lighting these beacons is the objective of the villains of both the first and second games, and every time you enter one of the lighthouses you'll have to fight a boss battle at the top. They're not really supervillain lairs, per se, but supervillains do tend to congregate there.
  • Bowser's Castle from the Super Mario Bros.. series.
    • Every castle for every other villain in the series as well. The Shroob Castle in Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time is this kind of sinister place with a huge statue of Princess Shroob, Castle Bleck is a huge castle/tower situated in the void and there's probably a lot of other examples.
  • The Tower of Guidance from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
    • A bit of a subversion in that it contains the pervading religion's goddess and isn't malevolent in its outward appearance. The goddess isn't as nice as everyone thinks.
  • The Tower of Valni is taken over by monsters early on in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. More and more floors are unlocked for you to clear as the plot progresses.
  • Chrono Trigger: Who can forget the scene where the party first sees Magus's Lair in all its gloomy glory?
  • Chrono Cross: It's only the most chilling part of either Chrono series where the party first enters the Dead Sea and sees the creepy-as-hell Tower of Geddon looming on the frozen waves.
    • Earlier in the game, Fort Dragonia, site of very dramatic events that change the protagonist's life forever.
    • Also, Terra Tower, built by the descendants of the Reptites in an alternate future.
  • The Tower of Kagutsuchi, Tartarus in Persona 3, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and Karma Temple. SMT has a thing with towers...
  • Space Quest IV had the Xenon Super Computer dome in the Space Quest XII time period, which now served as Vohaul's base of operations. It looks like a "vast boil" on the ruined landscape. It destroyed the planet's weather and zombified its residents with an army of cyborgs (don't they all?)
  • Dr. Loboto's tower lab in Psychonauts, as well as the thorny tower in the Brain Tumbler Experiment.
  • An Evil Tower of Ominousness shows up as the Very Definitely Final Dungeon in Medal of Honor Airborne, of all places in the form of the Flak Tower, a giant concrete tower the size of a large town. Zero Punctuation remarks that "I was unaware the Nazis had a gigantic armored concrete tower that could only be described as a DOOM FORTRESS". Although the Flak Tower is a real WWII German war structure, the allies never actually attacked one during the war (and the Soviets could only siege them until the people inside ran out of food).
  • The first Breath of Fire game has many wonderful towers to climb, from beginning to end.
  • Dungeons in Daggerfall have random outsides but most of them involve a mound with inlaid stairs (going down, supposedly). However, it also includes full and ruined castle-like backdrops, some in what appear to be former cities or towns, or cut into giant trees. Rarely are their names correctly descriptive.
    • All of the main quest dungeon exteriors are unique (Orsinium is the most unique one).
      • Save for the first and the last dungeons of the main quest. In fact, a plainclothes entrance to the Mantellan Crux is accessible on a very small island off of the main map, northwest from your ship.
  • In Warcraft games, the Lich King's Frozen Throne is located on top of a tall spire of ice. Karazhan, the tower of Medivh, is a more straight example, being an ominous tower with evil things inside, including ominous pipe organ music.
    • The Frozen Throne isn't just on top of a tall spire of ice, it IS the tall spire of ice. Another example would be Icecrown Citadel, a massive tower built around the Frozen Throne. It's a giant evil tower built around a giant evil tower.
    • But the original and still the best is Black Rock Spire, a black dragon doom fortress made out of a Black Tooth Grin orc doom fortress made out of a Dark Iron Dwarf doom fortress originally intended to carry out the commands of a chaotic demigod made of lava. And it still houses all of them!.
    • And then there's also the tower of Auchindoun, though it may not count because it only became evil after it blew up.
    • The Spire.jpeg Sunfury Spire in Silvermoon can be quite ominous.
    • The Mana Spires in Netherstorm are massive structures that MOVE, but the big daddy of all these is Tempest Keep.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in Catacylsm which boasts both the Twilight Citadel and the Sulfuron Spire, made of twisted metal and on fire respectively. The latter of which now houses the aforesaid Elemental Embodiment of fire.
  • The Tattered Spire from Fable II, which, when completed, can be seen from any beach in Albion.
  • Syrup Castle in the Wario Land series. An absolutely huge skull shaped castle on a mountain, it's probably big enough to hold a small town, and in both games it appears in has the entire last world inside it. So much in fact the first level inside the area in the second game is actually called 'Get to the Castle' and has an ominous opening cut scene showing Wario looking up at the building.
  • In the first console-exclusive Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance game, The Very Definitely Final Dungeon was in Onyx Tower that had something like fifty floors, though you actually played in less than half of them.
  • Even in Pokémon Red and Blue, on the monochrome Game Boy, Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town pulls this off very well, given it's a towering cemetery that happens to have some bad guys at the top. Which leads to one question: Since it's a tower... where are the dead buried? It appears in Gold/Silver/Crystal as well, but as a normal tower.
  • You can tell the bad guys are serious in Dreamfall: The Longest Journey when they take over Marcuria and build a massive doom tower in the middle of it.
  • Ghost Widow's base in City of Villains is a tall tower in the first area (it's also a Clown Car Base). Several zones in the game have a skyscraper draped in Arachnos banners that acts as a base for them.
    • Lord Recluse's Broadcast Tower in Grandville is probably the biggest and most ominous of the towers on Primal Earth. It's big, red, spidery, and is designed to steal the powers of every Hero on Earth. In Praetoria, the honor goes to Emperor Cole's Watchtower in Nova Praetoria, which is supposedly visible throughout the city. It's not so much an Evil Tower of Ominousness as a Shiny Tower of Gray and Gray Morality, but it fits the bill.
  • The Shard in Mirrors Edge, which doubles as the Very Definitely Final Dungeon. It's a game based around Le Parkour, and in a city full of skyscrapers, it absolutely dwarfs everything else, and it's just generally made clear in every possible way that you are going up that thing at some point.
  • Thunder Tower in Mother 3. More fitting, though, is the Empire Porky Building, which is in fact the home of the Big Bad.
  • In Dwarf Fortress you can build (or mold out of obsidian) one of these (or whatever the heck else you want), complete with black stone and spewing rivers of magma.
    • Also, the Dark Fortresses the goblins build are bastions formed entirely from obsidian. Emphasis on formed: they're essentially giant, hollow pillars of solid obsidian.
  • King Drool's tower in the Bonk games.
  • The Citadel tower in Halo 3.
  • Dr. Wily's castle in the Mega Man series. In Mega Man 10, it reaches all the way up to space.
  • The Dark Savant's Tower in Wizardry 8.
  • Flower has a large one at the end of the dream 6 which is basically nothing more than a metallic spire with grirders. It is turned into a giant blooming tree at the end.
  • In Planescape: Torment, the Fortress of Regrets is a quintessential example. It's also one of the biggest: it is said to be almost the size of a plane in itself.
  • Baroque: Nuero Tower, where most of the game takes place. It doubles as an Elaborate Underground Base in that while it is a tower, you're actually going down. And it's constantly changing shape too.
  • Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo Tooie. The final boss battles BOTH take place at the top of a tower.
  • The final island in the first Crash Bandicoot is basically a giant tower built on a rock. Mount Grimly in Mind Over Mutant counts as both this and Death Mountain.
  • Loren Darith, the Master's tower from Evil Twin: Cyprien's Chronicles, a tower so high that the top and bottom are always shrouded in mist.
  • Legacy of Kain had a few; the tower of Dark Eden in Blood Omen and the Silent Cathedral in Soul Reaver are the trust in the tower sense. The Sarafan Keep in Blood Omen 2 could also count.
  • Rise of the Kasai actually featured three, but the final level of Hassa is the most striking example. So much so that the tower itself functions as The Dreaded for the main characters.
  • The world 4 of Wii version of A Boy and His Blob takes place in a large evil emperor's tower. Surprisingly, there is a sleeping spot at the base of it.
  • Metro 2033 had the relatively intact Ostankino Tower serve as the game's finale. It not only overlooked the Dark Ones' hive, but also seemed to serve as a nest for the game's flying Goddamn Bats.
  • The Ithavoll Group headquarters in Bayonetta.
  • Fort Drakon from Dragon Age. Technically it's simply part of the city of Denerim, but effectively turns into an evil tower once the Darkspawn invade the city at the end of the game, which also turns the sky red and gives the tower an even eviler look. It also serves as the final dungeon after one of the Archdemon's wings is damaged and must land atop the tower.
    • The Circle Of Magi's tower also looks like one (complete with a large full moon in the background), and like Fort Drakon, basically turns into an evil tower after a demon invasion from within. It gets better after you beat the mission, but still looks just as ominous as ever.
  • Reconstructed with Fallout 3s Dunwich Building, a foreboding tower in an already Used Future, especially in contrast to the uncommonly bright and shiny Tenpenny Tower nearby. The entire site is an homage to H.P. Lovecraft.
  • Millenion's Tower in the original Gungrave. The Final Stage takes place inside of it. After an elevator sequence full of reveals, things get really weird from there.
  • Lionheart Castle in Maple Story was at first inaccessible- It was just a looming, black castle in the background, outside of the El Nath deadmines. It's accessible now.
  • Wonder Tower in Batman: Arkham City.
  • The Tower of Babel in Doom, final location of the second episode. Actual tower properties are not apparent when you get there, though, as all you do once you get there is fight the Cyberdemon at the base of it, with the player character not climbing it until the end-episode text once said demon is killed.
  • Lost in Shadow starts with a boy's shadow being cut from his body and being tossed of a giant tower. That tower isn't this trope, the Dark Tower is.
  • Devil May Cry 3 has Temen-ni-Gru, a tower in which most of the game takes place.
  • In Vampires Dawn an invisble tower is the home of The Dragon, while the Big Bad prefers an Elaborate Underground Base.
  • The Watcher's Tower in El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, which makes up the bulk of the game. As it was created by fallen angels, the interior is so mind mindbogglingly large, it's not so much divided into individual floors, as into individual worlds.

Web Comics

  • In Radio Active Panda, students from a rival ominous tower of mad scientist-type evil (from the OTHER mad scientist tower/academy of mad robotics who has a moon base) pull a prank by stockpiling garden gnomes all the way to the on the 42th floor. The pile of gnomes is a third ominous tower in its own right - considering the pile is probably telescope-visible from earth as a red spot and the largest known nuke wouldn't remove them all.
  • The Templar Towers in Twokinds actually turned out to be giant magic batteries which have the nasty side effect of slowly turning the brains of Bastins and Keidrans into mush, making their lands ripe for a Templar invasion.
  • Count Disdain's castle in Van Von Hunter. Van, unable to find Count Disdain's lair, asks a local for help. The local asks if he's "tried the ominous fortress on the mountaintop."
  • Xykon raises one of these out of the ground in the fourth story arc of Order of the Stick.
  • Bob and George: How to find Bob's fortress? Actually it's kind of hard to miss. Wiley also builds them and rather resents the way they are blown up.
  • In Endstone the Eternity Spire. Where Jon intended to destroy the world.

Western Animation

Web Animation

Web Original

  • In The Gamers Alliance, the aptly named Dark Tower serves as the headquarters of the dark cleric Zarnagon and his son Xerathas in the city of Myridia during the Third Age.
  • The Palace of Doom, in Hamilton Bermuda. Home of one of the Big Bad's of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, Lord Doom.
  • The Black Rose Tower in Tasakeru is a complex case, not so much evil, but definitely ominous. Originally built by a would-be world conqueror, it was quickly abandoned when said conqueror did a Heel Face Turn. It was revealed later to have strange magical properties, including repairing itself when damaged and limited shapeshifting. The inside is even weirder: it adapts to the needs of whomever calls it their home.

Real Life

  • Termites build mounds that get as high as thirty feet. Stay the heck away, aardvarks.
  • The Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world. (no relation to Lugburz, another dark tower in the middle of the desert.)
    • Hardly evil though, despite of the questionable conditions of the workers who built it. The ominousness mainly comes from the question of whether it's safe from terrorist bombings.
  • Massively inverted with the Twin Towers, which went from local landmarks to beloved national symbols, after becoming a magnet for terror plotters acting under the assumption that the US Economy had No Ontological Inertia.
  • Truth in Television: pretty much anything designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor.
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
  • After the Soviets demolished the Temple of Christ the Savior, they planned to erect this on its place. The tower was supposed to be 400m high and the statue of Lenin that crowns it - 100m high.
    • North Korea’s Juche Tower and Ryugyong Hotel are two rather creepy-looking and rather tall monuments to the ego of Kim Il-Sung. The latter was even creepier-looking before they started putting the glass in. The Soviets, at least, had the good sense to notice how oppressive and money-wasting these sorts of projects looked.
      • To be fair, the monuments are perceived as Towers of Ominousness largely due to their associations with the fanatical regime that constructed them. Stylistically, the Washington Monument (ironically, it's pretty much of the same height as Juche) dominates the surrounding empty space no less than the Juche Tower, or any other obelisk built since the Egyptians, and the Empire State Building once towered over blocks and blocks of buildings 1/6 of its height no better than the Ryugyong Hotel, and considering the Great Depression, most of its offices were just as empty as the unfinished hotel rooms of its Korean counterpart.
  • Building 470 at the US Army's Fort Detrick, Maryland, was a literal tower of doom—a seven-story bacteria factory designed for producing (and, if necessary, eliminating) vast quantities of tularemia, brucellosis, and especially anthrax bacteria. It was cleaned out and decontaminated in 1970, but rumors persisted for years that the building was still hot and it lay essentially abandoned until its (very careful) demolition in 2003. Stunningly, despite Fort Detrick's status as the Army's primary biowarfare and infectious diseases research center, no one ever died from the products of 470, not even after a massive spill of anthrax culture in 1958–470 had very good containment systems.
  • Monument to Walter Scott in Edinburgh. What, the guy was a covert Evil Overlord?
  • The Nazi's built not one, but 8 flak towers in Germany and Austria. These flak towers were built with 3,5m thick walls of reinforced concrete. They were also heavily armed with 128mm, 37mm and 20mm AA guns. Flak tower
  • A lot of old churches give that impression, for example Cologne Cathedral in Germany.
  • Auschwitz.