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Exacerbating the situation, Mario said, is the seemingly arbitrary placement of the hazards. "I could see why, if you're in a factory, you might find yourself jumping around on dangerous conveyor belts moving in different directions," he said. "But why would you have conveyor belts in a castle? Or in the middle of a forest?"
In real life, conveyor belts, escalators, moving walkways and similar conveyances are part of certain specialized environments, and serve the function of moving things in a convenient direction. In video games conveyor belts can show up anywhere: in the middle of a forest, in underground catacombs, etc. These belts don't move in a logical direction. They dump pedestrians into bottomless pits. Multiple conveyor belts move in opposite directions to trap players.
In short, the conveyor belt in video games often serves the purpose of hindering instead of helping its user.
This is almost always a sub-trope of Malevolent Architecture. (It could be some sort of Benevolent Architecture, but don't count on it.) Justified by the Rule of Fun, though it can get irritating on occasion, particularly when used with other, nastier hazards like Spikes of Doom, Smashing Hallways, Descending Ceiling, and the like.
In top-down games, a conveyor belt will often act as a Broken Bridge, going too fast for you to be able to run against. It's a one-way trip unless you can find a way to shut it off or reverse it.
- Blue Dragon has conveyor belt puzzles, in which you will generally need to flip a switch to make them go the opposite direction, since it's not possible to actively move around on them, for some weird reason.
- Mega Man series
- Those who have played Mega Man 2 will immediately think of Metal Man.
- And Flame Mammoth for those who played Mega Man X.
- Those who have obsessively played the classic series will think of Knight Man's stage from 6 and Proto Man's castle from 5, examples of conveyor belts being located in castles. Then again, not much beyond hand waves have ever been given to justify stage layouts in the series.
- In Rock Man 4 Minus Infinity, there are two sections are dedicated to these in Dust Man's level. The first one had debris falling onto it. The second had holes in them; luckily, Eddie points them out to you.
- Something similar happens in Wily Stage 2.
- Gremlins 2 for the NES from stage 3-2 to the end. Not to mention, this game used almost every common hazard (except solid clouds) which filled one of the most inhospitable office buildings in the world.
- Batman has dealt with them numerous video games, including both NES Sunsoft games.
- Even the Active Enterprises game Cheetahmen on Action 52 managed to contain them. Due to Action 52 being a bug breeding ground, results were messy.
- Code Name Viper's drug warehouse has them which can lead you to the spikes.
- In Jackie Chans Action Kung Fu, Jackie encounters these most notably in an ancient temple with surprisingly modern technology while punching and kicking his way through everything.
- In The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past, an incredibly annoying boss battle occurs on one.
- Super Mario Bros. series:
- The final stage of Super Mario Bros 2 consists almost entirely of series of conveyor belts (some Of Doom, some not).
- A couple fortresses in Super Mario Bros 3 feature them. They freeze when a POW switch is activated.
- New Super Mario Bros Wii has several ground pieces that spin, and usually hide pipes from rushing players.
- Diagonal ones appear in Dynamite Headdy, in the Terminate Her Too level, with switches to change their direction.
- Ratchet and Clank - Both the original and Going Commando have movement sensitive conveyor belts. When Ratchet's moving on them they sense his direction and move to speed him on his way.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- The Sonic the Hedgehog CD level Quartz Quadrant contains conveyor belts that scroll with no particular rhyme or reason. There are places where adjacent belts scroll towards each other. The boss of that level makes full use of an Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt to throw you into Spikes of Doom. The conveyor belt is actually the key to defeating the boss, as the belt wears away at the bottom of Robotnik's machine. Sonic simply needs to keep the conveyor belt going, while avoiding the bombs that Robotnik drops from the ceiling.
- Sonic 2006. The only conveyor belts in the game switch direction for no particular reason, dropping whatever is unfortunate enough to be placed on them down a level-wide Bottomless Pit.
- From Sonic 3D Flickies Island, the Gene Gadget stage is filled with these. Much like the Quartz Quadrant example above, that boss also utilizes one of these.
- Scrap Brain Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog for both the Genesis and Gamegear have conveyors, as well as escalators (which were originally diagonal conveyors in the beta).
- Sonic 3 has pulleys that are held onto. The top typically moves you rightwards and the bottom leftwards.
- Eggmanland from Sonic Unleashed had super-fast conveyor belts pushing you backward, as well as laser walls along the belts that you had to jump over or duck under. Not to mention the bombs that were carried along the conveyor belts.
- Casino Paradise Zone from Sonic Advance also has these. It's a rather strange place for conveyor belts, isn't it?
- Casino Night Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was apparently planned to have these, as they can be seen in the most famous beta version of the game... wait a minute, they're in the final too, they just look different!
- Final Egg from Sonic Adventure, anyone? THESE conveyor belts also tried to move you towards dangerous things, most of which were sharp.
- One of the last two levels in the Game Gear spinoff game Tails Adventure had one or two of these at the start.
- Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow has a habit of taking this trope and laughing at you with it. Conveyor belts are not all too common in the game, but once you meet them, they make you wish they did not exist. The belts alone are not dangerous, it is the combination of being attacked, risk of getting stoned and landing in a spike pit. Not fun especially since a stoned character takes a crapload of damage from the spike pits.
- Stinkoman 20 X 6 has a couple, but none are more inconvenient than the ones on Stlunko, the Level 3 boss.
- Little Big Planet has these in the Bunker, surrounded by electricity. And then there's the wheel, which is similar, in that it's a big rotating wheel and you are inside it. Surrounded by electricity.
- Bizarrely appears in several levels of the SNES version of Prince of Persia.
- There were a few in old 8-bit computer games such as Infernal Runner and Jet Set Willy. Interestingly, the belts in Jet Set Willy made the player character walk them instead of dragging him.
- Double Dragon and it's sequel(s) are rife with these towards the end, when they turn into platform games.
- Wario Land:
- This is one of the items placable in custom maps for Super Smash Bros Brawl, giving the player the option of placing them inconveniently when building a sadist stage.
- Haunting Ground had one during one of the last boss fights. It doubled as both an instant Death Trap, and as the only way to kill the boss, by getting him onto it.
- The Flintstones: Rescue of Dino and Hoppy and Flintstones: Surprise at the Dinosaur Peak have them too.
- VVVVVV has lots of them too.
- Soul Blazer
- Half the time they're slowing you to a crawl and the other half they're making you overshoot your mark or run straight into bad guys.
- Heck, the very first true boss fight had three such belts. Though at least they were as helpful as you made them be there.
- Monster World IV had conveyor belts that were also small, moving, Floating Platforms.
- In the second stage of Donkey Kong (omitted from many home versions due to its complex design), several floors were conveyor belts.
- In Exile 3, the golem factory was a maze of these. In the Avernum 3 remake, this puzzle was replaced by one involving mirrors and laser beams.
- They're found in Super Meat Boy.
- Jumper Two has a lot of them in Sector 6. The Level Editor that comes with the game allows for putting conveyor belts in as well.
- Purple has several conveyor belts, some of them including timing puzzles..
- Sometimes conveyor belts happen to be in a Kirby game, too.
- It is not explained why in walking sections in Ultimate Stuntman, there are conveyor belts hanging mid-air and just being out of place.
- Mines in Moon Crystal have conveyor belts hanging usually midair.
- Non-game example: in the anime Animal Yokocho, Mr. Yamanami fixes up Ami's room to be a jungle with a hot spring-sauna deep within. After Ami realizes that they've been walking an illogically long distance within her room, the camera zooms out to show that they'd been walking on a treadmill the whole time.
- Most conveyor belts in Portal 2 have an ostensible function ("The Turret Redemption Lines are not rides. Please exit the Turret Redemption Line."), but one in particular, late in the game, is deliberately set up this way as a Death Trap. Or, as the Big Bad puts it, more of a "death option", as opposed to confronting him in his lair, where he will most definitely kill you. If you wait, he spends upwards of three or four minutes trying to convince you to fall for it, and is very pleasantly surprised if you do.
- Most of the final stage of Journey to Silius consists of jumping between conveyors, with falling crates and autoscrolling to add to the misery.
- Persona 2 has the Abandoned Factory which is full of random, still-operating conveyor belts. Some seem to be logically placed in loading areas for moving heavy items to and from storage, while others exist just to provide one-way paths blocking off sections of the factory, teasing you with their presence until you're high enough level to open the doors into those other sections.
- Shatterhand in the oil refinery.
- Featured in the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom game, as well as the Temple of Doom portion of Indiana Jones Greatest Adventures.
- Keith Courage in Alpha Zones has conveyor belts all over the place in both parts of the last zone for no good reason.
- Effluvia and Telos in Adventures of Rad Gravity are full of these, especially the latter. The former also has a Conveyor Belt O' Doom you have to rescue your Robot Buddy from.