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Treasure Room

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The treasure was there, heaped in staggering profusion — piles of diamonds, sapphires, rubies, turquoises, opals, emeralds; ziggurats of jade, jet and lapis lazuli; pyramids of gold wedges; teocallis of silver ingots; jewel-hilted swords in cloth-of-gold sheaths; golden helmets with colored horsehair crests, or black and scarlet plumes; silver scaled corselets; gem-crusted harness worn by warrior-kings three thousand years in their tombs; goblets carven of single jewels; skulls plated with gold, with moonstones for eyes; necklaces of human teeth set with jewels. The ivory floor was covered inches deep with gold dust that sparkled and shimmered under the crimson glow with a million scintillant lights.

A staple of role playing games, video games, movies, TV, and wherever stories are told. A big room full of treasure... money, gold and jewels. Often the McGuffin. Often trapped or guarded by a monsterous beast, most frequently a dragon. Often a cause of Karmic Justice due to all the Death by Materialism. Sometimes The Hero might get all of it, but generally they only manage a choice piece or two, if anything. In many scenarios there will be some sort of cave-in, massive flood, or other such death trap which will inevitably chase the hero/heroes out. And since it would only take a few days or maybe a week to dig it back out, the treasure is clearly Lost Forever. Apparently adventurers have never heard of modern excavation equipment.

May overlap with Pooled Funds. See also City of Gold.

Examples of Treasure Room include:


Anime and Manga Edit

Comic Books Edit

  • Carries over to Western Animation, too: Scrooge McDuck has the Money Bin. Notable in that while it's still as trapped and guarded as any other pile of wealth that violates Euclidean geometry, it's intentionally set aside as valuable for sentimental reasons.
  • Averted in a Black Hands segment of the Knights of the Dinner Table comics. The party has fought their way into the dragon's lair... which is completely empty. Except for the dragon. After the pants-wedding fear, the topic of "Where's the treasure?" comes up, and the dragon tells them, "Why would I keep all my gold in a big pile in a cave? It doesn't do any good sitting here. All my money is tied up in investments and growing interest."

Fan Works Edit

  • Grunnel has one of these in With Strings Attached. He invites the four to spend as much of it as they want, because “Getting it was much more interesting than having it.”

Film Edit

  • Heist films live off this trope.
  • The treasure room from National Treasure.
  • The pirate ship full of treasure in The Goonies.
  • The treasure room in The Mummy 1999.
  • The film Mc Kenna's Gold had a treasure valley filled with huge gold nuggets.
  • The Cave of Wonders in Aladdin.
  • Subverted in the Richie Rich movie. The villain thinks the Rich family vault is one of these, but when he finally breaks into it he finds nothing but family photographs and other such keepsakes. The money is in the bank and other investments.
  • The gold depository at Fort Knox, in Goldfinger. The look on Goldfinger's face when he sees all that gold in piles is wonderful. In the film he plans on irradiating all that gold. In the book, he really does plan on trucking it away.

Live Action TV Edit

  • One time on The Beverly Hillbillies Granny got it into her head not to trust any banks, so she took her share of the Oil money out of the bank and stuffed it in her mattress. She ended up with a very big mattress.
  • Arrested Development: "Remember Michael, there's always money in the banana stand."

Literature Edit

  • Smaug's treasure hoard from The Hobbit. Various Elves in The Silmarillion also have treasure rooms, notably the vaults that Feanor and later Thingol keep their Silmaril(s) in. Both end up ransacked by the end, the first by Morgoth and the second by dwarves.
  • There's a huge treasure chamber in Rudyard Kipling's The Second Jungle Book containing all the gold, jewels and precious artifacts of a now-vanished dynasty. Subverted in that the only person ever to rediscover it is Mowgli, and since he was Raised by Wolves he doesn't want any of it. (Well, except for one shiny object, and that ends up causing more trouble than it's worth.)
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories, these feature in "The Tower of the Elephant", "The Queen Of The Black Coast", and "Black Colossus".
  • The Lestranges' vault in Gringotts as seen in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. Somewhat more so after the Power Trio's break-in, due to the triggering of the replicating curse.
  • One of these appears in My Name Is Red. In this case, it is the personal art treasury of Sultan Murat III, containing the most beautiful objects in the Ottoman Empire. One elderly artist who visits it sees it as akin to nirvana, surrounded as he is with remnants of (what he sees as) a better era. In truth, however, the treasury is dusty and neglected, showing how little the sultan really cares.

Looney Tunes Edit

  • The treasure hoard of a den of thieves in the Bugs Bunny short "Ali Baba Bunny" is kept in part of a large cave.

Tabletop RPG Edit

  • Has appeared in too many Dungeons and Dragons modules to name.
    • but we will anyway...
      • G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief has one.
      • G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King has a treasure cave.
      • Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits has a treasure chamber filled with coins, 99.5% of which will vanish when the PCs return to the Prime Material Plane.
    • Every single dragon in D&D has a treasure hoard. It serves as, including but not limited to:
      • A bed (Dragon hide is sufficently thick that a pile of gold feels like a feather mattress would to us)
      • A status symbol (bigger and richer hoards = more important dragon)
      • An emergency food source (Dragons can eat anything)
      • A place to hold various items to trade with other dragons (rarely) or deal with pesky adventurers (more often)
  • Shadowrun adventure "Survival of the Fittest" has a treasure room in a dragon's lair.
  • The boardgame Dungeon, which was based off of Dungeons and Dragons, featured a dragon guarding a treasure hoard on its box art.

Video Games Edit

  • On Cortez's ship in Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door, where you find a Crystal Star.
  • The entire of level IX in Super Castlevania IV is a treasure room. At one point you have to swim through quicksand-like pools of coins.
  • Donkey Kong's banana hoard in Donkey Kong Country is a cave filled with mountains of bananas.
  • The bank vault in V-world in Caprica is like this, one of the only virtual effects in an otherwise real-life game.
  • You have to build one of these in the two Dungeon Keeper games, as well as their Spiritual Successor Evil Genius to store your filthy lucre in.
  • The fortress King Graham finds in the desert in King's Quest V.
  • Luigis Mansion has one in the very back of the Gallery. It's also where the Final Boss's picture goes once they're beaten.
  • Nethack:
    • Hidden vaults on some levels filled with gold.
    • David's Treasure Zoo, treasure rooms filled with gold and monsters.
    • Fort Ludios, with gold, jewels, and more gold. Well-guarded.
    • The Castle, with jewels, equipment, and a wand of wishing. Well-guarded.
  • The Ultima series always had one in Lord British's castle behind a flimsy secret entrance.
  • Shows up as a Bonus Level in Gauntlet (1985 video game) and its derivatives.
  • Sly Cooper 3: Band of Thieves has this as the family legacy of the Cooper family, and Big Bad Doctor M's target. Sly himself on occasion has found himself in these, too (not counting when just smashing up the architecture pays for itself, of course).
  • The player, being the king, will apparently have one of these in Fable III. Also, the player will reportedly be able to rub the coins on him/herself.
  • Banjo-Tooie has the Treasure Chamber in Mayahem Temple, which is filled with piles of gold. You can't take any of it, though.
  • In the Soul Series, Voldo guards his dead master Vercci's Money Pit. In each subsequent installment, the Pit seems to have increased in size and grandeur from a small, dirty room to being roughly the size of the Batcave, complete with its own port.
  • The final room in Dragon's Lair.
  • During a trial to retrieve the MacGuffin in Quest for Glory 2, the player comes across a room like this. It's a trap, of course: trying to take any of the treasure kills you.
  • Quest for Yrolg has one, dragon included.

Web Comics Edit

Western Animation Edit

  • Montana Max's vault in Tiny Toon Adventures.
  • In Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, there's the Jewel Keep room in the Crystal Palace, where all the recovered magical Crown Jewels are "safely" kept (Kale gets there quite easily at the end of the first season).
  • Scrooge's money bin in DuckTales (see the Comic Books example above) as well as the many other treasure hoards he finds on his adventures. Oddly, Scrooge almost never gets to keep these treasures after he finds them, even though it wouldn't threaten the status quo in any meaningful way.
  • The Herculoids episode "The Raider Apes". A cave with bags of gold coins in the villager's cave system.
  • In Wakfu, Ruel holds one deep within his Bag of Holding.
  • In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, the two adult dragons seen in the series live in caves filled with huge piles of gems.

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