Constructing your evil strong hold is one of the most important things any evil overlord will have to do. Once you have this everything else will be relatively easy. (With the possible exception of recruiting your minions).

The first thing you need to decide is what kind of a base do you want, hollowed out mountains and inactive volcanoes are popular, as are large scary castles. In this case I will deal with hollowing out an inactive or dormant volcano. This is likely to be the hardest to accomplish, but is also the most impressive if you succeed. (BONUS Lava is a very good way to dispose of bodies of your enemies, also saves on the heating bill).

Now you need to find your volcano. There are many of these scattered around the globe, and are relatively easy to find. Once located perform a few quick checks:

Is lava flowing from the volcano? If yes then it is active and very unsuitable for evil base building. (A melted base is not a productive base)

Is the volcano a large towering volcano or a flattish wide volcano? You want the towering volcano, these erupt less often and cause less disruption (although more destruction when they erupt), also they look cooler.

Is there a large town or city next to the volcano? If so this could cause problems later on, they may demand planning permission for you evil lair. A small village is ok they, you can install fear n them and also recruit the population as your minions.

Is volcano accessible? If not then it will be hard for you to hollow it out, you can always make it inaccessible later

If your volcano meets these demands it is ready to be hollowed out.

You will now need some industrial grade drilling and mining equipment, steal or buy this from building companies, you may even be able to hire it; you will also need people to help. Use anyone, bribe, intimidate, kidnap around one thousand to ten thousand men, but begin with around one hundred. You will not need such vast amounts of labour until you begin hollowing out all of your rooms. (HINT: Brainwash your workers into becoming your minions for later, if not you will have to have them all killed so they don’t reveal the secret plans of your base at a later date.)

You will also need the following materials

    · Enough reinforced steel to plate your entire base,
    · Enough reinforced steel bars of approx 15cm (6”) width for four per every two to three meters of your base,
    · Heat proof wall covering for entire base (HINT: do not use the same type as was in the WTC)
    · Expendable workers,
    · Pickaxes,
    · Chisels,
    · Hand weapons,
    · Canaries,
    · Gas Masks,
    · Electricity generators, you don’t want to be connected to the national grid, someone will notice.
    · Electric wiring for entire base,
    · Plumbing for entire base,
    · Expendable workers,
    · TNT, plastic explosives, Dynamite, other explosives,
    · Candles,
    · Air conditioning,
    · Plumbing pipes,
    · Constant water supply,
    · Somewhere to drain sewage to (towns at bottom of volcano is ok)

When you actually begin to hollow out your volcano make sure that it is only your expendable workers who are sent in, you cannot know at this point whether the volcano can be mined. Save your men until you need to start the hard work.

Step one is to choose an entrance, this should be well camouflaged and not too easily accusable, make sure you can get to it though. Chisel out the shape of your entrance, use any shape you like but do not adorn it with any giveaway logos, if you want try to find a more obvious entrance and include your logo there… even use an existing cave, then fill the are with traps so the witless hero is killed whilst thinking about how clever he is, finding the secret entrance. If you are going to do this drop hints to the locals about the location of the fake entrance.

Once your entrance has be chosen and chiselled out begin the construction of your main corridor. Always keep canaries with you (or your workers) to avoid poisonous gas (the canary dies, you get out!). Remember volcanoes contain many unusual rocks, so take extra care mining them. Every few meters put up four steel bars in a square shape and then plate the corridor with your metal and heat proof covering. Try to get a routine of doing this going and you will move faster. Don’t forget to include alcoves for guns and computer consoles. Also don’t forget to include electrical lighting. Should the rock begin to get hotter as you proceed, change direction, even move up, until you are in cool rock again. Double plate any hot rock you find.

After you have hollowed out and plated several tunnels, mine your first room. First make sure that you are not in the centre of the volcano, that way you might have time to escape if it erupts. Create the room with a domed or a least arched ceiling,, this is the strongest shape, and you don’t want it to cave in. If you don’t like the look of it you can always make a false ceiling below it out of normal wood and plaster. Be very careful to make sure it will not cave in. If in doubt use expendable workers.

Once you have created a maze of corridors and rooms go outside to the top of the volcano. When you reach the crater dig directly downwards, make the hole about four meters in diameter, keep digging down until you reach below your base, then begin to slowly widen the hole. What you are doing is creating a funnel for lava to flow through. Metal and heat plate the entire tunnel; make sure it is capable of supporting itself. Once the bottom is around ten meters in diameter or the rock is getting very hot stop digging. Plate the floor with heat proofing and metal leaving a one-meter gap, use expendable workers or machinery to carefully dig through this until you reach larva. You now have your execution chamber, victims can be thrown into the larva from here, build a permanent ladder down from the crater and the funnel, then build an emergency ladder at the top which can be activated from the bottom by your personal remote. Do not let this remote out of your site. Finally, to add a dual purpose to this, run a central heating pipe above the larva and use it to heat your base.

OK, now you have your base built, do not allow any access to the base except through the main entrance, the crater should led only to your execution chamber. There should be no other doors in there. Do not dispose of your rubbish here, it will provide a pipe to crawl through, heroes will do anything. Finally install your communications equipment, main screen, computers, toilets, prisons, torture chamber, traps and guard posts, this is all fairly easy to do, it’s simply a matter of finding somewhere to put everything. Don’t forget to include an exit only, escape hatch for your own personal use, (make certain that anyone attempting to enter through here will be automatically shot). Install sensors in the execution chamber pit so that you know if the volcano is about to erupt, if this happens drop everything and leave, the funnel will not buy you much time. If this could interrupt your plans try a low risk base such as an ordinary mountain, or castle.

As a final note, should you discover any natural caves, wall them off. They may contain hidden flaws and could lead to your downfall. Only use caves that you yourself have hollowed out.

Enjoy your new home.