Created By: AmbarSonofDeshar on May 12, 2012 Last Edited By: Ekuran on January 27, 2014
Troped

Beast Of The Apocalypse

A monster expected to end the world or otherwise cause a massive amount of destruction.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Needs a better description

We're all familiar with the Antichrist—the Dark Messiah of the forces of evil, destined to lead the Legions of Hell at the end of the world. He's suave, he's clever, and represents the very worst that humanity has to offer.

This guy, is a little different. Whereas the Antichrist is a monster in human form, the Beast of the Apocalypse is a literal monster, who also happens to be a harbinger of the end times. This is the kind of beast who gives the gods themselves nightmares, and in action he's liable to be a veritable engine of destruction, trampling over mortals, gods, and anything else that gets in his way. If this thing slips its leash you may as well turn out the lights and lock the universe behind you when you go, because there won't be much left. Even if this isn't the case, the simple fact of this creature's appearance means that things are about to get a whole lot worse.

For obvious reasons, such a creature is very likely to be a case of Sealed Evil in a Can. Is liable to overlap with Kill the God and Omnicidal Maniac, and will feature prominently in any Götterdämmerung. May be an Enemy to All Living Things.

See also Eldritch Abomination as well as it's variants Humanoid Abomination and Animalistic Abomination, which can all overlap with this and have.

Examples

Comic Books
  • Depending on how you class demons, Hellboy is either this or the Antichrist. Much of the imagery associated with him is taken from descriptions of the Beast in Revelations. The Ogdru-Jahad aka The Seven Who Are One, representing the Dragon of Revelations are definitely this, as are their 369 children, the Ogdru-Hem, who seek to free their parents so that they might reduce the planet to a smoldering cinder.
    • The Conqueror Worm, a Lovecraftian being summoned by Hermann von Klempt as part of his plan to unleash the Ogdru-Jahad, is also an example. Created by allowing a being from the void between the stars to infest the body of a dead Nazi rocket scientist, the Worm will transform all of humanity into their final, reptillian state, and then devour them, causing so much death and destruction that the Ogdru-Hem and then the Ogdru-Jahad will awaken and burn the world.

Film
  • Played for laughs in Ghostbusters, when Ivo Shandor summons the prophesied demon Gozer to destroy the world because "humanity is too sick to live." Gozer procedes to take the shape of a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and lay waste to the city before being banished back to where it came from.

Literature
  • The Beast of the Rakans in Reflections of Eterna. Up to this point it has never appeared, but it is referenced in terms of dread in almost every book.

Live-Action TV
  • The Beast on Angel, a huge, horned monster made out of rock, and prophesied to bring about an apocalypse. It's eventually revealed to be The Dragon to the season's real Big Bad, Jasmine, though this does little to detract from its status as an example of the trope.

Mythology and Religion
  • The Beast from the Sea, aka The First Beast, or The Beast from Book of Revelation, a seven-headed, ten-horned monstrosity who represents the Devil/the Dragon on Earth and wields all of his authority. Having been healed of a fatal wound it seems undefeatable. There is also The Second Beast aka The False Prophet, a ram-horned, dragon-voiced being who serves as propaganda minister to The First Beast. One could argue that Satan himself, in the form of the Dragon, is also an example.
    • Islam has a similar concept in the Beast of the Last Days.
  • Fenrir and Jormungandr in Norse Mythology. Brothers and children of Loki, the two were imprisoned because of their prophesied role in Ragnarok. It doesn't work. When the end times do roll around, Fenrir is freed (when his sons, Skoll and Hati devour the Sun and the Moon), and Jormungandr crawls onto land, and the two of them lead the assault on Asgard, where they batter down the gates and slay Odin and Thor respectively. By this point Fenrir is so large that his upper jaw hits the sky when he opens his mouth, Jormungandr can encircle the world, and the din they create is so loud that it causes the sky to split open, freeing Surtr and the sons of Muspel to make war on the gods.
    • One could make a case for Nidhoggr, an Omnicidal Maniac of a dragon who gnaws away at the roots of Yggdrasil with the intent of undoing all creation.
  • Classical Mythology: Typhon, the worst monster in Greek myth, is a failed Beast of the Apocalypse. Following Zeus' defeat of Cronos, Gaia slept with Tartarus in order to conceive Typhon, whom she then turns loose with the intent that he kill the Olympian pantheon and continue the pattern of succession within Greek myth. He fails and is imprisoned by Zeus. Whether he can break loose is never really explored.

Tabletop Games
  • Rovagug, the Rough Beast, God of Wrath, Disaster, and Destruction in Pathfinder. Crawling from a sinkhole at the edge of the universe, Rovagug embodies omnicidal mania, and seeks to devour all of the gods and the very fabric of reality itself. For this reason all of the gods allied to chain him in the centre of Golarion. Archangel Sarenrae through him down, while Archdevil Asmodeus holds the key to his cell.
    • Rovagug's Spawn are played very similarly; what he can do to the universe they threaten to do to the world, ploughing through armies and entire civilisations. Than again, with names like Festering Ulunat, the Unholy First", "Great Doom Chemnosit, the Monarch Worm", "The Tarrasque: Armageddon Engine", "Unyielding Kothogaz, the Dance of Disharmony", "Wrath-Blazing Xoanti, the Firebleeder", and "Volnagur the End-Singer" this isn't exactly surprising.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, the Tarrasque was also portrayed this way (an immensly powerful monster designed for "epic" level play, which can only be killed by slaying it then asking a god to intervene and finish it off for you).
    • The Forgotten Realms setting has Dendar the Night Serpent, an enormous primordial serpent who exists in order to devour nightmares so that people will not remember them. At some point in the future, Dendar is destined to invade Toril and do battle with the god Ubtao at the Peak of Flame; if Ubtao loses the fight, Dendar will eat the sun and bring about the doom of the world.

Video Games
  • In The Legend of Spyro, Malefor's plan to take over the world involves waking a massive, ancient golem named "The Destroyer".
  • Chrono Trigger's Lavos, an Eldritch Abomination that has destroyed the planet several times over. The setting's Dark Messiah hopes to summon it to do so again.
  • Typhon is portrayed this way in Titan Quest, although much like his mythylogical inspiration, he never quite succeeds in clearing out all of Olympus.
  • The Darkova in Odin Sphere, the three headed beast of Armageddon. There's also Leventhan, the last dragon, who transforms into the bringer of Chaos during the game's final events. He's modelled in equal parts on Leviathan and Jormungandr, while his name is taken from Surtr's sword, Lavatein.
  • Solaris, interdimensional lifeform and god of time in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Divided into Iblis (the body) and Mephiles (the mind) he seeks to cause the collapse of time itself.
  • BlazBlue has The Black Beast. A monstrosity which wiped out a massive proportion of the human population and polluted the world with seither, meaning the survivors (minus some Beastkin who were created to fight it and can process it naturally) have to live on cities built on mountaintops. It's actually Ragna, doomed to be sent back in time and become a Tragic Monster, until the Stable Time Loop was broken by the existance of Noel.
  • Omega in Mega Man Zero, Ax-Crazy yet loyal Dragon to Dr. Weil. Caused the demise of 75% of all sentient life (combined total of humans and reploids). Making things even more horrifying is that Omega is exactly what Dr. Wily intended Zero to be. Sprinkle a little extra Fridge Horror on there when the reveal is made that Omega is Zero's original body, meaning that Wily succeeded.
  • Alduin the World Eater in The Elder Scrolls universe; a black dragon and an aspect of Akatosh the God of Time who was sired for the purpose of destroying the world at the end of every cycle so that a new world can be born in its place. Somewhat of a subversion in that he chose to neglect his duties and conquer Mundus instead of devouring it.

Web Original
  • Toyed with, like everything else is, in The Salvation War. The Beasts of Revelation are unleashed by Yahweh and Satan with the intent that they end the world...and are cut down by the human military, albeit with more difficulty than most of the demons they've faced upto that point.
Community Feedback Replies: 63
  • May 13, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    • Played for laughs in Ghostbusters when the form the apocalyptic monster takes is the Staypuft Marshmallow Man.
    • The most terrible of monsters in Greek myth, Typhon, which the Gods just barely managed to defeat.

  • May 13, 2012
    Bisected8
    • In Dungeons And Dragons, the Tarrasque was portrayed this way (an immensly powerful monster designed for "epic" level play, which can only be killed by slaying it then asking a god to intervene and finish it off for you). It's also statted out in Pathfinder, but naturally it has its own examples.
  • May 13, 2012
    mythbuster
    Saying "Revelations" gets you Ganon Banned.
  • May 13, 2012
    mythbuster
    I meant Gannon Banned.
  • May 15, 2012
    Nithael
    The Beast in Angel, a giant humanoid monster with hooves, horns and made of rock, and the herald of the apocalypse. Well, of an apocalypse at least.
  • May 15, 2012
    DracMonster
    How about The Destroyer Is Manifest. (I remember this line from Eight Bit Theater, but it's pretty clear on its own.)

    It sounds like you really mean a prophesied huge monster that destroys the world, rather than an "animal" who simply heralds the end. (Several of the examples aren't furry.)
  • May 15, 2012
    DracMonster
    Also, this has a lot in common with Enemy To All Living Things. (It's kind of a Sub Trope where the enemy has been prophesied.)
  • May 15, 2012
    AmbarSonofDeshar
    Have changed the description to better reflect the trope (the original post was made late at night). And yeah, the trope does boil down to "monstrous creature prophesied to end the world." I'm pretty sure that's tropable; when you get right down to it The Antichrist trope is more or less "charismatic leader prophesied to end the world." I think the style difference matters here.

    What do you mean by The Destroyer Is Manifest? I'm not sure I get what you're trying to say. It's a cool title, but what does it mean? I went with Beast of the Apocalypse as the title simply because it's an obvious title, gets the idea across, and refers to an actual being in Christianity. Thanks for the suggestion though.

    To those who've sent in examples, please keep them coming
  • May 16, 2012
    Stratadrake
    A tweak regarding the line between the Anti Christ and Beast Of The Apocalypse is that the Anti Christ is an individual, i.e. a human (relatively speaking), while the Beast is ... well, a thing.

    In videogames, you will often end up personally facing (and defeating) the beast in combat.

    • In The Legend Of Spyro, Malefor's plan to take over the world involves waking a massive, ancient golem named "The Destroyer".
  • May 16, 2012
    DracMonster
    ^^ The Antichrist isn't necessarily trying to destroy the world, he may simply want to rule it and turn it into Hell On Earth. If you meant where The Antichrist is just non-human that's really The Same But More Specific.

    However, it sounds like the concept you really mean is more where prophesied creature is a pure destructive force who is going to wipe out everything rather than rule it. The Destroyer (DOOM-DOOM-DOOM...) seems more appropriate for that. (Hmm, that's a work page? No matter though. The Destroyer Is Manifest or The Prophesied Destroyer would work.) I just think it gets the concept across at first glance a little better.

    EDIT: Y'know, I changed my mind after some thought. I guess the title is pretty clear. Maybe I just like the drama of The Destroyer Is Manifest (DOOM...DOOM...DOOM...) too much...
  • May 16, 2012
    chicagomel
    Actually the Angel one was a subversion...The Beast was believed to be the Big Bad for a few episodes, but once Angelus was released, he revealed the Beast to be a minion-the real Beast was Jasmine,first inside Cordelia and then on her own. Adding another layer was that originally Connor was mistaken as the bad guy because he was known as The Destroyer in Quartoth and the sluks in 'The Price' said he was the 'destroyer of worlds'.
  • May 16, 2012
    CaptainSkank
    The snarl from Order of the stick fits this perfectly
  • May 16, 2012
    reub2000
    • Lavos from Chrono Trigger. Giant scary being buried under the earth feeding of the energy of it's living things until it emerges in 1999 to create an apocalypse.
  • May 16, 2012
    Ryuuma
    I like the current one too. Anyway, we have;

    • In Titan Quest there's the Final Boss Typhon, the last titan.
    • Odin Sphere has the Darkova. To specify, the kingdom of Valentine possessed the Book of Transformations, containing the secret Darkova spell which turns the caster into Darkova, the three headed beast of Armageddon. In the end Ingway turns into the Beast and must be slain by Cornelius, while the former Darkova, the now undead king Grallon must also be stopped by Oswald.. Then there's Laeventine (can't remember the proper name), the Dragon of the Apocalypse. So, three beasts for one armageddon.
  • May 16, 2012
    roronoapedro
    Solaris from Sonic The Hedgehog 2006.
  • May 16, 2012
    lycropath
    Ragnarok from Final Fantasy XIII
  • May 16, 2012
    AmbarSonofDeshar
    ^Couldn't find much on Ragnarok. Description?

    "However, it sounds like the concept you really mean is more where prophesied creature is a pure destructive force who is going to wipe out everything rather than rule it."

    EDIT: I need to rewrite the description. Ideas on how to phrase it?

    That's exactly what we're talking about. Whether it's intelligent or mindless, the Beast is inevitably a rage machine and it's unleashing means everyone is now in danger of ending up dead.

    Thanks for all the examples. Keep them coming.
  • May 16, 2012
    Bisected8
    • Blaz Blue has The Black Beast. A monstrosity which wiped out a massive proportion of the human population and polluted the world with seither, meaning the survivors (minus some Beastkin who were created to fight it and can process it naturally) have to live on cities built on mountaintops. It's actually Ragna, doomed to be sent back in time and become a Tragic Monster, until the Stable Time Loop was broken by the existance of Noel.
  • May 16, 2012
    Stratadrake
    I don't think the Snarl from OOTS is a Beast Of The Apocalypse unless it's already been prophesied to break free and cause The End Of The World As We Know It. Until/unless that happens, it's just a Sealed Evil In A Can Eldritch Abomination that happens to be capable of wiping out the entire world in the process.
  • May 17, 2012
    Nithael
    No, the Angel example was not a subversion. Not the real Big Bad, but still the herald of the upcoming apocalypse.
  • May 17, 2012
    reub2000
    Day Of Lavos in Chrono Trigger is 1999. In the unaltered timeline this only occurs once.
  • May 17, 2012
    Stratadrake
    ...I guess a more laconic way to phrase what I was saying is that a Beast Of The Apocalypse is not just something able to cause the end of the world, it's prophesied that it will cause the end of the world.
  • May 17, 2012
    AmbarSonofDeshar
    ^^^^Didn't realise the Snarl wasn't prophesied. I only have what people are telling me to work wtih.

    ^^^Agreed. Still a hideous monster, bent on destruction, and prophesied to end the world. The original Beast in revelations isn't the actual Big Bad either. In fact, most examples won't be, given the mindlessness the trope often entails.

    ^Will find a way to work that in.
  • May 20, 2012
    aurora369
    In The Salvation War, the original beasts of apocalypse get their asses handed to them, just like everything else Satan and Yahweh throw at humanity.
  • May 21, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    ^the second one that attacked Jerusalem was a lot harder fight.
  • May 21, 2012
    AmbarSonofDeshar
    ^^Thank you.
  • May 22, 2012
    Koveras
  • May 22, 2012
    AmbarSonofDeshar
    ^I've added this to the list, but some more detail would be good. What is the Beast's role in the end of the world? I looked at the Eterna page, but could not find much.
  • August 7, 2012
    Prfnoff
    In Holocaust 2000, the seven towers of a nuclear plant explicitly symbolize the seven heads of the Beast of The Bible.
  • August 7, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Although we can't have a page for it, Legend of Overfiend is about this trope.
  • August 7, 2012
    ccoa
  • August 8, 2012
    lycropath
    • Ragnarok the beast created by the god Pulse to bring about the fall of the floating world of Cocoon from Final Fantasy XIII.
    • The Lulusathian Judge, a creature created when the fal'cie Gala takes a human host to bring the time of Finis from Final Fantasy Type-0.
  • August 8, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In Narnia (as mentioned as a prophesy in The Silver Chair) Father Time will awaken and blow his Great Horn which will destroy the world. This happens in The Last Battle.
  • August 8, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Gohma Vitra from Asuras Wrath.
  • December 10, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Namespaced the examples, fixed a Red Link linked a couple examples to their respective work pages.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, I forgot: ^ That example needs context.
  • December 10, 2013
    MarqFJA
    ^ Vlitra.
  • December 10, 2013
    aurora369
    The White Worm in Nick Perumov's Keeper of the Swords series is more or less the analogue of a biblical apocalyptic beast: it is associated with the coming of the Destroyer (the local Crystal Dragon Antichrist) and the end of the world, and is even alternately called the Beast. The Worm gets killed by said Destroyer himself.
  • December 10, 2013
    Astaroth
    • The Forgotten Realms setting has Dendar the Night Serpent, an enormous primordial serpent who exists in order to devour nightmares so that people will not remember them. At some point in the future, Dendar is destined to invade Toril and do battle with the god Ubtao at the Peak of Flame; if Ubtao loses the fight, Dendar will eat the sun and bring about the doom of the world.

    • Alduin the World Eater in The Elder Scrolls universe; a black dragons and an aspect of Akatosh the God of Time who was sired for the purpose of destroying the world at the end of every cycle so that a new world can be born in its place. Somewhat of a subversion in that he chose to neglect his duties and conquer Mundus instead of devouring it.
  • December 10, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Added some potholes to the Revelations example, if your gonna use a biblical trope and have the bible as one of the examples I found it appropriate to list it as the trope maker, codifier and especially namer. (Though the other mythological examples might be Ur Examples)
  • December 10, 2013
    SilverWings
    A variant in Final Fantasy X: The monster, a giant amphibious creature named Sin, appears regularly and attempts to wipe out civilization using its nigh-almighty destruction magic. Sin must regularly be defeated by the sacrifice of a Summoner on a pilgrimage in order to allow humanity some time to recover from it's rampage and give the people of the world a short period in which they can sleep soundly at night, unafraid of it. Every Sin is actually the previous summoner's dearest companion. It also exists for the express purpose of not wiping out civilization in its entirety, but to ensure a Medieval Stasis so that no one may ever discover it's true host's ultimate creation: An illusion of his previous home civilizaton, Zanarkand, hidden in the middle of the ocean. The game ends with you defeating Sin once and for all.
  • December 18, 2013
    DAN004
    From the Anti Christ page that I think would fit better here
    • Omega in Mega Man Zero, Ax Crazy yet loyal Dragon to Dr. Weil. Caused the demise of 75% of all sentient life (combined total of humans and reploids). Making things even more horrifying is that Omega is exactly what Dr. Wily intended Zero to be. Sprinkle a little extra Fridge Horror on there when the reveal is made that Omega is Zero's original body, meaning that Wily succeeded.
  • December 18, 2013
    Chabal2
    Possibly SCP-682 from the SCP Foundation. While it might not (directly) cause the end of the world like many other Keter-class SC Ps, it's huge and literally unkillable (everything they've tried to use to kill it has been met with countermeasures, and they don't want to use nukes in fear of a radioactive, nuke-proof giant angry lizard). Several What If stories have it play a major part in End Of The World As We Know It scenarioes.
  • December 19, 2013
    SharleeD
    • In Cold Copper Tears, the nihilistic Sons of Hammon cult worship an entity called the Devastator, which prophecy (or at least their cult's prophecy) alleges will destroy the world if it's ever released.
  • December 19, 2013
    Someoneman
    In the Norse Mythology example, Fenrir was potholed to Big Badass Wolf. Since BBW is no longer a trope, I changed it to Canis Major, which Fenrir also qualifies for.
  • December 19, 2013
    Grahami
    The article should probably point out that this trope consistently overlaps with Eldritch Abomination.
  • December 20, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons. The Eldritch Abomination deity Tharizdun is this for the Greyhawk setting. All of the other deities joined together long ago to lock him away to prevent him from destroying all of existence. If he ever escapes, kiss the multiverse goodbye.
  • December 22, 2013
    DAN004
    Add my example plz?
  • December 22, 2013
    MarqFJA
    @Someoneman: You should probably pothole it to Savage Wolves instead, as that trope does allow for non-plural examples.
  • December 22, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ I already potholed half of Fenrir's name to Savage Wolves
  • December 26, 2013
    InkWeaverabc
    ^^ I'm not sure Father Time from The Last Battle is an example of this trope. He isn't portrayed as particularly evil or destructive, but rather someone who is doing their necessary and inevitable job, under the control of the Jesus/God figure. The prophecy part fits, but this trope is about more than a figure from prophecy.
  • December 26, 2013
    InkWeaverabc
    Also, in my opinion remove the comma from "This guy, is a little different". I'm nitpicking, but it disturbs the flow of the sentence and isn't necessary.
  • December 26, 2013
    Megacles
    Not sure if it counts, but Tuska from Runescape could be an example. As a wild beast goddess resembling a boar, Tuska destroyed Guthix's home plane, and has been implied to do so to many others as well. We also know in the process of destroying one realm, Tuska was able to defeat both Saradomin and another god named Skargaroth who had been hunting her for some time.
  • December 27, 2013
    DAN004
    Do you have an opinion for my example?
  • January 18, 2014
    GuyWeknow
    In the current "Sleepy Hollow", they are fighting Molloch (some sort of incarnation of Satan) and the oncoming biblical end of the world.
  • January 19, 2014
    IndirectActiveTransport
    I the name is linguistically correct, but I am a little iffy about it just because of a wide misconception. Apocalypse is the Greek word for "revelation", not "end of the world". The first revealing of the leviathan in Job had nothing to with the world's end initially and neither did the Behemoth. Instead the point was "Look at these things, they exist! See how limited your knowledge of the world is?"

    The four beasts revealed in the book of Daniel, while relating to the end times, were symbols for nations, not actual living creatures. The beast of the sea, the first one to actually fit, is the seventh in a series that previously did not (and it has seven heads, how appropriate).
  • January 19, 2014
    DAN004
    Well indeed, there is something called "Beast of Revelation", amirite?

    But still, we used Apocalypse for Apocalypse How and some other tropes as well. Accept it, Tv Tropes Will Ruin Your Vocabulary.
  • January 21, 2014
    RoseBride
    This is played with in the Titan's Curse of the Percy Jackson series. Something called "the Bane of Olympus" a beast which hold the power to overthrow the gods is mentioned in a prophecy and it's apparently so ancient and powerful that Artemis herself goes to hunt it down and ends up captured in the process. Eventually tough it's revealed that's the beast is none other than Bessy the Ophiotaurus, an adorable serpent cow that's been following Percy during the whole quest, it DOES has the power to overthrow the gods...which is granted to the one who sacrifices its entrails on fire.
  • January 21, 2014
    Alvin
    Western Animation : An episode of The Simpsons, where the Simpsons go to Japan (China?) ends with three dragons chanting "Now we sleep for a thousand years/When we wake the world will end.", making the dragons or the Simpsons themselves this?
  • January 26, 2014
    NESBoy
    The episode of the Simpsons you're talking about is "Goo Goo Gai Pan", in which they go to China. "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" is the one where they go to Japan.
  • January 26, 2014
    DAN004
    Launch?
  • January 27, 2014
    JonnyB
    Not sure if this counts, but near the end of Pacific Rim, when they're about to do their last-ditch, Hail Mary play to stop the kaiju, Stacker Pentecost gives a Rousing Speech, and the last words of it are, "Today, we are cancelling the apocalypse!"
  • January 27, 2014
    Koveras
  • January 27, 2014
    DAN004
    Add my Mega Man Zero example plz. ;_;
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