Created By: fluffything on November 7, 2011 Last Edited By: Paradisesnake on December 16, 2013
Nuked

Leviathan VS Behemoth

A creature from the sea battles against a creature from the land.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Do We Have This and it's Up for Grabs.

The land and the sea. Two ecosystems that are polar opposites of one another. Both containing their own unique forms of life. But, what happens when creatures from one environment meet and wage war?

That's where this trope comes in. In many forms of fiction, there is some sort of epic battle between a sea-going monster and a land-dwelling one. Often, these battles have some sort of symbolic message of sorts, often regarding the clashing nature between the ground and water (IE: Volcanic activity forming new islands and floods engulfing the land). Often, the creatures from either element will have powers that reflect their respective environments (A sea monster might be able to cause huge tidal waves and a ground monster may be able to cause earthquakes, for example).

Sometimes, their battle may include a Giant Flyer as well.

Not to be confused with the Scott Westerfeld books Leviathan and Behemoth

Note: This is about creatures from the land/sea battling against one another. Please do not list any generic Land VS Sea (or VS air) battles here that don't involve some sort of animal fighting another animal (Yes, even humans...sometimes).


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • In Digimon Adventure, a giant sea-dragon Digimon named Metalseadramon is killed by Wargreymon (Though, he was flying at the time, he's technically a land-based Digimon), a land-dwelling Digimon.
    • An earlier episode featured Garurumon (A wolf-like Digimon) fighting against Seadramon (A sea-dragon Digimon).

Comic Books
  • A more humanoid, comic variation of this trope is found in the old Hulk vs. Sub-Mariner battles in Marvel Comics. They carried the same idea and tone, although the characters weren't conventional monsters.

Film
  • Many Godzilla movies fall under this since they involve the semi-aquatic Godzilla facing off against fully terrestrial Kaiju like Anguirus, Baragon, and even King Kong.
  • Gamera, a giant terrestrial turtle-monster (Granted, he can fly and is an expert swimmer), has faced-off against a few sea-based monsters including a giant alien shark named Zigra.
  • The titular monsters in Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus fall under this, though crocodiles are semi-aquatic.

Literature
  • In one of The Dragon Knight novels, the main conflict has the sea serpents on one side and Jim and the dragons in the other. (Yes there were human armies involved too, but who cares about them?)
  • Katla and Karm in The Brothers Lionheart.

Live-Action TV
  • Walking with Dinosaurs has a scene where a predatory-looking dinosaur is ambushed from the water by a seriously huge Zeuglodon.
  • The old Animal Planet series Animal Face Off once gave a hypothetical battle between a lion and a Nile crocodile. The crocodile wins by having tough scales that the lion cannot bite through and by dragging said lion into the river where it drowns.
  • In an episode of Sanctuary, an abnormal squid and an abnormal scorpion fight a battle around a crashed helicopter. The scorpion has the advantage until the helicopter sinks.

Religion and Myhology
  • The Bible: The Trope Namer is that of the Biblical legend of the Leviathan and the Behemoth. (Specifically mentioned in the book of Job as being awesome and tough with some minor details-not much else. Some translators say these were just names for crocodile and hippopotamus.) According to Judeo-Christian mythos, the Leviathan was a massive sea monster and the Behemoth was a giant land creature that were said would fight to the death at the end of the world.
    • In some versions of the mythos, this includes a giant flying creature named Ziv.

Video Games
  • Pokémon has Groudon VS Kyogre with Groudon being the land monster (being purely Ground-Type), and Kyogre being the sea monster (being purely Water-Type). In the games, they had waged war against one another trying to expand the land/sea until Rayquaza (the sky monster and a Flying/Dragon-Type) managed to stop the fighting and all three went dormant for thousands of years. That is, until the villainous team (Team Aqua for Kyogre and Team Magma for Groudon) wake up the ancient beasts and the fighting starts all over again...until the player captures either (or all three) Legendary.

Western Animation
  • In Lilo & Stitch: The Series, two experiments called "Yin" and "Yang" each control the elements of earth (in the form of lava/magma) and water. However, instead of fighting to the death, Yin and Yang end up working together to form new islands by shaping them with lava and then using the water to cool down said lava.
  • The Simpsons: while watching a "When Animals Attack" type show on TV we see an ape reaching for a bunch of bananas hanging over a river, who gets eaten by a shark.
  • Land Before Time
    • One of the films involved the terrestrial main characters (Though Petrie can fly and Ducky is semi-aquatic) having to face against and save their new friend (An icthyosaur named "Moe") from a hungry sea-dwelling mosasaur.
    • Another movie featured the main cast being persued by a Deinosuchus (A crocodile that grew to be the size of a Tyrannosaurus).

Real Life
  • Certain species of crocodile can grow large enough to take down large mammals such as antelope and zebras as prey. This can and does lead to situations where the prey animal sometimes try to fight back to avoid being eaten.
    • Gustave, a crocodile from Burundi, Africa that is a notorious man-eater, is large enough to hunt down and eat hippos.
  • Pretty much any shark attack on a human could count as this.

Community Feedback Replies: 33
  • November 8, 2011
    Chabal2
    • If Ziv vs Leviathan counts, one boss stage of a Metal Slug game has you on a submarine which is fighting a giant zeppelin.
    • Walking With Dinosaurs has a scene where a predatory-looking dinosaur is ambushed from the water by a seriously huge Zeuglodon.

  • November 8, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Simpsons: while watching a "When Animals Attack" type show on TV we see an ape reaching for a bunch of bananas hanging over a river, who gets eaten by a shark.
  • November 8, 2011
    dalek955
    • In one of the Dragon Knight novels, the main conflict has the sea serpents on one side and Jim and the dragons in the other. (Yes there were human armies involved too, but who cares about them?)
  • November 8, 2011
    Lumpenprole
    Real Life: During the French Revolutionary/Napoleonic era, France and Britain were figuratively spoken of as the Elephant and the Whale: each supreme in its own element. Britain's navy completely outmatched France's, allowing Britain to maintain its overseas trade and protecting Britain itself from invasion. But France was an enormously strong land power, and Britain had no hope of defeating it singlehandedly.

  • November 8, 2011
    Stratadrake
    For the Pokemon example, you're specifically thinking of Pokemon Emerald (because Ruby and Sapphire only featured one apiece).
  • November 9, 2011
    fluffything
    @ Stratadrake-Why are you nitpicking such a pointless detail? The general mythos of the games (As well as the Anime and Manga) is that Groudon and Kyogre waged war against one another until Rayquaza came down from the sky and helped to cease their battle. This YKTTW is NOT about which games you can capture them in, but rather that they are loosely based on Behemoth (Groudon), Leviathan (Kyogre), and Ziv (Rayquaza).
  • November 9, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    Katla and Karm in The Brothers Lionheart
  • November 9, 2011
    walrusbukkits
    Not to be confused with the Scott Westerfeld books Leviathan and Behemoth
  • November 9, 2011
    AP
    • A more humanoid, comic variation of this trope is found in the old Hulk vs. Sub Mariner battles in Marvel Comics. They carried the same idea and tone, although the characters weren't conventional monsters.
  • November 9, 2011
    HandsomeRob
    Does the Digimon Adventure example really count. Waygreymon was flying at the time, which would kind of make him a monster of the Sky.

    There was the brief fight between Seadramon (regular champion level) and a Gorrillamon. Now that's a fight with a land based monster.
  • November 9, 2011
    Stratadrake
    @Fluffy: Sorry, I was just scanning the examples.
  • November 11, 2011
    aurora369
    USA vs China in case of a global war breaks out.
  • November 11, 2011
    Ekuran
    How about Land Vs Air Vs Sea?
  • November 13, 2011
    fluffything
    I'd like to point out that this YKTTW is for when two creatures from the land/sea (and somtimes air) battle against each other. Any examples involving machinery instead of animals does not count.
  • November 13, 2011
    nogard8910
    • In an episode of Sanctuary, an abnormal squid and an abnormal scorpion fight a battle around a crashed helicopter. The scorpion has the advantage until the helicopter sinks.
  • November 13, 2011
    JonnyB
    I'm not sure if the Sy Fy movie Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus fits, as crocs are semiaquatic.
  • December 10, 2013
    Snicka
    The Walking With Dinosaurs example needs to be fixed. It's a Liopleurodon rather than a Zeuglodon that ambushes the dinosaur. Also, in the follow-up series, Walking With Beasts, a Basilosaurus (an early whale) attempts to hunt down a Moeritherium, a primitive elephant.
  • December 10, 2013
    arbiter099
    ^^^^Awww, I get why but Pacific Rim is perfect for this if it didn't happen to involve Humongous Mecha. ("To fight monsters, we created monsters")
  • December 10, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^

    i wouldn't bother with outdated comments in an ancient YKTTW if i were you. no reason not to broaden the trope. remember Values Dissonance, even if it's just two years.

    pacific rim certainly counts to me.
  • December 10, 2013
    arbiter099
    • whistle* saw this one on the list and assumed it was recent.

    This one made me realize that I'm pretty sure we don't have a trope for general cases of monsters coming out of water. I made a separate yttw for that.
  • December 11, 2013
    jatay3
    Britain vs France, Athens vs Sparta, Rome vs Carthage, etc. Truth In Television.
  • December 11, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ This is about creatures...
  • December 12, 2013
    kjnoren
    Definitely a trope here, I think. I'm not sure Pacific Rim is a valid example, since the kaiju are more creatures that come from the sea, but are not creatures of the sea.

    But the examples needs to be sorted and curated, and the description re-worked.

    Literature:

    • The Brothers Lionheart: In the end, the dragon Katla falls into a river where she battles the giant river serpent Karm.
    • Mother Of Demons: When the alien Kitku tribe crosses a river during their escape, a kraken attacks them. Guo, a battle-mother but still barely half the kraken's size, battled and killed the kraken with the help of her pipers.
  • December 12, 2013
    kjnoren
    Stab at a revised description:


    The land and the water. Elements that are polar opposites, both with their own unique forms of life. Now the mightiest creature of the land battles the mightiest creature of the water.

    Symbolically, this can be viewed as a clash not only between two mighty monsters, but also between the elements. It is not unusual for the monsters to have powers and abiliities that relate to their respective environment. Both combatants are usually a giant monster or ''kaiju.

    It is not uncommon for both monsters to die or be mortally wounded in the battle.

    I went looking for a general monster vs monster trope, but couldn't find anything.

    Film:

  • December 15, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    • Real Life example: The city Surabaya's name is derived from a local myth, where a great white shark (sura) fought with a great crocodile (baya) for the title of the most powerful animal. The city's logo depicts the fight between the two creatures.
  • December 15, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ That would go under Mythology.
  • December 15, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    removed a hat. this is far from ready.

    kjnoren — that's a better reason for Pacific Rim being a questionable example. nice.
  • December 15, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Namespaced the examples and sorted them by media.

    EDIT: The Brothers Lionheart example needs context by the way.
  • December 15, 2013
    kjnoren
    ^ I provided a fuller writeup of The Brothers Lionheart earlier.
  • December 15, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Oh, right. It seems it just hasn't been added yet.
  • December 16, 2013
    kjnoren
  • December 16, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ You know, we already have a trope called Monsters Vs Monsters in the YKTTW.
  • December 16, 2013
    KZN02
    Hmm, would Land Sea Sky be worth a mention in here?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=k1a754dh2yn5bgzyhszavqn1&trope=DiscardedYKTTW