Created By: CardsOfWar on April 14, 2013 Last Edited By: CardsOfWar on April 20, 2013
Nuked

Apocalypse Button

A button or item that could cause untold havoc, should it fall into the wrong hands.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Apocalypse buttons are items that can destroy the world, lead to a tyrant ruling,kill a main character, or have some other darstardly event to happen. Often, the person looking for it will only be a pawn to the Big Bad, he wil be promised life, prospering in the villain's kingdom or in the case of a particularly evil individual, a quick death. It is worth noting that the only use of the apocalypse button does not have to be malevolent, it could, for example give someone otherwise unattainable power, which the villain would use for his dastardly purposes.

At the start of the film/videogame/book/whatever else, the antagonist seldom ever has the apocalypse button, if they do, it will require charging, the protagonist will need to get to it and stop the antagonist from using it.

If one of the Big Bad's minions gets to it, it could result in the bad guy wins

It often needs to be protected by main characters to prevent the big bad from finding, or the main characters will have to race the big bad to the artifact.

Compare Lost Superweapon and Artifact of Doom.

Examples:

Film
  • The Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark. If Hitler finds it, it's feared that he will use it to conquer the Earth. The rest of the movie is Indy trying to find the Ark before the Nazis do, and get it back from them after they do so.
    Marcus Brody: The Bible speaks of the Ark laying waste to entire regions. An army which carries the Ark before it...is invincible.
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Lara Croft and the Illuminati are both after the two halves of the Triangle of Light. If correctly put together, it grants its wielder control over time and space, and thus immense destructive power.

Literature
  • The lifestone from The Riftwar Cycle is kept in Sethanon. It could wipe out all life on the planet, and bring back the Valheru, who would use the planet as a base from whitch to attack other planets. Fortunately, both groups of heroes get there before Murmandamus's army, and protect the garrison from him.

Video Games
  • The Index in the Halo series.
  • The Catalyst from Mass Effect 3. Shepard must find it in order to power a weapon called The Crucible. This weapon would have the power to wipe out the Reapers. They try to stop him from reaching it.

Western Animation
  • The Ren and Stimpy episode "Space Madness" has a literal red "history eraser" button that Stimpy just can't help his temptation to push.

Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • April 15, 2013
    CardsOfWar
    The Index in the Halo series.
  • April 16, 2013
    StarSword
    I love the little bit where you say killing a main character is harder than destroying the world. :P Got nothing to add to the trope, but that made me chuckle.
  • April 16, 2013
    CardsOfWar
    Sometimes results in a race between the heroes and villains to see who can get it first.

    The villains may use the MacGuffin Delivery Service trick to get the Heroes to retrieve it for them.

    Compare Lost Superweapon and Artifact Of Doom.

    Film
    • The Ark of the Covenant in Raiders Of The Lost Ark. If Hitler finds it, it's feared that he will use it to conquer the Earth. The rest of the movie is Indy trying to find the Ark before the Nazis do, and get it back from them after they do so.
      Marcus Brody: The Bible speaks of the Ark laying waste to entire regions. An army which carries the Ark before it...is invincible.
    • Lara Croft Tomb Raider. Lara Croft and the Illuminati are both after the two halves of the Triangle of Light. If correctly put together, it grants its wielder control over time and space, and thus immense destructive power.
  • April 16, 2013
    CardsOfWar
    Thanks for the examples, should I add them to the draft, or should I add them later, if it is accepted?
  • April 16, 2013
    Chernoskill
  • April 16, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^^ Add them as they come up. You have a lot better chances of convincing people that this is a valid trope, if you manage to gather a good amount of examples. A clean looking draft also tells the tropers that you are actually committed to it.
  • April 16, 2013
    DracMonster
    As written this is VERY broad, it seems like a Super Trope, since its covering any time an artifact gives you enough power to decide the fate of the world. "Apocalypse" is not really the right term since that implies destruction and this covers being able to take over the world or remake it. (Though admittedly that would be destructive.)

    Might want to make this an over trope page with no examples that leads to Sub Trope pages like Apocalypse Activation Artifact and Empire Enabler (or whatever.)

    EDIT: Ancient Artifact has the Super Trope covered so maybe just split this or narrow its focus.

    EDIT 2: Hmm Empire Enabler. I think I may try that one, the concept is outside what you're going for here.
  • April 16, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    The Buck Godot comic PSmIth's main plot revolved around possession of a device of mysterious origin with two buttons on it. Buck wisely resisted the temptation to try either of the buttons. One of the buttons summoned its owner, an Elder Race alien who was trying to retrieve it before anyone could unknowingly press the other button that would turn it into a mini-black hole that would devour anything nearby- like the planet it was sitting on.
  • April 17, 2013
    CardsOfWar
    The Ren And Stimpy episode "Space Madness" has a literal red "history eraser" button that Stimpy just can't help his temptation to push. Also might make for a good page image.

    Narrator: How can he possibly resist the maddening urge to eradicate history at the mere push of a single button? The beautiful, shiny button? The jolly, candy-like button? Will he hold out, folks? Can he hold out?
    Stimpy: No I can't! Yeagh! [Pushes button]


  • April 17, 2013
    CardsOfWar
    Should I launch the trope page, or do I need more examples/ a better description?
  • April 17, 2013
    CardsOfWar
    I remember one of the Discworld books having an apocalypse button in it, can any of you guys remind me?
  • April 17, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^ I would wait for more examples and hats.

    Suggestion: when you copy examples from posts to the original post, click on the pencil icon to the left of the post and copy the entire contents of the example(s). This gets all of the formatting markup, such as italics and Wiki Words.
  • April 20, 2013
    CardsOfWar
    It seems like everyone's done commenting on this, so I'm either going to discard it or launch it, which should I do?
  • April 20, 2013
    DunDun
    You should bump it? The "related to" tropes need to be explained. It's a Zero Context Example and Not Self Explanatory.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=u5awinkj3qo9djh4m6r0fpll&trope=DiscardedYKTTW