Created By: SeptimusHeap on January 12, 2013 Last Edited By: SeptimusHeap on January 30, 2013
Nuked

Save The World Climax - Entry Pimps Needed

A work starts out with a small conflict but ends up being about saving the world - Example collection for TRS

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Example collection YKTTW for Save the World Climax. Please do not propose examples that are already on that page.

Sometimes, a story starts out with a small conflict, but then escalates to the point that the her's party has to save the entire world.

It doesn't matter what the party's original goals were (or those of its members); they're going to end up Saving the World from an unstoppable, inconceivable threat - and since You Can't Thwart Stage One, they will only defeat said threat only when the world is right on the brink of doom.

A corollary is that despite the all-encompassing nature of the threat, no one else in the world will assist them, or even care. Forget about receiving a " saving-the-world discount" from shops, or a few armies to help them storm the Big Bad's lair.

Compare Grand Finale, where the scope of a serial work is expanded for the final (couple of) episode(s); Big Damn Movie, where an cinematic adaptation of a smaller-scale work has a Save the World Climax plotline; and Sequel Escalation.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • January 12, 2013
    Astaroth
    • Order Of The Stick: The first arc of the story concerns the Order carrying out a standard dungeon crawl in order to defeat a lich. Then the next arc reveals that within the dungeon was a gate to a prison dimension where a world-destroying Eldritch Abomination is kept, and the lich was planning to use the gate for nefarious ends. The rest of the story concerns the Order's efforts to keep the other gates from being used for evil, so that the abomination isn't set free to destroy the world.
  • January 12, 2013
    johnnye
    Radio
  • January 12, 2013
    StarSword
    You can bluelink "no one else in the world" to Its Up To You.

    As a Plot Twist trope, expect spoilers.

    Video Games:
    • Neverwinter Nights:
      • The original campaign begins with the effort to find a cure for the plague ravaging Neverwinter. It ends with Neverwinter fighting a full-scale war, and you trying to prevent the entire Sword Coast from falling back under the dominion of a 30,000-year-old sarrukh queen.
      • Hordes of the Underdark begins with drow raids on Waterdeep, and ends with a goddamn archdevil trying to take over Faerun.
    • It's easy to forget these days that Mass Effect's Commander Shepard wasn't born killing Reapers. Minus out-of-character knowledge you start the first game expecting an apprenticeship of sorts under a turian Spectre named Nihlus. That isn't the case for long. And until the Reapers actually arrive in Mass Effect 3 the only folks who believe you and are willing to help are the ones who either know you personally (your squad and crew, mainly), and crazies like the Illusive Man.
  • January 12, 2013
    DRCEQ
    • Final Fantasy VI starts off with a mysterious girl named Terra working for the empire due to a form of mind control. She has no knowledge of who or what she is. When she gets knocked out in a mission, a treasure hunter named Locke quickly helps protect her. Before long she's helping The Resistance fighting against The Empire. The Empire itself poses a threat to the world, but the emperor himself would never go so far as to destroy it, which his seemingly comic-relief jester Kefka goes ahead and does just that. The world now in ruins, the heroes know that they at least have to stop Kefka from destroying all existence since he'd already gone that far.
    • Final Fantasy VII starts with a resistance group known as Avalanche fighting against the Shinra Mega Corp just to help improve the lives of the citizens that live in the slums. One thing turns to another and eventually they're fighting a psychotic Super Soldier who wants to destroy the world.
    • Final Fantasy IX starts with a performance troupe putting on a play as a distraction while they kidnap the princess from her domineering mother of a queen. One thing leads to another and soon a weapons merchant is threatening the destruction of not one, but TWO different worlds. And then the personification of Death shows up to determine whether the universe itself is worthy of existence.
    • Xeno Gears starts off with Fei just living his normal life in a quiet village, devoid of conflict. Then The Empire invades and razes the town to the ground, forcing him to defend himself in the heat of the moment. One thing leads to another and then he's fighting against a man-made God to save the world.
  • January 12, 2013
    Bisected8
  • January 12, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Live-Action TV

    • Babylon 5 starts out with rather minor border skirmishes between the Centauri and Narn, some diplomatic tensions among other races, and an Earth Government moving slowly in a xenophobic direction. When the Shadows reemerge into galactic affairs, they manipulate and cultivate these existing tensions into a galaxy-wide war among the younger races which escalates to an apocalyptic scale.
    • Star Trek Deep Space Nine starts with the Federation taking over an old starbase from the Cardassians, who'd recently withdrawn from a long brutal occupation of the planet Bajor which the starbase orbits. The first couple seasons involve the rebuilding of Bajor and its various growing pangs of independence (and bitterness over its recent past), various initial character expositions, and some exploration through a wormhole recently discovered near the station. But a great power lay on the other side of that wormhole, which soon puts the whole Alpha Quadrant in jeopardy in the large-scale Dominion War.
  • January 13, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Added the series examples. Any more?
  • January 13, 2013
    Nocturna
    • Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The titular character starts out just trying to kill the local vampires, but quickly starts having to thwart the attempts of an old, powerful vampire, the Master, who is trying to get out of the magical cage he is trapped in. By the end of the season, she has to stop the Master from opening the Hellmouth, and act which would lead to a flood of demons entering the world and destroying all human life. The second season escalates the threat from "just" loss of all human life to loss of the very existence of the world.
  • January 13, 2013
    GymQuirk
    NVM. Misread description.
  • January 14, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Bumping for even more examples.
  • January 14, 2013
    GeminiSparkSP
    Chrono Trigger. It started with you waking up, then going to the festival to see your friend. You accidentally bumped into a princess, and the rest is history...
  • January 14, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    ^Needs more context. "The rest is history" isn't enough.

    Moar examples still welcome.
  • January 14, 2013
    ShadowHog
    ^ You bump into an incognito princess, then your tech-minded friend accidentally sends her back in time where she's mistaken for a then-kidnapped queen of that era, who happens to be her ancestor, and effectively erasing her from the timeline. After going back in time after her and correcting this mistake, you overshoot into the far future and discover that the world has been utterly ruined by an alien entity known as Lavos; from that point on, your only objective is to stop Lavos from ending the world, even ignoring that if you went back to your time and stayed there, it wouldn't have happened during your lifetime.
  • January 14, 2013
    Nithael
    Film
    • Constantine: John Constantine is hired to investigate a suicide. In the end, he tries to stop a conspiracy to bring the son of the Devil on Earth.

    Live Action TV
    • Supernatural: The show starts with two brothers hunting ghosts, werewolves and other supernatural creatures in the US while looking for their father. In the fifth season, they're trying to prevent the Biblical Apocalypse from occurring.

    Video Games
    • Warcraft III starts with Thrall leaving the continent to find another one where his people can find a place to leave in peace, while Arthas investigates an epidemic. He then fights against a growing army of undead that threatens his kingdom. The climax has every faction of the world making a Last Stand against The Legions Of Hell who want to destroy all life in the universe.

    I'll see if I can think of other examples.
  • January 14, 2013
    MetaFour
    Webcomics
    • Gunnerkrigg Court. The bonus comic City Face parodies this. It starts off with a pigeon named City Face attempting and failing to woo an attractive female pigeon. A fairy shows up to help--and she tells him that the continued existence of the world depends on City Face successfully winning the female pigeon's heart.
  • January 14, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    ^Where on the Gunnerkrigg Court page would that example go, for crosswicking purposes?
  • January 14, 2013
    MetaFour
    The "Narrative / Themes" folder.
  • January 14, 2013
    MiinU

    Anime

  • January 14, 2013
    TheHandle
    • Origin Spirits Of The Past starts with a Fish Out Of Water exploring a new world and ends with saving the World Tree.
    • Naruto starts with the misadventures of a bratty outcast in search for recognition, and ends with saving the planet from an Assimilation Plot.
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion plays with the trope: every fight has the fate of humanity hang in the balance, but it's all a plan by a few fractions of humanity to initiate the end of the world on their own terms. As their plans collide, the end of the world ends up in the hands of a mentally fractured teenager, with disastrous results.
    • Code Geass starts being about a fallen prince's vendetta against his country of origin and a terrorist group struggling for their country's independence, and ends up being about saving the world from one Assimilation Plot and two nigh-omnicidal well-intentioned extremists in quick succession.
    • Tron Legacy is originally about rescuing the previous film's protagonist from imprisonment in virtual reality, and ends up being about saving the world from an invasion by a fascist AI.
  • January 15, 2013
    Arivne
    Compare Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot (formerly Gonna Need A Bigger Warrant), which is about the investigation of a small crime leading to the discovery of a major crime/conspiracy.
  • January 15, 2013
    StarSword
    • Neverwinter Nights 2:
      • The original campaign has you start out with a rather personal quest: trying to figure out what the heck the shard of silvery metal creatures from another plane attacked your village for is. By the end of the game you're trying to stop an Eldritch Abomination from destroying the Sword Coast. Again.
      • Storm of Zehir begins with your party just trying to earn a little cash as mercenaries for a Samarachan trading company. This being NWN, you're eventually fighting yet another attempt to take over the world, this one courtesy of the yuan-ti god of poison and his cultists.
  • January 15, 2013
    Xtifr
    Typo in the first line--I think that's supposed to be "hero's", not "her's".

    Also, is the "no one else in the world will assist them" element really required? Because that really isn't obvious from the name, and seems overly specific. If that's just a standard way it plays out, maybe it can be phrased to not sound like a requirement?

    Literature
    • China Mieville's Kraken starts with Billy Harrow investigating a minor mystery about a disappearing squid, and eventually escalates to doomsday cults and eldritch horrors trying to end the world.

  • January 15, 2013
    KZN02
    Not sure if this counts but ...

    BIONICLE: most of every year's storyline involves conflicts on a single, but large, island. At 2008, it's the fate of the entire universe the past years have taken place, which is inside a Humongous Mecha, in conflict. The year after the next, the conflict involves the entire solar system.
  • January 16, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    ^^Description concerns go here
  • January 16, 2013
    gallium
    Film

    • Upcoming 2013 comedy The World's End, the last film of the "Three Flavors Cornetto" trilogy is about a group of old friends who reunite to re-enact a legendary pub crawl from their youth. At some point their pub crawl becomes a battle to save the human race.
  • January 30, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    The TRS is closed, so I'll dump this.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ypmufvcw61cfxp77qxfpwfrn