%% Image replaced per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1303718113005946400
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:248:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/apochow01_6617.png]]
[[caption-width-right:248:[[Creator/RobertFrost Fire, ice,]] [[ColonyDrop asteroid]]... [[SwirlyEnergyThingy gamma burst.]]]]

->''"God gave Noah the rainbow sign,\\
No more water, the fire next time."''
-->-- "Mary, Don't You Weep," by anon., but [[OlderThanRadio known to be]] of ante[[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar bellum]] origin

While TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is very common in fiction, there are a wide variety of ways in which it can actually manifest; this can be measured on two sliding scales, depending on the size of the "world" in question, and to exactly what extent it "ends". This is derived in part from [[http://www.openthefuture.com/2006/12/an_eschatological_taxonomy.html Bruce Sterling's analysis]] of ways in which the RealLife world could theoretically end.

!!! Scope
* '''Focused Destruction:''' A small localized area undergoes a species-level or higher apocalypse. The rest of the world at large is totally unaffected, maybe not even knowing of the events happening in the affected area.
* '''Regional:''' a part of a continent or landmass, be it a province/state, geographical region, or sub-continent (eg. "California"/"Uganda", "Sub-Saharan Africa", "India", etc).
* '''Continental:''' an entire continent or landmass ("Oceania", "The Americas", "Eurasia", etc).
* '''Planetary:''' an entire planet, or the vast majority of one. (If the given setting does not involve space travel and/or other worlds, then the scale effectively stops here, or skips up to Multiversal if the other worlds are not elsewhere in space, but do exist.)
* '''Stellar:''' a solar system, every planet orbiting a star, the star itself, or the star plus everything in its orbit.
* '''Galactic:''' a galaxy, most or all of its stars, up to all mass associated with it.
* '''Universal:''' the entire universe, all or most galaxies within it, or all major galaxy filaments or equivalent highest-level structures.
* '''Multiversal:''' multiple universes, or whatever that exists outside of the setting's native universe (includes whichever flavour of AnotherDimension is on offer).
* '''Omniversal:''' all universes or all possible universes, everything that exists, or reality itself; up to some abstract ontological limit if the setting includes explicit metaphysical stipulations.

!!! Severity
* '''Societal Disruption:''' Civilization survives intact, but is forever altered. This may be due to the sheer amount of damage caused lowering the standard of living, or it may be a result of people being forced to adapt to the new threat(s) they face.
* '''Societal Collapse:''' Humanity backslides within the affected area, regressing to pre-industrial levels[[note]]most people are forced to be subsistence farmers[[/note]] at best and pre-agricultural[[note]]:most people are forced to be ''hunter-gatherers''[[/note]] at worst. Civilization may recover on its own, but not for centuries at the least.
* '''Species Extinction:''' A dominant or major species is either wiped out completely or reduced to such a low population level that its recovery is virtually impossible barring intervention by an outside force.
* '''Total Extinction:''' Life itself ends. No living organism of any kind exists within the affected area.
* '''Physical Annihilation:''' The affected area physically ceases to exist as it did before, but remnants of it can still be found; it's [[AtomicHate nuked into glass]], [[{{Atlantis}} sunk into the ocean]], or [[EarthShatteringKaboom blasted into asteroids]].
* '''Metaphysical Annihilation:''' The affected area ceases to exist totally, without remainder, or perhaps even to have ''ever'' existed; this usually involves [[RetGone erasing it from time]]. This may go up to the elimination of even the ''possibility'' of the existence of anything like the affected area, if for instance the basic system of reality is changed or wiped out. This may get highly abstract, depending on how fundamental the negation is.

Not to be confused with the comedy survival guide by [[http://www.apocalypsehowthebook.com/ Rob Kutner]], which gives advice for surviving the relatively low-severity events. Or the Discovery Channel series by the same name which explores various scenarios in which this could play out.

'''Related Tropes''' (ways this can be brought about):
* ApocalypseWow
* ColonyDrop
* DepopulationBomb
* DoomsdayDevice
* EarthShatteringKaboom
* GaiasVengeance
* HordeOfAlienLocusts
* HorsemenOfTheApocalypse
* HostileTerraforming
* NukeEm / NuclearOption
* OmnicidalManiac
* OrbitalBombardment
* PlanetEater
* WorldWreckingWave
* ZombieApocalypse

See also: SlidingScaleOfVillainThreat, EvilOnlyHasToWinOnce and WhyYouShouldDestroyThePlanetEarth. If they actually show it, then you have an ApocalypseWow.

%%[[Administrivia/TypeLabelsAreNotExamples Please don't identify by the numbers anymore]] - they are only there for older users of this site to compare the new scale to.

----
[[index]]
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class 0}} Class 0: Regional Catastrophe]] Now "Regional[=/=]Societal Disruption" or "Regional[=/=]Societal Collapse". Hardly apocalyptic at all, unless you happen to live in the afflicted area.
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class 1}} Class 1: Human Die-Back]] Now "Planetary[=/=]Societal Disruption"
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class 2}} Class 2: Civilization Extinction]] Now "Planetary[=/=]Societal Collapse"
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class 3A}} Class 3a: Engineered Human Extinction]] Now "Planetary[=/=]Species Extinction" (dominant species, engineered)
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class 3B}} Class 3b: Natural Human Extinction]] Now "Planetary[=/=]Species Extinction" (dominant species, natural)
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class 4}} Class 4: Biosphere Extinction]] Now "Planetary[=/=]Species Extinction" (several species)
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class 5}} Class 5: Planetary Extinction]] Now "Planetary[=/=]Species Extinction" (all multicellular life)
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class 6}} Class 6: Planetary Desolation]] Now "Planetary[=/=]Total Extinction"
* [[ApocalypseHow/ClassX Class X: Planetary Annihilation]] Now "Planetary[=/=]Physical Annihilation"
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class X-2}} Class X-2: Stellar Destruction]] Now "Stellar[=/=]Physical Annihilation"
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class X-3}} Class X-3: Galactic Scale Destruction]] Now "Galactic[=/=]Physical Annihilation"
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class X-4}} Class X-4: Universal Destruction]] Now "Universal[=/=]Physical Annihilation"
* [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class X-5}} Class X-5: Multi-universal Destruction]] Now "Multiversal[=/=]Physical Annihilation"
* [[ApocalypseHow/ClassZ Class Z: Total Destruction Of All Of Reality]] Now "Omniversal[=/=]Physical Annihilation" and "Omniversal[=/=]Metaphysical Annihilation."
[[/index]]

----