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[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/MetroidOtherM http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Metroid_OM_escape_1104.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:Why is StuffBlowingUp if we still have two minutes left?]]-]

->''"Thank you for activating the self destruct mechanism. This ship will detonate in three minutes. In the meantime, please enjoy some random explosions and blasts of steam. Human Resources thought it would make things more dramatic than a red light and a klaxon."''
-->-- ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank2002''

An area is exploding and falling apart, because a timed explosive has been set. Even though that explosive hasn't gone off yet, it's causing the rest of the area to blow up as well.

The bomb is usually on a short fuse. If the bomb dooms the villain, a Catastrophic Countdown ties in naturally with a CollapsingLair. While this trope usually serves the need to make the danger a bit more visible, it is not unreasonable for a SelfDestructMechanism to destabilize before it obliterates.

See also: CollapsingLair, NoOSHACompliance, MadeOfExplodium. Compare GoingCritical.

!!You have two minutes to read examples of this trope!


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' has the Italian HYDRA Base undergoing several minor explosions before resuming the rest of the self-destruction protocol related explosions. Justified, as Zola briefly interrupted Red Skull while he was arming the self-destruct protocol when shocked that he's blowing up the base before Red Skull calmly informs Zola that [[KnowWhenToFoldEm "Our forces are outmatched"]] while pointing to a video screen of Captain America fighting the forces and then resumes inputting the self-destruct protocols.
* In ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', the mining facility where the action is set begins to fall apart several minutes before the 19-minute countdown given by Bishop until the reactor's failure. In this case, there is overlap with ExcessiveSteamSyndrome as well. Justified as the reactor is breaking down as it's overheating -- the countdown is simply a warning to get to a safe distance before the reactor goes critical.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'':
** The first game is a bit of an interesting case. While the UsefulNotes/{{N|intendoEntertainmentSystem}}ES original completely averts the trope after defeating Mother Brain, the UsefulNotes/{{GBA}} remake ''VideoGame/MetroidZeroMission'' barely offers an appropriate retcon for playing it straight in the same place. However, ''Zero Mission'' does avert the trope later on in the Space Pirate mothership.
** ''Videogame/SuperMetroid'' plays it straight twice. When Ridley escapes the space colony in the beginning, an announcement claims that the colony's self-destruct has been activated, urging immediate evacuation. Naturally, the whole place starts shaking, steaming, blowing up, and even rocking back and forth quite impressively. Later, at the end of the game, the entire planet starts exploding and flooding with acid, because a "Time Bomb has been activated".
** Averted in the final escape sequence of ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion''. While there is some destruction near the exit of the ship, that's due to the PostFinalBoss rampaging about.
** ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'' as well. An AI voice announces over an intercom that a self-destruct sequence will detonate in about five or so minutes. For some reason, your escape becomes riddled with burning debris and wreckage.
* ''VideoGame/{{Star Fox 64}}'': During the Fortuna mission, Slippy notices several enemy craft leaving the captured base. [[MissionControl ROB 64]] informs the team that the enemy planted a bomb in the base; before anyone can defuse it, they must deal with an attack by Star Wolf. If you drag out the battle, you'll notice the base starting to spark and billow forth a few small explosions. When your time gets really low, the original stage music will start up again, timed so that the climax of the track will play while everybody retreats.
* ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' has a variant of this. After starting up the [[DepopulationBomb Halo ring]], it needs several minutes to charge and literally shakes itself apart. The last section of the game is a mad dash to find a way off. While there's no explicit timer, the structural plates fall off at a constant rate. Justified in that the thing was half-built when it was fired (it was a replacement for the one blown up in the [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved first game]]).
* In the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis video game ''VideoGame/XMenCloneWars'', destroying the Sentinel activates the self-destruct function of the entire Sentinel factory... and hundreds of smaller, random explosions prior to the one that actually destroys the factory.
* ''VideoGame/{{Descent}}'' and its sequels. When you shoot the reactor in any of the mines, a voice announces a Self Destruct Sequence, and you have about one minute to get to the exit before the entire complex goes nuclear. For no apparent reason, during this minute the screen shakes uncontrollably while lights flash and sirens roar.
* A countdown isn't actually seen in ''[[VideoGame/RogueSquadron Rebel Strike]]'', but the trope is present in spirit in the climax where [[spoiler:Han Solo has to escape from the self-destructing Endor shield generator Bunker while fighting against Sarkli before the base completely self-destructs.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonor: Allied Assault'', after planting the bombs, Fort Schmerzen is rocked by explosions that you have to stay ahead of as you race for the exit, although it doesn't completely explode until you get out.
* The laboratory self destruct mechanisms in the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series do this. As an aversion, the self destruct sequence in the original the first one in Code Veronica has no destruction or tremors until the countdown expired or you finished the escape.
* The Moon Transmitter in ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'' is rocked by tremors and explosions during the self-destruct countdown.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' features a sequence where Zelda informs you that [[CollapsingLair Ganondorf's castle is collapsing]] and they must escape within three minutes. Justified in that said castle is upheld by magic, [[LoadBearingBoss which would be fading after Ganondorf's defeat]]. (That, and Ganondorf is deliberately trying to bring the castle down on you in a TakingYouWithMe attempt.)
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' has a downplayed version on the last day before [[ColonyDrop the moon crashes onto Termina]]. The ground repeatedly shakes, presumably due to tidal forces, but nothing actually blows up until the impact.
* ''VideoGame/TurokEvolution'' has a huge city suspended above a canyon with giant tethers. At one point, you must destroy the city by releasing the tethers, sending it crashing down to the canyon floor. Once the tether release consoles are activated, the countdown begins, and the city begins to collapse around you, along with lots of tremors. All of this WOULD make perfect sense, if it weren't for the fact that only when you finally DO escape, do the tethers actually detach from the canyon walls.
* ''VideoGame/DinoCrisis'':
** ''Dino Crisis 2'' plays it straight with facility at the end. There is a large tremor just as the self destruct countdown begins, and then in the final FMV everything begins to blow towards the end of the countdown.
** ''Dino Crisis 3'' does it twice. The first time is justified, as the Ozymandias's primary power core has gone into critical overload and everything is shaking apart as a result, though this part strangely lacks a countdown. The second time however plays it straight, as soon as the self-destruct countdown begins, the ship starts shaking violently every few seconds, and on your way to the escape shuttle there are explosions and falling debris. The following FMV shows the interior of the ship collapsing spectacularly as the ship's computer counts down the last 10 seconds.
* ''VideoGame/PonyIsland'': [[spoiler: Initiated by the player, when they commence a full system dump. The lost souls, in the vessels of ponies, have to all race to stay ahead of the destruction of Lucifer's machine... they don't all make it.]]


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''WebVideo/ResidentEvilAbridged'': After Chris defeats the Tyrant, Rebecca sets off the Umbrella lab's self-destruct sequence, giving the surviving S.T.A.R.S. members 4min. to evacuate. But as they near the helipad, another wave of B.O.Ws[[note]]bio-organic weapons[[/note]] attacks. Jill and Rebecca [[YouShallNotPass hold them off]] while Chris signals Brad, then defeats the Tyrant a second time. They escape only moments before the Umbrella lab's destruction, which takes the Spencer Mansion along with it.