A montage of various locations (and their major landmarks
), with or without their inhabitants, which are being catastrophically obliterated or soon to be. Usually depicts The End of the World as We Know It
This is what happens when a villain Storyboarding the Apocalypse succeeds.
This trope is inherently spoileriffic, be wary!
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Anime and Manga
Films — Live-Action
- The end of Fail-Safe. Shots of landmarks and street scenes in New York just before it gets hit by a nuke dropped from a US plane, dropped on orders from the President to "make up" for a US plane nuking Moscow.
- The War Of The Worlds (1953) has one of these, showing the Martians attacking various armies, locations and populations. Watch it here, starting at 5:10.
- Mars Attacks! has one with the aliens attacking London, Mt. Rushmore, the Taj Mahal and Easter Island. Watch it starting at 2:45.
- Independence Day, when the aliens use their Kill Sats on the major cities.
- Implied in WarGames, when the computer runs the various scenarios of a nuclear holocaust that always results in total nuclear destruction.
- In The Day After Tomorrow, the degree of destruction is so extreme that it feels more like Gaia's Vengeance.
- Deep Impact.
- Occurs in the film Godzilla Final Wars, in which several giant monsters (IE: King Seesar, Rodan, Zilla, etc.) are shown destroying various cities (IE: Okinawa, New York, Sydney) while under the control of the Xillians.
- In the film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, this trope occurs when the Vogons are about to destroy the Earth.
- Dr. Strangelove ends with a montage of nuclear explosions, famously set to Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again".
- The entire second half of 2012.
- The opening credits of the 2004 Dawn of the Dead (2004) remake shows society collapsing in the face of the Zombie Apocalypse set to "The Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash.
- Life After People has such montages for the fates of the many, many things we leave behind should we go extinct as a species.
- The Battlestar Galactica movie The Plan has this while depicting the destruction of the Colonies.
- The ending of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
- The normal ending of Cave Story.
- The "Armageddon" ending of Live A Live.
- The ending sequence in MOTHER 3.
- The intro of Star Ocean: The Last Hope. The titular 'Last Hope' are the brave explorers who are heading out into space to find us a new planet...
- Lavos' various appearances in Chrono Trigger always leads to one of these: it more or less causes the extinction of the dinosaurs when it strikes the earth in 65 Million BC, it destroys the Floating Continent in 12000 BC, and it destroys human civilization entirely in the Day of Lavos (and witnessing the Apocalyptic Log of this is what spurs our heroes to do something about it). And then there's the Downer Ending you get if you lose to Lavos...
- The destruction of the Floating Continent and the ensuing post-apocalyptic flythrough of the World of Ruin in Final Fantasy VI.
- The glassing of Taris at the end of the first segment of Knights of the Old Republic.
- The intro cinematic for World of Warcraft Cataclysm depicts the destruction of several classic areas from the game such as the Barrens, Darkshore, and Loch Modan's iconic Dwarven dam.
- The Ending of Final Fantasy X-2 if you run out of time in the last boss battle.
- In Odin Sphere the entire last act counts as this and will end with the death of the world in every version. The best possible outcome is nature growing back with Oswald and Gwendolyn surviving to restart mankind and Velvet and Cornelius as Pooka helping the animal population.
- Fallout 3's ending has one of these depicting the outcome of the player's actions if they have negative Karma, for example; Megaton being nuked, Harold the Wise Tree being burned, the citizens of Rivet City being slaughtered, and Underworld and other settlements being wiped out by the Modified FEV.
- Homestuck has a few of these, but with the main characters' homes instead of monuments.
- Parodied in at least one episode of Futurama, when an alien invasion just happens to begin with "Monument Beach," a beach in New New York where a former Supervillain President gathered all the world's famous monuments (which the invading aliens promptly destroy with their "Monument Destroying Ray").