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. Contrast Spreading Disaster Map Graphic, which likewise illustrates a catastrophe's scope, but at a resolution that's too large-scale to show individual landmarks. This trope is inherently spoileriffic, be wary!
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In the last few episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the various citizens of Amestris are shown dying in obvious pain and reawakening after Father has been destroyed.
- The End of Evangelion features a montage of the Third Impact, in which everybody gets hugged and turned into Tang, combining apocalyptic destruction and Crowning Music of Awesome.
- We get one of these in Kannazuki no Miko done by Chikane as the last Orochi.They got better.
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.
- Roland Emmerich loves this trope: Independence Day, when the aliens use their Kill Sats on the major cities. The degree of destruction in The Day After Tomorrow is so extreme that it feels more like Gaia's Vengeance. Also the entire second half of 2012.
- Implied in WarGames, when the computer runs the various scenarios of a nuclear holocaust that always results in total nuclear destruction.
- 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 opening credits of Dawn of the Dead (2004) shows society collapsing in the face of the Zombie Apocalypse set to "The Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash.
- The ending of Planet of the Apes. (The real one; we do not admit that the one starring the underwear model exists.)
- In Kingsman: The Secret Service we see the effects of the hate plague unfold in three different cities. Something of a subversion for the whole gentleman spy genre in of itself as it actually shows the beginning of what is actually a terrifying way for the world to end, rather than it being stopped with seconds left on the countdown.
- 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").
- Lampshaded in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, where an announcer says that "the storm seems to follow a strange pattern, where it is attacking the world's most famous landmarks first, and then moving onto the surrounding area."