"Far from shore, a Pacific WarA Big Badass Battle Sequence isn't just a battle, it's war. This is the battle that makes other battles look like schoolyard scuffles. Expect a high death toll, either shown or implied. The best examples of this trope show not only the battle itself, but the preparations for it and the aftermath. Don't expect it to be pretty. Bonus points if coupled with Orchestral Bombing. May be the work's Crowning Moment of Awesome as opposed to a single character's. Shell-Shock Silence may be added for dramatic effect. Note that this trope implies that there are at least two armies fighting each other, and as such One-Man Army examples do not fit here. Can overlap with Parallel Conflict Sequence, if multiple such sequences are part of one full-scale battle. Compare The War Sequence.
bombs are falling from the skies
It's a bomb-run day, it's the Naval Way,
A blood-red sun is on the rise!"
bombs are falling from the skies
It's a bomb-run day, it's the Naval Way,
A blood-red sun is on the rise!"
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Anime & Manga
- Given that most Gundam series tend to feature major wars, it's inevitable that massive battles will come up at some point.
- The Battles of Solomon and A Baoa Qu in Mobile Suit Gundam, the Battle of Kilimanjaro and Operation: Maelstrom in Zeta Gundam, the Battle of Axis in Gundam ZZ, the Second Battle of Axis in Char's Counterattack, and the final battle of the Delaz Conflict in Gundam 0083 are just some of the examples from the Universal Century era.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: the final episodes are focused on the Eve War, an all-out conflict between the World Nation and White Fang, as the latter attempts a Colony Drop on the Earth, and the Gundam Pilots get caught up in the middle. A short recap of the battle opens the OVA Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz.
- The opening of the first episode of After War Gundam X shows the apocalyptic final battle of the Seventh Space War.
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED the final three episodes, focuses on a Mêlée à Trois. The Three Ship Alliance trying to stop ZAFT and Earth Forces from destroying each other.
- The final battle of Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer. Humanity defends Earth from an alien race that has them outnumbered ten thousand to one.
- The Marineford Arc of One Piece plays out as this, pitting one of the four most powerful pirates in the world, his crew of approximately 1600, and his 40 or so allied crews against the entire military force of the World Government (containing, aside from uncountable Mooks and a slew of Super Power Lottery winners, a trio of Nigh Invulnerable One-Man Army Hero Killers), as well as five of their hired pirate dogs the Seven Warlords of the Sea, each monstrously powerful in their own right. Then, to add even more to the chaos, factor in the Blackbeard Pirates showing up at the very end to witness Whitebeard's death, and then wage war against the Marines themselves. Luffy's exploits during the battle are particularly epic. And nothing hammers in the "big" part of the trope like the fact that nearly every page of the arc is a two-page spread.
- The battle at Seireden between the Flame Hazes and Crimson Denizens lead by the Snake of the Festival in the final season of Shakugan no Shana was a multi-episode epic and all-out war fought on several fronts, with Paratrooper Flame Haze and siege warfare. The battle in Misaki City that takes place not long afterwards definitely qualifies as well.
- Super Dimension Fortress Macross and The Movie version Do You Remember Love? has a famous gigantic and climactic battle against the Zentrans during which Lynn Minmay sings.
- The XY arc of Pokémon is largely wrapped up with the Battle of Lumiose City, in which almost all of the important characters in Kalos join together to thwart Lysandre and Team Flare.
- Black Moon Chronicles: Since the Empire of Lynn and its vassals and enemies are in a near constant state of warfare, there are numerous examples of massive battles and city sieges being waged between armies of knights, mages, dragon riders, orks, elves, giants, and war machines. Ledroit's artwork is impressive for its attention to detail.
- On Luthien, in Along Came a Spider almost four thousand Battlemechs clash in the largest battle for over a century. At the end of the day, only about one in seven of them are still able to fight.
- By the two-third segment of Zero 2 A Revision, Umbradevimon and Demon and their armies have decided to invade Odaiba at the same time, resulting in an epic clash between Devimon's 1 million strong army, Demon and his Black Generals, and the citizens of Odaiba, causing an event known as the Odaiba War. Unfortunately, due to the efforts of Umbradevimon and Demon independently creating Davis's corrupted half as Darkheart, the Digidestined are unable to directly assist Odaiba in repelling the invaders, being continuously pursued and absorbed by the corrupted Digidestined of Miracles until the very last segments of the story.
- There's a few major battles in What Lies Beyond the Walls, but the biggest one so far has been the invasion of Tearmann, which was so chaotic that it lasted two entire chapters and killed off quite a few Mauve Shirts.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fic Harmony Theory, has two examples at the same time. On one side, the capital city of the solar kingdom is being attacked by a War Godess, that is also creating an army of zombie like creatures as the entire city attempts to fend her off. On the other corner, criminal master mind Max Cash, is marching his private army onto a senator's mansion, guarded by almost forty Orion City Police, two SWAT teams, nine detectives, half a dozen sniper teams, two changeling agents, a resurrected ancient hero, and a dragon.
- Child of the Storm:
- The Battle of the M4. Gravemoss summons a massive army of demons and the undead and unleashes them on London, while the Avengers, MI13/Excalibur, a few other heroes, and the British military rally to stop them. Concurrent with this, Dresden, Sif, and Agent Ward are facing down Gravemoss himself in his underground lair in Paris.
- Chapters 59 and 60 see the Avengers and Harry and his friends (the latter being temporarily aged up by a living mountain) fighting off a HYDRA strike force led by the Winter Soldier and backed up by a robot remote controlled by Baron Zemo and an army of Slendermen.
- The Final Battle of the first book is a four-chapter grudge match between the Avengers, SHIELD, MI13/Excalibur, Harry's team of proto-Young Avengers, and about a dozen other characters on one side, and HYDRA on the other. And when the latter is defeated, they're quickly replaced by Chthon and an invasion force of extra-dimensional demons, while the heroes gain Lily Potter a.k.a. the White Phoenix of the Crown.
- Chapters 9 and 10 of the sequel, Ghosts of the Past, are entirely this trope, with a fully fledged Psi-War raging between two Omega Class psychics Harry and Rachel/Maddie in the Nevernever, where thought defines reality, and resulting in a World Gone Mad (the mountains are made of clouds and the snow is falling upwards. And that's just the start) and a worldwide Psychic Nosebleed, while Carol and company wind up fighting Blob!Dudley, the Avengers are mowing through the Red Room's forces, Wanda finds Sinister and quite literally melts him, then Jean gets involved... it all gets very messy.
- The climax of the sequel's Bloody Hell arc, Chapters 32 and 33, feature a lot of these, as both storylines culminate in a series of fights. For the Dresden storyline, there's him, Wanda, Magneto and the Wardens going up against the Kemmlerlites, Voldemort, and Selene to prevent the Darkhallow. For the Harry storyline, there's Harry and a group of allies facing off with the elite of the Grey Court to save Carol, with Harry himself taking on Dracula personally twice.
- The Little Pony Legend
- In the fic Shadow of Ronin as part of the series, there's a battle sequence where the Umbra army with their leaders Nyx, Kage, Shade and Ronin fighting against Team Avatar Harmony, Airbenders, Alicorns, older heroes, spirits and changelings in a battle at the southern spirit portal to save the 3 worlds. (again)
- The Grand Theft Auto Zombie Apocalypse story Fall of Liberty has a few examples:
- The LCPD fighting against the undead as they storm Algonquin when the bridges are overrun in chapter eleven.
- The LCPD again taking on a huge horde at the Libertonian in chapter thirteen.
- The Noose and CIA agents lead by Director Ross, teaming to retrieve The Mask causing The Virus, and clearing out a horde of zombies. At least, util Ross has the NOOSE agents killed.
- Queen of Shadows has the Battle of Awaji, an epic clash between the forces of the Shadowkhan Empire (represented by General Tsume and the Gani tribe) and the Shogunate in the Shadows (represented by Yasashi, Gurando, Murakami, and Himitsu).
- Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters has the Sack of Torus Filney, a massive battle that occurs as the Rebellion — aided by the Guardians and Jade — storm said fortified city. War Is Hell is in full effect, as is a deconstruction of Child Soldier.
- The Lord of the Rings films are full of these, mostly in the third.
- In The Fellowship of the Ring, the battle between the Last Alliance and Mordor in the prologue certainly counts.
- In The Two Towers, Helm's Deep fills out this role quite nicely.
- In Return of the King you have the siege of Minas Tirith, the Pelennor fields, and the Black Gate.
- 13 Assassins has one between the eponymous assassins and over 200 troops that goes on, unbroken, for over 40 minutes.
- Avatar - the big fight between the mercenaries and the Na'vi.
- Chimes at Midnight has one of the best of all time in the gritty, muddy, chaotic Battle of Shrewsbury, a sequence that is even more amazing when one considers the microscopic budget Orson Welles was working with.
- Some batttles in the Pirates of the Caribbean series might count if we limit the 'army size' to two boat-loads of people.
- Gettysburg - The film has several.
- Glory opens with the Army of the Potomac marching to the Battle of Antietam in 1862 along with the Army of Northern Virginia coming to meet them followed by a brief but violent sequence of the battle itself. The climax of the film is the (Second) Assault on Fort Wagner in 1863.
- Saving Private Ryan begins with the D-Day assaults on Omaha Beach.
- Serenity had this at the climax when the titular ship brings an army of Reavers against the Alliance.
- Every Star Wars film contains at least one of these.
- The Phantom Menace has the space-ground battle of Naboo, interchanging between the Trade Federation's clash against the Gungans; Padme's attack on the palace; the lightsaber fight between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Darth Maul; and the attack on the Trade Federation command ship.
- Attack of the Clones features the Battle of Geonosis, with the freshly-revealed army of Republic Clone Troopers slugging it out against the fleeing fleets of the Confederacy of Independant Systems.
- Revenge of the Sith begins with the Battle of Coruscant, with Anakin and Obi-Wan weaving their way through countless Republic and Separatist ships to rescue Chancellor Palpatine. The movie also contains the Battles of Utapau and Kashyyyk, albeit by then it's become increasingly clear that they're hardly important to the plot as the main villain reveals himself.
- Rogue One has the Battle of Scarif, where the infiltration of the crew of the Rogue One turns into a full-blown fleet battle over the planet's orbital shieldgate, as well as a ground battle on the surface's beach. The Rebels have thrown everything they could muster at the time in this battle, and it came at a great cost, explaining their fleet's haphazard state in A New Hope.
- A New Hope has the battle of Yavin IV, where the Rebellion sends all of its starfighters against the Death Star as it moves to destroy the Rebel base.
- The Empire Strikes Back has the Battle of Hoth, where the Empire sends an armada of AT-AT ground walkers to impede the Rebels' escape from the planet. The Rebellion, while defeated, manages to evacuate most of their personel.
- Return of the Jedi has the Battle of Endor, split between the ground battle on the forest moon and the space battle with the Imperial armada and the Rebel fleet over the moon's orbit. Though initially outmatched, sheer determination on all fronts allows the Rebellion to triumph, leading to the Original Trilogy's happy ending.
- The Force Awakens has the Battle of Starkiller Base, with the Resistance's starfighters swiftly attacking the compound after Starkiller Base's shields are lowered. They are still met with heavy resistance from First Order TIE Fighters, turbolasers and missile turrets.
- The Last Jedi opens with a space battle over the Resistance's base of D'Qar, with Poe launching a daring strike against the First Order Dreadnought in order to buy time for the evacuation; a massive furball ensues as the Resistance bombers make their way through hordes of TIE Fighters. The fight culminates in the Dreadnought's destruction, though at the cost of much of the Resistance's starfighter corps as well as all of their bombers. The Resistance spends the rest of the movie on the run, too crippled to conduct an effective counterattack against the pursuing First Order.
- The opening credits of X-Men Origins: Wolverine shows the titular character to have participated in many of these.
- Star Trek: First Contact has the Battle of Sector 001 with the Federation fleet facing off against a Borg Cube
- Almost every James Bond movie prior to For Your Eyes Only featured one of these, with armies of hundreds of extras clashing and killing each other off in choreographed battles stretching across an entire huge secret enemy base. Almost no movie after that has, because apparently it makes Bond more heroic to be able to do it all by himself now.
- Braveheart has two major ones. The Battle of Stirling Bridge and the battle of Falkirk, both all kinds of epic.
- Red Cliff has a total of three:
- The Battle of Changban at the start of part one
- The climax battle of part one, when the allied forces lure Cao Cao's vanguard into their Eight Trigrams Formation
- The Battle of Red Cliff at the climax of part two, which could be considered the biggest and most badass battle in the whole film
- Part two of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has the Battle of Hogwarts
- Alexander has the Battle of Gaugamela towards the opening of the film. The battle in India, later in the film, could also count, albeit to a lesser extent.
- The Warlords has one relatively early in the film between the Qing and Taiping armies.
- This happens in Grown Ups 2 at the climax between the adults and the army of teens.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe the battle of the Narnians against the White Witch's army. Also features Crowning Music of Awesome.
- The Dark Knight Rises features Batman and the police officers of Gotham fighting against Bane and his soldiers at the climax.
- The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor has a climactic battle with the Dragon Emperor and his Terracotta army fighting against the main heroes and a couple thousand resurrected laborers who were buried under the Great Wall.
- The spectacularly shot church melee in Kingsman: The Secret Service is a variation in that instead of being two armies against each other, it's everyone for themselves due to the effect of Big Bad Richmond Valentine's mind controlling SIM cards.
- The Revenant opens with a 6 minute tracking shot of a trapping expedition being attacked by a band of Indians who storm their camp and force them to flee on their boat.
- Ran has the Assault on the Third Castle at the climax of the first half, and later the battle between the armies of Jiro and Saburo near the end of the film.
- Maze Runner: The Death Cure ends with one as militant rebels completely overrun the Last City.
- The climax of Avengers: Infinity War has the Wakandan army, joined by a multitude of heroes, facing off with the Black Order and a massive army of Outriders. Simultaneously to this is Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy fighting Thanos on Titan.
- The Final Battle in Enter the Dragon doesn't begin like this, but the arrival of the previously imprisoned Black Robes leads to this.
- In Tolkien's Legendarium:
- Harry Potter has a few of these
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix's "Battle of the Department of Mystery" which features about a dozen or so per side.
- From Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince there's "Battle of the Astronomy Tower" with about a couple of dozen per side.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows features the "Battle of Hogwarts" between the defenders of Hogwarts and Voldemort's Death Eaters. The defenders are mentioned to have lost fifty-five dead—more than the total number of combatants in any previous fight—and shocking given the Wizarding World's tendency for less-lethal spells. With most of the students and teachers, dozens of parents, and the centaurs and house-elves, there were easily hundreds of fighters. The battle also raged for hours, beginning at midnight, with a one-hour break, and Voldemort's final defeat came at dawn.
- Also "The Battle of the Seven Potters" could count.
- The Wheel of Time has tons of these. In the first couple of books there are not that many: the stand at Emonds Field, the battle at Falme and the battle of Cairhien. Then comes Dumais Wells, a battle between three parties which ends by the outright slaughter of one of the parties by male channelers. Only 100k participants though. Several big battles follow and the biggest in the series come in Book 14, including a three-front battle to start with that takes weeks at least, and ending with the two-pronged Last Battle itself, which includes every single army in the entire world except for the Land of Madmen, and takes approximately a third of the entire book, being almost entirely one chapter that is two hundred and two pages long. The battle itself takes days, with some looks behind the front lines to see how people handle such an extended conflict, even resting or getting food to eat while battles rage.
- A Song of Ice and Fire has had a few so far, the most notable one being the Battle of Blackwater at the end of the second book.
- The Battle of Chichen Itza in Changes of The Dresden Files. Magical duels, vampires, swords, intervention via possession from what is probably an Archangel (or possibly God himself), freaking Odin, the protagonist's (more than slightly insane) Faerie Godmother, Excalibur, Kusanagi and Durandal all in one place and arguably the most badass speech in history. And it's not even the series' Grand Finale.
PossessedMurphy: "False gods! Pretenders! Usurpers of truth! Destroyers of faith, of families, of lives, of children! For your crimes against the Mayans, against the peoples of the world, now will you answer! Your time has come! Face judgment Almighty!"
- The BloodClan battle in the Warrior Cats book The Darkest Hour. BloodClan, a huge group of city cats (enough to take on around 100 forest cats) with a leader who can kill a Clan leader's nine lives in one blow, gives the forest Clans three days to either leave the forest or meet them in battle. The forest Clans spend the three days weighing their options, training, having medicine cats prepare herbs, and coming up with an escape strategy for the defenseless kits and elders if they fail. All four Clans join together to face BloodClan, and the battle itself lasts about a day.
- That's nothing compared to what happens in the fourth series' last book. Basically, the cat versions of Heaven and Hell start fighting an epic war on Earth, and dozens of cats both living and dead kick ass. That one book alone has more Crowning Moments Of Awesome to its name than any preceding it.
- In a series that's already about huge armies of superhuman warriors conquering planets across the galaxy, you'd kind of expect this thing from the Horus Heresy series, but a few battles stand out in particular for the sheer scale and epicness (and most have suitably epic names to boot);
- The third novel, Galaxy in Flames kicks things off with "The Virus Bombing of Istvaan III", where the first four traitor legions begin their purge of their own ranks by bombing the life out of an entire planet of billions, then setting the entire world ablaze before descending to the surface to mop up the survivors.
- This is then followed by "The Dropsite Massacre of Istvaan V" in Fulgrim, where three loyalist legions are drawn into a conflict with the traitor forces (now also backed up by deamons and insane noise marines) only to find the additional four legions they thought were coming to reinforce them also turning traitor and utterly curb-stomping them. The fight on the planet's surface involved hundreds of thousands of space marines, Imperial Army, Titans and tanks and war machines of all description, whilst the battle in space above contained at least a thousand warships. The battle was such a pivotal conflict for the series as a whole and involved so many major characters that later stories replay the events time and again from all the different points of view. It's equally as epic every time.
- Not to be outdone, "The Burning of Prospero", played out over two books from both sides, features the Space Wolves descending upon the homeworld of the Thousand Sons legion of Prospero. "Burning" doesn't even begin to cover what happens next.
- The king of them all so far though, has to go to "The Battle of Calth", shown in Know No Fear. 250,000 Ultramarines and all their supporting Imperial Army and Mechanicum forces, vs. 100,000 Word Bearers and their army of Deamons, cultists and a well executed betrayal that leaves an entire world near-uninhabitable. Thousands of starships and billions of people fighting and dying, a small moon shattered, hell, even the sun gets wrecked.
- In the novels In Death Ground and The Shiva Option by David Weber and Steve White, there are numerous examples of this trope.
- The First Battle of Manticore in the Mission of Honor, being the largest battle in history up to that point.
- In the novel The Armageddon Inheritance by David Weber, a number of epic space battles take place between the protagonists and the invading alien fleet, which consisted of something like 5 or 6 million enemy warships.
- The Icelandic Sagas have several fine descriptions of climactic battles:
- The Battle of Vo Mimbre and Thull Mardu in The Belgariad by David Eddings.
- The Battle of Seattle in The Leonard Regime.
- Italian writer Emilio Salgari (of Sandokan fame) loved them, and strived to put at least one in most of his novels. His crowning achievement is the novel The King of the Sea (of the Sandokan series) with its three battle sequences (a desperate running battle fought by Tremal Naik and a group of Tigers of Mompracem led by Yanez against thousand of Dayaks, a naval battle between the King of the Sea and a Royal Navy warship, and the desperate battle of the King of the Sea against five warships), but he wrote dozens of them, including a revisitation of the Battle of Lepanto (Il Leone di Damasco) and one of Little Bighorn (La Scotennatrice.
- The Reynard Cycle: The Baron of Maleperduys features the Battle of the Samara and the siege of Maleperduys.
- Defender of the Crown opens with one that ends the war between Calvaria and Arcasia.
- A Real Life (embellished?) one in the finale of The Knights of the Cross, since it's a historical novel.
- Department 19: The battle at Château Dauncy in Zero Hour and the final battle in Carcassone in Darkest Night
- Worm primarily has fights that span, at most, one or two chapters, with each chapter changing the situation as the antagonist either moves into a new stage or the protagonists achieve a lasting victory.
- The Lost Fleet has tons of these, both in the main series and some of the spin-offs.
Live Action TV
- Firefly had its first episode start with showing the ending of the battle in Serenity Valley, which is described as being this.
- The battle for Camelot in the Merlin episode The Tears of Uther Pendragon, part two.
- Time Commanders used the Rome: Total War game engine to simulate historical battles for the contestants to re-fight (and get walked over by the AI opponent.)
- Doctor Who has the Battle of Canary Wharf in "Doomsday."
- First episode in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, we're offered one in form of every single Super Sentai vs the whole Zangyack fleet.
- Kamen Rider X Super Sentai Superhero Taisen plans to top that sequence; the writers even submitted the film to the Guinness World Records for the largest number of suit actors for a single battle.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has several during the Dominion War that are on a completely different level to any of the previous Trek series. The First Battle of Deep Space Nine ("Way of the Warrior"), The Second Battle of Deep Space Nine ("Call to Arms"), Operation Return ("Sacrifice of Angels"), The First and Second Battles of Chin'toka, and the Battle of Cardassia ("What You Leave Behind"). Even the early battles with mere dozens of ships are larger than anything else in Trek history including the Borg attacks on Earth from TNG & First Contact, while the later battles during the Dominion War include ships in the thousands!
- Stargate SG-1
- The Battle of Dakara at the end of Season 8.
- Also, the Battle of Antarctica at the end of the 7th season.
- And the Battle of the Supergate (P3Y-229, technically) at the end of Season 9. Though that was more of a Curb-Stomp Battle than anything else.
- Stargate Atlantis had the Battle of Asuras.
- And, arguably, the Siege of Atlantis
- Power Rangers in Space has the Rangers and the rebelling citizens of Angel Grove fighting against the U.A.E. in the final episode.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer features the battle between Buffy and the potentials against the First Evil's Uber Vamps in the center of the Hellmouth for its series finale.
- The 100 ends its first season with a big battle between the Grounder army and the 100.
- Babylon 5 had a habit of upping the ante on this trope throughout the series. Of particular note is the large two-way space battle in the third season episode "Shadow Dancing" and the even larger three-way space battle in the fourth-season "Into The Fire".
- The Walking Dead:
- The mid-season 4 finale features The Governor leading an assault on the prison, resulting in a three-way battle between Rick and The Governor's groups and a horde of walkers.
- The final act of "No Way Out" featured nearly every citizen of Alexandria, from the main characters to the Mauve Shirts and Spear Carriers, banding together to fight off a herd of hundreds of zombies that had overrun the city. It's the first time we see that many heroes fighting at once, and the first time Rick's group manages to completely destroy a herd that large.
- The Season 7 finale, "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life", features a truly massive battle, with Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom uniting to fight against the Saviors and the Scavengers and drive them out of Alexandria.
- Game of Thrones hasn't been able to have near as many battles as its source material due to time and budget constraints. That said, the first two big battles that it does depict, Blackwater and the Battle of Castle Black, each have an entire episode devoted to them, which take up much of their respective seasons' special effects budgets.
- The show eventually added one that was not depicted in the books, Hardhome, which is unique in that it comes completely out of nowhere, catching both the protagonists and the audience completely flat-footed.
- The "Battle of the Bastards" is by far the biggest battle to date, involving more actors and extras than any other sequence in the show's history.
- The Expanse:
- "CQB" has a space battle between The Battlestar MCRN Donnager and six of The Conspiracy's advanced stealth fighters, interspaced with scenes of Holden's crew in a running gun battle with the latter's Boarding Party while trying to flee the ship.
- "Doors and Corners" has the joint assault by the OPA and the Rocinante on the conspiracy's research base on a centrifugal space station, which is guarded by another stealth ship and a hull-mounted cannon designed to be able to break asteroids. It takes some clever maneuvering, but the Roci is able to disable the stealth ship and destroy the cannon, enabling a Boarding Pod to land on and seize control of the station.
- Star Trek: Discovery has the Battle at the Binary Stars, which kicks off the Federation-Klingon War. While hardly the size of some of the battles in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, it’s still large for it's century, involving two dozen warships blasting one another. The battle alone accounts for over 8000 casualties. Later engagements are much smaller in scale, as, months later, the casualties list has only grown by about 2000.
- The Orville finally has one after a number of single-ship engagements, although the titular ship doesn’t actually participate. The fight is between the fleets of two rival races. It goes on for a bit, and several ships on both sides are destroyed, before both fleets are called off.
- The annual Arrowverse events are all capped off with a huge brawl between an ever-growing number of supers vs. an Alien Invasion (in the aptly-titled Invasion) and Alternate Universe Nazis (during Crisis on Earth-X).
Mythology and Religion
- The Final Battle in Mahabharata, in which all warriors of Pandava fights all warriors of Kaurava. Imagine if all the battle-capable people of India goes to battle, and you get a pretty close approximation. All super powers are set loose, no quarters are asked, no quarters are given. This makes this trope Older Than Feudalism.
- The First (Tuatha Dé Danann vs. Fir Bolg) and the Second (Tuatha Dé Danann vs. Fomor) Battle of Magh Tuireadh in The Battle of Magh Tuireadh, from Irish Mythology.
- The Final Conflict between Satan, the First Beast, the Anti Christ, and most of the corrupted legions of our Crapsack World, against Michael, all the Angels, and God. So terrifying, that Earth has to be replaced because the former one is bombed back to before the Big Bang.
- In Realms of Hyrule, you have the Battle of Kakariko in which around nineteen different players joined together with almost the entirety of Hyrule's military in order to route the undead and reclaim Kakariko.
- Minatures games, such as Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 are another good example of this trope. It can be taken to ridiculous extremes even, if players decide in a casual game to have 'no point limit' for building their army.
- For bonus points, 40K also features the "Epic" side-series. As the name implies, it's built around truly massive battles, so instead of having 10-30 individual troop units and maybe a vehicle or two or three, mid-size infantry platoons and small tank formations are individual units, superheavy tanks roam freely, oh and this is the scale where Titans (the largest of which stand 130-170 scale feet tall) start stomping their enemies. Literally.
- Whenever players use Apocalypse rule, you can expect this. The larger battles may take over an hour to do a single turn (whereas a more traditional 2000 point battle may take as much as 10-15 mins per turn, if that).
- This is also the purpose of mass combat systems.
- Likewise, there's the ever popular game of Risk. The goal of that game? World conquest!
- Multiplayer maps in most FPS games are at least trying to invoke this.
- It's easier in RTS games, which could conceivably have battles between hundreds of individual units. Depending on the game, it could have an even more epic scale with special units, such as a battle between Greeks and Egyptians in Age of Mythology having not only their infantry spearmen and cavalry duking it out but also influenced by cyclopes and manticores on the side of the Greeks vs. sphinxes and falcon-headed warriors.
- Planetside II actually holds a Guinness world record for the largest number of players engaged in a single server at once for a first-person shooter: 1,158, split between three factions - the Terran Republic, the New Conglomerate and the Vanu Sovereignty, fighting in the swamps of Hossin for two hours. The New Conglomerate just barely won, holding 35% of territory to the Terran's 34% and the Vanu's 30%.
- The Final Fantasy series loves these.
- Final Fantasy VII has the Weapon Raid on Junon.
- Final Fantasy VIII gives us the Siege of Dollet, in which the part the player sees begins with their boats charging onto the beach.
- Another Final Fantasy VIII example is the Battle of the Gardens (part of which is this trope's page image), wherein the Galbadian Army and the SeeD forces of Balamb clash in one of the most memorable conflicts of the game.
- Final Fantasy IX also joins the fray, with the Siege of Cleyra, the Iifa Tree battle, and when Bahamut attacks Alexandria.
- Final Fantasy XII is bookended with these. The first features the Archadian invasion of Nabudis and Dalmasca, while the second shows an air battle between the Sky Fortress Bahamut against Marquis Ondore's air fleet.
- Final Fantasy XIII begins with a revolt of the purge victims against PSICOM in the depths of Cocoon.
- Final Fantasy XIV has one in the Stormblood story where it's the player character, their allies, their opponents from a previous battle now turned allies all fighting against soldiers from The Empire in a massive brawl and it is awesome.
- Final Fantasy Type-0 comes and goes radical with this. The opening war in Rubrum on Chapter 1 is just the first example. Then we get the Battle of Judecca as the main example in Chapter 5, where an airship fleet fights a population of dragons. And almost immediately after, in Chapter 6, Lady Caetuna summoning the humongous Alexander on the Empire's border and mopping both sides of the conflict on a single beam.
- Fire Emblem has an entire archetype of levels like this, at least one per game.
- The Total War series is built around this entire concept, with you being in control of the battle and sending thousands of individual troops into combat.
- The Dawn of War series has plenty of these, the best examples probably being the first game's intro cinematic and the trailer to the second game.
- Strategy war games like the Command & Conquer series and clones of it may possibly count, with you controlling one faction/army while the other(s) is controlled by a computer/friend. You can also use fluffy logic to decide that these battles really are epic in the game world. A single soldier on screen may actually be 100 within the game world. Imagine those minor 'skirmish' games of yours now.
- LEGO Universe. Both in game and out. The intro has Crowning Music of Awesome and the preparations for combat even. Sadly, it skips over the actual battle, but we're pretty sure it was epic.
- More so when you realize that those spiders and horsemen are elite enemies, and the dragons tend to be bosses.
- Mass Effect features the Battle of the Citadel.
- Knights of the Old Republic has a couple.
- The first game has the Revolt on Kashyyk and Battle of the Star Forge.
- Who are almost opposite of each-other: Kashyyk is a small skirmish (Czerka only has a small outpost on the planet) kept on-planet where the player character is directly involved in fighting the battle, while the Battle of the Star Forge is a big honking fleet engagement between large portions of the Sith and Republic navies where the player character is infiltrating the Star Forge.
- The second game has the Civil War on Iziz and the Battle of Telos.
- The first game has the Revolt on Kashyyk and Battle of the Star Forge.
- Heavenly Sword ends with one of these.
- The final battle in Fallout: New Vegas, with the NCR facing off against Caesar's Legion. Depending on your actions, you'll either support one of the two or support a third party.
- For a little extra context: depending on your choices, you can roll into the battle for Hoover Dam with an elite unit of Brotherhood of Steel paladins joining you in the first stages, the Boomers shelling the other side with howitzers and flying a bomber over the battlefield, the Enclave remnants taking to the battlefield, the Great Khans throwing their lot in if you didn't convince them to leave the Mojave, and two factions will even give you ARMOURED ROBOT INFANTRY... and it shows through NPC dialogue. They're damn glad to see the backup you brought along with you.
- Fallout 3 also has one of these as its climax, when the Brotherhood of Steel finally attacks the Enclave. Especially its newest recruit, and we're not talking about the Lone Wanderer here...
- Neverwinter Nights has the Neverwinter-Luskan War. Hordes of the Underdark adds the Valsharess War, with your by-now epic-level character leading the defenders.
- Neverwinter Nights 2 has the Shadow War, which takes up the majority of Act III and prominently includes The Siege of Crossroad Keep. Mask of the Betrayer adds the invasion of the Fugue Plane.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has several during the civil war, including Whiterun, and depending on what side you choose, Windhelm or Solitude.
- Star Wars games tend to have these in droves. Battlefront 2 even has an XL mode, a deathmatch with hundreds of bots on the field. Very fun for vehicle users and pilots.
- Dragon Age: Origins has the Battles of Ostagar and Denerim against the Darkspawn, and Redcliffe against undead.
- Its sequel ends with the destruction of the Chantry and the Battle of Kirkwall in its aftermath, which is also stated to be only the first battle of the Mage-Templar War.
- The third game has the siege of Adamant Fortress, where the Inquisition assaults the fort due to the Grey Wardens being under Corypheus' influence.
- X3: Terran Conflict: The Second Battle of Aldrin during the Aldrin Expansion plot, with a Terran warfleet and the Player Character pushing the Xenon out of the Terrans' former colonies.
- Massive battles happen randomly in X3: Albion Prelude, what with the Guilt-Free Extermination War going on between the Earth State and Argon Federation; in the border sectors between Terran and Argon space, it's not uncommon to see dozen of mile long capital ships duking it out. The player can accept missions from either government to participate in these raids.
- The invasion of Char in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
- In the expansion, Heart of the Swarm, the invasion of Korhal.
- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings starts with a massive siege battle against one of the King's bastard sons, and they only get bigger from there.
- Mount & Blade battles are supposed to get very large, which, varying on your settings, can display over well over 100 to even 500 or more men with mods.
- Star Fox Zero has the Battle of Sector Beta. The level opens with a massive skirmish between the main fleets of Corneria and Venom, with squadrons of star fighters flying everywhere in between. In the second phase you find yourself in an all out dogfight involving EVERY SINGLE NAMED PILOT from Star Fox 64. This includes your team, Bill Grey, Katt, and Star Wolf.
- The second Jedi Knight game has the Big Bad invade the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV with an army of Reborn. While your goal is to reach and defeat the Big Bad, you run through courtyards and hallways of scores of Jedi battling their Evil Counterparts.
- The intro to Mortal Kombat: Armageddon involves most of the series' fighters engaging in an all-out brawl with casualties on both sides, before the pyramid erects and gives them all a goal to fight towards.
- Ace Combat is no stranger to prolonged aerial furballs.
- Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies has a massive furball over Comona Island as the ISAF attempt to launch a recon satellite for Operation Countdown, with Erusea deploying a large aerial force to foil it. The hard-rocking "Comona" plays as you're immersing yourself in the battle.
- Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War has an interesting subversion in the fleet battle over the Ceres Ocean towards the end of the story. The Yuktobanian fleet prepares to attack the Kestrel, but are instead led astray by the revelation that their then-kidnapped Prime Minister is on-board, leading to mutiny on the Yuke side. The Osean fleet then approaches with the intent to sink the Yuktobanians, the Yuktobanians who side with the Kestrel, and the Kestrel herself altogether, so Razgriz Squadron launches and singlehandedly takes down all belligerents unwilling to defect to the newly-formed Kestrel fleet. The entire battle is fought to the tune of "The Journey Home" blaring on all radio comms.
- Ace Combat Zero: Area B7R, also known as the Round Table, is prone to frequent furballs involving Belka's legendary air force and Osea's army, with several mercenaries thrown in, most tellingly Galm Team. Most dogfights in it are accompanied by hard rocking themes like "Mayhem", or flamenco-flavoured songs like "The Round Table".
- Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation takes it even further by integrating large scale operations into its gameplay mechanic, allowing for simultaneous air and ground assault scenarios through allied NPCs. The culmination of all this is the Liberation of Gracemeria, where you take part in a six-pronged battle to retake Emmeria's capital from Estovakian forces on the sea, air and land.
- The spin-off Ace Combat Infinity takes cues from Strangereal titles, namely a massive aerial furball over Area B7R (located in Nevada here) between the UNF and USEA called Operation Battle Axe, and Operation Bunker Shot over the Adriatic Sea. The latter features a sea and air battle that almost ends in failure as the OLDS unexpectedly wipes out most of the UNF's landing forces, but they get back up after a Heroic Second Wind fueled by Goodfellow's resolve and Reaper's presence. From then on, Operation Bunker Shot is fought to the sound of a remix of Ace Combat 04's "Blue Skies".
Collins: We got nothing to be afraid of! Not with the Grim Reaper haunting the skies!
Bertz: You said it! On the ground and in the air... We can do this! [Cue rallying cries of "Let's go!"]
- In The Gamer's Alliance, several big battles have taken place during the war, most notably the Battle of Folsworth Woods and the Battle of Vanna.
- The Salvation War has many, but probably the best would be Michael vs. Yahweh, with in-universe Orchestral Bombing, including the theme from the Dam Busters and Holst's Mars.
- The Battle of Nancy, and possibly the entire Juillet Lorrain leading up to it, in The Dead Skunk.
- A More Personal Union has the Battle of Toledo, the Final Battle of the Great War. On one side, there's 90,000 Grande Alliance troops commanded by King Henri III of France. On the other, 200,000 Spanish soldiers and Italian mercenaries led by Henri's cousin and nemesis Crown Prince Ferdinand of Spain.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender has a few, what with it being about a hundred year war and all, but the one which would probably fit best would be The Day of Black Sun battle. A small guerilla army with submarines, tanks, and a combination of benders and Bad Ass Normal warriors take on the Fire Nation troops.
- The Battle of the Drill and the Siege of the North certainly count, if smaller in scope; both involving the Fire Nation attacking a city, the Northern Water Tribe and city of Ba Sing Se respectively. They are both considered key battles in the war effort, and both ending in victory against the Fire Nation.
- The Grand Finale to The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! features nearly every hero in the series teaming up to stop Galactus.
- The Grand Finale to Justice League Unlimited featured an alliance between the Justice League and the Legion, with the two teams going up against Darkseid and his invading forces all over the earth.
- Kulipari: An Army of Frogs has Episode 9, where the residents of the Amphibilands and Marmoo's army finally clash after much buildup. The battle lasts almost the entire episode.
- Leroy & Stitch features this as Lilo, Stitch, all the reformed experiments, and Gantu take on wave after wave of Leroy clones, the Evil Counterpart to Stitch.
- Robots has all the outmodes rising up against Madame Gasket and her army in the chop shop.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars will occasionally have an entire arc based around one giant battle, with one of the most notable ones being the Umbara Arc.
- The biggest battle featured so far on Star Wars Rebels is the Battle of Atollon, which looks like a one-sided Imperial rout against the rebels until the Bendu gets involved.
- The conclusion of the Season 5 Teen Titans storyline which pits the Titans and all their allies going up against the Brotherhood of Evil.