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Doomed Hometown

No! My beloved peasant village!: The hero's home town, city, slum, or planet will usually be annihilated in a spectacular fashion before the end of the game, and often before the end of the opening scene.

The town the hero first appears in is often his hometown. There is a very high chance said town will be demolished by evil forces, prompting him to quest, although sometimes the town is inaccessible for other reasons (banishment, for example).

This is not strictly limited to hometowns. It's almost guaranteed that wherever the hero starts out — be it town, planet or even universe, depending on the scope of the story — is likely to be rudely destroyed by forces of fate as soon as his back is turned.

Frequently paired with Refusal of the Call, since The Call Knows Where You Live, and often the reason You Can't Go Home Again after Easing Into the Adventure. Often results in the hero watching the town burn, emotionally overcome at having their source of joy destroyed.

One of the worst examples of this Trope, reserved for the most heartless of villains, is for when they are eventually confronted for it by the hero, and they don't even remember doing it.

Note that this trope does not include stories in which survival (within the town) during disaster or war, and its aftermath, are the main focus. The key aspect of this trope is not that the town is destroyed, but that the destruction of (or banishment from) the hero's old home becomes an impetus to the later adventures.

See also Where I Was Born and Razed, when the character is the doom of their own hometown.

Not to be confused with Domed Hometown, although these are easier to doom. See also Sugar Apocalypse.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Freiza does precisely this to Planet Vegeta, the Saiyan home world, in Dragon Ball Z, although it actually takes place before the series proper starts, and is shown in flashbacks. The Bardock special also recounts the events leading up to this Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
  • In UFO Robo Grendizer, one of the Mazinger Z sequels, Duke Fleed's planet gets destroyed two years before the beginning of the series, forcing him to flee to Earth.
  • Many of the princesses of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch have run away from their destroyed kingdoms, or been caught in the attempt; curiously, the heroine is the only one whose home turf is safe.
  • Sara from Soukou no Strain has a Doomed Space Academy that is attacked by her brother; she is the only survivor.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, the hometown of Negi and Anya is attacked by demons that turn nearly all the townspeople to stone. Negi is saved by his father who gives Negi his staff before leaving.
  • Given the historical destruction of most of Japan's major cities during World War II, this comes up frequently in anime set in this period:
  • This is subverted in Fullmetal Alchemist where Ed and Alphonse Elric set fire to their own house so they can't turn back. Their attempts to redeem themselves from this "original sin" drive the plot. They do, however, make relatively frequent visits to their home town to call on childhood friends.
    • This is further subverted, and may be even Lamp Shaded, in the fact that during the Ishvalan civil war, Ed and Al's hometown is reported to have been run in and destroyed (which is used as an official excuse for Ed's limbs), but now it seems to be thriving again.
      • Various points indicate that while it hardly seems devastated, it would have been more of a bustling city had the Ishvalan civil war not happened.
      • Other points suggest it was simply attacked and damaged slightly rather than completely destroyed. As Ed is the only character we hear referring to it being destroyed this can probably be chalked up to him exaggerating things.
    • Hohenheim has an alternate interpretation of Ed and Al's motives, saying that they did it to forget trying to transmute their mother.
      • Hohenheim: "Pinako, where is my house? I can't seem to find it."
  • In Chrono Crusade, Chrono and Rosette's motivation for joining the Order is to find Rosette's brother, Joshua, who was kidnapped by Aion. When he was kidnapped, he was given Chrono's horns—and the power overwhelmed him and he ended up "stopping" the time of the orphanage Rosette and Joshua lived in, freezing everyone inside in stone. Chrono, Joshua and Rosette are the only survivors from it.
  • Once upon a time, there was a space colony called Side 7.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has a villainous example. Kul Elna, a village of former tomb builders turned tomb robbers, was burned to the ground and had its inhabitants slaughtered as components in the spell that forged the Millennium Items. Luckily for one small boy who managed to stay hidden, the sorcerers only needed the lives of the other 99 villagers, which left him as the sole survivor. Flash forward about ten to fifteen years, and Thief King Bakura is out for revenge...
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, if Satellite counts as a Doomed Hometown (seeing as Zero Reverse reduced what was left of it to a crime-ridden slum) then Jack, Kiryu, and Crow are genuine examples, and Yusei in spirit. (Yusei grew up thinking he was born there, only learning later that he was sent there as an infant by his parents, who were killed in the disaster.) However, neither they nor any other survivor could leave it, at least for a while, as the corrupt government used the inhabitants like underclass serfs until it was liberated after Godwin's death.
  • The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise has Amia, a mining town found in the 3rd Administrated World - Vaizen. It was destroyed in year 74 of the new Mid-Childa calendar, seven years before the events of Force. Official records state that it was an accident involving earthquakes and poisonous fumes. Tohma, the main character of Force and the only survivor of that event, believe otherwise and has made it his life's goal to find the true culprit behind the disaster.
  • Flame of Recca - the destruction of Recca's hometown and the wholesale slaughter of the Hokage clan is what causes Recca to be sent forward in time to the modern day.
  • In One Piece, eventual-protagonist Nico Robin is the product of this, given that she is hunted by the World Government precisely because she is the sole survivor of the Marines' otherwise utter annihilation of her hometown.
    • In addition, Trafalgar Law was a victim of this. His hometown and country, the White City, was quarantined with all its citizens, including children, getting summarily executed. The only way Law escaped was by hiding in the piles of corpses of his loved ones.
  • In Inuyasha, the Demon Slayers' village and Sango's hometown was completely wiped out for Naraku to get the Shikon Jewel shards that were being protected there.
  • In Slayers, Copy Rezo destroys Sairaag, Syphiel's hometown. In Slayers Next, Lina Inverse destroys Xoana, Martina's hometown.
  • Kazuma's hometown was destroyed before the beginning of Kagerou-Nostalgia; the village he's defending in the opening doesn't last long either (although in his defense, it would have been gone even quicker without him).
  • Colin's home in Highlander: The Search for Vengeance gets destroyed by the Big Bad Marcus. Particularly brutal as Colin had recently been made chief of the village.
  • This is how Exa of Superior became a hero, in keeping with his "deconstructed '80s JRPG hero" nature. Very briefly, he resolved to kill all monsters, but when a little monster he'd tamed found and comforted him in the ruins, he changed that to "kill the demon queen." (Incidentally, the demon queen is the protagonist.)
  • Attack on Titan features several, as a direct result of Wall Maria being abandoned at the beginning of the series.
    • Shiganshina District, the home of Power Trio Eren, Mikasa, and Armin is the most prominent example. Its destruction is the focal point of the beginning of the series, and it serves as a symbol of everything lost when Wall Maria was breached. Reclaiming it becomes vital to the plot, since the mystery of Eren's powers may be hidden in the ruins of his home.
    • Reiner and Bertolt come from a remote mountain village in Wall Maria, and briefly describe it being destroyed because the Titans reached it before they could receive any warning. This is part of their cover story, leaving it unknown whether their true home was attacked or not.
    • Jean's hometown, the Trost District, is badly damaged during the battle there, but manages to narrowly avoid this fate thanks to the discovery of Eren's powers.
    • Connie's village is found abandoned and destroyed during the breach of Wall Rose. The hints about what happened are chilling to say the very least...
  • In Pokemon Special, the XY chapter starts off with Xerneas and Yvetal duking it out with each other to the point that Vaniville Town gets destroyed while simultaneously Team Flare goes after X's Mega Ring and burn down his house to get to him.
  • In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, this is what prompts Kurogane to become a ninja serving under Princess Tomoyo in hopes of finding the one who did the deed and killing him.
  • Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi opens with the massacre of the protagonist's village by a gunslinger in black, and once she comes to terms with that she sets out on a journey to save the world.

    Comic Books 
  • Krypton from the Superman mythos is the quintessential example of a Doomed Hometown, being a doomed home planet.
  • In Rom Spaceknight, Claireton, West Virginia, which served as the setting for much of the series and is home to Rom's girlfriend Brandy Clark, is completely overrun by Dire Wraiths during Rom's absence, its inhabitants slaughtered. Brandy, by then a Spaceknight herself, becomes obsessed with exacting vengeance against the Wraiths for this atrocity.
  • ElfQuest. Humans burn down our heroes' forest holt, forcing them to go on... well, the entire rest of the story, basically, rather than just staying home.
  • The home planets of the eponymous seven in Sovereign Seven.
  • Green Lantern Hal Jordan's home base of Coast City was destroyed, starting a chain of events that turn him into an insane killer/possessed victim of an entity called Parallax.
  • Invoked in Infinite Crisis, when Deathstroke orders Nightwing's city, Bludhaven, destroyed as revenge against the hero.
    • However, this really didn't become an impetus for Nightwing's later adventures.
  • Inverted in Watchmen's "Tales Of The Black Freighter" comic-within-a-comic, where the protagonist believes his hometown is due to be visited by the eponymous ship only to realize (too late) he is batshit crazy and mistook the innocent villagers for undead aberrations after he murders them.
  • What happens to All in Red Hood and the Outlaws, which Red Hood feels is his real home and where he truly grew up.

    Fanfiction 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Titan A.E., the main character's home planet is destroyed.
  • Dinosaur:
    • Lemur Island from , since it was unfotunately located very close to the meteorite's blast radius.
    • Also the region where Kron, Bruton, Neera, Eema, Baylene, Url, and the rest of the Herd came from. Subverted, however according to Dinosaur: The Essential Guide, which confirms that the Nesting Grounds is indeed their original home. The reason why they all do not stay there all the time is because in the winter, the Nesting Grounds actually becomes too cold for the dinosaurs to lay their eggs.
  • DreamWorks:
    • In Monsters vs. Aliens, Gallaxhar's planet was destroyed by Gallaxhar himself.
    • In Megamind, both Megamind's and Metro Man's planets (and to a much lesser extent, possibly their home solar system) are sucked in by a black hole.
    • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po's home village is burned to the ground by Shen's wolves and cannons. Po witnessed the event, but was too young to remember it at the time.
  • The village in An American Tail, which is sacked in a cat-Cossack pogrom at the very beginning, in a Fiddler on the Roof parody. Surprisingly, this is intended to be a real town, which has in fact survived.
  • The village in Mulan the troops encounter before the Tung Shao Pass. The houses were on fire, pieces of cloth were torn, innocent people were murdered, and the army led by Shang's father were killed by the Huns, including the general himself

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Possibly the most famous is the destruction of Luke's home in Star Wars, killing his aunt and uncle but freeing him to leave the planet. Notice that he never mentions them ever again, and instead obsesses over his father who didn't raise him.
  • In The Last Starfighter, when Alex Refused The Call and wants to go back to Earth, he finds the hard way The Call Knows Where You Live, as an alien assassin comes to his hometown. Centauri implies this trope (as well as Alex's death) will result unless Alex takes part in the war. Alex reluctantly agrees.
  • In Conan the Barbarian (1982), the main villain Thulsa Doom destroys young Conan's village and mercilessly slays his mother before his eyes, leading him to be sold into slavery where he is hardened by forced labor and trained as a champion gladiator. When he eventually wins his freedom, embarks on a career as a warrior, and seeks out Thulsa Doom to take his revenge, the villain calmly points out to Conan that everything he became is because of Doom himself and Conan actually owes him. (He even fits in a bit of the But for Me, It Was Tuesday, too.) Of course Conan is anything but grateful, but still the point stands.
  • In Starship Troopers, Johhny Rico's native city, Buenos Aires, gets destroyed by the bugs just as he resigned from the armed forces. Of course, now It's Personal.
  • In the Street Fighter movie, Chun Li reveals she's pursuing M. Bison because he destroyed her village and killed her father. This leads to the single most awesome bit about the movie, in an echo of Thulsa Doom above:
    M. Bison: For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for Me, It Was Tuesday.
  • In the film adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Allan Quatermain is living in self-imposed exile in a British colony in Africa, and has no interest in accepting the position of League leader. He accepts, however, when agents of the film's primary villain invade the colony, killing some of Quatermain's friends and blowing up the pub.
  • Mercilessly parodied in Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights:
    Robin Hood: Blinkin, listen to me. They've taken the castle!
    Blinkin: I thought it felt a bit drafty. Cor, this never would have happened if your father was alive.
    Robin Hood: He's dead?
    Blinkin: Yes.
    Robin Hood: And my mother?
    Blinkin: She died of pneumonia while... oh, you were away...
    Robin Hood: My brothers?
    Blinkin: There were all killed by the plague.
    Robin Hood: My dog, Pogo?
    Blinkin: Run over by a carriage.
    Robin Hood: My goldfish, Goldie?
    Blinkin: Eaten by the cat.
    Robin Hood: (on the verge of tears) My cat?
    Blinkin: Choked on the goldfish.
    (pause)
    Blinkin: Oh, it's good to be home, ain't it, Master Robin?
    • There's the village from the start of the film that gets shot by flaming arrows every time they film a Robin Hood movie.
  • The rebooted Star Trek movie involved as a key plot point the destruction of Vulcan by a Romulan lunatic from the future, and its effect on Spock.
    • The destruction of the Kelvin may also count, since James T. Kirk would've been born there otherwise. JJ Abrams explained in the commentary that the attack by Nero created premature labor, else he would have been born in Iowa.
    • The reasoning for the key plot point? Nero, said Romulan lunatic, watched Romulus get obliterated by the Hobus supernova.
  • The Western movie The Outlaw Josey Wales begins with the eponymous hero's house being burned down and his family killed.
  • Near the beginning of Apocalypto, the jungle village of the protagonist gets razed to the ground by city Mayans, and its inhabitants are captured as slaves and human sacrifices.
  • Hometree in Avatar, and possibly Earth.
  • The Wolfhound begins with the eponymous protagonists village being sacked, Conan-style, by the evil druids Zhadoba and Man-Eater.
  • Barbossa and his men attack Port Royal in Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Come and See has Florya's home village, which ends up slaughtered some time after he joins up with the partisans. He's in denial about it at first.
  • Superman's homeworld of Krypton is destroyed in Man of Steel's opening. Also Smallville and Metropolis get wrecked in the battles between Superman and Zod.

    Gamebooks 
  • In the gamebook series Lone Wolf, the eponymous character's journey begins with the Darklords' destruction of his monastery, leaving him Last of His Kind.

    Literature 
  • In Return Of The Reaper we have Holtz's hometown, along with pretty much every other human city in the novel.
  • In Animorphs, Bug fighters destroy the kids' hometown in the second last book to create a giant dead zone around the Pool ship's landing site. They reduce the entire city to a desert of ash, so the nothing can get close without being seen.
  • In book 12 of the Honor Harrington series, Mission of Honor, this happens not just to Honor's hometown, killing half her extended family, but also to a treecat clan and to Manticore's assets and people in orbit.
  • In The Infernal City, Annaïg's and Mere-Glim's hometown of Lilmoth undergoes a miniaturized Zombie Apocalypse.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy opens on a Thursday morning as Arthur Dent looks outside his house at a bulldozer poised to demolish it to make way for a bypass. Coincidentally, the Vogon Constructor Fleet demolishes Earth later that day in order to build a hyperspace bypass. Before blowing up this Insignificant Little Blue Planet, the Vogons tell its inhabitants that they should have seen it coming: as with Arthur's house, the plans for the bypass were on file, even if some Obstructive Bureaucrat did store them in a slightly out-of-the-way location ("What do you mean, you've never been to Alpha Centauri?") "I could never get the hang of Thursdays." Arthur remarks as all this happens.
  • Watership Down, Waif Prophet rabbit Fiver has a vision of their warren being destroyed. He, his brother and few others escape on this revelation and learn later that the vision was completely correct.
  • In the Cambridge Latin Course, hero Quintus Caecilius Iucundus grew up in Pompeii. After the fiery destruction of his hometown and everything else in a ten mile radius, he leaves to destroy the forces of evil and corruption in Roman Britain.
    • This also occurred to a certain extent in real life: Caecilius, Metella and Quintus were actually based on real people from Pompeii, (although Quintus' later adventures were fabricated) which made it funny when the family turned up in Doctor Who.
  • In The Pilgrim's Progress the City of Destruction (the main character's hometown) will be destroyed in the end of days by fire and brimstone, prompting him to escape to Celestial City (heaven).
  • In Eric Flint's 1632 and successor books, the 'hero' is in some sense Grantville, West Virginia, displaced in time and space to Thuringia in 1632 amidst the Wars of Religion. None of the characters in it can go home to Modern Earth, and they have no idea if Modern Earth has been destroyed by the event that moved them, or continues to exist in another 'branch' of time. In any case they can't go back and are forced into adventure, making this a case of a /town/ that has a Doomed Hometown.
  • In James Blish's Cities in Flight series, the flying cities are forced off Earth by the disaster of world conquest by a totalitarian state. So each of them is a town with a Doomed Hometown.
  • Subverted in the second book of The Sovereign Stone Trilogy. The Evil Overlord sends his henchman to the home village of one of the protagonists with orders to burn the village, massacre the inhabitants and torture the survivors to death for information. The villages however are part of a tribal culture whose main exports are fearless barbarian mercenary's, they massacre the henchman, torture the boss henchman to death and stake out his body as an example to those who will follow, before burning their OWN village to the ground so the enemy (who knows where they live) will get no use from it then go off to found a new village elsewhere.
  • Mino, Takeo's village in Tales of the Otori, does not outlast the opening chapter of the first book.
  • The Beastmaster. When Evil Rip Torn attacks Dar's village and kills his dog, Dar dresses in leather, burns the bodies and goes on a grand quest.
  • Played with in The Wheel of Time: though Emond's Field is attacked by Trollocs in the first hundred pages and the father of The Hero is severely wounded in the assault, both the hometown and the main characters' families and friends all survive this and later defeat a second, worse invasion in the fourth book. Played straight for Perrin, though, whose whole family gets killed and his home burned to the ground.
    • Averted as of the most recent book: far from being demolished, the Two Rivers is thriving, having emerged from its sleepy isolationism, discovered the military application of being the home of some of the world's best archers, produced some of the most powerful young magic-users (both male and female) in the world, peacefully absorbed one nearby nation-state and built strong ties to two others, and gone from being a forgotten backwater of the queendom of which it was only nominally a part to being officially recognized and elevated above all other member states in what is quickly becoming one of the largest and most powerful empires on the continent.
    • Lan Mandragoran, the Uncrowned Prince of Malkier has monstrous hordes overrun his entire homeland while he's still a baby. He spends the next twenty years of his life training to be a warrior and promptly sets off to go mano-a-mano with the entire freaking Blight and all the minions of the Dark One. Of course, he gets sidetracked by becoming Warder to Moirane, but fast-forward twenty years and he's mentoring and helping The Chosen One to battle the Big Bad who, incidentally, was responsible for razing Malkier. Now, again, he's on his personal vengeance-for-the-homeland quest with practically all the Malkieri survivors.
    • Also true for Olver, whose parents were killed by Shaido and who has basically committed himself to avenging them someday.
  • Inverted, to an extent, in The Lord of the Rings. You Can Go Home Again, but home is not the same: the Big Bad is defeated, but the homeland they set out to protect has become a Dystopia. There aren't even any hints of this (except a brief glimpse via Galadriel's mirror, by Sam, and even then it's not clear whether it's really going to happen—Galadriel warns of a possible Self-Fulfilling Prophecy if Sam tries to go back and stop it) until the main plot of the book is over. It's compelling enough to avert the Ending Fatigue you'd expect when the climax is in Chapter Three of the last book, and its omission is one reason that Ending Fatigue exists in the movie, as it's a new source of tension in the scourging of the Shire, which has to be resolved before the final ending of Frodo's and Bilbo's trip into the west and Sam's epilogue. With the scourging removed in the film, so is the tension; as the rest remains the same, the plot spends its last half-hour just coasting downhill.
  • In the The Demon Princes, the destruction and enslavement of the Mount Pleasant colony is what kicks off Kirth Gersen's Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • In Suzzanne Collins' The Hunger Games series, Katniss Everdeen's hometown District 12 is bombed into oblivion under the orders of President Snow as retaliation for the occurrences of book two, Catching Fire. The book ends with some one telling her it's gone, so you know it's important. Later on, Katniss visits the District 12 ruins and is noticeably guilty over the fact that it's gone, and the bombing of 12 is brought up multiple times throughout the last book.
  • In the Inheritance Cycle, first of all Eragon's home is destroyed and Garrow killed, then in Eldest, the Empire come for Roran which results in the destruction of Carvahall and the villagers all leaving for the Varden.
  • In The History of the Galaxy series, the Norls are a race of Heavy Worlder humanoids, whose homeworld is rendered near-uninhabitable by a supernova. Unfortunately, their new home is about to suffer the same fate (apparently, even with FTL outrunning a supernova is difficult). Fortunately, the humans find out about this just in time and manage to shield the new planet from the destructive wave using powerful gravity generators.
  • In the first book of Chronicles of the Emerged World, Nihal's home city of Salazar is attacked by Dola and his army of Fammin and her adoptive father Lovin is killed while trying to buy her some time to flee.
  • In Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet Captain Tulev's Back Story was the destruction of his home system. He offers to draw up the list of highly critical systems because he's unbiased.
  • In The Name of the Wind, Kvothe never had a hometown, but his parents and their caravan of traveling performers are slaughtered by the Chandrian. This sets him off on his adventures alone and will eventually lead him to seek out the Chandrian for revenge.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Winterfell, the Starks' castle, is gone by the end of book 2, being first invaded by Theon Greyjoy and then sacked by the Boltons.
  • Elin's hometown in Of Fear and Faith is destroyed before the story begins. This has clearly left its mark on poor Elin, as when she tells this to Phenix it's the first time we see her not jovial and bubbly.
  • In The Big Wave, Jiya's seaside village of more than twenty houses is destroyed by the eponymous tsunami.
  • At the beginning of the second book of the Literature/Gor series, the protagonist Tarl Cabot wants to go back to his home city of Koroba, only to find it destroyed and its inhabitants spread all around the world. It turns out the Priest-Kings of Gor did that just to piss him off, since home cities are a really important and touchy subject on Gor and they knew it was the surest way to make Tarl go to them.
  • In the Left Behind series, the Anti Christ's capital city New Babylon is destroyed by God at the end of the Tribulation. Before that, Chicago (the home place of the inner-city ministry known as The Place) was destroyed by a nuke.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation's Ridiculously Human Robot Data was created in a Colony on the planet of Omnicron Theta on which all life was mysteriously and utterly annihilated (right down to the level of soil bacteria) by a space entity that resembles a giant snowflake. After the disaster, Data was found by the crew of the USS Tripoli when they came to investigate. He was deactivated during the attack so the creature didn't count him as alive, and is effectively the sole survivor of the entire colony. Several later episodes see them either dealing with the return of this creature, or tracking it down.
    • Similarly, Worf was rescued as a child from the wreckage of the Khitomer outpost by a Federation starhip after a Romulan attack wiped it out. Not his "home" exactly, but his whole family more or less was killed in the attack.
    • Tasha Yar also managed to escape Turkana IV, which literally became a Crapsack World when its government collapsed and law and order effectively vanished overnight.
  • In the remade Battlestar Galactica, all twelve planets occupied by humans are razed by the enemy Cylons, using nuclear weapons. It is the catalyst that begins the events in the series.
    • Not only that. The humans original homeworld Kobol was also devestated by war. The 12 colonies were founded after the devastation of Kobol. The 13th tribe comprised of the Kobol equivalent of humanoid cylons left Kobol 2000 years prior to the other 12 tribes and landed on the first Earth. After the 13th colony created their own version of robot cylons the same cycle happened again and that Earth was destroyed saved for the final five. The final five being the ones who later help the 12 colonies robot cylons create the humanoid cylons which end up destroying the 12 colonies.
    • The same thing happened in the original, as well, though it was aerial bombardment / strafing from Cylon fightercraft that did the damage rather than nukes.
  • Smallville.
  • In Robin of Sherwood the title character, a.k.a. Robin of Loxley, is a bit miffed when the Sheriff of Nottingham torches the village of Loxley.
  • According to Firefly's background information, Malcolm Reynolds' homeworld of Shadow was rendered uninhabitable during the Unification War, and remains quarantined.
  • The Chicago that Buck Rogers knew was destroyed (along with most of the rest of Earth) in a nuclear war some 500 years before the series proper takes place. A new, if somewhat more sterile city has been built close to the blackened, mutant-infested ruins.
  • In the T.V series LOST one of the antagonists, "the man in black" has his village burned down.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 two-parter "Moebius", which is partly an Alternate Reality Episode, where the alternate SG-1 travel to Chulak and inadvertantly let Apophis find out about Earth, causing him to send a full fleet to attack it. Realizing they have no hope of stopping it, they decide to try to restore the original timeline, which they were initially unwilling to do.
  • In Andromeda, Dylan's Commonwealth (which spanned three galaxies) fell while he was in the black hole, and his own world in particular is gone and is widely believed to have been mythical by people in the future he returns to.
    • Also Harper, who fled Earth after it became a Crapsack World after being attacked by the Magog and then enslaved by the Nietzscheans.

    Theatre 
Brand by Henrik Ibsen used this trope in 1866. Brand`s hometown is sited in a narrow fjord, with a glacier hanging almost precisely in balance over it. It is a known fact that a sudden, sharp sound, like a rifle shot, will make the glacier fall. And by the end of the play, it does - and everybody in the vicinity perishes. Because of this glacier, Brand`s hometown is already doomed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Thanks to a Running Gag-cum-meme in Exalted fandom, if the city of Gem is your hometown, this trope will happen to you at some point. Gem is always doomed.
  • Warhammer 40,000, happens a lot. The Dark Angels homeworld was destroyed, and their HQ The Rock is on a chunk of whats left of their home planet.

    Toys 
  • The BIONICLE character Tobduk's time in the Order of Mata Nui began after his home island became the first victims of the Visorak horde. The attack and his survival changed his personality a great deal.

    Video Games 
  • In Doom II, the anonymous "Doomguy" is told in an intermission screen that "the alien base is in the heart of your own home city, not far from the starport."
  • Dragon's Dogma: This Western RPG is a rare aversion. The player's home town is attacked by the Dragon at the beginning of the game, but the player's actions prevent the Dragon from destroying your home town. It also convinces the Dragon to eat your heart and pin you as this generation's Arisen.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Rydia's hometown, the village of Mist, is burned to the ground early in Final Fantasy IV; this is a noticeable subversion in that the destruction was performed by the hero. Also, most of the inhabitants survived (though the rest of the summoners were wiped out).
      • Further subverted in that the hero's hometown actually ends up becoming the bad guy's home base for a while, and when you return, it's a literal case of Storming the Castle. Even then, it never gets destroyed.
    • In Final Fantasy V, Bartz's hometown is disintegrated late in the game. Strangely, nothing plot-relevant happens here, and you can play the game through without ever visiting it, and thus never learning it's his hometown.
    • Final Fantasy VI contains an interesting aversion. Early in the game, Kefka starts to burn down Figaro Castle as a punishment to Edgar for refusing to give Terra up to him. For a moment, it seems like Edgar may lose his kingdom. But instead, he gets away and then the entire castle sinks Beneath the Earth. While not immediately accessible right after this event, Figaro remains available for the player's use all the way through the game, ever after The End of the World as We Know It.
      • Though Kefka does bring an end to Cyan's kingdom. Killing everyone in the Kingdom by poisoned well.
      • Narshe, the first town in the game, eventually ends up (mostly) abandoned, desolate and swarming with monsters.
      • Vector, the Empire's capital, by the end of the game, is trashed by espers, abondoned, and then crushed underneath Kefka's tower.
    • Cloud from Final Fantasy VII is originally from Nibelheim, which was razed by Sephiroth. (It later got rebuilt and repopulated in an attempt to conceal that it ever was destroyed, which briefly confused the heroes). Later (chronologically speaking), he and the party are forced to leave Midgar to avoid the authorities. This shortly after Shinra destroys the Sector 7 slums, where AVALANCHE is based. And then the entire city is mostly destroyed later on!
      • And let's not forget the razing of Corel by Shinra troops...
      • Or that pre-game hero Zack's hometown of Gongaga is destroyed by Going Critical. What's worse is that Crisis Core reveals that however the reactor exploded, it occurred during the four years he was a test subject. When he arrives, the whole fact that the town is mostly a crater and there's gravestones all around the huts of whoever survived doesn't seem to really faze him.
    • Tidus from Final Fantasy X is from the city of Zanarkand, which is attacked at the beginning of the game; when he comes to, the people of Spira insist that it was destroyed a thousand years ago (which it was).
    • Final Fantasy IX has so very many contenders for this trope. Practically every major city is seriously razed by the end of the game, including Alexandria, the home of Dagger and the first place we meet Zidane and Vivi, and Burmecia, Freya's hometown. Lindblum, Zidane's de facto hometown also gets partially razed, and is in a constant state of rebuilding until the end of the game. Terra / Bran Bal also counts, since it's really where Zidane came from and is remarkable because it's a doomed alternate dimension.
      • From the Grand List of Console RPG Cliches. Rule 48: "Zidane's Curse (or, Dirty Pair Rule)"; An unlucky condition in which every major city in the game will coincidentally wind up being destroyed just after the hero arrives.
    • The unnamed-and-never-seen hometown of the hero from Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Its destruction is only mentioned in the hero's first line of dialogue, and never alluded to after that.
    • In Final Fantasy II, Fynn is taken over by the empire, and all of the protagonists' parents are killed, prompting them to want to join the rebellion, in addition to wanting to find Maria's brother Leon. The rebellion eventually retakes Fynn, though.
      • Sadly, every town except Fynn is smashed into dust by the Empire.
  • In Bravely Default, Tiz is the sole survivor of Norende Village, which was swallowed up by a gigantic chasm. Unlike most victims of this trope, Tiz decides to roll up his sleeves and start rebuilding the village himself, which is done via a minigame of sorts.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Sora, Riku and Kairi are all from the Destiny Islands, which are vaguely snuffed out by the Heartless and later restored.
    • The Land of Departure in Birth by Sleep eventually becomes Castle Oblivion, to prevent it from being destroyed by darkness.
  • The Chosen One's hometown of Arroyo in Fallout 2 - ironically, the village is destroyed just as the hero finds the item that was supposed to save it.
    • In the ending, the village is rebuilt after freeing the survivors from the Enclave, and the Chosen One becomes the new leader.
    • And Fallout 3's story really begins when the player is forced to leave the Vault to search for their father. Later on, as part of a Sidequest, the PC is able to return and see what has happened in their absence - but however they choose to resolve (or completely ignore!) matters, they don't get to stay. One of these "resolutions" results in our "Hero" dooming the hometown himself!
    • The other hometown, Megaton, can also be doomed by the player by setting off the nuclear bomb it is named after. Refugees will occasionally appear and will be hostile.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, the Courier can doom their own starting town of Goodsprings by siding with the Powder Gangers in the first quest. They are also responsible for inadvertently turning the Divide, implied to be their hometown, into a nuclear hellhole.
  • At the end of the first chapter of Jade Empire, the little town of Two Rivers is destroyed and almost all of its populace wiped out by Imperial forces.
    • And that was just his/her adopted hometown. His/her real hometown was destroyed 20 years earlier. The main character seems to have pretty bad luck with hometowns.
    • And played with in that your mentor was responsible for both, knowing that it would give you the motivation to kill his brother, the Emperor, and let him take the throne.
  • Inverted in Dead Rising: the US Government destroys the village that Carlito lived in after zombie-virus infected wasps escape from a secret lab. They send in special forces units to kill anyone still left and keep the bioengineering operation a secret. You finish up the story by confronting The commander of the special forces unit, who was sent in to do the same thing to Willamette.
  • In Dragon Quest VIII, the kingdom of Trodain is engulfed by vines before the game starts due to a curse laid on it by the villain. Only the hero, the king, and the princess escape, and the latter two were cursed into other forms before the kingdom was hit.
    • Similarly, in DQIV, the main character (who you only get to play after all the other characters have their chapters) has his/her humble hamlet simply because they are The Chosen One and the Big Bad's minions found out.
    • Also in DQIV, the second chapter ends with the heroes returning triumphantly to the castle where they started the chapter... only to find the place utterly deserted and eerily quiet. Returning in a later chapter, the heroes find that the castle is now inhabited by monsters.
    • Santa Rosa/Whealbrook in Dragon Quest V may not be where The Hero was born, but it's the place he lived since he can remember, and it gets destroyed between the Time Skip thanks to the evil Queen using his father as a scapegoat for Prince Henry's disappearance.
  • In Xenogears, the main character, Fei, unintentionally destroys his hometown, Lahan. Fei's attempt to pilot a giant, top secret, crash landed, military robot ("gear") in the middle of a firefight leads to the town's destruction. Also a prime example of devastating Lost Technology.
    • And speaking of all things Xeno, at the beginning of Xenosaga Ep. 1, the Woglinde (the starting area of the game, though certainly not Shion's home, which has already been destroyed) is blown up.
      • Miltia, Shion's home planet, gets devastated some time before the beginning of the game in what is referred to as the "Miltian Conflict". On top of that, it gets disconnected from the UMN network, making it inaccessible by FTL means. For all intents and purposes, most consider it destroyed.
    • The game actually plays with this in a rather interesting way, as this damnation of the hometown had apparently been planned by one of the villains in order to get the hero going.
    • The Xeno series just loves this trope: Not only is Lahan toasted right off the bat in Xenogears but later Fei-as-Id destroys the capital of Solaris, a.k.a. Elly's and Citan's homeland, a.k.a., the homeland of his lover and his mentor respectively. In Xenosaga Episode III we learn that Kevin's homeworld was also destroyed before the start of the 'gameline,' while Earth itself has been lost for centuries already, if not more. Oh, and the Kukai Foundation, a giant floating city-state and home to Jr. and his peripherals, is also attacked and partially evacuated during the game. It would actually be easier to list Xeno hometowns that aren't doomed.
    • And of course, Xenoblade keeps the tradition with Colony 9. Although this one gets better right away. Not that the main cast cares that much about it since Fiora died in the Mechon attack that destroyed it.
      • Not only Colony 9, but Colony 6 (Sharla's hometown) as well, which occurs shortly before the events of the game start.
      • A very long time before the events of the game start, Agniratha, the capital of Mechonis and the hometown of all of the Machina, was attacked by an army of Telethia from Bionis. All the Machina except for Egil and Vanea move to the Fallen Arm.
      • An even longer time before that, Klaus destroyed his and Meyneth's entire home universe, turning both of them into Physical Gods and obviously killing everyone else.
      • Melia's hometown, Alcamoth, is doomed when all the pure-blooded High Entia are transformed into Telethia and the other residents are forced to evacuate.
    • Lahan's theme music is named "Our Village is Number One." It never stood a chance.

  • In the excellent first three levels of Homeworld it's not only your hometown that is doomed but your entire civilization. The game starts with the first hyperspace test drive ever, which is only to the edge of the solar system, but when the sublight science ship you are supposed to meet with is found destroyed by aliens, you immediately turn back to your planet, only to find it a burned out husk with all orbital stations and satelites destroyed. With the planet being dead and your entire species located on your (admitedly massive) ship, you have to find a new planet to settle.
  • After a fashion, this happens twice in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The very first section of the game takes place on a spaceship which gets shot down, and the next section takes place on a planet which gets bombarded to oblivion just as the protagonists are leaving. It actually happens three times as the Jedi Academy on Dantooine (the planet visited after the aforementioned "planet bombarded to oblivion") is attacked and destroyed by Darth Malak after a certain number of Plot Coupons has been collected. You meet some survivors though.
    • Also, the home planets of two party members were destroyed in events prior to the game.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story has a version of this where the planet your character starts on is destroyed after they leave it. And also the destruction of Future Dude Claude's starship, late in the game, for no other reason than to allow the bad guys to show off their uber-powerful weapons. Jerks.
    • The planet gets restored at the end though, and while not explicitly stated the ending also implies' Claude's dad's ship is also brought back.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time has the resort planet of Hyda IV, which is attacked when the main character is chillin' out on it.
    • Earth (along with most of the galaxy) gets destroyed midway through the game.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, the (playable) prologue is a fair in the protagonist's home village, West Harbor, which is invaded and burned in the beginning of the main game. There is a subversion, however, as West Harbor is not quite destroyed and can actually be visited later at almost any point in the game, although the player can't do much there, and a double subversion as it is much later invaded again and destroyed during the player's absence.
    • And is rebuilt in the add on pack Storm of Zehir.
      • Where it may possibly be destroyed again, depending on the successful completion of a rather difficult to find sidequest. However, in this expansion, we do not play the same character as in the original game, so it's not the player character's home town in this case.
  • Similarly, in Fable I, the main character's hometown of Oakvale is ransacked by bandits, and he's the only survivor. Later in the game, however, he gets to return to the rebuilt and repopulated town. Then it gets destroyed AGAIN between the first and second game and people finally give up trying to resettle it.
  • In Secret of Mana the main character is banished from his adoptive hometown. He's let back in at the end.
  • Pirate Isle in Skies of Arcadia, though it's rebuilt not long after with little explanation.
    • Much later in the game, your new base gets destroyed just like Pirate Isle, but rebuilt after one quest. The only Doomed Hometown that stays doomed is Valua, Enrique's home country, which gets completely bombarded and only rebuilt after the end of the game.
  • Very common in the Tales Series:
    • In Tales of Phantasia, Cless' and Chester's initial motivations are revenge for the evil knight Mars burning down their hometown and killing their families.
      • In addition to this, Arche joins the party after being possessed by the spirit of her best friend, whose parents were killed in the destruction of said spirit's hometown. It Makes Sense in Context.
    • In Tales of Eternia, the main pair is banished for the heinous crime of finding an alien girl, whose presence gets the elder's house attacked.
      • Better example from the same game: said alien girl's hometown gets destroyed somewhere during the middle of the game. Arguably the first thing that made Reid realize not caring is not the answer to life.
    • Tales of Innocence has the main character able to enter his hometown, but unable to enter his house, since it's under surveillance because he has special powers.
    • In Tales of Symphonia, the hometown of Lloyd, Colette, Genis and Raine is partially burned down by Desians. Lloyd and Genis are banished for being partially to blame and forbidden from returning until Disc 2. But even after that, Genis decides to travel the world with Raine to help half-elves fit in, and Lloyd decides to set out with a companion of his choosing to destroy the Exspheres.
      • Dawn of the New World, on the other hand, has two: Palmacosta and (nearly) Luin (which, if you recall, both got wrecked in the first game already). They both get better, though.
    • Tales of Destiny averts the trope by having the player see the main character's hometown (which is notably NOT doomed) for the first time in the middle of the game, and when you arrive, he is welcomed home by his two living parents.
    • Downright inverted in Tales of the Abyss — it happened to the villain during the backstory and is his main motivation for his Well-Intentioned Extremist ways.
      • Though one of the protagonist's companions comes from the same town and was only able to get past the "wanting revenge" thing due to the friendship of the protagonist.
      • Ditto in Tales of Hearts. The villain is attempting to restore his dead planet. Unfortunately, not only does he plan to do this by stealing the life energy from the main characters' planet, but his plan isn't even going to work.
    • Tales of Vesperia continues the tradition with Rita's hometown, Aspio. But this happens near the end of the game. And no one dies since the one who destroyed it needs as many human lives as possible to power his superweapon.
    • Every time a town is attacked by an enemy force in Tales of Graces, its always Lhant. "Save Lhant from <insert enemy here>" is regularly recurring objective in the game. Every military in the world attacks it at some point, plus the Big Bad's monsters of course.
  • In the Ultima-clone Questron, your character's home town of Geraldtown is abandoned and assumed sacked whenever one of several conditions occurs (you increase your health to a certain level, step a certain distance from the town, etc.)
  • The main motivating factor of the character from Panzer Dragoon 2 was that his home was snuffed out by the empire for him raising a mutated beast of burden with the potential to grow into a dragon.
  • The Big Bad torches your hometown in Castle of the Winds once you progress far enough in the local dungeon. The trigger is reading a letter the first boss is carrying (or deciding to spontaneously read it if you exit the local dungeon with it in your possession). Which leads to the ludicrous situation where you can drop it just before the exit and go visit your hometown then go back to the dungeon, pick up the letter and exit in 3 moves to find a smoking wasteland.
  • In Devil May Cry 3, Dante's shop gets attacked by demons, and he later wrecks it with a sneeze, making it impossible to go back inside for the rest of the game. Played for laughs, though, given its ridiculousness.
  • Occurs repeatedly in Summoner: First, you accidentally destroy your beloved peasant village of Ciran in an attempt to defend it with your fledgeling powers, killing your friends and family; after disowning your powers, you settle down in Masad, which years later gets burned to the ground by the Big Bad's invading army in their search for you; you then resolve to confront your past and defend the nation of Medeva, which you accidentally end up destroying as well after a suitable Big "NO!".
  • Thanks to its use of multiple view points, Suikoden III both plays this trope straight for one character, then inverts it as another main character is responsible for destroying the home town in question during her own story's first chapter.
  • This occurs in The Legend of Dragoon to the main character Dart's hometown in an almost stereotypical fashion. Not only is his adopted hometown destroyed in the intro, we later find out that his actual birthplace was also desolated years before the game.
    • The real question is how the hell did they even find the village in the intro? It's not like there's all that many people in it, there's like 10 people tops. I'd say this is a somewhat averted variation on The Call Knows Where You Live given the unliklihood of the Serdian army stumbling across the village or even knowing of it's existence.
  • In SaGa Frontier, Riki's entire quest focuses on saving his doomed hometown that turns out to be a Evil Plan on the part of the Big Bad.
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War begins with Chicago being destroyed by a nanological terrorist attack.
  • Star Control II starts out with Earth under an Ur-Quan slave shield, which only the Ur-Quan (and also the Chmmr after you get them out, which happens at the end of the game) can penetrate.
    • As if that wasn't bad enough, returning to the protagonist's actual home (a distant colony in the Vela system) reveals that it was also placed under a slave shield.
    • Vela subverts this though, as under the Earthling's surrender agreement the Ur-Quan were within their rights to simply destroy the colony rather than slave shield it. It is in a sense a twisted act of mercy.
  • Subverted, then partially inverted in Golden Sun. The game opens with a (mostly sucessful) attempt to keep it from happening, then The hometown is destroyed in the ending to the 2nd game
    • And the fact that the 2 antagonist-couples where motivated by the fact that their hometown (and by extension, the entire world) was hanging on the verge of destruction, effectively making them Anti Villains
  • Fire Emblem cannot help itself. Since every game focuses on a royal brat reclaiming their home and throne. However only one game really fits this trope to a T. Fire Emblem 7 is slightly less grand on the usual cataclysm scale of Main lord hero losing home kingdom in Fire Emblem games. Lyn has only lost her tribe and her whole family at the start of the game due to bandits. When the Player incarnate arrives she's alone fending off bandits.
  • Done from the outside in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. One of the Hero's first quests is to rescue the Emperor's last surviving heir from the burning remains of his hometown.
    • While Helgen in Skyrim is (presumably) not the player's hometown, its destruction does trigger the player's involvement in the main questline. Bonus points for being destroyed by the Big Bad in an attempt to kill the Chosen One.
  • At the beginning of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (and its remake Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles) Richter's girlfriend's hometown is attacked by Dracula's forces and several maidens kidnapped. Interestingly enough, one of the later towns encountered is from Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest.
  • The opening chapter of Drakengard is a War Sequence in which the protagonist is trying to hold off The Evil Army from capturing his sister's castle. He fails, but he does rescue her before the castle falls completely. Later flashbacks and exposition show that the kingdom the protagonist grew up in was also a Doomed Hometown for similar reasons.
  • Done uniquely in Mother 3, wherein the quaint little town the game begins in is not destroyed, but abruptly abandoned by all but the mayor, protagonist, and his father.
  • In Secret of the Stars, Ray's entire home island is destroyed. Of course you never see the destruction as Ray is spirited away to a new area.
  • The tutorial area of Guild Wars: Prophecies begins in the player character's Doomed Home Kingdom, before switching to a ruined version (in the main game world) once the tutorial finishes. Even the opening narration clearly warns the player what is coming.
  • Terranigma: Banishment and eventual destruction near the end of the game.
  • In Banjo-Tooie, not only Banjo's House gets destroyed by Gruntilda, his whole homeworld is trashed after Grunty's sisters decide to leave their troops to raid the place.
  • Peasant's Quest starts with Rather Dashing's thatched-roof cottage being burninated by TROGDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!
  • South Town, the home of many original Fatal Fury characters, gets nuked from orbit in The King of Fighters 2000.
  • Resident Evil series, especially Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles which shows from the start Jill Valentine's city (where she works as part of SWAT-like police outfit STARS) being infected with a virus made by an Evil Corporation (turning everyone into zombies and worse) before being obliterated with a tactical nuclear strike by the US government as a safety measure for the rest of the country and her fighting the corporation from then on.
  • Ecco The Dolphin features a Doomed Home Bay; everything and everybody in it is taken away by a storm, starting Ecco's quest to reunite with his family.
  • Alicia, Welkin and Isara from Valkyria Chronicles are forced to abandon their hometown, Bruhl, because of The Empire's invasion. You get to take it back later though.
  • Halo: Reach: Oh, boy... In the Halo universe, the name of the planet Reach stands in the same line as Stalingrad, Nanking, or Hiroshima. The Battle of Reach was the last major battle in the Human-Covenant War in which the humans lost all most of their remaining ships and saw the annihilation of the last major human population outside of Earth. Given that it is a prequel to the main series and has the name of the Planet in it's title and that the Master Chief is always called the last remaining Spartan in the games of the main series, the events of the game are pretty much forgone conclusion.
  • Drakan: Order of the Flame: Rynn crawls out of her burninating village filled with marauding orcs. No survivors except her and her abducted little brother, so she has to go rescue him.
  • Zero Wing: Somebody set up us the bomb, and you are on the way to destruction. You know what you doing and move "zig", otherwise you have no chance to survive make your time.
  • In Baldur's Gate you are forced to leave your hometown, and cannot get back until much later in the game. As it's a fortified monastery defended by a startling number of priests, mages, and soldiers considering its size, it's perfectly fine. Later in the game however, just about everyone you know there is killed and replaced with evil doppelgangers.
  • In another Black Isle game, Icewind Dale, the starting town is also blocked off for most of the game. Of course, seeing how the game is fairly linear, and practically characterless, it doesn't bother you much.
  • Ciel in Wild ARMs 4, which could also double as a Floating Continent.
  • Although his hometown of Ordon Village is left intact, Link gets pulled into the action of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess when some of the Big Bad's goons invade the village and abduct him and all of the resident children.
  • Geneforge does this with the Wizarding School you start out in — swarms of monsters slaughter all but six of the people there while a creepy glowing woman rants about "fires of justice." You, a mere untrained apprentice, are the only one available to inform the nearby fort about the attack.
  • Romancing SaGa has this happen to one of the heroes: Poor unlucky Albert. The others generally manage to avoid this, although it's possible for Barbara to lose the closest thing she has to a hometown, the Frontier, to the Jewel Beast. Also, part of the endgame involves racing to defeat Saruin before his forces destroy Estamir, meaning that Jamil (and Farah and Dowd) nearly face this.
  • In Breath of Fire, the Dark Dragons attack and burn down much of the hero's home town. This is partly used to explain the poor selection of items in the town, and the abduction of the hero's sister in the course of this leads to him searching for her and fighting against the Dark Dragons.
  • If you pick the colonist background in Mass Effect, Shepard's homeworld was Mindoir, a tiny farming colony that is located in the Attican Traverse where the batarians fought against the humans for territory rights. Ironically when Shepard was 16, the batarians razed the planet, killed almost everyone in the colony except a couple of leftovers who are being dragged in chains for slavery while Shepard was lucky enough to escape from their clutches. An Alliance patrol found him/her but all of Shepard's relatives and friends died from the raid. As the result of that, it motivated Shepard to join the military two years later.
    • And, of course, Mass Effect 3 begins with the Reapers invading Earth. Which is then followed by: Palavan, Turchanka, and Thessia. The homeworlds of the turians, krogans and asaari respectively.
  • In Blue Dragon, Shu, Jiro and Kluke's hometown of Talta Village is rendered unliveable by yearly attacks from Nene's Land Shark. Nene seems to get off on this Trope, as most of the human villages you find have something wrong with them, from their inhabitants being frozen in ice to being cut off from the rest of the world by a forcefield. The only village that's unaffected is Kelaso, and it's underground in the Arctic.
  • In Stonekeep, the titular castle that is the childhood home of the protaganist is consumed by a devouring darkness. Drake is saved by a mysterious cloaked figure who teleports them both to safety and returns years later to reclaim the fortress.
  • Shirou from Fate/stay night had to live through a large portion of his hometown burning down around him at the age of eight — he was one of only a few people who survived the inferno, and the trauma of having lived through it while everyone else he saw died is one of the base pillars of his current mindset.
  • The Azuma village gets torched in Tenchu 2.
  • A variation of the trope happened in Sands of Destruction. Barni, and its residents, was turned to sand by the awakening of Kyrie's Destruct powers.
  • Hayabusa Village in Ninja Gaiden.
  • Stinger's hometown of Port Lochane in Shadow Madness. The few survivors are driven insane and the town quickly falls under attack by monsters, to boot.
  • Poor Samus Aran gets orphaned twice by the Space Pirates. Once after they destroy the mining colony K-2L, killing her biological parents, and then again with the homeworld of the Chozo who adopted and raised her. It's no wonder that she spends the rest of franchise getting her revenge on them.
  • In Shining Force, the characters return to their home town after their first mission to find that the town has been razed in their absence.
    • The first Granseal Kingdom in Shining Force II for Genesis where the main character lives. After the first few missions, the whole area is literally swallowed in a giant chasm.
  • Robin "Flint" Peters' homeworld of Locanda IV, in Wing Commander III, though while she's not the hero, she does assist him depending on your wingman choices.
    • It is possible to save Locanda IV (without breaking the game), but canonically Locanda IV was destroyed.
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood has Ezio fighting and failing to prevent a Templar sacking of Monteriggioni at the start.
  • In the God of War series, Zeus destroys Kratos' hometown of Sparta. Sorta' subverted considering how Kratos goes back in time and attacks him first. So, even though Sparta is technically still standing, as it was literally never destroyed at all, Kratos still holds Zeus responsible well into the third game.
  • In the first Dawn of War game, Captain Gabriel Angelos begins the game recently having returned from a campaign where he had to request an exterminatus on his own home planet. It'd probably be best to not mention it around him.
    • Planet Aurelia, in Dawn of War 2. Furthermore, Sergeant Thaddeus insists that he join in on your attack on the Chaos forces in Spire Legis specifically to avert this trope. (If you don't deploy him he'll become corrupted, potentially leaving your team and becoming That One Boss in the penultimate mission.)
  • Warcraft:
    • Argus, the home planet for the Draenei, then called the Eredar, is corrupted by Sargeras, turning about 2/3s of the population into demons. The remaining, uncorrupted 1/3 is forced to flee for their lives. What's more is that it's implied that every planet they tried to make a home on afterwards were destroyed or corrupted. This happens about 30,000 years before the start of even the first Warcraft game.
    • On Draenor, the home planet of the Orcs and the second-to-last home planet of the Draenei, is corrupted by Kil'jaeden, uniting the separate Orc clans and setting them on the Draenei, with whom they lived in peace for the previous 200 years. The massive amounts of fel energy used by the shaman-cum-warlocks tainted their once verdant planet making large portions of it unliveable. This forced the Orcs, now calling themselves The Horde, to take up a mysterious figure up on his offer to invade another planet filled with fertile lands and weak citizens. This happens just before the first Warcraft game.
      • Later, Ner'zhul, the orc largely responsible for this turn of events, destroyed Draenor further by opening so many portals to other places, it wrecked havoc on the stability of the planet. This happens in the expansion for the second Warcraft game.
    • The orcs invade Azeroth killing just about everyone they find and looting and/or razing towns, villages, farms, etc. They destroy the capital of the kingdom of Azeroth, Stormwind, after the King had been murdered. The survivors, including Prince Varian Wrynn, flee north to the southern coast of Lordaeron. This is the first Warcraft.
      • Stormwind later gets rebuilt. But it gets (partially) destroyed, again, in the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm.
    • The Horde, under new leadership, decide to make a preempitive strike against the human kingdoms to the north so they can make their home on this new planet without worry of retribution for the sacking of Stormwind. Second Warcraft.
    • The Kaldorei, or Night Elves, draw the attention of The Burning Legion(demons) due to the use of powerful magics by the Highborne (nobility). Under demonic influence, the highborne facilitate an invasion by the Burning Legion. This lead to a war so big, it destroys much of the Kaldorei kingdom and those of smaller races before the end. The resistance manages to to stop the invasion, but the recoil from the portal used in the invasion is so powerful it splits the continent into two! As a result, the surviving Kaldorei turn from arcane magics and focus more on the druidic arts.
      • The Quel'dorei, or High Elves, ended up splitting off from the Kaldorei due to this new attitude. They headed east and settled in the very north of the Eastern Kingdoms.
    • The Scourge, an army of undead, sweep through the northern human kingdoms, destroying all of Lordaeron. They then head north and destroy the majority of the High Elven kingdom. The source of high elven power, the Sunwell is also destroyed. These events led the majority of those survivors to rename themselves the Sin'dorei, or Blood Elves. Warcraft III.
      • Shortly after these events, a good number of Scourge members, including Sylvanas, former Ranger General for the High Elves, gain free will from the Lich King. That means there are two entire factions who gain their motivation from one war.
    • The Darkspear Trolls are forced to flee their home, three times! First, when the Troll Empires collapsed, the Gurubashi Trolls forced them out of Stranglethorn Vale. Then, during the third war they are forced out of Darkspear Isle by Naga and Murlocs, where they met the Orcs and settle in the Echo Islands. Later, they are forced out of their new home due to a troll witch doctor trying to take over; there were probably some Naga involved that time, too.
    • The Gnomes were forced to flee Gnomeregan, their home city, after the High Tinker was tricked into irradiating the entire city to get rid of invading Troggs.
    • After the Cataclysm, the Forsaken invade other areas of Lordaeron, including Gilneas, forcing the Gilneans to evacuate to Darnassus, while the Gilneas Liberation Front tries to push the Forsaken back.
    • At the same time, Kezan is attacked by Deathwing, who sets off Mt. Kajaro, forcing the Goblins to flee.
    • Zandalar, the Zandalari homeland, is slowly sinking into the ocean after the Cataclysm. They've now resorted to allying with the Mogu and other trolls in an attempt to find a new home before their people all drown.
    • All examples are just playable races. Needless to say, most lore characters and player characters have this trope as a big part of their motivation.
  • In the Dragon Age series:
    • Averted for most of the Player Character backgrounds in Dragon Age: Origins. The Alienage suffers riots and a vicious reprisal but remains standing, the great bulk of Orzammar is much as you left it for Dwarves, the Dalish tribe doesn't even have a home, and the decision to make the Mage tower a Doomed Hometown is entirely in your hands. The only one that holds true is the Human Noble origin: Highever falls to Howe's men, you're the only survivor, and you'll never see it again in the game.
    • In Dragon Age II, Hawke's hometown of Lothering is destroyed by the Darkspawn. This had already happened in the first game, it's just that the player is seeing it from a different perspective. Also, depending on dialouge choices, Hawke and Merril may be forced to kill Merril's (and the Dalish Warden's) tribe in self-defense. Yes, the heroes can not only slaughter their own home, but also the home of the previous game's hero.
    • The Dalish elves lost their homeland earlier in the games' Back Story, when they tried to cut off ties to the Tevinter Imperium - the Imperium invaded and enslaved most of the race, going so far as to sink their capital city beneath the earth. After winning their freedom, they built a second homeland in the Dales... which was then destroyed when the Church led an Exalted March against them.
  • Diablo has Tristram.
  • Chrono Cross: Lynx burnt down the orphanage that Kid lived in as a child, providing her motivation to both steal the Frozen Flame from him and kill him.
    • Serge suffers from this in a both less and more extreme sense. His hometown of Arni Village is still around, but he can't go back because he's Trapped in Another World. Even if he opted to stay in Arni in this alternate universe, the people of Another World don't know him because he died as a child years ago. By the time he's able to return to his Home World, he has new motivations to continue the adventure.
  • Your hometown in The Game Of The Ages is plagued with "The Shadows." You defeat them in the game's final scene.
  • Sweet Water, the hometown of the main characters of Might and Magic VI is destroyed during the Night of Falling Stars, and your characters are forced to flee from a devil attack during the intro. Much later, it turns out the devils set up their main hive just a little outside the ruins of Sweet Water.
  • In inFAMOUS, pressing the start button causing a bomb to go off that kills countless and levels six city blocks.
  • Subverted in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - the game begins with the destruction of the town the player is in, introducing the big bad and starting his/her adventure, but this is not the player's hometown (and indeed the player's hometown is never specified).
  • The prologue for Dragon Valor shows Clovis's hometown burning down, and him setting to avenge it.
  • Adlehyde in Wild AR Ms 1 for Cecilia, the attack on the city by demons kicking off the events of the game (though the player can help rebuild it throughout the rest of the game.) Arctica, meanwhile, is Jack's personal Doomed Hometown, getting destroyed in the same manner before the start of the game.
  • Norune Village from Dark Cloud suffers this fate, being blown up at the end of the opening cutscene. Happens to every other city the player visits as well.
  • In Lunar: The Silver Star, Burg is conquered by evil forces just as it looks like Alex will be welcomed back there. Averted in the remakes, however, where the town is left alone.
  • Captain Kayto Shields' home town is nuked immediately following the first battle in Sunrider.
  • In Star Trek Online, playing as part of the Romulan Republic starts you out as a villager in a Romulan colony on Virinat before it gets nuked to hell by the Tal Shiar and the Elachi. And if you happen to play as a Romulan or a Reman, this trope goes double for you as the game takes place in 2409, 23 years after the Hobus supernova and the destruction of Romulus and Remus as depicted in Star Trek.

    Web Comics 
  • The Haitian is revealed to have come from one of these in 'It Takes a Village'.
  • Parodied in this Fanboys strip.
  • In Pokequest 2, evil fairies destroy Onii-Chan's house along with the rest of Nuvema town.
  • The Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness shows that Redcloak's village and all of its inhabitants (except for him and his brother) were destroyed by the Sapphire Guard shortly after his initiation as a cleric.
    • A variant: Origins of the PCs reveals that Durkon was sent away from the dwarven lands due to a prophecy that said it would get destroyed if he ever returned. Durkon does not know this, and a second prophecy has confirmed that he (or at least his body) would get to come home one day. Uh-oh...
  • What happened to Lance's hometown in Gold Coin Comics.
  • The hometown that gets doomed in Lennus II is an entire underground world.
  • In Impure Blood, apparently happened to Mac, off-stage. Here, it appears to be sinking in.
  • In Endstone, the day Kyri met Jon, her tribe was massacred.
  • Inverted in Looking for Group. A contingent of the Legarian forces try to convert a little town up the coast. Said town happens to be the source of Richard's power. The hometown instead doomed them.
  • Homestuck has an entire doomed homeworld.
    • And now, as of the end of Act 5, two entire doomed home universes.
  • Beartato from Nedroid hails from a doomed home planet according to his secret origin comic. Then Reginald happens.
  • in Knights Of Buena Vista, Ilene plans for this to be her Snowlem character's backstory.
  • Deliberately invoked in I Killed the Hero?!, in which the main characters are NPC characters in a game. Many of them are concerned over the story starting because the starting town always gets demolished at the beginning of the game.
  • In Guilded Age, averting this is a major factor in why and how Harky began to gather allies to fight the human invaders.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamers Alliance, this happens to Skye when the Clergy of Mardük and Yamatians raze her hometown because it helped the Grand Alliance on its quest to liberate Remon from the Yamatian yoke.
  • Look to the West: This happens so often, and so nonchalantly, during the background of various revolutionary leaders it is almost a running gag. Look To The Burning House Where Your Family Used To Live. It's also not only lampshaded in Part 71's title — For Want Of A Burned House — but played with. If that house in Part 71 had been burnt down like so many others, Pablo Sanchez would have died as a boy hiding in a cupboard and the world would have been spared a tremendous amount of misery.
  • In Unlikely Eden this happens twice technically, but the very first installment chronicles the escape of the two protagonists from a hometown in a state of current dooming.
  • Happens to no fewer than three of the eight heroes in The Questport Chronicles: Gawain's hometown is wiped out by a plague, Shadowa's is destroyed by darkness, and Emmy's home forest is flattened by a hurricane. All three are implied to have been caused by the Big Bad.
  • The Saga of Pretzel Bob begins with the destruction of the unnamed town of Platz (no, that's not a typo), whose town drunk happens to be the eponymous Bob.
  • Not an entire town, but the game Peasant's Quest on the Homestar Runner website kicks off with Rather Dashing's thatch-roofed cottage being burninated by Trogdor and Rather Dashing swearing revenge.

    Western Animation 
  • Cybertron, the homeworld of the Transformers, has been destroyed in at least two continuities, rendered uninhabitable or slowly dying in a couple others, and ravaged by war pretty much across the board. To those who remember its golden age of peace and prosperity, "tragic" is an understatement. Not quite the doomed homeworld Krypton is, but on the flip side that makes it hit closer to home in a lot of ways, everyone dying one by one in a millon-year-long war that could very well tear the world apart.
    • What makes it worse is that their home planet is also their God. It talks to them.
    • And in the 2007 movie, the Allspark, which the Autobots are searching for to bring life back to their world, is destroyed in order to kill Megatron, leaving Cybertron doomed to be barren forever. Optimus Prime, upon Bumblebee's suggestion, sends out a signal suggesting Earth as a new home for any Autobots scattered amongst the stars.
    • The latest entry in the series makes it deader than dead. apparently being barren isn't just enough, they had to pull it halfway through a wormhole, then force it back in while the wormhole collapsed on itself. Cybertron, at least in this continuity, is pretty much erased from existence.
    • There was once a security officer named Depth Charge, in charge of a small colony called Colony Omicron. Then one day, Protoform X showed up...
    • In Transformers Prime, the planet has been contaminated by Dark Energon at it's very core, rendering it uninhabitable.
      • It's so bad that, upon needing to take one of the human companions back there for something, tough-as-nails Action Girl Arcee seems to be sadder than she's ever been, even sadder than when her partner Cliffjumper died...
      "This isn't how I wanted you to see my home..."
      • After season 2, Jasper, Nevada becomes this for the human protagonists.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Not one, not two, but all four cardinal point Air Nomad temples were destroyed by Fire Lord Sozin in his campaign to wipe out the airbenders and prevent the Avatar from stopping him.
    • Pointedly subverted with Katara and Sokka's village to establish Zuko as an Anti-Villain. Aang agreed to turn himself in if Zuko left the village alone, and even though he breaks out and two villagers helped him, he doesn't do anything for revenge and just leaves.
    • Subverted with Jet in the sense that he plays the trope to the letter, but isn't the hero. Or even A hero.
  • Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic uses the threat of this in a Sadistic Choice on Rainbow Dash, forcing her to choice between allowing her hometown of Cloudsdale to be destroyed or helping her friends stop Discord. Even worse, there's nothing to imply it isn't happening for real and Discord is just enough of a psycho to go through with it.


Disconnected Side AreaVideo Game SettingsDown in the Dumps
The Dung AgesYou Would Not Want to Live in DexEgopolis
Debut QueueBeginning TropesAfter the End
Career-Ending InjuryBackstory IndexHeroic BSOD
Don't Split Us UpNarrative DevicesDoor Jam
Boobs of SteelImageSource/Video GamesDraco in Leather Pants
Doomed DefeatistDoomy Dooms of DoomDoomed Moral Victor

alternative title(s): Beloved Peasant Village; Destroyed Hometown
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