I leave for FIVE MINUTES... No wonder Bowser always kidnaps the Princess!
Welcome to Troperia, a kingdom of high magic, higher science, and infinite wonder, splendor, and power. Our legion of Magic Knights
patrol the countryside, our fleet of Science Police
guard the sky, and the wise Child Queen
rules with justice and compassion. Pity, we just got taken over by a couple of dozen 1HP Waddling Heads
and their talking dinosaur overlord.
This is the Easily Conquered World. A place where the good guys' army is easily defeated by forces a fraction their size
(if they even have one), palace security is so lax that somebody could casually sneak into the queen's bedroom and trot off with her over their shoulder, and a glorified Laser Blade
is considered such a powerful Game Breaker
that it ensures World Domination
to whoever holds it.
One has to ask
"Why did this happen? How
did this happen?" If it isn't for the sake of humor, then it's likely part of an Idiot Plot
—The Guards Must Be Crazy
for the princess
to be kidnapped, the bad guy has to steal
the Cosmic Keystone
, and the Red Shirt Army
has to fall to the horde of Mooks
. Otherwise, why would they need the Player Character
's help? To reformulate their tax codes?
Enabling this is the fragile set up of the Skeleton Government
, weak combat ability
of everyone else
, a populace that has Become Complacent
and Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance
, and such a total lack of conviction and common sense that a sufficiently Genre Savvy
(or even just smart) person could conquer this world in ten minutes. Good thing there's always a hero or two
around to save the day. Unless they don't.
Contrast One-Man Army
with how easily it is to make an enemy's empire implode with just one PC.
Also compare and contrast Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion
. If justified
, it may be because of an Outside Context Villain
No Real Life
Anime and Manga
- The Sanc Kingdom in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Justified in that it's an Actual Pacifist nation that only has a small defense force tacitly allowed by the Princess, and when they're invaded she willingly surrenders rather than cause her people and supporters to suffer any further.
- In Dragon Ball Piccolo Daimao takes over the world relatively easily, in about a day. Justified in that, being the cast-off evil half of Kami/God, he is quite literally The Devil.
- To drive the point home: He destroys entire cities, kills the King of the World's guard without breaking a sweat, and kidnaps said king. They seem to be properly equipped to thwart any human terrorist attack, but when pitted against a single, near-game-breakingly powerful martial arts-using alien... well, they're not so prepared for that.
- It should be noted that King Piccolo's 'reign' consisted of going on TV and telling the world, "Hi, I'm in charge now. But there's no more rules or laws, so go crazy, I'll even stop people who try to uphold the law. PS, I'm gonna wipe out a piece of the world once a year. You don't like, try to stop me." And then he got beaten by Goku before the day ended.
- In the Big Finish Doctor Who episode "The Resurrection of Mars", the Monk (an Affably Evil Time Lord and recurrent thorn in the Doctor's side) takes the Doctor's companion Tamsin to Halcyon, a carbon copy of Troperia. He then takes her a year into the future to find it utterly destroyed and desolate, having been "terraformed" by a small group of Ice Warriors seeking a new home.
- The DC Comics and Marvel Comics universes. Earth would be screwed if they didn't have thousands of superheroes running around.
- Recently averted in the Superman books after New Krypton: The United States finally got the hint after being invaded multiple times by hostile aliens (including a recent Kryptonian invasion from the Phantom Zone), and now they have a military project designated to combat Kryptonians. Specifically, the 100,000 Kryptonians on New Krypton that were recently gotten out of the bottle city of Kandor. Recently, in the end of the 'Codename: Patriot' storyline: A rogue Kryptonian tried to kill the president of the United States (its a long story) and was gunned down by a Squadron of Anti-Kryptonian elite soldiers and the Human Defense Corps.
- Played depressingly straight in the recent Dark Reign crossover for Marvel. Norman Osborn is having a sickeningly easy time getting the entire US government to hand him control over the military and a private army of handpicked supervillains.
- In an Alan Moore "Future Shock" story, evil overlords near the end of their training are assigned one of these to brutalize.
- Preacher: Jesse, wielding naught but the WORD OF GOD, infiltrates the most powerful military base in the world to save his friend. To make it worse, they knew that he was coming and knew about his powers.
- The country of San Theodoros in the Tintin comics.
- In Invincible, the planet of bug people that Omni-man settled on after leaving Earth. Omni-man didn't have to do anything to conquer it — the bug people defer leadership to the eldest being on the planet, and since they have lifespans measured in months and Omni-man is practically immortal...
- The Mouse That Roared features a tiny nation which invades the U.S. so that they can lose and receive Marshall Plan aid. But their invasion force of 20 men are not noticed, and accidentally capture a bomb of world-destroying capability and the U.S. is forced to surrender.
- The planet Naboo from Star Wars.
- It's a little fuzzy, but the expanded universe shows that the Trade Federation met plenty of resistance, fighting huge battles over several cities.
- Earth itself in Superman 2. Zod and his two henchmen break into the White House, the President surrenders, and that's it. Sure they were superpowered Kryptonians but really, does anybody think that a world of billions would roll over and give up just because they busted up some real estate? — and only attacked one country?
- They did try an assortment of conventional weaponry against the Kryptonians to no effect. Between that and their experiences with Superman, they probably figured that nothing short of nukes would have a chance and considering the very real toll in human lives from using nukes combined with the possibility that they wouldn't work (either the Kryptonians would be too fast or too tough to be affected) they were still hoping Superman could help them. Zod didn't rule for long.
- The Kryptonians also probably thought they were in charge of the entire world, not realizing that there are many nations. And the other nations either didn't want to bother dealing with them or didn't have time before Supes beat them.
- Battlefield Earth has the Psychlo army wipe out all of Earth's military in eight minutes. And then, to show the trope goes both ways, they're taken out by an army of cavemen in five thousand-year-old Harriers.
- Justified in that the invasion appears to have consisted of the Psychlos teleporting millions of nerve gas drones all across the world (or, at least, major population centers), wiping out the majority of humanity. The militaries didn't even have a chance to put up a fight.
- The Necromongers take Helion Prime in a single night. Of course, it's never stated how big the planetary defense force is, so it's entirely possible they were outnumbered.
- At times, it's easy to forget the Wizarding World in Harry Potter has anything resembling security, what with the "safest school" constantly under siege from within and without, the "most secure bank" successfully broken into twice (the second time by three kids, no less), and the ministry itself apparently deciding that nighttime security is not a worthy expenditure of tax
- When one looks closely, you find out that, no, the Wizarding World does not in fact have anything resembling security. The entire Ministry of Magic is apparently guarded by ONE PERSON at night before Voldemort takes it over. Even after that, all you have to do is look like someone who works there to have free access to the entire building. In hindsight, one wonders how Voldemort didn't just waltz into the Ministry in the first war and win without a single casualty. During Book Six, the Ministry's failure to capture or kill a SINGLE Death Eater, despite being in a war with them for 9 months, makes you wonder how any of this makes any sense at all.
- The land of Bandakar in Sword of Truth, where the strawman pacifists live. Their land had been safeguarded by a magical barrier, allowing them to live peacefully for millennia, but problems started to occur when The Empire became able to just walk straight in and take whatever they wanted.
- The second Oz book had the Emerald City conquered by a force of young women armed with knitting needles. (Turns out the soldier with the green whiskers who briefly appears in the first book was the entire Royal Army of Oz.) All of the surrounding kingdoms were friendly by that point and they had been relying largely on diplomacy. It's also explicitly only the Emerald City that is so vulnerable; their southern neighbor sent an all-female army (avoids the problem with men refusing to fight women) to liberate it.
- Septimus Heap is this. DomDaniel had just to kill the Queen of the Castle to take it over, and there was no defense worth mentioning.
- Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain. Mollusk lands his Flying Saucer in Wisconsin, USA and informs the populace that he's just taken over the Earth via Mind Control. Everyone cheers.
- Happens twice in Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat books. The first time it occurs is in the second book to be published (but not the second book by in-universe chronology), when the protagonist specifically mentions that interstellar invasions almost never succeed due to the logistical difficulties. He's then dumbfounded when a militant planet successfully does it several times. However, he finds out that the planetary government has been secretly subverted by the Grey Men, resulting in the colony not putting up a fight. The second even is by another militant planet in his second adventure (chronologically, in-universe), which is justified by the fact that the target planet is home to Literal Pacifists.
- Basically the entire universe in Power Rangers. Name the most embarrassingly pathetic villain you can think of. Chances are pretty damn good that at some point, he or she has conquered a planet, or even a galaxy. The Alternate Universe of Power Rangers RPM is especially notable, as the villain of the year actually manages to conquer Earth in that one and hold it for three years before being defeated.
- Subverted in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Errand of Mercy". The Organians are such Actual Pacifists that they let the Klingons invade their planet without protest, ignoring Kirk and Spock's attempts to get them to fight back. However, at the end of the episode the Organians reveal that they are actually very powerful, it's just that they're vehemently opposed to interference. They could have put a stop to the Klingons at any point, but don't until both the Klingons and the Federation basically force their hand.
- The planet Dulkis is effectively conquered in about 5 minutes by a single Dominator and his Killer Robot in the Doctor Who serial The Dominators. But then, their hat is Actual Pacifism and ineffective democracy.
- In "The God Complex" they encounter someone from the planet Tivoli, which he, with a touch of pride, describes as the most conquered planet in the galaxy. Their global anthem is "Glory to Insert Name Here". He works as a city planner and is currently planting trees along a main street so that the invaders can march along it in the shade.
- Subverted in the "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday" two-parter. When the ghosts are revealed to have been Cybermen from a parallel world all along, they are already five million of them in all major cities. The Doctor claims that this is already a victory. However, several scenes clearly show that the humans are actively resisting. Of course, it's mostly futile, as small arms have no effect and not everybody has rocket launchers lying around.
- In the HERO game Champions, a supplement describing various one-off Alternate Universe concepts included one called "Wimp World", where everyone is born a coward. Buildings are only one or two stories because people are afraid of heights. Dangerous jobs are done with robots or not done at all. Wars are rare (when someone gets up the courage to declare one), and won by the side that has fewer soldiers die of fright. People marry the person that scares them the least. The description states that if a Super Villain were to arrive in this world, even a lame or stupid one, he could easily conquer this world by just muscling his way into United Nations and giving orders.
- Most planets in BattleTech are this; they almost universally (except for capital worlds and some other similar cases) have pitifully small defense forces and tend to change hands once any invaders have successfully smashed their way through those, usually with forces that were in turn not all that much bigger even before taking casualties into account. (This is to some extent an acceptable break from reality since it helps players feel that their small-scale tabletop skirmishes with frequently only a few units on each side can still be significant.)
- Pokémon, oh dear God, Pokémon. Nobody uses weaponry aside from Pokémon, there seems to be no centralized government, no region has been depicted with more than a half-dozen police officers (several haven't been shown with any at all), and almost no one who will do anything takes notice of the gangs of uniformed thugs roaming everywhere. Mind you, this was improved a bit with the introduction of Pokemon Rangers (a combination of Pokémon Trainers, Police Force, Sentai, Park Rangers, and Superheroes) to the series, but not by much.
- There's implied to be an International Police Force in Platinum. However, you only meet one of their agents, Looker as he calls himself, in the entire game. He's not exactly competent. Either this explains perfectly why the world is like this, or Looker is lying through his teeth, and he's some crazy man who is actually trying to do something about his easily conquered world.
- Speaking of Platinum, it's explained that no one took Team Galactic seriously because everyone just thought they were a bunch of weirdly dressed idiots with bad haircuts that never committed anything by petty crimes up until they set off a freaking bomb inside the Great Marsh.
- With Team Galactic, you can expect them to be taken like jokes with their ridiculous getup. In Orre, we run into Officer Johnson and Deputy Sherles of Pyrite... and even with the two of them in the same town, Miror B. is moonwalking around like he owns the place. Whether the other officers were eighty-sixed or bought off or whatever doesn't change the fact that Cipher is running the damn region, and even five years later the mention of their name anywhere in Orre brings back memories people have been trying to rid themselves of. Woe betide the rest of the Pokémon world if Cipher ever managed to expand past that hellhole.
- Actually, considering that the rest of the Pokémon world have Elite 4's and gym leaders, as well as Pokémon Rangers and expert 10 year old battlers, it's probably safer for Cipher to stay in Orre, where they have a chance. Only not, since they've been trashed two separate times, a la Team Rocket.
- Isn't it strange, then, that the teams whose management clearly isn't psychotic (too early to tell with Team Plasma) actually try again after being beaten down once? Sure, Team Rocket and Cipher rotated their organization around, but they still gave their schemes another shot, whereas Teams Magma and Aqua have broken apart completely after the release of Groudon and/or Kyogre and Team Galactic broke apart after Cyrus' disappearance (his vow to rewrite creation in Platinum notwithstanding). Doubt either of these two groups would stay down, and if a Team Rocket arc was plotted for Black and White (albeit possibly abandoned), then it stands to logic Ardos would rebuild Cipher for a third coming as well.
- You know when you have a really bad case of this trope if a 10 year old kid is capable of catching God with a small ball and let Him do his/her bidding.
- The Legend of Zelda is probably like this in game world structure. Definitely the part about the army and palace security being useless is.
- Then again: Why using precious taxpayers' rupies when the same Bad Ass One-Man Army gets reincarnated every time they need it?
- And anyway, trying to stop Ganon would mean killing him, which would disrupt the entire theology of Hyrule. No wonder the Guards give up and run when they see that sexy Dark Skinned Red Head coming over the horizon with his latest BFS...
- The intro of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker kinda explains why this is a bad idea (relying on the One-Man Army hero). See about 2 minutes in. No version of Link came, and it ended with the gods flooding Hyrule.
- Note that they have tried to execute Ganon before. Sadly, it was doomed from the start as in addition to being an incredibly powerful warrior/sorcerer, he holds a piece of a Cosmic Keystone that makes him an immortal Physical God.
- All of the non Spin-Off Super Mario Bros games have this. You think Princess Peach would upgrade her castle's security or travel with bodyguards after the umpteenth time she got kidnapped.
- Super Princess Peach reveals that Peach is competent enough to take on Bowser's forces by herself, if need be. One wonders if the forces on both sides are woefully incompetent, and Bowser's armies just happen to be more aggressive. It seems entirely possible that the whole kingdom has just four people who can fight worth a damn.
- And every time Earth is brought into play, Bowser's troops can conquer the entire planet in a matter of minutes.
- Hexen 2's manual states that the game world's various nations were conquered with shocking celerity by the Big Bad.
- In the Escape Velocity series, all it takes to conquer a world is beating up their defense fleets. Likely they're just paying you "please don't bomb us from orbit" protection money and still governing themselves.
- While the defense fleets in question number from about 50-1000 ships, what makes it doable for players to beat them is that they only launch a few at a time. If not for this technical limitation-induced Mook Chivalry, planetary conquest would be quite a bit more challenging.
- Half-Life 2 makes reference to the 7 hour war in which Earth forces surrendered to the Combine. In this case, the implication is less that Earth was easily conquered than the Combine were nigh-unstoppable.
- This is explained in the back-story. Xen wildlife made it so that to survive, everyone moved into the cities, so that they could defend each-other better. Result: invading is easy shmeasy!
- There's also some subtle implication that Breen may have intentionally set up Earth as an easy target, in order to get his promotion from the Combine.
- Averted in the first game, where a single regiment of soldiers manages to hold off the alien invasion for quite a long time, and even manage a counter-invasion into Xen (it fails). Eventually they get sick of fighting and just drop a nuke on the enemy army after they realized just how outnumbered they were.
- In Warcraft III, the Burning Legion conquers about four-fifths of the world without meeting any significant resistance before they are stopped at the very last moment.
- The Shake Dimension in Wario Land: The Shake Dimension. You just know the general world security is just awful when a group of pirates manage to capture every single inhabitant and take over the world in what's likely just a few hours. Okay, the main villain is a tough villain for Wario to defeat in a boss battle, but no one could stand up against Mooks that literally CAN'T FIGHT BACK?
- Can happen to you while playing any of the Civilization games. If you spend all your wealth in arts, science, and industry, and neglect your military, then expect a rival civilization to suddenly declare war on you and easily walk over all you territory before you even have a chance to counterattack.
- Or while just playing on a hard difficulty setting where the computers cheat.
- Day of the Tentacle, seriously, just because one Purple Tentacle sprouted tiny arms and feels "smarter" and "more aggressive" he believes that he can Take Over the World and enslave humanity. He succeeds BTW.
- The Europa Universalis series tries its best to consciously avert this, what with all the penalties countries get for unbridled warmongering and conquest. However, some players have managed to not merely conquer the world, but do so with severely handicapped countries such as Xhosa, Trebizond, and Iroquois.
- The legendary Earthworm Jim cartoon had the Planet of Easily-Frightened People, home of the Orb of Quite Remarkable Power! Psy-Crow commented that he loved that planet while walking straight past the terrified guards to steal the treasure.
"Aaaagh! Something green!" "Aaaagh! Something not green!"
"Aaaagh! A bug!" "Aaaagh! Air!"
- Also the Universe itself.
Professor Monkey-For-A-Head: We always say we're going to conquer the universe when we get the Suit, but now that we have it, how do you conquer a big thing like that? Psy-Crow: Simple! Go to where the leaders of the universe hang out, then start blasting!
- Earth in Invader Zim. Zim still manages to find a way to fail to conquer it every episode.
- In one of the The Simpsons Halloween shorts, there's a magical monkey's paw that grants wishes albeit at great cost. Lisa wishes for world peace. Humanity stops fighting as a result, completely disarms, and gets conquered by a pair of aliens with slingshots. They are in turn driven off when Ned wishes that the aliens go away, and Moe attacks them with a board with a nail in it.