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[-[[caption-width-right:350:''[[Film/DrStrangelove We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when...]]'']]-]

->''"That was the secret of secrets," said the Queen Jadis. "It had long been known to the great kings of our race that there was a word which, if spoken with the proper ceremonies, would destroy all living things except the one who spoke it."''
-->-- ''Literature/TheMagiciansNephew''

In a fantasy setting featuring FantasyGunControl, MedievalStasis, and assorted other reasons why the culture would never develop anything even ''close'' to nuclear weaponry, there may be some form of magic attack so powerful and destructive that it is obviously a stand-in for nuclear weapons. This goes double if it leaves behind some sort of corrupting effect that lingers long after the spell itself is cast, ''a la'' fallout. Compare to how AutomaticCrossbows stand in for guns. KamehameHadoken, WaveMotionGun, and PersonOfMassDestruction are common ways of invoking it.

Elsewhere, this trope is about the deliberate insertion of something nuke-like into a civilization that hasn't even invented the steam engine yet. That isn't to say this trope doesn't ever appear in higher-tech settings, where it will instead be some nuke-like weapon that nonetheless isn't nuclear. Like FantasticRacism and FantasticDrug, in that the situation is obviously designed to parallel a real world situation, either in order to make some point about the issue or simply to allow all the connotations and associations of the real world situation to easily be applied to the fantastic. In Japanese works, may be related to NuclearWeaponsTaboo.

A Fantastic Nuke may set off a WorldWreckingWave or precipitate TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. It's frequently also an UnholyNuke based on TheDarkArts.

In some less subtle cases, there might even be some kind of reference to matter-energy conversion.

And as with FantasticRacism, [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant we're not using the word "fantastic" to mean "wonderful and great"]] (i.e., the way the [[Series/DoctorWho Ninth Doctor]] uses the word "fantastic"). [[DudeNotFunny That would be just plain sick]].

Finally, we should note that while it's not just nuclear weapons that create the infamous "mushroom clouds" (any sort of explosion or even rapid combustion can do this in still air; it's just that the more powerful the explosion is the larger the cloud will be, the longer it will last and the less sensitive it is to disruption by wind, so it's primarily associated with ''very'' large explosions such as nukes), if something in fiction is described or depicted doing as so, it's a good bet the author/creator was attempting to invoke this trope.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'' quite famously has four: the moste iconic is the BlackMagic spell "Dragon Slave", and the most famous is the scaled up super-version, the "Giga Slave" -- which taps into the power of the Lord of Nightmares and thusly will ''obliterate the entire universe'' if the caster loses control of it, something that makes its creator seal it away so it can never be used again. Both of the aforementioned are also {{Unholy Nuke}}s There's also the [[PlayingWithFire Fire Shamanism]] spell "Blast Bomb", which is even more destructive than Dragon Slave, and the [[SoulPower Astral Shamanism]] spell "Ra Tilt", which is equivalent in power to Dragon Slave but only targets astral bodies.
** The Dragon Slave has acquired a bit of NoEndorHolocaust due to use in {{Contractual Gag}}s from CharacterExaggeration. This makes it all the more noticeable when [[CerebusSyndrome the drama kicks in]] and ground-level imagery recalling atomic bomb test footage is suddenly turned way, ''way'' up.
*** Ra Tilt and Blast Bomb, on the other hand, never suffer from this effect. Blast Bomb is more or less novel-exclusive, only appearing in the anime once in a scene that contained no comical exaggerations, and is noted mostly for being so {{mana}}-expensive that nobody since Lei Magnus has had the [[FantasticMeasurementSystem bucket capacity]] to actually cast it. Ra Tilt is an astral spell with no physical effects, so it's less funny.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' has Nagi reference this concept during the war when he mentioned his own world (earth) developing 'a very powerful bomb' that would end all wars. He said there were spells that were even more powerful available to mages.
** Three examples are the 'High Ancient' (Greek) incantations: Khilipl Astrape (Thousand Thunderbolts), Kosmike Katasrophe (End of the World) and Ourania Phlogosis (Burning Sky). Their power seems to depend on the mage casting it, though.
*** Although never stated as 'Ultimate Incantation' like the previous three (and rendered in Latin), Terra Findens (Tearing Earth) is for all the intents and purposes their [[DishingOutDirt earth]] [[LavaAddsAwesome elemental]] equivalent.
** Of course, Natsumi repeatedly refers to [[BoisterousBruiser Jack Rakan]] as "the Human Atomic Bomb". Given [[StoryBreakerPower his ridiculous amount of power]], this is not entirely inaccurate.
* ''LightNovel/ScrappedPrincess'' has the Ginnungagap, a "Long Ranged Strategic Class Spell", one of a whole class of nuke spells.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', the Bijuu and [[PersonOfMassDestruction Jinchuuriki]], [[{{Kaiju}} giant monsters]] [[EnergyBeings made out of chakra]] and humans with [[SealedEvilInACan the things sealed within their bodies]], are treated like nuclear weapons by the ninja villages that don't simply shun and fear them. The First Hokage, the guy that at one point had control of them all, even gave most of the bijuu away to other villages to prevent them from shifting the tide of war too heavily and help grant stability. Pain and his organization have been kidnapping all the Jinchuuriki, intending to extract their bijuu and use them to rapidly start and stop wars to convince the other nations of their power as part of their plan to TakeOverTheWorld. [[spoiler:However, his real plan turns out to be to create a superweapon capable of wiping out ''entire countries'' instantly, available to any country who's will to pay, and likely to be used if one side doesn't have ninja. [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans After being used once he thinks people will stop war altogether out of fear]], until someone uses it again, repeating the cycle.]]
** In Chapter 572, [[spoiler:a Tailed Beast Bomb clash between Kurama and 5 other tailed beasts]] creates a fireball that is about 50 times the diameter of a normal Bijuu-Dama explosion. Suddenly that "wiping out an entire country" idea sounds plausible. Kurama [[UpToEleven one-ups]] it by having Hachibi join in and creating a Combined Tailed Beast Bomb many times their size [[spoiler:in a vain attempt to stop the Juubi's revival in 609]]. The resulting explosion could be seen from all the battlefields in the war.
** Following [[spoiler:Pain's death, Tobi instead wants to use their chakra to fuel MassHypnosis]].
** A special material in the second movie has the capabilities of producing infinite free energy, and served as the foundation of an ancient civilization, that was gone since then. In the climax, the mines where this material is found begin to collapse, threatening to wipe out the entire continent in one giant explosion. Hmm.
** In Chapter 613 the Ten-Tails completely revives and is very reminiscent of a familiar [[Franchise/MetalGear mobile nuke launcher]]. In fact the first thing it does is launch a couple of hyper-Tailed Beast Bombs and destroy a couple of cities. Its range is so impressive some attacks take a few ''minutes'' to hit. Unlike a normal Tailed Beast Bomb, the Ten-Tails' bombs explode in a conical, rather than spherical, shape and can be seen the next country over.
*** The Ten-Tails, in frustration and having gathered more chakra, prepares a Tailed Beast Bomb similar to the aforementioned bombs, but as large as itself. Its explosion engulfs an entire sea.
** Pain himself has a jutsu that creates a small gravitation pull towards everything in area that qualifies, [[spoiler: given that he destroy Konoha with it.]] [[spoiler: The real]] Madara also has one in the form a jutsu that [[ColonyDrop calls in a gigantic meteor]] that's so big he considered it impractical to use in life because he had no way of making sure that he himself wasn't killed by it.
* ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'': Toward the end of the series one country drops a {{Magitek}} nuke.
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'': The Time-Space Administrative Bureau possesses a [[WaveMotionGun shipboard weapon]], the Arc-En-Ciel, that is described as a "magical distortion cannon" and is ''far worse'' than a nuke. Fired at a planetary surface it will consume everything for hundreds of kilometers. Fitting a ship with an Arc-En-Ciel requires extensive background checks and briefing for all crew who have access to the bridge, and firing it requires both two separate verbal commands and a key-based interlock. The Arc might even adhere to the Two-Man Rule; the ship's technical specialist down in the sensor room appears to be the one who powers and arms the weapon, but only someone on the bridge can fire it.
** Pretty much every spell Hayate is able of throwing out (at least at first) has this same kind of impact. Every time she gets ready to cast them, MissionControl at TSAB needs to authorize it, provide targeting data support, and sounds off alarm messages to order bystanders to evacuate the blast radius ASAP.
* In the Bount arc of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' it is revealed that the Soul Society previously used Jokai Crests to produce Reishi. They stopped using them and sealed the rest away under giant concrete blocks after one exploded and destroyed a 1/10 of the Seiretei, but now the BigBad has absorbed one and plans to release its energy and detonate the others in a chain reaction. It's clear what the inspiration was.
** Ulquiorra's Lanza del Relámpago he missed and it landed far away and still the ChunkyUpdraft still reach Las Noches.
** Not to mention Soi Fon's bankai, which is pretty much a nuclear missile. She makes an anchor of sorts with a metallic sash to stop herself from being blown away by the blast.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' has some major DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything whenever it refers to the Buster Call or the ancient weapon Pluton.
** The movie ''Anime/OnePieceFilmZ'' has the Dyna Stones, which explode when exposed to oxygen. The biggest ones are the size of a football, and a single one of them can destroy an entire island.
* In ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'', the Angel Arms and (manga only) photon-ion cannon are often seen by fans as analogous to nuclear weapons in their effects and their power. As an exception, references to actual atomic bombs are made in the final chapters of the manga. [[spoiler:The special reload of this weapon in Doom the Roguelike is a nuclear blast.]]
** Also note that the [[spoiler: draining and long torture of the plants]] can be seen as an allegory of [[GreenAesop how 'humankind' causes possibly irreversible environmental damage]].
* The god warriors and their [[WaveMotionGun main weapon]] in ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'', as well as the method of warfare of provoking an ''Ohmu'' stampede against enemy cities.
** Almost subverted in the manga, which makes clear that the god warriors do emit plenty of harmful radiation.
* In Creator/HayaoMiyazaki's film ''Anime/CastleInTheSky'', the floating island of Laputa has the power to launch some sort of energy weapon that results in an explosion of nuclear scale.
* The titular aircraft of ''Anime/{{Simoun}}'' possess extremely destructive capabilities, which are triggered by executing "Ri Maajons" - elaborate patterns in the sky usually performed in complex flight formations. Some Ri Maajons have the power to destroy several thousands of enemy aircraft and tanks ''in one go''. That the Simoun are intended for use in religious services and are thus piloted by [[{{Miko}} priestesses]] is rather ironic.
* The titular Otome of ''Anime/MaiOtome'' are weapons that singlehandedly win wars and determine a country's military strength. In the one major conflict since their creation, an entire country was wiped out, the survivors and their children suffering from debilitating illnesses. The underlying technology, if used peacefully, would improve the lives of millions. In the OVA, the various nations get together for Strategic Otome Limitation Talks (S.O.L.T.). And they're all [[MoeAnthropomorphism entirely non-nuclear, nanomachine-powered, magical-girl maids]].
* The Black Cores from ''Manga/DaiNoDaibouken'', which are basically magic-powered nukes. (created from a rare ore analogous to the plutonium / uranium, nonetheless) On the back-story, one of them was powerful enough to destroy an entire continent.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'' has a {{magitek}} KillSat called the Etherion, which fires a burst of magical energy to create a nuclear-level explosion. This blast also grows in power over time, if the initial burst is contained, like a chain reaction.
** There's also Fairy Law, a spell that can annihilate everything in a radius of miles that the caster considers an enemy. If it's in the middle of a battlefield where you need to be selective about your targets, it's simply an extremely precise WaveMotionGun that destroys enemies without hurting allies. However, if the caster were in enemy territory surrounded by enemy units, then it would probably rival Etherion in its capability for taking huge numbers of lives in an instant.
** Then there's Acnologia's [[BreathWeapon Dragon Roar]] [[spoiler: apparently capable of wiping out an entire island, make a crater on the sea floor, and leave no trace of said island]]. [[spoiler:By the final arc, it turns out he knows another spell called "Eternal Flare", which involves shooting ''[[BeamSpam dozens]]'' of energy blasts across the sky that can individually wreck towns in their explosions. And he intends to keep firing it until [[KillAllHumans every human on the planet is dead]].]]
* When Louise uses Void Magic for the first time in ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'' the result is a flash of blinding light and then everything belonging to the enemy (that's what we see at least) spontaneously catches fire.
* In the early days of ''Anime/{{Macross}}'', the good guys used "reaction weaponry" which were [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial not nuclear weapons in any way shape or form]], instead being [[{{Handwave}} officially antimatter weapons]]. Later series, either not having to deal with or outright ignoring the NuclearWeaponsTaboo, have been more open to out-and-out using nuclear weapons as part of the setting (though they've been largely supplanted in-universe by ''more powerful'' weapons).
* ''Manga/DragonBall'' started presented KiAttacks as this with the introduction of [[KnightOfCerebus Piccolo Daimou]], who when restored to his youth, reduced a large city to a wasteland that extended beyond visible site during his fight with Goku. After Raditz's introduction, they were taken to EarthShatteringKaboom levels.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' has The Poor Man's Rose, a thinly-veiled miniature nuke that even infects anyone who survives the blast with "poison" that can even spread to other people who are exposed to the carrier. [[spoiler: Netero carries a miniature version in his chest tied to a DeadManSwitch when he goes to fight the Chimera Ant King. While the Chimera Ant King kills him and survives the blast with the help of his Royal Guards, he and the Royal Guards eventually succumb to radiation poisoning afterwards.]]
* ''Anime/IzettaTheLastWitch'' has the [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Germanian Empire]] developing Hexenium bombs, which use crystallized magical energy to unleash incredible destructive power. A single bomb delivered by magically-guided V2 rocket is supposedly able to destroy a city.
* ''Anime/ReCREATORS'' has [[MagicalGirl Mamika Kirameki]]'s Magical Splash Flare [[spoiler:that she unleashes on Altair when the latter won't desist from her SuicidalCosmicTemperTantrum]].
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', the Colossal Titan has the ability to function as one, weaponizing its transformation on a massive scale. This becomes a major aspect of the strategy during the battle at Shighanshina, with [[spoiler: Bertolt]] transforming over the city and vaporizing a large chunk of it....and anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in the blast. It actually generates a mushroom cloud over the city, for bonus parallels. [[spoiler: This turns out to be Marley's standard use for the Colossal Titan, earning it the title "God of Destruction". A flashback shows Bertolt as a child, being delivered to the edge of an enemy stronghold in order to wipe it out]]. [[FridgeHorror Horrifying as it is]], it turns out kicking a hole in the Wall was a ''subtle'' usage of the Colossal Titan.

* In ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestria'' and its derived works, "balefire bombs" were instrumental in causing the postapocalyptic world described in the stories. They are clear analogues to nuclear weapons.
** Referenced in ''Fanfic/UnderTheNorthernLights'', an otherwise unrelated Friendship Is Magic fanfic. Twilight Sparkle stops a bomb-throwing assassin who seems to be destroyed by his own bomb when Twilight traps him and the bomb within a forcefield. Media and gossip make this into a "balefire bomb" to the ire of Twilight because balefire bombs are just theoretical weapons, no assassin is stupid enough to use a nuke-equivalent to kill someone, and nopony could contain a balefire blast like that.
* [[Creator/DetsniyOffSkiword Kid Icarus Uprising 2: Hades Revenge]] manages to avert this trope, and play it straight in two different instances. Averted with the reset bombs from the [[VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising source material]], which are referred to as 'nuclears', and treated as actual nukes. Later, a straight example of this troupe is used, known as the Commculear, which is said to be a nuke that doesn't kill those hit, but instead, it brainwashes those hit into becoming communists.
* Fanfic/AshesOfThePast treats Victini's V-Generate like this, as it was used to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the fanfic world's history.
* Sergey Yurchenko's works:
** ''Harry Potter''/''Warhammer 40k'' crossover fanfiction ''School Daemon'': the eponymous daemon Morion tells the inner circle members of the Tzeench's coven he founded that while making and using a nuke takes a lot of muggles, the magical equivalent, e.g. the rite that sunk Atlantis, can be performed by a single wizard.
** ''Neon Genesis Evangelion''/''Warhammer 40k'' crossover ''Paths of Black Crystal'': the Exterminatus rite used by the Empire's High Inquisitors. This magical version works on a much smaller scale, though, just about covering a single city, and can be survived given a rare chain of events.

* In the Czech film ''Císařův pekař - Pekařův císař'' the golem is an obvious allegory for nuclear power. (The villains attempt to use the golem to rule the world and get killed in the process, while the hero goes to use it for the good of all.)
* ''WesternAnimation/OverTheHedge'' features one made of ''Doritos cheese dust''.

* ''Literature/TheGodsAreBastards'' used these to wipe out the orcs, ruining the entire continent and killing their god. It destroyed the Empire that used them as civil war erupted. After the nation was pieced back together, a few generations later the empress was trying it again. [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Her advisers stopped her.]]
* The civil war that breaks out between the wizards in ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'' (as well as the earlier Mage Wars) has clear allusions to a nuclear war, though we don't get to see the truly powerful spells close up. There are areas mentioned repeatedly throughout the series but never shown where fallout from spells like this in ancient wizard conflicts make them uninhabitable. Finally, modern wizards essentially see it as their job to learn how to do magic and then ''never to do it'', or at least not any of the seriously reality-warping stuff, aware of the MutuallyAssuredDestruction that Mage Wars had always ultimately caused.
** There's a reference to the Mage Wars in ''Going Postal'' which makes this more explicit:
--> Any ignorant fool can fail to turn someone else into a frog. You have to be clever to refrain from doing it when you knew how easy it was. There were places in the world commemorating those times when wizards hadn't been quite as clever as that, and on many of them the grass would never grow again.
** In ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'', Sam Vimes makes explicit reference to the "first use of magic" in a war... a clear parallel with nuclear weapons.
** Pratchett is quite fond of using the adjective "thaumaturgical" in relation to the Mage Wars, which does the double duty of being Disc science's equivalent of the word "atomic" and bearing a cosmetic similarity to "thermonuclear".
** ''Discworld/ReaperMan'' we get to finally see one up close, in the form of three powerful spells cast together at once. It was powerful enough to destroy [[spoiler: a giant living shopping mall]], causing it to explode and implode at the same time.
** Pratchett was in fact formerly a scientific journalist specializing in nuclear physics, so his books are full of in-jokes about the subject.
** The Science of Discworld involves the magical equivalent of a nuclear reactor, designed largely from information contained in scrolls found in a cave in a dangerously magical area (everyone who went there died of rare, magically induced diseases) in the form of a bowl-shaped valley surrounded by rings of mountains. When the thing begins to overload, Ponder Stibbons says he thinks that the reactor at that site probably was shut down in this state, so they need to come up with a way to bleed off the magic FAST.
** And inverted in ''Jingo'', where it's implied that Leonard of Quirm ''has'' designed a bona-fide nuclear bomb (the materials it's made from "don't like being squeezed. So they go bang. With extreme alacrity.") This is one of the many reasons he's kept locked up.
** ''Discworld/TheLastHero'' gives us Agatean Thunder Clay. Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde fill a fifty-pound keg with the stuff and plan to deliver it to the gods. Such an explosion would not only blow up Cori Celesti, but temporarily erase the Discworld's magic field. And with no magic, there would be no Discworld.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'': Tolkien got tired of people viewing the One Ring as an allegory for nuclear weapons. He was fond of noting that if the Ring was an allegory for the Bomb, Saruman wouldn't have tried to steal but, instead would have tried to develop his own, and the Alliance would have used the Ring against Sauron. Although, strictly speaking, Saruman DID create his own Ring, although it was never used as more than an indication of how mad he had become.
* Creator/ChinaMieville's ''Literature/PerdidoStreetStation'' makes mention of Suroch, an area of the world that's been... ''twisted'' after New Crobuzon dropped a "torque-bomb" on it. Torque... twists things. That's what it means in physics, and that's definitely what one would call the results. [[GoryDiscretionShot The descriptions of Suroch try to avoid saying anything explicit]]. Apparently it was part nuke, part key to the gates of Hell. It can even be considered to be ''worse'' than Hell because ''demons'' are scared of the things that have crawled out of there.
** "Colourbombs" in the same setting are implied to be less ''wrong'' but even more destructive; Mieville's influences being what they are, this latter might bear some relation to Creator/HPLovecraft's short story "Literature/TheColourOutOfSpace". Colourbombs were used to cover up whatever the Torque did to Suroch. Basically, it was better to blanket nuke the area than try to explain the effects of torque to the populace of New Crobuzon.
** The city-killer (aka Hecatomb) in Literature/IronCouncil is beyond even colourbombs (another kind of fantastic nuke) for sheer alien annihilation. It ERASES CITIES. And casts ripples of destruction BACKWARDS IN TIME.
* The Deplorable Word in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' is a magic spell that destroys all life in the world save that of the person who speaks it. We see a world where it was used in ''The Magician's Nephew'', complete with not-so-subtle allusions to nuclear weaponry.
* The seventh book of Literature/TheSwordOfTruth series has a wizard activating an ancient spell in the middle of the enemy camp. The results are quite nuclear, and cost the enemy about a million soldiers.
* In the fourth book of [[Literature/SagaOfRecluce The Saga of Recluce]], the heroes use a magical WaveMotionGun to annihilate the stronghold of the chaos mages.
** In the same book, they toy with the idea of building an ''actual'' nuke, before [[AbortedArc throwing out the idea and never speaking of it again]].
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' has a few:
** Balefire obliterates its target [[RetGone retroactively]], rewriting the past around its absence. When it was used with ''sa'angreal'' {{Amplifier Artifact}}s in the War of Power to annihilate entire cities, the strain on existence scared [[EvenEvilHasStandards both sides]] into banning its use. In the Last Battle, [[spoiler:Demandred and Mazrim Taim spam it so much that reality starts to unravel, and it takes a ''sa'angreal'' and a HeroicSacrifice to plug the hole before it spreads to delete the world.]]
** The Choedan Kal, a pair of ''sa'angreal'' exponentially more powerful than any others in existence, also invoke this trope, not least in the utter terror they cause in anyone who knows what they are. [[spoiler:Two channellers fighting over one destroys a nearby mountain as collateral damage, using one to cleanse the Dark One's taint from the True Source dissolvs a city and its surroundings in a gigantic SphereOfDestruction, and Rand estimates that using one at its full power could undo all of existence. He destroys them both.]]
** Trying to unravel a Weave of the One Power instead of letting it dissipate naturally has this result at least once: a [[TeleportersAndTransporters Gateway]] explodes powerfully enough to flatten the surroundings on both ends.
* In Creator/JohnMoore's ''Literature/BadPrinceCharlie'', two neighboring kingdoms are both trying to find a "Weapon of [[strike: Mass]] Magical Destruction" left behind by a previous king.
* In the ''Age of Unreason'' series, France uses alchemical {{Magitek}}, building on the theory of creating resonance between two objects to make them attract, originally used to make target-seeking cannonballs, to attract an ''asteroid'' to ''London'', creating the equivalent of a nuclear winter. This "Newton's Cannon" gives name to one of the books in the series.
* Making a volcano erupt in the ''Literature/CodexAlera'' series amounts to this. The series has several [[PersonofMassDestruction Persons of Mass Destruction]], including one purely evil villain and one who's always ready to ShootTheDog, so volcanoes get used as weapons in the series.
** There's also Garados, the Great Fury in the Calderon Valley. Basically a giant Titan [[SealedEvilInACan sleeping in the valley]] who doesn't like trespassers. [[spoiler: And Tavi [[SummonBiggerFish wakes it up]] in order to damage the Vord Queen.]]
* ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'': Powerful mages in this series are akin to [[PersonOfMassDestruction walking nuclear weapons]], and treated as such.
** In the backstory of the series proper, a war was fought between rival Great Mages, aptly termed the Mage Wars. It culminated in the total and near-simultaneous destruction of both enemies, along with their respective strongholds, which were filled with magical artifacts. The resulting Cataclysm gouged vast craters and [[WorldWreckingWave reshaped the entire continent]], an event so powerful that it echoed through time to recur three thousand years later.
** To a lesser extent, a sufficiently powerful mage can perform a form of HeroicSacrifice called a Final Strike, expending all their magical power and any they can draw from their surroundings in a massive detonation. When Vanyel did this, he scoured a mountain pass down to bedrock and destroyed an entire invading army. In life, Vanyel was explicitly stated to be capable of leveling cities all by himself.
* Xhum Y'Zir's Seven Cacophonic Deaths, in ''Lamentation'' by KenScholes.
* The Andadt from ''Literature/TheLongPriceQuartet'' make nukes seem like pop-guns. The Andat "Sightless" [[spoiler: blinds the entire world, right down to the insects]].
* In Lawrence Watt-Evans' ''Literature/TheLegendsOfEthshar'' novels, there is a simple spell that can permanently negate magic within a huge volume. This is a bad thing in a world that heavily depends on magic and is one of the reasons that no one makes flying castles anymore. Naturally, the wizards of the world have gone to great lengths to expunge knowledge of it from the world.
** There is also The Seething Death, which summons a single drop of chaos in a golden thimble. Once it gets poured out, it grows and spreads, consuming everything it touches. It is believed that, left unchecked, it would destroy the world. It's a pity that the counter spell has been lost.
* In ''the Silver Tide'' by Michael Tod, the real reason given for why Grey Squirrels so rapidly displaced Reds in Britain in the 1960's is that as they can ''count in binary'' they can use numerology to tap into "stone power", creating squares that give of waves of energy, making anyone inside nauseous with small squares (sixteen stones) or killing ''everything'' inside with larger squares (4096 stones), disrupting ley-lines with its power, and sending waves of nausea and evil across the landscape. When one of the Redís learns to count (base eight, non-binary), they retaliate with numerology powered BeamSpam.
* Creator/DavidWeber's ''Wind Rider'' series had a group of spells used to "strafe" the continent of [[ThrowawayCountry Kontovar]], killing everything not under the most powerful black wizards' shields.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Possibly the "Doom of Valyria" in which wiped out the series' [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Rome analogue]] and left a "demon-haunted" wasteland. As a result of the cataclysm, a lot of Valyrian inventions were lost or exist in the present as LostTechnology.
** Creator/GeorgeRRMartin [[WordOfGod has also stated]] that he thinks of the dragons as a counterpart to the nuclear deterrent. This makes Daenerys the most powerful person in the world and Martin wishes to explore in his writing whether weaponry power can be used not only to destroy but also to accomplish something good.
* Inverted in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', where involving vanilla mortals into a supernatural conflict is likened to using nukes; in part because humans have regular old nukes, in fact (the other reason are, in order, that the sheer force of numbers means that whoever gets the humans on their side basically wins, and pretty much the entirety of human folklore consists of a long how-to guide on dealing with the supernatural).
** The closest thing ''TDF'' has to a straight example is the Darkhallow ritual, the most potent necromantic spell to date, which sucks the area dry of all living and undead energy for many miles around the caster. Although it should be noted that this is only a SIDE EFFECT of the spell, the purpose of which is actually to make the caster a [[PhysicalGod god]]
** The Bloodline Curse that ''Changes'' revolves around might count. Take a member of a bloodline, the younger the better, and perform a powerful ritual to kill every living relative they're descended from. In theory, this would only kill a handful of people, but when Harry [[spoiler: shoves the most recently changed vampire of the Red Court in place of the intended victim]] it annihilates an entire subspecies of vampire in one shot.
** Another, smaller, example is the Death Curse, which is the ultimate TakingYouWithMe attack, in which a Wizard uses all their magic and all the energy keeping them going in one go. The effects can vary based on power and, more importantly, based on intent - it can either be immediate and destructive, like turning a city block to glass (and probably more, in the case of the Senior Council), or, perhaps, more long term, like Harry's mother's, which [[spoiler: crippled Lord Raith by preventing him from feeding]].
** Later in the series one more becomes known: the island of Demonreach, a [[spoiler: magical prison containing a truly incredible amount of nasties. The magical equivalent of body heat that these prisoners give off is so powerful that it's created its own Leyline, and in order to prevent them from ever getting free, the prison has a failsafe in case of a breakout. Said failsafe would reduce the majority of the middle of North America to a crater, and is still stated as being a method to slow them down, not eliminate them entirely.]]
* Sufficiently skilled mages in the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'' can ''unmake their own bodies down to a subatomic level'' by uttering "be not" in the LanguageOfMagic, releasing an atomic blast from the ensuing fission reaction. This is how both [[spoiler:the Rider Thuviel]] and [[spoiler:King Galbatorix]] attempted a TakingYouWithMe -- successfully in the former case, which additionally blighted the surrounding landscape with fallout so the enemy wouldn't discover the [[spoiler:Vault of Souls]]. Angela can apparently also do it, but vows not to unless there is absolutely no other option to win.
* Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''Literature/DarknessSeries'' has a magic nuke in form of the unnamed product of the Naantali Project, a [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Kuusaman]] mega-spell that utilizes a link between the [[FunctionalMagic laws of similarity and contagion]]. It makes use of animals (or, theoretically, people...) that are grandparents and grandchildren of each other, pushing the elder one forward in time and the younger one back in order to create a massively destructive discharge of sorcerous energy that can be directed anywhere on a map.
* In ''Literature/TheMalazanBookOfTheFallen'', this is the origin story of the [[BigBad Crippled God]]. A cabal of wizards decided that High King Kallor needed to die, and so used their magic to ensnare a god, which they then launched at Kallor's head. The God's impact destroyed an entire ''continent'', devastated the God's very being, and ''failed'' to kill Kallor.
* The "Ritual of Desecration" in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfThomasCovenant'' certainly seems to be rather nuke-like.
* Fiendfyre from ''Literature/HarryPotter'' borders on this (albeit perhaps more akin to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napalm napalm]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_phosphorus_munitions white phosphorus]], or a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermobaric_weapon fuel-air bomb]]). It's a highly destructive spell that can even destroy Horcruxes, but it's hard to control and can easily kill the caster.
* In the ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'', this is how turbo lasers on large starships are depicted when fired at planets, with cases of things like three Star Destroyers bombarding a planet for a day, and by the end of it it was completely uninhabitable.
* In Creator/RogerZelazny's ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'' anybody who passed though the Logrus--the maze-avatar of pure Chaos--''and'' received sufficient training in magic is able to summon raw Chaos to permanently destroy everything in the designated area. The destruction can be localized, but there seems to be no upper limit on the area size. The protagonist Merlin explicitly compares this to calling in a nuclear strike, since Chaos obliterates ''everything'' in the area, even evidence or things that are of interest, and there's no way to stop it. Only to escape. A variation of the spell surrounds the caster with a [[AdvancingWallOfDoom slowly advancing wall of Chaos]]. Merlin cast it twice: once by accident, once to threaten an enemy.
* In Zelazny's series ''Literature/DilvishTheDamned'', Dilvish escaped from hell with the knowledge of several highly destructive dark spells. Unfortunately they are [[AwesomeButImpractical way too powerful]] and devastate an area as large as a city. He refrains from using them most of the time for much the same reasons.
* ''Literature/TheButterBattleBook'' by Creator/DrSeuss portrays a LensmanArmsRace over a supremely SillyReasonForWar, which leads to the development of "Bitsy Big-Boy Boomeroos," objects about the size of a pea that can wipe out the entire country where they are dropped. Unluckily, the story ends with both sides having a Boomeroo and [[MexicanStandoff poised to drop it on the other]], leaving the possibility for MutuallyAssuredDestruction [[BolivianArmyEnding unresolved]].
* In ''Literature/TheGoneAwayWorld'', things are portrayed as made by two parts - the physical matter that constitutes them, and the information about what the matter is supposed to be. At some point in the recent past humanity has created Go-Away Bombs, mass-destruction warheads that remove the information while leaving matter intact, and promptly waged planetary conflict with them. As a result, most of the world is drowning in Stuff - nondescript dust-like matter without information, which will latch on the first source of such information it can find in order to represent itself in reality. It just so happens that the most florid source of such information is human thought, and since most people who venture in Stuff-rich areas are hoping desperately it doesn't shape itself into hideous monsters, well...
* ''Literature/SecondApocalypse'': Earwa is largely locked in a MedievalStasis, but the Inchoroi, a race of star-traveling aliens, have the Tekne, advanced science that created their sky-ark and various weapons. When fighting against an Inchoroi army of [[LivingWeapon weapon races]], Kellhus discovers a "golden coffer" in Dagliash, set there as a trap. It even has a digital countdown, which bystanders see as animated symbols of light. It explodes in a mushroom cloud, killing a large portion of the army and inflicting radiation poisoning on another large portion.
* ''Literature/TheFirstLaw'' trilogy focuses around [[VillainProtagonist the Wizard Bayaz']] quest to obtain an ancient, forbidden artifact in order to defend The Union against his rival, Khalul. The artifact in question is a source of great power, forbidden from use for its' destructive potency, and using it causes people to vomit and makes their hair fall out. DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything?
* ''Literature/TheAscendantKingdomsSaga'': The Great Fire, a ribbon of green fire from the skies sent by Merovenian mages that destroys the manors of the nobles of Donderath, including Quillarth Castle, the fortress of King Merrill, killing most of them. It's left as a RiddleForTheAges whether the mages who sent the Great Fire secretly intended to destroy tame ''hasithara'' magic by killing off the remaining Lords of the Blood, causing ApocalypseHow, or if it was an [[GoneHorriblyWrong unforeseen consequence]] of something done for purely military reasons.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The war that led to the creation of the Daleks was not fought with nuclear missiles, but in fact "neutronic missiles." Presumably this was done because it gave them more creative freedom over what they could say the weapons do/did, for example real nuclear missiles would just burn or vaporise a jungle rather then petrifying it.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** The ship full of wildfire explodes into a giant green fireball complete with mushroom cloud out the top that consumes thousands.
** Going further, the mere thought of someone using dragons in battle is enough to give wiser tacticians pause. Authority figures like Tywin Lannister brush off the severity of the threat they present (not without cause, as dragons are believed to be extinct at the show's outset and the last living specimens were known to be drastically undersized due to being raised in captivity) but when a fully grown beast takes the field in Season 7 against the Lannister/Tarly army, the results are ''[[SceneryGorn horrific]]''. Infantrymen are immediately reduced to ash in the face of searingly hot dragonfire (with lingering shots of burning ''living'' soldiers clawing at their helmets and trying desperately to drown the flames in swamp water), the Lannister/Tarly supply carriages are taken out like they're toys, the battlefield is quickly turned into an unrelenting sea of flames and a single dragon is enough to break the back of a powerful defensive line and completely turn the tide of battle. Minus Qyburn's scorpion ballista, which Bronn uses to wound Drogon, nothing the Lannister/Tarly army throws at him hinders the dragon in the slightest. Even in the ballista's case, Drogon manages to regain his composure, immolates the ballista and destroys it with a single swipe of his tail for good measure. As the Night King's mount, Viserion destroys a whole portion of the Wall at Eastwatch by the Sea, allowing the undead army to finally cross south of the Wall.
* ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'':
** The brick from the House of Commons is said to have contain the entire force of the London Blitz. Artie calls it out as an "Artifact Nuclear Device".
** The Minoan Trident in the season 2 finale. If struck into the ground three times it causes huge earthquakes. Do it near a supervolcano and you don't just get a nuclear-level blast, but the ash causes the equivalent of nuclear winter as well.
* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'' features Whisperers, which are cylinder-shaped containers that hold the screams of the shadow people. When released manually or via the timer, the Whisperer emits an ear-piercing scream that kills every living thing within a league. Only creatures that can hear are affected, so a wizard may be able to place a temporary deafness spell to protect everyone in the affected area. Not surprisingly, used as weapons of terror by both the [[TheEmpire D'Harans]] and the more [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized extreme]] [[LaResistance rebels]].
* Photon Torpedoes from ''Series/StarTrek'' are matter/antimatter warheads that serve as a standard armament on Federation starships, as well as the ships of many other races. While they are most commonly used for space combat, there are a few incidents of impressive surface detonations (According to the TNG technical manual, each torpedo contains enough reaction mass for a 64 megaton blast, greater than the Tsar Bomba)

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* Myth/HinduMythology and [[Literature/{{Ramayana}} numerous assoc]][[Literature/{{Mahabharata}} iated stories]] described the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmastra Brahmastra]], a weapon that could only be used by someone who had meditated on the god Brahma and possessed the highest levels of concentration that could completely obliterate its target in a single strike and would never miss, but would destroy all life in the area and render everyone nearby sterile. Yes, the ancient Indians were talking about nukes ''before nukes were invented.''
* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmashirsha_astra Brahmashirsha astra]] is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmastra Brahmastra]] but 4 times as strong. When it strikes it regerns the entire blast zone into a barren desert and forces everything within the zone to become poisoned, even metal. The drawback of both weapons isn't just their destructive power but the fact that, when summoned, they '''must''' be thrown. There is no other way to get rid of them but throwing them.
* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmanda_astra Brahmanda astra]] is the strongest of these weapons because it has the power to destroy all 14 levels of Brahmand or Universe. When thrown, the oceans will boil away, the mountains will float, and all will be burned without leaving a single ash. The Brahmanda astra can be used to destroy the weapons above by eating them (the weapon's tip has the five heads of Brahma).

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' has a lot:
** The Soulbreaker Orb is a magical device that, when triggered, simply kills anything in a five-mile radius. No actual damage is done, there is no giant fireball, everything just falls down dead. [[NoOneCouldSurviveThat In theory]]. Other canonical ones include the Gunzota Device, which turns every living thing in a several-mile radius into amethyst statues; the Godspear, a WaveMotionGun that does ''infinite damage'' to anything in its line of fire; and the Eye of Judgment, the Godspear's [[OminousFloatingCastle flying castle]]-mounted lesser version, which only kills everything within five miles or so.
** The Thousand-Forged Dragons also count, being weapons of mass destruction that can utterly destroy local geomancy. Since {{Ley Line}}s and [[PlaceOfPower demesnes]] are the source of...[[BackgroundMagicField pretty much every natural phenomenon]] and quite a few non-natural ones, this makes nuclear fallout look like a fairly minor side-effect in comparison.
** The Imperial Defense Grid is ''the'' nuclear option; the details are kept secret, but its purpose is to defend ''Creation'' against wholesale invasion. One lone Dragon-Blooded soldier managed to crack its defenses and gain control in one of Creation's most dire moments. She became the Scarlet Empress because nobody wanted to screw with her after that.
** Some of the Solar Circle spells, serve this purpose, such as Rain Of Doom and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Total Annihilation]].
** Some of the Malfeas Charms for the Infernals approach this. The "Green Sun Nimbus Flare" charm tree allows you to turn opponents into mushroom clouds and inflict magical radiation sickness. There's even a Malfeas shintai charm that basically turns a significant area around you into Ground Zero except to allies and people who grovel at your feet.
* ''MagicTheGathering'' has a fair number of mass-damage and mass-destruction cards, usually rare. World-killing spells are often much cheaper than one would expect. For example, [[https://magiccards.info/10e/en/61.html calling down God to destroy the world]] costs the same amount of mana as [[https://magiccards.info/od/en/24.html summoning an antelope]]. The [[https://magiccards.info/aq/en/16.html Golgothian Sylex]] is probably the most famous example: Urza used it to destroy Argoth, which led to nuclear winter and an ice age. However, the card only destroys Antiquities cards, which makes it nearly useless. Other classic examples are [[https://magiccards.info/un/en/186.html Armageddon]] (destroys all lands), [[https://magiccards.info/5e/en/391.html Nevinyrral's Disk]] (destroys everything ''except'' lands... okay, and nowadays planeswalkers), [[https://magiccards.info/10e/en/61.html Wrath of God]] and its alternate-universe counterpart [[https://magiccards.info/mm3/en/63.html Damnation]] (destroy all creatures, no regeneration to weasel out of it). Then there's [[https://magiccards.info/mm3/en/63.html Jokulhaups]] which destroys all artifacts, creatures and lands, and the similar [[https://magiccards.info/in/en/156.html Obliterate]] which doesn't allow regeneration plus, unlike the others, ''can't be countered''. Possibly the most devastating example printed to date, though, is [[https://magiccards.info/tp/en/162.html Apocalypse]] which simply removes everything currently in play from the game, thus killing it DeaderThanDead...
** There are also [[https://magiccards.info/ap/en/114.html Soul Bombs]], which are powered by a sentient being's ethereal spirit, which were used by Urza and his strike team to destroy most of Phyrexia.
** And Yawgmoth's own stone chargers, which turned the [[MeaningfulName Meghiddon Defile]] from a narrow crevice into a massive bowl carved out of a rock... and unleashed a choking white-mana fog that destroyed the nearby city of Halcyon. ([[SpannerInTheWorks Yawgy wasn't actually planning that part]].)
** Another prime example would be [[https://magiccards.info/m13/en/158.html Worldfire]] which somehow manages to make the above cards look rather tame.
* ''[[TabletopGame/{{FATAL}} F.A.T.A.L.]]'' had the titular spell F.A.T.A.L. which took a week to cast and killed all life on earth. Then again, as Sartin said, with [[CrapsackWorld this game]], [[HumansAreBastards humanity]] wasn't going to amount to much anyway.
** Note that a F.A.T.A.L. effect can be randomly activated by simply fumbling any spell. ''Any''. It's just a matter of time before something tragic happens in a F.A.T.A.L. campaign (as always).
*** [[TakeThat That implies that anyone is masochistic enough to run a F.A.T.A.L campaign.]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** The first D&D nuke is from the World of Greyhawk, the Twin Cataclysms: the Invoked Destruction and the Rain of Colorless Fire, which sound a lot like a nuclear blast and fallout. This destroyed the Bakluni and the Suloise nations and left a desert waste.
** ''Apocalypse from the Sky'' is a legal, non-epic spell in 3rd Edition that [[CastFromHitPoints severely drains the caster]] and deals heavy acid or [[MakeMeWannaShout sonic]] damage to a 170-mile radius, minimum, [[SuicideAttack caster included]].
** Any {{Munchkin}} wizard can cook up one of these through LoopholeAbuse. The Locate City Bomb is an infamous and dubiously legal example, modifying a harmless spell with a range in the tens of miles to hurl everything within that range to the edge of its effect--or, for optional [[TheresNoKillLikeOverkill overkill]], animating every casualty of the Bomb as [[TheVirus contagious]] undead.
*** Another is a feat that allows {{Breath Weapon}}s to be {{charged|Attack}} up to affect a wider area, with no limit to the extent of that area. It is entirely possible for this loophole to bathe the world in acid.
** TabletopGame/{{Mystara}}, according to ''The Principalities of Glantri'' (''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Gazetteer''), has a force known as the Radiance meant to amplify magical powers. One of the spells related to the Radiance is a fireball variation that creates a mushroom cloud, and causes some form of sickness for those who remain in the area.
** TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms had a few. The most destructive single spell about which there's some lore and not just mentions is "Killing Storm" from Elven [[TooMuchForManToHandle High Magic]]. During ancient elven wars, these blasted one kingdom so thoroughly that after 11,000 years the place remained a moor. Other contenders for the title are the ''[[DeathFromAbove Cataract of Fire]]'', ''[[GiantWallOfWateryDoom Diluvial Torrent]]'', and ''[[OneHitKill Necromantic Singularity]]'' Epic spells.
** In the TabletopGame/{{Eberron}} campaign setting, the entire nation of Cyre was destroyed during the Last War by an event known as the Mourning. A thick mist covered the country and killed anyone caught in it. While the particulars of the event itself seem rather un-nukelike, the devastated Mournlands are described in a way reminiscent of an area destroyed by nukes and heavily contaminated by fallout, including a "Glass Plateau" and a rift in the ground that glows with eerie light and mutates anything that stays too close too long.
* The Skaven of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' made a literal nuke out of [[GreenRocks Wyrdstone]]. It's currently armed but undetonated, sitting under the human city of Middenheim.
** There's a spell as well that drops an asteroid on the battlefield. It can wipe out castles, and half the opposing army when timed right.
* Curiously enough, ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' doesn't have that many nuclear weapons (which is not to say they have nothing that does as much damage, oh GodEmperor no). They feature in Krieg's backstory (a rebellion ended in a century of atomic fire, after which the population took atonement and trench warfare as their hat), and some Rad weapons (weapons that use radioactive fallout, not slang).
** Cyclonic torpedoes are the most popular method for delivering an Exterminatus that burn away oceans, atmosphere, and anything alive (and an advanced two-stage version [[EarthShatteringKaboom that kills the actual planet]] - useful for destroying Necron Tomb Worlds). Only the [[StateSec Inquisition]] and [[SpaceMarine Space Marines]] have access to them.
** Orks have an extremely effective method of travelling through space and conquering planets: Find really big meteors and asteroids, hollow them out and make them airtight, and fit colossal engines and reactors for propulsion. When they arrive on a planet, they either survive the landing, causing thousands of orks to crawl out of the wreckage looking to finish off the survivors, or it explodes midair, resulting in a ginormous explosion, which is almost as much fun to them. In this case, it spreads their spores all over the planet that produce a new generation of Orks very quickly that will be increasingly difficult to get rid of.
* The tabletop RPG ''TabletopGame/{{Hackmaster}}'' has a spell named Fireball: Nuclear Winter.
** Its range is several hundred feet, while its area is several miles. Needless to say, casting it is a bad idea unless you're immune to fire.
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' had a set of items called selective mines. Each of them looked like a large landmine and when properly activated, would totally devastate everything in a large radius - except for a small group of people selected by the user. Handy.
** The [[HermeticMagic Order of Hermes]] {{Splat}} book included the rote "Ball of Abyssal Flame", basically a really powerful [[{{Fireballs}} Fireball]] that also converts matter in the target area (essentially disintegrating it) into [[{{Mana}} Quintessence]] to directly fuel the spell. Associated with the destructive House Tytalus mages.
** ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' also included "spirit nukes" in the metaplot, although exactly what they were was a little inconsistent. Their story use was apparently to imply hubris on the part of the Technocracy, despite the fact that they were used on a nearly unkillable vampire; different sourcebooks said different things about what would've happened had they not been used. In any case, they ripped people's souls apart in addition to the physical damage, and wrecked the spirit world globally.
* A similar effect: ''TabletopGame/SenZar'''s Astromancy and its MagikarpPower. Quoth Jason Sartin:
-->''The 10th level Black Hole spell is fun if you've ever wanted to cause a three mile swath of obliteration and piss off the entire planet doing it.''
* The apocalypse in ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'': Hell On Earth came about with ghost rock bombs, nukes made with irradiated GreenRocks. The physical destruction from a "city buster" is fairly limited, but it then releases a storm of damned souls that kill everyone within a 100-mile radius.
* Divine level spells of certain paths (and even certain Ki attacks) in ''TabletopGame/AnimaBeyondFantasy'' qualify as this. At the ''most'' extreme cases of the former, the spells affect everything within a radius of ''1 AU (150,000,000 kilometers)''.
* ''TabletopGame/StrikeLegion'', has '''WAY''' too many to list. Most weapons carried by PowerArmor or [[HumongousMecha frames]] would qualify as WeaponsOfMassDestruction in most other settings, if they aren't capable of outright blowing up a planet.
* The ''TabletopGame/GURPSTechnomancer'' setting has two types:
** First, our garden variety nukes become fantastic and display the ability to open portals into a world of pure mana, which manifest as enormous cyclones. Two were tested, one by USA and one by USSR, and it is theoretized that a third one will be a civilization-ender.
** Later a replacement for them was created, the so called necronium bombs, which are similar to the ghost rock bombs from Deadlands above: they kill people via necromantic energy released. These bombs fill the niche where our world's nukes are, several countries have them and use them for scaring other nations.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'', [[spoiler: the Final Flame ability of the [[PersonOfMassDestruction Valkyria]]. Valkyrias are bad enough. If they decide they're TakingYouWithMe they'll take out a city in a mushroom cloud.]]
* The old computer game ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'' had the Tiltowait spell.
--> "The effect of this spell is somewhat like the detonation of a small tactical nuclear weapon."
** From the same era, the original ''[[VideoGame/TheBardsTaleTrilogy Bard's Tale]]'' games had a spell named ''Gotterdamurung''. The four-letter codeword used to cast it? "NUKE."
** ''Wizardry VI'' through ''8'' went one better with the Nuclear Blast spell. Description: "A miniature fusion bomb".
* VideoGame/MightAndMagic has the Armageddon spell (whose icon is a mushroom cloud...) it doesn't do that much damage, but it deals damage to ''everything living on the map''; since most NPC's have very little HP it is known as the "Town killer" spell.
** Similarly, ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'' features a spell called Armageddon. It actually can do severe amounts of damage, though not as much as a single-target spell--but, again, the damage is done to every unit on the map, with a few exceptions: the Heroes themselves aren't affected, and any unit immune to fire magic or 4th- or higher-level spells is immune. In addition, units with magic resistance retain their ability to resit it. Finally, in the ''Armageddon's Blade'' expansion pack, the titular weapon is an artifact that, aside from boosting the wielding character's statistics significantly, also places Expert Armageddon in the hero's spellbook (regardless of whether they even have the ability to cast such a high-level spell) ''and makes their units immune to Armageddon''. Ouch.
** The intro to ''Heroes of Might and Magic IV'' shows the result of two extremely-powerful swords (Armageddon's Blade and Sword of Frost) coming into contact with one another. The result is a gigantic explosion with the mushroom cloud seen from space. The world of Enroth is destroyed, forcing the survivors to flee to another world called Axeoth.
*** Given the two facts that the narrator turns out to be an in-universe character, and that basic facts about several of the campaigns ''directly contradicts'' the explosion being ''that'' large (we see it immediately cover areas we know had many survivors that weren't immortal), it is probable that the actual explosion wasn't quite so large, even if the clash of the swords caused the end of the world.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' series has its own Armageddon spell. It empties the planet, save for two or three people, and they are very upset.
* Lots of ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' examples.
** Many summons in ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' arguably qualify. That is, if their damage actually lived up to [[CutscenePowerToTheMax the animation]].
*** Bahamut's "Mega Flare" attack is much like any other dragon's BreathWeapon, except ''he'' breathes ''nuclear explosions''.
*** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', the summon Odin completely annihilated the settlement of Cleyra in a giant explosion (in a [[CutscenePowerToTheMax cutscene]]).
** The well-known "Flare" spell, one of the most powerful ones (excluding summons) in the series, was translated as "NUKE" in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'' for good reason: Flare spells are pretty much a magical nuclear blast; whether this is accomplished by magically fissioning atoms around the opponent or teleporting a piece of the sun or whatever is never really specified.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' had Merton/Meltdown, which kinda looked like a big shockwave. Fire 3, Meteor, and Ultima make really big explosions, too, but Merton takes the nuclear-weapon-firestorm-and-shockwave similarity cake (if not the damage cake) by hitting every target, friend and foe.
*** Storywise, [[BigBad Kefka]] as the [[PhysicalGod god of magic]] had this in the form of the [[LightIsNotGood Light of Judgement]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' had the Enemy Skill BETA, which did massive fire damage to all enemies (4000+, and possible to obtain about a quarter of the way through the first disc). The animation was a mushroom cloud.
*** In-story, the spell Meteor is treated much like a nuclear weapon that a madman has acquired. The phrase Aeris uses for it is even "Ultimate Destruction Magic," sounding similar to the phrase "Weapon of Mass Destruction."
** The animation for the Ultima spell in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' is a (green) fireball burning the center out of a pure white cloud.
** From ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', [[EldritchAbomination Sin]]'s strongest attack, when charged, caused a [[SphereOfDestruction gravitational pull so strong that it ripped up part of the planet's crust, had a visible effect on the moon, and when fired it moved for miles and left no trace of anything it directly touched]].
*** ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2 Final Fantasy X-2]]'' had Vegnagun, which would supposedly inflict the same amount of damage as a nuclear weapon. It was a superweapon designed during the Bevelle-Zanarkand War but never deployed in fear of its destructive potential.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' features Nethicite weapons that qualify for this trope. Furthering the metaphor, Nethicite is also a [[{{Magitek}} potent power source for everyday life]], but the characters forget this due to it's destructive power.
** Series mainstay [[LastDiscMagic Ultima]] has often been rendered as a massive explosion, but in terms of plot impact ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'''s Ultima takes the cake. The spell has only been cast once in the game's lifespan, and it completely destroyed the game's original final dungeon. The act of protecting the heroes from it completely drained the ''goddess'' Hydaelyn, and it took years for her to regain even a fraction of her strength. Appropriately, allowing a second casting to go off in the final boss fight without her protection is a TotalPartyKill enrage mechanic.
* ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryV'' had the aptly named "Thermonuclear Blast", which does ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. Usually, it's just a NonstandardGameOver, but supposedly, casting it while fighting the final boss results in a Nonstandard victory, where the game mentions that you saved the rest of the world at the expense of Crete. However, the last boss fight can be very glitchy, so using the spell usually just crashes the game.
* In ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'', [[PhysicalGod Physical Goddess]] Althena's magic was used to take out another god, [[EarthThatWas devastating the whole planet in the process, such that it would take thousands of years to recover]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'', [[TheDitz Utsuho Reiuji]] throws mini-suns at you and has [[ILoveNuclearPower Nuclear Power]], fitting this trope.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has introduced a few examples.
** The Cipher of Damnation is an ancient incantation capable of causing immense damage to a world. In the hands of Gul'dan, it created a massive volcano tainted by fel energy and severed the connection between Orcs and the elements. This may also be the incantation used by the Eredar seen in Velen's visions, which can level an entire world.
** Blood elves under Kael'thas developed the Mana Bomb. Early versions didn't damage structures but would kill any sentient beings while irradiating the area. The first such bomb was used to wipe out a neutral outpost, while the second was turned on its own creators.
*** Garrosh Hellscream has apparently approved its use in warfare. Using the [[AppliedPhlebotinum Focusing Iris]], a Horde force reduced Theramore to a crater. In fact the blast was so strong that it ''crossed timelines'' and destroyed every version of Theramore that ever exsisted.
** The Forsaken Blight is an even better example, a biological weapon first deployed in a CavalryBetrayal that wiped out a combined force of Alliance and Horde (and even managed to give [[BigBad The Lich King]] a nasty cough... until he started using it himself). Since then, the Horde have banned using it... a ban the Forsaken don't seem to take that seriously at all. The "weaker" Blights they use are still horrifying and have rendered Southshore uninhabitable by anything except sentient slimes for years to come.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' and ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' feature the Mana Cannon. It causes mass destruction (its destroyed all civilization twice, and came damn close to doing so two more times), and leaves vast swaths of areas barren after use, although for different reasons than actual atomic weaponry.
** The Heracles' unnamed main gun in ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' is one as well, looking at the cutscene where it's fired and the PillarOfLight that dwarfs the capital city.
* The Carronade or Hex Cannon from ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'' is one of the more blatant examples seen of the trope. It is powered from the pain and sorrow and despair of human sacrifices who are ''tortured to the point of '''insanity''' first'' and are explicitly selected based on their connection to the target (yes, you're reading this right; it's a FantasticNuke that ''literally'' runs on [[invoked]] NightmareFuel).
** One town depicted as being "Hex Cannoned" requires people to go in with decontamination suits for years after its Fantastic Nuking, (although the harmful to all living things magic that fills the town isn't the only problem, as the town is haunted by ghosts created when the Hex Cannon blast kills people and filled with twisted monsters changed by the hex as well) and is depicted ''explicitly'' as being uninhabitable for at least a year past that point.
** And unsurprisingly, the very thing that causes the GodEmperor of the game to decide that HumansAreBastards is [[spoiler: when ''the very empire he founded uses it on him''...'''WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND AS THE FANTASTIC WARHEAD'''.]] He goes LaughingMad and proceeds to go on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against humanity as a result.
* ''VideoGame/WildArms2'' has a "Nuclear Weapon" being transported that the heros have to stop. It gets released, and it turns out to be a Nuclear Fire Breathing Dragon; which; if not stopped before it takes off in flight; will nuke the country.
* The "Reset Bomb" in ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'' is a powerful weapon that explodes with the force of a nuclear bomb. What differentiates it from other nukes is that instead of simply laying everything in the blast radius to ashes and ruin, it creates a massive twisting forest in its wake.
* The Destroy All spell available to Liches in ''VideoGame/DungeonSiege: Throne of Agony''. The icon is, of course, a mushroom cloud.
* Bring It On Home from ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend''. It summons a flaming Zepplin to crash-land and explode at your location. It's kind of a WaveMotionGun, you're vulnerable while jammin' out the long and complex spell and it has a five minute recharge.
* ''VideoGame/MasterOfMagic'' features the "Call the Void" spell, which sucks an enemy city into the void, with the game effect being much the same as that of a nuke in Civilization.
* After defeating the final boss in ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarIII'', your character makes use of the otherwise inaccessible "Megido" technique in a cutscene to destroy the final DungeonTown.
* One ExpansionPack for ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} II'' features a scenario taking place in the world of Myth/{{Norse myth|ology}}. The equivalent to the Cruise missile is a lightning bolt, and to the Nuclear bomb is a fireball.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', [[spoiler:Anders uses some combination of magic and gunpowder (!) to destroy the Kirkwall Chantry and kill [[NeutralityBacklash Grand Cleric Elthina]] in the final mission, kicking off the Mage/Templar War.]]
** This is essentially what the Breach is in the prologue of the third game, ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''.
* This is how the end of the Old Kingdom is depicted in a flashback during Fable II, when the old Archon wished away the old world in favor of a new, less corrupt one.
* The Rune Wars in the back-story of ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' have some parallels to atomic warfare. Some places are laced with residual magic energy which delivers similar effects to radiation poisoning, for example Kalamanda, the location of the Crystal Scar game map.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'':
** The series typically has actual nukes, but in ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3 Red Alert 3]]'', where a TimeParadox led to them not be invented, the Soviets substituted with the Vacuum Imploder. The Allied campaign also depicted a [[WaveMotionGun intercontinental laser]] mounted inside Mt. Rushmore that in game dialogue implies can wipe out entire cities.
** Even in the main series, only the Brotherhood of Nod uses nukes; GDI has an [[KillSat Ion Cannon]]. Apparently they got some flack for this in-universe, as they banned all nuclear weapons worldwide only to unveil a weapon of equal power shortly thereafter.
* The global mode of ''VideoGame/UniverseAtWar'' depicts all three sides of the game with their own variant this in the form of their Mega Weapons, which when used on an area automatically kills an enemies on the map without needing a battle. The only one to feature in the game's campaign mode is the [[PlanetLooters Hierarchy]]'s [[TripodTerror Purifer]], and gigantic walker that makes even their usual [[HumongousMecha walkers]] look small, which they deploy as the final stage of the invasion of a planet to wipe out an remaining life on it.
* ''VideoGame/GuildWars Prophecies'' ends its [[DoomedHometown tutorial]] with the Charr using Titan magic to cause an event known as the Searing. Flaming crystals rained down across the entirety of Ascalon, destroying cities, shattering the Wall, and transforming the idyllic landscape into a barren wasteland. It took centuries for the land to recover from the resulting damage.
** Only a few days later, Vizier Khilbron used magic from the time of [[spoiler:Abaddon]] to stop a Charr army marching on Orr. The magic caused the Cataclysm, wherein nearly the entirety of the Orr peninsula sank beneath the waves and every living being was transformed into the undead.
* In ''VideoGame/AVeryLongRopeToTheTopOfTheSky'', the God's Eye is an example, [[spoiler:as is unstable saecelium weaponry in general.]]
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' lore, the greatest warriors of the ancient Yokudans ([[{{Precursors}} ancestors]] of the modern Redguards) could use a sword technique known as the Pankratosword. Using it, these warriors (known as [[MasterSwordsman Ansei or "Sword Saints"]]) could "cut the atomos." They claim this is how Yokuda sank beneath the sea, and it is dangerous enough that even the [[PhysicalGod Dunmeri Tribunal deity, Vivec]], backed down when Cyrus threatened to use it[[note]]This was a bluff, and Cyrus did not know how to do it.[[/note]]. [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique This technique is now forbidden]], and quite possibly lost to history as a result. Its use is said to be why most of Yokuda, the original homeland of the Redguard, sank into the ocean. ([[UnreliableNarrator Though other sources state that this is unlikely]], and that the Redguard people left Yokuda to escape much more standard problems, such as a corrupt government.)
* In ''Videogame/PillarsOfEternity'', the Godhammer was an explosive created by various engineers as well as priests of [[WarGod Magran]] in order to destroy [[TheMessiah St. Waidwen, Avatar of Eothas]] after he began invading Dyrwood.
* The Meteor Storm spell in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' is a localized version.
* ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey Untold'' has Gungnir, a weapon designed to neutralize the [[EldritchAbomination Yggdrasil Cores]] before they awaken and wreak havoc upon the world. [[spoiler:The party decides against using it once they learn of the widespread destruction its impact would cause. Given the [[EarthAllAlong setting]], it could very well be an actual nuke.]] In ''Untold 2'', the Alchemist gains a powerful NonElemental skill called "Nuclear Formula", whose description outright states that it uses nuclear fusion to cause an explosion.
* ''VideoGame/MinecraftStoryMode'': The Formidi-Bomb (AKA the [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "F-Bomb"]]) is a powerful explosive developed by Soren considered the only thing capable of destroying the Wither Storm. [[spoiler:While it's capable of severely damaging the Wither Storm and blowing it to pieces, the heroes fail to grab the command block in time, thus causing it to quickly reform.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' introduced something that would later be dubbed as "Infinity Energy" in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire]]''. [[spoiler: It was originally used by the King of Kalos, AZ, 3000 years before the events of ''X and Y''. Much like nuclear energy. It was first used as a weapon to end a war. Violently. Later on it was explored for more peaceful purposes such as being an energy source.]] The most horrific part about Infinity Energy is that [[spoiler: It's actually made from [[PoweredByAForsakenChild the souls of Pokémon]]. Thousands of Pokémon were sacrificed to power AZ's nuke]].
** To a lesser extent. Victini is a mythical Pokémon that can create an infinite amount of energy in its body. This would make it a highly sought after Pokémon.
** A new move in VideoGame/PokemonUltraSunAndUltraMoon, [[spoiler:Light that Burns the Sky]], is basically this. It's exclusive to [[spoiler:Ultra-Necrozma, being its Z-move]], and the end result of the move is a massive explosion.
* In ''Videogame/{{Tyranny}}'', Kyros the Overlord was able to conquer most of the known world in part because they know how to cast Edicts. Edicts are spells of immense power that, when read, inflict horrific disasters on a massive scale. The Edict of Stone turned Cairn, the rebellious Archon of Stone (a powerful being in his own right which just emphasizes how strong Edicts are), into a living statue while turning the entire region around him into a barren wasteland that can't support life. The Edict of Fire turned the Vellum Citadel and the surrounding region into a LethalLavaLand as punishment for the Citadel's Sages hoarding forbidden knowledge against Kyros' law. Even the Sages' time magic could only suspend the damage, not prevent it. The Edict of Storms inflicted typhoon level windstorms and thunderstorms over the land of Stalwart which would continue as long as Stalwart's rebellious line of Regents still existed. A huge part of Kyros' power is the ever looming threat of an Edict. [[spoiler:The Edicts of Malediction (researched in the Spire Library) and Nightfall (given to you by Bleden Mark in the Anarchist Path) are more subtle but arguably even more devastating curses: the first can inflict bad luck on entire cities and the second can trap them in [[TheNightThatNeverEnds eternal night]].]]
* ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'' features the [[TheVirus Filth]]-Bomb that kicks off the events of the game. According to Issue #6, it's actually been adapted from a "Class 1 device," [[LostTechnology Third-Age technology]] capable of providing vast quantities of power, but also of inflicting unimaginable devastation if used without its protective ark - further parallels to nuclear power and radiation. In practice, it's used as the magical equivalent of a Radiological Dispersal Device, spreading the Filth across entire city districts and leaving countless thousands infected - resulting in BodyHorror, SanitySlippage, and all personality being subverted by the nightmarish will of [[EldritchAbomination the Dreamers]]. It's even referred to as a dirty bomb in one of the lore entries, which actually begin with the lines "NOW I AM BECOME DEATH, THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS." Given that it's most famous usage was by an ApocalypseCult in an attack on the Tokyo subways, it's also clearly meant to invoke the sarin gas attacks of 1995. [[spoiler: Though it's later revealed that said ApocalypseCult was actually aiming for Orochi Tower, and had to settle for less when their suicide bomber got caught by a guard and detonated the device a few stops early.]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' has Black Mage's [[KamehameHadoken HADOKEN!]] Which actually managed to take out ''an entire world'' of dinosaurs, yes, now you know what killed them all off.
* Webcomic/GirlGenius has the Hive Engines, some unknown combination of [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke bioengineering]], [[SteamPunk pneumatics]], and [[ClockworkCreature clockworks]], each of which hatches into a hive queen and begins generating prodigious numbers of soldier bugs and [[NotUsingTheZWord revenant]]-[[ZombieApocalypse producing slaver wasps]].
** The Lion, a machine specially built to hard-shutdown Europa's most powerful ([[AIIsACrapshoot and craziest]]) artificially intelligent fortress, has been given something of this treatment as well - it's more like a Fantastic {{EMP}} than a Nuke though.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Heartcore}}'', Volaster turns himself into one via the Blast Bomb spell: letting himself be sliced up by swords, [[BloodMagic shedding enough Salamander Demon blood to]] [[SuicideAttack turn himself into a living bomb powerful enough to vaporize the Beastman capital.]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* During her meeting to obtain her spaceship parts in ''Roleplay/WeAreOurAvatars'', Imca suggested that Aurora could wipe out the Thalmor with a gigantic magic spell as a warning to those who try to take over the world. At first, Aurora thought it was bad because there's the possibility of civilian casualties. Mitch even compared it to the situation that caused America to drop the nukes on Japan.
* In ''Podcast/MetamorCity'' the world's equivalent to World War II ended with the Allied powers using an incredibly powerful spell whose details are still classified a hundred years later to vaporize the heartland of the aggressor nation. Killing millions of people and opening a mana rift that has left the area uninhabitable to ordinary humans ever since. Though it's been overgrown by a strange jungle of new organisms since then.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', Rainbow Dash is capable of a Sonic Rainboom, typically a combination of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin rainbow and sonic boom]]. However, as shown in the episode "Lesson Zero", it seems that if she directs the force at the ground, rather than at generating fancy flightwork, it creates a rainbow explosion, complete with mushroom cloud.
** In "Twilight's Kingdom Part 2", Twilight creates another such cloud during her one-on-one fight with Tirek. As she is [[spoiler:holding the power of four Alicorn Princesses at the time, two of whom are [[PhysicalGod Physical Goddesses]]]], it's pretty {{Justified}}.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfAtlantis'' the B.I.G Corporation want to dig up [[{{Unobtanium}} Oracalc]] to make incredibly destructive bombs that resemble nuclear warheads.
* In the fourth season of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Varrick accidentally creates one by tapping into the power of the spirit vines, first accidentally [[WaveMotionGun releasing the energy as a concentrated beam]] and then [[spoiler: redirecting the energy into a bomb to destroy all of his work so Kuvira won't weaponize it]]. Unfortunately, Kuvira's people are able to continue the project, eventually creating [[spoiler:a giant spirit energy cannon attached to the arm of a 25-story HumongousMecha]]. Similar to actual nukes, Varrick's original goal was to create a source of unlimited clean energy.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'': It's revealed in the episode "Monster Reunion" that [[spoiler:the corruption experienced by Gems such as Centipeetle is actually the result of a vast attack released by the Diamonds as they abandoned Earth. The attack is implied to have caused all Gems left on Earth (with the exception of Rose and those she protected) to go insane and devolve into monstrous versions of themselves.]] The exact nature of the attack hasn't been shown fully on screen, but was first represented as a blinding white flash, and later described as a song.