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Hell on Earth
If Hell is a can, this is what happens when that can is opened.

The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
But woe to the earth and the sea, for the Devil has come down to you with great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!
Revelation 12:9-12, New Revised Standard Version

A subtrope of The End of the World as We Know It, Hell On Earth is what happens when The Legions of Hell decide to invade our world.

Maybe some ancient ritual went horribly wrong (or Just as Planned) and opened a Hellgate, maybe the border between our world and Hell got torn asunder, or maybe our heroes unleashed it themselves by mistake. What the demons want mainly depends on the type of story and the type of demons involved. Whether they want to enslave us, annihilate us, eat us or worse, expect things to get a whole lot worse for anyone who isn't a demon.

As an End of the World scenario, most of the time when this shows up in media, it's an Evil Plan that has to be stopped lest all be lost, and usually does get stopped Just in Time. But in some stories and series, the end has already happened, or happens in story, and now the heroes have to survive and hopefully find a way to either kill the demons or send them back where they came from and make sure that this doesn't happen again.

See Hell Invades Heaven for the one thing worse than this. Not to be confused with Mordor, which is usually just metaphorically Hell on Earth.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Millennium Falcon arc of the Berserk manga has this happening due to Griffith/Femto redirecting the Skull Knight's dimension-warping attack into Shiva, the Eldritch Abomination form of Emperor Ganishka, and using its power to fuse the planes of existence together with the mortal world.
  • Devilman ends this way. The human race is completely annihilated, down to the hero's love interest, her little brother, and the hero himself.
  • In The World God Only Knows, the ultimate goal of the New Hell terrorist organization Vintage is to restore the Weiss (Old Devils) to power and create a new Hell on Earth as the war which resulted in the sealing of the Weiss rendered Old Hell an uninhabitable wasteland.

    Comic Books 
  • This is the backstory of Battle Pope.
  • Hellboy will potentially cause and/or prevent this. Indeed, the second cycle of B.P.R.D. comics is even entitled Hell on Earth.
  • Angel: Inverted: Los Angeles was dragged into Hell instead of vice-versa. Nevertheless, the effect is the same for those trapped there.
  • This is the plot of the Inferno storyline in Marvel, with all New York-based superheroes wrapped up in the madness (though the main storyline happens in the X-Men titles).
    • Though, specifically, it wasn't actually Hell, it was an invasion of demons from the realm of Limbo. In Marvel, there are numerous different types of demons, and Hell (which is itself split into numerous "Splinter Realms") is only home to certain kinds of them. The ones from Limbo are a different batch, though all demons are evil so this was still a pretty bad thing to happen.
  • In the Venom storyline Circle of Four, Blackheart unleashes hell on Los Angeles and attempts to spread it across the world.
  • An issue of JLA had an interesting variation - a gang of renegade angels (not strictly demons, but they were rebelling against God, so make of that what you will) were planning on destroying humanity by bringing heaven to earth. If you're wondering how that would work, it's explained that simply seeing things from heaven in all their glory would be enough to kill mortal men instantly.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Arnold Schwarzenegger movie End of Days focuses on Arnold's character trying to stop a plot to bring Hell to earth.
  • The second Warlock movie has its title character, the son of Satan, trying to bring his master to earth and bring about this scenario.
  • Constantine has Satan's son Mammon and the Big Bad Gabriel trying to bring Hell to Earth.
  • In Swimming to Cambodia, Spalding Gray thinks the world is bad enough as is.
    Spalding: Who needs metaphors for hell, or poetry about hell? This actually happened, here on this earth. Pregnant mothers disemboweled, eyes gouged out. Kids, children, torn apart like fresh bread in front of their mothers. And this went on for years until two million people were either systematically killed or starved to death.
  • Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth. The title is a dead giveaway. Specifically, Pinhead Unbound wants to turn it into a Cenobite hellworld. He continues with this goal in mind in Hellraiser: Bloodline.
  • Demon Knight. Roach doesn't care about Hell on Earth - he's got hemorrhoids.
  • The goal of the Djinn in Wishmaster is to make the world his hellish kingdom, for which he needs to grant three wishes to the one who awakened him to open the portal to the Djinn dimension and unleash their hordes upon mankind.

    Literature 
  • Older Than Feudalism: The Bible: The Biblical Tribulation and Armageddon.
  • Some mythologies say that at the end of time, the dead or damned would overrun the Earth, either leading it to be a utopia (some Native American religions), or signaling the time of Ragnarok (Norse Mythology).
  • In James Blish's Black Easter, the Valley of Death materializes (appropriately enough) at Death Valley.
  • Mike Carey's Felix Castor novels
  • In the Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand, a Slaneeshi cult is trying to turn a planet into a warp portal where daemons can enter the physical plane at will.
  • This is the ultimate plan of The Nameless One in the Griffin's Daughter Trilogy: He plans to open a portal to the demon world and use a magical artifact to turn the demons into his personal army. That the world gets turned into the demons' playground is a bonus for him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • The Wishverse, which was created when Cordelia wished that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, definitely counts as this.
    • Glory intended to use Dawn to get home. This would incidentally cause every other dimension to fuse into earth, leading to massive influx of demons. The Master also intended to open the Hellmouth to cause this.
  • Angel''s fourth season featured the Beast blotting out the sun, making L.A. a haven for vampires.
    • And the end of season 5 and After The Fall gave us the Hell-A demon playground, at least until it was undone.
    • According to both Buffy herself - after her trip to Heaven-, and a dead lawyer representing Wolfram & Hart in his speech to Angel, Earth is Hell, at least for all intents and purposes. It is Crapsack World with all the usual crime and poverty and wars and so on that make it imperfect enough in itself, but it is also run by a conspiracy of demons who are engineering all these things as well as the apocalypse For the Evulz (in fact, the apocalypse is already underway- the heroes were so distracted the bad guys had to tell them You Are Too Late), to say nothing of all the unaligned vampires and monsters and demons who just murder and maim for their own private jollies.
  • In Supernatural, Sam breaks the final seal by killing Lilith and Lucifer is unleashed from his imprisonment. Lucifer's intention is to do this, making Hell on Earth. Ironically the demons aren't to be a part of it, as the Archangel absolutely despises them and wants to wipe them out along with the humans, so he can preserve his Father's last flawless creation.

     Tabletop Games  
  • In the fan-made Feng Shui adventure, "The Day the Human Race Died," a critical shift results in Hell On Earth as the demons take over and round up humans in concentration camps to be exterminated. One of the PCs is even the commandant of one of the camps, and sweet little Shih Yet Kwai, who the PCs rescued from a Serial Killer in a previous adventure, pulls a Sarah Connor and becomes the leader of the human resistance against the demons. The heroes have to battle a demon worshipping ninja cult aboard the Titanic as it's about to get sunk in order to get things back to normal.
  • Obviously, Deadlands: Hell on Earth. The demons in question were the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
  • Warhammer. The poles of the Warhammer planet are literal gates of Hell.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has daemons of Chaos invading mortal worlds every now and then, either because of a Warp Storm, an unfortunate psyker getting possessed, or simply because the daemons managed to tear a rift in reality. Unless the Inquisition manages to stop the daemonic incursion, things tend to get very, very bad for the inhabitants of the unfortunate world. Even if the incursion is contained, things tend to get bad for the inhabitants of the world, as the Inquisition usually judges them to be tainted by Chaos and purges them all, just in case.
    • To make things worse, because the number of psykers born is increasing every year, and the Astronomican (Humanity's source for Faster-Than-Light Travel) is losing power, daemonic incursions are becoming more and more common. One fifth of the galaxy overlaps with the Warp.
  • In Magic: The Gathering we have the Phyrexian invasion. After a certain point, the invasion continued by way of physically overlaying another plane, filled with millions of demonic soldiers, onto Dominaria. Fortunately, Urza had been running The Plan across thousands of years to prepare but it very nearly wasn't enough. The Phyrexians would later go on to infect the plane of Mirrodin, with much better results if you're a Phyrexian.
  • In Exalted, the Yozis are trying to cause an unusually literal form of this trope. Thanks to their surrender oaths, they're physically incapable of leaving Hell...so their big plan is to have their agents corrupt all Creation until it's indistinguishable from Hell, thus rendering the distinction moot. (Or at least, on paper. The real plan the mastermind of the above plan has is to sneak out alone and shut the door behind him... He'll still do Hell On Earth, of course, but just for his amusement.)

    Video Games 
  • Doom II: Hell On Earth has this right in the title, and the plot involves a demonic takeover of Earth and the hero having to get everyone else off the planet and find a way to close the portal the demons are using, kicking ass on every demon in sight along the way.
  • The entries in the Silent Hill series which involve the Order and its God imply that a successful birth of God would result in Hell on earth. Whether or not this is possible is actually questionable, but the easy assumption is that the result would resemble the Otherworld, so none of the protagonists ever feel inclined to let it happen and find out.
    • Well, it depends on which part of the Order you listen to. Some think their god will bring about Paradise (above-said Otherworld, which may or may not simply reflect an individual's or group's psyche), while others think the Hell On Earth will simply be the purifying flames that will ready the "wicked world" for the TRUE Paradise... Considering that their beliefs are a mish-mosh of evangelical Christianity, apocryphal pseudo-demonology and misapplied Native American beliefs, and there are a minimum of three distinct sub-cults within the Order and the entire town might possibly also have simply been driven mad by hallucinogenic drugs that were smoked up in a fire/explosion or any other number of effects (it's that kind of series), it's no wonder there's such a broad selection of interpretations.
  • Hell A Cyberpunk Thriller
  • Warcraft III, Diablo, and Hellgate: London. All by the same folks. note 
  • Shin Megami Tensei.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, you can make Earth into Hell. As in, a world for demons until the next Conception occurs.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, a Negative Space Wedgie known as the Schwarzwelt is spreading across the Earth and a research team is sent in to investigate. What they find inside is an Ironic Hell representing humanity's sins, filled with demons whose leaders are hostile at best towards humanity. The angels who oppose the demons are just as bad.
    • Devil Survivor has a contained outbreak within the Yamanote Loop. In two endings, demonkind breaks out of Tokyo into the rest of the world, either under the Protagonist's command and making war against the angels, or uncontrolled and free to wreak havoc upon the weak.
  • Darksiders
  • Infernals and Hell terrain the Fall from Heaven mod for Civilization 4.
  • Technically it's not Earth, but this is what Zenon's Curse does in Disgaea 2.
  • Tales of Monkey Island: More like "Hell on the Caribbean" in Chapter 5, since LeChuck has regained his voodoo powers after killing Guybrush and has captured Elaine. And since Guybrush isn't around to stop him, the villain not only pillages and plunders the islands in the Gulf of Melange, but he also destroys Spinner Cay, damages Flotsam (where Guybrush has fallen, though his decaying body survives intact in Club 41), slaughters many people and some Vaycaylians (and a few animal species), and sets fire to many islands, creating his own Villain World that is right between Class 0 and Class 1. (It gets a bit worse when the Crossroads are opened, and he becomes a Demon Pirate God.) Thankfully, the entire Gulf of Melange starts getting better once Guybrush comes Back from the Dead and destroys him once and for all.
  • In The Secret World, areas near hellgates.

    Webcomics 
  • Sluggy Freelance: The story "That Which Redeems". The world the demons invade is otherwise so nice and correct that one of the subchapters is titled "BLEEP on Earth."

    Web Original 
  • Inverted in The Salvation War. Hell breaks into Earth, Earth pushes them back and breaks into Hell.

    Western Animation 
  • On one episode of Disney's Hercules, Hades tricks Poseidon into diverting the river Styx so that Athens becomes part of the Underworld, and turns Herc's school into an Ironic Hell.
  • Shows up in Teen Titans, of all places — creating this is the goal of season four's Big Bad, and he actually succeeds, frying the planet to an ash-choked cinder populated by demons and killing all the mortal inhabitants (or turning them to stone, which isn't exactly better, and might even be worse). Mercifully, the effects are reversed by the Anti Anti Christ, an Enemy Mine team-up, and much awesome.
  • In the episode of The Simpsons where Homer thinks that the Apocalypse is occurring after watching a parody of the Left Behind films, no one actually believes him, and as a result one night, Homer actually imagines himself going to Heaven and notice this happening to Earth on one of God's monitors.
    • Before that, there is also the episode where the family falls asleep through church and dreams themselves into biblical stories- when they awake, they find everyone else has left, and are embarrased, but Homer shrugs it off saying "its not the end of the world." As soon as they open the door, they find that- yes, it is.


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