One of the easiest ways to indicate that a major, Earth-changing event has taken place is to show a city half-sunken, with buildings at unsafe and possibly nausea-inducing cants. This is sometimes the result of a Green Aesop
about Global Warming
, but more often it's just used to show that something is not right
in the story's setting.
Given the natural fears that arise in an island nation, this happens to Japan a lot
May be the result of California Collapse
Anime and Manga
- For a time, Aquaman was based in Sub Diego: a portion of San Diego that was submerged in an attempt to convert humans into subaquatic beings. The population consisted of a mix of these altered humans and Atlantian refugees.
- Tangent Comics: the city of New Atlantis was founded atop the ruins of Atlanta, Georgia, after the Florida peninsula was destroyed in Earth-9's version of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- Buenos Aires in Conciencia y Voluntad, also with many other major coastal cities.
- The 1987 novel Drowning Towers (or The Sea and the Summer) by George Turner describes a future in which Melbourne was partially submerged in water. As the tops of sky scrapers are above the water level, they are still inhabited by the cities' poorer classes.
- In Dark Life, any city that is coastal in our time has become this.
- In The Lord of the Isles, it seems like you can't turn around without without running into a sunken city or island. They don't always stay sunken, either, what with all the wizards running around.
- In The Kill Order, Mark often flashes back to living in a skyscraper, because the city was flooded with scorching water after the solar flares melted the ice caps.
- Sunken City (possibly the Trope Namer) in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, flooded not by rising seawater (it's quite far from the ocean) but by melting snow from the mountains.
- Most of eastern New York State is at least half underwater in Superhero League of Hoboken. Global warming is to blame. A good part of the game is figuring out how to get to the flooded parts of the city, then to the open water, to reach new locations.
- The city of Thor in Tales of Phantasia sunk 2000 years prior to the events of the game due to a meteor crash. It's still, however, relatively dry and functional thanks to Aska's power. The protagonists actually get to rise it back to surface on the trip down there (and get elected as the new president to do this).
- In Dark Souls, the city of New Londo is half submerged in water, and mostly populated by homicidal ghosts. It turns out that the city was flooded by the Three Healers when the Darkwraiths (humans feeding on "Humanity" and becoming twisted by the Dark) began to get out of control and the Abyss began to take shape beneath New Londo: flooding the city sealed both of those up and put a stop to the spread of the Abyss.
- Dark Souls 2 has a couple: the realm of Heide is almost completely submerged by the sea, with only a couple of towers still habitable above the water. The Iron Keep is likewise sunken... in lava. The Old Iron King became too greedy, and built his castle too high; the castle (suggested to be pure iron) got really, really heavy and partially sank into the volcano the King had insisted it be built on.
- The Crystal Key has the Arkonian capital city of Suralon, which was almost completely submerged when the evil psychic Ozgar bombarded it with his gravity-altering satellites. Naturally, the people there evacuated the place while it was sinking.
- In Anno 2070, set after a massive global warming event, has city ruins occasionally located on underwater plateaus. They can be harvested for building materials.