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Apocalypse How / Class 0

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Apocalypse How
0 | 1 | 2 | 3a, 3b | 4 | 5 | 6
X | X-2 | X-3 | X-4 | X-5 | Z

"You could watch me torture an entire city. And then, when you have truly understood the depths of your failure, we will fulfill Ra’s Al Ghul’s destiny. We will destroy Gotham. And then, when it is done, when Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die."

Societal Disruption or Collapse on a Regional scale. If it is a large nation, then worldwide economic damage lasting decades can result. In these cases, it may be possible to escape at least the worst of the damage by moving to an area that has not been affected, although a significantly large migration may produce refugee crises in areas neighboring the affected region. A worldwide event can also qualify for this level if the death toll and damage is not enough to qualify for Class 1 by not killing a significant fraction of the world population. This is where your average, casual, "Would I survive this kind of apocalypse?" question arises most often, although it can also arise at Class 1 or even Class 2, rather than "I wonder if there's anything more than smoking ashes?"


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    Multiple Media 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The shockwaves created by the title character in AKIRA. One takes out the center of Tokyo. Then it happens again. In the entire series, it happens 2.5 times.
  • In the third arc of Bio-Meat: Nectar, 90% of Japan's population has been eaten alive by the eponymous creatures and there are only two populated cities left. By the end of the series, the only city left is Osaka.
  • On the Blue Night in Blue Exorcist, many high-level exorcists suddenly combust into bright blue flames. This changes the exorcist population and hierarchy significantly.
  • Cell in Dragon Ball Z absorbed the life force of entire towns' residents and while searching for Android 18, and blew up dozens of islands. He also wipes out an entire military fleet. Nappa does the same earlier on, and he and Vegeta also blow up part of an Earth city shortly after arriving.
  • In Earth Maiden Arjuna, Japan's entire water supply is polluted by chemicals held in plastic containers dissolved by evil bacteria.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • The Big Bad rips out the souls of everyone in Amestris save for a handful of people in his inner sanctum. The souls are returned to the bodies in the next chapter, though.
    • Legends tell of the advanced city of Xerxes, deep in the desert, that was wiped out in a single night some five hundred years before the story's setting. It's eventually revealed that Xerxes was destroyed by a smaller-scale version of the ritual described above, and the souls of the Xerxeans were used to transform both Father and Von Hohenheim into living philosophers' stones.
  • Gundam loves this!
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam, Zeon's "Operation British" — the Colony Drop to take out Jaburo — ends up being diverted and half of the colony lands on Sydney, Australia, wiping out 16% of the colony. As well, the narration mentions that the first week of fighting saw both sides losing half their respective population.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam 0083, the Delaz Fleet performs a Colony Drop on North America, intending on wiping out its food supply. Didn't really work — they were back on their feet by the time of Zeta Gundam.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Neo Zeon drops a colony on Dublin, Ireland in a show of power!
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, ZAFT radicals drop the ravaged remains of Junius Seven on Earth, causing the Break the World incident that ravages the planet.
  • In most arcs of Higurashi: When They Cry, the Great Hinamizawa Disaster causes the entire village to be wiped off the map, with additional fallout as former residents go crazy across Japan.
  • In My Hero Academia, the advent of Quirks caused massive societal upheaval across the world, completely redefining what it meant to be human as conflicts rose everywhere. Eventually, the chaos died down and society stabilized, but the resulting destruction stagnated technological development to the point that humanity could have been going on interstellar vacations if resources weren't allocated to restoring society.
    • There's the implication that several countries were outright destroyed by the Quirks going wild, and the ones still thriving in the modern times are due to strict regulations being enforced early on.
  • In One Piece, the World Government has caused this at least twice:
    • The first known instance is their naval forces' Buster Call, an unrelenting barrage of heavy firepower with the goal of killing every last person in the targeted region. This was used to wipe out Ohara, a country renowned for forbidden research.
    • Another case is the kingdom of Flevance, which had large deposits of valuable and useful white lead underground. This white lead would prove to be an extremely slow-acting incurable poison through mere exposure when above ground, however. Once the epidemic broke out in Flevance, the World Government quarantined the kingdom, leaving its entire population to die and erasing the country off the map. That being said, had the World Government not hoarded all of the white lead and it was freely distributed around the world as originally intended, white lead disease could've caused a higher apocalypse, up to a Class 3b.
    • Doflamingo attempts this with his own country, Dressrosa, as the truth of his reign and his dark deeds become common knowledge among the populace, in order to 'curb the secret then and there'. He enacts the Birdcage and later attempts to constrict it so that everyone on his island die, along with his crew. Thankfully due to the efforts of the Straw Hats and the gladiators, the most he could manage is structural destruction, with the narration stating they will be able to rebuild, but are much more happier and free from getting rid of such a genocidal ruler.
    • Played with during Fishman Island for a rare positive example. Madame Shyarly predicts that Luffy will "destroy Fishman Island". While she is correct, what he ultimately destroys is the status quo where they're content to hide away from humans at large and inspires them to seek coexistence and become a more prominent part of the larger world. Although there's still the possibility of the island being destroyed later in the story.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, this is what happens in the aftermath of most of Homura's timelines as a result of Walpurgis Night's rampage through Mitakihara Town before being defeated. It's implied that were Walpurgis not stopped, she would eventually score higher on this scale.
  • The Overdrive disaster in Rave Master destroyed what was thought to be one-tenth of the world. They later found out the world was bigger than they thought, but it still wiped a decent sized country off of the map.
  • In the manga of Sands of Destruction, Kyrie accidentally causes a couple of these. He isn't happy about it at all. The anime has him keep better control of his powers and averts this trope until the final episode, when he nearly causes a Class 6 before Morte asks him to stop; it's unclear how much damage he did, whether he just killed Aquilla Rex and a few mooks or if there's a larger area of destruction.
  • Several characters in Slayers are capable of Class 0 apocalypses. Lina Inverse routinely uses her Dragon Slave, a spell that is capable of reducing cities to rubble (she also has access to more powerful magic). Rezo the Red Priest was also able to destroy the Holy City of Sairaag with a Mega Brand spell (the most powerful use of that spell by any character).
  • Z in the 3rd Tenchi Muyo!! OVA series does this, firing the Chobimaru at Earth with Tenchi failing to stop it. When the timeline's reset and Noike does it again to set things right, a much stronger Tenchi is able to stop it... though he ends up "dying" again, much to his displeasure.
  • In the manga version of Violence Jack, the Kanto area of Japan was destroyed by an earthquake that was caused by the battle between Satan and Devilman and had been separated from the mainland.

    Comic Books 
  • In Peter Bagge's Apocalypse Nerd, Seattle is nuked by North Korea, and centers around two friends as they try to survive in the wilds of the Cascade Mountains. Background information provided by other characters states that the government has quarantined the area, and the rest of the country has gone unaffected.
  • An issue of The Authority features a swarm of alien creatures that are launched at Earth. They can't fly, though, so their landing in Japan is "just blind luck".
  • The small island nation of Genosha was destroyed completely during House of M, and as of now, is unpopulated and in ruins.
  • During Infinite Crisis, the city of Bludhaven is completely destroyed when the Secret Society of Super Villains drops Chemo on it. In a later story, the place is so toxic that both Batman and Robin need Hazmat suits to enter; it is likely beyond saving.
  • In Marvel's The New Universe, the wielder of the Star Brand accidentally obliterates Pittsburgh while trying to destroy the Star Brand itself. The crater is 15 miles deep and 50 miles across - and everything within it was utterly annihilated. Beyond that line, there's massive destruction from the blast itself, plus some nasty long-term effects from the Star Brand's unique energy.
  • This type of apocalypse is part of Ozymandias' master plan in Watchmen. A hybridized squidlike creature is dropped into New York and set to instantly detonate psychic energy, wiping out most of the city's population. We see by the end that a chunk of the population has survived, but the devastation is so immense and confusing that the previously warring America and Russia band together to face the potential threat.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Conversion Bureau: Not Alone, large parts of South Africa in and outside of Johannesburg have been swept clean of human civilization, the rest of the country is plummeting into fascism, and the rest of the world ends up deeply scarred by the possibility of inter-dimensional pony conquest, making it a borderline Class 1 example.
  • In the Everfree Infection AU, sentient mammalian life in the land of Equestria is facing an existential threat in the form of a highly infectious fungus that produces aggression, followed by the growth of more fungus spores from infected remains. While the infection is affecting a wide portion of Equestria, semi-canon material depicts the infection making the jump into alternate universes when ponies contact them in search of a solution.
  • In Everything Into Darkness, the plot is kicked off by a Class 0 being unleashed upon Iwatodai via Ikutsuki setting loose dragons on the city from a gate beneath Tartarus, and inadvertently sending most of SEES to Elibe as a side effect.
  • Miraculous: Uncertain Future: Hawk Moth has destroyed Paris and turned it into a wasteland with nobody left but her akumatized villains and any heroes who managed to survive.
  • The Night Unfurls: Should Shamuhaza be left alive to continue his endeavour of uncovering the Eldritch Truth, the country of Eostia would be doomed to suffer under the Beast Plague (approximately a Class 0), like Yharnam, Loran, and ancient Pthumeru before it. Luckily subverted as he is put down in Chapter 22, with the country mostly intact.
  • In the Magical Girl Crossover Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights, both Tomoeda and Cinq Lumieres undergo complete destruction, with the titular phenomenon as a sign of just how bad things have gotten.
  • In Sixes and Sevens, Anthea recounts how she witnessed Hela and Odin battle in ancient Minoa, the fallout of which caused the eruption of Thera (Santorini) and their entire civilization to be wiped out.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Frozen, as a result of Elsa's Power Incontinence, the entire kingdom of Arendelle ended up being struck by an Endless Winter in the middle of summer. The winter is played up even more when Elsa gets informed that she accidentally froze her kingdom where in a moment of panic, she ended up setting the kingdom to a giant snowstorm, causing multiple casualties and famines to the point that they decided that the only way to put a stop to the whole winter is to sentence their former queen to death.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 28 Days Later, which sees the complete destruction of Great Britain by a mutant virus — in fact, it's implied that Britain was deliberately quarantined (and lied to about the extent of the disaster) because it's an island and at least The Virus could be contained there.
    • The sequel, 28 Weeks Later, shows the reestablishment of a small community of merely 15,000 people in London and its destruction. During the credits, the infected are shown escaping into Paris, suggesting that we may have moved into a Class 1. Or at least a much larger scale Class 0 (The whole of Europe).
  • Arachnophobia. The first generation of ridiculously deadly spiders are sterile, but a spider expert points out that the second generation will be able to reproduce, which would begin as a Class 0 (the spiders kill everyone in town) but eventually escalate to a Class 4, because nothing would be able to stop the spiders from killing and eating most higher life forms on earth.
  • Armageddon (1998). While a direct hit of the asteroid would be Class 6 or X, the smaller chunks that reached Earth beforehand wiped out a couple of cities.
  • At the end of Cabin Fever, a Class 0 appears to have been narrowly averted, as the posse shows up to clean up after our intrepid heroes succumb to a flesh-eating virus. This lasts until we see the body of the first guy seen with the virus lying bleeding in a river, which is harvested for bottled water, implying a true Class 0 or 1 somewhere down the line.
  • Cloverfield. May range up close to a Class 1, seeing as how the monster is still alive at the end, and while it might not keep rampaging, it sure as heck doesn't seem like anyone can stop it. Word of God, however, has stated that the big nasty bit it.
  • The Dark Knight Rises has Bane turn the core of a fusion reactor into an atom bomb, determined to level the whole of Gotham City with it to avenge Ra's al Ghul.
  • The Day After Tomorrow sends America and Europe into a deep freeze including mile-high glaciers. By the time they understand the gravity of the situation, Canada and Alaska are already essentially doomed. Fortunately, everyone else in the US is able to move to Mexico. The British, on the other hand, are left to perish with dignity, while Australia suffers largest typhoons ever recorded.
  • Deep Impact, which only saw the East Coast destroyed by a massive tidal wave; it also mentions Europe and Western Africa being destroyed, and a view from space shows the Caribbean islands having more than a little problem on their hands.
  • In Doomsday a deadly plague, known as the "Reaper Virus", has broken out in Great Britain, killing hundreds of thousands in its wake.
  • Many of the Godzilla films.
  • Monsters (2010): Northern Mexico and the border region are infested by giant-sized extraterrestrial fauna that leave a lot of Urban Ruins.
  • In the early-1970's Japanese movie Nippon Chimbotsu (Japan Sinks), which was remade in 2006, the entire Japanese archipelago is destroyed, Atlantis-style, by a series of massive earthquakes, tidal waves and volcanic eruptions triggered by shifts in the tectonic plates on which the islands rest. The survivors are evacuated literally worldwide.
  • Riot Girls: Due to a viral pandemic, all the adults were killed, with society having collapsed at least in the area where the film's set. Only the town is mentioned, so we don't learn of how far this extended.
  • Shaun of the Dead has an unknown number of people zombified, but few enough. The UK manages to get back up on its feet and uses the zombies as cheap labor in retail chains, as well as unwitting participants in game and talk shows. Think zombies in 'Wipe Out'.
  • The 1973 adventure film Sannikov Land is set on an island warmed by a volcano. When the volcano goes to sleep, the island becomes as frozen as the rest of the Arctic, and everyone on it will die.
  • Lex Luthor's ultimate plan in Superman: The Movie is to trigger a Class 0 by sinking California and driving up real estate prices.
  • The 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) has Gort in the form of a grey goo take out roughly a third of the US. Klaatu stops it with a pulse, presumably wiping out at least tens of thousands more relying on electricity. If the pulse is permanent, then it may be a Class 2.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction involves Galvatron's plan to blow up The Seed in the densely populated city of Hong Kong, which is said to have the range of a tactical nuke. And if that isn't bad enough, when he's done he's probably going to turn this Class 0 into a Class 1 or even Class 2 by extending the new problems to the rest of the planet with his shiny new robot army.

  • This is the subject of many of the "eco-horror" novels of the '70s and '80s, which dealt with swarms of poisonous insects and arachnids, rats, amphibians, reptiles and just about every creepy creature that exists. A good example of one of these novels is The Spiders by Richard Lewis (a pseudonym for novelist Alan Radnor). Briefly: a new, highly destructive species of spider emerges in the English countryside; larger than any kind of spider ever seen, it has macerating jaws designed for eating flesh, is deadly poisonous and a pack hunter. The horde of arachnids begins to spread out and eventually takes over London, causing unprecedented loss of life, chaos, riots and, ultimately, abandonment of the city and most of the southern part of the English isle (including Wales). By the time researchers figure out a way to destroy the species, the damage is done and it will presumably take the region decades to recover. Most eco-horror novels had a similar plot to The Spiders.
  • Alas, Babylon is somewhere between Class 0 and Class 1, in that the US and USSR engaged in large scale nuclear war that decimated their respective populations, but left the third world more or less intact. The majority of the US is knocked back to 19th century technology, and using wheat for something as trivial as making alcohol would get you lynched.
  • In Robert Ferrigno's Assassin Trilogy New York and Washington DC have been nuked by terrorists fifteen years before the first book as well as Mecca being radiated by a dirty bomb. When it's revealed that elements of Israel's government were behind this Israel is destroyed in the backlash and a civil war results in a Divided States of America.
  • By the Waters of Babylon: It's probably this level at least, with the US having been destroyed in the past, New York City left a ruin and tribal humans living nearby who view it as a forbidden place where gods lived. This may well be more widespread, though John in the story only knows of his region.
  • In Carrie, a prom night prank causes Carrie to unleash the psychic powers she had been developing upon the town of Chamberlain. By the time all is said and done, the high school where the prom was held is blown to kingdom come, and much of the town is razed to the ground.
  • At the end of Ciaphas Cain: Caves of Ice, the Valhallans detonate an impromptu fuel-air bomb composed of several million liters of refined promethium poured into mine shafts, with the intent of destroying a Necron tomb. This results in a gigaton-range blast that buffets their orbiting troopship. Meets the minimum requirements by dint of obliterating the only civilization on the planet (the refinery).
  • Happens in both timelines in Wolfgang Jeshke's The Cusanus Game. In the main timeline a nuclear disaster in France's Cattenom reactor renders much of Germany uninhabitable. In the offshoot the same thing happens in California due to the 1906 California earthquake.
  • Adron's Disaster, from the Dragaera series, reduced the Empire's capital city to a miles-wide sea of raw chaos, and kicked off a continent-disrupting Interregnum whose impact on society is still being felt.
  • A background event of David Brin's Existence is Awfulday which was the setting off of a couple of "dirty bombs" in Washington DC.
  • Gods and Warriors: At the end of The Burning Shadow, the island of Thalakrea is destroyed when its volcano erupts. The next book, which takes place seven months later, reveals that a great cloud of ash has blotted out the Sun for the entire winter and plunged Mediterranean into perpetual twilight. The island of Keftiu (Crete) to the south of Thalakrea was hit by a tidal wave and is ravaged by a plague. It's also acknowledged that if the spring goes by without the Sun, the crops will die and cause even more famine. Fortunately, the Sun starts shining again by the end of the book.
  • Green Angel is a post-apocalyptic tale that begins when an extremist group called the Horde blows up a city. As the fallout settles, the Horde works outward to spread its Luddite-esque beliefs throughout an undetermined but considerable region.
  • The disaster preceding the events in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is a Class 0 or a Class 1, leading to a dystopia in the United States, but there are hints the rest of the world isn't as dramatically affected.
  • Rail Station Attendant from Harda Horda anthology, despite ostensibly being set After the End, is still a glowing case of Class 0. While society was disrupted and reshaped in a dramatic fashion on the global scale, it happened over the course of decades, one step at a time, and there was not a single big, dramatic event, aside maybe Mount Aso erupting and causing harsh winters for a few years, but that's just in Japan. For a post-apocalyptic world, it's not really that bad, with clear signs of the situation's slow, but steady improvement. Probably most notable, the local rail line, used by tourists visiting Mount Fuji continued to operate and tourists kept coming, meaning people still had enough stability to bother with pure leisure.
  • The plot of Will McIntosh's Hitchers is kicked off by a terrorist attack on Atlanta involving anthrax that winds up killing 600,000 people.
  • Indexing: The first incident that was solved:
    we're supposed to get some time off after we stop a fairy tale from rewriting a major metropolitan area into an evil, R-rated version of Disney World. "New and improved! Now with extra incest and murder!"
  • In a unique case of literal Societal Collapse, virtually the entire population of the Yugoslavian city of Podujevo dies when the giant humanoid figure they've assembled themselves into topples over in Clive Barker's "In The Hills, The Cities". The fate of their one-time rivals in the city of Popolac is not stated, but given that they too are amassed into a giant humanoid figure that has gone insane from the horror of Podujevo's fate, it's unlikely that city fared any better.
  • In Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw's Jam, a regional Class 5 happens to Australia as the eponymous substance is accidentally unleashed upon the continent, and swallows every organic being that isn't above ground level.
  • Allan Steele's Jericho Iteration takes place about six moths after a massive earthquake leveled much of St. Louis.
  • Last and First Men: The Early First Men often suffer Urban to Regional and occasionally Continental Extinction events, mostly due to the use of advanced chemical weapons — nerve gas on steroids, for instance, wipes out most of Europe's population in its war with America, while an engineered plague designed to destroy higher nervous functions later devastates China.
  • Sergey Lukyanenko's Линия Грёз, as set in the Master of Orion universe, features several varieties of planet-scale destruction. As most races in the conflict span over multiple systems, those attacks are Class 0. This might of course instantly move up to class 5 or 6 if the species in question has been reduced to inhabiting only one planet (usually their native one) or the attacks are directed against all planets inhabited by the fraction simultaneously. Luk'yanenko avoids the topic of pre-space age species; in the games it's possible to find native sentient life on generally life-friendly planets. Wiping those aborigines out is discouraged, though, as they turn into an agricultural boon for the race to settle on the planet. Examples of destruction:
    • Massive biological weapon bombardments employed by the human Empire during the last great interspecies war on Bul-Rathi planets.
    • Human free hunters carry a small antimatter payload, which they are supposed to drop if they happen to get close enough to any hostile inhabited planet.
    • The human Empire goes for planet-wide meson bombardment on planets that are about to be conquered by an alien race and indefensible at the current tactical situation. Several decades later a refugee remarks that there is hope for her homeworld — the oceans are about to stop boiling.
    • A large bomber spaceship is sacrificed during an orbital battle above a planet for tactical reasons. As the battle itself ends, the ship is damaged beyond salvaging and is left to drop to the surface without disarming the payload. This results in boiling the oceans, melting the crust to glass-like results and irradiating the entire planet. The scattered and partly exploded bombs embedded in the glassed crust make the planet completely uninhabitable.
  • Sergey Lukyanenko's Веллесберг / Лорд с планеты Земля shared universe features a quark fission bomb which slowly turns a planet into fine dust. While the planet in question is Earth, humanity has already settled all over the galaxy, using time travel to found colonies in the past, placing this example here in Class 0.
  • From Motel of the Mysteries, the complete burial of North America in accumulated junk mail would rank near the top of the Class 0 category. Technically it ought to be a Class 1, if the rest of the planet was set back so far that they forgot what a "motel" (or, worse, a toilet!) is; because the whole book's just one long Running Gag, however, let's avoid living out Contrived Stupidity Tropes, and evaluate it by the direct physical effects of this lame-o disaster.
  • In John Barnes Mother of Storms there is a background incident called "The Flash" that happened ten years previous to the beginning of the book that refers to a terrorist nuking of Washington DC.
  • The cometary impact at the end of Newton's Cannon did this to a major chunk of Europe.
  • William R. Forstchen's One Second After has the US hit by a massive EMP resulting in a collapse of society and, in the end a Divided States of America. Iran and North Korea are nuked in retaliation although it's implied that they may not have done it.
  • In The Passage and it's sequels the vampire plague only affected North America. A quarantine kept it from spreading further.
  • Princess Ponies: a Regional one will occur if the eight golden horseshoes maintaining Chevalia aren't returned to the Whispering Wall by Midsummer's Day. The entire island will sink into the sea and be destroyed.
  • Second Apocalypse: The first apocalypse happened long ago, when the Inchoroi created the No-God in an attempt to kill all but 144,000 souls in Earwa and thereby sever its connection to the afterlife. Although the No-God was destroyed, the resulting catastrophe obliterated the Great North and caused all births to be stillborn for 13 years afterward. Since then, the backwater Three Seas region has risen to become the center of human civilization, while the North is a wasteland still swarming with the Inchoroi's Sranc.
  • Subverted in Septimus Heap, as the Darke Domaine that overruns the Castle in Darke eventually is contained with few victims.
  • In Adam Sternbergh's Shovel Ready a dirty nuke was set off in Times Square ten years previous to the books beginning rendering about half the city uninhabitable.
  • The Silmarillion has the destruction of Númenor by Eru. Morgoth's triumph just before the end of the First Age may also count, and the destruction of Beleriand in the War of Wrath definitely does.
  • In "The Stones Are Hatching", British civilisation is shown to have mostly collapsed, with people reverting to Pagan practices out of fear, due to being attacked by hundreds, perhaps thousands of supernatural monsters. Because of the size of the Stoor Worm, it can be reasonably assumed that the same is occurring in mainland Europe.
  • The eponymous disaster in Harry Turtledove's Supervolcano Eruption which wipes out large chunks of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana as well as smaller pieces of Utah and Colorado. However it's stated that the aftereffects have the potential to become at least a Class 1. There is also a nuclear exchange between Israel and Iran that further complicates matters.
  • Survivor Dogs begins with the Big Growl. It's a huge earthquake that caused most of the local humans to evacuate. To dogs, this is an apocalyptic-level disaster. It doesn't help that they see it as a sign that the gods are mad and the next big international (dog) war will occur.
  • The apocalypse in Tailchaser's Song doesn't seem to be worldwide, but it's hard to tell because the world is scaled down to a cats POV. It affects a few regions and that's all.
  • "The Tamarisk Hunter": The unending drought "Big Daddy Drought" along with the loss of water rights have destroyed much of the Southwestern US.
  • At one point in Thief of Time, The Pete Best of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse reminisces on how most of the "gigs" they did at the dawn of civilization were of this type, with small villages or tribes being wiped out or forced to relocate. Someone's world is always ending, especially if your "world" doesn't extend much past the village.
  • The Third World War might be a Class 0, as Birmingham and Minsk are destroyed by nuclear weapons.
  • Under the Dome by Stephen King is a very small example of this as only one small town in Maine is affected.
  • In John Birmingham's Without Warning, a strange energy bubble spreads over North America, annihilating all primates and a seemingly random selection of other chordate species (for instance pigs get wiped out, deer do fine) on the continent save for Alaska a small portion of the Pacific Northwest and about the southern third of Mexico. Another Class 0 happens later when Israel is forced to use its nuclear arsenal to fend off an Arab invasion.
  • Jakob van Hoddis' expressionist poem Worlds End is hard to classify, mainly because it is an Apocalypse Lol. Floods, train wrecks and sneeze.
  • The Years of Rice and Salt. The Black Death was 90+ % fatal between the Volga and the Atlantic, depopulating Europe in the 1300s. The book covers the next 6 centuries of how the other civilizations go on without Western civilization's interventions and contributions.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer's destruction of Sunnydale when it's sucked into a crater.
  • Doctor Who: In an alternate timeline in "Turn Left" where the Doctor dies in the early 21st century, a nuclear storm drive spaceship called Titanic hits London, wiping out the entire city and locking out any immigration to and from the UK. The ship itself easily had the potential to be on the scale of Class 5 or 6, so it's assumed that the disaster was actually mostly averted. Later, over 50 million Americans are forcibly turned into creatures made of fat called Adipose, killing the humans they were made from.
  • In two unrelated bad futures of Heroes, a man with nuclear-based superpowers destroys an entire city (New York City and Costa Verde, California, respectively). Another future shows Tokyo being destroyed in a flash of light.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Orodruin erupts in the first season, destroying the Southlands and creating Mordor as we know it.
  • In Red Dwarf, due to a volcanic eruption, most of Fiji is now several feet underwater.
  • While the world of Revolution is Class 1 verging on Class 2 at the end of the first season there is a Class 0 when Philadelphia and Atlanta are nuked by the Patriots.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine the entire social and economic structure of Ferenganar is thrown into chaos when Grand Nagus Zek grants women equal rights. Before then they had never been able to speak (unless spoken to), earn profits, leave the house, or even wear clothes. The sight of them doing all four causes enough chaos to disrupt planetary communication and oust Zek as Nagus.
  • In Torchwood, the opening of the rift summoned a massive beast named Abaddon whose shadow killed off hundreds, if not thousands of people before Jack stopped it.

  • The song Aenima by tool (as well as the Bill Hicks routine the song is based on) describes the entirety of California sinking into the Pacific Ocean, creating the Arizona Bay.
  • The Billy Joel song "Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)" is about an unspecified disaster that wipes out New York City and the surrounding areas, but "life went on beyond the Palisades" and most people have moved to Florida, and The Mafia is thriving in Mexico.
  • The Chris De Burgh song "Transmission Ends".
    This is station Planet Earth, we're closing down,
    Transmission ends.
  • Kate Bush song "Experiment IV" has a military base unleash a "killing sound" which kills everything in the base. Ominously the last line is "the public is warned to stay off.", accompanied with the sound of a helicopter passing by. In the music video the killing sound manifests in solid form as a some kind of banshee (played by Kate herself) that kills everyone in the base and its immediate vicinity — and is implied to go on a killing spree on a much larger scale soon after.

  • The story of Waddle Wars in Wanya Kingdom VS Awoofy Unity ends with one of these. A nuclear bomb is dropped on the continent of Brobgonia, killing everyone who resides there and turning the three factions into a nuclear wasteland. Waddle Wars: Rebooted shows that the continent has still not recovered even 200 years later.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The continent of Aldea in Blue Rose suffered a Class 0 when the utopian Old Kingdom was usurped into an Empire, then consumed itself in a magical civil war among the Empress' wizard lieutenants. Between the use of more than one Fantastic Nuke, undead hordes battling with living warriors, and a major rebellion to establish a post-apocalyptic realm adding more corpses to the piles, only the capital was spared from the war as the lich kings all wanted to inherit it untouched as an eventual trophy for winning the war.
  • In Greyhawk, this probably describes the Rain of Colorless Fire, a disaster that destroyed the Suel Empire millennia ago. Not many Oeridians currently alive know what happened, but most assume the Suel did it to themselves when attempting to do something very evil.
  • In Millenniums End, The '90s went horribly wrong. Middle Eastern oil production was crippled in the Gulf War, which also saw exchanges of chemical weapons between Iraq and Israel. India and Pakistan go to war. The European Community is under threat from nationalist fearmongers, separatist terrorists like the Provisional IRA, and the legacy of the Soviet Union's lax environmental practices. Global economies and living standards are tanking. Protests and riots in Japan continue until the military takes control of government operations. The Russian government has lost some of their Soviet-era nukes. It's only a matter of time before the apocalypse gets upgraded to a class 1 or higher.
  • The city of Mordheim was struck by a comet made of Wyrdstone. Most of those who weren't killed were driven mad or mutated. What was left of the city was looted by human and non-humans who warred amongst each other in the lawless streets for the best spoils.
  • Killing off darklords in the Ravenloft setting has been known to cause entire domains to disappear, their native populations included.
  • Damien Richter's activities and a brief orbital bombardment with hypervelocity mass drivers destroyed much of the capital planet of Avalon in Tech Infantry. And the first Bug Invasion wipes out Rio de Janeiro and the surrounding area of Brazil two centuries before that.
  • The main weapon batteries of any Warhammer 40,000 cruiser can, in the words of Ciaphas Cain, note , "level continents." 40K doesn't even need weapons to accomplish this — the debris from a naval engagement can cause catastrophic damage all on its own. Think about it, the average cruiser in that setting is several kilometers long, several hundred meters wide and tall, and weighs in at millions upon millions of tons of armoured hull. If one of these ships breaks up in orbit, even the fragments will be million-ton steel meteors, and if it goes down in one piece, the planet below gets nailed by a meteorite like a large mountain! And that's not even mentioning the even larger heavy cruisers, battle cruisers, grand cruisers and vastly larger battleships.

    Video Games 
  • About 3/4ths of the way through Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, the conflicting powers of Osea and Erusea both attempt to disadvantage the other by launching separate but simultaneous attacks on each other's satellites. The debris from these causes an ablation cascade, resulting in the collapse of most forms of global communication. As a result, Erusea falls into civil war, Osean forces are scattered without a way to contact the mainland, and territories within Erusea attempt to use the chaos to seize independence. To make matters worse, Erusea's semi-autonomous drone fleet goes rogue without a way to receive new orders, attacking everything not identified as an ally. By the end, it is shown that local communications are slowly being restored, and the ending states at least one other nation is lending humanitarian aid, so the world isn't in a total state of anarchy.
  • It's stated straight-up multiple times in Bloodborne, by everyone from Eileen the Crow to random mooks, that the metropolis of Yharnam is finished. The vast majority of its population has succumbed to the Beast Scourge epidemic by the time the player character gets involved, and they can only rescue a few injured and/or mentally-broken survivors from the ruins. The main objective of the game is simply to stop the Scourge from spreading further, "lest the night carry on forever." Loran and Pthumeria also suffered Class 0s in the past; their civilizations were wiped out by the Scourge, but the planet as a whole seemed to carry on. It's heavily implied that even in the present, the rest of the world outside Yharnam is untouched by and maybe even blissfully unaware of the Beasts, but if allowed to spread unchecked, the Scourge would likely cause a Class 2 or Class 3 apocalypse.
  • Devil Survivor opens up with this being inflicted on Tokyo due to a combination of a demon invasion and a JSDF lockdown. Its sequel Devil Survivor 2 also starts like this, but on a worldwide scale.
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 reveals through NPC encounters what happened to the Hub World of Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Toki-Toki City: A rumor flew around that the Kais were weaker than gods like Beerus and Whis and even mortals like Goku and the hero of the first game. The Supreme Kai of Time was so incensed over this that she made the large dragon statue come to life as a show of power... and the stupid thing went berserk. By the time the statue was contained, the city was ravaged and was later rebuilt as Conton City.
  • Drakengard, Ending D: Seere breaks his pact with Golem, releasing his sealed time on top of the Grotesquerie Queen. In so doing, a sizeable portion of the continent, visible from orbit, becomes encased in a black void of permanently suspended time. On the bright side, this particular apocalypse averts a potential Class-3.
  • Dying Light has a mutated strain of rabies break out in the fictional city of Harran, resulting in two of the city's districts being quarantined off. Humanitarian aid (including a drug that suppresses the symptoms of the infection) is dropped in until the GRE and the Ministry decide to pretend that there are no survivors left.
  • Endling - Extinction is Forever is set in a Bad Future, where the entire city is in a regional scale societal disruption bordering on planetary scale multiple species extinction due to human-engineered climate change. And it only gets worse from here...
  • Far Cry 5 ends, canonically, with nuclear bombs falling on Hope County. Later, in Far Cry 6, we learn that this was caused by Pagan Min and that the nukes were aimed only at Montana. The rest of the world is perfectly fine. And then we learn that the nukes were never even fired, and it was just delusions of Joseph Seed. The more we learn, the more this game's user score on Metacritic seems justified. Bonus points for the cult referring to this as "the Collapse".
  • Fate/Grand Order features Faerie Britain, the setting of the sixth Lostbelt, an Alternate Universe where The Fair Folk ended up becoming the dominant species rather than humans. Due to the faeries' tendency to devolve to infighting and the sheer number of Dying Curses by the losing faeries building up, they have to endure a Calamity that strikes Faerie Britain every 100 years. The heroes end up having to face off against and ultimately defeat a Calamity that threatens to destroy the city of Norwich, and it's implied that Calamities are typically on that scale or slightly larger. There is also mention of a zombie uprising that destroyed Darlington a century ago as another Calamity.
  • The original version of Final Fantasy XIV ended with the fall of the moon of Dalamud and the awakening of Bahamut, resulting in the ruination of the continent of Eorzea. By the time A Realm Reborn takes place, it's been five years since, and civilization has more or less gotten back on its feet.
  • The backstory of Final Fantasy Tactics indicates that at some point after Final Fantasy XII, a huge catastrophe hit Ivalice and destroyed the entire political structure, several races (like Moogles), and most of the advanced technology, like Airships. Its never said if it also hit the rest of the unnamed world where Ivalice is located, so this may actually be a Class 2.
  • In Fuga: Melodies of Steel, Shvein Hax reactivates the Vanargand and it uses its Breath Weapon to sunder the single Floating Continent of Gasco into an archipelago, along with leaving the capital city of Paresia abandoned and completely ruined. It's stated that if the beast were to continue its rampage before the Taranis stopped it for good, it would obliterate Gasco outright, which Hax attempts to do consciously during his Villainous Breakdown.
  • In Guild Wars, this has happened on several occasions.
    • The earliest known event was the Scarab Plague which struck the isle of Istan. It was centuries before the isle was fully repopulated.
    • Perhaps the most devastating followed some time after when the god Abaddon was banished into the Realm of Torment. As a result of that, the Crystal Sea was devastated, half becoming a vast desert and the other turning into a hostile wastes of sulfurous sands.
    • The Jade Wind in Cantha, caused by the traitor Shiro, devastated the continent turning a sea to jade and forest to stone.
    • While the previous events were backstory, the first game, Prophecies, starts with the Searing. Summoned by the Charr, burning crystals rained down on the human kingdom of Ascalon, killing much of the population and leaving the survivors locked in a struggle for survival in a barren wasteland.
      • Humanity eventually lost Ascalon as a result of the Searing; it was claimed by the Charr. More than two centuries later the land is still recovering.
    • Shortly after the Searing, Charr forces marched into the nearby human kingdom of Orr. A desperate attempt to drive them back caused the Cataclysm, a magical catastrophe that killed everything within the kingdom and sank the island beneath the sea. Many of the slain arose afterward as undead.
    • In the backstory of the sequel, the Cataclysm will be reversed, causing another Class 0 event. The return of Orr to the surface will cause massive tidal waves, destroying the coastal cities of Kryta and drowning the Battle Isles.
  • Killing Floor's mutant outbreak is effectively limited to Great Britain, which seems lucky as the only survivors are either former military or Crazy-Prepared.
  • In Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, the entire East Coast United States, from New York to Louisiana, has been lost to the rapidly spreading mutated rabies virus, turning people into bloodthirsty animals who's extreme pent up rage and severe loss of mental functions leave them in a zombie like state. So far, the Civil Emergency Defense Agency has been useless to stop the spread, leaving the US Military to take over with a more violent and potentially genocidal approach (includes slaughtering entire groups of citizens because one or two might be infected).
  • In the backstory of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Calamity Ganon seized control of an army of battle robots called Guardians and used them to wipe out Hyrule's seat of power, as well as just about every major settlement around it. By the time the events of the game happen 100 years later, Hylians live in small, relatively isolated communities around the fringes of the former Kingdom of Hyrule. In addition, the Divine Beasts, massive war machines that have also fallen under Ganon's control, are threatening to do the same thing to four other races who live nearby and had diplomatic ties with Hyrule before its fall. One of Link's storyline goals is to prevent this. If you get the Golden Ending, a post-credits cutscene shows Zelda vowing to restore Hyrule to its former glory now that the threat of Ganon is gone.
  • Thanks to constant war, Societal Collapse and Disruption are so common in Lost Technology that no society has persisted for more than fifty years.
  • The year 2031 starts off as this in A Mind Forever Voyaging: The economy of the United States of North America (USNA) is failing. Great numbers of youths are turning to "Joybooths" (a device which directly stimulates the sensory input of the brain) and committing suicide by over-stimulation. A new arms race involving nuclear weapons no larger than the size of a common pack of cigarettes threatens to turn the USNA into a police state. Senator Richard Ryder has imposed the Plan for Renewed National Purpose to set the society back on its feet again. As the world's first sentient computer called PRISM, you are to go into future simulations in decades to see how the Plan fares. In the 2041 simulation that you investigate, this class is averted, as society is becoming normal... at first. But in the 2051 sim afterwards, your town of Rockvil is getting some societal disruption. By 2061, this is becoming Regional Societal Collapse, as the USNA is slowly turning into a polluted, religious police state and becoming the Oppressive States of America. It goes even further than that in the 2071 and 2081 sims, as the USNA will eventually turn into the Fallen States of America.
  • Monster Hunter: World has players attempting to avert this near the end of the game's first act: Zorah Magdaros was supposed to go to the Rotten Vale to die, thus allowing its body to nourish the New World. Unfortunately, it's headed towards the Everstream, a network of geothermal energy conduits that run through the whole region. If it dies in the Everstream, the bioenergy it releases upon death will result in a chain reaction that would reduce the entire New World to scorched earth.
  • The Big Bad of Mother 3 aims to cause this to the Nowhere Islands by awakening the massive dragon sleeping beneath them. Though he's stopped, the destruction ends up happening anyways, because the dragon's help was needed by the heroes. Whether or not anyone actually survived is left up to the player. Also technically counts as global destruction, as said islands are the only part of the world that's habitable anymore.
  • Pineapple On Pizza takes places on a small tropical island with a volcano in the very centre. Should you jump inside, it will start erupting and spewing lava all over the island, with all of it's inhabitants dying no matter what they try. As a result, the island ends up resembling a Hawaiian Pizza from the top view.
  • Pokémon X and Y: The Ultimate Weapon ended the ancient war in Kalos by virtue of sapping the life of everyone and everything in the country, save the guy who activated it (it made him immortal). Team Flare wishes to fire the thing up again, but this time aiming for a global holocaust that would leave only themselves alive.
  • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the Player Character has to shut down The Professor's Time Machine to prevent it from spawning more Paradox Pokémon and triggering an Introduced Species Calamity that could topple civilization in the region as a whole.
  • The third act of Portal 2 revolves around stopping the labyrinthine underground science facility the game's set in (which is at least the size of a city, and goes down for miles) from being completely destroyed in a nuclear meltdown, killing everyone inside.
  • In the Resident Evil series, almost all of Raccoon City had become zombified, so the US government sent a nuclear bomb to contain the outbreak.
  • In Sands of Destruction, Kyrie accidentally causes two Class 0s: once at the start of the game when he destroys Barni, and again at the Sky Gaol during the peace talks thanks to some serious Power Incontinence. If his powers ever fully activate (which Morte and the world itself actually want to happen), he's capable of causing a Class 6, turning the entire world and everything on it to sand.
  • Spec Ops: The Line has a post-apocalyptic Dubai thanks to the sandstorm. However, it's Walker who lands the finishing blow when he kills every remaining survivor in a fit of insanity.
  • In the Splatoon games, the Salmonids were said to have leveled city after city before the advent of modern ink weaponry, and thus at least one Inkling religion considered them harbingers of the apocalypse. Come Splatoon 3, and the player can see this for themself in the form of a Big Run, when the Salmonids invade multiplayer battle venues instead of the standard Salmon Run stages.
  • The Zone in S.T.A.L.K.E.R..
    • Interestingly, while civilization inside the Zone is pretty much gone, the rest of the world is actually better off. The chance to observe the laws of physics and biology change first-hand has resulted in the creation of several advances in metallurgy and antibiotics, and nobody lived in the Zone beforehand who wasn't trying to perfect mind control anyway.
    • Though this may become a higher class, as it is suggested the Zone is expanding, and it has been established that the Zone is independent, and if the Zone expands...well, a world full of Bloodsuckers won't be so much fun.
  • Tales of Monkey Island: The entire Gulf of Melange in Chapter 5, right between this class and Class 1, and bordering on Class 3A. And it seems that the Caribbean just isn't pretty much the same since LeChuck regained his voodoo powers and killed Guybrush.
  • Undertale's bad ending starts with you exterminating the entire monster population of the underground, by hand. If you actually go all the way with it, it gets much, much worse.
  • Yakuza: Dead Souls takes place in the midst of a Zombie Apocalypse. Said apocalypse, however, never spreads beyond the Tokyo district of Kamurocho.

    Visual Novels 
  • Baldr Sky: Assembler has caused an entire region and its surroundings to be destroyed, changing people's opinions towards A.I. and nanomachines.
  • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, the outside world (according to the Big Bad) is shown to be in ruins, with giant Monokumas destroying buildings and the citizens wearing Monokuma masks and smashing cars and shops like skinheads — all thanks to the Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Moment in the History of Mankind. It's shown in further installments that she was telling the truth.
  • The Catastrophe in Snatcher rendered most of Eurasia uninhabitable, prompting mass immigration to new islands built in Japan.
  • The second half of Song of Memories begins with a pandemic in the town of Utanami, followed by panicked looting and societal collapse as people riot and turn on each other for supplies. Escalates into a potential Class 3 in Bad Endings where the virus isn't eradicated and eventually spreads worldwide.

    Web Animation 
  • Power Star: In Part 4, the boos mention that they intend to destroy "all of creation" by the time they absorb every last Power Star, in theory making this a Class X4 example. In the end, though, their range of destruction never goes any further than slaughtering the Mushroom Kingdom's population, thereby making it eligible for a Class 0 instead.
  • RWBY: At the end of Volume 8, one of the four kingdoms of Remnant is destroyed. The Kingdom of Atlas-Mantle sinks beneath the waves of a nearby inland sea when the floating city of Atlas crashes into the ground-based city of Mantle. This occurs after the Big Bad spends two volumes assaulting the kingdom and turning allies against each other. While the physical kingdom is lost, the citizens are saved by evacuating them to the desert kingdom of Vacuo, creating a massive refugee crisis.

  • In Chirault the mages level a city by accidentally touching their Reality-Changing Miniature. Oops.
  • In FreakAngels at first it's assumed that the flooding was global but is later revealed that only Britain was affected
  • Magellan: The Q'Arth invasion of 1972 — an incursion of soul sucking, Nigh-Invulnerable demons from another dimension that killed more than 10 million people in less than a day — all but destroyed the Soviet Union, politicallynote , destroyed Moscow and its' surrounding area literally and basically altered the social nad political landscape of the Magellanverse's Earth forever.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Azure City gets assaulted, partly destroyed and ultimately dominated by mainly Redcloack and Xykon. Whether the place will ever be returned to its original state is yet to be seen. However, most probably not, since there is a new nation there now and destroying it to bring back the old inhabitants would be this trope too, and the refugees have found a new place to live.

    Web Original 
  • Empires SMP: Season 1 ends this way as a Cruel Twist Ending. Jimmy and fWhip trying to create a new Codfather head overloads the machine they were using, and the entirety of the Grimlands is completely destroyed in the explosion. The debris catapulted into the sky lands on the neighboring Empires, destroying the Lost Empire and heavily damaging the Crystal Cliffs. The heat from the blast sparks a wildfire that spreads to the Undergrove and Gilded Helianthia, burning them both to the ground. There's a massive earthquake that cracks the Mezalian Matral Palace in half and tears rifts into the ground, sparking more fires and killing all life in the Overgrown. The water vanishes from the Cod and Ocean Empires, causing its citizens to either die of suffocation or flee for deeper water. While Rivendell was largely spared from the explosion damage, the earthquake was the last push Xornoth needed to break out of the crystal, and he proceeds to tear the city apart with corruption vines. Mythland was also mostly spared, but was instead overrun by Blood Sheep. In the end, Scott commits suicide in order to stop Xornoth due to a Can't Live Without You prophecy, Pearl dies as the empire her lifeforce is tied to burns to the ground, Lizzie loses her memory as a result of more prophecy issues and leaves the server in confusion, Joel undergoes Death by Despair after seeing his palace being destroyed (according to Word of God), and the rest leave their homes either by choice or by force to start over somewhere else. The Musical adaptation refers to this as "the Rapture"; overall, 11 of the 12 empires have experienced severe damage while 1 in 4 of their rulers have been Killed Off for Real.
  • For All Time has quite a few examples, given the flagrant disregard of the Nuclear Weapons Taboo. However, the crowning examples have to go to the Soviet Union's final wars. What else could you expect with Andrei Chikatilo as premier?
    • The Sino-Soviet War, which begins on February 19, 1973. China launches a series of bombings on every major Siberian urban center south of the 60th parallel and manages to drop a 3-megaton device onto Moscow. These attacks kill roughly 100 million in total. In response, the Soviets utterly decimate China, wiping out every city east of the 100th meridian with a population of 1 million or more, along with the destruction of all major agricultural, industrial, and military complexes. This, coupled with an invasion through the spring and summer that sees the use of chemical and biological weapons, wipes out roughly 80% of China's population.
    • In October 1975, they launch an unprovoked bombing campaign on the Middle East to gain a monopoly on the world's oil supply. This includes nuking Baghdad, Damascus, Tehran, Baku, Ankara, Jerusalem, Mecca, Medina, and the High Nasser Dam in Egypt. The final attack results in a Giant Wall of Watery Doom that kills 98% of Egypt's population.
    • Finally, the USSR itself undergoes a nuclear civil war in the 1980's. The event results in it collapsing into dozens of smaller states.
  • Whatifalthist: In several videos, like "Why Is the World Crazy Right Now?", "Wars of the 2020s and 2030s, and "The Crisis of the 21st Century", Rudyard predicts a period of global Societal Disruption, replete with famine, disorder, and a collapse of the world order will occur over the course of the 21st century...but that humanity will eventually recover.

    Western Animation 
  • Obake's attempted plan from Big Hero 6: The Series Season 1 was to destroy San Fransokyo and remake into a city without limits, using the energy amplifier Hiro made for his final project. Luckily, the team was able to stop the plan, even with the plan seemingly succeeding when said amplifier was not removed from the lighthouse in time.
  • Played for Laughs in the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Run For Your Ed". Ed, once again, has been sleepwalking... right into the Kanker's house and wound up stealing their prized ship-in-a-bottle. The three half-sisters proceed to find it "Kanker style". Their rampage and subsequent "Kanker Hissy Fit" turns all of Peach Creek (the cul-de-sac, the construction zone, the river, etc) in a ruin. Cars smashed, streets cracked, cement walkways peeled up, and homes demolished made it look like it was the End of Days for Rethink Avenue.
  • In the series Generator Rex, millions die worldwide after The Nanite Event. And thanks to the nature of the nanites, it could escalate all the way up to a Class 4 — maybe even Class 6 — at any moment.
  • The three-part finale of Gravity Falls, Weirdmageddon. A dimensional tear opens up that allows Bill Cipher and his henchmaniacs into our world. They destroy most of the town by making everything weirder (like turning the waterfall outside town into a blood-fall that flows upwards into the sky, or growing Gompers the Goat to ten times his original size and letting him run free), and turn almost all of the townspeople into stone. However, the town's Weirdness Magnet prevents Bill and the henchmaniacs from getting any further than the town's borders, which allows the Pines twins to defeat Bill while he is still trapped in Gravity Falls and turn the weirdness back to normal.
  • The Legend of Vox Machina: The Chroma Conclave is an alliance formed of four extremely powerful evil dragons. They erase the capital city of Emon and kill most of its citizens. They even threaten to destroy civilization as a whole and take over the world.
  • One happened offscreen and in the past in the original My Little Pony. The kingdom of Grundleland was wiped out the last time the Smooze was unleashed, leaving only a tiny handful of survivors.
  • The Owl House
    • This was Belos's ultimate goal for the Day of Unity. Under his rule, everyone on the Boiling Isles was forcibly branded with the sigil of one of the nine main covens once they came of age. These sigils would then be used to power the Draining Spell on the Day of Unity, draining everyone with a sigil of their magic and lifeforce. If Belos had succeeded, nearly everyone on the Isles would have been killed. The few survivors would have been mostly children, who would have no idea how to run a society on top of dealing with the sudden loss of their families — although "Labyrinth Runners" shows that before the Day of Unity, Belos had a lot of children branded with sigils as well.
    • Stopping the Draining Spell required the release of the Collector, who winds up unleashing an apocalypse of their very own. Large parts of the population are transformed into puppets and abducted for the Collector to play with, and the rest are forced into hiding, living in perpetual fear of being abducted themselves. Bonesborough has become a ghost town, and while Hexside serves as a home base for survivors, all staff members were abducted on day one trying to protect their students, leaving the school an overcrowded mess ruled by traumatized teenagers.
  • Springfield in The Simpsons gets threatened with annihilation fairly often (and it does happen for real in some of the Treehouse of Horror episodes). Sometimes it's due to a villain or some outside force ("Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming", "Bart's Comet"), sometimes it's due to Homer's incompetence ("Homer Defined", "King-Size Homer") and in The Simpsons Movie, it was a combination of the two.
  • South Park: In "The World Wide Recorder Concert", Kenny, Cartman, Kyle, and Stan successfully find the fabled bowel-releasing Brown Note and attempt to use it as a trick, but it backfires and causes everyone in the world to defecate at the same time. A later news report shows that much of the world is in severe panic and damage, and some unlucky few literally pooped themselves to death.
  • Wakfu:
    • Nox has successfully inflicted several of these before the series' start, by wiping out entire countries in the process of draining wakfu from living things over the course of his 200-year quest.
    • The OVAs feature a particularly dynamic one in the form of the entirety of Mount Zinit being lifted into space, causing meteor chunks to rain down on the World of Twelve, and the mountain being permanently transported into Shukrute.

    Real Life 
  • At least 3 are known to have happened in antiquity:
    • 2200-2000 BC saw the fall of the Sumerians and the Egyptian Old Kingdom. Increasing soil salinity from less-than-perfect irrigation methods undermined the agricultural productivity of Sumerian cities and people began migrating northwards; a combination of decentralizing power to regional governors and a long-lasting drought disrupting the Nile became a one-two punch that knocked out the Old Kingdom dynasty and marked the start of the First Intermediate Period.
    • The 1200 BC event known as the late Bronze Age collapse, one of the big mysteries of human history. Within only fifty years, the span of a human lifetime, the civilisations of the Hittites, Assyrians, Mycenaean Greeks and Cyprus collapsed and never recovered, and Egypt barely hung on. A number of factors are blamed for the late Bronze Age collapse: famine, disease, warfare with an unknown "Sea Peoples" (either an unknown civilisation coming across the Mediterranean from Europe, scattered mercenary warbands turning to piracy in the wake of the societal collapse, or Invading Refugees from the aforementioned societies fleeing eastwards, it's still debated), natural disasters and the decline of the vast hierarchies of authority that ran the economies of these civilisations. The region wouldn't reach such a level of complexity and economic activity for the next 500-600 years.
      • One theory that's gained traction is that the event that tipped the already increasingly precarious balance and "caused" the Bronze Age Collapse was nothing short of the Trojan War. Whatever the real reasons behind the conflict, a ten year siege of a major trade city followed by sacking it would have had a catastrophic effect on the fragile logistics necessary for manufacturing bronze.
    • And of course, the gradual decline and eventual fall of the Western Roman Empire, with historians generally using the fall of Rome itself under the last (Western) Roman Emperor Flavius Romulus Augustus in 476 AD as the theshold between the Classical and Medieval Eras (though the Roman Empire's decline took a couple centuries to process).
  • The decline of Mayan civilization during the 8th and 9th centuries AD probably count as this — not enough to wipe out the Mayan population entirely (indeed, Mayan city-states still existed when the Spanish arrived and there are still Mayans living there to this day) but it's not near what it once was based on archeological evidence. Some archeologists believe that the decline of the Maya happened quietly over several generations being compelled to move away from the cities, or to never marry and have children, for economic reasons, rather than a single dramatic event.
  • The Mongol invasions. In Russia for example, half the population was killed, while estimates range up to 90% of Iran's population being destroyed by the Mongols and subsequent famines.
  • Between the Great Famine and the Black Death, the 14th century was this to Europe. It's hard not to be affected when around 1/3 of your entire population is dead.
  • The population of Easter Island was nearly wiped after a mix of man-made deforestatation for settlements and agriculture and the accidental introduction of rats to the islands, which in turn heavily destabilized the ecosystem and took much of their food sources with it.
  • Iceland suffered one of these in the 1780s when an eruption killed 50% of the animal population on the island and up to 25% of the human population. And it wasn't just limited to Iceland: the consequences of the eruption spread to Egypt (where roughly one sixth of its population died in the ensuing famine), caused a heat wave across Europe (to the point where the consequent food shortage is cited to be one of the contributing factors to the French Revolution), and North America froze over (ice floes were recorded in the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans).
  • 1816 is known as the "Year Without A Summer". The previous year saw the massive eruption of Mount Tambora in present-day Indonesia, spewing so much ash into the atmosphere that global temperatures dropped about 1°C and causing knock-on effects across the Northern Hemisphere:
    • In Europe this was enough to set off severe food shortages just as the continent was emerging from the Napoleonic Wars. Hard to grow stuff when they're being killed by frost in August. The crop failures and subsequent famines were bad enough to ignite riots in Britain and France as well as a state of emergency in Switzerland. Combine all this with a typhus epidemic and, altogether, the BBC calculated the "Year Without A Summer" caused about 200,000 deaths in Europe.
    • New England and the surrounding areas are used to surviving cold winters — the real problem was trying to grow crops when snow and frosts in the supposed-summer months kept killing them. In a time and place where roads weren't anywhere near developed enough, waterways weren't navigable, and railroads didn't yet exist, local food prices shot up to about eight times their usual price. A lot of locals packed up and moved west as a result hoping for better farming conditions, many settling in Western New York (including Joseph Smith, future founder of the Mormon Church) and others accelerating the settling of the Midwest.
    • China and India also recorded bad harvests as the weather killed many crops and disrupted the normal monsoon season, causing bad floods in the Yangtze and Ganges valleys. The floods also allowed cholera to spread rapidly from Bengal to Moscow.
  • During World War I, pretty much an entire generation of men across Europe died or were badly injured. The 'deficit' in young men was thought to be about 9 million.
  • The The Armenian Genocide, along with the concurrent Greek and Assyrian genocides, are said to have wiped out 3 million people between 1914 and 1923. Thousands of years of Greek and Armenian civilization in Anatolia was destroyed in less than ten years.
  • The Russian Civil War furthered the pain on the populace in Russia after World War I ended, with 8-10 million Russians dying of war as well as a famine triggered by War.
  • The Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 — 50-100 million dead (about 3-5% of the world's population).
  • The Warlord Era and the Chinese Civil War ensure political power struggles pre-empted the peace needed to rebuild in China before an increasingly militant and expansionist Japan muscled its way in.
  • The Soviet terror famines note  of the early 1930s are said to have killed as many as 10 million people. The Holodomor, the part of the famine that took place in Ukraine, has a median death toll of 3 million, with large numbers of Ukraine's culture and identity being lost. But the hardest-hit nation, in terms of the percentage killed, was Kazakhstan, which lost 30% of its population in the early 1930s famines, which were so devastating that Kazakhs were rendered a minority in Kazakhstan until near the end of the 20th century.
  • World War II
    • The War in Asia and the Pacific was this for China, Korea, and many other Asian/Pacific nations. Because of Imperial Japan. For starters, look up The Rape of Nanking on Wikipedia (and it gets worse from there).
    • The two atomic bombs that were dropped in World War II, though this actually comes in second to the other bombing campaigns over Japan during WWII; the firebombing of Tokyo alone killed about as many as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima did. Firebombing operations happened far, far more often than atomic bombings, obviously. Then add in mass occasions of conventional bombing operations, and US aircraft shooting down poorly trained Japanese pilots in droves by that time period, and... well, Japan lost a massive amount of people.
    • Eastern Europe suffered a fate between this and a Class 1 in the two world wars (plus the Russian Civil War and the various famines), caught between Imperial Germany/Nazi Germany on one side and Imperial Russia/the Soviet Union on the other. Rebuilding still hasn't finished in parts of Warsaw, and the 400,000 manuscripts and three million other books and maps burnt by the Nazis can never be recovered. The hardest hit nation in World War II was Belarus, which lost 25% of its population in a little under four years.
    • The level of destruction in Europe (especially Germany) and Japan even without the atomic bombs was probably a Class 0 in and of itself.
  • This occurred in the (formerly Belgian) Congo during the 1960s. The country's infrastructure was destroyed in a series of wars and its mineral wealth was stripped by a succession of dictators. There are still manned railway stations in one town that have not seen a train in decades. Land travel is virtually impossible along the Congo river due to fact that parts of the route are either inhabited by Ax-Crazy marauders or completely overgrown.
  • HIV/AIDS, especially in The '80s and The '90s but continues to linger in poorer places to this day.
  • The Chernobyl Disaster in 1986, which displaced a good chunk of the Ukrainian population overnight. The city of Pripyat and the tens of kilometers around it are no-go zones for long term habitation, leaving the city itself a ghost of what it once was.
  • Several cholera outbreaks over the course of history, including the one currently spreading through Zimbabwe, and more recently, Haiti as well. Cholera, smallpox, and other European diseases that wiped out nearly the entire Native American population.
  • Hurricane Katrina, which demolished much of the Gulf Coast of the U.S. and trashed New Orleans. Though the death toll from Katrina itself was relatively low for a catastrophic event compared to other examples on this page (New Orleans officially reported a preliminary death count of 1,461) the longer-term damage to the area and its economy is still being felt — New Orleans is about 15% below its population level before Katrina 15 years on, at least partly because a large proportion of those who were forced to move out decided not to return (many resettled in Houston among other places). As a point of comparison, Katrina pretty much flattened an area the size of the UK and knocked out power to an additional area about the size of France and the Benelux countries combined. It certainly didn't help that Hurricane Rita decided to come along and trash the same area about one month later.
  • The 2009 swine flu pandemic, though as not much as severe, had spread into worldwide in 2009. It orginated from Mexico, then declared as a pandemic in that year's May by World Health Organization. It killed thousands of people over a year, then ended in late 2010.
  • Sadly, it seems like the 2010 earthquake that leveled Haiti has the potential to be this, compounded by the cholera outbreak and Hurricane Tomas.
  • The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. The entire Sendai Region inundated with water plus the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima's Fukushima I power plant. Even with fewer deaths compared to Haiti's the year before, the devastation and possible radiation hazards have emptied out entire towns.
  • Worst-case scenarios for a disorderly no-deal Brexit (i.e., the UK leaves the EU without an agreement to handle all of the current intracacies of trade and border control between the UK and the rest of Europe) forecast massive disruptions up to a zero-class apocalypse. Among other consequences, Heathrow Airport is budgeting for two months of total shut-down (because the UK uses the EU's civil aviation authority, on leaving the EU without a deal no civilian air travel would be possible until some kind of arrangement was made), and the UK government has admitted Scotland and Cornwall would start running out of food within days. The UK left the EU with a transition agreement on 31st January 2020: the transition agreement is due to expire on 31st December 2020, so "Brexit Day" is now 1st January 2021.
  • The 1967 Detroit Riots; Detroit is still rebuilding more than 50 years later.
  • It's predicted that thanks to Global Warming, the islands composing Kiribati will wind up totally flooded. The government is trying to convince Australia and New Zealand to accept the entire population as refugees. Other island nations such as Tuvalu and the Maldives may eventually suffer the same fate as well.
    • That is the best case scenario. Worst case scenario: the flooding of entire coastal cities like New York City, London, Shanghai, and Miami, as with entire agricultural regions like Bangladesh and the Nile Delta. Ironically enough, because of their wealth, the ones polluting the most will suffer the least.
    • Indeed, global warming and it's various side effects could cause anywhere between a Class 0 to a Class 5 or 6, depending on how long it takes before humanity begins severely cutting down on carbon emissions (voluntarily or otherwise) or does some sort of geo-engineering. If action is done relatively soon (unlikely but possible) it could be kept to a low-end Class 0, if no major action is done soon it will be a Class 0, and the longer it takes the worse it will get, although it's unlikely it would get above 1 or 2 unless humanity is even stupider than it is now.
    • It's not just sea levels that are an issue with climate change; some simulations forecast that regions already at the upper edge of tolerable temperature-range for human habitation would need to be abandoned entirely, because it'll get too hot to breathe comfortably as weather extremes increase.
  • On the end of the temperature spectrum, any future ice age (the next is due as early as 10,000 years or so) may cause glaciers to cover the entire Northern Hemisphere, rendering it uninhabitable because of the ice.
  • Though it — obviously — hasn't happened to densely populated modern states (yet), certain potential natural disasters could reach this level: an unfortunately-placed flood-basalt release, a volcanic eruption nearing the lower margin of "supervolcano", or a megaflood on the scale of the Missoula Floods at the end of the last Ice Age. More fanciful concepts include a limnic eruption in which dissolved CO2 is released from a large lake (e.g. Lake Victoria or Lake Kivu), or a hypothetical release of dissolved hydrogen sulphide from the deeper waters of the Black Sea.
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic caused severe worldwide disruption when it moved from an epidemic in China to a global pandemic. Even before the crisis was over, the secondary effects as people tried to self-isolate and protect themselves heavily affected the world economy. Many countries/cities found their healthcare system pushed to its limits and "flattening the curve" was explained over and over again, the way it might not reduce the total number of cases, but would reduce the strain on healthcare, allowing a greater survival rate of infected people. You are likely to survive a pandemic like this, but even 1% of the 2020 population far exceeds the deaths from The Spanish Flu.
  • In summer of 2022, Pakistan was hit by massive flooding in the wake of unusually strong, climate change-fueled monsoon rainfall. Although the death toll remained relatively light compared to the country's total population, the disaster affected an estimated 33 out of 220 million citizens (roughly 14% of the population). Up to one third of the country wound up flooded, including large swathes of farmland. Huge numbers of livestock were killed, threatening the populace's food supply, while the warm and stagnant water masses served as an ideal breeding ground for parasites and diseases, putting additional strain on the nation's patchy health system. Needless to say that this, coupled with widespread disruption of critical infrastructure, did not help sway the fortunes of one of Asia's poorest and most unstable nations. Also, keep in mind that Pakistan was still recovering from a similarly devastating flood that happened just 12 years earlier in 2010.