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Godzilla Threshold / Video Games

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Examples of Godzilla Threshold from Video Games:


  • In Super Godzilla, the literal Godzilla threshold is crossed when the Japanese government decides to awaken and control Godzilla in order to fight aliens and the monsters they send; later, when making Godzilla stronger by way of injecting King Ghidorah cells; and in the final two stages, where it becomes necessary to pour huge amounts of energy into Big G in order to turn him into Super Godzilla.
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  • In the Geneforge series, the rebellion which breaks out in the 3rd game is on the edge of defeat by the 4th. While the humans and serviles in the rebellion could survive being ruled by the Shapers again, the drakons know they will not be allowed to exist under Shaper rule. To turn the war, they create the Unbound, which are massively powerful but completely insane, and release them into Shaper lands to rampage around.
  • Halo:
    • Ordering the creation of the SPARTAN-II program was considered this by ONI Command. The Insurrectionists on the colony worlds commonly used coordinated terrorist tactics in order to forcibly declare independence from the UEG. The UNSC military wasn't able to keep up, even though they had far greater numbers, due to the collateral damage that a large scale military intervention would have been caused. Thus, kidnapping and manipulating six-year-old children into sociopathic walking tanks was considered preferable to the potential loss of innocent life that a drawn-out civil war would have caused.
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    • The SPARTAN-III program was also this for ONI. The Covenant war was going so poorly for humanity that the idea to recruit traumatized war orphans and turn them into suicide super soldiers by their early teens was actually approved, with over nine hundred Spartan-IIIs trained and deployed over the course of the war.
    • The Flood evoke this reaction in every species that has encountered it.
      • When a Flood-infested ship crashes in New Mombasa during Halo 3, Commander Keyes proposes to overload a slipstream engine inside the city and wiping out everything in the area. Though usually rather cautious in his decisions, Lord Hood only replies with "Do it!"
      • Later, when the Elites, who had shown up in a Big Damn Heroes moment, torch a good chunk of Africa to get rid of the infestation, Lord Hood protests this action. The Elite Shipmaster responds that he fully intended to burn all of Earth just to make sure that every last Flood spore was absolutely dead, and only the Arbiter arguing against it stopped him from doing so.
      • The Forerunners built the original version of the Halo Array in the first place to keep themselves in power as the supreme species in the galaxy. When the Flood came to the galaxy and overran every defense they could muster, the Forerunners activated the Array, frying the nervous system of every creature in the galaxy capable of hosting Flood spores. In a way, they did defeat a threat to their power.
      • Even before the Halos were built, this was why the Advanced Ancient Humans started wiping out Forerunner colonies with massive orbital bombardment. They weren't trying to start a war they couldn't win. They wanted to stop the Flood, but they knew that they wouldn't be able to convince the Forerunners of the threat (especially since they were eliminating all the evidence).
      • After the war, the UNSC developed the CORRUPTER response for what to do if a SPARTAN was infected by the Flood. It directs every UNSC vessel in orbit to bombard the Spartan's last known location with fusion warheads and MAC rounds, without the need to notify any friendly forces in the area—just in case the infected Spartan can still pick up transmissions.
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  • It's a relatively minor and easy to miss one, but in Armored Core 4: For Answer, you can become one, if you kill hundreds of millions of people by bringing down the cradle, Otsdarva will be one of the 5 NEXT teaming up to take you down as payback.
  • The Big Bads of [PROTOTYPE] are ready to nuke Manhattan to stop the spread of Redlight. This is supposed to be the chocolate syrup on their villainy sundae. The problem is, Redlight is so apocalyptically dangerous — it has to be far past the Godzilla threshold, or Alex could never be the "hero" — that to the player this can seem like a reasonable, if grim, last-ditch effort to save the rest of the world.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • World in Conflict: Nuking Cascade Falls to prevent the Soviets from finding out about SDI (the only thing stopping the Soviets from using nuclear weapons... and a fake reassurance, since it's completely non-functional), and at the end of the game, nearly nuking Seattle to prevent the Chinese, coming to reinforce the failing Soviet invasion, from landing there.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Bowser can only be turned into Giant Bowser when his life is in mortal danger, e.g. when he is flattened by an enemy far too big to fight normally.
  • At one point in Tales of the Abyss, Jade suggests that the only way to save the world is to sacrifice the lives of 10,000 replicas, which in game basically boils down to sacrificing 10,000 babies. A few hours later, you really don't get a choice otherwise.
  • Star Fox 64: As you're facing down a battalion of Andross's ships, the enemy general is throwing everything at you, save for a prototype the scientists insist is too dangerous. At the end of the level, he yells "Deploy it now!", and the prototype serves as the boss — a biomechanical dimension-hopping battlecruiser with free will. Keep in mind that this boss is designed to destroy planets.
  • Wild Arms 2:
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • Any situation in which the Black Box-laden Demon Summoning Program is authorized for use by a higher authority.
    • In Devil Survivor, the government has a 'final option' that it will unleash on the Yamamote Line if they can't take control of the situation taking place inside, and is why nobody inside has more than six days to live. It's a chip installed in all japanese electronics that lets the government control them remotely, and use it to create enormous amounts of EM radiation which would fry every electric circuit and every living being inside. Incidentally, this is the smallest of three Thresholds in the game.
    • In Devil Survivor 2, on Friday, you discover a giant magic circle. Later that day, you encounter the Asteroids Monster Mizar. Attacking one of its blobs with anything short of a One-Hit Kill causes it to split, and leaving them alone allows them to grow and split at their leisure. At the rate it's growing, Mizar will be everywhere in a day. When you mention the magic circle to Yamato, he reveals that its power would suffice, but it's currently preventing the last few steps of The End of the World as We Know It. He forces you to work it out yourself, but it does turn out that Mizar is now the bigger threat to existence.
  • StarCraft:
    • Starcraft:
    • The Protoss consider the Threshold crossed when they find out the Zerg have infested a world. Their standard solution is an orbital bombardment that burns everything on the planet to a crisp. Even this turns out not to be enough, as the Zerg are perfectly capable of digging burrows deep enough to avoid destruction and hibernating until more prey arrives.
    • Arcturus Mengsk uses the Confederacy's corruption as an excuse to justify using a psi emitter to lure the Zerg to their capital world, then lets the Protoss burn the Zerg and Confederates both. Everyone else sees it as Mengsk revealing his true colors as a power-hungry psychopath who will do anything to establish and keep his rule. The Threshold had not been crossed in anyone's opinion but Mengsk's.
    • Then along comes StarCraft II, when it turns out that the Zerg need to be allied with, against an oncoming threat even more terrible — a fallen Xel'Naga, and an army of even more lethal Protoss/Zerg Hybrids. This is enough to get Zeratul, who had previously sworn an oath of vengeance against Kerrigan, to start arguing that they need to keep her alive at all costs.
    • Archons are the pinnacle of Protoss psionic power, made from two High Templar sacrificing themselves to form a being of Pure Energy that deals high damage to everything in sight. Of course, that's in-story. In-game, most players use their High Templar to cast Psionic Storm twice, then merge them into Archons.
    • Dark Archons can't attack, instead casting spells such as Mana Burn, a mass stun, and the ever-popular Mind Control. Their creation was banned, allowed only in order to defeat the new Overmind, and banned again until Zeratul's visions proved they were up against a galaxy-destroying Eldritch Abomination.
    • Colossi are both this and Old Shame: They were war machines created by the Protoss but used in planet-wide massacres. The Protoss were so ashamed they locked up the Colossi in asteroids, only bringing them back online to fight in SC2.
    • The Spear of Adun was one of these, made while the Protoss had their Golden Age at their peak, when a few of their higher castes realized it wouldn't last forever and a situation that would qualify for this trope would arise. They sealed it away just to make sure they wouldn't break it out for something petty, too. And when the Darkest Hour came, they had to go into a massive Zerg infestation in the ruins of Aiur, sustaining some awful casualties, just to retrieve it (its sister ships were destroyed in the fall, so they were not an option). The rest of the Legacy of the Void campaign consists of the Protoss subsequently opening every single can of whoop-ass they can get their hands on, no matter how dangerous, because Amon hijacking the Khala and subsequently brainwashing most of their people has put them way too far past the threshold to hold anything back. This includes things like unbanning the Dark Archons again, allying with the Tal'darim, and unsealing the Purifiers (who were sealed away for starting a Robot War).
  • In World of Warcraft, the Threshold is pretty consistent: for really, really bad threats, the Horde and Alliance work together. Most of the time they're at each others' throats in a Cold War or even proxy war. Against pests or regional threats, the Alliance and the Horde ignore each other or even try to backstab each other so their own people can claim the glory of beating the threat first. But against an awakened Old God, the beachhead of a demonic invasion, the Lich King, or the biggest and most evil dragon ever, they ally. Temporarily. Unfortunately, after the Cavalry Betrayal at the Wrathgate, the level of danger required to set aside their differences has risen significantly, due in part to the enmity of Garrosh and Varian. Ultimately, where the Lich King, Deathwing, and Thunder King were all not enough to truly unite the two factions, Garrosh himself manages to cross the threshold.
    • In Warlords of Draenor, your first mission is to depower the Dark Portal. In order to do that, you are forced to free three dangerous warlocks, including Gul'dan, the orc responsible for the corruption of the orcs and the events of Warcraft in the original timeline. After that, he becomes one of the biggest threats. While the other two warlocks (alternate versions of Teron Gorefiend and Cho'gall) were slain by the adventurers in the alternate Hellfire Citadel and Highmaul, respectively, Gul'dan drives the plot up until the first half of the Legion expansion, where he serves as the final boss of the Nighthold.
  • The Enclave in the Fallout series sees the proliferation of mutants in the wasteland as their threshold. Unfortunately for everyone, to the Enclave, "mutant" doesn't just mean the super mutants and deformed ghouls, it includes any human who has been exposed to radiation for an extended period of time — in other words, everyone not a member of the Enclave or living in a Vault. Their solution is to use a modified strand of the FEV virus and release it into the air currents and later water supply to kill them all.
  • Capcom loves this trope, from the total destructions of Raccoon City in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and Fortune City to the massacres at Santa Cabeza and Willamette in Dead Rising.
  • Dragon Age: Origins:
    • Templars, when faced with a dire situation when confronting a rebellious or imperiled Mage Circle, have the option of calling for a "Rite of Annulment," which basically means completely and utterly purging the offending Mage Circle in question. The Rite is only called in only the most dire of circumstances, usually when it is determined that a circle has been too compromised to save, and that purging it is the only way to prevent further casualties.
    • The Blight has played this role for over a millenium, to the point where the Chantry is willing to look the other way when the Grey Wardens recruits criminals and apostates or dabble in blood magic. The games show several cases where the Wardens' habit of breaking the Chantry's laws with impunity backfire, however, like the mess left by Sophia Dryden's rebellion, or what happened with Corypheus's prison or, the most obvious case the Warden Commander of Ferelden taking Anders under his/her wing.
    • Some mages fighting for their freedom or life decide to use Blood Magic or make a deal with a demon. These situations usually end up badly - with the unfortunate mage getting possessed or driven insane with power. There are also shades of Then Let Me Be Evil, since many mages believe that if templars are going accuse them of Blood Magic anyway, they can as well go along with it and use the best weapon they have on their disposal.
    • Some Exalted Marches, note  have begun like this. While not strictly a Godzilla Threshold move, the Chantry has at times declared Marches in order to defend against a perceived direct threat to their faith, such as the first war with the Qunari, where the Qunari's technological superiority over the nations of Thedas meant that the land truly was at risk of being overrun. When the Exalted March was declared, every faithful and able Thedosian, even mages, who were often oppressed by the Southern Chantry, was mustered against the Qunari, and only through the use of that magic were they able to turn the tide
  • Dragon Age II:
    • During the Qunari invasion of the Kirkwall the situation gets so dire that when Knight-Commander Meredith discovers that Mage!Hawke has been operating as an illegal apostate under the Templars' very noses for the last four years... she does the smart thing and immediately declares a truce until the crisis is dealt with. At this point, she needs all the help she can get in retaking the city, even if it comes from an Apostate Mage.
    • At the end of Act III, the threshold is crossed deliberately to instigate a Lensman Arms Race between factions. A lone terrorist blows up a church, massacring hundreds. This also killed the only person holding Meredith back from the genocide she had wanted to commit all along. With the threat of The Unfettered Meredith, Orsino had no choice but to match her with all the forbidden magic he could get his hands on.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition sees the Big Bad deliberately exploit this when he makes the Grey Wardens think that they are all hearing the Calling. Their belief that they are all going to die soon leads to them using Blood Magic and performing Human Sacrifice to summon a demon army to help them wipe out the last two Old Gods before they are all gone. That demon army would eventually become his army.
    • There's a second, more subtle example in the game. The Qunari, who are the Scary Dogmatic Aliens of the setting, are so concerned by the Breach and resulting Rifts that they approach you looking to form an alliance to combat the menace. According to Iron Bull, this is the first time in recorded history that the Qunari have ever voluntarily considered an alliance with anyone not of the Qun for any reason.
    • The backdrop of the game, the Mage/Templar War, is the result of the abuse of the Godzilla Threshold. The threshold pertaining to the Right of Annulment and Rite of Tranquility slowly lowered over the centuries to the point where it was being abused quite blatantly in many cases. Flavor text reveals that the threshold for the Right of Annulment was lowered much more quickly than anyone thought, but the Seekers covered it up. The war was triggered when Anders prevented them from repeating that in Kirkwall.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite: Ultron-Sigma is such a threat to reality itself that the heroes are left with little choice but to enlist the aid of one of the most dangerous warlords in all of the known cosmos: Thanos!
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • Many failed, incomplete, or patently unworkable Doomsday Devices get activated as a last ditch effort to hold off invaders when all other methods have failed; a common version is digging straight down through adamantine veins as a final "screw you" to the would-be conquerors.
    • Upon discovering what lay beyond the adamantine the hard way, Bay 12 forumgoer SpiralDimentia decided to release his captive (hostile) bronze colossus in hopes of it fighting the... you know. This didn't work, but was applauded as sufficiently dwarven, especially since he tried to resettle the place twice after losing everything, despite the bronze colossus and the... you know... still being in residence there.
    • Failed miserably in one fortress that was being attacked by husks, and decided to Breach the Circus; it turns out that DEMONS are insufficiently Godzillaesque to defeat husks.
    • In Boatmurdered, one of the leaders created a lever that would flood the entire entryway and fields near the fortress with lava. For some reason. It is used once as a last-ditch way to get rid of a combined elephant-goblin invasion, in project "Fuck the world". However, with a bit of refinement it eventually becomes the standard method of dealing with any threat. The elves were not pleased. Nor was the human trading caravan that got caught up in it.
  • Modern Warfare:
    • Captain Price's plan to fire a Russian nuclear missile at the US Eastern Seaboard in order to use the EMP to stop the Russian invasion:
    You want to put out an oil fire, Sir, you set off a bigger explosion right next to it. Sucks away the oxygen. Snuffs the flame. (...) We've got ourselves a pretty big fire. Gonna to need a huge bang...
    • When the team has to take Makarov's bomber, Volk, out of Paris alive so he can be interrogated, they get held up on the bridge over the Seine when they meet a Russian barricade that won't let them through. They can't take care of it on their own, but they're also hesitant in calling in the AC-130 again because that much firepower would bring down the Eiffel Tower in the process. Ultimately, they're given direct authorization from the President to do what they need to to get that bomber in alive. Cue massive air strike at the end of the bridge and the Tower coming down into the river as the smoke is clearing.
  • BlazBlue:
    • Litchi crossed this in two phases on a personal case. The first phase, on realizing that Lotte Carmine was inflicted with an extreme corruption of the Boundary which practically has no normal permanent cure and begging for Kokonoe to help does no use, she sees it fit to corrupt herself with the Boundary to find symptoms and develop the cure from experience. The second phase is when she found no cure overall and her own corruption was getting to her, she sees it fit to join the NOL for the small hope of cure, despite the organization storing someone who's pegged as extremely shady and suspicious (Hazama), or blatant monster of a father (Relius).
    • In BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Kushinada's Lynchpin is a device that disrupts seithr on a global scale, and Houyoku: Rettenjou is the Nox Nyctores designed to activate it. Lord Tenjou refused to activate the Lynchpin during the Ikaruga Civil War, however, because the world had become dependent on seithr-fueled ars magus to function. By the end of the story, Relius had rigged every cauldron in the world to vomit ridiculous concentrations of seithr, which resulted in casualties the world over with every lost soul being dragged into the Ibukido monolith as a means to summon Master Unit: Amaterasu, which made activating the Lynchpin mandatory, and in some ways preferable to allowing this Doomsday to continue.
  • In Mortal Kombat 9, after most of the heroes to die, Raiden sees it fit that the only option left is to offer his allies' souls to the lord of the Netherworld so he'll fight Shao Kahn. The bad news, Shao Kahn had already made a similar deal with Quan Chi, leaving Raiden to fight Kahn alone.
  • The threats from Revan, the returning Sith Emperor and then the Eternal Empire of Zakul forces the Republic and Sith Empire to work together in the expansions to Star Wars: The Old Republic.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The galaxy was being threatened on all fronts by the Rachni leaving the Galactic Council so desperate that the Salarians decided to find their own tough, relatively primitive, hyper-aggressive race, the Krogan, and give them spaceships and high tech weapons. It worked, but then the Krogan became aggressive expansionists, leading the Salarians to unleash a biological weapon on them to drive them to near sterility. In Mass Effect 3, you're faced with undoing the sterility plague so that the Krogan can be the galaxy's shock troops once again.
    • The Krogans' rapid breeding was itself a Threshold for the designers of the genophage - their fertility was so powerful that they couldn't touch it with the genophage, and instead had to reduce infant viability. The Krogan still conceived just as many children as before - but the vast majority were stillborn.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • The Illusive Man tells you that a Reaper was killed (with the round eventually hitting another planet) by a mass accelerator round, and that the race who fired the shot didn't fare much better.
    • In the DLC Arrival, this is invoked, as the Reapers are set to arrive at the Alpha Relay in mere hours. There is only one viable solution to stop it from happening: destroying the Relay, and thus setting off a supernova-level explosion that wipes out a nearby colony world with over 300,000 batarians. It isn't pretty, but it has to be done.
  • Mass Effect 3 races past the Godzilla Threshold before the player even presses start.
    • Due to Shepard's actions in "The Arrival", they have been branded a war criminal and terrorist throughout Citadel space. Then the Reapers arrive. The charges are immediately dropped because not only does everyone realise that Shepard was right, but they are the only person who's ever been capable of actually killing them!
    • The continuity's equivalent of Godzilla, the literal mother of all Thresher Maws, is summoned and it proceeds to kill a Reaper.
    • By the end of the game, your coalition can include several of the biggest threats in galactic history.
    • Admiral Hackett points out that there is no way in hell that a super weapon as powerful as the Crucible would ever be seriously considered under normal circumstances, but the Reapers have forced humanity's hand. Indeed, no one even knows what the Crucible even does, all they know is that it can generate an immense amount of energy. The fact remains that the Crucible is the only thing in the galaxy with enough raw power output to defeat the Reapers, though, so...
    • The Codex entry "Desperate Measures" discusses different ways that are being considered to stop the Reapers that would never be considered in normal warfare, such as destroying mass relays to strand them in distant systems (they'd just go the long way) or ramming them with starships traveling at FTL speeds (integral safety protocols make it impractical at best).
    • One planet decided to blow itself up so they didn't suffer a Fate Worse than Death and become indoctrinated.
    • In the Leviathan DLC, Shepard brokers an truce with the last surviving members of the Eldritch Abomination race that inadvertantly created the Reapers, gaining their help to defeat their errant progeny.
    • Three of the four possible endings of the game involve this in one way or another. Because of the situation, the Catalyst offers the only real way out, so either Shepard has to go with one of three options - none of which are a clear-cut victory and all involve some sacrifices - or doom the galaxy. If Shepard takes too long, the Crucible is destroyed. If Shepard refuses any of the above options, the galaxy falls and it's up to the next cycle to do the job using what Shepard's people left behind.
    • Ironically, Shepard appearing on the battlefield becomes this for the Reapers, as they will turn their dreadnought-killing guns away from entire fleets in an attempt to finally kill him/her.
  • In WarCraft 3: The Warsong clan and their leader Grom Hellscream went to Ashenvale to acquire lumber for the new settlement of the orcs. As it turns out, this was the home of Cenarius and the night elves, who believed that the orcs were servants of the Burning Legion. While the orcs had been servants to the Legion in the past, they had thrown off the Legion's enslavement by this point. However, the elves and Cenarius were quickly pushing them to their limits, leading to the orcs having to drink the blood of Mannoroth, rebonding them to the Legion, in order to survive and win.
  • Has happened at least once in Touhou. At some point in recent history, humankind's disbelief of anything supernatural had grown enough to threaten the very existence of supernatural beings. Seeing this situation, the youkai sages decided to erect the Hakurei barrier to rip Gensokyo from real world, so that the land become the final haven of everything supernatural. They knew that they were going to offend the Dragon of Gensokyo, and the Dragon did appear in all its catastrophic glory, covering the sky from one horizon to the opposite, while downpouring from the Dragon's body threatened to drown the land. Amazingly, the Dragon was willing to listen to the sages, and it agreed to their plan. Then it disappeared, and (thankfully) never seen again since then.
    • It happened again in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom - the Lunarians, a race of moon-based immortals, are functionally immortal, having fled from Earth's impurity and thus made themselves incapable of dying. Then large amounts of fairies start spreading across their lifeless world, bringing lifeforce, and with it, death. Worse yet, their fantastic tech is worse than useless, since it's entirely based off the concept of purification, and the invading fairies are purified lifeforce, rendering them 100% immune to anything the Lunarians could throw at them. It reaches the point where their leadership begins desperate preparations to purify and invade Gensokyo, which at the time the Lunarians consider enemy territory.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Aedra, the et'Ada ("original spirits") who sacrificed much of their divine power during the creation of Mundus, the mortal plane, typically reserve direct Divine Intervention for only the most dire of situations, such as averting The End of the World as We Know It. They prefer a much lighter touch in mortal affairs otherwise, at most typically working through a mortal agent. Because of this, many in Tamriel openly question their existence while considering them inept and/or lazy.
      • A prominent example of what happens when the Divines get more aggressive is Pelinal Whitestrake, an Aedric being sent as an answered prayer by the Divines to Alessia, the "Slave Queen" attempting to liberate her Nedic (ancestors of Men) people from the cruel tyranny of the (primarly) Daedra-worshiping Ayleids. Pelinal was The Berserker with an extreme hatred of all elves and a habit of slaughtering entire kingdoms. The Divines were so horrified by his actions that they nearly left the mortal world altogether, only remaining after Alessia appeased them with prayer and sacrifices. Pelinal would be the last (known) direct divine agent to act in Mundus, and since, have only acted through mortal agents with divine blessings, like the Dragonborn, instead of direct intervention.
      • There are very rare moments where the Divines fully intervene in events within Mundus, usually in response to an attack by one of the Daedric Princes. The most notable example is against Mehrunes Dagon during the Oblivion Crisis, where Akatosh manifested an avatar when Martin Septim sacrified himself, and defeated Mehunres Dagon's avatar. The result of that battle was that there were no longer any Dragonborn Emperors, and without Dragonborn to lead it, the Septim Empire began its slow decline and disintegration. Another example is the Vestige during the events of The Elder Scrolls Online, who gained the direct blessings of Akatosh to allow them to fight Molag Bal in the heart of his realm of Coldharbour. In that case, Akatosh did not even consider granting his blessings and power until the Vestige had left Nirn entirely and was inside Coldharbour, due to the damage that their battle would cause to Nirn.
    • In the series' backstory, the event that led to the disappearance of the Dwemer may have been this for the Dwemer. The Dwemer uncovered the Heart of Lorkhan, the still-beating "divine center" of the "dead" god who helped create the mortal plane, deep beneath the Red Mountain volcano. Kagrenac, the Dwemeri "Chief Tonal Architect," created the tools needed to tap into the power of the Heart and planned to do so with the goal of allowing the Dwemer to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Their enemies-turned-allies, the highly religious Chimer, found out and believed this to be a blasphemy, so they attacked. According to one telling of the Dwemer's final days, Kagrenac only used the tools on the Heart as a last-ditch effort when the Chimer successfully infiltrated the Dwemer's Red Mountain stronghold. In his haste, he got something wrong, which caused the Dwemer to disappear from all known planes of existence in a single instant.
    • The Bosmer (Wood Elves) have a ritual known as "The Wild Hunt", in which a number of Bosmer transform themselves into nightmarish beasts, and then rampage through Valenwood destroying their enemies. Because there is no known way to reverse the transformation, the ritual is considered a taboo subject by Bosmer and is sanctioned for use only in dire circumstances. (Only twice in history has it actually been sanctioned, and both times, it achieved its intended goal.)
    • A possible result in Skyrim. Your character may be the leader of the Thieves' Guild, the Dark Brotherhood, have completed each Daedric quest (even the ones that involve murder, betrayal, torture, and cannibalism), and murdered hundreds of innocent people. But the Graybeards will still teach your character the way of the Voice, despite being someone that will doubtlessly abuse this power, because you're still the world's only hope at defeating the dragons.
  • In Saints Row: The Third in one possible ending, after a beloved monument is destroyed, Senator Monica Hughes allows STAG to deploy the much hinted-at Daedalus, an Airborne Aircraft Carrier that begins indiscriminately attacking Steelport in a desperate attempt to wipe out the Saints.
  • Pops up in the final GDI mission of Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Faced with a grueling assault on an enemy stronghold in hopes of ending an Alien Invasion, Director Boyle will urge you to use the Liquid Tiberium bomb to wipe out the foe with a single press of a button - even though doing so will set off a chain reaction in the world's largest Red Zone, killing millions if not billions of civilians, causing irreparable environmental damage, and annihilating your own army. However, as hard as the fight is, your forces are still capable of winning without using the bomb and thereby destroying southern Europe.
  • Gears of War: In the backstory, the Locust invasion was so devastating that the Hammer of Dawn Kill Sat was used to destroy all the major cities to slow the advance. In Gears of War 3, you deal with the aftermath of this when you visit Char, a city that was leveled by the attack.
  • Dark Souls:
    • The Darkwraiths sealed under the flooded city of New Londo caused a Godzilla Threshold. The Darkwraiths you see are corrupted, evil monsters who devoured humanity (the precious, ethereal substance, not actual people). There were such a threat to anything that possessed a soul that the Sealers, a group of pacifists, flooded an entire city, drowning its entire populace just to seal them away.
    • The fading of the First Flame is the threshold for the gods. The Fire is so sacred, that they are willing to do anything to keep it burning just a little while longer. The Witch of Izalith attempted to use her Lord Soul as a replacement. When that went horribly wrong, Gwyn divided his Lord Soul up and plunged into the First Flame himself to reignite it. He's been burning alive in it ever since. And now that it's fading again, what remains of the pantheon is ready to sacrifice one hapless Undead and the remaining scraps of the Lord Souls to keep the Flame lit.
  • Dark Souls III: The First Flame is coming closer than ever before to dying, which has made the Fire Keepers and other followers of the old gods very desperate to keep it going, to the point that they are now resurrecting past Lords only to sacrifice them again to keep it going, some of whom were very evil indeed. And then there's the Untended Graves and what it suggests. One theory is that, in Ludleth's time, the First Flame actually did die, and Ludleth somehow broke causality and time travelled to feed the Flame himself, which may be one explanation for how extraordinarily convoluted the timeline in the third game is.
  • Blast Corps has a truck with a pair of defective nuclear missiles. The truck's computer goes on the fritz and winds up locking the controls while going on auto-pilot mode and goes directly straight to its destination, regardless on what is its way. The slightest jolt will cause the missiles to explode and destroy everything in a several mile wide radius. The solution? Destroy entire towns and cities by using machines and vehicles designed for destruction so that the truck has a clear path. The game even keeps track on how much damage you caused, which can easily skyrocket to the millions and billions of dollars. You will level entire towns, but it's a small price to pay to avoid a nuclear winter.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the backstory of the Jedi Exile is that she confronted this at Malachor V. The situation became so dire she was forced to unleash a superweapon, which ended up not only killing every single thing on the planet, but the entire fleet in orbit! The sheer scale of the destruction caused the Exile to become severed from the Force and lead her to willingly accept exile on the Outer Rim for over ten years.
  • In the Super Robot Wars Original Generation, there are two Godzilla Thresholds. The first is the usage of Only One Crash and the creation of the Super Robot SRX and the powerful Hyper Tromium Buster Cannon. The second? Unsealing the RTX-008L Huckebein L, one of two robots powered by a black hole and basically weaponizes it.
  • In one conversation in Assassin's Creed III, Rebecca suggests presenting all of the information the team has gathered to Abstergo so they can help avert the solar flare. Desmond replies that he actually considered that option, and only refrained from doing so because he believes Abstergo already knows about the threat and is trying to take advantage of it. The very idea of Assassins seriously considering working with Templars, in particular Desmond (who has been their prisoner and test subject), shows just how dire the situation is. Later, Minerva will actually encourage Desmond to allow the solar flare to wipe out most of humanity rather than set Juno loose. Juno is apparently that dangerous.
  • In Shin Super Robot Wars, Ryouma Nagare, for his part, is rather reluctant to invoke the potentially catastrophic might of the Shin Getter, but will admit the aliens pose an even greater threat.
  • In Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, one possible ending revolves around the main character deciding the threshold has been crossed, though the rest of the party disagrees. After Nepgear goes through with the "godzilla" move (by traumatically murdering all her friends, including a pair of children, and then her own sister), she confronts the Big Bad, only to find out she's just committed the same catastrophe she was trying to head off. Yes, she can kill the Big Bad, but it's so inconsequential now there's no point. Roll credits.
  • Dialogue and flashbacks hint that training Spyro and sending him to fight in The Legend of Spyro trilogy could be seen as crossing the threshold; his full power is capable of destroying and remaking the world and at least one other purple dragon before him went mad with power and became the Big Bad. Unfortunately, the Dark Master's follower, Cynder in particular, are too much for the aging Dragon Guardians and their allies.
  • In Star Trek Online, the war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire was already coming to an end after Va'Kel Shon, captain of the Enterprise-F, saved Qo'noS from the Undine. However, the arrival of an Iconian and its casual murder of the entire Klingon High Council save for Chancellor Jm'pok leads to the outright end of the war and the unity between the Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Republic.
  • NetHack, along with other roguelikes, is a game that rewards carefully weighing your options and building a toolkit to deal with any situation. So when it all goes wrong and the player's back is to the wall, it's all the more jarring to break out all those blatantly stupid actions, like drinking unidentified potions or zapping an empty wand for that 1/128 chance for it to work.
  • Arc The Lad 2 has a villain be the one who gets pushed too far. With his evil empire defeated and the heroes closing in on him, he decides to break the last remaining seal and let The Dark One out of his prison. Needless to say, this does not work out well for anyone.
  • The climax of Eternal Darkness: In order to stop the Eldritch Abomination that Pious summons, Alex Roivas uses the City of En'gha's nine-rune Circle of Power (player characters are limited to seven-rune Circles at most) to summon another Eldritch Abomination capable of defeating it. Once the former is defeated, she realizes that it's just as likely to destroy humanity. Luckily, her grandfather's ghost is on hand to seal the latter one away.
  • Near the end of Shadowrun Returns, the threat at hand is so existentially dangerous that the player character and allies decide it's worth it to conduct a raid on a major Mega-Corp, with all the retributive death squads and other consequences that will entail, if it means they can get the resources needed to defeat the current threat. The fact that you crossed the threshold in the first place draws the attention of said Mega-Corp's CEO, who decides to actually ask you why you went to such an extreme risk rather than kill you out of hand, which leads to him supporting you in saving the entire city from the impending spirit insect invasion.
    • In Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong, threatening to do this is key to getting the best ending. How do you stop an Eldritch Abomination trying to tunnel into reality and start a reign of sacrifice and chaos? Threaten to open the tunnel for it. The reason being that the other Yama Kings that get through the new door can't make the situation any worse, but they will definitely kill the first one for trying to keep the tunnel a secret from them.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Regular!Batman gets Regime!Batman to cross his own personal Threshold by using the dimensional transporter to bring Regular!Superman to fight Regime!Superman and his army. Fortunately for Regime!Batman, this turns out to be a very wise move, considering Regular!Superman single-handedly saves the day.
  • Injustice 2:
    • Braniac comes to destroy Earth, and Batman's heroes struggle to do anything to stop him. With most of the biggest hitters in the their universe dead, this makes the idea of releasing the thoroughly evil and utterly unrepentant Regime!Superman very tempting. About mid-way through the game, Batman finally gives in and does it.
    • The DLC character Enchantress invokes this: Usually Enchantress's human host June is terrified to let her out (not that she can ever stop her coming out to duke it out with people). However against the worst villains in the game, like Joker and Braniac, she will willingly let the Enchantress out to battle.
  • Crysis
    • In Crysis, this happens all the time throughout the series. In the first game, the US Navy decides to nuke an energy dome that the Ceph have erected over the Lingshan Islands even after being warned it will just make them more powerful. Considering the Ceph just overran an entire Marine division while barely taking a lick of damage it's fairly justified.
    • In Crysis 2, the Pentagon does it again by bombing out the flood barriers of New York City and trying to drown the Ceph. It's pointed out that this is a really bad idea considering the Ceph are aquatic creatures, but nobody else has any better ideas. Later on in the game the Ceph are on the verge of deploying a virulent spore weapon into the atmosphere which will likely kill the entire human race so the Department of Defense authorizes a tactical nuclear strike on the weapon site in Central Park. Even though it probably won't work and will kill thousands of civilians left in the city, it's their last best hope.
  • In the backstory of Mega Man Battle Network 6, the Cybeast Falzar was created in order to defeat Cybeast Gregar, except Falzar itself went out of control, becoming as much of a threat as Gregar was.
  • Talks by the developers after City of Heroes was shut down revealed that the invasion by Battalion was supposed to be this: the plan for fighting them involved summoning Rularuu the Ravager.
  • Civilization: Using nukes will irradiate the terrain in the blast radius, drastically reducing the resource yield while making your units on those tiles move slower and fight noticeably poorer. Furthermore they don't distinguish between enemy and friendly but will severely hurt both alike. If you have a large enemy army on the way that you know your own conventional forces can't hold off, though, it may be worth taking the hit. In fact, even having one will make other countries wary of crossing you unless they have no other recourse.
    • Planet busters in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri are even more dangerous, as they completely obliterate anything in the blast radius and leave huge craters behind. The power of a planet buster depends on the type of reactor used in its constructions. Singularity planet busters (i.e. using the energy of a black hole) leave a giant crater behind and can become a new sea. Unlike Civ's nukes, they don't leave fallout, though. Still, it's entirely possible to completely wipe out several cities that are located close together with a single planet buster. However, using them is considered such an atrocity that all other factions automatically declare vendetta (war) on you. Ah, and you also will piss off Planet itself, so be ready to face groups of angry Mindworms.
  • In Dragon Quest VI, the threat of the Dread Fiends was enough to convince the King of Graceskull to try to summon a legendary demon to fight them off. Naturally, it ends poorly for Graceskull. It is possible for the party to convince said demon to do their job for them.
  • Surprisingly subverted in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. An Ork invasion on a Titan-producing Forge World seems like the kind of situation which would warrant an Exterminatus (total planetary annihilation), but that option is discarded in the opening cinematic. It's stated that the Titan Manufactorum is priceless, and the loss of a completed Titan awaiting deployment would hamper Imperial military operations for centuries and is completely unacceptable.
  • Undertale:
    • In the "Alphys ending" achieved by doing most of a No Mercy run and aborting it at the last minute, Alphys reveals that she corraled up all the surviving monsters someplace safe, and crossed a personal threshold by allowing them to find out her darkest secret (experimenting on innocents), which she decided that was preferable to you killing all of them.
    • Due to the death of Asriel, King Asgore decided that humanity had gone too far and the only solution was for him to absorb seven human souls and destroy humanity, as much as the idea repulsed Asgore personally. As pointed out by Toriel in the Pacifist ending, Asgore's unwillingness to follow through with the plan ended up drawing it out so much that it never reached completion, in any route.
  • DOOM (2016): It's eventually revealed that retrieving Doomguy in the first place was the threshhold-crossing plan UAC had if Hell's incursions got too bad. While that would most definitely deal with the demons, it'd also wreck their whole Argent Energy operation, which is why they were tampering with Hell in the first place, and the demons would put up a lot of resistance if they tried it, leading to horrible casualties. Naturally, things get bad enough, and Doomguy does indeed wreck their Argent Energy operation, enraged at the fact people are still trying to fuck around with Hell forces even in this day. Still, it got the demons dealt with.
  • In Guilty Gear Xrd, the in-canon reason for Elphelt being a playable character is that Ramlethal's plot is the threshold, and El herself being Godzilla (reason being that both are Valentines, and the last Valentine shown in the series was the Big Bad).
  • At the end of South Park: The Stick of Truth, despite the Gentlemen's Oath, Dovahkiin solves everything by farting on someone's balls (specifically, Kenny's).
  • In South Park: The Fractured but Whole, when attacking the SPPD, Sergeant Yates eventually decides to release the one prisoner he deems capable of dealing with a pack of ten year olds: former Subway spokesperson and convicted pedophile Jared Fogle.
    Cartman: Oh fuck, it's Jared.
    Yates:(escaping down an elevator) You'll excuse me if I don't want to watch this.
  • When the titular Trillion: God of Destruction manages to effortlessly kill him in the prologue, Zeabolos promptly considers this threshold crossed. He sells his own soul, lets his minions sacrifice themselves to manufacture troops, and puts his family members and childhood friends through hellish training regimens; anything to kill Trillion and make sure there's still a Netherworld for the survivors to live in.
  • The threshold is crossed instantly in Starsiege when the Cybrids appear, despite the fact that numerous human colonies were actively rebelling against Earth's government at the time. Everyone knows the Cybrids are the greatest existential threat ever faced in history: tireless, merciless, and unequivocally committed to the complete extermination of humanity.
  • Super Robot Wars V: After realizing that the Invaders are a threat not only to the Yamato but to all sapient life in the universe, Captain Okita authorizes the use of the Wave Motion Gun against them in combat.
  • Spec Ops The Line is all about crossing that threshold over and over again. First, they had to send in the CIA to put the rogue 33rd Division under control. Then you and your team bomb it with white phosphorus, because it's (supposedly) the only way to stop an entire army division gone nuts (shortly before that, you and your team narrowly avoid a white phosphorus bombing just so you know what you're going to unleash upon the Damned 33rd). And then you find out that the CIA has already crossed that threshold all along: the situation in Dubai had gotten so amazingly bad, they decided to just give the city the coup-de-grâce, by sabotaging what little remained of the city's water supply in order to make everyone leave the place or dehydrate to death.
  • Certain cards in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft have powerful effect combined with absolutely horrible drawbacks. In times of desperation though, the drawbacks can be made moot, and playing these cards can give you a fighting chance or win the game outright. The most iconic is Deathwing, a 10-mana Minion with absolutely terrifying stats of 12/12, but forces you to discard your entire hand and kills every other minion on the board. But if you only have a few cards in hand left and the enemy has strong board presence, there's nothing to lose and everything to gain by summoning him.
  • The backstory of RayForce consists of the artificial intelligence Con-Human corrupting the Earth's ecosystem to wage war on Earth life so badly that humanity is reduced to destroying the planet to stop it. The player character succeeds in the ending, though not without getting caught up in the ensuing explosion and dying.
  • In The Division, New York City gets hit by a man-made virus, resulting in the near total collapse of society. With the police and National Guard overwhelmed, the U.S. government activates the Division, a group of elite sleeper agents embedded in the population, with orders to go into NYC and restore order by any means necessary. To its credit, the game shows why this can actually be a bad thing when the ultimate bad guys turn out to be the first wave of Division agents who've gone rogue and sided with the Last Man Battalion.
  • The Aether Foundation are so concerned by the threat of the Ultra Beasts in Pokémon Sun and Moon that they attempt to create an entire new Godzilla to fight them in the form of the Type: Full project. It doesn't work, and the resulting Pokemon are renamed Type: Null and sealed off. Gladion steals one and manages to raise it to the point where it actually can fight an Ultra Beast, eventually evolving it into Silvally - a Pokemon which is essentially a weaker version of the creator of the Pokemon world.
  • In the early 1980s arcade classic Defender, some players employed the strategy of shooting all but one of the humanoids they were supposed to defend, waiting around for a Lander to abduct him, then rescuing him from the fall after destroying the Lander but not bringing him back to earth, so as to prevent the planet from blowing up during that wave.
  • Warframe: While the Corpus and Grineer are locked in a Forever War, whenever the Infested show up, everyone drops everything to fight them. While both sides usually don't fight side by side, they still leave each other alone until the Infested are dealt with.
  • In Horizon Zero Dawn, the entire plot is this. Humans were driven to extinction by billionaire fuck-up Ted Faro by him creating machines that could convert bio-mass to eenrgy; and failed to account for a glitch that sent the machines into consuming bio-mass and self-reproduction at an accelerated rate. While humans took the fight back to the machines, more were being self-produced faster than humans could defeat them in addition to the machines just learning and preparing better tactics against the humans. It had gotten so bad that the Godzilla Threshold was passed and two joint plans were made: Operation Freedom in which humans were thrown en masse as sacrifices to the machines while the real plan was the Zero Dawn initiative: a plan to reproduce all life on the planet after the machines ran out of biomass; and from there, multiple AI would facilitate the rebirth of humanity.

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