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Apocalyptic Montage

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A montage of various locations (and their major landmarks), with or without their inhabitants, which are being catastrophically obliterated or soon to be, or in some cases already have been. Usually depicts The End of the World as We Know It. A hallmark of Disaster Movies.

This is what happens when a villain Storyboarding the Apocalypse succeeds. Contrast Spreading Disaster Map Graphic, which likewise illustrates a catastrophe's scope, but at a resolution that's too large-scale to show individual landmarks. Likely involves lots of Scenery Gorn.

This trope is inherently spoileriffic, be wary!


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Film — Animation 
  • Lampshaded in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, where an announcer says that "the storm seems to follow a strange pattern, where it is attacking the world's most famous landmarks first, and then moving onto the surrounding area."

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Dr. Strangelove ends with a montage of nuclear explosions, famously set to Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again".
  • The end of Fail Safe. Shots of landmarks and street scenes in New York just before it gets hit by a nuke dropped from a US plane, dropped on orders from the President to "make up" for a US plane nuking Moscow.
  • Five opens with an atomic explosion followed montage of intact world landmarks with fallout drifting across them.
  • Occurs in the film Godzilla: Final Wars, in which several giant monsters (IE: King Seesar, Rodan, Zilla, etc.) are shown destroying various cities (IE: Okinawa, New York, Sydney) while under the control of the Xillians.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), this trope occurs when the Vogons are about to destroy the Earth.
  • Independence Day: A catastrophic showcase of destruction is seen when the aliens use their Kill Sats on the major cities.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, we see the effects of the hate plague unfold in three different cities. Something of a subversion for the whole gentleman spy genre in and of itself as it actually shows the beginning of what is actually a terrifying way for the world to end, rather than it being stopped with seconds left on the countdown.
  • Mars Attacks! has one with the aliens attacking London, Mt. Rushmore, the Taj Mahal and Easter Island. Watch it starting at 2:45.
  • The Twist Ending of Planet of the Apes, surely. Moreso in the [[Film/P;anetOtheApes1968 classic version]].
  • Very Nice, Very Nice, the Arthur Lipsett film that influenced the editing for the Dr. Strangelove trailer.
  • Implied in WarGames, when the computer runs the various scenarios of a nuclear holocaust that always results in total nuclear destruction.
  • The War of the Worlds (1953) has one of these, showing the Martians attacking various armies, locations and populations. Watch it here, starting at 5:10.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Battlestar Galactica movie The Plan has this while depicting the destruction of the Colonies.
  • Life After People has such montages for the fates of the many, many things we leave behind should we go extinct as a species.

    Video Games 
  • The normal ending of Cave Story.
  • Lavos' various appearances in Chrono Trigger always leads to one of these: it more or less causes the extinction of the dinosaurs when it strikes the earth in 65 Million BC, it destroys the Floating Continent in 12000 BC, and it destroys human civilization entirely in the Day of Lavos (and witnessing the Apocalyptic Log of this is what spurs our heroes to do something about it). And then there's the Downer Ending you get if you lose to Lavos...
  • Fallout 3's ending has one of these depicting the outcome of the player's actions if they have negative Karma, for example; Megaton being nuked, Harold the Wise Tree being burned, the citizens of Rivet City being slaughtered, and Underworld and other settlements being wiped out by the Modified FEV.
  • The destruction of the Floating Continent and the ensuing post-apocalyptic flythrough of the World of Ruin in Final Fantasy VI.
  • The Ending of Final Fantasy X-2 if you run out of time in the last boss battle.
  • The glassing of Taris at the end of the first segment of Knights of the Old Republic.
  • The ending of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
  • The "Armageddon" ending of Live A Live.
  • The ending sequence in Mother 3.
  • In Odin Sphere the entire last act counts as this and will end with the death of the world in every version. The best possible outcome is nature growing back with Oswald and Gwendolyn surviving to restart mankind and Velvet and Cornelius as Pooka helping the animal population.
  • In Pok√©mon Diamond and Pearl, after Cyrus starts to create a new universe, there are cutscenes of various places in the region as the sky changes color to reflect how the universe is being swallowed up.
  • The intro of Star Ocean: The Last Hope. The titular 'Last Hope' are the brave explorers who are heading out into space to find us a new planet...
  • The intro cinematic for World of Warcraft Cataclysm depicts the destruction of several classic areas from the game such as the Barrens, Darkshore, and Loch Modan's iconic Dwarven dam.

    Webcomics 
  • Homestuck has a few of these, but with the main characters' homes instead of monuments.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in at least one episode of Futurama, when an alien invasion just happens to begin with "Monument Beach", a beach in New New York where a former Supervillain President gathered all the world's famous monuments (which the invading aliens promptly destroy with their "Monument Destroying Ray").

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The Day After

The attack sequence.

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