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"Hope you got your things together
Hope you are quite prepared to die
Looks like we're in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye

Well don't go 'round tonight
Well it's bound to take your life
There's a bad moon on the rise"

When the epic struggle is just around the corner, ominous portents are going to come out of the woodwork. Well, what portent more ominous than the heavens themselves?

A blood-red celestial body that wasn't there yesterday, without exception, means things are about to take a nasty turn. If the Bad Moon is itself the threat, as in a Colony Drop or similar, you'll most likely be able to prevent it. If the star-gazers are getting a light show Because Destiny Says So — yeah, people are going to bleed.

This portent has its roots in the old myth about "blood on the moon," how a reddish ring around the moon was a sign of bad things to come and also in the myths about comets and other celestial movements being portents, often of death, war or plague. It is in fact caused by the very real astronomical event known as a Lunar Eclipse (the moon passes directly behind the Earth and into its shadow).

See Lunacy for when the moon is actually the trigger of events on Earth. This is commonly, but not necessarily, a Weird Moon.

Closely related to Red Sky, Take Warning. See Comet of Doom when the bad thing in the sky is an oncoming comet.

A subtrope of Alien Sky and Portent of Doom. See also The Stars Are Going Out and When the Planets Align. Not to be confused with Melancholy Moon. Also has nothing to do with characters expressing contempt or displeasure or immaturity by exposing their buttocks.

Compare Ominous Clouds.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Darker than Black: Near the end of the second season the moon—having vanished years ago when an Alien Sky replaced the real one—reappears, large and red. According to prophecy, shit's supposed to hit the fan when the moon turns full.
    • The final episode reveals that the "moon" isn't a moon at all but rather an entire second Earth created through a grand-scale display of Shion's Contractor ability to copy objects. The second Earth gradually recedes and disappears from the sky and is implied to take the original Earth's place on the other side of the Gate's veil.
  • Descendants of Darkness: The moon seems to turn red whenever Muraki kills someone.
  • Dragonaut: The Resonance: The planet of Thanatos. Which later proves itself to be alive and a giant dragon. Somehow.
  • Fairy Tail: During the Grand Magic Games arc, the Eclipse Gate was going haywire due to an eclipse that turned the moon red. That resulted in 7 dragons from over 400 years ago emerging from the Gate and attacking Crocus.
  • Fist of the North Star: The "Star of Death" acts as one of these. Anyone who sees it is doomed to die very soon. Only one character has survived the Star of Death, and it involved the intervention of The Power of Love and a Heroic Sacrifice on the part of someone else.
  • Future Diary: During the climax, Yuno reflects on how she has two sides: a bright and dark one, just like the moon. When she reaches toward it, the screen "glitches" for a moment, and the moon turns red while Yuno's hand is shown covered in blood.
  • In Hellsing, there is almost always a blood moon when there is a plot point, such as the night Seras Victoria was transformed into a vampire or when Walter informed Alucard that he would be heading to Brazil.
  • Jewelpet Happiness: The Red Moon is not just a foreboding-looking moon; it's alive and the main villain. It possesses people so they'll spread its evil energy, called Unhappiness.
  • Mazinger: In the Mazinger Z sequel UFO Robo Grendizer, the Moon becoming red was a sign of the Vegan Alliance was getting ready another attack—and the main characters eventually learnt to watch for that. One of the manga versions — penned by Gosaku Ota — reinforced that: in the first pages a red skull appeared on the Moon's surface (a sign of the Vegans had come) — and Duke felt upset when he saw it, and wondered if that was a bad omen.
  • My-HiME: The red star that shines even during the daytime is also Invisible to Normals.
  • Naruto: The moon is red on Itachi's Mental World.
    • The moon is shown to be red without explanation during several important scenes, such as during Tobi's backstory.
    • The moon not only turns red, but forms a 3-rowed Rinne-Sharingan when the Infinite Tsukoyumi is activated. There's only just enough time for everyone to take notice before the moon gives off a blinding flash that puts everyone around the world to a genjutsu sleep.
  • Ookami Kakushi: dramatic scenes at night inevitably occur against the backdrop of a blood-red full moon. Given the spread of events, one can't help but conclude that the moon is full all month long in Jouga.
  • Pokémon: The Series: In the episode "Shell Shock!", where the group visits an island made entirely out of Kabuto fossils, a prophecy comes true near the end after Team Rocket raids the island to steal them: a red moon rises that causes said fossils to come back to life, which then causes the island to fall apart!
    Prophecy: When the scavengers come, the moon will glow an angry red; the land itself will vanish and be swallowed by the sea.
  • Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea: Ponyo's venturing to human worlds draws the moon closer and causes the water to rise toward it.
  • In Rosario + Vampire, when Inner Moka comes out, the sky and moon go red.
  • Tiger & Bunny: the appearance of the Vigilante Man, Lunatic, is usually accompanied by an ominous-looking red moon.
  • Wolf's Rain: In later episodes the moon turns blood-red (both in the show and in the closing credits), portending The End of the World as We Know It. And its rebirth.

    Comic Books 
  • The ElfQuest "Siege at Blue Mountain" arc began in 1986, the same year Halley's Comet reappeared, so not surprisingly there's a comet sighted in the comic (hey, rhyming alliteration!) - and equally unsurprisingly there are major upheavals ahead. Again, something of a no-brainer, because if there weren't there'd be no plot. The comet was thrown in because Richard Pini loves astronomy (he's designed planaterium shows), and was WAY disappointed with that appearance of Halley's, so they put a cool one in the book for his Avatar (Skywise).
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992): A blood-red Moon is glimpsed at throughout the tale, and sporting a skull face in the Dark World. In fact, the only tangible transition to the Dark World (apart from the wall collapsing around Link) is the smoke billowing from Agahnim's corpse to form the skull above.
  • Peter David once wrote a comic about Atlantis where an asteroid was about to hit. The script mentioned they could now see the 'face' of the asteroid. The Spanish artist misunderstood and drew an actual face on the asteroid (similar to the image above). David decided to keep it.
  • In the cover of an issue of Superman story arc Superman: Brainiac, Brainiac's face appears on the Moon.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Divided Rainbow: Princess Luna sets the moon on fire.
  • When Kirby finally reaches Halcandra in Kirby: Revenge of Dream Land, he'll find that the moon in the background of Egg Engines has turned an ominous orange-red. It bathes the entire area in red light, making the abandoned Halcandran city look like it's in even greater disrepair than usual.
  • The Immortal Game: Princess Luna turns the moon blood red as a sign that Equestria is at war.
  • It's Always Spooky Month: Chapter 9 sees Monster dropping Skid and Pump off Sarvente's church while he goes off hunting during the blood moon, as he doesn't want them getting hurt by any of the other monsters roaming about. The blood moon is actually Exploited by the monster population, as due to the history and general associations behind it, police are less willing to go out and stop crime since there's already going to be a lot of it, thus allowing more crime to occur.
  • The Night Unfurls: According to Celestine, this is the phenomenon when "omens come to dispense misery upon the dreamers", which wanes Olga's Black Magic, providing an opening for an invasion to the Black Fortress. Kyril finds this quite amusing. Then again, it's not like he has not experienced such a phenomenon before...
  • RealityCheck's Nyxverse: the moon turns green for three nights after Luna pigs out on Nightmare Night candy.
  • A Witch In Broad Daylight: During a blood moon the normally slow, harmless zombies become fast and extremely aggressive, with more rising up out of the ground at any moment. Most ponies barricade themselves indoors until it ends.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Played with in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence; during the second act, the leaders of the Flesh Fair hunt for unlicensed robots using a hot air balloon disguised to look like the moon. Apparently, they've been doing so long enough for the "Old Iron" to make up a warning cry for when the Moon Balloon appears above them: "Moon on the rise!"
  • In Kull the Conqueror, the moon turning red with a gruesome demonic face marks the imminent resurrection of the fiendish lords of Acheron.
  • In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Legolas makes reference to a red sun, indicating blood has been spilled.
  • Messiah of Evil, the prelude to the hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the 'Dark Stranger', a former minister and Donner Party survivor turned evil being, concerns the maturation of the 'Blood Moon', being a red ring that slowly eclipses the moon as the people of Point Dune, California below turn slowly into insensible, live flesh-eating, cannibalistic, sadistic zombies who bleed from the eyes, ears and mouth as they lose all morality. "Like they were being dragged closer to Hell itself."
  • In Seventh Son, a "Blood Moon" that appears every century empowers dark-magic using witches, allowing their queen to escape her imprisonment.

  • 1Q84: A second moon appears in the sky to reinforce the idea that Aomame is no longer in the 1984 she was used to. It also coincidences with her getting involved in Sakigake and the Little People, one of whom is a supremely powerful and tight-knit religious organization and the other is a supernatural species who defy ordinary human comprehension.
  • In Charles Stross's The Atrocity Archive explorers in a parallel world realize something very bad must have happened there when they see that the Moon has been resculpted into Hitler's face.
  • Bad Moon Rising is a Young Adult book where the bad moon in question led to werewolves.
  • Forest Kingdom: In book 1 (Blue Moon Rising), the titular blue moon unleashes Wild Magic, strong enough to reshape reality.
  • If the Red Star in Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern appears during the daytime, it means vast torrents of flesh-eating fungus from outer space are imminent. Justified Trope, because the Red Star's gravity (another planet in Pern's solar system) is whats dragging the flesh-eating fungus into their atmosphere.
  • In The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Drool Rockworm uses the Staff of Law to corrupt the moon, turning it blood red. This is a bit of a subversion, since the characters point out that turning the moon red doesn't actually do anything and is probably a way for Lord Foul, the real villain, to keep Drool distracted and happy while Foul works his Evil Plan. On the other hand, the trope is later played straight when Lord Foul himself turns the moon emerald green; Foul being a Chessmaster par excellence, he must see some kind of value in this maneuver, probably for its effect on the morale of Revelstone.
  • In Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, the protagonist used his astronomical knowledge to take advantage of a solar eclipse, thus convincing the members of Arthur's court that he was a powerful magician.
  • In Stephen King's The Dark Tower's Back Story installment, A Fête Worse than Death is foreshadowed by the equivalent of the Harvest Moon, the Demon Moon, turning blood red in the middle of the sky.
  • In Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry, the Red Moon rising is actually a sign that the Mother is preparing for war, so it's a good sign for the good guys.
  • At the end of the penultimate book of Gods and Warriors, the Moon turns red, and an Egyptian wisewoman states it to foretell the Crows' bloody conquest of all of Akea with the invincibility the dagger of Koronos grants them. When we get back to Akea in the final book three months later, that's exactly what the Crows have been doing.
  • Harahpin: Untoria's moons have skull-like faces and appear to have a hypnotic effect, driving creatures to blood lust.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: "Mars is bright tonight."
  • The Haunting of Toby Jugg sees a convalescing RAF pilot fearing the change of the moon, with good reason: Hecate, dark lunar goddess.
  • Inconstant Moon, by Larry Niven, involves an unusually bright full moon. The protagonists work out that it must be caused by an unusually large amount of sunlight being reflected back, and that either the whole Earth is about to be destroyed by the Sun going nova, or at least the side of Earth facing the Sun has been (with bad side effects for everyone else anyway).
  • There are some seriously unsettling things going on with the moon in The Kingkiller Chronicle. For one thing, its synodic period is 72 days, so it goes through its phases more slowly. More significantly, when part of the moon is not in the sky, it quite literally vanishes because it's doing double duty as the moon in the realm of Fae. According to legend, this was caused by a man trapping part of the moon's True Name in a box. During a full moon, The Fair Folk can cross over to the mortal world, and on a moonless night, mortals might get pulled into Fae.
  • Hilari Bell's Knight and Rogue Series has an interesting example. Even though the series is strongly based in fantasy, the planet they're on has two moons: one is gold, the other is green. Their cycles directly effect the severity of the natural, chaotic, and dangerous magic that is found in a lot of animals and plants our heroes are unfortunate enough to stumble upon.
  • The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett. Ultimately subverted, though. "The star is life, not death."
  • The plot of Stephen Baxter's Manifold: Origin is kicked off when a giant red moon suddenly appears in orbit around Earth.
  • In A Night in the Lonesome October, the final showdown over the fate of the world has a variety of dramatic side-effects. At one point, the moon turns blood-red and starts dripping.
  • One of these exists in Paraiso Street's Ptiaumzcuaro, the land of the dead. It's called a "gift" from the Golden for the dead who missed the real moon. Given the obviously false and unsettling nature of it, it serves more as a reminder of the Golden's absolute power over the dead.
  • Poison Moon involves the Big Bad taking over the moon to gain ultimate power, which resulted in some rather obvious changes in the appearance of the moon.
  • The conjunction of the planets in C. S. Lewis's Prince Caspian, and also a similar star event in The Last Battle.
  • The Rainbow Magic series has this in Anna the Moonbeam Fairy's book. The girls know something's up when the moon disappears. It turns out the goblins are using fairy dust to create their own moon to hang in the sky.
  • In Red Mars, the bad guys put a Death Ray on Phobos.
  • Subverted in The Riftwar Cycle: a seer announces that since a certain three red stars are in alignment, it is time for the hordes of the North to go forth and conquer the world. When they (inevitably) fail, the seer figures that, since the stars really aren't moving that fast, he'll be able to use the alignment as an omen of prophecy for another few years.
  • L.E. Modesitt Jr.'s Spellsong Cycle has two moons, Clearsong (normal) and Darksong (small, red, a portent of trouble when it is unusually bright).
  • In A Study in Emerald the moon is blood red. It's been this way for about 700 years now, ever since the Old Ones showed up, so naturally no one sees it as anything to get worked up over.
  • Sword of Truth: "On the red moon will come the firestorm".
  • Warrior Cats: In one of the short stories in Code of the Clans, the moon is bright red and the medicine cats comment that it's the color of blood, worrying that it's a bad omen from their ancestors.
  • Watership Down. The Moon ('Inlé' in lapine) is associated with death by the rabbits, which is unsurprising given that most of the Thousand hunt at night, so the full moon is a dangerous time for them. The Black Rabbit of Inlé is their version of The Grim Reaper.
  • Harry Turtledove's Werenight had a disastrous event occur during a rare time when that world's three moons are in the sky and full at once—it triggers massive Involuntary Shapeshifting in a chunk of the population, crippling an empire and leaving the heroes' land cut off from them.
  • "The Windows Of Heaven" by John Brunner is similar to "Inconstant Moon" above; the protagonist is on the Moon during the lunar night, and at one point while he's watching the Earth, the sunlit portion suddenly becomes dazzlingly bright — the sun has gone nova.

    Music And Sound Effects 
  • The song "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival speaks of the eponymous bad moon rising and death, earthquakes, and other bad times on the way, so it's best not to "go 'round tonight." The song was inspired by a scene from the film adaptation of The Devil and Daniel Webster involving a hurricane.
  • Daniel Amos's "Sanctuary" (from Vox Humana), which is about having a safe place even in the worst of times, suggests one such worst-case scenario:
    And should the moon burn red, stars leave the sky,
    Remember, remember
    Your sanctuary
  • From Iron Maiden's "Only the Good Die Young":
    The moon is red and bleeding
    The sun is burned and black
    The book of life is silent
    No turning back
  • In Black Stone Cherry's "Shakin' My Cage" the chorus refers to a "bad moon rising"
    "Shakin' my cage, black dog howlin',
    She likes it rollin' in the moonlight, got the wolf growlin',
    She charms the snakes, she's hypnotising,
    She's got me running from the daylight, bad moon rising."
  • Link Wray's "Fire and Brimstone" mentions that "the moon was turning red" as one of a long list of portents of doom the narrator observes during an apocalyptic dream.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • One of the many hallmarks of Revelation: complete with the stars falling from the heavens. Jesus mentioned that in advance of His return, "The sun will be darkened and the moon will become blood red." It's noteworthy that a total lunar eclipse makes the moon appear blood red.
    • What's also interesting about this is that a lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is perfectly aligned between the Sun and the Moon, whereas a solar eclipse happens when the Moon is between Earth and the Sun. The implication here seems to be that both will happen at the same time, which should be physically impossible.

  • Destroy the Godmodder: During the Eclipse, the sun turned red and the moon broke into pieces, falling towards GodCraft. The Eclipse itself would be described as causing the sun and moon to fight, so it wasn't that far off.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Zig-zagged in Dragonlance. The red moon Lunitari is associated with Neutral magic rather than Evil; Nuitari, the "Evil magic" moon, is black and sheds a black light seen only by beings that use such dark magic.
    • Ravenloft's domain of Sithicus has only the black moon Nuitari in its night skies, illustrating the fact that it is a Pocket Dimension created for Lord Soth, an undead wielder of Evil magic from Dragonlance.
    • In the Elder Evils book, as the Hulks of Zoretha begin to awaken, the moon gains an ever-more intense red tint, which corresponds with every living thing on the planet slowly going Ax-Crazy with rage. When the moon is completely blood-red, the Hulks are active again.
    • Also in Elder Evils, the Atropus questline first manifests with the appearance of a new celestial body, which steadily grows to the size of a moon: the massive undead planetoid Atropus itself. Meanwhile, its approach sparks a Zombie Apocalypse on the destination planet.
  • Magic: The Gathering has a card named Bad Moon, which gives a bonus to Black creatures. Not to mention Blood Moon, which turns nonbasic lands into mountains, and Chaos Moon, which either gives a bonus or a drawback to Red creatures and mountains, depending on how many permanents are in play.
  • In White Wolf's Old World of Darkness, the appearance of the red star, Anthelios (whose name literally means "Anti-Sun") signifies that Crapsack World's descent towards even worse levels.
  • In Pathfinder, the Boneyard has Groetus, a god taking the form of a small moon in the shape of a scowling skull, which is also the god's own realm at the same time. Its size is subjective, varying wildly in size from person to person. Groetus himself awaits the last living thing to die, so as to bring about the end of the Boneyard, and seemingly all reality with it.
  • In RuneQuest, Glorantha has two moons: the tiny, dim Blue Moon, and the massive, bright Red Moon that the Moon Goddess represents and as such is the symbol of the Lunar Empire. Legend says a White Moon may rise someday...
  • Warhammer:
    • The warpstone moon Morrslieb is at its brightest on Geheimnisnacht, when there is a Thin Dimensional Barrier between the Material World and Chaos. It's also unnaturally bright during Chaos invasions.
    • A "Bad Moon" is the symbol of certain greenskins in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. Who would be considered people you'd not want to have around by most people who aren't them (and 40K's are considered obnoxious rich assholes by other orks).
    • Though Morrslieb was destroyed by the Skaven during the End Times, a similar entity known only as the Bad Moon is worshipped by the Gloomspite Gitz, an alliance of trolls, giants and goblins, in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. It travels randomly between realms, causing darkness and madness wherever it appears. The Gloomspite have several theories about its origin, ranging from it being an egg, to it being an accidental creation of Gorkamorka, but no one, not even Sigmar, knows its origins for certain.

  • In Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto, when Cesare confronts the two traitors, a blood red moon is projected over the stage.
  • In Woyzeck, Marie remarks about the moon being red moments before Woyzeck stabs her to death.

    Urban Legends 

    Video Games 

  • In AdventureQuest, the Devourer takes on this appearance in his first few appearances.
  • In Bloodborne, you, as a Hunter, are engaged in what is known as "The Hunt," a night during which all able-bodied men walk the streets looking for beasts to kill. Of course, they themselves are in the early stages of infection and are turning to beasts as well. All the while an orange-red moon hangs above, casting an eerie, almost sunset-like light upon the city of Yharnam. (It's also in front of the clouds somehow.) But after a certain point in the game, after you kill Rom the Vacuous Spider, the Red Moon descends and the world as you know it begins to change drastically. And then there's the true final boss... The Moon Presence, who descends upon the Hunter's Dream, seemingly from the Moon.
  • In Brütal Legend, lands controlled by the Drowning Doom or near the Sea of Black Tears are cast in pale moonlight from a moon shaped like a chapless skull. The omnipresent gloom and despair of these lands can rob a man of the will to go on.
  • Red star... FALL! Stain the earth... RED!! note  And explicitly lampshaded in the sequel: "My world only had one moon!" Apparently, the Dragon Gods created the second moon as counterpart to Harle, the human form of the Lunar Dragon of the Seventh Element.
  • The "Star of Destruction" of legend in Dark Chronicle (as seen in the game's American logo) is actually the Blue Moon, which was enchanted by the Ancients to drop onto whoever gathered all three Atlamillia Stones together. Presumably to keep said person from having too much power and growing corrupt, but it makes no distinction between would-be gods and innocent people. It actually does fall upon the world at the end of the game, but Sirus comes to his senses and redeems himself by casting it out of existence. From that point on, and for the remainder of the game, there is only one moon in the sky.
  • In The Raven, the tenth installment of the Dark Tales series, this is seen early in the game for a short time. By interacting with a fountain on the street opposite the house where the detectives are to meet their client, the player causes the moon to turn briefly to blood — thereby allowing them to see just how very disturbing their surroundings really are.
  • Subverted in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, where the Red Moon causes the souls of the prinnies who have paid for their sins to be reincarnated. Compare with the Dark Sun; in later Disgaea games, located in the Dark World. It corrupts main characters and powers up enemies and seems to be a symbol of worship, if one of Axel's comments are any indication.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In the series' lore, the "Necromancer's Moon" is a phenomenon that occurs when the "plane" of Mannimarco, the God of Worms, eclipses that of Arkay, the Aedric Divine of Life and Death. During this time, the light of the moon can transform standard Grand Soul Gems into Black Soul Gems, capable of trapping sapient souls which are normally under Arkay's protection.
    • The titular moon from the Morrowind expansion Bloodmoon. Nirn's smaller moon, Secunda, turns blood red, signaling that it is time for Hircine (the Daedric Prince of the Hunt) to perform his hunt on Mundus.
    • Skyrim:
      • The Bloodmoon returns for Hircine's Daedric quest. Why is a bit uncertain, since in Bloodmoon it was a prophetic sign, while in Skyrim you just randomly see it while in a specific location during Hircine's quest.
      • The player character him/herself can create a similar phenomenon in the Dawnguard DLC - but with the sun rather than the moon. By using Auriel's Bow to fire a bloodcursed arrow at the sun, they can turn the sun to blood and cause the entire landscape to be washed in shades of red and black.
  • Final Fantasy
  • Grandia II has two moons: a regular one, and the blood-red Moon of Valmar. When it's high in the night sky, the forces of darkness become stronger, and when it eclipses the sun, it marks the Day of Darkness, when Valmar is reborn. The heroes have to venture to its surface to destroy it once and for all.
  • Guild Wars has moons and suns so terrifying in Halloween(Moon with a jack-o'-lantern smile and a red moon with a skull on it) and Nightfall (Red Sun in the Depths of Madness and a Black Sun in the Nightfallen Jahai) that one can get terrified just by looking at the sky.
  • Gwent: The Witcher Card Game: The Crimson Curse, a special card depicting a vampire ritual that turns the moon blood red. It generates the Blood Moon row effect which buffs vampires for its duration.
  • The purple Day Star in Jak 3: Wastelander signifies the planet's final trial as it grows brighter every day. In reality it's not a star but a giant space station full of Dark Makers.
  • As acknowledged by Kayisen when playing it himself, the moon is never a good sign in I Wanna Be the Guy. For example, on one screen? The moon falls on you. Twice. It's also one of Dracula's attacks.
  • In the video game "Kingdom," every night, you strive to keep your encampment safe from the hostile monsters nearby, making the moon a herald of bad things to come. It turns red every fifth night. And for a very good reason.
  • The Moon That Never Sets in The Legend of Dragoon, which looks like a normal moon but behaves oddly. It's actually the cocoon of an Ultimate Life Form designed to destroy the world, and every 108 years it tries to wake up. When the moon glows red, the incarnation of its soul and The End of the World as We Know It is at hand. The heroes eventually have to venture to its surface to destroy it once and for all.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Weird Moon from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is a case of a Bad Moon Falling.
    • Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom have the Blood Moon, said to be the time when Calamity Ganon's/Ganondorf's powers reach their peak. The moon will turn bigger and red, a reddish-purple miasma will envelop the land, any monsters you're fighting will be healed,note  and defeated monsters will come back to life. The Blood Moon appears based on a hidden timer independent of normal moon phasesnote , although "panic moons", as called by fans, can also appear at any time including daytime to fix certain errors like running out of memory.
  • So it's not strictly a moon, but the third Mega Man Star Force game features the Crimson Meteor, a giant cluster of noise that, in addition to the force of the impact, will wipe out pretty much all the electromagnetic energy on the planet, which is especially bad since, by this point, pretty much everything except for the humans themselves and maybe a few animals is made of EM tech.
  • The plot of the Computer Game Myth: The Fallen Lords in part revolves around the millennial appearance of a comet heralding the change in the cyclical balance of power between Light and Dark.
  • Nethack actually gives you increased luck when it is full moon. The new moon is bad omen though. Oh, and it calculates based on the real date.
  • In Octopath Traveler II, the Night of Scarlet Moon is a calamity that falls onto the island of Toto'haha every few hundreds of years. The moon would turn red as rampaging shadow enemies wreck havoc on the island. During the events of the game, the animal companion Ochette didn't choose ten years ago, now known as the Darkling of the Sorrowful Moon, is also on the island.
  • In Ōkami, this trope signifies the arrival of both Orochi and Ninetails. The full moon signifies the beginning of Orochi's ritual of sacrifice. A blood-red moon, complete with nine dark lines, replaces the regular one after Queen Himiko is killed by Ninetails. It stays in the sky until you defeat the fox. And then there is the solar eclipse, which signifies the rising of Yami, the Lord of Darkness, and the concurrent waning of Amaterasu's solar power. (Which, fortunately, is only an issue during the very last battle. You don't suffer any gameplay weakness during the eclipse.)
  • Seen in Persona 3, where during the Dark Hour (an extra hour between 11:59 and midnight that most people don't experience) the moon has a Sickly Green Glow as well as multiple characters explaining how ominous it feels. Moreover, every full moon is when the bosses appear (and the plot moves). The Big Bad, Nyx, is revealed to be the Moon during the Dark Hour, which proceeds to collapse against the earth in the game, bringing about The End of the World as We Know It.
  • In Sands of Destruction, Morte's super-powered Limit Break has her jumping in front of a red crescent moon before delivering maximum pain.
  • In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Alpha Centauri B approaching perihelion (closest approach to Alpha Centauri A) signals the beginning of twenty years of increased attacks from Planet's native life.
  • In Super Mario World: Piranha Island, The Moon seen in the outside areas of Blood Muncher, Piranha Castle, and Final World are blood-red in color or have a blood-red aura, indicating the evil lurking within those levels.
  • Terraria has the "Blood Moon" event, which involves the sky turning red, and enemies spawning twice as often as they'd usually do. Zombies can also break open doors during this night. There's also normal full moon that causes werewolves to spawn instead of zombies if the world is in hardmode.
    • When the Pumpkin Moon and Frost Moon armies attack, the moon get replaced by a Jack-o-Lantern and a snowman's head, respectively. They're way scarier than it sounds. Luckily for you, they only rise when you summon them using their special items.
  • The penultimate mission in Thief II: The Metal Age has a red moon in the sky. Another sign that things are about to go to hell.
  • The final battle in Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil takes place with the aforementioned blood-red moon in the background. Kind of makes sense seeing as the battle is against the titular Scarlet Devil, Remilia, who claims to be descended from Vlad himself. On the hardest difficulty, the final attack is considered one of the hardest in the entire series to 'capture' (defeating the spellcard without dying or bombing).
    • A variation of this trope is basically the plot of Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night. The Big Bad seals off the moon on the night of the Harvest Moon Festival and replaces it with an illusion of an "old fashioned moon" that's "old and worn" which disconcerts the relevant youkai half of the player team enough for them to decide to stop the night until they can fix it (hence the title).
      • It even fulfills this trope at Stage 4, after you fight off the midboss (which is either Reimu or Marisa, annoyed that the youkai partner's actually gone as far as stopping the night). The background turns to a reddish hue, and when the player reaches the boss, the moon is red. Not like you'll see it through the danmaku and Spell Card backgrounds, though. It should also be noted that it's in this stage that the game really ramps up the difficulty, especially on the jump to Normal.
    • Then Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom completely reverses the situation when you go to the moon, and see a Bad Earth Rising, with the once-blue planet appearing blood-red in the lunar sky and radiating waves of energy.
  • In Valis IV, the villain's headquarters is a red moon that suddenly appears in the sky.
  • Waxworks (1992): In the Jack the Ripper segment, the moon looks like a skull. But not, oddly, in the graveyard level.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Dies Irae as part of Wilhelm Ehrenburg's Creation Figment, Der Rosenkavalier Schwarzwald, he creates a sealed off space that is crowned by a blood red moon which not only grants him further vampiric abilities but also causes a widespread Life Drain effect on everything caught within the field of effect. And should his fake moon overlay the real moon then the effect will be even more powerful. And just to make things worse for anyone trapped inside, the fake moon also allows him to spread his blood-soaked rose garden which constantly tries to skewer his victims.
  • If the Moon ever turns red in the Nasuverse, bad things are probably going to happen. This is because a red Moon is usually a sign that Crimson Moon Brunestud (aka the original vampire, the TYPE-Moon, the Lunar Ultimate One) is up to something big, and it is very hostile to humanity. According to some material in Tsukihime, the next time this will happen is in roughly 1,000 years. Occasionally, vampires will perceive the Moon as red even when it's not, due to their vampiric instincts acting up.
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, the Demon Tsukuyomi is rumoured to only appear when it's summoned during a full moon. When Akira and co. call on it, then flee to the roof when it goes berserk, the moon has turned blood red thanks to Tsukuyomi's influence.

    Web Animations 
  • The music video of Prière features the Scarlet Sisters, Remilia and Flandre, having their vampiric side awaken upon the orange-tinted moon appearing from the parted clouds, with it turning blood-red in wake of Remilia's rampage.
  • During the second episode of the Sock Series, Advent of Sock, the moon and the stars have turned red.


    Web Videos 
  • Critical Role: The world of Exandria has two moons, one named Catha, which is white and similar to Earth's moon, and another named Ruidus, which is small and red. Ruidus has no typical lunar cycle, and sometimes disapears from the sky entirely. However, when Ruidus' light flares from a dull maroon to a bright crimson, it is said to be a sign of ill omen, and those that are born under this light are believed to be cursed to live a life of turmoil and misfortune.

    Western Animation 
  • The surreal, but well-received American Dad! episode "Rapture's Delight" depicts Earth 7 years after The Rapture. It begins with a Scenery Gorn shot, camera slowly panning up, and if you look into the night sky, the moon has been cleaved in half. That raises many questions, scientific and otherwise, but that isn't the focus of the episode. The broken moon wasn't a symbol of events to come, but a casualty of the events that took part during those seven years.
  • Amphibia’s moon is normally red, but inverts this trope by giving us a blue moon, which initiates the Blood Moon Shut-In where the frogs have to lock themselves inside all night because anyone who looks at it will turn them into a hideous beast (although it's left unclear if this is actually canon due to the nature of the episode).
    • However, this is played straight when the Grand Finale reveals that the moon is actually one of the Core's technological creations that it can take control of, which it does in an attempt to destroy Amphibia after the invasion of Earth is stopped.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, when the moon turns blood-red, that's a sign that the Moon Spirit is in danger. When it disappears completely, that means the spirit is dead.
  • Big City Greens has the Halloween blood moon, which rises in a random amount of years. According to Gramma Alice, it ignites a curse that has been in many farmer generations: once the moon rises, it turns the farm animals into man-eating zombies and causes the Greens to stay in their house, which ruins their first Halloween in the city.
  • In Castlevania (2017), Dracula's power is so great that his mood affects the land around him. When deeply angered, blood fills his eyes which is reflected by the full moon turning a blood red outside of his castle.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has numerous nighttime scenes. For whatever reason, the moon is always full. Initially, it seems to be a case of artistic license. It turns out to be a case of Foreshadowing, because that’s not a moon; it’s Nibiru.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Feral Friends" gives us Neptune's Moon, a green moon which rises every 100 years and de-evolves the people of Bikini Bottom back to their primitive state for two hours.
  • In one episode of Challenge of the Superfriends, the Legion of Doom uses a powerful artifact to, among other terror-wreaking methods, make the sun go out for a bit, prompting a police officer to declare that it's doomsday.
  • The Blood Moon Curse from Star vs. the Forces of Evil.
  • In The Owl House, during the end-credits of the Season 2 penultimate episode "Clouds on the Horizon", a full blood moon can be prominently seen, this is a foreshadow of what Emperor Belos intends to do with the power of the eclipse.

    Real Life 
  • The appearance of a new comet was once seen as a portent of major upheavals, as witnessing the comet of 1066 occurred just before the Battle of Hastings. Of course, since human history is full of major upheavals, it's just a coincidence.
    • Mark Twain lampshaded this. He eventually died in 1910, just after the comet passed the point at which it gets closest to Earth.
      "I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together."
    • A book of prophecy published in 1977 said that the return of Halley's Comet in 1986 would portend the fall of the USSR. The Chernobyl disaster, widely seen as the catalyst for glasnost, which fatally undermined the Soviet state's ability to control its citizens' access to information and encouraged relative freedoms of speech and assembly, occurred when the comet was at its perihelion.
  • A red ring around the moon, known as blood on the moon, is also considered a ill portent. Oddly, a red moon, called a Blood Moon, is associated with feasting and is also known as a Hunter's Moon.
  • The word "disaster" comes, originally, from astrology, "a calamity blamed on an unfavorable position of a planet," from Greek dys="bad" and "aster"="star."
  • A Blue Moon is said to be a ridiculously rare and unlikely occurrence, as is anything said to be "Once in a blue moon". May be good or bad though.
    • Despite common belief, a blue moon is really the third moon in a four-moon season, not the second full moon in a month. It is rare, but it isn't unlikely.note 
    • It's also been defined as a full moon on a Midsummer Eve, which should happen on average once every 28 years.
    • There was a literal blue moon for several days following the eruption of Krakatoa's volcano, because the ash in the air caused the moon to appear discolored.
  • As mentioned above, total lunar eclipses usually turn the moon red, often quite dramatically. Bonus points when the Moon is rising already eclipsed and appears even redder.
  • When a wildfire is burning, the large amounts of ash in the air can cause the moon to take on a red hue.
  • Just after its formation the Moon was much closer to Earth than it is now, according to simulations between 20,000 and 30,000 kilometers. And it was covered by a magma ocean and you get a big bad Moon rising.note  Conversely in the far future, when the Sun goes red giant and is about to engulf the Earth, interaction of the Moon with the Sun's distorted atmosphere will cause its orbit to shrink until it's destroyed by Earth's gravity forming a ring system, but not before having again a big bad Moon in the sky.
  • Some evangelical Christians of an unstable disposition got very overwraught at a sequence of four lunar eclipses that happened in quick succession, which coincided with Jewish festivals mentioned in the Old Testament, arguing that this fulfilled a biblical propechy that would herald the commencement of The Last Days. The Four Blood Moons passed in 2014 - 15 without notable incident, however, leaving Pator Hagee and others to explain this to their believers. note 
  • British bomber crews raiding Germany in WW2 dreaded bright cloudless nights when the moon was rising to full, or full, knowing that the enhanced light made their planes easier to spot by German night fighters. Autumn harvest moons when the moon was closer and relatively larger and brighter were especially anxious flights.


Video Example(s):


Ganon's Blood Moon

On the hour of the blood moon, Calamity Ganon's power rises to its peak, with the glow of the moon reviving all the monsters that Link had slayed.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / BadMoonRising

Media sources: