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Big Badass Battle Sequence

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"Far from shore, a Pacific War
bombs are falling from the skies
It's a bomb-run day, it's the Naval Way,
A blood-red sun is on the rise!"

A Big Badass Battle Sequence isn't just a battle, it's war. This is the battle that makes other battles look like schoolyard scuffles. Expect a high death toll, either shown or implied. The best examples of this trope show not only the battle itself, but the preparations for it and the aftermath. Don't expect it to be pretty.

Bonus points if coupled with Orchestral Bombing. May be the work's Moment of Awesome as opposed to a single character's. Shell-Shock Silence may be added for dramatic effect.

Note that this trope implies that there are at least two armies fighting each other, and as such One-Man Army examples do not fit here.

Can overlap with Parallel Conflict Sequence, if multiple such sequences are part of one full-scale battle. Could start or end with a Sci-Fi Flyby.

Compare The War Sequence and Final Battle.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Given that most Gundam series tend to feature major wars, it's inevitable that massive battles will come up at some point.
    • The Battles of Solomon and A Baoa Qu in Mobile Suit Gundam, the Battle of Kilimanjaro and Operation: Maelstrom in Zeta Gundam, the Battle of Axis in Gundam ZZ, the Second Battle of Axis in Char's Counterattack, and the final battle of the Delaz Conflict in Gundam 0083 are just some of the examples from the Universal Century era.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: the final episodes are focused on the Eve War, an all-out conflict between the World Nation and White Fang, as the latter attempts a Colony Drop on the Earth, and the Gundam Pilots get caught up in the middle. A short recap of the battle opens the OVA Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz.
    • The opening of the first episode of After War Gundam X shows the apocalyptic final battle of the Seventh Space War. The finale also has a decently big battle in the form of a threeway later fourway battle between the protagonists, the Space Revolutionary Army and the United Nations of Earth with the Frost Brothers being the rogue element.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED the final three episodes, focuses on a Mêlée à Trois. The Three Ship Alliance trying to stop ZAFT and Earth Forces from destroying each other.
    • The final battle of Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer. Humanity defends Earth from an alien race that has them outnumbered ten thousand to one.
  • The Marineford Arc of One Piece plays out as this, pitting one of the four most powerful pirates in the world, his crew of approximately 1600, and his 40 or so allied crews against the entire military force of the World Government (containing, aside from uncountable Mooks and a slew of Super Power Lottery winners, a trio of Nigh-Invulnerable One-Man Army Hero Killers), as well as five of their hired pirate dogs the Seven Warlords of the Sea, each monstrously powerful in their own right. Then, to add even more to the chaos, factor in the Blackbeard Pirates showing up at the very end to witness Whitebeard's death, and then wage war against the Marines themselves. Luffy's exploits during the battle are particularly epic. And nothing hammers in the "big" part of the trope like the fact that nearly every page of the arc is a two-page spread.
    • It is very much implied that Marieneford is going to be a playground scuffle when compared to the war that is about to engulf the world in the battle for the titular One Piece. Said battle has already been dubbed "the throne wars", and while it's still a ways off, various chapters have shown the movement of nearly all factions into place while the Straw Hats are shaking things up in the isolationist, Edo Japan-inspired island nation of Wano.
  • Shakugan no Shana: In the final season of the anime adaptation, the battle at Seireden between the Flame Hazes and Crimson Denizens lead by the Snake of the Festival is a multi-episode epic and all-out war fought on several fronts, with Paratrooper Flame Haze and siege warfare. The battle in Misaki City that takes place not long afterwards definitely qualifies as well.
  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross and The Movie version Do You Remember Love? has a spectacular climactic battle against the Zentraedi, won not by military tactics but by Lynn Minmay's song. Magic Music all the way, baby!
  • Pokémon the Series: XY is largely wrapped up with the Battle of Lumiose City, in which almost all of the important characters in Kalos join together to thwart Lysandre and Team Flare.
  • The Battle of Doldrey from the Golden Age arc from Berserk, featuring the Band of the Hawk at their best and most badass.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes: For over 160 episodes and several movies we haven countless battles often involving million upon millions of soldiers. The casualty rate of major characters is unbelievably high, making the show an extreme case of Anyone Can Die and A Million Is a Statistic.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The attack of the Geofront in The End of Evangelion. Starts as a Curb-Stomp Battle where NERV is being massacred by SEELE's forces, then turns into another one, with the attackers being repelled when the Eva-02 starts fighting, until it becomes even more confused when reinforcements arrive.

    Comic Books 
  • Black Moon Chronicles: Since the Empire of Lynn and its vassals and enemies are in a near constant state of warfare, there are numerous examples of massive battles and city sieges being waged between armies of knights, mages, dragon riders, orks, elves, giants, and war machines. Ledroit's artwork is impressive for its attention to detail.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) tends to use these to close out its major Story Arcs:
    • The opening saga has all the heroes who debuted before Issue #9 fighting to liberate Angel Island from Neo Metal Sonic's forces, climaxing with the battle against Neo's final form, Master Overlord, in Issue #11.
    • The Metal Virus Saga's climax in Issue #29 pits a 99%-infected Sonic and seven of his allies, along with Eggman and Metal Sonic, against a giant Zavok and the heroes who got Zombot-ified. What ensues is a nail-biting, down-to-the-wire Last Stand in which the heroes are very nearly defeated. The tide finally turns when Sonic and Silver go super, allowing them to curb-stomp Zavok and destroy the Metal Virus.
    • The third saga culminates in Starline finally enacting his long-planned coup against Eggman, leading to a Humongous Mecha duel between the two while Surge and Kit go after Sonic and Tails after they're lured into the battle. Despite some initial upper hands, the would-be replacements are ultimately curb-stomped and defeated.

    Fan Works 
  • On Luthien, in Along Came a Spider almost four thousand Battlemechs clash in the largest battle for over a century. At the end of the day, only about one in seven of them are still able to fight.
  • There's a few major battles in What Lies Beyond the Walls, but the biggest one so far has been the invasion of Tearmann, which was so chaotic that it lasted two entire chapters and killed off quite a few Mauve Shirts.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fic Harmony Theory, has two examples at the same time. On one side, the capital city of the solar kingdom is being attacked by a War Godess, that is also creating an army of zombie like creatures as the entire city attempts to fend her off. On the other corner, criminal master mind Max Cash, is marching his private army onto a senator's mansion, guarded by almost forty Orion City Police, two SWAT teams, nine detectives, half a dozen sniper teams, two changeling agents, a resurrected ancient hero, and a dragon.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • The Battle of the M4. Gravemoss summons a massive army of demons and the undead and unleashes them on London, while the Avengers, MI13/Excalibur, a few other heroes, and the British military rally to stop them. Concurrent with this, Dresden, Sif, and Agent Ward are facing down Gravemoss himself in his underground lair in Paris.
    • Chapters 59 and 60 see the Avengers and Harry and his friends (the latter being temporarily aged up by a living mountain) fighting off a HYDRA strike force led by the Winter Soldier and backed up by a robot remote controlled by Baron Zemo and an army of Slendermen.
    • The Final Battle of the first book is a four-chapter grudge match between the Avengers, SHIELD, MI13/Excalibur, Harry's team of proto-Young Avengers, and about a dozen other characters on one side, and HYDRA on the other. And when the latter is defeated, they're quickly replaced by Chthon and an invasion force of extra-dimensional demons, while the heroes gain Lily Potter a.k.a. the White Phoenix of the Crown.
    • Chapters 9 and 10 of the sequel, Ghosts of the Past, are entirely this trope, with a fully fledged Psi-War raging between two Omega Class psychics Harry and Rachel/Maddie in the Nevernever, where thought defines reality, and resulting in a World Gone Mad (the mountains are made of clouds and the snow is falling upwards. And that's just the start) and a worldwide Psychic Nosebleed, while Carol and company wind up fighting Blob!Dudley, the Avengers are mowing through the Red Room's forces, Wanda finds Sinister and quite literally melts him, then Jean gets involved... it all gets very messy.
    • The climax of the sequel's Bloody Hell arc, Chapters 32 and 33, feature a lot of these, as both storylines culminate in a series of fights. For the Dresden storyline, there's him, Wanda, Magneto and the Wardens going up against the Kemmlerlites, Voldemort, and Selene to prevent the Darkhallow. For the Harry storyline, there's Harry and a group of allies facing off with the elite of the Grey Court to save Carol, with Harry himself taking on Dracula personally twice.
    • The sequel's Of Dungeons and Dragons arc climaxes in another big battle in Chapters 43 and 44, as Harry, Dumbledore, the heroes who came to watch the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament, and MI13 (who were providing security) face off with a massively powerful Elder Wyrm that was awakened during the Task.
    • Chapter 58 of Ghosts of the Past, the climax of the Mirror Image arc, has Harry and a newly empowered Clark, with tactical support from SHIELD, going up against the Arc Villain, who has transformed into his One-Winged Angel form, the Void/Parasite.
    • The climax of the side story Unfinished Business features the Battle of New Orleans, wherein Nimue unleashes all the horrors of Project Pegasus on the city, where they're confronted by the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the White Council. Then Carol and Nimue take the fight first global, then to the stars.
  • The Grand Theft Auto Zombie Apocalypse story Fall of Liberty has a few examples:
  • The Fedora Chronicles: Almost every installment in the series has an elaborate battle that makes up the climax.
    • Bolted Behmoth pits the Red team against a humongous robotic Heavy that leaves all but three of the mercs alive.
    • Live and Let Spy has the Red Team confront the Blu Team and their army of killer robots.
    • The Red, the Blu, and the Ugly culminates in a massive battle between both the Red and Blue team and Grey Mann's army of robots..
  • The Little Pony Legend: In the fic Shadow of Ronin as part of the series, there's a battle sequence where the Umbra army with their leaders Nyx, Kage, Shade and Ronin fighting against Team Avatar Harmony, Airbenders, Alicorns, older heroes, spirits and changelings in a battle at the southern spirit portal to save the 3 worlds. (again)
  • Queen of Shadows:
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters:
    • The Sack of Torus Filney, a massive battle that occurs as the Rebellion — aided by the Guardians and Jade — storm said fortified city. War Is Hell is in full effect, as is a deconstruction of Child Soldier.
    • The Battle of the Meridian Plains is meant to be the Final Battle of the rebellion against Phobos, as the combined forces of the Rebellion and the nobility clash in a massive, chaotic clash.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines features this trope in several of the arcs including the Sabrina Arc and the Mewtwo Strikes Back Arc involving massive amounts of Pokemon battling either to rescue Ash or save the world.
  • Young Justice: Darkness Falls: The Invasion of Darkseid creates a battle that rages across earth and even into Apokalips and War World as the entire League, Team, Red Hood's Outlaws, and the armies of Atlantis and Themyskira all unite to hold the line and save the world.
  • By the two-third segment of Zero 2: A Revision, Umbradevimon and Demon and their armies have decided to invade Odaiba at the same time, resulting in an epic clash between Devimon's 1 million strong army, Demon and his Black Generals, and the citizens of Odaiba, causing an event known as the Odaiba War. Unfortunately, due to the efforts of Umbradevimon and Demon independently creating Davis's corrupted half as Darkheart, the Digidestined are unable to directly assist Odaiba in repelling the invaders, being continuously pursued and absorbed by the corrupted Digidestined of Miracles until the very last segments of the story.
  • An Empire of Ice and Fire has several over the course of the story, including expanded versions of the Battle of the Blackwater, the Battle of Hardhome, and the Battle of the Bastards, as well as original fights the Battle of the Coastroad, the Battle of Riverrun, the Battle of Highgarden, the Battle of King's Landing, the Battle of Last Hearth, and the Battle of Winterfell (which is the biggest of all, lasting seven chapters).

    Film — Animation 
  • The first two BIONICLE movies had to temper their action due to LEGO's anti-violence policy. By the third, Web of Shadows, LEGO stopped caring, allowing the creators to go wild with a nearly 15 minute battle (the movie is barely over an hour) with four Toa and six Rahaga against hundreds of Visorak, while Vakama duels Matau one-on-one and Roodaka and Sidorak take on Keetongu. The novelization lacking most of the fights proves that some of the action was a late addition to pad out the film. This was however averted by the never made 2006 movie — the proposed outline featured a massive army battle scene, which franchise co-creator Christian Faber hated so much that he threw out the whole movie.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 7 Man Army actually opens with one of these, superimposed over the credits, as the titular seven (being parts of a PRC unit) recaptures a section of the Great Wall from the Japanese. The PRC forces wins, recapturing the area, at the cost of only seven of them surviving.
  • The 14 Amazons ends with the Yang army's Home Guard units finally reaching the Tangut fortress, facing off each other in a massive battle. The Tangut being a Keystone Army, the fighting finally stops when their leader is killed.
  • 300 and the infamous Battle of Thermopylae
  • 300: Rise of an Empire has battles happening before, during and after 300, though for some reason they are not as famous.
  • Alexander has the Battle of Gaugamela towards the opening of the film. The battle in India, later in the film, could also count, albeit to a lesser extent.
  • Alexander Nevsky has the thrity minutes Battle on the Ice. An early example of Propaganda Piece in cinema, it also features Awesome Music by Sergei Prokofiev, widely regarded one of the greatest of the 20th century.
  • Army of Darkness: the last installment of the Evil Dead films has an over the top fun battle where Ash leads a medieval army against the Deadites and a version of himself.
  • Apocalypse Now has a large, meaningless Curb-Stomp Battle showing the American Army attacking a village for almost no reason. One of the best anti-war battles ever. Diegetic Switch with Awesome Music by Richard Wagner.
  • Avatar - the big fight between the mercenaries and the Na'vi.
  • The climax of Avengers: Infinity War has the Wakandan army, joined by a multitude of heroes, facing off with the Black Order and a massive army of Outriders. Simultaneously to this is Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy fighting Thanos on Titan.
  • Beach of the War Gods has a massive battle halfway through the film between the village resistance, led by Hsiao-Feng and his band of warriors, against the Japanese buccaneers led by Hashimoto.
  • Battle of the Bulge depicts one the last major German offensive on the Western front Second World War using real tanks of the war.
  • Battle of Britain - A depiction of the very first major victory of the allies. A must for aerial battle scenes
  • Braveheart has two major ones. The Battle of Stirling Bridge and the battle of Falkirk, both all kinds of epic.
  • Ben-Hur (1959). Of course the definition of an Epic Movie has an impressive sea battle.
  • The raid on the rebel fortress in Blood Brothers (1973), with the three titular brothers leading their bandit-turned-conscripts army into capturing an enemy fort.
  • A Bridge Too Far showing the disastrous that was Operation Market Garden, one of the last major defeats faced by the Allies during World War II, was one of the most famous of its time.
  • In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the battle of the Narnians against the White Witch's army. Also features Awesome Music.
  • Chimes at Midnight has one of the best of all time in the gritty, muddy, chaotic Battle of Shrewsbury, a sequence that is even more amazing when one considers the microscopic budget Orson Welles was working with.
  • The Dark Knight Rises features Batman and the police officers of Gotham fighting against Bane and his soldiers at the climax.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Justice League has a flashback to the day Darkseid invaded Earth with his armies from Apokolips. They were greeted by a coalition of humans, Amazons, gods of Olympus and even a Green Lantern. The coalition emerged victorious and Darkseid's ego got quite bruised in the process.
    • Aquaman has an underwater battle between the alliance of Atlanteans, Xebellians and Fish People led by Orm and the crustacean Brine. Then Aquaman shows up riding the Karathen and commanding sea life, including the monstrous Trench, and turns the tide of the battle.
  • The Final Battle in Enter the Dragon doesn't begin like this, but the arrival of the previously imprisoned Black Robes leads to this.
  • In every movie of The Expendables:
  • Gettysburg - The film has several.
  • Glory opens with the Army of the Potomac marching to the Battle of Antietam in 1862 along with the Army of Northern Virginia coming to meet them followed by a brief but violent sequence of the battle itself. The climax of the film is the (Second) Assault on Fort Wagner in 1863.
  • Hard Boiled: The entire climax is a shootout in a hospital, it lasts about 30 minutes and is worth every second.
  • Hacksaw Ridge - The Battle of Okinawa, as shocking and violent as Saving Private Ryan, but in the Pacific, not in Europe.
  • Have Sword, Will Travel has a battle in an open, burning paddy-field between the heroes and a bandit army.
  • The war epic, The Heroic Ones, has at least two, when the Warrior Princes, Li Chun-Hsiao and Shih Jing-Si, lead their soldiers to raid an enemy camp wiping out the opposing forces in a lengthy battle, and the assault on the Chu Wen Villa when Li and his reinforcements serve as The Cavalry to save his foster brother and father.
  • The eponymous battle at the last installment of The Hobbit, prequel to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
  • The Imperial Swordsman ends with a final raid where the rebels managed to take on the combined forces of Mongols and the local bandits, while the four heroes, deep in the heart of the enemy fortress, kills their way out during the chaos.
  • Almost every James Bond movie from Thunderball to For Your Eyes Only featured one of these, with armies of hundreds of extras clashing and killing each other off in choreographed battles stretching across an entire huge secret enemy base, You Only Live Twice being an extreme example and the first two with Roger Moore (Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun) being the exceptions. Almost no movie after that has done this, because apparently it makes Bond more heroic to be able to do it all by himself now.
  • The spectacularly shot church melee in Kingsman: The Secret Service is a variation in that instead of being two armies against each other, it's everyone for themselves due to the effect of Big Bad Richmond Valentine's mind controlling SIM cards.
  • The climactic battle of The Last Samurai between the Imperial Army of Japan and Katsumoto's Samurai Rebellion is definitely an impressive spectacle, which is absolutely fueled by the Awesome Music playing through it all.
  • The Longest Day If Saving Private Ryan is not enough for you, maybe three hours of the D-Day will be enough.
  • The Lord of the Rings films are full of these, mostly in the third.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road is one long chase for the whole film, with Furiosa, Max and the Wives on the run from Immortan Joe and his army, and whenever Joe gets close, this is the inevitable result. The straightest and most spectacular example is the Final Battle, when Max and Furiosa decide to run into Joe's army head-on.
  • The Malay Chronicles: Bloodlines has the Storming the Beaches sequence that takes up the entire ending, the La Résistance cleaning out the evil pirates terrorizing the Malaysian Straits.
  • Midway (1976) - The battle that (literally) turned the tides of the Pacific Front of the Second World War, combining both aerial and sea battles.
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure ends with one as militant rebels completely overrun the Last City.
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor has a climactic battle with the Dragon Emperor and his Terracotta army fighting against the main heroes and a couple thousand resurrected laborers who were buried under the Great Wall.
  • Outlaw King: The Battle of Loudoun Hill at the end.
  • The Patriot (2000): has many, the Final Battle of Cowpens lasting almost 20 minutes.
  • Pearl Harbor: The 40-minute bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.
  • Some battles in the Pirates of the Caribbean series might count if we limit the 'army size' to two boat-loads of people.
    • The first film has the moonlight battle with the undead.
    • At World's End has the final battle where the Flying Dutchman and the Black Pearl are mast-locked and fighting over a maelstrom.
  • Red Cliff has a total of three:
    • The Battle of Changban at the start of part one
    • The climax battle of part one, when the allied forces lure Cao Cao's vanguard into their Eight Trigrams Formation
    • The Battle of Red Cliff at the climax of part two, which could be considered the biggest and most badass battle in the whole film
  • Ridley Scott is a fan of this trope; it's very common in his historical epics.
    • Gladiator's Battle for Germania at the start is perhaps the most famous.
    • Black Hawk Down's Battle of Mogadishu. Very few movies dedicate so much time to battles as this one.
    • Kingdomof Heaven has many, the most climactic being the Siege of Jerusalem. Guess who directed it.
    • Even his Robin Hood (2010) adaptation has two gritty battles, one is a castle siege the begining, and another at the end, an invasion at the beach.
    • Exodus: Gods and Kings: his adaptation of the Biblical tale starts with the historical Battle of Kadesh, where the Egyptian army faces a huge invasion by the Hittite Empire.
  • The Rescue (1971) has the final raid on the Mongol fort, where the Ming loyalists, some thirty of them, takes on the Mongol troops which totals up to the thousands.
  • Saving Private Ryan begins (after the opening book-end) with the D-Day assaults on Omaha Beach. The sequence is famous for its harrowing realism. The Battle at Ramelle, that finishes the movie, despite great, is often forgotten due to the opening sequence on Omaha Beach.
  • Serenity had this at the climax when the titular ship brings an army of Reavers against the Alliance.
  • Spartacus: The film ends with Spartacus's rebel army making their doomed last stand against the Roman army.
  • Starship Troopers has at least three with many tropes, including Bloody Hilarious, Curb-Stomp Battle, and Hollywood Tactics.
  • Star Trek: First Contact has the Battle of Sector 001 with the Federation fleet facing off against a Borg Cube
  • Every Star Wars film contains at least one of these.
    • The Phantom Menace has the space-ground battle of Naboo, interchanging between the Trade Federation's clash against the Gungans; Padme's attack on the palace; the lightsaber fight between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Darth Maul; and the attack on the Trade Federation command ship.
    • Attack of the Clones features the Battle of Geonosis, with the freshly-revealed army of Republic Clone Troopers slugging it out against the fleeing fleets of the Confederacy of Independant Systems.
    • Revenge of the Sith begins with the Battle of Coruscant, with Anakin and Obi-Wan weaving their way through countless Republic and Separatist ships to rescue Chancellor Palpatine. The movie also contains the Battles of Utapau and Kashyyyk, albeit by then it's become increasingly clear that they're hardly important to the plot as the main villain reveals himself.
    • Solo is more a Space Western than an epic Space Opera and given its smaller scale might be the exception. We have a glimpse of the muddy Battle of Mimban and the shoot out at Kessel, which might, however, count.
    • Rogue One has the Battle of Scarif, where the infiltration of the crew of the Rogue One turns into a full-blown fleet battle over the planet's orbital shieldgate, as well as a ground battle on the surface's beach. The Rebels have thrown everything they could muster at the time in this battle, and it came at a great cost, explaining their fleet's haphazard state in A New Hope.
    • A New Hope has the battle of Yavin IV, where the Rebellion sends all of its starfighters against the Death Star as it moves to destroy the Rebel base.
    • The Empire Strikes Back has the Battle of Hoth, where the Empire sends an armada of AT-AT ground walkers to impede the Rebels' escape from the planet. The Rebellion, while defeated, manages to evacuate most of their personnel.
    • Return of the Jedi has the Battle of Endor, split between the ground battle on the forest moon and the space battle with the Imperial armada and the Rebel fleet over the moon's orbit. Though initially outmatched, sheer determination on all fronts allows the Rebellion to triumph, leading to the Original Trilogy's happy ending.
    • The Force Awakens has the Battle of Starkiller Base, with the Resistance's starfighters swiftly attacking the compound after Starkiller Base's shields are lowered. They are still met with heavy resistance from First Order TIE Fighters, turbolasers and missile turrets.
    • The Last Jedi opens with a space battle over the Resistance's base of D'Qar, with Poe launching a daring strike against the First Order Dreadnought in order to buy time for the evacuation; a massive furball ensues as the Resistance bombers make their way through hordes of TIE Fighters. The fight culminates in the Dreadnought's destruction, though at the cost of much of the Resistance's starfighter corps as well as all of their bombers. The Resistance spends the rest of the movie on the run, too crippled to conduct an effective counterattack against the pursuing First Order.
    • The Rise of Skywalker has the Battle of Exegol, the Resistance's desperate last gamble to stop the Final Order (a massive armada of Star Destroyers equipped with Planet Destroyer weapons) from being deployed. They are joined just in time by The Cavalry in the form of volunteer ships across the galaxy numbering in what appear to be the millions, which allows them to even the odds until the armada is crippled.
  • This happens in Grown Ups 2 at the climax between the adults and the army of teens.
  • Ran has the Assault on the Third Castle at the climax of the first half, and later the battle between the armies of Jiro and Saburo near the end of the film.
  • Ready Player One (2018)'s climactic battle on Planet Doom initially has Wade making a speech to everyone on the OASIS about fighting back against Sorrento and his army of Sixers. Sorrento believes no one will come to Wade's aid... until countless players start rallying behind Wade and charge towards Anorak Castle, engaging the Sixers in an all-out battle over the snowy plains, topped with a clean rendition of Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It". Kickass action sequences ensue, including multiple cameos from iconic pop cultures and a brawl between Sorrento's Mechagodzilla and Daito's RX-78-2 Gundam.
  • The Revenant opens with a six-minute tracking shot of a trapping expedition being attacked by a band of Indians who storm their camp and force them to flee on their boat.
  • Tora! Tora! Tora! A depiction of the Attack on Pearl Harbour. The name of the film was the Japanese call to initiate the attack: "Tiger, tiger tiger!"
  • 13 Assassins has one between the eponymous assassins and over 200 troops that goes on, unbroken, for over 40 minutes.
  • Troy has a no-magic-allowed depiction of the various battles in the historical/mythical Trojan War. The Sack of Troy, despite being a massacre, can count as one too.
  • The Warlords has one relatively early in the film between the Qing and Taiping armies.
  • Waterloo: The historic and titular battle, featuring over 17,000 extras.
  • We Were Soldiers and the extra bloody Battle of Ia Drang Valley.
  • Zulu: The Battle of Rorke's Drift. A tiny British division is about to face the same odds as the 300 Spartans. The first half of the movie shows the preparations of their Last Stand battle, making us expect a total Curb-Stomp Battle, and the second is the conflic. Miraculously the Zulu retreat

  • In Tolkien's Legendarium:
  • Harry Potter has a few of these
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix's "Battle of the Department of Mysteries" which features about a dozen or so per side.
    • From Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince there's "Battle of the Astronomy Tower" with about a couple of dozen per side.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows features the "Battle of Hogwarts" between the defenders of Hogwarts and Voldemort's Death Eaters. The defenders are mentioned to have lost fifty-five dead—more than the total number of combatants in any previous fight—and shocking given the Wizarding World's tendency for less-lethal spells. With most of the students and teachers, dozens of parents, and the centaurs and house-elves, there were easily hundreds of fighters. The battle also raged for hours, beginning at midnight, with a one-hour break, and Voldemort's final defeat came at dawn.
      • Also "The Battle of the Seven Potters" could count.
  • The Wheel of Time has tons of these. In the first couple of books there are not that many: the stand at Emonds Field, the battle at Falme and the battle of Cairhien. Then comes Dumais Wells, a battle between three parties which ends by the outright slaughter of one of the parties by male channelers. Only 100k participants though. Several big battles follow and the biggest in the series come in Book 14, including a three-front battle to start with that takes weeks at least, and ending with the two-pronged Last Battle itself, which includes every single army in the entire world except for the Land of Madmen, and takes approximately a third of the entire book, being almost entirely one chapter that is two hundred and two pages long. The battle itself takes days, with some looks behind the front lines to see how people handle such an extended conflict, even resting or getting food to eat while battles rage.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has had a few so far, the most notable one being the Battle of Blackwater at the end of the second book.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen - has tons of big climatic battles of all kinds.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • The Battle of Chichen Itza in Changes. Magical duels, vampires, swords, intervention via possession from what is probably an Archangel (or possibly God himself), freaking Odin, the protagonist's (more than slightly insane) Faerie Godmother, Excalibur, Kusanagi and Durandal all in one place and arguably the most badass speech in history. And it's not even the series' Grand Finale.
    PossessedMurphy: "False gods! Pretenders! Usurpers of truth! Destroyers of faith, of families, of lives, of children! For your crimes against the Mayans, against the peoples of the world, now will you answer! Your time has come! Face judgment Almighty!"
    • Exaggerated in Battle Ground, considering that the entire book is basically one long battle sequence with only a few brief periods of peace as the armies of the Fomor (led by a Titan with a Fantastic Nuke) invade Chicago and the Unseelie Accords Nations unite to fight back.
  • The BloodClan battle in the Warrior Cats book The Darkest Hour. BloodClan, a huge group of city cats (enough to take on around 100 forest cats) with a leader who can kill a Clan leader's nine lives in one blow, gives the forest Clans three days to either leave the forest or meet them in battle. The forest Clans spend the three days weighing their options, training, having medicine cats prepare herbs, and coming up with an escape strategy for the defenseless kits and elders if they fail. All four Clans join together to face BloodClan, and the battle itself lasts about a day.
    • That's nothing compared to what happens in the fourth series' last book. Basically, the cat versions of Heaven and Hell start fighting an epic war on Earth, and dozens of cats both living and dead kick ass. That one book alone has more Crowning Moments Of Awesome to its name than any preceding it.
  • In a series that's already about huge armies of superhuman warriors conquering planets across the galaxy, you'd kind of expect this thing from the Horus Heresy series, but a few battles stand out in particular for the sheer scale and epicness (and most have suitably epic names to boot);
    • The third novel, Galaxy in Flames kicks things off with "The Virus Bombing of Istvaan III", where the first four traitor legions begin their purge of their own ranks by bombing the life out of an entire planet of billions, then setting the entire world ablaze before descending to the surface to mop up the survivors.
    • This is then followed by "The Dropsite Massacre of Istvaan V" in Fulgrim, where three loyalist legions are drawn into a conflict with the traitor forces (now also backed up by deamons and insane noise marines) only to find the additional four legions they thought were coming to reinforce them also turning traitor and utterly curb-stomping them. The fight on the planet's surface involved hundreds of thousands of space marines, Imperial Army, Titans and tanks and war machines of all description, whilst the battle in space above contained at least a thousand warships. The battle was such a pivotal conflict for the series as a whole and involved so many major characters that later stories replay the events time and again from all the different points of view. It's equally as epic every time.
    • Not to be outdone, "The Burning of Prospero", played out over two books from both sides, features the Space Wolves descending upon the homeworld of the Thousand Sons legion of Prospero. "Burning" doesn't even begin to cover what happens next.
    • The king of them all so far though, has to go to "The Battle of Calth", shown in Know No Fear. 250,000 Ultramarines and all their supporting Imperial Army and Mechanicum forces, vs. 100,000 Word Bearers and their army of Deamons, cultists and a well executed betrayal that leaves an entire world near-uninhabitable. Thousands of starships and billions of people fighting and dying, a small moon shattered, hell, even the sun gets wrecked.
  • In the novels In Death Ground and The Shiva Option by David Weber and Steve White, there are numerous examples of this trope.
  • The First Battle of Manticore in the Mission of Honor, being the largest battle in history up to that point.
  • In the novel The Armageddon Inheritance by David Weber, a number of epic space battles take place between the protagonists and the invading alien fleet, which consisted of something like 5 or 6 million enemy warships.
  • The Icelandic Sagas have several fine descriptions of climactic battles:
  • The Battle of Vo Mimbre and Thull Mardu in The Belgariad by David Eddings.
  • The Battle of Seattle in The Leonard Regime.
  • Italian writer Emilio Salgari (of Sandokan fame) loved them, and strived to put at least one in most of his novels. His crowning achievement is the novel The King of the Sea (of the Sandokan series) with its three battle sequences (a desperate running battle fought by Tremal Naik and a group of Tigers of Mompracem led by Yanez against thousand of Dayaks, a naval battle between the King of the Sea and a Royal Navy warship, and the desperate battle of the King of the Sea against five warships), but he wrote dozens of them, including a revisitation of the Battle of Lepanto (Il Leone di Damasco) and one of Little Bighorn (La Scotennatrice.
  • The Reynard Cycle: The Baron of Maleperduys features the Battle of the Samara and the siege of Maleperduys.
    • Defender of the Crown opens with one that ends the war between Calvaria and Arcasia.
  • A Real Life (embellished?) one in the finale of The Knights of the Cross, since it's a historical novel.
  • Department 19: The battle at Château Dauncy in Zero Hour and the final battle in Carcassone in Darkest Night
  • The Lost Fleet has tons of these, both in the main series and some of the spin-offs. Averted in the prequel series, where, so far, space battles have been limited to half a dozen ships at most. Justified, since the series takes place before the formation of the Alliance.
  • As befitting a Space Opera, the Red Rising saga has two in the second and third books.
    • The entire second half of Golden Son is dedicated to preparations for the Siege of Mars, the battle itself, and the aftermath.
    • Morning Star's largest action sequence is the Battle of Ilium in the last third of the book, featuring the largest scale ship-to-ship action depicted in the series, with the fleets of the Rising forming an Enemy Mine with the Moon Lords to secure the independence of the gas giants from the core.
  • Second Apocalypse features quite a few epic battle sequences of holy wars, focusing on the gallantry, horror and ecstasy of zealous warriors slaughtering for their gods.
    • The first trilogy tracks the crusade of the Men of the Tusk fighting their way through Fanim territory to recapture Holy Shimeh from the infidels.
    • The second series follows the Great Ordeal against the Unholy Consult as all the fighting men of the Three Seas unite under their Aspect-Emperor in an assault on Golgotterath, facing monstrous forces in numbers that break the back of reason.
  • Glen Cook's The Black Company is pretty much the father of the military, grimdark fantasy so much in fashon nowdays. Of the original trilogy, every book has a few battles, with one at the end that surpasses every other:
    • In the self-title first book, there's the Battle of Charm, where the rebels fight the Lady and the Black Company in one final battle.
    • On Shadows Linger, the second Book, The Black Company there's the Battle of Juniper, where the opponent is the Lady's Husband, the Dominator, and his demons.
    • On the White Rose, the third book, in the Battle fo the Barrowland, the Black Company now allied with the new rebels and fighting the Lady once more has the wrath of the Dominator on their path.
  • Ready Player One: Wade, after an infiltration to set things up, announces that he'll be joining the ongoing Siege of Gate Three to take it from the Sixers at a certain time. Half the players in the entire game show up, an army millions strong with even more showing up to watch. The sheer logjam of incoming vessels nearly makes Wade late for his own war. When the shield drops, the massed Gunnters and assorted civilians wipe the Sixers out in short order. Only Sorrento, driving Mechagodzilla, survives for any length of time, albeit while getting shot at by a few million players.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Nirvana in Fire has one when Prince Yu decides to take the throne by force and attacks the Hunting Palace with an army of 50,000 against the Emperor who only has a meager 3000 Imperial guards. Don't forget to breathe.
  • As miniseries, Band of Brothers and The Pacific had budgets that dwarved even Game of Thrones. Most of episodes have at least one big, sentimental battle.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003) - No wonder why the title starts with "battle". Among others large scale battle, there's the Battle of Ragnar Anchorage, in the Minisseries, the Battle of the Ressurrection Ship, in season 2, the Battle of New Caprica on season 3, and the battles of the Ionian Nebula and at the Colony in Season 4.
    • The three TV movies, Razor, The Plan and Blood & Chrome also have their battles.
  • Firefly: "Serenity" starts with showing the ending of the battle in Serenity Valley, which is described as being this.
  • The battle for Camelot in the Merlin episode "The Tears of Uther Pendragon, part two".
  • Time Commanders used the Rome: Total War game engine to simulate historical battles for the contestants to re-fight (and get walked over by the AI opponent.)
  • Doctor Who has the Battle of Canary Wharf in "Doomsday".
  • First episode in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, we're offered one in form of every single Super Sentai vs the whole Zangyack fleet.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has several during the Dominion War that are on a completely different level to any of the previous Trek series. The First Battle of Deep Space Nine ("The Way of the Warrior"), The Second Battle of Deep Space Nine ("Call to Arms"), Operation Return ("The Sacrifice of Angels"), The First and Second Battles of Chin'toka, and the Battle of Cardassia ("What You Leave Behind"). Even the early battles with mere dozens of ships are larger than anything else in Trek history including the Borg attacks on Earth from TNG & First Contact, while the later battles during the Dominion War include ships in the thousands!
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The Battle of Dakara at the end of Season 8.
    • Also, the Battle of Antarctica at the end of the 7th season.
    • And the Battle of the Supergate (P3Y-229, technically) at the end of Season 9. Though that was more of a Curb-Stomp Battle than anything else.
  • Stargate Atlantis had the Battle of Asuras.
    • And, arguably, the Siege of Atlantis
  • Power Rangers in Space has the Rangers and the rebelling citizens of Angel Grove fighting against the U.A.E. in the final episode.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer features the battle between Buffy and the potentials against the First Evil's Uber Vamps in the center of the Hellmouth for "Chosen".
  • The 100 ends its first season with a big battle between the Grounder army and the 100.
  • * Babylon 5 had a habit of using this trope to mark major points in the series' different story arcs. Four such battles stand out as exceptionally badass:
    • The newly-independent B5 vs an Earthforce fleet in the third-season episode ''Severed Dreams". Deserves special notice because it included both space combat and an infantry fight aboard B5 after an Earthforce Boarding Pod succeeded in putting Earth troops aboard the station.
    • The huge space battle between the League of Non-Aligned Worlds and the Shadows in the third season episode "Shadow Dancing"
    • The even larger three-way space battle in the climax of the Shadow War, "Into the Fire".
    • The first major battle of the Earth Civil War, between Sheridan's fleet and the Earthforce fleet besieging Proxima 3 ("No Surrender, No Retreat").
  • The Walking Dead (2010):
    • The mid-season 4 finale features The Governor leading an assault on the prison, resulting in a three-way battle between Rick and The Governor's groups and a horde of walkers.
    • The final act of "No Way Out" featured nearly every citizen of Alexandria, from the main characters to the Mauve Shirts and Spear Carriers, banding together to fight off a herd of hundreds of zombies that had overrun the city. It's the first time we see that many heroes fighting at once, and the first time Rick's group manages to completely destroy a herd that large.
    • The Season 7 finale, "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life", features a truly massive battle, with Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom uniting to fight against the Saviors and the Scavengers and drive them out of Alexandria.
  • Game of Thrones universe:
    • Game of Thrones: Given its scale, the series often dedicates most of or an entire episode on a single battle sequence.
      • The Battle of the Blackwater is waged in Blackwater Bay outside of King's Landing between the reigning Lannisters and the invading army of Stannis Baratheon. It is the first episode to be entirely composed of a single battle, with the narrative following characters on both sides of the conflict.
      • The Battle of Castle Black is waged between a skeleton crew of men of the Night's Watch defending their primary castle on two fronts: Mance Rayder's wildling horde attacking from the front and Tormund's commando raid from behind. We follow the perspective of Jon Snow and his various friends in the Night's Watch as they struggle to fight off both invasions.
      • "Hardhome" uses the majority of its run time on a battle for survival when an undead army ambushes a refuge inhabited by wildlings right as Jon Snow is attempting to forge an alliance with them. The episode plays as much as a horror sequence as a battle sequence.
      • The "Battle of the Bastards" features a coalition force of Northmen loyal to Jon Snow attacking Northern forces following Ramsay. This is the first large-scale battle in the show that is not a siege, so we get massive armies clashing in an open battlefield.
      • "The Spoils of War" ends with a large battle in which Daenerys's Dothraki forces ambush a Lannister caravan moving Tyrell gold into King's Landing. This is the first extended battle sequence featuring a dragon. On a related note, it also broke records for most stuntmen set on fire.
      • The Great Battle of Winterfell in "The Long Night" is entirely taken up by the Final Battle against the Night King. The largest-scale battle in the show's history, it includes fighting on open fields, on the walls, in the catacombs, in the godswood and even in the air.
    • House of the Dragon: Like Game of Thrones, there's no entire episode dedicated to a big battle yet. The closest is the final battle in the Stepstones in which Daemon Targaryen takes part. In one last gamble from him against the Crabfeeder's army, he pulls a I Surrender, Suckers maneuver which allows the Velaryon forces to decimate the Crabfeeder's forces in the open with a dragon's fire and a good old infantry charge.
  • Cobra Kai: The final episode of the second season, just as the first day back at school is starting. It begins only with Tory and Sam but quickly turns into an all-out brawl between their respective dojos. And the ending is most definitely not pretty.
  • The Expanse:
    • "CQB" has a space battle between The Battlestar MCRN Donnager and six of The Conspiracy's advanced stealth fighters, interspaced with scenes of Holden's crew in a running gun battle with the latter's Boarding Party while trying to flee the ship.
    • "Doors and Corners" has the joint assault by the OPA and the Rocinante on the conspiracy's research base on a centrifugal space station, which is guarded by another stealth ship and a hull-mounted cannon designed to be able to break asteroids. It takes some clever maneuvering, but the Roci is able to disable the stealth ship and destroy the cannon, enabling a Boarding Pod to land on and seize control of the station.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Episode 6x01, has the only big battle of the first season. The Orcs led by Adar are fighting the villagers of Tirharad and other towns in order to enslave them and take the Southlands for themselves. The Orcs almost win, but the Numenorians Cavalry makes its appearance and defeats The Horde of Orcs.
  • Napoléon - Features some of the biggest battles of The Napoleonic Wars, of course: Austerlitz, Eylau, Aspern-Essling, and, last but not least, Waterloo.
  • Star Trek: Discovery:
    • The Battle at the Binary Stars, which kicks off the Federation-Klingon War. While not quite in the scale of some of the battles in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, it’s portrayed with action beats and special effects that rival Hollywood films, introducing a new, more militaristic era in Star Trek.
    • Another large-scale engagement happens in the Season 2 finale, where the Discovery, the Enterprise, and about 200 hastily-armed shuttles and pods are facing off against a fleet of over 30 capital ships and hundreds of drones, controlled by the Control AI. Partway through the battle, there's also the arrival of the Klingons and Kelpiens (the latter flying Ba'ul fighters), who help turn the tide. Many die during the battle, including Admiral Cornwell and, officially, almost the entire crew of the Discovery (the ship actually entered a temporal wormhole and traveled to the 32nd century).
  • The Orville
    • The show finally has one after a number of single-ship engagements, although the titular ship doesn’t actually participate. The fight is between the fleets of two rival races. It goes on for a bit, and several ships on both sides are destroyed, before both fleets are called off.
    • And then it one-ups that in "Identity Pt. II" with the Union and Krill fleets battling the Kaylon. In the end, over 36 ships are destroyed or heavily damaged just on the Union side, with many Krill and Kaylon ships destroyed as well. Given that a medium-sized ship like the Orville likely has a crew complement of about 200, the larger heavy cruisers probably have double that. That implies that the relatively brief battle has resulted in over 10,000 casualties.
    • Several more large-scale battles take place in season 3, one in the orbit of Krill, when a fleet of Union ships arrives to try to retrieve the hostages taken by the newly-elected Chancellor Teleya. The Union forces eventually retreat after the hostages are rescued. Another, even more massive battle, takes place in orbit of a planet housing a Moclan weapons research center, this one between a Krill/Moclan alliance and a Union/Kaylon alliance.
  • Several of the annual Arrowverse events are all capped off with a huge brawl between an ever-growing number of supers vs. first an Alien Invasion (in the aptly-titled Invasion), and then Alternate Universe Nazis (during Crisis on Earth-X). The Final Battle of Elseworlds (2018) is more restrained by contrast, "only" dealing with Oliver, Barry, Kara and Clark — with some last minute help from Lois, J'onn, and Brainy — taking on the Amazo robot and John Deegan (who has turned himself into an Evil Twin of Superman).
  • Soviet Storm: World War II in the East, being a Battle Epic about the Red Army's role during World War II, has several large battle scenes, most notably the Battles of Kursk and Berlin, where hundreds of troops are shown fighting.
  • Season 2 of The Outpost climaxes with the Prime Order sending an army of 5000 to destroy the outpost and crush Gwynn's rebellion. Despite being vastly outnumbered, the defenders hold their own by faking surrender to lure the Prime Order's forces inside their walls for an ambush that allows them to barely turn the tide. And when the Prime Order calls in two more armies as reinforcements, the defenders resort to Talon freeing the other Blackbloods from the Plane of Ash to fight alongside them.
  • Warrior (2019) features an impressive one that lasts most of a single episode. When the Irish Mob attack Chinatown, the feuding gangs set aside their differences and go to war to defend their home. In the end, the mob are driven out.
  • Halo (2022):
    • The episode "Reckoning" features the first major battle sequence, as the Covenant attacks Eridanus II in force in order to gain control of the Second Keystone, and the Spartans lead the UNSC's defenses against them.
    • The Season 1 finale "Transcendence" sees Silver Team attacking the Covenant's holy planet to retrieve the Keystones. What starts as a surgical strike soon turns into this trope, as the Prophets summon hundreds of soldiers to try and overwhelm the Spartans.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Final Battle in Mahabharata, in which all warriors of Pandava fights all warriors of Kaurava. Imagine if all the battle-capable people of India goes to battle, and you get a pretty close approximation. All super powers are set loose, no quarters are asked, no quarters are given. This makes this trope Older Than Feudalism.
  • The First (Tuatha Dé Danann vs. Fir Bolg) and the Second (Tuatha Dé Danann vs. Fomor) Battle of Magh Tuireadh in The Battle of Magh Tuireadh, from Irish Mythology.
  • The Final Conflict between Satan, the First Beast, the Antichrist, and most of the corrupted legions of our Crapsack World, against Michael, all the Angels, and God. So terrifying, that Earth has to be replaced because the former one is bombed back to before the Big Bang.

  • In Realms of Hyrule, you have the Battle of Kakariko in which around nineteen different players joined together with almost the entirety of Hyrule's military in order to route the undead and reclaim Kakariko.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Minatures games, such as Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 are another good example of this trope. It can be taken to ridiculous extremes even, if players decide in a casual game to have 'no point limit' for building their army.
    • For bonus points, 40K also features the "Epic" side-series. As the name implies, it's built around truly massive battles, so instead of having 10-30 individual troop units and maybe a vehicle or two or three, mid-size infantry platoons and small tank formations are individual units, superheavy tanks roam freely, oh and this is the scale where Titans (the largest of which stand 130-170 scale feet tall) start stomping their enemies. Literally.
    • Whenever players use Apocalypse rule, you can expect this. The larger battles may take over an hour to do a single turn (whereas a more traditional 2000 point battle may take as much as 10-15 mins per turn, if that).
  • This is also the purpose of mass combat systems.
  • Likewise, there's the ever popular game of Risk. The goal of that game? World conquest!

    Video Games 
  • Multiplayer maps in most FPS games are at least trying to invoke this.
    • It's easier in RTS games, which could conceivably have battles between hundreds of individual units. Depending on the game, it could have an even more epic scale with special units, such as a battle between Greeks and Egyptians in Age of Mythology having not only their infantry spearmen and cavalry duking it out but also influenced by cyclopes and manticores on the side of the Greeks vs. sphinxes and falcon-headed warriors.
  • Planetside II actually holds a Guinness world record for the largest number of players engaged in a single server at once for a first-person shooter: 1,158, split between three factions - the Terran Republic, the New Conglomerate and the Vanu Sovereignty, fighting in the swamps of Hossin for two hours. The New Conglomerate just barely won, holding 35% of territory to the Terran's 34% and the Vanu's 30%.
  • The Final Fantasy series loves these.
    • Final Fantasy VII has the Weapon Raid on Junon.
    • Final Fantasy VIII:
      • The Siege of Dollet, in which the part the player sees begins with their boats charging onto the beach.
      • The Battle of the Gardens, wherein the Galbadian Army and the SeeD forces of Balamb clash in one of the most memorable conflicts of the game.
    • Final Fantasy IX also joins the fray, with the Siege of Cleyra, the Iifa Tree battle, and when Bahamut attacks Alexandria.
    • Final Fantasy X has the Operation Mi'ihen, where the Al Bhed, the Crusaders, Chocobo Knights, and Yuna's party join forces against Sin and its creatures.
    • Final Fantasy XII is bookended with these. The first features the Archadian invasion of Nabudis and Dalmasca, while the second shows an air battle between the Sky Fortress Bahamut against Marquis Ondore's air fleet.
    • Final Fantasy XIII begins with a revolt of the purge victims against PSICOM in the depths of Cocoon.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has one in the Stormblood story where it's the player character, their allies, their opponents from a previous battle now turned allies all fighting against soldiers from The Empire in a massive brawl and it is awesome.
    • Final Fantasy Type-0 comes and goes radical with this. The opening war in Rubrum on Chapter 1 is just the first example. Then we get the Battle of Judecca as the main example in Chapter 5, where an airship fleet fights a population of dragons. And almost immediately after, in Chapter 6, Lady Caetuna summoning the humongous Alexander on the Empire's border and mopping both sides of the conflict on a single beam.
  • Fire Emblem has an entire archetype of levels like this, at least one per game.
  • Half-Life series:
    • Half-Life and its expansions tell a story of the multi-sided battle at Black Mesa, where Gordon and security team of Black Mesa, the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit, a unit of the US government, Black Ops forces, the Alien invading forces of Xen and of Race X fight each other.
    • Half-Life 2 has the Battle of City 17, where Gordon leads the Resistence agains the Combine another force than invaded Earth during the Black Mesa Incident. Half Life 2: Episode 2 ends with an attack at the White Forest, a main base of the Resistence. In two acts, the battle first depicts Gordon and the Resistence repelling a Combine mostly made by humans inside the base and then protecting a rocket launch attacked by extremely powerful alien warfare.
  • The Total War series is built around this entire concept, with you being in control of the battle and sending thousands of individual troops into combat.
  • The Dawn of War series has plenty of these, the best examples probably being the first game's intro cinematic and the trailer to the second game.
  • Strategy war games like the Command & Conquer series and clones of it may possibly count, with you controlling one faction/army while the other(s) is controlled by a computer/friend. You can also use fluffy logic to decide that these battles really are epic in the game world. A single soldier on screen may actually be 100 within the game world. Imagine those minor 'skirmish' games of yours now.
    • In the case of Command & Conquer: Tiberium, it's mentioned in supplementary material that the EVA Heads-Up Display depicts squads of soldiers as units. So every time you create "one" Rocket Infantry, you're in fact creating a squad of ten or so.
  • Pushed to the limits in the critically acclaimed Total Annihilation. Telling a story of a 4000 years galactic Armageddon between two genocidal factions, most matches usually end up in titanic battles. In addition, TA is also easily modded and the Arbitrary Headcount Limit is often disabled. The result are wars featuring thousands of units.
  • LEGO Universe. Both in game and out. The intro has Awesome Music and the preparations for combat even. Sadly, it skips over the actual battle, but we're pretty sure it was epic. More so when you realize that those spiders and horsemen are elite enemies, and the dragons tend to be bosses.
  • Mass Effect features the Battle of the Citadel. Mass Effect 3 is determined to out-do its predecessors with a full on galactic war.
  • Knights of the Old Republic has a couple.
    • The first game has the Revolt on Kashyyk and Battle of the Star Forge, who are almost opposite of each other: Kashyyk is a small skirmish (Czerka only has a small outpost on the planet) kept on-planet where the player character is directly involved in fighting the battle, while the Battle of the Star Forge is a big honking fleet engagement between large portions of the Sith and Republic navies where the player character is infiltrating the Star Forge.
    • The second game has the Civil War on Iziz and the Battle of Telos.
    • The MMO followup has plenty of these as well, especially once the Eternal Empire arrives on the scene.
  • Heavenly Sword ends with one of these.
  • The final battle in Fallout: New Vegas, with the NCR facing off against Caesar's Legion. Depending on your actions, you'll either support one of the two or support a third party.
    • For a little extra context: depending on your choices, you can roll into the battle for Hoover Dam with an elite unit of Brotherhood of Steel paladins joining you in the first stages, the Boomers shelling the other side with howitzers and flying a bomber over the battlefield, the Enclave remnants taking to the battlefield, the Great Khans throwing their lot in if you didn't convince them to leave the Mojave, and two factions will even give you ARMOURED ROBOT INFANTRY... and it shows through NPC dialogue. They're damn glad to see the backup you brought along with you.
    • Fallout 3 also has one of these as its climax, when the Brotherhood of Steel finally attacks the Enclave. Especially its newest recruit, and we're not talking about the Lone Wanderer here...
  • Neverwinter Nights has the Neverwinter-Luskan War. Hordes of the Underdark adds the Valsharess War, with your by-now epic-level character leading the defenders.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has the Shadow War, which takes up the majority of Act III and prominently includes The Siege of Crossroad Keep. Mask of the Betrayer adds the invasion of the Fugue Plane.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has several during the civil war, including Whiterun, and depending on what side you choose, Windhelm or Solitude.
  • Star Wars games tend to have these in droves. Battlefront 2 even has an XL mode, a deathmatch with hundreds of bots on the field. Very fun for vehicle users and pilots.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has the Battles of Ostagar and Denerim against the Darkspawn, and Redcliffe against The Undead.
    • Its sequel ends with the destruction of the Chantry and the Battle of Kirkwall in its aftermath, which is also stated to be only the first battle of the Mage-Templar War.
    • The third game has the siege of Adamant Fortress, where the Inquisition assaults the fort due to the Grey Wardens being under Corypheus' influence.
  • X3: Terran Conflict: The Second Battle of Aldrin during the Aldrin Expansion plot, with a Terran warfleet and the Player Character pushing the Xenon out of the Terrans' former colonies.
  • The invasion of Char in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings starts with a massive siege battle against one of the King's bastard sons, and they only get bigger from there.
  • Mount & Blade battles are supposed to get very large, which, varying on your settings, can display over well over 100 to even 500 or more men with mods.
  • Star Fox Zero has the Battle of Sector Beta. The level opens with a massive skirmish between the main fleets of Corneria and Venom, with squadrons of star fighters flying everywhere in between. In the second phase you find yourself in an all out dogfight involving EVERY SINGLE NAMED PILOT from Star Fox 64. This includes your team, Bill Grey, Katt, and Star Wolf.
  • The second Jedi Knight game has the Big Bad invade the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV with an army of Reborn. While your goal is to reach and defeat the Big Bad, you run through courtyards and hallways of scores of Jedi battling their Evil Counterparts.
  • Mortal Kombat has played into this at least three different times, despite being a 1-on-1 fighting series.
    • The intro to Mortal Kombat: Armageddon involves most of the series' fighters engaging in an all-out brawl with casualties on both sides, before the pyramid erects and gives them all a goal to fight towards. Mortal Kombat 9 shows the sickening aftermath, with Shao Kahn being the canon winner of the battle.
    • Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe has this when the MK and DC Universes encounter each other in Apokalypse, with Dark Kahn forcing them to fight to the death. Unfortunately, due to the game's troubling development, it's played out in a slideshow rather than a fully cinematic motion cutscene.
    • Mortal Kombat 1 takes this to its Exaggerated extreme with the introduction of The Multiverse, with you picking a Titan companion to Fire God Liu Kang in order to siege Titan Shang Tsung's pyramid and take him out once and for all. Unlike with Armageddon, you actually do get to fight through waves of endless alternate-timeline kombatants on your way to the final battle.
  • Ace Combat is no stranger to prolonged aerial furballs.
    • Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies has a massive furball over Comona Island as the ISAF attempt to launch a recon satellite for Operation Countdown, with Erusea deploying a large aerial force to foil it. The hard-rocking "Comona" plays as you're immersing yourself in the battle.
    • Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War has an interesting subversion in the fleet battle over the Ceres Ocean towards the end of the story. The Yuktobanian fleet prepares to attack the Kestrel, but are instead led astray by the revelation that their then-kidnapped Prime Minister is on-board, leading to mutiny on the Yuke side. The Osean fleet then approaches with the intent to sink the Yuktobanians, the Yuktobanians who side with the Kestrel, and the Kestrel herself altogether, so Razgriz Squadron launches and singlehandedly takes down all belligerents unwilling to defect to the newly-formed Kestrel fleet. The entire battle is fought to the tune of "The Journey Home" blaring on all radio comms.
    • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War: Area B7R, also known as the Round Table, is prone to frequent furballs involving Belka's legendary air force and Osea's army, with several mercenaries thrown in, most tellingly Galm Team. Most dogfights in it are accompanied by hard rocking themes like "Mayhem", or flamenco-flavoured songs like "The Round Table".
    • Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation takes it even further by integrating large scale operations into its gameplay mechanic, allowing for simultaneous air and ground assault scenarios through allied NPCs. The culmination of all this is the Liberation of Gracemeria, where you take part in a six-pronged battle to retake Emmeria's capital from Estovakian forces on the sea, air and land.
    • The spin-off Ace Combat Infinity takes cues from Strangereal titles, namely a massive aerial furball over Area B7R (located in Nevada here) between the UNF and USEA called Operation Battle Axe, and Operation Bunker Shot over the Adriatic Sea. The latter features a sea and air battle that almost ends in failure as the OLDS unexpectedly wipes out most of the UNF's landing forces, but they get back up after a Heroic Second Wind fueled by Goodfellow's resolve and Reaper's presence. From then on, Operation Bunker Shot is fought to the sound of a remix of Ace Combat 04's "Blue Skies".
      Collins: We got nothing to be afraid of! Not with the Grim Reaper haunting the skies!
      Bertz: You said it! On the ground and in the air... We can do this! [Cue rallying cries of "Let's go!"]
    • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has their big final battle at the International Space Elevator as Osean and Erusean troops join forces to take down the final Arsenal Bird once and for all, countered by pro-war rebels and the Arsenal Bird's own masses of MQ-101 drones.
    • Fan game and Spiritual Successor Project Wingman, being the love letter to Ace Combat that it is, naturally has one of its own in the form of Mission 11, "Cold War," which consists of a gigantic aerial brawl over the Bering Strait between the Federation and the Cascadian forces, the former backed up by the elite Crimson Squadron and the latter led by the mercenaries of Sicario, most prominently Player Character Monarch. Monarch, being Monarch, effectively turns the tide of the battle by himself, resulting in him gaining his Red Baron nickname of "The Crown" from the Feds. To make the player feel even more badass, the whole thing takes place above (and in) an Arctic blizzard, and the background music is "Showdown," widely considered the best song in the game.
  • Doom Eternal features two. The first takes place on Phobos Base, where the Armored Response Coalition is desperately fighting off the demons with infantry and the BFG 10,000; the Doom Slayer slaughters a good chunk of the demons on his way to using the BFG 10,000 to blast a way to Hebeth. The second takes place in the final level of The Ancient Gods Part II, where Valen and the Night Sentinels lay siege to Immora, the capital of Hell, in order to give the Slayer a chance to pursue Davoth.
  • Tekken 8 has this in its intro sequence. Despite the war climate the franchise has been plunged into since Tekken 6, seeing a whole bunch of playable characters fighting armies in an Avengers: Infinity War fashion is quite unusual.

    Web Comic 
  • The Order of the Stick has a couple of examples:
    • Volume 3 features the Battle of Azure City in which Xykon, Redcloak, and their goblin horde lay seige to Azure City, which is defended by the Azure City Army, the Sapphire Guard, and the Order of The Stick. The battle is so big that it takes the entire volume to chronicle events between the setup and the conclusion.
    • The climax of Volume 5 features Tarquin's army assaulting the Order of the Stick after the destruction of Gerard's gate and the temple that surrounded it. The event becomes one of these when Roy manages to rally his party into effectively fighting off the entire army, thwarting what would otherwise have been a massacre.
  • Erfworld takes place in a universe that is a large scale tabletop wargame brought to life, so it naturally features these all the time. Books 1 and 2 are entirely focused on the events surrounding the Battle of Gobwin Knob and the Battle of Spacerock, respectively.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, several big battles have taken place during the war, most notably the Battle of Folsworth Woods and the Battle of Vanna.
  • The Salvation War has many, but probably the best would be Michael vs. Yahweh, with in-universe Orchestral Bombing, including the theme from the Dam Busters and Holst's Mars.
  • The Battle of Nancy, and possibly the entire Juillet Lorrain leading up to it, in The Dead Skunk.
  • A More Personal Union has the Battle of Toledo, the Final Battle of the Great War. On one side, there's 90,000 Grande Alliance troops commanded by King Henri III of France. On the other, 200,000 Spanish soldiers and Italian mercenaries led by Henri's cousin and nemesis Crown Prince Ferdinand of Spain.
  • gen:LOCK Episode 6 features the Union launching a full scale assault on the Anvil.
  • Minecraft Civilization Experiments, due to using hundreds of people to simulate civilization in Minecraft, tend to have this as a matter of course, often involving the populations of two major groups clashing against each other for supremacy on the global battlefield.
    • The Genre Popularizer, MagicGum Civilization Experiments, kicked this trend off with its climactic battle between the Ice Spikes and Plains, featuring the bulk of both armies, including streamers and powerful Player Versus Player experts such as Creator/Clownpierce as participating characters, clashing it out underneath the mountain separating their two regions, accross a frozen river at high noon, with up to 41 players participating in the battle to secure the trade route between their nations.
    • In Ish State Experiments, another major series of civilization events, featured the FinalBattles during the first, third, and fourth events. All were fought between armies of the entire server they were conducted on(which hosts, as of the latest video, up to 1000 players), with the majority of the people in the world participating in all of these battles.
      • In particular, the first and fourth events both had the fighting take place around a tall Tower that served as the last main stronghold for one of the opposing factions, the Solev Union in the first event, and the Aculon Empire in the fourth event. Due to the Tower being heavily fortified with murder holes, arrow slits, lava covering the insides, and, in the case of the Iron Torch, lava on the top, both of these events qualified as The Siege, with the attacking army being forced to use every trick in the book to try and breach them to finish the war once and for all, both succeeding in the end.
  • RWBY
    • Volume 3 ends with the Battle/Fall of Beacon with students from the four major Huntsmen academies, Beacon staff and the Atlesian military defending the city of Vale from a combined assault of Grimm, White Fang and hacked Atlesian combat mechs. By the end of the Volume, contact between Kingdoms has been cut off, Headmaster Ozpin is killed by Cinder Fall, Beacon Academy has been overrun by the Grimm, the rest of the world believes the Atlas Military was behind the chaos and the heroes are scattered as a result.
    • During the middle of Volume 8, Salem's forces are able to take out the defensive Hard-Light Dust shields protecting the city of Atlas as she orders her Grimm to attack. General James Ironwood has his Atlesian Military forces defend the city while also drafting Atlas Academy Students into the army such as Team FNKI to help deal with the Grimm. In the end, Ironwood planned to bomb the Grimm creating the smaller footsoldiers until it was instead killed by Oscar releasing most of the energy in his cane. Because of this, Salem is taken out of commission for the rest of the Volume with only a few of her Grimm surviving the blast.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has a few, what with it being about a hundred year war and all, but the one which would probably fit best would be The Day of Black Sun battle. A small guerilla army with submarines, tanks, and a combination of benders and Bad Ass Normal warriors take on the Fire Nation troops.
    • The Battle of the Drill and the Siege of the North certainly count, if smaller in scope; both involving the Fire Nation attacking a city, the Northern Water Tribe and city of Ba Sing Se respectively. They are both considered key battles in the war effort, and both ending in victory against the Fire Nation.
  • The Grand Finale to The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes features nearly every hero in the series teaming up to stop Galactus.
  • Castlevania (2017) has one of these per season: the defense against the demons invading Gresit in season 1, the siege on Dracula's castle in season 2, the battle of Lindenfeld in season 3, and the second battle of Dracula's castle in season 4.
  • The Grand Finale to Justice League Unlimited featured an alliance between the Justice League and the Legion, with the two teams going up against Darkseid and his invading forces all over the earth.
  • Kulipari: An Army of Frogs has Episode 9, where the residents of the Amphibilands and Marmoo's army finally clash after much buildup. The battle lasts almost the entire episode.
  • Leroy & Stitch features this as Lilo, Stitch, all the reformed experiments, and Gantu take on wave after wave of Leroy clones, the Evil Counterpart to Stitch.
  • Robots has all the outmodes rising up against Madame Gasket and her army in the chop shop.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars will occasionally have an entire arc based around one giant battle, with two of the most notable ones being the Second Battle of Genosis and the Umbara Arc.
  • The biggest battle featured so far on Star Wars Rebels is the Battle of Atollon, which looks like a one-sided Imperial rout against the rebels until the Bendu gets involved.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003):
    • The Season 5 finale (which served as the culmination of the entire series up to that point) had the Turtles gather pretty much every local Earth-bound ally and villain alike to form an army to fight the Tengu Shredder. This included their long-time enemies in the Foot Clan, the Purple Dragons, and the Earth Protection Force; and allies such as the united Justice Force, a collection of Earth's strongest superheroes. The battle rages over the course of the two-part finale.
    • The Season 7 finale (which is the Series Fauxnale as there's still Turtles Forever to go) features almost every single ally the Turtles have made over the course of the series Back for the Finale to attend Casey and April's wedding, only for it to get crashed by the Cyber Shredder and a truly colossal army of Foot ninjas. This time, the Turtles are packing demigods, aliens, mutants, and even the cast of Usagi Yojimbo.
  • The conclusion of the Season 5 Teen Titans storyline which pits the Titans and all their allies going up against the Brotherhood of Evil.
  • Winx Club unexpectedly have something very fitting at the two last episodes of the first season. The Trix have a huge army of darkness and they're aiming to take over Alfea, causing faeries, witches, and specialists to band together to repel the invasion while the Winx take on the Trix.


Video Example(s):


Horus Heresy Cinematic Trailer

Horus begins his bloody crusade against the Emperor of Mankind that will set the galaxy on fire and stain the stars with blood for millennia to come.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / BigBadassBattleSequence

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