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Civilization Destroyer

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A Civilization Destroyer is a force that devastates an entire civilization, ending with its extinction. Often used in sci-fi and fantasy settings, the force behind the destruction may vary from an Absolute Xenophobe superpowered being, Eldritch Abomination, Horde of Alien Locusts, Planet Looters, Planet Eater and even sometimes a Well-Intentioned Extremist. If of planetary scale, what is left would normally be a Death World, if in more local scale, this may lead to a Doomed Hometown, may some times caused that afterwards Cockroaches Will Rule the Earth. Related to World-Wrecking Wave. Contrast with Apocalypse How.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Overlord (2012): Ainz runs into the Quagoa, a civilization of mole-men. As he's entered an alliance with the dwarves (their competitors for territory and ore), he tells Shalltear and Aura to reduce their numbers a little and ask them to surrender. When the Quagoa don't see why they should surrender to two little girls, their numbers are culled from 80,000 to 10,000 by Shalltear because they didn't agree quickly enough. This has the curious effect of later creating an Odd Friendship between their leader Riyuro and Jircniv, as both were leaders of mighty empires who had no reason to believe they could be curbstomped by anyone before meeting Ainz, and pledged themselves to his service to save their people.

    Comic Books 
  • Venom:
    • The Venom symbiote's first host used it to carry out a genocide on his homeworld, reducing it to a barren wasteland.
    • Knull, the antagonist of the fourth volume, is an ancient deity and the source of all symbiotes who traveled the cosmos for billions of years, devouring entire civilizations.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Gozer (also known as Gozer the Gozerian, Gozer the Destructor, Gozer the Traveler, Volguus Zildrohar and Lord of the Sebouillia) in Ghostbusters is an extradimensional being worshiped as a god by ancient Sumerians and modern cultists. When it enters a world it annihilates the population; before it tried to come to Earth it already had destroyed the Meketrex Supplicants and the Vuldronaii.
  • The Planet Looters from Independence Day do not actually destroy the planets they loot, but after taking all the planet's resources nothing is left from any possible civilization to survive in it.
  • Played for Laughs as a parody for alien invasions including Independence Day is Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! Martians do not want to destroy Earth itself but they do want to Kill All Humans and vandalize their monuments.
  • Hellboy is apparently the Beast of the Apocalypse and is fated to destroy human civilization on Earth, which is what Rasputin wants in the first movie. It is also prophesied by the Angel of Death in the sequel.
  • Godzilla: King Ghidorah's Showa and anime incarnations are renowned for traveling the cosmos, destroying civilizations.

  • One of the basic characteristics of the Cthulhu Mythos horrors is that most of the different Eldritch Abominations would rapidly destroy human civilization if they ever awakened. The exceptions would simply want to toy with us first.
  • Plato's Atlantis was famously destroyed in a single day and night of misfortune. Many succeeding works treat it as a historical or mythical event and try to explain how it happened, despite it only being an allegory.
  • Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem series reveals in The Dark Forest that the universe is populated largely by xenophobic Civilization Destroyers; as in, every single alien civilization either is one, is hiding from them, or has been destroyed by one. Death's End drives home how utterly mundane our complete destruction is to them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Thirdspace Aliens in the Babylon 5 Made-for-TV Movie Thirdspace have, according to the Vorlons, massacred thousands of races in their home universe and continue doing so every day because they believe only they have the right to exist.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • "That Which Survives". Thousands of years ago, an Human Alien civilization called the Kalandans made an artificial planet to live on. Unfortunately, the process created a microorganism that killed the personnel stationed on the planet. By the time they died, the disease had been transported back to the original civilization via supply ships, completely wiping it out.
    • ''Operation: Annihilate!" Going back to ancient times, a number of civilizations on different planets have been destroyed by outbreaks of mass insanity. The cause of the insanity is alien creatures that attack people and inject material into their bodies that takes control of their nervous systems. The aliens make the victims travel to other planets using starships, thus spreading the infection.
    • "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" The aliens who lived on the planet Exo 3 created android robots to serve them. When the androids developed Artificial Intelligence, the aliens became afraid of them and started to turn them off. In self defense, the androids Turned Against Their Masters and destroyed them.
    • "The Changeling". The interstellar probe Nomad uses its alien technology-enhanced weapons to completely wipe out the population of the Malurian system, killing more than 4 billion people.
    • "I, Mudd". The aliens who created the androids originally came from the Andromeda galaxy. Their home planet's star went nova and destroyed their civilization except for a few outposts, whose inhabitants died out over time.
    • "The Immunity Syndrome". The entire population of the Gamma Seven-A system, consisting of billions of inhabitants, is killed by having their Life Energy drained by a giant space amoeba.
    • "Return to Tomorrow". A half million years ago, a highly advanced Human Alien civilization fought an apocalyptic war that destroyed the surface of their planet, ripped away the atmosphere and killed all living creatures on it. Before the end, a few members stored their minds in advanced devices to wait rescue.
    • "The Empath". The star Minara is about to go nova, and all of its planets (several of which have populations) will be destroyed. The Humanoid Alien Vians can only save the population of one planet. They do so, but the other civilizations are doomed.
    • "Let That Be Your Last Battlefied". The Humanoid Aliens of the planet Cheron completely wipe themselves out in a genocidal war.
    • "That Which Survives". Long ago, every living thing on the planet Zetar was killed. The minds and Life Energy of 100 of its Humanoid Aliens inhabitants traveled into space and search for new bodies to possess.
    • "For the World Is Hollow, And I Have Touched The Sky". Several thousand years ago the Fabrini people's home sun went nova and destroyed their planets, but some of them were put on an ship resembling an asteroid and sent to another planet.
    • "Plato's Stepchildren". When the planet Sahndara is destroyed by its sun going nova, almost all of its civilization is annihilated. A small number escape to Earth, then later another planet.
    • "Wink Of An Eye". On the planet Scalos, radioactive water causes the entire race to live at hyper-accelerated speeds (which tremendously shortens their lifespans) and makes the male part of the population sterile. By the time the Enterprise arrives, there are only a few Scalosians left.
    • "All Our Yesterdays". When the star Beta Niobe goes nova, its only planet, Sarpeidon, will be destroyed. However, the entire population of the planet has used time travel to journey into the planet's past. They are mentally and physically conditioned to fit in, but their civilization in the future is effectively destroyed.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Borg would not destroy any planet they conquer, but they would assimilate all the sentient life forms on the planet, essentially eliminating any form of native culture and civilization.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • In "The Impossible Box", Picard invokes this when he furiously disputes Jurati's suggestion that the Romulan-controlled Borg on the Artifact may be different.
      Picard: (outraged) Change? The Borg? They coolly assimilate entire civilizations, entire systems! In a matter of hours! They don't change! They metastasize.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", Sutra learns from her mind-meld with Jurati that there are extragalactic synths who can be summoned to eradicate all biological life in the Milky Way. In the next episode, there are robotic tentacles emerging from an interdimensional portal, but Soji breaks the beacon's console before they fully enter our space.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", General Nedar's dialogue reveals that the Romulans have at least five different settings for planet-wide sterilization, and they very nearly obliterate the androids (and presumably all plant and animal life as well) on Coppelius.
  • The Replicators in Stargate SG-1 would use all alloy and technologies available in a planet to keep replicating themselves destroying all civilization, but not the planet itself which would became one large Replicator-like world.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons. The civilization of the nation of Blackmoor reached an incredibly high tech level compared with the rest of the planet. Unfortunately their knowledge exceeded their wisdom, and the accidental detonation of some of their machines annihilated Blackmoor, the neighboring Thonian Empire and other populated areas. They were submerged under the ocean and their populations wiped out.

    Video Games 
  • Crash Team Racing: a Dummied Out dialogue shows that Nitrous Oxide was the reason there's no life in Mars: there was, until Oxide came to them, challenged them to a racing competition, and won.
  • In Spore species with the Scientist ethos get access to the Gravitation Wave, a super weapon capable of destroying every structure on a planet, while keeping its eco system intact. Using it is against the Galactic Code.
  • Stellaris:
    • Your Colossus can be outfitted with the Neutron Sweep, a weapon capable of killing any intelligent life while keeping the planet colonizable. Diplomacy-wise, it's treated about the same as using a Planet Cracker.
    • A more specialized version is the Divine Enforcer, which converts all inhabitants of a planet to spiritualism. Since robots and hive-minds can't be spiritualists, they will all be killed instead, leaving the planet empty.
    • Both the Unbidden and the Prethoryn Scourge will completely cleanse a planet after bombarding it long enough, killing all bio-matter and destroying all machines. All they leave behind is a barren world. On the flip side, if the Prethoryn decide to colonize a world themselves, you'll be the one doing this to them if you want to take it back.
  • In Mass Effect, the Reapers come to the galaxy every 50,000 years or so and wipe out all advanced intelligent life before leaving. The Mass Relay network they leave behind ensures that galactic civilization develops along predictable lines, making it easier for them to destroy it. The first game starts with the Reapers about to return.
  • Monster Hunter: One Fatalis single-handedly obliterated the ancient kingdom of Schrade.

  • Girl Genius: The Other came very close to destroying all of Europa, and successfully destroyed the civilizations of most of the ancient immortal god queens with only two queens and their lands and people known to have survived, though Zeetha is from a people whose civilization survived the destruction of their immortal queen.

    Western Animation 
  • In Superman: The Animated Series Superman discovers that Brainiac kills every sentient life form on the planets he collects knowledge from. Brainiac's reasoning is that "the fewer beings who have the knowledge, the more precious it becomes," which naturally outrages Superman.
  • Ōban Star-Racers: Canaletto had destroyed many civilizations millenia ago, seeing them as "impure and imperfect". It's because he deemed Great Beings' wiew of life as "weak".
  • Justice League three-part premiere episode "Secret Origins" shows that the same aliens that decimated the Martian civilization (leaving J'onn J'ozz as the sole survivior) are awaken on Earth.
  • In DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp the Genie explains that Pompei and Atlantis were destroyed by Merlock the Magician's wishes.
  • The Lost City of Krobos in Extreme Ghostbusters was a civilization destroyed 2000 years in the past due to its alchemists dabbling in demonology.
  • One episode of X-Men mentions that Apocalypse was behind the destruction of several civilizations including the Babylonians, Sumerians and Assyrians.


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