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Evil Versus Oblivion

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Ash: You wanna help?
James: Of course!
Jessie: We don't want the world destroyed!
James: Even if we survived...
Jessie: ...there'd be no one left to steal from!
James: We'd be out of work!

Our first character or faction is a villain with either a sense of self-preservation, a taste for others' misery or a plan to Take Over the World. He's an evil guy, no mistaking it, but happens to enjoy his life and would prefer that the world continue existing, if only to continue his Evil Overlord rule, indulge his greed, lust, and/or generally pursuing his own evil interests and schemes.

Our second character is a Straw Nihilist, a Misanthrope Supreme, an Omnicidal Maniac, or an Eldritch Abomination and wants to bring about The End of the World as We Know It. Even if the first villain would be able to somehow escape from this disaster unharmed, there likely wouldn't be anyone left to rule over or torment for his own twisted pleasure. So the first villain steps in to, surprisingly, help save the day, if only to prevent the second from upsetting the status quo that allows him to continue being evil on his own terms.

Now, in the darkest times, when the world is about to be destroyed by Oblivion, here comes its last chance. Good held out as best it could despite the futility, but Evil climbs into the ring to fight, and Oblivion is in for a whole new level of combat unlike before.

A subtrope of Evil Versus Evil where the story averts Too Bleak, Stopped Caring by offering two reasonably different flavors of evil. May overlap with Even Evil Has Standards and Enemy Mine or result in a Męlée ŕ Trois with the heroes. Often present in worlds with Angels, Devils and Squid, with the Devils representing Evil and the Squid representing Oblivion. Villains opposing The End of the World as We Know It can be on any part of the "evil" side of Character Alignment, although Lawful Evil ones are a bit more common since they rely on an established system of rules to benefit themselves, which would be upset by a threat of this scale. Chaotic Evil and Neutral Evil examples generally have the "I'm having too much fun to stop now" motivation in comparison. On the flipside, the oblivion side can be the sympathetic side too, especially if the villain in question is a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds wanting to destroy the world to end the cycle of suffering caused by the evil side by any means necessary. After all, if the universe is already in a state of endless suffering, it is a lot easier to end the cycle by destroying it all than trying to restore it.

A typical stock justification the usual villain uses to gain the heroes' trust (which pretty much always works and is reliable) is to say "This planet is my home too."

This trope has a Fridge Brilliance side: it justifies many heroes for their Thou Shalt Not Kill attitude. The Fridge Logic side is that a villain who sides with the hero to prevent world destruction should realize it's not that smart trying to kill the hero in the next episode. He may achieve world domination, then end up having the world destroyed because the hero is not there to fight the greater evil any more. See Pragmatic Villainy for more examples. It also helps the writer keep the hero from being forced over the Moral Event Horizon or suffering a "My God, What Have I Done?" moment by having a character who is much less worried about the potential legal or moral ramifications of their actions. After all, if Alice would never kill a person, but Bob has killed in narrative, then Bob can do the deed and spare the writers from putting the guilt on Alice. It also serves as a way for the writer to display just how dangerous the Evil actually is. Bob is able to demonstrate the full extent of his power that Alice routinely defeats, and gets to do so against an opponent where nobody will begrudge him for doing so. At the end of the day, Bob can still be evil after this encounter, but nobody would think any less of him as a villain seeing as he is just doing what he already does.

A subtrope of The Good, the Bad, and the Evil and Evil Versus Evil.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The two antagonistic humans in Animal Land, Jyu and Giller represents Evil and Oblivion, respectively. The former is a sadistic psychopath who takes pleasure in inflicting conflict, pain and suffering, and completely thrives on being "the most evil animal on the planet"; while Giller sees life as unfair and humans in general as corrupt, and thinks they can only be "purified" through death.
  • In Attack on Titan, this turns out to be the dynamic between Eren and Zeke. And zig-zagged, to boot. Zeke starts off as the Oblivion, the Straw Nihilist that wants to exterminate the Eldians by using the Founding Titan's power to sterilize them and let them end their suffering this way, but gets countered by Eren, who drops his moral compass to give freedom to the Eldians. Once Eren shows his true goal — wanting to destroy the rest of the world so that only the Eldians on the Island of Paradis remain and remove all hatred from the world — he becomes the Oblivion.
  • In Bleach, Grimmjow agrees to help fight Yhwach purely because he wants to have a rematch with Ichigo, which he won't be able to do if Hueco Mundo is destroyed. Likewise, Aizen's stated reason for fighting against Yhwach is to, in his own words, "eviscerate any who might try to rule over and control him". That Yhwach wants to merge all the realms and reign immortal over all of reality is an unrelated matter for both.
  • In the "International Assassins Arc" of Chainsaw Man, Arc Villain "Santa Claus" is a sociopathic Psycho for Hire contracted to kill Denji. However, she allows the contract to take a backseat to her attempt to kill Makima, who's revealed to be the first of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and plotting to create a World of Silence.
  • Dragon Ball Z opens with alien invader Raditz coming to find his younger brother Kakarot (Son Goku) and obliterate all life on Earth. Naturally, previous Big Bad Piccolo would rather rule the world himself and as a result teams up with Son Goku to defeat him. This event ultimately leads to him taking a Heel–Face Turn after befriending Goku's son, Gohan, while training to prepare for the arrival of Raditz's even more powerful comrades.
    • Before Vegeta's Heel–Face Turn at the end of the Freeza Saga, Vegeta teams up with Krillin and Gohan to fight Freeza. Despite the impossibility of victory, Vegeta is actively scared of Freeza, his power, and his wanton cruelty. Ultimately Krillin and Gohan team up with Vegeta not just because he is willing to help (if only to kill Freeza), but because Vegeta's evil behavior is much less extreme than Freeza (whom they've seen kill a whole village, including the children).note 
    • Happens literally in the Tournament of Power arc in Dragon Ball Super, where heroes and villains from various universes have to team up in order to prevent their universe from being erased. The situation is so serious that Goku and Freeza actually fight as teammates.
    • In Super Dragon Ball Heroes, Turles, Freeza, Cooler, and Cell help the heroes face Goku Black since he wants to wipe out all mortal life.
  • Jinnai of El-Hazard: The Magnificent World is the main characters Rival Turned Evil and a self-proclaimed Young Conqueror. However he's quick to join with the heroes when the true Big Bad tries to destroy the world. Claiming that meaningless destruction is anathema to a true conqueror.
  • Failure Frame: I Became the Strongest and Annihilated Everything With Low-Level Spells invokes this. Goddess Vysis summons "Heroes" from other worlds every few centuries to stop the apocalyptic extinction of mankind on her world. Problem is, she's completely morally bankrupt, and toys with entire countries, placing the most corrupt people she can find in charge, just to slake her boredom, and woe to those who sour her mood.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Greed conflicts with his fellow homunculi because they consider humans worthless and expendable, whereas he considers them his valuable possessions. He eventually joins with the heroes partly out of a lack of options, but partly because he wants to rule the world rather than help destroy a big chunk of it.
  • While mostly doing anything for amusement, Alucard of Hellsing's stated reason for working for the good guys is that if vampires in general won, they'd eat all the humans, and there wouldn't be any left.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, Those Wacky Nazis get into an Enemy Mine with the protagonists against the Pillar Men, as the former's plans for conquest would be rather inconvenienced by the Pillar Men devouring humanity.
  • Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro had Neuro, a demon who feeds on solving mysteries (like solving who killed someone) faces down Sicks, who wants to kill every human because, if every human was dead, who would kill each other and provide mysteries?
  • In the final arc of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Milliardo Peacecraft plots to destroy Earth out of a misguided belief that the people of the Space Colonies were purer in purpose than those of Earth, who he saw as hopelessly tainted with the specter of the planet's bloody history and could never achieve lasting peace. Among the people arrayed against him is Treize Khushrenada, the leader of OZ, who the protagonists have fought on many occasions. For all his faults, he loves the Earth and does not want to see his people destroyed. It's implied that Treize and Milliardo cooked up the war between them to exhaust humanity's will to fight and demonstrate the foolishness of war once and for all...and it sort of works.
    • And by, it sort of works, it ends the Earth vs Space Colonies conflict that defines the Gundam Wing Universe. For a couple of months, before another warmongering lunatic starts up a coup right as everyone else was disarming themselves. Naturally. Of course, the people then tell the new Big Bad to fuck right off, and after getting cornered by the heroes, he's ultimately shot by one of his own men.
  • In Pokémon:
    • An odd variation in Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!: Cyrus's plan is to wipe out the universe and create a new, perfect one. When he realizes that the legendary Pokémon he summoned to do it will only destroy everything without the ability to recreate anything, he decides that even a horrifically flawed world is better than no world at all. Basically, he played this trope on himself.
    • In the second arc of Pokémon Adventures, this is the reason Giovanni stands up against Lance. Giovanni would also help much later to prevent the entire world from being blown up in the ORAS arc.
    • In Pokémon 2000, Ash is bewildered when Team Rocket assists him against the threat. They explain that they are thieves; they have no interest in killing, and definitely don't want the world to be destroyed.
      • Team Rocket (as in Jessie, James, and Meowth, not the organization as a whole) tend to do this a lot, especially whenever they're faced with another, more competent villain.
    • In Best Wishes 2, Giovanni eventually loses control of the MacGuffin that allows him to control the three Forces of Nature and is possessed by the malfunctioning MacGuffin, turning him into an Omnicidal Maniac. Since Team Rocket's goal is world domination and not the destruction of the world, Jessie, James and Meowth stop him from his rampage and he regains control of his self. Since he would be unable to control the Forces of Nature again, he orders Team Rocket to retreat. He's actually mildly amused that he let himself go like that.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has the conflict between Kyubey (Evil) and the witches (Oblivion). Unlike most examples, however, it's the Omnicidal Maniacs who are portrayed sympathetically, since Kyubey is the one who tricked them into becoming Magical Girls and later witches, getting millions of innocent people killed in the process and not giving a crap, all in the name of saving the universe from heat death. The witches, by contrast, want to save humanity from the Incubators' rule, albeit in their own twisted way by driving them to suicide. It's rather ironic that the villains trying to destroy the universe are widely considered more sympathetic, while the one trying to save it is considered a greater evil, a heartless bastard, and the most hated character in the series.
  • The major villains from Re:CREATORS work like this. Big Bad Altair/Military Uniform Princess wants to destroy the world because of what "the gods" (i.e. real humans) have done to her creator. Reality Warper Magane joins the good guys in their quest to stop her, because without the world there won't be any people to cheat and kill, and no place where to satisfy her depravity and hedonistic urges.
  • Slayers:
    • Slayers Try has Xellos, who wants the world to be destroyed — but by locals. So when aliens try to do it, he works against them.
    • Xellos in Slayers NEXT takes the side of Evil against the rogue Dark Lord who wants to destroy the world. The end-of-the-world fails and Xellos was entangled in this all. Complete with him appearing healthy and smiling right after destruction of the strongest Dark Lord who tried to bring it all down. It seems that he and his boss are more interested in power struggles between their kin than in serious apocalyptic activity. And then there's..."My Evil Plan to Save the World" AMV with Xellos.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis: A wide variety of supervillains attempt to aid the heroes, as the apocalypse is something they all want to avoid. Special note goes to the Crime Syndicate in the first Crisis, who die trying to save Earth-3 from the Anti-Monitor, and Darkseid who finally lifts a finger when he realises that the Anti-Monitor threatens Apokolips as well as Earth.
    • Wonder Woman (1987) involves Ares sowing chaos among the world's military leaders to kickstart World War III. He would have succeeded if Diana didn't show him the truth, that humanity would be wiped out. Without humanity, there will be no war, and Ares will fade away.
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Ares seems to be the Big Bad, plotting to unmake the barrier around Themyscira by sacrificing an innocent in order to move freely and instigate more brutal wars in a bid to change his source of power to the conflicts themselves to survive. Then it's revealed that Zeus, who has been presenting himself as the Big Good fighting Ares has his own plan for surviving the fading of their power; killing all sentient life on earth outside of a handful of humans who will have their free will stripped from them and be forced to sacrifice each other and live entirely to worship the Olympians. Cruel as he is Ares wants free will to be preserved.
    • Lex Luthor has done this repeatedly.
      • In Aztek, Our Worlds at War, Infinite Crisis, and several other events, he allies himself with Superman, his Archenemy, to try and prevent the end of the world. During the Russian General Zod's attack on the States, it's actually Luthor who saves the day, turning the sun yellow again and allowing Superman to overpower the red sun-fuelled Zod. This makes sense, since Luthor, as a Diabolical Mastermind, Villain with Good Publicity, and briefly President Evil, needs a world within which to function.
      • Final Crisis: It's shown that, despite being a miserable sociopath, a tiny sliver of Luthor loves life enough to revolt against Darkseid.
      • His involvement in Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man ends with a strong dose of this, but in a change from the above examples Luthor is the Oblivion, being petty and monstrous enough to wish to destroy the world rather than, as he pretended, threaten to destroy the world for blackmail. When this comes out, Luthor's partnership with Doctor Octopus quickly falls apart.
      • This is why Gaslight Luthor sides with the heroes in the comic book Recursive Adaptation of the Infinite Crisis video game. When Batman worries that he'll betray them for the power to become a god, he replies "I can become a god another day. You can hit me another day. All things are possible ... provided the multiverse continues and other days are allowed to dawn."
    • Lucifer: Fenris the Wolf wants to destroy all Creations. Lucifer wants to save at least his own Creation. Various factions assist and ally with both parties.
  • Les Légendaires: Played with. Darkhell gladly tries to help in preventing the reviving of Omnicidal Maniac Anathos on his native world Alysia, but only because this requires killing his Arch-Enemies the Legendaries to ensure Anathos won't reincarnate in one of them; other than that, he could hardly care less about Alysia's fate. Later however, when Anathos still succeeds in coming back, he still helps the Legendaries escape and fight Anathos, even committing a Heroic Sacrifice in the process. This time, it is motivated by his desire to protect his beloved daughter Tenebris.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Avengers: A good way to make an Enemy Mine with Kang the Conqueror, assuming the problem isn't his fault, is if it's a threat to him and his empire. Hard to rule nothing whatsoever.
    • Avengers: Back to Basics: In the first story arc, Loki tries to prevent the destruction of Midgard not because he has any particular interest in its welfare, but because its demise would bring about Ragnarok and thus the destruction of everything, including himself.
    • Chaos War: Amatsu-Mikaboshi is trying to reduce the entire universe to nothing, which naturally leads to this trope. Even the Marvel universe version of Satan has to fight him.
      Satan: We all assume a role, Chaos King. You and I are not so different. Each of us in our own world was cast to play the villain—
      Amatsu-Mikaboshi: I am NOT like you. You choose evil over good. I choose nothingness.
    • Deadpool: In issue #10, Sauron joins Deadpool's efforts to stop the world from being covered in black goo. When asked why he wants to help since all he wants to do is turn people into dinosaurs, Sauron points out he can't turn people into dinosaurs if the black goo kills everyone.
    • Doctor Doom has helped save the world almost as many times as he's tried to conquer it. Notable instances include fighting against Thanos and the titular villain in Onslaught. He also pulls a lot of Enemy Mines with Richards against stuff like rogue Celestials or the Over-Mind.
    • Earth X: A strange example. Mephisto very much wants to keep the multiverse from ending, because he wants to evade God's final judgement. Trouble is, his plans involve wrecking entire time lines so that desperate survivors will use time travel to create more. And the worst part? He's not really the Devil, and there's no real God to judge him, so it's all for nothing.
    • Galactus has the unusual distinction of being both sides of this trope. When he shows up to devour Earth he's "oblivion". Yet against universe-scale threats (Annihilation) he's "evil". Serving in the latter role may also be his true purpose, the reason higher powers put up with him going around devouring planets. As an example, he's what keeps the Abraxas (an Omnicidal Maniac that's actually powerful enough to destroy the multiverse) sealed away.
    • This is what got Loki to turn against Surtur. Loki wants to conquer Asgard, but Surtur just wants to burn everything. This leads to a trope-summarizing battlecry as three gods charge into combat:
      Odin: For Asgard!
      Thor: For Midgard!
      Loki: For myself!
    • Secret Invasion: The Hood and his group of villains rally against the Skrulls, alongside Norman Osborn who's running a team of psycho Thunderbolts. Even death gods like Atum the Godeater and Amatsu-Mikaboshi team up with The Incredible Hercules and Snowbird to wage battle against the pantheon of the Skrulls.
    • The Sentry: As the heroes are gathered to stop the Void, Spider-Man notices Doctor Octopus (one of his many Archenemies) lined up with them. When he asks what the latter is doing doing there, Octopus replies that he doesn't want the world destroyed any more than anyone else — but next time they meet, he'll still try to kill him.
    • Thanos ends up in this position more than once:
      • Infinity Abyss: Omega and the other defective Thanos clones, the Thanosi, are attempting to destroy the universe. Thanos himself, who's temporarily abandoned his original nihilism, aids the heroes and points out that he lives in the universe and doesn't want to see it destroyed.
      • The Thanos Imperative: Thanos helps the very reluctant Guardians of the Galaxy because the alternative is letting the Many-Angled Ones take over the universe (and for a Death Seeker, a universe where no-one can die literally is a Fate Worse than Death).
    • X-Men:
  • Paperinik New Adventures: The Organization is a group of illegal time-travelers bent on stealing from the past and trying to change it to become the supreme rulers of the future. But when the whole timeline was about to be deleted, they quickly ally with Paperinik to save themselves and their job (they were planning a double-cross when the danger was gone).
  • Shazam!: In one story from the early 1950s, Captain Marvel found Dr. Sivana fighting on his side against King Kull, because Kull wanted to destroy the Earth while Sivana's goal has always been to rule it.
  • Star Wars: The comic "Betrayal" in the Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal miniseries has Bib Fortuna leading a conspiracy to overthrow Jabba and gain control of his criminal empire... only to find himself outmaneuvered by another plot by a third party, this one with the goal of killing Jabba by having him eaten by a horde of ravenous, weasel-like beasts called freckers. Fortuna then orders his men to shoot the freckers; when one of them asks why they should bother saving the life of a creature they all hate, Fortuna points out that 1) Jabba must be kept alive so that he can be interrogated about where all his secret stashes of loot are located and 2) (more importantly) freckers kill everything they see that isn't officially allied with them, meaning that Fortuna and his henchmen are on the menu too.

    Fan Works 
  • Shen vs. Kai: When Evil Collides: In this Kung Fu Panda fanfiction, this trope is one of the main reasons why the Furious Five end up reluctantly siding with Shen in the Evil Versus Evil conflict. Shen, as evil as his methods and end-games are, is genuinely aiming to rule China and aims for there to be a country and a people left for him to rule, whereas Kai is liable to just burn down everything in his way like a rampaging disaster made flesh.
  • In the Sonic/Mega Man crossover Sonic's Quest for Power, Sonic uses this quite succinctly to explain to X why he's working with Eggman:
    Sonic: Eggman wants world domination, Sigma wants world destruction.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, in the season 2 finale, Yami Marik/Melvin duels Yami Bakura much like in the original. However in the abridged version, Bakura makes it clear he's fighting to keep the series from being cancelled, which is Melvin's end goal. Bakura's reasons are that he has yet to receive the screen time he was promised in his contract.
  • The Bridge:
    • One could broil down the Evil Versus Evil battle between Red and the unnamed main villain to this. One delights in torture and agony, but requires life to do so. The other only wants to unmake everything that lives. Played for horrifying implications when Red loses.
    • Similarly, the Nightmare Forces send Rarity a nightmare in an attempt to warn her about the main villain's plans, as they require living beings to plague with nightmares.
  • The crux of Sonic X: Dark Chaos is the final battle between Maledict and Dark Tails. One is a ruthless but principled Humanoid Abomination who wants to rule the entire universe, the other is an incomprehensible Omnicidal Maniac.
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Rational!Quirrelmort wants to prevent Rational!Harry from accidentally destroying the world. Just as Dumbledore planned.
  • In Ashes of the Past, Team Rocket has an entire department dedicated to fighting potential world-ending crises, because in order for Team Rocket to rule/steal from/extort the world it has to exist. Also it's good PR, and it's easier to get power if people actually like you.
  • Earth's Alien History: The threat of the Reapers to all sentient life in the galaxy is enough to even get groups like the Space Pirates and the Decepticons to join in on the war effort against them.
  • Though they're not actively opposed in Child of the Storm, even Ax-Crazy Omnicidal Maniac Gravemoss, who completely averts Even Evil Has Standards in almost every way, does have one standard: He refuses to fully use the power of the Darkhold and unleash the power of Chthon, who would destroy everything, due to a combination of this trope and Immortals Fear Death.
  • In A Little Less Conversation, a Little More Action Please, almost every villain who's not completely insane (and a few who are) fights the Imperium as regardless of their own goals, humanity's extinction clashes with them.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: MissingNo. is a glitch entity who delights in making others (especially Ash Ketchum) suffer. So when he finds himself facing against his "offspring" ZZAZZ, whose goal is to erase the current reality altogether into nothingness, he takes it upon himself to prevent that from happening, if only to keep his sources of amusement safe.
  • Maiko Ogure in Natural Selection is firmly on the side of evil in this equation, only joining the anti-REVOCS movements the second she learns about Ragyo's and the Life Fiber's plans to destroy the Earth and devour mankind. Although she does demand payment in the form of Honnouji for her services, making it clear that her motives are still entirely self-serving.
  • In the Pokémon fanfic series Operation GEAR, specifically its third installment The Angel of Reckoning, Team Rocket opposes Polaris, a cult dedicated to forcing the world to follow its beliefs through sacrificing it to a Cosmic Horror. Team Rocket can't keep making money through their comparatively small-scale schemes if that happens, so the longtime villains end up on the heroic side for a change.

    Films — Animated 
  • Played straight in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths: When the Crime Syndicate learns that one of their members plans to destroy all of creation, Johnny Quick instantly volunteers to help stop it, saying that his world is in jeopardy too.
  • In Happy Heroes 3: The Stones, Big M. opposes a bomb that is strong enough to destroy Planet Xing being started, saying that he only wants to invade Planet Xing, not destroy it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Inverted in xXx. Xander tells the agent he works for "when you hire somebody to save the world, make sure they like the world the way it is."
  • The Mummy Returns opposes O'Connell, Imhotep, and the Scorpion King. They are trying to save, conquer, and destroy the world, respectively.
  • This may be Lucifer's motivation in The Prophecy for intervening against Gabriel's plan to destroy humanity. He describes Gabriel's dream world as "another Hell," which is one Hell too many for him. Whether Gabriel's world would really be The End of the World as We Know It is not clear, and of course Lucifer could be lying anyway (he's famously good at that), but if we take him at his word, then he is indeed Evil Against Oblivion.
  • Max Shreck tries to appeal to Batman this way during the climax of Batman Returns: his goal of constructing a giant capacitor to harness all the electrical energy in Gotham City and selling it back to the citizenry obviously clashes with the Penguin's desire to blow up Gotham City (and, if he only had the resources, every other city on Earth as well). In addition, Shreck's great plan won't be able to go forward if he's not alive to get it started, which is why he's grateful to Batman (despite obviously being another foe of his) for saving him from being murdered by Catwoman. But when Shreck tries to tell Batman, "You're not just saving one life; you're saving a city," the hero cuts him off with a harsh Shut Up, Hannibal!
  • Also happens at the climax of The Rocketeer, when the FBI and Eddie Valentine's mob stand shoulder to shoulder, unloading their tommy guns at a Nazi army invading Los Angeles. Though natural enemies, they all stand to lose equally if Nazi Germany conquers the country. Eddie reacts to the Fed's surprise:
    Eddie Valentine: I may not make an honest living, but I'm one-hundred percent American!
  • Resident Evil:
    • This is the motivation behind Albert Wesker's actions in Resident Evil: Retribution. He forges an alliance with Alice and reinfects her with the T-virus because humanity's on the brink of extinction, and he does not want to go down with it.
    • In Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, it's revealed that Wesker was actually manipulating Alice into aiding the Umbrella Corporation's plans to wipe out all humans not actually part of Umbrella, who would then inherit the Earth. The Red Queen, who turns out to have been Good All Along (in a very much Good is Not Nice way), helps Alice save the world.
  • Inverted at the end of The Cabin in the Woods. Dana and Marty, after seeing how far the Controllers are going to prevent The End of the World as We Know It, decide that Oblivion, in the form of the Ancient Ones rising and destroying the world, is preferable, if only to give a species less amoral than humanity their own shot at building civilization.
    Dana: It's time to give someone else a chance.
    Marty: Giant evil gods.
    Dana: I wish I could've seen it.
    Marty: I know. That would've been a fun weekend.
  • Zack Snyder's Justice League: The second glimpse of the Knightmare future reveals that several supervillains, including the Joker, Deathstroke and Harley Quinn, banded together with Batman and remnants of the Justice League in the aftermath of Darkseid's invasion and Superman's fall to the Anti-Life Equation.
  • Inverted at the end of Escape from L.A.. Snake decides that the impending war between the far-right, theocratic United States and the communist Shining Path forces that have taken over Latin America is a battle of Evil Versus Evil in which both sides deserve to die, so he sides with Oblivion by entering the "world code" into the Damocles EMP Kill Sat system, plunging the whole world back into the Dark Ages.
  • Glorious: Ghatanothoa may be pretty friendly towards Wes, but he remains a ravenous Eldritch Abomination. However, he is miles better than the hateful Eldritch Abomination that spawned him and wants to return the universe to the void that it once ruled. In the climax, Wes almost decides that Oblivion is the better option and tries to summon Ghat's father.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): Rocket says the group are all criminals and asks why they should care about Ronan's plan to destroy the galaxy. Peter Quill points out the obvious fact that, "We live in the galaxy!" This gets Rocket on board to stop Ronan.

  • Kim Newman:
    • "Another Fish Story", essentially a Villain Episode for his recurring archvillain Derek Leech, has Leech sabotage an attempt to bring about the end of the world — not because he wants to save the world, but because it's unsubtle and uncreative, and his own plan for the end of the world is much better.
    • The stories "Cold Snap" and Seven Stars have Leech forming Enemy Mine alliances with the Diogenes Club for similar reasons. (Also siding with the Diogenes in "Cold Snap" are a pair of cultists who are preparing for the rise of Eldritch Abominations and Jago, from the book of the same name, who wants a Biblical apocalypse. Catriona is rather uncertain about getting help from people whose main problem with the end of the world is that it's the wrong kind.)
  • In Jack Chalker's Demons of the Dancing Gods, there is a sorcerer plotting to bring about the end of the world. Every other evil sorcerer in the world is against him, once they find out, because they've all done a Deal with the Devil to enhance their power and consequently, want to postpone Judgement Day as long as possible.
  • In The Dresden Files, Harry often gets help from John Marcone, the crime lord of Chicago. This is because Marcone realizes that if the latest supernatural threat takes over a significant portion of the world, or blows up a large part of Chicago, it would be very bad for business.
    • Of course, it doesn't hurt that he has a tendency to gain something every time, whether it be the appearance of having a wizard on his payroll, becoming an independent power under the Unseelie Accords, or what have you.
    • Ghost Story implies that Marcone has actually become Chicago's main defender against the supernatural in the wake of Harry's apparent death.
    • Lara Raith has sided with Harry against far greater evils for similar reasons, because it's hard to coyly prey upon the human population when it's been decimated.
    • In Cold Days this trope basically sums up the conflict between the Winter Fae and the Outsiders.
  • Crowley from Good Omens is a demon who rather likes the world and doesn't want the apocalypse to come and ruin everything. In order to avert it, he conspires with Aziraphale, an angel who has spent too much time on Earth and now considers heaven unbearably boring, and wouldn't mind postponing the final battle between good and evil.
  • Stitchface gives this as his reason for helping the protagonists in The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray.
    "I'm a monster, Miss Cray. But even monsters want to live."
  • In the H.I.V.E. Series, we have the Global League of Villainous Enterprises (G.L.O.V.E.), which is a band of supervillains who keep each other in check, making sure that there's still a world for them to rule over. The H.I.V.E. itself teaches the Alphas not to commit senseless acts of violence, a major theme of their lessons being "we are not common criminals."
  • In Mistborn, the Lord Ruler is revealed after his death to have been holding an Omnicidal Maniac god at bay. But since the heroes killed him...
  • The big twist at the end of Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October uses this. The Count (yes, that one) faked his own death to improve his side's odds in the ritual that will either save or destroy the world...and he wants to save it. "I like the world as it is."
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain: It's understood that if the Conquerors attack Earth, Spider will be on Earth's side. With Spider comes a large chunk of the US's supervillian population. The aforementioned Fridge Brillance is fully in effect here.
  • In the later books of Shadows of the Apt, this is how the conflict between Empress Seda and the Worm plays out; Seda wants her empire to conquer the world, while the Worm wants to kill most everyone and assimilate the rest (the fact that Seda feels a certain degree of guilt for popping the Worm out of its can doesn't hurt either). Of course, Seda's Worthy Opponent Che eventually reams her for the appalling nature of her plan to shut the Worm away again - with a Blood Magic ritual of genocidal proportions, that some of her own minions end up refusing to help with - and the monster is ultimately overcome with minimal input from the Empress.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, everything Dayless did with the Dawn Empire was ultimately to prepare for the Shade, who ceaselessly attempt to plunge the world into The Night That Never Ends and wipe out humanity. The Shade themselves seem to view him as the oblivion, mocking him for coming closer to destroying the world than they ever did.
  • This is part of why the alliance between Morgoth and Ungoliant comes undone in The Silmarillion. He wants to conquer the world and rule it as an Evil Overlord. She just wants to eat everything in view, especially light—and if Morgoth isn't going to let her eat those Silmarils she helped him steal, she'll eat him. He only manages to escape when some of his underlings hear his cries of agony and rescue him.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Jon Snow persuades the Night's Watch to make a very uneasy alliance with wildlings, giants, King Stannis and Melisandre the Red Priestess/Sorceress in order to prevent the Others from bringing about The End of the World as We Know It and in his efforts to save everyone from the Zombie Apocalypse. Some characters are sufficiently open-minded about the Black-and-Gray Morality of their world to recognize that their allies are not necessarily "evil" and the wildlings are people too, but the less even-handed ones who nonetheless accept the alliance do so because of this trope.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • While the New Jedi Order series doesn't have complete and total oblivion as its endgame (except in the frankly insane mind of the Man Behind the Man) the Yuuzhan Vong devastate the galaxy so much, killing trillions, devastating hundreds of planets, and causing the extinction of multiple species, that the Imperial Remnant ends up fighting them as well in order to survive (however, by this point the Imperials are no longer straight evil, as they were reformed by Pellaeon).
    • Fate of the Jedi served as a Distant Prologue to the Star Wars: Legacy comics, and the final novel seesthe Legacy Big Bad Darth Krayt make an appearance to help Luke Skywalker finish off the Evil God Abeloth.
  • Emperor Jagang in The Sword of Truth opposes the Keeper of the Underworld on these grounds: The Keeper wants to unmake the world, whereas Jagang wants to take it over. His primary action against the Keeper is the Mind Rape and enslavement of the Keeper's servants, the Sisters of the Dark.
  • Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward centers around a group of evil characters trying to stop the world from being destroyed, by unleashing evil back into the land.
  • The Wheel of Time teases this heavily in relations between the various bad guys, though it never actually spills into combat. Ishamael (who was literally a nihilist philosopher before the Big Bad entered the world) does however spend some time mocking the other baddies for thinking that they're fighting for Evil when they're actually working towards Oblivion. This also works between the Forsaken and Padan Fain. While the Dark One's plans for the world are referenced several times in the final book, it actually wants to destroy creation and remake it In Their Own Image in some way, making him and his forces members of "Evil". Fain, over the course of the series, eventually places killing the Dark One and other acts of rampant mass murder on his list of things to do as Mashadar progressively takes over, placing him more in the category of "Oblivion".
  • This regularly happens in Worm, where giant Kaiju with ruinous superpowers known as the Endbringers regularly emerge from the ocean, the center of the earth, and the upper atmosphere, select a target (usually heavily populated or otherwise vital) and proceed to do their absolute best to wipe it off the face of the planet. It's common, codified practice for superheroes and supervillains to join forces against them, because the Endbringers are doing a very good job of slowly wiping out humanity and the majority of supervillains simply aren't that evil.
    • Likewise, it justifies Thou Shalt Not Kill on both sides of the equation; the more powerful and troublesome a hero is for the villains, the more needed he tends to be against the giant monsters. One character describes the normal interactions between heroes and villains as "like a big game of cops and robbers."
    • To a very slightly lesser degree, there's The Slaughterhouse Nine, who didn't get their name because they were all Kurt Vonnegut fans: They're one of the few supervillain groups who are that evil, regularly massacring entire communities for no better reason than because they think it's good sport, and a prominent exception to the aforementioned Thou Shalt Not Kill rule. Even the literal neo-Nazi faction will agree to a ceasefire for the duration when they show up in town.
    • In the final stages of the story, the Endbringers themselves join the fight against the final Big Bad. While it's never made clear exactly why they decide to do so, the protagonists' successful attempt to recruit them included invoking this trope, among many other arguments.
  • In Xenos, the thieves' and assassins' guilds have occasionally aided the Church against servants of the Destroyer, the setting's Satan and Greater-Scope Villain. A leader of the thieves stated that he could ultimately confess his crimes, repent and even seek salvation, but collaborating with the Destroyer would damn his soul for eternity.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019), this is subverted at first with Lex Luthor, who went and took the time to travel the Multiverse killing as many Supermen as he could while whole universes were getting destroyed. However eventually played straight when all the Infinite Earths cease to exist and it's just him and the Paragons, where he finally joins forces to fight with them in restoring the universe.
    Lex: If there's anyone who's going to take over the universe, it's going to be me!
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Becoming, Part 2", Angelus is planning to perform a ritual that will bring about the end of the world. Spike sides with the heroes to stop him, and tells Buffy that under the big talk of wanting to end the world because they're evil, a lot of vampires like the Earth just as it is — millions of people running around helpless like "Happy Meals with legs", and a comparative small handful of people who hunt and kill them. Angelus is just one of the few vampires insane, fanatical and (most importantly) dickish enough to actually do it, which Spike doesn't want.
  • In Charmed (1998), the Hollow can be restrained only by a Yin-Yang Bomb spell of good and evil.
  • Cyrus Crabbe in the Dinotopia TV movie joins with the Scott brothers to save the island from the rampaging pteranodons, even though he hates the Dinotopian way of life and wants to leave.
    Crabbe: Don't you get it? I'm trying to save this hell of a place. Not 'cause I like it, but 'cause I'm trying to save me own skin.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Logopolis" has the Master teaming up with the Doctor to prevent the universe from getting destroyed (sure, the Master inadvertently caused the whole mess, but still).
    • The Master against Rassilon in "The End of Time", though it's for more personal reasons.
      The Master: [fires electrical blast at Rassilon] You did this to me! All of my life! [fires second bolt] You made me! 1! [fires 3rd bolt] 2! [fires 4th bolt] 3! [fires 5th bolt] 4! [fires last bolt]
    • In "The Pandorica Opens", the Daleks and most of the Eleventh Doctor's Rogues Gallery form an alliance to capture the Doctor because they believe he will destroy the universe and all of them along with it.
    • Throughout the Time Lord Victorious multi-media event, the Daleks find themselves fighting alongside first the Tenth Doctor, then the Eighth Doctor. Though the Daleks are an Omnicidal Maniac species, they at least want a future where they get to live. Therefore, they team up with the Tenth Doctor against the Hond, a species that wants to wipe out everything including themselves, and with the Eighth Doctor to prevent timeline changes that would erase them from existence completely.
  • Heroes has Sylar. Head-splitting serial killer of specials by day, but would rather not have New York explode since it doesn't fit his agenda. He comes around when he gets a vision of the future where it does fit his agenda.
  • The post-series movie of Kamen Rider Build has an Oblivion vs. Oblivion example. Both Evolt and Killbus want to destroy the universe, but Evolt wants to survive past it while Killbus wants to destroy anything and everything, including himself, just so he can go down in what he considers a Dying Moment of Awesome. This leads to Evolt allying with the heroes, if only out of self-preservation.
  • Loki (2021): He Who Remains argues that his actions, utterly monstrous though they are, keep a far worse version (or versions) of him from coming into existence and laying waste to the multiverse, purely for the sake of conquest.
  • In season 8 of Stargate SG-1, Ba'al, the last of the Goa'uld System Lords, joins forces with the SGC to keep the Replicators from eating the galaxy. And then to stop his boss Anubis from wiping out all life in it. Also later helps out against the Ori. The team gets used to him being willing to do this, but never forgets that he is still the bad guy, which he does prove now and again. In fact, in the end, he becomes the Big Bad of the final SG-1 movie, having outlived Anubis, the Replicators, and the Ori, mostly by being very cunning.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager two-parter "Scorpion", this is Captain Janeway's reasoning for "making an appeal to the devil" and offering to aid the Borg against Species 8472. Sure, the Borg's catchphrase is "Resistance is futile", but Species 8472 introduce themselves with "the weak shall perish," and they're soundly kicking the Borg's ass, with no indication that they'll stop with them. A season later, when her decision is thrown back in her face by someone whose species was assimilated by the Borg, she uses this as her justification.
  • Supernatural:
    • In season 5, Crowley — a powerful, successful and very evil demon — helps the brothers to combat Lucifer and the world-shattering threat of the Apocalypse, as he's quite enjoying himself. Earlier in the same season, a group of pagan gods who would otherwise happily engage in human sacrifice briefly joined in an anti-Apocalypse alliance as they were not happy with the plans of either Heaven or Hell, until Lucifer personally intervened to wipe them out.
    • In season 7 Crowley does this again, as the Leviathans are organizing the wholesale slaughter of mankind, every other monster race besides themselves, and threaten to destroy the demons if they weren't occupied elsewhere. Over the course of the season he subtly aids the Winchesters to find a means to kill the Levi leader and destroy their army.
    • In season 11, Lucifer, Crowley, all the other demons, and Rowena all join forces with the Winchesters and the angels in order to prevent the Darkness from destroying all of creation, since obviously that would destroy them, too.
    • In season 13, Lucifer himself eventually goes into an omnicidal hissy-fit after his half-angel son Jack finally rejects him for his evil actions, stealing Jack's grace so he can wipe out all Creation. Dean decides that teaming up with a "merely" genocidal version of Michael is worth it to stop Lucifer for good.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Older Than Dirt in Egyptian Mythology. Set is a fratricidal god of chaos and evil who seeks to usurp just about every throne he can find, but every night he still takes the role of Ra's personal guard to help slay the world-ending serpent Apep. After all, there would be no world worth terrorizing if the Sun, Moon, Heavens, and Earth were destroyed and returned to the primordial void/waters (same thing to the Egyptians).

  • Team Mecha of The Chaos Zone seeks to rule over the roleplay's main "universe" for themselves, hoping to take advantage of its near-lawless nature. Which means they aren't very happy when villains like Regulus or Beta Devil threaten to destroy it, forming a brief Enemy Mine team-up with the RP's more heroic figures in the case of Regulus, but handling their plans by themselves when it comes to Beta Devil.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 13th Age has demons versus, well, everyone. Even the Chaotic Evil Diabolist, who messes around with summoned demons, is more interested in keeping them trapped by the Great Gold Wyrm than she is in letting them loose, because that way she's the one with the power. The Lawful Evil Crusader, meanwhile, has dedicated his entire career to kicking demons around.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Planescape:
      • Inverted. Shiva peacefully sits in the big vortex on Negative Energy Plane and presumably (it's not like even planars can be trusted in such matters) contemplates his role in the destruction of the Multiverse — when its time will come, that is. Every once in a while someone stumbles on the same bright idea: "Hey, maybe this guy does requests?" and visits him to check. As far as anyone knows, these supplicants just go in and never return.
      • From the same setting, there's the Blood War. While how much this trope factors into the overall motivations behind it is debateable, the result boils down to this. The Lawful Evil devils eternally battle the Chaotic Evil demons for reasons long since forgotten by anyone (unless it's 4e, where Asmodeus nicked a shard of the Heart of the Abyss, and the demons are mad about that), but if the demons ever won, they would eventually overtake the whole of the multiverse through weight of sheer numbers and consume everything, which the devils don't want because it's a bit hard to rule the shredded remnants of a cosmos crawling with demons. 'Course, this goes both ways, as the constant demon attacks are preventing the devils from amassing enough power to challenge the Upper Planes, and at least if the demons gain the upper hand, they're usually too chaotic to take advantage of the opportunity and blow it with infighting. So it's generally in everyone's best interest for nobody to win. Even Asmodeus, since the constant pressure from demons keeps his devil subordinates from backstabbing each other and him too hard.
    • In "The Plane Below" for 4th Edition, it goes into the psychology of Archons. Created by the Primordials to wage war on the non-elemental creatures that served the Gods, they still exist and still regularly attack and kill non-elementals. However, they need battle and slaughter like humans need shelter and companionship, so they stop just short of pure genocidal mayhem. If they ever actually destroyed every other creature, then they wouldn't have anything to fight anymore.
    • On a larger scale, the gods verse the Primordials themselves. The Primordials are ancient beings even more powerful than the gods who created the universe, but if they had their way, it wouldn't exist long enough for life to begin as they constantly destroyed and remade it (think of a kid who smashes his sandcastle as soon as he's finished with it, only to immediately start again, ad nauseam). The Primordials aren't all inherently evil, but they are all inherently destructive; compared to the gods, who even the most evil and chaotic among them prefer a somewhat stable universe to influence; this leads to both good and evil gods uniting to overthrow and imprison the Primordials, and makes them all loathe to ever fight each other, lest the Primordials rise again.
    • Forgotten Realms: The Zhentarim are an international crime syndicate with ambitions of ruling the world, and the Red Wizards of Thay are a totalitarian magocracy ruled by an evil lich. In the Tyranny of Dragons storyline, both groups want to stop the Cult of the Dragon from summoning Tiamat and will ally with good-aligned organizations to do so. After all, they can’t exactly rule the world if Tiamat and her dragon hordes destroy human civilization.
    • Greyhawk: The various gods are usually at opposition with one another along alignment lines, though even similarly aligned gods will have We ARE Struggling Together moments (especially St. Cuthbert and Pholtus). However, nearly all of the pantheons of Oerth would band together in an instant if there is even a whisper of a rumor that Tharizdun had broken free from his imprisonment. This is because Tharizdun's endgame is the destruction of the multiverse itself.
  • Exalted:
    • The Neverborn, the tormented, undead remnants of the murdered Primordials; the Deathlords, ancient and powerful ghosts sworn into their service; and the Abyssal Exalted they corrupted from stolen Solar shards, all want to drop Creation into the Well of Oblivion. Absolutely no one else wants this to happen, including the other "bad guy" factions, such as The Fair Folk and the Infernal Exalted. Even the Ebon Dragon, the personification of evil, cruelty, treachery, and general assholery, opposes them, if only because nonexistence would put a severe crimp in his plans to bring about eternal suffering and torment. note 
    • The Fair Folk have their own variation on the theme — some of them want to unmake the world back into Pure Chaos in which they will continue to play their games for eternity, while the others like the tasty mortal souls too much to just kill them all at once. (They both wouldn't like the Oblivion of the Neverborn.)
  • Legend of the Five Rings: The Sleeping Void is seen as not being truly evil, because it simply wants to end everything, while the forces of the Shadowlands ARE evil, and want to conquer the world.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Even the most selfish planeswalkers (multiverse-travelling mages) sometimes help the good guys to thwart something even more horrible.
    • In the Zendikar and Innistrad storylines, the planeswalker Sorin Markov is not exactly a nice guy, being an arrogant, hedonistic vampire who goes around eating people and so forth. But even he had the decency to go out of his way (even risked his life?) to prevent Eldritch Abominations, demons, and other vampires from depopulating entire planes of all intelligent life.
    • In the Time Spiral storyline, Nicol Bolas, an Elder Dragon planeswalker and one of the oldest and most evil characters in the game, actually offered some help in preventing the time rifts from destroying the whole multiverse. Not that he stooped to sacrificing his own planeswalker spark to do so; he killed Leshrac and used his instead. Then again, Nicol Bolas is also the bastard who mucked up Sorin's plans and let the plane-eating Eldrazi loose again, for no particularly discernible reason. What a jerk.
    • The multiplayer format Archenemy has players take the role of planeswalkers forced into alliance against another planeswalker who is about to set in motion some world-destroying magic, represented by the Scheme deck. Archenemy deck names include "Bring About the Undead Apocalypse" "Trample Civilization Underfoot", and "Assemble the Doomsday Machine".
  • Nobilis has the Imperators and the Excrucians. The former include Angels, Demons, Aaron's Serpents, Wildlords, Lords of the Light and Dark, and a smattering of other god-like entities, all of whom tend to follow Blue-and-Orange Morality. The Nobles, their semidivine servants (which includes the Player Characters), are human enough that they can be nicer than their bosses, but also human enough that their malice can arise from genuine sadism rather than disinterest, ignorance, or alien mindsets. Not exactly a nice bunch, but at least they're a better group than the Excrucians, who want to unmake reality to the point of it never having existed in the first place. They've already succeeded in part, but the extent of that success is by nature unknown and unknowable.
  • In Nomine: As a rule, demons — outside of the older Princes who remember the original Fall, and some of the more wantonly destructive sorts — don't actually want the world destroyed. Demons like Earth, which they view as something of a vacation spot, and a lot of infernal Words and favored vices would depend on the continued existence of the Earth and mankind — for instance, Nybbas wants to preserve human civilization because you can't really have the Media without it, while Mammon wants to safeguard the world because that's where he keeps all his stuff.
    • The backstory has a few instances where Heaven and Hell have come together to destroy a rogue Demon Prince who attempted global devastation. Most notorious was Legion, the second Prince of Corruption, but the Prince of Pestilence, who kicked off the Black Plague, had to be taken down as well.
    • Several Princes of Hell actively seek to prevent Armageddon in The Final Trumpet, mostly to preserve their own interests and avoid obsolescence; a few also aren't confident that Hell would win the Final Battle. As such, it's quite possible to play a mixed party of angels and demons whose Superiors have struck a temporary agreement for cooperation against their respective sides' war parties.
  • Pathfinder:
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: This is more or less the heart of the OblivAeon (no pun intended) game mode, to the point where one of the new playable heroes is Baron Blade. Some of the mission rewards include Citizen Dawn showing up to hurl a Devastating Aurora at the villains, Kaargra Warfang leading the Bloodsworn on a rampage, Ra mustering the Ennead and Anubis for an all-out strike on OblivAeon, and a world-conquering alternate-universe Tempest making reluctant common cause with you because if all reality is destroyed he goes down too.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Mage: The Awakening:
      • The Seers of the Throne have "maintain the Abyss" as one of their commandments. "Maintain" is the key word in that phrase — the Seers keep humanity fractious and miserable to prevent them from Awakening. They do not take kindly to people like the Scelesti actively serving the Abyss, and a Scelestus is one of the few things the Seers and the Pentacle Orders will work together against.
      • There's also a slight inversion when it comes to the Lower Depths, which count the Inferno amongst their number. In one fiction piece, a Scelestus argues to his interrogator that at least the Abyss just wants to annihilate reality; the dwellers of the Inferno want to make it bleed. He's right: the Lower Depths are natural allies against the Abyss as well, since they are worlds that are devoid of one of the ten Arcana and they want to attain that "missing piece of Reality" for themselves. Therefore, they oppose the Abyss's desires to destroy reality.
    • Mage: The Ascension: The Technocracy distrusts the Traditions but recognizes that the Nephandi and Marauders are far worse. And vice versa — while Tradition mages see the Technocracy as oppressors trying (for the most part successfully) to enslave humanity, they will grudgingly work with them against the Nephandi and Marauders.
    • Siren: The Drowning: This is the reason Sirens from the Current of Acheron are hated not only by the Celestial Currents, but also by their peers from the other Abyssal Currents: their goal is to fasten the Deluge because they honestly think the world is crappy enough that it deserves to be destroyed. Aside from nobody beside them being insane enough to want this, the other Abyssal Currents, as evil as they are, still need the world saved for their own agenda.
  • Warhammer 40,000: This trope is the main thing that distinguishes the "Good Guys", such as the brutal, Lawful Evil Imperium, the ultra-manipulative Eldar, and the vengeful, imperialistic Necrons, from the "Bad Guys", the Omnicidal legions of Chaos and the perpetually hungry Tyranids. The Orks, on the other (third?) hand, just like fighting.
    • From 6th Edition onwards, under the Alliance rules, just about everyone except Chaos and the Tyranids can end up in an Enemy Mine. Even the forces of Chaos don't want the Tyranids to win, since they would just devour all life and deprive the Dark Gods of their power.
    • And in earlier editions, Chaos vs. Necrons. Madmen serving the gods of murder, rape, disease and mutation vs. robots that want to rid the universe of life down to the bacterial level (which would cause the Chaos gods to die out). After 5th Edition's retcon to the Necrons, only some dynasties still want to do this, but all Necrons find Chaos abhorrent and the non-omnicidal Necrons can instead cut off sections of reality from the Warp, which Chaos finds very objectionable.
  • In The Others (2015), a number of the units that you can use are demons, cursed humans, or mutants, but all of them are F.A.I.T.H. agents through and through... but then there's the Sons of Ragnarok, a completely human biker gang that is so dangerous, F.A.I.T.H. knows the group of eight can take on almost any threat they come against while actively being a menace to society at the same time. Should the player choose to play as the members, then you have a group of vicious bikers working to stop the decimation of the worlds at the hands of the Hell Club and Avatar of Sin.

    Video Games 
  • In Advance Wars: Dual Strike, Hawke becomes troubled by the new Big Bad Von Bolt and his plan to drain all of the vitality and resources from the world, pondering what the point is of taking over the world if it's a dried-out resource-stripped lifeless husk. Von Bolt responding with a classic You Have Outlived Your Usefulness and sending Oozium 223 after them, and their subsequent rescue by Jake, makes Hawke and Lash defect and begin aiding the Allies in stopping this plan out of self-preservation and saving the world they intend to take over, though the duo does soften up somewhat along the way.
  • The primary villain of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, Kerghan the Terrible, is a necromancer who has seen the place where souls go to die. He decided it was much better than the mortal and spiritual planes, which were both full of suffering - and elected to share this eternal peace with the world. The player character can recruit many companions of varying - and often enough questionable - morality over the course of the game, only one of whom will actually side with Kerghan if the player chooses to fight him.
  • Relius Clover, Yuuki Terumi and Hades Izanami, the three primary villains of BlazBlue, had the former two representing "Evil" and the latter representing "Oblivion". The three villains share a common goal in that they all seek to obtain The Azure, but they all have different ideas on what it should be used for and their allegiance falls apart when the inevitable backstabbing ensues:
  • City of Villains has a few storylines where you, an aspiring supervillain, get to save the world. This is also the justification for teaming up with heroes in the end-game "incarnate" content.
    • There's also a badge for heroes who do a specific mission called "Saved the world". If you become a villain (via the morality system), the name of the badge changes to "Saved the world... for later" The flavor text explicitly says that the reason you foiled the evil plot is because it wasn't your evil plot.
  • The plot of Crash Team Racing involves the alien Nitrous Oxide coming to Earth demanding to challenge the world's best racer, and if he wins he destroys the world and enslaves its inhabitants. The various heroes and villains of the world come together and organize a racing tournament among themselves to determine the best candidate to challenge Oxide and save the planet. Even Uka Uka, the series God of Evil, lends a hand because, after all, if the entire world's destroyed there will be nothing left for he and his villains to conquer.
  • DC Universe Online shows the obvious problem for villains having this attitude: Lex has to time-travel to find the Justice League to help him save the world. Because previously, he won against the League. So if you don't want oblivion, villains, maybe you shouldn't try to kill the heroes at all.
  • Deltarune: In the face of multiple characters contemplating opening more Dark Fountains, Ralsei snaps and informs everyone present that more Dark Fountains would bring about the Roaring, essentially The End of the World as We Know It. One of the characters present is the Arc Villain Queen, who is just as horrified by the prospect as the others. She merely wanted to Take Over the World, not destroy it. This revelation even causes her to pull a Heel–Face Turn on the spot and allows the heroes to seal her fountain. Even she realizes the Fountain she worshipped the entire time was not worth it .
  • In Destroy All Humans! 2, the Villain Protagonist Player Character Cryptosporidium-137 is a member of a race of Grey aliens called the Furons who came to Earth to harvest the brainstems of humans, which, thanks to some Furon sailors impregnating human women back in prehistoric times, contain trace amounts of pure Furon DNA that can be used to save his species from Clone Degeneration. This requires killing countless thousands of people, hence why the Furons sent Crypto, a psychopath who sees killing Puny Humans and blowing stuff up as perks of the job, to do it. The villains are the Blisk, a race of lobster-like aliens originally from Mars who the Furons committed genocide against, but whose last survivors escaped to Earth (causing The Tunguska Event in the process), disguised themselves as humans, and took over Russia. By 1969, the year the game takes place, they plan to use their shadow control of the USSR to cause World War III in an act of Hostile Terraforming to make Earth more hospitable to them, at the expense of all native life on Earth, humans included. Needless to say, Crypto has reason to find common cause with humans to prevent that from ever happening. After all, you can't harvest human brain stems if there are no humans left alive.
  • Elden Ring: One of the obstacles blocking your way into the Frenzied Flame Proscription is a projection of Mohg, Lord of Blood. And while Mohg's prospective dynasty is one of the worst possible outcomes for the Lands Between, he at least wants there to be a Lands Between, while the Frenzied Flame sees the entirety of existence, presumably including Mohg himself, as a divine mistake that needs rectifying.
  • Fallen London: Devils are... well, devils, but even THEY won't take a soul that has been corrupted by the all-consuming devourer Mr. Eaten, a being whose agenda is "give me everything so that I may give you nothing". If they catch you, they will strip you of all your belongings so that your meaningless self-sacrifice won't give the enemy enough new material to corrupt other souls with.
  • Because of the way the narrative of Fallout: New Vegas works, it is possible to work for any particular faction whether you're good or evil, and thus the player can essentially roleplay the Courier through this ideal. You can be a murderous thief who wanders the Mojave killing indiscriminately and is utterly loathed by most people, but as long as you don't upset the NCR, you can still help them kill the Legion for whatever justification you want (given the Legion will enslave and kill everyone in the Mojave themselves). Theoretically you can also be the Oblivion part, where you fight for an independent Vegas while committing genocide and murdering every NPC in the game, and then have both the NCR (the de-facto good guys) and Caesar's Legion (the default villains) both trying to kill you to no avail as you eventually behead both factions and ruin the Mojave wasteland.
    • The Divide DLC paints these sorts of battles as the great equalizer of humanity, that singular acts can have huge ramifications. It also allows the Courier to launch a nuke. The Courier can play this trope further by being an evil Courier, but still firing the nuke at Caesar's Legion, or be Oblivion and launch one nuke each at NCR and The Legion.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • It uses this trope to justify why Chaldea can summon even the most villainous Heroic Spirits and get their help: the main villain of the game is basically threatening mankind's place in the space-time continuum, and Chaldea represents the last bastion of humanity against this villain. Even those who want to subjugate the world don't want to see someone else do something even worse to it, which is why they help the player.
    • A consistent point reiterated by people who are in the know about the Myth Arc of Cosmos in the Lostbelt is that oblivion is far more preferable than whatever the Big Bad has been planning this whole time with the bleached Earth. In the sixth Lostbelt, the Chaldean makes the argument that oblivion would be better for Earth via the various Great Calamities spawned by Faerie Britain that threaten to destroy the planet since he believes that the Big Bad's evil plan for Earth would be much, much worse in comparison to simple destruction. In the seventh Lostbelt, the Crypter Daybit Sem Void spends the entire story attempting to awaken the Inscrutable Alien ORT just to let it destroy the planet as his first line of resort to stopping the Foreign World.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Emperor Gestahl of Final Fantasy VI objects to Kefka assuming supreme magical power because then there wouldn't be much of a world left to rule afterwards.
    • Similarly, the Shinra Corporation in Final Fantasy VII wants to stop Sephiroth just as much as the protagonists do. Too bad their incompatible methods mean teaming up isn't an option. Especially since Shinra's plan to thwart Sephiroth wouldn't actually have worked even if the heroes hadn't interfered.
    • Final Fantasy XIV
      • In the Legacy storyline, Gaius van Baelsar subtly assists the player in their efforts against his countryman Nael van Darnus to halt Project Meteor, preferring to conquer Eorzea rather than destroy it. Later in Stormblood, it is revealed that he halted the development of a Deadly Gas weapon called "Black Rose" for much the same reason.
      • Much later, in Endwalker, the Warrior of Light is aided in the final battle by none other than Zenos viator Galvus, who ironically enough was initially one of the very people trying to bring about The End of the World as We Know It in the first half of the expansion. Unlike most examples though, he's not helping because he cares about the world. He just wants to fight the Warrior of Light again. He thought that the threat of the Final Days would be an interesting motivator to make the Warrior fight him, but once his asssociate Fandaniel hijacks the plan and starts the Final Days himself, Zenos finds himself sidelined since the Warrior is too preoccupied by the fate of the world to give him a serious fight. After getting his nihilistic outlook called out by Allisae and much contempation, he decides that even if he doesn't particularly care about the world, then he might as well save it so that the Warrior of Light won't be "distracted".
    • The Villain Team-Up in Dissidia Final Fantasy begins to fracture along these lines, dividing the group between the characters who want to rule the world, those that just want to see it go boom, and those who don't care one way or the other. And that's not even including the ones that aren't really evil to begin with.
  • In God of War, you are playing for the oblivion side. Kratos destroys another part of the world with each god he slays in GOWIII. The gods are fighting to preserve the world. By the end of the game civilization, the order of nature including the afterlife, and nearly all if not all of the entire human race is gone. Even the "evilness" of the gods is questionable. They could be major jerks to humans, but only became truly evil after being infected with the evils from Pandora's Box.
  • The "Earth Defenders" (IE: Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Anguirus, Baragon, King Seesar, and Varan) in Godzilla Unleashed fall under this. While most of them couldn't care less about what happens to humanity in particular, they are more than willing to protect the Earth (hence their title) from any threat that wants to destroy it.
  • The Doomsday Heist from Grand Theft Auto Online is this in a nutshell. You have to prevent The End of the World as We Know It that would happen if World War III broke out because, as much as you are a criminal kingpin, you couldn't possibly have a profitable criminal empire and enjoy your mansions, penthouses, nightclubs, guns, and supercars in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with no workers, buyers, or fuel, now, could you?
  • Halo has an odd example of what could be considered oblivion vs oblivion. The Gravemind wants to consume all life in the galaxy, leaving nothing but a pestilent mass of Flood, while the Prophet of Truth wants to activate the Halo rings and thus wipe out all organic life in the galaxy (under the mistaken impression that it will ascend him and his followers to a higher plane of existence, which in reality is an incredibly determined effort to prevent the revelation of the fact that the Covenant's entire religion was a lie). If you factor in 343 Guilty Spark (who has the same goal as Truth, but for wholly different reasons), then you have an unprecedented 3-way war in which each side wants to destroy the galaxy.
    • In Halo 3, this results in a truce between Humanity, the Covenant Separatists, 343 Guilty Spark, the Ark's army of Sentinels, and for a very brief period of time, the Flood, all just to stop Truth from firing the Halo Array. The Flood go back to fighting everyone and everything immediately after Truth is killed, and Spark goes rampant and ends up killed by the Chief, with the Sentinels turning hostile, too.
    • In Halo Wars 2 during the Awakening the Nightmare campaign where the antagonistic Banished are playable, they wind up accidentally releasing the Flood from the ruins of High Charity and frantically trying to lock them back up and exterminate the ones that escaped.
  • Injustice 2: This is why most supervillains end up fighting against Brainiac in one way or the other. Since he is a Omnicidal Maniac who harvests all planets he invades from all valuable content for his collection and destroys the rest, he represents a threat to everyone including the Regime, who promptly side with their former comrades who are still good, and Grodd's Society, a supervillain group assembled to Take Over the World. Though their case is a little complicated, since they initially assist in Brainiac's invasion in the Story Mode, when its revealed he wants to destroy Earth they disband rather than help the heroes fight him. They do end up fighting him in their own Arcade Mode just like everyone else.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, the appearance of the Aurum, an alien army that threatens to completely destroy the world, forces a truce between Palutena (the Big Good), Viridi (a nature goddess who wants to exterminate humanity), and Hades (the Big Bad) to deal with a common foe.
  • In League of Legends, Lissandra betrays the Watchers by locking them in true ice at the bottom of the Howling Abyss, even while sacrificing her own sisters and their armies, to stall their invasion over Runaterra, as they intend to turn the world into a cold, lifeless place.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: A rare case where you're on the side of oblivion. The Nightmares are trying to keep the Wind Fish asleep forever to preserve themselves and Koholint Island. Granted, the Nightmares are doing this in order to rule the island, but still. If Link wants off the island, he has to wake the Wind Fish, thereby causing a Dream Apocalypse.
  • This is the entire plot of LEGO DC Super-Villains, where the Legion of Doom discover that the "Justice Syndicate" are actually the evil Crime Syndicate, and working with Darkseid who wants to conquer the universe by eliminating free will via the Anti-Life Equation. With the Justice League out of the picture and the other heroes not listening to them, the villains decide to save the world, then get back to conquering it after.
  • In Lego Marvel Superheroes, once they find out that Loki’s plot is to manipulate Galactus into destroying Earth, other villains like Green Goblin, Magneto, and even Doctor Doom help the heroes to stop him.
  • Mass Effect
    • In the first-day DLC of Mass Effect 3, "From Ashes", it's revealed that the Protheans were a highly militarist Empire that considered themselves the galaxy's Master Race, and went around eradicating and enslaving or every race they could find, making their struggle against the Reapers a case of this trope and Abusive Precursors versus Abusive Precursors rather than Benevolent Precursors versus Abusive Precursors as originally thought.
    • Cerberus in Mass Effect 2: they're a human supremacist organization that, just this once, isn't going to complain about working with alien allies. Why? If the Reapers wipe out the galaxy, that's obviously not in humanity's best interests, and the Illusive Man is smart enough to know that humanity cannot defeat the Reapers on its own. Then they go ahead and get indoctrinated in Mass Effect 3 and wind up fighting more or less on the Reapers' side.
    • In Mass Effect 3, the crime lord Aria T'Loak is willing to cooperate and send a massive fleet of mercenaries and criminals to aid in the fight against the Reapers. After all, can't live a profitable life of ruling the Wretched Hive of Omega if the Reapers kill everyone, right?
  • Inverted in Mastermind: World Conqueror: the Mastermind apparently believes that conquering the Earth and blowing it up are in fact the same thing (he looked it up).
  • Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath takes place after the main game, where the threat of a Class-Z Apocalypse forces Liu Kang and Raiden to ally with Shang Tsung: while the wicked sorcerer has caused no shortage of trouble for Earthrealm, he doesn't have any desire for the universe to be destroyed, and has knowledge which would prove instrumental to preventing a permanent Time Crash.
  • The New Order: Last Days of Europe, an Axis victory mod for Hearts of Iron IV, has the potential conflict between Himmler (controlling the SS-Ordenstaat Burgundy) on one side and all four of the main contenders in the German Civil War, but especially, and surprisingly, Heydrich. Himmler has managed to radicalize even further, believing that National Socialism is too compassionate and peaceful and from that coming to desire and scheme causing nuclear war to destroy humanity as it is, allowing the Aryan race to rise from the ashes and recolonize the world. Two of the contenders for Führer, Bormann and Speer, can move to isolate and condemn Burgundy and Himmler's actions, with Göring's Militarists being able to eventually invade (though, this obviously ends in nuclear war and the end of the world.) Heydrich, however, initially starts off as loyal to Himmler, being unaware of Himmler's true plan, and is "just" a fervent proponent of the Burgundian System. However, upon winning the German Civil War, Heydrich is let in on the plan by Himmler personally, and is horrified by what he learns, realizing Himmler's insane. This leads to Heydrich initially moving against Himmler subtly, slowing down Himmler's plans, but it quickly gets leaked that Heydrich has turned on Himmler, and the German Reich explodes into multiple warlord fiefdoms as the SS tears itself apart over who they remain loyal to, and a few resistance groups make their moves, including remnants of the other three GCW contenders' forces. Heydrich is forced to gather an Anti-Himmler Coalition from the wreckage of Germany, revealing Himmler's grand plan to several members of the SS, and gain control of enough of Germany's nuclear missiles to neuter Himmler's ability t respond to invasion. Throughout this struggle, Heydrich is forced to face the failures of the system he helped bring to ascendancy, and to work with people he otherwise considered sub-human, including the remnants of both the Polish Home Army and the Red Army Faction... who deal with him fairly, despite having every reason not to. By the time he succeeds and kills Himmler, Heydrich is a broken man with nothing left, having driven away his family, and having his entire worldview shattered. He ends up committing suicide out of despair, realizing that after everything he'd done, he is completely beyond redemption, and the only thing he could do to begin to fix it was to make public his realizations in a way that couldn't be covered up, and deal the final deathblow to the Reich, by having the Führer kill himself.
  • The Guardians in OFF may be huge Jerkasses and Bad Bosses with little regard for the Elsens they rule over, but in the end they end up fighting to try and save their respective Zones from The Batter purifying them, which would erase everything in existence since they are propping reality up by living.
  • Inverted in Pokémon Platinum, as Oblivion ends up being the one to save the day this time. Satanic Archetype Giratina, the god of antimatter who was banished to an empty Void Between the Worlds for its aggressive nature, is the one who stops Cyrus from using its siblings Dialga & Palkia to remake reality into a World of Silence. After Cyrus is Dragged Off to Hell by it, he's disgusted by the emptiness of the Distortion World and wanders off, vowing to one day create his ideal world and is never seen again.
  • In Portal 2, this is the motivation of GLaDOS for helping Chell stop Wheatley; his incompetence will inevitably result in the destruction of the Aperture Science facility... which will also result in HER destruction.
  • Sacrifice: There's a prophecy that one of the gods is going to bring about the end of the world, and suspicion immediately falls on Charnel, the god of death and suffering. He denies it, pointing out that if the world ends, there will be no more people left to suffer and die, so it's in his interest to keep the world as it is.
  • In The Secret World, you play as a new member of one of the three secret societies that controls the world from behind the scenes, one of which is the literal Illuminati. Given that this is a game rooted in real-life Conspiracy Theorist lore, it goes without saying that these are not nice people. Even the Templars, who are the lightest shade of grey among the three, are still ruthless in how they police their secrets. But they sure as hell beat the various Eldritch Abominations and other assorted monsters that they face off against. (The Illuminati will outright say that they can't get rich if the world is destroyed.) In many ways, in fact, they are Necessarily Evil, as a Broken Masquerade would likely unleash occult and supernatural forces all over the world and hasten the apocalypse.
  • Most of the mainline 3D Sonic The Hedgehog games generally end up with this conflict as justification for Dr. Eggman fighting alongside the heroes against some ultimate evil in the True Ending, usually one that he released himself. It started in Sonic Adventure 2, and the trend wasn't really bucked until Sonic Unleashed (where Eggman couldn't care less what Dark Gaia was up to, as long as he could harness the thing's power for his own) and Sonic Colors (where Eggman is the Big Bad).
    • Sonic Generations plays with it, as Time Eater captures Eggman no less than twice throughout the game, seemingly against both parties. Except that both Classic and Modern Eggman control Time Eater; these were actually elaborate escape plans to throw Sonic off their trail.
    • In the spinoff game Shadow the Hedgehog, Dr. Eggman still wants to conquer the world to create the Eggman Empire, and ends up facing off against Black Doom in the process, due to the fact that he wants to turn all of humanity into a food ranch. Depending on your choices, Shadow himself can qualify, siding against either Eggman or Black Doom.
      Eggman: Those idiots! They're destroying everything! How can I take over the city and build my Eggman Empire if there IS no city!? I'm at my limit. I have no choice. Send in the Eggman fleet! CHARGE!
  • In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Kingpin teams up with Spider-man and Black Cat to stop an outbreak of symbiotes.
  • In Splatoon 2, the mysterious, shady Mr. Grizz seems to be the Evil to the ravenous Salmonids' Oblivion. Key word there is seems. If anything, it's the other way around—the Salmonids might be aggressive, but they're ultimately just protecting their territory and eggs from someone who wants to use them to end the world in a Hairmageddonnote .
    • This carries into Splatoon 3: During the final battle with Mr. Grizz, Agent 3 is knocked loose from the spaceship they're fighting on. Grizz's goal of destroying marine life on Earth seems assured... until DJ Octavio swoops in with his October L3.Gs to rescue them. His mech is directly controlled by Agent 3 while Agent 3 has to occasionally leave the cockpit and face the incoming enemies, and the two of them remove the Fuzzy Ooze bubbles from Grizz to weaken him while Hugefry and Grizz smack each other around. Despite Octavio's desire for power, he cares for himself and his Octarian army, and isn't about to have some giant furball ruin his world.
      DJ Octavio: You're not dropping this beat on OUR turf!
  • Star Control 2: The game takes place in the middle of a war between two factions of Ur-Quan: The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za and the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah. The Kzer-Za are the Big Bad of the previous game, and wanted to enslave all other sentient races in the galaxy to ensure that no other race will rise up to enslave them. For the same reason, the Kohr-Ah want to kill every race that isn't an Ur-Quan, because no one can enslave your race if there aren't any other races existing to begin with. While the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za do not view you or any of your allies positively, they believe in reducing potential enemies to harmless slaves being better than outright genocide, which is why they oppose the Kohr-Ah. Unfortunately, the Kohr-Ah end up winning this war, and the Kzer-Za are forced to let the Kohr-Ah begin their Death March, which is essentially them killing every alien race they encounter, and eventually humanity itself if they aren't stopped.
  • Star Fox: Assault: Star Wolf teams up with Star Fox to take on Pigma, and later the Aparoids, with this line of logic. Wolf and his crew may be much more morally ambiguous about the jobs they take than Fox, but they're not about to watch the entire galaxy get turned into a Hive Mind.
  • The Star Wars video games have their fair share of this trope:
    • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, one of the Sith Emperor's top enforcers joins with the Hero of Tython (the Jedi Knight Player Character) to stop the Emperor from consuming all life in the galaxy. In the games's backstory, he had worked with Revan and the Jedi Exile with the same goal, only to turn on them when he had a vision revealing the Hero of Tython as the one who would stop the Emperor – that betrayal earned him his position and the long life that ensured he would still be around to later work with the Hero.
      • In the Shadow of Revan expansion, Darth Marr forms a temporary alliance with Satele Shan to deal with Revan since his plan to awaken the Sith Emperor will cause the latter to consume the entire galaxy. Come Fallen Empire, that alliance is more or less permanent, as both the Republic and Empire are under siege by Valkorian (yet another guise of the former Sith Emperor). Marr is killed, but later seen as a Force Ghost accompanying Satele.
      • The Tie-In Novel Star Wars: Fatal Alliance has a third, in which the Jedi and the Sith must combine forces to deal with an army of robots who, given time, will strip-mine the entire galaxy and wipe out all its inhabitants. Darth Chratis, after all, will have a hard time being promoted to the Dark Council if Dromund Kaas is a wasteland covered in mining scars and dead bodies.
    • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, even a Dark Side Exile will end up throwing down with Darth Nihilus, because Nihilus's intrinsic need to devour the life energy of Force-sensitives is not only bad for you, but also bad for entire planets and will, at best, end in the Exile being the only person left in a galaxy of barren, depopulated rocks. Then they're forced to do it again with Darth Traya immediately after, whose Rage Against the Heavens plot would at best turn reality into a World of Silence and at worst end all life.
  • Stellaris:
    • This is a consequence of the end-game crises, in which the galaxy is attacked by a force that threatens to wipe out all life. All galactic empires that aren't genocidal exterminators, and even certain Fallen Empires, will open their borders to each other in order to fight off the threat, whether they're the heroic Federation or the race of slave-driving conquerors that they've been locked in a Space Cold War with for a hundred years.
    • In the Nemesis DLC, an empire can aspire to become a crisis themselves by building a Doomsday Device called the Aetherophasic Engine, which is supposed to tear the barrier between the physical universe and the Shroud to pieces, allowing the empire which built it to conquer the Shroud and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. In this case, every other non-crisis empire and the Shroud entities, including the End of the Cycle, will band together to try and stop the crisis empire, as the Aetherophasic Engine's activation will also cause every star in the galaxy to go nova and collapse into a black hole afterwards.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Bowser is often portrayed this way in RPG titles. Generally, Bowser wants to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom, but he doesn't want it ruined or destroyed; as such, he will readily oppose other villains who would conquer it before him, plunge the world in darkness and despair, or outright destroy the universe. Bowser also still is the King Koopa, and if something threatens his subjects or his reign, he'll try to stop it. This is prominently used in Super Paper Mario where he's actually playable and fulfills a role in the prophetic group of heroes, and in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story; there, Dark Bowser, an ancient apocalyptic demon taking form of an even more frightening-looking version of Bowser himself, wants to destroy the kingdom, but Bowser will have none of that, otherwise there won't be a kingdom for him to rule. This results in what's probably one of the coolest speeches from Evil against Oblivion out there, in the midst of an all-consuming storm of darkness that's trapped most life in the kingdom:
    Dark Bowser: Still here? Has the dark power not crushed your puny hopes? Soon this kingdom will vanish along with all who dwell within. And you, too, will sleep eternally in the dark power's embrace.
    Bowser: GWAHAHA! Great dark hurricane! Seriously, perfect backdrop for an awesome final battle! You really sweat the details! Listen up! You're saying the kingdom will vanish? NOT TODAY! THIS KINGDOM IS ALL MINE! SO YOU VANISH!
    • Super Paper Mario takes this a step further by having Count Bleck, the story's Big Bad, and his minions, aid the heroes in the final fight against Super Dimentio by having their devotion to the Count reenergize the Pure Hearts, giving Mario and co. the chance they need to stop him once and for all. Even further still, He (and Tippi) sacrifice themselves to contain the Chaos Heart that Dimentio rigs to go out of control and consume everything in his final moments. This is an interesting case in terms of just who is Evil and who is Oblivion, as Bleck himself is on the side of Oblivion for most of the story, albeit not proudly so and under the impression he had come too far in ensuring the destruction of all worlds to be able to back out, while Dimentio's actual end-goal is to recreate every world to rule, simply in his own wicked image. The rest of Bleck's minions, some of which were arguably nastier than the Count himself, are under the impression there would be a world to rule after the Oblivion, making them something of an in-between. Either way, Dimentio's dying curse represents a cruel Oblivion who unites the remorseful Bleck and his Evil minions who stand by him and genuinely love him for treating them well together with the forces of good (and the aforementioned Bowser).
  • The adventure campaign of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has the Big Bad, Galeem, wipe out the entire universe to rebuild it on his image, imprisoning all the fighters (with the exception of Kirby who managed to escape) and killing all the inhabitants and placing their spirits in clones of the playable cast to be under his servitude. Understandably, every playable character is selectable in this mode to go against him once they're rescued, including the villains (and a mook) in the roster: Bowser, Bowser Jr., Piranha Plant, King K. Rool, Ganondorf, Ridley, Dark Samus, Kazuya and even the morally ambigous Wolf, Mewtwo and Wario; of whom the worst is a sadistic serial killer that still has been shown to have survival instincts. This also extends to the spirits of villainous characters, who can be freed and then join the heroes to be equipped and grant various boosts in battles like any spirit.
  • In That Which Sleeps, The Chosen One doesn't have to be good-aligned. The only prerequisite is that they're willing to fight the Old One, and since said Old One would destroy or otherwise utterly reshape the world, even an evil Chosen One has every reason to follow Fate's path.
  • The two major villain groups in Warcraft and World of Warcraft, the Burning Legion and the Old Gods/Void Lords, have a remarkable dynamic going on with this trope, because they both count as both "evil" and "oblivion". They both want to destroy the universe in their own way rather than have it destroyed in the other's way. The Burning Legion wants to burn Azeroth, along with all other worlds, while the Old Gods are fighting to break out of their prisons and rule Azeroth like they did ages ago — and then use Azeroth's Titan spirit to allow their Void Lord masters to enslave the entire universe. This has in the past prompted both factions to either fight or help the other faction, depending on what would serve their own goals. For example, the Old Gods meddled in the Legion's invasion during the War of the Ancients, subtly helping things progress but intending to hijack the payoff at the last moment. The Burning Legion consider itself to be the lesser evil, because Sargeras believes that it is better for the universe to be destroyed than to be enslaved by the Void, the Void being something like "nothingness, except evil."
  • In Wild ARMs, the Demons want to Take Over the World. They thought their Mother Of Monsters wanted to do so too; but she wants to destroy everything instead. So they engage in the Uriah Gambit and let the heroes kill the Mother.
  • The World Ends with You: The Big Bad, Megumi Kitaniji, is actually in a game with the Composer to decide the fate of Shibuya. Neku happens to be unknowingly playing for the Destroy Shibuya team.
  • NEO: The World Ends with You: This turns out to be the real reason Minamimoto allied with the Wicked Twisters for the first week. He still wants to kill Joshua and take his job as Shibuya's Composer, but Shiba and his crew are out to destroy Shibuya entirely, and he can't take over if it's gone.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses, if you choose the evil side, when the Big Bad is summoned by you and Kaiba, you have to turn on him because he wants to destroy the world.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night's third and final route, Heaven's Feel, comes down to this for the two major villains, but it's a little more complicated on the Oblivion side in a way that actually makes it more sympathetic than Evil. Kotomine Kirei is on the side of Oblivion, but unlike most examples, destroying everyone and everything isn't his end goal. It's just a foreseeable consequence of allowing a creature of "ultimate evil" to be born. His true goal is answering the question of whether anything can truly be "evil" if all it does is act according to its nature.
  • In Zero Time Dilemma Zero II, a.k.a. Brother, head of Free the Soul, reveals that he only engineered the Radical-6 pandemic because he knew that a crazy religious fanatic was going to spark a nuclear war that would wipe out all of humanity. He didn't know the fanatic's identity, so he figured that if he let loose a virus with a 75% fatality rate, the fanatic would most likely die, and at least 25% of humanity would survive, which is better than nothing.

    Web Animation 
  • DEATH BATTLE! has a few. In both cares, Evil wins the match.
  • In Sonic's Quest for Power, this is why Dr. Eggman teams up with the heroes to fight Sigma, and why Sonic is so willing to accept him as an ally. As Sonic himself puts it, "Eggman wants world domination, Sigma wants world destruction."
  • RWBY: In Volume 8, Salem isn't just pitted against the heroes, but against other villains who are trying to stop her from destroying the world. After being kidnapped by Salem, Oscar convinces Ozpin to help him try and turn Salem's subordinates against her. Together, they tell Hazel that Salem's true end-game isn't a new world order, but planetary destruction, not knowing Emerald's eavesdropping. Once Hazel and Emerald have both been convinced it's true, Hazel decides to get both Emerald and Oscar as far away from Salem as he can. This requires him fighting Salem to the death to buy time for the others to escape, but it also buys Oscar enough time to set off a Fantastic Nuke that leaves Salem indisposed just long enough for the heroes to evacuate the kingdom's people before she returns.

  • The Order of the Stick:
    • In this strip, Evil Overlord Xykon explains why he won't let the world be destroyed by the Snarl:
      Xykon: I like the world. Some of my best evilness took place here. I wouldn't mind ruling it, in fact. I'm certainly not about to destroy it unless I get really, really bored.
    • His Dragon, Redcloak, walks the line. The plan is to give his god, the Dark One, the ability to unleash the Snarl at will to threaten the other gods into giving goblins a better lot in life. Though if things go south and the Snarl winds up destroying the world (again), the Dark One will get a say in how the next world is created, ensuring that the goblins of that world get a better deal. So whether Evil or Oblivion wins, so does the Dark One. At least, so he thinks. Thor later reveals that the Dark One hasn't gathered anywhere close to enough godly power to survive the transition between two worlds, and would certainly undergo the divine equivalent of starving to death if he tried. It's unclear whether the Dark One is aware of this.
    • Later, Tarquin promises to help Elan, despite being on opposite ends of the alignment scale, precisely because he knows Elan is on a quest to save the world and, as the power behind the throne of a good-sized kingdom, he has a vested interest in seeing that happen. Although Tarquin also wants Elan to save the world quickly so Tarquin himself can become the Big Bad of Elan's story.
    • The deity Loki opposes his daughter Hel's plot to force a vote to end the world, and worked for some time with his friend/enemy Thor in order to limit her influence. Loki's stated rationale for not wanting to vote to end the world is that he finds the world's inhabitants entertaining and wishes to give them a chance to contain the Snarl before jumping the gun. Loki's actual reason is that he has a plan to permanently seal away the Snarl. But he needs the assistance of the Dark One (the first mortal ever to ascend to godhood completely on his own rather than with the aid of a pre-existing pantheon), and thus needs the Dark One to survive long enough to be convinced to help. If the Dark One wasn't a factor, then he'd happily support Hel's plan.
      Hel: I am most looking forward to taking the soul of Thor's high priestess. My dear puppy Garm is in dire need of a new chew toy, after all.
      Loki: Humiliating Thor is not enough of a reason to do this, Hel. It's a pretty funny reason, sure, but not enough of one.
    • Lampshaded when Vampire Durkon gives his reasons for supporting Hel as "I'm evil now". Roy points out that this isn't a reason.
      Roy: Xykon is an Evil lich. Tarquin's an Evil human. Neither one of them wants to destroy the world. Heck, Belkar is an Evil halfling and he's like 70% toward wanting to save it.
  • Kid Radd has three villains. Crystal wants to conquer the world, in revenge for the wrongs she has endured. GI Guy wants to destroy the world, out of despair after two failed utopias. The Seer wants to conquer the world then destroy it before moving to the next planet and repeat the process, because that's what a Computer Virus does (with a dose of sadism too). Their actions indirectly serve or complicate each other's plans.
  • Goblins: During the Maze of Many arc (in which thousands of alternate versions of Minmax, Forgath, and Kin are competing to complete the dungeon crawl), a Psionic version of Minmax is attempting to revert the extradimensional maze to Oblivion. He plans to alter the rules of logic and prove that One equals Zero, proving that nothing in the maze has ever existed. Naturally, anyone in the Maze at that point would revert to Oblivion as well. While the protagonists are good-aligned, most of the alternate versions of Minmax, Forgarth, and Kin are evil, and when they find out about Psionic Minmax's plans to preemptively erase them from existence, they immediately stop fighting each other and Zerg Rush him.
  • True Villains takes a turn in this direction when the squad of unrepentant Villain Protagonists faces the forces of Malanor, the First Vampire, who seeks to wipe out all life on the continent. The extremity of the situation even forces Sebastian's resolutely Good and thoroughly estranged sister Alyssa into an Enemy Mine alliance.
  • In this arc of Full Frontal Nerdity, Lewis's computer gets infected by a malware video game called Darkunhaus Necroquest that threatens to overwrite his entire hard drive if he stops playing. Lewis's computer is saved when a different malware program (anthropomorphized as a London Gangster) which is using Lewis's computer to mine bitcoin for shady businessmen in Siberia destroys the video game.
  • This is eventually revealed to be the status quo of Kill Six Billion Demons: After the Seven conquered Creation in the wake of the Universal War, one of their number, Jagganoth, was visited by an angel and given a holy task to annihilate the Multiverse. Lacking the ability and the mutual trust to openly attack and defeat Jagganoth, the other six made a pact of self-defence that if any of their number (i.e. Jagganoth) ever openly moved against any of the others the rest of them would unite and strike them down with all possible force. By the time Allison enters the picture the pact is fraying at the edges, Jagganoth is constantly gathering power while the others are trapped in their Epiphanic Prisons, The Prophecy of the Successor has thrown the Seven into disarray, and Incubus has thrown his lot in with Jagganoth to use Allison to tear the pact apart for good.

    Web Original 
  • Happens in the backstory of Reflets d'Acide when the Demon Lord Bélial shew up for the first time. His arrival resulted in Evil Overlord Alkor joining force with King Mage Maender, presumably for this reason. Notably, it seems the alliance actually survives after Belial was defeated.
  • SCP Foundation: One of the Foundation's many, many contingency plans in the event of the destruction of most of humanity is to release the rapists, murderers, and other locked-up scum of humanity, in the hopes that there still be a humanity.

    Web Videos 
  • Atop the Fourth Wall has Lord Vyce and The Entity. The former claims he started as a genuine hero, merely warning alternate realities of the danger they were in, but became a ruthless Multiversal Conqueror after everything else failed. Also, Doctor Insano is not only willing to call a truce, but even ignore Linkara stealing his prized deathbot in order to defend the stability of hypertime.

    Western Animation 
  • Action Man (2000): In the finale, Asazi defects from Dr. X and joins up with Action Man to stop him once X unveils his plan to kill all of humanity by dropping an asteroid on the planet. (He had the rest of his Council of Doom believe that it was just a bluff.) Asazi notes that this would be bad for her line of work.
  • The Batman episode "The Joining" has the inmates of Arkham Asylum and the G.C.P.D. fighting off an Alien Invasion side-by-side. The Joker even makes a direct reference to the trope after watching Mr. Freeze and Commissioner Gordon covering each other.
    Joker: Apologies for the inhospitality... but terrorizing Gotham is my job!
  • In Beast Wars, this is Blackarachnia's primary motivation for defecting to the Maximals. Realizing Megatron's plan to erase the Maximals in the present by assassinating the Autobots in the past would also erase her from the timeline, as she came from a Maximal protoform, she teams up with Silverbolt and helps defend and repair the original Optimus Prime. Granted by this point she had begun to be won over by Silverbolt's affections, but not wanting to die was officially why she had enough of Megatron's plans.
  • Ben 10:
    • Alien Force: Even Darkstar doesn't want the Earth to be destroyed, and fights alongside Ben's team during the Highbreed invasion.
    • Omniverse: As shown in "So Long and Thanks For All the Smoothies", even Argit doesn't want the Universe to be destroyed.
    Argit: The Universe is where I keep all my stuff!
  • In Season 2 of Castlevania (2017), it's confirmed that Dracula is on the side of Oblivion, determined to completely wipe out mankind as revenge for the murder of his wife. Every other vampire on his army is firmly on the side of Evil: They appreciate the opportunity to slaughter humans, but they are annoyed that Dracula's strategy restricts them from feeding. They are also concerned that with all humans wiped out, they will be out of a food source altogether, but they figure that they will be able to convince Dracula to spare a few to keep as livestock. This is one (most of them yet undisclosed) of the reasons why Carmilla plots to double-cross Dracula: In his extreme grief and hatred, Dracula's ultimate goal is to kill all humans, and then allow vampires to follow shortly after.
  • In Code Lyoko, in the episode "Marabounta", XANA and the lyoko-warriors fight together against Jémérie's out-of-control weapon Marabounta which is going to destroy Lyoko.
    • In the episode "Common Interest", Jémérie finds out the super computer is failing, but as a middle school student, he has no hopes of obtaining a new plutonium core for the computer. Of course, XANA also doesn't want to die, so he steals one for him to install (along with a radiation suit apparently). Not being Genre Blind, Jémérie knows the moment he installs the core, XANA is going to try and kill him once this is over, and calls for backup during one of the power outages.
  • The finale of Danny Phantom has all the recurring ghost villains help Danny save the world from a meteor. Not entirely altruistic, though: the Ghost Zone is tied to the Earth, so the ghosts will share Earth's fate should the meteor hit.
  • In Darkwing Duck, Megavolt teams up with the gang after accidentally "galvanizing" Negaduck and turning him into a Person of Mass Destruction. They ask why he'd help them, and he says that if Negaduck destroys St. Canard, there'll be nothing left to rob.
  • Xanatos sometimes takes the "evil" side against Demona standing in for "oblivion" in Gargoyles. Now, Demona doesn't want to destroy everything, but she does want to wipe out the human race (which, as far as those of us who belong to the human race are concerned, amounts more-or-less to the same thing), something the largely amoral Xanatos's sense of self-interest and self-preservation is far too strong to allow.note  To give some specific examples, he pulls a straight-up Enemy Mine with the clan in "City of Stone", and though he doesn't show up in Hunter's Moon until the battle is already won, he's certainly grateful enough that humanity is saved to provide a very timely airlift out of trouble.
  • Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) usually takes the evil side, even teaming up with He-Man, against destructive forces like Evil Seed and Sh'Gora. Evil Seed wanted plants to take over the world, and had no interest in teaming up with Skeletor. The Sh'Gora would have destroyed the world entirely.
  • And again in Masters of the Universe: Revelation when Evil Lyn becomes a supporting Token Evil Teammate to Teela's team. With magic gone her magic is gone too, and eventually the very planet itself will die, and she can't have that. Though she does lighten up a bit and even comes to like them somewhat, particularly Orko.
  • Played Straight or Subverted, depending on how you interpret Zim's goals in Invader Zim, Zim teams up with Dib to prevent Tak from destroying Earth. Zim's motivation isn't so much to prevent Earth's destruction, he just doesn't want Tak to take the glory and destroy what he wanted to conquer and or destroy himself.
    • In the episode "Planet Jackers", another race of aliens steals the earth in a Dyson Sphere intending to use it like firewood to keep their sun alive. Zim immediately decides he has to stop them since if they do this, he can't be the one to destroy the earth.
  • The season 3 Series Fauxnale of Johnny Test has Johnny enter an Enemy Mine situation with several of his nemeses to stop Dark Vegan from destroying all life on Earth by cutting down all of the trees and draining the oceans, arguing that they want to take over the world and can't do that if there's no world.
  • In the Justice League Unlimited finale, Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom teams up with the League to stop the reborn Darkseid from devastating Earth. Most amazingly and hilariously summed up by Atomic Skull of all people:
    Superman: Oh, COME ON! It's Lex Flipping Luthor! Why should we trust him?!
    Atomic Skull: Hey, it's our world too!
  • The first season of Ninjago ended with the ninja teaming up with Lord Garmadon to stop an omnicidal Eldritch Abomination that would otherwise have consumed all of the land.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): When an alien Captain Ersatz of Galactus wants to destroy the world, Mojo Jojo defeats him single handedly. He angrily loses it when the alien openly uses his own plans to great effect, and ultimately destroys the threat to prove he is the most evil there is. Of course, the city is more estatic that Mojo Jojo defeated the alien than afraid of him.
  • in ReBoot, this is the primary conflict between the two viruses infecting Mainframe, Megabyte and Hexadecimal. Megabyte wants to rule over Mainframe with an iron fist, while Hex is so intent on causing chaos that she doesn't care if she destroys the system with her in it. Given Megabyte's actions and Hex's obvious insanity, not to mention how Hex is largely content to just keep to herself and only rarely bothers Mainframe, it's a rare case where the "oblivion" side is the more sympathetic of the two.
    • This is similarly both Megabyte and Hex's motivation with helping fend off The Web creatures: Megabyte can't conquer a deleted system (especially since he'll be deleted along with it), and Hex isn't about to stand idle while something threatens to annihilate the system she has so much fun messing with. It also presents them with a fantastic opportunity to take out Bob, which goes off without a hitch.
  • In Spider-Man: The Animated Series the Kingpin places his considerable resources at Spider-Man's disposal when the Spot's technology threatens to destroy the planet.
    Kingpin: There is no profit to be made in the destruction of the planet. It is very bad for business.
  • In Teen Titans season 4, Slade helps the Titans take down Trigon partially for this reason.... but mostly to get back at Trigon for backstabbing him.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012):
    • In Season 3, the Triceratons are trying to destroy the Earth, and Splinter pleads to Shredder to help stop them. To the horror of everyone, including Shredder's second-in-command, Shredder is a huge believer in Revenge Before Reason, and kills Splinter when he was about to try to stop the doomsday device.
    • In the first arc of Season 5, Tiger Claw summons the demodragon Kavaxas from the Netherworld, intending to use his power to resurrect the Shredder, who was killed by Leonardo in the season 4 finale. He learns the hard way that Evil Is Not a Toy when the Shredder comes back wrong as Kavaxas' zombie slave and destroys the talisman Tiger Claw was using to control him, giving Kavaxas free reign to begin The End of the World as We Know It. This is the last thing Tiger Claw wants, and he unhesitatingly helps the Turtles put a stop to it.
  • Transformers:
    • Dr. Arkeville from The Transformers multi-parter "The Ultimate Doom" helped the Decepticons with a mind-control plot, in exchange for world domination, until he found out the ultimate goal would leave the earth a lifeless husk.
      Arkeville: I will be ruler of a dead world!!
      Megatron: A simple problem, Doctor, for such a brilliant mind.
    • Not so much evil as selfish versus oblivion: When Megatron warps Cybertron into Earth's near orbit to have their gravity field tear Earth apart and generate energon, Wheeljack asks the Dinobots for help. They refuse until Wheeljack points out that Earth is about to be destroyed while they're still on it.
    • In later incarnations of the metaseries, Megatron (or, for more unhinged Megatrons, the more sane evil Decepticons) will at least try to team up with the Autobots to combat Unicron for "if he eats us I can't rule" reasons. It almost never works out for Megatron and he ends up doing Unicron's bidding semi-against his will, but it's the thought that counts.
      • He does rather better at resisting Unicron's control in Transformers: Prime, and directly aids the Autobots in defeating him so that "this time, there will be a planet left for me to rule!"
  • When Ch’rell begins erasing the TMNT multiverse in Turtles Forever, several villains turn against him. For a moment, it looks like it will culminate in a fight between him and Krang, as giants, but the latter is quickly defeated.
  • The second season of Wander over Yonder introduces Lord Dominator, who, unlike Lord Hater, who is out for conquest and glory, appears to be out to destroy the galaxy by sucking the magma off planets to fuel her ship. Hater and Peepers resolve to save the galaxy from Dominator, so that they can then conquer it.
  • What If…? (2021): In the timeline in which the genocidal AI Ultron successfully wiped out humanity and expanded his mass killing campaign to the universe, last survivors Black Widow and Hawkeye reactivate a copy of Arnin Zola so he could help to defeat him. He agrees, since Ultron's killing spree foiled his and HYDRA's plans of world domination.
  • Chase Young, Wuya, and Jack Spicer in Xiaolin Showdown each join forces with the Xiaolin Warriors on a couple of occasions to face a foe neither side can defeat on their own. Here it's definitely of the "if the world is destroyed then I can't rule it" variety.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Black And Apocalyptic Morality, Evil Vs Oblivion


"A truce, for the time being."

Shadow of Revan expansion. In the aftermath of the Battle of Rishi, Darth Marr and Jedi Grandmaster Satele Shan agree to a truce in the Second Great Galactic War so they can bring all their forces to bear on stopping Revan from reviving the Sith Emperor so he can be permanently killed. The player character (Darth Imperius in this case) suggests just letting Revan do it, but Marr points out that if Revan raises the Emperor and then fails to kill him, the Emperor will likely eat all life in the galaxy. (Video by troper StarSword.)

How well does it match the trope?

4.43 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / EnemyMine

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