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Evil Versus Oblivion

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Ash: You really want to help!?
James: Of course!
Jessie: We don't want the world destroyed!
James: 'Cause even if we survive...
Jessie: ...there’d be no one left to steal from!
James: We'd be out of work!
Jessie and James explaining why they're helping Ash out of a bind, Pokémon 2000

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 vs. Evil where the story avoids Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy by offering two reasonably different flavors of evil. May overlap with Even Evil Has Standards and Enemy Mine or result in a Mêlée à 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.

A subtrope of The Good, the Bad, and the Evil and Evil vs. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 world/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. Walpurgisnacht wants to destroy the world, Kyubey wants to save it. Walpurgis comes off better.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 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 Onslaught. Plus he pulls a lot of Enemy Mines with Richards against stuff like rogue Celestials or the Over-Mind.
  • In the Marvel Comics Sentry miniseries, as the heroes are gathered to stop the Void, Spider-Man notices Doctor Octopus (one of his many Archenemies) lined up with them. Dialogue goes something like this:
    Spider-Man: Doc Ock? What are you doing here?
    Doctor Octopus: We need to stop the Void or else it'll destroy the world. Once this is over, next time I see you I'll kill you.
  • 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 crowning triple battle-cry of awesome as three gods charge into combat:
    Odin: For Asgard!
    Thor: For Midgard!
    Loki: For myself!
  • This happens during most of the Crisis Crossover events too. During Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis a wide variety of supervillains attempted to aid the heroes, as the apocalypse was something they all wanted to avoid. Special note should go 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.
  • In 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.
  • During Chaos War, Amatsu-Mikaboshi was trying to reduce the entire universe to nothing, which naturally led to this trope. Even the Marvel universe version of Satan had 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.
  • Lex Luthor has done this repeatedly. In Aztek, Our Worlds at War, Infinite Crisis, and several other events, he allied 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 was actually Luthor who saved 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.
    • He does it again in Final Crisis, in which he'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."
  • No matter what side of the Heel–Face Revolving Door he's on at the moment, X-Men's Magneto can always be counted on to help out when a greater evil shows up. After all, a nutjob who's trying to blow up the planet is as much of a threat to the well-being of mutantkind as All of the Other Reindeer. He can also be relied upon to show up on the side of the good guys any time Red Skull or the rest of Those Wacky Nazis rear their heads, although that has at least as much to do with his bitter and extremely personal grudge against them as it does this trope.
  • 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 later 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.
  • Played with in Les Légendaires; 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-Ennemies 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.
  • 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.
  • PS238. This trope motivates Victor and Zodon to help save Earth from an Alien Invasion.
  • In 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).
  • The Star Wars 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.
  • A strange example in Earth X: 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.
  • 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.

    Fan Works 

    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.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket doesn't care about Ronan's plans to destroy the galaxy, until Peter Quill points out, "We live in the galaxy!"
  • 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.
  • Thor: Ragnarok has Hela (wants to conquer Asgard and use its power to dominate the universe) versus Surtur (wants to blow Asgard up, even if it kills him too). In another case of Oblivion winning out, the heroes decide that as long as Asgard's people survive, it doesn't matter what happens to the city, and so deliberately unleash Surtur as a way to stop Hela's genocidal conquest.

  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
    • Of course, it comes to bite him in the ass when the older, more conservative members of Watch decide he's destroying it and try to kill him.
  • 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 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 - and the monster is ultimately overcome with minimal input from the Empress.
  • While the New Jedi Order series of Star Wars books 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).
  • 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 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Arrowverse Crisis Crossover, Crisis On Infinite Earths, 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", 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, the Hollow can be restrained only by a Yin-Yang Bomb spell of good and evil.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Pandorica Opens", the Daleks and most of the Eleventh Doctor's Rogues Gallery concluded an alliance to repair the cracks in the universe. However, this plan backfired spectacularly.
    • Before that, the serial Logopolis did this with the Master.
    • The Master against Rassilon in The End of Time, though it was 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*
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • This is Captain Janeway's reasoning for "making an appeal to the devil" and offering to aid the Borg against Species 8472 in Star Trek: Voyager. 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.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Probably the reason why Set, the fratricidal god of chaos in Egyptian Mythology, helps Ra to slay the serpent Apep. After all there would be no world worth terrorizing if the sun and heavens were destroyed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • This trope is the main thing that distinguishes the "Good Guys" of Warhammer 40,000, 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).
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Hilariously inverted in Planescape. 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, but if the demons ever won, they would eventually overtake the whole of the multiverse through weight of sheer numbers and consume everything. Of course, if the devils ever won they'd almost certainly conquer the multiverse and rule it with an iron fist, so neither side winning is in everyone else's best interest.
    • 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.
    • In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, 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.
  • Pathfinder:
  • This is true in 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.
  • In Nomine, by Steve Jackson Games, 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.
  • The Seers of the Throne from Mage: The Awakening 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.
  • Similarly, in the Old World of Darkness's 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.
  • In 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.
  • In Exalted, we have 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 of whom 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 aforementioned 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 of course.)
  • In Magic: The Gathering, even the most selfish planeswalkers (godlike 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 presents us with 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 or ignorance. 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.
  • 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.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: This is more or less the heart of the OblivAeon 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.

    Video Games 
  • Star Wolf, in Star Fox: Assault, 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 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.
  • In 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 people left to suffer and die, so it's in his interest to keep the world as it is.
  • Bowser from Super Mario Bros. does this sometimes, when he doesn't accidentally destroy the universe himself. Most prominently used in Super Paper Mario where he's actually playable and fulfills a role in the prophetic group of heroes. Bowser also still is the King Koopa, and if something threatens his subjects or his reign, he'll try to stop it. Pointed out further in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story; Dark Bowser wants to destroy the kingdom, but Bowser will have none of that, otherwise there won't be a kingdom for him to rule.
    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!
  • 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. Deploy all units! CHARGE!
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 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.
    • From the main series, 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.
    • In Final Fantasy XIV 1.0, 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.
  • 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.
  • Kingpin in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, due to an outbreak of symbiotes.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Wild ARMs 1, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Guardians in OFF may be huge Jerkasses and Bad Bosses with little regard for the Elsens they rule over, but in they end they end up fighting to try and save their respective Zones from The Batter purifying them, which would erase everything.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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 themain contenders in the German Civil War, but especially, and surprisingly, Heydrich. Himmler has managed to radicalize, believing that National Socialism was too compassionate and peaceful and from that coming to desire and scheme to cause a nuclear war to destroy humanity as it is and allow 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 read in on the plan by Himmler personally, and realizes 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 was 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 or just enjoy your fleet of Weaponized Car if there were no workers, buyers and/or fuel because you know live After the End in a post apocalyptic wasteland now could you?
  • Fate/Grand Order 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.
  • 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 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 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.
    • This also comes into play in the last act of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's scenario. While the villains were happy to work under Master Hand's orders for their own benifit, once Tabuu reveals himself and makes it clear that he's got no interest in preserving anyone but himself, everyone sets aside their grudges to beat Tabuu down and put the world back as it was.
    • Subverted with Sephiroth's reveal trailer, as it has him slicing Galeem in half, proceeding to beat the weakened fighters, and knowing his intention in his game of origin, his disposal of Galeem falls more under 'Oblivion Versus Oblivion.' Played straight in gameplay, where controlling him in the adventure campaign is no different from any other character in their rally to restore the universe as it was.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 sort 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.
  • 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.

    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 Second Zero reveals that Free The Soul released Radical-6 to stop a Religious fanatic from sparking a nuclear war which would've destroyed the world. Since Radical-6 would've killed about 75% of the world's population there's pretty good chance that the fanatic would be among them.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • In 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.
    • 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.
      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.

    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 
  • 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.
    • 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 it 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 its 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!"
    • 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 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 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 Powerpuff Girls: 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.
  • 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.
  • Chase Young, Wuya, and Jack Spicer in Xiaolin Showdown, prompting them to join forces with the Xiaolin Warriors on a couple of occasions. Here it's definitely of the "if the world is destroyed then I can't rule it" variety.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Black And Apocalyptic Morality


Extremists vs. Accelerationism

Having to deal with Accelerationism is what reunites the Extremists.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / EvilVersusOblivion

Media sources:

Main / EvilVersusOblivion