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Parallel Conflict Sequence

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Many fight sequences in a work of media involve the simple dynamic of a single hero or team of heroes against an enemy. On certain some occasions, fights may be considerably more complex, consisting of multiple separate smaller conflicts combining to form a larger battle.

Often used during a final or climactic battle, these smaller conflicts may take place in entirely different locations, or may simply involve separate characters in individual conflicts. It may be used to add more tension, to break down a large battle into smaller, more manageable conflicts, or to allow characters to resolve a personal subplot at the same time as the main plot.

See also Big Badass Battle Sequence and Two Lines, No Waiting, both of which may incorporate this trope. Compare Sequential Boss and Multi-Stage Battle.

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Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fairy Tail
    • At the end of the war with Phantom Lord, most of the guild are fighting Jose's shades on the shore while Natsu and a few others take out the Element Four and Gajeel and then while Makarov takes on Jose.
    • On Tenrou Island, various members of Fairy Tail are fighting each of the Seven Kin of Purgatory simultaneously all over the island.
    • The final day of the Grand Magic Games involves a free-for-all between all of the teams with every team member participating. Some fights happen one at a time, but some occur simultaneously across the city and the scene goes back and forth between them.
    • At the end of the Tartaros arc, Igneel battles Acnologia while Natsu battles Mard Geer.
  • Happens a lot in One Piece whenever the Straw Hat Pirates start fighting the Arc Villains. Each of the crew will fight someone from the opposition and the scene will often jump from one crewmate's fight to another's.
  • Happens in Yu-Gi-Oh! when Yami duels Weevil while Joey duels Rex. Both heroes win.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's
    • The duels between Akiza vs. Misty and Carly vs. Sayer occur simultaneously.
    • And a season later, when Primo unleashes an army of turbo-dueling robots on the city, multiple parallel conflicts occur as part of one Big Badass Battle Sequence.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, multiple duels involving main characters often occur simultaneously during the Arc League Tournament.
  • Tokyo Ghoul uses this trope frequently, particularly during major combat operations launched by the CCG. The scene not only switches between various groups of humans and ghouls fighting, but often changes which side is the Sympathetic P.O.V..

    Fan Works 
  • The entire Commencement Arc in Catch Your Breath is this. The story jumps between the main character and her allies as they fight across town, battling giant monsters and trying to stop the Zetsu clone army before the Nine-Tailed Fox is let loose on Konoha.
  • Tomica Hero Rescue Pups loves this, switching between members of the Paw Patrol and Rescue Force as they split up to fight Neo Terror's super droids and extreme disasters simultaneously.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • While the Avengers, Excalibur, MI13, and the British military are fighting the army of demons and undead which Gravemoss unleashed on London, Gravemoss himself is at the same time being confronted in his lair underneath Paris by Harry Dresden, Agent Ward, and Sif.
    • The Final Battle of the story starts as one of these. While the Shadow Initiative assaults HYDRA's London headquarters from the outside, Harry's team sneaks in and fights their way through internal defenses in order to rescue the captured Avengers. Of course, once that mission is complete, the interior fight joins the exterior one, turning it into a single sprawling Big Badass Battle Sequence.
    • The Bloody Hell arc of the sequel, Ghosts of the Past, contains two separate storylines which climax simultaneously. So, you have Dresden, Wanda Maximoff, Magneto, and the Wardens fighting Voldemort, Selene, and the Heirs of Kemmler in Chicago at the same time that Harry (Potter) and a small group of his friends and allies are facing off with the leadership of the Grey Court of Vampires in New York.

    Films — Animation 
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Happens quite a few times in Star Wars, particularly during the final lightsaber fights. Sometimes combine into a Big Badass Battle Sequence.
    • In The Phantom Menace, there are four separate events happening during The Climax, each with its own plot relevance.
    • And for a more straightforward example, there are two more or less simultaneous lightsaber fights during the Final Battle in Revenge of the Sith.
    • The Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi took place on three fronts: the ground battle to destroy the DS II's shield generator, the space battle to destroy the DS II itself, and the lightsaber battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.
    • The Force Awakens has Han and his team rescuing Rey and sabotaging Starkiller Base while Poe Dameron leads La Résistance in attacking it from space.
    • Rogue One has the ground battle on Scarif led by Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso, and the space battle in orbit commanded by Admiral Raddus.
  • Godzilla:
    • The human protagonists have a huge fist fight with the Xilian leader and his cronies in the Xilian mothership at the same time as a huge battle happening outside involving Mothra and Godzilla against Monster X and Gigan in Godzilla: Final Wars. It even lampshades this trope by showing The Hero pummeling the Xilian leader in front of a huge screen showing Godzilla pummeling Monster X at the exact same moment!
    • While Godzilla faces-off against the Mutos in Godzilla (2014), military troops are sent into the city to destroy the Mutos' nest and to remove the missile from the city.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe'':
    • Iron Man 2: In a hilarious scene, Happy Hogan takes on one security guard and struggles the whole time while Black Widow effortlessly takes down all the others in the building. When he finally wins, he looks up and is shocked to see all the other knocked-out guards.
    • Happens a couple of times in The Avengers, with the first time being the downed helicarrier scene when Thor fights Hulk, Black Widow fights Hawkeye, and Iron Man and Captain America try to get the broken propeller back to full function. It is displayed briefly during the Final Battle as well when Loki is fought by Thor (and later Hulk in a Curbstomp Battle) while the other Avengers fight the Chitauri army.
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The Climax is HUGE, involving a multitude of separate fights occurring simultaneously along with other conflicts going-on as well.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy utilizes this trope during the Final Battle. While the air-based ship battle was going on, a multitude of ground-based physical fights were happening as well, and there were quite a few!
  • Is seen briefly in Pacific Rim.
    • The first instance is seen during the massive Hong Kong Bay fight: Right after Leatherback entered the scene and started tearing apart Cherno Alpha, Otachi swam away to confront Striker Eureka briefly before retreating into the city.
    • During the Final Battle at the entrance of the Breach, Raiju and Scunner distract Gipsy Danger while Slattern attacks Striker.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Charles, Beast and Logan take on Magneto at the same time as the huge showdown with the Sentinels is happening in the future.
  • The final fight scene in Cradle 2 the Grave.
  • Underworld:
    • Evolution ends with Selene vs Marcus and Michael vs William.
    • Rise of the Lycans ends with Lucien vs Viktor while a large scale battle between Vampires and Lycans rages outside.
    • Awakening ends with Selene vs Quint, Eve vs Jacob, and David and Sebastian vs several mooks.
    • Blood Wars ends with Selene vs Marius and David vs Semira while a large scale battle between Vampires and Lycans rages outside.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), while the Turtles face off against Shredder on top of Sacks tower, April and Vern face off against Sacks in the lab. In the sequel, while the Turtles battle Krang, April, Vern, and Casey fight Bebop, Rocksteady, and Karai.
  • Mission: Impossible Film Series:
    • In Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the climax has Ethan going after Hendricks and the briefcase while Benji, Brandt, and Carter try to restore power to the broadcast station in order to activate the override codes, with Brandt getting into a fight with Wistrom in the process.
    • Mission: Impossible – Fallout ends with Ethan chasing after Walker and the detonator in a helicopter before fighting him on the edge of a very high cliff, Ilsa and Benji fighting Lane in a cabin, and Luther and Julia trying to defuse one of the bombs at the medical camp.

    Literature 
  • In the second book of The Witchlands, the three plot threads all reach their climactic battles at the same time, and the narrative jumps between them.

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • In Paper Mario 64, the Final Battle, which takes place on top of a floating platform, has Peach and Twink fighting Kammy Koopa (who is The Dragon to Bowser) while Mario and his partners face off against Bowser himself.
  • Sonic Chronicles has two concurrent boss battles between the party (split into two) and a pair of Emerl clones. You have to win one of the battles because the other takes place underwater and is thus unwinnable until the water is drained (along with more obvious issues, like drowning).
  • The battle of Onderon in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords takes place simultaneously on Onderon itself and its moon Dxun, with the Exile landing on Onderon with one half of the Player Party, while on Dxun, a chosen Non-Player Companion leads the other half on a mission to sabotage the Sith forces.
  • During the Final Battle of Dragon Age: Origins, as the player approaches the Final Boss, he is suddenly given control over the remainder of the party, whom he left at the Denerim gates, where a particularly large group of Darkspawn tries to break through. These events are assumed to take place simultaneously.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4 has section where the screen splits vertically. The player controls Snake as he fends off a horde of GEKKO on the left side of the split, while Vamp and Raiden duel again on the right side.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • At the end of Book 2, there's a double battle of Zuka and Azula vs. Aang and Katara while Toph and Sokka are protecting the capital from Mai and Ty Lee. The good guys only win in the less important venue.
    • At the end of season 3, there are four venues. A two on one Zuko and Katara vs Azula for control of the Fire Nation, The White Lotus vs the Fire Nation army for control of the Ba Sing Se, Sokka, Suki, and Toph vs the Fire Nation Air Force to stop the destruction of the Earth Kingdom, and Aang vs Ozai for the fate of the world.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Book 3's climax is settled with Korra vs Zaheer and Mako and Bolin vs Ming-Hua and Ghazan. Korra was poisoned with mercury before her battle with Zaheer resulting in several airbenders having to help by conjuring up a giant tornado. Meanwhile Bolin learns Lavabending after Ghazan brought the "house" down in a Taking You with Me moment.
    • "The Last Stand" also works out like this. With Korra, Bolin, Mako, Lin and Sulyn getting inside the Colossus, Mako and Bolin try to take out the power source, the Bei Fongs try to disarm the mech's WMD Arm Cannon, and Korra goes for Kuvira herself. Mako and Bolin succeed, but with Mako's arm severely burned in the process. The cannon is disarmed, but Kuvira opted to do the disarming literally, taking Lin and Su out of the fight early and Korra wins her battle with Kuvira after an unexpected trip to the Spirit Realm.

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