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Sphere of Destruction

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Evek: How big was the explosion?
pipes!: It was really big but it was shaped like a sphere but there was no shockwave, but that's OK...

Explosions in fiction sometimes have a negligible effect outside of anything in the direct blast radius — buildings and sidewalks have relatively precise chunks taken out of them, but there's precious little singeing or shockwave damage. In the most blatantly overdone cases, the blast radius looks like a huge sphere of negative space 1500 feet across, with neat slices taken out of surrounding buildings, pavement, cars, hillsides, et cetera; there appears to have been no actual heat, let alone shockwaves, emanating from the explosion at all — the only result is that a massive spherical section of the environment appears to be missing.

This is often done with Phlebotinum-enabled explosives, allowing creators to Hand Wave this effect under the Rule of Cool. If the target of the attack happens to have a Beehive Barrier, expect anything surrounding him to be in similar pristine conditions.

Related to Convection, Schmonvection, Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud, Pillar of Light, Kung-Fu Sonic Boom, and Having a Blast. Stylistically similar to Sphere of Power.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • AKIRA: shows up every time someone uses psychic powers, although sometimes only through implication (stress fractures in the walls/floor around the user). The first one of these, generated by the title character, was responsible for the destruction of Tokyo and the start of World War III. Akira later destroys Neo-Tokyo, once in the movie and twice in the manga.
  • Bastard!! (1988): Dark Schneider's Black Sabbath spell in the manga works like this, although it is somewhat justified as being a nuclear explosion contained in a force field, in order to focus all of the energy on one target
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: The Void card summons spheres that make disappear anything they touch during Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card.
  • In Code Geass R2, the nuclear-sakuradite weapon FLEIJA causes everything within 8000 meters to cease to exist.
  • Digimon Frontier: This is one of Velgemon's attacks, and being the stronger form between the two Spirits of Darkness, it is quite lethal.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Used a lot in Dragon Ball Z, especially in the video game adaptations. Sometimes you can apply a few cubic feet of air for the people who shoot these blasts.
      • Probably the most obvious offender is Tien's Kikoho/Tri-Beam attack, which leaves absolutely massive holes in the earth that would look to be far beyond repair, yet somehow doesn't damage anything the blast doesn't hit, and doesn't even show any shockwaves like some energy blasts of the show do.
      • Frieza's gigantic Death Balls, which he primarily uses to destroy planets, but when he uses it on Namek it forms a neat hole that went all the way to the core before the planet was destroyed.
    • Dragon Ball GT: The very last attack ever unleashed in the entire series, and the single-most powerful, was a galactic-scale Spirit Bomb against True Final Boss Omega Shenron. Goku's energy had been all but wasted, and Omega Shenron had all seven Dragon Balls in his chest, ready to kill literally everything he ran into. The only hope left for Goku was to call on the spiritual energy of every single living being in the galaxy, charging a gargantuan Spirit Bomb that he used to vaporize Omega Shenron, somehow managing not to waste Earth with him. Fitting for such an epic series to go out with a bang.
    • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, the Finishing Move you can learn from your mentoring under Beerus is called this by name.
  • Eureka Seven: The antibody coralians attack in this fashion, blowing precise, spherical holes into buildings (and anyone unfortunate enough to be in that part of said building).
  • Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor: The Festum seem to shoot small black holes at their targets; the visible effect is a purple sphere for a couple of seconds which then disappears leaving a perfect spherical void. They appear to have a pull effect as one unfortunate Red Shirt found out in the first episode.
    • They explode into black holes when destroyed as well. The same technology is somehow incorporated into the Fafner's Fenrir System.
  • Guyver: Sho, the anime's protagonist, is encased in a gravity-based Sphere of Destruction as protection during his Transformation Sequence. The villains use this to their advantage in one episode, handcuffing Sho to his girlfriend in the knowledge that if he transformed, the sphere would annihilate her.
  • Kekkaishi: Masamori's Zekkai is a tiny Sphere of Destruction.
  • In Lyrical Nanoha, these make up most of the attacks of wide-area spell users like Reinforce and Hayate. Even Starlight Breaker was turned into a city-wide Sphere of Destruction in the hands of Reinforce.
  • Macross:
    • In Super Dimension Fortress Macross/Robotech's first season, the hyperdrive transports everything within a spherical radius of the ship, which on its first activation includes South Ataria Island.
      • And again when the Point Barrier system, which had been modified as an omnidirectional sphere barrier, overloads and explodes. The sphere becomes a wave of destruction that vaporizes a good chunk of Ontario in seconds, with the Macross itself, unharmed, in the very center.
    • Macross Frontier introduces the "Dimension Eater"/"fold bomb", which generates an expanding swirly purple sphere of doom that shunts anything consumed by it into a Fold vortex (where it will be torn apart and disintegrated) as it grows to planetary scale before collapsing in on itself. Weaponized space wedgies for the win.
      • It gains points in that the original Dimension Eater used on Galia IV (see image above) is treated with all due horror and provides a twist for the series, as well as a Moral Event Horizon for a previously behind-the-scenes Big Bad. But by the end of the series, the NUNS fleet uses these as standard warheads for their iconic missile salvos. Brr.
    • Dimension/Fold weapons reappear in Macross Delta, with one having been responsible for creating a permanent space-time rift on Windermere during its war of independence.
  • Naruto: Several jutsu have a similar effect:
    • 3rd Tsuchikage's attack (Genkai Hakuri no Jutsu) is a cube of destruction, which creates a cube with a sphere inside that explodes but is contained by the cube, leaving an imprint of its shape in anything only caught half-way in.
    • Juugo's Cursed Seal 2 Chakra blast has a radius and beam which leave a near-perfect imprint of a sphere.
    • The destruction left by Danzo's Taking You with Me sealing technique is also perfectly spherical.
    • Deidara's "suicide bomber clone" to escape from Team Kakashi and Team Gai is also a sphere. As is C0, which left a town just outside of its radius unharmed even though the explosion was larger than the city itself.
    • The largest, most obvious example is the Tailed Beast Bomb. Depending on the size and density of the attack, the explosion can range from a mountain-destroying sphere, to a mountain-range-destroying sphere, to a county-sized cone of destruction that extends to space, and ultimately a blast that can destroy a small country. Interestingly, the larger the blast is, the less of an impact it has on the ground it engulfs, and there is a notable lack of a shockwave, despite the fact that it can cause tsunamis and that ring clouds form around it, similar to a nuke.
    • Naruto himself has quite a few, all being variants of the Tailed Beast Bomb and Rasengan. His entire arsenal consists of a Cloning technique, a Transformation technique, a Replacement technique, and about 30 different Spheres of Destruction. The Bijudama, Rasengan, and Rasenshuriken, ten variants each.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion frequently employed this; the designers often ignored actual physics in order to create memorable visual images, at least when the explosions weren't implausibly cross-shaped.
  • Nichijou: Spoofed in the first five minutes when Nano runs into a random schoolboy. While it certainly looks impressive, the end result is just Nano and the boy getting stuck on different roofs (although Nano could easily get down if she weren't so timid), and a bunch of small items being thrown around the town (most of which end up falling on Yuko's head).
  • One Piece:
    • One of Bartholomew Kuma's powers, especially Ursus Shock. In his case it doesn't seem to vaporize anything, just knock out all of the people and leave most of the architecture still standing, despite being an explosion of compressed air.
    • Before that, the finale of the Ace VS Blackbeard fight ends with a clash of the two's big guns. Blackbeard's unnamed one wins.
  • Orguss 02: Subverted when a missile The Man Behind the Man fires at a city creates one of these — and the citizens find themselves still intact once it passes over them. Until they collapse, coughing up blood — neutron bombs, go figure.
  • Rave Master has one in its prologue. In an odd use of the trope, the explosion does have some effect other than destroying everything inside of it. Apparently, the sheer force of its destruction created a storm around the circumference of the blast, which has been going for 50 years by the time the protagonists find it.
  • Sailor Moon S: The dome around Mugen/Infinity Academy during the climax. The Sailor Scouts are even able to hold its expansion by using their powers at its exact border.
    • The Big Bads of the first two seasons are destroyed this way, Queen Beryl and the Negaforce with a giant energy ball, and Wiseman with an exploding energy wave powered by two silver crystals, although in Wiseman's case the other Sailor Scouts may have been in the blast radius and were not harmed at all.
  • Scrapped Princess: A strategic-class attack spell, banned by international treaty, causes this. When used on a seaborne target, the spell leaves a bowl-shaped hole in the ocean, which quickly becomes a devastating tsunami.
  • Slayers:
    • Lina Inverse's initial ultimate spell works much like this; everything inside the Dragon Slave's blast radius is devastated, while nothing outside of it is even touched. Other destructive spells in the series also usually omit shockwaves, but its harder to notice because if somebody is throwing regular fireballs around they tend to throw a lot of them.
    • Lina's best spell, the Giga Slave, is actually all about the sphere. It is capable of destroying anything, including gods, because it draws upon the power of The Lord of Nightmares, creator deity of all things. However, without being limited to a specific area "Destroy Anything" becomes "Destroy EVERYTHING". The spell is front and center for 3 of the 4 big bad fights of the first three seasons, and is mentioned as a last ditch resort against the last big bad. More importantly, it is the driving force of the entire second season.
  • Trigun: Firing the Angel Arm has this effect both at the target and, if used at a high enough power, at the point of origin.
  • It is implied that this is how the Tokyo Jupiter from RahXephon came to be. Detonating a Trans-Dimensional Drive can also create one artificially although no one has the idea of weaponizing it until the final battle.
  • Zatch Bell!:
    • Zoboron's spells revolve around this; they move very slowly, but they are very big and explode with great force upon impact.
    • When attacks are based more on a force than anything substantial, this is usually how they coalesce, as seen with Brago's Gravity-based spells and Zofis's Explosion-based spells.
  • Zeorymer The title character and Great Zeorymer's Mei-Oh Kougeki.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Man Who Knew Too Little: Sergai described his bomb as working this way, claiming it would destroy everything in a thirty-meter radius and nothing outside. Which was important because Sergai himself was going to be present at the function where he was planning to set off the bomb. (However, when the bomb does eventually detonate, high in the sky, it looks like normal Impressive Pyrotechnics.)
  • Neo and Agent Smith's final battle in The Matrix Revolutions produced several perfectly spherical shockwaves (made especially visible by the torrential rain).
  • Shows up in the Resident Evil film series, most prominently in Resident Evil: Afterlife, as a spectacular self-destruct system used by Umbrella in their bases. The device itself is about the size of a briefcase but generates an expanding blue sphere of utter destruction that seems to work more like a black hole than an actual bomb, sucking in everything it touches in a roughly kilometer-sized area until it reaches its maximum range and dissipates, leaving nothing behind but a (mostly) perfectly circular crater.
  • Happens twice in Star Trek: Generations.
  • According to the technical manuals, thermal detonators (of Return of the Jedi fame) behave like this.
    • According to the games they appear in, however, they don't. The one in the movie was never detonated.
    • The single-reactor Death Star strike on Scarif in Rogue One created an explosion thatís visually similar to a very high-yield thermonuclear blast, but lacked the immense light, heat, and shockwave. Cassian and Jyn were unaffected until the fireball engulfed them.
  • Time Travel in the Terminator movies functions like this. They even go out of their way to show the audience the perfectly spherical damage to nearby fences, buildings, and sidewalks. The purpose of the sphere-of-melt is to prevent the time traveler from merging themselves with an unanticipated brick wall. A discarded scene idea from the first film was to have another human sent back from the future die in exactly this manner.
  • The Dark Elves' grenades from Thor: The Dark World is both this and Weapons That Suck. Incredibly nasty, it's powerful enough to eliminate a Nigh-Invulnerable Super-Soldier in a single blow.
  • The Dr. Manhattan-based WMDs in Watchmen work like this, at least upon initial detonation.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse has the title villain at a certain point creating a barrier around him that works like this, destroying the shrapnel thrown by Magneto and holding back the energy beams everyone else is throwing.

  • Literally invoked by Dan Brown in Angels & Demons with no apologies to the laws of physics.
    As if bound by God's own will, the surging radius seemed to hit a wall. It was as if the explosion were contained somehow in a giant glass sphere. The light rebounded inward, sharpening, rippling across itself. The wave appeared to have reached a predetermined diameter and hovered there.
  • The Babylon 5 Expanded Universe trilogy The Passing of the Techno-Mages has Galen accidentally discover a new spell that creates a Sphere of Destruction that, after several seconds, collapses and takes everything in it into another universe. The spheres themselves cannot exceed two meters in diameter. However, there is no limit as to how many or how fast Galen can cast the spell. In a fit of rage, he uses the spell to destroy a skyscraper and level an entire city block by casting it dozens, if not hundreds, of times.
  • Yog-Sothoth of the Cthulhu Mythos is literally (made of) Spheres of Destruction: should anyone come into physical contact with "the Key and the Gate", bad stuff happens.
  • The Eternal Prison by Jeff Somers has rockets and artillery shells that do this by detonating conventional explosives inside a very short lived forcefield.
  • Warp grenades in David Weber's Heirs of Empire trilogy move anything within a certain radius into hyperspace when they detonate.
  • The Lost Fleet: The experimental weapon known as a null-field projector apparently works a bit like this, but its effects aren't described in much detail.
  • Firebombs in An Outcast in Another World are potent explosives, but their strength is mostly centered on the direct point of impact. Enemies and objects on the outer perimeter of the blast will receive some damage, but thatís about it. The only collateral damage from a titanic explosion made by three crates of Firebombs exploding at once, strong enough to mortally wound an Eldritch Abomination, were the nearby windows shattering from the shockwave.
  • Bobbles in Vernor Vinge's The Peace War and its associated stories have this effect. It wasn't until some time after their first use (as weapons) that it was discovered the silver spheres were actually stasis fields, freezing their contents in time instead of simply destroying them. Then people started using them for one-way Time Travel.
  • Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space trilogy gets some weapons that do this in the later books. There's one weapon that just nips everything in a chunk of space out of existence (its a real bitch to calibrate, since the only way to test the settings is to use it on your own ship, if you can't stop off at a convenient planet and use the atmosphere), and the "bubble bombs" which seem to work in a similar fashion.
    • Hypometric weapons, they're called. Roughly meaning, in this context, "absence of space-time". Nasty, because they can attack arbitrary points in space... lines of sight not required at all. The little bombs are called "bladder mines", and are used more like conventional warheads.
  • The novo-vacuum in Greg Egan's hard sci-fi novel Schild's Ladder is an accidentally-created, large-scale version of this: an expanding sphere of 'new' spacetime more stable than our own, annihilating everything it overtakes. Fortunately, it only expands at half the speed of light.
  • In Star Trek: Federation, a crazed cyborg pursues Zefram Cochrane for centuries in hopes of learning to create a "warp bomb" based on an accident during the warp drive's testing. The effect works, creating a perfectly spherical radius of destruction — but the sphere can never be more than 18 meters across. (Any larger, and the drive works fine.) Conventional weapons are thus much more effective.
  • One of the superweapons in Arthur C. Clarke's story "Superiority" is the "Sphere of Annihilation", which is just what it sounds like. It's devastating when it works... but the bugs and delays and logistical limitations proved to be the first step in the defeat of the narrator's side by "the inferior science of our enemies".
  • Warp grenades in Simon Hawke's Time Wars series combine a time machine with a good old-fashioned nuclear device to provide ultimate destructive power within a pre-set (and adjustable) spherical radius, making seemingly neat and clean little nuclear bombs that just happen to have horrific unintended consequences (the extra destructive force is being shunted into another universe — an inhabited other universe, which gets fed up with being nuked and declares war).
  • In The Wheel of Time the cleansing of saidin made a black sphere (described as being Blacker Than Black) which chopped a spherical section — and the cursed city Shadar Logoth — out of the ground. The damn thing also imploded, which left everyone in the area really windswept, but had a minimal effect on the surrounding area. The city itself and everything inside of it, however, was gone forever.
  • The Will Be Done has the Sphere of Destruction. Guess how it looks and what it does. Despite supposedly being hard to cast, all three times it's used it works just fine. Well, except for the time when Praen cheated.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Anima: Beyond Fantasy has a spell literally called Sphere of Destruction, though that spell isn't nearly as powerful as this trope. More to the point are Divine Level Spells, like Holocaust of Light/Darkness, which ARE this trope.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Fireballs and similar area effect spells are like this. At least it's specifically mentioned in Fireball's description that it creates almost no pressure.
    • The Sphere of Annihilation is a pretty archetypical example. Everything it touches is completely and irrevocably destroyed, No Saving Throw.
  • Then you have White Wolf's Exalted RPG, in which there are at least one spell which fits the trope — the Solar Circle Sorcery spell "Total Annihilation". Invoking the lost name of Ligier, the Green Sun (the sun in Hell, AKA Malfeas), begins with a fifty yard wide, five mile high pillar of green light. Everything caught in it takes major damage as it is destroyed. The pillar grows outward at a rate of 10 yards per second, from twenty five to fifty seconds depending on the caster (a sorcerer with the right hearthstone and good friends can boost this all the way up to 100 seconds).
  • If your Magical Girl incurs too much Magic Overcharge in the game Magical Burst, her magical power goes out of control and annihilates everything and everyone (save the most powerful of magical beings) in a sizable radius around her.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Eldar distort weapons in remove perfect spheres from their targets, sending everything in the sphere straight to hell. Literally.
    • The Vortex Grenade, which is a Sphere of Annihilation by another name, and uses a template which follows this trope to a T. Anything that even touches the Vortex Grenade template is sucked straight into the Warp and killed instantly with no saves, regardless of special rules that grant immunity to instant death. The only exception are superheavy vehicles and gargantuan creatures, which take D3 structure points and D6 wounds worth of damage respectively (and are presumably left with a perfectly spherical hole in the side). The Vortex also randomly teleports around the battlefield at the start of each turn, making it very risky to use.
    • The Dark Eldar Void Bomb actually creates a spherical barrier of force fraction of a second before its warhead detonates, creating a catastrophic detonation contained by the force barrier. Everything outside the sphere is untouched, everything inside the sphere has been annihilated.
    • In-game, the imagery is implied by any Nova-type psychic power, which potentially affects anything within a certain distance of the psyker using the power.

    Video Games 
  • One might well say that nearly all computer game explosions work like this, as not all have variable damage, and nearly none have shrapnel or spalling.
  • The MPBM of Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War — the blast itself is a sphere, but the hitbox is a strangely shaped area of death... that's larger than the screen engulfing blast when it's fired by the ADFX-01... and thankfully smaller when it's fired by the ADFX-02.
  • Armored Core for Answer has Assault Armor, which compresses your NEXT'S energy shielding until the Kojima particles that make it explode outwards for a high-damaging blast around your NEXT, conveniently also producing enough Kojima contamination to instantly take down any enemy NEXTs' energy shields even if the shockwave doesn't directly hit the opponent. Unfortunately, your own shields will also be disabled for a while after using Assault Armor, leaving you just as vulnerable as your opponent.
  • Asura's Wrath: Berserker Asura uses these in Episode 12 along with Kamehame Hadouken's after completely losing his shit when an innocent girl that's a lot like his daughter in looks is killed by Olga to destroy her and her space fleet. When pressing the burst button, he creates much bigger ones of these with each press of a burst, and effectively makes Olga retreat with her tail between her legs.
    • In the Episode IV DLC the True Final Boss uses these as attacks in his final form.
  • The Lightning spell Luminaire in Chrono Trigger.
  • The Psionic Decimator in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 does this, as an obvious Shout-Out to Akira.
  • Two thirds through the first Crysis game, the North Koreans activate an ancient alien ship, which creates a sphere around the higher portions of the island's mountains, snap freezing anything within its radius. While the Nanosuit allows the Player Character to survive, anyone caught in the sphere without one becomes a Human Popsicle.
  • The Quantum Deconstructor of Crypto's Flying Saucer in Destroy All Humans!.
  • In Dragon Quest VIII focusing on "Unarmed" with Jessica rewards you with the "Magic Burst" super powerful attack.
  • Some sufficiently large explosions in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam will do this. Most of the pertinent examples are SP attacks, such as the air based attack for the Gundam Double X, which fires a blast into the ground that causes an explosion at ground level — in space you can see that it's actually a sphere.
  • Giga-Graviton, Sin's ultimate weapon in Final Fantasy X, does this — with the added side effect that the vacuum created by the blast does even more damage when it resolves.
    • Well, it's not so much the vacuum, but the fact that it cut a perfectly cylindrical section out of the land and sea and the laws of physics took a few seconds to realise what was happening.
    • The Ultima spell in Final Fantasy VI, VIII, and X.
    • The Void summoned by Exdeath in Final Fantasy V. Justified in that it's a self-expanding, spherical portal into nothingness, so no shockwave is produced.
  • The MIDAS bomb in Front Mission 3 works by emitting several rays of energy, which disintegrate everything they touch, randomly along every single angle and vector, until it creates a perfect sphere of light that leaves nothing behind when it fades. In one cutscene, a MIDAS bomb is dropped on a seaside city; skyscrapers are neatly cleft in twain and left standing, and the sea begins rushing back in to fill the space left by the water that was instantly vaporized by the blast.
    • Of course, the story starts proper when one malfunctions, but still creates a lovely and very big sphere-shaped hole in what must be several floors of the bunker it was being kept in.
  • The Golden Undead Warrior's berserker move in Guardian Heroes. It causes him to charge up for a few seconds and then unleash a gigantic explosion which will kill or severely maim anything it hits, in addition to knocking them clean offscreen. Just... pray you don't get hit by anyone while he uses it, or it'll hit (and kill) you too.
  • Halo:
    • The Mythic Map Pack for Halo 3 features a new Forge item called the Kill Ball. It is essentially this trope to a T. It since appeared in every subsequent game's Forge.
    • Halo 2 and more directly Halo 3: ODST shows the effect of the Assault Carrier's in-atmosphere slipspace jump basically being this, as more or less everything enveloped by the massive "slipspace rupture" is torn away and carried off into slipspace with the ship. Not a perfect example though, as there were some effects outside the radius including a shockwave and radiation release, although the damage was still quite well-contained, all things considered, with most of the city remaining intact and functional.
    • In Halo: Reach, Noble Team uses a "slipspace bomb" on a Covenant supercarrier orbiting the planet. The bomb doesn't explode: it creates an oversized, circular slipspace rupture which, since it is in space and the released antimatter does not explode as it does in the above example, cleanly removes about a third of the ship around its center.
  • So does the Ray Sphere in inFAMOUS.
  • The King of Fighters:
  • In Lemmings, Bombers do this, via a self-destruct on a five-second timer, to any non-indestructible scenery within a fairly small radius of their position.
  • Machines: Wired For War has a gravity collapse weapon that seems to be a perfect sphere.
  • In Mega Man, most explosions are shown as yellow-rimmed white spherical blasts, with both exploding bots and the various explosive weapons.
  • Nier: Emil's Ultimate attack negates the existence of everything around him in a sphere. Unfortunately, he doesn't have control over when he gets to use this; the first time, he accidentally destroys a village while erasing the existence of the monster ruling over it. The second time, he uses it on instinct while Popola is busy crushing him to death, but it destroys the skeleton part of his body, leaving him a disembodied stone head.
  • The Quirium Cascade Mine (or "Q-bomb") in Oolite generates a literal Sphere of Destruction which, when it touches most objects, vaporizes them and causes them to generate one.
  • Particularly bad in Scorched Earth, where even nuclear weapons exhibit this behavior.
  • In Sengoku Basara, Nobunaga's Limit Break was changed into this in the third game.
  • In his self-titled game and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Shadow the Hedgehog's Chaos Blast turns him into one. Although, he can also focus it down to a Kamehame Hadoken for more precise aiming.
  • Same as the Almighty (aka neutral) spell Megidolaon from Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga. It has the added bonus that is a transparent dome of energy, and then it detonates like glass, dealing huge damage (of course, strong characters can shrug off several straight Megidolaons, but eh.)
  • Taki generates one in the intro to Soulcalibur II (and nowhere else.)
  • Cliff's aptly named "Sphere of Might" in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.
    • The Dark Sphere spell that PCs and enemies alike use has a chance of instantly KOing the target. Gravitation has a similar scheme, only with a different color and merely slows you down.
  • One mission in Star Trek Online has the player boarding a disabled Borg cube, only to find a massive, spherical void has been removed from the center of the vessel by an unknown race the Borg attempted to assimilate.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed demonstrates this effect with the Force Repulse ability, which has the main character leap up and emit a shockwave of Force energy in a sphere around him, bowling over any unfortunate souls in his vicinity.
  • Chun-Li's Kikousho attack from Street Fighter.
    • From the Marvel crossovers, actually. The original version, in Alpha, was a small ball with energy trails; this became a curved barrier in Third Strike.
    • Ibuki's Yoroitoshi becomes this since her Street Fighter III debut when the initial grab whiffs.
  • Cybuster's "Cyflash" attack in Super Robot Wars takes it a step further: It only hurts what the pilot wants to hit (i.e. Enemy units).
    • Shu's mech, the Neo Granzon's ultimate attack, the Shukutaihou, is pretty much this crossed with a black hole. It also seems to get more and more large an destructive in each installment, that by the time of 2nd Original Genrations, it seems to be able to create and then destroy a galaxy.
    • Super Robot Wars in general runs with this as Map based attacks.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl:
    • The Subspace Bombs send everything within the blast radius into Subspace almost completely damage-free as we see from the ending of Subspace Emissary when the final boss is defeated and all the locations affected by the bombs are returned. And, in one cutscene, we see the ROBs at the epicenter of the blast get literally ripped apart by the vacuum forces. Also, as a consequence of having hundreds of subspace bombs detonated inside it at once, the Floating Continent is completely and irrevocably destroyed.
    • Within the free-for-all gameplay, the Smart Bomb from Star Fox is this trope on a smaller scale.
  • Tales Series: There are many examples. Some recurring ones include the Guilty Resolver spell and some renditions of Explosion.
    • From Tales of Phantasia, there's Dhaos with his signature Dhaos Corridor/Dhaos Blast, which generates a sphere of energy around him and sends the victims flying. His Expy Sekundes from Tales of Eternia later received it (titled "Sekundes Corridor"), as did Yggdrasill (albeit renamed "Outburst") and Chronos (as "Chronos Collider".)
  • The nukes in Total Annihilation and the crawling bombs have this effect; using them effectively allows the player to cut circles out of an enemy base.
  • Some weapons in Tyrian — the banana bomb, in particular — work like this. They create a huge cyan sphere that does damage to everything in its radius, but which pops instantaneously into and out of existence and only persists for a moment.
  • Bomb-type weapons in Virtual-ON tend to detonate in distinct sphere shapes, or at least have a visible maximum radius with a sharp cutoff. The various Temjins with bombs exemplify this best, as the resulting explosion is a glowing blue globe of energy. If any portion of an opponent's model overlaps the sphere, they get knocked flat on their backs. If they stand even a pixel completely outside its blast radius, however, it's little more than pretty fireworks.
  • Most of the weapons of the 2D Worms games leave perfectly circular holes behind, although worms can still be damaged and moved outside the circular blast radius. Explosives in Worms 3D leave behind spherical craters — sort of. The "poxel" deformable landscape engine is pretty innovative, but the resolution of an individual poxel is quite low — so the craters are essentially "blocky spheres".


    Western Animation 
  • In Exosquad's second season, J.T. Marsh's E-Frame is equipped with a Solar Flare, and expanding field of energy that destroys anything caught in it except the E-Frame generating it. When he uses it in battle, it carves out a neat curve in part of a mountain caught in the edge of the effect.
  • Justice League:
    • The plot catalyst of the early episode "Legends" is a dimensional rift that carves a perfect sphere out of the surrounding area and dumps more than half the team in a Retro Universe.
    • Also, one episode appears to have neat explosions such as these, but it turns out that that's the first sign that whatever was caught in them (Superman falling into that category) wasn't destroyed, but sent forward in time. Supes eventually made it back with the help of a reformed Vandal Savage, who'd managed to wipe out all life on Earth in Superman's absence.
  • The Invader Zim episode "Walk For Your Lives" featured a slooooowly expanding Sphere of Destruction (literally just an explosion moving in slow motion), simply vaporizing anything it came into contact with. Once it's accelerated, however, it becomes a standard explosion.
  • Happens in the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode "Twilight's Kingdom Part 2", when Twilight & Tirek's energy beams collide at the climax of their battle. The resulting blast leaves both of them picking themselves up out of piles of rubble when the dust clears.

    Real Life 
  • This is averted with diagrams describing destruction caused by nuclear weapons. Normally there is a small circle labeled "fireball" imposed over a satellite photo of a city, but a much, much larger circle labeled "Destruction radius" and sometimes another, even larger circle labeled "Damage radius." Indeed, the shockwave and heat caused by the fireball is meant to be the main cause of damage, rather than the fireball itself, which often doesn't even touch the ground during a detonation (The Hiroshima Bomb exploded 2000 feet above the ground, and modern nukes are designed to detonate even higher.) However, the fireball itself, consisting of plasma as hot as the core of the Sun, will quickly vaporize almost any matter it touches... that is, for the very short duration that itís in that temperature range.
  • In theory any explosion in space or similar event (supernova, nova, etc) would fit this trope. In practice, interactions with the interstellar medium, different speeds of the ejecta, presence of a companion star,etc. make the remnant to have other shapes. However there are some exceptionsnote  (more or less).
  • The effects of a Quantum vacuum collapse would take this form, as a sphere of destruction expanding at the speed of light from its origin - and because of that speed, anything in its path would be unable to see it coming.


Video Example(s):


Subspace Bombs

Subspace Bombs are the Subspace Army's coup de grace, activated by two R.O.B.s locking their hands into the side compartments and pulling them open. Upon detonation, they explode in a sphere of Subspace, swallowing any matter in their vicinity. Kirby and Zelda only barely manage to escape the blast radius of a Subspace Bomb via a Warp Star, while Pit views from Skyworld the floating colosseum the former two were in get swallowed up by Subspace.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / SphereOfDestruction

Media sources: