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Weapon of Mass Destruction

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Tsar Bomba: death within 10 seconds at c. 100km (62mi)

Dr. Hugo Sign: Lynn, what is the one and only way to prevent being killed by the explosion of a nuclear weapon?
Lynn: I dunno, don't be there when it goes off?
Dr. Sign: Actually, that's exactly right.
— From Paul Robinson's The Gatekeeper: The Gate Contracts

A Weapon of Mass Destruction is a specific type of MacGuffin / Superweapon. It is a thing/device that is just really, really bad for everyone within its reach, children and other small living things included. It may destroy entire cities or countries with the press of a button, it may just wipe out all electronics or something. Either way, this thing doesn't discriminate, and will often cause massive amounts of damage if it's ever used, hence why it's rarely done.

We are sure, though, that it is at least as powerful as the Wave-Motion Gun, and it is likely to be found in the hands of the Big Bad, or being sought out by the Big Bad, or being assembled by the Big Bad's minions.

In Anime, this is subject to the Nuclear Weapons Taboo, and will invariably be something that isn't a garden-variety present-day nuclear weapon. Many Speculative Fiction Series similarly use Applied Phlebotinum in place of real weapons of mass destruction available today.

In Real Life, a Weapon of Mass Destruction, by international definition, refers to radiological, chemical, biological, or nuclear weaponry in all but the rarest cases. In cases outside of war, it may be defined as any explosive, incendiary, Poisoned Weapon, or Anti-Air weapon, as well as the above.

See also Artifact of Doom, Forgotten Superweapon, and Wave-Motion Gun. Person of Mass Destruction is when this is applied to a character. If it only destroys certain things, it's a Phlebotinum Bomb. If it's built into a famous real-world location, then it's a Weaponized Landmark. In a fantasy setting, expect a Fantastic Nuke. If a measurement or value is given to its power, expect it to use Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure.

For more on a certain type, see Atomic Hate, Deadly Gas, Synthetic Plague, or The Plague.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The FLEIJA warheads from Code Geass R2, developed by one Nina Einstein, no less.
  • The Fate Series has a few of its Servants Noble Phantasms, weapons or deeds immortalized during their lifetimes, be this. The primary ones being Gilgamesh's Ea, which can literally reduce the world to the state of Genesis and Karna's Vasavi Shakti, which's mere summoning causes his surroundings to repeatedly boil, explode and erupt before he even fires the all-killing death blast that it is.
  • GunBuster: Buster Machine 3, also known as the Black Hole Bomb. It's core uses the planet Jupiter and the entire thing is a significant fraction of the size of Earth. It annihilates the Galactic Core and roughly half the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • The various Gundam series bring us "Colony Drops", literally dropping space colonies into the earth or moon's surface, along with solar lasers, rogue nanotechnology, purpose-built nanotechnology, psychic weapons, automated robots designed to kill all humans, and microwave-powered super lasers. Bonus points to the Psyco Gundam and Destroy Gundam which are essentially mobile, 400-tonne tactical nukes, capable of killing entire cities and armies using only their raw fire power. Both of course, are also quite vulnerable to attack by single enemy craft.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: Sweden's Surströmming.
  • The Poor Man's Rose in Hunter × Hunter resembles a small nuclear bomb. Netero uses it in a Suicide Attack in order to take down the Chimera Ant's leader Meruem, as well as two of his guards and his Morality Pet Komugi.
  • Inuyasha: Bakusaiga, Sesshoumaru's true sword. When it's revealed that Bakusaiga not only destroys what it's directly cut, but the blow then automatically transfers to anything that comes into contact with the original victim, Byakuya sets up a trap designed to kill Sesshoumaru. When Sesshoumaru points out a couple of youkai won't stop him, Byakuya reveals he knows and that's why he's enlisted an army of several thousand. Sesshoumaru destroys the entire army with a single swing of Bakusaiga.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • The "Book of Darkness" in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's.
    • On a (comparatively) lesser scale, the Arc-en-Ciel cannon, a starship-mounted directed-energy weapon which works by essentially causing a localized dimensional collapse; if performed in-atmosphere, especially if at surface-level, the resultant shockwaves can obliterate everything for hundreds of kilometers around.
    • Reinforce and Agito in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS blur the line between "weapon" and "person".
  • Macross:
    • The "Dimension Eater" introduced in Macross Frontier is a car-sized device that generates a planet-sized Negative Space Wedgie that eats anything in its path.
    • The Macross Cannon equipped on Macross and New Macross-class ships ranks up there in firepower, usually being a One-Hit Kill on anything that gets shot by it. The original Super Dimension Fortress Macross also featured the Grand Cannon, a truly gigantic beam weapon which, when fired at the Bodolza Fleet, took out a couple million ships in one shot. Too bad that was barely one-fifth of the armada surrounding Earth... and the remaining Zentraedi wasted no time in counter-attacking it to make sure it couldn't fire again.
  • Pain from Naruto was planning to use the tailed beasts the Akatsuki were sealing away to create this.
  • The Ohmu and the God-Warrior's mouth laser in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
  • "N2 weapons" in Neon Genesis Evangelion, the "N2" part standing for "Non-Nuclear". Going by the concept notes for the show, they could be based either on pure nuclear fusion or on matter-antimatter reaction.
  • One Piece has three of them: Pluton, Uranus and Poseidon.
    • Pluton is a huge warship, said to be capable of destroying whole islands. It is hidden away somewhere, and Robin is the only person left who has the ability to awaken it. Its blueprints still exist, and even though they are meant to counteract the original Pluton, they can also be used to revive it without the Poneglyphs. Its blueprints were in Franky's possession, but when he found out that Robin had no intention of awakening the weapon, he burned them, so as to prevent Spandam from reviving the weapon. Currently, it is hidden somewhere in Wano Country.
    • Poseidon is actually not a weapon in the traditional sense, but an ability. Poseidon was the name of a Mermaid Princess who lived during the Void Century, and had the power to control huge creatures known as Sea Kings. This ability came to be feared as a weapon, and all of Poseidon's descendants who had the same ability also inherited her name as a title. The current form of Poseidon is princess Shirahoshi.
    • Uranus is the third and last Ancient Weapon. So far, the only thing we know about it is its name.
  • "Vegatron bombs" in UFO Robo Grendizer. They are pretty much nukes with another name.
  • Cross Ange has the Ragna-mail suits, a mech smaller than Gundams in size but pack a wallop that can destroy worlds (and its implied by the Big Bad that he's ended several worlds already). These suits are created by the Big Bad and one of them, Vilkiss, just happens to be piloted by Ange due to the prisoners inside Arzenal stealing said machine (though it takes her half the show's runtime to realize how powerful Vilkiss really is).

    Comic Books 
  • Luther Arkwright: A subplot in The Adventures of Luther Arkwright is the threat of the "Firefrost", an alien artifact that annihilated the entire galaxy where it originated, then drifted across space until it entered our Milky Way galaxy and then ended up on Earth, where it's lain mostly inert since.
  • Monstress: In the backstory, the war between the humans and Arcanics ended when a mysterious blast destroyed the city of Constantine and killed over 140,000 people. The Federation called for a ceasefire because they believed that it was caused by an Arcanic superweapon that could be used again... which the Arcanics have been happy to let them believe, even though they don't know what caused the blast either. It was actually caused by the infernal energies of the Monstrum inside Maika. Her father, the Lord Doctor, later learns how to harness these energies for a bomb, which he uses in a False Flag Operation against the Federation's Holy City to restart the war.
  • Star Wars:
  • Wonder Woman (1942): It turns out that when the "gremlins" stole the Ytirfliks' mothership and crashed it on earth the ship was carrying a Ytirflik prototype WMD designed to strip away a planet's atmosphere which was made unstable by the crash and which the Ytirfliks really want back.

    Fan Works 
  • The Tau'ri and the Colonials in Contact at Kobol have different ideas about what constitutes one of these. The Colonials see nothing wrong with storing chemical and biological weapons in a ship above Caprica city and are absolutely bewildered to learn that the Tau'ri consider chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons on par with each other.
  • Fate of the Clans: Noble Phantasms have varying levels of destructive power. Those on the low end, Anti-Army, are only effective for wiping out large amounts of people. The highest classification is Anti-World/Anti-Planet. The name of the category tells you the scale the area of effect is capable of being at.
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim has the Meekrob device known as Project Domination, the search for which serves as the focus of the first season's Story Arc. Upon being tracked down, it turns out to be a Wave-Motion Gun so powerful that at minimum power, it unleashes energy beams the size of airplanes, and Norlock determines that at maximum power it could potentially punch holes in Earth's surface the size of Lithuania.
  • Obito-Sensei: The Hidden Cloud had forced Katasuke Touno to use his Chakra Projector technology into making a Tailed Beast Canon, which would channel the power of a Tailed Beast into a concentrated attack. Katasuke estimates that its range is enough to fire across the world and hit itself. And to demonstrate such power, they picked the Hidden Rain as their first target.
  • In The Pirate's Soldier, Kagato's endgame plan is to find the Judgement Array, a weapon designed and built by Washu that was used to end the war by the Jurai Empire in one fell swoop thousands of years ago. The heroes' goal is to stop him before he does, as it would spell the end for the entire galaxy and even potentially the universe.
  • The Pony POV Series has the Concept Killing Spear, the single most dreaded weapon in all creation. Created by a Child Prodigy to kill Love itself, it has the ability to erase whoever it kills from creation. This is played for every bit the horror as one would expect: when she killed Cupid with it, everypony who existed because of Cupid was erased. This amounts to the single largest amount of destruction to the universe ever known until Nightmare Eclipse repeatedly erasing an entire universe several thousand times finally surpassed it. That was the first and only time the weapon has ever been used. The deities took it and kept it stored in Strife's domain (one of the most dangerous locations in all creation) because even she (the Concept of Conflict itself) believed it to be too dangerous to remain in the mortal world. Rancor, while likely holding back, managed to mortally injure a fully powered Discord in one hit with it. It's so deadly that the only reason the Concepts didn't destroy it was because Destruction was dead and he was the only one capable of destroying it. Most of the time, the moment they can destroy it, they do.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, the idiots are unwittingly hiding the X-5 Unit, a device that contains a man-made virus that could wipe out five states in five days.
  • Laputa from Castle in the Sky has some sort of energy weapon built into it that was used by the original occupants to extort, threaten and ultimately punish earthbound civilisations. The Big Bad claims that it was responsible for the destruction of the Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Kingdom of Clouds have the titular character (yes, for real) pulling out a Cloud Disperser Cannon in the climax. Said weapon is used to revert cloud into rain, which in normal circumstances wouldn't count under this trope, but the Kingdom of Clouds is a World in the Sky built atop solid clouds, and each blast fired from said cannon can collapse entire blocks from the Kingdom in an instant. Said cannon was unfortunately hijacked by the villains (a quartet of evil poachers), who then uses it destroy entire chunks from the Kingdom possibly killing her inhabitants by the hundreds until Doraemon decide to atone for his actions by pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to destroy said cannon and all the villains as well (Doraemon himself does survive however).
  • Inverted in The LEGO Movie in that after discovering the fated Kragle, Lord Business plans to glue everything together on Taco Tuesday, rather than destroy anything. This is reinforced by the fact that he values perfection to the extreme, to the point where he doesn't believe in failure.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • G.I. Joe:
  • Godzilla:
  • Just as a warm-up, The Genesis Device of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is capable of almost instantly terraforming an entire planet. But if it used on a life-bearing planet, it would, as Spock points out, "Destroy such life in favor of its new matrix." The fact that the Genesis Planet (created by using the Device on a nebula) eventually catastrophically exploded doesn't help, either. The subsequent film revealed that the Genesis Device was a fundamentally flawed technology due to its creator using highly unstable (and illegal) "proto-matter" to kick-start the device's matrix.
  • This trope is done to death in Star Wars. First, both "Death Stars" are capable of blowing up planets. The Star Wars (Marvel 1977) comics, which began publishing shortly after the first movie, also feature the Empire coming up with new superweapons and predictably the rebellion discovering their existence and destroying them. Of particular note is the Tarkin, which was originally meant to be another Death Star, but George Lucas forbade Marvel from using that, since he was going to use the exact same thing in Return of the Jedi. During the early 1990s, many Expanded Universe writers would use the "The Empire is building a new superweapon" plot gimmick so often that things quickly got out of hand (Star Wars Legends was often referred to as the "Superweapon of the Month Club" during this time). The Sun Crusher and the Prototype Death Star, the Eye of Palpatine, the Darksaber, World Devastators and the Galaxy Gun... Kevin J. Anderson used this the most; every single adult Star Wars novel he wrote used one. Since Lucasfilm switched publishers to Del Rey, these mostly vanished (it was hilariously lampshaded by Han Solo in one New Jedi Order novel). With the Disney reboot, most of these have disappeared in the new canon, only for them to come up with new ones like Starkiller Base, which drained stars to fling the resultant energies across interstellar distances and wipe out planets.

Examples by author:
  • H. Beam Piper had his characters mention and occasionally use a variety of post-nuclear explosives, culminating in the Bethe-cycle bomb, the payload of which would create a "solar-phoenix reaction" - essentially a self-sustaining fusion fireball that could last for several hours and cause massive destruction to anything within quite a long way of it. In Uller Uprising, mere atomics have been relegated for use in volcano mining on the fluorine-atmosphere planet Niflheim. Except the antagonists intend to use them as a weapon again, and so the protagonists, who don't have access to any of the heavy stuff and would be long dead by the time any request for such went through, need to figure out how to build the things themselves — quickly.
  • No one can beat for exuberance the science-fiction writer E. E. "Doc" Smith:
    • In his Lensman series, he went from massed fleets to a massive planet-sized sphere of antimatter to a literal "planet-cracker" — two worlds, with opposed velocities, made inertialess and moved on opposite sides of a target world. When the inertialessness was cut off... the three planets went squish rather spectacularly. From this we get the Lensman Arms Race. The very first sentence of the Lensman series shows two galaxies colliding. (Though it turns out, one of them is ours, and that's where all the planets came from.)
    • Amazingly, Lensman is perhaps the least cosmically destructive series of novels he's ever written. The final book of the Skylark Series had explosions on a pan-galactic scale.
Examples by work:
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: At the state of technology in 1869, the Nautilus is this: a submarine can easily destroy any ship in the sea without the possibility of being pursued when it submerges. Nemo's Kick the Dog moment shows how terrible its destructive power really is.
  • In the Animorphs books, the technologically superior alien Ax tends to look down on the kind of thing that passes for high technology among humans, and this includes the fact that the pinnacle of our destructive technology is the nuclear bomb rather than something more technobabbly, saying things like, "A fusion explosive? That's what that was? I assumed it was a small proton-shift weapon, at least." This is probably why he is so little affected by the Nuclear Weapons Taboo that he is capable of making the moral compromise involved in threatening to use a nuclear weapon.
  • Any Bolo equipped with hellbores. A hellbore doesn't just allow it to destroy anything on the planet the Bolo is on, it can lay megatons per second force with pinpoint accuracy at interplanetary range.
  • Caliphate:
    • The eponymous Caliphate has hired several American scientists to create the ultimate bioweapon to wipe out their enemies, without any concern for who else — including themselves — would be harmed by an engineered virus that's 97% fatal — and possibly mutilating the remaining 3%.
    • In the backstory for the book, Islamic terrorists deployed nuclear weapons against the cities of several western countries, including the US and the UK. The three that detonated in the USnote  were sufficient cause for the election of President Buckman, who later nuked almost all Islamic holy cities in retaliation for the various attacks on the US over the years.
  • "Clockpunk and the Vitalizer": The Bull is implied to be one, with the heroes anxious to move it as far away as possible from The Vitalizer.
  • Several show up in various places in The Dresden Files.
    • In Dead Beat, the Red Court attack a hospital that contains a large number of injured Wardens with Sarin gas, which is legally classed as a Weapon of Mass Destruction. The next paragraph shows why, when it mentions that the gas wiped out not just the hospital, but most of the city the hospital was in.
    • Harry Dresden has the dubious honor of holding the trigger to one. As Warden of Demonreach, he has the authority to release some of the most terrifying and horrendous Eldritch Abominations in existence upon the world.
  • Dune: Nuclear weapons may be banned by interstellar law (outside of Loophole Abuse; it's against the rules to hit people with atomics, but it's okay to use them on geographical features), but the invasion by the Honored Matres brings with them a far worse weapon. Originally simply called "The Weapon", the missiles get termed "Obliterators" in later novels, and they more than live up to the name. Just a handful of these missiles can set the atmosphere of a planet on fire and burn anything on the surface to slag. It's never stated exactly what the mechanism is that these missiles use, only that they are heat-based.
  • The planetoids from Empire from the Ashes are armed with missiles that use warheads armed with everything from (super-powered) chemical explosives to gigaton-range antimatter devices. And they aren't even considered the real shipkillers, that honour falling to the gravitonic warhead, a micro-ish black hole generator. Then, there is the gravitonic super-bomb, a weapon that kills everything within a light-second or so of its activation point and can cause a supernova if activated close to a star. Oh, yes, and one type of FTL drive can also nova a star if you're not careful.
  • The Molecular Disruptor, or "Little Doctor", in Ender's Game. The MD releases a burst of energy that tears matter apart at the molecular level. At the same time, this process releases more of that same kind of energy, meaning that once it hits an object, that thing is utterly destroyed as the energy propagates throughout it. In deep space, it's relatively safe to use, as the energy dissipates over much of any distance, meaning it's unlikely to destroy more than one ship unless they're tightly packed together. Used on a planet, however...
  • In Halo: First Strike, we have the NOVA Nuclear Cluster. Admiral Whitcomb described it as a "Planet Killer", and it was originally to be used to even the odds against the Covenant in space battles. We get to see it used in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, where one is enough to vaporize a fleet of hundreds, scorch half a planet, and shatter a moon.
  • Goliath, the eponymous superweapon in the third Leviathan book, is the cause of The Tunguska Event. ...Possibly. It's a massive electromagnetic generator, and Tesla intends to use it on Berlin, but scientist Barlow believes he was delusional and the actual meteorite that caused the Tunguska blast is found in Tesla's possession, meaning that either 1. it was a monumental coincidence (as was the sky changing color in his second test) and he hid the evidence or 2. the device really summoned a nickel-iron asteroid. We'll never know, since Alek killed Tesla and the device was destroyed.
  • In The Machineries of Empire, the most dreaded weapon in Kel arsenal is the treshold winnower, which essentially boils everyone within its range alive.
  • The Deplorable Word in The Magician's Nephew is somewhere between this and Person of Mass Destruction: it's a word which, "if spoken with the proper ceremonies", will kill every living thing in Jadis's world, except the one who speaks it. Jadis learnt and eventually used it in the backstory, during a power struggle with her sister.
  • Done realistically in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, where the weapon involved has infinite (or close enough to it) ammo, causes mass destruction (or would, if targeted the right way), and is not stoppable by any conventional means — trying to stop it would cause more damage than just letting it hit. What is it? Metal-sheathed chunks of rock fired from Moon-based linear accelerators. When it hits, each chunk is equivalent to a 2-kiloton atomic weapon, but with no radiation, no lasting effects — a Green Weapon of Mass Destruction. The Heroes, of course, aim the rocks to land near inhabited areas, but not directly on any cities — save for Cheyenne Mountain, home of NORAD, which they pulverize by the end of the novel.
  • The Night's Dawn Trilogy:
    • The Alchemist is a deceptively small device (comparably sized to a normal combat missile) built for the specific purpose of destroying a star (specifically, the host star of the world that used antimatter strikes on the homeworld of the device's creator). It does this by a clever combination of two bog-standard technologies in the setting. Upon learning what the accursed thing is and how it works, the hero remarks on just how insanely dangerous the scientist who created it is, and internally wonders how nobody else has thought of this. He proceeds to use it himself shortly afterwards, on the lower power setting, which paradoxically is the one that causes the target to explode.
    • The Planetbuster antimatter warheads themselves also qualify. A small number (less than 20) were used to wreck a planetary biosphere beyond hope of recovery, resulting in the death of anything more sophisticated than lichen.
  • The Obernewtyn Chronicles has the weaponmachines Balance of Terror (BOT) and Sentinel as a major part of the plot. Sentinel, once roused, could launch the Balance of Terror against whoever is responsible for any form of attack. In a world where almost everything is polluted, it would wipe out the world again.
  • The Red Mars Trilogy has a number of startlingly effective attacks using things that were never intended to be weapons.
    • What happens when you shop the counterweight off a Space Elevator? Why, it falls down and wraps around the whole planet. Twice. Going at several kilometres per second at the end.
    • An orbital laser that can just about cut a hole in a plastic greenhouse roof doesn't sound very threatening, but if those greenhouses are pressurised city domes on mars, the effects can be horrifying. Some domes are popped, suffocating the occupants, and others are pumped with oxygen, incinerating them.
    • There's a boring old civilisation ending asteroid, too. That gets stopped pretty quickly by railgun launched nuclear weapons from the moon, which must be pretty scary in themselves.
    • A particularly unusual one is used by Saxifrage Russell, a soft-spoken, nerdy terraforming scientist. In revenge against the police who torture him, ultimately leaving him brain-damaged, he releases some terraforming biota that increase the oxygen level of the atmosphere a little faster than expected, and plants a lot of carefully engineered seeds which germinate after a fire in some soil rich in metals and oxidizing chemicals. The prison is then hit with an incendiary weapon which sets the ground on fire in a raging inferno that torches thousands of square miles of wilderness, and then sprouts an impenetrable thicket of thorn trees. Beware the Quiet Ones, indeed.
  • Revelation Space has numerous very powerful weapons on board the Nostalgia for Infinity. One could potentially shatter a planet. Volyova uses one of the smallest of the ship's weapons to threaten a planetary government, a "surface suppression element" that merely has a teratonne-yield nuclear warhead.
  • The Reynard Cycle: The reader is never explicitly told what weapons the Demons fought with during the civil war that ended their domination of the world, but given just how screwed up Vulp Vora (which used to be the heart of their empire) currently is, it's probable that they access to weapons equivalent to nuclear bombs. An entire desert of Vulp Vora has been blasted into glass.
  • In the Ringworld series, the eponymous Ringworld itself (or, more precisely, the shadow squares) can create a gas-laser using solar flares! That's right, a laser the size of a star!
  • A Song of Ice and Fire underlines how dragons, when used tactically, are weapons of mass destruction. Okay, so they're not planet busters in and of themselves and they have animal minds of their own so can be a little bit... unpredictable... but three dragons who rather like you and (mostly) do as you suggest vs four large, converging armies (who don't like you at all) combined with a very rude, stonkingly massive Big Fancy Castle blocking progress? Problems, you say? In the "not as awesome as dragons" stakes, however, is the rather more mundane alternative: wildfire. A conventional enough weapon, this: take napalm, cross it with Greek Fire, add a little supernatural va-va-voom and some good, solid strategical placement. With enough of it, you can say goodbye to besieging problems... and, hello to a massive clean-up bill.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Timothy Zahn, who kickstarted the Bantam era of novels with The Thrawn Trilogy and concluded it with the massive Fix Fic Hand of Thrawn duology, had a quiet Take That! when Mara Jade talked about how superweapons weren't Thrawn's style. He went for more effective means of conquest.
    • In the New Jedi Order novel Destiny's Way, Walter Jon Williams basically had the most awesome man in the galaxy rant that superweapons are lame, and those who attempt to build them are beyond lame.
      Han Solo: What the Empire would have done was build a supercolossal Yuuzhan Vong-killing battle machine. They would have called it the Nova Colossus... Galaxy Destructor or the Nostril of Palpatine or something equally grandiose... And you know what would have happened? It wouldn't have worked. They'd forget to bolt down a metal plate over an access hatch leading to the main reactors, or some other mistake, and a hotshot enemy pilot would drop a bomb down there and blow the whole thing up.
    • Centerpoint Station, a gravitational weapon that can basically do anything, including blowing up stars (while remaining stationary itself; its gravity bursts can work through hyperspace). Used once in the Yuuzhan Vong War to destroy a Vong fleet, along with half the Hapan fleet engaging them, which gets wiped out as collateral damage.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Andromeda, the Nova Bomb takes the place of nuclear weapons today, since in Andromeda, the ability to destroy an entire city is common to the point of being pedestrian. So, Nova Bombs, an antigravity device which removes the gravitational bonds keeping a sun together, so they take the place of the moral problems with nuclear bombs. There have been episodes where they tried to use it on the Worldship (but a godlike creature absorbed most of it and the worldship survived), a moral dilemma where a superior Admiral asks for use of a Nova Bomb without giving the reason why, a grave threat where a drift entirely of children wants to use Nova Bombs to destroy Nietzschian systems, and an episode where they have to sneak in and destroy a warlord's Voltarium factory (in other words, a uranium enrichment facility).
  • Babylon 5:
    • The "planet killers", used by both Shadows and Vorlons (interesting, since the latter were frequently grouped with the "good guys").
    • The mass drivers used by the Centauri might fall into this category, too. Not only are they classed as Weapons of Mass Destruction, their use in the manner shown is also explicitly illegal.
  • A somewhat tongue-in-cheek example, Gaius Baltar of Battlestar Galactica (2003) tends to cause a lot of destruction every time he gets laid. WikiFrakr refers to this phenomenon as "Baltar's Schlong".
  • Doctor Who has had a fair few of these over the years.
    • "Colony in Space" has the Doomsday Weapon, a city-sized weapon capable of sending stars nova (according to the novelisation, it fires vast quantities of antimatter at its target at a million times lightspeed). It turns out to be more damaging to its own planet, though; even on standby, its power system emits enough radiation to poison the planet's soil and atmosphere.
    • "Silver Nemesis" has the Validium statue, which is capable of wiping out entire Cybermen warfleets.
    • "Remembrance of the Daleks" has the Hand of Omega, which can rewire stars and is used to vaporise an entire solar system.
    • Lampooned in "World War Three", in which alien gangsters in disguise manage to gain control of the Western nuclear arsenal in order to reduce Earth to radioactive rubble simply by threatening Earth with a (non-existent) alien battle fleet armed with "Massive Weapons of Destruction".
    • This trope is taken to its logical extreme by Davros in "Journey's End": his planet-sized Dalek starship, the Crucible, is equipped with a "Reality Bomb", essentially a jumbo-sized, planet-powered disintegrator that can cancel out nuclear cohesion, reducing matter to nothing. One blast from it can propagate throughout the entire universe, wiping out everything but the Crucible itself. And by setting it off next to the Medusa Cascade the blast would spread throughout The Multiverse, wiping out everything that could possibly exist, ever, leaving the Daleks as the only things left in existence.
    • In "The Day of the Doctor", the weapon the Doctor used to end the Time War was one of these called the Moment, also known as the Galaxy Eater, developed by Gallifrey's Ancients. It was so powerful that it became sentient and developed a conscience, so the Time Lords never dared use it because how do you use a weapon of mass destruction that can pass judgement on you? It took the form of the Bad Wolf to try and persuade the Doctor not to use it, because it didn't want to kill the children still on Gallifrey during the War.
  • Farscape has wormholes. As the Made-for-TV Movie conclusively proves, they're not so much a "weapon" as they are the interstellar equivalent of shaking an etch-a-sketch.
    John: Wormhole weapons do not make peace. Wormhole weapons... don't even make war. They make total destruction. Annihilation. Armageddon.
  • The M.A.N.T.I.S. series proper is kicked off by a biological agent created by the hero, Miles Hawkins, for the government that ended up in the hands of a former business partner, Solomon Box, who'd bribed someone and intended to sell it to North Korea.
  • Pennyworth: Season 2 gives us Project Stormcloud, a chemical weapon developed by the Raven Union to win their Civil War with the English League. According to Lucius Fox, it's so potent that a container the size of a cigarette lighter can kill everything within five miles.
  • Stargate-verse:
    • Stargate SG-1:
      • The Dakara Superweapon, capable of disintegrating a lifeform of your choice by a giant wave that wraps around the planet. (The wave can be altered to target any lifeform while leaving others alone; for example, choosing between organic lifeforms and replicators.) In fact, it can even be used to delete life in the entire galaxy.
      • Carter used a gate to force a star to go nova, wiping out the entire star system.
    • Stargate Atlantis:
      • The "Attero" device disables faster-than-light travel for the series's Big Bads, destroying the ships as they attempt it. The downside is the device makes stargates explode. Mid-season six of SG-1 revealed that a stargate explodes with enough force to annihilate a planet, and the device does this passively to the ones in an entire galaxy.
      • Then there's Project Arcturus, a failed Ancient Manhattan Project that uses the principles of a ZPM on a larger, less controlled scale to power a great big energy cannon. Throw in the fact that the power source itself is uncontrollable and ends up overloading. When McKay tries to get it working, he ends up blowing up most of a stellar system.
  • In the Star Trek franchise, it has been established that if a starship collides with a planet at warp, it will essentially become a W.M.D. by destroying a planet's biosphere and causing planetwide devastation.
    • Star Trek: Voyager:
      • The Cardassian-built, Maquis-captured/modified ATR-4107 "Dreadnought", a self-guided strategic missile armed with a 2000 kilo matter/antimatter charge (enough to destroy a small moon like Phobos or Deimos, or make a Class 1-2 mess of a planetary surface) with its own defensive weaponry and a highly sophisticated computer system capable of adapting to any circumstance. Unfortunately, it was pulled into the Delta Quadrant along with Voyager, and headed towards the first inhabited planet fitting its target profile...
      • Nine Species 8472 bioships linking up to destroy an entire Borg planet in "Scorpion".
      • The Krenim temporal weapon-ship in "Year of Hell", when fired on a planet, completely regresses the world's timeline, erasing any sentient species that ever lived there from ever having existed. In the case of civilizations that have achieved interstellar travel and/or colonization, the effects could extend well beyond a single planet.
      • Then there's the long-range tactical armor unit that the crew encounter in "Warhead", which is so intelligent it's not only programmed, it's also fed with propaganda on its ruthless and hostile "enemy".
    • Star Trek: Enterprise: Three W.M.D.s were made by the Xindi. The first, the prototype, was designed to burn off Earth's atmosphere. It failed, but succeeded in cutting a swath from North to South America. The second model nearly cracked a lunar body in half. It failed as well due to a reactor overload. The final Xindi weapon was designed to utterly destroy a planetary body. It was destroyed before it could be used, but in an alternate timeline, we see it succeed just as intended.
    • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds kicks off the series by introducing a pre-warp capable world somehow discovering warp power and deciding it was a good idea to use it as a bomb. Pike has to break General Order 1 to stop them from using it.
  • Warehouse 13:
    • Shown in the season 2 finale, the Minoan Trident (also known as Poseidon's Trident), which when stabbed into the ground three times opens the fault lines below. Among other things, it's capable of triggering volcanoes, even supervolcanoes. In fact, it's even referred to as "The first Weapon of Mass Destruction."
    • There's also, from the season 3 finale, the tile from the British House of Commons that absorbed the full concentrated power of hate of the entire Nazi regime. When hooked up to a bomb, it creates an explosion large enough to destroy the entire Warehouse requiring a Reset Button being hit the following season.

  • Grand Relics of The Adventure Zone: Balance are seven magical artefacts attuned to the schools of magic (though Enchantment is conspicuously absent). Each has the power to be extremely destructive on their own, and to make matters worse, they are sapient, so persuasive that no mortal is capable of resisting their lure, and they want to be used.
    • The Phoenix Fire Gauntlet, attuned to Evocation, was the first relic seen. It drove Gundren Rockseeker insane, before wiping out the entire city of Phandalin, leaving a perfectly circular plane of blackened glass. Phandalin was the eigth city destroyed in this manner.
    • The Oculus is capable of manifesting any illusion (the school it's attuned to), turning it real. The destructive potential is obvious, but Lucretia mentions specifically a case of a warlord creating a tiny black hole, killing over a thousand people and annihilating a small town.
    • The Philosopher's Stone, attuned to Transmutation, can turn anything into anything else. A child got her hands on it, and turned a settlement, people included, into candy.
    • The Gaia Sash (Conjuration) controls nature. All nature. It's the reason the archipelago of Moonshae is not around anymore.
    • The Temporcal Chalice (Divination) gives complete control of the flow of time. The destructive effects are obvious.
    • The Animus Bell is largely downplayed, being made to bolster Necromancy. It could in theory be used to make yourself a lich, at which point you don't need magic items to be destructive.
    • The Bulwark Staff is the only relic that is explicitly not this trope. It can only be used for defense, since it's attuned to the Abjuration school of magic.

    Religion & Myths 
  • Within the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam):
    • Acts of God in The Bible, such as the carpet-bombing of Sodom and Gomorrah, or the promised tribulations of the End Times.
    • The Ark of the Covenant is described as having powers that could classify it as a weapon of mass destruction.
  • In Hindu Mythology, the Brahmastra is essentially a nuclear bomb, a weapon that can destroy an entire army, can kill anything from Brahma's creation (i.e., anything) and causes massive environmental damage in a huge area. There's even a second version that's four-squared times as powerful, which never gets used; at one point, Arjuna and Ashwatthama attack each other using the four-square-as-powerful version. They're forced to retract their attacks, because if the weapons collided it would destroy the entire universe.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech:
    • The WarShips are enormous, heavily armed ships with the capability to jump up to 30 light years every two weeks. In the Clan Invasion, a Clan Smoke Jaguar WarShip was used to destroy the city of Edo in retaliation for a prison-break, killing one million inhabitants. When the Inner Sphere met at the Whittington Conference several years later to form the Second Star League, they decided that as a show of strength they would destroy a Clan, and chose the Smoke Jaguars for that and other war crimes they had committed against civilians.
    • The Word of Blake uses artificial viruses and nuclear bombs — both banned by all the nations after the horrors of the Succession Wars — in their attacks against manufacturing centers and population centers. Naturally, the rest of the Inner Sphere responded in-kind, by nuking every Wobbie facility they can find. The Word of Blake Jihad left multiple planets completely uninhabitable before it was over.
  • Exalted:
    • The Sword of Creation (also known as the Realm Defense Grid). Capable of targeted environmental destruction (using effects such as rains of iron needles or walls of fire) from a scale of anywhere between 10 square miles and all of Creation. Also enhances the spells of those using it, and can control the Warmanses of the Blessed Isle. Typically used to defend Creation from the Raksha, although the Scarlet Empress was able to use it to establish one of the most powerful empires in history. When used by anyone other than a circle of Solar sorcerers, has severe geomantic side effects (i.e., causes natural disasters across Creation).
    • On further development, it's been revealed that the Dirigible Engine Daystar (IE: the Sun) is in reality an autonomous God-Artifact that takes the form of a spherical airship sheathed in intense Solar fire. It was explicitly designed as a defensive Weapon of Mass Destruction, keeping Wyld Behemoths, Unshaped Fae, emergent Primordials, and other things outside Creation. One brash Solar wanted to fire the sun's primary weapon into Creation during the Primordial War, only to have the Unconquered Sun explain that he was utterly unwilling to reveal to the general populace that they were living under the barrel of a gun. Also, the sun knows several varieties of kung fu, one of which was invented by a Kung Fu master explicitly for it.
  • GURPS:
    • High Tech actually lists specific stats for the original weapon of mass destruction, "Little Boy" itself is given specific stats.
    • GURPS: Spaceships has the Azrael (Angel of Death). It's basically a giant sentient missile carrying a bunch of smaller missiles. At full speed the impact of the Azrael is equal to 42 million megatons of TNT (the same as what killed the dinosaurs). The thirty smaller missiles are "just" equal to 700 megatons each. Better yet, this design uses zero superscience, making it one of the weakest planet killer ships you can design.
  • One Paranoia mission involves the PCs stumbling across an Old Reckoning antimatter bomb capable of destroying the entire Complex at one go, then trying to keep it away from two groups of people insane enough to actually use it.
  • AD&D 2nd Edition's Spelljammer setting had the Witchlight Marauders, essentially artificial engineered bioweapons, 500 feet long, which, when dropped onto a planetary surface, would grow, divide, and literally eat the entire planet down to bedrock if not killed off.
  • There are so many ways of utterly ruining a good planet in Warhammer 40,000, it's a wonder they've got any left.
    • Abaddon the Despoiler's flagship is called the Planet Killer. He also has the remaining two Blackstone fortresses, which he has subverted to the will of Chaos, and which he once used (when he had more of them) to send a star nova, destroying everything in the system. In fact, most races have their own WMDs; the Imperium have the Exterminatus doctrine — and God-Emperor bless you if that only means kinetic or thermonuclear orbital bombardment. They also have a flesh-eating super-virus as well as weapons that destabilize a planet's core. The Necrons revel in destroying all life on a planet, down to and including bacteria; no-one knows how, though. The Tyranids do something similar, but instead of destroying all life on a planet, they simply consume it while assimilating useful genetic traits, leaving a dried-up ball of rock behind.
    • Stray Orks can land on just about anything with a basic atmosphere and turn it into an Orky biosphere. Of course, they often do the same to existing biosphere, so their biosphere is a biological weapon, with individual Orks simply conscious servants of it.
  • Blade/Flying Buffalo has produced an extension set for the Nuclear War/Escalation/Proliferation series of games called Weapons of Mass Destruction. However, these are the classical (non-trope) WMDs, and there is one event card that has you try to find a nuclear warhead in the card hand of an opponent.

  • In BIONICLE, the Mask of Life (which is alive and sentient) is primarily intended to revive the Great Spirit Mata Nui, but it has a failsafe should the universe ever collapse into decay, plague, war, et cetera. Said failsafe is the absorption of all life in the universe, a la the Halo from the video games of the same name. However, while Halos have an activation sequence necessary, this does not. Also, there's only one needed, so it's arguable that it is even more powerful.

    Video Games 
  • The Ace Combat series uses pseudonuclear weapons a lot. The weapons explode in massive fireballs, but are never explicitly said to be nuclear.
    • Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies features Stonehenge, a battery of hypervelocity cannons designed to destroy near-Earth asteroids. When fired near the Earth's surface as an area-effect antiaircraft weapon, the rounds from Stonehenge come streaking in horizontally and create large spherical blue-white fireballs, as if they were nuclear warheads set on a time delay fuse rather than solid projectiles. In one mission, you are called on to intercept and destroy a barrage of cruise missiles. The last (damnably evasive) cruise missile explodes in a massive fireball when you kill it. As it comes onto the map, the AWACS guiding you say "looks like a regular warhead, but keep your distance", which all but explicitly says that it's nuclear tipped.
    • Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War has "burst missiles" fired from very large submarines of the Yuktobanian Navy. These missiles function almost exactly like MIRV missiles from real life, coming down out of the sky, breaking into several independent warheads, and carpeting a large area with fireballs. There is no mushroom cloud, but the explosions behave more like a nuke than like any other real-world weapon. There is also Osea's Strategic Orbital Linear Gun (SOLG), a kinetic kill orbital weapons platform that gets hijacked by the Grey Men, is installed with a Belkan V2 MIRV nuclear warhead and dropped on Oured, Osea's capital.
    • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War:
      • The Belkans set off seven bombs on their territory that are explicitly nuclear, complete with mushroom clouds, to delay advancing enemy forces. This is only seen during cut scenes. This event is also mentioned in Ace Combat 5.
      • The final boss is a fighter which has, among other weapons, missile that appear to be tipped with a small subcritical nuclear bomb — you want to give those a very wide berth.
      • Strangereal doesn't seem to have nuclear proliferation; thus, when someone says the word "nuke", often after "Belkan", you know it's going to be even worse than the faux-nukes you've been dodging thus far, especially considering that if the Belkans dropped seven of them on themselves, who knows what else they'll do with them?
    • Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation features a WMD never used, but explicitly stated to need a 'catalyst' to be shipped in from elsewhere as well as having the capability of wiping out a large city. Also, there's the cruise missiles used by the Aigaion (a flying aircraft carrier) and Chandelier (a gigantic railgun). The weapon of mass destruction was stated to be a chemical weapon, probably nerve gas.
    • Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception has the Shock Wave Ballistic Missile on the Gleipnir that creates a massive shockwave strong enough that your view shakes no matter how far your plane's from it, as well as its weaker cousin the Long range Shock Wave Missile on the player-usable Fenrir. A biochemical agent is also used by the enemy during mission 7C.
    • Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, in keeping with its more realistic setting, gives us a bit of a downgraded version in the "Trinity Warhead". It's basically a non-nuclear nuke: all the power with none of the fallout.
    • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has the Arsenal Birds' "Helios Missiles" which function in a very similar manner to the Aigaion' "Nimbus" cruise missiles from 6 only with a bright blue flash this time around. The "Unexpected Visitor" DLC campaign revolves around a rogue Erusean captain who hijacks the Alicorn, a 495-meter-long submarine aircraft carrier armed with 256 nuclear missiles. The first mission of the DLC mini-campaign ends with you having to shoot down a rogue fighter launched from the sub that is armed with a cruise missile stated to be a WMD.
  • Being a military RTS, Act of War has the obligatory Tactical Weapon for each faction, going from nuclear cruise missiles to Nuclear Artillery; however, in an interesting twist, the game also adds Counter-tactical Weapons, which can protect your base and forces pretty well.
  • There are a lot of destructive weapons in the Bloons Tower Defense series (along with nearly all games made by Ninja Kiwi), but currently none can compare to the Temple of the Monkey God. To put it in perspective, it has the ability to sacrifice any player-made towers in its former radius when upgraded and varies in power Because of this, its popping power varies, from being weaker than a Sun God to being more than capable of destroying entire armies of bloons.
  • Parodied in one of the "teleconference" shorts advertising Civilization IV's Warlords expansion, in which then-President George W. Bush warns Prime Minister Tony Blair about a grave and imminent threat from one of the world's dictators: Genghis Khan is on the verge of upgrading his catapults to trebuchets.
    Tony Blair: A trebuchet constitutes a Weapon of Mass Destruction?
    George W. Bush: That is correct.
    Tony Blair: ...Doesn't a trebuchet simply launch rocks?
    George W. Bush: Okay, have you seen the size of some of them rocks in Outer Mongolia, Mr. Prime Minister?
  • Command & Conquer loves bizarre WMDs. Nod typically uses nuclear weapons (typically of the gameplay-balanced variety), GDI loves its Ion Cannon, the Allies have Weather Control, etc.
    • A major plot point of Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars game was the Liquid Tiberium Bomb, a Nod WMD that was all a part of Kane's Evil Plan. As in Nod couldn't actually detonate it by themselves and needed GDI to hit Temple Prime with the Ion Cannon to set it off and summon the Scrin.
    • While the in-game nukes are slap-on-the-wrist, the storyline of the first Command & Conquer: Red Alert treated nukes as this trope — one Allied mission is about foiling a Soviet launch against major Allied cities and Stalin develops a 'sacrifice one Soviet army to nukes to kill several Allied armies' tactic that thankfully never gets implemented due to a lack of nukes.
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Proton Collider(shout out, anyone?) and the Sigma Harmonizer for the Allies, Vacuum Imploder for the Soviet Union, and a schoolgirl-clone-powered psionic Sphere of Destruction for The Empire of the Rising Sun.
    • Command & Conquer: Generals is slightly more grounded in reality: The Chinese have a single huge nuke that leaves radioactive fire in its wake, the GLA fire Scud missiles a dozen at a time to create a big swamp of anthrax (that also kills vehicles, go figure), and the USA have the particle cannon, which sends a giant beam of science into the sky, bounces it off a satellite, and sends it back to the ground where it can be moved to attack specific targets or write insulting messages. Oh, and each faction can build however the hell many they want.
  • The Drakengard series focuses on Artifacts of Doom that turn humans into People of Mass Destruction:
    • The Seeds of Resurrection in Drakengard. The hierarch Verdelet seems to think they cause all of humanity, if worthy, to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. It's a pity he didn't consider that statement metaphorically.
    • However, when they are used correctly, they can create Dovahkiin. Nowe gets turned into one in Drakengard2, thanks to Legna guiding Inuart at using the seed as a forge correctly in Drakengard Ending A. In the other endings, it... doesn't pan out.
    • Nier involved Emil as the result of decades of magical research on children, combined with about 1300 years of detachment from the outside world. The end result of Emil the gorgon merging with his sister, the Ultimate Weapon: the perfect mini-antimatter bomb.
    • Finally, the nightmare that started it all is revealed to be a flower in Drakengard3. This little device prevents its wearer from dying, at the cost of their sanity and eventual mutation into a Mother Grotesquerie. Which explains why the psychopathic main character is hell-bent on killing her sisters — she's trying to prevent them from eventually causing the end of the world.
    • Subverted in NieR: Automata: The Machine faction, on the brink of defeat, decides to build a giant rocket that's three times as tall as the surrounding skyscrapers, covered in religious symbols, and pointed at the moon — as in, the only place where humans could possibly exist after they were wiped out on Earth. Guess what's in it. Then it turns out it's a Generation Ship built to flee the planet and restart Machine civilization somewhere else. Phew!
  • Each race in EVE Online has its own flavor of Doomsday Device (the actual game term for the weapons class). When fired, they destroy pretty much any ship within 150 kilometers save for heavily armored battleships, which just barely survive. The upcoming expansion pack "Dominion" is modifying the Doomsday Device of all four Titans: they are now going to be a focused-fire weapon. So as opposed to the area-of-effect destruction field, think Death Star superlaser.
  • The Spire in Fable II. It's said that the Archon who commissioned its construction made a wish for the current world to be destroyed so that a new, purer one could take its place. The result: Seconds after a light bloomed in the Spire, a massive blast destroyed the Old Kingdom.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Mako Cannon from Final Fantasy VII.
    • "Vegnagun" from Final Fantasy X-2. The game's Bad Ending is it destroying Spira.
    • Deifacted Nethicite in Final Fantasy XII is essentially the magical equivalent of nuclear weapons, with one instance in the prologue levelling an entire city and mutating all life in the surrounding region. A second use later on wipes out a fleet of airships. Even an artificial scaled-down version is able to trigger a Paling over a large portion of Rabanastre while obliterating a small fleet docked in the area. Turns out that the local Jerkass Gods give the stuff to whoever they can use as a puppet ruler.
    • Final Fantasy XIV:
      • The Ultima Weapon is originally assumed to be just an ancient and powerful Humongous Mecha, but it is revealed in the last dungeon of A Realm Reborn, the Praetorium, that it also houses the means to cast Ultima, a Fantastic Nuke. A single casting obliterates most of the Praetorium and leaves the goddess Hydaelyn in a weakened state protecting The Hero from the blast.
      • Late in Stormblood, it is revealed that The Empire had also been developing a Deadly Gas weapon called "Black Rose", which kills by completely halting the flow of aether in living things. Its importance is made more apparent in Shadowbringers, where it is revealed that the Ascians are trying to orchestrate the destruction of the world of The First to coincide with the Empire releasing Black Rose in such a way that the weapon lethally poisons the entire planet of Hydaelyn.
  • The Cannon Seed in Galaxian³.
  • Galactic Civilizations 2 has the Terror Star, an obvious Shout-Out to the Death Star with far more firepower, enough in fact that it blows up stars and all the planets around them when fired. Researching Terror Stars is an excellent way to get the rest of the galaxy very suspicious of your intentions, even if they are your allies.
  • Halo:
    • The eponymous Halo Arrays will, if all seven are activated, wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy by releasing energy waves that target the nervous systems of any sufficiently complex lifeforms in range. The Forerunners built them in order to starve the Flood out of existence, and were forced to fire them 100,000 years prior to the games. Unfortunately, the Forerunners had kept some samples of the Flood in a number of safe-ish places for study, which unfortunately, the UNSC and Covenant thought were weapon caches at first. You can imagine how well that turned out once they opened said "weapon caches".
    • The Haloverse has a handful of other WMDs as well. The humans have thermonuclear warheads that can range up to 60-80 megatons in yield, mainly used for ship-to-ship combat, as well as the prototype 'NOVA' warhead that basically takes nine very-high-yield fusion explosions, sets them off simultaneously, and briefly compresses them to "neutron-star density" to provide a 100-fold boost, resulting in a blast capable of scorching and lethally irradiating an entire Earth-sized planet and shattering its moon. The UNSC also use coilguns as their main anti-ship armaments, and the 600-ton (3,000 for the big geosync defense platforms), relativistic-velocity slugs can cause asteroid-level devastation if they hit a planet. The Covenant, meanwhile, don't have any flashy 'big boom' weapons, but they can - and have - use their fleets to carry out orbital plasma bombardment of planets which can render a world uninhabitable (when they're particularly thorough, the planet's atmosphere boils off).
  • Homeworld has Low Orbit Atmosphere Deprivation Weapons. Its effect is not described in-game, but it is shown — it burns out the atmosphere of the planet.
  • The galactic federation of Mass Effect has an interesting definition for "weapon of mass destruction". A WMD is defined as a weapon that causes "environmental alteration" if used on a planetary surface, so a bomb that simply blows an enormous crater in the landscape would not be a WMD, but one that kicks up enough dust or water vapor to cause nuclear winter would be. So would things like asteroid impacts, self-replicating nanite plagues, et cetera.
  • The Stellar Converter in Master of Orion 2. It's a Wave-Motion Gun powerful enough to destroy planets and turn them into asteroid belts. It's slightly underwhelming in actual battles — while it is the most damaging weapon in the game being able to deal 400 points of damage in one shot while bypassing shields, there are ships tough enough to withstand a hit from it.
  • Mega Man: Final Weapon and Ragnarok, although they also belong to another trope. Zero, a hero himself, is a weapon of mass destruction. Luckily, he doesn't want to be one...
  • In the R-Type series, the Bydo were originally designed as Weapons of Mass Destruction. Unfortunately for 26th century humans, they ran out of control and were shunted to an odd section of space, only to come back earlier in time (R-Type is so confusing) and assault humanity in a pre-emptive attack. Humans of the 24th century retaliated with Force weapons, which were created with Bydo DNA, and at the end of each game, the Force weapons become Weapons of Mass Destruction in and of themselves. Particularly at the end of R-Type Final, when the Force weapon is destroyed to make the final boss vulnerable, and then everything explodes.
  • The Planet Buster missile of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, although it doesn't live up to its name, can still do enough damage that using one is an atrocity that will get most of the other sides very upset with you.
  • The Gigas in Skies of Arcadia in general, and Zelos in particular, as it can devastate entire continents in a matter of minutes.
  • The Eclipse Cannon in Sonic Adventure 2 (sure are a lot of cannons on this list).
  • The Strike Series game Nuclear Strike gives us Shiva's Dagger, a Soviet super nuke that if launched and detonated in the atmosphere would wipe out the human race. As well as a successful bid to set off a nuke in Pyonyang and blame South Korea.
  • Quite a few of these show up in mecha form in the Super Robot Wars games. Quite a few of them can vaporize whole galaxies while they are at it.
  • Tales Series:
  • Total Annihilation has the Galactic Implosion Device, a bomb used by the remnants of the Core in the expansion pack in an attempt to destroy the entire frickin' galaxy (except themselves) and then repopulate the reconstituted dead stars and planets.
  • Radiation cascade, Black Hole generator, and Burning Wrath/Matter Storm from Universe at War.
  • Most of Unreal II: The Awakening revolves around finding the parts of what the player believes to be a Weapon of Mass Destruction. In a twist at the last minute, it's revealed to only be the activation key for the actual Weapon of Mass Destruction — some harmless and unassuming aliens that the player has seen throughout the game, which turn out to be the dormant form of bioengineered supersoldiers.
  • Wing Commander:
    • Heart of the Tiger has the Behemoth, a massive energy cannon with a ship wrapped around it that was designed to destroy Kilrah, the Kilrathi homeworld. After its successful test in Loki VI, it was destroyed by the Kilrathi with Hobbes' help before it could reach its objective.
    • There's also the Temblor Bomb, designed with a similar use in mind. It seems having Mark Hamill play the lead meant they had to plagiarize A New Hope wholesale.
    • From the same game, the Kilrathi have their own WMD, a particularly nasty bioweapon that rendered Locanda IV entirely uninhabitable for centuries.
    • Secret Missions has you trying to destroy the Sivar, essentially a colony-destroying Dreadnought named after the Kilrathi god of war.
    • In Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom, the GenSelect device, biological warfare nanomachines that kill off up to 90 percent of the population of the targeted planet. Tolwyn intended to use them against all of humanity, to force his entire species to follow the ways of the Kilrathi and become a warrior race.
    • On the literary WC front, in the novel Fleet Action by William Forstchen, Sirius (a colony of Earth) is rendered uninhabitable by especially "dirty" thermonuclear bombs. Earth itself was fated to get this as well, but thanks to a Big Damn Heroes rescue, it gets off lightly with having major defense cities wiped off the face of the planet by "ordinary" antimatter bombardment.

  • In Chirault, the mage's council accidentally created a working simulacrum of the world—magically linked to the real world. For example, touching a spot on the simulacrum causes the corresponding real-world location to be completely crushed.
  • Minions At Work: A Doomsday Machine.
  • No Weapons of Mass Destruction are used in Rank Amateur until the Freedom War, when the Imperium drops fusion-boosted nuclear bombs on the cities of the rebel-sympathetic colony of Avalon. With the Imperium having crossed the Godzilla Threshold, the rebels authorize the Red Ochre to drop two antimatter/matter guided missiles on Orca 5, a colony which the Imperium spammed GELF manufacturing plants on to create clone armies.
  • S.S.D.D.: The Tower of Babel was used by the Anarchists to destroy isolated Texan platoons and despite being a sky-scraper sized maser cannon couldn't really qualify as a Weapon of Mass Destruction until they used it to take out Texas' anti-missile defenses and nuked Austin.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Episode 10 of Final Space, in order to destroy the Lord Commander's fleet, HUE detaches the Galaxy One's lightfold engine and detonates it. It creates a gigantic explosion that takes out nearly all ships at once.
  • Among Professor Farnsworth's many inventions in Futurama are several of these, as shown when he reveals his collection in "Time Keeps on Slippin'":
    "Doomsday device? Ah, now the ball's in Farnsworth's court! I suppose I could part with one and still be feared..."
  • Spirit based weapons from The Legend of Korra; the one Varrick makes by accident has enough power to blow a hole through a nearby hill, the fully operational one Kuvira builds is strong enough to melt a similarly sized hill, and when mounted on a Humongous Mecha, she is able to wipe out the entire United Republic Navy with only a few shots. When it overloads... well, Phlebotinum Overload's trope picture shows you what happens.
  • Omega Supreme from Transformers: Animated is an example that's actually been called a WMD multiple times by BOTH sides.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Weapons Of Mass Destruction


Crystal of the Sun God

Using the Emerald Duck, Doctor Claw's agent discovers the location of the ancient crystal weapon of the sun god. Upon being activated by the sunlight, the crystal demonstrates its destructive power, to Dr. Claw's delight.

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