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This is a starting/beginning trope, although it can also work as back story trope as well. Because what better way to kick start an adventure than by destroying the heroes hometown?
Deprive him of a place of shelter and happiness? Check.
Give him a reason to seek out the villain and put a sword, bullet and or orbital strike through him? Check.
Time to Doom This Town!
This trope encapsulates a few other tropes that push the story forward such as:
- Complete Monster: Usually it is the villain or his lackeys that pillage and plunder your hometown. That shows you how eveil they really are.
- It’s personal: The world may have gone to Hell in a hand basket but Farmer Luke can’t do anything about until the personal stakes are raised.
- You Can’t Go Home Again: No turning back now, nothing tying you down to the comfortable/boring life. Go forth and avenge young man!
By dooming the hometown (country, planet, universe, etc), the Call drops on the Protagonist head like a bomb and shoots him toward the goal of defeating the antagonist. But because this trope is so convenient it is prone to abuse. I mean why didn’t the heroes act when it was the town down the road that got doomed? Or for that matter,did the villain doomed the town just to spite the would be selfish hero?
Of course, while this tends to be a begging type trope, it can happen at any time, thus serving as a Mid Season Wham Episode. Still popular in video games as a way to encourage the player to keep to the main story line instead of wondering off to play the mini-games.