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TV Tropes Monday: Apocalypse How

Tweet of the Day: The Hilltop Spacemen

The Apocalypse, the End of All Things, or is it? It all depends on the flavor of said End. After all,not all acts of mass destruction are equal. As the tropes page shows, they can go from erasing a few blocks of your neighborhood to wiping all existence.  The scale depends on two factors: the nature of the stakes involved and the timing of the apocalypse.

A story about an individual or small group surviving the apocalypse may not need anything more than a mushroom cloud in the distance or a giant wave sweeping a coastal city of the map. But if the stakes involve the survival of an entire species, nothing short of a exploding planet or star will do.

The timing is also important. If the story begins with an apocalypse then it must have been survivable in some way. So the scale of destruction will be (at least) one less than the total sum of the scale of the setting. If the action is confined to a planet, like Earth, then blowing up the planet destroys the story. On the other side of the plot this trope signifies the literal end of the story and can be in any scale the author chooses, often with bigger, most destructive forms the better, specially if the author intends to nuk– end a series or books with a grand (and depressing) finale as to make it impossible for someone to continue the work afterwards.

So ready your weapons of mass destruction, prepare to unleash unstoppable forces of nature, summon primeval entities from before the Beginning of Time, and smash the universe to pieces.


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