Sometimes, planets are just meant to be taken over. Whether it’s out of ‘necessity’ or simply wanting to take all of its life force and drive it around the cosmos, the world, as it turns out, is the highest of stakes that both the hero and the antagonist battle over. So, that brings up the question: which games were the ones that stood out when battling over the fate of the earth?
It’s hard to put one game over another in terms of dire straits (and obviously, the world-ending actions of the villain), but so is ending the planet too. If the villains can reach for the stars, why can’t we?
10 Mass Effect Series
While this doesn’t technically fit the world-ending criteria, the scale in which the reapers wreak havoc in Mass Effect is nothing to sneeze at. The reapers arrive from dark space every 50,000 years to end all advanced technological civilizations at the behest of their creators to, ironically, save the most lives possible.
It was so efficient in fact, that they became targets of the Reapers’ so-called noble quest of quashing all artificial intelligence, the beings they created to preserve life. Now, the reapers demand the universe to die so that new life can thrive. It’s a pretty backward logic, honestly. It would be laughable if the entire universe weren’t at risk.
9 Scarlet Nexus
In terms of earth-ending situations, Scarlet Nexus is a little different. The main difference is that humanity has already wrecked the earth, then decided to restore their home after about 2,000 years. The events of the game lead you to a black hole known as the Kunad gate, which, as you might expect, will spread and destroy the world. Again.
After seeing a glimpse into the future, Kasane, the game’s second protagonist, resolves to act and solve the problem. The disaster isn’t triggered by a villain, but by the threat of conflict between two nations and their drive for dominance over the powered-up humans.
8 Final Fantasy 9
It’s one thing to want to take over the world, destroy it, or drive it to find other planets to conquer. In Final Fantasy 9 though, the goal is a bit different. Kuja, the much-underrated antagonist, is helping Garland, a lesser but still present villain, to remove the souls of Gaia and replace them with the souls of Terra, Kuja, and Garland’s home planet. This will eventually assimilate the two planets together into one.
It’s not world-breaking, but in many ways, this is a fate worse than simply exploding a planet. You’re effectively blinking both living and dead souls out of existence to replace them and their lives. It’s cold and heartless to those who live on Gaia, but, at least to a certain extent, you can kind of understand why they are doing it. Almost.
7 Dragon Age: Inquisition
You could easily argue that the fifth blight catastrophe from Dragon Age: Origins is the more immediate threat to the inhabitants of Thedas because it looms over the entire game and the effects grow in real-time. Going through a slow-burning apocalypse rife with disease and death from beginning to end would feel like the end for most people.
Unfortunately for Thedas, the worst is yet to come. Solas, the treacherous ex-ally that he is, has set events in motion that will shatter reality as you know it. Demons and otherworldly creatures will take over Thedas. Not to mention that the Old Gods from before the veil’s creation will return to claim what they believe is theirs. Everyone will be ended, and it all stems from an ‘act of redemption’ to return elves to glory.
6 Persona 3
Persona 3 wonders what would happen if the world willed itself out of existence. It begins simply enough: you and three of your allies embark on an adventure in another dimension to discover why it exists in the first place. However, as the game progresses, strange things begin to happen to the NPCs and the backgrounds themselves.
Classmates start staring at walls, mostly mumbling incoherently, but they can be heard complaining about how difficult life has become, and the notion of not wanting to exist. Then, as more people succumb to social apathy, crowds gather in the background, lamenting as trash accumulates. The apathy has become palpable, and needs to be stopped.
5 Kefka – Final Fantasy 6
Kefka from Final Fantasy 6 deserves special recognition. He is a chaotic force who, by all accounts, destroys the world while awakening his powers. People who survive the first planet shift are commanded to worship him. Naturally, they refuse, and Kefka responds by killing millions with a massive laser.
And for what purpose? What was the point of all this death and destruction? Because they were there. Kefka was incapable of feeling love or any other positive emotions toward anyone alive – they deserved to die if they breathed. His ultimate goals were chaos and destruction.
4 Dragon Quest 11
The Luminary arrived late at Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life. He was supposed to take the sacred sword and defeat Mordegon, the main antagonist. This, however, was not to be. Instead, Mordegon defeated our Luminary’s team and corrupted the Sword of Light, resulting in The Sword of Shadows and the destruction of the sacred tree, plunging the world into despair and darkness.
The Luminary must now find a way to reclaim his power from the evil mage Mordegon, restore light to the world, and become the beacon of hope that everyone has made him out to be. It’s a slightly fresher take on the hero’s journey, and Dragon Quest 11 side steps it slightly by asking you to fix what was broken, instead of trying to stop it from getting broken in the first place.
3 Chrono Trigger
The parasitic space egg known as Lavos has the distinction of being a semi-sentient force of villainy that has destroyed the planet several times over millennia. Including when the Kingdom of Zeal was destroyed after their plan to use Lavos as an energy source backfired, destroying the floating kingdom and the land beneath it, causing catastrophic changes in weather and land mass.
Then you realize this entire time they’ve been gathering the DNA and lifeforce of the planet’s inhabitants to create offspring to send out into space, completely draining the planet, only for it to wake up and destroy the very thing it’s been feasting on.
2 Drakengard 3
The Drakenier universe is not a place where joy can flourish as each tale is about loss, pain, and death. Drakengard 3 is a particularly depressing story. Zero, the protagonist, was saved from self-destruction by an evil flower who needed to use her. After her attempt, the flower split into five ‘sisters’ to keep its plans for destruction intact. When Zero discovers that the flower has turned her and her sisters into apocalyptic weapons, she decides to hunt down her siblings and then take herself out to save the world.
The game is a prequel to Drakengard, and has consequences to deal with in part one, but they are the direct cause of Nier’s set of events. Who knew a flower could set the course for death like that?
1 Final Fantasy 7
In Final Fantasy 7 you have Sephiroth, the villain extraordinaire, with his brilliant plan of summoning a giant meteor to wound the planet and absorb all the planet’s lifestream, transforming him into a god and the planet into a carcass of its former self.
The actions are standard super villain fare, but the kicker is what he plans to do after taking the planet’s life. He intends to take Jenova, a group of cells he believes to be his mother, on an intergalactic road trip with the dead planet as their ride. No, seriously. He’s going to ghost whip the entire planet to find other planets to take over.