Trope Workshop:Fantastic Tribulation

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This happens with these knockoff consoles.

The Fantastic Tribulation is a setting where the world has been through an event where supernatural forces (such as monsters from fantasy) bring chaos throughout Earth. This massive phenomenon renders society incapable of countering the event through conventional means. This leads to either an Urban Fantasy or an After the End scenario turning into a Cozy Catastrophe. Both, however, involve people gaining magic or some other form of mystical powers that are crucial to surviving in this new world.

An interesting trend has been seen in media like Korean web novels and webtoons. A common occurrence is having dungeons filled with monsters, but unique individuals can conquer them. These people with powers counter these changes, thus giving way to stability. They are often connected to a system that functions like RPGs that can grant them these abilities and may be related to the society-changing catalyst. These people bring temporary peace by defeating them, including treasures, equipment, and mystical resources. Magic always plays a part as the cause or another tool for people to use.

If the setting becomes an Urban Fantasy, the society that comes into fruition has a new status quo or even benefits from the change. However, other problems may occur, not only from these forces but also from the people seen as protectors.

Contrast The Magic Comes Back. See also War in Heaven, which may precipitate this trope.

Examples of Fantastic Tribulation include:

Anime and Manga

  • Hellstar Remina has a planet that is about to crash into Earth. Cue the cults, the panic, and an angry mob going after a girl who serves as the inspiration for the planet's name. That's not even going into the revelation of how bad the destruction is going to be.
  • The World Is Overflowing with Monster, I’m Taking a Liking to This Life is set in a world devastated by monsters. There’s no access to electricity and other modern conveniences. People can use an RPG-like system that gives them skills, jobs, and increased stats but animals and monsters also utilize this system.
  • JK Musou - Owaru Sekai no Sukuikata has monsters rampage globally, leading to societal decline. People called 'Players' can use skills and magic like in a role-playing game.
  • In Bouken-ka ni Narou!: Skill Board de Dungeon Kouryaku, an event called 'The Stampede' has caused dungeons to appear worldwide, with monsters ravaging the world. Civilization has bounced back as the government allows people to become Adventurers to venture into dungeons, defeating monsters and leveling up while gaining magical items and equipment.
  • In Ookami Nante Kowakunai!!'s Tonda Birthday Present, the high-school student Tetsu has a grandfather who is an inventor, but the machines usually blow up in his face. So for his grandson's birthday, he makes a virtual reality machine to play 'Dragon Chest' for his birthday, but it malfunctions. This event causes the game to become real where people turn into NPCs and monsters while Tetsu becomes the hero and saves the princess (his crush) from the Dragon King.

Comic Books

  • Batman: No Man's Land shows what happens if a great earthquake were to render Gotham City unlivable. Bruce Wayne tries his best to ask Congress for city repair funds because even he is not wealthy enough to save Gotham in that way. Congress instead decides, thanks to some backhand deals, to blow up the bridges connecting Gotham to the mainland after a window of evacuation. Most people can't leave because they can't afford it, and soon the city is divided among the villains as GCPD and Batman try to take back their home. It says something that Poison Ivy is the only one concerned about the children in her corner, taking them in and protecting them.
  • The "Black as Night" arc in DC Comics shows what happens when previously dead heroes rise as zombies. While it brought back some beloved characters, it messed up others, like Jericho from Teen Titans who completed his Face Heel Turn when restored to life. In any case, the undead walk.


  • The animated movie Nine shows that machines took over and wiped out humanity. Nine, a sentient robot ragdoll with no memory, finds out that the only way to stop the machine and save his new friends is to remove the core he accidentally added.
  • Raya and the Last Dragon: the Dragon Gem shattering led to the Droon overtaking the land where most of it has been transformed into a desert and can turn people into statues if they can’t find shelter or a body of water for protection.


  • The System Apocalypse causes various creatures such as monsters and aliens, to appear on Earth. This causes modern technology to stop functioning. However, the System helps by acting like an RPG for people. If preconditions are met, it also provides other services such as constructing buildings, providing food, water, electricity, etc.
  • In The S-Classes that I Raised, dungeons have appeared worldwide where monsters spill out, leading to catastrophe for the population. People called the Awakened simultaneously emerge to fight these monsters with their supernatural abilities while also leveling up to gain strength and skills.
  • The New World series by James Khan, consisting of World Enough, and Time (1980), Time's Dark Laughter (1982), and Timefall (1987), is set in a world where magic came back and technology abruptly stopped working, and the creatures of myth reappeared.
  • The Earth is Online: Myriads of black towers begin to float above cities, ominously but harmlessly. Then one day, a voice announces, “Ding dong! November 15th, 2017. The Earth is online.” Next thing people know, the towers are issuing deadly survival games, and humans are suddenly gaining unusual powers.

Newspaper Comics

  • In-universe, Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes has done playtime scenarios, tinker toys, and even poetry about magical destruction or alien invasions hitting Earth. He succeeds in creeping out Hobbes more than once, who asks if they can play something else.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

  • The Great Tribulation, as described in chapters 7-10 of the Book of Revelation, is the Trope Codifier. This makes the trope Older Than Feudalism.
    • Due to often colorful and esoteric language of the text in question, it's enough to say those who believe in Christ and those who support his enemy, called the Beast both acquire some limited supernatural abilities during this period, the formerly mostly immunity from certain kinds of supernatural harm that the other side has no defense against. The opposing side gains mostly offensive powers and the ability to deceive the undecided into being swayed to their side.
  • Hindu mythology has Kalki, the final incarnation of Vishnu the protector god. As it's described, when the world is thrown off-balance owing to people being too evil and selfish, Kalki will ride through with a sword and wipe out those that demonstrate adharma rather than dharma, which means discord and immorality while neglecting your life duties. Only then can a new life cycle start on Earth. The period in-between probably won’t be fun for humanity.


  • Welcome to Nightvale has host Cecil try to combat this with his radio broadcasts. Keyword "try" because Nightvale is too weird and chaotic even on a normal level. You may be able to live a semi-normal life if you find out the new definition for migraines, avoid touching plastic flamingoes, or going to the park after sundown.

Tabletop Games

  • In the backstory of Shadowrun, magic has come back. Yeah, a significant fraction of humanity turned into elves, orcs, trolls, and a couple dozen of other races. Sure, practically every mythological beastie from dragons on down popped out of the woodwork. Yeah, there were political upheavals. Did that end the world? Hell, no! That would be bad for business! Besides, Cyberpunk tech made dealing with the Sixth World so much easier.
  • The interdimensional invasion by the "High Lords" establishes the setting of TORG explicitly revolves around each participating cosm getting a foothold on Earth. This changes the laws of nature in the area where it has control to make Earth reflect its native reality. The various realities vying for control of the Earth included a traditional High Fantasy setting, a Cosmic Horror world, two different Cyberpunk worlds, and several Pulp and Weird Fantasy cosms. Players become "Storm Knights" opposing the invasion of Earth.


  • If the cast survives the end of Black Friday in the Hatchetfield franchise, they will have to deal with this. Thanks to World War Three and the riots, society has utterly broken down.

Video Games

  • The Last Guardian has villages regularly raided for children by flying beasts, to the point where even seeing one invites panic. We learn that's how the boy met Trico, as while brainwashed, Trico swallowed him. It took a lightning bolt to his horn to snap Trico out of it, and bond with the boy.
  • Undertale has this, only with a twist if you do the No Mercy route: instead of a strange monster plaguing a group of humans and disrupting society, it's a human traveling and disrupting society by killing monsters. Alphys evacuates any survivors, reluctantly leaving Undyne and Mettaton behind as they prepare to hold off the human.
  • The backstory of the Guilty Gear series is predicated on this trope, when all technology ceased to function in the year 2000. Society eventually rebuilt afterward thanks to the emergence of magic that became the basis of most technology in some form, though some holdouts to the original old-world tech would form their own society. The games themselves explore the post-recovery world and fill in the blanks on how the world developed after the initial apocalypse.

Web Animation

  • The trailer for Peasant's Quest on Homestar Runner features this. Thanks to Trogdor the Burninator, entire villages and cottages are leveled. Rather Dashing is the first peasant to say this will not do.

Web Comics

  • microHUNTER has everyone in the world shrink down to 3cm, where insects, birds, rats, and even doors are dangerous. However, people are granted abilities that have their strength determined by a level while also checking their status through game-like windows.
  • Solo Login has Players that can access Castles and Dungeons filled with monsters to level up while gathering money and equipment. Sky Players can access Sky Castles while Underground Players can enter Underground Dungeons. Monsters can travel outside of Underground Dungeons and attack cities.
  • Ten years ago, in I am the Sorcerer King, Rifts appeared worldwide, where countless monsters pass through and cause chaos. People called the Awakened become connected to the Ahkasha System under the Director of Ahkash, which allows them to access notification windows, acquire a job, level up, grind stats, and gain skills.
  • In Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint, the world goes through an apocalyptic event where people must participate in deadly Scenarios for cosmic live streamers. Every person is granted unique skills while also gaining coins that can be used to upgrade these skills.
  • Raid (SF) has a setting where a supercomputer has taken over the world by introducing nanomachines worldwide. Everyone has a watch-like device called a Nanocircle, which augments their abilities and grants equipment, including getting rewards from various quests given by the computer.
  • In Solo Leveling, portals worldwide called Gates connected to another dimension dubbed a Dungeon teeming with monsters termed Magic Beasts. Simultaneously, people known as Hunters appeared with magical powers that can fight these beasts while keeping the public safe from them.
  • Kill the Hero has Dungeons appearing worldwide where monsters poured from portals. At the same time, divine beings called Nimbus appeared that granted a small number of people called Players powers called the Authority. A Player has access to skills depending on the Nimbus while being able to level up and check their status through system displays.
  • In Raid, 50 years ago, Demon World Gates appeared worldwide where Demons crossed these portals to cause havoc. Concurrently, God then granted humans called Masters (whose powers co-relate to MMORPGs roles like Tanker, Melee DPS, and Healer) who fight against these monsters.
  • Tomb Raider Kinghas Tombs appearing all over Earth in 2025, where massive earthquakes announce their appearance. Deep inside these dangerous buildings are powerful items called Relics based on myths and legends from human history. People who venture into these Tombs are known as Tomb Raiders (no relation to Lara Croft). Society set up laws to restrict people's use of Relics while others monopolize these artifacts.
  • Metro Hunter: Seoul's metro lines have been turned into dungeons where monsters and other beings from another world appear. The city was in chaos until people called Metro Hunters explored these dungeons while hunting monsters to keep the peace.
  • In The Advanced Player of the Tutorial Tower, giant towers called Tutorial Towers appear worldwide where random people are teleported into these buildings. The people trained in these towers until they became Hunters who gained magic and powers to fight monsters from dungeons that have appeared alongside the Tutorial Towers. Hunters have become so famous and influential that their associations and guilds have gained more influence than governments.
  • The World After the Fall has mysterious towers manifest worldwide that spreads monsters from them. People have the choice of becoming Tower Walkers, gaining powers to fight these monsters. They also can use a regression stone to return to the past for a second chance but goes to an alternate timeline.
  • I'm the Max-Level Newbie: A game known as Tower of Trails was an online game known for its difficulty, which caused its popularity to decline. On the day it was shut down, the tower appeared in reality, and a message that humanity would die unless players cleared each floor in 90 days.
  • Seoul Station's Necromancer has people summoned to different worlds where they gain jobs with magic and skills until they are sent home. The problem is that dungeons and monsters related to these worlds have been summoned on Earth. These people are employed to hunt these monsters for peace and also commission.
  • My S-Class Hunters: Gates are global portals where monsters pass through from dimensions known as Dungeons. This led to the event known as the Dungeon Shock, where monsters populated cities where thousands of people were injured or killed. At the same time, people known as Awakened gained certain powers that could fight the monsters and clear dungeons. Later on, Awakened are later called Hunters and became the most important form of employment globally.

Western Animation

  • In the episode "The Console" from The Amazing World of Gumball, a Game Child temporarily turns the entire town into a JRPG. Gumball, Darwin, and Anais form a party to turn the city back to normal.
  • In Thundarr the Barbarian, the Earth’s climate and geography have been drastically changed due to a meteor passing its orbit. This led to magic, savagery, and Weird Science appearing on Earth, resulting in chaos worldwide.
  • Gravity Falls has this happen during Weirdmageddon. Bill Cipher opens the rift to his dimension and brings all his friends, stopping time and sending Eye Bats to hunt down humans. After three days of this, society has completely broken down to the point where Wendy is shooting bats for meat and uses dollar bills to wipe sweat off her brow.
  • Similarly, Amphibia shows the aftermath of Andrias reclaiming the Calamity Box in season 3, and sending robot armies after the resistance in Wartwood, while rounding up citizens to put in labor camps. Sasha hides the Wartwood citizens in the Plantars' underground bunker, which has enough space for several villages, and they have to go on regular raids to get enough food supplies.
  • In the Gargoyles episode "Future Tense", Goliath ends up in a bad future where his clan has broken, along with society, while trying to return to Manhattan. Elisa and Angela are also with him, as they see that Xanatos in this timeline has successfully waged war against the Gargoyles while naming himself sovereign, and has killed Hudson. Turns out it was an illusion made by Puck, in an attempt to take back the Phoenix Gate and use it to bribe his way back into Oberon's good wishes. A wounded Goliath figures it out when Elisa demands the Phoenix Gate to fix the past and for Goliath to hand it to her, rather than taking it from the ground where it fell from his pouch; he knows Elisa is not that forceful. Goliath resists, the illusion breaks, and the real Elisa begs Goliath to wake up from his nightmare. He uses the Phoenix Gate's power to make sure it's lost in the timestream forever and tells Elisa that while what he saw was a nightmare, they need to make sure it never comes true in their Manhattan.

Other Media