The Top 7… RPG towns that explode

The town: An airborne, prehistoric kingdom of scholars and scientists kept aloft by hyper-advanced technology.

Exploded by: Lavos, a giant parasite that feeds off the energy of the planet and is just generally a dick, and Queen Zeal, whom Lavos is apparently controlling.


It’s hard to think of a more potent example of hubris than Zeal, the floating kingdom that considers itself to literally be above all creation. Active during 12,000 B.C. and populated by a bunch of snooty magic-users who actually founded a city devoted to the study of sleep, Zeal is a cool place to explore despite the ridiculous elitism of its residents.


They're so elitist, in fact, that anyone who can’t use magic is banished to a caveman-like existence on the planet’s surface.


Unfortunately for the Zealots, they’ve recently tapped into a new power source: Lavos. Misunderstanding the creature’s parasitic nature and world-ending intentions, Zeal has built a power plant called the Mammon Machine, which draws on Lavos’ otherworldly energy.


Since it was built, it also seems to have hardened the heart of Zeal’s queen, who gradually becomes possessed by Lavos as her civilization grows more reliant on the beast’s power. Greedy for more, she orders a second Mammon Machine built at the bottom of the ocean, so as to be much closer to the world-devouring beast. Naturally, this has the effect of awakening Lavos, which is probably exactly what it wanted.


With everyone else stunned by Lavos’ power, Crono stands against the monster and is apparently vaporized for his trouble.


Not content with just taking the life of the game’s hero, Lavos breaches the surface, sprays everything with lasers and brings Zeal crashing slowly, tragically down to earth.

Above: That last thing is a tidal wave, in case it isn’t clear 

Once again, we see the tragic results of being a bunch of greedy jerks and trying to harness forces beyond your understanding and whatnot. Here, watch a video of it:

The town: A gleaming metropolis that was built way out at sea and may or may not actually be real.

Exploded by: A massive, technology-destroying monster named Sin.


Easily the most futuristic city ever to appear in a Final Fantasy game, Zanarkand is all soaring towers, breathtaking water sculptures and giant holographic screens, and it seems to revolve around Blitzball, the most excruciating sport ever to be haphazardly shoehorned into an RPG. We’re introduced to the city through the eyes of Tidus, a young Blitzball star who makes his way through crowds of fans, alone, as he walks from the city’s docks to its stadium.


Midway through Tidus' game, however, Zanarkand suddenly comes under attack by something that roars in from the sea. In seconds, Tidus goes from wowing the crowd to running for his life through the crumbling city.


The creature at the heart of the destruction, Tidus soon learns, is some kind of enormous weapon named Sin, which at first appears to look like this:


But which we later find out looks like this:

Zanarkand’s destruction might at first seem pretty cut-and-dry – it’s demolished by Sin because of its ridiculous level of technological advancement and Sin’s tendency to destroy technology – but there’s actually a lot more to it than that. See, Sin isn’t actually destroying Zanarkand, because Zanarkand isn’t real. It’s a dream city that’s kept alive in the real world by plot elements too convoluted to explain here. Of course, that doesn’t make it seem any less real as you try to guide Tidus through the city’s collapsing freeway system.


It all ends with Tidus being apparently betrayed by his mentor, Auron, and hurled into the belly of the beast as it sucks up half the city along with them.


True, we barely knew Zanarkand, and its destruction is really just a prologue to Final Fantasy X’s story. But with its sheer awesome scale and unique giant-monster method of destruction, it’s still one of the most memorable RPG-town-destructions in recent memory. Here, watch it and see:


  • joemama9999 - September 24, 2010 12:10 a.m.

  • twingun - December 21, 2009 3:03 a.m.

    What about oakvale in fable 1 ?????
  • 50Dashes - August 18, 2009 9:26 p.m.

    I knew Megaton was gonna be in here. Seeing as how it's all the rage with commenters, ReCaptcha: abutted Michel
  • ReverendTed - July 29, 2009 5:11 p.m.

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Sunder from Anachronox. Yet ANOTHER one of those snooty planet-cities full of scientists thinking they're smarter than everyone else. I mean, come on - you couldn't even secure travel to it without passing the "Brain Bouncer" to prove you're intelligent enough to go there. And it was destroyed in a spectacular fashion. I think the list could easily have sacrificed one of the Final Fantasy slots for it.
  • Hayroon - July 11, 2009 7 p.m.

    Midgar shouldn't be on the list because it didn't really explode
  • whitesall - July 10, 2009 5:03 a.m.

    i nuked a town once
  • Superirish19 - May 31, 2009 1:01 p.m.

    i got fallout3,i set off the bomb,but first,i robbed eeryone trying to kill me after i robbed all their stuff and killed a few megaton settlers.LOL!
  • TheWebSwinger - May 25, 2009 5:35 p.m.

    This article was completely worth it, strictly for the caption: "Also, this house is probably not about to collapse." Seriously,why is RPG architecture so precarious?
  • AdelletheGifted - May 25, 2009 2:08 a.m.

    Wowzers, that's a hella lotta fire in the FF series O__O
  • UsernameAlreadyInUse - May 22, 2009 2:42 a.m.

    "I wish we had another nuke we could detonate, you don't see that very often" Nooooo really?
  • savage1159 - May 22, 2009 12:21 a.m.

    How about the middle eastern town that got nuked in Call of Duty Modern Warfare? That was quite a spectacular and unexpected event.
  • protospasm - May 20, 2009 8:33 p.m.

    If these are the top 7, I'd suggest that the Magic City of Vane was a close 8th (to break the Final Fantasy addiction and all).
  • TripleAD - May 20, 2009 8:21 p.m.

    The one second I clicked on this I thought to myself "Fallout 3's gonna be first
  • Phantasmagorical - May 20, 2009 10:44 a.m.

    *sniffsniffs* Poor, poor Cleyra peoples.
  • RonnyLive19881 - May 19, 2009 9:52 p.m.

    Phuck Midger! Kefika Blew up the WORLD in FF6 and basically became a God Lol. FF7 is so over rated...
  • FierceDeity - May 19, 2009 7:41 p.m.

    you must've known i would say this but why isnt Clock Town included in the list.
  • bonerachieved - May 19, 2009 7:31 p.m.

    Totally knew Megaton was gonna be # 1.
  • noobeater - May 19, 2009 7:09 p.m.

    @crumbdunky lol fallout came out long before oblivion...fallout and elder scrolls have been out for a long time before just xbox 360. I hate ignorent people like you. anyway great article. I for one dont mind fallout being mentioned its funny, however when i played through i never nuked it and yet i destroyed tenpenny towers lol. however i went on me mates saved file to see what it is like to nuke it. IT IS WORTH THE HYPE!! =D
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - May 19, 2009 6:26 p.m.

    At least half the list was Final Fantasy! D: Funny list though And OMG, I KNEW MEGATON WAS GOING TO BE IN IT It's practically the reason you made this top 7, Isn't it?
  • oryandymackie - May 19, 2009 3:31 p.m.

    Oh man, how ironic that Moira, THE MOST ANNOYING one, was left alive? Not fair. Plus, I prefer the suite in Tenpenny Tower. Much better.

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