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This is any device that is designed to cause some sort of seismic event. Usually, an earthquake.
Almost every Mad Scientist has at least one of these in his blueprint library, sometimes even two. Sometimes simply called the Earthquake Machine, or the Quicksand Generator, Liquefaction Array, or even Ruin Device. If it does the two things that all earthquake machines have in common, it will: 1) cause earthquakes as its primary function, 2) probably be a machine.
Verging on Forgotten Trope.
- Lupin III has dealt with at least one in his career. Being used to hold Italy for ransom, if I remember correctly.
- Final Fantasy XIII Vanille's Limit Break counts as this, as a heroic example. Alexander also uses this as a special ability, via Ground Pound.
- Letz Shake's weapon of choice.
- The DESTINY superweapon from The Core.
- Does G1 Rumble count?
- Experiment #513 (named Richter) is a living example. He is designed to create earthquakes by slamming his tail at the ground.
- Nikola Tesla claimed to have built one, but when it was tested on Myth Busters it failed to create an earthquake, although it was able to sustain some significant vibrations.
- In an episode of Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote makes the Road Runner eat the earthquake pills. But, of course, he forgot to Read the Fine Print on the pill bottle.
- The absolute first appearance of Lex Luthor (Then only known as Luthor) in the Golden Age Superman comics involved Luthor stealing one of these.
- PC mecha-sim game Starsiege had these in one mission on Mars. Known as 'Hammertanks' or 'Thumpers,' these were modified drilling platforms designed to shake HERCs right off their feet. Seeing as how HER Cs are apparently destroyed the moment they fall over, these tanks were extremely useful in their single appearance.
- In Blue Moon Rising, one of the three Infinity Plus One Swords, Rockbreaker, was one of these.
- The Technodrome has one built-in.
- In Macdonald Hall 's The War With Mr. Wizzle, Elmer conveniently has a minor earthquake machine built, which the guys sneak into Wizzle's home and then convince him the home is built on a minor faultline.
- In Ocean's Thirteen, the crew uses a tunnel drill to simulate an earthquake hitting Las Vegas (specifically the Bank casino) in order to get everyone out of the building (to prevent people from losing the money they just won). However, the building continues to shake even after the drill stops working. In a deleted scene, Roman Nagel suggests to Livingston Dell the possibility of the fake earthquake causing a real one.
- Dr. Wily used one in the Mega Man cartoon.