What's Happening

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

(Moved out of main topic.)

//Mecha in a fantasy setting dates as far back as Aura Fighter Dunbine, apparently — Ungvichian
//Indeed. As a point of information, btw, the "official" English title is Aura Battler Dunbine. — Looney Toons

Brigid Wants to know what the source is, exactly, for the bit about Hindu mythology having a robot with rotary saws for hands. Not only is the sentence containing that reference constructed oddly (there seems to be something missing if nothing else) I haven't been able to find any indication of such a construct protecting the sacred elixir. Just curious.
Dr Dedman: Don't think "Doc" Smith had much to do with Mecha (though there was a "Lensman" anime). The sci-fi root of clasic giant robot shows is more likely Heinlen's 1950's juvenile SF (particularily "Between Planets" and "Have Space Suit, Will Travel", with some tech from "Starship Troopers"), Mazinger and Giant Robo especially. (Eva is a deconstruction of this original pattern, with a father who is arguably crazy, rather than merely distant).

Dark Sasami: This is a general plea for some mecha-fan to split off the "transforming" aspect into its own trope. Between Voltron, Sonic X's vehicles that transform into other vehicles, and actual Transformers, this topic is way too lumped, which led to someone pointing "Transforming Humongous Mecha" at Shapeshifter, which is something else entirely.

(And I'm supposed to be working on documenting installation instructions for a new product launch, so I've had it up to here with writing for today.)

Bluetooth The Pirate: OK, how about this. I split Super Robot and Real Robot off as their own genre pages, and changed Humongous Mecha to an Anime Trope, since that's how it's treated in most of the places it's linked on the wiki. (That seems to be the most useful way to categorize it.) There still needs to be some work on splitting up the examples, and I'd like to create pages for Transforming Mecha and Combining Mecha (since a lot of them are not neccessarily robots, per se).

(Later) It still needs a lot of clean up, but I made some headway.

Ununnilium: Very well-done!

Dark Sasami: Bt P, you rock.

Susan Davis: *cheer* *wave rising sun fans*

Gus I moved HM down on the index page, as it is not currently serving as index. Or if it is, I missed it.

Dark Sasami: It is...sort of. Check out the bottom of the page, in invisible text. I have to imagine that there's a better way to handle this...

Gus Ah, now I see. I wonder if the leaf-kiddies were in a "caption" it would be more obvious that it is an index. I'm pretty sure the trail-maker would pick up on the boxed text. I'll give that a shot. // later: Nah, I'll have to beef up the parser for captions so it will allow line returns. It will be a while before that bubbles up the stack. In the meanwhile, I'll undo the move. // still later: OK, there we go. You can view the page edit to see the new markup.

Nerem I have to note that Combining and Transforming Mobile Suits have been in Gundam since the original show. The Impulse is even specifically based off of the Victory Gundam from Victory. And the original Gundam could combine with various G-Units to become G-Sky and such.

: Along those lines, the article currently says that Transforming mecha were retconned out of the original series and are only (relatively) recently returned in SEED... despite the existence of the likes of Zeta and Double Zeta Gundam in post-0079 UC, Gundam Airmaster in GX, Epyon in GW, and so forth... I don't even remember any Transforming mecha IN the original series to have retconned out, although to be fair I haven't seen the whole thing. The G-Armour as mentioned in the above paragraph is the only thing I can think of that comes close, and that's Combining. ...on that note, the G-Falcon could combine with some of the main units in Gundam X, so even counting the removal of the G-Armour, SEED Destiny isn't where they first came back.

Don Quigleone: added a note saying that pilots have a high probability of Falling into the Cockpit, this section should be expanded and more added on Pilots (perhaps that they also have a high tendency towards Angst? And that most pilots are below the age of 25(even 20)

Cassius335: Nice choice of pic, EC. Any chance you could trim the sides a bit?

lee4hmz: Deleted. I apparently don't understand this trope at all. :P
Shay Guy: Where's that picture from, and is there a list of the mecha in it? (And are there any in there more recent than Gunbuster?) The Gunheart: I can't name them all (though I do recognize a good 75+% of them), but MagiKing is in there on the right, and that was from the 2005 Super Sentai, MagiRanger. The rest seem to have debuted at the end of the 80's at latest, though.

T Beholder: Ah, those "justifying" wipes. I told ye, we must have Complaining About Complains You Dont Like as a separate trope... :)

The Gunheart: It really doesn't add anything to the page other than a misunderstanding of the Square/Cube Law, and seems to forget that Tropes Are Not Bad. In sections like Faster-Than-Light Travel, it's presented in an interesting way. Here, feels more like the science equivalent of "Stop Having Fun" Guys.

T Beholder: Dunno about "good" and "bad", but things like CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable) and whole Hollywood Tactics - Hollywood Science- ... line are blatantly illiterate. And they don't somehow become more literate depending on anyone's tastes or "feels". Square/Cube Law is merely top of the pile, there's more and worse. As to Faster-Than-Light Travel, of course it's not "pretty realistic", as most other SF tropes, but at least does not clashes with established things, like basics of geometry (or common sense); at worst with GRT alone (and even then there's Alcubierre's).

The Gunherat: Did you just call me illiterate because I think having two paragraphs of borderline "This Trope Sucks Because It's Not Realistic" wasn't needed? Hell, if you want to invoke the Square/Cube Law, then why is so much praise lavished on the Spider Tank concept, where the spindly legs in all likelihood wouldn't be able to support a heavily armored torso and weapons? And really, why is it needed? We don't have a long dissertation on the biological impossibility or impracticality of Eye Beams. If someone wants to put down a footnote or better integrate the reality into the article, I'm fine with that.

T Beholder: No, i called ye Complaining About Complains You Dont Like. Illiterate is the one who writes in things like all-terrain humanoid vehicles with serious face. Unless They Just Dont Care or want to minimize creativity, of course.
And again, there's huge difference between "It's Not Realistic" and "it's plain silly". Elite-style FTL is "not realistic", interplanetary travel on toy balloon is "silly". ;) Difference is: whether it requires to add new laws or to demolish all the old ones to build something bizarre from scratch.
As to Spider Tank, it's simple: if sum of legs loaded at once (i.e. all minus at least 2) is equal to one "humanoid" leg, spider vehicle of the same weight is not worse; "spider" having legs equal to both humanoid's legs would have about 2x load-bearing redundancy (can move without half of legs). Now add lower centre of gravity, lesser overloading due to smoother gait, lesser radius of leg (more rigid carcass). More resistance to damage if the margin of strength is enough to support with one less leg — with two legs, damage impairs more: damaged leg's structure will not distribute load properly, and if there's only two it's enough to get one out of order to stop walking. For spider this bonus goes directly into terrain crossing capacity.
That's just walking — the sheer madness of having battle vehicle standing upright and flat is far worse.

The Gunheart: SO, now you're saying that giant robots in general are silly? I have to ask, what series have you even seen?

T Beholder: 1) don't know about giant robots, i discussed armored humanoid vehicles. Which is both silly concept and as creative as development in the opening quote in Public Domain Artifact article. 2) it's obviously and absolutely irrelevant.

The Gunheart: Then why don't you go here and tell them what they're doing is silly. :)

T Beholder: Why would i? I'm not interested in what they do inside their sandbox at all. Only that they (or someone else) won't erase everything they doesn't like without any reasons other than they don't like it in the one where i play. :] Also, quick peek allowed me to notice they don't claim acting model they make can be usable war machine, so i don't see why this would be silly in first place.

The Gunheart: Several posts by staff members on their forum (including the founder) state they eventually do plan to create potential military models. But really, if you feel so strongly about it, why not just add it back? Though I fail to see why you care so much; you seem to have no interest in the genre whatsoever. And it's more than simply "not liking it"; it was a fairly bitter tangent followed by justifying edits and the article flows much better without it.

T Beholder: Because i'm annoyed when someone comes, takes out half of CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable) and says only "but it's so cute!" for an "argument", that's all. Also, for "hard-fi vs. soft-fi" fans it's as pure and ancient Flame Bait as Space Fighters, if ye didn't noticed this yet. ;] Of course, it would be better to have something like "Space Does Not Work That Way" for all mind-boggling Military Mashup Machine cases lumped together (they have a lot of common qualities), but it's not here yet.
Also, you'll laugh but it was me who added Power Dolls example.

The Gunheart: Seeing how obsessed the Power Dolls example was with spider tanks and apparent disdain for the genre, I don't find it strange at all. And if it's Flame Bait, then why even bring it up? Why not just go and add all the biological impossibilities of Eye Beams to the article, too?

T Beholder: Because there aren't any: to show that all Eye Beams are biologically impossible, we must have all those beams' properties first, and they tend to be Disintegrator Ray and suchlike. To say that clay golems are mechanically impossible, we must have animation's properties, not only clay. If it's a form of Applied Phlebotinum, the only issue possible is whether Magic A Is Magic A. But when it's about a mechanism and genre is not World of Chaos but sci-fi, issue of Like Reality Unless Noted raises. The difference is adding physics extension vs. retconning away basics like consequences of Pythagoras' theorem. That's the whole point of "hard vs. soft" conflict. Also, the question about more silly things like CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable) stands.

The Gunheart: So you're saying you hate giant robots because you have a very generalized concept of the genre. I'm sorry, but your grammar makes it hard to tell what you're trying to say most of the time. As best as I can tell you seem to be under the impression that most series don't use Applied Phlebotinum or physics extensions and ignore the laws of physics without any explanation and thus the concept should be limited to comedy.

T Beholder: No, you're saying i hate giant robots. :] I just say humanoid vehicle is a weird idea which quickly goes beyond weird if it's very humanoid or supposed to have combat use. Humongous Mecha have all the qualities of Phlebotinum du Jour, aggravated by the fact that all the basic mechanics needed to drop it was known "a little" longer than x-rays or nanotubes (even for Homer walking Trojan Horse would be too much). The reference to "concept of the genre" is irrelevant, because the problem is Like Reality Unless Noted in the very basic area. As to the Applied Phlebotinum and physics extensions, of course there are tons of justifications — because they are needed: obvious questions are closer than a fridge. If a wheelbarrow with Penrose triangles for wheels belongs to Cthulhu or White Rabbit, it belong there. If it suddenly appears in Film Noir in Paris, Twenty Minutes into the Future or even Alternate History, "Like Reality Unless Noted" is active and there are questions, so either it will be somehow justified (it turns out to be Film Noir about Cthulhu Cult) or it makes comedy gag or BLAM. As simple as this.

The Gunheart: So you're saying giant robots should be kept out of sci-fi and only be featured in comedies?

T Beholder: I'm saying that ignoring obvious problems in such cases as this, CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable) or Suck Out the Poison (version for squeamish) and suchlike is ultimately pointless in itself. And that wiping any references to the same problems isn't too far from "la-la-la now i don't hear". Just like with Lamarck Was Right and other long-dead theorieswith some effort anything can be justified (those same theories were), but without a justification some funny looks are called for. Choices are BLAM, justification or ignorance of the issue's existence. That's why justifications exist at all. Slapstick and other variants of World of Chaos are naturally immune, as there anything is ok.

The Gunheart: The one problem is that CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable) and Suck Out the Poison are already about why those tropes don't work in real life. As is the case with other tropes like Blown Across The Roon. This is about a sci-fi vehicle/genre, which at this point does not exist. And it should be noted that according to the engineers at Mecha PS linked to above, the problem with the hexapod is that it does not scale well and would be too slow to be useful, but I don't see you mentioning that anywhere. Plus, by your logic, hard SF series like Patlabor and GunBuster are apparently full blown comedies.

T Beholder: to say HM "at this point does not exist" [but could!] is the same as to say "poison that can be sucked out Hollywood way 'at this point' don't exist". Both cases are precluded from ever being efficient by much the same issues. As to brandishing trumps, i'll only note that one doesn't need to be a professor of Mathematics to detect Penrose triangle wheels' clash with an Euclidean geometry as we know it. The concepts that interfere with HM are about as basic and about as old. As to specific works, again: authors themselves made up all sorts of Minovsky Particles specifically because they know justification is needed. Doubt-free things are normally (barring Technology Porn) just used as a matter of fact, no one bothers to justify them. As to less bizzare geometries, they have common problems, being limited by values, not by principles. Like an interplanetary travel or mass-drivers — concepts 'sort of' works already, but are stunted by requirements.
> Plus, by your logic, hard SF series like Patlabor and GunBuster are apparently full blown comedies.
I have no idea how you got to this specific conclusion — and, by extension, what you mean under "my logic" in general. You did telepathed a wrong head, it seems. =)

The Gunheart: I'm not going to argue the third folder any further, but the problem with that logic is that Suck Out The Venom assumes all poison works the exact same way. In Hollywood land, sucking out the venom is apparently a basic first aid technique that's as old as time itself, so it's far too late for there to be an out like "we haven't found one yet". Also, I find it funny that in the face of engineers who are currently working a humanoid vehicle and have even gone into detail on their own forum as to why, from an engineering standpoint, an insectile design is far more inefficient than a biped model, you simply hold on to your apparent common knowledge without providing any sources to back them up. And I was referring to the fact that you seem dead set to claim that any work that doesn't fully explain the existence of giant robots is somehow a comedy series. Then again, your poor grammar, plus your tendency to go off on tangents about alien geometries makes it difficult to tell what you're saying half the time. ;)

T Beholder: Well, most poisons that can end up in a wound are much the same for this purpose. And "uh, let's make... big iron man" is just as ancient, check those examples. As to that engineering show — good luck to them, but as they don't plan to get this thing shooted at by a real autocannon or something, it's just a high-tech cosplay and is as much of "real concept proof" as a LED lightsaber. The only really working vehicles with legs so far are walking excavators (that has wheels) and things like Timberjack. As to "sources", the issue is far too simple to start praying to Aristotle, just looking at a walking sequences of known gaits (including accelerations involved) and the real forms able to walk is enough. Hint: insects generally don't run upright, humans aren't covered in exoskeletons, and no one runs, jumps and dances in a knight's full armor (even though it mostly relies on its wearer's joints, not hard joints with less DOF)—do you really need any sources for this?—and there are painfully obvious reasons why. And obviously painful reasons why in the ranged combat humans still able to walk upright frequently opt not to (yes, sacrificing mobility) and why no one made a combat vehicle with height greater than length (save one-way trip siege towers). What a special sacred knowledge do you want if this isn't enough? As to being "dead set to claim that any work that doesn't fully explain the existence of giant robots is somehow a comedy series", it's an idea, for which, i would indeed require some quot... err... "sources". ;) As to the Cthulhunometries — even leaving Square/Cube Law alone, both slanted plates and differential armoring are related to the Euclidean geometry. Conversely, to have a plate that at normal incidence wouldn't be effectively thinner than at grazing incidence and have equal chances to be hit by the same gun from different sides at once (shrapnel is stopped by armor, right?) Doing In Euclide is almost required...

The Gunheart: Yeah, you really do like hearing yourself talk, don't you. You're just repeating stuff I already know. Explore the MechaPS forums for a while.

T Beholder: No, i don't use voice input. I just was that curious to see what way you'll choose to jump out of theological civilized discussion if surrounded in arguments. As to what you know, i'm not a telepath and as such has no way to know this if you actively hide it. I explored abovementioned forum and found that you (if the same nick is the same character) didn't got an engineering joke and then chose to praise admins via bemoaning some vague "horrible people" who supposedly don't estimate them properly.
Want to continue ad hominem? Being arthropoda anyway, i have nothing against this. ;D

The Gunheart: Yes, that's me. And what engineering joke? You also apparently didn't get very far: there have been quite a few threads over the years telling them that they're project is apparently doomed if they don't go with some brilliant revelation they just thought of. And the admins you speak of happen to be the project coordinator and the communications engineer. You are aware what that's a forum for, right?

T Beholder: "Don't Explain the Joke", but he plainly told ye that if they'll make this they can make something else from it and not vice versa. The related point is that they do it at all and has to do it so long, basically, for a challenge—i.e. because even on not-so-humongous scale and without any useful load it's obviously hard to make this scheme work at all. As opposed to making a motorized cart moving, which of course would be no feat at all. While normally engineers do the exactly opposite: choose the most efficient variant available to solve some existing problem, not the least efficient specifically because it's a big problem in itself. So the very existence of your example... yeah.

Ryusui: The trope description is already long enough as it is. I've deleted your natter and I'm probably going to go back and trim it down further. Seriously, it doesn't matter what kind of hangups you have about Humongous Mecha, you do not have a License To Whine. Oh, and The Gunheart? Don't feed the troll. Fix the trope first, ask questions later.

T Beholder: Beautiful. So, now those who back their words with reason are whining trolls — unlike those who resort to childish ad hominem, stamping feet and throwing tantrums. Overwrite first, ask questions — who's kidding whom? — never. Screw the Cautious Editing, and the very notion of justification is an offence to the True Ones.
...Why, excellent. At last that thin, flimsy, boring veil of sanity is thrown away and doesn't obscure the sight below. Three cheers to the beauty. =)

Kuruni: Well...since other fantasy trope like Super Hero (you know...radiation give you cancer, not super power) doesn't has Issue section, I don't think this one should.

Ryusui: Absolutely. What we have here is a Single-Issue Wonk (or perhaps a Multi Issue Wonk) whose particular issue happens to be the perceived "unrealisticness" of Humongous Mecha. I mean, seriously: the stuff he added to the page amounted to a colossal Justifying Edit saying "Oh, and by the way: these things aren't real! They can't be real, so they suck! Get it? "Stop Having Fun" Guys!".

T Beholder: 2 Ryusui: I'm pretty happy to see you took my last advice to the heart. Speaking of Single-Issue Wonk and all that. =) However, i have to fix one misconception: i don't ask you to wake up and sneer with me at the "creativity" equalling only to D&D "substitute the horse in centaur with every animal from 10 tomes of Brehm one by one". It would be plain cruel, after all.