History Main / ImpossibleTask

18th Apr '18 7:45:11 AM lalaTKG
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* Among the most famous in Japanese literature is the trials of Kaguya-hime in "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter". At least 5 of her suitors were each given a task by her that needed to be fulfilled to take her hand in marriage; one to obtain a jeweled branch from Hourai, one to take a cowry from a swallow's nest, one to get the Buddha's begging bowl, among others. None of them succeed of course.
8th Apr '18 12:12:09 PM AgentSalt
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* The manual of ''VideoGame/MicrosoftFlightSimulator'' claimed it was impossible to fly under the Golden Gate bridge. It was possible.
20th Mar '18 2:13:33 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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* Subverted and played straight [[http://aldus.comicgenesis.com/d/20061103.html here]] in ''The Curious Adventures of Aldus Maycombe'' - the faerie king is GenreSavvy, but it doesn't help him much.
12th Feb '18 10:24:20 AM Dontfollowmeman
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* SBURB, the game that the story of ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' revolves around, is this for all but the luckiest of players. Most don't manage to even start the game. And even then, the majority of sessions do not result in victory, making them so called null sessions.
** A special form of null session, the so called void session, appears when [[UnwinnableByMistake no kernelsprite is prototyped before entry.]] Since prototyping is what evolves the battlefield for the universe scale chess metaphor SBURB is built around, and a fully evolved battlefield is needed to win the game, this session is doomed to fail except if someone brings in a fully evolved battlefield from another session.
** Another special null session is the so called dead session. SBURB is an inherently cooperative game, so [[UnwinnableByInsanity trying to play it solo]] results in an entirely different scenario, replacing the chess metaphor with a pool metaphor that is impossible to win unless you are a {{Determinator}} with time travel powers. And even then it's frustratingly difficult.
21st Dec '17 3:48:00 PM GlitteringFlowers
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* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', when the BlackMage Odin arrived to the Nohrian court, he was assigned to serve Prince Leo. Leo wasn't reallt thrilled so he gave his potential retainer some missions that counted as this, some of them involving finding things that Leo made up or otherwise didn't think were real. Odin '''[[BeyondTheImpossible successfully completed all of them]]''', and, [[BoisterousBruiser being]] [[LargeHam Odin]], he actually enjoyed all of these "impossible" missions.
9th Sep '17 8:15:58 AM BeerBaron
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* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', Mages Guild Archmage Trebonius Artorius has developed a reputation as a PointyHairedBoss who assigns nothing but these. Infamously, he asks the PlayerCharacter to solve the [[RiddleForTheAges disappearance of the]] [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer]] (and is shocked when the player actually manages to find an answer). Other assignments he has given to other guild members include taking an inventory of all of the silverware on Vvardenfell and digging a tunnel to the mainland. Knowing that he was named as the head of the Vvardenfell branch in a combination of getting KickedUpstairs and being ReassignedToAntarctica probably helps to explain this.

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* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
**
In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', Mages Guild Archmage Trebonius Artorius has developed a reputation as a PointyHairedBoss who assigns nothing but these. Infamously, he asks the PlayerCharacter to solve the [[RiddleForTheAges disappearance of the]] [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer]] (and is shocked when the player actually manages to find an answer). Other assignments he has given to other guild members include taking an inventory of all of the silverware on Vvardenfell and digging a tunnel to the mainland. Knowing that he was named as the head of the Vvardenfell branch in a combination of getting KickedUpstairs and being ReassignedToAntarctica probably helps to explain this.this.
** According to the developer-written obscure text ''[[https://www.imperial-library.info/content/seven-fights-aldudagga The Seven Fights of the Aldudagga]]'', this is the case for Mehrunes Dagon, the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]] of [[DestroyerDeity Destruction]] who serves as either the BigBad or GreaterScopeVillain for several games in the series. According to the ''Seven Fights'', Dagon was once a kindly demon who attempted to protect parts of Mundus (the mortal world) from being eaten by [[BeastOfTheApocalypse Alduin]] at the end of every "kalpa" (cycle of time). Alduin found out and then [[IronicHell cursed Dagon]] with such a task:
--> '''Alduin:''' ''"You I curse right here and right now! I take away your ability to jump and jump and jump and doom you to [the void] where you will not be able to leave except for auspicious days long between one and another and even so only through hard, hard work. And it will be this way, my little corner cutter, until you have [[OmnicidalManiac destroyed all that in the world]] which you have stolen from earlier kalpas, which is to say probably never at all!"''
12th Aug '17 9:12:58 AM TheNerfGuy
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* In ''ComicBook/TheSmurfs'' story "The Astrosmurf", the title character's first attempt at finding a way to travel to the stars is to ask Papa Smurf for advice. Papa Smurf has something in his spellbook called, "How to Travel Through the Macrocosm", a multi-part, complicated (to say the least) ritual:
-->'''Papa Smurf:''' Firstly, each morning, drink a pint of dew collected from a web woven by a male tarantula. Secondly, find a moonstone at the precise moment the sun is in eclipse. Thirdly, crush the moonstone delicately with your little finger while uttering cries of joy. Fourthly, wait for the powdered moonstone to turn to salt (this may take a hundred years). Fifthly, drop a pinch of this salt on a comet's tail. Sixthly, at the same time, get a tomcat to holler three times, 'SECAKEJUKEUACEHEPAOZREUPAUR". Seventhly, [[LampshadeHanging do not be discouraged]], Eightly..." (There's more to it, but the protagonist leaves before he can finish.)



* In the ''Literature/{{MrMen}}'' books, doing this is [[MeaningfulName Mr. Impossible's]] specialty. When asked if he can climb the largest tree in the forest without help, he ''walks'' up the tree. When asked if he can stand on one hand, he stands on ''no hands''. (No ''feet'' either.) He solves a complex multi-part math problem at a schoolhouse in seconds (in his head), and reads a book to the class while holding it upside-down; in short, if told something is impossible, he can do it.
2nd Aug '17 4:28:07 AM isoycrazy
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* Some of the Grimorum Arcanorum's spells in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' seemed to have this as spell conditions, until modern technology [[ProphecyTwist made the impossible possible, so to speak]].
** The most obvious is the one that woke up the sleeping gargoyles: the castle had to be lifted above the clouds. Xanatos literally does that, moving it brick by brick to the top of a tall building.
* The terms of Zuko's banishment in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender.'' "Find a nigh-all powerful person, catch him, and bring him back ''alive'', and ''then'' you can come home. [[SnipeHunt Oh, and he's been missing for a hundred years."]] It's a win-win for Ozai: either he rids himself of an embarrassingly incompetent and occasionally disrespectful heir so that he can promote DaddysLittleVillain in his place, or on the off chance Zuko succeeds he gets the historical thorn in the side of the Fire Nation taken care of for him.
** [[spoiler: The cool part is that he ''actually succeeded'', although not quite how [[AbusiveParents his father (and banisher)]] [[HeelFaceTurn wished]]...not to mention the Avatar brings ''himself'' to the Fire Lord]].

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* Some of the Grimorum Arcanorum's spells in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' seemed to have this as spell conditions, until modern technology [[ProphecyTwist made the impossible possible, so to speak]].
speak]]. These loopholes are needed to allow humans to cast powerful magic at less cost than a spell without any loopholes.
** The most obvious is the one that woke up the sleeping gargoyles: they would sleep until the castle had to be lifted is above the clouds. Xanatos literally does that, moving it brick by brick to the top of a tall building.
** The spell which [[spoiler:turns all who ''see and hear'' it to stone at night]] can only be undone by the sky becoming on fire. So they spread a non-toxic flammable gas across the city's atmosphere and ignite it.
* The terms of Zuko's banishment in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender.'' "Find a nigh-all powerful person, catch him, and bring him back ''alive'', and ''then'' you can come home. [[SnipeHunt Oh, and he's been missing for a hundred years."]] It's a win-win for Ozai: either he rids himself of an embarrassingly incompetent and occasionally disrespectful heir so that he can promote DaddysLittleVillain in his place, or on the off chance Zuko succeeds he gets the historical thorn in the side of the Fire Nation taken care of for him.
**
him. [[spoiler: The cool part is that he ''actually succeeded'', although not quite how [[AbusiveParents his father (and banisher)]] [[HeelFaceTurn wished]]...not to mention the Avatar brings ''himself'' to the Fire Lord]].


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* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' Timmy, the human child, sets a task for Wanda, his fairy godmother, in order for her to be sufficiently delayed while he and Wanda's husband Cosmo set up for a surprise anniversary party. The task: train a cat, she can even use magic. She couldn't do it.
25th Jul '17 2:23:43 AM LadyJaneGrey
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* In the ''Literature/{{MrMen}}'' books, doing this is [[MeaningfulName Mr. Impossible's]] specialty. When asked if he can climb the largest tree in the forest without help, he ''walks'' up the tree. When asked if he can stand on one hand, he stands on ''no hands''. (No ''feet'' either.) He solves a complex multi-part math problem at a schoolhouse in seconds (in his head), and reads a book to the class while holding it upside-down; in short, if told something is impossible, he can do it.
25th Jul '17 2:13:39 AM LadyJaneGrey
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* In ''ComicBook/TheSmurfs'' story "The Astrosmurf", the title character's first attempt at finding a way to travel to the stars is to ask Papa Smurf for advice. Papa Smurf has something in his spellbook called, "How to Travel Through the Macrocosm", a multi-part, complicated (to say the least) ritual:
-->'''Papa Smurf:''' Firstly, each morning, drink a pint of dew collected from a web woven by a male tarantula. Secondly, find a moonstone at the precise moment the sun is in eclipse. Thirdly, crush the moonstone delicately with your little finger while uttering cries of joy. Fourthly, wait for the powdered moonstone to turn to salt (this may take a hundred years). Fifthly, drop a pinch of this salt on a comet's tail. Sixthly, at the same time, get a tomcat to holler three times, 'SECAKEJUKEUACEHEPAOZREUPAUR". Seventhly, [[LampshadeHanging do not be discouraged]], Eightly..." (There's more to it, but the protagonist leaves before he can finish.)
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