History Main / SuperWeaponSurprise

29th Sep '16 10:53:02 PM BattleMaster
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* For centuries, the citizens of the ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' universe thought Comstar basically one big quasi-religious communications network (which was true) with no ability to defend itself (which was extremely untrue). It just took the right moment for them to reveal themselves--after the chaos of the Fourth Succession War, and in their full during the height of the Clan invasion, where fifty regiments of Guards pushed back the previously unstoppable invading Clans in a proxy battle for Earth.
15th Sep '16 1:20:45 AM PaulA
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* The ''EndersGame'' prequel comic and novels reveal that, during the First Invasion by the [[InsectoidAliens Formics]], the alien ships are all [[DeflectorShields shielded]], with even nukes being useless. The only thing that proves to work are gravity-based weapons (developed for [[AsteroidMiners asteroid mining]]) that pass right through the shields. It's implied that the gravity laser (or glaser) is the first stage of what would eventually become known as the M.D. Device (or the Little Doctor).

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* The ''EndersGame'' prequel ''Literature/FormicWars'' comic and novels reveal that, during the First Invasion by the [[InsectoidAliens Formics]], the alien ships are all [[DeflectorShields shielded]], with even nukes being useless. The only thing that proves to work are gravity-based weapons (developed for [[AsteroidMiners asteroid mining]]) that pass right through the shields. It's implied that the gravity laser (or glaser) is the first stage of what would eventually become known as the M.D. Device (or the Little Doctor).Doctor) in ''Literature/EndersGame''.
30th Aug '16 12:23:25 PM Morgenthaler
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* Partial example: In ''The Moon Project'' [[note]]a sequel to ''{{Earth 2150}}''[[/note]] the [[AmazonBrigade Lunar Corporation's]] strongest weapons - a sonic cannon - is derived from a modified mining tool.

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* Partial example: In ''The Moon Project'' [[note]]a sequel to ''{{Earth 2150}}''[[/note]] ''VideoGame/Earth2150''[[/note]] the [[AmazonBrigade Lunar Corporation's]] strongest weapons - a sonic cannon - is derived from a modified mining tool.
29th Aug '16 8:22:12 AM le_mirage
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** At [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Kasserine_Pass Kasserine Pass]], the Americans believed they had stopped Rommel's counterattack; his German troops were exhausted, and all he had left were Italians. But the Italians were ''Bersglieri'', elite troops who Rommel considered superior to his German infantry; they attacked the American forces and showed that Rommel's appraisal was right.

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** At [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Kasserine_Pass Kasserine Pass]], the Americans believed they had stopped Rommel's counterattack; his German troops were exhausted, and all he had left were Italians. But the Italians were ''Bersglieri'', ''Bersaglieri'', elite troops who Rommel considered superior to his German infantry; they attacked the American forces and showed that Rommel's appraisal was right.
20th Aug '16 6:26:55 PM nombretomado
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* The ''{{Dragonlance}}'' short story "Wayward Children" is about a group of draconians who have occupied a small, peaceful elven village. There are no children in this village, which the draconians think is a little unusual. Following a magical attempt to turn the draconians back into what they were made from - which fails - the draconians discover that the "elves" are actually ''silver dragons''. Cue death-screams.

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* The ''{{Dragonlance}}'' ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' short story "Wayward Children" is about a group of draconians who have occupied a small, peaceful elven village. There are no children in this village, which the draconians think is a little unusual. Following a magical attempt to turn the draconians back into what they were made from - which fails - the draconians discover that the "elves" are actually ''silver dragons''. Cue death-screams.
13th Aug '16 10:28:51 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* ''VideoGame/Halo3'' has a heroic version of this trope where the Ark is [[TheReveal revealed]] to [[spoiler: contain a foundry at its core that could build Halo rings to replace those that have been destroyed, and a partially constructed replacement for [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved Installation 04]] is uncovered.]] Suddenly the [[EldritchAbomination Gravemind's]] idea of sending all of his [[TheVirus Flood]] forces to the Ark in an effort to keep them outside of the range of the other [[DepopulationBomb Halo]] [[LostSuperweapon rings]] [[DidntThinkThisThrough doesn't seem like such a smart idea]] and the Flood is [[spoiler: finally killed off by the firing of the installation, albeit at the cost of the ring and damaging the Ark]]. This was pulled off without the Gravemind knowing anything until the last minute because no one else knew much about this either in an unusual case of UnspokenPlanGuarantee and the [[ThePrecursors Forerunners]] removed all knowledge of important information on other installations that could prove useful to the Flood from the minds of the [[AncientKeeper Monitors]] of each installation. Even Cortana wasn't sure of the exact details of what solution the Ark contained when she sent her message to the [[TheFederation UNSC]] forces to warn of the threat of the Flood.

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* ''VideoGame/Halo3'' has a heroic version of this trope where the Ark is [[TheReveal revealed]] to [[spoiler: contain a foundry at its core that could build Halo rings to replace those that have been destroyed, and a partially constructed replacement for [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved Installation 04]] is uncovered.]] Suddenly the [[EldritchAbomination Gravemind's]] idea of sending all of his [[TheVirus Flood]] forces to the Ark in an effort to keep them outside of the range of the other [[DepopulationBomb Halo]] [[LostSuperweapon rings]] [[DidntThinkThisThrough doesn't seem like such a smart idea]] and the Flood is [[spoiler: finally killed off by the firing of the installation, albeit at the cost of the ring and damaging the Ark]]. This was pulled off without the Gravemind knowing anything until the last minute because no one else knew much about this either either, in an unusual case of UnspokenPlanGuarantee UnspokenPlanGuarantee, and because the [[ThePrecursors Forerunners]] removed all knowledge of important information on other installations that could prove useful to the Flood from the minds of the [[AncientKeeper Monitors]] of each installation. Even Cortana wasn't sure of the exact details of what solution the Ark contained when she sent her message to the [[TheFederation UNSC]] forces to warn of the threat of the Flood.
7th Aug '16 12:07:02 AM AnotherDuck
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* The cute and fuzzy Ewoks of ''Franchise/StarWars'' once mopped up some of the best and the brightest of the Empire. Whether this was a matter of [[ZergRush sheer numbers]] or [[HiveMind supernatural organizing skills]] and the ability to quickly upgrade their tactics is a topic left only to the most eccentric of Republic scholars.
** Partial subversion. While the Ewoks ''can'' kill troops with relative ease, it takes a lot of effort and some brave decoys to destroy the few walkers they do get; it's Chewbacca who really turns the tide.
*** The original script called for Endor to be populated by wookies, but they switched them for much less awesome ewoks to stay under budget. Well, that's one version anyway; another is that Lucas wanted the Empire to be ultimately beaten by a low-tech race but realized that Chewbacca was the most technically skilled member of the main crew so he changed it.
1st Aug '16 4:50:53 PM Morgenthaler
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* All (but one) of the Protoss units in ''StarCraft'' is originally derived from non-lethal craft and tools. Even the feared Reaver (with its horrifying Scarabs), originally built for mining. ([[AllThereInTheManual Well, that's what they say...]]) In ''Brood War'', the Dark Templars' units ''were'' designed as weapons from the start, because they weren't a unified species and thusly ''had'' to fight. (With the Protoss more hard-pressed after ''Brood War's'' DownerEnding, for the forthcoming sequel they're dusting off their old war machines from before their races was "unified" by the Khala--and finally starting to invent new ones.)

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* All (but one) of the Protoss units in ''StarCraft'' ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' is originally derived from non-lethal craft and tools. Even the feared Reaver (with its horrifying Scarabs), originally built for mining. ([[AllThereInTheManual Well, that's what they say...]]) In ''Brood War'', the Dark Templars' units ''were'' designed as weapons from the start, because they weren't a unified species and thusly ''had'' to fight. (With the Protoss more hard-pressed after ''Brood War's'' DownerEnding, for the forthcoming sequel they're dusting off their old war machines from before their races was "unified" by the Khala--and finally starting to invent new ones.)



* Both inverted (weapons turned into tools) and played straight in ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquer Command and Conquer 3]]'': the GDI have sonic weapons and after the 2nd war they discover that sonics can destroy submerged tiberium so the technology is made into emitters to protect the cities. Years later when the Scrin are kicking GDI's ass someone figures out that their biology is heavily dependant on tiberium and promptly turn the emitters back into weapons which devastate the invading army.
* Somewhere between Tool Conversion and OpenTheDoorAndSeeAllThePeople with the TEC in ''SinsOfASolarEmpire''; while the TEC don't seem completely defenseless and are certainly not very peaceful, they are nowhere near as unified as the Vasari, and are of a far lower level of technology in many respects. This, combined with the Vasari's failure to scout ahead far enough before invading TEC space, causes the Vasari to severely underestimate them, thinking that they are just another small, low-tech race to eradicate. The Vasari then attack a human system, and have to fight tooth and nail against cargo ships and merchant vessels retrofitted as warships, but finally take it. Then they look a little harder at the sector they've just invaded, and realize that one system they fought so hard to take was one of ''hundreds of thousands'' of human-controlled systems. [[OhCrap Whoops.]]

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* Both inverted (weapons turned into tools) and played straight in ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquer Command and Conquer 3]]'': ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberiumWars'': the GDI have sonic weapons and after the 2nd war they discover that sonics can destroy submerged tiberium so the technology is made into emitters to protect the cities. Years later when the Scrin are kicking GDI's ass someone figures out that their biology is heavily dependant on tiberium and promptly turn the emitters back into weapons which devastate the invading army.
* Somewhere between Tool Conversion and OpenTheDoorAndSeeAllThePeople with the TEC in ''SinsOfASolarEmpire''; ''VideoGame/SinsOfASolarEmpire''; while the TEC don't seem completely defenseless and are certainly not very peaceful, they are nowhere near as unified as the Vasari, and are of a far lower level of technology in many respects. This, combined with the Vasari's failure to scout ahead far enough before invading TEC space, causes the Vasari to severely underestimate them, thinking that they are just another small, low-tech race to eradicate. The Vasari then attack a human system, and have to fight tooth and nail against cargo ships and merchant vessels retrofitted as warships, but finally take it. Then they look a little harder at the sector they've just invaded, and realize that one system they fought so hard to take was one of ''hundreds of thousands'' of human-controlled systems. [[OhCrap Whoops.]]



* The eponymous Gears from HeavyGear began as general purpose heavy equipment for mining and construction in difficult terrain. Then somebody observed how badly tanks did in that same terrain and how much there was on the planet...

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* The eponymous Gears from HeavyGear ''TabletopGame/HeavyGear'' began as general purpose heavy equipment for mining and construction in difficult terrain. Then somebody observed how badly tanks did in that same terrain and how much there was on the planet...
17th Jul '16 4:01:52 PM Discar
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* In the premiere of ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'', the Lizards have been the underdogs in their conflict with the Thundercats for generations. When the Lizards launch another attack on Thundera, King Claudus is confident that he can beat them back just as he's done countless times in the past. Unfortunately for Thundera, a powerful OutsideContextVillain has conscripted the Lizards as his own personal army and armed them with LostTechnology such as missile-launching HumongousMecha. The entire kingdom goes down in ''one night''.

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* In the premiere of ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'', the Lizards have been the underdogs in their conflict with the Thundercats for generations. When the Lizards launch another attack on Thundera, King Claudus is confident that he can beat them back just as he's done countless times in the past. Unfortunately for Thundera, a powerful OutsideContextVillain OutsideContextProblem has conscripted the Lizards as his own personal army and armed them with LostTechnology such as missile-launching HumongousMecha. The entire kingdom goes down in ''one night''.
15th Jul '16 5:03:32 PM KamenRiderOokalf
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* Many people forget that the Blue Bomber himself, ''VideoGame/MegaMan'', was originally a household servant robot. When Wily decided to get all {{jerkass}} and take over the world, Rock was repurposed into a fighting robot. This, in itself, is not the superweapon surprise. That comes when Rock's Variable Tool System, designed to allow him to use any tool without needing new instructions or programming, is also redesigned into Mega Man's Variable Weapon System, allowing him to use any ''weapon'' without serious modification to his systems. So the household cleaning robot instead becomes a superweapon of destruction, capable of getting an ''infinite number of new weapons at any time''. Surprise!

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* Many people forget that the Blue Bomber himself, ''VideoGame/MegaMan'', ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic'', was originally a household servant robot. When Wily decided to get all {{jerkass}} and take over the world, Rock was repurposed into a fighting robot. This, in itself, is not the superweapon surprise. That comes when Rock's Variable Tool System, designed to allow him to use any tool without needing new instructions or programming, is also redesigned into Mega Man's Variable Weapon System, allowing him to use any ''weapon'' without serious modification to his systems. So the household cleaning robot instead becomes a superweapon of destruction, capable of getting an ''infinite number of new weapons at any time''. Surprise!
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.SuperWeaponSurprise