History Main / TheLawOfConservationOfDetail

25th Jul '16 6:46:38 AM Synch
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This trope has probably caused more EpilepticTrees than every other trope combined -- DyingDream notwithstanding, as people ''expect'' things to have a reason.

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This trope has probably caused more EpilepticTrees than every other trope combined -- DyingDream notwithstanding, as people ''expect'' things to have a reason.
reason. Conversely, issues that are not fully explored due to the constraints of this trope often make for good {{Deconstruction}} material later on.



See also ChekhovsGun, ChekhovsGunman. Contrast NamelessNarrative. Responsible for OneDegreeOfSeparation, AlwaysOnDuty, and EveryoneIsRelated. Often goes hand-in-hand with the AnthropicPrinciple where the characters are exactly where they need to be when they need to be in order to move the story forward. When writers deliberately take advantage of this trope to overwhelm and confuse audiences, see TheWalrusWasPaul. Combine this with RuleOfSymbolism, and you get EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory.

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See also ChekhovsGun, ChekhovsGunman. Contrast NamelessNarrative. Responsible for OneDegreeOfSeparation, AlwaysOnDuty, EveryoneIsRelated, and EveryoneIsRelated. sometimes WhatHappenedToTheMouse Often goes hand-in-hand with the AnthropicPrinciple where the characters are exactly where they need to be when they need to be in order to move the story forward. When writers deliberately take advantage of this trope to overwhelm and confuse audiences, see TheWalrusWasPaul. Combine this with RuleOfSymbolism, and you get EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory.
21st Jul '16 2:34:47 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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* If someone is invited to a banquet in ''RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'', then chances are that it's part of a plan to kill them. Most of the banquets without murderous intent go unmentioned, leaving [[GenreSavvy modern readers]] to wonder why anyone would be stupid enough to go to a banquet in the first place.

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* If someone is invited to a banquet in ''RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'', then chances are that it's part of a plan to kill them. Most of the banquets without murderous intent go unmentioned, leaving [[GenreSavvy modern readers]] readers to wonder why anyone would be stupid enough to go to a banquet in the first place.



* A very common mistake for new {{Game Master}}s who will vaguely describe a room, but go into minute detail about one feature of the room. All GenreSavvy players will immediately gravitate towards this item. This can also be [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy used]] [[PaintingTheMedium intentionally]], by only describing a certain part of, or item in the area, you can [[EnforcedMethodActing ensure that]] [[SchmuckBait everyone notices it]].

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* A very common mistake for new {{Game Master}}s who will vaguely describe a room, but go into minute detail about one feature of the room. All GenreSavvy players will immediately gravitate towards this item. This can also be [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy used]] used [[PaintingTheMedium intentionally]], by only describing a certain part of, or item in the area, you can [[EnforcedMethodActing ensure that]] [[SchmuckBait everyone notices it]].
16th Jul '16 12:23:23 PM nombretomado
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** In ''Persona 3 Portable'', the PSP rerelease of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'', a random faceless character was added in the game's bar/night club. He makes some pretty ominous statements throughout the game, but the last thing he says near the end of the game is followed by a portrait. This leads fans to believe that due to the Law of Conservation of Detail, he is important. Turns out he's a character named Vincent, protagonist of an Atlus psychological horror game titled ''{{Catherine}}''.

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** In ''Persona 3 Portable'', the PSP rerelease of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'', a random faceless character was added in the game's bar/night club. He makes some pretty ominous statements throughout the game, but the last thing he says near the end of the game is followed by a portrait. This leads fans to believe that due to the Law of Conservation of Detail, he is important. Turns out he's a character named Vincent, protagonist of an Atlus psychological horror game titled ''{{Catherine}}''.''VideoGame/{{Catherine}}''.
26th Jun '16 8:36:26 PM nombretomado
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* TheDresdenFiles GOOD GOD! Every trope on ThisIndexWillBeImportantLater appears in the later books. And each time it is fully fleshed out.

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* TheDresdenFiles ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', GOOD GOD! Every trope on ThisIndexWillBeImportantLater appears in the later books. And each time it is fully fleshed out.
15th Jun '16 1:20:27 PM bwburke94
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* Subverted with ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' and their remakes. There's a [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Truck#Rumors one-of-a-kind truck in the game]] (vehicles aren't seen anywhere else in the game since the preferred methods of travel are walking and flying or surfing on Pokémon) that can only be seen under very specific conditions at a certain point in the game before being LostForever (although there are ways to return to it later in the game); a very high percentage of players would not see it while playing through the game. Endless rumors were spouted about the truck, such as finding a Mew there, etc.; however, the truck actually had no real significance at all. The rest of the series just follow this trope in every possible way. Another subversion in Kanto is the building foundation in Vermillion City (the same area as the truck, coincidently), where a man is having his Machop "stop the land flat" in preparation for building. It appears in version of Kanto in the series, and the building has still never been finished.

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* Subverted with ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' and their remakes. There's a [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Truck#Rumors one-of-a-kind truck in the game]] (vehicles aren't seen anywhere else in the game since the preferred methods of travel are walking and flying or surfing on Pokémon) that can only be seen under very specific conditions at a certain point in the game before being LostForever (although there are ways to return to it later in the game); a very high percentage of players would not see it while playing through the game. Endless rumors were spouted about the truck, such as finding a Mew there, etc.; however, the truck actually had no real significance at all. The rest of the series just follow this trope in every possible way. Another subversion in Kanto is the building foundation in Vermillion Vermilion City (the same area as the truck, coincidently), coincidentally), where a man is having his Machop "stop the land flat" in preparation for building. It appears in every version of Kanto in the series, and the building has still never been finished.



* Similarily in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' there is but one room in the entire game that is ''entirely'' useless. In the Armory South (near where you fight Ocelot) there is a LV. 4 door that contains three gun cameras and no items. The ''entire'' reason it exists is to have a diesel generator in it, which [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything a character mentioned way back near the beginning of the game was the reason the base had air vents big enough to crawl through]].

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* Similarily in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' there is but one room in the entire game that is ''entirely'' useless. In the Armory South (near where you fight Ocelot) there is a LV. 4 door that contains three gun cameras and no items. The ''entire'' reason it exists is to have a diesel generator in it, which [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything [[ChekhovsGun a character mentioned way back near the beginning of the game was the reason the base had air vents big enough to crawl through]].



* ''{{Suikoden}}''

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* ''{{Suikoden}}''''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}''



** Subverted in ''SuikodenII'', however. There's a character with a portrait and a name (Ellie) that is neither a Star nor important to the story at all. She exists for one reason: In the quest that's unlocked if you load ''SuikodenI'' data at the start of the game, [[spoiler:Tir [=McDohl=] joins your party while Gremio occupies a Convoy space. However, if you failed to resurrect Gremio in the S1 file you loaded, he'll be dead in this game, and Eilie will take his place in the plot, occupying the convoy and speaking his lines instead]].

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** Subverted in ''SuikodenII'', ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'', however. There's a character with a portrait and a name (Ellie) that is neither a Star nor important to the story at all. She exists for one reason: In the quest that's unlocked if you load ''SuikodenI'' data at the start of the game, [[spoiler:Tir [=McDohl=] joins your party while Gremio occupies a Convoy space. However, if you failed to resurrect Gremio in the S1 file you loaded, he'll be dead in this game, and Eilie will take his place in the plot, occupying the convoy and speaking his lines instead]].
4th Jun '16 7:53:25 PM BigKlingy
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* Subverted with ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' and their remakes. There's a [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Truck#Rumors one-of-a-kind truck in the game]] (vehicles aren't seen anywhere else in the game since the preferred methods of travel are walking and flying or surfing on Pokémon) that can only be seen under very specific conditions at a certain point in the game before being LostForever (although there are ways to return to it later in the game); a very high percentage of players would not see it while playing through the game. Endless rumors were spouted about the truck, such as finding a Mew there, etc.; however, the truck actually had no real significance at all. The rest of the series just follow this trope in every possible way.

to:

* Subverted with ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' and their remakes. There's a [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Truck#Rumors one-of-a-kind truck in the game]] (vehicles aren't seen anywhere else in the game since the preferred methods of travel are walking and flying or surfing on Pokémon) that can only be seen under very specific conditions at a certain point in the game before being LostForever (although there are ways to return to it later in the game); a very high percentage of players would not see it while playing through the game. Endless rumors were spouted about the truck, such as finding a Mew there, etc.; however, the truck actually had no real significance at all. The rest of the series just follow this trope in every possible way. Another subversion in Kanto is the building foundation in Vermillion City (the same area as the truck, coincidently), where a man is having his Machop "stop the land flat" in preparation for building. It appears in version of Kanto in the series, and the building has still never been finished.
26th May '16 4:27:03 AM MrThorfan64
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* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' [[ZigZaggedTrope Zig Zags]] this so much it can make readers' heads spin. Westeros is [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters a very, very big kingdom in an even bigger world]], and almost from the start we're given a whole mess of names belonging to people, organizations, families, deities, stories and locations, such that any first-time reader without a photographic memory or a notebook will be hard-pressed to remember who's who, even with the [[AllThereInTheManual convenient appendix]] in the back. In addition, the multiple POV characters and the people around them have many distinct priorities and focuses; the characters in the first book alone have concerns that range from [[ConspiracyTheorist national]] (or even [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt worldwide]]) security to [[WrongGenreSavvy whether they'll get to attend an extravagant tournament]]. This enables the characters (read: the author) to slip all kinds of relevant information to and past each other (read: the reader) without them realizing it until it's too late. After all, with [[NeedleInAStackOfNeedles so much information]], [[ChekhovsArmoury anything can turn out to be relevant]] [[{{Foreshadowing}} when the crucial details]] [[RedHerring are mixed so neatly with the worldbuilding]].

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* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' [[ZigZaggedTrope Zig Zags]] this so much it can make readers' heads spin. Westeros is [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters a very, very big kingdom in an even bigger world]], and almost from the start we're given a whole mess of names belonging to people, organizations, families, deities, stories and locations, such that any first-time reader without a photographic memory or a notebook will be hard-pressed to remember who's who, even with the [[AllThereInTheManual convenient appendix]] in the back. In addition, the multiple POV characters and the people around them have many distinct priorities and focuses; the characters in the first book alone have concerns that range from [[ConspiracyTheorist national]] (or even [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt worldwide]]) security to [[WrongGenreSavvy whether they'll get to attend an extravagant tournament]]. This enables the characters (read: the author) to slip all kinds of relevant information to and past each other (read: the reader) without them realizing it until it's too late. After all, with [[NeedleInAStackOfNeedles so much information]], [[ChekhovsArmoury anything can turn out to be relevant]] [[{{Foreshadowing}} relevant]][[{{Foreshadowing}} when the crucial details]] [[RedHerring are mixed so neatly with the worldbuilding]]. Even characters that had previously only appeared in the Appendixes can turn out to be important.
** For example, [[spoiler:Jon Connington is an exiled lord mentioned in passing as having drunk himself to death. He later turns to be alive, becomes a POV character, and leads an attack to put a HiddenBackupPrince, Aegon Targaryen, who was believed to have died 15 years before the books began on the throne.]]
** Even the History of the world is important, such as figures in "The Tales of Dunk and Egg" and "The World of Ice and Fire". The Blackfyres are a cadet Targaryen branch who tried to usurp the throne several times. They feature prominently in the history and are a significant threat in Dunk and Egg, along with being mentioned a few times in the main series, but are believed extinct. [[spoiler:It is not yet confirmed but it is widely believed the boy believed to be Aegon is really descended from the Blackfyres, hence why the Golden Company is supporting him, Illyrio Mopatis tellingly says the Blackfyres are extinct in the male line.]]
21st May '16 2:46:17 PM Tamfang
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* The end of the first episode of "Series/PrettyLittleLiars takes time to show every main cast member leaving Alison's Funeral, except for [[spoiler:Mona]]. The A tag at the end then shows A staying behind at the funeral.

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* The end of the first episode of "Series/PrettyLittleLiars ''Series/PrettyLittleLiars'' takes time to show every main cast member leaving Alison's Funeral, except for [[spoiler:Mona]]. The A tag at the end then shows A staying behind at the funeral.



* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' did the opposite and focused on silly things(like the parking spots mentioned above), yet it was still funny. ''Curb Your Enthusiasm'' after it, however, was completely made up of small details and barely had anything else, which is why it is awesome.

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* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' did the opposite and focused on silly things(like things (like the parking spots mentioned above), yet it was still funny. ''Curb Your Enthusiasm'' after it, however, was completely made up of small details and barely had anything else, which is why it is awesome.
20th May '16 8:06:16 AM TheOneWhoTropes
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* Inverted in ''YuYuHakusho'' when Kurama and Hiei are introduced. They, along with another youkai, get into trouble with Spirit World, who only seems to have data on the one with the least relevance to the series as a whole.

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* Inverted in ''YuYuHakusho'' ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' when Kurama and Hiei are introduced. They, along with another youkai, get into trouble with Spirit World, who only seems to have data on the one with the least relevance to the series as a whole.
14th May '16 1:53:18 PM nighttrainfm
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* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' is rife with pleasant background detail, but Rowling very carefully seeds important plotline clues into trivial mentions. Hagrid got a flying motorbike from "young Sirius Black" in chapter one of book one; in book three, Sirius Black becomes an important part of the plot. Other worldbuilding items, like "goblin wars" mentioned in history books, or the idea that Hogwarts itself will give help to those who need it, tend to come back in a big way later on.

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* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** The series
is rife with pleasant background detail, but Rowling very carefully seeds important plotline clues into trivial mentions. Hagrid got a flying motorbike from "young Sirius Black" in chapter one of book one; in book three, Sirius Black becomes an important part of the plot. Other worldbuilding items, like "goblin wars" mentioned in history books, or the idea that Hogwarts itself will give help to those who need it, tend to come back in a big way later on.on.
** Hilariously subverted with the offscreen Mark Evans, whose surname is also Harry's mum's maiden name. Long-lost relative? Nope, Rowling just needed a common surname for someone Dudley had beaten up and didn't realize until the fans did. She later issued a tongue-in-cheek apology.
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