History Main / TheLawofConservationofDetail

14th Jan '17 11:41:37 AM LBHills
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* ''Literature/ThursdayNext'' - In Jasper Fforde's ''Something Rotten'', Thursday is showing Hamlet around the "real world" when she is almost injured/killed by a random accident. She explains to him that, while in the Book World (fiction), this would certainly turn out to be an important clue to something later on, in the real world, such events are meaningless. Because ''Something Rotten'' is fictional, it does turn out to be an important clue to something later on.

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* Played with in the ''Literature/ThursdayNext'' - series. All works of 'fiction' exist in AnotherDimension: a world grounded in Conservation of Detail. Fictional characters who enter the real world sometimes suffer sensory overload, because all their senses are ''continuously'' registering details. Reality addiction is not unheard of.
**
In Jasper Fforde's ''Something Rotten'', Thursday is showing Hamlet around the "real world" when she is almost injured/killed by a random accident. She explains to him that, while in the Book World (fiction), this would certainly turn out to be an important clue to something later on, in the real world, such events are meaningless. Because ''Something Rotten'' is fictional, it does turn out to be an important clue to something later on.



* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' recommends that {{Game Master}}s occasionally roll the dice for no reason other than making the players nervous.

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* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' recommends that {{Game Master}}s occasionally roll the dice for no reason other than making the players nervous. It's a detail: it must be important!
14th Jan '17 11:30:54 AM LBHills
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This is an OmnipresentTrope. It is rare for an author to devote a thirty page chapter of a book describing a character's entire wardrobe of clothing unless said wardrobe provides great insight into a character or is being used as a metaphor for the human condition. A theater company is going to spend much more time working on the costumes of the lead characters than the costumes of those who only appear in a single scene -- unless that single appearance needs to be emphasized as being ''extremely'' significant. In short, there is a fine line between good WorldBuilding, and rambling on about pointless crap -- conservation of detail is all about filtering out irrelevant information to highlight the actual plot or interesting aspects of the setting.

Conservation of detail tends to be particularly pronounced in a "compressed" medium like a weekly television show (with episodes contained in 30 or 60 minute timeslots). How come people on TV always find a [[RockstarParking parking spot]] right outside their destination? Why [[TravellingAtTheSpeedOfPlot aren't people shown actually traveling]] between destinations? Why do high school classes never seem to last more than three on-air minutes? This is why.

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This is an OmnipresentTrope. It is rare for an author to devote a thirty page chapter of a book describing a character's entire wardrobe of clothing unless said wardrobe provides great insight into a character or is being used as a metaphor for the human condition. A theater company is going to spend much more time working on the costumes of the lead characters than the costumes of those who only appear in a single scene -- unless that single appearance needs to be emphasized as being ''extremely'' significant. In short, there There is a fine line between good WorldBuilding, and rambling on about pointless crap -- conservation of detail is all about filtering out irrelevant information to highlight the actual plot or interesting aspects of the setting.

Conservation
setting. It is rare for an author to devote thirty pages of description to a character's choice of clothing, unless those choices provide great insight into a character or are being used as a metaphor for the human condition.

When a medium has less time to tell a complet estory, conservation
of detail tends to be particularly pronounced in a "compressed" medium like a weekly television pronounced. A TV show (with episodes contained 25 or 50 minutes to complete a story) spends less time on details than a movie, which in 30 or 60 minute timeslots).turn has to provide fewer details than a comic book, and so on. How come people on TV always find a [[RockstarParking parking spot]] right outside their destination? Why [[TravellingAtTheSpeedOfPlot aren't people shown actually traveling]] between destinations? Why do high school classes never seem to last more than three on-air minutes? This is why.



See also ChekhovsGun, ChekhovsGunman. Contrast NamelessNarrative. Responsible for OneDegreeOfSeparation, AlwaysOnDuty, EveryoneIsRelated, and 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.

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See also ChekhovsGun, ChekhovsGunman. Contrast NamelessNarrative. Responsible for OneDegreeOfSeparation, AlwaysOnDuty, EveryoneIsRelated, and sometimes WhatHappenedToTheMouse Often goes hand-in-hand with the AnthropicPrinciple where WhatHappenedToTheMouse. When the characters are exactly where they need to be be, when they need to be be, in order to move the story forward.forward, it's a collaboration between Conservation of Detail and the AnthropicPrinciple. When writers deliberately take advantage of this trope to overwhelm and confuse audiences, see TheWalrusWasPaul. Combine this with RuleOfSymbolism, and you get EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory.
2nd Dec '16 6:56:14 AM ashlay
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Added DiffLines:

* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'': Most seemingly minor characters and scenes play into the overarching plot or one of the other character's backstories
** The drunken molester who got you convicted of assault? [[spoiler:He's the leader of the conspiracy.]]
** That stupid conversation about how the TV station building is shaped like a pancake? [[spoiler:Eventually allows Morgana and the Protagonist to deduce Goro Akechi is the traitor.]]
** That blue ButterflyOfDeathAndRebirth that keeps showing up? [[spoiler:It's Caroline and Justine's real personality, trying to help you expose the GreaterScopeVillain.]]
30th Nov '16 8:44:55 PM X2X
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On ''Series/ThePajanimals'', the Pajanimals don't appear to have teeth except when they brush them.

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* On ''Series/ThePajanimals'', the Pajanimals don't appear to have teeth except when they brush them.



* The entire ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series does this. Every piece of evidence - besides the lawyer's badge, etc. - is used in most episodes.
** Similarly: profiles in ''Justice for All'' and ''Trials & Tribulations'', a notable case in the latter being the one time in the entire series when the character you're currently playing shows up in the profiles screen. Of course you're bound to present it at some point. The lawyer's badge gets used once or twice outside of the courtroom. You even had to present the screwdriver, which had importance exactly because it has ''no importance at all'', which throws suspicion on the suspect's reasoning for having Edgeworth personally pick it up in the first place.
** A 'unique' one happens in ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth''. In Case 5, 'Turnabout Ablaze', which is the last and LONGEST case, Edgeworth tidies his evidence several times, removing used and useless evidence. [[InterfaceSpoiler And so you know 'Samurai Dogs' are going to be used at some point because it survived the first two 'evidence-sortings'.]]

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* The entire ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series does this. Every piece of evidence - -- besides the lawyer's badge, etc. - -- is used in most episodes.
** Similarly: profiles Profiles in ''Justice for All'' and ''Trials & Tribulations'', a notable case in the latter being the one time in the entire series when the character you're currently playing shows up in the profiles screen. Of course you're bound to present it at some point. The lawyer's badge gets used once or twice outside of the courtroom. You even had to present the screwdriver, which had importance exactly because it has ''no importance at all'', which throws suspicion on the suspect's reasoning for having Edgeworth personally pick it up in the first place.
** A 'unique' "unique" one happens in ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth''. In Case 5, 'Turnabout Ablaze', "Turnabout Ablaze," which is the last and LONGEST case, Edgeworth tidies his evidence several times, removing used and useless evidence. [[InterfaceSpoiler And so you know 'Samurai Dogs' "Samurai Dogs" are going to be used at some point because it survived the first two 'evidence-sortings'.]]"evidence-sortings."]]



** ''VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'' mission "Deep Strike" is set in an area with a ravine leading from the target area back to the RTB line. After splashing the targets, you get notice that Stonehenge is firing your way and have to take your plane below 2000 feet in order to make it out of the area. The only way to do that? Why, the ravine. It also shows up in the "Megalith" mission. Those other missiles within reach aren't just for show. Another cue is in the briefing: if you pay attention to the map, you'll see that the mission site is in Stonehenge's range.
** ''VideoGame/AceCombatXSkiesOfDeception'' is also in love with this. It's particularly obvious after you play both halves - or, in one case, all three thirds - of a RemixedLevel. Most of them.

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** ''VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'' mission "Deep Strike" is set in an area with a ravine leading from the target area back to the RTB line. After splashing the targets, you get notice that Stonehenge is firing your way and have to take your plane below 2000 feet in order to make it out of the area. The only way to do that? Why, the ravine. (This scenario is later reused in the ''VideoGame/AceCombatInfinity'' mission "Rescue," serving as one of many [[WholePlotReference deliberate narrative parallels]].) It also shows up in the "Megalith" mission. Those other missiles within reach aren't just for show. Another cue is in the briefing: if If you pay attention to the map, you'll see that the mission site is in Stonehenge's range.
** ''VideoGame/AceCombatXSkiesOfDeception'' is also in love with this. It's particularly obvious after you play both halves - -- or, in one case, all three thirds - -- of a RemixedLevel. Most of them.



* Played with in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaAriaOfSorrow'', where there are a good number of rooms in the castle that feature a regular enemy that can be found in other places, and with no powerups or unique drops or secrets. One room contains a Killer Fish, out of water, helplessly laying on it's back. They're not entirely useless as they're intended to be a free spot to farm a soul the developers knew would come in handy for the area (the Killer Fish soul, for example, is ''extremely'' helpful in that area of the castle) but aren't entirely necessary either as you can very easily find said souls elsewhere.

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* Played with in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaAriaOfSorrow'', ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow]]'', where there are a good number of rooms in the castle that feature a regular enemy that can be found in other places, and with no powerups or unique drops or secrets. One room contains a Killer Fish, out of water, helplessly laying on it's back. They're not entirely useless as they're intended to be a free spot to farm a soul the developers knew would come in handy for the area (the Killer Fish soul, for example, is ''extremely'' helpful in that area of the castle) but aren't entirely necessary either as you can very easily find said souls elsewhere.



* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{DreamWeb}}'' - there's plenty of items you can take, but the most of them are useless, and would just clutter your inventory. (things like plates, cups, lighters, and so on).
* Averted somewhat in ''VideoGame/{{EarthBound}}'' due to useless items like the Protractor and Ruler. Some [=NPCs=] don't say anything useful, but are there to add witty lines. Finally, there are plenty of food items that are usable, but impractical by the time you reach them. Sure, eating a hamburger in combat (effectively instantly, and with no chance of indigestion!) is funny, but PSI powers are generally far more practical.

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* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{DreamWeb}}'' - there's ''VideoGame/{{DreamWeb}}''. There's plenty of items you can take, but the most of them are useless, and would just clutter your inventory. (things like plates, cups, lighters, and so on).
* Averted somewhat in ''VideoGame/{{EarthBound}}'' ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' due to useless items like the Protractor and Ruler. Some [=NPCs=] don't say anything useful, but are there to add witty lines. Finally, there are plenty of food items that are usable, but impractical by the time you reach them. Sure, eating a hamburger in combat (effectively instantly, and with no chance of indigestion!) is funny, but PSI powers are generally far more practical.



** The infamous '1/35 Soldier' items in VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII ("Collect all 12!") were hard to find more than a handful of and had no function (also the 'Custom Sweeper'). In a game famous for its confusing translations, these may have been supposed to be actual toys in-universe.

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** The infamous '1/35 Soldier' "1/35 Soldier" items in VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' ("Collect all 12!") were hard to find more than a handful of and had no function (also the 'Custom Sweeper'). In a game famous for its confusing translations, these may have been supposed to be actual toys in-universe.



* In ''Franchise/FireEmblem'', almost all enemy or NPC with unique sprites and more then a few lines of dialogue is either a boss or recruitable. Which is understandable, considering how many enemies you end up facing.
** Averted whenever Anna pops up, as she's just a RunningGag. Subverted in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', where she pops up as a merchant. You then get a sidequest where she helps a village. Unlike other NPC characters, she has a unique model, color scheme, and voice not only in her lines but going so far as to have quotes for critical hits and [[SuperMovePortraitAttack a picture as well.]] This points to her being playable, even getting the option for your lord to talk to her if he moves next to her, but absolutely nothing will recruit her. [[spoiler: If she survives, you get another sidequest where she pops up again, and this time IS recruitable. Then she explains that [[InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals there are multiple Annas and that you've never met her before]].]]
** The one aversion in the series is Heimler, a Paladin who, despite getting his own portrait, has no dialogue or importance and is just a normal enemy.

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* In ''Franchise/FireEmblem'', almost all enemy units or NPC [=NPCs=] with unique sprites and more then a few lines of dialogue is either a boss or recruitable. Which is understandable, considering how many enemies you end up facing.
** Averted whenever Anna pops up, as she's just a RunningGag. Subverted in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', where she pops up as a merchant. You then get a sidequest where she helps a village. Unlike other NPC characters, she has a unique model, color scheme, and voice not only in her lines but going so far as to have quotes for critical hits and [[SuperMovePortraitAttack a picture as well.]] well]]. This points to her being playable, even getting the option for your lord to talk to her if he moves next to her, but absolutely nothing will recruit her. [[spoiler: If [[spoiler:If she survives, you get another sidequest where she pops up again, and this time IS recruitable. Then she explains that [[InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals there are multiple Annas and that you've never met her before]].]]
*** This continues with ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemFates Fates]]'', where Anna shows up as the person in charge of the [[DownloadableContent Dragon's Gate]] and also gives out one-time gifts in two different free-of-charge DLC chapters, but does not join your party. Instead, [[spoiler:there is a separate Xenologue, Anna on the Run, where she pops up again. It is essentially identical to the aforementioned Anna the Merchant Paralogue from ''Awakening'', only Anna must survive in order to be recruited. Like before, this is yet another Anna, distinct from the ones seen previously]].
** The one aversion in the series is Heimler, [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Heimler]], a Paladin who, despite getting his own portrait, has no dialogue or importance and is just a normal enemy.



* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'', the dirt bike seemed to be an incredibly useless bike: not as fast as the speed bikes, not as cool-looking as the choppers, not as cool-sounding as any of the bikes. But, provided you choose the right storyline, Niko uses a dirt bike to chase [[spoiler: Pegorino]] in a helicopter. (Needless to say, the dirt bike also enables a CrowningMomentOfAwesome).

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* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'', the dirt bike seemed to be an incredibly useless bike: not as fast as the speed bikes, not as cool-looking as the choppers, not as cool-sounding as any of the bikes. But, provided you choose the right storyline, Niko uses a dirt bike to chase [[spoiler: Pegorino]] [[spoiler:Pegorino]] in a helicopter. (Needless to say, the dirt bike also enables a CrowningMomentOfAwesome).[[SugarWiki/AwesomeMoments Crowning Moment of Awesome]]).



* Subverted in ''[[VideoGame/MegaManZX Mega Man ZX Advent]]'' due to its attempts to avert YouAllLookFamiliar, where everyone you meet has different designs and personalities, except for the guys in uniform, who still act different. In other words, trying to rely on this trope to see who is important is completely pointless for this game. Though, as in all Mega Man games, the only ultimately really important ones are the robot animals/things actively shooting you.
** The ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' series is a strong example. Since there seem to be OnlySixFaces used for all the generic [=NPCs=] ever, anyone with a unique sprite is bound to have a [=NetNavi=] that you will eventually fight [[DefeatEqualsFriendship and/or]] befriend. It is particularly noticeable in Battle Network 5, since you are in the process of building an anti-terrorism task force; if you're told to be on the lookout for a new member, expect the very next place you enter to have an NPC with a unique sprite, and expect that exact same member to be the operator of the next Navi to join your team.

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* Subverted in ''[[VideoGame/MegaManZX Mega Man ZX Advent]]'' ''VideoGame/MegaManZX Advent'' due to its attempts to avert YouAllLookFamiliar, where everyone you meet has different designs and personalities, except for the guys in uniform, who still act different. In other words, trying to rely on this trope to see who is important is completely pointless for this game. Though, as in all Mega Man ''Franchise/MegaMan'' games, the only ultimately really important ones are the robot animals/things actively shooting you.
** The ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' series is a strong example. Since there seem to be OnlySixFaces used for all the generic [=NPCs=] ever, anyone with a unique sprite is bound to have a [=NetNavi=] that you will eventually fight [[DefeatEqualsFriendship and/or]] befriend. It is particularly noticeable in Battle ''Battle Network 5, 5'', since you are in the process of building an anti-terrorism task force; if you're told to be on the lookout for a new member, expect the very next place you enter to have an NPC with a unique sprite, and expect that exact same member to be the operator of the next Navi to join your team.



* ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'':

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* ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'':''Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona'':



* 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 [[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]].

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* Similarily Similarly, 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 [[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]].through]].
* Avoided in ''Franchise/MetalGear'', ''VisualNovel/{{Snatcher}}'', ''VisualNovel/{{Policenauts}}'' and anything Creator/HideoKojima does, because of his ''obsessive-compulsive insanity''. He cannot stand to ''not'' worldbuild. The only people who care about the incredibly elaborate [[DeusAngstMachina tragic backstories]], sex lives and namedropping pertaining to characters who show up once and then die -- and the endless infodumps about guns and items and nuclear weapons and the future and useless metagame trivia -- are going to be fanfiction writers. For the most part, backstory events will be mentioned inconsequentially to add a little flavour to a character.\\
\\
For example, Hideo Kojima designed every desk in the first ''Metal Gear Solid'' separately. Every single desk! You have to respect a man who puts in that much work. And at least in ''MGS'' Kojima-san was nice enough to let players skip all that and go right to the neck-snapping if they want.



** In ''Suikoden'' you can tell in the games who is one of the [[OneHundredAndEight 108 Stars]]: If they have a portrait and a name, they're a Star (or a villian, but [[DefeatMeansFriendship those are often the same thing]]).
** Subverted in ''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]].

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** In ''Suikoden'' ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden|I}}'' you can tell in the games who is one of the [[OneHundredAndEight 108 Stars]]: If they have a portrait and a name, they're a Star (or a villian, villain, but [[DefeatMeansFriendship those are often the same thing]]).
** Subverted in ''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'' ''Suikoden I'' 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 ''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]].



** Also the whole point of the 'Prop Hunt' mode, which is Hide and Go Seek [[IncendiaryExponent with fire]]. One team of Scouts is disguised as a collection of world items and must remain HiddenInPlainSight against a team of Pyros who must hunt them down with flamethrowers. The challenge is that Pyros lose health when using their weapons, and must avoid dying while discerning which of the numerous highly detailed, cartoony objects on the map are decoys to be ignored and which are Scouts [[KillItWithFire to be ignited]]. Certain Prophunt maps even intentionally clip two pieces of scenery together just to make it look like a bad attempt at hiding.
* {{Lampshaded}} in ''[[Franchise/DotHack .hack//]]''. Several characters wonder why the graphics in the Hulle Granz Cathedral are so gorgeous when there's absolutely ''nothing'' there. Adding to the confusion is the fact that it's stated multiple times that private chats don't work there, leading to speculation about being unable to hide secrets from god. The Cathedral is in fact one of the most important areas in the entire ''franchise'' (every single story has something important happen there), but within the context of the GameWithinAGame, there really isn't anything there.
** There IS an explanation in universe. It's part of a special area that was partly dummied out during the transition from Fragment (the game's beta version). It was probably too closely tied to the black box that is the Aura system for CC corp to remove it from the game. A specific item or spell could at one point be used to dispel the mists revealing the "Twilight Eye" and dried up lake bed, that in Fragment, was full. This ALSO adds more to the bridge revealing a red tinted Chaos gate, which normally only appear in Root Towns. By the time of the .hack games quadrillogy, the ablity to reveal this is also dummied.
** By the time of The [[DotHackGU World R:2]], it's one of many similar areas that have cropped up, known as Lost Grounds. They have official stories in the game's backstory as to their existence but again, there's nothing there and only serve to look pretty in-universe despite many story events happening there. (A few are repurposed as event areas though)
* Avoided in ''Franchise/MetalGear'', ''VisualNovel/{{Snatcher}}'', ''VisualNovel/{{Policenauts}}'' and anything HideoKojima does, because of his ''obsessive-compulsive insanity''. He cannot stand to ''not'' worldbuild. The only people who care about the incredibly elaborate [[DeusAngstMachina tragic backstories]], sex lives and namedropping pertaining to characters who show up once and then die - and the endless infodumps about guns and items and nuclear weapons and the future and useless metagame trivia - are going to be fanfiction writers. For the most part, backstory events will be mentioned inconsequentially to add a little flavour to a character.\\
\\
For example, Hideo Kojima designed every desk in the first Metal Gear Solid separately. Every single desk! You have to respect a man who puts in that much work. And at least in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' Kojima-san was nice enough to let players skip all that and go right to the neck-snapping if they want.
* Many an UrbanLegendOfZelda was started thanks to this trope. Back in the day, when more rudimentary technology meant a much stricter enforcement of this, people took it for granted that only the important stuff would get detailed. So as technology got better and developers started averting this trope for the sake of providing a richer gaming world, gamers payed attention to neat but nonessential details (e.g. the Mario character portraits seen through a window in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'') and thought that they had some greater significance.

to:

** Also the whole point of the 'Prop Hunt' "Prop Hunt" mode, which is Hide and Go Seek [[IncendiaryExponent with fire]]. One team of Scouts is disguised as a collection of world items and must remain HiddenInPlainSight against a team of Pyros who must hunt them down with flamethrowers. The challenge is that Pyros lose health when using their weapons, and must avoid dying while discerning which of the numerous highly detailed, cartoony objects on the map are decoys to be ignored and which are Scouts [[KillItWithFire to be ignited]]. Certain Prophunt maps even intentionally clip two pieces of scenery together just to make it look like a bad attempt at hiding.
* {{Lampshaded}} {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''[[Franchise/DotHack .hack//]]''. Several characters wonder why the graphics in the Hulle Hülle Granz Cathedral are so gorgeous when there's absolutely ''nothing'' there. Adding to the confusion is the fact that it's stated multiple times that private chats don't work there, leading to speculation about being unable to hide secrets from god. The Cathedral is is, in fact fact, one of the most important areas in the entire ''franchise'' (every single story has something important happen there), but within the context of the GameWithinAGame, there really isn't anything there.
** There IS an explanation in universe. It's part of a special area that was partly dummied out during the transition from Fragment (the game's beta version). It was probably too closely tied to the black box that is the Aura system for CC corp Corp to remove it from the game. A specific item or spell could at one point be used to dispel the mists revealing the "Twilight Eye" and dried up lake bed, that in Fragment, was full. This ALSO adds more to the bridge revealing a red tinted red-tinted Chaos gate, Gate, which normally only appear in Root Towns. By the time of the .hack games quadrillogy, the ablity ''[[VideoGame/DotHackR1Games .hack//]]'' [[VideoGame/DotHackR1Games tetralogy]], the ability to reveal this is also dummied.dummied out.
** By the time of [[VideoGame/DotHackGU The [[DotHackGU World R:2]], it's one of many similar areas that have cropped up, known as Lost Grounds. They have official stories in the game's backstory as to their existence but again, there's nothing there and only serve to look pretty in-universe despite many story events happening there. (A few are repurposed as event areas though)
* Avoided in ''Franchise/MetalGear'', ''VisualNovel/{{Snatcher}}'', ''VisualNovel/{{Policenauts}}'' and anything HideoKojima does, because of his ''obsessive-compulsive insanity''. He cannot stand to ''not'' worldbuild. The only people who care about the incredibly elaborate [[DeusAngstMachina tragic backstories]], sex lives and namedropping pertaining to characters who show up once and then die - and the endless infodumps about guns and items and nuclear weapons and the future and useless metagame trivia - are going to be fanfiction writers. For the most part, backstory events will be mentioned inconsequentially to add a little flavour to a character.\\
\\
For example, Hideo Kojima designed every desk in the first Metal Gear Solid separately. Every single desk! You have to respect a man who puts in that much work. And at least in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' Kojima-san was nice enough to let players skip all that and go right to the neck-snapping if they want.
areas, though.)
* Many an UrbanLegendOfZelda was started thanks to this trope. Back in the day, when more rudimentary technology meant a much stricter enforcement of this, people took it for granted that only the important stuff would get detailed. So as technology got better and developers started averting this trope for the sake of providing a richer gaming world, gamers payed attention to neat but nonessential details (e.g. the Mario [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] character portraits seen through a window in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'') and thought that they had some greater significance.



* One Sega CD role playing game would say things like "Who would talk to a cow" if you talked to the cow, as all role players will do. Also mentioned "Wow the guards and castle are laid out exactly the same in this castle as they were in the last one. Maybe that is to show how the two kingdoms are very closely tied, or maybe the programmers were just lazy."

to:

* One Sega CD role playing role-playing game would say things like "Who would talk to a cow" if you talked to the cow, as all role players will do. Also mentioned "Wow the guards and castle are laid out exactly the same in this castle as they were in the last one. Maybe that is to show how the two kingdoms are very closely tied, or maybe the programmers were just lazy."
17th Nov '16 1:05:38 AM LadyNorbert
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Conservation of detail tends to be particularly pronounced in a "compressed" medium like a weekly television show (with episodes contained in 30 or 60 minute timeslots) How come people on TV always find a [[RockstarParking parking spot]] right outside their destination? Why [[TravellingAtTheSpeedOfPlot aren't people shown actually traveling]] between destinations? Why do high school classes never seem to last more than three on-air minutes? This is why.

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Conservation of detail tends to be particularly pronounced in a "compressed" medium like a weekly television show (with episodes contained in 30 or 60 minute timeslots) timeslots). How come people on TV always find a [[RockstarParking parking spot]] right outside their destination? Why [[TravellingAtTheSpeedOfPlot aren't people shown actually traveling]] between destinations? Why do high school classes never seem to last more than three on-air minutes? This is why.



* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' plays this straight, mostly. Every teeny tiny detail, including ones that you've missed may well be significant, but... the author has cheerfully admitted that the difference between 'hint' and 'red herring' largely depends on his mood, he's prone to adding/tweaking things and very occasionally forgets things entirely.

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* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' plays this straight, mostly. Every teeny tiny detail, including ones that you've missed may well be significant, but... the author has cheerfully admitted that the difference between 'hint' and 'red herring' largely depends on his mood, mood; he's prone to adding/tweaking things and very occasionally forgets things entirely.entirely.
* A lot of seemingly unimportant details from the earliest parts of the [[Fanfic/{{Cinderjuice}} Contractually Obligated Chaos]] series become more significant as the series continues; it's particularly true of the second story, as the first was intended to be a stand-alone. It crosses into DominoRevelation territory when the Fairy Godfather reveals that many of these details, along with details from the [[WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}} source material]], factor into his thought process regarding TheProphecy.



** Done using singing of all things to foreshadow the villain. How do you show [[spoiler: Prince Hans]] is not who they appear to be? [[spoiler: Have them sing a romantic duet about how much they love and are in sync with someone, but have them do things like come in late on their part or clearly not anticipate what the other is about to say or what movement they're about to make. This from ''Disney'' who will go the extra mile for perfect singing and in an animated film, where every movement is intentional]] That's right, [[spoiler: the love song being imperfect]] was foreshadowing.

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** Done using singing singing, of all things things, to foreshadow the villain. How do you show [[spoiler: Prince Hans]] is not who they appear to be? [[spoiler: Have them sing a romantic duet about how much they love and are in sync with someone, but have them do things like come in late on their part or clearly not anticipate what the other is about to say or what movement they're about to make. This from ''Disney'' ''Disney,'' who will go the extra mile for perfect singing and in an animated film, where every movement is intentional]] intentional.]] That's right, [[spoiler: the love song being imperfect]] was foreshadowing.



* In the German movie, ''Film/TheLivesOfOthers'', when the main character hides his typewriter (he was writing anti-government pieces in Eastern Germany), he notices that his fingertips were covered with the red ink he used. At the end of the movie, [[spoiler:he finds the reports of the man who was spying on him, and notices two red fingertips next to his codename, showing him who saved his ass earlier in the movie by hiding his typewriter.]]

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* In the German movie, movie ''Film/TheLivesOfOthers'', when the main character hides his typewriter (he was writing anti-government pieces in Eastern Germany), he notices that his fingertips were covered with the red ink he used. At the end of the movie, [[spoiler:he finds the reports of the man who was spying on him, and notices two red fingertips next to his codename, code name, showing him who saved his ass earlier in the movie by hiding his typewriter.]]



** 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.]]
* In ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' by Creator/DavidEddings

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** 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 began, on the throne.]]
** Even the History of the world is important, such as figures in "The ''The Tales of Dunk and Egg" Egg'' and "The ''The World of Ice and Fire".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 ''Dunk and Egg, 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, him; Illyrio Mopatis tellingly says the Blackfyres are extinct in the male line.]]
* In ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' by Creator/DavidEddingsCreator/DavidEddings:



** However, he does a ''fantastic'' subversion in ''Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency'' (which is itself a ''book'' of this trope) - there's a scene where the protagonist is looking into a bathroom, and Adams spends several paragraphs describing the contents of the room, the panelling on the walls, the scuffs on the floor, and so forth, in intricate detail, only to end with "There was also a large horse in the room, taking up most of it."

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** However, he does a ''fantastic'' subversion in ''Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency'' (which is itself a ''book'' of this trope) - there's a scene where the protagonist is looking into a bathroom, and Adams spends several paragraphs describing the contents of the room, the panelling paneling on the walls, the scuffs on the floor, and so forth, in intricate detail, only to end with "There was also a large horse in the room, taking up most of it."



* Parodied in "Literature/TheMacbethMurderMystery" by Creator/JamesThurber. The protagonist sets out to deduce who really killed King Duncan in ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' (since it's never the really obvious suspect, so Macbeth must be a RedHerring). He eventually concludes that the murderer was [[spoiler:the unnamed old man in Act II scene 4]], since otherwise why bother introducing a new character just for one scene?

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* Parodied in "Literature/TheMacbethMurderMystery" ''Literature/TheMacbethMurderMystery'' by Creator/JamesThurber. The protagonist sets out to deduce who really killed King Duncan in ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' (since it's never the really obvious suspect, so Macbeth must be a RedHerring). He eventually concludes that the murderer was [[spoiler:the unnamed old man in Act II scene 4]], since otherwise why bother introducing a new character just for one scene?


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* In ''Webcomic/CobwebAndStripes'', expect that a lot of things from the early chapters - particularly things said by Betelgeuse - to become important later. Good luck figuring out which ones, though.
26th Sep '16 7:18:39 PM PaulA
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Added DiffLines:

* Parodied in "Literature/TheMacbethMurderMystery" by Creator/JamesThurber. The protagonist sets out to deduce who really killed King Duncan in ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' (since it's never the really obvious suspect, so Macbeth must be a RedHerring). He eventually concludes that the murderer was [[spoiler:the unnamed old man in Act II scene 4]], since otherwise why bother introducing a new character just for one scene?
26th Sep '16 7:13:26 PM PaulA
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* Creator/DouglasAdams is famous for mentioning things in throwaway lines which later turn out to be what the entire plot hinges on. However, he does a ''fantastic'' subversion in ''Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency'' (which is itself a ''book'' of this trope) - there's a scene where the protagonist is looking into a bathroom, and Adams spends several paragraphs describing the contents of the room, the panelling on the walls, the scuffs on the floor, and so forth, in intricate detail, only to end with "There was also a large horse in the room, taking up most of it."\\
\\
This trope may also have been parodied with a fictional novel that Arthur Dent reads on the planet Bartledan: Due to a plumbing problem that is only briefly mentioned in the second chapter of the novel, the main character abruptly dies in the penultimate chapter (the rest of its precisely 100,000 words are about road-mending).

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* Creator/DouglasAdams is famous for mentioning things in throwaway lines which later turn out to be what the entire plot hinges on. on.
**
However, he does a ''fantastic'' subversion in ''Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency'' (which is itself a ''book'' of this trope) - there's a scene where the protagonist is looking into a bathroom, and Adams spends several paragraphs describing the contents of the room, the panelling on the walls, the scuffs on the floor, and so forth, in intricate detail, only to end with "There was also a large horse in the room, taking up most of it."\\
\\
"
**
This trope may also have been parodied with a fictional novel that Arthur Dent reads on the planet Bartledan: Due to a plumbing problem that is only briefly mentioned in the second chapter of the novel, the main character abruptly dies in the penultimate chapter (the rest of its precisely 100,000 words are about road-mending).
3rd Sep '16 1:33:44 PM oforiousmic
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* Subverted in ''Manga/Hellsing''. Tubalcain Alhambra is introduced as an important character, with an eccentric personality and even having a nickname...and is killed a few minutes later.

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* Subverted in ''Manga/Hellsing''.''Manga/{{Hellsing}}''. Tubalcain Alhambra is introduced as an important character, with an eccentric personality and even having a nickname...and is killed a few minutes later.
24th Aug '16 1:01:56 PM Glimbeden
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* Subverted in ''Manga/Hellsing''. Tubalcain Alhambra is introduced as an important character, with an eccentric personality and even having a nickname...and is killed a few minutes later.
6th Aug '16 5:32:39 AM lalalei2001
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* In ''WebComic/TheSearchForHenryJekyll'', Hyde doesn't know or care about his first murder victim, but the fact that she keeps coming up gives clues as to her importance. Her sister wants revenge on Jekyll for it.
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