History Main / TimelineAlteringMacGuffin

3rd Mar '18 2:00:37 AM KBABZ
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** The Gray's Sports Almanac in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'' It allowed Biff Tannen to become wealthy by placing bets on the outcomes of sporting events when his future self gave it to him in 1955. He then uses the money to become a CorruptCorporateExecutive and ruin the lives of Marty (and everyone else in Hill Valley), forcing Marty and Doc to go back in time and stop it.

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** The Gray's Sports Almanac in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'' It allowed Biff Tannen to become wealthy by placing bets on the outcomes of sporting events when his future self gave it to him in 1955.1955[[note]]What makes it work is that the Ripple Effect ensures that the Almanac will recursively update to reflect the changes in outcomes as a result of his prior betting, meaning it'll always be accurate[[/note]]. He then uses the money to become a CorruptCorporateExecutive and ruin the lives of Marty (and everyone else in Hill Valley), forcing Marty and Doc to go back in time and stop it.
28th Feb '18 10:27:11 AM ChronoLegion
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* In ''Literature/PastwatchTheRedemptionOfChristopherColumbus'', while studying the life of UsefulNotes/ChristopherColumbus, a [[{{Chronoscope}} Pastwatch]] researcher ends up stumbling on the scene of Columbus washing up on a shore after a naval battle. Then he sees a vision of God telling him to sail west. Except the researcher sees the vision too, recognizing it as a hologram, probably projected by a small device. It becomes clear that [[spoiler:this (our) timeline, in which Europeans colonized the Americas was no the original one. From what they can theorize, in the original timeline, Columbus never sailed west. Instead, he led a disastrous crusade against the Muslims, which left the European nations in financial ruin. Meanwhile, in North America, the Aztecs were conquered by their Tlaxcala enemies, who were even more bloodthirsty but accepting of new technology (the Aztecs were more conservative in that respect) and used it to take over both Americas. When the continent was finally visited by a Portuguese ship, the sailors were captured and tortured for information, revealing the secrets to building oceangoing ships and firearms. The vast resources of the Americas were used to build a huge armada of warships, which sailed east and easily crushed any resistance the impoverished and disorganized Europe could mount. Thus, the Tlaxcala managed to actually TakeOverTheWorld. Fast-forward a century or two, their descendants also developed Pastwatch technology and discovered that their civilization was doomed. So, they sent a holo-recording to the past, in order to create our reality. Unfortunately, they didn't do enough, and the current civilization is also on the verge of ruin. It takes sending three actual people into the past to fix things so that humanity remains prosperous]].
28th Feb '18 10:13:14 AM ChronoLegion
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*** "Future's End" has a 29th Century timeship that was sent back to 1967. Interestingly, the 29th century technology helps create the "holo-emitter" the Doctor uses for the rest of the series, so the timeship was a TimelineAlteringMacGuffin to the 24th Century as well.

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*** "Future's End" has a 29th Century timeship that was sent back to 1967.1967, although this results in a StableTimeLoop, since the technology boom of the late 20th century turns out to be thanks to the reverse-engineered tech from the timeship. Interestingly, the 29th century technology helps create the "holo-emitter" the Doctor uses for the rest of the series, so the timeship was a TimelineAlteringMacGuffin to the 24th Century as well.
8th Feb '18 10:55:05 AM GreatKeith
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** [[spoiler: Negi is shown to be married in at least one timeline, to one of the girls who peeked at the original book. It's entirely possible that she was the girl he was married to the entire time]].
24th Jan '18 8:21:23 AM TheRedRedKroovy
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** In the first draft of ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' Marty revealed to 1955 Doc that all his crazy inventions could be cheaply powered with Coca-Cola (ItMakesSenseInContext... [[ItRunsOnNonsensoleum well, almost]]) so when he traveled back to 1985 he actually ended in an alternate reality where everything was a {{Zeerust}} 50's rendition of the future, with hovering cars and robots everywhere powered by Coca-Cola. The dystopic part? [[ALittleSomethingWeCallRockAndRoll No Rock and Roll!]]

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** In the first draft of ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' ''Film/BackToTheFuture'', Marty revealed to 1955 Doc that all his crazy inventions could be cheaply powered with Coca-Cola (ItMakesSenseInContext... [[ItRunsOnNonsensoleum well, almost]]) almost]]), so when he traveled back to 1985 he actually ended in an alternate reality where everything was a {{Zeerust}} 50's '50s rendition of the future, with hovering cars and robots everywhere powered by Coca-Cola. The dystopic part? [[ALittleSomethingWeCallRockAndRoll No Rock and Roll!]]



*** Played with the trope [[spoiler:by a future Spock showing Scotty an equation that he would eventually create -- however earlier in the film the reason that future Spock is there is explicitly stated to be an AlternateUniverse, not a StableTimeLoop. Scotty had not only already invented the formula, but had tested his theory before. It went wrong, leading to his assignment at the remote outpost we see, but this could be part of the AlternateUniverse. Spock only shows Scotty a ''revised'' version of his theory, bringing his own discovery earlier into the timeline.]]

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*** Played with the trope [[spoiler:by a future Spock showing Scotty an equation that he would eventually create -- however however, earlier in the film film, the reason that future Spock is there is explicitly stated to be an AlternateUniverse, not a StableTimeLoop. Scotty had not only already invented the formula, but had tested his theory before. It went wrong, leading to his assignment at the remote outpost we see, but this could be part of the AlternateUniverse. Spock only shows Scotty a ''revised'' version of his theory, bringing his own discovery earlier into the timeline.]]



* The arm and CPU from the first Terminator in ''Film/TheTerminator'', left behind in the 1980s, brought about the rise of SKYNET. [[TimeyWimeyBall Well, sometimes.]] In any event, since the Terminator was sent back in time ''by'' SKYNET, this is also a StableTimeLoop... until it's broken by the destruction of the items in ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', which doesn't stop SKYNET from rising again in ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'' (where the novelization even implies that despite the destruction of the items, what had already been researched was aprehended by the military leading to SKYNET's creation). Yeah, TimeyWimeyBall.

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* The arm and CPU from the first Terminator in ''Film/TheTerminator'', left behind in the 1980s, brought about the rise of SKYNET. [[TimeyWimeyBall Well, sometimes.]] In any event, since the Terminator was sent back in time ''by'' SKYNET, this is also a StableTimeLoop... until it's broken by the destruction of the items in ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', which doesn't stop SKYNET from rising again in ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'' (where the novelization even implies that that, despite the destruction of the items, what had already been researched was aprehended apprehended by the military military, leading to SKYNET's creation). Yeah, TimeyWimeyBall.TimeyWimeyBall.
* The Grays Sports Almanac version was parodied in ''Film/HotTubTimeMachine'', where Lou initially makes a ton of money betting on the 1986 AFC Championship Game between the Denver Broncos and the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately for Lou, the ButterflyOfDoom (in the form of a squirrel that Lou had [[VomitIndiscretionShot vomited on]]) kicks in to derail John Elway's game-tying MiracleRally in the fourth quarter. And ''extra'' unfortunately for Lou, the terms of the bet were that not only does he give up all his earnings to the other guy, he now has to give Nick oral sex -- and the guy he made the bet with has a gun and won't take no for an answer.
16th Jan '18 6:43:08 AM ChronoLegion
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** Once again, Toys/{{Furby}}-like toy called Beebo ends up being transported into the 10th century Viking colony in North America called Vinland. The Vikings form a CargoCult, treating Beebo as a god and interpreting its preprogrammed phrases as calls to war and conquest, resulting in all of North America to be New Valhalla in the new timeline. Mick ends up roasting Beebo with his flame gun, convincing the Vikings that Beebo is not a god.

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** Once again, Toys/{{Furby}}-like toy called Beebo ends up being transported into the 10th century Viking colony in North America called Vinland. The Vikings form a CargoCult, treating Beebo as a god and interpreting its preprogrammed phrases as calls to war and conquest, resulting in all of North America to be New Valhalla in the new timeline.timeline (effectively conquering it centuries before Columbus stumbles on the continent). Mick ends up roasting Beebo with his flame gun, convincing the Vikings that Beebo is not a god.
16th Jan '18 6:42:06 AM ChronoLegion
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** In yet another episode, when returning [[Creator/GaiusJuliusCaesar Julius Caesar]] to his own time, Nate allows the Roman to see a book on the history of the Roman Empire. Caesar snatches the book without Nate realizing it. Upon returning to the ''Waverider'', the Legends are shocked to find out that, with the book's help, Caesar was able to avoid his assassination and used the lessons in the book to ensure an unending reign for the Empire, which managed to conquer the entire world by the 21st century. Naturally, the book is recovered and Caesar is mind-wiped.
** Once again, Toys/{{Furby}}-like toy called Beebo ends up being transported into the 10th century Viking colony in North America called Vinland. The Vikings form a CargoCult, treating Beebo as a god and interpreting its preprogrammed phrases as calls to war and conquest, resulting in all of North America to be New Valhalla in the new timeline. Mick ends up roasting Beebo with his flame gun, convincing the Vikings that Beebo is not a god.
29th Dec '17 11:21:50 AM nighttrainfm
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* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' villain Vandal Savage sends a laptop containing the history of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII to himself in the 1930s. With his advanced knowledge, [=WW2=]!Savage easily outwits the Allied forces, deposes Hitler and sets his sights on world domination. The present!league minus Batman (given RippleEffectProofMemory by being protected by Green Lantern's power when it was sent back) must go back in time to prevent this.

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* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' villain Vandal Savage sends a laptop containing the history of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and schematics for advanced war machines to himself in the 1930s. With his advanced this knowledge, [=WW2=]!Savage easily outwits the Allied forces, deposes Hitler and sets his sights on world domination. The present!league present!League, minus Batman (given (everyone but him was given RippleEffectProofMemory by being protected by Green Lantern's power when it was sent back) the laptop went back), must go back in time to prevent this.
6th Dec '17 11:22:48 AM BeerBaron
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* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'': The eponymous [[TomeOfEldritchLore Elder Scrolls]] themselves. While not exactly a mundane item from the future, they are scrolls of unknown origin and number which simultaneously archive both past and future events; all that has happened, all that will happen (usually in the form of "If X happens, then Y and Z will happen, in that order"), all that ''could have'' happened. They require immense training in order to read and actually interpret anything useful, and have a high probability of causing blindness and madness in their readers. (Even those who merely study the ''nature'' of the scrolls, never actually reading a scroll themselves, are driven to complete madness with alarming regularity.) The scrolls have been used by the various Imperial Dynasties throughout history to help guide the Emperor in making decisions.
** What's more, they are absolutely and utterly immutable, such that they can change history, just by being read. In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' the ultimate ThievesGuild quest involves stealing one in order to break a Daedric curse.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' the player gets to read one themselves. If used near a temporal rift it lets them see an important piece of the past; used anywhere else it temporarily strikes them blind. The only reason why it only ''temporarily'' strikes them blind is because the Dragonborn's soul technically exists outside of time also.

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* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'': ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
**
The eponymous [[TomeOfEldritchLore Elder Scrolls]] themselves. While not exactly a mundane item from the future, they are scrolls of unknown origin and number number, referred to as "Fragments of Creation", which simultaneously archive both past past, present, and future events; all that has happened, all that will happen (usually in the prophetic form of "If "if X happens, then Y and Z will happen, in that order"), all that ''could have'' happened. They require immense training in order to read and actually interpret anything useful, and have a high probability of causing blindness and madness in their readers. (Even those who merely study the ''nature'' of the scrolls, Elder Scrolls, never actually reading a scroll one themselves, are driven to complete madness with alarming regularity.) The scrolls Scrolls have been used by the various Imperial Dynasties throughout history to help guide the Emperor in making decisions.
** What's more, they are absolutely and utterly immutable, such that they can change history, just by being read. In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' the ultimate ThievesGuild quest involves stealing one in order to break a Daedric curse.
curse. (Yes, even the power of a [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]] pales in comparison to the power of the Scrolls.)
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' the player gets to read one themselves. for the first time. If used opened near a temporal rift it known as the "Time Wound", the Scroll lets them see yousee an important piece of the past; past. If used anywhere else it it, temporarily strikes them you blind. The only reason why it only ''temporarily'' strikes them blind is because the Dragonborn's soul technically exists outside of time also. (Several more Elder Scrolls play into the plot of the ''Dawnguard'' DLC, though you'll only need to gather them there. A [[TheOrder Moth Priest]] will read them for you.)
22nd Nov '17 6:54:55 PM PaulA
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* Subverted in the Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''Just War''. Benny's history book, which details the entire course of World War II, falls into the hands of a Nazi officer. At first he dismisses it as a fraud intended to demoralize, then accepts its validity as the events it describes keep coming true -- but he is unable to get his superiors to listen to his warnings, and watches helpless as the Third Reich rolls on toward its historical end.

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* Subverted in the Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''Just War''.''[[Recap/DoctorWhoNewAdventuresJustWar Just War]]''. Benny's history book, which details the entire course of World War II, falls into the hands of a Nazi officer. At first he dismisses it as a fraud intended to demoralize, then accepts its validity as the events it describes keep coming true -- but he is unable to get his superiors to listen to his warnings, and watches helpless as the Third Reich rolls on toward its historical end.
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