History Main / TimelineAlteringMacGuffin

7th May '17 8:06:50 PM PaulA
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* In the sequel to ''Literature/TheBookOfNightWithMoon'', a spin-off of the ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series, a book on modern-day engineering gets sent back into an AlternateUniverse [[VictorianLondon Victorian England]], enabling the British Empire to rapidly develop many forms of modern-day technology. Including nukes.

to:

* In the sequel to ''Literature/TheBookOfNightWithMoon'', ''Literature/ToVisitTheQueen'', a spin-off of the ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series, a book on modern-day engineering gets sent back into an AlternateUniverse [[VictorianLondon Victorian England]], enabling the British Empire to rapidly develop many forms of modern-day technology. Including nukes.nukes.
* In the Literature/PastDoctorAdventures novel ''The Roundheads'', a children's history book from the TARDIS threatens to become this after the TARDIS crew lose track of it, but they're able to retrieve it before any permanent damage is done.
* 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.
20th Apr '17 7:28:28 AM billybobfred
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* Xanatos' claim that he is a self-made man in ''WesternAnimation/Gargoyles'' is apparently very, very true; when he and several others end up transported back to ancient Scotland (it's a confusing tale), Xanatos takes a moment to take a single coin of the time period, seal it in an envelope, and date it to be delievered to himself when he would be a young man in the future. He would then use said coin to invest and grow into what would become his future extremely powerful multinational company. Which would raise the gargoyles. Who would end up with [[TimelineAlteringMacfuffin the Phoenix Gate]]. And he'd end up traveling back in time with them. To send himself a coin.
** Despite a magic-induced false future dream, the Phoenix Gate itself does no real altering of timelines, it actually only enhances stable time-loops.

to:

* Xanatos' claim that he is a self-made man in ''WesternAnimation/Gargoyles'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' is apparently very, very true; when he and several others end up transported back to ancient Scotland (it's a confusing tale), Xanatos takes a moment to take a single coin of the time period, seal it in an envelope, and date it to be delievered delivered to himself when he would be a young man in the future. He would then use said coin to invest and grow into what would become his future extremely powerful multinational company. Which would raise the gargoyles. Who would end up with [[TimelineAlteringMacfuffin [[TimelineAlteringMacGuffin the Phoenix Gate]]. And he'd end up traveling back in time with them. To send himself a coin.
** Despite a magic-induced false future dream, the Phoenix Gate itself does no real altering of timelines, it actually only enhances stable time-loops.
coin.
16th Mar '17 1:38:08 PM AthenaBlue
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* The "Whispered" of ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' are privy to "[[BlackBox Black Technology]]" -- devices they should be unable to design for decades or even centuries. It's extended their UsefulNotes/ColdWar clear into the 21st century.



* The "Whispered" of ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' are privy to "[[BlackBox Black Technology]]" -- devices they should be unable to design for decades or even centuries. It's extended their UsefulNotes/ColdWar clear into the 21st century.



* 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.

to:

* 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, [[Series/KamenRiderOOO Cell Medals]] become this is also a StableTimeLoop... until it's broken by in ''Film/OOODenOAllRidersLetsGoKamenRiders''. After Ankh accidentally leaves one in 1971, it falls into the destruction hands 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 [[GreaterScopeVillain Shocker]], who use it to SKYNET's creation). Yeah, TimeyWimeyBall.create a monster strong enough to defeat Rider #1 and #2, allowing them to change history and {{Take Over The World}}.



* The [[Series/KamenRiderOOO Cell Medals]] become this in ''Film/OOODenOAllRidersLetsGoKamenRiders''. After Ankh accidentally leaves one in 1971, it falls into the hands of [[GreaterScopeVillain Shocker]], who use it to create a monster strong enough to defeat Rider #1 and #2, allowing them to change history and {{Take Over The World}}.

to:

* The [[Series/KamenRiderOOO Cell Medals]] become 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 in ''Film/OOODenOAllRidersLetsGoKamenRiders''. After Ankh accidentally leaves one in 1971, it falls into is also a StableTimeLoop... until it's broken by the hands destruction of [[GreaterScopeVillain Shocker]], who use it 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 create a monster strong enough to defeat Rider #1 and #2, allowing them to change history and {{Take Over The World}}.SKYNET's creation). Yeah, TimeyWimeyBall.



* The ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series is about a small town from West Virginia sent back to the central Germany during the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar, so almost every object in the town is a TimelineAlteringMacGuffin, particularly books telling of events beyond the point at which they arrived in seventeenth century Europe. [[spoiler: The protagonists eventually take advantage of this by ensuring that only inaccurate transcriptions of uptime books circulate outside their territory, causing the royal houses of Europe to make some drastic miscalculations such as attempting to settle the Florida Everglades looking for gold.]]



* In the sequel to ''Literature/TheBookOfNightWithMoon'', a spin-off of the ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series, a book on modern-day engineering gets sent back into an AlternateUniverse [[VictorianLondon Victorian England]], enabling the British Empire to rapidly develop many forms of modern-day technology. Including nukes.

to:

* In the sequel to ''Literature/TheBookOfNightWithMoon'', ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}} Twins'' novels, Caramon bringing a spin-off of the ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series, a book on modern-day engineering gets sent volume detailing events back from [[AfterTheEnd a very dark future]] was the reason Krynn did not falter into an AlternateUniverse [[VictorianLondon Victorian England]], enabling AlternateContinuity where it was utterly destroyed.
* In Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth'', in which time-traveling Afrikaners help
the British Empire South win UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, we have [[spoiler: ''The Picture History of the Civil War'', a simple history book. Its major influence is in revealing how the Afrikaners lied to rapidly develop many forms the Confederates, particularly by claiming that the world of modern-day technology. Including nukes.the future is an endless racial war between blacks and whites, as well as disproving the Confederates' belief that they would be VindicatedByHistory for holding African slaves. This is what drives the Confederates to openly oppose the Afrikaners, as well as leading to the passage of a bill that provides for the gradual, compensated release of the slaves.]]
* "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" is a classic sci-fi short story by Henry Kuttner (under the pen name Lewis Padgett). A scientist doing an experiment in time travel realises he doesn't have anything to send back, so he grabs some of his children's educational toys and sends them back to 1943 (when the story was written) where they educate a brother and sister how to move into another dimension, which they do before their father's horrified eyes.
* Occurs in "Mr. Was" where the main character previously wrapped a sandwich in newspaper. This newspaper had stocks from the future on it when he went to the past. The man who later became his grandfather found this paper and used it to get rich.



* In the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}} Twins'' novels, Caramon bringing a volume detailing events back from [[AfterTheEnd a very dark future]] was the reason Krynn did not falter into an AlternateContinuity where it was utterly destroyed
* The ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series is about a small town from West Virginia sent back to the central Germany during the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar, so almost every object in the town is a TimelineAlteringMacGuffin, particularly books telling of events beyond the point at which they arrived in seventeenth century Europe. [[spoiler: The protagonists eventually take advantage of this by ensuring that only inaccurate transcriptions of uptime books circulate outside their territory, causing the royal houses of Europe to make some drastic miscalculations such as attempting to settle the Florida Everglades looking for gold.]]



* In Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth'', in which time-traveling Afrikaners help the South win UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, we have [[spoiler: ''The Picture History of the Civil War'', a simple history book. Its major influence is in revealing how the Afrikaners lied to the Confederates, particularly by claiming that the world of the future is an endless racial war between blacks and whites, as well as disproving the Confederates' belief that they would be VindicatedByHistory for holding African slaves. This is what drives the Confederates to openly oppose the Afrikaners, as well as leading to the passage of a bill that provides for the gradual, compensated release of the slaves.]]
* "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" is a classic sci-fi short story by Henry Kuttner (under the pen name Lewis Padgett). A scientist doing an experiment in time travel realises he doesn't have anything to send back, so he grabs some of his children's educational toys and sends them back to 1943 (when the story was written) where they educate a brother and sister how to move into another dimension, which they do before their father's horrified eyes.
* Occurs in "Mr. Was" where the main character previously wrapped a sandwich in newspaper. This newspaper had stocks from the future on it when he went to the past. The man who later became his grandfather found this paper and used it to get rich.

to:

* In Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth'', in which time-traveling Afrikaners help the South win UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, we have [[spoiler: ''The Picture History sequel to ''Literature/TheBookOfNightWithMoon'', a spin-off of the Civil War'', ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series, a simple history book. Its major influence is in revealing how the Afrikaners lied to the Confederates, particularly by claiming that the world of the future is an endless racial war between blacks and whites, as well as disproving the Confederates' belief that they would be VindicatedByHistory for holding African slaves. This is what drives the Confederates to openly oppose the Afrikaners, as well as leading to the passage of a bill that provides for the gradual, compensated release of the slaves.]]
* "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" is a classic sci-fi short story by Henry Kuttner (under the pen name Lewis Padgett). A scientist doing an experiment in time travel realises he doesn't have anything to send back, so he grabs some of his children's educational toys and sends them
book on modern-day engineering gets sent back to 1943 (when the story was written) where they educate a brother and sister how to move into another dimension, which they do before their father's horrified eyes.
* Occurs in "Mr. Was" where
an AlternateUniverse [[VictorianLondon Victorian England]], enabling the main character previously wrapped a sandwich in newspaper. This newspaper had stocks from the future on it when he went British Empire to the past. The man who later became his grandfather found this paper and used it to get rich.rapidly develop many forms of modern-day technology. Including nukes.



* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E7TheLongGame "The Long Game"]], Adam attempts to leave one of these for himself in the past by recording historical information from 197,988 years in the future on his mother's answering machine. The Doctor finds out. He's not happy. Ironically, Adam himself ends up at risk of becoming one. He has his own brain upgraded in the future, to interface with the computers of the time. Now whenever someone snaps their fingers near him a little port on his forehead opens up. The Doctor mentions that Adam has to lead a quiet life and not draw attention to himself, or he risks [[TheydCutYouUp being dissected]] for the future technology in his skull. At the end of the episode, his mother snaps her fingers while talking to him.



* In the second episode of ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'', Vandal Savage finds a piece of the 21st-century Atom suit in 1975 Norway. Realizing its importance, he orders his people to reverse-engineer it, killing a scientist who claims that it'll take too long. Back aboard the ''[[TimeMachine Waverider]]'', the "Legends" find out that this development will allow Savage to move up his TakeOverTheWorld schedule by a century or so, showing a picture of Central City on fire in 2016. Fortunately, the team recovers the tech before Savage can make use of it.
** In a later episode, Professor Stein almost becomes a living example of this, as he's captured by Savage's Soviet allies, who want to make use of his knowledge to create an army of Firestorms that they can conquer the world with, as the ''Waverider'' shows via an image of Star City being invaded in 2000. Again, the team manages a rescue before the effect to the timeline becomes permanent.
* In ''Series/LoisAndClark'', after the first time Tempus was defeated, he was left in the past, where he wrote a diary a man would eventually use to become wealthy by investing in oil, plastic and computers. Later, that man's [[TheUnfavorite unfavorite son]] used the diary to blackmail {{Superman}} into stealing from the man's other son. According to this VillainOfTheWeek, Tempus was either a man from the future or a fortuneteller good enough to put [[FortuneTeller Nostradamus]] to shame.
* ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' has an episode where an elderly Jewish man with time travel powers tries to go back and kill Hitler. [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct That ends badly]], but Hitler manages to retrieve the man's cell phone from him before the man gets sent back to his time, leading to a future where the Nazis have taken over Britain due to technological superiority. [[TooDumbToLive Why the man went back in time with both his cellphone and a letter explaining he was going back in time to kill Hitler (instead of leaving the letter behind in case he failed to return) is not explained]].



* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "The Long Game", Adam attempts to leave one of these for himself in the past by recording historical information from 197,988 years in the future on his mother's answering machine. The Doctor finds out. He's not happy. Ironically, Adam himself ends up at risk of becoming one. He has his own brain upgraded in the future, to interface with the computers of the time. Now whenever someone snaps their fingers near him a little port on his forehead opens up. The Doctor mentions that Adam has to lead a quiet life and not draw attention to himself, or he risks [[TheydCutYouUp being dissected]] for the future technology in his skull. At the end of the episode, his mother snaps her fingers while talking to him.



* In ''Series/LoisAndClark'', after the first time Tempus was defeated, he was left in the past, where he wrote a diary a man would eventually use to become wealthy by investing in oil, plastic and computers. Later, that man's [[TheUnfavorite unfavorite son]] used the diary to blackmail {{Superman}} into stealing from the man's other son. According to this VillainOfTheWeek, Tempus was either a man from the future or a fortuneteller good enough to put [[FortuneTeller Nostradamus]] to shame.
* ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' has an episode where an elderly Jewish man with time travel powers tries to go back and kill Hitler. [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct That ends badly]], but Hitler manages to retrieve the man's cell phone from him before the man gets sent back to his time, leading to a future where the Nazis have taken over Britain due to technological superiority. [[TooDumbToLive Why the man went back in time with both his cellphone and a letter explaining he was going back in time to kill Hitler (instead of leaving the letter behind in case he failed to return) is not explained]].
* In the second episode of ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'', Vandal Savage finds a piece of the 21st-century Atom suit in 1975 Norway. Realizing its importance, he orders his people to reverse-engineer it, killing a scientist who claims that it'll take too long. Back aboard the ''[[TimeMachine Waverider]]'', the "Legends" find out that this development will allow Savage to move up his TakeOverTheWorld schedule by a century or so, showing a picture of Central City on fire in 2016. Fortunately, the team recovers the tech before Savage can make use of it.
** In a later episode, Professor Stein almost becomes a living example of this, as he's captured by Savage's Soviet allies, who want to make use of his knowledge to create an army of Firestorms that they can conquer the world with, as the ''Waverider'' shows via an image of Star City being invaded in 2000. Again, the team manages a rescue before the effect to the timeline becomes permanent.


Added DiffLines:

1st Mar '17 8:38:24 AM riverdine
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Added DiffLines:

* Xanatos' claim that he is a self-made man in ''WesternAnimation/Gargoyles'' is apparently very, very true; when he and several others end up transported back to ancient Scotland (it's a confusing tale), Xanatos takes a moment to take a single coin of the time period, seal it in an envelope, and date it to be delievered to himself when he would be a young man in the future. He would then use said coin to invest and grow into what would become his future extremely powerful multinational company. Which would raise the gargoyles. Who would end up with [[TimelineAlteringMacfuffin the Phoenix Gate]]. And he'd end up traveling back in time with them. To send himself a coin.
** Despite a magic-induced false future dream, the Phoenix Gate itself does no real altering of timelines, it actually only enhances stable time-loops.
14th Dec '16 3:29:31 PM Cannox
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** 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.

to:

** 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.
13th Dec '16 12:25:49 PM ZimFan89
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* In the second episode of ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'', Vandal Savage finds a piece of the 21st-century Atom suit in 1975 Norway. Realizing its importance, he orders his people to reverse-engineer it, killing a scientist who claims that it'll take too long. Back aboard the ''[[TimeMachine Waverider]]'', the "legends" find out that this development will allow Savage to move up his TakeOverTheWorld schedule by a century or so, showing a picture of Central City on fire in 2016.

to:

* In the second episode of ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'', Vandal Savage finds a piece of the 21st-century Atom suit in 1975 Norway. Realizing its importance, he orders his people to reverse-engineer it, killing a scientist who claims that it'll take too long. Back aboard the ''[[TimeMachine Waverider]]'', the "legends" "Legends" find out that this development will allow Savage to move up his TakeOverTheWorld schedule by a century or so, showing a picture of Central City on fire in 2016.2016. Fortunately, the team recovers the tech before Savage can make use of it.
** In a later episode, Professor Stein almost becomes a living example of this, as he's captured by Savage's Soviet allies, who want to make use of his knowledge to create an army of Firestorms that they can conquer the world with, as the ''Waverider'' shows via an image of Star City being invaded in 2000. Again, the team manages a rescue before the effect to the timeline becomes permanent.
10th Nov '16 11:49:58 AM BeerBaron
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* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** While not exactly a mundane item from the future, the title Elder Scrolls serve a similar function. They were written by a god and contain records of history: 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"). They are extremely hard to read, causing blindness if read too often, but they are used by the emperor to secure the wellbeing of his empire, guiding his course of action.
** 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 strikes them blind.
** 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 thieves guild quest involves stealing one in order to break a Daedric curse.

to:

* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
**
''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'': The eponymous [[TomeOfEldritchLore Elder Scrolls]] themselves. While not exactly a mundane item from the future, the title Elder Scrolls serve a similar function. They were written by a god they are scrolls of unknown origin and contain records of history: All 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"). order"), all that ''could have'' happened. They are extremely hard require immense training in order to read, read and actually interpret anything useful, and have a high probability of causing blindness if read too often, but they 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 emperor various Imperial Dynasties throughout history to secure help guide the wellbeing of his empire, guiding his course of action.
** 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 strikes them blind.
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 thieves guild ThievesGuild quest involves stealing one in order to break a Daedric curse.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.
24th Oct '16 6:44:22 AM Generality
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*** The nigh-unstoppable warship belonging to the villain is also an example. In its own time period it is merely a mining vessel. Its ability to [[spoiler:blow up planets]] is due to something that they stole [[spoiler:from Spock]].

to:

*** The nigh-unstoppable warship belonging to the villain is also an example. In its own time period it is merely a mining vessel.vessel, but it's powerful enough compared to Federation ships of the past that it can lay waste to whole fleets of them. Its ability to [[spoiler:blow up planets]] is due to something that they stole [[spoiler:from Spock]].
13th Jul '16 3:30:10 PM LTR
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** The Gray's Sports Almanac in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'', which allowed Biff Tannen to become wealthy through using the information from the 2015 Gray's Sports Almanac that his future self brought to him in 1955 to make bets on the outcomes of sporting events.

to:

** The Gray's Sports Almanac in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'', which ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'' It allowed Biff Tannen to become wealthy through using the information from the 2015 Gray's Sports Almanac that his future self brought to him in 1955 to make by placing bets on the outcomes of sporting events.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.
29th Jan '16 10:50:21 AM ChronoLegion
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Added DiffLines:

* In the second episode of ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'', Vandal Savage finds a piece of the 21st-century Atom suit in 1975 Norway. Realizing its importance, he orders his people to reverse-engineer it, killing a scientist who claims that it'll take too long. Back aboard the ''[[TimeMachine Waverider]]'', the "legends" find out that this development will allow Savage to move up his TakeOverTheWorld schedule by a century or so, showing a picture of Central City on fire in 2016.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.TimelineAlteringMacGuffin