History Main / Unobtainium

27th May '17 6:00:44 PM CurledUpWithDakka
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Though a long time after the [[TropeMaker Trope]] [[{{Dune}} Maker]], the TropeNamer is the mineral sought by the mining company in ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' [[note]]The term "Unobtanium" has been in use by engineers for far longer to describe any hypothetical material with currently- or then-impossible properties.[[/note]].

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Though a long time after the [[TropeMaker Trope]] [[{{Dune}} Maker]], the TropeNamer is the mineral sought by the mining company in ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' ''Film/{{Avatar}}''. [[note]]The term "Unobtanium" has been in use by engineers for far longer to describe any hypothetical material with currently- or then-impossible properties.[[/note]].
[[/note]]



** ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'' also has an unobtainium in the form of Transparent Aluminum, [[spoiler:which allows Scotty to create a giant aquarium in the shuttle to transport a breeding pair of whales back to 24th century Earth]]. Significantly, the material is known to Scotty, [[spoiler::who then helped the inventor create it in an ethically challenging time loop]]. It should be noted that recent advances in materials science actually have created a form of transparent steel, at least in the lab.[[note]]Transparent aluminium ''oxide'' is a real-world material starting to see commercial use, primarily as an alternative to Gorilla Glass called Sapphire Glass (sapphires are aluminium oxide crystals with trace amounts of, usually, iron, giving them a blue color).[[/note]]

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** ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'' also has an unobtainium in the form of Transparent Aluminum, [[spoiler:which allows Scotty to create a giant aquarium in the shuttle to transport a breeding pair of whales back to 24th century Earth]]. Significantly, the material is known to Scotty, [[spoiler::who [[spoiler:who then helped the inventor create it in an ethically challenging time loop]]. It should be noted that recent advances in materials science actually have created a form of transparent steel, at least in the lab.[[note]]Transparent aluminium ''oxide'' is a real-world material starting to see commercial use, primarily as an alternative to Gorilla Glass called Sapphire Glass (sapphires are aluminium oxide crystals with trace amounts of, usually, iron, giving them a blue color).[[/note]]
14th May '17 3:03:46 PM nombretomado
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* ''Franchise/StarCraft'', likewise, had "minerals" of an unspecified type and "Vespene Gas" (which [[YouRequireMoreVespeneGas you require more of]], by the way), which each of the playable races uses in a different way to produce its various units and buildings. Neosteel, the material of Terran construction, is another example. Also, the Khaydarin Crystals.

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* ''Franchise/StarCraft'', ''VideoGame/StarCraft'', likewise, had "minerals" of an unspecified type and "Vespene Gas" (which [[YouRequireMoreVespeneGas you require more of]], by the way), which each of the playable races uses in a different way to produce its various units and buildings. Neosteel, the material of Terran construction, is another example. Also, the Khaydarin Crystals.
30th Apr '17 12:42:11 AM Xtifr
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* Tanglestone from the Elizabeth Bear book, ''Undertow'', was only found on the planet named Greene's World, and allowed instant data and material transportation across many light years from the colonies to Earth.

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* Tanglestone from the Elizabeth Bear Creator/ElizabethBear book, ''Undertow'', was only found on the planet named Greene's World, and allowed instant data and material transportation across many light years from the colonies to Earth.
17th Apr '17 5:09:56 PM nombretomado
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* ''Plattnerite'' from StephenBaxter's ''The Time Machine'' sequel, ''The Time Ships'', is an indeterminate, glowing green mineral that allows time travel. It's name and description are a ShoutOut to a character and material found in other Wells stories.

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* ''Plattnerite'' from StephenBaxter's Creator/StephenBaxter's ''The Time Machine'' sequel, ''The Time Ships'', is an indeterminate, glowing green mineral that allows time travel. It's name and description are a ShoutOut to a character and material found in other Wells stories.
16th Apr '17 6:51:30 PM nombretomado
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* Though never mentioned as such, a particular brand of orange wire mesh used in ''StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' was produced by a company that went out of business in the mid-1970's; a substitute had to be acquired for the filming of the ''StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "[[StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS05E06TrialsAndTribbleations Trials and Tribble-ations.]]" This substitute mesh was correctly pointed out by episode writer David Gerrold as inaccurate to the original series.

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* Though never mentioned as such, a particular brand of orange wire mesh used in ''StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' was produced by a company that went out of business in the mid-1970's; a substitute had to be acquired for the filming of the ''StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "[[StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS05E06TrialsAndTribbleations Trials and Tribble-ations.]]" This substitute mesh was correctly pointed out by episode writer David Gerrold as inaccurate to the original series.
11th Apr '17 6:40:25 PM Az_Tech341
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** Leystone is rare enough, and can only be smelted using frost magic. Demonsteel is an even rarer alloy of it that and felslate, using another specific anvil. (Though this one is located in a friendlier location.)

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** Leystone is rare enough, and can only be smelted using frost magic. Demonsteel is an even rarer alloy of it that and felslate, using another specific anvil. (Though this one anvil, though it is located in a friendlier location.)
9th Apr '17 9:41:53 AM LadyJaneGrey
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** Dark Iron is a metal that can only be mined in a specific part of Blackrock Depths, and can only be smelted and worked on a special anvil in another specific part. Guarded by a giant fire elemental. It can be used to make rather strong armor.


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** Leystone is rare enough, and can only be smelted using frost magic. Demonsteel is an even rarer alloy of it that and felslate, using another specific anvil. (Though this one is located in a friendlier location.)
** Bacon could be considered this, at least the type used in Legion recipes, as you need to do a specific World Quest to hunt the Rare Mob that you get it from.
24th Mar '17 9:01:27 AM BeerBaron
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* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'', various types of unobtainium are used for armor and weapons.
** As seen in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', the confusingly named ebony and glass are volcanic minerals. Daedric armor is forged from magicked ebony.
** In the ''Shivering Isles'' {{expansion|Pack}} to ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' the smiths in New Sheoth can forge armor and weapons from amber and madness ore. (Lord only knows what the latter comes from.)
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' reveals that orcish and elven armor are partially forged from orichalcum and quicksilver, respectively.
** Dwarven metal is an interesting case, as it's unobtainium InUniverse: in-game books in ''Skyrim'' reveal that mages, smiths, and scholars have tried for years to imitate its properties, with no success. Apparently the Dwemer were just that advanced in metallurgy. The only reliable source is recycled scrap metal from Dwemer ruins.
** ''Skyrim'' allows elite smiths to forge armor from dragon scales and bones. The [[GameMod modding community]] has seen fit to add dragonbone weapons as well. And Bethesda themselves later added dragonbone weapons when they released the ''Dawnguard'' DLC.

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* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'', various types of unobtainium ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** In the series in general, there
are a number of materials which qualify, several with a NonIndicativeName. Primarily, there is Ebony, which here is similar to a volcanic glass (and theorized to be the petrified blood of the [[GodIsDead dead creator god]]. It's worth more than gold when used for as bullion, can be forged into extremely high quality weapons and armor, and can be imbued with Daedric souls to create devastating Daedric weapons and armor. There is also Glass, which is an iridescent green mineral, and like Ebony, can be forged into high-quality light armor and weapons.
weapons.
** As seen in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', the confusingly named ebony and glass are volcanic minerals. Daedric armor is forged from magicked ebony.
** In the ''Shivering Isles'' {{expansion|Pack}} to ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' the smiths in New Sheoth can forge armor and weapons from amber and madness ore. (Lord only knows what the latter comes from.)
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' reveals that orcish and elven armor are partially forged from orichalcum and quicksilver, respectively.
** Dwarven
Dwemer ([[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwarven]]) metal is an interesting case, as it's unobtainium InUniverse: in-game books in ''Skyrim'' reveal that mages, smiths, and scholars have tried for years to imitate its properties, with no success. Apparently the The Dwemer were just that advanced in known to tinker with the laws of nature and physics, so its highly likely they applied these skills to their metallurgy. The only reliable source is recycled scrap metal from Dwemer ruins.
** As seen in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', Vvardenfell being incredibly rich in Ebony and Glass resources makes it extremely valuable to the Empire. Both substances are protected by Imperial law and can only be mined and sold with the proper permits.
** In the ''Shivering Isles'' {{expansion|Pack}} to ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', the smiths in New Sheoth can forge armor and weapons from amber and madness ore. (Lord only knows what the latter comes from.)
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'':
*** ''Skyrim'' reveals that Orcish and Elven armor are partially forged from orichalcum and quicksilver, respectively.
***
''Skyrim'' allows elite smiths to forge armor from dragon scales and bones. The [[GameMod modding community]] has seen fit to add dragonbone weapons as well. And Bethesda themselves later added dragonbone weapons when they released the ''Dawnguard'' DLC.
7th Mar '17 3:05:26 PM gb00393
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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Valyrian steel. The Valyrian Freehold was able to forge a steel that was lighter but far stronger than ordinary steel. Absolutely nothing cuts like Valyrian steel; it would go through a knight in full armor like a hot knife through frozen butter. The secret of forging Valyrian steel was lost in the Doom, but a handful of smiths are able to rework it. Needless to say, the handful of Valyrian steel swords and daggers are thus prized heirlooms for the houses of Westeros.

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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Valyrian steel.steel for Westeros. The Valyrian Freehold was able to forge a steel that was lighter but far stronger than ordinary steel. Absolutely nothing cuts like Valyrian steel; it would go through a knight in full armor like a hot knife through frozen butter. The secret of forging Valyrian steel was lost in the Doom, partially due to the fact that magic is used in it's forging and magic is nigh extinct, but a handful of smiths are able to rework it. It's used by the Order of Maesters to signify mastery of the higher mysteries. Needless to say, the handful of Valyrian steel swords and daggers are thus prized heirlooms for the houses of Westeros.Westeros such as Ice for House Stark (which was reforged into two for House Lannister) and Longclaw for House Mormont (which was passed on to Jon Snow of the Night's Watch).
6th Mar '17 11:50:19 AM gb00393
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Valyrian steel. The Valyrian Freehold was able to forge a steel that was lighter but far stronger than ordinary steel. Absolutely nothing cuts like Valyrian steel; it would go through a knight in full armor like a hot knife through frozen butter. The secret of forging Valyrian steel was lost in the Doom, but a handful of smiths are able to rework it. Needless to say, the handful of Valyrian steel swords and daggers are thus prized heirlooms for the houses of Westeros.
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