Created By: tryourbreast on July 2, 2012 Last Edited By: tryourbreast on March 15, 2015

Adaptive Attack

Modify your attack to exploit enemy's weakness every time.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Lots of enemies are known to adapt the last attack you used on. If the enemy can do this, we can also modify our attacks during a fight, usually by changing its element, so they can always be effective to the enemy's type. This is where this trope comes to play.

Adaptive attacks can be modified in a fight, as a way to exploit the weaknesses of the enemy. If the enemy is a demon, the attacks become light-based. If they are heavily armored, let's give the attacks armor-piercing abilities. No matter what kind of enemy you've met, this flexibility will help you pinpoint their weakness, almost every time.

Of course, it's usually not automatically done, and require you, the player, to manually use a skill which attach different elements to the weapon, to becomes constantly superior at Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Compare Barrier Change Boss. Contrast Adaptive Ability.

Examples

Video Game Examples

Action-Adventure
  • In the Metroid Prime games (apart from three), you were able to switch between up to four different beam weapons as the situation demanded for both puzzle solving and exploit enemies' weaknesses. The 2D games and the third game just combined all the upgrades into one beam.

Role-Playing Game
  • Final Fantasy X allows you to change your equipped weapon during a battle at the cost of your turn, allowing you to switch from any element (or status effect the enemy may be immune to) as needed.

Shoot 'em Up
  • In Video Game/Touhou, Tenshi's Sword of Hisou is said to have this ability, by revealing the opponent's nature, and change itself so as to counter that nature. It's just a Informed Ability though, and is never actually shown inside the fighting games.

Non-Video Game Examples

Film
  • Star Trek: Generations. The Duras sisters used espionage to discover the Enterprise-D's deflector shield frequency. They set their disruptors and photon torpedoes to match that frequency, which allowed their attacks to go through the Enterprise's shields like they weren't even there.

Live-Action TV
  • Star Trek. Borg shields automatically changed their frequency to match that of any phaser attack, which made subsequent attacks at the same frequency useless. The Federation responded by adding phaser adapters to their phasers. These devices switched the phaser to a random frequency after each shot, which neutralized the Borg shield alteration and allowed the attacks to penetrate.

Tabletop RPG

Web Comics
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • July 3, 2012
    Bisected8
    • In the Metroid Prime games (apart from three), you were able to switch between up to four different beam weapons as the situation demanded for both puzzle solving and to exploit enemies' weaknesses. The 2D games and the third game just combined all the upgrades into one beam.
  • July 3, 2012
    ElCheViva
    The Pokemon Kecleon has the ability to adapt its type to that of the last attack you used on it. Since most types are resistant to attacks of their own type, it's usually neccessary for you to switch attacks on your next turn.
  • July 3, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^ That's Adaptive Ability... you should Read That Again.
  • July 4, 2012
    Mauri
    • Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together: (note this is not from the remake but the original) When facing the last boss, he has high resistances to holy and dark elements. But when hit with an element he changes towards said element and if you haven't dispatched his goons he can toss a massive elemental attack of said element. So if he starts Wind and you hit him with Earth you will see him switching his barriers to Earth and if you have made him angry enough he will throw the elemental attack towards all your troops.
    Previous example goes under Adaptive Ability until you notice the pattern and modify your attacks on said boss. Also it might fall under Barrier Change Boss as well but it is a Tactics game after all.
    • Rudra no Hihou: Need I say more. This game revolves about working on the elements and you have to adapt per boss. If he is wind you have to put the wind barrier and use thunder against him, enemies are known to use elemental barriers to protect themselves too. So a third neutral element might be useful enough to bypass the problem. Specially against bosses who keep on buffing their defense against their weak element (it still fades with time however it is not fixed or at least I don't have the formulas).
    • Megaman Zero series: might feel a bit shoehorned with the elemental chips, specially in the end of the first game in the series against Copy X.
  • July 5, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Champions. The Variable Special Effects advantage allows you to alter the special effect of an attack power so that it can do extra damage against an opponent with a specific weakness. For example, if your opponent has the Limitation of taking double damage from fire attacks, you can define your attack's special effect as "fire" and do double damage to him. If your opponent has a power with the Disadvantage "doesn't work in a radiation field", you can change your attack to use radiation and prevent your opponent from using that power.
  • July 9, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^^ I don't think these counts, since it's just saying "attacking the enemies using different element spells according to each one's weaknesses", which is definitely PSOC. And the Kecleon example is not an attack. The Champions example suits this trope perfectly however, which is what I was thinking of at the first place.
  • July 9, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
    • Star Trek Generations. The Duras sisters used espionage to discover the Enterprise-D's deflector shield frequency. They set their disruptors and photon torpedoes to match that frequency, which allowed their attacks to go through the Enterprise's shields like they weren't even there.

    Live Action TV
    • Star Trek. Borg shields automatically changed their frequency to match that of any phaser attack, which made subsequent attacks at the same frequency useless. The Federation responded by adding phaser adapters to their phasers. These devices switched the phaser to a random frequency after each shot, which neutralized the Borg shield alteration and allowed the attacks to penetrate.
  • October 8, 2012
    Chabal2
  • October 8, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Thanks for the examples!
  • March 15, 2015
    DAN004
    Mega Man series: As a series running on Elemental Rock Paper Scissors, especially on their bosses, using different kinds of boss weapons in order to effectively beat other bosses (and sometimes their stages) is mandatory.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=0ykipfbupo2519ldasb5b2wp