Created By: Aries on March 14, 2012 Last Edited By: Aries on March 15, 2012
Nuked

Digivice

A plot-important, handheld digital device.

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Trope
A Digivice is a small digital item that holds a significant importance to the character, and if lost, can have a significant impact on the plot. The digivice is also unique in that we immediately recongnize the character for owning one. It could be their signature item, and without it, the character wouldn't actually be the same.

The Digivice can have multiple functions, or a single important function, so long as the important function is needed to help advance the plot. It is also near indestructible, often working perfectly underwater, after being dropped from a great height, or being tampered with (which may also be impossible to do).

Sometimes enemies may try to steal the Digivice, but most of the time, the item is ignored. Funny how if this item was stolen, it would put to antagonists at a great advantage, maybe to the point where the heroes could easily be defeated. If the enemies do not know about the digivice, then when seen, they may mistake it for a watch or a cell phone.

The Trope Namer is the anime Digimon, where in each series the children is given a new type of Digivice. The original digivices signified the children as being not only the chosen ones, but it also helped their Digimon parters to evolve, as well as allowed them to pass between the human world and Digital World freely.

What seperates this from a usual Plot Device is that the Digivice is digital, easily mistaken for something unimportant, and can harm the hero if lost or damaged.

Examples

  • Digimon is the Trope Namer. None of the antagonist ever thought to simply take the digivices.
  • In Megaman Battle Network and it's anime adaptation, Lan carried the PET, or Personal Terminal. It allowed Lan to communicate with Megaman and jack the Navi into computers, allowing him to defeat cyber criminals. Without it, Lan would have been useless.
    • Megaman Starforce replaced this with the Transceiver, which played a much smaller role.
  • In Dragon Ball, the Dragon Radar served as this. Without it, hunting the Dragon Balls would have been impossible, and in Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta mistaked it for a watch.
    • The Power Scouters qualify as well. Not only were they Dragon Radars, but it allowed Frieza's army to find different people all over the planet. Things would have been muc more difficult without them.
  • In Ben10, Ben's Omnitix is this, as well as a Transformation Trinket.
  • We have our own Digivices in Real Life. They are called Cell Phones, and many of us are lost without them.
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • March 15, 2012
    Aries
    Bumping. This trope Needs More Examples, but I don't mind launching it like this if I have no objections in the next few days. Wiki Magic works wonders.
  • March 15, 2012
    Mattonymy
    Please don't launch tropes after one day. Also, this trope seems to be more r less centered to Digimon not necesarily a plot device. Also your discussion on recogniable items and a multifunctional tool are already covered in Swiss Army Weapon and Iconic Item.
  • March 15, 2012
    Mattonymy
    • only one day
  • March 15, 2012
    wanderlustwarrior
    As a digimon fan, I've gotta ask: is this really necessary? Do we need a trope for specifically for electronic plot devices?
  • March 15, 2012
    Aries
    Well, no, its impossible to launch a YKTTW in one day. But this thing about this is that it IS in fact a Plot Device. It is also an Iconic Item, so this may either be a subtrope, or it can just be compared to Iconic Item.
  • March 15, 2012
    Aries
    Oh, and to answer you question wanderlustwarrior... yes.
  • March 15, 2012
    Mattonymy
    So its basically just a plot device that's electronic then. I'm getting a very PWSOC feel to this.
  • March 15, 2012
    Mattonymy
    And if we're talking about the In Universe example, I never really got the feeling that it was anything more than an Iconic Item like the Pokédex, and in some rare cases a Weirdness Magnet.
  • March 15, 2012
    Aries
    Well, I may be wrong, but my reasoning for making this a trope is because I saw, In Universe, that the Digivice was the most important item in the show, or, like the Dragon Radar, lead to the most important items in the show.

    Yes you have multiple Iconic Items, but unlike a few of those, the Digivice is a NEEDED item. It can be easily mistaken for a watch or a phone and often looked over. It doesn't need sentimental value, and it can actually be upgraded.

    It can actually, also overlap with Transformation Trinket, because I find that the Power Rangers morphers is also an example.

    Its an electronic plot device that is NESSECARY to the plot.

    By the way... what does PWSOC mean?
  • March 15, 2012
    wanderlustwarrior
    Adventure at least wasn't even about items. And even if it was, the tags and crests were more important, until they were revealed to be a Magic Feather. And for adventure 02 and Tamers, they were just the conduit for digivolution, not important of themselves (until Shibumi showd up, at least).

    And then Frontier didn't even have digivices, IIRC.

    They weren't really that important.
  • March 15, 2012
    Mattonymy
    Its People Who Sit On Chairs, which basically means that what you're trying to make a trope of isn't actually a story telling convention, just a bunch of observations. Currently, the only difference between this and the overarching Plot Device trope is that it happens to be electronic. Everything else (the fact that said item is special, the fact that the item can be recognized as a mundane object) are attributes of said objects, not specific at driving plot.

    Actually now that I read your description again, the item you're describing is not even technically a plot device. I think you seem to be confusing functional attributes of an object with what a Plot Device is. A Plot Device is not simply an Impossibly Cool Weapon or a multifunctional tool, it's an object whose sole job is advancing the story in some unique way. For example, take Chekhovs Gun. The trope is not about guns or even about Chekhov, it's about a tool or item being introduced in the beginning of the story that gets reused at the end. The fact that it's a gun has nothing to do with it.

    Now perhaps if the fact that it was "Electronic" was somehow useful in telling or advancing the story (I have no idea how), then maybe it could be considered a Plot Device. But because is only about an electronic object being important to a character, I'm not convinced it needs it's own section.
  • March 15, 2012
    Mattonymy
    Correction, People Sit On Chairs, my bad.
  • March 15, 2012
    Euodiachloris
    Um: I suggest divorcing the trope from the single item that sparked you to notice it. If you can't write it up using another example in the description, it probably isn't a trope on its own. Just an extended example of something from Plot Technology, Applied Phlebotinum, Schizo Tech (some potential examples might skirt that) and maybe somewhere a Companion Cube is crying, as well. At the very least, the description has to be distinctive from all of those, while showing possible relationships with them.
  • March 15, 2012
    Aries
    Frontier did have Digivices. They used them to store the digital code or whatever. All the digivices in the series is a Transformation Trinket and they cannot evolve without them... as far as I can remember. Admittedly they aren't seperated, they overlap with that trope.

    Not all Transformation Trinket items are Digivices and not all Digivices are Transformation Trinkets.
  • March 15, 2012
    Aries
    However you guys might be right. These items seemed to provide so sort of trend that I noticed in quite a few shows, however, it may not actually be tropable.
  • March 15, 2012
    Euodiachloris
    Hmmmm: I think you just described Applied Phlebotinum: Digital With Voice Activation and Control Flavour. Sorry, mate.

    EDIT: And, I forget how to type... :P
  • March 15, 2012
    Aries
    • Reads* ...yep. That's exactly what it is. An Applied Phlebotinum. Thanks Euodiachloris. It seems like we already have this.
  • March 15, 2012
    Euodiachloris
    Note the lack of Computerised Phelbotinum, though. You might be on to a winner if you emphasise the 'wave chips at it, and instant plot' side of life. :) The Digivice and many other bits of kit then can go in there. Including, possibly, the Doctor's Screwdriver. <thumbs up> You have actually spotted a hole.

    One partially covered by Clarkes Third Law and Fantastic Science, but not entirely. There is a movement to make AI, the internet and other digital bits and bobs vital to move a story along. Maybe. :)

    EDIT: Whoops... Black Box. Digital is covered. Meh. So much for that saving throw. :P

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=10p5s34avd7kuuf1et9mp133&trope=DiscardedYKTTW