Created By: KJMackley on August 4, 2011 Last Edited By: StarSword on December 24, 2012

Abnormal Warrior

They are anything but normal, but they still get by with their skill and wits

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Inspired by This "Badass Relatively Normal" ykttw, talks of better defining it seems to have stalled and I see promise in getting a different proposal going on.

Basically a split from Badass Normal, these characters are not technically "normal" due to the presence of a superpower or physical augmentation. But they still manage to get by alongside allies with greater superpowers and superpowered enemies, usually due to their intelligence, combat training, and/or creativity. If they were truly normal they would be badass normal.

There is a certain degree of superpowered "weight" to be addressed here. The key is that their powers don't give an instant advantage. Being able to alter the conditions of a normal fight such as combat-level telekinesis or an unprecedented edge being Nigh Invulnerable would void you from the trope. Other powers such as Super Strength must be fairly low-grade, be used very sparingly or is non-combative in premise.

Interestingly, if these characters are forced to endure a Brought Down to Normal story they often seem to manage just fine because those powers were not vital to their success as a hero.

Related to Badass Abnormal, which refers to a Badass Normal gaining actual superpowers. Compare Fights Like a Normal.

Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
  • Captain Bravo from Busou Renkin is a Badass Normal by the series standards. He does have a kakugane, but the resulting busou renkin is the purely defensive Silver Skin whereas the entire rest of the cast gets any of a variety of superpowered weapons. As a result, Bravo being a One-Man Army comes down entirely to athleticism and extensive training in hand-to-hand combat.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
  • Black Canary is a meta-human who has the "Canary Cry" as a very useful backup weapon to help clear a room. But this actual power is used fairly little in comparison to her martial arts abilities that rivals much of the DC universe. It's not uncommon for several stories to go by without her even using the cry.
  • Daredevil is a blind man who has enhanced senses that allows him to see in a different way than most people. But these abilities are effectively worthless if Daredevil didn't train to utilize them to read body language and see in 360 degrees. Besides having an enhanced sense of balance Daredevil is still physically human.
  • Captain America has his origin story as a Super Serum turning him into a Super Soldier. Whether he is treated as "peak human" or as superhuman, both the serum and enhanced physical abilities ensure that he is not normal. Even still, his physical abilities pale in comparison to most other heroes and villains he encounters. What makes him such a force to be reckoned with is his nobility in leading other heroes in addition to his bravery and skill on a battlefield.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • Going by the codex, any non-biotic military personnel in Mass Effect are this by default, since genetic enhancements to existing abilities (strength, metabolism, eyesight, etc.) are the norm in the setting. They're still not much of a match for gravity-manipulating biotics or krogans.
  • Fighters in Project Eternity have special abilities deriving from their souls, but the scale of these powers (temporary Super Strength and Super Speed) pales in comparison to wizards, ciphers, and priests. They rely primarily on martial skills and intense training.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]] [[/folder]]

Indices: Badass

Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • June 29, 2012
    MarqFJA
    Bump.
  • November 1, 2012
    MarqFJA
    I'll be taking control of this for now, since the OP has apparently abandoned it.
  • November 1, 2012
    StarSword
    Tagged with Up For Grabs for that reason.

    Anime And Manga
    • Captain Bravo from Busou Renkin is a Badass Normal by the series standards. He does have a kakugane, but the resulting busou renkin is the purely defensive Silver Skin whereas the entire rest of the cast gets any of a variety of superpowered weapons. As a result, Bravo being a One Man Army comes down entirely to athleticism and extensive training in hand-to-hand combat.

    Video Games
    • Going by the codex, any non-biotic military personnel in Mass Effect are this by default, since genetic enhancements to existing abilities (strength, metabolism, eyesight, etc.) are the norm in the setting. Memetic Badass Commander Shepard stands out even among them, especially after being brought back to life in Mass Effect 2 with cybernetic enhancements that, if Soldier or Infiltrator, let him/her potentially handle an anti-materiel sniper rifle[[labelnote:specifically,]]the M-98 Widow[[/labelnote]] that would break the shoulder of a normal soldier unless fired prone.
  • November 1, 2012
    DracMonster
    "Only a little super powered" YKTT Ws have been tried a few times, but defining that gets into the old Kick The Dog vs Rape The Dog type of problem - it's a very YMMV distinction, since Heart Is An Awesome Power. There's always too many arguments over who qualifies, and they tend to end up looking like superman vs. goku debates. We have Guile Hero (which this basically looks like right now), Fights Like A Normal and a few others that kind of cover it.
  • November 2, 2012
    StarSword
    I think that the non-Marvel/DCU examples probably need to explain how the character is less superpowered than other characters. To use the Mass Effect example, Alliance troops are genetically enhanced to be noticeably faster and stronger than baseline humans, but compared to a biotic (gravity control) or krogan (stupid durable thanks to regeneration, blood rage) they're effectively badass normals.

    Marvel and the DCU get a pass because, for instance, every superhero in the DCU gets compared to Supes.
  • December 14, 2012
    StarSword
    I edited the Mass Effect example and added one from Project Eternity, but while looking for indices I ran across a trope called Fights Like A Normal. Thoughts? (Seems to me like a Compare.)
  • December 24, 2012
    DaimondStar07
    Would Master Offay from the Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go episode "Monster Battle Club Now!" count? He's an Old Master and Lightning Bruiser who gets by just fine with hand-to-hand fighting skill, and he's only displayed one superpower, which he only pulled out near the end of the fight (and it was easily countered).
  • December 24, 2012
    KJMackley
    I initially started this YKTTW because there was an idea floating around of trying to clarify Badass Normal, as examples like Captain America or even Black Canary are not technically normal despite how they fight. Fights Like A Normal is about as close as we got but I never liked that trope because it basically just says "superpowered and uses martial arts" despite the fact that being Nigh Invulnerable or having a Healing Factor means that they are not fighting in a "normal" way.

    I think one thing about Mass Effect is that of the six classes the Soldier class is the only one that explicitly doesn't have bio-augmentations as part of their combat style (at least no more than what is typically available to normal people), instead for Competitive Balance reasons they rely on making their weapons more powerful. All this while other classes have varying degrees of Tech or Biotic enhancements which reduce the need for their weapons. The Soldier class plays more like other FPS characters.
  • December 24, 2012
    TheHandle
    Would Stand users from Jojos Bizarre Adventure count? I mean, the Stands are supernatural powers given humanoid form, but they're only an advantage if used with lots and lots of wit.

    Same for One Piece, at least for Paramecia. The Devil Fruits don't make you that much stronger; it's how creative you get with them that does that.
  • December 24, 2012
    StarSword
    ^Don't know enough about Jojo to say either way, but the second one probably needs to cite specific examples of people one step above Badass Normal in comparison to folks of greater Super Weight (e.g. Black Canary versus Superman, or bio-augmented human versus a biotic).

    We probably need to add that comparison note to the page description.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=172wief96oudxc1phhyhdqn1