Created By: Knight9910 on January 5, 2009
Nuked

Just Use A Phoenix Down On Him

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Trope
If this exists, I'm sorry. I can't find it.

This trope is for when a character in a work becomes Dead for Real, and it affects the plot and other characters in a major way, but it ends up causing a wall-banger, because other characters in the work have the power of resurrection.

Examples:

- Shaman King. Multiple characters can resurrect, and many of the characters have died and come back at some point. Yet how many characters use the death of a loved one as motivation?

- Neverwinter Nights. Why did the paladin sell her soul to evil in order to destroy the city, instead of just resurrecting her boyfriend?

- Final Fantasy 7. The ultimate example. JUST USE A PHOENIX DOWN ON AERIS.
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • January 5, 2009
    Earnest
    In Neverwinter Nights Lady Aribeth likely can't have her boyfriend resurrected because he doesn't want to be. He was guilt ridden and probably accepted his death. I never got to that part of the game, but she probably betrays the city because (in her mind) they betrayed her by burning Fenthick when he wasn't guilty, merely played by Desther.
  • January 5, 2009
    Cliche
    Earlier entries of Final Fantasy (IV, V, from my recollection) attempted to justify this by showing that the Phoenix Down didn't work for Killed Off For Real cases.
  • January 5, 2009
    Bisected8
  • January 5, 2009
    arromdee
    It's nearly become a meme that they should have used a Phoenix Down on Aeris in FF 7.

    Please, it's not true. This is why we have Non Lethal KO in the first place--so nobody wonders why they couldn't use a Phoenix Down if you're actually dead.
  • January 5, 2009
    Kayube
    Of course the reason it's called Phoenix Down is because it's supposed to bring dead characters back to life... not just revive people from unconsciousness.
  • January 5, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Wo W, to absurd levels. Half of the classes in the game can rez people, with vitrually no cost, and yet NPC deaths are still, somehow, a big deal.
  • January 5, 2009
    GloatingSwine
    @ Bisected8 Yes. Yes it is.
  • January 5, 2009
    arromdee
    Kayube: That just means the name "Phoenix Down" is an Artifact Title. In any remotely current game, including FF 7, the Phoenix Down equivalent only brings people back from Non Lethal KO even if the name doesn't suggest that.
  • January 5, 2009
    banjo2E
  • January 5, 2009
    EponymousKid
    Well, at least in Shaman King, Faust's motivation as a villain was destroyed when his wife was resurrected.
  • January 5, 2009
    Unknown20Troper
    A special kind of Fridge Logic but a common one apparently.
  • January 5, 2009
    Gizensha
    @arromdee - They only started calling it "Knocked Out" and similar after FFVII, at that point they were still refering to the 0hp status effect as Death. Based on a quick glance of instruction manuals, it was between VII and VIII that they stopped referring to it as Death, presumably due to mass Fridge Logic about Aeries. (They didn't take 'its not actually death' to its logical conclusion and revive party members to 1hp after battle until Final Fantasy X, as I recall, though)
  • January 5, 2009
    Wyvernil
    This is covered in Plotline Death, but could serve as as subtrope of this and Gameplay And Story Segregation.

    This is the reason why some games attempt to justify plot death by rendering the "zero HP" condition as unconsciousness rather than death. Additionally, a few games (Final Fantasy V, for instance), have actually had the heroes try to heal or revive the character only to fail.
  • January 6, 2009
    Medinoc
    In FF 5, Kylie (or whatever her name is translated as) tries Phenix Down, Cure3, Elixir...
  • January 6, 2009
    arromdee
    I decided to actually check some Final Fantasy games to see if it's really true that only after FF 7 did they make it a Non Lethal KO.

    FF 1: Slain FF 2 (US):Swoon, FF 4 J: sentou funou (cannot fight) FF 3 (US): Wounded, FF 6 J: sentou funou

    It's safe to say that they changed it to Non Lethal KO well before FF 7.
  • January 6, 2009
    EponymousKid
    Okay, think about it for literally one second. Have Phoenix Downs ever been really talked about in Final Fantasy as death cures? Or are they just in the game for the convenience of the player and have no actual role in the story.

    You would have a point if Phoenix Downs were mentioned at all in the games' stories at all as the cures for death that they are in gameplay. But since there has never been any single solitary goddamn fucking suggestion that that's the fucking case, I suggest everybody fucking shut up about that Aeris thing, okay?
  • January 6, 2009
    banjo2E
    Well, there was that one time in Final Fantasy V where, during a cutscene, they tried to prevent...was it Galuf?...you know, the old guy...from dying with white magic, Phoenix Downs, and other things (that presumably were lying there at the base of the tree, as they never left your inventory if you had any) but he died anyway.
  • January 6, 2009
    Pika Hikari KT
    This could actually be justified in Chrono Trigger -- the victim is vaporized DBZ style as opposed to being unconcious, and chances are that Marle hasn't learned how to revive at that point (she will have by the New Game Plus, but still...). Though since this is a game about time travel, it doesn't really matter that much unless you want to face Lavos without Crono.
  • January 7, 2009
    Medinoc
    The fan-translation of FF 5 (where Kylie was translated as Cara) used "Wounded" for the Non Letal KO.
  • January 7, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    This happens all the damn time in comic books.
  • January 7, 2009
    Twitch
    Phantasy Star II: Nei is Dead For Real, despite the presence of cloning labs in every town. Handwaved by the Lab tech saying the process doesn't work on non-humans. Never mind that it worked just fine if the character got killed earlier...
  • January 7, 2009
    Haven
    Non-video-game example: In Heroes, it's going to get real hard to justify not resurrecting any of the good guys with an injection from Claire. Come to think of it, maybe that's why they're trying to make her do a Face Heel Turn.
  • January 7, 2009
    arromdee
    In the Phantasy Star example, I've seen at least two explanations, both posted on this site, that contradict each other: it's a mistranslation and actually the character's data had been removed, and it's a mistranslation and it's actually a hospital and not a cloning lab.

    As for Heroes, you could use an injection from Claire combined with time travel, which is even worse. Heck, time travel alone would do it for some deaths, like Niki's.
  • January 8, 2009
    Haven
    Ooh yeah. Hiro seems pretty dead-set against time travel into the past though. Unless it's for the lulz*, or if Isaac gives his thumbs up, or when Rule Of Drama dictates that he not be.

    • where lulz equals pretending to kill your best friend.
  • January 8, 2009
    Medinoc
  • January 8, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Wow, I actually got a lot more replies than I expected.

    Okay, so this could be a subtrope of gameplay/story segregation.

    Also, could we please stop screaming about Aeris? Jesus, I'm sorry I even brought it up. Eponymous Kid, please keep the obscenities to a minimum. Minimum being zero.
  • January 8, 2009
    Wyvernil
    I think the video game aspect of it is partially covered by Plotline Death, but I see a broader trope here. This covers the absurdity of getting Killed Off For Real in any universe where resurrection is a possibility (though it's most common in video games where it's there as a gameplay mechanic). This may be justified if the means of bringing someone Back From The Dead is sufficiently rare or expensive, so it can't get used on just anybody.

    In Dungeons And Dragons, a few justifications can be given for having a character Killed Off For Real. The first is, as mentioned before, rarity and expensiveness, which means death can be permanent for low-level P Cs. The second is the person's body being sufficiently mutilated (or the soul being stolen/damaged), so that only the highest-level resurrection spells work. The third (introduced in Fourth Edition) is the notion that resurrection works because the person being brought back to life has some unfinished destiny left to accomplish (such as the P Cs). Thus, if a person's time is up (I.E. the Game Master deems his death to be important to the plot), they can't be brought back.
  • January 8, 2009
    Ajardoor
  • January 8, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Dn D has two notable exceptions I can think of.

    1. Being resurrected removes 1 level. If you're level 1 it removes a point of Consitution instead. If you die at level 1 with 1 CON, you're dead permanently....you're also the worst PC ever, but that's beside the point.

    2. You can't rez if you died of old age.
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