Created By: Unknown Troper on May 25, 2007
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Is there a trope for characters with over-complicated origins? Like Wolverine, who was a soldier, mutant, science experiment, ninja, assasin, superhero, miner, aristocrat's son, biker with amnesia? Or Shadow the Hedgehog - who's a clone, mutant, demon-possessed, weapon, biological experiment, alien, cyborg, secret agent superhero?
Community Feedback Replies: 9
  • May 25, 2007
    Roland
  • May 25, 2007
    SevenSeals
    This tends to happen to characters with a Mysterious Past. The writers explain a bit, but not all of it, so they can milk the Mysterious Past some more. Unfortunately, they then repeat this trick so often that there's practically no room left for even more mysterious-pastness. It's unclear that the character ever had time to have a mysterious past with all the revelations we've already seen, and it's ironic that, for all their supposed mystery, these characters tend to have more backstory than any of the other characters.

    There's a snappy title for this somewhere that I can't think up.
  • May 25, 2007
    jonnyd
  • May 25, 2007
    Branfish
    Most of the characters in Lost are like that now. For example, Locke's time in a hippy commune, never referred to before or since in the series.
  • May 26, 2007
    Tangent128
    Would this count Jim from Code Lyoko? As a Running Gag, he often tangently mentions being involved in all sorts of different odd jobs (space program test subject, special forces, something about submarines, something else about professional skateboarding) that he would "rather not talk about".

    Shadow was demon-possessed? Mutant is debatable, but the rest are accurate.
  • May 26, 2007
    Unknown Troper
    Mostly referring to the demon Mephelies trying to copy Shadow by stealing his Shadow.
  • May 26, 2007
    Janitor
    The thing that causes it is subsequent writers shoe-horning in some back story they need. History Creep for me, like "feature-creep" in software dev.
  • May 26, 2007
    Tangent128
    UT: It's not really backstory if it happens in the game, though. But your general point is right: being a genetically-enhanced cyborg alien clone engineered to be an immortal weapon with the secret purpose of defeating an alien overlord, then being repurposed to destroy the world after your creator's daughter is killed in a military raid partly resulting from an ancient robot going berserk... is an awfully complicated backstory.

    This tropes often results from an Expansion Pack World... Expansion Past?
  • May 26, 2007
    Branfish
    I like that name, but it seems somehow unsatisfactory. I think it would be better if the word "Pack" was in there, i.e. Expansion Pack Past. This would have the added bonus of mirroring the structure of Expansion Pack World.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=dtxbljqm&trope=ExpansionPackPast