Created By: KarjamP on September 2, 2013 Last Edited By: KarjamP on November 25, 2013
Troped

Tiered By Name

Additions or alterations to names signify stronger versions of said beings.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Characters or enemies who return stronger tend to have letters or symbols or other similar prefixes or suffixes (like X, R, Mega, Super or even Mk II) either at the end of their names or at the beginning of one.

A variation is when the name itself is modified to signify it's stronger (like "Machop" to "Machoke" to "Machamp").

Bonus points if the character or enemy's either recolored or has his appearance changed to look more menacing.

Subtrope of Underground Monkey and Meaningful Name. Compare Randomly Generated Loot, which tends to use a similar naming convention for equipment.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Higher-level Digimon often have the names of their prior level with a prefix attacked, such as Greymon - MetalGreymon, or Garurumon to WereGarurumon. However, there is no universal rule, as there's Digimon who change their names entirely when gaining levels, such as Togamon - Lillymon - Rosemon.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • The franchise has many monsters that act as variants of the same base monster, though not always stronger, with the connection being signified by a partial name change, such as Dark Magician to Dark Sage or Dark Magician Knight. Played straightest with the Gagagigo family, Gagagigo's card lore tracing his evolution into Giga Gagagigo, then Gogiga Gagagigo.
    • There's also the LV monsters, which are more this trope combined with Power Levels and/or Character Level. Examples include Armed Dragon and its more powerful forms Armed Dragon LV3, Armed Dragon LV5, etc., or Silent Swordsman and its more powerful forms, among others.
  • Megatron from Transformers and Galvatron are the same being from two different time periods, although in some continuities, they're two different people.
  • In Bleach, the true name of a sword in full release tends to be build up on the release name - such as Senbonsakura (thousand cherry blossoms) becoming Senbonsakura Kageyoshi (thousand cherry blossoms vibrant display

General
  • It's pretty common for there to be a "dire" version of an enemy that is a suped up version of a common enemy in video games and tabletop games. For instance, a dire wolf is harder than a wolf. A dire rat is more dangerous than a rat.

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Rita Repulsa's Putty Patrollers are replaced with Lord Zedd's Z Putty Patrollers, which have a Z on their chests and are practically indestrucible - unless you hit them directly in the "Z" in which case they explode into harmless bits.

Professional Wrestling
  • The Road Warriors (also known as the Legion of Doom) were repackaged in 1998 as LOD 2000, with little changing except more colorful shoulderpds and the addition of Sunny as their manager. This lasted for about six months.

Tabletop Games
  • In Warhammer 40K, Tyranid units that are stronger than usual are usually referred to as "Unit's Name" Prime.
  • There's various templates in Dungeons & Dragons that can be applied to a single creature to modify its stats (size, ancestry, and other traits), which are then reflected in its name. Usually a good indicator of a Mary Sue / Min Maxer if applied to a PC.
  • In Ogre by Metagaming and Steve Jackson Games, The titular A.I. controlled tanks were identified by putting a "Mark X" after the word "Ogre", with the X being a Roman numeral (I, II, III, IV, V, VI). The higher the number, the more powerful the Ogre.
  • The decker programs sold by Hacker House for the 'Shadowrun supplement Virtual Realities'' had numbers at the end of their names. The higher the number, the larger and more powerful the program.

Video Games
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In the remake of Final Fantasy V for the Gameboy Advance (and later iOS) there is Omega MK. II, which is not only stronger than the original Omega but is also 22 levels lower than the original.
    • Final Fantasy XII has another Omega named Omega Mark XII, one of the last marks you fight and also an optional superboss. In the Japan-exclusive version (named Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System) Omega Mark XII is also fought on the 99th floor of trial mode.
    • The series in general also does this for the spells: Fire -> Fira -> Firaga.
    • * In Final Fantasy VII, the summon Bahamut comes in 3 insreasingly powerful versions, culminating in Bahamut Zero
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team both have most of the bonus bosses be tougher versions of the normal bosses found in the game. They have the same name as the originals, but with "X" added to them. The latter also has the Underground Monkey mooks having names of the original mooks with "R" at the end of them.
  • Almost all of the bosses and minibosses in Kirby's Return to Dream Land that appears in extra mode has "X" added to their names, in addition to looking more menancing than their normal mode counterparts.
  • In the Mega Man Battle Network games, depending on the game, the enemies may be leveled with letters alpha, beta and omega, or a number (1, 2, 3) followed by EX and/or SP. Bass will often be an exception: He had been XX, BS, GS, etc.
    • The life virus in Megaman Battle Network Transmission gains an "R" in its name and a different color when it was revived.
  • Pokémon:
    • Many Pokemon have a two-part name with one part changing to reflect a higher power level upon evolution, such as Machop - Machoke - Machamp, or Larvitar - Pupitar - Tyranitar
    • All Mega Evolution forms in Pokémon X and Y officially have the name "Mega <mega evolved Pokemon>".
  • Borderlands prefixes its upgraded enemies with "Badass", then "Badmutha", and finally "Superbad" as player progresses through levels of New Game+.
  • The Slimes in Dragon Quest have a lot of buffed variants, including an infamous one that only takes one point of damage and gives out high EXP. All of them have "Slime" in their species names.
  • Many enemies in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have many auto-leveled variants distinguished from the base mook by some power ranking slapped after the name. For example: Draugr Wight, Draugr Deathlord, Reaver Marauder.
  • When Sonic the Hedgehog is powered up by the chaos emeralds, he becomes ''Super Sonic" and turns yellow. There's other transformations from other sources as well, but this is the most famous.
  • The "Hyper" prefix is used in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for variants of enemies that charge their attacks. Some more traditionally upgraded foes get the "Elite" prefix.
  • Bonus Boss Vanitas Remnant in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix has more attacks than the original, all of which One Hit Kills you if you did not set your abilities up right.
  • In Warcraft III, most neutral creeps of a line use different suffixes (but there's no universal "this suffix means this type" effect) in addition to the usual size, model and hue differences. For example, Bandit/Salamander/Ogre Lord, Forest/Ice/Dark Troll Trapper/Priest/Warlord, Ancient Sasquatch/Wendigo/Hydra, etc.
Community Feedback Replies: 90
  • September 2, 2013
    DAN004
    Does it have to be X or R?
  • September 2, 2013
    KarjamP
    Well, if you're aware of any other letters used similarly, then I'll change the laconic and description to be more general.
  • September 2, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Might overlap with X Makes Anything Cool.
  • September 2, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^Let's have that potholed in the description instead. :P
  • September 2, 2013
    DAN004
    Well, in Mega Man Battle Network games, depending on the game, the enemies may be leveled with letters alpha, beta and omega, or a number (1, 2, 3) followed by EX and/or SP. Bass will often be an exception: He had been XX, BS, GS, etc.
  • September 2, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^Noted.
  • September 8, 2013
    KarjamP
    YKTTW Bump, as I don't want this YKTTW that I made to rot.
  • September 8, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    too specific and undescriptive, so i suggest Re Buffed Boss Rematch or just Boss Rematch. or the more generic Upgraded Enemy or Buffed Enemy Type

    for an example, the Bonus Boss Vanitas Remnant in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix. has more attacks than the original, all of which One Hit Kills you if you did not set your abilities up right.
  • September 8, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ But this trope isn't just about enemies returning stronger. It's about enemies returning stronger having a letter added to their name.

    Often overlaps with Palette Swap, by the way.
  • September 9, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ that's very restrictive you know. how about others called Mk 1.0? v2? Remnant? Alpha/Omega? they won't count despite fitting everywhere else because of one letter?
  • September 9, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ It's more common than you think.

    Yuppies, I kinda think those you listed count here.
  • September 9, 2013
    joshbl56
    Games
    • In the remake of Final Fantasy V for the Gameboy Advance (and later iOS) there is Omega MK. II, which is not only stronger than the original Omega but is also 22 levels lower than the original.
    • Final Fantasy XII has another Omega named Omega Mark XII, one of the last marks you fight and also an optional superboss. In the Japan-exclusive version (named Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System) Omega Mark XII is also fought on the 99th floor of trial mode.
  • September 10, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ not saying it's rare. i'm saying limiting examples to single letters/"X/R" is very restrictive.

    also, how is this distinct from Recurring Boss? other than having a title and Palette Swap stuck on the character, that is.
  • September 10, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ That's why I asked in the first post "does it have to be X/R" :P

    It isn't always Recurring Boss - in fact, mooks get more of this than bosses do.
  • September 10, 2013
    MrRuano
    Metroid Fusion has the main antagonist be the SA-X, which is an alien known as X infesting the parts of her Powered Armor that were surgically removed, leading to the formation of a copy of Samus. The X in this case is double-fold in use. Not only does it denote how much tougher this enemy is (especially in comparison to Samus in this game), but also the alien's imitation of her.
  • September 13, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ questionable example. the character is not a returnee.
  • September 15, 2013
    Stratadrake
    "X" unfortunately is not a particularly good letter to use in the title due to its widespread association with placeholders.
  • September 15, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ As in "variables", amirite?

    So I suggest Letter Coded Enemy Difficulty.
  • October 16, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^^ Good point.

    Why didn't I realise there were replies to this so I could maintain this one properly!!

    All well, this is my first YKTTW.

    Anyway, ShanghaiSlave does have a point.

    Therefore, it's expanded accordingly.
  • October 16, 2013
    KarjamP
    • Borderlands prefixes its upgraded enemies with "Badass", then "Badmutha", and finally "Superbad" as player progresses through levels of New Game Plus.
  • October 16, 2013
    Bruxist
    I wouldn't limit this to enemies per se. For example, the Imperial support attack "Last Squadron" in Red Alert 3 can be upgraded to "Last Squadron X" and then "Last Squadron Omega", which is quite fitting with your proposed trope - after all, the name refers to an actual squadron of suicide aviators, who (depending on which side you play) can be your short-lived enemies or your blindly loyal subjects :)
  • October 16, 2013
    StarSword
  • October 16, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ This. I don't understand how spelling "X" as "EX" was supposed to be an improvement anyway.
  • October 16, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ Now my stomach hurts... XD

    wait, still no Vanitas Remnant? BLASPHEMY!! could add it myself but i wanna know why it somehow doesn't count. that bastard is beyond buffed.
  • October 16, 2013
    MorningStar1337
  • October 16, 2013
    Chabal2
    Bosses with an EX- in front of their names in Touhou are particularly difficult to beat.
  • October 17, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^ Are said bosses rehashes of previous bosses, or...
  • October 17, 2013
    DAN004
    Yeah, again I'm upping Name Coded Enemy Difficulty.
  • October 17, 2013
    KarjamP
    @StarSword: Well, this IS a working title, after all.

    Anyway, if we were to expand it to include non-enemies as well, then we need another name, as I can't think of anything right now.

    Super Sonic came to mind to add to this list if we expand this.

    And the Red Alert 3 example technically counts as an example even under this trope's current description. :P
  • October 18, 2013
    KarjamP
  • October 19, 2013
    aurora369
    Many enemies in Skyrim have many auto-leveled variants distinguished from the base mook by some power ranking slapped after the name. For example: Draugr Wight, Draugr Deathlord, Reaver Marauder.
  • October 20, 2013
    KarjamP
    Let me know what you guys think of the new name and description.
  • October 20, 2013
    henke37
  • October 20, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^ clarified it a bit and removed the unnecessarily Example Indentation.
  • October 22, 2013
    KarjamP
  • October 26, 2013
    KarjamP
  • October 26, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Rita Repulsa's Putty Patrollers are replaced with Lord Zedd's Z Putty Patrollers, which have a Z on their chests and are practically indestrucible - unless you hit them directly in the "Z" in which case they explode into harmless bits.
  • October 26, 2013
    KarjamP
    Finally! A non video game-related example!
  • October 26, 2013
    DrakeClawfang
    • Digimon, higher-level Digimon often have the names of their prior level with a prefix attacked, such as Greymon - MetalGreymon, or Garurumon to WereGarurumon. However, there is no universal rule, such Digimon change their names entirely at all levels, such as Togamon - Lillymon - Rosemon.
    • Pokemon, many PokÊmon have a two-part name with one part changing to reflect a higher power level upon evolution, such as Machop - Machoke - Machamp, or Larvitar - Pupitar - Tyranitar
    • Franchise/{{Yu-Gi-Oh!}} has many monsters that act as variants of the same base monster, though not always stronger, with the connection being signified by a partial name change, such as Dark Magician to Dark Sage or Dark Magician Knight. Played straightest with the Gagagigo family, Gagagigo's card lore tracing his evolution into Giga Gagagigo, then Gogiga Gagagigo.
  • October 27, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^The Pokemon example you gave is technically a variation of this trope as stands in the current trope's description (thus, giving me the idea to expand the trope a bit by adding said variation).

    Also, it's best we don't put the accent on the e until the trope's launched - I doubt that the encoding on YKTTW doesn't support letters with accents (but the ones on the main pages do).
  • October 27, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Final Fantasy also uses this for its spells: Fire -> Fira -> Firaga.
    • Warhammer 40 K: Tyranid units that are stronger than usual are usually referred to as "Unit's Name" Prime.
    • Dungeons And Dragons: Various templates can be applied to a single creature to modify its stats (size, ancestry, and other traits), which are then reflected in its name. Usually a good indicator of a Mary Sue / Min Maxer if applied to a PC.
  • October 27, 2013
    acrobox
  • October 27, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^ How's that better than the current name?

    Just because it's alliterative doesn't mean it's completely clear.

    And besides, this trope's expanded to include more than a prefix or suffix.
  • October 27, 2013
    DrakeClawfang
    made an adjustment to the Digimon entry to fix clarify explanation, my own error
  • October 27, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^Also fixed some of your grammar there to make it sound less awkward.
  • October 27, 2013
    SenseiLeRoof
  • October 27, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Professional Wrestling:
    • The Road Warriors (also known as the Legion of Doom) were repackaged in 1998 as LOD 2000, with little changing except more colorful shoulderpds and the addition of Sunny as their manager. This lasted for about six months.
    • Semi-Inverted by Matt Hardy during one of his Face Heel Turns where he became "Matt Hardy, Version 1."
  • October 28, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^^ That implies that the title change itself is powerful, not that it represents an stronger version of characters/enemies.

    Still prefer the current.

    ^ I don't see how the Matt Hardy example fits properly (even as an inversion).
  • October 29, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Ogre by Metagaming and Steve Jackson Games. The Ogres were giant AI controlled tanks. Their type was identified by putting a "Mark X" after the word "Ogre", with the X being a Roman numeral (I, II, III, IV, V, VI). The higher the number, the more powerful the Ogre.
  • October 29, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    So Vanitas Remnant (see my previous replies) really doesn't count?
  • October 29, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Fixed a Red Link + namespaced a couple examples.
  • October 29, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^^^^He went from "Matt Hardy" to "Matt Hardy Version 1," where he was a Large Ham Boisterous Bruiser. He sucked weight in order to qualify as a Light Heavyweight, so he was also a Monster Heel relatively speaking.

    The way it would be a "semi-inversion" is that he's adding info to his name, but it's "Version 1" as if plain "Matt Hardy" was itself an evolution which is being rolled back. Unless "Matt Hardy" was a Beta Test.
  • October 29, 2013
    acrobox
  • October 30, 2013
    KarjamP
    I appreciate your help, Paradisesnake.

    Shanghai Slave, I want to know in context what a Vanitas Remnant is before I would be willing to add it.

    Acrobox, that name seems ambiguous to me. Ambiguous as it can also mean "a character who changes his name to sound greater/more menacing even though he doesn't change in strength".
  • November 1, 2013
    KarjamP
  • November 1, 2013
    OmegaMetroid
  • November 1, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Shadowrun supplement Virtual Realities. The decker programs sold by Hacker House had numbers at the end of their names. The higher the number, the larger and more powerful the program.
  • November 3, 2013
    KarjamP
  • November 3, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Karjam P, uh, i provided context the first time i mentioned him...

    2013-09-08 10:45:34
    Bonus Boss Vanitas Remnant in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix. has more attacks than the original, all of which One Hit Kills you if you did not set your abilities up right.
    extra context: the guy is recolored to Black And White while the original was Red And Black And Evil All Over.
  • November 3, 2013
    Chabal2
    Warcraft III: Most neutral creeps of a line use different suffixes (but there's no universal "this suffix means this type" effect) in addition to the usual size, model and hue differences. For example, Bandit/Salamander/Ogre Lord, Forest/Ice/Dark Troll Trapper/Priest/Warlord, Ancient Sasquatch/Wendigo/Hydra, etc.

  • November 4, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^^ Well, for starters, I didn't see the post before the one that effectively said "What? Still no Vanitas Remnant?". :P
  • November 4, 2013
    FGHIK
    Abram being renamed Abraham in The Bible?
  • November 5, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^ If Abraham physically became more powerful in the bible either in terms of skill or abilities, then yes.

    He's Not An Example because despite being the founder of one of the most famous ancient nations of the world, he's still the same human when he was alive.
  • November 7, 2013
    KarjamP
  • November 7, 2013
    noirgrimoir
    It's pretty common for there to be a "dire" version of an enemy that is a suped up version of a common enemy in video games and tabletop games. For instance, a dire wolf is harder than a wolf. A dire rat is more dangerous than a rat.
  • November 8, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^I've put that under general, as I don't know where else to put it other than either as a duplicate on both or under "Tabletop Games/Video Games".
  • November 8, 2013
    KarjamP
    Okay, we have plenty of examples, now.

    Can someone please help me with making the description more professional?
  • November 8, 2013
    troacctid
    Bad Snowclone. "Name-Coded" doesn't parse. The word is "Codenamed". (And it's not this trope.)

    I believe the technical term is "Affix", as in Power Level Affix. It's not a widely-used word, but I think if we explain it in the description and use Power Level Prefix and Power Level Suffix as redirects, we could make it work.

    We could also use Power Level Prefix as the main name, use the others as redirects, and put a Tropes Are Flexible bit (e.g. "It doesn't have to be a prefix (it could be a suffix or an adjective, for example), but "Power Level Modifier or Affix" doesn't have the same ring to it.") in the description. I think I like that a little better; the alliteration rolls nicely off the tongue.
  • November 8, 2013
    DAN004
    I'd rather pick Affix or Name-Coded.
  • November 9, 2013
    KarjamP
    But the trope's not just about affixes anymore.

    It's also about name alterations that tells us that the character/enemy's stronger (ie, "Machop", "Machoke". "Machamp").

    Incidentally, that just adds another reason for me wanting help to rewrite this (besides me wanting it to look more like the other articles than stubby text like this), so that there won't be any more confusion like this.

    Also who cares if Google brings us "codename" instead of "name-coded"?

    That just proves that the term's technically uncommon in everyday usage.

    As long as the tropers are able to understand what is meant of the trope name, it doesn't matter.
  • November 10, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
  • November 10, 2013
    Illa
    Does the Meaningful Name described in Gathering Blue and Warrior Cats count? It seems that characters there change the end of their names as they grow older or change status.
  • November 10, 2013
    Scrounge
    Would Megatron -> Galvatron count?
  • November 11, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^^ I would like to know what the specific Meaningful Names are before I would add it (or else it might become Zero Context Examples).

    And I think it'll only count if they become more experienced if they become older. Changing status? I think it'll count if "status" = rank or social status.

    ^ That works perfectly. Galvatron implies Megatron's gotten more powerful.

    However, according to Wikipedia, Galvatron and Megatron can be separate entities, according to what continuity it is.
  • November 11, 2013
    Mozgwsloiku
    • In Bleach, the true name of a sword in full release tends to be build up on the release name - such as Senbonsakura (thousand cherry blossoms) becoming Senbonsakura Kageyoshi (thousand cherry blossoms vibrant display
    • In Final Fantasy VII, the summon Bahamut comes in 3 insreasingly powerful versions, culminating in Bahamut Zero
  • November 11, 2013
    Illa
    I don't know Warrior Cats, just the explanations under Meaningful Name and Meaningful Rename on its page: "A Clan cat's name is an indicator of their rank in the Clan hierarchy: kits' names end in -kit, apprentices' in -paw, leaders' in -star... the more unique names belong to warriors and medicine cats." and "Names are changed quite often, usually indicating change of status(promotion to apprentice or warrior), more rarely because of some physical change, e.g. Halftail, One-Eye, Lostface or Crookedkit."
  • November 12, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^ There we go. "more rarely because of some physical change" would technically not be an example of this trope (unless they're becoming weaker, which is the inverse of this trope, and even then, this trope's about alterations to names, not replacing it altogether).
  • November 12, 2013
    troacctid
  • November 14, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^ I want more opinions about those two names.

    Personally, Tiered By Name sounds great, so far.
  • November 17, 2013
    KarjamP
    I would definably love it to see this trope in the light of day, so YKTTW Bump.
  • November 17, 2013
    Bisected8
    Compare Randomly Generated Loot, which tends to use a similar naming convention for equipment.
  • November 17, 2013
    DAN004
    Tiered By Name works well.
  • November 17, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    another vote for Tiered By Name. though current works for me too.
  • November 18, 2013
    KarjamP
    This trope's now known as Tiered By Name because at least two others thought it's a good name.
  • November 21, 2013
    KarjamP
  • November 21, 2013
    troacctid
    I'm comfortable hatting it with the new name.
  • November 24, 2013
    KarjamP
    And, uh, does anyone here want to help me with the description?
  • November 24, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Have a hat. this doesn't need a detailed description, it's simple enough. current works already.
  • November 25, 2013
    KarjamP
    Thanks.

    Anyone else want to add to this, or can I launch it?
  • November 25, 2013
    KarjamP
    Okay, five hats, I'll see if I can launch this.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=j1hgpt4twtbobs9qnzloirrs