Created By: skywerewolf on March 13, 2013 Last Edited By: skywerewolf on March 23, 2013

Sideways Upgrade

Where you modify something in a manner that upgrades others, but instead it turns out to be differnt in function than before.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
The idea this: You have swords. You go to the blacksmith and when he forges them to become more powerful, but when you take the Blade of gentle waves to the blacksmith, it turns into the blade of dripping poison.

This trope is basically when when something is reliably and upgrade, leveling up or forging the item, but the upgrade is instead different from the previous versions.

two examples: Monster Hunter: This can be taken with some paths, it allows you the option to continue with the set path, but you can also upgrade a weapon so that it carries a different element.

The online card game Eelements: when you upgrade a few cards, like Chaos seed which will inflict a random negative status, it will instead turn them into another effect, Chaos power which improves a monster's stats.

If we have this i haven't found it.
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • March 13, 2013
    Larkmarn
    How about Sideways Upgrade?
  • March 13, 2013
    skywerewolf
    considering that's red I'm not quite sure.
  • March 13, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    The Persona 4 example...what? Kanji's Electricity spells stay and he never gets any Fire spells even after the Persona evolution.
  • March 13, 2013
    skywerewolf
    what the hell am I remembering?
  • March 14, 2013
    Arivne
    So to put this in a nutshell:

    When you upgrade an item, instead of making the item better it makes it different instead?
  • March 14, 2013
    Larkmarn
    skywerewolf: I meant as a possible different name.
  • March 14, 2013
    skywerewolf
    @ Arivne: yes, although the wording is specifically put because it happens when it would appear to be an upgrade, not just changing the item.

    @ larkmarn: alright, that's better then the name i have so I'll use it, thanks.
  • March 14, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In Secret Wars at one point the heroes find a machine which will fix clothes. Everyone else's clothes get fixed normally, but Spider Man somehow gets a uniform which adapts istelf to him, obviating the need to wear his uniform under his regular clothes, makes its own webbing, etc. It ultimately turns out though that it's not clothes, it's the Venom symbiote.
  • March 14, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ^ I think that's just an upgrade.
  • March 14, 2013
    skywerewolf
    @randomsurfer: it doesn't fall into this trope because it doesn't change how spiderman works, he still keeps his web powers. If it, say, changed his web power for the ability to create shields, then it would count.
  • March 14, 2013
    Larkmarn
    This may be a subtrope of Discard And Draw.

    • In Pokemon, evolving usually makes a Pokemon more powerful, and possibly gaining a new type. There are a few exceptions, however:
      • Scythor evolving into Scizor. Their base stat total remains the same but is redistrubuted, and their typing goes from Bug/Flying to Bug/Steel, turning him into from a Fragile Speedster to more of a Mighty Glacier.
      • Porygon2 evolving into Porygon-Z is a mild case. Porygon2 has higher defensive stats, but Porygon-Z has a higher Speed and Special Attack. Given that Speed and Special Attack are two of the more important stats, it's considered an upgrade by almost all.
  • March 14, 2013
    Bisected8
    • In Borderlands 2, the mecromancer's Ordered Chaos skill tree is based around building up "anarchy" (which gives a bonus to power and a penalty to accuracy proportionate to much you have accumulated). Half way through you get skills which you "spend" it on, changing anarchy from a system of trading accuracy for power to a system of building up anarchy to spend on a Super Mode (should the player choose that playstyle).
  • March 14, 2013
    skywerewolf
    @Larkmarn: That is more along the liens of this trope, because then you play the character differntly after he's evolved, which is normally only for more poewr.

    @Bisected8: never played it so I can't really say, but just on the description I would have to agree it sounds like sideways upgrade.
  • March 14, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^^^^But it does change his webbing. Between the "upgrade" and discovering it's an alien life form (at which point he stops using it) Peter Parker no longer has to make web fluid [that is, mix up a batch of chemicals at home] or wear the wristlets/press the trigger for it or carry around cartriges of the stuff in his Utility Belt, it just comes out of his new costume when he thinks about it. And as I said before, but perhaps not clearly enough, it also can change appearance into looking like regular street clothing so he doesn't wear his costume under his clothes anymore, or need to find a place to stash his clothes when he changes.

    Also, everyone else's uniforms or whatever get fixed back to their normal undestroyed condition; Spidey goes from a red-and-blue unitard to black-and-white, which he believes is because he was unconciously influenced by the new Spider Woman's black-and-white costume.
  • March 15, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Oh, I know all about the black costume. Big Spider-Man fan.

    However, the new suit just means that he can do the same things... but better. His fighting style is the same, and he still does have to change into his civilian identity... it's just easier. His powerset is still exactly the same, it's just the means that he uses his powers is slightly different. Improved.
  • March 19, 2013
    VPhantom
    • Unlockable weapons in Team Fortress 2 work under this principle, as they usually improve an aspect of the default weapons they replace, while being worse at something else. Like a machinegun that deals more damage at the cost of significantly reducing your speed, just name an example.
  • March 20, 2013
    skywerewolf
    @V Phantom: Not quite. The unlockables can be stronger, but for a good majority of them it's basically "get upgrade in one area, downgrade in another". For this trope to be in effect, the normal would have to be that the weapons replacement would have to have it so that people expect an improvement for the unlockable. I'm not saying some aren't more useful than others, but aside from a few instances it's alawys tradeoff, rather than an outright upgrade. An example would be the sandman, which has more functionality than the default bat, but you also lose health. Sure, people might use it more, but it's not expected to be an upgrade.
  • March 21, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    I think some class upgrades in Valkyria Chronicles II can qualify, like how Scouts can get upgraded to Snipers, or the Engineer to Musicians, or the other Engineer class (Technician?) can become a Fencer. I haven't actually played the game, though, so not sure.
  • March 22, 2013
    skywerewolf
    Alright, I would like more on that. that does sound similar to the concept.
  • March 22, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    Ah, another example

    • Several Plant upgrades in Plants Vs Zombies count:
      • The Cattail is an upgrade of the Lilypad. The Lilypad is a literal Extreme Doormat, originally functioning as a platform that allows other plants to be planted on water. The Cattail, however, is an offensive plant that can attack any row, but cannot be planted on.
      • The Magnet-Shroom's purpose is to pull in metallic objects from the zombies, reducing their defense to that of a basic zombie's. Its upgrade, Gold Magnet, lose this function, and is used to pull in coins. On a minor note, Gold-Magnet also lose the 'Shroom' attribute, meaning it doesn't have to be woken up with a Coffee Bean during the day.
      • The Kernel-pult is a weak offensive plant with a chance to stun a zombie. Its upgrade, the Cob Cannon, launches massive corn missiles that instantly kill any zombies around the target area (although with massive reload time).
      • The Gloom-Shroom is a lesser example. Its original form, the Fume-Shroom is a plant whose attack that can pierce through 4 panels in front of it. When upgraded, its range is reduced to 1 panel, but it attack all panels surrounding it. It also gets four times the damage.
  • March 22, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Zerg Hydralisks and Mutalisks (basic ranged ground and air units) in Starcraft can upgrade into Lurkers and Guardians respectively, gaining tremendous ground attack power but losing the ability to attack air. The Mutalisk can also go the opposite route with the Devourer, a flying Anti Air unit.
  • March 23, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    • In the first Atelier Iris game, you can upgrade your Mana with the Aroma Material. However, the upgraded Mana gives different Stats and skill boosts than the originals (although in larger amount), and they also have different elemental synthesis capabilities. On a lesser note, while most Mana gets upgraded into something related (For example, the Mana of Fire transforms into Mana of Power, and the Mana of Light transforms into Mana of Holy), the Mana of Water somehow transforms into the Mana of Spirits.
  • March 23, 2013
    skywerewolf
    Alright, it seems these examples are more in line with the trope. They all have something expected to upgrade but takes a new route or strategy at some point.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=jjko2k8onvxrskws5madc0e1