The Power Of The Sun


(permanent link) added: 2010-06-17 08:21:54 sponsor: Enlong (last reply: 2010-06-17 08:21:54)

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Ah, the sun. Gentle celestial object around which our world turns. A ball in the sky that brings light to darkness, life to plants, and warmth to all. It's also, of course, a giant nuclear furnace more than three hundred thousand times the mass of our puny little planet that burns more than four million tons of hydrogen into energy every second, so it's understandable that one might want to harness or replicate that kind of power.

See, sometimes, the power of the sun itself is classified as a sort of Elemental Power. The effects of sun-power are many and varied: you could shoot ultraviolet rays to give people nasty sunburns, perhaps channel a beam of light to fry a vampire, maybe heal people with the mystic power of sunlight... somehow. And of course, you could always just go straight to the nuclear fusion. Atomic fire is always a nice way to make sure your target is dead, and it's much easier to Hurl It into the Sun if you can make a little mini-sun.

The power of the sun is a lot like a fun little cocktail of Playing with Fire and Light The Way, with an occasional side of nuclear weapons. If elements oppose each other, the power of the sun will generally be opposite Lunacy

If a device is simply powered by solar panels, photosynthesis, or even by a Dyson Sphere, it doesn't quite count as this trope: it generally has to utilize sunlight, or solar rays, or nuclear fusion to qualify as the power of the sun.

Examples

Video Games
  • In the Boktai games, the protagonist Django uses a "gun del sol", a solar-powered gun that shoots sunlight. Very useful for a vampire-hunter. What was especially interesting was that the game had you power the gun using real-life sunlight. A UV sensor on the game cart made sunlight shine into the game world when it detected sunlight.
  • In Pokémon, there is the move Solarbeam: a powerful grass-type move that has the user charge up sunlight for a round, and then fire a beam of pure solar energy at the foe. There is also Sunny Day, which generates intense sunlight for 5 turns. During that time, Fire moves are empowered, Water moves are weakened, and Solarbeam's charge-turn is eliminated, making "Sunnybeamers", pokemon with Sunny Day and Solarbeam, extremely powerful, especially if they also know fire moves. The move Weather Ball changes its typing and becomes twice as strong during abnormal weather: it becomes a Fire-type move during intense sun. Finally, there is the move Morning Sun, which restores a pokémon's health. How much is restored is dependent on the weather, and it heals the most during a sunny day.
    • Some pokémon Abilities are dependent on sun. Cholorphyll doubles a pokémon's speed during intense sun, and Solar Power makes them stronger in sunlight but also hurts them. Meanwhile, Castform has the Forecast ability, which changes its form in weather: in intense sun, it becomes a Fire-type that looks like a sun. Cherrim has the Flower Gift ability that boosts several stats during sunlight. It also changes shape, but not type.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, the Geomancer spell Shining Flare generates an intense burst of sunlight for fire damage. It can only be used when the weather is sunny.
    • While not explicitly coming from the sun, the Flare spell in many Final Fantasy games is described as generating a nuclear fusion reaction. This leads to variants like Flare Star, which at least looks more like a sun going nova in the party's face, and the rename of Bahamut's signature Mega Flare attack in Final Fantasy VI's SNES translation: Sun Flare.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth's flashiest attack is Supernova, where he attacks the party by blowing up a (our) sun at the party. Funny thing: he can use it multiple times and it cannot kill the party.
  • Two different characters in the Touhou Project have been seen using solar power:
    • Patchouli Knowledge has Sun as one of her seven elements (alongside Fire, Water, Earth, Metal, Wood, and Moon). Spells with this element include Royal Flare (alone), Hydrogenous Prominence (Sun and Water) and Royal Diamond Ring (Sun and Moon).
    • Utsuho Reiuji, on the other hand, swallowed the corpse of a sun-god, giving her the power of nuclear fusion. This manifests in, among other things, gigantic nuke-bullets, attacks based off of suns, stars and various constellations, and the ability to create artificial suns. She was led to get that power so that she could be used to build and maintain a nuclear power plant running off of suns made from her nuclear fusion.
  • In Mega Man 10, one of the robot masters is Solar Man, from whom Mega Man acquires the Solar Blaze weapon.
  • In Chrono Trigger, the power of the sun was the major power source of the Kingdom of Zeal. Eventually though, the seemingly limitless power of the Sun Stone, which stored the solar energy, was all used up, and they turned to the power of Lavos. That didn't turn out too well. The player is able to take the now-powerless "Moon Stone" and place it in a patch of sunlight (on an island that for some reason never changes its position for millions of years or is affected by an apocalypse) and retrieve it in the future, where it has finally absorbed enough sunlight to be used to create Lucca's strongest weapon and a very powerful accessory.
  • In several installments in The Legend of Zelda series, Link gets the Mirror Shield, which he uses to solve various puzzles by reflecting sunlight. Generally, beaming sunlight into a Redead, Gibdo, or other undead abomination will stun it, if not destroy it outright.
  • In Hexen the Sun Staff shot ridiculously damaging rays of light.
  • Mega Man Star Force has the boss Apollo Flame, who uses the Solar Barrier and has attacks like Solar Flare.
  • Sun mana is a type of mana in the Fall from Heaven mod for Civilization 4.

Film
  • Dr. Octavius' device in Spider-Man 2 was meant to create "the power of the sun in the palm of my hand." Specifically, a controlled nuclear fusion reactor. Which, admittedly, would be extremely revolutionary.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons. In the 2nd Edition Al-Qadim setting: there are a few sun-powered spells: Sun Stone (a stone held in sunlight becomes an incendiary missile), Sundazzle (sunlight causes blindness), Sunfire (solar-powered Fireball), Sunwarp (powerful, though limited mirage-based variant of Mirror Image)
    • Some or other Sun deity is almost obligatory in any setting and the priesthood of each, of course, has sun-related spells and powers.
      • For example in 3.5, clerics of the sun god Pelor can take the Sun domain. Which, in addition to giving them many heat and light-based spells, including the extremely powerful Sunburst, which lights up everything within 10 feet of the cleric, allows them to perform a "greater turn undead", which focuses powerful sunlight instead of positive energy. Instead of merely scaring undead away, a Greater Turning turns them to dust on the spot.
    • Sun Mages in Spelljammer campaign Astromundi Cluster. The Antilan Empire wizards purchased the secrets of sunmagic from the Arcane and kept as a secret weapon.
    • "Sun" (Radiance) quasielemental priests in Dark Sun. Though they are messed up unlike the rest of the bunch, without a good explaination.
  • From The World of Darkness: Mage: The Awakening and Changeling: The Lost have "spells" that work like this. The major difference between these and ones that make a lot of "fake" light is the ability to mess with vampires.

Comic Books
  • The Marvel Universe has a number of sun-using heroes: the original Sunfire, his sister Sunpyre, and the Exiles' Sunfire. As well as Sunspot, who in his current incarnation can absorb sunlight and release concussive blasts of solar energy, with a considerable heat and light projection component.
  • An early issue of Marvel's Epic Illustrated anthology has a story about a project to provide unlimited energy by tapping the core of the sun itself. This does not end well.
  • Legion of Super Heroes has Sun Boy.

Western Animation
  • In The Venture Bros., there is the troubled superhero Captain Sunshine. His superpowers are solar-powered and involve firing high-energy "Sunbeams" that cause painful sunburns at least.
  • Hanna-Barbera's Birdman, who also needed sunlight to recharge his powers. He could fire "solar rays" from his fists and create a "solar shield" to protect himself. He would later give up these powers in favor of the power of attorney.
  • In The Secret Saturdays, Drew has a Flaming Sword that is powered by the light of the sun. It also has a blue setting that is powered by moonlight, which is, after all , reflected sunlight.
  • In The Mysterious Cities of Gold it's one of the city's secret - they can channel sunlight into an energy weapon.
  • In the My Little Pony episodes "The End of Flutter Valley," we learn that Flutter Valley is kept perpetually green thanks to the power of the Sunstone, which appparently amplifies the sun's rays. When the Sunstone is stolen by the bees of Bumbleland, Flutter Valley starts to wither away. Newly situated in Bumbleland, the stone at first turns it from a frozen wasteland into a beautiful forest, but after a few hours the rays become too powerful and the forest starts to burn.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender , Firebending is tied to the sun. While firebending still works at night, it is much weaker at that time. During a solar eclipse, even the most powerful firebenders are unable to conjure more than a spark.

Literature
  • Slaver Sunflowers in Larry Niven's Known Space setting. When in groups, they can collect and concentrate sunlight on a specific target, incinerating it.
  • Short story "Sign Among The Stars" (1958). A sun furnace (a pair of giant mirrors) can concentrate sunlight and use it as a beam weapon.
  • A short story that appeared in an old Analog magazine (can't find it). Someone programmed all of the movable mirrored windows in a large building to be at just the right angle to reflect all of the sunlight hitting the building into a specific room in a nearby building, murdering the person inside.

Live-Action Television

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