Cast From Lifespan


(permanent link) added: 2009-11-21 01:54:28 sponsor: Aminatep (last reply: 2009-11-21 10:19:03)

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Sometimes, powers are free. Sometimes, they have a price. There is a kind of price which is not payed immediately on-screen (i.e. Heroic RROD or body damage) Your lifespan. Sure, you can warp reality or heal instantly, but never forget that each time you become closer and closer to your coffin, and there is nothing you could do with that.

So, basically Cast from Lifespan is a type of Cast From HP.

Actual consequences of it may be shown on-screen to do a Downer Ending if the power belongs to a main character, or a Tear Jerker if it's secondary. But they can be not shown at all, and it makes the trope different from casting from HP. In this case the trope can be used as a kind of a limit for using an overpowered ability.

The price can be payed in different ways: a part of Deal with the Devil, a side effect of Healing Factor (speeding cell division, shortening their lifespan), draining Life Energy connected with age in this setting, form of Deadly Upgrade, plain Magic A Is Magic A and so on.

Anyway, if you've got such type of a power, you are either Blessed with Suck or can use it as a Dangerous Forbidden Technique.

Examples:

Anime
  • Darker Than Black. There was a contractor whose price was aging each time she used her power. And the other whose price was aging backwards. This can also count.
  • Robert from Ueki No Housoku. Each using of his ablilty costed him a year of lifespan.
  • Naruto. Tsunade's and Naruto's healing factor makes them age faster. Technically, they both involve making their cells regenerate faster, but since cells only have a limited number of regenerations, this means they will run out of regenerative cycles and die sooner. As a result, Tsunade uses her Healing Factor only when without using it her lifespan will shorten much more.
  • One Piece. Body strain from Luffy's Gear Second shortens his lifespan.
  • Chrono Crusade. Chrono's powered by Rosette's Life Energy, shortening her lifespan.
  • Death Note. You can have Shinigami's eyes for half of your lifespan.

Film
  • The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Each time Prince Koura used his black magic he became older. By the time he confronted Sinbad at the Fountain of Destiny he was an old man.
Prince Koura: To summon the demons of darkness has a price. And each time I call upon them, it consumes part of me.

Live-Action TV
  • Supernatural has two instances of this:
    • A Deal With The Devil usually includes selling your soul after a fixed amount of time (effectively reducing your lifespan to that amount)
    • There was an episode with a magic-user who played poker with people, and the chips represented years of their life. If they won they got 25 years back, if they lost they aged 25 years (he did this so he and his wife could be immortal).
  • In Reaper, kissing a succubus takes years off the end of your life. Not really a power, though.

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition.
    • Several spells caused aging as a side effect of using them, including Gate, Haste and Wish.
    • One possible side effect of using an artifact/relic was aging 3-30 years.

Literature
  • Faust. The Trope Maker of Deal with the Devil had this part in the contract.
  • In one of the Artemis Fowl books, Holly uses magic to heal Butler from a fatal gunshot wound, but her magic is not enough and the spell starts drawing on Butler's life energy as well. For the rest of the series, he feels about ten years older than he ought to be.
  • In Nora Robert's Key Trilogy, three women are tasked with finding three keys, with the caveat that if they fail, they each lose an undisclosed year of their life.

Video Games
  • Dragon Age: Darkspawn's blood is poisonous. And Grey Wardens drink it. So, if you managed to survive the Joining, you've got no more than thirty years to live.
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates does this. Whever twins Yuri and Chelinka do their weird... glowy... thingy, Chelinka gradually loses her soul while Yuri's lifespan is shortened drastically, leading to his near-death at the end of the game and prompting a Heroic Sacrifice from Chelinka.
  • Time Hollow: too much use of the Hollow Pen causes a person to age beyond their chronological age.
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