Created By: Elwood on September 5, 2011 Last Edited By: Elwood on September 5, 2011

Energy Tug of war

You shoot your energy, I shoot mine. Energy Collides, and now its just a question of who can push harder

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Do We Have This One?? How Do We Not Have This?

So you have the old showdown brewing. Good standing off against Evil. Its about to go down. Then BAM! We have a simultaneous attack on both sides, the two enemies fire their lasers, cast their spells, shoot flames, whatever flavor we have today. The attacks collide, and are sustained. We now have an Energy Tug of War

This is basically whenever two enemies who utilize some evocation-style attack mode focus a sustained blast at each other, which forms a line between the two. The energies are often colored differently to highlight the difference between the two enemies.

Cue the enemies gritting their teeth, straining with effort. The center of the line, where the energies collide, may move back and forth, but will inevitably inch towards a certain character, almost always the underdog protagonist, creating a Near Villain Victory. With a great force of will the Hero will push it back from the brink, overtake the villain, and win the Tug of war.

This is most likely used in cases where the story requires a climactic battle, but the production crew has run out of time, money, space, or just can't come up with any real exciting fight choreography. No, the story wont end with imaginative combat. We'll have a pretty light show and then move to the denouement.


  • In X-men the Last Stand Iceman and Pyro have one of these. Iceman averts the trope though. Instead of pushing the fight back from the brink, he covers himself with ice, breaks Pyro's wrist-mounted pilot lights and ends it with a headbutt.
  • Harry Potter Death;y Hallows Part 2, Harry and Voldemort have one of these, pause when they realize Nagini is dead, and then start it up again.
    • I mean come on, there are thousands of spells available. You could turn your opponent's snot into bats, turn him into a mollusk, tie him up in ropes, or blast him into pieces. But no, I'm just gonna Stupefy him REEEEAAALLY HARD!!!!

Western Animation
  • {{ Avatar: The last Airbender }} This is used with Aang and Ozai Soulbending in the finale, though instead of at range with a line of energy, the tug of war plays out with the red and blue energy on their bodies

  • I need help here. I know it happens all the time on shows like Sailor Moon Dragonball Z or some of the Gundam series, but I dont watch those enough to cite examples

Needs More Examples Rolling Updates
Community Feedback Replies: 2
  • September 5, 2011
    Beam of War, I think. Yeah, we have it.
  • September 5, 2011
    Oh. Awesome, thanks!