Created By: PacificState on October 21, 2011 Last Edited By: PacificState on October 24, 2011

Mystic Eye Of Depth Perception

A mundane skill narrated as something awe-inspiring

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
The title refers to binocular vision, as in "having a second eye allows you to see in 3D!".Inspired by this little article (don't click on any othe the links or your count will soon explode). Basically a skill that's described in a very overblown way, to awe the reader as much as possible. Many legitimately magical skills can be described this way, when in their setting they should feel a lot more habitual to the POV characters, but this is especially blatant when the skills already exist in our world.

Examples:
  • This article tries to give us a good appreciation of how awesome the five sense plus "reason" are, by describing them like they were superpowers. It works, too, in a way.
  • Dune is filled to the brim with this when it comes to mentat and Bene Gesserit ways: sure, you need exceptionally gifted, intelligent, skilled, well-trained humans to achieve the stuff they do, but it's still just Hyper Awarenes, a sense of the Sherlock Scan and the ability to use all that information to plan Xanatos Gambits for the former, and The Power of Acting and reading people in the latter. The only real superpowers are blatantly impossible stuff such as deliberate manipulation of molecules and Genetic Memory. As for the QuidditchKwizatch Haderach, his prescience power seems to be simply the ability to extrapolate future events from current data, treated as some sort of Vison Quest.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • October 21, 2011
    Lavalyte
    Perhaps Arthur Dent's ability to make a sandwich?
  • October 21, 2011
    PacificState
    I haven't read it. Can you expand on it?
  • October 21, 2011
    lunarkweh
    In Mostly Harmless, the fifth book of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Dent crash-lands on an alien world and becomes the official Sandwich Maker to a small, primitive village. From the villagers' point of view, he's revered as almost holy for his sandwich-making skills. At the very least they consider him a master artist.
  • October 21, 2011
    PacificState
    Yeah, that would definitely count.
  • October 22, 2011
    Minnakht
    Some of the techniques in Ranma One Half, maybe? Happo Daikarin is a technique written down on an ancient scroll, so fearsome it has been sealed for ages... and it turns out to be just throwing a large firework. An ultimate technique of the Anything-Goes Martial Arts school is... running away to rethink strategy. Another is falling to your knees and apologizing profusely. While some skills of Ranma are more than mundane and therefore don't really fit here, the ones above seem to be mundane, yet are applauded just as well.
  • October 22, 2011
    Micah
  • October 22, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Just as a side note, I think the name in the article was referencing Tsukihime. The main character has an ability called the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception.
  • October 22, 2011
    PacificState
    ^Yes, it totally does.

    ^^Well, it might well be a subtrope, though I'm not really sure. There's certainly overlap.

    I just remembered Naruto's "Thousand Years Of Pain" attack.

    You know, we could make a counterpart to this trope about people being far too awed with powers that are very common and well-understood in their verses.
  • October 22, 2011
    GreenMachine
    Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door: Over the course of the game, Mario is "cursed" with different abilities that would be mundane for a typical piece of paper. These abilities include folding into a paper airplane, folding into a paper boat, rolling up into a tube, and turning sideways.

    I'm honestly not sure whether this counts, as no other character in that world appears to have these "abilities," despite them seeming completely obvious for pieces of paper...
  • October 22, 2011
    Fanra
    As for the Kwizatch Haderach, his prescience power seems to be simply the ability to extrapolate future events from current data, treated as some sort of Vison Quest.

    Apparently you are not very familiar with the Dune universe. In Dune Messiah Paul becomes blind yet is still able to see perfectly by using his visions. The prescience power is literally able to see the future as if watching a TV screen or movie in your head.
  • October 23, 2011
    PacificState
    I was only talking about the first book cause that's the one I read In that book, most of his visions sound like "I have a hunch this is what's gonna end happening", and when it gets blurred and he can't see no more it sounds more like "Holy crap, I have no idea how this situation might turn out, I might totally die!"

    ^^That was totally an example. There's also the Potterverse and its tendency to add "magical", "of magic", "wizarding" and so on to institutions and customs that are so mundane in their lives and so unique to their society adding those epithets starts to feel redundant. Though you might chalk it up to their extreme racism and xenophobia, which might induce them into cultural posturing.
  • October 23, 2011
    LiberatedLiberater
    As much as I love the Nasuverse, the name is very obtuse and not descriptive of the trope. I think we have this trope, but I'm not sure what the name is, or if someone's still YKTTW'ing it.
  • October 24, 2011
    PacificState
    If you anyone can find that, or suggest an alternate title, I'm totally okay with either way.
  • October 24, 2011
    Arivne
    ^^^^ @Pacific State: I agree with Fanra about Dune. Paul's prescience ability is not extrapolating future events from current data: that's something a mentat would do (possibly you're mixing up Paul's mentat abilities with his prescience?). Even in the first book his prescience was portrayed as a sort of precognition: actually being able to foresee possible future events.
  • October 24, 2011
    PacificState
    I might well be. Is there a clear distinction between the two?

  • October 24, 2011
    Bisected8
    @Green Machine: I think that falls under You Have Researched Breathing.
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