Created By: deuxhero on November 29, 2011 Last Edited By: deuxhero on April 6, 2012

Not really a disease

The plague isn\'t caused by a traditional pathogen.

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The Twist is that the disease is not actually a proper disease, but something else with symptoms of a disease

As a reveal trope, spoilers

  • The Grey Death of Deus Ex is in fact nanomachines, with the symptoms caused by immune system rejection. The player character is genetically engineered to accept them and is immune as a result
  • The "Corprus" in Morrowind is Dagoth Ur's divine will changing the effected creature.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • November 29, 2011
    dalek955
    See also The Virus.
  • November 29, 2011
    SeptimusHeap
    "Not really a disease" is a bad title. "Symptoms" by definition are what shows a "disease". And not all diseases are bacterial or viral (fungi, for example). And the Deus Ex example is a disease, since the immune system is acting. Title-wise, Disease Twist could be an improvement, or are there any other suggestions?
  • November 30, 2011
    Tiiba
  • November 30, 2011
    Arivne
    ^ That sounds too similar to Synthetic Plague.

    We have Mystical Plague, which is a Sub Trope that covers diseases caused by magic (which includes the Corprus example in the OP).
  • November 30, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slapstick: The civilization-ending plague is actually caused by miniaturized Chinese communist supermen.
  • November 30, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Hate to suggest a snowclone but maybe Our Plagues Are Different?
  • November 30, 2011
    fulltimeD
    In Earth 2 the "Syndrome" that Uly and other children suffer from is caused by the absence of the natural environment, not by any biological or chemical agent.
  • November 30, 2011
    BooleanEarth
    I take issue with the laconic description. Infectious diseases can also be caused by parasites.
  • November 30, 2011
    Irrisia
    They would overlap a lot, but this is about the actual plague not being natural, and Mystical Plague seems to be about the cause not being natural, meaning it covers plagues that spread naturally but started by way of magic.

    I don't know if it's a wide enough split to need a separate trope, though.
  • November 30, 2011
    SharleeD
    "Not A Pathogen After All" would be more accurate, as "pathogen" encompasses all sorts of infectious agents.
  • December 1, 2011
    GuesssWho
    Not A Disease? And does 'pathogen' include prions?
  • December 1, 2011
    Arutema
  • December 1, 2011
    ladyofprocrastination
    In Deltora Quest, the Toran Plague turns out to be poison.
  • April 5, 2012
    Manateehugs
    In games, I may be incorrect, it's been a long time, but the plague in Never Winter Nights was a plague caused by magic rather than a pathogen.

    Hayley ^_^
  • April 6, 2012
    Arivne
    ^ @Hayley ^_^/Manateehugs: we have magic-caused plagues under Mystical Plague.
  • April 6, 2012
    Larek
    Drug Withdraw symptoms were seen as a Planet wide Plauge in Stark Treck TNG Episode "Symbiosis", that a medicine (more of the drug) could stave off for only a few days
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