Created By: KZN02 on August 23, 2010 Last Edited By: KZN02 on August 23, 2010
Troped

Defog Of War

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Trope
Do We Have This One?? Needs a Better Title

Fog of War is something that annoys people, being unable to see enemy units and such in it, even worse if the computer is unaffected by it and can prey on your units with ease. Fortunately, there are tools at their disposal to clear the fog and see whatever was hidden inside.

Examples:

Literature
  • In Mercenary from Tomorrow by Mack Reynolds, corporations in the near future settle differences with mercenary fought battles on one of many military reservations. The battles are like sports contests, only people die. Both sides are restricted to pre-1900 technology. In the battle in the novel, one side is a powerful corporation with a skilled army and the best general around, General Coswell. The other side is a smaller company with a much weaker army. The General, however, sues for surrender before the main battle even starts when he looks up and spots a glider overhead. It seems that a very smart man discovered that while powered aircraft weren't invented before 1900, but gliders had been. From his vantage point, the glider can see where all of the enemy forces are positioned. This information makes Cogswell's situation hopeless and he recommends to his employer that he settle quickly.

Role Playing Games
  • Pokémon: The move "Defog" removes fog outside of battle and reduces target evasion among other things in battle.
  • In the Fog of War levels in the Metal Gear Ac!d games, the IR Goggles, Solid Eye, Major Zero and Marionette Owl cards will let you see easier, although each one has its own drawback (some only let you see the entire area but only last a turn, some last forever but only increase your field of vision a little, some are good but cripple you with added COST for as long as you have them equipped, etc).

Real-Time Strategy
  • Starcraft and Starcraft II has the Comstat, which reveals a targeted area on the map.
  • Warcraft III has the spell "Farsight". Paladins had Holy Sight or something like that II.
  • Plants vs. Zombies has Planterns, Blovers, and Torchwoods to remove fog in the night pool level.
  • Dune II: when you start, you can only see a limited area around your Construction Yard. Once you create an Outpost you get an on-screen radar which allows you to see the entire area you've explored.
  • There is one in the first Dawn of War at the disposal of the Imperial Guard; I recall it was called something like an 'auspex'. Basically an ability of the command center to reveal a circular section on the map, and show any stealthed units in said circular section. Of course, The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, so it always has the ability active, reusing it once it ends, and always hits your stealthed units with it.
  • The first Red Alert goes as far as give the trickier faction GPS satellites, which permanently reveal the battlefield, and gap generators, which generate it for the enemy. Normally fog of war stays gone after it's dispelled.
  • Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander do not have defogging, but do have radar, which shows units in the fog on the minimap. Large battlefields and ridiculous artillery make this vital.
  • End War has the EMP support; it stuns enemy vehicles but it also shows any units out of Line of Sight or any Stealthed Riflemen.
  • World in Conflict had the "Aerial Recon" Tactical Aid, which revealed all enemy units (including the hidden ones) in a certain area. Useful to finding those pesky enemy artillery units, as well as unmasking the infantry hidden in the woods and the tanks hidden behind smoke shields. The latter can also be done with the special ability of the Scout Helicopters, which basically does the same but limited to the scout's current location.
  • Being the first Civilization to build the Lighthouse of Alexandria removes all fog of war from the map until the invention of Navigation.
  • There is also a defogging ability in the Elves' arsenal in LotR: Battle for Middle-Earth, at least in the second one. It clears a blurry-edged circle on the map.
  • This option is avaiable in all of the Total War Series games.

Turn-Based Strategy
  • Fire Emblem: the Torch item and Torch Staff are useful in increasing vision in fog or night.
  • Advance Wars: Days Of Ruin: the Flare unit
  • Some races in Warlords Battlecry 2 can have an upgrade that exposes the whole map and removes the fog of war.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic series, giant trees and mage huts with magical eye networks served precisely this purpose, the first one revealing a big area around the tree, the second - a moderate area around the eyes. The Grail building for the Academy, a flying ship, was an instant Defog of the entire map.

Rolling Updates
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • August 17, 2010
    Meophist
    I don't think the Pokemon example is one. What Pokemon has isn't quite Fog Of War.

    In any case, Starcraft and Starcraft II has the Comstat, which reveals a targeted area on the map. Warcraft III has a similar ability, although its name escapes me at the moment.

    Greater-than-normal vision in RTS games should probably be separate trope.
  • August 18, 2010
    Arivne
    • Dune II. When you start you can only see a limited area around your Construction Yard. Once you create an Outpost you get an on-screen radar which allows you to see the entire area you've explored.
  • August 18, 2010
    G-Kaiser
    The War Craft III spell you're looking for is Farsight. Paladins had Holy Sight or something like that in WC II.
  • August 18, 2010
    Pickly
    Plants Vs Zombies has planterns, blovers, and Torchwoods to remove fog in the night pool level.
  • August 18, 2010
    cocoy0
    Some races in Warlords Battlecry 2 can have an upgrade that exposes the whole map and removes the fog of war.
  • August 18, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    In the Fog Of War levels in the Metal Gear Acid games, the IR Goggles, Solid Eye, Major Zero and Marionette Owl cards will let you see easier, although each one has its own drawback (some only let you see the entire area but only last a turn, some last forever but only increase your field of vision a little, some are good but cripple you with added COST for as long as you have them equipped, etc).
  • August 18, 2010
    Geargrinder
    There is one in the first Dawn of War at the disposal of the Imperial Guard; I recall it was called something like an 'auspex'. Basically an ability of the command center to reveal a circular section on the map, and show any stealthed units in said circular section. Of course, The Computer Is A Cheating Bastard, so it always has the ability active, reusing it once it ends, and always hits your stealthed units with it.
  • August 19, 2010
    Kizor
    The first Red Alert goes as far as give the trickier faction GPS satellites, which permanently reveal the battlefield, and gap generators, which generate it for the enemy. Normally fog of war stays gone after it's dispelled.

    Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander do not have defogging, but do have radar, which shows units in the fog on the minimap. Large battlefields and ridiculous artillery make this vital.
  • August 19, 2010
    Deboss
    I think Sensor Sweep would be a better name. Also, make sure you mention that upgrades that boost sight range don't count.
  • August 19, 2010
    alfredo094
    But Sensor Sweep is a reference to... well, sensors, and this is fog we're talking about.
  • August 19, 2010
    GeneInari
    End War has the EMP support, it stuns enemy vehicles but it also shows any units out of Line of Sight or any Stealthed Riflemen
  • August 19, 2010
    Fanra
    How about broadening this beyond video games?

    • In the novel Mercenary from Tomorrow by Mack Reynolds, corporations in the near future settle differences with mercenary fought battles on one of many military reservations. The battles are like sports contests, only people die. Both sides are restricted to pre-1900 technology. In the battle in the novel, one side is a powerful corporation with a skilled army and the best general around, General Coswell. The other side is a smaller company with a much weaker army. The General, however, sues for surrender before the main battle even starts when he looks up and spots a glider overhead. It seems that a very smart man discovered that while powered aircraft weren't invented before 1900, but gliders had been. From his vantage point, the glider can see where all of the enemy forces are positioned. This information makes Cogswell's situation hopeless and he recommends to his employer that he settle quickly.
  • August 20, 2010
    Koveras
    World In Conflict had the "Aerial Recon" Tactical Aid, which revealed all enemy units (including the hidden ones) in a certain area. Useful to finding those pesky enemy artillery units, as well as unmasking the infantry hidden in the woods and the tanks hidden behind smoke shields. The latter can also be done with the special ability of the Scout Helicopters, which basically does the same but limited to the scout's current location.
  • August 20, 2010
    STUART
    Just because it's broader than video games doesn't mean all the video games should be lumped together.

    Role Playing Games

    (Pokemon goes here)

    Real Time Strategy

    Turn Based Strategy

    • Being the first Civilization to build the Lighthouse of Alexandria removes all fog of war from the map until the invention of Navigation, as I recall.
  • August 20, 2010
    KZN02
    Looking good, any objections before I launch?
  • August 20, 2010
    Geargrinder
    Not from me.
  • August 20, 2010
    Meophist
    I don't quite agree with the Pokemon example. Additionally, Needs A Better Description. Is this about anything that helps clear fog of war or what?
  • August 20, 2010
    alfredo094
    Maybe we could give the trope name to a game, as in, calling the trope Torch Staff/Item, as reference to Fire Emblem; because, while Defog of War doesn't sound bad, well... defog?
  • August 20, 2010
    KZN02
    ^ As a pun to Fog Of War.
  • August 21, 2010
    KZN02
    Ok, better organization, did I get anything wrong?
  • August 21, 2010
    Meophist
    I don't think we should bother with the Real Time Strategy part of description, as we have it in more genres than that anyways. Also, the description needs to be more precise, as almost any unit in any game with Fog Of War would count as their sight helps you dispel it.
  • August 21, 2010
    KZN02
    True, but it's probably not far enough.
  • August 21, 2010
    Meophist
    ^ ???

    What's not far enough?
  • August 21, 2010
    KZN02
    Can't see far enough.
  • August 21, 2010
    Meophist
    ^ ???

    What can't see far enough?
  • August 21, 2010
    Geargrinder
  • August 21, 2010
    KZN02
    Units during fog of war can't see far, which makes Defog Of War invaluable. Sorry for not clarifying.
  • August 21, 2010
    Meophist
    ^ Right, but those units can still see which helps dispel the fog of war, this qualifies them for the trope, as per the description. I'm saying that the description needs changing before it launches to be more specific.
  • August 21, 2010
    Geargrinder
    I think that Defog of War is a special item, ability, or somesuch that allows to see past the fog of war in some way. Like Warcraft's Farsight or Dawn of War's auspex. The 'units' sight helps dispel fog of war' is People Sit on Chairs. The items aren't.

    As for the examples, there is also a defogging ability in the Elves' arsenal in LotR: Battle for Middle-Earth, at least in the second one. It clears a blurry-edged circle on the map.
  • August 21, 2010
    Meophist
    ^ Right, so something like that should be in the description.
  • August 21, 2010
    Geargrinder
    Another example: in Heroes of Might and Magic series, giant trees and mage huts with magical eye networks served precisely this purpose, the first one revealing a big area around the tree, the second - a moderate area around the eyes. The Grail building for the Academy, a flying ship, was an instant Defog of the entire map.
  • August 22, 2010
    Geargrinder
    Needs clarification: do we include units with large sight radius? Those that are specially made for defogging. Scouts etc. There're a few examples of those too, and these are likely to turn up in other media too.

    Also, update the description once the question is resolved, please. The current one is a bit unclear.
  • August 22, 2010
    KZN02
    Someone already said to not include units with large sight radius.
  • August 23, 2010
    KZN02
    Shall I launch?
  • August 23, 2010
    Garrett1
    This option is avaiable in all of the Total War Series games.
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