Created By: KJMackley on May 6, 2011 Last Edited By: Thecommander236 on March 11, 2013
Troped

Game Changer

Something new is added to the story that changes the situation.

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Trope
The game changer is the introduction of an element that significantly alters the current course of the story or event. Typically the heroes are either at a big disadvantage, in a stalemate or the Status Quo refuses to change. The game changer gives the heroes a new angle to attack the problem; it often leads to the downfall of the Big Bad.

This isn't just another plot element added to the pot, but something very significant that rearranges the storyline. Thematically it is similar to a Big Damn Heroes moment, as where once the heroes were outnumbered they suddenly have support.

It isn't always a heroic benefit; sometimes what kicks up a new Evil Plan is the Big Bad acquiring a new super weapon that can subdue the good guys.

The long-term goals of the characters' do not change, but the situation itself is altered. This is more likely to occur on a micro scale whereas Nothing Is The Same Any More works on the macro scale, but that isn't always the case. If it was a battle then no one has won the "war" by the change in situation. They may have won a decisive battle, but that's it. Somehow, someone has just gained a major advantage

This is often used as a Stock Phrase or at least implied through the dialogue. Compare Wham Episode and 7th Episode Twist.

Expect spoilers.

Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
  • One Piece has a huge shake up to the Status Quo, right around the time-skip:
    • Whitebeard, World's Strongest Man and head of the most powerful pirate alliance, is dead, along with his 2nd division commander.
    • Blackbeard, in defiance of what is known about Devil's Fruit abilities, takes on a second one (Whitebeard's)!
    • Gecko Moria follows on the heels of Jimbei and Crocodile as newly-former Shichibukai, let loose on the sea.
    • Sengoku retires as Fleet Admiral of the Marines, along with Garp.
    • Aokiji leaves the Marines, following a nasty spat with Akainu, who'd been appointed Fleet Admiral against Sengoku's advice.
    • Trafalgar Law and Buggy the Clown are now Shichibukai.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film Live-Action]]
  • In TRON: Legacy, Kevin Flynn explains to Sam that with his arrival into the Grid that the previous stalemate between Flynn and Clu is given a shake-up. This is what Clu was expecting by summoning Sam to the arcade, hoping to egg Flynn out of his self-exile. Flynn initially tries to ignore the bait but Sam doesn't like trying to stay still.
  • Star Wars. This is basically the meaning behind the title of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. Without Luke's involvement helping to bring down the Sith, including learning the ways of the force and bringing back the Jedi Order, the Rebellion would never have won.
    • Rescuing Leia is a game-changer. The Empire knew that Leia knew where the rebel base was and Leia knew the Empire would know this and track her. They let her go and Leia had no choice but to bring the Death Star plans (and the bugged Falcon) to the rebels.
    • Destroying the first Death Star counts as one in the series/franchise, but as the last act of the movie it is the finale to the climax.
    • From Obi-Wan and Yoda's perspective, Luke starting on the path to become a Jedi is the real game changer in order to defeat the Sith. The premise of the original trilogy remained "Rebellion vs. Empire."
    • The Clone Troopers in Attack of the Clones are TGC when they arrive on Geonosis to rescue the overwhelmed Jedi. They become Nothing Is the Same Anymore when they obey General Order 66 and eradicate the Jedi, leaving Emperor Palpatine as Lord And Master of the Galaxy.
  • The Dark Knight: The Joker killing the Batman impersonators was cited by Bruce as crossing the line, while Alfred points out that him becoming Batman to begin with is what made the mob so desperate.
  • The One Ring of Power is TGC in The Hobbit that acts as a James Bond device for Bilbo Baggins. That same Ring becomes Nothing Is the Same Anymore in The Lord of the Rings when it's revealed to be Sauron's Soul Jar, with which he could reclaim all of Middle Earth under his iron rule.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film Animated]]
  • The Game Changer in How to Train Your Dragon is Hiccup discovering that dragons and humans are not mutual adversaries. The "kill on sight" directive in the Viking Handbook is fanaticism, and the dragons are raiding the Viking village under orders from an Evil Boss. The dragon revolution against the Red Death cements this change into Nothing Is the Same Anymore.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph is convinced that it's pointless to continue helping Vanellope, as he feels any further assistance will doom her home game of Sugar Rush. Until Ralph notices official artwork of Vanellope on the side of the game cabinet and returns to Sugar Rush, now determined to get answers as to what's going on with Vanellope. Indeed, this new information ultimately leads to bringing down Turbo's reign in Sugar Rush.
  • When conman Dmitri brings orphan Anya before Princess Sophia, he thought he'd drilled Anya on every fact about the lost Princess Anastasia. But when Princess Sophia asks how she'd escaped the palace during the uprising, Anya replies with something only the actual Princess Anastasia could know. It is then that Dmitri realizes that Anya really is the missing Romanov princess.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
  • The magic ring found by Bilbo Baggins in Tolkien's The Hobbit gave Bilbo the power of invisibility, which allowed him to aid the dwarves far more than an ordinary hobbit could have done. Ultimately, this ring would shape the destiny of all of Middle Earth.
  • This is the main role of Merlin Athrawes in Safehold. By Giving Radio to the Romans Merlin strives to break the planet Safehold's enforced Medieval Stasis. Approximately every other book features the Church of God Awaiting and its forces getting hammered by the Empire of Charis due to various innovations that were brought in thanks to Merlin's influence. Starting with farther-ranged and more accurate artillery in the first book and introducing ironclad warships in the most recent.
    • On a more individual scale, Merlin had been acting alone in this plan for the first book and a half. The Game Changer to this strategy was the revelation midway through the second book that there were others who knew the history he did, enabling him to bring more people in on his ultimate plan.
  • None of the OAS's efforts to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle succeeded, because their ranks were riddled with police informers. The Game Changer in Frederick Forsythe's The Day of the Jackal comes when the OAS leaders contract the services of a British assassin, about whom the French Secret Service know almost nothing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
  • In the fourth season of Angel the Big Bad of the season, Jasmine, had brainwashed masses tracking down the heroes and they had no idea how to fight back. They even mention that they needed a break somehow. Traveling in the sewers they come across a demon from another dimension who claims to have loved Jasmine first, and Angel travels to that dimension to find out something more about her.
  • In Burn Notice, the game changer was Michael coming across a NOC list of the organization that burned him.
  • The third season finale of Lost shows flashbacks of Jack at his alcoholic worst. Except that it's actually the first flash-forward, revealing that some of the flight 815 survivors escaped the island.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Storybrooke is a town in Maine where all the denizens of a fairy-tale world were sent by the powerful curse of Snow White's enemy, the Evil Queen Regina and live in an amnesiac state unaware of their true identities. Here, they do not age. The narrative revolves around Snow's daughter, Emma, the very reluctant designated curse breaker. She succeeds in breaking the curse in the first-season finale.
  • Babylon 5: The results of Sheridan's visit to Z'ha'dum ( mainly the nuking of the Shadows' center of power) "opened an unexpected door" (in the words of Kosh II/Ulkesh), which emboldened the Vorlons to unleash their planet killers and go all out destroying any worlds "touched" by Shadows--and the Shadows to reciprocate in this escalation. This turn of events showed the younger races just how dysfunctional and dangerous the Vorlons' and Shadows' guardianship had become. Sheridan gathers a massive fleet of the younger races to confront both the Shadow and Vorlon fleets near a targeted planet of six billion sentient beings, and calls them out on their unfitness as guardians, and persuades them to leave the galaxy as their moral exposure becomes apparent to all. Thus had the events of "Z'ha'dum" not happened, the current war would arguably end up being just one more of a millennial cycle of wars orchestrated by the Shadows and Vorlons, rather than the last of them.
  • From Law & Order, two men riding the train together make a Devil's Pact: each would murder the other's antagonist, thinking the police would fail to connect them to their crimes. Their scheme almost worked until detectives discovered the suspects routinely rode the same train together. This game-changing fact moved the prosecutor's cases from iffy circumstances to roll-over confessions.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
  • Flash Gordon is the game changer in his series: before he arrived on Mongo, various worlds under Ming's thumb were fighting each other. Flash slowly convinced the various worlds to set aside their differences and concentrate instead on overthrowing Ming the Merciless.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, the war on the ring progresses in a military fashion, with humans beating back the Covenant. Then the ring turns out to have been carrying an Eldritch Abomination, which is set free and proceeds to start infecting anyone it encounters. A later game changer is when the ring turns out to be a super weapon, which its insane curator is trying to fire to contain the infection.
    • A meta one in Halo 2. The game opens with Master Chief's bold defense of Earth. But the Covenant carrier flees and the second half of the game turns into a political plot playing as the Arbiter.
    • Halo 3: Master Chief and the UNSC break a hole through the Covenant's defenses so that they can deactivate the Ark artifact on Earth. The artifact turns out to not be the Ark, but a portal leading to the Ark, which is outside the Milky Way galaxy.
    • Halo 4: Master Chief and Cortana hurry to activate a satellite so that they can escape the abandoned planet they're trapped on and be rescued. The satellite turns out to be actually a containment pod of a Forerunner, who breaks free and resumes his genocidal campaign on humanity.
    • In Halo: Reach Dr. Halsey explains to NOBLE Team that on its current course humanity is doomed to extinction. The only solution lays in the Forerunner information she and Cortana have managed to decipher, explicitly calling it a Game Changer. This info reveals the location of Halo, and leads into the main trilogy, where the Covenant's resolve was broken when the Halo's true purpose was revealed.
      • Inverted with the previous events of the campaign. No matter what the UNSC tries to stop the Covenant on Reach, some new complication is revealed that just escalates the conflict. Destroyed their corvette attacking their base? Covenant Special Ops still got the data they were looking for. Infiltrated their radar dark zone? It turns out to be hiding an entire Covenant army. Destroyed their spire bases? Those turn out to be cloaking a Covenant super carrier. Destroy the super carrier? A fleet of hundreds more ships immediately arrive to take its place.
  • When the Reapers finally launch their invasion in Mass Effect 3 it's clear that their technological and numeric advantages are insurmountable. All anyone can do with conventional warfare is slow the Reapers down as they blitzkrieg the home worlds and colonies of several Citadel races, including Earth. Then Liara discovers plans for a super weapon in the Prothean ruins on Mars that may be able to wipe them out. Building the weapon, dubbed Project Crucible, becomes the Citadel's only hope. On another note, the invasion finally convinces the Council that the Reapers are real, and the Turians in particular start actively helping Shepard.
  • In Alundra, the researcher Septimus explains how he sought out the village of Inoa to research what's afflicting the inhabitants with cursed nightmares, only to discover he can't actually do anything to stop it (and getting a bit depressed over it), and how everything changed when Alundra, who can enter and change people's dreams, washed up ashore of the village near the beginning of the game.
  • Metroid: Zero Mission: Samus destroys Mother Brain and blows up the Space Pirate's base on Zebes, just as she did in the original game. Then pirate ships ambush her starship and send her crashing back down to the surface, now without a suit, weaponless, and with little hope of escape.
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: After the game's first mission, Samus is infected with an alien substance called Phazon that allows her to briefly supercharge her abilities but corrupt her if she uses it for too long. It's a game changer for the Prime series as a whole as the previous games had Phazon be a hazard you were trying to destroy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
" Takano and Hanyuu, were you listening to what Mion said? We don't play Old Maid. Just Old Geezer. Takano laughed it off as being the same but it is a completely different game. After all, if one adds the missing card that is taken out in a game of Old Geezer, it becomes a game without losers. After adding Hanyuu, our missing card the world became a world free of losers. It is the height of folly to purposely take one card out of the game. This world doesn't need a loser."
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
  • in Transformers Prime the Iacon relic hunt took a marked upswing when the outnumbered Autobots got the Forge of Solus Prime (a hammer capable of forging anything) from a defecting Dreadwing, allowing Optimus to build a space bridge to meet the Decepticon forces on Cybertron looking for the Omega Lock, as without it they couldn't make the journey. Another game changer happened in the second season finale, where the Decepticons discovered the location of the Autobot base and destroyed it, the Auobots being scattered around the world to hide from them.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Learning about Sozin's Comet and the utter destruction the Fire Nation could use it for was a game changer in that it gave the heroes a limited time frame to accomplish the premise of the series, learn the four elements and defeat the Fire Lord.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
"Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization."
-- Japanese emperor Hirohito, August 15, 1945
  • The Steam Engine. Ships were no longer at the mercy of the tides and the weather to maneuver, providing naval commanders with far more flexibility
  • The Airplane. At first this merely meant it was far more difficult to conceal troop movements from the enemy, but as the technology developed, it also meant that almost any part of a country's territory could be vulnerable to enemy attack and defenses had to be spread out to cover any strategic assets.
  • When gunpowder first appeared on the battlefield, it was TGC that likely won the day for the army that used it. It has since become NITSA because ballistic weapons have replaced swords and shields for every modern army on Earth which did not happen for a few more centuries.
[[/folder]]

Community Feedback Replies: 123
  • May 6, 2011
    Fanra
    Real Life: The atomic bomb was a game changer for World War II.
    "Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization."
    -- Japanese emperor Hirohito, August 15, 1945
  • July 12, 2011
    KJMackley
    In Burn Notice the game changer was Michael coming across a NOC list of the organization that burned him.
  • July 15, 2011
    Goldenpelt
    Hanyuu in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
    "Takano and Hanyuu, were you listening to what Mion said? We don't play Old Maid. Just Old Geezer. Takano laughed it off as being the same but it is a completely different game. After all, if one adds the missing card that is taken out in a game of Old Geezer, it becomes a game without losers. After adding Hanyuu, our missing card the world became a world free of losers. It is the height of folly to purposely take one card out of the game. This world doesn't need a loser."
  • January 11, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Cleaning up old junk guys. Anyone think this description is too broad?
  • January 12, 2013
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized the OP work titles and added example categories.
  • January 12, 2013
    StarSword
    Video games:
    • When the Reapers finally launch their invasion in Mass Effect 3 it's clear that their technological and numeric advantages are insurmountable. All anyone can do with conventional warfare is slow the Reapers down as they blitzkrieg the homeworlds and colonies of several Citadel races, including Earth. Then Liara discovers plans for a superweapon in the Prothean ruins on Mars that may be able to wipe them out. Building the weapon, dubbed Project Crucible, becomes the Citadel's only hope. On another note, the invasion finally convinces the Council that the Reapers are real, and the turians in particular start actively helping Shepard.
  • January 12, 2013
    acrobox
    The first one usually lands on Seventh Episode Twist. further ones would be Wham Episode.
  • January 12, 2013
    Thecommander236
    I guess that's a "no"? Well, we have five tropers who say to launch it but we need to organize the examples, remove contractions if necessary, and get rid of natter and red text. Remember, Brevity Is Wit and Zero Context Example.
  • January 12, 2013
    KJMackley
    The thing is that this is a real world concept being modified/adjusted to be applicable as a trope. I doubt most people have never heard of the concept before so the description is meant to be broad so that it accommodates the myriad ways it can be used. Personally I think it is good to go (I am surprised this way bumped after such a long time) but I'd rather there be a few more examples not straight from the OP to ensure some awareness.
  • January 13, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Yes, yes, but we have several examples in the... Never mind I'll just add them.
  • January 13, 2013
    Thecommander236
    There I listed the missing examples and did a spell and grammar check with Microsoft Word. It is ready to launch, I will do so soon, but I have two other YKTTW that I have to attend to. I have this flagged so as a favorite, so...
  • January 13, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Do not launch. I will make adjustments and launch it my self.
  • January 14, 2013
    peccantis
    Do not launch yet.

    1) Please do one of the following A) give the trope a name that describes it more accurately B) define the trope more widely to include Game Changing situations where a good situation happens.

    I would go for B. Whether Game Changer is good for the protagonists or the antagonists is merely a question of perspective.

    2) Please write the Laconic in normal format.
  • January 14, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Surprise Tropes and Plot Twist would be my main index choices.
  • January 14, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Okay, good ideas, both of you. I will get on that soon. Any suggestions how to do that, peccantis?
  • January 15, 2013
    DorianMode
    One Piece has a huge shake up to the Status Quo, right around the time-skip:
    • Whitebeard, Worlds Strongest Man and head of the most powerful pirate alliance, is dead, along with his 2nd division commander.
    • Blackbeard, in defiance of what is known about Devil's Fruit abilities, takes on a second one (Whitebeard's!)
    • Gecko Moria follows on the heels of Jimbei and Crocodile as newly-former Shichibukai, let loose on the sea.
    • Sengoku retires as Fleet Admiral of the Marines, along with Garp.
    • Aokiji leaves the Marines, following a nasty spat with Akainu, who'd been appointed Fleet Admiral against Sengoku's advice.
    • Trafalgar Law is now a Shichibukai.
  • January 15, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Added the One Piece examples. Fixed the laconic. I just launched my second YKTTW. Second one, ever. First on the 13th. The second, today the 15th. I'd like to thank everyone (including the three original creators of Crashing Through The Harem) for their help. Thanks for making this possible guys. This one will be up Thursday or Friday after some extensive modifications.
  • January 21, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Bumpity, bump bump. Bumpity, bump bump. This will be publish eventually by me, thank you.
  • January 23, 2013
    ZombieAladdin
    Film: In Wreck It Ralph, Ralph is convinced that it's pointless to continue helping Vanellope, as he feels any further assistance will doom her home game of Sugar Rush. Until Ralph notices official artwork of Vanellope on the side of the game cabinet and returns to Sugar Rush, now determined to get answers as to what's going on with Vanellope. Indeed, this new information ultimately leads to bringing down Turbo's reign in Sugar Rush.
  • January 24, 2013
    Cassis
    TV:

    • In Once Upon A Time, Storybrooke is a town in Maine where all the denizens of a fairy-tale world were sent by the powerful curse of Snow White's enemy, the Evil Queen Regina and live in an amnesiac, unaging state, unaware of their true identities. The narrative revolves around Snow's daughter, Emma, the very reluctant designated curse breaker. She succeeds in breaking the curse in the first-season finale.

    • The third season finale of [[Lost]] shows flashbacks of Jack at his alcoholic worst. Except that it's actually the first flash-forward, revealing that some of the flight 815 survivors escaped the island.

    (I used spoiler tags for the above because I'm not sure of the protocol here--is something around six years old still considered a spoiler?)

    Tiny suggestion about the laconic: "game change" doesn't only apply to bad situations but to anything that up-ends the status quo.
  • January 24, 2013
    Thecommander236
    There is no such thing as notability so you are fine.

    Edit: Also, is that first example Western Animation or Live Action TV?
  • January 24, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    The spoiler policy is at Handling Spoilers.
  • January 25, 2013
    Cassis
    Sorry--the Once Upon a Time example is for the live-action show. I've read the spoiler policy but to be honest I still found it rather confusing. But it basically says to try not to write spoilers and to err on the side of care? But--now that I think of it, pretty much anything in this category is by definition going to be a huge spoiler, and you've got a spoiler warning in the description text, so I/we can possibly/probably skip spoiler text altogether...
  • January 25, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Spoilers should still be marked, but yes, I will add in this is a spoiler trope.
  • January 29, 2013
    GoldenDarkness
  • January 29, 2013
    Cassis
    Oh wow, that sounds like the exact same trope. Though Game Changer seems like a clearer title.
  • January 31, 2013
    Thecommander236
    That could be true enough. It will have to be discussed.
  • February 1, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Literature
    • The magic ring found by Bilbo Baggins in Tolkien's The Hobbit gave Bilbo the power of invisibility, which allowed him to aid the dwarves far more than an ordinary hobbit could have done. Ultimately, this ring would shape the destiny of all of Middle Earth.
  • February 1, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Added, do we have a creator page for Tolkien?
  • February 2, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ Yes, it's Creator/JRRTolkien.
  • February 2, 2013
    AFP
    Real Life examples:

    • The Steam Engine. Ships were no longer at the mercy of the tides and the weather to maneuver, providing naval commanders with far more flexibility
    • The Airplane. At first this merely meant it was far more difficult to conceal troop movements from the enemy, but as the technology developed, it also meant that almost any part of a country's territory could be vulnerable to enemy attack and defenses had to be spread out to cover any strategic assets.
  • February 2, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Added the Creator page and the two examples then I changed everything to folders.
  • February 3, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Film-Animated
    • When conman Dmitri brings orphan Anya before Princess Sophia, he thought he'd drilled Anya on every fact about the lost Princess Anastasia. But when Princess Sophia asks how she'd escaped the palace during the uprising, Anya replies with something only the actual Princess Anastasia could know. It is then that Dmitri realizes that Anya really is the missing Romanov princess.
  • February 13, 2013
    troacctid
    This seems really vague. "Game Changer" is a pre-existing term that doesn't really refer to a trope.
  • February 14, 2013
    Thecommander236
    The point being? If you introduce a trope called the Game Changer, then the term the Game Changer then refers to the trope the Game Changer.
  • February 14, 2013
    troacctid
    I mean it in the same way that Chair or Head Lice or Stupendous are pre-existing terms that don't refer to tropes. Like, they're words, and they have meanings, but they're Not A Trope. I'm not convinced this is a trope.

    This isn't just another plot element added to the pot, but something very significant that rearranges the storyline.

    Like this bit. That's vague. It could refer to most any plot point. Look at every stage of The Heros Journey and they could pretty much all qualify. Luke Skywalker's aunt and uncle dying? Check. Luke finding out Obi-Wan is a Jedi? Check. Luke rescuing Princess Leia? Check. And so on.

    The obvious response is to tighten down the definition to only the most major changes, the ones that fundamentally alter the basic premise of the story--but then we already have that trope as Nothing Is The Same Anymore, and this would become a straight duplicate.
  • February 17, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Hmm, interesting take. That makes me think...

    Finding out Obi-Wan is a Jedi is not necessarily a game-changer. Remember, the droids fell into Luke's hands by accident. If they had gotten to Ob-Wan first, then Luke may not have been taken along for the ride. However, Chewey and Han were still there, so they would have gotten to the Death Star. Since they didn't have Luke, Han would have left without Leila and the crew would have no reason to spare and track the Falcon. Therefore, Obi-Wan being a Jedi isn't a game-changer. Luke being told he could become a Jedi wouldn't be a game changer since it was the beginning of the story and there was no "game" to change. There wasn't prequels or books on Star Wars yet. There was nothing to "change" in what is basically the exposition of the series. Luke's aunt and uncle dying could count if we assume his aunt wouldn't argue for Luke leaving which she could have done given the circumstances. She argues that Luke should go now since all his friends already joined up. Luke's uncle may be stubborn, but Obi-wan is still a Jedi and Jedi aren't above rigging the game (episode one and a dice roll, anyone?) Destroying the first Death would count... in the series/franchise, but as the last act of the movie it is the finale to the climax. Therefore, rescuing Leila would be the only real game-changer.

    The description up there needs to be fixed which is why I added the "description needs help" tag.

    As for, Nothing Is The Same Anymore:

    added: 2013-01-25 13:58:41 by Thecommander236 Spoilers should still be marked, but yes, I will add in this is a spoiler trope.

    added: 2013-01-29 08:05:00 by Golden Darkness Related maybe: Nothing Is The Same Anymore

    added: 2013-01-29 09:15:59 by Cassis Oh wow, that sounds like the exact same trope. Though Game Changer seems like a clearer title.

    added: 2013-01-31 12:48:12 by Thecommander236 That could be true enough. It will have to be discussed.

    I already knew, but nobody would discuss it. My theory was to combine the examples of the two, differentiate the two, or just post it and let the community decide (by immediately putting in the Trope Repair Shop). The last choose was less than ideal since it would be an obvious attempt to force the community to deal with it (we have forums to discuss these things), so that would be a case of And That Would Be Wrong.
  • February 17, 2013
    troacctid
    Well, if it's definitely a duplicate, then it can be discarded, or else launched as a redirect. If you're considering launching it and immediately sending it to TRS, it's probably a sign you shouldn't launch it in the first place. =P
  • February 18, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Yeah, but discarding it isn't in the best interests right now. I'll read the other page and, if they are the same, I'll add all the examples from here to there. THEN discard it.
  • February 19, 2013
    KJMackley
    Nothing Is The Same Anymore is about sweeping changes to the status quo, such as a Broken Masquerade or a major Retool of the premise. In some ways The Game Changer is more broad (in that it is more open ended in concept) and in other ways more specific (it has to be a specific item or piece of information, not a general observation of changes).

    For an example, in Transformers Prime the Iacon relic hunt took a marked upswing when the outnumbered Autobots got the Forge of Solus Prime (a hammer capable of forging anything) from a defecting Dreadwing, allowing Optimus to build a space bridge to meet the Decepticon forces on Cybertron looking for the Omega Lock, as without it they couldn't make the journey. Another game changer happened in the second season finale, where the Decepticons discovered the location of the Autobot base and destroyed it, the Auobots being scattered around the world to hide from them. Now the third season has to deal with the fallout of what happened, and that would likely fall under Nothing Is The Same Anymore.
  • February 20, 2013
    troacctid
    I think the more-broad-yet-more-specific definition isn't a trope. It just boils down to "Major plot point" and We Don't Need That. I also don't buy that this is more specific, as I can't think of a possible example of Nothing Is The Same Anymore that wouldn't also be a Game Changer.
  • February 21, 2013
    Thecommander236
    F it. I'm bringing it up on the YKTTW workstation.
  • February 21, 2013
    KJMackley
    I really don't see how they are the same thing at all. That trope is very specifically about how the premise changes fundamentally. The difference isn't about "major plot point" or "minor plot point" but between a shake-up to the Story Arc vs. a shake-up to the premise. There are plenty of examples in this YKTTW that do not fall under Nothing Is The Same Anymore, and in fact the game changer is what sets off the plot: Star Wars, Halo Reach, Tron Legacy, Mass Effect 3.
  • February 21, 2013
    troacctid
    Minor plot points don't factor into this at all, so I don't know where that's coming from. And the fact that there are examples here that wouldn't go on Nothing Is The Same Anymore demonstrates that this is less specific, not more specific, which is the same thing I said.

    I think my previous point stands.
  • February 22, 2013
    KJMackley
    Could you explain in greater detail why you think these are the exact same tropes, cause I am really not seeing it. The name, description and examples are all very different, the only thing connecting them is a very broad similarity to how it interacts with the status quo.
  • February 22, 2013
    Thecommander236
    We have a lot of tropes already launched that are about a change to the status quo. You have to explain why this one is or isn't just tangentially related to Nothing Is The Same Anymore
  • February 22, 2013
    Oof
    I agree with Thecommander and troacctid, this is way too similar to Nothing Is The Same Anymore.
  • February 22, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Perhaps the key difference between these two tropes is their scope. Nothing Is The Same Anymore applies globally to most or all characters in the work. Example: The Word, a 1978 television miniseries where a new-found gospel purportedly written by the "brother to the Lord Jesus Christ" is verified and incorporated into the Christian Bible. This despite the fact that the project's security officer, played by the late David Janssen, knows that it's an elaborate forgery. The Game Changer can have a huge impact upon the heroes or the villains or both, but most other characters can remain unaware of it. Tom Hanks's character in The DaVinci Code learns that Jesus Christ had a wife, who would later birth a daughter after his crucifixion. The sinister Council of Shadows seeks to eradicate all traces of her bloodline, while the Knights Templar carefully hide the body of Jesus's wife and guard his living heirs. This battle for control of Christ's legacy has raged for centuries, completely off-radar to common Christians.
  • February 22, 2013
    KJMackley
    ^^^ That's still not an answer to my question. I have already explained multiple times how they are different using various examples and long paragraphs and all I've gotten in response is vague "It just is" responses. So I'll make it very simple, in Halo the game changer for the human/covenant war is the discovery of the Halo rings and their purpose and, in fact, is the very premise of the game series. How is that the same thing as Nothing Is The Same Anymore?
  • February 22, 2013
    StarSword
    Real Life:
    • Gunpowder to warfare.
  • February 22, 2013
    Oof
    ^^ I've never played Halo, so here's a hypothetical example:

    Would you consider the discovery of gunpowder Nothing Is The Same Anymore or The Game Changer? It seems like anything that's The Game Changer necessarily brings about a Nothing Is The Same Anymore.

    Is there an example you could give from a very widely-known work? Like Star Wars or ... Avatar?
  • February 22, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Oof. I'm in the middle ground. I don't agree with troacctid as I'm still debating it and oneuglybunny just gave the best explanation on how these two can be different.
  • February 22, 2013
    KJMackley
    Nothing Is The Same Anymore is when the actual premise of the story changes due to some development. In that manner the "development" can be a game changer but they don't always co-exist. The Game Changer is a new development that alters the way the rules of the "game" were played before. For example:
    • Star Wars: From Obi-Wan and Yoda's perspective, Luke starting on the path to become a Jedi is the real game changer in order to defeat the Sith. The premise of the original trilogy remained "Rebellion vs. Empire."
    • Avatar The Last Airbender: Learning about Sozin's Comet and the utter destruction the Fire Nation could use it for was a game changer in that it gave the heroes a limited time frame to accomplish the premise of the series, learn the four elements and defeat the Fire Lord.
    • The Dark Knight: The Joker killing the Batman impersonators was cited by Bruce as crossing the line, while Alfred points out that him becoming Batman to begin with is what made the mob so desperate.
  • February 22, 2013
    Oof
    Okay, I get it now. I didn't understand that from the description, however. I'd suggest a revision, and specifically a section that compares/contrasts this trope and Nothing Is The Same Anymore.
  • February 22, 2013
    troacctid
    I never at any point said it was the same as Nothing Is The Same Anymore. It's not the same. I don't think it's the same. That was never my concern. I've been saying "Game Changer" is not a trope at all.
  • February 22, 2013
    KJMackley
    Your last few comments and your post on the YKTTW workstation forum have been arguing it's a duplicate trope. Sorry if that's not what you meant but that is what you've been saying.

    Now I understand how some may think we already have this but I just don't see how you could think this isn't a trope even in concept. It's a thematic observation that requires an analysis of the story to qualify and can be both observed by the audience and used tactically by a writer, it's not just pointing out that people sit on chairs.
  • February 23, 2013
    troacctid
    Like I said, it just boils down to "Major plot point" and that's not something we need to have.
  • February 23, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    "Major plot point" - we don't need to have this? Not buying that.
  • February 23, 2013
    Oof
    ^^^^ My mistake, I must have misunderstood.

    ^ Agreed. Even universal tropes get a page. This is one step below universal, however, as it doesn't apply to all stories, just a lot of them (usually action/sci-fi/fantasy/thriller/horror).

    I suggest some additions to the description:

    "In episodic works, this trope usually coincides with a Wham Episode."

    "A game changer may signal the beginning of a Genre Shift if it introduces a different tone and focus to the work."
  • February 23, 2013
    KJMackley
    I don't really see how this "boils down to major plot point" any more than any other trope on the site. Now the description could use some tweaking as when I originally wrote it I tried to describe the idea in the most general sense. Maybe there could be a description of what the "game" can represent so that it solidifies the concept.
  • February 23, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Oof has made an excellent observation: The Game Changer will often grow to become Nothing Is The Same Anymore if the story expands that far. Consider:

    • The One Ring Of Power is TGC in The Hobbit that acts as a James Bond device for Bilbo Baggins. That same Ring becomes NITSA in The Lord Of The Rings when it's revealed to be Sauron's Soul Jar, with which he could reclaim all of Middle Earth under his iron rule.

    • The Clone Troopers in Attack Of The Clones are TGC when they arrive on Geonosis to rescue the overwhelmed Jedi. They become NITSA when they obey General Order 66 and eradicate the Jedi, leaving Emperor Palpatine as Lord And Master of the Galaxy.

    • When gunpowder first appeared on the battlefield, it was TGC that likely won the day for the army that used it. It has since become NITSA because ballistic weapons have replaced swords and shields for every modern army on Earth.

    I reiterate: The Game Changer is localized to the protagonists and antagonists; Nothing Is The Same Anymore is global and affects all characters in-universe.
  • February 23, 2013
    Oof
    ^ Thanks for that, you explained the relationship between the two tropes very clearly. That last paragraph should be included in the description.
  • February 23, 2013
    troacctid
    How can something fundamentally change the premise and not be a game changer? A global change would also be a game changer. It has to be; it's a pre-existing term with an established meaning.

    "Major plot point" - we don't need to have this? Not buying that.

    We need to have Plot Point, but we already have that (and it doesn't need examples).
  • February 23, 2013
    KJMackley
    Maybe because the Game Changer doesn't always fundamentally change the premise? I would have to agree that yes, Nothing Is The Same Anymore usually comes after a Game Changer if you give it the absolute broadest interpretation by making the premise, story, plot point and the status quo all the exact same thing. But even by your argument that would suggest that we actually need this page as defining a term, even if we (unlikely) agree to make it example-less.
  • February 23, 2013
    troacctid
    Maybe because the Game Changer doesn't always fundamentally change the premise?

    No, that's...that makes no sense at all. "How can you have Aliens Steal Cattle without aliens?" "Maybe because you can have aliens without Aliens Steal Cattle?" The one is a subtrope of the other.
  • February 23, 2013
    KJMackley
    That's because you're still acting as though premise and status quo are the same thing, the definition of the game changer is that the status quo is changed but that doesn't mean the premise is altered as a result. 90 percent of the examples we have gathered have no relation to the premise of the story being changed.
  • February 23, 2013
    troacctid
    They're not the same thing, I know they're not the same thing, and I never said they're the same thing. I have no idea how you're getting this from my comments. Should I start over at the beginning? >_>

    1. "Game changer" is a pre-existing term. It has a pre-existing meaning. It means "A newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way." (Source: Merriam-Webster). AKA the definition of this YKTTW.
    2. That's not a trope. It's vague and could refer to most any major plot point. There's little value in it--it wouldn't need examples, and it wouldn't be useful or relevant as a definition.
    3. The obvious way to tweak it to be tropable would be making it more specific and changing it to be about game-changers that fundamentally alter the premise of the story. Then it would be a trope. But it would also be a duplicate of Nothing Is The Same Anymore (it's not, now, but it would be if you made it more specific, which you aren't doing, so it isn't), so that doesn't work.
    4. Then oneuglybunny said: "The Game Changer is localized to the protagonists and antagonists; Nothing Is The Same Anymore is global and affects all characters in-universe." And I said that doesn't work because game-changer is a pre-existing term with a pre-existing meaning that would absolutely include global changes and not just local changes, so that restriction doesn't make sense.

    That's just clarifying stuff I already said, since there seems to be confusion. I hope we're clear now.
  • February 24, 2013
    KJMackley
    And I disagree that it is a duplicate of Nothing Is The Same Anymore in any form, "game changer for a premise" isn't the only way of making it a useful trope. The thing is that I've seen this used in many articles in story analysis, so it isn't just manipulating a term used outside of fiction to describe a fictional situation. I just don't understand your objection to it existing, just because it would have a million examples if a story is sufficiently analyzed doesn't make it any less valid as a trope.
  • February 24, 2013
    sgamer82
    • This is the main role of Merlin Athrawes in Safehold. By Giving Radio To The Romans Merlin strives to break the planet Safehold's enforced Medieval Stasis. Approximately every other book features the Church of God Awaiting and its forces getting hammered by the Empire of Charis due to various innovations that were brought in thanks to Merlin's influence. Starting with farther-ranged and more accurate artillery in the first book and introducing ironclad warships in the most recent.
      • On a more individual scale, Merlin had been acting alone in this plan for the first book and a half. The Game Changer to this strategy was the revelation midway through the second book that there were others who knew the history he did, enabling him to bring more people in on his ultimate plan.
  • February 25, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Okay, I have to admit, this is one of the least flame-baity and most intelligent conversation I have ever seen on the internet. Now, then, I'll add all the examples on the page to the YKTTW.
  • February 25, 2013
    Thecommander236
    By the definition set by oneuglybunny (this examples are above):

    - Germany, Japan, and the USA were all working on a bomb like this, but only the US had the fundamental idea correct (you use neutrons, not protons in the reaction). This would become a Nothing Is The Same Anymore when several countries had the bomb and Mutually Assured Destruction was the law.

    • In Burn Notice the game changer was Michael coming across a NOC list of the organization that burned him.
    - This would become a NITSAM if Michael destroyed or highly damaged those organizations and thus saved countless people the trouble he received.

    "Takano and Hanyuu, were you listening to what Mion said? We don't play Old Maid. Just Old Geezer. Takano laughed it off as being the same but it is a completely different game. After all, if one adds the missing card that is taken out in a game of Old Geezer, it becomes a game without losers. After adding Hanyuu, our missing card the world became a world free of losers. It is the height of folly to purposely take one card out of the game. This world doesn't need a loser."
    - I don't know this series, but this sounds like a NITSAM because everyone's life is changed by this singular event.

    • bWhen the Reapers finally launch their invasion in Mass Effect 3 it's clear that their technological and numeric advantages are insurmountable. All anyone can do with conventional warfare is slow the Reapers down as they blitzkrieg the homeworlds and colonies of several Citadel races, including Earth. Then Liara discovers plans for a superweapon in the Prothean ruins on Mars that may be able to wipe them out. Building the weapon, dubbed Project Crucible, becomes the Citadel's only hope. On another note, the invasion finally convinces the Council that the Reapers are real, and the turians in particular start actively helping Shepard.
    - Building the gun is the game changer. Destroying the Reapers, allying with the Reapers, forcing the Reapers to back down, or having the weapon seized or destroyed would be a NITSAM if the change is permanent.

    One Piece has a huge shake up to the Status Quo, right around the time-skip:
    • Whitebeard, Worlds Strongest Man and head of the most powerful pirate alliance, is dead, along with his 2nd division commander.
    • Blackbeard, in defiance of what is known about Devil's Fruit abilities, takes on a second one (Whitebeard's!)
    • Gecko Moria follows on the heels of Jimbei and Crocodile as newly-former Shichibukai, let loose on the sea.
    • Sengoku retires as Fleet Admiral of the Marines, along with Garp.
    • Aokiji leaves the Marines, following a nasty spat with Akainu, who'd been appointed Fleet Admiral against Sengoku's advice.
    • Trafalgar Law is now a Shichibukai.
    - Has Luffy won... No. Has the military beaten the pirates... No. Has Blackbeard set himself a permanent place of power... No. Is the Shichibukai dissolved letting chaos rule the world... No. Does Sengoku's resignation insure the military's defeat... No. same goes with the thing with Aokiji and Akainu. And for the last thing... That's not a NITSAM. Is the conflict for the characters different from before... Yes. Have they achieved their dreams... No. Are there dreams different from before... No there are not. It's a Game Changer.

    In Wreck It Ralph, Ralph is convinced that it's pointless to continue helping Vanellope, as he feels any further assistance will doom her home game of Sugar Rush. Until Ralph notices official artwork of Vanellope on the side of the game cabinet and returns to Sugar Rush, now determined to get answers as to what's going on with Vanellope. Indeed, this new information ultimately leads to bringing down Turbo's reign in Sugar Rush. - The hero has new information. His goals are different! Is the villain defeated? Nope. It's the Game Changer.

    Need me to continue?
  • February 25, 2013
    troacctid
    ^ What was the point of all that? =/

    Anyway, the reason I don't think we need this: I don't think it has any value beyond its dictionary definition. It's a phrase. A phrase in the English language. It means what it means. It describes certain situations. There isn't a unified purpose in the examples and it's not doing much except defining a pre-existing term that isn't really a trope. There's no difference between a capital-letters Game Changer and your regular everyday game-changer, and it's not an interesting or useful thing to talk about--or if it is an interesting or useful thing to talk about, then it's not a good frame for the discussion.

    And I disagree that it is a duplicate of Nothing Is The Same Anymore in any form, "game changer for a premise" isn't the only way of making it a useful trope.

    Well, I know you do. I disagree with that too. It was never what I argued, and I'm still confused why you'd bring it up as if it's a response to my comment. =/
  • February 25, 2013
    Thecommander236
    I vote to keep it and KJ is with me. oneuglybunny and Oof are probably okay with this as long as we add a few things to the description.

    "There isn't a unified purpose in the examples and it's not doing much except defining a pre-existing term that isn't really a trope."

    Okay, you are saying it's a plot point that makes it not a trope as you said:

    "Like I said, it just boils down to "Major plot point" and that's not something we need to have."

    Then why do we have a trope called The Climax?

    If the essence of what you are saying is that plot devices are not supposed to be tropes, then you are incorrect in the most fundamental sense. If you are saying that the term "Game Changer" is not fit to be a trope's NAME, then you have offered no replacement names for this trope.
  • February 25, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Commander236: Sir, I bow in respect. You clearly have a complete lock on the concept of this trope. And I believe that this is a trope, in that it significantly affects the balance of power between the main characters. Consider where the story would be without this game-changing element.

    When it gives the villain the edge, the hero is compelled to rise to the occasion, forging ahead on pure awesomeness: Bakshi's Fire And Ice, for instance. When it gives a boost to the hero, it compels the villain to rise to Final Boss mode for an epic showdown: Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. The Game Changer is a nitro-boost to the plot, energizing the characters on both sides. And in cases where the heroes succeed in preventing the villains from opening a Pandora's Box, this trope never attains global Nothing Is The Same Anymore status.
  • February 25, 2013
    troacctid
    If it really were just "Plot point" then it would be a reasonable thing to have, except we already have it: Plot Point. If you're saying it's a significant plot point that significantly changes the plot, then
    1. That's still really vague because "significant" doesn't mean much--all plot points are significant to some degree or they wouldn't be plot points. Different plot points are significant in different ways.
    2. It wouldn't need an example section because all works with Plot would be listed and that's very silly.
    3. Game Changer is a bad name for it.

    If you are saying that the term "Game Changer" is not fit to be a trope's NAME, then you have offered no replacement names for this trope.

    Mmm, yeah, now that I think about it, it's not an appropriate title for a trope. Perhaps this is the true root of the problem. It sounds from ^ that what you're really looking for is something with a word like "accelerant" in it.

    And don't you Lets See You Do Better me. >_>
  • February 25, 2013
    KJMackley
    I will have to agree that the whole "individual people" vs. "world" distinction is not what the trope is about, in fact I want to get away from the idea that we have to work out the dividing line between both tropes at all because they are not the same. troacctid, I understand what you were trying to say but your argument still boiled down to that the important part is covered by Nothing Is The Same Anymore, which is what I've been arguing against.

    And even still not all major plot points are game changers. Luke and Obi-Wan book passage with Han Solo to escape Tatooine, it's a major plot point but it isn't a game changer to the story because it doesn't change their situation. You quoted the dictionary definition and have somehow connected that with regards to literary analysis "situation is changed in a major way" is synonymous with a generic "major plot point."
  • February 26, 2013
    Thecommander236
    I have to agree that a game changer isn't always a "individual people" vs. "world" distinction. Like in the above example of One Piece, the entire world IS affected by what happened, but people's goals remained basically the same. Some people got new power and new responsibility and people died, but no one really won and the war is no where near over. However, I do believe that many Game Changers have to be more about the individual than the whole world. Blackbeard gained a lot of power in that arc, but if he had truly won (wiped out the competition and the Marines) than that would have been a Nothing Is The Same Anymore. That just so happens would put the entire seas under his control and thus affect the whole world.
  • February 27, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Needs hats or a suggestions to fix the description.
  • February 27, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    As far as I can tell, Chief, both the trope name "The Game Changer" and its attendant description are fine: clear, concise, complete. Under these conditions at the time, I proposed The Hobbit under the Literature category, and Anastasia's audience with Princess Sophia under the Western Animation category. I think I already gave this a Hat ... but, how do I tell? Is it possible to add more than one Hat over time?
  • February 27, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Nope, hit "Add a Hat" and it will add one... if you didn't already. If you did, no hat will be added.

    Also, since Anastasia is technically an animated film, then it falls under Films Animated.

    Anastasia is not Fantasia...
  • February 28, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Cool, my hat's already in the ring, so to speak. And Fantasia from 1940 is also an Animated Film, ran in theaters running 120 minutes.

    Newspaper Comics
    • Flash Gordon is the game changer in his series: before he arrived on Mongo, various worlds under Ming's thumb were fighting each other. Flash slowly convinced the various worlds to set aside their differences and concentrate instead on overthrowing Ming The Merciless.
  • February 28, 2013
    Stratadrake
    I haven't been keeping up with the discussion but I think it could be a smart move to restrict it to in-universe examples. (I will also say: I'm never fond of seeing a trope title prefixed with "The".)

    • In Alundra, the researcher Septimus explains how he sought out the village of Inoa to research what's afflicting the inhabitants with cursed nightmares, only to discover he can't actually do anything to stop it (and getting a bit depressed over it), and how everything changed when Alundra, who can enter and change people's dreams, washed up ashore of the village near the beginning of the game.
  • February 28, 2013
    Ironeye
    Earlier it was mentioned that this would be indexed on Plot Twist. Having read both descriptions, and the discussion that has gone on, I have one question: what makes this a distinct subtrope of Plot Twist?
  • February 28, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Both added and noted. We all have our berserk buttons (mine's using more than three dots for an ellipses, using more than three stars *, and forgetting to put a space after colons.) Damn pet peeves.
  • February 28, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Still need hats peoples.

    It is distinctive subtrope of Plot Twist since it fits the criteria of a Plot Twist in the first place. Look through that index. Do you see any tropes that are the same as this? There's Shocking Swerve, but that isn't this trope. Plus that's a YMMV where this is factual. Look through the Index Index or the related indexes on Plot Twist or even the indexes that the Plot Twist tropes fall under. e.g. Didnt See That Coming is also under Plot Twist and Surprise Tropes. Is the Game Changer a Surprise Trope? You have to read and determine that. Or rather, I do.
  • February 28, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Also, did some editing on the description. Changed a word in the Laconic and I took Stratadrake's advice and I removed the "the". The "the" is implies any ways.
  • March 1, 2013
    Ironeye
    Sorry, let me clarify: is there anything that would fit under Plot Twist (In particular, anything that fits the Note that Plot Twists refer to twists in the overall plot, and generally have lasting effects. An individual scene, such as a fight scene, can have several reversals in the fates of the combatants, but none of them can be called a Plot Twist. If the twist is of minor significance to the overall plot, it does not fall into this category. clause) that would not qualify as a Game Changer?
  • March 1, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Two items:

    Commander? "goals" appears twice in the fourth paragraph. One of them is redundant.

    Ironeye? It's rare, but a Plot Twist can occur that isn't a Game Changer. An example from Law And Order: A woman shoots a man dead. She claims self-defense, "he was going to rape me." The woman is charged with Voluntary Manslaughter. The victim was also a key witness in a Federal trial against a Mob Boss. Detectives Briscoe and Logan discover that same Mob Boss has been financing the woman's ritzy apartment. The Plot Twist is the woman had been married to an abusive husband. She approached the Mob Boss, who had his goons whack her husband. In return, the woman killed the witness who was going to rat on the Boss. The DA moved to raise the charges to Complicity To Capital Murder ... unless she testified against the Mob Boss. The woman changed her plea to Guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter with a promise to testify. The DA's game didn't change, but the net of Justice caught one more fish.
  • March 1, 2013
    Stratadrake
    A Game Changer isn't a Sub Trope of Plot Twist, they can just overlap -- see my Alundra example. It's something that happens quite early in the game, before the plot proper gets up and running (and if you read the manual, you already know it anyway).

    (PS - on the subject of titles: Titles with "The" also carry an implication that relative to its context, there can only be one of it.)
  • March 1, 2013
    troacctid
    I don't see how that Law And Order plot twist isn't a game changer. It completely changes the way we look at the character and it has a major effect on the plot's outcome. Textbook game changer.
  • March 2, 2013
    Thecommander236
    @ bunny: That's why I throw the whole page on Microsoft word before I launch it. Gets rid of annoying grammatical errors that firefox doesn't pick up.

    @ Stratadrake: True, I suppose, but I'm thinking that many of the examples will be a plot twist so that this can go on Plot Twist.

    @ troacctid: The woman was already a witness against the mob boss.

    I think in general we need a layout for what makes a game changer.

    Take Starwars, destroying the first Deathstar from the Rebel side and the Empire side.

    1. The (long term) goals of the characters' don't change. (Defeat the Empire. Crush the rebellion.)

    2. The situation of the characters' changes. (We stopped the Empire from having a planet destroying war machine and saved our base. We lost our planet sized Deathstar, lost one of our most senior officers plus millions of crewmen, and lost track of the rebels after we finally found them.)

    3. If it was a battle then no one has won the "war" by the change in situation. They may have won a decisive battle, but that's it. (The Death is destroyed, but Darth Vader is still alive, the Empire has countless more resources, and we need time to get more recruits and re-provision.)

    4. Somehow, someone has just gained a major advantage. (We knocked the Empire on their heels. They may not be defeated, but we gave them a black eye.)
  • March 2, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Perhaps I've been looking at this example from the prosecutors' standpoint. The mafioso was being charged with Complicity To Murder, until the star witness was killed. The woman thought she could claim self-defense to attempted rape. Good detective work, however, revealed their complicity. The mafioso went up the river for life, fingered by a different witness; no change there. The woman's ruse of "helpless victim" was shattered, so the manslaughter charge stuck; no change there. The two villains tried to derail Justice by trading victims, but Briscoe and Logan put those cases right back on the rails. Two killers, two convictions, two longtime cellmates, goodbye.
  • March 2, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Wait. Is that the episode where they were trying to figure what why two men were seemly connected to each other. One guy murdered a guy's relative. The second guy murdered the first guy's relative. One of the guy's was getting a lot of insurance money on the deal. The two supposedly didn't know each. They couldn't prove the murders without knowing how the two knew each other and killed each others' relatives (as some sort of sick scratch my back, I scratch your back deal). Then it turns out they were both took the same train to work. Or is that a different episode/series?
  • March 2, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Different episode, same series, and most importantly, same Principle. The premise of Law And Order is Vindicate the Innocent and Convict the Guilty. Criminals routinely attempt to monkey-wrench the justice mechanism. Dedication, integrity and perseverance thwart these efforts to obfuscate the truth. If Law And Order can be likened to a game, then "cheaters" get DQ'd and the game continues for honest players.
  • March 2, 2013
    troacctid
    The woman's ruse of "helpless victim" was shattered, so the manslaughter charge stuck; no change there.

    I'm not seeing how that isn't a change. It sounds like an important piece of information that cracked her defense.
  • March 3, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Depends if the lie is easy to prove wrong. The case looked like murder. She claimed self-defense. The charge is not dropped because self-defense is rules out. Remember the whole "innocent until proven guilty" rule? They had to follow up on the claim that it was self-defense even if intuition says otherwise. If they get it wrong, then they ruined someone's life unjustly. That's why you need a neutral attitude as a detective. Since the charge wasn't dropped then technically her situation hadn't changed.

    What would change the situation is something like this scenario (this is from NCIS I believe): A shoot-out occurs in a underground train station between an officer and a crook. As chaos rains and everyone flees, a man with a gun holding his hands up walks out and the officer shoots and kills him. The man he killed was another officer, but this one was undercover. The crook somehow got away possibly by running down the subway tunnel. The officer is charged with murder. HOWEVER, it turns out the officer he shot was a rouge who had just A. committed a crime (with the crook, I believe), B. was already fatally wounded, and C. the rouge officer was armed and dangerous. He was corned and who knows what he would've done. He had been trailing blood and probably was going to get caught, so he needed the criminal dead.

    This changes the situation because the officer is off the hook, but he fired randomly losing a chance at promotion in the process (they never did find his third shot). Tell me, if you are charged with murder, do you feel any different when you alibi/self-defense claim gets disproven? Probably just more chest fallen right? But when new evidence comes up that proves that you DID NOT do it then you are incredibly relieved and you don't have to go through the trial process, because, remember, you are not guilty until the JURY says you are guilty. Since trials take months, not having to go through one is a big change.

    Conclusion: Long story short, in a crime story in the perspective of the detectives only, proving that someone had motive, opportunity, no alibi, etc. is discovered usually just a plot twist since they are still going after the same person. If they discover that the suspect is not guilty, then their goal is still the same (deal with the body, look for more evidence, question people, etc.), but the angle they have to take is different (their first guess is wrong, so they have to double back and start over). If the crime is solved by discovering that A. the suspect is not guilty, B. there was another reason for the death, and C. they can move on, then that's, again, just a plot twist since their goals changed. HOWEVER, in the example with the cop above, the cop is proven innocent, the real the crook is still loose, and the case is not closed. THAT is a game changer.

    ADHD version: A game changer in a crime story (detective's view) goals stay same, tact/methods adjust, someone gains an advantage (that crook got one hell of a head start), case is not closed, suspect changes.
  • March 3, 2013
    troacctid
    Where are you getting these criteria? Are you just making them up? Because, again, game changer is a pre-existing term; we don't get to do that.
  • March 3, 2013
    KJMackley
    I have to agree with troaccid on this, I think it is being HUGELY over-examined. A Game Changer is simply a disruption of the status quo into something different, it doesn't matter from what perspective where things have changed. In the L&O example deciding to target the mob boss by making the defense confess is changing the status quo of defense vs. prosecution. If it was merely evidence that proves what the prosecution assumed from the beginning then it isn't a game changer.

    To compare, a Game Changer is not a Heroic Second Wind where they are on the ropes and manage a comeback through force of will. Something new has to be involved that changes the situation. The basic term means that the rules of the "game" has changed and if the players keep on doing what they did before then they will lose.
  • March 4, 2013
    Thecommander236
    There's only four criteria, but because someone can't them in their head, I have to make an example in every third line.
  • March 4, 2013
    troacctid
    But it seems like they're four criteria that you pulled out of thin air. They're not actually required to be a game-changer as the term is commonly used.
  • March 5, 2013
    Thecommander236
    For the last time, we are NOT using it like it is commonly used if that use is even well knew in the first place and I didn't get out of thin air, I got it out of the this discussion about what people agree should constitute a game changer. If Oof, Bunny agree with me, then it's a three to two vote against you and KJ. Since KJ abandoned this almost two YEARS ago, I took it over to see if it was worth keeping. I was convinced it was and have been working on it since. If KJ wants it back then he has to set his own definition. If he doesn't and doesn't edit the description to match, then I'm taking it and launching under that description. If he does define this and no one agrees then it ends up in the discard pile in which case, I'm taking all the examples, starting other, and making a new YKTTW that has my definition and a better description that is less ambiguous. I have done this before with Crashing Through The Harem. I took three previous YKTTW that were similiar, combined them, and launched them. Two years is more than enough to work on a YKTTW and at that rate it will never come out.
  • March 5, 2013
    troacctid
    If you're not using the pre-existing meaning then don't use the pre-existing name.
  • March 5, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    What's wrong with "Game Changer" for these purposes? In most of the examples given so far, the course of the story to that point seemed to dead-end or stalemate. Short of a Deus Ex Machina, something was needed to kick-start the heroes or the villains, some new element had to appear to break through the logjam. And it happened! Some wonderful new thing / new event / new clue jiggled the equation, and took the story out of the mud and back on the rails.

    Angels Panty and Stocking were knocking down the ghosts of Daten City routinely. Until Mayor Corset found the Hellsmonkey, that is. Suddenly, there was a huge ghost in Daten City that could Curb Stomp Battle the Anarchy sisters. That really changed the game, didn't it?

    At one point of Marvel's The Secret Wars, Doctor Doom succeeded in stealing the awesome powers of the Beyonder, becoming himself the most supreme supergod in the universe. That sure made the game on the ersatz battleworld different, right?

    Three times in Tolkien's The Hobbit, the dwarf party was captured: by the orcs of the Misty Mountains, by the giant spiders of Mirkwood Forest, and by the wood elves at the edge of the Lonely Plains. Three times this should have spelt "game over" for the dwarves and their quest. But Bilbo Baggins, the Butt Monkey of the party, attained a magic ring that *poof* uncaptured the dwarves, and put the Lonely Mountain Quest back on track. That li'l ring can really jiggle equations, huh?

    Perhaps one way to regard "Game Changer" is that it's a Plot Twist that is credible enough to avoid the Deus Ex Machina stigma, and discrete enough that only a few characters are aware of it. It does, however, get the story out of a rut and back on the road. That sounds like a classic story-telling device to me, and isn't that the Soul of a Trope?
  • March 5, 2013
    Thecommander236
    That's what I'm saying troacctid. I have never known Game changer to mean the exact thing you are saying. Words change meaning all the time. Vandals was the the name of a German tribe. The word "ye" was created by confusion. We used to use a thorn to represent "th". but when Germans introduce the printing press, people were too lazy to make a widespread thorn block to make the letter, so they replaced the thorn with a "y". So "ye" is pronounce "the". Marry used to be an expression of surprised agreement.

    Point is, the definition is close enough that a minute of reading will be that confusing for people since Viewers Are Smart. Thing is, you never gave a definition to the game changer like you would see in a dictionary so I literally have no idea where you got you sources.

    Also, my "ye" and "vandals" example came from cracked and the "marry" example came from here: http://phrontistery.info/archaic.html Cracked rocks btw. ;)
  • March 6, 2013
    dakta
    This sounds like a generic plot device, not anything tropeworthy.
  • March 6, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Babylon 5: The results of Sheridan's visit to Z'ha'dum ( mainly the nuking of the Shadows' center of power) "opened an unexpected door" (in the words of Kosh II/Ulkesh), which emboldened the Vorlons to unleash their planet killers and go all out destroying any worlds "touched" by Shadows--and the Shadows to reciprocate in this escalation. This turn of events showed the younger races just how dysfunctional and dangerous the Vorlons' and Shadows' guardianship had become. Sheridan gathers a massive fleet of the younger races to confront both the Shadow and Vorlon fleets near a targeted planet of six billion sentients, and calls them out on their unfitness as guardians, and persuades them to leave the galaxy as their moral exposure becomes apparent to all. Thus had the events of "Z'ha'dum" not happened, the current war would arguably end up being just one more of a millennial cycle of wars orchestrated by the Shadows and Vorlons, rather than the last of them.
  • March 6, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    The idea of the trope sounds valid, but many of the added examples don't seem to fit it. Some of them are too early for game changers or don't change much.

    • In Halo Combat Evolved, the war on the ring progresses in a military fashion, with humans beating back the Covenant. Then the ring turns out to have been carrying an Eldritch Abomination, which is set free and proceeds to start infecting anyone it encounters. A later game changer is when the ring turns out to be a superweapon, which its insane curator is trying to fire to contain the infection.
      • A meta one in Halo 2. The game opens with Master Chief's bold defense of Earth. But the Covenant carrier flees and the second half of the game turns into a political plot playing as the Arbiter.
      • Halo 3: Master Chief and the UNSC break a hole through the Covenant's defenses so that they can deactivate the Ark artifact on Earth. The artifact turns out to not be the Ark, but a portal leading to the Ark, which is outside the Milky Way galaxy.
      • Halo 4: Master Chief and Cortana hurry to activate a satellite so that they can escape the abandoned planet they're trapped on and be rescued. The satellite turns out to be actually a containment pod of a Forerunner, who breaks free and resumes his genocidal campaign on humanity.

    • Metroid: Zero Mission: Samus destroys Mother Brain and blows up the Space Pirate's base on Zebes, just as she did in the original game. Then pirate ships ambush her starship and send her crashing back down to the surface, now suitless, weaponless, and with little hope of escape.
      • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: After the game's first mission, Samus is infected with an alien substance called Phazon that allows her to briefly supercharge her abilities but corrupt her if she uses it for too long. It's a game changer for the Prime series as a whole, as previous games had Phazon be a hazard you were trying to destroy.
  • March 7, 2013
    Thecommander236
    You have to tell me what it is that should be removed as per the edits I just did to the description. Also, I spell checked everything.
  • March 7, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Can some one write up those law and order examples? Damn...
  • March 7, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    • Marathon: Leela and the Security Officer clear out every deck on the ship of aliens, and slowly reactivate its defense systems. Then its AI Durandal, who was assumed to be dead, kidnaps you and forces you to go through a series of lethal challenges, For The Evulz.

    What should be removed or changed. Welll... The How To Train Your Dragon game changer is actually far earlier. When the Red Death is revealed, it changes the assumed motives of the dragons, the Vikings' campaign, and Hiccup's plan for how to introduce that dragons are peaceful. The arrival of the kids on dragons is a smaller game changer, but this former one is more important.

    The DaVinci Code example doesn't specify what's changed, how, or when, it just tells information. The Dark Knight's game changer is more the Joker's arrival than it is his killing of Batman impersonators. What's changed is Gotham, which was slowly starting to come under control until the clown started escalating things.
  • March 7, 2013
    Thecommander236
    For the dragons, I can add that game changer and make the other example a sub-example. If you can write it up with spoilers, that would be great.

    The Da Vinci code's example is, I think, about a third-party man (Tom Hanks) figuring a conspiracy (war) between the Council of Shadows and the Knights Templar, thus threatening to shake up the beliefs of literally BILLIONS of people and making the war to light. Jesus having descendents would change the world, but by this point no one has revealed it to the world yet. Therefore, it isn't quite into Nothing Is The Same Anymore.

    The Batman example is a problem with Batman's policy of killing. If he continues to be a vigilante than the Joker will kill more people (claiming that it's Batman's fault if people die which breaks Batman's rule). For me, I think the Joker driving Harvey insane is a Nothing Is The Same Anymore (his goals have changed). I also agree that Joker's arrival is a game changer, but I think it's him killing the Batman impersonators that confirms that notion.

    In the The Dark Knight, crime is at a all time low in Gotham when the mobsters get desperate and hire the insane Joker. The Joker made himself known by first robbing the mobsters themselves. Then the Joker kills the Batman impersonators was cited by Bruce as crossing the line, while Alfred points out that him becoming Batman to begin with is what made the mob so desperate. This shows that Batman finally realizes the huge problem poised by the Joker.

    Is that better?
  • March 7, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    (Be brief, Bunny, be brief. *cleansing breath*)

    • The Game Changer in How To Train Your Dragon is Hiccup discovering that dragons and humans are not mutual adversaries. The "kill on sight" directive in the Viking Handbook is fanaticism, and the dragons are raiding the Viking village under orders from an Evil Boss. The dragon revolution against the Red Death cements this change into Nothing Is The Same Anymore.

    • The Law And Order example I gave was intended as an aversion to the Game Changer. My argument was that the complicity between the Mob Boss and the woman accomplice was a Plot Twist, but that their effort to thwart justice failed to derail the prosecutor's game. In hindsight, this was a YMMV example, dependent upon perspective.

    • Indeed, The Da Vinci Code really doesn't have a game changer. The cryptex that everyone's trying to attain is a MacGuffin more than anything. In fact, this film seems a better example of Plot Twist without Game Changer. Motion to strike The Da Vinci Code example as irrelevant.
  • March 8, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Test. Putting these here for reference.

    • In How To Train Your Dragon, the battle with the Red Death was decidedly one-sided against the Vikings, but balanced out somewhat with the arrival of the dragon corps Hiccup had organized. Even then they were mostly just distracting and annoying the thing, but once Hiccup rescued Toothless and they took to the air you can almost feel their odds of survival jumping a hundred points.

    • Tom Hanks's character in The DaVinci Code learns that Jesus Christ had a wife, who would later birth a daughter after his crucifixion. The sinister Council of Shadows seeks to eradicate all traces of her bloodline, while the Knights Templar carefully hides the body of Jesus' wife and guard his living heirs. This battle for control of Christ's legacy has raged for centuries, completely off-radar to common Christians.

    Also I meant my example for Law and Order. I had things to do like look for a job and I needed some help.
  • March 8, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    I can't find the episode name from your Law And Order example, Chief. You Tube clips are notorious for being meager with particulars. However, from your description, I think I can put together something:

    Live Action TV
    • From Law And Order, two men riding the train together make a Devil's Pact: each would murder the other's antagonist, thinking the police would fail to connect them to their crimes. Their scheme almost worked until detectives discovered the suspects routinely rode the same train together. This game-changing fact moved the prosecutor's cases from iffy circumstances to roll-over confessions.

    And permit me to add another one:

    Literature
    • None of the OAS's efforts to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle succeeded, because their ranks were riddled with police informers. The Game Changer in Frederick Forsythe's The Day Of The Jackal comes when the OAS leaders contract the services of a British assassin, about whom the French Secret Service know almost nothing.
  • March 8, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^That Law and Order example can pothole to Strangers On A Train Plot Murder...because that's what it is.
  • March 9, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Thanks. Been so busy lately. :/
  • March 9, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    You could add this to the Halo: Reach example.

    • Inverted with the previous events of the campaign. No matter what the UNSC tries to stop the Covenant on Reach, some new complication is revealed that just escalates the conflict. Destroyed their corvette attacking their base? Covenant Special Ops still got the data they were looking for. Infiltrated their radar dark zone? It turns out to be hiding an entire Covenant army. Destroyed their spire bases? Those turn out to be cloaking a Covenant supercarrier. Destroy the supercarrier? A fleet of hundreds more ships immediately arrive to take its place.
  • March 9, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Added
  • March 10, 2013
    Thecommander236
    We have hit five hats. I'm amazed. We had to make changes on the description and it's quite the trope it started as, but now it is less ambiguous. I'll launch it soon.
  • March 10, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Credit where it's due, sir: this trope had wallowed in obscurity since July 2011. You found a pearl in the pigpen, cleaned it up, and put it back on the rails. It needed tweaking, certainly, and that's what it got. Hats came to a story-telling device familiar to authors and audiences alike. My applause, Chief, on your perseverance and dedication. The honor of the Launch Button is yours. :)
  • March 11, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Thank yous.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=tvxpt7pe7ijmmsrfkn72gxyw&trope=GameChanger