Heart Is An Awesome Power


(permanent link) added: 2009-11-16 07:37:48 sponsor: Vree (last reply: 2009-11-16 07:37:48)

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The opposite of Mundane Utility: here, the alternative application of the ability turns out to be a Game Breaker. In other words, when one man's Blessed with Suck becomes another's Cursed with Awesome.

So the character decided to play the Superpower Lottery and ended up somewhere at the bottom of the superpower scale. Forget making it to the Story Breaker Power top tier, they do not even get average powers, Stock Superpowers or at least or one that could get them on a super team... Not even something remotely useful. It's a total Power-Up Letdown.

But, to the bafflement of their teammates, they seem to be perfectly content with it. Not only that, they claim to have gotten the best power of them all! And then they go ahead and prove it. Out of the sheer badassery or just for fun, they have managed to turn the Super Weight scale completely on its head.

Usually a type of Skill Reapplication: often the power has utilities which no-one but the Weak, but Skilled hero recognizes. (Sometimes justified in that the powers only become effective over time, or that they are only effective under certain conditions - however then they pay off handsomely.)

Sometimes the character does not realize the usefullness of the skill until later, in which case it is a ~Chekhov's Skill~. Might involve a ~Chekhov's Lecture~ on the lines of: "Sure, my only power is to control X...But you forget that Y is X too."

Might be an Aesop to make the most of what you have. Especially [[Irony ironic]] if another character had, or could have had the same ability before, but decided that it was useless.

A subversion of the Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality. The video game version is usually a Lethal Joke Character.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • A number of characters in One Piece. Rubber Man Luffy is not a bad example (since among the other Devil Fruit abilities his one is actually rather low-tier until he starts inventing other uses for it) but the best example is Kaku, who boasts about gaining the power to turn into a giraffe AND becomes more powerful thanks to it.
  • Law of Ueki bases its entire setting on this.
  • Everyone in Jojos Bizarre Adventure. Powers like healing, making maps and summoning zippers have all deadly combat applications when in the hands of a stand user.
  • In Darker Than Black, while many Contractors have powers only suitable for murder anyway, even those that don't manage to put theirs to deadly use. Let's see, there's the guy with teleportation powers who used them to rip someone's heart from their body, another whose powers seemed to be teleportation related, but were instead used for Bloody Murder, the guy with freezing powers either impaled victims with ice spears or froze them and did a Popsicle Splat.
    • Another good (if one-shot) example from Darker Than Black would be the guy who could neutralize gravity - on himself or others. Not even real flight - he could just float like a balloon. Or, y'know, make a guy weightless so he'll float off into the stratosphere, freeze to death, asphyxiate in the thin air, or just plain splat when it wears off.

Comic Books
  • 'Rising Stars' has Laurel Darkhaven who can telekinetically manipulate very, very small objects. Such as your carotid artery. She becomes a government assassin.
  • There was a minor Spider Man villain with teleportation powers... Limited to a few grams of weight. Turns out that's a fair bit more powerful than it looks like, when he started teleporting heroin straight into the bloodstreams of people.
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