Amulet of Concentrated Awesome
Excuse me while I save the world with this... actually I have no idea what this is.
In order to tell your future, I'll need you to give me your necklace. Yugi:
My puzzle? No way! Without it I can't pretend to be good at card games!
Man, this guy really sucks, are you sure he's the real hero? I mean look at him, he couldn't kill a half-brained ferret if his life depended on it. Wait, what is that he has in his hand? Oh god, my arms! The pain!
Basically speaking the hero (or villain) has some sort of item (often a Power Crystal
, sometimes a Magical Accessory
or Ring of Power
) that makes him awesome
. Just having it is enough for him to take a level in badass
and just tear shit up. It may be a lucky charm of some sort or be some sort of artifact or gadget that actually causes his insane upgrade. Watch out if the hero loses it however as he is undoubtedly screwed if he does (most definitely if the object has some sort of power, less so if it's a simple lucky charm) and it may make an unscrupulous bystander a Hero For A Day
Of course, who said it had to be an object? Why don't we go nuts and make it his entire outfit
? Or how about a Transformation Trinket
It may even be an Empathic Weapon
Say, have you ever considered a career in badass? Why not join The Chosen Many
This trope has a common subversion in Magic Feather
, in which the artifact does nothing and the concentrated awesome is all the character's own. Another related trope is Artifact of Attraction
, in which the item is so appealing that multiple characters are fighting for possession of it. If the opposing side's response is to get a amulet of even more concentrated awesome, it results in Bigger Stick
Another danger is that sometimes the Amulet of Concentrated Awesome turns out to be an Amulet of Dependency
or Artifact of Doom
Contrast Amplifier Artifact
, which augments existing powers.
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- The Lambda Driver from Full Metal Panic! qualifies as this, though Sousuke is badass even without it. He tends to be screwed if a situation happens where he needs it and it won't work.
- Hey, you know that kid Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh!? Yeah, he's carrying a puzzlebox that kinda holds the soul of a 3,000-year-old pharaoh with a mean streak. Seriously, mess with this kid and he will give you the worst Mind Rape in the history of mankind.
- Speaking of, if you see anyone toting a gold artifact with a vaguely Egyptian eye symbol, you'd best stay on their good side.
- Any number of rare cards, from Exodia to Blue-Eyes White Dragon to laughably Red-Eyes Black Dragon, considering the Serious Business children's card game is played on portable holographic projectors that somehow hurt the player every time their monster is destroyed/they lose life points.
- Be very wary of anybody toting a gold artifact with a vaguely Egyptian eye symbol with any number of rare cards. Not only can they hurt you with a hologram, they can modify this children's card game so that your actual life is in danger or your soul gets sent to the dub-only Shadow Realm.
- Tsuna from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! would've been worthless if not for his Dying Will Bullet.
- And now, everyone gets as many as they want in the form of rings (knockoffs of the Vongola Rings) and boxes.
- And now that they're back in the present, everybody uses the very same bullets.
- Bishop Hazel from Saiyuki has a Star of David pendant which allows him to pull souls from dead youkai bodies and put them into dead human bodies, effectively bringing them back to life.
- Sheeta's necklace in Castle in the Sky.
- Fullmetal Alchemist gives us the Philosopher's Stone. So powerful, alchemists don't even need a circle to do their stuff, and their alchemy is still supercharged to the point of appearing to violate Equivalent Exchange. Except it doesn't, since it's Powered by a Forsaken Child, and thus has already made one half of the exchange.
- Lala Ru's pendant in Now and Then, Here and There, which is actually all the water on earth concentrated into a single blue stone is this trope personified, as Lala doesn't really have much else going for her in the series.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha's storage-mode for Devices, in particular Raising Heart, which is an actual amulet of concentrated awesome.
- Fairy Tail has Lacrima, which are concentrated spells. The most powerful are the Dragon Slayer Lacrima, which when embedded into a person makes them an artificial Dragon Slayer. So far Laxus and Cobra are the only two Artificial Slayers seen.
- In the Grand Magic Games arc, we meet two new Dragon Slayers in the form of Sting and Rogue from Sabertooth. Although they're unique in that not only are they infused with Slayer Lacrima, they've also been raised and trained by real dragons.
- The Jewel of Life from Ronin Warriors. It turns the normally helpless Mia and Yuli into a force to be reckoned with.
- Marin is given what seems to be just a pretty necklace midway through Brigadoon: Marin and Melan. Turns out it's a powerful object which allows her to transform into anything she sees, including weapons, vehicles, and a fighting robot. Behold, an Action Girl is born!
- Princess Knight: Sapphire's boy heart acts as this for Plastic, who goes from an immature spoiled brat to a man ready to do what's right, rather than what his father tells him to do, after swallowing it.
- The Metal Vessels from Magi - Labyrinth of Magic are this, Transformation Trinket, and Empathic Weapon all rolled into one. Dungeon Conquerors contain Djinn within some sort of metal item, be it a sword, bracer, or even a piece of jewelry. This gives the user Elemental Powers and the ability to enter a Super Mode where they combine with the Djinn itself.
- Amy Winston's Amethyst gemstone from Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld stated out as being something along these lines. But she and her gem got pulled into the Infinite Crisis and things go weird. Like when she found out that her "real" dad was actually a magical entity inside the gem. Yeah, weird.
- Most Green Lanterns (and all the other colors) are not extremely dangerous without their rings. There are exceptions in there, as they're various aliens with a variety of alien capabilities, but they're all greatly powered by their rings.
- Doctor Strange (see the page image) typically doesn't need these, but he will use one if the situation calls for it. He once used the Eye of Agamotto to temporarily stalemate an omnipotent Thanos.
- Cerebro for any number of telepaths. Professor X can already freeze a whole crowd. With it, what limits has he?
- On the other hand, his half-brother depended entirely on the Cyttorak gem to become Juggernaut.
- Doctor Occult's orb/talisman can rip through numerous souls in Hell itself.
- The Blue Beetle scarab, the icon of the Beetles' legacy. Granted, its awesomeness only truly came to light when Jaime Reyes inherited it.
- The scarab's awesome may be so intense it affects Jaime's friends and family, too.
- Dial H For Hero is a long-running DC plot-device: A magic telephone dial that can turn whoever uses it into a completely random superhero for one hour at a time.
- Although not an Amulet of Awesome for its original owner, the Dreamstone taken by Doctor Destiny allowed him to take on the Justice League... and torture and murder a large number of people before Morpheus finally defeats him.
- Without his Iron Man armor, Tony Stark is merely obscenely rich and brilliant.
- A genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, to be precise.
- The Cosmic Cube in the Marvel Comics universe makes its holder omnipotent. It's been an Amulet of Concentrated Awesome for the Red Skull and the Super-Adaptoid, and maybe others. It also has a long history as a MacGuffin.
- The Bottle Of Awesome from the comic of the same name. Considering the bottle's last wielder is a homeless wino, the bottle probably exacts a very steep price.
- The Lost Element is this and an Amplifier Artifact: it allows its proper wearer to use magic regardless of a horn (or lack thereof), but it cannot be removed by anypony else but by the wearer's own hoof, and if someone aside from the proper wearer tries to take it off, or wears it and tries to use its power, it will shut off and refuse to work (at best), or burn/zap them with a spell blast at worst. like the Elements of Harmony, it remained dormant until its "spirit" is found. Take a guess on who that is.
- George's shapeshifting ring and John's water-charm in With Strings Attached.
- Sally-Anne Perks lost her magic when cursed by a jealous Ginny Weasley toward the end of the Harry Potter fic The Silent Trio 5: The Curse of Exum. In The Silent Trio 6: The Coming Storm, Harry gave her an amulet powered by the voluntarily-donated stored magic of her friends and family. With it, she could cast any spell she was capable of as a witch. Without it, she was more or less a Squib.
- This is essentially the plot of The Tuxedo, in which an ordinary limo driver finds a high-tech tuxedo that suddenly gives the wearer awesome martial arts skills.
- Ms. Brisby's amulet from The Secret of NIMH.
- This is what the eponymous mask is from the movie, The Mask. Take an average wimpy banker and give him a several thousand year old mask belonging to one of the Norse gods... What do you get? A nigh unstoppable force that can do anything from pull a giant mallet out of his pocket, to cause a police force to break out into an elaborate song & dance routine... Or in the case of Dorian, make them an unstoppable force of Evil.
- The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy's ruby slippers.
- Subverted in the movie Krull with the ancient glaive weapon used by prince Colwyn. It is said to be an extremely powerful weapon which Colwyn will need to defeat the beast of the black fortress and rescue his princess. Once Colwyn has the glaive, he is told not to use it until he absolutely must. It remains unused until he breaks into the black fortress at the end of the movie, where he uses the glaive only twice; first to cut open the prison trapping his bride, and second to attack the beast, where it stabs the beast in the chest which is not even enough to kill the monster. Colwyn ends up defeating the beast with The Power of Love, manifested as a magic flamethrower from his hand.
- In The Chronicles of Amber, Merlin eventually "finds"/is given the Spikard, a ring that frees him from dependence on the Pattern and Logrus by tapping into a multitude of other magical sources. It is also, not surprisingly, a Semantic Superpower.
- The Subtle Knife in Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Before, Will is a scared kid hiding from the police. After, he faces down the King of the Armoured Bears.
- In R.A. Salvatore's The Highwayman series, Branson keeps a magical healing stone pressed to his forehead by pushing it up into his mask. With it, he can overcome his sickness and flip, twirl, and cut anyone to ribbons. Without it, he's a gibbering, useless moron.
- E.E. Doc Smith's "Lensman" series.
- Later in the series, Kimball Kinnison finds that he does not need to be wearing the Lens for it to work, and the children of Kimball Kinnison and Clarissa MacDougall are born with the full innate abilities of a 2nd stage Lensman, no Lens required
- Though those children do end up creating their own Lenses to help them focus their powers (or something like that), so the Lenses do still do something.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Voldemort believes the Elder Wand to be this. It isn't, at least not for him, because according to the rules by which ownership of the Elder Wand transfers, it belongs to Harry, not to Voldemort. It absolutely refuses to harm its' owner, once Harry reveals the truth about who really defeated whom.
Live Action TV
- This is the defining plot device of The Greatest American Hero.
- The family wand in Wizards of Waverly Place seems to give Justin incredibly enhanced powers when he uses it.
- The Supernatural episode "Bad Day at Black Rock" features a really lucky (not for the rabbit, obviously) rabbit's foot which turns out to be a curse because holding it gives you great luck but you always lose it and then your luck turns homicidally bad.
- The Goa'uld from Stargate SG-1 get most of their godly powers from a fancy hand device, and the rest from other tech. But the hand device does the flashy, intimidating stuff.
- Strictly speaking the "device" is the Goa'uld parasite itself, and the hand device merely channels power generated by the Goa'uld, since the device requires a Goa'uld parasite possessing them (or someone who still has bits of naqueda in their bloodstream from a former Goa'uld possession) to operate it.
- The Time Crystals in Pro Pinball: Timeshock!, which can generate a shockwave capable of destroying all of existence.
- Powers in Champions are purchased with Character Points. A power's cost can be reduced, thereby allowing the character to buy more powers (or to make each existing power stronger), by giving the power Limitations. One such limitation is "Focus", which means the power won't work without a specific physical object in the character's possession. A Focus is worth a bigger bonus (reduction to the cost of the power) if it's Obvious (i.e. everyone can tell the object's responsible for the power) and Accessible (i.e. an opponent can grab it and take it from you). So ... a lot of characters, particularly when they're just starting out, are built with the vast majority of their powers through an Obvious, Accessible Focus. You can guess what happens to that Focus all-too-often over the course of an adventure.
- The main character from Enchanted Arms is a musclehead who happens to be best friends with the school genius and skates by accordingly. However, despite this he is the only one able to stop nearly unstoppable monstrosities known as Devil Golems, due to him just so happening to have a right arm created from another Devil Golem.
- Summon Night Swordcraft Story 2 gives the hero/heroine the pendant as a memento for their deceased father.It turns out to be the key to their Transformation Sequence, which means it's also their Transformation Trinket.
- The main character from Beyond Oasis has this, an Armlet that can summon the 4 elemental spirits. It's useless until you clear the first dungeon though.
- Consistently subverted in the Suikoden games. The True Runes have world-shattering powers, sure, and everyone who wants power wants at least one...but what makes our True Rune-wielding heroes into heroes is their ability to draw people together. (They ain't bad in a straight fight, either). The legends of True Rune users frequently surpasses their powers.
- Exspheres in Tales of Symphonia provide a major boost to the wearer's combat abilities. However, they're created by trapping the soul of another person; a "raw" Exsphere is attached directly to their skin, harvesting their life energy and eventually turning them into a monster.
- The transformation armlets in Jeanne d'Arc. Each of them can be equipped with different transformation stones that grant their bearers increased attack and defense power along with the very useful ability to act again after killing an enemy. And in the Back Story their power was used to seal away Big Bad Gilvaroth.
- Subverted in Jade Empire. The amulet seems to be that, and you have to gather the pieces of it and set them with gems to acquire powers. Until you die and it turns out to merely be an Amplifier Artifact, and then again not even that but it really was just a Magic Feather.
- In Kingdom Hearts, Sora is shown to be utterly powerless before he attains the Keyblade and when he loses it when Riku steals it at Hollow Bastion. And he is only capable of killing enemies by sending the Beast to take them out for him.
- Well, not entirely powerless—he still has his magic.
- Sora can damage them with his wooden sword, he just does so little damage that the beast will always kill everything in the area before you can take even half the hp off the weakest enemy.
- Blasting them with Gravity spells can get them down to the point where the wooden sword can be lethal.
- In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind you can create your own, although by the time you're either rich enough or good enough with the enchanting skill to make one, you probably don't really need it any more for anything other than overkill.
- Earthworm Jim is a prime example because without his supersuit, Jim is just a giant worm.
- Touhou has Marisa and her Mini-Hakkero, a powerful magical artifact that Marisa is rarely seen without. Among other things, it's what she uses to power her Master Spark.
- Likewise with Reimu's Yin-Yang Orb from the Hakurei shrine, which used to be her only means of damaging enemies in the early games and still remains as a primary motif in several of her spell cards. According to Marisa's Grimoire, Reimu can also bean you over the head with it in a pinch.
- As if taking a cue from The Mask above, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask gives the villain (well, OK, a sad and lonely kid who gets in over his head) a haunted mask that gives him demonic powers, including trapping Link inside the body of a deku scrub and causing the FREAKING MOON to come crashing down!
- In The Way, all the power Rhue gains is due to his Shadow Sword.
- Gilgamesh from Fate/stay night is really not too impressive if you look at his base stats. If he had only his normal abilities he would constitute only a moderate threat at the best as his only notable attributes that are really above average are strength and Charisma. Considering the abilities of the other Servants he probably couldn't even beat one of them. However he has Amulet of Concentrated Awesome coming out the wazoo with hundreds upon hundreds of these stockpiled in a even bigger Amulet of Concentrated Awesome. He has so many of these that it makes him practically unstoppable.
- Doubly notable as once his Artifacts are circumvented he gets taken out by a teenager with a crash course in awesome.
- Fridge Logic here in that Gilgamesh's ego always results in him nerfing his own self. Thus, his stats don't actually reflect how powerful he is, only how powerful he allows himself to be. Thus, Gilgamesh can't really be under this category, since it is more a case of I Am Not Left-Handed all the time due to his ego instead.
Web Video / Webcomics
- Every new technological device is this until the rest of the world catches up.
- Arguably both sides of the Cold War possessing such amulets (nukes, obviously) kept them from engaging in a conventional war that would have devastated both sides.