Fighting Down Memory Lane
No, this doesn't literally mean that the combatants fight each other in a location that's nostalgic - or traumatic - for them both (although that would potentially be very entertaining).
A mental battle fought through emotionally charged memories, leading to a flashback montage. Can be done with positive or negative memories. Typical scenarios are:
- Attempted Mind Rape: Using Psychic Powers, or a technological equivalent, the villain drags up all the defender's bad memories - every failure, every moment of humiliation - and forces the hero to relive them. The hero may fight back by focusing on his good memories; first kiss, lives saved. The hero doesn't need mental powers of his own to mount this defense, just heroic willpower.
- High Charisma Villain: The Villain tries to talk the hero over to the Despair Event Horizon, perhaps with a scathing lecture on the hero's failings, or with an assault on all he believes. To resist, the hero focuses on his good memories, reminding himself why he fights.
- Redemption: To reverse More Than Mind Control, or redeem a villain, the hero forces positive memories to the surface, or outright restores them - making the mind control victim relive the good times he had with his friends, for instance. This may be done with words alone, or with psychic powers, but if there is a direct mind-to-mind connection, the villain will fight back, dragging up dark memories.
In the first two cases, if the hero loses, he'll succumb to More Than Mind Control
, or be driven to suicide.
Compare with Yet Another Christmas Carol
, where time travel is used to witness the events from the outside; and Battle in the Center of the Mind
, where the fighting is done through mental avatars.
- Doesn't involve any actual fighting, but the sequence in the crater at the begining of Disc 2 of Final Fantasy VII certainly seems to fall under the first category as Sephiroth uses illusions to force Tifa and Cloud into reliving the destruction of their hometown and (possibly invoking the second category) uses the gaps in Cloud's memories to convince him he isn't who he thought he was, thus manipulating him into doing Sephiroth's will.
- Later, Tifa brings in the redemptive third category, helping guide Cloud on a journey through his own memories to uncover the truth of his past.
- This is how Batman defeats Darkseid's scientists during Final Crisis.
- The DLC for Alan Wake Takes place in one, constructed from both Alan and the Dark Presences memories of Bright Falls. It gets a bit warped.
- Digimon Tamers: D-Reaper, posing as Jeri, confused Takato by mentioning Jeri's memories about Takato.
- Digimon Frontier: Ranamon tricked Zoe into eating a hallucinogenic apple, which reminded her of her painful past.
- In Puyo Puyo Fever 2, there are two items which make the opponent's movement slower by evoking their sweet memories.
- Bleach: In the anime-only battle with Tsukishima, he forces Chad and Orihime to "relive" their fake Friendship Moment with him, distracting them at the critical moments.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Done first with words alone, and then with psychic powers. When Discord corrupted all of the main casts, Celestia sends Twilight's friendship reports back to her. After reading them, she re-realizes the importance of friendship, and she uses memory spells to her friends which reverts them to their previous selves.
- Natsume's Book of Friends: An Emotion Eater takes the protagonist into a painful incident from his childhood, and then asks him to let it eat his memories.
- Used by M'gann in Young Justice on Kaldur. Its the first version, only minus the "attempted" part. She claws through her victim's memories, causing a very fast sequence of flashbacks, showing all the good he did as Aqualad, the plan to be a Fake Defector and that Artemis isn't dead. It shows why heroes should really stick to the redemption part of this trope.
- In Mega Man Reawakened, this happens as Robert's memories return in full due to Wood Man's Pulse of Life.
- In the Amazing Spider-Man story "Happy Birthday" , a botched spell by Doctor Strange sends Spidey lost in time. In order to get back to the present, Spidey has to fight his way there. Through every battle, against every villain he's faced.