Interesting Situation Duel
"You should know that this is the strangest thing I've ever done!"
— Flynn Rider
, describing the picture to the right
This is a fight that is made interesting by a special location and/or unusual circumstances. Both parties try to use these to their advantage and it looks cool too, so it's a visual and tactical plus for the Spectacle
The opponent's unusual strengths, weaknesses, or abilities can also make a fight special. May involve Dangerous Terrain
. May involve odd or Improvised Weapons
on one or both sides.
Subtropes of the Interesting Situation Duel
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Anime And Manga
- In Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto Akizuki and Kanna fight also by night, in a labyrinth of slightly translucent paper walls, that is illuminated by candelabras. Akizuki has a sword and Kanna has guns.
- Ranma ½:
- The Water Citadel is a hollowed-out mountain filled with high-pressure water, which bursts freely from strategically-placed traps such as logs, boulders, and so on. The primary antagonist of the arc, Pantyhose Taro uses Akane as bait to lure Ranma and the others to this mountain. Once there, not only do they have to battle their enemy, but also stay dry as much as possible—for Ranma's Jusenkyo-cursed team, a random splash would turn them into weaker, or helpless, forms, but it would turn Taro himself into a gigantic, massively powerful minotaur chimera.
- Jusenkyo itself is an unusual battlefield. A "training ground" consisting of hundreds of deep springs, with long stalks of bamboo jutting out for martial artists to stand on... and one false move would send one plunging down into a haunted pond, cursed to become whatever creature first drowned there. Yet
despite because of this, Ranma and Genma train here in a flashback.
- The arenas for the ring battles in Katekyo Hitman Reborn! were set up special for the fight: slowly flooding for the rain battle, Hot lamps and cables for the sun battle, etc.
- In the third Rebuild of Evangelion movie, Asuka gets to fight the remote-controlled EVA 09 on the outside of a flying spaceship in a vortex of floating pieces of rock (courtesy of Fourth Impact being in process), which involved lots of jumping from rock to rock and entering a freaky-looking Super Mode in mid-jump.
- One Piece had a few both canon and filler. Enies Lobby arc had Luffy fighting Lucci as the whole island was getting bombed to kindom come. Thriller Bark's final battle was fought with a time limit of the sun about to come up and vaporize those who didn't have a shadow. (Long story). The 4th movie had Luffy fighting the antagonist on a sinking ship with a cyclone bearing down on them. And the 6th movie was all over this with all sorts of bizzare challenges for the Straw Hats.
- Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z get special mentions for consistantly demolishing the arenas they fight in, whether it be an actual ring or an entire planet. Special mention goes to the fight between Goku and Tien in Dragonball where Tien destroys the ring and the match becomes a fight to see who can stay in the air longer without touching the ground, since falling outside of the ring is an instant loss.
- The Castle of Cagliostro has the climactic fight in the clocktower. Hero and villain running around, on, and into gears. A sword versus a wrench.
- Bleach has these quite frequently. A notable example is Ichigo's internal world, which is a skyscraper turned sideways. It's generally the location of his battles with his Enemy Within.
- In the manga of Full Metal Panic!, at one point Sousuke is captured and forced to fight an enemy mook. The twist? Sosuke is using a basic infantry Arm Slave while his opponent is using a production version of Sousuke's Arbalest. Sousuke manages to win by collapsing a large temple on top of both of them, knowing that the stronger hydraulics on his AS would allow him to dig his way out of the rubble while the Arbalest remained trapped.
- Serpico lures Guts into a few fights like this in the Berserk manga. First he chooses a cliff where neither can lose their balance without falling and Serpico having the sun in his back, second time he fights under a city in room full of stone-pillars. Both times Serpicos light and quick rapier is actually the favorable choice to Guts' slab of iron he calls a sword, but Guts being the badass he is kind of ignores the downside to his sword and just replaces his disadvantage with fiercer fighting and more strength.
- Starting around the Hallelujah Land Arc in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, most of the fights have some gimmick or situation our heroes must contend with. From Fighting on bungie cords to brawling on giant robots on an ice rink, they get pretty crazy, but par the course for this show.
- It might be more difficult to find a comic book battle that didn't invoke this trope.
- Wallace in omicBook/Sin City had an intense car chase/gun fight while on a Mushroom Samba. We saw things from his perspective, making it one of the strangest sequences in the series.
- Howard the Duck subverted this when he is confronted by a costumed villain who wants to fight Howard on a tightrope over a waterfall. For his part, Howard simply refuses to cooperate and the villain's resulting tantrum causes him to fall.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- The Taiwanese Cop Show Black And White TW has a weaponless fight in a moving tram where both opponents (and all the passengers) are high. The scenes alternate between normal and the twisted, wobbly perspective of the fighters.
- Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain features a duel which takes place: while sledding down a mountain during an avalanche, upside-down inside a construction scaffold, and while hanging from the remaints of an inevitably-demolished rope bridge.
- The Horatio Hornblower TV movie "Loyalty" had a young Irish midshipman fighting The Mole, Captain Hammond, on a beach amidst a pitched battle between British and French Republican forces. The Mole wins the fight handily, but the midshipman escapes to fight another day.
- In the same battle, Styles ends up catching up with the other mole, who had him framed for negligence aboard the Hotspur, and uses his belt to whip his opponent repeatedly amidst the fighting.
- In an episode of Doctor Who, the Twelfth Doctor duels Robin Hood with a spoon... and kicks the outlaw's ass. Robin really shouldn't have cut a button off the Doctor's coat.
- Kamen Rider Kuuga featured a motorcycle duel between the hero (the titular Kuuga) and his Evil Counterpart Monster of the Week, with each trying to unseat the other using their bikes alone.
- Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition recommends this to make the game more interesting. A duel in yet another 30-foot-square stone room? Boring. A duel on a rock arch over a river of lava? ''Now'' you're talking!
- The central concept of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Grand Duke, or, The Statutory Duel. Under the law of Pfennig-Halbpfennig
By this ingenious law
When any two shall quarrel
They may not fight with falchions bright,
Which seemed to him immoral.
But each a card shall draw,
And he who draws the lowest
Or, so 'tis said, is henceforth dead,
In fact, a legal ghoest.
- In Juathuur, Soveshei and Rowasu duel on top of a tower, because fighting is forbidden inside the building.
- In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, the titular Doctor fights Dracula in a mirror maze within his secret moon base. Doesn't sound particularly inspired until you're reminded that Dracula casts no reflection. Although Dracula's robot double does.
- Goblins is very fond of these. Examples include: A fight on a platform hung by only two ropes, meaning that it could tip and send everything on it plunging to their deaths, that is ALSO swinging back and forth in another direction; a fight on top of an uprooted sacrificial totem pole that is sliding down a hill towards a cliff; a pair of fights against rock golemns with colored tags on them, where pulling one of the tags causes the tiles of that color to drop out from under your opponents; a fight in a room with a little hole in one of the walls that, when you put stuff in it, is replicated at mountainous size nearby; a fight in a corridor filled with zombies and holes that will make you never have existed if you fall into them; a fight in a room full of upside down trees that grow larger and downward when they're damaged; and many more. The author once lampshaded it in a blog post, before showing the real-life location that was going to be the site for the next one of these (it was a pretty little stream with a waterfall.).
- In Death Battle, this is subverted. During the fight between Justin Beiber and Rebecca Black, the fight moves to the top of a train, and the combatants just stare at each other for several seconds before Justin simply punches Rebecca off the train.
- Red vs. Blue: Revelation features a fight in a storage room full of teleporters and explosives in Chapter 10 and on top of a glacier rigged with explosives in Chapter 19.
- Episode 19 of Season Ten features a fight between Tex and Carolina in zero gravity aboard a spaceship falling uncontrolled through the atmosphere of a planet.
- Dead Fantasy has one of these in almost every episode. They fight on moving surfaces, swinging blocks of stone, and even while falling down the side of a building.
- Chaka's fall term combat final in the Whateley Universe. Chaka faces a giant, a brick, and a wizard/inventor in the middle of an earthquake and a tornado. She proceeds to use the tornado as a weapon.
- Fly Me to the Moon has a battle between flies inside of a computer at launch control during a space mission! (And one of the flies is fighting with burning matches!)
- Pretty much every episode of Xiaolin Showdown. The titular showdowns, in fact, automatically make the areas they take place in more interesting than they would be otherwise.
- The Teen Titans episode "X" has Robin fighting his Evil Counterpart, Red X, as they both make their way through an elaborate security system involving loads and loads of laser beams. Then they have a rematch in "Revved Up" where they fight each other while riding motorcycles and chasing after another supervillain who keeps throwing obstacles in their path.
- In the spirit of wuxia, Avatar: The Last Airbender has a ton of these. Some notable examples are the duel between Aang and Jet (fought in the treetops) and the first one between Aang and Azula (fought while they are both riding in carts down the chutes of the Omashu mail delivery system).
- In Ernst von Salomon's FRAGEBOGEN, he relates an incident from his service in Oberschlesien with a student freikorps, full of characters who thought they were still back in Heidelberg or wherever. One of these introduced himself as a "stud.math". "Yes, you look like one." A moment later, another university type comes to announce that his friend was greatly insulted, and would the Herr name his weapon? So Ernst, an artillerist who did not know one end of a sword from the other, chose heavy mine throwers. (Apparently something almost, but not quite, unlike a mortar.) Amid consternation, a special court of honor convened, and ruled that all Affairs must be postponed for the duration. Of course, afterward, they could not get hold of two heavy mine throwers.
- According to this Smithsonian article, which informs us that "[i]n 1808, two Frenchmen fought in balloons over Paris," and "thirty-five years later, two others tried to settle their differences by skulling each other with billiard balls." Incidentally, during the balloon duel, the winner killed his opponent by shooting the canopy, causing the loser's balloon to crash fatally.
- This Cracked.com article describes both the balloon and billiard balls incidents, as well as a naked duel and several other strange duels.
- Organizers of gladiator fights back in Ancient Rome would keep things fresh by setting up specialty matches, like females vs. dwarves, groups of children vs one man, or regular gladiators who fought with completely blacked-out visors.
- There were also full-scale naval battles at the Colosseum. They literally flooded the central arena and had ships towed in to fight.
- Hans Talhoffer wrote his Fechtbuch in 1467, contained in which are instructions and advice for many different situations that could be classed as this trope. A good example would be a judicial combat between a man and a woman: the woman has a 4-5lb rock in a sling, the man a club the same length as her sling. Oh, and the man is standing in a hole up to his waist.