You have before you three series. The first, Series A, was the first known use of a trope, but it may or may not have been intentional. The second, Series B, was the first intentional use of the trope. The third, Series C, does not claim originality, and may in fact have ripped off series B, but was much more popular than Series A or
B and is the template that all later uses of this trope follow.
Series A is the Ur Example
Series B is the Trope Maker
Series C is the Trope Codifier
In other words, if in tracing the history of a trope, one example stands out as the template that many, many other examples follow, that's the Trope Codifier.
The Trope Maker is frequently also the Trope Codifier, but not always. In particular, when the Trope Maker is a work of outstanding quality, the Trope Codifier may often be a story that shows how lesser authors can do a good imitation. Conversely, a great writer may gather up many old tropes and polish them to a shine, codifying them for later generations. Occasionally somebody rediscovers a Forgotten Trope
The Trope Codifier may be the first theme park version
or Pragmatic Adaptation
. If the trope is Older Than They Think
, the Codifier is usually mistaken
for the Trope Maker. Really old tropes
may have been codified every couple of centuries for millennia, as successive codifiers show how to adapt the age-old trope to their times. With the advent of television, a trope related to television may be codified by a new show every decade or two after the associations with previous codifiers have died out.
: "Trope Codifier" does not mean Most Triumphant Example
. It means "Example that has fingerprints of influence on all later examples of the trope". The true marker of a Codifier is that it invents some unique spin on the trope that all
later examples have some reaction to. Take, for example, Werewolves
. There were earlier examples of werewolf stories, but it is with 1941's The Wolf Man
that we first see werewolves as an infection (previously, it was a curse or part of a Deal with the Devil
), silver vulnerability (previously, it was vampires
or ghosts who were usually associated with weakness to silver), made the werewolf a human cursed to turn into a wolf-man (previously, all kinds of variations were available, from wolf that turns into a man, to man who was permanently turned into a wolf
), and tied the wolf to the night of the full moon (previously, they either focused on the three nights around the full moon, or had little to do with the phase of the moon). Almost all later examples of Werewolves bear some of these subtropes, which originated with The Wolf Man
, or at least discuss
them in order to explain why Our Werewolves Are Different
. Thus, we can state with confidence that it is the Trope Codifier.
Examples should be of Trope Codifiers that aren't Trope Makers themselves.
Related to Older Than They Think
. If a Trope Codifier is particularly influential, and the Trope Maker a little twisted you may have an Unbuilt Trope
Also see Most Triumphant Example
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Anime & Manga
- Neon Genesis Evangelion is the Trope Codifier for Darker and Edgier, Deconstructed mecha anime with a metaphysical edge. GaoGaiGar and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann attempted to Reconstruct the genre after it became overtaken by Eva-inspired works.
- Speaking of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, while the Getter Robo series introduced the This Is a Drill trope to mecha fans, a lot of them will remember the former for taking the said trope as a massive plot point.
- Sailor Moon is frequently cited as the first user of the Magical Girl Warrior subset of Magical Girl shows. Cutey Honey used some of the tropes, but was usually seen as a straight-up Super Hero, especially since at the time "Magical Girl" meant Cute Witch.
- Ranma ½'s Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendo aren't even Rumiko Takahashi's first couple with Belligerent Sexual Tension. But they're the standard by which all others are measured.
- Ranma is also the most likely codifier for Martial Arts and Crafts unless someone who knows their kung-fu flicks can dethrone it - it's probably harder to think of a pursuit they didn't use in the series than one they did.
- Love Hina essentially defined the current style of Unwanted Harems.
- Fullmetal Alchemist popularized the concept of Equivalent Exchange and Magic A Is Magic A, at least for anime and manga.
- If Fist of the North Star is the Trope Maker for the shonen Fighting Series, then Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z are the codifiers.
- While there had been examples and uses of Cyber Punk tropes in other series such as Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell is seen as codifying Cyber Punk themes into anime such as cyborgs, The Metaverse, and other such themes.
- AKIRA was the TC for anime as a whole in the US and UK - a 'cartoon' that was dark, grim, violent, bloody, beautiful and not a little mind screwy. As a consequence, it burrowed into the collective subconscious and created a new image that took years more to shake off.
- Gundam Wing jump-started the trend of Humongous Mecha series having Bishōnen protagonists to give it a Periphery Demographic of young females.
- Azumanga Daioh is the eternal Trope Codifier of the Schoolgirl Series and associated tropes, including Wacky Homeroom and Sensei-chan.
- Rurouni Kenshin, the titular character is the codifier for X Marks the Hero.
- The Prince of Tennis is the Trope Codifier of the Anime sports show, even though there were other Anime sports shows before it.
- While it certainly existed earlier, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha codified the Dark Magical Girl trope for anime with the character of Fate Testarossa.
- Yuno from Mirai Nikki is essentially the codifier for the Yandere trope. While she had predecessors for this trope before her introduction, her character practically defined the trope inits current form, becoming both types throughout the story. Also counts as the Most Triumphant Example.
- Halloween (1978) was the Trope Maker for the Slasher genre, but Friday the 13th (1980) was the Trope Codifier. In particular, Friday the 13th (1980) was the actual Trope Maker for Death by Sex rather than Death By Not Paying Attention (Including Having Sex) for all the imitators that followed.
- Star Wars:
- is the Trope Codifier for Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey (as well as a heck of a lot of other ideas). Campbell described the pattern based on a range of heroic myths, but today, any good story that follows the Hero's Journey pattern is accused of ripping off Star Wars — and any bad story that follows the Hero's Journey pattern actually does.
- Star Wars (along with Blade Runner) was also instrumental in making the Used Future concept widespread.
- The Old-School Dogfight was popularized by the films' use of it as an homage to World War II air war films, with the Death Star trench run in A New Hope in particular inspired by The Dam Busters.
- Blade Runner is the codifier of Cyberpunk. It was one of the first films that portrayed the future as more dark and grimy and served as the inspiration for a lot of films.
- Godzilla is the most well-known Kaiju, and of monster movies in general together with King Kong.
- Batman was not the first Superhero Movie, but it was the one that showed that superheroes were very profitable. It also altered the archetype of the Summer Blockbuster: changed it "huge mass-marketing machines that were as much made to sell merchandise as they were to sell tickets" to "huge mass-marketing machines that were as much made to sell merchandise as they were to sell tickets, and are based on an existing property that the audience already has an attachment to".
- The 1931 movie version of Dracula codified most modern Vampire Tropes.
- The 1941 film The Wolf Man codified the tropes for werewolves, as well as being the Ur Example of several tropes such as silver bullets, the famous poem about the curse, and the contagious nature of werewolf bites - before the film, weakness to silver and contagion were vampiric traits.
- Birth of a Nation pulled together all of the little camera tricks and editing techniques that were tried in the early years of film into a coherent set of storytelling tools. It was also horrendously racist. The gymnastics film history classes have to go through because of this are quite amusing.
- The film caused such a headache for critic Roger Ebert when he repeatedly considered featuring it in his Great Movies series of essays that he always held off writing about it. When he finally decided to address it, he did it in two parts, explaining to readers that Part 1 would discuss the racism and history, just to get it out of the way. Part 2 would then be free to discuss the art of filmmaking without offending anyone. Even with the boundaries clearly defined, he had a heck of time writing that essay.
- Triumph of the Will was this for certain cinematographic techniques. It is not this for the documentary genre (it is almost completely bereft of commentary — the subject material get to stand on its own, it's just that it is cleverly filmed and ordered to encourage the 'right' emotion), but this doesn't really help film historians in dealing with it.
- This Is Spinal Tap: The Codifier for the feature film Mockumentary genre. The Trope Maker is probably Woody Allen's Zelig, released just one year before (1983). The older example, The Rutles' All You Need Is Cash (1978), was a television film.
- The Blair Witch Project is the trope codifier for the found footage mockumentary horror films '00s. The trope maker is Cannibal Holocaust.
- 1972's The Poseidon Adventure pretty much established the template for future disaster movies, despite sharing many elements with earlier entries of the genre like A Night to Remember.
- Time Travel: the Ur Example is hard to identify, the Trope Maker is The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, the Trope Codifier is Back to the Future.
- The Creature from the Black Lagoon wasn't the first Fish Person, but he's certainly the best-known and most influential example.
- There were car chases on film before, but the one in Bullitt became the most famous one which all films after tried to emulate.
- Black Hawk Down is the first major movie that popularized modern, 21st century (although the movie actually takes place in 90s, the principle is intact) warfare. This movie is majorly responsible for the games like Modern Warfare, Metal Gear Solid 4, and Resident Evil 5.
- The Hollywood Nuns trope owes itself largely to three films. The Song of Bernadette (1943) was the initial Trope Codifier, and The Nun's Story (1959) and The Sound of Music (1965) solidly reinforced the trope. Because they were so popular, they were used as templates for nuns in film forever after.
- For Pie in the Face, the massive pie fight in the Laurel and Hardy silent short The Battle of the Century.
- American Pie may not be the Trope Namer for A Party Also Known as an Orgy, but the film series itself certainly did firmly noted to the very idea.
- The Standard Fantasy Setting's Trope Maker was The Lord of the Rings; the Trope Codifier was Dungeons & Dragons.note
- Except for Vancian Magic, which was made by Dying Earth and codified by D&D.
- D&D can also be seen as the Trope Maker of Fantastic Miniatures War Games (Chainmail was the Ur Example of a Mini's games featuring fantastic elements, and D&D was originally just the "small warbands" variant of it), but Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 are the Trope Codifiers.
- Another Trope Codifier was Terry Books's novel The Sword of Shannara, which showed that Doorstopper fantasy novels that weren't written by Tolkien could also go on to sell zillions of copies.
- Sherlock Holmes is the Trope Codifier for many detective tropes; Edgar Allan Poe's Dupin stories were the Trope Maker, including such tropes as the less astute Watson figure as narrator and the far-reaching deductions based on attention to seemingly trivial details.
- A second possibility, wildly popular at the time but now more obscure, is The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. It placed such concepts as the private detective helping out the near useless police and the Locked Room Mystery into the popular consciousness a few decades before Doyle's novels.
- James Bond is the most popular image of Spy Fiction. Virtually every fictional spies in history has its roots from the Bond character.
- Medea is the Trope Codifier for the Woman Scorned, although Ishtar from The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest known example.
- Raymond Chandler is considered the Trope Codifier of hard-boiled crime fiction, following Carroll John Daly with the Ur-example (his "Knights Of the Open Palm" was published several months before Hammett's first Continental Op story) and Dashiell Hammett (the Trope Maker).
- The earliest use of Ancient Astronauts is Edison's Conquest of Mars from 1898, but the first popular story to use the concept was At the Mountains of Madness from 1931.
- The Red Badge of Courage did this for War Is Hell.
- While Dracula was the first modern codifier for vampiric tropes, The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice was a subversion that served to codify the current template used by everyone from White Wolf to Twilight and Underworld. Both kinds of vampire are in active use, of course.
- With an exception: for easily understood reasons, most successors have thrown out Anne Rice's vision of vampires as lacking sufficient bloodflow to get it up.
- Contrary to what some fans believe, Harry Potter didn't originate the Wizarding School trope — but it is such a prominent codifying example that everything that comes after (and some things that came before) will have to either Follow the Leader or strenuously differentiate itself from Hogwarts.
- Snow Crash is widely recognized as the codifier for The Metaverse and the Digital Avatar but William Gibson did them first.
- Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal is regarded as the codifier of the Stealth Parody.
- Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian codified the Barbarian Hero — and many other Sword and Sorcery tropes, at least among those he wasn't the Trope Maker for it.
- There have been intelligent and malicious weapons before, but Stormbringer from Moorcock's The Elric Saga is the codifier for Evil Weapon (even for weapons that aren't swords like the Speaking Gun). Stormbringer set the bar for the degree and type of power and treachery in an evil weapon.
- Twilight is the codifier of the mainstream Paranormal Romance genre.
- We is the trope maker for dystopic fiction, but Brave New World and 1984 are the codifiers.
- For Want of a Nail is an Alternate History textbook that explores two hundred years of counterfactual events following a failed American Revolution. It serves as codifier for the genre, more specifically, the type common to AlternateHistory.com, which often features narratives presented like a non-fiction description of actual events.
- The Phantom of the Opera is a major Trope Codifier for supervillains.
Live Action TV
- In Reverse Whodunnits, the Trope Codifier is Columbo, Trope Maker being R. Austin Freeman's Dr. Thorndyke.
- Despite the name, Dawson Casting was neither made nor codified by Dawson's Creek; Beverly Hills 90210 does the codifying honors there. Possible Trope Makers include Bye Bye Birdie, in which 21-year-old Ann-Margaret played the 16-year-old-lead, and the many 1960s beach movies in which Annette Funicello, in her late thirties by the time the last ones were made, played ostensibly fresh-faced debutantes.
- 90210 is also the Trope Codifier for a Teen Drama; it borrowed heavily from Degrassi Junior High and, besides adding the too-old "kids" moved the setting from a nondescript part of Toronto to one of the shiniest places the writers could think of. Two things most teen dramas since have kept in the mix.
- Star Trek did not invent modern science-fiction television; but it made many science-fiction tropes commonplace on television, so much so that it is its own franchise and has influenced almost every subsequent speculative fiction series since, up to and including Heroes.
- The Kamen Rider franchise, while not the first Henshin Hero example (that would likely go to the Ultra Series), is the go-to standard for Henshin Hero.
- Mork from Mork and Mindy is the most prominent example of an Amusing Alien.
- Iron Chef is the Trope Codifier for the Cooking Duel trope.
- EastEnders is definitely the trope codifer for a miserable Soapland Christmas.
- Malcolm in the Middle is the trope codifier for the single camera, on-location, Laugh Track-free sitcom that became popular on United States broadcast television during the 2000's. There were a handful of pre-Malcolm shows that featured such setups, but these (namely The Adventures of Pete & Pete and The Larry Sanders Show, both of which qualify as the Trope Maker of such setups) aired on either pay or niche cable channels as opposed to the then-more popular broadcast television netowrks.
- A year before Malcolm premiered, Spaced did the same thing for British sitcoms.
- Everybody Loves Raymond was hugely influential to later sitcoms and is a codifier for All Women Are Prudes in sitcoms (the notoriously anti-sex Debra)
- It was also a reinforcer of the feminist wife who was always right, even if she argued that the sky was kelly green, initially codified by Home Improvement, where wife Jill was a self-admitted feminist and Tim was the one who screwed up 99.5% of the time.
- Saved by the Bell is the Trope Codifier for the Six Student Clique.
- The Real World is the Trope Codifier for Reality Shows.
- V is the Trope Codifier for Ominous Floating Spaceship and The Reptilians.
- Lionel Luthor from Smallville is the Trope Codifier for Magnificent Bastard. The phrase itself comes from the 1970 movie Patton, and was used extensively by Television Without Pity's recaps of Smallville, to describe Lionel and the prodigious wheeling and dealing he engaged in throughout the course of the series.
- Kamen Rider Ryuki is the trope codifier for Battle Royale-esque fiction in Japanese media.
- Cheers and Belligerent Sexual Tension. Sam and Diane provided the template for sitcoms to follow. Ditto for the Will They or Won't They? romantic storyline.
- American Idol would very well be the Codifier for Talent Show (Star Search is likely the Maker). It is also both the Maker and Codifier of not only entertaining viewers with the talent of its contestants but also with an "eccentric" judging panel as well as the audition sections, which often contains plenty of Funny Moments.
- By the time of Michael Jackson, music videos were evolving beyond just shots of the band, but he set the standard for everything that came after him.
- Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. are the joint codifiers for Gangsta Rap.
- If Led Zeppelin was the Ur Example of Heavy Metal, and Black Sabbath was the Trope Maker, Judas Priest is certainly the Trope Codifier. They started the standard image of leather, spikes, studs, and denim, removed much of the blues elements that were very apparent in earlier examples of metal (Led Zeppelin was called blues-rock, after all), and made metal cool again in the late 70s. Motörhead also helped in the codifying of metal. They took influence from Punk Rock and from Heavy Metal and, in turn, inspired much of Thrash Metal.
- W.A.S.P. was the Trope Codifier of heavy metal's image in the 1980s, combining the Judas Priest facade above with KISS and Alice Cooper-style shock rock antics turned up to eleven, unsubtle Satanic imagery, songs about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, big hair, pointy guitars and spandex.
- Dream Theater may not have been the first Prog Metal band, but Images and Words is the album that defined the style and what the entire genre is built upon.
- Pierre Schaeffer's 1948 opus Cinq Études de Bruits was not the world's first musique concrète. John Cage's Imaginary Landscape and perhaps other such works predate it. But it was the first music to have that label (coined by Schaeffer), and codified the genre.
- Richard Wagner coined the term "leitmotif" in an 1851 essay and codified the concept in his famous cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, which he had been working on at the time. But the trope was invented two decades earlier by Hector Bérlioz, who called it "idée fixe" in his own writings.
- Using Auto-Tune for a robotic effect didn't become prominent until the arrival of T-Pain in 2005. Unlike other artists that relegated it to subtle uses or genres aiming for a digitalized sound (such as electronica or techno), T-Pain used it obviously and flagrantly on nearly all of his releases. His huge success led to a slew of imitators within pop, R&B, and hip hop.
- If this trope is possible on one network, then Hilary Duff is the trope codifier for the current batch of teenage Idol Singers on Disney Channel. Before her, Disney Channel stars didn't really do much outside of the show. After her, Disney practically required all of their actresses to sing regardless of talent.
- Despite Buck Tick and X Japan being prominent early examples, Kuroyume set the template for nearly every Visual Kei band that followed, including better known (at least in the West) examples such as Dir En Grey and Luna Sea.
- While Todd Edwards certainly didn't invent sampling, he made it into an art form. What he does is he takes sometimes up to 100 samples from different songs and creates new melodies with them. This type of sampling is often referred to as "microsampling", and has since been used artists such as Pogo and Skrillex.
- Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal, and Emperor are the collective Trope Codifiers for Black Metal, particularly the Second Wave. For the First Wave, the codifiers are generally agreed to be Bathory, Hellhammer, and Celtic Frost.
- Dizzee Rascal's debut album, Boy in da Corner, popularized grime, a fusion genre mixing rap with electronic music.
- Nitzer Ebb combined many of the particulars of early EBM bands and brought all the elements together for the sound that most EBM bands afterward would follow. Front 242 created the name EBM, and DAF (or perhaps Kraftwerk) had many of the elements of the sound, but Nitzer Ebb would be the model for the future.
- LL Cool J's "I Need Love" is considered the first rap ballad (though the Ur Example would probably be Sugarhill Gang's 1982 song "The Lover in You"), showing that rappers need love too. Because of this song, even the most gimmicky One-Hit Wonder-y rapper will release at least one slow love song.
- In the public eye, Cannibal Corpse is generally held responsible for popularizing Death Metal outside the metal underground, but Deicide, Morbid Angel, and Obituary were the trope codifiers in the metal scene, being among the first true bands in the genre.
- Skinny Puppy was the codifier for Industrial Music's current, electronica-influenced sound; before them, Industrial tended to be a dark, dissonant, and experimental affair.
- Nine Inch Nails, Fear Factory, Rammstein, and Marilyn Manson are all pretty much equally responsible for popularizing Industrial Metal, the former two moreso earlier, and the latter two moreso later on. In terms of influence, however, Fear Factory undoubtedly had the most impact.
- Tina Turner is the trope codifier for female diva singers with over the top wardrobes. She specifically has influenced female African-American singer such as Beyoncé.
- "Superstar" Billy Graham created the "flamboyant bodybuilder" wrestler archetype as we understand it today, directly inspiring Hulk Hogan - and, also, probably serving as wrestling's Trope Maker for Real Men Wear Pink. (Buddy Rogers and Ric Flair also had blond hair and tanned skin, but they didn't really have the muscles.)
- Hulk Hogan is arguably the codifier for the All American Face, given that his name has practically become synonymous with the archetype.
- Kane is definitely the codifier for the "monster" character in professional wrestling, drawing on the earlier "wild-man" characters of Wild Red Berry, Gorilla Monsoon, and George "The Animal" Steele (themselves swiping the gimmick from carnival sideshows) and adding to it overt satanic imagery and a Jerkass Woobie characterization.
- Sable set the standard for what a WWE Diva was supposed to look like. Previous women in pro wrestling had been less glamorous and had dressed more modestly.
- Stacy Keibler was WWE's codifier for Cute Bruiser (Terri Runnels being the Trope Maker and Tammy Lynn "Sunny" Sytch being the Ur Example).
- The Trope Codifier for combining the Brainless Beauty and Dumb Blonde tropes into one character might have been the enormously popular late 1940's radio sitcom My Friend Irma starring Marie Wilson as the very pretty but oh so dim Irma. The series would spin off into feature films, a television series in the early 1950s and a long running comic scripted by Stan Lee!
- Dungeons & Dragons managed to be both maker and codifier for tabletop - and to only a slightly lesser extent, computer - role-playing games in general. Even games totally unlike D&D usually have to be defined in terms of how they differ from it, when speaking to people not already familiar with the hobby (and to some people who are).
- D&D also either made or codified a whole slew of more specific gaming tropes, including Armor and Magic Don't Mix, Character Class System, Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards, and so forth.
- It's unclear whether or not Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was the first to present an alignment system beyond good/neutral/evilnote , but it was definitely the most prominent, and its nine-point alignment system comprises all of the Character Alignment tropes today. Ironically, the most recent version of the game has done away with the alignment system, for the most part.
- The Order Versus Chaos aspect was borrowed from Michael Moorcock and Poul Anderson, for what that's worth.
- Original D&D only used Law/Neutral/Chaos. Later in the Strategic Review (the forerunning of Dragon) Gygax penned an article with five alignments: Neutral plus the four pairs using Good/Evil crossed with Law/Chaos. This version was used in Holmes's Blue Book Basic D&D. Soon after the AD&D PHB had the nine-fold system.
- While the connection might be coincidental, The Nolan Chart (a Trope Codifier in its own right) was published in 1971 (seven years before the AD&D 1e Players Handbook) as a two-dimensional alternative to the traditional left-right political analysis. Communitarianism vs. individualism might be analogous to law and chaos, but YMMV as to whether free markets are chaotic and good or chaotic and evil.
- The Zerg of StarCraft may have been the namers for Zerg Rush, but the Tyranids, of Warhammer 40,000, were infamous for the tactic long before the Swarm came around. Of course, both being based on the Bugs from Starship Troopers the similarities are unavoidable, the result being an odd case where the Trope Namer came after the Codifier.
- Also the book also broke all the Bugs into castes of Worker and Warrior bugs, all directed by a special hierarchy of subterranean Brain Bugs.
- Champions/Hero codified point-build systems, closely followed by GURPS, which seems to be the codifier for "system designed as generic from the start".
- GURPS quite literally defined the Weirdness Magnet trope. (Blue Devil is the Trope Maker here)
- With its iconic clean attribute/skill/advantage/disadvantage four-way split, GURPS is probably also the codifier for Skill Scores and Perks. (Champions already did something similar, but blurred the lines by having several distinct types of perks — including an entire build-your-own construction system for superpowers, which it in turn is probably both codifier and Ur Example for.)
- Although there were Trading Card Games older than Magic: The Gathering (mostly using baseball cards), most of the tropes associated with modern TCGs started with Magic.
- William Shakespeare is another example; he used almost entirely unoriginal plots (with his fame coming from executing them brilliantly), so anybody harkening back to Shakespeare for a basic plot is going to the Trope Codifier, rather than the Trope Maker.
- "Laurey Makes Up Her Mind" from Oklahoma! was the Trope Codifier for Dream Ballets in musicals.
- Oklahoma! can also be considered the Trope Codifier for integrated musicals in general. Prior "musicals" were generally either plays interrupted by occasional songs or flimsy plots that were just an excuse to move between song and dance numbers. Show Boat is usually considered the first musical to integrate song, dance, and story, but it was hard for others to imitate. Oklahoma! provided a template that other musicals used pretty much until Andrew Lloyd Webber showed up.
- Quick Melee has existed in some form in shooters, but the Halo series is what started the trend in modern shooters, and the Modern Warfare series and Call of Duty: Black Ops are what made the "press a button to pull out your knife and stab with it in one motion" almost standard in recent shooters.
- Wolfenstein 3D and Doom by id Software weren't the first First Person Shooters (or even id's first First Person Shooter), but the two games popularized the genre and each inspired dozens of imitators. For a while, first person shooters were often called "Doom clones." While these games are very primitive by today's standards—you can't jump or even look up—Doom remains to this day a partial trope codifier, popularizing Death matches, FPS games with built in support for Game Mods, telefragging your friends, etc.
- In fact, John Romero coined the term deathmatch and frag.
- Duke Nukem3d pretty much started the trend of realistic/organic level design in FP Ses. While Quake was far superior from a technological standpoint (being the first all 3D FPS)the levels were infamously bland with green castle followed by grey castle followed by brown dungeon. Duke had levels with never before seen interactivity. Light switches, mirrors, CCT Vs, wall sockets that electrocute you, televisions, rooms that make sense (like a bar, hotel rooms, nightclubs, reactors for the moonbase).
- Breakout is the Trope Maker (and Trope Namer) for Breaking Out, but most future examples of the genre are more based on Trope Codifier Arkanoid, which added in power-ups.
- Quake is the codifier for the 'mouselook' control scheme, where instead of only using a keyboard to control an FPS character, you control the view with a mouse as well. Bungie's Marathon is the Ur Example, The Terminator: Future Shock is the Trope Maker, but due to Marathon being on the Apple platform, and The Terminator: Future Shock just not being popular, it took until Quake and its innovative online multiplayer before the mouselook feature became codified.
- Even though DOOM was the Ur Example of the Space Marine trope in videogames, Halo became the poster boy for the trope for the post-2000 generation. It also didn't actually pioneer any of the revolutions in gameplay it featured (all of them, from limited inventory, to Regenerating Health, to Quick Melee attacks, to separate buttons for firearms and grenades, had been done before in previous games), but it is unquestionably the game which popularized them all to the point that most modern First Person Shooters now use them by default.
- Super Mario Bros. was the Codifier for Platform Games (see The Other Wiki's article on platform games).
- EverQuest is the Trope Codifier for just about every single MMO trope of today. While it wasn't the first of its kind (MUDs and Ultima Online get that title), it was the first to establish the model that other MMOs would follow, up to and including World of Warcraft.
- Pong is usually considered the first Video Game by the general public. The actual first Video Game is debatable depending on how you define Video Game, ranging from an unnamed game of Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device in 1947 to the 1972-released Magnavox Odyssey game console (the strongest contender turning out to lie smack in the middle, 1962's Space War!), but the consensus is that Pong is the Trope Codifier rather than the true Trope Maker.
- Warcraft II, while not the first Real-Time Strategy game, was the first one to formalize the RPG aspects, including clearly visible hit point counters and Hero Units.
- Similarly, Command & Conquer II, which codified and formalized the supporting abilities, heavy emphasis on counter-play and Crippling Overspecialization.
- Although there were definitely 3D beat'em ups/hack-and-slashers in the PS1/Sega Saturn/Nintendo 64 era, the first Devil May Cry gave the genre new popularity and credence and is widely seen as the key inspiration for similar "Stylish Action" games like God of War. Many subsequent titles in the genre either directly take inspiration for it or, via aping direct so-to-speak offspring like aforementioned God of War, indirectly draw from it.
- Chaining on that previous point, God of War is one for Action Commands.
- Actually, God of War and Resident Evil 4 came out the same year. That would be why they're both credited. How one views the Press X to Not Die is another matter entirely.
- Street Fighter II for Fighting Games.
- Also, Ryu is this to Shotoclones.
- Capcom vs. Whatever games for the concept of "tag battle" fighters (discounting wrestling games, which have wildly different gameplay.)
- Resident Evil for the Survival Horror despite not being the first of its kind.
- For the 3D Fighting Game, Tekken is the most likely codifier, bringing together concepts introduced in preceding 3D fighters like Virtua Fighter and Battle Arena Toshinden.
- Broadly speaking, nothing in any Blizzard game is new or original. They just introduce and tweak the successful elements of previous games to make ones that are quite good. One thing they did create was units giving ever more amusing responses if you won't leave them alone.
- Worms codified the turn-based artillery gameplay of games like Gorillas and Artillery.
- While Recca probably was the Ur Example and Batsugun was definitely the Trope Maker, DoDonPachi codified very much of Bullet Hell. And it continues to redefine and codify the meaning of it as the True Final Boss Hibachi has progressively gotten harder and harder beyond belief.
- Final Fantasy codifies the JRPG-Genre, but the Trope Maker and Ur Example is Dragon Quest
- It's interesting to know that Final Fantasy codifies the trope anywhere but in Japan itself, while in Japan, Dragon Quest is considered to be Ur Example, Trope Maker and Codifier all together. Which is a little funny considering how much Dragon Quest in turn borrowed from the Ultima series.
- Even then in the same continent, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is regarded as the Ur Example of the Strategy RPG genre, whereas its Trope Maker is the franchise's fifth installment, Thracia 776. The Trope Codifier outside Japan however, could either be Final Fantasy Tactics, the Ogre Battle series or even Disgaea.
- In all PAL regions however the trope codifier for the JRPG genre has to be Phantasy Star, because the first Final Fantasy game that came out over there was Final Fantasy VII. Dragon Quest had it even worse, as the first installment released over there was Dragon Quest VIII. The same could be said about strategy RPG's because Ogre Battle was never released there and Final Fantasy Tactics only came out there when it was remade on the GBA. Making Disgaea a very likely candidate for those regions.
- Grand Theft Auto, particularly Grand Theft Auto III, codified the Wide Open Sandbox genre.
- Pokémon is the codifier for the monster-capturing game genre, predated by the Darker and Edgier Shin Megami Tensei series.
- Tower Defense games were one of the major categories of user-made maps in Starcraft, but the relatively primitive map editing tool and limited selection of combat-capable buildings meant that there was a far greater emphasis on mobile units. Warcraft III brought a more sophisticated editor which could be used to make custom buildings, and maps for that game codified the variety of towers, upgrade options, and lack of mobile attackers that are common in the genre today.
- Also on mods/user-made maps, Defense Of The Ancients is not the Maker for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. The concept was Made by Aeon of Strife from the StarCraft days and DotA itself took or adapted ideas from predecessors in the genre. However, DotA is the best-known example of the type, the first to become big enough to be a competitive title, and it's no great stretch to claim that dedicated games like League of Legends or Demigod would not exist without it.
- Unreal is the codifier for Secondary Fire, as every weapon in the game has an alternative firing option. This persisted through the entire Unreal series, including Tournament games, and is now considered virtually mandatory in any FPS game.
- Gears of War took the idea of Take Cover as an integral part of the gameplay system - as opposed to an organic "hide behind stuff so you stop getting shot" - from earlier games, but the concept's subsequent popularity would most likely not exist without it.
- Metroid 1 was the first Metroidvania-game, and Super Metroid is the Trope Codifier.
- The Legend of Zelda codified the Action Adventure genre, boasting innovations such as a battery save feature and open-ended gameplay, while eliminating irrelevant tropes such as Scoring Points. However, it was predated by Adventure for the Atari 2600.
- While most certainly not the first Survival Horror game, Silent Hill introduced, or at least popularized atmosphere with limited visibility that maximizes Nothing Is Scarier.
- While Dune II is the most likely candidate for the very first Real-Time Strategy, Command & Conquer pioneers many of the features that are present in the genre.
- While Modern Warfare wasn't the first game to use an RPG-esque leveling-up system for its multiplayer, you'd be hard pressed to find another online FPS today that doesn't use a system almost exactly like it. It's fairly easy to implement and can keep the player invested for another fifteen to twenty hours that they normally wouldn't have bothered with. It wasn't the absolute first modern military shooter game either, with Battlefield 2 among others preceding it, but most people blame it for making the setting popular, and it also popularised certain setpieces like breaching scenes and player-controlled Death from Above/fire support.
- Twisted Metal wasn't the first competitive Vehicular Combat game (Both Battlesport and Cybersled predates it), but it certainly did popularize the genres and some features, such as tournament-based storylines, quirky characters and more differentiated vehicles.
- The Roguelike genre has two important codifiers: NetHack introduced many features that have since become commonplace in the genre and Angband created a whole, thriving sub-genre of its own. Additionally, the Mystery Dungeon series established many standards for roguelikes made by Japanese developers.
- Any new Wide Open Sandbox space simulator is highly likely to be compared to at least one of three games: Freelancer, the X-Universe series, and EVE Online. The latter two are better known among younger gamers that may not be familiar with Freelancernote . Single-player sims are more likely to be compared with X, Egosoft being essentially the only game in town for nigh-on ten years, while MMOs are usually compared to EVE. As a result, Freelancer creator Chris Roberts' single-player/MMO hybrid Star Citizen has drawn comparisons to both.
Those games in turn owe much of their formula to the Elite series, the Trope Maker for Wide Open Sandboxes in general.
- Fighting massive creatures in games isn't anything new, however, after Shadow of the Colossus came along; taking on behemoths would never be the same again. Hence, the Colossus Climb.
- The two most common forms of contemporary Western RPG were codified by Bethesda and BioWare after the genre's crash in the mid-90ies:
- Dead Rising is most likely the codifier for the whole popular "zombie apocalypse from the inside of a mall" trope, even though it was released as recently as 2006. It has been done many time since, notably by Left 4 Dead 2 (released 2009), with the second half of its "Dead Center" campaign, which takes place entirely in a mall. This was most likely an intentional parody of Dead Rising, as Valve has made references to Dead Rising before, like how Dead Rising had an achievement called "Zombie Genocider" which required you to kill 53,594 zombies (the population of the town), and Left 4 Dead (2008) featured an achievement called "Zombie Genocidist" which required you to kill 53,595 zombies, upping it by exactly one.
- Metal Gear for Stealth Based Games.
- Borderlands is the more notable Codifier for uniting the genres of First-Person Shooter and Role Playing Games into one lovely little franchise, although the RPG and loot system was originally codified by Diablo, Borderlands still deserves this spot for the previously mentioned reason and then some.
- Digital Devil Story codified the Shin Megami Tensei metaseries, providing the original source material that eventually set the rules for all Mons.
- An earlier work by William Gibson coined the term "Cyberspace". Both LiteratureNeuromancer and TRON set the standards for what we think of it.
- Acorn Computers' Arthur OS had the Ur-Example. NEXTSTEP had the original and the user-interface trope namer. But if you've got a dock in your operating system, the OS you're inevitably accused of copying is Apple's Mac OSX. So of course it's also Older Than They Think.
- For graphical interface conventions in general (mice, menus, windows, etc.), the Ur-Example was Xerox PARC's groundbreaking research of the '60s and '70s, which never turned into commercial products on their part, but was Xeroxed by Apple (the Trope Maker) as the basis for its Macintosh interface, and then ripped off (and made even more popular and mainstream) by Microsoft in Windows, the Trope Codifier.
- Fortune teller characters nowadays will likely take some influence from Miss Cleo. This results in Romani with Jamaican accents.
- Clarence Darrow's defense of Leopold and Loeb was the codifier for Society Is to Blame.
- Dan White's trial for the murder of Harvey Milk in 1978 (or rather, the media's complete and utter misunderstanding of what the Defense lawyers actually said) codified the use of the ridiculous excuse in murder cases (in this case, junk food).
- James Watt didn't invent the first stationary steam engine, and George and Robert Stephenson didn't invent the first steam locomotive. But their versions were so much more efficient than previous ones that they are often credited as the inventors.
- Former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir is believed to be the first person to utter the "even a paranoid can have enemies" line so often used in reference to Properly Paranoid characters.
- Geoffrey Chaucer is the Trope Codifier for the English Language. He wasn't the first poet to write serious literature in English — there were several other major poets working in English at the same time — but he was by far the most influential. Between the Norman Conquest (at which point English was fairly unrecognizable to the modern eye) and Chaucer's day, most literature in England was written in Latin (if it was serious) or French (if it was meant for entertainment).
- Stephen Hawking is one for Genius Cripple.
- Charles II of Spain for Royally Screwed Up, the biggest reason ever given to breed outside the family once in a while. It's often remarked that the disorders from syphilis in the womb would have been among the few new genes in his bloodline.