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Playing With: Power Glows
Basic Trope: Powerful weapons glow inexplicably.
  • Straight: There are powerful weapons. They glow.
  • Exaggerated:
    • The strongest weapons barely affect the heroes, even though the screen is almost completely obscured by their glow.
    • Alternatively, The Big Bad is blinded by The Hero's glowing sword.
  • Downplayed: Powerful weapons glow, but the glow is very dim.
  • Justified:
    • Powerful weapons glow because our heroes are fighting shadows.
    • The power that weapons contain create enough heat energy to cause them to glow.
    • Our heroes are fighting in underground caverns and don't have a free hand to hold a light. The wizards are as good at making them glow as making them powerful.
    • All magical objects produce heat, light, or other side effect. Light's a common choice because it's useful.
  • Inverted:
    • Only weak weapons glow.
    • Alternatively: Powerful weapons emit darkness.
  • Subverted:
    • A huge glowing bomb is assumed to be a superweapon, and is then revealed to not have any effective blast due to its inefficiency.
    • Powerful weapons glow — thereby expending their energy and becoming powerless.
  • Double Subverted:
    • A huge glowing bomb is assumed to be a superweapon, and is then revealed to not have any effective blast due to its inefficiency. But the glow itself is plenty effective.
    • They can be recharged; it's like ammo when you are fighting shadows.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: There's a fifteen-page-long chart explaining how effective weapons with different glow intensities are against one another. And the authors still manage to do a complete Ass Pull every once in a while.
  • Averted:
    • Glowing weapons are purely aesthetic.
    • The weapons do not glow at all.
    • There are no weapons.
  • Enforced: The toy company handling the merchandising wants to make all the best toy weapons glow in the dark, so the producers have that incorporated into the strongest weapons on the show.
  • Lampshaded: "Why are glowing swords more powerful? I mean, it just doesn't make much sense."
  • Invoked: "I'll win! I have to! I have a GLOWING! SWORD!"
  • Exploited The heroes use their weapons as flashlights when they need to find their way in the dark.
  • Defied: "Target their leader! The one with the glowing sword, kill him first!"
  • Discussed: "Yes, you're exactly right: The glow is due to phlebotinum dust used during smelting to increase strength."
  • Conversed: "What's with all the glowing swords? Is this a skirmish or a rave?"
  • Deconstructed: The most powerful characters are all blind. What was the audience expecting, to be able to see after that ultimate attack that's rated at 47 million Candela? Furthermore, the energy loss from the glow turns out to be a major waste of energy, as a similarly-rated sword that was forged from a light-absorbing material can do the same attack better.
  • Reconstructed: Vision damage is a risk that the heroes must take to defeat the Ultimate Evil. And the heroes, at least, take eye protection seriously.
  • Played For Laughs: The heroine's glowing sword goes out in the middle of a fight, and she has to smack it a few times to get it glowing again.
  • Played For Drama: Evil weapons do not glow, giving the villains the advantage when they fight in the Cave of Shadows, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Hand-Waved: The weapons are radioactive. (Then why doesn't anyone have cancer?)

Back to Power Glows

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