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Playing With: Ragnarok-Proofing
Basic Trope: A long-abandoned device or city is still in remarkably good shape despite the passage of time.
  • Straight: The Macguffomatic still works despite being lost for a thousand years.
  • Exaggerated: The Macguffomatic is fully functional even though it was made out of bamboo and the last living creature to see it got a face full of dinosaur-exterminating asteroid just before dying.
  • Downplayed: The Macguffomatic is still functional when it's found, but it's in a very bad shape.
  • Justified:
    • The Macguffomatic is an artifact Forged by the Gods.
    • The Macguffomatic was forged by dwarves, who have a viciously strict “2000 year warranty” policy.
    • The Macguffomatic was specifically designed to withstand lack of use for millenia because it was designed to combat a threat that could show up thousands of years in the future.
    • The Macguffomatic was contained in a stasis field.
  • Inverted: "Behold, the Macguffomatic! This thing is so foolproof, it'll still be running 2,000 years from n- uh oh. it was working this morning..."
  • Subverted: Turns out, the Macguffomatic is only cosmetically functional. It breaks the moment someone tries to use it
  • Double Subverted: The malfunction turns out to be part of the still-functioning security system.
  • Parodied: The Macguffomatic is revealed to be older than the universe itself. It still sparkles and a character comments that it has that new car smell.
  • Zig Zagged: The Macguffomatic looks functional, but breaks the moment it's used, but it's part of the security system, but the whole thing was actually being maintained by a secret legacy, but they abandoned it a long time ago.
  • Averted: None of the ancient artifacts encountered are technological enough that they'd be expected to have broken down.
  • Enforced: The writers want to have the characters in an Urban Fantasy story use a more contemporary method to defeat the 1000 year old Sealed Evil in a Can, but the editors believe equally old Lost Technology has more mystique.
  • Lampshaded: "They don't make things like they used to, huh?"
  • Invoked: "We don't need the trap to actually work - people will heed a DANGER sign long after any real security measure would have stopped working, just on the off chance."
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: "What are you scared of? It couldn't possibly still work."
  • Discussed: "Just once, I would like a death-trap that was BROKEN when we got here!"
  • Conversed: "Is ‘immunity to entropy” one of the Macguffomatic's functions or something?"
  • Deconstructed: The 10,000 year old Macguffomatic could have saved the day for the heroes, if only they'd found it 7,000 years earlier.
  • Reconstructed: But there's enough of it left functional that it can possibly be reverse-engineered and a new one built.
  • Played For Laughs: The Macguffomatic is inexplicably intact despite being surrounded by far more durable things that have already collapsed.

Back to Ragnarok-Proofing.

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