Playing With: The Magnificent Seven Samurai
: A team comprising of seven heroes are engaged by an embattled community to help defend them
- Straight: The citizens of a small, isolated town are being harassed by a ruthless warlord. In desperation, they pool their meager resources to hire a team of seven vigilantes to help train them and protect them from the warlord and his forces.
- Exaggerated: The entire population of a planet is dependent on a team of seven people to protect them from a galactic-scale horde of invaders.
- Downplayed: The town hires seven security guards during a holiday to keep an eye on the drunken tourists.
- The community is poor, and while they ideally need an army of mercenaries to protect them their resources will only stretch to the hiring of seven people.
- The community approaches a known doer of good deeds, who happens to work with six other people to help him.
- The seven heroes are a traveling group of close friends/allies who happened to encounter upon the community in need and find themselves driven to act in it's defence.
- After a devastating battle, seven survivors stumble upon a community which takes them in and acts in their defense against the victorious warlord who killed their comrades and is now hunting for them.
- A village has been subdued by Seven Villains and the Royals Who Actually Do Something lead an army to free it. And by Conservation of Ninjutsu, the Seven will probably still win.
- The seven warriors take the community's money... and then betray them to the warlord.
- The village hires the seven warriors... and then sells them out to the warlord, who has a long-standing grudge against them.
- Double Subverted:
- This betrayal is only a ploy to lure the warlord into a false sense of security; when the warlord's guard is lowered, the community and the heroes unite and battle him.
- Somebody in the traitor's group has an attack of conscience and convinces the rest to go back and mount a rescue.
- There's been an unfortunate mistake; the seven 'heroes' are not heroes at all, but are merely pretending to be for whatever reason. This means that they're just as incapable as — or even less capable — than the community to battle the warlord.
- The villagers go to a temp agency specializing in arranging teams of seven to go to the defense of innocent, helpless communities.
- Zig Zagged: The mercenaries are hired to protect the village from occasional raids by small bands of warriors. On being repulsed, the bands form up into a larger army and the heroes are forced to train the villagers to hold them off; several of them argue that this wasn't in the contract, and defect.
- Averted: The community is able to draw upon its own members for its defense without needing to engage the help of outsiders.
- Lampshaded: "How come it's always seven of us who end up in these situations?" "Lucky number, seven..."
- Invoked: Mystical forces viewing seven as a number charged with magical power and significance are guiding seven people to this community in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy.
- Exploited: The warlord, hearing rumors that the village is looking for seven warriors to act in it's defense, arranges for seven incompetents to be contacted in order to make his job easier.
- "We have no need of outsiders — we can defend ourselves!"
- "We're gonna need more than seven guys to fend off this army!"
- "Every week we get impoverished villagers around here looking for seven warriors to defend their village. There's been at least seven this morning alone."
- "Try to bring back at least a dozen heroes, okay? this is pretty big. Seven guys isn't gonna be enough."
- Conversed: "How come the magic number in these movies is always seven warriors?" "Two words; Akira Kurosawa / Yul Brynner."
- Deconstructed: Although the defensive position gives them a slight advantage, the seven heroes are dispatched with ease. The village is pillaged, and the villagers raped and killed to send a message to the survivors never to put up a fight again.
- Reconstructed: The heroes accept that they're unlikely to survive the battle, but a combination of fortifying the town, setting traps and Training the Peaceful Villagers to fight for themselves might at least drive the bandits off and make them think twice about coming back.
- Played For Laughs: The village/heroes/warlord/all-of-the-above are spectacularly incompetent at what they do, resulting in chaos.
- Played For Drama: The warlord doesn't take kindly to the seven heroes interfering in his business, resulting in a lot of fighting, betrayal and death before the dust settles.
The village needs protectors. Send for The Magnificent Seven Samurai