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Unclear Description: Mirror Match get usage counts

 1 Larkmarn, Mon, 23rd Sep '13 10:41:29 AM Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
The description of the trope makes it out to simply be a video-game trope where two players (or the player and an AI) play as the same character. However, in practice that's not always the case, as evidenced by the many, many non-video game examples on the page.

Since the description focuses on the video game definition, I'm not exactly certain what a non-video-game example would be. At least one that's not covered by Mirror Boss, Evil Knockoff, or Evil Counterpart. And in any case, I feel like the majority of wicks across the site would fit one of those better than Mirror Match (I see it get used fairly interchangeably with Mirror Boss).

I'll do a wickcheck once a non-videogame definition is established.

edited 23rd Sep '13 11:02:49 AM by Larkmarn

Here's how I see it:

Mirror Match refers to any fight between identical or equivalent characters. This can include clones, doppelgangers, Evil Twins, alternate universe counterparts, mimics, Enemy Withouts, and other such things. Looking similar and having the same powers are requirements here.

Mirror Boss is a videogame-specific trope referring to a boss character with similar powers and abilities as the player character. This can overlap with Mirror Match. This does not require looking alike, just having the same powers and attacks. King Dedede is a Mirror Boss to Kirby. The Boss is a Mirror Boss to Naked Snake. Wario is a Mirror Boss to Mario. But none of them are Mirror Matches, since they're not the same character.

An Evil Counterpart is a character who is similar to another but evil. This can include similar powers and abilities, or serving in an equivalent role in an opposing organization, or having a similar backstory. This can overlap with Mirror Match.

Superman vs. Ultraman is a Mirror Match, as they are the same character from different worlds, and Ultraman is also an Evil Counterpart. She-Hulk vs. Red She-Hulk is not a Mirror Match, but Red She-Hulk is an Evil Counterpart, as they're different people. Erza Scarlet vs. Erza Knightwalker is a Mirror Match with an Evil Counterpart. Same character from different worlds. Captain Marvel — er, "Shazam" — vs. Black Adam is not a Mirror Match, but Black Adam is an Evil Counterpart. Kasumi vs. Kasumi Alpha from Dead or Alive is a Mirror Match, Mirror Boss, Evil Twin, and Evil Counterpart. Alpha-152, however, is none of these.

An Evil Knockoff is a copy of a hero created by a villain for the specific purpose of fighting that hero. These can also be Mirror Matches and Mirror Bosses.

Note that Mirror Boss, Evil Counterpart, Evil Knockoff, and Evil Twin refer to the character, while Mirror Match refers to the fight.
 
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To me, I first heard the term in the context of fighting games where the arcade mode consists of beating every other character on the roster (under the assumption that only there is only one of each character), and a Mirror Match is that one match where you fight yourself. That is quite a specific usage, both in-genre and technically speaking.
 4 Another Duck, Mon, 23rd Sep '13 9:59:34 PM from Stockholm Relationship Status: Chocolate!
No, the other one.
I only heard about the CCG definition of using the same strategy counting as a mirror match just now. Not what I'd use anyway, since that would be using exactly the same deck the way I've actually heard it (all of once, while working at a con).

Anyway, personal opinion, the trope should be about exact copies. Clones and Evil Twins can count, but an Evil Counterpart with any variation at all wouldn't count.
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Some variation inevitably occurs... Ryu vs Ken, for example.

For the CCG, here are some examples of that same flexibility:
  • Aggro vs Aggro
  • Izzet aggro vs Izzet control
  • a few card choice differences
  • exact same decklist.
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 6 Native Jovian, Tue, 24th Sep '13 5:37:43 PM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
I think Wanderer nailed it, but where would examples of people with similar-but-not-identical combat styles go? For example, in a work where most characters fight with swords, one character is a Bare-Fisted Monk. If they were to fight another Bare-Fisted Monk at one point, instead of the usual sword-wielding mooks, that seems tropeworthy, but doesn't appear to fit any of the definitions laid out by Wanderer.
 7 Another Duck, Tue, 24th Sep '13 6:17:15 PM from Stockholm Relationship Status: Chocolate!
No, the other one.
I don't think "two similar characters fight each other" is tropeworthy. Unless maybe if it's explicitly set up and they're far more similar to each other than anyone else.
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 8 Native Jovian, Tue, 24th Sep '13 8:48:07 PM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
The "it's set up and they're far more similar to everyone else" is basically what I was getting at, yeah.
 9 Another Duck, Tue, 24th Sep '13 8:54:44 PM from Stockholm Relationship Status: Chocolate!
No, the other one.
In other words, they're played up as identical.
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 10 Native Jovian, Tue, 24th Sep '13 8:57:47 PM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
...no. There's a difference between fighting someone who is literally identical to you somehow or other, as in Wanderer's explanation, and someone who is definitely a distinct person, but uses the same fighting style.
 11 Another Duck, Wed, 25th Sep '13 12:25:19 AM from Stockholm Relationship Status: Chocolate!
No, the other one.
Their fighting style is played up as identical.
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That's not Jovian's example, although it does cover the M:tG examples I shared. In the card games, similar strategies for deck building and play are played up to seem more alike than they really are.
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Magic: The Gathering uses the phrase pretty broadly. Default usage is when you're playing against the same specific deck, as in "We were both playing Caw-blade." It's also seen used more generally, as in "Blue-black is heavily favored in control mirrors." And in the specific case where your opponent's deck is exactly identical, card-for-card, you might hear it referred to as the "75-card mirror."

But we also crack fetches for fixing to drop French vanilla bears off duals. I wouldn't worry too much about a stretched metaphor.

edited 27th Sep '13 1:36:08 PM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
I'd say the non-game examples are all misuse. The trope is a character literally fighting him/herself as it happens in games where players/AIs are all free to choose the same character. Not a clone, impostor, robot lookalike, evil twin, alternate universe version, etc which are separate characters even if they look and act the same, and most certainly not any random dude who happens to have a similar fighting style.

Even a lot of the videogame examples are misuse and should be in Mirror Boss instead.

 15 Native Jovian, Fri, 27th Sep '13 6:18:14 PM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
That seems overly narrow. The trope is "someone fighting someone who is literally identical to them". Why should it be limited to gameplay examples?
 16 Another Duck, Fri, 27th Sep '13 9:52:04 PM from Stockholm Relationship Status: Chocolate!
No, the other one.
Someone who's just very similar isn't "literally identical", though.
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Why should it be limited to gameplay examples?

Games treat it as an Acceptable Break from Reality where other media would treat it as Applied Phlebotinum. If that makes sense.

You can also think of it as, like, a gameplay mechanic where you allow both players to fight as the same character for Rule of Fun. Like, I want to be Chun Li, and you want to be Chun Li, but there's only one Chun Li! Well, whatever, just make the second one a different color.

edited 28th Sep '13 1:38:06 AM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
Games treat it as an Acceptable Break from Reality where other media would treat it as Applied Phlebotinum. If that makes sense.
The same character from two different universes is Applied Phlebotinum? I don't understand.
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 19 Larkmarn, Sat, 28th Sep '13 11:42:29 AM Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
The reason that I think it should be game-only is because it's a video game trope where, in video games, it's accepted that you could just go down the street and wind up fighting yourself. It's an Acceptable Break from Reality there.

In other works, there is always an explanation for why you're fighting a clone of yourself. Expanding it to instances where a character in a film is fighting an Identical Stranger or what have you just seems wildly separate.

I've never played a Mario Bros. game where you can encounter another Mario in the same level.

I think you mean to limit this to Fighting Game examples. I also think you're on the losing end of that argument, and suggest that a crowner be made to find out what the consensus is amoung tropers.

Is Mirror Match only a Fighting Game trope, or does it include when a character/player faces off against an Identical Stranger.
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 21 Another Duck, Sat, 28th Sep '13 12:21:00 PM from Stockholm Relationship Status: Chocolate!
No, the other one.
[up][up][up]Means Applied Phlebotinum can be about any plot device to make it make sense within the story, and that there's a plot point in having the battle in the first place. Whereas in video games it's something that happens for gameplay reasons, and isn't necessarily justified in the game.

edited 28th Sep '13 12:21:15 PM by AnotherDuck

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Ahhhh! I use the term Plot Device for that meaning.

Yeah, certain games use Acceptable Breaks from Reality for the Mirror Match, and most works use a Plot Device to cause two "identical" people to appear.

I still think a crowner is needed for the issue, because I don't see anyone getting convinced of anything.
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I've never played a Mario Bros. game where you can encounter another Mario in the same level.

Mario Bros games don't generally have mirror matches. Mario Party and Mario Kart et al. don't allow two players to play the same character. Super Smash Bros. can have Mario vs. Mario, though.

Obviously it only happens if the characters are competing, since there needs to be a match for there to be a mirror match. But it doesn't have to be a fighting game, it could be any competitive encounter.

edited 28th Sep '13 1:21:33 PM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
 24 Willbyr, Mon, 28th Oct '13 6:51:08 AM from North Little Rock, AR Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
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Clock is set.
Obviously it only happens if the characters are competing, since there needs to be a match for there to be a mirror match. But it doesn't have to be a fighting game, it could be any competitive encounter.
And we need a crowner, because some tropers are arguing "fighting-game only" whereas I'm arguing the trope is present in all games/sports.

The thing about Mario was in reference to "walking down the street and meeting yourself".
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Total posts: 42
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