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PatBerry
topic
01:01:57 PM Sep 22nd 2014
edited by 75.182.67.118
Also from the Literature folder:
  • In the Harry Potter series, the Seeker's catching the Snitch is often this. Since catching the Snitch almost always wins the game (earning 150 points when a goal earns a paltry 10), the entire rest of the game is completely invalidated by the Seekers' actions. So, a good Seeker is often a Deus ex Machina for the underdog.

Oh, come on! Read the requirements, people! This item fails two of them. First, the use of the Golden Snitch to win Quidditch matches is not "sudden or unexpected". The Snitch has been part of the game for centuries, and every team has a player (the Seeker) whose only purpose is to pursue and capture it. Second, winning Quidditch matches is not an "unsolvable or hopeless" problem.

If you think the rules of Quidditch are ridiculously flawed, that's fine — in fact, I agree with you. But this article is not the place to complain about it. Item deleted.
PatBerry
topic
12:45:40 PM Sep 22nd 2014
edited by 75.182.67.118
One more problem entry from the Literature folder:
  • In an Isaac Asimov's short story, Earth has just busted out into the universe, where there are three kinds of cultures: Shielded worlds with tech to keep everyone else out, who use it; conquerors; and subject races. Earthling conquered several races but babble out creating a culture that the Shielded worlds would be willing to associate with. When two aliens conclude this makes them extremely dangerous and they should be targeted by a massive alliance of all conquering races, they get a message — the first ever known — brought by a ship captain from a Shielded World. It says, "Don't."

I have been an obsessed Asimov fan since the early 1970s, and have read all of his fiction (except for a couple of very obscure short stories that have never been reprinted and are impossible to obtain). The summary above does not even vaguely resemble any of Asimov's stories, and my Google searches have failed to find any evidence that such a story exists. Since the troper who wrote this item didn't provide a title, I suspect he or she based it entirely on memory, and was thinking of a story by some other author. Accordingly, I am deleting this item. If you can identify the correct title and author of the story, and if it really is a Deus ex Machina (which seems doubtful based on the information above), then of course restoring it to the article would be a good thing to do.
PatBerry
topic
12:16:52 PM Sep 22nd 2014
edited by 75.182.67.118
In the Literature folder, we currently have this:
  • Peter F. Hamilton horrifically abuses this in The Night's Dawn Trilogy with the most literal interpretation of Deus Ex Machina as a computer so advanced as to have the powers of a God literally turns a character into a God so they can fix everything. Most of the last book is spent searching for the Deus Ex Machina plot device, but once it is found basically everything wrong in the universe is fixed within a dozen pages.

There are a couple of problems here. First, the entire thing is a blatant case of Complaining About Plot Twists You Don't Like, which is expressly forbidden at the top of the page. Second, it fails one of the requirements of the trope, that a Deus Ex Machina must be sudden or unexpected. The resolution of the Night's Dawn trilogy is the result of a subplot that begins with evidence of an encounter with an actual god, clearly described as such, in the ancient records of an alien species. This results in a deep-space expedition whose specific purpose is to track down this god and ask for its help, because no one can think of any other way to combat the unstoppable threat that is currently destroying human civilization. All of this happens in a book whose title is The Naked God. In other words, it is not possible for Hamilton to more clearly telegraph where the story is going and what kind of ending it is likely to have. This is the exact opposite of "sudden or unexpected".

Accordingly, I am rewriting this item to (1) remove the complaining and (2) point out that it averts the trope with a lampshade the size of the Greater Magellanic Cloud.
PatBerry
topic
11:56:18 AM Sep 22nd 2014
The Literature folder currently contains this:

  • Michael Crichton novels live on this. The main characters work heroically to try to solve a problem (which as often as not was created essentially by a couple of bad decisions, followed by a series of events where exactly the worst possible thing happens in each case), almost but not quite succeeding at several points, only to find out in the end that the problem effectively goes away on its own.

This is not an example. This is a vague generalization. An example would name one or more specific Crichton works and provide some brief specific details on why those works qualify for this trope. Since this item contains no specific information at all, I am deleting it.
MagBas
topic
10:59:39 AM Feb 25th 2014
I am guessing in nominate Deus ex Machina in the crowner in the "pages that need the ymmv banner" thread. This is a subtrope to Ass Pull, that is ymmv.
LastationLover5000
topic
12:42:24 PM Nov 27th 2013
There's a series by the same name as this trope, how should that be added to TV Tropes?
Telcontar
moderator
01:11:24 PM Nov 27th 2013
Create it in the correct namespace and add disambiguation notes both there and on this page.
Stoogebie
topic
10:54:38 AM Oct 22nd 2013
edited by 134.39.179.68
Suppose a character is in a situation where they are very close to dying, cannot escape on their own (due to being too incapacitated), and the only person within proximity to save them is...preoccupied. And there is no plausible means by which to direct their attention. Then the author literally throws something at them to get their attention so that character saves the dying one. And to really hammer it in, the author outright calls it a Deus ex Machina. Would it be this trope?
thEpirate
topic
01:30:09 AM Jun 27th 2013
Can I add a bit about what Deus Ex Machina means? The whole philosophy thing about god in the machine, or is it politically incorrect?
Larkmarn
05:41:33 AM Jun 27th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.45
Isn't it covered by the second paragraph? What exactly do you want to add?
JFrizzle
topic
03:14:55 PM Feb 4th 2013
In Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, after the Average Joes win the finale against the Purple Cobras and it is revealed that Peter sold the gym to Whitey, Peter is awarded a treasure chest full of money allowing him to buy controlling stake in Globo-Gym. The treasure chest has "Deus Ex Machina" on it.
MrDeath
08:32:30 AM Feb 5th 2013
If you want to add an example, just put it on the page.
LentilSandEater
topic
07:49:17 AM Jan 11th 2013
Seriously, if an example doesn't belong on this page, edit it out. Don't drop a massive justifying edit underneath.
ninjadude853
topic
07:00:33 PM Sep 24th 2012
I have a problem with the fourth option, the idea of a "Built in Deus ax Machina" is an oxymoron. What makes something a Deus ex machina is that it comes out of nowhere. If the plot element is sufficiently foreshadowed, then it isn't a Deus ex Machina.

ninjadude853
07:01:49 PM Sep 24th 2012
No wait, I get it now. That particular option is for when a character or element is introduced solely for the purpose of solving unsolvable problems, and does nothing else.
Redy2a
topic
09:45:52 PM Aug 20th 2012
Isn't Deus ex Machina when the creator of that show/book/etc. enters in it?
EMY3K
topic
07:53:08 PM Apr 23rd 2012
Is the season one finale of Doctor Who an example? I don't understand why Rose could manipulate reality like that when the Tardis itself couldn't as Idris.
OldManHoOh
06:53:15 AM Apr 24th 2012
Maybe she could, but her weak body would have died even quicker.
EMY3K
02:06:16 PM Apr 24th 2012
The process involved was killing Rose as well, just more slowly. It still doesn't explain how Rose could manipulate reality with that level of control.
Archereon
topic
11:27:39 AM Mar 9th 2012
Any particular reason Mass Effect 3 was removed from this page? The Crucible had absolutely no foreshadowing in the first 2/3rds of the series, and while it was built up over the entire game, it really clashes with the setting, and magically solves the Reaper problem.

Of course, its also a Diablous Ex Machina, considering what Downers the endings are.
ey
03:38:46 AM Apr 9th 2012
edited by ey
It might just be nitpicking, but it seems like the Crucible/Catalyst itself isn't the deus ex machina. Rather, the entity/AI you talk to at the end is a *literal* deus ex machina, given that it comes out of a machine and apparently has god-like powers to remake the universe (such as merging organic and synthetic life ... somehow); we already knew about the Catalyst being able to destroy/control the Reapers but the entity/AI explaining the purpose of the Reapers was pretty much out of the blue. I'm just saying that it'd be clearer making that distinction so people don't argue "but the Crucible/Catalyst was a major part of the plot!"
TGR
03:55:28 PM Jul 14th 2012
Really its Shepard herself thats the solution, and the Catalyst views her that way, especially in the Extended Cut.
ninjadude853
06:56:29 PM Sep 24th 2012
And besides, even though it wasn't foreshadowed in the first two games, it's construction featured heavily in the third game, which is really the only one that's important. Hell, they talked about it so much that it doesn't even count as foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is a lot more subtle.
BreakAtmo
05:29:05 AM Sep 26th 2012
The Crucible should be included, with the caveat that it's a Deus Ex Machina for the trilogy, rather than only ME 3. Mass Effect was built up from the beginning as a planned trilogy where your choices would be carried over from game to game and affect the story. The Reaper invasion was discussed and built up over the course of the trilogy, and how we can defeat them is questioned. If you look at Mass Effect as a single story, as a great many people do, the Crucible is an Ass Pull that first appears at the start of the third act.
TGR
12:43:00 PM Sep 11th 2013
First off, the Crucible comes out in the spirit of the first game and the Conduit....if the Conduit can logically exist in that universe, so can the Crucible. Both ME 1 and ME 3 use objects that past civilizations have left behind that help the heroes of the present. So in a way, the Ilos section in ME 1 thematically opens up the possibility of the Crucible. Nevermind Liara an Lot SB tells Shep that there is Prothean data that they haven't used yet.

Second, to view Mass Effect as a single story, you must also include outside of the game works, and Liara's quest for the Crucible is covered. Its just not Shepard's story.

Third, I may actually put the ending up in this trope, as not only an averted example, but an INVERTED one as well.
Morpheus6393
topic
04:13:00 PM Nov 4th 2011
I want to remove the "Toy Story 3" example because it was foreshadowed. Twice, in fact. Can I do that?
Boradis
topic
11:33:55 PM Aug 8th 2011
edited by Boradis
A subtype of ass-pull? Seriously? Shouldn't it be the other way around? This is one of the very original, uh, theater tropes — right up there with sexing your own mom.

The only difference I see is that ass-pulls seem to be used to resolve minor issues while Deus ex Machinas are used for major plot points. Therefore, this should be labeled as the "parent" trope.
MarqFJA
11:09:48 PM Aug 18th 2011
I agree, especially since Ass Pull is a Subjective Trope, while this one isn't.
lightning37
topic
07:10:27 PM Aug 6th 2011
If Ass Pull is a YMMV trope, then why isn't this one?
69.152.227.207
topic
07:36:41 PM Dec 4th 2010
"Note that the Romans and Greeks used type 1 and 2. This was mainly due to tradition; unlike today, audiences in ancient times were openly violently hostile to excessive innovation to the point that they would break out in riots if a writer tried to go too far. Some moderns assume, wrongly, that True Art Sticks It To The Man and always has, and crow that ancient writers were cowed by "royalty" not to be controversial."

This is kind of incorrect. While the Deus ex Machina was used by the Greeks and Romans, it wasn't about holding with tradition, but about introducing the idea that a certain problem (like the conflict between Justice and Vengeance in the Oresteia) was in its current state beyond the scale of human intervention and that this idea or problem had to be dealt with by society.
80.213.158.245
topic
01:32:45 PM Oct 6th 2010
H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds?
Jerach
09:49:15 AM Apr 1st 2011
I'd have to say yes to that. Suddenly out of nowhere with no indication the aliens die because they catch a cold? Seems like a textbook example to me.
93.97.110.108
topic
05:58:06 PM Aug 29th 2010
Whoever edited my usage of DEM in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, has got the plot completely mixed up with the first TF movie. The All Spark is destroyed at the end of the first one when Sam pushes it into Megatron's chest. A shard of it appears in the 2nd movie, but it's The Matrix of Leadership that provide the dual role of Macguffin/Deus ex Machina in the sequel.

I've redited the section again, but I'm not sure if it looks messy now?
93.97.110.108
06:07:11 PM Aug 29th 2010
edited by 93.97.110.108
I've just looked at the archived chat and noticed a little piece on TF:ROTF. I disagree with what was said, in the context of the movie we're told it it is used to power the Sun Harvester, but it's only after two of the protagonists die and it brings them back to life that audience is fully aware of it's true power.
StubbyPenguin
topic
08:04:49 PM Jul 23rd 2010
There's an (apparently) incorrect pronunciation guide in the article regarding how Deus Ex Machina is actually pronounced. If my knowledge of words of Latin origin is as good as I remember it being, wouldn't the actual pronunciation be be something closer to "Dey-us eks MA-kee-nah," not "Doos eks MAH-kin-nuh"

This only bothers me because I don't like misinformation. So before I make any edits (which may result in an edit war), can we at least come to a consensus about how we want new visitors on the site, who don't yet have an idea how to pronounce the phrase, to pronounce it?
70.62.40.253
topic
01:30:33 PM May 24th 2010
I am trying to decide if the tralfamadorians in Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan are a Deus Ex Machina. They don't really change the outcome, but it's said that they manipulated the structure of the universe in ways that influenced human behavior which lead all of the characters towards their part in the end of the story. It doesn't really strike me as an Asspull or another type of weak cop-out, but rather an added layer of something to think about. Any suggestions?
Meiriona
topic
09:00:05 PM May 7th 2010
Grammar wise, is Deus Ex Machina masculine? Often characters are referred to as being a walking Deus Ex Machina, which is fine if they're male, but Lina Inverse gets the title in relation to the Lord of Nightmares fragment, would that make her a walking Dea Ex Machina (Machinae? bah my Latin is too many years behind me now) or what?
MasoTey
06:54:36 AM May 8th 2010
Dea Ex Machina looks to be a semi-established term (971,000 Google results).
Ambious
topic
04:13:08 PM Apr 7th 2010
The second quote doesn't have a source. Too bad, because it's awesome. If I had to guess - 30 Rock. They're ridiculously lamp-shady in that way. Info, Anyone?
TSBasilisk
02:27:49 PM May 31st 2010
Tried doing a Google search; only place I could locate that exact phrasing was a poster's signature on Deviant Art.
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