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* RealityEnsues: [[spoiler:The adventurers rescue a missionary who was being tortured to death by the natives. He dies soon after his rescue from his injuries and the rescue cost them critical supplies, causing problems later on]]

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* RippedFromTheHeadlines: The novel was written when the whole world was abuzz with the news of African exploration.


* MisappliedPhlebotinum: Fergusson uses [[AppliedPhlebotinum a powerful battery]] to break water into oxygen and hydrogen, then uses hydrogen to heat hydrogen in the balloon to ascend. Also he uses hydrogen to cook. It would be much more energy-efficient and safe to [[BoringButPractical simply use the battery and an electric heater]]. Though the balloon would still need to carry the electrolyzer for refilling in case of a repairable puncture. Even his complex height maneuvers to catch a favoring wind wouldn't be necessary. With such batteries he could just as well build a dirigible.

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* MisappliedPhlebotinum: Fergusson uses [[AppliedPhlebotinum a an unrealistically powerful battery]] to break water into oxygen and hydrogen, then uses burns hydrogen to heat hydrogen in the balloon to ascend. Also he uses burns hydrogen to cook. It would be much more energy-efficient and safe to [[BoringButPractical simply use the battery and an electric heater]]. Though the balloon would still need to carry the electrolyzer for refilling in case of a repairable puncture. Even his complex height maneuvers to catch a favoring wind wouldn't be necessary. With such batteries he could just as well build a dirigible.

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* AppliedPhlebotinum: The "powerful Bunzen battery". It's been electrolyzing water several hours every day for five weeks and still has a lot left by the end. Yet it's small enough to be carried in hand. Modern technology still cannot create anything as powerful and portable. This is the only SF element in the novel.
** On a related note: such impossibly powerful batteries are the staple of many stories by Jules Verne and his contemporaries. But hey, it was the era that culminated in TheGayNineties, the scientific progress seemed unstoppable and for all they knew such devices could appear any day. Sadly, they didn't.


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* MisappliedPhlebotinum: Fergusson uses [[AppliedPhlebotinum a powerful battery]] to break water into oxygen and hydrogen, then uses hydrogen to heat hydrogen in the balloon to ascend. Also he uses hydrogen to cook. It would be much more energy-efficient and safe to [[BoringButPractical simply use the battery and an electric heater]]. Though the balloon would still need to carry the electrolyzer for refilling in case of a repairable puncture. Even his complex height maneuvers to catch a favoring wind wouldn't be necessary. With such batteries he could just as well build a dirigible.





* BalloonBurstingBird: The "Victoria" is attacked by a flock of condors and its shell pierced.

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* BalloonBurstingBird: The "Victoria" is attacked by a flock of condors and its shell pierced. Thankfully, it has a secondary, spare shell on the inside, but they still need to frantically toss stuff overboard to avoid a catastrophic fall.

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* ThirstyDesert: The protagonists end up stuck in one for several days.

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->''Excelsior!''

Creator/JulesVerne's first published (in 1863) novel, which immediately propelled him to fame.

Set in the times when DarkestAfrica was still not fully explored, the novel follows Dr. Samuel Fergusson, who intends to fly across Africa in a balloon called "Victoria". The vehicle is equipped with Fergusson's ingenious invention which allows him to control the altitude without ballast or releasing gas. On his way, he is accompanied by his old friend, the Scottish hunter Dick Kennedy, and by the manservant Joe. Naturally, throughout their trip they have a lot of dramatic adventures, interspersed with musings about Africa's geography (as it was known at the time.)

A couple of film adaptations were produced, including a [[Film/FiveWeeksInABalloon 1962 adaptation with the same title.]]
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!!The novel provides examples of:
* BalloonBurstingBird: The "Victoria" is attacked by a flock of condors and its shell pierced.
* ChekhovsGun: "Victoria" contains a secondary, smaller balloon on the inside, in case the external one gets damaged. Of course, it eventually sees its use.
* CoolAirship: "Victoria" is a balloon, not an airship, but hey, that's the closest trope we have. It probably counts as "cool" thanks to its advanced steering system.
* DarkestAfrica: The setting of the book.
* GodGuise: At one point, the protagonists find themselves in an African village whose inhabitants are certain that "Victoria" is the Moon, and the passengers are "Moon's sons". The jig is up when the ''real'' Moon rises in the sky.
* GreatWhiteHunter: Dick does a lot of hunting throughout, and is very protective of his guns.
* {{Greed}}: Deep in Africa, the travellers come upon rocks with gold deposits, and take some as ballast. Joe is entranced by the gold and is very reluctant to throw any overboard.
* HeroicSacrifice: Joe invokes this twice--first, when the protagonists are stranded in the desert, he announces that he's going to pick a direction and keep travelling, to get help--or, it is implied, to die trying. Later on he actually jumps out of the balloon to help it rise above immediate danger, though by luck he ends up unscathed.
* HopeSpot: When the protagonists are desperately trying to find anything to drink in the desert, they spot two palm trees in the distance, which implies an oasis. Turns out, the palm trees are long dead and there's no water around.
* InterruptedSuicide: [[spoiler:Dick Kennedy almost shoots himself after he goes insane from thirst and heat in the desert, but is stopped by Joe.]]
* InWhichATropeIsDescribed: The chapter titles are a brief run-down of the contents.
* TheMissionary: The protagonists rescue a missionary who witnessed to the local tribes, but had the misfortune of being accused of witchcraft and was going to be sacrificed to their gods. He dies soon after relaying his story.
* PluckyComicRelief: Joe cracks a ten jokes a minute.
* ThePollyanna: Joe retains a cheerful attitude throughout, except for when he is very close to death.
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