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* ''Franchise/SuperSentai / ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' operates under similar conditions:

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* ''Franchise/SuperSentai ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' / ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' operates under similar conditions:


* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'':

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* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'':''Franchise/SuperSentai / ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' operates under similar conditions:



*** Put in perspective: in episode one, a year or so after the machine uprising, the RPM Rangers could still defeat Venjix's machines with their basic weapons, maybe needed a megazord. But machines progress faster than humans, and Venjix is shown openly learning from each defeat, so by the time of the Carrier Zords ('''ALL''' the Carriers, they needed '''THREE''') show up they basically were only good enough to fight the enemy toe-to-toe, and not the Ultimate Battle System as such weapons are usually depicted. Venjix had ''already'' developed counters to them and was on his way to building a fleet of machines to overwhelm them. And again, this is probably the only Ranger team where three, separate Ultimate Battle Systems are necessary to fight the enemy--the Croc Carrier early on, almost immediately rendered useless by Venjix's evolving army, the Mammoth Carrier which useful for a while then immediately replaced by the Whale Carrier unit, which is within a few episodes shown to be outclassed by Venjix's evolving forces. So either they find a way to stop him fast, or he wins inevitably with no possible safeguard against him. In a way it makes the 'ho-hum, lost again, better luck next time I guess' response of Venjix after every battle make a lot of sense. He doesn't care if he lost, he'll start over again better than before. And by the ''very'' end, Venjix had basically won completely and was defeated almost exclusively because of a combination of luck, stupidity and the grace of God!
** In a reverse of the above, ''Series/PowerRangersZeo'' explained early that the Zeo powers were based on, basically, a perpetual energy machine: i.e., they continue to get stronger over time. While the Machine Empire, led by King Mondo, prove to be their equals or betters at first by the arrival of the Gold Ranger this is completely the opposite. The addition of a new Carrier Zord, the Warrior Wheel, Super Zeo Megazord and various other gadgets basically seals the Machine Empire's fate. By the end of the series, the Zeo Rangers were fighting Mondo directly without the need for Zords at all in the final episode...something that would have been literally impossible at the beginning. Unfortunately the Zeo powers were lost, and to say the least they got kicked back beyond even square one for the next season, ''Turbo''.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', it is initially a miraculous feat for humanity to figure out how to even operate a piece of advanced alien technology, namely, the Stargate. This turns out to be a risky move as they run into the Goa'uld, an egomaniacal alien race which rules various interstellar empires by using their advanced technology to pose as gods. Early on in the show members of Star Gate Command have to use ingenuity to adapt modern day weapons and what little alien technology they understand into methods of combating the much more advanced Goa'uld.

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*** Put in perspective: in episode one, a year or so after the machine uprising, the RPM Rangers could still defeat Venjix's machines with their basic weapons, maybe needed a megazord. But machines progress faster than humans, and Venjix is shown openly learning from each defeat, so by the time of the Carrier Zords Carrierzords arriving ('''ALL''' the Carriers, carriers, they needed '''THREE''') '''THREE''', though only one was actually a carrier per se) show up they basically were only good enough to fight the enemy toe-to-toe, and not the Ultimate Battle System as such weapons are usually depicted. Venjix had ''already'' developed counters to them and was on his way to building a fleet of machines to overwhelm them. And again, this is probably the only Ranger team where three, separate Ultimate Battle Systems are necessary to fight the enemy--the Croc Carrier early on, almost immediately rendered useless by Venjix's evolving army, the Mammoth Carrier Whale Jumbo Jet, which was useful for a while while, then immediately replaced by the Whale Carrier unit, Paleozord unit (a trio of dinosaur-themed trains), which is within a few episodes shown to be outclassed by Venjix's evolving forces. So either they find a way to stop him fast, or he wins inevitably with no possible safeguard against him. In a way it makes the 'ho-hum, lost again, better luck next time I guess' response of Venjix after every battle make a lot of sense. He doesn't care if he lost, he'll start over again better than before. And by the ''very'' end, Venjix had basically won completely (partially because of this, but mostly because the typical setup was in fact a massive GambitRoulette to disguise his real plan: infilitrating Corinth with tons of sleeper agents), and was defeated almost exclusively because of a combination of luck, stupidity and the grace of God!
** In a reverse of the above, ''Series/PowerRangersZeo'' explained early that the Zeo powers were based on, basically, a perpetual energy machine: i.e., they continue to get stronger over time. While the Machine Empire, led by King Mondo, prove to be their equals or betters at first first, by the arrival of the Gold Ranger this is completely the opposite. The addition of a new Carrier Zord, Carrierzord in Pyramidas, the Warrior Wheel, Super Zeo Megazord and various other gadgets basically seals the Machine Empire's fate. By the end of the series, the Zeo Rangers were fighting Mondo directly without the need for Zords at all in the final episode...something that would have been literally impossible at the beginning. Unfortunately the Zeo powers were lost, and But thanks to say the least ExecutiveMeddling, they got kicked back beyond even square one for the next season, ''Turbo''.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', it is initially a miraculous feat for humanity to figure out how to even operate a piece of advanced alien technology, namely, the Stargate. This turns out to be a risky move as they run into the Goa'uld, an egomaniacal alien race which rules various interstellar empires by using their advanced technology to pose as gods. Early on in the show show, members of Star Gate Stargate Command have to use ingenuity to adapt modern day weapons and what little alien technology they understand into methods of combating combatting the much more advanced Goa'uld.



** Replicators, however, take the cake. This race of sentient lego bricks which form into spiders and endlessly build more of themselves were a threat so advanced even the Asgard, a race that could pimp smack the Goa'uld, have to devote most of their resources to fighting them. At first it is mankind's more primitive way of thinking that allows us to stand toe to toe with this menace. Since their replicator blocks are based on "kiron" pathways, an energy particle humans had not even discovered, [=SG1=] decided the best response to a replicator threat was [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter flying chunks of metal]]. This seems to work until the Asgard decide to screw it up by trapping the replicators in a time dilation field. Their stupidly brilliant plan backfires when the replicators are able to reverse the time dilation device just before it activates and advance thousands of years, creating new humanoid replicators (made up of nanobots instead of cells) that are immune to shotgun blasts! Not to worry though, because thanks to [=SG1=] the device was reset properly, freezing the replicators in time just long enough for humanity to learn how to make a weapon that destroys kiron pathways. They first build a single kiron disruptor cannon, but later combine this device with Ancient technology to simultaneously wipe out all the Replicators in the Galaxy.
** At this point the Goa'uld are all but destroyed and no longer a threat to Earth so a new villain is introduced, the Ori. Whereas the Goa'uld were aliens posing as gods the Ori basically are gods. They're immortal incorporeal beings with vast power that grows from people worshiping them. In their final bout of Lensman style ingenuity SG-1 defeat the Ori with a device that "neutralizes" them. They later have to strip the last surviving Ori of its power with an ancient brainwashing device and an arsenal of Asgard technology.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' followed this trope to some extent in their clashes with Borg vessels. At the end of the third season of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', which ''Voyager'' spun off from, a single Borg cube plowed through 40 starfleet ships trying to stop it (and an unknown number of klingon ships who bolstered them) and nearly assimilated Earth. By the middle of ''Voyager'', the title starship was single-handedly blowing Borg cubes out of space -- and they had to create the technology to do so while stranded 70,000 light-years away from the Federation.

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** Replicators, however, take the cake. This race of sentient lego Lego bricks which form into spiders and endlessly build more of themselves were a threat so advanced advanced, even the Asgard, a race that could pimp smack the Goa'uld, have to devote most of their resources to fighting them. At first first, it is mankind's more primitive way of thinking that allows us to stand toe to toe with this menace. Since their replicator blocks are based on "kiron" pathways, an energy particle humans had not even discovered, [=SG1=] decided the best response to a replicator threat was [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter flying chunks of metal]]. This seems to work until the Asgard decide to screw it up by trapping the replicators in a time dilation field. Their stupidly brilliant plan backfires when the replicators are able to reverse the time dilation device just before it activates and advance thousands of years, creating new humanoid replicators (made up of nanobots instead of cells) that are immune to shotgun blasts! Not to worry though, because thanks to [=SG1=] the device was reset properly, freezing the replicators in time just long enough for humanity to learn how to make a weapon that destroys kiron pathways. They first build a single kiron disruptor cannon, but later combine this device with Ancient technology to simultaneously wipe out all the Replicators in the Galaxy.
** At this point point, the Goa'uld are all but destroyed and no longer a threat to Earth so Earth; thus, a new villain villainous faction is introduced, the Ori. Whereas the Goa'uld were aliens posing as gods gods, the Ori basically are ''are'' gods. They're immortal immortal, incorporeal beings with vast power that [[ClapsYourHandsIfYouBelieve grows from people worshiping them. them]]. In their final bout of Lensman style ingenuity ingenuity, SG-1 defeat the Ori with a device that "neutralizes" them. They later have to strip the last surviving Ori of its power with an ancient brainwashing device and an arsenal of Asgard technology.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' followed this trope to some extent in their clashes with Borg vessels. At the end of the third season of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', which ''Voyager'' spun off from, a single Borg cube plowed through 40 starfleet Starfleet ships trying to stop it (and an unknown number of klingon Klingon ships who bolstered them) and nearly assimilated Earth. By the middle of ''Voyager'', the title starship was single-handedly blowing Borg cubes out of space -- and they had to create the technology to do so while stranded 70,000 light-years away from the Federation.


* Adherents of economic competition (e.g. libertarians and {{Social Darwinist}}s) invoke this historical pattern to argue why competition forces people into innovation.

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* Adherents This pattern is followed in the world of economic business, where companies are forced to innovate so as not to get left behind by their competitors. The consumer and society as a whole stand to benefit as long as there are different companies competing to offer them the best product or the best service. On the other hand, government oversight is required to make sure that competition (e.g. libertarians is actually preserved. Rival companies may form cartels and {{Social Darwinist}}s) invoke this historical pattern collude with each other to argue why competition forces people into innovation.fix prices at the expense of the consumer, while monopolies can form if all the companies in a certain sector combine, or if one company outright 'wins' the innovation arms race and drives all its competitors out of business.


* This is the eventual culmination of ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'''s plot after the game. Once knowledge of monsters becomes widespread, humans react by developing tactics and weapons specifically to counter them. The monsters, who before could wipe out entire worlds with a single individual, respond by upping their numbers and integrating technology into their forms. By the end of the war, massive hordes of biomechanical reality warping monsters are clashing with the full military might of three galactic superpowers and assorted mercenary groups.

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* This is the eventual culmination of ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'''s plot after the game. Once knowledge of monsters becomes widespread, humans react by developing tactics and weapons specifically to counter them. The monsters, who before could wipe out entire worlds with a single individual, respond by upping their numbers and integrating technology into their forms. By the end of the war, massive hordes of biomechanical reality warping {{reality warp|er}}ing monsters are clashing with the full military might of three galactic superpowers and assorted mercenary groups.



* An intro cutscene in some of the ''VideoGame/Worms'' games shows two worms in an arms race, beginning with swords and rapidly escalating through uzis, to tanks, and ballistic missiles. The cutscene concludes with a weapon that reminds us that these are ''worms'' after all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5hxhgJAlEw

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* An intro cutscene in some of the ''VideoGame/Worms'' ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}'' games shows two worms in an arms race, beginning with swords and rapidly escalating through uzis, to tanks, and ballistic missiles. The cutscene concludes with a weapon that reminds us that these are ''worms'' after all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5hxhgJAlEw


* Briefly referenced in ''Discworld/SmallGods'', with regard to the Moving Turtle (a steam tank designed by the young philosopher Urn). In the event, though, it doesn't come to that, partly because the Turtle doesn't work ([[spoiler: [[TimePolice Lu-Tze]] can spot something that could change history, and takes steps]]) and partly because [[spoiler: Om forces the other gods to stop the war altogether.]]

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* Briefly referenced in ''Discworld/SmallGods'', ''Literature/SmallGods'', with regard to the Moving Turtle (a steam tank designed by the young philosopher Urn). In the event, though, it doesn't come to that, partly because the Turtle doesn't work ([[spoiler: [[TimePolice Lu-Tze]] can spot something that could change history, and takes steps]]) and partly because [[spoiler: Om forces the other gods to stop the war altogether.]]

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* ''WesternAnimation/RabbitOfSeville'': Elmer chases Bugs with a hatchet; Bugs chases Elmer back with an axe; Elmer escalates to a revolver, and so forth...


** Right now, the lead seems to be taken by "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyIowXFG9_U Debugger]]". Able to defeat all of the above, but [[CripplingOverspecialization only if run on Windows 7 or Vista]].

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** Right now, the lead seems to be taken by "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyIowXFG9_U Debugger]]". Able "Mathrus", a character that is purported to not only defeat all of the above, opponent ''before the battle starts''... but [[CripplingOverspecialization only if run on Windows 7 or Vista]].also crashes MUGEN and the computer itself.


** The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_beams Battle of the Beams.]] The Germans invented ever more complex systems of radio guidance for their bombers, only to have the British deploy even more complex counter-measures.

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** The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_beams Battle of the Beams.]] The Germans invented ever more complex systems of radio guidance for their bombers, only to have the British deploy even more complex counter-measures.counter-measures to successfully thwart them.

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* ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace'' has a typically bizarre speech by the alien soldier Eros about how humans started by building small, "harmless" explosives and gradually escalated to the point where they're about to build a weapon that will [[ArtisticLicensePhysics explode particles of sunlight]], and thereby blow up the universe.

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* ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestria'': In the backstory, when the war started the world had ''just'' started producing firearms. By the end of the war they had PoweredArmor, [[SuperWristGadget PipBucks]] that could [[{{Magitech}} cast a number of minor but useful spells]], [[InvisibilityCloak StealthBucks]], [[FlyingCar non-pegasi flight]], ArtificialIntelligence, BrainUploading, {{Wetware CPU}}s, BioAugmentation, were starting to crack true [[{{Transhuman}} transponyism]], and of course the [[FantasticNuke megaspells]]. These were all developed over a few decades. Even hundreds of years after the apocalypse, with most of the technology lost, the scavengers in the Wasteland still have a higher tech level than the ponies before the war.


* Heisei-era ''Franchise/KamenRider'' typically sees the main Rider gain somewhere between two and four progressively better enhancements to their main powers, each of which gets a turn to shine before the strength of the antagonists rises to match and eventually exceed it. The first Heisei Rider, ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'', can level city blocks with the ''second'' enhanced form he gets, and has two more beyond that each implied to be exponentially more powerful than the last, with Ultimate Kuuga allegedly being powerful enough to produce an EarthShatteringKaboom if misused. Later Riders rarely get to quite ''that'' level of raw destructive power, but a typical Rider will go from vanilla PoweredArmor to being metaphorically, or in some cases ''literally'', godlike.
** ''Series/KamenRiderBuild'' features a more traditional use of this trope, thanks to its overall plot involving a [[BalkanizeMe divided Japan warring with itself]] and [[spoiler:both Kamen Riders and MonstersOfTheWeek being part of a secret government SuperSoldier project.]] The show starts with Build using his original Build Driver TransformationTrinket, getting an early upgrade to deal with stronger enemies, [[spoiler:building the more powerful ([[DeadlyUpgrade and deadly]]) Sclash Driver to counter an invasion, fighting ''another'' Rider who has a Sclash Driver made from stolen plans, and receiving the Hazard Trigger device that powers up the Build Driver but runs the risk of turning Build into TheBerserker.]] And all this before the show reaches the halfway mark -- [[spoiler:the BigBad is a galaxy-faring EldritchAbomination who devours planets and is so powerful that the heroes' only hope is to drain his power into a wormhole that will merge their world with a parallel Earth, destroying him in the process.]]

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* Heisei-era ''Franchise/KamenRider'' typically sees the main Rider gain somewhere between two and four progressively better enhancements to their main powers, each of which gets a turn to shine before the strength of the antagonists rises to match and eventually exceed it. The first Heisei Rider, ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'', can level city blocks with the ''second'' ''first'' enhanced form he gets, and has two more beyond that each implied to be exponentially more powerful than the last, with Ultimate Kuuga allegedly being powerful enough to produce an EarthShatteringKaboom if misused. Later Riders rarely get to quite ''that'' level of raw destructive power, but a typical Rider will go from vanilla PoweredArmor to being metaphorically, or in some cases ''literally'', godlike.
** ''Series/KamenRiderBuild'' features a more traditional use of this trope, thanks to its overall plot involving a [[BalkanizeMe divided Japan warring with itself]] and [[spoiler:both both Kamen Riders and MonstersOfTheWeek being part of a secret government SuperSoldier project.]] project. The speed at which new upgrades are introduced escalates as the war goes from cold to hot: by the end of the show starts with Build using his original Build Driver TransformationTrinket, getting an early upgrade the Riders have to deal with stronger enemies, [[spoiler:building the more powerful ([[DeadlyUpgrade and deadly]]) Sclash Driver to counter an invasion, fighting ''another'' Rider who has a Sclash Driver made from stolen plans, and receiving the Hazard Trigger device that powers up the Build Driver but runs the risk of turning Build into TheBerserker.]] And all this before the show reaches the halfway mark -- [[spoiler:the BigBad is a galaxy-faring EldritchAbomination who devours planets planets, and is so powerful that the heroes' only hope is to drain his power into a wormhole that will merge their world own powers have escalated to where this isn't an ''instant'' CurbStompBattle even if they still have no real hope of beating him. Ultimately they take advantage of his addiction to this trope and trick him into [[BlessedWithSuck blessing himself with a parallel Earth, destroying him in suck]] under the process.]]guise of yet another upgrade.


** In the sequel, the Red Room get in on the dimension manipulating act, along with major league genetic warfare, while [=MI13=], Britain's spooky secret service, have got in on the act with a monstrously powerful [[spoiler: vibranium-hulled]] Helicarrier of their own called the ''Valiant'' that's capable of going toe to toe with [[spoiler: a dragon]] that's known for ''destroying planets''. Meanwhile, the Avengers' de facto roster and allies expands to include [[PoweredArmour War Machine]], [[TheArchmage Doctor Strange,]] [[PersonOfMassDestruction Wanda Maximoff,]] [[KungFuWizard Harry Dresden]], and Magneto. Meanwhile, the X-Men have Storm, a fully powered Jean Grey, Scott Summers, , and Remy LeBeau a.k.a. Gambit [[spoiler: a.k.a. Remy Summers]]. All in the space of five years, if that.

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** In the sequel, the Red Room get in on the dimension manipulating act, along with major league genetic warfare, while [=MI13=], Britain's spooky secret service, have got in on the act with a monstrously powerful [[spoiler: vibranium-hulled]] Helicarrier of their own called the ''Valiant'' that's capable of going toe to toe with [[spoiler: a dragon]] that's known for ''destroying planets''. Meanwhile, the Avengers' de facto roster and allies expands to include [[PoweredArmour War Machine]], [[TheArchmage Doctor Strange,]] [[PersonOfMassDestruction Wanda Maximoff,]] [[KungFuWizard Harry Dresden]], and Magneto. Meanwhile, the X-Men have Storm, a fully powered Jean Grey, Scott Summers, , and Remy LeBeau [=LeBeau=] a.k.a. Gambit [[spoiler: a.k.a. Remy Summers]]. All in the space of five years, if that.


TruthInTelevision, naturally, with the first and last decades of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar between the USA and the Soviet Union as the TropeCodifier and the inspiration for many Arms Races in fiction. As a result, these Arms Races usually have rapid inventions of [[WeaponOfMassDestruction Nuclear Weapons-parallels]], Space Weaponry, MutuallyAssuredDestruction, and other Cold War-era tropes. The TropeNamer comes from Creator/EEDocSmith's ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' novels. Over the course of a decades-long struggle (that was only the surface of a [[GambitRoulette deeper, eons-old war between cosmic beings using mortals as pawns]]), Civilization and Boskone went from ordinary starship battles to star-powered lasers, {{antimatter}} bombs, planets used as missiles, ''antimatter'' planets used as missiles, ''faster-than-light'' missiles, ''[[BreadEggsBreadedEggs faster-than-light antimatter]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot planet missiles...]]''

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TruthInTelevision, naturally, with the first and last decades of the long UsefulNotes/ColdWar between the USA and the Soviet Union as the TropeCodifier and the inspiration for many Arms Races in fiction. As a result, these Arms Races usually have rapid inventions of [[WeaponOfMassDestruction Nuclear Weapons-parallels]], Space Weaponry, MutuallyAssuredDestruction, and other Cold War-era tropes. The TropeNamer comes from Creator/EEDocSmith's ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' novels. Over the course of a decades-long struggle (that was only the surface of a [[GambitRoulette deeper, eons-old war between cosmic beings using mortals as pawns]]), Civilization and Boskone went from ordinary starship battles to star-powered lasers, {{antimatter}} bombs, planets used as missiles, ''antimatter'' planets used as missiles, ''faster-than-light'' missiles, ''[[BreadEggsBreadedEggs faster-than-light antimatter]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot planet missiles...]]''


TruthInTelevision, naturally, with first and last decades of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar between the USA and the Soviet Union as the TropeCodifier and the inspiration for many Arms Races in fiction. As a result, these Arms Races usually have rapid inventions of [[WeaponOfMassDestruction Nuclear Weapons-parallels]], Space Weaponry, MutuallyAssuredDestruction, and other Cold War-era tropes. The TropeNamer comes from Creator/EEDocSmith's ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' novels. Over the course of a decades-long struggle (that was only the surface of a [[GambitRoulette deeper, eons-old war between cosmic beings using mortals as pawns]]), Civilization and Boskone went from ordinary starship battles to star-powered lasers, {{antimatter}} bombs, planets used as missiles, ''antimatter'' planets used as missiles, ''faster-than-light'' missiles, ''[[BreadEggsBreadedEggs faster-than-light antimatter]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot planet missiles...]]''

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TruthInTelevision, naturally, with the first and last decades of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar between the USA and the Soviet Union as the TropeCodifier and the inspiration for many Arms Races in fiction. As a result, these Arms Races usually have rapid inventions of [[WeaponOfMassDestruction Nuclear Weapons-parallels]], Space Weaponry, MutuallyAssuredDestruction, and other Cold War-era tropes. The TropeNamer comes from Creator/EEDocSmith's ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' novels. Over the course of a decades-long struggle (that was only the surface of a [[GambitRoulette deeper, eons-old war between cosmic beings using mortals as pawns]]), Civilization and Boskone went from ordinary starship battles to star-powered lasers, {{antimatter}} bombs, planets used as missiles, ''antimatter'' planets used as missiles, ''faster-than-light'' missiles, ''[[BreadEggsBreadedEggs faster-than-light antimatter]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot planet missiles...]]''

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* An intro cutscene in some of the ''VideoGame/Worms'' games shows two worms in an arms race, beginning with swords and rapidly escalating through uzis, to tanks, and ballistic missiles. The cutscene concludes with a weapon that reminds us that these are ''worms'' after all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5hxhgJAlEw

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