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The Browning M2: in continual service since 1921, with only one major modification to the design.

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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Sometimes the simple solutions are the best ones. Though the best solutions are sometimes the boring ones, occasionally they achieve a sort of elegance that keeps them from being dull. Although lacking the over-the-top badassery and flashy visual effects that would make it Awesome, but Impractical, their very simplicity gives them a sort of awesomeness all their own. These are timeless answers to enduring problems, and can always be relied on to do what needs to be done, without needing pointless ostentation to call attention to themselves. Where other things come and go, things that are Simple, yet Awesome endure.

Less impressive than Awesome, but Impractical, but not as dull as Boring, but Practical. Something that's Simple, yet Awesome is something that you'll find yourself using over and over again, and enjoying it, despite its lack of Visual Effects of Awesome.

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This is not just Truth in Television, but practically a rule. See the Real Life subpages for more details.

Compare Simple, yet Opulent.


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Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • Commercials for Breyers ice cream like this one focus on the simplicity of the product's ingredients and why that makes it good.

    Anime 
  • Dragon Ball: The most useful technique in the entire franchise is none other than the humble Taiyoken, or Solar Flare, a non-damaging technique that temporarily blinds the opponent and never stops being useful, all the way from the original series through GT. Your enemy can punch teleport? Solar Flare. Your enemy can regenerate? Solar Flare. Your enemy is a thousand times stronger than you are? Solar Flare. If your enemy has eyes, it will work.
    • Also, Krillin's Kienzan, or Destructo Disc. A weak attack honed to absurd sharpness, it never fails to cut through whatever it encounters, barring Perfect Cell. It's especially effective against arrogant bruisers who assume that they can No-Sell it because they have many times Krillin's power. The only reason he's never managed to kill a main villain with it is that they always catch on at the last second and dodge (except Cell, who stops it with his neck). It really says something that, in spite of Freeza being so much more powerful than he is, Krillin's Ki-enzan is able to cut off Freeza's tail. Given that Krillin can't so much as scratch Freeza with other attacks, it gives you an idea of just how effective this attack can be. Freeza later uses a similar, but remote guided, attack, in his fight against Super Saiyan Goku. Until Cell comes along, there is no one, but no one, who could survive a blow to a critical area from this attack.
      • Additionally, the scene of Perfect Cell resisting the attack was anime-only filler and has been deemed non-canon; the Kienzan is supposed to be able to cut through anything.
    • Piccolo's "Special Beam Cannon" is another example. It's not insanely powerful, or flashy. It's simply a powerful blast condensed into a shot the size of a handgun bullet... and has been used to kill enemies much stronger than he is, and that can No-Sell most of his other attacks. It started as Awesome, but Impractical due to its five-minute charge time, but further training obviated that drawback and turned it into this.
    • The initial Super Saiyan transformation could count as well. Despite there being more levels beyond it, the first level continues to be the most used transformation among the Saiyan protagonists. This trope is kind of spelled out in the Android Saga by Goku. Vegeta and Trunks opt for more powerful, but severely draining transformations while Goku and Gohan decide to train their control over the initial transformation to better conserve their energy. As a result, Goku and Gohan end up more powerful ( in the case of Gohan, far more powerful) than either Trunks or Vegeta and have the greatest chances of defeating Cell.
      • Taken to the logical extreme years later, where Word of God stated that there wouldn't be any (true) Super Saiyan forms past Super Saiyan 3. Instead they would train their bodies in their base form and make use of the less taxing Super Saiyan 1 transformation to give them the appropriate bonuses, instead of the more taxing forms. Presumably as Super Saiyan God and Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan (better known as Super Saiyan Blue) are basically base form and Super Saiyan for gods, this holds true for these forms as well.
      • In the Dragonball GT universe though, there is Super Saiyan 4. However, the requirements and usage make it unique. More practical than 3, the state resembles having chest fur and a longer tail, looking like Oozaru elements have been mixed in, giving a unique yet powerful look.note 
    • Tenshinhan's Tri-Beam. A triangular energy blast that leaves a square shaped hole. It is, more or less, just a powerful burst of energy that covers a fairly wide area. It is more or less the opposite of the Special Beam Cannon, and it is more or less just a blast of force more than anything. Tenshinhan is one of the characters who Can't Catch Up, and seems like he cannot contribute anything during the Cell Saga... up until he confronts a Semi-Perfect Cell, and proves that, while he can't stop Cell, he can at least stop him from moving by using this attack to pound Cell into the ground like a nail over and over. Cell cannot move fast enough to evade the blows (Since they cover such a wide area), and while they don't actually hurt him, they're powerful enough to keep pushing him down further and further. The only reason that Cell was eventually able to escape was because Tenshinhan eventually ran out of stamina.
    • Dragonball Super's Ultra Instinct is shaping up to be this. Difficult for even gods to achieve, it is based on Mushin (無心 lit. "Empty Mind").note  Not limited to gods, it allows one to fighting without consciously thinking and be free from all distractions. Goku's strength has increased dramatically from being able to enter an incomplete state of it (he's able to do it defensively, but still consciously thinks on attacking and still requires a lot for him to use it). A good example of someone who has mastered is none other than Whis (though it's implied all the Angels know it or at least can learn naturally compared to the Gods and mortals.)
  • In Hellsing, Captain Pip Bernadotte and his Wild Geese prove that you don't need to be a supernatural ultra-badass to take down vampires. They do it with conventional military tactics — open ground seeded with land mines and covered by machine gun positions, only modified by having blessed (and potentially silver-based) ammunition.
    • In fact, they would have picked off the whole army had Zorin Blitz not arrived and used her nightmarish illusion powers to leave the Wild Geese in psychological shambles and thus vulnerable to the remnants of the army.
  • Holyland is all about straightforward, effective moves for surviving street fights. It's still really awesome.
  • If Fate/Zero taught us something, is that Firearms are a great way to deal with Mages.
    • Also: the enemy has fortified the upper floors of a hotel in such a way they're impassable? Just blow up the hotel.
  • The simple Kunai and Explosive Tag combo from Naruto. Explosive Tags are explosives made of paper, and can easily be made to be as strong as a hand grenade or a cannon shell. Kunai can be extremely sharp in the Narutoverse and are still used even against strong enemies. Combine the two and you got a stabbing exploding weapon. Naruto combines this with the 'Thousand Years of Death' to jam an kunai with an explosive tag wrapped around its handle right into partially transformed Gaara's rear... and... BOOM! Weakened him enough that he'd need to fully transform! Not only that, explosive tags can be used for more mundane purposes and can be stored safely-they only activate through chakra thus, fire can't set them off (unless purposely designed that way), they can be stored in the hottest, driest, or even wettest areas in the Narutoverse and still work. And Konan takes this Up to Eleven, combining 600,000,000,000 Explosive Tags with her Paper Person of God technique for 10 minutes straight of explosions.
  • In My Hero Academia, the One for All quirk is this. Simply put, people with this ability can give their own strength and the quirk to another person, meaning that if a body-builder were to have this power and pass it on to someone else, they would have the same strength as the body-builder plus the strength they had to begin with. But due to this power being passed down from multiple generations of heroes, One for All ends up becoming absurdly powerful, almost enough to destroy most people that are hit by a direct punch from those who know how to use it. The drawback? There is currently so much power stored up by the quirk that a normal person would probably die if they were next in line to inherit the quirk without proper training.
    • Another example is Shota Aizawa's quirk, erase. Simply put, it lets him disable the quirks of anyone he's looking at without even getting within arms length. The only flaw is that it gives him dry eye if used a lot, which is easily fixed with the eye drops he has on him at all times.
  • One of Oda Nobunaga's earliest goals in Drifters is to try and produce gunpowder and matchlocks what little resource available. As both he and Toshiro explain the true value of fire arms is in how easy they are to use. Allowing even a peasant to kill a fully trained soldier with only a bit of practice.
  • In Sailor Moon, Minako Aino/Sailor Venus is a repeat user:
    • In the old anime, the Crescent Beam: while the other Sailor Soldiers got new and more powerful attacks all the time, Sailor Venus stuck to her first attack up to late in the fourth season because it was just that effective, being a thin blast of energy fired from the finger that, similar to Dragon Ball's Special Beam Cannon above, was just so concentrated that it could pierce through almost any enemy, with the option to fire a literal shower of them just in case, as the one exception found out the hard way.
    • The manga shows that Minako is so formidably strong to knock out Makoto (who has explicitely Super Strength even untransformed) with a single kick, and Codename: Sailor V shows how it happened: pure physical training and over a year spent beating youma nearly to death with her hands and feet, with the implication she had previous martial arts training in her Mysterious Past.
  • Instead of traditional magic, Asta from Black Clover has enhanced physical capabilities and 2 swords that can nullify any magic they slice through. He can also deflect magic spells with one and fire magic destroying waves of energy with the other.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman does things like this occasionally.
    • One Issue of The Batman Strikes! had Batman defeating villain Black Mask by walking into his lair and... offering his henchmen jobs. Without Mooks, there wasn't much that Black Mask could do.
    • Batman also once took down the Injustice League by paying off Mirror Master and donating to the orphanage he grew up in. Every once in a while, being one of the wealthiest men in The DCU comes in handy.
  • Early on in Chris Claremont's first X-Men run, the X-Men have to fight a bad guy who's on a space station. Does Claremont give us a hypertech Reed Richards-designed ship? No, we get six pages of a midnight launch of an ordinary space shuttle that make it seem just as cool as anything out of sci-fi.
  • Paperinik New Adventures has a few examples:
    • Klangor is an Evronian cyborg Super Soldier with the firepower of an armored battalion and an impressive ability to absorb energy attacks, enough to actually shrug off one of Xadhoom's lighter blasts-one that would have disintegrated a small warship. We meet him in The Well, Evron's planet prison where he had been thrown in for mutinying and being too useful to kill. How did the Evronians defeat him without killing him when, as he explains, he has still more than enough firepower to blast his way through the entire garrison? A remote-controlled off switch.
    • Paperinik's main weapon is the Extransformer Shield, with an immense number of features, including a small laser, a much larger laser, an anti-gravity beam, a weapon that reads your thoughts and projects a hologram of your worst fears, a weapon that forcefully teleports you far away (the rare times it works), a minisub form, and many more. What are the ones Paperinik uses most often? Shield, paralyzer beam, the rocket for flying around, and the extensible punch, perfect for defense, movement, capturing enemies alive, and smashing things.
      • This comes from the "classic" stories, where Paperinik's most used gadgets are a paralyzer beam pistol (that is one-shot in case someone steals it), a spring-loaded punch in the belt, rockets on the belt, plastic masks, and spring-heeled boots to jump really high. Those gadgets allowed him to become so feared by Duckburg's criminals that by now when they're caught in the act they surrender on the spot and go to the police to turn themselves in after a quick and nice chat, because they know perfectly they will get arrested, but this way they at least dodge the savage beating. And while he sometimes need other gadgets for the stronger or more cunning criminals, many of them follow the same approach, such as the Tele-Ultra (that uses ultrasounds to shut down electric devices. Any electric device).
      • Some of Paperinik's "classic" devices show up in PKNA, such as the belt rockets and the masks. The rockets allowed him to escape when an Evronian warship blew up the building he was on, and the masks allowed him to sneak into places that are defended against more sophisticated disguises (such as a research center the Time Police kept under surveillance-the Raider had tried to enter using holographic disguises and other hi-tech methods, and Paperinik gave him a mask and a nice suit and they entered from the main door, with Paperinik hidden in a gym bag).
  • In every version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Donatello uses one of the most primitive of weapons, a wooden bo staff, yet is just as badass as the other three Turtles.
    • In the 2012 animated series, he gets an equally effective and simple weapon, a naginata. Furthermore, the staff merely has a retractable blade, allowing the switch between the two easily (the same way Mikey's nunchunks have retractable blades to become kusarigara.)
  • Jay Garrick's helmet. It's a bit goofy looking, but he keeps it because it's important to him. DC keeps it because it's just iconic. Geoff Johns seems to make it a point to have Jay use the helmet in a practical way whenever he writes Jay; In JSA Jay used it to reflect light onto a shadow powered enemy, in The Flash Jay threw it, in Infinite Crisis he uses it to deflect Superboy-Prime's heat vision and in The Flash: Rebirth he punches it to create a sonic boom.
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    Fan Works 

  • Soul Eater: Troubled Souls: How Tsubaki and the Pot Twins dispatch their meisters’ shadow when they are unable to. Tsubaki stealthily uses Prehensile Hair in the form of a chain-scythe to slit the throat of Black☆Star’s shadow while it’s busy talking. Pot of Fire breathes fire on the face of Kilik’s shadow to debilitate it while Pot of Thunder gives it an electrically-charged wet willy in which the shocks goes directly to its brain.
  • In Why No One Messes with Luna, Luna's main method of dealing with Reapers is this. Celestia's method of doing so consists of melting them to slag with massive blasts of solar plasma, Luna? Just throw the moon at them in space. Not nearly as fancy as her sister or some of Luna's other attacks, but given she took out a third of the Reaper fleet with it, it is definitely awesome and very effective.
  • Captain America: Ghosts of HYDRA: Sharon Carter's fighting style; she doesn't have Natasha Romanov's grace or Wanda Maximoff's acrobatics in fighting ability, but she fights efficiently, hits hard and delivers blows with lightning speed.
  • Nico Robin in Stallion of the Line at one point uses her power to load and fire all of the Straw Hat cannons at once, by herself being far more efficient than the rest of the crew combined.
  • Naruto's first purely offensive jutsu in Naruto: Ramen Days is the Kunai Kage Bunshin no Jutsu. For most, it turns a single kunai into ten mid-flight, but Naruto's control is so horrendous that it turns a single kunai into a solid wall of steel. Not a fancy technique, but few survive being stabbed everywhere at once.
  • FateBlack Reflection: During their intense rematch, Lancer notes that this is what Ichigo's fighting style amounts too. Unlike most Servants and high-level Shinigami who have flashy, advanced skills with their weaponry, Ichigo really only has the bare basics of swordsmanship. But combined with his insane strength, speed, and combat instincts, he's capable of keeping pace with the likes of Berserker and Lancer.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku notes that his Kryptonian Combo Platter Powers aren't especially complex or technical, but any of them would be Pro Hero material on their own. While this makes it tough for him to come up with new applications aside from making them stronger, faster, or more accurate, it also means that he'll rarely be lacking in anything he ever needs. Besides, who needs a super technical Quirk when you can flatten robots by landing on them and are nearly invincible against most forms of damage?

    Film 
  • Black Hawk Down: Two Delta Force snipers kill dozens of attacking Somalis while defending a crashed helicopter with nothing but small arms. No artillery, machine guns, or gunships, just superior training and professionalism against a Zerg Rush. The two snipers were eventually overrun and killed, but they successfully saved the helicopter pilot they were defending, and received the Medal of Honor for their actions.
  • Ash in Evil Dead 2 has to figure out how to start his chainsaw when he's got a boomstick in his left hand and said chainsaw in place of his right. So he adds two little protruding bits of scrap metal to his harness, which allows him to hook and pull the ripcord quickly, easily, and badassly.
  • Near the beginning of Taken, Liam Neeson's character has to catch a mook. In Paris, no less. Surely there will be a free-running scene! But no, he simply climbs into the mook's abandoned car and runs him down. He later acquires two handguns, but instead of using Guns Akimbo, he tucks one into his belt and doesn't draw it until he's exhausted the other's ammo. Most of the movie ends up being Liam Neeson's ex-CIA character subverting standard action movie tropes with much more practical approaches.
  • Johnny English Reborn when chasing down an highly athletic Chinese thug, Johnny uses practical means to chase him, the thug jumps up a fence Johnny opens the gate, the thug athletic jumps over some obstacles Johnny uses a ladder, and so on...
  • Late in Iron Man, Pepper Potts and several SHIELD agents need to break into Obadiah Stane's vault. Pepper's key card won't work, so Phil Coulson attaches a small device to the door's lock. As Pepper asks if it's some kind of hacking device, the door explodes open.

    Literature 
  • In The Thirty-Nine Steps and its sequels, John Buchan's Gentleman Adventurer Richard Hannay is an extremely competent spy who relies upon very practical strategies. For instance, he is a Master of Disguise, which he accomplishes through altering his mannerisms more so than his appearance.
  • Many hitmen in Tony Hillerman's novels fit this trope — they accomplish cool things by meticulous planning and step-by-step execution (no pun intended).
  • The Dresden Files is fond of this.
    • How do you deal with a Native American Eldritch Abomination that eats magic and is practically immune to everything you throw at it? Opt for the Nuclear Option.
    • How do you kill a wizard, which can usually manage to cast a revenge-curse before they die even if you manage to mortally wound them? With no warning, via sniper rifle, at sufficient range for the bullet to arrive before the sound of the gun.
    • Firearms are used extensively against supernatural horrors, notably when Marcone led a squad of mercenaries into a council of vampires by way of the Nevernever.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured an episode that dealt with an ancient demon that "cannot be killed by any weapon forged". It was eventually realized that this was descriptive, not prescriptive, and weapon technology had come a long way since it first appeared. They blew it up with a rocket launcher.
    The Judge: What's that do?
  • Burn Notice runs on this. Most of the plans they use are designed to be as simple as possible to execute while completely blowing their target's mind.
  • The Stargate-verse uses this extensively.
    • Stargate SG-1 explains the difference between an alien staff weapon and a P-90.
    • One of the most important things they're trying to do in the show is to keep Bad Things from getting on Earth through the Stargate. The primary way they do this? By fitting a big metal gate one centimeter in front of the portal, causing anyone who opens a portal to them unexpectedly and walks through without transmitting a security code gets teleported straight into a solid metal wall. Squish.
    • Stargate Continuum features a type of stargate wormhole that allows time travel by using SG-1's discovery of the effects of routing through a certain, extremely rare type of solar flare. The obvious solution is to invent some way to artificially induce one, right? Nope! Just use a deep space observatory to watch the hundreds of billions of stars in the galaxy and wait for one to oblige you.
  • Robot Wars had a huge amount of this. In particular, Chaos 2, which had a simple pneumatic flipper, but claimed the UK title twice in a row.
    • The S.Ri.Mec, or self-righting mechanism. It can both flip your opponent over, making him unable to move, and flip you back over if he does it to you.
    • With robot combat in general, wedges are this, at least among the fans that like them. (For others, they fall into Boring, but Practical.) the ability to slip underneath your opponent simply because of the shape of your machine provides both superb offense and defense at the same time. As these competitions have weight limits, robots with weapons must set aside some weight to their weapons whereas wedges can allocate their available weight completely to speed and pushing power. In addition, they don't have to worry about any weapons breaking over the course of the competition. Because of these advantages, weaponless robots like New Cruelty and The Big B tore through their competitors to become runners-up, with the likes of Tornado and Original Sin actually winning their competitions, defeating every weaponized robot they faced.
  • The Batman series had the Riddler once get the perfect burglary tool; a rare wax that is a powerful corrosive that can eat through thick steel or concrete within a few minutes, is practically silent in use and a pocketful is all you need, yet it is perfectly safe to handle until you expose it to direct flame.
  • According to an alien prince in Babylon 5, the human built Starfury Fighter is more interesting than more advanced alien craft due to it's no frills, effective brutality.
  • Cobra Kai: This is Miguel's style to a T. He disdains flashy attacks and focuses on delivering basic punches and straight kicks with pinpoint precision and overwhelming power. While he is by no means the most visually impressive fighter in the series, he dominates any fight he gets into almost effortlessly.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The famous Anderson Spine Buster involves whipping the opponent into the ropes, catching them by the waist as they come off, spinning them off the ground 180 degrees and them planting them on the mat with your shoulder on their sternum. The Rock simply grabbed the legs, lifted them up and skipped to the last part. The bionic spine buster kept the whip part but just involved positioning weight so that they hit the shoulder and then falling with them, no hands necessary.
  • Rocking horse holds involve locking, wrapping or trapping the legs in some fashion, usually with your own, before pulling back on the arms. Where most variations of wrestling holds are usually more complex than the original, Mercedes Martinez's is purposefully much simpler by her placing her feet at around the shoulders, allowing quicker application as a counter or transition hold. April Hunter showed why most don't do it this way though when she bit her way out.
  • The Sweet Chin Music, while a simple Superkick instead of something more elaborate, is still relatively easy to perform, lightning-quick, and has a high chance of knocking someone out cold right then and there (including in Real Life).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pokémon: Base Set Blastoise is very good (with an ability letting it break one of the basic rules of the game by playing more than one energy card per turn), but is usually overshadowed by much more popular Charizard.
    • One particular deck that's incredibly simple is the Rampardos Donk deck. Evolve Cranidos to Rampardos, and attach a Fighting Energy to Rampardos. Now it can do 80 damage every turn. It is also one of the fastest-functioning Pokémon decks to have ever existed.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition has "save or suck" spells, which (instead of dealing damage directly like Fireball or Lightning Bolt) usually give the enemy huge penalties that lets you kill them in other ways. Prominent examples include Grease (a low-level spell that makes the floor slippery, making it harder for the enemy to move or dodge, and may make them fall over entirely) and Glitterdust (which blinds everything in an area by covering it in glowing golden dust). Better than that, Glitterdust also outlines invisible creatures inside its area, NO SAVE ALLOWED, and bypasses spell resistance. Even when See Invisibility can't help (such as spotting a water elemental underwater), Glitterdust can show you exactly where it is if you can find it within a 10' radius circle. It's one of the best 2nd-level spells in the game.
    • The spell magic missile. One of the simplest, and earliest spells for Sorcerers/Wizards, and yet can still hold up to the higher level ones due to its scalingnote . Dragon #328 added the Force Missile Mage, which takes magic missile even further, though it somewhat forces those who take into When All You Have Is a Hammer.../The All-Solving Hammer, as the prestige class makes magic missile into one of the most ridiculously versatile spells in the entire game, at the cost of usually making it the only offensive spell you use in the game.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • While the game has numerous big, flashy spells and humongous, powerful creatures, the very best cards tend to be low in mana cost with very simple effects such as "draw three cards", "add three mana to your mana pool", "take an extra turn after this one", or "deal 3 damage to target creature or player". Even creatures with no abilities at all can be awesome.
    • A general rule for the metagame, especially the Legacy format, is that the best spells are the ones with cheap costs and good effects. Due largely to the effects of Power Creep over the game's 20+ years of existence, this means that the vast majority of "playable" or "optimal" spells in Legacy cost either 1 or 2 mana. In all these cases, the effects are generally simple yet absurdly devastating: 1 Black Mana: Lose 2 life, look at your opponent's hand, and they discard any single non-Land card you choose; 2 Blue: Counter target spell; etc.
    • There is an entire deck archetype based on this principle: Mono-Red Burn. The deck contains exactly 17 Mountains, 3 Mountain-like lands that can burn, and no less than 24 effective copies the same card - spend 1 red mana to deal 3 damage to your opponent. Remember Lightning Bolt up there? The main reason Magic even has the four-copy limit for an individual card was to keep people from playing what was dubbed "The 40 Lightning Bolt Special" which is this trope taken to its logical conclusion.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Dark Hole. It clears the field of monsters and often is the best card for removing an opponent's best monster from the field. Also its equivalent for spell and trap cards, Heavy Storm. Harpy's Feather Duster can do the same, except your cards are not destroyed.
    • There's also Synchro Summon, as well as the later introduced Xyz Summon. Both are straightforward: turn two monsters on the field into a big monster, kept in the extra deck. It does not take your normal summon, and it doesn't take cards from your hand. It just gives you a boss-level monster. Synchro Summoning completely changed the game when it came out, emphasizing the use of these boss monsters, and Xyz summoning followed the same paradigm.
  • Exalted has Excellencies, simple magic powers that - depending on the specific Excellency - add more dice to a character's pool for a roll, add automatic successes to a roll, or allow a re-roll. There's nothing complex about Excellencies, but Exalts can use them to generate absurdly large die pools and achieve successes far beyond what mortals are capable of.
  • BattleTech sports the Medium Laser. A staple even in the first versions of the game, the Medium Laser is, succinctly, perfectly balanced. It is ideally sized to cram just about anywhere in the mech design process so long as you have a ton left to fill and an empty crit slot, and has a very impressive damage/mass ratio. It also has manageable heat output, no need for ammo, and is quite cheap. You can cram a stupid amount of them on a 'mech as well as enough heat sinks to fire most of them without overheating. Its sole downside is that its range is a bit short. Its more advanced offshoots don't manage this awesome simplicity quite as well: Extended Range variants put out too much heatnote , pulse lasers weigh twice as much and don't have the same range, heavy lasers are twice as bulky and are REALLY hot-running, and also have accuracy penalties.
  • Go Has two objectives. Control larger areas of the board and avoid having the other player capture your stones. Because these two goals are so contradictory of each other, strategies can be extremely varied and even psychological. The game is Serious Business on the Orient, on a level similar to Football in Europe, and games can last for days with the loser vomiting blood simply by succumbing to stress.
    • To demonstrate the simplicity, here are the rules in just 96 words!
  • Warhammer 40,000 has the Imperial Guard, an army of Red Shirt soldiers backed up by some of the most practical and easy-to-field vehicles in the entire game.
    • The Leman Russ is the bread and butter of the Imperial Guard vehicular lineup, being able to do and take immense damage for its very cheap price. Between the number of loadouts and varieties, no proper Imperial Guard army would be complete without at least half a dozen waiting to be deployed.
    • The Earthshaker Cannon is essentially a gun-howitzer following characteristics finalized in a World War I design sized up to Warhammer40K levels. They're little more than giant metal tubes, but they will destroy anything unlucky enough to be in their range of fire.
    • The Chimera is the standard APC, and essentially a brick on treads. It's so solid, however, that it can get soldiers to and from places safer than most aerial transports.
      • The Chimera chassis is extremely versatile, and it can be used for many jobs. Including the Basilisk-that is a Chimera with an Earthshaker Cannon on top.
    • Even without vehicles, an Imperial Guard army consists of men with what equates to a bunch of flashlights and t-shirts. All of them firing at once, though, can melt just about any target, and a huge grouping of simple soldiers can be terrifying.
    • The heavy stubber is an extremely unsophisticated weapon compared to the bolters and power swords out there- yet is churned out by the billion on forge worlds due to its simplicity, ease of maintenance, and rate of fire. Yes, even 40 millennia into the future, you still can't do better than the Browning M2.
    • Lore-wise, the humble Lasgun straddles between this and Boring, but Practical. As mentioned in other pages, the basic Lasgun is horribly weak compared to other weapons and only effective in massed number. Yet its design is incredibly robust, its power cell can last for a long time and can be recharged by sunlight or by heating it on fire in a pinch (which could also turn it unstable, making for an improvised explosive). Many characters preferred the Lasgun over the more advanced weapons due to its simplicity and reliability, and its basic design allows for more advanced derivatives such as Lascannon, Hellgun, Multilaser, Long-Las, up to the Volcano Cannon that can fell a Titan. Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM, prefers to use a laspistol instead of the bolt pistol, a pistol that shoots .75 calibre explosive rounds, due to it's lightweight making it a lot easier to pull out and shoot when (not if) the need arises as well as having the ammo it needs instead of having to lug around extra bolt rounds that are quickly chewed up.
    • Imperial Guard tactics usually boil down to "drown everything that isn't yours in firepower until you win". There are few things more satisfying than unleashing a volley of barrages from a mass of field artillery or rolling over a hundred dice from nearly every single unit. Indeed this is part of the army's appeal; no fancy tricks up their sleeves, just good ol' brute force and lots of artillery shells.
    • The Tau, being a highly advanced, futuristic alien race might not seem like candidates for this, but a Crisis Suit wearing Commander with an Onager Gauntlet is this. Normally Tau suck at melee, with even their melee units being extremely fragile. The Commander has a decent enough melee profile but lacks power weapons to take advantage of his enhanced strength, and number of attacks. The Onager Gauntlet, however, allows it's wielder to trade all of its attacks in for a single attack that hits as hard as a Tau Hammerhead Gunship's Railgun. Very few infantry class models can survive a hit from that, and even the most heavily armored of vehicles is very likely to become an exploding wreck from it. It's also so cheap points cost wise, there is no excuse for a Commander not to have it.
    • Every Space Marine chapter has a specialization towards a particular aspect of war. Space Wolves are superhuman space Vikings who kick ass in close combat, Blood Angels are psychotic vampire berserkers and masters of rapid deployment, Raven Guard are awesome pseudo-Native American warriors who are great guerilla fighters, and the Ultramarines... are pretty good at logistics. Hey, don't laugh, guess which one of these has a mini-empire spanning five hundred worlds?
  • From Vampire: The Masquerade, Presence is not quite as heavy-handed as Dominate, but it is awesome for 3 reasons: It doesn't need eye contact, it can affect everyone in the room, and it ignores Generational differences (whereas Dominate needs eye contact, only works once at a time, and fails on lower Generation).
  • Chaotic has Primal Smash for attacks and Cadence Clash for mugic.
    • Primal Smash does 20 non-elemental damage while only costing 1 build point to put in an attack deck, allowing it to basically be splashed into any deck possible for quick, decent damage that'll be more or less unhindered by anything to remove elements or disciplines. The only downside is that it's Unique, meaning your only allowed one in your deck.
    • Cadance Clash is a generic mugic (Meaning it can be cast by any creature) for only 1 mugic counter. It negates an opponents mugic and returns it to the hand. Considering that mugic counters are a limited resource, it can potentially shut down any mugic interruptions, and if the mugic was on the more expensive side (I.E. Cost more then one counter to play), it can potentially lock them out of using it for the rest of the game. Even if they decide to use the mugic you negated again, it's still forcing them to waste even more counters, which can really cripple decks without reliable counter generation.

    Video Games 
  • A lot of Older Than the NES games are Simple, yet Awesome. Asteroids (you have to shoot all the meteors), Space Invaders (shoot all the aliens), Defender (again, shoot aliens), and Pac-Man (eat all the dots and avoid the monsters) were all simple, yet popular to the point of addictive.
  • There's a reason why Shotguns Are Just Better is a very prevalent trope. Simple to use, easy to maintain, efficient... it's hard to find a game in which the shotgun is a bad weapon, even when it's a Short-Range Shotgun. The only consistent aspect that keeps them from being a Game-Breaker is that they have painfully long reload times.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    • The Feather potion. Easy to make from the very start of the game by using abundantly available plants, it reduces the weight of all carried items. This means increased carrying capacity, faster run speed, higher jump height and lowered fall damage. A player that quaffed enough Feather potions can jump from the top of Cyrodiil's highest mountain and glide across the entire map. Such player can also sequence-break dungeons, jump and evade enemies until the cows come home, grab every single piece of loot and abuse unreachable ledges and pillars to take out powerful melee opponents (such as Umbra) with ease.
  • Shadowverse: Aggro decks, in general, are like this, as they are not only easy to play in ladder, but many aggro decks are also relatively easy to assemble since most aggro decks usually don't run a lot of expensive Legendary cards and even if they do, they usually run one set of a Legendary card that defines their aggro deck (Albert for aggro Sword and Carabosse for aggro Blood and even so, there are reasonable cheaper alternatives to use on curve). Aggro Forest plays this trope straight, as aggro Forest doesn't run any legendary cards and have very simplistic combos to execute with Elf Song and Beetle Warrior.
  • StarCraft
    • M and Ms. It's simply a bunch of Marines and Medics and can win the entire game if enough of them are used. Basically the same thing as the Zerg Rush, which also counts as Simple, yet Awesome.
      • The sequel replaces this with Marines and Marauders. Marines shoot while Marauders tank damage and slow units down; both are relatively inexpensive and can use Stimpacks to drown opponents in a tide of fast-moving firepower. This is pretty much the standard composition of almost any Terran army.
    • The Protoss Dragoon is available shortly after your first Gateway is constructed and looks quite "neat" being a quadrupedal tank. Respectable Hit Points combined with an anti-armor/anti-air "Phase Disruptor" ensures the Dragoon a place in a well-balanced army. Upgrade them with "Singularity Charge" and their range increases from 4-squares to 6 (Half the range of Terran Siege Tanks in artillery mode).
    • Besides the (in)famous Zergling, the Hydralisk is another mascot for the Zerg army. They're Snake People-like beasts that use shoulder-mounted biological needles to penetrate armor and provide anti-air. As a matter of fact, if you win a match as Zerg, your victory screen shows a Hydralisk posed triumphantly over skulls; it can be speculated the Hydralisk was a favorite among Blizzard Entertainment at the time.
  • Starcraft II introduced a feature that made the Zerg much easier to play: a button to select your entire army at once.
    • The campaign had an upgrade for ghosts/specters that meant their cloaking no longer used energy, allowing players to have permanently cloaked scouts.
    • One of the research options in Wings of Liberty campaign fuses the tech lab and reactor into a new building that lets you build two of any unit at a given building.
  • Mirror's Edge: Everything you can do in the game can be done in real life, albeit with a lot of practice and a lot more pain. Yes, even that three-story jump you just did in a cutscene.
  • The SMG in Just Cause 2 is a nice example. It's fairly effective, and, though you can't order it right away, ammo is plentiful, between enemies who use it, and the crate containing one given to you at the start of most faction missions. In addition, any given respawn point (faction HQ) probably contains one for the taking.
  • The Iroquois Light Cannon in Age of Empires III. It can't be built until the Industrial Age, and doesn't do as much damage as any other cannon in the game, but is long-ranged and has enough bonus damage modifiers to fill the roles of three European cannon units at once, and has an incredible level of mobility. It's also slightly cheaper, and (with Siege Discipline) takes up relatively little population.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Spy's main weapon is a simple Butterfly Knife. It's the weakest melee weapon...unless you hit them in the back, resulting in an instant kill. This knife has been the bane of players everywhere since the beginning of Team Fortress 2.
    • What many pro-players consider to be the greatest class in the game is the Soldier: Rocket Launcher, Shotgun, Shovel. The sheer amount of stuff people pull off with Rocket Jumping is amazing, and the class is known for being able to switch from defensive positions to ultra-aggressive bombing runs within a matter of seconds.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, most classes have special skills like the ability to drown your foe in sauce or dance battle them until they are rendered harmless. Turtle Tamers get the ability to headbutt, knee, and whack them with their shield. Oh, and, they will always hit, the second delevels, and the third stuns, which makes for a very easy fight for as long as your MP keeps up.
  • The Grand Theft Auto series is full of this sort of thing. Someone running from you? Create a roadblock of stolen cars. Need to avoid a swarm of heavily-armed enemies? Drive a car up to a wall and climb on top to hop over.
  • Metroid's humble but mighty Screw Attack. All you have to do is jump to one side or the other, and Samus' armor is electrified, killing most enemies on contact.
    • The Space Jump: while spin jumping, jump again in midair to go higher up than you could with a normal jump. As many times as you want!
    • Super Missiles, particularly in the Metroid Prime series. They're by far the most cost-effective ammo weapon available, doing considerable damage in exchange for a mere five regular missiles and a brief charging period.
  • In the Mega Man series, using the regular 'ol Mega Buster is sometimes the best way to defeat certain enemies and bosses.
    • In fact, the deeper you go into the continuity, the better it is to simply wail on bosses with regular charged shots, which has been available since the start of the game. Mega Man ZX makes it blatant with Model X's singular biomerge mode, which can charge up to two shots, the second which ignores Mercy Invincibility, which stronger weapons would be subjected to.
  • In Mass Effect 3, one of the starting weapons is the Mantis sniper rifle. Because it's a starter weapon, it can be easily and quickly upgraded to its full level, is one of the most powerful weapons in-game, and is the lightest sniper rifle, which is a godsend to power-dependant classes. Whatever the Mantis can't One-Hit Kill with a torso shot, it can kill with a headshot.
    • The Omniblade is a valid in-universe example, in which melee applications for the tool were almost as old as the device itself. While it may be useless at range, it proves to be quite effective against the waves of husks the reapers send at them in large numbers.
  • Ar Tonelico 3: This is Coccona's preference; she doesn't like her weapons having extra dodads and her supermoves are all based on a simple premise like 'turning' or 'go fast in one direction'.
  • Crysis 2 has the K-VOLT. It's a humble submachinegun, so on paper it should pale compared to much of the rest of the inventory; however, it's an electric submachinegun, so while the damage isn't high compared to, say, a heavy machine gun, its pellets shock Ceph troopers into complete inactivity for a couple of seconds. Paired to your suit's massive damage in melee attacks, this lets you fire a shot into a trooper, you run up to him while he's twitching harmlessly and whack him with a powered punch, then retreat back to safety and let the suit recharge. Enemy grunt down, with a total ammo expenditure of one.
  • In Metro 2033, you have not one, not two, but three types of shotguns. The Uboinik is a perfect semi-automatic with a capacity of six shells and a rather nasty melee attack, but its reload is awkward to put it mildly and, due to a glitch, it fogs up even your watch when you try to look at it (it's supposed to fog up only the background). The Heavy Automatic Shotgun has a 20-round capacity and a good fire rate, but its firepower per shot leaves much to be desired. On the other hand, the humble, crudely-made and extremely common Duplet, a double-barrel, has a no-nonsense operation and the highest punch of the selection (especially when discharging both barrels), and its drawback - rather short range - isn't much of an issue in the cramped tunnels you spend the majority of the game traversing through.
  • Dark Souls offers all types of fancy, super-menacing enchanted equipment derived from demons, angels, dragons and Eldritch Abominations alike, with quite a few earning the "Great-" prefix in their categorization. Yet some most impressive and efficient-in-action weapons are completely ordinary ones. One of the most famous is the Halberd which has not only the high-speed long-range attack of spear classes and a Difficult, but Awesome secondary swing attack possessing both spear-class range and a near full-circle spread, but also does axe class levels of damage, meaning a moderately upgraded Halberd can one-shot most minor mooks and immediately clear rooms full of them with enough distance. There's a reason you so commonly see specters wielding them for most of the game.
    • Other similar weapons include the Hand Axe, Club and Heater Shield. The club, for example, can One-Hit Kill the basic enemies in the first stage, can stunlock as long as your stamina lasts, and is light enough that most classes will be able to light-roll while wielding it.
      • In some areas this applies to clothing, too. Platemail in a toxic swamp just weighs you down. A set of heavy boots and a hood traditionally worn by swamp-dwellers lets you move quickly, and helps keep poison damage down.
    • The NPC Solaire's gear invokes this. Aside from a hand-painted sun decoration, it's just a regular suit of plate and chain armour.
  • While players usually insist on the awesome yet insane option (such as pumping magma into pipes to dump onto their plentiful problems), the most efficient ways to defend a fort in Dwarf Fortress tend to be simple in nature. The humble drawbridge, linked to a lever, will seal off most threats outright, even without being used to squash invaders (though later updates removed the "dwarven atom smasher" glitch that drawbridges had). Carving fortifications is also simple yet effective, allowing marksdwarves to turn enemies into pincushions while being mostly protected from return fire.
  • In the FTL: Faster Than Light, some things are can be defined as that:
    • The Kestrel B, easily considered one of the Tier A ships, is ridiculously simple. It starts with 4 Basic Lasers, a Mantis, two Humans, a Zoltan and basic equipment, instead of flashy things like the Zoltan Shield or Cloak Systems. Its sheer ease of modification and the fact it starts with plenty of support weaponry makes it a very versatile ship that is able to support nearly anything the RNG throws at you.
    • Humans. No bonuses, but no weakness either. That opens up for a plethora of support roles such as being able to repair somewhere like the Pilot's cabin with ease, without needing to screw up the Engineer who's currently trying to keep the Shields or the cloak system online, or just being able to gain that crucial edge in a fight.
    • The Ion Bomb. No damage, but it literally can take out any system out of a fight for a long while. On top of its ultra-lockdown power, its low energy consumption allows more savings on scrap.
    • The Engi A. A basic fire drone, a fast-firing Ion weapon, 2 Engis and a Human in the crew, and Healing Drones as an augment. Not flashy, but it's one of the few ships that can reliably down enemies with 3 shields using only basic equipment, due to positioning, you don't even need to stop piloting the ship in case of battle unless they beam into the pilot's room.
    • What is considered to be one of the best weapons is the Burst Laser Mk. II. Fires exactly one extra shot compared to the Mk. I, and loses to the Mk. III in potency, but it's highly reliable and useful in all sorts of ships, fires 3 shots in quick succession while only requiring one weapon space, and consumes only 2 energy, so it's always going to be useful.
  • Take every shape that you can make by rearranging four squares of identical size. Give them to the player one by one and task them with stacking them so as to minimize empty spaces between blocks. Increase speed as the game progresses. Tetris. Awesome.
  • Give the player a field of different-colored tiles and a limited ability to rearrange them. Cause them to disappear and be replaced when three or more identical tiles are placed in a row. Bejeweled and every other Match-Three Game out there. Awesome.
  • Rhythm Games:
    • Interfaces that use an interface consisting of notes scrolling down (or up) in separate lanes per button. A very simple setup, popularized by beatmania, but it's extremely easy to sightreadnote  notes on and allows for the creation of crazy hard charts that don't rely on Trial-and-Error Gameplay.
    • Beatmania itself. While it has received a number of interface enhancements, it has only had three changes ever done to its core gameplay: the addition of two new buttons, the option to play with the turntable on the left, and the addition of "hold"-type notes. Other than that, the simple whack-a-mole-esque formula of "notes fall down, hit the right buttons when they reach the red line" has not changed in almost twenty years.
    • Pop N Music is even simpler, foregoing a turntable for two more buttons. It has been around almost as long as Beatmania.
    • DanceDanceRevolution, In the Groove, and Pump It Up: Four or five directional foot panels and scrolling notes, with the same simplicity as the above rhythm games. And they're great for cardiovascular workout, too.
    • CHUNITHM gives you a sensor bar as wide as the screen above it that's 1:1 with the chart interface, on which you hit notes corresponding to their horizontal position on the screen, while ocasionally lifting your hands to hit "Air" notes. Super easy to learn, yet has the potential for absolutely Nintendo Hard charts. No wonder it's one of the most popular arcade rhythm games in Japan.
  • Arcanum:
    • The Harm spell. It's a humble first-level combat spell, but it's cheap in mana, its damage goes up the more magical aptitude you gain, and your mage can cast it as fast as you can click on the enemy. Basically it's a magical machine gun, only it always hits home, and you can regenerate the ammo!
    • Keys take up two inventory spaces, and you'll find a lot of them throughout the game. One Keyring later, and they all infinitely stack in two spaces.
  • In Warframe some of the most practical weapons are the bows. Completely silent with good critical hit rates, good damage multipliers, and can even punch through both thin cover as well as multiple enemies. With the right mods you can boost their damage further and ensure you'll never run out of ammo.
    • In yet another example of Shotguns Are Just Better, two of the most sought-after guns in the game are the Tigris series (regular, Sancti and Prime), and the Sobek. The former is a Tenno take on the mundane hunting shotgun, complete with wood finish and shrapnel pellets, which actually integrates rather well into the game by giving it the highest damage-per-bullet score. The latter is a Grineer-made auto-shotgun with a 20-round drum mag loaded with buckshot charges, and one of the earliest armaments available to new players, who may disregard it for flashier-looking guns... Or at least, until they're strong and seasoned enough to farm for its exclusive mod, Acid Shells, giving to the gun a respectable crowd-control effect and innate Anti-Armor, which is the defining factor for veteran players.
    • Warframe abilities can let you do anything from crush your foes with devastating magnetic fields, banish a hostile's brains into a pocket dimension while leaving the rest of them in realspace, fry your enemies with millions of amps of power, or even raise their spirits back from the dead to fight on your side. The most practical and fondly-used powers? Crowd control binding or stunning attacks, and healing abilities.
    • In the backstory, this trope had to be invoked. The evil "Sentients" could automatically take control of any technology more advanced than a colt revolver. Thus almost all Tenno weapons lack anything computerized or electronic, but they're no less deadly for it. Granted, this was only true for the magic space ninjas themselves; the 'zero-tech troopers,' regular humans sent into combat with leather armor and bolt-action rifles, got the significantly shorter end of the stick.
  • One Finger Death Punch has very basic graphics and exactly two moves. Click left to attack to your left. Click right to attack to your right. With just two buttons, the game turns your little stick man into a Bruce Lee Clone par excellence, with more style and combat pacing than games with twenty times the budget.
  • Three of the Giga Wing ships employ special features such as Spread Shots, Roboteching homing missiles, and exploding mines. Ruby's ship, Carmine, on the other hand, forgoes all of that for a basic highly-concentrated linear shot. Coupled with the fastest movement speed in the game, it's well-suited for score chasers.
  • The "ID Tech 1" 2.5 D engine, better known as the "Doom Engine," has this reputation. It generated a significant community of mod makers. With the release of the source code, an editor called Doom Builder was coded that made building maps even easier, thanks to a built-in 3d viewing mode, and ports of the Doom Engine like Boom & Zdoom (derived from Boom) greatly increased rendering limits, opening up the possibility for huge maps with 1000's of enemies to battle. Hexen scripting allows increased complexity for maps, such as customized victory conditions, while limit-removing source ports made it very possible to program the engine for custom genres of games.

    You don't necessarily need extensive programming to have fun with this engine; plenty of Doom-II-format levels are available on "Doom World" and they are star-rated so it is easy to find quality content. If you love hordes of monsters to battle, there are maps with enough of them to put Serious Sam to shame.
  • Golden Sun: Of all the many ways of raining destruction on foes, be it through Psynergy (earthquakes, storms, volcanic eruptions...), Djinn (elemental spirits that can deal double damage, drain life, lower resistance...) or summons (using said Djinn to bring in dragons, meteors, gods, the apocalypse, hurl enemies into the Sun...), the most efficient way to grind or battle random mooks is the humble attack button. Not only because it goes a lot faster than selecting a different command, but weapons unleash their special effects so often it's funny. Want to drop giant swords on your enemy's heads? Drown them? Jump into space and slam-dunk a miniature star on them?
  • Described in Enter the Gungeon in the Flavor Text for Old Goldie, which is a simple, but excellently-made, shotgun in a game full of wacky and fantastic guns.
    The right answer isn't always a gun that shoots bees, a water gun, or a flaming hand. Sometimes, all you need is a simple concept executed immaculately.
  • The humble joystick and D-pad. There's a reason just about every video game controller in existence has one or both of these and a few buttons. As a more specific example, the Super NES controller: a D-pad, four face buttons, two system-function buttons, and two shoulder buttons; hailed by many as the gold standard of 2D gaming controllers.
  • Painkiller (2003): Many modern First-Person Shooter games have a deep story, tactical gameplay, and realism.

    Painkiller, however, went back to basics; realism is only a suggestion and the only missions are to kill all the monsters and demons in the highly varied levels.

    You basic weapons, the Painkiller, and Shotgun remain effective for the entire game, and are the signature weapons of the main character.
  • For the Super Mario Bros. games, kicking Koopa shells. It's the most basic move Mario has, but nothing is more satisfying than kicking a shell and watching it take out a line of enemies and/or breaking all the blocks to clear a path for you.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2 has enemy and item tossing. You'll be doing a lot of throwing throughout the game since it's your only way to attack due to the Goomba Stomp not being an option, but nothing gets more fun than throwing enemies against other enemies or throwing vegetables, keys, and blocks at your foes.
  • Soldier: 76 of Overwatch fame has become something of this in the game's competitive as well as casual scene. The character plays like a regular first-person-shooter character would, with a high-powered rifle and a sprint mode, alongside an AoE healing ability and an aimbot as his ult; all in all a very generic and scattered skillset. However, his raw damage output, high accuracy, fast movement speed and healing capabilities makes him one of the most balanced characters in the game, and allows him to do almost any job fairly well.
    • To a lesser extent, Bastion. It is a common complaint among players that all a Bastion has to do to win the game and get Play of the Game is to sit in turret mode and hold down the left trigger... Which isn't entirely wrong, really. A good Bastion will occasionally mix things up with its self-healing ability and relocate if things get too hairy, but it'll still be sitting in one spot and firing its minigun for most of the match.
    • Lucio is this for support characters. Lucio's healing works as an area of effect, providing a passive healing buff to all his team in the generous range. All Lucio has to do is hang around and not die, which his high mobility is great for. In skilled hands Lucio can be a highly mobile harasser as well as a healer, and with good positioning, he can instakill enemies by knocking them into pits and wall-riding on hard to reach terrain.
  • Viktor and Tyra from Paladins are Damage Champions that are rather plain in comparison to everyone else. Victor, much like Soldier: 76 can dash, lob grenades, and aim down his sights and his ult shoots three missiles. Tyra chooses fire power over accuracy and can use her grenade launcher or firebombs to punish clusters while marking enemies with Hunter's Mark to add a 15% damage boost and her ult lets her pump out even more lead. All in all these skills are not flashy and not very well suited to anything else. However Viktor is well suited to popping in and out of fights and scoring headshots and his ult can and will force the other team to disperse off the point while Tyra can provide covering fire and deal major damage to select targets.
  • Einhänder has the Cannon gunpod. Compared to other flashy gunpods such as the Vulcan, Juno, Spreader, Flash, Wasp, Hedgehog, Mosquito and such, it only fires out a single shot forwards- the most basic of attacks. It's also got a pretty solid firing rate, ammo for it is extremely common, and it deals pretty high damage, allowing the player to take out larger mooks and bosses quickly. If the enemies are weak enough, it also penetrates them, making it good for both weak and strong enemies.
  • In Halo, humanity in the 26th century has access to space flight and ships capable of ripping holes into an Alternate Universe in order to achieve FTL travel. With it, they've colonized dozens of planets, and they've built powerful magnetic weapons and nukes capable of wiping out entire cities with ease and developed the technology and science to create Super Soldiers. And yet, for the average soldier, the standard weaponry of a metal-slinging pistol, machine-gun, shotgun, rocket launcher assault rifle, and grenade have endured more or less unchanged and still perfectly capable of killing even some of the most horrifying alien creatures out there.
  • Cooking food and elixirs in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most basic thing you can do in the game, yet the art of cooking can help create some of the most powerful dishes and elixirs in the game that can give Link a massive edge over his enemies. You can potentially create dishes that can restore 20+ hearts with a secondary effect like boosted defense or even make an elixir that can give Link an incredible boost to his attack power for potentially up to 30 minutes if you got the right ingredients.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Across the entire series, the iconic cardboard box.
    • From Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the Mk 22 tranquilliser gun sees a lot of mileage over flashier weapons because it is silent, very accurate, able to instantly incapacitate with a headshot (ideal for a Pacifist Run) and it's even quite satisfying to use in boss fights because killing them non-lethally nets you special camos with unique abilities (The Pain's lets you control hornets, Ocelot's eliminates handshaking while aiming in first-person, The Fear grants you 80% camo everywhere at the cost of very high stamina drain, etc.)
    • The simple knife from the same game also qualifies. Grab an enemy and threaten him with it to get special information, instantly kill him, and also very handy in the boss fight against The Fury, because it rips up his suit and leaves him vulnerable to grenades and explosives.
  • The eponymous protagonist of Sonic the Hedgehog is known for simply running really, really fast. It looks cool and he's saved the world countless times by getting where he needs to be very quickly.
  • The Sparta Kick from Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is about as simple as you can get: kicking people or animals really, really hard so they go flying, or become completely unconscious. It is one of the first skills you can get, but it remains useful all throughout the game, costing only one adrenaline bar, having extremely low cooldown, and is a cheap and easy way to get some breathing room in crowded fights, or knocking down challenging foes for a few precious seconds. It's also all but vital to killing high HP enemies via sending them down long drops or into the sea to the maw of a waiting shark, especially early in the game. Few foes are immune to it, and even then, it's only to the knockback, it has long invincibility frames, and just looks and sounds awesome along with being really, really entertaining to use.
  • The Super Smash Bros. series has King K. Rool's entrance. Other fighters generally start matches by entering the stage in various fancy and stylish ways (the Mario brothers coming out of pipes, the Star Fox cast, Captain Falcon and Wario driving in their vehicles, Kirby using his warp star, Mr. Game & Watch fading in, etc), while the Kremling king simply falls in from above, followed by his crown. Not only is it a neat reference to his first appearance in the DKC series, he still makes his entrance memorable by doing it with his arms crossed.
  • In Pokémon most Mega Evolutions change how a Pokemon fights via changing their typing, ability, and/or stat distribution. But some of them amount to "the same but more" note  and play exactly the same in and out of Mega Evolution, so players don't have to make customized move sets that are less than stellar outside of Mega Evolution, such as if another pokemon already mega evolved or if the mega evolved pokemon got knocked out and revived.
  • Jakobs sniper rifles and pistols in the Borderlands series. In a game full of futuristic, sci-fi weapons, Jakobs sticks with Non-Elemental weapons that'd look at home in the Wild West. But their pistols fire as fast as you can fan the hammer and hit hard with each bullet, and their sniper rifles do one thing very well: incredible amounts of critical damage.

    Web Original 

    Web Video 

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • The first episode about Clay from Xiaolin Showdown is centered around this trope. He completes the obstacle course faster than his teammates by turning around and taking the objective directly behind him — since the course is arranged in a circle, he sees no reason to go through the traps to reach the goal. Later he beats Jack Spicer in a showdown involving catching a bird — Jack gets beaten and bruised chasing it, while Clay fills his hat with seeds from nearby sunflowers to get the bird to come to him.
  • Similar to the comics example above, Batman is able to take down another incarnation of the Injustice League by donating to a public television station ( said donation was made in the name of the Ultrahumanite, a big fan of the station's opera shows).
  • Ben 10 has Fourarms, an alien form that grants Ben Super Strength and 2 extra arms. Not very flashy, but his fighting capabilities more than makeup for it.
    • There is also Way Big, who is one of the Omnitrix's most powerful aliens, surpassed only by Atomix and Alien X).
    • Another example is Toepick, whose sole power is having a Nightmare Face that can terrify anything that isn't blind, emotionless or Ma Vreedle (she's seen worse).
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: In stark contrast to the other Boxmore robots, Ernesto eschews theatrics and fancy special attacks in favor of simply converting to ball mode and rolling over his enemies. He’s extremely durable and heavy, so it’s an absolutely devastating move when used properly (and it’s very easy to use). Using this simple technique, he’s probably come the closest to defeating the Plaza heroes in a straight fight.


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