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Playing With / Old Master

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Basic Trope: An old character is far more badass than younger characters.

  • Straight: Master Wong is in his 70s but can easily beat up a bunch of robbers.
  • Exaggerated: Master Wong is an arthritic 90 year-old who can cut down whole gangs.
  • Downplayed: Master Wong is Weak, but Skilled, so he might be able to beat up a robber if he got lucky, but he wouldn't be in good shape afterwards.
  • Justified:
    • Master Wong works out every day and has been proficient in the use of his bo staff since childhood, while the mugger is very out of shape and has never been in a fight before.
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    • Master Wong has Super Strength and a Healing Factor.
    • Master Wong is a mage in a tradition where power directly grows with age, so being old literally gives him more power than a youngster.
    • Master Wong lives on a Death World where one Had to Be Sharp to even make it to adulthood. To reach old age, he must be very sharp indeed.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Wong turns out to be Mistaken for Badass.
    • Wong puts up a good fight but ultimately loses to a younger foe.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Or so he'd have his enemies believe, as he can be a more effective fighter if his opponent underestimates him.
    • Wong's defeat was faked.
  • Parodied: Master Wong is hooked up to an oxygen tank and can only move with the aid of a walker, both of which he uses to beat a mugger over the head. Then he shuffles away very slowly.
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  • Zig Zagged: Master Wong's combat ability depends on his health that day—when he's doing well, he can beat a small army, but if his back is acting up, he can barely move and is an easy target.
  • Averted: The old characters are not much better than younger ones, if at all.
  • Enforced: "The old guy hasn't done anything onscreen. I want to show why the Kid Hero is so eager to learn from him, but doing it in a flashback would be hokey."
  • Lampshaded: "Something tells me that cane's not there to help him walk..."
  • Invoked: Master Wong carries a cane and leaves his mustache very long in order to discourage thugs from picking on him.
  • Exploited: Cornered by 3 muggers, old man Wong sighs, drops his cane to the ground and moves his hands to an Ass Kicking Pose. "I hope you're ready for this..." He has no martial arts experience, but the muggers start backing away.
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  • Defied: ...only to turn and rush old man Wong and beat the snot out of him. Or, one of them pulls a gun, forcing Wong to toss over his wallet.
  • Discussed: One mugger turns to the other as the third pulls out his pistol and whispers "Is that gonna make a difference? This guy looks like he might be Pai Mei. I think we should run."
  • Conversed: While watching an old kung fu movie within a movie, the hero's best friend rolls his eyes and counts how many times the Old Master has broken his hip by now.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Master Wong's age makes him a frail Glass Cannon; though he can defeat younger punks in a straight fight, any good blow is a Game-Breaking Injury and he can't outrun them if they try to chase him down. The youngsters resort to dirty tricks and sneak attacks to even the odds.
    • Master Wong is afraid of becoming soft in his old age, and constantly puts himself through Training from Hell. One way or another, he will be a fighter until the day his body breaks, but he runs a very real risk of breaking it himself!
  • Reconstructed: Master Wong makes up for the frailties of age with experience; he's seen all the tricks already, so he's good at seeing them coming, and years of experience make him better at fighting dirty or running smart rather than fast than most of his younger opponents.

Back to Old Master's main page. Don't be fooled into thinking its age makes it a pushover!

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