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As was stated in one thread:
If those tropers want a cleanup thread for ED, well, they get it.
So, what are some of the pages containing instances of this trope being misused?
Well, we should have a look through Ensemble Dark Horse and its sub-pages, and keep an eye on YMMV tabs. I suspect this clean-up effort will be difficult to do because one has to familiar with the show to judge it properly. The Scrappy clean-up thread has a similar issue.
Wait, isn't there a button you can press called "get usage counts" that lists off the articles containing a trope? I bet if we can figure out how to get one of those, it will be much easier to figure which examples count and which don't!
That button only exists in TRS and IP.
You can also click the "Related" button at the top of the page to see all the pages it's listed on too.
So, shouldn't we begin with the description? I assume misuse happens for two reasons: (1) people read the vague, incorrect, or otherwise ambiguous description/laconic and get a misunderstanding of the trope or (2) the name of the trope implies one thing while the meaning of the trope is another thing (i.e. What Do You Mean, It's for Kids? and its friends).
I can help with Norse Mythology-related wicks, but the example page even says Loki isn't this trope; Loki is normally the one in the Norse pantheon to be given the ED status...
edited 2nd May '13 7:25:36 AM by DunDun
The description of ED has been cleaned up and fixed more than once. It's not the problem.
Trust me when I say that a description doesn't need to be source of the majority of misuse. I used to be very vigilant in keeping Audio Erotica clean, but basically 90% of related wicks added were misuse despite a very clear description. Thing is, this is a popular trope, and if the description used to be unclear, it's unlikely a troper is going to go back and read on the now-clarified description. Not to mention bad examples begetting bad examples.
As far as mythology goes, such a major god like Loki could never count. Taking a page out of, say, Greek mythology, I can see a goddess like Psyche counting. She only appears in one myth, but she has a disproportionate representation in art, music, and retellings. More than I'd personally say almost half of the twelve (Hestia, Bacchus, Hephaestus, Demeter, and perhaps Artemis).
Perhaps we should just comment out any example that we're not familiar with and doesn't clarify that this is a minor character?
edited 2nd May '13 2:38:39 PM by helterskelter
An ensemble darkhorse is a minor character that is absurdly popular correct? What do you mean by "minor". Do secondary/supporting characters count as "minor"? As I see a lot of those type of characters being listed on this trope page.
edited 2nd May '13 2:51:43 PM by MissKitten
Depends on how secondary. I think generally a secondary character can qualify, unless we're dealing with a work with Loads and Loads of Characters, and there are just so many characters that even important ones are always losing screentime to another important secondary character.
Take Mass Effect or Lost. Both of them have one single, clear-cut protagonist, yet many other very important secondary character. Some aren't as important as others, but these secondary characters tend to get a lot of focus and since there are Loads and Loads of Characters, you see more time devoted to the secondary characters as a whole then you see on the protagonist individually. You'd really have to be a minor character in order to qualify for Ensemble Dark Horse in this bunch.
Thinking on it, perhaps with oft-misused YMMV tropes like these, laying out the basic requirements in a clear list form is important.
I think how minor a character has to be is in relation to her popularity. That is, a bit character can have a rather small fandom and still count, but a secondary character needs a much larger one (in relation to the total).
Took care of the Loki examples on Ensemble Dark Horse.Mythology and Characters.Norse Mythology. I'll keep an eye out for major characters being labeled as this (and bring them up here, obviously).
At least this one will be a lot easier than The Scrappy. I zapped a few examples with main characters being popular because they don't count and you're supposed to like them anyway.
I just looked at the Ensemble Dark Horse page for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and I see Angel listed on there, despite being The Scrappy. This is an obvious case of shoehorning since Angel usually scores the highest on "the worst animal companion" polls.
edited 28th Jun '13 6:29:36 AM by MsCC93
I guess I should post this here. Not really used to the forums.
Per the Square Peg, Round Trope page, "Ensemble Dark Horse is supposed to refer to when a minor character who does little in the story becomes unexpectedly popular with the fans. It isn't supposed to mean "any character besides the main character who is popular."
I remembered that I had a discussion a while back with a troper about the Ensemble Dark Horse status of a character in Pillars of Eternity. We both noticed that some pages needed a cleanup, including the FinalFantasy one, in which a lot of characters are listed as Ensemble Dark Horse whereas they are anything but minor. So I would like to share my thoughts on the subject and see if you agree that some examples should be removed.
Also, I was told that party members couldn't be considered as Ensemble Dark Horse, unless they were guests and had a minor role.
I'd rather not delete anything without discussing this action with you, since I am pretty sure some tropers may (read:will) disagree, and I would rather avoid an edit war. Not to mention that while there are some examples that are definitly Square Peg, Round Trope, others can lead to different opinions on the definition of "minor", hence why I would like to hear your thoughts. In any case, the indentation of that page is catastrophic, and I will take care of that after the cleanup.
As far as resurrecting two-year-old threads go, this is one of the most legitimate reasons I've seen. Good work on that.
Ensemble Dark Horse can refer to a more prominent character if that character is more popular than the main characters. The important part is that they're significantly more popular than what their prominence in the work would imply, so it's not an automatic disqualifier if they play an important role or are secondary characters. However, then they would pretty much have to eclipse all other characters in the work to qualify. If there's more than one character as prominent as a secondary character it's most likely not true for any of them.
A Big Bad or otherwise main antagonist is on the automatic disqualification list. That's a role almost equal to the main protagonist in prominence.
For Final Fantasy characters in general, I'd disqualify any regular party member who's not clearly the most popular character of that game. That said, my comments on the ones I'm familiar with of the ones you've listed here. My experience with the fandom is mainly from reading a lot of fanfiction and discussions, at least up to ~X, around the time the games were new or a few years old.
edited 22nd Sep '15 4:21:35 AM by AnotherDuck
Hello, and thank your for your answer! Your explanation on prominence helps me a little to understand how to deal with this trope.
I won't edit anything until a few days, to allow other tropers to give their input. After that, if everyone agrees on what should be removed (or added, for that matter), I will do the cleanup.
edited 22nd Sep '15 5:18:20 AM by NonoRobot
I took a look at the comics page, and the page image is Wolverine.
Looking at that page, it seems like there's a lot of characters that were Ensemble Darkhorses, but were promoted to Breakout Characters.
Yeah, I'm unsure about the Turks, as with Seifer's buddies. They're fairly popular, but I don't think they're as popular as most of the main characters, and they're probably the most prominent characters on the tier below the party characters. Of those, Reno is probably the most popular, at least.
For the record, Beatrix is my favourite character of that game. By "that popular" I meant popular enough to still qualify as an Ensemble Dark Horse despite her prominence in the game.
If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that most characters listed on Ensemble Dark Horse are shoehorns for characters who're popular with no regard for how popular they are in relation to other characters and their place in their work.
If they're too prominent or important to the narrative then they're not Ensemble Darkhorses. This disqualifies Gilgamesh (recurring boss who's also The Dragon and even gets some Character Development), Zack (massively important to backstory), and Jecht (massively important to backstory).
I know next to nothing about the rest so no comment.
I've been playing FF 7 on-and-off for the past year, and the Turks are constantly around. That alone should disqualify them. Plot-significance is usually corroborated with appearance. They might be a Quirky Mini Boss squad, but they're around frequently.
I don't think you understand the trope.
Importance doesn't actually matter. A character can be hugely important to a story, but not even appear at all. That's still a character who can qualify for the trope. On the other end, the viewpoint character can be irrelevant for the plot of the story, but that's still the main character of the story, which disqualifies her. "Massively important to backstory" is completely irrelevant.
Prominence matters. How much they appear in the work. How much presence they have. Those are things that make the audience connect to the character, and that's what matter for the trope.
The only real automatic disqualifier is if it's a main character. That's the main protagonist, the main antagonist, and sometimes the main love interest. The best friend, lancer, or sidekick can qualify, although since those are second tier characters, they'd have to be significantly more popular than the main characters.
Not "that alone". That along with not being hugely popular on the same scale or above the most popular characters of the game.
edited 22nd Sep '15 7:00:27 AM by AnotherDuck
Lemme put it this way; for them to be "more popular than their appearance would imply", they'd have to eclipse the trifecta of Cloud, Aeris, and Sephiroth.
That's pretty much what I said. My main experience with that fandom is fairly old by now, so I don't know how much that has changed. They didn't qualify back then, but I wouldn't assume that to be static. If you say that's the case, sure, let's go with that.
/grumble — one of the five main characters in my work "location" just got an entry for Ensemble Dark Horse.
I was expecting a little more input to be honest. Anyhow, thank you very much to the people who answered my questions and told me what they thought about this cleanup.
I will now give my final thoughts about which examples should be kept and which ones should be deleted. If no one disagree, I will make those changes in the following 48 hours on the Ensemble Dark Horse Final Fantasy page, but also on the multiple YMMV pages of this franchise.
edited 24th Sep '15 6:26:29 AM by NonoRobot
The page has been cleaned up. I removed all entries which were obvious Square Peg, Round Trope cases, and a few which need to be discussed here in order to decide if they belong there or not.
Also, keep in mind that each game should be analyzed individually. We are trying to determine which character is or isn't an Ensemble Dark Horse inside the game he or she appears in.
I still don't feel comfortable deleting so many entries, and I would like to hear more tropers. Once everyone agrees on who belongs there, I will also cleanup the YMMV sections of each game.
edited 27th Sep '15 11:02:43 AM by NonoRobot
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