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Any dangerous device or technology owned by a villain, particularly a supervillain of the James Bond mode, that is not off-the-shelf exists in a metaphorical vacuum. There is only one of it, there are no plans or schematics for it, and no earlier generations of development exist. In the case of expensive and rushed projects, the final project might have been made by cannibalizing parts of the prototype, or might actually be the prototype after a whole lot of upgrades and patches.
Thus the hero may safely blow it up, blast it with EMP or otherwise render it useless, confident that no one can recreate the technology — or worse, just take version 0. This trope also applies to creations that, through some fluke of their creation, cannot be replicated for a variety of reasons.
Maybe the first attempt was tainted during creation , or maybe a talented composer dies before they can record their techniques.
Note that in the real world, scientists and engineers make and keep very detailed notes — this is often what differentiates Science from Mad Science. Or, this trope is unnecessary if the creation could be replicated but only the original can be used in time to affect the story This trope usually does not apply when the scientist who designed the technology is treated as a sympathetic character.
In this case, the remorseful researcher does keep notes, which he will either attempt to burn or erase himself, or will ask the heroes to destroy for him.
Nor does it apply when the experiment results in a Psycho Prototype ; in these cases, the researcher will make changes to the plans and build a second, "good" version, to fight the first, "bad" one of course, the trope may kick in right after that Occasionally subverted after the customary celebration of the superweapon being destroyed, with one hero ominously pointing out, "yes A common cause of this is Shoot the Builder.
Compare Reed Richards Is Useless , where the formula exists, but is only applied to fantastic problems. It may appear as a justification for Never Recycle Your Schemes. Black Box , for situations where the device in question has extraterrestrial or otherwise fantastic origins that would justify not being able to build another.
And in addition, if you get to use something but only have the single try even if it works then It Only Works Once. The World Government is both trying to erase memory of the superweapon from the general populace and either find or recreate it. When Franky realizes that Robin wants to live and stay with the Straw Hats rather than revive the weapon he burns the Pluton blueprints, betting everything on the Straw Hats saving her so that if they succeed, the World Government will lose the ability to acquire Pluton.
After creating it, the emperor ordered Amidamaru to kill Mosuke so as to make Harusame follow this trope. Braver in Transformers Victory invents a device that can detect Decepticons within ; Jean, Holi, and Star Saber all seize on the idea of placing a bunch of them at strategic points around the world. Braver handwaves this away by saying the device requires specialised components, but they still put the device to good use. At the end of the episode, however, Leozack steals it, and Braver vows to start his research from scratch.
Jack Colvin - IMDb
Shin Mazinger averts this. And in the case of Mazinger Z not only was there a prototype, but Juuzou Kabuto also made numerous objects out of Super Alloy Z, and was known for having loads of patents that most likely came out of testing parts for the eponymous robot. Furthermore, several of the Photon Power Labs robots are armed with variations of the Rust Hurricane and Breast Fire weapons that Mazinger Z is armed with, suggesting they were created to test those weapons.
Subverted in Darker Than Black. After they managed it, the scientist was ranting about what a waste it was The Earth Alliance second set of Gundams gotten a mass production upgrade for their non Brainwashed and Crazy soldiers. Also subverted in the Federation mobile armors. The first one usually served as an occasional Monster of the Week , but afterward multiples would appear in their forces.
The biggest aversion comes at the climax of the series. The Gundam series set in the Universal Century averts this to all hell and back, especially once Anaheim Electronics comes into the picture. In the original series, this is played straight They did make plans and backups and even prototypes of their Zakus.
The only error is that Amuro has all the files on his personal computer Luckily for the Zeon, Amuro has learned absolutely nothing about the Zaku II, its combat capabilities and future Mobile Suits, despite the fact that we saw him studying the schematics in the beginning of the first episode.
These Gundams were equipped with the extremely powerful Minovksy Drive aka the "Wings of Light" a full twenty years before it showed up in Victory Gundam. The Jovian Empire managed to destroy all three prototypes, along with all the plans and research for it in their attack on the lunar base, forcing the system to pretty much have to be re-invented from scratch.
One could infer that Gundam 00 Aeolia Schenberg played this straight deliberately when it came to the original GN technology, since the Tau replications that Ribbons leaked to the three factions, as well as used himself, were nowhere near their capabilities. Pointedly averted with the Memento Mori. Megadei can be repaired but never engineered, the same goes with all the other Lost Technology from 40 years ago. After spending two days and nights straight creating a new D-Wheel program, Yusei and Bruno are so exhausted, they go to bed without bothering to install or backup said program The dub adds a few additional handwaves: Lampshaded aversion on Demashita!
Him steals the metal drum full of Chemical Z from the lab and is surprised when The Professor shows up later with a loaded Chemical Z beam. The professor explains he stored the supply of Chemical Z in multiple places for just such an occasion. In Full Metal Panic! It is a Super Prototype Real Robot made using Black Box technology that only certain Whispered can create, even if they do not fully understand the underlying principles.
Exo-Man (TV Movie 1977) - IMDb
Their counterpart Amalgam does have one, however, and can mass produce mechs that use the same technology. Averted in Soul Eater: They managed to make more anyway. Getter Robo averts this in general.
The Getters are a line of mecha that are evolved ha from the same breed of 3-piece combiner , and even they are shown in numerous tales to have prototypes. Saotome had constructed various prototype Getters in its various forms. An episode of DokiDoki! While not magical, it gives a regular person the same abilities as a Precure. It gets destroyed near the end of the episode and never mentioned again. Subverted in Kill la Kill ; Ryuko destroys numerous Goku Uniforms, including those of most of the Elite Four , but Satsuki later tells her that this just contributes data they can use to refine the Uniforms for use in actual combat, and is ready to issue new ones to the Four.
None appear more than once after Pikachu blows them up. The worst was a nigh invincible tank that only Charizard could stop. Yet of course Team Rocket never uses the tank again, even though the only thing Ash had that could stop it was gone.
Then you have Mewtwo - the "prototype" clones growing with it all died, and it destroyed the island laboratory where it was created, killing everyone inside. Not that this later stops a different set of people from creating a new, identical Mewtwo with no indication that they even know one already exists Urasue is shown bringing countless people Back from the Dead in clay bodies, but apparently never took into account the possibility that one of the resurrected would not be willing to serve her; when she resurrects Kikyo, the very first thing Kikyo does is burn her to ash.
Played for Laughs in Tenchi Universe. She promptly gives up after that. Justified in Dragon Ball Super. Her plan is to get Goku, who is gathering the Dragon Balls in an attempt to revive King Kai, to get the material needed so she can get Shenron to wish for more. However, Beerus and Whis catch Goku in the act and when they appear before Bulma, Whis warns her that time travelling is specifically prohibited. Beerus, then, proceeds to use his power to nuke the lab where the time machine and the plans were placed in.
Comic Books Comics love this trope, as it allows for unique items that only the hero or villain has. The reason Captain America is one of a kind in the Marvel Universe is because the only person who knew the formula for the Super Soldier Serum got shot right after administering it to Cap.
Furthermore, for security reasons, that scientist kept no notes of the full treatment, relying on his memory. So, of course, Arnim Zola was able to create a clone of Cap complete with Super Solder Serum — and never attempted to experiment to figure out how to extract the stuff. Making it more Holding Back the Phlebotinum than anything else, now.
In Captain America I , a man who found the formula, heretofore overlooked in Axis files due to Allied bombings similar to Dresden, not even the Axis knew that they had it , noted that he found it untraceable in animals he had experimented upon and then dissected.
He used this as leverage to force the US government to allow him to serve as a new Captain America for the Korean War — which ended before he could serve. This man later went mad due to the effects of the serum, suggesting its unpredictability on subjects. Why he did not use it other than on himself is not stated. However, the Ultimate Marvel universe is practically built around deconstructing this particular trope. The original Cap was one-of-a-kind — which is why every government and corporation on the planet has spent the last fifty years trying to duplicate the process, or at least come up with something similar, leading to a superhuman arms race.
The Ultimate Hulk was the result of a failed attempt, the OZ formula that gave Ultimate Spider-Man his powers was another — pretty much every superhuman in this universe, except for the mutants, owe their powers to some attempt at recreating the super-soldier project.
Eventually, even the mutants are revealed to be a result of a super-soldier-related project, making the deconstruction even more wide-ranging. The First Avenger puts a different spin on his shield: Howard Stark presents Steve with multiple options for a shield, but Cap spots a disc shaped one that Howard explains is a vibranium prototype.
That was all of the vibranium they had Double Subversion in Ultimate Spider-Man. He manages to get rid of it when it almost drives him crazy, then convinces Eddie to let him destroy the rest of the sample.
Donald Moffat — Wikipédia
Peter leaves with the container, then Eddie walks over to a locker and opens it to reveal another container with a backup. After Venom becomes known, all research about the symbiote is seized from Trask by Nick Fury and the Ultimates to make absolutely sure the suit is never re-created, except by them. Nobody knows why A. It was eventually revealed that a sliver of the original Cosmic Cube was used to power it, when it was removed by the evolving Cube it was rendered inert although Dom found a way to revive it.
A later arc had A. Justified with Tweedledope, a member of a team of villains called the Crazy Gang fought by Excalibur. As a result, nothing he builds can be duplicated. The Golden Age " Good girl " Phantom Lady had a "blacklight projector" whose inventor literally died just as he delivered the only copy straight into her hands.
Silver Age The Flash got his powers because a lightning bolt struck a cabinet full of random chemicals, which then spilled onto him. Subsequent attempts to find out which combination of chemicals would, when lightning-struck, yield similar results have all been failures.