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TVTropes: Mary Tzu examples - October 10, 2011

Korodzik May 15th, 2012 127 Never
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  2. !!Examples:
  4. [[foldercontrol]]
  6. [[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
  8. * ''CodeGeass'' unfortunately suffers from this as the series progresses, due to the ever-increasing use of HollywoodTactics by the strategic characters held in high esteem. Somehow, various characters are able to correctly predict the plans of their enemies no matter how convoluted they are, or how little information they have on those plans--Lelouch and Li Xinkge, especially, have a blatant exchange in the second season..
  9. ** [[spoiler: Lelouch ultimately falls into this in the climax of the series, where he predicts his opponent's every move, down to his [[TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat exact lines in a conversation,]] despite previously having been fallible.]] YMMV of course. Beyond this, Lelouch is generally ''not'' an example, as he loses just about as often as he wins, and his advantages boil down to essentially having more skilled troops and using the terrain in very unexpected ways. When these are both neutralized, he tends to lose fairly quickly.
  10. *** How about we just say that whenever he's made into a Mary Tzu, it's for the sake of plot advancement?
  11. * Light Yagami of ''DeathNote'' falls into this at times, due to being so damn good at his [[XanatosRoulette Xanatos Roulettes]] that he must be predicting the future, and because such individuals as Naomi are tailor-calibrated with precise levels of IdiotBall to show his skills. Of course, given that L, Mello and Near are all playing on his level as well and making [[ThirtySuePileup just as improbable deductions]], it does balance out.
  12. ** Kira/Light plays one successful roulette. One. And that succeeds due to random chance and ''two'' new mystical powers falling into his lap through no direct actions of his own, and succeeds at the cost of revealing how Kira kills. All of his other actions demonstrate how short-sighted and conceited he is, because every one of them ends up bringing the investigation closer to him. So that despite having a ''perfect murder tool'' he needs even more mystical help one-third into the series to not be caught. He is charismatic, capable of easily gaining people's trust, and has enough cunning to make his immediate schemes work, but his megalomania and bloodthirst almost always prevent him from thinking more than one step ahead and evaluating actual results of these schemes.
  14. [[/folder]]
  16. [[folder: Comic Books ]]
  18. * The Ultimate versions of CaptainAmerica and NickFury, especially when written by MarkMillar.
  19. * {{Batman}} villain Hush in his debut story. He orchestrates every event in the story, even ones he couldn't have predicted. To accomplish this, he's able to command, coerce, or in some way manipulate not only every member of Batman's Rogues Gallery (even TheJoker, who's historically been shown is the last person you want to involve in your XanatosGambit), but Superman as well. This all culminates (according to plan of course) in a one-on-one fight with Batman from which the Dark Knight is only rescued by a single unexpected variable when Hush is about to kill him. Later writers like Paul Dini toned this trait down.
  20. * The Black Panther. He defended an entire African nation from an invasion of shapeshifting aliens - each one of whom had the powers of a [[AllYourPowersCombined handful of different superheroes]] - with nothing but himself, one member of the XMen, and conventional (if well-equipped) troops while literally all the rest of the X-Men combined (and we mean literally ''dozens'' of them) and the California National Guard couldn't keep San Francisco from falling to the same aliens. The tentpoles of his strategy included rooting out all the shapeshifters within his own ranks [[HandWave off-screen]] and the aliens apparently forgetting that their ships can descend upon Wakanda's capitol instead of landing outside and trying to breach its defensive wall on foot.
  21. * Destiny Ajaye, from ''Genius'' by Marc Bernadin and Adam Freeman. Her character is stated to literally be the greatest tactician of the current generation, and has already demonstrated the ability to basically intuit exactly where enemy forces are so that she can destroy them.
  23. [[/folder]]
  25. [[folder: Fan Works ]]
  27. * ''LightAndDarkTheAdventuresOfDarkYagami'' is the inevitable result of inserting a MartyStu into the ''DeathNote'' world.
  28. * Admiral Zhao in ''AvatarTheAbridgedSeries'' went to the [[DeathNote Light Yagami]] School of Strategy. He can practically predict the future.
  30. [[/folder]]
  32. [[folder: Film ]]
  34. * Balian in ''KingdomOfHeaven'', moreso in the theatrical where he's just a [[TheBlacksmith blacksmith]]. (''[[ActorAllusion Not just any]] blacksmith'', perhaps?)
  36. [[/folder]]
  38. [[folder: Literature ]]
  40. * The ''RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' version of [[HistoricalDomainCharacter Zhuge Liang]]. While he was very, very good, he wasn't quite the tactician [=RotTK=] made him out to be.
  41. * Roque Alva from ''ReflectionsOfEterna'', to the point where his mere presence in battle is treated as a sure sign that his side will win by a large margin. In fact, the author got so many complaints about Alva being a MartyStu that she had to defend herself by listing historical personae who were his inspirations. However, while history has its share of unbeatable commanders, amazing fighters and peerless politicians, none of them were ''all of that at once''. While also being super-hot. Alva is the best general, the best fencer and the best marksman of his time, as well as the most influential political figure in the kingdom and the author's obvious wet dream. (For the record, his supposed "inspirations" listed by the author were widely gifted badasses... but not gifted enough to actually change the course of history of even one country, while Alva has Napoleon-level world-shaping military and political genius, but without Napoleon's ruthless personal ambition, eventual overconfidence and other flaws.) And (not unlike like good guys from later parts of ''ArciaChronicles'' by the same author) he only ever suffers setbacks because he's (secretly) way too honorable for his own good.
  42. * Justified with Mat Cauthon in the ''WheelOfTime'' -- due to being [[BecauseDestinySaysSo compelled by destiny]] literally on pain of death, he went into a door, accidentally got some of history's greatest strategists' memories, nearly got killed, and came back as a military genius that can't be defeated. He doesn't especially enjoy this, as he'd prefer to be a LoverNotAFighter. The justification comes from the fact that, while he is unrealistically successful, he does have the added pull of having destiny automatically arrange itself to make him win when he's supposed to.
  43. ** Less justified, there are the "five great generals" of [[FanNickname Randland]]. For a while, it seemed like their reputations were a lot of hype, but in ''Towers of Midnight'', we have a few chapters from Rodel Ituralde's point of view, and we see how he decides which actions to take, and how it leads him to defend a city against a ''massive'' offensive force for several weeks.
  44. * Averted by the ''{{Dragonlance}}'' Chronicles. Although Laurana has no discernible military training, she turns out to be a brilliant strategist who repeatedly pulverizes the Dragonarmies and constantly outthinks even such experienced commanders as Kitiara. The catch, though, is that we never actually ''see'' the tactics anyone uses, which avoids HollywoodTactics and makes it at least plausible that Laurana really is that good.
  45. ** Later evaluated in greater detail in a short story (''The Vingaard Campaign''), where a historian examines her strategy and tactics. The historian's descriptions manage to avert this, although they make you wonder how stupid the Dragonarmy generals must have been - she relies on mobility and facing them where they don't expect her, [[FridgeLogic even though they have just as many dragons capable of scouting as she does, if not more]]. Such tactics aren't unprecedented - Napoleon's campaigns were conducted similarly - but it does stretch either Laurana's credibility as a realistic commander or the Dragonarmy generals' credibility as competent adversaries.
  46. * Conrad Stargard from Leo Frankowski's Crosstime Engineer series, even thought he is a mechanical engineer by trade. Partly justified in that even basic 20th century tactics are more effective than the medieval tactics as-presented of "line up facing each other and run at each other with swords drawn." Mostly justified that by later novels Conrad has turned into a MartyStu TurnedUpToEleven.
  47. * Kahlan Amnell from ''TheSwordOfTruth'' manages to pull off victory after victory against a military force that has conquered vast sections of the world and vastly outnumbers hers, while using inexperienced soldiers. While one might expect this to involve stuff like attacking the giant supply lines that would be needed to support a huge army far from home, it mostly works because of the sheer stupidity of this unstoppable military force and unorthodox (and in some cases ''physically impossible'') tactics. Such as leaving poisoned wine in the road for the enemy army to drink, which naturally they chug down without a second thought. Stringing a heavy chain between two horses and running them along either side of the enemy picket line to cripple their horses. Inexplicably the chain doesn't get stopped by horses falling on it, or by the posts of the picket line. Stripping her soldiers naked (in winter, in the mountains), and covering them in whitewash so that the enemy will think they're ghosts.
  48. * The eponymous hero of "Bellarion The Fortunate" by RafaelSabatini (1926). A nameless bastard, abandoned as a child, and raised in a monastery in 15th century Italy, rises through intelligence, lies, trickery, murder, military genius, and many a XanatosGambit to be a condottiere, prince and kingmaker. Oh, and he gets the girl too. It's a wonderful, old-school read though.
  49. * Cletus Graeme from the first book of the original Dorsai trilogy, ''The Tactics of Mistake''. Right from the start of the book, he's out-thinking, out-plotting and out-maneuvering everyone in the human race -- except the woman who becomes his love interest, whom he really doesn't understand at all -- or does he?
  50. * Julian 'Bean' Delphiki is the brightest military mastermind the Battle School ever sees in ''Ender's Game''. Which, since Ender himself was already written as a world-shattering mega-super-genius, puts Bean somewhat BeyondTheImpossible. Did we mention he was plotting battle strategies at the age of three?
  51. * ''TheThrawnTrilogy'': Grand Admiral Thrawn. Some fans find the precision and accuracy with which he analyzes his enemies and predicts their responses to be difficult to swallow, along with his assertion that studying a species' or individual's art can offer insight into their responses.
  53. [[/folder]]
  55. [[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
  57. * ''{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
  58. ** Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed, whose Tactical Genius allows any unit under his command to move to a more advantageous position on the battlefield or outflank the enemy. MemeticMutation has inflated this into an ability to make any of his units ''invisible'' to enemy - up to 300 metre-tall walking battle cathedrals. Unsurprisingly, he's the Trope Image for DidYouJustScamCthulhu.
  59. *** Its canon too no less, by the mare fact that he was there he turned what would have been a crushing ambushed that would have broken Caidan's defences into a CurbStompBattle that broke chaos' forces.
  60. ** The Emperor and Horus.
  61. ** The other Primarchs, in their own special brand of warfare.
  62. * ''{{Exalted}}'': First Age Dawn generals; they can formulate strategies and tactics that reality previously could not accommodate for, but do now, and cannot be ever repeated by anyone not as awesome as them (spoilers: nobody). Given, they were given such reality-breaking genius in order to fight things that came up with reality in the first place.
  64. [[/folder]]
  66. [[folder: Toys ]]
  68. * [[BigBad Makuta]], from ''{{Bionicle}}'' tends to look like this due to how ludicrously complicated his plans are and never seems to be hindered by any setbacks in the slightest. This gets lampshaded by other characters constantly.
  70. [[/folder]]
  72. [[folder: Video Games ]]
  74. * ''SuikodenIV'': The strategist miss Sliverburg. We're facing a massive Empire with only one ship and a couple dozen soldiers, less than half who actually fight! Tell us how to beat this foe! Band together with the four or five other towns so they send us about two warriors each and attack one coastal fortress on the tip of their empire to kill one man? Erm...Not gonna get in touch with that other empire they're at war with? Find some more of these True Runes? Make a standing army?
  75. * [[WhiteHairedPrettyBoy Hanbe Takenaka]] from ''{{Sengoku Basara}}'' , even though he loves to [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty play dirty]]. Lucky for everyone else, [[IncurableCoughOfDeath he's dying]].
  76. * Much like his [[RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms ROTK]] counterpart, Zhuge Liang of [[DynastyWarriors Dynasty Warriors]]is portrayed as an incredible strategist who was just about single-handedly responsible for Shu's rise to power. Many of the other strategists throughout the series have themselves being compared to him in some way or another. (Sima Yi and Zhou Yu are usually the first to come to mind.)
  78. [[/folder]]
  80. [[folder: Western Animation ]]
  82. * ''GIJoe The Animated Series''
  83. ** Serpentor was designed by Dr. Mindbender to become one of these by combining the DNA of history's greatest commanders, but was thwarted when Sgt. Slaughter prevented him from obtaining the [[SunTzu Trope Namer]]'s DNA. As a result Serpentor is still a formidable opponent, but not infallible.
  84. ** The filecard for Destro's general, Voltar, is written as such. Voltar was an extremely successful mercenary commander. He was too successful for his continued presence to by tolerated by the provisional governments, revolutionary councils, and military dictatorships that employed him. He could pluck victory from seemingly imminent defeat in complete defiance of the odds, always just one step ahead of disaster, never looking back.
  86. [[/folder]]
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