That ominous orb has me pondering an ominous question: Is anything truly indestructible? 

I mean sure, you can invent some super-metal or imbue your MacGuffin with plot armor (along with cruelty, malice, etc.). But that’s just the trick that power level pulls in Dragon Ball Z. These things only exist so that we can go “holy crap!” when the impossible happens. The shield breaks. The ring melts. Vegeta crushes his scouter in disgust.

I think there’s a reason that these things happen. When it comes to narrative, change is more useful than stasis. Invincible and invulnerable means that the story is over. “We’re stuck like this forever” is tantamount to “then end.” So in that sense, I would like to propose The Gordian Trope. This trope states that, for any narrative state, it is possible to change that state. In other words, when it comes to storytelling, unstoppable force really is more powerful than immovable object.

Think of the Kobayashi Maru. Think of Plus Ultra. Think of any impossible jam that your protagonist of choice has gotten themselves into. And remember that they found a way out. It’s the same reason that Morpheus wins his duel against Choronzon. You never run out of hope.

I think that’s why (as today’s hover text reminds us) there’s always a way to destroy those pesky indestructible artifacts. Here are a few chosen at random to illustrate the principle.

  • warding box can be destroyed by placing a portable hole inside it, closing the lid, and then placing the box inside a second portable hole. This second portable hole must be closed, and then a wish must be used to switch the two portable holes. Doing so destroys both portable holes and the warding box along with them.
  • Melting a torc of the heavens in a cauldron filled with the boiling blood of an ancient red dragon destroys it.
  • If a talisman of ultimate evil is given to the newborn child of a redeemed villain, it instantly crumbles to dust.

These things are not easy to do. They are in fact obnoxiously hard to do. They require convoluted thinking, specific situations, and enough heroics to make the impossible feel earned.

So here’s my question for today’s discussion! What “impossible task” did you manage to achieve in a game? Was it the destruction of an artifact? The dissolution of an undying evil? Perhaps you managed to punch a hole in reality? Or conversely, is The Gordian Trope a steaming pile of BS on account of [reasons]? Whatever your take, tell us all about your favorite unbreakable objects, and how you managed to smash them to smithereens!


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