Trope Workshop:Average in One World, Powerful in Another

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An average person finds himself in another world where they may come across learning they have superpowers or an item that can grant them one. After being sent back to the real world, the person would have no powers. The nature of the other world would have an empowering effect on people or certain items. This trope involves two worlds that can be accessed through different means like teleportation or a portal. In the case of being Trapped in Another World, characters may become normal when they find a way back home; well, if they even want to go home.

Heavyworlder is a subtrope more common in Sci-Fi. See also HAD to Be Sharp for adaptations or training forced by harsh environment (natural or unnatural) on its inhabitants.

A staple trope of the Portal Fantasy sub-genre.

Examples of Average in One World, Powerful in Another include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Yumeria, anyone who enters Moera gains a colorful skin-tight outfit, along with powers and weapons. Additionally, the main character can also give others a boost in power and combine their attacks.
  • Averted in Fairy Tail, where the characters are brought to Edolas and can't use magic unless they use specific equipment. This problem is solved when they swallow a crystal, which allows them to use magic normally.
  • In Dream Eater Merry, Yumeji has an ability he calls Lucid Gear to only be used in a Daydream. Later on, he then becomes able to use his power in reality when Rem summons dream Demons into the real world.
    • There is also Ren Hinaki, who shared a symbiotic relationship with the Dream Demon, Quartier Latin. When in a Day Dream, they can do a Dream Phase Union to fight other Dream Demons.
  • Played with in the manga Isekai Ojisan: when the titular character was dragged to a fantasy world, he initially didn't have any special powers there, but after he was given the gift of knowing the local language he was able to learn their magic system. Then, when he is returned to the modern world 17 years later, he still has the knowledge and can use magic.
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World, one of the earlier Isekai licensed for release in North America, has four people gain powers when they are transported from Earth to El-Hazard. (Which powers they get depends on which continuity they are in.) At the end, at least one of the people returns to Earth.
  • There's no evidence that the main characters of Magic Knight Rayearth get to keep their new-found abilities when they return to Earth.
  • MÄR has people from Earth that are teleported to MÄR-Heaven gain superhuman strength and better eyesight due to it's lower gravity.
  • In The Devil is a Part-timer, magic on Earth is limited, where demons and angels use other means compared to when they are on Ente Isla.
  • In Log Horizon, gamers get spells and powers based on their in-game avatars. When in the real world, they're just typical normal humans. [context?]
  • Flip Flappers has Pure Illusion where those who can synchronize with a crystal called an Amorphous Piece can Flip Flap. This process gives the Flip Flappers magical powers with a transformed state that provides superhuman abilities and weapons.
  • Present in Yuki Yuna is a Hero, where Heroes use the Hero System to go into another realm called the Jukai to defend the Shinju from the Vertex. They gain superhuman strength, speed, stamina, eyesight, armor, and a Fairy companion in this other reality.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya have Espers that cannot access their powers unless in a Closed Space or a similar dimension.
  • Corrector Yui have people called Correctors who use a ComCon to go into the ComNet without a VR unit. As a Corrector in the ComNet, they can use Element Suits that are given by Corrector AIs.
  • Infinite Dendrogram isn't a VRMMO but an actual world with living people and monsters where players have real powers.
  • Fairy Tale Battle Royale have people appear in fairy tale settings as the main characters of these stories. Depending on the character, they are granted their abilities, much like the fictional character.
  • In Digimon Tamers, the Tamers and their Digimon partners can Biomerge in the Digital World to reach their Mega levels. In the real world, they cannot Biomerge like in the Digital World due to not being made of data, except through alternatives.
  • Downplayed in Kinnikuman: By invoking Bergmann's Rule, Lunaight can tower over his opponent. This ability can best be used on the Planet Earth, as his ancestors originally came from there. He can't use this ability in the Omega Cluster at all because that won't awaken his ancestors' genetics. Still, he's a powerful Chojin, so he doesn't need to rely upon Bergmann's Rule.

Comic Books

  • People known as Travelers, Dreamland, where they gain access to the titular setting by facing their phobia and gaining a power related to it.
  • Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld in the original series featured Amy Winston, a normal teenage girl who travels to the magic-ruled Gemworld and transforms into Princess Amethyst. While on Earth she's a normal girl without any powers, on Gemworld she possesses the magical powers of the House of Amethyst.


Live-Action TV

  • In Denkou Choujin Gridman, Naoto, with the use of the Acceptor and the computer made of junk parts called Junk to fuse with the Hyper Police, Gridman, to fight Kaiju in the Computer World.
  • In Zixx, certain people can access another dimension known as the Keep, the last legacy of an ancient race. When any person enters this realm, a person will become similar to a video game character with abilities and tools in the Keep.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

Tabletop Games

  • An inverted example from d20 Modern‍'‍s "Urban Arcana" setting: monsters from Dungeons & Dragons fall to Earth as "Shadowkind". Monsters that are large physical combatants aren't special on their home world, but pose the greatest danger in the "real" world due to the high density of civilians, weapon restrictions, and the lower power level of heroes (especially heroic magic users). This is especially true of anything with damage reduction that requires magic to bypass it -- in D&D one is expected to have a magic weapon by about level 4 and can find ways to have one temporarily from the first level, but in Urban Arcana any kind of magic weapon is exceptionally rare and likely archaic even if you find one.

Video Games

  • Tokyo Xanadu has the Eclipse, which is an overlap of reality with the Spirit World where certain people can use armaments called Soul Devices used to fight against creatures called Greed.
  • Subverted in the Fighting Games spinoffs for Persona 4 and 5 where the characters can summon their Personas outside the TV World and the Metaverse. The characters within the setting believe that they can only summon them in these alternate dimensions, but under heavy duress or with the use of an evoker they can do it in the real world, although not with the same level of power.
  • The Longest Journey has the two worlds of Stark and Arcadia that each society is based on science or magic, respectively. A shifter can go between the two and have access to magic while in Arcadia. Stark favors science and technology compared to the use of magic in the Arcadia.
  • In Viewtiful Joe, the V-Watch cannot be used in the Real World and only in Movieland. The V-Camera, introduced in Double Trouble, is used to circumvent this limitation, by filming Joe to transform into his alter ego.
  • The Mario Bros., in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, are as strong as they normally are in the rest of the Mario & Luigi series. But in the Dream World, Mario gains a mild boost to his stats, and his regular attacks are turned into crowd-clearing AoE moves.
  • The Holy Instruments, from Dual Hearts, can only take a tangible form in the Dream World that Rumble can wield.
  • In Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE, the Idolasphere where monsters called Mirages resides and feast on people's Performa (creative energy from people). Certain people called Mirage Masters bond with a Mirage by giving their Performa willingly to the monster granting them powers and appearance similar to the Mirage while in the Idolasphere.
  • In Mega Man Star Force series, a compatible human and EM Wave Being can perform an EM Wave Change that allows access to the Wave World. The human can interact with devices, access to the powers of the EM Wave Being, and can use Battle Cards as weapons.

Web Comics

  • In Layers, particular teenagers can teleport to another world called Layer and have various powers such as telekinesis.
  • In Her Summon, a summoner transports Jin-Kyung to her world whenever she gets in danger. He gains magical powers by using mundane items as a conduit for spells but loses his magic on Earth.
  • Hardcore Leveling Warrior has the virtual reality game of Lucid Adventure turns out to be an actual world. Lucid Adventure's world is contained within a sub-space that can connect to players' consciousness through their dreams, which they can play when they fall asleep.
  • In the Dreamland Chronicles, Alex, when in Dreamland, has the Sword of Kings when he goes into that world. He also has magic armor and the ability to fly. Later on, his fraternal twin brother, Dan, gains the ability to dream and can use lucid dreaming, giving him complete control over his dream form.

Western Animation

  • Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone has a group of children, and their dog is average until they each have special powers while in the Dream Zone.
  • Twelve Forever has three protagonists who can teleport themselves to Endless Island, where each has a unique power. Twelve get superhuman strength, Esther can create constructs from light, and Todd is a shapeshifter.
  • In Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero, Penn, Boone, and Sashi take over heroes in another dimension with superpowers or other abilities depending on the overshadowed hero. The villains, Rippen and Larry, may get powers much like the heroes depending on the villain they possess.
  • In Code Lyoko whenever a person gets Virtualized into Lyoko to gain a form and abilities that seem to be based on their personality.
  • From Chalk Zone, Magic Chalk is ordinary chalk, while in the real world, it can open a portal to the zone and draw anything when in an artist's hands.
  • Space Jam has any person who enters the Loony Tunes World can become like a cartoon character.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Averted, in Orko's home dimension, he's an excellent mage and enough to challenge the Istari. While Eternia's magic environment crippled him so much that he comes across as inept. Even though he is weakened, he has been learning how to use magic from scratch in Eternia, which gained Adam's respect.

Other Media