View Full Version : What makes a battle "epic"?

Ryusuke Hikari
26th January 2006, 11:55 PM
I've been pondering this for awhile now. What exactly does make a battle epic? Is it how it's described in a fic or shown in a movie, etc.? The action of the characters? Or something else? O_o I have no idea.

Only asking because I don't know how to make battles in fics epic. ^_^;

RaZoR LeAf
27th January 2006, 12:19 AM
I see it as something you can watch or read again and again and never find it boring. The battle at Minas Tirith in Return of the King, or the battle at the start of Gladiator, or in Literature pretty much any battle in Pokemon Master.

It doesn't matter what or who is battling, so long as it grabs your interest and keeps it through out. I imagine it's difficult to get right, but once you have it, you have your audience.

Seijiro Mafuné
27th January 2006, 12:39 AM
Well, here are some things that make battles 'epic'.

The opponents. Epic battles almost always involve a big, almost invincible foe, and the struggle of the weaker heroes against this foe.

The emotions given. You have to make your readers worry about the heroes. Conveying the ways they feel nervous, scared, surprised: if you can't do it, the epicness is weaker.

Also, a feeling of dread is fundamental.

27th January 2006, 12:42 AM
What makes a battle epic, as I believe, is its essence and purpose. What is the cause of the fight? What are the circumstances that await? How many people or lands will it affect, and will its impact be phenomenal? A Pokémon battle, for instance, is such a minor fight compared to something else, such as the battle at Minas Tirith (like RL mentioned), but it still has a purpose, which is actually to KO someone else's Pokémon and pawn them XD Then, there's revolutionary battles, such as forces rising against forces stronger than themselves. For example, in my "Alice," Alice Liddell is a girl fighting for the inhabitants of Wonderland, for the wicked Queen of Hearts has enslaved them and morphed the mad world into a realm of insane torture. In the end, Alice and the Red Queen will fight, and whatever the outcome is, it will affect Wonderland forever. If Alice wins, everyone will be free, and peace will be restored. If the Queen wins, Alice dies as her parents did, and Wonderland will be pressed under the Queen's thumb with more pressure than the last time.

So you see, it's mostly what will become of everything surrounding a battle, and the change that battles fight for, IMO.

EDIT: Seijiro's right as well. Big foes equal more fear and the dread of trying to overcome such a crushingly powerful force. The main character, or the hero, is fighting for a cause, and to place more twists than good defeating evil, will have suffered great losses to get that far, rather than their own life. Their survival until the final showdown is what makes their entire bodies pump with adrenaline, that they've crossed boundaries and succeeded in coming over things they didn't think they could. The fate that is sealed on the outcome of a battle will make their heart race, and the past that drove them there is an epic itself in a sense of accomplishment.

Ryusuke Hikari
27th January 2006, 1:39 AM
Hmm...so, the essence, emotion, and meaning make a battle epic. :) Thanks for the advice! ^_^ Your examples really helped me out!

27th January 2006, 2:23 AM
Epic battle for me would be...

Earth's mightiest heroes against a foe no single hero or heroine can withstand, alone. United they stand a chance against the foe, divided...they fall. Heroes fighting a seemingly loosing battle against an organization out for their blood or others with powers. The battle has to be full of raw emotion, tension and drama. Long and descriptive. Taking a long time.

That's epic!


Kyle of Pallet
28th January 2006, 6:37 PM
Usually, an "Epic" battle has the opponet either the same strength as the protagonist or stronger. Like in the video-game Phantom Brave, when you face dark Sprout and Sulpher at the end, Sprout has insane stats, and Sulpher starts out invincible, so there is a sense of finality, of go big or go home senses.

Also, it helps if you keep hinting at this battle constantly. Usually, this makes epic battles at the Climax or at the Resolution actions of the story. Anagin, in Phantom Brave, ever since this one point, I always knew that Marona will end up facing Sprout, I just knew it!

Also, keep going through what the characters are thinking. That gives me at least the snese that all of the characters are involved some how.

Mew King
29th January 2006, 2:21 AM
An epic battle for me is usually the last battle. It determines whether the enemy is finally defeated (usually its the head of something who has no powerful minions left) or if the hero is left dead. Usually, the villain almost kills the hero, but somehow in a quick Mary-Sue-esque moment, the hero kills the villain (who is also at that point almost dead).

T.W. North
1st February 2006, 8:44 AM
An epic battle isn't always last, but it can rarely be first. An epic battle can actually be just about anything, truely. If done properly, a hunter chasing after a fox can be an epic battle. The main hero versus' and ordinary henchman can be an epic battle, but it'd mean the hero has no chance against the main villian. However, this can be used to your advantage, but that's another story...back to the examples. Two ordinary soldiers fighting each other can be an epic battle, for them at least. Two generals, a debate, a contest - they can all be epic battles. Just use your imagination.