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Talk:Mimicry

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A proposition

Clearly the lines have been extremely blurred as to where some powers end and others begin. We find ourselves at a crossroads where we have to figure out how to distinguish one power from another. One particular instance of this lies in the powers of Peter Petrelli and Gabriel Gray. Previously, their powers have been referred to as empathic mimicry and intuitive aptitude, respectively.

However, as we have discovered, Sylar has shown the ability to copy abilities almost identically to Peter, without having taken his power. The question lies therein: Are Peter and Sylar's powers actually different at all? So far the only difference we've seen is the method of using their power (similar to the difference between Niki Sanders and Knox).

Thus, I would like to propose this as a possibility: because neither empathic mimicry nor intuitive aptitude is explicitly named in the show (yes, both are named in near-canon sources, bear with me), we might choose to call the power, which both of them have, simply mimicry, while noting that Peter's use of the power is empathic mimicry and Sylar's use of the power is intuitive mimicry.

I would like to add to this proposal as argument for it that while yes, Sylar's ability has been called intuitive aptitude in a near-canon source, the point at which that file was written (in the Heroes universe) was before Sylar had unlocked his ability to mimic powers without seeing their brain.

Does anyone (particularly admins) think this is a plausible option?

- Ricard Desi 16:15, 25 November 2008 (EST)

PS. Due to the existence of other mimicries, this could also theoretically be listed as ability mimicry or otherwise. Ricard Desi 16:16, 25 November 2008 (EST)
  • In my opinion, I think Sylar developed electricity through understanding what the power* is and how it manifests instead on how to reproduce it. Like seeing how to write a sentence and copy it. Peter copies like a sponge, Sylar is more like a xerox machine. If the lightning had a different color, it would confirm my theory. - Discipol
  • Ricard Desi, I'll buy your proposal! I'll see if I can get anyone else to weigh in, too. --SacValleyDweller (talk) 23:00, 25 November 2008 (EST)
  • I too have had thoughts along similar lines. I have developed my own ability homology which I am not yet ready to share, as I must work for a living ;) --Dumpster juice 23:19, 25 November 2008 (EST)
    • It's an interesting idea, especially considering that we list Niki and Knox as having the same power (which I still disagree with ;) ), but I would vote we wait for more information before merging major pages like that, especially since it would require a site-wide overhaul. Right now, all we have is the BTE interview somewhat+ confirming they have the same ability, but it may be that they each have both abilities, not that the abilities are the same. And if we end up doing that, it would seem there'd be no reason not to merge precognition and precognitive dreaming, something for which no consensus could be reached. I also think that intuitive aptitude may be more than just a way to access mimicry, as Gabriel/Sylar has used it for other purposes (ie - to understand how things other than the human brain/powers work)
+ I say somewhat because, although 'It's not' (in reference to Sylar using his ability to ‘understand how things work’ through empathy being different than Peter's ability) is a direct answer, it really isn't that informative of what's going on. It's possible they meant that, while Sylar using his intuitive aptitude to access the empathic mimicry power is the same thing Peter does, it's still a different ability (eg - using IA to access EM is only one facet of that power). --Stevehim 23:52, 25 November 2008 (EST)
  • I'm not sure. I don't feel comfortable going against explicitly named powers. What Sylar and Peter can do can both be classified as "mimicry", but is that oversimplification? That same name could also include Arthur's ability, or Monica's ability, or even Julien's. Likewise, Elle's ability and the teenage patient's abilities could both be classified under electricity. That doesn't mean they're the same abilities or that they should be on the same page. "Mimicry" is good for a disambig page. Ultimately, if the Company called Peter's ability "empathic mimicry" (even if it's spelled wrong) and Sylar's ability "intuitive aptitude", then I think we should do the same thing. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 23:53, 25 November 2008 (EST)
  • I agree with Ryan's reasons to oppose the merge. I can see adding a page about ability mimicry, but as only as a redirect to the current disambig page we have on mimicry. I've at least three additional reasons to oppose merging the abilities.
    1) In the CBR, the writers confirmed that what Sylar did to learn lightning via empathy was the same as Peter's ability, but that doesn't mean Sylar's ability is Peter's ability. It could just mean that Sylar unknowingly learned Peter's power.
    2) Just cause Sylar was able to use what amounts to Peter's ability without learning it from him, that doesn't mean that Peter could learn Sylar's ability without absorbing it first from Sylar.
    3) The abilities do something different. The primary aspect of Sylar's ability is instinctively being able to understand how things work upon seeing them, not just for abilities. Copying abilities is not the primary aspect. And for Peter, his ability's primary aspect is copying abilities, and he doesn't instinctively understand things like Sylar does.--MiamiVolts (talk) 00:22, 26 November 2008 (EST)
    • Yeah I agree with MiamiVolts, they confirmed Sylar can use his ability like Peter's, and that's no different than Pete's, but did not confirm that it's the same ability. Sylar's is still 'understand how thing work' (even through empathy), where Peter's is 'emphatically feeling' others. --Powermimic 02:39, 26 November 2008 (EST)
  • I'm against merging them, mostly because there are at least half a dozen types of mimicry. Leaving it as a disambig page is the way to go, in my opinion. Miami, regarding your first point, I don't see how Sylar could have unknowingly learned Peter's ability. He never looked at Peter's brain, and the only other explanation would be that he mimicked it, which means he had EM all along. Regarding your second, Peter already absorbed Sylar's ability once, when he went to the AF where Sylar has a son named Noah, remember? The way I see it, Peter has EM and Sylar has both EM and IA. However, Sylar has trouble using his EM, because you need to be empathic towards someone to absorb their ability via empathic mimicry, as was the case with Elle in the holding cell. Arnor 08:15, 3 December 2008 (EST)
  • I did offer up "ability mimicry" as an alternative, realizing how many mimicries there actually are. The disambig page would still be there. Technically, Peter absorbed IA at Union Wells during Homecoming, he just didn't understand how it worked (Ironic, no?) --Ricard Desi 12:06, 3 December 2008 (EST)
  • I vote we create a page dedicated to ability mimicry and/or theft in any way shape or form. EmpathicMimic0

How could Sylar "unknowingly learn" Peter's ability? That's contradictory. You don't learn something without knowing you're doing it. I say, keep the articles separate. Peter empathically mimics (Or at least did empathically mimic) the abilities of those around him, whereas Sylar understands how things work. And if he sees how an ability works, then he knows how to use it, how to control it, and what can and can't be done with it. He can also understand a person's emotions and emotional problems, and how to fix those problems. If he does that, he manifests the person's ability (Though he seems to have to be exposed to the ability a whole lot, kinda like a Blue Mage from Final Fantasy.). It's not empathy. He's just fixing emotional problems, and manifesting abilities at the same time.--ERROR 20:53, 27 May 2009 (EDT)