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When Ando first gets his power, he touches Matt and Daphne who then have their power boosted many times in strength. It first seems his power is to "boost" others with powers.

However later on in the series he uses it to create bolts of red lightning which seems to incapacitate guards who don't have any powers. He then seems to forget about it boosting powers and doesn't try to use it on Hiro when Hiro gets his power back.

Is his power explained anywhere?

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Ando boosts Hiro's power in the last episode, enabling him to teleport people around the world. –  phantom42 Sep 3 '12 at 13:49
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Not really. It always seemed to me like a sort of energy overload. Think Reverse-Rogue (from X-Men). With Specials, it boosts their powers instead of taking them. With everything else, it just overloads their systems. Just speculation based on what I've seen though. The comics may go into it more. –  phantom42 Sep 3 '12 at 13:54
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I think I agree with @phantom42 on the "energy overload" theory - the first time he accidentally used it on Daphne, she wasn't even trying to use her own power. –  Izkata Sep 3 '12 at 14:52
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@JohnO they did put some thought into his powers. If only Season 5 would come out written by Whedon.... –  Pureferret Sep 3 '12 at 18:24
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@Pureferret Nonono, "Brave New World" was the perfect ending, even if they didn't get there in the best of ways. It had just the right amount of creepiness and cliffhangeriness with Sylar's reformation and final line. If they kept going, it was bound to become an X-Men knockoff, given what Claire did at the end of the finale. –  Izkata Sep 3 '12 at 18:31
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Ando's primary power is as you ave noticed to 'boost supers' powers, this is known as Supercharging. The effect this has on non-superpowered individuals is never explained in detail, but has a deleterious effect, injuring them.

The shows creators call it 'sidekick juice':

“Was Ando's ability, augmenting others' powers, motivated by his status as the show's perennial sidekick?”

Sure was. We’ve said a lot, especially here in the BTE, that powers are directly linked to people’s emotional needs. So our perennial sidekick got exactly what he needed: sidekick juice. But after what we saw Ando do to Hiro in the future, there might be more to that red lightning than just power enhancement – more like a sidekick to the groin.

It's not unusual for supers to have multiple powers though, or to have powers with multiple effects. What I think happens is the electricity-like energy that a super-powered individual would absorb usefully just wracks their system instead.

Ando has also used it to crack the combination on an electronic keypad:

'Red lightning cracking the combination on a keypad

And 'unscrambled' Hiro's brain so he can use his powers: Red lightning being used to 'fix' Hiro's brain

As such I'd guess that his main power is the ultra-fine manipulation of electrical signals. It's possible this control is fine enough to unlock other powers, not boost them. However this theory doesn't hold against the 'hormones' theory behind peoples powers in Heroes. Nothing is well defined enough to give a definitive answer.

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