History Main / OverRatedAndUnderLeveled

17th Jan '18 3:01:56 PM Darkfire545
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** Jeorge of the Archanea series is notable for being renowned as the "greatest sniper on the continent" but is a prepromote who's average and not really noteworthy statwise. This is explained in-game, however: due to the high-class nature of his bloodline, people have been spreading ridiculously exaggerated rumors about him, leading to this false reputation.
3rd Jan '18 10:09:49 AM Potman
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** And speaking of Steiner, he too gets hit by this trope fairly hard: he's consistently billed as Beatrix's equal, even accidentally wounded her in a sparring match once, yet at the beginning of the game he's on first level.
21st Dec '17 1:09:54 AM Cryoclaste
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** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'', Sora enters Castle Oblivion just days after beating the final boss of the first game. If you remember, by then Sora had become quite the capable fighter, but [[spoiler:Marluxia]] informs him that right as he entered Castle Oblivion, he forgot all of his abilities and had to re-learn them. However, at the end of Chain of Memories, Sora is [[spoiler:put to sleep for a year, having his memories also siphoned off during the events of 358/2 days]] and by the events of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', is level one again and has to re-learn all his magic while also picking up new tricks. [[FridgeBrilliance It's easy to assume he still knew these; just didn't immediately remember them right off the bat.]] ''KingdomHearts3D'' justifies Sora and Riku being rewound to level one because they must "Restart their training".

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** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'', Sora enters Castle Oblivion just days after beating the final boss of the first game. If you remember, by then Sora had become quite the capable fighter, but [[spoiler:Marluxia]] informs him that right as he entered Castle Oblivion, he forgot all of his abilities and had to re-learn them. However, at the end of Chain of Memories, Sora is [[spoiler:put to sleep for a year, having his memories also siphoned off during the events of 358/2 days]] and by the events of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', is level one again and has to re-learn all his magic while also picking up new tricks. [[FridgeBrilliance It's easy to assume he still knew these; just didn't immediately remember them right off the bat.]] ''KingdomHearts3D'' ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3D'' justifies Sora and Riku being rewound to level one because they must "Restart their training".
1st Dec '17 9:08:17 AM BeerBaron
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* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'':
** Ulfric Stormcloak, should the player pursue the Imperial questline. The game practically turns Ulfric into a king-slaying, [[LoudOfWar Thu'um throwing]], MemeticBadass, if dialogue is to be believed. Yet when an Imperial-Alligned Dragonborn storms his castle, his own [[TheDragon Dragon]] is harder to kill than him. The meta reason takes this trope literally. Up until patch 1.6, all [=NPCs=] were leveled based on when the player first encounters them. And Ulfric is the 3rd character you see in the opening sequence. So, you were essentially fighting what would be a challenging enemy, ''if you were at level 1''. Even with the patch to buff his health, his outfit possesses a whopping '''7''' armor rating (the weakest item in the weakest armor set in the game gives an 8), so any decently-skilled character will wipe the floor with him. Humorously, if one uses the console to spawn Torygg (the king he murdered) and set them to attack each other, Torygg will win most of the time, even if Ulfric shouts him down.
** Lord Harkon, BigBad of the ''Dawnguard'' DLC, claims that the Vampire Lord transformation will make you "a lion among lambs". Regular city guards can defeat you easily in this form, and you're often better off as your normal self, as the Vampire Lord cannot use equipment (other than certain rings) and doesn't have access to your regular set of spells. It can be useful in areas where you're deprived of your regular equipment, such as Cidhna Mine.
** Several of the Daedric artifacts are talked up as world-shakingly powerful, which they don't live up to. The Rueful Axe is described by its creator as "incredibly powerful" and gaurds will remark on how it could cut through ''gods''. While it's got good base damage, it's far from the most dangerous of its type, and its enchantment adds stamina damage, which is hardly that exciting. Similarly, the Ebony Blade is said to drive its wielders mad (hard to make that happen with the player character) and is talked up as being incredibly dangerous because it's used to kill its wielder's friends "as they smile at you". It does not have any particular extra offensive effects specifically against friendlies (other than a ritual to power it up) - and even if it did, that wouldn't be very useful since your friends are not a major threat. Every other weapon is just as good at hurting friendly targets, if that's what you want to do.
* Rodi, one of your three main characters in ''Videogame/ShiningTheHolyArk'' was the first boss and managed fairly well against the combined might of three "experienced" mercenaries. However we he joins your party he's back down to the low levels. HandWaved with the fact some rocks falling on his head caused [[LaserGuidedAmnesia amnesia]].

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* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'':
''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** While certainly not in the [[InfinityPlusOneSword majority of cases]], a handful of "artifact" class weapons and items throughout the series tend to fall into this. Despite being items of [[LegendaryWeapon legend]], often crafted by and associated with [[OurGodsAreDifferent divine beings]], they often aren't even as powerful as generic items of the same time which have been [[ItemCrafting custom enchanted]] by the player.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'':
***
Ulfric Stormcloak, should the player pursue the Imperial questline. The game practically turns Ulfric into a king-slaying, [[LoudOfWar Thu'um throwing]], MemeticBadass, if dialogue is to be believed. Yet when an Imperial-Alligned Dragonborn storms his castle, his own [[TheDragon Dragon]] is harder to kill than him. The meta reason takes this trope literally. Up until patch 1.6, all [=NPCs=] were leveled based on when the player first encounters them. And Ulfric is the 3rd character you see in the opening sequence. So, you were essentially fighting what would be a challenging enemy, ''if you were at level 1''. Even with the patch to buff his health, his outfit possesses a whopping '''7''' armor rating (the weakest item in the weakest armor set in the game gives an 8), so any decently-skilled character will wipe the floor with him. Humorously, if one uses the console to spawn Torygg (the king he murdered) and set them to attack each other, Torygg will win most of the time, even if Ulfric shouts him down.
** *** Lord Harkon, BigBad of the ''Dawnguard'' DLC, claims that the Vampire Lord transformation will make you "a lion among lambs". Regular city guards can defeat you easily in this form, and you're often better off as your normal self, as the Vampire Lord cannot use equipment (other than certain rings) and doesn't have access to your regular set of spells. It can be useful in areas where you're deprived of your regular equipment, such as Cidhna Mine.
** *** Several of the Daedric artifacts are talked up as world-shakingly powerful, which they don't live up to. The For example, the Rueful Axe is described by its creator as "incredibly powerful" and gaurds will remark on how it could cut through ''gods''. While it's got good base damage, it's far from the most dangerous of its type, and its enchantment adds stamina damage, which is hardly that exciting. Similarly, the Ebony Blade is said to drive its wielders mad (hard to make that happen with the player character) and is talked up as being incredibly dangerous because it's used to kill its wielder's friends "as they smile at you". It does not have any particular extra offensive effects specifically against friendlies (other than a ritual to power it up) - and even if it did, that wouldn't be very useful since your friends are not a major threat. Every other weapon is just as good at hurting friendly targets, if that's what you want to do.
* Rodi, one of your three main characters in ''Videogame/ShiningTheHolyArk'' was the first boss and managed fairly well against the combined might of three "experienced" mercenaries. However we he joins your party he's back down to the low levels. HandWaved with the fact some rocks falling on his head caused [[LaserGuidedAmnesia amnesia]].
30th Oct '17 11:59:53 PM Nicoaln
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** And Ashlay in ''VideoGame/StarOcean1'', who is a grizzled and aged veteran, swordsman known the world over, personal friend of most of the world's royalty... and joins at level 15, only to be very quickly overshadowed by Ratix.

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** And Ashlay in ''VideoGame/StarOcean1'', who is a grizzled and aged veteran, swordsman known the world over, personal friend of most of the world's royalty... and joins at level 15, only to be very quickly overshadowed by Ratix. However, unlike most examples of this trope, there is an easy way to justify this though: Much of the story of his skills were in the past, by now he's obviously past his prime thanks to being almost ''sixty'' years old ''and'' he only has the use of one arm (in the remake, he is flat out ''missing'' the arm.) Ashlay actually plays this trope [[RealityEnsues fairy realistically]] too - Sure he knows a lot of technique, but [[CrutchCharacter isn't very good long-run]] because he literally is an old man.
15th Oct '17 4:39:31 AM DavidCowie
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** ''VideoGame/{{XCOMEnemyUnknown}} and its sequel avert this. Your soldiers have a standard 70% Chance to hit, and generally good chances to avoid panicking. The former is amazing by real life standards and the latter is good as well, considering that the game takes place in an alien invasion.

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** ''VideoGame/{{XCOMEnemyUnknown}} ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'' and its sequel avert this. Your soldiers have a standard 70% Chance to hit, and generally good chances to avoid panicking. The former is amazing by real life standards and the latter is good as well, considering that the game takes place in an alien invasion.
19th Aug '17 12:56:02 AM jormis29
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* ''Franchise/TotalWar'':

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* ''Franchise/TotalWar'':''VideoGame/TotalWar'':
5th Aug '17 7:29:21 PM Rakt
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** Jack, supposedly the most powerful biotic ever born, is actually inferior to virtually all the other biotics in your team due to her bad power set.

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** Jack, supposedly the most powerful human biotic ever born, is actually inferior to virtually all the other biotics in your team due to her bad power set.
2nd Aug '17 4:10:14 PM LentilSandEater
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* In ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'', at the end of the game, you can add [[spoiler:Arronax]] to your party. While he's at the maximum possible level allowed by the game engine, he equips no weapons nor armour, and most of the time prefers fists to his (quite decent) magic. This may, however, just be a result of a glitch. [[spoiler:The dude single-handedly destroyed advanced technological civilization and was bad enough to be generally regarded as his world's Crystal Dragon Satan. It can be Lampshaded in that he had few occasions to practice his powers during the last two thousand years. This also happens to the other Banished villains - for example, a half-man-half-dragon creature whom the collective of most powerful mages of the world defeated after days-long battle.]]

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* In ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'', at ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'':
** At
the end of the game, you can add [[spoiler:Arronax]] to your party. While he's at the maximum possible level allowed by the game engine, he equips no weapons nor armour, and most of the time prefers fists to his (quite decent) magic. This may, however, just be a result of a glitch. [[spoiler:The dude single-handedly destroyed advanced technological civilization and was bad enough to be generally regarded as his world's Crystal Dragon Satan. It can be Lampshaded in that he had few occasions to practice his powers during the last two thousand years. This also happens to the other Banished villains - for example, a half-man-half-dragon creature whom the collective of most powerful mages of the world defeated after days-long battle.]]



*** Franklin Payne (GentlemanAdventurer!) is hyped continent-wide for his famous and daring expeditions. By the time you qualify to invite him, any gunslingers currently in the party could have been better developed and better equipped, and all other character types are more effective in their specialty and still broadly useful. Franklin is a nice chap for such a GloryHound, and entertaining to listen to, but he's a little late for the TrueCompanions.

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*** ** Franklin Payne (GentlemanAdventurer!) is hyped continent-wide for his famous and daring expeditions. By the time you qualify to invite him, any gunslingers currently in the party could have been better developed and better equipped, and all other character types are more effective in their specialty and still broadly useful. Franklin is a nice chap for such a GloryHound, and entertaining to listen to, but he's a little late for the TrueCompanions.



* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'', [[spoiler: Rose]] was one of the original Dragoons, and arguably the strongest considering she was [[spoiler: the only one to survive the final battle]]. Since then she has had 11,000 years to train. So why is she no stronger then two (admittedly competent) soldiers when she joins the party after all that training?

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* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'', ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'':
**
[[spoiler: Rose]] was one of the original Dragoons, and arguably the strongest considering she was [[spoiler: the only one to survive the final battle]]. Since then she has had 11,000 years to train. So why is she no stronger then two (admittedly competent) soldiers when she joins the party after all that training?



** Then again maybe that explains why Wakka and Lulu's summoner quit, if you had two level 1 guarding your back you wouldn't want to try fighting through a place as nasty as the Calm Lands either! Wakka wasn't kidding when he said he was too focused on blitzball last pilgrimage.



* Rather disappointingly enforced by paladin Artix of ''VideoGame/DragonFable'' In his own movie (Artix VS The Undead), Artix was shown to slay hundreds of Undead with a swipe of his sword. In game however [[spoiler: he is a level 3 Paladin who seems weaker than your main character, bar his four-hit Light combo]].
** Justified when you find out ingame while talking to Artix [[spoiler: that after fighting a deadly creature summoned by a Master Necromancer, he sealed the monster inside his battleaxe and as a result of the battle lost 30 levels. Implying that before the battle, he was still very much a badass at level 33]].
** Even at level 3, his four-hit combo is extremely powerful, and turns most fights at lower levels into cakewalks. Add the fact that the increase in damage from level 3 to 33 is generally at least 1000% and you realize that he was originally probably capable of taking out the player's full-grown dragon.
* Dias in ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'' is the classic version, a legendary swordsman who frequently calls party members weak. Once joining the party, he is quickly outclassed by Claude. In Dias' case, this trope was somewhat turned back; in the [[VideoGameRemake PSP remake]] he was vastly improved, and more on the level of badass the game makes him out to be.

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* Rather disappointingly enforced by paladin Artix of ''VideoGame/DragonFable'' In his own movie (Artix VS The Undead), Artix was shown to slay hundreds of Undead with a swipe of his sword. In game however [[spoiler: he is a level 3 Paladin who seems weaker than your main character, bar his four-hit Light combo]].
**
combo]]. Justified when you find out ingame while talking to Artix [[spoiler: that after fighting a deadly creature summoned by a Master Necromancer, he sealed the monster inside his battleaxe and as a result of the battle lost 30 levels. Implying that before the battle, he was still very much a badass at level 33]].
**
33]]. Even at level 3, his four-hit combo is extremely powerful, and turns most fights at lower levels into cakewalks. Add the fact that the increase in damage from level 3 to 33 is generally at least 1000% and you realize that he was originally probably capable of taking out the player's full-grown dragon.
* in ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'':
**
Dias in ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'' is the classic version, a legendary swordsman who frequently calls party members weak. Once joining the party, he is quickly outclassed by Claude. In Dias' case, this trope was somewhat turned back; in the [[VideoGameRemake PSP remake]] he was vastly improved, and more on the level of badass the game makes him out to be.



*** Potentially justified, as he'd spent much of his time between the previous boss fight and when he joins you [[spoiler:being tortured.]] That's bound to mess with anyone's mojo. Count Woltar goes so far as to tell you to work him hard, saying he hasn't gotten much exercise lately.



*** Another justified example. Ashlay's pushing 60 years of age and is also [[GameBreakingInjury minus an arm]] (and probably has a few other injuries slowing him down). It says something about the man that he [[HandicappedBadass can still go toe-to-toe with most of the nastiest monsters on Roak despite these handicaps.]] [[spoiler: A Younger Ashlay shows up as a bonus Boss in the [[StarOceanTheLastHope 4th game]] and the difference is ''very'' noticeable.]]



* Jade from ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' is advertised as one of the most powerful and feared sorcerers in the world, but is hit by a bad guy's special item early in the game which causes him to lose access to all but his most basic spells. He spends the rest of the game gradually breaking the seals on his magic, which by a crazy coincidence happens at more or less the same rate as the other, less-experienced characters are learning new skills. Crazier still, after he remembers all his old abilities and regains his old stats, he keeps gaining new ones at the same rate.
** Said special item was stated to cost a good chunk of an entire nation's budget.
** It should at least be noted that he joins your party for a short while before this, and [[ATasteOfPower he's a good 40 levels higher than your party by that point]] (assuming the player isn't grinding). He drops to around the same level as you when his artes are sealed.

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* Jade from ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' is advertised as one of the most powerful and feared sorcerers in the world, but is hit by a bad guy's special item early in the game which causes him to lose access to all but his most basic spells. He spends the rest of the game gradually breaking the seals on his magic, which by a crazy coincidence happens at more or less the same rate as the other, less-experienced characters are learning new skills. Crazier still, after he remembers all his old abilities and regains his old stats, he keeps gaining new ones at the same rate.
** Said special item was stated to cost a good chunk of an entire nation's budget.
** It should at least be noted that he
rate. He joins your party for a short while before this, and [[ATasteOfPower he's a good 40 levels higher than your party by that point]] (assuming the player isn't grinding). He drops to around the same level as you when his artes are sealed.



** Karel in particular since in ''Fire Emblem 7'', he is referred to as the "Sword Demon" and his supports with Dart and Karla show how skilled he was, yet a well-leveled Lyndis or Guy can outclass him. In ''Fire Emblem 6'' though, he has actually grown far more but can still be outclassed by Rutger or Fir if leveled correctly.
*** Karel is an EleventhHourSuperPower - he's got the best growth rates, but he can only use it once. You'll notice that in Fire Emblem 7, he joins at a lower level than in Fire Emblem 6, [[FridgeBrilliance So obviously he was training]].
*** The seventh game has a fair number of characters who avert this. Marcus, who despite being a "Jagen" (a pre-promote who you get very early and is very powerful at first, but is outclassed later on) manages to be solid fighter for most of the game. Vaida is a MightyGlacier (even if she's a huge case of RedemptionDemotion), and Pent, who manages to avert this trope to such an extent that his joining chapter involves him being a OneManArmy.

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** * Karel in particular since in ''Fire Emblem 7'', he is referred to as the "Sword Demon" and his supports with Dart and Karla show how skilled he was, yet a well-leveled Lyndis or Guy can outclass him. In ''Fire Emblem 6'' though, he has actually grown far more but can still be outclassed by Rutger or Fir if leveled correctly.
***
correctly. Karel is an EleventhHourSuperPower - he's got the best growth rates, but he can only use it once. You'll notice that in Fire Emblem 7, he joins at a lower level than in Fire Emblem 6, [[FridgeBrilliance So obviously he was training]]. \n*** The seventh game has a fair number of characters who avert this. Marcus, who despite being a "Jagen" (a pre-promote who you get very early and is very powerful at first, but is outclassed later on) manages to be solid fighter for most of the game. Vaida is a MightyGlacier (even if she's a huge case of RedemptionDemotion), and Pent, who manages to avert this trope to such an extent that his joining chapter involves him being a OneManArmy.



*** Although, the trope is notably averted with Stefan, who, while a much higher level than the rest of your team at that point, has a stat spread that's more than adequate for his level (except for his paltry Luck score). This trend continues in the sequel, where he's among the last units you recruit in the game, but is no less effective than his fellow swordmasters (still has low Luck, though). It might have to do with his [[GuideDangIt recruiting requirements]] and the implication that he's [[HeroicLineage descended from a legendary member]] of [[KingOfBeasts the tribe]] that produced one the GameBreaker Laguz kings that joins in the final chapter.

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*** ** Although, the trope is notably averted with Stefan, who, while a much higher level than the rest of your team at that point, has a stat spread that's more than adequate for his level (except for his paltry Luck score). This trend continues in the sequel, where he's among the last units you recruit in the game, but is no less effective than his fellow swordmasters (still has low Luck, though). It might have to do with his [[GuideDangIt recruiting requirements]] and the implication that he's [[HeroicLineage descended from a legendary member]] of [[KingOfBeasts the tribe]] that produced one the GameBreaker Laguz kings that joins in the final chapter.



* Every single character in the ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar II'' campaigns. Tarkus and Avitus are warriors almost as accomplished as the legendary Davian Thule, [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep the Force Commander]] and Thaddeus are highly successful despite their relatively young age, and Cyrus is older than all of them, ''trained'' most of them, and was even a member of [[ChurchMilitant The Inquisition]]'s Death Watch. All of them are level 1. ''Chaos Rising'' introduced Jonah (powerful enough to survive direct, solo contact with the Tyranid HiveMind, yet no stronger than the player), while ''Retribution'' has the former right-hand of the Chapter Master and a Space Marine so renowned he is known only as [[RedBaron The Ancient]] (level 1 again).
** The fact the Ancient turns out to be [[spoiler: Tarkus]] means he's been afflicted by this trope twice.

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* Every single character in the ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar II'' campaigns. Tarkus and Avitus are warriors almost as accomplished as the legendary Davian Thule, [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep the Force Commander]] and Thaddeus are highly successful despite their relatively young age, and Cyrus is older than all of them, ''trained'' most of them, and was even a member of [[ChurchMilitant The Inquisition]]'s Death Watch. All of them are level 1. ''Chaos Rising'' introduced Jonah (powerful enough to survive direct, solo contact with the Tyranid HiveMind, yet no stronger than the player), while ''Retribution'' has the former right-hand of the Chapter Master and a Space Marine so renowned he is known only as [[RedBaron The Ancient]] (level 1 again).
**
again). The fact the Ancient turns out to be [[spoiler: Tarkus]] means he's been afflicted by this trope twice.



*** Still, the fact that they have to gain experience and "learn" their special abilities/get better equipment fits this trope.



* The playable characters in ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' have four usable abilities, but when you start a game with them, they can only use ''one'', and are actually rather weak with less than a thousand health. Especially when you look at some of their backstory. However; this is presumably ''invoked'' by having spells around the fields of justice so that the champions powers are kept equal or in check. Even though [[SchmuckBait players will forever argue about champions being overpowered and underpowered]].
** Explained away in-game as having to summon the champions every time a new battle starts, creating a fusion of the summoner and champion who has to learn how to use their powers and abilities again. Killing minions and champions presumably assists this process.

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* The playable characters in ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' have four usable abilities, but when you start a game with them, they can only use ''one'', and are actually rather weak with less than a thousand health. Especially when you look at some of their backstory. However; this is presumably ''invoked'' by having spells around the fields of justice so that the champions powers are kept equal or in check. Even though [[SchmuckBait players will forever argue about champions being overpowered and underpowered]].
**
underpowered]]. Explained away in-game as having to summon the champions every time a new battle starts, creating a fusion of the summoner and champion who has to learn how to use their powers and abilities again. Killing minions and champions presumably assists this process.
27th Jul '17 7:20:09 PM Bugfragged
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* Erin from ''[[VideoGame/AlterAILA Alter A.I.L.A. gensis]]'' is an interesting version of this. She is not a bad character by any means. She is a healer with a healing ability which can, with proper equipment, be made capable of activating every two rounds and heal the party completely, rendering many battles easy so long as you can avoid a TPK for two turns. For players that don't like using allot of healing items she is arguably the strongest character. However, her strength comes entirely from her ability to quickly heal the party, she is otherwise underwhelming in health and especially damage. The FridgeLogic kicks in here, because in the early game, the time when everyone insists she is powerful, she always fights alone. A solo Erin, before drives made it possible to speed up her healing, would easily get overwhelmed and killed before she could build up resources for a heal or do much damage. Effectively she is only powerful when put in a team and the only times the plot calls her out as powerful is the times she isn't with a team. Plus no one ever mentions her ability to heal when mentioning her danger, despite this being the only thing that makes her a viable character at all.

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* Erin from ''[[VideoGame/AlterAILA Alter A.I.L.A. gensis]]'' Genesis]]'':
** Erin
is an interesting version of this. She is not a bad character by any means. She is a healer with a healing ability which can, with proper equipment, be made capable of activating every two rounds and heal the party completely, rendering many battles easy so long as you can avoid a TPK for two turns. For players that don't like using allot of healing items she is arguably the strongest character. However, her strength comes entirely from her ability to quickly heal the party, she is otherwise underwhelming in health and especially damage. The FridgeLogic kicks in here, because in the early game, the time when everyone insists she is powerful, she always fights alone. A solo Erin, before drives made it possible to speed up her healing, would easily get overwhelmed and killed before she could build up resources for a heal or do much damage. Effectively she is only powerful when put in a team and the only times the plot calls her out as powerful is the times she isn't with a team. Plus no one ever mentions her ability to heal when mentioning her danger, despite this being the only thing that makes her a viable character at all.all.
** The bonus characters are all [=NPCs=] that were either bosses or allies who were powerful in cutscenes, but they all start at level 1. The only saving grace is that they have [[MagikarpPower lower EXP requirements and good stat growths]], meaning they can easily surpass the main party members.
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