History Main / RestartAtLevelOne

13th Aug '15 7:25:54 AM Scorpion451
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* PrestigeClass: meeting certain criteria lets you trade in your current class for a better one...sometimes invoking a ClassChangeLevelReset.

to:

* PrestigeClass: meeting certain criteria lets you trade in your current class character sheet for a better one...sometimes invoking a but the process may overlap with ClassChangeLevelReset.
13th Aug '15 7:20:34 AM Scorpion451
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to:

* PrestigeClass: meeting certain criteria lets you trade in your current class for a better one...sometimes invoking a ClassChangeLevelReset.
28th Mar '15 8:02:39 AM DonaldthePotholer
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* ContinuingIsPainful and CheckpointStarvation: In their extreme forms, a player who makes too many mistakes is punished with a trip back to the beginning of the entire game.

to:

* ContinuingIsPainful and CheckpointStarvation: In their extreme forms, a player who makes too many mistakes is punished with a trip back to ContinuingIsPainful: Losing all of your lives means that you can continue from the beginning of the entire game.current level... [[WithThisHerring without advanced equipment/items gained in prior levels]].
21st May '13 12:15:50 PM case
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Added DiffLines:

* ContinuingIsPainful and CheckpointStarvation: In their extreme forms, a player who makes too many mistakes is punished with a trip back to the beginning of the entire game.
7th Jan '13 10:46:59 AM lu127
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''Restart st Level One'' may refer to one of the following video game mechanics:

to:

''Restart st at Level One'' may refer to one of the following video game mechanics:
7th Jan '13 10:41:54 AM lu127
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-> ''"In ''X2'', you save the galaxy, well sort of. You're the hero, everyone is in your debt. In game time, you play on for about 6 months to a year and amass a huge trading empire and an even huger battlefleet. Your personal ship is a Nova, or an M6, or an M2. Your combat rank is 'Ace of Aces' or better.''\\
''"Along comes ''X3''.''\\
''"WTF ? Suddenly you have no factories. No fleet. No race rank with anyone. You have gone from Hero to Zero with the insertion of a disc. Worse, your personal ship is gone and your flying this old fleatrap that can't get out of its own way, let alone keep you alive, and hey, it has no upgrades either and just 2 little popguns. And suddenly you're 'Harmless' instead of an 'Ace of Aces'."''
-->-- [[http://apricotmappingservice.com/unbalanced.html ApricotSlice complaining about this trope]] as applied to ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X2: The Threat]]'' and ''X3: Reunion''

Also known as being "{{Metroid}}ed."

So your character is meant to be a [[TheWitcher famous monster slayer who is the subject of a number of ballads]], or a [[KnightsOfTheOldRepublic famous general with great skill in battle]]. Well, we all know the developers are not going to just let you start at that high a level (well, maybe for [[ATasteOfPower a little while]])... so you know what happens next! Your character gets LaserGuidedAmnesia, suffers a great injury, puts on a PowerLimiter or messes with a PowerNullifier!

This can also be used to explain why your character goes FromNobodyToNightmare in a month or so, but if you have any allies that increase in level, this is often broken, as they level up just as fast.

Often the way ATasteOfPower is ended if you are the same character. Common justification for BagOfSpilling. Compare RedemptionDemotion, where [[HeelFaceTurn switching to the good side]] knocks you down to level 1 as well.

----
!!Examples:

[[AC:ActionAdventure]]
* In ''{{Okami}}'', you play as a god in wolf form recently brought back from death, severely weakened [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly after 100 years of rapidly declining faith amongst mortals.]]
* The ''{{Castlevania}}'' series is known to explain this in its games.
** ''SymphonyOfTheNight'' starts the game off with Alucard fully equipped with powerful weapons and armor, but Death strips them off of him shortly after entering the castle. Alucard is quickly reduced to using a rusty sword as one of his first weapons.
** ''OrderOfEcclesia'' starts the game with Shanoa completing her glyph training and starts a ritual to destroy Dracula once and for all. The ritual goes wrong and results in Shanoa completely forgetting all her training along with all her other memories.
** ''CurseOfDarkness'' has Hector, former powerful servant of Dracula. He gave up all his powers and gear to settle down with his beloved, but then Isaac had her killed and Hector charged after him with just a short sword.
** ''DawnOfSorrow'' goes halfway with it. Alucard explains the loss of all the souls collected in ''Aria of Sorrow'', but there's still no reason given for Soma not to [[BagOfSpilling grab his Claimh Solais]].
* ''VideoGame/CaveStory'': If you're on track for the GoldenEnding, then upon entering the Last Cave "You feel a black wind blow through you. All weapons dropped to Level 1!" (Mercifully, by this point the player may have the Spur--which doesn't need to level up--and/or the Nemesis--which [[LethalJokeItem works best at level 1]].) This happens ''again'' when you enter [[BonusLevelOfHell Sacred Ground]].
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood'' begins with ATasteOfPower but after the attack on Monteriggioni, Ezio is badly wounded from a pair of gunshot wounds. When you regain control of him, it turns out his body cannot heal as fast as it used to, so he won't be able to perform at top efficiency, leaving you with five health squares; his armor and weapons were also lost during the siege.
** Fortunately however you keep the best of those weapons, the left-arm hidden blade that had a built-in pistol and poison blade, and Ezio is issued a basic straight sword upon waking up in Rome. As importantly, he also retains most of the moves from the previous game, along with the new kill streak moves that were introduced in ''Brotherhood'' before and during the attack on Monteriggioni.

[[AC:ActionGame]]
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWar II'', Kratos loses nearly all of his godly powers in the opening cutscene. Zeus eventually "helps" Kratos by giving him a sword. Kratos then, in order to get the sword out of the ground, had to drain all of his powers into the sword. The third game has Kratos eventually fall into the River Styx, where he is mobbed by the souls within several times before making it to shore. By then, he's been drained of whatever powers he had.
* In ''[[ConanTheBarbarian Conan]]'''s JustifiedTutorial, you start with a fully-armored Conan who makes short work of the nasty spirits in a tomb, but then he frees the wrong EldritchAbomination, washes up half-dead on an island without any armor or memory of what happened, and then spends the rest of the game recovering his armor and skills (the same spirits are much harder to beat when you get back to the tomb from the start of the game).

[[AC:FirstPersonShooter]]
* Prior to ''[[DarkForcesSaga Jedi Knight II]]'', Kyle Katarn invoked this trope and sealed himself off from TheForce for fear of falling to TheDarkSide again.
* ''Left4Dead 2'' has a variation of this trope. After being dropped off to find some fuel for the boat in "Hard Rain", one of the survivors asks if someone brought the weapons with them. They quickly realize they forgot and left the weapons on the boat.
** This trope is actually used repeatedly during the series, as for whatever reason, be it that their supplies were lost/forgotten/stolen/destroyed/whatever, they have to start every campaign with nothing but pistols.
* ''AlienSwarm'' does this as an option: If you hit the max level and choose to be promoted, your level is reset back to 1 and you lose all the items and guns you had gotten from leveling up. The only thing you get out of this is a badge next to your name.
* Prestige Mode in every CallOfDuty game since ''[[ModernWarfare Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare]]'', although you get extra custom class slots and are compensated with some bonus EXP along the way to help with leveling back up.

[[AC:MMORPG]]
* In ''[[MabinogiFantasyLife Mabinogi]]'', your character can "rebirth" at any time, starting over anywhere between age 10 and 17 and reverting to level 1. In a subversion, however, this is actually how you'rs suppossed to ''gain'' power. As you level, you earn AP, which you can spend to increase skill ranks, which in turn get you stat bonuses. While rebirth loses you all the stat points you gained from experience levels themselves, you keep your skill ranks and the bonuses, as well as your inventory. Then you get to take advantage of the fast level gain for a starting character to earn ''more'' AP.

[[AC:PlatformGame]]
* In the ''{{Metroid}}'' series, Samus starts every game with no [[HeartContainer spare E-tanks]], a minimum of equipment and must acquire new items to expand the area the player can explore. In a few cases such as MetroidPrime, Samus starts out with ATasteOfPower but an incident shortly during/after the introductory level resets the player to minimum status.
* X of the MegaManX series usually subverts this in that, while he starts a new game without the armor, weapons, tanks, and other powerups from the last game, he has a tendency to keep abilities he's used before. As of X8, he's kept the first two dash powerups, and the fourth level charge shot power of the first game.
* Zero puts himself to sleep at the end of ''MegaManX'' to fully eliminate TheVirus. 100 years later ''MegaManZero'' he is violently woken by [[DamselInDistress a scientist under attack by mooks]] so his restoration is incomplete.
** Played literally and justified in the second game. After [[WalkingTheEarth travelling the wastelands]] for a year, Zero's weapons are damaged (one, the [[BladeOnAStick Triple Rod]], was even beyond repair), and when Zero returns to the LaResistance base, his weapons are restored (the Triple Rod was replaced), but he has to [[EvolvingWeapon level them up]] again.
*** Thankfully [[AvertedTrope averted]] from Zero 3 onwards. Your weapons already start at full power. You would probably spend a good couple of hours levelling them up after the first mission anyway, since the saber sucks without the 3 hit combo and charged slash, so it saves up on the tediousness.
* ''VideoGame/WonderBoyIIITheDragonsTrap'' is a sequel to ''VideoGame/WonderBoyInMonsterLand''. The game starts on the ending level of ''Monster Land'', with Wonder Boy all powered up. Seems like it'll be a cinch... until he gets cursed and turned into a lizard, rendering all his power-ups completely useless.
* ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog3'' ([[OneGameForThePriceofTwo and Knuckles]]) has the opening scene where Super Sonic gets the Chaos Emeralds knocked out of him. After collecting said Emeralds, you lose them again in the second half of the game (by converting them into "dead" Super Emeralds); the next power up is a GameBreaker.

[[AC:RacingGame]]
* ''{{VideoGame/Blur}}'' has Legend Mode, which is similar to ''ModernWarfare'''s Prestige, except each time you enter Legend Mode, you unlock a special Legendary car that you get to keep on the next trip up the [[CharacterLevel fan level]] ladder.

[[AC:RealTimeStrategy]]
* Most RTS games don't allow the upgrades you've achieved in one mission to carry over to the next mission.
* Between the end of the first and the start of the second campaign of ''{{Warcraft}} 3'' Arthas goes from a L10 Paladin to L1 Death Knight.
** At least partially [[JustifiedTrope justified]], in that he's having to learn/grow into an entirely new range of abilities.
** Thrall is another example.
** Averted in the expansion, all heroes from the original game start out at level 10 (max). Though Arthas actually loses levels over the course of the Undead campaign due to the Lich King's weakening (until the final mission where he rapidly goes up from level 1 to 10).

[[AC:{{Roguelike}}]]
* In the ''PokemonMysteryDungeon'' games, when you enter a particularly rewarding dungeon (such as getting Jirachi), you are forced to become level one for the dungeon. What makes it worse, is that the dungeon has 99 floors! It takes forever to do so, and usually if you're recruiting a pokemon, it starts out at a very low level, which is not too rewarding, unless you're going for 100% completion.
* In ''{{ZHP}}'', the protagonist resets to Level One every time he dies or completes a dungeon. However, what levels he gained in the dungeon are added to his "Total Levels" which gradually increase his base stats, meaning that his "Level One" starts to become a very, very powerful Level One.

[[AC:RolePlayingGame]]
* ''VideoGame/TheWitcher'' strongly implies Geralt having come back from the dead ([[spoiler:he was killed by an angry mob in the end of the [[Literature/LadyOfTheLake last book of the original saga]], five years before the game begins, but apparently (badly) resurrected by his MarySue of an adopted daughter]]) is why he starts at level 1.
** Played straight ''VideoGame/TheWitcher2AssassinsOfKings''. There is no explanation given for why the same guy who had become a one-man-army by the end of the first game is getting his ass kicked every time he faces more than two opponents in the Prologue.
* ''{{Gothic}} II'' explains this by the [[NoNameGiven Nameless Hero]] being resurrected after being buried under rocks for several weeks at the end of the first game.
** The third game does it again, except you spent a lot of time on a boat. And your equipment gets stolen when you leave the boat without it, and pirates take the boat. You still start out somewhat stronger than in the first two games though.
* Apparently, every time the Avatar returns to the world of ''{{Ultima}}'' he is a new person (this also means he is a [[PoweredByVirginity virgin]] each time)
** Which really doesn't mesh well with the character transfer option in ''UltimaV'' and ''UltimaVI''. Basically, you could transfer in your character from the previous game, with most relevant stats intact, thus averting this trope... until Ultima 7, anyway.
* ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic II'' has your character "cut off from the force" and spending years in exile, becoming weak prior to the start. Atton even points out that he expected a jedi knight and former war veteran to be more capable.
** This also happens to T3-M4, HK-47 and [[spoiler:Mandalore]] in KOTOR II, [[strike:though the first probably wouldn't have been useful in the game even if it started at Level 20 with all the high-level droid gear from the first game]] and the first one breaks the game enough without a level headstart, anyway.
* Haseo get's datadrained near the end of ''[[DotHack .hack//Roots]]'' to explain why he's not level 133+ when you play ''[[DotHackGUGames .hack//G.U.]]''. Apparently this also makes him less crazy.
** But not less of a JerkAss, it seems. Although there is a slight disconnect between the change of heart he appears to experience at the end of Roots and his continued JerkAss-ness at the beginning of the games...
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', Jade gives you ATasteOfPower at level 50, but is then hit with a magical doohickey that seals his powers, booting him back down to comparable levels with your party. He lampshades this with one of the in-game "skits" when he reaches level 50 again naturally.
* In ''{{Geneforge}} 5'', the PC has forgotten everything about their past and all of their skills. The PC regains the skills but never regains their memory.
* ''KingdomHearts'':
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'' slaps Sora, Donald and Goofy with a brand new mechanic, plus EasyAmnesia as they progress through castle that they spend the whole game in. In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' being asleep for a year explains the similar depowering. It {{Hand Wave}}s the power loss as you being the in the villains' house and having to play by their rules. Notably, Sora ''does'' seem to keep all his HP from the first game, since his starting HP is the same as the first game's max HP.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' demonstrates that Roxas is a {{Badass}} by Organization standards, but in his first appearance in VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII, he's downgraded to level 1 and doesn't even know what the Keyblade is. Perhaps {{justified|Trope}} by [[spoiler: [=DiZ=]/Ansem tampering with his memory, personality, etc...]]
* ''VagrantStory'' has Ashley Riot, a famous Riskbreaker... who, after a deeply traumatizing event, locked away all of his memories of combat. Sidney forces him to remember it, freeing the first few abilities, and after that he regains them "from repressed memory" with each experience milestone.
* ''ShadowHearts: Covenant'' has Yuri depowered by the Mistletoe Curse, forcing him to relearn and reclaim all of his Harmonixer forms one by one.
* ''[[DigimonWorldDawnDusk Digimon World Dawn/Dusk]]'' casts the player as a talented trainer who commands a team of three digimon: the version's mascot Rookie and two high-level {{Mons}}. However, after letting you enjoy your [[ATasteOfPower taste of power]], a virus hits your base and wrecks havoc -- and infects your two frontliners, dropping them both back to Lv 1. (Ironically, your Rookie actually avoids this, making them your strongest Mon at that moment...)
* Cecil from ''FinalFantasyIV'' is the captain of the Red Wings and a fearsome Dark Knight who starts the game at level 10. When he [[spoiler:becomes a Paladin]], he goes down to level 1 again, but unless you have done some insane LevelGrinding before then, he will be stronger than before.
* Galuf from ''FinalFantasyV''. He already saved two worlds thirty years ago, but he starts as a level one nobody without any classes learned due to amnesia, but then un-justified when he recovers from it and stays exactly same.
** Arguably, he is much older by the game's events, and additionally didn't learn classes, having not had the crystal shards that allow it. Furthermore, the amnesia thing
*** According to NPC chatter in one of the towns in the second world, Galuf ''did'' actually think to bring high-powered equipment with him, but somehow lost it all when his meteor crashed.
* Somewhat averted in ''FinalFantasyVII'', as Cloud starts at level 6 or 7 and levels up during the very first battle to boot. In fact no one starts at level 1 unless you exploit a glitch or a hack. Though you'd think Barret, leader of the [[strike:terrorist]] activist group AVALANCHE ([[SpellMyNameWithAnS yes, all caps]]) would be stronger than level 7. However played straight in Cloud's [[spoiler:fake]] Nibelheim flashback. It's puzzling how a 1st Class SOLDIER is a mere Level 1 teenager.
** Well, Barret is the current leader of AVALANCHE. There used to be another but retired for certain reasons in yet another Compilation Game. And being Level 1 in the Nibelheim Flashback is actually a tip to what actually happened in there...
** It's a bit of twice-over FridgeBrilliance, anyway. On a first playthrough, it can easily be seen as a way to highlight just how ''powerful'' Sephiroth is compared to you. On a second, it becomes clear that [[spoiler:Cloud's level 1 because he was just a mook.]]
** Referenced in [[FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren the movie]], during the fight against the big dragon-looking thing. Tifa mentions how everyone had grown so powerful by the end of the game, then had gradually lost that edge over the subsequent two years, and how Cloud seems to be regaining some of that edge.
* ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'' gives you the uber-powerful Lucia at the beginning, who wipes the floors with her powers. But once you reach the bottom of that first tower... Granted, [[spoiler:this is more of a "''forced'' reboot to level one", which is ''quite'' uncomfortable for the character in question]], but still.
* Lulu and Wakka from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. Before becoming Yuna's guardians, they were responsible for escorting other summoners, and despite not ever having finished the journey, they generally made it three-quarters of the way to Zanarkand. For no explained reason, they join your party with none of the abilities or stat increases that they should have earned on previous pilgrimages.
** It is never mentioned how much time elapsed between journeys, it is implied that Lulu and Wakka spent a lot of time inactively on Besaid before Yuna started her pilgrimage.
** Alternatively, it's FridgeBrilliance. Wakka and Lulu aren't less powerful - that's how powerful they'd become on their last journeys. They simply weren't strong enough to protect their summoners.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'', with Sin destroyed and the fayth resting, Yuna can no longer access her frightening summoning abilities. It doesn't explain why neither she nor Rikku have the stats and abilities from their adventure 2 years ago, or why Yuna has to relearn White Magic abilities she should already have through a Dressphere.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', this trope is used (and justified) because your ship and all your stuff got blown up and your character is brought BackFromTheDead, but the process had to be cut short before his/her combat abilities could be reprinted into his/her psyche. However, importing a high-level character with lots of money does result in significant bonuses to that character; a level 60 Shepard from the first game is boosted to level 5 in the second, and substantial amounts of monetary and mineral resources are available right from the start. It is also implied that the enemies you're facing in the second game are technologically comparable to the late-game enemies of the first (with a significant technology boost occuring int he background during the TimeSkip between games) and any perceived weakness in Shepard is due to PowerCreep thanks to the much more dangerous opponents.
** Fortunately averted in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''. If you import a save from the second game, the level you start at will be the level of the imported character.
*** On the other hand, you can do this deliberately in multiplayer. When you reach level 20, you can "promote" a character, increasing your War Assets in the single-player game but forcing you to start that character from level 1 again, a la ''CallOfDuty'' prestige levels.
* Early in ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends 2'', the player can actually ask Roll what happened to all their weapons (from the previous game), at which point she embarrassedly admits she sold them to make repairs to their ship.
* The sequel to the German RPG Maker game ''VampiresDawn'' features this. The central characters Valnar and Alaine start out with the max. levels canonically attained at the end of the previous game, but quickly get their power drained halfway through the introduction story.
* Used as a game mechanic in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX''. First of all, levels are tied to your job; switching to one you haven't used yet sends you back to level 1 (but you get to keep your [[PointBuildSystem Skill Points]] and anything you bought with Skill Points). Then there's "revocation", resetting a level 99 job back to 1; the advantages to this are the chance to get even more Skill Points and it lets you get higher-valued maps for the DungeonCrawling system.
* Subverted in {{On the Rainslick Precipice of Darkness}}, you start at the last game's max level with the same stats. You move up from their, though your weapons are basic once again. Justified in that [[spoiler: Yours was destroyed in the intro of number 2, Tycho's 'potential bullets' ripped his gun apart and Gabe's were soaked in hobo piss.]]
* Done rather amusingly in {{Robopon}} Ring and Cross, the sequel to Robopon Sun, [[NoExportForYou Star and Moon]]. You play as the same character, going to another county to enter a tournament, yet you don't have any of the {{Mons}} you had from the first game. On the way to the aforementioned country, the main character suddenly realizes that he left them at home.
* Adol is back to level one, usually without the fancy equipment from the previous game, in each of the VideoGame/{{Ys}} games. Given how frequently he starts a game by being seriously injured and needing to spend several days in bed (Usually due to falling off a ship or the ship sinking outright), this is actually justified on occasion.
* ''Timestalkers'' on the Dreamcast might have the most extreme case of this: the game resets your level for ''each dungeon''.

[[AC:SimulationGame]]
* As noted in our page quote, the {{player character}} of ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X2: The Threat]]'' and ''X3: Reunion'' are the same guy, reset to level one with his former assets having gone poof.

[[AC:TurnBasedStrategy]]
* ''{{Disgaea}}'' mentions at one point Laharl isn't back up to strength after oversleeping 720 days [[spoiler:because of Etna poisoning him]]
** The sequel also has Etna brought down from level 1000 to level 1 due to a summoning ritual gone bad. [[spoiler:It was her fault it went wrong anyway]].
*** It also turns out to be the case for [[spoiler:the real Overlord Zenon, AKA Rozalin, who had herself reincarnated out of fear of her own power]].
*** There's also an in-game mechanic to invoke this trope on your own units. It definitely [[MagikarpPower helps in the long run]], though.
** Apparently a running theme in the Disgaea series: ''Disgaea 4'' gives us Valvatorez, a vampire who was the former "Tyrant" and ruler of the netherworld. After he refused to drink any more blood he lost all his power and took a low-level job training Prinnies.
* Averted in ''FireEmblem [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Radiant Dawn]]'' : When the Greil mercenaries (the heroes of the first game) finally make their comeback all are already at tier 2 of the 3 tier system, most at the higher end of it. The first few chapters feel like ATasteOfPower except that its in the middle of the game. You then switch back to the Dawn Brigade every now and then where just staying alive can be a struggle.
** Also Sothe, who was a part of the Greil Mercenaries/Crimean Army of the first game is the token [[ATasteOfPower Jeigen]] for the first few chapters of the game, and can even carry over his exact ending stats from the first game if they're above his default ones.
** Also averted with all of the other returning characters, as all of them come at higher levels than in the original, though some are only higher by one or two levels.
* Zetta in ''MakaiKingdom'' subverts this trope; he suffers the ''mother'' of all power reducers during the intro (his body and equipment is destroyed and his soul is forced to inhabit a ''book''), but he's still level 2000 and his mana power is still the greatest of all the [[DimensionLord Overlords]].
** Any characters and vehicles you receive by defeating them in Event Dungeons end up level 1 no matter how powerful they were during the fight. Justified with some of them being "phantom doubles" of your fellow overlords, but Laharl and company should be higher, even though he admits he rigged the fight.
* In ''PhantomBrave'' it is implied (a skill he learned in life is accessed at mid-high levels) that becoming a phantom is why Ash is weak despite working with "skilled" Chromas. This is made explicit in Another Marona ("As Phantoms, you lack your full power.") and implied that Ash doesn't realize the weakness.
* Same in ''HeroesOfMightAndMagic 5'' with Agrail/Railag.
* Many ''SuperRobotWars'' games that have continuing sequels, such as the ''SuperRobotWarsAlpha'' series, ''SuperRobotWarsZ'' series and ''SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' series, tend to do this. You could have had the best items, the greatest units, and all of the skills you need to really tear evil a new one, but come the next game, they toss it all away. A lot of the time, it's justified - the initial threat is gone, so there's no need for all of that now.

!!Non-video game examples:

[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Not exactly with video games, but in the ''{{Pokemon}}'' anime, Pikachu should be at an extremely high level, but always seems to return to level 1 at the start of a new series.
** Not to mention Ash himself, who, despite placing high in nearly every single League he's entered, no matter what awesome things he's done, is ''always'' treated as a rookie trainer whenever he enters a new region.
** Justified in ''Best Wishes'' [[spoiler:when Pikachu's powers are drained by a legendary Pokemon.]]
** When listing Ash's accomplishments, the only ones mentioned are the ones from the current region. Before the start of Unova, he has earned 32 badges and 7 Frontier Symbols; He is Champion of the Orange League, placed Top 16 in the Indigo League, Top 8 in both the Johto League and Hoenn League, and ''Top 4'' of the Sinnoh League; It's implied he would have won had he beaten Tobias. He has faced off with and defeated or befriended at least one member of each Legendary species, aside from that ever-elusive Ho-oh, and several of some of them. He's still treated like he's a newbie with no experience, even by the writers.

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* In the original ''TheKarateKid'' series, Daniel is trained by Mr. Miyagi to become a karate champion, but in the second film, he is ''still'' getting his butt kicked in Okinawa with barely any evidence that he knows anything about fighting. Only the ice sheet chopping scene and the climactic fight have Daniel fight like he was trained by the OldMaster.
** Justified in that he's been learning for a few months, only having a few fights under tournament regulations. In Okinawa the people he fights have been learning for most of their lives and engage in street fights.

[[AC:TabletopGames]]
* By and large how the "dual-class" rules for humans worked in ''[[DungeonsAndDragons Advanced Dungeons & Dragons]]''. Unlike demihumans, who if multiclassed would simply advance in two or more rarely three classes at the same time, humans who met the necessary (high) stat requirements could decide to simply quit their current class at whatever level it was and start over in a new one at, naturally, level one. They were then prohibited from using their old class abilities at all (on penalty of losing out on significant XP if they did) until their level in the ''new'' class exceeded that of the old; only at that point was that prohibition lifted and they got their old abilities "back" to use freely.

[[AC:WebComics]]
* In ''AlienDice'', a brutal deconstruction of the {{Mons}} genre, both the dice and Lexx himself are reset at the beginning of each round. The dice starting out on whatever level their die initially landed and Lexx getting knocked back ten levels.
* In ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'', Super Double Evil Sarda levels down the Light Warriors and takes away their class upgrades (except Thief, who got his class upgrade [[ItMakesSenseInContext stolen from his past self]]). When Chaos shows up shortly after, the Light Warriors excuse themselves to go level back up [[YouHave48Hours within 24 hours]]. Needless to say, things don't work out for them.
----

to:

-> ''"In ''X2'', you save the galaxy, well sort of. You're the hero, everyone is in your debt. In game time, you play on for about 6 months to a year and amass a huge trading empire and an even huger battlefleet. Your personal ship is a Nova, or an M6, or an M2. Your combat rank is 'Ace of Aces' or better.''\\
''"Along comes ''X3''.''\\
''"WTF ? Suddenly you have no factories. No fleet. No race rank with anyone. You have gone from Hero to Zero with the insertion of a disc. Worse, your personal ship is gone and your flying this old fleatrap that can't get out of its own way, let alone keep you alive, and hey, it has no upgrades either and just 2 little popguns. And suddenly you're 'Harmless' instead of an 'Ace of Aces'."''
-->-- [[http://apricotmappingservice.com/unbalanced.html ApricotSlice complaining about this trope]] as applied to ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X2: The Threat]]'' and ''X3: Reunion''

Also known as being "{{Metroid}}ed."

So your character is meant to be a [[TheWitcher famous monster slayer who is the subject of a number of ballads]], or a [[KnightsOfTheOldRepublic famous general with great skill in battle]]. Well, we all know the developers are not going to just let you start at that high a level (well, maybe for [[ATasteOfPower a little while]])... so you know what happens next! Your character gets LaserGuidedAmnesia, suffers a great injury, puts on a PowerLimiter or messes with a PowerNullifier!

This can also be used to explain why your character goes FromNobodyToNightmare in a month or so, but if you have any allies that increase in level, this is often broken, as they level up just as fast.

Often the way ATasteOfPower is ended if you are the same character. Common justification for BagOfSpilling. Compare RedemptionDemotion, where [[HeelFaceTurn switching to the good side]] knocks you down to level 1 as well.

----
!!Examples:

[[AC:ActionAdventure]]
* In ''{{Okami}}'', you play as a god in wolf form recently brought back from death, severely weakened [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly after 100 years of rapidly declining faith amongst mortals.]]
* The ''{{Castlevania}}'' series is known to explain this in its games.
** ''SymphonyOfTheNight'' starts the game off with Alucard fully equipped with powerful weapons and armor, but Death strips them off of him shortly after entering the castle. Alucard is quickly reduced to using a rusty sword as one of his first weapons.
** ''OrderOfEcclesia'' starts the game with Shanoa completing her glyph training and starts a ritual to destroy Dracula once and for all. The ritual goes wrong and results in Shanoa completely forgetting all her training along with all her other memories.
** ''CurseOfDarkness'' has Hector, former powerful servant of Dracula. He gave up all his powers and gear to settle down with his beloved, but then Isaac had her killed and Hector charged after him with just a short sword.
** ''DawnOfSorrow'' goes halfway with it. Alucard explains the loss of all the souls collected in ''Aria of Sorrow'', but there's still no reason given for Soma not to [[BagOfSpilling grab his Claimh Solais]].
* ''VideoGame/CaveStory'': If you're on track for the GoldenEnding, then upon entering the Last Cave "You feel a black wind blow through you. All weapons dropped to
''Restart st Level 1!" (Mercifully, by this point the player One'' may have the Spur--which doesn't need refer to level up--and/or the Nemesis--which [[LethalJokeItem works best at level 1]].) This happens ''again'' when you enter [[BonusLevelOfHell Sacred Ground]].
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood'' begins with ATasteOfPower but after the attack on Monteriggioni, Ezio is badly wounded from a pair of gunshot wounds. When you regain control of him, it turns out his body cannot heal as fast as it used to, so he won't be able to perform at top efficiency, leaving you with five health squares; his armor and weapons were also lost during the siege.
** Fortunately however you keep the best of those weapons, the left-arm hidden blade that had a built-in pistol and poison blade, and Ezio is issued a basic straight sword upon waking up in Rome. As importantly, he also retains most of the moves from the previous game, along with the new kill streak moves that were introduced in ''Brotherhood'' before and during the attack on Monteriggioni.

[[AC:ActionGame]]
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWar II'', Kratos loses nearly all of his godly powers in the opening cutscene. Zeus eventually "helps" Kratos by giving him a sword. Kratos then, in order to get the sword out of the ground, had to drain all of his powers into the sword. The third game has Kratos eventually fall into the River Styx, where he is mobbed by the souls within several times before making it to shore. By then, he's been drained of whatever powers he had.
* In ''[[ConanTheBarbarian Conan]]'''s JustifiedTutorial, you start with a fully-armored Conan who makes short work of the nasty spirits in a tomb, but then he frees the wrong EldritchAbomination, washes up half-dead on an island without any armor or memory of what happened, and then spends the rest of the game recovering his armor and skills (the same spirits are much harder to beat when you get back to the tomb from the start of the game).

[[AC:FirstPersonShooter]]
* Prior to ''[[DarkForcesSaga Jedi Knight II]]'', Kyle Katarn invoked this trope and sealed himself off from TheForce for fear of falling to TheDarkSide again.
* ''Left4Dead 2'' has a variation of this trope. After being dropped off to find some fuel for the boat in "Hard Rain",
one of the survivors asks if someone brought the weapons with them. They quickly realize they forgot following video game mechanics:

* BagOfSpilling: Abilities
and left the weapons on the boat.
** This trope is actually used repeatedly during the series, as for whatever reason, be it that their supplies were lost/forgotten/stolen/destroyed/whatever, they have to start every campaign with nothing but pistols.
* ''AlienSwarm'' does this as an option: If you hit the max level and choose to be promoted, your level is reset back to 1 and you lose all the
items and guns you had gotten from leveling up. The only thing you get out of this is a badge next to your name.
* Prestige Mode in every CallOfDuty game since ''[[ModernWarfare Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare]]'', although you get extra custom class slots and are compensated with some bonus EXP along the way to help with leveling back up.

[[AC:MMORPG]]
* In ''[[MabinogiFantasyLife Mabinogi]]'', your character can "rebirth" at any time, starting over anywhere between age 10 and 17 and reverting to level 1. In a subversion, however, this is actually how you'rs suppossed to ''gain'' power. As you level, you earn AP, which you can spend to increase skill ranks, which in turn get you stat bonuses. While rebirth loses you all the stat points you
gained from experience levels themselves, you keep your skill ranks and the bonuses, as well as your inventory. Then you get to take advantage of the fast level gain for a starting character to earn ''more'' AP.

[[AC:PlatformGame]]
* In the ''{{Metroid}}'' series, Samus starts every game with no [[HeartContainer spare E-tanks]], a minimum of equipment and must acquire new items to expand the area the player can explore. In a few cases such as MetroidPrime, Samus starts out with ATasteOfPower but an incident shortly during/after the introductory level resets the player to minimum status.
* X of the MegaManX series usually subverts this
in that, while he starts a new game without the armor, weapons, tanks, and other powerups from the last game, he has a tendency to keep abilities he's used before. As of X8, he's kept the first two dash powerups, and the fourth level charge shot power of the first game.
* Zero puts himself to sleep at the end of ''MegaManX'' to fully eliminate TheVirus. 100 years later ''MegaManZero'' he is violently woken by [[DamselInDistress a scientist under attack by mooks]] so his restoration is incomplete.
** Played literally and justified in the second game. After [[WalkingTheEarth travelling the wastelands]] for a year, Zero's weapons are damaged (one, the [[BladeOnAStick Triple Rod]], was even beyond repair), and when Zero returns to the LaResistance base, his weapons are restored (the Triple Rod was replaced), but he has to [[EvolvingWeapon level them up]] again.
*** Thankfully [[AvertedTrope averted]] from Zero 3 onwards. Your weapons already start at full power. You would probably spend a good couple of hours levelling them up after the first mission anyway, since the saber sucks without the 3 hit combo and charged slash, so it saves up on the tediousness.
* ''VideoGame/WonderBoyIIITheDragonsTrap'' is a sequel to ''VideoGame/WonderBoyInMonsterLand''. The
game starts on the ending level of ''Monster Land'', with Wonder Boy all powered up. Seems like it'll be a cinch... until he gets cursed and turned into a lizard, rendering all his power-ups completely useless.
* ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog3'' ([[OneGameForThePriceofTwo and Knuckles]]) has the opening scene where Super Sonic gets the Chaos Emeralds knocked out of him. After collecting said Emeralds, you lose them again in the second half of the game (by converting them into "dead" Super Emeralds); the next power up is a GameBreaker.

[[AC:RacingGame]]
* ''{{VideoGame/Blur}}'' has Legend Mode, which is similar to ''ModernWarfare'''s Prestige, except each time you enter Legend Mode, you unlock a special Legendary car that you get to keep on the next trip up the [[CharacterLevel fan level]] ladder.

[[AC:RealTimeStrategy]]
* Most RTS games don't allow the upgrades you've achieved in one mission to
do not carry over to the next mission.sequel.
* ClassChangeLevelReset: Changing jobs causes your level to drop back to level 1.
* LevelDrain: An event or an enemy which can make the player's level drop.

* Between OverratedAndUnderleveled: An ally is known by reputation to possess great power, but in order to not break the end of the first and the start of the second campaign of ''{{Warcraft}} 3'' Arthas goes from a L10 Paladin to L1 Death Knight.
** At least partially [[JustifiedTrope justified]], in that he's having to learn/grow into an entirely new range of abilities.
** Thrall is another example.
** Averted in the expansion, all heroes from the original game start out at level 10 (max). Though Arthas actually loses levels over the course of the Undead campaign due to the Lich King's weakening (until the final mission where he rapidly goes up from level 1 to 10).

[[AC:{{Roguelike}}]]
* In the ''PokemonMysteryDungeon'' games, when you enter a particularly rewarding dungeon (such as getting Jirachi), you are forced to become level one for the dungeon. What makes it worse, is that the dungeon has 99 floors! It takes forever to do so, and usually if you're recruiting a pokemon, it starts out at a very low level, which is not too rewarding, unless you're going for 100% completion.
* In ''{{ZHP}}'', the protagonist resets to Level One every time he dies or completes a dungeon. However, what levels he gained in the dungeon are added to his "Total Levels" which gradually increase his base stats, meaning that his "Level One" starts to become a very, very powerful Level One.

[[AC:RolePlayingGame]]
* ''VideoGame/TheWitcher'' strongly implies Geralt having come back from the dead ([[spoiler:he was killed by an angry mob in the end of the [[Literature/LadyOfTheLake last book of the original saga]], five years before the game begins, but apparently (badly) resurrected by his MarySue of an adopted daughter]]) is why he starts at level 1.
** Played straight ''VideoGame/TheWitcher2AssassinsOfKings''. There is no explanation given for why the same guy who had become a one-man-army by the end of the first game is getting his ass kicked every time he faces more than two opponents in the Prologue.
* ''{{Gothic}} II'' explains this by the [[NoNameGiven Nameless Hero]] being resurrected after being buried under rocks for several weeks at the end of the first game.
** The third game does it again, except you spent a lot of time on a boat. And your equipment gets stolen when you leave the boat without it, and pirates take the boat. You still start out somewhat stronger than in the first two games though.
* Apparently, every time the Avatar returns to the world of ''{{Ultima}}'' he is a new person (this also means he is a [[PoweredByVirginity virgin]] each time)
** Which really doesn't mesh well with the character transfer option in ''UltimaV'' and ''UltimaVI''. Basically, you could transfer in your character from the previous
game, with most relevant stats intact, thus averting this trope... until Ultima 7, anyway.
* ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic II'' has
he inevitably ends up weaker than your character "cut off from the force" and spending years in exile, becoming weak prior to the start. Atton even points out that he expected a jedi knight and former war veteran to be more capable.
** This also happens to T3-M4, HK-47 and [[spoiler:Mandalore]] in KOTOR II, [[strike:though the first probably wouldn't have been useful in the game even if it started at Level 20 with all the high-level droid gear from the first game]] and the first one breaks the game enough without a level headstart, anyway.
* Haseo get's datadrained near the end of ''[[DotHack .hack//Roots]]'' to explain why he's not level 133+ when you play ''[[DotHackGUGames .hack//G.U.]]''. Apparently this also makes him less crazy.
** But not less of a JerkAss, it seems. Although there is a slight disconnect between the
main character.

Please
change of heart he appears any links pointing to experience at the end of Roots and his continued JerkAss-ness at the beginning of the games...
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', Jade gives you ATasteOfPower at level 50, but is then hit with a magical doohickey that seals his powers, booting him back down to comparable levels with your party. He lampshades
this with article to one of the in-game "skits" when he reaches level 50 again naturally.
* In ''{{Geneforge}} 5'', the PC has forgotten everything about their past and all of their skills. The PC regains the skills but never regains their memory.
* ''KingdomHearts'':
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'' slaps Sora, Donald and Goofy with a brand new mechanic, plus EasyAmnesia as they progress through castle that they spend the whole game in. In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' being asleep for a year explains the similar depowering. It {{Hand Wave}}s the power loss as you being the in the villains' house and having to play by their rules. Notably, Sora ''does'' seem to keep all his HP from the first game, since his starting HP is the same as the first game's max HP.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' demonstrates that Roxas is a {{Badass}} by Organization standards, but in his first appearance in VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII, he's downgraded to level 1 and doesn't even know what the Keyblade is. Perhaps {{justified|Trope}} by [[spoiler: [=DiZ=]/Ansem tampering with his memory, personality, etc...]]
* ''VagrantStory'' has Ashley Riot, a famous Riskbreaker... who, after a deeply traumatizing event, locked away all of his memories of combat. Sidney forces him to remember it, freeing the first few abilities, and after that he regains them "from repressed memory" with each experience milestone.
* ''ShadowHearts: Covenant'' has Yuri depowered by the Mistletoe Curse, forcing him to relearn and reclaim all of his Harmonixer forms one by one.
* ''[[DigimonWorldDawnDusk Digimon World Dawn/Dusk]]'' casts the player as a talented trainer who commands a team of three digimon: the version's mascot Rookie and two high-level {{Mons}}. However, after letting you enjoy your [[ATasteOfPower taste of power]], a virus hits your base and wrecks havoc -- and infects your two frontliners, dropping them both back to Lv 1. (Ironically, your Rookie actually avoids this, making them your strongest Mon at that moment...)
* Cecil from ''FinalFantasyIV'' is the captain of the Red Wings and a fearsome Dark Knight who starts the game at level 10. When he [[spoiler:becomes a Paladin]], he goes down to level 1 again, but unless you have done some insane LevelGrinding before then, he will be stronger than before.
* Galuf from ''FinalFantasyV''. He already saved two worlds thirty years ago, but he starts as a level one nobody without any classes learned due to amnesia, but then un-justified when he recovers from it and stays exactly same.
** Arguably, he is much older by the game's events, and additionally didn't learn classes, having not had the crystal shards that allow it. Furthermore, the amnesia thing
*** According to NPC chatter in one of the towns in the second world, Galuf ''did'' actually think to bring high-powered equipment with him, but somehow lost it all when his meteor crashed.
* Somewhat averted in ''FinalFantasyVII'', as Cloud starts at level 6 or 7 and levels up during the very first battle to boot. In fact no one starts at level 1 unless you exploit a glitch or a hack. Though you'd think Barret, leader of the [[strike:terrorist]] activist group AVALANCHE ([[SpellMyNameWithAnS yes, all caps]]) would be stronger than level 7. However played straight in Cloud's [[spoiler:fake]] Nibelheim flashback. It's puzzling how a 1st Class SOLDIER is a mere Level 1 teenager.
** Well, Barret is the current leader of AVALANCHE. There used to be another but retired for certain reasons in yet another Compilation Game. And being Level 1 in the Nibelheim Flashback is actually a tip to what actually happened in there...
** It's a bit of twice-over FridgeBrilliance, anyway. On a first playthrough, it can easily be seen as a way to highlight just how ''powerful'' Sephiroth is compared to you. On a second, it becomes clear that [[spoiler:Cloud's level 1 because he was just a mook.]]
** Referenced in [[FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren the movie]], during the fight against the big dragon-looking thing. Tifa mentions how everyone had grown so powerful by the end of the game, then had gradually lost that edge over the subsequent two years, and how Cloud seems to be regaining some of that edge.
* ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'' gives you the uber-powerful Lucia at the beginning, who wipes the floors with her powers. But once you reach the bottom of that first tower... Granted, [[spoiler:this is more of a "''forced'' reboot to level one", which is ''quite'' uncomfortable for the character in question]], but still.
* Lulu and Wakka from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. Before becoming Yuna's guardians, they were responsible for escorting other summoners, and despite not ever having finished the journey, they generally made it three-quarters of the way to Zanarkand. For no explained reason, they join your party with none of the abilities or stat increases that they should have earned on previous pilgrimages.
** It is never mentioned how much time elapsed between journeys, it is implied that Lulu and Wakka spent a lot of time inactively on Besaid before Yuna started her pilgrimage.
** Alternatively, it's FridgeBrilliance. Wakka and Lulu aren't less powerful - that's how powerful they'd become on their last journeys. They simply weren't strong enough to protect their summoners.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'', with Sin destroyed and the fayth resting, Yuna can no longer access her frightening summoning abilities. It doesn't explain why neither she nor Rikku have the stats and abilities from their adventure 2 years ago, or why Yuna has to relearn White Magic abilities she should already have through a Dressphere.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', this trope is used (and justified) because your ship and all your stuff got blown up and your character is brought BackFromTheDead, but the process had to be cut short before his/her combat abilities could be reprinted into his/her psyche. However, importing a high-level character with lots of money does result in significant bonuses to that character; a level 60 Shepard from the first game is boosted to level 5 in the second, and substantial amounts of monetary and mineral resources are available right from the start. It is also implied that the enemies you're facing in the second game are technologically comparable to the late-game enemies of the first (with a significant technology boost occuring int he background during the TimeSkip between games) and any perceived weakness in Shepard is due to PowerCreep thanks to the much more dangerous opponents.
** Fortunately averted in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''. If you import a save from the second game, the level you start at will be the level of the imported character.
*** On the other hand, you can do this deliberately in multiplayer. When you reach level 20, you can "promote" a character, increasing your War Assets in the single-player game but forcing you to start that character from level 1 again, a la ''CallOfDuty'' prestige levels.
* Early in ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends 2'', the player can actually ask Roll what happened to all their weapons (from the previous game), at which point she embarrassedly admits she sold them to make repairs to their ship.
* The sequel to the German RPG Maker game ''VampiresDawn'' features this. The central characters Valnar and Alaine start out with the max. levels canonically attained at the end of the previous game, but quickly get their power drained halfway through the introduction story.
* Used as a game mechanic in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX''. First of all, levels are tied to your job; switching to one you haven't used yet sends you back to level 1 (but you get to keep your [[PointBuildSystem Skill Points]] and anything you bought with Skill Points). Then there's "revocation", resetting a level 99 job back to 1; the advantages to this are the chance to get even more Skill Points and it lets you get higher-valued maps for the DungeonCrawling system.
* Subverted in {{On the Rainslick Precipice of Darkness}}, you start at the last game's max level with the same stats. You move up from their, though your weapons are basic once again. Justified in that [[spoiler: Yours was destroyed in the intro of number 2, Tycho's 'potential bullets' ripped his gun apart and Gabe's were soaked in hobo piss.]]
* Done rather amusingly in {{Robopon}} Ring and Cross, the sequel to Robopon Sun, [[NoExportForYou Star and Moon]]. You play as the same character, going to another county to enter a tournament, yet you don't have any of the {{Mons}} you had from the first game. On the way to the aforementioned country, the main character suddenly realizes that he left them at home.
* Adol is back to level one, usually without the fancy equipment from the previous game, in each of the VideoGame/{{Ys}} games. Given how frequently he starts a game by being seriously injured and needing to spend several days in bed (Usually due to falling off a ship or the ship sinking outright), this is actually justified on occasion.
* ''Timestalkers'' on the Dreamcast might have the most extreme case of this: the game resets your level for ''each dungeon''.

[[AC:SimulationGame]]
* As noted in our page quote, the {{player character}} of ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X2: The Threat]]'' and ''X3: Reunion'' are the same guy, reset to level one with his former assets having gone poof.

[[AC:TurnBasedStrategy]]
* ''{{Disgaea}}'' mentions at one point Laharl isn't back up to strength after oversleeping 720 days [[spoiler:because of Etna poisoning him]]
** The sequel also has Etna brought down from level 1000 to level 1 due to a summoning ritual gone bad. [[spoiler:It was her fault it went wrong anyway]].
*** It also turns out to be the case for [[spoiler:the real Overlord Zenon, AKA Rozalin, who had herself reincarnated out of fear of her own power]].
*** There's also an in-game mechanic to invoke this trope on your own units. It definitely [[MagikarpPower helps in the long run]], though.
** Apparently a running theme in the Disgaea series: ''Disgaea 4'' gives us Valvatorez, a vampire who was the former "Tyrant" and ruler of the netherworld. After he refused to drink any more blood he lost all his power and took a low-level job training Prinnies.
* Averted in ''FireEmblem [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Radiant Dawn]]'' : When the Greil mercenaries (the heroes of the first game) finally make their comeback all are already at tier 2 of the 3 tier system, most at the higher end of it. The first few chapters feel like ATasteOfPower except that its in the middle of the game. You then switch back to the Dawn Brigade every now and then where just staying alive can be a struggle.
** Also Sothe, who was a part of the Greil Mercenaries/Crimean Army of the first game is the token [[ATasteOfPower Jeigen]] for the first few chapters of the game, and can even carry over his exact ending stats from the first game if they're above his default ones.
** Also averted with all of the other returning characters, as all of them come at higher levels than in the original, though some are only higher by one or two levels.
* Zetta in ''MakaiKingdom'' subverts this trope; he suffers the ''mother'' of all power reducers during the intro (his body and equipment is destroyed and his soul is forced to inhabit a ''book''), but he's still level 2000 and his mana power is still the greatest of all the [[DimensionLord Overlords]].
** Any characters and vehicles you receive by defeating them in Event Dungeons end up level 1 no matter how powerful they were during the fight. Justified with some of them being "phantom doubles" of your fellow overlords, but Laharl and company should be higher, even though he admits he rigged the fight.
* In ''PhantomBrave'' it is implied (a skill he learned in life is accessed at mid-high levels) that becoming a phantom is why Ash is weak despite working with "skilled" Chromas. This is made explicit in Another Marona ("As Phantoms, you lack your full power.") and implied that Ash doesn't realize the weakness.
* Same in ''HeroesOfMightAndMagic 5'' with Agrail/Railag.
* Many ''SuperRobotWars'' games that have continuing sequels, such as the ''SuperRobotWarsAlpha'' series, ''SuperRobotWarsZ'' series and ''SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' series, tend to do this. You could have had the best items, the greatest units, and all of the skills you need to really tear evil a new one, but come the next game, they toss it all away. A lot of the time, it's justified - the initial threat is gone, so there's no need for all of that now.

!!Non-video game examples:

[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Not exactly with video games, but in the ''{{Pokemon}}'' anime, Pikachu should be at an extremely high level, but always seems to return to level 1 at the start of a new series.
** Not to mention Ash himself, who, despite placing high in nearly every single League he's entered, no matter what awesome things he's done, is ''always'' treated as a rookie trainer whenever he enters a new region.
** Justified in ''Best Wishes'' [[spoiler:when Pikachu's powers are drained by a legendary Pokemon.]]
** When listing Ash's accomplishments, the only ones mentioned are the ones from the current region. Before the start of Unova, he has earned 32 badges and 7 Frontier Symbols; He is Champion of the Orange League, placed Top 16 in the Indigo League, Top 8 in both the Johto League and Hoenn League, and ''Top 4'' of the Sinnoh League; It's implied he would have won had he beaten Tobias. He has faced off with and defeated or befriended at least one member of each Legendary species, aside from that ever-elusive Ho-oh, and several of some of them. He's still treated like he's a newbie with no experience, even by the writers.

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* In the original ''TheKarateKid'' series, Daniel is trained by Mr. Miyagi to become a karate champion, but in the second film, he is ''still'' getting his butt kicked in Okinawa with barely any evidence that he knows anything about fighting. Only the ice sheet chopping scene and the climactic fight have Daniel fight like he was trained by the OldMaster.
** Justified in that he's been learning for a few months, only having a few fights under tournament regulations. In Okinawa the people he fights have been learning for most of their lives and engage in street fights.

[[AC:TabletopGames]]
* By and large how the "dual-class" rules for humans worked in ''[[DungeonsAndDragons Advanced Dungeons & Dragons]]''. Unlike demihumans, who if multiclassed would simply advance in two or more rarely three classes at the same time, humans who met the necessary (high) stat requirements could decide to simply quit their current class at whatever level it was and start over in a new one at, naturally, level one. They were then prohibited from using their old class abilities at all (on penalty of losing out on significant XP if they did) until their level in the ''new'' class exceeded that of the old; only at that point was that prohibition lifted and they got their old abilities "back" to use freely.

[[AC:WebComics]]
* In ''AlienDice'', a brutal deconstruction of the {{Mons}} genre, both the dice and Lexx himself are reset at the beginning of each round. The dice starting out on whatever level their die initially landed and Lexx getting knocked back ten levels.
* In ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'', Super Double Evil Sarda levels down the Light Warriors and takes away their class upgrades (except Thief, who got his class upgrade [[ItMakesSenseInContext stolen from his past self]]). When Chaos shows up shortly after, the Light Warriors excuse themselves to go level back up [[YouHave48Hours within 24 hours]]. Needless to say, things don't work out for them.
----
above.
7th Dec '12 8:26:44 AM Underachiever
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* By and large how the "dual-class" rules for humans worked in ''[[DungeonsAndDragons Advanced Dungeons & Dragons]]''. Unlike demihumans, who if multiclassed would simply advance in two or more rarely three classes at the same time, humans who met the necessary (high) stat requirements could decide to simply "quit" their current class at whatever level it was and start over in a new one at, naturally, level one. They were then prohibited from using their "old" class abilities at all (on penalty of losing out on significant XP if they did) until their level in the ''new'' class exceeded that of the old; only at that point was that prohibition lifted and they got their old abilities "back" to use freely.

to:

* By and large how the "dual-class" rules for humans worked in ''[[DungeonsAndDragons Advanced Dungeons & Dragons]]''. Unlike demihumans, who if multiclassed would simply advance in two or more rarely three classes at the same time, humans who met the necessary (high) stat requirements could decide to simply "quit" quit their current class at whatever level it was and start over in a new one at, naturally, level one. They were then prohibited from using their "old" old class abilities at all (on penalty of losing out on significant XP if they did) until their level in the ''new'' class exceeded that of the old; only at that point was that prohibition lifted and they got their old abilities "back" to use freely.
7th Dec '12 8:25:51 AM Underachiever
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Added DiffLines:

[[AC:TabletopGames]]
* By and large how the "dual-class" rules for humans worked in ''[[DungeonsAndDragons Advanced Dungeons & Dragons]]''. Unlike demihumans, who if multiclassed would simply advance in two or more rarely three classes at the same time, humans who met the necessary (high) stat requirements could decide to simply "quit" their current class at whatever level it was and start over in a new one at, naturally, level one. They were then prohibited from using their "old" class abilities at all (on penalty of losing out on significant XP if they did) until their level in the ''new'' class exceeded that of the old; only at that point was that prohibition lifted and they got their old abilities "back" to use freely.
5th Dec '12 9:11:43 AM AdrianTrumbly
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to:

* ''Timestalkers'' on the Dreamcast might have the most extreme case of this: the game resets your level for ''each dungeon''.
2nd Nov '12 9:55:38 AM Oreochan
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* In ''TalesOfTheAbyss'', Jade gives you ATasteOfPower at level 50, but is then hit with a magical doohickey that seals his powers, booting him back down to comparable levels with your party. He lampshades this with one of the in-game "skits" when he reaches level 50 again naturally.

to:

* In ''TalesOfTheAbyss'', ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', Jade gives you ATasteOfPower at level 50, but is then hit with a magical doohickey that seals his powers, booting him back down to comparable levels with your party. He lampshades this with one of the in-game "skits" when he reaches level 50 again naturally.
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