Created By: StarSword on July 17, 2013 Last Edited By: reflaxion on October 3, 2013
Troped

Player Exclusive Mechanic

The AI in a game can't use a game mechanic the player is capable of with the same item or character.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Derived from a Lost and Found query. Formerly titled Secret Player Moves, Forbidden To The AI.

TITLE CROWNER

Rolling Updates

Designing game AI is hard. Some are so competent as to render the game Nintendo Hard, while others are blatantly stupid. But in general, you expect computer-controlled characters in multiplayer games to be capable of doing everything the player can. This trope is for when they can't.

This is not about the player exploiting Good Bad Bugs, but rather when the item or ability in question is explicitly designed to be capable of something that both the AI and the player can do (sometimes depending on context), but the AI for some reason does not. This can be particularly infuriating (or alternatively, worthy of relief) if the action is an interface command. In some cases this may be an Anti-Frustration Feature, or a case of Dynamic Difficulty where the computer only starts using them when you get good. Sometimes general difficulty setting choice (the "Easy", "Hard", etc. settings) may also regulate what they can and cannot do.

Common forms include:
  • Many non-Fighting Games featuring a block/counter mechanic only have the Player Character able to do it.
  • Computer characters frequently can't crouch or jump.

Do note that this trope is clearer to see in multiplayer and/or competitive games (such as fighting, racing, rhythm, etc), since we can gauge out what the computer characters can, and should, do in any given situation. In single-player/non-competitive games (mainly action, platformers, etc.) the players are supposed to do things that the enemies cannot (and vice versa) and thus it's universal — the exception of this is the Mirror Boss or Super Powered Mooks, in which those characters look and act the same as the PC, except for some technical differences (whether they have an access to the things that the PC normally doesn't — Secret A.I. Moves — or conversely, they cannot do some things the PC can — this trope).

Another case is when a player character in the non-competitive games suddenly becomes a boss (especially when there's a selection of playable characters), or when a boss is Promoted to Playable; this follows the same convention as above. Just as bosses with Secret A.I. Moves are liable to have a Redemption Demotion when they're playable, bosses with this trope will have a Redemption Promotion.

Yet another case (in line with the above) is when you have someone who's normally playable as a Non-Player Companion, or vice versa. When it happens, said someone may not be able to use their full potential and abilities as opposed to when they're controlled directly by the player.

Also note that, in some cases, both this trope and Secret A.I. Moves can appear together.

The supertrope to some forms of Tactical Door Use. Compare Artificial Stupidity (aka "Player Exclusive Tactics") and A.I. Roulette (the latter when the AI chooses not to use the action randomly). Contrast Artificial Brilliance, My Rules Are Not Your Rules, and Secret A.I. Moves. This can potentially result in a Game Breaker.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    4X Games 
  • In Master of Orion the computer can't direct more than one attack per turn. That means when you and the AI are busily blowing up the helpless civilians on each other's planets you can get several times as much damage in with a smaller fleet.
  • The AI in Civilization has a mixed history for nukes. Some versions never let the AI use them. Others have the AI spawn them out of thin air. Later versions tend to play fair.

    Action Adventure 
  • The original Assassin's Creed I had the player character instantly drown if they attempted to swim, while the AI didn't even attempt to enter the water. In all other installments, the player character can swim, but enemies still drown instantly, allowing for easy getaways if the player is ever able to swim away. No justification is given for why even characters armored as lightly as the player have Super Drowning Skills.

    Beat Em Up 
  • In Dynasty Warriors 7, players with a characters EX Weapon equipped, gains access to the Ex Attack. When a player performs a certain charge attack. Which the computer doesn't use.
    • Also the player can change weaponsnote  for better range, attack power or just because. The AI on the other hand are stuck with the same weapon.

    Card Games 
  • At lower difficulty levels, the AI in the Magic: The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers games will never activate the "pumping" (paying mana to temporarily increase power and toughness) abilities of certain creatures.

    Fighting Games 
  • In the arcade version of Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, the AI-controlled Sagat would never use the Tiger Knee special. Meanwhile, the player character had no problem doing this. Apparently it was an unfinished special move that lacked new sprites, sounds and needed a unique button combination. It was later fixed for Street Fighter II: Turbo and every incarnation since.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • In the original Half-Life, Gordon Freeman can climb ladders and duck to fit through crawl spaces; the other NP Cs cannot (other than animals small enough to fit in the crawlspaces). This limits, for example, how far Barneys can accompany you as backup.
  • AI players in Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 can do nearly everything the player can, except for inflicting Friendly Fire damage and wield thrown weapons like pipe bombs or Molotov cocktails.
  • Halo 2: A human player flying a Banshee can use a fuel-rod cannon as a secondary attack. The AI can't. This was not available in online multiplayer.
  • In the Borderlands series the AI will never intentionally target Exploding Barrels (though they may still hit them when they were aiming at the player).
  • Bots in Team Fortress 2 cannot use unlockable weapons. Even with just stock, engineer bots cannot haul buildings (instead detonating their old ones when the time comes to move the rear lines forward) and Soldiers/demomen cannot Rocket Jump.

    Platformers 

    Racing Games 
  • Crash Team Racing:
    • The computer-generated racers will never use shortcuts (when there is any), not using certain weapons normally available for players (turbo boosts, warp balls, bubble barriers, etc) nor will they leave trap weapons when they're offscreen.
    • The beakers (normally a trap weapon) is able to be thrown forward, and the roller bombs (normally a forward-fire weapon) can be rolled backward. None of the computer characters do this.
    • The boss racers in the Adventure Mode works differently; they still leave trap weapons (constantly) even when they're far behind or in front of you (and in Pinstripe's case, he also rolls the bombs backwards) but the other limitations above apply.
    • It truly becomes a challenge in the Time Trial mode against Oxide's ghost when he's able to use shortcuts in the track.
  • In LEGO Racers the AI opponents never achieve the level two turbo start, never power-slide when turning, and with one exception never use track shortcuts. The exception is Veronica Voltage, opponent in the Time Trial mode, who is also immune to track edge friction (rendering beating her Nintendo Hard).
  • Quite possibly the most infamous example is Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. This is the racing "game" in which the AI is not given the option to win, stopping just short of the finish line, and that's after a patch.
  • In Super Mario Kart, opponents in a race are unable to use items generated from item boxes. The AI compensates in several ways.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Warcraft III: While the standard AI will hire zeppelins (and occasionally use them, but only if there is no other way to reach an enemy base), they will never buy ships, mercenaries, or neutral shop items, or use instant-reviving taverns.
  • The Level Editor for StarCraft I has several grades of AI available for map builders. The ones labeled "Campaign Easy" and "Campaign Medium" are restricted on what units and buildings they are allowed to construct (for instance, "Zerg Campaign Easy" will only build basic zerg units such as zerglings and mutalisks).
  • Dawn of War: Several moves/upgrades are never used by the AI, such as ork Burna Bombs, various morale-reducing abilities, or Tau commander weapons. That last one is particularly stupid, as it deprives them of both a short-range anti-infantry and long-range anti-armor.
  • In Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, the rules.ini files had a special flag called "AIBuildThis = no" on some of the units/structures that the player could build.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Solatorobo: During the racing portions of the game, enemies never drift into turns, collect but don't use the speed-boosting crystals, and use items infrequently.
  • Zigzagged in the Dragon Quest series, where the non-main character PCs can be controlled by AI. The allied AI is (thankfully) far more effective than the enemy's, as it knows which enemy is the weakest and will attack it first until it dies, then move to the next, or if it's buffed (if a Squishy Wizard starts attacking instead of throwing fireballs, the enemy likely starts with spell reflection, which the player can't see). By contrast, two enemies will for example first buff their group, and the other will then nullify all magic effects on all fighters, wasting their turns.
  • Almost all items in Persona 3. This is exceedingly frustrating, due to the game's Manual Leader, AI Party. Despite a spared item pool, your party cannot use anything but the two weakest healing items. As such, if your character is incapacitated through a status effect and you don't have a member that knows the counterspell, you're left as a passive observer until it wears off.
  • In the main series Pokémon games, besides having access to a much more extensive inventory the player seems to be the only trainer to be able to foresee the Pokemon his/her opponent will use next and switch the active Pokemon without taking a turn if necessary. This is called the "Shift" battle style and it's enabled by default on the options screen. However it only works in single-player mode against the AI. In multiplayer battles you don't get the opportunity for a free switch-out when your opponent sends in their next Pokemon.
    • In Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD, the player can use the "Call" command on Shadow Pokemon that have entered Hyper/Reverse mode (which occurs during the purification process). In XD, the player can also use the Call command on their own Pokemon to wake it from sleeping or raise its accuracy (without having to use an item for this).
  • Final Fantasy
    • Final Fantasy XII is this throughout most of the game thanks to the gambit system. Since you don't start out with quite a few gambits, the AI-controlled characters will be severely limited to what they can do. It is subverted later since you can buy all the gambits though.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has this problem when it comes to using Full ATB Skills. AI controlled characters will never use full ATB skills and since you can't change characters in-battle, you're stuck with only using 1 character's full ATB skill each fight.

    Simulation Games 
  • X-Universe series:
    • Non-player-piloted ships never use their WASD strafing thrusters.
    • X3: Terran Conflict introduced M7M missile frigates and M8 bombers to the X series, both of which are designed to fight by pouring enormous salvos of missiles into the target from well beyond gun range. The player can remotely command their M7Ms and M8s to do so using the Barrage command, but AI ones use the same AI as every other ship class, meaning they will fire missiles rarely and singly. This goes for both NPCs and Player Mooks, and is fixed in the Expansion Pack Albion Prelude.
  • The Yellow Squadron in Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies cannot fire QAAM missiles, even though they fly one of the few plane models in the game that can carry these missiles. That's because QAAMs are ridiculously overpowered in AC04 (one shot kill plus nearly impossible to shake off), and if the Yellows were allowed to use them, in addition to their other advantages, the game would become literally unwinnable.
  • Operation Flashpoint: With good aim and a lot of luck, you can shoot down enemy helicopters with pretty much any weapon by shooting the crew through the windshield when they line up for a pass, or simply filling the vehicle with holes until its engine quits. Of course, you'll never last long enough to do so if you stand out in the open, but if some good cover is at hand and you have the nerve to try, it's possible. The AI never try to shoot at helicopters with anything but guided anti-aircraft missiles.
  • In FTL: Faster Than Light, the AI is unable to manually open its doors to vent the atmosphere and attempt to suffocate the player's boarding party (although note that many AI-flown ships lack exterior doors altogether), or funnel them into the Medbay where its own crew is at an advantage.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • In Ten Minute Space Strategy, building space stations is something only players' colonizers can do. AI colonizers are limited to founding colonies on planets.

Indexes: Error Index, Stupidity Tropes, Video Game Difficulty Tropes

Community Feedback Replies: 92
  • July 17, 2013
    StarSword
    Before anyone says anything I'm well aware the current title is a bad snowclone and I am looking for suggestions.
  • July 17, 2013
    Koveras
    • The Yellow Squadron in Ace Combat 04 Shattered Skies cannot fire QAAM missiles, even though they fly one of the few plane models in the game that can carry these missiles. That's because QAAMs are ridiculously overpowered in AC04 (one shot kill plus nearly impossible to shake off), and if the Yellows were allowed to use them, in addition to their other advantages, the game would become literally unwinnable.
  • July 17, 2013
    DracMonster
    In some cases this may be an Anti Frustration Feature, or a case of Dynamic Difficulty, where the computer only starts using them when you get good.
  • July 17, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    In the original Half Life, Gordon Freeman can climb ladders and duck to fit through crawl spaces; the other NP Cs cannot (other than animals small enough to fit in the crawlspaces). This limits, for example, how far Barneys can accompany you as backup.
  • July 17, 2013
    Earnest
    Just about every non-Fighting Game I've played with a block/counter mechanic has never, ever allowed AI to use it against the player.

    • Castlevania Lords Of Shadow has a block and counter mechanic allowing players to stop an enemies attack and immediately counter it with a powerful reaction command. None of the enemies have access to this.
  • July 17, 2013
    MrRuano
    Infinity Blade allows the player to cast certain spells thanks to the ring equipped. Apparently, either only the player knows how to cast the ring's magic, or everyone else doesn't care, because they're all far stronger or more skilled than the player.
  • July 17, 2013
    remande
    How many games let the player heal (perhaps due to a Hyperactive Metabolism) where the average mook can't? That might almost be a subtrope.
  • July 17, 2013
    BOFH
    In Disgaea, only the player's characters can pick up other characters and throw them.
  • July 17, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    First-Person Shooter
    • Many DOOM monsters are limited by sector boundaries, and seem to run up against an invisible wall. The Doomguy can cross these boundaries at will, and shoot / blast / chainsaw these monsters at leisure. One example occurs in Episode 1 Mission 9 : Military Base, where demons, inviso-demons and imps cannot make the last steps into the blue key room.
  • July 17, 2013
    sgamer82
    • AI players in Left 4 Dead & Left 4 Dead 2 can do nearly everything the player can, except for inflict Friendly Fire damage and wield thrown weapons like pipe bombs or molotovs.
  • July 17, 2013
    DracMonster
  • July 17, 2013
    DAN004
    'Tis coming from the very creator of the LNF query (aka me) and thus I shall have a maintenance on this YKTTW entry whenever needed.

    At first, I was just thinking that the examples are more commonly found in multiplayer games (racing, fighting, rhythm, etc) but from what I see here, some other genres uses it too. Though it has to be noted that I stressed "multiplayer games" because it will be clearer to the players on analyzing what the CPU can, and should, do with the same character/mechanic. Single-player games are a different case: you are the player and thus you can do many things the enemies couldn't (and vice versa) - unless you're facing a Mirror Boss (which is a related trope).

    ... Though, the above can also come to play when a normally playable character suddenly becomes a boss in single-player games (especially when there are more than 1 P Cs available). This can intersect with Secret AI Moves - sometimes Bob the Boss can do things Bob the Player cannot, but some other times, it's the reverse (this trope). Both tropes can even appear simultaneously.

    Oftentimes, it's determined by the difficulty selection: the AI are restricted to do certain things in the lower difficulty and they can have access of it in the higher ones.

    For the title, Forbidden To The AI can work, but perhaps I'd like to wait for a better suggestion (and eventual crowner, if need be).

    Compare Redemption Promotion.
  • July 17, 2013
    Mexichu
    Compare AI Roulette when the NPC won't/can't use certain moves not by design but by chance.
  • July 17, 2013
    jatay3
    In Master Of Orion the computer can't direct more then one attack per turn. That means when you and the AI are busily blowing up the helpless civilians on each other's planets you can get several times as much damage in with a smaller fleet.
  • July 18, 2013
    Chabal2
    Warcraft III: While the standard AI will hire zeppelins (and occasionally use them, but only if there is no other way to reach an enemy base), they will never buy ships, mercenaries, or neutral shop items, or use instant-reviving taverns.
  • July 18, 2013
    Arivne
    Suggested shortened Laconic:

    The AI in a game can't to do something the player is capable of.

  • July 18, 2013
    StarSword
    @Drac Monster: Dang, man, your puns get worse every week! (Actually, Ha Dont Ken seems like a good name for a trope, or at least the punchline for a Dragon Ball joke.)

    @DAN 004: I'm trying to figure a way to clarify that in the description. A little help please? And Forbidden To The AI works as a title.

    @Arivne: Mmf. Maybe try, "The AI in a game can't do something the player is capable of with the same item or character."
  • July 18, 2013
    DracMonster
    ^Thank you, I try. Naming tropes is actually my favorite part of this site.
  • July 18, 2013
    Diask
    • In Ten Minute Space Strategy, building space stations is something only players' colonizers can do. AI colonizers are limited to founding colonies on planets.
  • July 18, 2013
    DAN004
    @ Star Sword: I'll edit it myself, if you don't mind. Note me if there's something to be discussed up there. Also noted some examples that don't apply.
  • July 18, 2013
    DAN004
    I get a sudden thought: that enemies may not necessarily be able to do what the player can, but depending on the difficulty, they can do things they themselves not ordinarily could in lower difficulties, or not do things they could normally do in higher difficulties. I guess this belongs to a different trope, but just to be clear, that "trope" is related to this one. (I called this thing Difficulty Dependent Competence.)

    Do we have that one, by the way? Or is it just universal? Because if it is just universal then we have to make sure the examples of this trope really fits in.

    E.g in Mega Man Zero, if you're ranked A or S, the bosses can have access to a powerful attack they normally don't do when you're ranked below A. That is technically not Secret AI Moves since Zero can't (always) do said moves, but that move is "secret" only to a certain difficulty.
  • July 18, 2013
    DAN004
    The older version is available in the sandbox.
  • July 18, 2013
    StarSword
    ^^^Thanks for that. I'm not much good at trope descriptions. EDIT: Made a few grammar tweaks.

    The place where you put Super Powered Mook: Did you maybe mean Boss In Mook Clothing or something? And I'll pull the square pegs.
  • July 18, 2013
    DAN004
    I was meaning Superpowered Mooks. Damn, one S makes a difference eh?
  • July 18, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Huh, never saw that trope before.
  • July 18, 2013
    Chabal2
    Dawn Of War: Several moves/upgrades are never used by the AI, such as ork Burna Bombs, various morale-reducing abilities, or Tau commander weapons. That last one is particularly stupid, as it deprives them of both a short-range anti-infantry and long-range anti-armor.
  • July 19, 2013
    DAN004
    Adding inverted examples from Secret AI Moves to this. Oh, and the one above this post.
  • July 19, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Already got Dawn of War.
  • July 19, 2013
    StarSword
    Chucked in an example from LEGO Racers.
  • July 19, 2013
    Stratadrake
    If we want to snowclone Secret AI Moves, what about Forbidden AI Moves?

    ... Eh, no.
  • July 19, 2013
    StarSword
    ^No, 'cause we don't want to snowclone Secret AI Moves. I only used Secret Player Moves because I couldn't think of anything better.
  • July 19, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Solatorobo: During the racing portions of the game, enemies never drift into turns, collect but don't use the speed-boosting crystals, and use items infrequently.
    • Zigzagged in the Dragon Quest series, where the non-main character P Cs can be controlled by AI. The allied AI is (thankfully) far more effective than the enemy's, as it knows which enemy is the weakest and will attack it first until it dies, then move to the next, or if it's buffed (if a Squishy Wizard starts attacking instead of throwing fireballs, the enemy likely starts with spell reflection, which the player can't see). By contrast, two enemies will for example first buff their group, and the other will then nullify all magic effects on all fighters, wasting their turns.
    • Quite possibly the most infamous example is Big Rigs Over The Road Racing. A racing game in which the AI is not given the option to win, stopping just short of the finish line.

    There should be a link to Game Breaker in there, as the AI can't exactly counter what it's not allowed to do.
  • July 19, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Good stuff, good stuff, and the Solotarobo example reminded me of another example from LEGO Racers.
  • July 19, 2013
    Stratadrake
  • July 19, 2013
    Earnest
    I don't think Forbidden To The AI works, people will likely first think of Three Laws Compliant or Restraining Bolt.

    Tweaking it to Forbidden NPC Tactics gets across this is videogame specific.

    ^ That can work too.
  • July 19, 2013
    StarSword
  • July 19, 2013
    DAN004
    Player Exclusive Mechanic would refer to this trope purely, while Player Exclusive Tactic would refer to the Meta Game variant of this.

    I'd like a title that encompass both.
  • July 19, 2013
    Mexichu
  • July 20, 2013
    henke37
    The AI in Civilization has a mixed history for nukes. Some versions never let the AI use them. Others have the AI spawn them out of thin air. Later versions tend to play fair.
  • July 21, 2013
    DAN004
    Okay, I've decided that Player Exclusive Tactic (i.e the Metagaming variant) is just Artificial Stupidity.

    Thus I'm gonna limit examples on mechanic only.
  • July 21, 2013
    StarSword
    ^More to the point, it's just the fact that gaming AI and Artificial Intelligence are not the same thing. The former uses predefined rules and responses to fake being intelligent, the latter makes up its own.
  • July 21, 2013
    DAN004
    I know that, but since Artificial Stupidity refers to the video game AI...
  • July 21, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Never mind; I was mostly thinking out loud.
  • July 22, 2013
    StarSword
    So, can we get some title input or should I put it to a crowner?
  • July 22, 2013
    DAN004
    We can ask for more titles first and then we can decide whether to make a crowner or not.
  • July 26, 2013
    Koveras
  • July 27, 2013
    StarSword
    Heck with it. Crownered.
  • July 27, 2013
    Scorpio3002
    The original Assassins Creed had the player character instantly drown if they attempted to swim. In all other installments, the player character can swim, but enemies still drown instantly, allowing for easy getaways if the player is ever able to swim away.
  • July 27, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Not sure about that one. Have enemies ever not had Super Drowning Skills?
  • July 28, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ They have, but in this case, the player has an obvious advantage because the AI is forbidden from jumping into the water. I think it counts, because there is no in-game reason why some guards (the ones wearing light armor, like Ezio) couldn't swim after you.
  • July 28, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Then... an example it is. I'd call it a borderline one, tho
  • July 28, 2013
    godofgamers
    In Command And Conquer Tiberian Sun and Command And Conquer Red Alert 2, the rules.ini files had a special flag called "AI Build This = no" on some of the units/structures that the player could build.
  • July 29, 2013
    StarSword
    Loaded up.

    Right now the crowner has Player Exclusive Mechanic at +5.
  • August 2, 2013
    DAN004
    Bub-ump.
  • August 6, 2013
    hbi2k
    • In Borderlands 2, the AI will never fire at explosive barrels to indirectly damage the player.

    (Not sure if the above technically counts as a mechanic or a tactic, since AFAIK the AI still CAN explode barrels if it hits them accidentally, it just never explicitly aims for them. Feel free to omit if it doesn't fit the final definition of the trope.)

    • In FTL Faster Than Light, the AI is unable to manually open its doors to vent the atmosphere and attempt to suffocate the player's boarding party, or funnel them into the Medbay where its own crew is at an advantage.

    • At lower difficulty levels, the AI in the Magic The Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers games will never activate the "pumping" (paying mana to temporarily increase power and toughness) abilities of certain creatures.

  • August 6, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Not shooting at Exploding Barrels certainly looks like a game mechanic the AI isn't taking advantage of. IIRC they don't do it in the original, either.
  • August 6, 2013
    StarSword
    Remembered another trope this may be the supertrope to: Tactical Door Use.
  • August 11, 2013
    StarSword
    Bump for votes. Right now Player Exclusive Mechanic is at +8 with no opposes, Player Exclusive Action at +2 with no opposes.
  • August 11, 2013
    SaniOKh
    Another example: in Pokemon games, besides having access to a much more extensive inventory, the player seems to be the only trainer to be able to foresee the Pokemon his/her opponent will use next and switch the active Pokemon without taking a turn if necessary.
  • August 12, 2013
    DAN004
    Nine votes for Player Exclusive Mechanic. :D
  • August 17, 2013
    DAN004
    Okay, 10 votes. Changing now.
  • August 17, 2013
    Stratadrake
    As for the Pokemon series, this is known as the "Shift" battle style and it's enabled by default, however it only works in single player mode against the AI; in multiplayer battles you don't get the opportunity for a free switch-out when your opponent sends in their next Pokemon.
  • August 17, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Fixed the example. I also specified that it only applies to the main series. Stadium, Colosseum, and XD: Gale of Darkness don't allow it.
  • August 18, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Stadium's based on multiplayer battling which don't allow it (same goes for Pokemon Battle Revolution), only Colosseum and XD have proper single-player modes.

    BTW, Big Rigs Over The Road Racing isn't an example. That's just unfinished game design.
  • August 23, 2013
    DAN004
    Bub-ump.
  • August 23, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • Almost all items in Persona 3. This is exceedingly frustrating, due to the game's Manual Leader AI Party. Despite a spared item pool, your party cannot use anything but the two weakest healing items. As such, if your character is incapacitated through a status effect and you don't have a member that knows the counterspell, you're left as a passive observer until it wears off.
  • August 23, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Oh, speaking of Pokemon:

    • In Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD Gale Of Darkness, the player can use the "Call" command on Shadow Pokemon that have entered Hyper/Reverse mode (which occurs during the purification process). In XD, the player can also use the Call command on their own Pokemon to wake it from sleeping or raise its accuracy (without having to use an item for this).
  • August 28, 2013
    DAN004
    Hats? Examples?
  • August 30, 2013
    KAntonkage
    [[folder:Beat Em Up]]
    • Dynasty Warriors has several:
      • The Horse Musou
      • Prior to 6, the FPS bow and arrows.
      • In 7, and onwards, EX Attacks and the ability to switch weapons.
      • In 8, Switch Counters and True Rage Attacks.
    [[/folder]]
  • August 30, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ You're saying that the enemy generals in the campaign gameplay (which are normally playable) are not able to use those things, right?
  • August 30, 2013
    KantonKage
    ^exactly
  • August 30, 2013
    Stratadrake
    ^ Then you should explain it a little more.
  • August 30, 2013
    Koveras
  • August 31, 2013
    DAN004
    Personally I'd like Sir Star Sword to launch it, but I'll do it about next week. Gotta gather some examples too.
  • September 1, 2013
    KantonKage
    • Dynasty Warriors has several:
      • In 7, players with a characters EX Weapon equipped, gains access to the Ex Attack. When a player performs a certain charge attack. Which the computer doesn't use.
        • Also the player can change weapons[[note]]from a sword to a spear [[/note]] for better range, attack power or just because. The AI on the other hand are stuck with the same weapon.
  • September 3, 2013
    YeOldeLuke
    Bots in Team Fortress 2 cannot use unlockable weapons. Even with just stock, engineer bots cannot haul buildings (instead detonating their old ones when the time comes to move the rear lines forward) and Soldiers/demomen cannot Rocket Jump.
  • September 7, 2013
    joshbl56
    Two examples:

    Games
    • Final Fantasy XII is this throughout most of the game thanks to the gambit system. Since you don't start out with quite a few gambits, the AI-controlled characters will be severely limited to what they can do. It is subverted later since you can buy all the gambits though.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has this problem when it comes to using Full ATB Skills. AI controlled characters will never use full ATB skills and since you can't change characters in-battle, you're stuck with only using 1 character's full ATB skill each fight.
  • September 8, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ I love that example since it mentions how an NPC ally can have the same problem as the enemies because of this trope. XD
  • September 8, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Unfortunately, in FF 12 we can't confirm whether enemies have access to the Gambit system proper so I wouldn't call it "player exclusive" (some things are expected to be player exclusive anyway), it's mostly a means of automating certain behaviors (like healing when your HP is low). Nonetheless, until you get five or six Gambit slots and some really useful Gambit conditions, it takes awhile before it gets really powerful (for example: use Charge any time MP < 10%).
  • September 8, 2013
    joshbl56
    @Stratadrake, enemies have access something like the gambit system as well. If you look at certain characters, like this esper Mateus, you'll see that monsters do have gambits and even some that even your own characters never receive.

    Also, (just encase you're wondering) I used Mateus as an example because I was already on the page.
  • September 8, 2013
    Stratadrake
    I'm not sure RPG's in general really qualify as the player and monsters tend to operate on completely different skillsets anyway. Gambits are noted as being basically customizable AI scripts for party members, but that's about it.
  • September 9, 2013
    DAN004
    @ Stratadrake: Yup, I already said in some games it's to be expected that the enemy will work on an entirely different mechanic and normally isn't expected to act similarly to the player.

    However, Josh's examples are about NPC allies which I guess may also count as this trope. Note how this is "Player Exclusive".
  • September 9, 2013
    Stratadrake
    In FF 12 you only occasionally get NPC allies; everyone else you can manually control at any time (the Gambits are there to make it easier).
  • September 9, 2013
    joshbl56
    @Stratadrake, true but it is extremely hard to keep up with 3+ characters. Fighting a boss fight without gambits is a horrible experience, especially since characters don't constantly attack, will not heal and refuse to use any sort of magick or technick without gambits telling them to do so. If you're really wanting to change the example then we could make it say 'only NPC allies and Espers cannot be controlled nor can use all skills/armor & weapons player-controlled characters can use'. Is that better?
  • September 9, 2013
    Stratadrake
    ... you have played ATB based Final Fantasy games before, right? ;) FF 12's battle system is really a lot like that, just faster paced and you don't have to wait for a character's turn to arrive before you can issue an order to them. There are a few select boss battles that can actually be made easier by switching Gambits off and issuing manual orders.
  • September 9, 2013
    joshbl56
    Yes I have but normal ATB games at least tell you when you have turns :p While you don't have to wait for your turn, you still have wait for skills to charge (not items but there is that crazy long time after using the items).

    Oh well, I'm mainly making excuses for myself. What do you want to do with the examples?
  • September 9, 2013
    Stratadrake
    FF 12 also isn't the only game where there's a charge period between selecting a skill and it actually executing (FF 4 and FFT both had this).

    Anyway, I don't have a final say on the matter of whether FF 12 counts as an example.
  • September 17, 2013
    DAN004
    Bub-ump.
  • September 23, 2013
    reflaxion
    Added example from Super Mario Kart.

    Five hats here. What now?
  • September 27, 2013
    DAN004
    Just waiting sir Star Sword to launch. Or maybe me, but I'm going away for 2 days...
  • October 2, 2013
    hbi2k
  • October 3, 2013
    DAN004
    One last bump
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=8oz6v9h7ghtw9855l5ko7tij&trope=PlayerExclusiveMechanic