Created By: Basara-kun on July 18, 2017 Last Edited By: Basara-kun on September 13, 2017

Balance, Speed, Strength Trio

A common setting in video games of a balanced fighter, a quick fighter and a strong fighter.

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trope
Here's another draft-to-trope by Basara-kun. Again, I couldn't find this trope, so I made it here. I hope this works... as always, any help is welcome, specially about this Needs More Examples.
Video games are not unfamiliar with the setting of three, specially when it concerns about characters. One of these settings has seen mostly in the Beat 'em Up genre and its sister genre Hack and Slash, in which the main trio is composed by these three characters:

If well it's a video game trope, also can be applied to other media as well other video games genres aside the Beat 'em Up, like Shoot 'em Up and RPG. And it's not just for the good guys, this setting also can be applied to a Terrible Trio. Big, Thin, Short Trio also overlaps this, being the Big usually cemented as the strength and the Thin and the Short vary between balance and speed.

If a fourth character joins the trio having abilities the others don't, then the group becomes Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick. If one of the trio is The Chick (usually the quick one), then it's the íThree Amigos!. And of course, if a couple of characters joins the main trio during the adventure, then it's Three Plus Two.

Subtrope of Power Trio and Videogame Characters. Compare and see also other famous Rule of Three settings seen in video games: Damager, Healer, Tank; Fighter, Mage, Thief; With a Friend and a Stranger and Three-Stat System.


Video Game Examples

Beat 'em Up
  • Final Fight uses this setting in most of its games:
    • Starting with the first one that has Cody Traversnote  (balance), Guy (speed) and Mike Haggar (strength). In an interesting example, Haggar is Playing Against Type, since he's The Protagonist and The Hero of the series, later reusing this formula with another Capcom character: the barbarian-turned-lion Leo.
    • The sequel Final Fight 2 has Cody and Guy being replaced by Carlos Miyamoto (balance) and Maki Genryuusai (speed), with Haggar still on the lead.
    • In Final Fight 3 and the Arcade Mode of Final Fight: Streetwise, there's a fourth character added to the mixture which have different abilities than the aforementioned trio (Guy becomes this in the former, with Lucia and Dean being the speed and balance respectively; and Cody in the latter, leaving the balance to his brother Kyle), but the pattern is still there.
  • And about Capcom, the pattern repeats in Knights of the Round, where Arthur is the balance, Lancelot is the speed and Percival is the strength.
  • if well not always you can manage the three of them, the usual setting of Battletoads is Rash as the balance, Zitz as the speed and Pimple as the strength.
  • In Streets of Rage series, Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding stay in all games as the balance and speed respectively, having the character of strength variable between games (Adam Hunter in 1, Max Thunder in 2 and Dr. Zan in 3), with the addition of Eddie "Skate" Hunter in the last 2 games as a middle point between balance and speed.
  • Being an obvious expy of Final Fight, there's the SNK version of this game: Burning Fight, which have Duke Edwards (balance), Ryu Saeba (speed) and Billy King (strength).

Fighting Games
  • The King of Fighters
    • If well there're various teams that have this setting, the most known in all the series is the "Korea Team" or the "Kim Kaphwan Team", generally composed by Kim as the balance, Choi Bounge as the speed and Chang Koehan as the strength.
    • Another good (and classic) example is the "Japan Team", specially his classic formation with Kyo Kusanagi (balance), Benimaru Nikaido (speed) and Goro Daimon (strength).

Racing Games
  • In the Cop storyline of Need for Speed: Rivals, you can choose every mission by choosing one of the three kind of police vehicles: Patrol, Enforcer and Undercover. The former has the highest acceleration, the middle has more strength and durability, and the latter has the max control, being these three cars the speed (Patrol), the strength (Enforcer) and the balance (Undercover).

Shoot 'em Up
  • The starfighters you can control in the Rogue Squadron series often fall under these categories. Some examples include the X-Wing (balance), A-Wing or TIE Interceptor (speed), and the Y-Wing or B-Wing (strength). Of course there are some ships that excel in speed, firepower and shields, like the Naboo Starfigher or the Buick.
  • Cube Colossus: A.M.U.s 01, 02, and 03. A Jack-of-All-Stats, Stone Wall, and Fragile Speedster, respectively.
  • Different from past games of the series, in 19XX: The War Against Destiny now you can choose between three planes with different skills: Lockheed P-38 Lightning (balance), the series's staple and the most balanced ship of the three; de Havilland Mosquito (strength), returning from 1941 that focuses on firepower; and Kyushu J7W Shinden (speed), a newcomer ship and the most fast and maneuverable ship.

Other

Non-Video Game Examples

Comic Books

Mythology
  • As seen in many Robin Hood stories, it's assumed that Robin is the balance and Little John the strength, so the speed could be Will Scarlet or Much the Miller's Son, all depends of the story or the adaptation.

Professional Wrestling
  • WWE's The Shield has this kind of formation, with Seth Rollins as the balance, Roman Reigns as the strength and Dean Ambrose as the speed (in this case, more than a speedster or a quick fighter, Ambrose is known for his fast and repeated punches to the opponent).

Tabletop Games
  • A common setting in High Fantasy RPGs as Dungeons & Dragons where players usually choose a knight or warrior (balance), a thief or ranger (speed) and a barbarian (strength). Same counts in the case of choosing races, in this case a human (balance), an elf or hobbit (speed) and a dwarf or half-orc (stength).

Western Animation
  • If well the three have similar powers, The Powerpuff Girls usually invoke this trope, being Blossom the balance, Bubbles the speed and Buttercup the strength.

Community Feedback Replies: 9
  • July 19, 2017
    alnair20aug93
  • July 19, 2017
    acrobox
  • July 20, 2017
    Basara-kun
    ^^I'll add it to the draft when becomes a proper trope, same with Three Approach System, which is also related with this.

    ^Already stated that in the description:
    If a fourth character joins the trio having abilities the others don't, then the group becomes Balance Power Skill Gimmick.
  • July 31, 2017
    Basara-kun
    Bump
  • July 31, 2017
    TheFarmboy
    • The starfighters you can control in the Rogue Squadron series often fall under these categories. Some examples include the X-Wing (Balanced), A-Wing or TIE Interceptor (Speed), and the Y-Wing or B-Wing (Strength). Of course there are some ships that excel in speed, firepower and shields, like the Naboo Starfigher or the Buick.

    (Does that count?)
  • July 31, 2017
    Malady
    Remove "(mostly seen in Beat Em Up genre)" from the Laconic? Sorta pointless?

    Cube Colossus: AM Us 01, 02, and 03. A (general attacker?), Stone Wall, and Fragile Speedster, respectively.
  • July 31, 2017
    Basara-kun
    ^I think yes, so this should be added as well ;)

    EDIT: Separated now by video games examples and non-video games examples
  • August 2, 2017
    acrobox
    Just to broaden it, could we consider Light and Heavy instead of Speed and Strength?
  • August 25, 2017
    Basara-kun
    ^Sorry for don't answer this before. I was thinking about that, but since is about skills, I prefer to stay with the name as it's now, maybe if there're more suggestions I could make a crowner.

    Also, bumping this with more examples I found, mostly outside the Beat Em Up genre (I would need more from Hack And Slash BTW)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ah3mvs45fa45xxgzrgn09m4a