Created By: RyuumaMay 26, 2012 Last Edited By: AgaresFebruary 9, 2014

My Rules Are Your Rules

When both good guys and enemies in video game share the same abilities.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Do We Have This One Needs A Better Name Needs A Better Description

A trope usually found in RPG games and similar. Basically, rather than have a selection of skills for the heroes and totally different abilities for the monsters and bosses they'll met, the game have a single, giant "archive" of skills from which both monsters and heroes can choose. In shorts, it ends up in an Elite Mook using the very same fireball spell that your character can learn, all without being an Evil Knockoff. Sometimes, the bosses or some other enemies will still use some unique techniques to have a little advantage over players.

The main reason? Probably because it's easier to keep a single archive of abilities for everyone rather than giving each enemy a special skill.


Examples

  • In Drakensang humanoid enemies and spellcasters can use the same battle skills and spells that your hero can learn.
  • Used in Titan Quest. Usually certain enemies will have the same skills from the various masteries that the player can choose. For example Dual Wielding enemies will have the Warrior's skill set, while enchanters will use skills available to magic users and so on. And since you can mix classes, many options are possible.
  • In Dragon Quest VIII heroes and monsters share most of the abilities, though in some cases monsters will perform them in a different way.
  • Elemental Powers in The Legend Of Dragoon are always the same for characters and foes. The only difference is that enemies "cast" the spell, while the heroes "use the object" containing the spell. Averted with the Dragoon powers (except for some Bonus Boss battles.)
  • In Final Fantasy I it is not rare for monsters to cast spells from the Black Mage's list. However they also have some special, unique spells (like Blizzard or Ink). The same happens with most of the other games in the series.
  • In Warcraft, unrecruitable creatures and monsters will often have skills seen in other heroes or magic-using units, but mishmashed.

Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • May 26, 2012
    Shrikesnest
    In each of the Final Fantasy Tactics games, at least half of your opponents are units with the same job classes and abilities that you have access to (you know, more or less...). Monster-type enemies are different, and non-monster enemies sometimes have special abilities to show off how incredibly powerful or special they are.
  • May 26, 2012
    chicagomel
    • This is basically what Pokemon is-there is the Elemental Rock Paper Scissors aspsect, but the move pool is the same for all mons of a species, with the caveat that if one is higher leveled, has visited a move tutor or inherited certain egg moves, or are of the same type but different species,they may have a move the other doesn't. That's why the ERPS aspect is one large key to winning battles.
  • May 27, 2012
    troacctid
    • In Shining Force, enemy mages can cast the same spells as your own mages.
  • May 28, 2012
    Shrikesnest
    I think we should call this My Rules Are Your Rules in order to contrast it with My Rules Are Not Your Rules.
  • May 30, 2012
    Ryuuma
    ^ That's a very good idea, but I'm afraid it'll be accused of being a snowclone.
  • May 30, 2012
    Shrikesnest
    It's not a snowclone if it's literally an inversion of the other trope. Which this is.
  • May 30, 2012
    hnd03
    In the Persona series, enemies have the same possible skills that you have access to. Bosses often do as well, but most have some unique skill.

    I'm also in agreement with the name change.
  • May 31, 2012
    Ryuuma
    Ok then, in that case I'll change it.
  • June 1, 2012
    Koveras
  • December 9, 2012
    Onitatsu
    Bump
  • December 14, 2012
    Onitatsu
    Bump.
  • December 15, 2012
    Koveras
  • December 15, 2012
    StarSword
    Contrast Rubber Band AI and The Computer Is A Cheating Bastard.

    Real Time Strategy:
    • The AI in Dawn Of War doesn't gain any extra tricks that the player can't have; all that changes on higher difficulty settings is that the AI has more HP.
  • December 15, 2012
    Cider
    From Beat Them At Their Own Game

    "Some authors, especially video game designers, like to have their hero use a villain's own methods against him. This could be due to the reason stated above: because the only option the hero has to counter said tactic is the tactic itself. Other times, it might be an honor thing. Or things could have just turned out that way. Whatever the reason, equally matched fights are cool."
  • December 15, 2012
    McKathlin
    • Monsters from Sa Ga 2 and Sa Ga 3 use abilities available to the monster(s) in the player's party. After all, player monsters can turn into the same kinds of monsters as the enemies by eating monster meat.
  • September 11, 2013
    DAN004
    Of course, competitive multiplayer games (fighting, racing etc) won't count in the first place since this is expected. :P
  • September 11, 2013
    Koveras
    • In XCOM Enemy Unknown, enemies act by pretty much the same rules as your soldiers. This is especially evident once you learn the Mind Control power, hijack some enemy combatants, and see that the are basically using the same abilities as your own units. The only real difference is that they get a free move out of their turn (to take cover) if you run into their view unstealthed and can randomly teleport across the map, provided you haven't run into them yet.
  • September 12, 2013
    DAN004
    So this can also be an opposite to my (sorry, Star Sword's) YKTTW "Player Exclusive Mechanic". :D
  • September 12, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    • Every "Shin Megami Tensei" games use this rule. Unique skills are usually reserved only for bosses and several unique demons, otherwise your enemies and yourself have access to the same archives of skills.
  • September 12, 2013
    Chabal2
    • I think Dragon Quest can be expanded to the entire series, as in the three games I've played (V, VI and IX) pretty much every skill used by monsters can be learned by a party member (usually via job system).
    • The Golden Sun series has moves unique both to monsters and player, where most monster skills can't be learned by players (though they tend to have the same effect as the player-equivalent). It usually comes as a nasty surprise when a boss breaks out a party-healing move or a buff-cancel you thought were the only one to know.
  • September 23, 2013
    Koveras
    The title kinda sounds like dialogue, even knowing that it's based off an existing title. So, just in case, here is an alternative suggestion: Equality Before The Rules.
  • September 23, 2013
    DAN004
    My suggestion would be Equal Rule Mechanic.
  • September 23, 2013
    Diask
    Or Standardised Skill Set, since the description is about players and enemies alike using the same skills.
  • September 23, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ My impression was that this is about more than just Skill Scores And Perks and rather about general rules, including things like "Fog Of War applies to all parties" and "even AI has to wait before a building is completed".
  • September 23, 2013
    aurora369
    The Final Fantasy example works both ways: in the later installments, the Blue Mage class uses the same abilities that the monsters use.

    Also, in The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, there is no fundamental difference between the player character and the enemies. There are some rare abilities unique to the player (birthsigns in TES, V.A.T.S. in Beth-Fallout games), but other than that, all mechanics are the same.
  • September 23, 2013
    dalek955
  • September 24, 2013
    Adbot
    • Generally, the enemy suits in Armored Core follow the same principles as your own, and the exceptions that do occur are either using custom armour that you can't make, use a part that you don't have access to (such as the OP-INTENSIFY from 3), or have special powers that players can access, but most don't get the chance to (going too far in negative cash values in some of the games causes the game to start over, with the player given some benefit to help them try again).
  • September 24, 2013
    KarjamP
    While this is a good title, do you know why we can't use it?

    It violates the No New Stock Phrases rule, which also applies to titles which aren't stockphrases but do sound dialogy.

    The reason why My Rules Are Not Your Rules still has that name is because there's a Grandfather Clause stating that tropes made before mid-2011 get to keep their names unless said names weren't clear enough. If it was to be renamed, though, then rule would apply to it.
  • September 24, 2013
    TheRealFacts
    I think this is a great idea. Except, there's something similar with evil twins.
  • September 24, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^What are you talking about?
  • September 24, 2013
    Diask
  • September 25, 2013
    nitrokitty
    This sounds like People Sit On Chairs, since it's just normal to assume that video games use the same logic both for internal and external mechanisms. It's only when they don't that they become notable, and therefore tropable.
  • September 25, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^ If you based it upon the title only, that is.

    Thus, proving that the title's not suitable for this trope

    In reality, it's about enemies and players having the same abilities, instead of each having unique ones.

    An example would be Final Fantasy, where "It's not rare for monsters to cast spells from the Black Mage's list." Admittedly, it's not a pure example, as there are spells exclusive for monsters, but it goes here anyway, because a lot of the spells monsters use can be used by Black Mages.
  • September 25, 2013
    nitrokitty
    ^ Definitely needs a name change then. Right now it just sounds like the inverse of My Rules Are Not Your Rules. Maybe Universal Power Set?
  • September 25, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Good enough.
  • October 3, 2013
    aurora369
    ^^Don't forget about blue mages, who use many of the monsters' original skills.
  • October 3, 2013
    KarjamP
    ^Then that means the Final Fantasy example's a pure one. :P
  • December 26, 2013
    Koveras
  • January 1, 2014
    Druplesnubb
    Another vote in support of Universal Power Set
  • January 18, 2014
    UltramarineAlizarin
    In Chrono Cross, all special skills are in the form of "elements" (analogous to spells), and enemies use elements that the party can also acquire and use. There are also "trap" elements specifically designed to absorb and steal a particular element. In this case the player breaks the mold with each party member having unique elements, labeled as "techs".
  • February 9, 2014
    Druplesnubb
    Bumping this. Could someone with more time on their hands please launch this?

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable