Most single-player video games have a single Player Character
whom the player steers throughout the adventure. Some feature more of them, with the player controlling each one of them in turns
. And then there are some that pit one player character against another, controlled by the player and the AI, respectively.
If the battle is fought to the death, it can become a powerful Player Punch
, especially if preceded by a Sadistic Choice
wherein the player must decide which character lives and who dies.
Not to be confused with Player Versus Player
, which is specific to multiplayer games. See also Fighting Your Friend
- In Legacy of Kain: Defiance, one of the boss fights is a duel between the two protagonists, Kain and Raziel. For the first half of the fight, you control Kain trying to beat Raziel into submission, before control switches to Raziel half way through.
- In LEGO Star Wars, you play through most of the last level of Episode III with P1 as Obi-wan and P2 as Anakin. Come the last stage, Anakin becomes a boss and you can only control Obi-wan.
- Deadly Creatures has a few portions where the tarantula and scorpion cross paths and you have to beat one with the other.
- In addition to the whole "one character leaves clues, the other two find them" mechanic in Fahrenheit, there is an episode where Carla and Tyler spar at the police gym. Notably, not only can you decide whom to control during the sparring, but you can also lose (even on purpose), which is helpful because the winner gets a boost to their Sanity Meter (which Carla usually needs more than Tyler).
- Likewise, in Heavy Rain, Ethan, Madison, or Norman (whoever is alive at that point) must fight Scott a.k.a. the Origami Killer in the endgame. You control the former but you can still lose and have your current character killed.
- Not a physical conflict but in Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, when April and Kian meet for the first time, they engage in a heated argument over the Azadi politics in the Northlands. Notably, you can select both characters' responses, so it is possible to either convince April to reconsider her views on Azadi, or force Kian to take a good look at his superiors. Too bad it doesn't really lead to any Story Branching.
- In the single-player story mode of X-Men vs. Street Fighter, after defeating Apocalypse, the player takes control of whichever character landed the final blow and must then fight his tag partner in a one-on-one match. This turn of events goes unexplained.
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us, the single player campaign has you swapping characters at the end of most chapters, and every so often you'll end up in a fight with a character you controlled in a previous chapter.
- Happens often in Tribes: Vengeance. First is when Victoria fights and kills her lover Daniel after he is tricked into killing her father. Then subverted when Julia chases after Jericho, only to be one-upped by Mercury (who is also a player character) but played straight when she fights and kills Mercury himself.
- There is a brief level in the original Call of Juarez where Ray finally catches up with Billy and guns him down (though Billy survives).
- In Mega Man X 5, if you can save Zero from going Maverick then X and Zero get into an argument that escalates into a fight (with you playing whomever you took in to the level). If Zero goes Maverick then you have no choice and X has to destroy Zero.
- In Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits, you spend the game alternating between controlling two parties; a party of human characters led by Kharg, and a party of deimos led by Darc. In the final chapter of the game, both parties meet each other and you have to choose one party that you control in order to defeat the other (shortly before the Big Bad appears and forces them into an Enemy Mine situation).
- Happens repeatedly during Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Add to it when you fight an alternate team, they keep the levels and items from when you were last controlling them. If you manage to keep both teams around the same power its an even match-up, but if they're not balanced you'll spend half the levels plowing through 'yourself' and the other half running away from 'yourself'.
- In Fortune Summoners, there's a brief section where you play as Stella in a flashback explaining how she got to the section of dungeon you just reached. When you reach the present she challenges Arche to a dual, serving as a Boss Fight (something of a Curbstomp Battle, since she's a Squishy Wizard and the battle takes place in a small arena), before joining the Player Party.
- In Star Wars: The Old Republic, an Imperial Flashpoint sees you hunt down and eliminate the protagonist of the original Knights of the Old Republic. Needless to say, Darth Revan puts up a hell of a fight.
- The finale of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron involves the player selecting to control either Optimus Prime or Megatron as they have their final battle before landing on Earth.
Will go under Videogame Tropes