Created By: sgamer82 on September 14, 2011 Last Edited By: sgamer82 on April 27, 2012
Nuked

Scattered Protagonists Unite

The True Companions are introduced and developed independent of the Hero.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
In the majority of stories, the audience is introduced to characters at the same time as The Hero. Nobody outside of, perhaps, the villains, have significant scenes until they come into contact with the hero. What scenes they do have are usually there to make them look mysterious or otherwise set up a Chekhov's Gun for when they are met by the Hero.

This trope operates in a different way, however. When Scattered Protagonists Unite, each individual member of the party is built up independently of the Hero. Alongisde the hero's storyline, they cast has their own scenes, or even story arcs, so we the audience get to know them well before the main character does.

Inevitably, these characters will come together, fully developed and ready to get on with the story. Depending on how this trope is done, this can either happen early in the story or very late. When it's early, the other characters' storylines will be prolgues and their union is a signal to the audience that this is when the real story begins. If it happens near the end of the story, then these heroes will unite for the climax and/or final battles.

A key point of this trope is that, until they meet up, the cast will usually have little-to-no interaction with one another. So cases in which an already established party gets scattered and then reunites is not stricly this trope.

Subtrope of You All Share My Story, with the difference being that Scattered Protagonists Uniting is specifically about protagonists developed independently then meeting, while You All Share My Story is broader and can sometimes have The Reveal of the shared connection regardless of the Character Gathering technique used.

See Also A Day in the Limelight

(Ed. Note: If we don't already have it maybe I can add the "Scattered Party" as a second version of the trope here. Otherwise the intent is the characters are introduced and developed independently before ever coming into contact with the hero).

Examples:

Manga & Anime
  • A Certain Magical Index teases with this more than anything. Starting with the Vento of the Front arc, Touma and Accelerator are working together to stop the crisis, but they're speaking to one another by phone and never realize who the other is. From there, Accelerator has brief encounters with Touma and Shiage Hamazura, but neither lasts for more than a few moments.
    • The plot of New Testament Volume 1 has the villains trying to make it at least appear as though Accelerator and Shiage have united. At the very end, the trope finally plays straight, as both of them come face to face with Touma, who helps give them a formal introduction to the Magic Side.

Video Games
  • Dragon Quest IV has you play through chapters featuring several other characters before you focus on the Hero. The Hero goes on to meet everyone else in the early stages of the journey.
  • Wild ARMs 1-3 are sort of like this. You play the characters individually first, each lasting a couple hours, then when their scenarios finish you go to the perspective of the main protagonist or choose to control any of the three/four from wherever they are (depending on the game) until eventually an event unites the party.
  • MOTHER 3 starts out this way. By way of Flint, we are introduced to Lucas and Claus in the first chapter. The second chapter revolves around Duster, who eventually meets Kumatora. The third chapter is about Salsa the monkey. Then we get to play as Lucas himself and recruit many of the aforementioned people during the journey.

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 4
  • September 14, 2011
    Koveras
    See if you can't find an existing trope under How To Gather Characters... E.g. You ALL Share My Story seems pretty close.
  • September 14, 2011
    sgamer82
    Wasn't quite sure where to look for it to be honest. My first thought was try the Dragon Quest IV page since that was one of the first instances I thought of. I'll double check the tropes and see if this isn't listed.

    Not covered under How To Gather Characters. You All Share My Story is very close, and has some overlap but not precisely what I have in mind. It may be a Sister Trope.

    The difference is that Scattered Protagonists Unite make a specific point of showing the protagonist characters in their own stories or arcs before they unite either around the main hero of the story or form an Ensemble. You All Share My Story has this as an element, but is broader. Within the trope page, examples like Final Fantasy VIII or Phineas And Ferb do not fall under this trope, while others such as Super Smash Bros Brawl and The Stand do fall under it.
  • September 14, 2011
    jate88
    Does the Power Rangers ten year anniversay episode, Forever Red, count?
  • September 15, 2011
    FalconPain
    Mother 3 starts out this way. By way of Flint, we are introduced to Lucas and Claus in the first chapter. The second chapter revolves around Duster, who eventually meets Kumatora. The third chapter is about Salsa the monkey. Then we get to play as Lucas himself and recruit many of the aforementioned people during the journey.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=f2gx8gd9sk3vtvf0izs3tfa7&trope=DiscardedYKTTW