Created By: KoverasJuly 1, 2012 Last Edited By: KoverasAugust 15, 2012
Troped

ArbitrarilySerializedSimultaneousAdventures

Video game characters have simultaneous adventures. You have to play through all of them, in any order.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
In most games, you steer a single character through a continuous adventure. This is about when a game allows you to sequentially take control of multiple characters on chronologically simultaneous adventures in any order you desire. This can happen at the beginning (overlapping with Multiple Game Openings) or in the middle of the game (possibly after Lets Split Up Gang moment), but you always have to complete all of them before proceeding to the next stage. The key component here is that the player can choose the order to complete the individual story branches (especially relevant if they have varying difficulty) and, occasionally, may even switch between them at any time.

Contrast Synchronous Episodes, where the order you play the parallel adventures in is predetermined, and Multiple Game Openings, where you only play through one of the parallel intros while the others remain unseen.

Examples:

Fighting Games
  • Although each character's arc in The Black Heart has a chronological order, the order they can be played in is entirely up to the player.

Platform Games
  • In Sonic Adventure, you have six playable characters whose individual stories you have to complete before unlocking the final story that connects all six.
  • Likewise, in Sonic Adventure 2, you play through two stories, which all take place simultaneously, each with three characters, and a final story that connects the two.
  • Ditto in Sonic Heroes, with four stories, each with three characters, and a final story that connects all four.

RPG -- Eastern
  • In Wild Arms 1, you have a choice of three possible player characters but actually have to play through all of their origins, which all converge at the initial Castle.
  • Likewise, Wild Arms 3 has four main characters and you have to play all of their starting stories before they all meet during the Train Robbery.
  • Final Fantasy VI includes multiple instances of the party splitting up and going off on separate adventures before joining forces again. In almost every case, you get to pick the order you tackle said adventures in, and their difficulty and length vary greatly.
  • In Rudra No Hihou, you have to play through the simultaneous scenarios of three main characters (Sion, Surlent and Riza) before they all converge into Dune's scenario that completes the game. Unusually, you could switch between their stories at any time from the loading screen.
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep lets you play each of the 3 characters in any order.

Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • July 7, 2012
    Bisected8
    • The DLC in Borderlands ends up like this; each expansion takes place after the main quest (presumably one after the other), but you can access and play them all at any time (in fact the first DLC, The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, can be completed before you've even left the first major hub, since you only need to be level 10 or so to play it).
  • July 7, 2012
    polarbear2217
    In Sonic Adventure, you play through six different characters' stories, which all take place simultaneously, and a final story that connects all six.

    In Sonic Adventure 2, you play through two stories, which all tale place simultaneously, each with three characters, and a final story that connects the two.

    In Sonic Heroes, you play through four stories, which all take place simultaneously, each with three characters, and a final story that connects all four.
  • July 7, 2012
    Koveras
    ^^ But since they are played with the same characters (don't they), these DLC cannot be chronologically simultaneous, can they?

    ^ And do you get to pick which characters to play with in any order in all three examples?
  • July 7, 2012
    polarbear2217
    ^ You have to finish all of the stories to unlock the final one. In SA and SH, each character (or set of three characters in SH) is a seperate story. For example, in SA, you can play three stages of Sonic's story, and then go back to the menu and select Tails' story, and you would be at the first stage. If you switch back to Sonic's story, you will be right before the fourth stage. They seem similar in structure to Rudra No Hihou, based on the above description. In SA 2, you have two stories with three characters each. Within each story, you have to play along the linear order of characters, bu you can switch stories at any time from the menu.
  • July 15, 2012
    Koveras
  • July 15, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • August 14, 2012
    Koveras
    Bump. Title suggestions?
  • August 14, 2012
    Astaroth
    Arc The Lad Twilight Of The Spirits uses this, with the story alternating between two groups of protagonists, Kharg, Darc and their respective allies, before they meet up in the last chapter and circumstances force them to ally together against the Big Bad.

    Edit: Nevermind, I overlooked the 'in any order' aspect of this trope.
  • August 14, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Can you decide in which order you play their individual arcs?
  • August 14, 2012
    MrRuano
    A fighting game example is The Black Heart. Though each character's arc has a chronological order, the order they can be played in is entirely up to the player.

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