Created By: Euan2000 on September 18, 2013 Last Edited By: Euan2000 on December 1, 2013
Troped

Spotlight Stealing Crossover

When one franchise in a Multi series crossover gets more representation

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So we have a Massive Multiplayer Crossover spanning across multiple worlds, franchises, uni/multiverses, what-have-you. Many characters from all featured worlds participated in it, in one way or another.

But then you noticed something: one, or at least a small number, of said franchises/worlds gets more spotlight than the others, be it the number of representations, the limelight, or the story prominence.

This means we have a case of Spotlight Stealing Crossover.

Keep in mind, though, that this trope isn't always bad and isn't necessarily an unintentional blunder either (e.g some works deliberately focus the crossover from one franchise's Point of View).

Not to be confused with someone from a franchise who's regularly featured in crossovers because of popularity - check Breakout Character, Wolverine Publicity and Popularity Power for that.


Examples

Anime & Manga
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time movie which crosses over the then three Yu-Gi-Oh series the story mostly focuses on Yusei and the cast of 5Ds with all the supporting cast appearing. The plot mostly takes place in the time of the original Yu-Gi-Oh series but GX gets the shaft with Jaden being the only (living and/or human) character to appear and his section takes place in Venice rather than anywhere from his life.

Comic Books
  • In any given Crisis Crossover in the DC Universe Batman and Co will likely be featured prominently despite being as street level as Superheroes get.
  • Happened quite a bit with the Silver Age Worlds Finest comics—they were run by the Superman editorial office, so tended to feature Superman's villains and themes far more than Batman's. (And sometimes when they did use Batman characters, failed to check for updates on their status.)

Fan Fiction
  • Nearly every crossover fan-fiction with more than two series involved will focus on characters from the author's favorite series.
  • Downplayed in Super Mario Bros. Z. It's set in and named for Mario's world and most of the characters are Mario ones but the main villain and Macguffins are from the Sonic series.

Film
  • Averted by executive mandate in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Disney and Warner Brothers allowed their characters to be used but they had to have equal screen time, hence the Donald Duck & Daffy Duck and Mickey Mouse & Bugs Bunny scenes.

Video Games
  • Partially due to the game reusing characters from previous games, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes has more than half of its cast coming from Street Fighter or X-Men.
    • In the previous crossovers there would always be at least two X-Men: Wolverine and the flavor of the year character. (Psyloke for Marvel Super Heroes, Cyclops for Marvel Superheroes vs Street Fighter and Gambit for Marvel vs Capcom 1)
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us had a significant portion of its cast coming from Gotham even though Catwoman and Bane barely play any role in the story. Batman is also the only remaining superhero and the only character to have two chapters in story mode: one as the main universe one and the other as his Injustice verse counterpart.
  • Playstation All Stars Battle Royale started getting called "God of War All-Stars Battle Royale" after the game's Big Bad and Final Boss Zeus was made playable in a later line of DLC, which includes any number of new icons, backgrounds and minions associated with a new character (and thus, more fanservice for the GoW fan-base). It should also be noted that God of War is the only series to be a part of two stages, have three items and (besides the The Coles) have two characters.
  • Sega Super Stars got so far into this with regards to Sonic the Hedgehog's overabundance of characters that they later renamed the series Sonic & All-Stars (starting with All-Stars Racing Transformed).
  • This trope is in full effect in the SNK vs. Capcom series in light of all the Street Fighter and The King of Fighters characters populating the roster (though at least KOF has the distinction of starting out as a Massively Multiplayer Crossover). When SNK made their later entry with SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, they tried to remedy this a bit by throwing a few Unexpected Characters into the mix, such as Zero, Red Arremer and The Mars People (in other words, characters not coming from a Fighting Game background).
  • Super Smash Bros.
    • In the original Super Smash Bros the only series to have 2 characters were the Mario and Pokemon Series.
    • In Melee about half the cast was either from Mario, the Legend of Zelda or Pokemon.
    • This isn't so much the case in Brawl where the Mario and Zelda don't gain any new characters (Toon Link replaces Young Link) and other series like Kirby and Donkey Kong finally get other characters. Pokemon however has six characters if all of the Trainer's Pokemon are counted separately.
    • The full cast for the forth game in the series hasn't been revealed yet but all four Mario Veterans were confirmed to return before any other series got more than one.
  • Look no further than Nicktoons Unite, or SPONGEBOB featuring Nicktoons, as the final installment was named. While the earlier titles in the series went toward more egalitarian representation of the Nicktoons involved, as the series progressed Sponge Bob Squarepants stole the whole show.
  • In Street Fighter X Tekken, while there's equal amounts of playable characters per side, many more Street Fighter Characters make cameo appearances.
    • And in an example of a nested crossover, It'd be harder to name a Final Fight character that doesn't appear one way or the other, including Poison being playable for the first time ever. Not that anyone is complaining.
  • Kingdom Hearts plays with this, since it focuses on the Original Generation more than the Disney and Final Fantasy worlds. To a lesser extent, the Final Fantasy worlds play this straight, due to being a franchise (granted, one where the games are Non Linear Sequels) to Disney's various non associated movies. though they appear in less worlds than the Disney characters, a couple of them are among Sora's group of friends and as a result, slightly impact the plot more then the Disney Animated Canon characters note  and at least one the worlds that they do appear in (Hollow Bastion/Radiant garden, Twilight Town and Traverse Town) shows up in each game.

Western Animation
  • Averted in the 'Justice League'' cartoon by way of Executive Meddling where, due to the fact another Batman focused series was running at the same time, the only Batman character available was the Dark Knight himself.
    • Played straight in relation to the Superman characters though where most of the arc villains were foes of Superman.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • September 18, 2013
    Alucard
  • September 18, 2013
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized work names, grouped examples by media, corrected some spelling errors.
  • September 19, 2013
    SKJAM
    Happened quite a bit with the Silver Age World's Finest comics—they were run by the Superman editorial office, so tended to feature Superman's villains and themes far more than Batman's. (And sometimes when they did use Batman characters, failed to check for updates on their status.)
  • September 19, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    • Look no further than Nicktoons Unite, or SPONGEBOB featuring Nicktoons, as the final installment was named. While the earlier titles in the series went toward more egalitarian representation of the Nicktoons involved, as the series progressed Sponge Bob Squarepants stole the whole show.
  • September 22, 2013
    DAN004
    Better description plz.
  • September 22, 2013
    Cider
    Donkey Kong is part of the Mario series (or Mario is part of the Videogame/Donkey Kong series).
  • September 26, 2013
    Euan2000
    Can someone help with the description rather putting a "need better description tag"? We've got 4 already.
  • September 27, 2013
    DAN004
    Not meant to be the perfect description but I'll give it a shot

    So we have a Massive Multiplayer Crossover spanning across multiple worlds, franchises, uni/multiverses, what-have-you. Many characters from all featured worlds participated in it, in one way or another.

    But then you noticed something: one, or at least a small number, of said franchises/worlds gets more spotlight than the others, be it the number of representations, the limelight, or the story prominence.

    This means we have a case of Spotlight Stealing Crossover.

    Keep in mind, though, that this trope isn't always bad and isn't necessarily an unintentional blunder either (e.g some works deliberately focus the crossover from one franchise's Point Of View).

    Not to be confused with someone from a franchise who's regularly featured in crossovers because of popularity - check Breakout Character, Wolverine Publicity and Popularity Power for that.
  • September 27, 2013
    DAN004
    Now that I said there are some "intentional" example, I got one
  • October 2, 2013
    KantonKage
    • The digimon rumble arena 2 fighting game had all of the rookies from Digimon Adventure and two bosses. The other three get one rookie and one boss character.

  • October 2, 2013
    Kayube
    In the Go Go Sentai Boukenger vs. Super Sentai movie, the Magirangers got to have two returning cast members while the other represented series only got one each, since they were the previous year's team and the Milestone Celebration meant that they missed out on a normal team-up in which the whole team appeared. However, this wasn't the case the last time that happened, in Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai, in which the previous team, Mirai Sentai Timeranger, had nobody appear other than a brief cameo by Red made up mostly of Stock Footage. No characters from Timeranger would reappear until Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.
  • October 10, 2013
    Euan2000
    Someone help me remove all those description needs help tags?
  • October 10, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Only mods can remove those. But no worries, my description does need help anyway.
  • October 22, 2013
    Tomodachi
    In a way, Marvel is a Spotlight Stealing universe in Marvel vs Capcom 3. Is kinda justified, considering all the characters -incluiding the big Bad Galactus- exist in the same universe, allowing more special dialogues, unlike the capcom team, where they are from many different worlds that doesn't follow the same rules.
  • October 22, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    • Kingdom Hearts plays with this, since it focuses on the Original Generation more than the Disney and Final Fantasy worlds. To a lesser extent, the Final Fantasy worlds play this straight, due to being a franchise (granted, one where the games are Non Linear Sequels) to Disney's various non associated movies. though they appear in less worlds than the Disney characters, a couple of them are among Sora's group of friends and as a result, slightly impact the plot more then the Disney Animated Canon characters note  and at least one the worlds that they do appear in (Hollow Bastion/Radiant garden, Twilight Town and Traverse Town) shows up in each game.
  • November 28, 2013
    wanderlustwarrior
    This needs to be.

    It also needs a better title, though. It sounds like the crossover itself is stealing spotlight from the other works.
  • November 30, 2013
    acrobox
    ^ ^um, the Kingdom Hearts doesn't really play with this at all. Disney is favored in terms of sheer amount of character and worlds. In terms of plot relevance Original Generation is most important, Classic Disney Shorts is a close second, because they've mostly been retconned to be part of the Original Generation anyway, and Final Fantasy is a distant third. Donald and Goofy are the only full time party members who aren't Original Generation, Mickey Mouse is between Big Good and Sixth Ranger, and Yensid is the Mentor Archetype. Despite the fact that a handful of Final Fantasy characters make up La Resistance, they only exist in Original Generation worlds with Merlin from King Arthur. The most recurring antagonists that aren't Original Generation are Maleficent and Pete, and the seven princesses of heart are six Disney characters and one Original Generation character.
  • November 30, 2013
    Earnest
    This trope and Story Breaker Team Up can be closely related. For example, the more powerful or competent franchise may outshine and sideline their partners. Or an author may go too far attempting to avert this and instead heaps so many Drama Preserving Handicaps on the more powerful group it barely shows up.
  • December 1, 2013
    Surenity
    Though the same franchise, Turtles Forever has elements of this via Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness. The 2003 Turtles are the main characters, while the 80's initially enter their universe, and the comic book turtles get little more than a cameo.
  • December 1, 2013
    wanderlustwarrior
    ^Inarguably the same franchise, and it also fits under Adaptation Displacement, but I think it definitely fits here, and the description might want to make a point of noting such examples of Adaptation Displacement. In faaaaaaaact...

    • Power Rangers Megaforce, in regular Power Rangers tradition, borrows source footage from Super Sentai. Part of this footage is of the Super Sentai season Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, the Crisis Crossover season that has a fight scene featuring the suits of all previous seasons of the series. Megaforce, however, adds out-of-costume footage for 10 rangers in the show's 20 year history. Only 6 teams are represented, however, and of course Tommy Oliver appears in two of his 6 ranger costumes.
      • The Power Rangers Wild Force episode "Forever Red" featured all but one of the Red Rangers up to that point in the series, and none of their teams, except for the team of that season of the show being in about one scene. Even at that, the main Red Rangers featured in the episode were Jason (the original), Tommy (The Ace), and Cole, the red ranger of that season, who didn't even know previous Ranger teams existed until nine episodes prior.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ysc4088i0drtcp80slvzjlnb&trope=SpotlightStealingCrossover