* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' tends to do this quite a bit. [[MazingerZ Boss and his Boss Borot]] originally were JokeCharacter tier in the early games, but by the Alpha series had upgraded to low-medium usefulness, and by the J/W/K/L handheld era he got very good if not outstanding. [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Bright Noah]], already badass in his own right and a competent ship captain in the early games only got better to the point that he can take down ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Angels]]''.
** The explanation for Boss is the fact that, by the time of ''J'', they've went from the original anime to ''Anime/{{Mazinkaiser}}'' and ''Anime/ShinMazinger''.
** [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Shinji Ikari]] usually [[TookALevelInBadass Takes A Level In Badass]] in the various titles where he appears.
* Taizo Hori, hero of the original ''DigDug'', and member of the ''MrDriller'' cast, pictured above in his appearance in ''VideoGame/NamcoXCapcom''. Besides changing his look to one that's more realistic and rugged, the game also altered his background so that he's a former soldier in addition to being a digger. Actually, ''NamcoXCapcom'' has a lot of this.
** Ditto for Hudson's ''VideoGame/{{Bomberman}}'' and ''VideoGame/LodeRunner''. Although you'll never see Lode Runner's new look without playing the cell phone version of this game. And, after all, new Lode Runner will look [[JustAKid like a kid.]] Yeah...
** Sierra, on the other hand, made him look like a more matured adventurer.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', the Tau Fire Warrior is a basic grunt unit. When adapted to ''VideoGame/FireWarrior'', the eponymous Tau grunt is able to single-handedly take on the forces of Chaos, and be able to take out several contingents of the Emperor's finest [[SuperSoldier Space Marines]]. The novel, however, delves into some of the Tau lore and explains it a bit better: Kais is fighting a different battle, only his enemy is the very warlike and self destructive aspect that pushed the Tau to the verge of extinction that they thought they no longer had to worry about. His mentor explains that it is something every Fire Warrior has to face and come to grips with.
* A milder example is the 'commando' from ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'', who suffered CripplingOverspecialization and was weaker than basic grunts against vehicles. The FirstPersonShooter ''Renegade'' made him a badass wielding all weapons and more, which included ''three'' vehicle-killers.
* For twenty years, Garland in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'' was known for two things: his famous declaration that he "[[MemeticMutation will knock you all down!]]" and being the first boss in the series. Then ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'' was released. Now Garland is a [[BoisterousBruiser Boisterous]] BloodKnight with a [[MorphWeapon transforming]] {{BFS}} bigger than ''entire characters'', his [[LargeHam hamminess]] was [[EvilIsHammy ramped up]], and he got a few shades of DeadpanSnarker. His archrival, Warrior of Light, went from being a {{AFGNCAAP}} to being a [[TheFettered Fettered]] [[TheCape Cape]], a paragon for light and goodness that [[{{Determinator}} refuses to give up]] no matter the odds. And the BigBad of the original game, Chaos? He's raised up from a generic demon to a PhysicalGod that is able to call upon the other Final Fantasy villains to serve him, effectively making him the BiggerBad of the entire series. [[SNKBoss And just wait]] [[CurbStompBattle until you see him fight]]...
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyII Firion and The Emperor]] get similar treatment. Firion went from having virtually no personality to being a HotBlooded [[LaResistance rebel]] who is [[MultiMeleeMaster a master]] of ''seven'' different styles of combat, and carries around [[WalkingArmory enough weapons to supply an army]]. TheEmperor went from being a generic, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Emperor]], to being a [[TheChessmaster Chessmaster]] who turns all the heroes and even a few villains into {{Unwitting Pawn}}s in his scheme to [[TheStarscream overthrow Chaos]] and [[AGodAmI take over all existence]].
** In the prequel, [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Laguna Loire]] also got this treatment. In his original game, he wasn't particularly special in combat, he fired a couple blasts from his trademark machine gun as his normal attack and for a LimitBreak threw a grenade and fired his machine gun double-time. In ''Dissidia 012''? He's the living embodiment of MoreDakka, packing rocket launchers, a machine gun, various types of grenade, a sniper rifle, and a [[{{BFG}} giant laser cannon]] in the shape of the airship Ragnarok. And his Limit Break? Calling all his weapons together to form a WaveMotionGun.
** One of the largest upgrades happens in FinalFantasyVII with spells. Meteor and Holy had been [[RecurringElement recurring]] powerful Black and White spells, respectively. In the seventh installment they are boosted far beyond that to plot devices as the [[ColourCodedForYourConvenience Black and White Materia]] and were capable of wiping out or defending the entire planet. The series-wide [[ShoutOut reference]] was lost for most western audiences due to the then lack of [[NoExportForYou previous installments]] and [[LostInTranslation inconsistent translation]].[[note]]Holy was renamed to Fade, White, and Pearl in the three that made it over.[[/note]]
* MickeyMouse gets this in ''KingdomHearts'' and ''VideoGame/EpicMickey'', becoming a BadassAdorable who fights freakish {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.
** Donald goes from a short tempered household name to a Badass Abnormal, Goofy is a Badass Normal who fight just as well as the characters WITH magic. Minnie may also count but we only get so little out of that escort mission in Kingdom Hearts II.
** Of course, this is just an expansion of the currently underutilized in America side of [[MickeyMouse Mickey]] as a great adventurer. Comics have always been a place for his {{badass}} side to shine, especially in Italy.
** Also from Epic Mickey, there's the [[BigBad Phantom Blot]], a minor (though admittedly effective) criminal mastermind from the comics and a few [[WesternAnimation/DuckTales cartoon]] [[HouseofMouse appearences]], who becomes a [[EldritchAbomination horrific monstrosity]].
* Pretty much the whole cast of ''AmericanMcGeesAlice''.
** In Wonderland at least, in the second game it's driven home that in the real world, Alice faces [[RealityEnsues the very real dangers]] of being a mentally unstable teenage girl in Industrial Revolution London.
* ''VideoGame/{{The Hobbit|2003}}'' from 2003 does this to Bilbo. Sure, he doesn't get to fight trolls or dragons but he can fight hordes of goblins, giant spiders, the undead and liches. He can break enemy shields with his sword, and create a shockwave on the floor with his walking stick that sends enemies flying. And he can pole vault with the stick too.
* The guy from ''{{Minecraft}}'' (who's apparently named Steve? (? included)) got this kind of treatment in his cameo appearance in the PC version of ''[[VideoGame/MeatBoy Super Meat Boy]]''. Just like in Minecraft Steve? can both lay blocks in the game world as well as dig through anything, making the usually challenging platforming game [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khGITpaFHpE comically easy]]. Essentially this ability goes so far beyond [[GameBreaker game breaking]] that Steve? is basically bending the game over a table and having his way with it.
* Bumblebee in his ''TransformersWarForCybertron'' incarnation is a HotBlooded playable character who can easily rack up a triple-digit kill count over the course of the Autobot campaign. He doesn't have the raw power of Optimus Prime but he makes up for it with speed, skill and determination.
* Phoenix Wright from the ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' games, a fairly normal lawyer, is playable in [[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3 Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3]]. Among the cast are {{Physical God}}s such as [[TheMightyThor Thor]], [[{{Okami}} Amaterasu]] and [[NamesTheSame the other]] [[Comicbook/{{X-Men}} Phoenix]] to name a few. He's set up as a LethalJokeCharacter, with abilities focused on, appropriately, defense.
* Alan Grant in just about every single video game adaptation of ''Franchise/JurassicPark''. In both the book and film, he's TheWormGuy who largely gets by running and hiding and doesn't ever kill anything. In games, he becomes a {{Badass}} ActionHero who expertly wields a plethora of guns and who can [[OneManArmy kill legions of dinosaurs singlehandedly]].
* Some of the gods in ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' are depicted are being much stronger than the Greek Myths presented them as. Ares, the BigBad of the first game, is presented as a titanic warrior the requires a MacGuffin for Kratos to have a fighting chance against, where in the Greek myths he was a coward that would run away from a fight at the first sign of trouble despite being immortal (though Ares as an AdaptationalBadass is also done in every other adaption of him--including ''Roman'' mythology), and Persephone in ''Chains of Olympus'', who was simply mentioned as being dragged off by Hades in the Greek myths, is presented as being able to fight Kratos in hand-to-hand combat.
* ''VideoGame/FistOfTheNorthStarKensRage'' featured Mamiya as a full playable character. In the series, she was shown to be reasonably affective against small groups of {{Mooks}}, but against large forces or serious Martial Artist types, she'd inevitably turn into a DistressedDamsel in need of rescuing. Being a playable character, however, means that she's now fighting on par with Kenshiro himself - tearing through armies of hundreds if not thousands, and singlehandedly disassembling top-tier bosses. It probably helps that she's picked up an AutomaticCrossbow somewhere - heck, she can even pull a SECOND one out of HammerSpace for one of her Signature Moves.
** Lin, the TokenMiniMoe {{Kawaiiko}} in the series as an adult has the same weapon usage as Mamiya. But what differentiates her from Mamiya is that she can ''[[DropTheHammer pick up a steel girder as a weapon as the playable men can do and Mamiya can't]]''. Damn...
* The original ''VideoGame/TheSimpsons'' arcade game from 1991 took a rather combatically intept family and made them able to [[BadassFamily take on the entire town of Springfield and then some]] with household items (Marge), toys (Bart and Lisa), and bare fists (Homer).
* Liu Shan in the original ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' is the definition of SuckSessor, completely inept at fighting and ruling, and in the first sight of danger, he surrenders. ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' turns him into an actually BadassPacifist by the virtue of being playable. Not exactly top tier, but much more competent, savvy and in a way, virtuous like his dad, although he's a bit scatterbrained ([[ObfuscatingStupidity or so he presents himself to public]]). On the assault on Cheng Du, he fought against Sima Zhao first before retreating, rather than surrendering on sight. Only after their next encounter he surrenders. [[note]]And the reason he surrenders wasn't because he's scared as hell, but to preserve the people of Shu from the HopelessWar brought forth by his subordinates who simply doesn't know when to quit. In ''8'', the implication of HopelessWar and 'subordinates who doesn't know when to quit' is absent, but Liu Shan still fought Sima Zhao as the latter enters the throne room to the end before surrendering.[[/note]]
* Arthur from ''VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins'' is a little guy in a suit of armor. When he appeared in ''VideoGame/CannonSpike'', he notably was changed into a giant, muscular weapon of destruction.
* Jack Driscoll in the 2005 version of ''Film/KingKong'' was a pretty meek guy whose every attempt at being heroic always inevitably failed. In the corresponding video game, however, he's the human PlayerCharacter. Despite having no military training, he wields a variety of firearms, can throw spears like a pro, and kills all sorts of dinosaurs and monsters before getting off the island.
* Slash of ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' was depicted as a meek lackey of Bebop and Rocksteady in the cartoon, only helping them because he was being withheld a toy palm tree from them. In the SuperNintendo version ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTurtlesInTime'', he is easily ThatOneBoss in the Prehistoric Turtlesaurus level, plowing through most of your turtles with spinning attacks, a sword with a long reach, and the ability to block which [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard you do not possess]].
* ''VideoGame/KartFighter'' is a bootleg fighting game starring the cast of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioKart'' (yes, really), so this was almost inevitable for half of the characters (namely Peach, Toad, Yoshi and the Koopa Troopa).
* This applies heavily to the entire roster in ''VideoGame/PlaystationAllStarsBattleRoyale'', but it's particularly notable with VideoGame/FatPrincess, who goes from being an immobile AdiposeRex who mainly ate cake and played the flag in her game's {{capture the flag}} gameplay to being able to smack people in the air with her scepter or jump around and crush them with that massive weight of her's. In fact, due to GameplayAndStorySegregation, she has more combo-potential than [[TwistedMetal Sweet Tooth]] and is a better close-combatant than [[VideoGame/{{Killzone}} Colonel Radec]], a trained knife-fighter and "expert" in personal combat.
* When [[Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet Freddy Krueger]] first showed up in ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'' he seemed like more of an AdaptationalWimp, having lost most of his supernatural powers and being forced to rely almost entirely on his WolverineClaws to fight. Then you remember that he only has his powers in [[DreamLand the dream world]] while in the physical world he's pretty much just a [[GoodScarsEvilScars foul-tempered burn victim]] with knives on his hands. In the movies, getting dragged into the physical world is basically a death sentence for Freddy, as [[Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984 the first movie]] in the franchise showed us he can't even outfight an untrained teenage girl in the real world. So watching him hold his own against people like Liu-Kang and Shang Tsung without his nightmare powers is actually pretty incredible.
* ''VideoGame/CartoonNetworkPunchTimeExplosion'' did this. While characters like [[WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor Numbuh 1]], WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls, and WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack were always pretty badass to begin with, the game also has characters like [[WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends Mac and Bloo]], {{WesternAnimation/Chowder}}, [[WesternAnimation/TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack Flapjack, and even Captain K'Nuckles]] able to hold their own in a fight.
* Bass.EXE from the [[Videogame/MegaManBattleNetwork Mega Man Battle Network]] series. when compared to Bass from the classic series, he went from a somewhat challenging rival of Mega Man to ''the'' BonusBoss of the franchise, and with good reason. He is also considerably more [[AxCrazy unhinged]] than in the Original series.
* ''VideoGame/HyruleTotalWar'' takes the [[EasilyConqueredWorld defenseless]] people of Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda and turns them into powerful warlike races; The [[http://zeldawiki.org/Anouki Anouki]] are [[http://undyingnephalim.deviantart.com/art/Homeland-Security-409188933 the most extreme example]].
* InjusticeGodsAmongUs: Characters like Batman are shown being able to survive being punched into orbit thanks to competitive balance.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriorsGundam'' turns a few notable Gundam characters into this, most notable [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Elle Vianno]], who was pretty inept with the Gundam Mk-II, and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED Lacus Clyne]]'', whose only moment of piloting a Mobile Suit was guiding the Infinite Justice down to Earth.
* In ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'', Dante Alighieri never does anything violent throughout his journey through the afterlife. In the very first level of ''VideoGame/DantesInferno'', he kills TheGrimReaper and steals his scythe, which he naturally ends up using against [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade the souls of Hell]] and [[spoiler:[[{{Satan}} Lucifer]]]].
* Even Ryu of ''VideoGame/StreetFighter'', who is ''never'' by any means a wimp, gets this treatment in the ''VideoGame/CapcomVsWhatever'' series. In ''Street Fighter'', all variations of his [[KamehameHadoken Hadoken]] are only {{Energy Ball}}s[=/=]{{Fireball}}s, whereas in ''Capcom vs. Whatever'', the higher-grade Shinku Hadoken becomes a [[Manga/DragonBall Kamehameha Wave]]-like WaveMotionGun.
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