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* The Spemin in the first ''{{Starflight}}'' are described as the whipping boys of the galaxy. By the second game, encountering them with a weak ship pretty much means death.
* Giacomo from ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos'' goes from being a ShadowArchetype of Sagi who ends up thrown out of TheEmpire for his repeated failures to a cruel combination of TheDragon and ThatOneBoss in the sequel.
** [[spoiler:'''Geldoblame'''. He began as the polite, rather subdued, but loyal aide of Verus in Origins, then Verus' betrayal causes him to GoMadFromTheRevelation. The power vacuum in Alfard that was left behind as a result of the events in Tarazed led to Geldoblame being the only person left who had any position remotely close to the imperial electoral candidates (since Milly's identity as Baelheit's daughter was never made public), and so he was approached by the council. The result? Emperor Geldoblame, who would go on to force the creation of two {{Humanoid Abomination}}s: Kalas and Fee, both benevolent, until Fee was killed and Kalas swore revenge against the other FromNobodyToNightmare villain, Giacomo, who ''also'' serves Geldoblame. Said person would then plunge the entire world into chaos by meddling once more with the remains of Malpercio--up to and including the ''resurrection'' of Malpercio as a corrupted EldritchAbomination, which triggers ''demons from another dimension'' invading and attacking everything in sight. Oh, and he turns into a truly [[{{Squick}} disgusting]] OneWingedAngel before dying, only to somehow return later as an EldritchAbomination whose mere ''presence'' causes the entire world to fill with creepy face masks.]] Holy '''SHIT'''.
** [[spoiler:Savyna.]] Initially a harmless girl who followed her father around, doing nothing but playing with her ball and writing random letters to anyone who would read them, watching [[spoiler:her father being murdered right in front of her]] caused her to enroll into the Alfard military in order to gain the power to kill [[spoiler:Sagi, her father's killer]], eventually rising through the ranks and becoming the [[TheAce powerful]] and [[TheDreaded feared]] '''"[[RedBaron Lady Death]]"'''.
* ''VideoGame/EarthBound'': Porky Minch started off as Ness's neighbor - a [[PoisonousFriend devoted yet extremely obsessive]] [[SmallNameBigEgo egomaniac]], but too lazy and self-centered to do anything dangerous with it. Then he gets involved with [[EldritchAbomination Giygas]]. Once he gets his grubby little hands on some of Giygas's technology, he changes from a mere rotten brat to TheDragon to Giygas, or even part of a BigBadDuumvirate with him, ''OR'' even the downright BigBad, depending on your interpretation. Once that falls through and Giygas gets destroyed, he buggers off with the technology and disappears into time. [[spoiler:Come ''VideoGame/MOTHER3'', he's time-traveled so much that he's [[AGodAmI become immortal]], has raised an army, is perverting nature and [[OmnicidalManiac wants to destroy the world simply because]] ''[[VictoryIsBoring he's bored]]''.]]
** Giygas himself is also an example, being twisted by his conflicted feelings about mankind from a sweet widdle alien baby raised by humans to a soulless EldritchAbomination [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm beyond comprehension]].
* ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar'': At first, Marx appears to just be another harmless, [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter cutesy]] resident of Dream Land, but in fact he [[spoiler:tricks the sun and moon into fighting, gets Kirby to summon Nova to stop the fight and then uses Nova's power to take over the galaxy.]] Then, in ''Kirby Super Star Ultra'', [[spoiler:he is resurrected from his former defeat in a demonic form by absorbing Nova's power]].
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts'', Seiji Kato started off as a lovable goof with a kind heart, an eagerness to please, a crush on his superior officer, and next to no knowledge of magic, instead having studied ''geography''. He summoned the ancient gods of Japan in an attempt to completely rewrite history and erase an entire timeline. Because his "girlfriend" died twice on him.
* Psaro The Manslayer from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIV'', a pretty boy who builds up a hate for humans because cruel men want his elf girlfriend's ruby tears and hurt her for them, He gathers monsters to invade other towns in order to kill the legendary hero/heroine, but is simply rumored by regular people as a random cruel arena fighter. [[spoiler:When Psaro's girlfriend, Rose, is actually killed by humans, he goes mad and seek a way to evolve into a monster]], and you have to fight him as a final boss.
* ''CityOfHeroes''' Lord Nemesis started out as a toymaker around the time of the Civil War. Now? He's a MadScientist master of SteamPunk, TheChessmaster above all others in the game's universe, and was Emperor of the United States for a brief time.
** Let's not forget the BigGood and BigBad of the series: Marcus Cole was exposed to mustard gas during WWI, and after the war went globe-hopping with his now-mercenary platoon buddies, including his best friend Stephen Richter looking for a way to save his life. They eventually find the Well of the Furies, and drink from the Fountain of Zeus. Not only does this fix Marcus, but these two nobodies, these barely-notable privates in a war fought by millions, are now the first [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Incarnates of the gods themselves]] in generations, going by the respective names [[CaptainGeographic Statesman]] and [[SpidersAreScary Lord Recluse]]
** Darrin Wade fits here, what with his [[spoiler: killing Statesman's daughter and then Statesman himself.]] Oh, and he also plans to [[spoiler: summon Cthulhu {{Expy}} Rularuu into this dimension and [[AGodAmI merge himself with it.]] ]] Not bad for a rejected mage.
* ''SoulCalibur'''s Siegfried was the leader of a rag-tag bunch of thieves; not much to write home about. After robbing a convoy [[spoiler:where he mistakenly decapitates his own father and quickly loses his mind over it, convincing himself that someone else did it]], he takes it upon himself to locate Soul Edge, thinking that his father's murderer deserves no less than death by that blade. He finds it, alright...
** In ''Soul Calibur III'' [[spoiler: Siegfried and Nightmare become separated. So Siegfried is no longer a Nightmare. He's just responsible for unleashing a villain that lacks any semblance of a conscience or humanity whatsoever. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Oopsie.]]]] Then in ''Soul Calibur IV'' in his ending [[spoiler:he allows Soul Calibur to bring "peace" to the world by covering it with crystals to trap it in stasis forever]].
** On the other hand, his father was a brave knight that was seen as a champion of the peasants, and went on a crusade. He arguably wasn't a complete nobody...
* In ''VideoGame/DarkCloud 2'', [[spoiler:Sirus was a peaceful, shy Moon Person ([[PettingZooPeople anthropomorphic rabbits]]) who liked flowers, and, after sneaking into the Palace to admire the gardens, was invited by Queen Alexandra to become their keeper]]. When war broke out over the three [[CosmicKeystone Atlamillia Stones]], devastating the country and [[spoiler:killing Alexandra]], he obtained the Sun Atlamillia and swore eternal vengeance upon mankind. Ten thousand years later, the [[BigBad Dark Emperor Griffon]] has all but destroyed the world by manipulating the timestream, and sending out his armies to devastate the few resistance forces that he hasn't erased from existence.
* In the ''AceCombat'' games, your characters always start as unknowns, but quickly become the reason for much OhCrap from the enemies.
* Aldo Trapani, the real player character of ''VideoGame/TheGodfather: The Game'', was originally just the son of a Corleone-aligned baker. Ten years after his dad gets gunned down by Barzini goons, though, he gets taken under the wing of Luca Brasi and quickly becomes the top Corleone hatchetman, effectively crushing the other four families and becoming the new Don of NYC. Averted in the sequel, where Dominic is already established as Aldo's underboss prior to the start.
* It's mentioned in the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' lore that The Illusive Man, VisionaryVillain and leader of human extremist group Cerberus was once a normal man with a family named Jack Harper.
** Also, from the Reapers' perspective, [[TheHero Shepard]] him/herself. Starts out as a farmer/ordinary soldier/spacer, depending on the player's choice, but becomes the single greatest threat to the Reapers in tens of millions of years.
*** This is especially prevalent if Shepard becomes a Renegade. The player has the option to portray Shepard as a near-VillainProtagonist and sociopath, willing to do things from ruthlessly killing innocent people for the good of the mission to [[KickTheDog shooting an adoring fan]] in the foot.
** The Shadow Broker turns out to be [[spoiler:a member of a primitive species who was enslaved and trained to be the original Shadow Broker's [[TheDragon chief enforcer]]. He killed the original Shadow Broker and took his place.]]
** Up to a point, the Krogan race. A [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy proud warrior race]] that was way behind the rest of the galaxy technologically, they were eventually used by the Salarians as soldiers against the Rachni. With exposure to other cultures and better technology, the Krogan became a threat to all other races, to the point the Salarians had to cull their numbers with the Genophage.
** The Geth are another example. They started their lives as simple labor devices with the ability to learn, but eventually developed the ability to philosophise. Fearing they'd want their freedom and rebel, their creators decided to wipe them out... only to lose the war so ''badly'', they were driven from their homeworld and forced to become interstellar vagrants. When the Geth finally reappear three centuries later, they're allied with the Reapers and try to take over the galaxy. [[spoiler: Although it's later revealed the "True" Geth actually desire peace with their creators and only acted in self-defence. The Geth who have allied with the Reapers are "Heretics" and only represent a small minority.]]
** [[VideoGame/MassEffect2 Subject Zero, AKA Jack]], full stop. She could have just been a regular girl, had [[WellIntentionedExtremist Cerberus]] not gotten hold of her. But, because of that, she is ''the'' most powerful human [[MindOverMatter Biotic]] in the galaxy (depending on your beliefs of Adept/Vanguard/Sentinel Shepard's own Biotic skill), on par with [[OneManArmy Asari Matriarchs]].
** [[spoiler:Shepard's clone]] started out as a simple source of spare parts during Project Lazarus, and eventually becomes a serious villain with a highly xenophobic agenda.
* Throughout the ''BaldursGate'' series, the PlayerCharacter goes from being just some kid [[spoiler: with a tiny fragment of the God of Murder in them]] to a being of incredible power. The bad guys in the third game don't send assassins after you - they send an ''army''. You can also [[spoiler: become a God, if you choose]].
** Sarevok, and most of the rest of the [[spoiler: Bhaalspawn]] that become major forces. Sure, they [[spoiler: have a fragment of the God of Murder in them]], but ''lots'' of people had that, and most of them didn't amount to much of anything. Sarevok, for example, goes from an orphan [[spoiler: with a tiny fragment of the God of Murder in him]] to ''extremely'' deadly warrior and a good enough manipulator that he actually ''is'' elected Grand Duke of Baldur's Gate.
* Neverwinter Nights 2, with its first expansion pack, is maybe an even better example. At the start, protagonist is just another inhabitant of West Harbor, not really remarkable [[spoiler: except for the shard]]. At the end of Mask of the Betrayer he/she can, if you so choose, become a [[spoiler:superpowered abomination that devours souls, and is capable of doing that to any number of people at once and even to gods. Cue a RoaringRampageOfRevenge of eating its way across Toril and the Planescape.]]
** [[spoiler: For all we know, Gorion's ward could be among the gods that get eaten.]]
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', two of the available origins really are nobodies - you can't get more 'nobody' than an elf living in an [[FantasticGhetto elf ghetto]] or a Casteless dwarf. You then go on to command the armies of an entire country, whose combined power is more or less equal to [[OneManArmy your own]]. You can even become [[spoiler: the first person ever to slay an Archdemon without dying, though you need some "outside help" for that one...]]
** Loghain is a better example; he wasn't even a noble before the Orlesian invasion and ended up as a Teyrn (roughly equivalent to Duke in medieval England), father-in-law to the King, and eventually regent over the land of Ferelden through a combination of clever military tactics, ambition, and backstabbing.
** In the ''Warden's Keep'' DLC, you read passages from a journal about a young boy being made king because he was thought to be easily manipulated. However, he becomes DrunkWithPower and ends up executing entire noble families as punishment for them talking back to him.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', Hawke starts out a penniless refugee forced to eke out a living in the slums of Kirkwall. By Act II, s/he is the head of a rich noble estate. By Act III, the Champion of Kirkwall. In one ending, [[spoiler:the new Viscount of Kirkwall]], in the other, [[spoiler:the banner of the mages' rebellion against the Chantry across all of Thedas]].
* In ''VideoGame/CaveStory'', the Doctor was, well, a doctor.
* Happens three times in ''VideoGame/ChzoMythos'' the first is [[spoiler: John [=DeFoe=] by the way of being beaten to death with an enchanted idol]] then in the prestory [[spoiler: Cabadath becoming the Prince]], then [[spoiler: Theo Dacabe becoming the New Prince.]]
* Arguably, the Boss from ''SaintsRow''. At the beginning of the first game, he was just some guy on the street. By the end of the second, though... hoo, boy. Just ask the Stilwater Police Department.
** In [[MultipleEndings one of the endings]] of ''SaintsRowTheThird'', this random street-kid from the rough part of Stillwater singlehandedly destroys [[spoiler: an AirborneAircraftCarrier]], despite having a sizeable army with heavy military equipment available. He then proceeds to declare independence, turning the city of Steelport into a new city-state, and [[DoNotAdjustYourSet informing the entire US]] that if they have a problem with that, they're welcome to BringIt!
*** The Boss ends up becoming the President in the fourth game and must fight off an alien invasion. [[spoiler:The end of the game sees them as the ruler of said intergalactic alien empire, with access to time travel.]]
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'': Kel'Thuzad, a second rate mage, discredited and harassed by the mages ruling council for a bit too much interest in certain taboo fields of study like necromancy. Takes one little trip to that planet's version of the Arctic, comes back as leader of a death cult, spreading a plague of Undeath through the human kingdoms, bringing most of them to their knees before finally getting killed; only to come BackFromTheDead and become TheDragon for one of the most powerful forces of Evil in the World.
** Although according to [[http://www.wowwiki.com/Kel%27thuzad#Biography WoWWiki]], he was a member of the Kirin Tor's Council Of Six. They might have expelled him from the order, but it doesn't seem as though he was a nobody before that.
** Kel'Thuzad was an Archmage of Dalaran and a man of considerable wealth and political standing, as well as being one of the Six. However, it has to be said that simply being an archmage and member of the Council of Six does not make one a noteworthy lore character, since most of its current members are relatively minor [=NPCs=] in [=WotLK=]. That said, this trope could be said to apply in that he started out as 'just' a powerful and influential mage who dabbled in necromancy (and was terrified by what he saw in Northrend), to being an incredibly powerful necromancer and the second-most powerful undead entity on Azeroth behind the Lich King.
** Garrosh Hellscream started off as the pathetic, fatalistic leader of the Mag'har, wrapped up in self-loathing after learning his father was the one who corrupted the Horde. After Thrall showed him how [[HeroicSacrifice Grom had died freeing the Orcs]], Garrosh began to act more like a typical orc warlord: Brash, violent, and a bit short-sighted. He eventually became Warchief of the Horde and then the final enemy in ''Mists of Pandaria'', and is a founding member of the Iron Horde.
* BigBad [[MadScientist Demichev]] of ''{{Singularity}}'' - ForWantOfANail [[spoiler:YOU'RE saving him from an inferno that should have killed him]]- rises to power in the USSR and leads it to world conquest. [[spoiler:And in one of the endings, [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure ''Barisov'']].]]
* Everyone with a COMP in ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'', provided they survive making a demon contract. Special mention goes to the MC who can [[spoiler: become the next Demon King or Messiah.]]
* From ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'', [[PhysicalGod the]] [[ChosenOne Demi]]-[[BadAss Fiend]]. OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent one moment. [[ImplacableMan Implacable]] [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu godslayer the next]].
** Ultimately, it can be said that most if not ALL of the Shin Megami Tensei Main Characters become this by the end, many of them starting off as average highschoolers and ending up as the biggest badasses in the game. Even [[VideoGame/{{StrangeJourney}} Strange Journey's protagonist]], who is in the armed forces at the beginning and thus already a badass by human standards, is small fry compared to the demons of the Schwarzwelt. By the end, he becomes the single most powerful being in it. Also notable is [[VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV Flynn]], who started off as a ''dirt-poor rube of a labor caste'' before becoming the Samurai who punched out [[spoiler: Merkabah, Lucifer, and a rather large assortment of homicidal OlympusMons]].
** Even worse, [[GodIsEvil The Great Will]], or YHVH. He was once a {{God}} among many, with only a few more followers than the norm. This was enough to allow him to destroy and demonize his opponents, and led to him becoming a MadGod ruling across universes and the ultimate manifestation of the concept of Law.
** Tayama from ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'' was such a small fry before the Firmament rose, a Ginza chef comments he wouldn't have reached the entrance of his posh restaurant. Post-Firmament, he became the leader of the immense Yakuza-esque Ashura-kai, seizing control of six of the seven National Defense Divinities, cutting deals with demons through means so horrifying ''Lilith the Mother of Monsters'' does not hesitate in the slightest in considering "true evil".
* In ''AlphaProtocol'', one of the options you can start with is as a "Recruit", in which you are, well, a raw recruit with no field experience (and [[DifficultyLevels no starting skill points]]): in other words, a "nobody" who will make for a perfect fall guy if anything goes wrong. In one of the possible endings, you [[WeCanRuleTogether agree to work for]] the BigBad [[ICanRuleAlone but then betray him]], having made enough friends in both high and low places to run your own [[TheConspiracy Conspiracy]] and manipulate world events from the shadows.
** There's also Steven Heck, the CrazyAwesome ConspiracyTheorist alleged-CIA Agent who's implied to just be a regular guy who decided out of sheer insanity to be the best Conspiracy Theorist in the world.
* ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' is the embodiment of this trope. The player character starts waking up from death relatively powerless and gradually becomes the scourge of the US Army.
** In the plot it happens ''twice''. First, by all accounts innocent college student Elizabeth Greene became an immortal host for [[TheVirus the Redlight virus]] and a [[WalkingWasteland One]] [[{{Plaguemaster}} Woman]] ZombieApocalypse. Second, [[spoiler:poverty-stricken, abused foster child Alexander Mercer grew up to get a degree in genetics, create the deadliest virus in mankind's history and with it attempt to take the whole human race with him when he died. That accidentally made his corpse the immortal host for the Blacklight virus and a PersonOfMassDestruction - the player character]].
* Utsuho Reiuji, the FinalBoss of ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}} Chireiden ~ Subterranean Animism'', was originally just a simple, stupid bird whose job was to operate the boilers of [[FantasticGhetto Former Hell]]. Then she ate a sun god, gained the power to [[ILoveNuclearPower control nuclear fusion]], [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity went mad with power]] and decided to TakeOverTheWorld and turn the surface into a blasted hellscape. The problem is that under her new megalomania and insane wish to burn everything, she was still the same dumb raven, and after she had gotten [[DefeatMeansFriendship some sense beaten into her]] she quickly dropped her plans. Turns out that [[TheDitz she hadn't considered]] the possibility that [[BlueAndOrangeMorality some people might prefer grass, trees and cooling breezes to lava wastelands and sulfur]].
* Possible for the Courier in any myriad of ways in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''. Starting out as some nameless schmuck with a couple holes in your head, you can go on to be seen as the scourge of any (and all) of the main factions in the game.
** This carries over to fairly much all of the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' games. From know-nothing kids in vaults to dim tribesmen and simple couriers, the MainCharacter can end up cranking a ''global nuclear apocalypse'' UpToEleven. Entire towns of innocents slaughtered. Mindless nuclear detonations and KillSat hellfires. Children, old men, diplomats, guards, all sent to die in The Pitt as slaves. [[EvilPaysBetter And it usually pays better than playing as a good guy.]]
** Also from ''New Vegas'': Edward Sallow and Joshua Graham. One, a Follower of the Apocalypse with a chip on his shoulder and a fondness for history. The other, a Mormon missionary with fluency in tribal languages. After the two were captured by the Blackfoot tribe, Edward decided to teach them about war, becoming their chieftain, while Joshua served as his interpreter and, soon after, his second-in-command. Therein lies the origin of Caesar, the Malpais Legate, and the Legion.
** And now we can add Ulysses to this list, with the release of Lonesome Road and the revelation that he was simply a member of a tribe conquered by Caesar's Legion who eventually rose to become a Fruumentarius, who after an event caused by The Courier came to the realization that one person can shape history. After WalkingTheEarth a bit and settling down to become a rancher/courier, the revelation that the person responsible for the event was alive and kicking led to the events of Lonesome Road, where [[spoiler:he plans to nuke the Mojave in his own attempt to shape history]].
** As an entire species, Deathclaws are this. Start as harmless chameleons, but become the most terrifying creature on the planet after a little bit of genetic engineering. Averted with those engineered with human-level intelligence; they only ''look'' nightmarish, but are (usually) quite amicable.
** Normal Bloatflies are merely [[GoddamnedBats annoying bugs]], but the Legendary Bloatfly from ''Old World Blues'' is one of the most difficult optional boss enemies.
** The NCR, from the Great Khans stand-point. The Khans used to terrorise and raid a tiny farming community called Shady Sands, and it was only the intervention of the first game's protagonist that prevented their destruction. Shady Sands goes on to encourage other communities to join together into a federation. One hundred years on, this tiny alliance has grown from a few small towns into a post-apocalyptic military and economic superpower that dominates California and has holdings in Nevada, Oregon and Baja. Uh oh.
* This is seen in ''LandsOfLore III''. While the [[BigBad Big Bads]] of the previous two games were the sorcerous leader of the EvilArmy, and then the setting's [[CrystalDragonJesus Crystal Dragon Satan]], the main villain of the 3rd game turns out to be one the series' secondary supporting characters, who starts the game as comic relief and progressively turns villainous as he grows increasingly desperate while his plan to avoid death begins to unravel.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'', [[spoiler:we find out that Cave Johnson's secretary, Caroline, underwent BrainUploading on Cave's orders after his death, as he felt Aperture would be in good hands with her. The computer her brain was uploaded into? [[AIIsACrapshoot GLaDOS.]]]]
** The same trope can also said to have been invoked in [[spoiler: [[BewareTheNiceOnes Wheat]][[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds ley]], who turned from being just one of the many personality cores within the Aperture Laboratories (And one programed to being a laughable idiot,not less) to [[WhosLaughingNow being in charge of the entire facility]]...for a while.]]
* ''PhantasmagoriaAPuzzleOfFlesh'' definitely uses this trope when the origins of the Hecatomb are finally revealed: it's actually [[spoiler:the original Curtis Craig (not the one you've been playing). He started out as an innocent child who just happened to be in the same room as Paul Warner while he was looking for test subjects. Flung into another dimension and forced to watch as he was replaced by an alien duplicate, he plotted revenge; twenty years later, he's developed powerful psychic abilities, and he wants the duplicate's body for his own]].
* In ''SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'', Revya starts off as a normal person, living in a hidden village with his/her best friend. Then, his/her soul gets fused with Gig's, and becomes so powerful that he/she destroys two of the World Eaters with ease, takes over the entire kingdom of Orviska and ends up ''destroying all of reality''
* In ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', Chaos, the watery humanoid being who grows bigger and stronger by consuming Chaos Emeralds, is called the god of destruction, and is responsible for destroying nearly all of the Echidnas, started off as an ordinary Chao, one of the adorable little critters you can raise in the eponymous gardens, until exposure to the Master Emerald mutated him. Then the Echidna tribe tried to take the Chaos Emeralds for themselves, hurting several Chao in the process. [[BerserkButton That resulted in Chaos]] ''[[RoaringRampageOfRevenge earning]]'' [[UnstoppableRage his title.]]
* In ''VideoGame/DragonFable'', humble blacksmith apprentice Konnan turns to fire magic and renames himself Drakonnan after the hero failed to save his family from the fire dragon Akriloth. Drakonnan quickly surpasses his EvilMentor Xan and Akriloth in terms of sheer evil.
* Jane Turner of ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' started out as the owner of a flower shop - however, the Empire razing her business turned her into the [[SociopathicSoldier sadistic, war-mongering]] [[BloodKnight maniac]] she is now.
* A staple of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto''. In fact, each game pushes it SerialEscalation.
** Claude of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'' goes from being a random mook (his first couple of jobs consist of driving prostitutes around and giving beatings to drug dealers who aren't paying their dues) to a feared and hated hitman who kills pretty much every gang leader in Liberty City.
** Tommy of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity'' goes from being a random mook to ''owning'' Vice City.
** CJ of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'' goes from being a random gangbanger (not even leader of his own street gang!) to semi-respected businessman and head of a criminal empire that extends over the entire state.
* In ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'', [[spoiler:Yomiel goes from being a computer programmer (albeit one of the best) to being a disembodied spirit with the ability to possess other people and move his own time-frozen corpse like a puppet.]]
* In most of the ''Zelda'' games, Ganondorf was a kid from a poor Gerudo tribe, who went on to become insanely powerful and nearly conquer Hyrule. In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', we also find out that the Skull Kid was...well, a kid who liked to joke around, and ended up possessed by an evil mask, summoning a giant moon to the ground. ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap'' has Vaati, who started out as a miniscule elf and became a powerful sorcerer.
** Ganondorf is something of a [[ZigZaggingTrope complicated example]], as he goes from king to peasant to viscount and a few other origins through out all the games. Even the series itself isn't 100% sure why this is (sometimes he is reincarnated, sometimes he is immortal, ect).
* In the Hidden Object casual game ''Surface'', a petty criminal named Sid takes over an alternate reality by switching places with his otherworldly duplicate, who rules the place.
* In ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'' and ''Platinum'', Cyrus appears to be this. He is explicitly stated to be a quiet boy who tinkered with machines and lived in Sunnyshore City with his family. Then he grows up, establishes a business empire and a criminal cult, and tries to destroy the universe. And he's ''[[ImprobableAge twenty-seven]]''.
* Another heroic example is of course Samus Aran of the ''{{Metroid}}'' series. The SpacePirates first encountered her as a harmless girl, orphaned when they attacked her home colony. Years later some bloodwork, warrior training and a suit of PoweredArmor has turned that little girl into a OneWomanArmy with a grudge. She cuts through their soldiers with contemptuous ease, and turns the pirates' technology against them. She can effortlessly hack their data networks and bypass their security systems. She doesn't just wipe out bases, [[MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds she leaves destroyed planets in her wake]]. She is [[TheDreaded the Hunter]], the one threat in all the galaxy the Pirates are flat-out terrified of, all because one of their raids over a decade ago left one survivor.
** On the other end of the spectrum, we have Dark Samus. [[spoiler: Starting off as nothing more than a simple Metroid, the Leviathan that impacted Tallon IV turned it into [[BigBad Metroid Prime]], the Worm of Chozo lore, who then proceeded to hound Samus for the entire trilogy, culminating in it not only corrupting Samus with [[TheCorruption Phazon]] but becoming the very heart of Phaaze.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' series, Vladimir Makarov started out this way. He was originally just another soldier in Zakhaev's army, but through showing a great deal of skill and loyalty (including saving his life when Price shot him at Pripyat in 1996) he was elevated to one of Zakhaev's top commanders. Then when Zakhaev died, he took over the reins of the more extremist elements of the Russian Ultranationalist party, and from there, the world began to ''burn''....
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', ''you'' as a Sith Inquisitor. You [[MadeASlave start as a slave]] being sent for some [[TrainingFromHell do-or-die Sith training]], but by the end of your character quest you'll have killed three powerful Sith lords who got in your way, repeatedly humiliated Darth Thanton by [[KneelBeforeZod making him kneel before you]] in front of the Dark Council, and ''joined'' the Dark Council. To drive the point home, you can mock and kill the SmugSnake of an overseer who relentlessly bullied you at the start of the game. Oh and you get your own [[spoiler:Death star, granted its one of many superweapons but that is still an impressive feat.]]
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** Petey Piranha kinda has this. He's the WarmUpBoss in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'', and then goes on to appear in the ''MarioKart'' series. He later reappears in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime'' as a major boss about half way through the game. He puts up a bit of a challenge but he's not amazingly tough. He also reappears in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros1'' as the Boss of World 5. Petey actually poses much more of a threat this time, although if you know what you're doing he's not that tough. Chornologically he actually goes from a semi-decent boss, to a WarmUpBoss in Sunshine, to a full-on boss in NSMB.
** In ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam'', The main antagonist, Antasma, was originally just a bat until a nightmare twisted him and turned him into the evil Bat King Antasma. He then gets trapped in the Dream World (almost literally becoming a nightmare) by the Pi'illo folk and is somehow forced to assume the form of a small bat. He [[BigBadDuumvirate teams up with Bowser]] and escapes the dream world, going on to becoming one of the harder bosses in the game. [[spoiler:He's then betrayed and usurped by Bowser as the main antagonist, and Bowser then serves as the game's true FinalBoss. Just ouch.]]
* The Soldier of ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' somehow went from being rejected by every branch of the military, having no training, and being unable to locate Poland on a map to [[OneManArmy personally killing over 6000 people during and after World War II.]]
* Garland of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'' was once the greatest swordsman of the Kingdom of Cornelia, he then decided he wanted to take over his kingdom by holding the king's daughter for ransom, only to be beaten down by the Light Warriors of Lukhan's Prophecy. [[spoiler:Flash forward to the end of the game and Garland himself has become the source of all evil, The god of Discord; Chaos!]]
** [[FinalFantasyVI Five games later]], [[MonsterClown Kefka]] [[StrawNihilist Palazzo]] went from being the court mage of [[TheEmpire the Gestahlian empire]] who'd run away at the mere possibility of coming to harm to becoming the god of magic, set on unraveling all of creation.
* A late-game sidequest of ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' reveals that Handsome Jack was formerly [[spoiler:a low-level code monkey by the name of John (or at least called that by the former CEO of Hyperion). Through using his daughter Angel as a supercomputer, he masterminded the events of the first game and took over the reigns of Hyperion after strangling his boss.]]
* Plenty of villains in the ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' series are this, but one notably subject is the Indian [[FantasticDrug spice]] lord Rajan from ''VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves''. He started out as a street urchin who made it big with spice dealing, but is trying to convince everybody, including himself, that he's royalty.
* ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}'': Kerrigan was originally a soldier turned rebel... unusually strong psychic powers for a human, but nothing too unbelievable. What does she become? The Queen of Blades, the Heart of the Swarm, or, in her own words: "Queen Bitch of the Universe"; she has the ''entire'' Zerg Swarm under her control and more sheer psychic power than any other known being in the universe.
* Daisy Fitzroy of ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' was just a lowly, but highly intelligent scullery maid. Then [[spoiler:she witnessed, and [[{{Frameup}} was framed]] for the murder of Lady Comstock.]] Descending into the depths of Columbia's slums, she founded the Vox Populi, and [[spoiler:through several degrading versions of reality]], went from a well meaning revolutionary to a terrorist no better than Comstock.
** Comstock himself turns out to be one of these: [[spoiler: he's actually parallel-universe version of Booker [=DeWitt=], the game's protagonist, this version starting out a traumatized corporal in the aftermath of Wounded Knee; after having himself baptised into a fundamentalist Christian sect in an attempt to justify what he'd done during the battle, he started preaching, acquiring followers outside the sect - enough to influence the United States government to fund the construction of Columbia. Eventually, through the firepower of Columbia and the Lutece's machinery, he levelled up into an apocalyptic prophet that endangered not only "The Sodom Below," but the rest of the Multiverse as well.]]
* [[spoiler:Edna Strickland]] in ''VideoGame/BackToTheFuture''. [[spoiler:She goes from minor annoyance to the leader of a [[NineteenEightyFour Big Brother dystopia]]]].
* Late in ''ReturnToZork'', it's revealed that [[BigBad Morphius]] started out as [[spoiler: a lump of Illumynite rock that was accidentally impregnated by all the evil magic scattered during [[TheMagicGoesAway the Great Diffusion]]. Having been dug up by the dwarves, made a museum exhibit and titled "The Cluster," it eventually [[DemonicPossession took control]] of the mage Canuck, and used him to escape underground and build a new empire.]]
* ''VideoGame/RepublicTheRevolution'': The player character starts out as the son of middle-class couple. After [[PresidentEvil Karasov]] has them arrested and likely killed, the character will eventually grow up to be the leader of the faction that overthrows Karasov, and woe betide anyone who gets in his way.
* One of the earlier ones: ''Videogame/{{Doom}}'''s protagonist starts out as some random marine contracted to protect a research facility in Phobos. One portal screwup and [[DemonicInvaders opening of hell]] later, he singlehandedly saves the base, the human race, and ''completely wrecks {{Hell}} itself''.
* In the beginning of ''VideoGame/DawnOfTheDragons'', the protagonist starts out as a simple farmhand picking turnips when a small army of the dragons' beastmen attack his/her hometown. By the end of the day, he/she has killed scores of beastmen, bonded with a baby dragon, and saved the town by pushing an ogre off a roof. The [[RedBaron dragon-rider]] becomes a hero to the people and an object of fear and hatred to the dragons.
* In ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'', the Furtive Pygmy was a nobody compared to other Lords. While the other Lords were mighty and awesome godlike beings, the Pygmy was just that: a pygmy. He is even described by the opening narration as being "so easily forgotten". Ultimately, the Pygmy turned out to be more cunning and patient than the other Lords, having come up with a scheme that would ensure that the Pygmy's descendants would one day inherit the world. [[spoiler:It's also possible that he became Manus, the terrifyingly powerful lord of the Abyss.]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'', Joel, though a badass early on, goes from a typical smuggler whose reputation is relatively unestablished compared to his partner, to a one man army who is ready, willing, and able to plow through hordes of enemies, human or infected, to keep Ellie safe.
** Taken to extremes in the Winter chapter when he has just woken up from a serious case of [[spoiler: {{impaled with extreme prejudice}}]] and so terrifies [[spoiler: David]]'s men that they run away in terror from a single, injured, and relatively ill-equipped man.
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