* In ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'', Prince Laharl's servants are seen lounging around the castle lazily before and after every mission. However during one mission, when you are attacked by [[spoiler:an overlord so massive that he represents himself as 10 Lvl. 75 monsters]] these vassals come to your aid; each at least 50 times your level.
** Assuming you didn't grind like a madman, at any rate.
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'': For the first two routes, Rider comes across as a ''very'' mediocre Servant, losing to a half powered Saber in Fate and to a normal ''human'' (with Reinforced fists but ''still'') in UBW. But then you get to HF, and it looks like she's dead again to Saber -- and did she just curbstomp True Assassin, start turning people to stone and fighting on near even terms with Dark Saber while not having a Master to draw energy from? [[TookALevelInBadass Holy crap.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'' has several examples, mostly boss battles.
** Both of the [[TheBrute Kongol]] battles feature this. After dealing a certain amount of damage to him, he'll say "Kongol no need weapon" and start fighting barehanded, [[WeaponsAreUseless which is far more effective]]. The second one, if considered as a continuation of the first one, features this as well, since in this one Kongol wears armor that makes him much more powerful. Of course, said armor still doesn't negate [[ElementalRockPaperScissors his weakness to ice attacks]].
** [[DiscOneFinalBoss Emperor Doel]] does this too. Once you beat him in his normal form, he'll activate his dragoon form.
** You can even have your own characters do this with the "Special" combat action, which puts all of your characters into their dragoon forms AND teleports them and the enemies into a pocket dimension where the elemental attacks of the character who initiated the Special are more powerful.
* Kaneda spends much of (i.e. the entire 1st chapter and quite a bit of the 2nd) ''PrincessWaltz'' as a background classmate noted only for comedically fainting at any sign of arousal...then [[spoiler:TheGlassesComeOff in the middle of a Guardener attack via awesome TransformationSequence with OminousLatinChanting Techno accompaniment]] and we find out that [[spoiler:she is in fact Liesel, the GeniusBruiser princess/WAR MACHINE.]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** Galuf of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' is a wisecracking old coot who makes bad puns and happily uses his amnesia to duck blame. This changes completely when he has to rescue the others, and particularly whenever [[BigBad Exdeath]] gets involved--he is quite a {{Badass}}, enough to [[spoiler:defeat Exdeath with ''zero HP''.]]
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', Zell is a hotheaded kid (actually the youngest party member at 15) who annoys Squall, gets the party into trouble with his LooseLips, and frets over following the rules exactly. Then the party puts him in charge of the prison break at D-District Prison because he's a BarefistedMonk.
** Bartz in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', at the end of his story mode. Previously he's been portrayed as a happy-go-lucky mime wanderer who spends most of his time running away from opponents and making dumb jokes with [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX Zidane]]. Then, when the time comes to show why he was chosen as a Warrior of Cosmos, he pulls a CrowningMomentOfAwesome and tells Exdeath that [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SeriousBartz.jpg this is the first time he's serious]].
** For those not watching the video, he duel wields Cloud's Buster Sword in one hand, and Squall's Gunblade in the other.
** Funnily enough, his buddy Zidane will say a variation of this to you in his opening battle-quote if you fight him as [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Seph]][[OneWingedAngel iroth.]]
* ''Doc Louis's PunchOut'' ([[LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition exclusive to Club Nintendo Platinum members]] as of this writing): [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EpbyzjlO20 As this video demonstrates]], if you [[spoiler:knock a [[TrademarkFavoriteFood chocolate bar]] out of his hands]], he'll get angry and [[spoiler:shed his jacket to reveal ''a leopard-print jacket'']], and the training essentially becomes a Title Defense fight.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', Steiner spends most of the first half of the game as the ButtMonkey and all-around buffoon, but when he actually gets into a fight, he's shown to be a pretty good swordsman. His general demeanor also starts to change when he helps rescue Dagger halfway through Disk 2, and he shows himself to be a competent leader and fighter alongside Beatrix during the invasion of Alexandria in Disk 3.
** This happens every time he reaches Trance, where he goes from a knighty in rusty armor to a full on knight in shining armor. Since he's already one of the three melee monsters, this only makes him more dangerous.
*** Let's not forget when Vivi's in the party with him...
* {{Limit Break}}s or similar in numerous ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games all count as this trope, being ultra-powerful attacks that are usable once the character has taken enough of a beating.
* Susano in ''{{Okami}}'' is presented as a cowardly middle-aged man, and throughout most of his character arc this is played for laughs. He quakes in his boots at the thought of monsters, makes up a bunch of excuses to get out of doing work, and [[CrowningMomentOfFunny wages a battle against a sleeping bear]]. The moment when he ''stops'' being lazy, cowardly and useless is [[spoiler:at Orochi's cave, which he's seen cowering outside of at the beginning of the stage. When Orochi is about to devour Kushi, he says proudly and without hesitation: "Hold it right there, vile serpent." Then, with a little help from Amaterasu, he slays Orochi, delivering the final blow all by himself.]]
** Amaterasu herself: once [[spoiler:the people of Japan reconnect with their faith]], she starts to fight seriously, which basically means that the local EldritchAbomination has just been [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu demoted to a chew toy]].
* Reimu Hakurei of ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}''. Perpetually selfish, [[BrilliantButLazy terminally lazy]], only solves incidents when she has no other option or another character convinces her to, only manages to ''find'' those causing any particular incident due to supernatural luck, and only wins because of (literal) impervious PlotArmor. Or at least, that's what most of Gensoukyou thinks. Then she unleashes "Fantasy Heaven" (aka "[[Webcomic/TouhouNekokayou Hax Sign: You Just Plain F***ing LOSE]]"). Cue OhCrap.
** Yukari Yakumo is just a lazy, goofy youkai who's always sleeping and letting her shikigami do the work, right? Wrong. Not only was everything you did part of her plan, but there is a reason she was a Phantasm boss.
** And, of course, there is Eiki Shiki Yamaxanadu, the annoying yama who lectures anyone and everyone about their faults. Her actual power is still not known because Yukari was convinced ''her, Reimu and Yuyuko'' would be no match for her.
* ''SuperMarioBros'''s [[BigBad Bowser]] could be seen in situations such as [[VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine fighting Mario while in a giant hot tub]] and [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga being stuck inside a cannon]]. Then you get to the bits where he's [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy attacking the Toads' village]] and [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu defeating an]] EldritchAbomination [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory in order to save the very kingdom he's trying to take over]]...
** And we also have Luigi. Generally, he's calm, levelheaded, nice, a bit timid, and quirky. Threatening to harm Mario is... [[BigLittleBrother not a]] [[BewareTheNiceOnes good idea]].
** PaperMario has Parakarry, a [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal mild-mannered mailman]] who, according to [[MrExposition Goombario]], is pretty damn fierce in battle.
* Dante in ''DevilMayCry'' both subverts and plays this straight. Dante is always wisecracking and arrogantly joking with his enemies in battle. However, he has every right to because he's a half-demon hybrid and is capable of pulling off spectacular feats even when not trying (such as being ambushed in his office and shrugging off being stabbed about five times simultaneously, nonchalantly eating a slice of pizza as his response). However, there have been occasions when Dante has cast aside his upbeat personality when the situation becomes critical enough. And if you thought he was a problem when he was quipping and smiling, it's going to be worse when the kid gloves come off.
** One moment from the first game comes to mind: [[spoiler: after Trish pulls off a HeroicSacrifice]], Dante deflects an (alluded to be [[OneHitKill instantly fatal]]) energy beam from the BigBad ''just by looking at it''. In the following fight, he awakens [[EleventhHourSuperpower Sparda's Devil Trigger form]].
* Grant Danasty in ''CastlevaniaJudgment'' is regularly a laid-back guy who smiles in the face of danger. Then, when he uses his ultimate attack, that's when he starts to get serious.
--> '''Grant''': I'm done playing around. (slashes opponent many times then summons many knives) Accept your fate. GO!! (hurls knives at opponent as he finishes the attack then lands) It's done.
* Trauare Wrede in ''{{Rosenkreuzstilette}}'' would get serious whenever her friend Zorne is defeated, causing her BerserkButton to be pressed.
--> '''Trauare''': It looks like Zorne was no match for you. I'll have to take this seriously, then.
* ''VideoGame/{{Kirby}}'': [[KirbySuperStar "King Dedede wants revenge! Careful, he's serious this time!"]]
* An optional one in Mass Effect 2, we all know Shepard is basically a killing machine, but in Garrus's recruitment mission one of the renegade lines is "Lets spill a little merc blood". You know things are going to die in large numbers when he talks like that.
* In ''GoldenSunDarkDawn'', Tyrell's [[EstablishingCharacterMoment intro scene]] nearly earns him a [[TooDumbToLive Darwin Award]]. So he's the bumbling comic sidekick, right? Then comes [[spoiler: Luna Tower]], and Tyrell decides he's had enough, flips out and freaking ''jumps'' [[spoiler: [[TheManBehindTheMan Arcanus]]]]. It's [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass a little unexpected]], [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome a lot awesome]], and very effectively indicates that there's more to Tyrell than we'd previously seen.
* Ah, from SonicUnleashed comes the [[BlatantLies ever lovable Chip]], one of the most [[HilariousInHindsight God]]-damn annoying characters to ever come from a next-gen Sonic game (and that's WITH Tail's new voice actor being in the same game). On the last level of the game, he uses the Chaos Emeralds [[spoiler: and his own powers]] to create a giant mecha created from temple ruins to punch out a literal apocalyptic darkness god-creature.
** Sonic himself pulls this in SonicBattle as well as a IAmNotLeftHanded, when he has to fight [[spoiler:[[UnwittingPawn Em]][[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity erl]]]]. Surprisingly, this is one of the few (if not the only) instances of Sonic not playing around with his opponent or in general. He goes from an adrenaline-pumped and cocky KidHero to (disturbingly) ''a deathly serious and utterly PragmaticHero.'' Then again, when you have '' '''30 seconds on the clock''' '' (the previous 30 seconds spent trying to negate the Chaos Emeralds with the Master Emerald and ''FAILING'') before the FinalBoss (who happens to be a ''PhysicalGod'') blows your home planet to nothing with '' '''A FUCKING STAR SYSTEM BUSTER''' '' and the only way to do stop them is to ''KILL'' them [[spoiler:([[KillTheOnesYouLove and it's someone you really care about]])]] why would he play around? ''Damn''; ladies and gentlemen, Sonic just proved why he is the fastest hedgehog alive and that he's got some '''serious''' brass ones. He's been holding back a lot more than what we believed he did.
** If [[ShadowTheHedgehog Shadow]] ever removes the [[PowerLimiter gold rings on his wrists]], be very, very afraid.
* How can eponymous Ottsel from ''JakAndDaxter'' not be on this list? He usually avoids violent confrontations like the plague, at least when he's directly in the line of fire. But when push comes to shove, he'll put his life on the line to do what needs to be done (especially in ''Jak 3''), his racing skills and marksmanship rival Jak's (when Jak's riding a Zoomer, Daxter wields the gun), and hell, [[GaidenGame he's got his own game]].
* Dimitri, from the ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' games, is an example because his ridiculous mannerisms make it easy to forget that he was a boss in ''VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves'' (okay, [[WarmUpBoss the first boss]], but still). When he's playable in ''VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves'', he dives into shark-infested waters without protest, and later takes down one of the BigBad's many mutant monsters. And if [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxhO7BQ9Qo8 the E3 trailer]] for [[VideoGame/SlyCooperThievesInTime the fourth game]] was any indication, he's been practicing his [[LeParkour free-running]].
* ''KingdomHearts'' brings us a villainous example with Demyx, at least in terms of gameplay. He's quirky, lazy, and complains constantly about [[NonActionGuy not being the right guy for the job]]. But once provoked into fighting [[MusicalAssassin seriously]], he turns out to be ThatOneBoss.
* In ''VideoGame/WildArms4'', when Gawn is introduced, he is portrayed as a bit of a goofball, albeit with great physical strength. To top it all off, his character design is much more subdued when compared to other characters in the game, especially the standardly flamboyant villains. However, when [[spoiler:he is forced to fight the protagonists and you learn he is Brionac's greatest fighter]], he is so overwhelming, that this opponents are unable to get a single attack off on him, and he constantly one-shots [[spoiler:your party members]]. The fight only ends because he runs out of bullets, and the [[spoiler:protagonists]] somehow convince him that means he's the one who lost. Later, he easily shoots down missiles in mid-air with his dual pistols, and ''punches one'' when he exhausts his ammunition.
* In VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}} throughout most of the game the Vortigaunts serve as your alien allies in the fight against the Combine, providing some technical support and adding some interesting variety to the rebel fighters. However you never actually see them in combat. This changes in Episode 2 in the chapter Vortal Combat where the Vortigaunts show you the true power of the Vortessence along with an epic fight song against legions of ant lions.
* Remember the Volus? The cosmic ButtMonkey of the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' universe? Turns out in the third game, they have a Dreadnought- a single Dreadnought- that according to a visiting Turian General happens to pack enough firepower to roast the surface of an entire planet ''three times over''. There is a reason the Volus ''don't'' need more.
** The "Retaliation" DLC introduces the Volus as multiplayer characters. While they're incredibly fragile, they make for skilled support characters.
* In ''Videogame/MonsterGirlQuest'', we get an interesting one with Alma Elma, queen of the succubi. For most of both games, she refuses to take anything seriously, and is more of a PuzzleBoss than anything, giving up once Luka proves he's grown since their previous encounter. She's also the only succubus who wears clothes. In the final battle, she gives up again...but Luka insists she actually fight him seriously for once. She agrees, and [[BattleStrip takes off her clothes]], which does a wonderful job of underlining that this isn't some random chick with wings--she's the queen of the ''succubi''.
** In the third part, Alma Elma doubles down on this trope by demonstrating that even fighting as a succubus was still just playing around for her. When faced with an opponent her succubus skills won't work on, she demonstrates that her true area of expertise: Ruthless, brutal, efficient violence. The reason she wouldn't take previous fights seriously? She's ashamed that she's better at punching than seducing.
* In ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'', one of the recurring side characters is Siegmeyer, a bumbling LordErrorProne who frequently gets himself into trouble and has to be bailed out by the player. However, if you help him out every time he needs it, then he returns the favor in [[spoiler:Lost Izalith]], attempting a HeroicSacrifice by charging a cluster of Chaos Eaters. Note 'attempting': there's a very real chance he'll survive the fight, even if you don't help him out.
-->''[[BewareTheNiceOnes I am Siegmeyer of Catarina, and you will feel my wrath!]]''
* Johnny Sasaki from ''Franchise/MetalGear'' spends the first few games being used as Comic Relief and a major ButtMonkey. However, in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'' when his LoveInterest [[spoiler: Meryl]] was put in danger, he reminds the player and Solid Snake that he is, in fact, a 10 year veteran in an elite millitary unit.
* A villainous example occurs in ''VideoGame/ChronoCross''. QuirkyMinibossSquad [[ThoseTwoGuys Solt and Peppor]] mostly serve as tutorials for the battle and magic system the first times you fight them. However, there's an optional sidequest that leads to the InfinityPlusOneSword that starts by finding Solt and Peppor again. When you do, they accuse Karsh of betraying a longtime friend of his. In the ensuing cutscene, Karsh tries to dodge the question, and the two become enraged, attacking your party. This time, they're ''much'' stronger, and will definitely catch you off-guard if you're not prepared.
* Phoenix Wright, AceAttorney. He spends the majority of each case absolutely floundering and desperately looking for flaws in the witness testimonies. Then comes that brilliant moment where all the contradictions fall into place to reveal the truth, and he becomes akin to a force of nature.
** This is reflected in his appearance in UltimateMarvelVersusCapcom3, where he spends most of the battle with fairly underpowered attacks, until he collects enough evidence to enter trial mode, when he becomes a force to be reckoned with. He can even take things UpToEleven by entering the even more powerful turnabout mode by landing an objection on his opponent in trial mode.
** The culprits often do this when they're ready to drop whatever act they're keeping to toss a legal curveball at you, as well.
* in his introduction trailer for ''SuperSmashBrothers 4'', MegaMan starts the battle with his normal power set and gets pummeled. After which his decides to stop screwing around and breaks out a selection of Master Weapons.
* In the opening chapters of ''[[{{VideoGame/Mother3}} Mother 3]]'', Wess assumes that the (currently pre-teen) [[CowardlyLion Lucas]] has been doing nothing by crying in his house after his mother Hinawa's death. [[spoiler:When Wess and co. are cornered by the Pigmask Army, Lucas' response is to leisurely waltz into the scene before whistling, calling a [[TyrannosaurusRex Drago]] - [[ItsPersonal whose mate the Pigmasks turned into a mechanical monstrosity, which was what killed Hinawa in the first place]] - to [[CurbStompBattle lay waste to the entire battalion]] in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome. Following this, the post-TimeSkip Lucas is the main player character.]]
* [[VideoGames/DeadIsland Xian Mei]] is a NiceGirl, TheStoic and TokenGoodTeammate in the game. Then during the Morseby missions Jin is kidnapped and, it's hinted at to the point of being a ForegoneConclusion, raped by the Raskal gangs. Xian and Purna believe RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil, and when closing in on Jin's location and fighting a wave she'll yell out, "Stay together, I'll kill you faster." ''VideoGames/DeadIslandRiptide'' reveals that the infection causes a Rage Mode, and late in the game and just before the ending Xian uncharacteristically snaps, making this a JustifiedTrope.
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