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You've beaten the first couple of major bosses, you've leveled up, gotten some new [[PowerUp powers]], and your character has gone from pathetic to useful. A big, epic, climactic scene is occurring. Then the scene ends in a {{Cliffhanger}} and you have to start with a brand new character in a somewhat related storyline. Prepare to do this several times for TheRashomon-style storyline to be completed.

If you're lucky, all the characters will meet and party up for payoff later. If not and the story never goes back to the original character then they may have been the DecoyProtagonist.

If the game is an RPG and the new character has to start all the way back at level 1 this can be [[ReplacementScrappy somewhat annoying]] as it means that you will have to {{Level Grind|ing}} to get them back to being useful. Some ''RPG''s may start the new character off at a higher level to prevent this problem.

A sister trope to this one is AnotherSideAnotherStory, where the player goes through one character's story without changing between scenes but has the option of switching to the other character's story at any time (or after unlocking it) usually from the main menu.

Compare MissingMainCharacter. Not to be confused with SomethingCompletelyDifferent, which is the non-VideoGame equivalent of the UnexpectedGameplayChange. The non-video game equivalent of this is TwoLinesNoWaiting. For starting back at level 1 in a sequel starring the same characters, see BagOfSpilling.

%% Please add examples alphabetically.

!!Video-Game Examples:

* This is what happens to [[spoiler: Yasha]] from ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath''. At least for 3 episodes, 1 DLC episode, part of episode 17 and episode 20 in the Part IV Nirvana DLC.
* In ''VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed'', the first level is played as Darth Vader, but afterwards the focus switches to his apprentice. As with ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty MGS2]]'', this may be one example where people might actually wish that they could play as the prologue character for longer. Unlike ''[=MGS=]2'' however, the actual protagonist was heavily advertised beforehand.
* ''VideoGame/HeavenlySword'' has players controlling Kai for a few brief portions rather than Nuriko.
* ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden Sigma'', the [=PS3=] UpdatedRerelease of the Xbox remake, has you switching between Ryu and Rachel at certain points in the game.
** The sequels, meanwhile, adds [[VideoGame/DeadOrAlive Ayane and Kasumi]] in brief story related missions.
* The video game adaptation of ''Film/SpiderMan3'' has the player controlling Harry Osborn for a bit during the final battle.
** You could also play as Harry as the second Green Goblin in the first movie tie-in game in what was the same story levels but a new story.
* VideoGame/StarWarsRogueSquadron Across all 3 games you will be switching out pilots on a regular basis. The first RS has you play as Luke Skywalker almost the entire game, with the exception of the Battle of Calamari, where you play as Wedge Antilles. Rogue Leader has the most pilot changes, with the first three missions playing as Luke, until a mid-mission switch to Wedge, who you play as for the rest of the regular missions. You do play as Luke in a couple of bonus missions, as well as Darth Vader in the alternate reality missions. You also get to play as Han Solo in one bonus mission, and if you use the Millennium Falcon in the "Strike at the Core" mission, you get to play as Lando Calrissian. Rebel Strike has an equal number of missions for Luke and Wedge, in addition to one mission as Arvel Crynyd ("Green Leader"), the pilot who crashed his A-Wing into the SSD Executor's bridge in Episode VI. Granted, all of the ships handle exactly the same regardless of who you're playing; it's just the knowledge of who's piloting your ship.
* The ''VideoGame/MissionImpossible1997'' video game on the Nintendo 64 and Playstation has one level where you take control of two snipers to protect Ethan Hunt from assassins.
* ''Terminator: Dawn of Fate'' has three playable characters that usually has a weapon or two unique to each.
* After beating ''VideoGame/HotlineMiami'', you get one last set of chapters as [[spoiler:The Biker, a Boss you defeated in the chapter 'Neighbors']].

[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'' has two instances of this. [[spoiler: The prologue of the game has you play as Joel's daughter while the perspective shifts between Ellie and Joel in the Winter chapters.]]
* Playing as the DamselInDistress Grace in ''Videogame/AloneInTheDark2''.
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'' offers one playable villain per game: [[spoiler:The Joker]] (''[[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum Asylum]]''), Catwoman (''[[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity City]]''), Deathstroke [[spoiler:and the pre-Joker Red Hood]] (''[[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins Origins]]''), and Harley Quinn (''[[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight Arkham Knight]]'').
** Additionally, the ''Harley Quinn's Revenge'' DLC in ''City'' has the player switching between [[ComicBook/RobinSeries Tim Drake]] and Batman.
** The main story of ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'' takes this UpToEleven by having Batman and all his allies playable: [[ComicBook/RobinSeries Robin]], ComicBook/{{Catwoman}}, ComicBook/{{Nightwing}}, ''and'' Comicbook/{{Azrael}}.
*** It goes one further and has [[spoiler:Jim Gordon, Hush, Officer Owens and Joker playable in specific parts of the story]] as well as Batgirl and Red Hood in DLC, bringing the total number of playable characters to twelve.
* ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'' is another game that pulls this trick with sidekicks instead of the main character. About halfway into the game, your first partner, Pey'j--an anthropomorphic, middle-aged pig and GadgeteerGenius--gets kidnapped and replaced with Double H, a [[TheBigGuy Big Guy]] with a habit of [[UseYourHead breaking things down with his head]]. While you get Pey'j back eventually, doing so marks a PointOfNoReturn.
* In the game ''VideoGame/BunnyMustDie'' you play as Bunny, fight five of seven devils, and then fight the Elf Princess Chelsea as the last boss, though Chelsea calls herself the "[[BreakingTheFourthWall true protagonist]]". If you've [[GottaCatchThemAll found enough time upgrades]] as Bunny, you [[ResetButton unlock the game]] ''Chelsea and the Seven Devils'' where you play as [[AnotherSideAnotherStory Chelsea]], fight all seven of the devils, and then fight-- Bunny as the last boss? No, you fight the demon Dechronos who is [[DemonicPossession possessing Bunny]]. But then you defeat the true final boss as a fully-powered Bunny in Chelsea's game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Cubivore}}'': Your character goes through several reincarnations, where they see the benefit of their work in previous lives.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fahrenheit}}'' has you jump from character to character, but never permanently. For an added kick, the primary protagonist Lucas is a wanted fugitive, whereas the other two are cops in charge of capturing him.
** Likewise, its SpiritualSuccessor ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'' switches between the four main characters frequently, sometimes in the middle of a chapter. Additionally, in two chapters you also get to control [[spoiler:a young version of the Origami Killer]] in {{Flashback}}.
* ''VideoGame/{{Folklore}}'' has two player-controlled characters, Ellen and Keats, whose stories unfold concurrently. The player has some choice in whether to alternate between the two or to play through several chapters with one before switching to the other, but either way, each one's abilities and collected items don't transfer to the other.
* ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain: Defiance'' alternates between Kain and Raziel as the playable character. This gets weird when the two of them end up fighting each other.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Onimusha}} 3: Demon Siege'' the player primarily controls swordsman Samanosuke and policeman Jacques. Roughly in the middle of the game they also briefly control Jacques' fiancee Michelle.
* This is a main characteristic of ''SpiderManShatteredDimensions'', where you play as four different incarnations of Spidey and must switch among them between levels.
* The beginning of ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures'' has you controlling Krystal for a brief bit, before you control the ''real'' main character, Fox [=McCloud=].
* ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}''
** Subverted in ''VideoGame/Uncharted3DrakesDeception''. After one level of Nathan Drake getting beaten up in an English pub ''ala'' previous games, the second level switches to a kid in South America... but it doesn't take long for the savvy players to notice the FashionableAsymmetry or CatchPhrase and realise they're now playing as young Nate.
** Played straight in ''VideoGame/Uncharted4AThiefsEnd''. Chapter 5 has you control Nate's brother Sam during his [[spoiler:alleged]] prison breakout. [[spoiler:Happens again in the epilogue, where you control Nate and Elena's teenage daughter Cassie.]]
* ''VideoGame/TombRaiderAngelOfDarkness'' has players controlling Kurtis Trent for two levels as well as a boss fight in place of Lara Croft.

* ''VideoGame/DreamfallTheLongestJourney'' has the switching between April, Zoe, and Kian. Its sequel, ''VideoGame/DreamfallChapters'', does the same with Zoe, Kian, and a yet-unnamed third PlayerCharacter.
* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVIIThePrincelessBride'' has the player switch between Valanice and Rosella every other chapter.
* This was one of the more openly touted features in ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals'': The player takes the role of Larry in the first part of the game, where he searched for new sexual conquests as usual, and then switches to Passionate Patti in the second part, where she tries to hunt down Larry and his buff, polyester-clad pecks. This mechanic returned in ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work'', where Patti assumes the role of an undercover spy in the music industry, and the game takes turns swapping the player's focus back and forth between Larry and Patti.
* ''Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within'' switched between Gabriel and Grace.
* ''VideoGame/{{Unrest}}'' features five main characters, whom you switch between with each chapter. With the various factions and intrigues at play, choices made by one are likely to impact the lives of others.

[[folder: Environmental Narrative Games]]
* A major part of ''VideoGame/WhatRemainsOfEdithFinch''. The game is spent seeking out flashback sequences, each of which has you play, still from a first-person perspective, a different member of the Finch family on the day of their death.

[[folder:Fighting Games]]
* The Story mode of ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Gears of Destiny'' does this, with each chapter following a different set of characters from the ones before it until the final one, which allows the player to choose which character from nearly the entire playable cast to fight the FinalBoss with. It then switches back to this for the PlayableEpilogue, with the player controlling the FinalBoss herself.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'' does this in the Adventure Mode, where you switch between various groups between levels, until the gang comes together for the grand finale. Unlike the previous examples, levels aren't much of an issue, but you still lose out on sticker bonuses that you applied to the characters. And if they just became playable, you can't use stickers on them until you finish the level, and of course you need to get familiar with the character as well. However, it can be said that the purpose of this is so you get used to the different characters and know which ones you're good with. This counteracts the possibility of people just saying "Hey, I liked this guy's game! I'll use him!" even if it's a crappy character.
* A subversion in Konquest mode of ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeception''. You play as Shujinko throughout the game, but depending on who he trained with, you will participate in fights as a physical manifestation of that character. Basically, it's Shujinko fighting '''exactly''' like that character he trained with.
** A more straight-forward example was put in place with ''VideoGame/MortalKombatVsDCUniverse''. You will take control of a character for a few matches before moving on to the next character. The characters you play as depend on [[AnotherSideAnotherStory either being the MK or DC side.]]
** The same example resurfaced in the story mode of ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'', minus the whole 'pick a side' option of the previous game.
* ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive5'' does the same thing as MK9 with it's story, although a couple of characters never have a chance to play as them in the story mode.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* ''VideoGame/BioShock2'':
** Same city as the last game, although it's some years after, and yet there are entirely new characters, new bad guys, and a new protagonist.
** While [[spoiler:Delta is trapped by Sofia, you get to control a Little Sister as she harvests ADAM and collects the pieces of the Big Sister suit for Eleanor]].
* ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarez'' was built around this shtick; alternating between the stealthy Billy and the heavily armed Reverend Ray in a game of cat and mouse where you play both feline and rodent. Generally, you'd play most levels twice: Once, sneaking around the area avoiding detection from bandits and the like, and then again while blowing away ''everyone''. [[AsTheGoodBookSays While quoting Bible verse.]]
* This is commonplace in the ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' games. You'll often switch viewpoints between characters fighting on different parts of the world. Considering the series (especially the Modern Warfare games) often pulls the "AnyoneCanDie" trick on you, some of them may not last long.
** An interesting example in ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2''. If [[spoiler: Karma gets captured, you can rescue her]] in one strike force mission called Second Chance. If you save [[spoiler: her]], you can play as [[spoiler: her]] during the mission. Unlike the strike force soldiers, don't expect a respawn to save you though.
** Another to note: The Zombie games in World At War, Black Ops, and Black Ops 2 has a habit with pitting you with at least one totally different group of characters, either canonically or non-sensibly, such as the generic US soldiers to the four unique characters, to the executives (JFK being one), to famous action actors, etc.
* In ''VideoGame/JediKnightMysteriesOfTheSith'', the player starts as Kyle Katarn, just like the two previous ''VideoGame/{{Dark Forces|Saga}}'' games. However after just three levels, the player changes to Mara Jade for the rest of the game.
* ''VideoGame/WinBack 2'' has you play each mission from two different characters' points of view.
* Tends to happen in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' games. ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' began the trend with the Arbiter missions intercut with the Master Chief's; ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' featured the Chief as the solo playable character, but co-op players take control of the Arbiter and two other Elites. ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' threw the Chief to the wind and played as a heretofore-unseen trooper team, and ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' rounded it off with the player character being simply another Spartan. By the time the series got to ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'', it could be argued that Master Chief was someone completely different by that point.
* The final chapter in ''[[{{Franchise/Killzone}} Killzone: Shadowfall]]'' is the only one played from the perspective of someone other than Keller: [[spoiler: Echo]], [[spoiler: out to avenge Kellers' death by assassinating the man that did it.]] It also marks the first time in the ''franchise'' where [[spoiler: you play as a Helghast]].

[[folder:Hack and Slash]]
* ''VideoGame/ChaosLegion'' has one stage playable for Arcia Rinslet, the gun-toting young girl that Sieg befriended earlier. She can't summon Legions but can use super-charged shots in place of that. However, an unlockable feature is to play as her in all stages (though she lacks a majority of the cutscenes).
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 4'' puts you in the shoes of newcomer Nero for the first ten Missions, after which series lead Dante takes over until Mission 18, when you're back with Nero through to the end of the game. Lucky for the player, though, all Proud Souls (the currency used for leveling up abilities) gathered as Nero transfer to Dante, as do vitality levels and Devil Trigger orbs, and Nero gets a metric shitton of Proud Souls when you switch back to him.
** ''[[Main/UpdatedRerelease Special Edition]]'' adds two other campaigns alongside Nero and Dante's story from the original game, that allow you to play as either Vergil for the full game, or Lady for Nero's levels and Trish for Dante's levels.
* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle'' has a couple of levels where you play as [[spoiler: Shinobu]], and a dream sequence where you control [[spoiler: Henry]]. Both of them end up helping Travis. [[UnwantedAssistance He doesn't]] [[KillSteal appreciate it.]]
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}} Bayonetta 1]]'''s epilogue has you play as [[spoiler: [[TheRival Jeanne]] for a while, as she ascends the statue of [[FinalBoss Jubileus]] in a bid to rescue the captive Bayonetta]]. In the same chapter, providing an odd twist, [[spoiler: you take control of Jubileus' soul as it [[HurlItIntoTheSun hurtles towards the sun]], you having to guide it past the planets in the Solar System]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta 2}}'' has you take control of [[MouthyKid Loki]] for one verse. Given that [[GiantMook a gihugic angel]] is chasing him, and he [[FragileSpeedster isn't exactly the most sturdy combatant]], all you can do is [[AdvancingBossOfDoom run, run, run as fast you can]]!
** In the Chapter before that in the battle against the Masked Lumen, just before the Sage's health hits zero, you start playing as Madama Butterfly as she does battle with the Sage's Temperantia.
** And finally, in the final chapter, doubling as a CallBack, [[spoiler: you briefly take control of [[BigBad Loptr's]] body as it flies towards the open maw of Gomorrah. Unlike the last game, there's no way that Loptr can escape his well-deserved doom, making this double as ControllableHelplessness]].

* At one point in ''VideoGame/MischiefMakers'', you must play as Teran instead of Marina. Teran has dramatically different abilities and controls.
* The ''{{Disney/Pinocchio}}'' video game has players controlling the puppet for most of the game, but the second level actually has them taking control of Jiminy Cricket.
* In the indie game ''VideoGame/{{Psychosomnium}}'', whenever you die in sight of another NPC, you gain control of that NPC. Serves for a few interesting twists.
* Like ''Ratchet and Clank'', it's commonplace in the ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' series. In fact, it's not only always used, but also used more and more with each installment.
** In [[VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRaccoonus the original]], you mainly played as Sly but there were a few levels where you controlled Murray driving the van.
** In [[VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves the first sequel]], Murray and Bentley are both playable characters, it stars using the practice of switching characters within story missions (for example, you may start one mission as Sly and then after a certain point automatically switch to Bentley).
** In [[VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves the third game]], you not only had the main trio but five other playable characters as well.
** And [[VideoGame/SlyCooperThievesInTime the fourth game]] looks to be following this pattern with the inclusion of Sly's ancestors.
* The ''Franchise/RatchetAndClank'' series is another trope where this is commonplace. In nearly every game the player mainly controls Ratchet, but at times must directly take control of Clank for various reasons (for example, in the first game at one point there's a planet with a hazardous atmosphere so only Clank can head out on his own while Ratchet must stay behind). The spin off ''VideoGame/SecretAgentClank'' inverts this: ''Clank'' is the one played as for the majority of the game while ''Ratchet'' is the one the player briefly controls at various points.
* Used a couple times in the Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog series:
** ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' features two intertwining storylines in Hero and Dark; hero has the players switching between Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails, while Dark has them using Eggman, Shadow, and Rouge. All six characters are used in the final ending.
** ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'' has three main storyarcs for Sonic, Shadow, and Silver, though other supporting cast members in the Sonic series will briefly take over as minor playable characters during each story (Tails and Knuckles for Sonic; Rouge and Omega for Shadow, and Amy and Blaze for Silver). Sometimes even one of the main three characters will be playable in another character's story mode: for example, in Sonic's story the player briefly controls Silver at one point.
** ''VideoGame/SonicRiders'' Zero Gravity, like ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', has two intertwining storylines- the heros and the Babylon Rogues. The heroes team has (again) Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, while the Babylong Rogues team has Jet, Wave and Storm. Amy gets a level for herself- though, oddly, her level is in the middle of the Babylon Rogues' story, even though she spends most of her time with the Hero team. And her objective is to outrace a computer-controlled Babylon Rogue.
** The fan game ''VideoGame/WhenTailsGetsBored'' switches the player character to Tails for the TrueFinalBoss.

[[folder:Puzzle Games]]

* ''VideoGame/{{DROD}}'' Very easy to implement in the level editor, and they occasionally appear in the main level sets.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' has this for community created puzzle maps made by players via Steam Workshop. In single player mode, you play as Chell. In co-op, you play as a robot (Atlas or P-body). When you play a community created map, you play as... one of the stick figures from the Aperture videos. The character in question had no name for a while until a patch release notes dubbed him as Bendy.

[[folder:Real Time Strategy]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}'''s campaigns follow a logical story and difficulty order, but the first few Zerg and Protoss levels spoon-feed the new base and unit concepts.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/TotalAnnihilation : Kingdoms'', which caused this to be viewed by some people as a negative trait, in spite of the fact that you are learning all four factions equally.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' does this several times, sometimes multiple per section. The most aggravating uses the same character, combining this trope with BagOfSpilling, in the change between the Human and Undead campaign. There Arthas goes from a max-level character with a collection of powerful artifacts and an InfinityPlusOneSword to a level one character with a healing potion. He also loses the effect of the sword, despite it being a very important plot point that he is still using it.

[[folder:Rhythm Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/RhythmThiefAndTheEmperorsTreasure'', while you'll use Raphael/Phantom R most of the time, you will occasionally control Fondue, Marie, Charlie, or Vergier. Each of them also receives a bonus chapter starring them, with Charlie and Vergier sharing one.

[[folder:Role Playing Games]]
* ''VideoGame/BetrayalAtKrondor'': This happens a few times, actually, but the most egregious is the beginning of Chapter 5, when you lose Owyn for the first time and instead get Patrus, whose stats are...well, he's a very old man.
** Then again, as the story switches back and forth between the two groups, you don't really lose anyone for long.
* ''VideoGame/{{Breath of Fire|I}}'',
** Ryu tours through two city-dungeons on his local continent before arriving at Winlan where the game switches over to Nina, who is at a much lower level, as she goes off on a quest unrelated to the Dark Dragons. And then you have to save her.
** Later on in the same game, you switch to greedy fish-merchant Gobi after the heroes are stranded on a desert island; he's the only one who can venture underwater and pick up the MacGuffin needed to escape.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'': Right up until 2/3 of the way through the game, Crono is a forced party member and therefore your highest level character. Oh, and he has the most powerful spell in the game. [[spoiler:Then he dies]] and you're forced to continue on as someone else, with Marle and Lucca taking up the role of protagonist. [[SoLongAndThanksForAllTheGear You lose his armour and accessory too, by the way]]. Luckily, you can get Crono back eventually.
** ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' does this with both main character and party members, but in an unusual way. [[spoiler: Your antagonist [[GrandTheftMe body-swaps you]]. Your old party members stay behind with "Serge" and you're forced to recruit and equip a new party as Lynx.]]
* The ''Anime/CodeGeass'' RPG has brief sequences where the player goes from controlling [[MagnificentBastard Lelouch]] to to directing [[AntiVillain Suzaku]] or [[BigBad Castor]]. Amusingly, the way to [[CuttingOffTheBranches get back onto the anime canon path]] is to get Castor killed during one of these sequences by trying to Geass a soldier who's wearing a visor that blocks the power.
* [[VideoGame/CosmicFantasy Cosmic Fantasy 2]] for the PC-Engine / Turbo Duo starts out with Van, but after he is [[spoiler:sent forward in time by the main villain]], the game switches to Babbette, a member of the [[SpacePolice Cosmic Hunters]]. The change causes a brief difficulty spike because Babbette starts out at Level 1 and is very poorly equipped. After meeting a second character and dealing with a fairly tough dungeon and boss, the focus changes back over to Van, who ends up rescuing an imprisoned Babbette.
* ''VideoGame/DarkCloud2'' begins with Monica's first fight, within her castle, before confronting Gaspard and following him back in time. After that, you'll play as Max for the entire first dungeon, and meet Monica on the way to Sindain.
* Since the party is broken up frequently in ''CIMATheEnemy'', the player often takes control of either Ivy or one of the combat-capable settlers.
* In ''Anime/DragonBallZ: The Legacy of Goku 2'' and ''Buu's Fury'', you change between characters constantly. There are doors that only certain characters above level X can open. And you have to level ALL of them separately.
* ''VideoGame/{{Dubloon}}'' temporarily switches point of view to Riley and his monkey Ricky when Russel and Anne leave Outcast Island, until they cross paths with each other.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIV'' started this all the way back on the original Famicom. You went through 4 chapters, each focusing around different characters before you got to control the [[TheChosenOne main hero]].[[note]]The DS remake added a prologue where you played as TheHero.[[/note]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''
** The remakes of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' adds in a post-game episode, ''Soul of Rebirth'' where Minwu is the main protagonist, taking place right after [[spoiler:he dies]].
** Partially used in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', when Cecil changes class. On the way back down the mountain, the same monsters that provided meager returns now cause the new Cecil to level up rather quickly. Cecil's old equipment is useless at this point, but there's an opportunity for "Reversed 'SoLongAndThanksForAllTheGear'" if you happened to buy the unusable equipment at the earlier town.
*** There's also a brief scripted boss battle where the player controls Edward rather than Cecil.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears'' plays this trope UpToEleven by having ''9 separate tales'' for each of the main cast until the 10th and final one has them all gathering together.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' has a moment where Bartz, Lenna, and Faris are all taken hostage, and Galuf must fight solo to free them all
** Due to its ensemble nature, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' doesn't have one locked protagonist and you can pretty much just have your favorite characters form a party. You start out with Terra, but then she falls unconscious and you control Locke. Then you use the both of them and get Edgar and Sabin. Then the characters are split up and you switch between their own viewpoints. Once they reunite eventually you just have to use Locke and Celes at one point with two party members of your choice, and then after the next couple dungeons you can use anyone. Then you automatically have just Terra and Locke again, and then its back to your choice. And then the WHAMEpisode comes and you're left with just Celes and have you get your party members back. After you get more than four you can then start switching out anyone you want for the rest of the game
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has a moment on Disc 2 where Cloud is temporarily out of commission, so the player controls first Tifa and then Cid.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' does this multiple times where it switches out control of Squall for someone else. Late on Disc one you switch perspectives to the trio of Quistis, Zell, and Selphie. On Disc 2 you start out [[spoiler:with the protagonists in prison]] and the entire missions switches between the viewpoints of Zell, Squall, and Irvine. Then right after this there's a mission where you control a party lead by Selphie. On Disc 3, there's a mission where you have Zell lead a party while [[spoiler:Squall is currently in outer space]].
*** These are more cases of MissingMainCharacter. A better example would be the times spent [[spoiler: living the events of the past]] as Laguna and Company.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' also has several times where control is switched from Zidane to someone else. After the introduction, you actually start the game out playing as Vivi before regaining use of Zidane. Later on in the disc, the viewpoints split between the parties of Zidane, Vivi, and Freya, and Dagger, Steiner, and Marcus, and the game switches between the two all the way up to about 1/3 of Disc 2. Disc 2 also notably has a mission where Dagger becomes the main character even while Zidane is still in the party. Disc 3 again starts out with the player controlling Vivi, and later on your party splits up and Eiko is the default character to lead the Desert Palace group, if you included her as you're expected to do (if she isn't included, the order of command goes Steiner, Vivi, and then Freya, in that order.)
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' features a brief moment where the player controls Yuna rather than Tidus.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' actually starts the game out with the player controlling Rikku rather than Yuna, with Yuna actually acting as a boss. [[spoiler:Turns out it's an imposter and the real Yuna is currently waiting on the sidelines.]]
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' the player starts off controlling a character called Reks. However Reks's involvement is little more than a tutorial and it doesn't take long before you're given control of the ''real'' viewpoint character, Vaan.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' spends the whole first half of the game party switching; the first 2 chapters are the most jarring, but since you don't have many accessories at the time, it's not exactly a loss. After Chapter 3, this trope is zig-zagged; characters develop as you use them (frequently, you're stuck with parties of 2, so there's no choice in who you use); when you eventually reach the point where you have the entire party at your disposal, most characters' abilities overlap (e.g. five of your six characters will have the Ravager Role, four of six with have Commando, etc), so its up to you who you use and what roles they focus on (they all become unlocked at this point).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'' starts with Lightning as a tutorial and then it's Noel and Serah (and their pet {{Mon}}s) all the way.
** In ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' you play as the mains from I to X [[spoiler: and a bit of XI and XII to unlock]] in separate character storylines. However, characters make appearances in each others' storylines, and you end up all together at the climax. The Museum section allows you to see a video of the whole story in chronological order
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' does this a few times:
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar Genealogy of the Holy War]]'' has [[spoiler:the hero Sigurd killed halfway through the game]] ([[ItWasHisSled but you probably already knew that]]) and control passes to Sigurd's son Celice 15 years latter.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade The Blazing Blade]]'' does this after the early ForcedTutorial chapters with Lyndis. She later rejoins the brigade a few missions afterward.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones The Sacred Stones]]'' has a single bonus chapter where the player controls Ephraim's group briefly.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn Radiant Dawn]]'' uses this, where the player will bounce between the Dawn Brigade/Daein Army, the Greil Mercenaries and the Crimean Royal Knights (the last 2 later get lumped together). It actually makes the game somewhat unique compared to the others, and allows a LetsSplitUpGang near the end.
* ''VideoGame/FrontMission 4'', which bounces the story back and forth between Venezuela and Europe seemingly at random (though the prospect of something major happening in one branch can facilitate the switch... but mostly it's random).
* Although the switch takes place during the break between the two games, the two games are still two halves of the same story and thus still count: In the first ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'', you play as Isaac, Garet, Ivan, and Mia, on a quest to stop Saturos and Menardi's attempts to light the lighthouses. In ''Golden Sun: The Lost Age'', the sequel, control switches over to Felix, Saturos and Menardi's right-hand man and Isaac and Garet's former friend, and you continue the quest to light the lighthouses [[spoiler:for far nobler reasons than Saturos and Menardi indicated. Once they discover this fact, Isaac's group ends up joining forces with Felix's]].
* In ''VideoGame/GrandiaII'', you take control of Roan in the epilogue as he visits each of his old friends three years after everyone had already parted ways, after having played as Ryudo for the entire main story.
** During ''VideoGame/GrandiaIII'', you take control of Alfina alone inside her subconscious, after she passes out in the real world following Seiba's demise, in order to explore the events leading her brother Emelious to betray her many years ago.
* ''VideoGame/{{Growlanser}}: Heritage of War'' is extremely guilty of this trope. It does it not only once but 4-5 times before you get on the main character's story. Although the actions you do with each characters will affect the main story line.
* In ''[[VideoGame/HelloHello Hello? Hell...o?]]'', you have to accomplish over [[MultipleEndings 30 endings]] to beat the game, so expect this to happen.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'': The player spends the first few hours of the game controlling Roxas before resuming control as Sora from the first game. All of Roxas' stats are transferred to Sora after the switch. Additionally, during the final boss battle, the player character briefly switches to [[spoiler:Riku]] after [[spoiler: Sora is grabbed and starts having his energy drained by Xemnas]].
* Creator/BioWare likes this trope:
** ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' set the precedent: Your PlayerCharacter, Bastila and Carth are captured by the Sith, and you have to choose one of your party members to bail you out. Not so difficult with Canderous, Juhani, or the droids, as they get to keep their gear. But for a challenge and [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments a good laugh]], pick Jolee or Mission.
*** The GameMod ''Brotherhood of Shadow'' also has frequent moments of this as you play through several NintendoHard flashbacks as Channa Mae.
** In ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'', this is limited to a few brief segments, notably two where you command Black Whirlwind and your choice of Dawn Star or Silk Fox during [[BigBadassBattleSequence the siege of Dirge]]. There's also a less obvious instance where [[spoiler: you have the option of playing as Black Whirlwind fighting in the arena against his brother]].
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has this as an option for a sequence in Denerim. You get to choose which two party members come for you. Also, during the FinalBattle, you briefly control the party members whom you left at the [[spoiler:Denerim]] gates (i.e. did not put into the active PlayerParty for the final push), as they HoldTheLine against the encroaching Darkspawn.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' does this shockingly near the end, where [[spoiler:Shepard and his/her crew leave the ''Normandy'' in the shuttle, and in their absence the Collectors invade. You're suddenly and jarringly given control of [[NonActionGuy Joker]], who must limp around the ship activating the AI to get the ''Normandy'' out of trouble]].
** During the climax of ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda'' [[spoiler: after Archon serves Ryder's connection to SAM the player takes control of their opposite-sex twin as they have to re-establish the connection onboard the ''Hyperion'' while it's under Kett attack]].
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' by Creator/ObsidianEntertainment goes to ''town'' with this trope:
** The game ''starts'' with you controlling T3-M4 to repair ''Ebon Hawk'', before you are allowed to play as the Exile for the first time.
** There are also two segments where you control a team of party members (two and three, respectively) while [[PlayerCharacter the Exile]] is occupied elsewhere. Thankfully, you get to pick them yourself, and the second time, on Dxun, comes with plenty of warning and an option to pause and prepare better.
** On the other hand, the fight between Atton and the Twin Suns in the Nar Shaddaa cantina comes out of the blue and you will be in trouble if you ignored Atton up to this point and gave your best equipment to other party members.
** A particularly egregrious case is [[spoiler:the Remote]]'s solo mission on Malachor. The thing is level 1, cannot level up, has laughable weaponry and hit points. You can make it easy by first clearing the area, as the main character walks through it first (alone) and can easily handle all its dangers. If you just rushed through it to the area exit while ignoring the monsters, though... well, at least you'll know better on second playthrough!
** The sequence where Mira [[spoiler:fights with Hanharr]] also counts. She's not yet part of the team so you hadn't had a chance to develop and prepare her. Fortunately, she has access to the group's shared inventory, so depending on what sort of weapons and grenades you have that you did NOT already put on existing crewmembers, that fight can be really easy, or very problematic... There's also the fact that Mira [[spoiler:can be cross-classed into Jedi]] after she joins your party, so some players may want to save her levels during [[spoiler:her fight against Hanharr]] so she could gain more levels [[spoiler:as a Jedi]] later on, thus makes the fight more difficult.
* ''VideoGame/LegendOfLegaia'' does this once with Noa.
** It only switches to Noa, who has an [[MadeOfIron indestructible]] (for story purposes) partner before switching back to Vahn, and the two of them unite for the game's first boss. Gala just joins them both at Lv1, no split required.
* ''VideoGame/LiveALive'', which was the entire point of the game - seven completely unrelated stories happening in different time periods. [[spoiler: It all comes together in the end of course. And it turns out the stories weren't ''completely'' unrelated.]]
* ''VideoGame/LufiaAndTheFortressOfDoom'' starts you out in the VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon as [[ATasteOfPower proven, top-level heroes]], taking down the {{four|IsDeath}} {{Big Bad}}s. And then it starts you out with a single level-one character just leaving his hometown.
* ''{{VideoGame/MOTHER}}'':
** ''VideoGame/EarthBound'':
*** The party is captured and Paula psychically calls another one of the destined heroes to bust you out. He starts out at level one, so he'll need to do some LevelGrinding first.
*** Also happens after Ness eats a magic cake, causing another character to show up.
** ''VideoGame/MOTHER3'' does this ''multiple'' times. The prologue starts as Lucas, the hero. Then the first chapter has you play through the game as Flint, Lucas' father, up until the first "big" boss. He's joined about halfway through by Duster. The second chapter has you playing as Duster by himself, later joined by his father, Wess, and RebelliousPrincess Kumatora. The next chapter switches focus ''entirely'' to a monkey named Salsa (though the chapter itself primarily serves to introduce {{QuirkyMiniboss|Squad}} Fassad). Then, ''finally,'' in the fourth chapter, the game switches to Lucas again, and only shifts once more [[spoiler: to you, after you watch the effects of the Dark Dragon's awakening unfold, to speak to most of the game's main cast for a bit before the credits roll]].
** In ''VideoGame/CognitiveDissonance'', you initially take control of Giegue from right after he and his forces abandoned Earth in ''VideoGame/EarthboundBeginnings'', before shifting to first protagonist Alivinar and the events kickstarting his mission.
* ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'' does this, as all five of the main characters are part of the same chain of events. After clearing one character's story, you move on to the next character, and so on. For the final confrontation, you then decide which characters fight the final bosses, and selecting them [[GuideDangIt in the correct order]] is the only way to achieve the best ending. [[spoiler: Sadly, selecting them in the wrong order on multiple runs is also the only way to get HundredPercentCompletion to earn the ''true'' ending, which is uplifting enough to endure the bad endings.]]
* A prevalent trope in the first two ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' games, taking place in between each major chapter. The first and second games had you control Peach in captivity, and the second also had you control Bowser who was on a mission of his own.
** Not as pronounced in ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario''. In the game, after completing the first chapter, you play a short segment as Peach wandering through TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon with a Koopa Troopa by her side and no enemies to fight. After Chapter Two, it's the same thing again, except you're playing as Luigi and accompanying you are two [[TheGoomba Goombas]]. After that, there's no more of these sequences. Two things of note:
###Bowser does not get a similar scene.
###While Peach fully retains her parasol ablities in her segment, Luigi cannot perform his high jump in his.
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarIII'', which features multiple generations of the same family as lead characters. Interestingly, Mieu and Wren, who are cyborgs, retain their levels throughout all three generations.
** Also made a bit more palatable as you tend to start each generation slightly more badass than the previous one. Take that, dad!
* ''VideoGame/TheReconstruction'' features a minor example -- after the prologue, where you play as Captain Rehm Sikohlon, the story {{Time Skip}}s and switches perspectives to the ''real'' cast. And stays there.
* Every game in the ''VideoGame/{{SaGa}}'' series after the UsefulNotes/GameBoy ''Final Fantasy Legend'' games. Special mention goes to ''VideoGame/{{SaGa Frontier 2}}'' which is the '''king''' of this trope: not only do you have characters who are playable for only one dungeon, one character is actually "playable" only for one cutscene, meaning you never get to do anything with him, and he doesn't even count as having ever been in your party unless you go to the trade city immediately afterwards. At least skills learned are learned for every character in the game, and with no stages after the one you are currently on, there is no reason you'd even want to grind to begin with. This is also a game that will jump years and even generations into the future without warning, and inconsistently at that, since you're following two families separately. Makes your brain hurt, and one can only imagine how far the time gap between them can be pushed.
* Happens multiple times in ''VideoGame/SailorMoonAnotherStory''. This is because each of the Inner Senshi--Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter--as well as Chibi-Moon have their own plotlines that they follow, in Chapter 2 of the game. All your characters also start off at level 1 (except Sailor Pluto, who you encounter well into the game), so you'll have to control how you level up if you want to try to level them up evenly.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' series is fond of player character changes. ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'' and ''VideoGame/SuikodenV'' both had sections where you created 3 different teams of characters to complete a section, and there was a small section of the original where you played a lone Dragon Knight.
** ''VideoGame/SuikodenIII'', in which you get to see a single story unfold from the perspective of up to six different characters (three of which had to be unlocked via certain game events and the last of them being ''the BigBad'').
* ''VideoGame/TreasureOfTheRudra'' has an interesting variant in that you can switch from one character's story to another's at the drop of a hat.
* ''VideoGame/VandalHearts I'' & ''II'' have small scale versions. In the first, several of your party members are thrown in prison and you assume control of TheStoic Clint. In the second, the prologue chapter has you control TheHero Joshua and his two friends as teenagers, but then skips forward into the future and your friends are replaced by Joshua's new criminal buddies.
* ''[[VideoGame/WildArms3 Wild ARMs 3]]'' started off with the cast going on individual flashback missions, each one showing how they ended up on the train they were riding. Eventually they all teamed up and the game started for real.
** The ''VideoGame/WildArms'' series tends to open like this quite frequently, introducing us to the characters in separate missions before they all meet up. You can usually choose the order in which you do this, as well. It's part of the series' emphasis on an ensemble cast, rather than one obvious main character and their group of sidekicks.
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' has you change partners during your quest. The gameplay annoyance is generally lessened because, although you do have to learn a different version of the top-screen battle system, you keep your levels and only [[SoLongAndThanksForAllTheGear lose the items that your previous partner was wearing at the time]] [[spoiler:(and you eventually get them back, partner and all)]].
** The developers ''do'' know it's annoying, though, and use it to their plot advantage -- Joshua initially fights like he has the survival instincts of a lemming as well as lacking any gear, making his assholish behaviour even more aggravating. This ends up making sense, because [[spoiler:he's TheManBehindTheMan]].
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' pulled this on the player a few times, with the only difference being that the item pool and money carried over between parties until all three groups meet up.
* Happens multiple times in ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'' rather briefly. Though you can always change who the party's leader is, you're forced into using a particular character or group of characters during these moments, which often don't even require you to fight anything.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel II'' has you seeing the perspective of Rean Schwarzrer and Class VII for most of the game. After beating the ClimaxBoss, the game has a TimeSkip and suddenly, you're playing as the previous playable characters, [[VideoGame/ZeroNoKiseki Lloyd Bannings and Rixia Mao]], for a brief portion of the game. It then goes back to Rean after the Divertissment chapter.

[[folder:Stealth Based Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Manhunt}} 2'' has you playing Danny, but also Leo in the "6 years ago" chapters.
* The ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' series has multiple examples.
** ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' has a dream sequence where you control Altair briefly.
** ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations'' has five segments that star Altair. It goes on much longer.
** ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' has you play the first three memory sequences (about a fifth of the game) as ''Haytham'' Kenway, the main protagonist's father. While Haytham can acquire money and equipment in these sequences, none of it carries over to when you start playing as Connor -- but oddly, any exploration or sidequests that Haytham accomplished do. Connor can get the money Haytham had, however, if the player is able to find the Green Dragon Inn (Haytham's base of sorts during his sequences) and picks the lock on the chest inside.
** ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedUnity'' has the opening sequence where you play a Templar Knight during ThePurge of UsefulNotes/TheKnightsTemplar. Then you switch over to Arno Dorian, who lives during UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution.
** The ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedFreedomCry Freedom Cry]]'' DLC for ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag'' has you play as TheLancer Adewale via AnotherSideAnotherStory. The 2015 TwoAndAHalfD side-games''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedChronicles'' has three different games with three different protagonists.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' has quite possibly the most famous example of this. After about an hour and a half of teasing the player with Solid Snake, he was replaced with Raiden, a completely new character who had never been seen in the series before. The storyline shifted, too, from a band of Russian extremists taking over a Tanker to a loony renegade unit taking over an offshore cleaning facility, two years later. All the player's weapons and items were gone, and if they'd spent time LevelGrinding their Grip Gauge it was reset to Level 1.
** Its sequel, ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', jokes with this: If the player chooses [=MGS=]2 as his favourite of the franchise when starting a game, the player characters starts the game wearing the Raiden mask...which he soon discards after the first cutscene.
*** Though played straight in the now-defunct multiplayer component, ''Metal Gear Online''. Depending on the team, if allowed, and who is leading/falling, you can take control as either Ocelot (who has superior CQC abilities and can start with the SAA), Raikov (who has a unique CQC move and is somewhat faster), or Sokolov (who is weaker but starts with active camo). In Sneaking mission, the one player can control Snake who has superior health, CQC, and overall abilities.
*** Continued in the now-defunct ''Metal Gear Online'' on [[UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 PS3]]. Sneaking Mission gives you Old Snake, who is considerably weaker compared to Snake from MGO on [[UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 PS2]], but has the same stealth abilities he had in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'' and performs better than regular soldiers, with a partner (if there are 11 players in the room) taking control as Otacon who can distract or stun soldiers, and deliver dog tags to Snake. DLC included the ability to play as Meryl (can start with a scoped D.Eagle), Johnny ([=XM8=] Compact/Anti-Tank rifle, no nano machines), Mei Ling (can call air strikes and can use a sonar device), Liquid Ocelot (manipulate nanomachines, superior CQC and can use the Thor), Raiden (use the sword and is fast), and Vamp (can respawn on the spot and is great with knives), with Snake being allowed to be used in regular matches.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'', you have the option to play as any of the regular soldiers you recruited, provided you are not restricted from using them in a particular stage (such as if you haven't finished a level you want to play on the first time already).
** ''MetalGearSolidPortableOps'' also grants the option and a similar limitation. The game will force you to invoke this when [[spoiler: Snake gets captured]].
** Taking a cue from Peace Walker, VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain also allows you to play as other recruited soldiers.[[spoiler: Also, the "Big Boss" you're suppposedly playing as in the main story....'''isn't''' the real Naked Snake/Big Boss, as was [[NeverTrustATrailer heavily advertised beforehand]]. You're actually playing as a BodyDouble the whole time.]]

[[folder:Survival Horror]]
* ''VideoGame/ClockTower'' starts you out as Professor Barton, an [[MrExposition Exposition Dropping Character]] who decides your player character and a few other quirks about the game depending on what you have him do. Then you either control Jennifer Simpson or Helen Maxwell for most of the game. In each of their chapters you'll also control either Stan Gotts or Nolan Campbell for a while.
* In ''VideoGame/DeadlyPremonition'', after playing through most of the story as York, some sections near the end have you taking control of [[spoiler:Emily, Zach, and the Original Raincoat Killer]].
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' can feel like this if you play the game without having been spoiled of the plot beforehand. [[spoiler: As a rule, it's best not to get too attached to the characters you get stuck with.]] Fortunately, there's no LevelGrinding, and once each character finds the Tome, they have ''all'' the spells learned up to that point.
* In the first ''FatalFrame'' game, you play the tutorial level as Mafuyu, then switch to his sister Miku for the rest of the game.
* ''VideoGame/FearEffect'' has the games regularly switch between all available characters at such a rapid pace you can struggle to acclimatize yourself to them.
* ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'':
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' has you take control of Rebecca in Chris' scenario if Chris gets poisoned by the giant snake. Depending on your interactions with Rebecca, she'll also show up again to make a chemical compound so she can save Chris from a giant mutant plant.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' had short segments where you switched control to Ada (Leon's scenario) or Sherry (Claire's scenario).
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis'' with Carlos, who had the longest character switch in the series, complete with his own area to explore and an optional boss fight.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica'' does this, but a bit differently than usual. After playing through most of the first half with Claire, she gets captured by Alexia, forcing the player to take control of Chris to rescue her. Any item left on the storage box can be retrieved by Chris, but items that were carried by Claire before the character switch cannot be used by Chris until the game switches back to her for a brief portion near the end. There is also a brief segment where the player takes control of Steve Burnside, testing out his sub machine guns.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil0'' automatically switches to the other character when one ends up in distress.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' where you control Ashley briefly. The GameCube version includes an [[GoodBadBug awesome glitch that lets you suplex the Ganados chasing her.]]
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilRevelations'' includes segments of past and current events taking place in the story, where you take control of either Chris, Parker, or Keith.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' has it with the three story arcs for Leon, Chris, and newcomer Jake Muller.
** ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilGunSurvivor Resident Evil Dead-Aim]]'' has a couple of parts where you take control as Fong Ling.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilRevelations2'' does the same as ''Revelations'' where you play past and current events, only instead you can actually switch between characters.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil7Biohazard'' features a completely new protagonist, named Ethan Winters, as oppose to the series' main gang. This ultimately makes sense, as the game inverts the ActionizedSequel trope that had been in effect since ''Resident Evil 4'', and all the previous protagonists have [[TookALevelInBadass taken pretty large levels of badass]] beyond that point. You can also switch to other characters in the playable VHS tapes, including cameraman Clancy and Ethan's wife Mia. [[spoiler: Near the end of the game you are forced to play as Mia for the ship section when Ethan is captured and Mia attempts to save him.]]
*** The DLC adds two more playable characters: Joe Baker and [[spoiler:Chris Redfield.]]
* All three games of the ''VideoGame/{{Siren}}'' series, have you hop from one character to the next constantly, also hopping backwards or forwards in the game's timeline. Unfortunately, when you return to the same character you'll often find that no matter how what weapons or ammo you finished their earlier level with, they start off the next level with less.
** ''Siren 3'' is a remake that replaces many of the original characters with... [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent completely different ones]] from [[ButNotTooForeign America]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheCrookedMan'', you briefly play as David's best friend Paul, and have to save David from [[spoiler: DemonicPossession by the Crooked Man.]] After that's all over you resume playing as David.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Ib}}'', under some very special circumstances, you can play as Mary. [[spoiler: If you're playing as Mary, you're screwed. You are stuck on the path for the worst ending of the game; you've already lost Ib and Garry, and it's only a matter of time for Mary.]]
* If your character dies in ''VideoGame/ZombiU'', he/she gets replaced with a totally different character. You are also forced to start from the safe house and encouraged to reclaim that character's backpack, zombie or not.
* The first two ''Videogame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' games have you play as security guards at a SuckECheeses. [[Videogame/FiveNightsAtFreddys3 The third game]], however, has you play as an actor ''playing'' the role of a security guard at a horror attraction ([[DistinctionWithoutADifference while also looking over the place at night]]). [[Videogame/FiveNightsAtFreddys4 The fourth game]], however, appears to be from the perspective of an ordinary child instead (due to the POV being closer to the ground than before, and the assortment of toys around a colorful bedroom).
* In ''VideoGame/BevelsPainting'', you typically play as the titular character, Bevel, but in the best ending, you can play as her other self. Subverted in the worst ending, in which you look like the other Bevel, but you still have everything in your inventory.
* ''VideoGame/UntilDawn'' switches back and forth between eight characters for you to control.
* In the very middle of the story in ''VideoGame/AlienIsolation'', you briefly play as [[spoiler: Marlow, as he tells Amanda how his wife came to be infected with the alien.]]

[[folder:Third-Person Shooter]]
* The ''Series/TwentyFour'' game mainly switches out gameplay perspectives behind Jack Bauer, Tony Almeida, and Chase Edmunds. During one section where CTU is taken over early on, the player also controls Michelle Dessler and then Kim Bauer as they try to survive.
* ''Franchise/JamesBond''
** ''VideoGame/DoubleOhSevenFromRussiaWithLove'' for the [=PS2=] and GC has an interesting variant. For the second mission you're controlling a notably silent Bond while infiltrating an enemy fortress. Then he ''gets killed'' and it's revealed that the "Bond" you were playing as this whole time is actually a fake in a mask; you then switch over to the ''real'' Bond in England for the rest of the level. Anyone who's seen the movie probably will see this switch coming.
** A much more straight use occurs in ''VideoGame/TomorrowNeverDies'', which has you controlling Bond Girl Wai Lin in the penultimate level rather than Bond himself.
* ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST''. The game starts off as the player controls The Rookie, the newest member of the ODST squad. During the atmospheric drop into the city, a subspace rupture damages your pod and scatters your team across the city. You awake hours later in the middle of the night all alone. The Rookie spends the game exploring the ruined city finding clues as to what happened to his squad while he was unconscious. Everytime a clue is located, the game shifts to the player controlling a different member of the squad. By the end of the game the player will have controlled every member of the squad during their individual mission segments which come together to form the game's ending after the squad is reunited.
* In ''VideoGame/MaxPayne2'', two levels are played from the perspective of [[spoiler: Mona Sax]].
* ''VideoGame/MDK2'' - There are three protagonists, all of them with different gameplay. You can choose who you play as in the last level.
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'': [[spoiler:After John is murdered by Edgar Ross at the end, the game features a PlayableEpilogue that takes place years later where the player takes control over his now grown-up son Jack, looking to avenge his father's death]].
* Occurs in the ''VideoGame/ReservoirDogs'' game for the simple reason that the game [[KillEmAll follows the plot of the movie]]. The only character who doesn't die the second you stop controlling him is Mr Orange, who is only controllable in the tutorial, and [[spoiler: possibly Mr Pink. See KarmaMeter, MultipleEndings.]]
* In ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar3'' the character each player controls changes depending on who is along for this part of the story with about 8 total playable. Player 1 is always series Protagonist Marcus Fenix with the exception of part of chapter 1 where they control Augustus Cole.
** ''VideoGame/GearsOfWarJudgement'' most of the game is framed as a flashback, each chapter being from a different characters perspective. As such the character being controlled changes each chapter to the one narrating the story.
*** The Aftermath chapter of Judgement is set during the events of the third game and features Clayton Carmine in place of Judgements [[spoiler: Sophia.]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
** Done three times in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyTrialsAndTribulations'': in Cases 1 and 4, you do a flash-back to early cases of Phoenix's mentor, Mia Fey, and naturally play as her. In case 5 of the same game, Phoenix suffers a nasty accident and [[spoiler: convinces [[TheRival Miles Edgeworth]] to briefly take his place as a defense attorney]]. In ''Justice For All'', you very briefly play as Maya as well.
** Also done in ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'', where [[spoiler: you end up playing as Phoenix in his last trial. After that you play as Thalassa Gramarye playing out Phoenix's seven year investigation through the MASON system]]
** ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'' splits up the cases among Phoenix, Apollo, and new character Athena Cykes, giving each of them the chance to be the viewpoint character.
** Case 3 of ''[[VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth Prosecutor's Path]]'' has the player switching back and forth between Miles Edgeworth investigating a poisoning in 2019 and [[spoiler:his father Gregory Edgeworth investigating a related murder in 2000]]. Case 2 also has a brief moment where you play as Gumshoe.
* In ''VisualNovel/AkatsukiNoGoei'''s fandisk, all the heroines have afterstories. Except Reika, however, because in place of an afterstory we instead get a side story from the perspective of Kaito's "friend" Tominori. He has to beg Kaito to let him be the protagonist though.
* ''VisualNovel/CorpseParty'' has this in each Chapter. Chapter 1 has you control Naomi (with Seiko). In Chapter 2, you briefly control Yui-sensei before shifting to Yoshiki (with Ayumi). In Chapter 3, you control Satoshi, then Yuka when the two end up separating. In Chapter 4, you control Ayumi and Satoshi. Finally, in Chapter 5, you can switch control between Ayumi and Satoshi (and briefly control Yuka [[spoiler:when she needs to escape from Kizami]]) in order to meet the requirements to escape.
* ''Franchise/DanganRonpa'':
** Chapter 4 of ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'' has a segment where you play as Nagito Komaeda, investigating an area inaccessable to the normal player character Hajime Hinata.
** ''VisualNovel/NewDanganRonpaV3'': [[spoiler:The game pulls this during the first Class Trial, switching the player's control to Shuuichi Saihara, when it's revealed that the case's murderer is Kaede Akamatsu, the original player character]]. In the final trial, [[spoiler:after Shuichi temporarily crosses the DespairEventHorizon, [=K1-B0=] gets several playable segments, and the final rally gives Himiko and Maki a playable argument each]].
* This trope is the whole point of ''VisualNovel/DisgaeaInfinite'', in which you play a Prinny who can jump into control of various classic Disgaea characters and turn back time, in order to replay events from different perspectives and solve a mystery.
* The intro of ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' is narrated by Rin Tohsaka, one of the game's major characters and a potential love interest for the actual protagonist, Shirou, who narrates the rest of it.
* The Bad Boys Love route of ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend'' begins with [[spoiler: the human girl getting killed]]. For the remainder of that route, you play as Ryouta. The protagonist-shift goes hand-in-hand with a GenreShift from a weird dating sim to a weird [[spoiler: murder mystery thriller]].
** In the second game there are much more nonchalant POV switches to Yuuya and Nageki as they do things out of the protagonist's sight in the last chapter.
* Each of ''VisualNovel/TheLetter's'' seven chapters focus on a different character who has read the titular letter.
* Downplayed in ''VisualNovel/{{Morenatsu}}'', where POV switches to another character for brief moments. The most notable instance is the denouement of Kouya's route where the POV shifts to Kouya [[spoiler: when he visits his father after the [[ConcertClimax big concert]] and begins the process of reconciling with his estranged family.]] while the player character waits outside.

[[folder:Web Games]]
* You play as a Red Freak for part of ''VideoGame/TheBrightInTheScreen''.
--> "Sometimes you may feel like you are one of them... just remember, you're not. [[MindScrew Yet.]]"
* The Single Character Random option in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBrosCrossover'' changes the character after ''every level or life lost.'' Thankfully, they retain whatever gear they last had.
* ''[[Creator/ZapDramatic Ambition]]''[='=]s gameplay mostly consists of advising various characters to do things, and the focus shifts ''very'' often.

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* ''VideoGame/LANoire'' has [[spoiler:the switching from Cole Phelps to Jack Kelso in the last three Arson cases]]. [[spoiler:Although in the last case, only 1/3 of the part where Cole is played]].
* In ''TheSimpsonsHitAndRun'', you switch to a new character every level. But each character is more or less identical in terms of gameplay, and you get a better car with each level, so it's no loss.
* ''VideoGame/UltimateSpiderMan'' switches characters between Spider-Man and Venom.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV''
** This is one of its main selling points; the game has a total of ''three'' protagonists that you can switch between at the press of a button. In shootouts where at least two of them are fighting alongside each other, this switching mechanic often becomes necessary to prevent the demise of whoever you aren't currently playing as.
** You spend the first few hours of the game switching between Franklin and Michael, up until the aftermath of the first [[TheCaper Heist Mission]], at which point the game forcibly switches you to Trevor, and the Switch ability is locked out for several missions while Franklin and Michael lay low.
** After Trevor and Michael [[spoiler: kidnap Patricia Madrazo]], you are briefly locked in as Franklin while the other two lay low in the desert.

!!Non-Video-Game Examples:
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfZestiria The X'' is an anime based on, as one might expect, the video game ''Tales of Zestiria'', albeit with some somewhat major alterations to the plot in places, most likely both to provide a fresh experience and to fit the television format. For two episodes, however in the first season, it breaks from ''Tales of Zestiria'' to give viewers the plot and characters of the game's prequel, ''VideoGame/TalesOfBerseria''. After these, ''Berseria'' is dropped, though the game's main protagonist, Velvet Crowe, is still seen briefly in the intro sequence for the anime's second season.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/HolyTerror'', right after The Fixer and Natalie Stack are hit with the first nail bomb, there's a cut to 10 minutes ago where the bomber, an exchange student named Amina, detonates herself and kills several people at a party and causes said explosion.
* ''Comicbook/SupermanVsTheAmazingSpiderMan'': The first prologue shows Franchise/{{Superman}}'s side of the story. The second prologue shows what Franchise/SpiderMan was up to while Superman ended his battle against Comicbook/LexLuthor. Finally, the third prologue shows what the villains -Luthor and Comicbook/DoctorOctopus- are doing after being arrested and jailed.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In chapter 2 of ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/170719 The Great and Powerful Ace Attorney]]'', when Trixie finds herself unable to defend Princess Twilight, Sonata takes her place. Halfway through the following day in the courtroom, Trixie takes over the defense again, her explanation being that while Trixie wants nothing more than to put Twilight in her place, only Trixie should be able to do that.
* The interlude chapters of ''FanFic/MyFamilyAndOtherEquestrians'' take place from the perspective of a different element of the protagonist's family.
* This is quite common in the Blog/ReadingRainbowverse, to the point where brief cameos can evolve into full on cohosts.
* ''Fanfic/TheOneILoveIs'': Most of the story is told from Shinji's point of view, but some scenes and most of side-stories narrate events from other characters' points of view to flesh the plot out.
* ''FanFic/TheTwilightChild'': The last two flashback chapters focus on the life and exploits of the main character's cousin, and her gradually evolving relationship with a friend of her cousins, and explains her until-then hinted at fate.
* ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'': Most of the story follows Shinji and Asuka's point of view, but the bulk of the final chapter "End" shows the events of the second-to-last chapter from Rei's viewpoint.
* ''Fanfic/PersonaEG'': Most of the story is told from Flash Sentry's perspective, including his narration, but there are a few small scenes that break away from this and show someone else's perspective and narration.
** This is most prominent in the LTE version of the story, which includes "bonus scenes" Flash was not present for that follow the perspective of characters like Twilight, Pinkie, Rainbow and Fluttershy.
** There is a short interlude chapter for 2/6, which shifts to the perspective of Eris for a brief scene, just as ZIT are discussing her true identity and Flash reveals that Eris is [[spoiler:Fluttershy.]]
** The Gemini Hunter Shadow splits itself to attack ''two'' targets at once and needs to be fought by two separate teams simultaneously. Flash leads one team to another location to fight the second Gemini while the rest stay behind and are led by [[spoiler:Fluttershy]].
** In the aftermath of [[spoiler:Twilight and Flash's breakup and Flash being kicked out of the dorm]], there are several short interlude chapters told from Twilight's point of view.

* ''Literature/LoneWolf'':
** Lone Wolf's [[FeaturelessProtagonist star apprentice]] takes over in Book 21, starting over from relative scratch. And if you don't want to name him, you can use a table to combine two words to give him a supposedly cool name. Or more likely, something absurd like "Sword Shield"[[note]]roll a 5 and a 9 for the Kai name prefix and suffix respectively[[/note]].
** The ''World of Lone Wolf'' books feature Grey Star the Wizard, a young wunderkind trained in magic by the Shianti, beings so good at magic that the gods had to ask -- nicely -- for them to leave humanity alone. He's an orphan marooned on the rocks of their island by a storm, and finding him was serendipitous since they are forbidden to leave their island, yet there's this evil sorcerer taking over the world right outside. So they rear him, train him in their ways and send him off to topple an empire.
** The UpdatedRerelease usually has a mini-story at the end with a character tied into the plot. Although there is a reoccuring hero named Dire, a RevenantZombie that Lone Wolf met in ''The Captives of Kaag''.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* After the show's transition to a new network, the final season of ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' suddenly switches focus from [[DemotedToExtra established physician JD]] to [[ChangingOfTheGuard new intern Lucy]].
* ''LiveActionTV/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' does this a couple times:
** The ''Film/QuestOfTheDeltaKnights'' episode starts with Pearl and Mike switching places and Pearl riffing on the movie in Mike's stead until the first intermission.
** ''Film/TimeChasers'' has a subplot about Crow attempting to go back in time and prevent Mike from getting trapped on the Satellite of Love. He succeeds during the 3rd host segment, but this winds up causing Mike to get killed in the new timeline and his {{Jerkass}} brother Eddie to replace him. Eddie is the one now riffing on the movie and does so until the next host segment, where Crow restores the timeline and brings Mike back.
** ''Film/LastOfTheWildHorses'' is a MirrorUniverse episode, and starts with the alternate universe versions of Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank riffing on the film up until the first intermission, after which things return to our universe and things continue with Mike, Crow, and the misplaced Mirror!Servo.

* In the ''Literature/AlexCross'' novel ''Cat and Mouse'' by James Patterson, Alex Cross gets knocked unconscious and taken to the hospital. The next chapter starts with, ''Thomas Pierce'' a brand new narrator, who was introduced earlier, while we're still reeling from the removal of Cross. [[spoiler:And he turns out to be the second serial killer of the book, the same one he investigated.]]
* In Laura Ingalls Wilder's ''Literature/LittleHouseOnThePrairie'' series, book 2, ''Farmer Boy'', switches the focus from the Ingalls to Almanzo Wilder. The Author's name is a bit of a spoiler as to what happens in book 7, ''Little Town on the Prairie''.
* Fairly consistently in the ''Literature/{{Parker}}'' novels, the books will spend the third of four sections being told from the perspective of somebody else in the story before reverting back to Parker.
* In the ''Literature/NemesisSaga'', the books tend to switch perspectives to various other characters, usually soon-to-be victims of the {{Kaiju}} rampage. Occasionally we see the world through the eyes of Nemesis herself.
* Very common in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' books, as every one has 2-3 main viewpoint characters and occasionally goes into a one off character's POV for a paragraph, sometimes for plot-relevant things, usually for jokes.
* The ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' novels are all written from the limited third-person perspective of the title character, an equally innovative, imaginative, and self-doubting individual who is constantly thinking. The only book or short story that isn't is ''Lieutenant Hornblower'', narrated from the perspective of his {{Lancer}}, William Bush, and set when they first meet each other with Bush as senior to Hornblower. It's notably free from Hornblower's vivid similes and demonstrates Bush's sturdy, uncomplicated character, but also the fact that he's often able to see his friend's qualities more clearly. It also allows for the creation of a mystery around a tyrannical captain's fall down the hatchway with Hornblower as a chief suspect.

* At one point during the ''Music/CarminaBurana'', the point of view switches to a roasting swan, [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment complaining about its fate]].

* Due to a long history of NoPlotNoProblem, the concept of a player character never truly gelled in pinball. The result is, more often than not, abrupt and rapid switching between player characters, if there are any player characters at all. For instance, in ''Pinball/TheWizardOfOz'', you are Dorothy by default, but you switch to the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, or even a complete outside perspective, or multiple characters at once, depending on which modes are active. The nebulous nature of player characters in pinball is best observed in how the term "player character" does not actually exist in pinball terminology, but rather, the less specific and more abstract term of "role."

* ''CriticalHit''. The game master loves to pull this on the players, giving them a set of different characters to play every once in awhile before switching back to the main party. The goal is to demonstrate different classes and character types in play
* ''[[WebVideo/{{Retsupurae}} Retsutalk]]'' episode 23 features LetsPlay/ChipCheezum and General Ironicus instead of the usual hosts [[LetsPlay/{{Slowbeef}} slowbeef]] and LetsPlay/{{Diabetus}}. There have been podcasts where either slowbeef or Diabetus were AWOL, leaving the other one to do the podcast with one or several guests, but in this one, ''neither'' of them are there.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/MummyTheCurse'', one of the Frameworks suggested is that the players switch out between usually playing members of a cult and occasionally playing the mummy that the cult worships.
* The ''TabletopGame/DarkSun'' setting for ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' demanded what it called the "character tree," an early form of troupe play. The players had multiple characters and could switch them out between adventures as desired or needed.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' adventure ''Dead Gods'' has a lengthy sequence where the players suddenly have to play through a {{Flashback}} with a group of pre-made characters. [[spoiler:Dead characters. It's a pretty distant flashback and things didn't go well.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''
** The POV can change at very inappropriate times. At one point, it actually shows the POV of a ''hat''.
** There's also The Midnight Crew Intermission. It's a chapter's worth of story, but has nothing to do with ''Homestuck''. [[spoiler:Or so you're led to think, anyway.]]
* In ''Webcomic/BloodIsMine'' Chapter 2 opens not to the protagonist of the first chapter, but a completely new character named Fuse. [[spoiler:The perspective switches back after he meets, and is infected by, the original protagonist.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/{{Brennus}}'': While most of the story's focus is on Basil/Brennus and his TrueCompanions as rookie super heroes, most of the interludes and a few entire arc's have focused on completely new characters in entirely different parts of the world, weaving together into a [[JigsawPuzzlePlot convoluted and expansive]] MythArc.
* ''WebVideo/WhatTheFuckIsWrongWithYou'' had Space Guy host the live show for April Fools day.