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[[quoteright:276:[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/707a2a20c621ed2d8e92da8122c0288c.png]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:276:[[{{Anime/Pokemon}} Easy to recognize considering you're not looking at it from above.]]]]-]

-->-- ''Franchise/StreetFighter''

A secret character is a character where the player has to complete some sort of specific action in order to challenge and/or unlock them. Like any other form of UnlockableContent, doing this is not required to finish the game.

If the game's a RolePlayingGame, this character can be recruited to your PlayerParty, sometimes through [[GuideDangIt extremely convoluted]] means, sometimes as NewGamePlus reward. In this case, the fact that they can join you can make them a WalkingSpoiler.

In a FightingGame, uncovering the character may be as simple as holding down a button while you select a certain fighter, or you may have to beat the game on the hardest setting, [[NoContinueRun without using any continues]]. In many fighting games, there is also a secondary path to getting characters that usually entails a set number of versus matches completed or a set amount of gameplay time for those who don't want to play the story mode.

In some games, the secret character also appears as a NonPlayerCharacter. If they appear as a [[BossBattle boss]], unlocking them may be as simple as [[DefeatMeansPlayable defeating them in the boss fight]].

Some secret characters are {{permanently missable|Content}} depending on the means used to unlock or acquire them.

See also OptionalPartyMember and GuestFighter. If it's an entirely different protagonist in a game with a single playable character, it's AnotherSideAnotherStory. If a secret character is also the most powerful enemy in the game, they double as the TrueFinalBoss.


[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* Since ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'', ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' has featured unlockable characters, usually the secondary characters. ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaDawnOfSorrow'' 's Julius Mode, besides being a tribute to ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse'', is also a rare example of a BadEnd Plus: the reason you're playing as Julius is to [[spoiler: kill Soma, who's become Dracula.]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/DevilMayCry3DantesAwakening Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition]]'', Vergil is playable after beating the game once.
* Beating ''VideoGame/{{Snailiad}}'' once unlocks [[FragileSpeedster Sluggy Slug]], who is the sole player character of Slug Mode.

[[folder:Action Game]]
* After beating ''VideoGame/{{killer7}}'' once on any difficulty, you can go back and re-play the game in ''killer8'' mode, which gives you access to the previously unavailable Young Harman character, whose huge amount of health and tommy-gun make him almost a GameBreaker. You'll need him though, since the only difficulty level available for ''killer8'' mode is Bloodbath, where enemies take obtuse amounts of damage, give almost no blood at all, and have invisible weak points.
* Beating Vario in ''VideoGame/SavantAscent'' would unlock the option to wear his mask. Hilariously, this turns all of your shots into Vario and changes your special attack into blocks that you drag around the screen.
* Beating ''VideoGame/CarriesOrderUp'' in one go, or earning $12,000,00 across multiple playthroughs, unlocks Calcia, the lobster running the counter, as a playable waitress. She'll slow down for every plate carried, but can spin past customers as long as the button is held, unlike Carrie, who can only spin in short bursts.

[[folder:Adventure Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/DragonBallZTheLegacyOfGoku 2'', there are 5 podiums by the fountain in Capsule Corp. Upon completing the Cell Games, you get one statue, which appears on the middle podium. As for the other 4 statues, they are hidden behind 4 barriers, one for each playable character except Goku, that require the character to be [[{{Cap}} level 50]] before they can access the area behind them. A statue is placed behind each of these barriers, and upon collecting all 5, you unlock [[FakeUltimateHero Hercule]] as a playable character.

[[folder:Beat'em Up]]
* ''Bayonetta''
** Completing ''{{VideoGame/Bayonetta}}'' with all Platinum ranks unlocks [[TheRival Jeanne]]. There's also [[spoiler:[[GrimReaper Little King Zero]]]], who can be unlocked by beating the BrutalBonusLevel, Angel Slayer.
** Jeanne makes a return as an unlockable character in ''{{VideoGame/Bayonetta 2}}'', unlocked by just beating the game on any difficulty. [[spoiler:Bayonetta's mother, [[GlassCannon Rosa]]]], can also be unlocked by beating the game on 3rd Climax, the second hardest difficulty in the game. Two more characters can be unlocked in the online co-op mode, Tag Climax, through randomly being challenged by them during play, [[spoiler:[[LightEmUp Lumen Sage, Balder]]]], and [[FallenAngel Rodin]], although these two can only be used on the co-op mode and not during normal gameplay.
* An OpenSecret, but in ''VideoGame/FateExtellaTheUmbralStar'' [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight Artoria Pendragon]] is the final unlockable character possible. And her unlock requirements are a ''doozy'' to say the least. Check the MoonLogicPuzzle entry on the main page for Fate/EXTELLA to see why.

[[folder:Fighting Game]]
* The most famous fighting game example is Akuma/Gouki in ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterII Super Street Fighter II Turbo]]''. If the player plays well enough, Akuma will appear at the end of the game and kill the standard final boss, M. Bison. Akuma became so popular that he is now subject to WolverinePublicity, as he shows up in games which aren't associated with ''Franchise/StreetFighter'', like ''VideoGame/{{Cyberbots}}'', where he appears as a giant mecha.
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha'' also had Akuma, but [[JokeCharacter joke character]] Dan Hibiki made his debut as a secret character in the first ''Alpha'' game. ''Alpha 2'' featured Shin Akuma and Evil Ryu.
* ''[[VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomSVCChaos SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos]]'' had a buttload of secret characters. Some of them were the ones you would expect like Dan or [[VideoGame/FatalFury Geese]], while others included [[VideoGame/MegaManZero Zero]] and [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Demitri]]. It also featured an evil version of Ken, called Violent Ken, based off of his possessed self in ''Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie''.
* ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden'': In order to play as Gaia and Sho, the two bosses, you had to enter two codes on the title screen before the menu showed up, then select either Eiji or Kayin while holding certain down certain buttons on the D-pad
* Most of the modern ''Wrestling/{{WWE}}'' games have former WWE talent as hidden legends. Later ''WWE'' games can be hacked to unlock WWE management like Vince [=McMahon=], Jim Ross, Michael Cole, Lillian Garcia, Mike Chioda and Nick Patrick.
* ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'':
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI Shantotto]] and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII Gabranth]] join the heroes and villains (respectively) once their storylines are cleared, adding them to the PP catalog to be purchased.
** This is the case for Prishe and Gilgamesh, and [[spoiler: Feral Chaos]] in the sequel. Shantotto and Gabranth must still be purchased, but unlike the others the ability to purchase them is from the start.
* A tradition in the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series. Typically by fullfilling a requirement, followed by DefeatMeansPlayable.
** Typically, you first unlock Jigglypuff by beating single-player mode once. Another standout secret character is Luigi, the only other character besides Jigglypuff to have been a secret character in the first three ''Smash'' games. Notably, ''Brawl'' mixed it up by making Jigglypuff one of the ''last'' characters you unlock.
** For other characters, the requirements vary according to the case. Each time you meet the requirements for any character, you will fight him/her/it with whichever one you were playing as at the time, and if you win you will unlock the character. Other typical requirements include beating the game without continues, with a specific character, or completing certain side events. Each game minus the first also gives you the characters if you log a certain amount of multiplayer matches (the minimum required to get them all this way is 1000 matches in ''Melee'', 450 in ''Brawl'', 120 in ''3DS''. In ''Brawl'' and ''Wii U''). ''Brawl'' has a unique third method: By getting them to join you in Adventure Mode, they'll be available automatically in all other modes, without the need of beating them in a preliminary match.
** Mewtwo in ''Melee'' takes the GuideDangIt to the extreme, you have to play over 20 player-hours (that is, 20 hours divided by the number of people playing) or fight around 700 matches.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'s'' "Devil" was unlocked by leaving the game on for ''30 hours''. Alternatively, one could get a perfect score in the game of ''Galaga'' that replaced a standard LoadingScreen at the very beginning of the game.
* In the first two ''VideoGame/KillerInstinct'' games, the BigBad could be played as by entering certain button combinations as the fights loaded.
* In the fighting game ''VideoGame/OneMustFall'', it was possible, through a series of button sequences, to play as both the end boss, and use his towering robot (not normally available in the story mode). There were also a lot of secret characters you couldn't play as, but could access for special fights, both in story mode and tournament play--"unranked challengers". In tournament mode, some of these unranked challengers would appear in other tournaments, some were the only appearance of a story mode character in the tournaments, some were references to other Creator/EpicGames franchises, and some were just unique characters who only popped out surprise you.
* ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' is outright vicious about unlocking characters. In ''XX'', to unlock Robo-Ky, Kliff, and Justice, you must do one of the following: complete forty of the game's fifty (insanely hard) missions; complete all the story paths (some of which are GuideDangIt, some of which are outright painful, and some of which are ''both'') for all characters; or complete over 200 levels of Survival Mode (which amounts to seventy or so battles - including twenty much harder "Daredevils"). Or just leave the game running for several days. Then, there are the laternate movesets for most of the characters, which are practically characters unto themselves...
* ''VideoGame/LightningLegendDaigoNoDaibouken'' has four unlockable characters. DefeatMeansPlayable is the way to get them; it's not a problem for two of them, who are [[spoiler: the MidBoss and the FinalBoss]], but the other two are [[spoiler: {{Bonus Boss}}es]] requiring near-completion of the game and [[NoContinueRun no continues in a playthrough]] in addition.
%%* Toraichi and Toraji in ''[[VideoGame/KunioKun Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu]]''.
* For most of the VideoGame/CapcomVsWhatever series, this would be commonplace. Examples:
** ''VideoGame/XMenChildrenOfTheAtom'': Aside from bosses [[MidBoss Juggernaut]] and [[FinalBoss Magneto]], there's [[VideoGame/StreetFighterII Akuma.]]
** ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroes'': [[MidBoss Doctor Doom]] and [[FinalBoss Thanos]], along with the very much broken and incomplete test character [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Anita.]]
** ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroesVsStreetFighter]'': Several, such as Armored Franchise/SpiderMan (increased defense but lowered speed), [[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Evil Sakura]] (Sakura with an Akuma/Evil Ryu-inspired movelist), [[VideoGame/XMenVsStreetFighter Shadow]] (a powerful PaletteSwap of Charlie/Nash), Cyborg Zangief (very enhanced defense), U.S. Agent and Mephisto (PaletteSwap characters of Captain America and Blackheart), in addition to boss characters Apocalypse and Cyber Akuma.
** ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomClashOfTheSuperheroes'': The Marvel secret characters are different palette swaps of the Hulk (gives him his ''Marvel Super Heroes'' movelist and properties), War Machine (has incredible defense and armor, now fires missiles instead of lasers) and Venom (becomes the fastest and weakest character in the game), while the Capcom side has Shadow Lady (Chun-Li transformed into a cyborg ala Shadow), [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Lilith-Mode Morrigan]] (Morrigan with Lilith's color scheme and properties) and [[VideoGame/MegaManClassic Roll]] (a JokeCharacter who has Mega Man's movelist).
** ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom'': In the original version (''Cross Generation of Heroes''), [[VideoGame/QuizNanairoDREAMS Saki Omakane]], Hakushon Daimao, Ippatsuman and VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe needed to be unlocked by beating the game a certain number of times with either a Tatsunoko or Capcom character, and then purchased in the store. In the updated version ''Ultimate All-Stars'', the above four (save Daimao for licensing reasons) were made into starting characters. Now, Anime/TekkamanBlade, [[Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman Joe The Condor]], [[VideoGame/DeadRising Frank West]], and [[VideoGame/MegaManX Zero]] are unlocked only by beating the game with a set number of characters from both sides. Beating the game with Blade, Joe, Frank and Zero would unlock Anime/{{Yatterman}}-2.
** ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'': Getting a certain amount of points either offline or online will unlock Taskmaster, [[Franchise/StreetFighter Akuma]], [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Hsien-Ko]], and [[Franchise/XMen Sentinel.]]
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' is the trailblazer for secret characters in fighting games. For the first two games, they were simply unplayable, but far stronger and faster palette swaps of the ninja characters. Starting with ''VideoGame/MortalKombat3'', they could be unlocked.
** First up is a roboticized version of Smoke, the first ever unlockable character in the series which you could unlock by entering the "Ultimate Kombat Kode", which used a total of ten slots, divided up by inputs from both players.
** In the update following that, ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombat3 Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3]]'' adds three new unlockables each with their own [=UKKs=] which includes "Classic Sub-Zero", Mileena and Ermac. Smoke is relegated to a normal playable character, but by inputting a code before any round, he will change into his much faster human form, which is basically a faster silver colored swap of Scorpion.
** The original arcade version of ''VideoGame/MortalKombat4'' has a rare player-exclusive version in Meat who uses the skinned corpse model utilized in a couple of Fatalities but uses other characters' moves instead and can be unlocked. The console versions add Goro and Noob Saibot, both of whom were playable by selecting Shinnok or Reiko respectively while using the Hidden option. For some reason, Reptile became this in the Game Boy Color version. ''MK Gold'' added Sektor to the mix by doing the same with Cyrax.
** Many of the characters in ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombatDeadlyAlliance Deadly Alliance]]'' can be unlocked by purchasing their Koffins, which have both a specific koin count and type of koin but two in particular are only available after clearing everyone's Konquests; Blaze and Mokap. However, neither have a weapon style or Fatality.
** ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombatDeception Deception]]'' continues this but the characters and costumes now require a key to open. There's an especially infamous example in the case of a [[spoiler:zombified Liu Kang]] whose key can only be found a very specific date and time and in an obscure location. The payoff is worth it since he actually deals twice the damage against Onaga. You also technically play as one through the entirety of the game's adventure mode until you cleared the main story where he will be available in all modes but the size of his moveset, which is taken from most, if not the entire cast, is dependent on how many keys you can unlock, including his Fatalities.
** In ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'', Quan Chi is unlocked after the story mode is fully cleared.
* ''VideoGame/MaceTheDarkAge'' features Pojo the Chicken. Ned the Janitor (who's just a reskinned Xiao Long) is also available in the N64 port, and Ichiro and Gar Gunderson are relegated to secret character status by only being accessible through cheat codes.
* ''VideoGame/XenophageAlienBloodsport'' has Blarney the dinosaur, an utterly broken (as in, he will actually ''crash'' the game under certain conditions) DummiedOut character only accessible via editing the game's .ini file.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'': The spin-off fighting games have a few of them:
** ''Immaterial And Missing Power'' has [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire Remilia Scarlet]] and [[CuteGhostGirl Yuyuko Saigyouji]], who can be unlocked when you find them and defeat them in story mode; and, provided you haven't used any continues, you can also unlock SubBoss [[RealityWarper Yukari Yakumo]] and FinalBoss [[DrunkenMaster Suika Ibuki]]. It is also possible to unlock [[AnimeChineseGirl Hong Meiling]] after installing a special patch, and completing the story mode at least once with any character.
** In ''Scarlet Weather Rhapsody'', you can unlock the bosses [[ShockAndAwe Iku Nagae]] and Tenshi Hinanawi if you find them and defeat them in the story mode.
* In ''VideoGame/MeltyBlood'' ''Act Cadenza Version B'', you can unlock Neko-Arc Chaos (A SuperDeformed version of Nrvnqsr Chaos) after completing the arcade mode at least once with any character; he also has a special arcade route where the FinalBoss is a giant version of him called Neko Chaos Black G666, created by Kohaku of all people. However, although the giant Neko does not become playable, you can unlock "Giant Mode" that allows you to challenge him with any character.
* ''VideoGame/JoJosBizarreAdventureHeritageForTheFuture'''s secret roster depends on the version. The initial release (dubbed ''[=JoJo's=] Venture'' in English) makes the player beat the game to unlock [[BigBad DIO]]; the updated version (in English, simply titled ''[=JoJo's=] Bizarre Adventure'') instead had six characters that (in the original arcade, at least) could only be activated via a [[ClassicCheatCode code]] in the ''service menu.''
* ''VideoGame/ShrekSuperSlam'' has several characters only unlocked by completing certain sections in the Mega Challenge mode: Huff n Puff Wolf, Anthrax, Cyclops, Robin Hood, G-nome, Dronkey, Quasimodo, Luna, Captain Hook and Humpty Dumpty.
* ''VideoGame/DragonballFighterz'' has three secret characters: Android 21, who can be unlocked by completing Story Mode; and SSGSS Goku and SSGSS Vegeta, who can be earned by getting an S Rank in the Hard Mode version of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber arcade ladder (or purchased from the DLC storefront).

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* There are a few secret characters in the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series.
** The SuperMode versions might count, but there's also Metal Sonic in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure DX'', who is available after getting all 130 emblems (though he's only available in trial mode and can't do Sky Chase), as well as Amy in ''[[VideoGame/SonicAdvanceTrilogy Sonic Advance 2]]'' after beating the game with all the Chaos Emeralds with the previous 4 characters.
** The Xbox Live Arcade/PSN version of ''VideoGame/SonicCD'' allows you to play as Tails after you beat the game once.
* The first ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'' game lets you play as [[spoiler:Sylvia, Alastor, Captain Blue]] and even [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/DevilMayCry Dante]]]] (who, unfortunately, is only unlockable in the [=PlayStation 2=] version of the game) by beating the game's multiple difficulty levels. The [=PS2=] version also lets you use all the characters (including the [=PS2=]-exclusive one) with a button code.
* ''[[VideoGame/MeatBoy Super Meat Boy]]'' has a whole host of entirely optional secret characters from other various indie games, including [[VideoGame/BitTrip Commander Video]], [[VideoGame/{{Aquaria}} Naija]], [[VideoGame/HalfLife a headcrab]], [[VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy The Kid]], [[VideoGame/{{VVVVVV}} Captain Viridian]], the VideoGame/AlienHominid...
* Luigi has become this in many later ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' games, usually because his abilities tend to [[LightningBruiser overshadow]] [[JackOfAllStats Mario's]] gameplay-wise. In ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DWorld'', Rosalina is unlocked in the second level of the first secret world.
* In ''VideoGame/TheAngryVideoGameNerdAdventures'', the Guitar Guy, Mike Matei, and [[WebVideo/YouKnowWhatsBullshit the Bullshit Man]] are all found in {{Secret Path}}s.

[[folder:Puzzle Game]]
* ''Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo'': Scrolling off to the side on the character select screen revealed a few secret characters, including [[JokeCharacter Dan]]. Also, holding down a button while selecting certain characters turned them into others.
* ''VideoGame/{{Shift}} 3'' lets you unlock Fancy Pants from ''VideoGame/FancyPantsAdventures''.
* ''Wrecking Crew '98'' had four original secret characters: Onigiri, Onnanoko, Oyaji and Dogu. As with the normal opponents, DefeatMeansPlayable, but they might not even be seen on a normal playthrough.
* ''Harvest Moon Frantic Farming'' lets you unlock the Witch Princess after completing the rest of the stories.

[[folder:Real Time Strategy]]
* In ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'', you can recruit a Hydralisk unit from ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' for one mission, hidden behind trees. In the expansion pack it is possible to receive an extra hero unit for one mission providing you first triggered a secret mission in the preceding mission and then completed said secret mission.
* The ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires'' series features a plethora of secret units that can only be unlocked via cheat codes. The second game alone has an AC Cobra armed with a machine gun, [[ActionBomb saboteurs]] (powered-up versions of the Petard unit,) [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys Furious the Monkey Boy]] (who is one of the strongest units in the game, [[GlassCannon but can be taken out in only 9 hits]],) penguins and "Villager Male Dave Lewis", a naked, gibberish-spouting villager named after an Ensemble Studios employee who has the fastest movement speed in the game, but can't do anything except move.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' had five playable soldiers, one for each class, unlocked through various means: one for beating the game (Mussad), two for having a specific character get KO'd during a mission (Lynn and Emile), one for getting enough in-game medals (Audrey), and one for having a large amount of unspent funds (Knute).
** ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesII'' also features unlockable characters, one of which ([[spoiler:the late]] Isara Gunther) requires either a code, or transferring save data from the original [=PS3=] game onto a PSP.
* In ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun'', the final GDI stage takes place on a battlefield with a lot of broken husks of old GDI and NOD units. Among the wreckage, are 3 Mammoth tanks - a unit from the first game that had been removed from the game. The 3 Mammoth tanks don't work exactly like they use to (in the first game, the Mammoth tank can shoot a single large missile at ground or air targets, here the Mammoth fires two purely anti-air missiles at airborne targets), but they certainly provide a lot of heavy firepower and durability.

[[folder:Racing Game]]
* In racing games, you often have [[UnlockableContent secret vehicles]] rather than secret [[CharacterizationTropes characters]]. Though some games like the ''VideoGame/MarioKart'' series are character driven enough to have actual unlockable characters. In the case of ''VideoGame/MarioKartWii'', not only you can unlock characters by acing the Grand Prix Cups, but also by unlocking ghost racers (not playable, they're simply leftovers of previous races) in Time Trial, for which your times have to be exceptionally good.
* In ''VideoGame/DiddyKongRacing'', Drumstick: To unlock him as a playable character, you must get all four Grand Prix trophies then run over the frog with the rooster crest on it's head. In the DS version, it's a slightly different task: you must use your stylus to flip one of the frogs up into the pond above, then run it over. And T.T. to unlock him, you must race his ghost in time trial mode on every track (including the bonus space world), and beat him.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Rhythm Game]]
* The Cheer Girls and the Divas in ''Ouendan'' and ''VideoGame/EliteBeatAgents'' aren't particularly secret; they have their own bios in the manuals and everything, they're just really, really hard to unlock.
* ''VideoGame/SpaceChannel5 Part 2'' somewhat does this. By completing Reports with 100% and by doing other things, you can play as other characters in the game, including the BigBad.

* In ''VideoGame/NetHack'', certain demon-lords have no "fixed" lair and only turn up when/if summoned. It is entirely possible to finish the game and never meet them.
* ''VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac'''': Rebirth'' has two unlockable characters that are very hard to play: [[spoiler:The Lost]] can fly and shoot through projectiles, but is a literal OneHitPointWonder. Unlocking him requires you to do something you wil never accidentally do. [[spoiler:Keeper]] uses money for health, dies in two hits, and fires tears much more slowly, and unlocking him takes a very long time.
* In ''VideoGame/NuclearThrone'', there are two characters that can't be normally selected and require jumping through some hoops to play as them. To play as [[spoiler:Skeleton]], you need to [[spoiler: get Melting killed then have him get revived inside a Necromancer circle]], and it only lasts until that run. Playing as [[spoiler:Frog]] requires you to [[spoiler: get a Frog Pistol by going into post-Loop Sewers and hit Mom with a golden weapon at least once then kill her, store that pistol in a Proto Chest in a Crown Vault to turn it into a golden version, then pick a character to go back there and store that in their loadout]]. Once you do perform that lengthy task, it will replace the character [[spoiler:that holds the Golden Frog Pistol]].

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* ''VideoGame/SagaFrontier'': Sei required you to finish a sidequest in an optional dungeon; Time Lord and Kylin required you to get two gifts of magic first to even access the quest to recruit them (or buy their magic); Suzaku required you [[Main/GuideDangIt to defeat an obscure miniboss who randomly appeared if you fight a certain monster in the previous screen]]; and Rei was another GuideDangIt character available only in Asellus's quest and was [[PermanentlyMissableContent unobtainable]] if you forgot to do something or did something you shouldn't have done at the start of said quest.
* ''VideoGame/WildArms'':
** In the [[VideoGame/WildArms2 second game]], you recruit Marivel in a completely optional dungeon.
** ''[[VideoGame/WildArms1 Alter Code]]'', the remake of the first game. lets you recruit Zed after a BonusBoss fight and after you give him an item acquired in the last dungeon.
* ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'' lets you recruit the overpowered main character of the first game as a non-Star. It required a last dungeon save file from the first Suikoden and a Side Quest.
* ''VideoGame/SuikodenTactics'' did something similar for the main character of ''VideoGame/SuikodenIV''. Also, considering the ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' games always have around 100 {{Optional Party Member}}s, (There's always OneHundredAndEight characters, but some are automatic, permanent members) there's often a boatload of difficult to get ones.
* ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'': You can get a [[OptionalPartyMember special character]], the Rogue Modron Nordom, only by exploring a bizarre pocket dimension where the inhabitants are trying to understand the concepts of dungeon-delving. The result is a randomly generated maze, creating by opening and shutting various doors between the myriad chambers, and Nordom can only be found in a specific chamber. To even get to the pocket plane, you buy a specific item (the "Metallic Cube" - a poseable Modron figurine) from Vrichika's Curiosity Shoppe. Then, after talking to the Modrons in the Brothel of Slaking Intellectual Lusts to discover that it ''is'' a portal, you have to figure out on your own the specific pattern you need to alter the figure's limbs into to activate it (extend left wing, extend right wing, rotate right arm). Once there, you first have to fight your way through a randomly generated maze (fortunately set on "Easy" difficulty) to find the control room. Then, from there, you have to set the maze to "Hard" and then try and find the room where Nordom is waiting. And, on this difficulty, the maze is filled with powerful enemy constructs, which can make this a BonusLevelOfHell if the party doesn't time LevelGrinding on either the Easy or Medium settings. And as this maze is randomly generated, you may need to reset it over and over before Nordom's chamber becomes accessible.
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', near the end of the game, you are presented a choice. Take one path and you can recruit [[spoiler:Magus]]. Take the other and the mystery character is [[PermanentlyMissableContent unobtainable for the rest of the game]].
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFire II:'' Bleu/Deis. You must walk over a specific panel in a random desert with nothing else in it after reading a certain book. The book both unlocks the panel and tells you, if obtusely, which one it is.
* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series has a few:
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' alone has a number of them:
*** Gogo the Mime was found in a small optional dungeon which you accessed by fighting an enemy that only appeared in one place, and letting it eat you instead of killing it.
*** Mog can be found in the Narshe Cliffs in the World of Balance, or the Narshe Mines in the World of Ruin.
*** Umaro can be found by jumping off a cliff where the Esper Tritoch/[[DubNameChange Valigarmanda]], was and having Mog in your party.
*** While Shadow joins and leaves the party as he pleases, he can be recruited for good if you wait for him as the Floating Continent crumbles. If you don't, [[PermanentlyMissableContent he doesn't make it and can't be recruited again]].
*** Technically, every character save for Setzer, Edgar and Celes become this in the World of Ruin, as you don't need to re-recruit them to take on Kefka.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'': Yuffie appeared as a random battle, and the player must select certain dialogue options to get her to join. The game was merciful, though, in that she would appear later [[NPCAmnesia until the player gets it right]] (justified as she stole from you each time you got the sequence wrong). Also Vincent, who involved solving puzzles in a haunted house. After finally finishing the puzzles, you have to fight a boss. The boss was ''very'' tough if you didn't know what you were doing, ''and'' there's still little indication on what you're supposed to do to actually ''recruit'' Vincent.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' has no secret characters per se, but it does have three hidden aeons that are worth obtaining:
*** Yojimbo is found in the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth; after going through the dungeon and defeating him, his chamber can be accessed, and Yojimbo can be obtained for a negotiable price.
*** Anima can be fought in the temple of Baaj, after obtaining the secret items in the different Cloisters of Trials must be obtained (Though Bevelle's Cloister is a OneTimeDungeon, its item thanfully cannot be missed) and defeating Geosgaeno (The giant underwater fiend that attacked Tidus in the beginning of the game).
*** The Magus Sisters are found in Remiem Temple, with their chamber unlocked with two key items: the Blossom Crown (Obtained after capturing one of each fiend in Mt. Gagazet) and the Flower Sceptre (Obtained by defeating Belgemine's Bahamut).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' has a number of them:
*** Beowulf Cadmus can be recruited in Chapter 4 by helping him with a quest in Goug.
*** Beowulf's fiancée Reis Duelar can be recruited as well if you continue along the quest; she's first recruited as a Holy Dragon, but joins the party under her human form after she's returned to normal.
*** Continuing further along the quest nets you the Aquarius auracite, which allows you to recruit the robot Construct 8.
*** A friendly creature named Byblos helps you on the final floor of the BrutalBonusLevel, Midlight's Deep. If it makes it through the battle alive, it can be recruited for good.
*** Cloud Strife, guest-appearing from ''Final Fantasy VII'' can be recruited if you buy a flower from a flower girl in Sal Ghidos, then come back later to help him fend off some thugs.
*** Finally, the PSP remake adds [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2 Luso]] and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII Balthier]], both recruitable in their respective sidequests.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' had Ms. Mowz, who makes several appearances as an {{NPC}} but won't join unless you do a certain sidequest.
* ''Time Stalkers'' has Marion. Although not a ''secret'' by any stretch (she's listed in the manual with all the other characters), the method for getting her is convoluted and relies entirely on luck--you have to ''find'' her as a randomly generated item.
* ''{{Franchise/Pokemon}}'':
** Every generation, there are a few secret OlympusMons known as "Mythical Pokémon" that are DummiedOut until being officially revealed at a later date, and can only be caught via real life events (or cheating, since for older games those events have long since passed). Fortunately, none of these are required to complete the Pokédex (though you may not be happy with having obvious gaps in it).
*** Generation I introduced [[ConfusionFu Mew]], though it can be caught thanks to a glitch.
*** Generation II brought [[TimeTravel Celebi]] onboard, which was only available through a GS Ball-related event in Japan. The games' remakes made it a downloadable worldwide event (which unlocked a SecretBoss fight with Giovanni), while also adding a Spiky-Eared Pichu.
*** Generation III had [[MakeAWish Jirachi]] and [[StarfishAliens Deoxys]] (as well as Mew, but [[NoExportForYou the required item to access it was never released outside Japan]]). [[spoiler:''Omega Ruby'' and ''Alpha Sapphire'', however, make Deoxys catchable normally.]] [[BlowYouAway Lugia]] and [[ThePhoenix Ho-Oh]] were also rendered this for a time (thanks to no ability to transfer Pokémon from older generations), but could later be obtained via ''VideoGame/PokemonXDGaleOfDarkness'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonColosseum'' respectively.
*** Generation IV added [[MakingASplash Manaphy]] (and to some degree its offspring Phione), [[BadDreams Darkrai]], [[GreenThumb Shaymin]] and [[CrystalDragonJesus Arceus]]. Then again, the last of those being the equivalent of God in the Pokémon universe kinda justifies his status as an event exclusive. Since ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'' were released before the Gen II remakes, Lugia and Ho-Oh aren't needed to complete the Dex in them.
*** Generation V included [[MyHeroZero Victini]], [[TheSixthRanger Keldeo]], [[TheMuse Meloetta]], and [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul Genesect]]. While not Mythical Pokémon, [[MasterOfIllusion Zorua and its evolution Zoroark]] could only be obtained in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' via [[OldSaveBonus transferring certain Johto legendaries from an event]]. They didn't stay event-exclusive for long, as they since became catchable in later games starting with [[VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2 the sequels]].
*** Generation VI adds [[GemstoneAssault Diancie]], [[RealityWarper Hoopa]], and [[PlayingWithFire Volca]][[MakingASplash nion]]. The former two also gained {{Super Mode}}s starting with ''Omega Ruby'' and ''Alpha Sapphire''.
*** Generation VII includes [[ArtificialHuman Magearna]], obtained via a special QR code, and [[LivingShadow Marshadow]]. ''VideoGame/PokemonUltraSunAndUltraMoon'' would be the first game to introduce a brand new Pokémon mid-generation. The last Pokémon this time is [[CatFolk Zeraora]].
** Outside of Mythical Pokémon, Tangrowth was this upon ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl''[='=]s release, since Tangrowth wasn't in the Sinnoh Dex and Tangela itself was completely unavailable outside of [[OldSaveBonus importing it]] from ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen]]''. ''Platinum'' averted this by adding in wild Tangela and making it and Tangrowth part of the Sinnoh Dex.
* Natsume in ''[[VideoGame/DotHackGUGames .hack//G.U.]] Vol. 3: Redemption''. She only appears if you've defeated all the Chaotic Player-killers, and even then, you can't actually get her in the party until ''after'' you beat the final boss. Tabby from ''Roots'' is similar, as you find her on the 50th floor of the game's BonusDungeon.
* With high enough Paragon/Renegade skill in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', it's possible to [[spoiler:kill Samara during her loyalty mission and replace her with her daughter Morinth]].
* [[spoiler:Futomimi and Sakahagi]] in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne''. In Hell's Maze, you can encounter two souls; one that's red ([[spoiler:Sakahagi]]) and another that's green ([[spoiler:Futomimi]]). Talking to both of them causes a corpse to show up in Zoshigaya Cemetery, which is holding the Afterlife Bell. Bring the Bell to the two souls and ring it to bring them BackFromTheDead as their former selves. That alone won't unlock them, however; you still need to fuse a pair of demons to get them. Dante and Black Frost also count, but they join you instantly regardless of your level.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'' has Reiji, who is infamous for this. From ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'', there's the Custom Personae, which can be unlocked by certain dialogue choices, and Durga, which needs a certain choice as well. Also, from ''Eternal Punishment'', the Ancestral Personae and Lugh.
* "Secret Companion" is the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' fandom's established term for a particular WalkingSpoiler companion who may join the Warden's party in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' under very specific circumstances--namely, [[spoiler:Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir, TheHeavy of the game]]. In addition, there are some less spoiler-y secret {{Guest Star Party Member}}s in that game, such as [[TheArchmage First Enchanter]] Irving (who only joins if you forgot to bring a mage to the resolution of "The Arl of Redcliffe" quest) and the nameless Tower Guard, Soldier, and Circle Mage, some of whom may join you depending on your [[MultipleGameOpenings Origin]] during "The Tower of Ishal" to balance out your party.
* [[VideoGame/PhantasyStarUniverse Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity]] lets you at random find a KFC in dungeons... and recruit Colonel Sanders as a party member.
* Many of the Legendaries in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeon Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky]]''. They don't appear at all unless you have either the Secret Slab or the Enigma Part, and from there, you'd need a [[GuideDangIt strategy guide]] to figure out where exactly they appear.
* The ''Hellfire'' ExpansionPack for the original ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' came with two secret, "unlockable" characters: the Bard and Barbarian. The Barbarian has since reappeared in the sequels.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Arcanum}}'', while not many characters are hidden per se, most people will never know that certain [=NPCs=] are can actually be recruited, mainly because some require special dialogue options and/or quests to be accomplished before they even consider joining.
** Another character, called Dog, requires that you find him within a time limit as soon as you enter the town he's found in.
* In ''VideoGame/LufiaTheLegendReturns'', defeating [[spoiler:the Egg Dragon]] will lead to them joining your party as a thirteenth member.
* There are two in ''VideoGame/{{Lunarosse}}''. One is Izumi, a scythe-wielder who can only be recruited in a JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind sidequest. The other is [[spoiler:Princess Zelda]], who you can't recruit until just before the second-to-last dungeon even if you've already cleared the dungeon she's in before then, but already has her strongest weapon and excellent stats.
* In ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternityIIDeadfire'', every major full character is found during the main plot, and every sidekick is found in a major port town. Except for one sidekick, Rekke. [[spoiler:Rekke is found clinging to a random piece of debris on the eastern edge of the map.]] Worse, most sidekicks have very few dialogue options, and Rekke doesn't even speak a language known to the party, meaning when he's clicked on, his dialogue is incomprehensible, followed by body language to indicate what he means. So the player might think to treat him as DumbMuscle, [[spoiler:but if they keep prodding him, he eventually learns Aedyran and had a surprisingly extensive DialogueTree [[CrypticBackgroundReference about the unknown land of Yezuha]].]]

[[folder:Shoot Em Up]]
* ''VideoGame/StarFoxAssault'' 's Multiplayer mode lets you play as the core Star Fox team, but Wolf O' Donnell can be unlocked. He has the same total stats as Fox, but with three maxed out skills (a maxed out speed in particular that lets him run around all the other characters), he is considered by some to be a GameBreaker.
* ''VideoGame/RaidenFighters Jet'' has the Slave and Fairy planes, unlockable by holding the bomb button when pressing Start at the title screen. The Slave will replace whichever plane you select, inheriting its movement speed and bomb; the Miclus is replaced by the Fairy instead.
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Touhou}} Phantasmagoria of Flower View]]'' you can unlock Merlin and Lunasa Prismriver if you complete the NintendoHard Extra Mode with Komachi and Eiki Shiki. Given that this game is from BulletHell genre, many casual players won't even try this (it's like the story mode, but with number of bullets on [[HarderThanHard Lunatic]] standards, both you and opponent having [[OneHitPointWonder one hit point]] while she has the invincibility time for the beginning of the fight, and without any spare lives or continues).
* In the [=iOS=] port of ''[[VideoGame/DonPachi DoDonPachi Daifukkatsu]]'' you can unlock [[spoiler: Hibachi]] as a playable ship. It is just as powerful as its boss counterpart.
* ''VideoGame/MercenaryForce'' has the Tanuki, who also counts as a SixthRanger. To get the Tanuki, you must have the mystic as your leader and try her luck at the shrine in level 2. Then in level 6, you must have an empty slot in your party and a mystic present.

[[folder:Simulation Game]]
* This is a fixture of the ''VisualNovel/TokimekiMemorial'' series. Each game contains at least two of them :
** ''Tokimeki Memorial 1'' : [[ShrinkingViolet Miharu Tatebayashi]] and [[spoiler: [[{{Bifauxnen}} Rei Ijuin]]]] ;
** ''Tokimeki Memorial 2'' : [[TwinSwitch Maho Shirayuki]], [[JapaneseDelinquint Maeka Kudanshita]], and [[CircusBrat Sumire Nozaki]] ;
** ''Tokimeki Memorial 3'' : [[{{Determinator}} Kazumi Watarai]] and [[IllGirl Hotaru Izumi]]
** ''Tokimeki Memorial 4'' : [[TwinSwitch Rui Nanakawa]], [[ShrinkingViolet Haruna Mizuki]], and [[spoiler: [[{{Yandere}} Miyako Okura]]]]
** ''VisualNovel/TokimekiMemorialGirlsSide'' : Aoki Chiharu, Tendou Jin (for the DS Version ''1st Love'')
** ''Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 2nd Kiss'' : Akagi Kazuyuki, [[JerkAss Majima Tarou]] and [[{{Hikkikomori}} Komori Taku]] (for the DS Version ''2nd Season'')
* ''VideoGame/LuckyRabbitReflex'', a DatingSim heavily inspired by the aforementioned ''Tokimeki Memorial'', has Perth (who can be met only by attending a certain club and picking specific choices) and Mardi (who, like many ''Tokimeki Memorial'' secret characters, requires a lot of shopping trips to unlock his route).
* ''True Love 95'' has Anze, who requires you to go shopping at night during a period of time in August. Nothing hints towards this, nor is there much of any reason at all to go shopping in the first place.
* Moebius One, the PlayerCharacter of ''VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'', appears as the TrueFinalBoss of ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar'', only if you play the BrutalBonusLevel on the highest difficulty level ''and'' beat the penultimate boss in under the record time. No wonder most players never even know about his presence in the game.
* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonTheTaleOfTwoTowns'' has two, Oracle is unlocked in year two and can easily be missed, and Alisa, who you must befriend Nathan to unlock.
* ''VideoGame/SimEarth'' has two unlockable ''species'' that can evolve on your planet, both of which can become sentient if given enough care. Neither of them are available to freely place unlike the other life forms, and in the biosphere map, while most are on a sliding complexity scale from green (prokaryotes) to red (mammals), these two are marked by a single shade of blue.
** [[spoiler: [[PlantPeople Carniferns]] will sprout up if you have an abundance of insects.]] These are difficult to cultivate even after evolving, so getting them to sentience without the use of a Monolith is a SelfImposedChallenge.
** [[spoiler: [[MechanicalLifeforms Robots]] will appear if you [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential drop an atomic bomb on a Nanotech-age city, killing the hundreds of millions of sapients within]].]] Unlike the other secret species, they need no help establishing a foothold; [[AIIsACrapshoot they will spread rapidly and eliminate any other life form they find]] until [[GreyGoo they're the only thing left on the surface of the entire planet]]. [[VideoGameCrueltyPunishment Nice going, player]].

[[folder:Sports Game]]
* The ''VideoGame/BackyardBaseball'' series has secret characters ranging from Mr. Clanky to the announcers to ''freaking Babe Ruth''.

[[folder:Stealth Based Game]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPortableOps'' allowed you to unlock a whole bunch of characters (usually through a NewGamePlus, with a code as an alternative). A couple are from the AlternateContinuity ''VideoGame/MetalGearAcid'', and are only unlocked if you have a save file from the ''Ac!d'' games (or, again, through using the right code).
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'' ups the ante with unlockable crew members for your base, chief of which is HIDEO KOJIMA. And yes, some of the unlockable characters are playable. Bonus points for having a Halfling Catgirl from the Monster Hunter series act as your liason for the Isla Del Monstro challenges.

[[folder:Turn Based Strategy]]
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'':
** Many secret mechs in the Super Robot Wars series. The methods for getting them vary from the simple (kill X number of enemies with character Y, especially easy when character Y is a walking engine of death) to the GuideDangIt, (beating a certain enemy with a single character, not attacking a particular unit in a fight, or reassigning a character to an incredibly weak robot before a certain mission, or ''winning'' a HopelessBossFight).
** Due to the [[MassiveMultiplayerCrossover nature of the games]], this may not be so much GuideDangIt as AllThereInTheManual.
** And quite often, there will be two or more hidden mecha/weapons that cannot be gained in the same playthrough (ex: [[Manga/MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray Hyperion Gundam]] and [[Anime/TekkamanBlade Tekkaman Rapier]] in ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsW W]]'', which are achieved on different sides of the same route split), making OneHundredPercentCompletion impossible.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'': Cloud. An incredibly long series of actions and optional maps before getting him, GuideDangIt. The PSP port/upgrade, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of Lions, included Cloud and all of FFT's unlockable characters, as well as ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'''s Balthier (as a secret character) and Final Fantasy Tactics A2's Luso (met in the story).
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'': 4 characters offer to join your party if leaving with certain mission items, 4 others from completing certain missions.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' had Frimedla Lotice, gained from doing five separate quests. The game also had Vaan, Penelo, Al-Cid Margrace and Montblanc as optional party members.
* Creator/NipponIchi games, such as ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' or ''VideoGame/LaPucelle'', often allow you to unlock characters from their other games.
* ''VideoGame/ShiningForce'' was horrible with these, and it extended to the sequels.
* The game ''VideoGame/VantageMaster'' by Falcom allowed you to play as characters from their other games, by answering the questions to get a specific class, then naming the character appropriately. For instance, becoming a knight and naming him "Adol" lets you play the knight from the Ys games, while naming the swordsman "Mail" gives you the title heroine from the game ''VideoGame/PopfulMail''.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'' has various characters join during the post-game "Creature Campaign" while exploring the bonus dungeons or battling monsters on the field, including some that had died during the main plot.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Path of Radiance]]'' has Stefan, who is very, very vaguely hinted at... and nowhere in the hint is it mentioned that you can only unlock him with two specific characters (neither of which are the main character, whom you use to recruit about 85% of the recruitable units). He's very much worthwhile, and would be even if he didn't come with the second best sword in the game, losing only to the EleventhHourSuperpower sword Ragnell (which only Ike can wield anyway).
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Radiant Dawn]]'':
*** Stefan returns as even more of a GuideDangIt, especially as you only get your vague hint ''after'' he's [[PermanentlyMissableContent unobtainable]]. But even worse is the other SecretCharacter, [[spoiler:Sephiran a.k.a. Lehran]]. You have to go through several convoluted steps (hinted at nowhere in the game), one of which can be completely impossible if you were unaware of it several chapters beforehand (or even just had bad luck with the RandomNumberGod). And if you finally do unlock him, guess what? You get him for one chapter. Namely the final boss battle. In which he comes with ''no weapon'', meaning you just went through all those steps for practically nothing. Admittedly he does make a good white mage, but you should already have two of those (and possibly more).
*** If you're willing to give up Micaiah or [[spoiler: Pelleas]] [[OptionalPartyMember (if you got him)]] for magical attackers and give [[spoiler: Lehran]] [[HolyHandGrenade Rexaura]] or [[CastingAShadow Balberith]], turns out, he's actually fast enough to '''double attack''' the FinalBoss. For added fun, and possible symbolism, have him team up with Micaiah and perhaps Sanaki to bring [[spoiler: Asherah]] down. Nothing quite like happy [[spoiler: god-slaying family bonding time, right?]]
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'':
*** Certain characters can only be recruited if certain buildings or structures are upgraded all the way. And all of those characters are only available in certain paths. [[spoiler: Izana can only be recruited if the Hot Spring is upgraded in ''Birthright'' and ''Conquest'', and in ''Revelation'' he's replaced by Fuga. Yukimura is only available if a puppet is upgraded and only in ''Birthright''. Flora is available if a turret is upgraded and only in ''Conquest'' and ''Revelation''.]]
*** Midori is a rather special case, as she's a secret character ''only'' in ''Birthright'': in ''Conquest'' and ''Revelations'' she can be gotten the same way as any other child character, but in ''Birthright'' [[spoiler:Kaze not only has to be married, but have an A-Support with the Avatar by chapter 15 before Midori can be unlocked. If that second objective isn't fulfilled by chapter 15, Kaze dies and Midori is [[PermanentlyMissableContent gone]].]]
* ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars'' has Nell, and the sequel adds Hachi. Both are gamebreakers.

[[folder:Visual Novel]]
* In ''VisualNovel/FrozenEssence'', not completing the requirements for any character's path unlocks [[spoiler:Zareh]]'s path.
* In ''VisualNovel/MagicalDiary'', [[spoiler:Big Steve]] now has a partial romance path as of the latest patch. Reaching it is ''much'' more difficult than any of the other characters.
* In ''VisualNovel/UnderTheMoon'', Unan, a character introduced as an impartial messenger of the king of the demon world, becomes a potential love interest after clearing all previously available routes.
* Cecil of ''VisualNovel/UtaNoPrincesama'' is unlocked in the original game after finishing the routes for the other boys. He still makes a cameo in all of them, though.
* ''VisualNovel/DramaticalMurder'' lets you play [[spoiler:Ren]]'s route only after you've completed all other characters' routes.
* ''VisualNovel/DracuRiot'', you cannot pursue [[spoiler:Nicola's route]] unless you finished at least one other route.