[[quoteright:250:[[Anime/{{Pokemon}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pikachuEffect2_2969.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:That's more like a fourth option one.]]
An interactive work is being adapted into another, non-interactive form -- a video game into a TV series, for example. The original required the audience to choose one option above the others, such as picking a member of your [[HaremGenre Harem]] in a DatingSim. As such, in the adaptation, there will be an active move by the writers not to have any choice evident, so that no portion of the audience is validated or invalidated in their choice. Sometimes comes out of an adaptation of a work with MultipleEndings.

This can also be done if it's an adaptation of a ''non''-interactive work, by refusing to pick any one of the LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters to have more spotlight or importance than the others if the audience is divided on which is best and there's no main character.

Contrast CuttingOffTheBranches, which ''does'' choose one and leave the others in the dust, and MergingTheBranches, which combines options in a way not possible in the original rather than creating a completely new option. OriginalGeneration might be used in conjuction.
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!!Examples:

* The former {{Trope Namer}}, ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'', required the player to choose among Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. The ''{{Anime/Pokemon}}'' TV series adaptation started with Ash having overslept and, as a result, all the starter Pokémon have been picked by other trainers already when he shows up. He ends up with a spare Pokémon the prof happened to have on hand, a Pikachu (an outside fan favorite by that point), instead. Ash would get all three starters later; however, only one of them (Charmander) ever evolved. Later, they confirmed once and for all that [[TheRival Gary's]] starter was a Squirtle, while his in-game counterpart always chose the Pokémon that had a type advantage over the player's choice.
** They then rolled this back into the games in ''[[RecursiveAdaptation Pokémon Yellow]]'', where the player started with a Pikachu but the rival (Gary's counterpart) ''also'' got a third option starter, an Eevee.
*** And then even that Eevee is subject to this. In ''Yellow'', the rival's Eevee could evolve into Flareon, Jolteon or Vaporeon based on how often you beat him in your early battles. In the anime, Gary gets an Eevee like his ''Yellow'' counterpart, but since he never battles Ash until much later seasons when more potential evolutions for Eevee were known, his Eevee becomes an Umbreon.
** Ash also got all three starters (Chikorita/Totodile/Cyndaquil) from ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver''/''Crystal'', but once again only one of the three (Chikorita) evolved at all while actually part of Ash's team. Cyndaquil eventually evolved into Quilava, but it wasn't until ''late'' into the "Diamond and Pearl" arc, over 10 seasons since it first appeared. Totodile has yet to evolve at all, but similar to the Hoenn scenario he's only one stage behind both.
** In Hoenn, adapting ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'', Ash only got one starter (Treecko), while May got the Torchic and Brock took the Mudkip. Ash and May's starters each evolved twice into their final stages, while Brock's only evolved once, into its second stage.
** Ash also has two of the three starters from ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl''/''Platinum'': Turtwig (now Torterra), and Chimchar (now Infernape), with the third (Piplup) belonging to Dawn and never evolving at all.
** For an in-game version, ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'' and its [[VideoGameRemake remake]] features battles against [[HeroicMime Red]] and [[TheRival Blue]], the characters Ash and Gary are based off of, respectively. Red's team features all four possible starters (which includes a Pikachu to represent Yellow Version), with the remaining Pokémon being forced encounters or gifts in [[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue the original games]] (one of the route-blocking Snorlaxes in both, alongside either the free Eevee from Celadon in the originals or the free Lapras from Silph Co. in the remakes). Blue's team is based off of his ''Red & Blue'' team, omitting the starter; whereas in the original he had three potential Pokémon, one of which is replaced by the starter with the same type, ''Gold and Silver'' uses all three non-starter Pokémon.
** In ''Videogame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', the first and last gyms each have multiple leaders, of which the player only fights one. In the ''Best Wishes'' anime, Ash fights all three leaders in the first gym and ''neither'' of the last gym leaders - instead the two leaders from the last gym, Iris and Drayden, face ''each other'' (Iris being a regular supporting character and proving herself against her mentor Drayden) and Ash gets his eighth badge from one of the new leaders from [[VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2 the sequel]]. ''Best Wishes'' also gave Ash all three starters again, although only one evolved and only once - Tepig into Pignite.
*** Averted with [[Anime/PokemonTheMovieBlackWhite one of the Best Wishes movies]], which much like the games comes in two similar-but-different versions.
*** Similarly, ''PokemonSpecial'' did something a little different concerning Drayden and Iris. While Drayden was indeed the Gym Leader (like in ''Black'') and protagonist of the BW Chapter, Black, fights him for his badge... he ''also'' later battles Iris during the Top 4 placement matches of the Unova League Finals. This has the [[FridgeBrilliance added bonus]] of foreshadowing the fact that Iris will not only succeed her mentor (as in the games), but surpass him and become Champion.
** Also, since Gen III, the plots [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo of two versions]] have differed notably. The problem with canon has been fixed by a literal third option. Did [[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Brendan/May]] save Hoenn from Team Magma, that was going to make volcanoes erupt by resurrecting the ancient Kaiju, Groudon? Or did s/he save Hoenn from Team Aqua's plan to literally drown everything by resurrecting Kyogre? No, s/he defeated both evil teams and stopped Groudon and Kyogre's battle with the help of Rayquaza. Did [[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Cyrus]] try to use the ruler of Time, Dialga, to destroy and recreate the world? Or did he try to use the ruler of Space, Palkia, for that? Well, he used both and was then defeated by [[EldritchAbomination Giratina]].
*** These were also loosely imitated by the anime. firstly, both Aqua and Magma were enemies of the protagonists, and the arc ended with a Kyogre/Groudon clash; also, Cyrus summoned both Dialga and Palkia, but was defeated without Giratina's involvement.
*** Also averted when it comes to the player characters. The anime decisively chose the female ones for the 3rd, 4th and 6th generations to accompany Ash. The exception is ''Pokémon Chronicles'', where both player characters from the 2nd generation appeared, albeit working independently.
* The first ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' film had Splinter and Casey Jones, rather than one of the turtles, defeating BigBad Shredder.
* The VideoGame/{{Fallout}} games allow players to be male or female, any race they choose, and a bunch of other customization features as rudimentary as nose size. How could boxart get all of this represented at once? It doesn't; instead opting for pictures of an undefined character in power armor.
* ''[[TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse Werewolf: The Apocalypse]] - Heart of Gaia'', an abortive video-game translation of the pen and paper RPG, had the main character as a redeemed [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Black Spiral Dancer]], thus avoiding using any of the main tribes in the game.
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', the player character's gender and appearance are customizable, and you have a choice between helping the Republic defeat Malak on the one hand, and overthrowing him as the Dark Lord of the Sith and then turning against the Republic. Although the character is canonically male and the Star Forge is canonically destroyed (a RoadCone example), the second game allows you to [[SchrodingersGun retroactively]] specify that character's gender and alignment via dialogue options, and the rest of the game then reflects the choice. The spin-off comic series also avoids establishing the character's appearance: in all appearances, [[spoiler:the Revanchist]] is wearing a bulky robe and face-obscuring hood, and is never referred to by name or gender-specific pronouns.
** Oddly, avoiding referring to [[spoiler: the Revanchist]] with a name was only made necessary ''because'' of the spin-off comic itself. [[spoiler: As the games refer to him, Revan's name before the amnesia appeared to have ''been'' Revan. The comics established that no, it wasn't, thus necessitating various tricks to avoid saying what the ''actual'' name was]].
* The ''StarOcean'' series always has mutually exclusive characters, particularly in the second game. The [[TheAnimeOfTheGame anime adaptation]] of ''[[VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory The Second Story]]'', which covers the events of the first disc, cuts a few corners and has all the disc 1 characters join Claude and Rena. This caused a small-scale UrbanLegendOfZelda, where people started to believe that it's possible to recruit both Ashton and Opera in the same game as well as recruit Dias on Claude's route. Neither situation is possible in the game. The sequel, ''Blue Sphere'', and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it line in ''VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime'''s manual confirm that all ten optional party members were canonically recruited.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'': None of its endings are possible for ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld Dawn of the New World]]'' (as it isn't possible on a single playthrough to obtain the title "Item Collector"- because you normally can only obtain one of the three ending items), rather, its manga adaptation's ending (where all three ending items are given to Lloyd) is canon.
** However, {{Road Cone}}s are still there for the pairing: [[ChildhoodFriendRomance Colette is canonically Lloyd's soulmate.]]
*** Although a bonus scene in the game [[SchrodingersGun allows you to choose even that.]]
** There are other differences in the manga's ending, too, like the party taken to the final battle. In the game, because of the limit on the number of party members, you had to take either [[spoiler:Zelos or Kratos]]. In the manga, not only do both of them go along for the final trip to Derris-Kharlan, but [[spoiler:so does ''Yuan'']].
* It's amazing the EpilepticTrees that have come from trying to figure out which, if any, endings of the various {{Geneforge}} games are canonical. A popular one for the third game argues that the main character ''died at the very beginning'' and was replaced by someone else who acted out most of the game's events before getting killed off in turn.
** The fifth game manages to revive all those trees in theories on the protagonist's identity. All this is probably due to the fact that the canon endings are combinations of multiple endings with some obfuscation thrown in as well.
* The ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' sequels favor a scenario in which all four main characters from the first game (Chris, Jill, Barry and Rebecca) survived the Mansion incident. The only problem is that this actually impossible to pull off in the game itself: when you play as Chris, Barry goes missing never to be seen for the rest of the game, while Jill never actually encounters Rebecca.
* The ''Film/ResidentEvil'' film series also employed this trope. Rather than focusing on any of the canon characters from the game series, the films are centered around a new character named [[ActionGirl Alice]]. Though interacts with characters and situations from the games, in is clear that the movies are Alice's show, and the rest are just along for the ride. This allows the movies to take many liberties and diverge significantly from the game canon.
* ''VideoGame/ClockTower'' has an ending where one friend (either [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Anne/Ann or Rolla/Laura]]) survives along with Jennifer (Ending S). Rather than pick between Anne and Rolla and have one appear in both the sequel and the various spinoff media, the developers decided to use the other endings where Jen survives but no one else does (Endings A, B and C).
** Actually, Ending C is established as canon in the ending of the later game, when Dan's name (which Jennifer only learns in that ending) is mentioned and Jennifer shrinks back. Which is kind of strange, because you'd have to be using some wacky moon logic to get Ending C normally...
* At the end of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', Snake can try to save Meryl depending on a choice made during an ElectricTorture at the middle of the game - if the player chooses to resist, [[spoiler:Otacon stays behind in an attempted HeroicSacrifice to hold open a gate (although he lives), and Snake tells his real name to Meryl]]; and if the player submits, [[spoiler:Otacon comes up onto Rex to talk Snake down (the gate has already been opened by Otacon), and Snake tells his real name to Otacon]]. Both the novel and comic book adaptations went with an ending where [[spoiler:Snake escaped with both Meryl and Otacon at once, and told both of them his real name together]].
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'' seems to go with this as well: when infiltrating the tanker in the opening cutscene of the game, he has the stealth camo Otacon gave him in his ending. Coupled with Meryl not appearing at all in the game, this would suggest she died in the first game, up until Snake reveals late in the game that he also has the infinite-ammo bandanna he received in her ending.
** And then VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4 reveals that the ending where [[spoiler: Meryl lives]] is canon.
* Kind of sort of done in a way with ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} FES''. Practically every female social link in the game involves the female in question falling in love with The Protagonist (Even the Hermit, who turns out to be the Protagonist's ''homeroom teacher''). However, no matter what you do, it's Aigis who feels the strongest bond with you. [[spoiler:As a result, it's Aigis who obtains the Wild Card ability in ''The Answer''.]] (Though, one could make an argument for Elizabeth having the strongest bond, considering how she [[spoiler:leaves the Velvet Room to try and revive him]], but not counting bonus content in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', Aigis is always "the one".
** In the PSP remake, this is altered so that any of the female SEES members (Aigis, Fuka, Yukari and Mitsuru) can have the strongest bond with him and share the final scene with him, not just Aigis. The female can have Aigis or any of the male members of SEES (Akihiko, Ken, [[spoiler:or Shinjiro if you saved him]], except Junpei, who feels no romance for the main, have the strongest bond. Of course, ''The Answer'' isn't in the PSP remake and the Answer wouldn't work the way it was if the female was chosen anyway so how this affects Persona canon is currently unknown.
** In the first ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'', Its implied that both the main and Snow Queen plotlines are canon...somehow.
*** [[spoiler:The ending of the Snow Queen Quest puts it right before the first boss of the SEBEC quest, ending with the gang going to SEBEC to save Maki (who was left there when Mark panicked after being overwhelmed by the demons) Presumably, after reuniting with Maki, things went as they did in the main game, only with Yukino there.]]
* In ''SakuraTaisen'' expanded media such as the [=OVAs=], musicals, drama [=CDs=] and movie, it never clearly states which girl(s) Oogami has a romantic relationship with or Taiga in the New York stuff. There is usually slight hints toward Sakura (as the poster girl) but since games have a serial progressing plot and the [=OVAs=] and Drama CDS fill in the gaps it wouldn't jive to take the controller away from the player, and thus in the [=OVAs=] StatusQuoIsGod.
* ''[[VideoGame/GuardianHeroes Advance Guardian Heroes]]'' combines this with CuttingOffTheBranches: it is based on one ending of the original game... but then takes it off into a direction that doesn't actually exist in the original game.
* The sequel to ''VisualNovel/{{Heileen}}'' makes all of the endings AllJustADream. Canonically, only Robert and Ebele made it to the island with Heileen even though in the previous game, you ''always'' end up with the male love interest if you didn't trigger either of the {{Gay Option}}s, even if you did nothing but treat him like garbage the entire game.
* The ending of the ''Anime/MakaiSenkiDisgaea'' anime featured an amalgamation of [[VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness the game]]'s good and bad ending, with [[spoiler:Laharl sparing Lamington's life, but still sacrificing his own in order to resurrect Flonne]].
* Some of the spinoffs from the TenchiMuyo universe pair him up with an entirely new girl, rather than stick him with a member of his UnwantedHarem.
* At the time that the ''MapleStory'' anime was created, there were already four available classes in the game, so there would naturally be some difficulty in deciding which one the protagonist belonged to. So what do the writers do? Make him a [[CherryTapping perma-beginner]]! (explained in the anime as him being a human while the other classes are represented by monsters from the different in-game towns)
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'' had a "good ending" and a "bad ending" based on whether [[spoiler:Ryu ultimately agrees or disagrees with WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Fou-lu that HumansAreBastards - which is complicated by the fact that Ryu and Fou-lu are two halves of a PhysicalGod who was SplitAtBirth due to a botched summoning, and the choice made dictated how the resulting SplitPersonalityMerge would go]]. In the recently completed ComicBookAdaptation of the game by Mag Garden, they manage to include both endings - [[spoiler:first going to what ''appears'' to be the "bad ending", then having Ryu conduct a BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind with Fou-lu, culminating in his use of [[MementoMacGuffin Mami's bells]] in what amounts to a HumansAreSpecial psychic bitchslapping, thus forcing the initial SplitPersonalityMerge apart, ''then'' going through the "good ending" sequence]].
** As if this weren't enough, the manga then takes this trope ''very'' literally with an ultimate THIRD ending [[spoiler:where Ryu and Fou-lu split ''again'', Fou-lu is basically BroughtDownToNormal, and the two live/hide out as monks at the Chek monastery where Fou-lu is basically trying to learn why Ryu thinks HumansAreSpecial]]. The latter resulted in [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing Much Rejoicing]] in Japan, among others.
* ''[[AlphaCentauri Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri]]'' is the unofficial sequel to ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'', picking up from where that game left off - when the spaceship reaches Alpha Centauri. However, while in Civilization the starship would be built by one nation (it's one of the win conditions), the starship in Alpha Centauri was a United Nations project sponsored by several nations.
** Which becomes a FridgeBrilliance[=/=]HilariousInHindsight, once one realizes that the expansion packs to the Civilization IV game allows alliances to build the spaceship as a team effort.
** In fact, one of the major sponsors was not a nation but a Namibian company, which allowed its CEO Nwabudike Morgan to install a secret [[HumanPopsicle sleeper pod]] onboard the ship (he justifies it by claiming that he, technically, owns part of the ship).
* The story of the original ''BibleBlack'' game has two main routes: viewpoint protagonist Minase either [[spoiler:keeps the eponymous grimoire and becomes Kitami's [[VillainProtagonist apprentice in the dark arts]]]], or (more conventionally) [[spoiler:lets it fall into Saeki's hands and winds up trying to save his [[ChildhoodFriendRomance Unlucky Childhood Friend]] Imari from [[GrandTheftMe Kitami's plot]]]]. The anime sacrifices the story's integrity ([[PornWithPlot which, yes, it]] ''[[PornWithPlot did]]'' [[PornWithPlot actually have]]) in order to [[PornWithoutPlot maximize the sex scenes]], [[spoiler:following the former route up to [[MoralEventHorizon Minase delivering Imari to Kitami]], at which point [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness Kitami abandons Minase for Saeki]], prompting an instant HeelFaceTurn in Minase, and the latter route takes over]]. Now, this combination [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot might actually have made some sense]] if they'd just included a line or two about [[spoiler:Kitami [[MagnificentBastard stringing Minase along to get at Imari]] (although it still wouldn't have excused Minase's just-too-late "change of heart")]], but [[TheyJustDidntCare they didn't]].
* The original ''TwoWorlds'' has two possible endings: either you choose to join Gandohar and rule the world, or you kill Gandohar and save your sister Kyra. ''Two Worlds 2'' doesn't follow from either ending; instead it posits that you actually ''lose'' the final battle against Gandohar, and spend the next 5 years as a prisoner in his dungeon while he takes over the world, which is where the game picks up.
* ''[[VisualNovel/FateHollowAtaraxia Fate/hollow ataraxia]]'' is the sequel to a route that ''couldn't'' happen in ''[[VisualNovel/FateStayNight Fate/stay night]]'' – most of the Servants and Masters are still alive, even those that died in every route.
** [[AWizardDidIt Avenger did it.]]
** Actully, Rin did it. She made a mistake that turned the city into a location where all realities are possible and sorta merged all the routes plus various universes we didn't see into one. She's off at Clock Tower at the start of the game to make up for this mistake.
* In Clue, the board game, the culprit always ends up being one of the players (Mr. Green, Miss Scarlet, etc). In one of the endings to [[Film/{{Clue}} the film version]], [[spoiler: the murderer turns out to be ALL of the dinner guests (except Mr. Green), as well as an added character, Wadsworth the butler.]]
* AmagamiSS retells the story six times, each one following a different route from the game.
* ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Gears of Destiny'' assumes that all the routes in the first game occurred, plus some extra stuff that never happened on-screen such as Fate and her EvilTwin Levi facing one another. This means that canonically, [[HumanoidAbomination the Materials]] were [[BackFromTheDead destroyed multiple times]] over the course of that one night.
* ''Zelda'' is famous for having an AlternateTimeline from the two endings of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime''. All well and good, except for the classic games not fitting in either one. Instead of making some game connecting them to the modern entries, Nintendo [[TakeAThirdOption made a third timeline]] taking place if Link '''[[TheHeroDies dies]]''' in ''Ocarina's'' final battle.
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'', which combines characters and events from the various games in the series, often does this when dealing with [[SchrodingersPlayerCharacter a choice in protagonists]] from the original games: The ''Alpha'' protagonist choices get fleshed out into full characters through DivergentCharacterEvolution, while all the ''Alpha 2'' protagonists appear. The game chooses one route from ''Advance'', but then lets the other survive and undergo his development from his own route in ''EndlessFrontier EXCEED''. The "Born male or female" protagonist options from ''Reversal'' become HalfIdenticalTwins, end so on.
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