In EarthBound, all of your party has access to powerful psychic attacks except for Jeff. However, he is the only party member who thinks to use a bazooka.
Likewise, most of the cast in the sequel, MOTHER 3. Both Flint and Duster posses no PSI like Lucas and Kumatora, but are still able to take on the same powerful enemies as them. If it counts, even two of the oldest men on Nowhere Island - Alec and Old Man Wess - are able to provide plenty of backup for fighting against mechanized dinosaurs, giant water snakes, and fortified army tanks; at least until the new society deems them useless and throws them in a retirement home.
Also from the first game, Pippi. Yes, she's a little girl, but she boasts insane stat boosts with each level up that are about on par with Teddy's. It's pretty funny to watch her do near double the damage Ninten can do... until, tragically, you have to return her home to advance the plot.
In Dragon Quest V, your party members include the hero's wife and children, who are descendants of the Legendary Hero, his father's former Lancer, his long-date pet sabretooth tiger and the occasional Slime...and then there's Tuppence.A plain soldier from your castle that just wants his share of the glory. He knows no magic or special techniques at all, but he can equip most heavy armor and has quite a lot of HP.He gets some pretty heartwarming lines if you bring him along to the final boss fight.
From Dragon Quest VIII there's Yangus, who started out as a normal bandit. He's easily the most awesome character in the game, and he can barely even use magic.
Bloodline Champions has the Vanguard, Gunner, Engineer, Ranid Assassin, Alchemist, Astronomer, Spear Master, Nomad and Ravener bloodlines seem to be this from their backgrounds, but the last three are a bit unclear considering their in-game capabilities and the naming of some of those abilities.
Kain Highwind of Final Fantasy IV was a Badass Normal for much of his existence. He's a Memetic Badass at that despite having no magical powers and just being really, really good at abusing Jump Physics. The sequel The After Years upgraded him into a HolyDragoon, so his status as a normal has been removed. However, that was more than a decade after his original game and his badassery was famous well before The After Years came out.
The game also gives us Cid, who's just an old engineer with a hammer that jumps out of an airship riding a bomb, falls into the underworld and survives. Less than a week later he's tuning up your new ship.
Yang also has nothing but training.
In Final Fantasy VII and the rest of the compilation, there's more than a few badasses with no powers. Tifa and Rude get by on martial arts training, Yuffie with ninja skills, Red XIII with natural prowess, Barret with a gun-arm, Cid with a spear and dynamite, Tseng and Elena with handguns, Cissnei with an oversized shuriken, and Reno with a big ol' stun baton.
Although he spends half of Final Fantasy IX portrayed as the Butt Monkey, Steiner is the only character in the game (if not the entire planet) who isn't either a Super Prototype creature, a Half-Human Hybrid that can call destruction from the heavens, a petting zoo person with natural gifts, or some chi master who can jump 100 feet in the air and throw fireballs at people. He just hits people really hard with swords, and is the only party member who can hit for max damage unaugmented.
This is also doubly true for his Trance abilities. Every party member that goes into Trance gains new abilities or have their current abilities enhanced for extra power or additional properties. What does Steiner have for his Trance skills? Not a damn thing. Instead, he just has tripled attack power.
Vivi, however, can turn him into an Empowered Badass Normal by enchanting his sword to summon magic attacks to hit enemies. When they are in the party together, Steiner can use his own MP to use Vivi's black magic against one target.
Given the huge prevalence of Magitek in Final Fantasy XII, it's hard to tell who's fighting without some sort of magic/technology backing them up. Most of the Arcadian Judges, though, fight using only their swords and various physical attacks, while Mad Scientist Cid battles with assorted BFGs, and all of them are bosses and are much more dangerous than the abyssal demons and behemoths you've seen on the way up to them. Vayne then shows them up in the final battle - after spending the game battling through armored soldiers wielding BFSes, Vayne takes the party on in his day-to-day wear and fights using nothing but his bare hands. Well, the cinematic attacks show him sending energy bursts at the party, but if the name of one such attack ("Force of Will") is an indicator, Vayne is such a Badass Normal he can bend the laws of physics through sheer willpower. Then as is par for the series, he goes One-Winged Angel and uses nothing but magic.
Ramza shows qualities of this in the very first battle of Final Fantasy Tactics, in attitude if nothing else.
Kai Kitamura (and arguably Katina Tarask and Russel Bagman) in Super Robot Wars Original Generation, who are implied to fight through several major battles against rebels and alien invaders in grunt-level mecha, as opposed to the many Super Prototypes and Super Robots used by the other heroes (though the player can assign them to some of said Super Prototypes). When Kai can get a badass Humongous Mecha of his own in the second game, even that drives the point home, as it looks exactly like his old grunt unit (in OG Gaiden, he officially gets another mecha, which is just a customized version of his grunt mech). One of his battle quotes handily sums up the role of a badass normal: "One fist may not be able to destroy the world… but it can certainly destroy you!"
In a way, Elzam von Branstein (also known as Ratsel Feinschmecker) also applies. Most of the more skilled Real Robot pilots generally have some variety of psychic powers, and characters who don't generally balance this out by piloting the more powerful but generally less maneuverable Super Robots. Elzam, however, pilots the Huckebein Mk-II and Mk-III — both Real Robots designed for use by psychics — far better than any of the psychic characters ever could. He's just that good. When he finally does receive a Super Robot, he loses some of what makes him "normal", but gains the equivalent in pure Badass. And he still dodges better than the psychics.
He introduced himself to America as this in typical mind-blowing fashion: In the very first mission of Original Generation 1 for the Gameboy Advance, he takes out a squad of alien beings humanity has never seen before A) all by himself, B) with the weakest mech available in the game, the basic Gespenst, and C) while that Gespenst has absolutelyNOweapons on it whatsoever. He solidifies himself as a Badass Normal from the start.
Kyosuke Nanbu also fits here. Unlike his colleagues he doesn't have any psychic powers and he isn't chosen by any guardians or anything like that. He manages to fight and win his battles by pure skill and a little luck. Want proof of this? How about the fact that his mech, the Alteisen Riese is considered to be an impractical mech, is so top-heavy that it requires a tesla drive (which normally enables flight on a mech) just to stand without falling over and has no special weapons (just guns and pellets). Yet he still manages to kick plenty of ass with it.
The only thing that's really abnormal about him is unusual luck that has allowed him to survive (with minor injuries) attacks/accidents that should have killed him. In the past, he was the only survivor of a shuttle crash full of cadets; In Original Generation he walks away from a utterly destroyed prototype after a traitor sabotaged it and caused it to crash; and in Original Generation 2 he survives having his mech ripped apart by Axel, though that was the only point he was closest to dying.
Outside the OG Series, there's also Super Robot Wars Judgment's Calvina Coulange. While most of the originals here (friends or enemies) are of the Fury race in general (including Touya, who is Half Fury), she just happens to be a normal human, who used to be a genius Ace Pilot. And when presented with a mecha designed to be ridden by Furies... all she needs is just a little adjustment and then she resumes her old days of metal ass-kicking, piloting something she's supposedly not be able to drive.
In the Fire Emblem series some of the best units are from classes that are "grunts" (Soldiers and Mercenaries). In addition, Leaf in the 4th game doesn't get one of the game's Game Breaker legendary weapons, but is still one of the better characters in the game, although the fact that he promotes into a Master Knight (one of if not the most broken classes in the series) might void him from qualifying as a Badass Normal.
Leaf definitely qualifies for this trope in Thracia 776. He's exactly the same after promotion as he was before. Even story-wise, Leaf feels inadequate next to other resistance leaders, like Celice, Shanan, and Sety, who carry legendary weapons. Sety, Leaf's Obi-wan, tells him his struggles are what makes him a Holy Warrior.
Finn from the same game definitely qualifies. At the beggining of the game, he was just a fresh knight who has no Holy Blood whatsoever. Finn get his signature weapon early in part 1, and it, alongside his skillset make him quite a good unit, but he left the team before the end of part 1. And then part 2 rolls in and he took several level in badass, and now he is arguably one of the most badass character in the series, with nothing but skills, experience, and his signature Brave Lance. Notably he is the only character who appeared in all parts of Fire Emblem Jugdral including Thracia 776, and is considered High Tier amongst people with Holy Blood and Holy Weapons around, which is a massive acomplishment in and on itself.
Ike, from the Radiance arc, may count. He first appears as nothing more than an honest, if blunt, young man who happens to be rather skilled with the sword. So skilled, actually, that not only does he grow into one of the best characters in both games, mobilize the Crimean Liberation Army to victory over Big Bad Ashnard, and take command of one of the greatest mercenary companies in history, but eventually ends up slaying a goddess. That's pretty badass for the first main Fire Emblem character to not be a royal.
If we're talking about Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Jamuka can't be left out. He's one of the few main characters from the first part of the game who has no Holy Blood, but he's still a very solid unit with or without his Killer Bow.
If we go for normal, it's hard to get any more normal amongst the main characters than Sothe in Radiant Dawn. A number of endgame bosses expresses their surprise at seeing "a shabby little burglar" amongst the heroes.
Sephiran: Hello, child... I'm a little surprised to see an ordinary boy like you, fighting for the world. This day is full of surprises! Sothe: No one's more surprised than me. I can't read people's feelings like Micaiah... I'm not invincible in battle like Ike... Between all these laguz kings and great beorc heroes, I don't really belong here.
Ayla from Chrono Trigger. Most of the party has powerful magic granted to them by the God of War. Ayla beats the crap out of things with her fists. And yet, she's a strong contender for the best party member.
At higher levels, her fists upgrade to the point where she deals the damage cap on a critical. And by most of the party getting magic, we mean all but her, the laser-spewing robot, and the guy who already had magic to begin with.
Even though it's primarily a spy series starting in the late Cold War, Metal Gear is full with superhuman character who possess incredible psionic powers, genetic modifications, and technical gadgets. However, some of the most badass characters don't have any of those:
The prime example is the series Big Bad Revolver Ocelot. Starting with MGS2 he also leaves the normal territory, but in MGS1 and the prequel MGS3 he's just an extraordinary normal and has many of his greatest moments.
In MGS3 there's the Boss, the leader of the Cobras and the only member of the team without any supernatural powers. Yet, she's by far the most powerful fighter in the whole series. Though she has an incredibly powerful gun with infinite ammo, she barely uses it and instead beats up many of the worlds deadliest soldiers with her bare hands. Even the brutal and towering Psycho Electric psychopath she's fake working for, backs off when she advances on him, after he accuses her of disloyalty.
The same goes for her apprentice Naked Snake, the only man who ever managed to defeat her though it's possible the Boss let him. In fact he was so Bad Ass that his natural DNA was used in several programs to create genetically modified super soldiers. His soviet partner EVA also puts most people to shame without any powers or gadgets, and continues to do so at the age of 78.
And a very unexpected and unusual case appears at the end of MGS4 with Johnny. For most of the game he seems to be a huge failure of a super soldier enhanced by cybernetic augmentations and with quite a collection of gadgets of his own. However, he admits he successfully chickened out of having the augmentations done, making him about the only normal human in any combat unit anywhere. His performance still is lacking way behind, but the fact that he was able to almost keep up with an elite team of super soldiers and saved the others single handedly on several occasions is treated as being damn impressive.
In City of Heroes, you begin your early career fighting demonically powered street gangs, work your way up through fighting psychic robots, hordes of demons, eight-feet-tall genetically altered supersoldiers, cyborg criminals, and lab grown supervillains. The final, and most difficult enemy faction of the game however, is a group of normal humans armed with tasers and six-shooters.
And their allies, Ninjas to the max. Plus the "Natural" origin for heroes or villains was originally intended for, and is still used by, player characters whose concept is a Badass Normal.
However, Natural simply means "nothing my species can't normally do" — if the player character is an alien, those "natural" abilities can go a long way. Like, say, if you're Kryptonian.
Within the lore of the game itself, there's one of the iconic heroes, Justice Leag- I mean, Freedom Phalanx member Manticore. Similarly to Batman, he is the only member on the aforementioned team who has no supernatural power granted to him by the gods, was not experimented on by evil scientists, and was not born with any great psychic ability. His real claim to fame? Really, really good aim with a bow and arrow. Although having more money than God probably helped. Also, the first arc of the Top Cow comic series gave him teleportation ability, which he can use with clever results such as shooting explosive arrows into a room half a mile away. Despite this new ability, however, he's still perceived as nothing special in terms of power compared to his teammates, and yet he's often the one they turn to when their leader is out of commission. Not bad.
Word of Godreveals that Manticore can teleport because he has hacked into the city-wide Emergency Teleportation Network.
B.B.Hood (Bulleta) in Darkstalkers is the only one who doesn't use supernatural abilities, but she still manages to take down monsters with nothing more than heavy weaponry despite being a young human girl.
She does the same thing as one of the Darkstalkers representatives on the Capcom side in the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
Luca Blight from Suikoden II fights with only a single sword and heavy armor in a world where magic is pretty commonplace. He ends up tearing through the protagonist's army when they try to target him in a battle. He is nearly undefeatable, only dying when he is ambushed by the 18 strongest members of the opposing army (protagonist included) plus some archers. He's riddled with cutscene arrows, fights six party members, riddled with some more cutscene arrows, fights six more party members, fights six MORE party members, gets riddled with more cutscene arrows, then finally dies in a duel against the protagonist. This is generally considered his best CMOA, although there are several more.
The Beast Rune potentially disqualifies him from this, however.
Almost the entire Nanaya clan of demon hunting assassins in Tsukihime. They're supposed to have some psychic abilities, but otherwise fight demons and half-demons with pure physical talent. Shown very well in a Kagetsu Tohya side story with Nanaya Kiri (Shiki's real father) and his hit on a certain demon-blooded family, kicking much ass, up to and including disassembling his primary target when backed into a corner... wielding nothing but a pointed stick (metal, granted, but still).
Shiki, the main game's protagonist, comes close to this trope. His ability to keep up physically with supernatural opponents (mostly vampires) is the result of ingrained training... but his ability to kill anything he can reach is decidedly abnormal (not just supernatural, though unique).
The playable characters in Xenosaga include a cyborg, a robot, a Realian, a URTV, the handmaiden of Mary, the universe's fail-safe, and Jin. Though he is a thoroughly ordinary human, Jin manages to slice Humongous Mecha in two, stop a blade with his bare hands, hold off waves of gnosisbefore his Heroic Sacrifice, finish off one of these gnosis after being impaled with a BFS, and be an all-around badass.
Allen of all people gains elements of this in the third episode. When confronting Kevin Winnicot, he takes several lightning blasts that would kill any normal person, then gets back up, all while telling Kevin—who is a supernaturally powerful Testament—how pathetic he really is. Also, in a scene after that, he pounces on an end-game level Gnosis, bludgeons it with his gun, and shoots it point-blank in the face. It's safe to say he would have made a full transition into a Badass Normal if there had been a fourth episode.
Two characters from Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army. First, the obvious: Satake, leader of the local Yakuza gang. He beat up one of the game's heavily-armored Super Soldierswith his bare hands, only suffering some broken ribs. Second, the not-so-obvious: Raidou's perfectly normal employer, Shouhei Narumi. He somehow got to the end of a dungeon crawling with demons he can't see, and Super Soldiers that, while he could see them to fight, are heavily armored. And by the end, he was injured, but still standing and able to walk.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey's protagonist qualifies within the context of the game. While the demons he faces and recruits are full of magic-augmented abilities, he has no innate magic capabilities; instead, he uses blades, firearms, and adaptive Powered Armor to tear the forces of the Schwarzwelt a new one. By the end of the game, he's acknowledged as one of the Schwarzwelt's deadliest entities.
Kyle from Lunar: The Silver Star. He can't use the legendary Dragon Magic like The Hero Alex, use healing powers like his girlfriend Jessica, or rain down destructive magic like Mia or Nash, but give the man a sword, and he could singlehandedly cut down a thousand bandits/monsters/whoever forgot to pay their "protection fee" that day.
Miles Edgeworth counts, in the Ace Attorney protagonist department. Phoenix Wright becomes a Living Lie Detector with the help of his magatama. Apollo Justice has superhuman perception augmented by his bracelet. Athena Cykes has enhanced hearing coupled with a device that can read emotions based off of voice. Miles Edgeworth has … logic enhanced by his brain.
While in most Tales Games, magic is hinted at being quite normal and can be matched by the physical arte users, the only game in which this trope can exist is Tales of Phantasia, and it counts for Cless, Chester, and to some extent Suzu. Magic is needed to defeat Dhaos, and Mint's magic is only healing so obviously, they have to get Arche and Klarth, who are rarities outside of elves in that they are able to use magic. (Klarth is one of the few humans who can use magic because he makes pacts with spirits, Arche is half-elf.) Cless, Chester, and Suzu are left to their own weapons and their own strengths, not being blessed with such power, but they do compensate for their powerful techniques, some of which border on magic. (As for Suzu, she learns her techniques through ninja scrolls which may be counted as magic).
Chester, in the original game, takes things out simply with his bow and arrow. He needs no technique.
In the game's prequel where magic is limited to those with elven blood, angels, or the chosen, Sheena has hinted that she, Regal (And maybe Zelos despite being a chosen) have elven blood distantly because they use magic. But meanwhile Presea (despite being modded with expheres) is able to pull extremely heavy stuff with one hand despite being smaller than Genis and she and Lloyd are the only ones with no magic skills whatsoever.
Also worth noting is Tales of Rebirth's Milhaust Selkirk. He is the only Huma who doesn't have a Force, but he is still the highest ranking character amongst the Karegia Kingdom and makes other Force users bend to his will and order. That being said, he is also powerful enough to beat the crap out of Veigue (although he was mentally distraught that time). And when both duke it out in full force, Milhaust was beaten... but even Veigue admitted Milhaust held back and there's no telling what the outcome will be if Milhaust was serious.
Alvin from Tales of Xillia qualifies, being the only member of the party who's completely incapable of using spirit artes due being a native of Elympios. Doesn't stop him from spontaneously generating fire and other elements to augment his sword slashes like other swordsmen throughout the series, though.
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter has three main party members. One of which is an extreme rarity in that he bonded with a dragon, another of which was a girl with wings modded by surgery to make her into a walking air purifier, with magic. The third...is the leader of a rebellion with only her guns. Badass Normal Award of this game goes to Lin.
The short-lived series Loom implies Rusty being the most badass normal out of all the characters who were intended to be playable. (Bobbin is a weaver and thus able to use magic, Fleece is a shepherd who can sing magic like Bobbin's.) But since They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot, we'll never know if he could have found a way to use magic or was just able to compensate by being a smith or able to make things to fight off the Dead and Chaos.
Carth Onasi from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, being a damn good soldier if chosen instead of Canderous or HK-47. Give him a double sided sword and the appropriate feats, and he kicks Dark Jedi ass!
While it may or may not be accidental, there are several hints in-game (being able to see/understand Ajunta Pall, incredibly strange luck, uncanny intuition) that Carth might be a closet-case Force Sensitive.
Canderous is arguably the best example of this. He appear in both games and is a non-force sensitive mandalorian that can take on anything, be they troops, creatures, droids and even dark jedi, whether he's gunning them down with a BFG or hacking with a BFS.
Jolee Lampshades the usefulness of the soldiers in his banter with Bastila.
Jolee: I want to stop Malak as much as anyone. But I don't have to join the Order to do it. Look at Carth, or Canderous. They're with us in this quest, but they aren't Jedi.
A must in Star Wars: The Old Republic, because precisely half the player classes are Jedi or Sith, and the others can't just be inferior to them. There is the Bounty Hunter class, sure, but the Republic Trooper can go toe-to-toe with a Sith with melee weapons, and sometimes just his bare fists and a single grenade. Meanwhile, the Smuggler has even less firepower, and resorts to such things as kicking his opponent in the nuts.
Even the Jedi and Sith classes will lean heavily on their Muggle companions.
In Star Wars Battlefront and sequels, the Player Character is this, especially if they're the basic soldier class. Just a regular solder, gunning down enemy troops by the dozen and even shooting the crap out of Sith or Jedi.
Orgrim Doomhammer and Anduin Lothar, the leaders of the Horde and Alliance respectively in Warcraft II: the Tides of Darkness (and later retellings of the Second War). In a world war with dragons, undead sorcerer knights, paladins, ogres, magi,ogre-magi, submarines and countless other magical and technological weapons and persons of mass destruction, the Warchief and Grand Marshal still stand out as the two most dangerous beings present. Doomhammer gets additional props for being one of the few orc leaders who did not drink demon blood to gain super strength and Lothar gains extra props for being sixty.
In the following games, there's also Varian Wrynn, king of Stormwind, as well as rogues, warriors and hunters in general.
Among the playable classes in World of Warcraft, the warrior class certainly qualifies as they fight exclusively with physical weapons and have no notable magical abilities. Although rogues and hunters also fight exclusively with physical weapons, unlike warriors, they do possess other "magical" skills. Rogues are able to turn invisible at will, even mid-battle. Meanwhile, hunters can befriend and permanently tame a surprisingly wide variety of wild animals within a matter of seconds and are able to magically heal (and resurrect from the dead) their animal companions from several feet away.
Except rogues' "invisibility" has nothing to do with magic - they're just extremely good at sneaking, but still can be detected if they walk in front of enemy.
Some other characters that qualify would be both Saurfangs (and Brox, a relative, from the novels), Muradin Bronzebeard and every notable Nightelf character that neither used magic nor druidic/divine powers.
In SaGa Frontier 2, one of the two main characters, Gustav XIII, is an exiled prince who is incapable of channeling and using magic. This is significant because, in a world where people are so dependent on magic that they have to use wooden swords and armor to channel their energy for combative use, he conquers the known world by simply using iron equipment (which negate magic powers).
Resident Evil is packed with these. None of the protagonists have any special powers besides army training, and one (Claire) is just a college student. They bring Action Survivor to a whole new level.
Claire's badassness grows in CVX where she single-handedly breaks into an Umbrella base, outruns a chopper that's shooting up the hallway with a chaingun, and uses clever thinking to destroy a firing squad. The only reason she got captured was because she ran out of bullets. And this is from a 19 year old college girl.
Most of the villains tend to go One-Winged Angel; however, Nicholai from 3 is quite possibly the most badass Badass Normal in the series, walking through Raccoon City with just a handgun and knife, and surviving.
He's also the only human antagonist to survive the game he's in.
Hunk also counts, being badass in mook clothing and all.
Leon S. Kennedy. We meet Leon as a beat cop on his first day of work, presumably with the most minimal of police training, if that. He drives right into a Zombie Apocalypse, in which he manages to survive with the assistance of a woman with the most minimal of survival training, a little girl and the on and off help of a secret agent. He manages to get said ice queen secret agent to fall for him after taking a bullet for her. Then he ends up working for the government, where he takes on entire towns, castles, heavily militarized islands and fortified dam full of mutants and monsters in not one, but two countries, one being a long Escort Mission with the President's daughter in tow. Largely on his own. Most of the other characters have had military training, on par with Special Forces, and Claire had the benefit of learning from one of these people. Leon? He got by on training that taught him to chase down drug dealers and cordon off crime scenes, which for all we know consisted entirely of reading how to do it in a textbook.
In keeping with the above, the survivors of Left 4 Dead count. Four regular humans against a horde of zombies backed up by superpowered sub-boss zombies.
The Sacrifice comic attempts to handwave the badassery of the L4D survivors by having each of them be trained in some way with guns; Bill was in the military so he is a natural with guns, Zoey was taught how to use guns by her father (who was also a police officer), Louis spent his lunch breaks at the rifle range, and Francis was in a gang so he would have used guns at some point. Bill's badassery is magnified due to the fact he suffered a knee injury during his tour at Vietnam and it hasn't healed properly since.
The survivors in Left 4 Dead 2 are also badasses in their own right, being capable of surviving against all odds and can effectively use any weapon just like the old survivors. Like with Bill, Coach suffered a knee injury (occurred during a football game at college), but it doesn't stop him from kicking ass.
While every person in Shadow Hearts has their own unique skills such as being trained in a specific art or being in possession of a magical camera that reveals enemy's stats, the first Shadow Hearts game gives Margarete, who is nothing more than a spy armed with a pistol and got a few weapons... even though quite a bit of them are "Given" to her as every time she uses a skill, she presses a button and says "Yeah I can use some help here".
Though Sky King uses a jetpack, body armour and chain guns, Blackjack gets by with a pistol and homemade bombs, and Tricolour has just a rapier. Not even body armour.
In Nexus War the Eternal Soldier's power come from being a Bad Ass; he compares favorably with angels, demons and powerful wizards.
Final Fantasy VI's General Leo is a highly accomplished swordsman, has the sweet "shock" ability, and he holds the same high position in the Empire that Kefka and Celes once did. And guess what, not only does he not have magical powers, but he refused the magitek infusion that would have given them to him!
Final Fantasy VI abolishes this trope with Leo, however. Leo is killed off, and after this everyone that's not a minor NPC can learn magic except sasquatches (and sasquatches are hardly normal!)
Viking: Battle for Asgard has the main character leading one of these. Against whom you ask? The Queen of the Underworld and her Undead army, and they win.
Leliana of Dragon Age: Origins is the resident Badass Normal. The rest of the party consists of two Grey Wardens, two mages, a warhound, a Proud Warrior Race Guy explicitly stated to be stronger and tougher than any human, a dwarf (same qualifications), an elf trained from childhood by the deadliest order of assassins in the land, and a war golem. Leliana is an ordinary young woman whose training was about seduction and espionage rather than combat, and she can hold her own against any of her fellow party members.
Shianni, one of the only elven alienage-dwellers aside from possibly the City Elf Warden who's completely unafraid of sticking up for her community. Her first Crowning Moment Of Awesome is potentially bashing Bann Vaughan over the head with a bottle in one of the origins, and she gets another even bigger one if you let her fight alongside you when the darkspawn invade Denerim. She's definitely no Grey Warden, but man can she hold her own. She goes on to become the alienage elder, according to the game's epilogue.
The player character before undergoing the joining, is always an absolute badass, especially if their origin involves a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
The Dalish Elf Origin is probably the most badass in this regard. The Dalish Elf gets infected with the Darkspawn Taint and only survives due to the Keeper's magic keeping it at bay for now, meaning the only thing that is keeping them from sucuumbing to The Corruption is sheer force of will alone. They fight through a forest filled with Darkspawn to find Duncan, who admits he did not think they would actually survive. After travelling all the way to Ostagar, they proceed to fight through another forest of yet more Darkspawn... and only then do they finally get cured!
Nathanial Howe. Even before the Joining, it took four Grey Wardens to subdue him.
Rogue or Warrior Hawke, Aveline, and Carver in Dragon Age II are survivors of Ferelden's Redshirt Army, with relatively little military training. Aveline becomes Captain of the Kirkwall Guard, Carver either dies, becomes a Grey Warden, or rises to high rank among the Templars, and Hawke is Hawke. There's also Isabella, who's fighting skills are built entirely from the duals she's engaged in over the years for the fun of it, and Sebastian who's just a talented archer.
Kairu from Black Sigil was born without magic in a land where everyone has magic. The entire party are also all Magic Knights. Despite all that, he still manages to be the most useful and the most powerful member of his group.
Invoked in the endings to Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars. Several of the Tatsunoko heroes are downright inspired by the Street Fighter characters and Batsu, for being able to hang with them in a fight through nothing but their training, and resolve to grow stronger themselves.
Frank West, a freelance journalist who is able to kick thousands of zombies' asses with only a camera (which is not even a weapon) in his hand from the start in Deadrising, and is able to swing things around crazy from the mart. Now that he is put into Tatsunoko vs. Capcom which is full of heroes with special martial arts or superpowers, big credit for Frankie!!
Chris Redfield counts as one in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, He's able to hold his own against super mutants, robots, demons, and gods with nothing more than military training, a bunch of time in the gym, and his own personal arsenal of weapons.
Mike Haggar does all of the above through wrestling prowess alone.
Frank West returns here as well, with nothing to his name but a layman's experience in fighting zombies and a plethora of unorthodox weapons stored in Hammerspace.
In System Shock 2, the player has military grade cybernetic augmentations (and is actually in the military), but Dr. Marie Delacroix, whose logs show her one step ahead of the player with similar objectives, can be found in various locations, lacks such implants or even military training, but seems to do rather well from said logs at least until SHODAN feels she is no longer needed and leaves her to die.
A rival of MapleStory called Wonder King has the Gunner/Gunslinger class. In a game where even warriors and ninjas call upon magical powers, a Gunner's skills consist of acrobatic maneuvers and using a variety of different weapons. Examples include a Gatling gun, a bazooka, and a missile launcher.
Leather Goddesses Of Phobos parodied this with plucky sidekick Trent (or Tiffany, depending on the path chosen by the player at the beginning) who wrestles alien threats on a hostile planet. Though his/her tragic demise is a Running Gag, he/she keeps returning due to toughness, persistence and bizarre luck.
Bang Shishigami from BlazBlue, a refugee from the Ikaruga federation, is merely a ninja who relies of his hard work and training for... throwing kunai and nails to fire-based attacks to a good dose of toughness for a ninja to even Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan. Despite this and being saddled with the designation of 'Official Joke Character', he has managed to use his power massively and creatively to hold up on his own, including surviving a catasthropic explosion and living to tell the tale, eluding a Troll who's, safe to say, overpowered and delights on Mind Rape. He actually has the Nox Nyctores Phoenix Rettenjou, but he didn't know how to properly use it, relying solely on his wits.
Not to mention in his greatest Crowning Moment Of Awesome so far: in Platinum's Story Mode, he pulls off an epicBig Damn Heroes moment against Relius Clover, canonically one of the few people comparable in power to Hazama/Terumi. Bang goes toe-to-toe with him long enough for Hakumen and Valkenhayn to come in and pull their own Big Damn Heroes moment by intimidating the mad scientist into retreating. Remember this is from the only normal, completely unaugmented human being in the series.
Topped by his latest one in Chronophantasma: He fights Azrael to a standstill. Repeat: Azrael. And Azrael walked away saying he was a great fight. Earlier on in the story, Azrael Curb StompedJin Kisaragi, one of the most powerful in the setting, and called him boring. Not bad, Mr. Shishigami, not bad at all.
Makoto Nanaya is also a questionable example. Yes, she is a beastkin and therefore capable of punching people across rooms, but keep in mind that she has no stated Ars, Nox Nyctores or other magical/technological/supernatural power at all. All she has is her raw strength and her trusty tonfas. Of course, considering that the only other named beastkin are Six Heroesor descendantsthereof, you could say she's normal by beastkin standards.
Who is Travis Touchdown? Just some loser Otaku from Cali who's into masked wrestling and sword fighting who doesn't get the Infinity+1 Sword or Chosen One status: he just buys a Beam Katana off the internet. Not only that, he's broke and jobless. What's the first thing this stain on society's panties does? Kills the 11th highest ranking assassin for walking-around-money. What follows is a legendary slaughter of thousands of Mooks, along with such merits as; out-maneuvering Desert Eagles; fighting Superheroes; fighting up-hill against Special Ops; charging an earthquake generator; charging a Wave Motion Gun; fighting a couple Eldritch Abomination; piloting a Giant Mecha; charging another earthquake generator; flanking giant energy dragons; dodging .50 caliber sniper shots; taking down a Kill Sat; and jumping on top of a so-called "Travesty". All this and more from an Otaku who lives in a shoddy motel with nothing but a sword.
Touhou contains some of the most horrifically powerful beings imaginable, including-but-not-limited-to the creator and ruler of a demon world, a ghost that can kill anyone, a vampire that can annihilate anything, an oni that can create black holes and tear apart mountains with her bare hands, an ancient Reality Warper, a Judge of the Dead, two absolute immortals, a crow that wields nuclear fusion, and a character with literal, actual, impervious Plot Armor. Then there is Marisa Kirisame, a young girl without any inherent skills or abilities and only managed to use magic after studying really hard (and stealing various magical books and artifacts), who has not only fought all of the above but commonly wins.
And in the PC-98 exclusive Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream, we have Yumemi Okazaki, who doesn't even have that going for her; she comes from a world without magic, and relies on a scientific imitation. She's also the series's only human endboss, as of 13.
Rika, both the first and extra boss of the second game, is a subversion. Though she's rather violent when behind one of the tanks cooked up with her engineering skills and able to go toe to toe with the Plot Armor imbued main character, once she's out of her iron box she's little more then a sniveling little girl.
In Mortal Kombat, most of the characters have superpowers or cybernetic enhancements of some kind. The most glaring exception is Kurtis Stryker, a cop whose fights demons and cyborgs with a billy club, a taser, some grenades, and a gun.
Katarina is one of the two manaless champions in the game who lacks any sort of magical weapon given to her, all of her abilities come from pure bloodthirsty violence which only grows when she takes down more enemy champions.
While almost every character in the Super Mario Bros. series has some superhuman abilities, it is worth noting that a lot of these are acknowledged to be species traits. Toad is no different from any other Toad in terms of abilities, but he is MUCH more Bad Ass.
Armored Core is a universe where giant robots are commonplace, but a notable thing about the gifted pilots known as Ravens is they are mostly cybernetically upgraded. Of all of the pilots, only you were not a Human Plus and in the end wind up as the Last Raven standing in the plot of Armored Core 3
Many NPCs in Rift, especially Defiant-side. Dacia Ultan especially stands out.
In fact, most of the Muggles in the series who pick fights with the player character are boss fights, and all but the three thieves in Vault are pretty ferocious.
Kraden, a recurring fan favorite, has no combat capability or powers whatsoever, but will walk across monster-infested war zones and through trap-filled, monster-infested dungeons if there are some Adepts in need of plot exposition, and somehow he always makes it to his destination unscathed. In the fandom and to a lesser degree in-universe, he is a Memetic Badass for this.
There are countless hazards, many magical, in Lordran in Dark Souls. One of your most effective allies, among sorcerers and clerics, is Solaire of Astoria, who has no magic; he's just very good at fighting.
Solaire is however speculated to be Lord Gwyn's firstborn son, which might disqualify him as the Badass Normal. A more notable example is Black Iron Tarkus, who through sheer training has achieved enough strength to wield a One-Handed Zweihänder, a tower shield and one of the heaviest armor sets in the game, and still be able to walk at reasonable speed. He also can and will defeat a 20 feet iron golem in an up-front melee battle by himself.
Sieglinde of Catarina is a sweet young knight on a quest to find her father armed only with a sweet set of armor and a regular claymore. She is also the only character that appears in the game that is explicitly stated not to be afflicted with the Undead curse, which means that if she is killed then she won't be resurrected at the last bonfire she passed. And she still gets through a huge chunk of the game with only minimal aid from the player character.
Hell, the player character is generally this. You start out in a world full of super powered, giant demons as a hollow that hasn't gone insane yet, and by the end of the game you've killed legions of the undead, dragons, demons, the personification of death, and a couple of Gods, all while having limited stamina.
Souichirou Kuzuki from Fate/stay night is a normal man with no knowledge of the supernatural world and no magical abilities whatsoever, who still participates in the Holy Grail War. His position with his Servant is reversed, in that he fights while his Servant supports him with spells. With an enchantment on his fists and his own unconventional martial arts style, he manages to temporarily overwhelm Saber, the best close-range fighter, and rips out Rider's throat during his most prominent route.
Servant Assassin is a Badass Normal by the standards of the Servants. He has no famous name or legend and no Noble Phantasm. He never defeated armies or monsters (his 'legend' only consists of him losing to Miyamoto Musashi), knows no magic and has no beasts, armies or anything apart from his trusty no-dachi and his own finely-honed skill to call upon. Furthermore he turns out to be the result of a forbidden summon; he isn't a true heroic spirit at all, just the spirit of some nameless samurai called upon to fill the role of Sasaki Kojirou, who never existed here. He still manages to repel and almost defeat Saber twice and is sufficiently skilled to unnerve Lancer, and knows a sword technique on the level of an anti-personal Noble Phantasm.
Their battleship, the Kol, which is explicitly the first true military ship in over 700 years. It is probably the best battleship amongst the three factions by virtue of sheer durability.
In a world where various fireball-throwing, flying, mook-spawning, mook-reincarnating, rocket launcher- or minigun-enfused hellspawn are out to viciously murder you and all you hold dear, while fighting you in only the most malevolent and alien locales, it goes without saying that the hero from Doom, comparatively just a man with a lot of guns (disregarding that some of them are very large), would be this.
Magnus from Kid Icarus: Uprising is said to be the strongest human of all. Gaol would probably qualify as well.
Mark Meltzer from BioShock 2. He's the only person in the world to figure out Rapture exists. Upon doing so, he travels there, armed with only his wits and a pistol, to rescue his daughter. Did we mention that this is in BioShock 2 where the developers promised that Jack (who gets at least one canon offensive splicing) would have trouble making it through? He probably would have made his way completely through Rapture if he hadn't been distracted, captured, and turned into a Big Daddy
The Knights in Heroes of Might and Magic I and II. Exactly two non-humans in their ranks (an elven hero and a goblin hero), starts with no magical power (and can only build up to a level 3 Mages' Guild) and the canonical victors of the First and Second Wars of Enrothian Succession (III added monks throwing fireballs, gryphons and angels to their ranks, so they weren't quite so normal anymore).
Unlike most movers and shakers of the Zelda universe, Groose from Skyward Sword has absolutely no magic, special training, or divine destiny - he's just the Skyloftian equivalent of a high school's Jerk Jock. Nonetheless, he manages to help Link subdue a sealed abominationtwice with a self-made rail-catapult system he dubs the Groosenator.
To some degree, Skyward Sword makes this the case for every Link ever. All the Zeldas are now retconned into being the descendants of a Physical Goddess, Ganon is now the reincarnation of an Anthropomorphic Personification of pure evil, and Link... is still just that quiet kid with a sword. Sometimes he's The Chosen One, but sometimes he isn't even that.
The Player Character is a normal SHIELD agent leading a team full of superheroes with all kinds of powers and Charles Atlas training. But with the arsenal of weaponry and gadgets in SHIELD's arsenal, the Agent can still either kick ass or make the heroes even better at kicking ass themselves.
There's also a Team-Up Bonus called "Average Joes" for bringing along any two of the small number of hero characters who also don't have superpowers or supersuits.
In Duel Savior Destiny most of the competent fighters are either Savior Candidates and wield magic, sentient weaponry or are powerful mages. Selbium, on the other hand, is just a soldier, but apart from only having one or two super moves he's otherwise actually entirely competent, though he can't quite match up to the actual Savior Candidates when they have their Aether Relics.
The Street Fighter' series has Balrog. He's a completely normal boxer who can hold his own against opponents who can throw fireballs, defy gravity, sheath their bodies in electricity, or kick you in the face from 30 feet away.
Even with characters with Ki Attacks and other bizarre powers, there's still plenty of fighters who rely on good old traditional ass-kicking. Other examples include Balrog's Blue Oni counterpart Dudley, the entire Final Fight roster, Zangief, Makoto and Vega.
While most of the cast of Valkyria Chronicles can qualify by the fact they make a contribution in battles with massive tanks and superpowered Valkyrur, Imca of 3 is probably the most notable. She manages to actually knock out a fresh Valkyrur who had just fought an army, and impresses Selvaria, pretty much the strongest soldier with Valkyria powers or not.
Captain Hook in the Kingdom Hearts series counts as this. Consider it this way. By the time you reach him in the first game, Sora has punched out very powerful heartless, a god-like genie, god-like entities in general, villains the size of small buildings, etc. You have an insane aerial advantage over Hook as well. Also, he's not overflowing with the power of darkness either (at least compared to other villains) and lacks real magic. Yet somehow, he still manages to put up a good, solid fight and doesn't die.
It's not an isolated incident either. Captain Hook is tough to beat in both Chain of Memories and Birth by Sleep as well.
In Dishonored, Corvo starts the game as the Royal Protector, bodyguard to the Empress, and manages to fight off half a dozen super-powered mooks until their boss shows up. After that, the Outsider comes to him in a dream and gives him powers, making him an Empowered Badass Normal. However, the Self-Imposed Challenge "It was just a dream" involves players ignoring any and all magic in the game, proving that Corvo can carve through an entire city of magitek with nothing but his wits and his gear.
In MapleStory, Angelic Buster fits the bill. She's the only Nova (A race of dragon/human hybrids from a different planet) who can't use mana at all (And subsequently the only class in the game who can't use mana, sans demon slayer/avenger). Instead she gains her powers from an ancient dragon who gives her immense power. It allows her to use very powerful skills but intead uses a recharge system. The system gives the better skills a chance (usually 40-60%) to recharge and reuse skills to "balance" her. At the time of her initial release, she was the only class to be able to consistently break the damage cap (Next major patch allowed anyone to do so, and increase the cap to 50 million so it became moot). She was a blatantly broken, being able to solo many bosses within a few seconds, and the hardest boss at the time in about an hour. She was nerfed in all subsequent releases (All releases outside of KMS got a version WORSE than the nerfed version. This was because the class was STILL in the top five DPS in the game.)
Vincent from Catherine. Yeah, OK, the guy's an absolute loser, but c'mon, taking on insane killer sheep, towering manifestations of nightmares and fears, demons, and gods while being a 30-something video-game designer armed with only a pillow and Goofy Print Underwear? That's pretty impressive.
Most apparent in the Chaos True Ending, where the credits slides and the final epilogue show that Vincent travels through Hell with Catherine and single-handedly conquers it, still dressed in his goofy underwear. He kicks lots of demon ass, brings them all to heel and pretty much rules over the place, despite being a normal human.
The first Shadow Hearts game has for its protagonists a man who can fuse souls with demons, an exorcist with holy magic, a Taoist magical sage, a vampire, and a psychic street urchin. Then, there is Margarete, who only has guns, grenades and other weapons. And she fights Cthulu-esque horrors from beyond the stars and Biblical demons just as fiercely as her magic wielding compatriots. Averted in other shadow hearts titles because oyu are able to give magic to anyone.
From the Halo franchise, ODST's (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers; Basically the Navy SEAL's of the Halo universe). They are even practically just as capable as Spartans in Halo 3: ODST
Super Smash Bros. features a wide array of fighters with magic powers and/or futuristic weaponry. Two characters who break from this mold most strongly are the Villager, who attacks entirely with the mundane tools he uses in his home franchise, and the Wii Fit Trainer, who is able to hold her own against the likes of Bowser and Samus Aran with nothing but yoga poses.
Gre fits this trope to a tee in Evolution Worlds. Every other character either has hidden powers like Linear or uses a Cyframe... But not Gre. Gre actually uses his own talent and a simple rifle. To top it off, he is also the oldest character. Nobody messes with Gre.
Wild ARMs 2 has Brad. He's got no magic, he's not a cyborg, a vampire, nor does he have an ancient spirit of evil sealed inside of him, all he has is his training as a mercenary and his heavy weapons. Despite this, he's capable of out-damaging damn near everyone in the party, not to mention being able to tank anything thrown his way.
Speak of the devil, the Soul Series: Mitsurugi has no supernatural powers and no connection to either spirit sword, and the katana he uses is made of perfectly normal metal and has no otherwise remarkable features. However, he's so skilled that whole armies of normal men can't beat him even with firearms, and he's considered a worthy adversary to blatantly supernatural fighters like Nightmare, Olcadan (who killed a god's messenger) and Algol. In the time gap between IV and V, Mitsurugi has hung up his trusty katana and become a farmer because absolutely nothing short of immortal god-kings challenges the guy any more. There's more than a few other characters who would count as well - Hilde, Hwang, Setsuka, Rocknote (although with some of the things he does you do have to wonder just how "normal" he is) - but when it comes to sheer badassery, nobody else even comes close.
Gaza from Legend of Legaia is this. He is by far the strongest being that doesn't either wear a Seru, or is one — he is a normal human, yet a swordsman world-class caliber able to strike fear in the hearts of Seru-wearing soldiers and effortlessly strike down a half-dozen Warrior Monks from Biron.
M.U.G.E.N fighting game Shades of Manhattan 2 has a roster full of superheroes and villains with various superpowers. Then there's Detective Garrett Laurel, a policeman who's superpower is carrying a gun and riot baton.
Final Fantasy X has exactly two badass normal protagonists, when you think about it. Tidus is a Fayth-based pro-sports player who can manipulate time itself, Lulu is a black mage capable of bending reality to her whim, Yuna summons demigods to do her bidding, Kimarhi Ronso is a giant cat-man who can steal enemies' moves, and Auron is an undead legendary badass who is so angry at Yevon for turning his best friend into Sin he won't rest until they're destroyed. Who's left? Rikku, who's just a girl who's good at stealing and building things, and Wakka, who hits things with what is basically a soccer ball.
Minecraft has the Player, who is essentially this, with exception to the ability to punch chunks out of trees and compressing minerals with one's bare hands, all the player has in their arsenal against the undead and monstrosities from a realm equivalent to hell (among others) consists of what the player can craft at the time, he/she fits comfortably into the Badass Normal category.
All the player characters in the Streets of Rage series know some form of fighting, whether it's wrestling or martial arts, and one of the characters is a cyborg who attacks can electrocute people. The enemies the crew faces aren't much different than they are, but they can swarm in by the dozens and can all be easily taken down by you single handedly. By the 2nd game onward, you fight robots and you beat them down with your bare hands! The player characters can also use a variety of mundane items for extra damage like glass bottles, knives, baseball bats, and pipes.
To whatever extent of the term "normal," Valentine from Skullgirls stands out for being the only fighter so far to not have a Parasite or a Living Weapon (or Egrets in Parasoul's case), and remains one of the deadliest fighters in the Skullgirl universe, eventually defeating Bloody Marie herself at one point.
Mass Effect is full of beings who are augmented beyond normal capabilities, but there are a fair few people who count.
Garrus Vakarian is an alien, true, but Turians aren't too different from humans and Garrus shows little sign of any abnormal augmentation. He is, however, undeniably a Badass.
Zaeed and Kasumi from the second game are both completely ordinary humans in a party comprised of aliens, super soldiers and biotics.
Kal'reegar, the Migrant Fleet Marine you meet in Tali's loyalty mission, is just an unassuming Quarian trooper who manages to hold his own against an entire geth squad and a Spider Tank. Although he won't hold them for long without your intervention, and in the third game, he pulls a You Shall Not Pass to defend a Turian comms relay at the cost of his own life.