Ao Oni has this with Megumi/Mika. In Version 1.0, she was still in love with Takuro (and they were an Official Couple), but with streaks of Cowardly Lion and Genre Savvy (ie she is aware enough of her barricade's weakness to order Hiroshi to lock the door when he enters and leaves). In Version 6.23 (the latest version) all she does is berate Hiroshi for thinking she'd go around the mansion with the monster still running around, then mutters "Takuro..." under her breath every time she's spoken to afterwards. Then she dies.
The Ar tonelico series features an in-universe example. Any part of a Reyvateil's problems, desires, or what-have-you get blown to spectacular proportions in their Cosmospheres. Outside of the Cosmospheres, however, the changes in character after you go in to their Cosmospheres are much more subtle.
Achmed Khan from Backyard Sports was originally a great athlete who simply listened to rock music (although he had his headphones on everywhere). This quirk was run into the ground by later games, making him a guitar-wielding crazed fan, down to the fact that he could not focus due to loving music.
The whole of Command & Conquer: Red Alert has undergone this. While some people complained that Red Alert 3 was ridiculously over the top compared to the previous games, it had already drifted dramatically starting with Red Alert 2. The original Red Alert had time travel, an Action Girl, and some over-the-top technology and characters, but the game's overall feel was one of gritty war horrors as a desperate force of allies tried to hold back the endless hordes of a massive opposing force. Red Alert 2 expanded on this with much more over the top stuff (the giant mind-controlled squids being particularly infamous) and pulpish units and scenarios. But the developers of Red Alert 3 focused much more on the cheesy elements.
The Tiberium games have also undergone this, if more subtle. The first game was a quasi-futuristic military strategy of the western nations against an elusive terrorist faction with stealth and laser technology. The second game threw the world into chaos, added jumpjet infantry, mecha, cyborgs, mutants and a super AI and attempted to explain Kane's origins. The third game went back to the original style, but left the super tanks, super weapons, lasers, stealth, and added mobile defense posts, Ninja, mad suicide bombers, and all sorts of walking, hovering and flying aliens, who subsequently got their asses kicked. The expansion of that game then re-added the mecha and cyborgs. The so far last game threw away base building and money and added Powered Armor to everyone, while extrapolating nearly all unit concepts introduced in the series into one game. Talk about a Zigzagged Trope.
Essentially all of the cast in the Crash Bandicoot franchise had devolved into dopier, more sociopathic caricatures of themselves as the series went on. This says nothing of the series' cultural nods; Crunch for example went from a somewhat aggressive tough guy with a subtle demeanor and voice mannerisms as a slight homage to Mr. T to basically being a complete parody of the star. Even former sane straight men like Aku Aku and Coco turned into melodramaticJerkassGenius Ditzes in the later titles, but perhaps most notable was Crash himself, who went from being a wackyHeroic Mime to a pancake-obsessed gibberish-speaking ditz. Fortunately, the N. Sane Trilogy rerails everyone back to their original selves.
Dante of Devil May Cry started out as a good mix of badass and Jerk Ass. He was certainly cocky and had a flair for showmanship, but still knew when to be serious, despite always having a few snappy remarks prepared. Later games all but ditched the serious side of his personality, replacing it with more cockiness and one-liners.
This was mainly because of the fans negative response to Dante in Devil May Cry 2, where he was nothing but serious and borderline anti-social. Capcom eventually explained this away by claiming DMC 2 takes place when Dante is much older and battle weary, putting it as the final game in the timeline.
It can also be easily explained with how 3 is the first chronologically, so he's going to be at his goofiest (and he does get serious when fighting Vergil). 4 is basically just a normal day in his life, so he doesn't have any real reason to take it seriously (and again, he is serious when the situation calls for it; like his initial attack on Sanctus or when Credo has just died); it's also set after the first game, when he's managed to surpass his father by killing Mundus, so he does have reason to be more full of himself and bring his old cocky personality closer to the forefront again.
The Disgaea series always bring back the characters of the previous games as bonus characters. However, they always come back as flanderized versions of themselves. The ur-example is Laharl, the protagonist of the first game. He starts out as an annoying, self-entitled brat but goes on to deal with a potent childhood trauma, stops shutting out his feelings, gains devoted allies, and even a Love Interest. He's still kind of a jerk at the end, but you can tell he's matured. When he appears in the sequels he's still the Overlord, but he acts like a annoying brat who wants to be the main character again for more screentime and related benefits, such as being able to win every battle because the player can just reset and grind more until he wins.
Etna starts as King Krichevskoy's vassal, who, after the king's death, is given the mission of raising Laharl. Long story short, she starts off loathing the prince for his brattiness but gains respect for him as he matures, and eventually settles into being his right-hand demon. Cue Disgaea 2, where she leaves Laharl's service in a quest for personal power because she hates him. Then there's her fondness for sweets; while her sweet tooth is mentioned once or twice in the original, some later games (e.g., Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?) depict her as sweet-obsessed in search of some legendary dessert. Her A-Cup Angst also got blown out of proportion, from a single scold at Laharl for mentioning that she doesn't trigger his "sexy body weakness" to being completely delusional about having a "nice body" and constantly arguing about it with Flonne.
Mao always had a Mad Scientist vibe going on (even achieving ecstasy by doing "experiments" on his subjects), but in his game his main quest was to deal with his suppressed memories of causing his father's death, kill his father's murderer and become ready to be the next Overlord and finally letting his father's soul rest. In the later games he is still the Overlord, but all he does is look for subjects for his experiments and moan in pleasure just by thinking of what he could do with them.
Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness reveals that Laharl has not lost his Character Development, and he's still more mature than he seems, bonding with his sister Sicily, worrying about Etna, and eventually impressing the Krichevskoy Group (who believe he is an Inadequate Inheritor) enough to accept him as Overlord. Everyone's first impression of him is still that he's a tiresome brat, though.
Oghren suffered this in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening. In Origins, his alcoholism and Boisterous Bruiser antics were all a front for the depression that seized him after he lost his wife, entire family, and whatever status he had in Orzammar. In Awakening, he forgets whatever lessons he might have learned during his travels with you and signs up with the Grey Wardens simply so that he can continue to drink, fight, and party it up, ditching his current family in the process, and all of his antics are Played for Laughs.
Yuan Shao is originally portrayed as an honorable, if not a bit too proud, nobleman with some Small Name, Big Ego tendencies. As the series progresses, his prideful characters has been exaggerated to the point that he became extremely arrogant and pretentious. Which might be more or less accurate on his 'real' persona base on Guo Jia's comment on him in Romance of the Three Kingdoms (the source material).
Though on that note, it's worth mentioning that Guo Jia was at the time basically writing a propaganda piece to counter Yuan Shao's own against Cao Cao (Guo's boss), so taking it with a pinch of salt might be called for. Besides, Romance itself had a bit of a tendency to flanderize the historical characters it was borrowing, for the sake of telling an entertaining, cohesive narrative.
No one got it worse than Zhang He. In 3, he was somewhat flamboyant and his dress and weaponry were based on Vega/Balrog from Street Fighter. That's it. By 5, he's gone so overboard in both speech and mannerisms...he can barely go two sentences without "beauty" or "grace"...he's actually become fruitier than the real Vega/Balrog!
Done on purpose to the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout. From Fallout to Fallout 2 they become significantly more secular and generally bigger Jerkasses, then even more so in Fallout: New Vegas. This is due to the time differences between the games, as each generation drifts further and further away from the original intentions of the organisation and into more overt technology worship and becomes increasingly secular and elitist, which was originally a very minor aspect of the BoS. Their increasing elitism is a major plot point for their quest line, including the member that can be recruited by the Courier, one Veronica Santangelo. In the NCR and Independent endings, their decision to embrace or abandon their isolationism ultimately decides whether or not the Mojave chapter even survives. Head Paladin (and possible Elder) Edgar Hardin is a hardliner who follows the Codex to the spirit and letter. Elder Nolan McNamara, current Elder of Hidden Valley Bunker, in contrast his described by Veronica as one of the most progressive Elders. He wishes to lift the lockdown and agrees that they need more recruits to bolster their shrinking numbers but tragically knows that he can't, partially out of a justified fear that the NCR will wipe them out.
Elder McNamara: What does the Codex say? We do not help them, or let them in. We keep knowledge they must never have. I'm sorry.
There are, of course, a few Chapters that have completely different kinds of flanderization. Naturally, the Flanderized "White Knight" version in the DC Wasteland actually started to expand and likely is now more powerful then the entire OG Brotherhood combined. Minus their giant propaganda robot, even. The East Coast Brotherhood influence is mostly due to the Lone Wanderer's help against The Enclave and Project Purity and partly due to Elder Arthur Maxson's capable leadership and going back Elder Owyn Lyons' "help the wastelanders" stance (which brought the Brotherhood back to full strength as the more traditionalist Brotherhood Outcasts returned), along with the increasing power of the New California Republic crushing the increasingly restrictive Brotherhood chapters in the west.
When Mai Shiranui was first introduced in Fatal Fury 2, she was simply a female Ninjutsu master whose relation with Andy Bogard (being the granddaughter of his sensei, Hanzo Shiranui) was barely mentioned in her backstory. In later games (especially in the anime adaptations), she became so fully obsessed with Andy to the point that she yells his name whenever she gets K.O.ed in The King of Fighters games, one of her intros involves scaring the crap out of Andy with a baby handpuppet and most of her endings revolve around her trying to get Andy to marry her.
Mai's voluptuousness in Fatal Fury 2 and Special was also nowhere near as exaggerated as it was in later games. It wasn't until the KOF games, when they gave more revealing clothing and bouncing breasts, that her status as Ms. Fanservice was cemented, with heavy contribution (pun intended) from Masami Obari via the Fatal Fury anime films.
In the original, Cloud Strife actually did very little brooding, preferring to focus on fighting Sephiroth and saving the planet from Shinra. The guy even cracked a few jokes at his friends and could take a jab back in return, and is very caring of his friends and claims he "trusts everyone". His archrival Sephiroth was a Dark Messiah who wanted to become a god to reshape the planet into his own personal utopia, and he screwed with Cloud's head to do it in revenge for Cloud defeating him years prior. Ever since the original game Cloud has been warped into a loner who brushes off his friends' attempts to help him while he broods and angsts over Sephiroth, and Sephiroth's only character traits now are his ability to manipulate Cloud's emotions and taunt Cloud with the fact he's so good at it. The Foe Yay between them has also gotten increasingly heavy-handed, to the point Sephiroth almost seems more like a jealous stalker or a scorned ex than Cloud's hated enemy.
There's a common fan-theory going around as a result of the Flanderization that Cloud was afflicted with the "Sadness" status ailment in Advent Children, up until the ribbon he was wearing was revealed, since Ribbons remove all status ailments in the series. The Flanderization was reversed in Dirge Of Cerberus, where from what little we see of him, he's a total absolute badass. Looks like he got his wish. Too bad the game didn't do too well. The actual explanation is that people suffering from Geostigma, which Cloud had for most of the movie, suffer from intense depression; either from the disease itself or the fact that it's incurable and will kill you.
There's also Aerith and Yuffie. Aerith was originally a headstrong Plucky Girl with a strong spiritual side and a slight flirtatious streak. The girl threatened to rip off a guy's balls at one point. In the spin-offs whatever stubbornness and flirtatiousness she had is gone, and her spiritual powers and connection to the planet have become her core character traits—as a result the girl is portrayed as a saint, the human incarnation of Incorruptible Pure Pureness with powers so strong she can save the world from beyond the grave. Meanwile Yuffie was originally a bit goofy and silly, but she was still quite cunning, witty and sneaky—she is a ninja after all, and the former Trope Namer for So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear. In spin-offs she's a typical Genki Girl and is just loud and hyper. Crisis Corerectified both of these though; and Aerith and Yuffie are more or less back to how they were in the original game.
Not to mention a lot of fans Flanderize the characters, thanks to Poe's Law. Playing the original Final Fantasy VII, you might actually be surprised to find that Cloud is NOT eternally whining and brooding, or that the characters actually DON'T cry as much as the Hatedom say they do.
In an interesting case, Sephiroth was forced to invoke this on himself. After he was beaten in Final Fantasy VII, his consciousness was slowly being eroded by The Lifestream. To preserve his sense of self, Sephiroth held onto his strongest emotion (his hatred of Cloud) until that was the only thing sustaining him.
The Faux Symbolism elements of the franchise were greatly exaggerated, with attendant changes in characters. The original game uses pop-Judeochristian imagery for flavour, like the name 'Sephiroth' and the MacGuffin being 'the Promised Land', and Sephiroth turns into a big ol' One-Winged Angel in his final battle (like the preceeding FF final boss, Kefka). Vincent talked about his sins, but this was a character quirk unique to him, and related to his role in Sephiroth's creation. The sequels (and light novels) have every character brooding about being forgiven for their sins, even characters like Barret, Red XIII and Rufus. Angel statues abound, and we get characters named Genesis and Angeal. Genesis reads horrible religious poetry and appears to worship a Goddess resembling the Virgin Mary.
Final Fantasy X-2 has a similar example to Yuffie with Rikku. Originally, while always hyperactive and eccentric, she was genuinely intelligent and witty, especially considering she only fifteen. Once the sequel hit, hyper seemed to be the only trait brought over. All her wit and intelligence disappeared nearly entirely because the writers seemed more content to make dumb blond jokes, with all the wit given to Paine, the Deadpan Snarker character created for the sequel to team with Yuna and Rikku.
Though it's kind of justified, since Rikku no longer had to worry about her cousin sacrificing her life for a cause that'd bring peace for a few years only so now she could live her life without many worries.
Sodom from Final Fight was originally a samurai-themed underground wrestler with a somewhat misguided fascination with Japanese culture. In the Street Fighter Alpha series (especially in the Japanese versions of the games), this fascination became more of an obsession, with Sodom usually speaking in mangled Japanese, writing his gang's name in kanji, and going as far as to travel to Japan to recruit sumo wrestlers for his gang.
Kratos of God of War. In the first game, his bloodlust is a facet of his deeper personality - he channeled the memories of what he had done into his rage to become more brutally efficient. In the second game, Kratos lost that, and became simply bloodlust and badassery in human form. The third game, however, reverses this trend thanks to his interactions with Pandora - it is through her that he is reminded of the importance of hope, which allows him to forgive himself for the sins (at least with regards to killing his own family) he committed.
The same also applies to his quiet and stoic tendencies. In the first game, Kratos consistently screams as well as speaking a lot to other people and even when he was reminiscing his life before he became the ghost of sparta when there are noone around. But as the franchise progresses Kratos has become more quiet and has less lines culminating is Ascension when his spoken lines can be counted in just 2 hands.
All the Harvest Moon 64 characters were either flanderized or made Lighter and Softer for Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. Popuri's childish trait definitely got exaggerated after every installment. 64 Popuri was friendly, selfless and a bit childish. BTN Popuri got even more childish to the point where she was a bit selfish. FOMT Popuri's childish got exaggerated yet again where she even attends the Pumpkin Festival (a festival for child). DS Popuri got her childish trait exaggerated even further to the point of making her annoyingly immature.
Inverted in Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1. All four CPUs have had their personalities toned down from previous games, especially compared to their rather contentious depiction in Victory. While they still have their iconic personalities and quirks, this has the effect of making them all much more likable.
On the other hand, as implied above, this was a major problem for Victory, where just about every character was written with one joke in mind, then contributed to nothing but making that joke every time they appeared. Nepgear and Noire are particularly interesting cases:
Noire in the previous game was a typical tsundere, harsh and seemingly unable to be honest about how she felt for the other characters, but despite that was an ultimately likeable character underneath it all. Noire in Victory dispensed with damn near everything complex or interesting, making her more like a Shallow Parody of the tsundere archetype rather than an actual character who happens to be tsundere, turning her into a completely one-dimensional Jerk Ass. This got so bad that the devs actually had to create unique scenes for her specifically with all of the DLC characters just to show that they could still write her as an actual character rather than a bad caricature.
In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, one could potentially argue that HK-47 was somewhat Flanderized. In the original, he was calmer and tended to display his sociopathic tendencies only in isolated situations, like during certain "aggressive negotiations". Outside of combat and negotiations, he was a perfect gentleman, though he spoke with a disturbing flippancy/eagerness about death and destruction. In the sequel, he became a straightforward killer robot, speaking boldly and constantly about slaughtering all meatbags. This, however, worked in his favor, as without it, the now-famous line, "Definition: Love is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometres away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope," would never exist. At the same time, he's also somehow more subtle about his sociopathy; HK-47 in the second game actually gives you several hints on how to take on Force-sensitive opponents by turning that advantage against them, outwitting them and outsmarting them in ways that the HK-47 from the first game would never consider over simply laying on the trigger and not letting go until every potential threat stopped moving of its own volition.
Also done with his unusual speech pattern. In the first game the "Definition:" or "Statement:" or "Query:" before his dialogue was relatively simple, there weren't that many of them (maybe five or six at most) and they served to logically categorize the things he said. In KotOR 2, the prefixes start becoming increasingly specific. The HK-50s take it to the next level by adding descriptive adjectives to the mix, to the point that they often serve to ironically undermine the following statement completely, a la Stephen Colbert's "The WORD" (i.e. "Hasty Retraction:", "Condescending Explanation:" or even "Fabrication:".) Cut content even let you deliberately overplay it with HK-47, involving a solo mission with him into a factory producing the HK-50s, wherein you could optionally upgrade HK-47 with their combat software and have him pick up their more specific prefixes.
Master Vrook gets this to a lesser extent. In the first game he's initially distrustful towards you, but pick the light side options for certain side quests and talk to him afterwards, and he won't hesitate to compliment you. However, everyone remembered him as the joyless grump and that's what he was turned into for the sequel.
Left 4 Dead 2 exaggerated the traits of the survivors within The Passing campaign DLC. Coach's obsession with food is taken to ridiculous extremes as he daydreams about a boiled peanut festival. Rochelle, who was mildly snarky in the game, is now full of snark towards her fellow survivors. Ellis' stories about Keith are taken to silly levels, such as how Keith ate two pounds of raw chicken (in an attempt to make cheap sushi, no less). Nick, who doesn't like to be covered in dirt and grime due to his (allegedly) expensive suit, became borderline fearful of germs (he may offer the other survivors various sums of money to carry him above the sewer water) and states that the entire Zombie Apocalypse could have been prevented by everyone using more hand sanitizer. In Rochelle's case, many saw her rise in snark as giving her more character due to many fans seeing her as a completely flat character beforehand, and at least in the trailer for the DLC it also helped her get along with previous fan-favorite Francis.
Inverted with Ganondorf. In the first two games he starts out as some sort of boar/pig monster, in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past he was revealed to have once been a thief who wished for power, in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time it is revealed he was a human wizard, but came off as an unruly and savage power hungry tyrant. In Wind Waker he is depicted as intelligent and sophisticated, and despite the controversial insertion in Twilight Princess, that was his most eerie and intimidating appearance of all.
Reverse-Flanderization has happened to all of the cast as we go from the short flavor text in the manual to actually being able to act as real characters within the games themselves. Ganondorf goes from generically evil to quite sympathetic: he wants to take over Hyrule because his people lived in an arid desert, barely surviving the day's searing heat and the night's bone-chilling cold. (Mind you, this doesn't jibe with Ocarina of Time, where The Dark World was a future where he'd taken over and not, well, the Dark World. A paradise for the Gerudo is not what he created.) Zelda goes from "Kidnapped at the beginning, rescued at the end, has one or two lines" to a character who is wise, has psychic dreams, sometimes is sole ruler despite the title, and Minored in Asskicking; the obligatory kidnapping is shorter every time. Tradition says Link will never get to speak, but we see more and more of each incarnation's life before the adventure. The Wind Waker even gives his dialogue options more length and flavor than simple yes-or-no answers, and came full circle in Skyward Sword where Link's dialogue choices and extremely expressive face give him a personality and life all his own.
Inverted in the Mass Effect series. In the first game, we see few members of each species, each playing up one identifying trait (belligerence for the krogan, devotion to duty for the turians, the like), but in Mass Effect 2 we meet and talk to many different members of each species with widely varying personalities and outlooks, giving us a much broader look into the societies built around the identifying traits from the first game and the kinds of people that live in them.
Urdnot Wrex de-Flanderizes pretty significantly for his appearance in Mass Effect 2. In the first game, he states flats how the Krogan mindset has coupled with the genophage to mean that his people are dying out—mostly due to work as mercenaries and bounty hunters being more appealing than working on a solution. He spends the majority of the first game idly complaining about the Krogan's problems, but doesn't really do anything until Virmire, in which he's mostly just belligerent. Cut to Mass Effect 2, where he's revealed to have spent the last two years forcing the Krogan to address the problems caused by the genophage before the damage is too great to be undone. While everything he does is in typical blunt Krogan fashion, his actions and goals take on much broader scope during the second game.
It seems this subversion is actually intended. While all species continues to get flanderized throughout the series, Shepard's own team continues to defy their species' Planet of Hats. Wrex and Grunt are not unthinking berserkers, Garrus is a maverick who is willing to go against law and order, Mordin actually has scientific ethics and is willing to look at consequences beyond a few short years, Thane being the opposite of an assassin in Mass Effect 3, Tali willing to put aside her race's racism towards synthetics, Legion willing to engage other species rather than remaining in isolation, etc...
Conrad Verner is Flanderized a fair bit between 1 and 2. In the first he's just a harmless fan (even described as such by the Journal) who wants an autograph and a picture of Shepard, and has a romanticized view of life as a Spectre. In the second he's bought himself replica armor and is trying to shake down a bartender for the deed to the place. Come to find out that over the last two years he's been obsessively copying everything Shepard used to do, and fancies himself a vigilante working in Shepard's stead.
This is partly due to a glitch where the Event Flags concerning your interaction with him in 1 were set to show him as both "intimidated" and "charmed" regardless of how you dealt with him, leading the scene in 2 to assume that you had intimidated him, making his reaction and personality somewhat understandable if you had intimidated him, but obsessive and rather Flanderized if you hadn't. 3 references this glitch, having him apologizing for accusing you of pointing a gun to his head.
Justified in-universe with the flanderization of Illusive Man, leader of Cerberus. In Mass Effect 2, he is the enigmatic leader of a pro-human organization who believes that the ends justify the means, and straddles the Moral Event Horizon with heinous acts that he truly believes are for the betterment and survival of humanity as a species. While many of his actions are deceitful or immoral, he can still be rationalized as a Well-Intentioned Extremist. In Mass Effect 3, he seems to go completely insane, performing brutal experiments and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of human civilians either to study Reaper indoctrination or to create an endless supply of personal shock troops to hound Shepard's forces the entire game. However, it's eventually revealed that he never truly wanted any of this, and has slowly been slipping into insanity because he himself was indoctrinated. He can even be convinced to redeem himself and fight off the indoctrination by committing suicide during the final confrontation. It goes the other way, too; you can find logs in his base explaining exactly how he stage managed the way Cerberus came off in the second game.
This is purposely invoked in the Citadel DLC, which is essentially a Fanservice Pack full of in-jokes and past references to let the fans have some fun with their squad one last time. It plays up a lot of the squad's minute character quirks or brings up one-off jokes like they're a regular trait of that character's personality. For example, Tali gets absolutely hammered at the house party, despite having only been explicitly drunk at one other point in the series. Wrex seems joyously happy to be fighting alongside the squad again, compared to his normal grumpy attitude. Garrus even lampshades his own obsession with calibrations, promising to stop mentioning them if Liara stops saying 'by the Goddess.'
Mega Man X: As Executive Meddling forced the series to go beyond the creator's planned ending, X5, some of the main characters had certain aspects of their personality stretched out to artificially create conflict for the next few games. While Zero always stayed friendly to X, he became rather gruffer and more stereotypically badass as the series went on, especially when Axl was introduced. Sigma degenerated just as badly as Dr. Wily, if not worse, as he went from very nearly destroying the world and being a truly Magnificent Bastard...to a shivering pile of zombie-animated debris in just one game, and by the next game explained hisfinal boss status as simply "because I'll never stop until you're dead!" (It should be noted that it's been hinted that, as Sigma's bodies are destroyed, a little bit of him truly dies. This would be why, by X6, he's barely sane and can't think of anything besides killing X. This is why his form is that of some grim reaper zombie thing.) It was X that the fans complained about the most, though: while he had always been more pacifistic and less violence-inclined than Zero, this was expanded into the defining aspect of his personality, so that rather than being a reluctant cop, he was a stereotypically annoying whiner who kept advocating non-violence even when the situation had clearly gone south. This led to him abandoning active duty at the beginning of X7, so we started off playing a Mega Man X game without playing as Mega Man X.He does return, though.
Speaking of the X series, even words can undergo Flanderization. The term "Maverick" initially referred to a Reploid who attacked and killed humans as a result of Wily's Maverick virus, but starting with X4 the meaning started to become warped as a political tool, usually with the purpose of sending the Maverick Hunters after the designated targets. The distortion of its meaning remains long into the Zero series, where the Resistance are (mostly) law-abiding Reploids just trying to keep themselves operational amidst an energy crisis. Most of the damage has been reversed in the ZX series, but with Albert dead and Mikhail (likely) soon to join him, it's only a matter of time before Thomas makes history repeat itself. Though this Flanderization of "Maverick" could be interpreted as similar to the US's Red Scare, making it a more in-universe example. This would make sense, as the reploids (robots) get more and more intelligent and more sophisticated motives begin to appear, sophisticated fears based on treason and betrayal breed distrust and suspicion, logically leading to the use of "maverick" as a political tool.
Snake and cardboard boxes got out of hand at some point... Scratch that, they were always out of hand, it simply became more and more obvious as the series went on. According to Word of God, this was an elaborate Take That! to the NES Metal Gear, where the cardboard box was basically a Disk One Nuke that let one stand in front of guards and even shoot them, without a silencer, and still not set off the alarm. The take-that aspect is perhaps most visible in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, where you could also hide under ridiculous things like water buckets, but then by Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, well...
Snake: I dunno, I was just looking at the box, and suddenly I got this irresistable urge to get inside. No, not just an urge - more than that. It was my destiny to be here; in the box. Sigint: Destiny...? Snake: Yeah. And then when I put it on,I suddenly got this feeling of inner peace. I can't put it into words. I feel... safe. Like this is where I was meant to be. Like I'd found the key to true happiness. ...Does any of that make sense? Sigint: Not even a little.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Snake is first revealed at E3 by getting out of a box. He is first revealed in the adventure mode by getting out of a box, and after his first playable segment, he teams up with Lucario and Meta Knight after they discover him hiding in a box. Every character has three different taunts. Snake's up taunt is getting into a box. His side taunt is getting into a box. His down taunt is getting into a box. It's not just developer laziness, either, since all three have him pull the box over himself differently.
Perhaps one of the most infamous instances of the trope in video games occurs in Metroid: Other M, featuring the normally stoic and confident Samus, as an attention-seeking Daddy's Girl while being disturbingly subservient to her supposed father figure Adam Malkovich. Samus does mention that she looked up to Adam (who was her CO when she was in the Marine Corp) in Fusion, and her other less-than-desirable traits within the game seem to stem from the ambiguously-canon manga, where she had the excuse of being inexperienced.
In the first few Monkey Island games, Guybrush had a tendency to be a bit dim every now and then, but overall proved himself to be a fairly competent adventurer. In the first game, he's pretty much by definition the most courageous and competent character in the game (aside from Elaine), as he's the only one willing to challenge LeChuck, and earns every step he makes on that path. By the time Escape from Monkey Island happens, it's a wonder he can even put on his own pants, let alone solve any of the game's puzzles.
The humor in the games is also Flanderized quite a lot. The first game is actually fairly serious with a parodic atmosphere. The second game amps up the anachronism, which goes Up to Eleven in the ending. Since then, the games are pretty much run on Rule of Funny.
Johnny Cage became so diluted he became a parody of what he strove not to be. In the beginning he was more serious (but no less arrogant) and a very competent fighter, but devolved into a Plucky Comic Relief character as the series went on. This was likely a Take That! directed at Daniel Pesina, the actor who originally played Johnny Cage, after he had posed in character as Cage to promote another company's fighting game (Blood Storm). Post-reboot, while still a comedic character, they do more to ground him as a strong fighter, being the first playable character in Mortal Kombat 9's story mode and defeating Shinnok in Mortal Kombat X.
Inverted in the case of Nightwolf. Originally a parody of Thunder Hawk in Mortal Kombat 3, he became The Smart Guy in the cartoon, and in Deception, we had him literally going through hell to rescue Liu Kang. Then in Mortal Kombat 9 he became the leader of the Defenders of Earthrealm.
Sadly played straight with Mileena who has been completely flanderized into a Psychopathic Woman Child in MK9. Arguably, since the story takes place when Mileena has just awakened, her child-like persona stems from the fact that she is a child. Come Mortal Kombat X, she acts much more mature, given that over twenty years have passed.
Actually beneficial in the cases of Sonya Blade and Jax, as well. In their debut games, they were written as Special Forces members, but their looks and skillsets had absolutely nothing to do with any of that. As the games progressed, they gradually became what they were actually supposed to be, getting appropriate gear, skillsets, and weapons. Though in the case of Jax, it could be argued that this is a bad thing, as his gear and weapons have gradually begun muscling in on the gear and weapons of Stryker. Particularly in Armageddon, where they had identical machine gun attacks.
The later entries in the Persona series unfortunately have a problem with this when it comes to spinoffs.
Akihiko Sanada in Persona 3 is mentioned to only eat "things with protein shit" about... once. By sequel Persona 4: Arena, his nickname contains "Protein Junkie", and he's ordering Protein everywhere nonstop and talks more about protein. While his protein obsession is mostly Played for Laughs; an arguably less funny trait that got blown up is his Blood Knight tendencies. Those who played Persona 3 know that curbing his obsessive desire to fight was an integral role in his Character Development, starting in the wake of the death of his best friend Shinjiro, and from that point onward, he'd mainly fight for the sake of those he cared about. In Arena, he's fresh off the heels of a world expedition, driven from his obsessive need for getting stronger, and it's also stated that he dropped out of college to do it. While his story mode ending mentions that he wants to become a police officer, seeing him as battle-happy as he was at the start of his game is still jarring. And again, Akihiko is similarly flanderized in Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, to the point of whining when people suggest avoiding FOEs and saying, "I wonder if there's protein inside?" when a treasure chest is spotted. At least since Q is set before his Character Development, it doesn't conflict with it the way Arena does.
Akihiko's friend, Shinjiro Aragaki, himself changed a lot with Persona Q. In Persona 3, he is a quiet but aggressive man who doesn't like to make friends but has a sensible side, his love for dogs and cooking is a secret mentioned by no one, and it's only discovered if he's spied on with a secret camera or his Social Link is followed, with an offhanded mention coming up in one 3's sidequests. In Q, Shinji's whole personality is loving dogs and cooking, and most of his jokes revolve about the sensible side he tries (too hard) to hide. But his biggest change is probably his relationship with Akihiko: In 3, they would argue about Akihiko trying to convince him to rejoin the team and Shinjiro is fairly calm when talking, and when he does end up joining both of the two stop arguing. In Q, they argue constantly, and it's always about something silly such as Akihiko complaining about how Shinjiro won't cook for him. Shinjiro shouts back in return, and the two essentially look Like an Old Married Couple.
In Persona 4, Chie Satonaka's love for beef is mentioned a few times but it's far from an integral part of her character. It gets exaggerated in Golden, Arena, and Q. In Arena, Chie's story mode has a (non-canon, of course) joke ending wherein she abandons the case entirely to go eat a steak bowl, and Q has an entire sidequest about finding who stole a meat snack Chie left lying around. It gets even further exaggerated to the point of absurdity in Dancing All Night.
While Yosuke Hanamura from 4 was something of a Butt-Monkey, it gets exaggerated in Q, with a Running Gag about characters calling him "Prince of Disappointment". Even the hero of 4, Yosuke's best friend, has the option to call him a disappointment.
Persona 4 has this In-Universe with the characters' Shadows, which reduce them to a single defining (and completely overblown) character trait. Specifically, it takes their Fatal Flaw and grossly exaggerates it. Chie's takes her need to control Yukiko to feel better about herself and becomes a straight-up dominatrix, Kanji's takes his insecurity about his girly hobbies and becomes absolutely flaming, and Naoto's takes her need to act more mature for her age and frustration about her gender and becomes a human-sized kid's toy, switching between overblown dramatics and childish temper tantrums, and is obsessed with giving Naoto an "operation".
In fact, the majority of both casts have undergone this trope in one way or another, with the sole exception being the P3 Protagonist, as unlike his P4 counterpart, there were no other spin-offs outside of Persona 3 that allowed him to speak his mind for the first time.
From the P3 Cast:
Yukari, being one of the most popular students at school, tends to swing between becoming a trusting friend & ally, and hiding her own insecurities of missing her father through some snark at the (mainly male) party members. Even though she had her flaws, Yukari became quite a compassionate character, who would with the most seriousness step up to help people who are suffering from their own problems, even people like the annoying Junpei Iori. In PQ, while she does show some understanding of the feelings of others later on in the story, she has now evolved into an Alpha Bitch, and is not prone to showing how certain members of the P4 group can annoy her, let alone from her own party.
In P3, Akihiko occasionally mentions protein during dialogue options and his lust for fighting absurdly powerful enemies was something he knew he had to significantly tone down in order to protect those he loves. Akihiko, while not as much a genius as Mitsuru is, was still clever and mature, evident in his conversations with Ken, Shinji and brining in Junpei after he awakens to his persona. PQ, however, has decided to strip him of his maturity and intellect, and replace it with the strong passion of winning pointless, childish fights with his friends, as well as mentioning protein every 10 seconds...
Mitsuru has not changed much between the two games, though she has become a little more formal than usual, calling many of both parties exclusively by their last names, and consistently yelling 'I SHALL EXECUTE YOU ALL' whenever her temper rises.
Junpei, being the Class Clown is well known for his rather loud behaviour and being a focus character for (Plucky Comic Relief comic relief), yet is also very caring and compassionate to those in need. Throughout PQ, he has become significantly more sarcastic and snarky, becoming much more goofier than his original self.
While the cast would initially show some surprise that Ken is a 10yr old Persona User, both the P3 and P4 casts constantly refer back to this whilst making fun of his age, something that was a critical character point for Ken in P3. It doesn't help when Ken has now become rather shy (unlike his confident self in the original game).
While not much of a change, Fuuka has become a little more nervous guiding the PQ team around the labyrinths, a task that in the original game, she was confident with.
Averted with Aigis, since her robotic personality has remained the same through both games, though if anything, she is arguably a little more clingy than usual with the P3 Hero.
Shinjiro was a cold, aloof character, who from all we know shares a close relationship with Akihiko and occasionally helps with the cooking, something he is very proficient in. In PQ, he might as well be a different character, with his unusual outbursts of challenging Akihiko to pointless, childish challenges, and his sudden outspoken knowledge in the wonderful world of cooking has ultimately made him transition from a male Tsundere to a contestant fresh from Hell's Kitchen..
Okay, he is a dog, so its really hard to flanderize Koromaru... But through the translations of Aigis, Koro himself has become rather childish and witty when talking to characters like Teddie, nothing like his sincere, pope-like translations in the original game.
From the P4 Cast:
Throughout the P4 Anime, the P4 Hero was a laidback, softly spoken grey haired student who occasionally dabbles in deadpan sarcasm, and very rarely shows shock in a comical fashion. He is notable a little more talkative in Pq (should you chose the P3 protagonist), shouting his persona summons unlike his p3 counterpart, and 'comforting' his own party with some unneeded, unnecessary deadpan sarcasm.
Yosuke was actually a decent, intelligent young man with a strong sense of justice in the original game, with his signature misfortune and goofiness more showing during the more comical scenes. All of this is changed in P4, where like his partner he has become much more sarcastic, more prone to causing accidents and has exchanged common sense for some bold stupidity.
Chie was the kung-fu enthusiast who has a passion for watching kung-fu movies and eating steak, but these were only a small part of her personality, as Chie had some smarts and a lot of compassion and understanding during the story of P4. While her compassion remains untouched, she might as well be replaced with a bear wearing a Kenpo-gi, as like Akihiko, she states every 10 seconds her admiration for steak, the many steak recipes there are out there, and screaming Kung-fu fighting during battles, or even just plain ol' cutscenes...
Yukkiko herself has remained untouched, but her laughing fits to bad jokes has strengthened even further, and more frequently than usual..
Like Yukkiko, Rise has also remained the same. However it can be seen as her compassion for the P4 hero may come across as a little too obsessive.
Kanji was a character who's insecurities made him a reluctant subject of sexuality-confusion (despite only fearing what others would think of him for having feminine interests). While not a fast thinker, Kanji was still reliably intelligent, understanding situations at the same pace as the other members in the Investigation Team, and spoke in a more considerate, manor. Hell, he even caught on to one of Yosuke's very few gay jokes very quickly, and responded with great wit! Then in comes the PQ Kanji, who's intellect is so low, you would need to question how he can occasionally understand words that have more than 4 syllables. He gets quickly offended over everything, which also doesn't help things when suddenly characters are tossing gay jokes all around the room. He also speaks much more brute-like, and his overall character (even through the more tender scenes) comes across as rather aggressive and scary.
Naoto could be considered an inversion of this. Her role in P4 was almost solely an investigator, taking many situations very seriously, showing her other side to herself exclusively during social links. PQ has her still as the intelligent one amongst the P4 party, but she has also become a little bashful and more social to the party.
Teddie is perhaps the biggest example. His character development in P4 was incredibly strong, starting out as a scared bear who knew nothing about himself, to becoming a kind hearted yet slightly perverted bear (thanks to Yosuke), to becoming an incredibly tragic character who whilst is a sole focus for comic relief, will ALWAYS place his friends and friends of friends before him. In PQ....you might want to drown him... His ONLY character in this game, is that of a potential stalker, his bear puns are non stop, and no matter how the others are feeling, he will always jump into the scene, completely ruining the drama with this... character 'development'. It also doesn't help that his stats and skills have classed him as one of the worst party members in PQ, despite the fact in P4 he could be considered as one of the most VALUABLE party members you could have
The Numans/Newmans of the Phantasy Star series have undergone a race-wide flanderization of their own; they are now often sardonically referred to (and mistaken for) Space Elves, due to Sega focusing more on their adeptness with magic and their elflike appearance:
In the original quadrilogy, Numans were originally genetically-engineered Half-Human Hybrids as an expy of Myau the Musk Cat in the first game (Nei from Phantasy Star II was originally going to have far more catlike features and a tail, according to Tohoru Yoshida).
By Phantasy Star Online, Numans were renamed to Newmans and made into a full race of genetically engineered beings rather than one-off experiments. PSO made them more like a Witch Species, as they were considerably better with Techniques than Androids or Humans of the same class.
The Umbrella corporation was portrayed as a company that had a huge influence in the medical field while secretly performing experiments to create bio-organic weapons in the form of monsters. By Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Umbrella is shown having so much control over Raccoon City that when Jill Valentine tried to warn the citizens about the viral outbreak, no one would listen to her. Throughout the game, you can find various files detailing how Umbrella's mercenary group were killed by the viral creatures and that Umbrella sent the mercenaries into the city under the orders of saving the civilians, but had really sent them there to be used as test subjects against the creatures. The basement of the hospital contain creatures that were seemingly created there and Umbrella has a factory directly next to the town's park where anyone who wanders there are either shot on sight or captured and used as guinea pigs for experiments. The company's antics is explained in later games where the founder of Umbrella wanted to find away to prolong his already old life and become a god.
Chris Redfield's physical strength got built up from each game until it got to silly levels. In Resident Evil, he was an average grunt who used to be in the Air Force. In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, his introduction scene has him scaling a rocky cliffside with no climbing gear whatsoever. By Resident Evil 5, not only does Chris gained a ton of muscle, he is also able to punch boulders out of its rut to get it out of his way.
Albert Wesker's evilness and powers were exaggerated more and more until it became full blown Narm. He was the standard mole in Resident Evil that turned traitor on his teammates and was seemingly killed off by the Tyrant. Resident Evil: Code Veronica has Wesker brought back alive with the purpose of stealing Umbrella's Veronica T-Virus for another organization while also possessing Super Speed and jumping that can rival Mario. By Resident Evil 5, Wesker's powers are upgraded to include Super Strength and Flash Step while he wears a black trenchcoat with his sunglasses. Wesker's motives become full blown cartoon villainy where he aims to become a god and take over the world as its ruler and savior while going full blown Cold Ham and later Large Ham with a dose of Chewing the Scenery once he loses his mind. Many Wesker fans prefer his Resident Evil 5 incarnation thanks to his voice actor D.C. Douglas hamming it up and making the character dive headfirst into Narm Charm.
Captain Qwark from the Ratchet & Clank series started out as a reasonably intelligent character who was simply past his physical prime and a glory hound, with implications that he had once actually been a legitimate hero but had soured as he'd gotten old. In the second game, Qwark successfully takes control of the Mega Corp. corporation and executes a Evil Plan that only fails when he puts the batteries of the Helix-O-Morph in backwards (it's a long story). The third game has him pull a Heel–Face Turn and begins his transformation into The Ditz, with his stupidity, cowardice and glory-seeking tendencies played up to such a degree that by the time of Tools Of Destruction he bears almost no resemblance to the calculating villain from the first two games. His tendency to exaggerate stories has also become progressively more absurd. The first game's characters are all subject to Early Installment Weirdness, but Qwark is the most prominent example of a complete rewrite in personality.
Notably, Qwark seems to be exceedingly competent when playing the villain, as all of the stages personally designed by him are among the hardest in all of the games they appear in. It's only when he's trying to be a hero that he's incompetent.
The Rabbids from Ubisoft's Raving Rabbids franchise have been greatly Flanderized. In the original Rayman Raving Rabbids, the Rabbids, although somewhat dimwitted, were a major threat to Rayman's world and the human world, often enslaving innocent creatures, locking Baby Globoxes in cages and attacking humans with toilet plungers. Since Rabbids Go Home, the Rabbids have gone from being Chaotic Evil yet dimwitted to being complete morons and entirely chaotic. In Rabbids Invasion, their evil side is almost compeletely missing, and their stupidity is even bigger. This can be proven since in the games, the Rabbids know how to fly spaceships while in the show they can't even insert a coin in a photo booth.
In the Rayman series, Globox had a huge Flanderization. In Rayman 2, he's not a bright spark but he's still rather rational and helpful to Rayman. Sometimes, he acted clumsy. Since Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, his clumsiness and his stupidity grew out of proportion and he became a millstone round Rayman's neck.
More recently in games like Rayman Origins, Rayman himself has been flanderized quite a bit too. Rayman 3 and Rayman Raving Rabbids portrayed him as the straight man that's constantly thrown into bizarre situations in a wacky world. In Raving Rabbids 2, Rayman attempts to blend in with the rabbids by acting as insane as they do, which results in him acting a lot wackier than usual, but there's a given explanation behind it. Rayman Origins on the other hand portrays him as completely insane all the time, he's always got a big goofy grin on his face and the Deranged Animation just adds to his strangeness. His new personality actually fits pretty well though, as a limbless man with helicopter hair was already pretty strange to begin with.
Girl Stinky went from being a Wrongly AccusedSmug SnakeKnow-Nothing Know-It-All who was nonetheless friendly enough with Sam and Max to help them out a few times (or at least look the other way while they did what they had to do) in Season 2, to being psychotically evil and cripplingly lazy in Season 3. Also, in Season 2, the other characters consider her reasonably attractive despite her awful personality, and Flint Paper thinks of her as a Film NoirFemme Fatale, but by Season 3 her personality leads her to be considered so repulsive Max nearly projectile vomits after watching her and Sam do a Fake-Out Make-Out. Since the universe functions on Rule of Funny, this is generally considered an improvement.
Max's childlike aspects were exaggerated between the comics and Hit The Road, but he became a full on manchild in the animated series, which was used for the Telltale Games as well. In the comics, he's still whimsical, but also snarky, intelligent and tough, and his moments of childish behaviour are mostly based on Steve Purcell's own memories of himself as a child and all the cuter for being assigned to a more mature and competent character. By Season Three he can use Psychic Powers by using special children's toys, which 'only work for those with the mind of a child', and his snark has mostly gone in favour of creepy, deranged glee and references to his stupidity and short attention span. It works a lot in Sam's favour, though, by giving them greater Cast Speciation - decreasing Max's snark frees up Sam to become a Deadpan Snarker, rather than a toned-down version of Max like in the comics.
However, in Season Three, after switching to Max, the game shows a random image of something from Max's memory. Many of these things include images of things in American history or various animals, suggesting that Max is smarter than his personality lets on.
As some have pointed out, the animated series has many episodes, and as such has far more back story info in it than the comics or Hit The Road do. It was inevitable the Telltale team would turn to it for inspiration. Max was obviously toned down for kids for the animated series, but there were plenty who said his personality in Hit The Road was too serious in comparison, so it worked out.
Sam himself, whilst always being the straight man to Max's insanity, started off as Max's best friend and had turned far more into a father figure by the later Telltale Games.
Utilized and played for laughs in Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit since the game operates on Rule of Funny by turning the Flanderization for each character Up to Eleven with the primary example being Katsuragi using her wish to create a boob harem rather than remove the bounty on her parents' heads- her primary motivation for and life goal of becoming a shinobi in the first place.note Unless the game takes place after Shinovi Versus, that is, since the events leading to the true ending of that game includes her parents being exonerated.
Most of the characters in the series have suffered this at some point not long after the release of Sonic Heroes and Sonic X. (Surprisingly, Dr. Eggman is one of the only ones who hasn't experienced too much of this.)
Tails has almost always been Sonic's naive surrogate brother and sidekick, but over time has been pushed heavily aside as your average techie / mechanic guy. Tails' ability to fight was severely dialed back to the point where he's completely helpless unless Sonic is there to save the day, which heavily contrasts with his Character Development in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 where he learns to stand up for himself.
This case with Knuckles has actually been pretty bad, leading Knuckles to no longer acknowledge his own responsibilities on his island nor what his purpose was in the series to begin with, rather just being the meat-headed joke character that hangs around Sonic and co. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise when he's introduced in the spinoff Sonic Boom series (Which is an Alternate Continuity), his new design pretty much spells out he's the Dumb Muscle of the group, with absolutely no mention to the Master Emerald at all.
Blaze has actually gone through de-Flanderization; in Sonic Rush she was an icy loner who constantly stressed not wanting anyone's help, she was somewhat more mellow in Sonic Rush Adventure, and nowadays she's just a fairly shy and formal character.
In Knuckles Chaotix, Espio the Chameleon was a detective and had the ability to walk on walls and ceilings. In Sonic Heroes, he was given more personality and also had some ninja elements to them due to his previous abilities, plus the fact that he should have invisibility, due to being a chameleon and all. It seemed more like a hobby than anything major. In Sonic Generations, Espio's ninja qualities have been enhanced to an obvious degree, with more ninja mannerisms, a heavier focus on his invisibility and shuriken, and his voice sounding like it was ripped straight from the animes.
Shadow the Hedgehog, in Sonic Adventure 2, did partake in some minor brooding, but that wasn't a primary character trait. Much like Cloud Strife in his original appearance, he could make a joke, take a joke, and he didn't care about his hazy past; all he cared about was accomplishing his current goals by any means necessary. However, in his self-titled game, Shadow turned into a Byronic Hero who would never stop brooding and pondering about his past. However, once he learns about his past, that apparently satisfied his ponderings and relaxed into a characterization close to his original.
Dr. Eggman himself gone through some gradual changes that eventually shaped his character to what everyone knows today. Eggman didn't have much of a personality in the classic Sega Genesis games other than a crazy intelligent scientist wanting to conquer the world. By Sonic Adventure, he's a Large Ham with a hidden darker side to him, such as attempting to blow up Station Square with a missile and threatening Tails to make mincemeat out of him. Sonic Adventure 2 tones down Eggman's Large Ham and makes him a very threatening villain who has no qualms with killing Sonic or Amy and also has no problems with destroying countless cities if his demands aren't met. Eggman's laughable and childish traits returned in future games while still harboring the cold and menacing nature previously. Making Eggman both a laughable and a dangerous villain.
Xiba from Soulcalibur V's love of steam buns is noted a couple times in the game, usually before a match/after winning. In most fanfictions and other fan works, however, his love for food overshadows all other parts of his personality, to the point where that is the only thing he ever talks about when he has dialogue.
Welch Vineyard of the Star Ocean series. She originally appeared in Star Ocean 3 as the energetic and somewhat tsundere item creation clerk. She was popular, so she returned as a hidden recruitable character in the remakes of Star Ocean and Star Ocean 2, as well as returning to a role similar to her Star Ocean 3 role in Star Ocean 4. (albeit looking a little different in the latter) Her later appearances saw her randomness, tsundere-ness, and energy level turned way up, making her a little obnoxious at times.
At some point, the internal struggle with the Satsui no Hadou dominated Ryu's when it was retconned into his backstory as the reason he beat Sagat and scarred his chest whereas it was not mentioned once in Street Fighter II (Albeit because said story hadn't been written yet.) Street Fighter Alpha is a prequel to II and introduced said plot point as well as integrating Ryu's story into Akuma's. Street Fighter III has no mention of it but by Street Fighter IV, the Satsui no Hadou has become the most important aspect of Ryu's plot despite him overcoming it to the point where Gouken's ending in the original IV is about Ryu being corrupted briefly as well.
Peach is largely known nowadays for her over-the-top stereotypical female personality and ditziness, but she wasn't always like that. The series started off with her having the power to undo Bowser's evil spell, which is why Bowser kidnaps her (at least, according tothe first game's instruction manual). Still, in Super Mario 64, she was portrayed as a dignified, intelligent-sounding monarch. Come Super Mario Sunshine, her ditziness took over full force, leading to the Peach we know today. Some games, however, like Super Paper Mario, avert this completely.
Bowser has gone under some notable de-Flanderization over the years. He started off as being someone who wanted to take over the Mushroom Kingdom, with no proper explanation given ad to why. Starting with the RPGs, however, he was shown to be a lot softer than he appears, shown to be depressed over the loss of his minions in one instance, and being horrified by the destruction of a world in another, as well as having genuine feelings for Peach. Overall, Bowser's character can be described as being a mostly selfish king who wants to rule the world, but at the same time cares deeply for his minions and his son and genuinely loves Peach.
The most notable example of Flanderization regarding him can be found in the Mario & Luigi series. In the first game, he had very bad luck, and wasn't as brave as Mario, but he was still capable enough in his own right. In later games (particularly Partners in Time), he's a complete wuss who can't seem to do anything without screwing up and getting hurt.
Luigi's cowardice could be a case of Canon Immigration, as even back in the western cartoons Luigi was shown as easily rattled and averse to conflict, whereas Mario never backed down from a challenge. One could consider this a cross-continuity case of Flanderization. In the cartoons, Luigi was generally more emotional than Mario in all aspects; cowardice, depression, anger, impulse, hamminess... The games decided to just latch onto cowardice and run with it from there.
This has also happened to Princess Daisy. After her much-needed Divergent Character Evolution away from Peach, Daisy became more of a tomboy with a spunky and energetic side, but was still generally soft-spoken and rather calm. As the games went on however, Daisy became more hyperactive, louder and more shrill with each new appearance. Needless to say, this hasn't workedout too well.
Another character who got flanderized is Toadsworth. In his debut game, Super Mario Sunshine, he was understandably worried about Peach, but remained somewhat level-headed about it. By Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time kicked in, he became overly paranoid, to the point of assuming his past selftransformed Peach into an infant and kidnapped her the second he saw him with Baby Peach. However, in this case it turned out for the better, since he didn't have that much of a personality in Sunshine.
Even Rosalina has been flanderized. In her debut in Super Mario Galaxy, she was shown to be capable of happiness, but was for the most part shy and stoic, especially when taking her tragic backstory into account. However, as she started to appear in more and more games, Rosalina became more and more cheerful, becoming a borderline Genki Girl in later titles.
The entire Paper Mario series went through this. In the original game (known as Mario Story in Japan), the fact that the characters are made of paper doesn't really come up, with the cardboard box-esque scenery and the occasional sight gag such as characters falling over flat or drifting slowly to the ground being about the extent of it. In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Paper Mario gains the ability to fold himself into paper tubes, airplanes, and boats. By the time of Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the entire world looks like one giant shoebox diorama, and the characters constantly crack jokes about and otherwise reference being two-dimensional paper cutouts.
Luigi is one of the most notable examples- In his home series, whilst cowardice is his main trait, he's still a badass who is more than capable of beating evil and getting serious when he needs to. In Brawl, though, he's a complete wuss, with most of his moveset having him look tired, confused or afraid, and the story mode had him jumping terrified at the sight of Waddle Dees, almost completely harmless (Without weapons, that is) adorable puffballs. Even stranger is that the fourth game updates his appearance to be more cheerful like his canon self, but still retains his wimpy-sounding voice from Brawl!
Wario suffers heavily from this as well- Outside of Smash, Wario is a greedy, rotten Jerk Ass who mostly only cares about himself, but is still a complete badass who is still an Anti-Hero at worst in most appearances. In the Smash Bros. games, however, he's a 'living embodiment of gross' whose moveset consists of farting, biting, and doing other stupid things to opponents (With the fourth game notably removing his iconic Shoulder Bash, his only attack he had from Wario Land), and Brawl's story mode portrays him as a downright evil asshole who is fine with killing children and laughing his ass off about it afterwards. It would actually seem the developers are trying to hide the Wario Land appearances of him from players, removing a costume based on his white and blue Wario Land outfit and his Shoulder Bash, as well as lacking any Trophies of characters from the series.
Lucas has devolved to a whiny ball of angst and cowardice in Brawl's story mode, which, while they are applicable aspects of his original personality, he's MUCH more complex a character than what's seen in Brawl.
As a rare fighting style example, Marth started in Melee as a fast swordsman with his attacks being slightly stronger at the tip of his sword. Come Smash 4, and the tipper has become his most important asset by far, as his quick attack speed and especially his long range were toned down.
Veigue from Tales of Rebirth gets this treatment whenever he appears in one of the Tales comedy CDs. In the game, he has a habit of saying or yelling his girlfriend's name a lot, and occasionally gives melodramatic equality speeches, but they're hardly his only character traits. In the CDs he becomes "That guy who yells his girlfriend's name and gives melodramatic equality speeches".
The mercs in Team Fortress 2 are usually less sociopathic in the comics than in the game (the Demoman, for instance, goes from being an angry drunk to a family man who works several jobs so his mother can live in a mansion), but the Soldier is flanderized to the extreme: He's a crazed patriot in-game, but in the comics he's an insane, America-obsessed serial killer who sees visions of George Washington and will kill anybody who calls him a civilian. In the animated short "Expiration Date", he's a complete lunatic who repeatedly hinders his team and sits around teleporting bread for three days.
Soldier: I have done nothing but teleport bread for the past three days.
Apparently explained that the drinking water for Teufort is full of leaked industrial chemicals which made the townsfolk just as stupid. Miss Pauling gave the rest of the mercenaries bottled water, the soldier was unaware.
Paul Phoenix has gradually become more of a joke character as the series has progressed. He remains one of the toughest characters in the game, however. Kuma began in Tekken 1 as a fearsome and realistic bear character but began to become a joke in Tekken 2. His identically named son who appears from Tekken 3 onwards is a complete joke character due to the introduction of Panda.
Likewise, Marshall Law too. His story was fairly realistic in the earlier game, trying to expand his business into dojo, having it trashed by Baek and learning to let go of revenge. Then Tekken 4 happens and he fell into poverty and trying his best to win the tournament to ensure his family is well-fed. That was the point that Law takes a downward spiral into a Joke Character like his buddy Paul as 'being in Perpetual Poverty' becomes his secondary gimmick aside of being a Bruce Lee Clone, and he also proves himself to be Not So Different with Paul in terms of wackiness, especially when you compare his ending in Tekken 2 where Law made it clear that he's much less cocky and dignified than Paul (succeeding in flip kick when Paul fell flat to his face).
Yoshimitsu is another good example: He started out as simply a man, in a suit of armour, armed with a katana. Now he is armed with twin lightsabers, a spinning hand that lets him hover like a helicopter, insect wings that he keeps stored in his back, an active camouflage system and all manner of various unnecessary and probably quite inconvenient additions to his costume (which incidentally has now morphed into fully fledged power armour) such as a beetle horn on his head on 4, strange hanging-rope things in 5 and 6 and an absolutely huge entirely useless metal halo welded onto his back in Tekken Tag 2. Oh and if we take his endings as canon, he apparently can now also cast magical spells such as the ability to cast an after-image.
Lara Croft started as a modest, down to earth woman in Tomb Raider. In Tomb Raider 2 she became more witty and slightly more threatening and bloodthirsty. Later on she was heavily Flanderized into a Hollywood-style tough girl for Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, and by Angel of Darkness this had become exaggerated to Jerkass levels.
When Crystal Dynamics reboots the series with Tomb Raider: Legend, Lara's personality becomes far more emotional and sensitive. At first, this was something of an improvement. In Tomb Raider: Anniversary, the second Crystal Dynamics game, Lara takes just one human life and turns into Lady Macbeth, wangsting a lot of the time.
TouhouFan Fiction does this a lot with the many many characters who, in the games, have only slight hints at personality traits to begin with. Which makes Touhou a unique case where Flanderization, Character Development and Character Establishment are very often one and the same. In fact, many popular characters have personalities that developed before Word of God announced them in official side works, thus often clashing with the official version, which in turn makes for interesting stories when the different sides try to take control of the plot.
One of the best examples is Koakuma, who officially is a mischievous little demon who does errands because she has to and loves to play pranks, while the most famous fan variant is a faithful librarian servant who may even have a crush on her summoner Patchouli.
Reimu is officially a little lazy but still a dutiful Miko who uses her insane luck and instinct to solve problems. Fan works often paint her as a Jerkass Sue who would do anything for money because she is just that poor. The other variant is upping her innate sweetness Up to Eleven.
Marisa is a complex character, best friend and strongest rival to Reimu, hard working, level-headed, but a little on the greedy side, especially when it comes to power and loves flirting and bantering. She has enough reasons for all of those too. Her most common fan version is outright kleptomanic, destructive and has a massive lesbian harem.
Alice is a gifted doll-maker, solitairy, polite, but also cold and neutral towards others. In fan works, she is either a hardcore Tsundere mostly towards Marisa, or an even more hardcore yandere, usually towards Marisa. Both sort of works tend to make her a pathetic, unlucky idiot ignored by Marisa for Reimu, as well.
Remilia and– yes– Flandre are intelligent, young (by vampire standards) ladies, if a little childish. Remilia is usually portrayed as extremely childish, arrogant and demanding, while Flandre is either sweet or a Creepy Child with massive streaks of Person of Mass Destruction. Sakuya is a mysterious maid, Lady of War style and keeps her cool in any situation, but often portrayed as obsessed with her mistress and with hidden streaks of blood-thirsty killer. Meiling is a strong and dutiful gate guardian (who takes a brief afternoon nap daily), yet in fan works is always sleeping on the job. Remilia and Flandre are often turned into evil overlords (especially Flandre), Sakuya either becomes solely obsessed with breast size or a serial killer (her cards have a serial killer theme, with one named after Jack the Ripper, and she suggests Chen be put down), and Meiling is a Butt-Monkey.
Yuyuko is the Ojou, knowing and well-reserved, acting dumber than she really is, but since Imperishable Night all she ever does is trying to eat, eat and eat, while Youmu, dutiful if a little clueless samurai gardener bodyguard that she is, is either outright at a loss at what to do or so competent she's been offered job contracts by all other factions already.
Byakuren is The Mentor, All-Loving Hero and one of the nicest characters in a series of usually nice if overly bored strong people. In fan works her messianic nature is exaggerated to Incorruptible Pure Pureness or to The Ditz because she spend so long alone. Shou is always losing stuff, while Nazrin is always busy FINDING said stuff.
Cirno actually is the most powerful fairy by Word of God, but despite all fairies being The Ditz by default, she suffers the treatment of beating Ralph Wiggum in most works. Some fan works have rectified this by making her an Idiot Hero but very likable and compassionate, which is ALSO different from her initial canon appearance, where she is a Creepy Child at best and outright malicious at worst.
It's the same for Utsuho, except how she is a Genius Ditz because she knows absolutely everything about nuclear fusion and assorted technology.
Aya is a slightly over-active photographer and tabloit writer, always busy with making stuff (up). In fan works, she is a creepy pervert who takes delight in takes pictures of others in embarrassing poses or simply Panty Shots.
Yuuka is a strange case, because she is often portrayed as a violent maniac who takes delight in torture and violence, but also has a tender side to those she likes. In canon, her violent side was only seen in the PC-98 era, whose canonicity is disputed; in the Windows era, she's only violent towards people who disturb her flowers, being more interested in creeping them out instead of beating them, and mostly got into fights because the heroines keep accusing her of being in the way/causing an incident.
Yukari is a schemer and controls Gensokyo, but is often asleep and is very weird, even by youkai standards, and loves trolling the hell out of Reimu and whoever crosses her path for giggles, while removing threats to whatever upsets the balance in Gensokyo. It's canon, but fanon either turns her into Deadpool or an Evil Overlord.
While Malfurion Stormrage was always one to put aside differences to face a common threat, Cataclysm has made this his sole character trait. He's so focused on stopping Ragnaros that he blatantly ignores the Horde's attacks on Night Elf settlements, infamously going so far as to defend them in the Leyara questline. This would be somewhat justifiable if he were a strictly neutral character, but he's supposed to be the leader of the Night Elves.
Speaking of Garrosh, the playerbase's complete and utter hatred of the guy has lead to Blizzard Flanderizing him from a young hothead who's slowly coming to understand responsibility, to a brutal Evil Overlord who thinks anything less than his own Kor'kron soldiers are worthless and was messing around with powers far beyond the scope of what any mortal should handle.
Jaina Proudmoore is an interesting case of Flanderization from her original personality into a disputable moment of Character Development / Character Derailment which quickly Flanderized her new personality. In Warcraft III, she was a level-headed, though inexperienced leader who sought peace, but wasn't against fighting if she had too, and at least had semblance of a backbone. In Wrath of the Lich King, she became a full-on pacifist who all but bursts into tears the moment any fighting starts. Then in Mist of Pandaria, Garrosh bombs Theramore, utterly destroying it, and sends Jaina over the edge. She goes from a pacifist to one of the Alliance's biggest proponents for the elimination of the Horde, threatening to destroy all of Orgrimmar with her magic and ordering a cull of the Sunreaver Blood Elves from Dalaran when she discovers some of them were aiding Garrosh in his plans.
A great deal of the orcs get hit with this during Mists of Pandaria, and this continues with Warlords of Draenor, with the main enemy faction being composed of orcs.
Khadgar gets hit with this during the Broken Shore in Legion. He had the occasional witty remark since he took a main part in the story starting in WOD. But during the Broken Shore he has NOTHING but witty remarks.
In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, the portrayal of Iron Man is a flat-out Flanderization of one of the most notable traits of his movie counterpart, the snark. Even though in the movies and comics Tony Stark tends to be sarcastic, in this game he takes nothing serious, and constantly makes fun of the current situation and even of other characters who are supposed to be his friends, like Captain America, Thor or Hawkeye.
Super Macho Man in Punch-Out!! is notable from being a regular superstar in the NES and SNES games to a superstar who hates and fears over lost of his own fame in the Wii version.
The Boss (player character) in the Saints Row series gone through several shades of this in every game. In the first game, they were nothing more than the Heroic Mime that eventually spoke a few witty lines at the end. In the second game, the Boss becomes more bloodthirsty, is full of snark, and aims to reclaim the lost glory they had from the previous game. By the third game, the Boss' popularity becomes exaggerated and they're annoyed that their achievements mean nothing in the new town. By the fourth game, the Boss' ego inflates massively and they're a Jerk Ass to their friends, though one of said friends eventually calls them out on it and the Boss actually apologizes for being so selfish. While being buck naked. Which leads to the series second point of Flanderization.
The entire series is hit with this in regard to it's humor and wackiness. The first game is rather humorous, but is still a game about street gangs. 2 was distinctly wacky but still had a reasonably well written plot providing some nice dramatic-comedic contrasts and what was going on basically made sense in context (yes, even the "Septic Avenger" ActivityWhy? The whole point is to devalue property but instead of destroying it you cover it with raw shit water). The Third lost this context, contrast and all pacing in favour of more complete nonsense. Saints Row 4 regains a paced plot and basic explanation for what's going on, though this is subject to some debate.
Perhaps the most obvious way one could see this was how Kirby used to have different facets of expressiveness in the official art, instead of being locked to only three expressions of indifference, anger, and happiness in all of recent artwork. It doesn't help how HAL had long gone ditching the charmingly drawn copy ability/status icons back in Adventure or Super Star.
Furthermore, with the recent Kirby-games like Rainbow Curse or Return To Dreamland, the above things has made Kirby become synonymous with Chronic Hero Syndrome, doing things in cute, yet quite mundane fashion overall. While there's been recent attempts to portray him in comical light, these weren't a funny anymore due clashing with his emphasized immense cuteness that usually result it looking like abuse akin to an innocent puppy - especially enforced by his lack of pro-activity and use of varying facial expressions. For example, compare Kirby's character in the cutscenes in Adventure as opposed to Nightmare In Dreamland.
Many Undertale fan works do this to several characters:
Toriel does act quite motherly in-game, but is shown to have a clear mischievous streak and is implied to be rather foul-mouthed in less formal situations (one "hell" in dialogue which she immediately corrects to "heck" since there's a child present, Word of God has it that "it's entirely possible she's said the f-word before" and the official Tumblr even stated that at one point, she got drunk and "threw little pizzas as Sans"). A lot of fan works decide to ditch the less desirable aspects of her personality and turn her into a straight example of Team Mom, if not My Beloved Smother, and often a MILF as well.
Sans is usually either a pun-slinging troll of legendary proportions or angsty and brooding with no middle ground, and either way his trademark laziness is rarely brought up. He does show both sides in-game, but is usually somewhere in-between, although it varies depending on the mood of the scene. Even during his boss battle where his Hidden Depths are revealed, and even when he's beaten and dying, his dialogue is casual and joke-y. On a lesser note, the glowing left eye from his boss battle is omnipresent in fanart, but in-game it only appears when he uses magic.
Papyrus is annoyed by bad puns, but in the fandom, this is exaggerated to Berserk Button levels of frothing (and occasionally violent) hatred.