->''"If adventure gaming were a medical condition, the first symptom would be amnesia and the second would be {{kleptomania|cHero}}."''
-->-- '''[[Creator/BenCroshaw Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw]]'''

Wherein the hero has amnesia. He can't remember a thing, except oddly his own name. Sometimes, although rarely, the hero [[NameAmnesia cannot remember his name]]. Then someone has to say "Well, we have to call you something!" and they have to [[HelloInsertNameHere make up a name for themselves]]. (Unless the hero is established to us beforehand - in which case he will often unsuspectingly choose his old name, perhaps to avoid confusing the viewers.) Usually, the Amnesiac Hero:

* Has amazing fighting skills, but no idea ''how'' he got them. This makes his origin even more mysterious.
* Is found by a handsome/beautiful soon-to-be {{sidekick}}, who helps them on their journey to remembering who they are.
* Has a [[DarkAndTroubledPast dark and depressing past]] that they probably don't want to remember anyway.

Amnesiac Heroes are common in {{RPG}}s and horror games, and are always the heroes in {{Ontological Myster|y}}ies and QuestForIdentity. Even if those plots aren't being used, it's a easy way to get the player up to speed, as they're just being introduced to the setting, while the character lives there and [[AsYouKnow should otherwise know about it already]].

An interesting thing to note is that, although there are two main types of amnesia, the character usually suffers from ''retrograde'' amnesia- the inability to remember things before a brain trauma. Rarely will they suffer from ''anterograde'' amnesia, the inability to form new memories ''after'' a brain trauma, since this would be harder to work into an adventure story- imagine the hero having to be brought up to speed on the plot every day they wake up.

Compare YouWakeUpInARoom, SelectiveMemory, and FakeMemories. Contrast AmnesiacVillainJoinsTheHeroes, where the villain becomes good due to amnesia. GameplayGuidedAmnesia can be a temporary version of this. See also EasyAmnesia, LaserGuidedAmnesia, and IdentityAmnesia. ProtagonistWithoutAPast is where this isn't even addressed.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Touma of ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' becomes this at the end of the first story arc when a magical spell destroys his long-term memories. He largely dismisses this as irrelevant and has managed to bluff his way through discussions with associates, friends, and even his family thanks primarily due to maintaining the same personality and personal beliefs.
* Kaiman trying to recover his memory is the driving force behind the first stetch of ''Manga/{{Dorohedoro}}''.
* ''Anime/EdenOfTheEast'''s male lead suddenly finds himself standing outside the White House with a cell phone, a gun, and [[NakedOnArrival absolutely nothing else]]. The cell phone can only call someone named Juiz, who informs him that he erased his own memories before helping him get back to his apartment. There he finds a ton of guns and passports, all with his picture; he quickly decides to leave the country, destroys all the passports but one, and adopts its name, Akira Takizawa, for himself.
* ''Manga/{{Golgo 13}}''. In the anime series, Duke Togo has a loss of memory after a bomb explosion, and is aided by the requisite beautiful female bystander. Being TheDeterminator, even without knowing he's a ProfessionalKiller at first, Togo gathers enough information and fragments of memory to make it to the kill zone he's selected, but the question remains: who was he meant to kill among the people assembled in the kill zone? [[spoiler:Togo fires his gun in the air, and the hail of bullets from the bodyguards somehow restore his memories. Then he's faced with killing the woman who helped him, as he must LeaveNoWitnesses. A stray bullet however takes care of that problem.]]
* Jeudi from ''Manga/HonooNoAlpenRose''. The plot starts when she and her boyufriend Lundi decide to start searching for her true family.
%%* Asuna Kagurazaka from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''.
%%* Kirika Yuumura from ''Anime/{{Noir}}''.
* [[LittleMissBadass Alice]] from ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' fits this to a "T". She's the most powerful [[OurMonstersAreDifferent chain]] in the [[EldritchLocation Abyss]] who knows only her name, and she inevitably goes on a quest to find her lost memories ([[spoiler:though she soon discovers that [[RepressedMemories she may have forgotten them]] for a [[DarkAndTroubledPast good reason]]. Then she discovers that the painful memories she found were actually those of her twin sister's, and that she once tried to destroy them. Too bad her attempts caused ''her'' to forget, too]]).
** [[spoiler:Oz is this, too. He seems to have forgotten his time as B-Rabbit until Jack showed him the truth.]]
%%* Elie from ''Manga/RaveMaster''.
* ''Manga/SixHalf'' has Kikukawa Shiori, whose amnesia is what begins the entire plot.
* Haise Sasaki in the sequel to ''Manga/TokyoGhoul''. He admits that he isn't really interested in searching for his past, fearful of what may become of him should he remember his DarkAndTroubledPast. [[spoiler: That's because he's Ken Kaneki, having lost his memories after being [[CurbStompBattle brutally]] [[EyeScream defeated]] by Arima and captured by CCG]].
* Mikage from the manga ''Torikago Gakyuu'' is this as well, although he doesn't even remember his name. [[spoiler:He's given only the surname "Mikage" by a teacher who promptly reveals to him that he is from a parallel world.]]
* Touta, the protagonist of ''Manga/UQHolder'' was in a "car accident" two years before the start of the story, and as a result has no memories from before he was 12. [[spoiler: He's actually only 4 years old. The reason why he doesn't have many memories of himself being younger is because he's a clone]].
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Yami Yugi / Pharaoh Atem has no memories of his past or his former identity when his spirit emerges from the Millennium Puzzle, and his quest to piece together the information about who he is and what he did in the past is a main plot point of the show. Even when he figures out he was an Egyptian Pharaoh at the beginning of season 2, he finds that most historical records of him and his name have been lost, leaving him in the dark about the circumstances surrounding his reign and death. In season 4, the villains exploit this vulnerability by screwing with his head and trying to convince him he was [[BlatantLies a brutal tyrant who was overthrown and imprisoned to save people from him]], at one point almost driving him to suicide. It doesn't help that it's implied that his amnesia was part of the reason he was a KnightTemplar bordering on AxeCrazy during his earliest appearances, since the only things he knew were how to play games, and that he needed to protect Yugi.
** ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL'', Astral arrives on Earth with almost no memories of who he is or where he came from, knowing only that he must aid Yuma in collecting the Numbers. As he gains them, bits and pieces of his memory start to return. (It is eventually implied that the Numbers actually pieces of his memory, which was [[DismantledMacGuffin broken into a hundred pieces and scattered]] when he arrived.
* Youtarou from ''Anime/KurageNoShokudo'' acts like this when he actually remembers everything that happened to him.
* ''LightNovel/DateALive'': Long-lost siblings Shido Itsuka and Mana Takamiya have no memories of each other since they were children. In the time they were apart, Shido was adopted by the Itsukas and lived a fairly normal life while Mana became a ChildSoldier to hunt down [[MagicalGirlWarrior Spirits]]. [[spoiler:It is likely the mysterious Phantom was responsible for their separation.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* [[DontFearTheReaper Bernie]] from ''ComicBook/DeathVigil'' is thousands of years old, and due to TheFogOfAges, she doesn't remember life before the Vigil. In issue seven, when [[TheHeavy Maria]] interrogates her about the origin and purpose of her scythe, and then what her original name is, all she can do is glance away.
* Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} cannot remember anything other than her name, her cousin's and her parents' at the beginning of ''Comicbook/TheSupergirlFromKrypton''. She ''believes'' she remembers how she came to Earth, but it is a false memory. Later it was revealed that Kryptonite poisoning was the root of her amnesia and distorted memories.
* This was ComicBook/{{Wolverine}}'s shtick for many years: he couldn't remember his MysteriousPast, yet kept running into people that were from it. ''ComicBook/HouseOfM'' cleared this and had him remember everything, which led to the discovery of his son ComicBook/{{Daken}}.
* ComicBook/LadyMechanika cannot remember anything of the captivity that transformed her into a cyborg, or of her life before that time.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fan novel ''[[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/20514/the-stranger-and-her-friend The Stranger And Her Friend]]'', Celestia has no memory of who she is, what she is, or where she came from. [[spoiler: It's also later revealed that she has incredible swordfighting skills, but no memory of where they came from. Guided by the unnoticed inner voice of Daylight.]]
* Sky, of the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fan novel ''Fanfic/{{Fragments}}'', awakens in a forest, injured and not even knowing his own name.
* The ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' fanfic ''Fanfic/DownToAgincourt'' has a very mild case, in that Dean remembers everything ''except'' how he got to where he is and what he was doing when the transition happened.
* OC Rooster Ringabelle in the LightNovel/DanMachi fan fic ''FanFic/ChildrenOfHades'' is an extreme case, being born without knowing how to speak, read, write, or even clothe herself, essentially making her a baby in the body of a well-endowed teenager at first.
* This Trope pretty much describes "Ben", the protagonist of ''FanFic/ShadowchasersTorment''. He [[YouWakeUpInARoom wakes up in a morgue]], and has no idea where he is, but his memories return to him in bits and pieces as the plot progresses. (As a WalkingSpoiler, he's difficult to describe.)
* Bucky Barnes begins ''Fanfic/InfiniteCoffeeAndProtectionDetail'' in this state, because HYDRA had been regularly erasing his memories for the past seventy years.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}'': The heroine Anastasia /Anya completely forgets the fact she's a princess after being knocked out during her family's escape during childhood.
* The ''Franchise/Barbie'' film series has this:
** Ro/Rosella was the princess of Paladia, but during a shipwreck, she gets washed ashore to an island at only six years old. She loses her memory because of this.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/TheBourneIdentity'', the titular Jason Bourne wakes up on a fishing boat with no idea who he is. The only clues are two fresh bullet wounds, and a small laser implanted under his skin with his bank account information.
* In ''Film/DarkCity'', John Murdoch wakes up in a hotel bathtub, not knowing how he got there, what his name is, or why there is a mutilated hooker on the floor. He only finds out his own name when he tracks down his wallet at a nearby automat. [[spoiler: The reason that John has no memory is because his and everyone's memories have been manufactured by the cabal that runs the city.]]
* In ''Film/TheGroundstarConspiracy'' a desperately wounded man staggers away from a sabotaged lab in which several other people are found, so incinerated that they will never be identified. Is he the saboteur or an innocent victim? When they repair his wounds and reconstruct his face (based on the ID badge he was wearing, which may not have been his) - he claims to have amnesia and escapes to avoid being locked away for life. Eventually we find [[spoiler: he is not the saboteur, who died on the operating table, but bait put out there to capture the rest of the spies. His permanent amnesia was induced.]]
* In ''Film/RandomHarvest'', John Smith (real name Charles Rainier) doesn't even remember his name.
* In ''Film/RoboCop1987'', Murphy forgets everything about his past life after his death and resurrection as the titular cyborg crime-fighting superhero.
* In the Russian UsefulNotes/WW2 film ''Film/WhiteTiger'', Naydenov remembers nothing from before his recovery in hospital ... except how to drive a tank.

* Oberon Navarro was this in Adam R. Brown's science fiction series, ''Literature/{{Alterien}}''. He was discovered by a group of US Marines who later called him John Lost, a name that stuck with him until he reunited with his older sister.
* Caspian of Adam R. Brown's ''Literature/AstralDawn'' series had all his memories from his current lifetime, but had no memories of his previous lifetimes. Caspian would only regain pieces of his past life memories during a mission to save his previous selves from the Defilers. He also doesn't remember something very important regarding an ancient and powerful being known as Maganu.
* Jason [[spoiler:and Percy]] in the ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' SequelSeries ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus''.
* Rachel is this in the first Megamorphs book of ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''.
* Carlos Delacruz, the star of ''Literature/BoneStreetRumba'' has only three years of memories, starting when he was brought back from the dead. His entire life before being killed is lost to him.
* Gentle in Creator/CliveBarker's ''Literature/{{Imajica}}'', albeit intentionally self-inflicted. Lampshaded by a character who knew him pre-amnesia: "I was told you'd changed, but not how much."
* Creator/AndreiBelyanin's ''Literature/JackTheMadKing'' trilogy has this as the plot of the first novel. In fact, while Jack eventually discovers his identity as the true king of the land, he doesn't recover his memories and chooses to go on adventures instead of deposing his brother, who has taken the throne after believing that Jack is dead (the brother's wife was the one who tried to kill Jack). The lack of memories is barely mentioned in the subsequent novels, as Jack has accepted his new identity.
* Creator/RogerZelazny's ''[[Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber 9 Princes in Amber]]'' starts with the protagonist, Corwin, waking in a hospital without remembering anything. This allows to gradually introduce readers to the setting. By the middle of the novel he recovers most of his memory, except for a few weeks right before the start. Those lost weeks become a significant plot point in later novels.
* Warren Peace in satiric SF novel ''Who Goes There?'' by Creator/BobShaw[[note]]no relation to [[Literature/WhoGoesThere Campbell's novella]][[/note]] wakes up in an infirmary and finds that he has just joined the Space Legion and as any other recruit had [[LaserGuidedAmnesia all his troubling memories erased]]. Most people forget only a single misdeed and a few related episodes of their life, but Warren has forgotten everything, from childhood to his decision to join the Legion. [[LineOfSightName Even his name is fake]]. Everybody assumes he lived a life of crime and every moment of it should either be atoned for or erased. [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble Later]] he finds he wasn't a criminal, but [[spoiler:a career military officer, and]] he ''[[TheAtoner really]]'' wanted to forget how many kinds of wrong his life turned out to be.
* Shonsu/Wally Smith in ''Literature/TheSeventhSword'' by Creator/DaveDuncan is deliberately created that way by gods. He has body, reflexes and professional skills of the best swordsman of that world, but also personality and memories of a chemical engineer from Earth. Gods expect this hybrid to succeed where Shonsu the warrior failed, and deemed warrior's personal memories hampering. This creates tensions when he meets people who used to know the old Shonsu and makes him make dangerous mistakes like [[spoiler:swimming in piranha-infested place]]. JustAsPlanned.
* Tzigone from ''Literature/CounselorsAndKings''. Oh, she remembers the most recent few years of her life fine, but her childhood is a complete blank (and "Tzigone" isn't even her real name) - all she knows for sure is that her mother was a wizard, she was on the run from something, and was eventually captured/killed by her enemies. Tzigone's main goal throughout the trilogy is to unravel her mother's past, and by extension, her own. [[spoiler: Tzigone's real name is Ria, her mother was Keturah, who went on the run because she was framed for a murder by a conspiracy who wanted to capture her and make use of her rare magical abilities - which Tzigone also possesses - and Tzigone is actually the illegitimate daughter of Keturah and Halruaa's king, Zalathorm. Oh, and it turns out that Keturah's still alive, but lost ''her'' memories too]]. Working all this out takes the better part of three books.
* ''Literature/ClocksThatDontTick'' has Gary and Martha, immortal slaves to the oligarchs known as the Bosses. The source of their forgetfulness is that they have literally lived too long for all their memories to fit in their heads. Among other things, theyíve forgotten their last names and [[spoiler: the faces of their former lovers.]]
* In Mariel of Redwall, after being thrown into the ocean, drifting for days, arriving on a beach. Along with repressed memories of torture (And possibly even rape) Mariel wakes up with complete amnesia.
* In ''Literature/TheMazeRunner'', every Glader comes up in the Box with their memories completely wiped by WICKED, save for their name. While they are able to get some of their memories of the outside world back during the Changing after being stung by a Griever, those who go through it forget almost everything soon after, and itís implied that thatís [[CrapsackWorld for the best]]. [[spoiler:In ''The Death Cure'', the remaining Gladers are given the choice to have their memories returned; however, Thomas, Minho, and Newt refuse]].
* ''Literature/{{Archvillain}}'': superhero Mighty Mike, who has no idea who, or even ''what'', he really is.
* Literature/AlbertCampion in ''Traitor's Purse'' wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of who he is or how he got there, apparently under suspicion of murdering a police officer and with no recollection of anything except that he has to stop some terrible unknown catastrophe somehow related to the number 15.
* Dire, in ''Literature/TheDireSaga'', seems to have wiped her own memory prior to the beginning of the first book. It's heavily hinted that she used to be a villain, but she operates with a degree of pragmatic heroism in her current life.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Fallocaust}} The Ghost and the Darkness]]'', Jade loses his memory after a head injury causes his brain implant to misfire.
* Tiza, from ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'', has no knowledge of her past or her name. She just started picking pockets to feed herself. At the start of the story, she joins the same mercenary team as [[TheProtagonist Eric Watley]] where her unusual [[AuraVision Third Eye skill]] comes in handy.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The British anthology series ''Series/BlackMirror'' features [[Recap/BlackMirrorWhiteBear a story]] about a young woman who wakes up with amnesia, only to find that she is basically alone and virtually every other human being is either a psychopathic "hunter" that seems to be relentlessly hunting her or an inert "watcher", who is almost entirely passive and observers her silently from behind a smartphone camera. In the end, [[spoiler: she discovers that she's a convicted kidnapper/murderer imprisoned in a gruesome prison-slash-theme park; the "hunters" are facility staff, who wipe her memory every time the "show" ends, and the "watchers" are park/prison visitors who have signed up as an "audience".]]
* ''Series/DarkMatter'': This is the premise of the show. Six people wake up in a derelict starship but donít know their own identities or how they got there, while retaining all their distinctive skills.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Eighth Doctor's [[Recap/DoctorWhoTVMTheTVMovie delayed regeneration]] leads to an especially bad case of ResurrectionSickness -- WakingUpAtTheMorgue with no idea who he is. He gets over it, only for this trope to follow him like the ''plague'' in his many expanded universe adventures. Whether it's the audios, magazines or books, he loses chunks of his memory with worrying frequency.
** The Fifth Doctor also had a [[Recap/DoctorWhoS19E1Castrovalva major post-regenerative crisis]] where he wondered who "The Doctor" was.
** The Twelfth Doctor briefly has amnesia [[Recap/DoctorWho2013CSTheTimeOfTheDoctor after regenerating]], forgetting how to fly the TARDIS.
* This trope, along with his knowing everything, was the premise for ''Series/JohnDoe'' but it was downplayed in that it wasn't the character's pre-amnesia life that granted him ultimate knowledge but the process itself. This is explained by WordOfGod after it was clear that the show would not be renewed. One episode attempts this explanation by a villain, only for it to be revealed as a lie.
* Franchise/KamenRider so far had three heroes with Amnesia:
** Tsugami Shoichi, aka Series/KamenRiderAgito
** Kadoya Tsukasa, aka Series/KamenRiderDecade
** And Phillip, aka one half of Series/KamenRiderDouble
* DownplayedTrope in ''Series/MrRobot''. In the pilot episode, a hacker named Mr. Robot recruits Elliot into fsociety, an hacking group that seeks to bring down [[MegaCorp Evil Corp]] in the name of social justice. Through the group he meets Darlene, another hacker who seems unusually close to him. [[spoiler: Turns out that Mr. Robot is a hallucination and it was actually Elliot himself who founded fsociety along with Darlene, who is his sister. Elliot has forgotten all of this.]]
* Data becomes this in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Thine Own Self", where crashing on a planet during an away mission damages him and causes him to lose his memory. He is still able to save a town from dying of radiation poisoning.
* The final episode of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' Season 6 plays this trope straight: Sam has no memory of who he is, he meets a beautiful girl who helps him, he has innate fighting and burglary skills [[spoiler:but then it's revealed its all taking place inside his head, and the dark and mysterious past is his repressed memories of Hell. The beautiful girl turns out to be an InnocentBystander he killed while soulless.]]

[[folder:Roleplaying Games]]
* Rex and Dr. Cyborg, two player characters from Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'' Africa supplement features Katrina Sun, one of the heroes who has assembled in Africa to stop the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from meeting up at Egypt. She's an amnesiac, but incredibly powerful Ley Line Walker and is actually [[spoiler: the Egyptian goddess Isis, suffering from microbe-induced amnesia and a partial DePower as part of a plot by Set, the [[GodofEvil God of Darkness]].]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' offers the Amnesia disadvantage for player characters that want to follow this trope. The most severe version, Total Amnesia, only allows the player to choose any traits that can be seen in a mirror -- everything else is assigned by the GameMaster and kept secret until the character has an opportunity to discover it.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Steve, main protagonist of VideoGame/{{Harvester}} wakes up in his bedroom, not knowing who he is anymore, and nobody seems to take his amnesia claims seriously. Because you know, he always was a kidder.
* Slayn Wilder, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Growlanser}}: Dual Darkness'' begins the game with amnesia.
* In ''VideoGame/NekoKawaigari'', the player is a dog-man named Jack who, you guessed it, has amnesia. He's rescued by the head of a clinic for {{catgirl}}s. In order to repay her, he becomes an odd-job man at the clinic, helping with the patients.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Onmyoji}} Onmyōji]]'': There are about a ''ton'' of amnesiacs running around, but the special mention goes to the protagonist Seimei ó except he still manages to recall his name and his job, thanks to his being able to detect negative energy ó whose amnesia gets him into shitloads of trouble that must be solved by learning about his past from other people.
** Kagura also counts, but her case doesn't get as much focus, probably because she doesn't have the fear of AmnesiacDissonance like Seimei does.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeon'': In Rescue Team and Explorers, the player is a Pokemon that was once human and lost their memory [[spoiler: and in the first game it was more or less self-inflicted]]. However, unlike a normal AmnesiacHero who is an inherently good fighter, they do have to slowly learn fighting skills (Pokemon moves) the same way any other Pokemon does: by DungeonCrawling and LevelGrinding.
* This has almost become a RunningGag in ''VideoGame/RuneFactory'' games, with one character in ''VideoGame/RuneFactory3'' saying that "[[LampshadeHanging amnesiacs are a dime a dozen around these parts.]]" The only protagonists so far ''not'' to be amnesiacs are [[VideoGame/RuneFactoryOceans Aden and Sonja]], perhaps because SharingABody would be too awkward for two people who hadn't [[ChildhoodFriends known each other for quite some time]].
* The Nameless One from ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'', except he (obviously) doesn't remember his own name ([[spoiler:his name is the ''last'' thing he remembers]]). Oh, and the soon-to-be sidekick who finds him is a floating talking skull [[spoiler:who didn't so much 'find' him as was waiting for him to wake up again]]. However, whether he qualifies as a hero or not in this game depends on the player.
* Daniel from ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent'' with a twist; he induced it himself [[spoiler: so he wouldn't remember the horrible things he did.]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** Galuf from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' has amnesia as a result of improper meteorite crashing at the beginning of the game. All he has is his name and a compulsion to protect the crystals. [[spoiler:When he eventually regains it through being reminded of his granddaughter Krile and then her actually showing up, it turns out he basically knows everything about why everything is happening]]. He makes light of it (especially when trying to deflect blame for the steal-a-pirate-ship misadventure), but when he's on his own it troubles him.
** Terra from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''. As a result of being under the Slave Crown for a long time, she only knows her name, and even ''that'' is considered to be pretty lucky. (The BadDreams less so.) Much of the game's first half is figuring out just who and what she is, since her natural magic made her a valuable weapon of the Empire (and to LaResistance, but they ask first). [[spoiler:The remnants of her father restore her memories and explain how she came to be.]]
** Cloud from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' is a particularly odd variation, remembering much of his past but continually running into inconsistencies and forgetting various things, or remembering them in odd flashes. In particular, he remembers challenging Sephiroth in Nibelheim, but not what happened next - and finding out the truth is what he claims to be his reason for pursuing Sephiroth. It turns out that Cloud's muddled memories are [[UnreliableNarrator even more broken than we're initially led to believe]] - he's [[TheMentallyDisturbed eventually shown to be outright delusional]], and the implication is that the reason his memories are in such a state is more because he doesn't ''want'' to remember.
** Used, but not immediately apparent in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''. [[spoiler: Most of your party has forgotten events of 10 years ago because prolonged GF usage erases memories, so they meet as strangers despite everyone but Rinoa having been raised in the same orphanage.]]
** Tidus from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' ''pretends'' to be this, in order to hide the fact that he is actually a FishOutOfTemporalWater. [[spoiler: The actual truth is a tad more complicated, but that's beside the point]]
* The Warrior of Light in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' is an interesting case. He tells the heroes he has no memories of his past, not even his name, and hopes to someday remember. However, it's revealed [[spoiler:this is because he has almost no memories ''to'' remember -- unlike the other warriors he wasn't brought into the war from another world, he was created during their proceedings, and the memories they've lost at the end of each cycle, for him are the only memories he's ever had]]. That he's able to remember anything at all is proof of his CharacterDevelopment from a blank slate with no will over the course of the cycles.
* Raz from ''VideoGame/OverBlood''.
* The Fateless One from ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning''. Probably due to dying and coming back to life. Hell, the body s/he's in isn't even his/er original.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' has a complicated case involving a huge WalkingSpoiler. You don't actually ''know'' one of the heroes is amnesiac until you find out [[spoiler: the memories of the FeaturelessProtagonist are fake]], hiding the PlotTwist that [[spoiler:you are actually Darth Revan, the recently-defeated mega-villain everyone's been talking about, brainwashed and hidden in plain sight]].
* This is the premise of the action/adventure game ''VideoGame/{{Bioforge}}''.
* ''VideoGame/CaveStory'' begins with protagonist [[YouWakeUpInARoom waking up]] in a cave with no memories. It takes exposition from other characters to learn about his true identity.
* Zero at the beginning of the ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' series.
* Alice from RPG Maker game ''VideoGame/StandstillGirl'' starts out as this. She recovers her memories little by little as you progress through the game.
* Geralt in the first ''VideoGame/TheWitcher'' game is an interesting example. In-story, he remembers nothing about his past before being brought to Kaer'Morhen, thus freeing the devs from having to recap the five volumes-long ''[[Literature/BloodOfElves Blood of the Elves]]'' saga, to which the game is a ([[AlternateTimeline non-canon]]) sequel and which [[AdaptationDisplacement hasn't been translated to English until after the game came out]]. Players familiar with the books, however, are treated to a lot of {{Continuity Nod}}s, which are mostly lost on Geralt and newcomers to the setting.
* Sissel in ''VideoGame/GhostTrick''. Of course, all ghosts in the game suffer from amnesia until they remember who they are; it just takes Sissel much longer than everyone else. [[spoiler: It doesn't help that he's trying to recall the memories of the wrong person the entire game.]]
* The hero of ''VideoGame/ArxFatalis'' has no memory and is quickly given the name "Am Shaegar", which means "The Nameless One". He actually gets his memory back relatively early in the plot; the amnesia really seems to be there just to justify the hero having to learn the nature of the world.
* Fei from ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}''. He wakes up in a village with no memory of what he was before that, and all that he can conjure up from his past life is his martial art skills.
* Luke fon Fabre, main character of ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', had his whole memory wiped when he was kidnapped at the age of 10 and had to relearn things like walking, eating and not wetting himself. [[spoiler:He is actually a clone of the original and was created during that kidnapping. As such, his memory wasn't so much "wiped" as "non-existent" when he was sent home in place of his original.]]
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsUX'': According to Fei-Yen HD, she was in a dark area all alone until she heard a voice. Upon reaching it, she became "Miku". What triggered the transformation was the whole concert with Sheryl Nome, which made her excited when she heard the word "concert" & "song", but what reactivates her memory is an attack by the Vajra, which gave her the "shock treatment" necessary to bring her connection (while vague) with Miku. As a result, Grace O' Connor is targeting her as a potential nominee for her plans.
* ''VideoGame/{{Skullgirls}}'' has Filia, who has amnesia after having her head get attched by Samson.
* The hero of ''[[VideoGame/{{Geneforge}} Geneforge 5]]'' is a perfect ProtagonistWithoutAPast. Even his captor/savior isn't sure if he was a rebel or a badly wounded loyalist. This should allow him to side with anybody. At first he tries to search for people that might have known him, but eventually gives up. [[spoiler:In the end he never learns who he was.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'', Duster is this for a while after the timeskip. He forgets who he is and everything that happened before, including his own name (the rock band who "adopts" him names him Lucky). We never know exactly ''why'' he loses his memory--one can only guess he hit his head or something. The first part of Chapter 5 revolves around [[QuestForIdentity getting his memory back]], which is done by [[spoiler:retrieving the Egg of Light]].
* ''VideoGame/KnyttUnderground'' opens with a dialogue hanging a lampshade on this trope. Your protagonist then averts this and tells you the NPC is lying about the amnesia.
* The protagonist of ''{{VideoGame/Gingiva}}'', whose was decapitated and had her head replaced with a turnkey device, removing all of her memories of her life from before.
* The protagonist of ''VideoGame/DontLookBack2014''. Once her memories start coming back she's revealed to be [[spoiler: the DeadToBeginWith Euridice.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FragileHearts'', Midard is a more realistic example. Instead of losing his memory in an accident of some sort, heís simply been getting old-age dementia, which causes him to forget people and places, even leading to him getting lost inside a city (leaving it up to the player to guide him out) at one point.
* In ''VideoGame/IronGaia'', Armand Carter doesnít remember anything of his past at the beginning of the game, and recalls more of it as the plot progresses. Itís even lampshaded by the menu screen, which lists "Amnesiac" as his character class. [[spoiler: Eventually, it turns out he was one of the stationís six creators, and had his memory erased by GAIA in preparation to become one of its Celestials.]]
* Alice in ''VideoGame/StandstillGirl'', doesn't remember any of her past as it was taken away by the main Clock as the condition of living in the Land of Time. As she collects the Clock Hand Fragments, she receives the painful memories of her past. When all are assembled, [[spoiler: it turns out that she's had committed suicide due to hardship and was rescued by Tiska to live in the Land of Time. This caused a contradiction in the flow of time, thus shattering the clock hands in the first place.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SilenceOfTheSleep'', Jacob Reeves lost all of his memories after his suicide attempt, and so he doesn't even remember what caused him to jump. The reasons for this decision become clearer as you play more of the game, however.
* In ''VideoGame/{{QUBE}}'' players are told that they've lost their memory while on a save-the-world mission (which they need to get back to, please). Someone else then comes along to allege that, actually, they're a prisoner who had their memories deliberately erased so they could be fed lies.
* ''VideoGame/RingRunnerFlightOfTheSages'' starts with the protagonist waking up on a surgical table with no memory of who they are or how they got there. A nearby computer monitor provides an unhelpful explanation: "Patient [=X9564T=] lost significant brain tissue during operation. Severe brain damage and memory loss are expected. No refund; sequester subject's ship and tell them they took a taxi."
* ''VideoGame/BloodstainedRitualOfTheNight'', Miriam has a mild case of amnesia as a result of being stuck in a deep sleep for ten years.
* Alto, the hero of ''VideoGame/StellaGlow'', has been living in his home village with his adoptive mother and sister for three years while having no memory beyond the three years living there prior to the start of the game.
* Styx the goblin in ''VideoGame/StyxMasterOfShadows'' starts under player control with a severe headache and no memory of his own past, except a voice in his head that tells him to steal the heart of the world tree. [[spoiler: He has no memory of his own past because he doesn't even have a past to begin with. He is actually an ExpendableClone created by the original Styx to aid his own progress in stealing the world tree heart.]]
** [[spoiler: However in the finale this trope is played straight, with Styx destroying the world tree heart causes all amber-based creatures to lose all memories including both Styx and the clone. In the ending sequence we have clone Styx, having survived the fall into the amberlake, recalling his "birth" on a dried up lake bed (the former amberlake), and the fact that he could not remember anything except for a name: Styx. He then proceeded to think it should be his own name. ]]
* Robin from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' is discovered unconscious in a field by the hero Chrom and his sister Lissa, with no memory of anything but their name (and Chrom's), as well as their sword and magic skills. [[spoiler:Their troubled past is revealed midway through the game: they're the child of Validar, who created them solely to be a vessel for the BigBad Grima, and in another time and place the gambit successfully sent the world plunging into darkness and chaos. Robin lost their memory when their alternate self tried to merge them together.]]
* In ''{{VideoGame/Bayonetta}}'' the titular character has lost all of her memories as a side-effect of being trapped in the bottom of a lake for the past 500 years.
* While Bayonetta has gotten all her memories back by the time ''{{VideoGame/Bayonetta 2}}'' comes around, we now have [[KidSidekick Loki]], who's lost all of his memories other than the fact he needs to go to the holy mountain Fimbleventr. [[spoiler:Turns out his amnesia was the result of being [[TimeTravel shunted into the future by 500 years]] to escape his evil half, Loptr.]]
* ''VideoGame/DustAnElysianTail'' starts with the titular protagonist waking up in a forest with no idea who he is or how he ended up in this place. Guided by a talking sword named the Blade of Ahrah and its guardian Fidget, Dust goes on a quest to figure out how to regain his memory. Played with on several levels in regards to the "amazing fighting skills" part because Ahrah claims to be the reason Dust can fight like a master swordsman right off the bat. As the game progresses, more and more evidence surfaces that Ahrah [[spoiler:is lying about being the source of Dust's skills]], and Dust is really [[spoiler:an amnesiac ally of General Gaius, who for the most part acts as the game's BigBad]]. ''Then'' comes the reveal that [[spoiler:while Ahrah was indeed lying, Dust is ''not'' a CriminalAmnesiac, being an artificial combination of two souls, only one of which belonged to the aforementioned villain. While either soul can provide skills and guidance, Dust is ultimately his own person with his own mind and body]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', protagonist Neku Sakuraba begins with absolutely no memories, other than his own name. This puts him in a pretty dangerous position in [[DeadlyGame the Reaper's Game]] -- at first he doesn't even believe it's ''real''! Luckily for the players, his partner Shiki is willing to explain everything, such as the fact that entering the Game requires a Player to put up the thing they value most as their entry fee. [[TheUntwist Most players will put those plot points together long before Neku does.]] [[spoiler:But after finishing the Game and getting his memories back, he still has one very important memory missing -- how he died in the first place.]]
* Happens to Link in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' where [[YouWakeUpInARoom he wakes up in a ruined shrine with nothing but his underwear]], has no memory of himself, and most of the people he meets seem to know who he is or even know him personally if they were LongLived. [[spoiler: Link was nearly slain by Calamity Ganon 100 years prior and he was sealed away to recoup and recover so that he can challenge Ganon again when the time was right.]] While Link does recover his memories as you progress through the story, you can choose to challenge the FinalBoss as soon as the game lets you and you can beat the game with Link not knowing the rest of his past.
* Heather in ''VideoGame/SilentHill3'' knows something about her past that is tugging at her mind, but she can't quite remember what it is and brushes it off. As you progress in the game and examine various environments and save points, Heather gets familiar feelings at the things she sees. She is also hounded by the BigBad, who wants to use her usher in an age of paradise. [[spoiler: Once you defeat the [[MirrorBoss Memory of Alessa]], Heather remembers her true self; she was Alessa 17 years ago and was routinely abused by her mother in order to bring forth a god that was nestled within her body. Alessa was split into two beings when the ritual was incomplete with her other half being Cheryl, whom Harry Mason found before the events of ''VideoGame/SilentHill1''. Alessa and Cheryl reunited into one being again, Harry defeats the god, Alessa gives birth to herself before dying, and gives the baby to Harry who he then raised as Heather. The cult that was in the first game had been hunting down Heather in order to try and create their god again.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FaeryLegendsOfAvalon'', your character remembers quite a bit, but not everything ó and most glaringly, not how you came to be [[HumanPopsicle frozen in a crystal]]. This is probably [[spoiler:intentional on the part of the person waking you, since although he needs you now, he's also the one who froze you against your will in the first place.]]
* Kat in ''VideoGame/GravityRush'' though you would be forgiven if you forget it as she doesn't let it get her down and it remains only a vague problem throughout. It becomes more important in the [[VideoGame/GravityRush2 sequel]].

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The whole point of the otome game ''[[VideoGame/AmnesiaOtome Amnesia]]''.
* In ''{{VisualNovel/Nameless}} - The One Thing You Must Recall -'' [[spoiler: this happens to the heroine during Red's route.]]
* It's sort of a RunningGag that each ''VisualNovel/ZeroEscape'' game has a token amnesiac in the cast - Seven in ''[[VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors 999]]'', K in ''[[VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward VLR]]'' and Q in ''VisualNovel/ZeroTimeDilemma''. [[spoiler: Seven lost his memories due to a TimeParadox and mind-altering drugs, K had his taken away to prevent him from derailing the Ambidex Game and Q is an android who never ''had'' memories.]]
** Everyone in ''VisualNovel/ZeroTimeDilemma'' is injected with a memory-erasing drug every 90 minutes for Zero's Decision Game. This actually becomes a gameplay mechanic - the player can see two different memory fragments, one which shows everyone at the very beginning then cutting to a later time when [[spoiler: Junpei is murdered, thereby causing Akane and Carlos to accuse the other of his murder.]] The player has to determine where these memory fragments go on the timeline and which routes each is exclusive to.
* In ''VisualNovel/TheHouseInFataMorgana'', the protagonist wakes up with no memories and is referred to as 'You' in the textboxes. If starting a new game after reaching the true end, this is changed to [[spoiler: destitute soul.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Trace of ''Webcomic/TwoKinds'' is this. We've been told some choice details of his past, and his current goals are so drastically different from his old ones that the world may be better off if he stays this way.
* The Hero of ''Webcomic/RPGWorld'' is also amnesiac, such that he doesn't even remember his own name ([[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep Everyone Calls Him Hero]]).
* ''Webcomic/HannaIsNotABoysName'' has an [[TheUndead undead]] SupportingProtagonist with GhostAmnesia, who spent years pondering his own (lack of) life before deciding to forge a new one. [[ThePollyanna Hanna]] always addresses him by a different (often odd) name, hoping to find one that will jog his memory. In commentary, [[WordOfGod the creator]] generally calls him [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Zombie]] or {...}.
* The title character of ''Webcomic/{{Jack|DavidHopkins}}'' is pretty sympathetic for a Deadly Sin... but his life as a mortal decidedly wasn't, carrying out a genocide of all humans. Jack's punishment, besides becoming the GrimReaper, was to lose all memory of his past life -- not only is he tortured by the amnesia itself, he also can't repent for sins he doesn't remember, and thus is stuck in Hell. The comic's biggest hook is the ''very'' gradual explanation of Jack's former life.
* The main character of ''shadowcomic / Keep of Shadows'' has a scrambled brain and even ambiguous gender, lacking a name and referring to itself as ''it.'' As ''Keep of Shadows'' is a comic where readers respond, a scrambled brain might be intended to explain why this kid is willing to behave in the somewhat disjointed way someone will act when following orders from a large committee.
* The RPG-style ''{{Webcomic/Oceanfalls}}'' follows the amnesiac Nino, who apparently hit his head. He at least remembers his name... "probably."
* ''Webcomic/OurWorld'': Jill, who was found on a beach as a young teenager at the beginning of the comic.
* In ''Webcomic/TheSecretsOfTheAfterlife'', the main character losts her memory at the very beginning of the story. She remembers her name in Chapter 1, but that's about it.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Mei, one of the members of the Fellowship in ''Literature/TheQuestportChronicles''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Bloom, the main heroine of ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub''. After being sent to Earth and being adopted by Mike and Vanessa, she got amnesia and forgot entirely about her powers and the fact she's a fairy. She forgot about her birth family as well.