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- In Cave Story, finding Curly's Panties unlocks Curly Mode, in which you play as Action Girl Curly Brace instead of the normal Silent Protagonist. The old protagonist and Curly swap places, with Curly saying what the other character is probably thinking. That is, except for one line after you save his life.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 allows you to choose if you want to join Ironman's Pro-Reg team or Cap America's resistance. Depending on which side you choose, you get either Ironman or Captain America's perspective about the other team. However, at a certain point the two sides join up to deal with a bigger threat, making both sides available for play.
- In the PS2 video game Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo, beating the game once unlocks a bonus mode allowing the player to play a number of sidemissions, taking place both on the Federations side, and on that of the Principality of Zeon (even allowing the player to unlock Char's old red-painted Mobile Suits).
- Noitu Love 2: Devolution lets you play as Rilo Doppelori after you beat the game once, and Mr. Almond after beating it with Rilo, although he doesn't have a unique take on the plot like Rilo does.
- In the Spider-Man movie game, it's possible to unlock an alternate mode of play where the player takes control of Harry Osborne as the Green Goblin, looking to avenge his father. The rest of the game plays the same, except that the enemy Green Goblin doesn't seem to be Norman. The PS3 version of the third movie game permits you to do much the same thing.
- Transformers: Convoy no Nazo let you play as Rodimus Prime after beating it once with Ultra Magnus. Rodimus was only a recolored Ultra Magnus, though.
- Beating the main chapters of Hotline Miami grants you a couple more chapters where you play as the Biker. One of the stages is even the same retread of the boss fight with him, only now the perspective is changed.
- Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number frequently shifts through different characters and perspectives as the story continues. They include the Loony Fans of the first game's protagonist, a Cowboy Cop, an Intrepid Reporter and even the man with glasses of the first game.
- Complete Panzer Dragoon Orta once and you unlock an additional story mode following an Imperial boy named Iva Demilcol that happens concurrently with Orta's own story.
- Road of the Dead 2 takes place during the same Zombie Apocalypse as the previous game, but follows two soldiers attempt to escape the city. Both soldiers catch a brief glimpse of John Creasman, the previous game's protagonist, as he blazes down a highway.
- Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare has you play as either Edward Carnby or Aline Cedrac, who each have their own path in the story.
- Completing Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils with sufficient time power-ups unlocks Chelsea and the 7 Devils, where you play through the same levels as the antagonist Chelsea. In this case, 7 Devils is not simply a perspective flip, but an attempt by the characters to turn back time and change the past.
- While being Bunny's last boss (as Bunny is Chelsea's last non-anticlimactic boss), they're not really antagonists, as they either ignored or coincidentally helped each other throughout.
- Castlevania has many examples across many games. Richter Mode (which appears in both Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, though the latter misspells his name as "Richiter"), Axe Armor Mode, Julius Mode (in both Sorrow games)...
- The Julius Mode in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow even has its own plotline (following on the Somacula ending). The Julius Mode in Aria of Sorrow, however, is merely a bonus mode as with most other modes with alternate characters (with the exception of Dawn of Sorrow's equivalent and the below).
- Sisters Mode in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, meanwhile, is a prequel to the game's events.
- Taken to its logical extreme in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate. The game consists out of four chapters, and all four feature a different playable character. There's the Prologue, Acts I and II that happen roughly at the same time, and Act III takes place before I and II.
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 lets you play as Alucard in a purchasable DLC chapter which shows what Alucard was doing between the prologue and when the main game starts.
- The PS2 game The Getaway, after beating the game as Mark Hammond, the next play through allowed you to play as Frank Carter, the cop who initially pursued, and eventually helps Mr. Hammond.
- Certain games of the Yakuza series feature playable characters other than series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu, with the story occasionally switching perspectives when needed. The characters occasionally intersect and occasionally even end up fighting one another as bosses.
- In the fighting game Death Vegas, all the playable characters' Story Modes actually interweave into a single story, with all of their fights and victories canon within that story.
- In Persona 4: Arena, playing as certain characters unlocks other characters whom you only interact with during one short section, including the final boss with her unique story mode. Given the game's Unreliable Narrator (due to the Final Boss being a Master of Illusion), all the various fights may even be considered canon.
- In Anarchy Reigns, there are two story modes: White Side, which focuses on Leo and Black Side, which focuses on Jack. Beating both unlocks the Red Side, which is the true ending.
First Person Shooters
- Half-Life: Decay features a bonus mission where you can play as a Vortigaunt.
- In fact, basically every single one of the Half-Life expansion packs was this to the original game, with Opposing Force casting the player as one of the invading marines, Blue Shift letting players step into Barney's shoes, and the rest of Decay giving players two female scientists in powered armor to play with, through the whole resonance cascade.
- Vietcong 2. While the original game and Fist Alpha casts the players as a Green Beret, in the second game they're either a MACV operator or a VC fighter.
- The House of the Dead: OVERKILL's extended cut features Varla Guns, previously just an NPC, going through two levels on her own with her brother's Dumb Blonde girlfriend who was never seen or mentioned in the main game.
- Most of the bonus levels in Perfect Dark are these to the main story. In order, they're "Mr. Blonde's Revenge"note , "Maian SOS"note , and "WAR!"note .
Hack and Slash
- Ninety-Nine Nights relies completely on this trope. Entire subplots only appear when you get far enough to play through as the right character.
- Variant in the Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors series: Unlocking a new character means you can go through their specific Story Mode and/or add new missions.
- The spring 2015 challenge path for Kingdom of Loathing, "Actually Ed the Undying", puts you in the role of the level 11 boss, chasing down that pesky %playername who stole his Holy MacGuffin.
- In Star Wars: The Old Republic, each of the eight classes are their own individual stories focused on your selected character that all take place roughly concurrently to one another. The Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion features two different storylines depending on your faction while the Shadow of Revan and Knights of the Fallen Empire expansions are the same no matter who you play.
- Lego Batman lets you play an episode as the villains after completing it with Batman, showing how they broke into these places and put their nefarious schemes into place before the Dark Knight interfered. The game counts these as separate levels with their own sets of collectibles necessary for 100% Completion.
- Mega Man
- Proto Man mode in Mega Man 9 qualifies, although technically you can access this immediately if you buy it immediately. Mega Man 10 follows suit with Bass Mode.
- In Mega Man Powered Up for the PSP, you get the ability to play the game as any Robot Master you managed to beat by using only the Mega Buster - since you're always guaranteed to have done so with at least the first Robot Master you defeated, you'll always have one. So in that version, you actually can have this eleven times. Furthermore, the boss of the stage of the Robot Master you're playing as will be a fake, Wily-produced Mega Man instead.
- Roll, Proto Man, and Mega Man with his slide and charge shot from later games in the series are also unlockable, as is Mega with no abilities whatsoever.
- In Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, you get access to Vile Mode, who can play through the entire game except the fight against Zero and X.
- In the doujin RosenkreuzStilette, after playing through the game as the regular character, Spiritia, you get a code that if entered at the title screen allows you to play as Grolla, the sword-wielding Lady of War who was one of the eight regular bosses of the game; she plays like a clone of Zero...in a game based on the original series. As what is likely a nod to Powered Up, after playing through Grolla's stage as Grolla, you get to fight Spiritia as a boss instead of Grolla. And that fight is apparently meant to be the same fight as in Spiritia's story. So the other bosses are being beaten twice at mostly the same time.
- And then, there's Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel's alternate mode, where you can play as Grolla's own perky version, the captain of the Schwarzkreuz, Pamela Arwig. Just like Grolla, she also plays like Zero in a game based on the original Mega Man 1. When you get to the end of the Opening Stage as her, you get to fight Freudia as a Warm-Up Boss (she also previously served as that trope in the Opening Stage in the first game and its own side-game), and likewise, getting to the end of Pamela's stage as Pamela herself results in a surprise boss fight against an Unexpected Character in the form of Karl Palesch, Liebea's older brother who was previously imprisoned by Count Michael Zeppelin (as orchestrated by his daughter Iris) in the first game.
- A lot of Sonic the Hedgehog games have this from the start (For example, 2 sides in Sonic Adventure 2, etc.), though they're usually accessible from the beginning. However, the Sonic Riders subseries unlocks the alternate "Babylon" storyline after you're done with the Heroes and Sonic Adventure allowed to start a character's story immediately after you encountered him in someone else's part of the game.
- Knuckles's story in Sonic 3 & Knuckles may also count, since several pieces of evidence within that story claim it to take place after Sonic and Tails's stories.
- This was also in effect in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) with three different characters' scenarios, but in the end it practically meant the developers only had about a dozen levels and were forced to re-use them all twice to make the game long enough. And that's not counting the fact that the final level is a bunch of Remixed Levels.
- Of the eight bosses that form Shovel Knight's Order of No Quarter, three have been singled out via fan vote to receive their own single player campaigns: Spectre Knight, Plague Knight, and King Knight. They will be available as free DLC.
- Three (four in the PS2 port) unlockable characters exist for Viewtiful Joe, each with a slightly different story. For the record, they're Silvia, Captain Blue, Alastor, and Dante.
- Shantae: Half Genie Hero features alternate story campaigns starring series villain Risky Boots and Shantae's friends Rottytops, Bolo and Sky.
- In Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, completing the main game unlocks Meta Knightmare, allowing you to replay the game as Meta Knight. Kirby Super Star Ultra follows suit with Meta Knightmare Ultra after you complete the original sub-games barring The Arena, allowing you to replay Spring Breeze, Dyna Blade, Meta Knight's Revenge, The Great Cave Offensive and Milky Way Wishes, though rather than facing Marx at the end of Milky Way Wishes you fight Galacta Knight.
- Kirby: Triple Deluxe has Dededetour, in which you replay the story mode as King Dedede, who also has his own final boss.
- Kirby: Planet Robobot saw the return of Meta Knight as a playable with Meta Knightmare Returns, similarly to Dededetour from Triple Deluxe. Like Dededetour, you replay the stages as Meta Knight, aswell as having his own final boss.
Real Time Strategy
- BattleZone II forks about halfway through. You are given a Friend or Idol Decision between loyalty to Braddock who is your direct superior and promoted you to The Dragon just prior to the mission or loyalty to Shabayev who WAS your direct superior before defecting after Braddock made a failed attempt on her life and made it look like the Scions did it. The Braddock half is only three missions long and leaves several unanswered questions (how the heck did the Scions get their hands on a planet-destroying superweapon?) whereas the Shabayev half is triple the length and fully explains what the Scions want (turns out the superweapon in question is actually a harmless terraforming device and is aimed at the Dark Planet, not Earth as Braddock says).
- A good example of the difference between the two is the fate of Manson. The Braddock arc starts right off with you smoking him out of hiding after he proclaimed Braddock a traitor; his body is found a few hours after the battle. The Shabayev arc however has you at one point relieving the siege on his base and organizing his forces into a counterattack; you also happen to get evidence of Braddock doing background deals with the Scion traitors who only appear in this arc and mess things up a few times.
- All of the Command & Conquer games offer campaigns for both NOD and GDI if you're in the Tiberium universe or the Allies and the Soviets if you're in the Red Alert storyline (as well as the Empire in Red Alert 3). However, only Firestorm, Generals, and C&C3 actually tell the same story across every campaign. The rest of them have the campaigns exist in different timelines.
- This could be considered only slightly in keeping with the spirit of this trope, as these alternate stories/perspectives are always open from the start, with one exception: Beating the GDI and Nod campaigns in C&C3 unlocks the Scrin campaign.
- Haegemonia: Legions of Iron starts with two separate campaigns for Earth and Mars, but they converge after the first several missions. Beyond that, the only differences are the primary hero and cosmetic ship designs.
- The Lord of the Rings: Battle For Middle Earth games have alternate campaigns for both the Good (canon) and Bad forces.
- For Rome: Total War and Medieval II: Total War and their expansions, only a few of the game's factions are playable right from the start. Any factions defeated by the player (as in, if one of your armies personally captures the faction's last remaining city, that faction is eliminated from the current game) become unlocked after the current playthrough is completed successfully. Think of it as Defeat Means Friendship.
- Star Wars: Empire at War lets one play as the Rebellion (canon) and Empire (non-canon but epic), with their own missions and accessible planets.
- Star Wars games in general love retreading film territory.
- The "Forces of Corruption" expansion adds a third (non-canonical) side in the form of the Zann Consortium which faces off against both the Empire and the Rebels. In fact, the final battle involves a Mêlée à Trois with Zann's forces first joining the Rebels and then betraying them. However, it should be noted that it was simply business on Zann's part. He has no political motives and only seeks to extend the reach of his criminal empire no matter who is in charge from a political standpoint. The battle was merely an attempt to capture the Empire's largest warship, not to keep but to download its databanks.
- The first two Warcraft games allow the player to fight as either the humans or the orcs. A notable difference is that canon assumes that the orcs win the first game.
- World of Warcraft has the same events play out in some areas from the Horde's and Alliance's separate points of view. A notable example is the Southern Barrens: the Horde is reeling from the fire-bombing and looting of Camp Taurajo, and kill the general responsible. The Alliance players, meanwhile, deal with the death of their general who deeply regretted the way Taurajo turned out, and arrest the convicts looting the ruined town. Another quest has the Alliance player report to a General that his adult military son died when explosion blew up their base, and kill goblin miners for revenge. Hordeside, the players help a Tauren blow up a military base whose inhabitants had killed his family and destroyed a tauren village during peacetime.
- The three acts of Starcraft requires you to take the sides of all three factions in turn as an ongoing, continuous story. After you've achieved triumph as the Zerg, claiming the Protoss homeworld, you now have to play the Protoss reclaiming said homeworld.
- Supreme Commander portrays that all three sides are in a dire situation and how they converge in the last mission. The UEF are beset by the Aeon fanatics, and the Cybrans have crippled their communications, forcing them to use Black Sun as a last resort. The Cybrans need to stop the UEF from firing Black Sun and stop the Aeon from attacking their people. The Aeon is in a state of civil war, as the Avatar of war is usurping the Princess as leader of the Illuminate, and plans to cleanse the galaxy of non believers. The ending depends on which side the player chooses.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom, you can choose from Yugi's campaign and Kaiba's campaign to start, with each focusing on a different aspect of the story. Beat both the Yugi and Kaiba campaigns and you unlock the Joey campaign, which shows what Joey was doing before joining Yugi's forces.
Role Playing Games
- Celestian Tales: Old North lets you choose from six playable characters. All six storylines follow the same general path; however, each character encounters one moral dilemma specific to them, and certain cutscenes and story information are only available by playing as certain characters.
- Chaos Rings lets you play as any of the 4 couples in the same background of the Arc battle arena. The story progression differs slightly with each couple you play with, because inevitably you will have to kill the other 3 couples.
- Dragon Age: Origins has a DLC called The Darkspawn Chronicles, which lets the player assume the role of a Darkspawn Commander fighting in the Blight that the protagonist is supposed to stop in the main campaign. Some details are different in this campaign though - for example, the player character of the main campaign does not even survive the initiation ceremony of the Grey Wardens in this DLC, causing many background events to shift accordingly.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition has a quest in the Exalted Plains called "Another Side, Another Story." It involves speaking with one of Grand Duke Gaspard's men, to hear their side of the Orlesian civil war situation. However, the player character remains the same; the trope is invoked in name only.
- The GBA and PSP versions of Final Fantasy II has "Soul of Rebirth", a mode where the characters who died through the story meet in the Afterlife to fight the Light version of the Dark Emperor.
- Kingdom Hearts
- Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and its PS2 remake feature "Reverse/Rebirth", in which you guide Riku through the castle at the same time as and just after Sora goes through it.
- The Trope Namer, while from Kingdom Hearts, isn't actually an example itself; the name comes from a hidden video in the first game that provided a preview of characters and teased plot threads for Kingdom Hearts II.That video later became the focus of a P.O.V. Sequel, so it isn't entirely unrelated, interestingly enough.
- Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: There are three playable characters (Terra, Aqua, and Ven) that have there own playstyles and follow their own stories. They all intertwine, making playing all of them necessary to fully understand what's going on.
- Dream Drop Distance outright defies this: You play as two characters in one campaign, and the game forces you to switch between them when the Drop gauge runs out.
- This is as good a trope as any to describe Nethergate, which is essentially two intertwined games with the same engine. At the beginning, you choose to be a Roman or a Celt, and each plays through half the plot, often with one setting up elements that are only explored in the other's scenario. However, since the two scenarios take place concurrently, and since neither side fully understands what's going on, you can play the two in any order.
- Persona 3: FES, the Updated Re-release of the game, gives us The Answer, an entirely new epilogue chapter that makes Aigis the main playable character. A new AI-controlled character appears as well.
- Sa Ga Frontier has 7 playable characters, and they cross paths with each other in their respective stories, and can sometimes be recruited on alternate paths.
- SaGa Frontier 2 jumps between various members of Wil Knights and Gustave's families at various points in time.
- Star Ocean: The Second Story allows you to play as either Claude or Rena from the beginning of the game. There are no big differences in the main storyline, however, there are certain Private Actions that aren't available to both characters, and certain characters you can only recruit as one or the other.
- Gathering 104 of the 108 Stars Of Destiny in Suikoden III would unlock an additional scenario where you played as the four main villains of the game (and the final four Stars).
- Tales Series:
- The Tales of Destiny remake has this with fan-favorite character Leon Magnus in the director's cut, although you don't need to play the main plotline first (although you probably should, because Leon is in the know about several things that are spoilers to Stahn.) And, of course, it ends a lot faster.
- Tales of Xillia allows you to choose either Jude or Milla at the beginning of the game as the "main character". Whoever you choose will get more scenes, their own set of battle music, and you get to see their version of events when the party splits up. While Jude is a more traditional Audience Surrogate whose scenes focus on Character Development, Milla is more involved in the events of the plot.
- The end credits of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword allows you to see snippets of what Zelda was doing while you were playing as Link.
- Demi Kids for Gameboy Advance, The Dark and Light versions of the game feature different protagonists doing different quests.
- In Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth for 3DS, you can experience the story from the perspective of the Persona 3 cast, or their Persona 4 counterparts.
- Ys Origin presents a slightly different version of the story depending on which character you choose to use. Completing the game with either of the two starting characters unlocks a third, whose story is the canonical one.
- The survival horror game Kuon lets you choose between two main characters, however it is only after completing both characters storyline that the final character and the ending is unlocked.
- Resident Evil
- Resident Evil 2 was one of the first to pull this, with one disc for Leon S. Kennedy's side of the story and a second for Claire Redfield's. Players could play both sides of the story in either order, but got more areas to explore in the second run. Additionally, the way certain events transpire also changes depending on which character is chosen first. And once the second scenario is completed, it opens up yet another side story, where the player controls Hunk, a surviving member of the Umbrella Special Forces unit that attacked William Birkin.
- The PlayStation 2 and Wii versions of Resident Evil 4 added the "Separate Ways" scenario, which depicts the events of the main story from Ada's perspective and even goes as far as to depict why certain locations and items were the way they were in the main story. Oddly enough, the only gap in the story that "Separate Ways" does not cover was the one between Ada's arrival at Sadler's Island and her meeting with Krauser (presumably since "Assignment: Ada" covered a similar ground).
- Resident Evil 6 has three different stories that take place within the same timeframe as each other and intersect at various moments. After they're completed, Ada Wong's story is unlocked, which shows what she was doing behind the scenes.
- The Updated Re Release of Silent Hill 2 has Maria's "Born From a Wish" sub-scenario.
- The Evil Within has the DLC "The Assignment" and "The Consequence", which deals with Juli Kidman's role in the story.
- Clock Tower 2 will have you play as either Jennifer or Helen depending on how many times you talk to Harris during the game's prologue as Professor Barton.
- After beating LIT, the game gives you the option of playing as Rachael, Jake's girlfriend. The only differences however are purely aesthetic; the calls you get are from Jake and the endings slightly differ.
Stealth Based Game
- The Updated Re-release version of Metal Gear Solid 2, Subsistence, features the Snake Tales bonus mode, where you can play short sequences as Snake, to compensate for having to play most of the game as Raiden.
- Beat Tenchu 2 with both Rikimaru & Ayame to play as Tatsumaru and learn why he betrayed the Azuma. Ditto Tesshu in Wrath Of Heaven.
- Yandere Simulator has an unlockable "1980s Mode", which focuses on a yandere student who attended Akademi High during The '80s. Since smartphones and the internet weren't invented during that time, they are not available in this mode. The school's rules are also much more strict.
Third Person Shooter
Turn Based Strategy
- Disgaea Afternoon Of Darkness lets you play as Etna in the PSP and DS remakes, an Alternate Continuity where she accidentally kills Laharl although, he later turns out to be just fine at the beginning of the game.
- Disgaea 2 for the PSP lets you play as Axel, a story which takes place before the events of the main game.
- Raspberyl's DLC story in Disgaea 3 occurs after the game ends, where she becomes a teacher.
- The Playstation Vita remake of Disgaea 3 has four new scenarios, including one starring two entirely new characters made for the port.
- Disgaea 4 got a DLC scenario of the main character's past, as well as another one starring Fuka and Desco.
- Fire Emblem:
- Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword has Hector's Story, where you play as Hector (no, really?). Thing is, with the exception of the first chapter, three added side-quests (including a side-quest to a side quest), two extra mandatory chapters, an extra character in one of the extra chapters, an extra character in a chapter that was there in Eliwood's story but just never showed up for some reason, a few dialogue changes, the placement of the enemies, and the two extra endings you could get by playing some or all of the aforementioned side-quests, it's basically the same thing. Yes, that sounded like a Long List, but really, in a game like Fire Emblem, that's not a lot of stuff. The music was generally better, though.
- Actually, a bit of Trial-and-Error Gameplay—emphasis on the "error"—reveals why Karla only shows up in Hector's Story even though the chapter she appears in is also in Eliwood's Story. Karla is also the person who gives you the Elysian Whip in the village in Chapter 25, Crazed Beast—and if you fail to reach that village and bandits end up destroying it, Karla won't show up at all, implying that she was killed in the attack on the village. And since in Eliwood's Story, the group never got lost and ended up there, this was the only option. This also means that Hector's Story is canon, since Karla is the mother of one of the characters in Sword Of Seals.
- Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones does this a bit differently. You start the game as Eirika, and after around ten missions you can continue with Eirika or choose to play as Ephraim. The next six missions will be different for each route. Afterwards, you join back up with the other party for the last few missions. Each route actually portrays the principal villain quite differently. One had him being motivated by love, the other possessed by an Demon God. Regardless, said Demon God ends up being the final boss. Which route's story is canon is unknown, but it's a standalone game anyway.
- Happens in Kessen, a rare game where it's entirely possible to advance after losing every battle. Not only are there alternate ways of playing out each campaign, but the events of these campaigns will also be reflected from the position of the opposing forces.
- This is absurdly common in Nippon Ichi remakes. The PSP remake of La Pucelle has an alternate story mode involving Overlord Priere, while the PSP port of Makai Kingdom has a new story mode starring new a character, Zetta's Daughter, Petta, and is fittingly named "Papa is the Strongest Overlord".
- The Wii and PSP ports of Phantom Brave have an Alternate Continuity called "Another Marona" where right before the plot of the main story, everyone dies and becomes phantoms.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III features this in both the main game and the expansion "Shadow of Death." Each campaign that is unlocked at the start happens more-or-less at the same time featuring different sides (for example, in the main game you can either start by controlling the Erathians as Queen Catherine discovers that the Kreegans have invaded, controlling the Kreegans as they begin their invasion, or controlling some neutral factions using the war as an excuse to make a land grab). When all the original campaigns have been beaten, a few more unlock that continue the story from the first set but that happen concurrently with each other, and so on.
- The Gaiden Game Heroes Chronicles follows the story of Tarnum beginning thousands of years before the main game, but ends at the same time as the main game's expansion "Armageddon's Blade."
Wide Open Sandbox