[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/{{Skullgirls}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/egret_dive_774.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"[[TakingTheBullet Look out, Princess!]]"]]

Not all characters in {{Fighting Game}}s are cut out to be playable. Maybe they're subject to CripplingOverspecialisation, maybe their [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway power of heart]] just doesn't cut it, even with CompetitiveBalance, or maybe there's another issue (technical or not) preventing them from appearing as fully playable. Still, TheCameo isn't going to do itself, and, even with a simple background cameo, the fandom won't be happy if their EnsembleDarkhorse doesn't at least do something.

What's left to do? Simple: [[SummonMagic summon them from nowhere]], let them do their thing, then they disappear like they never existed! Problem solved.

These characters may become {{Ascended Extra}}s and be ascended to the main roster if the fandom or the developers are sufficiently fond of him/her/it in the game.

Related to SummonMagic. Compare/contrast the NonPlayerCompanion, who also assists the PlayerCharacter but sticks around them the entire time. See also TheCameo and ABoyAndHisX. Compare {{Mons}} and MinionMaster, where the entire point is summoning others to fight for you. One step up from this is for the character to be actually controllable in some way, turning them into the "puppet" part of a PuppetFighter. Contrast ItsUpToYou, where you do everything without any kind of help.

[[AC:{{Fighting Game}}s]]
* The UrExample is in Data East's ''VideoGame/AvengersInGalacticStorm''; four characters (players can have Iron Man, Thor, Vision, or Giant Man if an Avenger is being played, or obscure characters Ultimus, Ronan, a Kree Sentry robot, or Captain Att-Las if an Kree character is being played, as the assist character) can be summoned by pressing all punch buttons when the meter is half full. Why Iron Man and Thor are assists instead of fully playable characters are another story altogether.
* The ''CapcomVsWhatever'' series frequently uses this:
** ''VideoGame/XMenVsStreetFighter'': one of Sabretooth's attacks consists of Birdy jumping in from nowhere and shooting at the adversary with a burst of bullets from her {{BFG}}. Also used as a special attack in which she shoots at the adversary with even MoreDakka.
** ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomClashOfTheSuperheroes'' has several dedicated Assist Partners taken from both Marvel and Capcom libraries. In the arcade and Dreamcast versions, they can be chosen as the third team member and had a limited number of assists that varied by character. In the PlayStation, you can choose an assist from the main roster or the assist roster as your second partner, because of the 1on1 battles. Aside from this, CaptainCommando is assisted by Mac, Ginzu and Baby Head; [[VideoGame/{{Cyberbots}} Jin]] is assisted by [[HumongousMecha Blodia]] and ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic'' and Roll are assisted by Rush, Beat and Eddie.
** In ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2'' along with the Sabretooth, CaptainCommando, Jin and Mega Man examples, [[Franchise/ResidentEvil Jill Valentine]] can summon [[EldritchAbomination Tyrant]] and zombies; [[VideoGame/MegaManLegends Tron Bonne]] is assisted by her Servbots; and Servbot is assisted by... more Servbots.
** In ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'', Tron is again assisted by Servbots, ViewtifulJoe is assisted by Sexy Silvia and Felicia can summon little cat girls. In ''Ultimate'', there's also ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}}, who's assisted by Ant-Man/Giant-Man in his Level 3, Firebrand, who summons a Red Arremer in his level 3 (similar to the example of Felicia), and [[Franchise/AceAttorney Phoenix Wright]], who can summon Maya and Missile with several of his moves.
** In ''VideoGame/CapcomVsSNKMillenniumFight2000'', [[VideoGame/SamuraiShodown Nakoruru]] is assisted by her hawk Mamahaha.
** In ''VideoGame/CapcomVsSNK2MarkOfTheMillennium'', aside of Nakoruru, [[VideoGame/RivalSchools Kyosuke]] is assisted by Batsu and Hinata; [[VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters Chang]] shares his moveset with Choi; [[VideoGame/StreetFighterIII Yun]] is assisted by Yang; (carried over to ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX]]'') and Rolento is assisted by El Gado. (Akin to his ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha'' incarnations)
** In ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom'', [[Anime/{{Yatterman}} Doronjo]] is assisted by Boyacky and Tonzra; [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Morrigan]] is assisted by Lilith; VideoGame/Viewtiful Joe by Sexy Silvia; Anime/{{Yatterman}}-1 by Yatterwan; Yatterman-2 by Omotchama and Yatterpelican; and Ippatsuman by his HumongousMecha Gyakuten-Oh. [[VideoGame/DeadRising Frank West]] can summon zombies.
* A lot of ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters 2000'''s Another Striker cameos.
** Also the strikers in ''99: [[UpdatedRerelease Evolution]]''.
** There's also Original Zero in ''KOF 2001''. In said game, you could assign characters on your team to be Strikers, but it'd cost a bar of super to bring them in. Original Zero has three, which he uses as command normals, at any time. This is a good part of the reason of why he's a SNKBoss.
* Several characters in ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}'' have friends they can summon using special moves:
** Felicia: The catgirls who appear in her Please Help Me special. They each even have [[AllThereInTheManual names, home states, and a couple sentences worth of backstory.]]
** Anakaris: Khaibit, the toothy-grinned restligeist who appears in several of his attacks and animations; also, he can summon a team of mummified harem girls with one of his Super Combos.
** Lord Raptor: Le Malta, who appears during his Hell Dunk and Dark Force moves.
** Sasquatch: He has a whale, explosive penguins, and a pack of dogs, who appear in some of his moves.
** Huitzil: In ''Vampire Savior 2'', one of his specials consists of three other Huitzil units coming down to assist him with BeamSpam moves.
** B.B. Hood: John and Arthur, the two bulky hunters that appear in her Dark Hunt Super Combo.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''
** Since the first game in the series Poké Balls have been a staple item. They summon a Franchise/{{Pokemon}} when thrown, who then proceeds to assist its summoner in some manner (with a few exceptions). They can hold from common regular Pokémon to rare [[OlympusMons legendary Pokémon]] who usually wreak havoc on the battlefield with powerful attacks.
** ''Brawl'' adds assist trophies to the mix. They function similarly to pokéballs, but they can summon all kinds of characters instead of being limited to one series, brining characters from a wide range of franchises both with and without playable representation in the series.
** Some characters bring help to battle with some of their regular attacks. Peach pulls out a Toad to serve as a HumanShield, King Dedede throws his minions at his opponents, and Duck Hunt summons the 8-bit bandits from ''Wild Gunman'' to open fire at their opponents.
** Some [[LimitBreak Final Smashes]] have the character summon aid to join in for a CombinationAttack. Mega Man is joined by his counterparts from the ''X'', ''Battle Network'', ''Star Force'' and ''Legend'' series to blast at his opponents; Robin summons Chrom to pull off an aerial beatdown; and Shulk calls Dunban and Riki for a 3-man smackdown.
* The wrestling VideoGame based on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Mr. Burns]], which uses Smithers to do all the work, assisting by throwing plutonium bars as a special move. Smithers himself can summon Blinky the Three-eyed fish as an attack. The Bumblebee Man can summon his chihuahua and Marge can summon Maggie.
* The ''Ultimate Ninja'' line of ''Franchise/{{Naruto}}'' fighting games features this; your assist character drops items for you during combat, and one of these items calls them to perform one of their special attacks.
* Throughout the ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' series, some characters which can't be played tend to pop up, such as Dizzy's sentient wings (Her main form of combat) or A.B.A.'s sentient key.
** Related, in ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'', Carl is always assisted by his giant puppet [[spoiler:and sister]] Nirvana and a large portion of Rachel's attacks come from her familiars Nago and Gii. Later on, Carl's father, Relius was added. Like Carl, he fights alongside his giant puppet [[spoiler:and wife]] Ignis.
* {{Capcom}}'s ''[[VideoGame/JoJosBizarreAdventureHeritageForTheFuture JoJo's Bizarre Adventure]]'' FightingGame has the Stands. Each character has one, except Young Joseph. Further on, Hol Horse not only has his stand (Emperor, his gun) he has two playable versions where he's assisted by another character; his "Standard" version is aided by Hanged Man and in his "& Voing" version he's aided by Voing (who is, himself, aided by his stand, Thoth).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}} [[GaidenGame Hisoutensoku]]'' [[{{Miko}} Sanae]] is assisted by her [[PhysicalGod gods]], Kanako and Suwako. Which can be kind of weird, as Suwako is also playable. (AllThereInTheManual explains god's can spiritually divide themselves, essentially existing in two places).
** [[{{RealityWarper}} Yukari Yakumo]] can call upon her shikigami (Ran) and the shikigami of that shikigami ([[{{CatGirl}} Chen]]). Only difference here is they're called upon as spellcards. She's been able to call upon them since ''Perfect Cherry Blossom''. Basically, if Yukari appears as a playable character, count on her using one or both of them in her attacks (this even extends to Ran providing roughly half of her firepower in ''Imperishable Night'', which is part of the [[{{BulletHell}} main series]] of games.)
** In ''Hopeless Masquerade'', Mamizou has her tanuki partners to assist her or turn into weapons for some of her attacks. If they are hit too often, then they can't be used for a short period of time, similar to [[VideoGame/Persona4Arena Persona 4 Arena]]'s Persona mechanics.
** Then there's Ichirin, whose strongest attacks actually come from a huge cloud spirit named Unzan. In ''Unidentified Fantastic Object'', Unzan supplies Ichirin's spell cards; he manifests as an enormous, bald, bearded head peering down from the top half of the screen, and attempts to punch the player (represented by large fist-shaped bullets) while also launching various other bullets. In ''Urban Legend in Limbo'', in which Ichirin is a playable character, Unzan manifests in order to punch the opponent, similar to a [[VideoGame/JojosBizarreAdventureAllStarBattle Stand]].
* In ''VideoGame/ArcanaHeart'', Maori's sisters assist her in some of her special attacks.
* In ''VideoGame/JumpSuperStars'' and its sequel ''Jump Ultimate Stars'', characters that take up 2 or 3 panels (or "Koma", as commonly called by the fans) are used as Support characters that can be summoned anytime in battle by tapping their frame on the DS's bottom screen (or using an assigned shortcut button in Jump Ultimate Stars). Support characters use a bar from the Special meter (which is also used for special attacks), and playable characters can also serve as Support characters in addition to the non-playable Support characters. Represents battle koma, minor characters (like [[Manga/{{Naruto}} Gaara]] and [[DragonBallZ Gohan]]) and characters who couldn't really fight (like [[Manga/DeathNote Light]] and [[Manga/{{Bleach}} Kon]]).
* ''VideoGame/VanguardPrincess'' is built entirely around utilizing support characters.
* ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'''s prequel, ''Duodecim'', has incorporated this system into its gameplay, allowing you to summon another playable character to perform either a Brave or HP attack, which varies depending on the position of the enemy. All playable characters can fill this role. [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Aerith]] is an Assist-only character for players who purchase a paid demo of the game.
* Taken UpToEleven in ''VideoGame/SuperCosplayWarUltra'' with Ziro, who has a posse of lackeys who do all his fighting for him, including taking hits when he blocks.
* ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena'' turns the various Personae the main characters summon into more complex versions of this. They appear, perform their attacks, and vanish. However, they're also targetable; If a Persona takes too many hits, it "breaks" and can't be summoned for a while.
** This is similar to how Stands worked in JJBA, save that breaking a Persona doesn't stun you like a Stand Break did.
* VideoGame/CartoonNetworkPunchTimeExplosion takes the Assist concept one step further with Synergy Attacks, which happen when a certain character summons a specific Assist (i.e. [[WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien Kevin Levin]] and [[WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor Numbuh 4]], [[WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy Grim]] and [[WesternAnimation/{{Chowder}} Mung Daal]], [[WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor Captain Stickybeard]] and [[WesternAnimation/TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack Captain K'nuckles]]).
* Peacock, a zoning-type character from ''VideoGame/{{Skullgirls}}'', uses her toony buddies to pester the opponent from afar in this manner.
** As seen in the page picture, Parasoul summons some of her Black Egret soldiers to assist her in some of her special moves and all three of her [[LimitBreak Blockbusters]].
** DLC character Eliza has two bodyguards that resemble ancient Egyptian deities, one named Albus, who resembles Anubis and another named Horace who resembles Horus.
* ''{{Manga/One Piece}} Gigant Battle'' and its sequel feature assist characters. You can pick up to three, and not only can you summon them in battle, but they also give you passive bonuses like increasing your damage output or health bar. Those passive bonuses depend on the character you chose to play as: usually, the stronger connection there is, the better the bonus, though putting two enemies together (Like Crocodile and Vivi) gives you a malus instead. Setting up certain teams (For example, four Straw Hats, or [[ChivalrousPervert Sanji with three beautiful ladies]]) can also give you additional bonuses on top of that. Long story short, choosing your assists in these games is very important.
* In ''VideoGame/JoJosBizarreAdventureAllStarBattle'':
** J. Geil with Hanged Man, for Hol Horse. However, in-universe it's the other way around.
** Erba Gatta with Stray Cat and Hayato Kawajiri, for Kosaku!Kira.
* In the Sega/Dengeki Bunko fighting game ''VideoGame/DengekiBunkoFightingClimax'', each playable character can equip and use an assist character prior to combat, each with a single, unique action, called by pressing the Assist Button when the Assist Gauge is full. Many assists are derived from a series that a playable character comes from, including Mikoto Misaka (playable) and [[LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex Touma Kamijou]] (assist), Shizuo (playable) and [[{{LightNovel/Durarara}} Celty]] (assist), and Asuna/Kirito (both playable) and [[LightNovel/SwordArtOnline Leafa]] (assist).
* Several examples from the {{Crossover}} {{Doujinshi}} ''VideoGame/MagicalChaserStardustOfDreams'':
** Rein from ''Anime/FushigiboshiNoFutagohime'' aids Fine in some of her attacks.
*** Bibin occasionally calls up Edochin and [[GrievousHarmWithABody throws him at the opponent]].
** From ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'', Hazuki, Aiko, Onpu, and Momoko aid Doremi in casting Magical Stage [[FridgeLogic even if she's already fighting Aiko]].
*** Mutsumi teams up with Aiko whenever she uses her level 3 super while Mimi helps out with some of her other attacks. [[HumongousMecha Robo-Doremi]] is also one of her supers.
** Meteo from ''Anime/PrincessComet'' sometimes throws Mook into her opponent in some of her attacks.
** Kasumin is helped out sometimes by her friends during special attacks.
* In ''Kinnikuman Muscle Fight'', a doujin fighting game based on ''Manga/{{Kinnikuman}}'', most of Atlantis's special attacks are assists from Black Hole, Stecasse King, the Mountain, and/or Mr. Khamen. Pentagon is assisted by Black Hole in about half of his moves, including supers. Since most of the characters operate in tightly-knit groups, nearly all of them appear as assists in someone else's super moves, as well.
* The doujin game ''EternalFighterZero'' features some assist characters:
** Akane Satomura can call her friend Shiko to attack her opponent, as a reference to the Striker System in ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' 99.
** Mai Kawasumi can summon a CuteGhostGirl to assist her in battle, as a reference to the Stand system in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''.
** Misuzu Kamio, aside of her crow partner Sora, can also summon Yukito, the protagonist of ''VisualNovel/{{AIR}}'', to keep distance, and extend combos.
** Minagi Tohno fights on par with her best friend Michiru, you control Minagi directly, and Michiru via special moves.

[[AC:Other VideoGames]]
* In ''{{Growlanser}}: Wayfarer of Time'', the fairy-like familiars will help in battle by strengthening magic or physical attacks, but they are not actual party members.
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' occasionally has characters who are generally too small or [[MauveShirt minor]] to get their own units appear to help a main or secondary character in some of their stronger attacks. In ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsW W]]'' for instance, [[Anime/GaoGaiGar KorRyu and AnRyu]] each has an attack where they would assist the human-sized Renais in attacking, and both [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED Cagali and Mu]] can summon the [[Manga/MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray Astray]] Girls to triple-team the enemy. Also some bosses (particularly large spacecraft or {{King Mook}}s) will have an attack where they summon a large number of minion units to attack all at once.
** ''EndlessFrontier'' has the Personal Troopers who can perform assisting attacks to any character, and also helps in some of Haken's {{Limit Break}}s. ''EXCEED'' adds even more characters that join the party but aren't playable. But they can be "equipped" to perform assist attacks.
*** In ''ProjectXZone'', which uses a similar fighting engine to ''Endless Frontier'', each TagTeam unit can call an adjacent unit to perform an assist attack. They can also be equipped with an assist character, [[UpToEleven some of which bring out assist characters of their own]]...[[SerialEscalation and it's possible to call both an adjacent pair unit and an equipped solo unit]] [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown at the same time.]] On top of this, certain solo characters (Tron Bonne(''again''), Ulala, Devilotte and Valkyrie)) call in even more help on their attacks.
* ''{{Lunar}}'' games has the party accompanied by a baby dragon - Nall in the first game, Ruby in the second. Rather than directly participating in fights, they fly back and forth in the background of the battlefield, and occasionally jumps in at the end of a turn to assist in some way. Specifically, Nall sometimes revives fallen party members, and Ruby sometimes attacks enemies. If anyone in the party is suffering a status effect at the end of a fight in the first game, Nall also cures them automatically.
* The VideoGame/GundamVsSeries added Mobile Assists in ''Gundam vs Gundam'', with the number of uses being determined by how powerful the assistance is. While they were standard in that game and its sequel ''Next Plus'', the ''Extreme Vs.'' sub-series changes things; typically a unit has an assist only if it doesn't have enough standard weapons to fill out the usual five-attack moveset. Additionally, in ''Extreme Vs.'', some units' assists "reload" over time while others don't but have more uses to make up for it; in ''Maxi Boost'', all assists "reload", with some losing one use in order to balance things out.
* [[VideoGame/ScottPilgrim The Scott Pilgrim videogame]] has this with Knives Chau. If you beat her father as a bonus boss, you can summon him too. And if you're playing as Knives, you summon Mrs. Chau instead.
* The DS remake of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' has characters that periodically join the party and hop in every now and then during battle to help out.
* In the beginning of ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'', [[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo Isaac and Garet]] join the party and help out.
* In one of ''[[VisualNovel/FateHollowAtaraxia Fate/hollow ataraxia]]'' minigames, Assassin goes as Caster's equivalent of Noble Phantasm attack.
* In ''VideoGame/CaptainAmericaAndTheAvengers'', TheWasp appears to assist during the {{Unexpected Shmup Level}}s.
* In the Famicom ''Franchise/StarWars'' game by Namco, R2-D2, Obi-Wan, C-3PO, Leia, Chewbacca and Han Solo can be summoned for assistance after being rescued.
* Momiji and [[spoiler:the Regent of the Mask]] fight alongside you in two sequences of ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden 3''.
* In ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'': several missions involve summoning various other Sonic characters to do your bidding. Also, Tails in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog4''.
* The ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' move Assist lets the user use one of the other party members' attacks at random. Beat Up calls the entire party out to pummel the opponent.
* In the second ''VideoGame/PokeParkWii'' game, you're allowed to call in one of the Pokemon you've befriended once per battle to perform an attack. This often can deplete most of your opponent's HP if it's hitting their weakness.
* ''Videogame/DragonsCrown'' has Rannie, a thief that runs around picking up stray bits of loot and unlocks chests while you do the fighting.
* The Distress Call function in ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance'' allows you to call in a random hero or fellow agent to get an extra attack in against the enemy.
** Constrictor's Level 9 move is a distress call that specifically summons a [[HeelFaceTurn Lockbox hero]].
** ComicBook/TheFalcon's Level 9 move gives him the 'Friends in High Places' buff, which has a chance of calling in a SHIELD agent as a CounterAttack.
* ''VideoGame/XenoGears'' has Margie, who assists Bart in one of his fights early on in the game. Interestingly enough, [[WhatCouldHaveBeen she was originally intended to be a full party member,]] but then the budget ran out. On the villainous side of things, Miang gives assistance to Ramsus every time he fights the party, before eventually getting a boss fight of her own.
* The Eidolons in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' appear when summoned by the party leader, replacing the other party members and dealing massive damage to the enemies for a brief time before disappearing again.
* During certain boss fights in ''VideoGame/FreedomPlanet'' (usually involving Serpentine,) the other characters will show up and provide health pick-ups, or even attack the boss themselves.

* If "Thing Flips" is enabled in ''Pinball/TheAddamsFamily'', Thing will help the player by operating the lefthand mini-flipper.
* ''Pinball/MonsterBash'' has the similar "Phantom Flip", where the game will automatically operate the main flippers if the player doesn't touch the controls.
* While not an actual character, ''Pinball/{{Rollergames}}'' has the Deep Freeze Magna-Flip, which holds the pinball next to the upper-right flipper to enable an easy shot up The Wall.
-->'''Announcer:''' "Don't flip! -- FLIP!"

[[AC:Non-Video Game Examples]]
* Quite a few [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters of the Week]] in ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' could summon whatever {{Mooks}} the BigBad had access too, but in the two-part episode "White Light", Nimrod the Scarlet Sentinel could summon two other monsters named [[{{Homage}} AC and DC]] for backup. They didn't speak or have much personality, and when Nimrod was defeated, they disappeared. (Or maybe ran for their lives; the battle was so intense, even Nimrod started to panic.)
* WebVideo/SmashBrosLawl gives quite a few characters their assists for various specials and Final Smashes.
** [[Film/TheRoom Tommy Wiseau]] can summon Mark for his Up-B to hand him a football. Mark also teams up with Wiseau in his Final Smash, where they pass the football back and forth, until Wiseau jumps before pounding an enemy with the football.
** [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaCDiGames The King]] has his royal guard Fari perform the grabs for him. Gwonam also appears with his magic carpet for The King's Up-B.
** [[Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame Frollo]] can summon his guards with a Down-B. The guards will act as a sentry, striking those who get too close, as well as occasionally going archer.