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->''"You've lost your weapons and the contents of your backpack somewhere during the journey. All you have are the clothes and armor on your back. This leaves you with four burning questions: Where are you? How did you get here? Who brought you here? And how in blazes can you get out of here? No make that FIVE burning questions: In what city did your luggage end up THIS time?"''
-->-- '''Narrator''', ''Videogame/QuestForGloryIV''.
%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

[[VideoGameTools Items]] and experience levels do not carry over to game sequels, regardless of time passed. This makes less logical sense if something is a direct sequel, although the short explanation is that it's to present an honest challenge to the player. This is [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality usually accepted by the player]], although a few games attempt a [[HandWave weaker explanation]]. Maybe the hero was on vacation and didn't bring his stuff along because he thought he wouldn't need it? Maybe it had been several months, even years, since the world last needed saving, and therefore the hero has gotten a bit out of shape? Perhaps his equipment was stolen from him by physical, or, more commonly, magical means? Whatever the case, at each new game, the protagonist will be back at square one.

Since it allows each game to stand alone in terms of story development, if not events, it is roughly equivalent to the {{Snapback}} and ResetButton story tropes.

Of course, not all games are like this. Sometimes, a direct sequel might start the character with the powers from the previous game, giving them ATasteOfPower before taking them away and making the character start from scratch again.

If the game actually acknowledges personal data from a previous title in the series, it's an OldSaveBonus.

{{Non Linear Sequel}}s avoid the whole question. Compare NoGearLevel, for when this happens inside the game itself.

ReinventingTheWheel is a RealTimeStrategy version. See OverratedAndUnderleveled for a common justification. If you ''do'' keep your powers, you're probably going to find out that they're [[SoLastSeason So Last Sequel]].

!!Video game examples:


[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* At the end of every level of ''VideoGame/{{Cadaver}}'' your rucksack loses all items that are not potions or spells. This isn't so bad as those items are generally only useful on the level you've just finished.
* Happens in ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' games, often with some justification such as Samus's equipment becoming infected or damaged. ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'' goes with a different justification than the other games: Samus still has all the upgrades and weapons, [[HonorBeforeReason but chooses to not to use them without permission from Adam]].
** Justified in the first two games of the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'', where an explosion disables Samus's equipment and the Ing steal it, respectively. You get [[ATasteOfPower about fifteen minutes to enjoy having mid-game abilities]] before they're gone. It's subverted in ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'' as well, where both Samus and the Power Suit's organic components are infected by an alien organism and the suit must be surgically removed. All of Samus's weapons and abilities stay in the suit, but the parasite within it mutates into the main villain. ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption'' has Samus retain a few of the past game's items, such as Bombs and the Double Jump, but many of the upgrades are still gone with nary a word about them.
** The fanfiction "Fanfic/{{Repairs}}" has Samus play Bag of Spilling straight... then subverts it. She can still use her abilities, albeit in a more limited fashion, and using them before they're ready again makes their repairs take longer.
* In every ''Franchise/TombRaider'' game, Lara starts with just her pistols (and on one occasion her shotgun as well) and a couple of medipacks, despite the huge amount of weapons and supplies she picked up on her previous adventures and her wealth of owning a large stockpiles of weapons.
** In the Nevada mission of the third game, Lara is captured and stripped of her weapons.
** This also happens in the Offshire Rig level of Tomb Raider II, following a cutscene where Lara is caught onboard the enemy's seaplane and knocked unconscious with a wrench. She does retrieve her gear in short order, however.
** Chronicles hits the reset button after every chapter. Justified in that each mission is framed by one of her friends discussing it, meaning each mission takes place at a different time in Lara's life from one another.
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}:''
** In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow'', Soma Cruz, who has the power to absorb the souls of the monsters he slays (much like a Blue Mage from the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series), starts with none of the powers he gained from the first game. Genya Arikado [[HandWave handwaves]] it, explaining that since he wasn't in danger, Soma subconsciously released his acquired powers, though this doesn't explain what happened to the InfinityPlusOneSword. However, if you have the original GBA game in a Nintendo DS when the game starts, you are given an expensive item that increases rare drops.
** In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2'', you lose all the upgrades Gabriel acquired in the [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow first game]]. Similarly, all the powers you had as Dracula in the opening flashback are lost after waking up centuries later.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series is notable for this trope, as in every game the hero starts with just the basics -- a sword, a shield and some minor item -- and has to explore dungeons to collect weapons and tools. (Given a reference in ''[[http://www.zeldacomic.net/episode-166-enlightening-would-be-an-apt-pun/ Zelda Comic]]''). In this case, there are several different "Links" who wouldn't be expected to have the same items as the previous one; still, even when a Zelda game is a direct sequel (such as ''Majora's Mask''), you don't get the previous game's items. Note though that, excepting ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'', all the direct sequels begin with Link being stranded in a different land -- it's not unreasonable to suppose that his swag from the previous game was lost after Link fell into the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass Ocean King's realm]] or [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Labrynna/Holodrum]].
** For ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'', this isn't just limited to between games: Whenever the time-traveling hero hits his ResetButton, most, but not all, of his gear and supplies literally spill out from his pockets into the endless void as he flies back in time (even better, the only way of accumulating money is through a stamp made of special ink imprinted on your skin by a bank teller, recording the balance of your supposed account. Whenever you travel back in time, it's implied that you [[CompoundInterestTimeTravelGambit fool the bank into believing you currently have an account with this balance]]). Link also somehow loses access to the Ocarina songs he learned in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', even the ones that are also used in ''Majora's Mask''. He "remembers" the Song of Time (through a flashback that doesn't match up with how he learned it in the first game) but has to be retaught Epona's Song and the Song of Storms by other characters.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'', Link has lost not only his gear but also [[http://www.awkwardzombie.com/comic1-100807.php his ability to wield swords]], as well as his ability to swim. Before, he could swim as long as the swim meter didn't run out; now, he [[SuperDrowningSkills sinks like a stone]], losing a little energy and appearing on shore.
** Lampshaded/justified/something in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaCDiGames The Faces of Evil]]'' for the UsefulNotes/PhilipsCDi. When Link is informed that "it is written" that only he can defeat Ganon, he declares, "Great! I'll grab my stuff!" only to hear Gwonam reply, "There is no time; your sword is enough."
** It even happens in-game in the UsefulNotes/GameBoyColor game, ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle of Ages]]''. You've gotten a handful of useful stuff (a few dungeons in), when your rafting trip goes horribly awry, and lightning strikes you. You wake up on the island you were trying to get to anyway, surrounded by lizard men. Who carry off your stuff. You have ''nothing'' until you find the lizards who stole it and force them to give it back, including a handful of "trading" sequences involving planting a seedling in the past so you can get the seeds from it in the present to take those seeds back to the past to get your damn power bracelet back. This is especially apparent in the sidequests involving switching back and forth between the two ''Oracle'' games. Presumably, in-universe, Link is actually physically traveling between the two countries, but that doesn't explain why he becomes much more powerful and better-equipped when he goes back to the previous land and then leaves all his Heart Containers and items behind when he returns.
** The Eldin [[spoiler:Song of the Hero]] quest in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' starts with [[spoiler:Eldin Volcano erupting as Link descends from the sky, knocking him out and allowing the Bokoblins to steal his items. The entire quest revolves around making your way through the area while slowly regaining your items to progress.]]
** Used straight in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening''. At the start of the game, Link loses all his stuff when he suffers a shipwreck at the beginning of the game. Of course, [[spoiler: the game turned out to be set in the Wind Fish's dream, so that's another good explanation]].
* Averted in the ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain'' series. Abilities gained by both Kain in the ''Blood Omen'' games and Raziel in the ''Soul Reaver'' games are retained from one game to the next. There are a few exceptions; for example, Kain doesn't use his Wolf form after ''Blood Omen 1'' and Raziel doesn't use his Constrict power after ''Soul Reaver 1'', but those powers were of limited use anyway. Still played straight when it comes to the reaver forges--poor Raziel has to imbue the wraith blade twice with every last element between ''Soul Reaver 2'' and ''Defiance''. Particularly glaring because it is a vital element of the plot. A deleted scene (according to interviews) would have had the [[BigBad Elder God]] destroying the Elemental Fonts used to switch the sword elements in ''Soul Reaver 2''--forcing Raziel to re-imbue the sword.
* A mixed bag in ''Videogame/{{Yakuza}} 2''. Kazuma retains parts of his upgraded moveset, is much faster, and even has one or two new abilities, but must relearn others. And health bar reversion in the extreme, of course. Attempts to be justified between 2 - 3 - 4 by having him retire between games. He still retains a chunk of his new moveset, but loses most of his high level abilities through lack of practice.
* ''VideoGame/{{inFAMOUS 2}}'' semi-averts it, as Cole loses only some of his powers from the first game, and his energy meter is reduced back to its starting size. He then spends most of the game regaining his lost powers and collecting new ones. Even his original default lightning bolt attack is lost, replaced with a different bolt attack that doesn't have unlimited ammo.
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'':
** Averted in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity''. Once Bruce Wayne manages to gear up as Batman, he starts with most of the gadgets he acquired in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum''. The only major piece of equipment he doesn't carry over (the Line Launcher) is given to him roughly halfway through the game. It's even [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Alfred when Batman calls in the Line Launcher. He asks Batman if he's ever considered taking up a bigger UtilityBelt. Batman's response? Tried it, too heavy, weighted him down (no doubt a reference to the No Man's Land comic run where, as he was out in costume roughly 20 hours a day, he built a larger belt to handle a larger variety of crime fighting gear). Some upgrades that he had in Asylum do need to be purchased again, even though they would be massively useful in every-day Bat-manning (Critical Strikes and Combo boost come into mind).
** ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins'', which chronologically takes place first, then retroactively makes the first two games into a case of this, by introducing new items that weren't in the first two games. When asked about what happened to these new items, the creators simply [[HandWave responded by saying he just chose not to bring them with him.]] In the ''Cold Cold Heart'' DLC, set one week after ''Origins'', Alfred tells Batman that the glue grenade formula was unstable apparently justifying not being able to use them any more.

[[folder:Action Game]]
* ''Franchise/DevilMayCry''
** ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry2'' starts Dante with none of the weapons or powers from the first game except for the "Air Hike" double jump; it doesn't explain why, either. The third game is a prequel to the first two, and thus it is only natural he has none of the gear from the second one, except for a weaker version of his "Rebellion" sword... but then it leaves the gaping question of where all the weapons he picked up in ''that'' game went before the first ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry''. There must be a closet somewhere in his office stuffed with demonic weaponry. Then there's the Force Edge sword, which loses all the special abilities it had in the transition from 3 to 1 (and the loss is permanent - Dante can't buy them back); there, however, it's forgivable, since writers aren't psychic and the people writing ''[=DMC1=]'' had no idea what would happen in the third game.
** ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry4'' continues this trend. It comes between 1 and 2 chronologically, and it features a new main character altogether (Nero) who obviously has none of the weapons Dante had. However, Dante becomes the lead halfway through the game, which becomes a partial subversion: you can use the points you earned as Nero to purchase abilities as Dante. Also in ''Devil May Cry 4'', Dante is able to use all of the "style" moves from ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry3DantesAwakening'', although at Level 1. You can upgrade them at the beginning of missions and at Divinity Statues, and doing so unlocks many new moves.
* ''[[LegoAdaptationGame Lego Star Wars II]]'' has an "extra" that allows the user to import characters from a ''Lego Star Wars'' save file for use in the "Free Play" mode.
* In the GBC ''VideoGame/HarryPotter'' games, Harry somehow forgets everything he learned his first year, lost his entire Famous Witches and Wizards card collection, and loses all his money.
* In ''[[VideoGame/LegoAdaptationGame Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7]]'', all the Defense Against the Dark Arts spells that Harry and co. learned in Years 1-4 (except for Harry's Expecto Patronum) are banned by Professor Umbridge at the start of the game, and must be relearned or unlocked.
* ''VideoGame/{{Onimusha}}'' starts off Samonosuke with fully upgraded weapons and armor from the first game, with most of them being shown in the opening CG cutscene, and a fully upgraded soul absorbing gauntlet. After he is sent to the future, he loses all of his upgrades and begins with a simple katana and downgraded armor and must collect new weapons and upgrades.

[[folder:Adventure Game]]
* Exception: As each new game in the ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' series was the same hero on a new adventure, players are provided with a chance to save their hero at the end of one game, and import him into the next. Importing gives your new character the stats and spells he knew in the previous game, as well as some of his gear and all his money. The one time the series plays this trope straight, in the transition between games 3 and 4, it's [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] by the fact that the hero is the subject of a forced teleport spell which is interrupted partway, throwing him into an EldritchAbomination's final resting place. Also of note that even if you didn't import a character he would still start out more powerful than he did in the last game statwise; this all works because as the games progressed the actual stats went up, so an extremely high stat in the first game was mediocre in the second, by the fifth and final game, the minimum score you could have on a stat was the same as the cap in the first game. The fifth game features an aversion to this trope. Throughout the series, Thief characters have a SubPlot involving [[Film/TheMalteseFalcon a statue of a blackbird]] which is being sought after by everyone of the light-fingered persuasion. In ''[=QfG4=]'', you can find and steal a duplicate Blackbird from the evil monastery in town; if you then import your character into ''[=QfG5=]'', he'll have the Fake Blackbird in his inventory, which makes stealing the real thing a little easier by cutting out a few steps[[note]]If you don't have the Fake, you have to take the real statue to an artist in town to have a fake made for you[[/note]].
** Inverted in ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryV'' where Rhakeesh, upon first meeting you, will return some of the items you lost due to this trope between 3 and 4. If you play as a Paladin, he will keep the Holy Sword Soulfire (which he had given you in III) since you've found another Holy Sword with identical powers in IV.
* At the beginning of ''VideoGame/{{Monkey Island 2|LeChucks Revenge}}'', Guybrush Threepwood is hideously wealthy after his adventures on the high seas between this game and the first. He is almost immediately robbed by the [[TheNapoleon diminutive but tough]] Largo [=LaGrande=].
** A strange case occurs in ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland'' (the third game in the series). You begin the game with only one item in your inventory: an inexplicable pair of helium filled balloons. Presumably these are the same balloons acquired in the endgame of ''Monkey Island 2'', but everything else from that game has been lost. The game does this midway through the second chapter as well: While walking on a nature trail, Guybrush gets swallowed by a snake, and has to collect a wide variety of items inside the snake's belly before finding one that'll help him escape... after which the snake vomits Guybrush into a quicksand pit, which sucks almost all of Guybrush's recently discovered loot right through his pants.
** In ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland'', an EpisodicGame, Guybrush loses some items between chapters while keeping others, sometimes with no explanation, but the justification can be that those items aren't useful anymore so he just discards them, at one point a lost item could be very helpful and Guybrush says that he lost it.
* ''[[VideoGame/LittleBigAdventure Little Big Adventure 2]]'' offers one of the better explanations. It's explicitly said that [[TheHero Twinsen]] hasn't practiced magic since the previous game and lent his Ancestral Tunic (that grants him magical powers in the first place) to a museum. He has as much HP as in the previous game, and his physical shape and hand-to-hand combat skills are as good as ever. On the other hand, a few important items are still missing (including a CoolSword), and upon reclaiming the old magical stuff, he only gets one level of magic and needs new items to progress further.
* Played straight through the ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest'' series--Roger Wilco doesn't retain equipment from one game to the next. With the exception of the Orium crystal from II, which Roger starts with in III. Also, the ''effects'' of another item carry over from II to III: acquiring the free-but-not-really Labion Terror Beast Mating Whistle in II leads to the Arnoid hunting Roger during III. However, the sixth game shows that he does keep some of the items from all his adventures: they are all on the table in his quarters aboard the ''[=DeepShip 86=]''.
* In Creator/{{Infocom}}'s ''VideoGame/{{Enchanter}}'' trilogy, the first and second games each end with your spellbook being lost, along with all the spells you gathered over the course of the game. That said, the second and third games do each start with you equipped with a new spellbook with a better range of spells than the anemic spellbook you get at the beginning of ''Enchanter''.
* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestI''. In the first game, the protagonist Graham recovers three treasures. One of these is a mirror that foretells the future, which is used to drive the plot in most of the sequels. The other two, a chest of infinite gold and particularly a ''shield of invulnerability'', are never brought up again, although they surely would have come in handy.
* {{Lampshaded}} in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfKyrandia The Legend of Kyrandia, Book Two: Hand of Fate]].'' When Zanthia loses all her items each time she moves to the next chapter, she grunts and complains that "it's the worst backpack I've ever had".
* In the ''Film/{{Hook}}'' point-and-click adventure game for home computers, after you walk the plank and get rescued by the mermaids you find that you've conveniently lost all the items that you no longer have a use for.
* In the ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry'' series, Larry loses all items from the previous games. This is usually justified, as some time passes between the end of one and the start of another. Also justified in the seventh game, which starts immediately after the sixth, as he gets robbed and starts a fire in the hotel room, forcing him to jump out the window naked, losing all his possessions in the fire.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/VivaCaligula: In Hell!''; Caligula has all the weapons from the previous game. There don't appear to be any new ones, but it's still refreshing.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Submachine}}'' series:
** Averted in ''Submachine 2: The Lighthouse''. ''Submachine 1'' ended with you holding a diary page, a Wisdom Gem and a coin, and you still have the page and gem (not the coin, but then [[MindScrew you start off standing in front of a coin-op Submachine 1 game]]). The gem is actually useful as well.
** At the end of ''Submachine 2'' you have various notes, which all disappear when you arrive in ''Submachine 3: The Loop'' ("THERE IS NO DIARY PAGE").
** ''Submachine 3'' doesn't have any collectables, so you start ''Submachine 4: The Lab'' without anything.
** ''Submachine 5: The Root'' is the only game that doesn't follow directly from the last one; it opens with you in the dorm area of a different lab. Presumably, you put your knife, hammer and screwdriver (not to mention all the notes) down somewhere.
** At the start of ''Submachine 6: The Edge'', you still have the notes, cipher plates and wrench from ''Submachine 5'' but you have to deposit them in a bin before the Machine will let you proceed. Not that they'd have been any use here.
** At the end of ''Submachine 6'' you don't have anything (you just read the notes without collecting them this time), so you don't have anything when you begin ''Submachine 7: The Core''.
** At the start of ''Submachine 8: The Plan'', you don't have the notes from ''Submachine 7: The Core''. But then you have just [[spoiler: been catapulted to another layer of reality by an unstable karma portal]].
** At the start of ''Submachine 9: The Temple'' you still have (and need) the hammer and layer-crossing machine from ''Submachine 8: The Plan''
** At the start of ''Submachine 10: The Exit'', you've lost the hammer, the machine and the jug of karma water. The point from ''Submachine 8'' applies again, perhaps even more so.
* In ''VideoGame/PrincessTomatoInTheSaladKingdom'', your sidekick Percy carries most of your stuff. Every now and then -- usually after you've completed a major event or reached the end of a chapter -- he informs you that whoops! He's dropped, lost, or otherwise misplaced some of it! Fortunately, none of what he loses is actually ''required'' to complete the game; think of it as an involuntary inventory reduction.
** Something similar happens in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series, though in this case the characters explicitly state that they're intentionally reorganizing their inventories and dumping things they don't need anymore.
* ''VideoGame/HamtaroHamHamHeartbreak'' justifies Hamtaro losing all of the Ham-Chat words from his dictionary by having him fall in a bucket of water at the start of the game, ruining his dictionary.
* The Creator/TelltaleGames ''SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'' games plays it straight and subverts it at times. A lot of the items are tossed out in between chapters, but a few are either kept in their inventory later on or handwaved with where it was. For instance, the hypnotizing-proof helmet from the very first game is said to be permanently woven into Sam's hat.
* In the ''VideoGame/MentalSeries'', Greg has a slingshot with him in the first game and in ''Mental Showtime'' for some reason. He doesn't have it in ''Murder Most Foul''. Maybe he dropped it when escaping...

* In games in this genre that allow you to pick up weapons (either from defeated enemies who carry them or found randomly lying around) it's very common for your character to drop them when they exit the current area.

[[folder:Fighting Game]]
* Averted in ''[[VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy]]'', through an OldSaveBonus [[note]] despite the introduction of this very article says that "If the game actually acknowledges personal data from a previous title in the series, it's an OldSaveBonus", this time it's different - as the OldSaveBonus makes you keep ''much'' more than a handful of weapons as it usually happens[[/note]] for the first ''Dissidia'', as ''entire levels'' can be transferred to the sequel if you have the old save file, thus averting the need to [[LevelGrinding grind all those levels]] and therefore actually playing out like an example of NewGamePlus [[note]] or as an example of MissionPackSequel if you're ''that'' whiny, take your pick...[[/note]]. The trope can be played straight as the player has the option to import everything but their levels so they can keep their unlockables and get their bonus items, but still have the option to level old characters up.
* ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena'' takes place a few months after the end of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', but for some odd reason, the Investigation Team can only use their base level personas.[[note]]Save for [[TheHero Narukami]], who's Insta-Kill makes use of his Ultimate Persona[[/note]] However, in both this game and its sequel ''VideoGame/Persona4ArenaUltimax'', this is averted for the [[VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} SEES alumni]], who all retain their Ultimate Personas.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* The ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' series has reasons why Gordon Freeman doesn't start with all his weapons and items from the previous game: removed by the G-Man at the end of ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'', destroyed by a security system during the penultimate level of ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'', and scattered by an explosion and train wreck at the end of ''Half-Life 2: Episode One''. Gordon still has his weapons at the end of ''Half-Life 2: Episode Two'', however, and shows no indication of possibly losing them.
** ''Half-Life 2'' and its various episodes avert this when you start a game from anywhere other than the first chapter. The game will give you every weapon you can have at that point and a reasonable amount of ammo for all of them.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' is also affected. We see that in the ending of ''Portal'', [[spoiler:Chell blows [=GLaDOS=] up and ends up outside the facility and her Portal Gun was probably lost]]. In the beginning of ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'', you have to get the Single Portal Gun again, guided by Wheatley. But, when you get captured by [=GLaDOS=], you lose it. Good thing you get the Dual-Portal Gun almost immediately.
* ''Franchise/StarWars: VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga'':
** ''[[VideoGame/JediKnightMysteriesOfTheSith Mysteries of the Sith]]'' averted this trope in its early levels, as the player begins the game as [[ATasteOfPower a fully powered and well-armed Kyle Katarn]], before assuming the role of Mara Jade after Kyle goes missing.
** Played straight with an explanation in ''VideoGame/JediKnightIIJediOutcast'', where it is revealed that Kyle Katarn gave up the Force for fear of falling to the Dark Side ([[spoiler:like he did in ''Mysteries of the Sith'']]), and is thus unable to use the Force powers he had in the previous game until he's convinced early on to re-establish his connection to the Force.
** For ''VideoGame/JediKnightJediAcademy'', instead of reusing that trope yet again, the developers instead gave the player the role of Jaden, his apprentice and a new arrival to the Jedi Academy, with Kyle taking a supporting role and still having all the abilities he had at the end of ''Outcast'' when he accompanies you. They were fully aware of this trope, and they have specifically stated that the decision for a new protagonist in ''Jedi Academy'' was because of how silly it would get if they had to depower Kyle again and again by some excuse after another.
* ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany''. It's probably a conscious design decision, to try and avoid TooAwesomeToUse. ''Bad Company 2'' also avoids this by virtue of the weapon crates scattered about in the campaign - even in the odd case where you lose what guns you had been using beforehand, you can typically find one of the crates and grab whatever you want from it.
* Justified in the last level of ''VideoGame/UrbanChaosRiotResponse''. Your safe house is bombed with you in it while you're off duty, so of course you don't have any of your T-Zero equipment for you have to leave that at Headquarters. However since your apartment was attacked before, you have several weapons stashed in it. And they have a brain about the lack of equipment. "We can't contact Nick! He doesn't have his communicator!" "Use his cell phone." Nick can also grab a shield from a Burner after killing one.
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'':
** The intro cinematic of the first game ends right at the opening to the first level, "No Mercy." But the characters are shown using weapons that they won't actually find until later. During the cinematic, every character either runs out of ammo or has the gun knocked out of their hands, leaving them with only the starting pistol.
** [[VideoGame/Left4Dead2 The sequel]], which actually has a canonical chronological sequence to its campaigns, lampshades this in "Hard Rain" when the protagonists realize that they've left their weapons and the flares needed to signal their boat in a bag that they forgot to grab from said boat. The other campaigns play the trope straight, but there are some unsaid explanations. In "The Passing/Dark Carnival", they arrive in a tight, cramped stock car that likely could barely hold 4 people, much less guns. "Swamp Fever" starts with a helicopter crash. Virgil likely wanted some payment for his services rendered and/or the Survivors were willing to give him their guns to show their gratitude, which would explain why they have nothing at the start of "The Parish". Then there is "The Sacrifice", wherein the old survivors arrive in a train and still don't carry anything but pistols--though we know from the tie-in comic that the US military confiscated the stronger guns.
** The tie-in comic for "The Sacrifice" explained how in the original game the Survivors lost their weapons between some of the campaigns: The Slaters stole their weapons and booted them off the boat in the aftermath of "Death Toll", the airplane crashed after "Dead Air", and the military that rescued them confiscated their weapons for security reasons. It's unknown why they lost their weapons after "Crash Course" though, as their armored truck had more than enough room to carry it and it was merely blocked by dead traffic (and a literal broken bridge).
* ''VideoGame/FrontlinesFuelOfWar'' has the missions divided into segments for each objective, separated by a short loading screen. The player often picks up many nifty toys to ensure that he's covered for all situations, such as carrying an assault rifle, grenade launcher, rocket launcher, pistol, sniper rifle, grenades, several UCAV drones with rocket launchers, and a pair of binoculars that drop airstrikes wherever he points them. This massive arsenal is lost in between loading screens, even if the next segment takes place mere minutes after and it would make no logical sense for him to take all of his equipment that could make the next mission a total breeze and toss them off a cliff, forcing him to find replacements.
** Seeing as how the player is fully-versed in every weapon and equipment classification in the entire war, it's a surprise they don't give him a full arsenal of whatever he requests at the beginning of each mission, because the commanders know he'll find and use them anyway.
** Apart from the black ops mission (where you paradrop in) it's pretty obvious that you are basically [[FacelessGoons just another soldier]]; the story follows the reporter and the squad, not an individual soldier. Speaking of said black ops mission, you get some of those TooAwesomeToUse chaingun mini-tank drones as the black ops guy, who conveniently vanishes before the next phase of the mission, when having one or two of those little things would ''really'' help with the upcoming fights...
* A number of old-school first-person shooters (like ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'') were divided into three or more "episodes," each of which would start you off with only your most basic weaponry. ''Doom 3'' does something vaguely similar when you enter or leave hell (though not if you're just using the teleporters to get from one part of Mars to another).
** ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}} 2'' uses the excuse that your items have all been confiscated by HQ so that they can reverse engineer them for mass production.
** ''VideoGame/{{Heretic}}'' has weapons lost between episodes, but additionally only allows you to carry one of each inventory item across levels.
* Occurs twice in ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}''. Once after getting captured, and once right before facing the final boss. This includes the attachments, some of which you will never see again after the first half of the game.
** Like ''Halo'', ''Crysis'' only lets you carry a small selection of weapons at a time. Plus, at least it was justified--and if you run around before beating the stuffing out of the guy who caught you, you can rearm yourself somewhat, and the second time you did have to stop and go in for a diagnostic check... it's not like they were ''expecting'' a [[spoiler:giant alien squid battleship thing to pop up and blast them with a freeze-ray]], eh?
* ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R.]]'''s expansions and sequels (the ones that involve Point Man, anyway) do this.
** ''F.E.A.R.: Extraction Point'' starts Point Man off without weapons, ostensibly justified by having just survived a nuclear explosion. Less justifiably, he's also lost the effects of any health or reflex boosters he picked up over the course of the original game.
** ''F.E.A.R. 3'' starts after Point Man has been captured and imprisoned by Armacham for an unspecified length of time (generally presumed to be 9 months). Point Man and Fettel also lose any weapons/bodies/power armor when switching chapters. Sometimes justified by Point Man barely surviving a fall from the breaking environment or some sort of vehicle crash, sometimes not. It's presumed he uses up guns between intervals. As for Fettel, he can't hold on to a body without constantly killing for psychic energy.
* Every location change in ''VideoGame/{{XIII}}'' is accompanied with the player character losing the various weapons and equipment he had grabbed in the previous levels, though on occasion he gets new gear to start out with.
* ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}} 2'': Durandal, being [[{{Troll}} who he is]], gleefully lampshades this when the game begins:
-->'''Durandal:''' I know you have a lot of questions. [...] And most importantly, where's your rocket launcher and the fusion gun?
* Often in the ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' series, where unless the level is specifically designed to remember what you beat the previous one with (usually only for levels that take place immediately after the previous one, and even then not always), your character often manages to somehow completely misplace the useful enemy equipment he picked up in the last level and re-acquire the gun he came in with and dropped for something else five minutes in. The Chernobyl missions in the first ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' are probably the oddest: the sniper rifle you start with in the first one survives the transition to the second, minus its suppressor and ghillie camouflage, but the silenced USP you also start with and anything else you can pick up in the level turn into an AK-47 during the transition--''except'' for an actual AK-47, which instead turns into a USP for some reason.

[[folder:Hack And Slash]]
* The same thing happens in ''VideoGame/GodOfWarII'', and the rest of the game is dedicated to going back in time to kill the person who took them. Fortunately, the player still retains most of his divine strength at the start of the game, as well as a leveled-up version of one of the most useful spells from the original game, to give players ATasteOfPower.
** In ''Chains of Olympus'', a prequel to the series, Kratos is robbed of his items by the gods at the end of the game. It is not shown if they took his magic, but regardless, he doesn't have it by the first game.
** ''3'' gives Kratos ATasteOfPower again until he falls into Hades again. At that point you lose the maxed out Blades of Athena and its magic, as well as any experience points obtained at that point. However, you keep the Golden Fleece and the Wings of Icarus.
** At the end of ''Ghost of Sparta'' (set between the first and second games), Kratos willingly gives up the Arms of Sparta [[spoiler:and uses them as a WeaponTombstone for his brother Deimos.]]
* KOEI's ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' and ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors'' franchise (and the ''Warriors Orochi'' crossovers) have averted the trope in the form of unlockables for having save data for the preceding game.
* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle'' downplays the trope; Travis apparently ditched all of his gear except for his basic Beam Katana when he left the assassin life, but he starts with the skills the player could pick up by collecting Lovikov balls in the first game. Since this includes the mini-map, it's a very good thing. He can also get back the previous game's InfinityPlusOneSword as his first alternate beam katana, though it requires upgrades to bring it back to its former glory.
** Travis also still has Death Metal's mansion. He keeps his giant robot in it. No explanation is given as to why he still lives in a motel room. Unless he spent all the money on the giant robot.

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* Averted for the most part in ''VideoGame/LostWinds''. At the beginning of the second game, Toku keeps all of his learned abilities; however, he loses his cape after tearing it off on a tree branch. He gets it back later, though.
* Averted in ''Banjo-Tooie'', where the main characters are able to use ''every'' power they acquired in the previous game, ''VideoGame/BanjoKazooie'', on top of all the new ones they learn over the course of ''this'' game (though they do lose a lot of HP and carrying capacity). The sole exceptions are the basic standing and running attacks. In ''Kazooie'', Banjo would perform these by himself, but in ''Tooie'', they were altered to incorporate Kazooie, seemingly for the sole purpose of making Banjo utterly defenceless once the pair finally learns how to split up, requiring a new move to be learned before he can attack by himself. Played straight in ''Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts'', as Banjo and Kazooie lose their abilities due to years of being fat and lazy. Their lack of their abilities is often lampshaded.
* ''VideoGame/{{Blackthorne}}'' also does this, because of the limitations of its save system. It was developed for the SNES, it doesn't include a battery in the game cartridge, and its save passwords are only 4 characters long.
* Despite the fact that you're not playing as the previous Hero/Heroine in ''VideoGame/MegaManZX Advent'', the whole plot is the fact that the BigBad has stolen Vent/Alie's other Biometals and is putting them to use. [[spoiler:Vent/Alie shows up looking for them later.]]
* At the start of ''VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves'', Bently begins to tell Sly how to do the [[IHaveTheHighGround ninja spire jump]], and Sly chides him for assuming that he would forget one of his most important skills. True enough, Sly retains the spire jump and rail-walk techniques that he learned in [[VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRaccoonus the first game]] for the rest of the trilogy, but he still forgot a host of other skills from that game, such as the power to turn invisible, alter time, and how to not [[SuperDrowningSkills take damage from falling in water]].
** It is in full effect for the jump between the second and [[VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves the third game]], especially with regards to equipment like the Paraglider or power ups like Silent Obliteration. Very annoying when you forget that you lose these...
* The ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank'' series does this with weapons and devices, but upgrades to Clank (a robot) are retained from game to game. However, the loss of equipment is explainable to a degree: The duo are teleported out of their living room in the opening cut scene of [[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankGoingCommando the second game]], in [[VideoGame/RatchetDeadlocked the fourth game]] they are captured by the BigBad in the opening, and in the fifth game they are surprised by a sudden attack. [[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankUpYourArsenal The third game]] gives no explanation, which is especially odd considering that they are intentionally going into a war zone.
** Different galactic currency means he can't buy ammo for them. Notice that Bogon Galaxy bolts are a different color than Solana ones. Also, the weapon purchases you made in each game did apparently entitle you to replacements at no or (in the case of ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFutureACrackInTime A Crack In Time]]'' reduced) cost since if you have a save from an older game on your profile, finding a vendor who sells weapons from previous games gets you any that you'd bought in the previous game.
** Clank losing some of his abilities is handwaved by explaining that some of his upgrades from the first game are illegal in Bogon.
** In ''Quest for Booty'', you start with some of the best weapons from ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFutureToolsOfDestruction Tools Of Destruction]]'' [[ATasteOfPower for a brief battle at sea.]] At the end of that battle you're knocked out and wash ashore without your guns. They eventually wash ashore separately.
* Notably averted in the original three Insomniac-made ''VideoGame/SpyroTheDragon'' games: no abilities are gained in the first game, but those gained in the second carry over to the third. Showcased over and over, however, in the later games.
** The end of A New Beginning actually does explain this for Eternal Night. During the cutscene Spyro mentions that the battle with Dark Cynder and subsequent escape drained his strength, and he lost most of his powers as a result. Perfectly reasonable when one remembers that Spyro is still a child (12-14 years old). Played straight for Dawn of the Dragon however, unless you assume the same thing happened again.
* In ''VideoGame/WonderboyIIITheDragonsTrap'', the first stage is a reenactment of the final stage of ''VideoGame/WonderBoyInMonsterLand'', complete with the Legendary equipment and extended life meter. Once you get turned into Lizardman, you lose it all, and must build back up to it. Near the end of the game, you revisit the castle ruins to retrieve the Legendary equipment.
* ''VideoGame/DrillDozer'' is about a girl in a mech with a drill on it. In each level, the player can acquire gears, which allow the drill to spin faster and harder. At the end of every level, the drill conveniently breaks down in such as fashion as to lose the two gears, leaving them with the default first. It's blamed on "wear and tear." [[spoiler:At the end of the game, ''all'' the gears get broken.]]
* Jak of ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxter'' always loses his equipment when things go wrong at the beginning of each game. Justified in several cases: his Power Cells are spent opening a portal to ''VideoGame/JakIIRenegade''; the Precursor Orbs were likely taken by the Krimson Guard; his gun and hoverboard are taken away when he's exiled to the Wasteland. Several other things are not, though: he loses multiple Dark abilities at the start of ''VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander''; you have to save up orbs to buy back the car he was driving at the start of ''VideoGame/JakXCombatRacing''; and he doesn't bring his armor or morph gun when he travels to the Brink in ''The Lost Frontier''.
* ''[[VideoGame/CaptainComic Captain Comic 2]]''. "...Armed only with his courage, he enters the teleport chamber..."
* The ''VideoGame/TyTheTasmanianTiger'' series is a particularly strange offender; you obtain various [[ImprobableWeaponUser boomerang sets]] with various ElementalPowers, and you always, ''always'' lose them between games--except for the Aquarangs, which only work underwater. They do, however, change ''appearance'', from rather distinctive finned boomerangs to... the exact same model as your starting boomerang.
* The Chaos Emeralds in the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series. Justified by the good ending of the game.
** ''Sonic 3'' picks up directly after ''Sonic 2'' (with the canonical ending being that you got all the Chaos Emeralds in ''Sonic 2''). Hence, Sonic uses them in the opening cinematic to turn into Super Sonic, before Knuckles jumps up and startles him, losing the emeralds. Knuckles then picks them up. Granted, this doesn't explain how they end up randomly scattered throughout the levels.
** Averted between ''Sonic 3'' and ''VideoGame/SonicAndKnuckles'' courtesy the lock-on cartridge of the latter. If you continue from a ''Sonic 3'' save file, you retain any and all emeralds that you've collected in that game.
** Also averted in ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'', in which Sonic holds onto the Chaos Emeralds through the entire game.
** The rings and shields also count, though a couple games in the series do let the player keep a shield after a level ends.
** Between ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' and ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', Sonic lost his Light Speed Shoes, and Light Speed Attack. Knuckles lost his Shovel Claws. All of them are replaced in the second game--however, there are also the missing Crystal Ring (Sonic), Jet Anklet, Rhythm Badge (Tails), and Fighting Gloves (Knuckles). Tails' lost items are slightly justified, due to the UnexpectedGameplayChange, but...
* Done rather comedically in ''VideoGame/TheLegendaryStarfy'' series of games. In every game, Starfy has more or less the same moves, but still has to re-learn them each game. The canon explanation for this is that Starfy is so spacey and absentminded that he keeps on forgetting how to perform his own special techniques. Moe typically gets mad at him for this habit in the fifth game, at one point going "Sheesh, next this kid will forget how to swim!"
* Though it's the end of the series, depending on which ending you get to ''DemonsCrest'' Firebrand may either hide everything he's earned in the game or throw it haphazardly off a cliff, suddenly realizing he doesn't want it anymore.
* ''VideoGame/KidDracula'' for the GameBoy is the sequel to ''Boku Dracula-kun'' for the {{NES}}. In the first cutscene, the son of Dracula admits to Death that he already forgot the techniques he learned in the first game.
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns'' has the Kongs, despite [[SuperNotDrowningSkills being able to swim endlessly underwater in all three ''Donkey Kong Country'' games]], suddenly unable to swim. They [[SuperDrowningSkills WILL die if they fall into the water]], as if it were a BottomlessPit.
* It's implied in the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' games that X voluntarily disposes of his new armor and weapons after every game, in order to avoid the temptation to abuse his newfound power...or maybe because he [[IJustWantToBeNormal simply doesn't like fighting in the first place, really]].
** Surprisingly, the dash ability (gained from the Boots Armor upgrade in X) is a starting ability in the all of the later X games. Then again, the opening to VideoGame/MegaManX1 stated the dash upgrade was optional from the start, so the implication is that this was meant to be available to X in his base form.
** ''VideoGame/MegaManX4''-''VideoGame/MegaManX8'' play with this in so many ways. He starts 5 and 6 with the Fourth/Force Armour and Falcon Armour from the game preceding each, respectively. The only problem is that the armors are severely weakened compared to their original versions, with the implication that X did trash them, but Alia went and salvaged them as best she could. Whereas in the first three games, X started with a 16 unit life meter, and built it up to 32. From X4 onward until X8 redesigned the meters, X ''started'' with a 32 unit meter, and could build up to 48(X4), 64(X5-6), and 80(X7). Also, X7 and X8 made the airdash and charging his X-buster an extra level available in base form. Respectively. Also, in regards to heart tanks, in X1, X is obviously significantly weaker than Zero. By the time we actually ''see'' Zero's life bar, X is only eight heart tanks away from being equal to it, and then it's just a case of them being equal. However, Zero has no such qualms, which doesn't explain why he forgets ''learned techniques'' (i.e. NOT weapons), such as his Ice Stab maneuver in X4. It's not like he dies in that particular chapter, unlike X5. Interestingly, in the X vs. Zero fight, they both pull out weapons from X4, giving the suggestion that they keep them for emergencies.
** Had [[ExecutiveMeddling Capcom not stepped in,]] ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' would have shown what [[HeWhoFightsMonsters would have happened]] [[KnightTemplar if X kept his weapons]]. Zero had a convenient case of amnesia over the 100 years of deep sleep, so he forgot everything when the series started (but not between episodes).
** Speaking of which the trope is actually justified in ''Zero 2'' where Zero has his Buster, Saber, and Shield Boomerang damaged and his Triple Rod totaled due to fighting constantly against Neo Arcadian forces in the desert for over a year without any R&R. It even goes so far as to show the Pause menu looking rusty and a portrait of a damaged Zero. Which is awesome, by the way; especially since the pause menu changes to an entirely different format once Zero returns to the Base and gets fixed up (in the third and fourth games the menu changes right from the beginning). Zero also holds his arm while stationary throughout that entire level, which usually only happens when he's low on health.
** Also, in ''Zero 3'' and ''Zero 4'', when Zero has been lounging at the Resistance Base in between games instead of fighting in the desert for a year, he keeps all of his weapon upgrades (the ones you get by simply using the weapons repeatedly), so you start the game with your weapons at full power. Zero still forgets all of his learned techniques, though.
** Averted in the Wily Tower level of ''The Wily Wars'' (a.k.a. ''Rockman Megaworld''), as once you've beaten the first three games and unlocked Wily Tower, you can select 8 out of 22 available weapons and 3 out of 7 items to equip. Played straight, though, within the first three games.
** Taken UpToEleven in ''Videogame/MegaMan9'': Granted, a world at peace would have no need of a chargeable buster, but that doesn't explain why old Rock's no longer able to ''slide'' as well.
* Downplayed in the Flash game ''VideoGame/{{KOLM}} 2''. Robbie retains most of his movement abilities from the first game (dashing, triple jumping, swimming, crouching), but loses all of his defensive abilities (invulnerability to spikes, damage reduction).
* Justified in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'', as the events of the [[VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime previous game]] were undone, and thus he technically never got any of the new gear. He also left the Dagger of Time with Farah, but kept the future version of her medallion, which is also a time artifact, allowing him to keep his time powers for the sequel.
** At the beginning of ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones'', as he is about to make port, the Prince throws the Medallion of Time overboard, thinking he doesn't need it anymore. Cue his ship being sunk by a catapult while the Water and Light Swords you worked so hard for in ''[[VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin Warrior Within]]'' are below decks. Fortunately, he retains all of his melee combat abilities.
* Lampshaded in ''VideoGame/{{Trine}} 2''.
-->'''Amadeus:''' Whatever happened to that magic talisman that allowed us to breathe underwater?\\
'''Zoya:''' I... um. I think someone hocked it.
* Done in a truly head-desk-worthy manner in ''VideoGame/{{Tomba}} 2''. Not only has Tomba lost everything except his grandfather's amulet (which is useless anyway), he's ''forgotten how to swim!''
* ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot''
** Games starting with ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot3Warped'' had a bad tendency of this; over the course of the game, Crash would get a variety of new moves from defeating bosses only for the next game to start him with his standard abilities only and the new ones having to be unlocked again, frequently in a similar order. Some games eventually wisened up on this:
** ''VideoGame/CrashTwinsanity'', which although mostly starting on a clean slate gave Crash the ability to double jump (an unlockable move in earlier games) from the start; it's worth noting that this was the first platformer since ''Warped'' not to feature upgrades.
** Averted completely in ''VideoGame/CrashMindOverMutant''; Crash begins the game with every move he had at the end of ''VideoGame/CrashOfTheTitans'', and only some effects to them that would be overpowered if you began the game with them (such as an infinite spin attack) have to be obtained again.
* ''VideoGame/DistortedTravesty'': In the third installment, all of Jerry's and Claire's abilities are stolen by the Virus, right down to their ability to move back and forth. Jeremy manages to undo that last part, but all other abilities have to be re-earned... including ''jumping''.

[[folder:Puzzle Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Gruntz}}'', you do not keep any of the wonderful things you get from one level to the next. You don't even keep the same gruntz!

[[folder:Real Time Strategy]]
* The genre as a whole tends to follow this trope; no matter how big or badass your army gets by the end of the mission, in the next one you will not be allowed to bring them with you, having to start all over with a paltry few soldiers and basic buildings. The ones that have scaling weapons and armor upgrades tend to reset those at the beginning of every level as well, forcing you to spend time and money researching them again.
* ''VideoGame/SupremeCommander'' and its expansion, Forged Alliance, plays this trope straight during the campaign. No matter what upgrades your commander unit has, the next mission will return it to tier 1 and no upgrades.
* Averted in spectacular fashion by Paradox Interactive's series of historical simulators. You can play ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings'' from 1066 to 1453, then export the save file from that into ''VideoGame/EuropaUniversalis III'' and start with the world map and conditions as they were when you left them, and play up to 1820. ''Then'' you can repeat the process with ''[[VideoGame/VictoriaAnEmpireUnderTheSun Victoria]]'' and play up to 1920. If you have the expansion pack it goes to 1936 and ''then'' lets you export its save file in turn into ''VideoGame/HeartsOfIron II'' which runs up to 1964. In all you have nearly 900 years of in-game continuity. This is possible because all four games run on a very similar engine.
* ''VideoGame/WarCraft II'' introduced naval combat, complete with ''offshore platforms'' for extracting oil, a resource necessary for constructing fleets. ''Warcraft III'' effectively removed this element, having ships only in cut scenes, custom maps and certain campaign levels, with them not constructive in standard skirmish games.
* ''Warcraft III'' mostly averts this with hero levels.
** In the ExpansionPack, every hero who appeared before is level ten. Arthas actually spends most of his expansion pack campaign going down from level ten all the way to level two before being allowed to level back up. The only direct use is Thrall, who was allowed to level to three in the training campaign but starts at level one in the full orc campaign. Arthas goes from a level 10 paladin to a level 1 death knight after the human campaign. And his SwordOfPlotAdvancement loses the ability to do chaos damage.
** In addition to hero levels, ''Warcraft III'' also averts this trope with items. Pick up a cloak of + 3 intellect on your hero in one mission and it will be on your character at the start of the next mission. In fact, the game averts the trope even when it might make sense: lose access to a hero for storyline reasons in one mission and his or her items will be waiting for you at your start location in the next mission. Again, an exception is made for Arthas when he goes from a level 10 human paladin to a level 1 undead death knight, and there was probably an exception for characters between the basic ''Warcraft III'' campaign and the expansion campaigns too.
** ''Warcraft III'' has an example in the Undead campaign of the Frozen Throne expansion pack. At the first mission you start off with [[ATasteOfPower fully powered]] Level 10 Arthas Death Knight. However, during the course of the campaign Arthas gradually loses power (thus levels) as the Lich King's Frozen Throne acquired a fracture due to Illidan's operations.
* ''VideoGame/CompanyOfHeroes'' downplays this. On an individual unit level, the player can build certain veteran units of the same rank as a unit which gained veterancy in a previous mission. Additionally, for certain missions, if the next mission directly follows the preceding mission (e.g. capture a town in one mission, defend it the next) the ending units from the first mission will be the starting units for the second. Battlefield conditions (locations of defensive structures, destroyed buildings, etc.) are also reproduced for subsequent missions on the same map.
* Kerrigan's deinfestation in ''VideoGame/StarcraftIIWingsOfLiberty'' seems to have the same intent, while the first Starcraft didn't have RPG elements and she wasn't playable in "Wings" she starts out ''[[VideoGame/StarcraftIIHeartOfTheSwarm Heart of the Swarm]]'' substantially less powerful than she was in the previous games.
* Zig-zagged in ''VideoGame/TheBattleForMiddleEarth'' games:
** In both games, hero units keep their experience from mission to mission, as the player retains his general powers. Upgrades have to be researched in each mission.
** In the ''BFME'' campaigns, the player keeps his units with their level, and their upgrades, but must research those upgrade first to apply them to units he just created.
** In the ''BFMEII'' campaigns, the player keeps his heroes but not his army.
** In the ''BFMEII'' "War of the Ring" mode, the player keeps the army he created during the turned-based mode, but not the troops created during the real-time battles. Averted in the expansion, your armies that you build in real-time mode are now persistent.
* ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar 2'': In between the vanilla and the first expansion, [[spoiler:the strike cruiser holding most of your wargear performs a HeroicSacrifice]], accounting for the loss of your gear, though fortunately your characters keep their levels and whatever gear you had on you during the final mission (if you have an OldGameBonus, that is). Played straight in the second expansion, where you need to relearn all your skills (somewhat justified in that an all-new skill system which no longer depends on storing items is used, not justified in that two characters apparently spent the last decade forgetting their skills).

[[folder:Rhythm Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{beatmania}} IIDX'' games that run on the [=eAMUSEMENT=] Network, your records do not carry over from one game to the next, despite the fact that each installment is simply a MissionPackSequel that, at most, only adds new gameplay features instead of modifying or removing them. You also lose your Dan'inintei [[KyuAndDanRanks ranks]] and have to earn them again, although this is justified in that Dan'inintei courses change songs with each new version.

* In ''VideoGame/IzunaLegendOfTheUnemployedNinja'', Izuna loses all levels in the 2nd game, without any explanation... and also for some reason, the ''gods'' you are able to control also start at level 1.

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* {{Justified|Trope}} in ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends 2'', where Megs is confident he can handle the bad guys as soon as he gets his old gear out of storage... until the penny-pinching Roll sheepishly admits she sold off his equipment to cover repairs for the pounding the ship took near the end of the last game. Interestingly, he does keep the ability given by the previous game's Jump Springs (that is, a higher jump).
* In ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2'', Aya Brea claims to have sealed her powers pre-game to resist the temptation to use them; naturally, she has to learn them again. Exactly how is not explained nor indicated by either ending of the previous game. She might've also said something about how she didn't want to draw attention to herself. If that's the case, then one would think the one power she ''did'' keep would be something relatively subtle, like, say, the healing ability, rather than the one that allows her to ''set people on fire''.
* Every new game in the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series gives legitimate excuses for the main characters losing all their abilities time and time again. In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'', Sora and his friends literally forget every ability they ever knew as soon as they set foot in Castle Oblivion due to Namine's memory manipulation. Sora develops a new fighting style while being forced to play by the castle's rules, only to lose ''those'' after Namine fixes their memories by putting them to sleep for a whole year. By the time they wake up in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', they keep only a few of their old abilities from the original game. Sora develops a brand new fighting style all over again, which he uses until the start of ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'', where Yen Sid advises him and Riku to throw away their self-taught fighting styles and teach them the "right" way to wield a Keyblade from square one. ''Dream Drop Distance'' also ends with Sora [[spoiler:waking up from a coma and the near-destruction of his heart]], setting the stage for the inevitable spilling in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsIII''. As for other games such as ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' and ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'', they include new protagonists starting out at the beginning of their adventures, while ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsCoded'' takes place in the datascape, and the protagonist is only a digital representation of Sora, created out of data about him from the start of the first game, so he still has to grow. And even here, when it happens to [[spoiler:Roxas between ''358/2 Days'' and ''[=KHII=]'']], it's justified as [[spoiler:[=DiZ=] wiped his mind of his time in the Organization, so he forgot all the moves he learned. As for his strength, [=DiZ=] probably swiped all the power-up panels from his grid too.]]\\
While this covers the fighting styles, there is also {{justifi|edTrope}}cation for the loss of other gameplay elements such as HP. ''Chain of Memories'' reveals that memories have physical effects, not to mention that [[spoiler:Sora's memories are extremely interconnected with others]]. In ''Kingdom Hearts II'', Sora wakes up after a year-long sleep, so it's understandable that he'd be weak and out of practice after that.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfXentar'' begins with the hero of two previous ([[NoExportForYou never-exported]]) games wearing the greatest armor that could be obtained in those games and wielding the best weapon. Then bandits attack, and he declares that he'll only draw his sword to fight true evil. [[WhatAnIdiot They rob him blind]]. He at least retains his exceptional skills, up until the first boss uses an unholy artifact to drain him back to a low level.
* The ''VideoGame/DotHackGU'' carries over its lead character from the ''.hack//Roots'' anime, and devises a plot reason for having him return to level one. Ironically, it's then averted since your characters carry over all of their abilities, stats, and gear from Volume 1 into subsequent games.
* The ''Franchise/BaldursGate'' franchise dealt with this by having the PC kidnapped by an evil wizard prior to the start of the second game, and naturally stripped of all equipment.
** One could retrieve some of the contents of one's inventory in the first chamber one comes upon when escaping his dungeon lair -- notably the Golden Pantaloons, necessary to forge the Big Metal Unit in the final expansion pack. Note that while equipment was lost, power was not, with characters leveling up to the point where two games, two expansion packs and over 8 million XP later, the PC goes from a level 1 weakling barely capable of defeating a rat to a level 40 demigod. There ''was'' some carryover; if you had the scimitars of Drizzt, he'd be royally pissed at you.
** It was also claimed by the loading screens in ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' that you would be able to import your characters into ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights''. This turned out to be completely impossible due to differences like running on 3.0 ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' instead of Advanced, and in any case would have required a truly epic Bag of Spilling to cope with unleashing a 40th level demigod onto the Weak Goblins you start fighting.
** It is, technically speaking, possible to avoid this if you manage to pause fast enough. You can drop all your equipment on the ground and pick it up after the cut scene, but it's definitely not intentional. A few items, when imported in such a fashion, will become significantly different items (albeit within the same class; one enchanted two-handed sword from BG becomes a different enchanted two-handed sword -- with a tendency to cast a point-blank fireball spell on random strikes -- when carried into the sequel) because the original items were not being used and their item codes were recycled for new items.
* A lengthy password given to you at the end of of the first ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' allows you to carry your weapons, armor, etc. to ''Golden Sun: The Lost Age'' when you get your original party back, averting the trope. Doing so is required to get into the BonusDungeon and get the final two summons. Alternately, if you had another GameBoyAdvance (or a Gamecube with a Game Boy Player) and a link cable, you could transfer the data over without resorting to the lengthy passwords.
** ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' averts the trope with Isaac and Garet. When they join your party for a while, they still retain their high stats and Djinn from their last adventure and even let you borrow some of their Djinn to use!
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2''. Yuna and Rikku start the second game as if none of the LevelGrinding of the other game had occurred, having changed careers. While this might make some sense for Yuna, who starts off as a completely different class than she was in the previous game (though it doesn't explain where all her White Magic went), this makes no plot line sense at all for Rikku. Of course, Rikku was a combination Thief/Chemist in ''X'', while in ''X-2'' her starting class is a Thief.
** In Rikku's case while she's still a "thief" her entire combat style has changed, going from using Al Bhed technology power fists and attack items, to using a traditional twin daggers (and in fact is using a dressphere which is magic based, as opposed to solid technology like she used to.) The only similar thing is her ability to steal, which she keeps anyway.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIIRevenantWings'' has the same thing. There are a few implications that it's more the SortingAlgorithmOfEvil making you look weak rather than power loss, but it's hard to tell.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears''. Yes, you do start the game with the minimally trained Prince Ceodore, but his parents and everyone else that saved the world seemed to have lost all the gear and levels/spells they had. While you ''could'' say they've basically retired from monster-slaying, we've got Kain, who supposedly spent all his years [[spoiler:holed up in a mountain filled with undead]]. He ''really'' has no excuse. No, not even when [[spoiler:his really angry side kicks his ass and goes amok]]. At least Rydia's explanation is there: [[spoiler:some chick froze/stole away the Eidolons, so Rydia can't summon any of them]]. Averted with [[spoiler:Golbez]], who has all the spells he had in ''Final Fantasy IV'' from the get-go (Osmose, Drain, Firaga, etc), despite the fact he [[spoiler:spent the seventeen years between games ''sleeping''!]]
** The Interlude special chapter on the PSP version, taking place about a year after the first game is a little better, starting your party off with a more respectable level 30ish and midgame tier equipment. However not only do you still not have your endgame weapons and equipment, but thanks the chapters brief nature and lineraity, being unable to freely explore the world, you can't get them back at all (the best weapon for Cecil you can get for example is the randomly dropped Stoneblade. And if you don't feel like grinding for it you'll have to use the store bought Flame Saber). Averted with [[spoiler:the real Rydia]] who shows up with all spells kept and using a Stardust Rod, an FF4 endgame weapon. But she doesn't appear until the final battle of Interlude.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'' averts this, as the main party members weren't playable in the original. And for the moments Lightning is playable, she's using entirely new, and likely more powerful, equipment. The DLC {{mon}}s of Lightning (x2), Sazh and Snow use either their default equipment, or entirely new equipment. They have to be leveled up when in your party, but both Lightnings and Snow are show to be at least as powerful as they were in the previous game.
* ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'' simultaneously averts this in a different way to the prior game and runs with this trope. While you don't keep the skills from the prior two games, this is justified with Lightning being the only player character and getting [[spoiler:blessed by the god of this world as well as being in cryosleep for 500 years]]. Thus while you start at the bottom of your power, you are also far stronger than the prior games. Also, in a NewGamePlus you keep your existing gear and attacks, as well as weapons and armor, which further empower your character.
** In addition, in the opening cinematic your sword is shattered by Lumina, and starts out with a base power of 130. Come the endgame, you get the chance to fix it, where you are shown it originally had 2500 power!
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts: Covenant'', Yuri, the only returning PC, starts out the game at a low level with none of his previous equipment. However, the loss of his special abilities is explained by the weakening properties of the Holy Mistletoe he's stabbed with, and although he doesn't join the party until after this happens, you see him using the Amon fusion soul and fighting at a power level consistent with having beaten the last game in cut scenes prior to this.
* Notable exception: The ''Advanced TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' licensed games published by SSI during the 80's and early 90's were arranged into series of 2-4 games, and almost as a rule allowed the player to import characters from earlier games in the same series, keeping all of the experience and most of the gear. Often doing this allowed the player to get a more powerful party than starting fresh, most notoriously in the ''VideoGame/EyeOfTheBeholder'' series, where importing would give you better loot at the ''beginning'' of the game than starting fresh let you have by the ''end'' of it.
** Downplayed by the transition from ''[[VideoGame/GoldBox Champions of Krynn]]'' to ''Death Knights of Krynn'', as you lose most of the good gear. Also, in all the games, despite keeping experience, it makes more sense to make new characters and have the old ones hand off the better gear, as the Modify command let you max stats on your newly created characters; older characters could have substantially less hit points, as they had random hit point gains until 9th or 10th level. A character from an early game could have less than half the hit points of a newly created one, despite being a level or two higher if you [[LevelGrinding Level Ground]].
** ''Curse of the Azure Bonds'' also played it straight by having the villains steal most of your gear except for basic items and a token amount of cash, taking away the amazing magic items gathered in ''Pool of Radiance.''
*** The followup to ''Curse'', ''Secret of the Silver Blades'' also removed all character gear, with the explanation that the teleport spell that brought in the characters was accidentally not designed to bring in any (meaning ''[[NakedOnArrival any]]'') of their possessions. The next game in the series, however, ''Pools of Darkness'', averts the trope almost completely; almost anything that a character had in ''Blades'' will carry over.
* Some series went so far as to allow the players to import characters from entirely different, unrelated games (ie. the ''[[VideoGame/TheBardsTaleTrilogy Bard's Tale]]'' series let the player import characters from the ''Franchise/{{Ultima}}'' games, not even by the same company).
* The ''VideoGame/RealmsOfArkania'' series. Not all that useful in game 3, but life saving if you import your party from 1 into the very hard 2.
* ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'':
** Character data can be transferred from game 1 to 2, then to 3, and finally to 5 (4 is from the viewpoint of the first game's BigBad). Loss in experience or equipment is explained as the new characters being descendants of the heroes, or the greedy king training you as a reward, but making you pay for your training with all of your gold and equipment.
** ''Wizardry 6: Bane of the Cosmic Forge'' has three different endings. ''Wizardry 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant'' not only allows you to import your characters from ''Wizardry 6'', but has four different introductions and start points - one for each ending of ''Wizardry 6'', and one for players starting fresh.
** ''Wizardry 8'' not only allows players to import characters from the previous game, but also allows imports from the game before that. Characters maintain any alliances they had formed in prior games, and will even start at the allied base camp, but lose many levels due to the long space voyage to the new planet. The game encourages players to save after winning so that they may import their characters into ''Wizardry 9'', but the company went bankrupt so this isn't going to happen.
* The game series ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei: Devil Children'' explained this in the Fire and Ice entries for GameBoyAdvance by having the powerful characters depowered at the beginning through a minor but plausible plot device.
** While we're on Megaten, ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' has this happen between the two games. This is lampshaded then explained [[spoiler:in that the characters were AI programs in the first game, but lost much of their power when their bodies became real in the second]].
* The ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' games did not carry over experience between games, despite that the second game literally starts ''the next day''. Granted, each game only lasts a few days (rather than taking years), and indeed, none of the characters is really assumed to improve (in combat anyway) over the course of the game outside of game battles. Still, Kos-Mos needs to level up in the second and third game to gain some of her previously acquired special abilities (though the fact that she's replaced with a different model every time explains that, at least). It's notable that the characters get seemingly more powerful in each game. In the first ''Xenosaga'' game, you'll usually fight the final boss with characters who have in the neighborhood of 1,000 HP each. In the second game, it'll be about 2,500 HP, in the third game, somewhere around 6,000. It may be the series' way of allowing you to think your characters get more powerful from one game to the other while still making you start off as a weak level one character.
* ''VideoGame/UltimaVII'' was literally cut in half, creating ''Ultima VII: The Black Gate'' and ''VideoGame/UltimaVIIPartII: Serpent Isle''. However, each one is a full game, and by the end of ''The Black Gate'', you're all powered up. This would be a problem for ''Serpent Isle''. The solution? Immediately after getting off the boat there, you're struck by [[LightningCanDoAnything magical transposing lightning]] that trades your InfinityPlusOneSword for a piece of cheese, your Uber Armor for a bucket, etc. It even trades your ''party members'' for random scrap items. Oh, and welcome to level 1 for no reason. Attempting to keep your stuff by dumping it out onto the beach before you walk to the event flag for the teleport storm doesn't work, either. There are actually two versions of that beach in the game's map. The one you start on, and the one you are sent to when the teleport storm happens. You can't get back to that first version of the beach without glitches or hacking, so you'd better get to questing!
** Lampshaded in ''Ultima VII''. At one point, Iolo explains to you that every time you go to Earth and return to Britannia, it is as if you were newborn. This explains why you always begin at level 1, and why you can approach a unicorn, something that can only be done by characters with zero experience. But that directly conflicts with the fact that you were allowed to import old characters between parts 4-6, although the only things retained were stats and experience. The Avatar also has a persistent tendency to leave lots of stuff behind when he/she is moongated to Britannia - weapons, armor, supplies and in one case the very useful Orb of the Moons. Similarily, no one seems to keep good track of your things you leave in Britannia either - in U6, you have to run all over the land to collect the Runes that people misplace, hide and even withhold from you. In ''The Black Gate'' pointedly asks you if you kept track of the mighty Quicksword Enilno - it was essential to stop the insanely powerful sorceress Minax, but apparently you dropped it somewhere.
** Spoony points out that in Ultima Underworld II, this trope is really not used well, as your stats and weapons are virtually nil... Which is pretty appalling, since in the ''previous'' game (the aforementioned Ultima VII), you had all your stats raised to double maximum and had the Black Sword, a weapon with the ability to kill literally anything with just a touch (aside from those protected by PlotArmor). The only explanation that is given- or hinted at- is that you just one day showed up at Lord British's castle massively overweight, out of shape, and dressed in burlap.
* ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}} 2'' features a ''heavily'' [[JustifiedTrope justified example]] of this. After defeating the BigBad of the last game, the hero is caught in a massive cave-in and left for dead for days before his mentor can teleport him to safety. His equipment was ruined, and being on the verge of death for so long atrophied his mind and body, causing him to lose his strength and forget his former skills.
** ''Gothic 2'' also featured alternate dialog that would allow a player to respond to characters from the previous game, either as familiar friends, or with a kind of apparent amnesia.
** ''Gothic 3'' follows a similar trend, having the player embark into adventure on the open sea with several other characters. After making landfall and discovering most of the population has been enslaved by orcs, a battle breaks out between the slave driving orcs and the rebelling slave population. Upon saving the town, the hero quickly discovers that pirates raided his ship during the battle and made off with all his spoils. To make matters worse, his time at sea has rusted his skills to nothingness, allowing you the joy of raising them back up.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'', which has a different main character from the [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic first game]]--but according to the new character's back story, they were once a famous and powerful Jedi who has now lost most of their powers through the exact type of mechanism often used to justify this trope. This happens to several characters in the game, both new and returning. Kreia [[spoiler:was once a Sith Lord, and was stripped of her power and exiled by the other Sith]], Mandalore [[spoiler:(Canderous Ordo from the previous game)]] mentions that he has suffered multiple wounds over the years, and is not as powerful as he used to be, and HK-47 has actually been destroyed at the beginning of the game, and must be repaired.
* Averted in the ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' series. In ''[[VideoGame/SuikodenII II]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/SuikodenIII III]]'' you can load up saved games from the previous games, and the recurring characters get a power boost in line with their level, and their weapons are sharper than they would be otherwise. Granted, they aren't nearly as buff as they were at the end of the previous game, but the general power level seems to scale up with each successive game. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in a scene in ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'', where returning character Viktor unsuccessfully chases one of the minor villains. When the villain gets away, Viktor remarks "I could have caught him a few years ago."
* Very noticeable in ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'', as Lan loses everything; his [[GameBreaker broken]] Gater folder, all his HP memory, his power ups, the ability to preset chips, etc. He eventually gets everything backed up (except the gater folder). Not only that, but it seems like the Navi Customizer gets uninstalled after every game, and in ''[=BN4=]'', the Style Change is replaced outright with the Soul Unison ability.
** The sixth game Lampshaded via the Poem program. One of the poems brings up this very trope, and it appears that not even Lan knows what happens to everything!
** After the events of 4 and 5, Mega Man can become complete tainted dark and be fine at the beginning of the next game. However, this would explain the HP loss.
** Sequel series ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'' eventually explains that because digital technology evolves so quickly, all the upgrades you acquire are incompatible by the time the next game rolls around. This reasoning could be stretched backwards to the Battle Network series. ''Star Force 2'' does not explain, however, why once you've upgraded from a Transer to a Star Carrier, your beloved friends won't renew your [[TrueCompanions BrotherBands]] until you pull off plot shenanigans, even though you saved each of their lives a minimum of twice in the previous game.
* The original 4 ''[[VideoGame/DotHackGUGames .hack]]'' games: ''.hack//Infection'', ''.hack//Mutation'', ''.hack//Outbreak'', and ''.hack//Quarantine'', are notable in that they allow you to bring your save data from one game to the next.
* Averted in the ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' series. Within each major installment, you can carry over a character to expansions, with the same stats. (But not between ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' and ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'', as their main characters are different people story-wise). In ''NeverwinterNights2/MaskOfTheBetrayer'', you get to keep whatever you had equipped when the character was exported, but not the weapon and items in the inventory.
** ''Hordes of the Underdark'', the second expansion for ''[=NWN1=]'', has the PC's inventory stolen from his inn room at the beginning of the game. In-game dialogue allows the PC to hang a lampshade on it by repeatedly claiming you "only want my stuff back!" (Technically, however, the protagonist was ''not'' the same character from the original game - it was the same character from ''Shadows of Undrentide''). [[spoiler:Which you eventually ''can'' get back, mostly, provided you remember to loot one of the drow encampments. But by then you've probably found better counterparts for many of the items anyway.]]
* [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] has starred in multiple {{RPG}}s, but no matter what level he has reached or what equipment/items he has gotten, he returns to level 1 with basic equipment (if any at all) at the start of the next game. This makes even less sense in ''Partners in Time'', where his baby form levels up and possibly becomes even stronger than him. Interestingly, in ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Bowser's Inside Story]]'', when the time comes to use a technique from the first game, it's ''Mario'' who explains to [[ExpositionFairy Starlow]] this technique that they already know how to do.
** In ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam Dream Team]]'', this is subverted by [[spoiler: Bowser. He retains the abilities he learned in the [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory last game]], such as turning into a spiked ball, the ability to turn giant without Kamek's help, and even the [[VacuumMouth Vacuum block]] ability. The last of which helps him to become [[RealityWarper Dreamy]] [[FinalBoss Bowser]]!]]
* In the two months between VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'s The Journey and The Answer, SEES lost anywhere from 50 to 79 levels (most of a year's worth of training), all of their rare and highly valuable equipment and accessories (which also could be considered mementos of the Protagonist), and even their Evokers (though those were handed in as part of their preparation to disband).
** Ken and Akihiko [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] this by likening it to cramming insanely hard for a test, only to forget everything instantly afterward. It's also possible that the uber-equipment was stored [[spoiler:outside the dorm that they cannot leave.]]
** It's also likely related to [=SEES=] [[spoiler:losing their memories of the Dark Hour between the defeat of Nyx and Graduation Day]], which surely had some effect on their "levels." One wonders what they did with all the equipment they found themselves holding during that time, though, especially the items that ''didn't'' come from within Tartarus.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'' averted this in ''Eternal Punishment'', as TheHero from ''Innocent Sin'' returns with a much higher level and with a vastly stronger Persona than anybody else. Loading a card with data from Innocent Sin would result in him joining at the same level as in the prior game and with the same Persona.
* Despite ''VideoGame/PersonaQ'' taking place in the middle of the game's timeline for both ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', the characters from whichever game you picked the protagonist from all start at level 1 with starting equipment, while the characters from the other game all start at the level you were at when you beat the first boss.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Ys}} IV: The Dawn Of Ys'' (not Mask of The Sun), you start off with the InfinityPlusOneSword and armor you had at the end of ''Ys Book I and II'', only to be captured by the Romuns, stripped of your equipment, and thrown in the dungeon.
** This was downplayed in the TurboGrafxCD version of ''Ys Book I and II'' which threw you into the second game immediately after finishing the first with all your levels, experience intact. This was made to work simply by raising the level cap and continuing to offer more powerful equipment as you progressed. Your sword and armor still get left behind in Esteria, though you get them back at the end when Ys lands.
** In ''Ys VI'', the game opens with a shipwreck. All Adol's stuff save his sword is lost, and he spends three days in a coma; between that and the various injuries of the shipwreck, as Olha puts it, "[he's] become quite frail."
* Played Straight in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld''. Not only are the Heroes of Regeneration straight up de-leveled- going from as high as Level 250 down to Level 10 in the most extreme of cases, they can't gain levels in the new game anyways, because they do not gain EXP. Their equipment, on the other hand is downplaying the trope- they come with some of the first game's best equipment from the get-go, but their weapon is each character's weakest/starting weapon- in the final chapter, they gain their best equipment. (But you can't change ANY of it). Again averted with Lloyd who's encountered at the very beginning of the game at Level 50 with his best equipment (at least he has his best -and only- weapon), but he's an enemy.
* Most of the party in ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny2'' is not the same, and Stahn and Rutee have most likely sold most of their old gear to pay for running their orphanage, so Kyle can't inherit it. However, played straight with [[spoiler: Judas]]. [[spoiler: Even with only being playable for half of the first game, Leon]] should probably be stronger than he is when you meet him... Perhaps Justified in that he was [[spoiler: dead for quite some time,]] and Subverted in that he [[spoiler: does still have Chaltier, but using him would reveal his identity.]]
* Justified in ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'', at least in the case of the party's combat abilities, which were stated to have been provided to them in part by the Lillium orbs. They've ceased working and were replaced by the new Arrowcell ([[DubNameChange Allium]]) orbs, which eventually allow them to surpass their previous potential. Still no explanation as to what they did with all of their fancy gear, though.
* In ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'', you can keep you skills and cash by exporting and importing.
* Downplayed in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', since Mario keeps his hammer and remembers all of the stuff from the previous game. Played straight when he has to get new partners, but justified because his old ones all went back to their own lives at the end of the first game and there was no reason to suspect he'd need them when he set out. However, he still loses all the badges he had before and the Ultra Hammer/Boots.
* Justified in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', a character imported from ''VideoGame/{{Mass Effect|1}}'' will retain little to none of their experience and resources. For example, a level 45 character with 1 million credits in the bank will start the second game at level 2 with only one hundred thousand bonus credits. This is due to the character [[spoiler:being dead for two years]]. However, certain decisions made in the first game will still carry over (both to the benefit and detriment of Shepard); this also applies to the third game.
** Downplayed in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'': if you transfer a character from ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', you retain all your powers from where you left off. This puts you at level 30 (the max level cap of 2), meaning you still have to level up to get all the new powers in 3, but this is justified as your character (and enemies) becoming more powerful. New characters start at an approximation of where they would be at the end of ''2''. You completely lose all your weapons and have to start with grunt gear, but this is justified as well as the Alliance stripped you of your weaponry when they court martialled you for the Bahak incident. Also, if you pre-ordered the Collector's Edition, they hand you several of the game's five best gun's (the N7 weapons) for you and your squadmates. So, while you do lose your weaponry, it's not like they're sending you in [[WithThisHerring with just the basic gear like in the first game.]]
** Similarly, your cabin is empty of all the collectables from the second game. However, all of the model ships are actually just stored in cargo bins around the ship and can easily be restored (though it becomes a minor collectables challenge to track them all down), and once you make it to the citadel, an old friend reveals she's been taking care of your fish and returns them (depending on decisions made in the previous game). As for your old dogtags Liara gives you in "Lair of the Shadow Broker", Anderson tosses them to you when he reinstates you, so Shepard is actually ''wearing'' them. The only things you don't keep are your old helmet and the Prothean sphere, which was sent to a lab.
* Downplayed in ''[[Franchise/DragonBall Buu's Fury]]''. You start off at an even higher level than when the previous game ended. However, your stats at lowered to about half of what they were in the previous game.
* The ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series generally averts this between sequels in regards to {{Player Character}}s, since every new game has a different protagonist. There are exceptions however:
** When importing your Warden from the main ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' to the ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening Awakening]]'' ExpansionPack or a {{DLC}} campaign, you will lose all items not currently equipped on the Warden and not in the common inventory. That includes all the uber-gear your Companions wore for the FinalBattle and the contents of your personal storage on Soldier's Peak. You also lose all items from other DLC (except ''Return to Ostagar''), particularly the InfinityPlusOneSword Starfang, even if they ''are'' eqipped on your PlayerCharacter, but this is more of a bug than intentional application of this trope. Not that the replacements you get if the game takes away DLC gear are high-level Grey Warden officer's items that are very powerful indeed, so unless your equipped gear was something absolutely insane like [[InfinityPlusOneSword Starfang]] and the [[GameBreaker Bulwark of the True King]], you won't be losing much.
** This trope is largely in effect in regards to the PC's companions, however. For instance, Anders, who may have been a level 35 god of magic in ''Awakening'', returns in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' as a single-digit level slum doctor. Varric, who fought alongside Hawke in the many Battles of Kirkwall in ''[=DA2=]'', comes back in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' at level 1. Cassandra, who soloed high dragons in ''Anime/DawnOfTheSeeker'', also starts off at level 1 in ''Inquisition'' with no explanation (although she later implies that "soloing high dragons" was an [[ShroudedInMyth in-universe exaggeration of what really occurred]]). The only cases where this is explicitly justified is [[spoiler:Solas, a.k.a. the Dread Wolf Fen'Harel, who lost almost all of his power during his millenia-long slumber and has to start over as a lowly hedge mage]].
* While they are not exactly sequels, the DLC expansions to VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}} ''Operation: Anchorage'', ''The Pitt'' and ''Mothership Zeta'' make sure to separate you from anything cool you might have found up to that point. This is averted in the other two expansions, ''Broken Steel'' and ''Point Lookout'', the former being an extension of the main plotline and the latter letting you carry whatever you want in, you just can't leave until a significant amount of the plot is done.
** Similarly, in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', the player loses their equipment in the Dead Money DLC due to the Sierra Madre security somehow confiscating all outside material and Honest Hearts limits the stuff players can bring based on a weight limit (though it can be increased if certain skill checks are passed). However, you're free to bring everything you have to Old World Blues and Lonesome Road, with the former starting off with a message stating that [[LampshadeHanging you have a "mysterious premonition" that you CAN bring all of your stuff this time around.]]
* Averted in ''VideoGame/TheWitcher2AssassinsOfKings'', Geralt keeps the Signs (spells) that he learned in the previous game. However, weapon-wise he's only limited to a regular sword and a silver sword since those were the only weapons that were of any importance.
** Geralt will keep certain unique weapons and armor if he had them at the end of the first game, though they will quickly be outclassed by new equipment.
* ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven'' trilogy play with this. in each sequel, every character's levels are reduced to one, but they do have better base stats than in the previous game's level one. Major characters' skill losses are based on if they will require new skills in that game or not, since they only have four fixed ability slots out of six avaliable in each game. Thus they can't retain everything.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Robopon}} 2'', somehow, Cody leaves Porombo Island for the Robopon tournament ''without carrying any of his Robopon'', and is shipwrecked in Majiko's Baba Village before he can turn back for them.
* In ''VideoGame/LufiaTheRuinsOfLore'', Dekar claims he's in the prime of his life...despite joining with far lower stats than he would have had by the end of ''[[VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals Lufia II]]'' and equipped with nothing but his signature sword and mediocre armor. While he never catches back up to his attack power from ''Lufia II'' (and strangely has forgotten how to wield axes, despite his ''Lufia II'' sprite depicting him with one), he does [[StoneWall become a mountain of HP and Defense]] without being quite as slow ([[IdiotHero physically, at least]]) as he used to be.
* In ''BillyVsSnakeman'', looping to a new season will remove some quest items from your inventory, as well as certain other things (there's really no clear guideline for it), but most of your inventory will be untouched. Instead you'll be losing almost all of your ''allies'' and most quests are reset. Since looping is essentially rewinding time, this makes sense - they haven't met you yet.

[[folder:Simulation Game]]
* ''VideoGame/TheSims'' for handhelds features the world's first Blackberry of Spilling. The sequels follow directly from the last, but the people you have befriended, [[FetchQuest run ridiculous errands for]], and helped attain various honors and expensive possessions will not remember you in the slightest. Some have the courtesy of deja vu, at least. This includes [[BigBad Daddy Bigbucks]], whose plans you repeatedly foil. However, ''The Urbz'' does contain a rare EasterEgg where occasionally, when you answer your phone, it'll be your uncle from the first game asking you to come visit sometime. ("The chickens miss you.")
* In ''VideoGame/{{Pharaoh}}: Cleopatra'', you build up Deir-El-Medina and Alexandria 4 times each from the ground up, while there's nothing in the story that would say they were destroyed since your last visit.
* In the VisualNovel ''VideoGame/GalaxyAngel'' the girls lose some of the hearts they had from previous games making them weaker in combat. Especially awkward with whichever girl you've chosen to be your one true love. Seems they don't love you quite so much anymore. Justified in some routes when Chitose arrives in the second game and the girl Takuto loves is worried about Takuto's affection but makes absolutely no sense with Forte who simply doesn't care or Mint who can read his mind.
* By the time you decide to stop playing ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X2: The Threat]]'' you likely have hundreds of millions of credits, a sizable trade empire, and dozens if not hundreds of warships and fighters. Then ''X3: Reunion'', starring the same PlayerCharacter only a year later, rolls around and you're back to a crappy ship and only a few thousand credits. Fansite owner [=ApricotSlice=] has a few choice words on the subject [[http://apricotmappingservice.com/unbalanced.html here]]. Averted for the next three games, the first two of which have {{Featureless Protagonist}}s, while the [[VideoGame/XRebirth third]] has a new protagonist in a LostColony.
* In ''VideoGame/AirfixDogfighter'', you start every mission with your upgrades at zero, no matter how much you upgraded your plane during the previous mission.

[[folder:Stealth Based Game]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}'':
** While that Agent 47 of the games can amass a literal armory of weapons in just one game, and though he is a master assassin who requires more exotic weapons like sniper rifles and poison, by the start of the next game, the only weapons he has are his trademark AKA47 [[RareGuns Silverballers]], a silenced variant, his garrote, and a syringe. He then (although it's always optional) proceeds to either buy his weapons in the black market, or takes them with him when he exits a level. What makes it an even sillier problem is the fact that the games are not chronological, and therefore, parts of one game can happen in between the levels of another game in the series, but 47 still has to acquire the same weapon multiple times in a row. Justified in the second game, as 47 had quit the life and was living with Father Vittorio, and he could really only realistically store his Silverballers and a couple other things in the closet he had there.
** ''[[VideoGame/HitmanBloodMoney Blood Money]]'' begins the game with Mr. 47 having freshly flown into the United States from his usual operating area of Europe and Asia. The loss of equipment then could be justified, since getting an arsenal past customs may be fairly difficult.
** ''[[VideoGame/HitmanBloodMoney Blood Money]]'' subverts this, too -- you don't have ''all'' your kickass weapons, but you do start with five basic weapons, one in each broad category, including the Custom Sniper/W2000 Sniper, which was the ultimate rare weapon in the (chronologically) previous game, and very hard to obtain outside that game's final mission. Since these five are generally the best or most generally-useful in their category, it makes sense that they'd be the five he'd choose to bring with him.
** ''[[VideoGame/HitmanContracts Contracts]]'' is a special case, as the majority of the storyline of the game shows 47 fighting for his life after suffering a near fatal gunshot wound, the missions being mostly remakes of missions from previous games or flashbacks to, presumably, earlier missions in his life. The only mission taking place in reality is the final one. However, it's entirely possible to play the final mission after equipping yourself with weapons acquired during the hallucinations. Chronologically, ''Contracts'' also takes place after the Curtains Down mission of ''Blood Money'', meaning aside from his dream armory, he still has his hideaway.
** Also justified in ''[[VideoGame/HitmanAbsolution Absolution]]'' - 47's gone rogue, so he wouldn't have access to any large arsenals. He even has to [[ATasteOfPower trade his Silverballers to another disgraced assassin]] for information early on, leaving him with just an unsilenced revolver and his garrote for a few levels. Less justified in the transition from ''Dexter Industries'' to ''Death Factory'', which is by entering an elevator, and from ''Death Factory'' to ''Fight Night'', which is by climbing a ladder.
* The ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' series justified Snake going in unarmed so he would acquire enemy gear and thus be unidentifiable (shell casings or magazines left behind would match enemy gear, thus not providing evidence that he was there). ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' makes a point of pointing out how important this is: since it's during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, finding evidence of American soldiers tramping around on Russian soil could trigger WorldWarIII.
* Averting this was part of the justification for ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'''s infamous [[spoiler:player character swap of the legendary soldier Solid Snake in favor of the ''de facto'' rookie Raiden who could be plausibly lectured on the game world]]. This is also justified in the very introduction sequence of the Tanker chapter, where Snake infiltrates the tanker with the help of Otacon's stealth camouflage, but he breaks it when he makes his entrance. The lack of weapons (he only carries an M9 modified to shoot tranquilizer darts) is explained by Snake not wanting to accumulate a body count of Marines who are just doing their jobs, and is supposed to be sneaking in to gather information.
* ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'':
** ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'' justifies this trope, with Altaïr starting off with a large number of skills at his disposal, being a high-ranking Master Assassin. [[spoiler:However, because of his arrogance, which results in another Assassin's death and the target retaliating with an attack on the Assassin fortress, he is stripped of his rank... and more importantly his gear, which granted him the majority of his skills, up to and including his blade).]]
** In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', you're actually playing as a different person, so you don't have any of the equipment.
** ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood'' begins directly after ''II'' and assumed that Ezio had been fully upgraded, so he starts with over fifty thousand florins on his person, along with [[InfinityPlusOneSword Altaïr's armor and sword]], maxed Health and maxed smoke bomb/throwing knife/bullet capacities. However, the morning after returning home to his family villa in Monteriggioni, the town comes under attack by an army led by Cesare Borgia, and Ezio only manages to arm himself with one of his hidden blade bracers and a longsword before his room is hit by a cannonball, burying all his other equipment in rubble, after which he is forced to flee the area while his stuff is looted by Cesare and his troops. As a concession to the player, that bracer was the one with a built-in pistol and a poison injector, which had been mid/late-game items in ''II'', so he keeps them along with his hidden blade, his longsword, and all of his training from ''II'' except for the heavy weapon and polearm special attacks (replaced with new attacks) and stepping replaced with the much more useful kicking. However, due to a pair of gunshot wounds suffered in the villa attack, he's left with only five Health squares at first (the same as his starting unarmored Health in ''II'') and is unable to climb-leap until the mid-game, when he may buy an optional Climb-Leap Glove. The wounds also initially leave him only able to walk, but a fortunately short walk to the doctor allows him to sprint, free-run and catch ledges again.
** Downplayed in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations'', which starts with Ezio being captured and escaping from Templars. In the process of the escape, he loses one of his hidden blades, but keeps the bracer with the gun and poison attachment and grabs a sword on the way. He also evidently traveled to Masyaf with relatively weak armor.
** Subverted in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag''; Edward steals all of Duncan Walpole's Assassin gear, but his hidden blades are broken, and he likely lost all of his equipment in the preceding ship battle. So, all you start with are your bare fists, money and smoke bomb pouches, two sabres, a snazzy Assassin's outfit, and a letter inviting you to meet with the governor of Cuba.
* In VideoGame/SheepDogNWolf, you always start levels with an empty inventory. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that it's a TV game show and that it might be another of its rules.
* ''VideoGame/{{Boktai}}'' is notorious for this, but at least they try and HandWave it. The sequel begins with Django having his fully powered solar gun stolen, and by the time he gets it back it's been beaten to hell and not very functional anymore. The third begins with him getting the crap kicked out of him by [[FaceHeelTurn Sabata]], dumped weaponless in a dungeon, and suffering amnesia which makes him forget the spells he learned. The fourth game is a sort of but not really sequel with an all-new cast.
* ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'' has Garret lose all of his equipment except for his sword, blackjack and bow in-between missions. Justified in that this is done to discourage players from [[TooAwesomeToUse hoarding equipment.]] If you're gonna lose it all at the end of the mission, might as well make the most out of everything you have.

[[folder:Survival Horror]]
* Happens annoyingly and constantly in ''VideoGame/AlanWake''. You always lose everything between Episodes, but also frequently at other times. Sometimes there's a skimpy excuse, like leaving behind your flashlight and gun while jumping out of a car about to go over an edge, but most often, there's not even the flimsiest reason why Alan would leave behind his vital light-sources and weapons. Perhaps the most painful example is when you wake up in jail in Episode 4. Naturally, all your stuff's been confiscated. Shortly afterwards, however, the Sheriff is brought over to your side, and tells you that your 'stuff' is in her office. When you get there, you find... a basic flashlight, a handgun with some ammo, and a shotgun (which is clearly part of the police-station's weapon-stores, and not yours). A far cry from the piles of weapons, ammo, flares, flashbangs and Heavy-Duty Lanterns you were carrying at the end of the previous chapter...

[[folder:Third Person Shooter]]
* Justified in ''VideoGame/DestroyAllHumans 2'', where many of Crypto's weapons are lost and have to be recovered or re-engineered because a Russian missile blew up the mothership that was storing them.
* ''VideoGame/DeadToRights'' takes this to an extreme, with the game often looking for reasons for Slate to drop his arsenal multiple times ''per chapter''. There's even a scene in the Chinatown chapter where Slate gets cornered by police and told to drop his weapons, which serves no purpose other than to disarm him just in time for a gang of armed {{Mook}}s to arrive and shoot the police.
* ''VideoGame/MindJack''. You inexplicably lose your weapons after every ''encounter''. You also lose whatever civilian or enemy you've mind-hacked if you're not the host player.

[[folder:Turn Based Strategy]]
* Done on a continent wide scale in the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' series, especially the expansion packs that cover later eras. Spend a few centuries conquering the eastern Mediterranean, build up its infrastructure so that every road is a super highway, each city has a legendary wall and an urban barracks and Praetorian stable capable of producing all units, make sure that each port is big enough to produce any ship. Then play the expansion as the Byzantines and find the same area in much worse shape than when you left it.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' avoids this beautifully in the move between ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Path of Radiance]]'' and its sequel ''Radiant Dawn'', by having each character able to gain an additional 20 levels (going from two Class tiers to three). So only a handful of characters really lost any level, stats, or experience. The only notable loss was that the main character Ike gave his Legendary weapon Ragnell to the Kingdom of Begnion as its rightful owner.
** Any A supports from 9 even become bonds in 10. As well as any capped stat in 9 becoming +2 (regular stats) or +5 (HP) to the base stats in 10.
** The only loss of cast between the two titles is Largo, because 10 has no Berserker class in it. This is explained because Largo [[spoiler: lost an arm between the end of 9 and the start of 10.]]
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Mystery of the Emblem]]'') starts with a remake of the original game, so there isn't anything lost between the stories (except things cut for cartridge space reasons.) In the remakes (the 11th and 12th games in the series) this isn't really touched on at all, even if 12 (remake of 3 Book 2) doesn't include Book 1 (3's remake of 1). Characters that were in 1/11 but weren't in 3 are in 12 (with some in different classes if their class no longer exists in 3/12).
** Not to mention ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Blazing Sword]]'': Should the player play through Lyn's story, set one year before the main events of the game, any characters you used will retain their levels and stats when you continue on to Eliwood's or Hector's path.
* In Nippon Ichi's ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}''-verse, this is averted by always having a new (albeit similar) protagonist take up the mantle of Main Character. This allows the previous heroes (and apparently future ones) to maintain their insane power levels, but they all generally seem more concerned with losing their title as the Main Character (it's beginning to become their sole motivation for making cameos lately). In ''Disgaea'', your title is SeriousBusiness.
** In ''VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories'', [[spoiler:Etna (one of the main characters from the first game) initially shows up as a super powerful, [=Lv1000=] NPC. She eventually joins your party, but not before a summoning mishap drops her down to Lv1. She was not amused]].
* In ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'', artifacts (other than the occasional [[SwordOfPlotAdvancement plot-central kind]]) generally don't carry over between campaign missions, even though heroes and their levels do. Also, you're often forced to rebuild towns from the ground up in every mission, even when they're plot-wise the same ones as in previous missions.
** The final campaign in ''Heroes V: Tribes of the East'' features a justified Bag of Spilling. Zehir gets a [[GlobalAirship flying city]], but has to pay with experience to move it. The first time he uses this ability in a cutscene (accidentally), he loses 200,000 experience, dropping from level 25 to level 9.
* ''KingsBounty'': In "Crossworlds," there is a campaign with the protagonist from ''Armored Princess'', but of course she starts from scratch... well, almost. She got to keep her pet dragon (just deleveled like herself), if only because it would be impossible to get another one within the new setting.
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' in general gets away with this, because the levels in it are fairly abstract -- you generally just lose your best units for a while for various reasons. For instance, you get Shin Getter Robo and Mazinkaiser for the first few missions, but during a time jump, you are forced to ship them back home for repairs. In the ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration Original Generation]]'' games, your characters generally keep their better units, though in some cases they have to go and pick them up out of storage.
** ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWars4 Super Robot Wars Final]]'' allows you to carry everything over to the sequel, ''F Final''. If you don't use that, instead you're given a lump sum of cash to use, and you don't get any of your upgraded units. The same happens in ''VideoGame/{{Super Robot Wars Z}}2.2'' to a certain degree.
** In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha'' you get Mazinkaiser and Shin Getter Robo, so in each subsequent game they have to come up with various excuses as to why the characters downgraded to Mazinger Z and Getter Robo G at the start of the next game. Such explanations included correcting a power imbalance or undergoing maintenance when the team gets sent to the future.
** ''Alpha 2'' uses a ContinuityNod explanation: in the previous game, the bad guys managed to pull a GrandTheftPrototype on Mazinkaiser, and the heroes recovered it by exploiting a flaw (a blind spot created by its [[MechaExpansionPack flight pack]]). At the start of ''Alpha 2'', you get Kaiser but not the flight pack, since Professor Yumi is trying to remove said blind spot so future villains can't exploit it themselves. ''Alpha 3'' continues this train of nods as you keep the ''Alpha 2''-era Kaiser and Shin Getter, but they are recalled early on; Kaiser to regain his Scrander and Shin Getter to fix a massive power imbalance.
* Downplayed in ''SwordOfTheStars II: Lords of Winter''. While you won't be starting it with antimatter-powered dreadnoughts and all the endgame goodness of the first title, you will still get cruisers and fusion to start.

[[folder:Turn Based Tactics]]
* Justified in the ''VideoGame/XCom'' series; while the games are sequential each game holds a different threat altogether from the last. For example, the second game has you fighting an invasion underwater where all your weaponry and vehicles developed for land and air combat are useless.
** Even then, some of the equipment mentioned in the second game reference research from the first game as a prerequisite - Even more so, there is a considerable time gap between the games. The third game has some of the weapons from the first game (improved or repurposed). The laser rifle is basically standard equipment, apart from that there are elerium-based plasma weapons. All this put together made some veterans of the first game(s) unhappy thanks to the game being easier (you start with laughable equipment and soldiers in both 1 and 2). Of course, the aliens are considerably more powerful as you progress the game, quickly getting back to the point where the basic armour is almost ignored. The fourth game runs some time between 2 and 3 but is space fighter based instead of land-squad based, so the equipment is understandably different.
* Usually in full force in the ''VideoGame/JaggedAlliance'' series. You don't keep any weapons or money, and neither do your mercenaries keep their increased levels and skills between games. At least between ''[=JA1=]'' and 2, it's not clear if you're even the same commander. Averted with the ''[=JA2=]'' expansion ''Unfinished Business'', which had a feature allowing you to import your mercenaries and their stats from the previous game, though not their equipment. Doing so, though, made the game ramp up the difficulty due to your powerful mercenaries.
* ''VideoGame/HardWest'' is divided in eight scenarios, usually following different protagonists. Warren and the Undertaker, the two main protagonists, are played in several of them, but they lose their items, gold, and permanent buffs.

[[folder:Visual Novel]]
* Averted in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series. Nick manages to avoid losing the Magatama between the second and third games, and then over the seven years between the third and fourth.

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* Despite ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemptionUndeadNightmare'' starting late in the course of the game, John Marston starts only with his basic guns.
* Justified in ''VideoGame/{{Infamous 2}}'': the fight against the Beast leaves Cole drained, causing him to lose most of his powers. Thankfully, he retains his [[NotQuiteFlight Static Thrusters]] and [[GrindBoots Induction Grind]].
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'' uses and justifies this trope. The first mission is ATasteOfPower because it takes place in Stilwater, a city the Saints seized control of over the course of the previous two games. The game proper begins with [[PlayerCharacter the Boss]] skydiving into the city of Steelport with nothing but the clothes on his/her back and a top-of-the-line smartphone. Justified in the lack of funds and general resources upon arriving in the new city (and the Stilwater Saints gradually ship more and more resources in over the course of the game, including a few tanks), but not in the lack of upgrades gained in previous installments.
** ''VideoGame/SaintsRowIV'' also justifies the trope: as President of the US, the Boss has access to weapons concealed in the Oval Office. After being abducted by the Zin and thrown into a LotusEaterMachine, though, s/he loses their weapons and is forced into unflattering clothing. The Boss has to hack the simulation to get better clothes, weapons, and superpowers.
* ''VideoGame/DeadRising2: Off the Record'' justifies this trope with Frank West: a combination of age and living a cushy life during his FifteenMinutesOfFame have made him soft by the time the game starts five years after the first game.
* The 3-D and HD entries in the ''Franchise/GrandTheftAuto'' franchise have an internal version of this involving vehicles. Often called the "disappearing vehicle glitch", it is common for vehicles driven by a player to vanish if the player goes too far away from them, or disappear completely due to a mission being triggered that requires the use of another vehicle. For random vehicles stolen by the player, or for the respawning default vehicles provided in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'' and ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'', it's not a big deal, but it is also possible to lose unique/hard-to-find vehicles and vehicles the player has spent a lot of in-game money sprucing up and/or upgrading. ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'' tried a workaround by having some vehicles impounded by police when they vanished, and available for recovery later for a fee, but this feature was never actually announced so many players didn't know about it.

!!Non-video game examples:

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''
** Whenever Ash heads to a new area of the world (corresponding, naturally enough, to a newly-released game in the video game series), he will leave almost all of his Pokémon with Professor Oak, instead catching completely new ones (except for [[{{Mascot}} Pikachu]]) in order to help advertise the new games.
** [[{{Mascot}} Pikachu]] himself seems to suffer from this in regards to experience and training whenever he enters a new area so that Ash needs more Pokemon than just him.
** This is {{averted|Trope}} in most of the games themselves, though. Each one stars a different hero, so they would naturally have their own new Pokémon to start with. Moreover, once you progress far enough into each game, you gain the ability to trade with previous releases, and the Pokémon from these games are just as useful as they were before. The only games that aren't backwards compatible are the [[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire third generation]], due to a huge overhaul in the way data is handled for individual Pokémon.
* If a Franchise/{{Gundam}} protagonist returns in another series, they will usually be without their old mobile suit from their previous series, typically because it was destroyed in their finale. However because of technology progression any new machines they'll end up piloting are usually better anyway (example, Amuro loses the original Gundam at the end of the first series, but his Nu Gundam he gets in Char's Counterattack are far superior anyway). Although their are exceptions.
** Kira still has his Freedom Gundam when he reappears in Gundam Seed Destiny and due to the next line of units being weaker than it because of treaty restrictions he's just as powerful as he was previously (Athrun meanwhile has to deal with using one of the weaker newer units because Justice was destroyed).
** Setsuna still has the Exia at the start of season 1 although its in disrepair and quickly replaced by the 00 Gundam, which he also still has at the beginning of the film but is also quickly replaced.
** The Wing pilots still have their Gundams for Endless Waltz, although they can't access them until near the finale.
** The previous 2 Age protagonists keep their Gundams throughout all 3 generations, although they get improvements as the story goes on.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', its largely subverted.
** Whenever Ichigo loses his an aspect of his powers, if not all of them altogether several times, he retains some portion of them.
** He retains the ability to use Getsuga immediately upon using his completed fullbring powers, again when his shinigami powers return shortly afterwards, and YET again when he consolidates all his powers in the final arc.
** He can immediately go bankai the moment his powers return for the second time, rather than have to train to achieve the stage again.
** All of his innate reflexes and physical coordination are retained as well, regardless of the state he's in.

* ComicBook/ThePunisher's schtick being a badass normal Vietnam Vet, his stock arsenal is typically a Colt .45 and M16A1 (or a later version of the rifle in more recent comics), grenades and a combat knife. So whenever he gets his hands on an arsenal of magical or sci-fi weapons from dead villains and aliens, he often ends up losing them after a few issues (example in Dark Reign, he ends having to discard his ray guns when he's being chased by members of the Hood's crew that can soak up the hits and he finally loses it all when he's hacked to bits by Daken).
* The Archie Comics portrayal of ComicBook/MegaMan shows that if Mega Man hangs onto his acquired Robot Master arsenal, it can drive him DrunkWithPower. Dr. Light uninstalls these powers and Mega Man begins using them on a "just borrowing the powers" basis.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren'' isn't even a game, and it goes out of its way to explain this. Apparently, in the two years since fighting Sephiroth, the characters have lost some of their drive. By the end of the movie, Cloud "finds that feeling again." As well, they're storing their materia away--and it gets stolen. They retain their Limit Breaks and are still strong enough to go up against a Bahamut with minimal difficulty, though.\\\
In a bit of an aversion, Barret gets a brand new gun arm that transforms into a hand. Which is really a good thing since he seems to be predominantly right-handed. Also, Cloud gets a seriously epic upgrade to his omnislash limit break and it is implied that even after suffering from Geostigma he's physically stronger than he was at the end of the game. (Sephiroth's line, "Where did you get this strength?")

[[folder:Film -- Live Action]]
* By ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon'', Optimus Prime is a WalkingArmory, with a large trailer's worth of weaponry at his disposal. After the TimeSkip between that film and ''[[Film/TransformersAgeOfExtinction Age of Extinction]]'', he's lost every single weapon he had, save a shotgun he took from Megatron.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Dante doesn't have any of his equipment in FanFic/DantesNightAtFreddys, forcing huge amounts of ImprovisedWeapon
* ''Webcomic/{{Guardian}}'', which is about Lulu from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', explains why someone who's been on ''two'' pilgrimages starts with level one magic--she stopped using it after Ginnem's death and didn't get much real practice on Zuke's uneventful journey.

* In the first ''Literature/GrailQuest'' adventure book, our hero is returning home laden with gold and treasure. Then the local {{Jerkass}} manages to steal ''all'' of it in a comically simple ruse. Only the treasure, though, the magic items and equipment pass to books 2 and 3. Then in 4 you wake up in someone else's body; and 5 through 8 doesn't have any items carrying over at all.

* In the last book of ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', the title character [[spoiler:obtains the Curse of Achilles, which makes him NighInvulnerable]]. In the sequel series ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'', Percy loses the curse when he enters the Roman camp as the Tiber (a different one, but named after the original, of course) washes away curses and such.
* In ''{{Literature/Doom}}'', the Gates destroy inorganic material. When Fly and Arlene use them they arrive unarmed and naked. This was an attempt to Justify the Bag of Spilling between episodes in the game. Of course, when they crash land a rocket from Deimos onto Earth, the only thing they lose in the wreck are their weapons.
* Creator/TerryPratchett said in an interview that the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' character of The Luggage was born out of early D&D roleplaying as a take on the Bag of Holding idea. In theory it was a handy depository for captured booty, of infinite capacity, and capable of carrying things on its hundreds of dear little legs so that the players did not need to bother about weight limitations. But players in the game soon learnt that unless they gave The Luggage ''really precise'' instructions and kept track of what direction it was walking in, it soon became a Bag of Losing. In the books, the evolved character of The Luggage will still carry things for you. But it acts as a portal to an unspecified Other (witness its ubiquity as a corpse-disposal system) and has a mind of its own. Putting something in there is no guarantee that you'll ever see it again. It certainly carries a massive amount of gold bullion, for instance: but this has only been seen ''once''.

* ''Roleplay/OutpostDefenders'' removes all of the players, all of the shop items, all of the money, and all of the non-Franchise/{{Pokemon}} allies every new game. And as of Outpost Defenders III, not even stats are immune to this.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Justified in ''TabletopGame/PsionicsTheNextStageInHumanEvolution''. Espers are almost constantly on the run and have to move quickly, so you're expected to lose all of your gear, or have it taken from you, on a regular basis. If an esper isn't a fugitive, it's expected that most of what they have is standard issue from their superiors and must be returned at some point.
* ''TabletopGame/TheWorldOfDarkness'':
** Justified in ''TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen''. Players are playing ancient fallen angels who were demigods during the Age of Wrath thousands of years ago. However, they spent the intervening time in the entropic Abyss of Hell, where their powers and essence were gradually worn away. When they return to Earth in modern times, they are forced to possess human bodies and start off with minimal powers. As the players gain more Faith from followers, it is explained that they are gradually recovering some of the power and status that they had previously during the Age of Wrath.
** ''TabletopGame/MummyTheCurse'' uses something like this: you begin play with no memories or personal identity; over the course of the game, you gradually recover your memory and become less a monster and more a human. Eventually, you complete the task for which you were summoned and end your Descent; when you next Arise and begin a new Descent, your memories have once again been purged and you have to start all over again from scratch.
* In FantasyCraft, every session is self-contained, like an episode of a television series. And because gear is tied to your character directly (it's a stat unto itself that raises as you level), you have to "buy"/allocate it at the beginning of each session, even things you gained ''last'' session. Mechanically, it's a means of balancing the game both for the players and the GM so that neither party has to worry about whether they are getting too little or too much gear, and said gear's relative power. The basic logic as to ''how'' your characters manage to lose all that loot between every session is given a minor {{handwave}} in the idea that "food, brothels, room & board, and general expenses" eat it ''aaall up'', thus making sure that StatusQuoIsGod. You may very well have to recover a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute of a certain item 3 or 4 sessions in a row if no-one in your party has a high enough "gear" stat to have that item in their inventory at the beginning of the session.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In InteractiveComic ''Webcomic/SilentHillPromise'' almost everything Vanessa picked up [[spoiler: in the hotel]] has disappeared with no explanation.
* In [[http://www.zeldacomic.net/episode-166-enlightening-would-be-an-apt-pun/ this]] ''Webcomic/ZeldaComic'' (which the current page pic is taken from), Link explains that he always puts everything back in the dungeons he got it from at the end of an adventure. "It's, you know, tradition."
* Justified in ''Webcomic/NuzlockeComics'', of all things. Ruby[[spoiler:'s entire team is killed at the end of the Ruby-game arc, so he]] literally has no Pokemon when he starts his Kanto journey in the Fire Red arc. At the end of that, Mewtwo's power causes a rift in the time-space continuum when it's killed, sending Ruby's last Pokemon (Bruce) into the past and Ruby himself into the future... and to Unova, for the White arc.
** Petty's spinoff series also has justification. In the three years between the Leaf Green game and the Heart Gold game, Locke failed to renew her Trainer License, and lost the rights to her old Pokemon.
* Played with in the ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'' subcomic ''Jailhouse Blues''. X has been dropped in jail alongside Megaman, having been sent back in time so he can serve his full sentence and be out when needed, and they're discussing why they have sentences of different lengths:
-->'''X:''' Wait, if all Wiley's minions were men, why weren't you arrested for murder?\\
'''Mega Man:''' There was never enough evidence.\\
'''X:''' What? What about all your weapons?\\
'''Mega Man:''' I dumped all my weapons into the East River after every game. Didn't you?\\
'''X:''' ...\\
'''Mega Man:''' You didn't, did you?\\
'''X:''' Shut up, just shut up.
* In ''Webcomic/MSPaintMasterpieces'' this is subverted everywhere. Mega Man, GenreSavvy enough to realize this might happen, attempts to keep his weapons from the first game by saving them on a computer, but Dr. Light finds out and deletes them just before Wily attacks. Then Mega Man loses some more of his abilities when he [[spoiler: dies.]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* ''Roleplay/EnterTheArenaAsYourAvatar'': Anything a character is carrying that they didn't have when they entered the Arena for the first time is dropped when they die, even if they respawn. Averted, though, in that if a character's player decides to pull them out of the Arena, the character will still have all their stuff when/if they come back.