Narrator: Anyway, he must use this seizure-inducing machine to save the world! And/or space colonies.A Char Clone is a character who has many traits of Char Aznable from the Gundam franchise, who inspired many copies. The Gundam series was (and is) wildly popular in Japan, with a cultural impact comparable to Star Trek or Doctor Who in the West. Char, an antagonist in the original Gundam show Mobile Suit Gundam, became the most iconic character of the series, outpacing even the main characters and the Big Bad in popularity. Given the sheer number of characters that reference, homage, or flat out are Char with a different name, they eventually became known as Char clones. A brief history of the original Char: in Mobile Suit Gundam, he was The Rival to the main character. A mysterious masked man with distinctive blond hair, he was an Ace Pilot called the Red Comet with a penchant for piloting Ace Custom mecha painted red (which was said to be three times faster than its mundane counterpart, despite the only visual difference being its color). Over the course of the series, it is revealed that Char has a hidden agenda — avenging his father, who was assassinated by the series Big Bad — and that his estranged sister is part of the heroes' crew. In the sequel series, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, he adopts a Paper-Thin Disguise and makes a Heel–Face Turn, allying with the good guys and acting as The Mentor for the new generation. His final appearance comes in the appropriately-named Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, where he's a villain again, attempting to drop a giant asteroid onto Earth for the good of mankind. Expect to see these traits in a Char clone:
Neo Roanoke: But to do so he has to get through me, the conflicted villain who also serves as his main rival. Also, I have a cool mask.
Rau Le Creuset: Hey, wait a second, you're just copying me.
Zechs Merquise: No, you're copying me.
Cronicle Asher: No, both of you are copying me.
Char Aznable: No, all of you are copying me!
Neo Roanoke: But to do so he has to get through me, the conflicted villain who also serves as his main rival. Also, I have a cool mask.
Rau Le Creuset: Hey, wait a second, you're just copying me.
Zechs Merquise: No, you're copying me.
Cronicle Asher: No, both of you are copying me.
Char Aznable: No, all of you are copying me!
- Blond or otherwise pale hair. In case his hair is dark, it'll rarely be shown.
- An Ace Custom Humongous Mecha (or plane/car/motorcycle/whatever), usually red (but occasionally gold, from Char's Zeta Gundam mecha). May be referenced as being three times better (especially faster) than normal.
- A Cool Mask, or at the very least face-covering Cool Shades. This may be part of a Cool Helmet.
- A Red Baron title, usually referencing their color of choice.
- Being an Enigmatic Minion or a Hidden Agenda Villain.
- A Long-Lost Relative among the cast, allowing for The Reveal at a dramatically appropriate time. Frequently an Aloof Big Brother as well.
- A Mobile Suit Gundam-style Char clone will be an Anti-Hero, The Rival to the main character, a Hidden Agenda Villain and/or a Dragon with an Agenda and probably many changes between the heroes side and the villains side.
- A Zeta Gundam-style Char clone will be The Mentor to the main character, Older and Wiser with a Big Brother Mentor vibe.
- A Char's Counterattack-style Char clone will be a Knight Templar, Well-Intentioned Extremist or even a Dark Messiah, and may be a Fallen Hero as well. The most likely type of the three to be The Big Bad.
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As expected from the Trope Namer, there is at least one of them among its various Alternate Universes, most of them are even sourced in Nikkei published Otona no Gundam (Gundam for adult, a book analyzing the economical impact of Gundam):
- Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, and Char's Counterattack feature the original.
- Zeta also features Jerid Messa - while he doesn't wear a mask, pilot a red custom mecha, or have a relative among the crew of the Argama, he does have blonde hair, works for the Titans, and the tensions between him and Kamille are very familiar to those between Amuro and Char.
- Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ was supposed to have Char, but that was cancelled when Char's Counterattack was given the green light. Instead they got Glemy Toto, a blond, charming 17-year old, who has all of Char's manipulative ability and piloting skill, serves as a rival to two of the main characters, and eventually sets himself up as a rival to the Big Bad. He also seems to have Char's predilection for younger girls, although given his own age, that's hard to tell.
- Gundam Unicorn has Full Frontal, who (despite the unfortunate namenote ) is the Chariest Char since Char himself, being a cyber-newtype genetically altered to look like Char, with Char's memories — and, it's implied, a chunk of Char's soul — implanted in him via the psycoframe; to drive the homage even further, he is voiced by the same actor. Subverted? Or played ultra-straight? You decide.
- Gundam F91 has Knight Templar Carozzo "Iron Mask" Ronah as the Big Bad, while Zabine Chareux counts as The Rival.
- Mobile Suit Victory Gundam has Cronicle Asher, who isn't as iconic an example as some, but still fits the bill as The Rival.
- Gundam Reconguista In G has, well, Captain "Mask" (aka Luin Lee). He wears a mask and is the most recurring rival to the main character, Bellri Zenam. No blood relation to any of the main characters, though one of Bellri's female friends is in a (reciprocated) relationship with him and he was formerly a good friend of Bell himself.
- G Gundam can be seen as splitting it three ways, with Schwartz Bruder being The Mentor in an aloof, challenging way that lets him double as The Rival, while Master Asia shares some of Char's ideas and character arc and is The Rival in a more antagonistic sense, and Major Ulube Ishikawa getting the Big Bad aspect.
- Gundam Wing has Zechs Merquise/Milliardo Peacecraft, who combines all three Char-styles. Somewhat justified, since Wing has been described as "UC Gundam from MSG to CCA compressed into one series", though Zechs switches the sequence of Big Bad and The Mentor aspects compared the original Char, only taking on a Quattro Bajeena-like role in the film sequel.
- Gundam X has The Captain Jamil Neate taking on The Mentor aspect (complete with shades and sideburns). A more direct example comes from Lancerow Dawell, who is a sort of Alternate Universe version of Char. The backstory of Gundam X involves a much more devastating version of UC's One Year War (culminating in successful Colony Drops by the truckload), in which Lancerow played the role of The Rival-Char and Jamil played the role of Amuro.
- ∀ Gundam has Harry Ord, whose distinguishing feature is a pair of red Cool Shades that look like bug eyes. He's The Rival and The Dragon for most of the series, but interestingly borrows a lot more from Quattro Bajeena in appearance, personality, and trappings, including a gold Ace Custom rather than the traditional red that the original Char used. In fact, he doesn't have any villainous, ulterior motives other than what he does for his Queen and people.
- Gundam SEED splits and merges some of the three aspects into three characters:
- Rau Le Creuset is one of the darkest takes on the trope, being a Char clone who acts as The Rival to Ace Pilot Mu La Flaga, and is the Big Bad and The Man Behind the Man to the entire series, simultaneously channeling CCA-era Char's plan up to Omnicidal Maniac levels.
- Mu La Flaga himself fits the Zeta style Big Brother Mentor type, particularly to the main character; he does however start with an Ace Custom mobile armor instead of a mobile suit, before receiving Kira's Strike.
- In this case, the family connection of these two Chars is to each other; Rau is a clone of Mu's father.
- Finally, in both SEED and the first half of SEED Destiny, Athrun Zala serves as Kira's rival (complete with a red Gundam, instead of as simple Ace Custom) before his Heel–Face Turn. On a side note, Athrun's name is Arabic, derived from the Greek word, "erythron", meaning "red".
- Gundam SEED Destiny deconstructs and reconstructs this trope again to a certain extent:
- Neo Roanoke (actually the Not Quite Dead Criminal Amnesiac Mu la Flaga) fills the role of The Rival, while Athrun acts as The Mentor to Shinn, at least in the beginning. Then they swap, both of them (re)joining Kira. Neo/Mu loses the mask, gets the golden mobile suit and acts as the Older and Wiser figure to Kira and Athrun, while Athrun gets yet another red MS and ends up as The Rival to Shinn.
- Rounding up the triumvirate is Gilbert Durandal as the Well-Intentioned Extremist-Char (he even has the same seiyuu as the original).
- The series also has an ungodly number of Char references, from Lunamaria's red ZAKU to Athrun's Paper-Thin Disguise as "Alex Dino" (consisting almost entirely of Cool Shades... and not even having the benefit of his real face being relatively unknown, since unlike Char he never wore a mask).
- Gundam 00 has Graham Aker, who starts as a more general example of The Ace and The Rival, challenging the Gundams with lesser mobile suits like the Flag, but is upgraded to a full-blown Char Clone in the second season, where he gains a Char-scar and puts on a Cool Mask. He also takes on a new name ("Mr. Bushido")...though it turns out that it's just a nickname other pilots gave him for his increasingly samurai-like tendencies, and he went with it. Like so much in 00, he's a bit of a deconstruction: He doesn't wear the mask to hide his identity, but rather because of scars given to him by the ostensible hero of the series. That and he personally hates the Mr. Bushido nickname and is suffering from depression.
- Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G reveals Boris Schauer. Because the story takes place in the real world, Boris may just be a Char fanboy. Nevertheless, his similarity to Char is more than just cosmetic, as no ordinary fanboy will ride a Cool Horse just to mimic Char.
- Gundam AGE has Vagan Ace Pilot Zeheart Galette. His mask manages his Psychic Powers, which are powerful enough to require a custom (red) suit that is 3 times faster than normal Vagan suits. Although he isn't related by blood to any of the heroes, he is Asemu Asuno's former best friend and becomes The Rival. He never had interaction with Kio in the third arc, not counting their bouts in their mobile suits.
- On the Quattro side of things, we have the 3rd Generation's Federation mobile suit team leader Seric Abis.
- Before the release of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, a probably out of continuity novel called Gaia Gear, which took place a few centuries after Mobile Suit Gundam, featured the main character Afranshia Char - a "memory clone" of the original Red Comet.
- Gundam Build Fighters has the Student Council President Tatsuya Yuuki as the closest character to the Trope. He's nicknamed the Crimson Comet, and pilots the Zaku Amazing, a highly customized Zaku II Char Custom; he only falls short for want of blond hair and a mask. He later fully embraces the archetype by donning a pair of Quattro-style shades as Meijin Kawaguchi III - the current inheritor of the title given to the metaverse's master Gunpla Builder. Throughout the series run, he basically is the Friendly Rival to the main characters, before briefly plunging into the role of the Decoy Big Bad Final Boss due to being Brainwashed and Crazy.
- Gundam Build Fighters Try has, apart from the aformentioned Meijin (who, in contrast to his roles in the first season, becomes The Mentor for a brief moment) a Distaff Counterpart thereof in Lady Kawaguchi (canonically speaking, the franchise's first female character to fit the trope). Not much is brought up regarding her background, but she fits the Stealth Mentor bit for one of the main characters, being the one who inspired her years ago to do Gunpla Battle.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans has Special Inspector McGillis Fareed of Gjallarhorn as a prime contender for Char status. The blonde, charismatic, and well dressed officer acts as the main foil to the grungy Mikazuki, as well as being the first one to get a good hit on the Barbatos. His friendship with Gaelio Bauduin also mirrors the original Char's friendship with Garma and his engagement to Gaelio's much younger sister echos Char's infamous predilection for young girls. In episode 15, he gets the mask, a wig, and a nickname as "Montag", and in episode 19 he sorties in a high-performance red mobile suit. In episode 25, he kills Gaelio after explaining that he'd manipulated him and Ein into committing acts that would break public trust in Gjallarhorn.
- The second season introduces a new masked antagonist known only as "Vidar". However it's clearly Gaelio, if his voice, use of a remodelled Gundam Kimaris, and grudge against McGillis didn't give it away. Which is interesting because it's the first time in the franchise where a character has been a Char Clone and a Garma Clone at the same time.
- Outside anime, the Gundam spinoff game MS Saga: A New Dawn introduces Captain Hal Vizardt to the Gundam franchise. He hits all the Char high notes: blond, masked, ace pilot, acts as a mentor to The Hero, pilots red MS (for extra points, he specifically pilots Char's), and is secretly the older brother of another party member in disguise.
- Played for Laughs in Gundam Breaker 3 with Mr Gunpla, a Series Mascot and Large Ham fight promoter of sorts for the sport. In actual fact, he was a former champion who suffered a crisis of faith that affected his reputation and lost him his biggest fan - after which he left the sport entirely, but his love for it drew him right back, reinventing himself as a non-ironic Sad Clown (in his own words) to promote the sport as Mr Gunpla, operating a conveniently red mecha while wearing shades, a Funny Afro and a Hawaiian shirt. Yes folks, the metal mask has been replaced with a funny afro!
- Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket nods towards the concept near the end of the series, where for most of the fifth episode, resident blond-haired Zeon pilot Bernard Wiseman disguises himself with nothing more than a pair of Cool Shades similar to Char as Quattro in Zeta Gundam.
- Gundam Build Divers plays with this trope. In Episode 3, Kyoya Kujo dons a mask and a knight-like outfit in an attempt to join a group of beginners to weed out "Mass-Divers", cheaters within Gundam Battle Nexus Online. His disguise his incredibly flimsy (he even calls himself "Kyoya" and claims that his looks and name are because he admires Kyoya.) and he horribly breaks character. Riku and Yukio fall for it, though Momoka, despite having just joined and not knowing much of Gundam, is incredibly suspicious, though Yukio tries to brush it off as masked men are common in Gundam. The ruse doesn't even last an episode as he's forced to reveal himself when protecting Sarah and Momoka from a rampaging Devil Gundam, destroying his disguise.
Anime & Manga
- Aldnoah.Zero has Slaine Troyard. Rival to The Hero? Check. Blond? Check. Sadly, no mask. While initially lacking the skill and charisma characteristic of your typical Char, he does have traits similar to those of Turn A Gundam's Harry Ord, specifically, loyalty to the princess. Later, as the series progresses, he gradually becomes a Char's Counterattack type, becoming the Big Bad and only going short of Vers becoming a full Zeon clone.
- Genesis of Aquarion has Sirius de Alisia.
- Armored Trooper VOTOMS: Ypsilon is this series' Char clone.
- Aura Battler Dunbine: Bern Bunnings from this show is an obvious Char. Rival status, fake moniker, wears a mask, extreme respect from his underlings, and grudging respect from his superiors.
- Attack on Titan has Reiner Braun. A highly talented, blond soldier who just so happens to be a very psychologically damaged double agent who also takes the form of the gold and red Armored Titan.
- Bakugan: Spectra Phantom wears mostly red (including a mask), is blond, is The Rival, and is actually named Keith Clay, the older brother of Mira Clay. Also, Masquerade doesn't have a thing for red nor does he err, she have a younger sister, but he is mostly this trope.
- Emperor Barodius and Dharakinoid in Gundalian Invaders are Chars of themselves in Mechtogan Surge, now Mag Mel and Razenoid. They've been so warped by evil, they've cast off their old identities.
- Though just a minor character, it's obvious who Findor◊ in Bleach is modeled on. Also his name vaguely sounds like one of Char's made-up cover names.
- The Big O: Schwartzwald. A masked character with his own agenda, consistent rival to the lead, pilots three red mechs, and they are more maneuverable (three times faster).
- Brain Powerd has two, Baron Maximilian as the political force with a mask (also a rare female example), and Johnathan Glen in the blond rival Ace Pilot department.
- Brave Raideen: Actually a reverse of this trope; the character Prince Sharkin is who Char Aznable was modeled after. For all intents and purposes, however, it can also qualify.
- Code Geass: Split between the show's main character, Lelouch, who gets most of Char's backstory (estranged son of nobility, works under a fake name and wears a mask, has a younger sister who doesn't realize who he is, seeks revenge for his parent's murder), and Kallen, who gets his action role (Ace Pilot with speedy red mecha, The Rival of Suzaku on the battlefield). Also worth a mention, is that Word of God indicates Lelouch was initially going to be a white-haired pretty boy, and thus would have looked the part even more. In fact, co-creator and head writer Ichiro Okouchi himself said that Zero was designed specifically to wear a mask because he felt that it wouldn't be a Sunrise show otherwise!
- Dancougar Nova: A masked blonde woman who pilots the red mecha R-Daigun against Dancougar. She turns out to be the Idol Singer Eida.
- Future GPX Cyber Formula: Knight Shoemach/Osamu Sugo is The Ace, The Rival, has Cool Shades, his younger sister is in love with the hero and drives a white and red formula car (in the TV series). And he's the long-lost brother to said little sister.
- GaoGaiGar: Soldat J is blond, wears a face obscuring helmet, is rival to main character, is faster than the main character on foot and in his smaller mecha, and is incredibly popular.
- GEAR Fighter Dendoh:
- Altair (the mask-wearing bad guy), who is the brother of one of the main characters and The Rival of the protagonists (though not by choice). He also uses a palette-swap of Dendoh, the Knight Gear Ogre.
- Vega resembles Char in his Quattro phase: she's a mysterious mentor with blonde hair and a mask. Also, she is secretly the mother of one of Dendoh's pilots and Altair's sister.
- Full Metal Panic! has a Char homage in a first season filler episode, where the man in question is the leader of a Jerk Jock team of mecha pilots. This ended up getting Lost in Translationnote , but if you know what to look for it's blatantly obvious — especially his last line of the episode, where he starts to quote Char's famous "mistakes of youth" speech before Kaname Dope Slaps him.
- Tenchi Muyo!:
- Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar: Dagmyer. Handsome blond who wears a mask in the first episode, inspiring leader and idealist fighting against the system, Manipulative Bastard... he hits most of the criteria for both original recipe and Counterattack-era Char, except that he uses a blue Seikishin. And that he's hopelessly outmatched by his rival, Kenshi.
- Ulyte, the male of the two teachers in the series, also qualifies; acting as a male confidant for Harem Hero Kenshi and as a second for the Big Bad, while playing both sides against the middle for the sake of his own mysterious agenda. And he/she even has the mask aspect covered as Neizai.
- Last Exile: Tatiana Wisla - blonde Ace Pilot with a red vanship.
- Lyrical Nanoha: Nanoha's basically a Gundam disguised as a magical girl, so is it any wonder her first-season rival Fate is a blonde whose fighting style is geared for speed? Especially when she gets her Sonic Form in A's, which makes her three times faster! And even faster with her Shin Sonic Form! Fate is referred as the "Ace of the Navy," "God of Speed," and "Golden Flash."
- Fate has an older brother among the good cast. Except that they weren't siblings before she was adopted by Chrono's mother in the second season.
- Vita is a Fiery Redhead knight, completely clad in red. She serves as Nanoha's rival in the second season, and after her Heel–Face Turn, she is one of the instructors of the Forwards in the third. The red knight holds the title of the "Knight of Iron Hammer."
- Nove was initially designed to be Subaru's rival in the third season, but somehow they don't end up as such, though the former is clearly antagonistic towards the latter. She's a Fiery Redhead who is faster than Subaru thanks by having lighter rollerblades. Also, Nove turns out to be the a genetic clone of Quint like Subaru and Ginga, being a biological younger sister to the latter two. After her Heel–Face Turn, she later becomes the trainer and Big Sister Mentor of Team Nakajima (Vivio, Einhard, Rio and Corona) in the fourth season.
- Metal Armor Dragonar: Meio Plato, the Ace Pilot rival with the nickname Blue Hawk, his character design resembles CCA Char, his sister is a major character on the protagonists' side, and he has his own Ace Custom Metal Armor.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has Asuka Langley Soryuu. She wears red, pilots a red EVA unit, is The Rival to Shinji Ikari, and serves as the show's resident Ace Pilot. Her Rebuild counterpart takes this further, with her EVA unit having three forms, and she wears an eyepatch as of 3.33.
- In Sands of Destruction based on a video game of the same name the Char clone is a black teddy bear with an Eyepatch of Power and red bandanna, voiced by the original Char. To top it off, he is a friend turned rival to another teddy bear Toppi, who is voiced by the original Amuro.
- School Rumble: Harry McKenzie is a parody of this trope, being a Char in a non-mecha setting.
- Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry: While officially A Little Princess in space, has been described as "Mobile Suit Gundam starring Sayla." Actually, both Ralph and his main character sister Sara have elements of Char-cloning (though Sara's mech is pink...). Amusingly enough, Ralph looks 99% identical to Zechs Merquise, the biggest difference being a large scar over one eye.
- The Five Star Stories: Vralgo "Testarossa" Kentauri is definitely a Char, even wearing a mask (and a fake beard, of all things) while posing as the mercenary knight "Boowray Red". Unlike most Char clones, he only lasts a single story arc before his final battle with his own arch-rival, King Colus, comes to a mutually fatal conclusion similar to the original's. Interestingly his and Colus' descendants become allies in a later story arc.
- The Heroic Legend of Arslan has a man mostly known as Silver Mask (real name Hermes), who wears a silver mask to hide the Zuko-like burn on his face, that was a result from a tragic incident in his youth. He is introduced as a Dragon with an Agenda, then it is revealed that he is a Long-Lost Relative of Parsian's royal family, and he eventually becomes a member of Big Bad Ensemble. Visual cues aside, he is even voiced by Char's Japanese VA in an Ova adaptation.
- Zoids: New Century has Naomi Fluegel, who pilots an Ace Custom red Gunsniper, and is even called the Red Comet in-universe. Her Leitmotif is even titled "Here Comes the Red Comet!", a reference to the original Char's theme song, "Here Comes Char!".
- Leon Tauros also pilots a custom Red Blade Liger, and is the older brother of Leena, one of the regulars.
- Zoids: Genesis: Zairin of Zaltz is quite the Zoid prodigy. He seems to be quite a familiar character, no?
- Berserk: Griffith in the Golden Age arc. He's the Big Bad, wears a cool silver helmet, has white hair, is an ace swordsman and The Rival to Guts, and acts as both the Dark Messiah and the Fallen Hero.
- Also from the Golden Age arc, we have Samson Corbowitz, who is specifically mentioned to have armour three times THICKER than normal and is a (very brief) antagonist to Guts and Caska.
- Infinite Stratos has Charlotte Dunois, the pilot of an orange-coloured Ace Custom IS under the disguise of a guy named Charles. Before the gender reveal, she served briefly as The Mentor of sorts to Ichika; after the reveal though, she immediately became The Rival to the viewpoint of the other main female characters.
- She is certainly one of, if not the most popular among Ichika's harem, being more of a Nice Girl rather than a domineering Clingy Jealous Girl like others (although she tends to be one on certain occasions). This is made explicit later in the first season when he calls her "Char" as an In-Series Nickname.
- In addition, her IS is an expy of Kyousuke Nanbu's Alt Eisen, considered by many to be a Char machine.
- For a series that isn't about Humongous Mecha, Yakitate!! Japan has "Meister" Kirisaki, a blond mask-wearing Ace Baker whose sister is a member of the supporting cast. He also plays a Zeta-style role as Azuma's mentor. The connection then progressed to Hilarious in Hindsight territory when the anime version was eventually picked up by Sunrise.
- Anyone watching Ozuma will see a particularly familiar figure. Gido Gairaa is an aloof villain-like character with a white mask who can be summed up as the bastard child of Captain Harlock and Char Aznable.
- Hiro from Beyblade is a Char clone: he wore a mask at the start and switched to shades by the end; he played The Mentor to the protagonist (who is his little brother) and later to Brooklyn; his bit-beast Metal Driger is basically an Ace Custom of the original Driger.
- Parodied in Eureka Seven AO: In episode 20, Elena starts wearing a mask after defecting to the United States. Early in episode 21, she decides it's irritating to wear it, and throws it away.
- Shin and Souther from Fist of the North Star. Both are blond, members of a rival martial arts school of the protagonist, and both rely on speed rather than brute force in combat.
- Subaru Okiya of Detective Conan is a Char clone...he's blond (at least for his keyhole), he drives a red car (white in some instances) with suicide doors, he wears glasses and squints most of the time and his Long-Lost Relative is Masumi Sera. Considering he's actually Shuichi Akai...
- A rare literary example occurs in the Space Opera Lucifer's Star where the protagonist, Cassius Mass, is a blond-haired blue-eyed Red Baron Ace Pilot (later Broken Ace) in a Feudal Future. He even has Char's affinity for red outfits both before and after the fall of his homeworld. Word of God says he envisioned the character as "Somewhere between Char, Clone Wars Anakin, and Han Solo."
South Korean Animation
- A variant of the Mascot Mook Jack Frost in Shin Megami Tensei exists called "Frost Ace." His entry discusses that he put on his mask in order to exact (unspecified) vengeance, and his mask is modeled after Char's. It's where the "Ace" in his name comes from, as he's never actually shown piloting anything.
- Mega Man (Classic): It wouldn't be much of a stretch at all to assume Proto Man was a Char (or more specifically, a Quattro). Cool Shades and a helmet that hides his identity, is a red robot with considerable speed and agility advantages over Mega Man, has a not-initially-disclosed relation to a main character (and as an Aloof Big Brother no less), sometimes an enemy, sometimes an ally, and usually set up as a rival or mentor as the plot requires (and sometimes both). It's also worth noting that Inafune gave him the very distinctive boat-tailed Gelgoog riot shield that tapers to a point at both ends.
- Mega Man X: According to Inafune, Zero was inspired by Char.
- Dynamo from X5 is also built up as such, particularly the old-fashioned MSG-style rival (although he's more of a Friendly Enemy). He wears black instead of red, but otherwise exhibits most of the traits associated with Char clones. He has the white hair, a visor on his helmet that covers his eyes, and is even said to have skills equaling or perhaps surpassing that of a Special A Class Hunter note . Despite possessing abilities similar to X and Zero's combined skillset, his threat level diminishes throughout X5, as he's soundly defeated by X/Zero twice and retreats each time. By the time of X6, Dynamo is considered little more than a nuisance by the Maverick Hunters; that being said, he's still smart enough to know when to call it quits.
- The oddly-named Ramirez in Skies of Arcadia starts out as a lowly vice-admiral in the Valuan Empire, carrying out the orders of seditious Galcian. In due course he is promoted to full admiral and commits a few war crimes of his own, including the sinking of the Little Jack, the shelling of Nasir, and the destruction of Crescent Isle. He is a space-dwelling Silvite, the first agent who was sent to reactivate the lost continent of Soltis and extinguish all life on the surface. The irony is that he and his replacement, Fina, apparently did not know about the Elders' plans for genocide; but Galcian took Ramirez under his wing and, in the process, learned about Soltis and its potential as a world-conquering weapon. Anyway, Ramirez shares more than a little in common with SoA's hero Vyse: a swordsman and sailor with an incurable wanderlust. Ramirez spent too much time amid Galcian's people, which confirms the Silvites' belief that man is beyond saving; Fina accidentally drifted to Vyse's hometown of Pirate Isle. The difference is one of circumstance.
- Street Fighter: He's not the Char-iest, but Ken Masters definitely qualifies with his blonde hair and red gi to contrast with Ryu's brown hair and white gi; Yoshiki Okamoto has stated Ryu's opposite was purposely given a Char look.
- Super Robot Wars: The irony being that since the series is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover of Mecha anime, you will often find Char clones alongside Char himself in the same game!
- Particularly of note is Elzam von Branstein: his mecha all follow the black-and-red color scheme and are ridiculously fast (so much so that his insane evasion skills make him an excellent tank), and takes to wearing a pair of sunglasses to take a secret identity (which nobody actually falls for). He even shares a voice actor with Gundam's Harry Ord. Which comes full circle with a Shout-Out, "Ratsel, he is an ORD."note
- Done again with Sleigh Presty, who pilots a high-speed red mech and gains the nickname of the "Scarlet Comet." The characters were actually going to call her something starting with "Re-", but one of them breaks the fourth wall to stop them, saying they'll be sued if they finish the joke. And once again, you can have her face off against the real "Red Comet" in her debut game.
- Kyosuke Nanbu. Pilots a red, horned mech? Check. Acts as The Rival (From Ryusei's point of view) and The Mentor? Check. Has blond hair? Semi-checked. Lampshaded in one of the 4koma's where Quattro confronts Kyosuke on the idea that the blond bangs at the tips of his hair are actually a failed attempt to dye his hair blond so that he can become a complete Char Clone.
- Super Robot Wars W gives us Applicant, who wears a mask, commands a red battleship, and is the main character's father reborn in android form. In-story, he is considered one of the most dangerous enemies you ever face.
- Tech Romancer: Shadow Red is based on Char, to the point of being voiced by Shuichi Ikeda.
- Xenogears: Bart is pretty Char-y. He's a exiled nobleman's son, and pilots a red Ace Custom mecha, though he substitutes an Eyepatch of Power for Cool Shades. Unlike most Char clones, though, he's not exactly a powerhouse in combat.
- Rick Addison from the Rance series is a patriotic masked blond bishonen clad in red armor who is considered to be the greatest warrior in his nation, and serves as the Worthy Opponent to the main character. Knowing the series, however, he's most likely intended to be a parody.
- Fire Emblem: From the first and third game, and their respective remakes: Camus is a blond-haired, high-skill anti-villain. In the the third game, Sirius, a masked, blond-haired, high-skill hero who you have totally never met before joins your party. Sounds familiar?
- Notable: Camus himself is a clone target... a "Camus" is, while only Eldigan and Ares retain being direct Char clones (albeit maskless ones), a recurring archetype for anti-villain characters. They typically fall under "My Country, Right or Wrong", and sadly are usually killed off.
- "Marth" from Awakening is another example. Mask? Check. Mysterious? Check. Better version of the hero's weapon? Check. Related to a major character? She's the main lord Chrom's daughter from the future.
- From the same game: Gerome. Another mysterious, masked character, who is related to Cherche by way of Kid from the Future; she's not as important as Chrom, but Cherche does have some mild plot significance. It's even possible for Gerome to have blond hair.
- Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has Conrad, a masked individual with mysterious motives who repeatedly saves Celica from danger, and is later revealed to be her presumed-dead brother.
- BlazBlue: Relius Clover fights with a red robot who is really Carl Clover's mother, wears a mask that resembles The Phantom of the Opera, is blond, is The Rival to his son, Carl, is co-Dragon to the Imperator Librarius (alongside Hazama/Terumi). Yep. Relius is definitely a Char.
- MOTHER 3: The Masked Man is a dead ringer for Char, revealed to be Lucas' long lost twin brother, Claus.
- Regulus from Bomberman 64 and its sequel is The Rival to the titular hero, uses a fake name and is an Enigmatic Minion in the sequel (even killing one of his own allies and going against the Big Bad!), and is always seen wearing his Cool Mask.
- Kirby has Meta Knight, the eponymous hero's rival, mentor, Aloof Ally, and one-time Well-Intentioned Extremist. He wears a mask, commands a Cool Faceship, and fights with techniques similar to Kirby's Sword and Wing abilities. The Dramatic Unmask is parodied; whenever Meta Knight is beaten, his mask comes off and he's revealed to look like a blue Palette Swap of Kirby before he bashfully teleports away.
- Dynasty Warriors: Gundam series features several Char clones, as well as Char himself. The original, if memory serves, only has Char and Milliardo. The Sequel adds more of Char himself and adds Athrun. #3 adds Full Frontal and Shwartz Bruder to the player's options, and features Milliardo and Char fighting on the same side. Mr. Bushido is available as DLC.
- Lampshaded by Duo Maxwell in the third game upon meeting Full Frontal.
"How many people with goofy masks could there possibly be?"
- The number of Char clones in the game becomes truly absurd by the time of Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn, which features Char Aznable/Quattro Bajeena, Anavel Gato, Glemy Toto, Full Frontal, Schwarz Bruder, Millardo Peacecraft/Zechs Marquise, Athrun Zala, Rau Le Creuset, Mu La Flaga/Neo Roanoake, Rey Za Burrel, and Graham Aker/Mister Bushido. All of these guys are playable characters to boot, which is just asking for a free-for-all mission to determine the Char-iest of them all. The closest the game gets is the random chance of a three-way fight between Char and two of his clones (or Johnny Ridden) happening in almost any Ultimate Mode mission, prompting you to intervene to give one of them the win in the argument.
- Lampshaded by Duo Maxwell in the third game upon meeting Full Frontal.
- Yasha from Asura's Wrath has a bit of this going for him, with a cool personality, a mask of sorts and overall has more speed, skill and precision based combat to be a counterpart for Asura's raw power and strength. The color scheme is blue instead of red, to compliment him being the Blue Oni to Asura's Red Oni.
- Plus, Durga, Asura's (dead) wife, is his sister, making him Asura's brother-in-law.
- Gai, the Big Bad of Bangai-O, has a few of these traits. He pilots a robot similar to the title one (with red wings added onto it, for good measure), not only sharing the same abilities, but also able to activate temporary invincibility at will. He is also somewhat calmer than Riki. On top of all that, the ending reveals Gai to be the long-lost brother of Ban, Riki's father. Which makes him Riki's uncle!
- Doujin game Super Cosplay War Ultra has Masa, who cosplays as the Red Comet and uses Char's voice clips (his theme song is also Char's theme from one of the Super Robot Wars games). He also fits the Ace Custom trope by being a more powerful version of one of the standard Mook types that cosplay as Zakus (the mobile suit type from which the Red Comet was derived from).
- Armored Core has Nineball/Hustler One, the highest ranking person in the arena. His AC is red and is better than you in every way. This is mostly because he's an AI, and when he reveals this, he gets an Ace Custom. He is so iconic in the Armored Core fanbase that every game after his initial appearance either uses him for The Cameo or has an Expy of him.
- The King of Fighters: Ash Crimson is an odd example of this archetype in that he embodies the traits of all three variations of Char at once. He wears red, sports platinum-blond hair, essentially upstages the entire collective cast at every turn (no, really), and schemes to steal the powers of the Three Sacred Treasures (Kyo, Iori, and Chizuru; he succeeds in depowering the latter two). He's set up as a Hidden Agenda Villain Protagonist, but is shown to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist, working to counter-act his time-hopping Identical Ancestor in order to keep his best friend/older sister figure/rival Elisabeth safe.
- Zone of the Enders features the main rival pilot Viola Gyune piloting red LEV mechs.
- In Steambot Chronicles, Elder the White Phantom is the reigning trotmobile champion, with a trotmobile that is way more powerful than anything else in the game. He wears a white mask to hide his identity. He is also the leader of the Bloody Mantis, the terrorist organization that is trying to destroy modern society, and a former member of the band you joined, whose little brother was also a band member before he was killed.
- While not from a mecha-game (and thus not a mech-pilot), Godot from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations meets some of the criteria of a Char Clone. To wit, he's a masked, white-haired stranger who's introduced as an enigma with quite the reputation, he has an intense rivalry with the main charcter (if mostly from his side in his particular case), he's revealed to have been connected to another major cast member (namely, he and Mia used to be lovers), and while introduced as antagonistic he reveals more sympathetic qualities over the course of the story. Earlier concept art actually shows that his mask looked a lot like Char Aznable's before the makers settled on the design seen in the final version.
- Mecha Ace, a digital Choose Your Own Adventure story, features a rival Ace Pilot named Commandant Camille Hawkins, complete with blond hair, Cool Mask, Ace Custom mech, and Red Baron status. Biggest difference is a blue colour scheme instead of red... and potentially a Gender Flip (the player can optionally select NPC genders).
- Ravus Nox Fleuret from Final Fantasy XV also embodies many of the original Char's traits despite not being from a mecha-gamenote : blond hair, lost a parent to the villains, joins the villains' side to further his own agenda, holds a high rank in their military, and has a sister on the heroes' side; he also had a hood/mask covering his face in early material, but it was dropped in the final product. To take it one step further, his being a former prince parallels fellow Char Clone Milliardo Peacecraft/Zechs Merquise.
- Ace Combat:
- Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War features a pretty close match in Larry "Solo Wing Pixy" Foulke, who combines attributes of a Zeta and CCA-style Char. He's blonde, famous for a prior incident, and associated with a plane with a distinctive red-colored wing. He starts off as The Mentor to the protagonist (who, while having some cred before the game starts, is a total unknown compared to Pixy), but after losing faith in his reasons for fighting the eponymous war, turns on them, disappearing for most of the game before resurfacing at the finale as the Big Bad.
- To a lesser extent is Yellow 13 of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, who is primarily a classic MSG Char. Blonde hair, known mainly by a color-themed nickname, and heavily associated with a high-performance jet painted in that same color, he starts out with the protagonist as a sort of Unknown Rival who only piques his interest at first by showing the potential to be very good. Said protagonist even cements his status as an actual rival to him by accidentally killing a woman close to him.
- Another minor example of an MSG-style clone is in Ace Combat 2 with the Z.O.E. planes. Being that, at least in the remake, they're an AI and thus have no physical attributes to share with Char, they do share the predilection towards increasingly-higher-spec, all-red aircraft (eventually getting a unique fictional "superfighter" similar to Char's Zeong), and essentially forces their way into being The Rival by being not only the sole recurring named enemy in the game, but also the single most aggressive one, always seeking you out from the beginning of a mission instead of waiting for you to get close on your own.
- Neptunia: To a lesser extent in Megadimension Neptunia VII, a character that appears in the Lowee storyline known as Azna=Leb (he even goes so far as to say a certain line "Y-you hit me! Even my own father never hit me! H-How dare you punch my face... with a fist even!" when Blanc strikes him in anger at the end of the storyline too!)
- Sunrider: Veniczar Arcadius wears a face-concealing elf mask, pilots a rednote Ace Custom Ryder, is searching for ancient Ryuvian Lost Technology for unknown purposes, and is related to the Sunrider’s chief engineer Chigara Ashada by dint of them both being Prototype clones. And, as the charismatic dictator of the People’s Alliance for Common Treatment and a Galactic Conqueror, she is definitely the Big Bad type of Char Clone. The sequel shows that Alice, the primary Arcadius, also has issues with being a Prototype and an omnicidal, misanthropic hatred of humanity, effectively making her a genderswapped Rau le Creuset.
- Persona 5 has its primary human antagonist, Masayoshi Shido. He's a mix of all three types with his shadow form wearing a very similar style of mask (0079), riding around on a very golden embodiment of human slavery (Zeta), and his motivations being to helm the world for the sake of "exceptional" people like himself (Char's Counterattack). He's also got the same voice actor as Char, Shuichi Ikeda, in Japanese.
- Adam Taurus of RWBY checks fewer boxes than most examples, but does make the cut. He's the former mentor and lover for one of the main heroes, Blake Belladonna, who became a bitter enemy to her for her defection from the White Fang. He wears a unique mask compared to other members of the White Fang. He has red hair and wears red as part of his Red and Black and Evil All Over motif, and proves himself to be a Dragon with an Agenda in Volume 4 and 5 by murdering the High Leader of the White Fang in a coup and taking over himself.
- Megas XLR: Evil Coop from the show's series finale. His Mecha #14 had a strong resemblance to Char's Sazabi, while his army resemble Zakus (and of course, as Coop, he's blond).
- Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender: He starts out as a pseudo-Stock Shonen Rival / Dragon with an Agenda, out to capture Aang in hopes of restoring his honor within the Fire Nation. Over the course of the series, he learns that the plans of his forefathers were not as noble as he was led to believe. After several false starts, Zuko eventually makes a Heel–Face Turn to teach Aang Firebending (becoming something of a Big Brother Mentor to him) and defeat his father, becoming his Redeeming Replacement at the end of the series. He typically wears red with gold trim (the colors of Fire Nation royalty), has a burn scar over his left eye, and is revealed to be a descendant of Aang's past life, Avatar Roku.
- Amon from The Legend of Korra (the Dark Messiah version). Interestingly enough, while it turned out that he was someone's older brother, it turned out to be of Tarrlok, one of the other antagonists of the series.