Character Roster Global Warming

When a video game first in the series is released, it will often have a slow, powerful fighter (known here as a Mighty Glacier) or two. However, as the series increases and more characters are added, the number of these characters often stays the same, resulting in a gigantic roster with only one or two big heavy glacier guys. Hence, Global Warming.

Compare The Smurfette Principle, which gives this treatment to female characters.


Beat Em Ups
  • Melted Glacier example: The Streets of Rage series has had only one slow guy, Max, who was promptly replaced with Lightning Bruiser Dr. Zan and Lethal Joke Character Roo in the third game. In the Fan Remake, which includes the running and rolling mechanics from 3 (that Max didn't star in), he becomes loads more useful.

Fighting Games
  • Battle Fantasia has only one glacier fighter in Donvalve.
  • BlazBlue has Iron Tager. Hakumen is also something of a Mighty Glacier, just the rare example of a character in that category being smaller than usual. The third game adds Azrael.
  • Dead or Alive only has 3 'big' characters who rely mainly on power and grapples: Bayman, Bass, and Leon.
  • Guilty Gear XX: Around two dozen characters and exactly one big guy (Potemkin). Eventually averted in Accent Core + R, but only because the developers rebalanced former SNK Boss Justice into this so she would be tournament viable. Xrd would drop Justice but add newcomers Bedman (in -SIGN-) and Kum Haehuyn (in -REVELATOR-) as heavyweight fighters.
  • The King of Fighters started with Goro, Ralf, Clark, and Chang Koehan. It took them about six years to add Maxima, a year to add Seth, three more to add Tizoc, and about another six to add Raiden. Although there have been other grapplers in the series, they have generally always been Fragile Speedsters.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes has 56 playable characters and only six are of the slow-and-strong type: Zangief, Anakaris, Colossus, Sentinel, Hulk, and Juggernaut.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a teeny bit better about this with Haggar, Dormammu, Thor, and to some extent Spencer joining Hulk and Sentinel for six slow but strong characters out of 38 total. With the release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its 12 new characters, the only new additions who seem to fit this mold are Nemesis and Ghost Rider, making the final ratio 8:50.
  • Mortal Kombat handles this very oddly: every Mighty Glacier in the series is a boss and is only playable in the full cast games — the only exceptions are Shao Kahn and Goro in the Gamecube version of Deception and Unchained.
  • Soulcalibur has four "big" characters (Astaroth, Nightmare, Siegfried, Rock) compared to more than twenty others, though in this case it's because there's only so many big weapons in the world. If one is generous, Ashlotte and Kamikirimusi (two of the five bonus characters in IV) count too, due to being palette swaps for Astaroth and Nightmare respectively, albiet considerably smaller.
  • Street Fighter III started with just Alex, added Hugo and Urien in Second Impact and finally Q in Third Strike for four out of twenty characters, which isn't too horrible.
  • Street Fighter IV's arcade release started with three out of seventeen (Zangief, E. Honda, and Balrog). The console version made that three out of 25. Super added T. Hawk and Hakan for five out of 35. Arcade Edition takes it to ridiculous levels with five out of 39. With the addition of Hugo in Ultra Street Fighter IV, the ratio increased very slightly, but 6 to 44 isn't much of an increase.
  • Street Fighter Alpha has Birdie, T. Hawk and Zangief, and every other character with this playstyle is fast. Sodom and E. Honda aren't much faster, though.
  • Averted in Super Smash Bros., where the original Nintendo 64 game had two Mighty Glaciers (Donkey Kong and Link) and one Stone Wall (Samus) out of 12 characters, Melee added two more (Bowser and Ganondorf) in a 26-character roster, and Brawl added Wario (though he's more acrofatic), ROB, King Dedede, Charizard, Ike (even though he's a Lightning Bruiser in his games), and Solid Snake, for a total of eleven characters out of 39 total. Quite impressive.
    • The WiiU and 3DS versions add Robin, Villager, Palutena, and Rosalina but removed Snake. They also split the transforming characters, meaning Zelda is no longer stance based and now fits this trope. Additionally, both Dr. Mario & Lucas were rebalanced to more closely resemble the archetype. Ignoring the Miis because of their customizability, this allows for a total of 16 out of 52 characters.
  • Tekken usually features four heavy characters: Ganryu, Jack, King, and Kuma. Marduk is also in since 4. Now contrast this with the character roster of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 which numbers 59 in the console releases. With Armor King, Prototype Jack, and Panda, that's eight slots filling the Mighty Glacier role.

Turn-Based Strategy
  • Non-fighting game example: There's three Mighty Glacier classes in Fire Emblem (out of a dozen or so): The Generals (standard glaciers), Wyvern/Dragon Riders (flying glaciers), and Fighters/Pirates/Brigands (more of HP sponges than anything else, and the last two veer towards Lightning Bruiser). Generally, you only get one or two characters of each of those classes, though if the roster is really big (like in Sword of Seals or Radiant Dawn) you might get three (or four for Generals), and some early games don't even feature playable Brigands. Every other physical class tends to have more characters in it, and aside from Paladins, they all are of the Fragile Speedster type to a degree. Also, Dragon Riders generally come from mid-game onwards, generally the last class that will join you aside from Dark Magic users (justified in that they're used by the enemy army). Considering how in Fire Emblem speed really matters, limiting their numbers isn't exactly for Competitive Balance, so...
    • The Laguz from the Tellius games avert this, to a extent: In Radiant Dawn you get a handful of new Laguz besides all the old ones in Path Of Radiance, and most of the new ones are Tigers, Lions, or Dragons, which are of the tanky type. Regular classes play this straight, however; in fact, the one Berserker on the first Tellius game is the only playable character not coming back for the sequel, and while you get 5 Trueblades, you only get a measly two Reavers, with Sentinels and Marksmen at three each. And yes, they're all "sister" classes, each specializing in a specific weapon type.

Wrestling Games