Let's combine the paint job of the left one with the door wings of the right onenote
Certain mediums, including Real Life
, tend to have the time and space to utilize Loads and Loads of Characters
, a large number of individuals with significant and/or necessary contributions to the storyline. But in an adaptation it can be difficult to offer adequate time and space so that each and every character gets their just due for how they impact the story. To be faithful to these characters may, at worst, make them come across as a living Plot Device
, existing only for the sake of the plot and not a fleshed out character of their own with individual talents, interests and backstory.
A solution is to invoke artistic license and compress two or more such figures into a single character with traits drawn from all of them. For the sake of telling a proper story
those contributions are relegated to the actions of only a few. Instead of showing the legwork of an entire team of intelligence officers to decipher important information, it's rolled up into one person putting it together. Instead of having three different smart guys
on the team divided up into distinct fields, you make one of them an Omnidisciplinary Scientist
and discard the others. It's a method of streamlining both the plot and the character interactions, less people to follow and everyone who is still around has more to contribute to the story.
This is frequently done in works Based on a True Story
, since no medium can compete with the Loads and Loads of Characters
featured in Real Life
. While most of humanity's most interesting achievements have involved lots of people with different motivations, it suits the Rule of Drama
to simplify things to a handful of characters with well-defined objectives. While there may be nameless individuals wandering around with their own story to tell
, the core plot is dictated by the people with names
. Some might object to removing an important character and their contribution to the story, but on the other hand it means the story has a chance to be told.
This can sometimes get complicated, as the removed character may have their personality
split up among the remaining characters (Deadpan Snarker
given to character A, TV Genius
attributes given to character B), or it is something as simple as actually having their appearance and personality but given a different name. In some extreme cases with certain stories that have regular adaptations every few years, an Era-Specific Personality
gives them the opportunity to fuse specific versions of the SAME character in different adaptations, making them a composite character of themselves
A Massive Multiplayer Crossover
might do this to tie the continuities together, by revealing Character A from Series 1 is "really
" the same person as the similar Character B from Series 2.
Commonly involved in Adaptation Distillation
and Adaptation Decay
. See also Economy Cast
. Sometimes a cause of an Adaptation Personality Change
The inversion, where an adaptation divides a single character's attributes among multiple characters, is Decomposite Character
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Anime and Manga
- Atlas from The Eighties' Astro Boy. He is a composite of three different characters from the manga: the original Atlas, a minor villain with a new type of AI that allowed him to break the laws of robotics; Cobalt, Astro's "brother"; and the Blue Knight, who was the robot version of Malcolm X. The 2000s series featured the Blue Knight as his own character, but its version of Atlas was still a composite of Atlas and Cobalt.
- This seems to happen a lot in Astroboy adaptations. In Astro Boy: Omega Factor numerous characters with secret identities have their original alter-egos replaced with completely different characters from established storylines (Blue Bon being replaced by President Rag as Blue Knight, for instance) and even entirely different Tezuka stories, like Nuka being part of the Deathmask from Prime Rose.
- Continuing this tradition, Naoki Urasawa's Pluto features a main villain who is a composite of the original Dr Abullah/Goji, Shadow from the 2003 series and a minor robot character from an obscure story from the original manga who was raised to think he was a man. King Darius is also a composite of the original story's sultan Chochi-Chochi Abbaba III (deposed middle eastern ruler who finances Pluto's construction) and Cleopatra from the Cleopatra's Heart story (legitimizes his dictatorship by claiming to be a descendant of a famous historical figure).
- Mariel Lubie from the Code Geass Alternate Continuity manga Suzaku of the Counterattack combines aspects of three characters from the anime (Cecile's Gadgeteer Genius, Euphemia's being role as Suzaku's love interest, and Shirley's "girl next door" qualities) into a single character who meshes better with the story's setting.
- The 1967 "Monster Wars" film of Cyborg009 had the Mythos cyborg Helena merged with the Pu'Awak princess Helen into a "Helena" character that was also codenamed "Cyborg 0010".
- In the anime adaptation of Death Note, the US president whom Mello blackmails, and later dies ,with Word of God stating that it's "believed Kira disposed of", is combined with the character of his replacement from the manga.
- Devilman vs Getter Robo manga combines different versions of probably all characters, aside Emperor Gore - Akira acts like his manga version but has powers of 70's anime Devilman, Ryoma and Hayato are their 70's anime incarnations with few traits of their manga versions and Silene seems to be a mix of anime version and later incarnations from different titles.
- While Devilman in the manga was the result of the Demon Amon possessing Akira, his 1972 anime counterpart was a demon who killed and took over Akira's body.
- Jou's (rarely seen) brothers Shin and Shuu became Jim in the American dub of Digimon Adventure (and dubs based on it). Hilariously enough, the final episode shows the two standing side by side; this is never commented on. Whether or not this was intentional or a translation error is unknown.
- In a much more minor example, 02's dub also made Adventure's Digitamamon and his cousin who ran a Chinese restaurant the same character.
- Mallanox in Eagle Riders, the Cut-and-Paste Translation of Gatchaman II and Gatchaman F, is an example. In Gatchaman II, Leader X employed Gel Sadra as his lieutenant, who was replaced by Count Egobossler in Gatchaman F after the former peacefully died. To transition between both shows, Gel Sadra's original death scene was altered to have Cybercon (Leader X) transform Mallanox into a new form: Happy Boy (Count Egobossler).
- Escaflowne: The Movie writes out Emperor Dornkirk and makes Folken the leader of Zaibach in his place.
- New Getter Robo has Benkei Musashiboh, the third man and The Big Guy of the Getter team. He has traits from both Musashi, the original Big Guy, and Benkei, the one who replaced Musashi after his Heroic Sacrifice.
- The main robot of New itself counts, being based on Shin Getter's overall looks, with design cues from both Getter Dragon and the original Getter, while performing the latter's role as the first main Getter of that universe1.
- There's also Kei Kuruma from in Getter Robo Armageddon, based on manga's Kei Minamikaze, with role similar to Sho Tachibana (also from Getter Robo Go) and it is later revealed she was Armageddon's universe's Genki Saotome, original Getter's tagalong kid.
- Madame Sulliman from Howl's Moving Castle is a combination of two characters from the book: Howl's old magic teacher, who was not affiliated with the king, and Wizard Suliman, the King's head wizard. He is a young man transformed into a dog, who ends up marrying one of Sophie's sisters.
- Sumire Saitou from K-On! (2011 manga), one of Azusa's new bandmates, is a combination of Mugi's appearance (without the Big Ol' Eyebrows) and her tea-making-skills, Mio's Shrinking Violet personality, including being Sawako's new favorite cosplay victim, and Ritsu's role as the drummer.
- A fairly minor one in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st. Two of the more memorable Monster of the Week in the first season, namely the Hell Hound and the Mega Neko, were combined into one in this Adaptation Distillation, having the plot-important kitty grow into a demon panther that serves as the catalyst for Nanoha and Fate's first meeting.
- Shinn Asuka from Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny is prety much one to both Amuro and Kamille, his Impulse is similar to The RX-78 Gundam a Combining Mecha consisting of legs as one section, upper body as another, and Space Fighter/Meta Mecha cockpit as the torso, and a very similar red-with-gold-cross design for its shield just like Amuro even his dub voice is Amuro's Zeta dub voice and he has Wangst Unstoppable Rage due to suffering through a Trauma Conga Line, and romantic troubles with their enemy-cum-love interest just like Kamille.
- Kira Yamato is a mix of Amuro and Loran Cehack, even borrowing Loran's story/romance arc (e.g., Kira/Loran's relationships with Fllay Allster/Sochie Heim and later, Lacus Clyne/Dianna Soriel, with the latter being a platonic couple).
- Athrun Zala is a mix of Char Aznable and Heero Yuy. Some of Char's traits that appear in Athrun include him piloting red mobile suits and served as Kira's main rival in both shows. Similar to Heero, Athrun pilots transformable mobile suits, and has a tendency to self-detonate his mobile suits.
- Many Historical Domain Characters were composited in Oda Nobuna no Yabou:
- Hachisuka Goemon is a Gender flipped composite between Hachisuka Masakatsu, one of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's subordinates, and Ishikawa Goemon.
- Oda Nobukatsu is a composite of the namesake aka Oda Nobuyuki, his son Tsuda Nobusumi (which explained his name change, as historically Nobukatsu was killed by Oda Nobunaga when Nobusumi was still an infant), and then Oichi, Nobunaga's sister. Yes, he was sent off, crossdressed, to Asai Nagamasa.
- Saitou Yoshikatsu is a composite of the namesake and his son Tatsuoki.
- Himiko is the composite of the three Japanese emperors that may be on throne in the latter half of 16th century.
- Anabel in the Pokémon anime is a combination of Anabel with Yellow of Pokémon Special.
- Kris from the games and Marina from the anime are cross-canon counterparts, but Lyra from both is a completely separate character. In Special, Crystal was originally a counterpart to Kris, but once Kris was removed from the game series canon in the remakes of Gold and Silver and replaced with Lyra, Crystal became a counterpart to the latter.
- Ash. He was originally just an anime counterpart of Red, the protagonist of the first generation. Starting around Pokemon Gold And Silver he started following the path of Ethan, the (first) protagonist of that generation. Ever since he has accomplished the protagonist of that generation's goals, though they usually interact with Ash at one time or another (with their roles not in relation to their game counterparts).
- A few Pokémon Special characters are composite characters, usually mixed with minor characters. Falkner first appeared as the Police character in Elm's lab, for example.
- Due to the time constraints of a feature film, the Angels Zeruel and Armisael were merged into one character in the second Rebuild of Evangelion movie. Notably, Zeruel did not display the ability to absorb and assimilate victims in the original anime, a trait that instead belonged to Armisael.
- Also, Sahaquiel's appearance. Being more eldritch than in the original, its first form shown, as a big immaterial floating ball of black and white eye-spots takes some hints from Leliel and Matarael, who, naturally, didn't show up in Rebuild.
- Dana Sterling in Robotech is a composite of Komilia Maria Fallyna Jenius and Jeanne Francaix. She's the daughter of Max and Milia/Miriya, appearing as the former in the first part of the series; she grows up into the latter in the second part.
- The Shirogane Brothers of Go Lion, Takashi and Ryou, were melded in Voltron to become Sven. Interestingly, Ryou was introduced as Takashi's Back Up Twin after the outcry over the latter's death six episodes in. So, because of the Never Say "Die" mentality, it seemed natural for WEP to adjust the script accordingly: the "injured and recovering on another planet" Sven healed up.
- In Go Lion, an unnamed Space Goddess broke apart the titular robot into its component Lions. In Voltron, the Goddess was Haggar (Honerva) in disguise.
- Takeo from X-Men is a combination of the characters Proteus and Legion. His Reality Warper abilities and status as the son of a prominent mutant researcher come from the former, while The Reveal of him being Professor Xavier's mentally unstable illegitimate child comes from the latter.
- Always Having Juice features Gaia Mercury, a combination of the Werehog from Sonic Unleashed and the ghost girl from the Night of the Werehog short created to promote the game. Dark Gaia as well is a combination of Mephiles the Dark from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and its namesake, also from Unleashed.
- In The O.C. fanfic 'AVDC', Alex is a combination of herself and Ryan.
- Godzilla in himself has had so many different continuities and incarnations across 60 years in film, that almost any fan-work featuring him is bound to be this. The Big G from the Godzilla and My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic crossover, The Bridge has elements of this trope. While it's stated he's the grown up Godzilla jr. from the 1980s-90s Heisei series, the images depict him as looking closer to the Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla incarnation in appearance. Personality wise he's a mixture of the late Showa and Late Heisei era incarnations.
- In The Captain Of The Virtual Console, Blaine, being from Pokemon Yellow, has traits of his game and anime selves.
- Equestrian Throwdown, Miles Skylark is, according to HexMark a combination of the two protagonists from his previous scrapped fanfictions.
- Fallout: Equestria has the character Red Eye, who combines attributes of many characters from the various Fallout games, including the Lieutenant, John Henry Eden (he even uses Eden's speeches), Ashur, and the Lone Wanderer.
- God Slaying Blade Works, Emiya Shirou from the Heaven's Feel route obtains the memories of EMIYA as well as the Shirous of the Fate and Unlimited Blade Works routes.
- Harmony's Warriors:
- Cherrilee is set up to become The Lizard in The Spectacular Spider-Colt, but in her first appearance in Flutterhulk, she takes on the role of Sterns/The Leader as the scientist Fluttershy goes to for help.
- Also in Flutterhulk, Snowflake is in the role of Blonsky/The Abomination, but when he eventually transforms he turns into the Red Hulk.
- Chrysalis takes on the role of Laufey in Soar, but by the end of the story has essentially become the Skrull Queen.
- Due to her dual personalities, Pinkie is both Hawkeye (as herself) and Bullseye (as Pinkamena).
- Dinky is Franklin Richards, though she also has aspects of both Gwen and Mary Jane.
- Diamond Tiara isn't just an Alpha Bitch, like several that have appeared in Spider-Man, but she's also Emma Frost.
- In the Once Upon a Time fanfic In The Shadow Of The Toll Bridge, Ella's stepmother is a composite of Lady Tremaine and Rodmilla de Ghent.
- In Just An Unorthodox Thief, Lupin becomes the Servant Assassin. However he's an amalgamation of different incarnations of Lupin. He has the manga version's Chessmaster abilities, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and his first anime version's charisma, skill, and their ruthlessness, and his second anime version's morals.
- In the Justice League of Equestria series, Shining Armor's role as Green Lantern contains elements from several canonical human Green Lanterns (Hal Jordan's origin story, John Stewart's military background, and Kyle Rayner's self-doubts).
- In Mega Man Reawakened, Robert Light has traits from all versions of Mega Man as well as a ponytail like Zero.
- In Necessary To Win, Ami Chouno is not only Oarai's temporary tankery teacher like she was in canon, but she also shares a role with Sukoya Kokaji, who defeated Harue 10 years ago.
- In Nobody Dies the character of Mari Illustrious Makinami is combined with Asuka's unnamed half-sister from the manga. It should be mentioned this was an Epileptic Tree for Rebuild of Evangelion.
- The Pony POV Series has several characteristically that are reincarnations/fusions of G3 characters. Most notable is Twilight Sparkle, either a straight reincarnation or a fusion of G3's Minty and G1's Twilight.
- Interestingly averted in the case of the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts in the Glee fanfiction Quinn In Wonderland. The two of them are not only separate characters, but the Red Queen is also a mere pawn for the Queen of Hearts, who is the Big Bad. This is played straight, however, with the Dodo and the White Knight, although this makes a little more sense since the two of them are both considered Lewis Carroll's Author Avatars.
- The later stories in The Dashverse have indulged in this: In May the Best Friends Win, Trixie combines her canon personality (from "Boast Busters", anyway) with Gilda's role as Rainbow Dash's abrasive friend. Then Hot Heads, Cold Hearts and Nerves of Steel has Sombra combine the backstory and little personality canon gave him with aspects of G1 villain Grogar.
- Turnabout Storm has Sonata. She's a unicorn that shares some of her characteristics with Ace Attorney characters, such as Mia's looks, Adrian Andrew's job type, and the ruthlessness of Manfred Von Karma and pre-Character Development Edgeworth. Since Ace Attorney protagonist Phoenix is there, he catches wind of most of these similarities, which freaks him out a little.
- In a rather literal example: In The Universal Experiment, the Batman who appears in the world notes that he has Adam West's nose and height, Christan Bale's build and mouth, Val Kilmer's chin and cheekbones, Michael Keaton's eyes, and Kevin Conroy's voice
- In the Vertigo Comics-style Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! fic The Harmony Trap, one of the characters is a blue-green eagle whose dimensional-warping powers let him take other forms. He's basically Rubberduck, but he takes the form of Fastback, since belief that the chelonian hero exists helps combat Fantastic Racism against Reptiles. In addition, his species suggests American Eagle from Final Ark.
- In Stardust and its sequels, Bradford is a composite of the original character of the same name and the player-controlled Commander.
- 1066 and All That has "the memorable Dutch King Williamanmary."
- Many adaptations of Alice in Wonderland conflate the Queen of Hearts with the Red Queen. The first is from "Adventures in Wonderland" and is a playing card; the second is from "Through the looking glass" and is a chess piece.
- In the Anno Dracula short story "Castles in the Air", the vampire hippy guru Khorda from the 1973 film Deathmaster turns out to be one of Dracula's hangers-on from the earlier books, General Iorga. This is a gag on the fact that Robert Quarry, who played Khorda, had previously played the title character in Count Yorga, Vampire and The Return of Count Yorga, and many people consider Deathmaster to be a Spiritual Successor.
- "Flattop" in the James Bond pastiche sections of Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha is a composite of the Dick Tracy villain of the same name, Frankenstein's Monster, and Bond Dragons Oddjob and Jaws.
- Dracula himself, constantly reinventing himself and shapeshifting to match, is a composite of every portrayal of the Count.
- Kit and Holly in "You'll Never Drink Blood in This Town Again" are the main characters of the film Badlands, but have a string of aliases suggesting they're every Outlaw Couple in 20th century fiction.
- Simuilar to Dracula, Hamish Bond in Cha-Cha-Cha is a composite of Ian Fleming's James Bond and Sean Connery's James Bond, before Mother Roma's influence turns him into Roger Moore's Bond.
- The title character in Carrie was based on two different girls whom Stephen King went to school with growing up, both of whom had difficult lives and died young.
- In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the utterly vile Danforth stands for several different judges who presided over the witch trials. Miller initially worried that he had made Danforth too one-dimensional ... only to find that the real judges were even worse.
- Joseph Conrad's Under Western Eyes begins with the assassination of a Tsarist official, de P___, who is a composite of Konstantin Pobedonstev and another P-named official who really was assassinated. The implication was that Conrad hoped that the fate of the latter would happen to the former.
- Also by Conrad, Kurtz of Heart of Darkness is a combination of a number of sadistic Evil Colonialist types in the Belgian Congo, although his name in particular references Georges Antoine Klein (Kurtz is German for short and Klein is German for small) who had just died when Conrad was in the Congo.
- Sultan Mehmed of Count and Countess is a mix of the real-life Sultan Mehmed and his father.
- Darkness at Noon:
"The life of the man N. S. Rubashov is a synthesis of the lives of a number of men who were victims of the so-called Moscow Trials. Several of them were personally known to this author. This book is dedicated to their memory."
- Doctor Who Expanded Universe
- Dame Alice from ''The Gallows in the Greenwood" by Phyllis Ann Karr is a composite of three different characters from the Robin Hood stories and ballads. She starts off as the Sheriff's Wife (a minor character in some ballads), takes her husband's place when Robin and his outlaws murder him (becoming the Sheriff for the events of several famous stories) and finally retires to a convent, becoming the Prioress who ultimately kills Robin Hood in some versions.
- In the Dramatic Audio version of the Left Behind book Armageddon, GC officer Anita Sanchez is one for two female officers (a Hispanic and an African-American) working in the San Diego headquarters where Chloe Williams was incarcerated.
- Nellie Oleson in the Little House on the Prairie books was a composite of three different girls Laura Ingalls Wilder knew growing up: Nellie Owens, Genevieve Masters and Stella Gilbert. There is some speculation that Mr. Edwards was a composite, as well, since pinning down his historical personage has proved confusing.
- Similar to Fables, above, DI Jack Spratt in the Nursery Crime books by Jasper Fforde is every fairy tale Jack. Although he insists he didn't kill many giants.
- From the preface to Tom Sawyer:
"Huck Finn is drawn from life; Tom Sawyer also, but not from an individual—he is a combination of the characteristics of three boys whom I knew, and therefore belongs to the composite order of architecture."
- Elenn in Jo Walton's Sulien series is a composite of Guinevere from the King Arthur mythos and Fionnbharr from the Táin Bó Cúailnge.
- In Philip José Farmer's Wold Newton family, he sometimes does this to tie characters together. Most notably, the Duke of Holdernesse and his illigitimate son James Wilder, from the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Priory Road School", are combined with John Clayton, Earl of Greystoke and Clark Savage Sr, to make Tarzan and Doc Savage cousins.
- The Bangles created "Anna Lee" as a composite character on their 2011 album Sweetheart of the Sun, for the song "Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun)":
Susanna Hoffs: Interestingly, a character sort of developed in the song. We had all just read Girls Like Us, the book about Carly Simon, Carole King and Joni Mitchell, and we were inspired by it. We sort of made up a portrait of a person based around those women — it's kind of mythical.
- Jesus Christ Superstar has Mary Magdalene combine elements of herself with those of the unnamed woman whose "waste" of costly perfume on Jesus in Bethany was condemned by the disciples in the New Testament, but just by Judas Iscariot in the rock opera. However, Mary Magdalene has been traditionally identified with the unnamed woman of Bethany for centuries, so this wasn't the first time it happened.
- !HERO: The Rock Opera's Maggie is Mary Magdalene combined with the Samaritan woman at the well.
Mythology, Folklore and Religion
- This is done often in mythology and its various adaptations as a result of both time constraints and general mixing of the stories.
- Older Than Print: In Arthurian Literature, the role of the mother of Mordred (who may or may not be Arthur's son) is frequently given to Morgan Le Fay; the original mother (Morgause) is either absent or given a different role.
- In the Robin Hood legends and ballads, there's about a half dozen Merry Men all named "Will;" most adaptations boil them down to one.
- The American Santa Claus is a composite of several European myths and folk lore.
- In Christian traditions going back at least to the middle ages, Mary Magdelene was identified both with the nameless adulteress brought before Jesus (who then said: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone") and the nameless woman of Bethany who perfumed him.
- Medieval legends about saints occasionally mixed up saints bearing the same name, e. g. Dionysius (Dénis), martyred bishop of Paris (3rd century), with the Dionyisius the Areopagite (converted by St. Paul).
- In Norse Mythology the trickster god Loki and the fire giant Logi are often thought of as the same character, such as in the Ring Cycle where they are merged into Loge.
- Combined with Adapted Out, almost every film version of Exodus from The Bible removes Aaron completely and gives all his meetings with Pharoah and the miracles performed by him to Moses.
- In The Qur'an's story about the Virgin Mary, named "Maryam" in Arabic, she has a brother named Harun ("Aaron") and a father named Imram ("Amram")...just like the Old Testament's Miriam, who would also be called "Maryam" in Arabic. Of course, a Muslim would argue that this is a coincidence or the case of purposefully naming one's kids after revered historical figures, while non-Muslims generally argue that Muhammad heard the stories of both "Maryams," mistakenly thought they were the same person and then re-separated the stories later when he realized his error.
- In folklore and demonology, Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, and such are all originally separate demons. They are however often combined into the same being with the various different names becoming simply aliases.
- WWE's Randy Orton is a strange example. He has the snake motif of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, with a similar fighting style and devil-may-care whoop-your-ass attitude, but he's also the youngest world champion in WWE history and a third-generation superstar. Sound familiar?
- Trish Stratus started out as something of a hodgepodge of Sunny (hot manager of a Tag Team that stood no chance of getting over), Sable as a heel (only about a couple of weeks into her run and she was already talking about suing for sexual harassment and she'd barely done anything yet) and Terri Runnels' more heelish tendencies.
- Cheerleader Melissa still dressed like a cheerleader but had not done anything related to her name sake for years. Alissa Flash debuted on TNA Impact paying tribute to Sensational Sherri Martel in addition to being a zipper happy tease. As Flash's TNA career wound down though, she started wearing new, zipper less gear and using Cheerleader Melissa's moves, and stopped using Sherri makeup. In post TNA appearances Melissa would wear that same gear and openly refer to Flash's actions as her own.
- In The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, the cruel former owners of the animals are also the bandits they scare away from the house.
- In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, the Munchkins also serve the role of the Field Mice in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, rescuing Dotothy and friends from Poppyfields and explaining to Dorothy how the Witch's magic cap works. Which makes sense, since they're played by the rats (with Rizzo as a composite of the Mayor of Munchkinland from the MGM film and a Gender Flipped Queen of the Field Mice).
- In the Quintessential Stage of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Van Harl, the Vogon who's taken over the Guide in Mostly Harmless, is combined with Zarniwoop, who was the editor-in-chief in the Secondary Phase and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. This does not appear to have been done to simplify the story (it doesn't); they simply liked Jonathan Pryce's portrayal of Zarniwoop and wanted him back.
- Billy Flynn, "the silver-tongued prince of the courtroom" of Chicago, was a composite of William Scott Stewart and W. W. O'Brien, the real life attorneys of Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan (the real life Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart).
- Cirque du Soleil's Japan-only tour Fascination combined acts from Le Cirque Réinventé and Nouvelle Experience; appropriately, the Ringmaster here was a composite of the Reinvente Ringmaster and the Great Chamberlain of Nouvelle, who served similar emcee functions. This Ringmaster had the Reinvente costume and backstory of a transformed "Ordinary Person", but was played by Nouvelle's actor (Brian Dewhurst) and from there participated in the latter show's slackwire act.
- Anthony Burgess combines Cyrano's best friend Le Bret with his Captain Carbon de Jaloux in his adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac.
- In Der Ring des Nibelungen Hagen is a merging of several versions of the same character. Like in Literature/Nibelungenlied he is a grim figure, like Nibelungenlied and Thidreks Saga he kills Siegfried, like Thidreks Saga his father is an elf and like Saga of the Volsungs he is Gunther's brother (though the Nibelungenlied calls him a kinsman the relation is not clear). He also seems to have some merging with Bastard Bastards like Edmund from King Lear.
- Wagner also conflated Loki, Norse god of mischief, with Logi, a god of fire. He may have done this mistakenly, or based his characterisation on a previous scholar who made the mistake.
- In Dreamgirls, Effie White is not only patterned primarily after "third Supreme" Florence Ballard, but also after Etta James and Aretha Franklin.
- In Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man, Ross is a composite of Tom Norman (Merrick's manager when Treves met him, and a fairly decent guy as far as P.T. Barnum types go) and the Belgian showman who abandoned him and robbed him of his life's savings.
- Pseudolus from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, an amalgam of various trickster servant characters from the works of Roman playwright Plautus.
- Mimi in La Bohčme merges the characters of Mimi and Francine from the original novel, La Vie de Boheme.
- Rodolfo from the same Opera merges the novel's Rodolfo and Jacques.
- Joanne in La Bohčme's Setting Update, RENT, is a female version of Alcindoro, but also inherits some traits from Marcello (the Mark character).
- In Les Misérables, Thenardier's henchman Brujon takes his name from a minor criminal who only associated with Thenardier. His status as The Brute comes from the novel's Gueulemer. The musical also does away with the Thenardiers' second daughter, Azelma, giving her plot points to Madame Thenardier (which is not difficult, since the point of the character was that she was growing up just like her mother).
- In productions of the opera The Magic Flute, the role of the Speaker has been merged with that of the old priest Tamino encounters in the first act finale for so long that few people know that they originally may not have been the same character.
- The stage version of Newsies replaces reporter Brian Denton and Jack's love interest Sarah with Katharine Plummer, a reporter who becomes Jack's love interest.
- Almost every adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera transplants most aspects of the Daroga's character into Madame Giry.
- In the original novel, Raoul is a bit of an Upper-Class Twit who relies on the Daroga's know-how to survive Erik's machinations. In the musical, the Daroga is omitted, and Raoul becomes much more competent as a result.
- In Pokémon Live!, MechaMew2 is primarily based on Mewtwo, but also has Mew's unique feature of knowing every Pokemon move.
- In the musical version of Reefer Madness, Jimmy Harper is a composite of the original film's protagonist Bill Harper and his girlfriend Mary's kid brother Jimmy.
- In Frank Wildhorn's musical of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Percy's eighteen strong League of The Scarlet Pimpernel (aside from Percy himself and brother-in-law Armand), was folded up into nine men: Dewhurst note , Elton, Farleigh, Ben, Hal, Ozzy, Hastings, Neville, and Leggett. Later revisions cut the later three men out and give their lines to the first six.
- In 1776, John Adams is somewhat combined with his cousin Sam Adams, who doesn't appear in the play. Many people now associate the quote about how there would be trouble "a hundred years hence" if slavery was allowed to continue to John when it was really Sam who said it. (Incidentally, they had to take out the "hundred years" bit because they thought the audience would never believe it.)
- Happens too often to count in Shakespeare's history plays, and not just characters, but also with battles and other events.
- Shadowlands combines Joy Gresham's two sons into one. This is also done for the film version; the original teleplay kept both sons.
- The musical Show Boat combined two characters from Edna Ferber's novel, the heavy Frank and the juvenile lead and Elly's husband Schultzy, into Frank Schultz. Ike Keener, the sheriff of Lemonye, and Vallon, the police chief of New Orleans, were similarly combined into Ike Vallon. The 1929 film version of Show Boat made Hetty Chilson, a character from Ferber's novel that was eliminated from the musical, an alternate identity of Julie.
- Part of the reason that The Threepenny Opera is Darker and Edgier than the original Beggars Opera is because of this trope. In the original, Macheath is a fairly sympathetic (if lecherous) example of The Highwayman, and Peachum is a corrupt thief-taker (he works both sides of the law- he conspires with criminals, but also turns those criminals in for a reward when they're outlived their usefulness to him). In Brecht's version, Peachum, while still corrupt, is the head of a beggar's guild, and Macheath is a much more unpleasant gangster. This version of Macheath is a "grass" and he gets the lines of the original Peachum when he treacherously plots to turn the loyal members of his gang to save his own skin.
- Some productions of Twelfth Night cut Fabian and give his role in Act II, Scene V to Feste. In fairness, it's almost too easy to do this, since Maria earlier tells Toby, Andrew and Feste to show up for the said scene, and Fabian never appears until that moment, when he's introduced as a whole new character who has inexplicably been invited to join the fun, while Feste is nowhere to be found. Some analysts have speculated that Fabian was invented for some practical reason or other, and that Feste was originally supposed to appear in the scene.
- In Wicked, Fiyero and Boq, via spells by Elphaba and Nessarose, are transformed into the Scarecrow and the Tinman. In the original novel, they were all separate characters.
- Fiyero's musical counterpart is also a composite of the original Fiyero (Elphaba's love interest and a prince) and minor character from the book named Avaric (most of his personality traits). Meanwhile the name "Avaric" was given to a retainer of Fiyero who is only seen onstage breifly.
- In the Opera of All the King's Men, entitled Willie Stark, Stark's aide Jack Burden supplants his love interest Anne's brother, Adam, in ultimately killing Stark.
- You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown has Patty, whose lines and scenes come not only from the original comic strip's Patty (not to be confused with the later Peppermint Patty), but also Violet, Frieda, and Sally (enough of Sally, in fact, that the Broadway revival went ahead and re-identified the character).
- The Doctor Who promotion for Walls' Sky Ray ice lollies meant you got printed cards featuring stories about the Doctor on them. The company didn't have the rights to use the likenesses of either of the actors who had played the character at that point, and so the artwork featured a Doctor based on a fusion between William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton.
- A Composite Character Class example is from later Battlefield games. Battlefield 2 had seven different player classesnote . Later games trimmed the number down and compiled gadgets, weapons, and bonuses from classes that were to be cut into classes that remained - both Battlefield 2142 and Battlefield 3 removed the Medic kit and gave their medical supplies to Assault.
- In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, the Warrior of Light and Onion Knight are both single characters that represent the four-man AFGNCAAP team from their respective games. The Onion Knight was especially strange, as there was already a DS remake of III that gave identities to the heroes.
- Exdeath has the appearance of his humanoid and armored form, yet he wants to return everything to the Void, which is what Neo-Exdeath's goal was.
- In the NES version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge, the enemy character Abore is a combination of two different enemies from the arcade version. His moves are similar to the ones used by the Mission 2 boss from the arcade version (who was given the name "Abore" in the Mega Drive version), but his appearance resembles that of a recurring sub-boss (a Head Swap of Bolo/Abobo named "Oharra" in the Mega Drive version).
- According to some sources in The Elder Scrolls, Talos is an in-universe example of this. He is composed of 3 different men—Hjalti Earlybeard, Ysmir Wulfharth, and Zurin Arctus—who became a singular entity after their deaths as a result of The Warp in the West and ascended to godhood. He even went as far as to do a Cosmic Retcon and make himself one man as a mortal in the past.
- Haken Browning and Kaguya Nanbu from Endless Frontier take after both the Original Generation character they share the name of, and the one they share the sex of. Overall, Haken is more like Kyosuke, but inherits Excellen's combat style and flirtatiousness, while Kaguya takes more after Excellen, but inherits Kyosuke's more down-to-earth personality (but not his intelligence) and a combat style much more like his — though not identical.
- Some people make a compelling case for Kuja, the Big Bad of Final Fantasy IX, being a composite of a bunch of different villains in the Final Fantasy series. Especially viable since he's the villain in a game intended to be an anniversary celebration chock full of shout outs.
- Garland from Final Fantasy I gets a separate character named after him, but it's worth noting that FFI Garland kidnaps Princess Sarah. Kuja does this too - we just don't know that Garnet's real name is Sarah at that point.
- He borrows a lot of his deportment - before he snaps after figuring out he's mortal - from Final Fantasy II's Emperor, staying relatively snooty and cool for most of the game. They also both kidnap a woman named Hilda.
- Xande in Final Fantasy III gets exactly the same revelation as Kuja; that's he's mortal. Cue Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum from both.
- From Golbez in Final Fantasy IV he takes the "protagonist I am your brother" plot twist and his alien origins.
- Like Ex Death from Final Fantasy V, he draws power from a tree that collects souls.
- From Kefka in Final Fantasy VI we get the way he kills Garland, booting him off a ledge in Terra; Kefka pulled the same thing on Gestahl. Both villains also boast an initial status as an underling to an Emperor/Queen who eventually rises to Big Bad status. Oh, and a large part of both their plans involves Eidolons.
- He totally borrows Sephiroth's White Hair, Black Heart aesthetic, although he brought only about half the clothes with him. They're also both genetically engineered, though Kuja to a much greater extent than Sephiroth. They both also pull a MacGuffin Delivery Service on the heroes, although Sephiroth resorts to sneaky tactics while Kuja just abducts the party outright.
- In Full Metal Alchemist Bluebirds Illusion, Father and Hohenheim are one and the same—it's horrifying when you stop and think about it. As this is a fanwork created back when the manga was still trying to set up Hohenheim as the bad guy, this composite was likely unintentional.
- The Master System version of Golden Axe ditched the three main characters from the arcade version and introduced a new one named Tarik, who is a renamed Ax Battler with the abilities to use the magic powers from the original trio.
- Ironically enough, Tarik and Ax Battler were combined into one character in Golden Axe: Beast Rider named "Tarik the Ax Battler."
- In the video game adaptation of Iron Man 3, Aldrich Killian becomes M.O.D.O.K. after uploading his mind into an android body.
- When Lea in Kingdom Hearts comes Back from the Dead, it's as a Composite Character of himself. He keeps Axel's clothing, weapons, powers, and memories, but regains his original memories and insists on being called Lea.
- The character Beauty in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow is unsurprisingly based on the heroine of Beauty and the Beast, but her initial circumstances (slaving under a wicked stepmother) are those of Cinderella.
- In Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, Ryu could change his fighting style and palette mid-fight to match those of Ken's and Akuma's. This is because he is not meant to be a standard incarnation of Ryu, but a combination of himself, Ken, and Akuma representing the entire Street Fighter series. This is why his theme music in the game is the Street Fighter II title tune instead of his usual theme and why he is labelled as "Complete Change Ryu" in the PS1 version. A more subtle example is Zangief, who can switch between his regular self and his alternate Mecha-Zangief form, who was originally an alternate character in Marvel vs. Street Fighter.
- Haggar fits gameplay wise. He was supposed to be a character in Street Fighter 2, but was replaced with Zangief. He appears again in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as a standalone character, using moves he already had and a couple of nods to Zangief. His theme is also a composite of Cody and Guy's themes from Street Fighter IV.
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3 also has a ton of unlockable costumes for the Marvel characters that are taken from other, unplayable heroes. For example, you can unlock the Sam Alexander Nova costume for Richard Rider, the Iron Patriot suit for Iron Man, The Punisher's post-Civil War duds for Captain America, and so on.
- The Proto Man in Mega Man Battle Network is based not only on the original Proto Man (name and general appearance), but Zero (long hair, prefers close combat, specifically swords) as well.
- Meanwhile, Zero is the carrier of the Maverick Virus, the real cause of the war in the Mega Man X series. When a version of Zero actually appears in Battle Network, he is The Virus himself.
- The four Dark Man robots in Mega Man 5 were represented in Battle Network by the singular Dark Man.
- In Metal Gear Solid 2, Vamp is a composite of two characters from the game's original plan - the original Vamp, and Chinaman. Vamp kept his main personality but inherited Chinaman's water-based and magic-themed powers (such as standing on water, swimming, shadow-pinning) in addition to his own immortality, bullet-dodging and parkour, and the boss fight with him is based primarily on the encounter planned with Chinaman with the railing parkour from Vamp's encounter thrown in. This explains why a large chunk of the powers Vamp uses in that boss fight are not previously shown in the story at all and come across as a bit random. Chinaman still appears in a flashback, as the dark-haired man in Fatman's arms when Pliskin tells Raiden about Dead Cell.
- The unmasked version of Sub-Zero was among the list of characters that were cut out from the Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy. However, most of his Special Moves and Finishing Moves were instead given to the masked Sub-Zero.
- Playstation All Stars Battle Royale has just about the entire roster taking elements and abilities from their home series with little to no respect for canon. Jak's default outfit takes most of its influence from Jak 3 along with all the outfits he's worn throughout the series, while his Eco abilities match the game they came from by Level. note Nathan Drake uses weapons and tactics from Drake's Deception, yet his Level 3 Super utilizes the El Dorado sarcophagus from Drake's Fortune, which has sunk into the ocean by the end of that game. Big Daddy fights like a standard Bouncer type, yet can use plasmids like Subject Delta from BioShock 2 and his unlockable icons reference BioShock Infinite. These are just a few examples.
- A literal example from Rockman 4 Minus Infinity: the Chimerabots are combinations of Robot Masters from the first three games: Cut Man and Elec Man for the first, Wood Man and Quick Man for the second, and Needle Man and Gemini Man for the third. Each robot is the body and weapon of one Master with the AI and weapon path of the other.
- Samurai Warriors:
- It's been suggested that Saika Magoichi is a combination of Suzuki Shigehide (who sided with Hideyoshi in SW1-2) and Suzuki Shigetomo (Who sided with Masamune in the latter half of SW2 and SW3), both men who held the title of "Saika Magoichi", which is treated as the composite character's.
- Kunoichi stands in for the historical Sanada Ten Braves, while Kotaro Fuma may also be a composite character for the Fuma ninja clan.
- The Spyro of Skylanders mixes the classic Spyro the Dragon personality with Legend of Spyro's backstory.
- Dan Hibiki from Street Fighter Alpha is essentially the two main characters from Art of Fighting combined into one, looking a lot like Robert Garcia, but wearing Ryo Sakazaki's gi.
- The Emperor Zul in Super Robot Wars Destiny is a combination of God Mars's Emperor Zul (has his appearance, personality and empire), Daltanias's Emperor Dolmen (because of the Kroppen cloning plot) and the King of Vega (he led the attack that destroyed Planet Fleed))
- Mr. Game and Watch from the Super Smash Bros. series primarily looks like the random jumping civilians from the Game and Watch game "Fire", but he has many weapons based on many other Game & Watch games.
- In Tekken 3 and Tag Tournament, Ogre has many moves from several characters who didn't appear in the game, most notably Jun, who is rumored to have been killed by him. He also has some of Anna's moves because Anna was originally not going to be included in Tekken 3 as the games were trying to phase out clone characters.
- Raven was introduced as a replacement character for Kunimitsu. As Kunimitsu's moves were almost entirely the same as Yoshimitsu's with a few exclusive moves, a new fighting style was developed for Raven, and her exclusive moves were added to his moveset.
- All Jacks from Gun Jack onwards are considered regular Jacks, but have the flying move introduced by Tekken 2's Prototype Jack. P. Jack only existed in the first place because the first two games had subbosses.
- Lee Chaolan had the same moves as Marshall Law with a few added in the first two games. Tekken 3 introduced Forest Law who has more flips and is more fast moving than Marshall. The Lee Chaolan of Tekken Tag added more of Forest's moves to Lee's moveset, and some more kicks to make him unique. When Marshall returned in Tekken 4, he was like his old self, whereas Lee was more similar to Forest. By Tekken 5, Lee is completely distinct with more kicks, and this is most obvious in Tekken Tag 2 when Forest returned after several absences from games.
- When the Touhou game moved from the PC-98 to Windows things changed. One of the striking examples is Marisa, who really only kept the basic theme and appearance of the PC-98 character of that name. Her new personality is much more similar to (the now absent) Mima's.
- Both of the Moriya Shrine goddesses, Kanako Yasaka and Suwako Moriya, have elements of several other deities such as Take-Minakata, his wife Yasakatome, and Take-Mikazuchi. It's also implied Kanako came into existence as an in-universe example, from the worship of a group of people venerated as a single entity.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni manages with a in-universe example of this trope with Yasu who created his/her Beatrice persona based upon the ghost legends surrounding Beatrice on Rokkenjima, the rumors about Kinzo's secret lover, her mother's and grandmother's identities and her self.
- Gameplay-wise, Cassie from the upcoming Mortal Kombat X is a composite of her two parents, as far as her fighting style goes, combining both Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage's moves from previous games, with a little of Jax and Stryker's thrown in.
- In the first X-Men Legends, Allison Crestmere (Magma of the New Mutants) is given a personality and background similar to Kitty Pryde and the powers of her mainstream counterpart. The developers admitted that they wanted to use Kitty Pryde, but her powers don't translate well to an action RPG.
- This also applies to most of the characters that appear in the game, as they appear with their mainstream "Earth 616" personalities and backstories, but start by default with their Ultimate appearances. The sequel also adds Age of Apocalypse into the mix.
- It's really hard to combine AOA and 616 Sabretooth. Blink sees him as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold because "Mr. Creed" rescued her once (purely out of the goodness of his heart. In character for AOA.) Your character is more familiar with a 616 Sabretooth, saying "If he's got a good heart, it's because he ripped it out of someone's chest!" It really is as if you've met two different Victor Creeds. All the other cast members, though, are the straight-up 616 versions wearing the Ultimate Marvel costumes.
- Something Positive does this with its Life Embellished cast, featuring at least a few people who are based off of various people the author has met, merged into one person.
- El Goonish Shive merged a background character unofficially called Shy Girl with a minor character named Rhoda who then became more of a supporting character.
- The final strip of the Arthur, King of Time and Space Buffy the Vampire Slayer-pastiche arc had the revelation that Arthur (who up til then had been Xander) was a werewolf, and Guenevere realising this was also a Twilight pastiche. So..
- Guenevere = Buffy Summers/Bella Swan
- Lancelot = Angel/Edward Cullen
- Arthur = Xander Harris/Jacob Black/Probably "Oz" Osbourne
- Being an adaptation of TTA TOME has a bunch of these.
- Nylocke seems to be a mash-up of Nailock and Kirbopher15 from the original. Justified, because Kirbopher and Zetto are the same character in this new incarnation, any conflict between Kirbopher15 and Zetto from the original would no longer work. As a result, Nylcoke is the one who imprisions the Forbidden Power into the drain edge/sword instead of Kirbopher and also tried to convince him to not take the game so seriously during the Gemini Tournament.
- And then there's Kizuna, who combines Ruri and Voltarius from the original. She's still Zetto's partner, but in this version, Kizuna is the leader of the hackers while Zetto (who kind of acts like a second-in-command here) doubles as Kirbopher instead.
- And don't even get started on Swordicon, who might've inspired the idea that Kirbopher and Zetto are the same person.
- A variation occurred in There Will Be Brawl: While fans were still awaiting Young Link and Toon Link to finally show up or be mentioned, like every other character in Super Smash Bros., it's eventually revealed that Link also is Young Link and Toon Link. They were compressed into one character. Link looks at a photo of his younger self. This photo includes both, Young Link/Toon Link, implying that they are both the same guy during the same period of time. Link is just their grown-up version.
- Crinoverse The Crinoverse, existing as it does as a combination of multiple superhero universes, has a few of these. There's the Justice Avengers, a combination of the JLA and the Avengers, and a few others-Psimon is a combination of the Champions character and the DC character of the same name.
- Present on This Very Wiki - Trope Pantheons have Hercules, who is composite of Hercules from Hercules The Legendary Journeys, Disney Hercules, Hercules from God of War, Berserker from Fate/stay night and Incredible Hercules. And probably all other versions of the character.
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a present-day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, has several changes:
- The Bennet family has three daughters instead of five: Jane, Lizzie and Lydia. Lydia has shades of Kitty (she's not as insufferable as Lydia in the books and, in a sense, has a happier ending). Mary Bennet is present as the girls' cousin.
- Bing Lee, the adaptation's version of Mr. Bingley, only has one sister instead of two, Caroline Lee. She also fulfills the role of Anne de Bourgh as a girl who Catherine de Bourgh sees as Darcy's girlfriend and at the end, Caroline's part corresponds to Lady Catherine as someone who unintentionally brings the main couple together when she tries to separate them.
- Emma Approved takes place in the same verse as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The latter's Caroline Lee is a verse-spanning Composite Character by taking the place of Emma's Augusta Elton.
- University Ever After combines several characters: