[[quoteright:330:[[Webcomic/{{Hiimdaisy}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hiimdaisyMGS3cutscene.JPG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater Naked Snake sums it up after getting thrown off a bridge.]]]]

->''"Jack draws her power from cutscenes. While in normal combat she has some usefulness...she's a biotic goddess during cutscenes. She can take three giant robots solo in seconds, but with a squad she'll get knocked out against two during normal combat. Cutscenes must be filled with eezo or something."''
-->-- WebSite/SFDebris [[http://sfdebris.com/videos/other/masseffect2.php on]] ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''.

The character is powerful. [[PersonOfMassDestruction Really powerful]]. Like, [[ApocalypseHow destroying-galaxies]] powerful. In fact, they could probably win the entire game by flexing their muscles...

...y'know, if they actually ''had'' these powers available in the {{gameplay|AndStorySegregation}}. Outside cutscenes, they have less impressive powers. How powerful the character is in battle sometimes seems inversely proportional to how strong they are outside it. In negative situations, this character is OverratedAndUnderleveled.

Granted, being this powerful during the gameplay would make the game [[ItsEasySoItSucks extremely]] [[RuleOfFun easy]]. On the other hand, some degree of consistency is expected between the rules of the gameplay and the rules of the story, and when cutscene spectacle overrides that, the game has a serious problem.

A flagrant and particularly annoying form of GameplayAndStorySegregation, but under the right circumstances it's acceptable as seen above. This goes hand in hand with HeadsIWinTailsYouLose. See SlapOnTheWristNuke for where superweapons aren't as super in the gameplay. CutsceneIncompetence is the opposite of this.


[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* Ganondorf himself was able to give Link the old one-two in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' and then have him at his mercy; not so much during the battle. (Allthough to be fair the king of Hyrule had just wished for Ganondorf to drown with Hyrule while Link to have a future, so he was destined to lose that fight no matter how much stronger he was).
** There's also Midna's Fused Shadows. She could destroy practically anything with them, yet she leaves Link to risk his life doing all the dirty work. This one may be justified in that she doesn't want to risk being seen talking to human Link.
** Also in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'': Midna can only warp Link when he's in wolf form... except for when you've just finished a dungeon.
* In ''VideoGame/TitanQuest'', the area around the Gorgons' lair is full of statues, and they've managed to one-shot petrify a particular npc you're trailing before you show up. During the eventual fight with them, though, their petrifying gazes are only good for stunning you temporarily. At no point does the game acknowledge that you're either immune to their power or using tactics to negate it (such as Perseus' classic not-looking-into-their-eyes-trick).
* ''VideoGame/TombRaider'' and ''Tomb Raider: Anniversary''. Lara can survive a huge fall in an early cutscene that would naturally cause instant bone-shattering death when tried in-game (proven in the remake, in which this area is playable just before the cutscene).
** In a cutscene towards the end of Anniversary Lara reaches a ledge by essentially grappling on nothing, despite it being very established by then that it could only work on specific points, this is made worse by the fact that the original game already provided a plausible (within Lara capabilities) ending to this sequence.

[[folder:Action Game]]
* Every {{Franchise/Batman}} video game ever.
** This is less of a problem in the spinoff game of ''Film/BatmanBegins''. In this game you're not ''supposed'' to be over the top powerful and that the whole point is that you need to use stealth and fear to tip the battle in your favor.
** And it's completely averted in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'', where Batman is essentially as competent in cutscenes as he is during gameplay, dropping his Titan gun down a BottomlessPit aside.
*** The trope is true though during the final boss fight, where [[spoiler:Batman sprays Explosive Gel over his fist to power up his punch. Though it is explained why he can't do this normally as he severely injured his arm doing that in said cut scene.]]
** Also averted in ''Film/SupermanReturns'' where you need to protect the city from being destroyed. Getting hit merely slows you down.
* ''VideoGame/EnterTheMatrix'' had several level-ending cutscenes involving Niobe or Ghost using some fancy martial arts or [[LeParkour dramatic rooftop-leaping]]. There was no ''pressing'' reason why they couldn't have let the player do that themselves.
* In ''VideoGame/TheMatrixPathOfNeo'' Neo is much more powerful in cutscenes than actual play. There are a few in-game cutscenes where Neo busts through a brick wall with a single punch, and does the same to a heavy steel door that sends it flying across the room. Try to do it in the game itself and Neo can't even touch the door or wall. There's also the cutscenes where he flies around the city, again, it's impossible during the game itself.
* Dante of the ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'' series is fairly intimidating even during normal gameplay. However, his powers become almost absurd in any cutscene sequence, and especially ridiculous in the third installment. His feats include his getting staked to the ground by his own sword and calmly pulling himself up ''through'' the blade (and the huge ass wickedly pointy ''crossguard''!), shrugging off horrific injuries to [[HoistByHisOwnPetard kill his enemies with the pieces of their own weapons]] embedded in his body, and [[HighSpeedMissileDodge casually surfing on a missile]]. Furthermore, he kills enemies with single attacks, a feat that cannot be replicated in-game except by difficult-to-use moves. His single-shot killing of enemies is most certainly '''not''' replicable in-game (semi-joke [[OneHitPointWonder "Heaven or Hell" mode]] aside). One exception is when Dante rides a fallen enemy like a skateboard while shooting other enemies, something he can also do in gameplay. Taken to the logical extreme, in that [[MemeticMutation nothing can beat Cutscene Dante]], except maybe Franchise/{{Batman}} if he has time to plan, and [[Manga/DragonBall Goku]].
** In the LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition of ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 3'', Vergil himself is the WORST offender. Also happens to be OverratedAndUnderleveled when you consider the fact that despite having access to all of his weapons from the start, you STILL need to purchase his stronger moves and many of the {{HSQ}} ones from his [[SuperMode Devil Trigger]] like the [[RazorWind Judgement Cut Storm]] ''aren't available for use when you are given control''. Add that to the fact that Vergil can generally [[DiagonalCut own]] [[OneHitKill everything]] in his path in cutscenes, yet still needs to smack demons around a couple of times with the scabbard before making the CleanCut during normal gameplay (barring [[OneHitPointWonder Heaven Or Hell Mode]]) and Vergil is made even less effective (if [[RuleOfCool cooler]] because KatanasAreJustBetter) than [[GunFu Dante]].
*** Vergil's sword Yamato gets a heck of a lot of this in ''DMC 4''. In cutscenes it's a hilariously overpowered GameBreaker. It's like everything dies just by being in the same room as this sword. In game, it's not any better than the default sword, and some experts consider it to be worse.
*** Subverted when Nero tries to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAdSZSeVz3k fight Dante]] using {{Super Mode}} and Yamato. Well, that [[CurbStompBattle didn't go as well]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr_YFqHlV2Q as he expected]]. So, Dante's cutscene power overrides Yamato cutscene power. He is just that good.
** Alto Angelo is a MiniBoss example. In cutscenes, the Alto Angelo is able to kill two EliteMooks in one fell swoop.
* Played straight most of the time in ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' where both Bayonetta and Jeanne perform outstanding jumps, attacks, counters, and dodges that are not possible in the game, display [[KungShui building-tossing]] SuperStrength, and consistently OneHitKill enemies with the default guns that are nowhere near that powerful during gameplay.
* ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' mostly avoids this as there aren't too many scenes of [[TheHero Ryu]] fighting, except for one scene in ''Ninja Gaiden II'' where he cuts a {{Mook}} in half with one swing.
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWarSeries'' if Kratos were allowed in normal gameplay to pull off acrobatics and feats of strength a fraction as impressive as the ones he does in cutscenes, a huge chunk of the games obstacles would suddenly cease to be an issue.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'', after you beat Agahnim in the Tower of Ganon, Link uses his flute to summon the bird to take him to the Pyramid of Power. Despite the fact that Link is in the Dark World, where such a feat should be impossible, because the bird exists only in the Light World.
* ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'' has a scene where the SA-X obliterates a doorway with a super missile. If you try this outside of the cutscene, the hatch tends just to open, not to blow up spectacularly...
** Similarly, there's a scene done with a powerbomb as well which normally can only affect certain areas, but the scene displays them every bit as destructive as they're described in conversation.
* Relatively avoided in ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'', due to the sheer number of in game cutscenes with QTE's that are really intuitive. In fact, this particular model is exactly what the developers were going for to deliberately avoid this, as it was made to feel like you're still doing all the stuff in the cutscenes via intuitive button presses.
* A particularly heavy example with ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankGoingCommando'': During the Giant Robot battle on Snivelak, even your most powerful weapon does only ScratchDamage to the Robot (with some points on the robot [[NoSell not even registering damage]]) and yet, during the cutscene, Ratchet just shoots part of the chest off with a single shot from the Heavy Lancer, which is one of the weakest weapons in the game (not to mention the first weapon you get, although it hasn't upgraded.)

[[folder:Beat 'Em Up]]
* Awesome aversion in ''VideoGame/GodHand''; In one of the few cutscenes involving him fighting, Gene, the protagonist, proceeds to launch three enemies to the sky. While the moves are not normally "one-hit-kill" type in the game, they're pretty much available to the player, and if one takes advantage of counter hits and the tension gauge/roulette, can accomplish the same thing in-game.
* ''VideoGame/MadWorld'' has a minor one. When facing the Shogun in a [[QuickTimeEvent power struggle]], Jack does a BarehandedBladeBlock first, and then a regular block with his right arm and knee. Jack cannot block outside of that quick time event, as he can dodge only.

[[folder:Fighting Game]]
* ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' is generally pretty good about averting this. Characters fighting in cutscenes tend to use the same attacks that they use in gameplay. At the same time, there are quite a few instances of this, such as Terra casting teleport, Ultimecia and Cecil using what appear to be their respective EX Bursts without hassle, and Squall blocking most of Ultimecia's aforementioned EX Burst during his final confrontation with her in his storyline.
** And there's lots of people dashing past Onion Knight in the intro FMV, while in actual gameplay he's the fastest character in the game.
* Technically, at least four characters in ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' are Gears, i.e. living weapons of mass destruction that humanity fought against for a hundred years (one of them going so far as to wipe out an entire fleet all at once in [[AllThereInTheManual supplemental material]]), and the Gears almost ''won.'' That doesn't mean an adolescent crossdressing nun armed with a yo-yo and a teddy bear can't defeat them during gameplay, though.
* Consider Pyron from the ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}'' series. According to his storyline, he is an immense, powerful [[EnergyBeings alien]] who [[PlanetEater feeds on planets and stars]]. In his ending sequence, he treats Earth as if it was a piece of jewelry around his finger. Now, disregard all of this plot and simply play a few matches against him, and he comes across as nothing more than a fire elemental with a small degree of shapeshifting prowess. The real kicker? He's not even the most powerful character in the storyline. Gameplay-wise, he's less of a challenge than his [[TheDragon dragon]] Huitzil/Phobos. If only because [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard Huitzil is a Cheating Bastard.]]
** Morrigan is one of the most powerful demons in the series, at least according to her backstory. Gameplay-wise she's a ShotoClone.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 3'', Bryan Fury is able to take bullets to the face and chest, a shell from a tank, and then proceed to rip the turret off and throw it at the retreating soldiers. In ''TTT'', he gets shot several times by Lei Wulong and manages to continue fighting as if nothing happened. However, in game he's just one of the slightly quicker big bruisers. Bandai-Namco managed to [[GameBreaker fix the discrepancy]] in ''Tekken 5'' though.
** Then Tekken 6 goes even further in the Scenario Mode opening cutscene, where Lars deflects missiles with his bare hands and runs faster than bullets. Stopping a mook with a gun by charging him head on in actual gameplay? Not such a good idea.
** Likewise with Yoshimitsu, Bryan's ArchEnemy, who ever since ''Tekken 3'' is often depicted with the ability to become virtually invisible, and whose [[CoolSword katana]] is an AbsurdlySharpBlade able to slice thru walls of solid concrete and whatnot. In game? He only has a limited ability to teleport, and a slash from his katana is not fatal at all (even his most deadly "Sword Stab" unblockable does a lot of damage, but it really doesn't kill in one hit).
* In ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'', using Ragna's Blood Kain in gameplay only gives a temporary DeadlyUpgrade. If he activates it before the fight starts and control shifts to the player, though, what you get is [[SNKBoss Unlimited Ragna]], who gets permanent attribute bonuses without health loss, and in fact ''triple health''.
* In ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]'''s Subspace Emissary, right before [[spoiler:Tabuu turns everyone into a trophy again,]] Sonic appears and [[spoiler:smashes his wings with incredible speed and power.]] In gameplay, Sonic's adjusted like the other fighters.
** Subspace Emissary is positively ''stuffed'' with this. Every cutscene shows the various fighters doing various awesome things that are far, far beyond their actually capabilities in gameplay. One of the more JustForFun/{{egregious}} examples involves [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Sheik]] taking out an [[VideoGame/StarFox Arwing]] by teleporting onto its canopy and '''putting her fist''' through the glass of the cockpit windshield. There's also an instance of [[VideoGame/FZero Captain Falcon]] taking out a [[GiantMook giant ROB]] with a single flying punch.
* In ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'', this is taken to ''ridiculous'' levels with [[spoiler:Sindel, who effortlessly curbstomps 10 people at once in Story Mode, killing all but Johnny Cage and Sonya ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NZs4rAQp7c as seen here for those who like spoilers]]). Granted, she ''was'' empowered with Shang Tsung's soul (and by proxy, all of the souls he absorbed), but ''still''. This even leads to a HeadsIWinTailsYouLose moment with Nightwolf; you can walk all over Sindel in the actual battle, but storywise, Nightwolf is going to have to [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice himself]] [[TakingYouWithMe kamikaze-style]] to finally bring her down.]]
** Doubles as CutsceneIncompetence for the other characters, who barely put up a fight. Combined, they should have been able to reduce her to her component atoms.
** For that matter, when [[spoiler:Kabal is hit by Kintaro's fire breath, he is scarred permanently to the point that he requires a respirator mask.]] Needless to say, when [[spoiler:Kintaro]] actually uses that move in a playable fight, it just takes off a chunk of your life meter.
** Several characters in the MK franchise are more powerful in gameplay terms than they are in actual Kombat. The biggest offender, by far, is probably the evil Elder God Shinnok, who in some end scenes was shown to be literally capable of killing Kombatants with only a look or even "a mere thought", is declared in the 10th game to be [[InvincibleVillain completely unkillable]], and in the 4th game and the ''Gold'' edition is strongly implied have enough power on-hand to destroy entire realms and even the whole universe all by himself. Yet, repeatedly in every game he is in, he is one of the ''weakest'' villains to play as or to fight and has a fairly unoriginal and unimpressive move set, and requires a power-up in game 10 to become a standard SNKBoss like Shao Kahn or Goro (and even then, his defeat comes at the hands of a completely new human character in a straightfoward fight).
* Ninjas (and Eliot) in ''Videogame/DeadOrAlive'' only ever use their swords in cutscenes. In Hayate's ending for [=DOA4=], he slices a {{Mook}} in half and brings down an entire blimp with one arrow.
* [[spoiler:Elizabeth is a secret boss from]] ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}''. Being absurdly powerful, you require a ton of specific things in order to even stand a chance against her. She even has a set of unspoken rules that you must adhere to; failure to follow them results in her nuking you with a 9999 damage spell until you die. Aside from being a secret boss in ''Persona 3'', she also appears as a playable character in ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena''. During cutscenes, she is still absurdly powerful, breaking through barriers and even defeating the final boss with ease. But as a playable character, she is quite a bit underwhelming compared to her boss and cutscene self. Having the lowest amount of health in the entire roster at 7500, this is a big difference to the 20,000 that she had in Persona 3 (the player's max health was capped at 999).
* The trailers for ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' feature several instances of playable characters displaying their powers at levels that far exceed what they can do during actual gameplay matches. For instance, Comicbook/{{Magneto}} is shown in one trailer using his magnetic powers to effortlessly toss Comicbook/{{X 23}} and Arthur aside with just a small flick of his wrist, but he can't do that to anybody during actual matches. Ironically, the power levels that characters display in the trailers are mostly accurate to their established power levels in their own series while most of them are severely watered down during gameplay for the sake of matches lasting longer than a couple seconds.
* In Comicbook/{{Storm}}'s ending in ''VideoGame/XMenChildrenOfTheAtom'', she's able to destroy a Sentinel with a single bolt of lightning. In the actual gameplay, while Storm is pretty powerful, her projectiles aren't ''nearly'' that strong.
* Likewise, a cutscene in ''VideoGame/XMenNextDimension'' shows Comicbook/{{Wolverine}} and Storm easily taking out multiple Sentinels, each with a single blow. The Sentinels are much harder to beat in the actual game, and Wolverine and Storm aren't significantly stronger than any of the other playable fighters.
* In the ''New Legends of Project Soul'' artbook released as a companion to ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries SoulCalibur V]]'', Nightmare is described as being "capable of destroying several mounted and heavily armored soldiers with a single sweep of the massive Soul Edge, and can pull out his victims' very souls using his misshapen right arm", and his Soul Wave is described as ripping out the souls of those caught in it, but nowhere outside of the scant few cutscenes does he display this level of overwhelming power.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* All of the ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' promotional videos show the RED team being absurdly competent:
** In "Meet the Heavy", the Heavy exaggerates the firing rate of his minigun and in the "gameplay" scene, nobody seems to be shooting at him while he rains bullety death on everyone. (And in "Meet the Sandvich", the exact scene is replicated, except this time the Heavy is munching on said Sanvich, and yet [=BLUs=] can be heard dropping dead left and right.)
** In "Meet the Demoman", the Demoman has more stickies deployed than he currently is able to by default (to be fair, though, at the time of the video he really did have that ability--then it was nerfed).
** In "Meet the Engineer," the Engineer has ''four'' sentries up. In the actual game (barring some short-lived exploits), you are limited to one.
** In "Meet the Sniper", the Sniper uses his default rifle to shoot two targets at once (he can only do so with a much later unlock) and indirectly cause some barrels to explode (not an in-game feature).
** The most extreme has to go to the Spy who saps a sentry from a distance, disguises himself in plain view, and wins in direct melee combat against the Sniper and the Medic.
** "Meet the Pyro" then proceeds to top this by turning the Pyro into a OneManArmy who is TheDreaded by his/her/its own teammates. The [=BLUs=] who aren't immediately killed don't even ''try'' to fight back at all.
** "Meet the Medic" features what is apparently the very first ubercharge, so only the Heavy is marching down the field being invincible. None of the [=BLUs=] think to ShootTheMedicFirst.
** The BLU team also displays a lot of CutsceneIncompetence--in "reality", if the "Meet the [Class]" videos weren't scripted for RED to win, they would've suffered a CurbStompBattle. (A number of Machinima exist that shows exactly this.)
* In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'', Samus is able to perform her iconic spin-jump only in cutscenes. In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime2Echoes'', she eventually gains the ability to use it in the specialized form of the screw attack under player control late in the game. In the multiplayer mode of ''Prime 2'', however, you can see other players doing it even though they can't see it themselves. This implies that Samus really is doing the spin jump, but her visor somehow keeps the view going straight so she doesn't get dizzy. (Samus also jumps ''ridiculously'' high in cutscenes - which is completely [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by her PoweredArmor, which causes your inability to do so in game to make even less sense)
** In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption,'' a single shot of Samus' Power Beam can throw Space Pirates (and unarmored Ghor) a good 15 feet in cutscenes, even uncharged. In gameplay, a single shot of the Power Beam does nearly nothing, and a charged shot will only push them back slightly.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** In the cutscene leading up to the final battle of the original Trilogy, [[spoiler:343 Guilty Spark]] utterly obliterates Master Chief and the Arbiter with his superpowered beam weapon. Once actual gameplay begins, however, the ensuing fight is one of the easiest and least exciting battles in the history of FPS video games, as [[spoiler:Spark]] just floats in one spot and fires (inaccurately) in your general direction.
** In one of the last cutscenes in ''VideoGame/HaloWars'', [[OneManArmy three Spartans solo about twenty Elites]] by tossing them around like rag dolls, [[GunsAkimbo dual-wielding]] [=SMGs=] like John Woo, and performing vaulting flips at least ten or fifteen feet into the air. The sad part is that this is about in line with the ExpandedUniverse, but nothing like what you're actually allowed to do in the games when you play as a Spartan.
** There's also the issue of whether or not the Master Chief can get hurt by falling. Starting in ''{{VideoGame/Halo 2}}'', Master Chief can fall any distance without getting hurt--unless the developers don't want you to go into that area. This leads to bizarre situations like the Chief being able to ''surf a small metal plate down from a spaceship in orbit and land on Earth with nary a scratch'' but being unable to survive falling down a fifteen-foot deep hole.
** In ''VideoGame/HaloReach'', Emile pulls off a sick trick in the opening cutscene of the last level where he downs two Banshees with a single grenade launcher shot. Then for the rest of the level he's completely useless, as his AI thinks [[ShortRangeShotgun his shotgun is a sniper rifle]].
** ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'': ''Spartan Ops''[='s=] cutscenes feature Palmer and Fireteam Majestic cutting through tons of Elites and Promethean Knights with only a few shots from pistols and basic rifles. Not even in Easy Mode are Knights and Elites that easy to kill with those guns in actual gameplay. [[WordOfGod One of the story guys]] even all but admitted that they had exaggerated the killing power of the UNSC's basic weapons for RuleOfCool.
** Played with in ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians''[='s=] opening cutscene; while the impressive mobility abilities Fireteam Osiris show off are almost all doable during gameplay, the team cuts through Covenant and Prometheans at a rate that's impossible for the player to do even on Easy (especially when enemy vehicles are involved). Also, Osiris enter the battle by jumping from a dropship high in the sky; good luck surviving a fall anywhere near that high in the actual game.
* In ''VideoGame/CliveBarkersUndying'', your character Patrick Galloway suddenly jumps like a flea through a stained glass window many feet away to escape danger. Normally he only jumps about as high as a normal man.
* Subversion: in ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}: Warhead'', a cutscene has the main character getting shot multiple times by a pistol and essentially having it bounce off the nanosuit. While it may seem like an example of this trope, you'll actually notice that the suit and weapon stats stay the same for all difficulties - the AI just gets better at finding and shooting at you. This is also proven by the game's configuration files. However, the AI's gotten so much better on Delta, that you won't even notice, and it won't even matter if your suit stats are the same.
** Played straight in some of the other cutscenes in the series; although you mostly can pull off what they are doing in them, even if it isn't to the same degree.
** Also, doing special ability combos with cloak/maximum speed/maximum strength that would work if only you had five times the energy you have.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/{{Crysis2}}'' where the main character has arguably the worst case of CutsceneIncompetence ever, with ''two'' scenes requiring a quick time event to '''revive''' the dead player character.
** The only actual cutscene that shows impressive feats of derring-do is right at the beginning, features the player's suit but NOT the player's character, and merely showcases the nanosuit's capabilities in a manner that is ''visually'' impressive but functionally no different than what the player him/herself might accomplish on his/her own.
* For a rare example of this trope being justified, see ''VideoGame/TheDarkness'' game. While you play the game as Jackie Estacado, controlling the eponymous Darkness you're a force to be reckoned with. During two of the cutscenes where The Darkness controls Jackie... let's just say at one point he pulls down a helicopter with one tentacle and leave it at that. However, the game is fairly explicit in that The Darkness' powers are restrained by Jackie, or at least his limited moral scruples. Therefore, when Jackie loses control, (hence, cutscene) the Darkness is rather ridiculously powerful.
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' has an interesting example with [[RobotBuddy Dog]], who has no combat AI whatsoever and will run from any and all enemies. However in scripted sequences, the game's equivalent of cutscenes, he [[TheJuggernaut effortlessly and painfully crushes everything in his path]], from regular soldiers to a ''Strider''.
* ''VideoGame/FarCry1'' has this in spades. While your character (Jack) is made of tinfoil in gameplay (you can't drop more than a few feet without suffering massive damage; you'll die after being hit with a handful of bullets - which forces you to always use cover), he becomes much more acrobatic and resilient in the cutscenes. At one point, Jack is thrown out of a helicopter hundreds of feet in the air and lands without a scratch, but falling three stories in-game will instantly kill him. Better yet, in a later cutscene, Jack is shown diving over a console to avoid a hail of bullets (something he can't do in-game).
* Averted completely in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' for the opening intro. The scene shows the survivors doing things that you can do in game such as throwing pipe bombs to lure zombies away from you and using your pistol to defend yourself when you get incapacitated.
** ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' averts the trope again in the intro opening up until it shows Ellis having a grenade launcher and a rifle attached to his back while holding a shotgun. In the game, you can only carry a main gun (rifle, shotgun, etc.) and a secondary weapon (pistols or melee weapons).
** The preview trailer for The Sacrifice DLC shows Zoey handing over a sword to Louis, despite the fact that you can never give weapons to another player in game unless you use a mod.
* In ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonorVanguard'', the first time a Tiger 1 appears the Bazooka Operator destroys it in one shot with a Bazooka during a cutscene. Where as during gameplay, it takes three shots for the player to destroy a Tiger 1.

* ''VideoGame/{{utawarerumono}}'': Genjimaru. The first time we see him fighting he drives off [[GiantMecha four Av Kamiw]] single handed. Literally, because he's carrying his granddaughter. Then he roflstomps Karura in a duel and later manages to actually injure [[PhysicalGod Diy.]] When you get to play as him? He's among the weakest characters you can use because his skill sets haven't been trained, so Hakuoro/Karura/Touka etc are hitting quite a bit harder on their first blows than he lands on his entire attack.

[[folder:Hack And Slash]]
* ''VideoGame/NinjaBlade'' uses the same ActionCommands model as several of the above examples, but turns the 'Awesomeness' dial up to 11. You can pull off some nice combos and nifty acrobatic wall-runs in the actual game, sure, but in the cutscenes, all bets are off. Driving a motorcycle across the side of a bus in midair, then throwing both into the mouth of a gigantic foe while they explode? Check. Grab a gigantic fly with your grappling-hook and spin around on the spot to hammer-throw it into a nearby building [[MadeOfExplodium which then explodes]]? Check. Clim the Tokyo Tower by jumping off of falling debris? Check. Throw a skyscraper at a boss? Check-checkity-check!!
* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes''' protagonist Travis Touchdown is notable for being MadeOfIron in cutscenes. He survives getting blown up by grenades (which are shown to be capable of literally blowing a person's head off), electrocuted, pummeled and then blasted with a WaveMotionGun (the lethality of which is demonstrated by a floor strewn with corpses), sawed in half (although it ''was'' supposedly part of a magic trick, the very same buzzsaw is used to finish off the opponent who used it) and ''punched through the heart'' (by a woman who is shown to be capable of killing a man by punching him through the ''crotch''). The only thing shown to be capable of bringing down Travis is an [[AxCrazy insane girl in a frilly dress who happens to be a bit too happy with her baseball bat]]; that was the only fight he didn't simply walk away from, in any event. Outside of cutscenes, Travis is still sturdier than your average mook, but very much mortal (even if his body seems to be resistant to being [[CleanCut chopped into pieces]] the way virtually every other foe is - including bosses!).
** Lampshaded in the first teaser of ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' (viewable in the finished game), where Travis gets up after being hit by numerous MISSILES (which does seem to surprise his opponent).
** This also brings up a bit of FridgeLogic: Travis and the cast know that they're in a video game, and Travis himself has certainly played enough. So why does he do such stupid shit in cutscenes? ''Because he's actively enforcing this trope''. Therefore, as long as the player isn't in control, knows ''he can't die'' (unless the plot says so).
* In ''[[VideoGame/DynastyWarriors Dynasty Warriors 2]]'', Zhang Jiao, leader of the Yellow Turbans and renowned as a mystic, attacks your allies with a fireball in a cutscene when he's first approached in the battle... then fights with a generic sword moveset the rest of the time. This was fixed in later games in the series, where like everyone else he gets a unique movset and (unlike most other characters) gets several moves with use fire ([[SlapOnTheWristNuke though in some they're rather low on damage]]).
** Dynasty warriors in general love to do this. The opening cutscene in just about every game is especially blatant, oftentimes showing characters doing things that you could not possibly hope to do. The [[VideoGame/DynastyWarriorsOnline online]] version is especially bad.

[[folder:Mecha Game]]
* HumongousMecha games like this one. ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore 2'' (the original, not the expansion) had an intro sequence with [=ACs=] blasting their rocket boosters all the way, shooting perfectly at enemy mechs, and destroying an entire supply base with just four missiles. The latter one you can actually accomplish: shooting pretty much any destructible object once will [[StuffBlowingUp blow it up]]. But in-game, booster-skating only works for a few seconds and makes it nigh-impossible to aim.
** It should be noted however that ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'' averts this trope after ''[=AC4=]''. The game will give you an intro movie showing you making high-speed missile dodges, boosting and boost-dodging through the air. Once you start playing the game, you not only can do everything the movie does, you can do it ''faster.''
** The most guilty offense that ''Armored Core'' offers constantly are mechs that are featured in the openings of the original games (''AC'', ''Project Phantasma'' and ''Master of Arena''), as well as in ''Armored Core 3'' and ''Silent Line'': the featured [=ACs=] are ''overweight''! Somewhat plausible by the existence of [[GameBreaker Human PLUS upgrade which does enable overweight loadage]] in the former, and the latter simply allows overweight [=ACs=], albeit with greatly reduced performance. Not only that though, the [=ACs=] featured looked cool, but some of the designs were grossly impractical (cf. Master of Arena where the featured mech wields very powerful weapons, but very limited ammo, and very low AP body parts). Despite all that, they're all very competent in said cutscenes...
** ''Armored Core 4''[='=]s opening continues the tradition by displaying actions that you just can't perform in-game. Sliding down the walls with a HumongousMecha? Check. Firing in two opposite directions at once? Check. Impaling an enemy with your assault rifle? Check! It's partly justified since the offender is [[AcePilot Berlioz]]'s Supplice, but you don't see him doing that in the game, either.
* In ''VideoGame/FrontMission 4'', both opening cutscenes show robots almost skating across the ground with rocket boosters. Ironic, considering the in-game robot's slow, basic walking speed was one of the most common complaints against the game.
** The game developers seem to take the complaints to heart with ''Front Mission Online''. While ''Front Mission'' has always been a turn-based RPG with HumongousMecha, ''FMO'' throws the concept away and instead adopts an ''Armored Core''-esque shooter, where you ''can'' actually slide on the ground, or snipe (but [[DoNotRunWithAGun not both]]... not yet anyway).
** The third game has a robot disable another robot with a punch, while in-game is pathetically weak. That is, without factoring the random occurrence of said punch causing stun effect...
* In ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriorsGundam'', [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Char Aznable's Zaku II]] can block the [[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam Bakunetsu God Finger]] with its heat hawk and survive being caught in the blast caused by [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Wing Zero's twin buster rifle]], combining this trope with PopularityPower and PlotArmor.
** Also inverted in one case. Loren Cehack's Moonlight Butterfly SP attack is usually notable for its lengthy invincibility and reposition rather than its pitiful damage. When used in a cutscene, however, it instantly disintegrates everything near him and wipes out half the map. Those who haven't seen Anime/TurnAGundam migh be surprised to learn the cutscene is [[PowerCreepPowerSeep closer to the machine's actual capability]].

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* Cutscenes in the ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' franchise tend to exaggerate the power of the hero's Buster (ArmCannon). In most of the games, it's relatively weak compared to the weapons you can get later -- but it's his signature weapon, so when he finishes off a boss in a cutscene, he always uses the Buster. This is particularly noticeable in the ''[[VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork Battle Network]]'' series, where even the weakest [=BattleChip=] is much more effective than your default weapon.
** In ''VideoGame/MegaManZX,'' Serpent has a OneHitKill lightning bolt attack that he can call down whenever he feels like it... in the first cutscene in which you actually encounter him. The next two times, he doesn't seem to bother, and when you actually fight him, he doesn't actually use the attack. Though a good {{Handwave}} to explain it would be that he can't use this attack indoors. Note that the other two encounters were indoors (in a cave and in Serpent's own HQ, respectively).
** The Classic series isn't immune either. In the fourth Game Boy game, there's a brief cutscene with Mega Man taking out a Wily Flying Fortress in relatively few shots with his default weapon. He doesn't even appear to charge!
** ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX Maverick]]'' ''[[VideoGameRemake Hunter X]]'' does this as well. The animated cutscenes seem to portray the charge shot as an immense death-blast. Even Vile pisses his pants when faced with one. In-game is an entirely different story.
** In the OVA provided in the same game, X uses this glowing hand that inspired many ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'' jokes because X in the English version has the same voice actor as Domon Kashu, which he tears off a bit of Sigma's face with. In game, he has no such weapon.
** A particularly jarring example occurs in ''X7'', where Axl's handguns go from being [[CutsceneIncompetence completely ineffective against Sigma]] despite GunsAkimbo rapid-fire to being powerful enough to ''[[BlownAcrossTheRoom blast Sigma through a wall]]'' with one shot.
** Although, Axl was shooting Sigma in the chest first, whereas the last shot [[spoiler:was a contact shot right under Sigma's jaw.]]
** In ''[[VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork Mega Man Network Transmission]]'', at the beginning of the game there's a cutscene where Mega Man finishes off the Life Virus with a charged megabuster shot. Yet he's back at beginner stats when you first get control of him. Not even given any explanation as to why this is.
** ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'' has a cutscene in which Geo Wave Changes fifty feet from the nearest wavehole and teleports from roof to roof. That's, um, not how he operates in play, to put it mildly.
** In the ''[[VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork Battle Network]]'' series, any time that Megaman's real name, [[spoiler: Hub]], is dropped, you can expect a MASSIVE increase in power.
*** And, nicely enough, sometimes this does have an effect on gameplay. In the first game, it gives Megaman enough power to [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v-qs7wLkKk completely destroy the Final Boss by only using the Megabuster.]]
*** In the 5th game, [[spoiler: Megaman/Hub is able to take out Nebula Grey with a wave of his hand. It comes back after he loses power, but ''still.'']]
* The ''SonicTheHedgehog'' series is a terrible offender, with characters pulling all sorts of stunts in the cutscenes that you could never do in game.
** Sonic's maximum speed has typically been a cutscene superpower starting as early as Sonic CD. Fast things are just too hard to control in a video game after all, and due to technology constraints, the Genesis-era gameplay focused more on using momentum to sling yourself off ramps and navigate levels instead of running nonstop.
** Particularly noticeable in the "Dark" Story of ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' when Sonic makes a far higher jump than possible in gameplay to instantly KO the Egg Golem... which naturally gives you much more trouble when you actually face the boss as Sonic in the "Hero" side of the Story.
** ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'' is another serious offender. If only you could fly and deflect bullets in the game as well as in the cutscenes...
** Even worse when it comes to his abilities. In the intro it shows Shadow driving his motorcycle into a large alien and leaping off at the last second leaving it to crash and cause a huge explosion to defeat it. In game the jump button becomes break on a vehicle so attempting to do this will cause Shadow to come to a full stop at the foot of your target before politely getting off/out of your vehicle. The intro also displays using multiple quick and short Chaos Controls to fight multiple enemies at once which also can't be done.
** In every piece of Sonic related media (and every game made past the Genesis years) Sonic is shown as almost literally being able to ''fly'' by simply running 50 feet and jumping off something. If he has to use the spin dash on anything larger than a house he starts {{Roboteching}}, being able to stop on a dime in midair and change direction at will. And in ''Anime/SonicX'' and cutscenes he can [[BatmanCanBreatheInSpace breathe in space, be frozen by its vacuum, AND survive re-entry without a space suit]] but falling off a platform in his final stages in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' will simply turn him into a screaming fireball.
** In Sonic's opening scene in ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles'', Knuckles punches him hard enough to knock him out of Super Sonic mode and take his Chaos Emeralds. Super Sonic is normally outright invincible, only harmable in-game by being crushed or drowned. Many zones later, when you finally interact with Knuckles outside a cutscene, it turns out to be the easiest boss fight in the game.
** ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'' takes this to ridiculous levels. Sonic's first cutscene shows him moving like a speeding bullet and being really badass. Can you do that in-game? No. Shadow's first cutscene shows him plowing through robots and jumping over a giant gate. Can you do that in-game? No. Silver's first cutscene has him ''flying'', and speeding off into the distance. Can you do that in-game? No, although Silver can glide for a short amount of time. Also Rouge flies (she can only glide in-game), Tails flies way better than he actually can, and Sonic generally moves a lot faster than you'll be able to ever move him outside of the mach speed sections.
** In ''[[VideoGame/SonicRushSeries Sonic Rush Adventure]]'', in the cutscene right before the boss for Coral Cave, Blaze shoots a huge [[PlayingWithFire fireball]] at Captain Whisker. During gameplay, she can't even shoot small ones, although she can temporarily ''become'' one to attack surrounding enemies.
** Thankfully averted in ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'', where Sonic boosts through enemies to destroy them, bounces off of them like pinballs as he destroys them, quicksteps out of the way, and even "drifts" around tight corners. All of these things are done by Sonic in cutscenes, and can be also done in-game. The one thing you couldn't do in game that Sonic did in the cutscene is play as [[SuperForm Super Sonic]], except during the final fight.
* In the ''Franchise/PrinceOfPersia: Sands of Time'' trilogy your character is able to grab hold of specific ledges and bars to move around the area. In certain cutscenes, though, he is shown to be capable of much more elaborate maneuvers. This style was actually moved into ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' made by the same people, where you can literally grab onto almost anything.
** ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' features the worst example, where in one cutscene the Prince runs ''down'' a wall to survive what would otherwise be a [[NoOneCouldSurviveThat fatal drop]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaNPmpDHTh8 Around 6:14 here]]
* In a cutscene in ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge'', Faith gets violently thrown a distance that's about twice what is usually fatal, and gets up about thirty seconds later like nothing happened.
** Earlier in the game she falls about three stories through a [[SoftGlass glass roof]] and lands on her back. She's back up and running without so much as a complaint within five seconds.
* From the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series:
** King Boo in ''VideoGame/LuigisMansion''. He captured freaking Mario in a painting, manages to teleport characters if they don't capture enough Boos, scares Luigi into near death when he first appears... and gets relatively easily beaten in the final battle. And then in the sequels, beaten by Mario a heck of a lot. Heck, he's beaten by Peach twice... However, it's justified, at least in ''Luigi's Mansion''. It is explicitly said in-game that Boos gain great power in groups. It takes fifty of them plus King Boo to capture Mario. By the end of the game, at least 45 of those must be captured. In other words, he gets weaker every time a Boo is captured.
** Dimentio of ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' fame. When actually fighting him in game, he's not that ridiculously difficult. But come the cutscenes, he [[NeverSayDie ends the games]] of Mr. L, then later Mario, Peach, and Bowser at once, without breaking a sweat. [[spoiler:Even if it was only temporary.]]
** Mario himself is a huge offender. He effortlessly roots Larry's castle from the ground in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' and kicks it away.[[note]] This is probably not supposed to be taken literally, as in another scene he also pulls out a bunch of dynamite from out of nowhere and blew up a castle.[[/note]] In ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time]]'', he [[InASingleBound jumps higher than Luigi]] during cutscenes (when ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' established Luigi's jump height as being about three times as high as Mario's).
** In ''VideoGame/WarioLand3'', the treasures can only be used in the cutscenes immediately after they are collected. Thus, treasures like the Ax of Destruction and the The Detonator, despite seeming like the kinds of items that could be used in many different situations, are only used once to open new paths.
* In ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures'', Fox walks over towards a defeated T-Rex boss to obtain a PlotCoupon. As he picks up the said item he realizes that the boss isn't dead. As the T-Rex lunges out at him Fox jumps 10 feet in the air, does a backflip while pulling out his staff, and stabs the boss through the head. However, in the gameplay segments Fox cannot backflip or even jump that far, and you can't use your staff in midair.
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns'', [[spoiler: DK '''''[[ColonyDrop punches the moon]]''''' into Tiki Tong's tower]].
* In one cutscene in ''VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander'', Jak is able to fly up using his [[TouchedByVorlons Light flight ability]], while in-game (bar cheats) you'll only ever glide down, no matter how hard you flap.

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* Believe or not, ProfessionalWrestling has this in droves. For example, a wrestler's finisher is sometimes not enough to win a hotly contested match that has gone on for several minutes, yet when one performs their finisher on someone ''outside'' of a match, there's a very good chance they'll lay the opponent out for several minutes. Naturally, all video games based on the medium will invoke this as well.

[[folder:Rail Shooter]]
* The intro to ''VideoGame/OmegaBoost'' shows the player's HumongousMecha destroying a whole fleet of space ships in one fell swoop with a massive beam weapon. Your armaments in the actual game amount to a machine gun and only slightly more powerful homing lasers. Interestingly, when you do encounter an almost identical fleet, you ''can'' take care of them with similar ease, but with an entirely different attack.

[[folder:Real Time Strategy]]
* This trope also happens in RealTimeStrategy game series such as ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer''.
** VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSeries:
*** In ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianDawn'', the Orca VTOL assault craft is shown dodging missiles in a cutscene in the original game and repeats the stunt in another cutscene in ''Tiberian Sun'' while destroying several Nod SAM Sites. Try this in-game however, and prepare to watch your expensive aircraft go down in flames. Also the Mammoth Mk.II from ''Tiberian Sun'' is considerably more powerful in the cutscenes. Similarly, a Ion Cannon strike destroys a small base in a cutscene. In-game, it only strikes one building, and can't even kill the larger buildings.\\
Buried in Tiberian Dawn's readmes is a partial explanation for some of these: health doesn't just represent health, armour and general structural integrity, it also represents not getting hit (that's why ordinary infantry don't get immediately killed by pretty much any attack). So you can't dodge the missiles in-game, but on the other hand it takes more than one missile to bring you down.
*** In one of the early GDI cutscenes in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun'', a single GDI light infantry blows up two cyborgs with a single shot each using a laser rifle that isn't available during gameplay. In-game, light infantry are the least expensive and weakest units and a cyborg can withstand multiple shots from light infantry (and it takes a lot more than one light infantry to kill a cyborg).
*** In the FPS spinoff ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRenegade'', Havoc kills enemy soldiers with single pistol shots in cinematics. In game, even with headshots, the same soldiers take several shots. Relatedly, when he gets ambushed by cloaked Nod forces, the amount of units present in the cinematic exceed any amount of enemies you ever face at once in normal gameplay.
** VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlertSeries:
*** In ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'', a cutscene shows several tanks and two helicopters being teleported by the chronosphere. In game, you can only teleport a single tank at once, and cannot teleport air units or [=APCs=] with people, with the given reason that the people in the [=APCs=] will die, which really doesn't make sense because the tanks have to have people in them (these limitations make the Chronosphere something of a UselessUsefulSpell in ''Red Alert 1'', while in ''Red Alert 2'' the shortcomings are largely corrected).
*** In ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge]]'', the Psychic Dominators shown in the opening cutscene are able to mind control entire sections of continents. To prevent it from being an ''enormous'' GameBreaker by giving Yuri's faction the ability to instantly control every unit and structure on the map if one is activated even once (like the Psychic Beacon did at the end of the third Soviet mission of the normal game), in the game it can take over 9 units at most and cause a lot of base damage.
*** ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'' didn't have very much combat in its cinematics, probably to avoid this, but its in-game cutscenes are just as bad. Superweapons routinely [[RocksFallEveryoneDies take out entire bases]], and the Imperial and Soviet support superweapons, which temporarily physical block off an area and render units invulnerable, respectively, have an unlimited duration. (The Chronosphere, which teleports units around, generally does what it's supposed to - with the caveat that it "teleports" in [[OffscreenVillainDarkMatter units that didn't exist before]].) Sometimes this works ''for'' you, though, such as the final Imperial mission, which opens with Yuriko and a host of troopers attacking from ''within'' a Psionic Decimator shot - it's usually not half as discriminating in who it kills.
* ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' similarly has a big stat difference between cuts and game. The [[WaveMotionGun Yamato Gun]] supposedly blasts another battlecruiser with one shot and keeps going - in game, it takes 2 full shots. Battlecruiser ''only fires a single laser shot with a pitifully low rate of fire'', compared to cutscenes where they're {{The Battlestar}}s armed with MoreDakka. Even more drastic, zerglings take 2 shots of said Battlecruiser to die, whereas in cutscenes a Ghost can kill them with just one shot! The weapons of other races also are much stronger, slicing each other outright. In one instance the SpaceMarines even use a weapon (grenade launcher) they don't have in-game at all!
** The grenade launcher actually has an interesting explanation. Most of the cutscenes for Starcraft were made in Beta phase of the game. The space marine unit was original supposed to have a grenade firing ability with limited ammo ala the Spidermines of the Vultures, but this was removed after being seen as too hard to balance. The result is that all images and cutscenes with space marines clearly show them having the underslug grenade launcher on their rifles, but no such ability. This was one reason the grenade launchers were removed from the rifles in ''Starcraft 2'' instead having bayonets which can be pushed out underneath the barrel. Which were however also removed during the Beta phase again leaving the Marines with a cutscene weapon they can't use in game.
** One cutscene shows a single Zergling take out two marines with ease. However, in the game the Zerg, being the namers of the ZergRush, tend towards many *weak* units. The zergling are the equivalent frontline fodder to marines and two are produced when they are built, for less cost and time then marines. The game literally states that zerglings are half as powerful as marines. So one zergling taking out two marines would imply he was four times as powerful as he should be!
** The worst example has to be the Gantrithor, Tassadar's flagship. In the storyline, the Gantrithor has a WaveMotionGun that causes EarthShatteringKaboom, and the only reason the Zerg are a problem on Tarsonis is that Tassadar didn't want to kill the Terran population. In-game, the Garinthor is about twice as good as a normal carrier, which is good, but hardly planet-scouring.
*** Well, Ganthritor is part of a fleet which Tassadar took with him, apparently full of planet glazing guns. Nobody ever managed to explain what happened to these.
** In-game cutscenes frequently use this trick with a unit killing some other unit in a single
*** Done rather poorly in the first game, since even during a cutscene you can still select units so you can see their hitpoints dropping to zero, or their attack's damage suddenly becoming ''one hundred times more powerful''.
* Based on the complaints above, ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'' deliberately made a number of cutscenes that averted this.
** Completely averted with Zeratul. Before the start of his first mission in ''Wings of Liberty'', there's a cutscene in which he, among other things, {{Flash Step}}s around the battlefield and bisects hydralisks in one shot. The player then gets to control him... and he ''really is that powerful''. Those four years have been ''incredibly'' productive for him, apparently. [[note]]He does seem to use his Blink ability more frequently than his in-game cooldown would allow him to, if you really want to nitpick.[[/note]]
** Artanis also is shown one-shotting zerglings and clearly uses his Resurgence ability in the "Alone" cutscene. However, he also uses a psi-storm, which he should know as a high templar, but does not have in-game.
** SC 2 features a rather jarring example of Cutscene Power To The Normal. In the end of the [[HoldTheLine third mission]] [[TheCavalry your flagship Hyperion]] arrives and proceeds to your besieged base, while decimating the zerg hordes that press on it... wait, somebody can actually fire on the move in Starcraft?! In-game this [[SarcasmMode marvelous ability]] is reserved for the unique flagships of each race, and one special prototype terran tank.
** However, this trope is still in effect with Kerrigan, as cutscenes show her flying and one-shot-killing marauders. Towards the end of Heart of the Swarm, she is extremely powerful, but that power comes from use of her abilities, not physically ripping opponents in half like in the cutscenes.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}: VideoGame/DawnOfWar'', oh how your intro cutscenes indulge in this. The opening for the first game depicts, amongst other things, a [[MiniMecha Dreadnought]] effortlessly shredding a bunch of pouncing Orks with a single sweep of its [[GatlingGood Assault Cannon]] (though it does gain this ability in the sequel) and both Space Marines and Orks killing each other in single attacks. Good luck doing that in-game without an Imbalance Mod. In fact, this applies to the source TabletopGame itself - just replace "cutscene" with "background material".
** ''Winter Assault'' features one infamous cutscene amongst tabletop game players of a Chaplain, a minor Space Marine leader, beating a newly-spawned Bloodthirster, a monster capable of withstanding minutes of your best guns, in single combat, and quickly to boot. That kind of thing does ''not'' usually happen in the source tabletop or the game itself. Given that the Bloodthirster's death animation used the same movements as a Captain with a Daemonhammer, the original design of a Commander killing the Bloodthirster was not nearly as far fetched, given [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin how good Daemonhammers are at killing Daemons]].
** Let no one claim Games Workshop doesn't realise it, though: the game's magazine (''Magazine/WhiteDwarf'') had an article posting the "stats" of a "movie" Space Marine, a jibe at the backstory. Each of these Space Marines was probably more powerful than any ''actual'' unit in the game.
** An enemy example: In ''[[VideoGame/DawnOfWar Dawn of War 2]]'' the worst an enemy can do to your heroes is incapacitate them, and they are easily revivable after that. But when a Tyranid Warrior attacks Davian Thule (a seasoned veterean, mind it), he does enough damage to him to [[spoiler:send Thule into a prolonged coma where he teeters on the brink of death for days and can only return to battle entombed in a Dreadnaught.]] There is mention of some sort of Tyranid poison, which would be acceptable if it ''appeared at all in the game proper''.
** In ''Chaos Rising'' add-on, a new SpaceMarine hero Librarian (mage) is introduced in a hurling storm of Warp energy that obliterates several squads of Eldar. Then he spends the rest of the mission (and most of the others) lying around beaten waiting for the others to revive him only to colapse immediately after.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} III'' trigger system allows you to create your own Cutscene Power To The Max moments by healing near-death characters or having them deal massive damage with the right "code" at the right time. Of course, that means you can remove the official moments yourself by toying with the campaign map files.
** Arthas also gets this. In cutscenes, he demonstrates the ability to drain someone's soul with his sword and turn them into a banshee he controls, raise the corpse of a giant dragon, and possibly teleport. Outside cutscenes he can temporarily raise six dead things as zombies, but it doesn't work on dragons.
** Played even further in World of Warcraft, where Arthas continues to use numerous powers he never bothers to employ when fighting for his life. Other characters wield powers that grant immense, game-breaking bonuses to fighters around them (as seen in the Battle for Undercity, when faction leaders grant bonuses that render the players in the battle functionally immortal), but won't use the same auras and powers if being swarmed by enemy combatants in their own throne rooms.
** Earlier on, at the end of ''Warcraft 2'', the mage Khadgar destroys the Dark Portal with a single devastating spell that no regular mage is capable of in-game.
** At the end of the final mission of ''III'', Archimonde destroys your base with a single wave of his hand. The mission itself has you aid your allies' bases to beat off his army's assaults for 45 minutes. This begs the question of why Archimonde didn't just come in and blow up everything in the first place. Hell, in his introductory cutscene he destroys ''a whole city'' from afar, by magic alone. Three measly bases should've been a breeze.
* In ''VideoGame/TotalAnnihilation's'' opening cutscene, all the units' weapons are greatly powered-up, to the point where the AK, the most puny and useless unit in the game, is one-shotting enemies with its lasers. The speed of building things is also shown to be much faster, and a Commander builds a heavy laser tower, something it's not capable of doing in-game.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld 2}}'' the player obtains a Progenitor Dreadnaught, and ancient warship built by the Precursors. The first time it goes into battle is in a cutscene, where the Dreadnaught effortlessly reduces an enemy battlecruiser to scrap with a single shot from its main cannon. When the player controls the Dreadnaught, its power is drastically reduced to where it will barely survive a duel with a battlecruiser completely identical to the one it vaporized in the cutscene.

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* KOS-MOS in ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' is a glaring example. The original game at least attempted a nod to this, as she was the one of the few characters who did not need to ride a [[HumongousMecha AGWS]]. Jin Uzuki is another offender, as in the second game he splits an entire giant robot mecha in half with one slash of his sword. Other characters stand in awe. But then when you get to control him he isn't that much more powerful than anyone else. chaos, as well, is shown able to destroy Gnosis with a touch of his hand in his introductory cutscene. This would have been useful in gameplay, especially since [[spoiler: he's pretty much Jesus Christ.]]
** KOS-MOS is a particularly horrible example because the game constantly implies that she is ''significantly'' stronger then her teammates. In the third game she is shown in a battle defeating hundreds of gnosis at once while her creator watches in shock, yet her creator is the same level and at least as capable of taking on a large group, possible more so due to her ability to self heal. Worse there is a certain point where KOS-MOS fights alone against a certain enemy while her 7 other teammates cower behind (with good plot based reason) and acting helpless. The game does make her amazingly strong but gives all her abilities massive MP costs.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** In the intro video in some versions of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'', Firion manages to take down an Empire soldier with a thrown knife and Leon is capable of holding his own in direct combat against a soldier. The moment you gain control of the characters, they're pitted against a group of [[EliteMook Black Knights]] who [[HopelessBossFight splatter them each in a single attack while being unable to even touch the Knights]]. Even the weakest Imperial Soldier would one-shot any of them at their starting stats.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', after going through the Eblan cave and finding yourself right outside of the Tower of Babil, the heroes wonder how they're going to get in. Of course, Edge the ninja teleports all of them in. Gee, why do we even bother travelling anywhere or climbing up towers the hard way if you can teleport through walls?
** This may explain why everyone in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' movie ''Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren'' seems a whole lot more powerful than they did in the game -- most notably in the Bahamut SIN battle sequence, in which the party help Cloud reach a rapidly ascending monster by [[FastballSpecial throwing him in the air one after another.]]
*** The post-Advent Children FFVII-games use this style in their cutscenes. Vincent can indulge in {{Roofhopping}}, backflipping, and even jumping 30 feet in the air with ease in ''VideoGame/DirgeOfCerberus''. In gameplay, you're lucky to be able double jump - if you own the US-version. Also, in cutscenes Vincent can take down a helicopter with just a shotgun, but in gameplay it can be a struggle just to take down a group of poorly-trained soldiers. (Though poor controls may have something to do with that.)
*** The intro to ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'' has Zack jump down from a flying helicopter about a hundred feet in the air. In the actual game you can - roll on the floor. Then there's that Sephiroth memory cutscene from the DMW where Zack takes out a monster in a SingleStrokeBattle.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', in one cutscene, Edea brings gargoyles to life and sends them on a rampage targeting civilians. Needless to say, that "spell" is not drawable nor is it a limit break. But on the other hand, Edea ''is'' [[AWizardDidIt a sorceress]]. Also, after you defeat her in your first direct confrontation, you get a cutscene in which she uses her Limit Break to end the battle single-handedly by impaling Squall through the chest with [[AnIcePerson magic icicles]]. When [[spoiler:she joins the party as a temporary playable character, said Limit Break isn't nearly as effective against enemies]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' has a distinct difference between the power of summons during cutscenes (Bahamut, Atomos and Odin are all shown as capable of laying waste to entire cities) and in-battle - where none of the above summons can do more than straight 9s in damage - the same damage {{cap}} as your characters. Alexander was an exception to all of this, but then again Alexander always was a badass summon power - and Garnet never gets to acquire him as a regular summon, either. However, it's implied that the Eidolons that Garnet eventually uses are toned-down in terms of power just so she can properly use them: before her Eidolons are forcibly extracted by Zorn and Thorn, all her summoning powers are far too expensive in MP to use; however, when she finally gets them back in the third disc, the MP costs are far more reasonable.
*** When Garnet arrives to [[spoiler:save Zidane during the "You're Not Alone!" sequence]], her entrance is announced by her casting Curaga, regardless of whether or not she has learned it yet.
** In the opening FMV of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', there are a ''lot'' of moves shown in Blitzball that you will never be able to use in gameplay. Among these moves is a bodyslam that takes the player of the receiving end and literally throws them out of the arena.
*** Said moves are performed by [[TheHero Tidus]], who has a really weak attack stat in the actual Minigame (He's all Shooting and Endurance). He can't even steal the ball, let alone do enough damage to knock someone out of the field. He ''can'' gain the [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique Jecht Shot]] through another minigame, but due to his level during the first game, he can only use it ''once''.
*** The cutscene where the Aurochs take on the Al Bhed Psyches is hilariously absurd given that the Aurochs are an entire team of that nerdy kid in school who always got picked last for every sport[[note]]we apologise for any traumatic primary school memories this may bring up[[/note]] - the Aurochs baseline is level 1, while the Psyches ''start'' at level 3, meaning that you will not be able to replicate this experience in the blitzball minigame without LevelGrinding first. Either Wakka is a blitzball ''god'', or someone was betting heavily on the Aurochs and drugged the Psyches before the match.
*** In the FMV where Seymour summons Anima, Anima is able to rapid-fire its special move "[[MeaningfulName Pain]]". When you get through the game enough to actually summon Anima yourself, every time you use Pain, it kicks your next turn back a few pegs. There is actually justification for this, though - the cutscene in which Anima rapid-fires Pain implies it causes a lot of, well, pain to Anima (noted from her eye bleeding like crazy towards the end of the scene). The "cooldown" imposed in the gameplay might be applied by ''Yuna'', in order to keep Anima from getting hurt, because Yuna cares about her Aeons and doesn't want to torture them.
*** A mild example happens during a scripted fight with a Zu on Bikanel Island. When Lulu comes to save Tidus, she announces her arrival by casting Thundara on the enemy - even if she hasn't actually learned that spell yet.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'', all the Espers' ultimate attacks, doesn't matter that Zodiark can destroy the fabric of reality itself with majestic wings of energy, it still won't kill most end-game bosses.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' zig zags with the trope. Characters who use the same classes as the player will usually use the same skills as the player. At other times, characters may use a skill or an enhanced version of their normal skills that the player can never use. For example, when fighting the [[spoiler: Warriors of Darkness]], the enemy Warrior will use Holmgang to completely immobilize the player and their party to end the fight. Normally, a player Warrior can only use Holmgang to bind one target. An early level Samurai quest has an enemy Samurai that uses skills from that job, but he also uses Paladin skills. Players can't mix and match skills from multiple jobs, though the enemy in question is called out for being a cheater and having no dignity.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesTheCrystalBearers'', Layle can lift tons of objects and fling them at his enemy in the blink of an eye. During cutscenes. During actual gameplay, you must target the object, wait for the lock-on gauge to fill, lift it, and throw it. ''One object at a time.'' Then, there are things like [[SomeKindOfForceField barriers]], and [[GravityMaster crushing an enemy into the ground]]. None of these feats can even be partially re-created by the player. It seems that the coolest things Layle can do occur when he leaves the player's control.
* The opening animations for ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline2'' show ARKS members pulling off all manner of acrobatic feats, sometimes bordering on LeParkour. In gameplay, the players' acrobatic abilities are somewhat more limited: while some special attacks (particularly Gunner abilities) are quite athletic, the extent of your free-running abilities are running, jumping, and nothing else.
* ''VideoGame/XMenLegends'':
** Magneto is a massively powerful mutant, able to challenge your entire 4-person squad of ComicBook/XMen, and throws Sentinels about like toys. In the sequel, he is no more powerful than any other character, certainly no more able to fight Sentinels than any other character, and begins, like all of them, at novice-level experience. Prior to the events of ''X-Men Legends II'', he wiped out whole fleets of fighters with his magnetic powers, and in the opening cutscene, tosses soldiers and metal doors aside with little effort. His subsequent encounter with yet more soldiers becomes jarring, as they now provide him far more serious opposition.
** There's also Magma. In the opening cutscene of the game, she's powerful enough to nearly level an entire city block with a single attack. In a later cutscene, a single attack of hers pratically disintegrates around 30 Danger Room robots. When she's eventually unlocked as a playable character, she's considerably less powerful.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelUltimateAlliance'', the spiritual successor to the X-Men Legends series, also has quite a few examples of this. Perhaps the most egregious example is Thor. In the game's opening cutscene, he is shown to effortlessly plow directly through the middle of an attacking enemy ship, causing to explode without injuring him at all. He then shrugs off an shot from a second enemy ship and promptly destroys it with a giant lightning bolt from his hammer. He does all of this while hovering in the air a few hundred feet above the ground. When the player gets to actually control him, he can only fly about five feet above the ground and can only maintain that altitude for a few seconds. His lightning attacks are also considerably weaker and have a much shorter range than the one he used in the cutscene and he cannot simply plow through enemies and shrug off their attacks in the fashion that he did in the cutscene.
* Partially subverted in the first ''VideoGame/{{Grandia}}'', where Feena [[spoiler:uses her Icarian power to destroy a room full of large hostile stone statues. The ability is then unlocked, but requires some extensive training to actually use it in battle. Then, of course, there's her ''ultimate'' [[AwesomeButImpractical ultimate ability]], where, by the time she achieves the necessary levels, each and every one of the characters has the strength to practically take over the world singlehandedly.]]
* In the opening of ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts'', Yuri reattaches his severed arm, exhibiting a remarkable regenerative ability that is never alluded to again.
* ''VideoGame/{{Summoner}}'' uses Western-style summoning. One apparent exception is dragon summons (summoning a hundred foot long dragon), which function as SummonMagic, Eastern style. The problem comes when your party needs to get back to their [[DoomedHometown home continent]] for the endgame. The party asks for a flotilla back, their friend then says that's not necessary, because they can simply SUMMON A DRAGON AND FLY ALL THE WAY TO ANOTHER CONTINENT. Needless to say, you still have to walk everywhere after you get there, and you still can't get the dragons to stick around and act like the other summons in battle.
* In ''VideoGame/LunarTheSilverStar'', the BigBad's minions are shown to be capable of mind-controlling and turning to stone two of the Four Heroes, who saved the world prior to the events of the game. On the occasions that the other heroes join you, they're both at max level, but when you fight said minions near the end of the game, they're beatable at much lower levels.
* ''VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals'' has [[TheBigGuy Dekar]], a ludicrously over-the-top warrior who boasted of his incredible combat skills. When you first meet him (and in other subsequent cutscenes) he shows off his incredible skill by using powerful and implausible abilities such as the aptly-named [[CallingYourAttacks "Blastmaster"]] that wipe out hordes of enemies at once. While he is actually in your party, he has no such abilities (though he still may be the strongest character regardless).
** This is averted in [[VideoGame/LufiaCurseOfTheSinistrals the remake]]—the attacks Dekar uses in cutscene are his special attacks in gameplay. [[spoiler:His "Blast Wave" is apparently powerful enough to ''destroy an entire dimension'', but you don't see Dekar using it.]]
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' has oodles of these. The most obvious and ridiculous of all are Frog, who was able to summon such power from Masamune and himself he was able to split a mountain apart with a single sword slash (and whose in-game attack stats were usually beneath Crono's), and Lavos itself, who [[spoiler:disintegrated the main character (or a clone thereof) with a beam from its eye]]... and then never used that attack in battle, despite the deadly threat posed by the good guys.
** Frog is merely opening an already existing passage, though. And by the time you face Lavos again, you've leveled up several times.
** Interestingly enough, there ''is'' a battle where the Masamune's power carries over from the cutscenes. During the Ocean Palace Disaster, [[spoiler:the Red Knife made to destroy the Mammon Machine becomes the Masamune after being stabbed into it, and channels its energy.]] Later on, you can end up fighting [[spoiler:the Mammon Machine]], and the Masamune still has the power to [[spoiler:absorb its energy]], making the boss fight a lot easier if you use Frog.
* ''VideoGame/WildArms2'' featured Kanon, who you battled [[RecurringBoss a number of times]] where she [[ThatOneBoss lays waste to your party]] numerous times. Upon being recruited to battle the evil forces of doom and destruction, she continues to use the same attacks, yet they go from several thousand damage to about two hundred. She does learn some absurdly powerful attacks later on however (good thing [[EvilIsDumb she didn't know them when she was an enemy]]).
* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' is ''horrible'' about this, and combines it with GoodIsDumb. Practically all of your followers are introduced as supremely skilled and competent fighters, both in the cutscenes and when you happen to fight them, but as soon as they join you, you'd be lucky if they would take a {{Mook}} down on their own.
** Also, that time a single shot from Mirabelle in an in-engine cutscene makes a guy ''explode''.
** In a rare enemy case, [[spoiler:Master Li's first action cutscene involves him blowing up a ship by [[FingerPokeOfDoom poking]] it.]] That he loses this skill when the player actually fights him is probably for the best.
* ''VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime'' is a wonderful example of this, the main point being where, in a cutscene, [[spoiler:Fayt gets pissed off, vaporizing an alien spaceship with a single attack.]] Eventually, you can use this attack during battles, but with nowhere near the destructive power originally shown. Additionally, this attack is only available after you beat the game and delve through one of the unlockable dungeons.
** In ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheLastHope'', Bacchus is introduced [[DungeonBypass blasting his way through the walls]] of the Cardianon Mothership, saving the party from a cell normally accessible only by teleportation. Needless to say, that ability doesn't stick around when he joins the party.
* ''VideoGame/{{Freelancer}}'' is particularly patchy with this one. There are several plot relevant cutscenes where capital ships are taken down by a single torpedo salvo from a squad of fighters, making you wonder if the various navies have decided to armour their capital ships with tissue paper. In game the battleships function effectively as space stations and needless to say you can't shoot them down. This is unless you need to take down said capital ship for plot reasons, in which case you'll generally have a fair few wingmen with you, because it takes a lot more firepower than in those cutscenes.
** The first time it happens, it's a high-ranking [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Rheinland]] military officer and ambassador is on an important mission. The cruiser he's on doesn't appear to have any escorts.
** While not cutscene-related, the same mission features you taking on Order's "Anubis" fighters in your piece-of-junk armed with peashooters... and handily winning. Near the end of the game, you get to buy yourself one of those "Anubis" fighters... and it's one of the best fighters in the game. There's no way your peashooters shouldn't even dented it if they weren't deliberately nerfed.
* In a short cutscene in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' that takes place in the King's castle in Meltokio, Lloyd takes out a huge, heavily armed Imperial Guard soldier who happens to be looking the other way by saying "Sorry about this!" and ''punching him in the back''. When you encounter such guards in-game, they are worthy foes that require quite a bit of damage before going down. Said guards are also an example of CutsceneIncompetence.
** One boss' signature attack is to fire energy bolts at you and naturally he does this as his base attack during his fight. Soon after losing the battle, he appears in the following cutscene sneaking up on the heroes and points his blaster at one of the characters. Another character sees this and immediately dives in the way to save them. It is implied that his one shot was potentially fatal while you could easily take about a dozen of them in battle without healing. I guess while crawling up from his defeat he "[[WesternAnimation/ToyStory Set his laser from stun... to kill.]]"
** Two of the party members have wings and can fly... in cutscenes. During gameplay they are just as restricted by the {{Insurmountable Waist Height Fence}}s as everyone else.
** Genis' weakest spell, Fire Ball, is always highly effective in cutscenes, even on the FinalBoss. Lloyd's [[RazorWind Demon Fang]] is also much better in cutscenes than in-game.
** Sheena can casually [[SummonMagic summon 4 summon spirits]] at once in cutscenes. In gameplay you get you summon one and even that's only as a LimitBreak and with high {{Mana}} cost.
** Regal displays this...semi-frequently. In both ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' and [[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld the sequel]] Regal fires very large [[KamehameHadoken energy beams]] that could rival [[Franchise/StreetFighter Ryu]] or [[Manga/DragonBall Goku's]], but only when the party is in tight situations in the story.
** Also from the sequel, the first time the protagonists encounter Lloyd, [[CombatMedic Marta]] is pretty evenly matched with him in the cutscene, trading blow for blow. After that cutscene ends, you fight Lloyd for real...and he outclasses your characters at that point so badly it's pretty much a SingleStrokeBattle. There ''is'' a way to beat him, but it requires NewGamePlus benefits and emphatically does ''not'' involve using Marta.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', the main character, Luke, kills a fully-armored, heavily-trained soldier with a wooden training sword. ''By accident.''
** Tear, at various points, puts an entire house to sleep, slits a man's throat with a throwing knife, and takes a hit for someone with much higher defense. In battle, the sleep spell only affects one target, her knife based attacks are pitifuly weak, and her defense is among the lowest in the party. She's still very good, just not at what the cutscenes would suggest.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'', during one cutscene, Yuri and Flynn take out ten mooks in seconds. Yuri can knock out mooks by ''throwing pebbles'' at them in cutscenes. Mooks wearing ''helmets''.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'' has an odd example of this where [[spoiler: alternate Julius]] gives Ludger and Jude a beatdown that leaves them both on the floor in the pre-battle cutscene. It gives off the vibe you'd get from a HopelessBossFight, but it's required that you win [[TheBattleDidntCount (And you don't end up losing afterward, either).]]
* Justified in ''VideoGame/TalesOfBerseria''. Despite being a noncombatant and claiming she can't fight, Magilou nonetheless manages to blow away a room full of Exorcists with a single spell in a cutscene. However, when she joins the party properly, she really is capable of taking mid-game enemies like that out in a spell or two. The reason she doesn't fight earlier was because she was missing her Malak, so her spells would do nothing to the daemons the party spend nearly all their time fighting. [[YouDidntAsk Not bothering to clarify this earlier]] is exactly the sort of half-truth she's notorious for.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'', TheDragon has a revolver as his main weapon. Naturally, in battle it deals a moderate amount of damage, not too much to worry about alone. However, in cutscenes he [[PlotlineDeath kills three people]] (with only a single shot each) from the same gun. [[PlayerPunch Two of them are party members]], but one gets revived by a HeroicSacrifice.
** What makes it worse is that no one even thinks of using a healing ability on the shot characters, and they still die in one hit even when wearing kevlar armor.
** When The Magician attacks the dorm, Yukari uses Garu, a basic wind spell, to try and slow it down. Once you get control of her, however, she doesn't know that spell until a bit later on.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'': When most characters awaken to their Persona in a cutscene, they tend to incapacitate or kill every nearby Shadow instantly, which they then can't reproduce in following battles. For instance, party member Ann uses an enemy's {{BFS}} when she first awakens, but can only equip whips for the rest of the game. Similarly, GuardianEntity Goemon uses an area of effect freezing attack when Yusuke first awakens, only for Yusuke to lack Mabufu or any other multi-target ice magic in the mini-boss battle that happens seconds later.
* ''VideoGame/LostOdyssey'' plays the trope straight with regards to the {{Immortality}} of several of the playable characters; in the opening cutscene, Kaim survives a catastrophe which wipes out every other living thing in the area and is not so much as mildly singed, and several of the flashbacks provided by the "Thousand Years of Dreams" similarly imply that the immortals are completely indestructible. In gameplay, however, they take damage like anyone else and can be [=KOed=], and although they get back up again after a few turns, if the whole party goes down it's still GameOver.
** When an immortal is 'killed' they are incapacitated for a short period of time. One could infer that during this time a smart enemy may chain them up so they can't fight back. The immortals are also regularly fighting with more mortal allies who would die if the immortals fall, it could be implied that the lost of their more mortal allies left them too vulnerable to take on the Big Bad later. While mortals are far less powerful then immortals, they are a key source of special abilities that the immortals can master. Of course this only partially justifies this trope, the immortals still seem too busy avoiding damage rather then just soaking it up and trusting they will be revived later.
** In the opening cut scene a level one Kaim is shown taking on dozens of mooks at once without a thought, at level one. Of course this may be cutscene power to the normal, as when you later fight the mooks they are only slightly more powerful then they are shown in this particular cut scene. The really sad thing is that the enemy mooks are shown as more capable then your ally mooks. Kaim at level 1 is far weaker (even in a purely physical battle) then the white mage preteen girl with no combat experience gotten at the beginning of disk 2. The enemy mooks are less then 1/10 the strength of Kaim even ignoring his immortality, and the allied mooks are weaker then then enemy mooks!? So in short the entire army could be beaten up by a little girl.
** In one cutscene, Sarah uses a spell that ''cuts a metal train carriage clean in half''. You'd think something like that would be useful to [[DungeonBypass get past various obstacles]] later in the game. It's never seen again.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games, if you believe the Pokédex descriptions, several legendaries fall victim to this. Uxie, for example, ''wipes out the memories of anyone who sees its eyes''. Dialga and Palkia control time and space, respectively. Arceus ''created the world'', thus making it effectively [[OlympusMons God]]. You'd think that these features might translate to special abilities in-game, but not really. These legendary Pokémon have generally high stats, but none of the instant-win powers that you might suspect they have. Even some average, non-legendary Pokémon have out-there entries, such as the burns of a Houndoom supposedly ''never'' healing.
** In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Platinum Version]]'', there is some text saying that the power of a Pokémon is inhibited when it is captured with a Poké Ball, which is why Cyrus wants to capture Dialga and Palkia with Red Chains instead.
*** This explains why ''captured'' Pokémon can't do those things, but it doesn't explain why wild ones aren't using their abilities to their fullest nor why wild Pokémon are much, much weaker compared to trained ones. Trained or not, being restrained should give wild Pokémon a huge advantage. Perhaps that thing about wild ones attempting to prove their worth/test your worth could be used as justification...
** Dialga and Palkia at the very least have some nod to their powers: Roar of Time and Spacial Rend respectively, very powerful unique attacks that manipulate time and space, which is in correspondence to the Pokémon's Pokédex entries. Arceus also has Judgment - an attack befitting an {{Olympus Mon|s}}.
** Many descriptions in the Pokédex describe Pokémon eating other Pokémon, while in the actual games, all they can eat is either bait, Berries, Pokéblocks, or Poffin.
** In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions]]'', when the player defeats Lance, DJ Mary runs into the room. The leading Pokémon dashes behind the player, even if it's supposed to be very slow, like Shuckle or Snorlax.
** Even common Pokémon can be subject to this. Magcargo is a decent Fire/Rock type. According to the Pokédex, its body temperature is 18,000 degress Fahrenheit. The surface of the Sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Just one of these things should kill everything that comes anywhere near it.
*** Another rather common Pokémon to fall under this has to be Gardevoir, while it is true that Gardevoir has a really high Special Attack stat according to the PokéDex it can '''Create black holes for gods sake''' and in this case the justification of 'its powers being inhibited by capture' stated above also does not hold true because its entry in multiple games clearly states that its power peaks when its protecting its trainer.
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonGatesToInfinity'', [[spoiler: Kyurem]] effortlessly disposes of [[spoiler: Hydreigon]] and gives the hero a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown in his first appearance following the WhamEpisode, only to later to be taken down by the hero and their partner rather easily in a boss battle.
* ''VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed'' features ActionCommands somewhat similar to those of ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' that allow Galen to finish off bosses with highly dramatic moves that would be quite impossible normally ([=AT-ST=] crushed into a cube, anyone?).
** He's able to use the Force to move something the size of a Star Destroyer in a cut scene, a degree of power never evidenced even in other cut scenes, let alone in play. Also, he can toss Darth Vader around like a ragdoll using The Force during cutscenes of the end fight. Try doing that in-game. Nope. Nothing. Vader can resist your Force powers, but you can't resist his too much.
* Haseo of ''[[VideoGame/DotHackGUGames .hack//G.U.]]'' gets this to the extreme. In a cutscene he jumps about 50ft in the air and attacks with a sword (it's even worse when you consider that you can't jump during gameplay).
* Throughout the plot of ''[[VideoGame/DigimonWorldDawnDusk Digimon World Dusk]]'', the BigBad Grimmon is shown using an attack that's capable of instantly incapacitating and brainwashing whatever gets hit by it. He later gets a powered-up version he uses to make an entire union of Digimon Tamers hellbent on destroying everyone in ''your'' union. During the final boss fight against him, he uses it on a regular basis... and all it does is inflict the sleep status effect on your party.
* ''Videogame/TheWitcher'' - Geralt handles a monster spectacularly well in the introduction video. You fight the same monster later in the game and Geralt has none of the coool moves he had in that cutscene. Justified as the battle took place before Geralt suffered from LaserGuidedAmnesia.
** In later in-game cutscenes, Geralt can climb and jump huge gaps (typically [[CollapsingLair while his previous footing collapses behind him]]). Out of cutscenes, he can't jump ''at all'' and is frequently blocked by {{Insurmountable Waist Height Fence}}s.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'': Several times in the game Sora and company will one hit enemies that will normally take several strikes or combos to defeat. "I don't have time for you!". Sora can also slice entire buildings in half in cutscenes via ActionCommands.
** And in ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2 358/2 Days]]'', Xion arguably uses this as a plot point. While typically when she helps in story mode she sucks compared to the player (even in the missions where your level is cut in half or you're fighting with a stick), in cutscenes she frequently slices boss heartless in half after suddenly gaining the strength to do so seemingly out of nowhere. [[spoiler:She's actually unknowingly tapping into Roxas's, or perhaps Sora's, power for herself.]]
* ''VideoGame/ManaKhemiaAlchemistsOfAlRevis'''s Anna is proven to be very capable with her katana. Like wiping out her workshop deadly, who might as well be some of the strongest and most competent in the school. Naturally, some of the other characters can dealt more damage in battle.
* In ''Franchise/MassEffect'' some cutscenes/conversations have the player pointing guns ([[NoCutsceneInventoryInertia usually the pistol]]) at people. In game it takes many shots to kill them, but here it takes only one.
** For example, [[spoiler: when Shepard and Wrex are facing off, one shotgun blast can take Wrex out.]] This is a guy who can take rockets to the face in game.
*** This is also strangely inconsistent, since there are a couple of cutscenes where a character takes a hit from a weapon and actually is protected by his/her shields, suffering no ill effects at all.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', your party members are often found slicing through hordes of mooks like a hot knife through butter when you first meet them. When you get control over them, they are substantially less powerful.
** Especially bad with Jack, who biotically punches three massive YMIR mechs--each a substantial boss fight on their own--into shreds. Actual abilities? Two long-range biotic attacks, an AbnormalAmmo ability, and SquishyWizard levels of health. On top of that, her abilities have ''no effect'' on mechs in the actual game!
** Miranda gets one during her loyalty mission, where she manhandles an asari mercenary with what appears to be a combination of Lift, Stasis, and Throw, all over the course of 3 seconds. She can't use ''any'' of those powers in-game, and her loyalty power, Slam, which you unlock after the mission, is considerably less impressive.
** And holy hell does Kasumi deliver this trope during her loyalty mission; she practically defies gravity with her repeated ninja-jumps to reach a flying gunship! If only she could do that with every other gunship in the game...
** Samara's introductory cutscene has her ''flying'' using her biotics. It's kind of disappointing that you only see it once and it's never mentioned again.
** During a cutscene in ''Lair of the Shadow Broker'', Liara shields herself, Shepard, and Shepard's two companions behind a biotic barrier. Now, this would have come useful during the subsequent attack on the Shadow Broker's ship. [[note]]The funny thing is that she actually ''has'' Barrier in the first game, but not the second or third, and even then the name is a misnomer; it only strengthens shields.[[/note]]
*** Similarly, all biotics suddenly get the ability to make a kind of biotic barrier for the Suicide mission, even if they never displayed anything like it before. In fact, [[spoiler: the only character who ''does'' have Barrier as one of his abilities is a poor choice for this part of the mission and will get someone killed if he's used.]]
** During [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHCA8tK117c the Cinematic Trailer for the game]], Thane somehow gains the ability to Lift enemies. He does not have this ability in-game. Said trailer also Jack managing to take down an entire room full of guards with one biotic attack. Grunt is seen single-handedly ''exploding'' a Thresher Maw as it tries to eat him, using some kind of overcharged shotgun attack. Later on, he somehow turns the exact same shotgun, ''which only has one round per clip'', into a multi-shot weapon. Foes which inexplicably do not have shields, and are clearly significantly nerfed for the cinematic, going down in single hits. From a ''pistol''.
** This affects even some of the equipment - namely [[HoverTank M-44 Hammerhead]] which can barely lift itself about 10-15 metres above ground during the game before its engine overheats, but when it is picked up by Normandy it can be seen several hundred meters above the ground.
* The uncontested worst case is Kai Leng in VideoGame/MassEffect3. You could be beating him like a drum on [[spoiler:Thessia, but then BOOM Cutscene and he suddenly goes from being soundly thrashed to looking like he had the upper hand the entire time. What's worse is that he needs a gunship to back him up for most of the preceding fight.]]
*** When you first meet him, he also seems to have the miraculous power of turning Shepard's accuracy to shit. S/he gets at least a dozen or so shots at him. All miss.
** In the cutscenes found in the ''Omega'' DLC, Aria T'Loak is seen doing godlike things with her biotics. During those points of the game where you control her as a squadmate, her abilities are, while effective, somewhat less than the "godlike" levels. This prompted at least one {{Lets Play}}er to complain about how Aria is a "biotic showoff".
** At the end of the Aralakh Company mission, Grunt kills around a dozen Ravagers in quick succession, which is fairly impressive given that they can both take and dish out a ton of punishment. Most impressively, he can one-hit them with a shotgun, a weapon that isn't well designed to punch through Ravagers' heavy armour.
*** Somewhat justified by the setting of the fight - Ravagers cannot attack if their enemies are too close to them, and Grunt jumps right in the middle of a group.
** Miranda gets in on the act again by hurling her jackass father through a window with her biotics, despite ''still'' not having Throw on her power list - even in the Armax Arsenal Arena, she's picked up Reave instead.
* Zigzagged by Joshua in ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' who in a cutscene takes out a Taboo Rhino Noise, which are notoriously durable, in one hit with a beam attack never seen before. After this cutscene, that exact beam attack is added to his moveset for the player's use. It's a major upgrade from his other attacks, but still not powerful enough to one-shot that particular enemy -- but it's implied that he's now deliberately holding back, as a Reaper who saw the feat told him that [[spoiler:only a still-living person has that level of power, and while a rule violation that flagrant is normally punished by instant erasure, that Noise had been a nuisance to the Reapers, so Joshua gets off scot free just this once, as long as he doesn't let any other Reapers catch on.]]
* A case of Back Story Power to the Max. In ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksandMagickObscura'', a game set in a fantasy world that is experiencing an industrial revolution, many [=NPCs=] claim that the last major war was won by the side with the guns. And we are all know the benefits of guns over swords and the like. However, in gameplay, a basic rifle is clearly inferior to a melee weapon like a sword for a number of reasons. Guns don't benefit from the wielders strength. Only a handful of enemies (including rats and the like) die to single shot or strike. On average, you get more attacks per turn with melee weapons. Guns are more scarce. And more expensive. And unlike sword blows, require bullets. Most importantly, you don't even have the benefit of distance since in the best scenario (good gun and careful positioning) you will get the maximum of two rounds of shooting against a single foe (w/RPG hp) before he manages to close in. Also, magick spells have many ways to enchance a melee warrior.
** An argument could be made that guns were a game breaker not because they made one character super-powerful, but because any novice could use them. While it takes training to teach someone to use a sword properly you can hand anyone a gun and say "point and shoot". Sure more training makes a gunner better, but ultimately an inexperienced mook with a gun is more deadly then an untrained mook with a sword. Thus guns would allow a large mook army with little training to overwhelm a smaller, better trained, army using the more powerful magic and melee abilities. Of course for this argument you would have to assume that guns were mass-produced and not as rare as they are in the game.
** Arronax suffers from this trope as well; his backstory plays him up as a terrifying force of destruction who [[spoiler:single-handedly committed genocide against an entire city and killed most of the Elven Council with a single spell]], and one flashback cutscene shows him using Disintegrate, a fifth-level Force spell. In-game, he hasn't spent a skillpoint learning Disintegrate, and there are many characters who are/can become stronger than him. [[spoiler:If he survives the end of the game, the ending narration describes him using his magic to restore the city he once destroyed to its former glory, a feat which he'd have no way of replicating in the game itself.]]
* Lezard Valeth from ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile2Silmeria'' manages to teleport the party to safety in his introduction scene, and [[spoiler:probably knows the location of the artifact the party is searching for because he's from an [[TimeTravel alternate future]] (and thus could circumvent a whole chapter of the story with his magic)]], but in normal gameplay as a party member he learns his abilities in an order that usually makes him obsolete by the time he [[spoiler:leaves the party permanently.]]
* Bishop Ladja's Kafrizzle spell in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'' always totally destroys the target's body in cutscenes, making any reviving method impossible. Thanksfully, while his spell is still powerful in the battles with him, it can never kill your members off parmently.
** Terry in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVI'' uses Dragon Slash on a Hacksaurus in a cutscene near the middle of the game. He doesn't have this skill when he's recruited much later.
* This is justified in the case of Kanna, from ''VideoGame/ThreeTheHardWay''. The first time she appears in the game, she managed to wipe out entire armies, but when she becomes playable, she had very poor stats and is pretty much useless in the game's battles. She explains that her "powers" are derived from Alchemy, and the one she demonstrated in the cutscene was her most powerful spell, which would be very difficult to recreate because of the rare ingredients it requires.
* Niskaru in ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning'' are a type of enemy that becomes ''very'' fast and deadly in a cutscene or scripted event, being able to effortlessly take out allies in a single hit and retreat before even being seen by anyone. When you fight one in a normal battle, though? They're somewhat fast, but they're easy to hit and aren't hard to take down even in groups.
* The intro in ''VideoGame/ThroneOfDarkness'' shows your characters doing all sorts of cool moves they can't do in the game, such as throwing enemies into each other and using severed enemy limbs as weapons.
* Cielo in ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' has the ability to fire lasers that he only seems to be able to use in cutscenes; no such skill exists in game. He even lampshades this near the end of the second game when [[spoiler:he ''doesn't'' use them, and it gets him killed.]]
* In ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'', the Sheriff establishes himself as TheDreaded in an early cutscene by calling up spectral wolves and insect swarms to CurbStompBattle a group of {{Mooks}}. He uses neither of those powers if the player character fights him in the end. [[spoiler:Zig-zagged in that he ''instead'' breaks out TeleportSpam attacks and then goes full OneWingedAngel, which are considerably more powerful abilities.]]
* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles2'' has several examples of this:
** Late in the game, Pyra and Mythra [[spoiler: gain access to a SuperMode]], and are shown using it at will throughout the cutscenes. In gameplay, it can only be used in specific circumstances and only once per battle.
** When [[spoiler: Nia reveals her blade form]], her healing powers are strong enough that she's capable of bringing back the recently dead as well as defeating Malos by causing the cells in his body to multiply uncontrollably. Naturally, in actual gameplay, she can't do either of those things.
** Herald supposedly had so much raw power that she was sealed away after her old driver killed themselves because no one was capable of stopping her rampage. While is ''is'' powerful, she's not even close to being the strongest blade on the team.
** Zenobia is supposedly so strong that it's impossible for her to have a satisfying battle due to no enemy being able to put up an adequate fight. While she ''is'' very strong compared to the other blades, she's nowhere near that strong gameplay-wise. Her sidequest [[LampshadeHanging lampshades it]]: after undergoing a rather arduous battle with a powerful monster, she promptly punts it [[ATwinkleInTheSky over the horizon]] without breaking a sweat as soon as the following cutscene starts, shocking the rest of the party in the process.

[[folder:Shoot Em Up]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' doesn't really have cutscenes beyond simple dialogue, but almost all characters canonically have terrifying powers such as [[PersonOfMassDestruction "destruction of anything and everything"]], or simply [[OneHitKill instant death]], that they will obviously [[NonLethalKO never use ingame.]] The in-universe explanation is that everyone has agreed to a system of non-lethal duels, but the games include a number of characters that ''couldn't'' have learned the rules.

[[folder:Simulation Game]]
* From the ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' series:
** In the intro scene for ''Privateer'', the player's ship is shown taking down a pirate fighter with three shots from one mount of the weakest gun of the game. Not even after you acquire the "[[CoolShip wondership]]" and load four of the most powerful guns in the game onto it can you match that feat.
** Also from that intro, the player character's ship is shown maneuvering around asteroids as a hostile missile [[WronskiFeint avoidance]] / [[MisguidedMissile redirection]] technique, in a ship that not only is half as fast as the missile, but marginally less maneuverable to boot.
** Seether's [[ExplosionPropulsion mine trick]] in ''Wing Commander IV'' isn't available within the game engine, though Blair does get to use it in the {{novelization}}.
** Mostly averted in ''VideoGame/WingCommander Secret Ops'', whose cutscenes are all rendered by the game engine in realtime (with one or two scenes requiring special coding, due to game engine limitations).

[[folder:Sports Game]]
* Some characters in ''VideoGame/PunchOut'' are shown doing amazing feats in their intros before the fight, like Piston Hondo outrunning a bullet train or Mr. Sandman who ''punches down a building''. In battle they are tough to beat, but still are on a rather human level. Either that or Little Mac is absurdly strong. Title Defense Bald Bull is shown to take a charging bull to the chest and not fall down, if only barely; he reacts to same way to Little Mac's punches.

[[folder:Stealth Based Game]]
* In ''Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven'' in the second mission, Ayame effortlessly defeats two guards in tight quarters using just her blades, mostly while looking the other way. Since the game is primarily a stealth game, it is very difficult to fight multiple enemies without using special equipment like smoke bombs, grenades, or super shuriken.
* Solid Snake of the ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' series is an even worse offender. Thanks to the game's control system, which is designed for stealthy motion rather than battle, Snake is awkward in a fight. However, he does things he could ''never'' do ingame in the game's cutscenes. This is especially true in ''[[VideoGameRemake The Twin Snakes]]'', where, during one sequence, he actually leaps atop an incoming missile, fires off a Stinger launcher, and jumps clear before it explodes!
** That is put to shame by the cyborg ninja [[spoiler:Gray Fox]]. When you fight him as a boss, you beat him in a fist fight, yet later he displays enough strength to [[spoiler:hold up Rex's foot and survives, albeit barely, getting slammed by Rex against the wall]]. Also possible with [[BigBad Liquid Snake]], whom off-screen supposedly shoots down a pair of jet fighters using a MI-24 Hind attack helicopter (which is not nearly fast enough to deal with super sonic jets), which he can't beat you with.
** ''Twin Snakes'' becomes completely ridiculous with the Rex battle, which Snake decides to preface by ''leaping about fifty feet to jump kick it''. Which is justified... oh, wait it doesn't do a goddamned thing because ''he just karate kicked a giant warmech''.
** In ''Metal Gear Solid 2'', Snake is a rather accurate shot when he's in gameplay. But when [[spoiler:Emma's been stabbed and needs to be rescued]]? He runs across the walkway, sniping things from a hundred yards with his handgun without flinching.
** However, ''Metal Gear Solid 3'' also somewhat averts this trope, as a flashy close-quarters combat cutscene is fairly closely based on Snake's actual gameplay CQC abilities; although pulling off something on that level would be extremely difficult in gameplay it is, in theory, possible.
*** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'' further averts this trope by introducing a CQC chaining system that makes the tricks Snake used in that MGS 3 cutscene much easier. Even better, you get an achievement for doing it.
** The Boss in ''[=MGS3=]'' is invincible in cutscenes. Every time Snake encounters her, his shoulder gets dislocated and his elbows get snapped. He is no match for her. Until you actually face her in a gameplay encounter. Then she is defeatable and nowhere near as badass as she is in the cutscenes. This is entirely deliberate; each time Snake fights her in a cutscene, he lasts a little longer, and she's ''still'' a tough FinalExamBoss. It also helps that [[spoiler:her mission is complete and, as it turns out, she ''wants'' to die.]] In addition, it helps that the player is usually smart enough not to rush her head-on like Snake keeps doing in the cut-scenes.
** In ''[=MGS3=]'', considering the average amount of damage you can take during actual game play, the amount of punishment Snake survives in the cut scenes is ridiculous: He gets his ass kicked by The Boss and thrown off a bridge that if you jump off during the game at full health, kills you. Later on, he gets his eye shot out from a gun blast, and gets the shit beaten out of him AGAIN by Volgin.
** Also, during the fight with Revolver Ocelot, if you jump into the cave you die in gameplay, but survive the fall in a cutscene.
** EVA is possibly the worst offender; despite being treated for her injuries after a motorcycle crash, she's still little more than dead weight, moving slowly and requiring constant feeding in order to keep up her stamina, refusing to go on if it gets too low. But when they reach the lake in the cutscene? She walks it off.
** Liquid [[spoiler:(Ocelot)]] completely destroys a battle weary Snake in combat in their first first encounter. Their second encounter [[spoiler:takes place after the war was over. Snake had gone through the microwave, was shocked repeatedly by Mini-Gekko, and on top of all that, his seizures were at their worst at this point. After passing out, he finds himself on top of a ship, with Liquid. Liquid pumps him full of the stuff he uses to up his Psyche, before fighting. Considering how bad a shape Snake was in beforehand, Snake was fighting through sheer power of will. A rather lengthy fight scene starts, with the two toe-to-toe with each other, even though Liquid is in great shape compared to Snake at the time. After sticking each other with syringes once again, the gameplay finally begins. Surprisingly, Liquid could actually end up being an Anti-Climax fight, as long as you keep the pressure on.]]
** Near the end of ''Metal Gear Solid 2'' Solidus Snake takes down several Metal Gear Rays using only his P-90 submachine gun. During gameplay for Raiden to do the same thing to just one Ray requires several Stinger missiles aimed at a specific weak spot.
* BigBad Rodrigo Borgia of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' has this in spades. Close to the end of the game Ezio, together with pretty much the entire cast of competent Assassins, fights and easily corners him in Venice. But as soon as the ensuing cutscene starts, this mildly obese, middle-aged man somehow [[VillainExitStageLeft just shoves them all aside and runs away,]] with no chase given.
** When you finally duel him in Rome, he wields the dreadfully powerful [[AncientArtifact Staff of Eden]]... whose power he can only use in cutscenes. Gameplay-wise he's just an ordinary mook with a ton of health.
* In one ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'' video Altaïr uses a crossbow to take out a guard. You don't have access to one. Averted in the AttractMode video for ''2'', where the things done by Ezio - using Courtesans to distract a target, {{Counter Attack}}s, disarm-kill on a spear-wielding guard and the hidden gun - are replicable in gameplay.
** Altaïr was ''supposed'' to have a crossbow, but it was removed for the final version and replaced with throwing knives. They didn't bother altering the cutscene, especially since it was already shown in a trailer.

[[folder:Survival Horror]]
* In ''VideoGame/FatalFrameIICrimsonButterfly''[='s=] trailer, one can see Mio running as fast as she can to rescue Mayu, and damned if it wouldn't be nice if she could run that fast in-game!
* Hewey in ''VideoGame/HauntingGround'' can perform amazing feats of acrobatics during cutscenes. During gameplay, he's stuck with barking and biting.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'', there is cutscene where Barry Burton kicks open a locked door to save Jill Valentine from a DescendingCeiling trap. This is the only time in the entire game that any character is able to open a locked door without a key or unlocking it from the inside.
* The intro of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica'' has Claire outrunning a helicopter, dodging bullets, and reacting faster than gravity. This is a significant contrast to her performance in cutscenes throughout the rest of the game, in which she displays numerous cases of CutsceneIncompetence.
** Then there's of course Steve, who goes into BulletTime a couple of times during the game, usually when saving Claire's ass.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil0'' cutscenes Billy is able to jump around and shoot things in slow motion, ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'' style. In gameplay he can only turn and shoot with ''Resident Evil'''s trademark awkward controls.
* Leon S. Kennedy in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' is equipped with all sorts of gadgets like grappling hooks and tracking devices that only show up during cutscenes.
** Although sometmes you have to use them yourself with Quick Time Events. Also subverted in one cutscene, Leon runs up to an enemy and does a straight kick on them. Leon can't kick an enemy without first shooting them in the head, or for this specific kick, the knee and having them be stunned by the shot (in this case the knee shot has to make the enemy kneel). Leon doesn't even have a gun out in this cutscene when he does the kick. However, the target of his kick just grabs Leon's foot like nothing and tosses him across the room hard enough to knock him out for a good hour or two. Leon probably should have stunned them with a gunshot first.
* Albert Wesker in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5''. His combat prowess in cutscenes is almost god-like, whereas his behavior in actual gameplay is almost boring by comparison. In cutscenes he jumps off walls and ceilings, totally dominates the protagonists using complex martial arts moves, appears to "teleport" (a la Nightcrawler) out of the way of bullets, and even impales someone right through the chest with his bare hand. But when you face him in boss fights he's significantly less badass. Granted he's no pushover, but he isn't nearly as agile (most of the fights involve him ''slooowwwwllly'' stalking towards the player to attack them), he clearly ''dodges'' bullets rather than teleporting out of the way, and his martial arts are very easily countered by a well-timed button press. And the strategy used to defeat him in the next-to-last boss fight? [[spoiler:You turn out the lights so he can't see you. Yeah.]]
* It continues in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6''. It turns out Sherry Birkin's exposure to the G-virus all the way back in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' has given her amazing regenerative powers! ... Except only ever in one cutscene. In the actual game, she doesn't have any more health than anyone else, and certainly doesn't regenerate it.
* In ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'', there's a scripted sequence where Pyramid Head chases James and Maria down a hall and into an elevator. Although Maria (and of course James) ''can'' die before reaching the elevator, it takes plenty amount of damage to do so. However, as soon as James reaches the elevator, the game switches to a cutscene where [[spoiler:Pyramid Head one-hit kills Maria]]. She gets better, though. Sort of.
* In ''VideoGame/SilentHill3'' this trope is entirely averted. The only instance where it could've been played straight would've been Heather's first monster encounter, and then she fires seven shots into the creature, which is about the same way Closers go down during gameplay.
* In the cutscene where you encounter the final boss of ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'', it kills someone else by grabbing them with its tentacle and crushing them against a wall. Naturally, it never does this to you when you fight it.
* Averted for the most part in ''VideoGame/RuleOfRose''. Jennifer is a much, much weaker character during cutscenes than during gameplay. This of course results in CutsceneIncompetence.

[[folder:Third Person Shooter]]
* ''VideoGame/ArmyOfTwo'''s cutscenes think that you have an assault rifle at all times. It gets really funny when you are rapid-firing [[GoodBadBugs WITH A SHOTGUN]].
* ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar 2'' featured Skorge the new Dragon to replace Raam as the biggest scariest locust, his cutscene introduction shows him cutting a tank in half with a chainsaw staff. However wen it comes time to fight him....you never really fight him. He basically runs away from you and summons minions and easily avoided over telegraphed AOE attacks from outside the combat zone, punctuated with really brief rock simple QTEs. Just about every fight you did in the level proceeding the encounter is a hell of alot harder, and to add further insult the next time you see him is in a rail shooter segment where he ultimately falls off his flying mount and breaks his neck when you shoot it out from under him and that's the end of him roughly eighty percent of the way through the game. I don't think it matters how much they built him up, he just comes across as a total punk.
** In ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar 3'''s "[[DownloadableContent RAAM's Shadow]]", the ending cutscene shows Minh charging through a swarm of Kryll attacking him and only suffering a few little cuts if anything while the rest harmlessly bounce off his armour. During gameplay, Kryll will tear things to LudicrousGibs pretty quickly, including Minh.
* In several cutscenes in the ''VideoGame/SyphonFilter'' series, Logan performs death-defying actions such as {{Super Window Jump}}ing through a glass ceiling and falling a height that would kill him in-game. Conversely, he also occasionally suffers CutsceneIncompetence.
** This is even more jarring on Syphon Filter 2's first cutscene video, where we get a kill montage of Gabe making his way to rescue Lian from the terrorists. For example, he rolls and ''shoots a bad guy in the head mid-roll''. [[FlatWhat What]].
* Depending on the situation, this pops up in ''VideoGame/{{Vanquish}}'s'' cutscenes, with Sam being able to run and jump far faster and farther than he can in-game, and there are certain special attacks against bosses that take it to almost ludicrious levels, i.e. stopping an Argus 'mech's stomping leg, shooting it in the core with his off-hand, then leaping on top of the stunned machine and drilling down into its core with his feet.

[[folder:Turn Based Strategy]]
* In ''VideoGame/BattleMoonWars'' (being based on Super Robot Wars below), whenever a new attack is introduced, it will either kill or heavily wound the enemy it's being used on. Which is usually a boss. Which means it often does tens of thousands of points of damage in one attack. They're less effective in the actual gameplay.
* In ''Franchise/FireEmblem'', cutscene powers are abused so much that the instant gameplay leaves your hands, nearly anything can happen.
** In a cutscene in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Radiant Dawn]]'', Shinon is seen shooting a bow from a tree at ridiulous range and severing a rope, yet he can still only shoot three squares away from himself.
** In the same cutscene, Ike kills four {{mooks}} with a single swing of his sword. In gameplay, it's impossible to attack more than one enemy at a time. He also didn't seem to be hindered at all by having to fight while carrying [[DamselInDistress Lucia]], despite the equivalent command imposing heavy stat penalties.
** In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Blazing Sword]]'', pretty much any villain worth his salt has the ability to magically teleport, although the only things in-game that offer teleportation are staves, which must be used by someone ''other'' than the person who is teleporting. This isn't even limited to magic-users. Even the assassin, Jaffar, is seen teleporting. Jaffar is also seen triggering his one hit KO ability whenever he so chooses, while he can neither teleport nor reliably trigger the kill in the level where he [[spoiler:deserts the Black Fang for the love of Nino]]. Pretty close the the end of the game, Eliwood ends up [[OneHitKill OHKOing]] an ''ice dragon'' [[spoiler: even thought said dragon was Ninian. And was using a sword "made to slay dragons".]]
** Ephraim from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'' basically runs on cutscene power, especially early in the game. A particularly egregious example is after Chapter 5x, where he and his two Cavalier subordinates manage to escape from Valter. Even if they had the stats to reasonably stand up to him at this point, there's the fact that they're a foot soldier and two mounted units trying to run through a forested area to get away from a flying unit (who could easily catch up to them [[GameplayAndStorySegregation gameplay-wise]]).
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' begins in a FlashForward moment with Chrom and the Avatar charging at [[spoiler: [[EvilSorcerer Validar]]]] who effortlessly dodges and blocks Chrom's attacks, as well as the Avatar's magic bolts. He follows up in the moment by teleporting up in the air and unleashing a dark power wave that immobilizes the duo, then scoffs at them. During actual gameplay, this villian's defensive and avoid stats are ''horrible'', and at the highest difficulty he'd blow roughly 40% of the heroes' health before they defeat him. He waits until his defeat in the ''next cutscene'' to [[spoiler: [[IAmNotLeftHanded brainwash the Avatar and force him/her to kill Chrom.]]]].
** Don't try to recreate the glorious Chrom vs. Marth cut scene in Chapter 4. With a superior weapon and a much higher speed stat, Marth will ki- *ahem* ''best'' Chrom in combat, without any team support.
** After the gameplay in Chapter 9, either Gangrel or Aversa are revealed to have the ability to [[spoiler: ''summon [[RevenantZombie risen!]]'' Who then CurbStompBattle the reinforcements sent Chrom's way.]] Mind you this ability is never used by either again. ''Thank god!''
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', Laslow joins on the Conquest path by pulling a BigDamnHeroes and holding off Ryoma, the ultra-badass samurai prince of Hoshido, single-handedly. It's not advised that you try and re-create this in the actual chapter's battle, Laslow is only a mid-level Mercenary and Ryoma ''will'' tear him to shreds.
* In ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'', Laharl destroys an entire fleet of human battleships without much hassle during a cutscene; in the next subsequent battle you'll be facing the cannons of the only sufficiently armed ship -- and you'll likely have to run away without massive LevelGrinding. And during his appearance in the sequel, well, suffice it to say he takes losing to the protagonists during the fights [[EarthShatteringKaboom extremely badly]] - [[OffTheRails you're not supposed to beat him]] (which, again, can be done through massive LevelGrinding or a NewGamePlus).
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'', In the cutscene-like moments that happen before or during a battle, mecha are often shown moving or shooting much further than they can in the game. By contrast, many of the cutscenes that show the attacks made in battle are often more deadly-looking than they are in effect. To HumongousMecha, it seems, being cut in half is [[OnlyAFleshWound only a minor inconvenience.]]
** In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsW'', Genesic ''Gaogaigar'' destroys Palparepa Pranja in a cutscene... with an attack that does 99999 damage. The damage cap for attacks is 65536.
* [[BadassGrandpa Monomachus]]'s LastStand in ''VideoGame/TearsToTiara2''. He plows through a huge bunch of mooks, 1hko all of them, and takes down a [[KrakenAndLeviathan kraken]] all by himself before collapsing. In comparison, as he uses a BladeOnAStick, his attack in game is on the lower end for melee members, and no one's going to be soloing a kraken.

[[folder:Turn Based Tactics]]
* The opening animation of ''VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense'' shows X-COM soldiers routing Mutons with your starting rifles and miniguns ''in mid-air'' after jumping out of the Skyranger. [[SelfImposedChallenge Try fighting Mutons with those weapons]] in the actual game, and you'll get your ass kicked!
** Shaojie Zhang one-shots a Sectoid with a pistol in his introduction scene. Then he throws away the gun to join the X-COM squad as an unarmed VIP who needs to be escorted to safety.
* ''VideoGame/TacticsOgreTheKnightOfLodis'' shows the Sacred Spear firing bolts of energy in a cutscene. It cannot do this when you obtain it, however it could be chalked up to UnreliableNarrator, or simply justified as the spear losing power over time. (It still does, however, perform its main function...[[spoiler: Breaking Shaher's barrier.]]
* In ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesII'', the impressive V2 units are tough nuts to crack on the field, and always a priority target, but with [[InfinityMinusOneSword certain captured weapons]] and taking down their weakly armoured supply APCs a prepared played can drop an entire field's worth in a turn or two. In the Cutscenes, however, while their poweer level displayed is par for the gameplay, characters react to them as if they were indestructible death machines that single-handedly wipe out entire enemy forces, and perhaps most baffling of all, question if the V2s are actually mortal at all, despite having not only faced, and felled, dozens of them already, even discounting replaying maps for grinding!

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* In the cutscene where ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'''s Alex Mercer gains his Armour power, the transformation comes with an effect that throws the Infected piling up on him away. Would it have made the game [[GodModeSue intolerably easy]] to let us players do that too?
** The opening cutscene for a new game. Claw power simultaneously with a Blackwatch commander's disguise. Blocking a grenade launcher shot with the Blade power. Both unavailable during gameplay. This becomes a gameplay element in ''Prototype 2''; Heller can not only block rocket shots (using shields), but he can actually bounce them back at the person who fires them.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}}'', Heller [[spoiler: shoots tendrils out and absorbs all of the Infected after consuming Mercer]]. You ''can not'' do this in gameplay.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas''. No matter how low C.J.'s very relevant stats are, if you make the corona over the hitman's plane, he can now defy the laws of physics and leap from one plane to another and somehow get inside.
* In the intro movie of ''VideoGame/{{Vangers}}'', the puniest of the regular battle cars fires a high-end weapon ''that wouldn't even fit on that car in-game''!
* In ''VideoGame/DestroyAllHumans'', Crypto's weapons are clearly stronger, what usually takes many shots to take down will only take one in a cut scene. Also where Crypto's JetPack will only give a brief high jump, Crypto can fly will this in the cut scenes .
** In the second game, during a cut scene Cryto is lowering Natalya down into the volcano lair with his telekinesis while using his jet pack. He isn't able to do this in game until the 3rd game.
* In ''VideoGame/{{inFAMOUS 2}}'', it usually takes a lot of fire power to take down a helicopter. However in a cut scene, Cole was able to nearly destroy a helicopter with a single shock grenade.
* In ''VideoGame/WayOfTheSamurai4'', firearms are among the weakest weapons in the game in terms of offensive strength. Despite them being capable of slowly killing an enemy without them reaching you, they lack any real damaging techniques, while swords are able to instantly kill an enemy in one attack. However, when someone wields a firearm during a cutscene, expect another character to be at least heavily injured or, in worse cases, even killed. On the other hand, Kogure is seen deflecting bullets with his katana, while bullets are considered to be unblockable in gameplay.