Legendary in the Sequel


"Consequently, when the Pevensie children had returned to Narnia last time for their second visit, it was (for the Narnians) as if King Arthur came back to Britain as some people say he will. And I say the sooner the better."

When we are first introduced to our Hero he or she is an unknown, a new recruit, a rookie, or a peasant from a recently destroyed village, but destiny is calling and he or she has answered. After many adventures, our Hero has accomplished great things. So much so that in the sequel he or she has become a legend, Famed In-Story throughout the land.

When a sequel is being made, writers, directors, or game-makers like to take the protagonist from the original work and turn them into a legendary figure. This can be a way to help complete denouement from the original work which often gets truncated, or as a way to appeal to fans of the series who like to see their favorite character be recognized.

This trope is when the protagonist from a prior series or movie has become a legend in the sequel. They can be the protagonist themselves, a side character, long dead, or trapped in a time warp; what matters is that In-Universe they are now regarded as a legend.

May or may not be Shrouded in Myth. Compare and Contrast with: From Nobody to Nightmare, Took a Level in Badass. The reverse is Uniqueness Decay, where once-legendary things have become commonplace in sequels. See also Legend Fades to Myth, where by the time the sequel rolls around, the legends managed to get a few details wrong.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Mai-Otome: An odd example since the sequel exists in another universe, but regardless Mai from Mai-HiME is a legendary Otome in the sequel
  • DieBuster: The mystery behind the term "Nonoriri" is that it is an homage to Noriko from GunBuster.
  • The protagonists of Love Live! became such popular idols that, by Love Live! Sunshine!!, there are tons of merchandise and music related to them, they have tons of fans (such as Chika and Dia), and it is their work which inspires the heroines of the show to become idols as well.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • The original Yugi Moto of Yu-Gi-Oh! becomes a legend in later series for being the best at the card game (and saving the world).
  • Despite Gin being a normal puppy in Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin, he's the son of Riki, the leader of Ohu. In the Sequel Series Ginga Densetsu Weed, he's already a bigger legend than his dad after defeating the demon bear Akakabuto. And when Weed meets a new dog, that dog would remember how Gin was a kind and legendary dog. Even Hougen's three generals quit being his sidekicks when Gin shows them great kindness.
  • Kamina becomes one in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann after the Time Skip, though he enjoyed the status almost immediately after he died. It's just the nature of his character that he's most effective as a spiritual paragon.
  • The five main Bronze Saints of Saint Seiya are referred to as the "Legendary Saints" in the Saint Seiya Omega spinoff, with their amazing feats in the classic series being recognized and respected, even though they're still Bronze, with the exception of Seiya, who's been promoted to Gold Saint.
  • By the time of the events of Gundam Build Fighters Try, Sei Iori has become a world famous gunpla battler and model builder. In fact, the model that protagonist Sekai uses is just a prototype of one of Sei's works, yet it performs better than most models.
    • Ditto with Sei's Friendly Rival from the prequel, Meijin Kawaguchi III: as of Try, he has won the Gunpla Battle World Championship for three years straight, has been inducted into the Gunpla Hall of Fame, AND now has a Distaff Counterpart who is just as amazing as him. And his current Gunpla - the Amazing Red Warrior - is leagues ahead of the Gunpla he used before.

    Fan Works 
  • Although an alternate Bad Future and not a true sequel, Fallout: Equestria takes place hundreds of years after Equestria has been blasted into a ravaged hellscape. The Mane Six, heroic but largely unknown civilian ponies in the series, are still recognized for what they did in the years of the war prior to the apocalypse. Although not all are remembered fondly. With good reason for some. Justified as not only were they all bequeathed powerful administrative positions by Princess Luna, there are technologies, buildings, weapons, and even factions they created that still exist. Not to mention individuals and groups that choose to model themselves after the ideals they represented such as Velvet Remedy, Pinkie Bell, and Calamity this applies to all Dashites. The fact that there are ghouls that are still alive that may have even met them doesn't hurt either.
  • Anytime a member of the original Harry Potter cast gets picked up in the (largely OC-driven) Absit Omen universe, their deeds of derring-do from the books usually net them significant praise, respect, and occasionally stalkers from the wizarding world.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • James Bond is a relatively unknown agent in his first film but in The Man with the Golden Gun, the villain challenges him because of his reputation as the best secret agent.
  • The Mariachi from Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi Trilogy takes on this status in the sequels. Especially the third. It's invoked in the second movie, where he has a friend traveling ahead of him spreading the legend to see who starts panicking.
  • Kevin Flynn in TRON: Legacy has become this. At one point at the end of the bar fight, one of the programs kneels down and prays to him. In the real world, Flynn played this trope straight, going from a relatively minor celebrity to the leading pioneer in computing. In the computer world, he is both figuratively and literally God to the programs, from day one.
  • In the original Alien, Ellen Ripley is a lowly Warrant Officer serving onboard a mining ship. By the time Alien: Resurrection rolls around, her Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the third film is well-known, and more than one individual on the Auriga references how she died to prevent the spread of the xenomorphs throughout the galaxy (the novelization makes this clearer: Call discusses Golic's report on the events of the third film, and how Ripley died for what she believed in).
  • In the first National Treasure film, Ben Gates and the entire Gates family are the laughingstock of the scientific community for their belief in the Templar treasure. In fact, when Ben and Riley go to see Abigail for the first time, he introduces himself as "Mr. Brown", knowing she wouldn't believe him as Ben Gates. In the sequel, everybody knows about the treasure (although it's been a few years, so the novelty has worn off), and the Gates family is looked at with much more respect, to the point where the film starts with an ancestor of their being posthumously honored as a hero for stopping a treasonous plot via Heroic Sacrifice just after the Civil War. Of course, that just wouldn't do, so the film's Big Bad produces a document that makes the Gates ancestor appear to be a traitor himself. Once again, the Gates name is exonerated by the President himself, especially since the Gates family once again finds a major historical site. The third film will see if it sticks.
  • Tremors:
    • Earl and Valentine become somewhat famous - as do the Graboids - by the second film.
    • At the beginning of the third film, Burt has been called on for assistance with Graboids in Peru.
  • The Force Awakens: Rey and Finn react to meeting Han roughly like you or I would react to meeting Robin Hood, and Luke has become a near-mythological Living MacGuffin. Meanwhile, on the villainous side, Darth Vader has gone from a scary but obscure adherent of an ancient religion to something like an idol for adherents of the Dark Side.

  • Alex Rider begins as a fourteen-year-old boy who was (unknowingly) groomed by the uncle who raised him to be a special agent for his entire life. Thanks to this and him being Born Lucky, he singlehandedly thwarts the schemes of six maniacal millionaires and takes down the most powerful organized crime group in the world. He's a legend by the end of the series, sure, but he had gained this status by book seven (out of nine) at the latest, and book three at the earliest.
  • In the Dragonlance series, most of the main characters from the original Chronicles trilogy are referred to as "The Heroes of the Lance" in the later books and everyone seems to know their stories.
  • Already rather famous among the Alliance by The Empire Strikes Back, in the post-Return of the Jedi Star Wars Legends continuity, Luke Skywalker is a legend. The first new Jedi in a generation, a general at 24, the man who destroyed the first Death Star and defeated Darth Vader in single combat—and he only gets bigger. This is thoroughly examined in Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor.
  • While his reputation as Warhammer 40,000's HERO OF THE IMPERIUM! is part of the series, the first Ciaphas Cain short stories and novels are set in in his early days where he's a wet-behind-the-ears commissar who's just began gaining a false reputation for heroism. Plus the novels are in Anachronic Order, so he has varying levels of fame (depending when in his life it's set) in each. The most dramatic is Death or Glory (the fourth published), which is set at the very beginning of his career where nobody outside his regiment has heard his name, and ''Cain's Last Stand (the sixth published), which takes place at the end of his career and on the same world where there are statues of him as "Cain the Liberator" and towns he visited have been renamed in his honor.
  • In Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, you see Hari Seldon transform from an Ignored Expert to a legendary figure. The prequel novels reveal that young Seldon was a low-level mathematician from a backwater world whose presentation about the theoretical possibility of psychohistory attracted the attention of The Emperor (in fact, the whole thing was masterminded by a Ridiculously Human Robot, who inspired Seldon to continue his work and turn it from theory into practice).
  • More Asimov examples from Robot Trilogy:
    • Double subverted with Susan Calvin, one of the first robopsychologists. She had plenty of fame in her time, and by the Robot series, she's a mythical figure… in the spacer worlds. Back on Earth, she is barely another name in the history books (the fact they don't like robots on earth doesn't help matters). In later series, she gains a mythical status on all the worlds.
    • Also from the Robot Series, there is Elijah Baley. In the second and third books, his abilities gained him respect even among the spacers (who do not like the Earth people much in the first place), and by the time of Robots and Imperium, he was so famous that even they named one of the new colonized planets after him.
  • Mistborn: The Original Trilogy:
    • Kelsier is revered as a god in the second and third books, after he dies and has a shapeshifter appear to his followers afterward.
    • By the time of the novel The Alloy of Law which takes 300 years after the original trilogy, pretty much all the main characters from the original have become legendary, and some have formal religions following them. Also, many of the locations are named after the characters from the original trilogy.
  • Played with in The Chronicles of Narnia. In Prince Caspian, for instance, the four children from the first book return to Narnia, only to find to their great surprise that it's a thousand years in the future (thanks to Narnia Time). They're regarded as legends if not fairy tales, and their return is considered much the same as if King Arthur returned to modern-day Britain. Trumpkin is also dismayed to find that they've come back as kids, since they were adults when they left.
    • For an example not related to the protagonists, The Magician's Nephew has Aslan bring a humble cabbie and his wife to Narnia to be the first king and queen. In The Last Battle, when all of the characters throughout the entire series are reunited in the equivalent of Heaven, the reader is told how sitting in the center of it all are the first king and queen, "like Adam and Eve, in all of their glory".
  • Averted, much to Jim's chagrin, in the Tennis Shoes adventure series. Despite having saved the lives of some very important people, and aiding in the assassination of the evil king, very few people remember 'Jimawkins', so when he tries to show off for his kids, they are less than impressed.
  • Inverted in Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword which tells the tale of how a plucky orphan girl, Angharad "Harry" Crewe, became the first woman to wield the famous blue sword, Gonturan, since the legendary Lady Aerin. Its prequel, The Hero and the Crown tells how a young girl named Aerin came to take up the blue sword to save her people from a dragon and a sorcerer.
  • Discworld:
    • Parodied in Eric: during the events of Sourcery (some books back), Rincewind the Wizzard managed to defeat the Sourcerer and close the rift to the Dungeon Dimensions, and the surviving wizards considered building a statue to remember him. In Eric it turns out that they then decided it should be a plaque, and then a commendation in the university's history, and then a reprimand for being improperly dressed (he defeated the Sourcerer using a half-brick in one of his socks). In fact, they try to avoid even mentioning him, and are very cool towards the idea of bringing him back, because he's just a terrible wizard, and not (for example) in case he (mistakenly) thought he saw them on the Sourcerer's side.
    • Played straight, though for some Late Arrival Spoilers, Sam Vimes and Captain Carrot become WORLD REKNOWNED for being the straightest coppers ever. Sam arresting his own Patrician, beating up Werewolves, and Carrot stopping a warbattle by arresting everybody and having once tried to arrest a DRAGON spread around the disc quickly. Vimes as an ambassador beats up a couple of thugs and guesses (justified) the rumour will grow that he beat up 41 armed men and a dog. He's spot on.
    • In her first appearance in Equal Rites, Granny Weatherwax is a cunning witch, but not portrayed as anything out of the ordinary. A few books later and she is the most respected and feared person in the entire Ramtops, and entire cultures have nicknames for her which basically translate to "Avoid at all costs".
  • Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings sequence: At the end of the Farseer trilogy, Fitz has come back from the dead after his execution in the second book, but prefers to let most people continue to think he's dead. In the later Tawny Man trilogy, he comes back to court fifteen years later under an assumed name, and is made acutely uncomfortable by the near-mythical status he's attained.
  • By the fourth book in the Uglies trilogy, the protagonist of the first three books, Tally Youngblood, has exposed a dark secret (and done other stuff) which has created a cult of followers for her.
  • In the Star Trek Novel Verse the Huanni race were introduced in the novel The Last Roundup, in the person of cadet Skalli Jksilli, who wanted to be a diplomat. When a new Huanni character shows up in the Star Trek: Voyager Relaunch, set a century later, mention is made of the august career Skalli has enjoyed, becoming a great diplomat.
  • In Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe, Alanna the Lioness becomes famous even before the end of Song of the Lioness thanks to becoming the first Tortallan lady knight in over a century, bringing back the Dominion Jewel, and helping to stop a civil war in its tracks. Her accomplishments are a direct inspiration to Keladry of Mindelan, the protagonist of Protector of the Small who becomes the first openly-female page.
  • Kellen and Idalia are the heroes of The Obsidian Trilogy. A thousand years later, in The Enduring Flame Trilogy, they're the figureheads of the setting's main religion.
  • The adventure of the hero of The Night Land to rescue his lover Mirdath the Beautiful became a legend in the society of Awake in the Night Land, which is set in the same universe albeit being written by a different author.
  • In Red Wall, Martin the Warrior is the hero of the prequel, "Mossflower". By the time of the first book, he and his sword are legendary. Notably, Matthias, the protagonist of the first book, is himself treated as legendary in the later book "Loamhedge".
  • Kvothe the Bloodless, also called the Arcane and Six-string, protagonist of The Name of the Wind has quite the reputation as one of the greatest fighters, wizards, musicians and adventurers in living memory. So much so, the story uses the framing device of a historian tracking him down to hear the true story behind the legends. Some of the stories about Kvothe were greatly exaggerated, but many weren't.
  • In Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead, Ender essentially skips thousands of years by spending it on near-light-speed space ships, only to discover his actions as a child are still remembered and he is still thought of as a legendary historical villain. And while Ender has been demonized, his older brother (who was intensely psychopathic in the first book) is remembered in historical legend for being a deeply benevolent writer.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: In the prequel novellas Tales of Dunk and Egg, set roughly a hundred years before the main series, Dunk is a travelling hedge knight named Ser Duncan the Tall, and Egg is his clever but sometimes insolent squire. Readers of the main series will know that Egg is the boy who will grow up to be King Aegon Targaryen, Fifth of His Name, known as Aegon the Unlikely, and generally regarded as the last really good king Westeros has had, while Ser Duncan the Tall rises to be Lord Commander of Aegon V's Kingsguard. They will also know that Dunk and Egg, along with Aegon's eldest son Prince Duncan "the Small", die in an event known as the Tragedy at Summerhall.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek:
    • Captain Kirk is regarded as a legendary captain in all of the sequels and spin-off series (except for Enterprise, of course). In fact, in the semi-reboot by Abrams, the time-travelling Romulan immediately recognizes Kirk as having been Starfleet's greatest captain.
    • As are some of his peers. Spock and Sarek (and Scotty) are regarded in awe by the characters when they show up in The Next Generation.
    • His Klingon rivals Kor, Kang, and Koloth are also legendary warriors when they appear on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    • An inversion occurs regarding T'Pau. When she appears in The Original Series, she's considered a legendary figure by Kirk. Forty years later, in the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise, we meet the young rebel as she takes her first step into Vulcan's leadership.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The revived series has made much more of the Doctor's fame (or notoriety) both on Earth and in the rest of time and space, to the point of making Ascended Fanon of Steven Moffat's own theory that the word "doctor" in all languages comes from the Doctor, not the other way around, and that in one language it translates not to "healer" or "scholar" but to "mighty warrior".
    • This gets deconstructed in the Eleventh Doctor's second series, as an entire religious movement has formed with the sole intention of killing him so he can't do any more damage. The Doctor subsequently "goes underground" in order to remedy this, although by the Twelfth Doctor it seems to be the status quo again.
  • In the "Forever Red" special from Power Rangers Wild Force, Tommy Oliver, the Sixth Ranger from the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, gets this treatment. It's even jokingly mentioned at the end that he has his own fan club. This holds over into Power Rangers Dino Thunder when the team learns their teacher "Dr. O" is actually one of the oldest Rangers, only to be corrected by his assistant Hayley that he's the greatest.

    Tabletop Games 
  • It's common (particularly in games like Dungeons & Dragons) for Game Masters to apply this trope in their groups by having a previous game's characters be well-known or recognized by characters in a new game.

    Video Games 
  • Played straight and subverted by the discredited TRON 2.0. Several Programs mention Tron as a great hero who mysteriously vanished after his victory over Master Control, and one NPC wistfully wishes he would return to help fight off the Datawraiths. (In a strange way, though, they did get his little brother...) However, no one there seems to remember Flynn.
  • In Metal Gear, Snake is a rookie sent in because the Big Bad expected him to fail. Snake is regarded as a legendary soldier in Metal Gear Solid from his exploits in the 8-bit era. This becomes a major theme in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, where it's deconstructed by the slightly pathetic protagonist.
  • In Pokémon Red and Blue, and its remakes, you are just an eleven year old rookie trainer. By the end of the game you've beaten every gym leader, singlehandedly brought down a mafia, and become champion of the Indigo league. By the sequels you are now held with high regard as the boy who brought down Team Rocket and the strongest Pokemon trainer in the world.
    • Game Freak has actually encouraged players to invoke this trope with Red, who has the highest levelled Pokemon team in the main games (not counting battle facilities where everyone is Lv 100). When it was discovered that Barry's final levels in Platinum surpassed Red's, HeartGold and SoulSilver corrected that by making Red's levels higher.
    • The protagonist of Pokémon Black and White seems to be one of these but unlike Red it's never specified which protagonist is the hero, due to the franchise having gender options for your character since Crystal. As such, the games themselves imply both are the hero depending on which character you play as: Hilda if you are Nate and Hilbert if you are Rosa.
  • The protagonist from Fable II is recognized as a great hero in Fable III.
    • Played with in the case of the protagonist from Fable 1. His legend is inscribed on the walls of the Sanctuary, but he otherwise receives no specific mention.
  • In the Mass Effect series, Shepard is generally seen as a legend to humans from the very beginning of the first game, hence being chosen as the first human Spectre. His/her legend has just grown exponentially by the second. By the time of Mass Effect 2 thanks to his/her exploits in the Mass Effect, Commander Shepard is now seen as a galaxy wide legendary hero. Through each installment, Shepard is unquestionably regarded as one of the biggest badasses ever seen in the galaxy, by practically all races regardless of their relations with one another, thus being a unifying figure like no other, to the point that the final scene in Mass Effect 3 is a grandparent telling a child about "The Shepard", who at this point has become a semi-mythic figure (thus justifying all the different choices in various playthroughs as a case of Unreliable Narrator and/or Legend Fades to Myth).
  • Link, from The Legend of Zelda, due to reincarnating (along with Zelda herself) each game.
    • By the time the story in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker begins, the events of Ocarina of Time have been passed down for generations and is considered a myth. Despite this, the people of Outset Island have a custom where boys are garbed in green, when they come of age (twelve), in the hopes they'll find courage like the Hero of Time. There's also a statue of him in Hyrule Castle.
    • The legend carries over to Twilight Princess as well, which occurs at roughly the same time as Wind Waker, due to the split timeline. After the events at Death Mountain, wherein Link restores Darbus' sanity, Renado remarks how Link's actions are reminiscent of the Hero of Time's.
    • The Hero of Time seems to get this treatment a lot, to the point where he and his era were especially renowned in Hyrule Warriors despite being visited alongside the Twilight and Sky eras.
    • This continues in A Link Between Worlds where the events of the previous game A Link to the Past are shown as a series of paintings in the entry way inside Hyrule Castle.
  • A minor example, but in Advance Wars: Dual Strike, the current hero Jake, sees Andy, a hero from the previous game, as a legend.
  • The Warden in Dragon Age: Origins is regarded as a great hero in Dragon Age II, due to stopping the blight in Ferelden before it could spread to other nations, making it the shortest Blight in the entire history of Thedas. Similarly, Hawke is acknowledged in Dragon Age: Inquisition as a famous hero, although a somewhat more divisive one due to their role in starting the Mage-Templar war.
  • This is what has happened to Lloyd in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. He was a Book Dumb, often reckless kid in the original. But having defeated so many villainous forces, and leading the way in changing the two worlds, Lloyd is praised in many places as "Lloyd the Great"- to the dismay of new protagonist Emil Castagnier.
  • Jazeta, the hero of Neutopia becomes a legend for defeating Dirth. His son must save him after he is captured in Neutopia II, with the folks around the kingdom telling him more about his famous father.
  • In the second BioShock game Jack has several cults devoted to him.
  • In the Fire Emblem Tellius continuity, Ike starts the first game as the son of the commander of a relatively obscure mercenary company. By the sequel, both Ike and the Greil Mercenaries have become heroes and household names across the continent.
  • Duke Nukem Forever: "They used to tell stories of a man who saved the world. A man whose very presence sent aliens running back to their motherships. The man who disappeared without a trace."
  • Both X and Zero from the Mega Man X series have become this in the Mega Man Zero series.
    • Averted hard with X's predecessor, Rock. It's as though no one has ever heard of him.
  • In Half-Life 2, Gordon Freeman has become such a legend that he is given messianic titles such as "The One Free Man" and "The Opener of the Way". To his enemies, the Combine, he is "Anticitizen One".
  • Subverted in the Ace Attorney games. Between the 3rd and 4th games Phoenix had built up a reputation as a legendary defense attorney, but then had a fall from grace which caused him to lose his license and the respect of the community.
    • Played straight in Dual Destinies, where Phoenix's name has been cleared and his past adventures have earned him the nickname "Turnabout Terror" for his ability to turn the tide in his favor through wild tactics and bluffing.
  • Inverted in the first three Dragon Quest games. Your character in the third game becomes a legend in the first game.
  • The Nameless Hero of Gothic attains this reputation among the former convicts by the time of Gothic II, particularly with Night of the Raven installed. This is partly due to bringing down the Barrier, but mainly due to simply getting favor with everyone in the first game.
  • Bobbin Threadbare from Loom was apparently supposed to be this in the planned but not produced sequels Forge and The Fold, and appear in an Obi-Wan-like fashion and give the new heroes advice.
  • In the final mission of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, ISAF sends nine ace pilots to assist Mobius One. In the arcade mode of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, ISAF sends Mobius One against a virtual airforce alone, because his individual effectiveness is estimated greater than an entire squadron.
  • In every installment of The Elder Scrolls since Daggerfall, you can find in-game legends about the protagonists of previous games, referred to with raceless, genderless nicknames.
    • The Eternal Champion (the protagonist of Arena) is indicated as being referred to as Champion in part because people don't actually know who he (or she) was — among other things, the Champion is referred to as 'forever nameless' in one the biographies about Barenziah. The Agent (the protagonist of Daggerfall) is an exception to the in-game legends thing: the Agent's involvement in the events of Daggerfall are unknown to the general public. Those few that do know about the Agent's involvement have reasons for keeping quiet about it and the Agent's identity.
      • And the first NPC your character meets in Morrowind as a prisoner is Jiub, later referenced in Oblivion as Saint Juib, who drove the Cliff Racers from Vvardenfell.
  • In the Baldur's Gate games you start as a random kid from Candlekeep, known only by, for lack of a better term, "family". By the second game, a few people in a nation about 200 miles south of Baldur's Gate have heard of your exploits up north. By the expansion, an entire army is sent out to kill you, an extremely powerful Bhaalspawn with an army of her own starts to panic when you come after her, and freaking Elminster says, "Nope, not fightin' ya."
  • Breath of Fire III has inaccurate depictions of the first game and before.
  • Inverted in Drakengard, the "hero" of the first game becomes The Dreaded in the sequel. This isn't much of a stretch, since he wasn't a very nice guy to begin with. Or rather, "Caim" becomes known as the hero who saved the world, while "The One-Eyed Man" is The Dreaded. The fact that the One-Eyed Man is Caim seems to be kept quiet by those in power.
  • In Fallout, your main character is a naive vault dweller, with zero experience with the outside world whatsoever. Fast forward to Fallout 2, the Vault Dweller has become a legendary figure, and a household name, whose actions have changed the wasteland forever.
  • The heroes from the first two Golden Sun games are famous thirty years later in Dark Dawn, though whether they're remembered as heroes or not depends on who you ask -Unleashing alchemy had major consequences for Weyard and not everyone is aware of the circumstances that made it necessary for them to do so. Felix in particular seems to have gone down in history as a villain. While he did work for the bad guys in the first game, he had noble intentions in doing so, and by the end of the second game he and Isaac were on the same side.
  • Technically in the same game, but still in The Stinger for a new one, In Asura's Wrath, Thanks to Adult Mithra telling the story of her father and having it passed down for generations, Asura is basically this, even hundreds of millions of years into the future.
  • Travis Touchdown of No More Heroes becomes this in Desperate Struggle after becoming the #1 assassin and walking away from that title. Other assassins refer to him as "The Crownless King" and some have based their weapons on the beam katanas Travis uses. It's noted that the reason there are 50 ranks to go through rather than just 10 as in the first game is because Travis' exploits inspired so many more people to join the UAA.
  • Diablo
    • Three of the villains in Diablo II are actually the heroes from the first game. The Rogue has become an undead creature haunting the monastery graveyard, the Sorcerer is a mad summoner living in a pocket dimension, and the Warrior is the receptacle for Diablo's reincarnation.
    • Diablo III has numerous references to the heroes from Diablo II. Most of them are generic mentions of a "band of heroes" in Deckard Cain's journals. The most specific it ever gets is when you meet a necromancer who says his mentor helped defeat the Prime Evils twenty years ago.
  • Hard to pin down in World of Warcraft due to the generalization of the player characters, but it is generally accepted that a 'band of heroes' achieved many great feats such as defeating Illidan, Malygos, the Lich King, and so on.
    • When you arrive in Northrend you are allowed to jump the recruiting line on account of your past accomplishments, and in some places — such as in Winterfell Keep in Dragonblight — you can overhear NPCs discussing rumors that a 'great hero' from Outlands will arrive to reinforce them.
    • During the run-up to the Horde civil war during Mists of Pandaria, the players have a chance to do a mini-questline with Vol'jin, leader of the Darkspear Trolls, discussing what to do about Garrosh. Vol'jin remarks that 'the Horde is more than old trolls like me and great heroes from Northrend like you.' This can be extremely weird if your specific character has never actually been to Northrend.
    • For your character more specifically, NPC reactions to your character will change as you complete quests or gain levels of reputation. After defending Binan Village from the Yaungol assault, for example, you will hear NPCs talking in awe of the '[Name,] the legendary hero from beyond the mists' who came to save them.
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, Yuna has become a celebrity in Spira for her achievements in Final Fantasy X. This results in the two major factions, New Yevon and the Youth League, seeking her support. Yuna, for her part, just wants to enjoy life and continue helping people. (And save the world. Again.)
    • This also extends to her surviving guardians to a lesser extent; much like how Auron was revered in the original due to guarding High Summoner Braska (Yuna's father), Lulu, Wakka, Rikku, and Kimahri are similarly respected as such.
  • This happens to a degree in Final Fantasy XIII-2: The l'Cie that saved the world in the original are all lauded as heroes. Fang and Vanille are especially hailed (for being the core of the crystal pillar holding Cocoon in the air), as is Lightning (due to a Cosmic Retcon making people believe she too is in the pillar).
  • In Lunar: Eternal Blue, Dragonmaster Alex is one of the best known Dragonmasters, and the relationship between him and Luna is considered one of the great love stories of all time. A few of other party members are also still being talked about a thousand years later: Jessica for her leadership of Meribia, Mia for taking charge of the Magic Guild and rebuilding Vane.
  • Many of the NPCs and heroes from the original Guild Wars have become legendary in Guild Wars 2. As an example, Jora is revered among the Norn, and her redemption is noted on the statue that honors her: "Blood washes blood."
  • Revan from Knights of the Old Republic is remembered as legendary in the Spiritual Sequel Star Wars: The Old Republic. Interestingly, the Jedi remember him as a legendary Jedi hero, while the Sith prefer to see him as the quintessential Sith. One leader of a cult devoted to him remarks that his gender is unclear in ancient texts (reflecting the fact that the player could choose either gender). When he shows up in flashpoints he's an insane dark-side (male) Jedi, and in his own expansion the two parts of his soul have split into separate beings, one light and one dark.
  • The player character (and all of the recruitable characters) from Dungeon Siege get this treatment, but not until III: The canon player character, as seen on the box art for the original, was appointed Lady Montbarron by King Konreid after she helped save Ehb, and she and all her companions are entombed in a shrine not far from the estate that she was given. Two of the main characters are descendants of her, and a third is a descendant of Meric, one of the companions you can get in the original.
  • In Dead Rising 3, Frank West and Chuck Greene, the heroes of the first two games, have museum exhibits detailing how they helped stop the previous zombie outbreaks.
  • For Assassin's Creed, Altair and Ezio are like this to those that have come after them. In Altair's case, he started out as a Master Assassin stripped of his rank for breaking the rules of the Brotherhood, then earned his way back up, eventually becoming Grandmaster of the Order. For Ezio, he started out as a Rich Idiot With No Dayjob until his father and brothers were killed, putting him on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. By the time his saga's done, he's been a Mentor of the Brotherhood and put the Assassins into a golden age.
  • Also from the Assassin's Creed series is Aveline de Grandpre of Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. During her game, she is the daughter of a wealthy noble moonlighting as an Assassin in colonial New Orleans. During her DLC in Assassin's Creed IV, Connor's letter tells that she's known as a great slave liberator even as far up as New England.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, Rean Schwarzer goes from a not-so ordinary military student into Erebonia's national hero, Ashen Chevalier.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the series premiere, the central cast are regular citizensnote  who save their world from the forces of darkness. In the premiere of the second season they visit the royal palace and are surprised to see a series of stained glass windows telling the story of their battle. Strangely, they're still not often recognized or treated as heroes by the general public both before and after they save the world a second time. Though this may be due to the fact that most of the ponies of the world have long ago gotten used to weirdness that keeps popping up all over Equestria. It gets egregious by Season 4 when one of them becomes a Princess and no one barely bats an eye at this save for the plot-important premieres and finales, as well as a single episode.
    • The show has a variation of this through Mythology Gag: the founder of the Wonderbolts in Friendship Is Magic is named after Firefly from the first generation of My Little Pony. She's now General Firefly as well.
  • Inverted in BIONICLE: in the first year, there was the Legend of Lhii, a legendary lavasurfer, on the island of Mata Nui and nothing else from that. Come 2004, a flashback, and there's a Toa named Lhikan whom was the basis of that legend.
  • Ben 10:
    • In the beginning of Ben 10, Ben Tennyson was just a kid with a super-powerful watch. 5 years later, he was fairly popular within circles of the alien community. By the third series, his identity became public and is now a full-blown celebrity.
    • By Ben 10: Omniverse, his adventures are being taught as part of the curriculum at the Plumbers' Academy and his new partner Rook is his Ascended Fanboy.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • By nature, Avatars are destined to be legendary, but Aang seems to have become this in particular in the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra.
    • Zuko also has a statue of himself in Republic City and is presumably even more well-known in the Fire Nation.
    • Toph went on to found the Republic City police force, complete with a gold statue of herself outside of HQ. She's also revered by the Metal Clan of Zaofu due to the fact that she pioneered metalbending as well as the fact that the city was founded by her daughter Suyin.
    • Sokka eventually earns an influential position on the City Council, and is commemorated with a statue outside the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Exchange Center.
    • And on a hilarious note, The Cabbage Merchantnote  went on to found a successful company, Cabbage Corp, which has a statue of him and his cabbages in front of the company's headquarters. Thus far, he's the only person in the series to have a statue in that city and not be a member of the main group.
    • Other than Suki, the only member of the Gaang not to have a statue of themselves shown so far is Katara, and even then, she is revered as the greatest healer in the world and even served as Korra's waterbending teacher. Zuko and Toph are still alive, and make their debut in Book 3 and 4 respectively.