Dark Pit: I just don't like the idea of someone copying my act."Nice to meet you, another myself." A term that originates from fighting games, a Mirror Match occurs when one character competes against themselves (where, normally, each character on the roster is implicitly a unique individual). This can be a rather tricky experience as the two characters are, by definition, evenly matched, and victory may rest on which player is better at using the character's skills. If these occur in the game's story mode, it's usually Hand Waved as a mysterious impostor and tends to have no impact on the story despite the interesting possibilities it presents. Collectible Card Games use the term as well, but with a different meaning. In a CCG, a "mirror match" is when two players with the same deck theme play against each other. While the decks likely differ in spots, the central strategy is the same. The Trope Namer is the first Mortal Kombat; the last enemy you fought before the Endurance matches was yourself. Most characters fighting their mirror selves never seem to notice, nor is it explained how such a thing is possible, though it may be lampshaded if the game features pre- or post-match banter. Character Tiers can force almost every single match to be a Mirror Match because everyone spams the top tier character(s). This trope is not limited to fighting games, though if it appears in other genres or other media, it is more likely to have an explanation. Can overlap with Color-Coded Multiplayer, and usually involves a Palette Swap for the mirror opponent. Functionally identical is when a Ditto Fighter (most likely of the Mokujinner variety) imitates their opponent. Compare Fearful Symmetry, Evil Knockoff, Mirror Boss and Civil Warcraft.
Pit: What? But you're a copy of me!
Dark Pit: Come on, now, think about it. If I was a copy, why would I kick my own butt?
Pit: What? But you're a copy of me!
Dark Pit: Come on, now, think about it. If I was a copy, why would I kick my own butt?
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Anime & Manga
- The final episode of Black★Rock Shooter has a battle between Mato in Black★Rock Shooter's form versus Insane Black★Rock Shooter. Mato started out with a severe disadvantage because her Healing Factor was slower, she lacked Insane Black Rock Shooter's immunity to pain, and she couldn't bear to hurt anyone. However, when Mato is finally motivated to fight back, she proves to be just as powerful as her counterpart and eventually defeats her with a Combined Energy Attack.
- Subverted with Ichigo's inner Hollow, who looks like a photo-negative version of Ichigo and wields the same weapon, yet he uses moves Ichigo never even thought of, such as spinning Zangetsu by its wrapping/chain.
- Ishida, Renji, Pesche and Dondochakka end up fighting clones of themselves while they face off against Szayelaporro.
- Played straight in the current Anime filler interquel, in which Kageroza Inaba has created Mod Souls that are enhanced clones of certain Soul Reapers.
- During the Thousand Year Blood War arc, Kenpachi Zaraki fights Loyd Lloyd, who transforms into a copy of Kenpachi. Kenpachi kills Loyd off-panel, and claims that he won by becoming stronger than himself.
- In Digimon Adventure, Etemon trapped the Chosen in an arena and set a captured Greymon on them; he also arranged a trap so as to trap all of the Chosen's partner Digimon except Taichi's Agumon, whose evolved form is Greymon. Needless to say, the two fight.
- In Digimon Adventure 02, WarGreymon fights Black WarGreymon.
- Erza Scarlet vs. Erza Knightwalker in Fairy Tail. Natsu was freaked out the moment he saw those two fighting, as Erza is the only person he was ever afraid of.
- Fushigi Yuugi has Miaka having to face an evil clone of herself, which turned out to be a Secret Test of Character.
- A one-shot character in Hikaru no Go attempts to stalemate Akira Toya by mimicking every move Akira makes, starting by taking away the spot in the center board. Akira wins anyway by tricking him into a position where he manages to capture, breaking the guy's strategy. (Which is later revealed to be low-grade and easily countered).
- Lyrical Nanoha:
- Subaru and the Numbers Cyborg Nove, with the latter's appearance, equipments, and abilities all being similar to the former and her sister since she was created by cloning their mother, Quint. Unfortunately for Nove, Subaru revealed during her Unstoppable Rage that she has the ability to kill cyborgs like her in one hit, so it didn't turn out to be the even match she had hoped.
- Played straighter with Subaru and her sister Ginga, since Subaru had to restrain that ability of hers for obvious reasons. Not to mention the fact that they're both clones of their mother Quint.
- One chapter of Magic Kaito had Kaito Kid facing an android double that could replicate his every move. Kid defeated the double by shooting himself in the head. Kid's gun was a toy that fired playing cards, resulting in a sore ear. The robot's gun was a weapon that fired bullets, resulting in a trashed robot.
- Magic Knight Rayearth had this as a Secret Test of Character for Fuu.
- In Naruto Shippuuden, a mirror match occurs simultaneously Gai's team, each having a copy of themselves. They eventually beat their copies by realizing that they can become better than their copies, because the copies don't improve but they do, because they've sworn to improve every day.
- During his training with Killer Bee to control the Kyuubi, Naruto is faced with a mirror copy of himself... or something. He beats it by hugging it.
- Subverted in Oto x Maho, where Kanata faces off with an evil duplicate. Kanata prefers physical attacks, while the Evil Twin can only use magical attacks.
- The whole plot of Pokémon: The First Movie revolved around Mewtwo luring trainers to his island and making clones of their Pokémon, leading to a climax which sees each Pokémon fighting its clone.
- In the first arc of Saint Seiya, the four main characters have to fight against the Black Four, which conveniently use dark-armored variants of their own respective clothes/armors. They even have slightly different variations on the heroes' signature techniques.
- The villain in Saitama Chainsaw Shoujo shows some doppelganger abilities when she takes the physical shape of protagonist Fumio, complete with clothing, equipment, and muscle-memory of her fighting style.
- In the Sonic the Hedgehog anime, Metal Sonic is programmed to be an exact copy on regular Sonic, and it is even implied that they share a mental link (see the part when Sara is kicking Metal Sonic in the head, and regular Sonic is writhing in pain). The two are constantly seen running into each other, until finally, Sonic says this quote:
Sonic: You might know everything I'm going to do but that's not going to help you since I know everything you're going to do! Strange, isn't it!?
- Pretty Cure:
- In the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 movie, the Precures go into a mirror world and fight evil Cures. The Fan Nickname-happy fandom had a field day with Cure Nightmare, Cure Deadly Nightshade, Cure Bridget...
- Previously in the franchise, a Game Boy Advance game based on Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart featured a mirror-themed stage in which Hikari faced an off-color duplicate of herself.
- HeartCatch Pretty Cure! does a combination of this and Enemy Without.
- Spoofed and deconstructed in one of the OVAs for The Slayers. Lina and Naga are faced with a mirror capable of creating a clone of anyone looking through it, and it produced their clones with opposite personalities. Lina's opposide personality was a pacifist, and Naga's was a Shrinking Violet; both were useless in fight.
- Those Who Hunt Elves has this near the end, with all the protagonists having to fight clones of themselves. Rather disappointingly enough, they were unable to find any way to defeat them.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, during the Orichalcos arc, Atem and Yugi end up facing each other. Yugi uses a copy of Atem's deck, except it has the Seal of Orichalcos in it.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Judai and Edo's second duel seemed to be a mirror match at first, but it turns out that Edo had splashed some Elemental HERO monsters into his deck to fool everyone, and his real archetype is Destiny HERO.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, one mini-arc featured Jack Atlas dueling against a robotic copy of himself who uses the exact same cards. The only difference is the copy uses three Red Daemon's Dragons instead of one. Jack gets curb-stomped the first time, but wins the rematch.
- In the manga, Crow duels a dark copy of himself who uses the same deck and strategies as him. However the copy has monsters that Crow doesn't have in his deck.
- Happens in the Tiger Mask manga when Tiger Mask fights his imposter, who was too trained by Tiger's Cave. At first it wasn't this, as Tiger Mask refused to resort to fouls and wore an armband while the imposter had a knuckle duster, but at one point the armband is torn away and Tiger Mask snaps and makes the imposter lose the knuckle duster, and nobody can tell who is who even after one of the two defeats the other with Tiger Mask's finisher, the Tiger V, as they couldn't be sure the imposter wouldn't know that move too. The match promoter, who could tell the difference, decides to have a laugh and declares the winner is the "Yellow Devil", Tiger Mask nickname in his early days when he only committed fouls, with the public believing the winner was the imposter until he points out that he has steel fangs on his mask and the winner has plastic ones.
- Chess and Draughts/Checkers are obviously Mirror Matches, although it could be claimed that the fixed move order makes White and Black rather different prospects to play despite being otherwise identical.
- Besides his countless fights with Bizarro over the years, Superman has also gotten into fights with his robot doubles when they've gone rogue, a successful non-Bizarro clone made by Luthor, a Split at Birth Evil Twin called Supermenace, and even his time-displaced younger self who was possessed by an enraged Pete Ross at the time, as well as alternate universe selves such as Ultraman, Superboy-Prime, and Kal-L, Superman of Earth-Two.
- Captain America:
- Issue #350. Steve Rogers (as the Captain) vs. John Walker (as Captain America) at the behest of the Red Skull (who was Back from the Dead in a cloned body of Rogers). The Skull even took on the winner - Rogers - thus providing a truer Mirror Match (since Walker was actually taller, stronger, and more prone to rage than Rogers)... except that the Skull-Rogers "fight" was really an excuse for the Skull to use his Dust of Death on Rogers. Walker intervened, however, and the Skull got a taste of his own bad medicine.
- An even earlier example of this came in Captain America #156, where Steve fought an insane 1950s impostor, complete with both wearing the Captain America outfit during their showdown. In addition, said impostor even looked like Stevenote , adding yet another layer to this all-American mirror match.
- In Captain Atom #56 and #57, Cap fights a battle with his own dark side, what he calls "the chaos I have inherited."
- One of the earliest Stan Lee-scripted stories featuring The Mighty Thor pitted our hero against an exact duplicate created by a Mad Scientist. Cut Lex Luthor a Check much?
- Power Girl was once sent to the recreated version of Earth-2, only to find another Power Girl already there. The alternate Power Girl did not respond well to this "imposter". Later, Power Girl went up against "Divine", a black-haired evil clone of herself created by Maxwell Lord.
- In Rat Queens, issue 3, Violet has a mirror match with her twin brother, Barrie (Barrie implies that they would look even more similar if Violet had not shaved her dwarven beard. She comes out on top of the fight and sends Barrie packing back to dwarven lands.
- The original, very brief appearance of Spider-Man's clone was basically a one-issue, pretty cool Mirror Match fight that ended with the clone killed in an explosion. Twenty years later, the clone got brought back for a convoluted storyline that dominated the title for a couple of years.
- In the '50s & '60s, Wonder Woman ended up with an improbably large number of storylines that involved her fighting doppelgangers of one sort or another.
- In the Scott Pilgrim comics, unlike the movie, Nega-Scott has a much larger purpose. He's a manifestation of Scott's screw-ups when it comes to relationships and himself in general. Instead of defeating Nega-Scott, our hero has to come to terms with his dickery and has to merge with Nega-Scott in order to become a better person.
- Teen Titans: All the Titans except Raven (who was turned into a demon and on her father's side), Jericho (who was badly injured), and Lilith (a wild card) were forced into nightmare scenes by Trigon where they had to fight their evil clones (Cyborg's copy was fully human but just as strong, stole his girlfriend, and made the disabled kids Cyborg befriended turn against him). All of them, even Nightwing and Beast Boy, killed their copies and their souls were forfeit to Trigon as a result. Unfortunately for Trigon, this didn't convert them to his side as intended and simply made their methods more ruthless. They killed Raven, which turned out to be part of Lilith and the goddess Azar's plan to stop Trigon (Raven got better... eventually).
- Malibu Comics' Mortal Kombat referenced the games' Mirror Matches with the queen of a warrior tribe who just happened to look and dress like Sonya, called Queen Aynos. And yes, Sonya gets to fight her.
- The Pony POV Series has had a couple of examples of this:
- The Final Battle of the Dark World Series is fought between the Elements of Harmony and Nightmare Eclipse's gallery of Nightmares. However, it's not a perfect example, since Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Nightmare!Rarity are absent, while Derpy, Apple Pie, and Minty Pie lack counterparts.
- There's a purer example in the Wedding Arc's Final Battle, which is a duel fought between Cadence and Queen Cadenza (Alicorn!Chrysalis).
Films — Live-Action
- The "evil robot usses" from Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.
- In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker has to go into a cave as part of his training and faces off with a vision of Darth Vader. He beheads the apparition, only to discover it has the same face as him under its mask.
- A rare live-action version in Oblivion (2013).Jack Harper-49 vs Jack Harper-52.
- The One ends with a fight between two super-powered Jet Lis. While the villain Yulaw has more practice with his enhanced speed and strength, the hero Gabe is on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and has been practicing martial arts daily. In the end, their style (Yulaw uses the more aggressive, straight-line Xingyiquan style, while Gabe sticks with the subtle, circular Baguazhang style) and terrain (the start of the fight is on a tight catwalk, and the end is on an open factory floor) decide the outcome. And yes, this is the best part of the movie, especially when both of them go to Super Speed, and we see the fight from their perspective (i.e. Time Stands Still).
- The straight-to-video film Replicant has Jean-Claude Van Damme play a serial killer and a clone created by the government to track him down. The clone has some sort of connection with the killer but a much nicer personality. In the end, they face off in a fight. The viewers expect to see a cool fight between two Van Dammes. Instead, they got an attempt at one, as the doubles try to punch and kick one another, only to perform the same exact move (but mirrored, for some reason) and strike the other's first/leg instead.
- Subverted in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, when Scott meets Nega-Scott. There was only the vaguest of foreshadowing and no real explanation, although several interpretations are possible. It looks like they're going to fight... but then they get to talking, and it turns out they have a lot in common. They decide to meet for brunch the next week.
- In Superman III, Superman is exposed to some flawed synthetic kryptonite and turns "evil" (read: superpowered Jerkass). His inner conflict is played out onscreen when Clark Kent manifests in front of him and they fight until Clark wins, then tears open his shirt revealing the untarnished S-shield and flying off to undo the damage he did when he was "evil", ending the only enjoyable scene in an almost universally reviled movie.
- Pops, an older T-800 model terminator, battles his much younger self in Terminator Genisys.
- Rock Star: The members of Steel Dragon tribute bands Blood Pollution and Black Babylon are dressed identically during a parking lot. During a long shot, the fight looks like this.
- A few of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks that allow the player to use magic typically include a "Creature Copy" spell. When cast, the spell creates a magical duplicate of whatever monster you're facing to fight it. This includes the Sorcery! series with the KIN spell.
- In the third volume of GrailQuest, one of the enemies is a distorted version of yourself created by looking in a magic mirror (the only difference is that it has only half your current LIFE POINTS).
- In Book 19 of Lone Wolf, the main antagonist is an Evil Knockoff called Wolf's Bane. The main plot involves Lone Wolf chasing his evil impostor to try to bring him to justice. When you finally face him in combat, he has the same stats and abilities as you, the only difference being your respective Endurance Points if he was wounded earlier.
- In Hard Magic, Sullivan twice has to go up against his brother, both of whom have Gravity Master powers.
- Every Jason X novel except Planet of the Beast has Jason battle a clone.
- Star Wars Expanded Universe:
- During the Force Heretic novels, Jedi Tahiri Veila has a series of nightmares/hallucinations/Force-trance-somethings which pit her again various aspects of herself, including her Vuuzhan Vong implanted personality (looong story), which takes the form of — you guessed it — a mirror image of herself. Interestingly, they're actually mirror images: Tahiri is left-handed and Riina right-handed, and that's the only way to distinguish between them.
- Even Luke Skywalker has to deal with an evil clone of himself in one novel; the clone was imaginatively named "Luuke" Skywalker. In defense (as someone elsewhere noted), it was named by a Cloudcuckoolander villain...
- Rand from The Wheel of Time series fights a more or less literal Mirror Match when a "bubble of evil" spontaneously causes his reflections to jump out of mirrors and fight him to the death. Eventually he starts wising up to the situation and extinguishes his Flaming Sword, causing his reflections to do the same (to their confusion) and making the fight slightly easier.
- In Tough Magic, Yil fights his doppelganger in a practice match; the doppelganger in question being a golem programed to copy his skills and capabilities.
- In ''Draconian Symphony' The protagonists escape from a dungeon guarded by a child of Nemesis, who transforms into the main character's doppelganger to fight him.
- Angel vs. Angelus.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Inevitably, Vampire Willow is this. As Willow had not yet mastered magic at the time, it was also a Curbstomp Battle.
- Olivia of Fringe fights her Alternate Universe counterpart in the season 2 finale, Over There, Part 2.
- Played straight in Charmed when Paige and Phoebe and their evil Mirror Universe counterparts fight. Leo comments that they are too equally matched and neither side could win, so the fight went on and on until they realized this, called a truce, and formed an alliance instead.
- A Highlander episode has Duncan go evil after killing a former friend of his and absorbing his dark essence during the Quickening. Eventually, Duncan goes into a cave and has a Battle in the Center of the Mind manifested as a swordfight between him and an evil double. Somehow, this also ends in a Quickening, although there's no body of the evil Duncan.
- On the Darker and Edgier side of the Toku coin, Kamen Rider tends to have the main rider fight against an evil (and usually dark colored) counterpart, for example: Ryuki vs. Ryuga, Kabuto vs. Dark Kabuto, Kiva vs. Dark Kiva. Dragon Knight inverts this by having the first example flip sides. Ryuga is a good guy, and Ryuki is the bad guy.
- Knight Rider: KITT facing off against his Evil Twin prototype KARR. Averted in the sequel/remake, as this version of KARR is a Transforming Mecha (and yes, the fact that he's still voiced by Peter Cullen, known for voicing Optimus Prime, is a bonus), while KITT can only transform into other cars.
- This is used quite a lot in Power Rangers, being a nearly once-seasonally tradition. Often they were led by a Monster of the Week. Zeo and RPM (so far) are pretty much the only seasons who haven't had it in some form — if not identical copies, then an Evil Counterpart team will be featured, like Space's Psycho Rangers, the Spirit Rangers and Five Fingers of Poison in Jungle Fury. Oddly, only once (the very first use of the gimmick waaay back in the original series) were they used to ruin the Rangers' good name, and never have they been used to pose as a friend and backstab a good Ranger. Oddly, the Sixth Ranger seldom gets a copy. But sometimes Tommy's subverted it, facing his past selves.
- All four of the boys from Red Dwarf encountered this throughout the show. Rimmer and Kryten deliberately move to create it - Rimmer because he thinks the best person to live with is himself, Kryten to save the crew from an insane gestalt entity - while Lister and the Cat have it thrust upon them.
- Disappointingly averted in The Secret World of Alex Mack. Alex gets an evil duplicate, but despite both of them having telekinesis and electric powers, they never actually try to fight — Alex winds up just chasing her evil twin around until they recombine.
- Lord John Roxton gets an Evil Twin in one episode of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World after he is cursed for disturbing a graveyard's peace. The protector takes the ruthless and violent part — basically the hunter part — out of him and gives him a life of his own. Evil!Roxton tries to kill the good one, using Marguerite as bait. It ends in a Mirror Match.
- In Supernatural, towards the end of Season 6, Sam has a confrontation with Soulless Sam after Castiel brings down Death's Wall.
- In the Warehouse 13 episode "Savage Seduction", Steve is duplicated by an artifact and the two of him fight briefly.
- Ash vs. Evil Dead: In the episode "Ashes to Ashes", Ash fights Evil Ash, a Deadite copy of himself grown from his possessed severed hand. It plays this trope pretty straight, as each uses their knowledge of Ash's physical weak points to try and gain the upper hand.
- Britney Spears fights herself in "Hold It Against Me".
- Kelly Clarkson races against herself in "Go".
- Kelly Rowland faces off against herself in "Commander".
- Lights exchanges energy bursts, broken property, and a few punches and kicks with her Evil Twin in the Darker and Edgier "Ice".
- Madonna's "Die Another Day" shows two Madonnas fencing, swordfighting, shooting... basically, having it out using any and all weapons they can get their paws on.
- Mariah Carey's video "Heartbreaker" shows Mariah getting in a Catfight with her Evil Twin in a ladies' room.
- Invoked in the lyrics to Massive Attack's "I against I".
- P!nk does some, er... interesting things with hers in "Sober".
- Done in Williams Electronics' Joust pinball machine, which has two identical playfields facing each other.
- Revenge Of The Gator for the Game Boy has "Match Play" mode, where two players compete head-to-head to zero out the other's score to win.
- Data East's The Simpsons features Lisa Simpson and "Bleeding Gums" Murphy playing dueling saxophones on the slingshot bumpers.
- Interplay's otherwise forgettable Star Trek Pinball has a two-player table, "Nemesis", which is divided lengthwise with all playfield elements mirrored against the other side.
- The WWF tried to pull off a Mirror Match in live action at Summerslam 1994, with a match pitting The Undertaker against... The Undertaker. Unfortunately, this proved impossible to pull off with any degree of realism, as the false Undertaker they got was quite a bit shorter and slimmer than the actual Undertaker. However, this didn't stop Vince McMahon from proclaiming, "It's like looking into a mirror!"
- They did this again at Vengeance in 2006, except this time it was Kane vs Kane.
- WWE have tried it once again. This time, it's Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara, and surprisingly, it doesn't suck.
- Sabu once faced off against a masked wrestler known as the Doppleganger, who was able to imitate Sabu's moves very well. Under the mask was Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse.
- In Changeling: The Lost, one of the central conflicts for changelings is how they deal with their fetch, the magical imposter that was left behind when they were abducted. Responses to coming back after the horrific ordeal that is service to the True Fey is hard enough without having to deal with something that wears your face and has been living (or ruining) your life while you were away. Depending on how the Storyteller wants to play things, the fetch could be a malicious sociopath out to ruin the changeling's good name, a dark reflection of the changeling (or even a light reflection—nothing stops the fetch from being a better person than the changeling it replaced), or an innocent bystander with no clue why this horrible creature it dreams about wants to kill it and take over it's life.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- A classic magic item is called the Mirror of Opposition, which creates a clone of anyone looking into it with all the character's items and abilities, but the exact opposite alignment (Lawful Good produces a Chaotic Evil clone, Chaotic Good produces a Lawful Evil clone, while True Neutral produces a clone of random alignment, and so on), resulting in a big fight after which the clone and its items vanish. It's also used in the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion of Baldur's Gate. In the sequel, Big Bad Jon Irenicus pulls a similar trick during the battle in Spellhold. On a similar note, high-level mages can use the Simulacrum spell to summon a (weaker) copy of themselves.
- The D&D module "Quest for the Heartstone" has the climactic battle a one-on-one fight between each Player Character and a duplicate created by the Heartstone. Victory meant you stay yourself, defeat meant you change to the opposite alignment. The Players have a slight advantage over their duplicate in that the duplicate had 10 hit points less than them.
- The Aleax is a divine construct sent to punish a character who's strayed from his alignment, failed to make the proper sacrifices, or generally enraged a deity. It's identical to its itended victim save for Glowing Eyes of Doom and has all the same stats (except Hit Points) and equipment, plus several other powers and immunities making it a very difficult opponent. Worst, only the designated victim can harm it; all other party members are powerless to affect an Aleax.
- Some levels of Blaster Master have mooks that look like gray versions of the player character.
- One of the recurring bosses in Castlevania is the Doppelganger, which imitates the player's appearance, moves, and (sometimes) stats and equipment. This is a bit too much dedication for the Doppelganger's own good — you can often make the fight simple by putting on weak equipment before it starts, then switching.
- In Castlevania: Judgment, both the combatants have special comments and a (shared) unique win quote for a mirror match. Notably, Aeon, the Guardian of Time, believes his clone to be a threat to all of time.
- Darksiders does this when you get to Eden, where you're forced to fight a particularly bastard-ish version of yourself that can use some of your limited use moves as many times as he cares.
- Various The Legend of Zelda games have the Dark Link Mini-Boss, who got various levels of character development, but is just a shadowy version of yourself.
- Dark Link in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link serves as the game's Final Boss. Link has to fight his own dark self to prove his worth for the Triforce of Courage and the boss is no slouch. Dark Link can almost block every attack you throw at him with perfect timing and strike you when you least expect it.
- The Bonus Boss in the GBA remake of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is actually four Links that represent the colored Links you played as in the multiplayer game. Not only do they possess the Golden Sword and the Mirror Shield, along with basic sword slashes, but each color you fight can do everything the last one did and gains a new move. note
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time subverted the intuitive Mirror Match expectations by equipping Dark Link with absolutely none of Link's tools and weapons, except for shady counterparts to the Hylian shield and the Master Sword. As if to make up for this, it gave Dark Link a few added abilities, such as the ability to vanish and reappear behind Link when struck, and the ability to paralyze Link by hopping up to balance atop the blade of his Master Sword. This ability is only applicable when Link thrusts straight on, so it can easily be avoided. But it's worth getting caught in at least once because it's just that Badass. The fight gets harder if you spent time collecting extra heart containers because Dark Link's life is set to match your own maximum life.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures Shadow Link shows up every so often to cause mayhem, such as pulling out a huge bomb that kills anyone not hiding in a building or a cave, and at a few points you have to fight dozens of them. Turns out Vaati is using a magic mirror to create an army of Links to hinder your progress.
- Dark Link returns as a Bonus Boss in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, at the end of the third run of the Take 'Em All On! minigame. In addition to having the usual swordplay, he also throws bombs and shoots arrows.
- In Ōkamiden, the Big Bad is a mirror match fight.
- Shinobi for the PS2 has Moritsune.
- Bayonetta uses this trope quite literally as well. And how? She fights herself at the end the "Angel Slayer" bonus Chapter.
- During the final stage's Boss Rush in Cannon Dancer, Kirin confronts a gray-colored clone of himself called Fake, who comes out of a mirror. He can do every one of Kirin's moves, but can't use any power-up/energy double.
- Devil May Cry:
- The original game uses this trope quite literally when Nelo Angelo aka Vergil emerges from a mirror to battle you. Both brothers have similar abilities (swords and projectiles).
- The third one featured a Doppelganger boss. Defeating it would earn you the Doppelganger style, where you create a shadow of yourself that copies all of your moves.
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse: The third mission for the Elder Kai has you face off against a copy of your character in order to see if you've truly mastered your own power. After the clone is KO'd, they get back up and enter Villainous Mode for a second round.
- God Hand provides two examples: The first is Azel, the owner of the other God Hand who prefers to call himself Devil Hand as a contrast to the player character, Gene. Both characters use essentially the same moves on one another, and can even engage in Fist of the North Star-esque pummel duels. The second example is the final arena match, where Gene faces a carbon copy of himself (actually a reskin of Azel) with both God Hands for 99,999 gold.
- Averted in Ninja Gaiden III for the NES. The fifth boss is Ryu's doppelganger, but he has his own sprite (which is twice the size of the player's) and attack patterns. The doppelganger is revived as the boss of the next stage, who has a completely different form.
- In Quest for Glory III: Wages of War, the party the Hero has assembled fight mirror duplicates of themselves (created by magic mirrors, of course). The evil duplicates blatantly cheat by being significantly more powerful than the originals. The Hero's own fight is unwinnable without assistance.
- In Star Trek: 25th Anniversary for PC, the final battle is against a duplicate of the Enterprise, but tricked out with plasma torpedoes in addition to the normal weapons and escorted by two pirate vessels. It's easily the hardest part of the entire game.
- In Captain Commando, the boss in Stage 8 is Doppel, who can transform himself into an identical copy of the Commando he's up against. If more than one player are facing him, then Doppel will split himself into the required number of clones to fight.
- Double Dragon:
- The final boss in the NES version is Billy Lee's (the player character) twin brother Jimmy, who has all the same moves as the player and more health. This is actually a carry-over from the arcade version, in which the game forced both players to fight each other at the end if they defeat Machine Gun Willy together (Jimmy Lee was originally the Player 2 character in the arcade version).
- The NES version also has a one-on-one Versus Mode where you could compete against the computer or another player as one of six characters (Billy Lee and five enemies from the main game). For some strange reason, the developers decided to use larger sprites for all the characters in Versus Mode (except for Abobo, who uses the same sprites from the main game and looks oddly proportioned compared to the other Versus Mode characters) and as a result, only same character matches are allowed. When Billy is chosen, the Player 2 variant will be colored like Jimmy (red clothes and blond hair).
- Double Dragon II:
- In both arcade and NES versions, the player must fight against a clone of their character in the enemy's hideout. If there's a second player present, then there will be two clones instead of one (one for each Lee brother). The clones have almost all of the same moves as the player, along with the ability to throw projectiles and possess the player from the inside to drain their health. The clones are the final bosses in the arcade version and the penultimate bosses in the NES one.
- Jeff, an enemy character who appeared in the first two arcade games (and the Sega Master System version of the first), narrowly averts this by being a head-swap of the Lee Brothers and not a full clone. However, when Jeff returned in Super Double Dragon for the SNES, he was made into a complete palette swap of Billy Lee with tanned skin and a green outfit. Oddly enough, Jimmy, who was a palette swap of Billy up to this point, was made into a head swap in the SNES game.
- In Streets of Rage 3, the third boss is a robotic duplicate of Axel Stone named Break. He looks exactly like Axel, only with blue gloves to distinguish him.
- In the original game, Onihime and Yasha (aka Mona and Lisa), the twin bosses at the end of Round 5, were palette swaps of Blaze. However, when they returned in the third game, they were given new sprites.
- In Undercover Cops, the player must fight against clones of all three heroes before fighting the final boss.
- All three Art of Fighting games, but in Art of Fighting 2's story mode, the characters would have some funny dialogue to exchange pre-match in story mode.
- The Black Heart has only six characters, so you'll find your copy in story mode eventually. However, all of them have special animations when a mirror match starts:
- Hashi and his clone are both transported into the scene by Bako, which causes them both to look confused.
- Noroko stands in the center of the arena before she splits into two.
- Peketo and his clone appear with each other's heads. They look in surprise and toss them back to their respective owner.
- Animus and his clone appear one in male form and the other in female form impaled in the same burning cross. The cross disappears and they fall one in top of the other. They proceed to laugh maniacally before assuming battle position.
- Ananzi and her clone both descend from the same web.
- Being a playable race instead of a character, two torrents of different-colored Shar-Makai start pouring and leaving in different directions, except for two, who become big and start to fight.
- BlazBlue, also has a dedicated theme for these: "Blood Pain". Later installments blur the line between this and Developers' Foresight by having at least three pairs of characters (Noel/Mu, Tsubaki/Izayoi, and Hazama/Terumi) who are the same person with different movesets. If they face off in versus mode, they have unique dialog, typically treating it as a Battle in the Center of the Mind.
- Interestingly most characters in Bleach: Shattered Blade do have special opening quotes for fighting themselves, although only a handful have special victory quotes where they dismiss the quality of their fake. The 2nd Player versions of the characters don't usually have any special quotes.
- Breakers (and its sequel Breakers Revenge), a Neo-Geo fighting game by third-party developer Visco, had a unique approach for justifying the presence of mirror matches in the single-player mode. The computer-controlled clone of the player's character will have a different name tag and a unique palette used exclusively by the computer, implying that the clone character is actually a different fighter who uses the same fighting style.
- Capcom vs. Whatever:
- This is lampshaded in Capcom's Marvel fighting games. In Marvel Super Heroes, Spider-Man's win quote is even: "Just what I needed, another clone!" (As if The Clone Saga wasn't enough.)
- In M.O.D.O.K. vs. M.O.D.O.K. matches, whoever wins will make a comment about needing to remember to lobotomise his clones in the future.
- Tatsunoko vs. Capcom:
- Yatterman-1. To avoid players from questioning why would they be summoning the same giant sentient robot dog, the default Yatterman palette summons Yatterwan (said giant sentient robot dog) whereas the alternate color scheme calls out Yatterpelican (a giant sentient robot pelican). This has been taken down in the US version though, as it poses unfairness as Yatterpelican has a higher angle for the flame attack.
- Gold Lightan has a quirk when choosing his alternate palette. Aside from turning silver, his name changes to Silver Lightan, and all of his voiced attacks with "gold" are changed with "silver". Yes, that means he shouts "SILVER LIGHTAAAAAAAAAAAAN!"
- In SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, every single possible character matchup has its own dialogue. Right down to said Mirror Matches. Kyo even references the rampant clones he had running around during the NESTS saga.
- Clayfighter always has you fight yourself along the way.
- The King of Fighters games play with this trope as well. In KOF 2003, Terry Bogard comments that "I just changed my image and I already got impersonators!" if he beats the Fatal Fury Team.
Kyo: Just how many clones of me are left? I could make a baseball team out of me!
- In KOF'97, since the New Face Team is both a regular entry and a boss team they're given dialogue between them and their alter-egos that state that they're clones of the CPU characters.
- In KOF XI, having Kyo win a mirror match has him, much like Spidey before him, take the mickey out of this:
- Dead or Alive 2 has Kasumi facing off against her DOATEC-created clone, Kasumi Alpha. Other clones of Kasumi are visible in pods in the DOATEC lab stage.
- The story mode of Advanced Variable Geo has Yuka Takeuchi fighting a clone of herself.
- Dissidia: Final Fantasy, of course, as a fighting game. The characters can have some interesting lines for their duplicates; ranging from a Mythology Gag (Cecil repeating his line before facing himself in his own game: "This is a fight for me and me alone."), to the utterly hilarious.
Kefka: (vs Kefka) Who's that handsome devil?!
- Cloud Strife got a serious mood whiplash with his mirror match quotes. His first was a somber "If I win, will my sins be forgiven?" and in Duodecim that got changed to "Not you again!" in a more humorous tone. This actually makes sense when you consider that Duodecim is a prequel, and in the story line of the prequel he was actually fighting for the side of Chaos.
- Dissidia 012 introduces a new type of battle piece in the Scenario 000 story mode, which pits every member of your party against an exact duplicate of themselves with the exact same moveset, abilities, equipment, and stats. In addition, Sephiroth faces another Sephiroth as an in-game representation of him committing suicide.
- Eternal Fighter Zero not only has standard mirror matches (complete with unique win quotes), but in Memorial, you can set up a match between Kanna and Misuzu. If you've played AIR, you know exactly what is wrong with this matchup.
- If you beat Real Bout Fatal Fury as Geese Howard (who is the final boss), your ending shows Billy having Face Doodling the word "nisemono" (impostor) on the defeated Geese's face.
- Melty Blood characters fighting themselves will generally comment on it after the match ("Geez, you're just a fake, but your hair is so pretty...!"). There are also many Doppelgänger characters in the series. Also lampshaded in Melty Blood Re-Act by Ciel and Arcueid in Arcueid's story mode amongst others.
Arcueid: Look who it is. Are you the real one?
Ciel: That is understandable. I had to kick around many of my fake selves before I came here.
Arcueid: If you're involved in something that troublesome, you're the real one. So, how are you doing Ciel?
- Guilty Gear has a great deal of fun with this sort of match:
- Not only does it have two themes to call its own ("Fatal Duel" from GGX and "Nothing Out of the Ordinary"), the after-match quote from the winner hangs a lampshade on it, as the character chastises their opponent for impersonating them. Some versions even have different voice samples for the second player in a mirror match.
- An interesting Mirror Match happens in Guilty Gear X2 in Axl Low's story mode. He fights a version of himself from the future. The interesting thing is that unlike most fighting game mirror matches, both combatants look exactly the same, including colour scheme (sometimes making it hard to tell who is who) yet future Axl is using Axl's EX moveset and is invulnerable to normal attacks. Turns out future Axl traveled back in time just to give his past self a pep talk...and a beating apparently.
- Injustice: Gods Among Us has several of these during the story mode. It's justified since the story is about DC Comics superheroes going to an Alternate Universe. The final battle is Superman vs. Superman.
Regime Solomon Grundy: Like looking in mirror!
- Regime Solomon Grundy lampshades this and the main Solomon Grundy actually hates it.
Solomon Grundy: Grundy hate mirrors!
- Everyone's got unique dialogue for this trope in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle. In particular, Johnny and Gyro's special dialogues have them wonder if their mirror matches are a result of Valentine's Stand. There's also special dialogues for when past characters match off against their future selves, with special mention going to Kosaku!Kira wondering if meeting his past self was an effect of Bites the Dust.
- In Far East of Eden: Kabuki Klash, the loser of a Mirror Match was shown to actually be a Kitsune (if you're playing a female character) or a Tanuki (if male) imitating the winner on the victory screen. (Where they usually slump over or kneel in defeat, a puff of smoke reveals a little kitsune/tanuki instead.)
- Naturally, this can occur in Kart Fighter's two-player mode, but it also happens with the final boss.
- The makers of Magical Battle Arena seem to think that normal Miror Matches are too wimpy. After all, why else would they sic five duplicates of your character at you for the obligatory Mirror Match stage?
- Justified in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable , where the corrupted defence programme of the Book of Darkness creates "Memories", copies of the nine playable characters.
- The trope name comes from the Mortal Kombat series of video games. In the original Mortal Kombat, you fought a clone of the character you selected before going on to the two-on-one Endurance Matches.
Cassie Cage 1: Funny.
- And, of course, Shang Tsung could turn the fight into a Mirror Match by transforming.
- The Konquest mode of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance always ends with the selected character facing themselves in a 3-out-of-5 battle. Usually the battle is divorced from the backstory that previous Konquest missions had been giving.
- In Mortal Kombat X, the pre-fight dialogue is different for each matchup, and in the cases of Mirror Matches, it seems that the fighters do find this bizarre. One such dialogue is known, for when Cassie Cage faces herself in a match:
Cassie Cage 2: You know what's funny? Your face.
Cassie Cage 1: Dude, you've just insulted yourself...
Raiden 1: Who are you?
- It is implied in some fights to be the result of Shang Tsung's cloning experiments, time travel shenanigans (improbable, but not impossible), the two timelines converging, or some combination, thereof.
Raiden 2: Raiden, protector of Chaosrealm.
Raiden 1: The flow of time has indeed changed.
- The same applies to One Must Fall: 2097, in Story mode for all playable characters (in Tournament mode, you create your own pilot, who has no doubles in the tournaments which come with the game). All characters notice what's happened (it isn't played as impersonation) and seem to consider meeting themselves normal. Example from Milano: "When I think about you.../ ...I kick myself..."
- The best part? Angel vs. Angel is a plot point if you know her backstory.
- Persona 4: Arena has special theme songs that play for mirror matches; specifically, the battle themes from previous Persona games (Reach Out To The Truth for P4 characters, and Mass Destruction for P3 characters).
- Primal Rage. No matter who you choose to play as, you'll always fight yourself along the way.
- In Samurai Shodown, some characters have special pre-battle dialogue when entered in a Mirror Match; for example, Ukyo Tachibana remarks "Hey! That's my face. You're meat, beanhead."
- Since the very first game, Nakoruru's 2P color was hinted at being an alternate personality of her by giving her win-portrait (and sometimes, official art of it) a malicious smile. This was used in her Bust/Rasetsu versions since the third game, but while those would eventually spawn a different character named Rera, the "purple" Nakoruru would still survive as Nakoruru's alter ego, who would be made into a secret character for Samurai Shodown 6.
- The third game in the series created alternate versions of each character, giving them different special moves to expand the gameplay, as well as a shape-shifting mid-boss who would transform into you for a mirror-match. However, mirror matches against the CPU were handled very poorly: Not only would the mid-boss transform into the exact same version of the character you were using; you were required to also beat your actual alter ego...who would be the same version as you and the mid-boss. Then, in the fourth game, each character has a fixed set of enemies he/she can fight, so it actually averts CPU mirror matches; unless you were using Amakusa, who returns as a boss and in fact uses the opposite style you picked for your character.
- SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos lampshades this, with the two instances of the same character often expressing surprise at encountering exact copies of themselves.
- SoulCalibur 3 has these built into (almost?) every character's story mode. They appear to be the externalized representation of some internal conflict for the chosen character, and the story always moves on regardless of whether or not you win, albeit usually in a different direction.
- Street Fighter II: Champion Edition was produced largely to allow this sort of match - the original Street Fighter II didn't allow for mirror matches (except for the SNES version shown above, which featured a code that could be inputted when the game started).
- The Street Fighter II manga by Masaomi Kanzaki had a story arc where the four main Street Fighters (Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, and Guile) had to team up with the Four Shadaloo Devas (Bison, Sagat, Vega, and Balrog) in order to defeat their evil clones.
- Gouki/Akuma in Super Street Fighter II Turbo actually had an alternate ending if he defeated himself as the True Final Boss. Unfortunately the text that explained the ending was cut from the American version - basically he fought his own darkness and won.
- Later games actually gave some characters special intro animations when this happens, usually interacting with their clone before getting into fight position.
- In the Kattelox Island stage, Tiesel usually cheers for Tron when she's fighting. When two Trons enter the fight, he looks at them in utter confusion.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl :
- Lampshaded when Solid Snake calls Colonel Campbell on his codec during one of these, and both Snake and Campbell are puzzled about where the other Snake came from. Snake being a clone, Campbell brings up the possibility of the other Snake also being a clone, but ultimately decide not to let it bug them too much.
- Also used in the end part of the subspace emissary where Tabuu takes the pieces of the world the bombs detonated in and puts them together to make a maze, which includes boss characters already fought and a rainbow colored version of all the playable characters.
- In the NES version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters, this feature is available for every fighter except Hothead (a humanoid dragon based on the Warrior Dragon from the comics). The game claims that "The Dragon Spirit [inhabiting Hothead] would never allow such a thing," but in reality, the game's memory won't allow such a thing. If you use a Game Mod to do it anyway, it will cause massive flickering in the sprites.note
- In Waku Waku 7, the penultimate fight for every character is a shadowy clone of themselves.
- Sonic the Fighters deals with this situation in an interesting way: If two players chose the same character, a special cutscene is shown at the beginning of the battle where Dr. Eggman flies in and shoots a ray at the first player, creating a black and white clone which is the second player. This cutscene is also shown in single player mode, due to the game having only 7 playable fighters and the player will eventually go up against a copy of him/herself.
- In Sonic Battle, if more than one of the same character is selected in battle mode, each character except the original will become a version of Emerl with that character's moves and voices.
- Referenced by champions in Story Mode of Marvel: Contest of Champions when they mention that they may end up fighting themselves. The colors of the champions do not change, unlike in most Mirror Matches, but because the camera is fixed but the side of the screen they're on and how they face during special attacks stays the same. It's also justified and explained in story by the fact that the champions are summoned by the player character, with the original kept in a crystal by The Collector after being abducted.
- The SA-X in Metroid: Fusion is an almost exact copy of Samus, except very slightly stronger in that it has the Ice Beam while you don't.
- The multiplayer of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, as described in the box art, is "Samus vs. Samus vs. Samus vs. Samus!".
- Dark Samus (Metroid Prime, revived by the Phazon taken from Samus) mimicks many of Samus's abilities (morph ball, super missiles, etc), but also has a bunch of powers that are unique to it, such as a wide scattershot, a Deflector Shield, and the ability to fly.
- Gandrayda in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, who can transform into a copy of Samus. She transforms into copies of other characters as well throughout the fight.
- This can happen in every match in Team Fortress 2, since both teams have the same class and model. Single-class matches (for example- Scout-only, Spy-only or Heavy-only matches) takes these to ridiculous levels. Luckily, the game allows you to customize your character with hats and such, but if you and your friends decide to have single-class matches with no character customizations and only stock weapons for laughs, well, the only thing that differentiates you from the opposing team is your shirt's color. And there's the occasional case of an enemy spy disguised as one of your teammates fighting said teammate himself. Although, the spy loses his disguise if he attacks or dies.
- Dynasty Warriors 3. The battle of Fan Castle is a fight between allied forces (Wu and Wei) and Shu forces (led by Guan Yu). If you set up a custom battle on this map, choose the Wu forces, and select your character to be Guan Yu, he will comment in the opening cutscene, "I am my own opponent? This will be difficult." This was carried over, quote and all, to the recreation of the stage in 7: Xtreme Legends.
- In Warriors Orochi 3, all of the player characters (when they are in your party) have a comment for facing themselves in battle, since the plot of the game involves time travel.
- In Guild Wars, one of the main quest chains has you fighting a mirror copy of yourself, only all of its stats are maxed, and even if you don't equip any skills, it's got a big sword to hit you with. Or a bow if you run away. Oh, and it's max-level, while you can reach it several levels below your own max. Solution? Equip skills that require a health sacrifice, or hexes that the enemy triggers by either spellcasting or attacking. Either way, the AI is stupid enough to kill itself for you.
- However,it must be noted that before the expansions came out, you could have only been able to change your secondary profession AFTER completing said mirror match, so unless you knew beforehand and picked necromancer as a secondary profession to gain access to health sacrifice skills? your Mirror match could have been much more difficult.How difficult your mirror match is is really dependent on what profession you chose. A warrior could have an easy time, whereas a healing monk player could tear his hair out in frustration.
- Kingdom of Loathing claims to have this in the final quest, with the Mirror Class monster. You can't hit it either, and it blocks anything you do to it.
- World of Warcraft has three instances of copying.
- The first is a quest in howling Fjord, in order to "purge your evil." You have to meditate until it manifests as a copy of your character, unfortunately, this one has no skills other than attacking you, which leads to a rather disappointing fight.
- The second is herald Vol'azj in the Old Kingdom, once during the fight (twice on heroic) he casts insanity on the party, causing shades of the party to spawn where they were standing and attack you, these do use abilities, but besides iconic class abilities, they generalize the images to what their class is good at (druids and priests will only heal, death knights will death grip, ect. ect.).
- The third is in Icecrown Citadel, the Val'kyr will summons shadow reflections of various raid members who use powerful abilities and need to be killed, a few of these would later become skills useable by players.
- DOTA 2 has the Memetic "All mid only X". These usually involve "Whose the most hillarious when there's five of him". Good examples include most Glass Cannon types, Tiny, or most infamously, Pudge, which is popular enough to warrant it's own game mode in the original Dota.
- Usually played straight in League of Legends, but ranked games (and custom if you want) use draft pick, effectively barring mirror matches. The game does you the favor of putting colored circles around most of the persistent AOE effects in order to differentiate the source, while some of them are virtually impossible to distinguish.
- Occasionally they take this trope Up to Eleven, for example with the All for One Mirror Match game mode, where the ten players of the two teams use the same character.
- In Gargoyle's Quest II, the Doppelganger boss can take your form temporarily. When he does this, don't shoot — you'll damage yourself instead. (Fortunately, the NPCs will warn you about this.)
- In Kirby and The Amazing Mirror, the intro cutscene shows Meta Knight facing off against his mirror self (called Dark Meta Knight in the game). He is quickly defeated. Kirby's mirror self (known as Shadow Kirby in the game) appears occasionally as an enemy - defeating him will give Kirby a random powerup.
- In the Meta Knightmare mode of Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, Meta Knight fights a copy of himself at the end of Orange Ocean.
- Mega Man sometimes must battle an exact copy of his own schematics. Given that he is an artificial construct, this is a fully justified application.
- Subverted in Mega Man Powered Up. If you play as a robot master, the boss of his stage will be "Mega Man?", a clone of Rock, not the master himself. However, it’s played straight later on in Wily's fortress.
- Interestingly enough, the copies of Mega Man, despite being exactly the same, are always easily defeated by the real deal. Guess there's just no counting for experience.
- The final boss battle of Mega Man Zero 3 is one of these, although the twist is that the boss isn't the copy, the hero is.
- Prince of Persia had you face a literal mirror copy of yourself, released from a magic mirror you had leaped through earlier. He shares your health bar, mirrors every attack identically. The only way to defeat him is to sheathe your sword.
- Bad/Dark Rayman from the final level of Rayman, Mr. Dark's Dare. An evil double of Rayman, Dark Rayman would literally do everything Rayman did, essentially copying the player's progress with perfect precision, albeit lagging behind by a second or two. If he touches you, you will die instantly and lose a life. Since he's invincible to any of Rayman's attacks, you are forced to keep moving throughout the entire level without allowing him to come into contact with Rayman. Successfully reaching the end of the level kills Dark Rayman, allowing you to move on.
- In Shadow the Hedgehog, the two-player mode has each player controlling a clone of Shadow, with Player One as the most convincing copy.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- All areas in Super Mario Sunshine include a mission where you have to chase Shadow Mario.
- Super Mario Galaxy pits you in races against Cosmic Mario for a star. Not quite a fight, but a match in terms of platforming capabilities (however, Luigi's duplicate is much smarter than Mario's).
- In certain missions in Super Mario Galaxy 2, Cosmic Clones of Mario will follow your route through a level and mimic your actions exactly until you accomplish some objective, at which point, they'll disintegrate and turn into star bits. You're usually okay if you keep moving and don't retrace your route, but if you make even the slightest slip, they'll most likely clobber you.
- Done once more for Super Mario 3D Land in the special worlds. You will have a shadow clone chase you around as it follows your movements. Depending on the level, the clone will vanish as you make a transition to the next part of the level (which the clone will pop up again as you start to move on) or you can snag a Star and smash into it to temporarily disable it. Most of the time, you will have to clear the level to finally stop the clone. The last few levels in the special worlds give a giant version of the clone, making it harder to dodge it.
- Tomb Raider also uses Mirror Matches, but in just a few games. In the first Tomb Raider and in the Anniversary remake, there is a skinless creature in the 2nd to last Atlantis level that has the shape of Lara Croft. The clone moves the same way Lara does and firing your guns at it hurts you, as well as the creature, so if Lara dies, the creature would too. The creature was really a puzzle where you had to trick it into falling into a trapdoor with lava below in order to move on to the next area. One level in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation has a gold statue of Lara that hurts you if you fire your guns at it (why Lara actually aims at the thing is a mystery). Some enemies in the room actually attack the gold copy of Lara, causing harm to the real Lara.
- In Vexx, some of the Wraithheart missions involve playing minigames against three clones/dark versions of Vexx, referred to as Vexx's "inner demons" in the game. The clones can be attacked and even knocked out of the arena (but they reappear a few seconds later), but only truly die when the original Vexx wins the minigame.
- Osmos usually pit you against dozens of cells that were static and couldn’t move, occasionally complemented by one special cell, like Attractor or Repulsor one. Some levels had an exact copy of you, however, one that could move itself in the same intelligent manner as your own cell.
- The Binding of Isaac:
- Doples in the Womb/Utero levels, which has the same 3-heart health as you do at the beginning and perfectly mirrors your moves. If you start moving forward, they move towards you: if you move into one corner, they go into the opposite one. They also only shoot at the same time as you, and have to be killed in order to leave the room they're in. Killing them is easy if you have self-guiding tears or a ranged companion. If you don’t, they have to be tricked into walking on a spike bed, preferably without getting damaged yourself.
- The Sheol levels also have Evil Twin, which looked like a stereotypical black demon and has wings and a rather powerful Spread Shot.
- In Chrono Trigger DS, the Dimensional Vortex contains the Crimson Shade and Alabaster Shade, mirror opposites of Lucca and Marle, respectively. They use the same basic skills, boosted to twice their power.
- Crono himself gets his own Shade, too. Interestingly enough, the doppelgangers' moves are renamed. (Luminaire becomes Scintillation, Cleave becomes Rend).
- The other Shades have the same kind of renaming. (Ice II becomes Icefall, Cure 2 becomes Recuperate, Flare becomes Explosion, etc.)
- In Dragon Age: Origins there's a test during the Gauntlet in The Urn of Sacred Ashes Quest that has each party member, including the player character, face an invisible version of themselves, complete with names hovering above them and matching voices (for shouting as you kill them)
- Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening also had your party face against the Architect’s Test Subjects after being captured by him. They even have an advantage, because they possess the exact same equipment you had before capture, while your party is forced to fight with whatever you’ve looted from clones beforehand.
- The main quest of The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles features one of these. You fight a (literal) shadow copy of yourself, which has all your items, powers, and skills — oh, and a big, scary sword.
- With a bit of messing around with AI and status effects, the player can make someone clone them. The only downside is that it only lasts for around a minute before disappearing.
- This was an engine feature implemented for Morrowind. Because of a game-crashing bug when modders tried to use it, it was forgotten until it was used again in Shivering, and now appears to be fixed.
- As a trial to become a Paladin, Cecil in Final Fantasy IV has to face a doppelganger of himself as a Dark Knight. In the Bonus Dungeon, Kain has to face a dark form of himself before it transforms into Lunar Bahamut. Revisited in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years when Kain's repressed dark urges manifest as an Enemy Without and they duel for dominance.
- In Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, one of the Digital Mind Wave cutscenes shows Zack battling a simulation of his recorded data from last month's training, which appears as a clone of himself. The two are evenly matched - which is a bad sign, as it shows that Zack hasn't improved at all since last month.
- Played somewhat straight in Final Fantasy IX, where one dungeon in the latter half of the game features actual mirrors that must be confronted, each one producing a duplicate of one of the playable characters, though not necessarily one that's actually in the active party. If the mirror character actually is duplicating someone in the party at the time, that party member receives a one-hit kill before the party can take any action (unfortunately, resurrecting that character during the fight will only cause another immediate one-hit kill from the mirror monster).
- On the bright side, each mirror-monster will spawn up to three doppelgangers per battle. Defeating them grants lots of experience - you may find yourself enjoying the company for a while.
- Graal The Adventure used to have a quest where the final boss was a mirror. The boss within would mirror your moves exactly. It didn't LEAVE the mirror, making it rather difficult to hit; but bombs could be thrown over the line between worlds...
- .hack//G.U. has this in the form of a Boss in Mook Clothing, the Doppelganger. He appears whenever you've stayed on an overworld map for too long, and is always 8 levels above you until you hit the level cap of the game (of which doing so turns him into a straight up mook), and has a unique weapon that mimics, you guessed it, protagonist Haseo's weapon that's out at the time. This means that if you have the scythe out and he finds you... Oh Crap!. The fact that the game has a driving, terrifying synth theme for him that gets louder as he gets closer, does not help things any.
- Fail to answer a sphinx' riddle correctly in Heroes of Might and Magic 5, and this will be your penalty — i.e. you have to fight an army structured EXACTLY as yours with the same creatures and led by the same hero with the same level, skills and items.
- Kingdom Hearts:
- Kingdom Hearts II has, at one point, a cutscene version of one of these, featuring a Nobody versus their major-character counterpart. It could've played out like a Duel Boss, except...well...it is a cutscene. At the end, said Nobody said he had a good Somebody, and he was glad to get to meet him. The fight actually is a Duel Boss in Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+.
- Then, in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Terra's final boss is against his own body, with several identical moves. This is best overcome by blocking and countering all attacks directed at you. Also, Ven's final boss is Vanitas - the other half of his heart. This trope only really comes into play during the second half of the fight, though; up until then, Vanitas doesn't fight like Ven at all. And interestingly, it's Ven copying Vanitas' technique in the second half, not the other way around as you'd expect.
- This happened in the first game, too, with the Anti-Sora boss fight in Neverland. Shadow Sora Heartless also appear as normal enemies in the same world. Though not strictly a mirror match, the fight against possessed Riku in Hollow Bastion feels like this, due to his similar fighting style and using dark versions of Sora's moves (such as Strike Raid).
- Kingdom Hearts Re:coded features a battle against the data version of Sora's Heartless, which has transformed into an incredibly powerful Darkside thanks to absorbing the data of the other Heartless in the journal. During the fight (which is a Sequential Boss), the second, third and fourth stages have it take the form of Anti-Sora, which fights almost identically to Data-Sora.
- In the prologue of Kingdom Hearts II, one of the Seven Wonders of Twilight Town has Roxas battle a shadowy version of himself, which comes out of his reflection in the waterfall.
- In the Reverse/Rebirth mode of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Riku battles the Riku Replica multiple times.
- In the Mission Mode of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, it is possible to make Xion, Saïx and Riku battle "Anti-" versions of themselves, which appear as shadow versions of the character with glowing yellow eyes (like Heartless). (Incidentally, you fight the "Anti-" version of the character no matter which character you choose for the mission, with the exception of Xion, though the Xion fight doesn't really feel like a Mirror Match since the boss is in a different form to the player character).
- Mass Effect 3's Citadel DLC has the Mirror Match option in the Armax Arsenal Arena, where your opponents are clones of Commander Shepard using each of the game's six player classes. Not to mention the main antagonist of the DLC storyline, a clone of Commander Shepard using the same class and powers as the player.
- Namco × Capcom brings back Doppel from Captain Commando, cloning each and every character in the playable cast, several times during the game's length.
- In the second expansion of the game Neverwinter Nights, Hordes of the Underdark, the player experiences a Mirror Match after looking in an actual magic mirror. However, the player also has henchmen, which tips the odds significantly in his or her favor.
- A rather interesting take is down in an early PS2 game and adaptation of Orphen called Scion Of Sorcery where Orphen, Majic and Zeus are forced to fight against one. While its default form is that of a grayed out and dusty-looking version of Orphen with yellow boots, it can freely change into either of the party members. While it barely ever attacks, attacking it while it impersonates any one of you will result a significant amount of mirror damage dealt to your party but the person being imitated will receive the brunt of it and when it assumes its default form, it'll put up a barrier before launching a projectile. Reflecting the projectile with the right spell (Armor of Purity) will cause it to transform into a lizard man where it can safely be whacked on.
- In Pokémon:
- Ditto and Mew have the move Transform, which will allow them to turn into an exact copy of the enemy Pokémon, and have all the same moves and type. But it doesn't get any stronger, meaning the original will usually win. A true exercise in futility is Ditto vs Ditto. They will continually be transforming into...a Ditto with 5 PP (Power Points) in Transform. Like pitting two Metapod against each other, but it can never end. (The aforementioned Metapod fight would, because they would eventually run out of PP and struggle each other/themselves to a knockout.) The mechanics of the move Transform were changed in Pokémon Gold and Silver (from Generation II onwards, it is not possible to Transform into a Pokémon that is the transformation of another Pokémon), specifically to prevent such an endless battle from occuring.
- It's also not unusual for simply the same species to be fighting on each side. However, true mirror matches (with the exact same stats and moveset) are generally only happening in the multiplayer environment. And the IV system (which means the chance of two Pokémon having exactly equal stats one in hundreds of millions) actually makes it almost impossible to have a perfect mirror match, especially since a Pokémon's statistics are also determined by natures and Effort Values. Further variation of each Pokémon comes in the form of differing movesets, form variations, abilities, and held items.
- If a player visits Umbra in Sa Ga Frontier, their trip ends with a Mirror Match between their first party and their first party's shadows.
- Secret of Evermore uses this several times throughout the game. Firstly the player fights 3 different copies of himself, after which another character confusedly remarks "Wow, according to my calculations, you're at least three times stronger than yourself!". Secondly, as part of the final boss battle you must fight another clone of yourself and the computer-controlled dog that has been following you throughout the game. However, what makes it interesting is that while the clone of the player can be taken out in one shot (he's no stronger than the clones from before), the clone of the Dog has roughly 10,000 HP.
- Star Control Star Control II]] had the Super Battle mode where you could have any ship type in the game (with obvious exceptions of the story-only Vindicator flagship and final boss) face off against each other, whether individually or in teams. It was entirely possible to have two of the same ships fighting each other. It was even possible to have them both AI-controlled and let them duke it out.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Belome, a Recurring Boss in Super Mario RPG, is an odd-looking statue come to life. Turns out being petrified builds up quite an appetite. The second time you fight him, he will periodically swallow one of your characters and spit them out, commenting on their taste and releasing a clone. The copies have their own stats, but use "evil" versions of your techs —while Mario can toss fireballs, his copy can cause a flaming meteor to drop from the sky.
- Paper Mario has enemies that can imitate Mario or his current partner. The second game even goes as far as a boss called Doopliss fooling his partners, and the player, into thinking that he's the real Mario.
- The third time you fight Doopliss in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, in the second battle with the Shadow Sirens, he can turn into Mario or his partner at any point in the battle.
- Super Paper Mario's Bonus Boss and one of the hardest bosses in the game which comes after a Bonus Level AND a Marathon Level is Shadoo, who is the dark form of every playable character in the game. Also apparently he can hurt you by walking into you while you can't despite being just a copy of you
- Although different characters, the duels between Luke and Asch in Tales of the Abyss otherwise fit this. Although Asch knows several spells Luke doesn't, they otherwise fight exactly the same, as they learned to fight from the same teacher. Not to mention that Luke is a clone of Asch.
- Tales of Xillia 2 is a story that revolves entirely around fractured dimensions, so this trope was bound to come up sooner or later. The biggest example of this comes in the form of Ludger fighting Victor, who is an alternate older version of Ludger. Another example comes in chapter 4 of Alvin's character quest, when a younger version of him accidentally shoots and kills that universe's version of Presa and then gets into a fight with him. And yet another example is the final chapter of Milla's character quest. If you have Muzét in your party, it can count as you fight an alternate Muzét.
- The trope goes back a good ways in gaming; 1985's Ultima IV had the player's party fight evil opposite selves near the end of the game.
- Wild ARMs: Alter Code F features enemies called Doppelgangers who imitate a party member. They're just normal Mooks though. They also appear in Wild ARMs XF and will have all of the special abilities of the copied character's special class.
- In The World Ends with You, the kitsune-style noise (Psychedelifox, Ambiefox, and the like) can shape-shift into other forms, usually other Noise. If they get enough tails, they can shapeshift into Neku wearing a kitsune mask, and attack you with a set pool of psychs Neku is able to equip (though not necessarily what he currently has equipped).
- As part of a test, one of the boss fights in Secret of Mana is against the Shadow Xs, dark-colored versions of the three main characters.
- Touhou Puppet Dance Performance features Shard of Dreams' Satori fight. She will precisely copy your team's levels, stats, and items... somehow. She doesn't do this in the original, though.
- In the PlayStation game Silent Bomber, the fight with Benoit feels like this, as Benoit has exactly the same moves and equipment as the main character.
- Lampshaded and occasionally justified in Touhou spinoff Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, and its DLC Hisoutensoku. During arcade or vs mode, if the player wins a mirror match, the characters will say something akin to: "Mirror-image training completed". Marisa even says "I'm winning 101 matches out of 100 in image training!" Considering that this is Gensokyo, people creating clones of themselves for danmaku training shouldn't come of as much of a surprise.
- Similarly, this is possible in the versus shooters, Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream and Phantasmagoria of Flower View. Actually part of the plot in Dim. Dream, since the bosses don't change even if you're playing as them. Apparently Chiyuri has a Gensoukyou counterpart, and Yumemi got cloned by a device on the ship.
- This can also happen, to an extent, in Imperishable Night's practice mode. In the story mode's fourth stage, you fight either Reimu or Marisa, and if you chose one of those two as your player character, you fight the other one. In practice mode, you can fight either of them with any character, including themselves. And similarly, Spellcard Practice can be done by any character, and includes bonus spellcards by playable characters.
- One of Eiki Shiki's spellcards in Shoot the Bullet invokes this, forcing Aya to fight her reflection/clone.
- In the first Star Trek: Starfleet Command game, the player gets to fight his or her own Mirror Universe counterpart, who is flying the exact same ship. This is one of the toughest battles in the game, as tactics is the only way to win.
- Mario Golf allows this, but the sequel does not. Mario Tennis only allows it in Special Games (e.g. short match) but not in the main game. This is problematic as every character plays differently, especially in the second Golf, where each character has their own power\accuracy mix, so the best players will probably all want the same one or two hard-hitters.
- After unlocking Pete in Backyard Skateboarding, you can play as him in the Boardwalk; the boss challenge involves racing Pete, so you're racing yourself.
- One of the bosses for Silent Hill 3 is Memory of Alessa, a carbon copy of the protagonist Heather, only decaying and bloody.
- Part of the lead-up to the final boss in the NES game Sweet Home features a number of one-on-one fights against mirrors of your own five-member party. Since there are two or three paths to the final boss platform, which path you take indicates which party member double(s) you have to fight.
- Joining the ranks of Nintendo Dark Doppelgangers is Dark Pit in Kid Icarus: Uprising. He has all the same gameplay limitations as Pit note , and if you know what he's gonna bring to any given battle, you can equip Pit thusly and make it a true Mirror Match. Can't say the same for his stats, though.
- During Splatfest events in Splatoon, sometimes one side will be so popular that there aren't enough members of the other side to go around, so they'll be matched up with another team from the same side.
- Dragon Ball Multiverse: One of the chapters has U16 and U18 Gotenks fighting each other, thus causing this trope to be in play. And boy, is it played to the hilt, as the two do the exact same things. So much that when they inevitably defuse, one of the halves has to ask which of the two other fighters is from his Universe. One of them just gives up.
- 8-Bit Theater:
- Black Mage encounters a copy of himself, representing his inner darkness and such, in the Castle of Ordeals. This was because the only thing evil enough to match Black Mage is Black Mage.
- Parodied, somewhat, when Fighter splits up the Light Warriors, Dark Warriors, and Other Warriors into new teams. Fighter places himself on every team (in one case, three times). Thief convinces Fighter that he's picked a "random" representative from each team to have a fight to the death (naturally, he picked each team's Fighter), leaving a very confused Fighter fighting "himself"... but there's still really only one of him, so he stoically waits for an attack to counter, leaving him frozen in place for a while. But then again, you can't really trust Fighter to be realistic for long.
- In El Goonish Shive, when Ellen is first created she fights Elliot to get past him. Since each knew each other's strengths and weaknesses and had the same abilities their fight was effectively this.
- One story in Deviant Universe involved heroes and villains fighting themselves from another universe where they were the opposite alignment.
- Goblins has a variation; the dungeon the Maze of Many forms a link between all the dimensions in the multiverse, and pits adventuring parties against versions of themselves from all possible realities. It's not a straight mirror match, though, since there are subtle differences between each individual, depending on which reality they originated in.
- Mulberry witnesses one when she watches the movie Batman vs. Batman. To her disappointment, the Batmen spend their confrontation boasting how Crazy-Prepared they are to face each other, and a "To Be Spread Out Over Six Movies" card appears before they actually start fighting.
- In an episode of Aladdin: The Series, Chaos makes an evil copy of Aladdin. The hero wins by using his evil counterpart's lamp to wish him away. The "evil" Aladdin didn't free his genie as the real Aladdin did.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!:
- When Captain America finally gets to face off against his Skrull doppelganger, it goes down like this, though the Skrull Cap was already transformed and looks like an alien wearing the Captain America suit rather than a direct mirror image of the Star-Spangled Avenger. Cap is more than a match for his double and defeats him in a most satisfying manner.
- The episode in which Skrull impersonators of the first eight Avengers try to invade Wakanda has Black Panther, Wasp, and Hawkeye each fight alien versions of themselves. The real Black Panther and Hawkeye each kill their alien counterparts, while Wasp's becomes defeated by Hawkeye. The other Skrulls have to settle for fighting Avengers that they aren't copying.
- Another episode features the Avengers dealing with robotic copies created by Ultron. Two notable scenes in the episode include a direct example of this trope: One with Hawkeye and Cap dealing with their robot doubles at Avengers Mansion, and later at the climax when the assembled Avengers team take on the entire team of robot Avengers (save for the Captain America double, who had been destroyed in the former battle at the Mansion.).
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman faces his evil Mirror Universe counterpart, Owlman. He wins by turning off the lights, causing Owlman to don night-vison goggles, then quickly lighting a flare to blind him.
- Megatron of Beast Wars was able to create a clone of Dinobot with the original's personality and memories, but an inability to transform. The real Dinobot and the clone battled with former opting to remain in beast mode to keep the match fair. The original ultimately defeats and eats the clone remarking that he was quite tasty.
- In the Futurama episode "The Farnsworth Parabox", the gang enter an Alternate Universe and the two Leelas start fighting. But because their moves are identical, they both knock each other out after the first hit.
Prof. Farnsworth: Now, now. Perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything.
- Geri's Game is about an old man who plays Chess against himself. He's very competitive.
- The He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) episode "The Shaping Staff" has He-Man fighting his Evil Twin, Faker. Note that in the cartoon, Faker isn't blue.
- Justice League Unlimited:
- In the episode "Divided We Fall", Luthor-Brainiac recreated the Justice Lords (and a very Reverse-Flash-looking evil Flash) for the original founders of the Justice League to fight. They stopped them by going up against different copies, instead of their counterparts. Except the Flash, who beats his evil counterpart on his lonesome. Dude knows how to deal with his issues. (That's because he is the only sane one of them. He just got super powers and decided to help people.) IIRC, Batman beat his duplicate as well.
- Also played with in the episode "Fearful Symmetry": As Supergirl battles her Evil Counterpart Galetaea, the Clothing Damage of their costumes starts to make them mirror the other's...
- In an episode of Recess, the main characters have to play a kickball match against a Similar Squad from another school. The similar tactics of both teams keep the game at a stalemate.
- Aku once created a clone of Samurai Jack from his negative emotions. They were evenly matched until Jack cleansed himself of all negative emotions, destroying the clone.
- The whole Saturday family has almost exact mirror matches from an alternate universe.
- The Simpsons:
- In episode "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes", Homer fights an actor impersonating him. Homer wins by fighting dirty. "If I know me, he won't like being kicked in the crotch!"
- For a city- (or possibly small-town-) scale Mirror Match, see the episode "Lemon of Troy".
- In Space Stars, Space Ghost ends up fighting his evil Mirror Universe counterpart Space Spectre. They wind up evenly matched, but then Jan, Jace, and Blip attack Space Spectre, the distraction allowing Space Ghost to defeat him. Space Ghost quips, "I have friends. You don't."
- Steven Universe: "Ocean Gem" has Steven and the Gems fighting water clones produced by the eponymous gem, Lapis Lazuli. They're almost evenly matched, but the copies eventually gain the upper hand. Steven ends the fight by summoning his shield (for the first time in the series since "Cookie Cat", the first episode), which causes the clones to disperse. Noticeably, the music track that plays during the fight is called Mirror Match.
- In Teen Titans the Titans faced off against evil versions of themselves whipped up by Trigon who was starting to find their attacks against him annoying. Because their evil counterparts had the exact same abilities as the originals, the heroes are only able to win by switching opponents.
- Thunder Cats:
- "Spitting Images": Panthro fights an evil clone of himself. They are evenly matched, but Lion-O ends the fight by blasting them both. The Sword of Omens wouldn't harm a fellow ThunderCat, but destroyed the clone.
- "Fond Memories": Mumm-Ra takes on Lion-O's form before fighting him. Lion-O wins because Mumm-Ra keeps his weakness to his own reflection no matter what form he is in.
- In Transformers Prime, human terrorist organization, MECH, ultimately succeeds in creating a robot drone with all of Optimus Prime's abilities and strengths that defeats all the other Autobots and manages to fight Optimus on equal footing. He is ultimately defeated when one of the Autobot's human allies distracts the drone's operator.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Brain Drain", Phineas and Ferb spend a sick-day playing a fighting game based on themselves with their friends. Phineas ends up matched against... himself.
Phineas: Check it out, I'm kicking my own butt!