"What will you be? A banker from Boston, a carpenter from Ohio, or a farmer from Illinois?"
Multiple Game Openings
is a form of Story Branching
opposite of Multiple Endings
, where each available Player Character
(or Character Class
) starts the game in a different level, but all such prologues soon converge into a single common plot (which can coincide with Opening the Sandbox
Particularly common in MMORPGs
, in which your choice of faction, race, or class can determine where your journey begins.
Compare Another Side, Another Story
, where the player unlocks an alternative level progression by completing the game, and Big First Choice
, where all new games start the same but branch out heavily early on. See also Schr÷dinger's Player Character
, where picking a player character effectively erases all other playable characters from the game.
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- Nox had three opening sequences, depending on the choice of the PC's class. Essentially, it's three different games until you reach the Field of Valor.
- In Threads of Fate, you can select one of two characters as your protagonist, and each one depicts his backstory and motivations for finding the legendary treasure. Although the game proper begins after they both arrive at the Hub Level, there are many times throughout the game where their individual stories diverge again.
- The opening level of Mega Man ZX Advent differs depending on whether you chose to play as Grey or Ashe.
- Little Samson introduces each of the four player characters in a solo stage. These can be played in any order, but from then on progression is strictly linear.
- X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse has different opening stages for Wolverine, Cyclops, Psylocke, Gambit and Beast, which can be played in any order.
RPG — Eastern
- In Seiken Densetsu 3, depending on which of the six characters you select as your primary party member, you see six separate opening sequences. These paths converge at Castle City Jad, shortly after the opening credits.
- Star Ocean: The Second Story gives you the choice to play as either Claude or Rena, with the other character relegated to the role of deuteragonist. As such, your perspective of the first part of the plot varies with your chosen character. Though the pair eventually resolves to travel together, there are still minor differences in what you see depending on this initial choice.
- In Uncharted Waters: New Horizons, each character started off in the capital of his respective nation, before getting involved (to varying degrees) in the overarching plot.
RPG — MMO
- In World of Warcraft every race has its own starting area. Dwarves & Gnomes and Orcs & Trolls each share the starting zone but, as of the Cataclysm expansion, they begin in different parts of those zones. Death Knights are the only class that get their own unique starting zone, regardless of race.
- In Star Wars: The Old Republic, for both the Republic and the Sith Empire, Force users start on one planet (Tython & Korriban) while those who don't use the Force start on another (Ord Mantell & Hutta)
- Final Fantasy XI you choose your home nation and but inevitably begin traveling along the same path as players who chose either of the other two cities.
- Taken Up to Eleven in Guild Wars 2, whose personal story, though it branches frequently, generally converges to a single story thread — apart from the first twenty levels, where choice of race and answers to biography questions during character creation result in one of forty-five unique scenarios.
RPG — Western
- While it doesn't change specific events, the player's starting position in Ultima IV depends on his class, with his arrival in Britannia in the city corresponding to the virtue associated with his class.
- The PC adaptation of Temple Of Elemental Evil had nine opening scenes, depending on the alignment you selected for your party. Some were just cutscenes or conversations, while others had a short battle. All nine served to give your team a reason to head to the village of Hommlet, where they pick up the real quest.
- The six playable Player Character origins were the main gimmick of Dragon Age: Origins (the title is a hint).
- In all but the 2004 Sid Meier's Pirates! games, you have a choice of your character's background, which can cause wildly differing scenarios when it comes to friendly ports, initial flagship, and crew size. It also provides differing explanations as to how your family became scattered across the Carribbean.
- The X-Universe games starting with X3: Reunion offer various starting scenarios, which differ mainly in terms of which ship and sector you start in. X3: Terran Conflict's "Terran Defender" start, for instance, starts you off in a Terran Sabre interceptor in Uranus orbit and lets you begin the game's first plot immediately, while "Humble Merchant" starts you off in Herron's Nebula with an Argon Mercury and a Discoverer scoutship, and requires a bridging mission to get you to Terran space before you can start the plot. Various other game starts are unlocked by fulfilling conditions in the game.
- In Metal Gear Solid 2, if you pick "I didn't play MGS1" before starting the game, you'll start it from Raiden's perspective, skipping the Tanker storyline altogether.
- In Metal Gear Solid 3, your answer to the question which MSG you liked best slightly influences the introduction scene or the rate at which your stamina depletes.
- The Suffering had three different endings, so its sequel has three different beginnings, which the player could choose according to his headcanon. Surprisingly, the beginnings of the second game continue to have an effect on the game throughout its length.