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No Cutscene Inventory Inertia
"Well, it's finally happened. Shooters have been evolving for something like two decades, through thick and thin, through brown and gray, through showers of flailing ragdolls against a background of excessive bloom, but it was all worth it because shooters have reached the peak. Yes, with Max Payne 3, shooters have finally figured out how to have the main character holding the same guns in cutscenes that he was using in the preceding gameplay. Close up the shop and shine all those crazy diamonds; it's not getting any better than this."
Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, Zero Punctuation

In Video Games, it's quite rare for your character to be limited to one weapon or costume. One of the benefits of using real-time-rendering and textures is that you can swap them out for other things to change the look and feel of a character's costume or give them different equipment. Often times, however (especially in earlier games), cutscenes are not rendered in real time. This can create some continuity issues, since there can be only one possible configuration of gear used in the cutscene.

In recent years this has been minimized somewhat by the increased prevalence of in-engine cutscenes, which are complex sets of animations rendered in real-time as opposed to a video file that plays.

A subtrope of Story Overwrite, and, by extension, Gameplay and Story Segregation.

Compare Informed Equipment for worn or wielded items not being visible.


Examples:

  • Halo:
    • You will always be carrying an assault rifle during cutscenes, no matter what weapon you had beforehand. Replaced with the battle rifle in Halo 2 and the silenced submachine gun in Halo 3: ODST, though on rare occasions in Halo 2 the Chief actually carried what you had equipped before a cutscene started. This is especially jarring in the start of the level Two Betrayals, where the opening cutscene has Master Chief clearly holding an assault rifle, but when gameplay starts, you're given a shotgun and a plasma pistol.
    • In Halo: Reach your armor is completely customizable, but you will always be wielding either an Assault Rifle, DMR, or Pistol during cutscenes. Armor-wise, it's also partially enforced by the game hiding Armor Effects during the cutscenes, since poignant moments would be ruined by showing your head be on fire during then.
  • Resident Evil: Resident Evil 4 has Leon always wielding his trusty handgun in the cutscenes, even though you can sell the gun whenever you please. The same goes for Resident Evil 5. In the PS2 version of Resident Evil 4, being pre-rendered CGI, Leon is always wearing his default costume in cutscenes as well. In the Wii version, Leon retains the RPD uniform in cutscenes, but not the mobster suit.
  • In Gears of War, Marcus is always wielding his Lancer in the cutscenes, regardless of whether or not you have it on you at the time. In the third game, many NPC characters in your squad are also carrying different weapons by default, but when a cutscene rolls around, everyone is suddenly using Lancers.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Metal Gear Solid, even if you found and equipped the SOCOM suppressor, Snake doesn't use it when he mercy kills Sniper Wolf, though admittedly this was intentional as to not completely ruin the impact of the scene with a dulled "pop" instead of an echoing "bang."
    • Cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty will nearly always have Raiden using the SOCOM pistol when he's brandishing a weapon. If he fires it in said cutscene, it will make the normal gunshot noise whether the player found the suppressor. The exception is if the player equips the slide-locked, always-suppressed, non-lethal M9 before entering the cutscene, at which point things get especially silly as it will also act like it's the SOCOM, complete with firing loudly and semi-automatically at, and drawing blood from, the otherwise invincible Vamp on two separate occasions.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Snake will usually keep whatever outfit or face-paint he has on in the following cutscene. This does not extend to his weaponry, however, as he'll usually just sport the M1911. Whether or not you have a suppressor attached to it is shown, though. Same for the tranquilizer gun in cutscenes from the prologue Virtuous Mission, though in the one occasion where he fires it in a cutscene it sounds loud regardless.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots follows suit, showing whatever Octo-Camo or Face-Camo textures Snake was wearing in the cutscenes (and even letting you erase them mid-cutscene by shaking the controller). This is not always the case for weapons, however. All cutscenes that play before intense combat such as a boss battle have the cutscene transition into the gameplay, usually with a close-up on Snake that pans to an over-the-shoulder shot, where his health bar and such appear. While the transition is seamless and looks really nice, since all cutscenes show Snake using either the Operator handgun or the M4 carbine, the game will automatically place them into Snake's active inventory if they aren't already there, swapping them out with other guns, which can get really annoying if you suddenly lose a gun you need or prefer over those two. This means when you gain control, you immediately have to go into the Weapons menu and reselect it, which kind of takes away the cool factor of the transition. The cutscenes also don't reflect the player's weapon modifications, meaning you won't see a silencer on the Operator, or whatever accessories you have on the M4, except for during these transitions.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker has Big Boss or members of his private army begin EVERY boss battle by pointing the M-16 rifle that you probably stopped using within 20 missions of the beginning at the enemy vehicle. Even if it's a giant tank the size of the shuttle transporter.
  • Final Fantasy VII works around this by making starting weapons unsellable.
  • Dirge of Cerberus has Vincent using the vanilla Cerberus pistol (how "vanilla" a triple-barreled gun is is relative) in cutscenes, no matter how pimped out you have it, or if you were using the machine gun or rifle a second ago. Avoided in cutscenes where Vincent is in his Chaos form and using Death Penalty, though this is more by accident as the player has no choice in the matter of armament in this form.
  • Final Fantasy VIII's Squall is always shown with his Revolver model gunblade, regardless of your current gunblade model.
  • Final Fantasy XIII. Equipment changes only ever appear in battle.
    • Mostly averted in Final Fantasy XIII-2. When cutscenes involve weapons, the characters are always holding exactly the ones they have equipped. When the cutscenes don't involve weapons, however, Noel's blades, which are usually sheathed on his back while running in the field, sometimes seem to mysteriously disappear altogether. Serah's weapon simply turns into Mog outside of combat, so for her it's not this trope.
  • It also happens in Final Fantasy X, but for one scene only: The group shot as the team enters Zanarkand has the team put their weapons together. This will show default weapons and the Brotherhood, regardless of what is equipped. Why? The scene is actually the first scene of the game, and everything leading up to it is How We Got Here, so the game literally can't know what you'll have equipped when you catch up. It's otherwise averted; the FMV scenes typically don't show weapons—and one of the few that does, Auron's introduction, takes place before he's a party member, so he can't have anything but his default weapon. Most of the other scenes use the in-game engine, and use what you have equipped.
  • In Final Fantasy X-2 different dress-spheres change the characters' outfits and abilities. Despite this being a major plot point, outside of battle the girls are always wearing the same clothes.
  • Averted Entirely during Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Lightning will wear whatever Garb, Weapon and Sheild are equipped at all times, even if it's hilariously innapropirate for the scene. (An action packed sequence while dressed as Yuna or wearing an outfit made of Moogle plushies for example) Only the opening averts this due to being prerendered and happening before the player has acess to schema.
    • The only exception being the final concluding scenes (after you beat the final boss). Lightning will be wearing her default outfit for those scenes as they are prerendered.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, Roxas always has the Kingdom Key equipped in all scenes. Except for the last mission.
    • Kingdom Hearts II averts this except for one cutscene, immediately prior to the 1000 Heartless fight, which is an FMV as it was simply impossible for the PS2 to render the scene in real-time. On the flip side, the game also demonstrates one of the unintended side effects of averting this trope; occasionally Sora's keyblade will clip through other objects (or people) during cutscenes because you're using a bigger keyblade than the game expects.
    • In Kingdom Hearts I this is almost averted. When Riku takes the keyblade from you it reverts to being the Kingdom Key, no matter what shape it was before.
  • Used in Ninja Gaiden, though your costume will change, Ryu is always shown holding the Dragon Sword.
  • In Ōkami, Ammy usually has Divine Retribution, the first weapon received in the game equipped in cutscenes, even when you've found far better weapons.
    • And when you get the best weapons, that's all she's ever shown using.
    • Strangely, in a New Game+, any karmic transformers you may be wearing will translate into the cutscenes, including modified versions for the few scenes that show Ammy through mortals' eyes.
  • Oddly inverted in Tales of Vesperia. During the game, there are cutscene flashbacks to previous in-game events. However, the characters in the cutscene will always be wearing their current costumes, rather than the outfits they were wearing at the time of the event. (Considering some of the costume titles, it can end up looking like the characters' memories are rather. . . flawed, to say the least.)
  • Similarly to the Tales of Vesperia example above, in Sonic Adventure, characters in cutscenes always have all of the Level-Up Items that you've collected for them, even if they didn't (or couldn't) have them at that point.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, your party will never wear headgear during cutscenes or conversations. While it is possible that a heavy steel face-covering helmet would be removed for ease of communication, it does not make sense for a mage's or a priest's headwear to be removed. The game never shows the characters taking off or putting on the headgear. All the other apparel and weapons are the same as during gameplay, though.
    • Though, in most cutscenes that involved attacking/killing someone, the character would use a generic dagger- nicknamed the "Murder Knife"- instead of their equiped weapon, regardless of their class or standard Weapon of Choice. The two exceptions are if you choose to execute Loghain and when you kill the Archdemon, which both show you using a generic greatsword—in the latter case, it's at least shown that the character picks it up right then and there on the battlefield, but in the former, there's no explanation given for why, say, a low-Strength rogue or mage is suddenly wielding this huge blade.
  • Similar to the "Murder Knife", certain classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic (specifically, Republic Trooper and Imperial Agent) carry around a "Murder Blaster" strapped to their thighs, which they only ever use to threaten or kill people in cutscenes, since in-game they don't actually have the Weapon: Blaster Pistol skill (Troopers specialize in Chainsaw Grip BFGs, while Agents get Sniper Rifles; both can also use blaster rifles). This is less of an issue with Smugglers and Bounty Hunters, who use blaster pistols in both gameplay and cutscenes, and the Force-wielding classes, who get to use their iconic lightsabers (or Force Lightning, in the Sith Inquisitor's case) for everything.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 1: During the Virmire mission, party members - including the ones you just arrived with - change into their default equipment the moment you stop controlling.
    • In Mass Effect 2 the characters can only carry weapons that they are trained to use. Yet they will still pull out a pre-scripted gun during cutscenes, even if they don't carry that type. Most noticeably, everyone will use assault rifles in the final mission cutscenes. On the other hand, if the cutscene script calls for a weapon type the character does carry, they will use the weapon model they have equipped, but it will still behave like the default weapon of that type. For example, characters will fire the semi-automatic Mattock rifle on full auto or the Phalanx much faster than its actual firing rate.
    • Mass Effect 3:
      • Characters will routinely wield an Avenger assault rifle or a Predator pistol, regardless of what weapons they were equipped with before a mission (or even if they are able to equip that weapon class). Shepard can be carrying five weapons on his/her back during the Grissom Academy mission, yet s/he fires on a heavy mech with the Avenger while having multiple weapons strapped to his/her back. James routinely carries a pistol in cutscenes, even though he's a heavy weapons expert. The game sometimes replaces your weapons with the same weapons, as Shepard might holster his/her Avenger rifle to pull out a completely different Avenger rifle. Interestingly enough, weapon mods do carry over into cutscenes, so long as they're put on the Avenger rifle and Predator pistol (AKA the Cutscene Pistol of Doom).
      • Any gun larger than an SMG is holstered above the shoulder like an Assault rifle and then clip to where they should be. While it only looks slightly uncanny when you're carrying a sniper rifle, it is very hard to miss when you're carrying a shotgun, which is normally holstered across the waist.
      • Bioware attempted to fix the "no helmets in cutscenes" issue that plagued 2, but it looks even more goofy in the third game. Helmets magically disappear in cutscenes - in the Attican Traverse: Krogan Team mission, Shepard and company can be running down a tunnel in full armor, yet his/her helmet inexplicably disappears as s/he rounds a corner. This can even extend to squadmates - in the Extended Cut evacuation scene, while talking to Shepard, Garrus' helmet magically disappears and reappears in different shots. And then there's the weirdness that can ensue where Shepard kisses a romanced Jack through an N7 full-face breather helmet because that's a conversation option, not a cutscene (although you can switch it to "Off In Conversations" if you like).
      • In the Leviathan DLC, the developers attempted to avert this by letting Shepard and squadmates actually use their equipped weapon to fire at an Artifact. However, due to the great variety of ammunition at that point, it can happen that the weapon doesn't seem to fire at all, and still blast the artifact into pieces, fire more times than it has shots, or shotguns unleashing a full-auto spread, when they don't normally operate that way!
      • When you get roasted by Harbinger at the end, your charred and wrecked armour will be designed after the standard N-7 armour or a related suit like the Blood Dragon, even if you're wearing the various DLC armours that are structured differently.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time had multiple costumes, yet only the defaults were used for in-game cutscenes. Made more egregious by how screenshots on the case and in advertisements made it appear that the game averted this trope, by using shots from a bonus dungeon where the party fights copies of themselves wearing the alternate costumes.
  • From Mega Man X4 onward, any animated cutscene with X shows him in his base form, with whatever armor powerups you have being absent. In game scenes keep the armor on though, leading to continuity problems in X7 and X8 which go from in game to animated during the final boss fights.
  • In Mega Man ZX Advent, you always turn back to Model A before a cutscene. Even if it is before a boss battle and being in that form wold help you, you always start the fight in Model A.
  • Mega Man Zero games always have Zero with his default red coloration in hand-drawn cutscene images. In the first game this is justified as there's no way to change his appearance, but in the second game and beyond there are a number of different possible colors for Zero to be, due to Forms or Body Chips.
  • In the original Marvel Ultimate Alliance, this happens with entire characters; whilst the player can theoretically choose any combination of characters to play during the game, the cutscenes pretty much all feature the original (and seemingly default) combination of Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor and Wolverine throughout the entire game.
    • The sequel subverts this by simply not rendering anyone else than necessary. In fact, in one cutscene, Captain America and Iron Man are seen stepping out of a teleporter with four androgynous forms behind them (your team).
  • In the Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, characters revert to the same "quick shooter revolver" during cut scenes. This actually makes even less sense for the character Juarez, a character who carries two valuable, powerful pistols on his person at all times, yet will leave them untouched in their holsters whilst using a far inferior gun throughout the game.
  • Happens in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl with Strelok carrying an AKS-74U in every cutscene. While it's justified for flashbacks that occur before the game begins, it doesn't make much sense that the player would be using one at the end of the game, as the player would most likely have a more powerful weapon by then. The final cutscenes are even more egregious as he is seen wearing armor that the player likely sold a long time ago after upgrading to better suits, especially if you went for the true ending where you get a powered exoskeleton for free (and would have had a hard time surviving the final level without it.)
  • In Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Mario and Luigi (and the Toads in the latter game) are always Super Mario/Luigi/whoever in the ending cut scenes after beating Bowser (and in the latter, always Super Mario/Luigi/whoever in the credits mini game), despite whatever power up you're using at the time. You also begin the latter game's gameplay without the Super form, even though the player characters all don't actually lose it in the opening unlike the original New Super Mario Bros..
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 actively shows Mario turning to Super Mario between beating Bowser and entering the Princess' room. Also, in Super Mario Advance 4, when you continue playing after beating Bowser, Mario will start as Super Mario.
    • In the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros., a Super Mushroom will drop out of the sky if you beat Bowser while small to ensure that Mario (or Luigi) is Super for the end cutscene. However, the cutscene will not reflect it if you had a Fire Flower.
  • Rather annoying in Onimusha and its sequel: Your character uses the basic katana blade in all cutscenes presumably because it can't be leveled up and thus remains visually static... But you get a much better sword, even in its level 1 state, about ten minutes in.
  • In Saints Row 2, your character mostly wields a single low level handgun in cut scenes even if you have access to dual Kobras or GDHCs. On the other hand, it's completely averted with your clothes. It really puts a whole new spin on the game when you're gangbanging in a Santa Claus outfit, chains, and sunglasses.
    • However, the loading screens show still scenes from the most recently played mission, using a default character instead of the player's custom character.
  • Bayonetta is somewhat inconsistent on this, acknowledging any change in costume, including the variants that result from equipping a certain weapon and Umbran Elegance item, but the only weapons which Bayonetta ever uses in any cutscene are the starting pair of hand guns and the quartet of custom made pistols named Scarborough Fair given to her by Rodin following the prologue. No Pillow Talk or Bazillions to go along with that snazzy nun costume outside of gameplay for you! One will have to leave that look (in the cutscenes, anyway) up to the Star Wars games!
  • In Tales of Symphonia the characters will typically wield their basic starting weapons in cutscenes. However, Lloyd will switch to a generic steel sword instead of his starting wooden swords when you get to the first town where you can buy a set, even if you didn't actually buy one much less equip itnote . And after he receives them, he will use his Sword of Plot Advancement, the Material Blades. Again, regardless of what he's actually got equipped.
    • If Colette is wearing an alternate costume during the scene where she suffers Clothing Damage (when she Takes the Bullet from a dying Forcystus and her scale-covered arm is revealed), she will switch to her default outfit the instant it happens. It almost looks like she is losing a power-up, like Mario.
  • When the Ratchet & Clank games started using prerendered cutscenes starting in Tools of Destruction, Ratchet always switched to some generic armor for cutscenes. In A Crack in Time, the developers worked around this by giving Ratchet an upgradeable Hard Light armor suit that was simply turned off during cutscenes.
    • Another example occurs in Going Commando: Ratchet always uses the Heavy Lancer in cutscenes, even if you haven't upgraded the regular Lancer yet. (Though since it's your go-to Boring, but Practical weapon throughout the game, you basically have to try to not have it upgraded by that point, but still...)
  • In Dragon Quest IX you choose your hero's gender and looks, and so everyone's character will look different. Late in the story there is an animated cutscene involving your hero riding a dragon. To reconcile this, the game forces you to wear a certain armour and helmet before riding a dragon, and this armour completely covers your hero's/heroine's face and body. What's more, the game forces you to leave all of your (also-custom) teammates behind for this scene, apparently just to avoid having to avoid explaining why they're not on the dragon too. Also, the first such scene shows bits of the hero's default outfit and the people in the series of events following the event make a big deal of the hero's outfit. Not normally an issue (you can't get anything else by then), except you can unequip it. One earlier scene (in-engine) refuses to progress until you get dressed, so it isn't clear why they didn't do it for this one as well.
  • No matter which weapons you bring with you on missions in Devil May Cry 3, Dante will always be using Rebellion and his pistols in cutscenes. The only other weapon to be seen was Cerberus, and only so he could use it to pull himself up.
  • In Gothic, no matter which armor/robe you wear, you are always shown wearing Ore Armor during cut-scenes.
  • In Gothic II, your equipment in ending cutscenes is only determined by your faction.
  • Happens to the point of liver failure in Front Mission Evolved; while your Wanzer will always match whatever parts/paint scheme you've chosen, your weapons will always switch to what the game assumes you should be carrying at the time despite the fact that all game cutscenes are rendered fully in-engine and on-stage and the fact that your Wanzer rarely fires a shot in such scenes.
  • Many endings of Fallout: New Vegas will show a final shot of The Courier walking off into the sunset wearing an Armored Vault 21 Suit, even though it's impossible to obtain without mods or cheats and you have likely obtained much better armor by the end of the game. The Courier in the picture is also seen from the back and using a default Male/Female hairstyle, so he/she may not even resemble the character you had designed.
  • In the GBA port of Donkey Kong Country 3, if you defeat the final boss with just Kiddy Kong, Dixie will speak whether she's present or not. She will also get all the praise.
  • Happens in Uncharted. In cutscenes Drake will always be carrying his trusty pistol except for maybe one or two scenes where he steals/uses/finds a weapon within the cutscene. Though when you exit the cutscene you still retain your current inventory with only one or two exceptions again.
  • In Lost Planet 2, the loadout you currently have equipped is usually replaced with the default machine gun in cutscenes. The exception is one cutscene which shows your team entering a corridor, pointing their weapons around while looking for hostiles. This can be amusing if a team member has a supporting weapon (like a shield) equipped prior to starting the cutscene.
  • Generally averted in World of Warcraft; the Cataclysm expansion released in December 2010 contains many cutscenes, and those that depict your character show you dressed exactly as you are. However, it's still worth mentioning because of one time they averted this trope but shouldn't have. In the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, a couple quests involved time traveling and teaming up with yourself from other time periods. In the first quest, available at level 75, you teamed up with your "future self" — a friendly NPC is created that looks identical to you right then, but is level 80. In the second quest, available at level 80, you teamed up with your "past self" — a friendly NPC is created that looks identical to you but was level 75. This is bizarre because it would have made far more sense for the NPC in the first quest to look like you in certain epic armor sets, and the NPC in the second quest to look like you did when you did the first quest (especially if you have since acquired armor a Level 75 character cannot equip), but for some reason they didn't bother with that level of complexity.
  • In Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alex will always be shown using the Mk. 23 handgun in cutscenes, even if you have the Chrome Hammer, the improved replacement for the Mk. 23.
  • In the other Silent Hill games, your characters will be wearing whatever unlockable costumes they have on. This can turn Silent Hill Origins into Travis' fursuit adventures.
  • Played straight in the first two God of War games: Special costumes aren't shown in cutscenes and the Blades of Chaos/Athena, despite changing their appearence with each power up, are always shown to be at level 2/1/3 (in the first game) and 4 in the second. However, the third game subvert all of this, with all the special costumes displayed in the game mode. Also, Kratos' new weapon (the Blades of Exile) never change their appearence.
  • While Jade Empire doesn't have any changeable clothing (and with the player character being a Bare-Fisted Monk, weapons are a non-issue), each of it's several pre-rendered cutscenes will show whichever of the several character models the player is using.
  • Parasite Eve does this for both in game cut scenes and the FMV scenes. No matter what weapon you have equipped, Aya is always shown with a handgun outside of battles. The sequel mostly avoid the trope. In game cut scenes that show Aya pointing her weapon at someone or something will have her use whatever weapon she has equipped, which can lead to a hilarious moment in the start of the tower mall section where Aya steps out of the elevator and aims her billy club or Gunblade around, even though the scene treats this as Aya using her handgun. In an FMV, she will always use her handgun, regardless if you have it on you or not.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, in the last cutscene before Bastila is captured by Malak, she wields her starting double-bladed yellow lightsaber rather than whatever she had equipped when you controlled her. And later, when Malak is torturing her, she is shown wearing her original clothes from Taris rather than what you dressed her in.
  • A peculiar variant occurs in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. After one particular sub-quest, a statue is made of the player character. However, due to certain quirks in the procedure the game uses to create the statue, it will often not actually be wearing the same equipment the player used.
  • Perfect Dark Zero has an odd variation of this: your standard weapon is a pistol with an attached scope, Laser Sight, and suppressor. While in gameplay only the suppressor can be removed, in cutscenes, none of these are on the pistol when it appears.
  • In the original Perfect Dark, at the end of the third level/first mission, Joanna will use any pistol/machine pistol equipped at the time for the cutscene but will go to the default Falcon 2 if anything else is used.
  • God of War II is an example of this; regardless of how far you have upgraded the Blades of Athena, in cutscenes, they almost always appear as dull and gray (as if you never upgraded them at all) and sometimes even blue (as if Kratos is still the god of war).
  • In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Starkiller will always use a pre-scripted lightsaber in cutscenes (red in the beginning, blue later), regardless of what color the player has equipped. This is due to the fact cutscenes aren't done within the game engine but pre-rendered.
  • Warhammer 40k Space Marine will use the Plasma Pistol in cut-scenes instead of the Bolt Pistol if you swapped the two weapons. However you will often end up with a Chainsword instead of the Thunder Hammer or Power Axe.
  • In Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, story mission cutscenes always use that pilot's default mobile suit. This is fine in Official Mode where you're playing through the anime storylines and required to use specific mobile suits, but Mission Mode will play the cutscene even if you're piloting something else.
  • Dynasty Warriors 8 will have some cutscenes in the campaign modes involving the player's chosen character, often in a prelude to battle or starting the scenario In Medias Res, and will always show them with their iconic third-tier weapon no matter what equipment you give them personally in the preparation screen. This can get jarring when a character will be animated in the cutscene charging into battle with a gigantic sword...only for their weapon to instantly shrink down to a basic starting blade when the player takes control, or worse yet, not even be present, as it is possible to choose to not equip a character with their signature weapon at all.
  • Dead Island actually does this with the entire cast. You can play solo, or play with 4 friends with identical characters, but during cutscenes all four canon characters appear regardless of who's actually present in the game.
  • Inverted in Dark Cloud 2. Your characters will be wearing whatever items you've given them just prior to the cutscene. Even if it makes no logical sense whatsoever to have Max dressed as a clown or Monica dressed as a Catgirl if that's what you're wearing then by god it'll be in the cutscene.
  • In Interstate '82, Taurus will be shown exiting his Ferrari Expy after defeating Rank Dick regardless of what car he was driving to do so.
  • Played straight in the Batman Arkham Series during major cutscenes, Batman is always wearing his default batsuit, no matter what DLC you're wearing. It's somewhat justified in A.C. as one cutscene Talia lifts up Batman's cowl and that would clash with some batsuits. note 
  • Sometimes subverted in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, whenever the cutscene before a boss plays, Link will either sheathe his currently equipped weapon or just not have it in his hands and automatically pull out the Master Sword right before battle. Especially true for the final fight with Ganon as a cutscene requires Link to have the Master Sword being hit out of his hands and out of the arena.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, there exists a single prerendered cutscene, while other cutscenes are rendered in real-time. This cutscene is at the very end of the game, and shows Link and Tetra being picked up by Tetra's pirate crew after the final battle. The game also has a second quest, in which Link does not wear his signature green tunic. Instead Link only wears his Outset Island "pajamas" through the course of the game. However, at the prerendered cutscene mentioned earlier, Link is seen wearing his green tunic. As the game was being rushed to meet the deadline, the developers probably did not render an alternate cutscene for Link wearing the invisible clothes. It is also possible that this is intentional, as one theory suggests that the clothes are visible because Link has been deemed a true hero, and is worthy of being able to see the clothes. Additionally, depending on the scene, Link may or may not have his equipped weapon and Hero's Charm mask due to the way the game is programmed.
  • Battlezone II: The cutscene at the end of the final mission in the ISDF campaign shows your character escaping in a Saber tank, even though you can disable and commandeer the enemy vehicles if it gets destroyed (likely to happen if you don't go the stealth route, as there is no opportunity to repair it). The fact that you can change vehicles easily, and they look much more impressive than the character on foot, is likely why there are so few cutscenes in the whole game.
  • In Bully, as well as Jimmy's outfit being retained in every cutscene, he will be shown to put away his current weapon during scripted in-game events, such as dialogue in missions. If he has something equipped when finishing a Photography class, he'll be holding it during the cutscene.
  • In Spec Ops: The Line, Walker is almost always depicted carrying the two starting weapons, the M4A1 assault rifle and the M9 pistol, in cutscenes. Becomes glaringly obvious when he proceeds to visibly shove said weapons back into Hammerspace immediately whent he player takes control again.
  • Averted in Xenoblade. Characters always appear in any cutscene using exactly what weapon they had equipped and what armor their Virtual Paper Doll self was wearing. It gets pretty impressive (or ridiculous, depending on what you're wearing) when the game remembers what to use during flashbacks. Of course, this then leads to the exact opposite problem in certain cutscenes in which the characters talk as if they're using their starting weapons when they aren't (and this gets worse in a New Game+, particularly with regard to a plot-relevant weapon you get at the end of the game that you can keep for the next playthrough...)
  • Averted similarly in Fire Emblem Awakening, where characters that you've reclassed using Second Seals will keep their in-game model in cutscenes (though portraits will always keep them in their default class). However, this has the side effect of making certain scenes unintentionally hilarious if a plot-important character is in a ridiculous-looking or Stripperiffic class. Common culprits include Dark Mages and Sorcerers, Knights and Generals (and Great Knights except for Frederick), and any of the axe-centric classes (Fighter, Barbarian, Warrior, and Berserker) for those who don't start in them.
  • Particularly noticeable in Solatorobo, where your only piece of changeable equipment is the giant robot you ride in, of which there are five entirely different-looking models, and two Palette Swaps per model. Yet important cutscenes always default back to the original model.
  • Noticeably averted in Warcraft III's Human campaign, where Arthas dumps his paladin's hammer for a cursed sword. He even has a special animation for it.
    • The custom maps that allow different weapons to show up generally avert this, as it'd be more complicated to make sure the unit has the right weapon attachment.
  • Zigzagged by XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Five troopers are shown boarding the Sky Ranger in the opening sequence, but only four are available for the mission, and they aren't even the same characters as the cutscene. Every other cutscene involving XCOM troopers averts this, however, including your first psi trooper, and in the expansion, first gene and MEC troopers. The Volunteer is also determined by the engine, and s/he is wearing whatever customization you give him/her. This extends to the ending cutscene of the final mission, which not only uses your choice of the Volunteer, but also shows your top three soldiers as the Volunteer urges them to leave him/her behind.
  • There's a cutscene in Jak II: Renegade where Jak dispatches two Metal Heads with his Blaster Rifle, regardless of whether the player has any ammo left.

Cutscene DropGameplay and Story SegregationThe Battle Didn't Count

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