Party of Representatives
A trope most commonly seen in party-based Role-Playing Games but also Fantasy Literature, wherein the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits represents most of the spectrum of cultures, factions, social classes, species, and even ideologies found in the setting. Such setup has multiple purposes:
- Exposition. Party members bring with them tons of exposition about the parts of the world or society that they come from.
- Sympathetic P.O.V.. The representatives provide an inside view on their respective backgrounds, which is especially relevant if some of them come from the enemy faction.
- An Aesop of tolerance and The Power of Friendship, once the party members become True Companions towards the end.
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- Lampshaded by Armand (a French fox) in De cape et de crocs: On landing on the moon, Don Lope (a Spanish wolf) wants to plant a flag and a cross, but is stopped by Armand who notes that they also have an Italian rabbit, a Turkish janissary, a French noblewoman, and a Hot Gypsy Woman (and almost had a German scientist), and thus the question of whose flag/religious symbol should go up is best left unanswered.
- The Fellowship of the Ring in The Lord of the Rings consists of representatives of each "good" race of Middle-Earth: two humans (a ranger from the north and a prince from the south, respectively), one elf, one dwarf, one wizard, and four hobbits. Such composition was very much intentional.
- Short story A Martian Odyssey, published in the 1930s, has a group of four men landing on Mars — they include a German, a Brit, a Frenchman, and an American.
- The adventuring party in Dungeons & Dragons consists of a barbarian Warrior, a female Valkyrie, an elderly Wizard, and a Dwarf.
- In Radiant Historia, you get four members from your home country of Alistel, someone from the "evil" country of Granorg, one member of the satyr tribe, and one of the ape tribe.
- Fire Emblem games usually end with you recruiting a mishmash of people from all across the world. This is most evident in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, in which the entire continent is at war, and you still end up recruiting people from all sides.
- In Grandia II, you have a vagabond mercenary, a priestess of The Church, a demon from the Fantasy Axis of Evil, a prince from a human kingdom, a guy from the Proud Warrior Race, and an an ancient humanoid robot servant of The Precursors.
- Golden Sun: From the first two games, you had the hero, his best friend, his girlfriend and her brother from the (not-quite) Doomed Hometown, an orphan brought up by the leader of a merchant town, a healer who failed her one duty to keep a Cosmic Keystone where it was, an orphan implied to be of the Precursors, and a native of the Atlantis equivalent. The third game gives us the children of the original heroes, plus the heir to a Hidden Elf Village, a Miko, and a Pirate. In both games, your party is accompanied by the same Cool Old Guy.
- Xenoblade has a final team composed by a group of Homs, a Nopon, a High Entia, and a Homs-turned-Mechon; thus covering all living sentient races in the game's world save for the Machina, although the last member covers them indirectly.
- Final Fantasy X: The final party contains the White Mage daughter of a famed summoner, the former bodyguard of said father, her Gadgeteer Genius cousin from the barely-tolerated technological faction, a sports star and a Black Mage from her village, a Proud Warrior Race Guy lion man, and a guy from a technologically advanced world. Or so it seems at first, it gets complicated.
- A staple in the BioWare games. The Dragon Age chief writer David Gaider stated in an interview that they do it specifically to give exposition of their worlds' various aspects (such as factions and ideologies) a face the players can associate them with.
- Knights of the Old Republic obviously can't include more than a fraction of the species in the Star Wars universe, but takes care to hit the highlights. Your party notably includes a Mandalorian, one of the soldiers who fought them, a refugee from their invasion, and two Jedi. (And a Wookie. He doesn't represent anyone, he's just cool.)
- Mass Effect: Mass Effect 1's squad included humans, a turian, a krogan, an asari, and a quarian. Mass Effect 2 added more races with a salarian, a drell, and a geth (an AI race formely believed to be Always Chaotic Evil); and Mass Effect 3 added a human-made AI and a prothean. All of them represent a rather wide spectrum of all known sentient galactic races.
- Dragon Age: Origins had a Fereldan ex-Templar Grey Warden, a sociopath Hot Witch from the swamps, an Orlesian bard-turned-lay sister, a Proud Warrior Race Guy from overseas, an elderly Circle spirit summoner, an Elven assassin from Antiva, a dwarven berserker, a golem (DLC only), and a mabari war hound. There is also the paranoid lesser Big Bad of the game, if you so desire.
- Dragon Age II had this on a different level: the party members represented not cultures but views on the central conflict of the game (mages vs. Templars). The three mages are an anti-Circle extremist, a moderate sorceress who dislikes but tolerates the Circle, and an Elven blood mage who puts a personal agenda above the conflict. Similarly, the three warriors are a trained Templar (eventually), a city guard captain who just wants people to stop killing each other, and a Magic Knight who hates all mages on principle for personal reasons. The three rogues are a free-spirited Pirate Girl, a dwarven spymaster, and a member of the Chantry; of the three, only the latter is partial to the conflict, since the Chantry endorses the Circle system and the Templars.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition continues the trend. Party members include the aforementioned dwarf spymaster, a chivalrous Chantry warrior from Nevarra, a high-ranking Orlesian Circle Loyalist Mage, a burned-out yet boisterous Qunari spy, a Robin Hood-esque elf looking out for the little people, a rebellious Tevinter Magister, an elven apostate expert on the Fade, an aging idealistic Grey Warden who Jumped at the Call, and a weird boy whose nature is anyone's guess nobody. As summed up by Mike Laidlaw, "I may not care about the mages, but I care about Vivienne."
- In Chrono Trigger, you get one party member from each time period you visit if you're able to recruit the bonus Sixth Ranger.
- This is a core aspect of every game in the Suikoden series, which always has the protagonist recruit the 108 Stars of Destiny. By the end of each game, their army literally consists of volunteer soldiers, mercenaries, and key political figures from all cities throughout the continent.
- In Pillars of Eternity, the party was apparently specially designed to give a broad representation of the various cultures, religions and factions in the setting. Your companions are: an elven wizard nobleman with a Split Personality; a snarky but kind-hearted war veteran who follows a religion dedicated to a dead god; a rather unpleasant old priest who's responsible for killing said god; an Orlan druid with a very dirty sense of humour; a naive young Aumauan adventurer; a creepy midwife who's also a cipher; an avian Godlike paladin who's driven to bitter cynicism by her nation's politics; and a dwarf ranger who's searching for the reincarnation of her village's previous elder. The expansion also adds a ruthless convicted criminal's soul inhabiting a bronze golem, and an old monk who's Covered in Scars.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang is supposed to go to each nation to find a master to learn their respective element. But because he only has a year to do it, he instead recruits a master to follow him and train him on his way to the next place.