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Suppose you have a game. In this game, there's a set of characters, vehicles or whatever that you can play with. Each of these has certain statistics and abilities.
However, when the AI takes control of some character, they pull off some crazy moves you've never seen before. You try to do the same, but nothing works. They aren't listed in the manual, they aren't on any website - in fact, when that character is under the control of a human, they cannot possibly pull off that move, regardless of how they press the buttons or waggle the control stick.
Sometimes an SNK Boss
character in a fighting game has special moves that are unavailable when the player uses that character (otherwise they'd be an unstoppable Game Breaker
). That, or the move is much more powerful when the CPU uses it.
Note that this only
applies to cases where both the human and the computer can play as the same character. If a character is unavailable to the player, their moves are fair game. (For example; it does not count for enemy-only moves in a Role-Playing Game
). Furthermore, if a human player could
perform the move but would require near-perfect timing to do so, that's Perfect Play AI
, not this trope.
of The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard
. Usually related to Turns Red
, since bosses gaining new attacks and abusing their perfect AI as they lose health are common in many games.
- In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Saďx and Riku each have two completely different movesets: the one used by them as playable characters and the one they use when you fight them as bosses. All of the Organization members also have the power to immediately warp to you in the case they are left behind, an ability that there is no way for you to use when playing as them.
- Mortal Kombat loves this.
- In Mortal Kombat II, the CPU jumps while the character is still in a prone position to counter any hope of continuing a combo after a knockdown. The CPU can also throw you in the middle of a projectile attack, which the player simply cannot do. But that's not all; the CPU can also throw you in the middle of just about any other special move, making specials such as Raiden's torpedo complete suicide! If the CPU gets you into a corner, they can chain throw you to death by repeatedly throwing you into the corner, something that is impossible to escape and once again simply not possible for a human player to do. Finally, if the player traps them into a corner by spamming projectiles at them, they'll eventually slide across the ground while crouched down to avoid the projectiles and surprise surprise, throw the player.
- Continuing the tradition from II, the AI in Mortal Kombat 3 has the ability to throw the player as the player performs a projectile move. The computer can also perform certain combos that human players are prevented from using, and some of the computer's combos do more damage than the exact same combo performed by a human player. The CPU can also launch multiple projectiles in quick succession, such as Cyrax's net. Trilogy includes playable bosses, and the projectile spam carries over to them too. Motaro's projectile is a charge attack but the CPU obviously ignores this and launches two at a time; there even appears to be a unique frame for this.
- The 2011 game has an example: when controlled by the AI, Shang Tsung can transform into your fighter and two other random kombatants at will. When controlled by the player, Shang Tsung can only transform into his opponent after using his Soul Steal move on them. Back in the day, when half the cast was Palette Swap versions of each other, he could turn into anyone, but advancing technology has its downside.
- An interesting aversion/subversion of this trope occurs in MK 9: Shao Kahn is not playable in the game, yet he has a complete moveset programmed into the game. If he WERE to be made playable, all of his AI moves would be perfectly in tact.
- The computer in one of the Dragon Ball games defies the rules of teleportation: normally, after attacking someone with a fully charged attack, you can teleport behind them ONCE and knock them away. The enemy can do this up to and including three times from the fighting equivalent of a flick. This is probably because the enemy AI cannot tell the difference between being in maximum power mode and being energy-less.
- In Tenkaichi 3, there are items one can equip to increase the number of teleport follow-up attacks one can do, which are available to the player. However, simple math and attentiveness reveals that the computer uses more item slots than you can possibly have. This is due to a normally CPU-exclusive class of items. However, with the right password, you can get special versions of any character in the game with the same power-ups as the computer.
- In Civilization 2, the AI can also produce military units at will, units with multiple abilitiesnote , stealth unitsnote , and teleportation nukesnote . This could happen at the standard difficulty as well, but to a much smaller degree.
- In Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, enemy units can use probe team abilities (such as taking control of your units) even if they aren't dedicated probe teams.
- In the original Railroad Tycoon, the AI sometimes builds a "bridge" not across but along a river, which is, needless to say, impossible both for the player and in real life. It's like having a bridge of the length of the Danube. The AI also has the ability to build 4-way stations, while players are limited to only two-way. Not to mention, instantaneous rail building.
- Super Mario Kart officially did this, with each character having nicely documented moves in the manual specifically that only the AI could use against you. For example, Bowser threw fireballs, Peach and Toad threw poison mushrooms, and the Mario Bros could use stars practically at will. This was likely intended for game balance, since AI racers could not use regular items.
- In Bioshock, enemies with guns could melee you with their weapons while the only weapon you had with a melee attack was the wrench. BioShock 2 fixes this, letting you melee with any weapon, although the drill does the most melee damage. In both games, the enemies can throw grenades at random, where you are only allowed to do so when using the Launcher.
- The AI opponents in Primal Rage all have at least one computer-only special attack that isn't mentioned in the manual.
- Computer controlled opponents in Street Fighter II could ignore the time portion of all charge moves.
- Hadouken storm!
- Interestingly inverted in the arcade version of Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, where an AI-controlled Sagat would never use the Tiger Knee special. Meanwhile, the player character had no problem doing this. Apparently it was an unfinished special move that lacked new sprites, sounds and needed a unique button combination. It was later fixed for Street Fighter II: Turbo and every incarnation since.
- In Street Fighter Alpha 3, the final boss for most characters is M. Bison (Dictator). Bison is playable in the game, but as a final boss he's stronger and has access to the Psycho Drive, which turns his Psycho Crusher Up to Eleven. Some of the ports/Updated Rereleases and Street Fighter Alpha Anthology mitigate this, either by having Final Bison as an unlockable character or granting the player access to hidden ISMs that, when used on Bison, give him the Final Psycho Crusher.
- Street Fighter EX had culprits in the form of both Garuda and Bison's more powerful, True Final Boss incarnations (Bison II in EX2/EX3, True Bison in EX3). Garuda, in both his boss and Shin forms (the latter exclusive to EX Plus Alpha), possessed a special known as Maboroshi, which allowed Garuda to teleport when hit and strike the opponent from above, whereas Bison's incarnations get a Double Psycho Cannon and the MvC-style Knee Press Nightmare. Shin Garuda and Bison II could actually be unlocked in EX Plus Alpha and EX3, respectively, but True Bison remains unavailable outside of hacking devices.
- An unusual example: Free-Run in Tales of Symphonia is something only AI controlled allies could do. Neither Enemies nor Human-Controlled Characters could Free-Run, but your AI-controlled friends could free run all day. This was fixed in the sequel, where the player could now use Free Run.
- When I-No first appeared in Guilty Gear XX, her Boss mode had a special Overdrive, "Megalomania", unusable by players, that made her completely invincible and fired a bunch of heart-shaped balls at you that took away around 60-80% of your health. Starting with Slash, however, it's available in her EX form, but your Burst meter must be full, and it's much weaker. Except in Gold Mode when it's not.
- Dizzy, when faced as a Boss in Story Mode, also has an unusable move called "Wings of Light". It's a lot like Megalomania except it's actually an Instant Kill if you hit her while the move is starting up. Unfortunately, unlike I-No, it is not available to players at all, even in Gold Mode. CPU Gold Dizzy can and will use it, though.
- The AI bots of TimeSplitters can do Unnecessary Combat Rolls, despite there being no way for a human player to do this.
- This has spread to many other shooters, including Halo.
- Averted in Halo: Reach to some extent, as players can now do rolls and use holograms and jetpacks, all of which was previously only available to AIs (and a boss, in the hologram case) in other games. However dual-wielding becomes unavailable again while enemy Elites seem to have no trouble doing so and often melee while dual-wielding by means of a backwards kick.
- The trope still stands proud during Reach's campaign, where the only way to evade is with armor abilities, but it doesn't spawn during it. May count during Reach's multiplayer mode Invasion, though it's the opposite team that is limited to the Evade ability.
- This trope is pretty much the whole point of the story mode of the Touhou fighting games, Immaterial and Missing Power and its sequel Scarlet Weather Rhapsody. Each AI opponent you fight possesses special spellcard attack patterns for you to dodge, intermixed with bouts of normal combat, and the spellcards ignore all the normal limitations the player has. This reaches the point where it works less like a fighting game than a multi-form boss battle. Which makes sense, given the Bullet Hell games that it's based on. That said, this doesn't apply to Arcade and Versus mode.
- The same goes for the regular Touhou shooters where you have a choice between playable characters and you have to fight the one you didn't choose as a stage boss. No matter which character you choose, your opponent will always be the one unleashing the actual bullet hell.
- The little known fighting game Fight Fever was notorious for this.
- In the turn-based artillery game, Charred Dirt, computer players have access to two unique weapons, Lead Shot and Sparkball, that human players don't - despite ostensibly choosing from the same pool of weapons. Also, the computer has the equally-unobtainable Mini-MIRV as a default weapon (fires three Baby Missiles at once.) You get the one-shot Baby Missile. They also get their Superweapon assigned at random, while yours is tied directly to the character you chose. Which means they have access to the supers of the four unlockable characters before most players know there are unlockables.
- NES Nintendo World Cup Has the tournament mode. In that mode many teams have advantages over the player.
- With USA, the AI has very fast players, if you play USA you'll get normal speed players.
- Soulcalibur III gives computer players the ability to block anytime they aren't in the process of being thrown through the air. Facing away from you? They can block. Knocked to the ground? They will mysteriously blink from prone to blocking faster than a human player could stand up.
- From Soulcalibur II, Big Bad Inferno mimics a random fighter from the roster of playable characters every round and only uses moves also usable by players, except for his own special move, which he could use with any moveset: he jumps into the air and starts spinning, then rushes across the stage while airborne and continually spinning. Deals heavy damage, but at least it's easy to predict and sidesteppable and despite the fiery trail, it can be blocked (attacks wreathed in fire cannot be blocked.
- WWF Superstars and WWF WrestleFest allowed computer-controlled characters to do various moves that a human-controlled player could not, including:
- Duck to avoid virtually all running attacks.
- Perform a throw directly from a grapple.
- Perform an Irish whip from a headlock.
- Let go of a headlock, leaving the opponent stunned.
- Perform stronger moves earlier in the match. (WrestleFest only)
- Super Robot Wars likes to do this with characters that are both enemies and allies at different points of the story. Asakim from Z comes to mind. When he's playable he can't use his final attack. This makes sense early on since its an ability using his dark powers you aren't supposed to know he has but every time he shows up after The Reveal in an Enemy Mine situation it stubbornly disappears from his attack list, even if the enemy version was using it on you minutes before.
- If you get the right event flags however he'll join you one last time during the final battle with twice as much HP than usual and the ability to use his final attack as well as his MAP attack. It has to do with coding. 5,000 HP Asakim doesn't have it, 10,000 does.
- The two Dynasty Warriors: Gundam games are all about this. All of the non-mook mobile suits have AI-only moves that take advantage of their capabilities. For examples, the F91 Gundam can create fully functional and independent afterimages, the Master Gundam has a massively damaging ranged melee attack, and any mobile suit with Attack Drones can retreat off the map for a while and leave them to attack you.
- In Gundam vs. Gundam NEXT, the True Final Boss version of the Strike Freedom Gundam possesses a unique Omnislash-style attack combining high-speed Diagonal Cuts with its Attack Drones and requires incredible reflexes to avoid. On top of that, it comes in two stages; after losing 1/3 of its life it summons the support mecha METEOR and spams the battlefield with BFGs and missiles; knock it down another 1/3, and the METEOR explodes but Freedom enters a Super Mode that lasts until either you or it dies (while the player-controlled version only lasts about 4 seconds).
- In Devil May Cry 3: SE, Vergil as a boss has the Super Devil Trigger transformation (and repelling invincibility sphere during the transformation) and the Super Judgement Cut attack, both of which are unavailable to the player controlled version.
- CPU Vergil can also use an instant perfect Parry at will that immedeately stops you, can use Judgement Cut more than three times in a row, can use his Tricks in such a way that goes from the player teleportation (to keep the offensive) to utter Teleport Spam to cross half the stage in less than two seconds, use the multi-Helm Breaker (the player can replicate this, but not to the same effectiveness), use a souped-up version of the Round Trip, perform a few combos the player simply can't imitate... Really, Vergil is just bad about this.
- Though as it turns out, you do have some form of control of Vergil's Boss version Teleport Spam; in the team-up fight against Arkham, the game acts as if Vergil were a Doppleganger (which is why you can't Devil Trigger or use your current style). Though you don't have style actions, Vergil still has his Dark Slayer style actions. So pressing the style action button while cause Vergil to use Teleport Spam to come closer to you. You can't really direct it freely, but hey!
- Shin Megami Tensei
- Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne (and games that used a derivative of its Press Turn battle system) had a move called Dragon Eye, usable by some enemy demons when they were the last enemy remaining. It would trade their one full-turn for four half-turns.
- Devil Survivor has a few bosses that can be unlocked and fused after you've beaten them. Expect the boss versions to have higher HP than the version you get and those broken 'eye' skills you'll never be able to get. The Four Devas also have a unique racial ability, while the fusable versions are just regular Kishin.
- The Persona series isn't immune either. While Shadows and Demons tend to have moves that you simply aren't allowed to have, the most blatant example is when you fight the members of SEES at the bottom of the Abyss of Time during 'The Answer'. They not only lose all their weaknesses, they also gain moves that you are not allowed to have. The same applies when the Shadow Protagonist/Figment of Regret, copies the party members Personae. He even copies Athena, who is otherwise unavailable in this mode.
- More than half of the moves used by bosses in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey can never be gotten. Ouroboros is a particular offender with his two. Mem Aleph actually has zero normal abilities. Not to mention the encounters, with such things as Strange Ray, Macca/Wastrel Beam...
- Two words: Bomb Status. Can be inflicted on you and your demons. Anyone who is hit with it and not guarding will die and inflict damage equal to their HP to everyone else in this party. Take a guess as to whether your side can use this.
- Shin Megami Tensei IV continues this proud tradition with some attacks from previous game like Macca/Wastrel Beam, a few new ones, and a few moves that work differently when bosses use them (Sanat as a boss can inflict the Lost status when attacking with Gaea Rage, while player-controlled Sanat cannot).
- Final Fantasy
- Seymour in Final Fantasy X joins your party briefly, with a nice selection of magic. However, later on when you fight him as a boss he can now cast multiple spells simultaneously and summon Anima. However it should be noted that besides those, he has the same exact spells as he did when you controlled him... at first.
- Enemy ninja Notorious Monsters in Final Fantasy XI use a special version of Mijin Gakkure that deals damage to everyone they're fighting instead of just one target, and worse, doesn't even kill them. A few even have a special version of Utsusemi, a spell described as creating multiple illusionary images of the caster to absorb hits, as real monsters that fight alongside of them. Inverted in that all normal job abilities are player-only and unusable by monsters of the same job.
- Due to the Darkness ability being Dummied Out from Cecil's commands in the first SNES release of Final Fantasy IV, the mirror Cecil's usage of it turns into this. This also makes it a bit harder to understand that the point of the battle is to Sheathe Your Sword — gamers would have no idea that the move was depleting his hit points.
- In a Power Rangers fighting game on the Genesis, when you fought Tommy the Green Ranger in the second level, he had a sword attack that hit insanely hard. When he joined your team immediately thereafter, you couldn't use it. Justified however, in that the weapon in question is the Sword of Darkness that made him a bad guy in the first place.
- However, there is a code to play this Green Ranger version.
- Halo 2
- AI-controlled Wraiths can use two plasma cannons on the hull in addition to the main plasma mortar. The player can't.
- Inverted with Banshees— A human player can use a fuel-rod cannon as a secondary attack. The AI can't. This was not available in online multiplayer.
- Ballistic trajectories + AIs not specifically designed to handle ballistic trajectories = bad combination. They probably disabled it so that it wasn't a Game Breaker in situations where you have to shoot Banshees down on foot, since it's pretty much a One-Hit Kill on just about anything.
- Similarly with the Shadow APC. The covenant can drive them while you can't.
- If we want to go down this route, also applies to the Banshees after the crash landing on the ring at the start of the first game, if you manage to shoot one down in good enough condition to fly by using the pistol.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Tails, when controlled by the AI, can use his tails to fly in order to catch up with Sonic. Many players wondered how to do the same when using Tails as the player character— but this wasn't possible until the next game in the series.
- Considering the combat options in Mirror's Edge are so limited, it's a bit galling that they made up a bunch of handy backflip and dodge moves... and only gave them tho the Project Icarus police, but not the player. You also can't Pistol Whip, unlike all the cops in the game.
- Magus from Chrono Trigger is just plain unfair. When you fight him the first time, he has a bunch of crazy moves and a massive number of hit points, but when you get him in your party, most of those moves are unavailable and he has the HP of a normal character. Justified in that he gets his power drained by Lavos.
- On the flip side, Magus also gains a Secret Player Move in the form of Black Hole, a multi-target instant-death spell that would have made his boss fight almost Unwinnable if he had it back then.
- Through proper leveling, you can actually get back all of Magus's old moves and delight in having a boss character on your team... with the exception of his Barrier Change power, which now just increases magic defense, and his totally awesome looking HP Drain attack called "Geyser", which is gone forever.
- The Tekken and Soulcalibur series brush up against this (both are Namco fighting-game series). Both games occasionally have unlisted moves that only the AI has access to.
- In Tron 2.0, AI lightcycles could make a hairpin 180-degree turn that the player could not. Even if the player used an input hack to press the turn button rapidly enough, he was simply not allowed to turn twice in such close succession. This made the AI racers so difficult to beat that the developers eventually released a patch making the cycle races skippable.
- Lance in the first-generation Pokémon games has a Dragonite that knows Barrier, a move which no Dragonite can learn or be taught. In Generation II he has an Aerodactyl with Rock Slide, which the player couldn't do until Generation III. This is not the full extent of complaints against Lance.
- Another thing Lance could do was decide to use an item mid-turn. Normally, items get priority, and if the turn starts out with either Pokémon attacking, it means that neither the player nor the AI has decided to use an item.
- Actually, that's something doable by ANY trainer in the first generation of Pokémon games. It's based on speed - if they are faster than you, they will use the item at the start of the turn, and if they are slower they will use it after you. The bad news of this is that it makes it blatantly clear the AI chooses moves WHEN IT IS THEIR TURN ONLY, but the good news is that as long as you are faster you can outpace their item spam.
- PokémonMysteryDungeon: Darkness and Time do this with the enemy Pokémon in the Dungeons. The Pokémon will have access to higher level moves and several IQ skills (like PP Saver) in the later dungeons, but if you were to actually recruit them, they'll have the normal moveset and lowest IQ. The most blatant example of this is ALL the Nidoqueen having access to Earth Power in World Abyss regardless of level.
- Gates to Infinity do this with bosses' moves which work differently than they do for you. For example, Kyurem's Dragonbreath needs charging up, but it pierces through Pokémon.
- Enemies in City of Heroes have access to power combinations and unique moves that player characters simply don't normally have access to. Of course, enemies don't usually have access to power pools, so it sort of balances out. ...Unless you're fighting Ghost Widow.
- In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, your allies have a slow-walk animation which you can't do. No matter how lightly you tilt the stick, you'll either fast-walk or not move at all.
- Similarly, in an NFL game by Konami on the Game Boy, the player could only move nearly half as fast as the AI players did.
- Inverted in one case in Operation Flashpoint. With good aim and a lot of luck, you can shoot down enemy helicopters with pretty much any weapon by shooting the crew through the windshield when they line up for a pass, or simply filling the vehicle with holes until its engine quits. Of course, you'll never last long enough to do so if you stand out in the open, but if some good cover is at hand and you have the nerve to try, it's possible. The AI never try to shoot at helicopters with anything but guided anti-aircraft missiles.
- On the other hand, the AI is somehow capable of using unguided air-to-ground missiles to take out other copters. The problem here is that your gunner can NOT lock onto other aircraft with unguided missiles (ie. right clicking on the target and giving the fire command will make your gunner automatically take the shot as soon as the target is lined up; this doesn't work on aircraft) so unless you are very good at leading a flying target with unguided missiles, you have to use the autocannon. And if you fail to surprise the AI and/or gain a height advantage, you WILL be hit with a missile barrage that shuts down your engine after the first few hits.
- Positive example in Muramasa: The Demon Blade. When changing weapons, the player can use a "Quick Draw" attack which instantly hits everything on the screen for decent damage. No enemy in the game will block this, except for the Mirror Bosses. Pull out one of these against your opposite number and they'll react with the same attack, parrying everywhere on the screen at once. This is okay, though, because (a) they don't do it every time, suggesting they have to charge the Quick Draw just like you do, (b) having a defensive version of the move means they never use an unblockable Smart Bomb on you, and (c) it looks freaking awesome.
- Said mirror bosses do have a traditional secret AI move, where they throw you into the air to do a cool looking dash attack spam that seems to involve clones.
- In Homeworld 2, your enemies can fly through and hide inside radioactive clouds with impunity (radioactive clouds cause hull degeneration that will kill anything but Movers inside of 30 seconds). You never get the ability to do this without using a special shield projection vessel (which only lasts about the same amount of time).
- Also, remember subsystem targeting? That was added in HW2? Guess what: the AI could do it in Cataclysm but the player couldn't.
- In Makai Kingdom, enemies wielding mallets can drain a target's levels permanently with all attacks. Not for your troops. (Not so much of a disadvantage, as reducing the enemy's level would mean less exp.) Similarily, enemies who occupy or recently occupied an academy would spontaneously level up each turn. Your troops just got a 50% boost to exp gain.
- In the Mass Effect games, the krogan are said to possess backup vital organs (in some cases, more than one backup); thus, when a krogan is killed in a way that leaves his body intact, he merely falls down for a few seconds, then gets back up after regaining about half his health. In ME1 and 2, Sheperd can recruit a krogan into his/her party, but in both games, said krogan lacks this regenerative ability. Possibly justified because, assuming Sheperd survives the battle, his/her fallen allies (krogan or otherwise) will get back up anyway after it's over, albeit with a health level closer to 25% than 50%.
- Note that the krogan character that can be recruited into the party has continual health regeneration, which is something that enemy krogan lacked in ME1. The krogan regeneration power was actually pretty similar to the effects of Shepard using a Medi-Gel item, except that it only applied to a single enemy instead of the entire party like the Medi-Gel power.
- When you fight Bowser in Super Mario RPG, he has an attack that lets him shoot the spikes on his shell as projectiles (curiously, this is the only time he's shown doing this in the entire franchise). You can't use this attack when he joins your party later on.
- Many secret characters in Castlevania games are bosses that you eventually fight in their respective games, and true to this trope, the boss versions of these characters tend to use moves which are either flat-out not available to their playable versions or much stronger than their playable counterparts. Some of these characters, however, invert this trope, in that they have moves which are never used by the boss versions.
- The Hunter in the Left 4 Dead series has a leaping ability he will use if you shoot him from a distance, throwing himself to safety. When you control the Hunter in VS mode, you can't do the same instant leap ability yourself, but in a strange twist, if there there is an AI Hunter in VS mode, the computer can't use this ability either! This was most likely having the ability disabled for VS mode to prevent players from making easy escapes and Valve most likely forgot to have this check on the AI.
- What is also strange, is a human controlled Hunter in campaign mode can do this. This is probably because they simply enabled the move in campaign, but not in Versus, since you can't play as infected in campaign without cheats. The AI Hunter in Versus still seems to think he can use this move, and tends to run in circles when he's shot, resulting in Artificial Stupidity
- Any time in the Mega Man X series where Zero is fought, most noticeably in X5. He uses attacks no Maverick has ever used before, and he as a playable character can't use them.
- X uses his Ultimate Armor, regardless of whether or not you obtained it. He also uses moves from the previous game, which don't carry over when you play as him.
- Justified in Mega Man Zero 3, where Omega Zero has most of your EX skills, as well as lethal sword combos and unique attacks such as summoning spinning lasers out of the ground to hurt you and heal himself. Of course, Omega Zero is said to be Zero's original body, made to be the God of Destruction.
- All the bosses in Mega Man ZX Advent have tons of moves you can't use when you transform into them. The most egregious example is Queenbee, shown above, who carries a gigantic armored hive when you fight her, capable of firing missiles, small bees, five massive lasers at once, and lasers that cause massive fiery explosions. When you play as her, you get two attacks. And none of the objects you can dock with and actually carry around can attack or do anything.
- In Eternal Sonata the final boss is Fredric (who has been a major playable character up until this point). He gains some shiny new special attacks such as "Applaudissiment Sonique", which summons massive bursts of energy to rain down upon your party.
- Inverted in Kirby's Dream Land 3, in which a computer-controlled Gooey cannot use Power Copying like he can when the second player controls him.
- In Bayonetta, Jeanne as a boss can perform multiple Wicked Weaves in a row, from any direction, summon demons in the middle of a fight and even send a missile into your face. You can't do any of that when you control her. Plus, boss!Jeanne uses giant bullets that somehow do massive damage to you, while your bullets are puny and completely useless against her.
- Out of the ten Epic NPC Hero versions of playable classes that sometimes appear during arena matches in Elsword, nine have access to extra combos or skills that players of the same class can't use.
- In Star Wars: Republic Commando , the AI had the ability to kick away nearby grenades. The player could never do this.
- In Space Quest 6, you're playing Stooge Fighter against a guy who somehow manages to pull crazy moves that cost a sixth of your health. However, the guy really is cheating in game, you can unlock the cheat if you learn it yourself in game.
- In Viewtiful Joe, playable characters lack the flashier special moves that their boss counterparts can pull off. For one character, the VFX meter constantly drains while transformed, so most of the time spent playing as him will be out of VFX mode (to compensate, he can always double-jump and his combo finishers feature added reach with his sword).
- In PAYDAY: The Heist, your AI allies can perform a diving roll to avoid gunfire and have the ability to hang off ledges to jump down to a lower level safely. You can't do the same thing.
- In the Dead or Alive series, Alpha-152's AI has the ability to teleport from neutral. When she's playable in Dimensions and 5, it's only possible to teleport with her when countering, parrying or if you're knocked into the wall in a specific manner.
- This happens in both Transformers: War for Cybertron and its sequel Fall of Cybertron, as an inevitable consequence of having a campaign in which the player shifts perspectives so often. In the first game, the boss fight against Starscream in the first level of the Autobot campaign gives him some kind of aerial cluster-bombing attack that was impossible to do when you were playing as him in his own level. FOC is even worse; Jazz can use his grappling hook to swoop down on unsuspecting enemies when he's an NPC in Cliffjumper's stage (as opposed to only being able to use it to swing from stuff or pull things down, which is what the player is restricted to), while Bruticus, Optimus Prime, and Megatron all gain new abilities only when fought as bosses (Bruticus can fire at you with the cannons on his back, while both Optimus and Megatron can transform and attack you in vehicle mode during the Final Boss fight, while you yourself can't transform at all).
- In Anarchy Reigns, Max can use the Shun Goku Satsu to teleport from the player.
- Various Skullgirls characters gain the ability to charge up their ensemble attacks when controlled by the AI, something that can normally only be done when properly tagged in. Peacock's Shadow of Impending Doom attack, for example, limits the player's assist to dropping a teacup on the opponent. The AI can drop an anvil.
- Most Rogue Like games are internally consistent; usually when they're killing your characters dead it's through the same rules that would let you kill them if the situation were reversed. FTL: Faster Than Light is not quite this honest; enemy ships have the ability to independently target laser-type weapons to separate rooms of your ship, something that the player cannot do. This means that, if you are particularly unlucky, a single salvo of burst laser fire from the enemy might cripple several of your system rooms, while you can only hammer away at one room if you used the same laser on them.
- Exaggerated in Kart Fighter - most of Luigi's special moves can only be used by the computer.