In a party-based game or even multi-unit strategy game, a level or mission in which the player controls only one character - often the main hero on a solo escapade. Many RPGs will start in this mode before the hero meets other party members, so starting sequences don't count - but all further "one person left alone" sequences do. Doesn't count if the rest of the team isn't player-controlled but is AI-controlled and helps the player automatically, the character has to be really alone. Single duel-type fights have their own tropes
, this is about a whole longer level to be completed with a single character.
Might be because the hero performed a Sneaky Departure
; maybe This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself
or In the End, You Are on Your Own
; might be as a result of the whole team being involuntarily split
, scattered across the world
or even dying as a scenario requirement; might be a side character completing a quest/mission of their own.
Might lead to a Duel Boss
a solo fight, without a solo lead-in, wouldn't qualify for this trope).
See Solo-Character Run
when it's the player that decides to play with only a single character, for the added challenge.
- Beyond the Beyond forces Finn to go solo when it comes time for him to complete a plot-important Prestige Class quest.
- Ryu's Journey to the Center of the Mind in Breath of Fire III.
- Bowish Island in Dubloon, thanks to the high concentration of the Navy, can be explored only by Ricky without drawing suspicion from guards (and drawing stupidity from them instead). All enemies that are present there can be quickly took out with Ricky if you know their weaknesses.
- Chrono Trigger:
- If you try to bust out of your prison cell in Guardia Castle before your execution, you'll be on your own as Crono until right before you fight the Dragon Tank. (Otherwise, Lucca will come bail you out right before it can be carried out.)
- Upon camping out with all six of her traveling partners after recovering and repairing Robo from Fiona's Shrine, Lucca wanders off alone and finds a portal leading to an ill-fated incident involving her mother years earlier.
- Dark Cloud has various floors in each dungeon where only one character is allowed to act.
- Dark Cloud 2 also has a few plot-related times where only Max is present to act. Upon reaching the summit of Mt. Gundor and destroying the Fire Squall, Monica hops aboard the Death Ark to fight Gaspard, leaving Max by himself to attack the ship itself from his Ridepod. The first few levels of Zelmite Mine also count, as Monica had to return to her own time at the end of the main story.
- At the very end of Dragon Quest II, both of your comrades step aside as you walk the final few steps before being crowned the King of Midenhallnote .
- EarthBound has Poo completing his training, Ness' trip to Magicant, and the epilogue from where Ness drops Paula off back at Polestar Preschool.
- Various instances in MOTHER 3:
- Flint, when he needs to bust out of the village prison to attend his wife's funeral, and then when he goes out to find his son Claus (until Alec joins him partway to Drago Plateau). Though, those who accompanied him on various tasks in general differed from point to point.
- Salsa, when assigned by Fassad to distribute some Happy Boxes. (Fassad himself only accompanies you for that one chapter, but for the great majority of the events therein.)
- Lucas, when leaving Boney on a treadmill to do some work in the Clayman mine.
- Boney on Argilla Pass, in order to look for the Jar of Yummy Pickles that the party drops along the way.
- Duster, upon briefly resuming his role in DCMC on the second floor you visit inside the Empire Porky Building.
- And finally, Lucas in the final battle, after the Masked Man knocks all his friends out pre-fight...
- ...followed by you, as the words "THE END", to walk around in pitch darkness while talking to everyone from the game's main cast, after Lucas pulls the final Needle and awakens the Dark Dragon, ushering the destruction of the Nowhere Islands.
- When Cecil's ship in Final Fantasy IV is attacked, he ends up alone on a beach.
- Early on in Final Fantasy V act 2, Galuf goes solo to rescue his imprisoned comrades.
- Final Fantasy VI - Locke doing a solo investigation in South Figaro, as well as Celes being on her own after The End of the World as We Know It.
- In Final Fantasy VII, Barret temporarily leaves the party to fight his Forgotten Friend, New Foe Dyne in Corel Prison.
- Final Fantasy VIII', Zell has to navigate the D-District prison alone to save the rest of his teammates.
- Happens in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, where Marche has to run away from Llendar until Cid rescues you.
- In Final Fantasy X, you party gets thrown in a dungeon. You start as Yuna and start looking for you other party members (Rikku, Tidus and Wakka get their own underwater section, as they're the only ones with swimming animations).
- Late in Grandia II, Ryudo is dropped alone (save for Skye, who only ever accompanies him non-playably) deep below the Birthplace of the Gods, in order to test his strength against Valmar's influence. The epilogue also counts when Roan seeks to meet his old friends three years after the main story.
- Grandia III also has its moments, such as Alfina visiting her own past in regards to Emelious' Start of Darkness and most of the events at Raflid Town. The latter involves Yuki having to make his way back through Raflid Alps after a failed solo attempt to re-enter Surmania on a makeshift glider).
- In Live A Live, the chapters vary wildly in opportunities for party formation, but in the one chapter that sets its protagonist up with a party near the outset, a certain cathartic incident leaves Oersted to adventure on his own for the remainder of the chapter.
- In Lunar: The Silver Star, the party is reduced at several points in the story to just Alex and one companion (not counting Nall), and twice Alex gets left alone. The first is when Alex has to go through the Cave of Trial before entering Vane for the first time. The second is after Ghaleon pulls a dramatic betrayal.
- A few examples from the Super Mario franchise:
- In Makeruna! Makendou Z, each of the girls are shot to sleep during their first confrontation by Honmayanaa, and you take control of Hikari's dog Sabi to wake each of them back up (and see what they're dreaming about while you're at it).
- Opoona has a segment right after the Disc One Final Dungeon, where you suddenly have to solo your way through a desert as Poleena. Thankfully, you are soon joined by a Guest-Star Party Member, but you still spend a significant amount of time alone.
- Late in Phantasy Star IV, Chaz must venture alone into a cave to retrieve the Elsydeon sword. There is also a sidequest in which Chaz suddenly gets separated from the party in a small test to see if he's worthy of getting the Megido tech.
- In Scenario 34 of the Earth Route of Shin Super Robot Wars, Domon has to pursue Master Asia all by himself.
- In Tales of Phantasia, if you fall into an early trap of the final dungeon, Cress wakes up alone in a dark dungeon and has to run around the area filled with monsters in attempt to get his teammates back.
- This is what you are left with after Tales of Symphonia has presented you with a Face–Heel Turn, a Distressed Damsel, and five successive Heroic Sacrifices in the span of one lengthy dungeon - and there's still a couple of floors for Lloyd to traverse solo. There's a Z-skit on those floors where he mentions that it's tougher being alone.
- The World Ends with You puts a twist on this at the beginning of the 3rd week: Since Neku cannot find a partner due to Kitaniji taking the entirety of the player base as Neku's entry fee for the week, he is incapable of fighting, so when he does get into battle, it's represented by all of his pins being disabled, so all he can do is escape battle.
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
- Annoyingly for a game based on tactically positioning your squadmates, Rainbow Six Vegas 2 has a segment where your squad goes off to join the first game's protagonist, leaving your character to complete a level which has more in common with Splinter Cell then anything else, made more difficult by the game's (relative) lack of stealth mechanics. This is the Scrappy Level for a reason.
- Subverted by the ability to do this mission in co-op, making the level a lot easier.
- Star Wars: Republic Commando generally has a Solo Sequence in every level (i.e. a proud total of three): on Geonosis, you start off alone but rendezvous with the rest of the Delta Squad shortly thereafter; the proper solo sequence on Geonosis comes when your squad boards the droid control center and has to disable four key systems simultaneously; in the second level, you spend almost the entire first half of it alone before reuniting with other Deltas; and in the final level, you have to go solo against a Geonosian nest because the other Deltas are already manning turbolaser turrets.
- World of Warcraft uses this trope as well, with solo scenarios introduced in Mists of Pandaria.
- In Mega Man X8, you switch between two out of three characters per mission.
- The opening mission is a tutorial that switches between the three playable characters. X is first, then Axl shows up as assist, with the two of them trudging on together until X teleports out and Axl has to continue alone, before rendezvousing with Zero. Again, the two of them would breeze through the mission but Axl will disappear and Zero has to handle things on his own until X returns and they continue the tandem up to the intro's Boss.
- In Hard Mode, Vile, the Mini-Boss of the final level, will attempt a Taking You with Me with one of your characters, leaving that character's fate uncertain. Your other character has to traverse the rest of the final level alone, up to partway through the first phase of the Final Boss battle, where the other character rescues you from the Boss.
- Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War has a single level that you have to complete without your three wingmen (and any weapons). Justified by the nature of the mission, namely, high-speed stealth recon.
- Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War has two sequences where you have to fly without a wingman: after Pixy deserts you in mission 12 and after he kills PJ in mission 18 and you have to duke it out with him in the most epic Duel Boss battle of the series.
- Dragon Age: Origins has the Scrappy Level Fade, which the Warden has to navigate on their own, optionally freeing the rest of the party for the Final Battle of the level.
- Some dungeons in Exile and Avernum have you choose a single party member to send in.
- Both Knights of the Old Republic games have plenty of moments where you control either one party member or the main character alone. This includes the final battle in each game.
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: At one point on Nar Shaddaa, one of your companions, Atton Rand, is ambushed by two Exchange assassins in a bar and has to defeat them on his own before rejoining with the rest of the crew. Also, the ending sequence sees Ebon Hawk crashland on a devastated planet, scattering the party, so almost each member gets to wander on their own for a bit before reconvening at The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. At one point on Nar Shaddaa, one of your companions, Atton Rand, is ambushed by two Exchange assassins in a bar and has to defeat them on his own before rejoining with the rest of the crew. Also, the ending sequence sees Ebon Hawk crashland on a devastated planet, scattering the party, so almost each member gets to wander on their own for a bit before reconvening at The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
- Mass Effect 2 has a few Shepard-only side missions available as DLC: "Normandy Crash Site", where Shepard has to wander the eponymous location alone, contemplating the deaths of the soldiers under his/her command; "Overlord", where Shepard has to fight the Final Boss alone after being thrown into Cyberspace while the rest of the squad are trapped; and "Arrival," where Shepard performs an espionage mission that ends in the destruction of a solar system. Also, a short genre-shift plot mission where you play as Joker.
- In Planescape: Torment on a couple occasions. In one instance, it's because navigation of the area involves being repeatedly struck dead by lightning traps. The Nameless One is immortal (or rather, can come back to life indefinitely), so he can get past this, but is kind enough to tell his less-than-immortal teammates to not follow him in.