: A situation set up in a Video Game
where certain characters are better suited to handle a given challenge than others, pressuring the player to choose them over anyone else.
- Straight: A game lets the player regularly rotate between three members of a Power Trio: Barbara, a sword-swinging warrior; Velvet, a cold spellcaster, and Dash, an agile 'acrobat'. Each has powers connected to different elements, along with their strengths and weaknesses. However, choosing the wrong character makes the going far tougher.
- It is flat-out impossible for the 'wrong' hero to advance at ALL in levels that aren't tailored to fit their strengths.
- The player chooses one character to play the whole game through at the start, only to find that character struggles through challenges the others breeze through.
- Downplayed: Choosing the wrong character makes the level more difficult and is noted in game as "hard mode".
- The storyline is about how every person has different strengths and skills, and they are all important and useful in their own way.
- The game is a puzzle game, and choosing the right character with the right strengths is the way to complete every puzzle.
- The levels are actually tests for a character's abilities, meaning they were designed for the character that should be selected. If you do manage to do it with the "wrong" character, the teacher who put the challenge together actually comments on it.
- The game chooses your player character completely at random, but none of them are any better than the others.
- Instead of getting to choose your player character, you get to choose which of several levels to play. Some are well-suited to your character's gameplay, some aren't.
- Subverted: ???
- Double Subverted: ???
- Parodied: Upon choosing the wrong character, they take one step into the level before getting exploded by a random Death Trap. Or having a cow dropped on them.
- Zig Zagged: ???
- The level designs only slightly favor one character over another—it's quite possible to use your favorite throughout the game with only minor increases in difficulty.
- The player can cycle through all three heroes at any time, including in the middle of a level.
- The designers wanted players to actually use each of the heroes offered to them.
- Each of the three represents a difficulty level: Barbara is easy to use at first, but her abilities aren't as versatile in the long run, and she only has a couple of long-ranged attacks. Velvet, on the other hand, starts out very fragile, but eventually grows into walking icy doom. Dash, for her part, starts out somewhat in-between, and develops into a swift sniper good at aiming electrical blasts and knives, but still not as physically strong as Barbara or magically adept as Velvet.
- Lampshaded: ???
- Invoked: ???
- Exploited: ???
- Defied: It is extremely hard to play the game with the second of two playable characters. However, completing the game with this character has become a sign of skill among the fandom, so much so that new players attempt to learn to play the game with this character.
- Discussed: "The Fire People are vulnerable to ice magic. Velvet, you take the lead for now".
- Conversed: "Dammit, another Dash level. I'm not good at her control scheme, and her voice is so annoying".
Back to Character Select Forcing
, but only if you picked the Bard.