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Alternately, the Player character is a very powerful unit and thus heavily used, even if that does risk instant loss.
Subverted: Player character seems to be one of these - until later moment. As enemy rush approaches the headquarters, a cutscene shows said character scrambling for transport and escaping. He is very clearly shown and freely interacts with other characters.
Anyone who talks to player character gets referred to as a crazy.
Oddly enough, your name is actually "Sir Yessir".
Zig Zagged: After a standard mission as a Non-Entity General a cutscene is shown where a general overlooking the field is told by his secretary "Rudy you need to get out of here!". Rudy ends up getting sniped at the end of the cutscene. Cue the next mission where Rudy is made into a mobile command tank. If Rudy gets blown up the mission is over. At the penultimate mission however Rudy ends up getting hacked and you are forced to destroy him. The player laments his death in text form. After the final mission a cutscene shows you getting injured by another sniper and it ends with you getting converted into a mobile command tank like Rudy with General Player Name painted on.
Averted: The player character is explicitly shown and named in the intro cutscene, and appears in many others later on.
"We don't have the budget to depict him! Let's just have him referred to as Commander!"
"We want our players able to identify with the character, regardless of age, race, or gender."
Lampshaded: "Commander, how about when this mission is over, we go and have a couple of beers togeth- oh wait. Sorry."
Invoked: In order to prevent the enemy from simply killing the general, they have him control the army remotely.