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Playing With: So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear
Basic Trope: A Video Game character leaves the Player Party and takes their equipment with them.
  • Straight: Cute Witch Marcy's a bit of a Glass Cannon, so the player upgrades her armor... right before she abruptly leaves the party for a while.
  • Exaggerated:
    • All of The Hero Dirk's friends keep running off on their own for various reasons, always taking their gear when they go.
    • Marcy takes off with all of her gear... And the rest of the party's gear as well.
  • Downplayed: Marcy's gear was mostly exclusive to her anyway. Her running off with it only deprived the party of the chance to sell it after she left.
  • Justified:
    • Marcy is going behind enemy lines on a dangerous solo mission, so naturally she's not going in unprotected.
    • Marcy is a mercenary who was temporarily part of a team. Why shouldn't she take her share of the gear?
  • Inverted: Guest Star Party Member Kyle has great gear which the player immediately strips off of him.
  • Subverted:
    • When Marcy leaves, she also leaves behind a package for the rest of the party to open.
    • Filling Marcy's inventory to the brim with powerful artifacts. She will return later with them enchanted into being the best gear in the game.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...But instead of holding her gear, it's got a Plot Coupon and a thank you note: "So long... And thanks for the great gear!"
    • However it merely amounts to Bragging Rights Reward. You'll miss using it when they would be most needed against every boss but the final one - who even without the enchanted equipment is easier than fighting the prior bosses without the artifacts.
  • Parodied: Squishy Wizard Leon extorts the party he's just joined to buy him the best gear available... Then, after getting suited up, reveals he's a Guest Star Party Member and runs off laughing.
  • Zig Zagged: If Marcy doesn't get to take the gear the player bought her along, her mission fails and she's horribly killed. However, some players consider Marcy The Scrappy and would gladly see her killed... but doing so locks out the Golden Ending. On the other hand, stripping Guest Star Party Member Kyle of all his gear and sending him off without a scrap on him doesn't have any effect on the plot...
  • Averted:
    • Nobody ever leaves the party after joining, even temporarily.
    • Alternately, anyone who leaves the party always leaves their equipment behind.
    • The Guest Star Party Member lacks a usable inventory so that players can't give him any items, the better not to lose them when he leaves.
  • Enforced: The game tries to create the impression that each party member has her own individual motivations, and that teaming up is just their way of furthering them. Obviously, any gear they earn in the process they're going to keep for future adventures.
  • Lampshaded: "Somehow, I knew she'd abandon us as soon as we geared her up like that."
  • Invoked: Marcy knows she has to leave her friends for a while to do something really important, but doesn't tell them beforehand because she knows Dirk's Jerkass friend Sten would force her to leave all her expensive equipment behind... and that's suicidal when moving through enemy territory.
  • Exploited: Dirk takes advantage of Marcy's departure to get rid of Vendor Trash gear that's clogging the party's inventory.
  • Defied: Dirk refuses to let anyone leave, because it's too dangerous to travel through The Empire alone.
  • Discussed: When Marcy decides to leave, she gives advance warning to Dirk, so that they can split the gear in a way that keeps them both safe.
  • Conversed: "Agh! Don't you hate it when party members in these games leave suddenly and take all the expensive equipment you just got them?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Aware that Marcy is probably leaving soon, Dirk makes her strip off everything he's bought for her. This leads to Marcy getting overpowered by The Empire's soldiers and killed before she could afford her own replacement equipment. Horrified, White Magician Girl Luna calls him on this: What the Hell, Hero?? You Bastard!
    • Alternately (or perhaps also), the game has a Switching P.O.V., and may temporarily put you in charge of Marcy at any point after she's left the party proper. If you left her gear on, the next part will be a cakewalk. Otherwise, you've just crippled yourself, big-time.
  • Reconstructed:
    • This is just one possible branch in the game; post-Player Punch, the player reloads from an older file and lets Marcy take the gear with her.
    • While playing as Marcy, you find a store that sells better equipment than the stuff you gave her to start with, but since Marcy didn't take any money with her, you'll have to either grind like hell or sell your old equipment in order to afford the new stuff.
  • Played For Laughs: When Marcy gets ready to leave, Dirk stops her and says, "one moment" right before the screen blacks out. The screen opens to a scene empty but for a naked Marcy who wakes up to find a note beside her saying, "So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear".
  • Played For Drama: When she gets back, Marcy and Sten get into a huge argument about her leaving with all her equipment, until they abruptly turn to Dirk with a choice: let Marcy back into the group (and watch Sten storm off in anger), or bar her from rejoining? (The best choice, of course, is siding with Luna and defusing the argument entirely.)

Back to So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear. Yoink!

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