Hope Estheim. Fans hated him because of his constant wangst over the death of his mother. However, he began to mature, stopped panicking over everything, and buried the hatchet with Snow after confronting him. Also, most people warmed up to Vanille after her mask broke in chapter 8.
Every character in the game is made to appear extremely unlikeable in the first part of the game, but they slowly reveal their much greater depth as the plot progresses in the second half.
Deekin, in Neverwinter Nights Shadows of Undrentide, was generally obnoxious. Hordes of the Underdark did a much better job with him by giving him some generally humorous dialogue ("Drows be fatty. Gots it") and his big Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in the endgame. Not to mention the fact that he becomes a red dragon disciple, which is considered to be one of the best prestige classes in the game.
City of Heroes does this at times. This is rather important, given that nearly every NPC ally you get tends to start out yelling "Puppy Power!" and diving headfirst into groups of powerful enemies. The most notable case is probably Penelope Yin, who starts as a combination of The Ditz and Creator's Pet with bits of Faux Action Girl for flavor, a psychic with vast but non-combat powers and the interest of several different major factions of the game. Thankfully, by the next time you run into her, she's a useful in-combat ally, with slightly more reasonable chat text. She still makes mistakes, but it's a bit more reasonable. Fusionette, on the other hand...
The game developers have gained a knack for doing this to Scrappy Levels. Faultline was once deserted, being insanely hard to navigate and having no point whatsoever, but was completely transformed into a far more tolerable zone with an engaging storyline (and featuring the aforementioned Penelope Yin, along with a few other Scrappy NPC 'helpers'...). The Rikti Crash Site's rescue was even more successful, turning another wasteland into the cross-faction, action-filled Rikti War Zone brimming with well-written storylines and features for high-level players. The Hollows received some minor touching-up as well, turning the brutal proving ground into something slightly more tolerable. The other Scrappy Levels such as Perez Park, Boomtown and especially the Shadow Shard are still in dire need of this treatment though.
Fusionette, in fact, is an interesting case of it being attempted but not working out as well as intended. Her boyfriend, Faultline, shows up as a combat NPC, but his Stone/Stone powerset means that he gets some of the best defensive powers in the game, essentially making his role as a Tank plausible and effective. Poor Fusionette, an Energy/Energy Squishy Wizard Blaster, draws lots of enemy fire that she's utterly incapable of dealing with, especially compared to PCs of the same level.
Fusionette comes into her own as an extra damage dealer in solo play or small teams, especially if a "support" PC keeps her healthy and buffed. Other NPCs that are useless to large competent teams and tend to die quickly unless an active effort is keep them alive and powered up include Daedalus and Imperious from the Imperious Task Force, and (in a rather disconcerting example of Gameplay and Story Segregation) the entire Freedom Phalanx during the Mender Silos Task Force. Which makes their "help" something of an Escort Mission.
General Aarons, the absolute squishiest and most hyper-aggressive alleged ally in the game. Not helped by the fact that he's mainly found in missions against the Sky Raiders and usually locks onto their teleporting minions and lieutenants and chases them through several rooms and spawns, usually getting himself killed and causing you to fail the mission because part of your objective is to keep him alive. He can be vastly more hated than even Fusionette. At least she can do some damage. The General? He fires one bullet and then rushes into melee to hit the enemies with the butt of his gun.
Several NPCs who were something of The Scrappy in the first Baldur's Gate become more tolerable or even acceptable in its sequel (for example, Quayle, rather than being a near-useless party member, turns out to have matured considerably in becoming an NPC). Other characters who were tolerable or acceptable become awesome (Jaheira's reaction to finding the butchered body of Khalid is notably heart-rending).
Also, in Baldur's Gate II you got Anomen. He starts with a self-righteous, Holier Than Thou attitude that makes him annoying at best and insufferable at worse. After you complete his personal quest in the right way he gets much better. If you finish the wrong way, however...
Another BG2 example: Aerie, the obscenely sweet and naive winged elf, is generally reviled throughout the game by most of the player base. However, in the expansion, she takes a level in badass and becomes much more likable in the process. In any event, if you can get past her needy personality and her having the lowest HP of any of your party members, her class combo (cleric/mage) makes her one of the most useful characters in the game.
Nalia, in the expansion pack, drops her endlessly harping about the downtrodden.
Brawl in the Family also helped Waluigi gain fans. The love for Waluigi grew stronger when fans discovered that he was not included in the character roster for Mario Kart 7, despite the fact he had been in every Mario Kart game since Double Dash!!
As a comic relief character in a fairly dark and serious game, Jansen Friedh of Lost Odyssey seemed doomed to The Scrappy heap at first glance. Fortunately, in the English dub, at least, his voice actor's naturalistic performance and improvisation managed to rescue him, transforming what could have been an irritating sidekick into a genuinely funny and sympathetic character. That he received quite a bit of Character Development along the way, particularly once he fell in love with an immortal queen, also helped.
Raiden's girlfriend, Rosemary, also became a bit more palatable for certain fans in Guns of the Patriots. The fact that in said game talking to her is almost entirely optional (as opposed to MGS2, when you had to put up with her every time you wanted to save) probably helped.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeancedid in fact save Raiden from the scrappy heap. The game received near universal praise. Angry Joe felt that the union between Kojima Productions, who'd made all of the Metal Gear games up until that point and handled story and direction, and Platinum Games, creators of hits such as Bayonetta and the ones responsible for level design and gameplay, was a "match made in heaven." Mat and Pat of Two Best Friends Play also had a lot to say on the matter, noting that a decade earlier they never would have believed that Raiden would one day be more awesome than Dante.note Revengeance came out soon after the infamous reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise. Whereas fans were pleased with and excited about the revamped cyborg Raiden as well as the prospect of the creators of this such as Ōkami and Bayonetta working together with Kojima Productions, there was a massiveInternet Backdraft and outcry against the radical changes to the classic DMC characters displayed in DmC: Devil May Cry.
Beowulf from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War was once known as a universally hated character for lying and cheating on Lachesis, people think he's a big liar and philanderer. But suddenly, it's revealed that Lachesis was still in love with her brother Eltoshan and got together with Finn in Thracia 776. Thus, fan reaction towards him has softened ever since (those who are pissed with him are probably going on his mediocre stats, and his 'stupid grin').
In turn, however, fans started ragging on Lachesis as "one slutty princess". Still, she has yet to be completely pushed to the Scrappy Heap thanks to her sympathetic Character Development and Game Breaker status.
Serra from Fire Emblem Elibe has also become rescued, specially once people actually bothered to get her A supports where she's showcased in a much more sympathetic light and we get to learn about her Dark and Troubled Past.
Sonic Generations seems to be causing the fanbase to finally warm up to Silver the Hedgehog. Considering Sega gave him a new voice actor (who ironically happens to also be the voice of Raiden), made him less of a whiny Jerkass, and made his boss battle enjoyable, it's a big step up from "IT'S NO USE!" His role in the Sonic Archie Comics helps, where his character is given the full treatment with a new personality that makes him much less annoying and characterized as Skilled, but Naive, leaning heavily towards Adorkable levels. He now has become a popular character among the Sonic Archie fanbase and even has his own Sonic Universe arc.
The whole main cast, which ballooned following Sonic Adventure, was considered one big collective Scrappy (with very few exceptions) and a major fault of the series, especially after Sonic 2006, since fans needed something tangible to blame for the franchise's sliding quality. After Sonic Unleashed bombed critically—and featured a record low number of Sonic's furry pals—fans realized that the characters weren't necessarily the problem, and the lack of characters in recent games has led to some people wanting them to return. In return, Sonic Team has excessively Flanderized their characters, which may offset any gain.
The Cataclysm expansion's entire raison d'etre is to rescue the most hated zones in the game from the Scrappy heap, by nuking them and building new quests around picking up the wreckage. (As this is World of Warcraft, at least one quest will actually be about picking up wreckage.)
In a more conventional sense, Varian Wrynn gains a bit more sympathy after he allows the grieving Varok Saurfang to cradle the body of his dead son in Icecrown Citadel, showing that despite his earlier rage against the Horde, he remains an honorable, empathetic man. However, some have a problem with how established characters such as Jaina and Tyrande were dumbed down to try and make Varian look better.
Happens to Garrosh in Cataclysm. He publicly executes a Horde general that bombed an Alliance village full of innocent people (by dropping him off a cliff), and tells Sylvanas off for using the val'kyr to raise more Forsaken, saying she is going against nature and is no better than the Lich King. Sadly, while it may have shifted the opinion of casual Warcraft fans in his favor it did little to improve his reputation with the most die-hard haters. And as a result Blizzard dropped whatever plans they had for him as a character and set him up as the Big Bad for the next expansion.
A non-character example is the knife in the Resident Evil series. It used to take up an inventory space, and did minimal damage. Even if you had a rare position of attacking a zombie from an elevated position, it would take many slashes to take it down. So players would consign it to the nearest chest ASAP. But in Resident Evil 4, it does a lot more damage, and could aim just like the other weapons. Suddenly, the knife is one of the most valuable weapons. If it guaranteed a stun with every slash to the face, some players wouldn't even use guns (except for when they had no choice). Making matters better, it no longer took any inventory space whatsoever!
In the second fight against Krauser, the knife is one of the best weapons. The guy is kindaMade of Iron, but goes down very, very fast with the knife, faster than any other gun you'd have available at the time.
In the fight with Krauser, this strategy seems to work entirely on Rule of Cool, as the way to figure out by yourself it is a good strategy would be to be Badass enough to take on Krauser on a knife fight. A reason for the knife working better than guns here is that he moves towards you while dodging bullets moving left or right pretty damn fast, but the knife, being a horizontal attack, manages to hit him pretty well when close enough.
It probably doesn't hurt that the enemies feel pain in 4 without being made-of-muscle, badass bioweapons.
As for characters from the Resident Evil series, there's Steve Burnside's appearance in The Darkside Chronicles, which did away with most, if not necessarily all, of his irritating traits and made him much more likable. Rebecca Chambers of Resident Evil was seen by many fans as an annoyingly chirpy idiot until her characterization was changed in the remake and Resident Evil 0, turning her into a more relatable and sympathetic character overall.
Its sequel, Hakai-hen managed to rescue a gameplay mechanic; in previous games, using a consumable item results in that item being gone forever. Not so in Hakai-hen and later SRW games where you could use an item once per stage.
While virtually no fans of Mega Man games ever hated Roll, due to her being seen as the cute, benevolent face of what robotics could have been, and thus, part of what you're fighting for as the hero, in the Marvel vs. Capcom games she was something of a Tier-Induced Scrappy—in fact fans jokingly gave her her own tier because none of the other tiers were thought to be bad enough. In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, she definitely Took a Level in Badass with some rather devastating combos, many of which end with her ferociously slamming her mop into downed opponents' groins.
Since it meant that fandom could take out their hatred of one the bigger Scrappies from the series by beating the crap out of him with their favorite Final Fantasy characters! However, the English voice actor had improved a lot since his original role in Final Fantasy X which made Tidus more appealing. Not to mention he is Taking the Bullet in the sequel.
Butz/Bartz, the protagonist from Final Fantasy V, isn't really all that bad... he's just dull. To make it worse, his main adversary Exdeath is—well, a tree. Then Dissidia: Final Fantasy came along and made him into an actually likable character, with a design that found balance somehow between his forgettable sprite and his somewhat... odd Amano design. Even his blandness and lack of character angst compared to the other heroes get mocked properly. Plus, dual wielding the two most badass weapons in the whole series.
Just before that, Exdeath had a great cameo in Final Fantasy XII as a summon (alongside the main villains from Final Fantasy I through Final Fantasy IV!). His name is re-translated as Exodus, getting him is a genuinely enjoyable puzzle, and the whole tree thing looks downright cool.
Bartz was more Overshadowed by Awesome than anything. Consider this game has a character fighting alone at 0 HP, and introduced us to Gilgamesh, and it's clear that it's not his fault at all for the general lack of attention.
Happens also with several characters who weren't too well received in their original games like Final Fantasy XIII's Lightning who does not punch others. Jecht from Final Fantasy X also improved thanks to the fact his voice acting improved and his relationship with Tidus is deeper.
Squall from Final Fantasy VIII has often been referred as emo and whiny but his role in Kingdom Hearts has been better received thanks to his voice acting and him being a leader who helps the leading characters and even smiles in Kingdom Hearts II. It's hard to say if Dissidia managed to improve it since such game took his antisocial persona and the voice actor did not fit with Squall's negative lines.
His rescue came even earlier: The DS remake of Final Fantasy IV gave him genuinely useful abilities, pleasing design, and a good voice actor.
And before that, the GBA remake increased the chances of status effects with his attacks, to where he became a legitimate powerhouse.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl made major changes to the metagame (namely, that attacks are determined to be "physical" or "special" on an individual basis instead of by their type), and in the process caused many Pokémon who were previously laughably bad to become invaluable players.
Said move typing split debuted in Pokémon XD with the Shadow moves introduced in that game, so the franchise started pulling itself out of the heap as a result of that. The split went mainstream in Gen IV.
Gen IV actually saved a type: Grass was inferior to Electric when it came to defeating Water-typed Pokémon, due to its poor selection of attacks. Many of them had low base damage, or had high damage but had some limitation (a turn of charge-up, guaranteed to Confuse your own Pokémon after use, or was only available to one 'mon). Electric had no such problem, thanks to the widespread availability of Thunderbolt. Grass' other selling point, it's ability to hit Rock- and Ground-type Pokémon was undercut by the aforementioned Water type doing the exact same thing plus the fact that any Player Versus Environment team has a Water type so that they can travel across seas and rivers with Surf. Gen IV added more reliable attacks such as Energy Ball, Seed Bomb, and made Leaf Blade non-exclusive to Sceptile. There's still the overlap when it comes to fighting Rock and Ground types, but at least now Grass can reliably deal good damage to Crasher Wake's, Misty's, and Cress' lineups. It get even more saved in gen V, with the introduction of several good grass type such as Ferrothorn, who sports awesome defensive stats, good entry hazards and support movepool, and decent attack stats. It also helped by the steady addition of more and more Water/Ground types to the roster over the last few generations. Not only are Grass-Type moves their onlyweakness, but Electric attacks are utterly useless against them.
Grass types gained yet another boost in Gen VI, as the typing has gained the ability to ignore, among other things, the two best sleep-inducing moves in the game, Spore and Sleep Powder.
Also worth noting is that in consideration to all of the above, it can more safely switch-in to a water opponent for a revenge kill - which, again Electric types aren't as capable. Grass-type Pokemon resist Water-type attacks, and thus have a higher chance of surviving the switch-in turn. Electric-type Pokémon do not, and are generally very frail defense-stat wise, so it is surprisingly easy to fall to a STAB water-type attack.
While gen IV brings it to spotlight, it is not fully save until Gen V saves yet another type: Bug. In previous generations "new Bug types" usually meant "early-game bugs, usually early evolving as well, whose stats just plain sucked". Also, half of them were Bug/Flying, a typing weak to many attacks. The only ones that were playable were Scyther/Scizor, Yanmega, Nincada family, Heracross and Pineco/Forretress. Gen IV, despite giving Stealth Rock that hinders Bugs, started to save them by giving an instant switch move in U-Turn, which means they can play scouting role while dealing awesome damage, Bug Buzz, which is a good special move for bugs, alongside buffing many bug types, most notably Scizor and its infamous Bullet Punch. Then Gen V came around and introduced eighteen bugs. All of them with great stats. Not a single one evolves early. None of them Bug/Flying.
Scolipede is very fast and is able to learn Earthquake and Rock Slide. Come Pokémon X and Y, its rather situational Hidden Ability of Quick Feet got retconned into the considerably more useful Speed Boost.
Galvantula gets STAB Thunder with much better accuracy thanks to its Compoundeyes ability. As of Pokémon X and Y, it's also one of the best users of the move Sticky Web, which lays a trap that lowers an opposing Pokemon's speed on entry.
Durant has very high attack power with its Hustle ability, albeit with a little less accuracy, and can be taught Hone Claws, which boosts Accuracy and Attack, as well as Rock Slide. It's Bug/Steel too, which means that it has only one weakness.
Volcarona has the awesome QuiverDance (boosts Special Attack, Special Defense AND Speed) and a strong STAB signature move which boosts its Special Attack half the time. It was so strong, that people considered using it worth the effort despite the four times stealth rock weakness, which previously only achieved by Ho-Oh (In fact, many have expressed the opinion that the Stealth Rock weakness is the one thing keeping it from being an all-out Game Breaker).
Genesect has the honor of being the first Bug-type legendary ever (not counting Insect-plate Arceus). It's also Bug/Steel, which means that it has only one weakness.
While Gen VI introduced only one Bug-type Pokemon, Vivillon, and it's a Bug-Flying type, it shows that Game Freak seems to have learned even when it comes to this infamously poor typing. It put more appropriate focus on Speed than its main competition of Butterfree, and has Quiver Dance alongside Compoundeyes-boosted Sleep Powder and STAB Hurricane, making it surprisingly deadly in the right hands.
Gen VI also notably introduced a Mega Evolution for Pinsir, which turns it from a straight Bug type to - once again - Bug/Flying. The people who initially mocked it for this typing ended up eating their words when it turned out that MegaPinsir's exclusive Aerilate Ability gave it a powerful priority move in a Flying-type Quick Attack, as well as a pants-shittingly powerful Return attacknote After a Swords Dance boost, even Skarmory, physical tank extraordinare, has trouble taking it. With a coverage move like Close Combat or Earthquake and Swords Dance to boost its power to even more absurd levels, the thing is an absolute terror to anyone who neglected to prepare for it. It's not even as vulnerable to Stealth Rocks as it looks, as its first switch-in will be as regular Pinsir, which only has a single weakness to Rock, and Defog provided a new and more reliable way to get rid of entry hazards.
With each new generation, there's new evolutions for preexisting mons, as well as new moves and abilities. Previously average, forgettable Pokémon become awesome after getting a new evolution (Kingdra, Magnezone, Scizor, Steelix, Porygon-Z, Togekiss, the list goes on and on), a new ability (Gengar's and Weezing's Levitate, Machamp's No Guard, etc.), or a new move (Focus Punch, Stone Edge, Volt Tackle, Energy Ball, Stealth Rock, Toxic Spikes, Close Combat, Sticky Web).
The introduction of Mega Evolutions in Gen VI saved several Pokémon from the scrap heap, namely Charizard, Blastoise, Kangaskhan, Pinsir, Aerodactyl, Ampharos, Houndoom, and Mawile, just to name a few.
If time and the quality of the Pokémon games didn't rescue Pikachu from the Scrappy Heap, teaming up with Samus Aran against Ridley in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emmisary mode certainly did.
In-universe, Game Freak managed to make their obnoxiously cute mascot worth using in competitive play, thanks to a little item called the Light Ball, a passive ability that can paralyze anyone who touches him, and a little move called Volt Tackle. They even made it possible to get members of the Pikachu family with Surf or Fly (via Pokéwalker).
It happened with the Generation VI grass starter: Chespin was received decently well, but his second evolution, Quilladin, turned out to look like a pinata, earning tons of ire from the fan base for how ridiculous he looked. Then his final evolution, Chesnaught, was revealed: a gigantic, armored, grass/fighting type beast that easily looks the most badass out of all the starters.
Also, Nate and Rosa, Nate especially, were hated for looking more goofy than Hilbert and Hilda, not to mention looking alot like them. Cue the Trailer, which changed Nate into a Badass comparable to Red in much of a fandom's eyes. Rosa's hotbloodedness caught on as well.
Generation VI saved the most useless Rock type move, Rock Tomb. Limited uses, pitiful damage, and poor accuracy guaranteed no one even looked twice at it. Then it got more uses, far better accuracy, and buffed enough to make it a viable replacement for Stone Edge on Technician users. Also, Knock Off, a move that knocks off opponents items (except megastones) was boosted from a mere 20 based power to 65 which doubles to 110 when the user is holding an item. That single move made Weavile, Bisharp (which also got a boost from Sticky Web and Defog), and Crawdaunt (which has an ability to double the power of dark moves)
In an odd example, the PlayStation 3 went through this after a disastrous launch where one of the most anticipated new consoles in gaming history became hated by the entire Internet- due to being incredibly expensive, being openly described as a 'Trojan Horse' for the Blu-ray format which few gamers were interested in (and was blamed for the high price), having very few quality games (and several poor quality games getting inflated reviews), the downright bizarre antics of Ken Kutagari, crazy ads and being overshadowed by the cheaper, better selling and innovating NintendoWii. People trying to defend it usually only made the problem worse. But...
With the Hype Backlash having died down, and a fair amount of quality games being available for the system, Sony pulled off a successful rebranding, with the new PlayStation Slim (countering the accusations of the original being oversized) having a much more subdued ad campaign ("It only does everything.").
Unfortunately, in April 2011 the PS3's network infrastructure was compromised by hackers, who stole boatloads of personal information, and forced Sony to shut down the entire network. Sony was widely ridiculed for its poor security encryption and for taking nearly a week to address the problem. The PlayStation Network was down for at least 3 weeks, drawing the ire of gamers and politicians everywhere. However, after the fiasco was over, Sony was able to win the public's trust once again, with some free programs to make up for it and insurance that such a incident would never happen again.
Rochelle in Left 4 Dead 2 is shaping up to be this based on the promo trailer for The Passing DLC. Everyone hates her because she isn't as witty or talkative as the guys, and the fact that she is not another Zoey. However, in the trailer, Rochelle meets Francis and starts talking about things she hates, which makes Francis happy, and then she goes and insults his vest. The amount of people suddenly liking Rochelle based on this scene alone is astounding.
Add to the fact they gave her some genuinely funny interactions with both her team and the surviving originals throughout the Passing, and a lot of fans who used to hate her have started to like her.
Ironically, despite what happened in the trailer, in the actual campaign she tells Francis she likes his vest - which seems to endear her to him even more.
She seems to say this playfully and not mean it, since Francis tries to compliment her on her Depeche Mode shirt but mispronounces it. The conversation in the trailer does come up from time to time when she's the one to talk to Francis.
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures had the ambition of becoming the next king of MMORPGS (as evidenced by the sumptuous launch party) but, after a good start upon release in 2008, it failed to deliver the promise and fell on a host of problems that quickly reduced the number of players; high system specs required to play didn't help. Some of the people involved with the game resigned, and many started to compare it with the equally ambitious and failing Warhammer Online. Funcom, however, didn't give up and, shedding the original ambitions of going head-to-head with World of Warcraft, worked hard to fix the problems and took several initiatives to attract old and new players. Today, Age of Conan has a solid userbase of some hundred-thousands, and has happily entered 2010 with the release of the Rise of the Godslayer expansion.
Time will tell if Star Trek Online will rise from the ashes of mediocrity to become a solid MMORPG.
With the return of some key staff to make some much-needed improvements, giving the Borg and the Undine (Species 8472) back much of their badass cred, making the Klingons from a planet of hats into a brutal, but cosmopolitan and socially complex empire, combined with the game now going free-to-play without making the subscribers feel gypped, it's a pretty safe bet it has. It does the impossible of making the events of some of the worst moments in Trek history have lasting and realistic repercussions (the radiation cloud from Shinzon's ship 'sploding in Nemesis remains a threat to nearby systems even 20 years later that you need to investigate).
It fully happened with Legacy of Romulus by adding the Romulans to the game, complete with a great backstory, finishing the Klingons, and the beginning of making a complex story arc starring cast members from the series. Recently, it really proved it by introducing a new Love to Hate villian in the form of Dr. Eric Cooper or rather his Undine duplicate and making him an Arc Villian to Star Trek: Voyager 's Tuvok, an attack on Earth and Qo'noS, the end of the Fed-KDF War and finally making the Bigger Bad show up.
When Punch-Out!! for the Wii was in development, the revelation of many members of the lineup announced made classic (read: NES) gamers Squee. Glass Joe, Von Kaiser, King Hippo, Bald Bull, Don Flamenco... old-school favorites brought to glorious 3D. Then the developers revealed Aran Ryan, and those few who remembered him from Super Punch Out had to ask 'Why?', especially when they'd even included the more colorful Bear Hugger. Then players realized that Ryan had gone from a bland, straightforward boxer with no personality to speak of to a complete and utter maniac who cackled madly with every punch...yours or his. The fact that his new moves could only be described as "blatant and insane cheating" certainly didn't hurt either. Complaints faded quickly after that and Ryan has gone on to become a surprising favorite in certain fan circles.
This managed to happen to Link himself. The Wind Waker incarnation of Link was, upon the reveal of the style, to put it kindly, less than appreciated. This was quickly followed by some nasty Broken Base that's still healing. However, those who stuck it out to the end; watched the little hero prove his worth (as opposed to being chosen outright), and eventually turn GANONDORF into the Master Sword's new pedestal, spread the word that the Hero of the Winds was just as awesome as his predecessors.
Carver Hawke in Dragon Age II spent the entire first act constantly bitter of their older sibling being before being Put on a Bus after joining the Templars or the Grey Wardens. Even the companions in-universe found Hawke's little brother to be an annoying presence for his constant complaining. After the release of the DLC Legacy, fans were pleasantly surprised that suddenly Carver returned with a ton of character development, newfound maturity and self-depreciation (particularly if he became a Warden).
343 Guilty Spark gets one of these in Halo Anniversary if you look at the terminals.
Javik got Tainted by the Preview for being day-one DLC and worries that a Prothean would be unable to relate to other characters. Then everyone discovered his snarky personality, interesting backstory, and general badassery. He quickly became one of the most beloved characters.
The Turian Councilor, if not completely rescued, has been respected for being the only councilor offering to help the humans while the other councilors are busy fending for themselves without any help. Suddenly all those "Reaper" gestures at him have dropped significantly.
Miranda Lawson has been criticized by a fair number of people for her complete loyalty to Cerberus and for her many Kick the Dog moments in Mass Effect 2. Come Mass Effect 3 and she has not only focus on protecting her sister but also helps out the Alliance behind the scenes as well as feeling very guilty about many of her Kick the Dog moments, especially when she apologized to Shepard for saying that she wanted to plant a control chip in his/her brain to ensure his/her loyalty to Cerberus. She's also the only person in the galaxy who tells Shepard she'll fix her own problems, instead of asking/begging/guilt-tripping/manipulating/threatening Shepard for help.
Udina, of all people, actually gets some degree of rescuing. Where in previous games he seemed like an unrepentant Jerkass, his behavior is toned down quite a bit and he becomes more helpful in his desperate desire to get aid for Earth. Even the attempted coup has a legitimate reason behind it, and he comes across as almost sympathetic, since it's left ambiguous whether he was indoctrinated, greedy, or just plain desperate?
Kaidan originally recieved flak for being a Master of None and coming off as The Generic Guy compared to the rest of the crew. Then came Mass Effect 3 where he developed into an extremely useful Jack of All Stats. Having his characterization fleshed out after the Cerberus Coup certainly helped.
Inverted with Aria T'Loak. Mass Effect 2 gave a minor, but well-liked character full of snappy one-liners, a straightforwardly violent behavior, and a backstory. In Mass Effect 3, her role was still minor, but she helped Shepard out. Come the Omega DLC, where she joins Shepard for a re-taking of Omega, and opinion of her tanked, mostly because Shepard was forced to support a ruthless woman who would slaughter thousands (if not millions) of civilians to save her own life, and not call her out on it. This left many wanting to support Petrovsky rather than Aria.
Chatot in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers was hated by the fans for being a insufferable Know-Nothing Know-It-All, most notably when he mistakes Team Skull for a well-adjusted group and later punishes your team for failing to get Guildmaster Wigglytuff any Perfect Apples(Followed by Team Skull giving Wigglytuff a Perfect Apple after Chatot gave said punishment, no questions asked). Later on in the game, Chatot actually saves your team by taking the blow from a Kabutops and two Omastar, which gained him more respect from the fans.
Tales of Graces had a strange case - a lot of people were quick to label Sophie as The Scrappy, mostly for being the token kid character, before the game was even released. Then it was released, people realized Sophie was awesome, and a good chunk of the hate transferred to the much blander love interest Cheria.
Tales of Xillia ran into this exact same situation with Elize. People were prepared for yet another token kid. The truth is that she's one of the only kid characters in the series that acts like a kid; she's fantastically well-written, absolutely adorable, and extremely useful in combat to boot, and now she's pretty much become a fandom favourite. Instead, some of the hatred has instead shifted towards the Protagonists, Jude and Milla, for being arbitrary to the main plot and lacking empathy respectively.
Tales of the Abyss seems to this with every member of party. Not that every character begins as the Scrappy, but because of the vastly different characters, chances are at least one will annoy you. Then they get rescued in a way that's neither ham-fisted character development or retcon.
Luke begins as a spoiled-rotten, irresponsible, sheltered prick who doesn't even TRY to improve himself, then you find out he's only seven years old, and after a few events the guilt he feels from his actions guides every single thing he does afterwards.
Guy can be bland and seem a bit unnecessary compared to the personal stake the other party members have in the plot. Then you find out that he spent years infiltrating House Fabre and plotting to kill Luke, only to turn away from not only that entire mindset, but also his former retainer, Van.
Tear can be stubborn and single-minded in her need to kill Van without so much as "deigning" to tell the other party members why this is so. She's so on edge about it because Van's plan actually has some merits, oh and he's more of a surrogate father to her than a brother.
Jade is condescending and aloof. He also probably has more self-loathing and contempt for who he used to be than possibly any other Tales character.
Anise is the obligatory annoying kid who insists on being the Annoyance Supreme. That's because she's a adolescent spy who's parents are being held hostage and who's charge, who she adores, is a clone that she ends up killing.
Natalia is probably the most likely to be considered the Scrappy since she is as sheltered as Luke, but also casually lords her position over others and orders Guy about. Then you find out she's practically the soft-touch of the King's rule and as helped set-up social institutions, like a hospital. Kinda need those. Wasn't even retconned either as before the scene it's brought up in, random npc's in Baticul will mention her efforts.
The Batman: Arkham Series, especially Batman: Arkham City, has done wonders for many of Batman's foes, primarily for non-comic readers. Villains who were seldom taken seriously or not well-known have had their popularity boosted by these games. The Penguin as a Fat Bastard and dangerous psychopath who tortures cops with glee, the Riddler using Saw style traps that are horror incarnate, Calendar Man telling creepy stories on different holidays about murders he committed on said holiday, and the list goes on.
Yoyo was immensely hated in the first Jet Set Radio due to the race he challenges you to. People everywhere were swearing at their Dreamcasts and hoping that that fatass would die the worst death imaginable. Then came Jet Set Radio Future, in which Yoyo is redesigned into a skinny, younger, handsome green-haired boy, and ends up being the main character, which resulted in him being far more likeable. Hatred for Classic Yoyo is still immense even to this very day, but hatred for Future Yoyo is very rare to come by.
Most reviewers couldn't stand Ratchet in the first Ratchet & Clank, getting irked at how unlikable he was compared to Clank. Insomniac took notice and dialed down his attitude and selfish tendencies in later games, and the duo have been much more equally beloved since.
RuneScape's Crystal Bow was always kinda cool, but not useful. It is made of magic crystal and fires energy shots, but it also degrades with use, and there were better weapons. Crossbows, for example, were one handed, which allowed use of shields, and had higher accuracy and their ammo could hit harder. That's not even mentioning the effects that could be added to crossbows by adding enchanted gems to the bolts, all of which rendered pretty much any regular bow useless. After Evolution of Combat, however, most one handed weapons are noticeably weaker, albeit faster, than two handed weapons of the same tier. The Crystal Bow has been rescued by virtue of being faster than most two handed weapons and being reasonably affordable.
Many two handed weapons which previously went unused have become more popular as a result of this update. Blisterwood weapons, which were created solely to be the more effective Kryptonite Factor to vampyres, are now cheap, easy to produce high level weapons, which makes them popular among player killers.
Apollo Justice was labeled as a Replacement Scrappy for his game, since it didn't focus on Phoenix. When Dual Destinies came out, one case dealing with astronauts who were friends from his childhood, one being the victim and the other being the accused caused the fandom to enjoy the development of his character. A character poll even ranks him as the most popular character in the series. Of course, this may also have to do with Athena being considered the new Replacement Scrappy for Apollo.
For the Dawn of War series, Relic Studios created an entire new chapter, the Blood Ravens. At first they were your typical bad-ass Space Marines with a special note for having a large amount of Librarians and suspiciously missing information about their origins. What dragged them down into the Scrappy heap wasn't the fact that they were Relic's go-to army, but the fact that they were so gosh darn good at being Space Marines that they threatened to overcome the Ultramarines' Mary Sue status. It got to the point that every other piece of wargear in the sequel series was a relic "gifted" from some other Chapter, something that is virtually unheard of except in THE most astounding circumstances and earned them the epithet of "Magpie Marines" under the joke-assumption that all those relics were stolen. What saved them was a near-apocalyptic battle through the aptly named Retribution expansion where they quite literally battled and tore out the corrupted heart of their own chapter. By the time they show up as your backup during the push towards The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in Space Marine most players were right alongside Captain Titus in wanting to see them display the fury they showed in Auralia.
When the Wii Fit Trainer was first announced as a new character for Super Smash Bros. 4, fans quickly took to the forums to talk about how much of a wasted character slot she was and how she was going to ruin the game and crowd out more worthy newcomers. Then a mere hour later, Nintendo released her trailer, which depicted her Cute and PsychoFighting Clown style. Fans immediately started considering her an Ensemble Darkhorse.
In the original Borderlands, Claptrap robots were widely maligned for being annoying, omnipresent, and an obvious attempt at merchandising. In response to this, the game's final DLC revolved around Pandora's Claptrap units revolting, meaning that the players spent most of the DLC gunning the irritating little bastards down. For the sequel, it's revealed that only one Claptrap survived the "New Robot Revolution," and his role in the plot is greatly diminished, compared to the original game. There's also the fact that the characters in the second game consider him just as annoying in-universe, to the point where nobody except the player shows up for his birthday party...which turns him right around into The Woobie.
Enterprise-F captain Va'Kel Shon, a Hot-Blooded Andorian, was not well-liked at first because of this attitude. Players felt that he didn't stand up to those like Kirk and Picard before him and felt that the KDF's counterpart, Koren, would be a better choice, notably for being an Action Girl. However, the mission "Surface Tension" changed that as Shon forced the Federation to admit that they were wrong about the Undine, then later saves Qo'noS from the Undine nearly at the cost of his life.
In the same vein, Chancellor J'mpok was hated for killing off the more beloved Chancellor Martok in the backstory and beginning the war with the Federation that kicks off the game due to the fact he warned the Federation over the Undine and they refused to listen. "Surface Tension" helps him gain some credibility over the previously mentioned admission.
Wood Elves were usually weirdos and hated characters. Fargoth, Gaenor, Glarthir, Maglir, the Adoring Fan, the list just goes on and on and on. Cue The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, where the entire race takes a level in badass and become a Woobie Species due to their genocidal racist High Elf cousins occupying Valenwood, and Wood Elves go from being hands-down the least popular race to one of the fandom's favourites.
In Skyrim, the Thalmor made Screw You, Elves! practically a rallying cry for the entire fandom. Everyone hated them, even High Elf players. In The Elder Scrolls Online, the High Elves win back a great deal of their respect from many fans by credit of the sheer lengths they go to win the trust of their allies (including one quest where they pull a race-wide Big Damn Heroes on a besieged city) and counting a good number of likable and badass NPCs on their side.
The Duck Hunt Dog of all people (well, animals) managed to get this reaction when people found out he was a Secret Character in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, with an inventive moveset involving many of the games that used the NES Zapper. His infamous laugh being his intro and the start of his Final Smash probably didn't hurt either. Maybe because at least it will finally give the chance of players to beat the ever-loving crap out of it after decades of taunting, this time without penalty, something players are unable to do until that announcement. In other words, a long overdue fair play.