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    Action Adventure 
  • At the end of every level of Cadaver your rucksack loses all items that are not potions or spells. This isn't so bad as those items are generally only useful on the level you've just finished.
  • Happens in Metroid games often with some justification such as Samus's equipment becoming infected or damaged.
    • Metroid II: Return of Samus: You start off with about 30 missiles, since they're needed to even damage the Metroids she's hunting, and the Morph Ball and Long Beam. Everything else from the previous chronological games are lost.
    • In Super Metroid, Samus doesn't retain any of her gear from Metroid 1 and Metroid II except the Long Beam. Unlike later games, there's no explanation for this.
    • Justified in the first two games of the Metroid Prime Trilogy, where an explosion disables Samus's equipment and the Ing steal it, respectively. You get about fifteen minutes to enjoy having mid-game abilities before they're gone. It's also done pre-emptively at the end of the first two games in the trilogy, with the Metroid Prime taking away Samus' Phazon Suit after its defeat in the first game, and the Light Suit apparently being returned to the Luminoth upon Samus' return to Aether at the end of the second game. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has Samus retain a few of the past game's items, such as Bombs and the Double Jump, but many of the upgrades are still gone with nary a word about them.
    • It's subverted in Metroid Fusion as well, where both Samus and the Power Suit's organic components are infected by an alien organism and the suit must be surgically removed. All of Samus's weapons and abilities stay in the suit, but the parasite within it mutates into the main villain, who ends up using Samus's best weapons against her.
    • Metroid: Other M goes with a different justification than the other games: Samus still has all the upgrades and weapons from Super Metroid, but chooses not to use them without permission from Adam. This is should only apply to her weapons, as Adam is concerned about her accidentally using a Power Bomb or something and immediately frying the entire team of people she's supposed to be assisting, but she also decides abilities that do nothing but protect her are also out of play until Adam allows them. Which eventually results in having to go through superheated areas without the upgrade that lets Samus stay in such locations without taking damage - the exact sort of situation every other game in the series avoids by using superheated areas as the Broken Bridge they are.
  • In every Tomb Raider game, Lara starts with just her pistols (and on one occasion her shotgun as well) and a couple of medipacks, despite the huge amount of weapons and supplies she picked up on her previous adventures and her wealth of owning a large stockpiles of weapons.
    • In the Nevada mission of the third game, Lara is captured and stripped of her weapons.
    • This also happens in the Offshire Rig level of Tomb Raider II, following a cutscene where Lara is caught onboard the enemy's seaplane and knocked unconscious with a wrench. She does retrieve her gear in short order, however.
    • Chronicles hits the reset button after every chapter. Justified in that each mission is framed by one of her friends discussing it, meaning each mission takes place at a different time in Lara's life from one another.
  • Castlevania:
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has a variation on this. In the very beginning of the game, Alucard starts with a supreme set of gear, mostly comprised of heirlooms that he inherited from his bloodline. When he runs into Death a couple of rooms later, however, he is chastised for defying his father's wishes, and the entire set of gear is confiscated. He can recover it by progressing to the endgame, but with SOTN's robust equipment system, it's not exactly necessary to complete the game.
    • In Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow, Soma Cruz, who has the power to absorb the souls of the monsters he slays (much like a Blue Mage from the Final Fantasy series), starts Dawn of Sorrow with none of the powers he gained from Aria. Genya Arikado handwaves it, explaining that since he wasn't in danger, Soma subconsciously released his acquired powers, though this doesn't explain what happened to the Infinity +1 Sword. However, if you have the original GBA game in a Nintendo DS when the game starts, you are given an expensive item that increases rare drops. He did still retain the drop kick and backdash at least, and he clearly is more skilled with weapons this time around with their special abilities, managing to subvert and partially INVERT the trope.
    • In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, you lose all the upgrades Gabriel acquired in the first game. Similarly, all the powers you had as Dracula in the opening flashback are lost after waking up centuries later.
  • The Legend of Zelda series is notable for this trope, as joked about in the Zelda Comic strip on the main page.
    • Justified in most games, since each installment is usually a different Link, who shouldn't be expected to have anything more than a sword and a shield starting out. And most direct sequels, sans Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, have him stranded in a different land — it's not unreasonable to suppose that his swag from the previous game was lost after Link fell into the Ocean King's realm or Labrynna/Holodrum.
    • In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Link only retains a sword and a shield from the previous game and has to get a new raft, flute, candle and magical key.
    • For Majora's Mask, this isn't just limited to between games: Whenever the time-traveling hero hits his Reset Button, most, but not all, of his gear and supplies literally spill out from his pockets into the endless void as he flies back in time (even better, the only way of accumulating money is through a stamp made of special ink imprinted on your skin by a bank teller, recording the balance of your supposed account. Whenever you travel back in time, it's implied that you fool the bank into believing you currently have an account with this balance). Link also somehow loses access to the Ocarina songs he learned in Ocarina of Time, even the ones that are also used in Majora's Mask. He "remembers" the Song of Time (through a flashback that doesn't match up with how he learned it in the first game), but has to be retaught Epona's Song and the Song of Storms by other characters.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Link has lost not only his gear but also his ability to wield swords, as well as his ability to swim. Before, he could swim as long as the swim meter didn't run out; now, he sinks like a stone, losing a little energy and appearing on shore.
    • Justified in The Faces of Evil for the Philips CD-i. When Link is informed that "it is written" that only he can defeat Ganon, he declares, "Great! I'll grab my stuff!" only to hear Gwonam reply, "There is no time; your sword is enough."
    • It even happens in-game in the Game Boy Color game, Oracle of Ages. You've gotten a handful of useful stuff (a few dungeons in), when your rafting trip goes horribly awry, and lightning strikes you. You wake up on the island you were trying to get to anyway, surrounded by lizard men. Who carry off your stuff. You have nothing until you find the lizards who stole it and force them to give it back, including a handful of "trading" sequences involving planting a seedling in the past so you can get the seeds from it in the present to take those seeds back to the past to get your damn power bracelet back. This is especially apparent in the sidequests involving switching back and forth between the two Oracle games. Presumably, in-universe, Link is actually physically traveling between the two countries, but that doesn't explain why he becomes much more powerful and better-equipped when he goes back to the previous land and then leaves all his Heart Containers and items behind when he returns, especially when you actually can take rings from one game to the other as a New Game+ — why Link would bother taking the Green Joy Ring from Holodrum to Labrynna where it's worthless (can't find double ore if there's no ore at all) but not even so much as his sword is anyone's guess.
    • The Eldin Song of the Hero quest in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword starts with Eldin Volcano erupting as Link descends from the sky, knocking him out and allowing the Bokoblins to steal his items. The entire quest revolves around making your way through the area while slowly regaining your items to progress.
    • Used straight in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. At the start of the game, Link loses all his stuff when he suffers a shipwreck at the beginning of the game. Of course, the game turned out to be set in the Wind Fish's dream, so that's another good explanation.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has Link awaken in the Shrine of Resurrection naked as the day he was born, save for a pair of decency shorts, with only a top and pants in the nearby chests and no weapons whatsoever. Over the course of the game, he regains his memories, revealing that he was already hero-ing before the events of the game (and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is slated to explore his actions inso doing). The last two memories explain why this is: Link fought so far beyond his body's own abilities with so little rest that he was just as ruined as the Master Sword he was carrying at the time, and he only stayed conscious long enough to see Zelda unleash her divine power for the first time; relocating him to the Shrine and sealing him inside for a century was the only way to save his life. After that, Zelda entrusted the Master Sword to the Deku Tree, to reclaim the power that Link so thoroughly exhausted, and even when he gets it back, he can only use that power in short bursts at a time instead of as a functionally immortal weapon.
  • Averted in the Legacy of Kain series. Abilities gained by both Kain in the Blood Omen games and Raziel in the Soul Reaver games are retained from one game to the next. There are a few exceptions; for example, Kain doesn't use his Wolf form after Blood Omen 1 and Raziel doesn't use his Constrict power after Soul Reaver 1, but those powers were of limited use anyway. Still played straight when it comes to the reaver forges—poor Raziel has to imbue the wraith blade twice with every last element between Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance. Particularly glaring because it is a vital element of the plot. A scene has the Elder God destroying the Elemental Fonts used to switch the sword elements in Soul Reaver 2—forcing Raziel to re-imbue the sword.
  • A mixed bag in the Yakuza series, where Kiryu and other playable characters retain certain unlockable abilities from previous games but still start off with base statistics (justified as being out of action in-between games).
  • inFAMOUS 2 semi-averts it, as Cole loses only some of his powers from the first game, and his energy meter is reduced back to its starting size. He then spends most of the game regaining his lost powers and collecting new ones. Even his original default lightning bolt attack is lost, replaced with a different bolt attack that doesn't have unlimited ammo.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • Zig-Zagged in Batman: Arkham City. Once Bruce Wayne manages to gear up as Batman, he starts with most of the gadgets he acquired in Batman: Arkham Asylum. The only major piece of equipment he doesn't carry over (the Line Launcher) is given to him roughly halfway through the game. It's even lampshaded by Alfred when Batman calls in the Line Launcher. He asks Batman if he's ever considered taking up a bigger Utility Belt. Batman's response? Tried it, too heavy, weighed him down (no doubt a reference to the No Man's Land comic run where, as he was out in costume roughly 20 hours a day, he built a larger belt to handle a larger variety of crime fighting gear). However, some upgrades that he had in Asylum do need to be purchased again, even though they would be massively useful in every-day Bat-manning (Critical Strikes and Combo boost come into mind). Additionally, the triple batclaw is also lost between games. Some gadgets you apparently have the entire time, but are prevented from using until the main story progresses to a certain point.
    • Batman: Arkham Origins, which chronologically takes place first, retroactively makes the first two games into a case of this, by introducing new items that weren't in them. When asked about what happened to these new items, the creators simply responded by saying he just chose not to bring them with him. In the Cold Cold Heart DLC, set one week after Origins, Alfred tells Batman that the glue grenade formula was unstable, apparently justifying not being able to use them anymore.
    • In Batman: Arkham Knight, you once again start with a wide variety of gadgets (presumably the standard ones). The REC device and Electrocutioner's gloves are shown as having been turned into the police as evidence. The former can be reclaimed almost immediately (and is ultimately required), the latter cannot be taken back (presumably because it was a game-breaker). The freeze grenades are in your base, and can also be retrieved when you desire. Other gadgets are shown in various storage locations, keeping with the above explanation that Batman doesn't take every gadget out with him, as he has way too many for that - he takes out the standard ones and grabs more specialized stuff as needed.
  • The Swords of Ditto, being a Zelda-like Rogue-lite, plays this mostly straight. Whether your character dies or completes their quest, the next character you control only gets to keep the sword and a few basic gadgets on their next run. Once you revive the statue of Serendipity, you can pay some Crystals to grant one or more items to start with on your next character.

    Action Game 
  • In 8 Eyes, all health and item capacity upgrades are lost between stages, as is whatever special weapon the hero was carrying. The final Boss Rush castle automatically boosts these meters to their full capacity, as there are no upgrades to be found there.
  • LEGO Star Wars II has an "extra" that allows the user to import characters from a LEGO Star Wars save file for use in the "Free Play" mode.
  • Zigzagged in the Harry Potter games.
    • Played straight in the GBC versions, where Harry somehow forgets everything he learned his first year, loses his entire Famous Witches and Wizards card collection, and loses all his money.
    • Averted where it counts in the PC versions. Harry learns Flipendo, Alohomora, and Lumos in his first year and retains them all at the start of his second year. Likewise, he learns Rictusempra and Spongify in his second year and keeps them both (along with Alohomora and Lumos) at the beginning of his third year. He still loses his Wizard Cards, though, as well as his collection of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans (probably ate them all, the pig).
    • The Playstation versions mostly avert it, as Harry keeps Flipendo and Wingardium Leviosa from the previous game. He still has to relearn Verdimillious and Incendio, but it's Handwaved by claiming that they are improved versions called Verdimillious Duo and Incendio Duo (in practice, they're only improved in that they're quicker to cast). He still has to collect all the Wizard Cards again, though.
    • The 6th generation console versions only let Harry keep Flipendo between games. Especially obvious between the first two, as the two games have almost the same spells but still need to be unlocked again during Harry's second year (this is due to the Philosopher's Stone game being created after Chamber of Secrets, using mostly the same assets). As usual, beans and Wizard Cards are also reset.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, all the Defense Against the Dark Arts spells that Harry and co. learned in Years 1-4 (except for Harry's Expecto Patronum) are banned by Professor Umbridge at the start of the game, and must be relearned or unlocked.
  • Onimusha 3: Demon Siege starts off Samonosuke with fully upgraded weapons and armor from the first game, with most of them being shown in the opening CG cutscene, and a fully upgraded soul absorbing gauntlet. After he is sent to the future, he loses all of his upgrades and begins with a simple katana and downgraded armor and must collect new weapons and upgrades.

    Adventure Game 
  • Exception: One of the big selling points of the Quest for Glory franchise was its using the Old Save Bonus, letting the player transfer their character from one game to the next; doing so would let you retain some of the items you had from the last adventure (including all the reward money you'd earned, which tended to be a good chunk of change). This also holds true for stats, with imported characters generally being better off than ones created fresh for each game, especially if the player took the time to Level Grind.
    • Quest for Glory IV played this trope straight with the Justification that the hero was subject to a forced teleportation spell and lost all his gear along the way, forcing you to start over again. However, it obviously doesn't affect intangibles like your stats.
    • Quest for Glory V then inverts this, with your friend and mentor Rakeesh (who was there when you were forcibly teleported back in Quest for Glory III) returning some of the items you lost. QfG5 also has a special case relating to the Thieves' Blackbird sub-quest: In QfG4, you can find and steal a duplicate Blackbird from the evil monastery in town; if you then import your character into QfG5, he'll have the Fake Blackbird in his inventory, which makes stealing the real thing a little easier by cutting out a few stepsnote .
  • At the beginning of Monkey Island 2, Guybrush Threepwood is hideously wealthy after his adventures on the high seas between this game and the first. He is almost immediately robbed by the diminutive but tough Largo LaGrande.
    • A strange case occurs in The Curse of Monkey Island (the third game in the series). You begin the game with only one item in your inventory: an inexplicable pair of helium filled balloons. Presumably these are the same balloons acquired in the endgame of Monkey Island 2, but everything else from that game has been lost. The game does this midway through the second chapter as well: While walking on a nature trail, Guybrush gets swallowed by a snake, and has to collect a wide variety of items inside the snake's belly before finding one that'll help him escape... after which the snake vomits Guybrush into a quicksand pit, which sucks almost all of Guybrush's recently discovered loot right through his pants.
    • In Tales of Monkey Island, an Episodic Game, Guybrush loses some items between chapters while keeping others, sometimes with no explanation, but the justification can be that those items aren't useful anymore so he just discards them. At one point a lost item could be very helpful and Guybrush says that he lost it.
  • Little Big Adventure 2 offers one of the better explanations. It's explicitly said that Twinsen hasn't practiced magic since the previous game and lent his Ancestral Tunic (that grants him magical powers in the first place) to a museum. He has as much HP as in the previous game, and his physical shape and hand-to-hand combat skills are as good as ever. On the other hand, a few important items are still missing (including a Cool Sword), and upon reclaiming the old magical stuff, he only gets one level of magic and needs new items to progress further.
  • Played straight through the Space Quest series—Roger Wilco doesn't retain equipment from one game to the next. With the exception of the Orium crystal from II, which Roger starts with in III. Also, the effects of another item carry over from II to III: acquiring the free-but-not-really Labion Terror Beast Mating Whistle in II leads to the Arnoid hunting Roger during III. However, the sixth game shows that he does keep some of the items from all his adventures: they are all on the table in his quarters aboard the DeepShip 86.
  • In Infocom's Enchanter trilogy, the first and second games each end with your spellbook being lost, along with all the spells you gathered over the course of the game. That said, the second and third games do each start with you equipped with a new spellbook with a better range of spells than the anemic spellbook you get at the beginning of Enchanter.
  • King's Quest I. In the first game, the protagonist Graham recovers three treasures. One of these is a mirror that foretells the future, which is used to drive the plot in most of the sequels. The other two, a chest of infinite gold and particularly a shield of invulnerability, are never brought up again, although they surely would have come in handy.
  • Lampshaded in The Legend of Kyrandia, Book Two: Hand of Fate. When Zanthia loses all her items each time she moves to the next chapter, she grunts and complains that "it's the worst backpack I've ever had".
  • In the Hook point-and-click adventure game for home computers, after you walk the plank and get rescued by the mermaids you find that you've conveniently lost all the items that you no longer have a use for.
  • In the Leisure Suit Larry series, Larry loses all items from the previous games. This is usually justified, as some time passes between the end of one and the start of another. Also justified in Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail!, which starts immediately after Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out!, as he gets robbed and starts a fire in the hotel room, forcing him to jump out the window naked, losing all his possessions in the fire.
  • Averted in Viva Caligula: In Hell!; Caligula has all the weapons from the previous game. There don't appear to be any new ones, but it's still refreshing.
  • The Submachine series:
    • Averted in Submachine 2: The Lighthouse. Submachine 1 ended with you holding a diary page, a Wisdom Gem and a coin, and you still have the page and gem (not the coin, but then you start off standing in front of a coin-op Submachine 1 game). The gem is actually useful as well.
    • At the end of Submachine 2 you have various notes, which all disappear when you arrive in Submachine 3: The Loop ("THERE IS NO DIARY PAGE").
    • Submachine 3 doesn't have any collectables, so you start Submachine 4: The Lab without anything.
    • Submachine 5: The Root is the only game that doesn't follow directly from the last one; it opens with you in the dorm area of a different lab. Presumably, you put your knife, hammer and screwdriver (not to mention all the notes) down somewhere.
    • At the start of Submachine 6: The Edge, you still have the notes, cipher plates and wrench from Submachine 5 but you have to deposit them in a bin before the Machine will let you proceed. Not that they'd have been any use here.
    • At the end of Submachine 6 you don't have anything (you just read the notes without collecting them this time), so you don't have anything when you begin Submachine 7: The Core.
    • At the start of Submachine 8: The Plan, you don't have the notes from Submachine 7: The Core. But then you have just been catapulted to another layer of reality by an unstable karma portal.
    • At the start of Submachine 9: The Temple you still have (and need) the hammer and layer-crossing machine from Submachine 8: The Plan.
    • At the start of Submachine 10: The Exit, you've lost the hammer, the machine and the jug of karma water. The point from Submachine 8 applies again, perhaps even more so.
  • In Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom, your sidekick Percy carries most of your stuff. Every now and then — usually after you've completed a major event or reached the end of a chapter — he informs you that whoops! He's dropped, lost, or otherwise misplaced some of it! Fortunately, none of what he loses is actually required to complete the game; think of it as an involuntary inventory reduction.
    • Something similar happens in the Ace Attorney series, though in this case the characters explicitly state that they're intentionally reorganizing their inventories and dumping things they don't need anymore.
  • Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak justifies Hamtaro losing all of the Ham-Chat words from his dictionary by having him fall in a bucket of water at the start of the game, ruining his dictionary.
  • The Telltale Games Sam & Max: Freelance Police games plays it straight and subverts it at times. A lot of the items are tossed out in between chapters, but a few are either kept in their inventory later on or handwaved with where it was. For instance, the hypnotizing-proof helmet from the very first game is said to be permanently woven into Sam's hat.
  • In the Mental Series, Greg has a slingshot with him in the first game and in Mental Showtime for some reason. He doesn't have it in Murder Most Foul. Maybe he dropped it when escaping...

  • In games in this genre that allow you to pick up weapons (either from defeated enemies who carry them or found randomly lying around) it's very common for your character to drop them when they exit the current area.

    Fighting Game 
  • Averted in Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy, through an Old Save Bonus note  for the first Dissidia, as entire levels can be transferred to the sequel if you have the old save file, thus averting the need to grind all those levels and therefore actually playing out like an example of New Game+ note . The trope can be played straight as the player has the option to import everything but their levels so they can keep their unlockables and get their bonus items, but still have the option to level old characters up.
  • Persona 4: Arena takes place a few months after the end of Persona 4, but for some odd reason, the Investigation Team can only use their base level personas.note  However, in both this game and its sequel Persona 4: Arena Ultimax, this is averted for the SEES alumni, who all retain their Ultimate Personas.

    First Person Shooter 
  • The Half-Life series has reasons why Gordon Freeman doesn't start with all his weapons and items from the previous game: removed by the G-Man at the end of Half-Life 1, destroyed by a security system during the penultimate level of Half-Life 2, and scattered by an explosion and train wreck at the end of Half-Life 2: Episode One. Gordon still has his weapons at the end of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, however, and shows no indication of possibly losing them.
    • Half-Life 2 and its various episodes avert this when you start a game from anywhere other than the first chapter. The game will give you every weapon you can have at that point and a reasonable amount of ammo for all of them.
  • Portal is also affected. We see that in the ending of Portal, Chell blows GLaDOS up and ends up outside the facility and her Portal Gun was probably lost. In the beginning of Portal 2, you have to get the Single Portal Gun again, guided by Wheatley. But, when you get captured by GLaDOS, you lose it. Good thing you get the Dual-Portal Gun almost immediately.
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces Saga:
    • Mysteries of the Sith averted this trope in its early levels, as the player begins the game as a fully powered and well-armed Kyle Katarn, before assuming the role of Mara Jade after Kyle goes missing.
    • Played straight with an explanation in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, where it is revealed that Kyle Katarn gave up the Force for fear of falling to the Dark Side (like he did in Mysteries of the Sith), and is thus unable to use the Force powers he had in the previous game until he's convinced early on to re-establish his connection to the Force.
    • For Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, instead of reusing that trope yet again, the developers instead gave the player the role of Jaden, his apprentice and a new arrival to the Jedi Academy, with Kyle taking a supporting role and still having all the abilities he had at the end of Outcast when he accompanies you. They were fully aware of this trope, and they have specifically stated that the decision for a new protagonist in Jedi Academy was because of how silly it would get if they had to depower Kyle again and again by some excuse after another.
  • Battlefield: Bad Company. It's probably a conscious design decision, to try and avoid Too Awesome to Use. Bad Company 2 also avoids this by virtue of the weapon crates scattered about in the campaign - even in the odd case where you lose what guns you had been using beforehand, you can typically find one of the crates and grab whatever you want from it.
  • Justified in the last level of Urban Chaos: Riot Response. Nick's safe house is bombed with him in it while he's off duty, so of course he doesn't have any of his T-Zero equipment since he has to leave that at Headquarters. However, since Nick's apartment was attacked before, he has several weapons stashed in it, and he can also grab a shield from a Burner after killing one. Other characters are also smart about the lack of equipment - when one worries that they can't contact Nick since he doesn't have his T-Zero communicator, another suggests to just call his regular cell phone.
  • Left 4 Dead:
    • The intro cinematic of the first game ends right at the opening to the first level, "No Mercy." But the characters are shown using weapons that they won't actually find until later. During the cinematic, every character either runs out of ammo or has the gun knocked out of their hands, leaving them with only the starting pistol.
    • The sequel, which actually has a canonical chronological sequence to its campaigns, lampshades this in "Hard Rain" when the protagonists realize that they've left their weapons and the flares needed to signal their boat in a bag that they forgot to grab from said boat. The other campaigns play the trope straight, but there are some unsaid explanations. In "The Passing/Dark Carnival", they arrive in a tight, cramped stock car that likely could barely hold 4 people, much less guns. "Swamp Fever" starts with a helicopter crash. Virgil likely wanted some payment for his services rendered and/or the Survivors were willing to give him their guns to show their gratitude, which would explain why they have nothing at the start of "The Parish". Then there is "The Sacrifice", wherein the old survivors arrive in a train and still don't carry anything but pistols—though we know from the tie-in comic that the US military confiscated the stronger guns.
    • The tie-in comic for "The Sacrifice" explained how in the original game the Survivors lost their weapons between some of the campaigns: The Slaters stole their weapons and booted them off the boat in the aftermath of "Death Toll", the airplane crashed after "Dead Air", and the military that rescued them confiscated their weapons for security reasons. It's unknown why they lost their weapons after "Crash Course" though, as their armored truck had more than enough room to carry it and it was merely blocked by dead traffic (and a literal broken bridge).
  • Frontlines: Fuel of War has the missions divided into segments for each objective, separated by a short loading screen. The player often picks up many nifty toys to ensure that he's covered for all situations, such as carrying an assault rifle, grenade launcher, rocket launcher, pistol, sniper rifle, grenades, several UCAV drones with rocket launchers, and a pair of binoculars that drop airstrikes wherever he points them. This massive arsenal is lost in between loading screens, even if the next segment takes place mere minutes after and it would make no logical sense for him to take all of his equipment that could make the next mission a total breeze and toss them off a cliff, forcing him to find replacements.
    • Seeing as how the player is fully-versed in every weapon and equipment classification in the entire war, it's a surprise they don't give him a full arsenal of whatever he requests at the beginning of each mission, because the commanders know he'll find and use them anyway.
    • Apart from the black ops mission (where you paradrop in) it's pretty obvious that you are basically just another soldier; the story follows the reporter and the squad, not an individual soldier. Speaking of said black ops mission, you get some of those Too Awesome to Use chaingun mini-tank drones as the black ops guy, who conveniently vanishes before the next phase of the mission, when having one or two of those little things would really help with the upcoming fights...
  • A number of old-school first-person shooters (like Doom) were divided into three or more "episodes," each of which would start you off with only your most basic weaponry; while Doom at least has an excuse for one episode (you end episode 1 by getting killed, and start episode 2 in Hell), most others don't bother. Doom 3 does something vaguely similar when you enter or leave Hell (though not if you're just using the teleporters to get from one part of Mars to another).
    • Marathon 2 uses the excuse that your items have all been confiscated by HQ so that they can reverse engineer them for mass production. Durandal, being who he is, gleefully lampshades this when the game begins:
    Durandal: I know you have a lot of questions. [...] And most importantly, where's your rocket launcher and the fusion gun?
    • Heretic has weapons lost between episodes, but additionally only allows you to carry one of each inventory item across levels.
  • Occurs twice in Crysis. Once after getting captured, and once right before facing the final boss. This includes the attachments, some of which you will never see again after the first half of the game.
    • Like Halo, Crysis only lets you carry a small selection of weapons at a time. Plus, at least it was justified—and if you run around before beating the stuffing out of the guy who caught you, you can rearm yourself somewhat, and the second time you did have to stop and go in for a diagnostic check... it's not like they were expecting a giant alien squid battleship thing to pop up and blast them with a freeze-ray, eh?
  • F.E.A.R.'s expansions and sequels (the ones that involve Point Man, anyway) do this.
    • F.E.A.R.: Extraction Point starts Point Man off without weapons save for a single pistol, ostensibly justified by having just survived a helicopter crash caused by a nearby nuclear explosion. Less justifiably, he's also lost the effects of any health or reflex boosters he picked up over the course of the original game. Perseus Mandate justifies an inability to carry over weapons and boosters from Extraction Point by way of putting you in the shoes of an entirely different operator who drops in about halfway through the events of the original game.
    • F.E.A.R. 3 starts after Point Man has been captured and imprisoned by Armacham for an unspecified length of time (generally presumed to be 9 months). Point Man and Fettel also lose any weapons/bodies/power armor when switching chapters, Point Man starting most chapters afterwards with just the basic pistol (except for the start of one chapter, where he doesn't even keep that). Sometimes justified by Point Man barely surviving a fall from the breaking environment or some sort of vehicle crash, sometimes not. It's presumed he uses up or otherwise loses guns between intervals. As for Fettel, he can't hold on to a body without constantly killing for psychic energy.
  • Every location change in XIII is accompanied with the player character losing the various weapons and equipment he had grabbed in the previous levels, though on occasion he gets new gear to start out with.
  • The Call of Duty series zig-zags this, where, depending on the game and how its story is structured, your character can frequently go from having a reasonable explanation for this (days between missions, where he would have every reason to be resupplied with what his side actually uses) to somehow, during the loading screen, completely misplace the enemy gun he came in with while somehow reacquiring the useless pistol he dropped for that enemy gun less than two minutes after starting. The original and 2 generally avoided this for sequential missions, for the most part (particularly in 2) keeping whatever guns you had at the end of one level to start the next one with, but as the series slid closer to pure Gun Porn it started playing this as ridiculously-straight as possible simply so you'd have a new gun to play with each mission. The Chernobyl missions in the first Modern Warfare are probably the oddest instance, however: the sniper rifle you start with in the first one survives the transition to the second, minus its suppressor and ghillie camouflage, but the silenced USP you also start with and anything else you can pick up in the level will turn into an AK-47 during the transition — except, ironically, for an actual AK-47, which will instead turn into a USP for some reason.
  • In Destiny 2, all of your weapons, armor, and other equipment from Destiny are lost, due to Ghaul destroying the Tower and its armory, and your Guardian being forced to flee the City in a badly wounded state with none of their powers after Ghaul cuts off the Traveler's Light. As Cayde-6 explains it:
    "So...everything is gone. Your stuff, my stuff, but most importantly, MY STUFF."

    Hack And Slash 
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Devil May Cry 2 starts Dante with none of the weapons or powers from the first game except for the "Air Hike" double jump; it doesn't explain why, either. The third game is a prequel to the first two, and thus it is only natural he has none of the gear from the second one, except for a weaker version of his "Rebellion" sword... but then it leaves the gaping question of where all the weapons he picked up in that game went before the first Devil May Cry. There must be a closet somewhere in his office stuffed with demonic weaponry. Then there's the Force Edge sword, which loses all the special abilities it had in the transition from 3 to 1 (and the loss is permanent - Dante can't buy them back); there, however, it's forgivable, since writers aren't psychic and the people writing DMC1 had no idea what would happen in the third game.
    • Devil May Cry 4 continues this trend. It comes after 2 chronologically, and it features a new main character altogether (Nero) who obviously has none of the weapons Dante had. However, Dante becomes the lead halfway through the game, which becomes a partial subversion: you can use the points you earned as Nero to purchase abilities as Dante. Also in Devil May Cry 4, Dante is able to use all of the "style" moves from Devil May Cry 3, although at Level 1. You can upgrade them at the beginning of missions and at Divinity Statues, and doing so unlocks many new moves.
    • In an interview leading up to Devil May Cry 5 as well as a radio drama tie-in for the anime, it was stated that the reason Dante doesn't keep all of his weapons is that he sells them to his friend Enzo as collateral to make up for all the rent money Dante had borrowed from him. According to the Before the Nightmare prequel novel, Dante kept Cerberus at least but it broke when he was fighting Balrog. In the game itself, Nero has his Devil Bringer ripped off prior to the main story. It's understandable that he might be rusty after such a catastrophic injury and have to relearn his skills, and his Devil Trigger is outright lost to him (since he needed the Devil Bringer to use as a catalyst for the transformation).
  • The same thing happens in God of War II, and the rest of the game is dedicated to going back in time to kill the person who took them. Fortunately, the player still retains most of his divine strength at the start of the game, as well as a leveled-up version of one of the most useful spells from the original game, to give players A Taste of Power.
    • In Chains of Olympus, a prequel to the series, Kratos is robbed of his items by the gods at the end of the game. It is not shown if they took his magic, but regardless, he doesn't have it by the first game.
    • 3 gives Kratos another taste of power until he falls into Hades again. At that point you lose the maxed out Blades of Athena and its magic, as well as any experience points obtained at that point. However, you keep the Golden Fleece and the Wings of Icarus.
    • At the end of Ghost of Sparta (set between the first and second games), Kratos willingly gives up the Arms of Sparta and uses them as a Weapon Tombstone for his brother Deimos.
    • In God of War (PS4), Kratos lost most of his power after giving up the power of hope at the end of the third game, and got rid of his weapons and artifacts from the previous games in order to try and put his past behind him. Instead of the Blades of Chaos he fights with his late wife's Leviathan Axe. Since he's not familiar with the weapon, it only makes sense that he'd need to spend time learning how to use it. He eventually gets the Blades of Chaos back, though he needs to re-learn some of his old techniques due to being out of practice with them..
  • KOEI's Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors franchise (and the Warriors Orochi crossovers) have averted the trope in the form of unlockables for having save data for the preceding game.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle downplays the trope; Travis apparently ditched all of his gear except for his basic Beam Katana when he left the assassin life, but he starts with the skills the player could pick up by collecting Lovikov balls in the first game. Since this includes the mini-map, it's a very good thing. He can also get back the previous game's Infinity +1 Sword as his first alternate beam katana, though it requires upgrades to bring it back to its former glory. Travis also still has Death Metal's mansion. He keeps his giant robot under the pool. No explanation is given as to why he still lives in a motel room, unless he spent all the money on that giant robot.

    Platform Game 
  • Averted for the most part in LostWinds. At the beginning of the second game, Toku keeps all of his learned abilities; however, he loses his cape after tearing it off on a tree branch. He gets it back later, though.
  • Averted in Banjo-Tooie, where the main characters are able to use every power they acquired in the previous game, Banjo-Kazooie, on top of all the new ones they learn over the course of this game (though they do lose a lot of HP and carrying capacity). The sole exceptions are the basic standing and running attacks. In Kazooie, Banjo would perform these by himself, but in Tooie, they were altered to incorporate Kazooie, seemingly for the sole purpose of making Banjo utterly defenseless once the pair finally learns how to split up, requiring a new move to be learned before he can attack by himself. Played straight in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, as Banjo and Kazooie lose their abilities due to years of being fat and lazy. Their lack of their abilities is often lampshaded.
  • Blackthorne also does this, because of the limitations of its save system. It was developed for the SNES, it doesn't include a battery in the game cartridge, and its save passwords are only 4 characters long.
  • Despite the fact that you're not playing as the previous Hero/Heroine in Mega Man ZX Advent, the whole plot is the fact that the Big Bad has stolen Vent/Alie's other Biometals and is putting them to use. Vent/Alie shows up looking for them later.
  • At the start of Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Bently begins to tell Sly how to do the ninja spire jump, and Sly chides him for assuming that he would forget one of his most important skills. True enough, Sly retains the spire jump and rail-walk techniques that he learned in the first game for the rest of the trilogy, but he still forgot a host of other skills from that game, such as the power to turn invisible, alter time, and how to not take damage from falling in water.
    • It is in full effect for the jump between the second and the third game, especially with regards to equipment like the Paraglider or power ups like Silent Obliteration. Very annoying when you forget that you lose these...
  • The Ratchet & Clank series does this with weapons and devices, but upgrades to Clank (a robot) are retained from game to game. However, the loss of equipment is explainable to a degree: the duo are teleported out of their living room in the opening cut scene of the second game, in the fourth game they are captured by the Big Bad in the opening, and in the first PS4 game they are surprised by a sudden attack. The third game however gives no explanation, which is especially odd considering that they are intentionally going into a war zone.
    • The weapon purchases you made in each game did apparently entitle you to replacements at no or (in the case of A Crack In Time, reduced) cost since if you have a save from an older game on your profile, finding a vendor who sells weapons from previous games gets you a handful that you'd bought in the previous game.
    • Clank losing some of his abilities is handwaved by explaining that some of his upgrades from the first game are illegal in Bogon.
    • In Quest for Booty, you start with some of the best weapons from Tools Of Destruction for a brief battle at sea. At the end of that battle you're knocked out and wash ashore without your guns. They eventually wash ashore separately and are given to you by the NPCs who found them.
    • A notable case is with Full Frontal Assault, where Ratchet, Clank and Qwark start with zero bolts and no weapons at the start of every mission, inciting this trope multiple times. The only aspects that carry over are weapons that are found in pods on the battlefield and turrets to defend the various lanes with (you unlock more to buy in later levels), as well as various unlockable perks like the Box Basher and faster Hoverboots.
    • Played straight for Nanotech points. By the end of the game Ratchet will usually hit the cap for nanotech points, yet the next game has him always starting with a measly amount of them.
  • Notably averted in the original three Insomniac-made Spyro the Dragon games: no abilities are gained in the first game, but those gained in the second carry over to the third. Showcased over and over, however, in the later games.
    • The end of A New Beginning actually does explain this for Eternal Night. During the cutscene Spyro mentions that the battle with Dark Cynder and subsequent escape drained his strength, and he lost most of his powers as a result. Perfectly reasonable when one remembers that Spyro is still a child (12-14 years old). Played straight for Dawn of the Dragon however, unless you assume the same thing happened again.
  • In Wonderboy III The Dragons Trap, the first stage is a reenactment of the final stage of Wonder Boy in Monster Land, complete with the Legendary equipment and extended life meter. Once you get turned into Lizardman, you lose it all, and must build back up to it. Near the end of the game, you revisit the castle ruins to retrieve the Legendary equipment.
  • Drill Dozer is about a girl in a mech with a drill on it. In each level, the player can acquire gears, which allow the drill to spin faster and harder. At the end of every level, the drill conveniently breaks down in such as fashion as to lose the two gears, leaving them with the default first. It's blamed on "wear and tear." At the end of the game, all the gears get broken.
  • Jak of Jak and Daxter always loses his equipment when things go wrong at the beginning of each game. Justified in several cases: his Power Cells are spent opening a portal to Jak II: Renegade; the Precursor Orbs were likely taken by the Krimson Guard; his gun and hoverboard are taken away when he's exiled to the Wasteland. Several other things are not, though: he loses multiple Dark Jak abilities at the start of Jak 3: Wastelandernote ; you have to save up orbs to buy back the car he was driving at the start of Jak X: Combat Racing; and he doesn't bring his armor or morph gun when he travels to the Brink in The Lost Frontier.
  • Captain Comic 2: "...Armed only with his courage, he enters the teleport chamber..."
  • The Ty the Tasmanian Tiger series is a particularly strange offender; you obtain various boomerang sets with various Elemental Powers, and you always, always lose them between games—except for the Aquarangs, which only work underwater. They do, however, change appearance, from rather distinctive finned boomerangs to... the exact same model as your starting boomerang.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic 3 picks up directly after Sonic 2 (with the canonical ending being that you got all the Chaos Emeralds in Sonic 2). Hence, Sonic uses them in the opening cinematic to turn into Super Sonic, before Knuckles jumps up and startles him, losing the emeralds. Knuckles then picks them up, and presumably hides them all over the island, prompting the player to collect them again.
    • Averted between Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, courtesy of the lock-on cartridge of the latter. If you continue into Sonic & Knuckles from a Sonic the Hedgehog 3 save file, you retain any and all emeralds that you've collected in that game. If you have all seven, however, you can choose to play this straight by giving them up at the first bonus stage... in favor of powering them all up one at a time to enter an even more powerful super mode.
    • Averted in Sonic Unleashed, in which Sonic holds onto the Chaos Emeralds through the entire game.
    • Between Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic lost his Light Speed Shoes and Light Speed Attack. Knuckles lost his Shovel Claws. All of them are replaced in the second game — however, there are also the missing Crystal Ring (Sonic), Jet Anklet, Rhythm Badge (Tails), and Fighting Gloves (Knuckles). Tails' lost items are slightly justified, due to the Unexpected Gameplay Change, but...
      • Partially justified in Sonic's case as he was breaking in a fresh pair of SOAP Shoes at the time he was arrested and explicitly needed the Light Speed Shoes at least to perform the Light Speed Dash and Attack. He's able to largely restore his old abilities to better than new after finding Light Speed boosters for his new shoes and a new Ancient Light source on Prison Island.
    • Averted in Sonic Heroes where Sonic is capable of performing the Light Speed Dash and can perform the Light Speed Attack as part of Team Sonic's Team Blast without needing Light Speed Shoes and Knuckles can break iron containers with his bare fists and perform the Homing Attack, removing his need for the Hammer Gloves and Fighting Gloves respectively. Shadow is similarly capable of doing the Light Speed Dash withought his beefier Air Shoes.
  • Done rather comedically in The Legendary Starfy series of games. In every game, Starfy has more or less the same moves, but still has to re-learn them each game. The canon explanation for this is that Starfy is so spacey and absentminded that he keeps on forgetting how to perform his own special techniques. Moe typically gets mad at him for this habit in the fifth game, at one point going "Sheesh, next this kid will forget how to swim!"
  • Though it's the end of the series, depending on which ending you get to Demon's Crest, Firebrand may either hide everything he's earned in the game or throw it haphazardly off a cliff, suddenly realizing he doesn't want it anymore.
  • Kid Dracula for the Game Boy is the sequel to Boku Dracula-kun for the NES. In the first cutscene, the son of Dracula admits to Death that he already forgot the techniques he learned in the first game.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns has the Kongs, despite being able to swim endlessly underwater in all three Donkey Kong Country games, suddenly unable to swim. They WILL die if they fall into the water, as if it were a Bottomless Pit. Fortunately, by the time Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze rolled around, they apparently took some swimming classes, but never got to the lesson about how to avoid drowning.
  • Every single Mega Man game after the first one - all 10 of them (to date, seeing that the latest one, Mega Man 11, was released in October 2018). In each game, the player must acquire weapons from (usually) 8 adversary robots by traversing each one's stage and defeating him/her in a 1 vs. 1 combat, thus accumulating a rather formidable arsenal to take on the final stages of Dr. Wily's castle - only to start the next game with nothing but the basic pea shooter, and if the game designers at Capcom were so inclined, the Down+Jump slide move and/or the ability to "charge" said pea shooter by holding down the Fire button for a few seconds to fire a bigger, more powerful projectile.
  • It's implied in the Mega Man X games that X voluntarily disposes of his new armor and weapons after every game, in order to avoid the temptation to abuse his newfound power... or maybe because he simply doesn't like fighting in the first place, really.
    • Surprisingly, the dash ability (gained from the Boots Armor upgrade in X) is a starting ability in the all of the later X games. Then again, the opening to Mega Man X1 stated the dash upgrade was optional from the start, so the implication is that this was meant to be available to X in his base form.
    • Mega Man X4 - X8 play with this in so many ways. X starts X5 and X6 with the Fourth/Force Armour and Falcon Armour from their respective preceding games. The only problem is that the armors are severely weakened compared to their original versions, with the implication that X did trash them, but Alia went and salvaged them as best she could. Whereas in the first three games, X started with a 16 unit life meter, and built it up to 32. From X4 onward until X8 redesigned the meters, X started with a 32 unit meter, and could build up to 48 (X4), 64 (X5-6), and 80 (X7). Also, X7 and X8 made the airdash and charging his X-buster an extra level available in base form. Respectively. Also, in regards to heart tanks, in X1, X is obviously significantly weaker than Zero. By the time we actually see Zero's life bar, X is only eight heart tanks away from being equal to it, and then it's just a case of them being equal. However, Zero has no such qualms, which doesn't explain why he forgets learned techniques (i.e. not weapons), such as his Ice Stab maneuver in X4. It's not like he dies in that particular chapter, unlike X5. Interestingly, in the X vs. Zero fight, they both pull out weapons from X4, giving the suggestion that they keep them for emergencies.
    • Had Capcom not stepped in, Mega Man Zero would have shown what would have happened if X kept his weapons. Zero had a convenient case of amnesia over the 100 years of deep sleep, so he forgot everything when the series started, but eventually remembers old techniques with experience.
    • Speaking of which the trope is actually justified in Zero 2 where Zero has his Buster, Saber, and Shield Boomerang damaged and his Triple Rod totaled due to fighting constantly against Neo Arcadian forces in the desert for over a year without any R&R. It even goes so far as to show the Pause menu looking rusty and a portrait of a damaged Zero. Which is awesome, by the way; especially since the pause menu changes to an entirely different format once Zero returns to the Base and gets fixed up (in the third and fourth games the menu changes right from the beginning). Zero also holds his arm while stationary throughout that entire level, which usually only happens when he's low on health.
    • Also, in Zero 3 and Zero 4, when Zero has been lounging at the Resistance Base in between games instead of fighting in the desert for a year, he keeps all of his weapon upgrades (the ones you get by simply using the weapons repeatedly), so you start the game with your weapons at full power. Zero still forgets all of his learned techniques, though, and likewise loses the three elemental chips after each game.
    • Averted in the Wily Tower level of The Wily Wars (a.k.a. Rockman Megaworld). While the first three games naturally play this straight, once you've beaten them all and unlocked Wily Tower, you can select any 8 of their 22 available weapons and 3 out of 7 items to equip for it.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in Mega Man 9: Granted, a world at peace would have no need of a chargeable buster, but that doesn't explain why old Rock's no longer able to slide as well.
      • Inverted in Mega Man 11: Mega Man regains the slide and Charge Shot. An upgrade chip can even enlarge buster shots, similar to the giant shots from Mega Man 5.
  • Downplayed in the Flash game K.O.L.M. 2. Robbie retains most of his movement abilities from the first game (dashing, triple jumping, swimming, crouching), but loses all of his defensive abilities (invulnerability to spikes, damage reduction).
  • Justified in Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, as the events of the previous game were undone, and thus he technically never got any of the new gear. He also left the Dagger of Time with Farah, but kept the future version of her medallion, which is also a time artifact, allowing him to keep his time powers for the sequel.
    • At the beginning of Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, as he is about to make port, the Prince throws the Medallion of Time overboard, thinking he doesn't need it anymore. Cue his ship being sunk by a catapult while the Water and Light Swords you worked so hard for in Warrior Within are below decks. Fortunately, he retains all of his melee combat abilities.
  • Lampshaded in Trine 2.
    Amadeus: Whatever happened to that magic talisman that allowed us to breathe underwater?
    Zoya: I... um. I think someone hocked it.
  • Done in a truly head-desk-worthy manner in Tomba! 2. Not only has Tomba lost everything except his grandfather's amulet (which is useless anyway), he's forgotten how to swim!
  • Crash Bandicoot
    • Games starting with Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped had a bad tendency of this; over the course of the game, Crash would get a variety of new moves from defeating bosses only for the next game to start him with his standard abilities only and the new ones having to be unlocked again, frequently in a similar order. Some games eventually wisened up on this:
    • Crash Twinsanity, which although mostly starting on a clean slate gave Crash the ability to double jump (an unlockable move in earlier games) from the start; it's worth noting that this was the first platformer since Warped not to feature upgrades.
    • Averted completely in Crash: Mind Over Mutant; Crash begins the game with every move he had at the end of Crash of the Titans, and only some effects to them that would be overpowered if you began the game with them (such as an infinite spin attack) have to be obtained again.
  • Distorted Travesty: In the third installment, all of Jerry's and Claire's abilities are stolen by the Virus, right down to their ability to move back and forth. Jeremy manages to undo that last part, but all other abilities have to be re-earned... including jumping.
  • In the Transmorpher series of Flash puzzle-platformers, you are a green blobby alien. The central game mechanic is transmorphing into a purple wheel-like alien who can climb walls, and a big orange alien who can smash things. In all three games you need to find and absorb these aliens before you can gain their powers. The intro to the second game shows the three of you getting separated by the baddie aliens, but in the third game it just happens somehow.
  • In Kao the Kangaroo, you do not get to keep the checkpoint flags between levels.
  • Shantae had a bad case of Early Installment Weirdness in regards to the title heroine's genie magic, but the one thing that remains between the first game and Risky's Revenge - her belly-dancing transformations - is justified by Shantae having been slacking off in regards to her dance practice. From then on, the series goes out of its way to justify it: Risky's Revenge ends with Shantae losing her genie half entirely, thus setting the stage for a powerless Shantae at the start of the next game. Pirate's Curse then ends with Shantae getting her genie magic back, after an uncertain period of time without it (and thus having Shantae reasonably be a bit rusty) to set up Half-Genie Hero. Seven Sirens explains it as Shantae being on vacation. Her old transformations are mentioned as if she still has them, but she doesn't actually use them in favor of the new transformations she gets in the game.
  • In the Robot Wants Series, the titular mechanized character loses most (if not all) of its upgrades and weapons between games, barring the jump ability (which it acquired in the first game). While the games do have a loose storyline between them, many of the upgrades that would be helpful across games (including the speed booster from Kitty, the bombs/reflective shield from Fishy and the Double Jump) don't carry over, with the Double Jump in particular having to be reacquired in each game. It is fitting, as the series is a Metroidvania set of games.
  • Portal Runner: Vikki can hold nearly unlimited arrows, but they do not carry over from one level to the next. Even if she's depicted using them in a cutscene.

    Puzzle Game 
  • In Gruntz, you do not keep any of the wonderful things you get from one level to the next. You don't even keep the same gruntz!
  • Spelling Jungle: Wali doesn't get to keep any extra items between levels.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • The genre as a whole tends to follow this trope; no matter how big or badass your army gets by the end of the mission, in the next one you will not be allowed to bring them with you, having to start all over with a paltry few soldiers and basic buildings. The ones that have scaling weapons and armor upgrades tend to reset those at the beginning of every level as well, forcing you to spend time and money researching them again.
  • Supreme Commander and its expansion, Forged Alliance, plays this trope straight during the campaign. No matter what upgrades your commander unit has, the next mission will return it to tier 1 and no upgrades.
  • Averted in spectacular fashion by Paradox Interactive's series of historical simulators. You can play Crusader Kings from 1066 to 1453, then export the save file from that into Europa Universalis III and start with the world map and conditions as they were when you left them, and play up to 1820. Then you can repeat the process with Victoria and play up to 1920. If you have the expansion pack it goes to 1936 and then lets you export its save file in turn into Hearts of Iron II which runs up to 1964. In all you have nearly 900 years of in-game continuity. This is possible because all four games run on a very similar engine.
  • WarCraft II introduced naval combat, complete with offshore platforms for extracting oil, a resource necessary for constructing fleets. Warcraft III effectively removed this element, having ships only in cut scenes, custom maps and certain campaign levels, with them not constructive in standard skirmish games.
  • Warcraft III mostly averts this with hero levels.
    • In the Expansion Pack, every hero who appeared before is level ten. Arthas actually spends most of his expansion pack campaign going down from level ten all the way to level two before being allowed to level back up. The only direct use is Thrall, who was allowed to level to three in the training campaign but starts at level one in the full orc campaign. Arthas goes from a level 10 paladin to a level 1 death knight after the human campaign. And his Sword of Plot Advancement loses the ability to do chaos damage.
    • In addition to hero levels, Warcraft III also averts this trope with items. Pick up a cloak of + 3 intellect on your hero in one mission and it will be on your character at the start of the next mission. In fact, the game averts the trope even when it might make sense: lose access to a hero for storyline reasons in one mission and his or her items will be waiting for you at your start location in the next mission. Again, an exception is made for Arthas when he goes from a level 10 human paladin to a level 1 undead death knight, and there was probably an exception for characters between the basic Warcraft III campaign and the expansion campaigns too.
    • Warcraft III has an example in the Undead campaign of the Frozen Throne expansion pack. At the first mission you start off with fully powered Level 10 Arthas Death Knight. However, during the course of the campaign Arthas gradually loses power (thus levels) as the Lich King's Frozen Throne acquired a fracture due to Illidan's operations.
  • Company of Heroes downplays this. On an individual unit level, the player can build certain veteran units of the same rank as a unit which gained veterancy in a previous mission. Additionally, for certain missions, if the next mission directly follows the preceding mission (e.g. capture a town in one mission, defend it the next) the ending units from the first mission will be the starting units for the second. Battlefield conditions (locations of defensive structures, destroyed buildings, etc.) are also reproduced for subsequent missions on the same map.
  • Kerrigan's deinfestation in Starcraft II Wings Of Liberty seems to have the same intent, while the first Starcraft didn't have RPG elements and she wasn't playable in Wings she starts out Heart of the Swarm substantially less powerful than she was in the previous games.
  • On a different note, the protoss start Legacy of the Void with all sorts of high-tech unit, only to be reduced to Zealots and Stalkers the next mission. This is justified, as Amon seizes control of the Khala soon after, taking the Golden Armada with him to wreak havoc across Koprulu, forcing the Nerazim to liberate their Daelaam brothers and rebuild their armies from the ground up.
  • Zig-zagged in The Battle for Middle-earth games:
    • In both games, hero units keep their experience from mission to mission, as the player retains his general powers. Upgrades have to be researched in each mission.
    • In the BFME campaigns, the player keeps his units with their level, and their upgrades, but must research those upgrade first to apply them to units he just created.
    • In the BFMEII campaigns, the player keeps his heroes but not his army.
    • In the BFMEII "War of the Ring" mode, the player keeps the army he created during the turned-based mode, but not the troops created during the real-time battles. Averted in the expansion, your armies that you build in real-time mode are now persistent.
  • Dawn of War 2: In between the vanilla and the first expansion, the strike cruiser holding most of your wargear performs a Heroic Sacrifice, accounting for the loss of your gear, though fortunately your characters keep their levels and whatever gear you had on you during the final mission (if you have an Old Save Bonus, that is). Played straight in the second expansion, where you need to relearn all your skills (somewhat justified in that an all-new skill system which no longer depends on storing items is used, not justified in that two characters apparently spent the last decade forgetting their skills).
  • In Colobot, no matter what bots you bring with yourself into the ship as you take off, the next mission will likely not have them.

    Rhythm Game 
  • In beatmania IIDX games that run on the eAMUSEMENT Network, your records do not carry over from one game to the next, despite the fact that each installment is simply a Mission-Pack Sequel that, at most, only adds new gameplay features instead of modifying or removing them. You also lose your Dan'inintei ranks and have to earn them again, although this is justified in that Dan'inintei courses change songs with each new version.

  • In Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja, Izuna loses all levels in the 2nd game, without any explanation... and also for some reason, the gods you are able to control also start at level 1.

    Role Playing Game 
  • Justified in Mega Man Legends 2, where Megs is confident he can handle the bad guys as soon as he gets his old gear out of storage... until the penny-pinching Roll sheepishly admits she sold off his equipment to cover repairs for the pounding the ship took near the end of the last game. Interestingly, he does keep the ability given by the previous game's Jump Springs (that is, a higher jump).
  • In Parasite Eve 2, Aya Brea claims to have sealed her powers pre-game to resist the temptation to use them; naturally, she has to learn them again. Exactly how is not explained nor indicated by either ending of the previous game. She might've also said something about how she didn't want to draw attention to herself. If that's the case, then one would think the one power she did keep would be something relatively subtle, like, say, the healing ability, rather than the one that allows her to set people on fire.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Every new game in the series gives legitimate excuses for the main characters losing all their abilities time and time again:
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Sora and his friends literally forget every ability they ever knew as soon as they set foot in Castle Oblivion due to Naminé's memory manipulation. Sora develops a new fighting style while being forced to play by the castle's rules, only to lose those after Naminé fixes their memories by putting them to sleep for a whole year.
    • By the time they wake up in Kingdom Hearts II, they keep only a few of their old abilities from the original game. Sora develops a brand new fighting style all over again.
    • At the start of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Yen Sid advises Sora and Riku to throw away their self-taught fighting styles and teach them the "right" way to wield a Keyblade from square one. The game ends with Sora being sent into a coma that nearly destroys his heart, pre-emptively spilling the bag. This time is lampshaded, with Sora not being particularly worried over the spillage because it "happens all the time".
    • It turns out to be downplayed in Kingdom Hearts III, while Sora, Donald and Goofy do indeed start at level 1, with just their default equipment, the Kingdom Key's built in abilities give Sora access to his signature attacks like Ragnarok, Sonic Blade and Ars Arcanum right away. Likewise, Donald starts with a full arsenal of spells and Goofy starts with all his attacks. The other playable protagonist of Dream Drop Distance, Riku, averts this trope entirely and consequently serves as a Taste of Power after the first world, where he faces off against a Demon Tower with Thundaga, Curaga, Dark Barrier, Counter Blast, Dark Roll, and Aerial Recovery.
    • Every other game is justified in starting the player from the beginning by starring a new protagonist. Roxas has two games in which he is playable, but he has his memory wiped between Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days and the start of Kingdom Hearts II, explaining his power loss. Meanwhile, Aqua has three games in which she is playable and never loses her power; Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage has Aqua start at level 50 (the Secret Episode of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep can be comfortably finished at Lv. 45) and gives her max-level magic from the get-go, something carried over to Kingdom Hearts III.
  • Knights of Xentar begins with the hero of two previous (never-exported) games wearing the greatest armor that could be obtained in those games and wielding the best weapon. Then bandits attack, and he declares that he'll only draw his sword to fight true evil. They rob him blind. He at least retains his exceptional skills, up until the first boss uses an unholy artifact to drain him back to a low level.
  • The .hack//G.U. carries over its lead character from the .hack//Roots anime, and devises a plot reason for having him return to level one. Ironically, it's then averted since your characters carry over all of their abilities, stats, and gear from Volume 1 into subsequent games.
  • The Baldur's Gate franchise dealt with this by having the PC kidnapped by an evil wizard prior to the start of the second game, and naturally stripped of all equipment.
    • One could retrieve some of the contents of one's inventory in the first chamber one comes upon when escaping his dungeon lair — notably the Golden Pantaloons, necessary to forge the Big Metal Unit in the final expansion pack. Note that while equipment was lost, power was not, with characters leveling up to the point where two games, two expansion packs and over 8 million XP later, the PC goes from a level 1 weakling barely capable of defeating a rat to a level 40 demigod. There was some carryover; if you had the scimitars of Drizzt, he'd be royally pissed at you.
    • It was also claimed by the loading screens in Baldur's Gate II that you would be able to import your characters into Neverwinter Nights. This turned out to be completely impossible due to differences like running on 3.0 Dungeons & Dragons instead of Advanced, and in any case would have required a truly epic Bag of Spilling to cope with unleashing a 40th level demigod onto the Weak Goblins you start fighting.
    • In Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear this is deliciously averted for quality of life: if during the final battle of Baldur's Gate there was anything on the ground, including items from a dead party member, you will find all in the initial room of the new adventure (dead companions resurrected as well). All characters that leave the party because plot reasons will also give you their equipment as well.
      • But, you will lose all your gold. Justified by the game because you did put offscreen the money in a safety lock beneath the Ducal Palace. Except, the keeper in charge informs you that he lost everything... (he will try to get the gold back but without much fortune).
  • In the Golden Sun series:
    • A lengthy password given to you at the end of Golden Sun allows you to carry your weapons, armor, etc. to Golden Sun: The Lost Age when you get your original party back, averting the trope. Doing so is required to get into the Bonus Dungeon and get the final two summons. Alternately, if you have another Game Boy Advance (or a Gamecube with a Game Boy Player) and a link cable, you can transfer the data over without resorting to the lengthy passwords. If you don't take advantage of either of these functions, the trope is downplayed; Isaac and his companions rejoin you slightly underleveled, with poor equipment and 20 out of 28 Djinn found.
    • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn averts the trope with Isaac and Garet. When they join your party for a while, they still retain their high stats and Djinn from their last adventure and even let you borrow some of their Djinn to use!
  • Final Fantasy X-2. Yuna and Rikku start the second game as if none of the Level Grinding of the other game had occurred, having changed careers. While this might make some sense for Yuna, who starts off as a completely different class than she was in the previous game (though it doesn't explain where all her White Magic went), this makes no plot line sense at all for Rikku. Of course, Rikku was a combination Thief/Chemist in X, while in X-2 her starting class is a Thief.
    • In Rikku's case while she's still a "thief" her entire combat style has changed, going from using Al Bhed technology power fists and attack items, to using a traditional twin daggers (and in fact is using a dressphere which is magic based, as opposed to solid technology like she used to.) The only similar thing is her ability to steal, which she keeps anyway.
    • There is some justification: Yuna and Rikku have to learn entirely new fighting techniques because of the Dressphere mechanic, but many of the random encounters at the beginning of the game are endgame monsters from the previous game, such as Iron Giants.
  • Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings has the same thing. There are a few implications that it's more the Sorting Algorithm of Evil making you look weak rather than power loss, but it's hard to tell.
  • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. Yes, you do start the game with the minimally trained Prince Ceodore, but his parents and everyone else that saved the world seemed to have lost all the gear and levels/spells they had. While you could say they've basically retired from monster-slaying, we've got Kain, who supposedly spent all his years holed up in a mountain filled with undead. He really has no excuse. No, not even when his really angry side kicks his ass and goes amok. At least Rydia's explanation is there: some chick froze/stole away the Eidolons, so Rydia can't summon any of them. Averted with Golbez, who has all the spells he had in Final Fantasy IV from the get-go (Osmose, Drain, Firaga, etc), despite the fact he spent the seventeen years between games sleeping!
    • The Interlude special chapter on the PSP version, taking place about a year after the first game is a little better, starting your party off with a more respectable level 30ish and midgame tier equipment. However not only do you still not have your endgame weapons and equipment, but thanks the chapters brief nature and lineraity, being unable to freely explore the world, you can't get them back at all (the best weapon for Cecil you can get for example is the randomly dropped Stoneblade. And if you don't feel like grinding for it you'll have to use the store bought Flame Saber). Averted with the real Rydia who shows up with all spells kept and using a Stardust Rod, an endgame weapon from the previous game. But she doesn't appear until the final battle of Interlude.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 averts this, as the main party members weren't playable in the original. And for the moments Lightning is playable, she's using entirely new, and likely more powerful, equipment. The DLC mons of Lightning (x2), Sazh and Snow use either their default equipment, or entirely new equipment. They have to be leveled up when in your party, but both Lightnings and Snow are shown to be at least as powerful as they were in the previous game.
  • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII simultaneously averts this in a different way to the prior game and runs with this trope. While you don't keep the skills from the prior two games, this is justified with Lightning being the only player character and getting blessed by the god of this world as well as being in cryosleep for 500 years. Thus while you start at the bottom of your power, you are also far stronger than the prior games. Also, in a New Game+ you keep your existing gear and attacks, as well as weapons and armor, which further empower your character. In addition, in the opening cinematic your sword is shattered by Lumina, and starts out with a base power of 130. Come the endgame, you get the chance to fix it, where you are shown it originally had 2500 power!
  • All characters in Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia start at level 1. While some are pulled in at an early point in their game's storyline, some recall events up until the Main Theme starts playing over the credits. Mog explains this as a side-effect of passage from their worlds through the Torsion. (It still doesn't explain why characters who only join after the party fights them—inevitably using both command abilities—shed all their levels and the second ability once they switch sides.)
  • Final Fantasy XIV justifies this with the jump between the original and its reboot of A Realm Reborn as Louisoux launches the Warrior of Light five years into the future before Primal Bahamut wrecks everything, but it causes you to lose your memory of everything. This really only count for players who came from the original, though.
  • In Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Yuri, the only returning PC, starts out the game at a low level with none of his previous equipment. However, the loss of his special abilities is explained by the weakening properties of the Holy Mistletoe he's stabbed with, and although he doesn't join the party until after this happens, you see him using the Amon fusion soul and fighting at a power level consistent with having beaten the last game in cut scenes prior to this.
  • Notable exception: The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons licensed games published by SSI during the 80's and early 90's were arranged into series of 2-4 games, and almost as a rule allowed the player to import characters from earlier games in the same series, keeping all of the experience and most of the gear. Often doing this allowed the player to get a more powerful party than starting fresh, most notoriously in the Eye of the Beholder series, where importing would give you better loot at the beginning of the game than starting fresh let you have by the end of it.
    • Downplayed by the transition from Champions of Krynn to Death Knights of Krynn, as you lose most of the good gear. Also, in all the games, despite keeping experience, it makes more sense to make new characters and have the old ones hand off the better gear, as the Modify command let you max stats on your newly created characters; older characters could have substantially less hit points, as they had random hit point gains until 9th or 10th level. A character from an early game could have less than half the hit points of a newly created one, despite being a level or two higher if you Level Ground.
    • Curse of the Azure Bonds also played it straight by having the villains steal most of your gear except for basic items and a token amount of cash, taking away the amazing magic items gathered in Pool of Radiance.
      • The followup to Curse, Secret of the Silver Blades also removed all character gear, with the explanation that the teleport spell that brought in the characters was accidentally not designed to bring in any (meaning any) of their possessions. The next game in the series, however, Pools of Darkness, averts the trope almost completely; almost anything that a character had in Blades will carry over.
  • Some series went so far as to allow the players to import characters from entirely different, unrelated games (ie. the Bard's Tale series let the player import characters from the Ultima games, not even by the same company).
  • The Realms of Arkania series. Not all that useful in game 3, but life saving if you import your party from 1 into the very hard 2.
  • Wizardry:
    • Character data can be transferred from game 1 to 2, then to 3, and finally to 5 (4 is from the viewpoint of the first game's Big Bad). Loss in experience or equipment is explained as the new characters being descendants of the heroes, or the greedy king training you as a reward, but making you pay for your training with all of your gold and equipment.
    • Wizardry 6: Bane of the Cosmic Forge has three different endings. Wizardry 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant not only allows you to import your characters from Wizardry 6, but has four different introductions and start points - one for each ending of Wizardry 6, and one for players starting fresh.
    • Wizardry 8 not only allows players to import characters from the previous game, but also allows imports from the game before that. Characters maintain any alliances they had formed in prior games, and will even start at the allied base camp, but lose many levels due to the long space voyage to the new planet. The game encourages players to save after winning so that they may import their characters into Wizardry 9, but the company went bankrupt so this isn't going to happen.
  • The game series Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children explained this in the Fire and Ice entries for Game Boy Advance by having the powerful characters depowered at the beginning through a minor but plausible plot device.
    • While we're on Megaten, Digital Devil Saga has this happen between the two games. This is lampshaded then explained in that the characters were AI programs in the first game, but lost much of their power when their bodies became real in the second.
    • Lampshaded in Devil Survivor 2's Triangulum Arc. When the first battle occurs, Io and Daichi regain their memories of having fought against the Septentriones and Polaris in the previous world, and they jump from Level 1 instantly to Level 20 — a good 40 Levels below what they were when confronting Polaris. Daichi specifically mentions feeling weaker than he did previously.
  • The Xenosaga games did not carry over experience between games, despite that the second game literally starts the next day. Granted, each game only lasts a few days (rather than taking years), and indeed, none of the characters is really assumed to improve (in combat anyway) over the course of the game outside of game battles. Still, Kos-Mos needs to level up in the second and third game to gain some of her previously acquired special abilities (though the fact that she's replaced with a different model every time explains that, at least). It's notable that the characters get seemingly more powerful in each game. In the first Xenosaga game, you'll usually fight the final boss with characters who have in the neighborhood of 1,000 HP each. In the second game, it'll be about 2,500 HP, in the third game, somewhere around 6,000. It may be the series' way of allowing you to think your characters get more powerful from one game to the other while still making you start off as a weak level one character.
  • The Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Playable Epilogue, Future Connected, does not take into account a main game save file. So even if you had your characters at level 99 with endgame equipment and fully leveled arts, you will start at level 60 with basic equipment and arts only partly leveled. Since skills and skill links are not a feature in Future Connected, you also lose any of those.
  • Ultima VII was literally cut in half, creating Ultima VII: The Black Gate and Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle. However, each one is a full game, and by the end of The Black Gate, you're all powered up. This would be a problem for Serpent Isle. The solution? Immediately after getting off the boat there, you're struck by magical transposing lightning that trades your Infinity +1 Sword for a piece of cheese, your Uber Armor for a bucket, etc. It even trades your party members for random scrap items. Oh, and welcome to level 1 for no reason. Attempting to keep your stuff by dumping it out onto the beach before you walk to the event flag for the teleport storm doesn't work, either. There are actually two versions of that beach in the game's map. The one you start on, and the one you are sent to when the teleport storm happens. You can't get back to that first version of the beach without glitches or hacking, so you'd better get to questing!
    • Lampshaded in Ultima VII. At one point, Iolo explains to you that every time you go to Earth and return to Britannia, it is as if you were newborn. This explains why you always begin at level 1, and why you can approach a unicorn, something that can only be done by characters with zero experience. But that directly conflicts with the fact that you were allowed to import old characters between parts 4-6, although the only things retained were stats and experience. The Avatar also has a persistent tendency to leave lots of stuff behind when he/she is moongated to Britannia - weapons, armor, supplies and in one case the very useful Orb of the Moons. Similarily, no one seems to keep good track of your things you leave in Britannia either - in U6, you have to run all over the land to collect the Runes that people misplace, hide and even withhold from you. In The Black Gate pointedly asks you if you kept track of the mighty Quicksword Enilno - it was essential to stop the insanely powerful sorceress Minax, but apparently you dropped it somewhere.
    • Spoony points out that in Ultima Underworld II, this trope is really not used well, as your stats and weapons are virtually nil... Which is pretty appalling, since in the previous game (the aforementioned Ultima VII), you had all your stats raised to double maximum and had the Black Sword, a weapon with the ability to kill literally anything with just a touch (aside from those protected by Gameplay Ally Immortality). The only explanation that is given- or hinted at- is that you just one day showed up at Lord British's castle massively overweight, out of shape, and dressed in burlap.
  • Gothic 2 features a heavily justified example of this. After defeating the Big Bad of the last game, the hero is caught in a massive cave-in and left for dead for days before his mentor can teleport him to safety. His equipment was ruined, and being on the verge of death for so long atrophied his mind and body, causing him to lose his strength and forget his former skills.
    • Gothic 2 also featured alternate dialog that would allow a player to respond to characters from the previous game, either as familiar friends, or with a kind of apparent amnesia.
    • Gothic 3 follows a similar trend, having the player embark into adventure on the open sea with several other characters. After making landfall and discovering most of the population has been enslaved by orcs, a battle breaks out between the slave driving orcs and the rebelling slave population. Upon saving the town, the hero quickly discovers that pirates raided his ship during the battle and made off with all his spoils. To make matters worse, his time at sea has rusted his skills to nothingness, allowing you the joy of raising them back up.
  • Averted in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, which has a different main character from the first game—but according to the new character's back story, they were once a famous and powerful Jedi who has now lost most of their powers through the exact type of mechanism often used to justify this trope. This happens to several characters in the game, both new and returning. Kreia was once a Sith Lord, and was stripped of her power and exiled by the other Sith, Mandalore (Canderous Ordo from the previous game) mentions that he has suffered multiple wounds over the years, and is not as powerful as he used to be, and HK-47 has actually been destroyed at the beginning of the game, and must be repaired.
  • Averted in the Suikoden series. In II and III you can load up saved games from the previous games, and the recurring characters get a power boost in line with their level, and their weapons are sharper than they would be otherwise. Granted, they aren't nearly as buff as they were at the end of the previous game, but the general power level seems to scale up with each successive game. Lampshaded in a scene in Suikoden II, where returning character Viktor unsuccessfully chases one of the minor villains. When the villain gets away, Viktor remarks "I could have caught him a few years ago."
  • Very noticeable in Mega Man Battle Network, as Lan loses everything; his broken Gater folder, all his HP memory, his power ups, the ability to preset chips, etc. He eventually gets everything backed up (except the gater folder). Not only that, but it seems like the Navi Customizer gets uninstalled after every game, and in BN4, the Style Change is replaced outright with the Soul Unison ability. This is balanced by the fact that returning bosses also start off weak compared to their final versions in the previous game.
    • The sixth game Lampshaded via the Poem program. One of the poems brings up this very trope, and it appears that not even Lan knows what happens to everything!
    • After the events of 4 and 5, Mega Man can become complete tainted dark and be fine at the beginning of the next game. However, this would explain the HP loss.
    • Sequel series Mega Man Star Force eventually explains that because digital technology evolves so quickly, all the upgrades you acquire are incompatible by the time the next game rolls around. This reasoning could be stretched backwards to the Battle Network series. Star Force 2 does not explain, however, why once you've upgraded from a Transer to a Star Carrier, your beloved friends won't renew your BrotherBands until you pull off plot shenanigans, even though you saved each of their lives a minimum of twice in the previous game.
  • The original 4 .hack games: .hack//Infection, .hack//Mutation, .hack//Outbreak, and .hack//Quarantine, are notable in that they allow you to bring your save data from one game to the next.
  • Averted in the Neverwinter Nights series. Within each major installment, you can carry over a character to expansions, with the same stats. (But not between Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2, as their main characters are different people story-wise). In Mask of the Betrayer, you get to keep whatever you had equipped when the character was exported, but not the weapon and items in the inventory.
    • Hordes of the Underdark, the second expansion for NWN1, has the PC's inventory stolen from his inn room at the beginning of the game. In-game dialogue allows the PC to hang a lampshade on it by repeatedly claiming you "only want my stuff back!" Which you eventually can get back, mostly, provided you remember to loot one of the drow encampments. But by then you've probably found better counterparts for many of the items anyway. (Technically, however, the protagonist was not the same character from the original game - it was the same character from Shadows of Undrentide.)
  • Mario has starred in multiple RPGs, but no matter what level he has reached or what equipment/items he has gotten, he returns to level 1 with basic equipment (if any at all) at the start of the next game. This makes even less sense in Partners in Time, where his baby form levels up and possibly becomes even stronger than him. Interestingly, in Bowser's Inside Story, when the time comes to use a technique from the first game, it's Mario who explains to Starlow this technique that they already know how to do.
    • In Dream Team, this is subverted by Bowser. He retains the abilities he learned in the last game, such as turning into a spiked ball, the ability to turn giant without Kamek's help, and even the Vacuum block ability. The last of which helps him to become Dreamy Bowser!
  • In the Persona series:
    • Persona 2:
      • The returning characters from Persona play this straight. They all join with their starting Personas instead of their ultimates, and while Kei and Eriko have decent starting equipment, Yukino has bollocks for gear.
      • Maya justifies this in Eternal Punishment, as the timeline reset at the end of Innocent Sin wipes her memories and cleans out her inventory.
      • Tatsuya averts this in Eternal Punishment, as he returns with a much higher level, a vastly stronger Persona than anybody else, and decent armaments. Loading a card with data from Innocent Sin results in him joining at the same level as in the prior game and with the same Persona.
    • In the two months between Persona 3's The Journey and The Answer, SEES lost anywhere from 50 to 79 levels (most of a year's worth of training), all of their rare and highly valuable equipment and accessories (which also could be considered mementos of the Protagonist), and even their Evokers (though those were handed in as part of their preparation to disband). Ken and Akihiko lampshade this by likening it to cramming insanely hard for a test, only to forget everything instantly afterward. Other possible justifications include the possibility that the uber-equipment was stored outside the dorm that they cannot leave and that SEES losing their memories of the Dark Hour between the defeat of Nyx and Graduation Day had some effect on their "levels." One wonders what they did with all the equipment they found themselves holding during that time, though, especially the items that didn't come from within Tartarus.
    • Despite Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth taking place in the middle of the game's timeline for both Persona 3 and Persona 4, the characters from whichever game you picked the protagonist from all start at level 1 with starting equipment, while the characters from the other game all start at the level you were at when you beat the first boss.
  • In Ys IV: The Dawn Of Ys (not Mask of The Sun), you start off with the Infinity +1 Sword and armor you had at the end of Ys Book I and II, only to be captured by the Romuns, stripped of your equipment, and thrown in the dungeon.
    • This was downplayed in the TurboGrafx-CD version of Ys Book I and II which threw you into the second game immediately after finishing the first with all your levels, experience intact. This was made to work simply by raising the level cap and continuing to offer more powerful equipment as you progressed. Your sword and armor still get left behind in Esteria, though you get them back at the end when Ys lands.
    • In Ys VI, the game opens with a shipwreck. All Adol's stuff save his sword is lost, and he spends three days in a coma; between that and the various injuries of the shipwreck, as Olha puts it, "[he's] become quite frail."
  • Played Straight in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. Not only are the Heroes of Regeneration straight up de-leveled- going from as high as Level 250 down to Level 10 in the most extreme of cases, they can't gain levels in the new game anyways, because they do not gain EXP. Their equipment, on the other hand is downplaying the trope- they come with some of the first game's best equipment from the get-go, but their weapon is each character's weakest/starting weapon- in the final chapter, they gain their best equipment. (But you can't change ANY of it). Again averted with Lloyd who's encountered at the very beginning of the game at Level 50 with his best equipment (at least he has his best -and only- weapon), but he's an enemy.
  • Most of the party in Tales of Destiny 2 is not the same, and Stahn and Rutee have most likely sold most of their old gear to pay for running their orphanage, so Kyle can't inherit it. However, played straight with Judas. Even with only being playable for half of the first game, Leon should probably be stronger than he is when you meet him... Perhaps Justified in that he was dead for quite some time, and Subverted in that he does still have Chaltier, but using him would reveal his identity.
  • Justified in Tales of Xillia 2, at least in the case of the party's combat abilities, which were stated to have been provided to them in part by the Lillium orbs. They've ceased working and were replaced by the new Arrowcell (Allium) orbs, which eventually allow them to surpass their previous potential. Still no explanation as to what they did with all of their fancy gear, though. Though considering Jude is mentioned to be in Perpetual Poverty due to his research, he at least would have most likely sold them. Elize shows up on a school trip and only sheer luck has her have Teepo on her; her gear is most likely back in Rieze Maxia (why she doesn't pick them up later is the problem). The rest don't really have an excuse.
  • In Mount & Blade, you can keep you skills and cash by exporting and importing.
  • Downplayed in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, since Mario keeps his hammer and remembers all of the stuff from the previous game. Played straight when he has to get new partners, but justified because his old ones all went back to their own lives at the end of the first game and there was no reason to suspect he'd need them when he set out. However, he still loses all the badges he had before and the Ultra Hammer/Boots.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Justified in Mass Effect 2, a character imported from Mass Effect will retain little to none of their experience and resources. For example, a level 45 character with 1 million credits in the bank will start the second game at level 2 with only one hundred thousand bonus credits. This is due to the character being dead for two years. However, certain decisions made in the first game will still carry over (both to the benefit and detriment of Shepard); this also applies to the third game.
    • Downplayed in Mass Effect 3: if you transfer a character from Mass Effect 2, you retain all your powers from where you left off. This puts you at level 30 (the max level cap of 2), meaning you still have to level up to get all the new powers in 3, but this is justified as your character (and enemies) becoming more powerful. New characters start at an approximation of where they would be at the end of 2. You completely lose all your weapons and have to start with grunt gear, but this is justified as well as the Alliance stripped you of your weaponry when they court martialed Shepard (either for working with Cerberus or [if you played the Arrival DLC] for the Bahak Incident). Also, depending on what DLC or version of the game you have installed, Hackett and others will let you know about a boatload of extra guns, armor and other items they secured for you and your squadmates. So, while you do lose your weaponry, it's not like they're sending you in with just the basic gear like in the first game.
    • Similarly, your cabin is empty of all the collectibles from the second game. However, all of the model ships are actually just stored in cargo bins around the ship and can easily be restored (though it becomes a minor challenge to track them all down), and once you make it to the Citadel, an old friend reveals she's been taking care of your fish and returns them (depending on decisions made in the previous game). As for your old dogtags Liara gives you in "Lair of the Shadow Broker", Anderson tosses them to you when he reinstates you, so Shepard is actually wearing them. The only things you don't keep are your old helmet and the Prothean sphere, which was sent to a lab.
    • The Expanded Galaxy Mod for 3 completely averts this. Once you get onboard the Normandy, Shepard receives a message letting them know that the crew put all of the weapons that were acquired in 2 into storage, and they can be found in a weapon chest down in the armory. Similarly, the unique items you had in 2 (like the aforementioned sphere and helmet) can be re-acquired, though the former must be obtained during the first N7 mission Hackett gives.
  • Downplayed in Buu's Fury. You start off at an even higher level than when the previous game ended. However, your stats at lowered to about half of what they were in the previous game.
  • The Dragon Age series generally averts this between sequels in regards to Player Characters, since every new game has a different protagonist. There are exceptions, however:
    • When importing your Warden from the main Dragon Age: Origins to the Awakening Expansion Pack or a DLC campaign, you will lose all items not currently equipped on the Warden and not in the common inventory. That includes all the uber-gear your Companions wore for the Final Battle and the contents of your personal storage on Soldier's Peak. You also lose all items from other DLC (except Return to Ostagar), particularly the Infinity +1 Sword Starfang, even if they are eqipped on your Player Character, but this is more of a bug than intentional application of this trope. Not that the replacements you get if the game takes away DLC gear are high-level Grey Warden officer's items that are very powerful indeed, so unless your equipped gear was something absolutely insane like Starfang and the Bulwark of the True King, you won't be losing much.
    • This trope is largely in effect in regards to the PC's companions, however. For instance, Anders, who may have been a level 35 god of magic in Awakening, returns in Dragon Age II as a single-digit level slum doctor. Varric, who fought alongside Hawke in the many Battles of Kirkwall in DA2, comes back in Dragon Age: Inquisition at level 1. Cassandra, who soloed high dragons in Dawn of the Seeker, also starts off at level 1 in Inquisition with no explanation (although she later implies that "soloing high dragons" was an in-universe exaggeration of what really occurred). The only cases where this is explicitly justified is Solas, a.k.a. the Dread Wolf Fen'Harel, who lost almost all of his power during his millenia-long slumber and has to start over as a lowly hedge mage.
  • Fallout:
    • While they are not exactly sequels, the DLC expansions to Fallout 3 Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt and Mothership Zeta make sure to separate you from anything cool you might have found up to that point. This is averted in the other two expansions, Broken Steel and Point Lookout, the former being an extension of the main plotline and the latter letting you carry whatever you want in, you just can't leave until a significant amount of the plot is done.
    • Similarly, in Fallout: New Vegas, the player loses their equipment in the Dead Money DLC due to the Sierra Madre security somehow confiscating all outside material and Honest Hearts limits the stuff players can bring based on a weight limit (though it can be increased if certain skill checks are passed). However, you're free to bring everything you have to Old World Blues and Lonesome Road, with the former starting off with a message stating that you have a "mysterious premonition" that you CAN bring all of your stuff this time around.
  • Averted in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, Geralt keeps the Signs (spells) that he learned in the previous game. However, weapon-wise he's only limited to a regular sword and a silver sword since those were the only weapons that were of any importance. Geralt will keep certain unique weapons and armor if he had them at the end of the first game, though they will quickly be outclassed by new equipment.
  • Inazuma Eleven trilogy play with this. in each sequel, every character's levels are reduced to one, but they do have better base stats than in the previous game's level one. Major characters' skill losses are based on if they will require new skills in that game or not, since they only have four fixed ability slots out of six avaliable in each game. Thus they can't retain everything.
  • In Robopon 2, somehow, Cody leaves Porombo Island for the Robopon tournament without carrying any of his Robopon, and is shipwrecked in Majiko's Baba Village before he can turn back for them.
  • In Lufia: The Ruins of Lore, Dekar claims he's in the prime of his life...despite joining with far lower stats than he would have had by the end of Lufia II and equipped with nothing but his signature sword and mediocre armor. While he never catches back up to his attack power from Lufia II (and strangely has forgotten how to wield axes, despite his Lufia II sprite depicting him with one), he does become a mountain of HP and Defense without being quite as slow (physically, at least) as he used to be.
  • In Billy vs. SNAKEMAN, looping to a new season will remove some quest items from your inventory, as well as certain other things (there's really no clear guideline for it), but most of your inventory will be untouched. Instead you'll be losing almost all of your allies and most quests are reset. Since looping is essentially rewinding time, this makes sense - they haven't met you yet.
  • In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, after the prologue in which Adam starts off with some of the upgrades from the previous game, he gets caught in an explosion in Prague that disables said upgrades. However, an early sidequest gives him nine Praxis Points, meaning that he can pick them back up fairly quickly.
  • Between Cold Steel I and Cold Steel II, Rean Schwarzer, the protagonist, loses at least 30 levels from the previous game. This is justified by him being in a coma for an entire month up at the mountains and any damage incurred to his Divine Knight gets transferred to him. In fact, one of his victory quotes when he's all alone at the Eisengard Range is that he needs to come back in form. This however doesn't explain why his classmates almost have the same levels as he has when they join up with him again despite them being very active for quite awhile nor does it explain where their master quartz and quartz went nor the items that they had in the previous game. It's averted for Crafts though, as everyone still retains all the Crafts they learned in the previous game. Instead of having to re-learn them, they learn stronger versions of their old Crafts, as well as some new Crafts.
    • In the 3rd game for once there is no carryover, as the game engine is totally different so Rean is de leveled. On the other hand it's implied that he's simply holding back for most of the early game to not make it too easy on the students he's teaching and "leveling up" is simply trying harder, and as it is he starts 7 levels higher than his students. At one point he abruptly relearns the "Gale" craft when needed for a boss and the implication is he could always still use it and just chose to now. The rest of Class 7 rejoins at the level average for their point in the story but they retain most of their crafts from 2 only losing their most basic ones and having their S Crafts replaced with a stronger single one, the implication being they've just gotten so much stronger the older crafts aren't worth using anymore. As for Quartz, the Arcus's have been upgraded to Arcus-2's so the originals are outdated and no longer in use. Averted with Valimar who still has all his crafts and still retains the sword Rean spent much of the 2nd half of the previous game making. The fourth game has Juna, Kurt, and Altina losing at least 30-40 levels at the start of the game as they have been asleep for two weeks. They regain their levels in an in-game week's worth of training and start their journey at level 50. However, they lose all of their quartz and Master Quartz and must reacquire it. Averted with Rean in terms of levels as he starts out at level 90 compared to his peers who are hovering between 82-87 despite the fact that he's been chained to a wall for a month, his Arcus-2 has been improved, and while he doesn't have any game breaking quartz equipped, he has a mid tier starting quartz setup.
  • Both averted and played straight in earlier Trails trilogy The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky.
    • Averted for levels. Every character joins in the next game at roughly the level they would've been at the end of the last one. Estelle's level goes one further: it carries from FC to SC directly if you have an Old Save Bonus. Sorting Algorithm of Evil, though, means endgame levels of the previous game are the equivalent of starting levels in the sequel. Levels roughly range from 1-40 in the first game, 40-90 in the second, and 90-150 in the third. And just like Cold Steel, characters keep all their Crafts.
    • Played straight with Quartz, but justified in both SC and The Third. In SC, a new model of Orbment has been developed that allows for the casting of stronger Arts, but is incompatible with previously-made Quartz. Estelle decides that the new Arts are worth giving up her old Quartz for. In The Third, Kevin keeps endgame-tier Quartz for the Prologue, and new character Ries starts with similarly strong Quartz, but both their Quartz are destroyed when they enter Phantasma, forcing them to start from scratch.
    • Zero to Azure has a similar situation. The Engima's have been upgraded to Engima 2's which have a very different set up and the old Quartz no longer work, and Lloyd and friends decide the eventual power increase is worth having to start from scratch again. Everyone still has their crafts though, and if you carried over a save with the upgraded combo crafts you'll keep those too. Happens again when Lloyd and Rixia return in Cold Steel 2, with them having replaced the Enigma 2's with Arcus units, and thus their old Quartz no longer working. They even debate just keeping the Engima's but decided Arcus's link system is worth switching up for. They're also given a late game Quartz set up to start with and remain at a high level. Since they're considered Guest characters though they only have one S craft and 3 Crafts each now and their combo craft is gone completely since that was replaced with the Combat Links in Cold Steel.
  • South Park: The Fractured but Whole has the kids switching from a fantasy genre to a superhero genre, which means the New Kid's identity as King Douchebag is meaningless, taking its powers and prestige with it, as the New Kid comes up with a new identity the others call "Butthole" or a derivative of such.
  • While World of Warcraft usually never justifies the spilling that occurs at the beginning of a new expansion, it's justified at the end of the seventh expansion Legion when Saergeas stabs his planet-sized BFS into Azeroth in a Taking You with Me moment while being sealed by Illidan and the Titans. In order to stop the sword from poisoning the world soul of the planet, the heroes absorb the power of the sword into their Artifact weapons, super charging them until they became inert when the pre-expansion patch for the next expansion, Battle For Azeroth, hit.

    Simulation Game 
  • The Sims for handhelds features the world's first Blackberry of Spilling. The sequels follow directly from the last, but the people you have befriended, run ridiculous errands for, and helped attain various honors and expensive possessions will not remember you in the slightest. Some have the courtesy of deja vu, at least. This includes Daddy Bigbucks, whose plans you repeatedly foil. However, The Urbz does contain a rare Easter Egg where occasionally, when you answer your phone, it'll be your uncle from the first game asking you to come visit sometime. ("The chickens miss you.")
  • In Pharaoh: Cleopatra, you build up Deir-El-Medina and Alexandria 4 times each from the ground up, while there's nothing in the story that would say they were destroyed since your last visit.
  • In the Visual Novel Galaxy Angel the girls lose some of the hearts they had from previous games making them weaker in combat. Especially awkward with whichever girl you've chosen to be your one true love. Seems they don't love you quite so much anymore. Justified in some routes when Chitose arrives in the second game and the girl Takuto loves is worried about Takuto's affection but makes absolutely no sense with Forte who simply doesn't care or Mint who can read his mind.
  • By the time you decide to stop playing X2: The Threat you likely have hundreds of millions of credits, a sizable trade empire, and dozens if not hundreds of warships and fighters. Then X3: Reunion, starring the same Player Character only a year later, rolls around and you're back to a crappy ship and only a few thousand credits. Fansite owner ApricotSlice has a few choice words on the subject here. Averted for the next three games, the first two of which have Featureless Protagonists, while the third has a new protagonist in a Lost Colony.
  • In Airfix Dogfighter, you start every mission with your upgrades at zero, no matter how much you upgraded your plane during the previous mission.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • Hitman:
    • While that Agent 47 of the games can amass a literal armory of weapons in just one game, and though he is a master assassin who requires more exotic weapons like sniper rifles and poison, by the start of the next game, the only weapons he has are his trademark A.K.A.-47 Silverballers, a silenced variant, his garrote, and a syringe. He then (although it's always optional) proceeds to either buy his weapons in the black market, or takes them with him when he exits a level. What makes it an even sillier problem is the fact that the games are not chronological, and therefore, parts of one game can happen in between the levels of another game in the series, but 47 still has to acquire the same weapon multiple times in a row. Justified in the second game, as 47 had quit the life and was living with Father Vittorio, and he could really only realistically store his Silverballers and a couple other things in the closet he had there, presumably having sold off the rest (going off a mention in the intro of large donations he's made to the church).
    • Blood Money begins the game with Mr. 47 having freshly flown into the United States from his usual operating area of Europe and Asia. The loss of equipment then could be justified, since getting an arsenal past customs may be fairly difficult.
    • Blood Money subverts this, too — you don't have all your kickass weapons, but you do start with five basic weapons, one in each broad category, including the Custom Sniper/W2000 Sniper, which was the ultimate rare weapon in the (chronologically) previous game, and very hard to obtain outside that game's final mission. Since these five are generally the best or most generally-useful in their category, it makes sense that they'd be the five he'd choose to bring with him.
    • Contracts is a special case, as the majority of the storyline of the game shows 47 fighting for his life after suffering a near-fatal gunshot wound, the missions being mostly remakes of missions from previous games or flashbacks to, presumably, earlier missions in his life. The only mission taking place in reality is the final one. However, it's entirely possible to play the final mission after equipping yourself with weapons acquired during the hallucinations. Chronologically, Contracts also takes place after the Curtains Down mission of Blood Money, meaning aside from his dream armory, he still has his hideaway.
    • Also justified in Absolution - 47's gone rogue, so he wouldn't have access to any large arsenals. He even has to trade his Silverballers to another disgraced assassin for information early on, leaving him with just an unsilenced revolver and his garrote for a few levels. Less justified in the transition from Dexter Industries to Death Factory, which is by entering an elevator, and from Death Factory to Fight Night, which is by climbing a ladder.
    • The new Hitman downgrades 47's arsenal considerably due to the emphasis on stealth rather than gunplay. For one, the Silverballers went from two pistols to a single silenced pistol, though things like the garrote and syringe remain untouched. He can unlock more guns by completing challenges that he can bring into missions.
  • The Metal Gear series justified Snake going in unarmed so he would acquire enemy gear and thus be unidentifiable (shell casings or magazines left behind would match enemy gear, thus not providing evidence that he was there).
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: Averting this was part of the justification for the infamous player character swap of the legendary soldier Solid Snake in favor of the de facto rookie Raiden who could be plausibly lectured on the game world. This is also justified in the very introduction sequence of the Tanker chapter, where Snake infiltrates the tanker with the help of Otacon's stealth camouflage, but he breaks it when he makes his entrance. The lack of weapons (he only carries an M9 modified to shoot tranquilizer darts) is explained by Snake not wanting to accumulate a body count of Marines who are just doing their jobs, as he's supposed to be sneaking in to gather information.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater makes a point of singling out how important this trope is. Since it's set during the Cold War, finding evidence of American soldiers tramping around on Russian soil could trigger World War III.
    • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ends with the player losing nearly everything they had acquired (in-canon) by the end of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker — Mother Base is destroyed (along with the Metal Gear unit placed underneath the base to hide it from the nuclear inspectors), all of the soldiers that were amassed and all of its equipped. By the time Snake rescues Miller from the platform, the entire staff has been reduced to a handful of people on one helicopter, so by the time Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain begins, Venom Snake has nothing to his name and has to scavenge everything he can find (and Diamond Dogs having a single platform in the Seychelles and a handful of weapons and items at their disposal, thanks to Miller). The game also slightly averts this (in a roundabout way) by using an Old Save Bonus to allow characters that were rescued from Camp Omega and the "pseudo-historical recreations" to volunteer for Mother Base throughout the first twelve missions of The Phantom Pain.
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Assassin's Creed I justifies this trope, with Altaïr starting off with a large number of skills at his disposal, being a high-ranking Master Assassin. However, because of his arrogance, which results in another Assassin's death and the target retaliating with an attack on the Assassin fortress, he is stripped of his rank... and more importantly his gear, which granted him the majority of his skills, up to and including his blade).
    • In Assassin's Creed II, you're actually playing as a different person, so you don't have any of the equipment.
    • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood begins directly after II and assumed that Ezio had been fully upgraded, so he starts with over fifty thousand florins on his person, along with Altaïr's armor and sword, maxed Health and maxed smoke bomb/throwing knife/bullet capacities. However, the morning after returning home to his family villa in Monteriggioni, the town comes under attack by an army led by Cesare Borgia, and Ezio only manages to arm himself with one of his hidden blade bracers and a longsword before his room is hit by a cannonball, burying all his other equipment in rubble, after which he is forced to flee the area while his stuff is looted by Cesare and his troops. As a concession to the player, that bracer was the one with a built-in pistol and a poison injector, which had been mid/late-game items in II, so he keeps them along with his hidden blade, his longsword, and all of his training from II except for the heavy weapon and polearm special attacks (replaced with new attacks) and stepping replaced with the much more useful kicking. However, due to a pair of gunshot wounds suffered in the villa attack, he's left with only five Health squares at first (the same as his starting unarmored Health in II) and is unable to climb-leap until the mid-game, when he may buy an optional Climb-Leap Glove. The wounds also initially leave him only able to walk, but a fortunately short walk to the doctor allows him to sprint, free-run and catch ledges again.
    • Downplayed in Assassin's Creed: Revelations, which start with Ezio carrying only a couple of hidden blades and basic armor. He also wasn't expecting to run into the Templars in Masyaf, given that he was heading there on a scholarly mission (to research the origins of the Assassin order), and in the process of battling them, his off-hand hidden bladenote  is broken, leaving him with only the (fully upgraded with pistol and poison) main hand hidden blade. Meeting with the Assassins of Istanbul gets him equipped with new gear as he takes up battle against the Templars again.
    • Subverted in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag; Edward steals all of Duncan Walpole's Assassin gear, but his hidden blades are broken, and he likely lost all of his equipment in the preceding ship battle. So, all you start with are your bare fists, money and smoke bomb pouches, two sabres, a snazzy Assassin's outfit, and a letter inviting you to meet with the governor of Cuba.
  • In Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf, you always start levels with an empty inventory. Justified in that it's a TV game show and that it might be another of its rules.
  • Boktai is notorious for this, but at least they try and Hand Wave it. The sequel begins with Django having his fully powered solar gun stolen, and by the time he gets it back it's been beaten to hell and not very functional anymore. The third begins with him getting the crap kicked out of him by Sabata, dumped weaponless in a dungeon, and suffering amnesia which makes him forget the spells he learned. The fourth game is a sort of but not really sequel with an all-new cast.
  • Thief has Garret lose all of his equipment except for his sword, blackjack and bow in-between missions, as well as losing any unspent money after exiting the shop screen. Justified in that this is done to discourage players from hoarding equipment or cash. If you're gonna lose it all at the end of the mission, might as well make the most out of everything you have.
  • In Dishonored 2, Corvo gets his powers removed by Delilah during the intro of the game. If he's the chosen player character, if he chooses to get his powers back he once again starts off with Blink in its initial state and has to upgrade to get all his powers back.
  • Bonanza Bros.: Whenever Mobo or Robo lose a life, they'll drop all the treasures that they were carrying around the spot where they got hit, meaning that they'll have to return to where it happened in order to get their stuff back.

    Survival Horror 
  • Happens annoyingly and constantly in Alan Wake. You always lose everything between Episodes, but also frequently at other times. Sometimes there's a skimpy excuse, like leaving behind your flashlight and gun while jumping out of a car about to go over an edge, but most often, there's not even the flimsiest reason why Alan would leave behind his vital light-sources and weapons. Perhaps the most painful example is when you wake up in jail in Episode 4. Naturally, all your stuff's been confiscated. Shortly afterwards, however, the Sheriff is brought over to your side, and tells you that "your stuff" is in her office. When you get there, you find... a basic flashlight, a handgun with some ammo, and a shotgun (which is clearly part of the police station's weapon stores, and not yours). A far cry from the piles of weapons, ammo, flares, flashbangs and Heavy-Duty Lanterns you were carrying at the end of the previous chapter.
  • Cry of Fear handles this with a surprising amount of story and gameplay integration - your inventory is represented as a bag Simon carries over his shoulder. After an attempt to leave the haunted Stockholm by train goes wrong, however, Simon loses his bag - even in cutscenes, it's simply not part of his model anymore - and from that point onward, not only do you no longer have any of the weapons or items you had when you got on that train, but you're also now limited to half the slots you had before.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Justified in Destroy All Humans! 2, where many of Crypto's weapons are lost and have to be recovered or re-engineered because a Russian missile blew up the mothership that was storing them.
  • Dead to Rights takes this to an extreme, with the game often looking for reasons for Slate to drop his arsenal multiple times per chapter. There's even a scene in the Chinatown chapter where Slate gets cornered by police and told to drop his weapons, which serves no purpose other than to disarm him just in time for a gang of armed Mooks to arrive and shoot the police.
  • MindJack. You inexplicably lose your weapons after every encounter. You also lose whatever civilian or enemy you've mind-hacked if you're not the host player.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Done on a continent wide scale in the Total War series, especially the expansion packs that cover later eras. Spend a few centuries conquering the eastern Mediterranean, build up its infrastructure so that every road is a super highway, each city has a legendary wall and an urban barracks and Praetorian stable capable of producing all units, make sure that each port is big enough to produce any ship. Then play the expansion as the Byzantines and find the same area in much worse shape than when you left it.
  • The Fire Emblem franchise zigzags this trope:
    • Mystery of the Emblem starts with a remake of the original game, so there isn't anything lost between the stories (except things cut for cartridge space reasons.) In the remakes (the 11th and 12th games in the series) this isn't really touched on at all, even if 12 (remake of 3 Book 2) doesn't include Book 1 (3's remake of 1). Characters that were in 1/11 but weren't in 3 are in 12 (with some in different classes if their class no longer exists in 3/12). It's zigzagged by the returning characters themselves; some maintain their beefed-up stats (like Hardin and the Wolfguard), some inexplicably revert to their starting levels (like Marth and most of his retainers), and one is a justified example (Arran, who contracted a deadly illness in the interim).
    • Finn in both Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 get hit hard once the time skip happen. If he were to be paired up, he'll only start with an Iron Lance as his equipment is being inherited by his child. Except the child will never wield lances by default, so they get completely scrapped, especially the powerful Brave Lance, unless Finn sold his equipment in advanced. And then in the midquel, Finn is reverted back to a Level 7 Lance Knight with only a Brave Lance, when he could wield many different type of lances and, depending on how adamant you trained him in Generatation 1, can start as a Duke Knight in Genealogy.
    • Averted in The Blazing Blade: Should the player play through Lyn's story, set one year before the main events of the game, any characters you used will retain their levels and stats when you continue on to Eliwood's or Hector's path. Played straight, however, if they were to die during Lyn's story, which reverts them back to their default stats in Eliwood's or Hector's path.
    • There's a straighter example in The Binding Blade: Most of the returning characters (like Erik and Marcus) are at lower levels or have lower stats/growths than they did back in the prequel The Blazing Blade. However, it's also a justified example; since twenty years pass between the two games, they could be weaker due to age or simply got out of shape in the interim.
    • Averted in the move between Path of Radiance and its sequel Radiant Dawn, by having each character able to gain an additional 20 levels (going from two Class tiers to three). So only a handful of characters really lost any level, stats, or experience. The only notable loss was that the main character Ike gave the legendary weapon Ragnell to the Kingdom of Begnion as its rightful owner. Any A supports from Path of Radiance even become bonds in Radiant Dawn, and any capped stat in Path of Radiance adds +2 (regular stats) or +5 (HP) to the base stats in Radiant Dawn. The only loss of cast between the two titles is Largo, because Radiant Dawn has no Berserker class in it. This is explained because Largo lost an arm between the end of Path of Radiance and the start of Radiant Dawn.
    • Averted in Awakening. Tiki's base stats are around the same as her caps as a child in Shadow Dragon and Mystery of the Emblem.
    • Played straight in Fates. Odin, Selena, and Laslow, who are actually Owain, Severa, and Inigo from Awakening acting under pseudonyms, all start as mid-level unpromoted units. They also have far less potential in this game due to being first-generation units instead of second-generation.
  • Disgaea:
    • In general, this is averted by always having a new (albeit similar) protagonist take up the mantle of Main Character. This allows the previous heroes (and apparently future ones) to maintain their insane power levels, but they all generally seem more concerned with losing their title as the Main Character (it's beginning to become their sole motivation for making cameos lately). In Disgaea, your title is Serious Business.
    • In Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, Etna (one of the main characters from the first game) initially shows up as a super powerful, level 1000 NPC. She eventually joins your party, but not before a summoning mishap drops her down to level 1. She was not amused.
    • Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness plays the trope completely straight, however, as the main characters are once again Laharl, Etna, and Flonne, back down to usual beginning-of-the-game levels and equipment.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic, artifacts (other than the occasional plot-central kind) generally don't carry over between campaign missions, even though heroes and their levels do. Also, you're often forced to rebuild towns from the ground up in every mission, even when they're plot-wise the same ones as in previous missions.
    • The final campaign in Heroes V: Tribes of the East features a justified Bag of Spilling. Zehir gets a flying city, but has to pay with experience to move it. The first time he uses this ability in a cutscene (accidentally), he loses 200,000 experience, dropping from level 25 to level 9.
  • King's Bounty: In "Crossworlds," there is a campaign with the protagonist from Armored Princess, but of course she starts from scratch... well, almost. She got to keep her pet dragon (just deleveled like herself), if only because it would be impossible to get another one within the new setting.
  • Super Robot Wars in general gets away with this, because the levels in it are fairly abstract — you generally just lose your best units for a while for various reasons. For instance, you get Shin Getter Robo and Mazinkaiser for the first few missions, but during a time jump, you are forced to ship them back home for repairs. In the Original Generation games, your characters generally keep their better units, though in some cases they have to go and pick them up out of storage.
    • Super Robot Wars Final allows you to carry everything over to the sequel, F Final. If you don't use that, instead you're given a lump sum of cash to use, and you don't get any of your upgraded units. The same happens in Super Robot Wars Z2.2 to a certain degree.
    • In Super Robot Wars Alpha you get Mazinkaiser and Shin Getter Robo, so in each subsequent game they have to come up with various excuses as to why the characters downgraded to Mazinger Z and Getter Robo G at the start of the next game. Such explanations included correcting a power imbalance or undergoing maintenance when the team gets sent to the future.
    • Alpha 2 uses a Continuity Nod explanation: in the previous game, the bad guys managed to pull a Grand Theft Prototype on Mazinkaiser, and the heroes recovered it by exploiting a flaw (a blind spot created by its flight pack). At the start of Alpha 2, you get Kaiser but not the flight pack, since Professor Yumi is trying to remove said blind spot so future villains can't exploit it themselves. Alpha 3 continues this train of nods as you keep the Alpha 2-era Kaiser and Shin Getter, but they are recalled early on; Kaiser to regain his Scrander and Shin Getter to fix a massive power imbalance.
  • Downplayed in Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter. While you won't be starting it with antimatter-powered dreadnoughts and all the endgame goodness of the first title, you will still get cruisers and fusion to start.
  • Pokémon Conquest plays this trope in a spiral.
    • After completing the game's initial story mode, you unlock the ability to play episodes for everyone with a golden background on the team menus. If, in any of these episodes, you recruit a Warrior whom you (a) recruited in previous gameplay AND (b) used in at least one battle to register to your gallery, they will have all of the Pokémon with which they have formed Links; however, their Link levels will be reduced to be equivalent to what you would expect when you recruited them. This is purely for Rule of Fun, as none of these episodes directly follow from one another, many of them actually contradict each other, and some of them actually assume the initial story never happened.
    • If a Warlord (a Warrior with the aforesaid golden background) has undergone Warrior transformation, there is an additional prerequisite to being able to use them again; you must use them in another battle to register their higher-rank self in the Gallery. If not, you'll have to Rank them up again the next time you have the opening to recruit them. Worse, if that transformation happened immediately after making a Link with a new Pokémon, or was promptly followed by their Pokémon evolving, said Link or evolution will also be lost.
    • As NPCs, the game generally assumes that nobody undergoes transformation and nobody has any Links carrying over. However, there are a few exceptions: several episodes (including the initial story) have Nobunaga at Rank II, while a few others appear to take place after the initial story and have your player character (now an NPC opponent) at Rank II after transforming in said story. They tend to be the hardes opponents in the episodes they appear. In the final episode, where you play directly as your player character again, every ruling Warlord is at Rank II. Alas, if you recruit a Rank II Warlord who you haven't transformed to Rank II, they use your Gallery data or otherwise start from Rank I all the same.

    Turn Based Tactics 
  • Justified in the XCOM series; while the games are sequential each game holds a different threat altogether from the last. For example, the second game has you fighting an invasion underwater where all your weaponry and vehicles developed for land and air combat are useless.
    • Even then, some of the equipment mentioned in the second game reference research from the first game as a prerequisite - Even more so, there is a considerable time gap between the games. The third game has some of the weapons from the first game (improved or repurposed). The laser rifle is basically standard equipment, apart from that there are elerium-based plasma weapons. All this put together made some veterans of the first game(s) unhappy thanks to the game being easier (you start with laughable equipment and soldiers in both 1 and 2). Of course, the aliens are considerably more powerful as you progress the game, quickly getting back to the point where the basic armour is almost ignored. The fourth game runs some time between 2 and 3 but is space fighter-based instead of ground troop-based, so the equipment is understandably different.
    • This trope is handled in a rather unusual way in XCOM 2, following on from XCOM: Enemy Unknown. XCOM 2 takes place in a world where the first XCOM project to repulse the alien invasion ended in an early, utter failure. All those great weapons you built in the first game? All Just a Dream, nothing more than decades of combat simulations playing out in your head as the aliens mine your thoughts for tactics. You start over with the basic ballistic weapons because that's all La Résistance has left.
  • Usually in full force in the Jagged Alliance series. You don't keep any weapons or money, and neither do your mercenaries keep their increased levels and skills between games. At least between JA1 and 2, it's not clear if you're even the same commander. Averted with the JA2 expansion Unfinished Business, which had a feature allowing you to import your mercenaries and their stats from the previous game, though not their equipment. Doing so, though, made the game ramp up the difficulty due to your powerful mercenaries.
  • Hard West is divided in eight scenarios, usually following different protagonists. Warren and the Undertaker, the two main protagonists, are played in several of them, but they lose their items, gold, and permanent buffs.

    Visual Novel 
  • Averted in the Ace Attorney series. Nick manages to avoid losing the Magatama between the second and third games, and then over the seven years between the third and fourth.

  • Lucky Tower: At the end of Lucky Tower II (which is actually a prequel to the first game), when picking the door that will bring you to the tower from the first game, Von Wanst loses all the armor, weapons and shields he purchased, restoring him back to what he started with.
  • Nexus Clash has a rare MMORPG example in that characters are reset back to starting levels and equipment every Breath of Creation (every 2-3 real-life years in practice). This is a deliberate move to make it less likely to suffer newbies poorly or become Perpetually Static. Since the lore is based on an Eternal Recurrence, the dev team also felt the need for that to be actually reflected in game terms from time to time.
  • Justified in Epic Battle Fantasy 3, when the heroesnote  accidentally unleashed(read: poked) an Eldritch Abomination who drained most of their power and leaving their equipments scattered around the world.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Despite Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare starting late in the course of the game, John Marston starts only with his basic guns.
  • Justified in Infamous 2: the fight against the Beast leaves Cole drained, causing him to lose most of his powers. Thankfully, he retains his Static Thrusters and Induction Grind.
  • Saints Row:
    • Saints Row: The Third uses and justifies this trope. The first mission is A Taste of Power because it takes place in Stilwater, a city the Saints seized control of over the course of the previous two games. The game proper begins with the Boss skydiving into the city of Steelport with nothing but the clothes on his/her back and a top-of-the-line smartphone. Justified in the lack of funds and general resources upon arriving in the new city (and the Stilwater Saints gradually ship more and more resources in over the course of the game, including a few tanks), but not in the lack of upgrades gained in previous installments.
    • Saints Row IV also justifies the trope: as President of the US, the Boss has access to weapons concealed in the Oval Office. After being abducted by the Zin and thrown into a Lotus-Eater Machine, though, s/he loses their weapons and is forced into unflattering clothing. The Boss has to hack the simulation to get better clothes, weapons, and superpowers.
  • Dead Rising 2: Off the Record justifies this trope with Frank West: a combination of age and living a cushy life during his 15 Minutes of Fame have made him soft by the time the game starts five years after the first game. However, in Case West, Frank is packing all his moves from the first game. By the time of Dead Rising 4, however, Frank has been slacking off on his exercise while trying to get the truth of the outbreaks out, so he's back to level 1 again.
  • The 3-D and HD entries in the Grand Theft Auto franchise have an internal version of this involving vehicles. Often called the "disappearing vehicle glitch", it is common for vehicles driven by a player to vanish if the player goes too far away from them, or disappear completely due to a mission being triggered that requires the use of another vehicle. For random vehicles stolen by the player, or for the respawning default vehicles provided in Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V, it's not a big deal, but it is also possible to lose unique/hard-to-find vehicles and vehicles the player has spent a lot of in-game money sprucing up and/or upgrading. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas tried a workaround by having some vehicles impounded by police when they vanished, and available for recovery later for a fee, but this feature was never actually announced so many players didn't know about it.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has two missions that permanently deprive the player of all their previously-obtained weapons. Those two missions are "The Green Sabre", which ends with a Dirty Cop arresting the player character and confiscating all of his weapons, and "The Da Nang Thing", where the player character ends up in a helicopter crash that incinerates any weapon that isn't a knife. And no, you can't get any of them back.
  • Played in an interesting way in Scarface: The World Is Yours. At the beginning of the game, Tony is forced into exile and loses access to all of the resources he acquired in the original movie; this is represented by Tony's reputation, exotics, turf, balls, drugs, and cash numbers dropping from fairly powerful levels all the way to nil at the end of the first mission.
  • Just Cause 4:
    • Done so bluntly and briefly it has to a joke: after getting worfed but Project Illapa in the Action Prologue, Rico looses his grapple hook, wingsuit, and parachute - such a downgrade that he comments having no grapple feels like missing an arm. He gets them back maybe two minutes of gameplay later when he reaches a toolbox. (It's really just a way to force the player through a ground traversal tutorial and avoid some Cutscene Drop.)
    • Otherwise it's averted. Every gear mod from the previous game you'd expect Rico to retain (things like grapple re-reel, wingsuit airbrake, aim down sights, and so on) are part of his arsenal from the start.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Justified in the Erdrick Trilogy. Several generations pass between games, which is because the Descendant of Erdrick in Dragon Quest I has to gather the pieces of armor which Erdrick found in Dragon Quest III; and in turn the heroes of Dragon Quest II must collect the pieces of armor which their grandfather hid and entrusted other people with.
    • Dragon Quest IV: Downplayed; the game at least retains everyone's equipment and items between chapters, including those in the shared inventory. Money, on the other hand, is not retained. As a result, savvy players will, when a chapter is about to end, spend as much money as possible to fill inventory slots with expensive items. For Chapters 2 and 3, where the Casino is accessible, buying up lots of tokens is highly recommended. Naturally, though, in Chapter 3 (where it's possible to accumulate fairly outlandish sums of money through Torneko's shop, on account of his wife's uncanny ability to sell any item for significantly more than it's actually worth), the price for casino tokens is dramatically higher than normal.
    • Dragon Quest Builders: Justified. The Dragonlord's magic has wiped away humanity's knowledge and ability to create, which is why you lose some of your crafting recipes between chapters. The ones you retain are altered to use resources available in the new region.
    • The Builder has to leave behind their stuff at the Isle of Awakening when they head to a new story-focused island in Dragon Quest Builders 2 (barring equipped armor, weapons, and all their tools). Thankfully you get it all back when you return, and the player can freely take items between all completed and non story island.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War starts with Talion and Celebrimbor missing several core abilities from the previous game, particularly Branding. Justified as Celebrimbor says he put a good deal of his Life Force into forging the new Ring of Power, which Shelob has immediately stolen from you, meaning the pair are missing a good deal of their supernatural power.


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