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Big Damn Heroes / Video Games

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  • This happens all the time in Ace Attorney. The general rule of thumb is that the protagonist will fall just short of catching the culprit, and then...HOLD IT! Someone shows up at the very last second with damning evidence or testimony.
    • Case 1-2: Redd White produces a perfect testimony, and Phoenix is out of luck. Just when Phoenix is about to be declared guilty, Maya channels Mia. Mia shows Phoenix something that he stupidly overlooked (The other side of the paper that has Maya's name on it) that allows him to completely discredit White's testimony. She then produces a list of the many lives that White has ruined, and tells him to confess to murdering her, or she'll make it public. As a result, White folds and admits his guilt, and Phoenix is exonerated.
    • Case 1-4: von Karma's second witness, "Uncle" (Real name Yanni Yogi) has given a testimony that seemingly proves Edgeworth committed the crime, despite Phoenix pointing out a major contradiction at the end of day one that effectively proves his innocence. The Judge then hands down his guilty verdict, but then....
    Judge: "Who was that just now?"
    Phoenix: "Huh? L-LARRY!"
    • Case 1-5: Angel Starr does this twice: Once in your favor, and the other time in Edgeworth's favor.
      • Ema also pulls one off after Edgeworth tricks Phoenix into proving that Lana is the culprit.
      • After Damon Gant is proven to be the murderer, he tries to argue that the damning evidence against him is illegal in a last ditch effort to save himself. It doesn't work.
    • Case 2-3: After Ken "Acro" Dingling challenges Phoenix to prove his claims, and Phoenix states that he has nothing, Maya objects to buy more time, which ultimately allows Phoenix to deduce that Acro is hiding the murder weapon behind the blanket on his wheelchair.
    • Case 2-4: Edgeworth pulls this off twice (albeit unknowingly) on the first day. He does it again on the second day, and then Franziska von Karma performs one.
    • Double Subverted in Case 3-3: The judge is convinced that Furio Tigre was the impostor, note  but he is not convinced that he is the murderer. Cue Gumshoe with a "damning" piece of evidence, which he unfortunately realizes is useless. However, Phoenix manages to make use of it anyway, successfully tricking Tigre into implicating himself.
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    • Case 5-2: A villainous example: When Florent L'Belle's Villainous Breakdown ensues, Blackquill objects, stating that Apollo needs more evidence.
    • Case 5-3: When Aristotle Means pushes Athena's Trauma Button, causing her to mentally shut down, Apollo (and a few others including Robin and Blackquill) immediately reassure her, to get her to snap out of it and keep fighting.
    • Case 5-5: Just when it looks like The Phantom is about to escape, Athena herself shows up to help, and she eventually provides the last piece of evidence that takes him down for good: her earring.
    • Case 6-2: Another villainous example similar to 5-2: Nahyuta Sadmadhi quickly interrupts Roger Retinz's Villainous Breakdown to inform Apollo that he needs more evidence.
    • Case 6-3: After Maya is found guilty of Tahrust Inmee's murder and is about to be executed (along with Phoenix), the guard shows up to announce that Maya has been accused of another murder, thereby giving them another day to work with. Rayfa lampshades Phoenix's incredible luck, describing him as a "Dead Lawyer Walking."
  • Happens in occasionally in the Ace Attorney, a big one being in "Farewell, My Turnabout." Phoenix is stuck between a rock and a hard place, having to pick between saving Maya's life or remaining true to justice and finding Matt Engarde, your own client, guilty for murder, and it ends up boilding down to to stalling for time to a ridiculous degree while waiting for Gumshoe to arrive with the new evidence, pulling objections and supposed contradictions out of absolutely nowhere, to the point where everyone in the gallery is chanting for you to stop lying. Gumshoe gets in a traffic accident on the way to the courthouse, and all hope seems lost for finding a way to both save Maya and not let Engarde off scott-free, and right as you're being forced to finally make a decision between justice and Maya...HOLD IT! Franziska comes in with new evidence to save the day.
    • This happens four times during the final showdown of Ace Attorney Investigations, and three of them get dramatic full-screen shots. (Spoilers on the links)
    • It's subverted in Ace Attorney Investigations 2, where Franziska von Karma bursts into the room in case 4, delivering the news that the victim died from her head wound, not her stab wounds. Franziska's not happy when Edgeworth tells her they proved that five minutes ago.
    • Larry Butz's big save in game 1, case 4.
    • Gumshoe ends up saving Phoenix and Maya's lives just as much as he saves their cases.
  • Ace Attorney: Investigations is not immune to this, either.
    • There are four Big Damn Heroes moments in the final case.
      • First up is Kay, who distracts Quercus Alba and convinces him to stick around.
      • The second one is Lang and his bodyguards, who announces to Quercus Alba that He is no longer an ambassador, and is no longer protected if he is found guilty.
      • The third one is Wendy Oldbag, who provides a...rather odd piece of evidence that turns out to be a lot more helpful than it seems.
      • And finally, the forensics guy. Seriously.
    • In the climax of the second game's final case, Simon Keyes soundly defeats Edgeworth, but Ray distracts him so Edgeworth can collect his thoughts.
      • Later, after Simon Keyes challenges Edgeworth to prove that he really did commit the murder...and after a bit of Evil Gloating, he prepares to leave. Cue Gumshoe.
  • Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, Mission 12: The Player Character and his Wingman saved their hometown from a WMD attack, and must now make it back to base. However, the Estovakians start to send in entire fighter squadrons (including a jammer and 2 AWACS in) to kill you. Just when you think you're about to die, cue every friend you ever helped to come and save your rear.
  • In Assassin's Creed I, Altaïr gets to save citizens from guards harassing them and they return the favour by forming vigilante packs who help him fight guards or catch fleeing targets. Although this was absent in Assassin's Creed II, it returns in Brotherhood. This time, the citizens become novice Assassins under Ezio.
    • Plot-wise, there was the time Altaïr was overwhelmed by enemies at Masyaf but they are scattered by a swarm of throwing knifes from Malik and three other assassins. Ezio's first mission with the hidden gun. The thief says to stay back or he'll kill the courtesan because he mistakenly believes that a Master Assassin has to be near you to kill you.
  • In the last mission of Battalion Wars 2, Pierce has no fewer than 3 Big Damn Heroes moments: providing 3 Fighters to combat the air force; shooting down Kaiser Vlad's escape transport, rendering his obtaining the staff useless, at least until the next game; and giving Betty a ride on his personal Fighter to rescue her from being nuked by Vlad's usage of the staff used to call the satellite weapon.
  • At the end of the first BioShock, at the end of the fight against Fontaine, the spliced-up musclehead slams Jack across the room, stalks over, and is about to pound him/you into mush, when a Little Sister jumps on Fontaine from behind and stabs him with the ADAM-collecting syringe. After he throws her off, a small horde of Little Sisters jumps him and stab him to death.
    • Not the first time they do this — Tenenbaum sends them to help Jack escape after Fontaine takes over and sends security bots after him, and later guns down a Splicer who was after one of the Little Sisters.
    • Subverted when Sinclair tries to rescue Subject Delta — this only gets him captured by Splicers and turned into an Alpha Series Big Daddy for his troubles.
  • In the first Breath of Fire I for Super Nintendo, the kingdom of Winlan, a land inhabited by winged folk, has had their king poisoned. The Princess and two guards attempt to defeat an evil wizard and secure his antidote. However, he releases special gas that severely weakens the winged folk's race only. The Princess and one of her bodyguards get curb stomped in a hopeless boss battle, while the other guard goes back to the castle to convince the Hero to help. It's up to the hero, who isn't affected by the poison, to lay the smack down on the wizard and save the Princess. It's possibly one of the most emotional Big Damn Heroes big damn heroes moments in the entire game.
  • In Call of Duty 4 you both play as the Big Damn Heroes in several missions and are blown up by a nuke because of it in one outstanding, badass instance and are saved by the Big Damn Russians in the very last mission, though Gaz and Griggs would probably have preferred it if they could have arrived a few moments earlier....
  • Tragically subverted in Cave Story, wherein the BDH arrives moments too late to save the victim from being force fed a red flower, and is killed moments later when he tries to attack the villains in a rage. And then you have to Shoot the Dog.
    • Later played straight in the final, good ending, where you and Curly Brace are nearly crushed to death by a set of moving walls before Balrog the flying toaster, of all people, swoops in to save you.
  • City of Heroes: Most of the missions involve you arriving just in time to save someone, keep something from being from being destroyed, or stop a villain's plan. The Trope Namer is actually referenced in one Task Force. The badge you get for defending the city's dam from three different groups of enemies is Big Dam Hero.
  • In Neo Contra, Mystery G pulls off one of these if you have a high enough ranking, saving Bill and Jaguar from Master Contra, which will eventually culminate in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • In Creepy Castle, when Centipede is about to attack you, Arrow Ace will intervene so that you may freely face Darking.
    • In the Final Fist, when Ant Queen end up being stuck alone on the meteor as it explode, Stickbug teleport her back to her ship.
  • During the Alcazar missions in COD 2 Spanish Civil War Mod, the perspective eventually changes from that of a defender to a soldier in the Nationalist relief force. Your orders are to break through the Republican troops, decimate their artillery, and eventually reach the fortress to make a contact with the defenders.
  • Danganronpa:
    • In Chapter 5 of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Naegi gets executed via trash compactor. Or not, since Alter Ego turns off the machine just in time to save the day. After that, Kirigiri heads into the trash pit he ended up being dumped into to get him back.
    • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair: The final trial sees Naegi, Kirigiri and Togami showing up to help bring down Enoshima. And it turns out that she planned this too.
  • Dawn of War:
    • The first few game's intro cutscene features Space Marines holding out against an ork Waaagh!, when their Predator tank gets blown up. The orks are charging into the breach, when they're suddenly and satisfyingly gibbed by a Dreadnought's assault cannon. The Marines then launch a counter-charge, the orks reveal they had enough boyz to launch a counter-counter-charge, blod and explosions fill the air, and the Marine manages to hoist a flag as the sky above fills with Drop Pods.
    • Subverted in the Dark Crusade intro, where the reinforcements against a vast Necron army consist of three Land Speeders (an extremely Fragile Speedster), one of which is immediately shot down by a Necron Monolith.
  • DC Universe Online has these frequently in the hero story missions, with your Player Character being on both sides depending on the mission. The tutorial has Superman be teleported in to help as you're nearing the end, while later missions include rescuing Robin, Supergirl, Flash, Nightwing, and a few others when they're captured or cornered by villains.
  • At the end of Dead Space 2, Isaac has won the day yet again, defeated the apparition of Nicole, killed the Marker and excised the tainted sections of his own mind. Badly injured and with the remnants of the Sprawl undergoing a cataclysmic reactor meltdown, he sits down and waits for the end. Then Ellie flies a fucking gunship through the ceiling to haul Isaac's ass out of there.
  • At the end of Descent 3, the Material Defender is in the clutches of a robot who is infected with a computer virus, while the head of his former employer laughs and taunts him. Cut to the cute little Guidebot wandering in, realizing that his friend is in trouble, proceeds to spam low-level flares at the robot, distracting the it long enough for the Material Defender to destroy it. You think ol' Guidebot just saved the life of his friend, but no: those flares just speared the bad guy to the wall as well.
  • In Dino Crisis 2, Regina and Dylan fend off a Triceratops attack, but the vehicle they're driving crashes in the middle of a field. Raptors surround them from all sides, and it seems all hope is lost...until two rockets fly in and blow up some of the raptors. Their teammate David shows up in a helicopter and proceeds to wipe out all the dinosaurs in the area with a load of rockets, clearing the way and saving the day.
  • Subverted and lampshaded in Disgaea 2, when Beauty Queen Etna arrives just in time to save the heroes from being overrun by a neverending flood of zombies. She's actually downright annoyed that she's wound up arriving just in the nick of time, "like one of those 'heroes of justice' losers", and considers just letting the zombies finish you off before taking on the Big Bad — fortunately for you, the Big Bad is carrying the Villain Ball, and sics the Mooks on her instead of letting them finish you. Cue the explosions.
  • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest: During the first boss fight with K. Rool, when he gets up for the third time and it's clear that Diddy and Dixie can't quite close out the fight, Donkey Kong struggles loose and uppercuts K. Rool to deal a finishing blow.
  • Dragon Age: Origins. City Elf origin has one where the hero is too late to the rescue. However the victim still describes the Warden-to-be like this afterwards if you still took revenge.
    • Subverted in Dragon Age II where you go to rescue your mother from the hands of a deranged serial killer. You beat the boss and good news everyone, she's not dead! She gets up, you breathe a sigh of relief and everything is perfect... or not. You're too late, and all you can do is watch her die slowly and in great pain.
  • Dragon Quest IV: The Zenith Dragon swoops in to save the party from the crumbling peak where Psaro is fought.
  • In Earth 2160 we have one example. 3rd mission of Lunar Corporation campaign — two main characters (one of which was wounded in bomb explosion) are about to be torn to shreds by enemy mech with FOUR gatling cannons when suddenly three LC hover tanks shows up and without problem destroy above-mentioned mech.
  • Earthbound gives us this gem in the midst of a boss battle: "All of a sudden, some guys rushed into the room! It was the Runaway Five!"
  • The second part of The Eden of Grisaia is all about the Mihama girls planning a rescue for Yuuji and the third is about actually carrying it off. They need their own Big Damn Heroes, though, which comes in the form of Millie with an attack helicopter.
  • In The Elder Scrolls backstory, the Akaviri race of "Snow Demons" known as the Kamal attacked Tamriel during the 2nd Era, causing significant damage in both Skyrim and Morrowind, home of the Nords and Dunmer (Dark Elves), respectively. Despite their long history of animosity, the two races were able to form an Enemy Mine to repel the Kamal invaders. They were initially successful, but faced the threat of Kamal reinforcements. That ended when the Argonians joined the fight, helped to break the Kamal lines, and then slaughtered them all in a decisive final battle.
  • Can happen, largely depending on how you yourself play, in Fallout and Fallout 2 — taking on the Regulators in LA towards the end of the first game is a pretty BDH moment; and in the second, there's a sequence where you rescue a girl from a pair of rapist/kidnappers which even features the suitably badass pre-rescue quip "You're one sick puppy. I think it's time somebody put you down". Being Fallout, the moment is kind of subverted when the rescue threatens to turn your bawsack into a bowtie, but hey.
  • Depending on choices made, the player can be this twice in the beginning of Fallout 3. Once with Butch's mom, who's being chewed apart by radroaches, and again for the Lone Wanderer's close friend Amata, who's being interrogated by her father and the sadistic Officer Mack. And there's nothing quite so satisfying and blowing Mack's head off while his back is turned to you.
    • Oh yes there is. Try blasting his baton away just as he's about to bring it down on Amata's head, waiting for him to turn around, and putting three rounds right between his beady little eyes.
  • A minor one in the Silver Shroud quest of Fallout 4. After Sinjin kidnaps Kent, the Sole Survivor/Silver Shroud bursts into the basement of Milton General Hospital in a BDH moment, with Sinjin and Avery holding Kent hostage with a gun to his head. However, it's usually immediately averted, as Sinjin and Avery will immediately shoot and kill Kent upon seeing the Shroud (although, if the player is extremely careful, this can be avoided). Oops.
  • Lancer of Fate/stay night is king of this trope in the UBW path. Has his heart impaled, and then he kills the Big Bad of the last route in one attack. That's cool right? Heroic determination and stuff, nice from a guy who was just a minion. Only then Shinji shows up, and gets big damn heroed out as well, though not fatally. Still walking around and chatting sans heart, he lets Tohsaka go and burns the entire castle down.
    • Gilgamesh subverts it by turning into the next baddie. Archer zigzags on the 'hero' bit.
    • Rider does an unexpected one in Heaven's Feel, showing she's not as weak as she was in other routes.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy II, Firion is ambushed by a lamia queen that had disguised itself as Princess Hilda. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately), Leila happened to be eavesdropping, and she and the other party members rush in to help Firion.
    • Final Fantasy IV. After smiting the Calcobrina dolls, the group is confronted by Golbez, who promptly douses them with a paralyzing agent before summoning a Shadow Dragon to start killing them. Kain gets off lucky if he's in the air before the gas goes off and when the killing begins; Rosa and Yang are still screwed. Golbez happened to be hiding the Villain Ball in his robe at the time, as he takes a moment to bid Cecil farewell...a moment too long, as that's when Rydia and her Mist Dragon erases Golbez' Shadow Dragon and Cecil's paralysis is lifted via Unicorn Horn before the real boss battle begins.
      • As it turns out she's really good at these because she does it again in Final Fantasy IV: Interlude in almost the exact same way she did during the battle with Golbez. Just as the fake Rydia is about to utterly obliterate the party with Bahamut, the real Rydia shows up and blasts the imposter and Bahamut with her Mist Dragon. After a brief intermission the battle begins a new, but this time it's more of a Curb-Stomp Battle since this time you'll likely be using the very same power you almost got obliterated with.
      • And before her, in the same game, Edge saves Cecil, Palom and Porom from Deus Ex Machina.
    • In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, this happens quite a lot.
      • A disguised Kain saves Ceodore from a Flamehound.
      • Golbez saves Rydia and Luca from their first encounter with Titan.
      • The false Kain saves Porom from an horde of undead.
      • The four ninjas, (if they survived), will come and help Edge at the Tower of Babil, each of them against the enemy they are strong against.
      • If rescued, Porom will save Luca, Rydia, Edge and Golbez from Titan with Float.
    • In Final Fantasy V, Krile first meets the party properly when she crashes into some floating ruins on her own meteorite and hits King Tycoon with a spell, stopping him from attacking the party and knocking him out of his possession.note 
    • Final Fantasy VII: Very famously in the ending, Aerith pulls a Big Damn Heroine moment posthumously. With Meteor seemingly about to slam into the planet and kill everyone on it, the Lifestream flows out of the planet and pushes it back.
      • Tifa made Cloud promise to save her if she was ever in a pinch, 'cuz she thought it'd be cool and said she always wanted to see it happen. She gets her wish twice: when Cloud arrives in time to save her and Denzel in Advent Children (at 2:58-3:31), and in Dissidia 012, where he shows up and fights Sephiroth to protect her. Tifa lampshades the latter incident in the following quote (at 1:55-2:08).:
        Tifa: [to Cloud] Thanks again for saving my skin. The way you showed up and fought that guy off... it was a pretty cool thing to watch. You were like a hero charging in to save the girl.
    • Final Fantasy VIII: Half the game seems to be centered around Big Damn Heroes moments; the best is arguably during the Great Escape sequence at the beginning of disc 2, when Squall does a gunblade-first Dynamic Entry across a seven-story drop to save Zell from being shot in the head.
    • Final Fantasy IX has one during a cutscene in Disc 3. Eiko and Dagger (Garnet) are praying to summon Alexander and save Alexandria. The Big Bad decides this a bad idea, however, and proceeds to destroy Alexander, with Dagger and Eiko still on him. Cut to Zidane swooping in to save Dagger at the last second, and Dagger with tears in her eyes hugs him for being there. Aww..
    • Final Fantasy X:
      • Yuna is gettin' hitched to the Big Bad, Seymour, so the party comes charging in on an airship to crash the wedding, guns blazing, kicking physics to the curb — and all they do is get overwhelmed by the amount of guards there and ruin Yuna's plan to Send Seymour by giving him material to threaten her with—kill him and they die too. They all wind up arrested and imprisoned anyhow, though were it not for Yuna thinking on her feet, they'd be dead. Yuna herself manages to escape and then has to go into the dungeon and rescue them alone. So this is a vicious inversion of the Distressed Damsel too.
      • That's not even the first time that Yuna provides a inversion of Big Damn Heroes either. Earlier, in Luca, she is kidnapped by a rival blitzball team, prompting Tidus and company to mount a rescue operation. However, upon getting aboard the kidnappers' ship and defeating their guardian robot, they find that Yuna has already beaten her captors senseless.
        Lulu: I hope you hurt them.
        Yuna: A little.
      • Played straight later, on Bikanel Island. When Tidus wakes up, he is attacked by a monstrously huge Zuu bird, which he must fight for a few turns on his own before Auron and Lulu turn up to help him out. Level grinding or abuse of Delay Attack can result in confusion, before Tidus defeats the beast before he is rescued.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has one in the city of Palumpolum. Lightning and Hope are surrounded by hundreds of PSICOM soldiers, with their commander reminding the soldiers how "l'Cie are not human." Just as Lightning's telling Hope to run for his life so she can pull a Heroic Sacrifice/You Shall Not Pass!...a section of the nearby building explodes and Snow comes out swinging, punching out several soldiers near him, tossing a gun to new comrade Fang, and summoning Shiva to glaze the whole damn plaza over with ice which he proceeds to ride the Shiva-bike on as Fang rides shotgun. Badass. You can tell Snow doing this because he refers to himself specifically as a "Hero".
      • Later in Palumpolum, after Hope has forgiven Snow, Snow collapses from exhaustion and is almost immediately attacked by an enormous Sanctum war machine. Hope tries to take the thing on by himself, but it is almost impossible to destroy it. Once Hope is defeated, Lightning and Fang arrive and join the fight, with Hope revived.
      • During the cutscene between the Final Boss' two forms, Lightning, Snow, Sazh and Hope are all dead (or at least Cie'th), Fang is being tortured and resurrected by Orphan mercilessly, and all Vanille can do is stand around and watch. Suddenly, a massive blast of magic hits Orphan, and Fang's body (thrown from the blast) is caught by Snow, with Lightning, Sazh and Hope just behind him — readily forgiving her and asking her to stand with them and fight. Much badassery followed.
  • Subverted all the time in Final Fantasy Tactics: Ramza tries to storm the castle he thinks Princess Ovelia is held in, except he runs into Agrias, who managed to escape by herself; a subsequent rescue attempt turns out to be a trap. Throughout the plot, Ramza either stumbles into rescue missions by accident or arrives too late to do anything.
    • Depending on how much Level Grinding you did prior to fighting Wiegraf, the moment when your allies show up to reinforce you in the second stage of the battle, followed by Weigraf summoning his own monsters to even the score can be either a "awesome, cue the overkill" or Oh, Crap! moment.
  • Fire Emblem does this in every game out in the US (probably every game, period), generally as reinforcement to the story's lord showing when they are in a really serious bind. However on easier difficulties this often leads to the reinforcements needing AMAZING projection as they aren't as leveled.
    • The first example of the lord getting to be the "Big Damn Hero" is in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. Florina (a supporter to the tutorial chapter's lord, Lyn) arrives to the main team of heroes to tell how her Lyn and the castle are under attack, naturally the main team of the game go to save them.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, on Eirika's route chapter 10, the playher's party pulls one on Innes, who is being beseiged in a fort along with his mercernaries. On Ephraim's chapter 10, his party has to pull one on Duessel, who along 3 Redshirts, is being besieged in a town.
    • A later example is in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Right when Lucia is going to be executed by the rebellion, the Greil Mercenaries in PERFECT Big Damn Heroes form all show up. What's great is that in the cutscene for their arrival, each one arrives saving another member of the party from being attacked. So any time the villains attempt a counter strike, they are instantly taken down. Making it a string of Big Damn Heroes moments.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening: Sumia manages to rescue Prince Chrom and fetch him on her Pegasus when he's about to become a Human Pincushion. This is so well-placed that the Avatar uses it to create the Pair Up strategy.
    • In the prologue to Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Mycen shows up just in time to save 10-year-old Alm from being shish-kebabed by Slayde.
  • Gears of War: "Looks like we are the support, huh, Colonel?"
    • Earlier than that, when Marcus, Dom, and Rook — I mean, Carmine — are exploring the ruins of Ilima City and get pinned down by a squad of Locust, Cole pulls off a superb Big Damn Heroes by showing up and taking out the entire enemy squad by himself. "Nobody plays this game like me!", indeed.
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, at the top of Jupiter lighthouse. Felix is initially ordered to move to the top of the lighthouse alone while the other party members try to help rescue the previous game's lead party. Piers insists on accompanying him, and the two are attacked by the 2 antagonists, Agatio and Karst, who had set the trap which detained the other characters. One by one the battle is interrupted as your party members return, and (just too late) eventually the entire cast of protagonists arrive, causing Agatio and Karst to retreat due to being outnumbered.
  • In Grow RPG if you did things right, the hero will almost get defeated by a dragon, but the king will zap it so the hero can finish it.
  • In Half-Life 2: Episode 2, you try to protect a completely occupied vortigaunt and its barely-alive patient with two mauve-shirts and two busted turrets. By the last wave, it's the three of you and one working turret against dozens of Antlions. Then the last turret breaks down. You figure this is going to get unpleasant. Then, three Vortigaunts, who have been nothing but background filler until now, wander into the scene. Moments later, it's you, two mooks, and three Vortigaunts, against hundreds of Antlions, all coming at once. And you know what? The Antlions never stood a chance.
    • Griggs said it best:
      Griggs: Jesus! I've never seen the Vorts this PISSED!
    • Alyx gets a fine moment of her own in Half-Life 2 when she saves Gordon from the Metrocops early in the game. Then there's Gordon himself, who only hesitates to fling himself into alien dimensions and unstable fusion reactors if you, the player, make him. It's made even more awesome when you hear snapping and the high-pitched whine from dead Metrocops.
    • And it decisively shifted the Vortigaunt's personality from fugly alien Magic Negros to definite badasses.
      • Half-Life 2 had its fair share of Big Damn Heroes moments like right before the climax of the game when Dog kills a squad of Combine soldiers using an APC as a weapon then goes flying through the air wrestling a Combine Dropship.
      • After being absent since the beginning of Episode One, Dog makes his triumphant return in Episode Two just before Gordon and Alyx arrive at White Forest, saving them from a Strider by ripping out its "brain".
  • This trope occurs in Halo games several times, with Master Chief rescuing Marines, Johnson rescuing the Chief, Chief rescuing Johnson, Arbiter rescuing Chief, etc.
    • Halo 3 directly references the Trope Namer, as a character called Sergeant Reynolds, played by Nathan Fillion, states "Looks like we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?" Gamers everywhere immediately replied "Big Damn Heroes, sir!"
    • In fact, part of the ad campaign for Halo 3 was based around the beneficiaries of such moments reminiscing about the hero who saved them. You can see a couple of these ads here and here.
    • The announcement trailer for Halo 2 is a standout example:
      Cortana: Admiral, tell your men to hold their positions. Reinforcements are on the spoke.
      Admiral: The entire fleet is engaged Cortana. With respect, what the hell sort of reinforcements have you got?
      [The Master Chief then proceeds to throw himself out of a rapidly decompressing launch bay on a space station into a pitched space battle in Earth orbit to directly assault a Covenant cruiser... alone]
    • Master Chief's mere presence seems to inspire this, given the quote from Sgt. Banks in Halo 2:
      Sgt. Banks: When I asked for reinforcements, I didn't think they'd send a SPARTAN.
  • There are some over the course of Hatoful Boyfriend. You-the-heroine can be this for Yuuya when he's caught snooping, or you can just damn him. You-the-heroine can also be this for Anghel. In Bad Boys Love the bleakest point is salvaged by Sakuya and Okosan, who helped Sakuya out of his Heroic BSoD. Holiday Star has a number of such moments, and on two occasions they are nested — Yuuya comes in and turns the tide, but things get too much for him and Doctor Shuu of all people steps in.
  • In Heavy Rain, if both Ethan Mars and Norman Jayden at least make it to where Ethan's son is being held, then Jayden gets a BDH against the Origami Killer by tackling him right before the killer can shoot Ethan.
  • Garry does this in Ib under certain circumstances, saving Ib from a psycho knife-wielding Mary.
  • Damas from Jak 3: Wastelander drives through a wall]and into a bunch of Dark Maker satellites, making them explode nicely.
  • In Justice League Heroes, Superman is completely focused on breaking into Darkseid's fortress while Wonder Woman defends him from attacking parademons. Just as she's about to be overwhelmed, the rest of the League shows up and cleans house.
  • A gameplay mechanic in Justice League Heroes: The Flash. In a tight spot? Summon Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, or Black Canary to do massive damage to any onscreen enemies.
  • Kingdom Hearts II:
    • If Sora dies when fighting certain bossesnote , there is a chance that King Mickey will appear and take over as the Player Character to give another chance to beat the boss. Once he fills the Drive Gauge completely from either dealing damage or using a special command, he can revive Sora to full health to continue the fight.
    • While Kairi and Naminé are escaping from The Castle That Never Was, Saïx and two Berserkers find them and attempt to recapture Kairi. Riku then appears out of nowhere to backstab one of the Berserkers and scare Saïx off.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Sora is alone facing Larxene (having angrily told Donald Duck and Goofy to stay behind after they started questioning his trust in his memories), badly wounded after his fight with the Riku Replica. Just as she is about to attack him, Goofy's shield comes flying at her face, a spell heals Sora, and Goofy and Donald place themselves between Sora and Larxene, reminding Sora that they had promised to protect him and that they would always stick together. Cue asskicking.
    • The climax of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance has this happen three times in a row. Young Xehanort and Riku are squaring off over Sora's comatose body, with more time-traveling Xehanorts appearing around them. True to form, Mickey shows up and freezes the bad guys with a Stop spell — except Master Xehanort pulls a Villain Override on his younger self and has an all-out brawl with Riku. When Mickey's spell runs out, Lea shows up to stop Xehanort from possessing Sora. Before the heroes can escape, the Guardian grabs Riku and Mickey and tries to crush them...only to get squashed when Donald and Goofy teleport in using a star shard. Whew.
  • Early on in Langrisser I, Ledin, his bodyguard Volkoff, and royal knight Namu are caught in an ambush by a horde of slimes, who are heavily resistant to their weapons. They're forced to Hold the Line for a couple of turns until they're rescued by Chris (the cleric Ledin helped escort to Salrath Village in the previous two missions) and Thorn (captain of the Salrath town guard). Chris, who previously could only command Red Shirt Civilians, proves to be the equalizer in this mission, as her newly-hired Guardsmen are equipped with flaming weapons to fight off the Slimes.
  • Happens frequently in The Legend of Zelda series:
    • During the second trip through the Forsaken Fortress in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Tetra pulls this twice — once to distract the Helmarock King and buy time to rescue the captives and again when Link is in Ganondorf's grasp...only for this attempt to fail and require another dramatic rescue.
      • A pretty ironic example, considering that she's the damsel and he's the hero. Well, she's an Action Girl after all.
    • It also happens in Twilight Princess, as Link gets confronted by a hoard of enemies in Hyrule castle, and suddenly BAM. Cavalry. Well, infantry, but same effect.
    • About halfway through The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Link gets help from Groose of all people. He helps him keep the Imprisoned sealed away, blocks Ghirahim's path to the past (albeit a doomed attempt), and even dive-bombs to catch Zelda. This is such an improvement in his character that you wouldn't recognize him if you started the game over.
    • In Hyrule: Total War Zelda I is about to get killed by Ganon's minions when Impa shows up.
  • Near the end of Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work, Larry's home flight starts plummeting from the sky due to the pilot's contract expiring, but being a former flight simulator salesman, he takes control and safely lands the plane.
  • Happens in The Lord of the Rings Online in a quest where you go into the Barrow-Downs, not long after Frodo and the hobbits passed through there. At the end of a dungeon, you run inte a powerful wight that you can't beat, because he restores his health to full everytime it gets too low. Enter Tom Bombadil, who collapses the roof on top of him, allowing you to escape. You can later return to that dungeon to destroy the wight for good.
  • Towards the end of Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, an army of monsters appears to prevent your Global Airship from taking off for the Very Definitely Final Dungeon. In comes the Badass Normal Dekar, who had supposedly died in a Heroic Sacrifice much earlier in the game, riding a whale for no other reason than to make for a more epic entrance.
  • The Mana Khemia games give you the option to swap an out-of-battle party member in for an active member who is about to be attacked, sometimes with additional effects such as healing or invincibility. Muppy in particular can shelter the rest of the party in his potlike ship when he does this, protecting them from large-scale attacks.
  • The Mario & Luigi series has a few instances of the heroes being saved by (a) guest starring alternate(s).
    • In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Mario and Luigi are One-Hit KO'd by a giant laser operated by a couple of foot soldiers from the invading aliens, the Shroobs. When Baby Mario and Baby Luigi toddle into the scene (there's time travel involved), the laser is already gone, allowing the babies more time to take the Shroobs out and save their adult selves.
    • In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Mario and Luigi are, again, One-Hit KO'd — this time by a stack of Paper Goombas that form into a giant steamroller form together. Paper Mario then immediately floats into the scene and takes them on just as they were about to leave and report their victory to Bowser.
  • In Mario Party DS, after the shrunken heroes have a few rounds of "fun" in Bowser's pinball machine, he decides to use his rod to shrink them even further. Cue Donkey Kong bursting into the castle, disarming Bowser, and stomping on the rod, restoring everyone to normal. By accident.
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has Mario and his companions saved by Princess fucking Peach of all people. The battle against the Icicle Golem hasn't even begun before it freezes the trio solid with its ice breath, but the player is likely hyped when they see a familiar parasol in the next scene. And its wielder. And a fire-imbued shotgun.
  • The same line occurs in Mass Effect on Virmire, when you ride in to rescue the Salarian recon squad. They are less than impressed with your Badass selves, wondering why the Council didn't send the army they asked for.
    • Kirrahe later wises up, so by the third game, he's happily comments that Shepard's ability for destruction is still intact!
    • And speaking of Mass Effect, what about "It's the Alliance! Thank the Goddess!" One of the possible endings has the Alliance fleet arrive just in time to save the Council and its flagship, the Destiny Ascension.
    • There's also the moment when you have to save the quarian (Tali) from being assassinated.
    • Highlighted in Mass Effect 2, when Zaeed says of his loyalty mission "Get it out of the way so we can concentrate on being big goddamn heroes."
    • It's really all over the place in both games: Feros with the geth attack, Noveria with the breakout of the rachni, the Citadel itself with Saren's attack, the first time you encounter Tali in both games and her recruitment mission in the second, the Archangel recruitment mission, the assault on the Collector base (if you do it soon enough), saving the hostages from terrorists...there's a reason by the second game paragon Shepard is considered by everyone, including the bad guys, the Biggest Damn Hero in the galaxy.
    • Shepard's casual way of explaining why they're on Haestrom, saving Tali from a small army of Geth;
      Shepard: I was in the neighbourhood... thought you might need a hand?
    • Mass Effect 3 also has plenty. Most of the time, your allies get their asses handed to them... until you arrive. Then your three-man squad quickly blows all the enemies away. Also happens in a cutscene during the attempt by Cerberus to take the Citadel, but only if Thane survived the previous game. Just as Kai Leng is about to kill the Salarian Councilor, we see a gunbarrel at the back of his head. It's Thane! He manages to hold off the highly-skilled assassin for a bit, despite living on borrowed time. Then again, who else to stop an assassin but another assassin?
    • The Fleet arriving to retake Earth.
    • The third game's Citadel DLC has a moment. Shepard (unarmored and injured) and his/her Love Interest are pinned by a shuttle full of armed mercenaries (including a Geth Spitfire). Just when things look bad, Urdnot Wrex (or James Vega, if Wrex is dead or hates you) comes crashing through the window a floor above with a war cry, and crushes/elbow-drops the shuttle hard enough to force it down onto the landing pad. He then leaps into the shuttle and starts beating the crap out of the very surprised mooks with his bare fists (and his armor-plated head), knocking them senseless and tossing some of them out the doors and over the edge.
    • Really, by the third game, you have to wonder if the Alliance standing orders for the Normandy aren't just;
  • MechWarrior 3, you have picked up two of your 3 available npc allies and are traveling across country to try and rendezvous with mechwarrior Keith Andrew, who you have been in contact with for much of the game. On the way, in dire need of repairs, you come across an enemy fortress and secure it for supplies. The enemy responds by sending a massive force, and another from the other way, and there's an assault mech closing from the west, wait isn't that...
    Alan Matilla: Can you read me, Damocles Command? Looks like you need a hand.
    • Turns out you're also his best chance of survival since he can't even reload without assistance, but credit for the entrance. Keith Andrew never joins you and eventually meets with a rescue ship that you can't reach.
  • In MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, the player can be this to the beleaguered 'Mechs of Hammer Lance, rushing in just in the nick of time to prevent them from being swarmed and annihilated by superior forces. If Hammer Lance survives, they will return the favor in kind during a later mission, one where you will be on your own against many enemies...and just to make it worse, it's also an Escort Mission besides.
    • In another mission, Spectre and his team come in as the Big Damn Reinforcements for one of the most pitched battles of the early storyline, Barlow Gap. Its defenders are badly outnumbered, outgunned, and outmassed, and are verbally confirmed to be moments from suffering numerous losses. One more assault almost costs the defense forces the strategic pass...until the Battlemechs of Spectre Lance appear to even the odds.
  • In Medal of Honor: Vanguard, the first time a Tiger Tank appears, Keegan and his squad have no way to destroy it, then, the player hears: 'I'VE GOT THAT BAZOOKA!'... 'FIRE!', with the Tiger Tank then being destroyed in one shot, the door then opens to reveal the Bazooka Operator and other allied soldiers.
  • In Mega Man Legends when you release Mega Man Juno he is about to initiate the carbon reinitialization program and kill everyone on the island you crash landed on. In order to make sure Mega Man Volnutt/Trigger doesn't interfere he traps him in an electrical field. He would've been stuck there if Tron and Tiesal Bonne hadn't showed up.
    • Their conversation just as they ran to turn the thing off
      Tiesal: Oh, here's the problem. Hey Tron! How do you stop this thing?
      Tron: Oh this? LIKE THIS! [kicks it turning it off]
  • In Mega Man X2, if X succeeds in retrieving all of Zero's parts from the X-Hunters, Zero will break into the Central Computer's core just before Sigma unleashes his Copy-Zero on X, then proceed to destroy the Copy himself and punch a hole in the floor for X to pursue Sigma, all accompanied by kick-ass heroic music.
    • Zero's introduction in Mega Man X is another Big Damn Heroes moment that establishes him as a serious Badass.
    • At the end of Mega Man X3 either Zero or Dr. Doppler will arrive just in time to save X from the invincible Viral Sigma.
    • Mega Man X8 allows players to make a team of two characters to take on every level. In the last level in Hard Mode, however, one of them will be incapacitated by Vile going kamikaze. Later in the level, during the confrontation against Sigma, he gets the upper hand, and has the player in a choke hold (in a cutscene). Cue the other character swooping in to save his partner, and the battle resumes.
  • X returns the favor at the end of Mega Man Zero 3 when he and the three Guardians help Zero in defeating Omega once and for all.
    • But subverted in both Zero 2 and 4. In 2 you arrive to confront Elpizo, and he hasn't destroyed X yet. But as Zero dashes in, he's caught in a capture field and can only watch as X is destroyed. And in 4 Craft fires Ragnarok just as you reach the boss door.
    • At the beginning of Zero 4, the Caravan of humans that are fleeing from Neo Arcadia are being chased by Weil's forces, and just as the mooks descend on the Caravan, Zero arrives to save the day.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network 6 (6 being the last game) in the 3rd to last (the last 2 being past the point of no return) cutscreen in the game, the villans realize it is a better idea to take on the Kid Hero in the real world then in cyberspace, only one of these moments save Lan.
    • To be broader, Battle Network loves this trope such much that it has a Leitmotif for it.
    • Special mention goes to Protoman, who gets these moments all the time.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4, Johnny Sasaki, the resident Butt-Monkey of the series, saves both Solid "Old" Snake and Meryl in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and then saves Meryl near the end of the game. Johnny and Meryl then proceed to kick a lot of ass, becoming a Battle Couple in the process. Also Raiden, who would save Snake's life at least twice...the first time cutting off an arm to do so, then the second time appearing without his arms, his sword (Rule of Cool) first clutched in his teeth and then in his left foot.
  • Metroid:
    • Subverted multiple times in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, wherein the bounty hunters show up just in time to reactivate a dead orbital cannon and nuke the Space Pirates' asteroid weapon — and then just before they can hit the Big Red Button, Dark Samus shows up and blows them all away, achieving a Big Damn Villain moment of her own.
    • And then subverted yet again, as Samus turns out to be Only Mostly Dead, hauling herself to the control panel and activating the cannon before lapsing into a month-long Convenient Coma.
    • Samus pulls this off herself in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, if you look at things from the point of view of the Luminoth. The Ing were two rooms away from accomplishing their dominations. Two rooms. Then Samus turns up.
    • Probably the most classic example of the series takes place in Super Metroid. Mother Brain has gone One-Winged Angel and is beating the crap out of Samus who, by the end, can't even stand up. Right as Mother Brain is about to deliver the final blow, the baby Metroid that Samus sort of adopted comes in and drains a massive amount of energy from Mother Brain and transfers it, and the Hyper Beam, to Samus. After that, it sacrifices itself in order to give Samus time to recover and finish Mother Brain off once and for all.
    • Metroid Fusion has a weird example at the end that parallels the finale of Super Metroid. Samus is one again on her knees and this close to being finished off by the Omega Metroid, and it's the SA-X of all things that shows up and saves her. In this case it's not because the SA-X wants to help Samus, but rather because it's compulsively attacking the X Parasite's natural enemy.
  • In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, if you are about to be killed, once in a while a Gondorian sergeant, one of your minions, or Forthog Orc-Slayer will suddenly appear and skewer your would-be murderer.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode: If Jesse allows Lukas to look for the rest of the Ocelots in episode 4, they return during the final confrontation against the Wither Storm to help fight it.
  • This trope happens too many times in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel I and II that it has created a minor Broken Base about how weak Class VII is versus the characters they're going up against are way out of their league. The second game kick starts it with Toval rescuing Rean before he's about to die from a magic knight while he's exhausted.
  • In any match of Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine there is a good chance someone will end up being this for other players or even the rest of the team.
  • The Mother series has its fair share of these:
    • Partway through the final dungeon of EarthBound Beginnings, the party is attacked out of nowhere by a giant robot that they stand no chance against, and are soundly defeated. The only thing keeping it from being a Game Over is that Lloyd shows up in a tank to destroy the robot and takes the unconscious party to safety.
    • In the fangame Mother: Cognitive Dissonance, you get two moments of this: When Alinivar's party is about to face off against the Greyface in the Pigmask recruitment center, both Niiue and Larice, the latter thought to be dead by the Greyface, burst into the room to help with the battle. Then when you start heading towards the end to defeat Giegue in the center of his mind as he becomes Giygas, two Niiues appear to keep your party topped on health and force Giegue to retreat further into himself in the Maelstrom.
    • In EarthBound, after you damage the Clumsy Robot enough, the Runaway Five show up out of nowhere and shut the thing off. A bit of an odd case when considering that the robot can't even hurt you outside of one rarely used attack. And for the final boss, you, the player, fulfill this role for the protagonists.
    • In Mother 3, the end of chapter 3 has the party cornered by Fassad and his mob of Pigmask soldiers and tanks. They get a little worried after they manage to destroy one of the tanks, but it's not enough to make them back off. Cue Lucas showing up with his baby Drago friend, who promptly gets mocked, only to call its mother who proceeds to send the lot of them packing.
    • As a nod to the first Earthbound example, DCMC shows up to take out the remainder of the mob of Porky bots you fight near the end of the game once you've destroyed enough of them.
  • Neverwinter Nights subverts this at the end of Luskan, letting you get to the top of the Host Tower just in time to watch Aribeth signing away her soul from the other side of an unbreakable fence .
  • In the last dungeon of NieR, The Masked People show up just in time to save the heroes from being killed by a giant boar. They also have a Heroic Sacrifice when they hold off the Boar so the party can continue.
  • NieR: Automata: "Rescue Offer received from [player name]". After clearing endings C and D, you are offered a chance to bring all three main characters Back from the Dead to get the ultimate ending E. To do so, you must clear the Bullet Hell that the ending credits suddenly turn into... which is pretty much Unwinnable by Design (for most players). However, after dying and restarting a couple of times, you start receiving messages of encouragement from other players who have already cleared the level. Then, just as you're about to give up, the Wham Line comes: "Rescue Offer received from...", followed by the player tag of someone who messaged you earlier. If you accept, they, and a bunch of other players, join you to provide a massive damage boost and effectively endless hit points, while the credits song expands into a jubilant chorus. With the others' help, you clear the rest of the level with ease... and it's only afterwards that you learn of the ultimate sacrifice all of them made in order to help out a complete stranger this one time.
  • Shinobu during the final boss fight of No More Heroes.
    • And followed up by Henry during the final boss of the sequel.
  • Octopath Traveler:
    • In his final chapter, when Therion is surrounded by Darius's thieves, Heathcote comes in, kills some of them, and creates an escape route for him.
    • In Tressa's first chapter, as she's surrounded by pirates, Tressa is saved by the benevolent merchant she met prior, who actually turns out to be former Captain Leon Bastralle, whom the pirates quote and idolize.
    • In Olberic's fourth chapter, during the revolution in Riverford, Erhardt appears, holding the mooks back, while Olberic goes to fight Werner.
    • In Cyrus's third chapter, the titular protagonist ends up being trapped by the Headmaster in a sealed off room. At first, it seems like Cyrus will find a way to escape, but he ends up being saved by his student Theresa, who heard about the Headmaster's intentions and came to warn Cyrus.
  • Odin Sphere:
    • Gwendolyn does this twice: She swoops in to rescue Velvet from Brigan and her father's soldiers and later rescues Oswald from Odette's clutches.
    • Oswald repays the favor by saving a falling Gwendolyn.
    • Cornelius infiltrates the Titanian sewers to save Velvet from mind-controlled Belial.
    • As a frog, Ingway does this multiple times in order to save Mercedes from certain threats.
  • Enforced in One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows: when Saitama is selected, he will not be immediately useable. Instead, the team he is on will need to hold out until Saitama arrives on the scene, shortening the time he needs to reach the battle by executing combos and parrying attacks. Once Saitama arrives, however, the battle is as good as won.
  • Zoey, Francis, and Louis give you covering fire at the main intersection in the finale of The Passing and they will very likely save your ass from the horde and Tanks in the area.
  • In Persona 5 Royal, when Joker and Crow are in a bind against Cendrillon's berserk state in Maruki's Palace, the other Phantom Thieves arrive and help them. Special mention go to Skull, who jumps in ahead of them and shield the two from a Vorpal Blade without batting an eye (Vorpal Blade is one of the strongest physical skills in the game).
  • Pokémon Black and White: Bianca calls for the Unova gym leaders to come and fight versus Team Plasma at N's Castle, after the Elite Four challenge. They arrive just in time to avoid a serious confrontation.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (and Platinum) Just when it looks like you'll have to deal with Commander Mars and Commander Jupiter at the same time while Cyrus destroys the universe, your rival shows up and helps you defeat them both.
    • In Platinum specifically, when you confront the enemy team boss, it turns out he was prepared for your interference and counters your strategy for derailing his plans. At that point it seems like you cannot do anything... and out of nowhere Giratina shows up and swallows Cyrus into the Distorted World, at the same time freeing Dialga and Palkia from his control, and stopping all of his plans single-handedly. Unfortunately, this does create another crisis, but this new crisis is one the player is capable of solving.
    • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 Just as Ghetsis is about to deliver a chilling thrashing to your character with Kyurem's Glaciate, N swoops in with his Zekrom/Reshiram and uses Fusion Bolt/Flare to destroy the attack. Unfortunately, Ghetsis was not only prepared for this he expected it.
    • In the beginning of Pokémon Sun and Moon, when the player is falling to his/her death, Tapu Koko flies out of nowhere, catches the player, and leads the player to safety.
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, you, your partner, and Emolga confront a pair of conning Pawniard for the sake of rescuing Dunsparce from them. They respond by calling out their buddies, a pair of Galvantula and Whirlipede. However, this in turn prompts the appearance of Virizion, Gurdurr, and his two Timburr apprentices, which leads to a seven vs. six brawl. Later on, the hero ends up separated from their partner, then cornered by Toxicroak, a Gigalith, and a Chandelure. They manage to defeat the three of them, only for reinforcements to arrive in the form of Salamence and a mob of Excadrill. Right as the dragon is about to finish them off, Hydreigon suddenly makes his first appearance in the flesh as an unexpected savior and interrupts him with a Dragon Pulse to the face before flying the hero to safety.
  • Any player in Pokémon Mystery Universe can pull this off in a dungeon and save a user that is in trouble, such as being surrounded. However, in Seafloor Ruins, after Kyogre's defeat, Kyogre, who still believes the player to be a backup of Sharpedo's Gang, refuses to give up and attempts a Hyper Beam. This cues Manaphy, who convinces Kyogre that the player is friendly, which causes the player to gain Kyogre's trust.
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones has a rare inversion — "All hail the Prince of Persia! A greater hero the land has never known! You have saved the people of this city, and we have come to repay the favor!" It's not often the crowd comes to rescue the hero.
  • In Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, Captain Qwark shows up to help during the final boss fight.
  • In The Reconstruction, this is subverted. After the world is destroyed in chapter 6 and the Big Bad kills or enslaves everyone, Dehl's guild is the people's only hope...but they aren't able to come until it's far too late.
  • Red Dead Redemption has this happen as a gameplay mechanic. A man is being held up by roadside banditos? BANGBANGBANG! A scarred, grizzled man on horseback just took out three of them shooting from the hip. A man's wife is being lynched for being black? Thwip! The rope just got shot out. BLAM! All the racists got their brains shot out by a man in a poncho, walking calmly over to help the poor woman, holstering his shotgun. Being attacked by wolves in the middle of the desert? 4 rifle shots later, they lie dead on the ground, the poor man free to go home. Be it rapists, cattle thieves or stage coach robbers, John Marston will show up in the nick of time to stop them and save your life, before bidding you good day and going off on his next adventure. Best Rockstar hero ever? Survey says, yes.
    • Unless you're a bad shot. Then the trope plays out a little differently.
    • The player can also choose to ignore these and, in some cases, even decide to help out the bad guys instead.
    • Story-wise, there's John saving rebel leader Abraham Reyes from execution and later Reyes returning the favor when the Mexican Army decides to betray him.
  • In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, If Nicholai gets away with the helicopter (or you destroy it), Barry shows up with a helicopter and saves Jill and Carlos just before the nuke hits.
  • Towards the end of Resident Evil 4, Leon is vastly outgunned by Ganados when the extraction chopper, the one that was dispatched a couple of hours of gameplay ago and likely completely forgotten by the player at this point, shows up to help gun down the brunt of them and blast through their barricades for you.
  • In Resident Evil 5, Chris and Sheva are being attacked by Ganados on dirt-bikes, and are just abrely holding them off — until Captain Stone and Delta Squad arrive to save the day in a thoroughly badass instance.
  • In the last act of Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure, Phantom R is forced to fight the real Chevalier Diabolique, who are massive robots. Charlie and Inspector Vergier arrive and help him fight them off. Not too long later, Phantom R bursts in and saves Marie from Napoleon, who he proceeds to take down in a sword fight.
  • In Saints Row: The Third some of the Survival missions involve the Boss showing up to save innocents from the Syndicate.
  • At the end of the first level in Singularity, the Big Bad has the player at gunpoint, just killed his partner, and things are looking grim. Then the British agent Kathryn Only-One-Name sends him and his men ducking under a hail of gunfire and directs the player along the path to safety as soldiers fire at his back. Later in the game, the player repays the favor by kicking open a door and shooting the two soldiers that have Kathryn at gunpoint.
  • Skies of Arcadia's opening cinematic has the Blue Rogues board Alfonso's ship for what was intended to to be a raiding mission. Instead, it ends with Vyse and Aika rescuing Fina, before she was taken to Valua.
    • Later, Vyse, Aika, and Drachma sneak into Valua's lower quarter to rescue Vyse's father. They use the sewer system to reach the colosseum just as Dyne and his crew were about to be publicly executed. And they even make a show of defeating the executioner himself, for an encore.
    • After getting everyone safely to the sewers, Vyse and Aika split off from the group to rescue Fina, after hearing she was being taken to the Imperial Capital. So they snuck into the upper quarter to board the monorail and defeat the soldiers guarding her. But they get cornered by Galcian, who attempts to stop them... until Drachma shows up with the Little Jack, in time to save their skins.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Tails gets such a moment in the normal ending by flying the Tornado to catch Sonic in the sky after the Death Egg's explosion. If playing as Tails alone, Sonic gets this moment instead. If all seven Emeralds are collected as Sonic, he goes Super after leaving the Death Egg and flies alongside the Tornado instead.
    • At the end of Big's story in Sonic Adventure, Chaos manages to absorb his frog friend Froggy after becoming Chaos 6, prompting Big to despair — until Sonic shows up and offers to hold off Chaos, giving Big the chance to pull Froggy with his fishing rod.
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow (who was a villain at that time) manages to teleport Rouge (and three of the Chaos Emeralds, of course) off of Prison Island mere seconds before the whole island explodes.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006):
      • As Princess Elise was being under attack by Eggman, Sonic spins around like a whirlwind, makes a one-liner, destroys Eggman's robots, and takes Elise to safety while escaping from Eggman's other machines.
      • In Sonic's first two confrontations with Silver, he is ultimately incapacitated and at Silver's mercy, only for one of his allies (first Amy, then Shadow) to arrive just in time and distract Silver long enough for Sonic to get away.
      • At a point, Elise jumps off the Eggmobile in order to escape Eggman. Fortunately for her, Sonic arrives at that very instant and catches her.
  • Spirit Hunter series:
    • Death Mark:
      • Banshee gets a major one in Chapter 5. When the protagonist and Hiroo face off against the Kannon Soldier, Banshee comes running at the last moment (having run all the way from the mansion, on top of that) to give them the tool they need to appease/defeat the spirit: one of Masamune's chisels. Sometimes, it is Daimon who saves the day, which is a more impressive feat considering his usual sickly conditions.
      • Mashita gets one in the Chapter 6 DLC when he stops the protagonist from being dragged out the window to his death by Red Riding Hood, appearing at the last moment to haul the protagonist back through the window.
    • In Spirit Hunter: NG, after Akira is trapped in Kakuriyo by Kakuya, little Ami (who's spent the game as a Damsel in Distress) uses the same mirror method that he used to rescue her to repay the favour and pull him back into the real world.
  • Splatoon 2 features a Big Damn Heroes from Agent 3 in the Octo Expansion. When Agent 8 and Cap'n Cuttlefish are about to be blended by the telephone's giant blender made from the four "thangs" that Agent 8 collected, she/he drops in, kicks the phone in the face, and smashes the glass dome of the blender, saving Eight and Cuttlefish in the process. Unfortunately, this results in her/him being knocked out cold.
  • In the 2010 remake of Splatterhouse as Dr. West is about to sacrifice Jennifer to the Corrupted, he hear a nasty ripping noise. He turns around just in time to see an enraged Rick holding West's severed arm and using it to pummel him away from his girlfriend.
  • In Starcraft II, Jim Raynor pulls an epic one by saving General Warfield and wiping a Zerg attack wave on Char. When thanked by Warfield, with a gunship silhouetting him from behind and sniper rifle of doom in hand, Raynor replies "All in a day's work General!"
    • In Heart Of The Swarm, Kerrigan finally reaches Arcturus Mengsk, only to be incapacitated and tortured by a Xel'Naga artifact that kills any Zerg in the vicinity. Mengsk starts to gloat, forgetting that the device doesn’t affect Terrans...
      Jim Raynor: Change of plans, Arcturus.
  • The beginning of Star Fox 64 features a Big Damn Heroes moment. The Star Fox team flies in and save Corneria from the invading forces of Andross' army.
    • Falco gets one in Star Fox Adventures, during the final battle against Andross.
    • Wolf O' Donnell gets one in Star Fox: Assault when he saves Fox McCloud from a group of Aparoids.
    • Peppy sort of gets one during the cutscene before the final mission of Star Fox Assault when he crashes the heavily damaged Great Fox through the barrier blocking the team from entering the lair of the Aparoid Queen.
    • Actually, Slippy is about the only really important character who never got one of these moments individually in the series, which is kind of fitting when you consider that Slippy is probably the least popular Star Fox team member with the fanbase by a sizeable margin.
  • Star Trek Online loves to do this, with their your faction swooping in to save your hind quarters or you saving a few Red Shirts caught in the crossfire. There's even skills and items that allow you to keep doing this!
    • The Crisis Crossover special "The Measure of Morality" may just take the cake. After the Excalbians' experiment to recreate Control goes awry and it clones Seven of Nine as its personal Borg Queen host hybrid, it tries to intimitate the lone hero ship with Michael Burnham and Seven of Nine aboard by casually spawning assimilated copies of everything from Section 31 ships to Iconian Dreadnaughts and the Krenim Timeship. All seems lost, until Captain Shon of the USS Enterprise-F comes in and says he's brought some friends — these being every "main" Starship on the big and little screens, plus variants where applicable. And they all come voiced (albeit, through re-cycled clips) by the original actors of their captains.
  • In Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, Jango Fett and Zam Wessel meet for the first time and partner up, only to part ways later over a misunderstanding. Near the end of the game, Fett is shackled to a table and being tortured by the Dark Jedi Big Bad, only for Zam to arrive in an attempt to kill her. Her shot is deflected back into her, but before Zam can be finished off she fires a shot into one of Fett's cuffs, allowing him to drive off the villain and save both their lives.
  • Subverted in the Consular story of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Senator Grell is kidnapped, Tharan and Holiday do an epic job of calculating the kidnapper's location from minimal data. You and Nadia (the Senator's daughter and, at that point, your unofficial padawan) storm aboard, lightsabers lit and ready to raise hell.'s just barely too late to save the Senator, who has been tortured to death. The kidnapper is a Sith that's been Mind Raped so much he can't recall his own name, much less any useful information, and is left a babbling husk on the floor after he's expended his use.
  • Early on in Suikoden II, Flik and Victor show up just in time to stop the executions of the main character and Jowy. On your way out, you discover the main character's sister has broken out of jail on her own, and was on her way to attempt the same.
  • Laker from Super Robot Wars Original Generation actually plans this, he lets Elzam keep the Kurogane, and occasionally gives him mechs so he can have moments like these, and aid the Hagane, and Hiryuu Custom from the shadows. In Original Generation 02 the Hagane did this a lot in the early levels pissing off the Shirogane's captain Lee Injun, who was jealous of the Hagane.
    • Sanger Zonvolt seems incapable of entering a scene in any other method. These include, saving his former subordinate from Sanger's Evil Knockoff, using his signature move to kill an enemy outright in his first appearance in battle, and when fighting his Evil Knockoff, falling through the ceiling of a shelter designed to survive the end of the world, just in time to save the party.
    • Axel Almer and Alfimi both did this in OG Gaiden to play part in the Super Robot Wars MX prologue. When the Jetzt wrecked the Cry Wolves, and it got Foglia killed, Hugo fatally wounded and Albero is sure in to be their next victim, suddenly both of them arrive and attracted the Jetzt, giving Albero time to escape with Hugo.
    • An official Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 manga features this. After the Big Bad is defeated, Son Ganlong appears to take advantage of the Alpha Numbers' weakened state and finish them once and for all. At that point all the Alphas who didn't return in 3 show up to support their friends and dispense an almighty smackdown.
    • In Super Robot Wars Compact, Londo Bell comes to the rescue of Judau and Seabook in "A New Strength" and "Inside the Winds of Light". Judau in the former mission and Seabook in the latter mission
    • In Super Robot Wars L, believe it or not, in Stage 27, based on the 2nd battle at ORB Kira Yamato is getting the crap beaten out of him by an original villain, only to get his butt saved by...Shinn Asuka, of all people! This is the 1st stage where Kira has the Strike Freedom.
      • In the first Z game Kira Yamato as usual often appears out of nowhere in the Freedom to help your guys out, provided they aren't allied with Zaft. If you take the route where you are, he appears out of attack you instead.
      • There's another one as early as Stage 6. The Joule Team is attempting to stop the dropping of Junius Seven when the Mineva shows up with the heroes. Near the end, Memetic Beasts show up and surround the Mineva and attack the ship. When things look bleak, who does show up but Great Mazinger, who delivers a heaping serving of Thunder Break onto them!
    • Super Robot Wars Z2: Hakai-Hen had this in a moment when Amuro scares Asakim away from Crowe and warns Crowe on how Asakim was a backstabber.
    • In a PSP exclusive mission for Super Robot Wars MX, Aqua pilots a Dragoon for the second time and together with the Dragonars, have to take on a large force of Martian Successors. More enemies show up and wreck Aqua's Dragoon. As a result, the Dragonar team and Aqua are outnumbered. Hugo shows up with an upgraded robot and shows how powerful it is. This instance was supposed to show that Hugo will never let his teammates down in their direst hour.
    • Speaking of Super Robot Wars MX, there's also the End of Evangelion mission, with Asuka at the receiving end of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by the MP EVAs when, out of nowhere, Rom Stoll shows up, espouses the significance of a "divine intervention"... then everyone shows up, full Morale and ready to stomp a mudhole in the MP EVAs.
    • 2nd Original Generations gives us a Doozy: After spending several missions with the vast majority of the Steel Dragon Battle Group ends up Trapped in Another World, the game shifts to a few missions with the New Aggressors squad, along with Hugo and Aqua and D's Joshua Radcliffe. They find themselves surrounded in the initial moves of the Guest invasion, caught alone in the middle of the South Pacific. Suddenly, half the enemy force just explodes. Cue the Hagane and Hiryu Kai, back home from La Gias.
  • The Subspace Emissary of Super Smash Bros. Brawl has Sonic showing up just in time to prevent the final boss Tabuu from releasing a super attack on everyone. Also Ness and Falco get their Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • Meta Knight manages to save Lucas and Red/Pokemon Trainer from falling to their deaths (or rather falling to their trophycation).
    • Link, Mario, Pit, Kirby, and Yoshi get one as well, leaping off a cliff to come to the aid of some of the other heroes who're fighting off the Primids.
    • Every character gets one of these at one point or another. Fox bursting out of the wreckage of his Arwing to save Diddy Kong, Captain Falcon using his signature move to take out a ROB who's just annihilated Cpt. Olimar's pikmin team, Ike destroying a Subspace Bomb being carried by the Ancient Minister, this list could earn its own separate page.
    • The Big Damn Heroes moment of King Dedede, Luigi, and Ness. This might be overlooked because it's mostly in the gameplay.
  • In the fourth chapter of Tales of Monkey Island, LeChuck shows up at the last minute and bails Guybrush out of court. Though this was actually a Villainous Rescue, as LeChuck is only doing this in order to let Guybrush power up La Esponja Grande and get all of the Pox out of everyone in the Gulf of Melange, so that LeChuck can kill him later.
    • In the fifth chapter, when Van Winslow attacks LeChuck's ship with an army of merfolk and saves Guybrush from being murdered by a demonic Elaine.
  • Tales of Phantasia offers a rather interesting example, wherein one character performs a Big Damn Heroes moment for the player characters...who immediately perform one back. Near the beginning of the game, the Big Bad Dhaos is unsealed, and Morrison casts a spell to send Cless and Mint 100 years into the past in order to save them from Dhaos. The two of them go on a journey (collecting two other allies in the process), and eventually activate another time warp to appear between Morrison and Dhaos, mere seconds after Morrison had sent them away. To the player, it took 30 or so hours of gameplay, but to the mentor and the bad guy, they appeared to have warped right back...until they proceed to kick Dhaos's ass, something they certainly couldn't have done when Dhaos first appeared.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, before facing Yggdrasill in Welgaia, all of the members of the party besides Lloyd apparently sacrifice their lives (via being caught in various traps) so that Lloyd may continue onward to face Yggdrasill. Finally, Lloyd enters the chamber in which Yggdrasill is waiting for the completion of the transfer of Martel's soul to Colette's body. Yggdrasill is shocked and extremely angry that Lloyd managed to reach him, and moves to kill him — but then a fireball from above stops Yggdrasill in his tracks. What do you know, the rest of the party didn't die after all, and appeared just in time to save Lloyd!
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Guy turns a hostage situation around by skydiving off the Tartarus, using the gun-wielding Legretta to break his fall, and rescuing the hostage in a matter of seconds. As if that were not impressive enough, Legretta immediately attempts to shoot Guy while his back is turned, only to have the latter casually block the bullet with his sword.
    • Enter the amazing Guy!
  • Tears to Tiara 2: The slaves and gladiators are trapped in the heartland of The Empire. They arrived at the base of the Alps to find no reinforcements and the Praetorians blocking any hope of exit, and resolved to go down fighting. As they are about to be wiped out, Hamil and Tarte burst through the glaciers behind the Praetorians, leading The Alliance, wiping out the Praetorians and saving the day.
  • The arrival of the line piece in Tetris is usually this.
  • In the first chapter of the Total War: Rome II prologue, Roman and Lucanian cavalry show up during the siege of Capua to turn the tide of battle and rout the invading Samnites.
  • EP7 of Umineko: When They Cry has Willard H. Wright saving Lion from being shot by Kyrie by freezing time and slicing apart the screen.
  • Vagrant Story: "Reinforcements? I am the reinforcements."
  • There's two in fairly close succession at the beginning of Valkyria Chronicles, the first where Welkin saves his adopted sisters life by clubbing an imperial soldier about to shoot her with a fence-post, the second moments later when the siblings get their dad's old tank up and running and perform a proper rescue of the town watch in Bruhl. Alicia even mentions 'Now you're my hero' to Welkin afterwards.
  • Probably every one in three missions in Vanguard Bandits has one of these.
  • A variation in War Craft III. Arthas and the village have held the line as best they can, but finally the undead are proving unstoppable...and then Uther, with The Cavalry at his back, charges into battle. But despite his initial joy:
    Arthas: Uther! Your timing couldn't have been better!
    • ...he becomes defensive later, when he misinterprets Uther's admiration as disbelief that he was good enough to hold out so long.
  • The World Ends with You has Neku and Shiki, in the third day, almost out of time. Then at the last second, Beat and Rhyme show up and finish off the "master of A-East." Since only one player needs to complete the mission to spare everyone from the threat of erasure that comes with running out of time, their action not only spared them, but also Neku, Shiki, and all the other players currently in the game.
    • Near the end of their week, Neku and Josh get a few chances to do this during a Taboo Noise rampage, two out of three of which you can skip over and the third one, oddly enough, forces you to save someone who is as good as dead even if you save him from the things.
    • At the beginning of the third week, Neku is the only player in the game after all the other players have been taken as his entry fee, meaning that he can't partner up with anybody and is completely defenseless. Just as he's about to get erased, Reaper Beat comes out of nowhere to form a pact with Neku.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • There's a great one of these during the Northrend quest Tirion's Gambit. At the end of a long (and excellent) quest chain, you enlist the help of Tirion Fordring to get a shot at destroying an artifact important to the Lich King. You, Tirion and a small band of Argent Crusade paladins sneak incognito into the Cathedral of Darkness, but the Lich King appears and exposes you all. Surrounded by elite Cultists, you and the Crusaders prepare for a hopeless battle, when...
      Koltira Deathweaver: Take courage, crusaders. You do not fight alone!
    • Highlord Darion Mograine and the Knights of the Ebon Blade rush in to save the day.
    • And now there is a new one with the Halls of Reflection instance. You attempt to confront the Lich King, but your group can't last, so you flee down a secret exit trying to hold off the hordes of approaching undead.
      Trapped on the edge of a cliff outside the tunnel, Lich King closes in, and then your factions airship rises up the cliff behind you and seals the enemies in the tunnel with a few well aimed cannon blasts.
    • Horde players starting off in the Borean Tundra Northrend get their butts saved from the Scourge — or more directly, becoming a part of it — by none other than Varok Saurfang himself.
    • Alliance players have something similar happen during their version of the quest chain leading up to Wrathgate in Dragonblight. As the player is confronting the lich who is commanding the Scourge ground forces in the area, the lich simply casts a spell that paralyzes the player and all of the NPC Alliance soldiers who are present. As the lich is gloating about his seemingly easy victory, Bolvar Fordragon shows up and instantly frees everybody from the paralysis spell. Although the player can help in the ensuing battle, their contributions don't really amount to much as Bolvar more or less solos the aforementioned lich by himself.
    • Icecrown Citadel makes Tirion Fordring one. You think you're doing just fine, beating Arthas to pulp, but then, he just wipes the raid in an instant. Cue Fordring getting out of his ice block saving the day.
    • In the post-Cataclysm Eastern Plaguelands, there's a quest chain where you travel the Plaguelands with a caravan consisting of a merchant, two would-be Paladins, and others. When one of the would-be Paladins runs off and gets himself captured, it becomes your job to track him down and, upon doing so, you see a cutscene where everyone you recruited into the Caravan at that point will show up for the rescue.
    • In Mists of Pandaria, after completing the two areas Valley of the Four Winds and Krasarang Wilds, The Great Wall holding back the insectoid Mantid is broken and they begin to swarm a village in the valley. Chen Stormstout arrives to give a speech about defending their homes, and soon afterwards nearly every major NPC from both zones march down the hillside.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Your characters will barge through a closed door or a shut window if it gets in the way of their movement. This turns into a save-the-day moment if the squad member in question is barging through doors to save civilians from feral alien animals that are sent to the planet to murder people and turn them into Mr. Seahorse zombies.
    • The "Covering Fire" ability for Support classes allows their Overwatch shots to trigger on any enemy action, not just moving. This can lead to situations where a trooper fires upon an alien because its' suppressing their teammate.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles after re-locating Metal Face he summons multiple copies of the Mechon you just busted your ass trying to beat, it looks hopeless... until Shulk and co. get bailed out by Dunban and Dickson. The rescue however fails until they're bailed out by another Big Damn Heroes by an unidentified man.
    • Later in the game, Colony 6 gets swarmed by Telethia threatening to destroy it. Two major NPCs are about to be blasted away... and right on cue, an army of giant Mechon flies in to save the day.


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