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  • Several of the characters in the first Advance Wars had very different personalities early on.
    • Andy was a Naïve Newcomer taken to the extreme. While he's still somewhat innocent and excitable in later games, you'd never see him asking what an airport is.
    • Olaf filled the role of the incompetent Starter Villain, who was stated to be a former Orange Star CO who defected to Blue Moon, and vaguely implied to be Nell's father. While he had been tricked into fighting Orange Star, he still acts far more antagonistic than he does in later games, where he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold at worst who's more than willing to help out the other nations if they're in danger, albeit grudgingly. Later games also seem to retcon his origins, giving him Patriotic Fervor towards Blue Moon (now stated to be his homeland) and dropping all hints of connection to Nell.
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    • Eagle was The Rival to Andy in a manner that borders on Blood Knight. In later games, he's a lot less cocky and smug, though still prone to rushing into things.
    • Kanbei was a total moron who needs his daughter's advice to do anything right... and he still screws it up. (Told he should have bases to deploy units? Makes a base on an island where his units can't do anything) In later games he's more of your typical honorable samurai, his only remaining comedic trait being his extreme over-protectiveness of Sonja.
    • While Sonja was still The Strategist, her methods are a lot more morally-grey in the first game, where she knocks out and kidnaps the Orange Star commanders just to test her theories.
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • Jaheira in the first game played the role of the nasty and strong-willed wife with a timid husband, a couple whose relationship was mostly played for laughs. In the sequel the husband is no more and she becomes a wise, straight woman with a leading attitude, potentially romanceable.
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    • The entire character of Imoen is this. Originally a last minute addition built from some vocal demos, not even fleshed out to the point that she didn't have interaction with other companions, and her lines were something of a childish woman. Her popularity grew to the point that for the sequel she became a central character in the plot while her dialogues matured, acquiring a darker tone.
  • In Blazblue, Ragna was far more belligerent and unheroic in the original Calamity Trigger than later on. Notably, the pre-release short stories for CT showed he murdered indiscriminately. After Continuum Shift however, his more common traits began to show, to the point of that Continuum Shift's retelling of Calamity Trigger retconned his initial acts of violence and personality.
  • Several cases occurred in the Crash Bandicoot series, especially due to the series constantly trading hands:
    • In his first appearance, Tiny was a more terrifying silent associate of N. Brio working to stop Crash from helping Cortex. From Warped onwards, he is Cortex's most loyal follower, and upon gaining his Hulk Speak patterns, more emphasis is put on his childish, clumsy personality compared to his fierce one as games go on. The Radical Entertainment games reinvent Tiny completely, making him a soft spoken, intelligent, and somewhat wimpy cohort of Cortex, almost a complete antithesis of his original self.
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    • The multiple developers of the series couldn't seem to agree on a characterisation for Nina. In Twinsanity, she was initially conceived as a Heroic Mime without much of a personality. In Ripto's Rampage she was an infantile baddie with a fondness for cute things. The Radical Entertainment games established a more consistent personality for her, a bratty, conniving villainess who plots to usurp her uncle's position.
    • Most of the villains to some degree became more goofy and hammy as games passed, especially Cortex and N. Gin.
  • Yasuhiro Hagakure from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc starts off a bit weird, but gradually grows even dopier as the game goes on and other characters start dropping like flies, leaving him with the "comic relief" role. The page quote is provided when one of his classmates notes his change in behavior.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Dante back in DMC1, was a laidback guy who spouted a more than a few one liners ("Flock off Feather Face"), but mostly took his journey seriously. In DMC2, he dropped even the quips and besides the very occasional Grin of Audacity, was sullen and emotionless. For DMC3, DMC4 and DMC5 however, Dante is an outright Thrill Seeker Blood Knight Manchild who given the opportunity will happily chew the scenery to pieces with massive dance numbers to the immense embarrassment of his allies.
    • Trish was more the traditional Love Interest in her debut in DMC1 pulling a Heel–Face Turn over to Dante's side once he saves her life and ends the game expressing child-like wonder at the blue sky above her. In her later game appearances, Trish is Just Friends with Dante and displays a sassy and confident attitude, being the mature and soft spoken compared to Lady, especially in the anime. Her being a Identical Stranger to Dante's mother Eva, which was a key plot point of the first game is also downplayed, with Trish at one point unemphatically telling V Vergil's Soul Jar in DMC5 she's not his mother.
    • Lady in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening was a much darker character (besides the occasional Grin of Audacity while fighting demons), being a rageful Broken Bird out to avenge her late mother killed by her father and antagonistically shot at anything that got in her way. In her later appearances, Lady is a Lighter and Softer Action Girl who joins in on the quips and antics of Dante and isn't nearly as harsh and cold as she was in the third game. In DMC5, Lady is even the one who urges Nero not to kill his father Vergil like she did her own, since the act broke her.
  • Destiny:
  • Lucian, the main character of Divine Divinity appears throughout the Divinity series. However, if one were to play the series Chronologically, getting to Divinity: Original Sin II, will be very surprising to find that, rather than being a Big Good who only made a few mistakes and was very affable, he comes off as a total Anti-Hero (at best) and a Jerkass at worst — willing to allow his own son to be assassinated, happily attempting genocide, lying, and betraying some of his closest followers. Larian has in fact admitted this — given that Divinity has had somewhat loose continuity and the world changed to a much more Crapsack World... yikes.
  • Some character quotes got changed from Don't Starve to Don't Starve Together to reflect both how the survivors are coping with not being alone anymore and their better comprehension of how the Constant works.
  • While Anders's personality shift from Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening to Dragon Age II can be explained by his passenger, Merrill changes from a serious, sensible minor character in Dragon Age: Origins who calmly greets Duncan in the elven ruins to a cheerful Cloudcuckoolander who can barely get out a complete greeting to Hawke and company, for no overt reason beyond the implicit suggestion that spending months working in the company of nothing but an ancient magical mirror tends to do that to you. It certainly did a lot to endear her to players, in any case.
  • Occurred often in the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors franchise as they added new playable characters, even if they had previously been generic NPCs in the games in look and voice.
    • Cao Pi (son of Cao Cao) was Zhen Ji's generic NPC husband in 3 and 4, only to later acquire a unique look, weapon, and personality in 5 when he was promoted to both a major playable character. (Amusingly, one hentai doujinshi author put out a Zhen Ji-centric doujin based on DW3 with Cao Pi looking like one of the game's generic NPC general templates, only to later release another doujin based on DW5, now with their DW5 versions.)
    • Likewise, Sima Zhao (second son of Sima Yi) is somewhat "Sima Yi Lite" in his mannerisms and speech in Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends (in Meng Huo's Legend Mode stage), 5 (Battles of Jieting and Chencang) and 6 (in Sima Yi's ending cutscene), only to get a complete revamp in personality befitting his central role in the Jin storyline of 7.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Orcs have experienced this as a race. Originally, were simple "hurr durr smash hoomies" Tolkien-style Orcs with nothing particularly noteworthy about them (they weren't even playable in Arena or Daggerfall). Daggerfall set the ball rolling on shifting their characterization through the orcish character of Gortwog, his goals and his arguments for why Orcs tend to act like that, and Morrowind solidified their characterization shift. Rather than just being dumb, they've been severely marginalized for ages — even their patron deity reflects this. The Imperial Legion of Emperor Uriel VII's time, among other things, however, helped them to begin to properly integrate into the Empire better - thus making them playable.
    • The Daedric Princes cross this over with Early-Installment Weirdness. The personalities of many of the Princes are very different in their first appearance in Daggerfall than they would go on to be depicted in later games. Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, is a notable example he didn't seem to settle into his Mad Hatter-esque characterization until his A Day in the Limelight episode in Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion. (Even his vocal appearance in his quest in vanilla Oblivion didn't match in voice or temperament.) For details on the other Daedric Princes, see their entries on the series' Daedra Characters page.
    • This is also the case for many of the types of lesser Daedra which have made multiple appearances in the series. Please see the series' Daedra Characters page for specific examples.
  • Ensemble Stars!: all of Nazuna's early cards feature him glaring or looking angry, presuming in reference to his tendency of getting annoyed when anyone calls him cute or treats him like a kid. However, it swiftly became clear that most of the characters - especially his juniors in Ra*bits - were simply too nice to annoy him like that. Instead, he became more of a genuinely helpful Big Brother Mentor and an Only Sane Man among the third years. As a result, his cards swiftly changed to instead typically feature him looking friendly and earnest (or, at best, flustered). Since most characters typically use their original one star card as their profile image, Nazuna is the only one who has a totally different personality than most people initially think.
  • Final Fantasy VII:
    • Tseng, as portions of the game and especially spin-offs like Crisis Core suggest that he has a somewhat paternal attachment to Aerith, developed over the time they spent together while Shinra was studying her Ancient abilities...which makes his first appearance, where he slaps her while taking her hostage, stand out like a sore thumb. Final Fantasy VII Remake addresses this by changing the scene: while Aerith still gets captured, Tseng tries to ensure her safety and the worst he personally does is call a Mook to haul her away.
    • Cloud in the original FFVII was a very different hero from the modern version of him. 1997 Cloud was a much more lighthearted and somewhat dorky character (see his cheesy “Let’s Mosey” line) when not suffering Heroic BSoD and False Memories, being insecure underneath his cocky mercenary persona about the fact he wasn’t able to become a cool hero like he swore he’d become. Cloud could also be goofily enthusiastic about things (doing squats or posing) and openly flirt with his love interests. In modern media like Compilation and Dissidia Final Fantasy Cloud is The Stoic, full of brooding angst and keeps even his allies at arm’s distance. Remake retains a lot of this later more introverted characterisation for Cloud, but gradually brings in his original dorkier and upbeat side as the game goes on, to show he’s opening up to people.
    • Aerith was very different in the original game, while still sweet and innocent she was also a Manic Pixie Dream Girl and a tomboy who talked in slang in the original Japanese script and could be Innocently Insensitive, flirtatious and prepared to rip a mafioso’s balls off. In modern Final Fantasy media starting with Advent Children Aerith is depicted as nothing short of Purity Personified always being gentle and saint-like, in Crisis Core she’s scared of violence and fighting (despite growing up in a slum) and has ingénue traits. Remake brings back Aerith’s original personality with a vengeance, to the surprise of those unfamiliar with her 1997 version.
    • Tifa in the original game in spite of her appearance was ironically a Shrinking Violet who had a bad case of Cannot Spit It Out and was generally calm, modest and motherly. Tifa’s modern appearances have her be more outgoing, spunky and even sassy, in Dissidia she boldly tells her opponents (hands on hips) she’ll crush them if they mock her, acting much more like the typical Hot-Blooded monk. Remake splits difference with Tifa, bringing back her gentler and empathic 1997 characterisation while retaining a few of the more confident Action Girl traits she’s been depicted as having in other games.
    • Sephiroth in the original game was a classic Tragic Monster who went insane learning about his birth and even before becoming a Fallen Hero devoted to his “mother” Jenova was capable of breaking out into eerie laughter. He was also quite affable besides from his destruction of Nibelheim, Mind Rape and manipulation of Cloud and his murder of Aerith, Sephiroth wasn’t actively cruel or insidious considering himself beyond good and evil as the “saviour” of the planet. In his modern appearances such as Dissidia Sephiroth is a Smug Smiler and Noble Demon who considers Cloud (whom he is fixated on) as a Worthy Opponent, unlike the original game where he mainly wanted to torment Cloud in revenge for defeating him. Remake keeps Sephiroth’s obsession with Cloud seen in later media, while also upping his cruelty and psychotic traits, making him a more overtly evil villain compared to his original depiction. This last bit is made more chilling since it turns out that Remake is a Stealth Sequel (of sorts). It is heavily implied that Sephiroth knows about the events form the original game and trying to change his fate, and that Cloud has beaten him at least 3 times.
    • Barret in the original game was unmistakably a caricature of Mr. T. A Large Ham Big Scary Black Man who knocked his allies around when annoyed and was only gentle to his adoptive daughter Marlene whilst being antagonistic to others especially Cloud, it took a lot of the game for him to mellow out into a nicer guy who appreciates his companions and regrets the damage he caused sticking it to Shinra. Remake depicts Barret as a A Father to His Men who displays multiple Hidden Depths showing he has a scholarly side to him, being excited at the Shrina library and unlike the original he’s the one who to encourage his allies and keep their spirits up, he still has his Hot-Blooded traits but is even-tempered when not fighting and face to face with his foes.
    • Yuffie in the original game was a huge brat, being mischievous and obnoxious. She was perfectly happy with robbing the party of all their Materia for sake of restoring Wutai to its former glory and didn’t drop her antagonistically rude behaviour until Cloud and co saved her from Don Corneo. In later media like Dirge of Cerberus Yuffie is much less irascible and annoying, being outspoken at worst. In Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade Yuffie is a friendly Genki Girl who gets along with people and doesn’t actively steal from everyone, only robbing Materia from Shinra Robin Hood-style.
    • Vincent in the original game while still Rule of Cool personified, had a lot of Character Tics like the rest of the cast. He frequently displayed Large Ham overly dramatic poses and had a fair share of goofy lines and moments himself. Vincent’s later characterisation however seen in both Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus is decidedly more somber and gothic, being rigidly serious and brooding, showing no zany quirks like his 1997 version.
  • Captain Falcon of the F-Zero games never had much development character-wise that differed from his lawful bounty hunter racing driver look. Then Super Smash Bros. gave him the FALCOOOON PAUUUUNCH and other such moves, to the point that he even uses it in the official anime of the series.
  • One of the first pieces of Halo media was The Cortana Letters, a series of emails sent to a Marathon fansite. They show that early on, Cortana was an expy of Durandal from Marathon, being contemptuous of the Master Chief and wanting to achieve godhood. Fragments of these letters were eventually used in Halo 3, but re-purposed and with the unused parts declared non-canon. The "achieving godhood" part was repurposed for Halo 5: Guardians, though unlike in the Letters, Cortana still has a soft spot for the Chief.
  • Compare and contrast the way the characters are in Harvest Moon 64 to how they are in games Harvest Moon: Back to Nature and afterward. Karen, for example, was a cold woman until you befriend or court her who wanted to leave the small town she was raised in for the city. In future games she works at a grocery store instead of a bar, loses all of her attitude, and becomes a Cool Big Sis. Even Back to Nature to Friends of Mineral Town has this, to a far lesser degree. Kai was a Jerkass who intentionally bugged Rick but in later games Rick is just an overprotective brother towards Popuri and Kai is a Nice Guy.
  • Nepgear was a somewhat bland and very Vanilla Protagonist in her debut. There was an attempt to remedy this with her lack of defining features being a Running Gag in the sequel, along with being Butt-Monkey for a vicious and humiliating universe, but to no availnote . After three Video Game Remakes worth of progressive retrofits to her character, her next fully original appearance in Megadimension Neptunia VII is as a well-rounded, well-liked mecha-nerd.
  • In inFAMOUS, Evil Cole was an actively malicious Jerkass who thrived on causing pain and trouble and saw Empire City as his personal playground to do whatever he wanted. In inFAMOUS 2, if one plays the evil route, Cole is simply unconcerned with the consequences of his actions rather than actively sadistic.
  • Kirby:
    • In the first game, Kirby lacks the power absorbing ability which would later become his most well-known characteristic. Not to mention in the box art he was white rather than pink.
    • Also, King Dedede in the early games is portrayed as an outright villain, rather than the Anti-Villain he would become for most of the games.
  • League of Legends orignally started with an Excuse Plot based around a titular Combat by Champion-enforcing league, but after it became increasingly apparent to Riot Games that such a Framing Device became narratively superfluous and limiting, the continuity was rebooted without it, and thus the world became more of a free-for-all Shared Universe. Consequently, pretty much every character needed to be rewritten without conflicts of the League, and several characters were given continuity relaunches that reinvented their character to be much more ambitious in scope, and some grew to be complete In Name Only overhauls. Just a few examples out of an ever-expanding character list:
  • Zant was portrayed in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess as a stoic, almost menacing figure whose facade only broke when he was on the verge of defeat. In Hyrule Warriors, his Psychopathic Manchild traits are more prominent from the start and he's more prone to bouts of histrionics and hysteria, though he still retains his moments of smartness, being particularly cunning as a battlefield commander. The end result is that he comes off as more eccentric than truly frighteningly insane. This may just be because, in the context of Hyrule Warriors, Zant is no more the main antagonist, but one of Ganondorf's second-in-commands, sharing his spotlight with Ghirahim, so it's harder to be frightened by the man when you keep the child-like mood swings and temper tantrums, but remove the creepy music, the build-up and the army backing him up, and then put him in a game where Ganondorf is one of the playable characters. Context is mostly what made Zant menacing. In a retrospective video on ''Twilight Princess'' by the game's developers on the game's characters and story, it's revealed that this is the reason for Zant's change in characterization before his boss fight.
    Yoshiyuki Oyama: This is kind of a tangent, but Zant received a lot more characterization in the end, and that's why we had the last boss battle against Zant end on a bit of comical note.
  • In the first two Lufia, the Sinistrals were typical evil gods without much to distinguish them from each other in terms of how they wreaked their havoc. Come Lufia: the Legend Returns , Amon and Daos develop differing methods suiting their powers of Chaos and Terror respectively, while Gades gets his (frue) destructive tendencies exemplified. This carried over into the remake of Lufia II, Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Renegade Shepard could be way more unsympathetic in the first game, openly proclaiming anti-alien racism (especially towards turians), acting a lot more petty, and treating the rest of the Normandy crew so horribly they would avoid talking to you. Subsequent games would tone it down significantly; Renegade Shepard is a ruthlessly pragmatic Anti-Hero who doesn't always bother looking for a better way, but they are anything but racist, typically only do what they feel is necessary and while they may not necessarily get along with all of the crew, all of the time, it takes a lot to make any of them actively dislike you.
    • Garrus Vakarian is first introduced as an aggressive, violent, and uptight Cowboy Cop who seethes constantly. When he's reintroduced in the second game, he's become a lot more laid-back, friendly, and snarky, to the point that him acting more needlessly violent in his personal quest is treated as a sign something is very wrong. His marksmanship and use of a sniper rifle as his signature weapon is also totally absent in the first game. But the most jarring difference by far is his relationship with Shepard... or rather his lack of it. In 1, Shepard and Garrus are working together and can get along well, but never seem especially close and Garrus can actually end the game disliking you; contrast that with 2 onwards, where Shepard and Garrus are nigh-inseparable best friends (and potentially lovers) who agree on almost everything, with Garrus being arguably the one crew member you can't totally alienate in some way. Lampshaded by Joker in the second game:
    Joker: It seems like Garrus has finally worked that stick out of his butt, but now he's beating people to death with it.
    • The entirety of the Terminus Systems got this between the first and second games. From the way everybody talks about them in 1, you would get the sense that they're a rival government in something of a Cold War with Citadel Space, such that fear about sparking open hostilities by sending forces after Saren is a minor plot point. In 2 onwards, it is established that the Terminus Systems are merely the area of space outside Citadel jurisdiction, and the idea that they have any kind of unified government or pose a major threat to Citadel Space is almost laughable, with their population mostly consisting of pirate gangs and some tiny independent colonies.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Solid Snake has a Campy-cool, suave side to him in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and Metal Gear Solid, cracking witty one-liners, and being quite friendly in overall demeanour, giving sincere compliments to his radio contacts and attempting to sweep all the women he meets off their feet. (Hideo Kojima even said he was inspired by Lupin III.) In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty this is mostly dropped, and he becomes more of a dry, serious character, and Straight Man to the more comical Otacon (and, later, Raiden).
    • Ocelot in is introduced as being an unsympathetic and somewhat nerdish villain; he's a sadistic torturer, screws up most of his plans, sexually harasses his female coworker, and his boss fight is a simple chase-and-shoot affair while he breathes heavily over his cool gun. The Reveal that he was really working for the President the whole time plays less like he's a manipulative genius, and more like his obsessive toadying to Liquid is taken to its logical extreme. Come Metal Gear Solid 2, though, and he's much cooler and more intimidating, getting a Big Entrance, and disowning his previous stated motivations as a lie in a Wham Line. His backstory as revealed in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater makes him a fairly sympathetic, even dorky Anti-Hero, as well as gay (making his apparent attraction to Wolf in 1 seem very weird in retrospect).
    • Otacon's introduced as being shy, awkward, and quite thoughtful and sad. He's responsible for several humorous moments, but they are largely unintentional. In Metal Gear Solid 2 he is suddenly much more funny and playful, and displays a detached, cynical reading of situations in contrast to his naive personality in the original. His brief scene of crying about the death of a woman is also flanderized into a Cartwright Curse and a tendency to break down into tears. Also, in Metal Gear Solid, he has a consistent theme of being deeply superstitious, obsessed with curses, bad luck and general magical thinking - this side of him is all but scrapped with no explanation, save for his conviction in 4 that Vamp's powers are based on magic, while Snake thinks otherwise and is proven right.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • Mortal Kombat features a very different Raiden from the rest of the series. In every other game, he's the protector of Earthrealm, the mentor to Liu Kang and the other Earthrealm warriors, and one of the most powerful forces for good. In the first one? He's a Chaotic Stupid Jerkass who enters the tournament simply to show he's not afraid of Shang Tsung, thinks nothing of the mortals he's fighting, and in his ending bans anyone but gods from entering the tournament and blows up the Earth as a result. Whenever a work references the events of the original, they just pretend the second characterization is what happened.
    • Kung Lao's first appearance and later games including him prior to Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks characterized the monk as a Martial Pacifist who faked his death during the old trilogy so that he wouldn't have to fight again and even made peace with Goro, the Shokan prince who slew his ancestor. Come Shaolin Monks, Kung Lao is shown as more of a hothead and to have a rivalry with Liu Kang that wasn't mentioned in earlier lore. While the game's status in canon is dubious, elements of it still resurfaced in later games (in this case, Kung Lao's characterization).
  • Punch-Out!!:
    • Aran Ryan (don't think too hard about his name) was just a generic opponent, more or less, in the SNES incarnation of Super Punch-Out!!. Then Next Level Games decided to play up the "hot-tempered Irishman" stereotype for the Wii game and made him a complete lunatic.
    • In the Wii game, Kid Quick was probably going to be this... but his new characterization got so out of hand that the developers just called him a new character, Disco Kid.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Albert Wesker in RE1 was nothing more than the mole in the S.T.A.R.S. unit working for (and also working against) the Umbrella corporation and was also the one who was in cahoots with the other scientists when the mansion incident releasing the T-virus happened. In his original incarnation, Wesker just wanted to take the results of the research for himself and was using his teammates as guinea pigs. In Wesker's later appearances, he's a cold, calculating, and very cunning villain with superhuman powers that manipulates everyone to further his own goals and by the events of Resident Evil 5, he attempts to annihilate the world to "save" the human race from their own self destruction.
    • Chris Redfield in the original game was made out to be a cocky troublemaker and Military Maverick who argued with his superiors and smoked. When he learns the aforementioned Wesker’s plans he actually laughs and mocks the traitor. In Chris’s later appearances he is sensible, stoic and rarely cracks jokes, he’s also more superhuman compared his debut appearance being built like a linebacker and actually capable of punching boulders out of his way like a superhero in RE5. In Resident Evil Village Chris is a case of Dark Is Not Evil being a brooding rogue commander, although he is seen smoking like his original version.
    • Leon S. Kennedy in the original Resident Evil 2 wasn’t the typical 90s Action Hero, unconfident and gullible he actually moans at one point “Man, why does nobody is listen to me?” when Ada and Claire run off without answering his questions. By the time of Resident Evil 4 Leon is a super slick secret agent and wise cracking ladies’ man, who you wouldn’t guess had lived through a Zombie Apocalypse if he didn’t mention it, later titles such as RE6 do acknowledge the trauma he’s been through and strongly imply Leon’s quips and cocky attitude are just a cover for how messed up and depressed he is. The 2019 remake of RE2 brings back a lot Leon’s original characterisation but also makes him less gullible and reasonably composed.
    • Claire Redfield in the original Resident Evil 2 was a classic tomboyish biker chick who, according to Hideki Kamiya, had multiple bikes and boyfriends prior to Raccoon City. By the time of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Claire is a somber 30-something woman who drives a SUV instead of a motorcycle, and her dating life has been either unsuccessful (Leon) or tragic (Steve and Neil). Resident Evil 2 (Remake) touches upon Claire’s tomboyish and flirtatious qualities, but also has her swear a lot and be more realistically aggravated by the actions of Chief Irons and Annette Birkin.
    • Ada Wong in her debut in RE2 was closer to a Damsel in Distress, she also had similarities to Nikita being a troubled spy who doesn’t like lying and manipulating to her Love Interest Leon and only wanted him to leave her alone to do her job. Her epilogue screen in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis depicts her as a Broken Bird Beneath the Mask. Yet in RE4 and RE6 Ada is a carefree and conceited Femme Fatale Spy who is unbothered by her work, being totally okay to use, manipulate and betray Leon to her own ends and even after countless people die, looks forward to her next assignment and payday. RE2make however brings back Ada’s sympathetic traits and implies in the ending of Leon’s scenario that she knows she’s a bad person and hates herself for it.
  • The Shantae series' eponymous heroine had a much shorter temper in the first game and was prone to throwing around (sometimes quite harsh) insults when she started getting frustrated. By Risky's Revenge she'd eased up on the nasty names, but was still a bit of a grouch. It wasn't until Shantae and the Pirate's Curse that she would fully evolve into the cheery nice girl she's known as today.
  • Shin Super Robot Wars: Ryusei Date, one of the "mascot" characters from the franchise, was an outright Jerkass in his first appearance. Almost all his in-battle dialog when dodging an attack amounts to "Wow, you suck. Just give up already, loser." And at one point, he goes around telling the other characters that his teammate Rai is gay (which earns him the beating of a lifetime when Rai finds out), and several of the official Yonkoma end with the two of them pointing guns at each other. In fact, Banpresto actually lampshaded this in the Original Generation storyline, where Ryusei's rival Tenzan Nakajima essentially has Ryusei's old personality, demonstrating that he's a better person thanks to opening up and making friends instead of obsessing over video games like he did in Shin.
  • Sly Cooper:
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The series has a pretty shaky history of consistent characterization, which makes sense since multiple writers are working on the series and some never communicate with each other. Because of this, characters tend behave very differently between games Depending on the Writer, with very broad traits to keep them recognizable. This especially evident when one compares how the plot is handled through years. Starting out, the games had as much plot as you would expect from a 2D platforming series in the '90s (As in, barely) and characterization was very minimal (Sonic was the Mascot with Attitude, Tails was his sidekick, Knuckles his rival, etc) but starting in Sonic Adventure the series adopted a more cohesive and serialized narrative not unlike common Shonen Anime/Manga, and characters and relationships became much more dynamic. (Series Breakout Character Shadow the Hedgehog debuts here, and has the most fleshed out background of any character to date,) but after much criticism over that direction, starting with Sonic Unleashed the series is back to simpler characterizations and plot to allow for more broader narratives but mostly ignored the character development that took place before. (I.e. Tails is mostly back to being Sonic's sidekick despite his bout of independence before.)
    • A couple of characters have some rather notable changes in characterization from their first appearances:
      • Amy Rose in Sonic CD is a rather generic Damsel in Distress incapable of fighting for herself, and the only hint that she is a Stalker with a Crush is when Sonic finally saves her from Metal Sonic and she gives him a huge hug while he looks kind of uncomfortable.
      • Knuckles in Sonic 3 & Knuckles is seen laughing incessantly every time he sets off a trap on Sonic. This aspect of his personality was completely dropped later on, with most of the games portraying him as borderline having No Sense of Humor. His theme song in Sonic Adventure even outright says "Unlike Sonic, I don't chuckle".
    • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric portrays Sticks the Badger as a somewhat naive and childish character who uses You No Take Candle-style dialogue, a far cry from her later appearances in the rest of the ''Sonic Boom'' sub-franchise where’ she’s a pint-sized Conspiracy Theorist who speaks in proper English.
  • Splatoon 2: The English localization initially portrayed Marina as more bitingly sarcastic to contrast her co-host Pearl. The 1.2 update toned her sass down to show her softer side, making the Pearl/Marina dynamic less of a rehash of the Callie/Marie dynamic.
  • Raynor as seen Starcraft II. His Character Development over the course of the original Starcraft games leads to a breaking point where he finally sees Kerrigan for the monster she has become after she murders his Bash Brothers partner Fenix, and swears a death vow on her. Enter a four year Time Skip, and he's in love with her again and wants her back. This was intentional, as a result of stress over the ineffectual rebellion and the whole Kerrigan thing led him drink way too much and suffer a protracted Heroic BSoD. His Number Two, Matt Horner, actually points this out in a cutscene later in the game, which inspires Raynor to pull himself together.
  • Compare the first Star Fox game with its Continuity Reboot Star Fox 64. Fox and Falco didn't change much, if at all, but the other two members of the team are noticeably different. Slippy had a Verbal Tic and showed no signs of the Gadgeteer Genius tendencies he would eventually develop, but Peppy is almost a completely different character. In the SNES game, he was far more excitable and came off as Hot-Blooded in some instances, demanding to know "Who's next?!" after each stage. In 64, he's the oldest member of the crew and typically acts as a mentor figure of sorts.
    • Star Wolf are shown as more obviously villainous Evil Counterparts in Star Fox 2 and Star Fox 64 than in Star Fox: Assault. Between the presence of arrogant rival Wolf, smooth voiced assassin Leon, Andross' nephew Overlord Jr. Andrew and treacherous Pigma, their mocking and/or murderous dialogue, and accepting a job from Andross to hunt the Star Fox team Star Wolf were introduced as the series' Psycho Rangers. Come Assault, we learn that Andrew left Star Wolf to lead Andross' leftover forces while Pigma was kicked out of the team for being a treacherous swine, dashing rogue Panther joined the team, and Wolf himself was presented as more of a Worthy Opponent who even saves Fox from the Aparoids.
  • In Street Fighter III, Dudley was Gentleman Snarker, spewing a surprising amount of trash talk (Gutter Trash talk, to be precise). In Super Street Fighter IV, he is much more dignified and respectful toward his sparring-mate. This gets even more confusing when you consider that SFIV takes place before SFIII in the timeline. Essentially, Dudley goes from an out-and-out Nice Guy whose only criticism is against a rival boxer who is a legitimate disgrace to the sport (i.e. Balrog) to something of a rich jerk in III, only to ease into his more well-known Gentleman Snarker characterization by the time of Third Strike.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In addition to caging Donkey Kong out of a sense of malice-fueled revenge, Mario's history before entering the Mushroom Kingdom has rarely been addressed, despite having gone through a variety of career changes: military service in Mario's Bombs Away, construction work in Wrecking Crew and Mario's Cement Factory, and plumbing in Mario Bros..
    • Live-action, animated and comic adaptations have gone with the premise of Mario and Luigi as two Brooklyn plumbers who ended up stuck in the Mushroom Kingdom, making references to life on Earth as if they are longing to return to their home at some point. The games have not been focusing on this characterization, and have implied the two were originally born in the Mushroom Kingdom.
    • Luigi was originally just a Palette Swap of his older brother, Mario. The early Mario Bros. anime and other promotional art depicted him as taller and thinner than Mario early on, but this depiction would take until the US version of Super Mario Bros. 2 to show up in the actual games. He also gained divergent gameplay traits in both, SMB2 and The Lost Levels, jumping higher and, in the Japanese game, having less traction while stopping.

      Additionally, the Cowardly Lion traits and fear of ghosts first displayed in Luigi's Mansion also stuck through later games, going a long way to distinguish his personality along with his physical characteristics. Later games (especially the Mario & Luigi series) would have quite a bit of fun with this.

      Many of Luigi's distinctive character traits came from Western sources like The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and were eventually introduced into the games, in a rare example of Mario canon embracing rather than contradicting fanon. Even the character's voice has gradually come to sound more like his cartoon counterpart.

      It's interesting to listen to the openings to battles in the Mario and Luigi games— it's always "Let's-a go" and "Okie-dokie", but the tone of the latter (Luigi's line) changes over the three games, and goes from fairly-reluctant to... well, pretty confident. The scene where Luigi joins the party in Super Paper Mario is also worth mentioning.
    • Super Mario RPG was the first game to give Mario any sort of personality (well, with as much as they could get away with for a Heroic Mime) and it's extremely jarring compared to his current one; Mario tries to run in fists flying against Bowyer in the Forest Maze, and has to be restrained by Mallow so he doesn't get himself wrecked via Leeroy Jenkins. When Gaz talks about how his Geno doll is cooler than his Mario doll, Mario looks like he's about to punch the kid in the face. The dialogue options also paint Mario as pretty mean spirited and/or sarcastic if you choose to make him that way. Future games would heavily tone it down. It was also the first game to give Bowser any sort of personality, who was a fairly generic villain until that point, and future games would flesh out his character even further.
    • Yoshi gained a host of abilities in Yoshi's Island (swallowing enemies to make and shoot eggs, the Ground Pound, shooting his tongue up, the variation on the Double Jump), that became an inherent part of his character in his later appearances. As such, it's a bit of a shock when one plays the severely limited Yoshi in Super Mario World, especially since said game was set chronologically after Yoshi's Island.
    • Princess Peach was also a more generic monarch figure in earlier games. Later, she was changed to a girlier, ditzier character with a high voice and a Sweet Tooth. This change happened between 64 and Sunshine, with 64 DS keeping the old characterization for remake's sake.
    • Wario. Compare the greedy Anti-Hero of Wario Land and WarioWare to his first appearance in Super Mario Land 2. "Obey Wario, DESTROY MARIO!"
    • Waluigi. In his first appearance he had little personality beyond being Luigi's angry and rude rival who wants to beat him in any competition. Some time later, we have this comical and lunatic Trickster who wants to ruin the days of everyone else and wants to take over the world (you can expect him to fail hilariously) because he wants things to go right for him at least once. It's kinda amazing how a simple Satellite Character can evolve into something much deeper (and funnier).

      Conversely, Waluigi was somewhat scary in his original appearance in Mario Tennis. Note his glowing eyes. While the glowing eyes did make a brief reappearance in Game & Watch Gallery 4, Waluigi's scary side was dropped to make him a comic relief villain.
    • When Damsel in Distress Princess Daisy made her reappearance in Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64, she was made out to be an adorable Klutz as shown in her trophy celebration. This characterisation was kept until the GameCube era, which gave her a more energetic, tomboyish personality while dropping her clumsier moments. It's best shown with her trophy celebration in Mario Power Tennis.
    • Rosalina. In her debut in Super Mario Galaxy, she was portrayed as the calm, reserved cosmic guardian with a tear-jerking backstory. Her later appearances have put much more emphasis on her carefree, fun side (coupled with giving her a younger-sounding voice).
  • Leon Magnus in the PSX Tales of Destiny was a short-tempered Jerkass Woobie who enjoyed shocking his teammates (especially Rutee) when they wouldn't listen to him. When he appears in the second game, he's a much calmer snarker with more of a Sugar-and-Ice Personality. The remake of the first game sticks closer to his Judas characterization, while keeping some of his short temper but removing any of his more sadistic qualities.
  • The Medic from Team Fortress 2. What his in-game lines and a laconic bio provided by Valve revealed was not much more than "swaggering Mad Doctor with fairly Camp Gay mannerisms". The "Meet the Medic" video released 4 years after the game not only deepened his character, but also nearly completely changed what he was originally perceived as — he turned out to not be cold and grumpy, but much, much more outspoken and affable than first thought. He isn't even an ounce less insane than before, though.
    • The Scout's unsuccessful attempts to hit on Miss Pauling were first introduced in the TF2 comics, and treated as nothing more than macho posturing by him that was ignored by her out of disgust. Three years later, A Cold Day In Hell hinted his attraction to her might be sincere, since in it the Scout turns down sex from a horny Sensual Slav upon thinking staying chaste might give him a bigger chance with Miss Pauling. The short film Expiration Date then completely recharacterized their relationship. In it the Scout's swaggering pickup lines turn out to be because he doesn't know any other way to treat girls aside from as stereotypical "chicks", a problem he recognizes. As for Miss Pauling aversion to him, she's actually Oblivious to Love and hadn't noticed his feeble attempts to ask her out. Unlike the comics, she has no personal aversion to the Scout and they end up planning one date at the end of the short (since she works literally 364 days a year.)
  • Tekken:
    • Paul Phoenix in the first two games was (barring Marshall Law’s ending in 2) a serious fighter with Ken Masters-vibes, being The Rival to Kazuya. Come later titles however and Paul is firmly placed in the Plucky Comic Relief role having wacky hijinks with Marshall Law and Kuma. He no longer has any connection to the Mishima conflict beyond being treated as an nuisance by Kazuya and his legitimate strength, having defeated Ogre in his first form isn’t even considered noteworthy In-Universe.
    • Lee Chaolan went through a similar journey, in the first two games he was portrayed as a menacing Smug Snake rival to Kazuya who was planning to overthrow his adoptive father and brother Heihachi and Kazuya as head of the Mishima Zaibatsu. His overtly evil depiction in Tekken: The Motion Picture reflects his more sinister role in the early games. By the time Tekken 4 however Lee’s sillier Large Ham “EXCELLENT” personality got established and he became a Lighter and Softer character who helps the good characters out, making his earlier depictions almost unrecognisable compared to the character he is now.
    • Eddy Gordo took much longer to become a goofier character like aforementioned two but still became one by the time of Tekken 7. Starting in Tekken 3 Eddy was a serious hero who got framed for the murder of his father by Kazuya and spends at lot of the later games seeking vengeance, before shifting gears into looking after his sick Old Master the grandfather of his Love Interest Christie, even joining Jin’s Tekken Force to get resources to cure him. In Tekken 7 however he’s only there to have goofy hijinks with Lucky Chloe with his vengeful pursuit of Kazuya being used a bait for Chloe to goofily mess with him.
    • Asuka Kazama while always a light-hearted character still had pretty damn important plot significance in Tekken 5 being able to suppress the Devil Gene like Jun giving her a strong connection to Jin. However by the time of later games, Asuka’s ties to Mishimas is severely downplayed in favour of her beating up gangs as a Hot-Blooded vigilante and having Les Yay Designated Girl Fights with Lili as a goofy side character. Tekken 7 even mentions her role in 5 as “getting dragged into the Mishima mess” like it’s a minor detail.
    • Ling Xiaoyu compared to Asuka is actually an inverted case of this, having a non-serious role in the story at first before getting a real connection to the Mishimas in later titles. In Tekken 3 Xiaoyu’s entire goal was winning enough money to build her own theme park, in later games she’s presented as a granddaughter figure for Heihachi (who genuinely cares for her) and is a Dogged Nice Girl towards Jin, acting as his Morality Pet in 4, 5 and 6 and in Tekken: Blood Vengeance.
    • Nina and Anna’s Sibling Rivalry was much less violent and more playful earlier on, with Nina stealing one of Anna’s shoes and taking photo of her in shower. In later games they’re outright trying to murder each other, with only Anna’s Tekken 6 ending having the sisters spend non-murderous time together. This marked a change in Nina’s personality too, with her being a more lighthearted and less cruel character in the first two games who actually smiles after meeting Anna at their father’s grave in 2. From Tekken 3 onwards Nina is decidedly crueler and more abusive to Anna with her sociopathic Dark Action Girl traits getting played up to the hilt.
  • Lara Croft in the Core Design era of Tomb Raider started out as a cheeky but bold woman. This is in contrast to Lara's later appearances in the series where she's deep in Deadpan Snarker territory and is prone to using violence to achieve her goals.
  • While some vestiges of her original personality remain, the Touhou character Marisa Kirisame was significantly different in the first five (PC-98) games. She was originally fairly bland, distinctly feminine, and moderately evil. Following the shift to Windows, she became the tomboyish Lovable Rogue we know and love. To some extent, Reimu had it worse, as she didn't really have a defined personality in those games at all.
  • Twisted Metal:
    • In the first game, Calypso, the demonic figure who runs the titular tournament, was less of a Jackass Genie and granted the contestants' wishes more or less as they intended without twisting it, playing to the Exact Words, or otherwise screwing them over. The only exception was Carl Roberts, the driver of Outlaw, and his wish (for a world without the Twisted Metal competition, Roberts being a cop who entered the tournament to stop it) was a direct middle finger to Calypso, so it made sense for him to respond with a middle finger of his own. When Captain Spears, the driver of Roadkill, makes a wish (to go back in time to save his unit from an ambush) that will probably get him killed, Calypso even warns him what will likely happen and tries to talk him out of it. In the sequels, save for those drivers who simply kill or arrest Calypso without making a wish, the only drivers who are so lucky are Ax-Crazy psychopaths whose wish is to kill people. Twisted Metal: Black returns him to this more fair-minded characterization (ironically given its Darker and Edgier tone), but that game takes place in an Alternate Continuity.
    • Needles Kane, the driver of Sweet Tooth, was also less of a Monster Clown. He was still an insane murderer, to be sure, but it was presented as a mix of sinister and kind of goofy rather than monstrous. He didn't even get his Flaming Hair until the second game. It wasn't until Black that he got his most recognizable characterization as an irredeemably evil Serial Killer straight out of a Slasher Movie.
  • In the first Uncharted installment, Drake's Fortune, protagonist Nate's relationship with Sully is not nearly as close as it is in the rest of the series. They're essentially friendly but not incredibly close business partners rather than Sully being essentially his father as he is in the others. When Sully seemingly dies in the first one, Nate is upset but doesn't take it too hard. In the third game, Nate completely loses it when he thinks Sully has died. Nate's eventual wife Elena is also a bit different in the first one. She's the reckless one in the relationship whereas Nate takes up that role as the series goes on.
  • Yakuza: When introduced, Goro Majima was a notorious madman who liked to bash on his underlings for laughs. As the series progresses, his more insane traits are gradually downplayed: while he is still nuttier than a squirrel, he's more an eccentric genius, becoming the leader of one of the biggest and most powerful branch families in the Tojo Clan and inspiring Undying Loyalty in his ranks.
    • Series protagonist Kiryu was a rude thug who wasn't above using threats of physical violence to get what he wanted in the first game, even threatening civilians that got in his way. In the later games, Kiryu is largely defined by his sense of honor and respect for the Good Old Ways, only ever fights those that have directly antagonized him in some way or another, and never even thinks about attacking civilians.
  • Yo-kai Watch 2 is essentially a Soft Reboot that changed a lot of elements of Yo-Kai Watch to match the anime more:
    • The first game implies that Eddie likes Katie, while Nate and Katie are (not particularly close) friends. In the second game, Nate has a crush on Katie.
    • Whisper is more serious in the first game.


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