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Heel Face Revolving Door / Video Games

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  • City of Heroes Going Rogue allowed you to live this trope. You can go from being a hero to a villain back into a Hero, wash rinse repeat. Ditto villains.
    • The Rogue's Gallery enemy group consists of Heel Face Revolving Door consists of former members of the Paragon Heroes and Rogue Isles Villains enemies from Bank Missions with fleshed-out personalities, as well as several prominent NPCs like Frostfire and Malestrom. Many of these NPCs undergo alignment changes just like you do. Frostfire becomes a Hero, Polar Shift becomes a villain... But as the missions are random, it appears as if they're hopping all over the place, Just like you.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: Oh, Naomi, do you even have a side? From the beginning to the end of the story, she helps Snake, betrays Snake, helps Otacon, sleeps with Otacon, betrays Otacon, then helps Snake and Otacon. And then leaves one last message for Otacon and Snake after she dies for good measure.
    • Frank Jaeger, her brother, also shares this trait. He attempts to kill Big Boss but is rescued by him, then attempts to kill him again, then becomes so obsessed with him that he turns on his captors and kills a bunch of them before eventually joining Big Boss as a member of his unit. He helps out Snake but then defects to an enemy nation, offers Snake helpful advice, murders his girlfriend before attempting to kill Snake multiple times (while still also offering him helpful advice in between these attempts to kill him), reconciles with Snake on his deathbed, is forcibly converted into a crazy Cyber Ninja, kills a bunch of soldiers for no apparent reason, helps Snake by cutting off Ocelot's arm, offers Snake helpful anonymous advice, threatens to kill a civilian Snake needs to complete the mission, declares his only purpose to be to battle to the death with Snake, comes to his senses after Snake beats him, then sacrifices his life to destroy Metal Gear. Even in his backstory he fights for both RENAMO and FRELIMO in Mozambique, in two different conflicts.
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  • Theoretically you can take a spin in the Heel Face Revolving Door in just about any RPG with a morality system. Just alternate good choices and evil choices and voila.
  • Cerberus, the pro-human agenda terrorist N.G.O. Superpower of the Mass Effect trilogy, start off as a minor foe in side quests in Mass Effect. You end up working for them in Mass Effect 2, and they return as enemies in Mass Effect 3. Their goals are actually consistent throughout the games, it's just that in Mass Effect 2 they were manipulating Shepard.
  • In later chapters of Onmyōji, it becomes confusing to tell what side Ōtengu is on, to say the least. He used to be Hiromasa's best bud and fight evil with him, but then betrays him and turns to evil himself. Later, he seems to reconcile with Hiromasa — cue Duet Bonding — but then is still seen on the bad guys' team. Also, he might be super nice to Shoyō depending on whether you believe the winged monster leading him out of the mountains really is Ōtengu.
  • Kain of Final Fantasy IV is pretty often used as an example, though all his turns were due to mind control by the real villain.note  And it happened only twice. So, mainly it's a case of Never Live It Down.
    • Lampshaded in the DS remake - if you use the "read the party leader's thoughts" feature (set Kain as the visible character on the map, then bring up the menu) as you're leaving the Sealed Cave, you'll see him fighting Golbez reasserting control (unsuccessfully). If you repeat this as you travel through the Lunar Subterraine, Kain will be fighting the attempts of Zemus to control him (this time more successfully).
    • Subverted in the sequel, where Kain joins forces with the villain the Mysterious Girl, he steals several crystals and fights Fabul before being defeated by the Hooded Man who is Kain: the evil Kain is actually his Dark Side, who escaped Mt. Ordeals. The real Kain had to track him down before being able to pass his test.
    • Captain SNES of course uses the trope again, as not only he is touched by the sovereign of sorrow, he is also in love with Rosa (pretty canonically) which the Drab Lord amplified sufficiently as to make him his minion. Kain is referred to here in Dungeons & Dragons terms as "the reason you don't make Charisma your Dump Stat", and its implied that he will fall for any charm person spell. Any.
  • Aribeth jumps around quite a lot in BioWare's first Neverwinter Nights. To date it is possible to have her switch sides five times.
    • Betraying Neverwinter to Morag, being redeemed in the endgame, going mad in hell, being brought back by the player, and falling to Mephistopheles' "Reason You Suck" Speech. Then again, all of the others technically stem from the first one, so if you don't take either player-prompted switches she changes sides once and stays there.
  • Something that is occasionally forgotten though is that Kain did not invent this Trope for Final Fantasy. That honor goes to Leon (the real one) of Final Fantasy II who goes from Aloof Big Brother to MIA to The Dragon to Big Bad (for all of five seconds) to Heel–Face Turn to repentant loner over the course of the game.
  • Several characters in Super Robot Wars are prone to this, whether due to being frequent victims of Mind Control (Lamia, Excellen), having a hidden agenda (Sanger), or just generally being a Magnificent Bastard (Shu Shirakawa).
    • Taken on full throttle in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 if you pick Selena Recital as the protagonist, where she's initially acting on her own (and fighting Viletta Vadim over a case of mistaken identity), shortly thereafter joins the Alpha Numbers, sides with ZAFT after a time-skip where everyone goes their own way, and falls back in line with the Alpha Numbers near the tail end of her introductory stages.
    • Subverted in Super Robot Wars Z where the ZEUTH team splits up and each group is manipulated by the Earth Alliance into thinking the other has gone rogue, leading to an inter-series Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, as well as an excuse to re-enact the destruction of the Freedom Gundam without making either side out to be villainous.
      • Char/Quatro still has the unfortunate habit of switching sides in the Z series and coming back if the conditions are right. He sides with the other half of ZEUTH (Z1), the A-LAWS (Z2: Saisei-Hen), and then Neo Zeon (Z3: Jigoku-Hen).
      • Strangely enough it's a bit of a subversion in Z3. As it was more of a case of Superdickery on Char's part to get the heroes against Neo Zeon and to prevent them from dropping Axis. After that he joins the heroes again, presumably for good this time.
    • Heero Yuy works for Char Aznable in Shin Super Robot Wars at first because he rescued Heero from a harsh life at the hands of the Zanscare Empire. Later on, General Oka gives Heero new orders from Doctor J to stop Char himself. However, he couldn't follow these new orders until he discovers Char siding with the aliens. Heero tersely teams up with the Londo Bell and can join them as a Secret Character.
  • Lee from Tekken, who is introduced as a boss character working for Mishima. He's probably neutral to evil at this point; he is not as evil as Kazuya or Heihachi, but he's not shown to be good. Later on he becomes estranged from his family due to what Heihachi does to Kazuya at the end of Tekken 2. He decides he cannot work for someone who would do such things and so he travels the world, becomes a ladies man and eventually becomes a main character in his own right in Tekken 4, before becoming one of the best characters in Tekken 5 and onwards.
    • Heihachi sort of goes through this, more of a Heel-Villain Protagonist Revolving Door than anything else. This ends in Tekken 7 when Kazuya finally succeeds in killing him.
  • Zero, if you get the bad endings of Mega Man X2 and Mega Man X5, as well as a Heel–Face Turn in his backstory.
  • In Shadow the Hedgehog, Shadow can go from wiping out a platoon of GUN soldiers in one stage, blasting through the Black Arms in the next, then destroying Eggman's robots afterwards. Speaking of Eggman, the good doctor can be of either the "Hero" or "Dark" alignments in any given stage in which he participates. Which way he leans depends on who he's fighting against in that particular stage: he'll be of the "Dark" alignment if he's facing off against GUN, and the "Hero" alignment if he's fighting the Black Arms. Also, Rouge the Bat.
  • Illidan Stormrage of the Warcraft franchise. This is partly because he's mentally unbalanced, and partly because even when he does try to do good, he's got a bad habit of using morally grey and dangerous methods and not properly communicating his intentions with his allies.
    • Depending on your point of view, this can happen to a lot of characters in World of Warcraft, especially if they're a member of the opposing faction. For example, King Varian Wrynn is almost universally loathed by the Horde, but the extraordinary amount of Enemy Mine in the game means that much of what he does is good for the Horde as well (like killing Onyxia), and he has his Pet the Dog moment in Icecrown Citadel. Similar arguments could be made about Horde leaders from the Alliance perspective.
    • The Orc race is collectively like this. They started as warlike-yet-honorable savages living in relative balance with the other races of Draenor. Then they drank demon blood and became complete monsters, with countless stories of slaughtered children and mass rape. After they were defeated by the Alliance the blood rage wore off, and after some time in concentration camps Thrall took them to Kalimdor and attempted to build a new nation that cooperated with its neighbors. The last chieftain who had drunk demon blood died killing said demon, bringing it all full circle. Now tensions have been rising with the Alliance, world war has basically been declared, and a large faction has gained power in the Horde in favor of re-militarizing led by a young idiot who has argued in favor of child-killing to a veteran who actually did it and was explaining that he was still haunted by their screams.
    • If you think about the Forsaken Death Knights, they own this trope. Initially they started out as humans in the Alliance, got killed and raised to serve the Scourge, broke free of the Scourge and joined the Horde, then died again and rejoined the Scourge only to break free once more and rejoin the Horde. It's incredible they can keep their sides straight.
  • Bowser in the Super Mario Bros. franchise, especially in the RPGs. He's been an Enemy Mine so often—to say nothing of when he Goes Karting With Mario—that it's hard to say just whose side he's on anymore. Although, in the RPGs at least, he only stays with Mario until the Big Bad is gone. Bowser himself often cites Evil Versus Oblivion when teaming up with Mario; he wants to rule the Mushroom Kingdom, whereas the Big Bads want to destroy it. Depending on the game, it's hard to tell how much of that is an act and how much is sincere.
    • Birdo, too, which has made her infamous along with her possibly being Transgender. In games where she's non-playable, she's almost always a boss, but in games like Mario Party, she's doing things like helping Mario defeat Bowser. And to add to the Mind Screw she's implied to be dating Yoshi.
  • Persona 3: Chidori starts off as a member of Strega, the crazy-end-of-the-world guys. She then quite inadvertently befriends Junpei, a member for the heroic SEES, who talks too much about what he does. She captures him and holds him for ransom essentially, but is then captured by SEES. Junpei works up a friendship with her to the point that she won't talk to anyone else, resulting in a Heel–Face Turn. Then SEES supposedly kills the other members for Strega, and she rejects Junpei. About a month later, she attacks SEES for a Face–Heel Turn. Five minutes later, she sacrifices herself to save Junpei, for a Heel–Face Turn, because of course Redemption Equals Death.
  • Captain Qwark of Ratchet & Clank. Initially, he was a hero, albeit a loud and boisterous one. Then, he became a villainous has-been. Then, he got his shot at being the Big Bad. Then, he changed his mind ans went back to being a boisterous hero. While he's treated as the Butt-Monkey and The Friend Nobody Likes among the good guys, he's been a hero consistently since the series made the jump to the PlayStation 3 and beyond.
  • The Kirby games love this trope, although it's much lighter than most other interpretations. Characters like Chef Kawasaki and Knuckle Joe can appear as mini-bosses in one game, and be allies in a different one.
    • While King Dedede is the perhaps the most obvious culprit of this, Meta Knight does this a staggering number of times in the very first game he was featured in. Most of the time, he's sending his mooks after you to impede your progress, and eventually directly confronts you himself. However, he also gives you invincible candy periodically throughout the game, even after you defeat him.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem Tellius: If you do things a certain way, Jill can change sides five times across the two games she's in (Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn). That's one more than Kain up there!
      • That goes double for Naesala, who seems to have this as a basic character trait. Just in the first game he works for Daein, sells a childhood friend to a Begnion noble, if you manage to talk to him in one chapter (almost a must, as he's near impossible to kill) he decides to go neutral, then he somewhat grudgingly starts helping Crimea toward the end. The second game sees him helping the Laguz Alliance, selling them out to Begnion, and then acting as a bodyguard for the Apostle when she goes to support the Laguz Alliance! No one is quite sure what side, if any, he's really on by the time he's a playable character and more than one doesn't really care as long as they get to kill him. Lampshaded in Radiant Dawn by Tibarn, of all people.
    Tibarn: Naesala betrayed us?! AGAIN?!
    • Justified; Naesala is under a Blood Pact. If he doesn't betray everyone at the will of the Begnion Senate, all of the ravens will die.
    • Fire Emblem Elibe: Erik, a minor boss, changes sides throughout both games. First in the backstory of Blazing Blade, Erik was a friend of Eliwood, and Hector, but his jealously led to him joining with his father in turning against Lycia. Then after his father abandons him, Erik feels remorse over his actions, and cleans up his act as his father's successor. By Binding Blade, Erik, despite people's trust in him, joins up with the invading Kingdom of Bern out of the belief Lycia has no chance of opposing Bern.
  • Archer in Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works.
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Sky, Dusknoir is a perfect example of this. After being sent back to the future with Grovyle, he finds out that Primal Dialga is now trying to get rid of him, and has a new henchman at its side. Due to this, he has to team up with Grovyle as they make their way to Primal Dialga. Towards the end of the episode when Grovyle attempts to rescue Celebi, he is captured in a trap set by Dusknoir that is designed to destroy Grovyle's soul so that Dusknoir can take over his body and go back to the past to foil the hero's plan to save the future. However, after remembering what Grovyle had told him about himself earlier, Dusknoir has a brief personality crisis before swiftly becoming a good guy and saving Grovyle at the last second.
  • Pretty Bomber from the Bomberman games. While originally a member of the Five Bad Bombers, she just can't make up her mind.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man has Silver Sable going from attacking Peter now that she knows he's the titular hero to helping him save the innocents to attacking him again to finally letting him go after Trask.
  • Vincent from Silent Hill 3 goes from sided with Claudia and Heather all over again until it's revealed he is neither sided with them as he, being an arrogant jerk, plans on having Heather and Claudia kill each other to save his skin.
  • Goro in Mortal Kombat, oh so much; starts off as the Outworld tournament champion, signs a peace treaty with the Shokan's mortal enemies the Centaurs (and making peace with Kung Lao) in Mortal Kombat 4 and sided with Edenia against Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, before getting mortally wounded and saved by Kahn, siding with him afterward. If that wasn't bad enough, most of his endings have him gaining enough power to overthrow Shao Kahn, kill off the Centaurs, and ensure the Shokan become their own neutral group.
    • Kabal starts off as a member of the evil Black Dragons, becomes good, then reverts to evil.
    • Raiden starts off as the Big Good of the Forces of Light, but after he Came Back Wrong in Mortal Kombat: Deception, he became Dark Raiden, only to turn good at the end of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, when he sends a message to his past self in a last-ditch attempt to stop Shao Kahn from destroying all of reality, creating an alternate timeline. By the end of Mortal Kombat X, he's back again in his Dark Raiden persona after absorbing Shinnok's powers and purifying the Jinsei (Earthrealm's life-force), with an intent to go on a warpath to attack and destroy other realms (and possibly conquer them) if they dare to invade Earthrealm.
  • Ada Wong in Resident Evil series is between helping Leon and Wesker.
    • While her actions and motivations in game play this straight, it's revealed at the end of her side story in the Playstation 2 and Wii versions of Resident Evil 4 that she's working for a completely different organization that's above both the U.S. Government and Wesker.
  • Cole McGrath in inFAMOUS due to the fact he has to decide on acting good or evil in outcomes.
  • EarthBound: Porky uses this one every time you meet him; he'll claim he's willing to repent of his misdeeds until he gets an opening to make a getaway, and then he's right back to plotting against Ness. In the original Japanese it's implied that (at least the first time) he really was willing to make amends, but he took Ness' silence to mean he wasn't willing to forgive.
  • The Mad Doctor does this in Epic Mickey 2. After the events of the first game, he claims to have reformed and offers to help the heroes take down the incoming threat, even though the heroes don't really trust him. And then, surprisingly, the Big Bad is Gremlin Prescott. But THEN, it turns out he's not: Prescott was a pawn in the Mad Doctor's plan to escape from Wasteland. But then you can have the Mad Doctor do a real Heel–Face Turn in the end, if you pick the good ending.
  • Tales of Symphonia has Kratos, whose true allegiance is in debate until the end.
    • Yuan is just as bad.
    • Tales of Xillia has Alvin, whose loyalty jumps sides several times throughout the game, although being a sellsword (at face value, anyway) this is partially forgivable.
    • ''Tales of Graces has Richard, who throughout much of the game is being possessed by the big bad
  • Marathon: Durandal the rampant AI in the first game. First he gives factual information to Leela, then sides with the Pfhor and kidnaps you, then gets bored and lets you return to Leela, then starts directly helping defeat the aliens invading the ship, then steals the Pfhor corvette for himself. In the second game, though, he's seemingly calmed down and stays your ally.
    • In Marathon Infinity, YOU learn the bad side of being a cybernetic soldier who takes orders and has no free will of his own: anyone considered an authority figure to you can command you to do their bidding, even if it means slaughtering your allies and if said leader is in full A God Am I mode.
  • Riku from Kingdom Hearts. Starting as Face, he turned into Heel as Rival Turned Evil, but he turned Face again. This doesn't end up with him like this; in Chain of Memories, he becomes sort of an Anti-Hero Face working with DiZ, but he becomes a solid Face for real by Kingdom Hearts II, which is marked for good at the end of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
  • Knights of the Old Republic gives us Darth Revan, a Jedi Knight who turned to The Dark Side and became an Evil Overlord. Then it is revealed that they are actually Player Character and therefore have undergone Heel–Face Turn. At least temporarly, because you may come back to the The Dark Side. And canonically, Revan saves the Republic, then later in Star Wars: The Old Republic goes evil again, and then dies and splits up into two personas - good one and evil one - just for them to merge into one, Light-Sided spirit As one Fan Fic put it:
    What's the difference between the Jedi Revan and a tennis ball? A tennis ball doesn't change sides as often.
  • Tsubaki Yayoi from BlazBlue. She starts to being good, then she turns evil by Hazama's manipulations, turns slightly good, but becomes Brainwashed and Crazy by the Imperator. By the end of Chronophantasma, she finally turns back to the side of good, but early in Central Fiction most of the cast are afflicted with amnesia - so Tsubaki reverts to how she was at the start of the series. This leaves her open to being screwed with by Hazama again, until she recovers her memories and finally settles on the heroes' team and gets a hero ending.
    • This is made extra-complicated by her alter ego/merged identity Izayoi, who is even more driven on the cause of justice and truth. Even when fully good, Izayoi is never happy about working with the Anti-Hero protagonist Ragna.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure, Plucky Duck is fought twice; the first time as his normal Brainwashed and Crazy self, then later as his superhero alter-ego, the Toxic Revenger, denying his true identity. Buster snaps him out of it by threatening not to help him with future homeworks.
  • Penelope starts off as a Heel in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves while in contract by the Black Baron, who is really her in a costume. She becomes a Face upon joining the Cooper Gang following the Baron's defeat, but eventually betrays them to Le Paradox, and returns to being a Heel, in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Eydis Fire-Eye, Steward of the Balmora Fighters Guild hall, proves to be one if you intend to complete both the Thieves Guild and Fighters Guild quest lines. The Fighters Guild and Thieves Guild have a clandestine war going on, as the Fighters Guild faction leader and a few of his top lieutenants, including Eydis, are in the pocket of the Camonna Tong, Morrowind's native Mafia. One Thieves Guild quest has you bribing Eydis with a certain artifact to get her to switch sides. However, if you then complete the Fighters Guild quest line, she'll view you as a threat once you reach a high enough rank [[spoiler: and attack, forcing you to kill her.
    • Meridia, a Daedric Prince whose sphere is obscured to mortals, but is associated with Life Energy, Light, and Beauty, is typically considered to be one of the few "good" Daedra throughout Tamriel. However, her actions in the series to date plant her squarely in this trope. In one instance, she'll be acting as the Big Good in defending mortal lives from hostile takeover by supernatural forces. Then in another, she'll be giving aid to a being who seeks to overthrow the Nine Divines and enslave the races of Men. Ultimately, whatever actions Meridia takes are going to be for her benefit, not anyone else's. It just so happens that, especially with her extreme hatred of anything undead, her actions come off as benevolent toward mortals more often than not.
  • Mizrabel went from being a villain to a friend of Mickey at the end of Castle of Illusion, and apparently went back to being a villain again when she got mad about being forgotten in Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion.
  • Gargoyle's Quest: This seems to be the case with Firebrand as he is part of the Red Arremers who appeared as heel enemies in "Ghosts n Goblins" but in the games he starred in, he was portrayed as an Anti-Hero Face. Because of this, his morality is seen as ambiguous.
  • In Iori's route in Super Robot Wars X, Hopes makes a heel turn for one fight, then rejoins you afterwards.In the IF route, he turns against the heroes to utilize X-Cross' positive emotions to fuel Al-Warth without the world needing to create wars and become the world's pillar.


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