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Amnesiac Hero

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"Who the hell am I?"
Josuke Higashikata, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: JoJolion

Wherein the hero has amnesia. He can't remember a thing, except oddly his own name. Sometimes, although rarely, the hero cannot remember his name. Then someone has to say "Well, we have to call you something!" and they have to make up a name for themselves. (Unless the hero is established to us beforehand — in which case he will often unsuspectingly choose his old name, perhaps to avoid confusing the viewers.) Usually, the Amnesiac Hero:

  • Has amazing fighting skills, but no idea how he got them. This makes his origin even more mysterious.
  • Is found by a handsome/beautiful soon-to-be sidekick, who helps them on their journey to remembering who they are.
  • Has a dark and depressing past that they probably don't want to remember anyway.
  • Sometimes, he doesn't remember his past because he has no past, he is a clone, a robot, or was just born very recently.

Amnesiac Heroes are common in RPGs and horror games, and are always the heroes in Ontological Mysteries and Quest for Identity. Even if those plots aren't being used, it's a easy way to get the player up to speed, as they're just being introduced to the setting, while the character lives there and should otherwise know about it already. If collecting the player character's memories by visiting places in the game world is a side objective, it's a Recollection Sidequest.

An interesting thing to note is that, although there are two main types of amnesia, the character usually suffers from retrograde amnesia — the inability to remember things before a brain trauma. Rarely will they suffer from anterograde amnesia, the inability to form new memories after a brain trauma, since this would be harder to work into an adventure story — imagine the hero having to be brought up to speed on the plot every day they wake up.

Compare You Wake Up in a Room, Selective Memory, Fake Memories and I Am Who?. Contrast Amnesiac Villain Joins the Heroes, where the villain becomes good due to amnesia. Gameplay-Guided Amnesia can be a temporary version of this. See also Easy Amnesia, Laser-Guided Amnesia, and Identity Amnesia. Protagonist Without a Past is where this isn't even addressed.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Bloom Into You, the School Play focuses on a girl who was in an accident and lost her memory. Three people close to her - her friend from school, her half-brother and her girlfriend - give completely different accounts of her, thus forcing her to decide which one of them is real. In the original ending, the girl chooses to "become" the person her girlfriend saw her as, but in the revised version, her nurse convinces her not to become anyone else, so she chooses to start over with each of the three people she knows.
  • Death Parade has the dark-haired woman, who can't even remember her own name but is told that she is going to be an assistant for the arbiters who judge humans after their death. Any of her questions about her position or identity are completely ignored. She slowly discovers aspects of herself throughout the series through carefully placed clues throughout her living quarters. This is all an Invoked Trope because she is also a deceased human who is being judged, just for an extended period of time.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, resident Child Prodigy Muichiro Tokito, the Mist Hashira, has partial amnesia. He remembers his name and who he is to an extent, but the full scope of his life before joining the Demon Slayer Corps was lost to him, which also stunned his personality, turning him into an expressionless person.
  • Kaiman trying to recover his memory is the driving force behind the first stetch of Dorohedoro.
  • Eden of the East's male lead suddenly finds himself standing outside the White House with a cell phone, a gun, and absolutely nothing else. The cell phone can only call someone named Juiz, who informs him that he erased his own memories before helping him get back to his apartment. There he finds a ton of guns and passports, all with his picture; he quickly decides to leave the country, destroys all the passports but one, and adopts its name, Akira Takizawa, for himself.
  • Golgo 13: In the anime series, Duke Togo has a loss of memory after a bomb explosion and is aided by the requisite beautiful female bystander. Being a Determinator, even without knowing he's a Professional Killer at first, Togo gathers enough information and fragments of memory to make it to the kill zone he's selected, but the question remains: who was he meant to kill among the people assembled in the kill zone? Togo fires his gun in the air, and the hail of bullets from the bodyguards somehow restore his memories. Then he's faced with killing the woman who helped him, as he must Leave No Witnesses. However, a stray bullet takes care of that problem.
  • Jeudi from Honoo no Alpen Rose. The plot starts when she and her boyfriend Lundi decide to start searching for her true family.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Weather Report from Stone Ocean suffers from amnesia, not even being able to remember his real name. He's still an overall heroic character who chooses to side with the rest of the heroes. However, he proves to be a lot less pleasant of a person once he gets his memories back.
    • Josuke Higashikata from JoJolion is found without a name, identity, or clothes by Yasuho Hirose, and the adventure is set in motion by the two attempting to recover his memories.
  • Youtarou from Kurage no Shokudo pretends he is this, when he actually remembers everything that happened to him.
  • Alice from PandoraHearts fits this to a "T". She's the most powerful chain in the Abyss who knows only her name, and she inevitably goes on a quest to find her lost memories (though she soon discovers that she may have forgotten them for a good reason. Then she discovers that the painful memories she found were actually those of her twin sister's, and that she once tried to destroy them. Too bad her attempts caused her to forget, too).
    • Oz is this, too. He seems to have forgotten his time as B-Rabbit until Jack showed him the truth.
  • Rave Master: Elie can't remember anything before waking up in the wilderness a few years before Haru meets her. It turns out that she is Resha Valentine, who was thought to have died decades before.
  • Six Half has Kikukawa Shiori, whose amnesia is what begins the entire plot.
  • In the manga Space Adventure Cobra, the title protagonist erased his own memories and surgically altered his face to avoid the Pirate Guild who placed a bounty on him. At the start of the manga he's living an average existence as Johnson, an office worker. After its suggested to him to go to the Trip Movie Corporation and experience his ideal dreams as a reality, one thing leads to another, and his memories return. Bored with the mundane 9-to-5, he decides to return to his life of adventure alongside his Robot Girl Lady Armaroid.
  • Haise Sasaki in the sequel to Tokyo Ghoul. He admits that he isn't really interested in searching for his past, fearful of what may become of him should he remember his Dark and Troubled Past. That's because he's Ken Kaneki, having lost his memories after being brutally defeated by Arima and captured by CCG.
  • Mikage from the manga Torikago Gakyuu is this as well, although he doesn't even remember his name. He's given only the surname "Mikage" by a teacher who promptly reveals to him that he is from a parallel world.
  • Touta, the protagonist of UQ Holder! was in a "car accident" two years before the start of the story, and as a result has no memories from before he was 12. He's actually only 4 years old. The reason why he doesn't have many memories of himself being younger is because he's a clone.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yami Yugi/Pharaoh Atem has no memories of his past or his former identity when his spirit emerges from the Millennium Puzzle, and his quest to piece together the information about who he is and what he did in the past is a main plot point of the show. Even when he figures out he was an Egyptian Pharaoh at the beginning of season 2, he finds that most historical records of him and his name have been lost, leaving him in the dark about the circumstances surrounding his reign and death. In season 4, the villains exploit this vulnerability by screwing with his head and trying to convince him he was a brutal tyrant who was overthrown and imprisoned to save people from him, at one point almost driving him to suicide. It doesn't help that it's implied that his amnesia was part of the reason he was a Knight Templar bordering on Ax-Crazy during his earliest appearances, since the only things he knew were how to play games, and that he needed to protect Yugi.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Astral arrives on Earth with almost no memories of who he is or where he came from, knowing only that he must aid Yuma in collecting the Numbers. As he gains them, bits and pieces of his memory start to return. (It is eventually implied that the Numbers actually pieces of his memory, which was broken into a hundred pieces and scattered when he arrived.
  • Zombie Land Saga: Sakura has no recollection of her past life prior to her death and reanimation as a zombie, and her goal for much of the first season is rediscovering her memories.

    Comic Books 
  • Death Vigil: Bernie is thousands of years old, and due to The Fog of Ages, she doesn't remember life before the Vigil. In issue seven, when Maria interrogates her about the origin and purpose of her scythe, and then what her original name is, all she can do is glance away.
  • Hilo in the Hilo series initially cannot remember much of anything. Over time, he begins to remember bits and pieces and discovers he was given a mind wipe by Razorwark before coming to Earth.
  • Lady Mechanika cannot remember anything of the captivity that transformed her into a cyborg, or of her life before that time.
  • Supergirl:
    • Kara Zor-El cannot remember anything other than her name, her cousin's and her parents' at the beginning of "The Supergirl from Krypton (2004)". She believes she remembers how she came to Earth, but it is a false memory. In Supergirl (2005), it was revealed that Kryptonite poisoning was the root of her amnesia and distorted memories.
    • "The Super-Steed of Steel": Comet loses his memories after eating amnesia-inducing flowers, believing himself to be an ordinary horse.
    • "The Unknown Legionnaire": The mysterious masked hero nicknamed Unknown Boy due to their lack of identity turns out to be Supergirl, who lost her memories when she flew into a cloud of Red Kryptonite dust.
  • This was Wolverine's schtick for many years: he couldn't remember his Mysterious Past, yet kept running into people that were from it. House of M cleared this and had him remember everything, which led to the discovery of his son Daken.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) has this happen to its titular hero: after being caught in an exploding Warp Portal at the climax of the Metal Virus Saga, he's dumped in the Sol Dimension with no memories, not even of his own name. Fortunately, this only lasts one issue before Blaze uses the Sol Emeralds to restore his memories.
  • In Madman, Frank Einstein lost all of his memories when he died and was resurrected by Drs. Flem and Boiffard. When he later discovers that he was a hitman in his former life, poor Frank is appalled.
  • In One-Star Squadron, Jose Delgado, formerly the Gangbuster, lost all of his memories at some point prior to the series' opening. He doesn't even know his real name, and only knows that he used to be called "Gungbuster" because someone wrote it on his shirt.
  • At the start of Project Superpowers: Fractured States, John Doe wakes up in the ruins of a Florida theme park with no memory of who he is. Eventually, he gets an extremely vague memory of being imprisoned in Pandora's box with the other Superpowers, and thus assumes that he was one of them, but can't remember which one, nor can any of the Superpowers that he encounters recall meeting him. The final issue reveals that he has no memories because he was created by Pandora's Box itself.
  • The Judge Dredd comic The Dead Man begins with a young boy finding a man who has been burnt to a crisp out in the desert. Said man is still alive and is taken to the boy's village to recover from his wounds. After a while, the Dead Man goes off to discover his identity, where he eventually discovers that he is Dredd himself.
  • Nothing-Man opens with the titular hero wandering naked through the Canadian wilderness with no memory of who he is or where he came from. His new friends Diana and Firecracker seem to know who he is, but they refuse to tell him outright, leading him to adopt the codename "Nothing-Man" by default.

    Fan Works 
  • Rooster Ringabelle in the Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? fanfic Children of Hades is an extreme case, being born without knowing how to speak, read, write, or even clothe herself, essentially making her a baby in the body of a well-endowed teenager at first.
  • The Supernatural fanfic Down to Agincourt has a very mild case, in that Dean remembers everything except how he got to where he is and what he was doing when the transition happened.
  • Fragments: Sky awakens in a forest, injured and not even knowing his own name.
  • I'm Nobody: After the Normandy crashes at Noveria, Shepard gets stuck in the World of Darkness with absolutely no memories. The only reason she knows her name is because she found her ID.
  • Infinite Coffee and Protection Detail: Bucky Barnes begins in this state, because HYDRA had been regularly erasing his memories for the past seventy years.
  • The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fancomic PMD: The Rogue Team has Erin, a former human that awakens inside a bubble. Transformed into a fennekin with no recollection of her past, except her own name, she almost drowns in the lake she wakes up in. Luckily for her, she is quickly found and rescued by her soon-to-be partner, Tabor.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan novel The Stranger And Her Friend, Celestia has no memory of who she is, what she is, or where she came from. It's also later revealed that she has incredible swordfighting skills, but no memory of where they came from. Guided by the unnoticed inner voice of Daylight.
  • The 4th entry of the Tales of the Undiscovered Swords is narrated from the diary entries of OC Kiriha Sadamune, an Osaka castle fire survivor Reforged Blade suffering from amnesia as a result of said fire, which prompts him to start a diary in the first place in order not to lose his new memories.
  • Boyfriend is this in the Friday Night Funkin' Game Mod Everywhere at the End of Funk, due to suffering from early-onset dementia.
  • When She Smiles (Fresh C): Ex-mecha pilot Asuka loses all her memories of her past life after the end of the world, and she never gets them back.

    Films — Animation 
  • Anastasia: The heroine Anastasia/Anya completely forgets the fact she's a princess after being knocked out during her family's escape during childhood.
  • Barbie as the Island Princess: Ro/Rosella was the princess of Paladia, but during a shipwreck, she gets washed ashore to an island at only six years old. She loses her memory because of this.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Bourne Identity, the titular Jason Bourne wakes up on a fishing boat with no idea who he is. The only clues are two fresh bullet wounds, and a small laser implanted under his skin with his bank account information.
  • Bumblebee sees the titular Autobot spend most of the movie without his memory after a battle with Blitzwing.
  • Captain Marvel (2019): The titular heroine has no memory of her past. All she knows is that she was discovered by aliens called the Kree, badly wounded. They modified her, giving her special abilities, and she became part of the Kree military under the name "Vers", the only written identification found with her. In the film, she finds herself on Earth and begins to uncover her past — her name is Carol Danvers and she was a captain in the US Air Force. When her memories return, she realizes the Kree had lied to her about the origin of her powers: she actually got them when trying to protect a powerful engine from them, accidentally imbuing herself with its powers. When they realized what she'd become, they took her memories and conditioned her into their soldier.
  • In Dark City (1998), John Murdoch wakes up in a hotel bathtub, not knowing how he got there, what his name is, or why there is a mutilated hooker on the floor. He only finds out his own name when he tracks down his wallet at a nearby automat. The reason that John has no memory is because his and everyone's memories have been manufactured by the cabal that runs the city.
  • In The Groundstar Conspiracy a desperately wounded man staggers away from a sabotaged lab in which several other people are found, so incinerated that they will never be identified. Is he the saboteur or an innocent victim? When they repair his wounds and reconstruct his face (based on the ID badge he was wearing, which may not have been his) - he claims to have amnesia and escapes to avoid being locked away for life. Eventually we find he is not the saboteur, who died on the operating table, but bait put out there to capture the rest of the spies. His permanent amnesia was induced.
  • Headshot: The protagonist is one of these, courtesy a bullet to the head. Thankfully it doesn't make him any less skilled at combat.
  • The main charcater of Horse Girl suffers from periods of time where she remembers nothing that happened, and she often finds herself in strange places with no memory of how she got there.
  • Memento is a rare example of anterograde amnesia. Leonard cannot form new memories after suffering a brain injury; despite this he is looking for the killer of his wife, murdered in the incident where Leonard suffered his brain injury.
  • In Random Harvest, John Smith (real name Charles Rainier) doesn't even remember his name.
  • In RoboCop (1987), Murphy forgets everything about his past life after his death and resurrection as the titular cyborg crime-fighting superhero.
  • In the Russian WW2 film White Tiger, Naydenov remembers nothing from before his recovery in hospital ... except how to drive a tank.


  • Albert Campion in Traitor's Purse wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of who he is or how he got there, apparently under suspicion of murdering a police officer and with no recollection of anything except that he has to stop some terrible unknown catastrophe somehow related to the number 15.
  • Oberon Navarro was this in Adam R. Brown's science fiction series, Alterien. He was discovered by a group of US Marines who later called him John Lost, a name that stuck with him until he reunited with his older sister.
  • Rachel is this in the first Megamorphs book of Animorphs.
  • Archvillain: superhero Mighty Mike, who has no idea who, or even what, he really is.
  • Caspian of Adam R. Brown's Astral Dawn series had all his memories from his current lifetime, but had no memories of his previous lifetimes. Caspian would only regain pieces of his past life memories during a mission to save his previous selves from the Defilers. He also doesn't remember something very important regarding an ancient and powerful being known as Maganu.
  • In The Beatryce Prophecy, a mysterious young girl, wracked with fever, is found at the monastery of the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. All she remembers about herself is her name: Beatryce.
  • Carlos Delacruz, the star of Bone Street Rumba has only three years of memories, starting when he was brought back from the dead. His entire life before being killed is lost to him.
  • Touma of A Certain Magical Index becomes this at the end of the first story arc when a magical spell destroys his long-term memories. He largely dismisses this as irrelevant and has managed to bluff his way through discussions with associates, friends, and even his family thanks primarily due to maintaining the same personality and personal beliefs. In the light novels, it's later revealed that he previously received another, specific case of amnesia that renders him unable to remember or form new memories of Misaki.
  • Roger Zelazny's The Chronicles of Amber: 9 Princes in Amber starts with the protagonist, Corwin, waking in a hospital without remembering anything. This allows to gradually introduce readers to the setting. By the middle of the novel he recovers most of his memory, except for a few weeks right before the start. Those lost weeks become a significant plot point in later novels.
  • Clocks that Don't Tick has Gary and Martha, immortal slaves to the oligarchs known as the Bosses. The source of their forgetfulness is that they have literally lived too long for all their memories to fit in their heads. Among other things, they’ve forgotten their last names and the faces of their former lovers.
  • Tzigone from Counselors and Kings. Oh, she remembers the most recent few years of her life fine, but her childhood is a complete blank (and "Tzigone" isn't even her real name) — all she knows for sure is that her mother was a wizard, she was on the run from something, and was eventually captured/killed by her enemies. Tzigone's main goal throughout the trilogy is to unravel her mother's past, and by extension, her own. Tzigone's real name is Ria, her mother was Keturah, who went on the run because she was framed for a murder by a conspiracy who wanted to capture her and make use of her rare magical abilities — which Tzigone also possesses — and Tzigone is actually the illegitimate daughter of Keturah and Halruaa's king, Zalathorm. Oh, and it turns out that Keturah's still alive, but lost her memories too. Working all this out takes the better part of three books.
  • Date A Live: Long-lost siblings Shido Itsuka and Mana Takamiya have no memories of each other since they were children. In the time they were apart, Shido was adopted by the Itsukas and lived a fairly normal life while Mana became a Child Soldier to hunt down Spirits. It is likely the mysterious Phantom was responsible for their separation.
  • Robin from Daystar and Shadow remembers virtually nothing from before the age of about eleven, except for hazy memories of his parents abandoning him in th desert for being "artistic."
  • Richard Jeperson from the Diogenes Club series was rescued from a WWII concentration camp as a child, with no memory of his name, past, or how he got there. Even the number tattooed on his arm doesn't match the format normally used by the Nazi death camps, making his background impossible for his rescuers to trace.
  • Dire, in The Dire Saga, seems to have wiped her own memory prior to the beginning of the first book. It's heavily hinted that she used to be a villain, but she operates with a degree of pragmatic heroism in her current life.
  • In Don't Look Back, the plot begins with the protagonist, Sam Franco, wandering alone and bloodied on a road with no memory of who she is or what happened to her. A police officer finds her and takes her to a hospital to be treated, where she's reunited with her family and finds out that she went missing with her best friend, Cassie Winchester, who eventually turns up dead. She spends the rest of the story trying to figure out who she is so that she can find out what happened the night that she disappeared and Cassie died.
  • Dragonlance: The New Adventures: Nearra begins the series with no memory except her name.
  • Fallocaust: In The Ghost and the Darkness, Jade loses his memory after a head injury causes his brain implant to misfire.
  • The Guinevere Deception: Merlin wiped most of Guinevere's memories before she left to Camelot. She is constantly shocked by childhood things like losing baby teeth, and things she would have already gotten like her period. She only has vague memories of learning magic, but can use it fine.
  • Jason and Percy in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Sequel Series The Heroes of Olympus.
  • In The Hobbit, Bombur forgets the last (eventful) four months but remains a protagonist through it...which is actually quite meaningful if you understand what he went through.
  • Gentle in Clive Barker's Imajica, albeit intentionally self-inflicted. Lampshaded by a character who knew him pre-amnesia: "I was told you'd changed, but not how much."
  • Andrei Belyanin's Jack The Mad King trilogy has this as the plot of the first novel. In fact, while Jack eventually discovers his identity as the true king of the land, he doesn't recover his memories and chooses to go on adventures instead of deposing his brother, who has taken the throne after believing that Jack is dead (the brother's wife was the one who tried to kill Jack). The lack of memories is barely mentioned in the subsequent novels, as Jack has accepted his new identity.
  • Journey to Chaos: Tiza, has no knowledge of her past or her name. She just started picking pockets to feed herself. At the start of the story, she joins the same mercenary team as Eric Watley, where her unusual Aura Vision Third Eye skill comes in handy.
  • The Lost Years of Merlin begins with the protagonist, "Emrys" (later to rename himself "Merlin") waking up on the shore of Britain with no memory. A nearby woman claims to be his mother, though she's so evasive about what's going on that he suspects that she's lying. (She's not.) He never does get his memories back, though he learns where he came from and other snippets about his past.
  • In The Maze Runner, every Glader comes up in the Box with their memories completely wiped by WICKED, save for their name. While they are able to get some of their memories of the outside world back during the Changing after being stung by a Griever, those who go through it forget almost everything soon after, and it’s implied that that’s for the best. In The Death Cure, the remaining Gladers are given the choice to have their memories returned; however, Thomas, Minho, and Newt refuse.
  • The eponymous protagonist of Piranesi starts out amnesiac, due to the weird situation in which he lives; the novel’s plot involves him piecing the truth together.
  • Post Mortem (2022): Ralph is the main character who wakes up in a morgue with no memory of who he is and gradually discovers who he is throughout the story. This also ends up horrifically subverted when it is revealed that Ralph was a Serial Killer and a terrible person in general. Worse, Ralph ends up embracing this.
  • Redwall: In Mariel of Redwall, after being thrown into the ocean, drifting for days, arriving on a beach. Along with repressed memories of torture (And possibly even rape) Mariel wakes up with complete amnesia.
  • Shonsu/Wally Smith in The Seventh Sword by Dave Duncan is deliberately created that way by gods. He has the body, reflexes and professional skills of the best swordsman of that world, but also the personality and memories of a chemical engineer from Earth. The gods expect this hybrid to succeed where Shonsu the warrior failed, and deemed the warrior's personal memories hampering. This creates tensions when he meets people who used to know the old Shonsu and makes him make dangerous mistakes like swimming in a piranha-infested place. Just as Planned.
  • Warren Peace in satiric SF novel Who Goes Here by Bob Shaw wakes up in an infirmary and finds that he has just joined the Space Legion and as any other recruit had all his troubling memories erased. Most people forget only a single misdeed and a few related episodes of their life, but Warren has forgotten everything, from childhood to his decision to join the Legion. Even his name is fake. Everybody assumes he lived a life of crime and every moment of it should either be atoned for or erased. Later he finds he wasn't a criminal, but a career military officer, and he really wanted to forget how many kinds of wrong his life turned out to be.
  • In De Zwarte Adem the protagonist, Vigo, wakes up in the hospital with a head wound absolutely no memories of who he is. It then turns out that he is the only survivor of a multiple murder, which causes the police to suspect him of being the murderer. Vigo thinks he is innocent, so he decides to investigat to prove it. However due to the memory loss, he is not entirely sure that he isn't the murderer.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The British anthology series Black Mirror features a story about a young woman who wakes up with amnesia, only to find that she is basically alone and virtually every other human being is either a psychopathic "hunter" that seems to be relentlessly hunting her or an inert "watcher", who is almost entirely passive and observers her silently from behind a smartphone camera. In the end, she discovers that she's a convicted kidnapper/murderer imprisoned in a gruesome prison-slash-theme park; the "hunters" are facility staff, who wipe her memory every time the "show" ends, and the "watchers" are park/prison visitors who have signed up as an "audience".
  • Blindspot follows a woman who emerges from a duffel bag in Times Square with no memory of who she is. Her body is covered with tattoos that contain clues about future crimes. Nicknamed "Jane Doe", she is taken into FBI custody and winds up working with them to stop predicted crimes while trying to decipher the mystery of her past.
  • Dark Matter (2015): This is the premise of the show. Six people and an android wake up in a derelict starship but don't know their own identities or how they got there, while retaining all their distinctive skills, and the human crew name themselves One through Six in the order they came out of stasis. Although given what they discover about their original selves at the end of the pilot, you could say it's a case of Amnesiac Villain Joins the Heroes applying to the entire main cast, except Five, who's a teenage girl with no criminal record in the ship's database.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Eighth Doctor's delayed regeneration leads to an especially bad case of Resurrection SicknessWaking Up at the Morgue with no idea who he is. He gets over it, only for this trope to follow him like the plague in his many expanded universe adventures. Whether it's the audios, magazines or books, he loses chunks of his memory with worrying frequency.
    • The Fifth Doctor also had a major post-regenerative crisis where he wondered who "The Doctor" was.
    • The Twelfth Doctor briefly has amnesia after regenerating, forgetting how to fly the TARDIS.
    • The Thirteenth Doctor not only can't remember the word for "tongue", she can't remember her own name and thinks she's looking for a doctor.
  • This trope, along with his knowing everything, was the premise for John Doe but it was downplayed in that it wasn't the character's pre-amnesia life that granted him ultimate knowledge but the process itself. This is explained by Word of God after it was clear that the show would not be renewed. One episode attempts this explanation by a villain, only for it to be revealed as a lie.
  • Homecoming: Downplayed. Heidi can’t remember anything from her employment at Homecoming or how she ended up at her current waitress job, which serves as a detriment to both her and the investigator probing her for evidence. She wiped her own memory to escape the guilt of what she unwittingly did to her patients.
  • Kamen Rider so far had four heroes with Amnesia:
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: The Stranger is one of the main characters. He knows magic, yet he cannot remember that he is an Istar. Is found by a young Harfoot girl who ends up becoming sidekick, who want to accompany him on his journey to the lands of Rhun, where could learn more about why was he sent to Middle-earth. And he cannot remember anything because he was Born as an Adult.
  • Downplayed Trope in Mr. Robot. In the pilot episode, a hacker named Mr. Robot recruits Elliot into fsociety, an hacking group that seeks to bring down Evil Corp in the name of social justice. Through the group he meets Darlene, another hacker who seems unusually close to him. Turns out that Mr. Robot is a hallucination and it was actually Elliot himself who founded fsociety along with Darlene, who is his sister. Elliot has forgotten all of this.
  • Princess Agents: Chu Qiao loses her memories after almost drowning.
  • Princess Silver: In episode one Rong Le wakes up with no memory of who she used to be.
  • The final episode of Supernatural Season 6 plays this trope straight: Sam has no memory of who he is, he meets a beautiful girl who helps him, he has innate fighting and burglary skills but then it's revealed it's all taking place inside his head, and the dark and mysterious past is his repressed memories of Hell. The beautiful girl turns out to be an Innocent Bystander he killed while soulless.
  • Jin from Ultraseven X begins the series waking up in a room with no knowledge of who he is or how he ended up where he is, as well as a mysterious woman in white beside him who gives him Ultraseven's Transformation Trinket and tells him to save the world from some vague threat. The mystery of how he gained his powers and what all of it has to do with the woman forms the series' Myth Arc.

  • We Are All Pirates' Revenge: Gabrielle, the Zenpance's resident witch, lost her memory 2 years before the beginning of the RP. She holds out hope that the Legendary Egg with help her regain her memories.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Rifts Africa supplement features Katrina Sun, one of the heroes who has assembled in Africa to stop the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from meeting up at Egypt. She's an amnesiac, but incredibly powerful Ley Line Walker and is actually the Egyptian goddess Isis, suffering from microbe-induced amnesia and a partial De-power as part of a plot by Set, the God of Darkness.
  • GURPS offers the Amnesia disadvantage for player characters that want to follow this trope. The most severe version, Total Amnesia, only allows the player to choose any traits that can be seen in a mirror — everything else is assigned by the Game Master and kept secret until the character has an opportunity to discover it.
  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: Stormcast Eternals are created from the souls of humans who performed a Heroic Sacrifice or otherwise had a Dying Moment of Awesome, reborn as divine heroes; unfortunately, the process tends to make them lose their memories of their mortal lives. They can get them back, usually by encountering a person or place from their mortal life.

  • Jasper in Deadland:
    • Jasper loses more and more of his memories to Ghost Amnesia as time goes on, eventually forgetting his own name.
    • Reconstructed with Gretchen. She's lost all her memories from the Living World, doesn't know anything about her existence before she entered Deadland... and she's fine with this, reveling in the fact that she can be totally carefree because she can't remember anything worth caring about.

    Video Games 
  • Detective Kaname Date in AI: The Somnium Files has no memory past six years ago, with his earliest one being wandering around aimlessly with a missing eye before being found by his boss and offered a job. The Serial Killer he's investigating also was active around this time before stopping, causing him to worry about a potential Tomato in the Mirror situation. He's half-right; the body he's in belongs to Saito Sejima who is the one of the original Cyclops Killer culprits and the mastermind behind the New Cyclops Killings, while his actual personality Hayato Yagyu was a Killer Cop who is actually much more heroic in comparison. The cause of his amnesia was because he was trying to recall the memories of the wrong identity.
  • Daniel from Amnesia: The Dark Descent with a twist; he induced it himself so he wouldn't remember the horrible things he did.
  • The hero of Arx Fatalis has no memory and is quickly given the name "Am Shaegar", which means "The Nameless One". He actually gets his memory back relatively early in the plot; the amnesia really seems to be there just to justify the hero having to learn the nature of the world.
  • Baldur's Gate III: Players who play as Shadowheart or the Dark Urge will start off as this. But given their nature and depending on the choices made, they'll likely wind up an Amnesiac Anti-Hero at best.
  • In Bayonetta the titular character has lost all of her memories as a side-effect of being trapped in the bottom of a lake for the past 500 years.
  • While Bayonetta has gotten all her memories back by the time Bayonetta 2 comes around, we now have Loki, who's lost all of his memories other than the fact he needs to go to the holy mountain Fimbleventr. Turns out his amnesia was the result of being shunted into the future by 500 years to escape his evil half, Loptr.
  • The heroine of Beyond Sunset, who wakes up in a laboratory with no memory of who she is, except her body has been fused with assorted cybernetic implants. She doesn't even remember her name, but she does vaguely recall that she have a production number, LC-16, hence calling herself "Lucy".
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Miriam has a mild case of amnesia as a result of being stuck in a deep sleep for ten years.
  • Boxxy Quest: Catie, thoughout series:
    • The first game, BoxxyQuest: The Shifted Spires:
      • It starts with her waking up in the middle of nowhere with no memories, and her search for answers is what drives the plot. She gets those answers, (and doesn’t like them), but never actually recovers any of her memory.
      • It's described when she meets Anonymous, when he says:
        "Adventurer's Amnesia," eh? If I've seen it once, I've seen it a thousand times. People tend to get it right before they find out they're the Chosen One, or what have you. I got it myself, once upon a time; but I suppose that's another story, huh?
    • The second game, BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, she’s mostly made peace with her amnesia, and would rather make fresh memories in her new life instead. In fact, when the Sky Queen tries to reawaken Catie’s old identity during the epilogue, Catie actually panics and fights against it.
  • Cave Story begins with the protagonist waking up in a cave with no memories. It takes exposition from other characters to learn about his true identity.
  • Code Vein starts with you waking up in the streets of the ruined city of Vein with no idea who you are or how you got there, but at least you're not the only one, as everyone, to an extent, is this: Revenants can come back from the dead as many times as they want as long as their heart isn't destroyed, but lose some of their memories every time they do, so there are very few without significant gaps in their memories. You, however, have the ability to restore those memories by finding "vestiges" scattered throughout Vein, and bringing them back to Io or one of the other Attendants to restore them. Still, the protagonist is one of the handful encountered to apparently remember nothing of their old life until you find your own vestige, roughly a third of the way into the story.
  • Crash Fever has Ophiuchus, an AI who wakes up in a dilapidated, closed off server called Black Ground with his data encrypted and travels through the ruins of the server with other Astros to find the truth. It was even reflected in his stats for a time; his skill and Crash Skill just displayed "Data Encrypted" and did nothing.
  • Demon Hunter: The Return of the Wings: According to Greed, Gun doesn't know his past and his childhood is indeed ambiguous. It's later revealed by Greed that Gun is also an Amnesiac God and the subject of demons' worship.
  • At the beginning of Disco Elysium the Player Character wakes up after a three day long drinking-binge and has no idea who he is or why he's in an utterly trashed hostel room. It turns out that the amnesia is so bad that not only can he not remember his name or profession, even the concept of money temporarily eludes him.
  • Dont Look Back 2014: The protagonist. Once her memories start coming back she's revealed to be the Dead to Begin With Euridice.
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail starts with the titular protagonist waking up in a forest with no idea who he is or how he ended up in this place. Guided by a talking sword named the Blade of Ahrah and its guardian Fidget, Dust goes on a quest to figure out how to regain his memory. Played with on several levels in regards to the "amazing fighting skills" part because Ahrah claims to be the reason Dust can fight like a master swordsman right off the bat. As the game progresses, more and more evidence surfaces that Ahrah is lying about being the source of Dust's skills, and Dust is really an amnesiac ally of General Gaius, who for the most part acts as the game's Big Bad. Then comes the reveal that while Ahrah was indeed lying, Dust is not a Criminal Amnesiac, being an artificial combination of two souls, only one of which belonged to the aforementioned villain. While either soul can provide skills and guidance, Dust is ultimately his own person with his own mind and body.
  • In Faery: Legends of Avalon, your character remembers quite a bit, but not everything — and most glaringly, not how you came to be frozen in a crystal. This is probably intentional on the part of the person waking you, since although he needs you now, he's also the one who froze you against your will in the first place.
  • Familia: Lono's airship is attacked by the Draconians. He survives, but hit his head and lost his memory. Until he makes it back to the Kalbian Refugee base, he doesn't know his own name, though he remembers some of his martial arts.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Galuf from Final Fantasy V has amnesia as a result of improper meteorite crashing at the beginning of the game. All he has is his name and a compulsion to protect the crystals. When he eventually regains it through being reminded of his granddaughter Krile and then her actually showing up, it turns out he basically knows everything about why everything is happening. He makes light of it (especially when trying to deflect blame for the steal-a-pirate-ship misadventure), but when he's on his own it troubles him.
    • Terra from Final Fantasy VI. As a result of being under the Slave Crown for a long time, she only knows her name, and even that is considered to be pretty lucky (The Past Experience Nightmares less so.) Much of the game's first half is figuring out just who and what she is, since her natural magic made her a valuable weapon of the Empire (and to La Résistance, but they ask first). The remnants of her father restore her memories and explain how she came to be.
    • Cloud from Final Fantasy VII is a particularly odd variation, remembering much of his past but continually running into inconsistencies and forgetting various things, or remembering them in odd flashes. In particular, he remembers challenging Sephiroth in Nibelheim, but not what happened next - and finding out the truth is what he claims to be his reason for pursuing Sephiroth. It turns out that Cloud's muddled memories are even more broken than we're initially led to believe - he's eventually shown to be outright delusional, and the implication is that the reason his memories are in such a state is more because he doesn't want to remember.
    • Used, but not immediately apparent in Final Fantasy VIII. Most of your party has forgotten events of 10 years ago because prolonged Guardian Force usage erases memories, so they meet as strangers despite everyone but Rinoa having been raised in the same orphanage.
    • Tidus from Final Fantasy X pretends to be this, in order to hide the fact that he is actually a Fish out of Temporal Water. The actual truth is a tad more complicated, but that's beside the point
    • The Warrior of Light in Dissidia Final Fantasy is an interesting case. He tells the heroes he has no memories of his past, not even his name, and hopes to someday remember. However, it's revealed this is because he has almost no memories to remember — unlike the other warriors he wasn't brought into the war from another world, he was created during their proceedings, and the memories they've lost at the end of each cycle, for him are the only memories he's ever had. That he's able to remember anything at all is proof of his Character Development from a blank slate with no will over the course of the cycles.
  • Robin from Fire Emblem: Awakening is discovered unconscious in a field by the hero Chrom and his sister Lissa, with no memory of anything but their name (and Chrom's), as well as their sword and magic skills. Their troubled past is revealed midway through the game: they're the child of Validar, who created them solely to be a vessel for the Big Bad Grima, and in another time and place the gambit successfully sent the world plunging into darkness and chaos. Robin lost their memory when their alternate self tried to merge them together.
  • In Fragile Hearts, Midard is a more realistic example. Instead of losing his memory in an accident of some sort, he’s simply been getting old-age dementia, which causes him to forget people and places, even leading to him getting lost inside a city (leaving it up to the player to guide him out) at one point.
  • The hero of Geneforge 5 is a perfect Protagonist Without a Past. Even his captor/savior isn't sure if he was a rebel or a badly wounded loyalist. This should allow him to side with anybody. At first he tries to search for people that might have known him, but eventually gives up. In the end he never learns who he was.
  • Sissel in Ghost Trick. Of course, all ghosts in the game suffer from amnesia until they remember who they are; it's just taking Sissel a lot longer than everyone else for some reason. That reason being he's been trying to recall the wrong person's memories, since he only saw one corpse in the area after "waking up" as a ghost and naturally assumed that it must be his. Once his true identity is revealed, all his memories come back to him pretty quickly.
  • The protagonist of Gingiva, whose was decapitated and had her head replaced with a turnkey device, removing all of her memories of her life from before.
  • The Ur-Example of this trope in Eastern RPGs is Glory of Heracles III, which features four immortal Amnesiac Heroes, the main character included. Three of them were chosen by Prometheus to avert The End of the World as We Know It, which prompted Zeus to wipe the memories of all human immortals — leading to the fourth immortal's amnesia as well.
  • Kat in Gravity Rush though you would be forgiven if you forget it as she doesn't let it get her down and it remains only a vague problem throughout. It becomes more important in the sequel.
  • Slayn Wilder, the protagonist of Growlanser: Dual Darkness begins the game with amnesia.
  • Steve, main protagonist of Harvester, wakes up in his bedroom, not knowing who he is anymore, and nobody seems to take his amnesia claims seriously. Because you know, he always was a kidder.
  • Hollow: The Player Character states in the intro cutscene that he still can't remember who he is.
  • In Iron Gaia, Armand Carter doesn’t remember anything of his past at the beginning of the game, and recalls more of it as the plot progresses. It’s even lampshaded by the menu screen, which lists "Amnesiac" as his character class. Eventually, it turns out he was one of the station’s six creators, and had his memory erased by GAIA in preparation to become one of its Celestials.
  • The Fateless One from Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Probably due to dying and coming back to life. Hell, the body s/he's in isn't even his/er original.
  • Knights of Ambrose:
    • Knight Eternal: Astraea is an angel who dropped from the sky with no memories of her past or even her own name. While the previous player characters believe she's actually Lilith, she feels more familiarity with Abbie than with Lilith's old boss room, making her true identity ambiguous.
    • Celestial Hearts: After the party rescues Helen from the Graveharts, she finds that she has none of her memories, thanks to Lilith. She's actually an angelic reincarnation of the goddess Helena.
  • Knytt Underground opens with a dialogue hanging a lampshade on this trope. Your protagonist then averts this and tells you the NPC is lying about the amnesia.
  • Rean Schwarzer from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel can't remember much about his past before he was adopted from the Schwarzer's and while he doesn't dwell too much on it, he is depressed that he's giving his family a hard time since they're nobility while Rean is just a random kid who may or may not be a noble. Those past memories of his become a plot point in the later games when his past finally catches up to him. Trails of Cold Steel IV takes this to its logical conclusion where after he takes in some of the dark aura from killing the Nameless One, he starts forgetting his real name.
  • Happens to Link in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild where he wakes up in a ruined shrine with nothing but his underwear, has no memory of himself, and most of the people he meets seem to know who he is or even know him personally if they were Long-Lived. Link was nearly slain by Calamity Ganon 100 years prior and he was sealed away to recoup and recover so that he can challenge Ganon again when the time was right. While Link does recover his memories as you progress through the story, you can choose to challenge the Final Boss as soon as the game lets you and you can beat the game with Link not knowing the rest of his past.
  • The protagonist of Littlewood is an adventurer who has recently saved the land of Solemn from a Dark Wizard, but lost their memories in the process. They try to recover their memories with the help of their old friends as they work to rebuild their hometown of Littlewood.
  • The Longest Five Minutes: The protagonist is Flash Back, a typical Eastern RPG hero who goes into the final battle against the Evil Overlord, only to suddenly realize he's forgotten everything that happened during his quest. The rest of the game alternates between the battle against the Overlord and flashbacks to earlier parts of Flash's adventure as his companions remind him who he is, who they are, and what they're fighting for.
  • Zero at the beginning of the Mega Man Zero series. This ends up having farther-reaching consequences, such as the little fact that his own body isn't even his original anymore, and said original body is now a Robotic Psychopath.
  • Grey from Mega Man ZX Advent starts off not even knowing what his name is, only to be helpfully told by Pandora before she tells him she's here to kill him for being an incomplete "Defective", prompting him to grab a gun off a dead body and run off. Turns out, he never had a past to begin with since he was made in that lab to be Master Albert's back-up plan, and him waking up and escaping before his brainwashing finished was why Pandora was supposed to kill him.
  • Midnight Fight Express: Babyface remembers nothing about his life prior to the start of the game despite the fact that all the villains instantly recognize him.
  • The player character of Moonrise wakes up as a werewolf with no memory of their past, their name, or even the fact they're human. The first choices of the game are limited to what a dog could do in the situation. Once their humanity is remembered, the player can choose to reclaim their human life in a Quest for Identity.
  • In Mother 3, Duster is this for a while after the timeskip. He forgets who he is and everything that happened before, including his own name (the rock band who "adopts" him names him Lucky). We never know exactly why he loses his memory—one can only guess he hit his head or something. The first part of Chapter 5 revolves around getting his memory back, which is done by retrieving the Egg of Light.
  • Naufragar: Crimson: Kyo doesn't remember his life before being taken in by the Blue Crest mercenaries. Some flashback cutscenes indicate he used to know Anastasia, a mysterious woman who is on the run from the Kingdom of Oragibe. He is also somehow involved with Hyo and ended up sharing a body with the latter. Near the end of the game, he loses his memories again after Hyo leaves his body.
  • In Neko Kawaigari, the player is a dog-man named Jack who, you guessed it, has amnesia. He's rescued by the head of a clinic for catgirls. In order to repay her, he becomes an odd-job man at the clinic, helping with the patients.
  • Nobody Saves the World: Nobody wakes up alone in a dingy shack, with no memory of how they got there... and also no pants. They turn out to be Nostramagus, a revered wizard in the setting who also doesn't wear any pants.
  • The protagonist of No Umbrellas Allowed is found badly injured and washed ashore on a beach near Ajik City. Darcy takes him in, has him pose as his missing son Bob, and lets him run his secondhand shop. As "Bob" manages the store, he slowly regains his memories of the events that led him to where he is in the present.
  • Onmyōji (2016):
    • There are about a ton of amnesiacs running around, but the special mention goes to the protagonist Seimei — except he still manages to recall his name and his job, thanks to his being able to detect negative energy — whose amnesia gets him into shitloads of trouble that must be solved by learning about his past from other people.
    • Kagura also counts, but her case doesn't get as much focus, probably because she doesn't have the fear of Amnesiac Dissonance like Seimei does.
  • The Nameless One from Planescape: Torment, except he (obviously) doesn't remember his own name (his name is the last thing he remembers). Oh, and the soon-to-be sidekick who finds him is a floating talking skull who didn't so much 'find' him as was waiting for him to wake up again. However, whether he qualifies as a hero or not in this game depends on the player.
  • The player character in Pokémon Legends: Arceus as well as Ingo, originally from the Gen V games, both fell through space-time distortions into early Sinnoh/Hisui and can’t remember anything of their past lives. Ingo still uses lots of transportation related dialogue though, evoking his past as part of Unova’s subway battle team. The player character may be Dawn/Lucas from Gen IV given their similar appearance, but this isn’t confirmed.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Most of the human protagonists are amnesiac, the only apparent exception being the hero of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. However, unlike a normal Amnesiac Hero who is an inherently good fighter, they do have to slowly learn fighting skills (Pokémon moves) the same way any other Pokémon does: by Dungeon Crawling and Level Grinding.
    • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team, it turns out you wiped your own memory when you were transported to the Pokémon world in order to test yourself to see if you really could save it.
    • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers, it's revealed Darkrai wiped your memory when you traveled into the past to save the world.
    • In Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, it turns out Mew wiped your mind when you returned to the Pokemon world to ensure you wouldn't make the same mistakes that kicked the Dark Matter can down the road last time you were there.
  • In Q.U.B.E. players are told that they've lost their memory while on a save-the-world mission (which they need to get back to, please). Someone else then comes along to allege that, actually, they're a prisoner who had their memories deliberately erased so they could be fed lies.
  • Rengoku: The ADAM protagonist of the second game has pieces of Captain Gram's memories, and is looking for the rest of them. Turns out Gram and the floor bosses were human mercenaries and victims of being consumed by nanomachines with a side-effect of Brain Uploading into brand-new ADAM units, and this Tower was designed by Beatrice to hopefully trigger flashbacks from him.
  • Kiyoko from Raid on Taihoku doesn't remember her past, due to being caught in the titular event - the bombing of the Taiwanese town, Taihoku, during the second World War - and passing out during the chaos. When she wakes up in the first stage, a passing Japanese officer calls to her, "You're Kiyoko, aren't you? Come here!" and so the name stuck. Her full name is revealed at the ending levels to be Kiyoko Lin, a Japanese-Taiwanese half-breed who fled home when her Taiwanese mother forbids her romance with a Japanese boy, and then the bombing happens.
  • The protagonist of the first Resident Evil: Gun Survivor is an amnesiac, waking up after barely surviving a helicopter crash, and it's up to the player to find out his true identity. As the game progresses, they stumble across a clue revealing the player to be Vincent Goldman, the ruthless Umbrella Executive who started the viral outbreak that wiped out the entirety of Sheena Island, and ends up being The Atoner until yet another plot twist reveals the hero himself is actually Ark Thompson, a detective investigating Goldman, and actually one of the good guys.
  • Revita has a protagonist who wakes up on a mysterious metro with no recollection of their whole life, and the only lead they have is a vague yet steadfast motivation to climb the nearby clocktower, hoping it'll give them the answers they need.
  • Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages starts with the protagonist waking up on a surgical table with no memory of who they are or how they got there. A nearby computer monitor provides an unhelpful explanation: "Patient X9564T lost significant brain tissue during operation. Severe brain damage and memory loss are expected. No refund; sequester subject's ship and tell them they took a taxi."
  • This has almost become a Running Gag in Rune Factory games, with one character in Rune Factory 3 saying that "amnesiacs are a dime a dozen around these parts." The only protagonists so far not to be amnesiacs are Aden and Sonja, perhaps because Sharing a Body would be too awkward for two people who hadn't known each other for quite some time.
  • The Shadowrun game for the SNES opens with the protagonist Waking Up at the Morgue with no memories of whom he is or what he was doing. His name is written on the slab he woke up on and during the first part of the game he recovers bits and pieces of what happened to him, but he soon has far more pressing matters to deal with and the game ends with him still mostly in the blank about his past.
  • "Hawk" in Shin Megami Tensei II was found dazed in the slums one year before the start of the game, not even knowing his real name. Soon after winning the gladiator championship, he reunites with his friends, who tell him that his name is Aleph and he is the Messiah. Aleph doesn't have amnesia; he's an Artificial Human around two years old. He was abducted/rescued before he could be implanted with Fake Memories; everyone who claims to have known him is either lying or has false memories.
  • In Silence of the Sleep, Jacob Reeves lost all of his memories after his suicide attempt, and so he doesn't even remember what caused him to jump. The reasons for this decision become clearer as you play more of the game, however.
  • Heather in Silent Hill 3 knows something about her past that is tugging at her mind, but she can't quite remember what it is and brushes it off. As you progress in the game and examine various environments and save points, Heather gets familiar feelings at the things she sees. She is also hounded by the Big Bad, who wants to use her usher in an age of paradise. Once you defeat the Memory of Alessa, Heather remembers her true self; she was Alessa 17 years ago and was routinely abused by her mother in order to bring forth a god that was nestled within her body. Alessa was split into two beings when the ritual was incomplete with her other half being Cheryl, whom Harry Mason found before the events of Silent Hill. Alessa and Cheryl reunited into one being again, Harry defeats the god, Alessa gives birth to herself before dying, and gives the baby to Harry who he then raised as Heather. The cult that was in the first game had been hunting down Heather in order to try and create their god again.
  • Skullgirls has Filia, who has amnesia after having her head get attached by Samson.
  • In Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion, the main character is an Octoling who wakes up in an underground facility, with no memory of what happened beforehand. For each test completed, the Octoling receives a "mem cake" which are said to be memories compressed into a physical form. Upon collecting all the mem cakes, the player gets to access a bonus level depicting what happened before the campaign, when the Octoling was battling the hero of the previous game.
  • Alice in Standstill Girl, doesn't remember any of her past as it was taken away by the main Clock as the condition of living in the Land of Time. As she collects the Clock Hand Fragments, she receives the painful memories of her past. When all are assembled, it turns out that she's had committed suicide due to hardship and was rescued by Tiska to live in the Land of Time. This caused a contradiction in the flow of time, thus shattering the clock hands in the first place.
  • Star Wars Legends: The Player Character in Knights of the Old Republic doesn't seem to be amnesiac, but they also have some mysterious connection with the story's Big Bad. It turns out the reason they don't know what it is is because their memories of that point in their life are missing and replaced with fake ones.
  • Alto, the hero of Stella Glow, has been living in his home village with his adoptive mother and sister for three years while having no memory beyond the three years living there prior to the start of the game.
  • Styx the goblin in Styx: Master of Shadows starts under player control with a severe headache and no memory of his own past, except a voice in his head that tells him to steal the heart of the world tree. He has no memory of his own past because he doesn't even have a past to begin with. He is actually an Expendable Clone created by the original Styx to aid his own progress in stealing the world tree heart.
    • However in the finale this trope is played straight, with Styx destroying the world tree heart causes all amber-based creatures to lose all memories including both Styx and the clone. In the ending sequence we have clone Styx, having survived the fall into the amberlake, recalling his "birth" on a dried up lake bed (the former amberlake), and the fact that he could not remember anything except for a name: Styx. He then proceeded to think it should be his own name.
  • Starter from Super Gear Quest, when he wakes up at the beginning of the game, can only remember his name and that he's a "Kewtian Android." Later on, he meets other Kewtian Androids who are having the same issues with memory.
  • Super Robot Wars UX: According to Fei-Yen HD, she was in a dark area all alone until she heard a voice. Upon reaching it, she became "Miku". What triggered the transformation was the whole concert with Sheryl Nome, which made her excited when she heard the word "concert" & "song", but what reactivates her memory is an attack by the Vajra, which gave her the "shock treatment" necessary to bring her connection (while vague) with Miku. As a result, Grace O' Connor is targeting her as a potential nominee for her plans.
  • Katharine from Sword of Rapier, she wakes up in the middle of a forest who have no memory of her identity, her past, or how did she arrive in the forest. She eventually finds a bloodstained rapier in her possession and quickly ambushed by soldiers from the Heristal Empire and their commander, Sara, where Katharine rediscovers her own name but was eventually shot by Sara during their first encounter.
  • Tales Series
    • Luke fon Fabre, main character of Tales of the Abyss, had his whole memory wiped when he was kidnapped at the age of 10 and had to relearn things like walking, eating and not wetting himself. He is actually a clone of the original and was created during that kidnapping. As such, his memory wasn't so much "wiped" as "non-existent" when he was sent home in place of his original.
    • The masked protagonist of Tales of Arise plays it much straighter. He can't remember anything before his enslavement, not even his own name, but swordfighting skills come to him naturally. After getting his mask partly broken in a battle against the Starter Villain he remembers his name - Alphen, but not much else. Later it's revealed that his amnesia is a side effect of both wearing said mask (which is actually a sedative device) and spending a long time in hibernation. His fighting skills, meanwhile, are just muscle memory from his prior training.
  • The Wanderer of Tower of Fantasy had their memory wiped by the Heirs of Aida sometime between the end of the game's tutorial and them ending up in Astra.
  • The 25th Ward: Tokio Morishima, the tritagonist of the game and focus of the "Placebo" story path, starts off with most of his memories gone.
  • Warframe: The Tenno are missing quite a lot, to the point that they don't even know what they are. The Lotus says that it's a result of their long cryosleep in the Void, but "The Second Dream" quest reveals they are actually children who survived a Void-jump accident and gained incredible Void powers. They were placed in a state of suspended animation called the Second Dream where they could control the warframes from a distance, while remaining ignorant of their true selves. After "The Second Dream," they've remembered most of their history, including their part in the Old War. In "The Sacrifice" quest the Tenno even interrupts a recording (about something the player is very interested in) because they already lived it once and don't want to relive those painful memories again.
  • Wild ARMs: Million Memories does this to Rudy. His main goal is to get his memories back in the hopes of avoiding the future shown in a horrific vision where he betrays everyone, leading to the destruction of Filgaia. He does get his memories back in the penultimate chapter but by then it's too late.
  • Geralt in the first The Witcher game is an interesting example. In-story, he remembers nothing about his past before being brought to Kaer'Morhen, thus freeing the devs from having to recap the five volumes-long Blood of Elves saga, to which the game is a (non-canon) sequel and which hasn't been translated to English until after the game came out. Players familiar with the books, however, are treated to a lot of Continuity Nods, which are mostly lost on Geralt and newcomers to the setting.
  • In Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land the main character the party leader arrives at the town of Duhan knowing nothing of his past. Before the final boss it is revealed that they are in fact a fragment of the white haired swordsman's soul reshaped into strong soul not shackled by the past and thus never had any memories to have lost.
  • In The World Ends with You, protagonist Neku Sakuraba begins with absolutely no memories, other than his own name. This puts him in a pretty dangerous position in the Reaper's Game — at first he doesn't even believe it's real! Luckily for the players, his partner Shiki is willing to explain everything, such as the fact that entering the Game requires a Player to put up the thing they value most as their entry fee. Most players will put those plot points together long before Neku does. But after finishing the Game and getting his memories back, he still has one very important memory missing — how he died in the first place.
  • Worlds Apart opens with the protagonist getting washed up on a beach with no memory of who she is. Her amnesia turns out to have two causes: injury from hitting her head on a rock, and suppression of the painful memory of her mother's death.
  • Fei from Xenogears. He wakes up in a village with no memory of what he was before that, and all that he can conjure up from his past life is his martial art skills.
  • Yomawari: Lost in the Dark: After Yuzu throws herself off the school roof in the beginning of the game, she wakes up in a forest missing most of her memories. She's also been cursed. She knew how to break the curse, but forgot thanks to the amnesia, thus setting up the plot to find her memories.

    Visual Novels 
  • The whole point of the otome game Amnesia: Memories; the heroine loses her memories and must recover them while also not raising too much suspicion.
  • Aquarium: Theo at some point in the past had a heavy fever that made him lose all memories of his childhood. Despite having regular dreams, he forgets everything other than "some girl yelled at him", so he can't piece together that Aqua is her. She also isn't allowed to talk about it as doctors say he needs to remember everything by himself.
  • Baldr Sky: Kou wakes up in the middle of a battle against some viruses, with no memory of his life prior to it. After getting treatment from the doctor Noi, he starts to remembers bits of his student days, at varying degrees depending of the routes. In Makoto and Sora's routes however, he retains his memories, accelerating the plot overall.
  • In The House in Fata Morgana, the protagonist wakes up with no memories and is referred to as 'You' in the textboxes. If starting a new game after reaching the true end, this is changed to destitute soul.
  • In Nameless - The One Thing You Must Recall - this happens to the heroine during Red's route.
  • Trapped with Jester: The protagonist can't recall a thing, not even their own name or that they apparently summoned Jester like he claims. Jester explains that he may have slurped up some of their memories by accident while he was feeding on their contempt.
  • Zero Escape:
    • It's sort of a Running Gag that each game has a token amnesiac in the cast - Seven in 999, K in VLR and Q in Zero Time Dilemma. Seven lost his memories due to a Time Paradox and mind-altering drugs, K had his taken away to prevent him from derailing the Ambidex Game and Q is an android who never had memories.
    • Everyone in Zero Time Dilemma is injected with a memory-erasing drug every 90 minutes for Zero's Decision Game. This actually becomes a gameplay mechanic - the player can see two different memory fragments, one which shows everyone at the very beginning then cutting to a later time when Junpei is murdered, thereby causing Akane and Carlos to accuse the other of his murder. The player has to determine where these memory fragments go on the timeline and which routes each is exclusive to.

    Web Animation 
  • Tari from Meta Runner has no memories of her previous identity or what happened during Project Blue, only remembering her name and some flashbacks with her creator, Dr. Sheridan.
  • SMG4 pulls a twist on this which contains a major spoiler for the series. For the first 10 seasons you have no idea that any of the protagonists are truly amnesiac, until the Genesis Arc reveals that SMG4 himself has zero memories whatsoever of anything past his debut episode, be it his birth, his parents, anything. While we do learn about his past in the next episode, the reason for his amnesia is still completely unknown. And with the Grand Finale of the lore about the meme guardians released in April 2022, it’s likely we won’t ever learn the reason.

    Web Comics 
  • A.P.O.C starts the first couple of pages with the amnesiac hero, Clara, waking up with no memory at all at 12 years of age. After the prologue a time skip occurs, so Clara isn't completely clueless from the beginning. But everyone around her is doing a great job of keeping her in the dark about her history.
  • Callahan, the protagonist of Black Ward: Empty Chambers is missing what may be months or years at the beginning of the comic.
  • Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name has an undead Supporting Protagonist with Ghost Amnesia, who spent years pondering his own (lack of) life before deciding to forge a new one. Hanna always addresses him by a different (often odd) name, hoping to find one that will jog his memory. In commentary, the creator generally calls him Zombie or {...}.
  • I'm the Grim Reaper: Scarlet awakens in hell, without any recollection of her life or what she did to be considered one of the worst sinners out there. She really only has Satan's word for that. Although she does begin to remember a connection to a gang called The Red Spades, she still has no idea what it was.
  • The title character of Jack is pretty sympathetic for a Deadly Sin... but his life as a mortal decidedly wasn't, carrying out a genocide of all humans. Jack's punishment, besides becoming the Grim Reaper, was to lose all memory of his past life — not only is he tortured by the amnesia itself, he also can't repent for sins he doesn't remember, and thus is stuck in Hell. The comic's biggest hook is the very gradual explanation of Jack's former life.
  • Aelis, the protagonist of Memorabilia , has no memories of who he is, but he retains excellent sword fighting skills.
  • The RPG-style Oceanfalls follows the amnesiac Nino, who apparently hit his head. He at least remembers his name... "probably."
  • Our World: Jill, who was found on a beach as a young teenager at the beginning of the comic.
  • The Hero of RPG World is also amnesiac, such that he doesn't even remember his own name (Everyone Calls Him Hero).
  • In The Secrets of the Afterlife, the main character losts her memory at the very beginning of the story. She remembers her name in Chapter 1, but that's about it.
  • The main character of shadowcomic / Keep of Shadows has a scrambled brain and even ambiguous gender, lacking a name and referring to itself as it. As Keep of Shadows is a comic where readers respond, a scrambled brain might be intended to explain why this kid is willing to behave in the somewhat disjointed way someone will act when following orders from a large committee.
  • Trace of TwoKinds is this. We've been told some choice details of his past, and his current goals are so drastically different from his old ones that the world may be better off if he stays this way.
  • The first story in the Unity 'verse follows Juni Melrose immediately after it lost all memory of who it was and how it got there.

    Web Original 
  • Mei, one of the members of the Fellowship in The Questport Chronicles.
  • Mollymauk from Critical Role qualifies. When first pressed about his past, he tells the party that he's been with the circus for as long as he can reasonably remember... which turns out to be around two years. By his own admission, his first real memory was crawling his way out of a grave - before that, he remembers nothing beyond vague flashes. Even his name is new: he used go by Lucien or The Nonagon. However, unlike many in his position, he embraces this facet of his identity, stating multiple times that he wants nothing to do with whoever he used to be, and makes a point to avoid learning anything about his past.
  • Logan throughout Logan's Day has only vague, muddled memories, has lost a lot of his past skills and knowledge, and only even knows his name because it was written on a piece of paper he was carrying. He's effectively a whole different person from who he used to be.
  • Aphmau of Minecraft Diaries has no memories of her past or previous identity. It’s because said previous identity, Lady Irene the Matron, erased all her memories in order to feel emotion again.

    Western Animation 
  • Bumblebee suffers from amnesia in Transformers: Cyberverse, which is compounded with damage to his voicebox that forces him to communicate through television and radio clips. Fortunately, his friend Windblade is a telepath and is able to slowly repair his memories and remind him of his mission and who he is.
  • Yugo, the main hero in Wakfu, is an interesting example because while he is a hero who remembers everything about his life, he is unaware that he has always been a hero through eternity due to lacking Past-Life Memories of his previous reincarnations. This comes up in force in Season 2 when the Big Bad is one of his villainous Eliatrope siblings that does remember, knows Yugo doesn't, and is able to manipulate him based on this.


Video Example(s):


NFS Carbon: Own the City

Need for Speed: Carbon – Own the City begins in the midst of a high-stakes race where both the player and their brother Mick suffer from a disastrous crash. And while the player manages to survive the crash, albeit with amnesia, Mick ended up dying from it.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / SurvivedTheBeginning

Media sources: