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Another Side, Another Story

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Sometimes, beating a game will unlock the ability to play as another character entirely, presenting a different storyline, often parallel to the main one, which unfolds to reveal a side of the story you never knew before...or perhaps simply an amusing Perspective Flip, where the former heroes are now antagonists or incidental side characters.

Ever wonder just what the Sidekick/The Rival/the Big Bad was doing while he wasn't on screen? Here's your chance to live it.

Compare New Game Plus, Lower-Deck Episode, "Rashomon"-Style, & Secret Final Campaign. If, instead of a game mode, you get an entire sequel like this, it's a P.O.V. Sequel. If only the good guys get such a perspective, then you have No Campaign for the Wicked.

Subtrope of Hero of Another Story.


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  • In Cave Story, finding Curly's Panties unlocks Curly Mode, in which you play as Action Girl Curly Brace instead of the normal Silent Protagonist. The old protagonist and Curly swap places, with Curly saying what the other character is probably thinking. That is, except for one line after you save his life.
  • In Folklore you can play through the story as either Ellen or Keats. Each have their own story for each chapter though they take place in the same locations. At the end of each chapter you can choose to switch between the two or continue with the character you played last. That is up until the last chapter both characters must be played to the last chapter before you can select it.
  • Beating the main chapters of Hotline Miami grants you a couple more chapters where you play as the Biker. One of the stages is even the same retread of the boss fight with him, only now the perspective is changed.
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number frequently shifts through different characters and perspectives as the story continues. They include the Loony Fans of the first game's protagonist, a Cowboy Cop, an Intrepid Reporter and even the man with glasses of the first game.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 allows you to choose if you want to join Iron Man's Pro-Reg team or Cap America's resistance. Depending on which side you choose, you get either Iron Man or Captain America's perspective about the other team. However, at a certain point the two sides join up to deal with a bigger threat, making both sides available for play.
  • In the PS2 video game Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo, beating the game once unlocks a bonus mode allowing the player to play a number of sidemissions, taking place both on the Federations side, and on that of the Principality of Zeon (even allowing the player to unlock Char's old red-painted Mobile Suits).
  • Noitu Love 2: Devolution lets you play as Rilo Doppelori after you beat the game once, and Mr. Almond after beating it with Rilo, although he doesn't have a unique take on the plot like Rilo does.
  • Odin Sphere features five protagonists with their individual story campaigns that intersect with one another. The campaigns themselves are separate and presented in-game as different books that a little girl can select and read.
  • Complete Panzer Dragoon Orta once and you unlock an additional story mode following an Imperial boy named Iva Demilcol that happens concurrently with Orta's own story.
  • In Punishing: Gray Raven every main story chapter has "Normal" and "Hidden" missions. The latter are told from the perspective of different characters, often villains.
  • In the Spider-Man movie game, it's possible to unlock an alternate mode of play where the player takes control of Harry Osborne as the Green Goblin, looking to avenge his father. The rest of the game plays the same, except that the enemy Green Goblin doesn't seem to be Norman. The PS3 version of the third movie game permits you to do much the same thing.
  • Road of the Dead 2 takes place during the same Zombie Apocalypse as the previous game, but follows two soldiers attempt to escape the city. Both soldiers catch a brief glimpse of John Creasman, the previous game's protagonist, as he blazes down a highway.
  • The main protagonists of Scarlet Nexus, Yuito and Kasane, both follow the same story but from different perspectives. For the most part, their initial chapters are similar enough but start diverging a lot, leaving most plot points unclear until both campaigns are finished. This does also overlap with Dueling Player Characters, as Yuito and Kasane fight each other several times throughout the story.
  • Transformers: Convoy no Nazo let you play as Rodimus Prime after beating it once with Ultra Magnus. Rodimus was only a recolored Ultra Magnus, though.

  • Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare has you play as either Edward Carnby or Aline Cedrac, who each have their own path in the story.
  • Completing Bunny Must Die with sufficient time power-ups unlocks Chelsea and the 7 Devils, where you play through the same levels as Chelsea. In this case, 7 Devils is not simply a perspective flip, but an attempt by the characters to turn back time and change the past.
  • Castlevania has many examples across many games. Richter Mode (which appears in both Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, though the latter misspells his name as "Richiter"), Axe Armor Mode, Julius Mode (in both Sorrow games)...
    • The Julius Mode in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow even has its own plotline (following on the Somacula ending). The Julius Mode in Aria of Sorrow, however, is merely a bonus mode as with most other modes with alternate characters (with the exception of Dawn of Sorrow's equivalent and the below).
    • Sisters Mode in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, meanwhile, is a prequel to the game's events.
    • Taken to its logical extreme in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate. The game consists out of four chapters, and all four feature a different playable character. There's the Prologue, Acts I and II that happen roughly at the same time, and Act III takes place before I and II.
    • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 lets you play as Alucard in a purchasable DLC chapter which shows what Alucard was doing between the prologue and when the main game starts.
  • The PS2 game The Getaway stars ex-Collins gang member Mark Hammond as the protagonist. Finishing his story allows players to play through Frank Carter's arc, the cop who initially pursued, and eventually helps Hammond.
    • In The Getaway: Black Monday, the game starts with Ben Mitchell before the next arc centers on Eddie 'O Connor and Sam Thompson.


  • In Anarchy Reigns, there are two story modes: White Side, which focuses on Leo and Black Side, which focuses on Jack. Beating both unlocks the Red Side, which is the true ending.
  • In the fighting game Death Vegas, all the playable characters' Story Modes actually interweave into a single story, with all of their fights and victories canon within that story.
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ: Story Mode has three different tales, from the perspective of Goku, Frieza and Android 18. However, each version is a complete retelling of the story with major events still generally repeating, but often happening in a completely different way. For example, Android 16 dies in every arc but the circumstances are different each time, Frieza's arc is the only one where the villainous characters survive, and the good version of Android 21 only makes an appearance in the Android arc.
  • In Persona 4: Arena, playing as certain characters unlocks other characters whom you only interact with during one short section, including the final boss with her unique story mode. Given the game's Unreliable Narrator (due to the Final Boss being a Master of Illusion), all the various fights may even be considered canon.
  • Invoked with Tekken 7's side chapters in story mode. Each fight can be played from the perspective of either main combatant. This applies to all but a select few of the characters who are more important to the main story (ex. Kazuya, Heihachi, Jin, Lars, Alisa, Lee).

    First-Person Shooters 
  • Dead Island has the character Ryder White, who serves as the antagonist to the main four characters. Playing as him reveals the true story and casts some very sinister aspersions upon a particular character.
  • in Doom³, Bravo Team is killed roughly moments before the Doom Marine manages to reach them, and has to carry on the mission to reach communications without them. With the release of the BFG Edition, The Lost Mission bonus campaign can be played and focuses on the sole survivor of Bravo Team who got pulled through a grating the Doom Marine never saw, and managed to shoot the demon that dragged him off. After this, he ends up inadvertently tasked with shutting down a portal in Hell that leads to Exis Labs, a duty the Doom Marine never learns about and doesn't even know is critical to the survival of Mars and Earth.
  • The expansion packs for Half-Life all do this:
    • Half-Life: Opposing Force casts the player as Corporal Adrian Shephard, one of the invading marines. He doesn't actually get orders to silence the Black Mesa personnel in time before his transport copter is shot down, so the scientists and security guards are still friendly to him.
    • Half-Life: Blue Shift lets players step into the shoes of Barney Calhoun, whose main goal is to escape the facility with the help of some scientists.
    • Half-Life: Decay focuses on two female scientists in HEV suits trying to achieve the initial goal that Gordon in the main game was trying to accomplish (launching a satellite into orbit). It also features a bonus mission where you can play as a Vortigaunt.
  • The House of the Dead: OVERKILL's extended cut features Varla Guns, previously just an NPC, going through two levels on her own with her brother's Dumb Blonde girlfriend who was never seen or mentioned in the main game.
  • Most of the bonus levels in Perfect Dark are these to the main story. In order, they're "Mr. Blonde's Revenge"note , "Maian SOS"note , and "WAR!"note .
  • Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict has the individual ladders, half of which are unlocked by beating either the game's main story mode (the Ascension Rites), the Challenges or other character's ladder, the only exceptions being Malcolmnote  and Devastationnote :
    • Anubis: Beating the Ascension Rites. His ladder takes place after the Rites.
    • Brock: Beating Lauren's ladder. His ladder takes place after the Rites.
    • Gorge: Beating Malcolm's ladder. It's unknown at which part of the Rites his ladder takes place.
    • Raiden: Beating the Challenges. Non-canon.
    • Selket: Beating the Ascension Rites. Takes place at the same time than the Rites right to the final rung.
    • Torgr: Beating Szalor's ladder. Takes place at the same time as both the Rites and Szalor's ladder; their final rung is even the same match.
  • Vietcong 2. While the original game and Fist Alpha casts the players as a Green Beret, in the second game they're either a MACV operator or a VC fighter.

    Hack and Slash 
  • Devil May Cry 2: Dante and Lucia's campaigns are played separately and their stories are told from their own perspectives; any plot point that's skipped or brushed over by one character's campaign can be explained by the other. Their level layouts aren't exactly the same either; Lucia has fewer missions but her stages also have some gimmicks and bosses that aren't present in Dante's campaign. However, both campaigns share some common cutscenes where both characters reunite.
  • Ninety-Nine Nights relies completely on this trope. Entire subplots only appear when you get far enough to play through as the right character.
  • A variant in some games of the Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors series: Unlocking a new character means you can go through their specific Story Mode and/or add new missions.

  • The spring 2015 challenge path for Kingdom of Loathing, "Actually Ed the Undying", puts you in the role of the level 11 boss, chasing down that pesky %playername who stole his Holy MacGuffin.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, each of the eight classes are their own individual stories focused on your selected character that all take place roughly concurrently to one another. The Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion features two different storylines depending on your faction while the Shadow of Revan and Knights of the Fallen Empire expansions are the same no matter who you play.
  • Starting with the Stormblood expansion, Final Fantasy XIV will have instances where you get to play as a major character shown in the story. Said characters use watered down versions of jobs that players have access to so that players who don't play a particular role or job won't be overwhelmed by a character's move pool that's not familiar. These instances are called "Role Play" by the game.

  • Freedom Planet: When playing as one of the three heroines, they each have their own dedicated level at certain parts of their stories. While Lilac and Carol start off in Dragon Valley, Milla's story starts off differently in Aqua Tunnel. There is even a point where the heroines split up and go about their own ways. Carol and Milla get Trap Hideout, wherein they seek help from Spade to help find Torque, while Lilac is summoned by the Magister to investigate Pangu Lagoon after being split up from her friends again.
  • Kirby:
    • In Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, completing the main game unlocks Meta Knightmare, allowing you to replay the game as Meta Knight. Kirby Super Star Ultra follows suit with Meta Knightmare Ultra after you complete the original sub-games barring The Arena, allowing you to replay Spring Breeze, Dyna Blade, Meta Knight's Revenge, The Great Cave Offensive and Milky Way Wishes, though rather than facing Marx at the end of Milky Way Wishes you fight Galacta Knight.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe has Dededetour, in which you replay the story mode as King Dedede, who also has his own final boss.
    • Kirby: Planet Robobot saw the return of Meta Knight as a playable with Meta Knightmare Returns, similar to Dededetour from Triple Deluxe. Like Dededetour, you replay the stages as Meta Knight, as well as having his own final boss.
    • Kirby Star Allies features Guest Star ????, which is essentially a more inclusive version of Meta Knightmare and Dededetour in that all of Kirby's allies are playable.
  • LEGO Batman lets you play an episode as the villains after completing it with Batman, showing how they broke into these places and put their nefarious schemes into place before the Dark Knight interfered. The game counts these as separate levels with their own sets of collectibles necessary for 100% Completion.
  • Mega Man
    • Proto Man mode in Mega Man 9 qualifies, although technically you can access this immediately if you buy it immediately. Mega Man 10 follows suit with Bass Mode.
    • In Mega Man Powered Up for the PSP, you get the ability to play the game as any Robot Master you managed to beat by using only the Mega Buster - since you're always guaranteed to have done so with at least the first Robot Master you defeated, you'll always have one. So in that version, you actually can have this eleven times. Furthermore, the boss of the stage of the Robot Master you're playing as will be a fake, Wily-produced Mega Man instead.
      • Roll, Proto Man, and Mega Man with his slide and charge shot from later games in the series are also unlockable, as is Mega with no abilities whatsoever.
    • In Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, you get access to Vile Mode, who can play through the entire game except the fight against Zero and X.
  • In the doujin RosenkreuzStilette, after playing through the game as the regular character, Spiritia, you get a code that if entered at the title screen allows you to play as Grolla, the sword-wielding Lady of War who was one of the eight regular bosses of the game; she plays like a clone of a game based on the original series. As what is likely a nod to Powered Up, after playing through Grolla's stage as Grolla, you get to fight Spiritia as a boss instead of Grolla. And that fight is apparently meant to be the same fight as in Spiritia's story. So the other bosses are being beaten twice at mostly the same time.
    • And then, there's Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel's alternate mode, where you can play as Grolla's own perky version, the captain of the Schwarzkreuz, Pamela Arwig. Just like Grolla, she also plays like Zero in a game based on the original Mega Man. When you get to the end of the Opening Stage as her, you get to fight Freudia as a Warm-Up Boss (she also previously served as that trope in the Opening Stage in the first game and its own side-game), and likewise, getting to the end of Pamela's stage as Pamela herself results in a surprise boss fight against an Unexpected Character in the form of Karl Palesch, Liebea's older brother who was previously imprisoned by Count Michael Zeppelin (as orchestrated by his daughter Iris) in the first game.
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero features alternate story campaigns starring series villain Risky Boots and Shantae's friends Rottytops, Bolo and Sky.
  • Of the eight bosses that form Shovel Knight's Order of No Quarter, three received their own single player campaigns: Plague Knight (Plague of Shadows), Specter Knight (Specter of Torment), and King Knight (King of Cards). Plague of Shadows was originally released as free DLC for the original game, and also required the player to beat the main game to unlock it. It followed this trope pretty much exactly, taking place alongside Shovel Knight's story. With the release of Specter of Torment, the release method for the series was changed, so that the series could be bought as the individual campaigns or as a bundle of all of them. Specter of Torment and King of Cards, however, are prequels rather than taking place alongside the original.
  • A lot of Sonic the Hedgehog games have this from the start (For example, two sides in Sonic Adventure 2, etc.), though they're usually accessible from the beginning. However, the Sonic Riders subseries unlocks the alternate "Babylon" storyline after you're done with the Heroes and Sonic Adventure allowed to start a character's story immediately after you encountered them in someone else's part of the game.
    • Knuckles's story in Sonic 3 & Knuckles may also count, since several pieces of evidence within that story claim it to take place after Sonic and Tails's stories.
    • This was also in effect in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) with three different characters' scenarios, but in the end it practically meant the developers only had about a dozen levels and were forced to re-use them all twice to make the game long enough. And that's not counting the fact that the final level is a bunch of Remixed Levels.
  • Viewtiful Joe: Three (four in the PS2 port) unlockable characters exist, each with a slightly different story. For the record, they're Silvia, Captain Blue, Alastor, and Dante.
  • In World of Illusion, certain sections of the game change depending on whether you're playing as Mickey, Donald, or both.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Puyo Puyo:
    • Puyo Puyo Sun's different routes feature a different character that is intertwined with the main plot.
      • Draco stars in Easy, which is chronologically first in the story.
      • Arle stars in Normal, taking place right after Draco's story.
      • Schezo stars in Hard, which ties in with Arle's, sometime after hers began.
    • Puyo Puyo Fever does something similar to SUN; Amitie is the main character of the RunRun and WakuWaku course, and Raffina is the player character for the HaraHara course.
    • Puyo Puyo Fever 2 has the three courses again, except the player character is now chosen between Amitie, Raffina, and newcomer Sig, each with a different take on the plot.
      • The events of all 3 of their RunRun courses are the same, with them being in class learning about the games' mechanics, as this is basically the tutorial mode.
      • Their WakuWaku courses diverge a bit, with Amitie needing to find Ms. Accord's visitor, Sig trying to find Amitie while she's doing so, and Raffina just wants to turn Ocean Prince into a human thinking he'd be handsome. They all end up finding said visitor, Lemres, by the end.
      • Their HaraHara courses had Amitie's story begin first, Sig's story begin second, and Raffina's story beginning third, and by the end, Raffina's story finishes first, Sig's story finish second, and Amitie's story finishes last, each taking a certain artifact that Klug needed to bring the power from his book that led him into being possessed.
    • 15th Anniversary determines who wins the tournament, with each character having a different set of opponents. They also have the opportunity of meeting the "stars that fell from the sky", as Sig noticed, and unlocking them allows them to participate in the tournament and win.
    • After beating the story the first time in 7, you're allowed to play as one of Ringo's companions at the time of their presence for certain chapters.
    • 20th Anniversary initially has Ringo only, but stories are gradually unlocked as you clear everyone else's. One final Extra story is unlocked after everyone's story is completed.
  • Done in the loosest sense of the term in Go! Go! Kokopolo 3D; Kokopolo, Tatsumo and Jinbe each get a set of three worlds to go through before the final story can be unlocked, but they all play identically and the game's plot is really minimal anyway.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Battlezone II: Combat Commander forks about halfway through. You are given a Friend-or-Idol Decision between loyalty to Braddock who is your direct superior and promoted you to The Dragon just prior to the mission or loyalty to Shabayev who WAS your direct superior before defecting after Braddock made a failed attempt on her life and made it look like the Scions did it. The Braddock half is only three missions long and leaves several unanswered questions (how the heck did the Scions get their hands on a planet-destroying superweapon?) whereas the Shabayev half is triple the length and fully explains what the Scions want (turns out the superweapon in question is actually a harmless terraforming device and is aimed at the Dark Planet, not Earth as Braddock says). A good example of the difference between the two is the fate of Manson. The Braddock arc starts right off with you smoking him out of hiding after he proclaimed Braddock a traitor; his body is found a few hours after the battle. The Shabayev arc however has you at one point relieving the siege on his base and organizing his forces into a counterattack; you also happen to get evidence of Braddock doing background deals with the Scion traitors who only appear in this arc and mess things up a few times.
  • Command & Conquer: All games offer campaigns for both NOD and GDI if you're in the Tiberium universe or the Allies and the Soviets if you're in the Red Alert storyline (as well as the Empire in Red Alert 3). However, only Firestorm, Generals, and C&C3 actually tell the same story across every campaign. The rest of them have the campaigns exist in different timelines. This could be considered only slightly in keeping with the spirit of this trope, as these alternate stories/perspectives are always open from the start, with one exception: Beating the GDI and Nod campaigns in C&C3 unlocks the Scrin campaign.
  • Haegemonia: Legions of Iron starts with two separate campaigns for Earth and Mars, but they converge after the first several missions. Beyond that, the only differences are the primary hero and cosmetic ship designs.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth games have alternate campaigns for both the Good (canon) and Bad forces.
  • Pikmin:
    • Pikmin 3 Deluxe added two Side Stories — Olimar's Assignment and Olimar's Comeback — chronicling Olimar and Louie's misadventures before and after the main story of the game.
    • Pikmin 4 has "Olimar's Shipwreck Tale", which unlocks after beating the main story. The mode chronicles Captain Olimar's journey to repair the S.S. Dolphin after he crashed, prior to sending out his SOS signal at the start of the game. Featuring only the original three Pikmin species and focuses on collecting 30 ship parts with a 15-day time limit, and even reintroduces older mechanics such as "swarming", it essentially acts as a remake of Pikmin (2001).
  • For Rome: Total War and Medieval II: Total War and their expansions, only a few of the game's factions are playable right from the start. Any factions defeated by the player (as in, if one of your armies personally captures the faction's last remaining city, that faction is eliminated from the current game) become unlocked after the current playthrough is completed successfully. Think of it as Defeat Means Friendship.
  • Star Wars: Empire at War lets one play as the Rebellion (canon) and Empire (non-canon but epic), with their own missions and accessible planets.
    • Star Wars games in general love retreading film territory.
    • The "Forces of Corruption" expansion adds a third (non-canonical) side in the form of the Zann Consortium which faces off against both the Empire and the Rebels. In fact, the final battle involves a Mêlée à Trois with Zann's forces first joining the Rebels and then betraying them. However, it should be noted that it was simply business on Zann's part. He has no political motives and only seeks to extend the reach of his criminal empire no matter who is in charge from a political standpoint. The battle was merely an attempt to capture the Empire's largest warship, not to keep but to download its databanks.
  • The first two Warcraft games allow the player to fight as either the humans or the orcs. A notable difference is that canon assumes that the orcs win the first game, while the humans win the second game (though in both cases, some events from the non-canon campaign are also considered canon).
    • World of Warcraft has the same events play out in some areas from the Horde's and Alliance's separate points of view. A notable example is the Southern Barrens: the Horde is reeling from the fire-bombing and looting of Camp Taurajo, and kill the general responsible. The Alliance players, meanwhile, deal with the death of their general who deeply regretted the way Taurajo turned out, and arrest the convicts looting the ruined town. Another quest has the Alliance player report to a General that his adult military son died when explosion blew up their base, and kill goblin miners for revenge. Hordeside, the players help a Tauren blow up a military base whose inhabitants had killed his family and destroyed a tauren village during peacetime.
  • The three acts of Starcraft requires you to take the sides of all three factions in turn as an ongoing, continuous story. After you've achieved triumph as the Zerg, claiming the Protoss homeworld, you now have to play the Protoss reclaiming said homeworld.
  • Supreme Commander portrays that all three sides are in a dire situation and how they converge in the last mission. The UEF are beset by the Aeon fanatics, and the Cybrans have crippled their communications, forcing them to use Black Sun as a last resort. The Cybrans need to stop the UEF from firing Black Sun and stop the Aeon from attacking their people. The Aeon is in a state of civil war, as the Avatar of war is usurping the Princess as leader of the Illuminate, and plans to cleanse the galaxy of non believers. The ending depends on which side the player chooses.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom, you can choose from Yugi's campaign and Kaiba's campaign to start, with each focusing on a different aspect of the story. Beat both the Yugi and Kaiba campaigns and you unlock the Joey campaign, which shows what Joey was doing before joining Yugi's forces.

    Rhythm Games 
  • Beating Um Jammer Lammy once unlocks an extra mode where you can play as Parappa from the original game, with all-new story cutscenes (that don't tie in to the gameplay) and remixed stage music with new lyrics.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Celestian Tales: Old North lets you choose from six playable characters. All six storylines follow the same general path; however, each character encounters one moral dilemma specific to them, and certain cutscenes and story information are only available by playing as certain characters.
  • Chaos Rings lets you play as any of the 4 couples in the same background of the Arc battle arena. The story progression differs slightly with each couple you play with, because inevitably you will have to kill the other 3 couples.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins has a DLC called The Darkspawn Chronicles, which lets the player assume the role of a Darkspawn Commander fighting in the Blight that the protagonist is supposed to stop in the main campaign. This is, however, explicitly an alternate reality - for example, the player character of the main campaign does not even survive the initiation ceremony of the Grey Wardens in this DLC, causing many background events to shift accordingly. It's an interesting perspective because it actually allows the player to receive orders directly from the Archdemon, thus seeing how he thinks and operates. The DLC campaign is won by killing all of the player character's allies from the main game.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition has a quest in the Exalted Plains called "Another Side, Another Story." It involves speaking with one of Grand Duke Gaspard's men, to hear their side of the Orlesian civil war situation. However, the player character remains the same; the trope is invoked in name only.
  • The GBA and PSP versions of Final Fantasy II has "Soul of Rebirth", a mode where the characters who died through the story meet in the Afterlife to fight the Light version of the Dark Emperor.
  • Final Fantasy XV: The DLC Episodes Gladiolus, Prompto, and Ignis showcase side events for each of the given characters during a period where they were not in the active party.
    • Gladiolus Amicitia leaves the entourage at the end of Chapter 6 and only rejoins the party at the start of Chapter 8. Episode Gladiolus reveals that he spent the intermediary period undertaking the Trial of Gilgamesh and coming to terms with his self-worth after having gotten a Curb-Stomp Battle from Ravus Nox Fleuret.
    • Prompto Argentum is knocked off the train in Chapter 11 by Noctis, courtesy of Ardyn Izunia's illusions; when he rejoins the party in Chapter 13, he's discovered he was one of the cloned infants meant to be used for magitek troopers. Episode Prompto explains how he learned this information, and what happened to imperial Research Chief Verstael Besithia.
    • While Noctis faces Leviathan in Chapter 10, his party is busy evacuating the citizenry of Altissia; when he recovers from the aftermath, Ignis Scientia has lost his vision. Episode Ignis reveals that he had to team up with Ravus to get Noctis off the Altar of the Tidemother, and Ardyn intercepted them; Ignis put on the Ring of the Lucii and got a face full of Black★Rock Shooter in exchange for 60 seconds of piss off, Ardyn.
    • There's also a non-DLC example in Chapter 13, Verse 2, added to the base game in a version update. Noctis gets separated from Gladiolus and Ignis upon arriving at Gralea. The player at this point has the option to follow Noctis or his friends, with control going to Gladiolus if they choose the latter; they can also choose to switch to Gladio at any of the dormitory rooms throughout the level. The primary reason for this addition is that Noctis' route is a borderline No-Gear Level to reflect his Darkest Hour, and is consequently seen as That One Level.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • The Trope Namer, while from Kingdom Hearts, isn't actually an example itself; the name comes from a hidden video in the first game of the same name that provided a preview of characters and teased plot threads for Kingdom Hearts II. That video later became playable as the Final Boss in the P.O.V. Sequel Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, so it isn't entirely unrelated, interestingly enough.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and its PS2 remake feature "Reverse/Rebirth", in which you guide Riku through the basement levels of Castle Oblivion at the same time as and just after Sora goes through the upper levels.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: There are three playable characters (Terra, Aqua, and Ven) who each have their own playstyles and follow their own stories. They all intertwine and each perspective forgoes giving much context to what's going on in the other two, making playing all of them necessary to fully understand what's going on.
    • Dream Drop Distance outright defies this: You play as two characters in one campaign, and the game forces you to switch between them whenever your "Drop gauge" runs out.
  • Last Word: Reading Seymour's journal involves playing as Seymour in Discourse against people, such as Holden McCall, for the second entry.
  • In Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy you have the choice of playing the story with either Raze or Ulrika as the main character. The story lines are mostly separate with a few points where they intersect. Playing through both unlocks a third story that starts at the end of the previous two and wraps up the plot.
  • This is as good a trope as any to describe Nethergate, which is essentially two intertwined games with the same engine. At the beginning, you choose to be a Roman or a Celt, and each plays through half the plot, often with one setting up elements that are only explored in the other's scenario. However, since the two scenarios take place concurrently, and since neither side fully understands what's going on, you can play the two in any order.
  • The routes A and B in NieR: Automata follow essentially the same plot, except that in A, you play as 2B, and in B, as her partner 9S, and you can only play the latter after clearing the former's ending. Although the plot is the same, however, you get to discover a lot more depressing details because 9S is an intelligence-gathering model and thus a lot more perceptive than the combat-oriented 2B. After clearing ending B, you get to see the second half of the story, as 9S or the mysterious A2, but this is not this trope, but instead Arbitrarily Serialized Simultaneous Adventures, since their storylines are vastly different, but occur simultaneously and you can switch between them after every major mission.
  • Persona 3: FES, the Updated Re-release of the game, gives us The Answer, an entirely new epilogue chapter that makes Aigis the main playable character. A new AI-controlled character appears as well.
  • Sa Ga Frontier has 7 playable characters, and they cross paths with each other in their respective stories, and can sometimes be recruited on alternate paths.
  • SaGa Frontier 2 jumps between various members of Wil Knights and Gustave's families at various points in time.
  • Star Ocean series:
    • Star Ocean: The Second Story allows you to play as either Claude or Rena from the beginning of the game. There are no big differences in the main storyline, however, there are certain Private Actions that aren't available to both characters, and certain characters you can only recruit as one or the other.
    • Star Ocean: The Divine Force lets you choose between Raymond and Laeticia. Their stories put emphasis on different parts of the Science Fantasy setting, and have slightly different cutscenes, completely different private actions, and their own sets of possible character endings.
  • Gathering 104 of the 108 Stars Of Destiny in Suikoden III would unlock an additional scenario where you played as the four main villains of the game (and the final four Stars).
  • Tales Series:
    • Tales of Destiny: The Director's Cut of the PS2 remake has a special scenario where you play as Leon Magnus. It's avilable from the start of the game, not requiring you to playing the main game first (although you probably should, because Leon is in the know about several things that are spoilers to Stahn). And, of course, it ends a lot faster.
    • Tales of Xillia allows you to choose either Jude or Milla at the beginning of the game as the "main character". Whoever you choose will get more scenes, their own set of battle music, and you get to see their version of events when the party splits up. While Jude is a more traditional Audience Surrogate whose scenes focus on Character Development, Milla is more involved in the events of the plot.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The end credits of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword allows you to see snippets of what Zelda was doing while you were playing as Link.
    • Hyrule Warriors:
      • The Master Quest DLC pack adds a new campaign to Legend Mode that allows you to play as Volga, Wizzro, and Cia during their initial assault on Hyrule. It shows how Cia recruited the four other main villains to her side, and ends shortly before her demise. In Legends and Definitive Edition, it's in the vanilla game and you need to clear it.
      • Legends and Definitive Edition also add Linkle's campaign, which happens alongside the main story.
  • In Demi Kids for Gameboy Advance, the Dark and Light versions of the game feature different protagonists doing different quests.
  • In Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth for 3DS, you can experience the story from the perspective of the Persona 3 cast, or their Persona 4 counterparts.
  • Ys Origin presents a slightly different version of the story depending on which character you choose to use. Completing the game with either of the two starting characters unlocks a third, whose story is the canonical one.
  • The Nintendo 3DS remake of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga features Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser, a side story in which a lowly Goomba forms a squad and goes on a quest to find out what happened to Bowser after the Koopa Cruiser is destroyed, recruiting many allies as he does so. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story was later remade for the same system, complete with its own side story where the events of the original game are seen through the eyes of Bowser's son.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2's story takes place at the same time as Xenoblade Chronicles 1. The final boss in 2 has the characters in 1 fighting their final boss at the same time, with their voices even being heard in the distance.

  • Trauma Center: Second Opinion introduced a mode which let you play as newcomer doctor Nozomi Weaver in the alternate "Z" chapters which exist in parallel with main character Derek Stiles' own. Later sequel Trauma Team was built around playing as several medical specialists who often passed patients to one another as the overall story unfolded.

    Survival Horror 
  • The survival horror game Kuon lets you choose between two main characters; however, it is only after completing both characters storyline that the final character and the ending is unlocked.
  • Resident Evil
    • Resident Evil does this, somehow with both its playable modes. Jill and Chris's games are different and canonically incompatible, with Chris being imprisoned and Rebecca being missing in Jill's game and Jill being imprisoned and Barry dying in Chris's game. Canon, however, claims a third scenario where Chris, Jill, Barry, and Rebecca all four explored the mansion and survived it together: you never get to actually see, let alone play, this story.
    • Resident Evil 2 was one of the first to pull this completely, with one disc for Leon S. Kennedy's side of the story and a second for Claire Redfield's. Players could play both sides of the story in either order, but got more areas to explore in the second run. Additionally, the way certain events transpire also changes depending on which character is chosen first. And once the second scenario is completed, it opens up yet another side story, where the player controls Hunk, a surviving member of the Umbrella Special Forces unit that attacked William Birkin.
    • The PlayStation 2 and Wii versions of Resident Evil 4 added the "Separate Ways" scenario, which depicts the events of the main story from Ada Wong's perspective and even goes as far as to depict why certain locations and items were the way they were in the main story. Oddly enough, the only gap in the story that "Separate Ways" does not cover was the one between Ada's arrival at Sadler's Island and her meeting with Krauser (presumably since "Assignment: Ada" covered a similar ground).
    • Resident Evil 6 has three different stories (Leon, Chris and Jake) that take place within the same timeframe as each other and intersect at various moments. After they're completed, Ada Wong's story is unlocked, which shows what she was doing behind the scenes.
  • The Updated Re Release of Silent Hill 2 has Maria's "Born From a Wish" sub-scenario.
  • The Evil Within has the DLC "The Assignment" and "The Consequence", which deals with Juli Kidman's role in the story that answered a lot of plot holes left in the main game.
  • Clock Tower 2 will have you play as either Jennifer or Helen, depending on how many times you talk to Harris during the game's prologue as Professor Barton.
  • After beating LIT (2009), the game gives you the option of playing as Rachael, Jake's girlfriend. The only differences however are purely aesthetic; the calls you get are from Jake and the endings slightly differ.
  • The Whistleblower DLC for Outlast has you play as Waylon Park, the computer tech who sent the whistleblowing email to Miles Upshur at the start of Outlast.
  • In Pathologic, there are three separate player characters: Daniil Dankovsky, the Bachelor of Medicine; Artemiy Burahk, the Haruspex; and Clara, the Changeling. The three have twelve days to cure a mysterious plague that has sprung up in a small town, however in their intro dialogues its clear that the three's methods are incompatible, and they will only ever briefly assist each other as you play their route. Clara is locked on an initial playthrough, and it is generally considered better to play as the Bachelor first, as his status as a celebrity outsider means other characters are a lot more willing to explain things to him then the Haruspex, who also starts out being hunted by the town guard.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • The Updated Re-release version of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Subsistence, features the Snake Tales bonus mode, where you can play short sequences as Snake, to compensate for having to play most of the game as Raiden.
  • Beat Tenchu 2 with both Rikimaru & Ayame to play as Tatsumaru and learn why he betrayed the Azuma. Ditto Tesshu in Wrath of Heaven.
  • Yandere Simulator has an unlockable "1980s Mode", which focuses on a yandere student who attended Akademi High during The '80s. Since smartphones and the internet weren't invented during that time, they are not available in this mode. The school's rules are also much more strict. The yandere in question is Ryoba, Ayano's mother, and this mode is about how she gets Ayano's father.
  • Assassin's Creed has a variation occur with both Assassin's Creed Rogue and Assassin's Creed: Unity. In the beginning of Unity, you play as Arno Dorian as a child, and near the end of the segment, you find his father Charles dead in the hallway at the palace of Versailles, with him never finding out who killed him. In the last mission of Rogue, it's revealed that Shay Patrick Cormac was the one who killed him, even passing by Arno and Elise as they talked to each other for the first time just outside that very same hallway.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Dead Space 2 has a purchasable version of this that allows you to re-experience the outbreak, with Dead Space: Extraction's Gabe Weller and Lexine Murdoch, going through later areas of the core game first and ending in the early levels.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Disgaea:
    • Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness lets you play as Etna in the PSP and DS remakes, an Alternate Continuity where she accidentally kills Laharl ( although he later turns out to be just fine) at the beginning of the game.
    • Disgaea 2 for the PSP lets you play as Axel, a story which takes place before the events of the main game.
    • Raspberyl's Downloadable Content story in Disgaea 3 occurs after the game ends, where she becomes a teacher.
      • The PlayStation Vita remake of Disgaea 3 has four new scenarios, including one starring two entirely new characters made for the port.
    • Disgaea 4 got a Downloadable Content scenario of the main character's past, as well as another one starring Fuka and Desco.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade has Hector's Story, where you play as Hector. Thing is, with the exception of the first chapter, three added side-quests (including a side-quest to a side quest), two extra mandatory chapters, an extra character in one of the extra chapters, an extra character in a chapter that was there in Eliwood's story but just never showed up for some reasonnote , a few dialogue changes, the placement of the enemies, and the two extra endings you could get by playing some or all of the aforementioned side-quests, it's basically the same thing. Yes, that sounded like a Long List, but really, in a game like Fire Emblem, that's not a lot of stuff. The music was generally better, though.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones does this a bit differently. You start the game as Eirika, and after around ten missions you can continue with Eirika or choose to play as Ephraim. The next six missions will be different for each route. Afterwards, you join back up with the other party for the last few missions. Each route actually portrays the principal villain quite differently. One had him being motivated by love, the other possessed by an Demon God. Regardless, said Demon God ends up being the final boss. Which route's story is canon is unknown, but it's a standalone game anyway.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, there is a DLC campaign called "Cindered Shadows". Beating it unlocks four new units to utilize in your main gameplay, however the Cindered Shadows DLC also contains its own mini campaign that can be played at any time and contains an entire side story that doesn't occur in the main game (the characters explicitly state a major character pivotal to the DLC campaign was arrested in the main campaign when you recruit them).
  • Happens in Kessen, a rare game where it's entirely possible to advance after losing every battle. Not only are there alternate ways of playing out each campaign, but the events of these campaigns will also be reflected from the position of the opposing forces.
  • This is absurdly common in Nippon Ichi remakes. The PSP remake of La Pucelle has an alternate story mode involving Overlord Priere, while the PSP port of Makai Kingdom has a new story mode starring new a character, Zetta's daughter Petta, and is fittingly named "Papa is the Strongest Overlord".
  • The Wii and PSP ports of Phantom Brave have an Alternate Continuity called "Another Marona" where right before the plot of the main story, everyone dies and becomes phantoms.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic III features this in both the main game and the expansion "Shadow of Death." Each campaign that is unlocked at the start happens more-or-less at the same time featuring different sides (for example, in the main game you can either start by controlling the Erathians as Queen Catherine discovers that the Kreegans have invaded, controlling the Kreegans as they begin their invasion, or controlling some neutral factions using the war as an excuse to make a land grab). When all the original campaigns have been beaten, a few more unlock that continue the story from the first set but that happen concurrently with each other, and so on.
    • The Gaiden Game Heroes Chronicles follows the story of Tarnum beginning thousands of years before the main game, but ends at the same time as the main game's expansion "Armageddon's Blade."
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics during the infiltration at Lionel Castle to save Ovelia, you have to deal with two battles back to back with the ability to save your progress in between the fights. In the War of the Lions Updated Re-release, a new scene plays in between those battles where Delita and Ovelia are fleeing and are cornered by some Northern Sky scouts. Here, you get to play as Delita himself in the battle protecting Ovelia. Not only does Delita have all of the Holy Knight skills at his disposal along with some excellent gear, Ovelia herself has the Aegis skill that grants the target Haste, Protect, Shell, Regen, and Reraise. The battle is near impossible to lose thanks to Delita and Ovelia being overpowered while the enemies are several levels below yours.

    Visual Novel 
  • The Amnesia romance games like doing this.
    • Amnesia: Memories unlocks the final route, Joker World, only after the player has achieved a Good Ending in the previous four routes. The new route is available after going through the introduction phase again.
    • Amnesia: Later unlocks its last route surrounding Orion, after the player has gone through everything else in the game. Going through the After Stories of each boyfriend, as well as the scenes for Waka and the three girls.
  • Nameless gives the player a long track to follow, to unlock all the routes. Tei unlocks after getting a Good Ending with Yeonho, Lance, or Yuri. — And Red unlocks only after getting a Good Ending with the previous four guys. — Then the player finally unlocks the route to finish the game and meet the eponymous character. There's also another route to unlock for Nameless after finishing the game, which has common-sense violating conditions to unlock.

    Wide Open Sandbox