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"You've lost your weapons and the contents of your backpack somewhere during the journey. All you have are the clothes and armor on your back. This leaves you with four burning questions: Where are you? How did you get here? Who brought you here? And how in blazes can you get out of here? No, make that FIVE burning questions: In what city did your luggage end up THIS time?"
Narrator, Quest for Glory IV

Items and experience levels do not carry over to game sequels, regardless of time passed. This makes less logical sense if something is a direct sequel, although the short explanation is that it's to present an honest challenge to the player. This is usually accepted by the player, although a few games attempt a weaker explanation. Maybe the hero was on vacation and didn't bring his stuff along because he thought he wouldn't need it? Maybe it had been several months, even years, since the world last needed saving, and therefore the hero has gotten a bit out of shape? Perhaps his equipment was stolen from him by physical, or, more commonly, magical means? Whatever the case, at each new game, the protagonist will be back at square one.

Also, if the prior game would have allowed you to have different things - or you never played the previous game - one might ask, "how come my character now has extra item(s) I did not have at the end of the previous game?", which might be a more serious question.

Since it allows each game to stand alone in terms of story development, if not events, it is roughly equivalent to the Snapback and Reset Button story tropes.

Of course, not all games are like this. Sometimes, a direct sequel might start the character with the powers from the previous game, giving them A Taste of Power before taking them away and making the character start from scratch again.

If the game actually acknowledges personal data from a previous title in the series, it's an Old Save Bonus.

Non Linear Sequels avoid the whole question. Compare No-Gear Level, for when this happens inside the game itself.

Reinventing the Wheel is a Real-Time Strategy version. See Overrated and Underleveled for a common justification. If you do keep your powers, you're probably going to find out that they're So Last Sequel.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Several Doraemon movies will use this trope early into the story, in order to get around the Forgot About His Powers problems the series is notorious for (in general occasions, the writers would Hand Wave that "XYZ gadget just happens to be broken, conveniently when the gang needs it the most"):
    • Doraemon: Nobita and the Haunts of Evil has Gian telling the gang to leave behind most of their useful gadgets, including the Shrink Light, Air Cannons, Momotaro Capsules, Reflecting Mantle and assorted equipment in their second attempt in finding Bauwan, in order for them to experience a "true adventure". Naturally, this bites them back hard later on, but luckily Doraemon still has the Loaning Phone, allowing the gang to summon their future selves in the climax.
    • Doraemon: Nobita's Dorabian Nights has Doraemon's Fourth-Dimensional Pocket stolen by Cassim's mooks after they're deceived into boarding their ship, the only remaining gadget being the flute-controlled Robot Turban which does jack squat when they're stuck in a Thirsty Desert. They remain gadge-tless until their Robot Buddy sidekick, Mikujin, reveals he had retrieved Doraemon's Pockets from the same desert (which the thieves discarded thinking it was junk).
    • Doraemon: Nobita and the Tin Labyrinth, whose aesop revolves around Nobita being independent, pulls an Aesop Collateral Damage with Doraemon himself getting captured and electrocuted into unconsciousness by Napogistler's minions, forcing Nobita and gang to spend most of the story without gadgets as well until the third act once Nobita figures a way to retrieve Doraemon.
    • Doraemon: Nobita and the Galaxy Super-express allows Doraemon and gang to use most of their gadgets throughout until the Yadori Aliens tampered the Dimension Gate halfway through, preventing Doraemon from retrieving his equipment, forcing the gang to rely on their Takecopters (which Doraemon gave them before the sabotage) while searching for other tools by themselves for the remainder of the adventure.
    • In Doraemon: Nobita's Great Adventure in the South Seas, Doraemon loses most of his equipment early on as everyone gets dragged into a time warp and into The Golden Age of Piracy and caught in a massive storm, relying on less than a dozen items Doraemon salvaged.
    • One of the first action scenes of Doraemon: Nobita and the Robot Kingdom is the gang getting aboard the Time Machine and suddenly ambushed by one of Jeanne's robot patrols, and thanks to the usual Rummage Fail, once again Doraemon lose most of his equipment in the chase.
    • Doraemon: Nobita and the Windmasters repeats the schtick of the main villain stealing Doraemon's Fourth Dimensional Pocket and then mistaking it for trash, this time giving it to a mook who mistook the pocket for a hat. Once again Doraemon and co. remain gadget-less until their new friend Temujin retrieves it before the climax.
    • Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend literally starts with Doraemon giving most of his gadgets to his sister Dorami for maintenance right at the start, so when the gang gets abducted by the Plant Aliens of Planet Green, they barely have any gadgets left.
    • Doraemon: Nobita and the Island of Miracles ~Animal Adventure~ has Doraemon's Anywhere Door and Takecopter destroyed halfway through, just as most of his gadgets are left in the Miracle Island's main base, with the gang using a handful of remaining equipment in the final battle.
    • For the third time, Doraemon: Great Adventure in the Antarctic Kachi Kochi has Doraemon's Fourth Dimension Pocket being stolen, this time by the shapeshifting robot psychopath Yamitem, with the sole item Doraemon still has being the Missing Person Finding Stick (an Animate Inanimate Object with a mind of it's own).
  • Played with in Dragon Ball GT. After being turned back into a kid, Goku is unable to use his Instant Transmission technique and Trunks theorizes that since Goku is a kid again, his body lacks the needed control to pull off the technique. However, Goku is able to use any other techniques with little difficulty.
  • If a Gundam protagonist returns in another series, they will usually be without their old mobile suit from their previous series, typically because it was destroyed in their finale. However because of technology progression any new machines they'll end up piloting are usually better anyway (example, Amuro loses the original Gundam at the end of the first series, but his Nu Gundam he gets in Char's Counterattack is far superior anyway). Although there are exceptions.
    • Gundam SEED's Kira still has his Freedom Gundam when he reappears in Gundam SEED Destiny and due to the next line of units being weaker than it because of treaty restrictions he's just as powerful as he was previously (Athrun meanwhile has to deal with using one of the weaker newer units because Justice was destroyed).
    • Setsuna still has the Exia at the start of season 1 of Gundam 00, although its in disrepair and quickly replaced by the 00 Gundam, which he also still has at the beginning of the film but is also quickly replaced.
    • The Wing pilots still have their Gundams for Endless Waltz, although they can't access them until near the finale.
    • The previous two Age protagonists keep their Gundams throughout all three generations, although they get improvements as the story goes on.
    • When the characters from Gundam Build Divers return for Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE, this trope is Zig-Zagged. Some characters, like Kyoya Kujo, have brand-new Gunpla. Some, like Riku and Ogre, have upgraded their previous Gunpla with new equipment. Others, like Rommel and KO-1, have kept their old Gunpla. The only one this seemed to happened to is Ayame, who is seen still using her old RX-Zeromaru over the RX-Zeromaru (Shinki Kessho) that she builds and uses at the end of the previous series.
  • The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious: Heroes can be summoned to save additional worlds, but their stats and memories are reset once they're returned home, meaning they start at square one when going to new worlds. Ishtar makes an slight exception for when Seiya in his third summoning by giving him back his memories, while still resetting his stats.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Hirohiko Araki has a habit of downplaying this trope when it comes to character abilities. Introducing their powers and forgetting about them, then substituting them with other powers and properties.
    • Stardust Crusaders. Dio Brando returns as the Big Bad, forgoing most of his vampire powers in Phantom Blood such as cryokinesis and the ability to spawn zombies in favor of mind-controlling flesh buds and his newly acquired Stand, The World, with the ability to stop time for about five seconds.
    • Enrico Pucci goes through an exaggerated version of this in Stone Ocean. His Stand changes abilities as the story goes on, going from Whitesnake having the ability to steal other people's Stands and memories, to C-Moon having the ability to change the direction of gravity only to later become the ability to turn people inside-out, and at the climax, Made In Heaven granting him Super-Speed and the power to accelerate time, affecting the entire universe to the point where it reboots itself.
  • Pokémon: The Series :
    • Whenever Ash heads to a new area of the world (corresponding, naturally enough, to a newly-released game in the video game series), he will leave almost all of his Pokémon with Professor Oak, instead catching completely new ones (except for Pikachu) in order to help advertise the new games. He's not alone in this strategy, as Brock has also left some of his Pokemon at his gym in order to catch new ones, while even Jessie, James, and Meowth will often dump all their Pokemon back at Team Rocket HQ starting in Unova onwards.
    • Pikachu himself seems to suffer from this in regards to experience and training whenever he enters a new area so that Ash needs more Pokemon than just him.
    • This is averted in most of the games themselves, though. Each one stars a different hero, so they would naturally have their own new Pokémon to start with. Moreover, once you progress far enough into each game, you gain the ability to trade with previous releases, and the Pokémon from these games are just as useful as they were before. The only games that aren't backwards compatible are the third generation, due to a huge overhaul in the way data is handled for individual Pokémon.
  • Each time Homura from Puella Magi Madoka Magica rewinds time, she wakes up in the same spot, in the same conditions as the very first time. That is, she finds herself in her hospital room still recovering from a successful but delicate heart surgery. She does keep her memories and her soul-gem so she can transform into a magical girl. However, she has to heal her weakened body again and restock her now empty shield.
  • Zigzagged in The Rising of the Shield Hero when Naofumi and his party travel over to Glass' World to chase after Kyo, where everyone except Filo winds up in the Labyrinth and learn that there Levels and Stats have been reset to 1, Along with Raphtalia reverting to a kid again. Because of this, Naofumi's too underleveled to wear his usual armor and has to raise their levels up again while in Glass' World. Despite his low level, his Legendary Shield still carries his same Inventory which becomes a plot point when they are briefly separated and need something to track down their missing companions.
  • During the Filler Arc of Sailor Moon, Usagi learns, to her horror, that she no longer has the Moon Stick nor the Silver Crystal when she attempts to purify a Cardigan that she thinks is a human-turned-monster. She believes she lost it when she died and resurrected following the defeat of Queen Metallia. She regains the Silver Crystal a few episodes later, but never gets back the Moon Stick.
  • In Sword Art Online, after Kirito converts his SAO character to ALO, he discovers that his SAO equipment isn't compatible and has to discard all of them. It's almost a moot point since he retains his absurdly high stats, and with ALO being a level-less game, he can still defeat most players with just his starter/store-bought equipment. He also gets to keep all the money he made in SAO, which becomes a plot point later on.

    Comic Books 
  • The Punisher's schtick being a Badass Normal Vietnam Vet, his stock arsenal is typically a Colt .45 and M16A1 (or a later version of the rifle in more recent comics), grenades and a combat knife. So whenever he gets his hands on an arsenal of magical or sci-fi weapons from dead villains and aliens, he often ends up losing them after a few issues (example in Dark Reign, he ends having to discard his ray guns when he's being chased by members of the Hood's crew that can soak up the hits and he finally loses it all when he's hacked to bits by Daken).
  • Mega Man (Archie Comics): The portrayal of the first Story Arc shows that if Mega Man hangs onto his acquired Robot Master arsenal, it can drive him Drunk with Power. Dr. Light uninstalls these powers and Mega Man begins using them on a "just borrowing the powers" basis.

    Fan Works 
  • This trope is made fun of in the Adventures in Hyrule episode "Alternate Endings". Gwonam informs Link that Ganon has seized Koridai, who responds by saying he'll go grab his equipment. When Gwonam tells Link that his sword will be the only thing has to bring, Link points out that he has other things from previous quests that he could take along with him.
    Gwonam: Ganon seized Koridai.
    Link: Great! I'll grab my stuff!
    Gwonam: There is no time! Your sword is enough.
    Link: You sure? I've got like five or six quests worth of stuff in the back.
  • Dante doesn't have any of his equipment in Dante's Night at Freddy's, forcing him to use lots of Improvised Weapons.
  • Guardian, which is about Lulu from Final Fantasy X, explains why someone who's been on two pilgrimages starts with level one magic—she stopped using it after Ginnem's death and didn't get much real practice on Zuke's uneventful journey.
  • Metroid fanfiction Repairs has Samus play Bag of Spilling straight... then subverts it. She can still use her abilities, albeit in a more limited fashion, and using them before they're ready again makes their repairs take longer.
  • Averted in Legacy (Sekiro/Kimetsu no Yaiba). The Shinobi Fang still contains all the Lazulite-enhanced weaponry Wolf acquired over the course of his journey. However, their effectiveness is blunted by Kiyoshi's inexperience and the powerful regenerative abilities of demons, necessitating the use of a Nichirin Blade to finish off a demon. However, the tools prove themselves to be just as effective against humans as they were before and are still useful for weakening demons even if they struggle to slay them.
  • Between Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Soma Cruz releases every soul he gathered, so he starts at level one with no souls. Not the intended use (Zantetsuken Reverse) explains what happened to the weapons and armor: he had to take a plane from Japan to Russia (where the fic places Dawn of Sorrow), and he couldn't possibly get weapons or armor past airport security.
  • In Throw Away Your Mask, Akechi still has to confront his Shadows before he's able to use his Persona inside the TV World. Later, the possibility of them having to do the same is used to justify the Shadow Operatives' Deus Exit Machina.

    Films — Animation 
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children isn't even a game, and it goes out of its way to explain this. Apparently, in the two years since fighting Sephiroth, the characters have lost some of their drive. By the end of the movie, Cloud "finds that feeling again." As well, they're storing their materia away—and it gets stolen. They retain their Limit Breaks and are still strong enough to go up against a Bahamut with minimal difficulty, though.

    In a bit of an aversion, Barret gets a brand new gun arm that transforms into a hand, which is really a good thing since he seems to be predominantly right-handed. Also, Cloud gets a seriously epic upgrade to his Omnislash Limit Break and it is implied that even after suffering from Geostigma he's physically stronger than he was at the end of the game.
    Sephiroth: "Where did you get this strength?"

    Film — Live Action 

  • In the first GrailQuest adventure book, our hero is returning home laden with gold and treasure. Then the local Jerkass manages to steal all of it in a comically simple ruse. Only the treasure, though, the magic items and equipment pass to books 2 and 3. Then in 4 you wake up in someone else's body; and 5 through 8 doesn't have any items carrying over at all.
  • Mostly averted in Lone Wolf, Lone Wolf carries everything over but this ends with the Grand Master series. In those adventures, you carry over only a select number of artifacts (such as the Sommerswerd) but items like the bronin vest or the Ironheart Broadsword are ditched.
    • It is unclear in the book's text whether benefits from accumulated disciplines carry over into future series (i.e., do Kai disciplines have benefits in the Magnakai series, and Magnakai disciplines in the Grand Master series?). The general consensus is "Maybe?". The Lone Wolf Saga game app gives the player a choice in the Time Skip entering the Grand Master series, where you can carry over the Magnakai discipline benefits and bonuses, but starting fresh will let the player reroll their Combat Score and Endurance stats with the chance at higher scores than a legacy character could muster, even when padded with weapon specializations and lore circle bonuses.
  • In Wizards, Warriors and You, the only thing the Warrior retains in every adventure is his Sword of the Golden Lion (an indestructible sword made by the smith of the Excalibur) as he freely picks some weapons from his arsenal and sometimes gets to swap these out mid-adventure. After a certain number of books his arsenal changes as old weapon options disappear and new ones take their place. The Wizard has a similar issue except that he retains nothing.

  • In the last book of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the title character obtains the Curse of Achilles, which makes him Nigh-Invulnerable. In the sequel series The Heroes of Olympus, Percy loses the curse when he enters the Roman Camp Jupiter through the river Tiber (a different one, but named after the original, of course) as it is a Greek blessing that cannot last through a Roman initiation.
    • Earlier in the original series he earned the Nemean Lion pelt (disguised as a Badass Longcoat), which served a similar function, while in the sequel series his ally Piper gets a cornucopia. Both are sacrificed in separate, crucial moments as offerings to a god for assistance and safety respectively.
  • In Doom, the Gates destroy inorganic material. When Fly and Arlene use them they arrive unarmed and naked. This was an attempt to Justify the Bag of Spilling between episodes in the game. Of course, when they crash land a rocket from Deimos onto Earth, the only thing they lose in the wreck are their weapons.
  • Terry Pratchett said in an interview that the Discworld character of The Luggage was born out of early D&D roleplaying as a take on the Bag of Holding idea. In theory it was a handy depository for captured booty, of infinite capacity, and capable of carrying things on its hundreds of dear little legs so that the players did not need to bother about weight limitations. But players in the game soon learnt that unless they gave The Luggage really precise instructions and kept track of what direction it was walking in, it soon became a Bag of Losing. In the books, the evolved character of The Luggage will still carry things for you. But it acts as a portal to an unspecified Other (witness its ubiquity as a corpse-disposal system) and has a mind of its own. Putting something in there is no guarantee that you'll ever see it again. It certainly carries a massive amount of gold bullion, for instance: but this has only been seen once.

    Live Action TV 
  • The main character of Kamen Rider Geats as well as other Riders who join the Desire Grand Prix use various Raise Buckles to aid them in their Deadly Game against the Jyamato. Every time an iteration of the DGP is completed, however, the world and the game resets, and everyone who returns, even the main character, has to start from scratch, with the first round used to give them a starter Buckle for the challenges ahead.

  • Outpost Defenders removes all of the players, all of the shop items, all of the money, and all of the non-Pokémon allies every new game. And as of Outpost Defenders III, not even stats are immune to this.
  • Destroy the Godmodder: None of the items made in the second game will transfer into the games that come afterwards - they'll have to be made from scratch if at all.
  • When NoPixel updated from version 2.0 to 3.0, all characters had their previous items, properties, vehicles, criminal histories, and bank account (or debt) balances erased.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Justified in Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution. Espers are almost constantly on the run and have to move quickly, so you're expected to lose all of your gear, or have it taken from you, on a regular basis. If an esper isn't a fugitive, it's expected that most of what they have is standard issue from their superiors and must be returned at some point.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Justified in Demon: The Fallen. Players are playing ancient fallen angels who were demigods during the Age of Wrath thousands of years ago. However, they spent the intervening time in the entropic Abyss of Hell, where their powers and essence were gradually worn away. When they return to Earth in modern times, they are forced to possess human bodies and start off with minimal powers. As the players gain more Faith from followers, it is explained that they are gradually recovering some of the power and status that they had previously during the Age of Wrath.
    • Mummy: The Curse uses something like this: you begin play with no memories or personal identity; over the course of the game, you gradually recover your memory and become less a monster and more a human. Eventually, you complete the task for which you were summoned and end your Descent; when you next Arise and begin a new Descent, your memories have once again been purged and you have to start all over again from scratch.
  • In Fantasy Craft, every session is self-contained, like an episode of a television series. And because gear is tied to your character directly (it's a stat unto itself that raises as you level), you have to "buy"/allocate it at the beginning of each session, even things you gained last session. Mechanically, it's a means of balancing the game both for the players and the GM so that neither party has to worry about whether they are getting too little or too much gear, and said gear's relative power. The basic logic as to how your characters manage to lose all that loot between every session is given a minor handwave in the idea that "food, brothels, room & board, and general expenses" eat it aaall up, thus making sure that Status Quo Is God. You may very well have to recover a Suspiciously Similar Substitute of a certain item 3 or 4 sessions in a row if no-one in your party has a high enough "gear" stat to have that item in their inventory at the beginning of the session.
  • In Castlevania: Nocturne of the Tabletop’s Classic mode, players’ hearts are reset to zero at the beginning of each stage.

    Web Comics 
  • Played with in the Bob and George subcomic Jailhouse Blues. X has been dropped in jail alongside Megaman, having been sent back in time so he can serve his full sentence and be out when needed, and they're discussing why they have sentences of different lengths:
    X: Wait, if all Wiley's minions were men, why weren't you arrested for murder?
    Mega Man: There was never enough evidence.
    X: What? What about all your weapons?
    Mega Man: I dumped all my weapons into the East River after every game. Didn't you?
    X: ...
    Mega Man: You didn't, did you?
    X: Shut up, just shut up.
  • Just a Goblin: According to Pip, the System resets when he enters a new host, meaning that Nog's stats are his own with no carryover from the previous host after Nog and Gubble accidentally kill Hugo.
  • In MS Paint Masterpieces this is subverted everywhere. Mega Man realizes this might happen, attempts to keep his weapons from the first game by saving them on a computer, but Dr. Light finds out and deletes them just before Wily attacks. Then Mega Man loses some more of his abilities when he dies.
  • Justified in Nuzlocke Comics, of all things. Ruby's entire team is killed at the end of the Ruby-game arc, so he literally has no Pokemon when he starts his Kanto journey in the Fire Red arc. At the end of that, Mewtwo's power causes a rift in the time-space continuum when it's killed, sending Ruby's last Pokemon (Bruce) into the past and Ruby himself into the future... and to Unova, for the White arc.
  • A Petty Nuzlocke Challenge has a partial explanation. In the three years between the Leaf Green game and the Heart Gold game, Locke failed to renew her Trainer License, and lost the rights to her old Pokemon. What's not explained is where her TMs and other supplies went.
  • In Interactive Comic Silent Hill: Promise almost everything Vanessa picked up in the hotel has disappeared with no explanation.
  • In this Zelda Comic, Link explains that he always puts everything back in the dungeons he got it from at the end of an adventure. "It's, you know, tradition."

    Web Original 
  • Enter the Arena as Your Avatar: Anything a character is carrying that they didn't have when they entered the Arena for the first time is dropped when they die, even if they respawn. Averted, though, in that if a character's player decides to pull them out of the Arena, the character will still have all their stuff when/if they come back.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Ben 10 continuity, Ben removed the Omnitrix sometime after the age of 11, and put it back on when 15 during the second series Ben 10: Alien Force. As a result of this long period out of use, the Omnitrix recalibrated itself and Ben lost access to the alien forms he had as a child and began again with 10 unfamiliar forms. Due to his past experiences and the recalibration however, Ben was able to adapt to his new forms fairly quickly, and began to regain old forms over time until he had all of his previous forms back in his possession by the later parts of Ultimate Alien, though he'd use them more during the Omniverse season.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness: In many episodes, Po and/or the Villain of the Week learn some game-breaking kung fu move or obtain some powerful mystic object or weapon, that never gets brought up again, which is made even more confusing in that enemies seem to remember past encounters.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Equipment Reset Button


Need for Speed: Carbon

Even after going through a lot of effort to reclaim their prized BMW M3 GTR GT and escape Rockport at the end of Most Wanted, the player would end up losing the M3 for good at the start of Carbon after an attempt to escape Cross totals their car. And after meeting with Darius and Nikki, they are forced to get a stock car as a replacement before they start racing across Palmont City.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / BagOfSpilling

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