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Defeat Means Playable

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"A new foe has appeared! Challenger approaching!"

A type of Unlockable Content found in Video Games. This is a Secret Character that initially appears as a boss fight, but becomes playable once they're defeated by the player.

They may be a normal encounter during the course of the story, in which case you'll unlock them just by playing through the story, or they'll be a type of Optional Boss, in which case you'll have to track them down before you can fight them.

It goes without saying that in cases where this trope doesn't apply, people generally REALLY wish it did. Especially way back in the glory days of arcade gaming, unlocking hidden characters for use in regular gameplay was the holy grail for gamers, and so rumor mills kept spewing out one absurd theory after another as to how to make this trope happen. Developers never outright denied that it couldn't in their games because there was too much money to be made in allowing the rumors to swirl.

Compare Defeat Means Friendship and Dueling Player Characters. Sister trope to Promoted to Playable which is when a NPC in one installment becomes a playable character in a sequel (or spinoff).


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     Action Adventure 

     Action Game 
  • The action-game-with-RPG elements -and-optional-hentai-scenes, 最強御主人様!-Mighty My Master- does this twice, once with the demoness Velda, whom is advertised as playable, and then with Goddess Yect as a game clear bonus.
  • In Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, you can tranquillize Python and add him to your roster of playable characters, complete with unique nitrogen grenades. Also, Cunningham and Gene who sport a laser and throwing knives respectively.

     Beat 'em Up 
  • The two recurring bosses in Sengoku 3 are playable after the game's halfway point, and they retain all of their strength and powers.
  • In the NES version of Double Dragon III at least, the bosses of the China and Japan levels join your party once defeated. They can be swapped in and out tag-team style, and are very useful for countering certain enemies.
  • In Big Fight: Big Trouble in the Atlantic Ocean, all bosses except for the final two will pull a Heel–Face Turn and partner up with you after you beat them. Yes, this even includes the obligatory leather-clad dominatrix girl.
  • Castle Crashers
    • This is one option to unlock the Alien Hominid character, via clearing the UFO stage (the other option is by having save data of Alien Hominid on your console).
    • In fact, most characters can be obtained after completing certain levels, or whole map as certain characters, this includes Insane Mode.
    • The Necromancer is a special case, in Xbox 360 version, he's available as Downloadable Content, but for PS3 and PC version, you have to defeat the boss of Industrial Factory in Insane Mode to unlock him.
  • Streets of Rage 3 offers this for beating the first boss, Shiva (though a code is required). It can get crazy in the end: If you don't save the hostage in stage 6, you may possibly fight yourself on the final stage.
    • This is also the case with Roo, the boxing kangaroo. If you beat the trainer without beating Roo first (difficult, since the trainer has about three times as many hitpoints), then Roo runs off and becomes a playable character. This is hinted at, by the fact that the trainer will periodically whip Roo.
  • In River City Girls 2, Marian and Provie are added to your playable character roster after defeating them as bosses.
  • Most of the bosses and minibosses in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) Fan Game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rescue Palooza are unlocked as playable characters after their respective levels have been beaten.

     Fighting Game 
  • Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen uses this system.
  • Tekken sometimes has this system, and sometimes doesn't.
    • In the first two games as well as Tekken 4, each character has a specific mini-boss who is unlocked after beating the game with said character. However, the character you unlock is determined by whoever you beat the game as, and not the actual defeating of the mini-boss. For example, in Tekken 2, Law's mini-boss is Baek, but if you lose to the Final Boss and beat the game as another character, you won't unlock Baek, but another mini-boss.
    • Tekken 3, Tekken Tag Tournament and Tekken 5 ditch the system completely, and characters are unlocked in a fixed order.
      • However, Tekken 3 has a couple exceptions to this rule; the PlayStation version has two characters not present in the Arcade version named Dr. Boskonovitch and Gon (Tekken's first Guest Fighter). Gon is unlocked either by defeating him in Tekken Ball mode, where he will always be the first opponent you face, or by beating him in Arcade mode, where he will randomly appear as an opponent. Meanwhile, Dr. Boskonovitch can only be unlocked by beating Tekken Force mode four times; on the fourth time around, he will appear as the mode's final boss.
    • Tekken Tag Tournament 2 applies this to its only unlockable character: the Final Boss Unknown. Defeat her in Arcade mode and she will be unlocked.
    • Tekken 6 both plays the trope straight and averts it:
      • In regular gameplay, all characters are available right off the bat, and you don't need to unlock anyone.
      • In Scenario Campaign mode, you can only play as Lars or Alisa at first. Upon beating the first stage, you can unlock one character of your choice, and the remaining characters must be unlocked by defeating them as bosses in the other stages.
  • Some games in the Soul Series use this system, though not all of them. For example, in Soul Calibur, you unlock characters in a fixed order, but in Soul Calibur II, characters can be unlocked by defeating them in Weapon Master mode.
  • Super Smash Bros., which provides the page quote above, uses this system. Meet certain conditions, and a fight against an unlockable character will start. Defeat them, and you'll unlock them.
    • Note that Brawl's Adventure Mode mostly averts this — aside from Jigglypuff, Wolf, and Toon Link (all of whom only appear after the game is cleared), none of the secret characters were required to be fought storywise to get unlocked, though both Mr. Game & Watch and Lucario play with this; Mr. Game & Watch turns into Duon moments after he first appears and you fight him in that form, and when Meta Knight has a duel with Lucario when the latter is introduced, the player may choose to control Lucario instead.
    • DLC characters are normally unlocked right away without the need for fighting them beforehand, with one exception — Sephiroth, who had an event to fight him a few days before his actual release date if you had already purchased the second wave of challengers in Ultimate. Defeating him on any difficulty would unlock him and his stage immediately.
  • The King of Fighters XI has five sub-bosses (four from other SNK games and Adelheid) who are unlocked by meeting their requirements (or not meeting any, for Adelheid) and then defeating them. The home version's challenges allow the unlocking of Shion, Magaki, and several other characters when completed; for Shion, Magaki, Tung, EX Kyo, and Mr. Big, this is by defeating them. For Hotaru, Robert, Mai, and Geese, however, it's inverted; you control them for the challenges, so Victory Means Playable.
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Shantotto and Gabranth can be bought as playable characters from the shop after you play through their individual story modes and defeat them at the end.
  • The bosses and "evil" characters in Battle Arena Toshinden 3 can be unlocked after defeating them in battle.
  • In order to unlock Raiden in Mortal Kombat: Deception, you have to fight and beat him in the Orderrealm after beating Konquest Mode. Doubles as something of a Guide Dang It!, in that the fight with Raiden is available to you before this as well, but with a different, lesser reward.
  • In Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken, this is the main condition to unlock the secret characters for the Versus and Collection Modes.
  • In the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers game for the Sega Genesis, the Green Ranger becomes playable upon defeat, albeit with Redemption Demotion.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny, to unlock Vivio, Einhart, and Thoma outside of Story Mode, you must play through Arcade Mode, randomly meet them, then beat them. This is also one of two ways to unlock Stern, Levi, and Lord Dearche outside of Story Mode (the other method involves beating the SNK Boss with different characters)
  • In Quest Mode of TowerFall Ascension, Sunken City's last opponent is the Prancing Puppet. Completing the stage unlocks him.
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, most characters are unlocked by defeating them in the story or in Parallel Quests where they appear.
  • Zero Divide: The boss characters can be unlocked by defeating them in arcade mode along with these other conditions: Zulu (in the first game and Zero Divide: The Final Conflict) can be unlocked by being beaten by all eight of the default characters on the roster, XTAL (same games as Zulu) can be unlocked if a player beats him after completing an arcade ladder on medium difficulty or higher and not using any continues, and Nox and Eve (appearing only in Zero Divide 2: The Secret Wish) can be unlocked by completing an arcade ladder with any character.

     First Person Shooter 
  • In TimeSplitters Future Perfect, the final boss has to be defeated on the three varying difficulty levels to unlock most of his different incarnations for Arcade mode.

     Mecha Game 

     Party Game 
  • Mario Party
    • Mario Party 8 has Blooper and Hammer Bro., one of whom will appear as the opponent of the final board in the Star Battle Arena. Whichever one you defeat will be unlocked as a playable character. If you play through the mode as your new character, you can unlock the other.
    • Mario Party 9 has Magikoopa/Kamek and Shy Guy, who appear as opponents in Solo mode. If the player can complete all six boards without letting either of them take first place on any of them, the two will be unlocked.

     Platform Game 
  • In My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure, after catching Sprout at the end of the game, he becomes playable in minigames.
  • The Sega Genesis game X-Men 2: Clone Wars. Magneto becomes playable after the boss fight against him.
  • Knuckles and Gamma in Sonic Adventure are Meet Means Playable. It just so happens that your first run-in with Knuckles is a battle. Your first run-in with Gamma might be a battle, but if you switch to Amy's or Knuckles's stories before encountering him with Sonic or Tails and get to one of the points in those stories where Gamma appears (the prison scene with Amy, or returning to the main island from the Master Emerald altar with Knuckles), his story will be unlocked before you battle him.
  • Space Station Silicon Valley takes this to the extreme in the sense that it's a central game mechanic. You play as a robot whose body was destroyed, leaving you as nothing but a walking microchip housing your consciousness. Your goal is to recover all your parts and put yourself back together, but your helpless microchip brain can't actually do anything on its own, so you need to Body Surf between unconscious animals and use their unique abilities to accomplish various objectives. This trope comes into play when you need to take over an animal that isn't unconscious. Which is most of them.
  • This is the premise of Skylanders: Trap Team: villains you've defeated can be imprisoned in a Trap corresponding to their element, then summoned as a powerful and Nigh Invulnerable playable character until their time expires and the Trap needs to recharge.
    • In a similar vein, Skylanders: SuperChargers has three Expansion Packs that each let you race against villains that you can add to your roster when defeated. The only villain not unlocked this way is Kaos, who requires the trophy bundled with the Dark Edition of the game.
  • In Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, Sly must defeat Penelope (as the Black Baron) and the Panda King in boss battles before they both become playable and join the Cooper Gang.
  • In Mega Man Powered Up, defeating the Robot Masters using only the Mega Buster makes them playable, the excuse being that doing so simply damages them rather than outright destroy.

     Puzzle Game 
  • Panel de Pon's story mode lets you select new characters as you defeat them (though it's mostly a cosmetic change...the only difference is the color of garbage bricks you dump on your opponent).
  • In Dr. Mario 64, clearing the story mode on Normal or higher without using a continue gives you one final match against either Metal Mario or Vampire Wario after the final boss, and beating them (still without using a continue on them) will unlock them for multiplayer.
  • In Wrecking Crew '98, every character who isn't Mario gets unlocked by defeating them, except for Peach and Luigi, who appear only in the ending.
  • In Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary, the player unlocks the characters returning from Madou Monogatari (the series Puyo Puyo spun off from) by defeating them in any character's story mode.

     Racing Game 
  • All of the unlockable characters except Dr. Robotnik and Super Sonic in Sonic R.
  • Plenty of racing games. Like Burnout. Warning- do not expect the cars to be anywhere near that fast when you control them.
  • Chocobo Racing's story mode has you competing against a new character in each race; after beating them you can use them in any subsequent story mode races. In addition, beating the game twice unlocks a hidden course where you race Squall, who becomes playable outside of story mode after you beat him.
  • In Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Need for Speed: Carbon, you need to defeat a boss to make his or her car available on the car shop. If you're lucky, you can get the pink slip to that boss car, thus getting it free.
  • The same thing in Blur. Defeating a boss unlock the normal version of the car as well as the boss version.
  • Beating circuit champions in LEGO Racers unlocks new minifig parts, chassis, and bricks, among them the parts required to build an exact copy of that circuit champion.
  • Carmageddon runs on a very complicated and obscure "stealworthy" system for you to get different cars. From II and onwards, it's far simplified in that you can just buy out the opponents that were wasted, as long as you have the required cash of course.
  • While this wasn't the case with the bosses in the original Crash Team Racingnote , the remake plays it more straight, rewarding the bosses as playable upon defeating them in their boss races, Oxide included.
    • This is also the case with Dr. N. Tropy's Time Trial ghosts, where defeating all of them in either game (and Crash Nitro Kart) will unlock him as a playable character.
    • It also applies to the GBA version of Crash Nitro Kart, where all the bosses are unlocked upon defeating them in their respective races. By contrast, the bosses are unplayable in the console version.

     Role Playing Game 
  • Echoes of Mana: The scorpion outlaw Raxa is encountered midway through Chapter 3 as a boss, but after her defeat, she decides to tag along with the heroes; the player is then gifted a free 2-star version of her to add to their party.
  • After the first game, Shin Megami Tensei generally requires bosses to be beat in order to fuse them.
    • Played with in a way in Persona 4, where defeating a person's Shadow causes that person to join you. Subsequently subverted in the same game, when Mitsuo Kubo's Shadow is defeated, he does not join you because he doesn't accept his Shadow. Not to mention that he's an admitted murderer and is sent to prison shortly after being rescued.
    • In Devil Survivor, upon activating a COMP's Demon Summoning Program, a demon will come out to fight the user. Should the user emerge victorious, said demon will join the user's demon stock. This only applies to the first demon summoned by the Demon Summoning Program; the player will have to obtain other demons through the Auction or by fusion. Several other demons also become available for fusion after you beat them in a boss fight, and in some humorous instances, they also unlock if they are killed in cutscenes.
  • Mega Man Battle Network starts using variants of this in the 4th to 6th games. Your new transformations, which are based on other Navis, are acquired after defeating Navis in a boss fight first. In Battle Network 5 and 6 you have to beat the friendly Navis first before they become your Liberation teammates and Link Navis respectively.
  • Final Fantasy
    • Final Fantasy VI has Umaro, who will join you if you defeat him as a boss and Mog is in your party.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Yuffie joins your party after you beat her in a fight.
    • In Final Fantasy X, Tidus battles Yuna's guardian Kimahri in a mandatory boss fight, after which Kimahri becomes a playable party member.
    • In Final Fantasy X-2, the Creature Creator allows you to catch Fiends using a method not unlike that from Pokémon, except most of them can be caught while your party is in the safety of the airship, ie. without any need for battling. An exception can be made to some Bosses (that do need to be beaten first) before they can be caught, including powerful Superbosses Trema and Almighty Shinra.
    • Each Esper of Final Fantasy XII and Eidolon of Final Fantasy XIII must be fought before they can be used, though in both cases they're not playable so much as summonable party members.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 allows most monsters to be recruited after defeat, at which point they can be customized, leveled, and used in battle as a third party member.
  • In Endless Frontier, Reiji and Xiaomu and the Personal Troopers join your group after fighting them as bosses. With the mechs however, that takes a couple tries first.
  • In Jade Empire, you don't get to play as the Black Whirlwind for long, but when you first encounter him, he attacks you. Then, later, during the Siege of Dirge, you play as Whirlwind for a period. This also happens with Silk Fox, but that part can also be taken while playing as Dawn Star instead (Player's choice). There's also an optional subplot where you can opt to allow the Black Whirlwind (under your control) to duel with Kai Lan the Serpant.
  • Sheena and Regal of Tales of Symphonia will each fight against the party (Sheena does it twice) before joining you.
    • Not quite the same meaning of "playable", but each summon spirit in the game must be defeated in battle before Sheena can establish the pact to call on them.
  • Inverted in Chrono Trigger where you must decline a fight with Magus in order to have him join your party.
  • Sarevok from Baldur's Gate. But he's not exactly a standard example, as two entire games pass between the point where you kill him and the point where he can join you (unless you count killing him a 2nd time immediately before the expansion begins).
  • This isn't always the case in the original Geneforge, but it happens a lot in an indirect fashion. Rather than directly recruiting Monster Allies, you use magical canisters to learn how to create them out of thin air, and quite a few canisters are guarded by the same type of monster they teach you how to make.
  • In Jay's Journey, Puff and Shade both join after a boss fight (Puff's can be lost a la Hopeless Boss Fight, though, as the misunderstanding is sorted out either way.)
  • In Recettear, several of the potential adventurers start as the final bosses of the various dungeons that you must first defeat in order to get them to work for you.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, defeating Zevran and much later Loghain is immediately followed by opportunities to recruit them into the party.
  • This is the entire point of the flash game "Great Dungeon in the Sky". Any enemy you defeat can be played as, ranging from bosses to the chicken.
  • Subverted in Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete, where the party clearly expects their Stealth Mentor Ghaleon to join them after his last boss battle. Unfortunately, he's kept alive by the power of the Big Bad, so now that it's clear that he's a traitor he fades away. Fridge Logic makes that a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, because there's only one way the Big Bad could have found out just then from them saying that they knew he was helping them all along and trying to recruit him instead of playing along.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, when you first meet Juhani, she's fallen to the dark side and will attack you. You have to fight her to survive, and once you've done a certain amount of damage she will yield. At that point you can either kill her or talk her into abandoning the dark side and going back to the Jedi enclave. If you choose the latter, she will join your party shortly after.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, after you've shifted far enough to either side of the alignment scale, Visas is directed by one of the Sith Lords to assassinate you. You'll have to duel her on your ship, and after her defeat, her lightsaber is destroyed, she collapses, and then is recruited into your party as a lead to finding that Sith Lord later on.
  • RealityMinds: In the post-epilogue, Rasheed and Reffian will permanently join the party after their Dual Boss fight, though they'll be weaker as playable characters than as bosses. Reffian's enemy glossary entry notes that she's stronger when she's fighting the player than when she's playable.
  • Pretty much all the characters in Shining the Holy Ark are unlockable after defeating them. The first "boss" is Rodi and soon after he's one of the three main characters. Lisa and Basso are tasked to kill the group but join up with them after a failed attempt and getting lost in a Haunted House. Forte after been missing from your party since the beginning of the game part of a boss fight (although you're actually fighting a demon that's possessing him). You have to fight Doyle at some point, he then goes off to hide and if you find him he'll join you.
  • Shining Force III is an odd one because of the fact the game is split into three different games and what you do in one affects the other. In the case of Spiral you must defeat her once in Scenario 1, then avoid killing her in the second battle, so you can recruit her in Scenario 2.
  • Almost every Pokémon you can train has to be defeated and captured in a Pokeball before you can actually start training it. It is a subversion, however, in that the Pokémon mustn't be actually defeated, just weakened or caught in a lucky try.
    • The games of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon spinoff series (except for Super) are a straighter example, as enemy Pokémon have a chance to ask to join your team after being defeated, making this the case once you unlock the ability to switch characters.

  • Pirate101 lets the player hire some bosses to join their crew after they have been defeated.
  • In Hyperdimension Neptunia, the other three CPU goddesses can be recruited to join Neptune's party before heading off to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon by defeating them in one-on-one duels (and fulfilling other conditions first).
  • Tales of Maj'Eyal opens a number of birth options (races, classes and talent trees) by defeating someone of their ilk. The earliest example is almost invariably the Cursed class, unlocked by killing Ben Cruthdar in the Lumberjack Village north of Last Hope.
  • The majority of the party members in Xenogears have to be fought before they join the party. If you want to get technical, this includes the main character. On top of that, the ultimate gear of the game, the titular Xenogears, has to be fought before it can be used. One of the game's main antagonists, Ramsus, was also supposed to be this, but then the budget ran out.
  • The World Ends with You: You fight Beat in week 2 before he becomes your partner in week 3. Subverted though, as you don't actually get to beat him until New Game Plus, as the battle ends automatically after a short amount of time. Double Subverted as you can beat him in such a short amount of time if your stats are good enough and the trends are in your favor, as this Let's Play shows.
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: The Scarecrow, Lion, and Tin man all join the party after the player defeats them in battle at the game's tutorial level.
  • In Live A Live:
    • In the Imperial Chapter, Lei must be subdued by force before she agrees to become your disciple. Hong can also be optionally beaten up before joining.
    • In the Twilight of Edo Japan Chapter, you must defeat the mimic mammet in order to recruit it.
    • In the Final Chapter, Pogo (unless you're Lei), Lei, and Masaru (unless you're Sundown or Cube) have to be subdued by force in order to get them to join you (unless, of course, you're playing as them).

     Sports Games 
  • Backyard Skateboarding, for the bosses.
  • Mario Golf has a Get Character mode specifically for this. The sequel, Toadstool Tour has you defeat characters to get the "star" version of that character, which shoot further with a smaller sweet spot.
  • Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games
    • In the DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games on DS, this is generally how it goes in the Adventure Tours.
    • Both versions of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games also do this — the 3DS version requires talking to said character after passing the preliminaries of a given event in Road to Rio, whereas the Wii U version requires finishing a tournament in the top three on either Level 1 or Level 2 difficulty, depending on the guest.
    • Clearing specific missions against guests in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020 will unlock them for Quick Match mode.
  • In the Challenge Mode of Mario Super Sluggers, characters will challenge you with missions, and if you complete them, they will join your team.
  • Jet Set Radio Future takes this to the extreme; the only characters that can't be unlocked are DJ Professor K, the boss characters and the police. It should be noted that this doesn't include the robot counterparts to the police, the robot bosses or the Big Bad himself, which leaves about four characters who can't be played by beating them and their challenges.
  • There are two examples from the same WWE game:
    • In the 2011 edition of WWE Smackdown Vs Raw, the main roster characters who are unlocked via Universe mode must first be battled after fulfilling the unlock requirements. When this happens, Vince McMahon appears and tells the wrestler you’re playing as that they have another opponent to face before revealing the unlockable wrestler.
    Vince: This match isn’t over yet! Did you forget about your other opponent? Now ring the bell!
    • Meanwhile, in the Road To Wrestlemania mode, there are several challenge matches that can be played under the right circumstances. Completing all the challenge matches on one route causes one of five unlockable Legends to appear in the green room at Wrestlemania- Ricky Steamboat, Terry Funk, The Rock, Steve Austin, or Vince himself. Speaking with the Legend initiates a match with them, though it is different depending on your opponent- Vince, for example, will wrestle you in a handicap match with Drew Mcintyre and Sheamus.

  • The smartphone ports of DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu / DoDonPachi Resurrection allows you to unlock Hibachi as a playable character in the smartphone-exclusive Arrange Mode by completing the first loop and the special second loop, said arrange mode on Normal difficulty or higher and with one credit. This includes defeating Hibachi, who waits at the end of the special second loop. You can also use a cheat code to unlock Hibachi, but the effect will wear off upon exiting the game, requiring you to input the code again every time you want to unlock Hibachi again, while the 2-loop-clear method unlocks it permanently.
  • ESP Ra.De.'s Updated Re-release ESP Ra.De. Psi features a new Final Boss, Alice Master, who can be unlocked for play in the Psi-exclusive modes (Arcade Plus, Super Easy, Custom) by completing any of these modes (which includes defeating her) on one credit.
  • Cube Colossus: You get to use AMU-03 and AMU-Loki after you defeat them.
  • In Superlative Night Dreams: Cotton Rock 'n' Roll, clearing the story mode, including defeating the Final Boss, will unlock Tacoot as a playable character.

     Strategy Game 
  • In Kessen III, many (if not most) optional officers can be recruited this way.
  • In Infectonator!: World Domination, you get the enemy hero units as your own after your zombies kill them. Justified because you just zombified them!
  • In Total War, after Medieval, you could unlock certain factions by beating them. Alternatively, winning a campaign, long or short, unlocked the entire set, except for some factions who weren't playable. In Medieval 2, you only started with five factions, and had to unlock the other factions (and there were a lot of them) entirely by beating that faction or winning the Grand Campaign. Kind of hard to unlock the Egyptians when you were the English half a map away from them.
  • In Warlords Battlecry 2, when you play on the Campaign Map initially you control armies from the same race with your hero, but by taking over enemy capitals you can control armies from those capitals.
  • Many Nippon Ichi Optional Bosses become playable characters after you defeat them.
    • In the Disgaea series, any monster class that isn't in your party from the start must be defeated once before it can be used. There are two ways to do this:
      • The more common way is to defeat that monster class multiple times and then create a character with mana points (earned by each character for defeating others) - the more you defeat, the cheaper the cost (to a point).
      • The riskier but faster way is, while you're in a battle, to throw an enemy monster into your base panel, where all your characters not currently participating in the battle will attempt to subdue it. If they're successful, that monster will join your team in future fights.
    • Also from the Disgaea series, some regular bosses join your party after you defeat them. Early examples from the first game include Flonne in chapter 2 and Hoggmeiser in chapter 3.
  • It's not exactly an unlock but Peasants in Cossacks will often change sides if there are no friendly soldiers around to protect them from nearby enemies. Anything they build has the style and function of their former faction so is a way of getting other factions special troops to fight for you. Often used to obtain archers as, although they are outmoded as warriors in this pike and musket era game, they are useful for destroying things without using up your gunpowder.
  • Defeating Prince Langrey in the A route of Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume puts him in your party immediately after. His lowered stats are justified as well, since you just beat him to near death moments ago.
  • In the Fire Emblem franchise:
    • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, swordfighter Chulainn is the final arena boss of Chapter 2. Clear the arena and he'll join your side (with a unit of his promoted class replacing him as the final boss).
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance has Muarim and Shinon. Muarim is simple enough, but Shinon involves talking to him with Rolf and beating him with Ike.
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has Sephiran, who can only be recruited in New Game Plus and only after fulfilling several Guide Dang It! conditions.
    • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, SpotPass characters Walhart and Priam will join your ranks if you defeat them. Priam can be taken down by anyone but Chrom has to be the one to fight Walhart.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has several characters fulfill this depending on the route you choose.
      • In Birthright, you have to beat up Silas and Shura before they join you.
      • In Conquest, you have to beat up Kaze and Shura before they join you.
      • In Revelation, you have to beat up Hayato, Camilla, Selena, Beruka, and Silas before they join you.
      • In the paralogues, you have to beat up Percy and Nina before they join you.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
      • On the Crimson Flower route, if you didn't recruit Lysithea before the timeskip, you can beat her up in Chapter 14 and then convince her to join your party.
      • If you recruited Lorenz before the timeskip on the Silver Snow or Azure Moon routes, Lorenz pulls a Face–Heel Turn during the timeskip, while Ashe does the same on the Silver Snow and Verdant Wind routes. You can get them to rejoin your party by beating them up.
    • In Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, this is the standard method of recruitment for almost all characters joining past the beginning of Chapter 4. You activate a strategy to convince certain enemy generals to defect, then beat them up to get them on your team.
    • In Fire Emblem Heroes, this is exactly the purpose of Grand Hero Battles. If a Grand Hero Battle map involving a featured Hero is cleared, then the featured Hero will join the player's roster.

     Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Goat Simulator: In the Goat MMO Simulator expansion, the king of Goatwind sends you on a quest to vanquish the tyrant Old Goat, who upon encountering you find out is actually a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex. Defeat it, and you unlock it as a Mutator with all of its destructive T-Rex power, available on all maps. That said, "defeat" may be a strong word here, since Old Goat goes down in one hit and doesn't even seem to notice you.
  • The character New Goblin is available to play in Spider-Man 3 (Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3 consoles) during the final mission in the game in a boss fight against Sandman. Of course, once you have gone through battling him and having him unlocked on Play Station Network and Xbox Live, you can experience a free roam gameplay, but only for crime fighting and racing across New York City, no story missions.
  • In the X-Universe series, pilots of fighter-class ships and freighters would sometimes bail when critically damaged in order to save their butts. The player can then exit their own ship in a spacesuit, and claim the ship to add to their fleet (or to pilot it themselves). This is the only way to acquire Pirate, Xenon, and Kha'ak ships. Unfortunately, unless outside of cheats, it's impossible to acquire AGI Task Force fighters in gameplay because of their AI refusing to bail out their ship and would rather go down with it even after peddling it with continuous Cherry Tapping after their shields are out. X3: Terran Conflict added marine boarding, allowing the player to steal capital ships after draining their shields and killing the crew with a squadron of marines. By using the Player Headquarters, the player can then reverse-engineer captured ships to put them in mass production.


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The Gleam Eyes

A Dungeon Boss on Floor 74 in Sword Art Online. Kirito managed to defeat it on his own. Cut to next season where Yui manages to use the SAO Code already-present within ALfheim Online to transform Kirito's Player Avatar into The Gleam Eyes in order to fight against a group of Salamanders trying to kill them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / DefeatMeansPlayable

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