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Ditto Fighter

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"I know all her moves. Therefore, I have the upper hand."
Leela referring to her alternate-dimensional doppelganger, Futurama

A staple of Fighting Games, though not by any means uncommon in other genres, this character copies the moveset of the other characters. Generally, the Ditto Fighter comes in three variants:

  • Mokujinner: The moveset is chosen randomly, sometimes per round. If the character is playable, the player may or may not be able to change between movesets.
  • Dittomediate: The Ditto Fighter copies the moves of the opponent they're facing, sometimes copying their appearance if they're lucky.
  • Tsungxpert: The moveset is non-random: the player has full control over what character they copy or the moveset is a predefined combination of moves from already-existing fighters.

In most cases, these characters tend to be less effective than the ones they're emulating, either because the moves were built for the original character model's size/height, or the Ditto Fighters themselves are statistically undermined to compromise for their verastility. This doesn't usually apply if the Ditto Fighter is also the boss of the game.

Named after the Pokémon Ditto, who can transform into its opponents. See also the related Moveset Clone, where two characters have the same moveset. Similar to, but distinct from Power Copying, which involves being able to copy one power/skill that your opponent displays and accumulating them as you encounter more of them; whereas the Ditto Fighter copies the whole power or skill set for one round or match and discards it to fashion a whole new skillset upon facing a different opponent. Not to be confused with Mirror Match, although both can occur. When an outright superpower, this counts as a subtrope of Meta Power.


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Video Game Examples

    Action Games 
  • The boss character Doppel in Captain Commando fights by taking up the appearance of the player's character for the duration of his boss battle. If there are more than one player, then Doppel will split in the needed amount of Doppels and then transform.
  • Castlevania:
    • Dracula's Curse has a Doppelganger boss, as did Castlevania Chronicles and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
    • In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Dmitrii can copy your every special move. However, he will always use whatever power you used on him last and can only copy them at their base power level, so he is easily beaten by using either an easily avoided attack or one that's useless without upgrades, allowing you to kick his ass with little effort. If you aren't paying attention and don't realize this, he's a lot harder - his default attack is a pain.
  • There's a Doppelganger boss in one of the final missions in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. The creature mainly assumes Dante's Rebellion Devil Trigger form, is much bigger than you and cannot be harmed at all unless you flash light at him by hitting the dials attached to the walls, forcing him into a weaker humanoid form. Although you'll have to be careful as he will attempt to shut them down with shadow orbs.
  • The Final Boss in the arcade version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge (who is the next-to-final boss in the NES version) is a Lee brother clone who uses the same basic moves, but can also throw energy beams and possess the player's body to drain their energy. If two players are playing, then both players must fight two clones, one for each.
  • In Fate/Extella Link, Lancelot's "For Someone's Glory" ability allows him to transform into another character and temporarily use their moveset (barring their Noble Phantasm).
  • Black, the Final Boss of Final Fight 3, has personalized versions of Guy's Tooshi and Haggar's Double Lariat among his move set.
  • The fourth World Boss in Kritika assumes the form and skillset of whoever is the champion of the previous World challenge.
  • The "copycat" Mira dolls from Mendel Palace, with the added bonus of only moving and attacking when you do (except when the alarm sounds).

    Action-Adventure Games 
  • In A Boy and His Blob, one of the eponymous blob's transformations is a doppelganger who copies your moves exactly. In addition to this, there's an enemy who mirrors the boy's actions.
  • Exile (XZR): Sadler is forced to fight his own Shadow before his final battle with The Holy Roman Emperor.
  • Kingdom of Loathing:
    • The Doppelshifter familiar which will change into a random familiar at the beginning of every combat, excepting familiars which require very unusual types of equipment to function. The list does includes familiars which work to your detriment, and also includes a set of "joke" familiars which don't naturally exist (a couple of which are really bad for your health).
    • The almost as rare Comma Chameleon familiar has a targeted copying effect. Most familiars have specialized equipment easily obtained (or sold) by players who have that familiar; eating said specialized equipment lets the Chameleon temporarily (but for far longer than a fight) mimic its natural user. The C.C. also has a means for obtaining random familiar equipment if you're unable to trade with other players for it.
    • They also now have a Tiny Costume Wardrobe, which is familiar equipment, and allows the familiar to enter the wardrobe, and come out and act as a different familiar for that combat adventure. However, it's random, and as with a Doppelshifter may pick a familiar which really needs something (specifically, not the Wardrobe) equipped to fully function.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: The final confrontation is against Link's own shadow, who has all of his strengths and weaknesses. He's known as Link's Shadow in the game, but renamed Dark Link in subsequent appearances.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Dark Link reappears in the Water Temple. He copies your regular attacks only. Your other weapons (Biggoron's Sword, Megaton Hammer, Din's Fire, etc.) are something only you have. Though he also gets a cheap-ass move where he pins your sword in place by jumping on it. Something unique about this Ditto Fight is that he also copies your health; however many Heart Containers you have is how many hits it takes to kill him.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: Dark Link appears as a superboss at the end of the third (and final) round of the Take 'Em All On minigame. He can attack with the sword as well as the bow and the bombs.
  • In Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, Dekar can equip almost any weapon. Since each character only uses one type of weapon, this essentially means that he can mimic any character's fighting style, except for two moves which are replaced with his own.

    Card Battle Games 
  • Hearthstone:
    • When Faceless Manipulator is summoned it transforms into an exact copy of a minion already on the board (including inheriting any buffs/debuffs and damage that the original has taken).
    • Shifter Zerus is a Mokujinner-type. It becomes a random minion each turn it's in your hand, choosing from any minion in the game.
    • The Mage spell Molten Reflection works similarly to Faceless Manipulator, but is 1 mana cheaper and can only target friendly minions. It's typically used for OTK combos, especially with Time Warp.
    • The Priest legendary minion Chameleos is a Ditto-type. Each turn it transforms into a random card (minion or otherwise) in the opponent's hand.
    • From Battlegrounds mode, Sir Finley Mrrglton's Hero Power lets you Discover a random Hero Power at the start of the game, basically acting as a mulligan for your initial Hero selection. Master Nguyen switches Hero Powers every turn from a choice of two.

    Eastern RPGs 
  • Poo from EarthBound (1994) has his Mirror skill, which nobody ever uses because you're already stronger than most enemies and you can't copy bosses.
    • The monkey Salsa from the sequel can mimic the target's moves, even something like a tank firing a shell. It's also pretty much the only way he can cause any significant damage to bosses due to how miserably low his offense is, coupled with the fact it uses the enemy's stats for the attack instead.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Mime class in Final Fantasy V (and Gogo, the designated Mime in Final Fantasy VI) can alter its command menu to include commands from almost any other class in the game, as well as using a Mimic command that copies the last action used in a fight.
    • Mimes in Final Fantasy Tactics mimic the last action performed by a friendly unit, right down to the equipment used in the attack. Difficult to use since their mimicry is automatic and copies everything exactly. For example: if an Archer targets a square that is five spaces forward and two to the right, the Mime will also attack five spaces forward and two to the right using the same weapon.
    • Gau from Final Fantasy VI could copy movesets and even elemental resistances from monsters you had previously encountered, although he's somewhat unique in the fact that he has to be in a specific area of the world in order to do so, but once he learns them, he keeps them.
    • Relm, also from Final Fantasy VI, can use her Sketch command to use an enemy's attack against them. Since it also duplicates the enemy's stats, it's a Useless Useful Spell in all but a handful of cases.
  • The Memorist job in Final Fantasy Dimensions only has Memorandom as its active ability. When you select it, the available actions will change to a random selection of abilities that the character has learned from other jobs.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, the shopkeeper, Sierokarte is playable in Trial Battle mode, where she has all stats, attributes and skills of the next SSR character to be released (along with dolls of her acting as the next SR and R), allowing players to try out the characters before rolling, and letting Cygames effectively beta-test the characters before rebalancing them depending on player feedback.
  • My World, My Way has Pinky the slime, who can copy up to four body parts from defeated monsters. Pinky can gain the special attack of a monster if he copies the right part and what's more, the only way he can learn a spell is by copying from a monster that already knew it.
  • Throné from Octopath Traveler II eventually gains this ability. After clearing her final chapter, she gains the unique EX Skill Disguise, which allows her to transform into any of the other three active party members. This copies both their base and secondary classes, as well as all their weapons, which allows you to have two of the special bonus classes in the party at once (which are usually restricted to one character, unlike the regular eight classes).
  • The Duplighosts of Paper Mario 64 transform into your partners in battle. The Duplighost of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Doopliss, transforms into a shadowy facsimile of Mario partway through your battle with him. Then he secretly pulls a Grand Theft Me on Mario, leaving the latter in the shadow body and later fighting the real Mario with all his partners.
  • In Persona 3, in a late game section of The Answer, you will fight the mysterious protagonist lookalike that you've been chasing since the start. When you battle it, it will periodically copy the Personas of your party members, which changes its skillset and resistances to match the theme of the party member. It starts with Athena that uses physical attacks. If you bring Mitsuru, Yukari, and Akihiko for example, it will change its Persona to ice-using Artemisia, wind-using Isis, and debuff-using Caesar.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Trope Namer is Ditto, which can use its Transform move to turn into a near-perfect copy of the opponent. HP is the only stat that isn't imitated. Unfortunately, the fact that Ditto is slow, on top of having terrible defence stats, means it'll likely take a heavy hit before it gets to copy its more competent opponent... until the fifth-generation games granted it the Imposter ability, letting it transform into its opponent as soon as it switches in.
    • Mew and Smeargle also can learn Transform, though the former is strong enough that transforming tends to make it weaker, while the latter is better off using its Power Copying for other purposes.
  • Rue from Threads of Fate has this ability; you can take the form of a defeated monster and, of course, use it's powers. There's a catch, of course: you can't become boss monsters, and you can only store up to five monster forms at a time, after acquiring a new form, the oldest one will be discarded.
  • Trillion: God of Destruction does this a bit differently; your erstwhile ally Faust rigs up a transforming doll named Mokujin to imitate the movement and attacks of the titular Trillion. At the end of each week, your chosen Overlord will face Mokujin to see where they stand as far as battling Trillion will go. While Mokujin is far weaker than Trillion, he's able to instantly know the monster's moveset, giving the Overlord a slight advantage when it comes time to face the real deal. When Trillion reveals its third form, its true form of a young woman, Mokujin is unable to copy it.

    Fighting Games 
  • Suffice to say that Namco loves these:
    • Mokujin/Tetsujin/Kinjin, and Combot, from the Tekken series change movesets per round (Mokujin) or per match (Combot). To a lesser degree, "Unknown", the boss from Tekken Tag Tournament, who can change styles within the round but only copies the movesets of small-framed fighters (being a slight female herself, some of the moves used by large fighters such as the Jacks or Kuma/Panda would look ridiculous if used by her) and always starts each fight using the moveset of Jun Kazama.
      • In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Mokujin, Unknown and Combot appear, so things obviously had to be changed around. Unknown no longer copies the other characters' fighting styles, and instead has her own moveset based on Jun's, with a few exclusive moves. Mokujin keeps the same playing style as usual, occasionally borrowing props like swords, wings and tails to mimick the other fighters, and Combot becomes an Emerl-like Tsungxpert: His fighting style borrows moves from other fighters, which can be unlocked and equipped through the Fight Lab mode (Though Combot isn't exclusive to that mode). When said mode is cleared, (Aside from online, in which he's unplayable), you can even create several movesets from him.
    • Edge Master and Inferno from SoulCalibur; the latter is notable for being the final boss. This is also a subversion, as both have exclusive special moves.
    • Charade (and Inferno again) from SoulCalibur 2. Necrid uses a fixed moveset made of attacks from other characters, complete with an Energy Weapon that changed shape to suit the move in progress.
    • Olcadan from SoulCalibur 3. Somewhat underwhelming considering his cosmetic originality - he's got an owl's head. Though to be fair, it was his punishment for defeating a god.
    • Also from 3, the Class job "Swordmaster" allows a custom character to use every single one of the custom movesets...except for the Soul movesets (the original cast) There are also non-playable characters in Tales of Souls with this skill, including "Shadow Master" (uses all Custom class randomly) and "Will-o'-the-Wisp" (uses only character styles who have an unlockable Soul Edge).
    • While absent in 4, the ditto fighter returns in 5 in three variations: Edge Master (mimics all styles), Kilik (mimics only males) and Elysium (mimics only females, which is also a subversion, as she has exclusive special moves).
    • Absent in VI, but Dummied Out data for Edge Master's moveset is in the game files, indicating that he was close to returning but didn't make the cut in the end. If his style is hacked onto a standard character profile (itself not an easy task), while it does work, it's very unstable and frequently crashes the game. Inferno, despite returning, also loses his status as one, instead becoming a separate character, albeit one based on Nightmare.
    • In general, in all of the Soul Calibur games, the ditto fighter tends to be inferior to the characters they're copying because he usually uses their own limb length, speed, etc. They're also never able to copy bonus characters, Guest Fighters, or the Purposely Overpowered Algol.
    • Necrid in Soul Calibur II, unlike most of that series's Ditto Fighters, is a Tsungxpert who borrows all of his attacks from Astaroth, Cervantes, Maxi, Voldo, Ivy, Talim, Nightmare, and Mitsurugi, using a shapeshifting Energy Weapon to transition between their very different fighting styles.
  • In the extremely strange fighter 3D Ballz, any character can transform into any other one through special button combinations.
  • Mildred Avallone and Parace L'Sia, two boss characters from the Arcana Heart series, are capable of using a mixture of attacks from all of the other Arcana.
  • Black, in some versions of Archon, had a Shapeshifter unit that could be used to duplicate itself against White. As all pieces have their health modified by the luminosity (color) of the square they're on, the Shapeshifter can trade blows and win on dark squares - and (unlike the other pieces) its wounds disappear at the end of the fight, making aggressive assassination of misplaced Light pieces practical.
  • Astra Superstars: The sub boss characters, named "My Devil" and "My Angel", will copy their opponents' moveset and appearance (with a black and blue Palette Swap in the case of the former and white and gold swap for the latter).
  • The secret character Nanami from Asura Buster, who morphs into her opponent before the fight begins. This is the only way you can actually play with the mid-boss Vebel.
    • Subverted in the fight against the final boss, where Nanami morphs into the ninja Rokurouta. Justified, since the final boss is Apocalypse-sized and she fights Rokurouta shortly after.
  • Clonus, the midboss of Bio F.R.E.A.K.S., morphed into a liquid metal version of whomever the player is using. He has the same moves as the original, but greater stamina. A cheat code can be inputted to play as it, but rather than having a separate character slot of his own and mimicking characters it's pitted against, the player instead chooses their form by normally selecting a character.
  • The Darkstalkers series has the secret characters Shadow (mimics the last character you beat) and Marionette (mimics the character you're fighting against).
  • Raidou from the Dead or Alive series, debuting in the first game Dead or Alive and has remained as a Tsungxpert since. His moveset is mostly comprised of the attacks other fighters use, with a few original moves to call his own. This is explicitly because he learns moves by watching others do them.
    • Honoka from Dead or Alive 5. Like Raidou before her, her moveset consists of attacks pulled from other fighters (such as Tina's dropkick and one of Hitomi's strings), with the resulting mixture making her a Tsungxpert. She uses a different mixture than her predecessor does, since while she can also do the same "learning by watching" thing, she learned all her moves by watching professional wrestling and movies.
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy Bartz is a self-described Mime who uses an amalgamation of techniques from the other heroes to fight with. These techniques are customized by the player, making him a rather flexible Ditto Fighter.
    • While his HP attacks are identical, his Brave attacks combine two different characters' brave attacks into one. For example, one of his brave attacks is Slidehazzard, a combination of part of Tidus's Slide Impulse, and Cloud's Climhazzard. There's also Solid Ascension, a combo of Squall's Solid Barrel and Warrior of Light's Ascension.
    • In Duodecim, he's one of the few characters to have his entire move roster changed (thanks to the addition of new characters). He also now vocally imitates whoever he's copying when he calls his attacks.
  • Kenny from Divekick imitates a different character's dive and kick, along with any associated traits (Jefailey's charge-kicking, Stream and S-Kill's double-dive, etc.) and Kick Factor bonuses, each round. His ground and air specials, however, stay consistent regardless of who is being imitated. The only two characters he can't copy are The Baz (due to lack of rope) and Uncle Sensei (he can copy his downward kick, but can't perform his handstand and more horizontal kick, which becomes a plot point when Kenny fights Uncle Sensei in Story Mode.)
  • Granblue Fantasy Versus has Lunalu, who was added to the roster as part of a free update. She herself doesn't fight, but rather uses her Art Initiates Life abilities to create a random character from the roster that the player then controls, making her a Mokujinner of sorts.
  • Guilty Gear Isuka featured Robo-Ky MKII, a version of Robo-Ky that by default, had Robo-Ky's standard movelist from Guilty Gear XX Reload. The player could customize it, replacing many of it's moves, with imitations of other characters' abilities. From GGX to the original GGXX, Robo-Ky itself was a sort of ditto fighter to the real Ky, imitating a number of his moves whilst having a few of its own unique moves only seen in those two games.
  • In the game Jump! Ultimate Stars, in Planet P, mission 1, players 2, 3, & 4 all use whatever koma deck you choose.
  • Rugal Bernstein from The King of Fighters was originally going to copy the moveset of the character you were playing as. Hardware limitations forced the idea to be abandoned. Rugal having Geese's Reppuken and Krauser's Kaiser Wave were pretty much the remnants of this.
  • In The Last Blade series, Akari can use enchanted paper dolls to briefly become her opponent. A cheat, similar to the Darkstalkers cheats described above, allows you to play as one of the dolls, meaning every fight is a mirror match.
  • In Magical Battle Arena and its sequel, Sakura Kinomoto can use The Mirror to "shapeshift" into a character she's fighting against for a limited time not unlike Shang Tsung.
  • Shang Tsung from the Mortal Kombat series had the power to shapeshift into any other character at will, via various special commands. In the first Mortal Kombat, he was the final boss. In the console ports this ability was toned down due to memory issues, and in the 3D games the ability was taken out entirely.
    • Also, in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the characters Khameleon (female) in the N64 version and Chameleon (male) in the PS version would randomly switch their moves and looks between the female (for Khameleon) or male (for Chameleon) ninjas. In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, both characters still retain a few special moves from their fellow ninjas.
    • In Mortal Kombat 4, the character Meat was essentially a 'skin' over whichever character you chose, acquiring all their moves.
    • Also introduced in 4, Shinnok could also switch between the other characters' moves with different commands, making up for the fact that he himself has none of his own. Shinnok would appear in later games with a much more distinct and unique moveset, but some of this returned in Mortal Kombat X using his "Imposter" variation, which allows him to steal one special move from his opponent to throw back at them.
    • Finally, in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, while they didn't share any special moves with anyone else, Blaze and Mokap stole all three of their fighting styles from the other characters in the game.
      • Shujinko, the protagonist of its immediate sequel, Mortal Kombat: Deception, has specials either reminiscent of or direct copies of moves used by other fighters; this is justified because in most cases those fighters taught him those moves over the course of Konquest mode.
    • In Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Shang Tsung's shapeshifting has been swapped out for a "Freaky Friday" Flip. However, one of his fatalities has him transforming into his victim for the hell of it as he absorbs their soul.
    • In Mortal Kombat 9, there's an interesting take on this. Being a remake with classic mechanics you'd expect Shang Tsung to be able to have multiple commands again, right? Not exactly; if he did, the sheer number of commands necessary would be impossible to memorize, let alone the amount of memory it would consume. The playable version of Shang Tsung now has a universal move that not only morphs him, but also damages and stuns the opponent momentarily. Boss Shang Tsung, however, has not only this move to morph but can also do it at will, during any animation frame, even during fireballs.
  • In Naruto, Kakashi is able to mimic the movements of his opponent thanks to the Sharingan. In various games based on the manga, he can imitate to a certain point the fighting style of his opponent. As can Sasuke. This leads to many funny techniques: Sexy Jutsu Kakashi? Inner Sasuke? Yeah.
    • In some of the Naruto: Clash of Ninja games Kakashi can activate his Sharingan in place of his special move. This changes his counter move such that if he is hit with another players special he will dodge it and then send it right back. Some special moves involving equipment or bloodline traits are not copied and he will simply dodge. But watching him copy Sakura's Inner Sakura beatdown and unleash Inner Kakashi is hilarious.
  • Newgrounds Rumble has Convict, who changes into one of the other characters randomly during a match. (He has his own moveset, of course, used in between forms.)
  • The fan-made Pokémon Fighting Game TYPE-WILD has an actual Ditto as its final boss.
  • Double from Skullgirls is an interesting variation. While her normals mostly copy moves of other fighters, they often have different properties. In addition, while she morphs into other characters for her special moves, all of them are unique to her. Word of God states that many of Double's special moves were moves Dummied Out from other fighters.
  • Metal Sonic from Sonic the Fighters, like Dural in Virtua Fighter, uses a moveset that is an amalgam of the other fighers' moves, plus a few moves all his own, like a devastating Chest Blaster. The once Dummied Out Honey the Cat, now featured in the Updated Re-release, also takes moves from other characters.
    • Speaking of Sonic fighting games, Sonic Battle has Emerl, one of the main characters of the game. His moveset is copied from other fighters', and customized via Skill Cards that represent the characters' moves. Skill Cards are obtained during battle, but a select powerful few are unlocked via passwords entered at the Sonic Team building during the last chapter. Not only can Emerl's moves be customized this way, but also his jumps, running style, dashing style, fighting stance, and even color. There's, however, a limit to how the skills Emerl can equip, represented by points (The stronger the move, the more points it costs to equip), to prevent him from being a complete Game-Breaker (Though players can still use a cheating device to bypass the limit).
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • As a fighter, Kirby's ability to copy his opponent's movesets carries over to Smash Bros. games as well, letting him utilize their special moves.
    • In Melee's Tournament Mode, to select a fighter randomly, you had to choose... you've guessed it, Ditto.
    • There were originally plans to make Ditto a Poké Ball Pokemon in Melee, with the ability to turn into the fighter who released it and then fighting alongside the person as a separate fighter. The idea was scrapped when it created lag problems.note  This idea was eventually realized 17 years later in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • Super Smash Bros. 64 had Clefairy, who would use the Metronome move to randomly imitate another Pokémon (which is kind of how it works in the Pokémon games, copying nearly any move at random). From Melee onward, the move was given to Togepi and it was changed to a set of random moves instead (though two were variations of Suicune and Electrode's moves).
    • In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, one of Master Core's forms is the Master Shadow, a larger version of the player character, darkened to nearly a black silhouette and with black miasma emanating from it. Master Shadow gradually gets smaller and weaker as it takes damage, however.
  • Street Fighter:
    • In Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, Twelve's "X COPY" Super Art allows him to mimic the fighting style of his opponent for a limited time, with the exception of their Super Arts and EX Specials. To compensate, his attacks are stronger and he takes half damage from his opponent's attacks.
    • The Street Fighter EX series has the Cycloid robots, Beta and Gamma, who both use moves from other characters (one specializes in command-based moves, while the other uses charge-based ones). The character Ace from this same franchise also has this ability, being able to even copy the fighting styles of characters not in the Street Fighter EX series.
    • The Final Boss of Street Fighter IV, Seth, uses souped-up versions of many of the other fighters' special movies.
      • Seth returns in Street Fighter V and adds on to his SFIV appearance, now not only having special moves copied from Makoto, Dimitri and possibly even DIOnote  instead, but also a V-Skill that lets him copy a move from his opponent.
    • Eleven, Twelve's predecessor in Street Fighter V is the series' first Mokujin-like example, transforming into a random character for the match. He doesn't change characters between rounds like Mokujin does, however.
  • In Touhou Shinkirou ~ Hopeless Masquerade, one of Mamizou's special attacks allows her to transform into her opponent and copy the foe's special attack.
  • Dural from the Virtua Fighter series uses a single moveset taken from a number of characters but Dural's version is usually faster and more damaging than the original move. She can also chain together some truly ludicrous combos with them.
  • The final boss of the original World Heroes, Geegus (whose name is clearly a mistranslation of "Gigas"), takes the form of a different character each combat round, only returning to his true form for his Victory Pose.
    • An upgraded version of him known as Neo Geegus, later appeared in World Heroes 2 as the semi-final boss, which added, but mostly imitates the newly added characters of the game (excluding Neo Geegus and Dio). He now also switches forms within the same round instead of sticking to just one.
  • Rogue in X-Men: Next Dimension can power-steal, similar to X-Men vs. Street Fighter, but the extra attack she produces can be a variant on one of the character's normal or special moves that they wouldn't possess on their own.
  • In X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Rogue of the X-Men could get an opponent's special move à la Kirby in Smash Bros. by kissing them. In Marvel vs. Capcom 2 this was changed to a temporary augmentation of power, speed or defense depending on the kissee (To be fair, it has a 56 character roster).
    • MUGEN-based versions of Rogue try to emulate this too, some better than others, but with limitation due to the same problem; the huge and expanding number of possible opponents.
    • Ryu in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Superheroes had a style-switching power that gave him Ken or Akuma's moveset, to compensate for their in-game absence.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • Overwatch has Echo, a Do-Anything Robot whose base moveset normally has her play as a flying DPS hero, while her ultimate ability, "Duplicate", allows her to to become a Tsungxpert by completely replicating the appearance, health, and abilities of an enemy hero for a set duration. In addition, the rate at which she's able to generate the enemy's ultimate is increased significantly, allowing her to throw their power back onto them with greater frequency and ease.
  • In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, while Claptrap's VaultHunter.exe can have a variety of effects it's most straightforward ones emulate the Action Skills of the player characters from Borderlands 2, ranging from being able to dual-wield guns like Salvador (at the cost of firing uncontrollably), tossing out a missile-firing turret like Axton or even pulling out a buzzsaw like Krieg.

  • Temtem: Mimit can transform into one Temtem on the battlefield at a time, copying their typing and moveset.

  • Morphling in Dota 2 can turn into a copy of an enemy hero with his ultimate, gaining access to all of their basic abilities while morphed. Buying Aghanim's Scepter allows him to copy allied heroes as well.
  • In Heroes of the Storm, Abathur can choose the Ultimate Evolution heroic, which lets him temporarily become a clone of an allied hero. He has access to all of their basic abilities and gains bonus damage and movement speed. In the game's early version, he also copied their Heroics, but that was changed for obvious reasons.
  • League of Legends plays this in a few ways:
  • The Morrigan in SMITE can become any god in the current match with her Changeling ultimate. She even gets their ultimate, although Changeling's cooldown increases if she uses it.

  • Many games in the Castlevania series include a boss called Doppelganger which at first glance appears to be an Evil Twin but is really closer to this. The boss is supposedly a demon that has taken the form of the hero to Beat Them at Their Own Game. If they were a true Evil Twin they would have more of a purpose in the plot but once you kill them they are never mentioned again.
    • The only exception is in Lament of Innocence where you fight the doppelganger twice, but it still doesn't serve any purpose to the story aside from another Boss Fight.
  • Several examples in the Mega Man franchise:
  • Miriam from Rabi-Ribi has a multitude of attack patterns, based off all the weapons and items Erina can possibly collect, and she copies the effects of most badges Erina has equipped. Since she can only use an attack if Erina actually has the corresponding item, she's the only boss who's easier on a Minimalist Run, since she'll spend the majority of the fight trying to pull off attacks and failing. She also copies the negative effects of badges that increase one stat while lowering another, which can be used against her. She also doubles as a Final-Exam Boss since her attack pattern for the Bunny Amulet (the one item you can't avoid) summons Degraded Boss versions of nearly every boss in the game.
  • Xi Wang Mu from Strider (2014) can mimic any attack used by the three Wind sisters (her students), using an Energy Weapon that trnasforms into each one of the sisters' weapon of choice at random. She does possess exclusive moves, too.
  • Pedro, the Recurring Boss of TAGAP is a cybernetically enhanced penguin, just like the main character Pablo. During the final battle, he will invoke this trope by fighting Pablo on foot, using the same weapon that Pablo is currently using (unless Pablo equips the Dual Uzis or the Disintegrator, in which case he will whip out a Chaingun), and having his own reserve of One-Up extra lives.

    Racing Games 
  • The hidden characters Petey Piranha and King Boo of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! can use all of the character-specific special items.
  • In Sonic Rivals, Metal Sonic copies the special move of his current opponent. This is also the only way for both players to have the same one in multiplayer.

  • In BlaZeon, a 1992 shmup by Atlus, the player's TFF-01 ship could only be powered up by disabling an enemy ship with the special Tranqui-Lander weapon and merging with it.
  • Touhou Project's Satori Komeiji in Subterranean Animism uses spell cards pulled from your partner's boss appearance in previous games, also making her a pseudo-Nostalgia Boss. Her power is that she can read minds to copy danmaku patterns from their memory, and before she can copy your partner's spell cards she has to use her Recollection "Terrifying Hypnotism" spell card to take them out of your character's memory. It doesn't explain how she can turn into mist if your partner is Suika, though, unless that's just an illusion.

    Sports Games 

    Puzzle Games 
  • In both Meteos and Meteos Wars, you play as one of these during the story mode.
  • In Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido, Chamelva has Skill Copy, which, true to its name, copies the skill the opponent had used most recently. (Chamelva cannot use Skill Copy until the opponent has used at least one skill.) Chamelva was the favorite Sushi Sprite of the Emperor before Octavius took the throne, making him this trope too by proxy.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • In Way of the Samurai 4 the player is able to acquire and fully master the fighting styles of other characters. Using these skills against said characters can feel like this trope.

Non-Video Game Examples

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • Szayel's Resurrecion's has the power to envelop people in a black goo which then morphs into a near-perfect copy of them with all their powers.
    • Loyd Lloyd has the ability to transform into someone else and copy all of their powers, as well as a portion of their memories. Royd Lloyd can do the same, but he copies all of their memories and only a portion of their powers.
  • Seven-Three from Dragon Ball Super is an android who can copy the abilities of any life form he touches with a time limit of 30 minutes, with his infinite stamina giving him an advantage. He can store the abilities of up to 3 life forms at a time.
  • The Stellar Spirit Gemini from Fairy Tail has this ability. This logically resulted in a once-off gag in the Edolas arc, where Lucy meets her AU counterpart, and Gemini becomes a third Lucy.
  • Subaru Mimasaka, unlike the rest of the student chefs from Food Wars!, does not have his own signature cooking style. He meticulously researches his opponent's history, personality, cooking preferences, and tactics so that during a cook-off he can accurately replicate his opponent's dish and improve it in such a way that he'll be awarded an undisputed win from the judges.
  • Envy in Fullmetal Alchemist can copy the appearance of any human being at will.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure villain DIO was originally intended to have the power to mimic the powers of any of the Tarot Stands. This is why he was shown early on using Hermit Purple.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple:
    • In his fight against the series' first Big Bad, Kenichi mimics his masters' moves and personalities to throw off Odin, who had been reading his rhythm to counter his attacks.
    • Kisara twice defeats an opponent by copying Miu's moves, because her usual fighting style wasn't enough to penetrate the opponent's defense: once fighting against Freya (because Freya was fighting with a staff), and once during the D of D Tournament (because her oponent Aysha's legs were longer than hers). During the fight with her next tournament oponent she realizes that copying someone else's style is not enough and it's then when she developes her own fighting style.
  • Corona Timil from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid can perform People Puppets on herself, allowing her to perform attacks as a response to certain triggers with almost zero reaction time. The attacks she performs need to be programmed beforehand, so she used the techniques of her team mates.
  • My Hero Academia: Neito Monoma has the quirk Copy, which allows him to use the quirk of anyone he touches. He can keep borrowed quirks for up to five minutes, but can only use one at a time. The Logical Weakness comes that he only copies the basic power of the Quirk itself; Quirks that rely on accumulation of something (like the example given of Fatgum who uses his body fat) do not have the accumulation copied. This is why he was unable to utilize One-For-All as it stockpiles power over its wielder. Granted this saves him as it otherwise would've crushed his arms.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Negi's Pactio gave him the ability to copy the artifacts of his own Ministras.
    • Albireo Imma's artifact can turn him into anyone he met.
  • Ranma ½ anime Villain of the Week Copycat Ken is a Tsung type, complete with shapeshifting and inheriting flaws of whoever he turns into. He typically copies his targets by stalking and making many photos of them though in a pinch, just observing can do as well.
  • In Season 4 of Sailor Moon, a Monster of the Week named ManeMane appears as a giant red monkey who's able to copy the attacks that the Sailor Senshi use on her. She even changes her face to resemble the Senshi she's copying.
  • Kaede Kaburagi of Tiger & Bunny eventually develops the ability to copy the powers of the last NEXT she's touched.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Joey uses the Copycat and Graverobber card to replicate the opponent's cards for his own use. Pegasus uses Doppelganger to do the same.
    • Marik has "Metal Reflect Slime", which assumes the form of whatever monster attacked him before he activated it, but with a 3/4 of its stats.
    • Thematically done several times when a duelist faces an opponent that uses a similar or identical deck. The most prominent example is in GX when Jaden duels Aster in a clash of Elemental Hero cards.

    Comic Books 
  • In comic books, this is often dubbed "photographic memory" or "photographic reflexes", and it's a common power for B-list heroes and villains. These characters are always doomed to lose, either because the hero they're stealing the powers/moves from comes up with a new one on the spot, one that drops the mook down before he/she can copy it; or inversely because the hero refuses to fight at all - with no attack to copy, the mook can only rely on his own fighting skills, which of course suck because he's never needed them before. Taskmaster is one of the major examples in Marvel Comics. Tasky is also in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, though in that game he has a pre-defined move set borrowed from various characters including Captain America, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Black Knight, and others.
    • Also worth mentioning is Kl'rt the Super-Skrull, who has the powers of all of the Fantastic Four. There are several other Super-Skrulls including Criti Noll (with powers borrowed from several Avengers) and Rl'nnd (with powers from several X-Men). Kl'rt is, like Taskmaster, in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and serves duty as a representative of the Fantastic Four series.
    • When Rogue touches someone who doesn't have any sort of enhanced powers, she absorbs their memories, including any knowledge and skills they've picked up, making her this.
    • DC has Amazo, an android with the powers of the Justice League. In a Literal Genie moment, he was once defeated when Superman disbanded the League, leaving him powerless against a group of now independent superheroes.


    Live-Action TV 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Wrestling example: In late 2008, Charlie Haas has taken to dressing as various WWE stars (past and present) and attempting to mimic their fighting styles. Including Santa Claas (as a Holiday joke).
    • Carlito was the first character Haas imitated.
    • Many of Haas's matches with this gimmick were against John "Bradshaw" Layfield.
    • Charlie Haas's impersonations got their own Slammy award category. His Beth Phoenix imitation won.
    • Embarrassingly subverted when he impersonated The Great Khali. Haas, lacking Khali's Mighty Glacier body, failed to peform such moves and had to win with his own instead. Then the real Khali came out and, unflattered, beat him up.
  • Eugene started out as an Idiot Savant — despite being mentally handicapped he was a skilled wrestler in the Tsungxpert mold, making frequent use of famous wrestlers' moves, from the Rock Bottom to the Stone Cold Stunner to the Atomic Legdrop.
  • Bryan Danielson once had a Ring of Honor world title defense against Jimmy Rave that was almost a mirror match; Rave had the champ scouted, and as such was able to use Danielson's own moves against him and take the fight to him on the mat.

    Tabletop Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Both Shirou and Archer from Fate/stay night copy other people's weapons perfectly (well, one magic rank reduced, but that only really matters against Servants like Hercules). Perfectly in this case includes the history of the weapon, including the history of how it was wielded. Meaning Shirou and Archer copy the skill of the original owner. Pray they never copy Assassin's sword, wielded with his reality-bending skill.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Velvet Scarlatina uses her camera Anesidora to create Hard Light versions of other people's weapons, and then her Semblance Photographic Memory to perfectly mimic their fighting styles. Unfortunately, each picture only lasts a short time, making her a bit Too Awesome to Use for her team. This has given her a rather undeserved reputation around school as The Load.

  • In Kill Six Billion Demons when dueling a single opponent Solomon David identifies the martial arts style his opponent is using at the moment and switches to use the same style. He's not limited to this, he's just doing it to show off his immense knowledge and skill in the many Supernatural Martial Arts - anything you can do I can do better.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "Disguise the Limit," Darkwing becomes this combined with Involuntary Shapeshifter, turning into an imperfect duplicate of whomever he looks at. This turns out to be an enormous hindrance to his ability to function as a crimefighter, especially since he also adopts the personality of whomever he turns into.
  • Steven Universe: Lapis Lazuli can create duplicates of others made of water.

  • In a chess game known as the Copycat game, some unknown player tried to copycat the moves of Jose Raul Capablanca (a former World Champion). Most probably, on the assumption that if a move is good for Capablanca, it's got to be good for anyone. This worked for a while... until Capablanca gave them a check, which is impossible to copycat. (And checkmated them promptly a few moves later.)
  • The Romans were notoriously talented at copying good ideas when they saw them, be it the aqueducts and engineering techniques of the Etruscans, the pantheon and cultural affectations of Greece, the navies of Carthage, the chainmail of Gaul, the Cataphracts of Parthia and later Sassania...