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Doppelgänger Attack
aka: Doppleganger Attack

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"I can be one or one-hundred!"
Naruto Uzumaki, Naruto
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Similar to Doppelgänger Spin, Doppelganger Attack involves making multiple copies of oneself, during combat. Unlike the former, however, the "copies" are actual physical copies, be they manifestations of energy, split off from the original, or copies made of stone, clay, or another material. As they are solid copies, there is no "which one is the real one" game to be played here: They're essentially all "real", and all dangerous. They can be used to attack, train, or defend the original. If the copies are unable to rejoin with the original after being created or summoned, they may have the Cloning Blues.

While they are all solid, often the summoned copies are much weaker than the original, and can be killed more quickly. The major difference between this and Doppelgänger Spin is that the doppelgangers are able to attack, even if they can be destroyed by being hit once or twice. Sometimes making more copies makes the original opponent weaker, due to the Conservation of Ninjutsu. In fact, Ninja-theme characters in Toku are frequently an example of both these tropes.

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Compare Doppelgänger Spin, Me's a Crowd and Weaponized Offspring. Expect lots of Power Perversion Potential. If the Doppelganger attacking is of the player, it's a Mirror Boss.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Alice Academy, Misaki Harada's doppleganger Alice allows her to create multiple versions of herself.
  • While she's generally more likely to use it for scams than for combat, Ryoko of Tenchi Muyo! is able to create solid "shadows" of herself.
  • In Busou Renkin, the villain Moonface's Busou Renkin, Satellite 30, allows him to create 30 versions of himeself, each one representing a phase of the moon with a head of the corresponding shape. FWI, the new moon one is headless.
  • In Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, both this and its sister trope, Doppelgänger Spin, appear occasionally;
    • Some characters, like Tenshinhan/Tien, Piccolo, and Cell can divide their bodies into weaker physical copies to employ special fighting strategies. Piccolo also uses it to spar with himself when there's no suitably strong partner available.
    • Sgt. Purple of the Red Ribbon Army subverts this; While he claims he can do this, he's actually part of a set of identical septuplets, who pretend to be this trope.
  • Chantez Arpinion of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vivid reveals her ability to do this with her Ensemble spell during her match against Victoria, overwhelming her opponent with several tangible clones that are nigh-indistinguishable from the original and just as fast and skilled, though quite fragile. She was shown to be able to create up to eighteen clones at once. Unfortunately, her opponent is a One Woman Army who wipes them all out once she gets serious
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Kaede Nagase, in addition to the usual illusionary swarm, when she limits her duplicates to four or so all of them are fully tangible and devastatingly effective combatants. Her student and main lead's Rival Kotaro has also shown to be proficient at it, though not to the extent of her ability. Oddly, Nagi, the Disappeared Dad of series lead could do it, while not being eastern or showing any skill in ninjutsu. Rule of Cool indeed.
    • Negi can also do it, summoning a bunch of doppelgangers when he fights Evangeline. Later on, he turns it Up to Eleven by summoning a thousand decoys. Made of lightning. Just because.
      • Negi's initial spell actually summons elemental spirits and "clothes" them in a copy of his body (presumably just because his incantation didn't specify otherwise). The divergence from this trope is that the copies are separate beings which only look like him and don't think, act, or fight anything like he does. Since they were pursuing Evangeline, none survived long enough to make this evident, though she selected her defense based on the distinction.
    • Haruna Saotome's can use her Art Imitates Life pactio to duplicate anything her incredible art skills can draw... including herself. Which can create even more copies...
  • Naruto
    • The earliest example is the Shadow Clone Jutsu. Unlike the normal Clone Jutsu that simply creates an illusionary copy meant to distract and confuse the enemy, Shadow Clones are much more tangible and independent they can hurt their targets if they land a hit, but they tend to be really fragile and die with one good hit. It's considered a Dangerous Forbidden Technique because each clone receives an equal fraction of the original's chakra in addition to however much is used to cast the jutsu, and it's possible to die of chakra exhaustion from making too many. If you've got nearly bottomless chakra reserves like Naruto, however, that risk is all but gone.
    • There are other solid clone jutsus too, mainly in the form of "X Clone Jutsu", where X is an element like water or sand, with varying levels of similarity to the original. The advantage is that they tend to be much harder to destroy than their shadow clone counterparts. Their disadvantage compared to the Shadow Clone Jutsu is that the user needs to have a supply of the element in question on hand (ie to make Water Clones you need to be near a river or lake and for Sand Clones you need to be near a beach or desert...or do like Gaara and carry a huge gourd full of sand wherever you go). For just a handful of clones, that's rarely a problem. Creating thousands of them like Naruto sometimes does with Shadow Clones, though, is implausible even if you've got a near-bottomless supply of chakra like Naruto.
    • Pain also has the ability to make copies of other Akatsuki members out of living people, which are essentially the same except with only the percentage of chakra put into it. Once again, the advantage is that they are much hardier than normal clones and function in mind identical to the originals. The weakness is that they're limited in scope by the amount of chakra given to them (Itachi's clone outright states he can't use the Mangekyou Sharingan despite possessing 30% of the original's reserves).
  • One of the Zoalords from Guyver can hide himself in "imaginary space", where he cannot be harmed by anything in "real space". From there, he can project up to three "shadows" in "real space": the copies look identical to the original, but are intangible, invulnerable and capable of firing homing ball of plasma, which are tangible and more than capable of harm. The drawbacks of this technique is that he can safely use it only for ten minutes at a time, and that someone who possesses the same ability could also enter the same "imaginary space" and attack him directly.
  • An early character in Hunter × Hunter, Kastro, fought Hisoka wuth a Nen ability he called "Double", allowing him to create a perfect copy of himself. It worked for a time but Hisoka worked out its flaws. The main flaw was that the double did not display battle damage or accumulate dirt making it easy to recognize over a prolonged battle. It was also a bad choice in technique for Kastro in particular, as his natural abilities in Nen were ill-suited to the conjuration and manipulation Double required.
  • Nico Robin of One Piece has worked out how to use her Flower-Flower Fruit powers, which enable her to sprout any part of herself from any surface, to create a full body double.
  • Suzaku, an early Big Bad from YuYu Hakusho, could create seven identical copies of himself, each with all of his strength. In stark violation of the Law of Conservation of Energy, he could then reabsorb those copies to completely replenish his strength, enabling him to fight forever, until Yusuke kills all the clones and damages the remaining clone's antenna, so he can no longer control his aura. As a result the one remaining clone is rendered powerless and possibly dies, though his fate is never actually addressed.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • Superman can also do this in a weak form, once playing ping-pong against himself to entertain some kids.
    • The standard tactic of Silent Majority, a member of the Force of July who fought Batman and the Outsiders and other heroes in The DCU.
    • Superman foe Riot has the ability to clone himself at will or when attacked. One of Riot's most significant advantages in a fight is that the force of a blow delivered to one duplicate is dispersed across all of his currently-active duplicates; as a result, while Superman could theoretically knock Riot out if he hit a single Riot with a sufficiently powerful punch, with a dozen or more Riots active at once Superman's blows fail to cause sufficient damage to render any of the Riots unconscious.
    • Nightwing was once attacked by a Jokerized Riot but was able to spot the original and knock him out almost immediately causing the clones to disappear.
      "Only one of you had the riot gun, Riot. Moron."
  • The Makuta Bitil from BIONICLE wears a Mohtrek; or in layman's terms: A Mask of Time Duplication. When mentally triggered it summons different versions of the user from different points in time into the present. These duplicates are just as strong as the original was or will be at that point in time. When dismissed, the duplicates will return to the very same moment they left, meaning that no one will have seen them suddenly vanish and reappear. They also lose their memory of what happened while summoned to avoid any whacky time paradoxes. The downside? The summoned duplicates will return to their time with all the physical evidence of the summoning intact, meaning that if you get wounded, that wound will seem to have suddenly appeared on you somewhere in time. And if one gets killed... all version past that one gets erased from time, as if they were never there. So a past version of you gets killed, and you cease to exist; even in the memories of those you were fighting, and all the people you have ever met. Whoops.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • The Alpha Flight character Flashback can conjure up versions of himself from seconds away in time, allowing him to swarm an opponent all by himself. He's not so good at picking foes he can actually beat this way, though, and the downside is, if one of his phase-forms dies, he gets to worry if it's the one from his future.
    • The mercenary Timeshadow, a former pawn of Apocalypse, has a similar power.
    • Quantum, a foe of The Avengers, can teleport back and forth so fast that he's effectively two (or more) places at once, allowing him to hit heroes from several directions.
    • Multiple Man from X-Factor. Especially recently as his clones tend to reflect part of the typical human personality. His libido manifested with a clone and much sex (not with clones) ensued.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Doctor Strange takes this trope Up to Eleven when he pulls this against Thanos in the Avengers: Infinity War.
  • In the film Sky High (2005), an African American cheerleader named Penny Lent has the ability to duplicate multiple copies of herself. In the final act of the movie her and the other antagonists help Royal Pain (who is revealed to be Gwen) turn everyone at homecoming into babies and are only stopped when the sidekicks defeat them. Penny herself is defeated after her she is ignorant of Layla's power and becomes trapped in vines. She and the rest of the villains are placed into jail at the end of the movie.
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    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • The tabletop RPG Continuum does this in a way: since all characters are time travellers, they're within their rights to resolve that they'll come back to this moment later on, and watch as their temporal double pops in out of nowhere. The risk is that this means committing to a return into a dangerous situation, and if you see your older self get killed, then that's a pity, isn't it?
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a huge number of abilities that allow the players to pull it off.
    • The Psionic Power Fission is this trope in a nutshell.
    • One of the Swordmage powers in the supplement book Arcane Power creates three copies of you that you can use as starting points for your other powers, though they all share your action pool.
    • The first edition supplement book Oriental Adventures also has the Conjuration spell "Body Outside Body", allowing a Wu Jen to create a few clones of himself. Those have less Hit Points than the caster and cannot use spells, but they have all of his martial prowess.
    • Trickery Devotion, a feat from 3.5, lets you clone yourself 1/day. It's a very frail clone, but still...
  • In the 7th Edition of Gamma World, one of the origins, Doppelganger, focuses on such powers. At 1st-level, you could briefly have three of yourself simultaneously. (It's an at-will power.)

    Video Games 
  • In Abobo's Big Adventure, the Old Man splits into three versions of himself, all wielding swords.
  • The time-travel RTS Achron can be made to do this. A technique allows the Delayed Ripple Effect to be Delayed permanently, so that your units can Help Themselves In The Future but never return to the past, without any nasty paradoxes. Unfortunately, this requires so much time and concentration that it's easier to just build new units if you need to.
  • One of Konoha's supers in Arcana Heart has her creating a bunch of doppelgangers to pummel her opponent with a 100-hit combo.
  • The last battle in Assassin's Creed I against Al Mu'alim, where he creates a dozen illusions of himself, each of which is perfectly capable of killing you, being the most dangerous fighters in the entire game. If you can figure out which one is the original, you can cause the others to disappear. That's pretty much the entire point of the battle, really.
    • In the second game Ezio uses the piece of Eden in his battle against the Pope. The copies are different in that they attack independently from you and they don't disappear when you or they are hit. It makes the battle rather easy as you can just wait until he is fighting one of the copies and then attack him from behind and the wait until another copy attacks and he's busy fighting him. Rinse and repeat, Pope defeated.
  • It seems like every wizard miniboss in Baldur's Gate fights with the mirror image spell, meaning you need to do at least one attack on him per image he creates before you can touch him again. All while he's launching off his own spells. The quickest way to strip this off of him is with a magic missile spell or two, but it's still massively annoying, especially if they use fear or charms on your party (which most do).
    • Worse is the simulacrum spell, where only one image is produced, but it's got hit points and can wander away from the caster.
  • Gruntilda in Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, after her Mecha Grunty suit is destroyed. Klungo also does it in Banjo-Tooie if he drinks the blue potion before the fight.
  • Ra's Al Ghul in Batman: Arkham City and Copperhead in Batman: Arkham Origins are both shrouded by copies in their boss fights, but they're not actually using this technique. Rather, in both cases, Batman is under the effects of hallucinatory drugs.
  • ST Thanatos and ST Valius in Battle Clash do this. Valius is said to be so fast Eddie warps and fires from three different locations at once, but in truth the standing tank is really only in one place even if the shots are coming from seemingly impossible simultaneous angles. Find its shadow and shoot there.
  • Taokaka from BlazBlue has a Distortion Drive called "Almost Becoming Two!", where a transparent doppelganger appears behind her for a short time. Whatever moves Taokaka uses, the doppelganger uses.
  • Bloodborne, Dark Souls sister game, has a few of these as well
    • One of the Wet Nurse's attacks is a nightmare reality in which every three seconds, a clone of the Wet Nurse appears and instantly launches an attack, only to vanish and do it again.
    • Yharnam, Pthumerian Queen can create duplicates that can use a lot of her attacks and will be constantly firing blood bullets at you. They can be destroyed easily, but can really make dealing with Yharnam very hard. The only thing that differentiates it from the real one is that the duplicates aren't pregnant.
  • The boss of Stage 4 in Blood Over does this.
  • Hedrox, the bestial vampire in BloodRayne, does this during his battle.
  • In Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack creates hologram copies of himself in his boss battle to distract and attack the player. His playable body double in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has the exact same ability, though he can only have two out at a time.
  • This is one of the abilities of Dark Lumina in Brave Fencer Musashi, in addition to all the others provided by the Five Scrolls.
  • In Cannon Dancer, Kirin's signature technique creates these.
  • The 8th boss of Captain Commando, Doppel, does this when he's injured enough in single player. In the multiplayer, he does this from the get-go.
  • Clonk's Fantasy Pack adds, the Magic Copy spell, which works like this.
  • In Cosmic Break, this is the key move of the Palmier unit, called Palmier Frame Bombardment.
  • Some bosses in Cube World have the ability to summon clones of themselves, which have a lot less health but still hit relatively hard. Others can summon clones of you.
  • Dark Souls has Pinwheel, a necromancer who makes fake copies of himself.
    • In Dark Souls II, the Darklurker will create a copy of itself when its health reaches halfway; the copy acts independently and has all the same powers as the original. However, they share the same health bar, so when one dies, the other will die as well.
    • The Crystal Sage in Dark Souls III will begin creating decoy copies of himself at half health. They die in one hit, but they are also capable of using sorceries just as powerful as the original.
      • Pontiff Sulyvhan can create a phantom clone of himself in the second half of his boss fight. The clone has low health, but all the same attacks as the Pontiff himself, and he can create more if the one he's currently using is killed. However, the phantom mimics Sulyvhan's movements about a second behind, so its attacks are very predictable, and its presence really just means you have to dodge all of the Pontiff's attacks twice.
  • Morrigan of Darkstalkers does this with one of her ultimate moves in a few of her fighting game appearances. Darkness Illusion, specifically.
    • Lilith as well. But, while Morrigan's clone is mirrored behind the opponent, Lilith's copy follows her arround and does the same attacks with a delay.
  • During the first battle with Soul of the Phoenix in Death's Gambit, she goes from orange-red to the much hotter blue flame. During the second battle, a blue version of her is created alongside the normal one.
  • In Deeeep.io, Tier 9 Humboldt squid can create up to 2 clones of themselves once they eat enough.
  • This is pretty much the whole point of Phantom Lancer, one of the heroes in Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars - two of his skills are passive and give him a chance of creating an illusory copy of himself (that can still damage enemies) with every hit against an enemy (the second boosts the chance and gives his illusions a chance of creating illusions of their own). Sadly, the illusion-count tops out at 8 or so, meaning no army of angry Catfolk charging across the battlefield.
  • The Clone power in defly.io does exactly that. Notably, the Clone has its separate health as it moves opposite the player, and if the player gets killed regardless, they'll not respawn while the clone is still around.
  • When Dante utilizes his Doppelganger style in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, he can create a single duplicate of himself. The duplicate will mirror Dante's movements and attacks, but the player can choose to increase the lag between the command inputs and the duplicate's response — or a second player can take control instead.
    • Same rules apply with Vergil's Devil Trigger in Dm C Devil May Cry, minus the second player controlling the doppelgänger. This is also the last phase as the Final Boss in Dante's story.
  • This is done by Loki in Devil Survivor. Though, the real one has a shadow and slightly more speed.
  • In Diablo II, the Amazon and Assassin both have abilities like this. The Amazon can create an illusion of herself and summon a real spirit warrior to aid her; the Assassin can summon a shadow of herself with somewhat reduced skills, or a more powerful version at higher levels with greater skill levels.
    • Baal himself can do this in the expansion. Thankfully, he can only make one copy.
  • In the Disgaea games, Mid-Boss' ultimate attack, Adonic Fury, utilizes this. He splits himself into four copies and surrounds the unfortunate target to beat the ever-loving crap out of him/her/it. There's also his Super Adonis, which has him rapidly magichange countless copies of himself into swords and rain them down upon his unfortunate targets.
    • Several other special moves, such as Doppelganger, use copies as well. The makers of the game have commented that the attack is "also useful if you want to vote for something".
    • Phantom Brave and Soul Nomad & the World Eaters show that this kind of attack isn't just for demons.
    • In those same games, the "Clone" Geo Panels recreate duplicate versions of whatever is standing on a matching color panel, be they allies or enemies. All of the generated clones are very real (and will invariably attack your party), and retain the stats and Hit Points of the original, but you can't steal any of their equipment.
  • Both Branka and the Desire Demon possessing Connor from Dragon Age: Origins make copies of themselves after taking some damage. It's pretty easy to tell which one is the real one in both cases.
  • The boss battle against Manah's personal demons in Drakengard II involves a lot of these. In fact, defeating the dopplegangers doesn't even earn you kills or experience points.
  • In Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, the final battle in Domon Kasshu's "Original Mode" path pits him against Master Asia, who uses his powers to create several clones (of varying toughness) of his Master Gundam, and Domon has to fight them simultaneously to achieve victory.
    • In the second game, activating God Gundam's enhanced super move will cause two clones to appear that will mirror your actions and attacks.
  • Sigdis Gaulderson, a Flunky Boss in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, combines this with a teleport ability to create a Shell Game for the player. Unlike a Doppelgänger Spin, though, all three draugr are capable of attacking you with bows and Shouts. The spectral copies will go down in one hit, while hitting the true boss a few times will cause him to teleport again and summon new copies.
  • Evolve's Wraith can create a duplicate of itself using the Decoy ability, which is capable of attacking and teleporting just like the original. It will disappear after a few seconds, but during those few seconds it's extremely dangerous.
  • E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy allows players (and some mooks) to summon up to 6 psychic clones, which can be ordered around independently. The clones typically die in one or two hits from any weapon, but the clones can use any weapon, such as handheld miniguns and anti-tank revolvers. An alternate psychic ability allows the player to summon a single clone, which is much more durable.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas: Honest Hearts, the Ghost of She splits into four when its HP gets low. Fortunately, you only need to destroy the main body and the doppelgangers will follow suit.
  • Marquis does this in Final Fantasy Tactics A2. He splits himself into five, and strangely enough, all of them have differing abilities. His doppelgangers may know anything from a Flaming Sword all the way to illusion magic that hits the whole field. This happens in a cutscene, so you're effectively just fighting a group of ninja that all happen to share the same name.
  • Gharnef uses this ability when you face him for the last time in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. The real one is invulnerable to all attacks save the Starlight spell (which you may or may not have), while the clones can be damaged as normal — but the pre-battle stat readout will still predict 0 damage being dealt. One way to tell which is the real one is to use the Earthsphere, which deals 13 damage to everything on the field... except for the real Gharnef.
  • Ziguragi in Fixeight has this as his special weapon, which creates three ninja clones that follow him. They aim at enemies and fires rapid shuriken.
  • Freeware Shoot 'em Up Fraxy allows for player-made content, and so this trope shows up there a lot. Eboshidori's Phantom 30K is the best-known example.
  • The Unholy Prophet boss in Gloom creates two doppelgangers, who attack just like how he does, but will fade away after a single attack, without reducing his own health bar. The best way to deal with them is often to fire a bullet as soon as he creates the doppelgangers - its Over Penetration will pass through all three of them, immediately destroying the phantom copies.
  • Yet another Capcom example appears in Gotcha Force with the Double Ninja. Other than his "Kage Bunshin Ninpo", he's the same as a Normal Ninja stat-wise, while costing 40% more to include in the player's force for the level. However, while the shadow double is active, he effectively doubles the player's offense (it has the same power, but there's a slight offset to its attack, making it possible if unlikely to hit with only one of the doubled strikes), and the only way to get rid of the double is to knock down (or knock out) the Double Ninja. A player capable of keeping a Double Ninja on his feet more than makes up for the cost of including one by the sheer level of offense it can provide.
  • In Grandia II, both Ryudo and Melfice have similar special attacks that invoke this (Purple Lightning and Wailing Sword Slash, respectively).
    • In Grandia Xtreme, Lutina has Dragon Mirage move, where she create two more clones to trap the enemy inside a triangle, before attacking him from the three angles.
      • Titto has something similar with his last move, where he runs around an enemy, creating four clones of him to attack the enemy simultaneously.
  • In Guild Wars 2, this is the core of the Mesmer profession's fighting style. Mesmers make illusionary clones of themselves that are fragile and deal little damage, but can be "shattered" to cause a variety of effects. They can also make more powerful "phantasms," which are clones that are visibly different from the Mesmer but are a serious threat and able to deal significant damage before fading away and becoming regular clones.
  • Halo 2: The Heretic Leader boss fights alongside holographic clones of himself, whose attacks are just as deadly as the real thing. They can actually take more damage than him.
  • In Headhunter: Redemption, Psycho Star slides across the room, which creates copies of himself that home in on Leeza.
  • If you did not hate him enough already at that point, Flying Fox from Heavenly Sword has a habit of doing this in his second boss fight. While it is frustrating in normal difficulty, as the clones do not go down in one hit and block most attacks very easily, it is far worse in Hell difficulty, where they have a habit of attacking at the same time with attacks whose blocks are mutually exclusive, and they do so while ganging up, making dodging the attacks a gamble as well. Defeating him for good is one of the more satisfying moments of the game.
  • The Clone spell from Heroes of Might and Magic III creates a duplicate of a unit stack with the same attack power as the original. However the clone is much weaker and is dispelled if it takes any damage.
    • The fourth part features "Create Illusion" and "Phantom Image", both of which create a semi-opaque unit stack which is the same type as the targeted stack, but with numbers based on the spell's power. Repeated casts stack, you can keep casting Create Illusion on a stack of two Titans to get three or four with each cast... those don't have any spellcasting potential, but are as good at attacking and taking hits as the base monster they were made of. Meanwhile, the fifth part has a spell just like the third one has, creating a same-number copy of the target stack that disappears of one hit, but has a 50% chance to avoid a physical hit.
  • Heroes of Newerth's Circe can create several illusions, be it hers or anyone else's. She can even turn into a copy of you, down to the last detail!
  • Shadow Dash (or Mei) in Honkai Impact 3rd, can create shadow clones of herself.
  • _iCEY._'s Shadow Strike is this, sending digital copies of herself to strike vulnerable enemies, regardless of where they are on screen, and independent of what she's doing.
  • Inazuma Eleven has a variety of clone attack and defense skills which are often used by the ninja-themed players. Kazemaru learns some of them as well. There's even variations of certain 3-player Combination Attacks that substitute clones for the two teammates.
  • Nora, the protagonist of Islands Of Wakfu, can use Quantum Storm; a skill that creates a clone of herself that will immediately go off to fight onscreen enemies.
  • In Joe & Mac, your own reflection is one of the available weapons. This may be the only part of the game that justifies the "Caveman Ninja" subtitle.
  • Jotun's Thora can receive a power from Loki that creates a shadowy copy of herself. Enemies will attack the copy exclusively, and it will explode after a set time.
    • One of the titular Jotun, Hagalaz, creates a copy of herself that fights alongside her.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Zexion from Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix can make clones of himself to attack the player.
    • Xemnas can briefly create clones of himself to attack the heroes during his final fight in II. This is particularly annoying when he traps Sora in an HP-draining beam and control briefly switches to a Guest-Star Party Member - you have to get to Sora and free him, but Xemnas keeps sending clones of himself to stop you.
    • Larxene's "Absent Silhouette" in II Final Mix can also do this - there's a reaction command where Sora grabs one Larxene, spins her around and throws her into another, fusing them together again.
    • The Crimson Prankster in 358/2 Days splits into two when confronted, for a Dual Boss battle. If both aren't killed within a short time of each other, the surviving half will merge back together with the fallen one then split apart again, effectively reviving it.
    • The Unknown from Birth by Sleep does this too, in case you thought his attacks weren't hard enough to dodge already.
    • Sora can get in on the fun himself in Kingdom Hearts III with the Mirage Staff formchange. Dodging while it's active creates glowing, translucent "avatars" where he was standing, which will join him in blasting enemies with magic the next time he attacks.
  • The entire PREMISE of KirbyMassAttack. Kirby is split into ten copies of himself by the Big Bad Necrodeus, and goes off to save Dreamland and become one whole Kirby once more. You initially start off with one Kirby, but gain more as you pick up fruit.
  • An oblique version pf this occurs in Knights of the Round, when Phantom's second group of escorts appears. Two of them are Sky Walkers, Mooks that look just like him—and these are a one-time case where even the colors are the same! However, they do not attack in the same fashion, their only special attack being to throw a dagger straight ahead.
  • The Last Story features a monster named Berith, who can create two fake copies of itself, which have all the same attacks but explode after taking a certain amount of damage. There's also a boss called Doppelganger, but he transforms into copies of your party members.
  • The Legend of Dragoon had the Sandora Elite miniboss, who will create two clones of himself when his HP falls below half; hitting the clones won't do anything, but hitting the real one will cause the clones to vanish. The trick to finding the real one is paying attention to the attacks; the two clones will attack after being created, but since the real one made the clones on his turn, he won't attack. Additionally, the Elite possesses an AOE fire attack that the clones are unable to use.
  • In The Legend of Kage, you are capable of doing this, as is Yoshiro.
  • Several bosses from The Legend of Zelda use a variation of this, most notably Agahnim from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Meg from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • In Lego Marvel Superheroes Loki makes copies of himself, both in the main storyline when you fight him and as one of his attack animations in free play mode.
  • Clarino, the protagonist of Lethal Crisis can do this. The downside is that it'll steadily drain her own Life Energy over time.
  • In Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader, two of the bosses can summon copies of themselves. In both cases, the original AND the copies (which tend to be weaker) need to be killed in close succession, as the original can summon more copies to replace those the player has already killed, or one of the copies can become the original if the original dies.
  • Mysterio does this when confronted in Marvel Ultimate Alliance.
  • Gemini Man and the Mega Clones from Mega Man 3, Mega Man, Bass, and Astro Man in Mega Man and Bass (using Copy Vision), Split Mushroom in Mega Man X 4, Axle the Red in Mega Man X 5 and Geminineedle Man in Rockman 4 Minus Infinity
    • Infinity Mijinion from X6 clones himself every time he takes a strong attack or loses 1/4 of this health. He can very well fill the screen with himself if the player isn't careful.
    • Flame Hyenard from X7 uses a technique he calls "Tri-Formation" to split himself into three Hyenards, all of whom attack and scream with equal ferocity.
    • Dr. Wily in Mega Man 10. Not only does the color of his doppelganger hint which one is real, but the real Wily occasionally sneezes during the battle.
    • X and Zero can do this via the Soul Body special weapon in Mega Man X4 and X5, using holograms that can attack.
    • In Mega Man Battle Network games, ShadowMan makes clones of himself that each shoot a blast of fire down the row they are on whenever the original does. He can also create a more ghostly clone to appear on your side of the field which attacks you with a sword.
  • Hong Meiling, a boss of Mega Mari, returns in Patchouli Castle alongside a clone of herself that's equal in strength.
  • This trope is mostly used in the fight against Dark Samus in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. She divides into 2 or 3 identical looking copies that are all capable of attacking. However, you can tell which is real in a few ways. You can scan them; the copies register as "Dark Echo" while the real is "Dark Samus". They move pretty fast, so you have to keep your eye on the right one when you stop scanning and go back to the combat visor. Also, there are certain attacks that only the real Dark Samus will use. Unfortunately, they render her invincible for the duration of the attack, and she tends to recall her duplicates immediately after doing them. Also, only one glows under the X-Ray visor.
  • Captains in Middle-earth: Shadow of War gained many more abilities when compared to the original. One of these is creating clones of themselves.
  • This applies to Kisuke's Haze and Phantom Secret Arts and Momohime's Flash Secret Art in Muramasa: The Demon Blade.
  • As expected, this is done by Naruto himself in Naruto: Clash of Ninja. Itachi can do this too.
  • NetHack: the Wizard of Yendor's Double Trouble spell does the same thing, and if you're not carrying the Amulet of Yendor, the copy may have a fake Amulet.
  • In the Hordes of the Underdark module to Neverwinter Nights, there is a hall of mirrors where most either give items of various kinds or gold, but one creates a mirror version of yourself that attacks you. This is rarely a difficult fight, though, as it fails to copy your companions.
    • If you destroy the mirror instead of looking into it, it spawns two copies of your character. This is commented on in the related script, which goes to show that this is not due to a glitch.
  • One power-up in Newgrounds Rumble creates an intangible clone of your character that follows and attacks alongside them.
  • The first two Ninja Gaiden games on NES featured the Kelbeross beasts, where only one of them was vulnerable but both were very, very deadly.
    • Similarly, Ryu acquired this skill in The Dark Sword of Chaos, where he could generate up to two Shadow Clones that are invulnerable, would follow in his footsteps precisely (even stopping in midair if Ryu himself jumped and then stopped moving), and would slash or use Ninja Arts in perfect sync with him. A great deal of boss strategies (and speed runs) centered around proper positioning of these clones while Ryu himself ducked into a safe spot.
    • Games made by Team Ninja instead had the self-explanatory Doppelganger fiends.
  • Death Metal, the Rank 10 Assassin in No More Heroes, produces two doppelgangers when his health gets low enough. They have as much health as he does at that point, making finding the real one a bit of a chore.
  • One of the bosses in Persona 2 uses a Doppelganger attack as her gimmick. You have to hit the real one, or else any attempts to use magic will result in a nasty counterattack (her copies reflects magic). The solution: fight her on a full moon — the fakes have no shadows. Or watch carefully when she taunts you afterwards.
  • The Shadow robot in One Must Fall uses shadow copies of itself in all of its special moves. However, to prevent abuse, attacking a doppelanger does minimal damage to the main robot.
  • In Pac-Man Arrangement, You can grab a scroll that creates a translucent Pac-Man that mirrors the real one's moves. It's immune to harm, and if it picks up a Power Pellet, Pac-Man is powered up too.
  • Halfway through the deathmatch with Mai Hem in Perfect Dark Zero, she starts summoning clones of herself. Unlike her, they don't "derez" (in the words of TRON) when defeated, and you can pick up their weapons and ammo.
  • The Evil Chancellor in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time does this in the final battle. Also combined with The Man Behind the Curtain, as once you defeat three copies, the actual Vizier can be defeated in one hit.
  • Project Dimentia Bodhisattva really loves this trope. Its protagonist, Aqua, has the ability to duplicate when fight-dashing, doing combo moves, picking up objects to throw at enemies, and trying to rescue the pigs. This is also done by the bosses like Nisha, the catgirl Salmon which can self-duplicate by the red eggs that float in the air, and Poodle, by creating clones out of mirrors.
  • Zeckle in Project G can summon clones to attack.
  • The battle with Kurohagane in Project X Zone centers around him creating clones of himself, which then proceed to summon even more enemies, or turn into tougher enemies themselves.
  • The Ninja can upgrade his attacks to use one in Protect Me Knight.
  • Great Tiger, in both of his appearances in the Punch-Out!! series, uses special attacks where he makes clones of himself to confuse Little Mac. Dodge or block at the wrong time, and the "real" clone will hit you pretty hard. On the flip side, if you can successfully hit him while he's using the move...
  • The boss of Stage 8 in Ragnarok Battle Offline uses this.
  • One of the defining characteristics of the Protopet in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. It can very quickly go from one, to seven, to forty two, and by the time you've killed half of them, the remaining half have probably already spawned the number back to its upper limit.
  • In the Realm of the Mad God, this is done by the Crystal Prisoner and the Puppet Master.
  • One of Charme's abilities in Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is to create a temporary shadow that can attack along-side her mimicking her actions. She can create up to five at a time as long as you have enough MP.
  • This is done by an early boss in Robotrek. Some enemies also have the ability to summon more of themselves, though the ones summoned are real and worth experience.
  • Performing the Freudenzwinger move in Rosenkreuzstilette allows you to do this.
  • In RuneScape, this is one of Nomad's attacks in the "Nomad's Requiem" quest. He can create three copies of himself. All of the clones hit just as hard as the real Nomad, but when they're attacked, Nomad loses focus and dismisses the copy.
  • A few of the sword moves in SaGa Frontier, such as Godless, Haze-To-Wheel, and ESPECIALLY the visually appealing Life Sprinkler. In addition, the Shadow Servant spell, which creates a clone of you that copies every move you use.
    • The "Magician" Arcane spell is a variant - It creates a single copy of the caster that's harmless if left alone... but when attacked, it has a chance of causing instant death.
  • One of Hanzo's special abilities in Samurai Warriors 2 allows him to create up to three shadow doppelgangers this way. Nene's ability might also count, although they move more like a spin (occupying the same space, instead of spread out like Hanzo's).
  • This is done by the Deathjester in Seiken Densetsu 3.
    • Grand Divina's Double Magic is not, as the name suggests, a doublecast but instead splits Angela in two, doubling the enemy's pain. This is also the Nightblade's skill.
  • In Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, one of the attacks of the Pirate Master's True Form involves conjuring three phantom copies of his humanoid form that will attack you in his place.
  • Hayate can do this in Shounen Kininden Tsumuji.
  • In Skautfold: Shrouded in Sanity, Saragat, The Fourth Knight does this during his battle. Sadly, he loses this power when you get to play as him in Skautfold: Usurper.
  • Atsushi Onita in Skullman In: Scooby Doc 4: The Destroyer (Featuring Atsushi Onita) can hide in the background by splitting into six silhouettes of himself. He will then reappear from whatever silhouette is a darker color than the rest.
  • In the final boss battle of Spartan: Total Warrior, Ares, the final boss, can split himself in three. The difference between the original and the two copies is that the copies get killed with one hit.
  • In the obscure roguelike game Steamband, Fu Manchu can create clones of himself in battle. The only way to know which one is real is to kill them.
  • A staple of Street Fighter where certain characters have a super move that spawns shadows of them that copy the original with a slight delay.
  • Yamato does this in Streets of Rage 3.
  • Kae in SUGURI is capable of using clones of herself to attack her foes.
  • Recurring Psycho for Hire Yuber from the Suikoden series has this ability. In terms of sheer damage and utility it's one of the most powerful in the series and appears to be unique to him.
  • In Sundered, the mini-boss Hiram Macias can make a dozen copies of himself at once. While these copies die in one hit, new ones spawn in constantly to take their place, and they’re just as deadly as the real thing. Hiram himself will teleport to another platform whenever he takes a few licks, forcing the player to hunt him down while dealing with his copies.
  • The boss Yaridovich from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars pulls one of these. Due either to a programming slip or a small blessing, the targeting cursor always hovers over the real one on your next turn.
  • There are several Super Robot Wars examples. Zweizergain and the Assault Scouts are prominent examples of machines that utilize this tactic.
  • Tales Series:
    • Militsa from Tales of Rebirth does this when she goes up against the party solo, creating four low HP clones that are quickly replaced upon their destruction.
    • Belius in Tales of Vesperia creates a clone of herself once she reaches half HP. It's barely any weaker then the original, but can be removed by simply reigniting the torches in the arena.
    • The Golden Swordsman in Tales of Xillia does once after you run down his HP for the first time, then again once you run down the HP of him and his clone, resulting in three clones. Something of an odd case, as the duplicates possess distinct fighting styles based off of those of your party members, and are just as powerful as the original.
  • Shredder at the end of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game. The number of fakes depends on the number of players. The fakes have all the same moves, but fewer Hit Points, so if his helmet comes off, you probably have one of the fakes.
  • Ezrek Khan, a boss in Torchlight II, will spawn two clones of himself during the last two times you fight him directly. They do not have much health but they can use the same spells as him (excluding the cloning). The Embermage's final skill in the Frost tree allows them to summon an Astral Ally that fights with their beginning spells, essentially creating a second Embermage for you.
  • A staple of Touhou bosses:
    • Nue Houjuu summons and resummons an obvious copy for a Double Spoiler spellcard (it's purple).
    • Youmu Konpaku has a spellcard in the fighting games that turns her ghost half into a copy of herself.
    • Parsee Mizuhashi summons a copy for one of her spellcards. It's a trap, and retaliates if you shoot it.
    • During the stage 6 fight with Yuuka Kazami in Lotus Land Story, she frequently splits into two. Not her best idea, as they both take damage.
      • However, splitting in two also allows Yuuka to fire Master Spark twice at the same time, so it kinda balances out.
    • Suwako Moriya has a survival card that ultimately has three versions of her trying to kill you. And there's another version of her sunk into the background.
    • Flandre Scarlet has a spellcard called "Four of a Kind". "Four of a Kind" is the most popular example of this trope in the series.
    • Mamizou Futatsuiwa possesses a spellcard that generates two copies of herself, which, after attacking for a short time, generate two more copies EACH, and two more later. By the end, you're facing off against ten copies of her before the spell dispels.
    • Suika Ibuki can subdivide into an uncountable number of smaller versions of herself, to the point that she can take a form that closely resembles a mist (manipulation of density probably helps).
  • Shockwave can create monochrome duplicates of himself to fight for him in Transformers: Devastation.
  • In Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll, Selene's mirage step increases her speed and creates a duplicate of her for extra attacks. At full power, she gets 4 duplicates and her attacks become More Dakka.
  • Kayen, Father of Thirst, splits into two at the start of his battle in Unworthy.
  • Raoul, Dark Mind will create shadow clones of himself in Vampire Night, along with the many other shadow-based powers he has.
  • The "Labyrinth" in Vindictus features increasingly powerful doppelgangers as the end bosses on each floor (for a total of 5 encounters).
  • Void Memory's Cursed Prince begins creating doppelgangers halfway through his fight.
  • In Warframe, Mirage's Hall of Mirrors ability surrounds her with a ring of holographic clones to distract and attack enemies.
    • Equinox normally transitions between two forms, Night and Day, but the Duality mod causes the form she's switching out of to split off into an AI Specter for a few seconds.
    • The now-removed Solar Rail disputes between clans or alliances allowed attacking clans to deploy Tenno Specter clones of clan/alliance members to attack and claim territory. These doppelgangers carried the loadouts and builds of the actual player, ranging from laughably easy to defeat beginner players to extremely difficult Trinitys using Link.
  • The Mirage Potion in Wilds.io, creates a temporary clone of the player, which moves and attacks in sync with them. Drinking multiple potions creates multiple clones. While they look identical to their creator, there are still two ways of telling them apart: either by looking at their healthbar (clones are always created at full health, which is often not the case for their creators), or by trying to knock them down. Knocking down the real player will simultaneously knock down the clone(s) as well.
  • Bloody Mary from The Wolf Among Us attacks Bigby like this during the last episode showdown.
  • In World of Warcraft, the first boss of 40-man Temple of Ahn'Qiraj (Skeram) (and his 5-man protege in Arcatraz (Skyriss)) uses this ability, although there is a "real" one. Each of his copies must be separated, and the fake ones must be killed before they destroy the raid. The 5-man version in Arcatraz only splits into 2, whereas the 40-man version splits into 3.
    • Mage players can also perform their own Doppelganger Attack by summoning 3 to 4 copies of themselves able to cast basic spells.
    • Multiboxers are players who play multiple accounts simultaneously by passing the keystrokes from their keyboard to multiple active WoW installs. When a player does this while playing mage characters, when they are glyphed for Mirror Image and get 4 dopplegangers of themselves, per character, this can be a completely overwhelming sight to see. 5 characters with 4 backups each = 25 total characters. When they all start spamming Frostbolt it looks like Star Wars. Bonus points if they're all gnomes with pink hair.
    • All of those spells are based on the Warcraft III Blademaster's Mirror Image which summoned 3 clones of the caster. Those dealt no damage whatsoever and were mostly there to confuse the enemy, whereas in World of Warcraft mirror images typically do damage as well.
    • Jandice Barov of Scholomance is the champion of this trope as she summons no less than 15 illusions of herself midfight. Those deal damage, but TAKE NONE, it is imperative to find the real Jandice (her name is distinct from the images, so she can be found easily) and down her fast.
      • In Mists of Pandaria, the attack was changed to a Doppelgänger Spin. The images no longer deal damage, and their attack is only to distract you from finding the real Jandice; they can also be destroyed, though they will explode when killed.
    • Grand Magus Telestra in The Nexus summons duplicates of herself midway during the fight.
  • Silver Samurai has the "Bushin Shadows" X-Ability in Capcom's X-Men: Children of the Atom, which allows him to attack his opponents with shadow clones of himself. Notably, he does not have this power in the actual comics.
  • Strings' deck in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards has numerous monsters summon other monsters into play, and some that summon a copy of themselves.
  • Yin can create duplicates during her battle in Zero no Kiseki. Fortunately they have less HP and fewer attacks than the original. Unfortunately, they still have the attack with the 90% chance of inflicting Death. Rixia manages to lose this ability when she joins you, both masked as Yin and as herself, probably because it would break the difficulty otherwise.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue has this effect whenever there's a Stable Time Loop, usually surrounding Agent Wyoming. For Church, it allowed him to figure out the solution to the time bomb crisis. Wyoming had been using it for much longer, and knew how to use it. When Tucker told Church that Wyoming had been putting them through such a time loop, Church remembered his experience (and doppelgängers), and realized Wyoming must be using this trope. Naturally, they collided with an army of Wyomings two seconds later.

    Web Comics 
  • In 8-Bit Theater, the heroes end up trapped in a void where causality does not exist. Their solution? Use that lack of causality to create an army of themselves and break out.
  • Nanase of El Goonish Shive has a "decoy summon spell." It is a partially sentient puppet that can be controlled directly or behave based on the user's mental state at the time of summoning.
  • Jin Mo-Ri of God of High School uses this in conjunction with his Magic Staff to wipe out 99.7% of an invading angel army in less than thirty seconds.
  • Harem from Grrl Power is a resident teleporter who has the ability to create up to five extra bodies. Each body has a different style and damage done to one of them is felt by all of them.
  • Homestuck: Aradia builds an army of her doomed time travel clones in order to fight her session's Black King. They don't do much good against Jack, though.
    • Fellow Hero of Time Dave Strider is also fond of creating time clones through stable time loops to fight alongside him. His aren't much good against Jack either — Dave's original self dies fighting him this way.
    • Member number 12 of the Time Master gang The Felt, Eggs, has an egg timer which allows him to travel back in time for increments of up to one hour. This basically allows him to create near-infinite past and future copies of himself to aid him in battle.
  • In one plotline of Sluggy Freelance, Doctor Schlock assists Bun-Bun in a fight by firing a gun loaded with countless plush Bun-Bun dolls. As a result, once Bun-Bun is knocked out, the dolls remain, obfuscating his opponent's efforts to finish the real Bun-Bun off.

    Web Original 
  • Trinton Chronicles has Aurora who can make clones of herself to run around and perform multiple attacks against a single target.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10 has an alien form called Ditto which can split itself into multiple copies, but was otherwise roughly equal to a human child. Its weakness was that all of its copies shared damage; if one was attacked, they all felt it. In Ben 10 Alien Force, he gets a new form named Echo Echo, which has this power along with sonic attacks and minus the damage-sharing.
  • The Buzz Lightyear of Star Command villain Torque has the ability to create identical copies of himself to do his own bidding. As an independent villain from the Big Bad, Emperor Zurg, Torque did not originally have this power, but he acquired his power as part of a deal with Zurg to eliminate Buzz and his team.
  • Ulrich's "Triplicate" power in Code Lyoko. The two clones only have one life point and are easily dispatched, but otherwise they're as deadly as the real Ulrich.
  • As part of his ghostly abilities, Danny can duplicate, but it's an often difficult task for him. He managed to succeed in the last season for a brief amount of time. Meanwhile, Big Bad Vlad's been able to do this since his intro.
  • In the Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Super-Powers", Stumpy tries to use this against Quack Quack. It didn't work, though, since Quack Quack managed to destroy the clones.
    • Stumpy does it again in Episode 63 when fighting Mr. Cat. Surprisingly enough, it works.
  • Experiment 344 (Dupe) in Lilo & Stitch: The Series can make physical copies of anything, but the more copies are made, the weaker they all become.
  • General Malaise fights in this way in Ozzy & Drix when, as a germ, he starts aggressively undergoing mitosis.
  • During his first guest appearance on Spider-Man, Dr. Strange magically generates numerous copies of himself to confuse and attack Baron Mordo's brainwashed cultists.
  • The cartoon-only villain Luminus from Superman: The Animated Series originally used the Doppelgänger Spin, but never had the good sense to get away while the getting was good. Eventually he came up with Hard Light versions of these that actually were a threat.
    • He showed up again in Justice League and got the drop on the Flash, who was used to Mirror Master's Doppelgänger Spin and wasn't expecting the "illusions" to throw a punch.
  • In the original Teen Titans show, Billy Numerous can split himself into many duplicates. Unlike most other examples of this trope, the clones do not diminish in power until they reach triple-digit quantities. As a result, he can take on and overwhelm the entirety of the Teen Titans. After his own episode though, he joins other villainous groups as a minor character and doesn't display nearly as much competence as in his debut.
  • The Tick animated episode "The Tick Loves Santa" features a villainous thief in a Santa Claus costume who acquires the ability to create multiple clones of himself by absorbing electricity. Connecting himself directly to a generator at the hydroelectric power plant, he spawns hundreds of clones almost instantly.
    The Tick: It's a YULE-TIDE!"
  • Winx Club:
    • Nabu may have this ability, but it is unclear whether the duplicates are solid or not. In a fight against Darcy, he was able to attack all of her illusion copies this way.
    • Also, Darcy herself can do this in addition to the normal Doppelgänger Spin, but she's limited to three copies who surround the opponent to attack from multiple direction, and hitting one will dissolve the copies and knock Darcy out. This invariably terrifies Musa into helplessness, as the first time Darcy did it the attack nearly killed her trough sheer pain.

Alternative Title(s): Doppleganger Attack

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