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Double Play

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Those hands belong to the same person.
A Self-Imposed Challenge in two-player games in which you play both players at once.

Actually makes things easier in Light Gun Games as you can simply dual-wield, but harder in games where each player controls an on-screen character, as well as games in which you use Stock Control Settings.

Compare Teamwork Puzzle Game.

Since this Self-Imposed Challenge can be done on virtually any multiplayer game, examples will be limited to games that offer a doubles mode and thus recognize it, or games where this style of play gets enough attention.

Games that offer a specialized "double play" mode:

  • Most of the Bemani series as well as some other Rhythm Games, though the double-play modes present in most of the games offer specialized charts. Examples include DanceDanceRevolution, beatmania IIDX, and In the Groove.
    • beatmania IIDX allows you to play Double Battle mode, in which you can play the same single-player chart on both sides.
    • Pump It Up has the Freestyle and Nightmare difficulties, which are double-play difficulties. Unlike in DDR and In the Groove, where double mode is typically seen as an optional challenge, if you're a very skilled Pump player, you're expected to be able to play Freestyle and Nightmare. There are also Half-Double charts, which uses the same layout as Double minus the outer four corner panels.
    • Audio Surf has the Double Vision. It comes in three flavors: Casual, Pro, and Elite, which are Easy, Normal, and Hard, respectively. It was even intentional to be either Two Players or Double Play, as it says on the description: There are two cars to control. Play by yourself or with a partner.
    • Guitar Hero 5 has "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga available for download, it has no strummed notes and thus both guitar and bass can be played at the same time.
    • In both Guitar Hero and Rock Band, it's possible to sing and play on an instrument controller at the same time, elaborated below.
    • It's very possible to play Versus by yourself on DanceDanceRevolution with reasonably easy charts that have no or few jumps. You have to spread your legs out three panel widths and every step ends up being a jump.
      • You'll have to get creative in how you hit any pair other than up-down, which means you might need to get on all-fours...
      • 3rd mix featured Unison mode, which is meant for two players. There is just one set of "guide arrows" in the middle of the screen, and the arrows are color-coded (red = 1P, blue = 2P, yellow = both), but you can hit the other player's steps. It should be pretty easy to see where this trope comes into play.
  • Contra 4 contains ports of the NES versions of Contra and Super C. Due to some limitations, if you choose their respective 2-player modes, you'll find that they aren't really 2-player modes so much as this trope.
  • Raiden III and IV. Interestingly, you can configure the controls to control both ships and perform Combination Attack with one controller, or if you're feeling exceptionally coordinated, with separate controllers.
  • Target Terror Gold's Justice Mode allows you to use both guns on a single credit.
  • While there's no official mode for it, the loading screens in Rock Band suggest playing an instrument while doing vocals, and the vocal harmony feature introduced in The Beatles: Rock Band outright encourages as many players as possible to multitask at the same time. With the introduction of a keyboard peripheral, it's possible for players to play not only two instruments, but three (e.g. bass, vocals, and keyboard) at the same time.
  • The World Ends with You's battle system is a variation of this. For the vast majority of the game, you control both characters, with each character having its own screen. You can have a CPU help you out with the top screen if you're not coordinated enough, though the CPU sometimes does some not-so-intelligent moves. In one non-tutorial instance of you only having one character to use in battle, you can't do anything but escape, and in the other instance, your three possible partners are being held captive by the Final Boss.
  • The House of the Dead: OVERKILL offers you a dual-wield mode after you've cleared the game's Director's Cut mode. Do an entire level in it and it opens the last few unlocks.
  • It is actually possible to double-play a co-op race in Mario Kart Double Dash, due to the game having two people in carts rather than one; the process involves holding the driver's controller on top of the rear guy's and playing as if it is one huge, complex controller. While the nature of this setup makes getting mini-turbos and aiming items much more difficult; having the ability to punch rivals - spinning them out AND stealing their items, the ability to nudge yourself using said punch to avoid hazards, and a stronger starting boost when both controllers are timed correctly practically makes up for it.
  • The game Uberschizoid on XBLA has this mode (uberschizoid mode). The blue ship is controlled using the left stick and the orange ship is controlled by the right one in this mode. Due to the nature of the game, however, this game may actually be easier to play in dual mode than single mode once the control feels natural.
  • The Target Shooting game in Wii Play lets you use two Wii Remotes simultaneously in single-player mode.
  • Mario Party 7 has an 8-Player mode in which two people share a controller for certain mini-games, making this not terribly difficult to pull off.
  • Budget light gun game Johnny Nero Action Hero offers a dual-wield mode. It takes two players' worth of credits, but lets both guns draw from the same ammo pool (so reloading one reloads both and you can effectively use one gun with double the capacity). More traditional dual-wielding (with each gun being a separate entity) is done by choosing 2 player mode instead.
  • Done in Williams Electronics' Joust pinball machine, which has two symmetrical playfields facing each other. This trope is invoked when playing a one-player game, which requires operating both sets of flippers simultaneously.
  • The Steam version of Ikaruga has a Double Play mode which makes it possible to control both ships with a single controller.
  • The Binding of Isaac: Antibirth (a mod for The Binding of Isaac Rebirth, officially added in Repentance) has Jacob and Esau, Double Play characters. They're usually both controlled at the same time (you can hold a button to leave Esau in one place, and active items can be used separately), and if one of them dies, it counts as having lost a life.

Notable examples of Double Play in other games:

  • Tetris: The Grand Master 2 PLUS has a Doubles mode that is intended for two players in which both sides share one field and must cooperate to reach level 300. Some players have completed it solo.
  • In Bub & Bob, a Apple Macintosh clone of Bubble Bobble, the level layouts are the same but the gameplay is slightly different. One consequence is that on Level 99 (the last true level; Level 100 is a boss fight) the two halves are completely separated, so you must use both players. However, since you can call the other player into existence at any time, it's easy for a solo player to Double Play this level without having to Double Play the entire game.
    • More to the point, all versions of Bubble Bobble give you a Bad Ending if you complete the game without a second player.
  • A very odd variant is a simultaneous tool-assisted speedrun of Mega Man 3, 4, 5 and 6, or Mega Man X 1, 2 and 3. The player is using the same controller inputs perfectly synced for all the games. If you pay attention to only one game, some moves will seem silly...
  • Thanks to Artificial Stupidity, "one player, two controllers" is a speedrun category for Secret of Mana as having a human controlling two of the characters at once means less time wasted watching an AI-controlled character getting stuck by bad pathing.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it is possible to use a single GameCube Wavebird controller with multiple receivers to control multiple characters, almost in the style of the Ice Climbers.
    • In this video, which holds the world record for furthest 2-Player Home Run Contest achieved without cheating, the already impressive feat is made even more impressive in that it was reportedly done not by two people playing cooperatively, but rather by one person playing both roles: the Ice Climbers with his hands, and Ike with his feet.
  • DJMAX Technika 2's Duo Mixing mode, in which two players play on a single, split-up touchscreen, has been played solo countless times. The game itself even proposes doing this.
  • This is very easy to do in the PC version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles (or using emulation) when playing as Sonic and Tails as only one hand is needed to control each character. Because of Tails's invulnerability and ability to fly wherever you are if he goes offscreen or dies, you just have to focus on keeping Sonic alive.
  • At least one person has done a Quadruple Play of Donkey Konga.
  • Gradius Gaiden has been double-played. On Hardest.
  • World of Warcraft invented 'multi-boxing', which involves one player playing up to 5 separate characters at once and making leveling a breeze. Blizzard endorses this, probably because it also means you need pay for 5 separate accounts.
    • If by "up to 5" you mean "as many as 36".
    • Also done in MMOs well prior to WoW [Everquest, for example], and even MUDs.
  • JoshTigerheart suggested the inverse as a solution to people complaining that Escape Velocity should have multiplayer: Have one guy controlling your ship's maneuvering, and the other guy manning the guns, or however you wish to arrange it.
  • A popular stunt on Taiko no Tatsujin is to play both drums on the machine at the same time, using one drumstick on each drum. Click here for an example.
  • Planet Reath, a Civilization fan fiction / Worldbuilding exercise where the player is controlling all of the civilizations in the game himself.note 
  • Similar to the Super Smash Bros. Brawl 2-Player Home Run Contest example above, certain Super Mario Odyssey speedrunners have been known to play with their hands and feet as well, controlling Mario with their hands and Cappy with their toes.
  • There is a challenge in Timesplitters: Future Perfect in which you control two turrets on opposite sides of a subway tunnel with each side of the controller (one analog stick and one trigger). It's not uncommon to invert this trope and have two people controlling each turret with the same controller.
  • Games Done Quick featured a few "one player two controllers" runsnote , such as Goof Troop or The Lost Vikings.
  • The Fireboy and Watergirl series of flash games has you play as the two title characters with separate control sets, using their respective skills and powers to solve puzzles.

References to Double Play in other media :

  • Web Original Noob happening mostly in a MMORPG has several players with two characters. The reasons fit in several categories:
    • Giving the trope a double meaning by playing in two factions : T-Man prior to getting rejected by the top guild of one of the factions, Nazetrîme and eventually Gaea.
    • Giving Cross Playing a try (Omega Zell of all people).
    • Replacing teammates that have suddenly gotten a tighter schedrule (Sparadrap).
    • Just trying something different (Ystos and Golgotha).