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Greater-Scope Paragon

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As to be expected in tales involving battles between good and evil, most stories have The Hero as their viewpoint character, often being watched over by a Big Good who happens to take some sort of leadership role, if they don't happen to overlap. Villains (in particular The Dragon) will often answer to a Big Bad, the ultimate source of all evil things that happen within a given story. This Big Bad may in fact be taking orders from, or has been influenced by, a Greater-Scope Villain that eclipses them in power or overall influence on a story's overall setting, but doesn't get directly involved in the story's plot. Contrasting the Greater-Scope Villain for good-aligned characters, a Greater Scope Paragon often serves as an even greater form of good than the Big Good of a story's setting (whether in raw power, overall influence, or both), but has only an indirect or limited influence on the main plot. The most powerful examples of these characters often serve as Powers That Be.

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Examples of a Greater Scope Paragon can include:

Much like a Greater-Scope Villain, they can shift roles between this and a more direct Big Good depending on the story. Compare Mysterious Backer, whose overall morality is left ambiguous. A Benevolent Precursor, if they're still alive, may be this. Can overlap with Hero of Another Story. Divine-level Greater Scope Paragons can be subject to God's Hands Are Tied.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • My Hero Academia: The original user of One For All. His brother forced a quirk to stockpile strength on him, which caused One For All to come to existence. He tried to use the power to defeat his brother but failed, so then he created the Legacy of the Chosen that ultimately resulted in Midoriya becoming the ninth user of One For All.
  • Maken-ki!: Takaki answers directly to the faculty of Tenbi Academy, who were the founders of the original Maken-ki. Since they've retired, with Minori now serving as the academy's principal/PE teacher, they've placed Takaki in charge of maintaining discipline at the school and protecting its students from outside threats such as Kamigari.
  • In Inuyasha the Inu no Taisho, the father of Inuyasha and Sesshomaru, was a powerful dog daiyoukai that spent his life working to protect both the humans and youkai of Japan against other powerful beings. In the movies he repelled the Mongol invasion of Japan that was influenced by Lord Hyoga's tribe of moth youkai, and in both sealed away the dragon daiyoukai Ryukotsusei. Both Tensaiga and Tessaiga were forged from his fangs, and both brothers end up fighting a lot of his old enemies, but his own direct influence on the plot is limited because he died long before the events of the series as a result of the wounds he sustained fighting against Ryukotsusei.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Speedwagon acts as The Lancer for Part 1, and in-between that and Part 2 he strikes it rich and creates the Speedwagon Foundation. Since Part 2, the foundation has been a major asset and the Protagonists always can rely on it and its expansive resources to battle evil. In Part 2 a private military division from them assists in the battle against the Vampires, in Part 3 the foundation continually sends them intel and a doctor who helps fix up Kakyoin and Iggy's injuries. The SPW aides the heroes long after Speedwagon himself passes away, and actually survives the recreation of the entire universe to help an entirely new lineage of Joestars.
  • Igneel in Fairy Tail serves this role against Acnologia. As The Leader of the Dragon Slayers' parents, he was the one who planned for their final gambit against Acnologia by sealing themselves in their children and traveling forwards in time to kill Acnologia. They were also trying to create antibodies to prevent their children from turning into dragons. As the Tartaros arc rolls around, he finally reveals himself to kill Acnologia. But ultimately fails.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Master Mutaito, who originally sealed Demon King Piccolo using the Evil Containment Wave technique, at the cost of his life. He was the teacher of Master Roshi and Master Shen, the former going on to train the franchise's main protagonist, Son Goku.
    • Dragon Ball Z has Future Bulma, who sends her son Trunks back in time to help change the course of history in the main timeline.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: Prince Dios is the primary source of Utena's inspiration, as his appearance following her parents' death led to her deciding to become a Prince herself. Then comes the subversion: Dios is Akio's true identity. While he'd indeed been a hero long ago, he's changed plenty since then. Creating and playing the role of Greater Scope Paragon for Utena were both mere parts of a long, complicated Batman Gambit.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V reveals Ray, the original form of the Bracelet Girls to be this for the series at large. The reason for the plot and even setting of Arc-V is due to Ray facing and defeating Zarc, the Greater-Scope Villain. Though she subverts this in after Zarc is revived, Ray revives and defeats him once again after the rest of the cast tried and failed.
  • Uchi no Musume ni Te o Dasu na!: While Clara is the new Eighth Wonder, her mother Athena bore the mantle before her and was deemed the world's greatest superheroine. She had retired, until she learned her daughter decided to follow in her footsteps, unaware of the inherent risk that comes with the territory. So Athena comes out of retirement to protect Clara's virtue from the sidelines.

    Comic Books 
  • The Vishanti of Doctor Strange could be considered this. Their powers are invoked by benevolent sorcerers and one of their number, Agamotto, bequeathed his actual eye to the sorcerers supreme of Earth's dimension to safeguard the dimension from harm and otherworldly invasion. However, they operate on such a scale that they won't intervene indirectly in defense of a single planet, and Agamotto himself has been shown to be willing to endanger Earth in the name of the greater good.
  • The One Above All and the Living Tribunal are the main architects of balance and order in the Marvel Universe. However, they usually operate In Mysterious Ways and seldom involve themselves in events without something being so screwed up that only their power can fix it. They are also not above doing things like destroying an entire universe if it's the most efficient means of solving the problem.
  • In both the Marvel and DC universes, the Avengers and The Justice League usually serve as this to other superheroes in their own solo titles(usually less powerful ones or street-level ones). Sometimes, if the villain’s threat becomes too big(or even downright gobal by scale), then they may appear to lend a hand to the hero and help him fight the villain. Otherwise, they’re usually busy taking on bigger threats and villains, often on a global or cosmic scale, while the book’s main character often takes on smaller level threats. If it’s a younger inexperienced superhero, the Justice League/Avengers may also serve as a source of inspiration for the young hero(who may or may not be an Ascended Fanboy), which usually leads to a scene of The Knights Who Say "Squee!" when they first meet.
  • Depending on the Writer, the DC Universe has the various Monitors, although only the original Monitor and Nix Uotan are unambiguously good. At most, they will enlist the aid of the main heroes and only intervene to fight the Big Bad (such as the Anti-Monitor or Mandrakk) directly if they are about to win.
  • Also Depending on the Writer is "Superman Prime". He is the current Superman, after a dip in the sun for thousands of years, charging Superman's base power set to such a degree that they've somehow evolved into virtual omnipotence. He is also the founder of the Superman Dynasty, which resulted in an entire legion of Supermen and Superwomen who dispense justice not just across the universe of their time, but (thanks to Time Travel) all time and all dimensions everywhere.
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    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars:
    • Yoda becomes this during the original trilogy, being a very old, very wise, and very powerful Jedi Master, who nevertheless serves only to train Luke to go on to fight Darth Vader and The Emperor. The prequels make attempts to address why this is the case, though how well they succeeded is a matter for debate.
    • Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens. Every action that drives the plot is either from the good guys in an attempt to find Luke or from the bad guys trying to find him first to kill him—or, failing that, to stop him from being found.
  • National Treasure: The American Founding Fathers and the Freemasons, the ones who realized that the eponymous treasure had to be kept out of the hands of the British or they'd use it against the Revolutionaries, and so hid it away in a place that only someone who found and understood the clues they left behind would be able to find it.
  • Now You See Me series: The Eye, an ancient order of magicians dedicated to "balancing the scales of Justice", and who direct the actions of the Four Horseman throughout. More specifically Dylan Shrike as the Fifth Horseman in the first one, and Thaddeus Bradley, who was really Dylan's father's partner and has been watching him the entire time in Now You See Me 2.
  • The Jungle Book (2016): The elephants only appear a few times and are regarded by the animals of the jungle as near-gods for their size and power. When they first appear, Bagheera tells Mowgli a Creation Myth of how they formed the jungle and carved the rivers with their tusks. At the end, due to Mowgli saving one of their young, they appear and do just that, redirecting a river to save the jungle from the Red Flower.
  • The Kid (2000): Throughout the film, a red biplane keeps appearing, usually right before something happens that causes Russ to reevaluate his life, implying whoever's flying it is controlling everything that's been going on since his 8-year-old self suddenly appeared. The pilot turns out to be Russ himself...from thirty years in the future, who's finally achieved his dream of becoming a pilot and has come back to make sure his younger selves get straightened out.
  • Terminator: John Connor filled this role in the first movie. He only appears during a flashback scene, but being the leader of the human resistance against the machines, the Terminator is sent back in time to kill his John's mother to prevent his birth. It's the protagonist's mission to ensure her survival and by extension, John's, so he can fulfill his purpose. In the following movies, he becomes a lead character whose actions affect the plot more directly, but even then remains the Big Good except in Terminator Genisys where he is turned into a Terminator himself and becomes the Big Bad.

    Literature 
  • In Tolkien's Legendarium, it is Eru Iluvatar who is the stand-in for capital "G" God, his name even meaning in Quenya "He that is Alone - Father of All". Eru is largely unseen in Middle-Earth, the world being governed instead by his subordinates the Ainur, Maiar, and Valar (analogous to lesser gods and angels.) However, it is implied in The Lord of the Rings, and confirmed in some of Tolkien's letters, that at rare but critical times Eru himself may intervene to change Middle-Earth's fate, such as ensuring that Bilbo Baggins would find the One Ring and causing Gollum to fall and destroy it.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Aslan the lion plays the most prominent role in supernaturally aiding the heroes, while only brief influence is felt from his father, the Emperor-Beyond-The-Sea. As the books are Christian allegory, it is generally assumed that Aslan represents Jesus Christ (aka God the Son) while the Emperor is God the Father.
  • Redwall:
    • In some of the books, Martin the Warrior takes on this role after he has died, from either an invisible influence acting through the heroes to an occasional Spirit Advisor in dreams. However, his power from beyond the grave is limited. Though Martin's legendary sword is powerful in the hands of a hero, he himself warns that nothing stops any villain who obtains it from using it for evil.
    • It is sometimes implied that the Badger Lord fortress Salamandastron has some kind of supernatural influence on it, as its forge's wall is full of carved images of both history and prophecy, which no one knows where they come from. On occasion it's been shown that badgers under the effects of Bloodwrath may carve the prophecies on the walls with their claws, but still no one knows where they get their visions.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Buffyverse has the Trope Namers for Powers That Be, who hundreds of years before Angel created a prophecy regarding a vampire with a soul. However, they're unable to directly help the protagonists because their physical avatars got destroyed.
  • Babylon 5: The Vorlons, Kosh in particular, are established early on as the Big Good in the fight against the Shadows, though that image is shattered later when it turns out that the Vorlons are just as much a part of the problem as the Shadows, but early in the fourth season Sheridan encounters Lorien, the First One, the one who taught the Shadows and the Vorlons when they were young. Though he makes no claim of being good or virtuous, he does care for the welfare of the younger races, and realizes that the First Ones have become a hindrance to their development, and so he and Sheridan gather the Shadows, Vorlons and other First Ones and send them out of the galaxy, Lorien himself included.
  • Professor X in Legion. He’s the one who defeated the Devil with Yellow Eyes decades ago and is pretty much the only reason the protagonists are able to fight him now. Not to mention, he’s off leading the X-Men while the events of this series are happening.
  • Stargate-verse: Played with regarding the Ancients, the ascended precursors of modern humanity. Initially they are seen as almost god-like, in that they had immense power and nearly magical technology, which still benefits those who are able to understand it, not the least of which are the Stargates themselves. Oma Desala in particular lends a hand to the younger races on a number of occasions. As time goes on, the view of them becomes more cynical, particularly over their Alien Non-Interference Clause as they respect free will of all those beneath them and so refuse to help one faction over another regardless of their choices. That said, they do keep Anubis from using his full power against the galaxy and have for eons shielded the existence of humanity in the Milky Way galaxy from their evil counterparts, the Ori, who demand worship to gain strength from believers and kill those who don't conform. It was only when humans of the Milky Way accidentally alerted the Ori to humans living in the Milky Way did they find out. Despite this, the Ancients remain something to aspire to for the current generation of humanity.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • God can either take on this role or that of a more direct Big Good depending on the book in particular, though his presence is always felt throughout.
    • Regarding the Godhead itself, in the Old Testament according to Christians, it is God the Father who is the most active holy participant while Jesus (God the Son) is rarely seen but speculated to appear at times. In the New Testament, their roles are reversed, with Jesus playing a central role in the Gospels and God the Father invisibly guiding him. As for the Holy Spirit, they remain in the background in both the Old and New, but it is in the New Testament where their influence is the most described.
    • An exception to this believe comes in Mormonism. According to Mormon belief following the Fall of Adam and Eve God the Father almost never interacts directly with humanity, having Jesus - who is designated as the Jehovah or Yahweh of the Old Testament - do so instead. The only recorded instances in Mormon scripture of the Father - named Elohim - speaking are at the Baptism of Jesus, the Transfiguration, once in the Book of Mormon, and in the First Vision of Joseph Smith; interestingly, on each occasion Elohim only speaks to present Jesus to the addressee.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Comision de Box y Lucha Libre de Mexico, D.F. is this for CMLL and many other Lucha Libre feds, although there are several less prestigious commissions throughout the thirty one states. They became increasingly relaxed in their control over the decades but did force Silver King to become Silver Caine in AAA after he tried to put his mask back on during his feud with Dr. Wagner Jr.
  • The Board Of Directors in the National Wrestling Alliance, with each territory having its own owner, sponsor or athletic commission to serve as its Big Good. It's somewhat complicated in that other athletic commissions can challenge the decisions of the NWA Board, though they rarely won and every single member of the NWA has voting power so enough consensus among the "big goods" can also overturn a board decision. In times of crisis, the board can also give nigh absolute power a single individual who serves as "president". Bruce Tharpe controversially took charge of the NWA by invoking the powers of president in 2012, though in his defense the body had been in a time of crisis for the last seven years, at the least.
  • The Pacific Wrestling Federation in All Japan Pro Wrestling, who governed both the title matches of the Japanese and foreigners, with Giant Baba somewhere in between The Hero and the defacto big good depending on the situation. The PWF was reduced to a regional power after the NWA came in and eventually just became a memory with the creation of the Unified Triple Crown.
  • The International Wrestling Grand Prix of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, especially after it broke away from the NWA. Their authority was once directly challenged by Antonio Inoki in angle where he created his own IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt in the Inoki Genome Federation, though the saga was put to an end by King Of Strong Style, Shinsuke Nakamura.
  • The Universal Wrestling Association in Lucha Libre Internacional, to the point the letters UWA are better known than LLI outside of Mexico.
  • Men such as Jim Herd, Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo served as the defacto leaders and movers of WCW but they all relied on and could be overruled by Ted Turner. Chris Jericho once tried to exploit this by going straight to Turner to get a shot at the Cruiserweight belt and Turner would have done it too, based on Jericho's sound logic. But Chris was so whiny Turner decided to go with his subordinate's decision instead.
  • The committee that sanctions Global Honored Crown matches in Pro Wrestling NOAH, although they rarely take on any disciplinary action, even when Suzuki gun invaded and took all the GHC title belts, meaning wrestlers like Naomichi Marufuji usually have to get things in order.
  • Jerry Jarrett was initially this in TNA. The other owner, Jeff Jarrett, was an active wrestler and thus alternated between the Big Bad, Big Bad Wannabe, The Heavy, Heroic Wannabe and Spotlight Stealing NWA World Heavyweight Champion while wrestlers like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle or Jeff Hardy more appropriately acted as The Hero and authority figures like Vince Russo(again), Jim Cornette or Dusty Rhodes acted as the big good in the day to day running of the company.
  • After Panda Energy bought TNA Dixie Carter became the company president and the defacto Big Good with Eric Bischoff(after a Heel–Face Turn) or Mick Foley as a network representative acting as the big good in her stead when she was indisposed. The network therefore became the greatest scope paragon given Foley answered to them against the schemes of Immortal. However, a nebulous "board of directors" has also been shown to have the power to overrule Dixie Carter(after she underwent a Face–Heel Turn) and replace director of Wrestling Operations MVP (after he was supposed to replace heel turned Carter but himself underwent a face heel turn) with Kurt Angle, suggesting Panda Energy TNA has two greater scope paragons. Given that TNA has been threatened by hostile outside forces and internal rebellion for most of its existence, neither is really all that active and mainly serve to act as a Plot Device when the baby faces are utterly screwed.
  • Carry Silkin in Ring of Honor, following the RF incident. Several other authority figures have been actively involved in preserving order and or the Code of Honor such as announcer Jimmy Bowers, Ambassador Ric Flair, Commissioner Jim Cornette(again) or Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness, demonstrating the ability to fine, fire, bar, sign and reward wrestlers at will, but in the rare cases Silkin appears he is referred to as the boss. Jerry Lynn considers him to be the most honorable of all promoters, he was to be the ultimate target of Kevin Steen after he disposed of his more personal enemies Cornette and El Generico, Colt Cabana, who left out disinterest with the company's direction following the SBG buyout, returned out of respect for Silkin's vision of an alternative when Silkin was present for Supercard Of Honor X and World Champion Jay Lethal credits Silkin with keeping the company alive, even more than himself.

    Tabletop Games 

    Toys 
  • Transformers:
    • Primus is the embodiment of all good in the Transformers multiverse as the Lord of Light and Order, and the creator of the Transformer homeworld Cybertron, opposite his brother Unicron, the embodiment of darkness. He rarely gets involved in the story at large because he was forced into an eon-long sleep after managing to defeat Unicron for the first time.
    • Optimus Prime's Transformers Prime incarnation in Transformers: Rescue Bots from the perspective of the Rescue Bots, as while he was the one who called them to Earth in order to help against the Decepticons, he rarely gets directly involved otherwise past situations where the Rescue Bots are completely out of their depth to handle.

    Video Games 
  • Philemon from the Persona series is the embodiment of humanity's most positive virtues (opposite Nyarlathotep, who represents the worst of humanity's vices), as well as the master of Igor (who runs the Velvet Room). While even in the early games he had very little direct involvement in the series's events outside of giving the protagonists their Personas (due to the terms of the bet he made with Nyarlathotep), the one exception being when he remakes the world following the events of Innocent Sin, after the Persona 2 duology he's shrunken back his role even more, preferring to simply observe the protagonists while in butterfly form as the save points.
  • The Elder Scrolls
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Golden Goddesses, Din, Nayru, Farore, representing Power, Wisdom, and Courage respectively, and the creators of Hyrule and the Triforce, the series' biggest McGuffin. They rarely directly act upon Hyrule, instead using intermediaries such as the Goddess Hylia (Who served as the progenitor for the Hylian Royal Family, and was the one who originally sealed away Demise, the franchise's own Greater-Scope Villain.) and the Light Spirits who sealed away the Dark Interlopers within the Twilight Realm for trying to steal the Triforce. They are also implied to be the creators of the Light Arrows that have the ability to destroy evil (or stun Ganon). One of the few exceptions was when they flooded Hyrule in the Wind Waker's backstory to prevent Ganondorf from taking it over.
    • Hylia herself also serves as this. Not only is she the the origin of Princess Zelda's bloodline, but her personal weapon, the Goddess Sword, was what later became the Master Sword over the course of Skyward Sword, the Blade of Evil's Bane and signature weapon of many Links afterwards. Skyward Sword as a whole is the result of her Batman Gambit to destroy Demise with all the Dungeons in the game acting as a test for that game's Link. It is also implied she is responsible for Link and Zelda getting reincarnated whenever a great evil threatens Hyrule.
    • Spirit Tracks has the Spirits of Good, who originally sealed away the Demon King Malladus and sent the Lokomo to look after what would later become New Hyrule, before returning to the heavens after exerting too much of their power, and the creators of the Spirit Train, Bow of Light, and the Compass of Light. They also created the Lokomo Blade, a sacred sword that serves as the strongest weapon in the game.
    • The Hero of Men mentioned in The Minish Cap, who was the first person to wield the Picori Blade (Which would later become the Four Sword) and the Light Force granted by the Minish, and used them to seal away the Army of Evil inside the Bound Chest during the titular War of the Bound Chest. His appearance in the stained glass painting implies he is another incarnation of Link.
    • A few of the Links and Zeldas end up taking this role to one another when their plots have close ties to one another:
      • The Link from Skyward Sword takes on this role to all the other Links, as he was the very first to wield the Master Sword and used it to defeat Demise, the franchise's own Greater-Scope Villain.
      • The Hero of Time serves as this in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, as he was the one who originally defeated Ganon during The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time using the Master Sword, and assisted in sealing him away, but has no influence on the plot otherwise due to returning to the past at the end of the game, which caused the Triforce of Courage he was carrying to split into eight pieces. He also takes on this role in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, where he passes down sword techniques to his direct descendant, the Link of that game, but has no direct influence on the plot otherwise.
      • The Hero of Winds from the Wind Waker takes on this role in Spirit Tracks, as he and Tetra were the original founders of the nation of New Hyrule following their defeat of Ganon, and Tetra in particular made a deal with Anjean of the Lokomo that the Royal Family would always protect the Spirit Flute. However, by the time of the game both appear to be long deceased.
      • The Link from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past serves as this in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, as he was the one who defeated Ganon where the Hero of Time had failed in the Defeat Timeline more than a century prior.
      • The Link from The Minish Cap to the Links of the Four Swords subseries, as he was the one who first wielded the Four Sword and used it to seal away Vaati centuries ago.
  • BlazBlue: Master Unit, Amaterasu serves this role for the verse. It's a Deus Est Machina who can warp reality to its smallest detail and is holding the world together, trying to prevent its destruction by the baddies. It's never directly involved except in small but significant moments, but the unit is talked about a lot, especially by the villains.
  • Erana from the Quest for Glory is a famous archmage from the past who the hero hears legends of starting with his very first adventure. She sought to create peace between different peoples and races, created many places where no violent acts could be committed, where travelers could rest in safety from nearby marauding monsters, trees with magical, healing fruit, etc. A mage hero from the Fighter, Mage, Thief options in particular will develop as a hero and grow stronger in magic thanks to things she has left behind. The hero never meets or interacts with her until the very end of the fourth game, when he learns that she has been a case of Sealed Good in a Can, saves her, and she lives just long enough to banish an Eldritch Abomination back to its own dimension before dying.
  • XCOM 2:
    • Possibly hinted at in the final mission. As the Commander and his squad assault the Avatar base, they receive communications from the Speaker and "Angelis Ethereal," basically telling the Commander to knock it off. Then, another Ethereal (using the voice from Enemy Within, rather than the more feminine voice of XCOM2), breaks into the chatter, urging the Commander on to defeat the aliens "as you did before." Exactly who this Ethereal was, what he meant, and whether or not he's actually "good" is a subject of much speculation by the fanbase.
    • The ending to War of the Chosen reveals that Geist, the leader of the Templar faction is aware of the threat that the Ethereals feared, and is already preparing his followers to face it.
  • Fire Emblem: Naga serves as this in four separate Fire Emblem series:
    • In Fire Emblem Akaneia, Naga was the leader of the Divine Dragons who worked hard in ensuring humanity's future in place of dragonkind, but is dead in the present, and ironically some decisions Naga made in the past ended up accidentally hurting humanity. One of her fangs was used to forge the Falchion, the weapon used by Anri to defeat Medeus, and later used by his indirect descendants Marth, Chrom, and Lucina. Due to this, her right hand man, Gotoh takes up the role of Big Good, being the one to provide Marth with the means to defeat his former ward, Gharnef, one of the two main villains.
    • In Fire Emblem Gaiden, the remake reveals that Naga was responsible for creating the Valentian Falchion that is later used by Alm to defeat Duma, as a failsafe in case both he and Mila succumbed to dragon degeneration.
    • In Fire Emblem Jugdral Naga serves as this alongside the other unnamed Divine Dragons who blood bonded with the Twelve Crusaders in order to give them the power to take down the evil Lopt Empire. They also granted each a divine weapon to assist them on their quest. Among those weapons were the Tyrfing later wielded by Sigurd and his son Seliph, and Naga's divine weapon, the Book of Naga tome, which are the only things capable of countering or resisting the effects of Loptyr's own eponymous tome. By the time of Genealogy of the Holy War, however, all involved save for the Divine Dragon Forseti are either long dead or have left Jugdral, Naga in particular citing the desire to allow the humans a chance to decide their own destiny, and the Crusader's descendants are squabbling over who will rule the continent. Naga, along with Forseti, do still end up playing a part, as they possessed the wielders of their respective tomes to fight Loptyr.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Naga defeated The Fell Dragon Grima in ancient days and has blessed heroic mortals with her power to accomplish great deeds. Her power also marks the royal line of Ylisse, where she is worshiped as a god, which manifests as the Brand of the Exalt. However, she doesn't get directly involved in Awakening's story, save for the very end of the main game where she grants Chrom's Falchion its full power during the titular Awakening ceremony. She appears in the Future Past DLC, where she serves as more of a Big Good by using the Shepherds to save an alternate timeline.
  • Ōkamiden has Amaterasu attain this status as despite Chibiterasu being her son, and her role in defeating Yami in the last game, apart from being implied to have sent him to Nippon in the first place, she only has an indirect influence on the plot because she's still busy trying to retake the Celestial Plain. Her actions also ended up indirectly creating the new Brush Gods and the Brush God children (Save for Bakugami's) encountered by Chibi during the game due to their disruption of the Balance Of Good and Evil, and Akuro and most of the other bosses were released from Yami upon his defeat by her.
  • In Diablo III, there was Anu, the first being of Creation and is essential the God to the Devil, the Prime Evil Thatamet. The two died in a clash, which resulted in Anu leaving behind the Eye of Anu, or the Worldstone, and the Crystal Arch which created the Angels and the High Heavens. The aspects of him were left behind to the Archangels: Imperius, Tyrael, Auriel, Itherael, and Malthael, representing valor, justice, hope, fate, and wisdom, respectively.
  • Destiny has The Traveler, a massive sphere floating above the planet Earth that in the past helped humanity spread across the solar system, before protecting the last of humanity from being destroyed by the ancient cosmic force known only as The Darkness (A being so powerful that its servants are often worshiped as gods) in a climactic battle over the planet long ago, and granted the Guardians their powers. The surviving humans also ended up creating the Last City right underneath it, as the Traveler's powers protected them from marauding alien races. However, its direct influence on the plot is limited due to the fact that it entered a state of stasis as a result of injuries it suffered during the battle with the Darkness, with reawakening it becoming a goal for the player near the end of the game.
  • Mii Koryuji, due to her absence in Project X Zone 2. She was the Big Good of the first game, and Reiji and Xiaomu later stumble upon the Koryuji Estate late in the game. It's also revealed that Mii is serving as an intern at Shinra while Kogoro is working as an intelligence agent for Shinra. Which means Shinra itself also qualifies.
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Adam and Eve, the leaders of the rebellion against the First Civilization thousands of years before the events of the series, and considered one of the many predecessors to the Assassin Order.
    • As co-founder of the Hidden Ones with Aya, many of Bayek's traditions such as the Leap of Faith and using a white object (a feather up until after Altair's time) to sop up the blood of targets were taken up by later Assassins.
    • Altaïr in Assassin's Creed II. Leonardo may have made the gear Ezio uses (Duel blades, Poison etc.), but the Codex shows Altaïr made it first. He counts as this for the entire Brotherhood, as his improvements upon becoming Mentor are shown in the rest of the games if you look closely, and in Unity, he's regarded as a hero to the Brotherhood.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Andraste serves this for the setting at large, being a messianic figure for the Chantry (think Joan d'Arc meets Jesus Christ) that preached a doctrine of love, tolerance and forgiveness, was betrayed and sentenced to die burned at the stake with her death inspiring all to rally up against the Tevinter Imperium for their freedom thousands of years before the first game took place. While the Maker, the monotheistic God of this setting, is subject to many debates in-universe over His morality, Andraste herself is highly admired even by those outside her religion - the elves (who otherwise don't believe in the Maker and have their own gods) view her as an honorable woman for freeing their ancestors and even the Imperium itself admires her in their own way with them speculating she was a very powerful mage (which is regarded as heresy of the worst caliber among the Chantry).
    • The Grey Warden (the first game's Player Character) also serves this role to a lesser extent in Dragon Age: Inquisition. If they survived the events of Origins, its stated that they were intended to lead the Inquisition before the events of the game took place, with Divine Justinia hoping to locate the Warden and recruit them so they could re-establish peace. However, the Warden has disappeared, and is presumed to have left for the distant unexplored west to find a cure for the Calling (an affliction that leads to the premature deaths of all Grey Wardens). It's possible for the Inquisitor to contact them during a War Table operation and receive a letter from them, wishing luck on their current mission to save the world from the Elder One.
  • The Legendary Chalice in Cuphead is an angelic ghost that provides Cuphead and Mugman with valuable tools to help in their quest, but other than that, she stays in the background and little beyond that. In fact, she requires being saved by the boys in order to reward them with the upgrade. Though in all fairness, she is dead by the time the game takes place and its revealed in the Rugged Ridge level that she was one of Inkwell Island's heroes before her death. That is until the "Delicious Last Course" DLC, which makes her a playable character.
  • Sir William Marshall in Vampyr is an interesting play on this trope. He is revealed to be an ancient vampire who is honored by the Ascalon Club and vampires in general. Meanwhile, the Guards of Priwen consider him the Greater-Scope Villain for having unleashed a plague on Britain centuries ago before disappearing, and now his progeny prey on mankind. Turns out he was a Paragon all along, since he was Myrddin's previous champion before Jonathan and was supposedly an heroic vampire himself that drank from "the throats of the unworthy" only. Also said plague? He was trying to stop it's true culprit and ended up causing the Great Fire of London.
  • Mega Man (Classic): Surprisingly, Dr. Wily of all people is one. Though he had sinister intentions in mind when he made Zero, his creation would go on to become one of the greatest heroes in X and beyond. Mega Man 11 goes even further with this, revealing that before becoming evil he originally wanted to use his prototype Double Gear system to make "true heroes" out of robots. Guess who that true hero was?note 
  • Before he fully steps up to the role of Big Good from Kingdom Hearts coded onwards, Master Yen Sid was this by virtue of being the one who trained King Mickey in everything he knows about the universe and Keyblades; knowledge that Mickey put to use in order to not only find and obtain the Kingdom Key D from the Realm of Darkness but to also guide and lead the heroes against the dark forces that threatened the worlds in Kingdom Hearts I, Chain of Memories, and II, but the old wizard only took an observatory role otherwise during those events.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The great lion turtles of Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra. In ancient days they were the protectors of humanity, and granted them the power of bending. After the mortal Wan joined with the spirit of light Raava to become the first Avatar, the lion turtles withdrew from the world at large. At the end of the Hundred Years War, Aang met the last lion turtle, who gave him the final key to defeating Fire Lord Ozai.
    • Avatar Wan himself counts as this, as the very first Avatar who separated the human and Spirit Worlds and sealed the spirit of darkness Vaatu inside the Tree of Time for 10,000 years. By the time of The Legend of Korra, so much time has passed that very few apart from the Red Lotus and later on Korra herself even know of his existence.
    • Avatar Aang attains this status in The Legend of Korra, having been the one who originally founded the United Republic alongside Fire Lord Zuko and being Korra's direct predecessor. However, because of Korra's issues with the spiritual aspects of being the Avatar, his role as Spirit Advisor is limited to giving her dreams of his battle with Yakone 42 years prior, and restoring her bending at the end of Book 1. In Books 3 and 4 he's unable to help Korra because he and all her other past lives had their connection to her severed by Unalaq and Vaatu managing to temporarily kill Raava.
  • Bojack Horseman: Secretariat, BoJack's personal hero, oddly overlaps this with Greater-Scope Villain. A grand figure in Hollywoo history and within horse racing, the protagonist of a modern Greek tragedy, and one of the best equine athletes within the game. Fame, recognition, women, awards, standing at the top with every mortal looking up to him for inspiration; even today, when his disgraces and backstabs are well known and documented, Secretariat is still considered a living landmark and fondly remembered by a lot of people and believed to have had an untimely passing. Still, his story and glorification as a figure of veneration has influenced several people to follow in his footsteps, flaws and all. His actions while still living may have costed a Pinto his career and his own brother Jeffretariat his life. Not to mention, his horrible, horrible advice was a key part in the construction of the emotional trainwreck BoJack Horseman, who has ruined quite a lot of lives.
  • Batman in the universe of Teen Titans. It's acknowledged that he exists and as he is the source of Robin's resources and gadgets, he is indirectly an influence on the Titans.
  • The Author from Gravity Falls can be considered this. Dipper stumbled upon a book that he left behind and it saved Dipper from nearly every monster he's encountered. He becomes more involved when it's revealed that the Author is Stanley Pines' brother.

Alternative Title(s): Greater Scope Hero

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