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Legendary in the Sequel

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"Consequently, when the Pevensie children had returned to Narnia last time for their second visit, it was (for the Narnians) as if King Arthur came back to Britain as some people say he will. And I say the sooner the better."

When we are first introduced to our Hero they are an unknown, a new recruit, a rookie, or a peasant from a recently destroyed village, but destiny is calling and they have answered. After many adventures, our Hero has accomplished great things. So much so that in the sequel they have become a legend, Famed In-Story throughout the land.

When a sequel is being made, writers, directors, or game-makers like to take the protagonist from the original work and turn them into a legendary figure. This can be a way to help complete denouement from the original work which often gets truncated, or as a way to appeal to fans of the series who like to see their favorite character be recognized.

This trope is when the protagonist from a prior series or movie has become a legend in the sequel. They can be the protagonist themselves, a side character, long dead, or trapped in a time warp; what matters is that In-Universe they are now regarded as a legend.

It's also common (particularly in games like Dungeons & Dragons) for Game Masters to apply this trope in their groups by having a previous game's characters be well-known or recognized by characters in a new game.

May or may not be Shrouded in Myth. Compare and Contrast with: From Nobody to Nightmare, Took a Level in Badass. The reverse is Uniqueness Decay, where once-legendary things have become commonplace in sequels. See also Legend Fades to Myth, where by the time the sequel rolls around, the legends managed to get a few details wrong. May happen in a Distant Sequel.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • My-Otome: An odd example since the sequel exists in another universe, but regardless Mai from My-HiME is a legendary Otome in the sequel
  • DieBuster: The mystery behind the term "Nonoriri" is that it is an homage to Noriko from GunBuster.
  • The protagonists of the original Love Live! series became such popular idols that, by Love Live! Sunshine!!, there are tons of merchandise and music related to them, they have tons of fans (such as Chika and Dia), and it is their work which inspires the heroines of the show to become idols as well. Averted in later installments of the Love Live! franchise as it evolved into a Series Franchise with self-contained stories - no one in Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club or Love Live! Superstar!! ever references the idols of said first two series.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • The original Yugi Muto of Yu-Gi-Oh! becomes a legend in later series for being the best at the card game (and saving the world).
  • Despite Gin being a normal puppy in Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin, he's the son of Riki, the leader of Ohu. In the Sequel Series Ginga Densetsu Weed, he's already a bigger legend than his dad after defeating the demon bear Akakabuto. And when Weed meets a new dog, that dog would remember how Gin was a kind and legendary dog. Even Hougen's three generals quit being his sidekicks when Gin shows them great kindness.
  • Kamina becomes one in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann after the Time Skip, though he enjoyed the status almost immediately after he died. It's just the nature of his character that he's most effective as a spiritual paragon.
  • The five main Bronze Saints of Saint Seiya are referred to as the "Legendary Saints" in the Saint Seiya Omega spinoff, with their amazing feats in the classic series being recognized and respected, even though they're still Bronze, with the exception of Seiya, who's been promoted to Gold Saint, and Shiryu who becomes the Gold Saint of Libra in the second season. Likewise for the three Steel Saints in the original Saint Seiya anime, who are now refereed to as the Legendary Steel Saints (since the Steel Saints are now a full class of lesser Saints on their own, with mass-produced, standardized Clothes, rather than only three chosen warriors, and who now act as low rank soldiers to make the bulk of the Saint army fighting for Athena).
  • Gundam Build Fighters Try:
    • By the time of the events of the show, Sei Iori has become a world-famous gunpla battler and model builder. In fact, the model that protagonist Sekai uses is just a prototype of one of Sei's works, yet it performs better than most models.
    • Ditto with Sei's Friendly Rival from the prequel, Meijin Kawaguchi III: as of Try, he has won the Gunpla Battle World Championship for three years straight, has been inducted into the Gunpla Hall of Fame, AND now has a Distaff Counterpart who is just as amazing as him. And his current Gunpla - the Amazing Red Warrior - is leagues ahead of the Gunpla he used before.
  • In Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE, the heroes of Gundam Build Divers, Force Build Divers, is seen as a legendary group due to the events at the end of the original series. However, not everyone sees them as this. It's later revealed that the only reason they're known on the planet Eldora was because of Freddie watching their fights through the temple ruins and has absolutely no idea that the shut-in, the stoic girl, the loud-mouthed braggart and the young newbie aren't them.
  • A meta example is used in One Piece. The undead samurai Ryuma from the Thriller Bark arc is noted to be legendary for having slain a dragon in a single strike in life, the very same feat he performed in Eiichiro Oda's previously unrelated one-shot manga Monsters.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Jotaro Kujo is treated by the villains in Part 3 as just another one of Joseph's party, only unique because killing him means eliminating another Joestar descendant. Then he overthrows DIO and copies his ability to stop time, and suddenly every villainous Stand-user knows his name and rightly fears him. When he returns in Part 4 and Part 6, the Big Bads make it a priority to eliminate him first, treating the parts' respective protagonists like secondary threats.
    • Johnny Joestar is a legendary figure in Part 8, though not for his actions as the protagonist of Part 7. It turns out that when Johnny made a trip to Japan in order to save his wife from a curse, he brought the Holy Corpse and used it in order to sacrifice his own life in exchange for sparing his wife and child from the fatal curse. This unprecedented miracle caused the people of Morioh to build a Buddhist statue of Johnny that symbolises the protection of children.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Negi Springfield was already trending towards legendary towards the end of the story thanks to his exploits. Roughly eighty years later in UQ Holder!, Negi is legendary on Earth and in the Magic World for saving the latter. On a smaller scale, Nodoka Miyazaki and Yue Ayase are also legendary by that time as are the rest of Negi's group.
  • At the start of Sailor Moon, the better known sequel of Codename: Sailor V, Minako Aino, protagonist of the former, is extremely famous in Tokyo and considered an Ideal Hero, something that helps her impersonation of the Moon Princess in the manga. She eventually loses this status in the first anime but keeps it in the manga, leading to Rei, Ami and Makoto not noticing her serious PTSD and unintentionally making it worse because they hold her in too high esteem to be able to consider her a role model.
  • By 2017 in the Death Note Special Chapter, the original Kira went down in the books as one of the worst terrorists in modern history. There are still fringe groups that worship him as a god like in the old days, however, and most people actually regard Kira positively for getting rid of criminals and wars.

    Fan Works 
  • Although an alternate Bad Future and not a true sequel, Fallout: Equestria takes place hundreds of years after Equestria has been blasted into a ravaged hellscape. The Mane Six, heroic but largely unknown civilian ponies in the series, are still recognized for what they did in the years of the war prior to the apocalypse. Although not all are remembered fondly. With good reason for some. Justified as not only were they all bequeathed powerful administrative positions by Princess Luna, there are technologies, buildings, weapons, and even factions they created that still exist. Not to mention individuals and groups that choose to model themselves after the ideals they represented such as Velvet Remedy, Pinkie Bell, and Calamity this applies to all Dashites. The fact that there are ghouls that are still alive that may have even met them doesn't hurt either.
  • Anytime a member of the original Harry Potter cast gets picked up in the (largely OC-driven) Absit Omen universe, their deeds of daring-do from the books usually net them significant praise, respect, and occasionally stalkers from the wizarding world.
  • Child of the Storm have the Avengers as this. Originally, they were a bunch of misfits, and even if two of them (Thor, and a reformed Loki) were literal legends, and another (Steve) had also achieved legendary status, none of the ordinary human population (or superhuman population, come to that) believed the first two existed, or that the latter was still alive. Now, they're heroes renowned throughout the Nine Realms, and possibly beyond.
    • Harry becomes this in the second book, to an extent. While he's still mostly known only as the half-human son of Thor to humanity as a whole, and mostly a curiosity in that regard, among the superhuman/supernatural community (which already knew of him as 'the Boy Who Lived', but, again, mostly as a curiosity), and amongst the rest of the Nine Realms, his defeat of Chthon raises him to legendary status, one that he burnishes with victory after victory (even if they sometimes come at hideous costs). It gets to the point where songs are being sung of his deeds in Asgard, to his intense embarrassment.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell:
    • Overlapping with Legend Fades to Myth, the heroes of Equestria's past are this in the present day. The Mane Six have even become revered as the Virtues or Virtuous Six, and they, the Princesses and even Prince Blueblood all have statues of themselves around Canterlot. However, their true names (and in one case, even the gender) have been forgotten, and some of their deeds have been expanded to far beyond what they started as in the retelling. It's also gotten to the point where people have forgotten the strength of their bonds, believing they were elite warriors who were only brought together in times of crisis. Chapter 31 reveals Blueblood is at least partially responsible for these misunderstandings, having "got [their] info all messed up", as Rainbow Dash put it.
    • The Blue Sorceress (actually Trixie Lulamoon) is another pony remembered, who is said to have commanded an army of star-creatures against the Magi of Stars. The new Bearers learn the truth about her in chapter 39.
    • Angel Bunny of all beings is still remembered, but most of the present-day characters believe him to be a demon trapped in the body of bunny by the Stern Warden. All except Page, who considers the idea of a "demon bunny named Angel" to be ridiculous and doesn't believe any such rabbit, demon or no, ever existed. She learns the truth about him from Fluttershy in chapter 39.
    • Chapter 20 reveals another handful of "enemies" of the Virtues: the Griffon Scourge, the All Seeing Pegasus of Thunder, the Trio Wood Nymphs and their fearless followers. Word Of God identifies them as Gilda, Derpy, the Cutie Mark Crusaders and the Flower Trio of Daisy, Roseluck, and Lily Valley, all misidentified (of them, Gilda is the only one who was ever legitimately hostile to the Mane Six, but even she was just a grouchy jerk and not a true villain) due to "Time running up behind Truth, shanking it, stealing its money and taking a selfie". A past conflict between the Magi of Stars and the dragons is also mentioned. The new Bearers learn the truth about the majority of these misidentified enemies in chapter 39.
    • The same chapter mentions a Flim-Flam Corporation, in reference to the Flim-Flam brothers.
    • Scootaloo is still remembered for her troubles with flying, her name being part of the colloquial term for the Thaumatic Moratis ("magic bereft") disorder, in which ponies don’t develop their magic until into their adulthood.
    • Chapter 23 mentions a "Windy Whistles" line of shampoo from the Cloudsdale Mountains, named for Rainbow Dash's mother.
    • Ponyville itself has also been remembered only as the "lost city of the Virtues".
  • Pony POV Series:
    • Megan Williams and the Paradise Ponies are remembered as legendary heroes of myth and legend in the present day, with Megan being remembered as one of the greatest heroes to have ever lived.
    • Some of the Tales cast are remembered this way, but most notable is Sweetheart, who is remembered as 'Saint Sweetheart' in modern day for her many good deeds and curing the Whispering Plague. This act was actually carried out by her children after her death, but she created the cure itself. Legends also attribute healing powers to her she didn't actually have. However, Applebloom edited that in when she was omnipotent as she felt it was a positive change.
  • Megan and her sibilings are similarly remembered in The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds, with Megan remembered as a godlike figure named "The Mag'ne". Invoked in-universe, as the mages of the day had prophesied that it would be necessary for her to fade into myth in order for the sequence of events surrounding her return to occur.
  • "Rediscovery" sees the crew of the Enterprise-D (Star Trek: The Next Generation) make contact with the lost wizards and witches of Earth (Harry Potter) who relocated to a solar system located in the Pyrrhus Anomaly after humanity made contact with the Vulcans. Even after three centuries, Harry and his friends and family are still highly regarded by many of the wizarding world, to the extent that several people are named after them, such as Captain Remus Potter or First Officer Luna Weasley making first contact with the Enterprise. Even figures such as Dobby are remembered in this future, with house-elves now free as a species and only working with the wizards through choice rather than forced bonds.
  • Deconstructed in Eugenesis. The Distant Finale is set between the end of Transformers: Generation One and Beast Wars, showing how the Autobots and Decepticons are slowly replaced by the Maximals and Predacons while history increasingly deifies or misrepresents them, often in bad ways. For instance, Ultra Magnus is seen as legendary saint who revealed the truth of the world... by a Quintesson-worshipping cult who sprung up around Magnus’s report about what he learned from Xenon during the attack on Aquaria.
  • Arrow: Rebirth: Oliver Queen solidifies himself as a Living Legend and folk hero in the public conscious after defeating Malcolm Merlyn and bringing down "the greatest conspiracy of the modern age" in the first story, The Rise of the Emerald Archer. By the time of the second story, The Age of Heroes, everyone knows who he is.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • James Bond is a relatively unknown agent in his first film but in The Man with the Golden Gun, the villain challenges him because of his reputation as the best secret agent.
  • The Mariachi from Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi Trilogy takes on this status in the sequels. Especially the third. It's invoked in the second movie, where he has a friend travelling ahead of him spreading the legend to see who starts panicking.
  • Kevin Flynn in TRON: Legacy has become this. At one point at the end of the bar fight, one of the programs kneels down and prays to him. In the real world, Flynn played this trope straight, going from a relatively minor celebrity to the leading pioneer in computing. In the computer world, he is both figuratively and literally God to the programs, from day one.
  • In the original Alien, Ellen Ripley is a lowly Warrant Officer serving onboard a mining ship. By the time Alien: Resurrection rolls around, her Heroic Sacrifice at the end of Alien³ is well-known, and more than one individual on the Auriga references how she died to prevent the spread of the xenomorphs throughout the galaxy (the novelization makes this clearer: Call discusses Golic's report on the events of the third film, and how Ripley died for what she believed in).
  • In the first National Treasure film, Ben Gates and the entire Gates family are the laughingstock of the scientific community for their belief in the Templar treasure. In fact, when Ben and Riley go to see Abigail for the first time, he introduces himself as "Mr. Brown", knowing she wouldn't believe him as Ben Gates. In the sequel, everybody knows about the treasure (although it's been a few years, so the novelty has worn off), and the Gates family is looked at with much more respect, to the point where the film starts with an ancestor of their being posthumously honored as a hero for stopping a treasonous plot via Heroic Sacrifice just after the Civil War. Of course, that just wouldn't do, so the film's Big Bad produces a document that makes the Gates ancestor appear to be a traitor himself. Once again, the Gates name is exonerated by the President himself, especially since the Gates family once again finds a major historical site. The third film will see if it sticks.
  • Tremors:
    • Earl and Valentine become somewhat famous - as do the Graboids - by the second film.
    • At the beginning of the third film, Burt has been called on for assistance with Graboids in Peru.
  • Star Wars: It's inverted with the Jedi in the debut film A New Hope (they're a myth practically gone from the public eye by that time period, so we first see them at their peak in the prequel trilogy later on) but is particularly prominent in the sequel trilogy.
    • The Force Awakens: Rey and Finn react to meeting Han roughly like many people would react to meeting Robin Hood, and Luke Skywalker has become a near-mythological Living MacGuffin. Meanwhile, on the villainous side, Darth Vader has gone from a scary but obscure adherent of an ancient religion to something like an idol for adherents of the Dark Side.
    • Deconstructed in The Last Jedi. One of the major themes of the movie is idolizing heroes only to discover that they're just fallible human beings like everyone else.
      • Rose initially squees when she bumps into Finn, one of the heroes of the previous movie, and then becomes very angry when she realizes he's trying to leave the ship in an Escape Pod, accusing him of desertion. (He actually wasn't; he was trying to get a beacon to their location off a ship fleeing First Order pursuit so Rey wouldn't run right into the hands of the First Order if she returned.)
      • Luke blames himself for Ben Solo's fall to the dark side, musing that he believed he could help his troubled nephew, and failed because he believed his own hype: "I was Luke Skywalker. I was a legend." Others didn't blame him even after his failure because "I'm Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master", and initially refuses to train Rey as a Jedi.
    • And in a reversal, Poe's inability to see Admiral Holdo's legend (stemming from off-screen battles) when he meets her in person and be able to trust that she knows what she's doing leads him to come up with a plan of his own, which is the centerpoint of his and Finn's arc in the movie.
  • Rocky becomes this as the series progresses, moving from nobody to one of the greatest boxers in the world, particularly in Rocky Balboa and the Creed series.
  • Independence Day: Resurgence: President Whitmore is treated with great respect, widely viewed as the man who lead the successful human counterattack against the aliens.
    • General Grey is an honored guest at the 20th celebration of the aliens' defeat and gets a standing ovation when he waves to the crowd. It is also revealed that he was Whitmore's successor as President; and when he sees Whitmore he's clearly emotional before snapping off a salute.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, once Steve actually becomes Captain America, he quickly became famous, and by later Marvel Cinematic Universe films he's a Living Legend. The Avengers (2012) reveals that that there are trading cards of him (Coulson is very proud of his collection), and in Captain America: The Winter Soldier its shown that he has an entire wing dedicated to him in The Smithsonian.
    • To a lesser extent, this applies to the Howling Commandos as well. They are featured in the Captain America wing, each with their own statue. The Stinger to Winter Soldier shows Bucky visiting this section, possibly hoping to jog his memories.
  • More like an urban legend, but in The Rage: Carrie 2, it's shown that the events of the first film have become part of the fabric of American folklore, subject to numerous pop culture myths and conspiracy theories. The official story is that Carrie White burned down her high school on prom night to get revenge on her bullying classmates and then killed her mother and herself, but Rachel sarcastically claims that Carrie went to the prom with Elvis Presley and then escaped in a UFO.

  • Alex Rider begins as a fourteen-year-old boy who was (unknowingly) groomed by the uncle who raised him to be a special agent for his entire life. Thanks to this and him being Born Lucky, he singlehandedly thwarts the schemes of six maniacal millionaires and takes down the most powerful organized crime group in the world. He's a legend by the end of the series, sure, but he had gained this status by book seven (out of nine) at the latest, and book three at the earliest.
  • In The Belgariad, Belgarath and Polgara are Living Legends already (even if Belgarath doesn't generally look or act the part - though he won't hesitate to demonstrate it if needs be). However, a number of the main cast undergo this between the first series and the second:
    • Mandorallen goes from being a famously skilled knight in his own country in the first series to being a world-renowned Memetic Badass willing to take on armies (and is widely believed to be able to beat them singlehandedly).
    • Ce'Nedra's raising of her army and status as the Rivan Queen are referenced across the West.
    • Silk is widely known as "the richest man in the world" (having gone into business and put all his spy tricks and lack of scruples to good use).
    • Meanwhile, Belgarion is world-renowned, admired, and to a significant extent, feared as the Overlord of the West (though his actual Kingdom is just the rather small island of Riva) and, more pertinently, the Godslayer, having killed Torak in single combat. He keeps complaining about how everyone keeps bring the last one up.
  • In the Dragonlance series, most of the main characters from the original Chronicles trilogy are referred to as "The Heroes of the Lance" in the later books and everyone seems to know their stories.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Already rather famous among the Alliance by The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker is a legend in the post-Return of the Jedi timeframe. The first new Jedi in a generation, a general at 24, the man who destroyed the first Death Star and defeated Darth Vader in single combat—and he only gets bigger. This is thoroughly examined in Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor. In another book, a nascent bar fight aborts just because he happens to be in the room. Everyone, even the arguing interlocutors, stop and wait for Luke to mediate the dispute. He ruminates on the reputation of the Jedi, but we know who's really famous. Played with in that, at least for a few years after Return of the Jedi, people don't recognize Luke on sight... but they do recognize a lightsaber. In The Thrawn Trilogy:
      Talon Karrde: With a lightsaber clipped to your belt? Please, you're either Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight, or someone with a taste for antiques and an insufferably high opinion of his own swordsmanship.
    • Hand of Thrawn plays with this. On one side, Luke's restored Jedi Order itself has started to take on this status, even though it only has a few dozen members. Random Space Pirate gangs even rig their hideouts with traps specifically designed to deal with Jedi, as Luke discovers. On the other side, Timothy Zahn pokes fun at the Flanderization of Grand Admiral Thrawn by other authors with the idea that the mere rumor he's Back from the Dead has some people running scared, with the main characters mockingly saying "he was never that good."
  • While his reputation as Warhammer 40,000's HERO OF THE IMPERIUM! is part of the series, the first Ciaphas Cain short stories and novels are set in in his early days where he's a wet-behind-the-ears commissar who's just began gaining a false reputation for heroism. Plus the novels are in Anachronic Order, so he has varying levels of fame (depending when in his life it's set) in each. The most dramatic is Death or Glory (the fourth published), which is set at the what would be the tipping point of his reputation but his fame is pretty minor (though a bit noticeable within the subsector, but not on Perlia) before the book finishes, and Cain's Last Stand (the sixth published), which takes place at the end of his career and on the same world where there are statues of him as "Cain the Liberator" and towns he visited have been renamed in his honor.
  • Isaac Asimov:
  • Mistborn: The Original Trilogy:
    • Kelsier is revered as a god in the second and third books, after he kills a steel inquisitor and is killed by the Lord Ruler, then has a shapeshifter use his bones to appear as himself to his followers afterward and inspire them to revolt.
    • By the time of the Sequel Series,Wax and Wayne which takes place 300 years after the original trilogy, all the main characters from the original have become legendary, although discussing the specifics is obviously full of spoilers for the first series. Some have formal religions following them, many locations are named after them, and several characters mention their ancestors as original trilogy characters, such as Breeze being one of Waxillum's ancestors.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • In Prince Caspian, the four children from the first book return to Narnia, only to find to their great surprise that it's a thousand years in the local future (thanks to Narnia Time). They're regarded as legends if not fairy tales, and their return is considered much the same as if King Arthur returned to modern-day Britain. Trumpkin is also dismayed to find that they've come back as kids, since they were adults when they left.
    • For an example not related to the protagonists, The Magician's Nephew has Aslan bring a humble cabbie and his wife to Narnia to be the first king and queen. In The Last Battle, when all of the characters throughout the entire series are reunited in the equivalent of Heaven, the reader is told how sitting in the center of it all are the first king and queen, "like Adam and Eve, in all of their glory".
  • Tennis Shoes: Averted, much to Jim's chagrin. Despite having saved the lives of some very important people, and aiding in the assassination of the evil king, very few people remember 'Jimawkins', so when he tries to show off for his kids, they are less than impressed.
  • The Blue Sword: Inverted. The story tells the tale of how a plucky orphan girl, Angharad "Harry" Crewe, became the first woman to wield the famous blue sword Gonturan since the legendary Lady Aerin. Its prequel, The Hero and the Crown, tells how a young girl named Aerin came to take up the blue sword to save her people from a dragon and a sorcerer.
  • Discworld:
    • Eric: During the events of Sourcery (some books back), Rincewind the Wizzard managed to defeat the Sourcerer and close the rift to the Dungeon Dimensions, and the surviving wizards considered building a statue to remember him. In Eric, it turns out that they then decided it should be a plaque, and then a commendation in the university's history, and then a reprimand for being improperly dressed (he defeated the Sourcerer using a half-brick in one of his socks). In fact, they try to avoid even mentioning him, and are very cool towards the idea of bringing him back, because he's just a terrible wizard, and not (for example) in case he (mistakenly) thought he saw them on the Sourcerer's side.
    • Played straight, though for some Late Arrival Spoilers, Sam Vimes and Captain Carrot become WORLD RENOWNED for being the straightest coppers ever. Sam arresting his own Patrician, beating up Werewolves, and Carrot stopping a battle by arresting everybody and having once tried to arrest a DRAGON spread around the Disc quickly. Vimes as an ambassador beats up a couple of thugs and guesses (justified) the rumour will grow that he beat up 41 armed men and a dog. He's spot on. In other cities, even ones who haven't heard of him personally, coppers trained by him are known as "Sammies."
    • In her first appearance in Equal Rites, Granny Weatherwax is a cunning witch, but not portrayed as anything out of the ordinary - though her duel with Archchancellor Cutangle, which ended as a draw (albeit one where Cutangle's inner monologue uneasily notes that if it had gone on much longer, she'd have beaten him) is an indication of just how powerful she really is. A few books later and she is the most respected and feared person in the entire Ramtops, and entire cultures have nicknames for her which basically translate to "Avoid at all costs".
  • Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings sequence: At the end of the Farseer trilogy, Fitz has come back from the dead after his execution in the second book, but prefers to let most people continue to think he's dead. In the later Tawny Man trilogy, he comes back to court fifteen years later under an assumed name, and is made acutely uncomfortable by the near-mythical status he's attained.
  • Uglies: By the fourth book in the trilogy, the protagonist of the first three books, Tally Youngblood, has exposed a dark secret (and done other stuff) which has created a cult of followers for her.
  • In the Star Trek Novel Verse the Huanni race were introduced in the novel The Last Roundup, in the person of cadet Skalli Jksilli, who wanted to be a diplomat. When a new Huanni character shows up in the Star Trek: Voyager Relaunch, set a century later, mention is made of the august career Skalli has enjoyed, becoming a great diplomat.
  • In Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe, Alanna the Lioness becomes famous even before the end of Song of the Lioness thanks to becoming the first Tortallan lady knight in over a century, bringing back the Dominion Jewel, and helping to stop a civil war in its tracks. Her accomplishments are a direct inspiration to Keladry of Mindelan, the protagonist of Protector of the Small who becomes the first openly-female page.
  • Kellen and Idalia are the heroes of The Obsidian Trilogy. A thousand years later, in The Enduring Flame Trilogy, they're the figureheads of the setting's main religion.
  • The adventure of the hero of The Night Land to rescue his lover Mirdath the Beautiful became a legend in the society of Awake in the Night Land, which is set in the same universe albeit being written by a different author.
  • In Red Wall, Martin the Warrior is the hero of the prequel, "Mossflower". By the time of the first book, he and his sword are legendary. Notably, Matthias, the protagonist of the first book, is himself treated as legendary in the later book "Loamhedge".
  • The Name of the Wind: The protagonist Kvothe the Bloodless, also called the Arcane and Six-string, has quite the reputation as one of the greatest fighters, wizards, musicians and adventurers in living memory. So much so that the story uses the framing device of a historian tracking him down to hear the true story behind the legends. Some of the stories about Kvothe were greatly exaggerated, but many weren't.
  • Six of Crows mentions Alina, the protagonist from Leigh Bardugo's previous series. Specifically, Nina is actually praying to her, since Alina has essentially become a saint.
  • In Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead, Ender essentially skips thousands of years by spending it on near-light-speed space ships, only to discover his actions as a child are still remembered and he is still thought of as a legendary historical villain. And, while Ender has been demonized, his older brother (who was intensely psychopathic in the first book) is remembered in historical legend for being a deeply benevolent writer. Fortunately, the average person knows him only as "Ender Wiggin", so he can use his real name (Andrew) without issue. Ender is also a famous writer as the original Speaker for the Dead, author of The Hive Queen and The Hegemon, the books that cemented his and his brother's current reputations. No one guesses that the author of that book would also be the hated Ender the Xenocide.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: In the prequel novellas Tales of Dunk and Egg, set roughly a hundred years before the main series, Dunk is a travelling hedge knight named Ser Duncan the Tall, and Egg is his clever but sometimes insolent squire. Readers of the main series will know that Egg is the boy who will grow up to be King Aegon Targaryen, Fifth of His Name, known as Aegon the Unlikely, and generally regarded as the last really good king Westeros has had, while Ser Duncan the Tall rises to be Lord Commander of Aegon V's Kingsguard. They will also know that Dunk and Egg, along with Aegon's eldest son Prince Duncan "the Small", die in an event known as the Tragedy at Summerhall.
  • Played with in The Lord of the Rings: Bilbo from The Hobbit becomes legendary in the Shire, but only for the events observed there: disappearing, returning very rich but also crazy, and finally disappearing again for good at his own birthday party. His actual adventures in far-away lands are of no concern to most of the Hobbits. The elves of Rivendell and rangers of the North do treat him with great respect, though.
  • This is increasingly more apparent as the The Dresden Files progresses. At the beginning of the series, Harry is a full Wizard of the White Council, but mostly keeps to himself, and the conflict of the book is (comparatively) low scale. Then he starts punching above his weight class, constantly. By the seventh book, he's regarded as somewhat of a legendary figure by the Wardens, who both fear and respect his power, only knowing some of his exploits. By Turn Coat, he's regarded less as "Harry Dresden, wizard private detective" and more as "Harry Dresden, force of nature and unstoppable god killer", which gives his (much more) powerful enemies pause when confronting him, and causes him no amount of grief when he realizes that people are planning on taking him out through underhanded means rather than direct confrontation (his specialty). Fast forward three more books, and Harry is the near-mythical figure that destroyed the entire Red Court of vampires, died, came back to life, became the Winter Knight, killed a second Fairy Queen, challenged Hades, god of the Underworld, and defeated Nicodemus Archeleone, an unstoppable, terrifying, feared Fallen Angel with 2,000 years of experience in villainy, forcing the latter to run away in terror. And that's not mentioning his other credentials, which are only known to a select few, such as not only resisting the temptation of a Fallen Angel, but converting her shade to his side, becoming the Warden of a prison for the biggest, scariest, world-ending monsters ever seen, and resisting and defeating Outsiders. Harry tries to point out that he managed to succeed only with the help of allies and the intervention of outside forces multiple times, but everyone is quick to point out that he succeeded, which he grudgingly admits is accurate. This reputation does cause a bit of problem for the Wardens, namely that after he dies, no one wants to take over the role of East Coast Commander since they don't want to deal with Harry's enemies. Thankfully eventually the Gatekeeper solves the issue after Harry comes back by arranging paperworks so that he got his old job back.
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz: By the novel's third section, the protagonist of the first section has been beatified 1200 years later, and is revered as the Blessed Francis Gerard. In the third section's popular lore, the sardonic, roistering rhymer of the second section has been misremembered and reinterpreted into a composite figure known as Saint Poet.
  • Helva, the lead of The Ship Who... Sang, manages to achieve Buy-Out only ten years after graduation - she earns enough money through her adventures to pay off her Indentured Servitude debt, which many other shellpeople don't manage in decades (or centuries, if they're particularly unlucky). Each of the Ship Who books is largely independent of the others, but whenever Helva's mentioned it's with considerable respect as a forceful personality who can leverage quick thinking and an unusual Beautiful Singing Voice to great effect.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek:
    • Captain Kirk is regarded as a legendary captain in all of the sequels and spin-off series chronologically following Star Trek: The Original Series. In fact, in the Kelvin timeline, the time-travelling Romulan immediately recognizes Kirk as having been Starfleet's greatest captain. This took a little while to kick in. The second Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Naked Now" had the computer point out that it was almost exactly the same thing that happened to Kirk and company in "The Naked Time", only for nobody to recognize the name.
    • As are some of his peers. Spock and Sarek (and Scotty) are regarded in awe by the characters when they show up in The Next Generation.
    • His Klingon rivals Kor, Kang, and Koloth are legendary warriors when they appear on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    • An inversion occurs regarding T'Pau. When she appears in The Original Series, she's considered a legendary figure by Kirk. Forty years later, in the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise, we meet the young rebel as she takes her first step into Vulcan's leadership.
    • Star Trek: Discovery reveals that even centuries after his death, Spock is revered by the reunited Vulcans and Romulans as one of their greatest heroes.
  • Cobra Kai:
    • Daniel LaRusso has certainly evolved from the underdog New Jersey-native to the two-time All Valley champ, riding off to his success 34 years later with his successful, karate-themed car dealership. He’s even regarded as a legend among the All-Valley community, having a spot on the board, is one of the most well-known sponsors, and is given a standing ovation when he is announced as Robby’s sensei at the last minute in preparation for the finals.
    • While already a more-than-accomplished fighter still in his prime, Mr. Miyagi was barely known to the protagonists and the San Fernando Valley; he was simply the “maintenance man” when Daniel first meets him. Fast forward 34 years later after Miyagi-Do wins two All-Valley championships (and even gaining the respect of Okinawa with Miyagi’s star student defeat Sato’s), he’s regarded as a legend to which all of the protagonists, Daniel, Johnny, Chozen, and the Miyagi-Fangs take upon his legacy in their quest to defeat the newly-revived Cobra Kai.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The revived series has made much more of the Doctor's fame (or notoriety) both on Earth and in the rest of time and space, to the point of making Ascended Fanon of Steven Moffat's own theory that the word "doctor" in all languages comes from the Doctor, not the other way around, and that in one language it translates not to "healer" or "scholar" but to "mighty warrior".
    • This gets deconstructed in the Eleventh Doctor's second series, as an entire religious movement has formed with the sole intention of killing him so he can't do any more damage. The Doctor subsequently "goes underground" in order to remedy this, although by the Twelfth Doctor it seems to be the status quo again. Even during 11's run a few enemies figured out the truth by connecting all the holes he'd left by removing records of himself from history.
    • In the classic series this tended to happen when the Doctor revisited somewhere he had been before, sometimes centuries later, most notably in the second half of "The Ark".
      • Encounters with the Thals, the Daleks' enemies, sometimes involved legends of the Doctor from when he had helped them on previous occasions. With the Daleks themselves the Doctor generated enough of a legend to incite irrational fear when encountered, which bled over into the books and the new series. The Ninth Doctor used this to face down the Daleks in "The Parting of the Ways".
      • "Timelash" attempted to invoke this trope with an unseen previous encounter.
  • Power Rangers:
    • In the Power Rangers Wild Force episode "Forever Red", Tommy Oliver, the Sixth Ranger from the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, gets this treatment. It's even jokingly mentioned at the end that he has his own fan club. This holds over into Power Rangers: Dino Thunder when the team learns their teacher "Dr. O" is actually one of the oldest Rangers, only to be corrected by his assistant Hayley that he's not the oldest, "just the best."
    • Jason Lee Scott, one of Tommy's original teammates, also fits this trope in "Forever Red" as well as his return in Power Rangers Beast Morphers, being recognized as a legendary hero of Earth and one of the greatest Rangers to ever live.
    • In the Power Rangers S.P.D. episode "History", the Dino Thunder team gets this treatment when they get pulled into the future and meet the SPD heroes and villains. The Dino Rangers were documented in history as among the greatest Rangers, and they became famous in their civilian lives as well. Conner started a series of soccer camps that some of the SPD Rangers attended as kids. Kira became a famous singer whose music inspired a few characters like Syd to become heroes. Ethan developed new technology and software that the SPD base runs on.
    • Every Ranger team gets this treatment in Power Rangers Megaforce, being referred to as "Legendary Rangers".
    • Dr. K and her Ranger Operators from Power Rangers RPM have become major historical figures by the time of Beast Morphers. In particular, Dr. K's work with merging animal DNA with Morph-X forms the basis for much of Grid Battleforce's technology.

    Video Games 
  • Andy in Advance Wars is a well known Orange Star CO who helped defeat the Black Hole army in the first two games and is considered to be a legendary CO in Dual Strike. This is emphasized further when Jake, a new Orange Star CO, battles against Jugger for the first time and the latter confuses him for Andy. There's also the clone of Andy near the end of the game where he asks what kind of person the original Andy was like. He dies happy once he learns how beloved the original Andy is.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt 3: Following the ending of Gunvolt 2, the titular character had suddenly undergone a case of Power Incontinence when he turned into a Primal Dragon without warning. This left him with no choice but to be sealed away for decades. When he returns in the third game, it's revealed that he has become a living legend due to his past deeds of defeating incredibly powerful enemies and saving the world twice before. Despite being partners, everyone of his opponents speak to him with a lot more respect than they do with Kirin.
  • TRON 2.0: Played straight and subverted. Several Programs mention Tron as a great hero who mysteriously vanished after his victory over Master Control, and one NPC wistfully wishes he would return to help fight off the Datawraiths. (In a strange way, though, they did get his little brother...) However, no one there seems to remember Flynn.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In the first game, Snake is a rookie sent in because the Big Bad expected him to fail. In Metal Gear Solid , Snake is regarded as a legendary soldier for his exploits in the 8-bit era.
    • Big Boss gets this as well. In the original Metal Gear, he's Snake's CO who mostly just gives you instructions over the radio and turns out to be running Outer Heaven at the same time and thus the Big Bad. By Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, he's obtained a reputation as a mercenary of some renown. By Metal Gear Solid, Big Boss is being fawned over left and right by practically everyone as the WORLD'S GREATEST SOLDIER! Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, being prequels, go back to establish why he's so legendary by the time of Metal Gear Solid.
  • Pokémon:
    • In Pokémon Red and Blue, and its remakes, you're just an eleven-year-old rookie trainer. By the end of the game you've beaten every gym leader, singlehandedly brought down a mafia, and become champion of the Pokémon League. By the sequels you are now held with high regard as the boy who brought down Team Rocket and the strongest Pokémon trainer in the world.
    • Game Freak has actually encouraged players to invoke this trope with Red, who has the highest levelled Pokémon team in the main games (not counting battle facilities where everyone is Lv 100). When it was discovered that Barry's final levels in Platinum surpassed Red's, HeartGold and SoulSilver corrected that by making Red's levels higher.
    • The protagonist of Pokémon Black and White seems to be one of these, but due to the franchise having had gender options for your character since Crystal it's never specified which protagonist is the hero. There is an Old Save Bonus feature that uses the name and gender that you selected for certain flashbacks in the sequel.
  • Fable:
    • Played with in the case of the protagonist from Fable 1. His legend is inscribed on the walls of the Sanctuary, but he otherwise receives no specific mention.
    • The protagonist from Fable II is recognized as a great hero in Fable III.
  • In the Mass Effect series, Shepard is generally seen as a legend to humans from the very beginning of the first game, hence being chosen as the first human Spectre. Their legend has just grown exponentially by the second. By the time of Mass Effect 2 thanks to their exploits in the Mass Effect, Commander Shepard is now seen as a galaxy wide legendary hero. Through each installment, Shepard is unquestionably regarded as one of the biggest badasses ever seen in the galaxy, by practically all races regardless of their relations with one another, thus being a unifying figure like no other, to the point that the final scene in Mass Effect 3 is a grandparent telling a child about "The Shepard", who at this point has become a semi-mythic figure (thus justifying all the different choices in various playthroughs as a case of Unreliable Narrator and/or Legend Fades to Myth). Subverted in the sequel, where the number of times Shepard is even mentioned can be counted on one hand. Justified, since they left the galaxy before the most dramatic events occurred.
  • The Legend of Zelda: In most games, the Link of previous installments are often remembered as legendary figures..
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: By the time the story begins, the events of Ocarina of Time have been passed down for generations to the point where they're now considered a myth. Despite this, the people of Outset Island have a custom where boys are garbed in green when they come of age (twelve), in the hopes they'll find courage like the Hero of Time. There's also a statue of said Hero of Time in Hyrule Castle, as well as stained glass portraits of the Seven Sages.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess occurs at roughly the same time as Wind Waker, but in an alternate timeline. After the events at Death Mountain, wherein Link restores Darbus' sanity, Renado remarks how Link's actions are reminiscent of the Hero of Time's.
    • The Hero of Time seems to get this treatment a lot, to the point where his era is especially renowned in Hyrule Warriors despite the Twilight and Sky eras also being visited.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: The events of A Link to the Past, which occurred some generations previously, are shown as a series of paintings in the entry way inside Hyrule Castle.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: Tetra from The Wind Waker is remembered fondly as the founder of New Hyrule, with a stained glass portrait of her overlooking Hyrule Castle's throne room.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The amiibo items and DLC items have references to legendary heroes and their allies from all three timelines, which makes it tough to figure out which timeline this game takes place in. Ruto and Nabooru from Ocarina of Time are also both mentioned by name and revered as legendary heroes by their respective races. Within the Goron city is also a "Mount Rushmore"-esque carving that features the faces of several past Goron heroes including Darunia and Darmani.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom takes place a few years after Breath of the Wild and there are many people who recognize Link for saving Hyrule previously and look up to him as a legendary hero people can rely on for the current crisis.
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: The names of the towns that Link travels through appear to be named after various Ocarina of Time characters due taking place long after its events.
  • Advance Wars: Dual Strike: The current hero Jake, sees Andy, a hero from the previous games, as a legend.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: The Warden is regarded as a great hero in Dragon Age II, due to stopping the blight in Ferelden before it could spread to other nations, making it the shortest Blight in the entire history of Thedas. Similarly, Hawke is acknowledged in Dragon Age: Inquisition as a famous hero, although a somewhat more divisive one due to their role in starting the Mage-Templar war.
  • Red Dead Revolver's main protagonist, Red Harlow, is often mentioned in books, campfire stories and from fellow bounty hunters in Red Dead Redemption & Red Dead Redemption II. Some of the characters look up to him as a folk hero.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: This is what has happened to Lloyd. He was a Book Dumb, often reckless kid in the original. But having defeated so many villainous forces, and leading the way in changing the two worlds, Lloyd is praised in many places as "Lloyd the Great" — to the dismay of new protagonist Emil Castagnier.
  • Jazeta, the hero of Neutopia becomes a legend for defeating Dirth. His son must save him after he is captured in Neutopia II, with the folks around the kingdom telling him more about his famous father.
  • In the second BioShock game Jack has several cults devoted to him.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Marth, the protagonist of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, was merely a case of Royals Who Actually Do Something. By the time of Fire Emblem: Awakening, set in the same world thousands of years later, Marth is revered as the "Hero-King" and is Shrouded in Myth. This causes some confusion for Lucina, who takes up his identity, when she meets Tiki, someone who was actually alive during Marth's time and personally knew him. The legendary image of him she based her impression on is far from what he was really like.
    • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Ike starts as the son of the commander of a relatively obscure mercenary company. By the time of sequel Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, both Ike and his Greil Mercenaries have become heroes and household names across the continent.
    • Fire Emblem Heroes, being a Gacha Game where the player obtains characters from all over the series, justifies this in-universe by applying this trope for seemingly every single character in the series, as the kingdoms of Askr and Embla have the means to open gates to other worlds, they've observed and recorded the deeds of all those 'Heroes', which allows them to be summoned and placed under a contract.
    • Fire Emblem Engage has this with the game's Emblems, essentially spiritual copies of previous protagonists in the series that can enhance others and are the main driving force of the plot.
  • Duke Nukem Forever: "They used to tell stories of a man who saved the world. A man whose very presence sent aliens running back to their motherships. The man who disappeared without a trace."
  • Mega Man: Both X and Zero from the Mega Man X series have become this in the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series. In the Mega Man X instruction manual, the scientist who unearthed X notes his creator, Dr. Light from Mega Man (Classic), as "the famous robot designer". Averted with X's predecessor and Light's other key creation, the classic Mega Man, who is never mentioned at all as though he has been completely forgotten by history.
  • In Half-Life 2, Gordon Freeman has become such a legend that he is given messianic titles such as "The One Free Man" and "The Opener of the Way". To his enemies, the Combine, he is "Anticitizen One".
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Subverted in most games. Between the 3rd and 4th games Phoenix had built up a reputation as a legendary defense attorney, but then had a fall from grace which caused him to lose his license and the respect of the community.
    • Played straight in Dual Destinies, where Phoenix's name has been cleared and his past adventures have earned him the nickname "Turnabout Terror" for his ability to turn the tide in his favor through wild tactics and bluffing.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Inverted in the first three games. Your character in the third game becomes a legend in the first game. Played straight in DQII, where the hero of the first game has become his own legend.
    • Dragon Quest IV: The Hero's defeat of Estark makes them renowned amongst the world over and strikes fear into monsters even past IV itself. This actually ends up being a bad thing in Dragon Quest V, as this prompts the slaughtering of any descendants they have out of fear that another legendary hero could come about.
  • Gothic: The Nameless Hero attains this reputation among the former convicts by the time of Gothic II, particularly with Night of the Raven installed. This is partly due to bringing down the Barrier, but mainly due to simply getting favor with everyone in the first game.
  • Loom: Bobbin Threadbare was apparently supposed to be this in the planned but not produced sequels Forge and The Fold, and appear in an Obi-Wan-like fashion and give the new heroes advice.
  • Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies: In the final mission, ISAF sends nine ace pilots to assist Mobius One. In the arcade mode of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, ISAF sends Mobius One against a virtual airforce alone, because his individual effectiveness is estimated greater than an entire squadron.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In every installment of the series since Daggerfall, you can find in-game references to the Player Characters of the previous games, always referred to with raceless, genderless Red Baron-style nicknames. This is intentionally done in order to make sure no details of heroes in the series become canon.
    • The Eternal Champion, the protagonist of Arena, is indicated as being referred to as "Champion" in part because people don't actually know who the Champion was — among other things, the Champion is referred to as 'forever nameless' in one the biographies about Barenziah. The Agent, the protagonist of Daggerfall, is an exception to the in-game legends thing: the Agent's involvement in the events of Daggerfall are unknown to the general public. Those few that do know about the Agent's involvement have reasons for keeping quiet about it and the Agent's identity.
    • In Morrowind, Jiub is the Nerevarine's shirtless, bald, one-eyed fellow prisoner aboard the Imperial Prison Ship at the start of the game. He lets the Nerevarine known they've arrived in Morrowind and asks for the Nerevarine's name, and is never seen again once the Nerevarine exits the ship. Despite his very limited role, he was popular enough with fans to generate countless Fan Fics and Game Mods which add him back into the game. Bethesda took notice and, in Oblivion, made him legendary. It is said that became a Saint in Morrowind for driving the (much reviled) Cliff Racers to extinction. His spirit makes a cameo in Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC, where he offers a sidequest in the Soul Cairn.
  • In the Baldur's Gate games you start as a random kid from Candlekeep, known only by, for lack of a better term, "family". By the second game, a few people in a nation about 200 miles south of Baldur's Gate have heard of your exploits up north. By the expansion, an entire army is sent out to kill you, an extremely powerful Bhaalspawn with an army of her own starts to panic when you come after her, and freaking Elminster says, "Nope, not fightin' ya."
    • A century later in Baldur's Gate III, this extends to the entire party from the previous games. Boisterous Bruiser companion Karlach immediately starts fangirling upon meeting Jaheira and Minsc.
  • Breath of Fire III has a mural depicting the heroes of the first game fighting against the Big Bad. It's seen in the hidden dragon town of Dragnier, as well as the loading screen before the title every time you start the game.
  • Inverted in Drakengard. the "hero" of the first game becomes The Dreaded in the sequel. This isn't much of a stretch, since he wasn't a very nice guy to begin with. Or rather, "Caim" becomes known as the hero who saved the world, while "The One-Eyed Man" is The Dreaded. The fact that the One-Eyed Man is Caim seems to be kept quiet by those in power.
  • Fallout:
    • In Fallout, your main character is a naive vault dweller, with zero experience with the outside world whatsoever. Fast forward to Fallout 2, the Vault Dweller has become a legendary figure, and a household name, whose actions have changed the wasteland forever.
    • Averted in Fallout 4: Fallout 3's player character, the Lone Wanderer, is hardly mentioned by any character returning from Fallout 3, even the ones whom the Fallout 3 story forces you to meet.
      • "The Wasteland Survival Guide" (a book that the Lone Wanderer canonically helps write), however, now has several editions that can be found all over both the Mojave and the Commonwealth.
  • Golden Sun: The heroes from the first two games are famous thirty years later in Dark Dawn, though whether they're remembered as heroes or not depends on who you ask -Unleashing alchemy had major consequences for Weyard and not everyone is aware of the circumstances that made it necessary for them to do so. Felix in particular seems to have gone down in history as a villain. While he did work for the bad guys in the first game, he had noble intentions in doing so, and by the end of the second game he and Isaac were on the same side.
  • Asura's Wrath: Technically in the same game, but still in The Stinger for a new one. Thanks to adult Mithra telling the story of her father and having it passed down for generations, Asura is basically this, even hundreds of millions of years into the future.
  • Travis Touchdown of No More Heroes becomes this in Desperate Struggle after becoming the #1 assassin and walking away from that title. Other assassins refer to him as "The Crownless King" and some have based their weapons on the beam katanas Travis uses. It's noted that the reason there are 50 ranks to go through rather than just 10 as in the first game is because Travis' exploits inspired so many more people to join the UAA. By the time of Travis Strikes Again, he's gone into hiding after he became disillusioned with his fame and most of the game consists of him questioning who he even was before he became the 'No More Hero.'
  • Diablo:
    • Three of the villains in Diablo II are actually the heroes from the first game. The Rogue has become an undead creature haunting the monastery graveyard, the Sorcerer is a mad summoner living in a pocket dimension, and the Warrior is the receptacle for Diablo's reincarnation.
    • Diablo III has numerous references to the heroes from Diablo II. Most of them are generic mentions of a "band of heroes" in Deckard Cain's journals. The most specific it ever gets is when you meet a necromancer who says his mentor helped defeat the Prime Evils twenty years ago.
  • World of Warcraft has slowly built this up over time, despite the generalization of the player characters (it is generally accepted that "a band of heroes" achieved many great feats such as defeating Illidan, Malygos, the Lich King, and so on).
    • For non-player characters, almost any significant character in a past Warcraft game has some sort of legend to their name. Perhaps most notably for the Alliance is the Valley of Heroes, which contains statues of all the Alliance hero units from Warcraft II. For the Horde, many of their town names are in remembrance of past characters, perhaps most notably the orc capital, Orgrimmar, named for the second Warchief, Orgrim Doomhammer.
    • For your character more specifically, NPC reactions to your character will change as you complete quests or gain levels of reputation. After defending Binan Village from the Yaungol assault, for example, you will hear NPCs talking in awe of the '[Name,] the legendary hero from beyond the mists' who came to save them.
    • In the second expansion, when you arrive in Northrend, you are allowed to jump the recruiting line on account of your past accomplishments, and in some places — such as in Winterfell Keep in Dragonblight — you can overhear NPCs discussing rumors that a 'great hero' from Outland (the setting of the previous expansion), or "the Scarab Lord" (a title you earn for completing the big raid of the initial game release) will arrive to reinforce them.
    • During the run-up to the Horde civil war during Mists of Pandaria, the players have a chance to do a mini-questline with Vol'jin, leader of the Darkspear Trolls, discussing what to do about Garrosh. Vol'jin remarks that 'the Horde is more than old trolls like me and great heroes from Northrend like you.' (though this can be extremely weird if your specific character has never actually been to Northrend).
    • This comes to a head in Warlords of Draenor, in which the player character has become so well known for saving the world, their faction's leader handpicks them to be the Commander leading the troops against the next threat to the world (though they were part of a large vanguard that took what was a suicide mission, they are the only survivor of their faction). You personally build up the garrison that is Azeroth's first line of defense, and all of the non-player characters within will talk about what an honor it is to serve you.
    • Legion takes this another step forward, making the player character the leader of a coalition of members of their class, which even bridges the faction gap (for instance, Alliance paladins can have the leader of the Horde blood elf paladins, Lady Liadrin, be their personal bodyguard). Your name is consistently spoken of in awe, and some of the legendary weapons that you can acquire are personally handed to you by their previous legendary owners as a more worthy successor.
    • Taken even FURTHER with Battle for Azeroth, where you're essentially considered a part of your faction's leadership, as well as an Ambadassador to/from the various allied races.
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, Yuna has become a celebrity in Spira for her achievements in Final Fantasy X. This results in the two major factions, New Yevon and the Youth League, seeking her support. Yuna, for her part, just wants to enjoy life and continue helping people. (And save the world. Again.) This also extends to her surviving guardians to a lesser extent; much like how Auron was revered in the original due to guarding High Summoner Braska (Yuna's father), Lulu, Wakka, Rikku, and Kimahri are similarly respected as such.
  • This happens to a degree in Final Fantasy XIII-2: The l'Cie that saved the world in the original are all lauded as heroes. Fang and Vanille are especially hailed (for being the core of the crystal pillar holding Cocoon in the air), as is Lightning (due to a Cosmic Retcon making people believe she too is in the pillar).
  • Although Final Fantasy XIV is a single game, the succession of main-story-quest arcs resemble chapters (or even outright books) in a larger narrative. Accordingly, each story arc can be considered a sequel to the one before - and after the first major story arc, the player character has gone from just another adventurer to being the Warrior of Light to all of Eorzea and the Eikon-Slayer to Garlemald, respected and feared by mortals and primals alike. This doesn't stop various antagonists from opposing you, of course, but they still recognize that neutralizing you has to be near the top of their priority list.
  • In Lunar: Eternal Blue, Dragonmaster Alex is one of the best known Dragonmasters, and the relationship between him and Luna is considered one of the great love stories of all time. A few of other party members are also still being talked about a thousand years later: Jessica for her leadership of Meribia, Mia for taking charge of the Magic Guild and rebuilding Vane.
  • Guild Wars: Many of the NPCs and heroes from the original game have become legendary in Guild Wars 2. As an example, Jora is revered among the Norn, and her redemption is noted on the statue that honors her: "Blood washes blood."
  • Knights of the Old Republic:
    • Revan is remembered as legendary in the Spiritual Sequel Star Wars: The Old Republic. Interestingly, the Jedi remember him as a legendary Jedi hero, while the Sith prefer to see him as the quintessential Sith. One leader of a cult devoted to him remarks that his gender is unclear in ancient texts (reflecting the fact that though Revan is canonically male for the sake of later Star Wars Legends appearances in the non-interactive medium of novels, the player could choose either gender in Knights of the Old Republic). When he shows up in flashpoints he's an insane male dark-side Jedi, and in his own expansion the two parts of his soul have split into separate beings, one light and one dark.
    • By the time of the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion for The Old Republic, the "Outlander", whichever class they originally were, has become such a figure of legend during their short absence that they are clearly the only possible choice to lead the new Alliance against the Eternal Empire of Zakuul, a group composed of Imperials, Republic forces, Sith, Jedi, defectors from Zakuul, and independents. (It doesn't hurt that the other seven possibilities have all vanished.)
  • Dungeon Siege: The player character and all of the recruitable characters get this treatment, but not until III: The canon player character, as seen on the box art for the original, was appointed Lady Montbarron by King Konreid after she helped save Ehb, and she and all her companions are entombed in a shrine not far from the estate that she was given. Two of the main characters are descendants of her, and a third is a descendant of Meric, one of the companions you can get in the original.
  • In Dead Rising 3, Frank West and Chuck Greene, the heroes of the first two games, have museum exhibits detailing how they helped stop the previous zombie outbreaks.
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Altair and Ezio are like this to those that have come after them. In Altair's case, he started out as a Master Assassin stripped of his rank for breaking the rules of the Brotherhood, then earned his way back up, eventually becoming Grandmaster of the Order. For Ezio, he started out as Idle Rich until his father and brothers were killed, putting him on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. By the time his saga's done, he's been a Mentor of the Brotherhood and put the Assassins into a golden age.
    • During Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, Aveline de Grandpre is the daughter of a wealthy noble moonlighting as an Assassin in colonial New Orleans. During her DLC in Assassin's Creed IV, Connor's letter tells that she's known as a great slave liberator even as far up as New England.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, Rean Schwarzer goes from a not-so ordinary military student into Erebonia's national hero, Ashen Chevalier.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • In Shin Megami Tensei II, the protagonist from the first game is hailed as the first champion of Valhalla and, like the other champions, is given a statue. Downplayed in that he is not brought up much as a result of the Archangels, now ruling the world, setting up his death via a cave in, most likely because he opposed them and killed their past selves at the end of the first game.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse has a unique take on this. By the end of the Neutral route of IV, Flynn was already legendary as Tokyo's champion, but other than a few brief scenes, nothing really is made of it. As this game takes place more from Tokyo's perspective during the Neutral route, you get more exposure to just how much the people of Tokyo look up to Flynn as a result of his actions in IV.
  • In Trauma Center: New Blood, Derek and Angie from the first game are hailed as medical heroes, having been the ones to eradicate GUILT, and in one Challenge Operation, they supervise New Blood protagonists Markus and Valerie on a series of simulated operations featuring GUILT.
  • Sakura Wars: By the time of Sakura Wars (2019), Sakura Shinguji has become a legendary top star in the Imperial Combat Revue, to the point where new character Sakura Amamiya tries to emulate her style.
  • The Super Robot Wars series uses this trope when dealing with sequeled entries where teams from the previous entry will be regarded as heroes or threats, depending on who they're facing.
  • Jane Kelly from XCOM 2, who was just nothing more than a Mauve Shirt who first fired the shots for humanity's liberation and can possibly die just like anyone else, ends up becoming the director for the XCOM Reclamation Agency in XCOM: Chimera Squad.
  • Thanks to some Canon Welding, Doom Eternal establishes that the Doomguy from the original Doom series has become a mythical fear-inspiring entity among demonkind who now goes by the moniker of The Doom Slayer.
  • In NEO: The World Ends with You, the previous game's protagonist Neku is outright called a "legendary Player" for his exceptional psychic skills and extraordinary accomplishments during his time in the Reapers' Game. When it seems he's come back, the Wicked Twisters and the Shinjuku Reapers make recruiting and erasing him their top priorities respectively, though it eventually turns out to be fellow veteran Beat. When Neku returns for real, it invigorates the Twisters' hope that they can save Shibuya.
    • The brand Gatto Nero was founded by Neku's first partner Shiki, with her homemade plush Mr. Mew becoming the mascot. By the time of NEO, Gatto Nero is one of the most popular brands in Shibuya and Mr. Mew is extremely recognizable throughout the city.
  • The .hack franchise has a few examples that come up, most obviously demonstrated in the video game entries. In one of the earliest installments, two players, Orca and Balmung, defeated a supposedly invincible monster called The One Sin. By the time of the first quadrilogy of games came around, the two were given the title of The Descendants of Fianna, with each given an appropriate epithet - Balmung of the Azure Sea and Balmung of the Azure Sky. After the events of those games, the main character of said quadrilogy, Kite, became similarly famous in subsequent installments, with .hack//G.U. giving Kite his own cognomen based on a similar scheme, Kite of the Azure Flame.
  • In the Exile/Avernum series the activities of the player characters in previous games are handled this way. While the game assumes that you completed most of the quests actual references to your characters are very vague with some NPCs even stating that they don't beleive all of the stories attributed to them. Additionally, since the PCshave custom names they will generally be referred to by an appelation based on thier accomplishments. For example the characters in the first game are "Hawthorne's Assassins" while the characters in the second game are "The Empire War Heroes".
  • In Horizon Forbidden West, Aloy spends most of the extended prologue revered by all of the other characters as the semi-divine "Savior of Meridian" and as the "Anointed" of the Nora (although she doesn't like being called either) after having saved the world from HADES in the first game. This is a marked departure from the first game, where Aloy spent the first act treated with utter contempt for her status as a Nora outcast.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • As a Mythology Gag, the founder of the Wonderbolts is General Firefly, named after one of the main characters from the first generation of My Little Pony.
    • Similarly, Gusty the Great is renowned as the legendary hero who defeated and banished Grogar. Gusty the Great's design is based on the G1 character Gusty.
  • My Little Pony: A New Generation: The protagonists of Friendship is Magic, from the previous generation, are now legendary heroes known as the Guardians of Harmony.
  • BIONICLE: Inverted. in the first year, there was the Legend of Lhii, a legendary lavasurfer, on the island of Mata Nui and nothing else from that. Come 2004, a flashback, and there's a Toa named Lhikan whom was the basis of that legend.
  • Ben 10:
    • In the beginning of Ben 10, Ben Tennyson was just a kid with a super-powerful watch. 5 years later, he was fairly popular within circles of the alien community. By the third series, his identity became public and is now a full-blown celebrity.
    • By Ben 10: Omniverse, his adventures are being taught as part of the curriculum at the Plumbers' Academy and his new partner Rook is his Ascended Fanboy.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • By nature, Avatars are destined to be legendary, but Aang has become this in particular in the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra. This is because unlike most Avatars, he defeated the oppressive regime of the Fire Nation and ended a 100-year war.
    • Zuko also has a statue of himself in Republic City and is presumably even more well-known in the Fire Nation.
    • Toph went on to found the Republic City police force, complete with a gold statue of herself outside of HQ. She's also revered by the Metal Clan of Zaofu due to the fact that she pioneered metalbending as well as the fact that the city was founded by her daughter Suyin.
    • Sokka eventually earns an influential position on the City Council, and is commemorated with a statue outside the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Exchange Center.
    • And on a hilarious note, the Cabbage Merchantnote  went on to found a successful company named Cabbage Corp, which has a statue of him and his cabbages in front of the company's headquarters. Thus far, he's the only person in the series to have a statue in that city and not be a member of the main group.
    • Other than Suki, the only member of the Gaang not to have a statue of themselves shown so far is Katara, and even then, she is revered as the greatest healer in the world and even served as Korra's waterbending teacher. Zuko and Toph are still alive, and make their debut in Book 3 and 4 respectively.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks:
    • One episode has an epilogue set in the far future, revealing that poor, put-upon Miles O'Brien is revered as one of the greatest heroes on the entire history of Starfleet.
    • The first season 4 episode reveals that the USS ''Voyager'' and her crew have become legendary since returning to the Alpha Quadrant, with the Cerritos tasked with escorting the Voyager, now a museum ship, to Earth.
  • Transformers:


Video Example(s):



Mostly present in the game's beginning and amongst the Oseram and Carja characters Aloy interacts with in the Daunt. Aloy's feats of overcoming and defeating Dervahl, killing Helis in single combat and thwarting HADES' assault on Meridian and near-extinction of humanity have earned her the reputation both as the 'Anointed of the Nora' and the 'Saviour of Meridian', and many people in the Daunt offer her side-quests upon recognising her on sight, trusting in her skills and capabilities to resolve the problems that otherwise stymie them. Aloy even has a heroic statue of herself posing in the area where she had the Final Boss fight against HADES' death bringer and small army of corrupted machines, which Avad teasingly notes the original sculptor wanted decorated in gold and jewels before he talked him down.

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