Follow TV Tropes


Mechanically Unusual Fighter

Go To

Meta Knight doesn't do "standard attacks."

While Fighting Game characters often have different attacks and playstyles, they usually still share the same basic commands. Pressing A results in a light melee attack, back results in blocking, double forward results in a dash, and so on... Except for this character. This character has bizarre mechanics going on compared to other fighters. Maybe this character levitates instead of dashing. Maybe this character's crouching actually makes her taller. Maybe this character uses a separate or all together different Mana Meter as a resource. Whatever it is, playing this character won't be anything like playing the others. Mastering these gimmicks is a major part of this character.


A good way to determine if a character fits this trope is to ask, "If the character lost his gimmick, would he still play similarly or very differently?" If the answer is the latter, then it is this trope.

The result of this weird control scheme can vary. Sometimes it makes the character a difficult to learn but very satisfying to master one, and sometimes it makes the character nigh-impossible to play instead.

This character often uses variations of Confusion Fu. May invoke Damn You, Muscle Memory! if one is too used to other characters.

Different from Fighting Clown, which is about the character's wacky appearance rather than the actual mechanics (although the two may overlap). Different from Joke Character, Lethal Joke Character or not, as this character is intended to be a viable option without resorting to an obscure tactic.


If a work makes use of a Character Class System or similar one, then those would belong to Mechanically Unusual Class, the more RPG-like sister.

Examples by order of genre:

    open/close all folders 

    Fighting Games 
  • A number of original characters for M.U.G.E.N can be like this, especially taken to an extreme with many non-fighting game characters who follow the rules of their home game rather than that of MUGEN:
    • Space Invader can only fire deadly projectiles that One-Hit Kill opponents, but also dies after one hit. Furthermore, it also moves one "step" at a time with a delay in between similar to how it moved in its source game, though this delay decreases as time passes just like how the Ascended Glitch where the aliens got faster as their numbers dwindled.
    • STH2 Sonic can only attack by jumping and rolling, and loses rings when hit (which periodically spawn around the arena). He can also summon item boxes that grant him a shield or invincibility.
    • Sheriff isn't affected by gravity, and can "walk" through the air indefinitely. However, on top of being really slow, his only attacks are firing his pistol and changing the angle of his pistol by 15 degrees. Hitting him will cause him to "die" and respawn with a chunk of his health bar missing.
    • Omega Tiger Woods can deal heavy damage and can attack the foe with a crosshair that dropped missiles (and a claw arm) on them, in compensation for being unable to block at all.
    • The Bestest Ken in the World has his ground punches replaced with Shoryukens. His theme song even plays when you perform your shoryukens and cuts off when attacked.
    • There's an entire subset of shoot-em-up characters (most notably the Vic Viper from Gradius) who operate as they do in their home games, "losing lives" when hit and gaining power-ups through their special attacks.
    • SCP-999 doesn't deal any damage whatsoever. Instead, opponents get a happiness bar that functions as a separate health bar, which fills up on contact with 999 and even faster when affected by 999's "attacks". Once an opponent's happiness is full, that opponent is forced to do a Happy Dance for the rest of the round and is essentially KOed.
    • Some characters aren't even characters at all, instead playing like a Game Level itself with their opponent as the platforming character that has to run through the level. Examples are M-NES Game 1 (1-1 from Super Mario Bros.), M-NES Game 2 (the first stage of Contra), and Gameboy Game 1 (1-1 from Super Mario Land).
  • Some of the Touhou fighting games:
    • Suwako Moriya from Hisoutensoku. Her standing is actually crouching, and her crouching is conjuring a lily pad underneath her, making her taller. Her regular walking is slowly hopping like a frog (and while hopping she counts as being in the air), and her ground dash is swimming underground, making her invincible to all attacks. Her air movement is her flapping her arms around, and is limited to several directions. Her attacks are relatively normal, though. This lead to a variation on a popular Touhou meme from the community:
      "Suwako mains do their best now and are preparing. Please wait warmly while they figure out what the hell they're doing."
    • Koishi Komeiji is the wacky fighter of Hopeless Masquerade. To start, like Suwako, her dash is her prancing around while invisible, making her immune to all attacks. Unlike Suwako, her main wackiness is in her attacks. For most of her attacks, she doesn't instantly perform them when you input the commands. Instead, she "stocks" them and uses them automatically when certain conditions are met. For example, her 8B is performed only when she's under the opponent, and Catch and Rose is activated only after you hit the opponent with another attack. Also, she needs about 1-2 seconds before the moves are ready to activate, so you really need to predict the situations beforehand.
      • Koishi is still like this in the sequel, Urban Legend in Limbo, but a patch has slightly changed how Koishi's automatic attacks work. Now, more of her attacks are performed when the command is put in, but putting her in the right position with a stocked move causes her to use a powered up version of that move. For example, her 6B is normally a slow-moving horizontal polygraph wave without much hitstun, but if she's on the same horizontal plane as the opponent a few seconds after using it, 6B's used again automatically, and it becomes a projectile that crosses the screen absurdly quickly and sends her opponent hurtling into the opposite wall if it hits.
    • To a lesser extent, Byakuren, who needs to charge her specials first before being able to actually use them.
  • Shadow Labrys from Persona 4: Arena. Other characters' Personas only appear for a short while to perform attacks, and then disappear. Shabrys' "Persona" Asterius however, stays on screen the entire time, follows Shabrys around, and can attack concurrently with her. To compensate for being around all the time, Asterius has armor so it can't be broken easily, and Shabrys' heavy Persona attack is actually telling Asterius to block. Playing Shadow Labrys is effectively controlling both her and Asterius at the same time.
    • Ultimax has two versions of new character Sho Minazuki. One version does not have a Persona, unlike the rest of the cast, and instead fights more like a character from BlazBlue in terms of normal attacks. Because of this, not only is he immune to Persona Breaks, he is also not heavily affected by the Silence status effect, which normally disables the affected character's Persona (the only thing it disables for Sho is his ability to Burst). He can also cancel most of his special moves into each other (or into a dodge animation in order to bait attacks).
    • Junpei, also from Ultimax, has a complicated baseball-themed Magikarp Power system. In simplest terms: he starts off very weak. However, upon reaching 10 or more runs, he gains the permanent Victory Cry buff, which increases his stats by a large amount, gives him HP and SP regeneration, and gives his baseball bat attacks additional properties. Every 10 Runs thereafter give him additional stat increases, up to 55 Runs. He gains bases by hitting opponents or reflecting projectiles with his bat. If Junpei fills up three bases, then every successful bat attack he makes will give him a run. Every time he misses an opponent with his bat he gains a strike; three strikes and he gets an out, resetting everything but his runs and bases. Get three outs and everything but the runs reset. Having his bat attacks blocked by the opponent gives him balls; four balls give him one additional base. In addition, once Victory Cry is active, hitting opponents with the sweet spot of his bat counts as a Clean Hit, which increases the damage and hitstun of the affected attack (and may give it additional properties, like being able to cancel from a special move into another special move). If this is done with a super move (and with the proper followup button), Junpei can get a home run, which increases his Runs by the amount of bases he has filled plus 1, but also resets his loaded bases. Got all that?
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3:
    • Frank West has a Magikarp Power system - his moves aren't so impressive at first, but he can rack up "EXP" by comboing the enemy with enough hits and then takes a snapshot with his camera, in order to "level up." He has 5 levels; higher level means improved moves as well as unlocking certain moves to use.
    • Phoenix Wright plays entirely around "evidence" and Stance System: Investigation Mode (his weakest form) is mainly to find evidence, the Trial Mode is used to use the evidence as weapons. When he has 3 pieces of evidence ready, during this mode he can pull off an OBJECTION! which, if it hits, will allow him to go to Turnabout Mode, with improved normal and special attacks, as well as his Lv 3 hyper, which is the second most powerful attack in the game.
  • Guilty Gear: Robo-Ky has to manage two different meters: A thermostat, which builds up as he fights and can only be vented via a certain command or risk a damaging explosion. He also has a power gauge which, unlike everyone else, cannot be charged conventionally and can only be charged via a laid-out power mat. His special and Overdrive attacks drain from this power gauge.
    • In Xrd Sin has an Appetite Gauge which can be filled with a special move, allowing him to eat. If he has the Appetite Gauge filled, he can cancel his special moves into his other specials, but if the meter is empty when he does a special move, he has a much longer recovery period afterwards, making him vulnerable to attack.
    • Since Zappa is basically a hive for ghosts, he has the ability to completely change his moveset mid-match, depending on which ghost is in control at the moment.
    • Bedman has the Déjà Vu mechanic: Upon doing a special move, a seal appears on-stage in its place. If you then input the reverse of the same special (e.g. quarter-circle forward becomes quarter-circle back), a shadowy duplicate of Bedman will apparate and perform the same move in that spot.
    • Jack-O' has one of the most unique mechanics in all of fighting games: her playstyle revolves around summoning Servants that come out of small houses that she places on the stage. Throughout the match, there will be opportunities to level up these Servants (up to a maximum of Level 3), making them faster and more powerful. The game then becomes a mix of a fighting game, an RPG and a tower defense game.
    • With several characters in -STRIVE- being heavily toned down from how they were in prior appearances, it was generally a more pleasant surprise when Happy Chaos released. With a Concentration mechanic to fuel two different aiming stances and a limited number of bullets to fuel a revolver he carries, Chaos comes out on top easily as the most unusual in -STRIVE-'s roster of fighters.
  • In BlazBlue, all characters have a "Drive" action that is unique to them, and which would make most of them qualify for this trope if they were in a different game. But even when going by the standards of the series, a few stand out as unusual:
    • Hakumen is the one that is most different from the game's normal mechanics: while other characters have special attacks that can be used at will and a Heat Gauge that fills up by landing or being hit by attacks and is used for Distortion Drives, Hakumen lacks a Heat Gauge and instead uses a Magatama Gauge, which fills up automatically and is expended while using both special moves and Distortion Drives, which is balanced by making these special moves more powerful than average and chainable together.
    • Carl Clover is a Puppet Fighter, and plays very differently from the other characters. He has a large "doll" named Nirvana which can perform attacks when the Drive button is pressed. Using both Carl and Nirvana's attacks together effectively is Difficult, but Awesome. Also of note is that while nearly all other special attacks are performed by moving the joystick in certain directions, followed by pressing an attack button, Nirvana's specials are done by holding down Drive, inputting the directions, and then releasing the Drive button.
    • Central Fiction introduced Hades Izanami who lacks a double jump, instead conjuring a float in midair that allows her to perform her ground attacks while airborn. Aside from that, her Drive is also a Stance System which, when activated, disables her ability to block attacks. When coupled with her Shield of Dreams, which temporary protects her from all attacks except unblockables and throws, she gets a very strange fighting style with some very strange mechanics.
    • Central Fiction also gave us Susano'o, whose Drive, "Divine Warrior", gives him eight different special moves which must be unlocked through a very specific system: throughout the match, a cursor will cycle from left to right through a series of eight icons above Susano'o's meter with every hit that he lands. If he then lands a Drive move, the icon that is highlighted will be unlocked for him to use. The cursor is then reset and the cycle starts again. He can unlock moves multiple times in order to change their properties and increase their damage output.
  • In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Gold Lightan and PTX-40A are very massive fighters (who are about 3 times the average height of other characters) and so they fight alone, as opposed to fighting in duets. They also move slowly and have to crouch often to attack and they're subject to being dizzied if hit repeatedly, but they also have a ton of range and damage on most of their attacks and only special throws can interrupt their attacks.
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, most characters fight using Bravery attacks to build up Bravery, HP attacks to deal HP damage, and landing attacks generates EX Force that fills an EX Gauge, when filled the character can enter EX Mode for a temporary power boost. With Gabranth however, his Bravery attacks are slow and weak and his only HP attacks do nothing but charge up his EX Gauge, rendering him completely unable to deal any HP damage outside of EX Mode. When it fills and he enters EX Mode, however, his entire moveset changes, turning him into a monstrously powerful Lightning Bruiser with powerful attacks and high movement speed, but only until the gauge depletes, at which point he goes back to normal and has to charge it up again.
    • Cloud of Darkness counts as well. Whereas other fighters rack up the bravery points for a big HP hit, Cloud of Darkness focuses on rapid HP damaging attacks with bravery attacks helpful if they hit.
    • Exdeath has very few dedicated Bravery attacks, and his normal Bravery and HP attacks are slow and highly telegraphed. He also has four types of block moves at his disposal which, if used on the right incoming attack, allows him to counter using faster, more powerful versions of most of his attacks. The prequel gives him the ability to cancel his normal HP attacks into those block moves, making his normal moves more useful in baiting the opponent.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy (2015) has Specialist-type fighters, who fall outside the Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors classifications of Vanguard, Assassin, and Marksman fighters with abilities that make them wildcards in battle:
    • Onion Knight has a Stance System that allows him to switch between different Jobs. By default, he has a mix of short- and long-range capabilities, with neither particularly outstanding. However, with his EX Skill "Job Change", he can change into either a Ninja or a Sage, which greatly enhances his melee and ranged attacks, respectively.
    • Bartz has a Magikarp Power-type playstyle where he uses his skills to increase his Masteries, getting stronger the more he fights. His EX Skill, "Good Luck Charm", allows him to spread his buffs to his teammates, making his whole team for a time.
    • Exdeath has a Stance System that grants him different EX Skills for each one: the damage-focused Berserker Mode with Bravery-sucking Black Hole skill, the skill-sealing Nullifier Mode with the Power of the Void, and debuff-inflicting Obstructor mode with White Dwarf.
    • Vaan stands out from other fighters for being able to access two HP attacks during a match instead of only one: one on the ground and one in the air, giving him a greater deal of options in terms of dealing HP damage. In conjunction with his EX Skill "Dreadnaught", which temporarily freezes his Bravery, this makes him a dangerous opponent.
    • Ramza is a Jack-of-All-Trades and Master of None by default, but he can use two different EX skills to gain an edge: Galvanize, which distributes buffs to himself and his teammates; and Shout, which buffs him to the point of becoming a Lightning Bruiser. His unique gimmick skill, Focus, allows him to charge his EX skills more quickly and, thus, use them with greater frequency.
    • Kam'lanaut can gain buffs every time he lands a Bravery attack, in addition to acting as a Trap Master with his EX skill "Esoteric Region", which debuffs his enemies upon contact in addition to extending his buffs for up to four that he lays.
    • Gabranth, as a nod to his EX-focused kit in the PSP games, is the only character that has two sets of EX Skills which he can switch mid-battle. The set he starts off with is focused around offense and speed debuffs, while the other set is focused around defense and allied HP and/or Bravery recovery.
  • In the Bleach DS fighting games, Don Kanon'ji has a "Ratings Meter", befitting his TV personality, where certain attacks do more damage the better he is performing. Missing attacks or calling for certain attacks when he does not have the energy decrease his ratings, while doing damage gains ratings. Taunting significantly increases his ratings.
    • Hanataro Yamada has a weapon that heals instead of cuts, then, when enough wounds are healed, it deals damage in one attack equal to the damage healed.
  • Nariko in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale fights using a "key pose" system that momentarily places her in different stances based on how she uses her Square attacks, made for opening up unique combo-trees. What makes her odd is that the game has a number of conventions tied to the Square attacks, and this in turn influences the button-placement for other common mappings: Up Square is generally a Launcher Move (hers is Up Triangle, which is usually used for Anti-Air attacks), Grounded Down Square tends to be a sweep/tripping attack (hers is a weird ground bounce) and Neutral Circle is a Counter-Attack (hers is Neutral Triangle).
  • Dracula in Castlevania: Judgment has little-to-no mobility and cannot be knocked down. His dash/sidestep moves are all changed to teleports, including a variant where he teleports directly behind the opponent. Rather than jump, he teleports into the air and can stay up there for as long as his super meter holds out. The majority of his attacks, including normal ones, are projectiles and ranging moves. Basically, he utilizes a variant of his standard Castlevania moveset, in contrast to other boss characters who are given more traditional fighter designs.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • Shang Tsung's signature power is turning into other characters and having full access to their moveset. In some games he can turn into any character at will, in others he can only turn into his opponent (at least, when used by a human player). In later games, he can also heal himself by taking energy from his opponent. This is downplayed in Mortal Kombat 11, where his shapeshifting is limited to his pre-fight intro, his Brutality victory pose, and a few special moves where he imitates the Klassic ninjas of the series, meaning he essentially fights as a normal character.
    • In Mortal Kombat 11, Baraka has a unique variation named "Flag Day" where he can plant a Tarkatan tribal war flag into the ground, and as long as he's near it, his attacks are stronger, plus he (and only he) can pick it up and use it as a melee weapon or projectile.
  • Soul Series:
    • Yoshimitsu has a number of different quirks befitting his status as a Fighting Clown, and each one of them could've made him an example all by itself, but combined he takes it Up to Eleven. For one, he has by far the most moves in the game. Many of them do little more than confuse the opponent, but mastering each stance is what separates the best from the average. While other characters have stances, his are by far the most unique as they include sitting, flying while using his blade as a helicopter, and bouncing on his sword like a pogo stick, and all of them give him additional options. He's one of the few characters capable of self-harm with moves that Cast from Hit Points, even having an enhanced dodging mechanic that can get him out in a pinch but at the cost of his health, and he even can stab himself with a move... and take the opponent down in the process. Some of his moves can even harm himself if performed incorrectly, meaning that there's no margin of error when using them. Others are reliant on baiting the player and thus must be timed right, and this is in a series that doesn't feature an active counter system. Oh, and he's also the only character who can heal himself mid-match. Finally, he can make full use of Teleport Spam to further confuse the opponent. As you can tell, Yoshimitsu is what happens when someone with Combo Platter Powers is made into a fighting game character.
    • Algol doesn't play like a standard fighter in the series. For one, he doesn't use a standard weapon, but rather his body. He can create up to 10 different weapons, which includes Arm Cannons (making him the only standard character with a long ranged projectile), a Blade Below the Shoulder, blades that can be summoned from his back, just to name a few. He's one of the few who can teleport (alongside the aforementioned Yoshimitsu), which he does via a stance that involves sitting in his chair. Algol's variety of weapons means he can be Difficult, but Awesome; though he's tough to master, he can rush down his opponent, deal heavy attacks, and engage enemies trying to flee with Spam Attack.
    • V also gives us Devil Jin as a style exclusive to created characters. Thing is, Devil Jin doesn't use weapons at all, instead relying on his fists. That being said, the style gives the character Flight and Eye Beams, and combo potential in line with the Tekken series. Basically, apart from the Critical Edge, the style plays like Devil Jin transplanted in Soulcalibur while losing nothing along the way.
  • Soulcalibur VI gives everyone some kind of unique trait, but even among them, there are standouts that are firmly in this category:
    • Geralt's signs system, which grants him abilities like fire-based projectiles, a unique and exclusive counterattack, and an ability to slow down his opponent in a trap among others, are all unique in and of itself. They all require meter to use (whereas in this game, meter is mainly used either for Soul Charge or Critical Edge), while in his Soul Charge state he can use all five without meter.
    • Zasalamel's ability allows him to "curse" his opponent multiple times, which the players can then use to freeze time momentarily. Notably, the ability to curse is tied to his kick button, making it obviously quite different from your standard kick. Each curse is marked as a dark purple orb that floats around them, and once the player cashes in on it, they can gain a major opportunity to attack. However, putting a curse on someone requires an input and can be interrupted, thus requires good judgment to use.
    • Kilik, normally a fairly standard character with a Simple Staff, becomes one in VI. While most characters have a Soul Charge that grants extra moves that are more powerful and Scratch Damage while running on a timer, Kilik on the other hand has a different Soul Charge where he awakens his Superpowered Evil Side. While his health depletes with each attack, he becomes much more powerful all-around, and can last the entire match unless one lands a Critical Edge, which is unique itself and extra powerful, creating a risk-vs-reward factor in its use compared to others. Because of this, he effectively has two different gameplay styles in one, and is one of the very few characters with multiple Critical Edges.
    • Siegfried has a special state called "Dark Legacy", in that the lower his health gets, the more dangerous he becomes with his standard attacks becoming Lethal Hits, and he can cash in the whole thing to use a version of Nightmare's Soul Wave. Additionally, the player can force Siegfried to enter Dark Legacy beforehand by using Guard Impact a number of times, even if it's not parrying anyone. This state is marked by his sword and armor exhuming blue-and-purple wisps of energy.
    • Yoshimitsu would already count, as his style was too unique and off-kilter even before this game to not be "unusual". However, not only has he gained an Energy Absorption passive ability where he takes his opponent's meter and adds it to his own, but he gains a new mechanic called Soul Burn, which are effectively Brave Edges; enhanced attacks marked by yellow auras that consume his meter (unless he's Soul Charged, whereupon these special attacks become cost-free). Keep in mind, the Brave Edge mechanic seen in V has been otherwise completely removed from VI.
    • Azwel is very odd in the game, as he doesn't have a defined weapon but he summons weapons out of nowhere. His move list is divided into three different stances, each reminiscent of a fighting game archetype, and each essential to mastering him. This includes the "Comedy" stance (lance and shield) which focuses on parrying and long-range pokes, the "Beauty" stance (dual blades) which focuses on vertical invasion and mixups, and the "Tragedy" stance (axe) which focuses on damage and rushdown. Like Kilik, he has a different kind of Soul Charge as well and two different Critical Edges. Notably, his second Critical Edge requires the player to burn another meter of the Critical Gauge while Azwel is already under the effect of his Soul Charge—a requirement reminiscent of Algol's alternative Critical Edge in the preceding game.
    • Tira has two different stances with her Jolly and Gloomy personalities, which give her access to different moves, but cannot be switched on the fly. Furthermore, she has two different Critical Edges — with Gloomy delivering an extra blow if accessed. And finally, she can access a "burning" Gloomy state where she can access Soul Charge-exclusive moves until she switches back to Jolly, basically giving her a lite Soul Charge without having to actually use it for a duration.
    • 2B plays like she should from NieR: Automata but transplanted into Soulcalibur, and as such her style is very different from those found in the regular roster. She can switch between different weapon configurations, utilize flash steps to gain an advantageous position, gain bursts of speed, engage in combos while airborne, and call upon Assist Character Pod 042 for special moves and projectiles (itself a distinct rarity of its own) which makes her the only character in the game with an assist helping them, and only the second after Z.W.E.I. in V to feature one. She's also the one of the very few characters (the others being Kilik, Azwel and Tira) to have two different Critical Edges, but her second one is activated by a different command when she's at less than 30% health, wherein she self-destructs on her enemy. It will leave her at sliver of health, meaning she's the only who can be hurt from her CE and one must be sure they can win with it.
    • Amy has a meter called the Abandonment Level. Certain moves can raise it higher, which then increases the level, and if raised high enough the player can cash in on it to unleash a powerful attack. It should be noted that this is separate from the Soul Gauge, which she has in conjunction with the Abandonment Level, and she effectively has two Limit Breaks from unrelated sources. The battle director even compared using the separate meter to a strategic game of cards where one builds up to a strong card to secure victory.
    • Cassandra can effectively channel a Super Mode at will outside of Soul Charge at any given time, using the Divine Force. This increases her stats across the board for a very short duration. The main drawback is that using it causes her to take guard damage, significantly weakening her defenses should one rely on it too much. Furthermore, she's the only one who can activate a Guard Impact via a directional imput (rather than pressing a button), which makes it very useful, if also confusing at first. Cassandra also has a unique projectile by throwing her shield as a Precision-Guided Boomerang, which can catch enemies off-guard, but the trade-off is that she can't strafe during the process. Finally, she's one of the few characters who have two Critical Edges, with her second one being an enhanced version used during Divine Force that deals extra damage, and thus requires the proper timing to get right.
  • Tekken: Dr. Bosconovitch (only in the third game) spends his time prone to the ground and (at his best) crouching; he never jumps or indeed stands still. It's tricky both to play and fight him.
    • As any fighting game boxer of note, Steve Fox is an Extremity Extremist, only opting to use his fists. To that end, the kick buttons don't attack. Instead they let him bob and weave, which gives him additional punching moves. He has a select few foot attacks but you will be doing all your work with your fists while deftly dodging and evading enemy strikes.
    • Akuma's addition to Tekken 7: Fated Retribution also brings over his Super gauge from Street Fighter (giving him the power to EX his special moves and perform a super combo) and his ability to use jumping attacks. Since Akuma also retains his special moves from Street Fighter, he becomes mechanically unusual in spirit since his specials are command based as opposed to move strings, as per usual for Tekken. Eliza uses a similar two-bar super meter with the ability to EX attacks so technically Akuma is in similar company.
      • Geese Howard doesn't use Akuma's super meter but instead the MAX stock bar from The King of Fighters XIV, which allows him to use things like KoF's MAX cancels (in addition to super attacks). So he manages to be mechanically unusual amidst Mechanically Unusual Fighters.
      • Noctis Lucius Caelum is the only guest character to not have a super meter, so he ends up subverting the trend.
  • Killer Instinct 2013:
    • Fulgore does not have a Shadow Meter. Instead, he has a Reactor meter, which is divided in 10 parts unlike the aforementioned Shadow Meter, which is divided in 2. The Reactor meter determines how much energy Fulgore can spend on special attack cancels and shadow moves. During Season 1, the meter can either be charged manually with an special move, or by doing auto-doubles. It also makes Fulgore move faster. His Instinct Mode charges the meter automatically, and also allows Fulgore to spend the fully charged meter by firing a powerful beam that can take up to 40% of damage to the opponent.
      • Fulgore's meter was reworked in Season 2, but it's still different from others. His meter was changed to charge automatically at a set rate, and gain meter faster by playing aggressively. His Instinct Mode increases his charge rate to maximum (a later patch also adds the ability to perform a manual charge during Instinct, similar to Season 1, in order to gain a single pip of energy on command).
    • In all his appearances Spinal has had the unusual property of his floating skulls, which are earned by absorption and consumed by performing special moves. He is less effective if he doesn't have any skulls to cash in.
    • Kim Wu has a similar system with her ethereal dragons.
    • Aganos also has a similar (albeit unique as it does not require something to be done in combat to power him up) resource management system in the form of stone chunks.
    • For Maya in Season 2, her daggers enable her different special moves and can be leveled up each time a successful attack is made with them. As a result, if you lose a dagger, your moves become temporarily cut off (to the point that even tapping the punch button that would normally invoke a dagger attack will give you the kick of that strength instead; she has no hand attacks that can be done if she's not holding a dagger in that hand).
    • Season 2 bonus character Omen can stock three Shadow stocks as opposed to two. He also has an attack that will use all three stocks at once (no one else on the cast has an attack like this, Fulgore being the exception but also a Mechanically Unusual Fighter in his own right so he doesn't count).
    • Hisako has a secondary meter that automatically regenerates and turns her attacks into counter hits if the meter is at least half-full.
    • Mira (Maya's sister) has some attacks that require she drain her own health in order to use them.
    • Season 2's final character, ARIA, has three health meters as opposed to two. The other life bars belong to her alternate bodies, which exist as assist drones when ARIA's AI is not inhabiting them and ARIA gains different attacks depending on what body she is currently using. If a drone's vitality is drained (either because ARIA was wearing it when it expired or it was hit too many times when acting as an assist), then ARIA can no longer call on that drone for assistance or to inhabit for the rest of the match. Triggering Instinct Mode will cause all her drones to form on her at once, giving her a complete set of powers but exposing all her drones to damage at the same time.
    • Season 3 Guest Fighter Arbiter has his Type-51 Covenant Carbine rifle bound to the Hard Kick button. Pressing HK by itself will have him shoot it. However he only has 18 shots for the entire match. Once HK is pressed 18 times, that's it, he no longer can use his rifle (so no reloads). Instead he will swing the rifle as a bludgeon instead (this can also be done on command before he's out of ammo by pressing forward and HK together).
  • The 1993 Dragon Ball Z fighting game by Banpresto is a little too faithful to the source material: the ever-arrogant galactic lord Frieza won't walk or perform special moves in the first round of a match.
  • Many characters in Dragon Ball FighterZ have very unique fighting styles that separates them from one another:
    • The Weak, but Skilled Krillin can confuse his opponents with curving ki attacks, and also possesses two assist moves: throwing two rocks which opponents cannot Super Dash through, and tossing an unlimited number of Senzu Beans note  which can heal the player that picks it up.
    • Android 18 is a Puppet Fighter with several moves summoning Android 17.
    • Captain Ginyu is another Puppet Fighter, but with four puppets in the form of his fellow Ginyu Force members. He also has a last-ditch super move which allows him to perform a body change on the opponent, placing the victim in Ginyu's battered body while taking control of the victim's body. This only works once, and the victim can't use it if they've been body-switched, leaving them at a severe disadvantage.
    • Adult Gohan's basic super move increases his Potential Unleashed level up to a maximum of seven levels. At Level 7, Gohan gains unique combos and block-strings.
    • Goku Black has a second variation of his Kamehameha attack; by inputting a backwards fireball motion, Zamasu will appear to restrain the opponent, giving Black a free shot.
    • Similar to Venom from Guilty Gear, Beerus can summon orbs of destruction that he can push around, attacking opponents from multiple angles.
    • Piccolo doesn't have a ki blast like other characters. Instead, his standard "ki attack" is a long-range grapple with stretching arms.
    • Hit has no long-ranged attacks whatsoever. His standard "ki attack" is actually a frame-perfect counter attack that can work from any distance.
    • Yamcha's hard attack is a counter move, so aerial combos work differently for him.
    • Fused Zamasu has a special that gives him a flight mode not unlike Magneto from Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
    • Master Roshi is perhaps the only ki-abled character in the setting who never learned how to fly, because he hates the guy who invented the flying technique. As such, where every other character in the game gets the fast, homing Super Dash move, he has to make do by jumping really hard and shooting energy beams backwards, making his aerial movement a good deal more complex than everyone else's.
  • Gundam Extreme Vs. has the Crossbone Gundam Full Cloth, which only really has two weapons (a beam crossbow and a BFS), but also has two temporary super modes. One grants the crossbow's projectiles homing properties, turns its spread shot into a barrel-rolling Beam Spam attack, and grants protection from enemy beams that come at it from either the left or right. The other makes its melee attacks stronger, faster, and able to cancel into one another almost freely. A player able to carefully manage these two modes (along with their cooldown times) can rip through just about any opponent.
    • Also worth mentioning is Gundam Epyon; in a game built around ranged combat, it has absolutely no guns, instead fighting with a segmented whip and giant beam sword. However, its melee is very fast, damaging, and can be cancelled freely, and the rest of its moveset includes a mobility move that lets it dodge enemy attacks or quickly rush into melee range, and a move that empowers its sword even further at the cost of draining its boost gauge more quickly. Even though it's generally ranked low in the Character Tiers, in the hands of a skilled player Epyon can be an unholy menace.
    • Along the same lines is the Susanowo, which is similarly melee-centric. Unlike Epyon it does have a couple of ranged attacks, but neither is a standard move and its shot button instead slightly boosts its melee power for the next few attacks. It also has a one-time use Super Mode that gives it a massive speed increase on an already very speedy unit.
  • Street Fighter IV:
    • While playing as Cody, a knife will appear on the ground that only he can interact with. When he picks it up, it can strengthen his punch attacks or be thrown as a projectile attack.
    • Decapre, the newcomer in Ultra Street Fighter IV, is an interesting example. While she doesn't have any unique resources, she combines two well-established fighting game concepts into something that's rarely seen. On the surface, she's definitely a aggressive rushdown character with excellent mobility and mix-up and terrific Ultras make her viable threat. However, she's also a charge character, which contrasts her playstyle as charge characters in just about any fighting game typically lean toward the defensive side. The biggest draw with Decapre being a rushdown charge character is that while her tools are effective, they're not readily available, especially if you want to walk up to your opponent.
  • In Street Fighter V, two of the newcomers, Ed and Falke, don't use motion inputs for special moves. Instead, all their specials either use multiple button presses or require holding a button. The only exception to this are their respective Critical Arts.
    • Newcomer G is also unusual: he has what is called a “Presidentiality Meter”, which has him draw power from the earth to up to three levels. The higher the Presidential level, the more powerful his specials get.
    • Gill in Season 4 is the only character in the game who does not have Crush Counters. Instead he has a 'Retribution' mechanic tied to his Fire-and-Ice theme. Under certain circumstances the opponent will receive a Burning or Freezing debuff when being hit with a fire or ice attack, typically if it's an EX special or one of his V-Triggers is active. If, while the debuff is active, the opponent is hit with an attack of the opposite element, Retribution is activated, giving the move special properties such as popping them in the air for a juggle, creating unique combo opportunities.
    • Dan's V Trigger I in Season 5 is only one bar. This could be considered a good thing, as he won't have to sacrifice much of his health to activate it. Dan's V-Skills also give both him and his opponent V-Gauge whenever he uses them.
  • In the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series, the Long Range Fighters have a slightly different control scheme: The button all other characters have assigned to Shuriken, which normally has those characters throwing minimal-damage shuriken as a quick projectile and cannot be comboed into anything, becomes a general projectile button for whatever energy blasts, ammunition, or other signature projectiles these characters are known for. Unlike the standard shuriken, these deal a lot more damage and can be comboed into other projectiles. A more extreme difference are the puppetmaster characters in these games: The puppetmaster does not do any fighting whatsoever, leaving it entirely to the puppet(s). Even blocking is left up to a puppet. The puppetmaster and their puppets can be moved around the battlefield independently of each other too. Until Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, these puppetmasters were considered Game Breakers (except for Kankuro) because the puppets themselves cannot be defeated, meaning opponents had to deal with getting beaten down by an invulnerable being while the character they actually have to defeat is usually standing safe and far away.
  • Injustice 2 has the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who are listed as one character, but in practice is actually four distinct characters. The turtle you play as depends on what weapon you equip, and each turtle plays distinctly from one another: katanas yield Leonardo, a mid-ranged fighter; a bo staff grants Donatello, who fights at a range; sai switches to Raphael, a close-ranged brawler; and nunchaku grants Michelangelo, a tricky high-risk high-reward combatant.
  • In Indie Pogo, everyone is always jumping, with the ability to do a Double Jump. Except for Viridian and Welltaro, who instead reverse their gravity for the duration that the jump button is held and perform a Recoil Boost, respectively.
    • Welltaro also has an ammo clip that he uses for his gunboot-related attacks, which replenishes by landing on the ground or on an enemy. In addition, his Double Jump has him fire his gunboots directly downwards, giving him a pseudo-hover at the cost of ammo and damaging enemies below him. His Super also gives him an upgrade that persists for the match.
    • While he plays normally, Teslakid's attacks have the unique property of magnetizing enemies, allowing him to pull them in with his Neutral Aerial.
    • Bullet-Kin is probably the most unusual character in the roster. For starters, they can manually aim their gun with the right stick and fire with parkour, an input that no other fighter uses. They also have different guns that they can equip, which can be changed with their Neutral Special. Their Down Special creates a chest which can either contain a pickup or another gun that they can equip. Each of their guns has an ammo clip, and if it runs out, they have to be on the ground for a little while to reload. If they are hit while reloading, they drop their gun, and if they don't pick it up in time, it gets stolen and is lost. In addition, instead of a roll that can be cancelled into a rollkick like everyone else, their parkour is instead the dodge roll, which gives them some invincibility frames and deals damage. While otherwise normal, their melees have the unique ability to get rid of bullets and fire sword beams if you're at full health. Got that?
  • In Rivals of Aether, everyone has their own nuances and gimmicks, but a few characters stand out:
    • Wrastor is the only base character who can only do their strong attacks in mid-air, while everyone else is the opposite. He also possesses the unique ability to triple jump.
    • Elliana has several unique mechanics. She possesses a heat bar, which fills up when she does certain attacks, but can be emptied over time or faster by using her strong attacks, which shoot a lingering cloud of steam. Instead of a Double Jump, she hovers, which she can do until her heat bar fills up. If her heat bar overflows, her attacks that interact with it are weakened/disabled, but her strong attacks are replaced with a short-ranged explosion. Regardless of heat, she can perform her strong attacks on the ground or in the air. Also, many of her aerials can give her a little extra lift when the button is held. Got all that?
    • Guest Fighter Shovel Knight is also very unusual. Whenever he lands an attack, gems fly out of the enemy which can be picked up by Shovel Knight. These gems can later be cashed in with his taunt to buy either a different neutral special or a passive set of armor. Some of his attacks can be used to help him get more gems, such as digging up a large dirt block with a fully-charged up strong attack or fishing into Bottomless Pits.
    • Even more are available thanks to Workshop Support:
      • Mollo, one of the first complex characters on the workshop, does not have traditional strong attacks, instead throwing a bomb in a direction that explodes after a period of time. These bombs can be hit with attacks to move them around, and can be swapped out with other bombs with Neutral Special. And like Wrastor, she can use Strongs in the air as well.
      • Trummel and Alto, a snail riding a cloud, have an airdodge that acts much differently than other characters, wherein Trummel jumps off of the cloud, gaining vertical height and placing a trap on the stage but going into helpless state. They can also freely move while charging their strong attacks.
      • Suitcase seems to be a rather simple Fighting Clown at first... until you land enough attacks and level up, wherein they can use Down Special to gain a random item that alters their moveset slightly a la a Rougelike.
      • Aei and Ou are essentially a Rivals version of the Ice Climbers from Smash Bros, except that Ou, the assist character, has more options to be controlled but does not fight on their own, which can lead to Some Dexterity Required to be played as to their full potential.
  • Lethal League and Lethal League Blaze:
    • In the original game, Sonata is the only one able to Double Jump. In Blaze, every character could do this (with one exception, described below), so Sonata was given a triple jump at the expense of each jump being shorter than those of the other characters.
    • Doombox is the only character without a second jump. Rather, he can fly around in the air for a short amount of time, though the timer is reset any time he successfully attacks with his hands, theoretically allowing him to fly indefinitely.
    • Candyman can wrap around from one side of the screen to the other if he reaches the edge of the screen while sliding from a crouch.
    • Latch can cling to walls. Unlike other characters who can adhere to walls and ceilings, like Raptor and Switch, only Latch can attack when up there.
  • One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows: Saitama is invincible to anybody but another Saitama and can KO any other character instantly with one punch, true to his status in the source material. To make this even remotely balanced, he's always late to fights: if he is selected, the player must fight with a team of only two while Saitama races to get to the arena, with a timer indicating his arrival. Doing certain actions can move the timer down faster.
  • ARMS:
    • Byte and Barq work as a duo, with Barq functioning as an AI-controlled Assist Character and moving springboard.
    • Helix's scientific nature allows him to stretch and move to inhuman lengths and shapes. His dash and jump respectively double as a squash and stretch to duck under or flex above attacks. His ARMS weapons have slightly unusual timing; the Guardian is a shield that can block a few hits as it drifts towards the opponent that needs to be pumped a second time to speed up after closing the gap. His Ice Dragon has the typical delay between punch and firing and the Blorb bounces on the way towards the opponent.
    • Dr. Coyle is a standout example. The device on her back makes it so that she doesn't touch the ground. As such, she doesn't jump. Instead, pressing the jump button will make her float up to the normal jump height and just... stay there. As long as you're holding the jump button. She can still dash, block, punch, and everything. She's just up there now. In addition, the fact that she's not touching the ground makes it so that she is unaffected by things like moving ground or springs, for better or for worse. Oh, and on top of that, she drifts a bit in the direction she was moving in when you stop telling her to move. Since, you know, not touching the ground makes friction a bit harder to come by. Furthermore, while most fighters with a special ability (Min Min's Dragon arm, for example) lose it on being knocked down, Dr. Coyle activates her invisibility when knocked down. This way, she can mask what she decides to do upon rising.
  • The Tom and Jerry fighting game Tom and Jerry in War of the Whiskers has Robot Cat, a mechanical cat who, being one of the Final Bosses of the game, operates on a completely different level from everyone else. While every other playable character has punch and kick jab combos, a Ground Pound and the ability to pick up and throw items and other characters, Robot Cat completely lacks the latter three abilities and only has a single jab combo. In exchange, it has completely unique attacks only it can use: it can shoot fireballs from far away and set opponents running away on fire with a rotating flamethrower attack at close range. Its Berserk Mode is also completely different from everyone else; while most characters gain an attack/speed boost for the mode's duration on top of becoming invincible, Robot Cat instead flies into the air and can shoot fireballs with no cooldown instead (though it still retains invincibility).
  • Skullgirls has Beowulf, who, in addittion to a Stance System based on his chair, has two unique mechancics: First of all, his throws do not function the same way other characters' do: Instead of grabbing the opponent and immediately throwing them, his throws function more like a beat-em-up, where he can move around and pummel the opponent, and then use simple button combos to actually throw them. He also has a secondary Mana Meter called "Hype", which is built by things like taunting and slamming opponents onto his chair. Once he has enough hype and has done enough damage to the opponent, he can pin the opponent down after certain moves, instantly knocking them out.

  • Some characters and vehicles in Batman: Arkham Knight have unique quirks and abilities:
    • Harley Quinn cannot get to vantage points unless they are low enough for her to jump on and can't perform silent takedowns (only loud takedowns, which alert nearby enemies). She can however, turn berserk and dodge bullets once she knocks out enough enemies, and can perform up to 4 special takedowns before the effect ends.
    • The Original Arkham Batmobile. It's fast, but it's also extremely light and handles well. The other Batmobiles win races by drifting the corners to slow down the timer; This one is more likely to spin off the road when drifting, but it's handling allows you to boost through some corners.

    Beat 'Em Up/Hack and Slash 
  • Devil May Cry 4:
    • This game marks the debut of Nero, the first playable character in the series who has an emphasis on new mechanics never seen in the prior games, such as the ability to enhance his swordplay on-demand (Exceed), he's also the first true grappler archetype of the series thanks to his Buster mechanic, and his Devil Trigger functions differently as it supplements his attacks with extra strikes instead of directly boosting his damage.
    • For a series that places much emphasis on stylish melee combos, Lady in the Special Edition stands out for being the only playable character who's primarily focused around ranged attacks and combos; she has a grand total of three melee abilities (one basic ground combo, one air combo, and one Helm Breaker-style attack) and no Devil Trigger (her Devil Trigger gauge instead powers a Combo Breaker that involves throwing several grenades around herself), but boasts a vast array of ranged abilities that allow her to keep crowds of enemies at bay and empower her guns to levels never before seen in the series.
  • In Devil May Cry 5, V is basically the Devil May Cry equivalent of a Puppet Fighter, a la Zato-1/Eddie. Most of his attacks are done by summoning familiars, and the only direct attack he does himself is a finishing blow with his cane. His Devil Trigger gauge doesn't directly grant him Super Mode, but is instead used to either power up Shadow and Griffon, or to summon Nightmare, a massive beast capable of devastating attacks. V also doesn't have the straightforward Regenerating Health mechanic of the other playable characters while in Devil Trigger mode. Instead, Nightmare's presence increases the chance for enemies to drop Green Orbs.
  • The Creator class in Dungeon Fighter Online dumps the common keyboard or game controller-based beat-em-up controls for first person shooter-style keyboard plus mouse (to the extent of redefining a hotbar to free up the 'WASD' keys for movement). In practice, you control your body like a puppet with the keyboard and fight independently with the mouse cursor. Anything you can click on you can hit with telekinetic strikes or by gating in various energies, and while your body is subject to status effects, nothing short of death can interfere with your spellcasting. While the class does have weaknesses, there's a reason it isn't available for PvP.
  • In Hyrule Warriors, the DLC character Young Link functions a bit differently. Much like the aforementioned example of Gabranth in Dissidia Final Fantasy, his strength and range leave a lot to be desired in his normal form. However, he does have the ability to sacrifice his special attack gauge for magic, and when he enters Focus Spirit mode, he turns into the Fierce Deity, becoming much deadlier. The trick when playing as him is to enter Focus Spirit mode as soon as possible, and stay in it as long as possible.
    • While every character has a gimmick of some sort, Zant's is notable because it forces the player to pay attention to it. All of his combos end with an opportunity to mash the attack button to hit multiple times, which fills up his meter. If you try to do this when the meter is full, or just mash the button one too many times, Zant will fall over with an empty meter and end up vulnerable for several seconds. When his meter is full, you can either hold onto it for a damage boost (while trying not to forget and accidentally overfill it) or switch into berserk mode for several seconds where Zant becomes stronger, harder to control, and has only two attacks. On top of all this, nearly all of Zant's attacks leave him open for a few moments, forcing the player to choose his attacks carefully. The game never explains any of this, so most players are left wondering why Zant can't go five seconds without falling over.
  • In the Video Game Remake of The Ninja Warriors Again, we have Raiden, a 4-meter, 32-ton Transforming Mecha that dwarfs almost every other character in the game. He has Super Armor against most enemy attacks, a hold-based charged ground punch unlike the other characters, a special command to turn around thanks to his slow speed and size, and plays more like a beat 'em up boss than a player character. Furthermore, Raiden is also the only character with two separate modes, a melee-based humanoid form, and a ranged walker mode. The walker mode has some powerful ranged weaponry that consumes his energy meter, and he can only regenerate energy in his humanoid form.
  • Mercedes in Odin Sphere. While other characters use melee attacks to varying degrees, Mercedes wields a crossbow and is purely a ranged character. Being a fairy allows her to fly around indefinitely, and instead of a POW meter that acts as the character's stamina, depleting as you attack, but recharging if you idle long enough, she instead has an Ammo meter that can't be recharged until it's completely empty, and requires the player to manually reload (though absorbing Phozons still recharges it like they do for the POW meter.)
  • In Transformers: Devastation, Grimlock's Dino mode plays very different from the Vehicle modes of the other characters. He can get to full speed quickly by mashing one of the buttons, he doesn't have access to the upgraded Rush Attack, his ranged weapon is a short ranged fire breath, and he can actually use melee attacks as a T-Rex.
  • Alastor in the first Viewtiful Joe. Characters normally start out in their Henshin form, but revert to human form if they use up all their VFX and have to wait until the VFX gauge refills to transform automatically. Alastor, on the other hand, starts out in his human form and has to manually activate his Devil Trigger to transform, at which point his VFX gradually decreases until he reverts back to normal, making playing Alastor a game of finding the right time to transform and lay the smackdown in Devil Trigger form. He's also the only character who can Double Jump in his human form, and carries a sword to increase his melee range.
  • Almond in Noitu Love 2 is unable to directly attack enemies, instead requiring the player themselves to attack enemies in the style of a mouse-aimed light gun game. He can also shield himself from projectiles at will by ducking, and can be picked up and carried around with the mouse cursor.
  • Honkai Impact 3rd:
    • Several of Bronya's battlesuits, such as Yamabuki Armor, put up a block rather than evading when the evade button is pressed. Ultimate Evasion in this case is executed by dropping the block at the precise moment, triggering a Counter-Attack.
    • Fu Hua's battlesuits use what is normally the ultimate button as a second basic attack buttons, unlike other characters who only have the one, and instead of only have two combos - one that involves solely tapping the attack button and one that incorporates holding the button - can vary the inputs for multiple combos.
    • Several other characters' battlesuits have unique resources or meters of their own that, when filled appropriately, enable or change moves and need to be exploited effectively to bring out their full potential. Swallowtail Phantasm's Veil and Valkyrie Gloria's Resolve are examples of this.

    First Person Shooters/Hero Shooters 
  • Overwatch:
    • D.Va is the only character who remains in the game after being eliminated. Instead of instantly dying, she ejects from her mech suit and runs around as a completely different character, a Fragile Speedster. If she can survive long enough in this mode to build up her Ultimate, she can summon a new mech and return to her original state at full health.
    • Sombra is the only character with a true stealth option, with a playstyle built around picking off low-health targets and disabling the abilities of others to make kills easier for her team, as opposed to simply outplaying said abilities and getting the kills herself.
    • Wrecking Ball, being a mech piloted by a super-intelligent hamster, rolls around with the aid of a grapple instead of just running and jumping, and can be accelerated with thrusters. A massive part of playing the character well is figuring out how to control his movement.
    • Doomfist is practically a transplant from a fighting game, with abilities designed to combo-well together and a kit based around melee in what is primarily a shooter. Unlike the other two melee-focused heroes (Reinhardt and Brigitte) he doesn't have a shield and instead needs to use his rocket punches as a pseudo-movement ability to avoid danger.
  • Paladins:
    • Koga and Saati are the only Champions who doesn't have cooldowns for their Abilities, instead consuming a resource that automatically regenerates over time. Koga has 3 bars of Energy, and his Abilities each use one bar, while Saati has 8 Pips and each Ability consumes between 2 and 4.
    • Yagorath. When taking on the Calamity update show, the developers stated she was designed to provide "a completely different experience". Safe to say, they were not kidding around. She's the only Champion who can't use mounts, she her two forms with different abilities that make her almost two champions in one. Her kit is very Crowd Control focused, with her spit slowing enemies and poisoning them, Yagorath is "immune" to various kinds of Crowd Control when in planted form (Immune in the sense that most get converted into stuns), and even in rolling formation, she can be The Juggernaut, almost completely ignoring defenses to flank the enemy.
    • Octavia is the only Champion who can choose a Passive ability that affects the entire team. At the start of the match, before choosing her Talent and Loadout, she gets an additional menu where she can select reduced Cooldowns, increased Ultimate charge, bonus Credits for the whole team every 6 kills, or granting a shield when respawning.

  • Star Trek Online: Most ships either have equal numbers of forward and aft weapon slots to encourage trading broadsides, or more in the front than the back to encourage Chasing Your Tail tactics. The Vorgon Ytijara Dreadnought Cruiser bizarrely has three in the front and five in the back, the complete opposite of how ships are usually made. That said, it has decent stats for a ship of its type and comes with frigate-class hangar pets, so in the hands of a reasonably experienced build designer it's Difficult, but Awesome to play: you're generally recommended to put all dual beams in the front, and a mix of omnidirectional beams and Space Mines in the rear.

    Miscellaneous Games 
  • In Bloons TD 6, hero towers have at least two active abilities on a cooldown and have some kind of specialty. Geraldo the Shopkeeper doesn't have any active abilities, and instead has his own menu for his shop, where you can buy over a dozen different items using cash, some of which have very outlandish effects not found in any other towers.
  • Wacky Races:
    • The Convert-A-Car lacks the conventional gadgets the other racers have (such as projectiles and traps), with all of its abilities instead transforming the vehicle into an alternate mode for a period of time. These include an invincible turtle shell that can go under other cars, or a giant bowling ball that moves faster downhill.
    • The Crimson Haybailer is a slow Flying Car, and completely lacks Grip; however, it can fly over water and ground-based traps, and easily take shortcuts the other racers normally can't. And instead of having a flight gadget like the other racers, the Crimson Haybailer instead has a gadget that lets it drive on the ground for a period of time, allowing it to move faster and turn easier.
  • 18-Volt in WarioWare: Get It Together! is the only character who neither walks or flies. Instead, he just sits in one spot and does everything by throwing disks at it. Whenever he does need to move, some rings will be placed that he can move to by shooting them.

    Platforming Games 
  • Milla in Freedom Planet. While Lilac and Carol are speed-based melee characters to varying degrees, Milla's is noticably slower than either of them, and her fighting style revolves around Attack Reflectors and conjuring and throwing blocks. Her HUD is also noticeably different than Lilac and Carol's, with only half the health and no Power meter.
  • While X is the main character of the Mega Man X series, once Zero and eventually Axl become fully playable characters, X remains the only character who can get armor sets (and the resulting buffs and special abilities) from Dr. Light's capsules. While Black Zero and White Axl provide much of the same function, they're only available either via a cheat code or through New Game+ (while X gets another armor set, the Ultimate Armor, right alongside them.)
  • Broforce: Most of the Bros follow a basic formula: a basic attack, a melee attack, and a special attack unique to them. Some characters change it up with chargeable attacks or being melee exclusive characters, and then there's the Bros who really change things up:
    • Cherry Broling, due to her missile launcher leg, controls very differently from the other Bros. In order to fire in a straight line, you need to crouch and then press the basic attack/special attack button. Attempting to use either while moving will propel Cherry into the air and attack everything below her.
    • Macbrover Does Not Like Guns, instead preferring to use bundles of dynamite. The bundles will automatically stick to any enemy he throws it at and apply themselves after performing a melee attack, and can also be applied to any wall Macbrover is currently sticking to.
    • The Boondock Bros are pretty much the Ice Climbers of Broforce: two characters controlled in tandem by the player. The big difference between the two is that Ice Climbers get less dangerous when you split them up. The Bros on the other hand? Different story—if one of the Bros gets killed, the surviving Bro will fly into a rage temporarily and fire at a much faster rate. They can then use their special attack to revive their brother, or if they're both still alive, call in their father to take their number up to three.
    • The Brodator's basic attack throws spears which can not only be charged for more power, but can embed themselves in the terrain and be used like platforms, when any other projectile would simply destroy what it hits. In addition, if the Brodator gets killed, his body will linger a little longer to drop explosives and draw in nearby enemies for one last attack.
    • Brolander is built around a Magikarp Power style of play: successful kills make his attacks stronger, his movement faster, and grant him access to his special attack (he spawns in without it unlike the other characters) which also double as indicators of his level of power. Once he hits five charges, Brolander is the fastest character in the game, deals absurd amounts of damage, and can sacrifice his accumulated power for an emergency extra life.
    • Bro Lee and the Brode are the only characters in the game with directional attacks—a basic attack while on the ground with no input/moving left or right will launch them forward, basic attack while holding up will send them skyward with an uppercut, and holding down and attacking while midair makes them perform a dive attack.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Marvel Puzzle Quest has many of them, but the most complex is Legion, that for being a Mind Hive, frequently changes the colors of his powers depending on which one has the more ability points.
  • Meteos is a Falling Blocks puzzle game in which matching blocks of the same color will launch it and all blocks above it away. Each planet has its own playfield size, gravity, ignition strength, Planet Impact, and even which colors will be available and in what frequency. The result is that there are plenty of exceptions among the planets:
    • For most planets, chaining ignitions together creates stronger rockets to clear blocks by pushing them up offscreen, but on Hotted and Megadom, ignitions after the second become weaker, requiring the player to pace their gameplay slower than most other players.
    • Mekks, Gigagush, Grannest, and Wuud have fixed-height ignitions, requiring players to use the risky technique of letting their fields pile up to clear blocks.
    • Hevendor and Gravitas are at the extreme ends of gravitational force; Hevendor requires only one ignition to clear blocks, making it play more like a traditional puzzle game, whereas Gravitas has such intense gravity that first ignitions are totally ineffective, requiring two ignitions to launch blocks away.
    • On most other planets, the Speeder speeds up the game, but on Bavoom, the Speeder will slow down the falling blocks but will send far more of them down at a time.
    • On Vubble, vertically matching a set of blocks has no effect, requiring players to only match them horizontally.
    • On Ranbarumba, the strength of an ignition depends not on the rocket's size or number of ignitions like how all other planets work, but by the total width of the blocks matched.
    • And while it would otherwise play normally, Arod's gravity is so feeble that the entire playfield moves in slow-motion—while this means Arod takes longer to accomplish anything than most other planets, it is also largely able to shrug off attacks from most other planets.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Baldur's Gate II: the wild mage. While for its basic usage it is no different from a specialist mage, it is subject to a small chance of a so-called wild surge, that is, casting a spell might result in unwanted effects, from changing a simple change of color to losing money or worse self-destruct... Besides it has access to two exclusive spells: one that allows to cast ANY spell written in the mage book regardless of its level and if the wizard would normally be able to cast that (imagine a level 1 mage slinging level 9 offensive spells that would be otherwise unaccessible until leveling up), although at a high risk of triggering a wild surge; and another one meant to reduce chances of wilde surges, although it occupies slots that could be used for other very useful level 2 spells. The randomness and risky outcomes of this class make the wild mage a different experience from any other one in the game.
  • Date A Live: Spirit Pledge: Shekinah Tohka plays more like a Hack and Slash character. Whereas the other characters has one attack button, and 3 attack skills, she instead has 2 attack buttons (one for her melee and the other for ranged attacks) and and one skill button. Her attack skills are executed through an attack combination instead.
  • Girls' Frontline:
    • M4A1, Ribeyrolles, and Vepr are the only assault rifles whose tile buffs affect other assault rifles. Other ARs are limited to buffing submachine guns. Carcano M1891 and M91/38 act as their counterparts in the Rifle class. AUG is similar to the first three, except that her tile buffs affect all T-Doll classes.
    • Both AR-15 and M4 SOPMOD II sacrifice their body mod slot for an extra accessory slot.
    • Similarly, M16A1 has two body slots and an ammo slot. She is also the only AR who can equip body armor. Combined with her Stun Grenade skill, she acts more of a Stone Wall instead of a Jack-of-All-Trades damage dealer like other ARs.
    • Jill Stingray does not attack at all. Instead, she mixes drinks during combat that provide powerful buffs to the team. What kind of drink she makes depends on the combination of ingredients equipped in her three slots.
    • Instead of reloading like other machine guns, RPK-16 switches into "AR mode" when her magazine is empty, which alters her statline to be closer to an AR and allows her to keep firing. She only reloads (at a fixed pace, unaffected by RoF like typical MGs) when her skill activates, which also causes her to change back to "MG mode". Furthermore, she also buffs ARs and SMGs in addition to shotguns.
  • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth has the Original Generation characters Zen and Rei, who act as a single unit during battle. Among all playable characters they're the only ones who can't use a sub-Persona, which grants renewable extra HP and SP as well as customizable additional skills. To compensate for losing the bonuses, they have higher base HP and SP than others, they can regenerate SP by walking, and they have twice as many natural skills as other characters with a very diverse skillset, including all four elements, healing skills and buffs/debuffs.
  • RealityMinds: Udir doesn't have the more traditional self-buffs of other characters. Instead, he can copy his allies' buffs or reverse his debuffs.
  • Rise Of The Third Power: Gage mainly uses magic-based attacks, yet he generates Rage points instead of MP like the other mages. This means he can't open a battle with his best spells and instead has to use tanking skills to generate Rage.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has two:
    • Tora is the only non-Guest-Star Party Member who cannot bond with Blades. Instead, he has his own artificial Blade, Poppi. Poppi's stats, skills, abilities, and class can be customized and upgraded using currency and items obtained from the Tiger! Tiger! minigame. Additionally, due to Poppi using an internal power source rather than drawing upon environmental Ether, Tora is the only party member not affected by the Special-blocking miasma in the Spirit Crucible Elpys.
    • The other is an unusual example of this trope in how one of the playable characters can be used after a certain point in the game. In the heart of the Spirit Crucible Elpys, Nia reveals that she is, in fact, a Flesh Eater Blade, something that she had kept to herself up to this point (though Mythra saw her core crystal while they were in the hot spring back on Mor Ardain, and promised to keep her secret). Nia had been fighting purely as a Driver up to this point, which means she, like any other Driver, was supported by her own Blades as she used the weapons they granted to fight. From this point on, however, she can be swapped in as either a Driver or as one of Rex's Blades.

    Shooting Games 
  • Several ships in Event Horizon:
    • Object 34 is meant to weaponize Collision Damage, as it cannot equip any decent weapon, but gets instead an unusually large engine slot and innate 50% kinetic resistance.
    • Embryo and Chrysalis can only shoot backwards, and are meant to use Recoil Boost for propelling themselves forward.
    • Hatchet and Freighter similarly can only shoot sideways.
    • Wormship is the only ship with Subsystem Damage mechanics, getting a percentage of damage resistance for every intact tail segment, up to 100%. As a Necessary Drawback, its tail makes maneuvering difficult.
  • In Touhou mainline games:
    • Each playable character usually have two different shots: focused and unfocused, which can be different shots or just changing position/direction of the bullets. Marisa-B in Subterranean Animism, however, has five different shots. Instead of being tied to focus/unfocus mode, she can switch her shots by pressing certain buttons together.
    • In Imperishable Night, you play as a team of a human and a youkai. Each team has a Youkai Gauge, which goes from -100% (human) to +100% (youkai). That is, except for the Netherworld Team of Youmu and Yuyuko, whose gauge only goes from -50% to +100% due to Youmu being a Half-Human Hybrid. When you unlock solo characters, all humans only have -100% to +20% gauge, except Youmu who goes from -50% to +50%. The Netherworld Team is further unusual for having a wide shot while focused and a narrow shot while unfocused (the opposite of most characters), and for Youmu's externalized soul acting as an Attack Drone that fires in the opposite direction to her movement.
    • In Ten Desires, Youmu does not have a focused shot at all. Instead, holding the focus button causes her to charge up a Blade Spam attack that inflicts heavy damage to enemies directly in front of her.
  • In Star Control and its sequel, the Arilou Skiff is unique in that it ignores gravity and inertia, unlike every other ship. This allows strategies such as camping next to a planet, where other ships can't approach easily due to the gravity.
  • Wild Guns Reloaded introduces two new characters who differ wildly from Annie and Clint:
    • Bullet is a dog that can move freely while attacking. For weapons, he has an Attack Drone that hovers around him and targets enemies in an enlarged targeting zone, and said drone is invulnerable but can get hit which will stun it for a while. Bullet's jump also allows him to hang onto his drone to move around in the air quickly and freely.
    • Doris' playstyle eschews guns altogether for bombs, meaning that she deals heavy area damage but weapon pickups are useless for her. Additionally, her bombs can be charged up to deal extra damage in a larger area and rack up a score multiplier. Her dodge doesn't grant invulnerability unlike other characters, but moves faster than the other characters.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battlecon lives off of this trope. Every character has a unique ability, and no two are the same. Some notable examples are:
    • Bryon Krane has 5 mask counters. Each turn, his health goes back up to its maximum, but that maximum can be lowered by depleting his masks. Each successful hit you land on him shatters one of his masks. When he finally runs out, he can be killed by any attack. His attack style plays a little differently from other characters, able to punish players for being at certain ranges.
    • Cesar Grist is a heavyweight character with a twist. He doesn't start out strong, but each turn, he gains threat level counters. These tokens give him boosts to his power and stun guard, maxing out at +3 power and stun immunity. However, the next time he gains a counter, he crashes and can't fight for a turn. You need to make every hit count with this character.
    • Lesandra Machan has 5 familiars she can summon. Each gives her a passive bonus, and a one-shot bonus when she dismisses it. Her unique part comes with getting more familiars. If she dealt damage equal to the familiar's blood cost this turn, she can summon it for free. If not, she has to pay life equal to that cost.
  • The tabletop fighting game Burn Legend - which is basically "Exalted Mortal Kombat" and is in Shards of the Exalted Dream - has the Okami and Tennin as entire splats of mechanically odd fighters. The Okami gimmick is that they can shift between human form to use their martial arts moves and beast form to use their native techniques with a minor bonus to one stat; under normal circumstances, Okami generally shift to beast form and stay that way until the end of the fight, not even bothering with martial arts, but it was a decent effort even so. The Tennin, meanwhile, have powerful moves but have to use them sequentially - apart from martial arts styles, their Overdrive and Prayer Strip, their moves are divided into "Terrestrial", "Celestial" and "Sidereal" tier, with Celestial only working the turn after you successfully use a Terrestrial and Sidereal only working the turn after Celestial.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • South Park: The Fractured but Whole:
    • Kenny, a.k.a. Mysterion, is the only party member in the game who uses a Stance System. In his normal form he's a Glass Cannon with a Limit Break that kills him instantly while also heavily damaging surrounding enemies and inflicting Shocked, in his Ghost form he's unable to damage enemies and instead focuses on inflicting Status Effects and has a Limit Break that returns him to life and heals surrounding allies.
    • DLC character Mint-Berry Crunch is focused around using his abilities to apply "Mint" buffs to allies and "Berry" debuffs to enemies. Allies affected by Mint are shielded from damage by enemies affected by Berry, effectively rendering them invincible.

    Web Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Most Martial Arts styles that involve punching do so with the top two knuckles. A staple Wing Chun punch, however, uses the bottom three in a combination between a punch and a scrape.