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Mechanically Unusual Fighter

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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 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.

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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.

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.

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. Also compare Mechanically Unusual Class, the more RPG-like sister.

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Examples:

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     Fighting Games 
  • A number of original characters for M.U.G.E.N can be like this. An example is Omega Tiger Woods, who could deal heavy damage and attack the foe with a crosshair that dropped missiles (and a claw arm) on them, in compensation for being unable to block at all.
    • This is taken to an extreme with many non-fighting game characters who follow the rules of their home game rather than that of MUGEN. For example:
    • 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.
    • 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 (Super Mario Bros.) and M-NES Game 2 (Contra).
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Cental 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.
  • 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 HP attack automatically charges up his EX Gauge. When it fills and he enters EX Mode, his entire moveset changes, turning him into a 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 Play Station 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.
  • While the Super Smash Bros. series keeps nearly every single character using the same mechanics, a number of characters have at least one quirk that makes them different from the standard character template:
    • Kirby's inhale move lets him take an opponent's power, replacing his inhale with the opponent's neutral special; he can drop the ability by taunting. This may lend him other characters' mechanically unusual powers as well, such as Robin's limited Thunder tome (Kirby loses the ability once the tome expires) and Shulk's Monado Arts. If Kirby copies Olimar's power, he gains a unique move where he pulls out a Pikmin and instantly throws it, since Olimar's neutral special is just for gaining more Pikmin. If Kirby copies Ryu, Ken, or Terry, he can perform their neutral specials with command inputs (↓↘→+B) and, in Ryu's case, also copies the input-only Shakunetsu Hadouken (←↙↓↘→+B).
    • Link in Melee and beyond automatically blocks anything that hits his Hylian Shield, which he always holds out in front of him. Unlike the shield mechanic everyone else uses to block, this has no durability and can block any discrete projectile, so long as he's standing still or crouching. Brawl added to his idle animation to make him occasionally scratch his head with his shield-arm so players couldn't just turtle up behind it. His Moveset Clones also have this ability, as does the Hero in Ultimate.
    • A few characters in Brawl could switch between different forms that were treated as entirely different characters. Zelda (who could do it as early as Melee) could become Sheik at will, and Samus switched from her power armor to her Zero Suit and back when performing a Final Smash. Pokémon Trainer could also switch between Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard at will, and all three would tire out if used for too long at a time. The fourth game dropped these mechanics, replacing the Trainer with just Charizard and treating Zelda's and Samus' forms as separate standard characters. However, Pokémon Trainer returns in Ultimate with the same mechanics minus the tiredness, making him/her the only multi-form fighter on the roster.
    • The Ice Climbers and Rosalina & Luma are both Puppet Fighter dual characters, with the player controlling the lead fighter and the secondary fighter mimicking them, along with a way to split up the two (Ice Climbers have to exploit the AI, while Rosalina has a built-in split-up move).
    • Where most characters' up specials function as a third jump, Yoshi's and Jigglypuff's do not, with enhanced regular jumping ability to compensate. Ness and Lucas are similar in that their up special is a remote control projectile that you had to hit yourself with to get an aerial boost. Yoshi, in addition, lacks an ordinary shield, instead covering himself in an eggshell that prevents him from jumping while shielding. Yoshi however gained a proper triple jump in Brawl, and the ability to jump out of shield in 4.
    • All of Meta Knight's special moves double as recovery moves. Each one is so potent on their own - especially on top of his multiple jumps - that they render him helpless when completed, preventing players from chaining them together.
    • Olimar is a Minion Master whose majority of attacks are tied to his Pikmin.
    • Solid Snake has attacks with unusual timing to them, including an up special with extremely high recovery which makes him very vulnerable. His Grenades are projectiles that deal Scratch Damage if they hit his opponents, as their timed explosions are what causes any real damage and his Remote Missiles are manually controlled. Originally in Brawl, he had a very unconventional down smash, involving him planting a landmine that would either explode after a set amount of time or when someone got too close to it. As of Ultimate, his down smash was changed.
    • Lucario grows stronger as he takes damage, increasing both his damage output and the size of his special moves' effects, making him a character all about managing risk and taking advantage of bad situations. While the fourth game extended the increased damage effect to every fighter through the new Rage mechanic, Lucario remains the only one whose moves behave differently because of it.
    • Mega Man has several basic attacks replaced with projectiles in order to mimic the run-and-gun playstyle of his original games. And while all other characters that perform their standard attacks will stay in place or travel a short, fixed distance, this doesn't apply for Mega Man. He can walk forward while doing so. In turn, this means he doesn't have a proper forward tilt attack.
    • Wii Fit Trainer has a Status Buff move that increases their attack power, a special move, Sun Salutation, that will slightly decrease their percentage when fully charged, and an up smash that also functions as a dodge but is otherwise mostly normal.
    • Little Mac is a boxer, and so his power meter and focus on ground combat make him closer to a traditional fighting game character. While charging his forward smash, not tilting the directional stick, tilting upward, or tilting downward can cause him to perform up to 3 different smashes, which consists of a straight punch (not tilting), uppercut (upward), and body blow (downward). Other characters, like Mario and Ganondorf will only change the angle of their forward smash diagonally thanks to the tilting mechanic.
    • Robin's home game has Breakable Weapons, so their Levin Sword and large variety of tomes have limited uses before they have to recharge. Robin is also the only character to have "Smash" Air attacks. The Smash versions use the Levin Sword (and consume its uses) while the standard ones use Robin's Bronze Sword. Their standard attack can be very limited if used carelessly, because of the Breakable Weapons mechanic. 2 slashes with the Bronze Sword is the beginning of their standard attack, then it can end with a small explosion from the Arcfire tome or a multi-hit combo with the Elwind tome, depending on how the attack button was pressed. If both tomes ran out of power, all Robin can do are the 2 slashes. Also, multi-hit combos for every other character can be performed indefinitely, but keeping up Robin's Elwind combo will eventually drain the tome's power and he/she will automatically toss it aside.
    • The customizable specials for most characters in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U are just slightly modified versions of their normal moveset, but Palutena and the Mii Fighters have entirely distinct special options (for example, Paluneta's recovery can be a teleport, a gliding-descent jump, or an explosion boost), with the caveat that they are restricted to their base special set in online play just like everyone else. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate scrapped customizable specials for the base roster, turning Palutena into a normal fighter, but Mii Fighters still have their customization intact and any sets can be used in online play.
    • Shulk has a Stance System composed of 5 sets of different combinations of buffs and debuffs.
    • Bowser Jr. (and by extension, the Koopalings) has higher defense on the Clown Car than his body, making him the only character with "sweetspot" hurtboxes. On using his up special, he loses the car entirely and gains a new aerial move until the car respawns.
    • Duck Hunt's attacks don't always have to come from the duck and dog themselves, but also from the unseen hunter. The tin can may be used as a landmine, anti-air, anti-ledge, or as a suicide bomb. The clay pigeon does most of its damage when hit by the zapper, so deflecting or countering it is no big deal compared to other projectiles. And the Wild Gunmen can be used as both a projectile barrier and to punish charge-up moves (the opponent must either release the move early and waste it, get hit by the gunmen and waste it, roll out of the way to keep their charge (assuming that the move actually allows it) and risk either getting hit by the gunmen or being hit by a follow-up attack or shield to keep their charge and risk getting grabbed).
    • Ryu(and later Ken)'s specials can be used with their inputs from Street Fighter, which results in stronger versions. In addition, his Final Smash changes depending on his distance to an opponent (Shinku Hadoken at a distance, Shin Shoryuken up close), referencing his Ultra Combo Double from Ultra Street Fighter IV. He also has weak and strong attacks depending on how long the attack button is held and can even Lag Cancel into Combos which no other character in Smash can do. Even his Jump Physics are uniquely abnormal, being relatively stiff with little ability to change direction in midair. In essence, Ryu, the archetype for the Fighting Game character, plays exactly like a Traditional Fighter transplanted into a Mascot Platform Fighter. He becomes unusual by not being unusual!
    • Cloud has his Limit gauge, which fills as he takes damage. When it maxes out, his next special move will be enhanced for better damage, speed or maneuverability. He can also manually fill it as his down-B; if it's full, down-B performs Finishing Touch instead.
    • Bayonetta is very unusual. She has a large focus on combos involving her special moves, and she also carries over the "Bullet Arts" mechanics from her home series, where she can fire bullets with no knockback if the player holds down the attack button after some attacks. Depending on when her opponent attacks her while dodging, Bayonetta will perform Bat Within, where she'll receive less damage, while avoid flinching and knockback. It isn't advised to initially double jump, then use her up special for a third jump for recovery, as it doesn't cover enough air. You'd actually need to use her up special first, then jump, then you can use her up special again. Bayonetta's forward aerial and forward tilt attacks both consist of 3 consecutive attacks, each attack happening on input as opposed to being automatic. Lastly, her up aerial and neutral aerial attacks will be extended if you hold down the attack button, which is coupled with the aforementioned "Bullet Arts" mechanic.
    • Inkling's attacks cover opponents in ink, which acts a status effect that makes them take more damage until the ink fades away. The drawback is that, just like in their home game, Inkling doesn't have Bottomless Magazines; if they run out of ink, their attacks are either disabled or heavily weakened until they submerge in ink to refill, which requires the unique combination of holding the special button while shielding.
    • King K. Rool has a unique form of super armor involving his belly, reducing damage to the area by half. It is essentially as a second shield with its own durability that comes in effect during certain attacks. Like a shield, it can be cracked, and K. Rool will be dazed.
    • Joker is a Magikarp Power character, having average attacks and specials until he summons his Persona, Arsene, who buffs his strength with its support and adjusts his specials (such as changing his recovery from a tether to a high-jump). Arsene is summoned when Joker's Rebellion Gauge fills up over time, and the process speeds up as Joker takes damage, falls behind in damage/stock lead, or uses his Rebel's Guard special to block attacks. Arsene only sticks around until the Rebellion Gauge empties, and Joker will need to refill the meter afterwards to resummon it.
    • The Hero from Dragon Quest has a lot of Japanese RPG mechanics to fit with his home franchise. All of his smash attacks have a small chance to deal a Critical Hit, doubling their knockback and damage. Similar to Robin's limited tomes, he has to manage a Mana Meter for his specials, with all of them except down special having multiple levels of charge that increase in effectiveness and MP cost. With his down special, Command Selection, the Hero pulls up a menu with four randomly selected spells he can use. The spells are powerful, but often expensive, and the menu doesn't pause the game, leaving Hero vulnerable if the player doesn't think fast and choose quickly. And there's no guarantee any of the four spells will be helpful to the player in their situation; they can close and re-open the menu by tapping shield to re-roll, but again, it's time the enemy has to exploit. The spells themselves have a very wide range of effects, many of them unique or only available to a few other fighters; most notably, the Hero is the only fighter that can instantly KO characters without a Final Smash, and he can do it in multiple ways (Whack/Thwack rises in KO chance as the opponent's percentage increases, Metal Slash instakills any metallicized character, and Kamikazee KOs Hero himself). If you're felling really lucky, you can roll the dice with Hocus Pocus, which can duplicate the effects of any of Hero's other spells and a number of items, both positive and negative. And as mentioned earlier, he has a shield to block attacks from the front just like the Links.
    • Banjo and Kazooie are unique among characters with limited ammunition in that the Golden Feathers they use for their side special are not restored until they lose a stock. Their up special, Shock Jump Pad, also doesn't leave them prone (unlike the similar recovery that Sonic has), meaning they can still double jump and air-dodge after using it.
    • Terry Bogard also comes from a fighting game series much like Ryu and Ken. So he has similar mechanics including having traditional Fighting Game special move inputs for certain attacks and always facing his opponent in 1-on-1 matches. Power Wave has two different levels depending on how long the button is pressed, Rising Tackle has three, while Burning Knuckle, Crack Shoot, and Power Dunk have four due to being affected by motions and timing. Also he's the only character with two side specials (Burning Knuckle pressing forward, and Crack Shoot pressing backwards) and he gets access to two Super Special Moves, Power Geyser and Buster Wolf, when his status is critical (100% damage in normal modes, 1/3 health in Stamina Mode). Terry can also perform an uppercut after spot dodging, which can work as a counterattack.
    • The majority of moves within the SSB series are consistent in how they work. Their range, trajectory, damage, and other attributes are never affected by RNG. As referenced previously, the Hero's smash attacks and down special commands (in addition to the Hocus Pocus spell's unpredictable outcome) make him rely on RNG far more than any other character in the series to date. Prior to his appearance, other characters also relied on RNG, but to a lesser extent:
      • Luigi's Green Missile is a flying headbutt that varies in strength and horizontal distance depending on how long it's been charged. Regardless if it's been charged or not, there's a small chance that it will misfire, causing an explosion that makes Luigi fly farther and faster, not to mention causing more damage and knockback.
      • Peach's Vegetable makes her pluck out one of many types of turnips with different facial expressions. The rarer the expression, the more damage and knockback it deals. She can even pluck a Mr. Saturn or Bob-omb, but these are also very rare. As Peach's Echo Fighter in Ultimate, the same applies for Daisy.
      • Mr. G&W's Judge gives him access to 9 attacks with different attributes. Each attack is represented by numbers 1-9 and the number you'll get is random. The exact mechanics vary between games as to how often a number would appear if it's already been rolled.
      • Olimar's Pikmin Pluck lets him pluck a type of Pikmin from the ground. In Brawl, the Pikmin that came out was random, but certain types had a high chance depending on the terrain Olimar pull it out of. Averted with 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate, since Pikmin types will always come out in a set order.
      • Also in Brawl, Snake's up smash makes him pull out a mortar. The trajectory of the shell that flies out is a bit random, as its horizontal movement will cause it to fall behind Snake or in front of him. This was changed for his appearance in Ultimate, where the shell will always fall in front of Snake.
      • Villager's up and down aerials will make them randomly pull out one, two, or three turnips. The strength varies depending on the amount of turnips the Villager pulls out.
    • Some characters have basic attacks (e.g. standard attacks, smash attacks, aerials, etc) that stand out more than others, because of their unique properties. Several have been mentioned above, but here are some others:
      • The forward smashes of Ness and Lucas can reflect projectiles.
      • There are several characters that can perform multi-hit combos during their standard attacks. First, they'll usually initiate with 1 or 2 attacks, then perform said combo. However, Meta Knight performs one right off the bat. One of the Hints in-game even states that he "doesn't do 'standard attacks'."
      • Corrin is normal for the most part, but has one minor, yet odd mechanic. Standing directly in front of them while they charge a forward smash will cause the opponent to receive weak, multi-hit damage, courtesy of their sword Yato. Starting with Ultimate, Ness' spinning yo-yo while charging his up and down smashes does the same thing.
      • Down smashes are low attacks where characters either swiftly attack one side, then the next (e.g. Luigi, Captain Falcon, and Cloud) or attack both sides simultaneously (e.g. Mr. G&W, Fox, and Wii Fit Trainer), which helps defensively. However, Zero Suit Samus, Robin (only with the Bronze Sword), Mewtwo, Lucas, Ryu, and Bayonetta have one-sided down smashes, attacking only in front of themselves. As mentioned in his entry further above, Snake's landmine down smash was very unusual, but it was changed in Ultimate, specifically to the type that Luigi, Falcon, and Cloud performs.
      • When a Shield breaks, all characters will fly up a few feet, fall back down, then become dizzy for a certain amount of time... except for Jigglypuff, who has the unfortunate distinction of flying much higher at breakneck speed! If an overhead obstacle halts her momentum, such as a ceiling, she can land like everyone else and get dizzy. If not, she'll fly out-of-bounds and get KO'd.
      • As mentioned in his entry further above, Terry can perform an attack out of his spot dodge animation. So far, he's the only character that can perform this maneuver.
    • Some gameplay mechanics aren't universal and can only be performed by certain characters. These include wall jumps (e.g. Mario, Fox, and Greninja), wall clinging (e.g. Squirtle, Diddy, and Bayonetta), crawling (e.g. Bowser, Snake, and Inkling), tether grabs (e.g. Samus, Luiginote , and Pac-Man), and tether recoveries (e.g. Young Link, Lucas, and Isabelle). There are some characters that can perform more than one of these mechanics.
      • To expand on tether users, even they don't share the same abilities. Tether grabbers like Yoshi, Villager, and Pac-Man can't tether recover. Likewise, tether recovery is possible with the Ice Climbers and Ivysaur, but they can't tether grab. Only a few characters can do both, such as Samus, Young Link, and Toon Link. Depending on the character, their tether will either be a grab or a special move. However, the Belmonts are the only characters that can tether recover with their up, front, and back aerial moves, thanks to their whips.
    • There are quite a few characters with counters, allowing them to instantly counter-attack if struck. Peach's counter, however, is mapped to her neutral special instead of her down special, which can make for a Damn You, Muscle Memory! situation. Corrin's counter launches the opponent directly up and can hit from behind as well as in front. Shulk has two variations of his counter depending on if he's in the air and if the player is holding forward. Bayonetta's counter doesn't cause a counter attack but makes the opponent significantly slower on top of negating damage. Incineroar's counter only negates knockback, not damage; however, in return, the next attack he makes will become much more powerful, unless he waits too long or gets hit. Finally, Joker's Rebel's Guard is really unconventional, charging up his Rebellion Gauge instead of counterattacking; while it only negates most of the damage taken while active, it can also be held through attacks, making it less risky to throw up.
      • Speaking of counters, most defensive moves serve as either a counter or reflector, but not both. Not so for K. Rool, Joker with Arsene, or Palutena in Ultimate, all of whom get down specials that act as both depending on what type of attack they're defending against.
  • 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: Senzu bean tosses (of which he is limited to three per match) which can heal the player that picks it up, and his curving attacks.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

     Beat'Em Up/Hack and Slash Games 
  • In a game full of melee specialists, Lady's the only character in Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition with a focus on firearms. On top of that, she doesn't have a Super Mode (with her Devil Trigger gauge instead powering a Combo Breaker that involves throwing several grenades around herself).
  • V in Devil May Cry 5 does not fight directly, instead relying on demonic familiars under his command. The only time he personally dirties his hands is to finish off enemies, which only he can do. His Devil Trigger meter is used to either power up his regular demons or to summon up Nightmare, a massive beast capable of devastating foes.
  • 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 Attack 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.

    First Person 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.
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    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.)

     Puzzle Games 
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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 it's 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 
  • Kenny AKA Mysterion in South Park: The Fractured but Whole 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 Standard 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.

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