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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 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 

  • 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.

    Beat 'Em Up/Hack & 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/Hero Shooters 
  • Battleborn:
    • In a world filled with ninja snakes, robot sniper butlers, insane AI, and douchebag rocket falcons, Oscar Mike stands out for being the closest to an actual FPS character. While Overwatch and Paladins have had the 'generic FPS hero to ease COD or BF players into Hero Shooters' role, Battleborn leaned far harder into the MOBA aspects than either game, and as such, sticks out precisely for playing so traditionally.
  • 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.

  • Old School RuneScape has its unique (that is, not in RS3) spellbook in the Arceuus spellbook. Unlike the other three, which focus on general use, combat, and non-combat spells, this one focuses on the deceased and necromancy. This includes teleports to graveyards, freeing trapped souls to lay them to rest, reviving deceased plants, gaining special attack meter after killing something, and summoning undead thralls to assist you in combat, amongst other things. The only things that break this are the Degrime spell, which degrimes herbs, and the demonbane spells, which are theoreticallynote  super effective against demons.
  • 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 Plus (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, using his melee attack in an enclosed space will make him flay and string up an enemy, sending anyone who stumbles upon it to panic, and 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: acquiring ammo drops or 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, causes sporadic damage to nearby enemies, and can sacrifice his accumulated power for an emergency extra life.
    • Bro Lee, the Brode, and Mr. Anderbro are the only characters in the game with directional attacks—for the first two, a basic attack 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.
    • Mr. Anderbro's melee attack causes him to rush in the direction the player inputs even in mid-air, making him one of the most mobile characters in the game. In addition, his dash also causes him to rush forward the first time you hit the button, and if he runs into something with his rush attack, he generates a shockwave that destroys a small area of the terrain he connects with.

    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 
  • 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.
  • Fear & Hunger: Termina has Olivia, a playable character who is confined to a wheelchair. Her wheelchair is factored into her gameplay in multiple ways:
    • She cannot go up stairs, and must dismount her chair to crawl upwards. In tandem, she has additional speed if she goes down with her chair.
    • Olivia can be knocked off her chair in combat, leaving her defenseless.
    • She has a unique "Wheels" slot in her equip screen which is always taken up by the Foldable Wheelchair item.
  • 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.
  • Star Control: The Arilou spaceships, unlike all others in the game, are not affected by the gravity of the planet in the battle space. And the Slylandro berserk probes always move at a fixed speed, which they have no way of changing, but can reverse direction instantly.
  • Star Ocean: The Divine Force has a special device known as D.U.M.A., that allows the player-controled character to fly and charge at the target in an action known as "VA Rush". However, two party members do something unusual with their VA Rush.
    • Nina Deforges is a White Magician Girl, and as such she locks on allies, rather than enemies, and heals and buffs them with Magic Music from her bell. Because of this she can't use Blindside mechanic, as it involves VA Rush-ing at the enemy, and can't get extra AP from Blindsiding enemies. She instead gains them by supporting two or more allies at once.
    • J.J., unlike every other character, doesn't fly when preparing VA Rush. Since characters are protected by an invulnerable barrier while doing so, he can easily get enemies to flinch after trying to strike said barrier. However, he can't fill his VA gauge with normal strikes, and instead relies on highly specific Counter Attacks to do so.
  • Tales of Arise: Kisara's entire fighting style revolves around Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me, and because of this her dodge button becomes a block button, making her the only party member lacking the ability to dodge. She can learn a skill that allows her to (slowly) move while guarding, and most of her Artes get stronger when used out of a block.
  • 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 Metroid Prime: Hunters, Weavel's alt form functions noticeably differently to the other hunters in that he leaves behind half his body to serve as a gun turret, which also takes half his health gauge for itself.
  • In Touhou Project 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 Touhou Chireiden ~ 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 Touhou Eiyashou ~ 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 Touhou Shinreibyou ~ 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 meets 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.
  • Chess is a game where every chess piece is a Mechanically Different Fighter:
    • Bishops only fight on half the board due to being color restricted.
    • The King and Rook can combine to "castle", which allows a player to move both of them at the same time and have the rook jump over the King while doing this. No other piece in the game can combine with another like this.
    • The Knight is the only piece that can move through occupied squares. Its attack pattern is also unconventional, so it can attack enemy pieces without leaving itself open to retaliatory attack by the targeted pieces, barring enemy knights.
    • The Pawn is the only piece whose movement differs from the attack pattern, and it is only allowed to move forward, never backward. No other piece gets a doubled normal move to start (the King can castle, but not move two squares on a normal first move). It is also the only piece that can upgrade into other pieces. En passant gives it the only capture move that doesn't end with the capturing piece taking the square of the captured.
    • The Queen combines the power of two other pieces (Bishop and Rook) into a single piece, and is the only capturable piece that begins with just one of them per side.

    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.