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Sorry I'm Late

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You're The Hero in a videogame. For some reason you got separated from the rest of your party. Cue (usually) a few not-so-random encounters where they join up with you one or two at a time in the middle of the fight.

Doesn't actually have to be in a battle, though it usually is. It still qualifies as this trope if you just find the rest of your party walking around.

Sometimes overlaps with Big Damn Heroes, but in this case, it's the supporting heroes who come to back up the protagonist when he's having a rough fight alone.


First-Person Shooter


  • EVE Online has this with either event-driven NPCs or that lone wolf in your fleet.

Platform Game

  • American McGee's Alice: The White Rabbit tries to get Alice to apologize for making him wait for her, when he was the one who ran off to leave her running after him.
  • When playing on Hard Mode in Mega Man X8, after his Mini-Boss encounter at the final level, Vile ambushes your backup partner, requiring the player to use only a single character for the rest of the level up to the fight with Sigma. After shaving off a portion of Sigma's health, there's a scripted event where he grabs your player character, which cues the arrival of the backup character to rescue their partner.

Role-Playing Game

  • A possible NPC example from Dragon Age II. In the Act II endgame, Isabella will betray you and run off with the loot. However, if you have a strong (Friend, Rival, or Romance) relationship with her, she will find herself unable to leave your side and join you in the middle of the battle against the act boss.
  • In EarthBound (1994), Poo leaves your party to go training after you leave the pyramid in Scaraba. He returns during the boss fight with Master Barf in Deep Darkness.
  • Final Fantasy
    • In Final Fantasy IV, Rydia returns as your party is squaring off against Golbez.
    • In Edge's chapter in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, any of Edge's ninjas (that weren't Killed Off for Real, which is possible) will rejoin Edge mid-battle when Edge attempts to storm the Tower of Babil.
    • Final Fantasy VI
      • Sabin first appears while your party is in a Boss Battle against his The Rival Vargas.
      • And Gau has an entire gameplay mechanic where he'll do this on the Veldt a few battles after he Leaps away.
      • Terra returns after Humbaba Snorts away two party members. And she's stuck in her Trance form.
    • Final Fantasy IX: In Pandemonium, Zidane rebuffs all his friends' attempts to snap him out of his Heroic BSoD. When Zidane gets into a fight alone, he is soon joined by Freya and Amarant, followed by Steinger and Quina in another battle, and Garnet all by herself in the third and last.
    • Final Fantasy X: In the Bikanel Desert where Tidus first fights some monsters alone until Lulu then Auron arrives.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has a boss fight starting with Hope as your only playable character. Considering that Hope isn't exactly the most durable character on the team, he ends up having quite a hard time just surviving on his own until Lightning and Fang arrive to back him up. Note that since he is also The Medic, it is possible (with enough grinding) to keep him going indefinitely, in which case Light and Fang rush in after a certain time anyway, even if Hope isn't nearing death.
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, one of the fights against Karst and Agatio works like this- much to their chagrin since their original plan was to fight the group two at a time. You don't have to win the fight either. When it ends, the Enigmatic Minion intervenes before anyone can get killed, then announces that the Party from the last game are on their way up, forcing the pair to flee with the plot trinket.
  • Returning from the Verseworld for the first time in Grandia III, Yuki and Alfina meet up with Miranda and Alonso, surrounded by Goddamned Bats.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails
    • Trails in the Sky: In FC during the last battle, Cassius, who has been missing the entire game shows up to critically injure the Final Boss. In SC, as Estelle has been captured and surrounded by soldiers, Joshua steps in takes them down.
    • Trails to Azure: After Randy sneaks out to settle things with his rogue uncle and cousin, he finds himself ambushed, until Lloyd and the others manage to catch up with him.
    • Trails of Cold Steel II: After Rean willingly surrenders to enemy forces, he manages to escape and once he manages to reach outside the airship, the entire Class VII shows up to help him.
  • Paper Mario
    • Also in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, when Mario is separated from his friends and thrown into a one-sided boss fight against Doopliss, a shapeshifting ghost who has stolen both Mario's identity AND his friends, Mario is rescued after a few rounds by Vivian.
    • During the final battle of Super Paper Mario, after fighting for a bit Mario is joined by all his allies, thought to be dead.
  • Tales of...:
    • Tales of Symphonia
      • Early on, Lloyd is captured while he and Genis are looking for Colette and the others. After a short dungeon on his own, Lloyd runs into the base's leader. Before they come to blows, the rest of the party shows up.
      • This also happens later in the game, going through the base of the world tree, the other party members stay behind one after the other to allow the others to continue. Just as Lloyd gets to the end, they all show up again to help.
      • Kratos actually says "Sorry I'm late" when he turns up to fight off the "Desians" attacking Colette in the OVA.
    • In Tales of Vesperia, when you fight Gusios for the first time, Yuri will start off alone due to a cave-in Gusios caused, separating him from the rest of the party. As the battle progresses, Repede, Estelle, and Rita will join in. Rita even says "Sorry I'm late."
    • This happens in the final battle of Tales of Xillia. Made awesome by the fact that each member unleashes their Mystic Arte as they arrive.
  • In an inversion, Valkyria Chronicles has you separated from your squad in one chapter. Instead of being rescued by your allies, you find and rescue them from an overwhelming assault.
  • Wild ARMs 4 has a series of battles in which the four protagonists are supposed to fight alone. However, Yulie ends up against impossible odds since it was a ploy to split them up and capture her. About two rounds into the fight, assuming you survive that long, the rest of the party will show up to rescue her.