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Story Reset

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So you have a comic or a novel that you just published and you reached the third sequel but now you hate everything about the second book. What do you do? Well a Story-Reset of course! This trope is used often to do a Soft Reboot of current events in order to do them over or change the outcome of the 'current' time line.

This trope allows you to go back a few pages or even a novel or two and rewrite the story after it has already been seen or published and either replace it with a brand new story or to change the original outcome while not being forced into doing a full Continuity Reboot. Basically keeping the previous stories and merely changing/rewriting the most current.

Some Tabletop gamers also have soft-resets like this which erase only one or two stories of play and go back to a previous point allowing different actions to be taken or different paths to be accepted in story telling. Similar to using a video game's Soft Reset or Save Scumming but in book or story format. Sometimes it's even present in such media.

Sometimes can overlap with Continuity Reboot in some ways, although a Continuity Reboot will often wipe out all of the current story and goes back to square 1; a Story Reset only wipes it back so far to a particular point saying previous stories are still canon and can sometimes cause Ret-Gone when characters introduced after a certain point are no longer present.


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  • DC Comics has done it once in the Parallax storyline, basically null and voiding 15 issues of the Green Lantern by performing some Stable Time Loop plot line.
    • Milestone Comics did this as well when joining the DC Universe by erasing most of the final story.

  • When Sherlock Holmes was first killed off, hundreds of early Fan Fiction stories appeared in newspapers and book stores as freebees re-writing the last book.
  • In Misery, Paul Sheldon tries to kill off the main character of a novel series that he's come to hate. When his number-one fan Annie Wilkes finds out, she loses it and forces him to write a sequel bringing Misery Chastain back to life in a way that she finds satisfactory. She is adamant that he not completely retcon the ending, but make it fit with the existing material.


    Video Games 
  • In Persona 2 we have Innocent Sin & Eternal Punishment with Innocent Sin taking place first with a Bad Ending then following the story with Eternal Punishment allowing you to restart the story with a different protagonist and get the Good Ending.
  • Chrono Trigger kills Crono partway through. To resurrect him the party has to go through a journey, which in a sense, resets the story and undoes the death.

    Web Original 
  • Trinton Chronicles has done this more then once in it's long running history; whole story arcs have been eradicated and replaced or the current story has been erased to a point and picked back up.