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Playing With / So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear

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Basic Trope: A Video Game character leaves the Player Party and takes their equipment with them.

  • Straight: Cute Witch Marcy's a bit of a Glass Cannon, so the player upgrades her armor... right before she abruptly leaves the party for a while, causing the player to lose access to the armor they put on her.
  • Exaggerated:
    • All of The Hero Dirk's friends keep running off on their own for various reasons, always taking their gear when they go.
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    • Marcy takes off with all of her gear... And the rest of the party's gear as well.
  • Downplayed: Marcy's gear was mostly exclusive to her anyway. Her running off with it only deprived the party of the chance to sell it after she left.
  • Justified:
    • Marcy is going behind enemy lines on a dangerous solo mission, so naturally she's not going in unprotected.
    • Marcy is a mercenary who was temporarily part of a team. Why shouldn't she take her share of the gear?
    • Marcy is either The Mole or she's planning to pull a Face–Heel Turn, and taking away the gears from the party can weaken them severely, or allowing her to use said gears against them.
    • The party is suddenly forced to abandon Marcy behind enemy lines, leaving them no time to reclaim her gear.
    • Marcy suffers a Plotline Death in a setting with a strong tradition for Due to the Dead. Stripping her of her gear before burying her would be seen as highly disrespectful. Alternatively, the way she was killed (burned, fell to her death, vapourised) renders the gear ruined or inaccessible.
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  • Inverted: Guest-Star Party Member Kyle has great gear which the player immediately strips off of him.
  • Subverted:
    • When Marcy leaves, she also leaves behind a package for the rest of the party to open.
    • When Marcy returns to the party later, she'll have new equipment that's better than what she had when she left.
    • If you fill Marcy's inventory to the brim with powerful artifacts, she will return later with them enchanted into being the best gear in the game.
    • Marcy deserts the party and takes her stuff with her. You find her corpse in the next dungeon, and are able to reclaim all your lost gear.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...But instead of holding her gear, it's got a Plot Coupon and a thank you note: "So long... And thanks for the great gear!"
    • Marcy would have rejoined with new and better equipment regardless of if she was fully geared up or if you had just stripped her bare before she left, so whatever she had on when she left is well and truly gone.
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    • However it merely amounts to Bragging Rights Reward. You'll miss using it when they would be most needed against every boss but the final one - who even without the enchanted equipment is easier than fighting the prior bosses without the artifacts.
  • Parodied: Squishy Wizard Leon extorts the party he's just joined to buy him the best gear available... Then, after getting suited up, reveals he's a Guest-Star Party Member and runs off laughing.
  • Zig Zagged: If Marcy doesn't get to take the gear the player bought her along, her mission fails and she's horribly killed. However, some players consider Marcy The Scrappy and would gladly see her killed... but doing so locks out the Golden Ending. On the other hand, stripping Guest-Star Party Member Kyle of all his gear and sending him off without a scrap on him doesn't have any effect on the plot...
  • Averted:
    • Nobody ever leaves the party after joining, even temporarily.
    • Alternately, anyone who leaves the party always leaves their equipment behind.
    • Anyone who leaves the party is never gone for long, and they still have the same equipment they did before when they return.
    • The Guest-Star Party Member lacks a usable inventory so that players can't give him any items, the better not to lose them when he leaves.
  • Enforced: The game tries to create the impression that each party member has her own individual motivations, and that teaming up is just their way of furthering them. Obviously, any gear they earn in the process they're going to keep for future adventures.
  • Lampshaded: "Somehow, I knew she'd abandon us as soon as we geared her up like that."
  • Invoked: Marcy knows she has to leave her friends for a while to do something really important, but doesn't tell them beforehand because she knows Dirk's Jerkass friend Sten would force her to leave all her expensive equipment behind... and that's suicidal when moving through enemy territory.
  • Exploited:
    • Dirk takes advantage of Marcy's departure to get rid of gear that's clogging the party's inventory as Shop Fodder.
    • Knowing that Marcy is going to pull a Face–Heel Turn, Dirk promptly takes away all of Marcy's gears and delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle in the subsequent fight.
  • Defied:
    • Dirk refuses to let anyone leave, because it's too dangerous to travel through The Empire alone.
    • Marcy decides that the party needs her gear more than she will and leaves it all in a chest at the party camp before she goes.
  • Discussed: When Marcy decides to leave, she gives advance warning to Dirk, so that they can split the gear in a way that keeps them both safe.
  • Conversed: "Agh! Don't you hate it when party members in these games leave suddenly and take all the expensive equipment you just got them?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Aware that Marcy is probably leaving soon, Dirk makes her strip off everything he's bought for her. This leads to Marcy getting overpowered by The Empire's soldiers and killed before she could afford her own replacement equipment. Horrified, White Magician Girl Luna calls him on this: What the Hell, Hero?? You Bastard!!
    • Alternately (or perhaps also), the game has a Switching P.O.V., and may temporarily put you in charge of Marcy at any point after she's left the party proper. If you left her gear on, the next part will be a cakewalk. Otherwise, you've just crippled yourself, big-time.
  • Reconstructed:
    • This is just one possible branch in the game; post-Player Punch, the player reloads from an older file and lets Marcy take the gear with her.
    • While playing as Marcy, you find a store that sells better equipment than the stuff you gave her to start with, but since Marcy didn't take any money with her, you'll have to either grind like hell or sell your old equipment in order to afford the new stuff.
    • Alternatively, Bag of Sharing is in play, so it's a trivial matter to just re-equip Marcy with the same gear you took off of her before, provided you didn't jump the gun and sell it already.
  • Played For Laughs: When Marcy gets ready to leave, Dirk stops her and says, "one moment" right before the screen blacks out. The screen opens to a scene empty but for a naked Marcy who wakes up to find a note beside her saying, "So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear".
  • Played For Drama: When she gets back, Marcy and Sten get into a huge argument about her leaving with all her equipment, until they abruptly turn to Dirk with a choice: let Marcy back into the group (and watch Sten storm off in anger), or bar her from rejoining? (The best choice, of course, is siding with Luna and defusing the argument entirely.)

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