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Replacement Goldfish / Video Games

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  • Baldur's Gate II:
    • The Big Bad tried to clone his long-lost love. It ended badly.
    • Minsc will adopt either Aerie or Nalia (with a preference for the former should they both join the party) as a replacement for Dynaheir, who was murdered by the Big Bad before the game starts.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm: Judging by their similar names and similarly red hair, it’s implied that Boxxyfan created the A.I. Cornelia as a replacement for his dead sister Coria. If that’s true, though, then it raises some rather uncomfortable questions about Cornelia’s… most notable assets, since the original most certainly didn’t have them.
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  • Inverted in Brütal Legend, when Titans Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence, their servants, the Tainted Coil, tried to create new masters for themselves to serve. However, like everything they made, their creation, known as Humans, became only a pale copy of what their masters could accomplish. The knowledge that their beloved masters were well and truly gone drove them insane with rage and grief, that they vented on their creation.
  • Detroit: Become Human has a version of this. It turns out that Todd, the father of Alice in the opening act, actually bought her as a replacement android for his real child, who left with her mother when the mother became fed up with Todd's addiction and presumably violent behaviour. He also bought Kara as a sort of replacement for his wife.
  • Actually averted in Dissidia Final Fantasy, Cid did not create the Warrior of Light to replace Chaos as his surrogate son. He only created him to see if he could create another "perfect Manikin" like Cosmos.
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  • Haseo has this happen in .hack//G.U. when he meets Atoli, who is a literal Palette Swap of his old love interest Shino (perfectly Justified: this all happens in an MMO). However, Atoli is decidedly not Shino in terms of personality, something that disturbs Haseo greatly at first, though he later accepts her as her own person.
  • Dragon Age II: Partway through the second act Hawke encounters Quentin, a deranged Blood Mage, who has been killing women throughout Kirkwall to recreate his diseased wife out of their body parts.
  • Fallout 4:
    • Somewhat tragically, from what little we see of Nora before she goes into Vault 111 with her husband and is cryogenically frozen only to be murdered by Kellogg, she has an awful lot in common with Piper. Dark, elegant hairstyle? Check. Solving her problems with a quick wit? Check. Encouraging and coddling a partner who tries to help others and making witty remarks about Jerkasses? Check.
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    • At the end of the game it's revealed that Shaun, the protagonist's son, is actually "Father", the Big Bad of the game. He was released from cryostasis many decades before the player character, brainwashed by the Institute at a young age, and eventually became their leader. Now he is an old man, dying of cancer, and even if the player chooses to side with him and become his successor, they have no more than a few months together. However, he had a synth version of himself as a child made, which he leaves to the protagonist as a gift. The synth does not seem to be aware of what he is and genuinely believes himself to be the protagonist's son, and if you choose to adopt him, the player will respond in kind.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Aerith is drawn to Cloud because he reminds her of her former boyfriend, Zack Fair who turns out to have been Cloud's Big Brother Mentor before his death. Aerith's kind and gentle demeanor (though she is quite spunky at times) reminds Cloud of his late mother. Aerith even lampshades the trope in the Gondola Date, then adds that she would like to know Cloud better for the guy he actually is.
    • Final Fantasy IX:
      • Halfway through the game it's revealed that Princess Garnet is actually one of these. She's actually a summoner born in Madain Sari and washed up in Alexandria Port not too long after the real Princess Garnet died of an illness. As they looked similar she was raised to believe she was the princess.
      • It's strongly implied that Vivi dies during the epilogue, but a whole crowd of his children are seen who look identical to him.
  • Invoked by Bedman in Guilty Gear Xrd. He kills a Magehound puppy that Ramlethal befriended and then provides her with a replacement puppy. When this new puppy doesn't bite her finger affectionately like the old one did, he explains that the old one is truly gone forever and cannot simply be replaced. Although this is understandably a heart-rending experience for her, this succeeds in teaching Ramlethal about the value of life and leads to her eventual Heel–Face Turn.
  • In Heavy Rain, Ethan Mars' wife leaves him after the death of their son. He has the option of getting together with Madison Paige in one of the endings, though another possible ending implies a reconciliation with Grace.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic you have the option to help a woman get back her droid. As it turns out, he became a replacement for the woman's dead husband. In a lot of ways. If you find him, he asks you to end his misery. "Wow. She really misses her droid, doesn't she?"
  • The Last of Us: At first Joel sees Ellie as a means to an end, and nothing more. As the game progresses, the two bond, and eventually Joel begins to think of Ellie as his surrogate daughter (his real daughter Sarah was killed 20 years ago in the game's prologue, and Joel has been trying to bury her memory). He even calls her "baby girl", like he called Sarah and forcibly ends a firefly attempt to cure the fungus by performing a lethal experiment on Ellie.
  • In League of Legends, the scientist Corin builds a clockwork replacement for his daughter, Orianna. Because she had wanted to compete in the league, he also made her a killer robot. She has at least some of the original's memories, but her personality seems a bit limited, and everyone but her questionably sane father finds her unsettling.
  • Mega Man:
    • In the Mega Man Battle Network series, MegaMan was made by Lan's father FROM his dead son Hub. In later games, this is spoken of casually. This is also the reason Lan can use his 11th-Hour Superpower.
    • The sequel series, Mega Man Star Force, the robot Hollow is a replacement for the Big Bad Vega's dead lover. Ironically, she never pays proper attention to him because he isn't an exact copy, but he ends up developing a soul and falling for her.
    • While the actual romance never goes beyond Ship Tease, in Mega Man Zero 2 it's pretty obvious that Ciel only thinks of Elpizo as a replacement for Zero after he disappeared at the end of the first game, which makes things pretty damn awkward when Zero inevitably returns.
  • In Moon Crystal, Ricky is aided by a mysterious girl named Rosina who claims to be the daughter of Count Crimson. It is later revealed that Rosina is, in fact, an automated corpse; she died long ago and Crimson used the Moon Crystal to bring her back to a half-living state.
  • Mother 3:
    • According to the enemy notes and her appearance, Lil' Miss Marshmallow was built by Porky to replace his human maid, Electra, from the previous game (EarthBound), who he apparently had a crush on and who he could no longer be with due to Time Travel problems.
    • Seems to be the case with the robotic waitresses in New Pork City that greatly resemble Porky's mother to a tee in both appearance and personality.
  • Over Blood: It turns out that Milly is a clone from the villain's wife who died, she still has all the memories intact so she would still love him. Didn't work.
  • Subverted in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations although not in typical way. 5 years prior to when game takes place Phoenix dated Dahlia who turned out to be heavy case of Bitch in Sheep's Clothing when she tried to kill him. Then in last case of the game Phoenix meets Iris, who looks just like Dahlia since they're twins, but is a really Nice Girl. Sparks fly, Everyone Can See It. And then it turns out that Phoenix was dating Iris, not Dahlia, the first time around, and she dissapeared because she felt guilty after Dahlia tried to kill him.
  • In the Nintendo DS game Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Lady Dahlia is a robot, like everyone else in St. Mystere except for Flora. She was created by Baron Reinhold to be a replacement for his dead wife. However, her existence as a replacement for the dead wife was so traumatic to his daughter that he had the robot's memory wiped and the Lady Dahlia personality created instead.
  • After a big reveal late in Red Dead Redemption II , it’s heavily implied that Jack and Abigail Marston are this for Arthur’s son Isaac and baby mama Eliza who died in a robbery (over $10) at some unspecified point before the game. Early on in the game, before John really starts to take responsibility for them, he goes out of his way to help them and even says in his journal that he should have married Abigail because he could provide for them when John couldn’t.
  • Done subtly, but very creepily in Robotrek on the SNES. Nagisa is an android created by the protagonist's father to look after him. She's also modeled to look like his dead wife, something you can easily miss via dialogue until a flashback midway through the game shows the protagonist's mother.
  • In Rogue Galaxy, Steve was created as a replacement of sorts for Dr. Pocacchio's son Mark, and apparently has some of Mark's thoughts in his neural network.
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police:
    • In season 1, Sam and Max actually get a replacement goldfish and they worry he'll find out.
    • In Season Two, the Goldfish dies, and returns from Hell to kill them. They replace him in their office with a stone replica naming it as the prophesied leader of the sea chimpanzees.
    • At the end of Season Three, Max is killed, but Sam meets another Max from an Alternate Universe who had similar adventures, but Sam died in that universe instead. They're each other's replacement goldfish.
  • Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri: "I loved my chosen. How then to face the day when she left me? So I took from her body a single cell, perhaps to love her again."
  • Silent Hill:
    • Silent Hill 2 has Maria, who was born from James' wish to be with his dead wife Mary.
    • In Silent Hill 3, Heather is, in a way, a Replacement Goldfish for Cheryl. Slightly different in the fact that she is the reincarnation of Cheryl and Alessa (who were originally one person to begin with). At the end of the game, she starts going by Cheryl again.
  • Super Mario Bros.: In the Donkey Kong arcade game, Pauline was Mario's love interest and girlfriend. But in Super Mario Bros. Nintendo introduced Mario with a new love interest: Princess Peach. They don't look much alike, but they're similar enough (particularly in their early 8-bit graphics forms) that many people have assumed that Pauline is Peach. Peach was in turn replaced by Princess Daisy in Super Mario Land, who gained her own Replacement Love Interest in later titles where she was given more of a tomboy personality and paired with Luigi. Interestingly, Super Mario Galaxy's Princess Rosalina is not this despite her princess status and some similarities in character design with Peach; she's more of a Mama Bear as opposed to a Love Interest.
  • Super Paper Mario lets you buy Tiptron in place of Tippi/Timpani after you lose her to Count Bleck/Blumiere. You'll want to do so more likely than not.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • In Super Robot Wars 3, Benkei Kuruma was this for Musashi Tomoe. After Musashi was killed in a Heroic Sacrifice, Professor Saotome called in Benkei to replace him after unveiling the Getter Robo G. Ryouma and Hayato were not please in the least, but the two end up warming up to the pilot, and in Super Robot Wars 4, they go and teach him Musashi's signature attack so that they're at the same level.
    • In Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2, Lemon Browning is revealed to have been an android (or possibly resurrected cyborg) made by the parents of an alternate universe Excellen Browning, who didn't survive the near-death incident of her backstory. However, her parents quickly realized the disrespect they had done to their daughter, and rejected Lemon (which may explain her name). This is apparently what motivated her to create human-like androids of her own, and why she was actually happy when one of them made friends and betrayed her for their sake.
  • Tales of the Abyss:
    • The game has one inversion: Luke is a replica of Asch, created by the Big Bad prior to the prophesied death of the original in order to die in the original's place. While considered little more than a cheap knock-off by his creator, the people who genuinely care never consider him a replacement, because they weren't in on his creation in the first place and considered the two to be distinctly individual people when they learn the truth.
    • Played straight with Nebilim, who was intended to 'replace' the person she is a replica of on an emotional level.
    • Played straight again with Ion. The Ion you travel with turns out to be a replica of the original Fon Master Ion, who died two years prior to the game's events. After this Ion is killed as well, he's replaced yet again with another goldfish, Florian.
  • In Tales of Berseria, Velvet liberates a young Malak from the Exorcists, eventually giving him her deceased younger brother's name of Laphicet due to him reminding her of him. He manages to draw out the soft side of her personality that had buried been beneath her hate and despair some years ago. He also calls her out on this trope and goes on to defy it by being his own person.
  • Likely unintentional, but in Harvest Moon: Animal Parade, if you decide to start a new game when your child recently grew up, your spouse might suggest to have a second child before your first leaves on their journey (although, you can't continue your file after they leave anyway, sooo...).
  • Touhou:
    • This is the backstory behind the Prismriver Sisters. A long time ago, a man named Count Prismriver had four daughters, but he tragically died and the sisters were orphaned. Each went their separate ways, but the youngest couldn't bear to part with her sisters, so she created three poltergeists with the appearances and personalities of her sisters.
    • Reisen Inaba used to be owned by the Watatsuki sisters but after fleeing to earth and becoming an outlaw, the Watatsuki sisters still felt attached to Reisen and named their new pet Reisen as well.
    • This is also the backstory of Seihou's (Touhou's "sister" series) main character VIVIT; Erich, the developer of Saboten energy, suffered an accident that left him a cyborg and took his daughter's life. Thus, VIVIT was created by him as a replacement for the original Vivit. And because Erich is a bit of a perv, he dressed his robo-surrogate-daughter in a maid outfit.
  • Mona, the protagonist of A Vampyre Story, is the latest in a protracted line of Replacement Goldfish for the villain, Shrowdy von Keifer. After his mother vanished, he went a little goony (well, moreso than usual - the dialog is peppered with implications that even before the Baroness disappeared, Shrowdy was everything wrong with mama's boys) and started kidnapping young women and keeping them in his castle. It's stated once or twice that Mona's been around the longest of all of them because she bears an uncanny resemblance to the missing Baroness.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky:
  • Played for serious drama in The Walking Dead Season Two:
    • Kenny, who bonds with Clementine and Alvin Jr. as a replacement for his lost son. He even mistakenly calls Clem by his son's nickname "Duck" over a meal at one point. On the flipside, however, his bond with these two is what gives him the will to keep living.
    • Downplayed with Jane, who seems to be trying to use Clementine to fill the void caused by her letting her sister die when the latter no longer had the will to live. Unlike Kenny, however, she is far more rational and slow-to-anger, planning things out and not allowing her own emotions to get in the way of pragmatism.
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, when a soldier that you really like is Killed Off for Real, it is sort of common practise for players to take another soldier, then change their name and give them plastic surgery to create a replica.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has this with Nia's "father". He was a nobleman whose daughter died from a terminal illness. Nia herself was a Blade who served the daughter. Afterwards, the man started treating her as his daughter, even insisting that she call him father. It's shown as both creepy and heartwarming - while the man was definitely not in a healthy state of mind, he nonetheless treated Nia well enough for her to remember him fondly.
  • In Xenosaga the character of MOMO is an Artificial Human reconstruction of her creator's daughter, Sakura. He even went a little further with MOMO being the 100th Replacement Goldfish he created in a full scale production line of androids with her face. His wife, on the other hand, was none too pleased with seeing a hundred copies of her dead daughter running about the galaxy and mentioned as much. It's something of an unusual example, as MOMO and the others were originally only meant to replace part of Sakura, as she suffered from a disease similar to Locked In Syndrome and MOMO was meant to become a new body for her. It was only after the poor kid bit it that Mizrahi decided to go the whole hog and use MOMO as a full Replacement Goldfish. In the third game when Mizrahi tells MOMO that he had long since accepted that he would never get his daughter back, and had truly grown to love his 'second daughter' as a completely separate being.


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