Follow TV Tropes


Spiritual Antithesis / Video Games

Go To

  • American McGee's Alice is this on several levels:
    • First, it is one for titles that made its creator famous - Doom and Quake - by using the same design tools to develop a game that is not another Rated M for Manly space marine with little to no personality killing tons of monsters to an Excuse Plot, but an introspective journey with a female protagonist.
    • Second, it is one to Tomb Raider which was originally first and foremost about exploring the enviroment and solving puzzles, with main character mostly there to spice things up for adolescent male players and platforming system that punishes you for slightest mistakes. Alice in turn, puts the main character and her personal journey first over the enviroment and puzzles, never sexualizes her and its platforming is much more forgiving.
    • Advertisement:
    • Finally, it is one to the original Alice in Wonderland and not just due to Darker and Edgier aesthetics. If the book portrays the titular character as combination of all that Caroll finds endearing in women and existing mostly in terms of how she affects others in the story, the game Alice is a more well-rounded and defined by her own personal journey.
    • Sequel Alice: Madness Returns is this to Sucker Punch, the two having come out around the same time and share several plot similiarities. But Sucker Punch concerns itself with a spectacle so much it loses any chance to say anything meaningful and becomes outright exploitative, while Alice is more focused and never crosses that threshold. Many of the same problems are present in both, but in Alice they're much less apparent.
  • Armored Core (1997) is practically this to Front Mission (1995). While both feature customizable mecha, Front Mission is primarily a Tactical RPG about commanding small armies in turn-based strategic combat, while Armored Core is a Third-Person Shooter about controlling a single mecha in real-time, action-based combat.
  • Advertisement:
  • Asura may seem like an Expy of Kratos at first glance, given that both fight other gods and have issues with anger, but it becomes apparent that Asura actually contrasts heavily with Kratos; Asura's daughter was kidnapped by those he once trusted giving him a chance to save her, but Kratos was tricked into murdering his daughter as well as his wife which makes his bitterness somewhat justified, Asura values the lives of innocents while Kratos has a huge lack of regard for them, finally Asura pulls a Heroic Sacrifice and abandons his anger completely, while Kratos lives on and learns to be in better control of his rage.
  • Banjo-Kazooie is inspired greatly by Super Mario 64 while also managing to differ from it in plot and gameplay. Mario 64 was the first 3d installment of a pre-existing series where the setting is in Peach's Castle, which has been taken over by Bowser and Mario must set it and the princess free; in contrast Banjo and Kazooie enter Gruntilda's Lair in order to liberate Banjo's sister Tootie. Mario enters portraits to enter levels while Banjo must restore pictures in order to enter the levels. In Mario, the player collects one of the golden stars and is immediately booted out of the level; while in Banjo the player collects the golden Jiggies but can leave the level on their own, meaning they can collect all of the Jiggies if they wanted to before leaving. Mario's transformations come from wearing unique caps that have a short time limit, Banjo and Kazooie transform thanks to the shaman Mumbo Jumbo and remain that way unless Mumbo turns them back or they leave the level and stray too far.
    • Conker's Bad Fur Day is this to Banjo-Kazooie, in both tone and gameplay. Other than the obvious stuff with Conker being filled with levels of gore, sexual content and profanity that the family friendly Banjo games never touched, the developers deliberately avoided going the collect-a-thon route that Rare were so well known for at the time and went for a more linear and story-driven style than the open ended Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64. There's also the controls. Whereas Rare's other platformers all had incredibly elaborate control schemes that used nearly every button on the controller as well as plenty of button combinations for even more abilities, Conker instead only uses the analogue stick and the A, B and Z buttons, with their functions being context-sensitive to allow for the expansive movesets of other Rare games but with a less convoluted control scheme.
  • BioShock:
    • The first game is a made as a Take That! to Atlas Shrugged, making Rapture an antithesis of that book's Galt's Gulch. It shows what it really takes to build a truly libertarian society, and what it takes to keep it together. Ryan uses mind altering drugs and his private army to keep the city in line, and is easily threatened by a civil war if Ryan doesn't take more restrictive actions to prevent someone else from usurping his rule.
    • The Big Bad of BioShock 2, Sofia Lamb, is this to the original game's Andrew Ryan. Lamb is a radical collectivist/egalitarian, Ryan a radical libertarian/Objectivist. However, they do have one thing in common: they are both equally willing to jettison their ideals when they become inconvenient.
    • Columbia, the setting of BioShock Infinite, is clearly designed to be the polar opposite of Rapture, the setting of the first two games. Whereas Rapture was dark, gloomy, cramped, and Under the Sea, Columbia is bright, sunny, spacious, and floats among the Bubbly Clouds. Furthermore, while both cities play host to rapacious robber-baron capitalism run amok, their root stocks come from two very different sources. Rapture's ideology is rooted in rugged individualism and anti-statism and holds little but scorn for nationalism and religion, with the player's introduction to the city being a giant banner that reads "No Gods or Kings. Only Man." Columbia, meanwhile, is rooted in American nationalism and WASP supremacy, with its founding father Zachary Hale Comstock regarded as a literal prophet.
    • The amoral left-wing resistances against the powers that be are also flavored very differently. Sofia Lamb and Simon Wales' "Rapture Family" in the second game take their influence from religious cults and pop psychology and are led by a white upper-class psychiatrist from a similar background to Andrew Ryan, reflective of the "New Left" and counterculture of the '60s and '70s that were largely birthed from disaffected middle-class youth and academics. Daisy Fitzroy's Vox Populi in Infinite, meanwhile, are more classical "Old Left" communists led by an Angry Black Woman driven by revenge against Columbia's elite, drawing on early 20th century labor movements that recruited from the underclass.
  • The Breach & Clear series includes two games: Breach & Clear and Breach & Clear: DEADline. While they both are strategy games with RPG Elements about controlling a four-men special forces squad, they actually are very different beside this premise. The original is a Turn-Based Tactics game about realistic operations by real-life special forces against terrorists or drug cartels, while DEADline is a Real-Time with Pause game set during a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Chrono Trigger: the heroes save the world by changing time... except that, in Chrono Cross, we find that they inadvertently caused horrible, horrible things to happen by doing so.
  • Croc to Gex. Their protagonists have many similarities, them both being green bidepal reptiles that were featured in only a couple of platformer games released in the late 1990's on the PlayStation that use Tail Slap and Wall Crawl. Their personalities however, are quite different. While Gex is a wisecracker, Croc doesn't talk. Gex is a womanizer, while Croc appears to be a Chaste Hero. Gex relies on Reference Overdosed jokes, while Croc doesn't.
  • Days Gone and Horizon Zero Dawn are on surface level similiar - two vast, open-world action adventure & survival games set in America After the End that play mechanically very similiar to one another...that couldn't be more different in every other aspect. Days Gone is a Zombie Apocalypse scenario not soon after the society collapsed, while Horizon is set in a distant future where modern days are shrouded in myth. Combat-wise Horizon puts you against singular or small groups of huge monsters, whole Days has you face entire hordes of smaller, weaker enemies all at once. Horizon focuses on exploring the world and discovering the lore at player's own pace and at the consequence it's protagonist, Alloy, can take a backseat to that. In contrast Days has its pace tied to the plot and it to the character development of Deacon and his macho Anti-Hero antics may be prioritized even over the player's desired way to do things.
  • DEFCON is this to the grand strategy games of Paradox Interactive like Hearts of Iron, Europa Universalis, and Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun. Both DEFCON and the "Paradox style" are Real-Time Strategy games set over the entire world, or at least a large part of it (Crusader Kings and Imperator: Rome cover Europe, North Africa, and the Near East). Paradox's games put the "grand" in "grand strategy", covering years, decades, or even centuries of history and being famous for their complex mechanics, giving them a reputation for being extremely in-depth for hardcore players but inaccessible for newcomers. A key component of all of these games is warfare, with a strong focus on building a military machine and conquering your enemies by land, sea, and (in Hearts of Iron) air. Not so with DEFCON. It was designed with casual play in mind, a game lasting only an hour at most, and the time period covered by the game encompasses a few days. Land armies don't factor in at all, and the deployment of other military assets is heavily simplified. The reason for both becomes frighteningly apparent when you sit down to play: this is a game about nuclear war, the combat gameplay revolving entirely around the deployment of nuclear weapons and defense against such, and games typically end with even the winners having been heavily battered. In short, both are meant to make you feel like a general, but while a Paradox game wants to put you in the shoes of a commander leading an army of millions to glorious victory, DEFCON wants to put you in the shoes of the person who just signed the death warrant for the human race.
  • Though only in its first chapter thus far, Deltarune is the polar opposite of Undertale in how it tackles certain themes. While Undertale is all about player choice and the consequences therein, Deltarune regularly denies the player the privilege of making any meaningful choices, even explicitly telling them at certain points that their choices don't matter. Their take on violent conflict resolution is also markedly different: All of your opponents in Undertale are Obliviously Evil at best and Tragic Villains at worst, and can eventually be reasoned with peacefully and even befriended, even Flowey, the most openly evil character in the game. Deltarune, on the other hand, portrays the Spades King as undeniably, unwaveringly evil. Even if you've been going for a pacifist playthrough, your attempts to settle matters peacefully end with you and Ralsei falling into a trap and nearly getting the entire party killed, and the "peaceful resolution" is Lancer overthrowing him and locking him up, with the lesson learned from the encounter that there are times when violence is necessary.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: the Big Bad is a classically evil Eldritch Abomination, and the idea that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few is a recurring theme. Dragon Age II: there's no clear Big Bad, just a lot of misguided people (some people have ended up believing that your Player Character was the big bad) and the game shows what terrible things happen when the rights of a minority are trampled for the common good.
    • Additionally, Origins is focused on how much of a difference one person can make: the Grey Warden determines the future of both Orzammar and Ferelden. II is focused on how much they can't — for all their skill, the Player Character can't stop the inevitable outcomes of acts 2 and 3.
  • {Errant Signal}, while discussing the game DUSK, held it up in comparison to another game with similar inspirations, DOOM (2016). Both games are Genre Throwbacks to the first-person shooters of The '90s, embracing fast-paced, run-and-gun gameplay and over-the-top aesthetics in reaction to the comparatively grounded shooters of the 2000s and '10s that focus on the use of cover and realistic weapons. The 2016 DOOM went about this by way of a contextual translation, less interested in recapturing the exact details of the original Doom than in recapturing how people remembered it and combining that with modern gameplay innovations. In practice, this meant a game fueled by pure adrenaline, in which players are not merely encouraged to charge into combat like berserkers but rewarded for doing so with health and ammunition, all set to a blazing Heavy Metal soundtrack and accompanied by outrageous gore. DUSK, by contrast, set out to recreate the gameplay loops of '90s shooters, particularly the "bullet ballet" of dodging slow-moving enemy projectiles across intricate, wide-open levels and using a large and diverse arsenal of weapons, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, to take them down. Also, while the 2016 DOOM is a big-budget release with state-of-the-art graphics for its time, DUSK deliberately hearkens back to the low-res graphics of the '90s.
    • DOOM (2016) can also be thought of as the spiritual antithesis of Gears of War. The two games have a lot in common aesthetically, being shooter games that attracted notoriety for allowing you to dispose of monsters in spectacularly gory ways, but beyond how they look, these two games couldn’t be more different in how they play. Gears features slow movement (while there is an option to sprint, Do Not Run with a Gun is in parital effect as your shooting options are limited while sprinting), no jumping, and Regenerating Health, all of which encourage you to Take Cover! in one place in order to stay alive. DOOM on the other hand, features fast movement, Jump Physics, and non-regenerating health, which encourage you to constantly move around the battlefield to avoid enemy fire while simultaneously attacking, and pick up health dropped by dead enemies. Both games were also released a decade apart, with Gears establishing trends that the shooter genre would follow for the next ten years, and DOOM getting attention for defiantly bucking those trends.
  • The Sowers of Endless Space are the antithesis of the Reapers of Mass Effect. The Sowers are robots whose mission is to terraform worlds into habitable planets for their dead creators, the Endless, while the Reapers are mechanical lifeforms whose sole purpose is to harvest the entire galaxy of all life until there is nothing left. It's even reflected in their names: to "sow" crops means to plant them, while to "reap" is to harvest.
  • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas are very similar to each other; both use the gamebryo engine, New Vegas reuses a lot of parts from 3 (mostly due to time restrains), both have 4 DLC's, both feature a main plot that involves the Player Character chasing after a man (your missing father in the former and your would-be killer in the latter) and becoming embroiled in a conflict far larger than themselves, the Player Character is largely self-dependent, and both (really) start with the character exiting into the unknown world with a bright light. That's where the similarities end. In Fallout 3 The Lone Wanderer/Kid 101 has a defined home, Vault 101, which they have to leave behind, the game has a very open ended gameplay that lets the player explore across the vast expanse of the DC Wasteland and ignore the plot for as long as they want, there's a emphasis on your Karma Meter with different foes gunning for you and allies joining you, the story is black and white (Brotherhood good, Enclave bad) and ends with you saving the wasteland. The DLC share little in common with each other, they're separate stories that are tenuously tied to other quests such as The Dark Heart of Blackhall. In Fallout: New Vegas the Courier has no home; they live on the road and walk from place to place to deliver mail (obviously), the game has more Rail Roading (you can't go straight to New Vegas unless you like getting your ass beat by Radscorpions, Deathclaws, and Cazadors) forcing you to take the highways there and slowly learn about the world on the writers' terms, more emphasis on your allegiances than Karma Meter, the story isn't so clear cut (the NCR has turned into a corrupt state with bloated bureaucracy and incompetent military but has the resources to run the area in the long term, Caesar's Legion is a ruthless group of slavers and war lords that crushes all beneath it and while it does bring order it's implied that the Legion will not last long without Caesar leading it, Mr. House wants only New Vegas and will ignore everything else, and the Wild Card has no real leadership skills and isn't likely to improve the lives of the locals), and ends with the Courier deciding who gets the land. The DLC also share the theme of Not-so-Good vs Bad Guys and the theme of "letting go" and "beginning again".
  • Far Cry 4 is this to Far Cry 3, which was even confirmed by the former's Creative Director. FC 3 was a standard Mighty Whitey narrative involving an American protagonist who becomes the peaceful natives' Chosen One and saves them from the oppressive group that has taken over their island. FC 4 on the other hand features a Western raised immigrant who returns to his place of birth to fulfill his mother's dying wish and also gets involved in a conflict against oppression but if the player doesn't go for the secret ending ultimately leaves the region worse than it was before due to the two "freedom fighter" leaders being just as bad if not worse than the dictator the player just toppled, thus showing the dangers of just throwing yourself into a conflict you know very little about.
  • Fire Emblem and Shining Force, two iconic Turn-Based Strategy RPGs published by Nintendo and SEGA, respectively. The former is a Low Fantasy, politics-driven game where all deaths are final, while the latter is a High Fantasy epic where the dead can be resurrected by the local priest. Another subtle but important distinction is in magic: Fire Emblem focuses strictly on Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors, whereas Shining Force — while having elemental resistances to some extent — places a heavier emphasis on Area of Effect. Furthermore, the turn systems can also be seen as antithetical, with Fire Emblem having turns for the player, where as Shining force has turns for units.
  • Fire Emblem itself is an antithesis to Nintendo Wars, another Turn-Based Strategy developed by Intelligent Systems. While Fire Emblem is set in a Medieval Fantasy with a serious tone where your units are fleshed-out individuals susceptible to Final Death, Nintendo Wars has a modern military theme where War Has Never Been So Much Fun and units are another resource to be farmed and managed.
  • Robin from Fire Emblem Awakening in comparison to Mark from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. Mark is a Non-Action Person who merely serves as the 'connection' between you and the game. Robin is an actual badass in combat, and a playable class complete with class promotion. Mark is The Faceless with minimal canonical bonds with other characters. Robin is customizable by the player and can even form support bonds and get married with other characters. Mark has minimal importance to the overall plot. Robin is very heavily involved in it.
  • Despite both being early 2000s racing games with an emphasis on crashes, the first two FlatOut games are vastly different from the first two Burnout games. Whereas Burnout is a fast, slick game with emphasis on avoiding vehicles and objects with a car selection consisting mostly of modern imports with clean, simple paintwork, FlatOut is a slower, more abrasive crashfest where smashing everything is encouraged, with a roster of mostly older, rusty looking American cars with bright, multicolored paintjobs. Starting with Burnout 3, when takedowns were introduced to the series, a new layer was added to their differences. Burnout's takedowns were quick and streamlined, with lots of emphasis on the crash itself, while crashes in FlatOut were large, heavy slams, with little attention being given to them.
  • Gears of War and Call of Duty are different ways of taking the shooter genre (Gears being about taking cover and COD making both sides weak to bullets), seemingly as a counterpart to the radical influence of Halo.
  • Trevor from Grand Theft Auto V and The Boss from the Saints Row franchise (especially during the Denser and Wackier 3rd and 4th games) are two different takes on the typical chaotic GTA-esque sandbox player. Trevor is a scathing satire; unattractive and unstable, while his antics can get downright disturbing at times and has earned him very few friends, getting to the point that one of the endings allows the player to horribly kill him. Meanwhile, while Saint's Row doesn't shy away from painting The Boss' antics as downright sociopathic (and they themselves admit at one point that they're seeing a psychiatrist,) they're still played mostly for comedy or badassery, while The Boss is charismatic enough to surround themselves with a posse of fiercely loyal subordinates, become a major celebrity and even get elected President, and are only as ugly as the player makes them.
  • Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is practically this to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, especially after spinning off from the latter and becoming its own separate game. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a solo Action RPG about the eponymous witcher fighting monsters for profit while rescuing his girlfriend and surrogate daughter, doing his best not to get involved in war and politics. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, on the other hand, is a Collectible Card Game involving the five main opposing factions of The Witcher universe fighting an epic-scale war with each other, one bigger and more important than Geralt alone killing monsters for profit and rescuing his surrogate daughter, Ciri.
  • Halo's take on multi-star system governments made up of diverse peoples/races is, for better or worse, the polar opposite of Star Trek and other more idealistic Space Opera. Where the Federation is all about bringing different races together for mutual benefit, Halo's major powers have been rather the opposite: The Covenant races are stripped of their culture, indoctrinated into a bizarre and fanatical state religion, and act as specialized cogs in a machine serving a caste of uncaring overlords. The UNSC crosses into outright authoritarianism in order to keep its colonies in line; framing journalists, shutting down the entire space internet, kidnapping children to turn them into Super Soldiers, etc. Even the advanced and supposedly wise Forerunners weren't all that great; while they considered themselves the benevolent and rightful caretakers of the galaxy, their subject species were kept subordinate and ultimately weak, any species who fought against them were brutally punished, and the very Forerunners who designed their kind's wonderful technology used their powers for personal gain. While humanity and the Sangheili are officially allies after Halo 3, and have cooperated closely on a number of projects, there is still a lot of bad blood between the two thanks to the Covenant war, and many individuals from both species have formed their own organizations seeking to wipe the other side out. Even among their main governments, there is some reluctance to get "too" involved with each other.
  • Iji ends up being this to itself with the 1.7 update, which introduces the Spare Iosa ending. Before the update, doing a Pacifist Run gives you the best possible ending, with Iji's hands being clean of any deaths involved (as Iosa is executed by somebody else.) In 1.7, however, not getting in contact with the character that executes Iosa for you forces Iji to break her pacifism and kill Iosa with her own hands, because if she doesn't, then Iosa will come back later to kill Iji and Tor after the Final Boss battle. 1.7 drives the point home that sparing Iosa doesn't lead to anything good, basically declaring that absolute pacifism doesn't work; some people are just too irredeemable to be left to their own devices, and some threats must be eliminated with lethal force.
  • inFAMOUS to Sly Cooper, Sucker Punch's earlier breakout hit.note  Sly Cooper is a cartoonish, family-friendly series about a mischievous and carefree thief, while inFAMOUS is a T-rated series for older players, it has photorealistic graphics, and it's about a grim and cynical (and possibly outright evil) superhero. While Sly Cooper puts a Lighter and Softer spin on the crime drama genre (which is traditionally dark and violent), inFAMOUS puts a Darker and Edgier spin on the superhero genre (which is traditionally colorful and lighthearted).
  • I Wanna Be the Guy is a Platform Hell game with loads of Fake Difficulty. It's about a kid who's a Cosmic Plaything trying to find The Guy and kill him, so he can become the next Guy. The world will not let him. Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril is similar, but takes out the Fake Difficulty. It's about a Determinator with a Screw Destiny philosophy going up against impossible odds for the good of the world. The world won't let him accomplish his goal either, but it will let him try. Both are equally Nintendo Hard, but in complete opposite ways. One fights dirty and hits you where it hurts, the other fights honorably and gives you a fair chance.
    • 1001 Spikes is the Lawful Evil to IWBTG's Chaotic Evil. Both games are platformers with a One-Hit Point Wonder protagonist and quick respawn mechanics, and the level design for both features heavy emphasis on traps. However, the former is far more fair with its traps, featuring consistent trap types to the point that keen-eyed players can often spot them before they're triggered, and most traps when triggered offer a split-second window for players to escape. Compare that to the latter, where literally Everything Is Trying to Kill You, consistency and forewarning be damned, to the point that the game relies on Trial-and-Error Gameplay.
      • The game could also be considered the antithesis of La-Mulana, both games are platformers featuring Indiana Jones-styled Adventurer Archaeologist protagonists who both have troubled relationships with their Adventurer Archaeologist fathers whom they're in competition with, both games revolve around infiltrating some ancient trap-filled ruins, and both games feature retro-style 8-bit graphics (at least the original version of La Mulana does.) However, La Mulana is a sprawling Metroidvania revolving around solving puzzles and riddles, while 1001 Spikes is a linear, level-based affair where the player's only concern is grabbing collectibles and getting to the exit. Also as mentioned above, Aban Hawkins is a One-Hit Point Wonder, while Lemeza has a life meter and can take multiple hits. The two protagonist's fathers are also antitheses of each other; Aban's father Jim is The Ace, whom Aban's legitimately unable to match up with to the point that it's revealed that Jim already cased the Ukampa ruins that Aban spends the first half of the game exploring to prove himself, while Lemeza's father Shorn is implied to be a Miles Gloriosus who failed to completely explore the game's ruins, instead lying in wait for Lemeza to reach the Treasure of Life at the end before swooping in to claim it for himself.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords serves as this to the original KOTOR while also being its sequel. The original was a classic "good vs. evil" story about a larger than life Jedi hero and set to tell a tale in the vein of the original movies. The sequel, on the other hand, was a deconstruction of the Star Wars universe with the main focus being about an exiled and effectively nameless Jedi in the darkest hour of the galaxy (which had become a Crapsack World), all while tearing apart the black-and-white concept of the galaxy as well as the entire concept of The Force itself. It also took away the As You Know style infodumps (meaning the player character knows critical info the player doesn't) and infinitely complicated the plot and themes by making the main source of exposition a Consummate Liar with an agenda.
  • In Der Langrisser, the Independent route serves as the Spiritual Antithesis of the Light route. The Light route is straight out of a traditional fantasy novel and centers around accepting your destiny as a Descendant of Light and the commands of the goddess to destroy the evil Demon Tribe, but the Independent route rejects the very premise of the Light path as genocidal racism under the mantle of Black-and-White Morality, and the Elwin of the Independent route is a treacherous and murderously cynical Anti-Hero who believes that peace for everyone can only be achieved by seizing power for himself.
  • Mega Man (Classic) to Mega Man Zero. The former is a quirky series about a boy android who shoots up cartoony, googly-eyed robots and copies their powers with obvious Cartoon Physics. His creator, Dr. Light, and his nemesis, Dr. Wily, are also pretty comical in their own ways. Each game ends with the eponymous character saving the day once again. You're fighting player-sized Robot Master bosses. Zero is much more anime influenced, is about a teenage-looking android fighting a war alongside a group of freedom fighters, and has very little to speak of in the way of humor. Victories always come at a cost. Most bosses are at least slightly bigger than Zero.
    • Mega Man X takes place in a dystopian future where a powerful rogue android leads a rebellion against mankind. Loved ones die, friends betray you, and enemies come back for revenge.
    • Their own spiritual successors, Azure Striker Gunvolt and Mighty No. 9, are an antithesis with each other. The former being about a teenage boy with psychic powers who can control electricity and fights alongside a resistance group against a major Japanese conglomerate that uses psychics in cruel and inhumane experiments featuring an anime-like aesthetic like its spiritual predecessor, while the latter is a much more cartoony-styled game like its spiritual predecessor and centers around a timid and doubtful robot boy who (reluctantly) answers the call to save the United States of America from a viral outbreak causing other robots throughout the country, including his own Mighty Number family, to turn against humans. Azure Striker Gunvolt also features many instances where Gunvolt fights other psychic-users to the death, whereas in Mighty No. 9, Beck tries his best to save the Mighty Numbers by purifying their corrupted xels instead of destroying them outright like Mega Man does with Dr. Light's creation (or many other robots he encounters), and the Mighty Numbers go on help Beck in return in other stages. The Gunvolt series also does away with the Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors elements the Mega Man franchise was known for (with Gunvolt, at least), while Mighty No. 9 retains this aspect and a few of the copied abilities also have some utility outside of packing a bigger punch than your standard pea shooter.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance can be seen as an antithesis to PlatinumGames's previous landmark game, Bayonetta in story and gameplay. While Bayo is a bright, happy, optimistic adventure more concerned with style and panache, Rising is a dark, gritty assault with heavy focus on the seriousness and complexity the series is known for. Bayos story is ridiculous, incorporating angels, demons, witches and wizards and feels like an afterthought until the end; while Rising is grounded in reality and focuses on themes of the lives of soldiers, the cybernetic arms race, the complacency of modern society and what it means to kill someone. Bayos gameplay is about fighting humongous enemies with huge sweeping attacks and a heavy focus on dodging; Rising is about fighting you-sized foes with tight, short strikes and is built around a parrying system. Bayos music is mostly big band Cabaret remixes of 50s songs and the visuals are heavily stylized while Risings music is electronic hard rock with screaming vocals and the visuals are mostly monochromatic. Bayos levels are huge and can take upwards of an hour to complete, while Rising has very short levels, some of which can be cleared in minutes. If it wasn't for the similar gameplay, it'd be hard to think these games are from the same company.
    • Rising is also this to the rest of the Metal Gear series as a whole. Sneaking past enemies is indirectly penalized (fewer BPs rewarded, which means you get fewer upgrades) and there is a heavy emphasis on melee combat with almost no ranged combat whatsoever (the only guns you get to carry around with you are missile launchers). The narrative also runs against the normal trend of far-reaching conspiracies, as seen when Sundowner directly states that not everything is some orchestrated plan-within-a-plan and that, while the Patriots certainly controlled the War Economy, humans started it all on their own.
  • Mortal Kombat to Street Fighter II. Mortal Kombat is made in the USA and features fantasy world and realistic graphics, while Street Fighter is made in Japan and features real world fighters with anime graphics. Mortal Kombat has amounts of blood, gore and secrets and a more primitive battle system (for early 2D games), while Street Fighter has a more complex battle system which is easy to understand and difficult to master and little blood and secret fighters were introduced in 1994. The first Mortal Kombat game was the bestseller for Sega Genesis in 16-bit wars, while Street Fighter II was the bestseller for SNES.
  • My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic to Eternal Fighter Zero. EFZ has an all-human cast from visual novels and grants them powers they didn't have in canon while FiM has an all-equine cast from a cartoon and uses powers from said cartoon.
  • Radiant Silvergun is known for its complex weapon system, giving the player the ability to use any combination of the three basic weapons for seven weapons total on top of a special Limit Break attack, as well as a weapon level-up system that's tied to the player's score; ignoring the scoring system is a good way to end up underpowered in later stages. In contrast, Ikaruga only gives the player one basic twin-blaster weapon to go alongside their special attack that never powers up, and can be reliably completed without learning how to score proficiently; in fact the game will even recognize Pacifist Runs. Additionally, while Silvergun tells a bleak story of humans trying to escape the wrath of a misanthropic god-like entity, failing terribly to put up a Last Stand and all dying, and causing the cycle to repeat ad infinitum, Ikaruga ends with the protagonist(s) taking on the same entity and committing Heroic Sacrifice to put it down once and for all.
  • Recettear and Moonlighter are both Dungeon Crawler RPGs with a main gimmick of running an item shop, but both of the game's strengths and flaws are on total opposites of the spectrum of each other. Recettear, in comparison, has a more complex shop management system with many variables and continues to gauge interest with developing story and characters, new mechanics, and a money deadline, but the graphics are serviceable but unimpressive, the dungeon crawling and combat is basic, and after a certain point it becomes more profitable to skip the dungeon crawling altogether. Moonlighter, on the other hand, has beautiful spritework, much more polished combat, and has vastly improved dungeon crawling with meaningful risk/reward aspects overall, but the story and characters have far less depth and charm, the shop running aspect is simplistic and becomes solvable quickly, and has huge stretches of boring progression because the game stops introducing new concepts after the first few hours to the point where regularly running your shop becomes pointless.
  • The Iranian students who made Rescue Nuke Scientist (in which the player controls Iranian soldiers rescuing captured nuclear engineers from Israel) said it was meant as a response to Assault On Iran (in which the player controls American soldiers attacking an Iranian nuclear weapons facility). The makers of Assault On Iran responded to that with Payback In Iraq, which even includes characters and events from Rescue. And said they hoped the makers of Rescue Nuke Scientist would respond again.
  • Resident Evil and Silent Hill, the two big Survival Horror franchises in gaming. Both game series are made by Japanese developers (Capcom and Konami, respectively) homaging American horror, with tons of visceral gorn and Body Horror monstrosities assailing protagonists equipped with limited resources to get through them all, but the makers of Silent Hill deliberately went for very different inspirations than Resident Evil in order to stand out from the competition.
    • Resident Evil is inspired by Zombie Apocalypse B-movies, most notably George A. Romero's Living Dead Series, with its horror being rooted in biological experiments funded by a shady pharmaceutical company and the military. Any seemingly supernatural elements in the games are always explained as being the product of Mad Science.note  Furthermore, its protagonists are usually police officers, soldiers, government agents, and other professionals who are trained and equipped for these sorts of situations; while both series limit the amount of ammunition the player has access to, Resident Evil has typically been the more action-heavy of the two, often giving players access to high-powered automatic and explosive weapons by the mid-game.
    • Silent Hill, on the other hand, is based more on the works of Stephen King and H. P. Lovecraft. The horror is supernatural and religious in nature, rooted in a cult seeking to awaken their god whose actions have turned the town of Silent Hill into an Eldritch Location, and its scares are rooted as much in Psychological Horror as they are in the bloodier kind. The protagonists are usually ordinary people without much in the way of combat abilities, but who often do have plenty of neuroses that the town likes to draw on to torment them. (The one protagonist who had actual military training, Alex Shepard from Silent Hill: Homecoming, turned out to have False Memories.) The arsenals are much more mundane, with shotguns and hunting rifles usually being the most powerful weapons the player gets, and melee weapons taking on a far more prominent role than in Resident Evil.
  • The Secret World is the polar opposite of Deus Ex, both use everything in the Conspiracy Kitchen Sink but have different ways of utilizing them. Deus Ex is a Cyber Punk setting about going against or joining one of the Ancient Conspiracy using Sci-Fi weapons and tools. The Secret World is a Dark Urban Fantasy Lovecraft setting, and the player joins one of the secret societies, and fights against Eldritch Abominations by using magic.
  • Slender and SCP – Containment Breach are indie Survival Horror games that are based on Creepypasta. The gimmicks of the game are the complete opposite however. In Slender, the gimmick is look away or die. In SCP – Containment Breach, the gimmick is keep looking or die. Also, Slender puts you in the role of an innocent little girl, while Containment Breach puts you in the role of a (male) former death row inmate. Finally, Slender gets harder as you collect more items, while Containment Breach gets slightly easier as you gather more gear (slightly).
  • As Mario's biggest rival in the 1990s, Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog was designed to be "the anti-Mario" in many ways. Mario is famous for his jumping ability, and his levels are generally platforming challenges that take place on flat terrain; by contrast, Sonic is famous for his speed, and his adventures are usually fast-paced sprinting challenges that take place on hilly terrain (though they also include platforming). While Mario resembles a portly middle-aged man, Sonic is known for his youthful personality and "hip" attitude. And Mario's adventures are set in a fairy tale kingdom, and they're tongue-in-cheek throwbacks to classic high fantasy; conversely, Sonic's adventures take place in futuristic cyberpunk-inspired cityscapes, and they're often throwbacks to classic science-fiction.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog resulted in many Mascot with Attitude games. While they all Follow the Leader, one exception was Sparkster of Rocket Knight Adventures. While both their games are similar (starting on the Sega Genesis and having a bright and colorful template) the main character of the latter was the opposite of Sonic, and all of his imitators. While Sonic is meant to be edgy and cool with a look that screams The '90s, Sparkster is designed to be humble and adorable and given a more timeless look. Also, while Sonic's games were about speed more than platforming, Sparkster's were more about platforming than speed.
  • Sonic Mania and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 were both created as Genre Throwbacks to the original Sega Genesis trilogy, both taking place after Sonic 3 & Knuckles. However, there are many differences:
    • The character designs used in Sonic 4 were the ones used from Sonic Adventure onward, while Sonic Mania brought back the original character designs.
    • Sonic 4 was developed as an Episodic Game that was ultimately unfinished, while Sonic Mania is a fully complete game.
    • Sonic Mania features Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles as playable characters, while Sonic 4 only features Sonic as the main playable character — Tails was incorporated into Episode 2, but he was only player-controlled in co-op mode. Sonic 4 never got to feature Knuckles at any point.
    • Sonic 4 uses Zones that are similar to (or, in some cases, look just like) Zones from the older games, while Sonic Mania reuses the actual old zones with updated layouts to keep things fresh.
    • Sonic 4's soundtrack attempts to mimic the sound limitations of the Sega Genesis, while Sonic Mania favors a more modern sound.
    • Sonic 4 is a Sprite/Polygon Mix for the first episode, and 2½D for the second. Sonic Mania generally favors a bitmap graphic presentation instead, with Polygonal Graphics only showing up in the Special Stages.
    • Sonic 4 uses a game engine descended from the Sonic Rush series due to being made by the same developers. Sonic Mania instead uses an engine designed specifically to replicate the mechanics of the Genesis Sonic games.
  • sora is one to SUGURI. The latter features a girl who's confident in her abilities as an altered human and armed with various weapons trying to defend the Earth from an invasion of other altered humans whom have some lighthearted and at times comical exchanges with the heroine, the heroine of the former is reluctant about her natural combat capabilities and who was forced to fight in a war against her will until she eventually deserted from the war while she confronts many others taking part in said war whom remind her that she's just another weapon of war. SUGURI also takes places just after Earth has finally recovered from a war that nearly killed the planet, featuring lively scenery and an energetic techno/trace soundtrack, while sora takes place during said war with many barren and lifeless areas as a result of the Earth's dwindling natural resources and dying population, all while being accompanied with a moodier trance soundtrack.
  • Soulcalibur V has a direct antithesis with its sequel Soulcalibur VI. While both stand as attempts to revitalize the Soul Series, the way they go about it is completely different. V is about deviating from the source by introducing a new generation of fighters, advancing the story forward significantly, and creating new ideas to progress the series in a different direction. VI on the other hand is about returning to the core of Soulcalibur by taking a back-to-basics approach of exploring the established lore in more detail, bringing back the old guard, and revamping old ideas to make them new. The direct contrast is highlighted by what each game is best known for: V is best known for what it changed, while VI is best known for what it brought back.
  • Sound Voltex to beatmania:
    • beatmania gives you a background music track with missing bits and you have to fill in those bits by pressing keys in time to falling notes. Sound Voltex, on the other hand, gives you a track that is already complete and you hit notes to add effects to it.
    • beatmania maintains a minimalist note-scrolling interface with very few changes ever to the gameplay mechanics, while Sound Voltex makes use of fancy interface effects that can potentially screw over the player and each new game has added at least one new gameplay gimmick.
    • While beatmania is best known for its collection of in-house and commissioned tracks, Sound Voltex features some of those but also allows fans to submit tracks for use in the game through Sound Voltex Floor contests.
  • Spec Ops: The Line is a direct response to the Call of Duty series post Modern Warfare. Spec Ops is a third person cover based shooter more concerned with its single player story story, while Call of Duty focused more on its multiplayer. They also could not be more tonally different: Call of Duty's campaign seems to glorify itself, making the player feel like a hero for doing things like dropping bombs from gunships, torturing prisoners or killing a number of nameless mooks without a care to what the consequences could be. Spec Ops: The Line on the other hand shows in graphic and unsettling detail what would happen if you actually adopted the "action hero" mentality that Call of Duty instills in players, and is consistently condemning throughout.
  • Splatoon is the complete opposite of Super Mario Sunshine from a gameplay standpoint. Super Mario Sunshine is a singleplayer platformer with slight shooter elements set on an island that's based around cleaning up as much ink as possible. Splatoon is a multiplayer-focused shooter with platformer elements set in an urban environment that's based around spreading as much ink as possible. The fact that during the planning stages it was considered to make Splatoon a Mario spin-off increases this connection.
  • The demo to The Stanley Parable is ultimately this for the game itself. The demo is a highly linear experience that frustrates the Narrator and causes him to desire a game about choices, while the game itself is entirely about the choices you make.
  • Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. While both games were produced by the same people and were in development in parallel. Super Mario Bros. is a linear arcade platformer with 32 levels and power-ups that vanish after damage, while The Legend of Zelda is an open world action-adventure with health meter and permanent upgrades. Super Mario Bros. also gently pokes fun at Western fairy tales and High Fantasy, while The Legend of Zelda takes the same basic story elements (most notably the Save the Princess plot) and plays them completely straight.
    • Metroid combines elements of two previously mentioned games- open world action-adventure with health meter and dungeon exploration with platformer perspective. However, aestetics of the game are opposite to previous two- Dark and Gloomy atmosphere, unlike Super Mario Bros. and Science Fiction unlike the Legend of Zelda. Also, the main protagonist of the game is revealed to be woman, while goals of previous game is to save a woman.
    • Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were both released the same year and both were titles shook up their respective franchise's formula. Odyssey was a Switch exclusive title that returned to the sandbox-style platformer of Super Mario 64 while Breath of the Wild was original designed for the Wii U before being released for both systems and designed to evoke the sense of freedom from the original NES game. Odyssey is linear with post-game material while Breath of the Wild is more open with an exact ending. Even how the heroes look differ; while the player has the option to give their characters different clothes and looks, Mario starts with his iconic outfit, while Link's signature green tunic must be unlocked (though amiibos can grant Link a variation of it).
  • Super Mario 3D Land to Super Mario 64. The latter introduces 3D gameplay to the Super Mario Bros. series, yet radically changes some of the gameplay conventions. The former, however, not only uses 3D gameplay as its basis, but makes the conventions more true to the 2D games.
  • In Super Smash Bros.:
    • Marth is the antithesis to Link. The latter is an adventurer experienced in Dungeon Crawling, and as such his swordplay consists of heavy, sweeping swings bolstered by a Wall of Weapons. The former is a Frontline General with experience in one-on-one battles, and his swordplay relies on light, swift strikes and advanced techniques.
    • Mega Man is the antithesis to Sonic the Hedgehog. Both are Blue-hued Guest Fighters, but while Mega Man is a Robot Kid with stiff animations, Sonic is a Funny Animal who's as flashy as can be. Whereas Mega Man is a Long-Range Fighter with a Wall of Weapons, Sonic is a Close-Range Combatant with speedy hand-to-hand moves and Spin-Dashes. This also extends to their stages. Both of Sonic's stages are the nature themed first levels with friendly background characters, while Mega Man's stage is the industrial themed final level with a boss as a hazard.
    • Palutena is the antithesis to Ganondorf. Both of them are ancient Physical Gods, but they're opposites in numerous ways: Palutena is the Big Good of her series while Ganondorf is the Big Bad of his, she's a Glass Cannon with many magic-powered long-ranged attacks and is unique in that all her custom moves do different things while he's a Mighty Glacier with an incredibly strong magic-enhanced physical moveset and is a Moveset Clone of a different character. Palutena has a white color scheme with green hair while Ganondorf has a black color scheme with red hair and both share a Female Angel, Male Demon dynamic.
    • Terry Bogard is the antithesis of Ryu and Ken, fittingly enough. While they're all fighting game characters, Ryu and Ken's company focuses on more than just fighting games, while Terry's company focuses primarily on fighting games. As for their movesets, Ryu and Ken's movesets remain mostly faithful to their Street Fighter II incarnations, whereas Terry's moveset takes more liberties by pulling a variety of moves from a variety of games, while still playing faithfully overall to his original games. Additionally, all of them can perform moves using the original command inputs from their games, but while Ryu and Ken's are optional, Terry has two moves that he can only perform with the original inputs. As for other gameplay elements, Ryu and Ken's stage is based on a specific location from Street Fighter II and no background cameos or gimmicks, while Terry's stage is a composite of a number of different ones seen in Fatal Fury and King of Fighters, sports a significant amount of background cameos from other SNK characters, and features a stage gimmick that distinguishes itself from other stages. Finally, while Ryu and Ken are dubbed in English by their respective voice actors, Terry isn't dubbed in English, and instead has his Japanese voice actor reading lines in Engrish, true to his original series.
  • Umineko: When They Cry can easily be seen as this towards Higurashi: When They Cry. While both series share similar themes and structure (Psychological horror mystery with a "Groundhog Day" Loop function) Umineko is much more cynical and deconstructs several of the tropes in Higurashi.
  • Valkyria Chronicles I: War elevates brave men and women into heights of glory! Valkyria Chronicles III: War crushes idealism and destroys the dignity of humankind!
  • Vagrant Story was this to Final Fantasy Tactics. Both games take place in and around Ivalice, the same universe as Final Fantasy XII released around six years after the former and nine years after the latter. However, Vagrant Story was an Action RPG about a single warrior soloing dungeons and fighting in a real-time combat system, while Final Fantasy Tactics was a Tactical RPG that featured the main-protagonist gathering an army and fighting in a series of turn-based tactical battles.
  • The Yakuza series is the antithesis of Grand Theft Auto. Both are crime dramas set in sandbox environments with lots of side content and wacky shenanigans to distract yourself from the main plot, but while GTA goes for quantity with its sandbox environments, getting bigger and bigger with each game, Yakuza goes for density, with a much smaller but far livelier and more detailed sandbox that is revisited with each game, evolving over the years. While GTA has a lot of focus on vehicles and gunplay, Yakuza is a Beat 'em Up where you settle every fight with your bare fists and whatever improvised melee weapon you can get your hands on. While GTA encourages all kinds of out-of-character sandbox mayhem, Yakuza refuses to allow the main character to harm civilians, only allowing the player to get in fights with characters who try to start fights first, with all the series' absurdity being relegated to the main plot and various side missions (the series' creator even explicitly rejected GTA's sandbox mayhem while creating the Yakuza series.) While the GTA series is an exaggerated satire/parody of American culture filtered through a British lens, Yakuza is very distinctly Japanese.
  • Yume Nikki has its own antithesis in the form of the obscure Her Nightmares: despite sharing striking similarities in their premises — female protagonists are locked within their rooms and spend the entire game exploring their dreams — they have very different executions. Yume Nikki is primarily based on exploration, atmosphere, and symbolism, with Jump Scares being few and far between. In contrast, Her Nightmares severely restricts the player's options and ramps up the pacing, with dreams lasting no longer than a minute and many of them ending with a Jump Scare. Her Nightmares also leaves less to the imagination, making it clear that the unnamed protagonist is being held against her will; this is only one of many possible situations in Yume Nikki, with the more prevalent theory being that Madotsuki is a hikikomori dealing with depression. Side-by-side, Her Nightmares shows inspiration from Western indie horror games like Five Nights at Freddy's and Sad Satan, while Yume Nikki could be better compared to works of Psychological Horror like Silent Hill or Eraserhead.
  • TheSMonroeShow points out that Devil May Cry 5 is not only the antithesis to DmC: Devil May Cry, but also to God of War (PS4). God of War is a game directed by the original God of War director, who admits that he's ashamed of his past work. This God of War is an attempt to mature and distance the series from its past, something which results in what feels like a completely unrelated game that's only a God of War game because Kratos is in it. Likewise, DmC is a Continuity Reboot by someone who openly hated the Devil May Cry games, publicly declaring that Dante is a "gay cowboy" and that his version of the series with an edgier protagonist and awkwardly shoehorned sociopolitical elements is the superior version, resulting in the biggest fan backlash since Devil May Cry 2. Meanwhile, while those two games were open rejections of their series' pasts, Devil May Cry 5 is an open embrace of its entire past, both good and bad, not only continuing and expanding on the gameplay formula from previous games, but being the first game to take place after Devil May Cry 2note , taking certain inspirations from DmC, and even including a cowboy hat weapon for Dante that causes him to strike flamboyant poses as a tongue-in-cheek nod to Tameem's infamous "gay cowboy" comment.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: