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People who aren't who they think they are in video games.


  • In a literal in-the-mirror moment at the end of The 7th Guest, Ego, the player character, is revealed to be Tad, the titular seventh guest.
  • The short interactive fiction 9:05 revolves around this concept. Hints to your real identity include the lack of a stereo or TV in the main room, and the broken lock on the front door. It turns out this isn't your house, that isn't your boss on the phone, and you stashed Hadley's body under the bed.
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  • In the Japanese version of Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere, once all five endings are unlocked, the Omega Ending is unlocked, which reveals that the whole game was a simulation by Simon Orestes Cohen, and that the Player Character, Nemo, is an Artificial Intelligence that he created to destroy Abyssal Dision.
  • In Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits, Kharg discovers that he is a human/demos hybrid.
  • This is alluded to in Arena.Xlsm, made in Microsoft Excel. After Kylem avenges Jake's death by killing his executioner, she says that the demons terrorize other people, but never bother her, as if they know she's now one of them. In one of the endings, she commits suicide, literally writing that she cannot bear to look at herself in the mirror, and that she's become what she hated.
  • One relatively early in Assassin's Creed III has the reveal that the Decoy Protagonist Haytham Kenway is actually a Templar, not an Assassin as Desmond et al thought. Desmond is naturally freaked out and extremely angry, given that Haytham is one of his ancestors.
  • Baldur's Gate has the protagonist on the run, trying to figure out why everyone wants them dead. The discovery of a letter left by their adopted father reveals that they're a Bhaalspawn, a child of the Lord of Murder, and destined to rain destruction on the world.
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    • This is reinforced (and in one case foreshadowed) when some of the Player Character's dreams has them looking in a reflective surface and seeing themselves with the same Black Eyes of Evil Bhaal had.
    • In the sequel, the protagonist's childhood friend Imoen is eventually revealed to be a Bhaalspawn as well. The shock of this and the torture she'd been under briefly breaks her mind and she temporarily becomes an Empty Shell.
  • Baten Kaitos Origins plays this in a really interesting and powerful manner: you're the tomato. Yes, you, the player...well, in a sense. That strange world that Sagi keeps getting sent to, where a bunch of people keep calling him Marno? That's you. You're actually playing the role of Marno's spirit, not a nameless Guardian Spirit...oh, and by the way, Marno is one-fifth of the Eldritch Abomination Malpercio. Yup, you're part of the dark god that helped ravage the world a millennium ago and is the final boss of the first, chronologically-second, Baten Kaitos. Don't you feel special?
  • A little over halfway through BioShock, the protagonist learns he's a genetically altered assassin, Andrew Ryan's secret love-child given rapid aging to maturity, and smuggled out of Rapture as a pawn in mobster Fontaine's complicated scheme to kill Ryan and take over the city.
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    • The Minerva's Den DLC from BioShock 2 ends with Alpha Series Sigma discovering that he is really Porter, who had been framed by Wahl and sent to Persephone, and the "Porter" who had been helping him was really the Thinker.
    • BioShock Infinite utilizes this trope as well, considering that Comstock is really Booker DeWitt from an alternate timeline where he was baptized after the Battle of Wounded Knee and began his descent into darkness.
      • And the DLC plays this trope completely straight, with the end of part 1 revealing that you've been playing as Comstock the whole time.
  • The last level of Braid has Tim running a deadly gauntlet, with the Princess following above, disabling traps and opening doors. He reaches the end and rewinds time, revealing the truth: she was setting traps and closing doors, trying to keep him away.
    • In the extra stories the player can follow when they go into levels and get to the end of the game reveals that the woman in the stories (or the princess) is a metaphor for the atomic bomb.
  • In Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow Dracula is Killed Off for Real before the start of the game. Its main villain claims to be Dracula's reincarnation. He's not, the mysterious power possessed by the main character, Soma Cruz is Dracula's power, and Soma is Dracula reincarnated. Cue Enemy Within.
  • In ''Chaser, it's revealed at the very end of the game that "Chaser" is really Scott Stone, The Dragon to Big Bad Samuel Longwood. Stone killed the original Chaser before he could be interrogated, so Longwood used experimental technology to download Chaser's memories into Stone (who also underwent plastic surgery to look like Chaser) in order to infiltrate the Resistance. However, the process was screwed up due to an attack by Resistance commandoes, resulting in Stone/Chaser having amnesia and only mixed-up partial memories from both of his identities.
  • City of Villains has a story arc where the player character uncovers clues that they are in fact robotic duplicates made by Nemesis. Subverted by the final mission, which explicitly states that the player character is the original, but the contact who sent them on the missions is the robotic duplicate (with the real one alive but captive).
  • As if Konami can't stop recycling the plot enough, a similar theme appears in Neo Contra when protagonist Bill Rizer meet with the "real" Bill Rizer, A.K.A. Master Contra. The Big Bad reveals that both of you were part of a program called "Project C" in an effort to stop global warfare, and thus was cloned from the conscious of a legendary soldier. Considering how the game pokes fun at the Contra series and its sillier bits, it is probably an intentional jab at That Other Series From Konami.
  • At the end of Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal, Skars is revealed to be a projection of the Loki Imperator, the entity that originally ordered the Loki to construct the Arc, and thus set them on their path of omnicidal destruction. For extra fun, the game lets you choose between embracing it (which requires killing your own daughter) and rejecting it (thus betraying the Loki).
  • In Cube Escape: Seasons, it's clear from the start that you're not the most mentally stable person as there are notes on your bulletin board about you taking Prozac and going to Rusty Lake, a place for "mental health and fishing", but it's not until you finally open the grandfather clock and see yourself in its mirror that you realize that you're the shadowy being that was shown killing a woman earlier. And then the ending mind-screws you further by revealing that you were the killed woman all along too.
  • In A Dark Room, you're a regular Featureless Protagonist. As the game progresses, you start to wonder why you can wield six or more weapons simultaneously, and why the entire military attacks you on sight... until it's revealed that "wanderer" means alien, and you and your ragtag bunch of villagers are what's left of an invasion fleet. And those woodland creatures that you've been trapping for meat and skins? They're not animals—they're the fully sentient native species of the planet; you keep picking up scraps of cloth in your traps because you've been trapping the same fully clothed bipedal scavengers that you've been fighting during your supply runs.
  • Darkest Dungeon leads the player to believe that they're fighting an otherworldly Lovecraftian horror and its army of insane cultists and warped monsters. In reality, humanity is merely an extension of the creature they're fighting, errant flesh rebelling against the host body.
  • In De Baron, you start out as a father on a quest to save his daughter who has been kidnapped by an evil Baron only to learn when you find her that you are the Baron who sexually abused her and are trapped in a neverending cycle of reliving your sins.
  • In Detention, protagonist Fang Ray Shin is Dead to Begin With. When alive, she ruined the lives of basically every other character in the game in a misguided attempt to be with the school's counselor, Mr. Chang, who'd been serving as her Living Emotional Crutch. She took her own life in horror after seeing the consequences of her actions. The game is her wandering through an Ironic Hell/Purgatory that takes the form of a twisted version of her school, with reminders of her sin everywhere.
    • In Detention's sequel Devotion (which does not share the plot or characters), the protagonist is the cause of all the problems in the game. He was once a successful screenwriter, but his success and family situation went downhill, which prompted him to become abusive and fall in with a cult. The reason his family vanished in the game is because his wife left him to hopefully become financially stable and get custody of their daughter, who the protagonist subjected to a dangerous religious ritual to cure her panic disorder, which ended up killing her.
  • Subverted in Deus Ex, in which protagonist JC Denton is informed that both he and his "brother" are actually artificial life forms. Rather than reacting with shock, angst, or an unconvincing identity crisis, JC calmly takes the revelation into stride, and remarks that he had considered the possibility in the past. His artificially constructed memories of the past, that is.
    • One of the few discrepancies in Deus Ex is JC's history. In one version he was cloned and artificially aged, being about six months to a year old during the game. In the other, he was genetically engineered but was raised in Switzerland. Both of these versions are supported by information from characters who knew The Truth in the form of email archives, statements, and physical evidence within The Conspiracy. In the final area, JC first guns down the man who killed his father, then sees his cloning tank, and the one that is growing his younger sibling, Alex D. To address these issues the DX team created the Deus Ex Continuity Bible with the issue at hand explained here. Needless to say, the site contains massive spoilers.
  • The extent to which this trope applies in Digital Devil Saga is certainly arguable, but it probably applies when Serph realizes that he was created as a virtual AI doll version of someone who was experimenting on one of his comrades when she was two years old. Oh, and his spirit's still around and affecting him.
  • In Disgaea 2, it is heavily implied that Adell is actually a demon himself by birth. He'll keep saying he's human because he isn't told this in the main story, but it's pretty obvious to the player.
    • Disgaea 2 has another example in that Rozalin is actually the overlord Zenon, reincarnating herself for fear of her own power.
  • In Dragonsphere a character learns that he is not who he believed himself to be: specifically, the player character learns that he is not actually King Callah, but that he is a shapeshifter magically molded into Callah's appearance and given Callah's memories.
  • The premise of Ether One is that the player takes on the role of a "Restorer" who, working for the eponymous "Ether One" company, uses advanced technology to somehow project into the memories of a patient named Jean Fletcher, who is suffering from dementia, in the hopes of helping to piece together fragments of her memories while fighting back the progression of her disorder. Jean Fletcher died some time ago. The "Ether One" company does not exist, nor does the technology supposedly used by them. You are actually Jean's surviving husband, Thomas. The game is taking place in your mind, and the entire premise is Thomas's way of coping with the conventional treatment that he is receiving for his dementia while he tries to put his own memories back together.
  • In the true route in Ever17, the amnesiac Kid looks himself in a mirror and realizes that he is not the same Kid seen in Takeshi's perspective. In fact, he isn't even the Kid he sees in the mirror. He is the reader.
  • Evil Islands: It's eventually revealed that Zak's identity is that of the mysterious Joon you've been looking for during the Suslanger arc.
  • With the prevalence of Institute Synth infiltrators in Fallout 4, the player is bound to run into at least a few that don't know they're actually Synths. While characters like the Coursers, Glory, random infiltrating Settlers and brahmin, and Mayor McDonough know their identities, some such as Danse, Amelia Stockton, Sturges, and Magnolia appear to have no idea. The reveal of Danse's nature is a plot point, but you won't know about the others unless you kill them and find the Synth Component on their dead bodies.
  • Fatal Frame:
    • Crimson Butterfly: Minakami Village's ritual involves twins, with the older one having to kill the younger one to be thrown into the Abyss and prevent the Repentance from occurring. When Mayu and Mio get lost in the village, Mayu gets possessed by a spirit and plans to go through the ritual with Mio. While wanting to save her older sister from possession, Mio is now in danger of being killed by her, too. The penultimate chapter reveals a note that mentions the village having an extremely out-dated way of 'counting' twins. They believed that the last-born twin was the older one, as they would 'allow' the younger sibling to be born first. Mio is supposed to be the one to kill Mayu, not the other way around.
    • Mask of the Lunar Eclipse: Choushiro Kirishima is on Rougetsu Island and intent on finally confronting Yuu Haibara, the man who kidnapped five girls to help him perform a strange ritual, and bringing him to justice. As he runs after Haibara all over the island, he ends up cornering him on top of a roof and gets stabbed in the stomach by him. Kirishima tackles Haibara and both go over the railing. And Kirishima looks back down at his own body, back in the very spot he initially awoke and had no idea how he got there. He's one of the ghosts stuck on the island, having died in its tragedy eight years ago.
  • One of the earliest examples in video games is Final Fantasy VII: Cloud, the protagonist, suffers from freaky headaches and weird disjointed flashbacks. It then transpires that he is a "clone" or "copy" of the villain, Sephiroth, and has been acting under Sephiroth's Mind Control for the game so far. Even more confusingly, when he recovers from his Heroic BSoD, he realizes he was never a clone to begin with (what he really is, is quite complicated, but it involves the way the Super Soldiers are created, and how The Virus contains the genetic memories of those infected). Then a big reveal occurs where it is eventually revealed that much of his memories were not his own, but were in fact partly borrowed from that of his dead best friend Zack. When he finally regains his true memories, he finally develops into a fully fledged person.
  • In Final Fantasy X, Tidus discovers that he and his civilization don't really exist. They did exist at one point, but they were obliterated in a war with Bevelle. Now they're just all part of a dream being generated by the survivors of that civilization, which are now a gestalt of magical naked people trapped in a mountainside. No. Really.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening has lovingly prepared a double-whammy special tomato puree surprise for you. You, as the Avatar, are Validar's child. Yes, the spawn of the madman who heads a Religion of Evil dedicated to the evil Dragon Grima; the same man who attempted to have your friends assassinated in cold blood in the middle of the night and the one who eventually helps Grima mind control you to attempt to murder your best friend (And quite possibly your husband, if your Avatar is female). That's the least of your worries. Have you ever wondered why your Avatar and your children are so stupidly strong? It's because you are the most perfect result of a Super Breeding Program by said Religion of Evil, designed to create a suitable vessel for their dragon master to possess.You are to have your body stolen for use by Grima. And Time Travel is involved in this game. And guess what? Nothing quite feels like a kick in the nuts like hearing the impending realization of your dark destiny coming from the mouth of your own body from a Bad Future where you were possessed by Grima, were Forced to Watch Grima kill your best friend/possible husband, and proceeded to lay waste to the world, bringing unmeasureable death and destruction to all that lives with you in the front seat. YIKES. Fortunately for everyone not from the Grimleal, you can and WILL Screw Destiny to prevent the present from turning into that ruined future.
  • In Folklore, your two protagonists are an amnesiac Mysterious Waif named Ellen and an Intrepid Reporter named Keats. Ellen naturally gets freaked out at first by the supernatural discoveries she makes, while Keats takes it all remarkably in stride, mostly because he dismisses a lot of it as unreal and simply plays along to get to the truth. Their being drawn to the same location and chain of events appears to be related only by the person who called them. In reality, Keats is a Halflife, ghost-like beings that the player has interacted with the entire game, which are created by the strong wish of a human - in this case, Ellen's childhood friend Herve, whose dying wish was to protect her. Keats looks human because his appearance is taken from a drawing Ellen made of what she thought Herve would look like when he grew up; he's a reporter only because Herve wanted to be one, and the magazine he writes for (which Herve was a fan of) went out of business in the late '80s. The "office" the player sees Keats in at the beginning of the game is in fact another realm in the Netherworld. And he's part of the story because the whole chain of events 17 years ago is what created him.
  • Ghost Trick: Sissel spends the entire evening hunting down clues to who he was before his demise. At first, he assumes himself to be the blond man in the red suit seen on the game's cover. He spends the majority of the game using this persona until he discovers that the man in red is alive (kind of) and reverts back to a wisp. He all but gives up hope on finding his identity until the person whose face he was borrowing eventually reveals that Sissel was his cat. Major clues for this revelation include Sissel's limited understanding of human technology and complete inability to read.
  • Glory Of Heracles III revolves around three Amnesiac Heroes who were granted immortality as a ploy to avert The End of the World as We Know It. Except for the main character, who isn't one of Prometheus's three immortals. He's actually Lord Baor, a Villain with Good Publicity whose actions caused an ecological crisis that provoked the gods' desire to wipe out all humankind. He received his immortality from Hades when he was chosen to lead The Legions of Hell to Kill 'Em All.
  • Guilty Gear: Xrd -Revelator- reveals that Axl Low is basically a sentient bundle of time magic, with the power to hop between timelines and erase or rewrite them at will. And he can never return to his girlfriend Megumi because he already changed the world in a way that led to her timeline being erased. The knowledge hits Axl like a ton of bricks, throwing him into a deep depression.
  • Hell Night: The player turns out to be the Dark Messiah, not only explaining why they were chased by the Cult, but also the kidnappings. And why the train was wrecked by the monster.
  • I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream: Nimdok is given the task to find "The Lost Tribe". He finds a mirror, that shows anyone with absolute objectivity, and learns a horrific truth. He sold his Jewish parents out to the Nazis to perform his gruesome experiments, and realizes he himself is the Lost Tribe.
  • In Imperium Galactica, the Player Character is revealed to be an android created by The Empire as a last desperate attempt to restore its former glory and prevent the Dargslan Kingdom from conquering it.
  • killer7: Thought the Killer 7 were Harman's split personalities? Nope. They're Garcian's.
  • The Kingdom Hearts series has several:
    • In Kingdom Hearts I, the protagonist Sora travels through the worlds attempting to find his friends Riku, who has joined the villain side, and Kairi, who has lost her heart. He suspects that Riku did that to Kairi, despite the latter's denial. Then it's revealed in the Disc-One Final Dungeon that Kairi's heart has been residing inside Sora all along ever since the destruction of their home world, and opening up the final keyhole means that Sora will have to release both his and her hearts. It's foreshadowed since early in the game, what with Sora seeing Kairi's apparitions here and there, resulting from her heart resonating inside him.
    • Kingdom Hearts II, Roxas starts seeing mysterious people that no one else seems to notice. He eventually discovers that the Twilight Town he's been living in is a fabrication, and that he himself is a "Nobody" of the main character, Sora.
    • And then there's Xion in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, who realizes that she's never a Nobody; she's an imperfect replica of Sora created as a fail safe should Roxas ever fail in his part as Sora's Nobody. Her existence disrupts Sora's memory restoration, thus either she or Roxas has to die so the restoration can proceed. When the Big Bad forces her to absorb Roxas, she gets him to attack her so she can stop the Big Bad's Evil Plan.
  • King's Quest VI has a magic mirror in it that reveals someone's true identity. There are two places it can be used (though not in the same playthrough). One is in passing the Lord of the Dead's challenge to make him cry, wherein he realizes in an instant his long miserable existence. The other has Alexander revealing to his nearby allies that the supposed Princess Cassima is actually a genie in disguise.
  • In Klonoa 1, Klonoa himself turns out to be from an alternate reality at the end.
  • Legacy of Kain character Raziel's story is a long string of this. Over the course of the three games he appears in, he starts off as a re-resurrected vampire, only to find out that the vampires are a world-destroying evil that he must personally weed out. Then, it is revealed to him that he used to be a high-ranking Sarafan vampire hunter before he was a vampire. In part II, Time Travel hijinks lead to the discovery that the original vampires weren't so bad at all. Then he finds the last survivor of the original, ancient vampire race, the only one who can give him the answers he seeks, brutally and mercilessly slaughtered... by Raziel's own, past Sarafan self. Whom Raziel later KILLS along with his fellow Sarafan, indirectly preparing his own vampiric resurrection as well as his brethren's. As if this wasn't enough, just moments later, he comes to the startling realization that the symbiotic, semi-sentient, insane wraith blade that he's been carrying for two games is the future version of his own soul. Finally, he learns that he is the foretold messiah of the vampire race. No, wait — he's the messiah of the Hylden, whom he thought he's supposed to kill. No, wait, he's both at once. Turns out that the prophecies weren't all that clear on this.
    • Even before that, there was Kain's dilemma: Originally lead to believe that by killing the mythic Circle of Nine he could be released from his vampyric unlife, he eventually learns that he is, in fact, one of its members, the reincarnated guardian of the Pillar of Balance, and his liberation from vampirism may only come in death.
      • Gets better. In Defiance, Raziel rips out Kain's heart, saying "I have found the Heart of Darkness!". Janos' heart, which was pulled from the vampire by Sarafan Raziel, was inside Kain all along. Kain was unaware of this fact.
  • In Lufia & The Fortress of Doom there is a twist towards the end where it is revealed that Lufia is really Erim, the sinistral of death.
  • In Luminous Arc 3 Levi discovered that he is the clone of the man antagonist, the God but is said by his companion that the thing that matter is Levi's heart is human.
  • Vayne, the protagonist of Mana Khemia, is introduced as an amnesiac hermit living with his cat-like Mana Sulpher. And then Chapter 11 rolls around. Turns out Sulpher is just a normal cat. Vayne is his Mana, more specifically an artificial Mana of Wishes created by Sulpher's former owner. His powers make him a Reality Warper capable of granting any wish, his "father" created him to grant his own wish for death, and he's performed at least three resurrections throughout the plot without even realizing it. Vayne... doesn't take it well.
  • In Mass Effect 3 it's revealed in some old logs that took place before the second game, that Shepard was completely brain-dead when they were recovered by Cerberus, with one of the Lazarus Project scientists commenting that because of this, bringing Shepard back would be impossible. The fact that Shepard somehow was resurrected anyway, has them momentarily wonder aloud if s/he is the real one.
    Shepard: Maybe I'm just some sort of high-tech VI who thinks s/he's Commander Shepard?
    • It's implied, that Shepard is the real one, but its never directly confirmed. Unless Liara accompanies you on that mission, in which case she responds to Shepard by saying that she knew Shepard was real the moment she met them in Mass Effect 2, and given the tactile telepathy that her species appears to have there's no reason to doubt her.
    • The "Citadel" DLC all but confirms that Shepard is real since Cerberus probably wouldn't have preferred a mere high-tech VI to their clone.
    • There's an Easter Egg alluding to this in Mass Effect: the layout of the Council's room, where they'd deny the existence of the Reapers, strongly resembles the outline of a typical Reaper ship.
  • In Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, the show within a game Address Unknown ends like this: The protagonist, John Mirra, who spent the entire show looking for the murderers of his family, realizes that he himself was the killer after he sees the killer's face staring back at him in a bathroom mirror. This, incidentally, may mean the whole purpose of the show was to set up a truly terrible pun: the main character is named John Mirra, and he solves the mystery in the bathroom (as in, the john) by looking into the mirror...
  • Subverted in Mega Man Zero 3. Zero doesn't care that he's inhabiting a clone body. Zero doesn't care about how the Ax-Crazy Omnicidal Maniac Final Boss is inhabiting his original, "superior" body. All he sees is an enemy who needs to be taken down.
    Mega Man X: The heart is what counts. Not the body...
    • This is echoed in Mega Man ZX Advent. Grey has spent enough time fighting for his life against Maverick Mechaniloids, Pseudoroids, five other Mega Men, and both Prometheus and Pandora that when he finally learned that he is actually Master Albert's backup body and Model A a recording of his data and powers, he stopped giving a damn about who he originally was. That one of the Mega Men in question was Aile certainly helped him stop caring about his predetermined identity, as she was the one who told him that ultimately he is the only one capable of deciding his destiny, regardless of his past or what anyone else says.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Solid Snake goes into Shadow Moses Island to rescue two hostages, and stop terrorist leader Liquid Snake from launching a nuclear strike. The hostages he's meant to rescue keep having heart attacks, and Meryl claims he looks just like Liquid. Snake then discovers that both he and Liquid are clones of Big Boss, and that he's been used as a vector for the FOXDIE assassination virus.
    • Liquid has a second later of ketchupy goodness rendering himself a double tomato, though he never finds out personally. He knows he's a clone, but thinks that he's the inferior genetic specimen while Solid got all the good gene goo in the course of their creation.
    • If anything, Raiden in Sons of Liberty is an even bigger tomato than Snake. A former Child Soldier who suppresses his traumatic memories, he goes through all kinds of virtual reality training reenactments of Snake's best missions, and his mission in the Big Shell was modelled right off of the Shadow Moses mission. His relationship to the game's Big Bad, Solidus Snake, closely resembles the one between Solid Snake and Big Boss, and the entire mission was meant to be an experiment to transform Raiden into the spitting image of Solid Snake himself as well as a social experiment in giving The Patriots control over all digital information. To say that Raiden was an Unwitting Pawn by this point would be a grand understatement.
    • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Big Boss wakes up from his nine year coma only to escape a hospital under attack with the help of a mysterious man named Ishmael. In the secret ending, you discover that the character you have been playing is a body double of Big Boss, and his best soldier from MSF. Ishmael was the original Big Boss, who left in order to begin creation of Outer Heaven.
  • The indie game The Monster Within is about a detective getting hired by a young woman to look into a series of women murders involving the supernatural and specifically Lust. The game strongly hints on the detective being a Incubus who has killed women in the past by seducing them. The ending subverts this. He never killed anyone, the woman that hired him did in an attempt to lure his demonic side back out so he would help her kill more people. It is left open what he does with this knowledge.
  • A similar literal example shows up just a few minutes into Obsidian. The reflective surface of the titular Obsidian structure reveals that the player is in fact, Lilah Kerlins, one of the creators of the Ceres Project. This can be even more jarring if you read all the info in her PDA first, and then heard Max screaming for help. After all, how else would the PDA have been able to pass you in on its retinal scan?
  • Onmyōji has Onigiri, the personification of the treasure sword owned by the Minamoto clan who dedicates himself to wiping out demons except he really isn't, as he later found out. He is actually a demon and had been tricked by his owner into mass-murdering his own kind all along. Naturally, he didn't take this well.
  • Overlord is about the reincarnation of an evil overlord seeking vengeance on the seven heroes that previously defeated him. One of said heroes is possessed by the spirit of the evil overlord. The Player Character is actually the eighth hero, who was left for dead by his former comrades.
  • In Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, The Sumaru City in which Maya and company live in is one big mirror, the denizens of the city (except Tatsuya) are pretty much tomatoes. In the "real world" (what Joker calls "the Other Side"), Maya was killed with the Spear of Longinus in Innocent Sin by Maya Okamura, and in having that happen, the world is destroyed, with the exception of Sumaru City. Stricken with grief over her death, Tatsuya and his friends demanded Philemon to do something about it. Philemon agrees to bring her back, but in the alternate world where EP takes place, but with a price—everyone must forget Maya and the friendship they shared. Everyone gives up their memory, but during the process Tatsuya out and out refused to forget Maya and through sheer force of will he ends up in EP's Sumaru with all his memories intact, causing a paradox. The Maya in this world runs across him and feels a strange déjà vu vibe from him, as well as pain in her side, where she had been stabbed in Innocent Sin.
  • In Persona 4, Teddie realizes he was a Shadow all along. Unlike most examples, the main characters (save for said character) were not terribly surprised by this, and took it in-stride.
  • Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh has this as its big endgame twist: Over the course of the game, the player character Curtis is haunted by insane visions, compounded with his own guilt over presumably causing his mother to hate him and eventually commit suicide, as various people he doesn't like around his office at Wyntech are being killed off. As Curtis investigates deeper into Wyntech's past, he discovers that the company used to dabble in experimenting with transdimensional portals, his father was involved in their projects, and Curtis himself was used as a guinea pig. The final reveal is that Curtis, who you've just spent the entire game playing as, is in fact an alien duplicate: The real Curtis never left the alien dimension, and has mutated and developed psychic powers to torment the clone Curtis with past dimensional barriers.
  • The three main characters in Phantasmat are all dead from drowning when a dam burst and flooded the town, although none of them initially realises it. The protagonist gradually reveals their pasts to them:
    • The girl: Convinced she was to marry her (philandering) lover in a secret wedding, she drowned while waiting for him in the church tower.
    • The hotel owner: A violent criminal who strangled the hotel's previous owner in order to 'retire' as the new owner. He drowned while attempting to hide stolen money by burying it.
    • The old woman: As the mayor's wife, she was envious of her husband's wealth and standing. She killed him by poisoning, then regretted it and drowned while mourning at his grave in the cemetery.
    • Continuing this, Phantasmat: Cruicible Peak has all people you meet that died in an avalanche that destroyed the town:
      • Greta: Got a call to skedaddle but gathered so many belongings and her car swerved on the icy road, slamming against a shop front and trapping her inside.
      • Peter: Died waiting for a letter from his divorced wife and kids and died at the post office.
      • Schultz: Was skiing down he mountains and died at the bottom of the hill when the avalanche hit.
      • Otto: A man who had an... obsession with fire who would trigger a humongous explosion that not only created the avalanche but killing him with it.
  • Phantom Dust has the amnesic main character searching for clues of his and everyone else's lost memories in the post-apocalyptic, ghoul-filled world. It is revealed to him by his friend, Edgar, that the protagonist, along with everyone else in the world save Edgar, are fabrications created by Edgar from the dust to help him overcome his loneliness when he returned from space to find Earth a complete, lifeless wasteland. When the protagonist beats the final boss it is further revealed that the Edgar you've known throughout the game is himself a fabrication, having been created by the original Edgar to watch over things after his death.
  • In [PROTOTYPE], Alex Mercer had extremely mixed feelings when he discovered that he was the Blacklight Virus, while Alex Mercer was the person who released it on New York and was its first meal. Especially since the real Mercer was worse than the virus itself.
    Alex Mercer: I'm not human. The revelation... it freed me. It killed me. I'm not human. *uneasy chuckle* Alex is just the role I play. Part of me was relieved... and part of me died. Just another disguise, right? So ingrained... so real... even I believe it.
  • Reah: Face the Unknown ends with a disturbing explanation from the phantom alchemist who accompanied you throughout the whole game. Instead of being a journalist who was brought to Reah by soldiers to investigate a portal, you are some kind of explorer being tested on Reah by the alchemist - who is actually the planet's AI that built everything you saw. And this wasn't the only time you've gone through; Everyone's seen you before, but you have no memory of this. And to make things worse, he wants you to try it all again for as many times as he sees fit. There's no other ending or alternate path to completing the game.
  • Resident Evil 5: In a flashback set a few years before the events of the game, Albert Wesker discovers that he is just another one of Umbrella's old experiments — Project W.
    Albert Wesker: Are you saying I was... manufactured?
  • Second Sight. It turns out that the main character isn't a lab escapee having flashbacks to a time just before it all went wrong, he's in that time and having precognitive visions on the verge of a Bad Future. One of the very few surprise twists where the character turns out to be himself.
  • Tomato-In-The-Mirror reveals have become a staple of Silent Hill games since Silent Hill 2, in which James realizes that he killed his wife.
    • Especially prevalent, and beautifully done, in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. The basic premise of the game centers on the main character Harry Mason searching for his lost daughter Cheryl after a car accident. The bulk of the game is a mix of exploration and action (in the form of running your ass off from the demented creatures chasing you,) with bouts of psychotherapy interposed between segments.The obvious conclusion (considering Harry can't seem to die) is that in the narrative of the game follows Harry recounting his traumatic experiences to his therapist. However, in the course of the adventure through the town, you eventually find yourself at the office of a psychologist, and you go inside to discover the therapy sessions were happening concurrently with the gameplay. The patient turns out to actually be Harry's daughter, who is now somewhere in her 20s, and the Harry Mason the player has been playing is simply a delusion in Cheryl's mind. As the game eloquently puts it, you're 'not even a ghost'. And depending on your interpretation, it's ambiguous as to whether everything in the game was in Cheryl's mind or if her delusions were simply being physically manifested in the real town.
  • In the Super NES Slayers game, Lina turns out to have been a duplicate for the entire game, while the real deal has been held hostage offscreen for most of it.
  • Snatcher pulls this off rather beautifully. So, Gillian Seed is a Deckard Expy working for an organization hunting down Snatchers, robots that look like humans. Also, you and your wife have amnesia and can't remember anything about your past. Well, it's quite obvious that You and your wife are amnesiac Snatchers Except... Actually, neither of you are. You invented the Snatchers 50 years ago and were cryogenically stored. Hideo Kojima is so good a writer even the Genre Savvy are left in surprise. There are about 5 other Tomato Surprises that are subverted in the very same game too.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Team Dark's ending in Sonic Heroes, Rouge discovers hundreds upon hundreds of copies of Shadow in tubes identical to the one he was in at the start of the game. It matters little, though — once he's over the shock, he decides that original or not, he's still the Shadow the Hedgehog. This is followed up on in one of the multiple endings of Shadow the Hedgehog, with Eggman admitting that Shadow is one of the copies. He gets over it instantly, kills Eggman and takes over the world.
    • In the canon ending of Shadow the Hedgehog, Eggman tells Shadow he is the original, and he found him after he fell to earth and put him into a capsule to let him heal.
    • The canon ending to Shadow the Hedgehog also has a completely separate Tomato in the Mirror twist: Shadow was created from Black Doom's blood, making him at least partially a Black Arm.
  • The big Tomato Surprise in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters revolves around the titular creatures - extradimensional entities cast between worlds by the various gods. The notable one out of them - and the one that applies to this trope the most - is Revya, a Drazilian shell injected with the soul of Median's dead son after 200 years of nurturing by Haephnes as her and Virtuous' part in the Gambit Pileup. Human!Layna gives you the breakdown once you cross over to Drazil proper.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl: You wake up at the start of the game with no memories and a single note in your PDA saying "Kill Strelok. Turns out you were captured and brainwashed by C-Consciousness and given the objective to kill Strelok, C-Consciousness having thought you had actually escaped when your original foray into the power plant failed. You were Strelok all along. This turns out to be an odd example of the antagonists being brought down (at least, if you pick that ending) by their own competence.
  • The Glitch in Starbound can be prone to this. They are robots built (by unknown and disappeared precursors) to simulate organic beings, and employ a lot of tech to help them believe the lie(needing food, getting sick, drowning in water, only healing damage if they're bandaged and treated medically...) and prevent them from seeing things they shouldn't (their own mechanical appearances, for one). If the illusion fails for just a moment, they can become aware of their true nature, and break free from the simulation completely. (Unfortunately, the simulation doesn't like having rogues going around mucking things up...)
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time: The entire universe that Fayt and everyone else inhabits is an MMORPG created for the amusement of 4D beings, called the Eternal Sphere. And the creator of the game has decreed that all "bad" data must be deleted as he felt that the Eternal Sphere's inhabitants have grown to be too sentient, with technology that almost matches that of the "real" 4D dimension.
  • Star Wars Legends:
  • In the original Japanese version of Street Fighter 2010 (not the American localization that claims the protagonist is Ken Masters), Kevin Straker is one of the very "Parasites" he was sent to destroy. It was all part of Dr. Jose's master plan to use him to conquer the universe...which promptly fails when Kevin kills him.
  • Ending 6 of Subject plays the trope straighter than most: your character literally opens their eyes to discover that they’re up against a mirror, and they have been turned into a non-human monster with horrific teeth and other mutations. This drives them to kill anyone the company responsible for this sends inside the house.
  • In Super Robot Wars: Endless Frontier it's revealed that Haken Browning is W00, a genetically engineered human made by a project which tried to create the perfect soldier. It causes some worries, but it's fairly short-term. He's in a group consisting of a smart-mouthed android with a split personality, a second android with cat-ears and like-wise split personality, a 2000+ year old pettanko oni princess, another princess who's as top-heavy as her sword and a Chinese fox-spirit who cracks more sexually slanted jokes than you can shake a sword-cane at. And the other guy was in a group even crazier than this one.
  • The Cybran Campaign of Supreme Commander. Dr. Brackman, creator of the Symbionts, calls all Symbionts "his children" and refers to the player as "my boy". The debriefing at the end of the campaign reveals that he's being literal about the son thing - you are his clone.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World features Emil, a cowardly teen who is given the ability to channel incredible power from the dormant spirit Ratatosk in order to protect Marta, who seeks to awaken the spirit himself from the core she carries and restore his power. Over the course of the game, Emil's recollection of certain major events is spotty, and many people in his hometown of Palmacosta, from which he left six months prior, know his name but don't recognize his face, much to his annoyance. Eventually it comes to light that Emil has not been channeling Ratatosk's power; he himself is Ratatosk, and the moments when he gains power to fight are him using his true abilities. Contrary to everyone's belief, Ratatosk had been awake for months, but was incredibly weak. In order to hide his true identity as he recovered, he created a fake persona using the appearance of a boy he'd killed named Aster. The fake was designed to quickly fill in the gaps of its memory; during the mass murder in Palmacosta six months prior, a women named Lana, blinded by her injuries, mistook Ratatosk for her son, Emil, and so the false persona came to believe it was Emil. No one in Palmacosta recognizes him because while there was once an Emil Castagnier there, this one looks completely different. The real Emil is implied to be dead, murdered at the same time as his parents. Furthermore, the core Marta has is a fake, designed to make her a target for those who seek to kill Ratatosk before he regains his full power.
  • Tales of the Abyss gives us Luke fon Fabre, a spoiled rich kid who's been shut-in at his mansion for seven years until the start of the story due to a kidnapping incident which shocked him into losing his memory. He soon goes on to find out that he's supposed to be the the world's savior, and continues to give everyone grief about how special he is. Cue the traditional Tales series megatwist, where he discovers that he's suddenly become a mass murderer, his beloved sword instructor set him up, all his friends are tired of his crap and to top it all off, he's the clone of the REAL Luke fon Fabre, who's been spending the last seven years trying to stop Van by working on the inside.
  • In the flash game "Trapped" you believe you are Benjamin Greunbaum, the owner of the hotel you're in which is under siege by a group of robbers. This impression is based on finding a wallet with that name in it. Turns out, you're actually Dan Mcneally, the guy in charge of the robbers, hit with a sudden and unexplained case of amnesia. Greunbaum is in the ventilation shaft... well, his body anyway.
    • The sequel "Escape" has Dialla told that she was once the leader of the Armored Gamses, the very gang she and her partner were trying to take down. Also she and Dan were a couple.
  • Warframe: Seemingly nobody — In-Universe or out — knows what the Tenno are. Captain Vor calls them Energy Beings, various Infested entities call them their "own flesh", and Codex entries mention terrible accidents that exposed people to the Void and gave them uncontrolled powers. In The Second Dream, a Wham Episode, the player realizes that all of them are true. The warframes are cultured Infested bodies, piloted remotely via projected consciousness by children/teenagers that had been exposed to the Void. Up 'til the finale of the quest, the player was piloting their warframe in a lucid dream without realizing they are even human.
  • The old PC Adventure Game Waxworks has the player trying to undo a family curse that has caused every set of twin boys to have one good and one evil son. After traveling through time Quantum Leap style to four other similar sets of twins, you finally go back to the witch that cursed your ancestors to begin with and kill her. Then you finally rescue your brother, only to learn that you were the Evil Twin the entire time.
  • The ending of The Whispered World reveals that the world of Silence is a sort of dream realm between life and death, and that Sadwick is a persona created by the mind of a comatose boy named Noah. When Sadwick realizes this, he "ends the world" by waking up as Noah in the real world.
    • In the sequel, Silence The Whispered World 2, Noah returns to Silence along with his little sister Renie after their shelter gets bombed during a war. Eventually, Noah comes to realize that Renie is the only living person in Silence, and that he is just an image of her brother that she dreamed up. This causes him to take up the Sadwick persona again.
  • the white chamber ends with the revelation that Sarah has murdered her entire crew. At this point, her ending fate is already sealed by in-game choices.
  • In Wild ARMs 1, Rudy has his arm severed and when his friends try to heal him they discover that he is not human, but an artificial life form created as a weapon, and his body is biologically similar to the demons they are fighting.
    • Something similar happens to Jet of Wild ARMs 3 when he finds out he is not actually Dr. Enduro's son, but actually an Artificial Human created to interface with the Yggdrasil System.
  • The World Ends with You pulls this twice: first you find out everyone playing the Reapers' Game is dead and trying for a new chance at life, and then it turns out that Shiki traded her appearance to play the game, and always appeared as her friend Eri.
    • Joshua. He killed you. No he didn't, Sho did. No wait, yes, he killed you so that you could be his proxy for the game. And he's God. This is after the sudden revelation that Joshua has been alive the whole time.
  • 100 years prior to the start of World of Final Fantasy, The Demon Dyad had caused trouble in Grymoire. And they did it by having the Dyad Servants lay waste to the land. Near the end of the game. It is revealed that Reynn and Lann were the Demon Dyad. And their lost Mirages were the Dyad Servants. Due to their inability to keep their Mirages in check, they just let them do whatever they want, however they please.
  • Overlaps with Tomato Surprise in Xenoblade Chronicles X, with the revelation in Chapter 5 that the player character is a robot- which nobody else in the party is surprised at because they are also robots, as are all the other humans you've met. Everyone else is aware of this fact, but due to the player's Laser-Guided Amnesia and the robots being designed to mimic human bodies, you were not. What makes this also a Tomato Surprise is that none of the other characters mention the fact with more than vague hints until after the reveal, even the people whose jobs involve repairing the citizens. Also, nobody uses the "Overdrive" ability, which is a function of the robot bodies, until after you learn about it.
  • In Xenogears when Fei finds out that his father is really the new body of Grahf, and also Wiseman is his father as well.
    • Not only that, but he also discovers that he is the Omnicidal Maniac ID, while his current amnesiac personality was artificially made after he committed a genocide. Then he discovers or should we say remember that he became crazy because his mother was Miang and made a lot of gruesome and painful experiments on him Then, we learn that Grahf and Fei are actually the same person, in two different bodies, and that 500 years ago, he was the lover of the game's world equivalent of the pope who made a Heroic Sacrifice for him, causing Lacan (Fei's name at the time) to become the immortal Grahf while his original personality kept reincarnating. If this was not enough, Fei later learns that he is the ancestor of every inhabitant of the world, which he was not supposed to be, that free will exists thanks to him, and that he created his soul mate 10.000 years ago as a child because he felt a need of protection while he was linked to The Wave Existence, which gave him the power to wish his feelings into reality, and that all of it makes him basically The Antichrist, except that here, The Antichrist is the ''good'' guy . Fei is not a case of Tomato in the Mirror, he is the tomato, the mirror, the frame of the mirror, the room in which the tomato and the mirror are, and the architect of all of this actually wants to be killed by him.


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