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Worthy Opponent / Video Games

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  • To a lesser extent, Rubicante, the Elemental Fiend of Fire, from Final Fantasy IV. Although he is perfectly willing to see the entire world destroyed in the name of his master, he is infuriated to discover that one of his aides turned a protagonist's parents into monsters, and fully heals the party before battle with him commences. To add on to Rubicante's honor, if you cast a fire spell on him while he is guarding with his flame cape, he responds by casting "Life" or "Raise" on your party. His last words are, true to form, praise for the protagonists.
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  • Invoking Defeat Means Friendship, several of the Guardian Forces in Final Fantasy VIII are acquired by battling them. Kick their butts and they're impressed enough to serve you.
  • Alastor in Viewtiful Joe has many traits of the worthy opponent, and is rather the Blood Knight.
  • Gogandantes, the Greatest Swordsman of all the Demons, from Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny, is essentially a demonic knight. He appears to be entirely invincible, but repeatedly refuses to finish off the hero, since that would be dishonorable. During the hero's final fight against him, he rescues the main love-interest from a fiery death before engaging him in an honorable duel. When, thanks to a magic flute, you actually defeat him, the hero acknowledges his honor and skill as he dies. What a senseless waste of demon life...
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  • Vergil from Devil May Cry fills this role in the third outing and, arguably, somewhat in the first, as well, being Dante's brother, with a definite tendency towards only using melee weapons. He nearly invokes this trope with his devil triggered catchphrase 'You are not worthy as my opponent!'
  • The Drakengard games have two examples.
    • The first game has Caim and Inuart. Inuart bemoans early in the game how he is never as strong as Caim, but when he turns evil, he gains the power of a pact with a dragon and handily defeats Caim in a tense cinematic. They hold each other to a certain standard as Inuart doesn't take advantage of the situation to kill Caim.
    • The second game has Caim appear as the Worthy Opponent to Nowe, the protagonist of that game. Caim's duel with Nowe is only a formality as Nowe isn't the one Caim wants dead, and Caim only fights Nowe long enough to weaken him and achieve his real objective, which, once learned, is actually quite sympathetic.
  • Tales of Symphonia features an...unusual Worthy Opponent in the form of Forcystus, one of the Desian grand cardinals, who is posthumously constructed as a Worthy Opponent in a discussion between Kratos and Lloyd and is easily the most tolerant and sensible of the lot. However, considering that he's still a spluttering racist who enslaved humans and used them as Human Resources, repeatedly kicked the dog by going beyond the call of duty in retaliating against you by turning Marble into a monster, and finally died when he tried to shoot an innocent bystander In the Back, their discussion on how racism and war makes noble people enemies comes off as a little...odd.
  • Tears to Tiara 2 Monomachus and Golyat have the reputation of being the strongest man in one of the two strongest armies in The Empire, the former the Hispanic legions and the latter the eastern frontiers. They meet in battle, the former as a rebel and the latter as one sent to crush the rebellion and fight each other to a tie and praise each other's battle prowess.
  • Wodan Ymir in Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2 to Sanger Zonvolt, his still-living Alternate Universe counterpart. In one battle, he actually helps Sanger out versus another enemy faction because he is The Only One Allowed To Defeat Him.
  • In Battle Moon Wars, Berserker regards Original Generation character Takumi Atsuta as a worthy Rival.
  • Forsythe from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin fights on the side of the Lazurian army, but is a kind-hearted general who stands by a strict code of honor and turns down Caulder's offer to resort to dirty tactics when fighting against Brenner and the Rubinelle army. When he is defeated, he promptly surrenders without resistance and is killed by Admiral Greyfield, leaving his subordinates Tasha and Gage to fly the Lazurian banner for him after his loss.
    • Hawke, being the Magnificent Bastard he is, subverts this beautifully in the hard campaign of Advance Wars: Black Hole Rising. He claims Andy is a worthy opponent and challenges him to an Aerial/Naval only battle. Upon victory he praises you and leaves... only to have Andy's comrades berate him for being distracted by Hawke while the rest of Black Hole's army marched right across the line Andy was supposed to be guarding.
    • In the Wars World-based Advance Wars trilogy, Hawke of the Black Hole army holds some grudging respect for young Orange Star CO Andy. In Dual Strike, he and his Perky Hench-Goth Lash switch sides and help them fight the remnants of the Bolt Guard during the last few missions. Hawke and Andy even get a bonus when teaming up in Dual Strike multiplayer.
    • Because Lash views the men under her command as chess pieces to be used at best, she harbors such sentiments for Sonja who has a similar, though much more sympathetic, mindset. Unsurprisingly, they get a team-up bonus as well much to Sonja's disgust and surprise.
  • If you're a named villain in the Fire Emblem series, it's pretty darn certain that one of the following will happen to you:
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3, Ocelot and Naked Snake view one another as Worthy Opponents even though they stand at opposite sides of the Cold War. This causes Ocelot to act like a Stalker with a Crush.
    • Also, The End seeks to end his life with a sniper duel against a worthy opponent - the son of The Boss. Unless you mess up the boss fight by being caught and shot or stopping to sleep during the fight, in which case he scolds Snake like a student before carrying his unconscious body off to the jail at Graniny Gorki - that's right, his weapon is strictly non-lethal.
    • After defeating Sniper Wolf, Snake comforts her and delivers the final blow while telling her that she died without betraying her ideals.
    • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, each of the Desperados regard Raiden as this to a degree, especially Jetstream Sam and Senator Armstrong.
  • Shinobu from No More Heroes gains the respect of Travis Touchdown, who spares her life with the intent of fighting her again when she's stronger. This turns out to be the right move when she later saves his life. Henry, as well.
    • Incidentally, they're both playable in the sequel.
    • Speaking of the sequel, Travis gradually gains more respect for his opponents as part of his Character Development. There's Ryuji, who Travis believes fought honorably and is disgusted when he is promptly gunned down after his fight. Then there's Captain Vladimer, whose body Travis refuses to let the UAA destroy. Then there's Alice Twilight, an assassin with ideals so close to Travis' own, that he undergoes a Heel–Face Turn after being forced to kill her.
  • Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies' Yellow Thirteen calls Mobius One this after Mobius One makes a name for himself, and it's reinforced after Mobius One destroys Stonehenge and shoots down Yellow Thirteen's wingman, Yellow Four. Mobius One, however, proves that he's actually better, shooting Yellow Thirteen down during the Siege of Farbanti.
    • Ace Combat, as a rule, tends to do this quite a bit, throwing entire squadrons of Worthy Opponents at the player. In fact, the Knight path in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War was specifically designed for the player to be a Worthy Opponent to the enemy aces. Also, from the Soldier Path, Erich Hillenberand (Schnee 1) considers Cipher a worthy opponent and says that he would be glad to fly with him again (even though he became a civilian pilot instructor after the war).
  • Admiral Gregorio in Skies of Arcadia. A completely honourable man and the adoptive uncle of Defector from Decadence Enrique, he is killed by Big Bad Galcian after the latter betrays the Valuan Empire. Intriguingly, even Galcian seemed to consider Gregorio a Worthy Opponent and insists that his body be shipped back to Valua with the highest honours.
  • Elvis, That One Boss from God Hand. He punches his Mooks for disrespecting the bodies of their victims and treats Gene like an old friend when he sees him. Gene even comments that he and Elvis could have been good friends if Elvis wasn't a demon.
  • Several bosses from Mega Man Zero count; most notably, the Four Guardians.
  • In Mega Man Legends, Tiesel Bonne eventually grows to respect Megaman as this (it helped that his sister Tronne developed something of a crush on him).
  • Captain Narville of Killzone 2 sees Colonel Radec as one, and Radec, in turn, sees Templar as one.
  • The Amarr and Minmatar roleplayers in EVE Online view each other this way. Out of character, they recognize that the only real difference between them is which fictional nation they chose to fight for.
    • An excellent example is this video, made by the Amarr alliance CVA in tribute to their enemies, the Minmatar alliance Ushra'Khan.
  • Boomerang and Lucied from Wild ARMs 1, what with them being Blood Knights and all.
  • The Suffering: Ties That Bind has a strange variation on this. Copperfield is the ghost of a slave catcher, and as Torque's ancestors were slaves, Copperfield continues to hunt Torque down. He seems rather pleased that Torque puts up such a struggle, especially when compared to everyone else who just died, and compliments him on his actions and fighting style. The feeling is not mutual.
  • In the Back Story of Knights of the Old Republic, the Mandalorians considered Revan and Exile these.
    Canderous: We wanted to fight the best in a battle that would be remembered for centuries, and Revan won. I don't hold a grudge against Revan, and neither do any of my people.
  • Played with in Mass Effect 2, where Grunt, the resident Proud Warrior Race Guy who was apparently built from the ground up to be the ultimate example of the krogan species, lays out the krogan definition of a Worthy Opponent: an enemy who does indeed test you in battle, but then whom you utterly destroy. Apparently, the krogan mindset says that the greatest honor that can be offered to an enemy is to completely wipe them out; to the krogan, the worst insult they can offer is to say someone isn't worth fighting and slaughtering. For a specific example, Grunt's first meeting with Shepard ends when it's revealed that Shepard quietly had a gun pointed at him the entire time without his knowledge. Realizing this, Grunt accepts his/her command without question at that point.
    • If Wrex dies in the first game, Urdnot Wreav will treat you with "the respect due a worthy enemy", and has no problem with you serving as Grunt's krantt in his Rite of Passage and letting you run about the Urdnot base indefinitely unmolested - even bringing along turian and salarian allies, which says a lot given that the krogan utterly loathe both species with the fury of a thousand supernovae.
    • In the first Mass Effect, Saren finally considers Shepard this, which is something, knowing Saren's bigoted attitude towards humans.
    • The Reapers see Shepard as a genuine threat, who continues to thwart their efforts at a galactic harvest and just won't die. Harbinger labels him/her "an annoyance", probably the biggest compliment they're going to make to an opponent, and in Mass Effect 3, after killing the Reaper on Rannoch that was controlling the Geth, it is revealed that it knows your name, despite never meeting you before. When Shepard asks about how it knows who they are, it responds that Harbinger speaks of them and it's heavily implied to be the reason why Reapers now target Shepard on sight, even taking their sights off entire fleets to do so.
    • Confirmed in the twitter feed tie-in for Mass Effect 3. While the Reapers have dismissed all opposition with a tone of casual indifference, during their invasion of Earth, a priority is issued for confirmation that "Hostile Target Shepard" is dead. When none comes, the Reapers get very scared that Shepard is still alive.
    • Leviathan, which predates even the Reapers, calls Shepard an "anomaly", the only being in history that the Reapers have ever feared.
    • In Mass Effect 3 it is revealed in several recorded videos in Chronos Station that the Illusive Man, despite considering Shepard his enemy, has considerable respect for him/her. By contrast, Kai Leng stubbornly refuses to accept how skilled s/he really is and to really take him/her as a true threat. The Illusive Man continuously warns him not to underestimate him/her and to respect his/her badassery (in fact, he actually takes being compared to Shepard as an insult to his skills). He doesn't listen and it ends up being his undoing.
      • Even the conversation with him in Cerberus Headquarters gives a look into his respect for Shepard. He sounds genuinely saddened that Shepard refuses to join his cause and at the same time sounds deeply admiring of Shepard's idealism and will.
      Illusive Man: Your idealism is...admirable Shepard. But in the end our goals are simply too disparate. I believe destroying the Reapers would be the biggest mistake we could make. And nothing you say will convince me otherwise.
    • This is how the turians saw the humans after the First Contact War, with the turians noting that it was the first REAL military opposition they had faced in over a millennium.
    • In the third game, Kasumi Goto has one in Spectre agent Jondum Bau. She sees him as a great person that the universe would certainly benefit from having more of (his only fault being that he's chasing her) while Jondum respects Kasumi's intellect.
    • In the "Omega" DLC, Aria, Nyreen, and Shepard all admit that Cerberus General Petrovsky is a worthy foe. Petrovsky for his part shows mutual respect for Nyreen and especially Shepard.
    • Primarch Adrien Victus notes that he can't help but have a certain admiration for the sheer power and unstoppable nature of the Reapers. This does not stop him from being both horrified and enraged by what they are doing to his people.
      Victus: The strategist in me respects their brutality. The turian in me knows I'm watching the destruction of fifteen thousand years of civilization. My civilization.
  • In the campaign of Titanfall 2, Kuben Blisk comes to see Cooper as a worthy rival after he singlehandedly offs his best mercs. Near the end of the game, he decides to spare Cooper (since he already finished his job anyway and killing him was not part of his contract) and leaves him his business card before leaving.
  • In Halo, particularly in the books, it is shown that the Elites consider the Spartans to be Worthy Opponents, especially in the latter parts of the Human-Covenant War. This is particularly shown in Halo Legends, where Elite Major Thel 'Lodamee throws the disarmed Master Chief an Energy Sword, so that they could have a fair fight.
    • In fact, a number of Elites end up feeling this way about humanity in general towards the end of the war, due to humanity's tenacity in holding out against the overwhelming forces of the Covenant for about twenty-eight years. Some Elites even go as far as to question the decision to exterminate humanity, thinking that it would be more logical to simply assimilate them into the Covenant. This may be one reason the two species were able to form an alliance in Halo 3 after the Covenant dissolves into civil war.
    • Hell, there's a moment in Halo: First Strike where the Elite special ops trooper on the bridge of the Covenant ship actually decloaks and issues a direct challenge to the Chief to engage in one-on-one battle. Keep in mind, this is an Elite with active camouflage tech and is armed with ranged weapons, but rather than use them to ambush the Chief, he instead deliberately reveals himself and moves to fight the Chief in hand to hand combat.
  • Most recurring characters in Touhou view Reimu to be this trope, someone that will beat you to a bloody pulp but will make it a lot of fun in the meantime (as opposed to Marisa, who uses her victories as excuses to take everything not nailed down and/or on fire). Suika, in particular, considers Reimu worthy enough to actually live with her for a while after her defeat.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, if the player chooses to personally challenge Loghain to a duel, he'll tell them this:
    "'A man is made by the quality of his enemies.' Maric told me that once. I wonder if it's more a compliment to you or me."
  • In Dragon Age II, Hawke can become this to the Arishok, to the point that, right before the final duel between the two, he'll say this in regard to him/her to the nobles that he's got at his mercy.
    Arishok: (To Hawke) "You alone are Basalit-annote ." (To the nobles) "This is what respect looks like bas! Some of you will never earn it!"
    • Worth noting that if you extend certain courtesies to the Arishok, you'll get an Achievement or Trophy that's actually entitled "A Worthy Rival."
    • In Mark of the Assassin, Tallis reveals that this extends to all Qunari. Hawke is one of the few "bas" outside of Par Vollen to be considered an equal by the Qunari, who is worthy of requesting assistance from and to parley with.
    • Sten and Tallis' dialogue heavily imply that the Warden is also considered this by the Qunari.
    • In the comic Those Who Speak, Sten, now the Arishok after the previous one was killed by Hawke, also refers to King Alistair as basalit-an.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, should the Inquisitor secure an alliance with the Qunari, they will also be declared basalit-an.
  • Thassarian and Koltira Deathweaver in World of Warcraft regard each other like this following the end of the Scourge war. However, in a twist, it is Thassarian's fault to begin with that they're on opposite sides, as it was he who told Koltira to join the Horde instead of coming with him to the Alliance.
    • Arthas views Tirion Fordring as this in World of Warcraft. The overused "only one he ever feared" line is used a few times in regards to how Arthas views Tirion.
    • A SMALL PIECE of the soul of Arthas almost kills Tirion AND Arthas. Tirion destroys it, but Arthas is knocked down to 30% health and Tirion is knocked out completely. If it weren't for the timely arrival of Friendly Enemy Darion Mograine, Tirion (and the player) would have been killed.
    • Tirion is wielding the MacGuffin however, so was protected by Plot Armor at the time. He ends up killing Arthas with his MacGuffin, proving that killing part of the soul of the Lich King really didn't do him THAT much harm, it just knocked him out a bit.
    • Grom Hellscream's speech to Gul'dan in 6.2 shows he's come to consider the Horde and Alliance worthy adversaries.
    Grom: They will defy you. I have seen their armies in battle, have witnessed their fortitude. They are fearless. It does not matter what foul creatures you bring to the battle, they will persevere AND THEY WILL WASH THEIR BLADES OF YOUR BLOOD IN VICTORY!!!
  • Bowser considers the Mario Bros., particularly Mario himself, to be worthy opponents, and greatly enjoys fighting them. Of course, he'd prefer it if he won, which he did once. In tradition with most examples of this trope, he sees it as quite a feat. Sometimes it even seems like he doesn't even really want to marry Princess Peach, and merely kidnaps her as an excuse to fight Mario/the Bros. again (and hopefully win this time).
    • In Mario Party 5's story mode, Bowser congratulates the player for defeating him, saying that his wish was to fight a worthy opponent and that you made it come true.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Garo Ninjas in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, although minor in their appearance, consider Link a worthy opponent. They not only praise him upon their defeat, but also provide him with some helpful tips as a token of their respect before they finally dispose of their own bodies. (Majora itself deliberately provokes Link at the end, seemingly for the amusement of battling him.)
    • Ganondorf has shades of this in the The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, where the tragic circumstances of the storyline have granted his feud with the Hero a rather profoundly personal significance. He goes so far as to declare his belief that Link must be the "Hero of Time, reborn" and their clash a matter of fate. This is a notable departure from the majority of the games, where Ganondorf is either completely Ax-Crazy or suicidally overconfident to the point of dimissing the Hero outright.
      • It's worth noting here that according to the official timeline, this is the version of Ganondorf that fought the adult Link in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Unlike the other versions of him who defeated the hero or never fought him at all, maybe he learned from the experience.
    • Demise from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword also takes this view of Link, calling him a pinnacle of his kind and fighting like no human or demon he's met. And keep in mind, this is the demon king who managed to best the goddess Hylia.
  • Wings portrays Allied and German fighter pilots as developing increasing respect for enemy pilots as time goes on.
    "I waved to the single approaching Fokker, partly in greeting, partly to say goodbye. There probably wasn't a reason to risk our lives, yet what better way to say goodbye than one final man-to-man dogfight?"
    • This is applied especially strongly to the case of Baron von Richtoffen, who killed many Allied fighters, and yet was admired by them. Truth in Television, as this mirrors the Allied perception of him in real life.
  • In the air combat game Crimson Skies 2, a mission requires you to commandeer a Zeppelin. At the end of the mission, you receive a letter from the Captain of said zeppelin thanking you for your mercy and courtesy regarding the passengers, and finishes his letter by saying "I wish we had met under different circumstances".
  • Dr. Eggman has this view of Sonic the Hedgehog, once even solumnly refering to him as his "admirable adversary" when he believes he has finally taken him out. Sonic Adventure 2 as a whole revolves around this relationship between both the hero and dark counterparts (even the rival boss theme is titled "Worthy Opponent" in the games OST).
    • Shadow spends most of Sonic Adventure 2 arrogantly claiming that Sonic cannot hope to compare to him. Then Sonic manages to copy Shadow's signature Chaos Control ability, and with a fake Emerald, no less. This causes Shadow to start actually treating Sonic as an equal, a respect that continues throughout the series.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In the series' backstory, the ancient Falmer (Snow Elves) and Atmorans (ancestors to the Nords) went to war in what is modern day Skyrim and Solstheim after the Falmer slaughtered and burned the Atmoran city of Saarthal. (Both sides naturally blame the other for what happened there.) In response, Ysgramor, one of the Atmoran leaders, rallied an army of 500 of Atmora's greatest warriors and led them on a quest to exterminate the Falmer. The leader of the Falmer, known only as the Snow Prince, fought Ysgramor and his Companions with such ferocity that they developed a strong respect for him. When he was finally slain, he was given a proper burial with a grand tomb, which they guarded from grave robbers.
    • Hircine, the Daedric Prince of the Hunt, is always seeking to find these. He has immense respect for those who survive his hunts, or better yet, turn the tables on the hunter.
    • This is a trait of the Dremora, an intelligent race of lesser Daedra who are most commonly found in the service of Mehrunes Dagon as his Legions of Hell. As with most lesser Daedra, they detest and look down upon mortals, considering themselves to be the Master Race of the ES universe. However, mortals who perform well in battle against them can earn their respect.
    • Morrowind:
      • In the Backstory, the original Nerevar showed shades of this with rival Dwemer leader Dumac Dwarfking. After the two joined their peoples in an Enemy Mine to drive out the invading Nords, they became Fire-Forged Friends instead.
      • Exactly what Dagoth Ur thinks about the Nerevarine fluctuates over the course of the game, but it usually is somewhere within the spectrum of this trope, especially in the conversation before the final battle. If the Nerevarine denies his/her status as the reincarnation of Nerevar, saying that they have made their own destiny rather than been guided by fate to that point, Dagoth Ur goes as far as to say that the Nerevarine's story shall be what teaches the gods their limits.
      • Skink-in-Tree's-Shade, Master Wizard of the Wolverine Hall (Sadrith Mora) Mages Guild Hall, is considered one of these by the rival Great House Telvanni. The Telvanni and the Mages Guild are bitter rivals in Morrowind's magical community, so for them to have something positive to say about Skink really speaks for his scholarly knowledge:
        "...almost as sage and learned as Telvanni aspirants five times his age."
      • Blood Knight Umbra is actively seeking one of these to end his life. You can do so in a side quest.
      • In the Bloodmoon expansion, Hircine is seeking the greatest warriors on Solstheim to be the "prey" in his hunt. Naturally, the Nerevarine just happens to qualify.
    • Skyrim:
      • The dragons see the player character, who is "Dovahkiin" ("Dragonborn," a mortal blessed by the gods with the soul of a dragon) as a worthy adversary, both due to personal prowess and also out of respect toward a fellow dragon. Despite the fact that they are terrified of the player (because only the Dragonborn can permanently slay them by consuming their souls) they will still attack the Dragonborn and refuse to back down, willingly testing their Thu'um against your own. The fact that Alduin, their leader, flees when you overwhelm him with the Dragonrend shout eventually makes the other dragons question his leadership because he fled rather than stand and fight to the death.
      • Late in the main quest, one must travel to Sovngarde in pursuit of Alduin. There, you must defeat Tsun, the old Nordic god of "trials against adversity" and shield-thane of Shor, in single combat in order to prove your worthiness to enter Shor's Hall of Valor. Tsun poses this challenge to all warrior spirits seeking entry.
      • The Ebony Warrior specifically seeks out the Dragonborn because he has overcome all challenges and nothing remains for him to do. Thus, he feels the Dragonborn is the only worthy enemy suitable to send him to Sovngarde with honor.
      • The Old Orc considers himself too old to marry and father children, or to become chief of an orc stronghold. He also believes that it's pathetic to cling to something when it is no longer useful, especially if that thing is your own life. Suicide would displease Malacath, his chosen deity, so he stands by the side of the road, waiting for a worthy opponent to come bring him a warrior's death. Next to two Sabre Cat corpses, mind you. Apparently, they weren't worthy enough.
    • In Online, Molag Bal outright congratulates the Vestige for their skills, though he's quite quick to warn them that even worse things will be coming later on.
  • In Distorted Travesty, The Darkness reveals near the end that the Shroud Lord considers Jerry to be its Worthy Opponent, and it insists on having a final showdown with him before allowing the peace talks to go any further.
  • Rivals in the Pokémon series start thinking of you as such during the second half of the game. The first half they are just JerkAsses.
  • In Bastion, the Ura remnants decide that the Kid is truely worthy if he chooses to save Zulf, and in the process carries Zulf on his back through the entire Ura army, enduring a constant barrage of crossbow bolts. Eventually, after witnessing this single act of sheer, selfless determination to save the Kid's own enemy, coupled with the fact that the Kid has singlehandedly smashed through their entire army to rebuild the Bastion, never yielding or backing down or surrendering to such innumerable hardships, the Ura cease attacking and stand aside. One Ura crossbowman tries to take a shot at the Kid as he is trudging past with his burden, and is immediately cut down by his commander.
  • The title character of Iji is considered this by Assassin Asha, after she defeats him in battle. In something of a subversion, Asha is furious that anyone could possibly give him a challenge, let alone defeat him, and goes out of his way to organise a rematch with Iji which only one of them will leave. If that fight is skipped, then Asha is Driven to Suicide out of despair.
  • BlazBlue has some examples of this:
    • Hakumen, being as fight-happy as he is, gets a lot of this. Most notably, he gets like this with Bang, openly praising his heroic nature and fighting spirit. This also manifests in his interactions with Ragna, Valkenhayn, Kagura, and, bizarrely, Terumi.
    • Another example of a strange Worthy Opponent relationship, Relius Clover also considers Valkenhayn to be one. They had a very long-running rivalry in past, and with Relius' return, the rivalry is back in full swing.
    • Seems Hakumen isn't the only one who sees Bang's potential. The monstrously powerful Azrael also compliments his fighting ability after one encounter, and sincerely hopes that they get to fight again someday. To wit, Azrael not only curbstomped Jin, but found him boring. Azrael also found much enjoyment in fighting Kagura as well, which is something Kagura later takes advantage of to defeat him.
  • In Cross Edge, York and Lazarus consider each other as a worthy opponent since they both wield firearms as weapons and they even have a 1 on 1 duel for their final battle with each other. Lazarus joins the party afterwards.
  • Star Wars Trilogy Arcade: Upon defeating Darth Vader:
    Vader: "Your skills are complete."
  • Dawn of War has a few examples of this. In Soulstorm, after defeating the Imperial Guard, the Blood Ravens take no retribution on the surviving Guardsmen; they instead return the survivors to Segmentum Command with full honours, while burying the dead ones. Dark Crusade has a similar pattern; once the Blood Ravens have taken Victory Bay, they issue an official statement praising the slaim Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander for his loyalty and steadfast devotion to duty, while the Guardsmen who betrayed their regiment to side with the Space Marines are summarily executed for betraying their regiment. Inverted by Archon Tahril, who derides all of his opponents - except for Lord Carron and Farseer Caerys - as worthless idiots. Tahril and his Dark Eldar forces, however, aren't as good as they think they are.
  • As noted below in Real Life, Kenshin Uesugi and Shingen Takeda in the Samurai Warriors series consider each other this and come across as two guys who like to fight each other. In the Empires expansions, putting them on the same team leaves the two bros very happy.
  • In Star Fox, the enemy team Star Wolf view their counterparts as this, though it stands out the most with the team leaders. Fox has great respect for Wolf's piloting skills and Wolf has stated more than once that if anyone is going to take Fox down, it will be him.
  • In the Dark Souls trilogy, there is a case of this trope being enforced by the fandom. Many PVP players seek out a good duel with other players, and there is a great deal of scorn shown for players who use "dishonorable" tactics like spamming healing, attacking opponents right out of their summoning signs, attacking during gestures like bows, or "gank squads" where an opponent summons a player after summoning one or two friendly phantoms and then ambushing the summoned player.
  • In Copy Kitty, this is how Arikan acts. The game's creator specifically modeled him after Meta Knight. He is designed to seek out and kill exceptionally powerful enemies in one-on-one duels. It is noted that Arikan's tendency to demand fair and honorable duels is his greatest weakness. He compliments Boki's skills before his boss fight, and offers a sword identical to his own (Boki has the ability to copy any power anyway, but it's a nice gesture). If you win on Hard mode, he acknowledges your skill and refers to you as a Master. If you lose, one of his possible comments is "You are a Worthy Opponent. May we fight again!"
  • In the Dynasty Warriors: Gundam games, the Musha Gundams will often instigate fights with just about everyone. It's made quite clear that they are searching for pilots, but are extremely picky about who that pilot is, and will only permit someone they deeply respect to obtain that position. Knight Gundam in particular duels the player multiple times in the third game's story mode, asking the heroes to display their newfound inner strength.
    Knight Gundam: I wish for you to reveal this power to me. Now, let us fight... with honor!
  • Batman: Arkham Origins: The game over scenes against Deathstroke suggest that he views Batman as this. Sure enough, he's the only boss who fights Batman mano-a-mano, with no interfering mooks or fancy gimmicks.
  • The Count of Groundsoaking Blood from the Boktai series offers an interesting example. The first time you face him he declares that Django's father Ringo is his greatest adversary before the battle. However, by the time the third game rolls around and you defeat him, he takes it back and announces that Django is his true rival and greatest adversary.
  • In Third Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku-hen, Straus is one for Rand Travis. According to Rand, he likes Straus' style. If they weren't enemies, he'd be inviting Straus out for drinks right about now.
  • The trope name is used nearly verbatim in the first Dark Forces game before the boss fight aboard the Arc Hammer.
    General Mohc: It's been a long time since I've challenged a man to battle. I'm glad my opponent is so worthy.
  • In Guilty Gear, during the Holy War between humanity and the Gears, Kliff was in his prime and a real engine of destruction, halting the advance of a Megadeth-class Gear for an entire week and holding his own against the Gear commander Justice no less than 17 times. Years on, even as an old and stooped dwarf, Kliff can still wield his Dragonslayer with ease and stun people a quarter of his age and four times his size - his only limiting factor being his bad back. Justice still has nothing but grudging admiration for him, though she does kill him eventually.
  • In Mercenaries, this often comes up with the Chinese. In the first game, Buford shares an adversarial relationship with Colonel Peng (even though the two never meet) due to the latter's intent to form a communist government in South Korea but muses that at least Beijing "sent the right man for the job". In the second game, Peng is turned into a Boisterous Bruiser who relishes the chance to face the AN peacekeeping forces in Venezuela as it represents a legitimate, face-to-face war with the West and a chance to prove China's superpower status.
  • The Sheriff of Lynchwood in Borderlands 2 is actually entertained by your interfering in her business, even though it's costing her a lot of money. If you kill her in the Showdown mission, she'll congratulate you before expiring. Note that she isn't a Noble Demon by any stretch of the imagination - she has 283 crimes all punishable by death, murders her own underlings for fun, and killed Brick's puppy - but she is a skilled gunslinger, and she's deeply bored by the no-challenge bandits she's been gunning down.
  • In RuneScape, "Big High War God" Bandos considers all his followers cowards and weaklings, and those who oppose him cowards and traitors. You alone, he considers worthy of respect, because in "The Chosen Commander" you thrashed his mortal Avatar in a one-on-one fight, twice, despite his granting the Avatar actual divine powers (at the time, you were not yet the World Guardian).
    • In "The Lord of Vampyrium", when you finally defeat and kill Lord Drakan, he declares you the toughest meal he's ever fought, and that he regrets nothing.
  • Pretty much the only reason Ryth does anything in Infinity Blade. He openly states that he doesn't care about the Worker or the other Deathless, and the only reason he turns up in Infinity Blade III is because he's so pissed Sirus beat him before.
  • Akuma from Street Fighter sees Gen as a foe who can match him (thanks to Gen's profession as an assassin he never holds back in a fight and Akuma is always looking for people who think as he does). The two did battle in the past to a stalemate (establishing each other as Worthy Opponents) but by the time the playable installments of the series roll around Akuma cannot bring himself to give it his all against Gen as age and illness have reduced his fighting ability, which wouldn't give Akuma the match he truly wants. Meanwhile he treats Ryu as a worthy foe but only because killing him like he knows he could with ease would not allow Ryu to nurture his killing intent. Ryu, on the other hand, treats everyone as a Worthy Opponent because every battle brings him new knowledge and meaning in life. The most prominent examples in Ryu's life are his best friend and sparring partner Ken and his once-rival-turned-friend Sagat.

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