Playing as The Other Guy

I am a perpetual sucker for games that give you an alternate playable protagonist with different properties to the regular one. Richter mode in SOTN (among many other Castlevania examples), unlock-able Luigi with different physics, etc. Absolutely cannot get enough of them. Here are a few that come to mind that I like:

Definitely inspired ***directly*** by Richter mode, Zangetsu mode in Bloodstained is a good time:
https://youtu.be/gNJfX62XLHU

Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is a weird example of this. It's sort of "Play as the Other Guy: The Game"
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And who can forget Vergil; Always a Luigi, never a Mario
https://youtu.be/62S_NThzR10

That’s an interesting topic which I am pretty sure I have thought of much less than you. So what makes a good or great Other Guy for you? And could you give examples (if any) of Other Guys that disappointed you? Is it important that the Other Guy is clearly understood as a secondary experience (rather than just a choice between different characters or starting builds)?

For me a prime Other Guy must be:

  • * Clearly distinct from the Main Guy
  • * Clearly presented as secondary (i.e. not the "main mode")
  • * Preferably not given to the player as an option from the get go
  • Gotta know the song before you can appreciate the remix, after all. Honestly I'm not sure if I can think of an example of one that disappointed me; you don't have to change much to make me happy. I used to play as Luigi in Super Mario Bros Deluxe, and that's literally a palette swap! (Though perhaps my standards have risen since I was 8)

    Speaking of, very subtle but excellent Other Guy: Playing as Jeanne in Bayonetta 1 or 2. Stricter timing for Witch Time, different attack properties, white Wicked Weave instead of black. Good stuff!

    Come to think of it, the Other Guy is sort of a character action staple huh? Kamiya loves putting an Other Guy in there.

    for ys 7,8,9 this has been a main feature. other guyness is enchanced by how established main guy is I think

    although now that I think of it, the latter day ys arrangement may be more ensemble than other guy (if such a distinction can be made)

    Will you allow Metal Gear Solid 2? That's gotta be the Grand Daddy of Other Guy-ness.

    NieR: Automata has a pretty good Other Guy mode, ||and even Other Other Guy* mode. (*not a guy)||

    @“rejj”#p54115 Well, there goes the serious answer I had all lined up (not really). Now all I've got are the two joke answers: Final Fantasy VII as a game in which the protagonist realizes they are The Other Guy, and Kingdom Hearts II as the same but in a slightly more serious, significantly briefer way.

    @“rejj”#p54115 Basically every MGS is an Other Guy Game, to the extent that when they let you play as the Original Guy, it is in itself still an Other Guy Game.

    Sonic & Knuckles must be one of very few examples of Other Guy Hardware.

    Does The Tofu Survivor from RE2 count

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    What about games like Yakuza 0, 4 and 5? Do those count as otherguy games? On one hand the story is and has always been all about Kiryu, but all those other guys are not optional and take a lot of screentime so I don't know!

    Only because I’m playing it for the 400th time but a nice addition to the War of the Lions version of Final Fantasy Tactics are the addition of a few, short, basically unloseable battles where you play as Delita. These were added I think to fill some plot holes and missing character motivations from the original and they do achieve that well. It’s fun though to play as this alternative character as he goes through his own parallel character arc to Ramza. It drives home a lot of the games’ themes.

    https://youtu.be/JMYL7mVzUUI

    100%-ing Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland unlocks an “extra” mode where your maximum total health is cut in half, and 100%-ing that unlocks a mode where you play as Meta Knight, which is surprisingly robust! You‘d think it would play the same as Kirby with the sword ability, but Meta Knight has a unique moveset both in terms of attack and general movement. Meta Knight moves faster yet with more weight than Kirby, so all the little micro-timings you’ve gotten used to after 100%-ing the game TWICE with Kirby needs to be gently relearned. It's really fun, and for the gamer who says Kirby games are too easy, this is an interesting look at what a “hard mode” might look like!

    https://youtu.be/hGoCW58h-tw

    @“tapevulture”#p54118 definitely! RE2 is a great example within the main game too. Playing as Ada that first time - so cool.

    I think I’ve become the Other Guy, because I’m seeing captchas embedded in the last two posts and I have no idea why.

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    cc @“shane”#2 i guess, sorry to bother once more

    @"fridgeboy"#p54122 & @"Funbil"#p54140 what were you both embedding that did this?

    @“rejj”#p54221 We both just posted YouTube links! I have no clue why those would be springing captchas on you

    Castlevania Portrait of Ruin's Richter Mode and Sisters Mode are great because the game plays fundamentally differently. The Sisters especially as it is touch screen controlled.

    @“Syzygy”#p54239 oops, of course!

    Mobile safari, on iOS 15

    Oh that will have nothing to do with us. We don‘t use captcha. Where ever the content is hosted has decided to display that to you because of whatever metrics they have decided! We don’t have any control over that.

    dante mode in viewftiful joe!

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    joe is another one of those sidekick protags i suppose, in the context of the story (that i don't remember all that well)

    @“Funbil”#p54140 This was the example I was going to post! I was also a huge fan of Dededetour in Triple Deluxe. (Dedede has always been my favorite.)

    But to me, someone like Meta Knight is the perfect ‘Other Guy’. Similar to but distinct from the main guy, mysterious, fight-able in the main campaign so you know what they can do… actually, this gets me thinking about how Protoman is a great ‘Other Guy’ too.