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"I'm playable during the story, but only for a little bit." What character who fits this bill do you like?
The first Lunar game had two examples; Laike, a swordsman with no spells or special attacks who simply swatted down every monster you faced while he was with you and Ghaleon, a magic user who briefly joined your party and whose spells wiped out every single thing on screen.
I was going to say Dekar from Lufia 2 because he's my boy, but that's probably stretching the definition of "little bit" since he's actually around for quite a while. Maybe even longer than Artea technically.
So I'm going to go with...
Particularly the single battle near the end of the game where you team up once.
I adore the storyline with those 2 in general.
Is that stretching 'little bit" too? Oh well too bad
Fighting her a few times in very moody, impossible to win battles really sets her up as this powerful entity. Once you come down to use her, it feels really earned considering her and the plot's development. Alexandria (and the state is in), her chemistry with Steiner and "Something to Protect" being such a motivating take on "Roses of May" (her theme) makes this one of the most memorable parts of any FF.
They should have made her playable for the rest of the game :(
Yeah besides Snake in MGS2 I'm having a hard time coming up with this. Almost every game that uses this mechanic, from RE4 to The Last of Us, I hate it as a gameplay trope. I get it as a narrative trope, you get to tell a story from someone else's perspective and usually show some element of growth in a side character (the Last of Us uses it for this).