Trope Workshop:Enemy Switch-Out

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An Enemy Switch-Out is a special technique commonly found in anime and video games, wherein a character has the ability to swap places with an opponent at will, potentially putting them into harm's way, or at the very least, getting them out of a sticky jam. It is particularly cruel when used in the context of a race, as all of another's hard work can suddenly be taken for your own benefit.

In video games, it is often used to switch an enemy with another enemy, usually one which is easier to kill or would offer more problems standing on the sidelines attacking you while you are concentrated on a more important enemy. A favourite of tag team and strategy games, obviously.

For instances where two members of a team voluntarily switch places, see Switch-Out Move.

Examples of Enemy Switch-Out include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Hunter X Hunter, this is the basis of Goreinu's abilities. He can summon two gorillas, a black one and a white one, that are capable of independent movement; Goreinu can instantly switch locations with the black gorilla, and can force someone else to switch locations with the white one.
  • In Naruto, the substitution technique can be used as this, but is generally useless because after all most battles are one-on-one and fights happens on open fields. Kakashi however uses the technique in the Introduction Arc to switch places with a Naruto clone, making Naruto mistake his own clone for Kakashi using another jutsu, of transformation, to look like him, and causing a brawl between real Naruto and his clones as it turns out that one was not Kakashi.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

Tabletop Games

  • The Pokémon TCG has a few one-use cards (Toy Catcher, Boss's Orders, Bruno's TM 01, and Custom Catcher) that can produce this effect.
    • There are a handful of monsters who can cause a switch-out through an attack on special ability, but in most cases, the oponent chooses which card to swap with, which limits its tactical effectiveness.
      • Bronzong is unique as its attack causes both an Enemy Switchout, as well as swapping out itself, and that's on top of doing damage before-hand.

Video Games

  • A staple in Sonic the Hedgehog games' multiplayer races is a Teleporter Monitor that causes the racers to switch places when opened. This Monitor was introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and has also appeared in Sonic Advance 3 and Sonic Mania.
  • Certain items and events in the Mario Party games allow you to switch spaces with other players. Some do so with one specific character (such as the Warp Pipe), while others will shuffle everybody around (such as a number of Bowser events).
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages has a Hookshot variant (appropriately called the Switch Hook) that acts like this, causing Link and the target to switch places.
  • Pokémon Red and Blue introduce Roar and Whirlwind, which force the opponent to switch out in a Trainer battle. This being Red and Blue, though, it only worked in the wild to end battles immediately, and wouldn't function "properly" in trainer battles until Pokémon Gold and Silver. Roar and Whirlwind also have decreased priority, allowing the opponent to potentially strike first before it hits; as of Generation III, the move will almost always go last in turn order. In competitive battling, moves like these are used to force a stat reset.
    • Pokémon Black and White introduces many variations on this. Dragon Tail and Circle Throw inflict damage and force the opponent to switch out after being hit, while the Red Card item "ejects" whoever hits the holder by forcing them to switch out.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 have the "Snapback" command that forces your opponent to tag out if possible.
  • Renamon in Digimon Rumble Arena has the Kohenkyo move that swaps place with their opponent. while it cannot be used in mid-air for obvious reasons, cheap players figured out they could activate it whilst on top of the trash compactor just as it was activating, potentially sending their opponent to their doom.