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In a Fighting Game, it is a rarity to see two competitors go head-to-head without the use of superhuman skill. These fighters also have the ludicrous ability to recover from even the most fatal of wounds.

However, Reality Ensues. Sometimes, not even being Made of Iron can save characters from kicking the bucket... for good.

In fighters (especially the ones with more longevity), this tends to be problematic for fans. Perhaps the Big Bad was so undeniably cool that he merited a permanent spot on the roster. Maybe that really Badass side character became an overnight hit with the fandom. Or it could simply be that a particular individual was nothing more than pure sex on legs. Either way, their exclusion may prove to be an unwise decision.

To remedy this, many series decide to write the ultimate love letter to their fans by bringing back everyone for one grand battle royale.

Usually, this event will have no bearing on the plotline of the games (expect the next proper installment to disregard this one and pick up from where the preceding iteration left off), but nods to the series' mythos will be dropped frequently. If there is some semblance of a story, it is usually in the form of an Excuse Plot. On occasion (but not too often) it will turn out that this is merely a byproduct of one's dreams or imagination. Nostalgia Levels tend to pop up quite frequently in games like these.

Compare/contrast Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny (the cross-media version of this trope), Fake Crossover (in that the events of these type of entries will rarely--if ever--be referenced again). Compare Canon Shadow; a character who is there in the game, but not really there in the overall plot.

Not at all related to Match Game, which is a Game Show.

Tropes used in Dream Match Game include:

Fighting Games

Other Video Games

  1. It should be noted that the one "new" character from 2002 (Kusanagi, an evil doppelganger of series protagonist Kyo Kusanagi) would be adapted into the next canonical entry (although his backstory was retconned from being one of NESTS' guinea pigs to a creation of Chizuru Kagura's Yata-no-Kagami).
  2. according to Word of God, she was meant to be Jun's sister, although this was dropped when the game became a Spin-Off
  3. though many variations, such as Human Smoke and Human Liu Kang, were still absent, not to mention scrapped characters like Belokk and Zebron...
  4. except the bosses, though unused data for them does exist
  5. the only exception being Yun, who was in the portable versions of Alpha 3 with Maki and Eagle, plus Ingrid in the PSP version
  6. (Not to mention those exclusive to the movie games)
  7. The only absentees being the large bosses Apocalypse, Onslaught, and Cyber-Akuma, the Palette Swap Secret Characters from previous Vs. games, hidden guest fighters Classic Akuma, Anita, and Norimaro, and all of the non-playable assist characters such as Thor and the Unknown Soldier.