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Is Grim Fandango the only golden age adventure game where...

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The main character goes though an arc and changes though the game. I mean like Guybrush is the same at the start of any MI to the end personality wise But Manny goes from being kind of self centred to obsessing over saving everyone he can.

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I haven't played Full Throttle, but would that be another one?

I've only finished the first Blackwell game so far, but Rosa definitely changes over the course of that one too.

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April Ryan grows alot as a person in the Longest Journey, and so does Zoë Castillo in the sequels. I went back to Dreamfall after playing the first episode of Dreamfall Chapters, and at the beginning of both games the way Zoë acts is night and day since she changed so much over the course of Dreamfall.

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Gabriel Knight goes through a pretty significant character arc in GK: Sins of the Fathers (1993), changing his lifestyle.

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I thought there would have been more games like that, but I couldn't really think of any others, even when going through a list of adventure games that I've played. Brian Basco from Runaway changes a bit during the first game, and in the second game he's a major douchebag, so there's quite a bit of character development going on between the games as well. The same can be said for Simon the Sorcerer, who admittedly does some very questionable things in the first game, but has evolved into a really obnoxious guy by the start of the second game. And in the third game he's straight up evil.

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At least Shay's half of Broken Age could be interpreted as a coming of age story (in which Shay eventually surprisingly realizes that his parents are, in fact, human beings).

Memoria does an interesting job of leaving its protagonist's true personality shrouded in mystery until the very end. But eventually, we find out so much more about her than she does about herself.

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I can't really think of any other games where the main character goes through such a dramatic arc of personal development as Manny in GF. I suppose that's partly because game narrative doesn't normally go too deeply into the interior lives of characters, and gameplay is all about overcoming the obstacles placed in the player's way. GF has that, of course, but the story is also about Manny's personal redemption. That's an unusual theme for a game.

The Longest Journey probably is the game that has a similarly dramatic arc for the main character, although in April's case it's not redemption as such but more about discovering a sense of self-worth.

Another might be The Rose Tattoo, although the dramatic change comes at the start, and the personal story arc is about recovery. Mycroft Holmes is critically injured in an apparently accidental gas explosion and Sherlock is absolutely shattered, and it takes him a long time to get back on even keel, although for pretty much all of the game he's motivated by thoughts of revenge and not by cold reason as he normally is.

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If we widen the scope from golden age adventure games to all adventure games or even all games, including contemporary ones, then there are a lot of them, it's kind of expected of narrative-driven games to have character arcs, and games are becoming more narrative-driven.

In any case, I think you're right that Grim Fandango is a particularly striking one even to this day. Apart from that, I think Bioshock Infinite and its DLC Burial at Sea feature the most dramatic character arcs for its protagonists (redemption arcs as well) that I've seen.

I've just remembered another one: Syberia. Definitely a bit of a character arc for Kate.

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