10 Video Game Hero Transformations You Didn't See Coming

Raiden's transformation from all-timer beta to cyborg ninja was a huge shock.

Metal Gear Solid Raiden

What are video games if not ludicrous, gorgeous power fantasies in which we're able to control awesome heroes who do incredible things we could only dream of in reality?

A video game can live or die on the popularity of its hero, and once their design is set in stone, it can be pretty risky to tinker around with it - even if only temporarily.

And so in a follow-up to our recent article about unexpected boss transformations, we circle back to the heroes themselves, who underwent drastic transformations in ways we just didn't see coming.

These 10 video game heroes, love them or hate them, all radically altered their appearance and perhaps also their power-set at some point, ensuring they only superficially resembled their prior selves.

Perhaps it was to service a big late-game plot twist or simply keep players on their toes, but whatever the intent, these heroes all changed their physical form in ways few could've anticipated.

In some instances it only enhanced the player's agency, while in others it proved more divisive with the fanbase, and then there are those that were just pure WTF moments...

10. Wander - Shadow Of The Colossus

Metal Gear Solid Raiden
Team ICO

Wander is the protagonist of Shadow of the Colossus - a young man who makes a deal with the mysterious entity Dormin, to defeat sixteen colossi in order to resurrect a girl named Mono.

At the very end of the game though, once the colossi have all been defeated, Wander learns that Dormin wasn't being totally honest with him, and completing the task has only freed Dormin from his imprisonment.

At this moment, Wander is possessed by Dormin; his skin becoming pale, his eyes glowing silver, and horns sprouting from his head. Dormin eventually transforms Wander into a gigantic shadowy figure, which is promptly defeated by Lord Emon's men.

It doesn't end there, though. Wander is then transformed again, this time seemingly reincarnated as an infant boy with small horns on his head, who is then cared for by a newly awoken Mono.

Even with the game subtly changing Wander's appearance throughout the story - with dirtier clothes, paler skin, darker hair, and so on - who could've ever predicted that by game's end he'd turn into a shadow giant and then a baby? Madness, beautiful madness.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.