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Alex Rogan: So how many starfighters are left?

Grig: Including yourself?

Alex Rogan: Yes!

Grig: One!

Alex Rogan: ONE?
"There is a word for a lone hero fighting against incredible odds. That word is Dead."
—Player's Manual for Wizardry: Proving Grounds Of The Mad Overlord

Related to Only One, but with the added condition that The Hero is fighting alone against numberless foes. He now has to battle Back From the Brink. (There are a few versions without this.) Better hope he's a One-Man Army or else make ready for the Downer Ending.

Can occur as an inverse to The Chosen Many; there were once many, but now there is only one. Sometimes the heroic inversion of the Conservation of Ninjitsu, where The Hero becomes the ninja in question against the Army Of Mooks.

Compare Everybody's Dead, Dave. May result from Dwindling Party.


  • The Last Starfighter is the Trope Namer
  • The Rock, although it was two, but everyone else on the team was killed.
  • Rambo: First Blood Part II was sort of this. Rambo himself even mentions the wisdom behind going in alone when you're outnumbered.
    • In Rambo III, Rambo and the Colonel who trained him are attacked and cornered by what seems to be the entire Soviet army.

 Colonel: "Got any ideas?"

Rambo: "Well, surrounding 'em's out."

  • Most single-player FPS's other than tactical and squad types.
  • In Halo, the Master Chief is one of a very small handful of surviving SPARTAN II Super Soldiers (and generally the only one available in his combat theater).
  • In Doom you play the lone space marine who was left on guard duty at the ship, now the only thing standing against the hordes of hell.
  • Kirby in his own self-titled anime is a Star Warrior destined to fight off the Big Bad of the universe.
  • Star Wars:
    • For the villain version of this, the Rule of Two, in which the vast hordes of Sith and their armies are reduced to just one master and apprentice at a time for a thousand years.
    • Luke is literally the Last Starfighter at the end of A New Hope, with all his fellow pilots killed or too damaged to keep fighting, in a race against time to destroy the Death Star before Vader kills him - until Han shows up.
  • You know what you doing. Move "Zig". For great justice...
  • Once you reach the second half of the Freelancer, it's not rare to take out entire fleets by yourself after all your partners have been pummeled.
  • Disney's Aaron Stone
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is a massive inversion; Tidus, Sidonus, and Leandros are sent into battle alone on Graia[1] before they discover a surviving garrison of the Cadian 203rd, open up the path for the Guardsmen to receive reinforcements, and are themselves reinforced when the Liberation Fleet arrives, at which point they are no longer the only Space Marines in the area.
  • Fraxy's premise is basically this: In the red corner, your little midget cricket of a ship. In the blue corner, The Bullet Hell Nintendo Hard Death Machine boss. Guess who wins, albeit dying a lot in the process.
  • Played with in the Taito shoot 'em up Metal Black: Decades after aliens destroy Earth and the world's governments unconditionally surrender, you steal an experimental space fighter and blow up most of the planet's remaining military forces while attempting to escape into space to fight the enemy hordes. The game has multiple endings depending on if you win or game over in a certain stage, and one ending involves the governments being motivated by your death into bringing another 20,000 experimental fighters into action.
  • This did happen to the Green Lantern Corps. It was so bad that the last Guardian teleported to Earth and threw a ring at a random person. Eventually they got better.
    • This happens to the Corps every so often. When Hal Jordan was still a rookie, the villain Legion had defeated the entire corps with its gigantic yellow suit of armor, but Hal figures out that if he covers Legion in mud, his ring will work on him. When cracking the armor open turns out not to have been the best idea, Hal flies into the central power battery and supercharges his ring, giving him the strength to defeat the villain on his own.
    • After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the GLC is reduced to the three Lanterns of Earth and a small handful of others spread around the universe. When the sole remaining Guardian is driven mad by solitude, it's pretty much up to Hal to save the day again.
    • Nova Corps: After a devastating interstellar war, the superpowers of a million-man-strong force were co-opted into one super suit, leading to several Heroic RROD situations.
    • In First Flight Sinestro has destroyed Green Lantern battery, all of the remaining Green Lanterns are left powerless. Only Hal was able to get green elements power working again and fight Sinestro one on one.
  • Rogue Trooper is the last living Genetic Infantryman, if you don't count his biochip buddies.
  • Len from Kamen Rider Dragon Knight not only starts out like this, he wants to keep it that way at first because he doesn't believe anyone from Earth can be trusted with the Kamen Rider Advent Decks, particularly Kit, who is the mirror twin of the Rider who betrayed the team. The fact that most of the Earth Riders actually tend to be bad guys (though a few are innocently duped or framed) doesn't help matters any. He gets better about it as the series goes on, and then it's revealed that he wasn't the last of the Ventaran Riders to escape being vented anyway.
  • In Kamen Rider Blade, BOARD gets ransacked in the first episode. We start the series with two members (one being our hero) and a mysterious, unaligned Rider who considers everyone his enemy as the only good guys who are alive and free, and a lot of questions as to what is really going on that they have to solve on their own. At least they got to salvage some of the lab equipment (most notably their monster detector.)
  • In Mystery Men, Captain Amazing would normally be more than enough to thwart the evil Casanova Frankenstein's plans for mass destruction ... except he's dead now. Our only hope is a bunch of rag-tag superhero wannabes.

 The Shoveler: "Amazing is gone. There's no use waiting for the cavalry, because as of this moment, the cavalry is us. This is our fight, whether we like it or not. Just we few. We're not your classic superheroes. We're not the favorites. We're the other guys. We're the guys nobody ever bets on."


  1. Well, they're not the only team, but the other teams are operating elsewhere on the planet
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