A generation shift is the notion of pushing a narrative ahead in time by a generation and changing the player-controlled protagonist from a character of the older generation to a new character. In some games, the player may be asked to play out the events that will result in the birth of the following generation's protagonist, such as by courting and marrying a spouse. If the player has the option of multiple spouses, characteristics of the child born may differ based on the attributes of the parents. Multiple examples of this concept in action also go hand in hand with the idea of taking up a father's sword in the new protagonist's desire to avenge the death of his or her parents.
In Dragon Quest V, the player character begins as a child that accompanies his father until one day being captured and forced into slavery. Upon escaping as an adult, the player will eventually meet back up with his childhood friend Bianca as well as another girl named Nera. The player must choose one of the two ladies to marry. (The DS remake adds a third option in Nera's sister Debora.) The protagonist and his wife will eventually give birth to a son and daughter, and then storyline events will push the game ahead a number of years until the babies have grown into young-but-capable children. By the end of the game, the entire family is a part of the adventuring party.
In the fourth Fire Emblem game, the player initially follows the tale of Sigurd, who eventually fathers a son named Seliph. However, midway through the game, Sigurd is betrayed and killed. The game then jumps ahead years later to a point when Seliph has grown into a young man and fights to avenge his father.
After John Marston, the protagonist of Red Dead Redemption is killed near the end of the game while defending his family, the game skips ahead and gives the player control of his grown son Jack. As Jack, the player's primary goal is to get revenge on the man responsible for the death of his father.