History Main / GutPunch

19th Jul '16 3:30:37 AM Morgenthaler
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** ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' has an unusually late example at the end of season 2. Up until that point, the show had proven its willingness to tackle difficult subjects, but always ultimately ended in a relatively lighthearted way. In the season two finale, [[spoiler:despite a great deal of foreshadowing Zuko refuses to take a HeelFaceTurn and instead sides with [[TheDragon Azula]], the Fire Nation [[TheBadGuyWins succeeds]] in taking over Ba Sing Se, held up as the Earth Kingdom's last defence, and just when a HopeSpot arrives in the form of Aang reaching the Avatar State, [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy Azula]] attacks him mid-transformation, outright killing him, his life only spared by the [[ChekhovsGun magical water]] Katara had received from the northern water tribe.]] Where Season 1 ends with the heroes victorious, season 2 ends with them battered and broken and having lost much that they had gained.

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** ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' has an unusually late example at the end of season 2. Up until that point, the show had proven its willingness to tackle difficult subjects, but always ultimately ended in a relatively lighthearted way. In the season two finale, [[spoiler:despite a great deal of foreshadowing Zuko refuses to take a HeelFaceTurn and instead sides with [[TheDragon Azula]], the Fire Nation [[TheBadGuyWins succeeds]] in taking over Ba Sing Se, held up as the Earth Kingdom's last defence, and just when a HopeSpot arrives in the form of Aang reaching the Avatar State, [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy Azula]] Azula attacks him mid-transformation, outright killing him, his life only spared by the [[ChekhovsGun magical water]] Katara had received from the northern water tribe.]] Where Season 1 ends with the heroes victorious, season 2 ends with them battered and broken and having lost much that they had gained.
8th Jul '16 7:07:13 AM AnotherGuy
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** In [[VideoGame/MassEffect1 the first game]], you have a few missions trying to find out what Saren is up to, and a ton of sidequests mowing down violent criminals and terrorist cells with impunity. Then you have Virmire. [[spoiler:No matter what you do, no matter how well you play, either Ashley or Kaidan will die. It's up to you to decide who performs the HeroicSacrifice. You may have to put down Wrex as well, depending on your influence with him.]] The mission to Virmire sets the harsh precedent for the rest of the series: from that point onward, you know that AnyoneCanDie and tread a lot more cautiously.

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** In [[VideoGame/MassEffect1 the first game]], you have a few missions trying to find out what Saren is up to, and a ton of sidequests mowing down violent criminals and terrorist cells with impunity. Then you have Virmire. [[spoiler:No First, you encounter the BigBad for the first time, and the tone of what had been a sci-fi jaunt suddenly gets a ''lot'' more serious. Then, [[spoiler:no matter what you do, no matter how well you play, either Ashley or Kaidan will die. It's up to you to decide who performs the HeroicSacrifice. You may have to put down Wrex as well, depending on your influence with him.]] The mission to Virmire sets the harsh precedent for the rest of the series: from that point onward, you know that the BigBad is a lot more dangerous and time-spanning than you thought, AnyoneCanDie and tread a lot more cautiously.
7th Jul '16 10:33:05 PM StrixObscuro
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* The first episode of ''Series/QueenOfTheSouth'' opens with protagonist Teresa boasting about how wealthy and powerful she is... [[spoiler:and then she gets shot dead.]]
7th Jul '16 8:36:18 AM LadyJaneGrey
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* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'' has a grim opening where dozens of condemned victims are led to a gallows in a mass hanging; whoever, the Gut Punch comes where one victim is a child who has to ''stand on a barrel'' so his neck can reach the noose, the sign that this one [[DarkerAndEdgier wasn't going to be like the first two.]]
16th Jun '16 2:58:20 AM echelon_house
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* ''Series/LOST'' has a lot of these, considering it's AnyoneCanDie nature, but the biggest one in the show has to be [[spoiler: Alex's death. She's on her knees crying and BEGGING her father, Ben, for help with a gun to her head. Ben is a master of the XanatosGambit and has basically been playing every other character the entire show; he obviously has a plan D7 for this, right? Nope.]]

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* ''Series/LOST'' ''Series/{{LOST}}'' has a lot of these, considering it's its AnyoneCanDie nature, but the biggest one in the show has to be [[spoiler: Alex's death. She's on her knees with Martin Keamy's gun to her head, crying and BEGGING her father, Ben, for help with a gun to her head. help. Ben is a master of the XanatosGambit and has basically been playing every other character the entire show; he obviously has a plan D7 for this, plan, right? Nope.]]
16th Jun '16 2:55:53 AM echelon_house
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* ''Series/LOST'' has a lot of these, considering it's AnyoneCanDie nature, but the biggest one in the show has to be [[spoiler: Alex's death. She's on her knees crying and BEGGING her father, Ben, for help with a gun to her head. Ben is a master of the XanatosGambit and has basically been playing every other character the entire show; he obviously has a plan D7 for this, right? Nope.]]
5th Jun '16 8:12:45 PM CyberTiger88
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** ''VideoGame/PokemonSuperMysteryDungeon'' has [[SacrificialLion Latios and Latias]] being captured and [[TakenForGranite turned into stone]] by an unseen force, which spells out this game isn't going to give a pass on Legendary Pokémon, or the heroes. [[spoiler: Later on, the game makes good on that promise with a second gut punch that ends up with Nuzleaf betraying the heroes and petrifies them, along with nearly the entire Expedition Society. He and Yveltal then go on to turn nearly everyone else in the world, including the inhabits of Serine Village, into stone.]]

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** ''VideoGame/PokemonSuperMysteryDungeon'' has [[SacrificialLion Latios and Latias]] being captured and [[TakenForGranite turned into stone]] by an unseen force, followed by Entei almost killing the protagonists which spells out this game isn't going to give a pass on Legendary Pokémon, or the heroes. [[spoiler: Later on, the game makes good on that promise with a second gut punch that ends up with Nuzleaf betraying the heroes and petrifies them, along with nearly the entire Expedition Society. He and Yveltal then go on to turn nearly everyone else in the world, including the inhabits of Serine Village, into stone.]]]]
* The first boss battle of ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' against Toriel hammers home the importance of two of the game's selling points. Up to that point, it's a safe bet that the player killed at least a few monsters without giving too much thought about it like in any [=RPG=], but by being forced to fight the lovable ParentalSubstitute of the player character, and possibly kill her by mistake, and they begin to see the importance of sparing enemies. Reset to the last save to spare her, and Flowey will be there to [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou guilt trip the player over murdering her]] [[YouBastard and thinking resetting the game can undo everything]], making it clear that the game, including some of its inhabitants, knows about SaveScumming and that it won't fix all of your problems here.
4th Jun '16 1:40:10 PM DoctorTItanX
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* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': The Thousand-Year Blood-War Arc emphatically changes the darkness and tone of the story when the Vandenreich invades Soul Society. The initial salvo destroys half the 200-strong First Division, including the Lieutenant, in 3 minutes, leading into an invasion that ignores many of the shounen battle rituals: Captain-class quincies mow down the RedShirts instead of confronting the captains, ambush captains and lieutenants instead of following introduction rituals, and instantly steal the Bankai of four captains. In just over 7 minutes, the 6,000 strong Gotei 13 suffers just under 2,500 casualties, including some of the story's major players: Kira, Byakuya, Renji, Rukia and Kenpachi are utterly trashed, Kyouraku is maimed for life, and Yamamoto is completely obliterated. From there, the story becomes darker, more sadistic and more traumatic for characters. This mood also sets up the arc's mini flashback storyline which is not the fandom-expected funny, ditzy MeetCute tale of Isshin and Masaki's first meeting, instead being a tragic tale of how Aizen's hollowfication experiments accidentally ruin Ryuuken Ishida's life.

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* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': The Thousand-Year Blood-War Arc emphatically changes the darkness and tone of the story when the Vandenreich invades Soul Society. The initial salvo destroys half the 200-strong First Division, including the Lieutenant, in 3 minutes, leading into an invasion that ignores many of the shounen battle rituals: Captain-class quincies Quincies mow down the RedShirts instead of confronting the captains, ambush captains and lieutenants instead of following introduction rituals, and instantly steal the Bankai of four captains. In just over 7 minutes, the 6,000 strong Gotei 13 suffers just under 2,500 casualties, including some of the story's major players: Kira, Byakuya, Renji, Rukia and Kenpachi are utterly trashed, Kyouraku is maimed for life, and Yamamoto is completely obliterated. From there, the story becomes darker, more sadistic and more traumatic for characters. This mood also sets up the arc's mini flashback mini-flashback storyline which is not the fandom-expected funny, ditzy MeetCute tale of Isshin and Masaki's first meeting, instead being a tragic tale of how Aizen's hollowfication Hollowfication experiments accidentally ruin Ryuuken Ishida's life.
27th May '16 11:11:40 PM MyFinalEdits
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* ''{{Manga/Gantz}}'' was already a pretty dark series, but it still manages to give us this somewhere around the end of volume 9 with the death of [[spoiler: [[EverybodysDeadDave the entire team]] except for Kurono.]] The fact that [[spoiler: Kurono]] [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]] afterwards does nothing to mitigate the new knowledge that PlotArmor has ceased to exist.

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* ''{{Manga/Gantz}}'' was already a pretty dark series, but it still manages to give us show this somewhere around the end of volume 9 with the death of [[spoiler: [[EverybodysDeadDave the entire team]] except for Kurono.]] The fact that [[spoiler: Kurono]] [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]] afterwards does nothing to mitigate the new knowledge that PlotArmor has ceased to exist.



* Given that ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' starts InMediasRes and a big chunk of the story, [[ProlongedPrologue a twelve volume long prologue]], [[HowWeGotHere shows us how everything came to be in first arc]], which showed Guts as a dark, brooding and ruthless warrior on the brink of madness due to his obsessive revenge against Griffith, [[ForegoneConclusion we thought that the flashback would be self-explanatory]] once we got to that point... Until we found out just how much everything went '''''horribly wrong''''' once [[TotalEclipseOfThePlot the Eclipse]] went down, which involved [[spoiler: a former good guy making an ''[[MoralEventHorizon epic]]'' FaceHeelTurn and becoming a godlike demon lord, [[EverybodysDeadDave damn near the entire cast of likable characters dying]] [[SacrificialLion horrific deaths,]] the sole female protagonist [[GoMadFromTheRevelation being brutally raped to insanity]] by said former good guy, and the main man who [[HopeSpot tried so desperately to save his friends and lover failing to do so,]] losing [[EyeScream an eye]] and [[LifeOrLimbDecision an arm]] in the process.]] Wow.

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* Given that ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' starts InMediasRes and a big chunk of the story, [[ProlongedPrologue a twelve volume long prologue]], [[HowWeGotHere shows us how everything came to be in first arc]], which showed Guts as a dark, brooding and ruthless warrior on the brink of madness due to his obsessive revenge against Griffith, [[ForegoneConclusion we thought that the flashback would be self-explanatory]] once we got to that point... Until we found out just how much everything went '''''horribly wrong''''' once [[TotalEclipseOfThePlot the Eclipse]] went down, which involved [[spoiler: a former good guy making an ''[[MoralEventHorizon epic]]'' FaceHeelTurn and becoming a godlike demon lord, [[EverybodysDeadDave damn near the entire cast of likable characters dying]] [[SacrificialLion horrific deaths,]] the sole female protagonist [[GoMadFromTheRevelation being brutally raped to insanity]] by said former good guy, and the main man who [[HopeSpot tried so desperately to save his friends and lover failing to do so,]] losing [[EyeScream an eye]] and [[LifeOrLimbDecision an arm]] in the process.]] Wow.



* [[spoiler: The death of Cloud, the protagonist's [[HalfIdenticalTwins Half-Identical Twin]] brother]] tells us that ''Peace: Cats of the Valley'' is every bit as hardcore as the [[Literature/WarriorCats series]] it [[SerialNumbersFiledOff plagiarises]].

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* [[spoiler: The death of Cloud, the protagonist's [[HalfIdenticalTwins Half-Identical Twin]] brother]] tells us shows that ''Peace: Cats of the Valley'' is every bit as hardcore as the [[Literature/WarriorCats series]] it [[SerialNumbersFiledOff plagiarises]].



* ''Literature/MrMercedes'': In the opening chapter, unemployed people are lined up for a job fair. We get to know Augie Odenkirk, who befriends a woman named Janice, a woman with so little support that she has to bring her baby with her. Augie decides that he's going to take Janice to breakfast, then [[spoiler: a serial killer plows into the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, killing several people, including the three about whom Stephen King has made us care.]]

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* ''Literature/MrMercedes'': In the opening chapter, unemployed people are lined up for a job fair. We get to know Augie Odenkirk, who befriends a woman named Janice, a woman with so little support that she has to bring her baby with her. Augie decides that he's going to take Janice to breakfast, then [[spoiler: a serial killer plows into the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, killing several people, including the three about whom Stephen King has made us care.]]



* The Silo series by Hugh Howey starts with a brilliant gut punch when a would-be protagonist follows his wife into the seemingly deadly post-catastrophe outside world that everyone in his silo sees only through a single screen. He believes, as his wife did after some thorough research, that the image on the screen is a computer generated lie to keep everyone inside. In fact, the idea of going outside is a capital crime in the silo, and everyone guilty is got rid of by sending them there to clean dust off the cameras feeding that screen, and to die a horrible death quickly afterwards. [[spoiler:There is indeed bright and green pastoral world outside, and for a few happy minutes the would-be protagonist is cleaning the lenses, waving at people inside and making plans to find his wife. Until he starts dying violently, tears off his helmet and finds out that the green pastures are CGI fake on his helmet's screen, tricking every condemned criminal into cleaning those lenses, and the real world is as deadly as seen on TV. Gut punches don't stop there: initially the books tell us just what their protagonists know about their world, and in the end their entire existence turns out to be a carefully constructed lie, hiding some truly horrible reality.]]

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* The Silo ''Silo'' series by Hugh Howey starts with a brilliant gut punch when a would-be protagonist follows his wife into the seemingly deadly post-catastrophe outside world that everyone in his silo sees only through a single screen. He believes, as his wife did after some thorough research, that the image on the screen is a computer generated lie to keep everyone inside. In fact, the idea of going outside is a capital crime in the silo, and everyone guilty is got rid of by sending them there to clean dust off the cameras feeding that screen, and to die a horrible death quickly afterwards. [[spoiler:There is indeed bright and green pastoral world outside, and for a few happy minutes the would-be protagonist is cleaning the lenses, waving at people inside and making plans to find his wife. Until he starts dying violently, tears off his helmet and finds out that the green pastures are CGI fake on his helmet's screen, tricking every condemned criminal into cleaning those lenses, and the real world is as deadly as seen on TV. Gut punches don't stop there: initially the books tell us show just what their protagonists know about their world, and in the end their entire existence turns out to be a carefully constructed lie, hiding some truly horrible reality.]]
27th May '16 2:31:37 PM CheeseDogX
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** The Bombing of Narn in ''The Long Twilight Struggle''. The Narn-Centauri War had been mostly a background event at this point, important but not crucial to the overall MythArc. Then suddenly the war is over, the Centauri control Narn and have turned the aggressiveness UpToEleven, and once again, NothingIsTheSameAnymore.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.GutPunch