History Main / PyrrhicVillainy

5th May '17 5:23:14 AM gadeel
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* In the backstory of ''VideoGame/HorizonZeroDawn'', [[spoiler:Ted Faro successfully deletes APOLLO (the repository of human knowledge and, more importantly, history) and kills off the Zero Dawn Alphas so that AfterTheEnd, humanity is unburdened by the knowledge of the past. Really, this is him erasing evidence that the end of the world was his fault. However, there are recordings in the bunkers that give enough of a picture of the situation that clearly points to him as the setting's GreaterScopeVillain]].
4th May '17 9:48:40 AM erforce
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* Harry [=McDowell=] in the anime version of the game franchise ''{{Gungrave}}'' first just wanted enough power to live his life freely and protect the people important to him. With time, he succeeds in rising to the top of [[TheSyndicate Millennion]] and making it more powerful than the law itself, but only by losing sight of his original goals and betraying almost everyone he cares about. He's driven to kill both Brandon, his best friend whom he relied on in all his life (leading to some spectacular {{Villainous Breakdown}}s), the fatherly prior head of the organization and his wife, Brandon's sweetheart. Twenty years later, though, he's finally able to face Brandon and come to terms with his life.

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* Harry [=McDowell=] in the anime version of the game franchise ''{{Gungrave}}'' ''Anime/{{Gungrave}}'' first just wanted enough power to live his life freely and protect the people important to him. With time, he succeeds in rising to the top of [[TheSyndicate Millennion]] and making it more powerful than the law itself, but only by losing sight of his original goals and betraying almost everyone he cares about. He's driven to kill both Brandon, his best friend whom he relied on in all his life (leading to some spectacular {{Villainous Breakdown}}s), the fatherly prior head of the organization and his wife, Brandon's sweetheart. Twenty years later, though, he's finally able to face Brandon and come to terms with his life.



* In ''{{Hellsing}}'' [[spoiler:[[BigBad The Major]] succeeds in defeating Alucard, even though [[ActionGirl Integra]] [[ShutUpHannibal kills]] him in the end. Also, London ultimately rebuilds and life continues on like normal. And just like the last time he was soundly beaten, Alucard is never truly out of the game; he comes back ''eventually''.]]

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* In ''{{Hellsing}}'' ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' [[spoiler:[[BigBad The Major]] succeeds in defeating Alucard, even though [[ActionGirl Integra]] [[ShutUpHannibal kills]] him in the end. Also, London ultimately rebuilds and life continues on like normal. And just like the last time he was soundly beaten, Alucard is never truly out of the game; he comes back ''eventually''.]]



* Happens twice in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', Cars, the main villain of Part 2, gets what he wants [[spoiler:which is to become the ultimate lifeform, which lives forever and can adapt to any environment or situation]], but ends up [[spoiler:flung into space, where he will live forever, but slowly go insane from the boredom]]. Enrico Pucci in Part 6 [[spoiler:kills most of the heroes and obtains his vision of "heaven", if only for a moment... but then gets killed by a mere child, and the world then gets the ResetButton; and he's no longer in the universe, having never been born]].

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* Happens twice in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', Cars, ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'':
** Kars,
the main villain of [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureBattleTendency Part 2, 2]], gets what he wants [[spoiler:which is to become the ultimate lifeform, which lives forever and can adapt to any environment or situation]], but ends up [[spoiler:flung into space, where he will live forever, but slowly go insane from the boredom]]. boredom]].
**
Enrico Pucci in [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureStoneOcean Part 6 6]] [[spoiler:kills most of the heroes and obtains his vision of "heaven", if only for a moment... but then gets killed by a mere child, and the world then gets the ResetButton; and he's no longer in the universe, having never been born]].



** Part 1: Certainly he's destroyed every major underworld power in his way but at the cost of his soul.
** Part 2: Again he destroys his enemies and taken on the US government and won, but he's also destroyed his marriage, alienated his children and friends, killed his brother, and is left utterly alone.
** Part 3: He passes leadership of the family but fails to legitimize it and his daughter is killed right in front of him.

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** [[Film/TheGodfather Part 1: 1]]: Certainly he's destroyed every major underworld power in his way but at the cost of his soul.
** [[Film/TheGodfatherPartII Part 2: 2]]: Again he destroys his enemies and taken on the US government and won, but he's also destroyed his marriage, alienated his children and friends, killed his brother, and is left utterly alone.
** [[Film/TheGodfatherPartIII Part 3: 3]]: He passes leadership of the family but fails to legitimize it and his daughter is killed right in front of him.



* ''[[Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan The Wrath of Khan]]'': Khan's ruthless, vicious bid to exact revenge on Captain Kirk succeeds (up to a point), and he even acquires what might be the most powerful piece of technology in the 23rd century. Unfortunately, this success led to him sinking deeper into insanity, leading his [[UndyingLoyalty devoted followers]] to their deaths, getting disfigured, and finally [[TakingYouWithMe committing suicide in an effort to finish off the object of his fixation.]] Early on, his own [[TheDragon right-hand man]] pointed out that he had already achieved a limited victory and could [[KarmaHoudini fly away without suffering any consequences.]] [[ContractualGenreBlindness Naturally,]] [[IgnoredEpiphany his advice went unheeded.]]

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* ''[[Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan The Wrath of Khan]]'': ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'': Khan's ruthless, vicious bid to exact revenge on Captain Kirk succeeds (up to a point), and he even acquires what might be the most powerful piece of technology in the 23rd century. Unfortunately, this success led to him sinking deeper into insanity, leading his [[UndyingLoyalty devoted followers]] to their deaths, getting disfigured, and finally [[TakingYouWithMe committing suicide in an effort to finish off the object of his fixation.]] Early on, his own [[TheDragon right-hand man]] pointed out that he had already achieved a limited victory and could [[KarmaHoudini fly away without suffering any consequences.]] [[ContractualGenreBlindness Naturally,]] [[IgnoredEpiphany his advice went unheeded.]]



* [[VillainProtagonist Kratos]] in the first ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' (BackStory included) gains a great deal of power at the cost of ''many'' lives, kills the original God of War, Ares, and becomes the new God of War in the process. Unfortunately for our SociopathicHero protagonist, his burning ambition costs him the lives of his family ([[spoiler:by his own hand]]), possibly the only thing he genuinely cared about emotionally, and causes him to go nearly insane with guilt and endless nightmares. After learning that all of his efforts towards his goal of ending said nightmares were ultimately futile, he, despite everything that he had gained, descended further into [[AxCrazy madness]] (leading to the events of ''God of War 2''), [[spoiler:where he ends up killing Athena, the one Goddess who was sympathetic to him.]].
** The third game ends Kratos' story in this manner. [[spoiler:Kratos finally has his revenge on Zeus, and has brought down nearly all of Olympus AND the Titans. However, each god he killed caused a major calamity to strike the world. By the end, the oceans have risen (Poseidon), the sun has been blotted out (Helios), a plague has broken out (Hermes), all vegetation has died (Hera), and what little remains has been covered in Gaia's remains. Even worse, Pandora's HeroicSacrifice (something he was trying to ''prevent'') was utterly pointless, as the power to defeat Zeus was in him the entire time. When Athena's ghost pulls her FaceHeelTurn, he finally has had enough and impales himself, which releases Hope and helps the world a little... but he's still dead, and can never rejoin his family. '''Damn.''']]

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* ''VideoGame/GodOfWarSeries''
**
[[VillainProtagonist Kratos]] in the first ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' (BackStory included) gains a great deal of power at the cost of ''many'' lives, kills the original God of War, Ares, and becomes the new God of War in the process. Unfortunately for our SociopathicHero protagonist, his burning ambition costs him the lives of his family ([[spoiler:by his own hand]]), possibly the only thing he genuinely cared about emotionally, and causes him to go nearly insane with guilt and endless nightmares. After learning that all of his efforts towards his goal of ending said nightmares were ultimately futile, he, despite everything that he had gained, descended further into [[AxCrazy madness]] (leading to the events of ''God of War 2''), ''VideoGame/GodOfWarII''), [[spoiler:where he ends up killing Athena, the one Goddess who was sympathetic to him.]].
** The third game ''VideoGame/GodOfWarIII'' ends Kratos' story in this manner. [[spoiler:Kratos finally has his revenge on Zeus, and has brought down nearly all of Olympus AND the Titans. However, each god he killed caused a major calamity to strike the world. By the end, the oceans have risen (Poseidon), the sun has been blotted out (Helios), a plague has broken out (Hermes), all vegetation has died (Hera), and what little remains has been covered in Gaia's remains. Even worse, Pandora's HeroicSacrifice (something he was trying to ''prevent'') was utterly pointless, as the power to defeat Zeus was in him the entire time. When Athena's ghost pulls her FaceHeelTurn, he finally has had enough and impales himself, which releases Hope and helps the world a little... but he's still dead, and can never rejoin his family. '''Damn.''']]



* Dr. Eggman's plan actually succeeds in SonicRiders... kinda. He does manage to steal the treasure of Babylon, which turns out to be [[spoiler:a rug]]. He faints when he realizes how much effort he put into it. [[spoiler:If he'd kept it, he could've discovered that it was actually [[FlyingCarpet ancient Babylonian technology that actually flies.]]]]

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* Dr. Eggman's plan actually succeeds in SonicRiders...''VideoGame/SonicRiders''... kinda. He does manage to steal the treasure of Babylon, which turns out to be [[spoiler:a rug]]. He faints when he realizes how much effort he put into it. [[spoiler:If he'd kept it, he could've discovered that it was actually [[FlyingCarpet ancient Babylonian technology that actually flies.]]]]



4th May '17 8:51:11 AM TheWanderer
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* In ''Film/HouseOfFlyingDaggers'', TheMole for LaResistance accomplishes his mission to perfection, but loses the ActionGirl he loves, and [[IfICantHaveYou later kills her]] while fighting TheRival who had won her love.

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* In ''Film/HouseOfFlyingDaggers'', TheMole for LaResistance accomplishes his mission to perfection, but loses the ActionGirl he loves, and [[IfICantHaveYou later kills her]] while fighting TheRival who had won her love. He ends the film a broken shell of a man.
3rd May '17 7:10:52 PM PaulA
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* In the WilliamGibson short story "Dogfight," the main character wins the aerial combat video game, but in the process alienates everyone he might possibly celebrate his victory with.

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* In the WilliamGibson Creator/WilliamGibson short story "Dogfight," "Dogfight", the main character wins the aerial combat video game, but in the process alienates everyone he might possibly celebrate his victory with.
26th Apr '17 8:22:17 AM Nyame
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* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': Malcolm Merlyn's life post-Season One. Sure, he destroyed (half) the Glades like he wanted to, but the plan killed his son and ruined his reputation thanks to Moira outing him, along with the wrath of the then-Ra's al Ghul, his former master. His attempts to escape retribution from the League of Assassins goes very much the same way -- he manages to get off their shit list and even becomes Ra's al Ghul for a time, but it eventually costs him his daughter's love, the League itself, and one of his hands. By the time the Legion of Doom goes to recruit him, he's become a JadedWashout, little more than a thug desperate for his GloryDays.
12th Apr '17 4:20:15 PM KizunaTallis
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* In ''FanFic/WishCarefully'', Voldemort and the Death Eaters got exactly what they wanted: Britain is theirs, with the Light Side banned by MagicallyBindingTreaty from returning for as long as the Death Eaters rule, and the Light faction will take all the Muggleborns away each year so that the Death Eaters never have to deal with them again. All they had to agree to was not to go after the Light refugees or interfere in any way with the Muggle world. It wasn't until well after the treaty that they realized that virtually all the producers of goods and services were Light-aligned, leaving them with a crippled economy that is hemorrhaging gold. Even worse, without the muggleborn and Light-faction bloodlines, inbreeding is slowly choking the magic out of their descendants.
* ''The Same Box:'' Starlight Glimmer has equalized every pony in Equestria, including herself, and imprisoned Princess Celestia in a machine that drains her magic to move the sun and moon, as her cutie mark cannot be removed. After warning Starlight one final time that the "utopia" she created will end in disaster, to no avail, Celestia commits suicide rather than live in Starlight's equal world. With Celestia gone, Equestria is stuck in a state of perpetual daylight, as equalized unicorns' magic cannot move the sun and moon. Equalized pegasi cannot control the weather, and equalized earth ponies cannot farm the land to grow crops. Equestria crumbles into a dystopia as plants and animals die in droves. Life becomes worthless, no longer worth living or enjoying because all traces of individuality have been eradicated and nothing meaningful can be achieved anymore. Eventually, Starlight is left to overlook the abandoned ruins of Canterlot from the castle, realizing too late that her attempts to make a utopia brought about the ruin of her world.

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* In ''FanFic/WishCarefully'', Voldemort and the Death Eaters got [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor exactly what they wanted: wanted]]: Britain is theirs, with the Light Side banned barred by MagicallyBindingTreaty MagicallyBindingContract from returning for as long as the Death Eaters rule, and the Light faction will take all the Muggleborns and Squibs away each year so that the Death Eaters will never have to deal with them again. All they had to agree to was not to go after the Light refugees or interfere in any way with the Muggle world. It wasn't until well after the treaty that they realized that virtually all the producers of goods and services were Light-aligned, leaving them with a crippled economy that is hemorrhaging gold. Even worse, without the muggleborn and Light-faction bloodlines, inbreeding is slowly choking the magic out of their descendants.
* ''The Same Box:'' Starlight Glimmer has equalized every pony in Equestria, including herself, and imprisoned Princess Celestia in a machine that drains her magic to move the sun and moon, as her cutie mark cannot be removed. After warning Starlight one final time that the "utopia" she created will end in disaster, to no avail, Celestia commits suicide rather than live in Starlight's equal world. With Celestia gone, Equestria is stuck in a state of perpetual daylight, EndlessDaytime, as equalized unicorns' magic cannot move the sun and moon. Equalized pegasi cannot control the weather, and equalized earth ponies cannot farm the land to grow crops. Equestria crumbles into a dystopia as plants and animals die in droves. Life becomes worthless, no longer worth living or enjoying because all traces of individuality have been eradicated and [[CreativeSterility nothing meaningful can be achieved anymore.anymore]]. Eventually, Starlight is left to overlook the abandoned ruins of Canterlot from the castle, realizing too late that her attempts to make a utopia brought about the ruin of her world.
2nd Apr '17 4:20:19 PM DustSnitch
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* [[Literature/TheBible Judas Iscariot]] may be an example. Sure, he got a tidy sum for betraying {{Jesus}}, but, according to Matthew, he was so overcome with guilt afterwards that he hanged himself.

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* [[Literature/TheBible Literature/TheFourGospels' Judas Iscariot]] Iscariot may be an example. Sure, he got a tidy sum for betraying {{Jesus}}, UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}}, but, according to Matthew, he was so overcome with guilt afterwards that he hanged himself.
23rd Mar '17 8:42:14 PM erforce
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* By the end of ''Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid'', it's clear that Garrett realizes that he will lead a conflicted, unhappy life and will be chiefly remembered for killing his friend. Billy, meanwhile, will have most of his bits of sociopathy forgotten by an adoring public. (To an extent, this extends to other portrayals of the two, including ''Young Guns 2'').

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* By the end of ''Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid'', it's clear that Garrett realizes that he will lead a conflicted, unhappy life and will be chiefly remembered for killing his friend. Billy, meanwhile, will have most of his bits of sociopathy forgotten by an adoring public. (To an extent, this extends to other portrayals of the two, including ''Young Guns 2'').''Film/YoungGunsII'').
1st Mar '17 12:33:15 PM dmcreif
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* ''Series/Daredevil2015'': The fate of District Attorney [[AmoralAttorney Samantha Reyes]] in season 2. She tries to get [[ComicBook/ThePunisher Frank Castle]] either killed or in jail for life to cover up the fact [[spoiler:she was indirectly responsible of his family's death with her carelessness]] because it would ruin her career. She does succeed in having him sent to jail and saving her job... only for Wilson Fisk to arrange for Castle to escape a few days later, reducing her to a panicked wreck under the belief he will come for her. And just to make sure saving her career was pointless, [[spoiler:she is machine-gunned to death right in front of Matt, Foggy, Karen and Blake Tower right after deciding to come clean (albeit not by Castle.)]]

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* ''Series/Daredevil2015'': *''Series/Daredevil2015'': The fate of District Attorney [[AmoralAttorney Samantha Reyes]] in season 2. She tries to get [[ComicBook/ThePunisher Frank Castle]] either killed or in jail for life to cover up the fact [[spoiler:she was indirectly responsible of his family's death with her carelessness]] because it would ruin her career. She does succeed in having him sent to jail and saving her job... only for Wilson Fisk to arrange for Castle to escape a few days later, reducing her to a panicked wreck under the belief he will come for her. And just to make sure saving her career was pointless, [[spoiler:she is machine-gunned to death right in front of Matt, Foggy, Karen Karen, and Blake Tower right after deciding to come clean (albeit not by Castle.)]])]]
*''Series/LukeCage2016'': By the end of Season 1, [[spoiler:Mariah gets out of Harlem's 29th precinct without charges on Cottonmouth's murder (due to having the one witness against her killed off), but with Harlem realizing her criminal activities.]]
1st Mar '17 12:28:16 PM dmcreif
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* ''Series/Daredevil2015'': The fate of District Attorney [[AmoralAttorney Samantha Reyes]] in season 2. She tries to get [[ComicBook/ThePunisher Frank Castle]] either dead or in jail for life to cover up the fact [[spoiler:she was indirectly responsible of his family's death with her carelessness]] because it would ruin her career. She does succeed in having him sent to jail and saving her job... only for Wilson Fisk to arrange for Castle to escape a few days later, reducing her to a panicked wreck under the belief he will come for her. And just to make sure saving her career was pointless, [[spoiler:she is gunned down right after admitting the truth to Matt, Foggy and Karen (albeit not by Castle.)]]
* As of the end of Season 6 of ''Series/GameOfThrones'', Cersei Lannister finds herself in this position. [[spoiler:She has triumphed over her enemies by detonating a wildfire cache under the Great Sept of Baelor, killing several hundred people from the nobility (including most remaining members of Houses Tyrell and Lannister, all of whom were opposing her) and the Faith within the sept, (who were about to put her on trial) probably as many commoners outside it and destroying a good chunk of the capital city. In the aftermath her only surviving son commits suicide, because Cersei was too busy torturing a prisoner who had once abused her to comfort him. Cersei has made it onto the throne at last, but her House is bankrupt, the crown is deeply in debt and her armies are depleted by war. [[VestigialEmpire Nearly the entire realm is either starting or in the middle of some form of rebellion against the throne]]. On top of all this Dany has finally launched a full scale invasion backed by both her armies and her dragons, and the harshest winter in recorded history has just started. Despite her apparent power and triumph due to ascending to the throne, the number of people actually loyal to Cersei can be counted on one hand, she has just as many if not more enemies than ever, and even her twin brother has become disillusioned with her.]]

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* ''Series/Daredevil2015'': The fate of District Attorney [[AmoralAttorney Samantha Reyes]] in season 2. She tries to get [[ComicBook/ThePunisher Frank Castle]] either dead killed or in jail for life to cover up the fact [[spoiler:she was indirectly responsible of his family's death with her carelessness]] because it would ruin her career. She does succeed in having him sent to jail and saving her job... only for Wilson Fisk to arrange for Castle to escape a few days later, reducing her to a panicked wreck under the belief he will come for her. And just to make sure saving her career was pointless, [[spoiler:she is gunned down machine-gunned to death right in front of Matt, Foggy, Karen and Blake Tower right after admitting the truth deciding to Matt, Foggy and Karen come clean (albeit not by Castle.)]]
* As of the end of Season 6 of ''Series/GameOfThrones'', Cersei Lannister finds herself in this position. [[spoiler:She has triumphed over her enemies by detonating a wildfire cache under the Great Sept of Baelor, killing several hundred people from the nobility (including most remaining members of Houses Tyrell and Lannister, all of whom were opposing her) and the Faith within the sept, (who were about to put her on trial) probably as many commoners outside it and destroying a good chunk of the capital city. In the aftermath her only surviving son commits suicide, because Cersei was too busy torturing a prisoner who had once abused her to comfort him. Cersei has made it onto the throne at last, but her House is bankrupt, the crown is deeply in debt and her armies are depleted by war. [[VestigialEmpire Nearly the entire realm is either starting or in the middle of some form of rebellion against the throne]]. On top of all this Dany Daenerys has finally launched a full scale invasion backed by both her armies and her dragons, and the harshest winter in recorded history has just started. Despite her apparent power and triumph due to ascending to the throne, the number of people actually loyal to Cersei can be counted on one hand, she has just as many if not more enemies than ever, and even her twin brother has become disillusioned with her.]]
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