History Main / RunningBothSides

8th Mar '16 9:45:26 AM MadCat221
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* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', both the Desians and the Church of Martel are run by [[spoiler:Mithos Yggdrasil and Cruxis, who want to keep the two worlds Sylvarant and Tethe'alla in a permanent struggle for mana in a misguided effort to prevent another of the {{Magitek}} wars that ended up killing Mithos' dead little sister, the Church's namesake.]]

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* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', both the Desians and the Church of Martel are run by [[spoiler:Mithos Yggdrasil and Cruxis, who want to keep the two worlds Sylvarant and Tethe'alla in a permanent struggle for mana in a misguided effort to prevent another of the {{Magitek}} wars that ended up killing Mithos' dead little sister, the Church's namesake.]]
26th Feb '16 9:53:00 PM Eddy1215
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A conflict is going on. It might be a shooting war or just a fierce rivalry; it might be only important to some of the characthers or important to nearly everyone in the setting. However, it turns out that while the subordinates on opposite sides feel very strongly about it, the leadership on either sides aren't enemies. They might even be the same person! Normally, you'd expect someone in that position to attempt to defuse the conflict. But they don't, they encourage it, not because of HonorBeforeReason, but because it is to their political advantage to keep the conflict going for the moment.

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A conflict is going on. It might be a shooting war or just a fierce rivalry; it might be only important to some of the characthers characters or important to nearly everyone in the setting. However, it turns out that while the subordinates on opposite sides feel very strongly about it, the leadership on either sides aren't enemies. They might even be the same person! Normally, you'd expect someone in that position to attempt to defuse the conflict. But they don't, they encourage it, not because of HonorBeforeReason, but because it is to their political advantage to keep the conflict going for the moment.
26th Feb '16 9:29:11 PM HeraldAlberich
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A conflict is going on. It might be a shooting war or just a fierce rivalry; it might be only important to some of the characters or important to nearly everyone in the setting. However, it turns out that while the subordinates on opposite sides feel very strongly about it, the leadership on either sides aren't enemies. They might even be the same person! Normally, you'd expect someone in that position to attempt to defuse the conflict. But they don't, they encourage it, not because of HonorBeforeReason, but because it is to their political advantage to keep the conflict going for the moment.

to:

A conflict is going on. It might be a shooting war or just a fierce rivalry; it might be only important to some of the characters characthers or important to nearly everyone in the setting. However, it turns out that while the subordinates on opposite sides feel very strongly about it, the leadership on either sides aren't enemies. They might even be the same person! Normally, you'd expect someone in that position to attempt to defuse the conflict. But they don't, they encourage it, not because of HonorBeforeReason, but because it is to their political advantage to keep the conflict going for the moment.



* In ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'', it is revealed that the Machine intelligence known as The Architect designed the Matrix to periodically spit out a messiah figure to start a small revolt, and Neo is the sixth. The reason? Human free will adds just enough chaos to the system to prevent complete virtual management -- but allow one human to restart the war, and the system remains stable. As the Architect puts it, "Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the Matrix." In essence, the war is just another part of the operation of the power plant known as the Matrix.
* In the ''Franchise/StarWars'' prequel trilogy, Palpatine [[YouShouldKnowThisAlready ends up in charge of both]] the Republic as Supreme Chancellor and the Separatists as Darth Sidious. As chancellor, the conflict is his means of securing total and eternal power and destroying the Jedi Knights. As Sidious, he provides the external threat used to justified his expansion of government power.
* In ''Film/WagTheDog'', political advisors attempt to create an "artificial war" -- and trick the public into thinking it's the real thing.

to:

* In ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'', it is revealed that the Machine intelligence known as The Architect designed the Matrix to periodically spit out a messiah figure to start a small revolt, and Neo is the sixth. The reason? Human free will adds just enough chaos to the system to prevent complete virtual management -- but management--but allow one human to restart the war, and the system remains stable. As the Architect puts it, "Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the Matrix." In essence, the war is just another part of the operation of the power plant known as the Matrix.
* In the ''Franchise/StarWars'' prequel trilogy, Palpatine [[YouShouldKnowThisAlready ends up in charge of both]] the Republic as Supreme Chancellor and the Separatists as Darth Sidious. As chancellor, the conflict is his means of securing total and eternal power and destroying the Jedi Knights. As Sidious, he provides the external threat used to justified justify his expansion of government power.
* In ''Film/WagTheDog'', political advisors attempt to create an "artificial war" -- and war"--and trick the public into thinking it's the real thing.
26th Feb '16 8:07:08 PM HeraldAlberich
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* The possibility of this trope is what prevents the ring from going to Gondor (or anywhere else but Mt. Doom) in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' - since Sauron alone can control the ring, any faction opposing him and attempting to use the ring would inevitably be corrupted to the point where Sauron himself (as the ring is to some degree a physical extension of his will and personality) would be controlling both the forces of Mordor and the forces opposing Mordor.

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* The possibility of this trope is what prevents the ring from going to Gondor (or anywhere else but Mt. Doom) in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' - since ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''--since Sauron alone can control the ring, any faction opposing him and attempting to use the ring would inevitably be corrupted to the point where Sauron himself (as the ring is to some degree a physical extension of his will and personality) would be controlling both the forces of Mordor and the forces opposing Mordor.



* In MercedesLackey's ''Literature/DragonJousters'' series, it is discovered that both leaders of the warring nations (expys of Upper and Lower Ancient Egypt) are being manipulated by a corrupt Magician's Guild. The death-energies from the soldiers in battle are harnessed as sacrifices to fuel an immortality/youth spell.

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* In MercedesLackey's Creator/MercedesLackey's ''Literature/DragonJousters'' series, it is discovered that both leaders of the warring nations (expys ({{Fantasy Counterpart Culture}}s of Upper and Lower Ancient Egypt) are being manipulated by a corrupt Magician's Guild. The death-energies from the soldiers in battle are harnessed as sacrifices to fuel an immortality/youth spell.
20th Dec '15 4:48:34 PM Odacon_Spy
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* The Announcer in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''. To quote from her character entry: "InAWorld where a lot of guys dressed up in red fight a lot of guys dressed up in blue, it's telling that she dresses in purple."

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* The Announcer Administrator in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''. To quote from her character entry: "InAWorld where a lot of guys dressed up in red fight a lot of guys dressed up in blue, it's telling that she dresses in purple."
10th Aug '15 12:48:41 AM C105
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* [[AffablyEvil Milo Minderbender]] of ''Literature/Catch22'' pulls this off quite well in wartime, managing to profit tons of money by battling his own planes against each other and, infamously, [[WarIsHell bombing his own military unit and friends]].

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* [[AffablyEvil Milo Minderbender]] of ''Literature/Catch22'' ''Literature/CatchTwentyTwo'' pulls this off quite well in wartime, managing to profit tons of money by battling his own planes against each other and, infamously, [[WarIsHell bombing his own military unit and friends]].
8th Jul '15 8:15:13 PM Prfnoff
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* ''[[AceCombat Ace Combat 5]]'': The Belkans are aggravating/running both sides of the war.



* ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheBelkanWar'': The Belkans are aggravating/running both sides of the war.



* The recurring CEO/weapon merchant/villain in ''RogueGalaxy'' attempts to do this with the two biggest nations around so that he can continue to profit.
* ''{{Crackdown}}'': TheReveal at the end of the game is that the leader of The Agency, a superpowered law-enforcement agency for which you're an agent, was the reason the city turned into such a den of crime in the first place he'd been supplying the gangs with weapons, transportation and intel for years, turning them from random punks into serious threats. Thus, he got an excuse to declare martial law and unleash the Agents on the city... exactly what the point was, though, is never explained.

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* The recurring CEO/weapon merchant/villain in ''RogueGalaxy'' ''VideoGame/RogueGalaxy'' attempts to do this with the two biggest nations around so that he can continue to profit.
* ''{{Crackdown}}'': ''VideoGame/{{Crackdown}}'': TheReveal at the end of the game is that the leader of The Agency, a superpowered law-enforcement agency for which you're an agent, was the reason the city turned into such a den of crime in the first place he'd been supplying the gangs with weapons, transportation and intel for years, turning them from random punks into serious threats. Thus, he got an excuse to declare martial law and unleash the Agents on the city... exactly what the point was, though, is never explained.
3rd Jul '15 2:17:01 AM justanid
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* In 1999, Wrestling/{{WW|E}}F featured a long and convoluted storyline about TheUndertaker and his [[PowerStable Ministry Of Darkness]] attempting to seize control of the WWF from [[HeelFaceTurn former bad guy]] VinceMcMahon under the orders of a mysterious figure known only as "The Higher Power". This "Higher Power" turned out to be... VinceMcMahon. The MinistryOfDarkness then merged with TheCorporation to become the Corporate Ministry, and about five months of storyline were [[ShaggyDogStory thrown out the window]].

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* In 1999, Wrestling/{{WW|E}}F featured a long and convoluted storyline about TheUndertaker and his [[PowerStable Ministry Of Darkness]] attempting to seize control of the WWF from [[HeelFaceTurn former bad guy]] VinceMcMahon under the orders of a mysterious figure known only as "The Higher Power". This "Higher Power" turned out to be... VinceMcMahon. The MinistryOfDarkness then merged with TheCorporation Wrestling/TheCorporation to become the Corporate Ministry, and about five months of storyline were [[ShaggyDogStory thrown out the window]].
12th Jun '15 8:26:04 PM Willbyr
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* Several ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' chaos gods are prone to this, especially Tzeentch (the god of magic, messing with fate and GambitRoulette) and Zuvassin (a minor chaos god of spite and failure).
* In ''Warhammer40K'', there's not only Tzeentch, but the Eldar, the C'tan Deceiver, and the Inquisition running around trying to keep multiple sides fighting each other. Although in the Eldar's case, it's to redirect an enemy towards another to prevent them from targeting the Eldar.
** Near Tyrannid space, a lot of rebellions turn out to be caused by a Genestealer cult manipulating the upper echelons of two or more factions, turning them against each other until the entire planet is consumed by war, making it easy prey for the hive fleet.

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* Several ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' chaos Chaos gods are prone to this, especially Tzeentch (the god of magic, messing with fate and GambitRoulette) and Zuvassin (a minor chaos god of spite and failure).
* In ''Warhammer40K'', ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', there's not only Tzeentch, but the Eldar, the C'tan Deceiver, and the Inquisition running around trying to keep multiple sides fighting each other. Although in the Eldar's case, it's to redirect an enemy towards another to prevent them from targeting the Eldar.
** Near Tyrannid Tyranid space, a lot of rebellions turn out to be caused by a Genestealer cult manipulating the upper echelons of two or more factions, turning them against each other until the entire planet is consumed by war, making it easy prey for the hive fleet.
12th Jun '15 4:57:55 AM 10-13-2
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* The main plot of ''BatmanReturns'': The Penguin has his gang (to which he appears to have no connection whatsoever in the public's mind) commit random acts of violence throughout Gotham City in order to make the city's current mayor look weak, while simultaneously running for mayor himself and claiming he's the only one who can restore order (and, FromACertainPointOfView, he's telling the truth!).

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* The main plot of ''BatmanReturns'': The Penguin has his gang (to which he appears to have no connection whatsoever in the public's mind) commit random acts of violence throughout Gotham City in order to make the city's current mayor look weak, while simultaneously running for mayor himself and claiming he's the only one who can restore order (and, FromACertainPointOfView, he's telling the truth!). One of his allies even refers to "the Gulf of Tonkin" and "the Reichstag fire", both real-life events that might suggest to naïve viewers that both were [[FalseFlagOperation False Flag Operations]], when in fact they genuinely happened and were only exploited afterward.
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