Pragmatism Is Bad


(permanent link) added: 2011-04-02 21:17:51 sponsor: Desertopa (last reply: 2012-05-21 17:33:23)

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"What sense does it make to trade LIVES to save the world?!"

A true hero never leaves anyone behind. Not even if the fate of thousands hinges upon it. A sure sign of the far ideal end of the sliding scale, protagonists of this stripe will refuse outright to make sacrifices for the greater good, no matter how much greater it might be. Whether it's a transparently ill-advised Hostage for MacGuffin trade, or a choice between putting down the Big Bad and saving some innocents, they'll always do the "compassionate" thing, even if it will realistically entail a far greater extent of destruction or loss of life than the more levelheaded option. Expect to see reality bend over backwards to accommodate their attempts to Take a Third Option, and their Heroic Resolve to carry through the most merciful available plans in the face of assurances that they cannot possibly work. More cynical characters may counsel a more pragmatic approach, or berate them for their poor decisionmaking, but the protagonists' success will either bring them around to their way of thinking, or prove that the protagonists were morally superior all along.

Subtropes include No One Gets Left Behind and Always Save the Girl. Compare Death by Pragmatism, where pragmatic characters are disposed of for narrative convenience.

Examples

Grandia: When Gaia is revived, the protagonists insist on going to Zil Padon to protect the civilians, in defiance of the military plan which calls for a direct strike at the heart of Gaia to destroy it as quickly as possible.

Seen It a Million Times. I'm almost certain that Lunar and Lunar 2 were both examples, but I no longer remember the specifics.
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