Diplomatic Victory
Defeating the Big Bad through words alone!
Needs Examples Tropeworthy? Better Name

(permanent link) added: 2013-09-26 17:48:16 sponsor: fetchystick edited by: Generality (last reply: 2013-10-03 19:08:09)

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The heroes have finally encountered the Big Bad and the audience expects a Boss Battle of some sorts to unfold. But alas! the heroes are not the Just Shoot Him kind of guys, they are the Lawful Good Paragons and will give anyone a Last-Second Chance at redemption. Most audiences would expect the big bad to turn the offer down in some way.

This is not one of those tropes

Instead, the heroes are too persuasive, and the villain does realize that there is no chance of winning, thus crossing the Despair Event Horizon. The villain may perform a Heel-Face Turn in brighter examples or be Driven to Suicide on the spot in darker plots.

Sometimes the villain falls not because the heroes are too persuasive, but because he happens to be holding the Idiot Ball and falls for a particular piece of Shmuck Bait. This usually results in instant death or disability for the villain.

This may be the culminating result of an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight if the big bad is a friend of the hero. In video games it could be a reason to get players to put points into what would normally be a Dump Stat (like diplomacy or persuade).

Note that this trope must be used to gain a huge victory, usually straight-up defeating the main villain (and often concluding the story), but if used to weaken him significantly or to defeat a Disc One Final Boss then it may count. Using it to defeat ordinary mooks is more of a Jedi Mind Trick.

Compare/contrast Swiper, No Swiping!! and Talking the Monster to Death.

Expect spoilers

Examples:
  • In Mass Effect 1, a paragon Shepard can convince Saren that he has already been indoctrinated to sovereign, and is being used as a pawn, Saren believes Shepard and consequently shoots himself only partially fulfills the trope due to Saren becoming quickly reincarnated as a spider robot thing that is closer to a final boss
    • Note that because this is the only way that This Troper has ever finished the game, I can't tell for sure. Maybe a renegade Shepard can help me out?
  • In many civilization games like Galactic Civilizations II (used because I KNOW it fulfills this trope), the player can win through allying with all remaining civilizations in the galaxy.
  • In one of the Idiot Ball examples, the shaper in the first Geneforge can convince Trajkov to kill himself should he have a high enough leadership stat. Normally one would use the geneforge by slowly dipping your hands in bit by bit, trajkov can't understand the instruction manual, so you can tell him to dunk himself in completely, thus leading to death by disintegration. Bonus points if your leadership skill is even higher, which commands his guards to leave the room. While this doesn't ascertain complete victory, it sure helps considering that you just killed one of the two most powerful people on the island and allowed yourself to use the geneforge.
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