Created By: fetchystick on September 26, 2013 Last Edited By: Generality on October 3, 2013

Diplomatic Victory

Defeating the Big Bad through words alone!

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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

  • In Mass Effect, 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.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • September 26, 2013
  • September 26, 2013
    any help with formatting would be much appreciated, and feel free to add things yourself. TC
  • September 26, 2013
    So... how is this different from Talking The Monster To Death?
  • September 26, 2013
    Larkman, after taking a peek through that trope, I'm not so sure anymore... perhaps if anyone else can come up with something that sets it apart I'll continue development. Give it 3 days.
  • September 26, 2013
    Pretty much anything from the Ace Attorney series will work. Just saying.
  • September 27, 2013
    How about actual diplomatic victories?

    • The Influence and Economic endings of Republic The Revolution involve ousting the current President For Life of Novistrana without violence (like in the Force ending)—on demands from either the common folk or the local moneybags, respectively. In both cases, you have to negotiate a lot before that happens.
  • October 3, 2013
    The Fallout series sometimes features this. In the original Fallout, you can convince the Master that he is wrong, causing him to initiate self-destruction; in Fallout 3 you can do the same to both John Henry Eden and his dragon, Colonel Autumn.
  • October 3, 2013
  • October 3, 2013
    Planescape Torment is a well known example. There are several paths, and only one leads to actual combat (of course, there are only about three unavoidable battles in the whole game).
  • October 3, 2013
    Western Animation
    • One Dial M For Monkey episode "Simion" has a long-lost NASA test monkey return as a cosmic super-ape bent on vengeance against humanity. After hearing Simion's monologue, Monkey offers him a banana, a gesture which affects Simion so deeply that he abandons his quest.