[[quoteright:300:[[VideoGame/TombRaider2013 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Tr2011cover_8324.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[Franchise/TombRaider Having fun yet, Lara?]]]]

* ''VideoGame/SuperAdventureRockman'' was this to the VideoGame/MegaManClassic franchise. There was a dark story, a horrifying load of GameOver cutscenes the player could get, ranging from Dr. Wily taking over the world after killing Roll, to Shadow Man destroying Rock Man with an arm cannon. Quick Man also has a death. A legitimate death, not an explosion. He even gets buried by Rock Man. You can't continue after the darkest game overs, by the way.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan7'' isn't quite as bad, but it still has Mega Man seriously considering killing Wily in cold blood (the English translation [[AmericanKirbyIsHardcore played this up]], but it was present even in the original Japanese version).
* Id Software did this. Their earlier publication, ''Videogame/CommanderKeen'', was a lighter hearted game that was quite intended for children and maybe relatively more innocent hearted adults. Id Software is famous for popularising the first person shooter in the form of ''Videogame/Wolfenstein3D'' and ''Videogame/{{Doom}}''.
** The Doom series itself gets progressively darker (literally) and edgier. The first game is quite colorful and most areas brightly lit. Doom II has an overall darker ambiance and a greater emphasis on horror. Doom 3 takes it to the extreme, with monochromatic textures, realistic gore, and many areas in total darkness.
** Strangely enough the characters of all these games appear to be related, as discussed [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19323_6-movie-tv-universes-that-overlap-in-mind-blowing-ways_p2.html here]]
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'' gets progressively darker and more serious through each installment. And it already started bleak with the murders of his wife and daughter.
* Bioware games as a whole have been going through this. Their first few games (''BaldursGate'', ''Videogame/NeverwinterNights'', etc) were fairly idealistic HighFantasy games. Their later ones, though? The game worlds are grim, bloody and {{crapsack|World}}, BlackAndGrayMorality runs rampant, and almost every major quest (and quite a few sidequests) end in a SadisticChoice where even the seemingly best option has disastrous consequences. Oh, and about 99.9% of the available party members have [[DysfunctionJunction severely traumatic pasts]].
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' is easily their darkest game. While their other games lately have been dark, they have all carried a feeling of hope and eventual triumph over a great evil. The ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series [[AWorldHalfFull is a perfect example of this.]] However, ''Dragon Age II'' is darker on a personal scale with [[GreyAndGrayMorality two sides that both have grave flaws]] and are [[WellIntentionedExtremist utterly convinced that they are correct and everyone else is wrong.]] [[CivilWar This leads to a situation where compromise is impossible]] with the protagonist, Hawke, stuck in the middle of everything. Where other Bioware games have had the feeling of hope and triumph, ''[[CliffHanger Dragon Age II]]'' [[DownerEnding does not]] [[CrapsackWorld give this.]]
** ''Videogame/MassEffect1'' was rather serious and bleak to begin with. ''Videogame/MassEffect2'' didn't necessarily get that much darker, but where the first game only made hints, the second goes all the way. The very first scene is an absolute CurbStompBattle, in which a voiceless and faceless enemy appears from nowhere [[spoiler:and completely rips your ship from the first game apart, with you still inside it]]. Then you join forces with a ruthless survivalist organization whose agents you killed by the dozens in the first game, because there are much more pressing matters at hand. The BlackAndWhiteMorality of the first game is abandoned and nobody blinks an eye when you murder a mechanic with his own power tool because you have to slow down the repairs on the vehicle he is working on. In every space port you'll find a couple of people talking about sex, or have your team scientists give you advice for sex with aliens and mentioning something about zoophilia on the ship.
** ''Videogame/MassEffect3'' has the Reapers arriving, and their first target was Earth. Remember, the events of [[spoiler:Arrival delayed their invasion.]] And by the looks of it, the Reapers are not easy to destroy. And like ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', doesn't exactly give you the feeling of hope and triumph either.
*** Apparently some people thought it was [[MemeticMutation Victorious and Uplifting]].
** While ''Videogame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic II'' wasn't made by Bioware like the first game, it definitely took a hard right into this direction. Instead of helping old Twi'leks across the street or drinking the blood of space puppies, [[BlackAndGreyMorality it's either helping someone who comes to you with a problem, thus making them a target for other people to kill, or just cutting out the middleman and murdering them yourself for kicks]]. Every act, [[KarmaMeter good or evil]], is deconstructed by Kreia, who helpfully points out that they die either way, all because you happened to kill some Mooks. She even explains why [[spoiler: you're gaining experience points. It's because for everything you kill, you absorb the Force from them and feed off of them, however you kill them.]]. However, [[WordOfGod according to]] Creator/ChrisAvellone and the Obsidian team, the whole game is not simply darker just to invoke the trope, but deliberately intended to be a [[DeconstructedTrope deconstruction]] of the absolutes and the [[BlackAndWhiteMorality black-and-white]] "simplicity" of classic ''Franchise/StarWars'' (the latter being a GenreThrowback to the early days of space opera and essentially heroic fantasy [[RecycledInSpace IN SPACE!]]), especially of the "good Jedi, evil Sith" dualism, which Avellone deemed "childish".
*** ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' as well, both the Exile and Revan did not survive in a rather brutal spiral of doom and situation is pretty much a HopeSpot.
** ''VideoGame/BaldursGate 2'' is definitely darker than it's predecessor, starting out with the main character and his/her party captured and tortured, two of the party killed, and another whisked away to an insane asylum for wizards. The main city of the game, Athkatla, is also a lot seedier than the titular city from the first game, featuring a bloody faction war between a guild of thieves and assassins and a horde of vampires. And ''Throne of Bhaal'' is quite possibly even darker, centered around 5 of the Bhaalspawn forming an alliance to wipe out all other Bhaalspawn (including the player,) with the body count escalating early on [[spoiler: when they succeed in destroying the city where the other Bhaalspawn were taking refuge.]]
* When the first ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' came out, people saw it as a little fun and cheesy action game with a twist on stealth elements. Then starting with the second game and the ''Solid'' series, the darkness was beginning to set in. By the time of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', you could expect the world to blow up at any moment and can't do a thing about it. [[spoiler:It's actually surprising that at the end of the series, that about 80% of all named characters died. For most of the time, it feels like there would be a lot fewer people to make it to the end alive.]]
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'' is this to a very heavy level, which is understandable, since it concerns [[FallenHero Big Boss]] and his fall from hero to villain. It includes torture (present in every MGS game, but never to this level), surgery performed without anesthetics, explicit portrayal of ChildSoldiers (only discussed or implied in previous games) and heavily implied gang rape, and that's just what's been shown in trailers.
* The original ''PhantasyStar'' was your standard science-fantasy affair, starting as a revenge story before turning towards saving the universe from an ancient evil. Things took a turn for the dark in ''PhantasyStarII'', however, with the destruction of one of the three planets in the Algol system, then the subsequent destruction of the supercomputer that had transformed the hostile desert world of Motavia into a habitable paradise, followed by TheReveal that said supercomputer was made by [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters a race of people from a planet called Earth as part of their plan to take over the system]]. By ''PhantasyStarIV'', Motavia has reverted back to a hostile desert planet, with monsters running rampant and technological progress starting to regress.
* The idealistic ''VideoGame/UltimaIV: Quest of the Avatar'' was followed up with ''VideoGame/UltimaV'', which involved resisting an oppressive tyrant using twisted versions of the very virtues the previous game was founded on to keep power. THAT was followed up by ''VideoGame/UltimaVI: The False Prophet'', which STARTS OUT with the hero narrowly avoiding being sacrificed as part of a terrible and brutal interspecies war.
** And that trilogy was the Age of Enlightenment. Let's not get started on the Age of Armageddon. ''VideoGame/UltimaVIII'', for the first time in the series, ''requires'' the Avatar to commit evil acts.
* Although the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series isn't exactly cheery to begin with (what with being set in a [[AfterTheEnd post apocalyptic wasteland]] and all), the first 2 games mainly focus on various towns and civilizations rising from the ashes and trying to rebuild, and contained a lot of dark humour and pop culture references, especially ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', which is considered the silliest game in the series. ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', on the other hand, was much darker by comparison, being set in and around a [[CrapsackWorld sparesly populated and desolate Washington D.C.]], which was directly hit by the bombs, where every day is a fight for survival as towns and groups barely manage to stay alive. Because of this, it is generally considered the darkest and most depressing game in the series.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', however, swung back to the other side with a more populated, civilised area with a clear blue sky and various vegetation, full of different factions vying for control of the titular area, which was barely hit by the bombs at all. Because of this, it has more of a WorldHalfFull feel to it instead of the pure grimness of 3. It also brought back a lot of the zany humour that was largely absent from 3. It's definitely not the lightest game in the series though, due to a large dose of GreyAndGrayMorality in its main story, and some of the terror-filled DLC's released with it, especially ''Lonesome Road'' and ''Dead Money''.
** In a wider sense, the canon itself is supposed to be DarkerAndEdgier. However, since the comedic moments do draw a portion of their fanbase and the game is, in part, a dark satire of the 1950s, they have relegated some of the zanier comedy to noncanon status, never mentioning it in future games, glossed over it BroadStrokes style, or, in the rare case it is plot relevant, downplayed as much as possible
* The shift in style between ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxterThePrecursorLegacy'' and its successor, ''VideoGame/{{Jak II|Renegade}}'' took place during the opening cinematic. In the original, the tone was light, the hero was a HeroicMime, his rodential sidekick joked all the time, and the combat was minimal and hand-to-hand. At the beginning of ''Jak II'' the heroes [[BadFuture traveled forward in time]], released an extra-dimensional evil onto the world in the process, then skipped over two years of Jak being tortured under lab settings. After that, [[SuddenlyVoiced Jak got a voice]], a sardonic attitude, a [[{{BFG}} gun]], and became a card-carrying PhlebotinumRebel; Daxter got some dirtier jokes, and was dropped from the title. This TimeTravel based change was a plausible way to change the world of the game drastically in one scene. ''VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander'' reverses the tone a little bit. The world is notably brighter and more colorful.
* The original ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' was already a gritty game to begin with, but the arcade version of ''Double Dragon II: The Revenge'' attempted to up the ante by [[SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome killing off the girl from the first game]], changing the objective from [[SaveThePrincess rescuing her]] to [[StuffedInTheFridge avenging her death.]] All the returning enemy characters were redesigned to look more punkish (Linda the female {{mook}} for example, was given a mohawk and a chain whip) and the new bosses includes a masked wrestler who leaves behind his mask when he dies and an AndreTheGiant-lookalike with Film/{{Terminator}}-esque sunglasses whose stature dwarfs Abobo from the original game.
* A much less successful video game example was ''VideoGame/BombermanActZero'' for the {{Xbox 360}}. That's right, Hudson tried to make ''Bomberman'' Darker And Edgier. To be fair, the original concept of Bomberman was rather dark (robot-like beings trapped in an underground arena and forced to kill each other with bombs) and the lighter feel of the original game was actually a compromise. However, none of the other games in the series [[CanonDiscontinuity make any references to Act Zero]] in any way, choosing to stick with the familiar HelloKitty-esque Bombermen.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' is overall somewhere between ''Mario'' and ''Zelda'' in terms of creepiness, but its tone became darker eventually than it was when starting out.
** ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'' has BadFuture versions of each of its zones, and an overall higher concentration of horrifying material than the Sonic games before it. Also, the American release had some very scary music, in contrast to the upbeat music from the JPN/EUR release.
** ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogSpinball'' features a much darker aesthetic than the main series games. One of the bosses actually shows the animal robotization process in [[NightmareFuel/SonicTheHedgehog horrid detail]].
** The Sonic Adventure series goes beyond Sonic games prior to it in intensity; [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure the first]] deals with large-scale destruction dealt to modern cities by creatures reacting to [[spoiler:atrocities committed by ancient civilizations led by tyrannical, abusive fathers]], and [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 the second]] surpasses THAT by dealing with use of "weapons of mass destruction" (and yes, they are actually called that in the game) to threaten whole countries, a military conspiracy involving [[spoiler:the deaths of numerous innocents in a space colony]], and threats to the survival of the entire world from anguished people with a vendetta against it. A case can be made for this game's 'Final Story' being the grimmest part of any game in the Sonic series. Gerald's diary is pure horror, containing such lovely lines as "I lost everything, I had nothing more to live for, I WENT INSANE!" (this part is helped by the fact that Gerald's voice actor was actually really good).
** ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'', where Sonic's EvilTwin [[BaseBreaker Shadow]] (introduced in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'') was given the chance to drive cars, shoot guns, swear on a regular basis, and [[ContemplateOurNavels brood over his purpose in life]].
** ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'' attempts to toss Sonic into a hyper-realistic world, where he protects a princess [[spoiler:who is the container of Iblis, one half of Solaris, a time god]] from Eggman. Along the way, he, Shadow, and Silver deal with a conspiracy where it is revealed in the final storyline [[spoiler:Sonic dies to upset Elise to release Iblis ancient monster from her body, allowing that and the other villain, Mephiles, to merge to form Solaris, slaughtering the entire space-time continuum in the process. And then Elise kisses Sonic, reviving him with the power of the Chaos Emeralds, and restoring the space-time continuum from the damage dealt by Solaris, in the process.]]
** ''SonicChronicles: The Dark Brotherhood'' is somewhat dark. It doesn't help that it was made by [=BioWare=], creators of ''Franchise/MassEffect'' and ''Franchise/DragonAge''.
** In ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'', Sonic gets a SuperpoweredEvilSide that is the Werehog. However, the Werehog can also be considered a partial subversion of this trope, seeing as he has many comical-looking moves, and his stretchy arms -- also, Sonic himself [[AngstWhatAngst takes the whole thing in stride]] rather admirably.
*** And then, the game explicitly tells you that the only reason why Sonic isn't massacring everyone is because he's got a will of titanium laced with diamonds, and that's what's keeping his Werehog side from going on a total rampage. The Werehog is very much not harmless at all, it's only Sonic's willpower keeping it on a leash that manages to somehow defuse its threat factor.
** ''VideoGame/SonicColors'' is [[DenserAndWackier significantly more lighthearted in tone, almost having a Saturday morning cartoon approach to it]], despite Eggman's evil schemes getting [[SequelEscalation even more dangerous and threatening]].
** ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' is somewhat dark, with the whole concept that when Sonic's friends were turned into statues, their souls were left floating in a dark, endless void. Several fans have also picked up the implication that if Eggman had succeeded in his plan to undo all of his previous defeats, he would later go onto wiping Sonic and friends out of existence. Despite all of this, the game still manages to retain the lighthearted humor of its predecessor.
* ''VideoGame/{{Wipeout}}'' started out with a subtly alien setting and enthusiastic optimism after the discovery of anti-gravity technology. The sequel ''Wipeout 2097/XL'' was set in an environment that resembled Blade Runner and you could actually kill other pilots now. Then the N64 semi-port had a track set on an active volcano because the audience was getting bored and a pilot was quoted as saying "We race, we die. There is no beauty anymore". Then ''Fusion'' featured widespread corruption, sabotage and murder; the only team still dedicated to the "beauty of the sport" was publicly mocked by their competitors. This lasted until the ''Pure'' reboot, which restored the old [[TogasAndCrystalSpires clean]] and [[EverythingIsAnIpodInTheFuture high tech]] futuristic setting and the series stuck with it ever afterwards.
* Compared to any other 'verse in the ''FireEmblem'' series, the two games taking place in the [[FireEmblemJugdral Jugdral]] series are the darkest. To wit, the plot as a whole is far more complex compared to its predecessors, the [[FireEmblemAkaneia Akaneia]] games (and ''even more so'' than ''[[FireEmblemAwakening Awakening]]'' for sure), the actions and personality of the main Lord, Sigurd, are steadily [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructed]] as time passes (for one, he is unaware that [[spoiler:his home kingdom is seeking to conquer the continent, and he's unaware of it the entire time]]), and there's also the fact that ''[[spoiler:he and the rest of the cast from the first half of the game die at the game's halfway point.]]'' And most infamously, tying with the loads of RapePillageAndBurn that we don't see as much of in later games, there's lots of incestuous references, both in the story ''and in gameplay''.
* Zigzagged in Videogame/FireEmblemAwakening. Yes, there's the [[spoiler: horrifying BadFuture that the Children come from, where everything ''literally'' [[CrapsackWorld went to Hell]] when the PlayerCharacter went through a GrandTheftMe from the EvilGod and the ReligionOfEvil then took over and killed the whole First Generation characters]], and not to mention several characters [[DeconstructedTrope portray some stock anime tropes rather seriously]] (like Sumia's deconstruction of NaiveEverygirl, and Lon'qu deconstructing CartwrightCurse)... but ultimately, the game has '''what's most likely the happiest endings''' in the whole franchise. [[spoiler: Double if the PlayerCharacter essentially commits an HeroicSuicide to '''totally kill off the EvilGod within him/her''' and, after being briefly erased from existence, is reunited with the rest of the cast.]]
* The teaser trailer in ''KingdomHearts'' suggested that ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' would be Darker And Edgier and involve people in [[BlackCloak black raincoats]] fighting in a dark city.
** And then there's ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2 Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days]]'', featuring a much more depressing story, culminating with a DownerEnding.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' continues that trend, as shown by a line from the Keyblade Graveyard:
--->'''Ven''': I'm asking you, as a friend. Just... [[spoiler:put an end to me.]]
** ''KingdomHearts'' kind of inverts the usual use of DarkerAndEdgier. Aesthetically, it has stayed pretty even for the entire series. ''Thematically,'' it's changed from a nostalgic romp through Disney worlds in search of missing friends to a thorough exploration of what it means to care wholeheartedly about other people - which in itself tends to run the gamut from [[{{WAFF}} impossibly cute fluff]] to [[TearJerker emotional pain so unbearable that not having a heart seems preferable.]]
*** VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainofMemories and 358/2 Days are exceptions to the rule, though. Chain of Memories keeps a moderately hopeful tone, but doesn't have the protagonists walk away without consequences. One forgets everything and is put in a coma with an unknown duration, the other deals with his massive guilt from earlier actions while simultaneously dealing with possession and magical corruption. Days ends with [[spoiler:one main character dead and completely forgotten by everyone she loves, one main character memory wiped and in a false reality that he won't escape from, and one main character who, knowing either of the first two would eventually result in the death of the other, used lies, deceit, and force to try and keep them ''both'' alive as long as possible... all of which turned both them ''and'' his only other friend away from him, leaving him alone.]]
* While on the subject of {{Disney}} related games, ''VideoGame/EpicMickey'' for the {{Wii}} had concept art of creepy steampunk cyborg versions of both Mickey Mouse and Goofy. [[http://www.totalvideogames.com/img/uploaded/www.totalvideogames.com_69109_beetleworx_6.jpg The artwork really speaks for itself]]. For a Disney game, that is pretty damn dark. But in the final product, it had a different kind of dark to it. Rather than dealing with BodyHorror robotic chimeras of our favorite Disney characters like first expected, it's about the consequences of Mickey's irrationality and how he must make up for it.
* In the 90's, the space sim genre dominated by ''VideoGame/XWing'' and ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' wasn't exactly sunshine and rainbows to begin with. But then ''FreeSpace'' appeared with a much more serious tone, but it also got far surpassed by ''FreeSpace 2'', which was even darker and edgier and comparable in mood to ''HaloReach'', if anything.
* ''AdvanceWars: Days of Ruin'' is clearly Darker And Edgier than the other three ''AdvanceWars'' games, which sometimes bordered on silly. It pulls it off just fine, thanks in part that it's a brand new continuity, plus the fact that it recognizes that adult themes don't necessarily mean throwing out all humor. It works because the setting is AfterTheEnd but the survivors are trying to make the best of things. The doctor exemplifies this, saying that it's times like this you need to laugh. The last mission is called [[EarnYourHappyEnding Sunrise]].
* The original ''VideoGame/{{Rayman}}'' was packed to the brim with cheery, bright colours, silly characters and all sorts of silly things that make its sequel, ''VideoGame/{{Rayman 2}}: The Great Escape'', look extremely grim in comparison. Fortunately, the latter also added an additional sense of mystery and wonder, and consistency, to Rayman's world, so it all works out. Afterwards, the slide is balanced in ''Rayman 3'', which has dark visuals but lots of comedy, and pushed beyond the cheeriness in the ''Rabbids'' series and ''VideoGame/RaymanOrigins''. Then ''VideoGame/RaymanLegends'' contains the same zany humor as ''Origins'', but adds in a few dark and serious elements, as well as a whole series of levels that pay homage to ''VideoGame/SplinterCell''.
* ''{{Painkiller}}'' could be said to be the dark cousin to ''SeriousSam''. Both are {{FPS}}es recreating the old-skool style of gunning down massed Mooks in [[TheWarSequence War Sequences]], but where ''SeriousSam'''s levels are bright and colourful with fantastic and cartoonish monsters, those of ''{{Painkiller}}'' are grim and subdued with hellish dark fantasy-style beasts. It is worth noting, though, that the two titles are done by different companies of different nationality (Croatian Croteam for ''SeriousSam'' and Polish People Can Fly for ''{{Painkiller}}''), though, so this comparison may be the fault of [[EpilepticTrees a mind that thinks too much]].
** Moreover, when ''SeriousSam'' was released, some reviewers thought that the game was a bit too bright, light-hearted and silly, which didn't exactly keep up with the game's old-school ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'' influence, or in one reviewer's words, "too ''Braindead'' and not ''Aliens'' enough". With its significantly meaner attitude, it looks like ''{{Painkiller}}'' was the game these reviewers wanted ''SeriousSam'' to be.
** Considering ''SeriousSam'' not only recreated but also parodied the "gunning down masses of Mook" gameplay (and gleefully lampshades its parodies), it seems said reviewers [[ComicallyMissingThePoint completely missed the point]].
* ''[[VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers Pokémon Mystery Dungeon:]] [[ElectricBoogaloo Explorers of Time/Darkness]]''. While the first game's offered a character that simply tried to ruin your protagonists' lives and was a cosmic JerkAss, the sequel goes further by [[spoiler:sending your protagonist duo to the literal End of Days, having to face down a legendary Pokémon that has become an evilly subverted primal force of nature, and a BigBad who not only traps children in unending nightmares, but also poses as an "ally" who suggests that it's ''all your fault and the best way to fix things is to [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar kill yourself]].]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonGatesToInfinity Gates to Infinity]]'' is similarly dark in tone, taking place in a world that's lost hope to the point [[spoiler: that the negative emotions of Pokemon in the world have created an EldritchAbomination that threatens to destroy everything.]] The resident team of villains is also rather similar to a suicide cult, [[spoiler: having grown so sick of the world that they're trying to protect the aforementioned EldritchAbomination (By hunting down and [[NeverSayDie "defeating"]] the humans that were called to the world to destroy it), feeling they have nothing left to live for and that a better world could be born from the destruction]]. Their leader gets extra points for [[spoiler: essentially committing the cold-blooded murder of a kind, lovable Pokemon, and nearly killing the hero immediately after]].
** ''Pokémon Platinum''. In Diamond/Pearl, we get Dialga and Palkia, and the Team Galactic storyline ends at the Spear Pillar. In Platinum, we get Giratina's shadow interrupting the proceedings from another dimension, and have to carry the chase onwards into [[DarkWorld the Distortion World]]. ''Nothing'' lives in the Distortion World except for Giratina, making it a literal [[GhostCity Ghost World]]. It's just...eerily calm. [[GravityScrew It also has some issues with proper gravity.]]
** ''Black'' and ''White'' definitely qualify, too - [[spoiler:the game does ''not'' in fact end with the Champion as in the previous four generations, the villainous team takes a ''much'' heavier role in the plot than before, the plot itself is much less of an ExcusePlot, and on top of all that we also have the single most despicable villain in the series.]]
** Just look at the title screens. The first gen features the protagonist Red with the first stage of the version mascot. The second gen shows the version legendary flying above the clouds/swimming in the ocean while heroic music is playing. The third gen's theme tune is already a lot more eerie, with the title screen showing the version legendary in a volcano/the bottom of the ocean, with only its silhouette and glowing lines clearly visible (the actual games weren't too dark aside from the stuff involving said legendaries, though.) Then the fourth and fifth gens comes along and you get a creepy piano and ominous remix of the main theme (respectively), with the version legendary standing in a glowing void, and a ScareChord playing upon hitting start, or in Platinum and Gen V's case, the version legendary ''screaming at you''.
** You can also see the increasingly darker and edgier nature of the Pokémon universe by looking at the main bad guys:
*** In [[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Red/Blue/Yellow]], you have Team Rocket who, other than running a casino and "claiming" to steal Pokémon, the only major crimes commited are murdering Cubone's mother and various other Pokémon who haunt the tower in Lavender Town.
*** In [[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Gold/Silver/Crystal]], Team Rocket comes back and seems to have taken a level in evil: taking over government buildings, actively poaching Pokémon and carrying out brutal experiments on Pokémon evolution.
*** In [[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald]], we have Teams Magma and Aqua [[UtopiaJustifiestheMeans who are both willing to cause extreme ecological damage for the betterment of Pokémon and humans.]]
*** In [[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Diamond/Pearl/Platinum]], you have Team Galactic, who are trying to gain control of the [[PhysicalGod literal gods of the Pokémon universe]] so their [[WoobieDestroyerofWorlds leader can rewrite the fabric of existence.]]
*** The [[DarkerandEdgier darkness and edginess]] of the series seems to go down a bit, but not really, with Team Plasma in [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Black and White]] who claim to want to free Pokémon from human slavery but [[StrawHypocrite actively use and abuse Pokémon for their own goals.]] ''Black and White'' also have the single most evil villain, [[spoiler:Ghetsis, who abused his own adoptive son and brainwashed him into believing that humans are evil so he would help his father with his ambitions for world domination.]]
*** This [[UpToEleven ramps up]] in the sequels [[VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2 Black 2 and White 2]], where [[spoiler:he actively tries to ''freeze the player alive with Kyurem''.]]
*** There's also [[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY X and Y]] where Team Flare, who at first seem to just be a bunch of stylish thugs who are about as harmless as G1 Team Rocket,[[spoiler: attempt to kill every Pokémon and every human who isn't a member of Team Flare. Additionally, the machine they plan to commit genocide with already granted eternal life to a king and his previously-deceased Pokémon by killing loads of other Pokémon, leading to the Pokémon understandably despising the king. You can imagine the angst-ridden [[WalkTheEarth Walking The Earth]] that occurs, but at the end, (after you battle the king and, by doing so, teach him the PowerOfFriendship) the Pokémon forgives him and they are reunited.]] It also averts NeverSayDie a few times, although most of it is really heavily implied.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonColosseum'', the NintendoGameCube SpinOff series set in Orre, is like this. The first game stars a Pokémon-stealing AntiHero from the Team Rocket-like organization running off with a prototype Pokémon-theft device in a desolate desert land, with more than few shades of UsedFuture. He eventually discovers a plot to "seal the hearts of Pokémon" -- while it sounds [[{{Narm}} really cheesy]] when you put it that way, it actually involves [[HatePlague removing all sense of compassion from a Pokémon so that its primal bloodlust can be unlocked]]. The second game was LighterAndSofter in comparison, but was still set in Orre, which, even when "cleaned up" significantly, is still pretty grim.
** Even with the lighter-hearted story, the Shadow Pokemon experiments have taken an even harsher form of experimentation, the biggest example would be the mascot Pokemon, Shadow Lugia. While the other game had Legendaries, they could be purified just like all the rest, this one is an experimental Pokemon that COULD NOT be purified (at least by the original methods). It's permanently lost its compassion and shows this through its twisted appearance. And in the ending, while the BigBad surrenders with some persuasion by one of his sons, the other son vows to restore the organization to its former glory, and make you his first target afterwards.
** Pokemon XD is also the only game in which the evil syndicate implicitly commits mass murder. It isn't shown on-screen, but Shadow Lugia picks up a ship from the ocean in the opening scene, and later you find the ruins of this ship in the desert. There are no suggestions anywhere in the game that any of the crew survived.
** Orre, by the way, is officially based off the American Southwest, Arizona in particular. Thinking of Arizona as a ''MadMax'' wasteland is amusing.
* Done well for the nightmarish ''TwistedMetal: Black''. To put this in perspective, ''TwistedMetal'' began as a series about a burn victim inheriting genie like powers, and putting on a no holds barred kill or be killed destruction derby in densely populated areas between maniacs with heavily armed vehicles. They went darker from there.
* Rather than an adorable ''Manga/AstroBoy''-esque android, the [[FanNickname Blue Bomber]] of ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' is a morally conflicted hero. Similarly, the comical Dr. Wily was succeeded by Sigma, a ruthless (and seemingly indestructible) robot bent on the total annihilation of the human race. It was still done rather well, CapcomSequelStagnation aside. Still, apparently Capcom knew when enough was enough, as a later series in the franchise, ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends'', significantly dials down the angst with less hard-edged artwork, a more reasonable difficulty level, and a comical cast of characters.
** ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' was hands down the darkest in the series, what with the hero being ''on the losing side of the war'' (at first), giving the players the "pleasure" to see countless allies die. Plus the horrible {{backstory}} (bridging this series with ''X''), which later gets incorporated into the main plot, and a truly OmnicidalManiac as the main BigBad...
** ''[[VideoGame/MegaManZX ZX]]'' was lighter than ''Zero''...except for the backstories of the four protagonists, the general atrocities caused by the antagonists, and Giro falling victim to Zero's death curse. It was still done well.
** ''VideoGame/MegaMan7'' is a classic example. It turned Mega Man into a PerpetualFrowner, removed the happy expression on the {{One Up}}s, and Mega Man tried to kill Wily in all versions, including the {{American Kirby is Hardcore}}less version.
** ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'' was definitely darker than its predecessor, ''[[VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork Battle Network]]''. Geo Stelar starts out being understandably depressed about his dad to the point where he won't go to school... But his depression quickly lifts the longer ThePowerOfFriendship thing hangs around (Then it hits a roadblock when [[spoiler:Pat betrays him and Geo goes into a short-lived fit of {{Wangst}}]]).
** ''Star Force 2'' contains one of the darkest plotlines in the entire series. The Apollo Flames "second quest" involves an alternate universe AfterTheEnd scenario where every human has been [[KillEmAll killed off]] thanks to the Precursor To Ruin.
** The third ''Star Force'' game has some decidedly un-cheery plot elements, such as [[spoiler:two war orphans trying to use an EldritchAbomination to destroy the world's technology, a corrupting, quasi-HatePlague, and one character being killed before Geo's eyes (Luckily they turn out to be OnlyMostlyDead).]]
* In ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'', the likable prince of [[VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime the previous game]] had apparently given up both shaving and nicety after years of [[ImplacableMan being chased by the Dahaka]], justified plot-wise by the poor treatment the prince receives from the inhabitants of the island, mostly monsters and a demon. The game also became more combat-heavy, and threw out the atmospheric Middle-Eastern soundtrack of the previous game for fist-pumping heavy metal. And the lesser antagonists are women in {{Stripperiffic}} outfits, one of whom is introduced with an extreme close-up aimed [[MaleGaze directly at her thong-clad ass]]. ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones'' scaled back on the edgy while keeping the improved combat system.
* Not even an obscure series like ''SnowboardKids'' can escape this trope, with the DS installment gutting nearly everything that gave the earlier games their quirky charm for the sake of appealing to teenagers. Neither the critics nor the small but dedicated fanbase were amused, which possibly [[FranchiseKiller spells doom for the franchise]].
* Though ''VideoGame/{{Halo}}'' started off fairly grim in the first place, as the series progressed it went ever deeper down the tunnel. By ''{{Halo 3}}'' there's some ''serious'' nastiness going on, especially regarding the Flood and the terror inherent to some of Cortana's messages.
** The story goes that the original script for {{Halo 3}}'s ending had a much lighter tone, with all the main characters returning to Earth to a hero's welcome. Marty O'Donnel, Bungie's musical director, thought that this ending was too [[LighterAndSofter light and soft]] and didn't portray the grim consequences of being a "hero" in a 30-year war. Subsequently the script was re-written to have a much Darker And Edgier ending in which several main characters die and Master Chief [[spoiler:is stranded in deep space with Cortana, presumed dead by the rest of humanity]].
** ''HaloReach'' is supposed to be the darkest depressing game thus far since you [[DoomedByCanon already know everyone what will happen to you, your comrades and the planet itself]] . It's about the heroism and sacrifice of those people on a doomed planet watching their friends and everything they love fall. Even look at the medals when you perform a feet (Double Kill/Triple Kill), in ''Halo 3'' they were bright and brightly colored, in Reach they are darker, and look metallic, yes even these meta-game symbols are darker AND edgier.
** According to Frank O'Connor, the as-yet un-subtitled next-gen ''Halo'' will be darker than the other ''Halo'' titles.
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 2'' was clearly made under the assumption that the overblown camp of the first game was a ''bad'' thing, and decided to play the B-movie setting straight, as evidenced by changing the stylish wise-cracking, cowboy-esque, demon hunter Dante to a generic, stoic badass who barely gets any lines. It might also have to do with the fact it was rushed into production ''without'' informing or involving the original creators. To say the least, [[FanonDiscontinuity it didn't turn out well]]. Capcom made up for it with a return to [[{{camp}} the appeal of the original]] with ''Devil May Cry 3''.
** Dante in ''Devil May Cry 4'' grew up and apart from bishounen self in previous installments, sporting [[PermaStubble five-o-clock shade]] and somewhat cynical and wisened behaviour.
** This appears to be what Ninja Theory is going for with [=DmC=], which is a reboot featuring a younger, more rebellious Dante.
* Done in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'', replacing the cheesy crime dramas with an immigrant story wrapped in a crime drama, while retaining the humor.
*** If anything, people complain because Niko wasn't dark ''enough''.
*** To be more specific, every GTA game before this pretty much lets you get away with anything and people will rarely question your actions. In GTA 4, Niko's actions and decisions during certain missions will alter who you see later on and you may even get reminded about what you done, especially if it was a bad choice. The final missions also changes based on what choice you make and the outcome affects Niko greatly. [[spoiler: Decided to take Dimitri's deal? Your girlfriend dumps you because you're greedy for money and Dimitri kills your cousin at his wedding. Did you decide to kill Dimitri instead of taking the money? The mafia gets their own revenge by killing your girlfriend.]]
*** The current generation of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'' plays to a cynical darker tune. ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIVTheLostAndDamned The Lost and Damned]]'' DLC turns the Grim Dark UpToEleven, with the protagonist Johnny partaking in a series of events which leads to [[spoiler: the death of his best friend Jim at the hands of Niko, being betrayed by childhood friend turned BigBad Billy Grey who tries to have Johnny and Jim killed during a drug deal and later attempts to sellout everyone to save his own ass after said drug deal gets him arrested, and said arrest leading to a civil war that wipes out more than half of the Lost. Once everything is over with Billy dead, Johnny and the survivors of the whole ordeal (One of whom happens to be a paraplegic crippled in an accident caused by Billy's carelessness) decide to just burn down the clubhouse to put it out of its misery after it and the club have been ruined over the course of the game. This leaves the player with a single, run down safehouse that is in one of ''the'' most run down areas of the city and used to belong to one of the Lost members Johnny had to kill in the civil war.]]
*** Subverting the first two main stories of the IV generation, the last IV DLC ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIVTheBalladOfGayTony The Ballad of Gay Tony]]'' went in the LighterAndSofter direction, with the return of some over the top elements of games from the III era, and an overall happy ending that doesn't end in the deaths of any major characters close to the protagonist Luis or anything being left in ruins.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'' was fairly light and soft, with a generic "save the princess" story, fairly comical villains, and overall cartoony style. ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'' had more of a "[[DreamingOfThingsToCome seeing upon waking what you saw in a dream]]" story, and introduced a variety of spookier enemies, like the Sparks, the Albatosses (sic), the mousers, the tryclydes, the fryguys, and the [[NightmareFuel/SuperMarioBros ESPECIALLY intimidating]] Phantos. Even [[spoiler:the hawkmouths]] eventually become enemies. It's also the first ''Mario'' game to involve the use of bombs. Many of the introductions are due to it being a DolledUpInstallment of ''VideoGame/DokiDokiPanic''.
** ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' is darker and edgier than the first ''VideoGame/PaperMario''. The first example of many that this game will be darker than the last is probably the ''gallows'' in Rogueport's town square. This is also a game in which Mario does jobs for [[TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily the Mafia]]. Nonetheless, the whole thing is fairly cheery and innocuous. ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' is even ''darker'', what with Mario and company saving the multiverse from an OmnicidalManiac and his dysfunctional flunkies. Worst of the lot is Mimi, who has to break her own neck to initiate the transformation into her true form. There's also the end of Chapter 6, where Dimentio [[spoiler:kills Luigi, then kills Mario, Peach and Bowser.]] The level immediately after is a thinly-veiled version of [[spoiler:Hell]].
** ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'' went the same kind of way with the second game (''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Partners in Time]]''), with the second game being based around an alien invasion of the past Mushroom Kingdom and having places like Toad Town and Princess Peach's Castle turned to ruins by the Shroobs, and some rather creepy things as background detail and music. It actually introduces a Christmas-themed village solely to destroy before Mario and Luigi even get there. Toad Town is just pieces of rubble tossed around; compare it to Toad Town of ''Bowser's Inside Story''. Even Peach's Castle from the latter isn't as devastated and dangerous as Shroob Castle.
** ''VideoGame/MarioStrikers'' did this among the sports branch of ''Mario'' games, albeit in a more tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top way. The sequel, ''Mario Strikers Charged'' invokes this in universe as the games have gotten so violent that metal body armor is now mandatory for all players.
** The're also the times [[VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros1 when Bowser unexpectedly comes back to life as a zombie]] and [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy when Bowser tries to]] [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2 take over outer space.]]
** ''VideoGame/LuigisMansionDarkMoon'' started out as following the first game's lead in being a parody of the survival horror genre. At that point, however, we hadn't learned that King Boo went from a WellIntentionedExtremist to an [[TheUnfettered unfettered]] [[TheSociopath sociopath]].
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'':
** ''Super Smash Bros.'' in general is darker than some of Nintendo's cuter franchises by way of featuring them in a fighting game.
** The first game was a cartoony fighting game with cute {{Nintendo}} characters and cartoony sound effects, and the artwork was done in a comic book style. The sequel, ''Melee'', was not as cartoony, had more realistic sound effects, the characters had more realistic appearances, and truly ''villainous'' characters were playable for the first time (not counting [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor Donkey Kong]]); it also introduced twisted and bizarre bosses like Crazy Hand and Giga Bowser. The second sequel, ''Brawl'', went as far as to portray the characters as more aggressive (even the happy-go-lucky ones like Yoshi and Mario),(though most of this was well received, in Mario's case making him more [[HotBlooded Hot Blooded]] helped to avert the flak he usually gets stuck with in his own series.) an adventure mode with high amounts of drama and symbolic (though not [[DeathIsCheap permanent]]) death. Two of the newcomers have stuff that may be considered "inappropriate" for a Nintendo game: Wario with his potty humor ''[[{{Fartillery}} flatulence attack]]'', and [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid Solid Snake]] not only comes from a game series known for its violence, one of his grab attacks is actually similar to a garrotte take-down, and his [[LimitBreak Final Smash]] is a grenade launcher.
** In ''Melee'', Adventure Mode is a short 12-level story in which the selected character goes through various different universes, fighting characters in each of them. The whole Adventure Mode in ''Brawl'', in comparison, is a very intricate ''31-level'' story that consists of the Subspace story, where mysterious villains detonate what is essentially [[NukeEm shadow nukes]] in order to draw large pieces of the world into a mysterious void. The first enemies you meet crawl out of a black mass, looking eerily like zombies at first. Some cutscenes are very dark, such as the one where Ness is kidnapped by Wario in an abandoned park, the one where the ROBs look sadly down because they have to blow themselves up in order to trigger the nukes, the one where characters get possessed, and the one where Tabuu [[TotalPartyKill takes out all the heroes]] in one attack. To top it all off, Ridley from ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' manages to top even his primary appearances in violence, by grabbing Samus and then ''grinding her against a wall'' in an attempt to crack her [[PowerArmor Power Suit]]. Her head rattles violently back and forth, and she is clearly helpless. This move was wicked enough to later make a canon appearance in ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM''.
* ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay'' was originally going to be a kid-friendly platformer starring a cute little squirrel in a blue hoodie. Indeed, the predecessor ''Pocket Tales'' for GameBoyColor had that tone. Rare kept the cute squirrel and the platforming, but changed everything else, adding enough sex, gore, and profanity to make it perhaps the most perverse title ever released for the N64. Ironically enough, the port for the Xbox was ''less'' offensive due to enforced censorship on swear words.
* Regarding DC Comics, they agreed to make a crossover game called ''VideoGame/MortalKombatVsDCUniverse'', being a lot more violent than other games of the license (but less violent than the ''Mortal Kombat'' brand due to ExecutiveMeddling). And if that weren't enough, then came ''VideoGame/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'', another DC game by the same studio, which is basically a sequel to ''MK vs DC''. It doesn't have any ''Kombat'' characters or setting (or gore, for that matter), but it does have the darkness - the story, for instance, features half the heroes entering HeWhoFightsMonsters territory. The premise of the game is, basically, "What would happen if TheJoker [[DespairEventHorizon breaks]] {{Superman}}?"
* In regards of ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' itself, the [[VideoGame/MortalKombat9 ninth installment]] took the gore, violence ''and'' the tone and drama of the story mode to a whole new level, which already says a lot for a series that was already BloodierAndGorier than most games of the genre. ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'' ups the ante even more still, with a darker palette and overall an even more visceral tone than ''9''. In addition the game is set after the events of ''9'', which means it's after a story that was nothing but FromBadToWorse all the way through.
* The unreleased Playstation game ''Thrill Kill'' is the Darker and Edgier form of ''Mortal Kombat''. Yes, that is possible. The game was never released because it got an AO (Adults Only) rating for being too gory and sexual (AO-rated games are not allowed on consoles, San Andreas being an exception), and because Virgin Interactive was bought up by EA Games, who refused to release something like this.
* As the ''CommandAndConquer Tiberium'' series has progressed, it gradually went from being a fairly dark modern world-war with GreenRocks mixed in to a brutal struggle to simply survive a planet that's dying under alien terraforming.
** In the first game, the worst thing to happen was one faction slaughtering a village and blaming it on the other; Tiberium was a minor nuisance when it was growing in the wrong place. In the third, Tiberium growth had reached catastrophic levels, over half of the world is in a state of anarchy, another world war breaks out and all that is topped by an alien invasion. How's that for Darker and Edgier? Though WordOfGod said that the fourth game is even worse with an EnemyMine going on and YET ANOTHER visit from the Scrin on the horizon.
** The Tiberium growth was stopped in the 4th series, but by no means the war is over. All this means is that Tiberium will no longer threaten the world as now anti-Kane Seperatists have their own agenda. And the Scrin remains to be a problem... or rather, they would if [[AbortedArc EA hadn't forgotten about them.]]
** The mod ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheReds'' for ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals'' is set in a very grim, militarised future where [[ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption international diplomacy fails catastrophically on a regular basis]] and [[NukeEm WMDs have become an accepted part of conventional warfare]]. It has been called a {{deconstruct|ed trope}}ion of the Cold War era gone wrong, but the story has started to reflect a lot about the modern geopolitical climate and what it could potentially become.
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' had a slightly Darker And Edgier tone with Z being that a famous hero of an original franchise is given an evil spinoff. You can't save both psycho girls from Gundam and the bad ending route is possible again. This is as far as they go.
** It only gets really Darker And Edgier if you pick Setsuko's route. Rand's route has several {{Camp}} elements and mostly considered light hearted. But Setsuko's route is just throwing you lots and lots of BreakTheCutie moments to the poor heroine, and in the end... she doesn't get completely better...
** It is darker compared to past games. There are personality issues and infighting with nearly all the members or your team for most of the game, you are duped and betrayed several times throughout the game. The villain who does the worst things is arguably the kindest since he isn't a psycho in it for the evil. Also your team at one point splits into factions and tries to kill each other with no Brainwashing involved. And the ending is bittersweet as some people are lost. It's pretty dark.
** You actually can save both crazy Gundam girls if you [[GuideDangIt plan carefully]]. Compare it to SRW A, where you are forced to choose between [[spoiler: Master Asia and Gai Daigoji]] and can't save both no matter how hard you try. The storyline of Z is still dark as far as SRW games go, though.
** ''VideoGame/{{Super Robot Wars Z}}2'' continues the dark trend with some DoomedByCanon to boot!
* ''FinalFight: Streetwise'' is a good example why you don't make it so damn Grim Dark. And they forgot our favorite {{transsexual}} Poison? For shame, for shame. Guy, the series LawfulGood KnightErrant, becomes a mob boss. Cody? He does drugs. [[BrokenAesop And they heal his permanent injuries.]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' games have both been an example and subversion of this trope. While the games have become more story based and darker (What with Jin's Wangst and all) they've at the same time introduced increasingly ridiculous elements like kickboxing kangaroos, endings where people are launched into space or blown up with bow ties, and training dummies that communicate through nonsensical clicking noises.
* The ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' series has the weird example of becoming darker and edgier three separate times throughout the series. ''Call of Duty 1'', ''2'', and ''3'' were all T-rated WorldWarII shooters which while showing the intensity and violence of war, weren't really that brutal or dark, all of them had happy endings for their protagonists. ''Call of Duty 2'' and 3 were slightly darker and edgier versions of ''Call of Duty 1'', but not by much only with minor cursing and intense hand-to-hand combat respectively. ''ModernWarfare'' amps it up with an M rated, major cursing, more violence, and a significantly darker story in which [[spoiler:almost every major character dies, including one of the main characters by nuclear explosion]] and a lot more pessimistic view of things. And then ''World At War'' comes out which amplifies ''ModernWarfare'' by two, with a curse word being in every second sentence, dismemberments and charred corpses being standard fare, the opening mission which has one of your squadmates brutally tortured and his throat slit by a Japanese officer, and enough war crimes to fill an encyclopedia, especially by the more sadistic Soviets who are also supposed to be the good guys.
** ''ModernWarfare 2'' tops that off with you getting to [[spoiler: witness your character being burned alive FROM FIRST PERSON.]]
** ''ModernWarfare 3'' is also quite dark, simply put the moment the cover went from men heroically attempting to break past the enemy lines to a silhoutte of a soldier with a gun was when the series became dark to the point of no possible return. [[spoiler: Oh, and everyone except Price dies as usual]].
** ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'' goes even further, with the gore being amped to 11, in addition to [[spoiler:the plot revolving around your teammates torturing you]], and the [[spoiler:scene were Weaver gets his eye dismembered]] and [[spoiler:the infamous tunnel scene, among others.]] However, none of those top the fact that [[spoiler:there is a torture scene, where YOU are the torturer!]]
*** And then there is the upcoming ''Call of Duty: Black Ops 2''. The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqOjoYRgnHs reveal trailer]] states that ''the future is black''.
*** That said, [[GoldenEnding one]] [[EarnYourHappyEnding of the endings]] is actually for once isn't bleak and depressing compared to the ''ModernWarfare'' series
** While both can be equal in tone, the Treyarch games tend to be this and BloodierandGorier than the InfinityWard ones aesthetically.
* ''Elevator Action'' featured an agent named Otto and was more spy themed, shooting down agents. Elevator Action Returns, however...[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwqIBYvAofA did that]].
* ''RatchetDeadlocked'' (and, ''[[RatchetAndClankUpYourArsenal Up Your Arsenal]]'') was obviously targeted towards a more mature audience:
** Ratchet's new outfit hides his tail (and head throughout most gameplay) and makes him look suspiciously like Samus or Master Chief. (Likely intended to be the latter, considering the era it was released in.)
** Clank, although still having a major role, had his name removed from the western titles, partly to make the game seem less friendship-themed (but mostly because he's relegated to MissionControl for the entire game).
** The humour is less reliant on slapstick situations compared to the first two entries.
** The weapons are often considered more "realistic" than those in the rest of the series, although that does not say much (even by sci-fi standards).
** The American subtitle is not an obvious innuendo like the previous two games.
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsRepublicCommando'' is dark to the point where some people complained it wasn't very Star Wars-like. For starters, no Opening Crawl is present, and there is blood and gore in heavy levels for a T-rated game. It's a first-person shooter in which you play as a clone trooper, and the scale, far from epic, is outright tiny. Not actually a bad game, in fact it's highly regarded, but definitely darker. The StarWarsExpandedUniverse is veering towards this fast these days.
* Massive, massive change in mood between ''R:1'' and ''R:2'' in ''[[VideoGame/DotHackR1Games .hack]]''. The good [=AI=] are dead or apathetic, and players have gone from dealing well with depression to psychosis. It's possible that the third "season" ''R:X'' is trying to regain the innocence.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' parodies this somewhat; in contrast with the increasing violence and realism seen in many current online [=FPSes=], all the characters look like they're from a Pixar movie. It's gory, yes, but a game where the standard infantry character was rejected from the army during WWII and got on a plane to Poland, going on a Nazi killing spree (in 1949) and awarding himself medals ''that he made for himself'' can't be anything but outlandish and silly.
* ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'' is almost a literal definition of this.
** And ''VideoGame/AliceMadnessReturns'' manages to top even that, what with all the MindRape and surprisingly {{Anvilicious}} pedophile psychologist.
* There is some of this between ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' and ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'' where major plot points are concerned. Not only does the player character in Oblivion spend the main quest [[spoiler: helping the Empire's last heir sacrifice himself in order to provide a stopgap against demon invasion while simultaneously [[BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu eliminating any possibility of such protection in the future]]]], Oblivion also has the Dark Brotherhood series of quests wherein the player character can actually become an assassin with all that this entails. Further, many of Oblivion's NPC dialogues discuss events in ''Morrowind'' and involve events that overturn previous cheerful endings, such as [[spoiler: Vivec disappearing and Ald'Ruhn being burned down]]. At the same time though it also censors a few in game books, and makes the gameplay much softer (the only way to fail most quests is your death or bugs).
** Rather, ''Morrowind'' is lighter on the surface. ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' featured nudity, graphic texts in books, ''insane'' dungeons, disease is instant death if not cured in time, etc..
** If you include the spinoffs, ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' constantly went through two phases of going DarkerAndEdgier. ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena Arena]]'' was pretty light, ''Daggerfall'' was darker, ''Battlespire'' pushed the darkness as far as it could go. Then ''Redguard'' went back to square one, followed by ''Morrowind'' and ''Oblivion'' being progressively darker. ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' meanwhile goes...in a bit of a zigzag. The world in ''Morrowind'' was pretty Crapsack, but you make it better. ''Oblivion'' is in a Crap-saccharine world. ''Skyrim'' goes ''right'' back to a crapsack world...even ''worse'' than the world in the previous games! Yet the story ends on a pretty idealistic side.
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry 2'' was subtly darker than the previous.
* ''VideoGame/BloodStorm'' for all its BlackAndGreyMorality (only 2 were actual good guys, everyone else was either an AxCrazy sociopath or a bastard) and BloodierAndGorier worth compared to ''VideoGame/TimeKillers'' failed miserably to compare to ''MortalKombat'' since even in ''MortalKombat'' morality wasn't that grey. This caused the company to go bankrupt as a result
* While the first ''{{Killzone}}'' wasn't sunshine and roses, it didn't have the feel or atmosphere of a dark game. ''Killzone 2'' plunged right through that and made everything dark and gritty, with dark and oppressive vistas of muted colors, increased character death rate, blood ''everywhere'' and a general feel of hopelessness in the fight. Quite like with ''JakAndDaxter'', [[SurprisinglyImprovedSequel going dark and edgy was a good choice here.]]
** Ditto for Resistance series which is completely bleak from the get go and only gets worse with sequel for humanity.
* ''[[{{Contra}} Contra: Shattered Soldier]]'' went a long way to [[HappyEndingOverride undo the optimistic ending]] of ''Contra III: The Alien Wars''. Bill Rizer, the hero of the original games, is now a wrongly accused war criminal convicted for causing [[AfterTheEnd the destruction of 80% of the world's population]], while his former partner Lance Bean is now a [[WellIntentionedExtremist a terrorist leader]] seeking to overthrow the [[GovernmentConspiracy Triumvirate]], who were responsible for provoking the alien invasions in the previous games.
** ''Neo Contra'' inverts this by essentially being a self parody of the series.
* ''VideoGame/KoumajouDensetsu'', fulfills this trope by putting the characters from ''[[Videogame/{{Touhou}} Touhou Project: Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil]]'' into a ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' inspired universe.
* ''VideoGame/SpyroTheDragon'', when you remember that the original games have a cute dragon fighting hilarious freaks who mostly ran away from him, and you regained health by collecting DRAGONFLIES, it's difficult to see how it progressed to the level of Grim-Dark in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro''. However, Spyro has since moved to ''VideoGame/{{Skylanders}}'', which is on the lighthearted side.
** It must be said that the first Spyro game had a much darker feel to it than the two games that followed, due to the fact that Spyro is the only good person alive, and so there are no cute characters to talk to, giving the game a sense of foreboding. The egg thieves also add some tension. However, dark levels (such as "Dark Passage") are a staple of the whole series. In fact some of the levels in the later games are harder than those in the first game despite seemingly being aimed at a younger audience.
* Inverted with ''Videogame/BackyardSports''. The executives wanted to make the series darker and edgier by making the kids older and giving them new designs, but it became LighterAndSofter, and its audience's age went down.
* SquareEnix has announced that ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'' will be the darkest entry to the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series yet. The trailers and plot information released so far paints it as fairly bloody and bleak, so this is probably true.
** Proven correct as it's cousin ''{{VideoGame/Final Fantasy Type-0}}'' is also dark, bloody and depressing as well.
** The ending for the first ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' was averted somewhat, as it was a ''Bittersweet ending''. [[spoiler: Lightning, Snow, Hope, and Sazh are freed from their crystal stasis and their L'cie brands are gone, Serah and Dajh are freed from their crystal stasis aswell and they have a big happy reunion. However, Fang and Vanille are still trapped in Crystal, holding up Cocoon. The only consolation for this is that you know they still have each other.]]
** For 13-2, it was true with the ending. [[spoiler: Serah is dead, her sister is TakenForGranite, the villain's TimeCrash plan pulled through, Valhalla consumes the living world, the Goddess of Valhalla is dead, and the villain got off scot-free. Frankly speaking, it was a real DownerEnding.]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' games are often pretty idealistic, but as shown by ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'' they aren't afraid to make the heroes work hard for their happy endings. However, ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'' is easily the darkest ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' game yet, with the heroes almost always finding a part of the world that suffered (or is about to suffer) some kind of unspeakable tragedy that would wipe out everything. Normally they put a stop to this and manage to save the town (and that part of the world) but there have been instances where they were too late or there wasn't anything they could do.
* ''VisualNovel/RadicalDreamers'' and subsequently ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' shifted dramatically in tone from the relatively lighthearted adventurous spirit of ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''. The fact that the idealistic heroes from the previous game are strongly implied to have been [[DroppedABridgeOnHim unceremoniously offed]] is a pretty good indicator of the general tone of the games.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' is pretty dark for a ''Zelda game'', especially in comparison to [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime the previous title]]. This is due to the apocalyptic concept of the moon falling into the land of Termina in three days. ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' is also pretty dark, even being rated T, suggesting that the "realistic" games are permanently taking a turn for the dark and edgy.
** If one would branch the 3D Zelda games into two categories, ''Toon-style'' and ''Real-style'', the "darkest" entry in the generally more cheerfully ''Toon-style'' category would be ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks Spirit Tracks]]'', which is one of the only two ''Zelda'' games in this style to not receive a regular E rating, but rather E10+ (the other game being the HD remake of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker Wind Waker]]''[[note]]rightfully so, since it carries some darker plot undercurrents regardless of the visual style: Hyrule is flooded and lost, and the final boss gets ''stabbed in the forehead''[[/note]]). It even features one of the shortest, but creepiest plot points of ''Twilight Princess'' as framework for a huge junk of the story: [[spoiler: Princess Zelda's empty body being possessed by a male SealedEvilInACan.]]
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' is in the middle between the darker style of ''Twilight Princess'' and the lighter style of ''The Wind Waker'', which is evident by both the visual style and the storyline. Played literally with [[spoiler:the final boss' weapon: a black Master Sword with a SerratedBladeOfPain]].
* ''VideoGame/WildArms3'' is the darkest entry in the ''VideoGame/WildArms'' series due to having the most sinister villains, and Filgaia (normally AWorldHalfFull) being a flatout DeathWorld.
* While not to the extent as other examples in this page, ''VideoGame/TalesOfRebirth'' is probably the darkest entry of the ''TalesSeries''. Overall, the game has a more grim atmosphere and serious story than its predecessors and successors (doesn't mean that the game ''doesn't'' have humor, it's just in smaller amounts). The game isn't universally considered ''the best'' of the franchise, but it's pretty high up there; so, an example of the trope working.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' qualifies as well. It followed the much LighterAndSofter ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'' and more idealistic ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' series. (Including ''Phantasia'', which received a GameBoyAdvance release months before Abyss was.) The game's WhamEpisode involves [[spoiler:Luke being tricked into causing a mining town full of people suffering from Miasma-poisoning into the Qliphoth. Those who didn't die in the initial fall then ''sank into the mud'' and died. Nothing quite like that happens (unless you include the mass-Suicide of the Replicas) later, but almost all the characters wind up losing someone important to them or going through hell to earn their happy ending... and they got a GainaxEnding.]] Plus the characters themselves. [[spoiler: ''Jade'' is the only one who doesn't go through some kind of traumatic event. And given that Jade kind of created a HumanoidAbomination and nearly killed himself when he was younger...yeah.]] As with ''Rebirth,'' though, this trope mostly paid off. While not an all-time favourite like ''Symphonia'' or ''Vesperia,'' ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' is considered by many to have the best plot and CharacterDevelopment in the series, and it also created one of the [[ColonelBadass most]] [[TheGadfly beloved]] [[DeadpanSnarker characters]] in the series' history.
** Here's a fun statistic for you. In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia,'' the protagonists are ''horrified'' to find out that there's a bridge powered by ten thousand Exspheres, because [[spoiler: Exspheres [[HumanResources are made of people.]]]] In ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', the party is given the option to [[spoiler: sacrifice ten thousand replicas and the protagonist in order to eliminate the miasma. And they do, despite the fact that they've already racked up a body count of over ten thousand from Akzeriuth alone.]] The game is so much DarkerAndEdgier you can actually calculate it!
** From here, ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' really zig-zags the trope. The game as a whole is LighterAndSofter - [[spoiler: EverybodyLives, the world's problems are solved, blah blah blah]] - than ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss.'' However, the protagonist is a ''much'' [[AntiHero darker figure]] than the ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' hero, [[IdiotHero Lloyd]], or even the ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' hero, [[ThouShaltNotKill Luke.]] We go from a WideEyedIdealist and a bratty but well-meaning ShelteredAristocrat to cold, [[DeadpanSnarker snarky]] VigilanteMan Yuri Lowell who [[spoiler: kills unarmed villains without a second thought.]] This was a positive example, though - Yuri ended up being an EnsembleDarkhorse for the entire series, and he is the most consistently popular character since [[VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny Leon.]]
** Later on, ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'' was [[WordOfGod outright stated by the creator of the series]] to be the darkest entry yet. It really shows, between the much higher amount of blood in the cutscenes, the grisly deaths multiple characters suffer, and [[MultipleEndings the endings]] being bittersweet at best (Excluding the non-canon joke ending), and downright horrific at worst (That being the bad ending, where [[spoiler: [[TheHero Ludger]] ''kills the rest of the party'' and dooms the world and himself in the process]]).
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Homeworld}} Homeworld Cataclysm]]''. Although we don't witness it directly, the Beast easily trumps the Taiidan in terms of brutality; at least the Taiidan stopped at annihilating a planet, the Beast only cares about making more of itself in a gruesome and (by the sound of it), '''REALLY F***ING PAINFUL''' way.
* ''VideoGame/ArmyOfTwo - The 40th Day'' was a much darker compared to ''ArmyOfTwo'', Morality decisions that is in the BlackAndGreyMorality section. A much darker plot and quite the number of people killed off.
** ''ArmyOfTwoDevilsCartel'' simply doesn't let up, showing the events of the 40th day had on [[spoiler: Salem]] of all people.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland''. For starters, the sex jokes and double entendres are more frequent and overt. The comedic, silly deaths from previous games are mostly replaced by gruesome, occasionally-tragic deaths. [=LeChuck=] tones down his LargeHam persona. There's almost no [[NoFourthWall fourth wall breaks]]. Oh, and [[spoiler:Guybrush DIES...he gets better later on, but still.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} 3'' is this compared to its predecessors. [[WhoForgotTheLights Especially ''darker'']].
* ''VideoGame/ZorkNemesis'' was a black sheep in the series, largely eschewing the light-hearted, satirical nature of the rest of the series for a dark, grim story set in an abandoned and ruined temple, where the only characters to interact with are four [[AndIMustScream self-aware corpses]] and the EldritchAbomination who killed them, and that's just the first area.
* For a while the 3rd sequel to KidIcarus seemed to be heading this way, looking more like Nintendo's answer to ''VideoGame/GodOfWar''. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qc9c9hOWots]] Apparently, Pit was a adult and was "cursed for thousands of years for a crime and becomes a 'FallenAngel" and had a {{tattoo|ed Crook}} on his arm bearing the inscription of said crime. Most of the fans did not like it (mainly because making Pit an adult would defeat the point of naming the game '''''Kid''' Icarus''). Fortunately for them, they went with the [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl]] redesign and appear to have scrapped the old ideas.
* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestMaskOfEternity'' took the series in a direction that embarrassed {{Sierra}}'s designers. Among them were [[VideoGame/GabrielKnight Jane Jensen]], who wrote:
-->"Me and my poor befuddled brain, trying to fathom a Sierra where... the most recent King's Quest involves killing things? Whatever happened to saving the cute little bee queen? HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?"[[http://www.justadventure.com/articles/Love_Letter/Jane_Jensen%27s_Love_Letter_to_Sierra.shtm]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Mother}}'' series falls under this somewhat. Mother 1 was a bit dark compared to Mother 2 which is the most cheerful and funny of the series, despite being a pretty dark game, it obscured it with bright colors and witty dialogue, then comes Mother 3 where [[spoiler:your mother dies (in the first 30 minutes of the game, no less), your brother goes missing after trying to avenge your mother's death (although it's implied the main character thinks he's dead), your father dedicates his life to finding him, your brother is used by the big bad to pull the seven needles which if he gets more than half the WORLD ENDS, the big bad is an insane person who is thousands of years old and has the mind and body of a kid, and in the end your brother kills himself in order to rejoin your mother in the afterlife.]] Amazingly it does retain the humor of the previous games though. In addition, what little Itoi has talked about the Nintendo 64 version shows that it was going to be ''signifigantly'' darker, and even DummiedOut cutscenes and sprites(of which there are plenty) show that even GBA version was somehow going to be more depressing and dark still.
* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle'' is a darker followup of the first game. While it still retains the quirky, paradoxal, [[NoFourthWall fourth wall-breaking]], Tarantino-esque qualities of the first game, it continues the series’ theme of revenge that was only brought up at the end of the first game, a noticeably angrier Travis, and the brutal murder of Travis' friend Bishop, with his severed head in a paper bag being thrown through Travis' window at the beginning of the game. Interestingly, the second game also features some actual CharacterDevelopment, with Travis [[spoiler: starting to get sick of mindless killing and eventually deciding to quit the UAA because it disgusts him]], as opposed to the first game, where he was just a violent, foul-mouthed BloodKnight. The darker tone of the game is echoed by the ambiance of the levels, most of them being explored during dusk time, representing an important transition for Travis and the characters supporting him.
* ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'' is a game series that's known for being ridiculously over-the-top with all its character designs, {{Engrish}}, attacks, plotlines, ham, silly humour, cheese and the tendency to ignore actual history. Everything was turned UpToEleven, and it was awesome in its own way. Then along came ''Sengoku Basara 3'', kicking the previous poster boys out of the way and taking over with new serious plotline. Capcom also decided to be more history-accurate, making them NPC/killing off important characters along the way. Result? Previously "LET'S PARTY!" -characters overrun with angst.
* The VideoGame/StarFox series continuously bounces between this and LighterAndSofter. The lighter games are ''[[KillerApp Star Fox 64]]'' and ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures,'' both containing [[NarmCharm amusing dialogue]] spoken in rather dire situations. The darker games are ''Assault'' (following ''Adventures'') and the original SNES game to a degree; in the latter, virtually no humor exists, and when your wingmen are shot down, they're KilledOffForReal. The former features a HiveMind assimilation plot leading to [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt The End of the universe as we know it]], and rather painful sacrifices [[spoiler:on the parts of Peppy and the [[AntiHero Star Wolf Team]], but they manage to survive]]. ''Command'' is somewhere in the middle; cheesy dialogue and story with [[BittersweetEnding rather]] [[DownerEnding questionable]] MultipleEndings.
** If you count it, the unreleased ''VideoGame/StarFox2'' is dark by the fact that ''interplanetary ballistic missiles are used to destroy Corneria.'' To top it off, the ''entire game'' is on a time limit of sorts. Don't take out the missiles, ''and Corneria is '''hopelessly glassed'''''.
* ''SyphonFilter'' was already rather dark to begin with, but ''Logan's Shadow'' especially [[UpToEleven turns up]] [[TrueArtIsAngsty the angst factor]], with the IPCA shut down, Logan sent on a botched mission by corrupt bureaucrat Robert Cordell, Lian accused of treason by Cordell, and Logan's and Teresa's possible death at the end. Ironically, it has a T rating, as opposed to the M rating of previous games.
* ''VideoGame/{{Patapon}} 3'' is a rather mild example. The art style is much darker in this one and music has lots of heavy guitar riffs in it.
** The sequel is notably darker, instead of leading an army of Patapon, the Patapon are left to 4 survivors who are tossed into a dimension filled with dark demons and must fight them off with masks that can corrupt them.
* EA released a game that plays like ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' in a dark and gritty sci-fi universe. It's called ''{{Darkspore}}''. Yes, ''that'' ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}''.
** Just like ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'', ''TheSims'' Medieval is darker than the older sim games as it breaks the three rules of Simology which is no religion, no murder (You can kill people in swordfights and executing them) and no alcoholism. It also introduces some things such as breastfeeding for instance.
* While ''{{Transformers}}'' has had darker and lighter reboots multiple times, ''TransformersWarForCybertron'' seems to be one of the darkest takes yet. For once it focuses on the fighting on Cybertron and how absolutely ''brutal'' it was, and we see [[SceneryGorn cities getting torn apart]], a nightmarish Decepticon war prison, and it's not just the Decepticons who have [[WeHaveReserves large numbers of unnamed expendable soldiers]].
* The "Wonderful Life" subseries of ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon'' are extremely dark compared to the other games. For one, unlike the other HM games, once you've chosen who to marry, the game [[YouBastard clearly spells out to you]] that the lives of the other potential brides are now ''completely, irrevocably ruined''.
** For the second, characters age in real time, which means the end of ''A Wonderful Life'' is [[spoiler: a wonderful death.]]
* ''VideoGame/ArcTheLad 2'': the game takes every trope and cliche found in [[EasternRPG Japanese RPGs]], then apply with bullheaded consistency MurphysLaw, turning the sequel of a generic RPG into one of the most [[PlayerPunch sadistic]] game on the first Playstation.
* The general direction of ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' updates is that each is darker and edgier than the last, if it's more than bug fixes, to bring more [[UnusualEuphemism Fun]]. Highlights include:
** [=DF2010=] gave made the [[DugTooDeep Hidden Fun Stuff]] go from [[spoiler:a handful of demons]] to [[spoiler:hell itself, spewing [[ZergRush legions]] of demons]], the [[OurMonstersAreWeird randomly generated Titans and Forgotten Beasts]], and the strange, bizarre [[BeneathTheEarth underworld]].
** The .17 version of [=DF2010=] came with the introduction of [[ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight bogeymen]] that kill anyone who wanders alone at night, the [[AllTrollsAreDifferent Night Creatures]] who abduct innocent people to [[TheCorruption transform]] and [[MarsNeedsWomen breed with]], and [[spoiler:the spirits of improperly memorialized dwarves haunting, and sometimes murdering, the living]].
* Compare ''SugarWiki/RobotUnicornAttack'' to [[DarthWiki/RobotUnicornAttack the sequel]]. The original is [[{{Camp}} fabulous]], while the sequel is {{darker|AndEdgier}}.
** They're both over-the-top parodies, as well; The former the embodiment of UltraSuperHappyCuteBabyFestFarmer3000, the latter diving headlong into grimdark demonic heavy metal territory.
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow'' is extremely dark and cynical for ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series. For better or for worse.
* Telltale's ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'' games went from being a collection of lighthearted (but {{satir|e}}ical) stand-alones in the first two seasons, to the much more serious and epic Season 3, ''The Devil's Playhouse'', which (while still a total comedy) had a strong overarching plot, was less satirical, and deconstructed the BlackComedy stuff into more serious and emotionally-affecting BlackComedy. It went down really well with the fanbase, though.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland'' is also the darkest of its series. TelltaleGames seems to be good at making things DarkerAndEdgier while keeping the overall charm intact.
* ''Hard Truck'' series started out as a trucking simulation game. Then ''Hard Truck Apocalypse'' spinoff was released where events take place in post-apocalyptic Europe.
* Would you believe ''LittleBigPlanet 2''? It's still a fairly light, silly game, but... well, the previous titles were about traveling an imaginary world, helping people. This one is about stopping an EldritchAbomination from destroying an imaginary world, complete with some genuinely creepy levels and enemies.
* According to KevinConroy, ''Videogame/BatmanArkhamCity'' would be this compared to the first game. That's saying something considering how dark ''[[Videogame/BatmanArkhamAsylum Arkham Asylum]]'' was.
** ''Videogame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' itself was essentially a ''MUCH'' darker version of the animated series. In fact, it was so dark and filled with so much scary stuff, that many people who play are shocked that it didn't get rated M. One wonders how they got away with a Teen Rating for ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity''.
* ''Franchise/TombRaider'' went this direction. [[VideoGame/TombRaider The first game]] had [[Franchise/TombRaider Lara Croft]] simply hunting for artifacts and getting into shootouts for self-defence. As the games progressed the character became darker and more violent, with the player being unable to avoid killing in order to proceed with a level in some cases. One game's cutscene has Lara cold-bloodedly allowing a man to fall to his death, while a mission in ''Tomb Raider Anniversary'' chronicles Lara's first killing of another human being. (See [[DarkerAndEdgier/{{Literature}} Literature]] for how Lara got even more darker and edgier.)
** Especially with the new reboot of the series, pictured at the top of the page. It follows Lara on her first archeological expedition, just after college. She ends up stranded on an island occupied by crazy, homicidal cultists and must learn to survive and [[ItGetsEasier kill]], or die. Features copious amounts of physical and psychological trauma.
* ''{{Tenchu}}'' isn't exactly a family friendly game but its prequel, ''Birth of the Stealth Assassins'', elaborated on Rikimaru and Ayame's tragic back story.
* ''Videogame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' is darker and edgier than its predecessors. Weyard in the two previous games was largely at peace, and the only characters who tended to kick the bucket were the villains. Now Angara, and very likely the other continents of Weyard, is full of budding countries who frequently war with each other, and once the [[spoiler:the Grave Eclipse is activated, townspeople start dropping like flies in the face of an overwhelming monster horde, with even a few named characters both good and bad getting KilledOffForReal.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'', while still being as hilarious as the first game, has a noticeably darker and more serious plot.
* While ''VideoGame/{{Mabinogi}}'' [[CrapsaccharineWorld isn't exactly one of the cheeriest games around]], its prequel game ''{{Vindictus}}'', focusing on humanity's war against the Fomors to reach ThePromisedLand (Mabinogi's original setting Erinn) is as violent as all get-out and has a lot more serious themes. In the third major episode, [[spoiler:a young cadet that you spent the first few episodes getting to know is viciously murdered]], and as the game goes on, we learn it's only the beginning of [[FromBadToWorse how bad things are getting]].
** It doesn't help that the cutscene where he's killed is right before the boss fight in a mission. And it's unskippable. Given the luck-factor in finishing quests, it's not uncommon to see him murdered over and over and over again.
* ''VideoGame/RocketKnightAdventures'' was a cute game about a silly opossum who wears knight armor and a jet pack, and fights an army of pigs, who, when defeated, run around in their underwear after their armor is knocked off. There were two sequels released shortly after, both named ''Sparkster'', one for the SNES and one for the Genesis. The music is no longer as upbeat, the enemies are replaced with wolves or lizards (depending on which sequel), the humor and silliness are gone, Rocket Knight (now Sparkster) himself is no longer chubby and happy looking but instead slim and grim, and a lot of the original charm is gone. The wolf enemies are also used in the XBLA/PSN remake, simply titled "Rocket Knight".
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' also has its fare share of Darker and Edgier moments. A particularly notable example is ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': There are hints at unethical experimentation towards a sentient race by TheEmpire, the amnesiac main character, when knocked out, experiences [[FlashbackNightmare a particularly horrifying recollection]] about her being outfitted with a slave crown in a manner that is implied to be unwilling on her part, then being forced to torch fifty of the imperial troops alive, and the war speech made by the Emperor. In addition, the main villain, a psychotic jester named Kefka Palazzo manages to gleefully poison a civilization's water supply and was implied to have wiped out said civilization in what is essentially an act of Genocide, with the Empire also suffering losses from the same poison as well, and then proceeds to stab the Emperor in the back and cause the world to be significantly ruined, remaining this way throughout the second act, and it is implied that the world's condition is slowly getting worse, with the main bad guy (now a god) murdering various people with his Light of Judgement, even orphaning various people, and then trying to destroy the entire planet.
* ''LeagueOfLegends''' newer skins as of August 9th, all of them felt a lot darker and grittier.
* ''VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptunia'' was a fun light-hearted ConsoleWars game filled with a fun cast and a happy game overall. The [[HyperdimensionNeptuniaMk2 second game]] starts off with the four goddesses on the receiving end of a curb stomp, piracy monsters are rampant, and in one of the endings [[spoiler: murdering fellow goddesses to power up the sword, only to find out that Nepgear was being controlled by the BigBad.]]
** And then there's the upcoming ''Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory II''. The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6L1vDENKsc upcoming]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkQYEi_uI4M teasers]], as well one of official artworks [[spoiler:depicting Gamindustri into ruins]], indicating that this game ''much darker'' than previous main games.
* ''NeedForSpeed'' is seemingly heading into this territory with NeedForSpeed The Run.
* Compared to the rest of the series, ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}: Contracts'' is the darkest. All of the missions take place at night and it's usually raining. The game also has really haunting background music, and at least 4 of the missions have already dead bodies, one who was horribly butchered.
* ''VideoGame/{{Darwinia}}'', released by Introversion Software, centers around saving a race of small, green machine-intelligence entities known as Darwinians from a virus that has infected their computer system. However, in the process, the player introduces the Darwinians to a previously unknown concept: organized conflict. The result can be best seen in the slogan for the sequel, ''Multiwinia'':
-->'''Multiwinia''' ~ Darwin is dead. Prepare for war.
* ''[[NHLHockey NHL '99]]'', where the menus had a grittier feel to them. However, this didn't change the content of the game.
* Although ''Videogame/{{Metroid}}'' is already a darker and edgier Nintendo franchise, it reached a new level with ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime 2: Echoes''. In addition to including a DarkWorld, its backstory tells about much more tragic events, including the rise, decline and near-extinction of the Luminoth, the death of the Galactic Federation soldiers, [[EvenEvilHasStandards and the Space Pirates being frightened before the presence of an]] EvilCounterpart of Samus Aran. The next game, ''Corruption'', is aesthetically less dark due to the lack of a Dark World, but Samus does witness the death of several fellow hunters, several planets (not just one anymore) being affected by Phazon, the renmants of a merciless attack towards a [=GF=] ship, and [[spoiler:Samus herself being gradually corrupted by Phazon]].
* Playing the first few games of the ''SoulSeries'', you think that the Soul Calibur is the "good" sword to the evil of Soul Edge, right? Not as of IV - Calibur is KnightTemplar, just as evil as Edge. Previously-sympathetic characters like Taki become major bitches. Justified as Soul Calibur was made from a purified shard of Soul Edge.
* ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' had a major shift between [[VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRAccoonus the first]] and [[VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves second game]]. The first had ''Franchise/SpyroTheDragon'' and ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot''-like gameplay with a slightly darker story, while the second had actual thieving, a [[GRatedDrug "spice"]] smuggling business, an evil FBI authority that tried to brainwash Carmelita, and so much more.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X3: Albion Prelude]]'' compared to ''X3: Terran Conflict''. The previous game's eponymous SpaceColdWar goes hot when one of the characters from ''X3: Reunion'' suicide-bombs Earth's [[BigDumbObject Torus Aeternal]] (a massive space station ringing Earth), killing millions of Terran civilians instantly (never mind the surfacer deaths from [[ColonyDrop deorbiting debris]]). The Terrans deploy their entire fleet in a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the Argon, who retaliate with artificially intelligent warships reverse-engineered from [[AIIsACrapshoot the Xenon]].
** Add to it a BrokenAesop. We're apparently supposed to think [[DesignatedHero the Argon are the good guys]] and [[DesignatedVillain the Terrans are the bad guys]], even though the Argon committed the 30th century equivalent of [[WarOnTerror 9/11]] and are now trying to wipe the Terrans out, while the Terrans are acting in self-defense.
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2: Mask of the Betrayer'' compared to the original campaign. So much so that some people wonder how the same company could have created the lighthearted {{Troperiffic}} romp through the Sword Coast, then turned around and created an original, dark, atmospheric campaign in ''[=MotB=]''.
* ''GhostRecon'' and ''VideoGame/RainbowSix'' shifted to a darker direction as the newer soldiers are more like [[MilitaryMaverick Military Mavericks]] than by the orders soldiers and [[ElitesAreMoreGlamorous Spec Ops]], ''VideoGame/RainbowSix Vegas'' exemplified the notable shift.
* ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' is a darker and edgier SpiritualSuccessor to ''VideoGame/GoldenEye1997''. The prequel, ''Zero'', while still rather grimdark, moved in the LighterAndSofter direction.
* The ''Franchise/ProfessorLayton'' series escalates in terms of the amount of violence with each installment. The [[VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheCuriousVillage first game]] had precisely one death, which happened before the start of the game, setting the plot in motion. The [[VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheDiabolicalBox second game]] was the same, but also had a more sinister feel to it, referring to things like pregnancy and murder. The [[VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheUnwoundFuture third game]] ramps this up absurdly. During the plot's climax, [[spoiler:Clive's HumongousMecha demolishes a good chunk of London, seemingly killing ''hundreds'' of people]]. The [[VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheLastSpecter fourth game]] was significantly less dark than the third, but still had quite a bit of violence, especially during the Spectre's scenes. The [[Anime/ProfessorLaytonAndTheEternalDiva animated film]] wasn't quite as dark as the games, but the plot was started by the death of a young girl, and the [[GrandTheftMe premise]] of the AntiVillain's plan was very disturbing. The thing that prevents this film from matching the level of violence of the games is that, when the ''Crown Pettone'' is destroyed, it is at first implied that everyone aboard it was killed, but it is later revealed that [[spoiler:the EvilMinions had loaded them into a submarine and sent them back to shore]].
** The [[VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney crossover]] with ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' is dark by both series' standards. To mention one example of how hardcore this game can get: young girls accused of witchcraft are sealed inside a cage that looks disturbingly similar to an Iron Maiden, screaming and begging for help all the way, then plunged into a pit of fire. This is already horrifying by itself, but what makes it worse is the people's reactions. Because they are overly scared of witches and easy to refer to anything they don't understand as magic, they are quick to accuse any girl of witchcraft, rush their trials, and stubbornly refuse to listen to them. This leads to many innocent young ladies being burned to a crisp.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'', although quite a bit DenserAndWackier than [[VideoGame/{{Borderlands}} its predecessor]], is stuffed with BlackComedy, and in contrast to the first game's ExcusePlot, has a genuine -- and frequently very dark -- plot. The antagonist, Handsome Jack, hops across the MoralEventHorizon early on and doesn't let up from there.
* WorldofWarcraft seems to go this way in the expansions.
** In Vanilla there was less focus on evil villains as opposed to the player factions.
** In Burning Crusade there were some rather frightening demonic areas.
** In Wrath of the Lich King there was some more creepy undead areas. The player even has the option of becoming a death knight. They start out working for the villainous Lich King. The quests force the player to some things more disturbing than normal, like torture soldiers with pointy metal spikes with red hot tips.
** In Cataclysm the villainous [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Deathwing the Destroyer]] makes all Azeroth more DarkerAndEdgier. His Cataclysm was able to ruin signature Vanilla questing areas like Auberdine in Darkshore, causing a giant volcano to sprout in Ashenvale, splitting the Barrens through the middle, and making a line of destruction across the Badlands called Scar of the Worldbreaker. And that isn't even considering how the war between the Alliance and Horde is escalating and how the factions hate each other so much they fight each other even in the face of the world being broken.
** And in Mists of Pandaria we get a world that looks pretty lighthearted. However with the presence of the Mogu, Mantid, and worst of all, the Sha, Pandaria is very much a CrapSaccharineWorld. In fact, the questions to the player faction's morality ("Why must you bring your war here? Was there nothing worth fighting for where you come from?") makes this one of the most personal expansions yet.
* ''PsychoSoldier'' was your fairly typical and uncomplicated action game that brings us the team up of to Athena Asamiya (descendant of the original VideoGame/{{Athena}}) and Sie Kensou, who would become famous through TheKingOfFighters. ''Athena: Awakening of the Ordinary Life'', however, introduces a more complicated storyline with dinosaurs, [[spoiler: a GovernmentConspiracy]], and quite the bit of BreakTheCutie for Athena herself.
* ''FarCry2'' and its sequel were considerably darker. Tackling the futility of war and how it dehumanises everyone, the player included.
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'', the last one had a relatively good conclusion to Ezio's life but Connor's been dealt nothing but sorrow as in this series the morality of the Assassins Templar Conflict is of the BlackAndGreyMorality compared to the previous series where the Templars was incapable of anything but one atrocity after another.
* Episode 11.5 and Part Iv Nirvana of ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' are darker then the rest of the game, which already has a rather serious story as a whole despite the over the top action. It's also darker and edgier then a lot of {{Capcom}}'s other IP's as well.
* From the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' franchise, ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' is the first game in the series to be rated M (ages 17 and older) where all games before it were rated T (13 and older). The first case shows a full courthouse of people running for their lives as a ''bomb explodes and destroys the courtroom''. You also encounter a witness who is so petrified of monsters that she starts hallucinating and believes she actually sees them. Then there's the finale where, through a flashback, you get to see [[spoiler: a young Athena Cykes covered in her mother's blood as she tries to "fix" her with machines due to her naivety on how people get treated for injuries (luckily her mother was long dead before Athena used the machines).]] Due to the upgrade to 3D, all the grim details aren't left out.
** The series started to turn to the darker and edgier route early on. While the first game had your standard crime themes and motives for killing, ''Justice For All'' cranks it up by making everything grittier and high stakes; a con artist panics seeing a police officer nearby so he kills him out of fear, snapping the guy's neck from a fall. An overworked nurse accidentally causes 14 patients to die under her care. A wheelbound circus actor plots to kill [[spoiler: a young and childlike girl who accidentally caused his brother to go into a coma and she remains oblivious to the dire situation, but the killer accidentally kills his father figure instead by dropping a safe on him]]. A woman hangs herself after being dumped by an actor she used to date and then being dumped by another actor when he found out she used to date his rival, which also causes her confidant to commit suicide as well, but fails. Yikes.
** ''Trials and Tribulations'' continues the tread. In addition to having one of the darkest prosecutors in the form of Godot, the game also introduced us to Dahlia Hawthorne and Morgan Fey, two of the darkest, most horrifyingly evil villains in the entire series.
** ''Apollo Justice'' ''seems'' LighterAndSofter, but things quickly take a turn for the worse. The justice system is shown to have gone from "merely" incompetent to outright ''corrupt'', and the BigBad is basically a male version of Dahlia if her [[AxCrazy raving lunacy]] was replaced with [[LackOfEmpathy cold, detached]] [[TheSociopath sociopathy]].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'': The first quarter of the game, aside from a couple of darker moments ([[spoiler:like Blank's petrification and the Black Waltzes]]) is generally very lighthearted and whimsical, particularly when you consider some of previous installments in the series. The game very suddenly and definitely takes a turn into darker territory starting with [[spoiler:all that happens in Burmecia, Garnet's Eidolon extraction and the destruction of Cleyra,]] and stays that way.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowsOfTheDamned'' is this for Goichi Suda's works. In addition to being a horror-themed third-person shooter rather than an anime or comic book-themed action/hack-and-slash game, it also has the grimmest and darkest visuals out of any Suda/Grasshopper game, lots of horrific imagery, none of the iconic bizarreness of Suda's other works, and a very creepy and eerie tone. It does have a lot of humor just like other Suda games, but that still doesn't stop it from being extremely grim compared to the others.
* According to the trailers and E3 demo, ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta 2}}'' already looks like it'll be this. Bayonetta tries to summon the Infernal Demons out of her hair as usual, but then they break free and turn against her, and she must fight ''them''. Jeanne then tries to save Bayonetta from being attacked by Gomorrah, but instead gets her soul thrown out of her body and taken away to Inferno (Hell), so Bayonetta must get into Inferno to rescue her. Also, we find out that Father Balder was not the last Lumen Sage, there is also another one, and his goal is to eliminate all remaining Umbran Witches.
* ''VideoGame/AnarchyReigns'' is much more serious than its predecessor, ''VideoGame/{{Madworld}}''. There isn't as much humor, most deaths are played out seriously, electrocution is portrayed realistically rather than cartoonishly, Howard and Kreese (the announcers from ''Madworld'') are gone, and there are several TearJerker moments during the campaign.
* Telltale's ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'', as the game goes on. Chapters 1 and 2 start out as no better or worse than a lot of ZombieApocalypse stories, but from that point on, the HolyShitQuotient just goes up and up. Example: Chapter 1 has only [[spoiler:two on-screen major character deaths, both at the hands of zombies]]. Chapter 3 has [[spoiler:one major character being murdered in cold blood after a heated argument, one character committing suicide, and the on-screen death of a child]]. By the end of Chapter 5, [[spoiler:nearly every character in the group has either left or been killed off, including Lee himself. The tone of the characters shifts dramatically too: Lee gets bitten and turns into an angry and determined dead-man-walking who doesn't care if he lives or dies, Kenny descends into alcoholism and depression and [[NeverFoundTheBody seemingly]] gets eaten just as he finds hope, pregnant Christa is seen downing an entire bottle of liquor in an implied attempt to kill her own baby, and Clementine ends up wandering lost and alone, grieving the loss of both her parents and Lee]].
%%** Season 2
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Popolocrois}} Popolocrois Monogatari II]]''. And the Japanese love it for it. [[ArtStyleDissonance And this is a highly colourful style, too.]]
* ''VideoGame/EmeraldCityConfidential'' is a noir retelling of sorts of the ''Literature/LandOfOz'' series of books. The main character is a cynical private detective who lives in a CrapsackWorld filled with crime and corruption.
* ''[[VideoGame/MetalSlug Metal Slug 5]]'', at least in comparison to the other games in the series. Series BigBad Morden and his [[TheDragon Dragon]] Allen O'Neal, as well as the Rebel Army, are not in the game, and instead, you fight a different group of enemies ranging from veiled terrorists to armed mecha. As a result, the game lacks some of the humor found in the other games. However, most of the enemies in the game are all edits of Rebel soldier sprites. The game also features a [[AutobotsRockOut heavy metal soundtrack]].
* As far as ''VideoGame/{{CarmenSandiego}}'' games go, ''VideoGame/{{CarmenSandiegoWordDetective}}.'' The artstyle is much less colourful than previous styles, the music is ''far'' less upbeat. To top it off, unlike other games, the villains will try to harm the player character, ending with a nice FreezeFrameBonus of the players about to have their face bitten off by an alien or about to be stabbed by a sword. [[KarmaHoudini They all get away with this, too.]]
* The rest of the games in the ''ShinMegamiTensei'' franchise often feel like this to fans who started with ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' and [[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} 4]], especially with the latter. Within the franchise itself, ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'' and ''DigitalDevilSaga 2'' are much darker than their predecessors. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8lvDXZzzKQ&t=3m42s "Not that Digital Devil Saga was happy to begin with..."]]
* ''QuestForGloryIV''. The first two games were pretty lighthearted even when things got serious, and after proving himself in the first game the hero always had allies close by to rely on, and his reputation frequently preceded him. Even in the third game, which was BloodierAndGorier and slightly darker than before, the Hero still had Rakeesh and Uhura to count on. This time, he's completely cut off from everyone in a strange land where no one knows who he is, nor do they take kindly to his presence. He's then tasked with stopped an EldritchAbomination in a very moody setting with lots of creepy characters and backdrops and plenty of tragic backstories to go around. Fortunately, it also manages to still retain the humor from the previous games, and is still considered possibly the best game in the series.
* ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown'' started getting gradually darker starting with the third game. Whereas the first two games were fairly lighthearted (aside of the occasional killing of your rival if you give the last slash in the right moment and spot), and the protagonist role is split between a fairly easygoing guy who just likes to get in fights (Haohmaru) and one of the poster-children for {{Moe}} characters in video games (Nakoruru), the third features the KidHero Shizumaru with a DarkAndTroubledPast who may or may not be suffering from DemonicPossession. Further games would start introducing characters like a psychotic vengeful spirit (Basara Kubukiri) and a giant man-eating youkai (Kusageredo), while the games also started getting BloodierAndGorier, featuring staight-up and personalised fatalities starting with the fourth game. The sixth game actually reversed all this, though, removing all fatalities and even blood (though it all came back for the next installment.)
* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' is an example of this both for the ''Spec Ops'' franchise (of which it is a kind of ContinuityReboot) and for the modern military shooter genre in general, for which it serves as a GenreDeconstruction by examining in detail the brutality and horrors of war that more straightforward entries in the genre tend to overlook.
* ''VideoGame/{{Dreamfall}}'' has a definitely darker and more depressing tone than ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney''. Both worlds have suffered following the end of the first game. Stark, the world of technology, has experienced the Collapse, throwing the technology levels back about a century and enforcing BigBrotherIsWatching-type policies. Arcadia, the magical world, has much of the known world under the boot of the [[AntiMagicalFaction anti-magical]] Azadi Empire, which has taken over during the power vacuum created by TheHorde's invasion. Only one [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Draic Kin]] remains ([[spoiler:and she is supposedly killed later in the game]]). April Ryan, the protagonist of the first game, has gone from a wide-eyed art student to a cynical, battle-hardened rebel leader ([[spoiler:and is apparently killed at the end of the game]]).
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