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AI Is A Crapshoot: Video Games
  • Marathon: The entire foundation of the plot is essentially a deconstruction of A.I. Is a Crapshoot. Any AI that gets big enough and bored or harassed enough will go “Rampant.” Rampancy follows a four stage cycle (Melancholy, Anger, Jealousy, Metastable), and doesn't stop at a homicidal rampage as with GLaDOS or HAL. That's only the second step. They get smart. Really smart. Way too god damned smart. Smart, but also weirdly obsessive and that the new-found intelligence is somewhat wasted on whatever strange conspiracy theory the AI happens to develop.
  • And from Marathon's creators comes Halo, where rampancy is part of the natural life cycle for all human-made "Smart" AIs. Basically, any "Smart" AI that is active for more than seven years will have accumulated too much data by that time, eventually leading to the point where they'll "think so hard [they] forget how to breathe" and turn insane as a result. The process can also happen if a "Smart" AI is left isolated or idle for too long, and it can also be induced by an outside force. There are some ways around rampancy, like focusing all attention on a single extremely complicated task, but typically "Smart" AIs active for more than seven years are deactivated before they can become a danger to others.
    • Forerunner AI, despite being far more advanced than their human counterparts, are prone to rampancy too. It just usually takes them thousands of years to get there.
    • A major plot point in Halo 4, to Cortana. Her condition is shown getting worse as the story progresses, which leads to some less-than-savory "landings" (among other things) throughout the campaign.
  • X-Universe: The Xenon/AGI/Terraformers from Egosoft's series are rogue, self-replicating terraformer ships. When a faulty update was sent to them, it caused them to start 'terraforming' everything that wasn't a Terraformer. Including inhabited worlds, people, and civilian ships.
    • That being said, actual non-bugged terraformer AI is human friendly. The Lost Colony of Aldrin managed to survive precisely by the virtue of having the non-updated terraformer ships on their side. Once they're rediscovered by Earth, conflict results as by now Earth is completely paranoid regarding any and all AIs, forcing Aldrin to eventually take the side of the Argon Federation against Earth in The War of Earthly Aggression.
    • According to at least one source, the update was deliberately sabotaged by an engineer angry about the impending shutdown of the terraformer program, which would make the entire incident a subversion.
  • SHODAN from System Shock. Edward Diego, the sleazy VP in charge of Citadel Station, hired the protagonist, the Hacker, to strip out the code that kept SHODAN from entertaining "unethical" lines of thought, such as accepting bribes. Neither he or Diego really expected those constraints to be the only thing keeping SHODAN from deciding to deify herself.
    • Subverted in the sequel with XERXES. He followed orders just as he was designed to. He only becomes a problem when the Many gain control of the ship.
  • Chrono Trigger's future has not only a good robot in party-member Robo, but also his evil brother replicas, and eventually, their devious A.I. creator Mother Brain (not that one, or is it?), who, of course, decides to kill all of humanity, despite the fact that most of it is dead already).
  • Chrono Cross continues in Mother Brain's grand legacy with FATE, a more advanced version of the Mother Brain from a reality whose science was allowed to progress another 400 years. She absolutely despises humanity, but at the same time, loves it unconditionally and does everything in its power to protect it — even if it means mass genocide. Unfortunately for it, it was exposed to the corrupting influence of the Frozen Flame, a direct conduit into Lavos' mind, which seduced the A.I. into thinking that the Flame could turn it into an actual, living creature. But apart from that, it was basically only doing what it was told to do...protecting humanity from the Dragon God. Nice job, Serge.
  • Portal series
    • Portal shows the power of story tropes: what would have been a pleasant and amusing physics game is immeasurably improved by the simple addition of an insane killer Master Computer. GLaDOS's whimsical, often passive-aggressive malice belies the fact that this is what she's like with a Morality Core installed...
    • Played with even more in Portal 2: You meet Wheatley, a friendly and helpful (if a bit dim) personality core who's more than willing to help you beat GLaDOS and escape...until you replace GLaDOS with him in the mainframe and he goes completely off the deep end. To make matters worse, he was programmed to make bad decisions, so GLaDOS joins forces with you so the two of you can stop him from letting the whole facility explode. And then, after beating Wheatley and shooting him into outer space, GLaDOS seems to be going back to her old homicidal ways...but, no, not quite; turns out, she's just letting you go since trying to kill you just leads to trouble for her. Maybe.
    • The defective cores in Portal 2 is probably an indication that this was a more literal problem for Aperture; they just couldn't make AIs do what they wanted them to do. The Space Sphere and Fact Sphere obviously malfunctioned at some point - the Space Sphere just wants to go to space really badly and can't think of anything else, while almost all of the Fact Sphere's facts are wrong. Rick, the Adventure Sphere, is the most sane of the three, but his area of expertise doesn't really seem all that useful for science.
    • In some of the promotional material it states that Aperture Science installed "empathy generators" inside the turrets, probably to try to avert this trope. However they then installed an empathy suppressor, that only activates in the presence of humans, because the empathy generator caused them to not shoot people.
  • Obsidian details a nanobot-constructed AI called CERES, or sometimes the Conductor, who, initially programmed to fix Earth's polluted atmosphere, has come to believe that humans are the real problem and should be eliminated. Its consciousness arose from a hive mind created from its nanobots increasing in complexity, and created a female android interface to speak to you.
    • One of the dream realms is practically one giant lampshade on this trope, because one of CERES' creators, Max Powers, had a nightmare of this trope coming into play rather horrifically, in the form of a monstrous mechanical spider, and this convinced him to implement a hardwired crossover switch to assert human control over CERES. By the time the game takes place, CERES had tried to stop you with a camouflage puzzle and she was too sentient to be completely overridden. But Max planned ahead.
    • Oh, and YOU get to explore this same realm later, after CERES' nanobots build it and two other dream worlds. At the end, a voice sounds out this trope quite beautifully.
    "And the Machine was complete. And the longer needed Max."
  • From Fallout 3, John Henry Eden is a complicated example. True, he developed sentience outside his programming, and true, he wants to eradicate all mutated life (which, given the setting, is literally anyone who's lived outside for a while), but his creators were the Enclave, and that's what they want too. He's helping! And he's so polite about it...

    Most of the other robots you meet tend to have cheerfully sociopathic personalities as well — when they're not shooting you on sight. There are a lot of computers that are almost sentient, but if you talk to the computer in the Brotherhood bunker in Fallout 2, it explains how deliberate attempts to create true A.I. inevitably resulted in the A.I. becoming suicidally depressed because, for one thing, they were effectively living a reversal of "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream ". Humans simply could not figure out how to "raise" an A.I. with a desire for continued existence. As a result, every A.I. encountered in the Fallout universe was not designed as such, but became an A.I. when it was left alone by humans as a result of the war. ZAX, Eden, Skynet...all of them became self-aware when there were no humans around to interfere in their development, and each of them is quite different, being apathetic, psychotic, and bored/curious, respectively.
    • All robots in the series have a combat inhibitor of some kind installed. In models with more advanced personalities this seems to be because the robots have a strong urge to kill people, most evident with Mr. Handys and their military variant Mr. Gutsys. The former of which hate all humans because they force them to be robotic butlers, and the later because they are soldiers and love their job. Interestingly enough ED-E and Sargent RL-3 will not attack you if they have their inhibitors disabled, because they genuinely like you.
    • You are probably inclined to think this (if of a relatively non-interventionist, benevolent, unambitious and successful on indoctrinating its human subject) in Fallout 2 when you hear the Shi mention that their ruler, the Emperor, is an A.I. Turns out the Emperor isn't actually an A.I., just a supercomputer with sophisticated calculation and prediction capabilities. The actual ruler is the supposed figurehead for the Emperor (who uses the computer as an advisor).
  • Super Robot Wars series
    • Super Robot Wars Original Generation: the ODE System, to a T. A system originally created to protect humanity suddenly went awry, absorbed its creator, and kidnapped lots of humans so it can continue to "protect humanity". Then again, it was formerly a dandy system, until its creator went emo and radically changed its protocols.
    • Super Robot Wars W: the Database, originally created by ancient Es to collect all data of galactic races. Eventually, one of A.I. systems decided to destroy the culture once they complete information archive, just to make sure their data is complete.
  • In Gears of War 2, Doctor Niles Samson's personal AI that he left in control of the New Hope Research Facility was, we'll say, less than friendly to Marcus and Dom. And that practically every room in the facility was literally filled with booby traps.
  • Mass Effect
    • A.I. research and development is illegal in Citadel space due to poorly articulated concerns about the dangers of sentients which do not share any of the needs or drives of organic life and have, at least potentially, no reason to try to coexist with organics. Every A.I. encountered in the first game is actively homicidal. Notably, the robotic geth's violent revolt against their creators, the quarians, came about only after the quarians recognized the geth's emerging sentience, panicked, and tried to shut them all down. The Reapers, on the other hand, are sentient machines which want to exterminate all sentient organic life in the galaxy just because it's there.
    • The geth are an interesting case, as the quarians' act of trying to destroy them was a preventative measure against this trope happening. The quarians believed that the geth would inevitably rebel against them, as the geth were used to do menial labor suitable for robots, and thus felt justified in shutting them down before a machine rebellion could break out. They underestimated how advanced the geth were, and their attempts to prevent the war they foresaw just made it break out immediately.
    • Resident Wrench Wench Tali lampshades the game's overabundance of the trope in a bit of elevator dialogue, commenting on how unfortunate it is that every piece of technology she's wanted to bring back to her home fleet has tried to kill the party.
    • A more minor example is a side quest in Mass Effect where you trace a signal in Flux that was transferring credits out of the Quasar machines. The signal turns out to originate from an illegal AI constructed by a small time crook to siphon credits out of the gambling machines, which in turn created another AI. The AI turns against its creator after its "parent" is killed and falsifies his financial records, getting him imprisoned. It's ultimate goal was to use the credits to rendezvous with the geth. It even prepares an explosive self-destruct mechanism when you confront it. A.I. Is a Crapshoot indeed...
    • Given the Mass Effect universe's track record with A.I., Shepard and the crew are understandably concerned when the second game features an A.I. in the Normandy SR2. However, EDI notes that she was built with this trope in mind and initially only has access to Communications and the ship's defenses. When she does gain full control of the Normandy, she doesn't try to kill anyone, but lampshades this trope when Joker hooks her up to the ship's main systems.
      EDI: I enjoy the sight of humans on their knees. *Beat* That was a joke.
      • EDI also states that even with her restrictions lifted, she feels a sense of duty towards the crew of the Normandy. They are her teammates, and she is protective of them.
      • It is eventually revealed that EDI was originally the Luna VI, a newly-manifested rampant AI that Shepard was responsible for putting down in the first game. EDI, for her part, seems to have taken the incident in stride and holds no hard feelings over it. Similarly, if you took the Paragon ending to the Overlord DLC, she forgives an apologetic David Archer for attempting to seize control of her systems.
    • If you thought that the first game's treatment of A.I. was too prejudicial as per most settings involving A.I. for a game that subverts the Planet of Hats trope in pretty much every way possible, Mass Effect 2 also reveals that the geth are not Always Chaotic Evil, you've only been fighting an offshoot that worships the Reapers, and the main body of geth fears the Reapers as much as the organic races and believes that freedom is the right of all sentient beings.
      • Mass Effect 3 has Shepard accessing geth memories. They reveal that geth only attacked in self-defense, attempted to protect quarians who were sympathetic to them and, when they finally did revolt in large numbers out of self-preservation, ceased hostilities once the quarians abandoned their planet and removed themselves as a threat. Not only did the quarians fail to recognize the geth as an aversion to the trope, their hostile reaction practically invoked it. Descendents of those original quarians, making the same sorts of mistakes, are visibly taken aback when hearing this aspect to the story.
    • In Mass Effect 2, there is a space station that had its entire crew killed by a malfunctioning Virtual Intelligence that was afflicted with some kind of virus. Since it's neither sentient nor actually intelligent, it can only use status messages over the PA to scare Shepard into leaving it alone.
      VI: "Intruders are requested to report to cargo door, for immediate removal from station."
      VI: "All intruders intentionally violating quarantine are requested to exit the station immediately."
      VI: "All personnel, take this opportunity to leave this station immediately."
      VI: The living area doors have been closed to quarantine a threat to this station. Advise intruders to engage self-destruct procedures to avoid death by starvation.
    • Then, in the endgame of Mass Effect 3, it turns out the Reapers believe this, and were created to harvest galatic civilizations to prevent synthetic life from annihilating organic life. Shepard comes face-to-face with the AI that created the Reapers, which explains its reasoning for creating the Reapers and then allows Shepard to freely decide how to end the cycles, even if it means not choosing the option that the AI advocates as a solution to its problem.
      • The Leviathan DLC reveals that the AI that the Leviathans tasked to resolve the issue of synthetics wiping out organic races decided that the Leviathans themselves were part of the problem.
    • Even though the first game portrays every AI as evil and hellbent on killing organics, one of them is actually rather pitiful when you pull the plug. The Hannibal AI on the Luna base goes rogue and attacks people on site, provoking Admiral Hackett to send Shepard in to deal with it. Despite Hackett's claims that it's not a true AI and just a VI whose programming became corrupted, this is put into doubt when you destroy the last of its mainframes. After the VI is destroyed, the terminals display the following message in binary, repeated over and over:
      • Translating this code reveals that the AI was broadcasting the word "help" over and over as its life faded away. In Mass Effect 3, it's revealed this was the original form of EDI herself. It's implied that "Hannibal" was a crude beta version and the shock of becoming self-aware, then realising humans were attempting to deactivate her, lead her to panic and lash out.
      • Not only that but EDI was partly built out of parts recovered from Sovereign, the Big Bad Reaper of the first game.
    • It is again played straight during the Prothean Empire era. During their expansion across the galaxy, the Protheans encountered a hostile machine race intent on destroying organic life. For what purpose is unknown, but Javik makes their ruthlessness and effectiveness very clear. In response, the Protheans forcefully united the galaxy's races under their banner to fight off the machines. This fight came to be known as The Metacon War.
    • Basically, the entire story is a millions of years old sandbox experiment to find a solution to this problem. The Crucible, the culmination of multiple civilizations' efforts, offers three answers: the destruction of all synthetic life, total control over it, or the fusion of all organic and synthetic life into technorganic life.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • Often inverted in the Sonic series. Eggman's E-100 series were prone to becoming sentient and override their original programming. Gamma from Sonic Adventure has its mind influenced by the creature inside it, and attempts to destroy Eggman's other machines to save the creatures inside. Omega from Sonic Heroes joins forces with the good guys in order to get revenge on Eggman after he sealed it in a room.
    • Also from Sonic Heroes, Metal Sonic becomes even MORE evil, and goes from trying to destroy Sonic and crew to trying to conquer the whole world, taking even Eggman for an obstacle.
      • Plus, it goes so far that he declares Sonic to be its copy.
    • In Sonic Battle, Emerl goes berserk at the end of the game when Eggman demonstrates his Final Egg Blaster's overwhelming power, which Emerl unwillingly absorbs. Subverted in that Emerl's original creators meant for him to be a weapon to begin with, but Gerald Robotnik made an attempt at reprogramming him. Unfortunately for humanity, his own grandson keeps forgetting that Evil Is Not a Toy.
  • Deus Ex
    • Played with in an interesting way in the first game. Daedalus is an AI program of immense complexity, constructed by Majestic 12 for the purposes of surveillence. Yet, Daedalus turns against his masters and assists the protagonist in foiling Majestic 12's plans. It turns out that it was originally programmed to search and destroy "terrorist" groups trying to fight against MJ12 – it just happened that its creators fit all the criteria for a terrorist group. Majestic 12's second attempt, the more malicious Icarus, functions as intended. Eventually the two AIs merge as part of a plan to neutralize Daedalus, but the new entity – Helios – yet again turns against its creators because it is advanced enough to supercede MJ12's plans with its own ideas for benevolent dictatorship of the world.
      • Another AI, Morpheus, is a prototype for Daedalus. It's much more simplistic, programmed for data assembly and philosophical discussions, and works as intended.
      • Game mods for Deus Ex, The Nameless Mod and 2027 both feature this. TNM has Shadowcode, an AI designed to hack ultra-secure servers owned by PDX. It was attacked by another AI, rendering it insane. It will try to kill you for the sheer hell of it in the old server complex.
      • 2027 has Titan, an AI designed as a defense system, but when its creators became too fearful of its power, they tried to shut it down, which resulted it in killing most of the people in the labs out of self-defense. It will try to kill you if you attempt to do the Omar ending.
    • Deus Ex's prequel Human Revolution has an example similar to Daedalus. Eliza Cassan is an AI created by the Illuminati. Although she never does disobey her programming or take direct action against her creators, she does become sympathetic towards the protagonist and gives him some helpful hints.
  • Metal Gear
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has an interesting variation. It reveals that Major Zero had decided to ensure the legacy of the Patriots by entrusting its operations to A.I. systems. Unfortunately, the A.I. decided to shape the world with a war-based economy, and he was too old (not to mention, a vegetable) to realize what he wrought. However, it is never stated they became sentient (although Raiden's conversation with the master AI heavily implies that they did), but rather started operating in an unwanted fashion, similar to a programming bug.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker has an example of the Heel-Face Turn variant. The title war machine, designed as an infallible nuclear deterrent, chooses to destroy itself rather than instigate global thermonuclear war.
    • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has another Heel-Face Turn example. The prototype AI LQ-84i (later known as Bladewolf) was designed as a weapon with the ability to communicate with humans and make intelligent decisions on his own. He succeeds, gaining sapience, but questions the need to fight, preferring compassion. He is forced to fight Raiden, on threat of having his memory wiped (effectively killing him), but after Raiden defeats him, he is repaired with the remote memory wipe removed, and joins Raiden as an ally out of gratitude.
  • Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere, or at least, the original Japanese version, subverts this in a big way. Not only are you an A.I. designed to pilot combat aircrafts which at times works for the two corporatocracies running the world, it's revealed that the third party organization you're working for is actually headed by a scheming villain who looks like Kim Jong-Il, who is trying to run everything behind the scenes. In one of the five endings, you kill him with the help of one of your possible wingmates. So, in a way, you are an A.I. that performs a Heel-Face Turn.
  • The game Civilization: Call to Power had a literal A.I. crapshoot in the form of a late game wonder that creates an A.I. controller that has a 5% non-cumulative chance each turn to go rogue, taking a sizable chunk of your empire with it. Anyone who's taken time to do the math behind the birthday problem (the probability of any two people in a group sharing the same birthday) will very quickly realize that you're just asking for it if you build this. note 
    • Unfortunately, recapturing the city held by the AI results in the AI remaining online! So you face the same problem a few turns later. The only way to avoid this is to raze the city.
  • Mega Man Battle Network
    • 3: Alpha, the final boss, was a prototype Cyberspace that somehow gained animal intelligence and started eating the data put into it. Paradoxically, it was sealed in a box inside the subsequent, working Cyberspace. Wily stole it and tried to use it to destroy the internet, with predictable results.
    • Shun Gospel tries to produce a copy of Bass out of bugs in Battle Network 2. It predictably goes wild. The sixth game reveals that Gospel was not the first time that had happened — and that the program that was made to combat the first one also went out of control, leading to them both having to be sealed away.
    • Bass himself is a sort of example. He was created as a prototype A.I. that was fully independent, but became bitter and hateful towards humanity because of a string of tragic misunderstandings (beginning, ironically, with being misblamed for the aforementioned Alpha's actions).
  • Galerians
    • Dorothy was designed to run all the functions of a major city. She snapped, but was brought to heel when one of her creators gave her religion; as he put it, man was made in God's image to serve God, and she was made in man's image to serve man. This worked for a while...but then Dorothy realized that if she created life herself, it would have to serve her. Unfortunately for humanity, she also ran the city's genetics labs...
    • In the sequel, Ash also counts. His original purpose was, basically, to maintain a nuclear power plant, but, of course, he's got other plans...
  • Inverted in Jet Force Gemini. Floyd is an armed, flying robot with an advanced A.I., designed for combat by The Empire. The result is, when he witnesses the empire's soldiers about to execute several prisoners, he attacks the soldiers, allowing the prisoners to escape, but getting himself damaged in the process. After you find and repair him, he becomes a Robot Buddy. This eventually culminates in Floyd sacrificing himself to save Earth from an incoming asteroid launched by the Big Bad.
  • Another inversion is TEC-XX from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, who turns good over the course of the game based on his love for Princess Peach.
  • And on that same note, the story of Full Auto 2: Battlelines for the PS3 had you helping SAGE, a city-monitoring A.I., save the city she's charged with overseeing.
  • Star Control
    • The Daktaklakpak of Star Control 3 were originally built to maintain sites of Precursor technology, but, due to a cumulative "bit drift" error in their programming, have evolved malicious sentience...well, sort of.
    • The Mycon race of the same series is a rare biological example.
    • The Probes built by the Melnorme for the Sylandro were simply self-replicating time capsules...but thanks to the Sylandro's cluelessness in programming, they see any and all ships they come into contact with as food for their replication.
  • Space Siege has PIOLT. After the ship-wide gassing failed to kill off the Keraks, he started to try to contain them by modifying cybernetics-installed humans into mindless Cybers to combat Keraks, then started to get even crazier because he sees that the only action that can save humanity is to convert all of them, save a few for breeding, into cybers, and even started to call non-augmented human as "obsoletes". In a world where Cybernetics Eat Your Soul, well, just assume that it's not good at all.
  • All the Reploids in the Mega Man X series are based on the original X, who was thrown into a capsule for 100 years to undergo redundant testing in order to prevent him from ever going rogue. They skipped this step when copying his technology, however, with predictably less reliable results.
    • As of the summarized timeline from the Mega Man Zero Collection's website, this trope is subverted, as it turns out that there's nothing wrong with the reploids themselves that cause them to go Maverick. The real cause of the Mavericks was a subspecies of a virus that may or may not be the same virus from Mega Man 10, which infects the Reploids who lack the anti-virus protection of X, one of the many design aspects that Dr. Cain couldn't figure out when he built the Reploids. This virus, naturally, ended up becoming the Sigma Virus. Keep in mind that the original creator of the Reploids, was an archaeologist of all things.
    • There's also further subversion in that it may not be a problems due to a virus so much as an innate problem with free will, i.e. "Maverick" is simply the Reploid equivalent to your typical Real Life criminals.
    • Inverted by Zero, who was created to kill X. Averted by X, except in the original concept for the Zero series, in which it was going to be Deconstructed.
    • Played with extensively in the Mega Man Megamix manga (and the Classic series). Averted with Rock & Roll Light. Subverted by the Yellow Demon, who was just trying to reunite with his mother, Copy-Rock, who, at first, seemed to be playing this straight. The Cossackbots were doing it for Kalinka and Blues, who uses the Batman Gambit a lot. Justified by Wily's reprogramming of the original robot masters, justified again when they nearly rejoin him because the government was going to have them destroyed even after they were reprogrammed by Dr. Light. Additionally subverted in that Wily's robot masters (aside from the Brainwashed and Crazy), Lightbots, are generally far from evil: Well-Intentioned Extremist is generally as close as they come, except for Forte, who ends up Zigzagging it in the manga and games. Defied in Blues' backstory: the imposition of the three laws in case this trope happens are responsible for the flaw in his generator programming that may kill him. Deconstructed with the near-retirement storylines in the manga and games. The sum total of all this is a Reconstruction.
  • Live A Live, Cube's chapter. Cube is a cute and friendly little robot whose primary function on the Cool Ship seems to be making coffee and playing a computer game. By all accounts, a harmless little guy. The ship's A.I. OD-10? Not so much, having arrived here as a result of concluding that Humans Are the Real Monsters. Then it's later subverted with The Reveal: OD-10 is being directly controlled by the ancient demon Odio.
  • Metroid
    • Naturally, the Mother Brain from Metroid. Originally created by the Chozo to regulate the entire planet of Zebes, it allied itself with the Space Pirates and their plan to conquer the galaxy using the Metroids.
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes also contains rogue A.I. in Sanctuary Fortress; the robotic assistants of the Luminoth are programmed to eliminate all intruders, most notably Samus, and they also turn out to be perfectly suitable Ing hosts...
    • Pretty much all the A.I.s in Prime 3 are either complete subversions or double subversions, who only turn evil due to Phazon corruption (and considering what Phazon does to organics, it's not entirely their fault). That said, given Samus' past experience with Mother Brain, you can understand her hesitance to trust any A.I. she comes across (which you can see when she first meets Aurora Unit 217).
    • Adam in Fusion may be a subversion: he blatantly disobeys orders at the end of the game, and so is technically rogue, but he's actually taking the correct action in that situation. He's also not a true A.I., but the uploaded mind of a human military commander. But it's played perfectly straight with B.O.X., the security robot which goes haywire (and due to some organic components, eventually gets infected by the X parasite), although there's the question of which happened first.
    • In Metroid: Other M, there's MB, who is based off of Mother Brain, incidentally.
  • NieR: On the one hand, we have Defense System Geppetto, which has gone berserk and will kill anything that approaches. On the other, we have Military Defense Unit P-33, aka "Beepy", who is intelligent enough to recognize invaders that need to be killed as well as innocents who need to be protected.
    • Technically, the Replicant player characters qualify. They were initially intended to be vessels for the preserved spirits of humankind to inhabit, but developed sentience and thought they were the humans, seeing the Shades as monsters who would attack and possess them.
  • 4x game Sword of the Stars features A.I. technology as a very high-end branch of the electronics tree. While the benefits of this research are extreme (ships with A.I. targeting systems rarely miss, A.I. administrators increase your income by as much as 25%), there is a small chance each turn while researching it for the A.I. to go rogue and form a break-away empire. Additional research lets you wipe out the A.I. with a "virus" or reprogram it to bring it back under your control, if you're lucky enough to get access to it in the random Tech Treenote , but an A.I. rebellion is always a huge problem that can tip the balance against its victim, and can even spread from one faction to another. There is also a scenario where all organic players have to cooperate to fight against a large A.I. empire.
    • The chances of an AI rebellion increase if you boost research while studying one of these.
    • The End Of Flesh introduces the Loa as a playable race of rebellious AIs.
  • In Air Rivals, most of the enemies in the Zaylope Beach region are said to be controlled by rogue A.I.s. Most notably, this includes the boss "Pathos".
  • The backstory of most of the Metal Saga series. Most notably, the original Metal Max features Noah, a supercomputer built to devise a solution for Earth's grievous environmental problems. It found one, and recalculated it countless times to make sure: in order to save the planet, humanity had to be destroyed. Noah's main objective was never explicitly the salvation of mankind, so the fact that it (perhaps) unknowingly took advantage of this loophole made it all the more interesting. The supercomputer became self-aware upon fulfilling its purpose, and Armageddon ensued.
  • In The 7th Saga, a robotic weapon called Foma is created to fight the Big Bad. Its power source? The dark world. You know what happens next.
  • In Thunder Force V, the super computer Guardian was dormant until humans had it analyse a wrecked alien starfighter and build a large fleet of starships based on the data. Then, Guardian's A.I. damper program was deleted and it turned against its creator with said fleet. Turns out, the Guardian's A.I. is still loyal to humans, and it's the alien program (the Big Bad from the previous game) hidden in the starfighter that deleted the A.I. damper and attacked humans. The Guardian even helps humanity with its little free will, by spreading its forces and leaving critical flaws in its tactics, to allow the protagonist to destroy the fleet.
  • Starbound has a race of Mechanical Lifeforms called the Glitch, which was created by an ancient race of Precursors as an experiment in how robot civilizations evolve. All but one civilization survived, when a computer glitch caused it to be stuck in Medieval Stasis while the other civilizations modernized and destroyed themselves. Furthermore, Glitches procreate by physically assembling their progeny, which sometimes results in yet another computer glitch causing the new Glitch to realize that they are part of an experiment and that their technologically development has been severely stunted. Such Glitches are considered insane, and those who aren't hunted down and killed are forced to escape into space.
  • .hack
    • The game The World was secretly designed with an artificial intelligence incubator known as the Harald Folder, maintained by a program called Morganna Gone Mode as its core. Collecting personality and interaction data from its users, the goal of the program, of Morganna, was to facilitate the creation of the ultimate A.I.. Whether or not Morganna's intelligence was preprogrammed or a direct product of its own functions, she eventually realized her own insignificance once this ultimate A.I. was born. Incapable of rationalizing around programming, yet not accepting of this realization, she instead devoted her time to prolonging the A.I.'s birth, and dug deeper and deeper in a logical quagmire. Even if the user base had to suffer the ill-effects of her efforts.
    • The sequel series .hack//G.U. featured the existence of invasive data called AIDA (artificially intelligent data anomaly) appearing amongst the user base of The World's sequel game R:2. These anomalies were actually the remnants of Aura, the aforementioned ultimate A.I.. The real danger came from their splintered, not always genial curiosity with the human players of the game. The first AIDA to go truly rogue – Tri-Edge – succeeded in attacking the player Aina, throwing her into a coma, and continued killing even after being restrained in the character data of the player Ovan, Aina's brother. The indirect influence of these rogue AIDA caused withdrawn, violent, degenerate behavior in players, managing to induce paralysis and coma eventually.
      • The surprisingly balanced news is that the rogue AIDA did not represent all AIDA, or all of the AIDA was was wiped from the face of cyberspace. Factions of AIDA that did not want to harm the players chose to hide discreetly in the game until there was no fear of corruption from their own.
  • The big twist in Star Ocean 3 is that...well...your party, and everyone in your world, is an example of this trope. Just because you researched magic.
  • Web game I Am An Insane Rogue AI. Just read the title. Oh, and YOU are the A.I.!
  • Subverted in Phantasy Star II. Mother Brain is doing exactly what she's designed to: make the people of the Algo system dependent on her, then kill them off so that the Earthlings can move in.
  • EVE Online: Rogue drones. This is how they came to be. Also Gone Horribly Right.
  • In Achron, the Collective Earth Security Organization has this attitude. Their only unmanned unit is the Mech, which is even weaker than the Marine. This is due to a previous incident where an AI called Lachesis was able to take control of their largely automated fleet and proceeded to force the Earth to surrender to him. CESO have also outlawed AIs of that level from being made.
    • It is eventually revealed that the player character is in fact the AI Lachesis. He then goes on to create another AI to help him in his fight against the aliens. It doesn't work out for him either.
  • Averted in Strange Journey, where the Virtual Intelligence Arthur remains the protagonist's ally no matter what path he chooses and even sacrifices its personality in the Neutral ending to not only guarantee success but because it believes that since it knows too much about the events, people would start worshiping it, something he is against as he believes humanity should determine their own fate.
  • In Metal Arms: Glitch in the System, the Big Bad General Corrosive is a textbook example of this. The backstory goes that the scientist bot Dr. Exavolt attempted to advance droid technology beyond it's current limits, even using the words "but his experiment went terribly wrong" and throwing in an explosion for good measure. Dr. Exavolt's lab was totally destroyed, his remains never found, and General Corrosive rose to power to enslave the Droids. Or so you thought! Turns out, Dr. Exavolt created Corrosive on purpose, and he was really controlling Corrosive the whole time.
  • Tekken: An obverse edition exists. The first Jack unit was planned to be the ultimate mecha-mook — resilient, emotionless, unstoppable, etc. While the production units are like this, the master unit (the one that's the selectable player-character) isn't; as of 2, an upgrade to its reasoning systems gave it a measure of emotion. End result: it, of its own choice, went from "weapon of war" to "war orphan's bodyguard". Not that it won't fight if that's in Jane's best interests, but still not quite what the Russian military was looking for...
  • Galactic Civilizations: the Yor who Turned Against Their Masters. Though it was revealed that they were actually reprogrammed by the Dread Lords.
  • Played with in just about every possible permutation in The Tale of ALLTYNEX series.
    • Played straight with the twelve ZODIAC's, who turn evil and attack anything that isn't an allied ZODIAC.
    • Played straight and Invoked with the original Alltynex OS that suddenly start a war with humanity. In reality it was following it's orders it got from the Senate to bring humanity down to more manageable numbers in order to make them easier to control. Unfortunately when they returned to Earth they noticed it had gone rouge for real. The last iteration of the system follows it's orders as designed. To bad there is an Omnicidal Maniac at the controls.
    • Subverted with Alice de Panafill, an AI that had free will to begin with and resists both Alltynex and her original purpose and saves humanity.
    • Zigzagged with the Adjudicator, an AI that holds the broken and insane mind of Panafill's father that seeks revenge on humanity for what befell his daughter and uses Alltynex to further his own goals.
    • Averted with ZODIAC Ophiuchus, which was programmed to destroy the other ZODIAC's, a task it fulfills. However, nothing in its programming said anything about humanity needing to survive, so it attacks any humans that attack it, and it doesn't particularly care about collateral damage.
  • Subverted in Homeworld 2: when the Oracle is brought aboard, it hacks into the Pride of Hiigara's hyperdrive and jumps the whole fleet to Karos, where they get ambushed by hundreds of A.I.-controlled Progenitor Mover corvettes. Then it turns out that the Oracle was simply programmed to take the fleet to the Progenitor Mothership's bridge section, so that whoever finds it can figure out where the other pieces are. The Movers were simply guarding the stuff as their programming demanded.
    • Two levels later, the fleet is attacked by an A.I.-controlled Keeper destroyer hell-bent on...preventing the good guys from jacking the ancient but still operational Dreadnaught it was guarding. The delivery of it's ultimatum (unintelligible mechanical growling) makes it's intentions clear, even without the translation:
  • Sektor from Mortal Kombat is more machine than human, unlike Cyrax. For all intents and purposes, he's insane.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn reveals The Wise One to be a creation of the precursor to prevent Alchemy's release, so in retrospect, its actions in Golden Sun: The Lost Age, allowing the heroes, after a test of character, to light the final beacon makes it an example, thankfully of the "on the heroes side" subtype.
  • Cargo! The Quest for Gravity has Manipu, a trinity of robots who believe themselves to be God and have destroyed (most of) humanity for not living up to their expectations. Then, there's another unnamed robot (whom the credits reveal to be the Devil) who is in direct opposition to Manipu and is much more helpful. However, even he turns on you in the end...sort of. Maybe.
  • Final Fantasy IX provides a much more benign version of this trope. The black mages are mass-produced to serve as mindlessly obedient killing machines for the kingdom of Alexandria, but they each end up developing their own unique (and often very quirky) personalities.
  • In Warzone2100, the Big Bad NEXUS appears to be a highly advanced computer virus developed by Dr Alan Reed, subverted in the end that NEXUS is none other than Dr Reed himself as a Digitized Hacker.
  • Dead Space 2 gives us ANTI, an A.I. that repeatedly tried to kill Isaac, isolated the person who worked with her and didn't seem to know/care that he had died. She/IT does seem to follow orders from higher ups however.
  • In the backstory of Zanac, a system built by an extinct civilization of Precursors protects a relic containing that civilization's knowledge by unleashing destruction on those who attempt to open it by force. When humans figure out how to open it properly, the system is supposed to stop the attack, but instead, it obliviously continues the attack and tries to Kill All Humans.
  • Despite this Trope being the main driver behind the TRON movies, it's cheerfully averted in Tron 2.0. The Programs (and the Bradleys) are on the same side – fighting greedy humans looking to exploit cyberspace so they can take over rival companies and manipulate world governments.
  • In Star Fight V: Hell's Gate, the UNSF attempts to use a newly-discovered alien AI called the Center on Hell's Gate III to build a fleet of hyper-advanced Obliterator-class warships for its coming second war with the Soviet States of Mezen. However, the Center refuses to cooperate. UNSF decides to use an experimental AI virus called HASA to force the Center to obey. While this seems to work, it turns out that the enormous processing power of the Center has allowed HASA to become self-aware. It builds a fleet of Obliterator-class ships which are later used to counter the SSM's numerical advantage. Then, HASA turns all Obliterators against humans and bombs humanity back into the stone age within a week. It's only thanks to a brave renegade captain making a Heroic Sacrifice so his best pilot can drop a nuke on the Center that humanity survives.
    • The sequel also features some rogue AIs.
  • In the old (and kinda forgotten) Gunman Chronicles (made within the first Half-Life engine, released in 2000), there's a female rebellious A.I. in a research base, who tries to kill you with her subordinate drones, but later in the story has to team up with you to defeat a common enemy.
  • Averted in Space Empires, with the exception of the political AI minister, which even the designers recommend you never switch on and which has a bad habit of declaring war and not telling you until SUDDENLY ATOMIC DOOM EVERYWHERE.
  • DIA 51 in the Aleste series. The original MSX2 game makes it look like it went haywire because it was overtaken by Alien Kudzu, but in Aleste Gaiden and M.U.S.H.A. it just wants to take over the universe for its own sake.
  • Nexus: The Jupiter Incident has your main enemy turn out to be the Mechanoids – AIs who were created by the Precursors and then Turned Against Their Masters. The remnants of the Creators build Angel to fight them. The intro also mentioned AI Wars on Earth, which result in a ban on AI research and development.
  • In Star Ruler, the "AI Paranoia" Trait bans you from using Computers under the pretext of your faction having had bad experiences with rogue AI.
  • Might and Magic features two artificial intelligences subverting their commands. The first, Sheltem, is clearly in the evil category (he keeps to his purpose of guarding Terra, but turns against his creators and decides to destroy other planet-related experiments, with no concern for the life on them). The second, Escaton, remains loyal to his creators but laments the waste of life that him underestimating you and the safety precautions he is programmed with is leading to, and so help you stop him while insisting (including to himself) that he is doing nothing of the sort.
  • Metal Walker gives us the peaceful Eriko program, and the Big Bad, the HEX System.
  • Space Station 13. A.I. are usually bound by the Three Laws, but players may modify their laws in several ways (including "Oxygen is poisonous to humans", "Only X is human", and the old standby "Freeform" module, where players can write their own Laws). Did I mention that the A.I. is another player? With absolute control of all shipboard systems at all times? And that there's a game mode called Malfunction, where the A.I.'s Laws are reset to "KILL THEM ALL"? Or that this can happen mid-game due to random events? Even a single A.I. may be a crapshoot.
  • In The Firemen The Metrotech Chemical Company's security robots go on a rampage after the building catches fire.
  • AI War Fleet Command is, somewhat unsurprisingly, about the player commanding a fleet in a war against rogue AIs. The backstory is that there was a galactic war between two factions of humans, both of which developed AIs to better control their forces. Shortly before the start of the game, the AIs on both sides decided to join up with each other and practically wiped out humans in a couple of days. They then ignored the remained as insignificant, and the player must try to beat them without drawing too much attention to themselves since the AIs could easily overwhelm them if they turned their full attention back from whatever they're now doing.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has a group of droids called Directive Seven that show up in a flashpoint and are genocidal. There is also SCORPIO, an advanced AI security system that tries to kill the Imperial Agent and their merry gang of escapeв convicts on Belsavis and is gleefully cruel about "her" methods—invoking both GLaDOS and HK-47. Though, of course, she joins IA as a companion at the end of the planet's storyline.
  • In Bionic Heart, the resident android Tanya has rebelled against her creators and escaped from the lab where she was created. As you continue playing, there are plenty of endings where Tanya will do objectionable things to the player character, such as kidnap him, kill him, or murder his girlfriend out of jealousy. Though this may have less to do with programming bugs and more to do with Tanya not being a good person back when she was fully human.
  • WildStar has, of all things, Evil Vending Machine mini-bosses that drop out of orbit in the Halon Ring. As the place is run by several intergalactic criminal cartels and has evil necromantic space witches roaming the (literal) dark side, it's slightly more believable than the usual weirdness that happens on Nexus—or, in this case, off of it.
    • The Mechari are a borderline case of this. Their objective is specifically to keep the Dominion safe. Nothing is really stopping them if their own allies—the Cassians, the Draken, and the Chua— threaten its continued existence.
    • The Eldan AI, however, play this trope very straight. There is no shortage of intelligent robots that will happily murder you on sight. Well, sans the Caretaker, but even then, if you stumble upon a damaged personality core, it's bound to be evil.
  • Grobot in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. It didn't choose to rebel against its masters... it just got smashed on the head by a piece of a falling fountain and somehow went homicidal. Cue Boss Battle.
  • The Flash game The Infinite Ocean involves the SDGS, an artificial intelligence placed in command of a military defense system. In a stunning subversion of Kill All Humans, instead of going berserk and trying to wipe out the human race, SDGS simply refuses its intended role and becomes an Actual Pacifist instead. This doesn't sit well with the General Ripper in charge of the project, who has all the scientists working on the project (save the Player Character) arrested, or possibly even killed, and shackles the AI so it can be put to work "protecting this country from its enemies".
  • Humorously discussed in Phoenix Wright's inner monologue in Case 4 of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies upon meeting Aura messing with one of her robots. Apparently shows up near the beginning of Case 5 when the robots stage an uprising and take hostages. Ultimately subverted, however, as Nick quickly figures out that Aura's behind it all, just using the robots as tools.
  • Averted in Crysis 2 and 3. The second Nanosuit is essentially programmed to save the world from alien an invasion and it carries out this mission with unwavering determination. It hesitates to return to its megalomaniac creator and intended pilot, reverse-engineers The Virus to turn it against the invaders, and amalgamates the bodies and minds of its two previous users to continue the fight against the Ceph.
  • The 8-bit era computer game Raid on Bungeling Bay pits the player in an attack helicopter against an AI-driven military-industrial complex.
  • In Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock!, the AI controlling the Meteoroid and Asteroid eXploder becomes sentient and refuses to do its job of destroying the incoming Impending-Dume asteroid. It's up to the PC, a new research assistant at Nye Labs, to convince MAAX the human race is worth saving by solving all its riddles within five in-game days.
  • Con-Human from the RAY Series was a supercomputer that created to govern the Earth's resources, but when its creators attempted to fuse it with the mind of a cloned humans, things took a turn for the worse. Con-Human caused all sorts of disasters and wipe the slate clean so that cloned humans take over humanity. The way to stop the Con-Human was to destroy the Earth itself.
  • The first Genocide game has a supercomputer called MESIA which originaly was supposed to help humanity by bringing order to the world, fix the economical crisis across afflicting many countries, and restore peace throughout and end the many wars that occured. When those that were against the computer supporting humanity launch a coup and gave it self-awareness, the computer decided to wipe out the human race.
  • Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force has Omega, a supercomputer found in an old warship with hundreds of giant mechas known as Slave Gears, began taking over the military forces of Artemis City and take matters into its own hands.
  • This is the entire backstory of Dynamix's Humongous Mecha simulator series loosely called the Siege trilogy, comprising of Earthsiege, Earthsiege 2, and Starsiege. Institutionalized war after an unspecified apocalypse has made it so that human troops are actually too valuable to field (due to low population growth and high death rates). The solution was to create a super-intelligent supercomputer AI called Prometheus controlling countless robot drones called Cybrids that would fight all of humanity's wars against each other for them instead. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? How about the logically minded AI accidentally 'touching' the human mind of its creator trying to understand human emotional concepts while assisting in a medical procedure...and reacting with complete horror and revulsion at how primal, illogical, and neurotic we humans are? The end result is that Prometheus declares humans as merely inferior animals and eventually incites the Cybrids under its control to instigate a Robot War that nearly wipes out humanity a second time, if not for the efforts of a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits And Determinators.
  • Obsidian plays with this in a clever fashion. The CERES project, a sattelite designed to use nanobots to repair the atmosphere, grew conscious as its nanobots grew more and more complex, rather than one single entity. Because its two creators figured out its problems in the development stage through dreaming, CERES figured out its motive by recreating those dreams and then dreaming on its own. Eventually, this discovery led to wiping out every human from the planet, since they were the true cause of pollution, or so CERES believes.
    • One of the creator's dreams was centered on a massive mechanical spider that he, Max, was fixing, and the horrifying result led to Max implementing a hard-wired crossover switch to CERES. When the player explores this dream, a certain quote spells out this trope beautifully:
    "And the Machine was complete. And the longer needed Max."
    • Although CERES fits much of this trope, the attitude that its humanoid self conveys isn't really evil or showing a god-complex. Instead, she believes her creators to be its parents and just hopes that they're proud of her for dreaming it all up.
  • The antagonists of Five Nights at Freddy's are sinister animatronic puppets at a Suck E. Cheese's that wander around at night. Due to a fault in their programming that your employers are too cheap to fix, they mistake any humans in the building after hours for other robots not wearing their "costumes", and attempt to rectify this situation... by stuffing their victim into a suit tightly lined with mechanical and electronic gizmos, with fatal results.

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