He Who Fights Monsters / Video Games

  • Samuel L. Jackson's character Officer Frank Tenpenny in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, although he has shades of just being a plain Dirty Cop as well.
  • King Kashue will quote this word for word to the Trestkon towards the end of the WorldCorp ending in The Nameless Mod.
  • 2027: One of the possible outcomes in the epilogue is that the Judicians end up becoming those whom they have fought.
  • Ryu from Street Fighter. In the Alpha series and beyond, this trope is a problem that he is constantly wrestling with. Ryu strives To Be a Master but his fighting style has an inherent dark side called the Satsui no Hado (Surge of Murderous Intent) that materializes if he should ever prioritize victory over humanity. He is in a constant struggle to balance pushing himself to new heights in battle with not becoming so consumed with winning that he will fight without honor or mercy. His nemesis, Akuma, has long-since embraced the darkness and wants Ryu to as well, only adding to his struggle.
  • Raiden from Mortal Kombat shows shades of this when he is given a Dark Reprise. He becomes a Knight Templar that borders on an Omnicidal Maniac. This is made much more explicit in various Mortal Kombat X endings, where he attempts to conquer Outworld by brute force until Kotal Khan convinces the Elder Gods to put a new Mortal Kombat tournament in place; effectively reversing Raiden's role into being what he once fought against.
  • It's probably appropriate, given that they turn into monsters, that the Harmonixers of Shadow Hearts face this. The downside to their Mega Manning is that in addition to taking in the powers of those they slay, they also take in their hatred, sorrow, and anger. This can have consequences including death, madness and souls being twisted to evil, or becoming feral beasts that exist only to destroy.
  • Prince Arthas in Warcraft III. This was apparently engineered (or at least taken advantage of) by the Big Bad, to the point of sacrificing Arthas's target so that the fall could be complete.
    • The box for Wrath of the Lich King even reads "If you stare long into the abyss... the abyss stares back into you."
    • The Warcraft series uses this one a lot. The only villains in the series (including the Big Bad, Sargeras) that haven't been driven mad by endlessly fighting monsters are the Lovecraft-inspired Old Gods, the demons Sargeras corrupted and forced into his Burning Legion, and the Naga, who were made by the Old Gods (they did not even have a choice!).
    • Clearly lampshade-hung by Malfurion regarding Maiev in Warcraft 3, when he says that she has become "vengeance itself" and hopes that, in her pursuit of Illidan, she will not wreak even more havoc than him. But by the end game of the Burning Crusade expansion, Maiev says that she is 'indeed nothing' after downing Illidan.
      • In the expanded universe novel "Wolfheart", Maiev returns, disgusted at the night elves having become so reliant on outsiders as well as allowing the Highborn to return to their society, and attacks Malfurion and Tyrande. Malfurion, who may have been still a tad bitter Maiev finally caught up to Illidan, lampshades this as she's fleeing when her attempt fails.
    Malfurion: "Who's the traitor now, Maiev?"
    • Illidan himself qualifies after consuming demonic powers to fight the Burning Legion. After being banished by his brother, he briefly works for the Legion in bringing down the Lich King. Failing that, he retreats to Outland to escape their wrath. The evil magic he consumed, which also fills the very air of Outland, drives him mad between Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, and while he's still intent on fighting the Legion with the creation of his demon hunters, he's completely willing to go to any lengths to do it, even willing his own troops (with the exception of said demon hunters) to their deaths by the hundreds to serve his ends.
    • After the death of the Lich King, Sylvanas seems hell-bent on becoming the leader of a new Scourge by using the displaced Val'kyr to raise the dead to repopulate the Forsaken. Even Garrosh points out how close she is to becoming like the Lich King.
    • The Scarlet Crusade, the fanatical undead-hating organization, which has made the exact same journey as the Lich King/Arthas, have, as of Cataclysm, become undead themselves, because of Balnazzar's Villainous Breakdown
      • Same can be said for the renegade group of Scarlet Crusaders that Alliance players assist. They succeed in purging the Scarlet Monastery of its corrupted members but ultimately succumb to insanity after killing their own men.
    • Fandral Staghelm seems to have come full circle on this. During the War of the Shifting Sands, his son, Valstann, was killed in front of him by the Old God-aligned Qiraji, which he never fully got over. He went to any length to bring his son back to life, even if it meant corrupting the night elves's world tree, Teldrassil. An Old God agent, posing as Valstann, completely shattered his illusion and the remnants of his sanity. By the time of the Cataclysm, he commands the Druids of the Flame, a breakaway sect aligned to Ragnaros the Firelord - who himself answers to the Old Gods.
    • A particularly jarring example occurred in Mists of Pandaria, where Jaina Proudmoore, after being adamant about desiring peace between the Alliance and Horde, abandoned her ideals and became what is essentially a female version of her father after Garrosh destroyed her city Theramore (worth noting that she had originally subverted this in the novel Tides of War, when she realized that her desire to destroy Orgrimmar with the Focusing Iris in retaliation made her no better than Garrosh). Even Varian Wrynn himself noted how shocked he was at the whole thing.
  • The opening quote of the beginning cut scene of Baldur's Gate.
    • And Diablo.
      • And Too Human, which even gets its title from another Nietzsche work, Human, All Too Human.
      • And Legends of Valour.
    • Baldur's Gate is actually a subversion, since, while it is certainly possible to gradually turn to evil in your war against Sarevok, the game strongly rewards you for being good. Arguably, the entire game series is a rejection of the quote: as a child of the God of Murder, some see you as an automatic monster, but your actions are fundamentally what determines what you become
  • Far Cry:
    • Discussed in Far Cry 2 with the "Infamy" tape. The Jackal talks about how to break a man you need show them how terrible taking a life is and how much you relish in killing. You need to turn into a person's personal monster and the more they fear you the better you get. But he also warns that you have to remember it's all posturing and if you get lost in the violence you become less of a man and it can be fatal. His speak partially becomes a game play mechanic with the Reputation stat, where the farther you go the in story the more and more the mercs will fear you.
    • Far Cry 3's protagonist, Jason Brody, can either fit this trope to a T or (at least partially) subvert it. While on vacation with his girlfriend, his two brothers, and a couple of mutual friends, they get captured by pirates on the tropical Rook Island. Jason manages to flee with the help of his older brother Grant, who is murdered by the pirates' leader during their escape, while the rest are being held for ransom or to be sold into slavery. Jason stumbles upon the local natives, the Rakyat, who have been fighting the pirates for years, albeit without much success. Jason tries to free his friends, and slowly but surely turns from a regular guy into a pretty badass jungle warrior, gradually learning (unlocking) new skills that make him an ever more efficient killer. Not only that, but Jason also starts to doubt more and more if he can ever return to his old life, until at the end of the game - instead of going home with his friends - he has the choice to kill them, remain on the island, and fully embrace the path of the warrior.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in Far Cry 4, where all the major cast members start off as trying to do things moral and right, only to become just as cold-blooded and ruthless as the people they fight against; this includes Pagan Min, as you find out during the Golden Ending.
  • In Puzzle Quest, the main character falls into this in the bad ending, effectively replacing the villain of the story.
  • Phantom Brave features a character like this. His name is Sprout, and he knew that he was absorbing the Big Bad the more and more pieces of it he killed. He thought that he could control it, and when he couldn't, he killed himself and the parts of the Big Bad that were fusing with him. This Heroic Sacrifice weakened the Big Bad for the heroes to fight.
  • In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, main villain Archangel Vulcanus believes demons are pure evil and angels are pure good (untrue in Disgaea) and seeks to destroy the demons. This blinds him to his own evil actions, including provoking war between Earth and the Underworld and enlisting demon assassins.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, we are told that this is what happened to the Jedi Knights Revan and Malak during the Mandalorian Wars prior to the first game. Kreia explicitly states as much in the second game: "As Revan and Malak fought the Mandalorians in battle after battle, they grew to despise weakness, just as the Mandalorians did. In the end, the Mandalorians had taught them through conflict. Shaped the Jedi."
    • We also get a bit of foreshadowing on Bastila when she's in her full on Knight Templar mode, talking about how a Jedi must "harden their hearts" and "do what is necessary" to fight the Order's enemies.
    • And 300 years later: The newly-freed and still-alive Revan (very long story) decides the best way to pay back the Sith Emperor for that And I Must Scream imprisonment is by coming up with an army of KillerRobots that will kill anyone with even a trace of Sith blood...roughly 97% of the Empire's citizens and quite possibly a few trillion Republic lives as well. So much for spending all that time maxing out the blue side of your Karma Meter on the first two games, and Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! for the Republic players...
      • And then in 'Shadow Of Revan' he's decided that both the Empire and Republic need to be destroyed...Along with anyone else who gets in the way of his plan to resurrect the Sith Emperor via the same ritual the Emperor used to achieve immortality.
      • Turns out? There are actually TWO Revans. One good, and one evil.
  • Final Fantasy
    • In Final Fantasy IV, the elder of Mysidia uses this phrase to warn Cecil that he could fall into this trap until he willingly sheds his darkness.
    • In Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, Rolan—the world's original Hero of Light—fought alone and ultimately took much of the darkness Chaos spread into his own heart, which was compounded by the loss of his dragon companion. He becomes a Misanthrope Supreme and sics his golems on any human visitors, then attacks the party and inadvertantly causes a Time Crash when they release the darkness.
  • Nippon Ichi occasionally does this straight (particularly with Aurum), but is more often likely to apply this trope literally — several characters have wound up as demons simply by killing a lot of them.
    • Special mention goes to Prier of La Pucelle, because this is her canonical ending.
  • Donovan from Darkstalkers is a straight example. Hsien-Ko averts this trope. B.B.Hood inverts it.
  • In Terminal Reality's awesome monster hunting game Nocturne, the protagonist, the Stranger, straddles the line of this trope without really going over it. He has an intense hatred of literal monsters, but he will begrudgingly work with them when the situation calls for it, such as by getting inside information from the reanimated mobster Icepick or working side-by-side with the dhampir Spookhouse agent Svetlana Lupescu. On the other hand, the retired Spookhouse agent Hamilton Killian vaults over this trope at a running pace with a pole: when his wife was infected by a vampire, causing both herself and their unborn child to become undead, Hamilton, already a monster killing machine, went completely over the edge, unable to tolerate the presence of even ostensibly good "monsters". In the game, he sinks to the point of trapping the Stranger in his estate, subjecting him to a series of lethal traps and captured monsters. His justification? The Stranger and Spookhouse in general have obviously become "monster lovers" for working alongside individuals like Svetlana and Icepick, rather than mercilessly killing them.
  • Parodied in Left 4 Dead: the graffiti in one safehouse reads "WE ARE THE MONSTERS" in large letters, and has a few scathing replies underneath it, including: "No, that would be the zombies", "Have you even looked OUTSIDE", and "I hope you are dead now."
    • "I miss the internet."
  • Fallout:
    • The Brotherhood of Steel is a quasi-religious technological organization made up of remnants of the U.S. military dedicated to protecting humanity by preventing dangerous technology from falling into the wrong hands. In Fallout they helped the Vault Dweller stop The Master from taking over the world with a mutant army, and continue to battle the mutant threat a century later. However, should the player kill High Paladin Rhombus for whatever reason, then without strong leadership the Brotherhood devolves into an even more overzealous dictatorship and devastates California in their lust for technology, becoming an even greater threat than The Master. The later games take this even further with the introduction of the Enclave, which the Brotherhood spent two games fighting against in order to prevent them from taking over America and killing anyone with the slightest hint of mutated DNA. By the time Fallout 4 rolls around, the East Coast Brotherhood's disdain towards mutants and synths caused many players to compare them to the Enclave.
    • In Fallout 3, a costumed male character calling himself "The Mechanist" creates a robot army to defend the town of Canterbury Commons from the "AntAgonizer", a costumed female character leading an army of giant mutant ants. The inhabitants of Canterbury Commons tell the player character that the Mechanist's laser-wielding robots are more of a threat to the town than the ant army ever was.
    • Although that's more because the AntAgonizer is a laughable Harmless Villain that the townsfolk can deal with just fine by themselves, rather than any real fault on the Mechanist's part (well, he is a delusional "superhero", but what costumed crimefighter isn't?). If Canterbury Commons was up against Raiders or Enclave, the Mechanist's ability to crank out gatling laser-wielding robot soldiers would probably be better appreciated.
    • In Fallout 4 the Mechanist incident manages to happen again, but on a larger scale. In the Automatron DLC, a new Mechanist creates a robot army to protect the people of the Commonwealth from Raiders and other threats. Unfortunately, due to her Robobrain lieutenants thinking that the best way to prevent human suffering is to Kill All Humans, her robots go on a killing spree across Massachusetts while a new Raider gang called the Rust Devils reprograms them for their own purposes, and she remains blissfully unaware of all of this unless the Sole Survivor explains the situation.
  • In Penumbra: Black Plague, after learning a big lesson about the Tuurngait being the original inhabitants of earth who liked mankind but hid because mankind was becoming violent, and completing some trials to show that you understand that the Tuurngait are not evil, you contact the outside world and reveal the location of the mine, and request that they Kill Them All. Then again, we never get proof that they aren't lying...
  • The Church in Tsukihime is known as being fanatically zealous about killing non-humans. Other characters imply, and we have even seen, that there are some demon hybrids/vampires who are neutral or good. The Church does not care, so it does not tend to get along with those like the Tohnos (hybrids, but avoid inversion), Arcueid (vampire, but kills vampires and is too tough for them to beat), and the Nanayas, who only targeted the Inverted. Notably, the only Church characters we see are a bit heretical for not blowing everything up first and then covering it up.
    • It's not surprising for them to be heretics considering that the Church is repeatedly stated to have no influence in Japan — since any members of the Church are the only representatives of it for dozens, if not hundreds, of miles, it's pretty safe to act as they please.
  • Blackwatch from [PROTOTYPE] is about as evil as they come, fighting a merciless viral threat that doesn't care for the laws of war or human rights. Conversely, our player character Alex Mercer starts off real sociopathic and very slowly develops a conscience. Mostly, it is implied, by consuming people who have one.
  • In Shadow of the Colossus, you end up absorbing the colossus essences, culminating in becoming a demon yourself. Granted, later on, you are reborn as a baby, but still...
  • Tales of Vesperia. The guild-wide Freudian Excuse doesn't excuse the Hunting Blades from acting worse than the "monsters" they hate so much.
    • Yuri himself skirts this trope and is well aware that he almost falls into this. Ironically the one who did fall into this is Sodia. Her own Vigilante Execution of Yuri basically made her into what she had always despised him for. Yuri ends up slapping sense into her when he comes back.
    • The Final Boss skirts the edge of this as he's so bitter due to past experiences that the main party has to prevent him from destroying the whole human race.
  • Tales of the Abyss has a character, who in the past was forced to destroy his homeland when he was eleven. That incident, along with finding out how the Score and people who know the "closed" parts had a part to play it, horrified him so much that he devoted his life to ending the Score. Thing is? He's the Big Bad for a reason: starting with the very fact he recreates the very incident that set him down this path with, to all intents and purposes, his own son. And then his idea of "saving" the world is destroying it and replacing it with Immune to Fate replicas. Said "son" goes on to be the one to stop him.
  • In Soul Calibur IV, Maxi has let his hatred of Astaroth consume him to such a degree that he's willing to use the soul-consuming sword his friends have been desperately trying to destroy to fight him. In his ending, he's even willing to take up the sword against Astaroth with the knowledge that his friends will have to fight him afterwards.
  • By the time of Mega Man Zero, Mega Man X admitted to no longer caring about the enemies he fought. What's worse was that if it weren't for the Continuity Snarl between the two series, he would've become a full-out Maverick Knight Templar... X, however, was savvy enough to realize this and took himself out of the fight by acting as a living seal for the Dark Elf before he could go over the edge.
    • Dr. Weil is a straighter example. For all the acts of revenge he pulls on both humanity and the Reploids, he completely ignores the fact that he has become what he hates the most: a Maverick, in all definitions of the word in that universe.
    • In Mega Man ZX, the manner in which the Artifact of Doom, Model W, sows conflict and destruction in the world - and in doing so, grows stronger - exists at the point of intersection of this trope with The Virus. If fighting monsters (both literal and metaphorical) ultimately causes you to become a monster - with Model W accelerating the process - then those who fight you will also become monsters; apply recursively. This never-ending cycle is explicitly pointed out late in the second game. Appropriate, given who Model W used to be...
  • Shadow Complex flirts with this in the subtext. The main character notes that killing has become easier for him, and he even gains a suit of the very same Power Armor the enemies use, making him identical in appearance to them.
  • Samus Aran of the Metroid universe almost succumbs to this on a couple of occasions.
    • The 3rd chapter of the manga describes an early recon mission she has as a Galactic Federation Police Officer on the planet of Jigrad. She and two of her squad mates save a group of slaves from the Space Pirates. When confronted by Samus, the last remaining Space Pirate pleads with her to show mercy. Driven by her memories of her homeworld K-2L being mercilessly razed by the Space Pirates, Samus is about to murder the last Space Pirate in cold blood when the sound of a small girl crying snaps her out of her rage. Shortly thereafter, the small child thanks Samus for saving her, and Samus tells her that she saved her as well from becoming just as much of a merciless killer as the Space Pirates.
    • Also the ending of Metroid II. Samus is charged with the task of eradicating the Metroids once and for all. After destroying the Metroid Queen, Samus finds a newly hatched Metroid. Despite knowing that Metroid is a Chozo word for "ultimate warrior", she still can't bring herself to kill a child.
  • Mass Effect has Garrus Vakarian do this. He originally quit C-Sec to join Shepard's team because of all the red tape, as he says that it shouldn't matter how he got the job done as long as he did it. In the first game, his personal mission involves finding an organ-harvesting doctor who got away from him - Garrus's first instinct is to kill him on the spot ("I'd harvest your organs first, but we don't have the time.") Shepard can either encourage him or convince him to at least try to take him alive.
    • In the sequel, his loyalty mission has him tracking down the only member of his vigilante squad to live through an ambush (considering that he was a Turncoat), wanting to kill him. Shepard has the option to cooperate or block Garrus's shot and have the guy tell him that he's a dead man walking.
    • Liara almost does this as well as her quest for revenge on the Shadow Broker for trying to hurt Shepard causes her to turn from a sweet and innocent archaeologist to a ruthless information broker who barely trusts anyone and threatens people in the same way her mind-controlled mother did two years before. She even alienates Shepard, the one person she risked everything for, when s/he finally comes back from the dead. Ultimately, she eventually averts this...kind of. After killing the Shadow Broker, she becomes the Shadow Broker, but vows to use the information to help Shepard fight the Reapers and will use that motivation to keep herself honest.
    • The Reapers have this as one of their special powers. Indoctrination is an effect that slowly alters the minds of everyone in their vicinity to be more compliant towards their suggestions and assume their way of thinking. This effect even persists if they are dead, making even studying their remains dangerous. It seems very likely that this happened to the Illusive Man, who studied the Reapers for years and eventually thought it was a good idea to implant reaper technology into his own body, which caused him to simultanously fight the Reapers and attempting to do the very same thing he wants to prevent them from doing.
    • Shepard can go this route if you play a strict Renegade.
      • The best way to live up this trope as Shepard is to play Mass Effect mostly as The Paragon, then in Mass Effect 2, have them slowly slip into Renegade territory, still resisting giving into Cereberus' advances but clearly getting more aggressive and less cooperative with the Alliance and the Council, but still doing the right thing. Then, finally, in Mass Effect 3, turn Shepard into a vengeful killer and all around Jerkass, culminating in Shepard going from a heroic guardian of life into the sort of person who hatefully criticizes the people who refuse to help him/her, threatens and assaults innocents to get them to cooperate, commits a minimum of two genocides, betrays the people and even possible lovers or best friends who trust them, and ends up, more likely than not, murdering all synthetic life in order to accomplish their goals. It's all done in order to Save The Galaxy, and life in general, but knowing that a Paragon Shephard could do the same without the cruelty makes it incredibly difficult to stomach.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us applies this to the heroes of the DC Universe: in an alternate timeline, after killing the Joker for destroying Metropolis and causing the death of Lois Lane, Superman goes on to establish a dictatorship with the goal of not allowing what happened to Metropolis to ever happen again. Eventually, this desire to protect becomes twisted into a desire to subjugate and conquer: part of his plan after crossing the Moral Event Horizon is to cross over into the main DC timeline, conquer its earth, and take its Lois as his bride.
    • Injustice 2: Except for Supergirl, most of the Regime takes a hardline approach to solving crime, using Pay Evil unto Evil as the only way to whip everybody in line and deal with psychopathic villains like Brainiac or Joker. This has made them Not So Different from the criminals and monsters they were fighting over the years, with Flash and Green Lantern questioning if they were doing the right thing at the end of Injustice: Gods Among Us. Batman even lampshades in the prologue how Superman's Well-Intentioned Extremist approach to keep order after executing Joker in the first game drove him and most of the Justice League down a path of tyranny and fear. Incarceration hasn't changed the Regime's view on criminals. And Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl even compares her cousin to General Dru-Zod once she learns of his actions.
  • Suikoden Tierkreis makes this recursive. You can take down the Big Bad the easy way by sacrificing the lives of all your allies, or look for another, harder way to beat him. On the hard path, you find a copy of the tablet that lists the names and magical affinities of all your allies. Every name on it except the one under the "Tenkai Star" has been burned off, since they sacrificed their lives to stop a villain before this one, except for the leader who became the fellow you're now fighting. On the easy path, you replace him.
  • In Dragon Age, the Grey Wardens are an order of warriors, rogues, and mages dedicated to fighting the darkspawn. To do so, they ingest darkspawn blood, making them more powerful and allowing them to sense the darkspawn. This also slowly turns them into darkspawn-like creatures. The Wardens are also known for their ruthlessness in fighting the darkspawn, as they have no qualms against killing people who have been infected with the darkspawn taint, although they are nowhere near as brutal as the darkspawn.
    • Loghain Mac Tir is the main antagonist of the game, and is so paranoid that he refuses to ask for help when Ferelden is on the verge of defeat, and sparks a civil war, simply because the king was going to ask for help from the Orlesian Empire, which had invaded Ferelden years ago. As such, he leaves the king to die at the hands of the darkspawn during the Battle of Ostagar, along with every Grey Warden allied with him, because he's paranoid that it's handing Ferelden back over to the Orlesian Empire, when the entire country is about to be destroyed. In the process of this all, he becomes everything that he hates, and never realizes it — some Ferelden citizens will speak in hushed tones that he now resembles the very Orlesians he once threw out of the country.
    • In order to fight the darkspawn, the dwarven smith Caridin created an Anvil that allowed him to painfully transform dwarves into golems. He stuck to volunteers at first, but the king ordered him to start using the poor, criminals, and the king's political enemies. Eventually, Caridin realized what he and the king had become and refused to do any more of this, and the king ordered Caridin's apprentices to turn him into one.
      • Branka — was she a monster before, or did she become one due to her obsession with the Anvil? The epilogue shows that anyone who gets hold of the anvil becomes pretty inhuman (indwarven?) with its use. To get it, Branka went that extra step and mutated her own people, who hunted monsters with her, involuntarily into monsters by allowing them to be raped and forced to eat the flesh of their friends. These monsters give birth to the monsters they hunted and Branka used them to set off the traps guarding the anvil.
  • In Dragon Age II, Anders has a very literal case of this, as he has voluntarily allowed the spirit of Justice from Awakening to possess him, but his anger has warped Justice into a force of vengeance against the Templars, and Anders has become very much a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
    • The entire storyline is built on this. The leaders of both factions eventually give in to their demons. Knight-Commander Meredith, who had fought blood mages all her life (okay, and an Artifact of Doom), calls for the Rite of Annulment ordering the death of every mage in the city for the action of one rogue mage; and First Enchanter Orsino, who resorts to Blood Magic to put down Meredith and the templars who had oppressed them. They both jump off the slippery slope for what they see as the right reason. The major irony is that they both ignore the most important flaw in their own factions; Orsino allows a serial killer mage to go unchecked because he went so far that he broke new ground, and Meredith uses dangerous anti-magical techniques to instill absolute order — including demonic possession, and end up literally becoming monsters that are the opposite of their class; Orsino uses blood magic to become a hulking corpse bruiser with a slippery-quick center (Reaver and Assassin), and Meredith uses a cursed sword in the name of the Maker, not realizing that she just used magic to jump twenty feet in the air and re-activate the city's antipersonnel robots (Battlemage and Demon Summoner). It really fuels the game's relentless Grey and Gray Morality.
  • The southern Grey Wardens as a whole nearly succumb to this trope in Dragon Age: Inquisition. After Corypheus uses a false Calling to make them believe they are all dying, they ally with a Tevinter mage to summon an army of demons that they will use to slay the remaining Old Gods. Unfortunately, the ritual they use to summon said demons also leaves them completely subservient to Corypheus.
  • Considering the back story of Killzone, the Helghast could be seen as these. Fleeing to a Death World after losing a war trying to resist the UCN's tyranny, they became as bad as the very people they fought.
  • In BlazBlue, Kokonoe has a seething hatred of Terumi Yuuki. In her attempts to bring him down, though, she has committed some acts that are earning her the ire of the fanbase, like treating Lambda-11 as if she's nothing but an inanimate tool. She is aware of this fact (doesn't even try to cover it up with justifications and does feel bad about some things, like the aforementioned Lambda treatment) and notes to herself that she has crossed the point of no return a long time ago.
  • Maxim from Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals starts off as this, but quickly evolves into a more standard hero.
  • The Patriots in the Metal Gear series is a good example of such an issue: They were initially formed to essentially eliminate the Philosophers and replace it with The Boss's teachings. Unfortunately, soon after that, Zero, Para-Medic, and Sigint ended up becoming corrupt, and eventually became the very thing that they attempted to remove.
  • In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Big Boss realises that the extremes he is willing to go to fight the horrors of Cipher and Skullface make him "already a demon".
  • Diablo III:
    • Averted by the playable Demon Hunter, who is utterly ruthless in their fight against all things demonic, yet doesn't let it compromise their goal of protecting the innocent. This isn't a given for Demon Hunters in general, however. The short story Hatred and Discipline describes it as every Demon Hunter having to navigate the threshold between good and evil, with it being all too easy to lose control over their fear and hatred, and "cross over to the other side".
    • Tyrael invokes this in regards to Zoltun Kulle, whose efforts to create the Black Soulstone drove him to murderous megalomania. At the end of Reaper of Souls, he worries that the nephalem, who has amassed immense amounts of power to destroy some of the world's greatest threats and become The Dreaded to angels and demons alike, could well become this trope by virtue of being a mortal who has the capacity to be seduced by evil and become yet another threat to humanity. Given that the nephalem had a massive hate-on for Adria and was likely willing to kill her before getting some mission-critial information from her, Tyrael is more than a little justified in his concerns.
    • Malthael fell headfirst into this in the expansion pack, Reaper of Souls. In his efforts to destroy all traces of demons, he became just as much of a threat to humanity and the angels as Diablo himself, to the point of [[spoiler:using the Black Soulstone with Diablo's soul inside to try to annihilate all humanity, and then take the Prime Evil into himself in his last-ditch attempt to destroy the Nephalem.
    • Referenced in the Flavor Text from the legendary sword Monster Hunter: "Be wary when you fight monsters, lest you become one."
  • Tekken 6's Jin Kazama quotes Nietzche word for word after his final encounter with Lars. As far as Jin is concerned, however, he will do whatever it takes to end his bloodline, including becoming just as evil/hated as Azazel, who was responsible for most of the conflict in the Mishima bloodline.
  • City of Heroes:
    • The player can fall from a Hero to a Vigilante by taking some morally dubious actions, and eventually fall to Villain. Fortunately, you can pull a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Among NPC factions, this is part of Countess Crey's backstory: she was originally an idealistic young woman out to Right Great Wrongs. However, in her effort to gain enough power to do this, she lost sight of why she wanted the power.
  • Subverted in Touhou 12 with the origin story of Byakuren Hijiri, a youkai hunter who came to genuinely sympathize with youkai and eventually converted herself into one. In the same game, Sanae Kochiya is warned that if she continues to hunt youkai with such zeal, she will play this trope straight. There has been mention of Marisa Kirisame possibly converting herself into a youkai in a bid for power and immortality, though it hasn't happened.
  • Happened to Fain and his followers during the Elder Wars in Lusternia. They start out employing methods that the other Elders found questionable, and end up Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and eating their fellow Elders to fuel the war effort - which happens to be the same threat presented by their foes, The Soulless.
  • It's lightly hinted at in Kingdom Hearts II that Sora is slowly falling into this, based on how much more aggressive, ruthless, and rude he is toward the enemies than he was in the first game. Then again, fighting the forces of Darkness themselves can take its toll on people, especially when you have dozens of people inside your soul.
  • In Nier, the protagonist develops an all-consuming hatred for the Shades after The Shadowlord kidnaps his daughter at the end of the first half of the game. It's really shown in the New Game+ where the players can now understand the language of the Shades, AKA the souls of the true humans, and see the backstory of the bosses you've been mercilessly cutting down. Nier is Robert Neville.
  • Spec Ops: The Line — Walker becomes increasingly violent, and commits unmitigated war crimes in his pursuit to kill John Konrad, the man who rules the ruined city of Dubai. However, Walker does realize what he has done, through flashbacks and hallucinations.
  • In Syndicate (2012): The CIA weren't quite heroes in the first place, but they were one of the last holdouts of governmental force against the syndicates. However, with funding at critical levels, they turned into the Independent Intelligence Agency, which is itself a syndicate. The infobank entry directly mentions becoming the monster they used to fight.
  • Sins of a Solar Empire: The Rebel TEC want revenge on the Advent, and Vasari by striking back, and being as ruthless as they were, their Titan ship emphasizes this as it's all about attacking; it's a space gun with guns all over it.
  • In a very literal case, in Dark Souls, the Knight Artorias clashed with the dark monsters of the Abyss, earning the title of Knight Artorias the Abysswalker. Unfortunately, he was eventually overcome by the King of the Abyss, Manus, becoming the very kind of twisted creature he fought for so long.
  • In BioShock Infinite, the Vox Populi purport to be noble freedom fighters who oppose the violently racist/fascist Founders who rule over Columbia. Years of fruitless fighting, though, have gradually caused them to degenerate into a band of bloodthirsty marauders who fight out of sheer blind hatred for their enemies. Their leader's first move upon gaining power is to shoot and scalp a factory manager (who, admittedly, was a completely evil SOB) in cold blood... before attempting to kill an innocent child on the grounds that they might possibly grow up to be as bad as their father. Even after Elizabeth kills her, the Vox continue their rampage throughout the game's climax, murdering random civilians left and right while burning the city to the ground and loudly proclaiming that everything now belongs to them.
    • Really, this is a staple of the franchise. In the first one, Andrew Ryan tried to create a society free of government, but became a tyrant in order to protect his dream. Sofia Lamb tried to make an absolutely selfless society where no one stood above anyone else, but had to become a dictator thanks to her being the only non-crazy person. Comstock may also count. He was motivated to do a religious conversion because he committed many atrocities, but rather than living as a kind person after that, he committed even grander atrocities in the name of religion.
    • Ironically, the main villains in the series who don't go from idealists to insane are Frank Fontaine and Jeremiah Fink, who are clearly motivated by personal gain from the start. Fontaine eagerly wanted to kill everyone in the city to solidify his fame and fortune, while Fink had a sadistic streak a mile wide by implementing every economic subjugation tactic in the book to his poverty-stricken workers.
  • In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Gabriel Belmont is a knight of the Brotherhood of Light, charged to protect and defend innocent mortals against monsters. His quest revolves around trying to resurrect his murdered wife, Marie. Towards the end of the game, he learns upon confronting the Lord of the Necromancers, Zobek, that he has a dark side within him so terrible that the Lord of the Necromancers found it surprisingly easy to control him in his sleep and kill Marie. The main game ends with Gabriel given a chance for redemption, but the Downloadable Content reveals that during his quest to contain the Forgotten One, he is forced to become a vampire in order to enter the Forgotten One's prison, and gets corrupted by the Forgotten One's power upon claiming it for himself. By the time The Stinger rolls around, Gabriel has a That Man Is Dead attitude and proclaims "Eu sunt Dracul!"
  • By the end of Saints Row: The Third, STAG has lost any moral high ground it might have had, having declared martial law, carried out abduction and detention without trial (on Shaundi), rigged a major monument to blow in a terrorist-like manner and, in one ending, trying to level the whole city to get at the Saints. In the other ending, the one who sent them hangs a lampshade on this, pointing out that our favourite Villain Protagonists acted more heroically and asking who the people are going to support after that.
  • The Wonderful 101 The GEATHJERK are those that fight monsters: They came from 1,500 years in the future to destroy Earth because in their time, Earth has become an Evil Space Dictatorship, using Wonderful technology, and invaded their planet, and they try to destroy Earth... by becoming an Evil Space Dictatorship and using Wonderful tech in the final boss battle. It all becomes 1 giant Timey Wimey Ball once you consider Earth probably invaded them as revenge for invading us in the present.
  • RefleX features the Phoenix / ZODIAC Ophiuchus, which is so bent on destroying the hostile ZODIAC units, which humans describe as "Winged Menaces", that it ends up unapologetically destroying a horrifying percentage of Earth and humanity, causing it to be labeled as simply yet another winged menace.
  • In, Dwarf Fortress, the players will often be forced to resort to rather extreme solutions to survive some of the most dangerous events and monsters. That being said, the community being what it is, those events and monsters are less of a cause and more of a convenient excuse for the methods.
  • Call of Juarez: Gunslinger: near the end of the game, Silas realizes that in his quest for revenge, he has killed more people than the men he was hunting ever did.
  • Heavily implied to be the case for the animatronics of Five Nights at Freddy's; after the horrific child murders committed by the Purple Man, the animatronics — possessed by the children's souls — went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge... directed at the wrong people, thanks to damaged facial recognition. The end result: many nightguards are dead and the Purple Man has been running around completely free to murder as many people as he likes for around twenty years after his original murders.note 
  • The father of the Abandoned Cottage in This War of Mine. His two daughters were murdered by the very same looters who robbed them on their first encounter and then delivered revenge on every one of them in return. Ashamed of the fact that he failed to protect his daughters and feeling no positivity from killing the looters, he decided that he wanted to disappear without a trace... after realizing that he became a monster.
    If you're reading this - Don't look for me.
  • The cop known as "F-8" in Need for Speed Rivals spends the entire game trying to bring down the aggressive street racers in Redview County and their leader, "Zephyr", who started the crime wave of illegal street racing and reckless driving in the county after posting videos of his driving online and challenging others to beat him. By the time F-8 brings down Zephyr, he gets fired for his overtly aggressive tactics in bringing down the racers. F-8 then becomes the new leader of street racing in Redview County, challenging racers online in the same way as Zephyr. However, this is only through cutscenes, since you still play as a still-hired F-8 once the Cop storyline is over.
  • The endings of some Silent Hill games take this literally.
    • One ending of Silent Hill 3 ends with Heather, possessed, killing Douglas
    • For one ending of Silent Hill 4, a possessed Eileen kills herself
    • For Silent Hill: Origins, Travis is the Butcher
    • An ending of Silent Hill: Homecoming involves two Pyramid Heads turning Alex into one of them
      • For some less literal examples, James is revealed to have murdered his wife, technically reversing the order of this trope, Vincent suggests that Heather has actually been killing human beings and enjoying it, Harry Mason in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories turns out to be a ghost and figment of Heather's imagination, and an especially horrible ending of Silent Hill: Downpour reveals that Murphy is the one who raped and murdered his own child, in addition to killing two other people.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, Ammon Jerro fits this trope due to his efforts to prevent the freeing of a Sealed Evil in a Can, which are extreme enough that the protagonist believes him to be the canned evil itself for quite a while. The player can call him out on this.
  • In Undertale, if the player character fights and kills every monster in the game, the "final boss" won't even recognise you as human.
    • To flip perspectives entirely, there's also Undyne, who exhibits Fantastic Racism against humans after they defeated and imprisoned monsterkind in the Underground. Monsters view humans as inherently aggressive and much more willing to kill, and also recognize that monsters simply can't match the power of a human SOUL. Undyne's bloodthirstiness is a very unusual trait among monsters, and she is the only monster to naturally produce their own Determination, just like humans can. Her drive to defeat humans ends up with her showing many qualities that monsters attribute to humans.
  • In DOOM, the Doomguy has apparently been changed by his journey(s) to hell and exposure to demonic energies. The first thing he does upon waking is rip his way out of thick iron chain and crush a zombie's head with his (pentagram-inscribed) bare hands. His armor now bears strange runes, and can only be worn and activated by him. And, in addition to being hyperviolent, he can absorb demonic energies and runes that lore indicates would kill or cripple a normal human. Which, clearly, he no longer is.
  • Deep Sleep Trilogy opens with "And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." Aside from the obvious, the significance on using a line from the trope namer becomes clear in the endings: you've become a shadow person, and your only chance of escaping is to rob a stranger's life and puppeteer their body in the waking world, or you can choose not to lose the rest of your own humanity and remain in the deep sleep for eternity. Where this scene takes place? The exact same hallway where you first saw a shadow person... except YOU are the monster.
  • Section 8: Prejudice: The Spear do have a legitimate grievance with the US Empire trying to exterminate them after they had achieved their purpose of cleansing the galaxy of alien life, but their plan to kill millions of civilians as vengeance isn't the answer, as Corde points out when he fights their leader.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, this is common in both Vampire and Werewolf hunters. Because both are diseases which can be transmitted via any wound inflicted by an infected individual, literally becoming what they once hunted is a common fate for these hunters who aren't outright killed. Most carry disease curing potions or items on their person for immediate consumption in the event they become infected. (Both can be cured easily within the first few days of being contracted, but if the diseases progress, they becomes much more difficult.)
  • Namm from Nexus Clash is a literal god of this trope. Winning ultimate victory against his archenemy Tlacolotl and the other Dark Powers is all that matters to him, and he's prepared to do so over the corpses of innumerable demons, evildoers, neutrals and bystanders who are clearly (to him) enabling evildoers by inaction, insufficiently dedicated good-aligned people and angels, and in at least one case another angelic deity who he didn't think was loyal enough to the cause. What's worse, Tlacolotl really is dangerous enough that it's hard to be sure that this isn't a setting where The Extremist Was Right.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/HeWhoFightsMonsters/VideoGames