Idiot Plot / Video Games

Some kinds of Video Games really can't get away with these, as they can cause brutal Gameplay and Story Segregation, but developers try anyway. If the player character is the idiot, see Stupidity Is the Only Option. Plot-essential NPC stupidity can go here. note 

Other kinds of games thrive in this scenario, especially action games. Why is it Up To You? Because you're the only character or team with any intelligence and skill related to adventuring (or whatever the game is about).

Of course, the alternative is a bare-bones plot that only exists so that there's an in-universe reason why you're doing what you're doing.

Works with their own page:
  • The Bard's Tale:
    • The modern version had an idiot plot, that only revealed itself to be an idiot plot at the end. It turns out the Distressed Damsel is really an imprisoned demon queen and the Druids did not warn The Bard that he was being manipulated to unleash a great evil (not that it would be the first time the Bard did it). If anyone stopped to explain anything, then well, there goes the whole game.
    • And that the cute little dog that the Bard adopted wouldn't have been killed in the game's major Kick the Dog moment.
    • And with the kind of things he does pull while conscious of his actions, Finstown and the Nuckelavee for example, one could argue that he'd make things worse, or possibly just go through with it anyway since you'll find that the evil ending is one sweet deal for the bard, while being good gets him nothing. The bard is a self-serving liar and crook, hardly a hero in any case.
  • Near the end of Bravely Default, the story starts veering into this territory. This is primarily because as Ringabel regains his memories, he remembers Airy killing the party. Throughout the story, it's clear through conversation that Ringabel doesn't trust her anymore, and for good reason. He even tells this to Tiz. There's also the fact that, as noted by Ringabel in D's Journal, the party has eventually caught on to the fact that each time they enter the Holy Pillar in one world, they're creating the Great Chasm in the next. So with all of this knowledge, you'd think that they'd kill Airy where she stands, or at least stop awakening all of the crystals. Do they do any of that? Nope. They just continue awakening the crystals, then are shocked, shocked!, that Airy really WAS evil. The game attempts to Hand Wave this by saying that Ringabel was too "afraid" to take action, but not only is that a bullshit excuse, even if he really was afraid, he should've known that continuing down this path would eventually result in the party's death, specifically Edea's, and that would put his priorities in order.
    • This is a player induced idiot plot. You have the option to undo Airy's evil plan at any point after chapter 5 you choose to. If you keep picking up damning evidence against her while still following her plan you only have yourself to blame. Even choosing to end the plot mid way through will add on the characters commenting on the evidence you've gathered so far and how it convinced them to take action saying that the characters are fully aware of the situation, but how and when they act on it is the player's choice.
    • Ultimately zig-zagged between player and plot as the perceived sensible option (destroying the crystals) isn't actually the true ending and at best only delays Ouroboros' plan, while blindingly awakening the crystals, despite the numerous hints at how much of a bad idea this is, is viewed as the better choice at the end and not only stops said plan in its tracks, but also results in said villain's demise.
      • Seeing how the Golden Ending requires you to enforce the Idiot Plot, though, that makes it an Idiot Plot by canon, even if you as the player can attempt to subvert it.
      • On the other hand, at one point in he story, the character flat-out states that they know what's happening, but they need to see it through to fight their 'true enemy' (Ouroboros).
  • Nicole has the plot for its mystery section. Nicole suddenly gets texts on her phone of the kidnapper, who makes it obvious that she will be his next victim. The entire following mystery plot could be avoided, if Nicole had just gone to the police and shown them the texts, leading to her being protected by them and the kidnapper likely being caught. Instead, Nicole decides to keep looking into the kidnapping cases, on her own, without telling anyone what she's doing, or where she's going, which includes the kidnapper's hideout or even telling anyone that she is being targeted.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Much of the conflict from Sonic Adventure 2 comes from the fact that people can't tell Shadow and Sonic apart. Although the two are fast, the same height, and share similar facial features, their color patterns are vastly different (Sonic is blue, Shadow is black and red, and the two aren't mirror images of each other, such as Shadow's chest hair vs Sonic's stomach) and their spines are shaped differently, making it very easy to see the difference between the two, and Shadow is clearly seen on a news report that Robotnik is watching.
      • To make matters worse, while it could potentially be handwaved that Shadow was primarily seen by officials at night where the blue/black difference would be harder to notice, at one point Amy mistakes the back of Shadow for Sonic in broad daylight and close up where the difference is VERY apparent.
      • There's the possibility that the military was aware Shadow was the one who committed these crimes, and was using Sonic as a scapegoat, though.
      • Amy also makes a similar mistake with Silver in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) when she spots him and immediately pounces on him, thinking he is Sonic and then realizing that he isn't. Silver is an (obviously) silver colored hedgehog. Sonic is a blue hedgehog. You'd have to be blind to mistake the quills, too; Sonic's quills point straight back, while Silver has five that point straight up and to the side to form an arc around his head.
      • Somehow even Shadow HIMSELF has on numerous occasions stated that he and Sonic look alike, despite the two in actuality barely resembling each other. In particular, Heroes has an amnesiac Shadow saying that Sonic "looks like (his) twin."
    • Also the majority of Knuckles the Echidna's appearances after his debut in Sonic 3 & Knuckles count for this considering that he learned that Eggman only befriended Knuckles initially so he would fight Sonic, while Eggman stole the Master Emerald, and yet Eggman manages to trick Knuckles in almost every other game to fight or somehow slow down Sonic due to Knuckles being so gullible. His friends have to stage an intervention in the anime. The only reason Knuckles isn't fooled that time is because Eggman just took advantage of them being busy arguing about not repeating this mistake yet another time.
    • The plot of the original Sonic Riders begins with Dr. Eggman appearing on public TV screens worldwide, announcing he's holding some races where entrants need to give him a Chaos Emerald. In what can only be explained as this, Eggman manages to get all seven of these all-powerful jewels, one of them from Sonic himself, in this manner.
    • Basically the entire plot of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), which depends heavily on the characters taking every single bit of information given by known villains at face value, a completely helpless princess getting repeatedly snatched away by the same exact villain within minuscule time intervals (one time even going back to him of her own free will the instant Sonic turns his back after the previous rescue), and everybody completely failing to comprehend the potential applications of their ability to time travel at will.
    • The plot of Sonic Labyrinth. Eggman manages to successfully break into Sonic's house and...merely slows him down by replacing his sneakers with fake slow-down shoes rather than simply killing him in his one moment of weakness.
  • Similar to the Sonic Adventure 2 example above, Mario and Shadow Mario in Super Mario Sunshine.
    • Shadow Mario looks like he's made of dark blue water, while Mario is Caucasian with a red shirt and hat (although the overalls are blue).
    • Of course, even worse is the fact that Mario wasn't even on the island when the crimes he's accused of were committed, and there were numerous witnesses right there who could attest to that. During the trial, you see a movie with Shadow Mario committing numerous crimes which proves he looks nothing like the regular Mario.
    • Add in to Super Mario Sunshine that the point of the game is that the inhabitants of the Isle Delfino are in a panic because of the disappearance of their Shine Sprites...and a good chunk of said Shine Sprites are in the possession of said island inhabitants. If the various people would just give Mario the damned Sprites instead of making him win the watermelon contest or bringing them a pineapple or breaking all of the crates in the room, or forking over blue coins, the game would be over a lot faster.
    • Then there are the repeating segments where Mario fights Shadow Mario. That's right, they're seen in the same place at the same time, and no one thinks they may not be the same person after all. Insert four-letter words here.....
  • Another really good example is Tales of the Abyss. A very large portion of the plot can be credited to most, if not everyone involved being either hypocritical, self-centered and short sighted, or astonishingly stupid.
    • The game is basically a Deconstruction of this - Luke is a complete idiot for the first part of the game, and the characters get pissed off at him for it, and he only stops when thousands of people die because he thought he could solve everything with his hyperresonance. The explanation being that Luke literally has a mind that's only 7 years old. The characters are pissed off at him because he acts 7 but appears to be in his late teens so he comes off like a complete jerkass. It's after he's gone too far that be begins to mature into a more sensible person and the party eventually learns about his full situation and become more patient with him.
  • During the first act of Telltale's Game of Thrones, Ethan (the new lord of House Forrester) must choose a new Sentinel to see to the defense of Ironrath Castle. The position is prestigious and conveys a little extra authority. The two men suited for the position, however, are both high-ranking servants of the house who were already doing their utmost to preserve Ironrath. Whoever Ethan chooses appreciates the gesture, while the other feels extremely slighted and ultimately turns traitor. It ultimately feels like the only purpose in naming a Sentinel is to stir up jealousy and divisiveness.
  • Many of the Story Arcs in City of Heroes, especially when Nemesis gets involved. A lot of it involves blatantly misplaced trust in blatantly villainous organizations with proven track records. None of it quite compares to the free comic books involving the Freedom Phalanx, however. They are depicted as total caricatures of their in-game selves, completely incompetent to a level that makes one wonder how they could have become the premier superhero group. They also get defeated by opponents that, in-game, would just go squish in a single attack from them. It has to be seen to be believed. It still bothers a majority of the players that these comics are, sadly, canon.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons computer game Death Knights of Krynn featured a stunning moment of idiot plot. For most of the game, the party have been accompanied by Sir Durfey, a veteran knight and expert undead hunter. Bear the latter in mind. During the penultimate dungeon (an evil tower in this middle of undead-infested countryside), the party rescues Lenore, a (very large and muscular) serving girl who is blatantly Kitiara (minion of the Arch-boss) in disguise. Durfey immediately volunteers to leave the party and escort her home on his own. Repeat: The expert undead hunter wants to lead the thinly disguised henchwoman home through undead country. He leaves (the player can't control this; he will leave the party regardless) and is, unsurprisingly, ambushed by the undead, killed and bought back as a zombie to fight the party. Note that he's only two rooms ahead of the room that he left from. That's right, he was killed, bought back as a zombie and positioned with an army of minions to fight the players in the time it takes to cross two rooms. Imagine a Necromancer Nascar Pit Crew. Able to zombify a person in 12 seconds.
  • Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
    • Made especially egregious when you realize it's an action-adventure remake of Mortal Kombat II, where our heroes aren't nearly as moronic. Whereas our heroes' foolish actions in MK2 is forgivable due to their unfamiliarity with Outworld and distractions of other important things (like taking revenge for the death of an entire shrine or rescuing a fallen comrade), Shaolin Monks everyone are so brick-stupid as to fall for a Gambit Pileup that could've only succeeded if they weren't smart or perceptive enough to realize their "friends" are not themselves. Well...Johnny Cage realized what was going on, but his keen insight unfortunately didn't rub off on anyone else.
    • In particular is the fact that "Raiden" makes a big point of the fact that Shang Tsung grows more powerful the more people die and yet sends Liu Kang and Kung Lao to go kill a bunch of powerful warriors - that should have been a huge red flag on its own when dealing with a shapeshifter, but it gets even dumber when you consider how often he got angry at the two for asking any questions whatsoever and actively worked to turn them against each other.
    • Also Deception, the plot of which basically happened because Shujinko was so gullible.
  • Albert Wesker in the original Resident Evil, despite being an alleged genius, throws a couple of three-pointers with the idiot ball. He blackmails Barry (in Jill's game) and decides to gloat evilly about his plan when he could have very easily just unleashed the Tyrant and let it kill them. Then when he finally gets down to releasing it, he decides it is a good idea to stand right beside the untested experimental monster and just hope that it doesn't decide to kill him as well. At least the REmake and later retconned it so being impaled was part of his master plan, but still...
  • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica
    • In his spectacular Let's Play, The Dark Id takes colossal fuck-up Steve Burnside to task - noting that the game is significantly longer due solely to his screwing up...
    • He refuses to hand over gold-plated guns needed to open a door unless you can give him "something fully automatic" - which sends you on a wholly unnecessary Fetch Quest.
    • Not to mention, taking those gold-plated guns triggered a death trap. When Claire did it, she was smart enough to put them back and escape. Steve is too stupid to figure this out and requires you to save him. After that, he still won't give up the guns!
    • When he has an opportunity to shoot the unarmed villain, he completely freezes up because it turns out said villain is a transvestite (at least, that's what it looks like; he has a good thirty seconds to pump the guy full of lead and doesn't). This gives him time to set the self-destruct system and force you to go to Antarctica when you do escape.
    • While trying to escape Antarctica, Steve screws up operating a crane and flooding the room you're in with poison gas. Because (ready for this?) he's too busy staring at the player character's butt.
    • And yet despite Steve's idiocy, Claire still goes home with the gold. This all kicked off because she got caught while trying to find her brother Chris. At one point, she discovers that Umbrella is keeping tabs on him, and she contacts Leon with the request to warn her brother about it. She didn't know where to find Chris, but she had an ally who could get in touch with him the whole time, and to make it worse, she already knew that.
  • Leon and Claire splitting up after they meet up in the police station in Resident Evil 2 produces one of these as there is no realistic in-game reason for it that doesn't double as a Voodoo Shark. Their lives are made significantly harder by this decision, not just in a survival sense, but also in an economical sense; one good example being the fact that Leon and Claire end up on two separate quests to find two separate exits into the exact same sewer.
  • Clock Tower 3. Alyssa gets a message from her mother which amounts to "Whatever you do, don't come home for your fifteenth birthday." Go ahead and take a guess what she does. When she arrives, an obese cadaver-looking man hints that he's killed her mother and basically threatens to rape her. Her reaction? "I have to save Mum!" Later, when the Big Bad is revealed, things get ever more idiotic, such as Alyssa's grandfather's name apparently being Dick. Not Richard. Dick. Someone actually named their son Dick Brown. And this leads him to believe in a totally ridiculous set of myths which require him to murder his granddaughter with no real hope of reward. The Dark Id has quite a lot to say about this one too. Mostly invectives.
    • It gets worse when combined with the fact that it is made clear very early in the game that this totally ridiculous set of myths requires exact timing to work as intended. TDI accurately sums up every problem with the game's plot when, about five updates away from the end, he explains how Dennis, currently strapped underneath a swinging pendulum blade and otherwise having every hallmark of a Steve Burnside-caliber annoyance, makes up for it by simply yelling at Alyssa to forget about him and run away:
    "The bad guys are making no effort to chase Alyssa. She can literally just walk out the front door and be done with things. She can thwart the entire evil plan of her grandfather by just hanging out in an arcade playing Street Fighter 3 for the duration of her birthday.

    The entire plot hinges on Alyssa being too fucking stupid to just leave."
    • A more gameplay- than story-oriented example is the fact that most of the game's puzzles that do not involve finding keys are literally only puzzles thanks to what TDI dubs as Alyssa's "Mind-Numbing Politeness". Case in point for the very first one, you are prevented from entering an abandoned concert hall in a bombed-out ghost town because, of all things, Alyssa refuses to enter it until she finds an invitation. There's not even any sort of indication that there's some magical barrier or something that's preventing her from entering until she finds the magic invitation that opens it up - she's just being an overly-polite git who, at no point through the game, ever seems to become fully aware that she's fighting and running for her life and really does not have the time for this sort of thing.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: Almost every problem in the second half of the game that isn't strictly the war itself could have been easily solved by someone, anyone, looking at Alicia's Valkyria abilities and the effects they would have on her from an objective standpoint, instead of making assumptions based on the bad example set by Selvaria and her first traumatic power eruption. Welkin only manages to come close by tying it in with his love confession, and of course this only happens at the most dramatic moment possible rather than taking her aside to reassure her when she first expressed how overwhelmed she was. By the time she decided to attempt the Suicide Attack on the Marmotah, Alicia had clearly gained control over her new abilities, and could use them as much or as little as she chose. Everyone could have avoided a lot of trouble if someone had just pointed that out early on and attended to her emotional state for five minutes, instead of Welkin waiting until the last minute while everyone else ignored her repeated cries for help.
    • It could all have been avoided if either of the Valkyria had realized that the reason they're so prized as warriors is because they're the most devastatingly powerful creatures in the known world. If either of them had stood their ground and said "No," there wouldn't have been a damn thing anybody could do about it.
    • More "Idiot Subplot", but the attempt to kidnap Princess Cordelia is probably the dumbest thing in the entire game. Firstly, Cordelia is a figurehead at that point and it's implied that the corrupt nobility all know it, so taking her doesn't give the kidnappers any more power than they had before, and secondly, the culprits use a slow, noisy land vehicle in a cramped network of city streets... in the capital... which is where the Princess lives... and is full of guards and militiamen.
    • The war itself is an Idiot Plot. Maximillian has a Freudian Excuse for wanting to prove himself, but it's actually a resource conflict over Gallia's abundant Ragnite, which is an extremely valuable mineral that can be used for almost anything. It powers cities, it runs engines, it heals wounds, it sheds light, it can generate and siphon heat, it serves as stone media for sculpture and weaponcraft, it can be made into explosives, and it's all 100% clean energy. Gallia has so much of it that they actually use it for all of those purposes at once and then some. Entering a trade agreement would have been the much wiser option for Max, especially considering that Gallia reveres the Valkyria just as much as everybody else in Europa. If he'd sent Selvaria as an ambassador instead of just deciding to kill his way across the countryside, he would have been able to not only distribute ragnite to his subjects instead of using what little of it he had left to build and fuel massive military vehicles like the Marmotah, he would have had plenty of opportunity to court Cordelia openly (which would have been a sound political move for both of them), and fund his own research into artificially replicating Valkyria powers. As for Gallia, they could have practically demanded any price they wanted for their ragnite because of how essential it is to daily living, and the Empire is many times over larger and more productive industry-wise than Gallia. Choosing diplomacy over pointless slaughter would have solved a lot of the problems both countries were facing.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon the major town in the second act has a castle under generally heavy guard. The chapter would be SO much easier if the king in your party would just come right out and say, "I'm King Albert, here's my proof, and I can vouch for these people." But he never does. Oddly enough he even comes right out and says he will not bring up his royalty to get around, despite the rather massive stakes.
  • Suikoden I. For fuck's sake, they straight-up call it Robber's Tea! Even if the Heroic Mime main character is suspicious, the Boisterous Bruiser will still drag him along. It all wouldn't be so bad if the character in question didn't usually seem to be so clever as to be utilizing Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. The game would be much, much shorter if everyone wasn't busy eating dangerous types of mushrooms given out by a stranger who happens to be Fawful. In games when he isn't the Big Bad (and sometimes even then) Bowser's always portrayed as a bit of a moron and ends up as the Butt-Monkey.
    Bowser: “TOO MANY WORDS.”
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind expansion, Tribunal. It would take too long to explain everything, but to summarise it involves taking orders from somebody who admitted to trying to kill you (multiple times), switching sides for no adequately explained reason (multiple times), and never questioning why somebody needs these immensely dangerous artifacts that you're grabbing. Oh, and terrorising an entire city, for entirely "benevolent" reasons.
  • One has to wonder about the Pokémon world.
    • Very rarely does anyone find the teams suspicious, even when they're clearly stealing things (like Teams Magma and Aqua, who are so obvious that it's almost painful). It's never explained why few people other than some ten-year-old Pokémon trainer ever bother to do anything in a world that is full of people who have been using Pokémon for much longer. It's understandable that said ten-year-old is apparently a prodigy (since all other Champions are at least five years older), but someone other than Lance, Cynthia, Looker, and Steven should have at least noticed.
      • This reaches new levels of stupidity in Pokemon Xand Y when the Big Bad announces to the world that he's going to murder everyone. This is a good time for the authorities or Lookernote  to arrive, right? Nope, he doesn't arrive until after you beat the big bad, and even then he's pretty useless. And no police, nor officials, or really anyone cares enough to stand up to this publicly-announced genocide.
    • The Forbidden Land of Orre is a bit of a mixed bag. Sure, the police are bloody failures, but Cipher heeds the First Rule of Warfare - "don't let the enemy know what you don't want them to know". The only way the player character (a rogue Snagem goon in the first game, a prodigal agent in the second) can learn anything is to engage Cipher firsthand, and everyone else is left in the dark. This is highlighted in Black & White when a Plasma grunt notes that Teams Rocket and Galactic failed because they were too overt.
    • In the first games, a house was robbed, footprints and destroyed furniture are everywhere and there is a human-sized hole in the wall. At least 3 officers are in or outside the house. But guess what? The Obviously Evil thief is less than 10 meters away from the house, rummaging through his new finds, and only a 10 year old kid notices.
  • Bully. At least during chapter one, Gary was giving Jimmy a couple good reasons to trust him and didn't openly stab him in the back until the end of Chapter one. However; had Jimmy simply looked for Gary to get revenge instead of trying to get the other cliques to respect him in chapter two, he could have avoided most of the game. Worse, Pete repeatedly tries to point this very thing out to Jimmy but Jimmy brushes it off. The player can attempt to subvert this by looking for Gary themselves, but there's not a lot of point in it since he never spawns after that point.
    • None of the game would have happened if Crabblesnitch himself weren't a useless moron from the beginning, but that's pretty much the point of his character.
    • If the entire cliques are wise enough to not trust Gary's words and lies, there wouldn't have a need for most of the conflicts that happen in the story. The only person who is immune to this is Gary himself, making himself look smart when really its because everyone else is an idiot to trust him in the first place.
  • Saints Row: The Third. The first two games were intentionally over the top, but at least things made sense in the bizarre world where police reality shows involve chainsaws and gang conflicts are solved with radioactive waste. The third game does away with realism altogether and relies on every NPC being an idiot.
    • At one point the military gets involved. They occupy the city, erecting roadblocks and conducting a large scale search of the city to find you. Where are you? Maybe at the wheel of the luxury car that is blatantly painted in Saints gang colours. Or maybe in one of the obvious strongholds with the obvious fleur de lis logo on them. The only anonymous stronghold is the one that actually gets attacked.
  • The plot of Magna Carta 2 is driven by the fact that everyone believes everything that the villains say without question, even after it becomes bloody obvious how evil they are.
  • Luigi's Mansion: If Mario and Luigi didn't think Luigi had won a mansion in a lottery he didn't even enter, then there'd be no game. Or if Mario hadn't walked straight into said haunted mansion rather than waiting for Luigi to arrive. Or if Luigi didn't end up releasing the Boos and King Boo by pressing the ominous red button in the store room... Basically, the whole game wouldn't have happened if the Mario Bros didn't buy straight into the fantasy version of your average lottery scam.
    • On the other hand, it's mentioned that Mario went ahead to the mansion to see if it was legit (possibly even seeing that their winning the mansion without entering the contest was suspicious and that something was obviously wrong) and was captured because he wasn't expecting himself to be effectively defenseless against the ghostly enemies. Luigi's freeing the Boos is more of an example of Stupidity Is the Only Option, since they drop the key to the next area, without which you'll never be able to progress and therefore never rescue Mario.
    • This game plays with the trope fairly well considering that even the Big Bad King Boo lampshades it.
    King Boo: "What do they feed you Mario Bros. anyway? Gullible Soup?!"
  • The iPhone game The Secret of Chateau de Moreau has this. The entire game revolves around the main character trying to prove his own innocence after his stepfather died and left his entire will to him instead of his actual children. Normally, this would be understandable, but the main character was at a boarding school when his stepfather was killed and didn't even have any means to kill his stepfather. The entire game could've been prevented if they just tried to put two and two together and realize the main character couldn't kill someone far away without any means to so much as contact him aside from mail.
  • Played for Laughs in Conker's Bad Fur Day. It takes the Panther King and Ze Professor a ridiculous amount of time to realize the reason why the king keeps spilling his milk; the table he rests it on is quite obviously missing a leg. This is also pretty much the only reason Conker becomes involved with them and the game turns out the way it does; Ze Professor determines the best solution is to find and capture a red squirrel to replace the missing leg, using far more resources than would have been needed to just buy the king a new end table. Or fix the leg using the duct tape.
    • Though, the game actually uses the trope and plays it quite cleverly. The whole purpose of the professor staging a hunt for Conker was the intent to buy time. The real plan hatched by the professor is to take over the world via the Tediz and had something waiting for the Panther King, but needed time for the plan and the monster to grow.
  • The plot of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War can be split about evenly into three parts of about equal length, but not equal intelligence. The gist of the first portion is: Enemy planes open fire on your country for no reason, sparking a war when you defend yourself. At some point, the President of Osea is attacked while trying to hold talks with the other nation's leader to end the war, and is left to be rescued by a squad called the 8492nd. The second part starts when the President disappears and the war unexpectedly escalates; early on the player's squad overhears the 8492nd attack a civilian complex to spur the enemy further on. The player's squad is promptly blamed for the attack, since the 8492nd apparently doesn't exist and the attack was where the player's squad was supposed to be operating. This angle is dropped for a bit (other than every other briefing ending with your commanding officer telling you, basically, "if you really are innocent prove it by slaughtering more Yukes"), up until the third part of the story starts - the apparently-nonexistent 8492nd comes up again and accuses the player's squadron of being traitors. Does anyone question what, exactly, your squadron did? Do they have any faith in the squadron's hitherto-unwavering dedication to their country, or in the insane amount of skill they have? Do they even wonder why the hell the squad that supposedly doesn't exist is the one telling them this, or remember that said squadron was the one Wardog blamed the initial civilian attacks on? No, they take everything they say at face value immediately.
    • The plot is revealed to have been orchestrated by the Belkans as revenge for the sound thrashing they took fifteen years ago. If what we see of the Osean government in this game is any indication, this means that in just fifteen years the entirety of both the Osean and Yuktobanian governments, excluding the former's President and the latter's Prime Minister, have become composed solely of traitors who want nothing but to ruin their own country.
  • The ending of Fallout 3 potentially has a whole group of people making a really dumb decision. The Lone Wanderer is forced to either make a Heroic Sacrifice or make another human character do it (depending on the player's chosen place on the Karma Meter). Either way, someone has to get doused with a lethal amount of radiation. However, three of the possible companions in the game are a super mutant, a ghoul, and a robot, who are all immune to radiation. The characters could send one of them in (if any one is present) with no loss of life. Yet they both state something along the lines of "This is something you must do" in the base game.
    • However, if you have the Broken Steel DLC installed before finishing the game (a DLC that has quests that take place after the main game is over), the Idiot Ball and the plot-ending sacrifice can be averted by sending in an immune companion, though the game still regards this as a coward's way out.
  • In 7 Days A Skeptic, almost everyone on the ship carry their own Idiot Ball, and the engineers who built the ship brought theirs to work. The whole plot relies for one part on everybody being inefficient at their jobs (the engineer refuses to repair anything, while the security chief sends you to track down a missing person, then arrests you when you find the body) and for another part on the ship being an incompetently constructed deathtrap. (Escape pods that take hours to prep? A cabin with a lock override that can only be accessed from the inside? Radio antennas capable of skewering an unwary bystander? Also, no railings around the edge of the engine pit, and a fancy glass-domed observation deck with no signs of protective bracing or ways to seal it off if it breaks.) And of course, when the ship is haunted by a killer and you have to wait a few hours to get the pods ready, you should definitely split up and take a nap.
  • The entirety of Starcraft: Brood War is this plus Poor Communication Kills.
    • When he realized that Kerrigan was controlling Raszagal and using the Protoss for her own ends, Aldaris started a civil war instead of voicing his concerns to Zeratul, who already suspected something was wrong with Raszagal.
    • After the UED find and take control of the Psi Disrupter, which would cripple the Zerg, Duran convinces Du Galle to destroy it to prevent the Dominion from using it for their own ends. Even though the Zerg are a much larger threat and the Dominion had written the Disrupter off as an urban legend.
    • When Stukov realizes Duran's a traitor and probably infested after Raynor and Mengsk escape, he takes his own men to operate the Psi Disrupter, which he'd left standing despite orders to destroy it. He doesn't explain to Du Galle where he went or why the mission failed. Meanwhile, Du Galle is having his own moment of contrived stupidity, taking Duran's advice to order Stukov, his childhood friend, arrested or executed, without asking what happened in the previous mission or realizing that the Disrupter might be useful. Throughout the briefing, the Player Character, who saw Duran commit treason and let the previous mission fail, doesn't say a word.
    • Once they do have the Disruptor up and running, the UED leave only a couple of Siege Tanks and a half-dozen Marines to protect its sole power source. No backup generators, no attempts to duplicate the Disruptor, and when the Player Character comes to destroy it in the Zerg campaign, the UED doesn't immediately scramble all their troops to defend it. On the other hand, it does explain why they never previously thought of leaving a garrison to protect the Disruptor, since they obviously don't get the concept.
  • Remember Me suffers from this in a pretty bad way. Nilin is a Memory Hunter with a special talent for "remixing" memories, the ability to edit a person's perception of a past event to alter their perceptions and behaviors. She knows this. So after she's brainwashed, she doesn't question anything anyone tells her and just blindly follows orders, even after it's become very, very obvious that Edge, her mission coordinator, is a terrorist.
  • Battlefield 3 suffers equally from this as well as never bothering to explain a lot of things. Virtually everything the campaign leads up to is advanced by people in charge making grievous mistakes in protocol, causing serious problems by simply not speaking to anyone or ignoring anyone that tries to speak, and the CIA unironically believing at face value that the Russians are the bad guys simply by virtue of being Russian. That, and refusing to even briefly entertain the hero that a terrorist group has obtained nukes and may be planning to detonate one in New York... despite the fact that they already did just that in Paris! You'd think that they'd want to avert a second nuclear disaster, but apparently the CIA's dedication to idiocy knows no bounds.
  • Dante's Inferno has Beatrice betting the devil that her paramour Dante will remain faithful to her while he's off fighting in the Crusades, wagering her soul to Satan in exchange for... nothing in particular. Guess what happens next?
    • Not to mention that Dante is only in the Crusades because the Obviously Evil bishop convinced him to enlist. He even completes his moment of idiocy by adding, "Would a bishop lie?"
  • Metroid: Other M is ostensibly about a team of elite soldiers led by the "greatest military mind", but the soldiers wander around like the Space Trucker crew from Alien and Adam has some form of short-term memory loss given how often he forgets to direct his troops properly or pay attention to the backstabbing assassin that's infiltrated his unit.
    • The entire game could have been resolved much more easily if Adam would just let Samus use her equipment. Yes, power bombs might have been a bit dangerous to his troops (this is the only time in the game he shows much concern for their survival), but there's no motivation given as to why he felt the need to restrict literally anything else, other than perhaps a desire to force Samus into line.
  • Yoshi's New Island would have us believe that the entire reason we're hauling Baby Mario across all of creation for a third time is because the Stork delivered the babies to the wrong house. Somehow. Despite, you know, having a map.
  • Played for Laughs in Octodad. The entire premise is about people being too dumb to realize that the protagonist is not a human, but an octopus. Granted, they can get suspicious about it, but the flopping about and lack of fingers tips them off only so much that they can become 99.99 percent sure that he's an octopus, but not act on it until they're 100 percent sure. There are only two people who know you're an octopus: the villainous sushi chef, with even that turning out to be a case of Right for the Wrong Reasons (he thinks everyone might be a fish pretending to be human) and your daughter, Stacy, who never mentioned it because they thought Everybody Knew Already. The protagonist too has his dumb moments, like when he's fooled by a decoy of his wife made out of food. Said wife also fails to recognize a guy who tried to kill her husband just a few years ago, and hilariously punctuates a harrowing assassination attempt on the protagonist out in broad daylight with "Honey, what's going on over there?"
  • A Creepypasta game called It Moves, the protagonist is constantly stalked by an unknown creature under his bunk bed. He is to afraid to talk about it to his parents but after what seemed like the third night, you'd think he'd just really tell his parents that there is something crawling under his bed. Instead he keeps it to himself for almost a year, constantly being watched and stalked by the unknown thing. His eventual solution for it is to move his bed away from the wall, and the thing stopped stalking him.
  • Rough Ranger, a Shoddy Knockoff Product of Rolling Thunder. The intro depicts the protagonists sitting at a table with a woman, then terrorists suddenly barge in, wander around like idiots for ten seconds (one even randomly decides to jump on the table for no reason), then capture the woman. The two heroes sit there and do absolutely nothing and wait until the woman gets kidnapped before they finally decide to stand up. The worst part: these were ordinary mooks they could have easily dispatched.
  • Star Trek Online mission "House Pegh" has the player character aiding an elite Klingon house (the titular House Pegh) in infiltrating an Iconian base. Once they do, they beam in their leader Kahless the Unforgettable II who proceeds to join them on their mission, partway through, they find one of the Iconians is in the base and Kahless decides to fight her in honorable combat. Despite the group telling him that this is basically a suicide mission, Kahless is unfazed and goes off to fight the Iconian. Predictably, Kahless gets his ass kicked by the Iconian before one Klingon scientist technobabbles a way to stop the Iconian. She's struck down and loses an arm. But, Kahless decides not to slay her on the spot, instead talking about honor, allowing the Iconian to skewer him like a pig and drop The Sword of Kahless right there. The elite group promptly fill their pants and force an evacuation, leading to them failing their mission.
  • Stella Glow is built on this. The excuse is that Hilda had tried to explain what was going on in the past, it's just that no one believed her. The problem is that not only does she never try to explain it to the heroes until after the shit hits the fan, even though she has a corroborating witness who is held in high regard in the Lambert royal court, she also has no problem with her subordinates gleefully reveling in violence. You know you have this trope when someone is shocked to hear that a village-destroying spell called the Song of Ruin might be misconstrued as a bad thing.
  • Heavy Rain. The entire plot hinges on the idea that several children have been kidnapped over the course of several years, each one followed shortly by the disappearance of the victim's father. None of the dads ever went to the cops, which might be forgivable in that the killer instructs them not to go to the police, but the police never manage to link the deaths of the children to the disappearance of the dads even after multiple victims. Then you have Madison's chapters, where she spends most of her time doing things that any reasonable person would find stupid, dangerous, unreasonable, or some combination of the three. It doesn't help that all but the worst ones are But Thou Must! moments.
    • Also, just about everyone believes that the main character is the Origami Killer (even the main character himself, by way of suspecting a split personality)...despite the fact that he was in a coma when most of the murders occurred. His ex-wife and therapist, two of the people who should immediately be able to point this out, even tell the police they think he's suspicious!
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles X:
    • In the main quest, the team uncovers conclusive proof that a character is a traitor. The protagonist (not the Player Character) comes to this fact and tells the traitor's best friend, but NO ONE ELSE. Predictably, the best friend decides to give the traitor the benefit of the doubt and take a "wait and see" attitude. The very next mission, your Commander expresses concerns that there may be a traitor, but said protagonist never tells the commander about the evidence she has. These two baffling moves allow said traitor to later on make off with both humanity's ace-in-the-hole against the aliens who want to Kill All Humans and the data everybody needs to survive a ticking clock situation that will cause the entire human race to drop dead if unresolved.
    • In a side quest, you learn that there is a Human Shifter somewhere in town that has infiltrated human society in order to help secure their downfall. Realizing the threat posed by a character that can look like anyone at any time, your team decides to...split up immediately. Further, no Trust Passwords or other means of identification are set up before every character agrees to let each other out of their sight. Predictably, you find a character whose form had been assumed by the shifter and immediately try to take him under arrest. The guy, however, swears to you that he's totally not a shifter, but you should definitely take a look at some evidence he found way on the opposite end of town. Your character buys this. Of course, when you go to see the evidence, it's the read dead body of the person you just talked to. Fortunately for everyone involved, it turns out there are TWO shifters and the character who tricked you was the "good" one.
    • More generally, there are several missions where your party has a character helpless and then watch as they run away, screaming how they'll get their revenge. Despite everyone on your squad being armed and (possibly) piloting transforming battle mechs, no one takes any effort to shoot or impede the escaping character. Without exception, this always comes back to bite you—it's only a question of it's going to be during the same mission or some later one. If the game even gives you the chance of pursuing said character, they've sometimes covered an entire continent of ground before you even start going after them.
  • Done deliberately in Day of the Tentacle. The sludge that turns Purple Tentacle evil was produced by a machine that produces toxic sludge and nothing else, complete with a shutoff valve that is never used. After the prologue, Dr. Fred then decides that sending 3 trespassing 20-somethings back in time is the logical solution, rather than ask the police or military for help.
  • Jet Set Willy. Why didn't Willy just fire Maria, then hire a new housekeeper when fresh from a good night's sleep?
  • Rabi-Ribi. Trying to recruit a major character? Apparently, "okay, sure, I'll come to town and help out with whatever Master Rumi needs help with!" or "sure, if you'll do something for me in return" isn't satisfactory by this game's standards. Instead, one of two things will generally happen:
    • Said character will freak out and accuse Erina and Ribbon of aggression, even though Erina is clearly too sweet and passive to make such a move. Cue Bullet Hell boss fight to convince the person to come to town. In fact, attacking under impulse is how Ribbon greets Erina in the first place.
    • The character is nice and level-headed for a change...until a brainwashing spell takes over and causes her to try to capture Erina. Cue Bullet Hell boss fight to break the person free of the spell. The brainwashing is in and of itself an Idiot Plot point, as this is part of a greater effort by Irisu, who additionally formed a club of bunny lovers who have since occupied the entire island much to the dismay of the island's residents. All because she wanted a bunny.
  • The X: Beyond the Frontier game as well as the X3 trilogy and X: Rebirth sequels (X2: The Threat is a completely different story altogether) would have never happened in the first place had the developers not written the backstory that made responsible the existence of an Idiot Plot. Had the Terrans possessed the common sense to take their time to meticulously and thoroughly fix that one buggy software update meant for the Terraformers, there would be no rampant genocidal self-replicating robots out there to menace the galaxy, if not, the universe, and there also would not have been made possible the birth of an offshoot faction of the Terrans who would end up becoming a Lost Colony and then get locked into a Guilt-Free Extermination War with their parent faction over seven centuries later because of paranoiac xenophobia of Artificial General Intelligence ships. It's not like there was some sort of deadline to test it out on the Terraformers or something (although we may never know if there was a something like that). However, since the virtue of patience isn't found on the Terrans, we all knew what happened next. It seems the developers decided to make an Idiot Plot the driving force of the X-Universe games as we know today.
  • The plot of Kirby: Squeak Squad is driven by Kirby trying to get his stolen strawberry shortcake back, and it gets more ridiculous when Meta Knight takes a chest from the Squeaks and Kirby believes it has his cake inside. Meta Knight could have completely shut down the last portion of the game if he had spent a couple of minutes to explain things to Kirby, but nope! He chooses to make off with the chest, and Kirby chases after him, leading to Dark Nebula's release.
  • Play the entirety of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and count the number of times Snake has a completely clear, uninhibited shot at Liquid Ocelot and doesn't simply pull the trigger. The events of the game could have been solved as early as the first act had Snake just shot the guy. It's idiotic enough even when you don't factor in how Snake has to try to get close the first time, because he insists on using his pistol for the job - despite invariably having picked up at least one long arm that could easily make the shot from much further away, without leaving him in the midst of five dozen of Ocelot's soldiers who would have immediately reacted to the old guy taking a shot at their leader. Then the next time Snake gets a chance to take Ocelot out, he decides to just stupidly wander up to him instead of just shooting - not only resulting in him getting the supreme shit kicked out of him via CQC, but this is also what allows Liquid to achieve his Near Villain Victory to begin with.
  • Played for laughs in Horatio The Third Senior Manjensen With Knuckles. Horatio runs off to begin his adventure before Morgan Treeman could give him a weapon that would apparently have given him the ability to beat the game instantly.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/IdiotPlot/Videogames