->''...I am Sprout, master of the Sacred Sword. In death, I have reclaimed my honor.''
-->--'''Sprout''', ''VideoGame/PhantomBrave''

In RedemptionEqualsDeath, a villain will make a HeelFaceTurn and then is killed off. In ''this'' trope, the order is flipped: the HeelFaceTurn happens ''because'' the villain knows that he is absolutely about to die. Usually, a character who undergoes Death Equals Redemption only lives long enough afterward to say something that shows he is no longer evil to the core, though some get to give a FinalSpeech, or even undergo a full-blown FreudianExcuse flashback.

Occasionally, the character goes through a moment of clarity just prior to death, finally noticing something he has overlooked for the whole story. Sometimes the death itself may be their redemption, if they die by sacrificing themselves. Other times the character realizes just how much being evil has lost him. And sometimes the character is trying to buy himself a way into heaven.

Since the character dies shortly after the HeelFaceTurn, this change of heart is unlikely to affect the plot much. They may affect the main character's view of them if they expressed themselves as part of a DyingTruce. There are exceptions, of course; occasionally, the dying character's last words can inspire the hero or even give him a vital clue. Rarely (very rarely), they recover; in media where "recovery" is routine, the redemption might not stick much longer than the death.

Compare AlasPoorVillain and AlasPoorScrappy, in which the character is at least partially redeemed in the audience's eyes simply through the act of dying even though they stay a villain. DyingAsYourself, HeelFaceDoorSlam, and VillainsDyingGrace are all sometimes (but not always) [[SubTrope sub-tropes]]. Compare TheLastDance, which is when a character has a longer period before death.

'''As a DeathTrope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.'''


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]

* In ''Anime/ErgoProxy'' Raul and Daedalus both get their priorities straight just before dying.
* Quent in ''Anime/WolfsRain'', realizing that wolves aren't evil when Toboe tries to save him.
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'':
** There's an unusual case with the demon Dabura, who is sent to heaven when he dies because the ruler of the afterlife wants to punish him and thinks he'd enjoy hell too much. Being around so much pure good actually turns him into a cuddly emotional guy that likes to pick flowers.
** There's also Vegeta in the Frieza Saga, after being beaten by Frieza and on the verge of death he throws his pride to the side and begs Goku to stop Frieza; he even cries and is given a FreudianExcuse for the way he acts. Although when he is finally resurrected his HeelFaceTurn at the edge of death is more or less forgotten. Note that this only applies to the DubText, though.
** Denied in the Buu Saga, Vegeta, about to do a TakingYouWithMe on Majin Buu, asks Piccolo if he'll see Goku in the afterlife. Piccolo tells him point-blank that even though the Saiyan prince has cleaned up his act recently, he still spent a major portion of his life doing evil and fighting for his own pride. As such, he's going to Hell.
* In ''{{LightNovel/Slayers}}'', Rezo the Red Priest's evil plan backfires on him and he is possessed by Shabranigdo the Dark Lord. However, in the end, Rezo's soul surpresses Shabranigdo's and gives Lina Inverse the chance to destroy him. As Rezo's soul departs to the afterlife, his voice thanks Lina.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'':
** Lordgenome, previous BigBad, [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifices his life]] in order to give the Team Dai Gurren a fighting chance, by converting the [[WaveMotionGun Big Bang Storm]] launched by the [[BigBad Anti-Spiral]] into energy, declaring in his FinalSpeech that helping build a future for humanity would leave him completely satisfied. Simon accepts Lordgenome's wish and uses the energy to either power up the titular mecha [[TheMovie or]] transform into Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
** Rossiu planned on committing suicide in hope that it would make up for the fact that he betrayed Simon and almost condemned the whole of humanity to death. Fortunately Simon and Kinon (just Kinon in the movie) got there in time and [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan knocked some sense into him]].
* Precia Testarossa in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha TheMovie First''. In contrast to her TV version, who remained an EvilMatriarch when she died, this version of Precia [[FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen realizes at the very end that she should have treated Fate as a second daughter instead of obsessing over the death of Alicia]].
--> '''Precia Testarossa:''' I've always been this way, haven't I? [[TearJerker I never notice things until it's too late.]]
* Souther/Thouzer in ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' acts out as a man who defies love all the time and prefers being an EvilOverlord all the time, until he's beaten out by Kenshiro and realize he'll die. In his last breaths, he recalled his love with his master Ougai, revealing his human side shortly before he dies with his crumbling Holy Cross Mausoleum.
* In ''Anime/ImGonnaBeAnAngel'' it might be be kinda subverted, since in the last episode, it looked like Mikael and Silky (especially Mikael) could gain redemption only through letting go and dying, but then at the very end when Noelle eventually cleaned up the whole mess, everything turned out just fine, no one died and everyone seemed to get their happy ending.
* Kanna from ''Manga/InuYasha''. She tells Kagome through a small shard Naraku's AchillesHeel as a result of Naraku ordering her death.
* In ''Anime/ShadowSkill'', [[PowerBornOfMadness insane]] FallenHero G is finally restored to sanity when he is forced to fight Gau in a lucid state. He self-destructs shortly afterwards as he was already a PaperTalisman [[OurLichesAreDifferent Lich]] LivingOnBorrowedTime but DefeatEqualsFriendship such that he manages to come back later as a ghost to help in the FinalBattle.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}:'' Tousen. He spent much of his adult life plotting revenge on Soul Society as a result of the death of his [[ImpliedLoveInterest friend]]. One of his deepest fears was to [[BecomingTheMask die a shinigami]], the thing he hated most. As a result, he hollowfied to escape being a shinigami. At the end, when defeated and dying after his battle with Komamura and Hisagi, he returns to the shinigami form he had once despised, finally understanding the value of the friendships he had forged amongst the shinigami. He has just enough time to make his apologies to Komamura and Hisagi absolutely clear before he explodes.
* Kaiser Ryo of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' most likely fits in season 3. Having found out that he's dying, he spends most of the season looking for one last great duel. However, he also [[PetTheDog repeatedly saves his brother's life]], snaps Judai out of a HeroicBSOD with a HeroicSacrifice, and is generally loses most of the harsh, psychotic persona of season 2.
* Two examples in ''Manga/RosarioToVampire''. First, Lady Oyakata, who had been on a major vendetta against humans for destroying the environment and had wounded Ruby, her former disciple, in combat, is saved by Ruby when her most powerful spell ends up backfiring on her, and she uses the last of her strength to heal Ruby. Later on, when she's dying from wounds inflicted by Kokoa, Kahlua realizes that she had not been a good sister and apologizes to her for it.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* [[Comicbook/DoctorStrange Baron Mordo]], when he discovers that he's dying of cancer. Then he's brought back to life as a villain by writers who don't know his history.
** Similarly in ''Doctor Strange: The Oath'' the main antagonist manages to linger a few minutes after dying to give a conflicted Strange some counsel.
* The early run of ComicBook/XMen had a villain called the Changeling, who did this when he realized he had six months to live. His character later became the inspiration for the character of [[WesternAnimation/XMen Morph.]]
* Also from X-Men was Pyro, who was dying of Stryfe's Legacy Virus and eventually gave his life to protect Senator Kelly.
* An early ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' story, "This Man... This Monster!", featured another Changeling (must be something with the name), though quite different from the X-Man. This mystery man steals the Thing's powers simultaneously turning himself into a rock monster and returning Ben Grimm to his much-desired human form. While assisting his hated rival, Mr. Fantastic, with his experiment - a portal to the Negative Zone - "The Thing" sacrifices himself to save Richards after realizing that, for all his jealousy at Richards, Mr. Fantastic was a selfless individual and that the Changeling has been the one who had never done anything helpful with his life.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Thorgal}}'': Ogathai. He recognizes Thorgal as his son in a brief moment of clarity after being fatally shot.
* In ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'' adventure ''Explorers on the Moon'', Wolff, the traitor of the story, finally sacrifices himself heroically to save the others. Deeply moved by his suicide note, the others consider him "a hero".
* In ''ComicBook/LesLegendaires'', the protagonists' ArchEnemy Darkhell ends up committing a HeroicSacrifice in order to help them escape [[GodOfEvil Anathos]]. Once Anathos is defeated, his body is buried and his sacrifice honored along with those who died in the conflict.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Defied. After [[spoiler:rescuing Gendo (long story), Yui]] tells him how displeased she is at him for ruining their son and (literally) everybody's else lives, she makes him realizing how badly he has screwed and she warns him that she can not forgive him unless Shinji, Rei and Asuka forgive him first. He stays for a very long while staring silently and expressionlessly at the wall, and another character informs him that he will not be allowed die until he has redeemed himself.
* In ''Fanfic/TheManWithNoName'', the villain dies to save [[Series/DoctorWho the Doctor]] and [[Series/{{Firefly}} Mal's]] lives after beginning to [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone regret what he had done]] and finding out he wouldn't have much longer to live because of his actions.
* ''Fanfic/TheOneILoveIs'': Averted with Gendo. In the final moment of his life he met Yui at last, and he confessed he knew he had done many horrible things to try to get her back, and he said he was sorry for what he had done to his son. His wife informed him that he had to earn his redemption yet in order to have her forgiveness.
* ''Manga/ReTake'': In addition to abandon his son and summon him back to blackmail him into piloting a giant robot to fight alien monsters, Gendo [[spoiler:manipulated the events of a battle so that Asuka blew herself up and Shinji went along with his scenario.]] When he was dying, though, he admitted all his wrongs. Ritsuko forgave him while he lay bleeding.
* In Part 2 of ''FanFic/ClashOfTheElements'': Smithy, who dies realizing that he managed to create a living weapon in the form of Gemini who has actually managed to overcome the desire to destroy lingering in his demonic heart and has become a force of good that he can be proud of before he finally falls into eternal slumber.
* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' Dark World Arc, this happens with ''Discord''. Though in this case, its more 'Death Permits Redemption'. After being mortally wounded by his sister Rancor, he's confronted by the Dark World Mane Cast on his deathbed. Normally, any attempt on his part to help the heroes would [[VillainOverride overwritten by]] [[BiggerBad Nightmare Paradox]] to keep him 'in character', not allowing him to act on the HeelRealization he had long ago. However, because she doesn't have any "footage" of him dying this way, he's able to pass on his memories to Twilight via her Memory Spell, allowing her to finally break free of the GroundhogDayLoop and have a chance to stop Paradox. That it was a HeelFaceTurn is confirmed when we see him in the afterlife, where he's sent apology letters to Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy for what he's done to them.
* In ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory'' this is averted with [[spoiler: Gaara]], who dies alone and afraid and is not greatly missed. However, Sasuke decided to apply this to [[spoiler: the Third Hokage]] and forgive him for [[spoiler: ordering the Uchiha Massacre]].
* In ''Cellar Secrets'', while she already had regrets about how she treated her children, Ragyo resolves to make amend with them just as she dies of terminal illness, telling them she loved them and wishes very much she change what she's done, acknowledging how horrible of a mother she had been. When they have her funeral a little while afterwards, Satsuki then forgives her.
* Deconstructed and PlayedForLaughs in ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries''. Noah, the BigBad of season 3, is under the impression that sacrificing himself to save everybody from an oncoming missile makes up for all the atrocities he put Yugi and his friends through. Despite his efforts, [[ReformedButRejected everybody flat out rejects Noah]] (at first), especially considering the fact that it was ''him'' who launched the missile in the first place.
* In the ''Blog/ThePredespairKids'', after [[spoiler: Kazuichi]] is revealed to be one of the despairs, he chooses to [[DrivenToSuicide commit suicide]] rather than hurt [[spoiler: Sonia.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FantasticMrFox'': Rat
-->'''Rat:''' The boy is being held in an apple crate on top of a gun cabinet in the attic of Bean Annex.\\
'''Fox:''' Would you have told me if I hadn't killed you first?\\
'''Rat:''' Never.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanOnStrangerTides'': As Jack says, maybe for Blackbeard.
* In the ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' movie trilogy, Denethor gets a moment of clarity when he sees Faramir smile at being called his son just before he catches fire.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Blackbeard's Ghost''.
* The original Green Goblin in the film version of ''Film/SpiderMan1''.
* In ''Film/BloodDiamond'', Danny Archer is extremely selfish while he has something to gain from it, but when he knows he's going to die anyway, he does what he can to help out.
* In ''Film/TheDisappearanceOfAliceCreed'', a man who is perfectly willing to murder an innocent person if it will benefit him does what he can to save the same person when he knows he's about to die anyway.
* In ''Film/TheExpendables'', Gunner reveals to Barney all the information necessary to successfully complete their mission after the latter is forced to ShootTheDog when the former goes rogue in a drug-induced homicidal rampage. Averted when it is revealed in the ending to be just merely a DisneyDeath after all.
* ''Film/HudsonHawk''. After being betrayed and shot full of arrows, Kit Kat's final action is to loosen the ropes holding the DamselInDistress, allowing her to escape a few moments later.
* In ''Film/NineDead'', Leon tries to escape but the captor wounds him fatally, then locks him back up in the room and says that he's moved him to the front of the list. Knowing that he's dead anyway, Leon tries to redeem himself by helping the others in his last few minutes.
* Invoked in ''Film/InHarmsWay'' by [[spoiler: Eddington]], who [[DrivenToSuicide decides to take a plane]] on a SuicideMission to find the Japanese fleet and radio its location back to [[TheHero Rock Torrey]] before he is shot down by Japanese fighter pilots.
* In ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'' facing his imminent death is what gets Emperor Marcus Aurelius to reassess his life and legacy in which he fears that he, "brought the sword. Nothing more." Setting him on the trajectory of getting a suitable successor to purge the corruption that's been allowed to fester in the senate and then give power back to them and by proxy the people. However, this is also a case that dovetails into being an example of RedemptionEqualsDeath given that it is these pursuits that wind up getting him killed earlier by his son Commodus instead of the oncoming one from natural causes.
* ''Film/IShotJesseJames'': Robert Ford achieves emotional closure once he's shot by John Kelley and admits to [[LoveInterest Cynthy]] that he regrets killing UsefulNotes/JesseJames, who he still considers his friend up to his last breath.

* Erayk Dynnys, former archbishop of the ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' kingdom of Charis, rediscovered his faith while awaiting execution as a scapegoat by the [[CorruptChurch corrupt Church of God Awaiting]] in the second book, ''By Schism Rent Asunder,'' after having spent the first book a low-level SinisterMinister.
* In ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', Laertes. Once he gets poisoned, he realises how low he had gone in his quest for vengeance.
* In ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'', Jacob Marley becomes TheAtoner after death. His eternal punishment is to wander the earth while having it hammered into him what a {{Jerkass}} he was when he was alive. The chains he wears are symbols of the kind of life he led, every link a sin he once committed (and he knows ''exactly'' which sinful act is represented by which link), but he tells Scrooge that the ''real'' pain of his existence comes from looking at all the living people who are suffering, being overwhelmed with compassion and sympathy for them, but being completely unable to do anything about their situations. Marley's afterlife is a HeelFaceDoorSlam of the cruelest variety. At least they let him help redeem Scrooge.
* Either this or RedemptionEqualsDeath in the ''Literature/PercyJackson and the Olympians'' series: Percy spends book two on distrusting Luke and basically calling him evil. It is only when Luke is already about to die that Percy trusts him enough to give him a weapon (leaving Percy defenseless) so that Luke can kill himself and take Kronos with him. Afterwards, Percy treats him like a hero instead of a villain.
** [[TearJerker "We need a shroud. A shroud for the son of Hermes."]]
** Silena's death could also count.
* For [[Literature/TheFatherLukeWolfeTrilogy Colonel Stone]], death equaled not only Redemption, but Confession and Implication as well.
* Craig Toomy's death in ''Literature/TheLangoliers'' is what allows the heroes to escape alive.
* Can happen in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels, although the redemption generally happens after death, when the deceased has a chat with [[TheGrimReaper Death]]. Despite Death's CatchPhrase "There's no justice. There's just me.", this redemption does tend to avoid an IronicHell. Contrast the fate of Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip in ''Discworld/TheTruth''.
* When Ebenezer Rat is found in a MutualKill with a basilisk in ''Literature/TheBookOfTheDunCow'', [[TheHero Chauntecleer]] kisses and absolves him.
* In ''Literature/TheStand'', Harold Lauder eventually receives the YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness treatment from Flagg via a motorcycle crash. As Harold lies dying slowly and painfully, he finally lets go of the petty hate and resentment that he's carried throughout his entire life and drove him to villainy. He writes an apology to everyone he betrayed in Boulder before shooting himself. Made more poignant in the television mini-series, since Harold is only able to scrawl a brief apology. Though it's doubtful anyone in Boulder would accept it.
-->I'm sorry. I was misled.
* In ''Literature/TheTenantOfWildfellHall'' Helen cares for Mr Huntingdon when he is ill, and urges him to mend his ways. He basically doesn't, until he's really about to die, and makes at least some strides towards redeeming himself in her eyes, at least partly spurred on by his fear of Hell. Assuming he's sincere, though he's probably not, it's almost a HeelFaceDoorSlam.
* In ''Literature/CityOfHeavenlyFire'', the [[HolyHandGrenade Heavenly Fire]] burns the evil out of Sebastian[=/=]Jonathan. But what little good there was in him is not enough to keep him alive, unlike Jace who was similarly burned in it. He does use his command of the Endarkened to keep them from hurting his former captives, and tells Jace how to destroy the Infernal Cup before he dies.
* ''Literature/ThePowerOfFive'': Jamie, at least, feels this way about Scott's death.
* ''Literature/TheHobbit''. Just before he dies, Thorin forgives Bilbo for stealing the Arkenstone of Thráin.
* ''MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy'': [[spoiler: The Lord Ruler downplays the trope. He certainly was not a good person by a long shot and even before his death showed no regrets about his system of government. However he knew that there was a harsher enemy out there and his vast preparations to enable humanity's survival are at times awe-inspiring. While his forethought and preparations may not have defeated the enemy it certainly helped save many from being killed by the natural disasters created by Ruin. Vin, his killer, even mutters a 'thank you' to him for his excellent planning when she realizes the scope and effectiveness.]]
* ''Literature/AllTheLightWeCannotSee'': After rescuing Marie-Laure from the war-torn city, [[spoiler:[[NaziProtagonist Werner]]]] dies when he accidentally steps on a land mine, shortly before the war ends.


[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Walt in ''Series/BreakingBad'' dies from a stray round from the rigged M60 he set up in the trunk of his car to take out the Neo-Nazis. However, he managed to release Jesse from slavery, and take out several of the most evil characters in the entire series.
* ''Series/TwentyFour'' George Mason in Season 2. He is initially an ObstructiveBureaucrat, and then attempts to leave LA when he realizes how big the nuclear explosion will be. He is exposed to lethal amounts of plutonium. After learning he will die ''very soon'' but he is not contagious, he returns to work and takes control of the situation. He the ultimately flies the bomb to where it can be safely detonated, saving Jack and convincing him to not give up.
* In the ''Series/AlienNation'' made-for-tv movie ''Dark Horizon'', the Tenctonese Overseer Ahpossno spends the entire movie trying to bring back news to his masters of the slaves' survival on Earth. In a desperate attempt to stop him, George infects him with a lethal virus, hoping that the slavemasters will think this means all of the Tenctonese died of a plague on Earth. As Ahpossno is dying while en route to his masters, he has flashbacks of the happy times he shared with George's family. Ultimately he sides with his people and, with his dying breath, tells his fellow Overseers that all of the slaves are dead.
* In the ''Series/{{Lewis}}'' episode "The Point Of Vanishing", a character who (believing he has driven his son to become a murderer) takes his own life invokes this as the reason.
* In ''Series/{{Lost}}'', evil undead Sayid fights back against his brainwashing and sacrifices himself saving the lives of his friends.
* Special Agent Michelle Lee from ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' died taking one for the team when [[spoiler: she signals Gibbs to shoot THROUGH her in the final confrontation, killing the antagonist.]] Lee was hardly a full-on heel, but in previous episodes, [[spoiler: she killed a fellow agent to keep the secret that she was a mole operating under duress.]]
* A somewhat literal case with Gowron in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': Jealous of Martok's popularity, he decides to take control of the Klingon fleet and squander lives in order to gain himself political glory until Worf challenges him to a duel to the death. As a result, he dies an honourable warrior's death and Worf performs the Klingon death ritual for him. However, once the fatal blow is stuck against him, Gowron never undergoes a HeelRealization or repents his actions upon recognizing he's about to die; his last words being ''[[DefiantToTheEnd "You will not have this... day."]]''
* Subverted in an episode of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess''. An early episode had Xena meet Marcus, an old boyfriend from her warlord days, on the side of the VillainOfTheWeek. At the end of the episode he did a HeelFaceTurn and a HeroicSacrifice taking an arrow for a princess. A few seasons later, Xena was summoned by Hades to help quell a rebellion by the damned souls of Tartarus... which included Marcus. Turns out [[DefiedTrope that one act of selflessness was *not* enough to make up for a lifetime of thieving and murder.]]
* On ''Series/OnceUponATime'', Regina gives Cora her heart back, which proves fatal because of a curse, but allows Cora to truly love Regina for the first time in a long time, perhaps even ever. Regina...does not take it well.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': By the time of the Usurpation, most of the Solar Exalted had gone [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity completely nanners]]. After being killed, most of them made their way down to the Underworld... where they found that [[PowerOfTheVoid Oblivion]] was maybe two steps away from eating the whole thing. They united, drove back Oblivion, then passed through Lethe and re-entered the cycle of reincarnation after atoning for their sins of hubris. At least... ''most'' of them did...
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': Depending on what version you believe, Horus rebelled against the Emperor in a [[DarkerAndEdgier grimdark, bloody civil war]]. He eventually pushes to Terra, and engages the Emperor in single combat. Unwilling to use his full strength against his favored son, the Emperor is easily outmatched by Horus. As Horus delivers a mortal wound on his foe, a foot soldier charges into to help the Emperor. He is then flayed alive by Horus. Seeing the abomination that his son has become the Emperor musters his full strength and crushes Horus's soul entirely. The redemption comes in the final moment of his life as he gains his sanity to understand that it must be done. Compare with same story in RedemptionEqualsDeath.
** This is also the entire ''modus operandi'' of the Death Korps of Krieg Imperial Guard regiments. The inhabitants of a world that rebelled against the Imperium, causing a devastating planet wide civil war that ended up turning it into a nuclear hellscape in what was essentially a 500-year-long version of World War I by Imperium loyalists in order to return it to Imperium control. In atonement for their world's heresy the Death Korps ''deliberately'' picks the worst war zones the galaxy has to offer, paying no mind to casualties (in fact they actually have trouble with Commissars for being ''too willing'' to die for the Imperium). This is best illustrated at the Siege of Vraks, where ''14 million of them'' died over 17 years of hell.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' Patch 3:3:2, the time finally comes to defeat Arthas, The Lich King himself. In the cinematic after he is defeated he sees the ghost of his father and asks him if it is finally over. Despite everything he had done, his father still holds and comforts him in his last moments, essentially forgiving him.
-->'''Arthas:''' I see only darkness before me...
** Whether or not the other lore characters/player population forgive him, however, is open to debate. Though Jaina seems to have forgiven him as well since he apparently kept enough of his humanity to hold onto a keepsake of their love, and Uther's spirit and Muradin felt regretful that they could not stop his FaceHeelTurn, and chose to remember what he once was.
* Queen Brahne in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX''.
** For that matter, Kuja invokes this trope in the most poignant way, since his encroaching mortality is what drives him over the edge to try and destroy EVERYTHING, until the last second when he has been defeated and it is literally the only thing that spurs him to any degree of redemption (and possibly the only thing that ''could'' do so).
* Lady Lilith in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI Wings of the Goddess'' : once she realizes that she's done for, she gives to Lilisette a solution to save both futures.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic:'' The light side ending. Malak pretty much does one of these, going on about now, how when he's dying, he realizes he is worthless. "And now, as the darkness takes me, I am nothing..."
* If you go to the trouble to redeem Aribeth in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights: Hordes of the Underdark'', it might count.
%%* Neku in ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou''.
* Faldio in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles''; Faldio realizes he was wrong for believing in firepower over ThePowerOfFriendship when it comes to saving lives on the battlefield. He proceeds to break himself out of prison just in time to kill himself in a combination {{Heroic|Sacrifice}}[=/=]StupidSacrifice as an apology to Welkin and Alicia, and to maintain some of the game's overall themes. It's a matter of some contention in the fandom.
* Psycho Mantis in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', in his FinalSpeech, helps you move on and mentions it's the first time in a long time he's used his power to help people. He declares it 'nostalgic' (or 'kind of... nice') just before he dies. Subverted as part of it was really him leading you on further into the villains' BatmanGambit.
* Lampshaded and subverted in ''VideoGame/Uncharted2AmongThieves''; [[SmugSnake Harry Flynn]] is subjected to YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness by [[BigBad Lazarevic]] and gets shot in a way that lets him die slowly, and is left in a place where the heroes will inevitably come across him, along with a grenade. He hates Drake so much that he mocks Elena's attempts to be the "PluckyGirl who reforms the villain and saves the day" and uses the grenade on them in a final attempt to kill Drake rather than help him. Elena gets caught in the blast and spends the rest of the game at death's door but ultimately recovers from it.
* In ''VideoGame/{{BlazBlue}} [[VideoGame/BlazblueContinuumShift Continuum Shift]]'' Nu-13 jumps in front of Hazama's killing blow aimed at Ragna before expressing her joy at seeing him again, giving some words of encouragement, and dying in his arms. Immediately after Ragna [[UnstoppableRage completely loses it]] and uses Nu's Idea Engine to upgrade his Azure Grimoire, break Hazama's lock on it, and unleash the True Azure. This might seem like an odd reaction given that Nu was the one trying to kill Ragna in the first game, but when you remember that the she and the other Murakumo Units are clones of Ragna's little sister you realize that for Ragna this was like watching Hazama murder his little sister right in front of him.
* ''VideoGame/{{Mega Man X}}4'': If Zero beats Magma Dragoon, he tells Zero that he was sorry for taking up Sigma's offer to ColonyDrop the Sky Lagoon so that he could fight the heroes. Then he explodes. (Notable for being the ''only'' animal/plant maverick in the X series to talk after defeated).
* ''VideoGame/TheLastStory'' has Dagran, who manages to return to the good side right after his terminal defeat in the final battle. Even after his death, he manages to use the power of the Outsider to revive Lowell.
* Played literally in ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' with the Turret Redemption Line. The turret redemption line is a conveyer belt full of broken turrets heading towards an incinerator. Turrets heading towards the incinerator are heading for "redemption".
* Chancellor Roderick in ''Videogame/DragonAgeInquisition'' spends most of the first act demanding that the Herald be arrested and constantly denouncing the Inquisition. During the Siege of Haven, he is mortally wounded while trying to help. With the last of his strength, he shows the Inquisition a hidden pilgrimage path he accidentally discovered on a whim that could lead the survivors to safety. The coincidence of this makes him believe that the Inquisition and the Herald really have been Chosen by the Maker to save Thedas. Ultimately he helps save the Inquisition and dies peacefully with his faith restored, his only regret being that he didn't support them from the start.
* In ''[[VideoGame/DonPachi DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou]]'', the nature of [[FinalBoss Hina]]'s redemption differs based on whether you are playing in Xbox 360 Mode or not. [[spoiler: Against Saya, she gives a FinalSpeech. Against everyone else, she has a HeelRealization and accepts that "there are those who wish to choose their own shape".]]
* ''VideoGame/LifeIsStrange'': [[spoiler: Nathan Prescott]] is antagonistic towards Max throughout the entire game, but in Episode 5 [[spoiler: he realizes that [[BigBad Jefferson]] is going to kill him to cover up his own crimes. Nathan calls Max and warns her that Jefferson will come after her as well. He also apologizes for [[TheDragon his role]] in Jefferson's schemes. Had Jefferson not captured Max at the end of Episode 4 he may have succeeded.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': {{Defied|Trope}} in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0464.html this comic]] by [[KnightTemplar Miko the (former) paladin]], who attempted to save her world by destroying an ancient gate. [[AlasPoorScrappy While she is lying on the floor]] [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe in two very large pieces]], she is told by the founder of her order [[NiceJobBreakingItHero how badly she'd messed things up]]. He sadly informs her that though she carried out her duty, she cannot be readmitted to the paladins, because she never actually admitted that her original mistake was wrong or did anything to fix it.
-->'''Soon Kim:''' Perhaps, if you had more time...but then again, perhaps not. Redemption is a rare and special thing, after all. It is [[TitleDrop not for everyone]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* From the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', Hardcase was a career criminal with a stack of open warrants against him in four different states. When al-Queda attacked the World Trade Center, he didn't hesitate to go and help rescue people from the damaged buildings. He was killed when the North Tower collapsed, and earned a full presidential pardon for all his crimes.
* In {{WebVideo/Jerma985}}'s '[=TF2=]: Bring On The Thundah!', Jerma and {{WebVideo/STAR}}, both of them were phlogistinator pyros, were originally intended to take down the enemy teleporter at their spawn but then the enemy started to come out. Jerma wanted to hide from the enemy but STAR_ just stayed at the spawn door and using his phlog special crit power and Jerma followed suit. They ended up with a very effect double phlog crit chain spawn camp and Jerma realized what dicks they are for doing such tactics and only felt relief when he got killed.
* ''WebVideo/MonsterIslandBuddies'': In episode 96, "Rodan marries Mothra", King Ghidorah, Death Ghidorah and Kiryu crash Rodan and Mothra's wedding to do battle with the buddies once more. After Death Ghidorah flees and Kiryu is destroyed, Mothra, Rodan and the other monsters convince King Ghidorah to let go of the whole thing, citing that he never truly desired to rule the world and just wanted to be buddies with everyone else. As Ghido realizes the error of his ways, Grand King Ghidorah swoops down suddenly, accuses his grandson of being "soft" and [[spoiler:brutally kills him with his own gravity beams]]. In one last act of kindness though, King Ghidorah lets Mothra [[spoiler:absorb his energy, turning her into Fire Mothra and giving her the power neccesary to destroy Grand King Ghidorah once and for all.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'' episode "Fallout", Rhinox's spark expressed regret over his recent actions as the Vehicon Tankor.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'''s Star Wars special when Emperor Palpatine {{Invoke|dTrope}}s this mid-DisneyVillainDeath and crashes the party celebrating his defeat as a ({{naked|OnRevival}}) Force ghost:
--> '''Palpatine:''' Wazzup wazzuuuup! Fourth-quarter conversion to the Light Side, y'all! ...We partyin' or what? ''[Laughs]''