"There are few wars between good and evil; most are between one good and another good."It's hard to create a story where both sides are fully sympathetic and yet in a real conflict with each other. This is not when the characters on both sides are somewhat sympathetic, merely believe in their own actions without being fully sympathetic, or are in a temporary conflict by mistake. No, this is when both sides are unambiguously Good and locked in a real conflict with each other. This can be a philosophical struggle where Lawful Good and For Great Justice stand against the forces of Chaotic Good and For Happiness. In this case, the conflict is often between a Hero Protagonist and a Hero Antagonist; which is which depends on from whose perspective the story is being told (with Chaotic Good usually as the protagonist in democratic societies). It can also be when unambiguously good characters find themselves on different sides of a Grey and Grey Morality conflict. In either case, they are often reluctant to fight each other but can have a hard time understanding each other's point. Expect to find one or more Always Lawful Good races in such stories. This can tie into the philosophical struggle of what it means to be "good". This trope is closely related to White and Grey Morality, but when that trope is played completely straight there can be no conflict beyond mere misunderstandings. Compare with Both Sides Have a Point, Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters and Utopia Justifies the Means, Fighting Your Friend (assuming both are good) and Let's You and Him Fight. Contrast to Black and White Morality and Evil vs. Evil.
— Yang Wen-li, Legend of Galactic Heroes
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- X1999 might to some degree be seen this way. The goals of both groups are reasonable. Saving the Earth from human destruction or saving humanity from extinction. However, most of the Dragons of Earth couldn't care less about saving the Earth.
- Most arcs of Mahou Sensei Negima! end up being this in some form or another, as almost every antagonist turns out to have a rather justifiably heroic motivation, although their methods are usually uncomfortably pragmatic. The exception is Psycho for Hire Tsukuyomi, who's just a mercenary hired by a group who have great qualms about her but can't afford to turn down her service.
- Cat's Eye is a story about eponymous trio of art thieves and their antagonists from police. The cops are unambiguously heroic, while the thieves have good intentions, and frequently act genuinely heroic, for example, they once rescued children from burning house, and also, they saved the detectives from truly evil criminals a few times.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's is all about this. Everyone, protagonist or antagonist is trying to do what they think is right. The most evil character in the story is merely a Well-Intentioned Extremist. The resident Person of Mass Destruction summoned in the climax is not evil and quickly befriended (and no, we don't mean in THAT way). The ongoing fight between the TSAB (the protagonists) and The Wolkenritter (the heroic antagonists) could be described as Lawful Good vs. Neutral Good. With the antagonists being the former. Closest thing to "evil" is the Book of Darkness. More accurately its defence program gone crazy. Yes, even the Book of Darkness isn't evil, just unable to stop itself. Then again, her name ISN'T Book of Darkness to begin with—and the Book's darkness might be the result of incompetent programming, not malice.
- In Haruhi Suzumiya, it is stated that the Organization, Koizumi's faction, and the time travelers, Mikuru's faction, are fiercely against each other. However, both sides are out to maintain the status quo, and protect the titular character. Meanwhile, Yuki's faction are formless data entities, with their own inner power struggles and wars. On the whole, they prefer to maintain the status quo by not interfering except to maintain the masquerade, while trying to learn how Haruhi's powers work. As for the three agents, they have stated that should their factions go to war, they will stand by the SOS Brigade, breaking ties if they have to.
- Good guys duel each other all the time in Yu-Gi-Oh!, but the struggle of Team 5D's versus Team Ragnarok really stands out. They may be dueling in a tournament match during the WRGP arc, but it's a full-on conflict of genuinely good-hearted heroes chosen by their respective gods to destroy the evil antagonists in the next round. Each side believes the other fights for good, but is also unworthy and incapable of defeating the Lords of Yliaster.
- Since Hikaru no Go is about characters playing a board game, it's easy to find situations where the main character is playing against a fully sympathetic character. The conflict is serious since the characters are (or are trying to be) professional players and consider Go to be their main occupation in life. This is very apparent during the pro exams where Hikaru has to play against his friends Waya and Isumi who had helped him a lot in preparing for the pro exams. Only a very limited number of people can pass the exams, and every loss endangers their chances.
- While Dog Days does have evil creatures, the story is generally about the Good Guys fighting a war with other Good Guys, where "war" means Playground Olympics. There are demons however the only one seen was possessed by a sword though there is stuff going on...offscreen.
- In [C] - Control, according to Masakaki's superior, everyone involved in the Financial District was a good guy who was trying to make the world a better place, and the conflict was fought between heroes with different plans and methodologies for doing so.
- It has been said by Hayao Miyazaki that no Studio Ghibli film is intended to have a specific "bad" guy as a villain but rather characters who are good or at the very least is capable of change and whose wants run counter to our protagonists in some way, if there is a specific antagonist which can be defined (see My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service and Howl's Moving Castle where there is No Antagonist or what bad there is is nebulous in nature). Some of his earlier works did have very defined evil characters (such as Muska in Castle in the Sky and the Torumekians in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind) however though this has lessened over time to be more Good Versus Good.
- Early in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, while the overall conflict was grey and gray, the conflict between former friends Kira Yamato and Athrun Zala was very much this. Kira has no interest in the war, and just wants to protect the ship his friends are on. Athrun's a dedicated soldier, who has orders to sink the ship, but would like Kira to come over to his side of the war. It culminates in the two of them engaging in an apparent Duel to the Death, only to later find themselves on the same side, when both their respective leaders turn out to be insane, at which point things take a turn to the Black and White Morality.
- In Date A Live, Spirits occasionally come to Earth, and create spacequakes that destroy everything at the point of arrival. The Ratatoskr organization aims to stop this by sealing their powers, allowing them to live normal lives. The AST organization aims to simply kill them, and they feel justified because Spirits have killed many people with their spacequakes.
- At the start, the conflict in Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is this: the Gamilans' main objective is to unite the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies to defeat the invasion of the Comet Empire, and the only reason they're at war with Earth is humans opened fire when they came for a peaceful first contact and have not surrendered (something the Gamilan second-class soldiers conducting the bombing of Earth are genuinely puzzled over), while our protagonists are merely trying to recover a device that will restore Earth and stop the invasion of what they see as a monolitic force bent on destroying Earth, and don't know it was Earth that fired first. Then the Gamilan government crosses the line...
- Much like the YuGiOh example above, Pokémon routinely shows Ash battling against his friends and travel companions, typically for sport or for training purposes. More often than not these battles are zero-stakes, but occasionally he does have to battle a friend with a lot on the line, such as battling Misty for the Cascade Badge long after she started traveling with him, or the various friends he makes during his League Tournament runs that he inevitably battles (and usually loses to), such as Ritchie and Alain. In general, the very nature of Pokémon battling in the series means that 99% of battles are between "good" people, battling for fun or for glory.
- The Civil War crossover in the Marvel Universe, where superheroes fought each other over a Super Registration Act. (At least, this trope was the intention - there's a lot of Depending on the Writer involved as to "who's right" and if/how much the other side gets demonized. When all was said and done, fans concluded that the pro-registration heroes crossed a few too many lines to be considered the "good guys".)
- The X-Men vs Avengers crossover back in the '80s, where the two teams were fighting over the fate of Magneto, who at the time had reformed and joined the X-Men. The Avengers — who generally turn a blind eye to the X-Men's actions since they know the mutants are heroes — wanted to bring a known terrorist to justice, while the X-Men wanted to protect their ally.
- It happened again in 2012 (as Avengers vs. X-Men this time); now over Hope Summers, who was expected to become the next host of the Phoenix Force. The X-Men again want to protect one of their own, while the Avengers see the Phoenix as a potential threat (not without cause, mind you). However, this premise was discarded once the Phoenix actually arrived, as the handful of X-Men that the Phoenix took as hosts (since Hope was incapacitated) started Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, with even Cyclops eventually becoming a Knight Templar. (The Avengers aren't completely innocent either, but like in Civil War they're still Designated Heroes at the very least.)
- Just prior to the latter scrap with the Avengers, the X-Men (mainly Cyclops and Wolverine) fought amongst themselves in Schism over whether or not the younger members should be involved when the group faces life-or-death battles.
- Wonder Woman gets this a lot, since she explicitly has no code against killing, and this occasionally brings her into conflict with Superman and Batman. A prime example is the graphic novel The Hiketeia, in which Batman is the primary antagonist.
- The inter-company crossover JLA/Avengers featured the two teams pitted against each other to collect various powerful artifacts from each universe. The resulting competition results in several fights between members of the groups, including a long awaited battle between Superman and Thor Superman wins, but is so weakened from the battle that the rest of the Avengers manage to take him down.
- While the various people who have been the Ghost Rider could be described as having varying levels of goodness, expect any "demon hunter" or other celestial-level good-guy warrior that they have a crossover with to completely ignore the bigger threat for a while and go right after the guy with the flaming skull head on a hell-bike. This can even apply when someone comes to realize that the Rider isn't (technically) a demon, they part as non-enemies, then someone ELSE becomes Ghost Rider and the hunt starts all over.
- The Lyrical Nanoha fanfic Game Theory continues this trend from the show with Nanoha and Fate against the TSAB. Both sides are sympathetic and happen to have mutually exclusive goals, although the former are being manipulated by Precia.
- In Rolling in Beaches, the hippocampi/Scaly Back River Clan conflict is best described as this, as neither side is evil; however, a major misunderstanding on the dragons' side, and a bit of Fantastic Racism on the sea ponies' part, has them at each other's throats. Luna also suspects that Erebos was manipulating events.
- Fate/Stay Night: Ultimate Master has Ben Tennyson taking part in the Holy Grail War. Since the Holy Grail War follow the There Can Be Only One system, he inevitably ends up clashing with Fate/Stay Night protagonists Shirou and Rin, despite their goals being the same (prevent the Holy Grail from falling into the wrong hand). Later chapters, however, suggest this will change.
- Dungeon Keeper Ami has Sailor Mercury forced into the role of a Keeper. Despite being one of the most compassionate and principled people in the world, this still makes her public enemy number one from the perspective of the surface heroes. Particularly notable with the Light, who are aware of her true nature, sympathetic to her plight, and even helpful where they can afford to be, but are still trying to imprison her for the sake of the world. This does not prevent them from occasionally cooperating with Mercury against bigger threats.
- The The Dark Lords of Nerima storylines have this between the Sailor Senshi and the Nerima Wrecking Crew who are both manipulated by outside parties into fighting each other. The Wrecking Crew later learns about the manipulation and use it to their advantage to string everyone along before people get hurt. This comes back to bite them in the sequel when the Senshi discovers that they are still alive and are still convinced they are the enemy.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has Batman fighting Superman, due to being manipulated to oppose each other thanks to Manipulative Bastard Lex Luthor.
- Captain America: Civil War pictured above, focuses on a battle between superheroes, with Captain America's Anti-Registration Team clashing with Iron Man's Pro-Registration Team. The climax of the film whittles down to just Captain America vs. Iron Man.
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes plays around with this. Both sides of the conflict (humans and apes) want nothing more than to leave each other alone and in peace, and a few even more reasonable believe they should attempt to work together. Unfortunately the extreme (though understandable) actions of a few individuals on both sides ruin the peace that almost everyone was hoping for.
- The Fugitive. Richard Kimble is seeking to clear his name; Samuel Gerard is just Inspector Javert. Both are on the side of angels.
- In Suffragette, the main conflict is against the government, but the suffragists disagree among themselves about the methods used, and close to the end of the movie, the otherwise supportive husband of the pharmacist, who is the head of the local movement, tricks her into entering a closet and then locks her inside to prevent her from going to a planned demonstration; he fears that her weak heart might not survive another beating by the police. She is ready to die for the cause and furious at her husband, but saving someone's life is usually seen as a good thing.
- Other People's Money. Jorgy and Larry have fundamentally, radically opposed notions of what a business is for and how one ought to be run, and this leads to an irreconcilable conflict between them, but they are both good men. One of the appealing things about the film is that it avoids the all too easy fallacy of portraying Larry as the bad guy.
- Warrior. Both brothers have equally compelling reasons for wanting to win the MMA championship, one to keep his family home from foreclosing and the other to honor his fallen war buddy by taking care of his friend's family.
- A Brother's Price Good characters are frequently of different opinions when it comes to the question of marriage. As all sisters in a family usually have to share one husband, the selection of said husband is a matter on which there can be various valid opinions.
- Pride and Prejudice, with Elizabeth trying to get her sister together with Mr. Bingley, and Mr. Darcy trying to separate them. Both of the characters just want their sister/friend to be happy, and have only good intentions.
- In A Dark Wood by Michael Cadnum is a retelling of Robin Hood from the perspective of the Sheriff of Nottingham, a good man who distastefully upholds brutal laws, yet is eventually able to recognize that his outlaw adversary is also a good man.
- The Shahnameh: Rostam versus Esfandiar is this. Esfandiar wants to arrest Rostam so that he can become king, because he thinks his time has come and he would do a good job and he's probably right. Rostam has dedicated his life to defending Iran and thinks it's unfair and unreasonable that he should be humiliated and he's definitely right!
- Yeoman and Popinjay hate each other in the Wild Cards books, specifically because Yeoman is a mass murderer (of evil people) while Popinjay is a private detective who nevertheless views such things as monstrous.
- Honor Harrington has this between the fall of the Committee and the Battle of Manticore (imagine the United States and the United Kingdom locked in a total war). It eventually gets really frustrating (and tear jerking) to watch good, sympathetic characters killing each other (especially the death of Javier Giscard, de facto husband of President Eloise Pritchart and one half of one of the most touching love stories in the series, which happens while defending a vital industrial node from Honor's raids). When Manticore and Haven ally against the Solarian League, reader response is half "Thank God!" and half grief for all those who died because it didn't happen sooner.
- Ender's Game. Poor communication eradicates.
- Les Misérables: Valjean and Javert. One is a guy trying to atone for his past sins by showering kindness and mercy on everyone who crosses his path, occasionally risking even his life to do so. The other is a policeman trying to recapture a convicted thief who violated his parole.
- The majority of the Kings featured in A Song of Ice and Fire, and the accompanying Game of Thrones TV adaptation, are a murky shade of good at worst. Robb Stark and, to a lesser extent, Stannis Baratheon are portrayed this way. Renly tries to convey this image, but is more a deconstruction of The Good King, coming across more as The Evil Prince with his scheming to take power for no real reason other than that he has a large army and a very high opinion of himself.
King Stannis: Good men and true will fight for Joffrey, wrongly believing him the true king. A northman might even say the same of Robb Stark. But these lords who flocked to my brother's banners knew him for a usurper. They turned their backs on their rightful king for no better reason than dreams of power and glory, and I have marked them for what they are. Pardoned them, yes. Forgiven. But not forgotten.
- In Lord Valentine's Castle from Robert Silverberg's Majipoor Series, the titular king is secretly deposed via a Grand Theft Me and placed into another body, while another usurps his; the story details his journey of restoring his memories and forming friendships and alliances to prepare to battle the impostor and regain the throne. Valentine's new forces are opposed by his former armies and companions, all of whom are unaware of the switch and fully believe that they are defending the real Lord Valentine.
- Buffy and her initial clash with the soldiers of the Initiative-especially Riley-is like this. It gets gray and grayer once we learn more about project 314 and Maggie Walsh's plans though.
- Her initial run in with Sid the puppet Demon Hunter was the result of a misunderstanding (her power made him think she was a demon, and the evil puppet thing is too much a cliche for her to think it was anything else).
- Angel The fight between Angel and Spike in the Season Five episode 'Destiny'. Both have a soul, both want to drink from the cup of perpetual torment-whoopsie, someone got staked.
- In the second season of The X-Files, we finally learn that Skinner is not as cold-blooded and ignorant as he appeared to be at the end of the first season, but that he is merely forced by the CSM/the Man to give Mulder a hard time.
- Supernatural addresses this in the second season arc involving Gordon Walker. He is a hunter, a relentless one, but only interested in killing vampires/demons-at first. However he crosses over into Grey or Black Morality, when he doesn't relent from trying to kill a group of vampires who have abstained from feeding and are trying to just live their lives, and it is also implied he kills supernatural creatures solely out of hate for turning his sister and ruining his life.
- The re-imagined Battlestar Galactica has the conflict(s) between Commander Adama and President Roslin, Starbuck vs. Kat, Starbuck vs. Apollo, Everyone vs. Helo, and a lot more. Most of them take place between two parties who want the best for the fleet.
- For the first half of Person of Interest's first season, the two sides were John Reese and Harold Finch, vigilantes stopping violent crimes before they happened, and NYPD Detective Carter, their Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist. Then when Reese is shot by his former associates in the CIA, Carter joins up with him and Finch because she wanted to catch them, not kill them.
- In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Timeless," Harry Kim is trying to alter the timeline to make sure Voyager wouldn't crash, while Captain LaForge is trying to stop him, partly to protect his own crew, and partly because messing with time travel does not tend to end well in the Star Trek Universe.
- Deadliest Warrior: While a lot of the modern military battles could be seen this way, it doesn't get more "good" than the police vs. police face-off that was Los Angeles SWAT vs German GSG 9. For instance, in our traditional "why the two armies would be at war" Wild Mass Guess discussion, our most popular scenario was that the SWAT and GSG 9 were using non-lethal paint rounds in a simulation battle (in contrast to our "the United States and Israel, once long-time allies, are now in a cold war" scenario).
- Game of Thrones:
- The fight between Brienne of Tarth and the Hound in Season 4. They are both trying to protect the same person, and are two of the only characters with genuinely selfless motives, but because they fight to both of their near deaths they leave Arya Stark completely unaccompanied.
- Catelyn tries to avoid this by proposing that Stannis and Renly join forces against the Lannisters. Unfortunately, both brothers are unyielding in their quest to be king.
- The episode "Stolen" from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit boils down to this. The detectives bust a baby snatching-and-selling operation, and during the investigation they come upon a boy whose kidnapping case is of personal interest to Captain Cragen. At the insistence of the boy's maternal grandparents, who lost their daughter and have been desperately searching for the boy for years (even filling a bedroom with what they think he would want for his birthday and Christmas every year), they track him down and try to reunite him with his father, who up until then has never known he existed but would be more than happy to take him in. Unfortunately, the boy is Happily Adopted, and his adoptive parents have devoted their entire lives to raising him well. The subsequent court case is particularly heartbreaking; the judge declares that neither side deserves to lose because they all want what's best for the boy, and that her final decision will haunt her for the rest of her days. She rules in favor of the boy's biological family, but at her insistence, his father allows him to maintain contact with his adoptive parents.
- The conflict between Team Flash and Gypsy in The Flash (2014). Gypsy is interdimentional cop who was trying to catch a criminal that just happened to be friends with Team Flash. No one in the story was really evil and conflict was ultimately resolved peacefully.
- Several cases on For The People end up looking like this, since often both the prosecution and defence believe they're doing what's right and plenty of plots are built on Both Sides Have a Point.
- Good vs good is something that is fairly uncommon for the simple reason that when you have two good guys who are equally popular, the crowd is divided between them. This can be fun for the audience but generally makes bad TV, so it is avoided if possible. If you have two faces, generally one guy turns heel, at least for the duration of the feud.
- In Lucha Libre feds, one of the most common causes of this trope is the "Parejas Suicidas" match, where two "parejas" or tag teams face off and the losing teammates must then fight one another, to loser of the resulting one on one contest having to unmask or shave their head. CMLL has an annual "cage of death" where two teams compete to escape the structure but only the last person out has to remove a mask or go bald, which can result in a similar outcome should the rudos leave two tecnicos in. These types of "gambling matches" are some of the rare places where heel vs heel (rudo contro rudo?) is more common though.
- This was one of the distinguishing features of pro wrestling in the UK, thanks to World Of Sport, which had a much lower tolerance for cheating and shenanigans, to the point the baby faces, or "blue eyes" as they preferred, made up an overwhelming majority of the roster and most of the matches were simply technical grappling contests.note
- One of the early face vs. face matches was Pedro Morales vs. Bruno Sammartino for what was then the WWWF Championship, fought at Shea Stadium in September 1972. The setup was that the two faces teamed up for a tag team match against the nefarious Mr. Fuji and Professor Toru Tanaka, the WWWF Tag Team Champions, for the titles. Sammartino and Morales were about to finish off Tanaka when Fuji snuck out of the ring, grabbed some salt and threw it into both opponents' eyes ... and the amazing thing is, Sammartino and Morales began fighting with each other, thinking the other was either Fuji or Tanaka (who had long since left the ring, laughing at what was going on in the ring). Later, both were told what happened and while they weren't happy with what happened, they also felt they had to settle something between them. A rare face vs. face match was commissioned; in fact, this feud was one of those rare times where the "one of the faces becomes a heel" was completely averted, as both continued competing as faces, as normal, in the build-up to their match. Naturally, both wrestlers – who remained faces throughout the match – showed some outstanding mat and power wrestling, and eventually the match ended in a 65-minute draw; only then did both wrestlers make up and truly bury the hatchet.
- A June 1982 battle royal at the Philadelphia Spectrum, which has been included in multiple WWE home video releases, had a unique ending: Two faces – Tony Atlas and S.D. Jones – as the final two competitors. They tied up to try to get an advantage but neither of them wanted to fight. They immediately called in the referee to have him do a coin toss; Atlas won the flip and – after hoisting Jones into the air, gently placed him on the ring apron, after which Jones graciously jumped to the ring floor, before returning to the ring to celebrate with Atlas. The crowd cheered this remarkable show of sportsmanship, and it was presumed the two evenly split whatever prize money there was. This ending, by the way, was a rare aversion to the normal battle royal ending: Two heels and a face, with one of the heels being eliminated prior to a winner being determined.
- Ultimate Warrior vs Hulk Hogan, culminating at Wrestlemania 6 in a title-against-title match that was about as straight and fair as such a contest could be, even considering the two were not always squeaky clean.
- Wrestlemania XII was unique in Wrestlemania history in that the two wrestlers who faced each other for the title in the main event were not feuding, were not presented as having any sort of bad blood, and in fact got along with each other extremely well, both openly declaring on a number of occasions that they enjoy working with each other and look forward to the challenge. It wasn't even like Hogan vs. Warrior where the script went out of its way to present neither of the enemies as being fully in the right or being arrogant: they weren't enemies. There was no feud at all and no moral high ground to be seen. Rowdy Roddy Piper even used his in-ring charisma at one point to influence the crowd into not booing previous Heel Michaels. They did everything they could to show that we're not necessarily supposed to be rooting for either man, and instead focused on selling the main event based on its own merits: an hour-long "iron man" match. (And it ended up GOING INTO OVERTIME!)
- Also counts as Hilarious in Hindsight The two "not enemies"? Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, who developed real heat with each other after this match due to the winner's instance that the loser get out of the ring so he could celebrate his win. After that, the two had massive animosity towards each other that burnt for over a decade before they sussed it out.
- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs The Rock at Wrestlemania X7. At least until Austin sold his soul to Vince McMahon. Though they were in Texas at the time, so Rock was the Designated Villain for the match, even after Austin turned. It wasn't until the next night that he built any real heat as a heel.
- The Rock still wasn't the "villain" per se; the crowd just didn't cheer for him, at least not at first. The match is actually a good example of why this trope is so rare, since the fans didn't seem to know how to react to the Rock, since against anyone else, or in any other state, they would be cheering for him too. Also, near the end of the match when it was clear what side Austin was on, the crowd did start cheering on The Rock, and gave him a massive ovation the last time he kicked out of Austin's savage beating.
- The Rock vs Hulk Hogan, although in a special case, Hulk's popularity was so great that the Rock turned heel mid-match, only to turn back afterwards. Hulk Hogan was supposed to be Heel in that match as a member of the nWo but did not get booed. After the match when he shook The Rock's hand and both fought off Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, meaning he was officially being booked as a "good guy" from that point on.
- TNA had Ken Anderson, Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle go into a three way for the TNA Heavyweight title; all were faces, but Jeff Hardy turned heel at the conclusion with the reveal of the Immortal.
- The Davey Richards-Dan "The Beast" Severn-Eddie Edwards "feud" running from 2011 to 2012 in Ring of Honor was basically the two tag team partners begging each other not to hold back in their matches, Severn out to teach a student some new tricks and everyone being happy with each other's efforts. Kevin Steen, who was nearly at the apex of his Good Is Dumb phase, found the whole thing so disgusting he threatened to kill them.
- John Cena vs Daniel Bryan at Summerslam 2013. Although they were both Faces, they were each a different kind of hero; Cena is the WWE's untouchable paragon, while Bryan is more of a "champion of the people" type.
- After Valkyrie revealed who they were and their intentions to subvert SHINE Wrestling, Su Yung contacted her West Coast Connection partner Tracy Taylor to help deal with them. Perceiving Valkyrie to be the latest in a series of worrying trends in the company, Daffney's All Star Squad was put together to help get things under control. So naturally, The West Coast Connection, who had nearly the exact same goal, were the Squad's first opponents.
- As Infernal KAORU and DASH Chisako's W-Fix became a Power Stable which wrecked havoc on Chigusa Nagayo's Marvelous promotion, Nagayo's student Mio Momono and Momono's partner Maruko Nagasaki decided to form their own stable, Mabutachi 2 Manjimanji. But before confronting the enemy, Momono and Nagasaki wrestled each other, along with the two additional partners each had recruited, to decide who would be leader.
- When a non-evil party goes up against non-fallen celestials in Dungeons & Dragons, it's this trope.
- Discussed in Champions of Valor. To paraphrase the author, good-on-good violence is unlikely to occur in FR since good-aligned characters and nations are likely to have bigger fish to fry.
- A common source of this trope in Dungeons and Dragons is for the party to need to retrieve an important artifact from a tomb or other dungeon where it is guarded by a Deathless (good-aligned, positive energy version of undead) or other good-aligned guardian who is magically bound not to let anyone take it, regardless of their "good" credentials.
- In Talisman, characters of the "Good" alignment are supposed to fight each other just like everyone else, and in the endgame they HAVE to fight each other.
- Applies to every Fighting game. The results and causes may vary, but at one point or the other, good characters will battle other good characters.
- The SoulCalibur series. With the exception of three or four characters, they're mostly heroes who will battle whomever it takes to obtain Soul Edge.
- It's more complicated that than that. There are straight examples, such as in III Ivy fighting Sigfried (with a unique pre-battle story), as both characters only seek the destruction of the sword but for different reasons and in different ways. Ivy believed the destruction of both swords would be the end of the conflict, but Sigfried wanted to use Calibur to destroy Edge. Depending on the fight it, can be any shade of conflict there, from Tali's white to Maxi's grey to Nightmare's black.
- The Super Smash Bros. series, especially the N64 installment. Not a single evil character. In Brawl's story mode, even the villains pull a Heel–Face Turn at the end and then everyone gangs up on the Eldritch Abomination Energy Being.
- In World of Warcraft, the main conflict between Alliance and Horde is Grey and Grey Morality, but it contain pockets of Good Versus Good as well as Evil vs. Evil. When it's Black and White Morality, the "white" side is sometimes the Alliance and sometimes the Horde.
- Very common in the Tales Series, although the good side not controlled by the player is generally more "ends justify the means," and willing to employ genuinely evil in their pursuit of noble goals.
- Tales of the Abyss features two unambiguously good kingdoms with Kimlasca and Malkuth. Both kingdoms are full of genuinely good people, each one has a kind-hearted, well-meaning ruler whom the citizens respect, and they do go to war, but only because they're being manipulated by someone else, and believe that You Can't Fight Fate. Once they're proven wrong about that, the war immediately stops.
- The conflict between Thorndyke and the Nereids in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters. Thorndyke wants Feinne undisturbed to prevent the situation from potentially getting much worse. The Nereids want to kill Feinne to solve the crisis of the World Eaters.
- Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica. While people do truly horrifying things to each other, not a single faction is doing it out of selfish interest. Each one believes that they are doing the right thing for the world and the people who live in it, and each of them have their points. Even the Mad Scientist Big Bad Infel only wish to stop the suffering of the people by Brain Uploading every single soul into Instrumentality, and she does this out of a sense of responsibility for failing to provide a paradise on earth long, long time ago. One can say that the point of Metafalica is that people are good, and they need to work together. Metafalica is created when two maidens join their hearts.
- Related to Color-Coded Multiplayer many games with multiplayer options only let you play as the good guys or Palette swaps of the main protagonist.
- The multiplayer primarily consists of Spartans (who are all on the same side in the lore). Halo 2 and Halo 3 adds the alien Elites, but only after they've already done a Heel–Race Turn.
- Halo 5: Guardians is a straighter example in terms of its campaign, with Agent Locke hunting an AWOL Master Chief, and both being on the side of angelsnote .
- Touhou games have never had any true villains. Just a lot of spoiled, lonely, stir-crazy, lazy, playful and/or protective characters and bad things in Touhou happen when any of these categories overlap. The only real life-threatening situation in a long time has been the last stage of Subterranean Animism where defeat would have cause the protagonist to fall into the Hell of Blazing Fires, only because the final boss (Utsuho Reiuji) went temporarily crazy.
- The only character stated to be evil (Seiga) wasn't actually up to anything when she was fought.
- Touhou 7 does have a tree Eldritch Abomination, the Saigyou Ayakashi, which kills people by forcing them to sleep until they die. It would have been released from the seal keeping it in check if the "Big Bad", Yuyuko, had succeeded with her plan to lift said seal. However, Yuyuko herself avoids being evil despite her goal: she didn't know the tree to be evil (she just wanted to see its legendary beauty), and lifting the seal would have killed her permanently (she's a Cute Ghost Girl) since she happens to be the key. When she realizes exactly what the Saigyou Ayakashi is as well as why and how it was sealed, she immediately calls the plan off.
- Played fairly straight in the first Advance Wars game. The vast majority of the Commanding Officers are all morally upright people who are convinced that they're fighting for justice. This does not stop them from getting in drawn out territorial conflicts throughout most of the campaign.
- The battle on the Fugue Plane in Neverwinter Nights 2 features celestials versus paladins, and potentially paladin versus paladin.
- In Pokémon Black and White this is the case with N (a Friend to All Living Things who wants to free Pokemon from humans) and the player character, to the point where they are both recognised as heroes by Zekrom and Reshiram.
- Metaphysically, the introduction to Ultima IV has you doing this, having to pick between eight perfectly moral and virtuous options in a series of hypothetical moral dilemmas in order to choose a starting class (assuming you answer truthfully instead of just picking the virtue that corresponds to the class you want to play).
- In StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the mission "Safe Haven" pits the protagonist faction, Raynor's Raiders, a rebel group fighting The Empire, against the Protoss, an Always Lawful Good race of intelligent, spiritual aliens with highly advanced technology. In summary, a human colony on the border of Protoss space has several individuals infected by the Zerg virus, which turns them into Brainwashed and Crazy monsters. The Protoss want to deal with the threat to their space by purifying the colony, i.e. wiping out all its inhabitants. Now the protoss make it clear they honestly hate doing this but they don't take chances where the Zerg are concerned, and once defeated they withdraw gracefully, with no trouble; it's their decision to attack everyone, rather than just the infected, that puts them at odds with the player. Even though Raiders leader Jim Raynor is considered a friend and ally of the protoss, as engineer Rory Swann puts it, "Friends don't let friends massacre civilians."
- Dissidia: Final Fantasy has the heroes fighting each other (either to test themselves or to settle points of conduct) just as often as they fight the villains.
- This actually only happens a handful of times in the main story, but then comes Duel Colosseum, Distant Glory (where you must fight EVERY HERO), and Inward Chaos. Depending on how much of a completionist you are, everyone will fight everyone.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden can end up fighting Ser Cauthrien twice, though on both occasions it can be avoided with the right dialogue choices and high persuasion. The Warden is the commander of the forces battling the Darkspawn, and Cauthrien is an unambiguously heroic and honorable knight who just happens to be in the service of the main human antagonist, the usurper Teyrn Loghain.
- Ace Attorney:
- The first two games did this with Phoenix versus Edgeworth. Of course, at the beginning, Edgeworth was fairly unscrupulous as a prosecutor, willing to do anything to win a case.
- Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney gives us Apollo versus Klavier. Both have dedicated their lives to uncovering the truths in the cases their involved in, but just happen to be on opposite sides of the court as a defense attorney and prosecutor. The two occasionally even share information or help each other out in the interest of finding the true guilty party, including when Klavier's own bandmate and, later, brother are on the stand.
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong. The antagonist Donkey Kong is by no means evil; the only reason players are pitted against him is that he steals the toys from Mario's factory, which Donkey Kong fell in love with, and Mario is trying to take them back.
- Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe has examples of both this and Evil vs. Evil, since Dark Kahn (Darkseid and Shao Kahn fused together) is pitting both 'verses against one another, and each side is convinced the other is an invading army. Thus, we have match-ups like Superman vs Raiden.
- In Cuphead, on one side you have the titular character and his brother Mugman caught in a Deal with the Devil and forced to hunt down and claim the contracts of all the souls who owe him. On the other side you have the bosses: good and decent folk (save for a few which are possibly debatable) just trying to defend their very souls against the Devil's debt collectors. Really the only genuinely evil characters are King Dice and his Quirky Miniboss Squad, and of course The Devil himself. Unless you choose to side with the Devil in the end, earning yourself a Non Standard Game Over for your troubles, you stick it to both of them, destroy all the contracts, and all the now freed bosses laud Cuphead and Mugman as heroes.
- Breath of Fire III has the conflict between Ryu and Myria. Ryu is the protagonist and an all-around heroic sort who is generally a positive force in the world. Myria is a goddess who uses chrysm and the Black Ships to give her magical and technological power to humanity in carefully-rationed doses, while defending humanity and life itself from the dangers of the Desert of Death, uncontrolled technological development and dragons with the power to destroy the world. And Ryu is a dragon, and he is indeed that powerful, so Myria is determined to either seal him away or kill him regardless of his personal ethics. Furthermore, Yggdrasil argues that keeping humanity away from the Desert of Death prevents life from colonizing and restoring it.
- The Kings War arc of Roommates is this centered around the Sliding Scale of Unavoidable vs. Unforgivable. The Goblin Regent (who believes in redemption, the good in people, and that every person's life matters — Unforgivable) versus Glinda (who is a Knight Templar, and deeply believes in The Needs of the Many — Unavoidable). Yeah, the regent was an evil, greedy, etc. villain once, if we count Hero Antagonists, which Glinda does as her worldview is way to rigid for even that small gray.
- Candace's constant attempts to bust Phineas and Ferb although it can also be viewed as Law Versus Chaos or Chaotic Neutral versus Good depending on one's perspective of Candace and the boys. It helps that if in real life, she'd by a responsible older sister trying to stop kids from hurting themselves with power tools and massive and dangerous projects. Only problem is, their world runs on Rule of Fun. Though the occasional implication that she's developing an Ambiguous Disorder blurs things.
- Candace does ultimately have good intentions, but she is pretty high-strung and neurotic in her approach along with the typical teenagerly attitude.
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien's finale focus around the return of an Eldritch Abomination named Diagon, leading to its Arch-Enemy Sir George to come back from retirement. However, Diagon didn't show up until the finale, and George turned out to have some Knight Templar tendencies, (he was the founder of the Forever Knights, a group who's role is in the capture and or extermination of aliens on Earth), so the episodes building up to this finale partially focused on Ben and his team fighting with Sir George and his Forever Knights over the way to deal with Diagon (as well as the anti-alien persecutions caused by George).
- Gravity Falls: In "Not What He Seems", neither side is evil. Stan did commit a series of crimes, but it was to get back his brother who was trapped in some dimension. The federal agents, while wrong about Stan's intentions, were chasing after a guy who committed a pile of felonies like stealing toxic waste. And while Dipper and Mabel nearly ruined Stan's reunion with his brother, they were trying to stop what they learned was a device that could have destroyed the world.
- This trope can be applied in real life to every conflict involving two groups of which none is explicitly evil: political parties, sports teams, etc.
- This trope is demonstrated in a lot of forum games where players may be in charge of a fictional faction or nation; there will be a few players who, if they do not merely make their faction/characters a front piece for their sociopolitical views, try to make them as lawful good as possible with regards to their in-game culture. The aim is to make it that, roleplay-wise, most good people in the game world would see that faction as mostly good on top of the faction seeing itself as good. Of course, this does not mean that the liberal paradise republic that legalizes prostitution is going to get along well with the highly religious absolute monarchy next door which abhors slavery and has strict privacy and civil rights laws, and it is not uncommon that this trope will soon occur for one reason or another.