"For the nonviolent person, the whole world is one family. He will fear none, nor will others fear him."In games that give you a choice between using lethal or non-lethal force in order to overcome enemies, the former method is usually the most convenient. Some gamers like to play through such games while avoiding any killings that are not absolutely required, even if there is no real reward for doing so. Pacifist Runs can sometimes be a requirement for the Golden Ending, or the best ending for that scenario, as it ends up with all of the cast surviving. Compare Stealth Based Games and Stealth Based Missions. Also see Thou Shalt Not Kill. When the game scolds you for not taking a more peaceful option, see What the Hell, Player?
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- inFAMOUS: Second Son: It is entirely possible to make it through the whole game without killing a single person yourself, relying entirely on subduing people. It can start to bleed into Technical Pacifist, though.
- Except during the event where Reggie dies. It's impossible to subdue anyone during that scene. Delsin is so enraged that he obliterates every trooper in his way. Look at his face when you perform his orbital drop
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past makes this easier than other games in the series because of two factors: The Magic Cape item, and the fact that the game doesn't use the "lock the player in a room and the only way to get out is to kill all the monsters in it" trick as much as other games in the series.
- In Pharaohs Tomb, you only have to kill two monsters in the first part. You do get a reward though: you have a maximum of 5 spears, and getting a 6th gives you a lot of points.
- In Teppoman, if you run very fast and jump over enemies, you can freak out the AI, skip most enemies and rescue all hostages in the first part, but the second part is impossible to do, because the game treats destroying the turret as a kill. Pacifist run of Teppoman up to the "blue ending".
Alternate Reality Game
- There are three ways to gain AP in Ingress: Building portal infrastructure such as resonators and portal links, hacking enemy portals, and attacking enemy portals with weapon items. It is possible to achieve Level 8 without ever using weapons, capturing a neutral portal, or hacking an enemy portal—making links between co-aligned portals and making triangles out of portal links to generate control fields yield large quantities of AP.
- Fatal Racing. Surprisingly easy to do unconsciously before you learn how to play the crash/fatality system, surprisingly hard to do consciously after you do.
- In the classic arcade game Bump n' Jump, where the objective was generally to run as many other cars off the road as you could without crashing yourself, you got substantial bonus points if you completed a level without running anyone off the road.
- Super Smash Bros.:
- There's a bonus ("Switzerland") for clearing a stage without even attempting an attack. Given how many stages have level hazards, this isn't as difficult as it sounds to obtain.
- In the sequel, Super Smash Bros. Melee, this bonus still exists, although it also requires not being attacked as well (complete neutrality). There is however, another bonus, called, "Pacifist", which does not have this extra requirement. Yet another bonus is called "Peaceful Warrior," which lets you attack an enemy but not KO them. And all of these are necessary for 100% Completion. There are some AI quirks in certain stages that help with getting these.
First Person Shooter
- Playing Postal 2 without ever killing anyone gives you the end-of-game rank "Thank you for playing, JESUS!"
- The same holds true of the expansion pack, Apocalypse Weekend, but it's all theoretical since it's impossible to actually beat the game without killing anyone. It's more linear and combat-oriented than the original Postal 2, and there are several characters you have to kill to proceed. Even the zombies count as kills, and there are at least 2 different missions where you have to destroy a certain number of them to proceed forward.
- In Deus Ex, only two characters have to be fought in order to complete the game; neither have to be killed and both can be circumvented. The first can be injured to the point that she'll retreat and open the door she guards, and the second can be knocked unconscious and is also quite willing to blow himself up for you due to poor AI. The rest can be stunned or circumvented in various fashions. The game encourages pacifism in the first level by having characters react positively to you if you don't slaughter everything in sight, but after that there's no longer any explicit encouragement, and it's strictly a matter of pride (although you will get bitched out for slaughtering civilians).
- The game acts as if you killed the first character even if you circumvent her, due to the game's intent of railroading you into killing. However, given the nature of the game one could always claim that she was killed by someone else for her failure and/or knowing too much after you escaped and were being framed for the killing.
- Two of the endings however, require the death of the Big Bad. One ending is explicit, as the player presses a button that causes him to blow up quite violently where as the other he dies as a result of the player blowing up the final level. The third ending might have him die, but the game never states his fate.
- The Nameless Mod lets you avoid all enemies, including bosses. With some endings, you can finish the game as an Actual Pacifist.
- 2027 also allows this, however, you will not be able to complete the final Judician mission.
- Deus Ex: Invisible War picks this up, as even plot-critical deaths are optional. The benefits manifest differently depending on which faction wants them dead and how their death affects gameplay (keeping one person alive grants access to a weapon you won't seriously need till the end), but ultimately there are no required kills. A hidden bonus is that the wrap party has a lot more patrons the less people you kill.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution, like its predecessors, can be played in a pacifist manner, except for a handful of forced boss battles. Unlike the first two games though, the bosses can't be circumvented so you have to fight and kill them. There is an achievement for doing a pacifist run (excepting the boss battles). Storyline wise, it makes sense, because the bosses are absolutely insane and have very much crossed the Moral Event Horizon.
- The Director's Cut went one step further, making the pacifist fighting methods a little easier to use in the boss fights. The base game itself encourages the pacifist run through giving bonus EXP for non-lethal takedowns.
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: Every enemy can be taken down non-lethally, particularly since the game features additional non-lethal offensive options as well as opportunities to talk down would-be enemies. The final and only boss of the game Viktor Marchenko can even be defeated non-lethally provided you can prevent him from activating Titan Armor.
- In Team Fortress 2, the Medic class achievement "First Do No Harm" entails reaching the top of the scoreboard in a game of six or more players on a team without killing anyone, instead relying mainly on assist kills while healing others, supplemented by the healing itself (1 point awarded per 600 Health healed) and Übercharging. Depending on the game mode, there are other means of earning points: capturing the Intelligence, capturing a Control Point, pushing the Payload Cart for 10 seconds and reviving others (Mann Versus Machine). Given the fact that the entire enemy team would attempt tearing you a medically redundant new behind as Medics are high-priority targets, it's just as tough as it sounds.
- However, you can cheat by playing most of the round as another class, getting a high enough scoreboard position, switching to Medic, and then getting a single point without hurting anyone directly.
- The Scout has a similar achievement called "No Hitter", where you capture the intel and bring it back without firing a shot (the icon is even a dove holding an olive branch above an intel case). Not nearly as hard to do, as a lot of people with the intel forgo attacking to just flat-out run anyway.
- Under the rules of the Doom speedrunning site Compet-n (adopted by other sites like the Doomed Speed Demos Archive,) one of the demo categories is "UV pacifist," where the player must complete a level on the "Ultra-Violence" (Hard) difficulty setting without harming any monsters. (Monster infighting and unintentional telefrags are allowed.)
- Painkiller sort of has this as one of the card conditions in Battle Out of Hell. The card condition for the Loony Park level is to finish with no more than 88 kills, meaning that the last section of the level has to be finished with minimal casualties. Fortunately, it's a rail shooter section to boot, so if the player has enough health, there's nothing stopping them from going and fetching another cup of coffee while the rail section plays out.
- In Perfect Dark, the player has the ability to disarm opponents. Most enemies who get disarmed will give up, but some may pull out another gun, pick up the dropped weapon, or attempt to punch the player, in which case you can simply knock them unconscious with a punch or pistol whip.
- Despite its reputation for spectacular violence, Soldier of Fortune allows the player to pull this trope off by blowing weapons out of the enemies' hands, rendering them non-threatening. The ironic part? This is possible thanks to the GHOUL engine, the very same component responsible for the Gorn.
- Two of Metro 2033's achievements are awarded for relying on stealth instead of violence: Cross "Frontline" without killing any soldiers (of either faction) to get "Invisible Man", and infiltrate "Black Station" without killing any guards to get "Merciful." Notably, there's another achievement for doing the exact opposite in "Frontline," so you'll have to master both styles of play if you're going for 100% Completion. Avoiding killing human opponents also gives you hidden points, which counts towards the hidden/good ending.
- The sequel also has multiple achievements and morality points for a pacifist run or Stealth Run, or both at the same time. It's possible to go the entire game, barring the last level, without killing any human enemies or being detected, thanks to the ruthlessly efficient (and hilarious) silent takedown that involves punching your schmuck of choice in the face. You essentially have to do this to get the good ending.
- Dishonored has an achievement for going through the entire game without killing anyone (not even the zombie-like plague victims) - "Clean Hands." That said, you still need to subdue some important people - and doing so non-lethally will often condemn them to a Fate Worse Than Death.
- The game actively encourages players to attempt this; not only does pacifism net you a better ending, it also makes the game somewhat easier, as there are fewer guards and weepers to circumnavigate. It also turns the final quest into something of an anti-climax, however.
- PAYDAY: The Heist has an achievement where you must complete the Counterfeit heist without killing a single cop or civilian. The special SWAT just got a whole lot harder since you can't kill them without ruining the shot of getting the achievement.
- Encouraged and possible, though insanely difficult to do thoroughly, in SWAT 3. Suspects can be challenged (in fact, not challenging them before firing will give you severe penalties) and can be prodded with rubber bullets, flashbangs and CS gas to make them drop their weapons and surrender. Taking a large portion of suspects alive will get you a massive bonus at the end of each mission. Taking every suspect alive, however, is very difficult, as rubber bullets can sometimes be lethal (like in real life) and some suspects are very uncooperative and agressive. This is in no way helped by your trigger-happy squad members, so going for a complete pacifist run is very much a Luck-Based Mission.
- In SWAT 4, this is even more encouraged, and in fact mandatory to some degree. Like in its predecessors you need to challenge suspects and prod them with less-lethal weapons in order to make them surrender. Taking every suspect alive is a must for a perfect score, and taking at least a fair portion alive is necessary to get a good enough score to even progress to the next mission. Going for a complete pacifist run is much, much easier this time around thanks to access to more less-lethal weaponry, no risk of suspects randomly dying from being hit by them, and less trigger-happy squad members.
- Endless Space encourages this with an achievement that is rewarded for winning a game without ever placing a weapons module on a ship (bar the Starting Units). However, due to either an oversight or intentional exception, planetary invasion modules don't count as weapons, allowing Amoeba ships covered in defenses but with no "weapons" to invade and annex other empires' planets.
Light Gun Game
- In Virtua Cop, shooting an enemy's weapon or hand disables them and awards you with a "Justice Shot" that is worth a lot more points than simply killing them. Bosses and vehicle-bound enemies still have to be killed though.
- Confidential Mission, another light gun game by Sega using many of the mechanics from Virtua Cop also featured "Justice Shots."
- In Dungeons & Dragons Online, an experience bonus is awarded to the players if they can complete a quest with zero or otherwise minimal kills.
- There is one player in World of Warcraft who has reached level 70 without killing anything.
- This also inspires a debate as to whether a player limiting themselves to "only" healing allies really counts; if the allies kill enemies you still get the rewards.
- With the release of Cataclysm, pacifist levelling became much easier due to Herbalism and Mining now granting experience for picking plants and mining ores. This can lead to the rather amusing result of some random schmoe who picked a lot of herbs becoming more powerful than an Old God.
- A player successfully leveled a druid to level 90 in Mists of Pandaria without killing anything, without getting any gear to replace his starting set, and having completed only one mandatory quest.
- There is in fact a guild of people who aim for zero kills called Peace Corps. While Cataclysm introduced a variety of ways to gain experience without killing things, it also introduced viewable statistics, so it's now possible to see exactly how many kills a character has. Since grouping with someone or even just healing someone who is fighting will credit you with their kill, it is by necessity a fairly solitary path. But gives you bragging rights that the most uber geared hardcore raider can never beat.
- On the notable pre-MMORPG text MMORPG Gem Stone (now in its fourth iteration, as Gem Stone IV), it was extremely easy to get from level 0 to level 1 simply by visiting certain areas in the main town you started in, which gave you 1000-1500 experience of the 10,000 you needed simply by seeing them for the first time, as well as taking an interactive newbie tutorial which garnered you several thousand experience. However, after that, there were a couple of ways to gain experience without ever actually harming anyone. Anyone with sufficient lockpicking skill could gain experience by opening boxes that players found on dead enemies. One class, called empaths, could actually heal other people of their physical damage by transferring it to themselves, which also garnered experience points. Finally, if you really wanted, throwing trash away in trashcans gained you 1 point per item. So theoretically, you could throw away 10,000 things and level up.
- Discworld MUD has many ways of advancing character without killing, including exploration, quests and using skills. This way is generally slower, but also requires less effort. There is even a special term for it, quoting official wiki, "Idlechasing, the art of getting as much experience as possible by using commands, usually without going on a killing rampage or moving much".
- In Prince of Persia, it was possible to get past the guards by careful use of parrying and moving forward. This meant they were still there if you had to go back the way you came. The Final Boss was the only enemy you had to kill.
- Beating Mega Man 9 by only attacking bosses and mid-bosses is actually a bonus needed for 100% Completion.
- Some of the challenges in Contra 4 are pacifism challenges, which strip you of all weapons.
- Mirror's Edge gives you an unlockable achievement, "Test of Faith", if you finish the game without killing anyone with a firearm. Funnily enough, the achievement is only for not shooting anyone; you can throw as many cops off 100-story buildings as you like and still be considered to be the Buddha.
- It's actually one of the selling points of the game that you can finish the entire thing without firing a gun at anyone, which is unique among first-person-perspective games (discounting medieval and fantasy games and the Myst series and its clones).
- Doesn't stop you punching/kicking the snot out of the opposition, though it's not like you stop to break their necks, so they probably are really just unconscious. Apart from the poor guys that get kicked/thrown/punched off buildings. Besides, those blasted Pursuit Cops deserve it, they're like ninjas, but without the inverse law!
- For even more of a challenge, try to get the Test of Faith achievement/trophy on the hardest difficulty setting. It's very satisfying.
- The title character of adventure/platform shooter Iji wakes up to find that aliens have invaded and scientists have implanted her with nanotechnology to combat them. Iji is uneasy with the idea of killing, even though the aliens have killed most of her family. The game is designed to give you a choice - you can go in guns blazing and kill hundreds as in so many other games, or you can deliberately avoid bloodshed. The ending is the same whether you kill one or fifty enemies, but there are some Easter Eggs as a reward for completely holding your fire.
- Doing a pacifist run sometimes adds new challenges to a stage. The third stage, for example, has a requirement of not coming into contact with any Tasen soldiers. Otherwise, you won't be able to skip Krotera, and will be forced to kill them.
- From version 1.3 onwards, it is possible to have a perfect zero number of kills in all but the hardest difficulty due to not being able to skip a boss. Given that the boss is Asha and he nearly killed her brother and called her being upset about it trivial, at least he's the most deserving example.
- Version 1.6 also allows a "technically" pacifist game that can still have a high death toll, as reflecting enemy projectiles back at them no longer counts as a kill. Also, the player can deliberately get hit by rockets so that nearby enemies get killed by friendly fire. Furthermore Asha's boss fight can be avoided by researching a powerful weapon early and blowing up the objective you normally have to hack. he commits suicide out of shame at not beating you.
- Trine has a Steam achievement/PS3 Trophy where you have to complete a level without killing a single enemy.
- This is the point of the missions involving the Spirit of Kindness in Yoshi Topsy-Turvy. The less enemies you kill, the better Happiness Medal you get.
- Brawl in the Family's Ode to Minions inspired at least one person with a Youtube account to play Super Mario World without killing anything. And really, it would inspire anyone to. Just listen to it.
- Someone did this for Commander Keen 4 on hard mode without saving in level. Since the game was designed assuming the player saved constantly, it quickly becomes very difficult. It can be found here. A normal playthrough is a downplayed example, as the blaster merely stuns enemies.
- Mark of the Ninja equips you with enough items and abilities to complete the game without killing any enemies.
- Sonic Generations on the 3DS includes missions that require this. It's guaranteed to require multiple tries simply because of the homing attack.
- Qwak has the "Peacefully done" bonus for killing no enemies on a level.
- New Super Mario Bros. U has some challenges such as "Be Gentle To Giants" revolving around doing a level from the Story Mode without attacking any enemies.
- Wario Land: Shake It! has bonus missions for each level, and almost every level has "don't kill any enemies". Since very few of the enemies in this game are actually a threat, and stunning enemies to use as stepping stones is still considered okay, there isn't much of a need to destroy enemies on your way to the end of the level. The challenge comes when you reach the end and have to return to the starting point before time runs out - almost every level has a launcher that will send Wario running at full speed, destroying any enemy he touches. Therefore, the best way to avoid accidentally destroying any enemies is to avoid using the launcher at all - meaning time is now even tighter.
Real Time Strategy
- Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood gives a huge incentive to take enemies down non-lethally, as Robin's reputation as a merciful person will net him better rewards and lead more companions to join his cause. You do have to kill two enemies in the game, though: Sir Longchamps and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Also, in several missions you have AI-controlled ally units which will attack enemies on sight, so you have to either scout ahead, take down and hide all the enemies before letting them through, or make do with a Technical Pacifist attitude (and kills made by allies still impact Robin's reward at the end of the level).
- AirMech has an achievement called "My Hands are Clean" that involves the player taking no part in the combat and only using units to defeat their opponent. While not pacifism per se, you're not joining the fight yourself.
- In NetHack, 'pacifism' is one of the many voluntary conduct challenges that is tracked by the game (along with atheism, vegetarianism, breatharianism, illiteracy, etc). However, in NetHack 'pacifism' means that your pets do all the killing instead of you; you can attack the monsters all you want as long as it's not you that lands the killing blow. (You can also wear a ring of conflict to make the monsters kill each other, though then you have to make sure your (usually very powerful) pets don't kill you.) There actually isn't a single creature in the game who must die (as you can steal any important items instead - this applies to Quest Nemesis, Vlad, Rodney, and the High priest), but winning without you or your pets killing anything is impossible.
- There's also the 'never hit with a wielded weapon' conduct, which holds a bit closer to the spirit of the thing (though barehanded martial arts and magic are still permitted). It can also be combined with the above for extra masochism.
- If you want to complete your Baroque collection in Baroque, you'll have to do at least one run through the Neuro Tower without
killingpurifying any Meta-Beings. This is made a bit tricky by the fact that certain Meta-Beings like to block your path, forcing you to hit them until they get out of your way.
- Doom, the Roguelike enforces this behavior on players in the Angel of Pacifisim challenge by simply disallowing any use of weapons. The player wins by running through all the levels and finally nuking the Spider Mastermind (the player gets the nuke at the start), and to ease things up (somewhat), the player gets a levelup after descending every third stairs. This encourages players to enter certain special levels that have the entrance and exit close to each other, and any and all monsters killing themselves or others (through infighting, running through lava or shooting barrels while standing next to them are credited to the player, with an according experience gain.
- However, there are extra challenges that take this concept to the extreme - the Archangel of Pacifisim takes away the "levelup at every third floor" mechanic, and even worse, the Angelic Pacifist badge requires the player to win the game with exactly one kill (that one being the Mastermind) - if any monster is killed by other monster's attack, or even more unluckily, if a monster is generated on acid or lava, you can just kiss your run goodbye.
- This is enforced for one character in Crypt Of The Necrodancer. The character Dove can only attack with a flower, and this doesn't even hurt enemies. It only stuns them (though they drop gold all the same). Attempting to bypass this by picking up a weapon or using a shrine of blood will instantly kill her thanks to "Cowardice". Thankfully, the exits for the levels (which are sealed by a Mini-Boss or Mook Maker) are automatically unlocked and all bosses are absent.
- In Liberal Crime Squad, a pacifist run is actually considered easier than a normal run, which isn't that surprising when your goal is to influence public opinion.
Role Playing Game
- The Fallout series is notable for the possibility of not needing to kill anyone, although you will be indirectly responsible for the deaths of quite a few people (and, in some cases, populations). In most of the series it is even possible (although very hard) to do an evil pacifist run.
- While difficult due to the more combat-oriented nature of the game, it is possible to complete the main quest and most sidequests in Fallout 3 without killing anything, with the exception of a single radroach during the tutorial.
- Even if your pacifism only applies to humans, and possibly ghouls and mutants, it's impossible to complete Fallout: New Vegas without murdering at least one person. Three of the four endings require killing Mr. House, and in the ending where you work for Mr. House, you have to destroy the Brotherhood of Steel.
- Though you can still do a Technical Pacifist run, and it is possible to have an in-character pacifist run. You technically don't have to kill Mr. House, you can disconnect him from the control systems instead. Unfortunately, that process exposes him to the air, which will inevitably lead to his death from infection within a year, but you're not told that until after disconnecting him.
- Due to the nature of the game, a Pacifist Run is wholly impossible in Fallout Tactics.
- While it's possible to have a pacifist run in Fallout 4, the game's tone wholly expects you to at least have a few kills by the end of the game, thus it becomes close to impossible for some missions to resolve peacefully and requires a Manipulative Bastard with a really good silver tongue and lots of patience to complete it, and even then, the game has the potential to break.
- Mars: War Logs allows you to spare the life of every NPC you fight.
- Feros in Mass Effect has a mission where you can choose to simply knock out the colonists being controlled by the local Eldritch Abomination instead of killing them. While this makes the mission much more difficult it is definitely worth it for a Paragon Shepard.
- One player managed to do this in Might and Magic 7 as shown here.
- In Planescape: Torment, you can get through the whole game having to fight only four (And the zombie at the beginning who has the key out of the starting room!) characters, and you don't necessarily have to kill any of them. You're forced to "kill" the first character you have to fight this way, but it's just a Non-Lethal K.O.. Then again, this should come as little surprise in a game where a major objective is to find out why you can't die.
- However, it's not possible to avoid dying and reviving a number of times. And every time you "die," someone else dies instead, making you somewhat responsible for their death.
- Ultima IV encourages this somewhat, you still have to fight monsters to get Valor points, but letting them run away instead of killing them gives you Compassion points. Additionally, killing enemies that aren't evil (hungry or defensive animals and the like) will decrease your virtue points.
- In Ultima VI, it's quite possible to complete the main quest without killing anybody. There are only few monster occupied areas that you must visit to advance the plot and it's possible to avoid combat in those by using invisibility rings and potions to slip by enemies unnoticed.
- In Ultima VII, you only have to kill Hook, Elizabeth, and Abraham at the end.
- In the Bakumatsu chapter of Live A Live, Oboro keeps a running mental tally of how many people he's killed (only humans; ghosts, demons, and machines don't count towards this total) over the course of the chapter. Somewhat overlapping with the Stealth Run, finishing the chapter with zero kills (which requires a good number of counterintuitive steps) nets you his Infinity Plus 0.5 Sword for use in the final chapter. It's possible to get an equivalent weapon by beating a rather difficult Bonus Boss.
- A common and useful Game Breaker in Final Fantasy VIII is simply to junction 100 Break spells to your weapon's elemental attack and hit enemies with that when you otherwise just can't run away. Doing this keeps you from gaining experience and levels, which helps in the long run once you find decent spells to junction to your physical stats.
- It's possible to get to the final boss of King's Field II while only killing one monster: a red mushroom that you can't get past on a narrow path just past Lake Noel. You're still level 1.
- In Alpha Protocol, it is possible to get through the entire game without ever using lethal force on any opponent, outside of a couple of armored vehicles and one cutscene-mandated kill (dropping al-Shaheed's bodyguard off the bridge). In fact, this method is quite viable, if Mike has specializations in pistols, stealth, martial arts, and toughness. Make use of tranquilizer darts, stealth with nonlethal takedowns, unarmed attacks, and nonlethal gadgets like shock traps and flashbangs, and Mike can potentially get through the whole game with no kills. The game even keeps track of kills (with the "Orphans Created" stat) and non-lethal takedowns ("medical expenses"), rewarding the player with perks that boost the effectiveness of his stealth and other nonlethal skills.
- It's not exactly a Pacifist Run, but Geneforge 4 occasionally mentions that a "great Shaper" can get through the game without ever lifting a hand in defense. This variously means sneaking past baddies, abusing the Leadership skill, and luring enemies to weapon-toting allies.
- A few missions in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines have optional objectives to leave no civilian casualties. As in the tabletop game, experience is awarded for overcoming challenges, not killing enemies.
- This article explains how it is possible to do this in Fantasy Life by deliberately and completely eschewing the four combat professions (Soldier/Paladin, Mercenary, Hunter, and Wizard). You can still obtain experience points through completing quests, and through crafting and gathering if you have the tools to do so. The plot-driven encounters during each chapter can either be skipped (by having your butterfly companion step in and resolve things peacefully for you) or circumvented (by avoiding the possessed creatures that attack you during the end-of-chapter "boss battles" and instead attacking the source of the corruption).
- Devil Survivor Overclocked gives you this as an in-game option on Naoya's 8th Day. Now that you are the King Of Bel and are about to declare war on God and his army, the humans in the Yamanote Lockdown areas are pretty angry at you and want to kill you for causing demons to run free now. You are given the option to fight all battles against the army of angels and kill all humans who oppose you or you can choose to only fight the angels and leave all humans alive. Both options net you a title each and minor differences in dialogue and battles.
- Undertale heavily advertises the ability to Spare enemies instead of fighting them. A totally pacifist run, without killing any enemies whatsoever, gets you the True Ending, which is by far the happiest ending. Also, if you do kill enemies, the game will call you out on it severely. It's no strange wonder that the game's tagline is called "The Friendly RPG Where Nobody has to Die".
- If you play a pacifist run, some of the characters will ridicule you for playing the game in this manner. Others will encourage you and you'll see the effects of your mercy as you progress through the game.
- The game also features an inversion known as the Genocide route. In order to accomplish this, you need to kill EVERYONE, which not only means all the bosses, but also so many random encounters that they just stop spawning in each area (a counter appears once the Genocide route is initiated). Your reward? Two ridiculously tough Bonus Bosses and an ending so bad that it taints all future playthroughs.
Shoot Em Up
- In Star Wars Trilogy Arcade, during the sequence on Endor on the speederbikes, you gain bonus points (called Bloodless) for shooting down the enemy's speederbikes instead of the enemy themselves. But considering they're speeding pretty fast in a forest full of trees, it probably would have been less painful to have been instantly shot to death.
- The original Star Wars Vector Game gave a bonus if you 'used the force' and took no shots in the Death Star Trench except the single torpedo shot into the exhaust port, instead dodging the massive incoming fire.
- Ikaruga, by virtue of inheriting twenty years of evolution in the shooter genre, allows the player to complete the game without ever firing a single shot. Your reward is the rank of Dot Eater.
- Star Fox 64 offered an interesting variant since bosses are worth more "kills" if they are defeated quickly, so players attempting this had to wait a while in those fights while dodging the attacks and (depending on the exact definition and route) protecting their teammates in those cases where they can actually get attacked by these bosses.
- R-Type Delta and Final both feature bosses which are automatically destroyed after a certain time; late in the game, bosses will instead kill you if the time limit expires, so the Pacifist Run is to destroy only these bosses. Can be made even harder if combined with a no-Force run, which severely decreases the defensive abilities of the player's ship.
- As in other vertical shooters, this is a common type of run in the Touhou series despite the fact that the games actively punish trying to do this. Most Final Bosses and Bonus Bosses have their final spellcard become incredibly difficult if you take too long, but have long enough timers that the average player will never see this. And there'll generally be a few patterns that will just get worse with time, and the occasional wave of enemies that will exit through the bottom of the screen, where the player is, if not killed.
- Defied very hard in the fourth PC-98 game, Lotus Land Story, where Gengetsu's final attack suddenly becomes virtually impossible to dodge because hundreds of projectiles are coming at you at the speed of "HOLY SHIT!" This attack is known among fans as "Gengetsu's Rape Time". This video is not sped up - that's the normal speed of the attack. The player, however, had to significantly slow down the game's flow to beat it, because otherwise it would be easier to go outside in a thunderstorm and try to dodge rain.
- Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved has an Achievement called Pacifist. To get it, you must not fire for the first 60 seconds of the game. Since the fast, homing square enemies spawn before that, it's a Nintendo Hard one to get.
- The sequel has a separate game mode called Pacifism, where the objective is to avoid the said square enemies as long as possible. While you may not fire, going through a gate causes a shockwave that kills nearby enemies. In addition, the King mode has an achievement called Treaty and the Wave mode has an achievement called Surf.
- Afterburner Climax with only 1 kill, possibly avoidable? Why not?
- Night Striker has a bonus called the Pacifist Bonus, where if you do not shoot at anything and not take damage either, you earn 2,000,000 points. This bonus stacks up per stage for six stages. (ST.1 - 2 mil, ST.2 - 4 mil, ST.3 - 6 mil, etc.) An example of this in action can be seen here
- NARC allowed you to "bust" (handcuff) enemies instead of killing them. Doing so was worth MANY more points than killing them, making it easier to gain bonus lives (necessary!). Only about half of the enemies could be "busted" though.
- This is half of what it's like to try and be a benevolent god in Black & White. The other half is being nice to your villagers.
- Yandere Simulator is normally about blackmailing, manipulating, or straight-up murdering Yandere-chan's rivals for Senpai's affection, but it's possible to hook up your rivals with other boys instead, or to help them out with major problems, resulting in them agreeing to not pursue Senpai in thanks.
Stealth Based Game
- Aside from the bosses, it is possible to get through most Metal Gear Solid games without ever killing someone, though you are forced at one point to fight off a horde of guards at one point without access to nonlethal weaponry. In the original, this just earned the player a suitably passive animal code name after the end credits. In the later games, you are given rewards for keeping enemy fatalities to a minimum.
- This became considerably easier with tranquilizer weapons in later games, resulting in an even more difficult variation: No Tranquilizer Run.
- In Metal Gear Solid 2, since you only kill (in-story) two of the bosses, no real difference is made whether you stamina-kill them or not (only that a stamina-kill doesn't show up on your score as a real kill). Interestingly, not-killing Fatman, one of the story-killed bosses, results in him passing out at the end of his dying speech instead of dying. When Ocelot remarks on Fatman's death later on, the line is the same, but the implication is that Ocelot killed him rather than you, which provides a neat clue as to Ocelot's real alignment.
- In Metal Gear Solid 3, you can avoid killing the bosses. They have non-lethal hit bars, and you get a special bonus for defeating a boss with non-lethal force, but if they were supposed to die, they commit suicide in the following cutscene. However, there is one exception: Even if you defeat The Boss nonlethally, the game still forces you to kill her.
- In the case of the Cobra Unit, specifically, their "microbomb" blows up, and they say their codename. In that order.
- Metal Gear Solid 4 also allows you to take out all of the bosses using non-lethal means. Unlike the other games though, it actually affects the cutscene afterward. The difference is really subtle, leading to many players thinking Kojima was lying when he said you could save them.
- Even MGS4's online mode gets in on this, giving players the "Pigeon" ranking if they have a suitable ratio of kills to knockouts.
- Metal Gear Solid 4 is the first game in the series to let you do a true no-kills run, not even story kills.
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker lets you do a pacifist run one step at a time. Each of its stages are mission-based, letting you do a perfect no-kills stealth run once you're properly prepared, even against a missile tank supported by thirty troops.
- The end-of-mission rankings in Metal Gear Solid V award more points for incapacitating enemy troops than for killing them. You can take over enemy outposts simply with stealth takedowns, just as you would if you went in guns blazing. A full game playthrough without any kills is impossible because there are a few mandatory objectives that necessitate killing, such as destroying occupied armored vehicles or killing soldiers with infectious parasites before they spread and cause a global plague.
- In Splinter Cell, it is possible to complete the game with only one overt kill, which is a required mission objective. This is usually accomplished with liberal use of the "sticky camera" pseudoweapon to knock enemies out.
- Sometimes enforced in Splinter Cell Double Agent, where you're free to kill or spare the enemy, but killing them will lower the NSA's trust in you which, if it's low to begin with, might be something you can't afford. The Nintendo GameCube version forcibly averts this in the final mission where you're forced to kill certain JBA members where no matter what you do to them counts as a kill. Even grabbing and using the knockout button triggers his stab move instead.
- Three mandatory assassination mission objectives aside, in Splinter Cell Chaos Theory it is possible to complete the game without killing any enemies. Mission requirements aside (e.g. knocking out a guard so a helicopter will come) it is possible to complete the game without knocking out more than three enemies (Bathhouse boiler room), and perhaps fewer.
- In fact, it is entirely possible to get all zeros at the final score which equals to zero kills/K Os through whole game. The bathouse boiler room is indeed tricky as there are at least 4 guards that need to be distracted with sticky cameras.
- Most missions in the various Hitman games can be completed without killing anyone other than the mission's intended target(s). In Hitman 2 and onward, doing so earns the player the rating "Silent Assassin" and usually comes with a reward of some sort.note
- In the 4th game, Blood Money, killing anyone other than the target(s) can make later missions more difficult as your notoriety will grow, especially if you leave witnesses and/or get caught on camera. However, you can obtain the surveillance tape if you get caught on camera before leaving the mission, and pay money to cover up the crime after the mission. Killing witnesses, however, can make things worse.
- Technically, a zero kill run of much of Blood Money is possible, owing to the fact that "accidents" are counted separately from outright kills and (unless you kill a VIP) have no impact on your rating (even if you kill civilians).
- And then the entire thing gets turned on its head in the final mission.
- The Thief games, on higher difficulties, sometimes require you not to kill anyone in a mission. Ideally, you do so by just getting around without being noticed. If you must pop someone, though, you have a blackjack which can knock the unaware victim out in a single strike. You can play through the 1st game and 2nd game without knocking out anyone or anything, let alone killing them. In rare missions, you may be restricted from even knocking out people, or from even being detected.
- Doesn't apply to the 2nd game, as one of the objectives is to kidnap a person. The only way to do that is to knock him out. both games features Big bads in need of killing, though both times indirectly.
- The 3rd and final game can also be completed without a single kill or knockout, which includes plot-kills since the Big Bad can't be killed anyway and isn't explicitly killed at the end either.
- Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, being a Bounty Hunter themed game, allows you to choose between killing an enemy, or simply stunning them long enough for you to trap then in your bounty bag. Live enemies are worth more than dead enemies. Challenges could include bringing in all bounties alive, bringing in all outlaws alive, or bringing in all enemies in the game alive. Minor challenges could also include never attacking a non hostile NPC for Moolah, or neglecting to collect two optional Moolah rewards that require robbing innocents. Due to a Genre Shift late in the game, this becomes more difficult. You are required to kill several enemies (including the Big Bad) during the final levels. In addition, the previously pacifistic Bounty Bag is replaced with a Bait Bag that is used to breed your living ammo. Guess what they eat?
- In Tenchu: The Shadow Assassin the player gets the highest rank S, Phantom, for finishing a level without killing and without being seen.
- And in Wrath of Heaven there is one level in which, at first, you can't kill any guard.
- Despite it being a game focused on assassination, this is possible in Dishonored. While you don't have to kill your targets, they still need to be neutralized in some way. This usually involves putting them through a Fate Worse Than Death.
- The remake of Resident Evil for the Nintendo GameCube has what is called "One Dangerous Zombie" mode, wherein a zombie completely strapped with explosives constantly follows you around through the game. Attack him even passively, and you get a game over. For the series proper, you obviously need to kill bosses in the main plotlines, but for standard Mooks and some of the minigames, you're free to try this challenge out.
- The bitch is that "One Dangerous Zombie" isn't a selectable mode; it's automatically foisted on you during a New Game+ whether you like it or not. The good news, as it were, is that said zombie disappears once you leave the mansion and go to the guardhouse.
- Players do this in Resident Evil 4, but it's more a Minimal Kills run. While there are more enemies that can be circumvented than one might expect, there are still many, many enemies that must be killed to advance, starting with the first enemy in the game.
- There's also the Mine Cart section: Every passenger, besides Leon, dies at the end and the "kills" are credited to the player.
- Silent Hill: Downpour, going through the game without killing so much as a single enemy is mandatory to get the best ending in the game. You're allowed to incapacitate enemies (where they're downed but still twitching) and to knock over Tormented Souls to slow down The Void, but given how aggressive and persistent some enemies are and how tricky it can be to not accidentally kill them while defending yourself, this amounted to one massive Scrappy Mechanic.
Third Person Shooter
- Second Sight tracks your "morality" score for each level of the game, which starts at 100% and decreases with each enemy you kill. Players can avoid killing enemies by tranquilizing them, sneaking past, luring them into hazardous terrain features, allowing NPC allies to kill them, or tricking them into killing each other. It appears that only four enemies (not counting your involuntary initial manifestations of Psy-Attack, and improved telekinesis) actually have to be killed. They're clones of the main character. Oddly, even without killing anyone else the big bad will still call you out for all the bodies you stepped over to reach him. The game also keeps track of how many km of "muddy feet" you walked per level i.e.: how far you walked with your shoes covered in blood from enemies you killed.
- In [PROTOTYPE], it is impossible to go through the game without killing civilians. The closest the player can get to a self-imposed pacifist challenge is to try to keep their civilian kill count as low as possible (difficult, since you can kill them by running into them). There is an achievement for eating only 10 or fewer civilians.
- Considering they're literally Too Dumb to Live, walking and driving around (and diving under the treads of that tank you just stole) in an active plague zone like nothing's wrong until an Infected runs up and decides to have a snack, you could simply stress it as a "no deliberate kills of civilians" run and ignore collateral damage. It's also nearly impossible to get through the game without wasting a few hundred soldiers in the course of the missions, but you could feasibly keep your Marine casualties to a minimum besides the required consume targets, only feasting on the Blackwatch goons and Infected.
- In Reservoir Dogs there's a choice to go either "Psycho" or "Professional", the latter being if you concentrate on using hostages over shooting people. The issue is that hostages lose HP over time.
Turn Based Strategy
- Fire Emblem doesn't normally lend itself to Pacifist Runs, since you need kills to level up. However, Thracia 776 allows you to non-lethally KO enemies and capture them - in fact, you can steal their equipment and use it for yourself when you do! The only limitation is that, in order to capture a foe, the enemy's Build stat must be lower than that of the unit doing the capturing (Then again, Fin, who has 20 Build, is available from the start of the game), and when you use the capture command, the capturing unit will have his stats reduced for the turn.
- In Jagged Alliance 2 you can finish the game without killing anyone except the queen and without liberating any towns just by cutting across country to the capital, sneaking past the soldiers there, and killing the queen before any of her guards arrive.
- Galactic Civilizations: you don't get an achievement for it, but you can win by forming Alliances with all the other races, forming an Alliance with one race and having them crush your enemies, or by using heavily upgraded influence starbases to either culture-hug enemy worlds into defecting to your side, or to mark most of the map as your territory (which brings with it the incidental bonus that you can ram through any result you want at the United Planets and nobody will have the voting power to stop you).
- The Culture, Diplomatic and (to a certain extent) Space Race victories in Civilization can be achieved without a single battle (although the higher levels will manipulate you into conflicts with other Civs).
- In Civ 5 it is theoretically possible to win using a city-state to do your 'dirty work'. If another civ has wiped out the others apart from you and attacks a city-state you can supply the city with army units as gifts. If they manage to take the opposing civ's capital you would win. As mentioned above, it would have to be a low difficulty level. Also, since a city-state usually will only attack a nearby enemy city you'd have to be lucky that it was their capital as they'd sue for peace if they lost an ordinary city.
- Surprisingly possible in Eador, TBS similar to Heroes of Might and Magic, Master of Magic and Age of Wonders. You can capture most provinces by bribing guards, making alliances with local population/thugs/baron. Even if you've started battle you haven't to kill opposition: most units can be frightened (usually by magic) so they simply run away and the battle is won. If your empire becomes powerful enough other Lords may just give up and you've won the scenario.
Wide Open Sandbox
- You can go through True Crime: Streets of L.A. and True Crime: New York City without killing a single enemy, either by limiting yourself to non-lethal weapons or using precision aim to go for kneeshots.
- Red Dead Redemption. You can minimize all killing in the game with your trusty lasso - aside from times you must kill, such as the gatling gun missions - but it's Nintendo Hard to do the entire game that way.
- It's possible to play through all the X-Universe games without killing anyone directly, or without killing anyone at all (provided you don't do the plots). The goal is to keep your combat rank at "Harmless", which means you have zero kills. If you kill any enemy, the rank goes up and takes several real-time hours to go back down.
- Slightly odd tabletop example: In Dungeons & Dragons's fourth edition, player characters who reduce an NPC enemy to zero or less hit points always have the option to decide then and there to only knock that enemy out instead of killing them. Stop to think about that for a moment: with this rule in force, any given scenario played through could fairly trivially become a Pacifist Run, the possibility is just something that doesn't seem to as much as occur to most players.
- Killing is kind of unavoidable in the Grand Theft Auto series, but many people have tried to not kill anyone as they go about the optional objectives - trying not to run over people on the sidewalk, etc. Doing their best to kill the absolute minimum number of people to finish the game.