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Only Sane Man: Video Games
  • Grand Theft Auto III's Lazlow Jones, the long-suffering host of the call-in radio show Chatterbox. The show consists entirely of Lazlow taking calls from random (and eccentric) listeners, often setting up Brick Jokes for the prequel Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. He suffers from some Flanderization in later games and becomes more of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, but still manages to play this trope to his guests, who are even more insane.
  • A large part of the Portal series' humor is known for this. Throughout the first game, Chell has to traverse through Aperture Science, a giant laboratory filled with nothing but machines that only want to be your friend whilst trying to kill you and a master AI system that constantly speaks of a cube as if it is alive, insisting that it won't stab you in the back. It also obsesses over cake.
    • There's also the never seen in-game character, Doug Rattmann, who has taken the time to write "the cake is a lie" at least 40 times in small dens throughout the game. Not to mention he covered the calendars' pictures of people with a companion cube. It is thus even sadder to note that he's also the only sane man among the scientists who created Glados, as he thought that perhaps giving the crazy AI access to deadly gas wasn't a good idea. He was the only one.
  • Portal 2 almost has it worse. Including the Aperture Turrets from Portal, Portal 2 has a personality core that dispenses ridiculous ideas (justified in that he was created to be a moron), a for-real friendly turret that speaks nothing but seemingly nonsense, a CEO whose entire philosophy of science is to invent and then test bizarre things to see if they work or not without ever selling them (as well as making an entire speech about burning down life's house when it give you lemons), a core that talks constantly about space and going to space and his favourite part of space (which is space), a core devoted to ADVENTURE, and a core that spews random "facts" that range from being slightly correct to...not. A lot to deal with for just a single, silent sane character.
    • It should be noted that, being a Heroic Mime, we're only assuming that Chell is completely sane. Wheatley makes several comments about brain damage near the beginning of the game that actually do hold some water, despite his...quirk, as listed above.
      • It has been stated by Word of God that Chell can still talk and just doesn't feel that the crazy robots around her that turn on her all the time are worth wasting words on. Plus, solving all the puzzles would require a lot of cognitive thought so it is likely Chell has far less brain damage than is expected of her, but regardless, her decision to not speak at all still leaves her as more sane than most of the cast that seem to only speak nonsense or insanity which if she bothered to argue with, would waste an unnecessarily large quantity of time.
  • In Touhou Imperishable Night, Reisen is the Only Sane Woman in Eientei among silly rabbits, lunatic princesses and Mad Scientists. Even more confusing because she is the Master of Lunacy and can drive people insane with her eyes. Life for her is quite literally Through the Eyes of Madness, yet she's sane, at least as sane as anyone can be in Gensokyo.
  • Generally, it's quite probable that when the player character's personality and dialogue can be selected, and there are several party members with their own distinct and weird personalities, the aforementioned player character might be played as the Only Sane Man.
  • Haskill from Shivering Isles. Though the Shivering Isles is Sheogorath's realm, and Sheogorath is the Daedric Prince of Madness, being the only sane person there could make Haskill the maddest one of all...
  • The titular character from Conkers Bad Fur Day.
  • Banjo from Banjo-Kazooie.
  • Ragna the Bloodedge is designated this role despite his reputation as a terrorist who possesses an Artifact of Doom that is known to erode people's sanity with continuous use or exposure (or his case, turn him into a rampaging monster of apocalyptic power). He is also a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Ace Attorney: All playable lawyers (these being Phoenix Wright, Mia Fey, Apollo Justice, Miles Edgeworth, and Athena Cykes) play this role. They live in a world full of wacky over-the-top personalities, and they are constantly reminded of that. Most of them seem to enjoy it most of the time though, constantly thinking on how ridiculous nearly everyone else is in the comfort of their minds. That said, there are a few other stable personalities besides them, but they are the exception.
  • Common Nippon Ichi trope. Thursday and Etna comes closest in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness , Adell plays the role straight in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, as does Almaz in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice and Revya (and to a lesser degree Gig) in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters (Revya does not point it out, though obviously Gig does). Culotte from La Pucelle also qualifies (although Alouette is generally sane, Culotte is the one who usually has to deal with Prier's antics), and Pram is the closest you get to this trope in Makai Kingdom (which features an extremely eccentric cast, even by Nippon Ichi standards). This is not to say that Nippon Ichi games only possess insane people apart from these, but the only sane man is usually the one fated with having to present the sensible point of view to the more lunatic members of the cast.
  • Will/Ed during the War Room segments of Advance Wars: Day of Ruin due to being the only one who doesn't readily accept that the room ignores the world outside (thus allowing your current enemy to turn up to give tactical advise, or the War Room to show up in a mission on the wing of a giant plane).
  • Yuri Hyuga in Shadow Hearts laments the fact that he only ever seems to attract the strangest weirdos around in both allies and enemies. He overlooks the fact that, being a Harmonixer, he isn't so normal himself.
    • Johnny Garland, the protagonist in the third game, has the same problem. Even pointed out in one instance where he meets Mao, the talking cat that runs Al Capone's mob and specializes in drunken fist as he realizes that he is the only one out of the party who thinks that a talking cat is strange. This then makes Jonny wonder if he's the strange one.
  • Fable II has an odd example. Nobody in the entire world seems to notice that you are in possession of the ONLY DOG IN THE WORLD, except for a single demon door, who notes that he has never seen a creature like this in the multiple millennia through which he's lived.
    • You have the only domesticated dog. Wolves are everywhere.
  • Resident Evil has a huge cast of characters across more than a dozen games. Out of all of these, Linda from the second Outbreak game, is the only Umbrella scientist who isn't shown to be corrupt, insane, or a complete Jerkass.
    • Lupo from Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is looking like this too. While her squad mostly consists of various sociopathic/psychopathic mercenaries with violent criminal pasts, the worst she ever did was kill her abusive husband to keep him from hitting the kids. The trailers still show her murdering RPD officers, though.
    • In Resident Evil 6, Leon is clearly the most level-headed of the heroes. Helena, Jake, and Chris all have fairly serious issues, Sherry and Piers are too inexperienced and caught up in their partners' problems, and Ada is her usual secretive self and almost too calm about everything. Leon, meanwhile, handles the crap he's dealt fairly well and even manages to help get the other survivors pointed in the right direction.
  • Vayne from Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis, aside from being The Hero of the story, has only one other role: to lampshade the weirdness of the fellow members of his workshop. Like the absurd amount of items Jess' bag can hold, or Flay's 'butterfly mask' that can fool anyone, among others...
    • Yet it was amusingly subverted where he's not the Only Sane Man (ironically, Nikki played the role) when the party recruited a slug-like alien masquerading as an exchange student...
      • An Obviously Evil slug-like alien bent on world domination, no less. Nikki is the only one to notice the evil part, the world domination rants, etc.
  • And in the sequel, Mana-Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy, we have two examples: Raze in his workshop and Enna in Ulrika's workshop (or three, if Yun from the former's workshop also counts). At one point in the game, Lily even commented how staying in Ulrika's workshop for so long had ruined Enna, or something along that line.
  • Sarutobi Sasuke from Sengoku Basara. Pity him, for he has to put up with these two on a daily basis.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the mock-public radio station hosts a debate program moderated by Maurice Chavez. Chavez is an egocentric fool, but he still nonetheless comes across as being reasonable and rational compared to the fanatical, deranged and downright insane guests he is forced to deal with.
  • Mother 3 has its main characters, most especially Lucas. He is one of the few persons in all of Tazmily for the duration of the time skip who doesn't own a Happy Box and, more importantly, knows what kind of person Fassad is. (Of course, Flint doesn't either, but considering that he's been out every day for three years looking for Claus, he doesn't really qualifies as "sane" at that point).
  • Bartz in Final Fantasy V is much more normal than his companions—an amnesiac old goofball, a crossdressing pirate, and a recklessly altruistic princess. Granted, he has his moments too, but he's usually the one not involved in whatever high melodrama the others are engaging in.
    "Geez-oh-pete, every one of you guys is always going overboard!"
  • Invoked with Squall Leonhart from Final Fantasy VIII, who is a character who thinks he is the Only Sane Man. Considering his past and his views on relationships with others, not to mention that he is surrounded by a rather quirky mixture of people, and it's not hard to see why he feels this way. In reality, he has suffered from memory loss from Guardian Force usage and his personality is built around how a child believes an adult should act. The real Only Sane Man in the party is Irvine.
  • Sazh Katzroy from Final Fantasy XIII is very sane even if he does wear a chocobo on his head. He's just a civilian pilot dragged along with the vengeful, guilt-ridden, and actively delusional members of their little gang of the doomed.
  • In Dead Rising, most of the survivors of the zombie outbreak Frank encounters who aren't Too Dumb to Live turn out to either be up to something or completely insane. Two notable exceptions? First, Isabela Keyes, the sister of and co-conspirator with the Big Bad who, once confronted by Frank, cooperates with him and tries to reason with her brother only to be shot in the shoulder for it with him afterwards apologizing but encouraging her to carry on her part in their plan, not agreeing to cooperate with the protagonists whatsoever. Second, Thomas Hall, one of the three making up the trio-of-snipers miniboss fight - the other two are his father and brother, and a couple of Crazy Survivalists, but he actually seems pretty sane and is the only one of the three who objects to killing non-zombies, Some wonder why he doesn't do a Heel-Face Turn if you kill the other snipers. Then again, killing the other snipers would probably itself be a good reason he wouldn't.
  • In Twisted Metal, if you win the Car Fu tournament, you are granted one wish by Calypso; however, Calypso is a Literal Genie, so most people who win get screwed over, either way. Agent Shepard, a character in Twisted Metal: Head-On, is Genre Savvy enough to outright refuse to wish for anything, and just arrest Calypso when he won.
  • Lately, BioWare has made your starting male human party member the only really rational one of the bunch.
    • Carth Onasi in Knights of the Old Republic spends a lot of time pointing out just how insane it is that the Jedi Council is sending two (or possibly three) Padawans, a soldier, a Mandalorian, a teenage Twi'lek, a Wookie, and an astromech droid out on their critical mission to save the galaxy.
      • In the second game, Atton Rand takes up Carth's trait of being the only one to mention the insanity of the rest of the group, and seems just like your typical spacer in those days; worldly, handy with a weapon and distrusting of Jedi (even more so, considering your party has three of them, and more if you're good with conversation). However, through conversation, we find that even he isn't as sane as he thinks...
    • Alistair in Dragon Age: Origins is definitely the most well-adjusted of the group in a traditional human sense (though Wynne is pretty close on this one); Leliana and Zevran are both assassins who tend to use sex to get to their targets and both were betrayed by people they trusted implicitly with all of the issues that implies, Oghren is an exaggeration of the stereotypical drunk dwarf who was kicked out of polite dwarven society for a large number of reasons, Sten is from a very alien culture and has a tendency to solve many problems with violence, and Morrigan is a brutally pragmatic survivalist.
    • Jacob Taylor in Mass Effect 2 is a sane, well-adjusted, non-angsty man in a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits par excellence and extreme Dysfunction Junction. The only other party member who comes close to his level-headed outlook is Tali, who has some hidden but deep-seated issues over the fact that for her people, Everything Trying to Kill You is almost literally the case.
      • Now now, don't be speciesist: Legion is perfectly sane for a Geth.
      • Hey, Samara is perfectly sane. She has had nine hundred years to work out how to deal with any issues that come up, after all.
      • Except for a relatively minor and totally justifiable bit of anger-management trouble, Garrus is quite well-adjusted. He limits himself to sarcastic comments.
      • Thane is well-adjusted for a dying alien. Kasumi is well-grounded. Zaeed may be a sociopath but he's not nuts. Really, the only characters you may or may not team up with that might be considered not entirely there are Mordin (distracted mad scientist), Jack (homicidally pissed off experimental subject), Morinth (sociopathic sex-killer), and Liara (extreme guilt complex).
      • Kaidan Alenko had an element of this in the first Mass Effect, despite it being implied that by merit of his implant, he could take the fast train to Looneyville at any point. The character's role bears a strong resemblance to that of Carth, above.
      • Quarian Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib-Qwib is dismissed as a "geth apologist", who could easily be dismissed as either overly sentimental or even a coward for advocating against war with the geth, reasoning that the geth are the Quarian's children whom the Quarians themselves wronged. His position is largely disregarded or even ridiculed by his kin, who recognize the geth as the ones who rose up against them and cast them off of their own homeworld and forced them to live on a fleet of cobbled-together ships with a degraded immune system. He's right: the geth hold no animosity toward their creators, went to war only in self defense and if the Quarians asked nicely, the geth would almost certainly let them back onto their home planet; moreover, besides being unnecessary, war with the geth would certainly divert resources from both sides that would be better directed toward the Reapers. He ends up fully vindicated in Mass Effect 3.
      • Believe or not, Councilor Sparatus (the turian councilor) in Mass Effect 3. Despite being a complete Jerkass, and bordering on Fantastic Racism, in the first two games, he is the ONLY councilor to step up right away to give Shepard a chance to form an alliance against the Reapers. This is helped both by the militaristic (but mostly reasonable) culture of the turians, as well as the fact that Palaven, the turian homeworld, and Earth are the only ones currently getting hammered by the Reapers. The asari and salarian homeworlds merely have the Reapers "Pressing on our borders."
      • In the Citadel DLC, when you fall into your clone's trap, Shepard will be more interested in how often s/he uses "I should go" than in breaking out, one of your teammates will be discussing that with you...and the third will fill this role and point out, almost casually, that the trap only holds about an hour's worth of air and there doesn't seem to be any way to get the lock open.
    • Varric and Aveline switch off here in Dragon Age II, Aveline during most of the game and Varric near the end. Nobody else is remotely well-adjusted.
  • The Malkavian Player Character in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is this. Yes, that's right: the insane sociopathic vampire-for-hire is one of the sanest characters in the game.
  • In World of Warcraft Jaina Proudmoore has to take this role for the vast majority of Alliance/Horde interactions, since she's apparently the only one to have truly grasped the concept that when your quarrel with one group comes down to history and cultural differences less extensive than exist within your own faction, while your opposition to the other is based on them wanting to wipe out all life, stop fighting the first group for five minutes.
    • Jaina tends to view herself as the Only Sane Man, but given that the group she so adamantly protected from her allies just destroyed her home city Theramore, it seems she was just a Wide-Eyed Idealist while Varian was Properly Paranoid.
    • Jaina got a major shift in character in Tides Of War, turning her away from this trope. The position has been taken up by Wrathion, Anduin, and - far more aggressively - Taran Zhu.
  • Takeru Shiratori in Inyouchuu is quite often the counterweight to Mikoto's headstrong aggressiveness, Sui's cute helplessness, Yoru's perversions, and Yamato's general stupidity.
  • Venus Jones of Space Colony, is one of the few crew members without serious mental issues.
  • Vindictus has Shayla as the closest thing to a sane person (the player character doesn't really count). She's essentially the only one who fully realizes and admits what is actually going on with the Fomor Wars, and how thorougly messed up the situation is. All of the other NPCs are far too obsessed with politics and religion (the Royal Guard and Crimson Blade Mercenaries particularly), behind-the-scenes conspiracies ( Brynn and Nyle), and/or personal issues (Kirstie especially, but just about everyone else as well); when they're not simply drunk (Fergus). That doesn't stop her from profiteering and otherwise using the situation to her advantage, however; making her a clear Type 3.
  • The protagonist of Persona 4 leans towards this in his dialogue options, especially since one of the most common options for him in "Calm down." Comes to a head when the party is fighting over what to do with Namatame and the correct sequences of options leads to "Calm the hell down!".
  • Colonel James Hsu in Fallout: New Vegas is the only one of the NCR top military brass in the region that seems to have his head on straight. Colonel Moore and General Oliver are both jingos and have a delusion that the NCR is invincible. Oliver has the added problem of being a General Failure trying extremely ineptly to walk into the history books over the bodies of hundreds of NCR troops. Ranger Chief Hanlon, while he may share Hsu's opinion that the NCR's in quite a predicament in the region, decides to solve the various problems by covertly sabotaging the NCR's efforts.
    • Veronica is the only member of the Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel who is willing to make an effort to change their xenophobic and isolationist ways, which she sees as the group basically committing slow suicide. While Elder Nolan McNamara does have similar sentiments, he's both too afraid of the NCR and unwilling to break the Brotherhood Codex/commit outright heresy. Depending on how her personal quest ends, Veronica will either stay with the Brotherhood in order to help her family or try to join the Followers of the Apocalypse. Either choices sees her being attacked by fanatical Brotherhood Paladins for not being homicidally zealous enough.
    • The Courier becomes this in the Old World Blues DLC due to being stuck in a World of Ham research facility with various Mad Scientists, a base full of dysfunctional sentient home appliances who all hate each other, and a very long string of previous visitors, all of whom were lobotomised into drooling, ax-wielding maniacs.
      • Dr. Moebius also has shades of this, as he realizes the extreme danger that his colleagues' reckless science would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, he is mitigated by drug-induced senility.
  • Gene from God Hand qualifies as well, noting the unusual antics and oddities of the world as all other people seem to simply ignore them. Among these oddities, a succubus fleeing battle in a teleporting bus, a Monkey Luchadore, who turns out to be a man in a costume, and his epic line "You're all a bunch of freaking idiots!" when his longstanding enemies flee from him after being defeated.
  • General Knoxx, leader of the Crimson Lance in Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx is pretty much the only sane man in the Crimson Lance. The rank-and-file seem more concerned with ice-cream than their mission, the elites are Ax-Crazy (they were brainwashed as children then forced to murder their parents) and his boss is a freaking toddler. All while trapped on a desert planet loaded with crazies and vicious alien wildlife. He's so fed up with the situation that when the Vault Hunters find him, he's trying to kill himself to escape the madness.
    • Similarly, in Borderlands 2, you have Roland, one of the PCs from the first game, building a sanctuary city, rallying a resistance, and worrying about organization and infrastructure. That is while two of the other PCs literally lead or inspire bunches of madmen, the fourth spends his time sniping anything that moves while drunk with his pet bird, the computer narrator is a compulsive liar, and the main villain spends as much time doing stuff like shopping for shows of opulence like ponies made out of diamonds and hiring you to kill yourself as he does actually trying to maintain his hold on the planet. To say nothing of Borderlands 2's PCs and their varying flavors of insanity.
  • Kenji and Hisao both claim they're this in Katawa Shoujo. Kenji is quite offended at Hisao's claim: "There can't be two last sane men... There can only be one, like in that foreign movie where there could only be one, and in the end there is only one dude left, because that was the point." (In other words, Hisao is, Kenji only thinks he is.)
  • Luigi of Super Mario Bros. falls into this role sometimes, especially in the cartoons.
  • Emily in Deadly Premonition, who is the only other character besides York who wasn't born and raised in Greenvale, and really has no other quirks or eccentricities that the entire rest of the cast has.
  • In Bully, Lance Jackson is the only member of Bullsworth who isn't a bigot, a social malcontent or mean to others.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei as a whole, the only two members of the Celestial Paragons and Archangels who are not completely obsessed with The Evils of Free Will and hopelessly devoted to the will of YHVH are the Archangel Gabriel and Remiel. Remiel, particularly, gets a lot of flak from other angels for being so damn devoted to this "strange, impossible idea" of salvation for all, not just some of the Chosen, up to and including people who are generally considered irredeemable. Gabriel, while still very much a Knight Templar, distinguishes herself from the other three classical Archangels (Uriel, Michael and Raphael) for being significantly more interested in the quality of human life and generally having a firmer grasp on the Smart Ball.
  • Clank in Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One; at one point Qwark considers using the area they're in as a vacation spot, Nefarious tries to cajole Ratchet into letting him kill Qwark, with Ratchet considering. Clank has his hands full trying to keep the group together.
  • Most of the Characters from Team Fortress 2 suffer from some form of severe mental illness or pure sociopathy. But as shown through the comics, the Spy seems to be the only member of either team who will actually plan in advance or think about what’s going on. Maybe all that nicotine helps him keep a clear head (too bad the method of administering it (smoking) is busy cutting down his lifespan).
    • Don't forget about the Sniper.
    • The Engineer is always, and we do mean always, shown to be calm and level headed, with only a couple lines of dialogue displaying any form of anger. According to this psychoanalysis, the Engineer truly is the only sane man, his only problems being "minor paranoia, coupled with some perfectionism", neither of which is actually canon.
      • Still, the fact that he cut off his own hand to see if he could replace it with a robotic one makes him lean a good bit towards being a Mad Scientist.
  • The protagonist is the only one in Dra Koi who seems to actually be at all well balanced. His classmates are all crazy and his mother wants to rape him. The dragon herself indicate she'd like to eat him or sleep with him and sees little difference between the two options.
  • The Hero in Sierra's Quest for Glory series often falls into this. The supporting cast of characters is rather...colorful.
  • In Puyo Puyo 7 and Puyo Puyo!! 20th Anniversary, Ringo, the physics geek, is often the first to notice the absurdity in the plot, and drops some snarky comments time to time.
  • Chrom fills this role in Fire Emblem Awakening. It's especially noticeable in the Paralogue chapters dealing with the future children and in the various DLC episodes. It comes with being a relatively normal person in a group of borderline insane people.
  • Steve from Harvester is the only sane person in an entire town full of creepy nutbars, and is constantly pointing out how bizarre everyone's acting. He doesn't stay that way for long.
  • Lee, the protagonist of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead, depending on the player's choices of course. Molly, the Badass survivalist girl who briefly joins the group for Chapter 4, also notably acts like a normal human being or even as a sort of surrogate for many of the players, doing things like calling out the party's chronic infighting and refusing to tolerate Kenny's abrasive personality.
  • In comparison to the rest of the House of Duras, whose members had serially attempted to overthrow the Klingon Empire's leadership, Captain Ja'rod of Star Trek Online is actually a fairly decent guy and loyal to the Empire (although it helps that by 2409 the Empire's leader is a political ally).
    • Hilariously, not only is Ja'rod this to the Duras family, he is this to his allies as well — with the exception of the Chancellor (who of course already is in charge of the Empire) Ja'rod's allies has a remarkable tendency to end up revealed as traitors (the family that raised him turned out to be collaborating with the Tal Shiar) or madmen (his mentor turned out to be plotting to unleash Doomsday Machines on the Federation solely for the reason of ensuring that there would never again be peace between the Federation and the Klingons).

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