Playing With: Must Make Amends
Basic Trope: A character Kicks or Shoots The Dog, then tries to fix things.
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- Straight: The Hero Dirk became so fixated on his quest to defeat Emperor Evulz, he refused to help Port Placid, a village that was having problems with pirates — after all, the pirates clearly weren't working for the Emperor, so why should he care? After the village is attacked, he witnesses some of the carnage and realizes his mistake, charging in to save the village and help fix things.
- Port Placid was ransacked and razed in his absence; upon seeing the smoking ruins, Dirk vows to track down and destroy the pirates, rescue any survivors, and help them rebuild.
- The Atoner
- Downplayed: After Dirk sees what happened to Port Placid, he feels a little guilty and donates to a relief fund.
- Justified: Someone calls Dirk out on the fact that what happened at Port Placid was his fault.
- Inverted: Emperor Evulz takes pity on someone for a moment and saves their life, then, realizing he doesn't want to go soft, he goes back to kill them later.
- Subverted: Dirk stays in Port Placid to help them defend from the pirates, reasoning that he could never let the innocent suffer.
- Double Subverted: Except the pirates overrun and enslave everyone anyway, and they ransom him to Emperor Evulz.
- Parodied: Port Placid is being razed to the ground, the pirates are pillaging, and Dirk berates the mayor for asking for his help since he's on a much more important mission. Days later, one of his teammates notes that Dirk lost his favorite hat in Port Placid, at which point he collapses into a sobbing heap and vows to save the Port. Which is by then just a pile of soot and skulls.
- Zig Zagged: Dirk feels honest regret at his omission, except it turns out everyone in the town evacuated on time! Only they turn out to have gone evil out of anger, but Dirk doesn't really care about them now because of their alignment change.
- Averted: Dirk decides not to bother going back to help, since there's little he can do and to distract himself from fighting Emperor Evulz would make their involuntary sacrifice be in vain.
- Enforced: "We need Dirk to make mistakes and feel contrite, otherwise everyone will think he's a Mary Sue!"
- Lampshaded: "Wow Dirk, another adventure that's suspiciously like An Aesop about not forgetting to help the helpless, hopefully this time the Character Development you get from it will stick so we don't have to go through this again."
- Invoked: After Port Placid is attacked, Marcy calls him out and makes it clear she's going to try and fix things with or without his help.
- Exploited: Port Placid had some problems before Dirk ever showed up. They set him up to think he caused their problems so his guilty conscience will lead him to fix things.
- Defied: Dirk realizes this is a Secret Test of Character, and sticks around long enough to take care of the pirates.
- Discussed: "I hate this situation, we're caught between a rock and a hard place. Either we help the townspeople, enabling their dependence and losing valuable time, or we leave them to their fate and feel guilt over it, losing even more time and lives as we double back. Can't we just teach them to fight back?"
- Conversed: "Dirk really should put more thought into when and where he's a bastard, otherwise it'll just come back to haunt him and make him seem less badass."
- Deconstructed: While Dirk honestly regrets his mistake, the damage has already been done. His friends and the survivors of Port Placid are sharply divided, with general opinion ranging from distrust to blame to indifference; his efforts now are seen as "too little, too late".
- Reconstructed: Though it's a long, hard road, and he's never able to fully gain everyone's forgiveness, Dirk does manage to redeem himself in his friends' eyes, regaining their trust and respect over time.
- Played For Laughs: Dirk is a Heroic Comedic Sociopath with a conscience, so he goes around doing and allowing horrible things to happen to innocent(ish) people, and immediately going into a Big "NO!" as he repents, only to completely forget about it later.
- Played For Drama: Port Placid is Claudia's hometown; when Dirk refuses to help, she's clearly shocked, but reluctantly agrees that stopping the Emperor is more important... though that doesn't stop her from worrying, even before a local from the port comes barreling into the inn, screaming that they're being attacked...
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