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Playing With: The Dark Side Will Make You Forget
Basic Trope: Good guy uses The Dark Side for good ends, Slowly Slipping Into Evil without realizing it.
  • Straight: Knight in Shining Armor Kelvin uses the Crimson Deathblade to slay the Black Knight Butcher. Over time, as he wields the blade, he turns into an extreme Knight Templar
  • Exaggerated: Kelvin strikes down the Black Knight with the Crimson Deathblade, immediately becomes the new Black Knight and takes over his kingdom in order to 'better defend it'.
  • Downplayed: As Kelvin uses the Deathblade, he still fights to defend his kingdom, he just becomes a bit more of a jerk.
  • Justified: The Crimson Deathblade is a cursed weapon that corrupts all who wield it.
  • Inverted:
    • The more Kelvin uses The Dark Side, the more it horrifies him, until he can no longer use it for the most vital of purposes.
    • Alternatively: Black Knight Bryce uses white magic for selfish ends, not realizing that he's slowly becoming less ruthless and more compassionate.
  • Subverted: Kelvin uses the Crimson Deathblade to defeat the Black Knight, then returns it to its rightful place and goes on with his normal life.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...Until he uses the sword in another important fight. Then another. Then another until he's in full-on Blood Knight mode.
    • Alternatively: Kelvin only used the Crimson Deathblade the once... But it doesn't matter. The more he goes on, the more he's willing to go to extremes. The sword was just an object; it was the willingness to use it that was the gateway to corruption.
  • Parodied: When Kelvin draws the Crimson Deathblade, it starts the "Dark force" background music. When he uses it to kill, a mailman delivers him a greeting card from The Evil Side. Kelvin wonders if it means anything.
  • Zig Zagged: Sometimes are means which matter, other times are the ends. Other time is just angst and after a while no one remembers that the protagonist ever did something bad.
  • Averted: There is no Dark Side, just Grey Morality.
  • Enforced: "Boring Invincible Hero is losing popularity. How can we shoehorn some badassery without the audience complaining?" "Cursed pants?"
  • Lampshaded:
    • "This better not be one of those cursed swords I read about, you know, the kind that make you a bad guy, and stuff."
    • "Everything the Blade is used for turns to evil. Everything it touches is corrupted or destroyed outright. Even if you start out a champion of justice, you will become a tyrant in time."
  • Invoked: Emperor Evulz ensured that the Crimson Deathblade would fall into the heroes' hands as a Batman Gambit to tempt one of them to his side.
  • Exploited: Emperor Evulz notices the Crimson Deathblade in Kelvin's possession, and sends waves after waves of minions after him so that Kelvin will be corrupted.
  • Defied:
    • After the first use, Kelvin discards the Crimson Blade and runs as far away as he can, muttering something about it changing him.
    • Kelvin continues using the Crimson Blade, but makes some sort of reminder that he can never simply ignore, to force him to stay on the side of good. How well this works depends on the story.
  • Discussed: "Don't you notice how this sword is changing your behavior?"
  • Conversed: "Remember in the legends the Blood Warrior of Hellesbe wasn't born that way. He picked up the Black Baldrick and could never see the evil in what he was doing after that."
  • Deconstructed: Kelvin knows the perils of tempting his own dark side, but tries to rationalize it considering the needs. In the end he falls for the dark side, but is still considered a hero for sacrificing his morality for the sake of others.
  • Reconstructed: But then as a force of evil Kelvin causes more harm than he originally prevented.
  • Played For Laughs: "Can you please put down that sword? Every time you pick it up, your power aura switches to ominous red, and it's annoying"
  • Played For Drama: Kelvin's initial rationale for using the Crimson Deathblade is that it's the only way he can save his beloved fiancée, Indira the Innocent. Its corrupting effects, however, lead him into greater and greater acts of evil, until he ends up cutting down Indira herself in cold blood, leading to a My God, What Have I Done? realization that drives him to suicide.

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