In the bonus comics for Wadanohara based on the Normal Ending 1, Samekichi, the beloved Jerk with a Heart of Gold, has been captured and kept as the 'community punching bag'. He is forever tied up and covered with cuts and bruises inflicted by Sal and Wadanohara, after Wadanohara was dubbed the queen of the Red Sea. Samekichi is left emotionless and hopeless. Wadanohara has a glimpse of pity for him, which is quickly snubbed out by Sal.
Clementine from the The Walking Dead is the very definition of this trope. In just five episodes she finds out her parents are walkers, all of her friends get killed, she gets kidnapped, and top of that smeared with zombie guts.
Just Clementine? If we were to list all the Woobies in the game, we'd have about half the cast...
Arc Rise Fantasia gives us the final boss of the game, the Designated Villain, Eesa. Unfortunately for the heroes, they either have a choice of letting most of mankind die off, or kill Eesa, who is only in the situation she is in because mankind wanted her to become God in the first place. The reason she even ended up as an antagonist is because the same humans who made her into a God later decided they no longer needed her and decided to kill her. While she survived their attempts to kill her, the aftermath is the world covered in hozone, and the only way Eesa can save mankind while keeping herself alive is to either reset the world(killing everything), or wipe out 90% of humans stuck on the ground. The party's solution in order to save humanity? Kill the God they created who is only doing everything in her power to save humanity while desperately trying to preserve her own life at the same time. The cutscene after beating her only hammered down the fact that she never wanted to be like this in the first place and that she wanted to live.
To a lesser, yet still significant extent, there's also Dynos. The Unfavourite in his family, his father woke him up instead of Cecille so he could take him to kill the Olquinian Diva. Being an extreme pacifist who couldn't even hurt a bug, he refused, so his father tries to kill him by taking away his Dragon Gem which the Divine Race needs to survive. When he couldn't take it from Dynos, he destroyed his own gem to transform into a dragon to kill Dynos who would have been killed by his own father was it no for Ms. Rafil the Diva who saved him. This experience left him especially bitter towards life and devoted himself to protecting the Olquinian Diva, who was soon assassinated. After that happens, Dynos became a Death Seeker trying to destroy all life in the world or die trying. Especially tragic once you remember Cecille describing Dynos as someone who couldn't even harm an insect when he was young.
There are several League of Legends champions that get in on this, but special mention should be made of Amumu the Sad Mummy. He wakes up with no memory of his previous life other than that he missed his parents, and even after joining the League, he can't make friends because of a curse on him that makes him give off an aura of palpaple depression. And then there's his kit in the fields of justice. He gives hugs to people, he cries when they run away, he gets angry when they try to hurt him, and his curse, which he has no control over; passively lowers their magic resist and freezes them in place. He's not fighting at all. He's just trying to make friends and it's causing people around him to die! Makes you just want to hug the poor kid...
Linear Cannon from Evolution Worlds. She stares out as just a very timid Cute Mute with healing powers who has to deal with the unwanted advances of PrinceEugene, but then Eugene realizes that she is the key to finding the legendary cyframe Evolutia, which his country wants in order to take over the world, and kidnaps her. He then finds out that SHE is Evolutia, refuses to let her go and intends to use her as a weapon of war. Bear in mind that Linear is implied to be so empathetic that she can actually FEEL the pain or distress of any nearby living thing, including PLANTS (and the desire to help said living thing is implied to be the origin of her healing powers). Eugene then almost kills Mag Launcher, who along with Battle ButlerGre Nade is basically the only family she has, right in front of her. This is only compounded by the way she cringes in fear whenever an enemy in the game attacks her. She also seems to have a depressing back story, having appeared in the Launcher's doorway in the heavy snow three years before the start of the game, and for a while spent most of her time terrified until Mag taught her to play the ocarina.
Pilika, from Suikoden II, is just a cute 5 year old child, but has her parents killed by Luca Blight, is almost killed by him (which turns her into a Cute Mute for a while), is separated from her caretaker and dear friend, Jowy for an extended period of time, and in the end after being reunited with Jowy, Jowy tells her "goodbye forever" as Highland falls and sends her to be cared for by Jillia.
Thomas from Suikoden III, especially in the Manga Adaptation. He goes to his father after his mother died at the hands of bandits, only to be outright ejected and shuttled off to a rundown castle so no one 'important' knows that he exists. And when he starts to turn the Castle into something profitable, his father and the councilmen decided that he's more trouble then he's worth - first being disowned, and then threatened with removal from his post and arrested. All because he's trying to be the nice guy.
The rest of Budehuc Castle's staff counts as well, given that they're all aware that nobody in the Zexen Confederacy gives a crap about them and has just been sending their cast-offs to run them deeper into the ground. About the only one who isn't resigned to this fate is Cecile, a young woman who inherited her late father's station and desperately wants to live up to his example.
Chris Lightfellow could also count, what with the beloved dead parents, and the fact that she's trying to be even a fraction as great of member of the military as her father was at the beginning while suddenly shouldering the leadership due to the recent deaths of the previous Generals. Then there's the whole "set up to be a sacrifice to fuel the war" part which leads to her killing The Scrappy. All around just a poor, pitiable soul who overcomes whatever is thrown at her.
Hugo. What looks like a simple errand for The Chief's Son, delivering a message to the Zexen capital about the cease-fire agreement, goes astray when the Council decides to treat him like crap just because they can, delaying him for several days before having a go-between just take the letter, denying him even an audience with them. Then they decide "Hey, the Chief's kid could make a good bargaining chip!" and try to kidnap him from the inn, setting off a Stern Chase. And when he finally makes it back home, it's to find Karaya in flames. His best friend goes into an Unstoppable Rage, charges one of the soldiers, and is promptly cut down right in front of him. And that's all just in his first chapter!
Suikoden IV: Snowe Vingerhut. An Upper-Class Twit who actually wants to contribute to society, but isn't the natural-born leader his manipulative father leads him to believe. Thanks to said father Blackmailing the Commander of the Knights of Gaien, Snowe gets passed through the Academy without actually earning it, something he's completely oblivious to. Stuck in a position of command he isn't qualified for, he cracks under the pressure of his first real crisis and is neverallowed to forget it. Instead, he struggles on desperately trying to prove he's capable of leading, compounding previous mistakes and unable to understand why he keeps getting blamed for everything. His development arc actually mirrors The Hero's, but while Lazlo is surrounded by loyal, supportive friends and allies, Snowe labors under his worsening reputation, with every move he makes just making things worse. And of course, he's generally considered to be The Scrappy.
Everyone to some extent: Deionarra and Dak'kon deserve special mention though.
The Paranoid Incarnation is an excellent example. Throughout the greater part of the game he appears as nothing more than a suspicious, raving and hostile individual who automatically reacts with murderous force to most situations, and sets traps for your character in response to you "stealing" his existence. It is only in the final portion of the game that you discover this persona is in fact a defense mechanism created when the Paranoid Incarnation, remembering nothing, is set upon by others seeking vengeance for the crimes of his "past self". Underneath he is in fact surprisingly sane, rational, scared, and has known nothing but fear and anguish.
Of all characters, Morte, the wise-cracking, insult-slinging talking skull. Spending God knows how along as part of the Pillar of Skulls as a result of tricking the Nameless One into losing his mortality, he's then found and taken out him. And not just him; the Practical Incarnation, the biggest monster of all of the Nameless One's incarnations. After that, he's bound by guilt to follow him through all his incarnations, good or evil, sane or insane. One flashback shows how bad it can get when Morte is nearly smashed to pieces by the Nameless One himself in a fit of anger, in very noticable pain.
The sheer number of woobies in the party is actually justified by the Symbol of Torment on the Nameless One's shoulder, which acts as a sort of woobie magnet.
The Metal Gear series heavily revolves around the theme of how there's nothing glorious about war and how it destroys everyone who gets involved. So it's no surprise that almost every single character has suffered unbelievable amounts of suffering and loss. But the one who probably gets it the worst is clearly Otacon, one of the few characters who isn't even a soldier. His father killed himself because Otacon was seduced by his stepmother. (That's statutory rape, boys and girls!) His dearly loved stepsister almost dies as well because of this, and he doesn't see her again for more than 10 years. When he finally finds two friends in Sniper Wolf and Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid, Snake fatally kills Wolf in battle and can only stand by and watch as she bleeds to death. In Metal Gear Solid 2, he finally meets his stepsister again, but she gets fatally stabbed just meters she before gets to him, and again dies slowly in his arms. In Metal Gear Solid 4, he again falls in love with a woman, but Naomi turns out to be terminally ill and kept alive only by the technology they try to destroy. To make things easier for everyone else later, she injects herself with a drug that will shut down the nanomachines in her body while talking to Otacon over video phone, and again slowly dies while he can only watch. Those are three of the four most saddest moments in the entire series, and the saddest moments of each game he appears in. And in the end, his very close best friend Snake has only a few more months to live before he dies from unstoppable rapid aging. And he really doesn't take it well every time.
Wolf herself is also somewhat of a Woobie - she even confesses just before her senseless death that she's essentially spent her entire life waiting for someone to come and kill her.
Not to mention Raiden in the fourth game, who not only suffered head breaking unreasonable torment before the game even begins, but ends up suffering and bleeding in every single appearance he makes. Heck even in Metal Gear Solid 2 we learned that his girlfriend was an agent and his entire life has been controlled.
And then there's The Boss, Big Boss' mentor. She is arguably the biggest Badass of the series but the lengths she goes through to protect the country that she loves is what makes her such a tragic figure. While it at first appears that she betrayed the United States, she was actually set-up to by her superiors and would go down in history in America as the greatest traitor since Benedict Arnold and one of the worst war criminals in Russian history and she would have to be killed by her student And she did it with that knowledge.
Latooni from the Super Robot Wars Original Generation was turned into a expert pilot by way of intense training that killed most of the participants including the rest of Latooni's entire group. She ends up finding three of her remaining school-mates, only to find they're on the other side of the war. She ends up nearly killing one, the other two were brainwashed to kill her, and one of them died in a Heroic Sacrifice. Her best friend was kidnapped, and also brainwashed into killing her. Even worse she's stuck in a love triangle with Ryusei Date, and Mai Kobayashi, and she's at a disadvantage because Mai has a Combination Attack, in a series where love interests always have a combination attack.
From what it looks like, the female protagonist of Super Robot Wars Z, Setsuko Ohara, is going on this direction. On the course of a single game, she gets... to see her chief and friend killed in front of her eyes and gets herself constantly tortured mentally and causes dimensional jumps here and there... which suggests that she may have not been born normally. What kind of tortures that she endured? Well there's being beaten up to the point that it's implied that she's been raped, see her friend come Back from the Dead, only for him to shoot her from the back and reveals himself to be her usual torturer, then there's also the said torturer going to the Alternate Universe and convince the AU version of her friend and chief to believe that she is evil.... To make matters worse, attempting to take revenge on Asakim by killing him would actually be treated into letting him win, because he is a Death Seeker and giving him death would be exactly submitting to defeat. Poor, poor Sexsuko...
They're all preceded by Tytti Noorbuck, actually. So when we first hear about her past, it's about Her parents being killed brutally in front of her, by Lubikka Hakinnen, followed with him gloating that he would take extra delights on seeing her shiver in fear and terror. Later on, Lubikka reappears and brainwashed her into attacking her lover Ricardo Silvera, which he managed to pull her out of the brainwashing stance... only for Lubikka to shoot him dead in front of her AGAIN, then Ricardo died just after Tytti officially returned his love, and from thereafter, she became fearful of striking a relationship with another man. And this is just the earlier version, let's see if OG (if she ever appears there) will crank this up to an eleven. Thankfully, in 2nd Original Generations, all that came off was a small bout of angst after seeing the Shutedonians use Zamzeed on a geas (though they recovered it), which was thankfully away after a bit of honest consulting with Irm.
Cliana Rimskaya from Super Robot Wars Destiny: Her parents are dead and her adoptive father experimented on her, which causes her to have a Split Personality. 2nd Original Generation removes this part with her adoptive father being more generous and not amoral, but instead made things WORSE for her. In both versions, she has accepted that her other personality, referred as 'Liana', while her default sweet self is 'Chris', was like another family member. In Destiny, they both got to live throughout the game. In OG? in process of 'recruiting' Glacies and Ventus, Chris suddenly vanished/died, leaving Liana heartbroken as in losing a family member. Then during the confrontation with Perfectio, Liana learns that she is an incomplete Melior Esse, and somehow it was her fault that Chris died. When Perfectio is beaten, then Ventus sacrifices himself to seal Perfectio, much to Liana's shock because she's closer to Ventus. Hammering things home? Chris' spirit appears for the last time and bid them farewell, while every of Liana's begging that she, being the 'fake' Cliana Rimskaya, should be the one doing the sacrifice, was shot down and encouraged to live on as the sole Cliana, even if Liana was completely in tears about the loss of Chris. Yeah, it's that bad for her.
Oersted from Live A Live. Over the course of their chapter, in no particular order, he gets the princess, loses the princess (kidnapped), forms a Four Man Band, loses said Four Man Band (One dies, another fakes his death, and the last one is tortured to death), fights a demon, beats the demon, is called a demon because he was tricked into regicide, then learns that his best friend has actually betrayed him, which leads to the princess committing suicide because she thinks that only he bothered to come to the demon's lair to save her, not you! They are just the kind of person that you wish all of their troubles would go away, because they really did nothing to deserve any of them. Then they decide, rather understandably, that Humans Are the Real Monsters. Less understandably, he slaughters the entire kingdom, possibly more people than that, with the intention of destroying time and space. He sort of loses most, but not all, sympathy at that point.
Kairi in and out of game. She is first separated from the people she cares for most and eventually kidnapped, then she learns that her closest friend sacrificed his heart to save her, then she is separated from her friends further, and later when she finally receives a Keyblade, she is still cut off from Sora and Riku by Xemnas. Oh, and the real kicker? The fangirlshateherguts for all this.
Let it be said that Terra is probably the only reason Xemnas comes across as even the slightest bit sympathetic. When your nigh-inconsequential influence on one of Xehanort's incarnations is enough to give him traces of Tragic Villainy, you know your lot in life is truly terrible.
Lucas from Mother 3. Lucas begins the game rather quiet and shy, which already scores him a few Woobie points. We are immediately introduced to his loving family, who live in a happy, idyllic Arcadia called Tazmily, and it's clear that he is very close with all of them. The villainous Pig King, however, has other plans for all of them. His Pigmask army strikes fear into the hearts of the villagers by setting the forest on fire and reassembling the wildlife into ghastly Chimeras, one of which kills Lucas' mother. Lucas' twin brother, Claus, tries to avenge his mother's death, but disappears and actually dies, and is brought back by the Pigmasks as a soulless slave, and their father nearly goes insane with grief. During the three-year gap between chapters 3 and 4, Lucas pays frequent visits to his mother's grave, while his father fruitlessly searches for Claus and the Pigmask army continuously threatens' the villagers' way of life. It is later revealed that the Pigmask army is trying to destroy the world by unleashing the power of an ancient dragon, but stopping them by unleashing it first may destroy it as well. Finally, after learning that everything he knows about Tazmily is a lie, Lucas must face his twin brother Claus in single combat. After one of the most heart-wrenching"I know you're in there somewhere" fights ever done, Claus commits suicide to stop the Pig King's influence over him and dies in Lucas' arms. Somebody please give this poor kid a hug.
Saavedro, from Myst III: Exile. Seriously - two evil guys who are your friend's sons nearly destroy your home world and you follow them only to get knocked out, tied up, and tortured by said evil sons and stranded on a world you know nothing about for twenty years while thinking your family - no, your entire world - is dead? Serious Woobie fuel. At least this editor thinks so.
The Relyimah in Myst: The Book of D'ni. Even the bitter psycho Ymur.
There's a reason he's bitter and a psycho.
Atrus has had to trap his father and his sons, has been partly (and inadvertently) responsible for the deaths of billions of people (admittedly an evil world, but the slaves died in droves too), has outlived the sons, and (due to the Mayfly-December Romance) has outlived his wife. He has abandoned at least one home because of the bad memories.
Luigi of Mario fame has become a woobie to a big portion of the fanbase, and some take it to ridiculous extremes by making the comical abuse he suffers in the games out to be irreparably soul-damaging (Somewhat justified by Mario and Luigi: Dream Team). Bowser's become something of a woobie in recent years, too.
Luigi was left off of the original version of Mario Party 9's box art. Why? Because Nintendo forgot about him. Basically the equivalent of parents forgetting their child at the park, that's pretty woobie-material, especially considering that even after he's been added he's the smallest thing on the box.
Then proceeded to get overshadowed by Mario at that year's E3. Poor guy can't even catch a break in a year dedicated to him.
Vivian from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is abused constantly by Beldam. The pain stops when she joins Mario.
MOMO from Xenosaga deserves a mention. She started out the first game kidnapped and had to be rescued. The desire for her rescue only came from the fact that she was a Robot Girl with valuable data. Later on in the game, she is kidnapped by the insane Albedo and mind raped in about 1000 different ways. In the second game, it is revealed that MOMO was originally built simply as a replacement for a mad scientist's daughter. Meanwhile, people throughout the games have been calling her creator, whom she refers to as "Daddy", insane and responsible for unleashing the cosmic horror. The wife of said mad scientist only looks at MOMO as a painful reminder that her daughter is dead. Early on, she is hacked by her mind rapist for her valuable data. Things don't end well there. She's finally cut a little slack at the end when her "mommy" decides to start viewing MOMO as her own person and not as a replacement. She even lets MOMO move in with her. And in the third game, an encounter with her father in a rather heartwarming scene reveals that he was never the lunatic that people made him out to be.
Shion Uzuki. Episode 3. Full stop. To list, She was basically the trigger of the apocalypse, watched both of her parent be brutally murdered by monsters, and watched the prototype KOS-MOS go berserk and kill her boyfriend. This is just the flashbacks for BEFORE THE CANONICAL START OF THE SERIES. It gets worse in the actual plot of Episode 3, where its revealed she's slowly dying,her dead boyfriend manipulates her, and in the end she loses KOS-MOS and her brother, Jin after BEATING the final boss. At least MOMO gets a somewhat happy ending. There's also an official flash series that seems to have her lose someone again. At least Allen loves her...
Melia in Xenoblade Chronicles. Four of her trusted friends die trying to protect her, she becomes the target of an assassination plot made by her stepmother, her father is killed, and to top that all off, the majority of her people end up being transformed into mindless Telethia by the Big Bad, including her half brother, who she is then forced to fight against.She takes all of it surprisingly well, though.
And then there's Presea, especially whenever something reminds her of her lost time, such as meeting neighbors she used to babysit as adults while she's still physically a child.
Sheena is quite the woobie as well. She was found in the Gaoracchia Forest when she was an infant, and while the chief of Mizuho took her in, some still consider her an outsider. Because of her hereditary ability to summon, she's made to try and make a pact with the Summon Spirit of Lightning, Volt, when she's just a kid, which backfires so horribly that Volt goes berserk and kills several people in her village, including and puts the chief of the village (who's also her grandfather) in a coma. In the end, she's become the outcast of her village and ends up with serious self-esteem problems. After joining the party, she eventually succeeds in making a pact with Volt, but her familiar/one of her oldest friends ends up sacrificing her life to save her. Oh and another one of her friends? His parents were also killed during Volt's initial rampage, and he's secretly held a grudge against Sheena ever since, to the point where he even joins Cruxis to get a chance to get back at her.
Zelos, very much like Collet, from birth onwards. Zelos was only born because it was prophecied that if his mother and father were to have a kid, it'd be the next Chosen. His mother and father pretty much hated each other. When he's a young child, Zelos' mother is killed in front of his eyes by his half-sister Seles' mother. The attack that killed his mother was actually intended for him. All through life, he is seen as nothing more than the Chosen by everyone and so Zelos hides his self-loathing and despair being a cheerful mask. Sure he's the jerk that betrayed your party, but if you go the route that ends with your party killing Zelos, you can bet you'll feel really bad about it afterwards.
And in the sequel, Emil could qualify as a woobie. But really, his parents are dead because they were assumed to be killed by Lloyd, his uncle and aunt hate him and he's hated by the entire city of Luin because he doesn't worship the grounds of Lloyd.
Hilda Rhambling from Tales of Rebirth. Born in a world of Fantastic Racism as a Half means she gets the butt end of bullying and prejudice from both Huma and Gajuma. Later, Tohma of the Four Stars arrived and killed her Huma father and took her away from her mother, and she was raised as a Tykebomb, while Tohma supplied her with a fictional backstory of her being abandoned by her parents. When she failed him, Tohma proceeds to break her in the most painful way possible: reveal that she is a Half, and tell her there is no place for her in the world. Later, she joins Veigue's party, and found a Gajuma woman named Naira, who happens to be her blood mother, and she flat out rejects her, making her angry and believe she was discarded. Until Tohma arrived again and tried to kill her, only for Naira to cover her and die for it. And then, after she dies, another person delivered her a letter that pretty much sums up how much she loved her, leaving Hilda in anguish that she could never apologize to her mother or even call her mother, at all... Sometimes, a Cool Big Sis like her does need a pat in the back...
Karol from Tales of Vesperia. He's an unlucky coward whose crush hates his guts and eventually fires him from their guild. He's such a coward, he was fired from every guild in the book. His hero, Don Whitehorse, commits suicide. Everyone except the main characters seem to hate his guts. Even Troy Baker, Yuri's voice actor, says he's annoying. He needs some more love, people!
Estelle becomes this when Alexei uses her power for his own ends, and eventually forces her to fight her friends. To the point where she outright begs Yuri to kill her.
Pretty much Judith as well, once you learn her history.
F.E.A.R.'sMan Behind the Man (well, 'Girl'' Behind The Man in this case) is Alma, who spends most of her time making your comrades' flesh boil off or sending flaming killer ghosts after you in your dream sequences, so sympathy for her might not seem all that forthcoming...until you learn just what Armacham Technology Corporation did to her.
She started off broken, born a powerful telepath who was sensitive to the negative emotions of people, which ended up with her constantly suffering from hallucinations and nightmares. Then, she was brought into an Armacham program to create psychic super soldiers. After spending years locked inside a tiny cell and studied by ATC, she was put into a coma and artificially impregnated with children based on her own DNA. When they reached maturity, labor was induced, and the children were forcibly taken away from Alma while she was still screaming for them. Eventually, after the project went south, the plug was pulled on Alma's life support, and she was locked up underground and left to die. The best part about all of this? The project lead who masterminded it all was her own father.
The Woobification hits truly epic levels with the final hallucination, where intermixed with pained sobbing and images of brutal, explosive, and bloody violence, Alma is trying to hug the Point Man, her only surviving son... and the Point Man is forced to shoot her repeatedly or die. Damn, man. Just... damn.
Project Origin manages to take an already powerful Woobie and cranks the woobification past eleven. At one point, there's a hallucination showing Harlan Wade ordering a pair of massive, fully-armored ATC soldiers to haul her to the Vault, and she's shown being violently dragged away, sobbing and clutching a teddy bear.
And that place where they were dragging her away from? Her Happy Place, which so happens to be a withered old tree and swing set that's sandwiched in the corner of a muddy concrete ditch that seems to be part of the facility's sewage system.
There's also a scene in Wade Elementary right after the blood-soaked locker hallway with the ghosts where Alma attacks Beckett, and he fights her off. Immediately afterward, Alma is standing in front of him, and staring at him with this horrible mixture of sadness and fear. She starts curling up into a ball on the floor, and whispers "You don't want me?" in this pained and saddened whisper that just breaks the heart to hear.
The second game is testament to her status as the woobie because she is still considered one even after she rapes Beckett, which would normally be considered a Moral Event Horizon. This is because all the trauma she's gone through has left her so utterly broken that she is incapable of normal behavior. She doesn't understand why Beckett is rejecting her when it's her actions that cause him to see her as a threat.
F.3.A.R shows Beckett as being quite insane. As in, "DON'T TOUCH HER! I'LL RIP OUT YOUR GUTS AND WEAR THEM AS A HAIR-NET IF YOU DO!" insane. Poor guy. Then it gets amplified even further when the Point Man and Fettel reach him, as Fettel takes control of Beckett to rip his memories out of his body, a process which causes Beckett immense physical agony and eventually causes his whole body to explode. Fettel's commentary while this is happening doesn't help, as he notes that "This man is an empty shell" and "All he wants is to forget."
Another Type-Moon example: Kohaku. Hisui, also, to a lesser extent; in fact, the "lesser" is partly Kohaku's doing, given that she begged Makihisa Tohno to leave her sister alone and Synchronize (or rather, rape) her exclusively). In fact, depending on the route and the player, this might qualify for any of the five heroines (andSatsuki)...but Kohaku most of all.
Satsuki is the Chew Toy. Len and Nanako however are legitimate examples. The biggest woobie in Tsukihime is however the real SHIKI. This will not make the slightest bit of sense until you've beaten every route of course.
Wally, the little ginger pirate wannabe from the Monkey Island series. He actually had a scene in The Curse of Monkey Island where he is stranded on a raft and his monocle falls in the water, he then falls in trying to retrieve it; this was taken out because the developers felt so sorry for him.
Sasha Nein from Psychonauts is a popular target of Woobification among fangirls, primarily due to the fact that he lost his mother when he was a baby, and his only exposure to her, via reading his father's memories, was rather... squicky. He's also emotionless. Some fans then assume lifelong, unhealing trauma, and run with it from there.
It's not that he's emotionless. He's just not very emotional. He clearly has affection for Milla, a borderline hatred for tackiness, and is obviously angry as hell when he encounters the Big Bad near the end of the game. Which may only enhance his appeal to fangirls...
How could you put Sasha without also mentioning Milla? The entire family of orphans she took care of died in a fire. By listening to her nightmares, you can tell she blames herself for not being there to save them.
Or Coach Oleander, whose father, a butcher, seemed to show him no love and even took his favorite pet bunny and butchered it in front of him.
Or Ford Cruller, who lost his sanity in a psychic battle and can't remain whole outside of his underground lair until the end of the game.
The asylum inmates - the three whose headspaces you enter after getting inside the main asylum, anyway.
Fred used to be an orderly who tried to cheer up a withdrawn patient by challenging him to his favorite board game... and, much to his frustration, lost repeatedly. Which was upsetting, yeah, but nothing serious. Until he was suddenly "possessed" by his ancestor, Napoleon Bonaparte, trying to whip him into shape for being a loser, knowing perfectly well that he'd developed a Split Personality and was at war with himself but unable to do anything about it. And when Dr. Loboto "takes over" the asylum, he gets the inmate who'd beat him at his own game mocking him from a distance, watching him argue with himself.
Gloria was the daughter of an actress trying to groom her little girl into a star, sending her away to a brutally strict and abusive boarding school thanks to her bastard of a boyfriend. Said bastard of a boyfriend also deliberately prevented the many letters she wrote to her daughter from reaching her, way to give Gloria intense feelings of abandonment. When she grew up, Gloria did become a famous actress, outshining her mother, and had a happy, thriving career up until learning that her mother committed suicide and going schizophrenic.
Edgar was a nice and respected guy in high school and star of the wrestling team with a wonderful girlfriend with whom he was madly in love. When she dumped him for a male cheerleader, he completely lost his focus and screwed up in the middle of an important match and lost his team the state semifinals, causing all his former friends to turn on him, the reason he turned into more of an obvious Sensitive Guy, avoiding everyone and taking up painting but finding himself unable to do anything but obsessive-compulsively paint bullfights, thanks to a metaphor for his own life coming from his nickname on the team being the Bull. Evidently he also developed mood control issues, that or he already had them.
Carona, an Alternate Universe version of Marona has it even worse. While Marona at least has Ash to protect her from the worst of it and give her a shoulder to cry on Carona never had that. She is utterly alone, forced to become an Oxide just to survive and forced to become a slave to a genocidal arms dealer to stop him from destroying her world.
Ill Girl Castille's family have spent thier entire life savings on her expensive treatments. Now both her parents and brother are forced to spend the entire day working to make ends meet. Because of this she is forced to spend her entire time stuck in an empty house with hardly any kind of contact with the outside world.
While quite a few characters from Animamundi: Dark Alchemist end up with surprising and sympathetic development that gives them a touch of Woobieness, poor St. Germant fits the trope right down to the E. Despite being completely kind and sincere (and let's stop beating around this shonen-ai bush: cute) - or perhaps because of such - he's arguably the most tormented soul of the entire game, subjected to such horrors as being coerced, tortured, drugged, molested, dominated, and brainwashed by the disturbingly-psychotic Big Bad as a means of getting back at the protagonist.
Most characters in the Harvest Moon series are too happy (or at least content) to qualify as Woobies. The exceptions include:
Cliff (Back To Nature, Mineral Town): Broke, jobless, and his beloved sister died while he was traveling. Reacts so strongly to any kindness, you wonder about the stuff he doesn't tell you about.
Griffin (DS version): If you marry Muffy, once she starts obliviously gushing to Griffin (your rival for her), you'll want to break up with her just to apologize for it.
Muffy (DS Cute): Perpetually loveless, and always breaking up with men, you'll often find her turning to you for comfort whenever her love life fails her. If you pursue her Love Interest, Griffin, and marry him yourself, she'll never find a permanent love interest. She'll be jumping dates forevermore...
She's even worse in the "Wonderful Life" series.
Flora/Carter (DS/Cute:) While they're two different characters, they go hand in hand because they're a rival couple. Lots of guys were excited that Flora was finally marriageable in DS, and so pursued her. What's so bad about that? What becomes of Carter, that's so bad about that. Not only is he obviously heartbroken when you and Flora break the happy news to him, but now he's all alone up there in that drafty old tent in the mountains with naught but some old statues for company. Doing the reverse in the Cute version is just as bad. Now Flora's heartbroken and alone, and even has a brief panic about loosing her job. She gets to keep it, but one gets the impression she's not enjoying it as much now that the Professor is off-limits.
Mist (Rune Factory): If Hannelore owned a farm in a fantasy medieval world...
Celia (A Wonderful Life/Special Edition): She's usually a Pollyanna, but she's engaged to someone she doesn't know, and she is in love with you from the moment she meets you. Try getting her last heart event, where she confesses to you, and say no. Or cheat on her, and not marry her.
Keria (DS/Cute): Unable to speak and trapped hundreds of feet down underground for hundreds of years, due to the Witch Princess.
Leia (DS/Cute): She's a mermaid, far from home, inside a tank, too kind to leave the person who saved her. Just try to befriend her, and then not befriend/marry her.
Lumina (AWL/SE): A stressed, Lonely Rich Kid who doesn't want to disappoint her grandmother. She meets you, and eventually thinks of you as her big brother. She falls in love with you, but you could not marry her until Special Edition. Just try and watch her cry, and run away, when you become married, without feeling horrible.
Nami (AWL/SE): At first she's just a distant KuudereWalking the Earth. Then as you become closer to her, you learn that her father is a jobless alcoholic who leeched off of her income whenever she had a job, and she's traveling the world in a desperate attempt to avoid going back to that, even while running out of money. At one point, her cold shell cracks and you actually see her cry.
The two girls that you didn't marry in AWL both get the woobiness cranked up even further. Celia gets forced into an Arranged Marriage she didn't want and becomes a bitter man-hater, trying desperately to smile and failing. Muffy spends the rest of her life as a single waitress, and you can find her crying on the beach at night over losing her chance at having a family, the one thing she wanted most in life. Nami runs out of money and has to go back to live with her parents, and when she comes back later she spends all her time Drowning Her Sorrows at the bar. AWL is, without a doubt, the darkestHarvest Moon game to date.
The main character's sister, Theresa, from Fable. Over the course of her life, she gets horrible prophetic nightmares, is tortured and has her eyes cut out around age 8, is abused by the bandits who rescue her while being used for her foretellings, and is pursed, captured, and almost killed by the antagonist. On top of all that, evil characters can choose to kill her in cold blood while she stands there telling you that it is your choice whether or not to do so. Ouch.
The second game gives us Sparrow, a Broken Bird who begins as a young orphan living on the streets with his sister Rose. After making a wish they are taken to Lucian's castle, where he kills Rose and tries to kill Sparrow, who is saved by a gypsy who had set up Rose's death in order to give Sparrow a need for revenge. Later, Sparrow is forced to work in Lucian's Spire for over ten years as the people there try to Break the Cutie. A banshee might torture Sparrow over Rose's death, then near the end after Lucian kill's Sparrow's dog and tries once again to kill Sparrow, ends up a kid again in paradise with Rose, who finally was able to provide the perfect life for her sibling. In order to defeat Lucian Sparrow must abandon this life, and a traumatic Rose. God. Damn. Someone give the kid a hug.
While one would not think him so, Ben Finn from the third game definitely gets a Woobie-esque moment where you all just want to give him a big hug. This moment? After you're done with the masqerade party, you have to go meet Ben at the castle, because your brother has an announcement/demonstration (which in Fable III, is short for "Public execution, come and watch. we've got popcorn!" Once you meet up with him, you find that the person being executed is none other than Major Swift, Ben's friend, mentor, and the man who probably saved him from a life of crime. Just before Major Swift is shot, it cuts away to Ben, who's expression as the gun is fired is absolutely heart-shattering. If you did not want to give him the worlds biggest hug, you are NOT. HUMAN.
Abe from Oddworld: Abe's Oddyssey. Completely defenceless, luckless little guy. Munch from the following game too, though not so much Stranger. It helps that Oddworld Inhabitants are a big fan of Ugly Cute.
Stranger's had it pretty bad himself. A Proud Warrior Race Guy whose species is being hunted to extinction who requires a surgery performed by a Vykker, the series' resident Mad Doctor, to turn him into a true bipedal animal just to survive amongst society. Upon his reveal he is hunted down by the Clakkerz who formerly paid him to save them from criminals.
If Flora from Professor Layton and the Curious Village doesn't count, she should. Both her parents died when she was young, and she was raised by an ill-tempered robotic duplicate of her late mother, which disturbed her for obvious reasons. Her father died soon afterwards, and she lived alone in a tower for years as part of her dad's ridiculously elaborate plot to find a good man to adopt her when he passed. All her friends were robots, and she knew it. Whether they have actual feelings is debatable. In the end, despite growing up a rich girl and thus being accustomed to it, she had to refuse her darn huge inheritance because if she were to lay a hand on it, the robots and the entire city would shut down. Her Happily Ever After was choosing to go off to live with the title character. The day she met him. Less serious, though, is that the writers were apparently aware that her disguise (a shawl and glasses) was obvious, and her profile states that she thinks she's incognito, but all the villagers recognize her at a glance. That detail makes her more hilariously and adorably pitiful instead.
Unfortunately, she becomes a Creator's Pet in the sequels, undergoing no character development besides actually solving a few puzzles. Flora only gets to take a grand total of one plot-important puzzle, she gets kidnapped and left behind in a barn for most of the game in The Diabolical Box, Layton actively tries to leave her behind in her first appearance in Unwound Future, and it's implied that she's got major issues with being left alone. She does act like a "stereotypical girl" sometimes, but she's still fairly easy to feel sorry for.
Anton from the sequel, Professor Layton And The Diabolical Box, is played more straight. As we find out, he gets hit with the emotionally devastating equivalent of Only the Author Can Save Them Now. His brother leaves, meaning that he has no choice but to stay in his town to become Duke, even if he doesn't want to. He falls in love with a member of a rival family, causing his father to go cold toward him. His father's mining causes the town to be saturated with hallucination gas. His lover flees the town, to keep their unborn child safe; the child he doesn't even know exists, making him think she has betrayed him. He constructs an elaborate device and sends it out into the world in an attempt to communicate with his lover; he thinks that she chooses not to respond, although after fifty years she does from her deathbed, but the response doesn't reach him until the events of the endgame when she has already passed on. The device, the titular Diabolical Box, also ends up causing the deaths of a number of innocent people. The hallucination gas makes him think he is cursed to be eternally young. Thankfully, he gets a Happily Ever After as he meets the granddaughter he didn't know he had and becomes a loving granddad, sees the hallucination gas finally stopped, and is reunited and reconciles with his estranged brother. If you can play through the last act without without at least misting up you have no soul.
Clive in Unwound Future takes the cake.
Arianna from Last Specter. Let's see... her parents are dead, everyone hates her family, she's dying, everyone thinks she's a witch because of her brother's attempts to protect her, and she doesn't even get her inheritance because Jakes changed her father's will. It Gets Better over the course of the game, but she still has to deal with Loosha's death and Luke, her only real friend, leaving town forever.
You've gotta feel sorry for Mega Man X. Not only is he the progenitor of all Reploids (and therefore Mavericks), he's also the one best equipped to hunt them down and kill them, and thus feels duty-bound to do so even though he hates violence. Fate hasn't been kind to Zero either, but he's a Jerkass, so it's not so bad.
Zero has a Jerkass Façadebecause of the things that made him a Woobie in the first place. Come on, having your love interest fight you out of revenge (and having to kill her in the end), and fighting in over 200 years for a peaceful world (arguably longer than X, though he spent half that in stasis), and when that peace actually comes, Zero couldn't even see it, seeing as he's dead...
Zero is the originator of the maverick virus. The existence of X and Zero allowed the continuation of Wily and Light's feud for centuries. If they'd never have existed, Wily's evil would have died with him. Light, Wily, X and Zero are the four most important individuals in the world, and all but Wily feel responsible.
And as it's been mentioned X feels duty-bound to do what he's doing. Until he used his body to reinforce the Dark Elf seal and Copy X was made, Neo-Arcadia was a place of Peace for Reploids and Humans to live together, and he ruled it. For all those years he was able to stop forcing himself to be a Technical Pacifist and ruled as a peaceful leader. People complain that he was Emo in Mega Man X7, but that is the end result of an Actual Pacifist forcing themselves to be a Technical Pacifist.
And when Zero sealed himself it's implied that he did not let himself have a break, that he would not let himself retired like he did in X7, and it hit him hard, to the point he started to adopt part of Zero's own Jerkass Façade and Blood Knight tendency, no longer caring about the enemies he fought. To see X, the one of two Mega Man that had a mental Age high enough to understand what peace truly was and what was needed to achieve it, go so against his belief is just...lip quivering inducing.
Although she wasn't hit as harder as X or Zero above, Ciel would also qualify. In two separate occasions, she thought that she was doing the right thing, but it only ended up giving rise to worse problems. The first one would be for creating Copy-X, and we all know how that turned out. The second time was successfully researching an energy source that she believes would put an end to the war, only for it to be a catalyst to a new conflict. Mind you, this is a person who longs for peace as much as X, and she is very young at the series' start, and also human. And, then there's the fact that, at series' end, she is waiting faithfully for Zero to come back, when it was completely impossible.
And then there's Elpizo. Lets see, sentenced to assassination for accidentally stumbling on some secret files? Check. forced to flee for his life from the city he grew up in? Check. Being appointed leader of the Resistance, but lacking the willpower and patience needed to effectively run it? Check. Getting more then half the Resistance slaughtered in a disastrous attack on the local fascist government and being wracked with guilt over the debacle? Oh god, double check. Is it any wonder he snapped?
Myris, especially in the Bad Ending, where she is left alone drowning in Erion's destuction.
Gwendolyn too. Fighting battle after dangerous battle just to win the affection of your father is one thing, but then having that same dad marry you off to a sworn and hated enemy and brainwash you into loving him is just unfair. To say nothing that she watches her sister die right at the start of the game.
Phantasy Star Universe has a class of enemies in the free mission Bladed Legacy. They are young beast women who sort of act like Magical Girls. They are known as 'Wikko' and they sound very cute. It's too bad that you have to fight them and kill them.
James: Went mad because he killed his terminally ill wife after their relationship collapsed due to her becoming more and more cynical as she got sicker, and was forced to watch a clone of her die. REPEATEDLY.
Eddie: Bullied and tormented his entire life until it finally drove him utterly psychotic.
Angela: Physically and sexually abused by her father, told she deserved it by her mother and finally forced to kill her father to protect herself, destroying her sanity.
Laura: Spends her whole time searching for Mary, not knowing until the end that she's dead.
Maria: Brought into existence solely so that she can die over and over to punish James for his sins.
Heather from Silent Hill 3 and Alex from Homecoming.
Let's elaborate on Alex: emotionally neglected by both his parents growing up, because they'd chosen him for a required ritual sacrifice. Enlisted to make something of himself, promptly wounded in battle and totally alone in the VA hospital. Comes home to find his brother missing, monsters overrunning his hometown on account of how his parents didn't sacrifice him for the ritual, and has to watch both his parents brutally killed, even asked by his mother to just shoot her and spare her the death trap. Oh, and not only did he actually accidentally kill his brother years ago, but the guilt made him snap and he's spent the intervening time in an asylum, not the military. Maybe.
Harry from the first Silent Hill. Was happily married to a wonderful wife, but said wife becomes terminally ill. They didn't have children of their own, but find an abandoned infant girl on a trip and raise her as their own, naming her "Cheryl". Harry's wife eventually dies, leaving Cheryl as the one good thing left in his life. And then Cheryl goes missing during their trip to Silent Hill, Harry goes to hell and back (literally) desperately searching for her. He runs into the crazy antique dealer Dahlia who's really just using him to reunite both halves of her "daughter", Alessa (Cheryl is half of Alessa that escaped when Alessa was burned), and Cybil the police officer, who's actually a decent person, but gets possessed by a demon and you either kill her or save her, though the ending where only Harry escapes alive seems to be the canon ending. And Lisa....just...Lisa. Lisa always provides helpful info on where Harry should go, but no matter what you do she cannot be saved. She is already dead and she is the same as the demon nurses you've been fighting. And even if you get the "Good" ending, it's a bittersweet one, as Harry realizes that the girl he's fought like hell to save is gone, as she is returned to Alessa and they become whole, their existence only serving to birth a destructive dark god, which Harry defeats. A dying Alessa points him the way out and leaves behind a gift of thanks—her reincarnation in the form of a baby (who will become Heather in the third game) but still has the god sealed within her). To hammer the point home, Harry, after so many years, is murdered in the third game.Damn.
Probably Alessa, too, although she falls somewhere between this and another trope.
Same for Walter from Silent Hill 4. He's much further into the second part of the Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds title than Alessa, but still... Long story short, his parents ditched him in their apartment room almost as soon as he was born, he was taken in by the Order and placed in their Orphanage of Fear, where he regularly suffered heavy psychological trauma, convinced that his parents' apartment room was his real mother, tried constantly to get in to see "her" but couldn't as "she" had a new tenant, was told by Dahlia of a ritual that would "awaken" her that would laterturn out to be for summoning a demon, and spends years on a killing spree to carry it out until he learns the hard way at the end of Silent Hill 4. Completing the final boss fight comes across as a relief, and if you really feel for him while you're playing even though he's been spending the entire second half hunting you, you might even crack a sad little smile in light of the story that Henry finds not long before. If you remember it at the time, it suggests he dies happy.
Cheryl in Shattered Memories. Has to experience her parents' divorce at the age of 7, her father dies shortly after in a car accident. Spends the next eighteen years in denial and hating her mother for it. Becomes a psychiatric case and creates a delusional reality of her father as a heroic figure coming to save her from all her pain.
Travis from Origins. During his early childhood, his mother, Helen tried to kill both him and herself because she had mental delusions and claimed that beings from a mirror world told her that her son was a devil. She got committed to Cedar Grove Sanitarium after this. Travis, who missed his mother went to the Sanitarium to visit her, but his father, Richard took him home. Both Richard and a doctor agreed that it would be best to tell Travis she was dead. The two moved to Riverside Motel after this. Richard, who was in a state of depression, continued to send letters to his wife. Eventually he hanged himself in room 500 while Travis was playing at an arcade. When Travis found his father's corpse, he stood there talking to it until they were found by the cleaners the next morning. He was haunted by nightmares of his past at the time of the game.
In the first game, many of the Einherjar. Understandable, since you only meet them when they're dying.
The biggest, though, is someone who survives the game. Celia is the last survivor of a mercenary group that was like a family to each other, and most of whom end up as your Einherjar. Her biggest scene is when she goes to confront the one other survivor, who she believes killed his lover. The whole scene is set up as if it's her recruitment scene, only for you to get that other survivor instead, and the last you see of poor Celia is her just utterly breaking down in despair as the very last connection to her happier times is taken away from her.
Yumei was considered one of the bigger Tear Jerker moments. She was half mermaid, despised by her mother's people and was all alone after her mother died. So she decided to look for her father. Along the way she falls in love with a boy naemd Fuyuki, and they exchange a talk about what they'd wish about if they found the Lapis Lazuli, a gem that grants wishes. When they reach land. Yumei finds out that not only is her father dead but he's had many other families. This is her Despair Event Horizon, and she finally runs away to commit suicide, but Fuyuki sees her mermaid form before she leaves and says goodbye to him, her tear forming a Lapis Lazuli. Fuyuki picks it up and says, "I wish that Yumei could be with her parents!" This unfortunately has the result of killing her.
Second Game: The Einherjar again, though that's mainly in their character bios. More obvious is Alicia, a princess that was disowned for something that was not her fault and later had to watch her father being executed. Minutes later, her kingdom is destroyed, and she learns her mother committed suicide.
Spin-off: Aside from the main character (who lost his father and his sister, while his mother went insane. Later he kills his best friend by accident), there are some, but probably the woobiest is Darius: Given up for adoption, came back to his 'real' family and was not accepted, and later either kills himself and/or his only best friend.
Rosea and Lieselotte. Initially students of the palace Archmage with promising futures, they were both banished when the Archmage was mysteriously murdered one night (with evidence that cast suspicion on the both of them) and left to wonder the land. It was the third student of the Archmage who had killed him and framed the others. Since both girls only know that she herself is innocent, they believed the other responsible and too much of a coward to own up to it, thus driving the former friends to hate each other. No matter which of the three paths you take, at least one of the girls will die, and by the hand of the other one. And if you take the "A" path, they kill each other.
Liesel, however, is far less sympathetic than Rosea and is really more of a Jerkass Woobie. she does reform in the "B" path.
Rosea perhaps ends out the worst - in Path C, she murders Lieselotte out of anger, but then proceeds to have a My God, What Have I Done?. Depending on who you recruited and if they're alive (Darius or Earnest and Natalia) she is surrounded by the most broken and least sympathetic characters of the game (Especially if you recruited the Bloody Twins) with the exception of Duwain. She is then forced to fight Lenneth Valkyrie and then is forced into a brutal war, wandering from town to town in a demon-infested world where Anyone Can Die. The player can do even worse things to her, such as Pluming Duwain right in front of her and then forcing her to fight him in the final boss. If she's not sent to Nifelheim in aiding in attacking Lenneth, then perhaps the best thing you can do to her is plume her, so that she can live on as an Einherjar. And she's one of the nicest characters in the game, beware the nice one aside
Polka from Eternal Sonata. Because of the myth that her fatal illness is contagious, most members of society treat her like a leper. People don't even bother to thank her when she uses her magic to heal injured people because being able to use magic is possible only if you're going to die soon. In spite of it all, Polka is still a good person who wants, more than anything else in the world, to simply help everyone she can while she still has the time.
You know Grave is gonna have it hard when he's the lead character...and he's also "dead". He's lost pretty much everyone he ever knew and loved, as well as almost all of his emotions and memories, and was forced to kill the man who was once his closest friend. The one bright spot left in his "life" is Mika, the daughter of the woman Grave (when he was Brandon) loved but could never be with, and said daughter risks her own health and uses her own blood in Grave's necessary transfusions to avoid degeneration of his body. And the time he spends with Mika is always short—since he's already dead there's next to no chance of him "living" a normal life with her. Sure he's known as "The Killer Without A Soul"... The anime series really makes you just feel sorry for the dual-wielding zombie killing machine.
Within the dreams themselves, there's Masada, who plays the piano on a spaceship, and generally seems to be very lonely in space, and is completely harmless to the player, and is easily one of the least threatening looking characters in the game. He will also run from you if you equip the knife. Whilst many characters do run from you if you equip the knife, Masada is easily the most obvious in this behavior, and looks terrified when doing so, thus often being assumed to be the only one who does so.
Ragna the Bloodedge: Getting his beloved sister snatched away, his arm chopped off by a ghost while his little brother only watched in glee, his home burnt down and gotting turned into a half-vampire in a span of one frigging day? Oh, how about when you realize he's destined to destroy the world, get destroyed and repeat the event over and over and over? And at the end of the 2nd game, how about the big reveal that it's his beloved sister who's the Big Bad?
Jin Kisaragi: Getting ignored by his big brother? Getting adopted to a family that alienized him and made him an outcast despite his excellent prowess? Is destined to kill his beloved brother so much it drove him crazy? His 'girlfriend' turning evil even though they used to be on good terms previously? Well, he's more of a Jerkass Woobie, though... But still a Woobie.
Noel Vermillion: Hoo boy. Let's start with how she's ridiculed for having nearly non-existent breasts. Then, she gets picked on a lot by her superior Jin, because he doesn't like her face... Then she realized that she's a clone of Ragna's sister, thus her memories wasn't hers. As if things couldn't get worse, her best friend Tsubaki gets assigned to kill her, and while she was reluctant at first, she ends up really aiming to kill her due to jealousy. Worse of all? She got Mind Raped and turned into a weapon of mass-destruction that wants to destroy the world...
Rachel Alucard: While she does act like a stuck-up bitch, it was quite depressing that she is forced to watch countless of depressing time loops, unable to do anything directly but to observe, encouraging several people to do the job for her. And when they get out of the loop, there's your villain trying the damndest to stop her from achieving her goal to set things straight, no matter what...
Taokaka: Suffers from Clone Degeneration and, in her Continnum Shift ending in Story Mode, she can't hold her own against Hazama, and it looks like she's not going to survive the fight, at which time she breaks from her usual demeanor and laments that all she wanted to do was protect the village and her friends.
Iron Tager: Man died during the war of Ikaruga, got rebuilt as a cyborg by a cranky cat lady (Kokonoe) and must swear loyalty to her and put up with her crazy antics. He also had to watch his friend (Arakune) go crazy, and his other friend (Litchi) go off to save him, but he can't do anything as a friend since he's too duty-bound on his master. When eventually Litchi is forced to take the side of Kokonoe's enemy to save Arakune, Tager is going to have a lot of guilt fighting his friend off.
Litchi Faye-Ling: Failed to prevent his friend to become a monster all thanks to experiment, and saw nobody even trying to help him to the point of having to corrupt herself with the thing that turned him into a monster to find a cure, only to find out that she couldn't make progress. In the most needed time, her only source of help just plain refused to help her, and the only option she had was the Troll offering her the cure, an offer she knew have very low chance success, and is Forced Into Evil against her will just so she doesn't turn into a monster and kill everybody... all while the corruption is slowly eating her further... On top of that, if beyond-fourth-wall is to be counted... well, everyone else sees her as a stupid, selfish, no-good bitch. Geez!
Arakune: Normally a decent man with inferiority complex... which led him to seek the impossible... and driven mad with it, turned into something really freaky thanks to some tinkering, and worse of all, he wanted to warn his lover to stop pursuing her and he couldn't get his point straight. Then things get still worse... he got subdued by your resident Mad Scientist... whom he once thought to be a target to surpass!
Bang Shishigami: Had to watch his homeland burn, his master killed and spending his time as an eternal Butt Monkey or The Chew Toy, never to be taken seriously. There's also the fact that he just cannot succeed in earning Litchi's love despite his well-meaning, and will probably be very crushed if he ever realized that she made a Face-Heel Turn.
Carl Clover: Having the worst father of the universe will do that for ya. Is forced to live as a vigilante at such a young age since his father killed his sister and turned her into Carl's 'imperfect' doll (and his mom too) and became devoid of emotions at that time. While he did find some 'consolation' in form of Litchi, the fact that she made a Face-Heel Turn would be a heavy blow for Carl's mentality, since she's the closest he can get for a living sister-figure. And who did that? His father. Again.
Tsubaki Yayoi: Starts with getting assigned to assassinate her best friend Noel and her beloved 'brother' Jin. It just got worse when she was told that Noel took everything from her, from her sight, as well as being relegated into a job she hated, since her previous position in life, being Jin's secretary and being on the frontline, got taken by Noel... all while going completely blind.
Lambda-11: How would YOU feel if you had your emotions taken away from you and you are now an Empty Shell? Not only that, but no matter what happens to you in your story, you die. These things are also some of the BETTER experiences in Lambda's life. Yeah... It isn't easy being a Murakumo unit, is it?
No it is not. See Nu, the emotionless robot girl who was doomed to guard the gate to cauldron in CT. When she meets Ragna, she gains the irratic emotions of a clingy love stricken girl with yandere tendencies, and is one half of the Black Beast, while Ragna is the other half. She wants to love him, but her programming wants to become the Black Beast by fusing with him and becoming complete. After she dies, her parts are used by Kokonoe to rebuild Lambda-11. Oh and there are still more woobies to come.
Makoto Nanaya: She's a beastkin who was a token minority at the academy leading to some girls picking on her. She even gets blamed for the entire incident and runs off, thinking she's unwanted. After Tsubaki and Noel find her and convince her otherwise, she becomes best friends with them. In the present, things got worse for her since one of her friends is working for Hazama, aka: Terumi Yuuki and the other becomes a weapon of mass destruction by the same monster. In one of her bad endings, she's raped by Relius Clover's mental penis. For the cherry on top, said bad ending implies the bullying at the Military Academyis the tip of the iceberg. This girl definitely deserves some hugging.
Trinity Glassfield: Even being one of the Six Heroes does not exempt you from this status. After the Dark War, she was massively used as Terumi's tool; he manipulated her feelings for Kazuma Kval, whose body Terumi inhabits, to release Nine's control over him - when she does, he ices Trinity and later murders Nine. The situation was so bad that she was drawn into her Nox Nyctores and was trapped there since, and after an incident involving her, Luna and Sena, they all share a body. She only gets to come out for minutes at a time, and harbors a Guilt Complex over it all - she blames herself for everything Terumi did to fuck the world over just because of that one mistake.Luna, shut the fuck up and let us hug Trinity already, God forbid she needs one.
Oichi in her Sengoku Basara incarnation is the personification of Woobiedom. She is the little sister of Oda Nobunaga, here being a completely demonic Evil Overlord who cares nothing about her and whenever possible, uses her to his own advantage. Marrying justice lovingAzai Nagamasa doesn't get her condition better (unless it's his story you're playing) as in her story, he covers her from a shot from Nobunaga, killing him, all in front of her, then Nobunaga forces her to fight his battles, killing his enemies and not even listening to her begging to stop, eventually resulting her falling to her dark powers and enters a murderous rampage on Nobunaga and his allies, and when that's over, she regained her sanity a few moments before the burning temple where she's at fell on and killed her. And in the anime? It's just 5 episodes, and then she gets to see Nagamasa getting riddled on bullets to death thanks to a plot by Mitsuhideright in front of her eyes. Ouch, ouch, and ouch.
It's not exactly better for her in the third game, where she's a Humanoid Abomination that's barely aware of her surroundings and is treated with fear and contempt by almost every other character save for a few. While she does get a Throw the Dog a Bone moment if she ends up following Ieyasu (who decides to be her caretaker), the storyline where she ends up becoming Yoshitsugu's attack dog is not all that different from the above. The path where she defeats her brother and drags him to hell could be seen as better in that it's the ending where they both find some sort of peace.
Sakura of Fate/stay night. She also happens to turn into a more vindictive state out of insecurity and jealousy of her sister. There are several other somewhat less drastic cases like Ilya as well. Even Archer is of the more destructive variant when you realize his backstory, motives and identity.
And Rider, and Caster, and Saber. Hell, even Shinji qualifies as a woobie of some description.
Alex Roivas from Eternal Darkness. She spends the entire game thrown into a battle she never expected and reliving the nightmarish horrors of her ancestors, up to and including her grandfather's brutal murder. And this was after losing her parents in a car accident, a fact Pious uses against her during select bouts of insanity.
Alex & Ellia still succeeded in their missions, & Anthony's soul eventually found rest once Paul performed rites on him. In fact, with one exception, all of the characters succeed, die, or both. That one exception is the biggest (literally) woobie in the game, Max Roivas, who is attacked by the possessed servants of the cursed mansion he just inherited from his father who died fighting the Darkness. Max is forced to kill all of his servants after discovering the ancient city full of monsters beneath his home, not knowing how many of them were actually possessed (some weren't). After trying to get help in attacking the monsters and the discovery of the murdered servants, he is thrown into an asylum for his trouble, where he spends the rest of his life having to wallow in his madness and in the sorrow of his own failure.
Schiele from Romancing SaGa Living among humans for centuries and witnessing their deaths, also having to hear her accounts of the ignorance of said humans; also being the bearer of one Cosmic Keystone makes her Blessed with Suck since the Big Bad wants it. Said Cosmic Keystone is also a Restraining Bolt to keep her dark magic sealed away, also after she loses that Restraining Bolt she asks you to kill her to prevent her powers from running amok and sending Mardias into a state of darkness. If that does not qualify as Woobie-class material than what does?
Also in the story A Bard's Tale in the Ultimania, it even says she hesitated because she thought that she would cease to exist if she removed the Diamond of Light from her finger
The Touhou Project has several woobies among its ranks:
Hong Meiling's popularity is mainly due to how badly she's treated by the main cast, especially Sakuya. On top of that, people keep calling her China.
Cirno is a bit cocky in the earlier games, but is often mistreated and ridiculed, partly because she's a fairy. A particular example occurs in Unthinkable Natural Law, in which Cirno is significantly less cocky and more intelligent than in previous games. While looking for the Daidarabotchi, Cirno asks Marisa is she's seen anything, and Marisa tells her she's seen what she's looking for, but won't tell her because she's a fairy. This results in a fight between the two, which Cirno wins. Afterward, Cirno rightfully demands Marisa tell her where the Daidarabotchi, to which Marisa purposefully misleads her into a boiler that nearly gets her killed.
Reisen Inaba's woobie-ness is often played for comedy in fanon. In canon, she's also subject to lots of Punishment Time by Eirin, and constantly gets pranked by Tewi.
Kogasa Tatara is an unwanted umbrella who can't even use her powers to surprise people properly, and is often subject to bullying by Sanae.
In their own way, the Aki Sisters are also woobies in a few ways - to wit, they don't have as much faith as they used to have in the old days, so their powers are diminished; due to their comparatively smaller fanbase in proportion to the more popular characters, they're often forgotten; and then there's S Complex, which plays up Shizuha's woobieness to a heart-breaking degree.
From the PC-98 Era you have Kana Anaberal, a poltergeist created from the mind of an insane human and was forgotten by her creator.
Byakuren Hijiri used to be a Youkai exterminator, but grew to love her quarry as much as the humans she was protecting, so she started covertly helping them hide away safely instead of killing them. She ended up imprisoned in Makai for more than a millenium for her troubles. Oh yeah, and her little brother died too.
Fujiwara no Mokou certainly counts.Her father was humiliated by Kaguya, and she wound up stealing the Hourai Elixir (and in the process, murdering someone who'd previously saved her life) and became completely incapable of dying. She's unable to exact her desired revenge because her rival is also immortal, and basically the only friend she's ever really had is a mortal half-beast... and she still gets picked on by the main characters in the Extra stage.
Frog/Glenn from Chrono Trigger has been through a lot, with the transformation to a frog and all, yet he handles it with as much chivalry and honor as he can. Somebody give him a hug.
Not to mention Robo. Beaten up by his "brothers", forced to kill his brainwashed girlfriend, committing final genocide on his "species"...
Robo: All of the operations of this dome have been shut down for good. None of these machines will... will ever be reactivated.
Saria from Ocarina of Time tends to get the woobie treatment quite handily from the fandom, what with being an Unlucky Childhood Friend who "really liked" Link but couldn't grow up along with him due to being a Kokiri, as well as having to spend the seven years that Link spent in the Sacred Realm having to deal with a Jerkass who hated his guts and blamed him for what happened to the Great Deku Tree. And that's not even mentioning the fan speculation that she, along with the other five Sages, died in the process of trying to deal with the evil that had taken hold of the temples.
It's possible the sheer popularity and fangirl following that Byrne gets in Spirit Tracks is down to this trope - he's easily the game's resident Badass, but after getting betrayed by Malladus and Cole, his subsequent Heel-Face Turn, spending the rest of the game injured, and his eventual sacrificeto save Zelda, he's well on the way to being considered an all-out woobie.
Midna. She's gets turned into an imp, thrown from her rightful place as ruler by a crazed ex-servant, nearly killed by said ex-servant early in the game, feels personally responsible for much of what happened to Hyrule, then gets transformed into a rather nasty-looking critter by the Fused Shadows multiple times (something that looked remarkably unpleasant, what with getting tossed into walls and whatnot when she puts them on) suffers a Disney Death near the endgame AND tearfully departs from the realm of light forever, breaking the Mirror of Twilight behind her while clearly still being rather attached to Link, so that Hyrule will never suffer for any potential wrongdoing her people may commit again.
Heck even Link can qualify at times. OoT/MM most definitely. To wit, as a kid he witnessed his mentor figure die and sets off on adventure to save Hyrule. It's all fun and games until he has to go into a Time Skip and find that Hyrule is under control of Ganon. Saves the day but thanks to Zelda, gets sent back in time to live as a kid again but thanks to what he's seen, how could he? Majora's Mask sends him through a mental torture session all for trying to find a friend he lost. And if he IS the Hero's Spirit in Twilight Princess...
Wind Waker. Link is about twelve. The game starts with his little sister getting kidnapped and just gets worse from there. And at the end, he doesn't even get to stay with the sister he worked so hard to rescue! He leaves to find a new land. Fuck you, King Daphnes.
And also when you think about what he's actually doing. Most of the time, he's got the burden of saving the whole world by himself. Once you start to think about that... it's a lonely job! You have to feel sorry for him!
Prince Tolten from Lost Odyssey. In fact, everyone from Lost Odyssey not named Gongora.
April Ryan from The Longest Journey. She grew up in a broken home, ran away as soon as she legally could, and is accepted to a prestigious art school... only to find out that she's one of a select few people who can open gates between the two worlds, and must now save the world. By becoming the Guardian of the Balance for a thousand years or so. The quest takes her across both worlds, where she accidentally sinks a ship, traps an evil alchemist in a calculator, loses both of her mentors, watches her best friend get shot, is betrayed several times, and generally moves Heaven and Earth (both of them) to make things right... Only to then find out that she's not really the Guardian after all, and basically went through all that for someone else. It's no wonder she's so messed up in the sequel.
Nina from Breath of Fire Dragon Quarter. Whereas Nina is usually a princess in the Breath of Fire games, in this one she is a genetically altered orphan, designed to act as an air filtration unit (The poisoned air, of course, remains in her body), who had her tongue cut out. Dragon Quarter is not a happy game.
Trauma Center is essentially a medical drama, so characters of this type are to be expected to an extent, but Emilio Juarez is the biggest Woobie of them all - he was orphaned as a child, then kidnapped and used as a lab rat by a bio-terrorist organization developing Body Horrors until Derek came to said organization's base and surgically wiping out the ones that he was basically being used as a living habitat for when he was fourteen. Three years later, probably in a delicate physical state after all that to begin with, he gets sick from the aftermath of his Body Horror infection and needs two more surgeries, one of which is an organ transplant. And, wouldn't you know it, while he's convalescing in the hospital for what looks like finally the last time, cue another mass outbreak of parasites in which he, of course, gets infected, and dies - because he insisted that Derek operate on his nurse before him. Oh, and he's really rather adorable, in a waif-y sort of way.
Dana Mercer from Prototype. She is the only major character who is not evil or twisted (Ragland might count too). In her first scene, some Blackwatch asshole is about to blow her brains out. Alex saves her by punching through the guy's head right next to her. Things don't get any better for her. She finds out her brother has become a viral monster, she later finds out he eats people, and then she gets kidnapped by a Leader Hunter and taken to Elizabeth Greene, who does God knows what to her that renders her comatose (possibly Infected?). It gets even worse after The Reveal that the real Alex Mercer is dead and that he was the one who unleashed the Blacklight Virus in the first place. Not only is her brother actually dead, but the fact that he released the Virus knowing his sister was still in the city means that he didn't really care about her. At least the Blacklight Virus itself cares a great deal about her.
Sophie is a Chew Toy, literally (for Tao, the family dog) and figuratively, whose subplot revolves around her obsession with Drake Redcrest. Long story short, it never goes anywhere beyond her passing out apparently dead from sheer joy at simply (and accidentally) giving him one of the love letters she writes.
Mort might be the biggest Woobie of the game. He's a perpetually melancholy mummy action figure who is in love with a princess doll. The object of his affections, sadly, scares easily, and so he's afraid of introducing himself to her on account of his grotesque appearance, and the flowers he picks to anonymously offer her wilt as soon as he touches them. Seeing him watching Drake appearing out of nowhere to try to woo her at sudden moments is enough to make the player wish for a Paragon interrupt - though there's a delightfully happy ending for him once his subplot is followed through on.
The pleasantly bubbleheaded, lives-to-dance Funky Phil averts this. His admirer Dinah and not exactly acknowledged son Freaky Phil... not so much. To say the least, something always seems to come up to disturb the former's peace of mind, usually related to Phil, and as for the latter, he's the odd one out of his siblings, seems to be a little stupid, is somewhat implied to start off as not much of a dancer, and accidentally "kills" his father, and his body language after Dinah finds him dead and asks the kids what happened suggests that he knows it was his fault. Though he's eventually revealed to be fine, in a rather hilarious fashion.
Aeka of Yume Miru Kusuri is the least popular girl at her school. The Alpha Bitch and her friends torment her constantly, humiliating her and attacking her with tasers. Her classmates refuse to get involved, the teacher ignores everything, and the main character's love for her is the only thing keeping her from committing suicide.
Aribeth de Tylmarande in Neverwinter Nights after the end of the first chapter, as her faith in her ideals and her trust in almost everyone is shaken or destroyed by Fenthick's execution. Possibly even more so in Hordes of the Underdark, after being executed for trying to pursue justice, and then being imprisoned as an icicle after attempting to lead a revolt against the archdevil in charge of the level of hell she was trapped in.
In the realm of fan-created modules, Alexandra de Velan of the Bastard of Kosigan series. Her lover was exiled, and she entered into a relationship with another man afterwards who had her beated until she miscarried once he discovered she was pregnant. Also an example of Beware the Nice Ones.
Evanine and Persey of Tales of Arterra, the first a princess whose family was killed and who was forced onto the run by a stereotypical evil uncle, the second a succubus sold to a mortal who used her as the star attraction in a brothel and possessed of little or no concept of self-worth.
Persey's owner prior to that was even worse, an archmage who fell madly in "love" with her at first sight. He would alternate between madly worshipping her as the most precious thing in the world, and beating her severely for making him feel that way. The best thing he ever did to her was selling her to the aforementioned brothel owner, so she could get away from him finally.
Robin in Sanctum of the Archmage is something of an Iron Woobie, who has had to watch his/her entire family destroyed and his/her country taken over and oppressed, and who states more than once that if he/she lets go of his/her anger he/she won't have the strength to carry on. Also the player character, whose entire town was destroyed by demons in the prologue and whose surrogate father figure was killed by demons at the start of the opening chapter.
Knights of the Old Republic has Carth Onasi, who watched his wife and son die in an orbital bombardment ordered by a man who he had once counted a friend, and who he could have stopped earlier if he had believed that his old commander would actually turn traitor.
Actually, Carth's son Dustil is alive, but it gets worse because Dustil not only hates Carth and blames him for his mother's death, but he has joined the freaking Sith (you know, the people who actually killed his mother) and blindly defends them! You can help Carth and Dustil reconcile, but still...
Bastila becomes one during the endgame, after her shell is completely stripped away.
In the Arrival DLC Shepard is forced to make a decision that destroys an entire solar system and kills over 300,000 batarians. Even though s/he really had no choice, Admiral Hackett (who still shows support) tells him/her that s/he will have to face murder charges back on Earth to attempt to appease the batarians.
The third game ups Shepard's woobie factor a thousand fold. When others are not dying\killing themselves in front of him\her, or condemning him\her for what s\he's done, they're trying to tell Shepard everything will be alright. At the end, when the Alliance still calls on Shepard, s\he is just so tired, beaten, bruised, and probably bleeding to death and this is before having to make the ultimate choice and sacrifice to determine the fate of the galaxy. It's also very much implied that s/he's become a Death Seeker and that s/he feels that death would come as a great relief.
Ashley Williams is constantly screwed by the higher ups because her Grandfather was the Commander at the Shanxi defeat. She also sees her entire unit slaughtered by the Geth. She can also die in an atomic explosion as a result of a decision by her potential love interest, or be saved only to be dumped for an asari.
Kaidan Alenko. Due to his biotic potential, men in suits show up at at his door after school and take him to Jump Zero (near Pluto) to have his Training from Hell. He accidentally kills his turian instructor (who pulled a knife on him), which in turn makes his then love interest terrified of him. He also has the L2 biotic implant, which gives him severe migraines, and it can potentially give him the crazy, and the game regularly reminds us that L2s and biotics in general are mistreated. And to cap it all, he too can become at one with the atom thanks to Shepard. Oddly, despite this, he's one of the more level headed squad members.
The sequel really ups Tali's woobie factor. She finds her father dead at the same time she finds out he was doing illegal experiments on Geth, making him a war criminal against the quarians. And unless you do some fast talking during her trial, she potentially could be exiled forever from the one home she's ever known. Not to mention that, if you pursue her romance path, several conversation options imply that she's had feelings for Shepard since the events of Mass Effect 1 two years ago. With all this, is it any surprise that one of the Paragon interrupts is to give her a comforting hug and let her cry in your arms? (Very nice of BioWare to put this in, considering that is exactly what a person would want to do when confronted with a Woobie. Now you finally have the option to do it in-game.)
Legion gains a certain amount of woobieness because of seeming feelings of hero-worship for Shepard.
Legion: "There was a hole."
Jack in the sequel proves to be this in her personal mission, where you two return to the facility where she was experimented on. The mission ends with her reminiscing about the items in her cell, each a reminder of the hell she went through.
Thane. He's a Badass, but he's dying of an incurable disease, had his wife killed by thugs trying to get back at him, and his son hates him as a result. You can fix the last part, but still.
Liara. Let's see - she was born as a result of two asari mating, a major social no-no to her species and therefore ostracised and exposed to racism. She is very shy and asocial and became an archaeologist, spending half of her life alone on dig sites. She was always distant from her mother, even before Benezia joined up with Saren, and it's possible for Liara to witness her mother die as herself, after the revelation that she had been brainwashed through indoctrination, with her mother comforting Liara during her period of lucidity. In the second game, when reuniting with her, she seems to have gone through a major Break the Cutie event and has an almost obsessive vendetta against the Shadow Broker. However, if she is a love interest from the first game and through the comic series "Redemption", it is revealed that she was the one who recovered Shepard's body from the Shadow Broker, who was going to sell the corpse to the Collectors, and gave it to Cerberus so they could rebuild him/her. Liara discards her new ruthless personality, revealing it to be nothing more than a facade, to explain that she was scared Shepard would hate her for this, knowing that Cerebus would use Shepard for their own uses, but she couldn't bear to let Shepard go. The lengths she went to in order to help the man/woman she loves, cares about and misses are quite touching.
Garrus. In the sequel, his entire freelance squad on Omega is betrayed by one of their own members and slaughtered by mercs, he spends a long time besieged by the mercenaries and criminals with the rotting corpses of his friends in the same building, he's brutally wounded by a missile that Shepard takes down, and apparently has nightmares about his squad.Plus, the Shadow Broker's files on him reveal that his mother is dying, and his sister thinks he's a bum because she has no idea what he's really been up to all this time. The silver lining is that he's at least taken some steps toward helping them on his own, albeit with some help from Mordin... Even the yeoman Kelly says she'd just like to hold him and say everything's alright.
About 90% of these characters, such as Shepard, Garrus, etc. could also be listed under Iron Woobie, as their Woobieness does not make them any less Badass.
Even minor, secondary characters get this. Take the nameless tank-bred krogan on Korlus. He's been alive for seven days. All he knows is how to fight, and his entire life consists of one thing: stand where you meet him, kill anyone who attacks him, and wait. That's it. He talks like a child and expresses his thoughts with complete innocence, but he's devoted entirely to the "purpose" he's been given - which was given to him by an insane krogan warlord who has discarded him as a failure. He refuses to move, instead just standing there until he either starves or the Blue Suns kill him. And the worst part is that you never get to see the poor guy's face, probably because if you did it would make the scene even more heartrending.
Minor character Talitha is composed of pure elemental Woobie. She was kidnapped at the age of six in the same raid that killed Shepard's parents (after witnessing her parents being incinerated), and then spent the last 13 years as a slave. To top it all off, she's one of the few Woobies in video games you actually get to comfort - do the "I Remember Me" assignment right, and you end up holding her, telling her that everything will be all right as a sedative takes effect. And you aren't lying. If you helped her in the first game, Talitha sends you a message in the sequel, thanking you for helping her and telling you that she's undergoing proper treatment.
The volus you meet on Noveria that suffers from Survivor Guilt - the second game doesn't make it any better, as his letter mentions that "maybe I was the one who died instead, while saving her."
Remarkably, the Collector General at the end of the second game comes across as one, as Harbinger releases his mental control and the bug-alien looks around with an air of quiet resignation as the base explodes around him.
Vigil, the Prothean VI. After hearing its story, it feels good to know that by meeting you and passing on information about the Reapers, the sacrifice it had to make (turning off the remaining Protheans' cryogenic pods, in order to conserve power so the head scientists pods could stay active as long as possible, as per contingency plans set up by the Protheans themselves) was not in vain.
David Archer in the Overlord DLC for Mass Effect 2. He was born with autism and forcefully turned into a machine by his own brother and driven insane from it.
Reese Worthington of Backyard Sports. Tortured just for being a massive nerd.
In Baten Kaitos, it's only the power of love that stops Kalas from becoming a Woobie Destroyerof Worlds. Murdered little brother and grandfather. Also Lyude, especially at the Phantom Goldoba, where all his past insecurities come back to break him down HARD. And then, to an extent, there's Xelha. She carries the ocean inside her, so when the group finally saves the world, she has to release that ocean back into the world. As in, she must sacrifice herself. She gets better, but still...that must be a huge burden for a 17-year-old young woman.
The schoolteacher Westin Phipps assigns you to torture in City of Heroes.
Mir from Ar tonelico. She was kept in solitary, stripped of her emotions, and forced to create Song Magic for use in battle— and when she created a song that was just to express her love of and hope for humans, since the synapses that they stripped to make her emotionless grew back, the song was trashed and she was discarded as a failed project.
Quite frankly, almost all the girls from the Ar Tonelico series have MAJOR issues. There's a reason their suppressed consciousness reacts hostilely (aka, trying to kill) to any signs of attachment or affection. Ar Tonelico 3, however, gives Finnel special mention. The voice acting for her level 9 Dive is just....potent enough to punch a whole through the heart.
In the Quest for Glory series of games, there's Julanar in the second game, a woman who, because she wanted to be a healer, a profession forbidden to women, was exploited and captured and abused by brigands, who she escaped from by running through the desert and pleading to a djinn for help, who did so by turning her into a tree. The hero can help her remember her humanity, but it is said that she will not be able to turn back into a human until someone comes along who can love her enough, and that someone is not you. Although later in the series this subplot becomes a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, as after telling someone about her in the third game, you later meet him again in the fifth game, alongside the restored Julanar, who is now his wife.
And in the fourth game you learn what happened to Erana, the powerful mage and Friend to All Living Things whose work you have seen throughout the series. She ended up attempting to seal an Eldritch Abomination by trapping herself with it, damning herself to eternal suffering. The hero dreams about her pain if he rests near her staff in the town or in her garden at night. In the fifth game, you can choose to bring her back from the land of the dead.
Also in the fourth game is Tanya, a little vampire girl who just misses her parents and doesn't seem to realize why she can't come back to them as "they would be afraid of her now."
Left 4 Dead: The Witch just wants a hug... or she's just a wangsty psychopath who tears peoples' faces off.
More than likely it's both. The green flu has a strange effect on some people mutating them in a manner that reflects their physical and psychological maladies.
Pretty much everyone throughout all three BioShock games can have at least a slither of sympathy or justification but special mention goes to:
Most of the splicers from BioShock, particularly Rosebud, whose daughter was taken away to become a Little Sister; Pigskin, who is deathly afraid of what will happen to him if Mr. Ryan isn't pleased; and Toasty, who is loved by no one.
Eleanor Lamb from BioShock 2. An innocent girl raised to become the socialist Messiah by her mother Sofia Lamb, the first cutscene witnesses her seeing mummy forcing Delta, her Big Daddy to shoot himself at around the age of eight. Subject to multiple Plasmid experiments since she's immune to the side-effects of splicing. To say Sofia cares little about her as a person is something of an understatement as she's later smothered in order to mess with Delta.
Samus Aran is a 6'3" (in armor) trigger happy bounty hunter who defines badass. Why might she be on the list? Her parents were killed when she was 3, with her dad dying in a Heroic Sacrifice and her mom being eaten by Ridley, and was adopted by the bird-like Chozo only for them to be possibly wiped out. To make matters worse, the guy who killed her mother, Ridley, just won't die, and attacks another colony she is on, forcing her to relive the murder of her mother. When she mentally and emotionally shuts down and begs for death, you want to hug her. More than normal, that is.
In Metroid Prime 3, Samus quickly strikes up a kinship with three fellow bounty hunters only for them to go missing by the time she's out in the field, having been overloaded with Phazon and controlled by Dark Samus, forcing Samus to Mercy Killall three of them as Dark Samus escapes (all the while mocking Sammy's pain with an Evil Laugh). Or the baby Metroid that formed a bond with Samus in Super, designating Samus as its mother and then sacrificing itself to save Samus at the climax of the game, inducing a Mama BearTranquil Furyasskicking of Mother Brain from Samus. Or, her losing both Malkovich brothers by the time Other M comes to a close, her only keepsake of Adam being his helmet (which Samus thrusts herself headfirst into danger to recover and clings to desperately) and a CPU copy of his brainwaves. In fact, if you do some analysis on the events of Super, Other M (regardless ofyour feelingson the matter), and Fusion, it's not hard to view Samus as a Knight in Sour Armor afflicted with PTSD who is trying to recover from a string of Heroic BSODs and is this close to becoming a Death Seeker.
To be fair, Aya is pretty strong to cope up with her woobie-ness. But then, we have Eve. Created as a clone of Aya and kept in a facility at a very young age to control mitochondria creatures against her will. Check. And in The 3rd Birthday, poor Eve witnessed Aya got killed in the middle of her supposedly happy wedding, wished only to save her, but instead put her soul into Aya's body and resulting the birth of two kinds of Eldritch Abomination. Check. Lost her memories because of the incident and manipulated by the Big Bad with it. Check. People who help her during the game had to die because one of the Abominations habituating in their bodies. Check. Finally by help with Time Travel she is forced to kill Aya to prevent all the incident from happening. And most of the gameplay you are forced to hear her wail or cry, or seeing her looking confused and lonely. Girl needs a terrible big hug.
Klonoa. So very much. A sweet, innocent young boy, he gets dragged into a desperate struggle to save the world through no fault of his own, is hunted relentlessly by the villains. watches his grandfather die in his arms after having his house blown up by The Dragon (the original "Phantomile" voice acting makes Klonoa sound really traumatized), discoversthat he is a "dream traveler" destined to drift from world to world, being forced to save them from evil and losing any friends or other loved ones he encounters every single time. It isn't even so much the game itself so much as the extremely depressingFridge Logic when you realize that he is doomed to a life of eternal suffering and loneliness, and is powerless to do anything about it.
Cubone is pretty much the Woobie Pokémon. When a Cubone is born, the mother dies, and a Cubone then takes her skull and wears it. (Okay that's creepy at the same time, but still.) Cubone never shows its face to anyone, cries any time there's a moon at night, and the skull is stained with its tears. Poor little guy.
There's also Absol, who is known as "The Disaster Pokémon" for the wrong reasons. It can predict disasters and tries to warn people that they're coming, but instead the humans take it the wrong way and think that it brings disasters.
There's Feebas. Due to its hopelessly ugly appearance, not many people want to raise it.
And Audino, a cute-looking Normal-type Pokémon that only appears in shaking grass, but provides a metric buttload of Experience Points. This means pretty much every trainer will go Audino-hunting sometime or another just for the Experience Points. To make things worse, a high-level Audino sometimes heals your Pokémon while you're beating it up. The recruitment office for Team Plasma is thataway.
Another Pokémon Diamond and Pearl character that falls under this is Volkner. Due to a lack of challengers to his Gym in Sunyshore City, Volkner leaves for the lighthouse out of depression. But once you talk to him, he'll go back to the Gym, and when you battle him and win, he'll be in high spirits again.
To make things worse, it's revealed at the end that several members of Team Plasma knew about Ghetsis' real plans all along and were playing charades with N to garner support from him and make the plan work. This is hinted at several times in the game, from the Grunts kicking a young girl's Munnathat they claim was "liberated" to the Sages referring to Ghetsis as their Leader. How does this make things worse? It implies that very few human beings in the world supported his ideals or could confide with him, from the very day that he was born.Damn.
Though not quite on an N level, it's hard not to feel sorry for Bianca at times - heck, the game makes you break her yourself multiple times. She went on a Pokemon journey despite his father's opposition, but she couldn't become a strong trainer and defeat you or Cheren no matter how hard she tried.
Banette should deserve mention too. Like Yamask it doesn't even start off as a pokemon. Instead, it's starts off as a toy that gets played by a child, eventually abandoned and forgotten like it never existed. Then, instead of being able to rest in piece, a ghost possesses it and turns it into an animated doll filled with vengeance and seeks to get revenge on the kid that t away. Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds if ever there was...
Pokémon X and Y has what may very well be one of the grand champions of this in the main series of games with AZ. Formerly the King of the Kalos region, He had a pokemon he loved truly and dear to him in the form of a Floette. Yet it eventually died during a great war ad was brought back to him in a coffin, sending him into a pain filled grief, determined to bring back his pokemon. He built a machine that could, and succeeded. But his grief turned to rage at the world that took his floette away from him, turning his machine into a weapon that Singlehandedly ended the war. Yet in all this, his floette, appalled and saddened by his actions, left him. The resulting exposure of the machine's energy caused both to become immortal, and AZ walked the Earth for 3000 years to find her. He has a happy ending, in which he finally lets go of his anger and sadness, and meets her once again.His theme songReally drives his woobieness home.
In X and Y there's also Calem/Serena, the rival character to you. Considering the rivals in previous games, that might sound a bit strange. In this game, however, your rival is not evil or even an asshole. They don't need to learn any meaningful lessons about pride or power. They just want to be a good Trainer, and the only thing that's stopping them from that is YOU. You'll regularly beat them out of things that they really, really wanted, i.e the Mega Evolution ring, and you get to be the hero instead of them basically by virtue of getting there first. In other words, they're Woobies because they do everything right and it just isn't enough. You crush their dreams every step of the way. Serena's animation when you beat her makes it seem like she's about to burst into tears. As one person put it, you are their Gary Oak.
Heavy Rain. Oh man, where do you start? Half the cast deserves to get a hug after the crap they put up with in this game:
Ethan Mars. Goddamn, this game puts the poor guy through the wringer. The idyllic life portrayed in the prologue is shattered when his son, Jason, is hit by a car. Then, depending on the decisions you make, Ethan can either be run over by a truck, caught by the police (during which he has to escape), get into a car accident, break two ribs and have his ex-wife accuse him of being the Origami Killer. This is aside from all the character's mandatory plot missions, which include crawling through glass, jumping through electrical transformers, running from the law and cutting off his own finger. Is it any wonder that the ultra-happy endings for his character involve him reunited with his family (and, if you save Madison, a better wife)?
Madison Paige. It really says something about a character when her first scene (albeit a dream sequence) has her getting attacked and murdered by four knife-wielding assailants...and it only goes downhill from there, as (depending on the choices you make) you'll become a part of a fugitive's escape plan, get caught by a doctor who plans on using you for practice surgery, and are forced to strip at gunpoint in order to beat up a pimp. If you (and not Ethan) survive, you'll find out that Madison's delusions have gotten worse, and it's only a matter of time before she goes insane...
Lauren, the mother who decides to help PI Shelby. If she doesn't die after being knocked unconscious and thrown into the lake with Shelby in a sinking car, she'll eventually learn that Shelby was the Origami Killer, and either spits on his grave or shoots him dead in the street after he thinks he's gotten away scot-free.
Norman Jayden may have it easy compared to Ethan, but still, he's the cast Chew Toy - he's a stessed-out profiler stuck working to get to the bottom of a case in time to save a kid's life on a force that doesn't respect him and has him partnered with LieutenantCarter Blake under mutual hatred, and very regularly ends up getting the crap beaten out of him or put in life-threatening situations by the leads he finds to he point that he lampshades it at Blue Lagoon if you stop to read his thoughts. If Ethan gets arrested, Norman can take a chance to give Blake what he's been begging for, which is responded to with Blake holding him at gunpoint. On top of all of that, all the while he's developing an addiction to the ARI glasses he uses almost every chapter though they're also slowly killing him, and uses triptocaine, potentially not much better, to relieve their side effects. It'd be nice to say his life could be made any easier, but he doesn't have a single happy ending.
Yes, even the hostile ghosts. One notable example is Chitose Tachibana from the second game. After one of her brothers is killed as a sacrifice, she watches the remaining brother fall into depression. Then the Darkness comes, and she's alone, terrified, and screaming for her brothers to help her. She spends most of the game running away from you and hiding in closets and the like, and when you finally catch up to her, she whimpers and sobs in terror throughout the ensuing fight. Poor girl...
Elk from R1 games. His only friend, Mia, turns out to be one of the Eight Phases of Morganna, forcing him to fight against her. You can bring her back to the game in the Bonus Dungeon, but she gets destroyed anyway along with the rest of The World during the disaster before R2. When Elk, now known as Endrance, thinks he is finally reunited with her in form of a cat, said cat turns out to be AIDA, and he has to watch her disintegrates as you defeat him. Ouch.
Atoli from R2, whose entire life has her gets kicked by (almost) everyone, including her own parents. And then Volume 2 happens...
Bo, also from R2. Being an Ill Boy in real life, it frustrates his parents to the point his mother wished that his stillborn twin sister Sakura was the one who lived instead. This leads him to create alternate personality based on his sister, Saku. The kid has his life rough.
Angela of Altena from Seiken Densetsu III. Yeah she acts like a brat but you also realize that she was neglected by her mother for years and most of those were because Koren was controlling her mother Valda. Plus the beginning of the game Her own mother tries to kill her in order to obtain more power, though that was also because Koren was controlling her. Plus right after that she wakes up in a house and almost cries when she sees a loving mother with her daughter. Someone give this woman a hug!
The Dark Dragon and The Sword of Light/Monshou no Nazo/Shadow Dragon: Chiki, Kashim, Maria, Nina, Yumina, Yubello.
Seisen no Keifu: Azel, Midayle, Tinny. Tiltyu after the events between the first and second halves.
Fuuin no Tsurugi: Wolt, Lugh, Rei, Sophia, Fa and post-game!Idoun
Rekka no Ken has a LOT: Lucius, Nino, Erk, Ninian, Nils, Eliwood, Florina, Guy, Kishuna.
The Sacred Stones: Myrrh, Artur, Neimi, Amelia, Selena
Path of Radiance: Ilyana, Mist, Elincia, Reyson, Jill, Rolf
Radiant Dawn: Pelleas, Rafiel
Awakening: Lucina, Noire
Pretty much the entire Second Generation of Awakening qualifies for this. It is revealed through support conversations that their various quirks and personalities are just what they used to survive their Crapsack World of a future. Some even openly admit that their surface actions are just a mask to hide the pain and grief from their comrades.
But this is not to say that the First Generation lacks of woobie moments. At all. Almost all of them either had dark and troubled pasts, or difficults presents that get worse and worse as time passes. And then they learn about their future kids's hardships as well...
her father, a former Holy Knight, got kicked out of the army after a failed battle, in which he also became handicapped on a leg, and because of this fell into alcoholism (and since she loves her father very much, she's terribly saddened by his decheance) ;
she's forcefully fianced to an obnoxiousnoble she's not in love with in the slightest ;
the local punks seem to love picking on her ;
near the end of her storyline, by being at the wrong place at the wrong time, she becomes a Cute Mute ;
and if you manage to get her Happy Ending, she'll still have to leave behind her family (which is still screwed up, so her leaving them will make things even worse for them) to follow the Asian, even lampshading herself that she'll be seen as an egoist who may go to Hell for her sin.Ouch.
Alyx Vance of Half-Life 2 has had it rough. When she was about three, aliens invaded Earth and killed her mother. She's spent all her life in the Resistance, fighting an Orwellian regime. In Half-Life 2, she has had her father captured, almost freed him only for a traitor to grab him, then get captured again when she tries to free him again. She is forced to reenter the Citadel to delay its impending explosion, had a train derail on her and dump her into a zombie-infested underground complex, then had to fight through a war-torn city to reach a train station. Then she is mortally wounded, revived and used to deliver a cryptic message to her father, then forced to watch him die horribly. Depending on events in Episode Three, that last one might have been a case of Break the Cutie.
And of course, she is clearly smitten with Gordon Freeman, who won't talk to her. Not that it's his fault, tho.
The fact that Alyx Vance is still a functioning human being after all this is a wonder.
This song increases Gordon Freeman's Woobieness hundredfold.
Gordon. He's just going to work like any other theoretical physicist when his entire workplace explodes, all of his coworkers die, and he's forced to battle his way up to the surface, where he has to face down trained soldiers, finally teleporting to another world so he can kill more stuff. And at the end of the day, does this hardworking scientist get a break? Nooo, he gets put into stasis for, like, twenty years, and then rewoken purely to defeat a new regime. He meets a girl that he falls in love with and can't even tell her, has to fight for a resistance that he was never part of and has no reason to actually help, and basically finds out in the end he was just being manipulated by a mysterious entity that won't even reveal what on earth is going on. Oh, and after he escapes the mysterious entity's control, he still isn't his own man, because now the Vortigaunts control him. For someone with the last name "free man", he spends most of it under someone else's control. The poor guy's life completely sucks.
Warcraft's Jaina Proudmoore deserves a mention here. From her first appearance in Warcraft 3 her life has been a litany of tragic events, starting with the corruption of her former lover Arthas into evil, then the destruction of her home, and then finally, after learning that the Horde had reformed from its former monstrous incarnation, being forced to fight against her own warmongering father to preserve peace. And her other old friend, Prince Kael'thas, then turns up as leader of the Blood Elves. Despite her heroism at the Battle of Mount Hyjal, helping to save the world, the Alliance continues to treat her as a junior partner and increasingly ignores her pleas for peace and diplomacy with the Horde. As a result, the detente she had fought for is in shambles, and she can only watch as hotheads on both sides reignite a pointless, genocidal war.
Unfortunately for her status as The Woobie, the fandom in general seems almost universally convinced that she's now shacking up with Thrall. Joke or no, it's hard to take her woobie-ism seriously as a result.
If she was before, Thrall's recent change of heart (and marriage as of Patch 4.2) to Aggralan pretty much puts Jaina back up there in Woobieness, anyway.
Hey, when you've been through what she has, you need a teddy bear. Hers just happens to be big, green, and capable of shaking a fortress down to its foundations.
In Dalaran, you can fish a golden coin she tossed into the wishing fountain with the tragic line: "Arthas, my love, please come back to me."
She spends the entirety of Wrath of the Lich King alternately trying to stop Varian Wrynn from going to war with the Horde and trying to stop Arthas from continuing down his dark path. And then at the end it turns out Arthas has remembered her all this time.
Another female Woobie is Sylvanas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen. A heroic High Elven general, she led the futile defense of the elven kingdom of Quel'thalas. Despite great skill and heroism her forces were overwhelmed by the undead, and Sylvanas herself was tortured, defiled, and raised as a banshee, forced to massacre her own countrymen and innocent people. Despite having later won freedom for herself and a small remnant of undead rebels, she remains, at heart, deeply unhappy, loathing the monster she has become.
Illidan also deserves a mention here. Essentially, his entire story derives from being unable to shake off the magic addiction of his people, which has driven him to betray his people multiple times, get imprisoned for ten thousand years, blind himself, consume an evil artifact, strike a bargain with a demon, flee from his home into the blasted world of Outland to escape from the consequences of that bargain, and, most importantly, lose the love of his life forever. You, as the player, hunt him down in the very last place he's managed to make his own and corner him long enough for the person who's hunted him all these millennia to find and kill him. Canonically, he's insane and totally beyond redemption, but is it any wonder he's one of the most Woobified characters in the entire series?
Several quests in the game involve other Woobie characters. The tortoise Tooga, in the Tanaris desert, is one example. Sent out by his wife Torta to get dinner, he gets lost, and needs you to lead him home, while he says pathetic things like "I'm thirsty" and "Torta must be so worried!" When you do get him back to his wife, she simply scolds him for being late and sends him to catch dinner again.
The Darkspear Trolls up until now deserve a mention as a whole. Their entire tribal history is essentially a list of places they used to live and who drove them out until they were relegated to sleeping on Orgrimmar's couch. Come Cataclysm, however, they're officially done taking this crap.
And for that matter, much of the Draenei race as a whole, whom the Broken devolved from. Pursued across the universe for centuries and hunted down to near-extinction by the Burning Legion and its minions, simply for daring to reject the temptation of its corrupting power.
The Oracles in Sholazar Basin are a race of simple fish-like creatures (think nicer Murlocs) who revere nature and only want to collect "shinies" to give the great gods, and are constantly attacked by the more aggressive Frenzyheart Tribe who are encroaching on their land and the Scourge, which wants to destroy all life. One particular quest sends you to an Oracle village that has been overtaken by the Scourge to try to rescue any survivors. The Oracles are dragged around attached to chains by these mindless zombie creatures and will give the most heart-wrenching dialogue when you talk to them:
Please take...my shinies. All done...
We not do anything...to them...I no understand.
Use my shinies...make weather good again...make undead things go away.
We gave shinies to shrine...we not greedy...why this happen?
I do something bad? I sorry...
Garona Halforcen's whole life just plain sucks. She was born as an experiment by the orc leader Gul'dan to cross an orc with a draenei, implying her draenei mother was raped, and as a half-blood, was always an outcast in orc society. Gul'dan then magically aged and brainwashed her, telling her that she was half-human, and using her as a spy against the humans. Amongst the humans, she found a trusted confidant and lover with Medivh, only to be crushed when it turned out he was demonically possessed by Sargeras, and brought the orcs to Azeroth. She was manipulated by the Shadow Council to kill King Llane Wrynn, tortured by Ogrim Doomhammer to get the location of the Shadow Council, all the while pregnant to a son with Medivh, Med'an. Meanwhile, an ogre mage, Cho'gall figured out Gul'dan's brainwashing, and used it to take control of Garona, and tried to asassinate King Varian Wrynn, Prince Anduin Wrynn, and Warchief Thrall. Leaving Med'an with her draenei uncle, she is currently in hiding, waiting for a chance to kill Cho'gall.
Chen Stormstout has this in Mists of Pandaria. He and his niece Li Li are originally just travelling Pandaria when they find out they have family on the continent (Chen and Li Li were born and raised on the Wandering Isle). Chen is overjoyed to hear he has family. Unfortunately, almost every member of his family he meets is dead, insane, or both. And the man keeps soldiering on trying to find family to connect with.
Lei Shi from Terrace of Endless Spring. Besides being an Apologetic Attacker, her entire motivation is that she's flat-out terrified. One of her fight mechanics has her hiding from the raid "until they go away" (really until you hit her with enough Ao Es).
Runty from the Blackrock Caverns dungeon, mainly due to his buff Almost Ferocious. He's trying his best.
Zevran and Alistair from Dragon Age: Origins. Especially if you're a female PC and is in a relationship with Alistair, and you choose to not take up Morrigan's offer and sacrifice yourself. That eulogy is just.... "You will be missed. More than I can possibly say."
How about Cullen? When the Demons invaded the Circle Tower, he was captured and horrifically tortured to the point that when you find him, he's become half mad and extremely paranoid of Mages, believing that all of them, not just Apostates, are responsible for the world's troubles. As if that weren't enough, the epilogue reveals that he eventually becomes a deranged serial killer. Ouch.
A Human Noble's entire family except their brother (but including their nephew, who was only a child, and sister-in-law) is betrayed and slaughtered by a corrupt noble who had previously been a close ally and a friend to his/her father who fought alongside him in the previous war.
If you decided to sleep with either a human male or a female elf, they will die before your eyes in the raid. The female elf has a daughter waiting for her in the alienage. She's a standard NPC who will comment that she is waiting for mother and how her mother promised she would bring back a present from Highever. Not being able to properly talk to her can be hearbreaking. Who knows how long she waited there?
A City Elf is living in a downtrodden ghetto when they or their bride is kidnapped for a Bann's rape party on their wedding day and in fighting to save themself/the bride have spurred the nobles to order a "purge" on their neighborhood,
The Dalish Elf loses their best friend while exploring and aren't allowed to look for him, being told it's hopeless as they were found horribly sick, and are drafted into the Wardens whether they like it or not to cure them. They do find that friend eventually: he's a darkspawn who gives the Warden either a heartstring-tugging apology for the way things turned out or an Anguished Declaration of Love if they are female and took certain dialogue options before s/he has to kill him. Furthermore, they are an orphan whose father was murdered by a group of humans and city elves and whose mother gave him/her up to Ashalle before leaving the clan in grief over her husband's death.
The Casteless Dwarf's family is so low in the social heirarchy they're below the ladder with their sister forced to be essentially a prostitute and themself a Punch Clock Villain for a mob boss to support themselves. As added suck, his/her parents consist of a Disappeared Dad and an alcoholic mother who constantly berates them and only cares about where her next drink is coming from.
A Dwarf Noble ends up with nothing after they are either manipulated into or framed for murdering their older brother by their younger brother, and are left to die in the Deep Roads as punishment. When they return home, it's only to discover that their father has died while they were away from the grief of sending them to die.
The Mage has it the easiest, and their life story is no walk in the park: he or she was taken away from his/her family as a kid (never to see them again), upon graduating from apprenticehood is lied to and betrayed by his/her best friend and left behind to certain death or Tranquility by said friend after everything falls apart. Once they leave, their home is destroyed and almost everyone they know killed or turned into an abomination.
Someone posted a comment on the character sheet page that summed it up:
Definitely Fenris from Dragon Age II. Though technically most of the terrible things which happen to him (such as being branded with lyrium tattoos and losing all his childhood memories) are restricted to his past and he does have a really shitty attitude at the best of times, you really have to feel sorry for him. But things get nasty when you find out that he has a sister- a mage- who's trying to get apprenticed to Fenris's former master, and who sells out Fenris to said former master. And just to make things worse apparently Fenris volunteered for the branding to free his mother and sister from slavery... and the reason why his sister is trying to become an apprentice magister is because the freedom they got was just as bad as the slavery. Talk about serious family issues.
Just Fenris? Dude, have you seen the party? There's the main character, Hawke, who is forced to flee his home to one of the most despicable cities in the world and loses almost his entire family over the course of the storyline; Merrill, the adorable, scatterbrained Elvish blood-mage who is demonized by her own clan for her experiments and bullied viciously by Fenris and Anders; Aveline, the hard-as-nails guardswoman who's forced to perform a mercy-kill on her own husband; Anders, the renegade mage who's driven mad by the corrupted spirit possessing him... in fact, the only people who manage to keep relatively light-hearted are Varric and Isabella, and they spend most of the game playing Team Dad and Cool Big Sis to the others.
Even Isabela's past is rather depressing and Varric ends up betrayed by his own brother and left in the Deep Roads to die, either forced to mercy-kill him later or spending years trying to nurse him back to sanity (probably in vain). There's also Sebastian... Pretty much everyone the man could call family by the end of the game has been murdered.
More specifically, fanon is that he was forced to fight against humankind against his will (that part might be considered Draco in Leather Pants material to some). In canon, he had to fight Ninten, who in different circumstances, he would probably consider a son. He was raised by two abducted humans, George and Maria, who are also Ninten's great grandparents. George stole information about his species' PSI powers and escaped back to Earth without Maria. Giygas was tasked with stopping PSI powers spreading on Earth as they could be used against his people. He is forced to betray the people who raised him, and at the end of the game offers Ninten the chance to come back with him, but of course Ninten refuses and so Giygas is forced to attack him. How do you defeat him? By playing the lullaby Maria, who he was very close to, used to sing to him, driving him insane with guilt and loss for Maria. Ultimately, he went insane from thinking about the family he used to have and the desire to get his revenge on Earth, coupled with his massive power and became the Giygas we know from EarthBound.
Katawa Shoujo has quite a few examples. Hanako is the most noticeable, but most of the main cast gets Woobie moments at one point or another.
Hisao Nakai, the protagonist. The game begins with him about to receive a Love Confession from the girl he's always liked, only to suffer a heart attack. He's hospitalized for four months, and after six weeks, his old friends and his love interest stop visiting. At the end, he ends up in an unfamiliar school, and his disability leaves him at risk of a heart attack if he overexerts himself or even has any strong impacts to the chest.
Emi Ibarazaki lost her legs below the knee in a car accident as well as her father. Even though she has regained her ability to walk with prosthetics, she still suffers nightmares, and it's implied that part of the reason she runs is to banish them from her mind. Despite seeming outgoing and cheerful, she lets very few people close to her, for fear of losing them.
Hanako Ikezawa. Between the horrible burn scars, the dead parents, and the crippling social anxiety, you can't help but want to hug the poor girl. Even though she runs away in a panic when you first try to talk to her. Maybe because of that, actually. Surprisingly, her route deconstructs this. Her woobieness is initially why Hisao wants to become closer to her. Hanako is well aware of this and she does not like it.
Lilly Satou was left behind in Scotland with her sister Akira by their parents, and her relative maturity for her age is a result of having to become more independent as a result of Akira's shortcomings as a single parent (Akira admits that it's unreasonable to expect a 19-year-old to raise a blind girl alone). Late in Lilly's route, their parents order the sisters to come to Scotland permanently, leaving behind their boyfriends in Japan, and causing no small amount of heartache.
Rin Tezuka suffers from difficulties making herself understood in social interactions and art, causing her a great deal of pain. She also struggles with what it means to be an artist, and fears that she will change herself to someone she is not in order to succeed.
Shizune Hakamichi grew up with an abusive father who belittles her, has no respect for her accomplishments and refuses to learn sign language to speak with her. Despite her wishes to make people happy, she often comes off as overbearing and bossy, partly due to her Spirited Competitor personality and partly because of communication problems caused by her deafness.
Even Misha turns out to be one. She is in love with Shizune and confessed to her; she was rejected, but Shizune continued to seek her out for friendship, which only caused her pain. Things got worse when Hisao started becoming closer to Shizune.
The Companion Cube from Portal. Poor little cube, it was more than happy to help you and be an unquestioning friend through good and bad. It saved your life, had little hearts and was then forced into an incinerator. /tears
It is revealed in Portal 2 that the companion cube survived the incineration and is given back to Chell after GLaDOS lets her go.
WHEATLEY. In the post-credits scene he apologizes for the things he's done, in abject remorse and depression, and it's blatantly evident that he's really sorry and truly feels remorse. The worst part? He will likely never get to properly apologize to Chell, because he's in SPACE. Valve cruelly makes this scene the default menu background. When next you start the game, all you see is Wheatley aimlessly floating along, dejectedly flitting his photoreceptor around. D'aww, Wheatley, you need a hug? C'mere...
Doug Rattmann. The man has dealt with being trapped in the facility, constantly evading the watchful eye of GLaDOS, and yet, the whole time, he manages to leave behind hints for Chell. He may have sacrificed his life for Chell, being shot by a sentry turret in the Lab Rat comic. But according to the drawings on the walls in Portal 2, he may still be alive. The only friend he has is the Weighted Companion Cube. He is alone.
The frankencubes in 2, which are made from two turrets and a cube, are creepy, but you can't help but feel bad for them.
It has been recently revealed that the overmind from Starcraftwas created specifically so that it would have an uncontrollable urge to defeat and absorb the protoss so that the next generation xel'naga would come into existence. When it looked into the future and saw that the new xel'naga would absorb all of creation it realized it had been created so that it could not avoid this fate so it rebelled the only way it could, by creating kerrigan. Unfortunately it didn't last long enough to explain this to kerrigan so now SHE wants to kill everything as well. Mental slavery followed by dying believing your one chance at redemption had failed? Thats just not fair.
Kerrigan herself qualifies as well. She's basically been treated as a tool to be used and discarded by almost everyone. She was used as a tool by the Confederates first, then Mengsk, and then by the Zerg. She spent her childhood growing up in the Ghost Academy, which is a pretty horrible childhood. The only person in the world who ever cared about her as a person is Jim Raynor, who she has been forcibly separated from due to various events.
Ted Smith from Dead Rising 2. He's an overweight animal trainer with an obvious mental disability, who has been mocked by people so often that he now considers his only friend to be a Bengal tiger named Snowflake. And you're forced to hug him with a pair of Knife Gloves, because he intends to feed you to Snowflake as "fresh meat". And to top it off, his death scene is a real Tear Jerker.
Arcade Gannon. Virtually every ending, including many of the "good" ones, still end with him either being hunted down or killed. He is also one of the few characters that is primarily motivated by a desire to help people.
Boone as well. He was one of the snipers at the 'battle' of Bitter Springs, and is tormented by regret for his actions. He also saw his pregnant wife get sold into Caesar's Legion as a slave, and sniped her to save her the torture of slavery.
Also Veronica. She fell in love with another girl at a young age, but the other girl's family didn't approve and persecuted her for it. She also got thrown out of the Brotherhood's bunker for disagreeing with the code of conduct, and can only stand by and watch as the Brotherhood slowly tears itself apart.
Lily as well. A loving grandmother before becoming a Nightkin, she treats The Courier as her own, despite the fact that the first thing you tell her is that you are not Jimmmy. Being a Nightkin, she also has schizophrenia that manifests itself in "Leo", a voice in her head that represents her Ax-Crazy side as well as trying desparately to hold onto the last memories of her grandchildren.
All of her endings are incredibly sad: she either stops taking her medicine and eventually devolves into a ravening beast, takes too much medicine and forgets her family entirely, or takes just enough to remember her grandchildren and eventually sets out on a futile search for them (futile, since they died 200 years ago).
The X-13 Stealth Suit from Old World Blues because of some of her lines. See "Will you love me if I help you hide?"
Muggy from Old World Blues. Oh, poor Muggy. Muggy is a miniature Securitron robot Dr O built just to channel his envy and hate for Robert House. Muggy is small, ineffectual and has no weapons, in comparison to the imposing standard Securitrons. He is programmed with a singular, all-consuming obsession with coffee mugs, and he's aware of this, too. He's in constant anguish over how he can't stop thinking about mugs. To make it even worse, the Think Tank later put their brains in floating robot contraptions that never drink coffee, meaning no more mugs for him. The other appliances mock him for his uselessness, and the biostation essentially raped him once. He eventually gets his happy ending in the epilogue.
Jennifer from Rule of Rose fully earns the title of "poor, unlucky girl" that the narration pushes on her. By the time the game begins, she has survived everybody she knows twice over! And she's not even out of her teens yet. Many other cast members also apply, most notably Clara, but the Aristocrats all probably fit in the category of Jerkass Woobie in one way or another, as well.
Shin Megami Tensei I has your protagonist, who has his mom eaten, his friends (depending on route) die off or backstab him, the world ends despite his best efforts, and regardless of ending, the only compensation he really gets is walking off into the sunset with the heroine, which doesn't negate all the crap he went through.
It gets worse in the Neutral path. Both of his alignment friends end up hating his guts and resorting to trying to kill him (resulting in him having to kill him), both factions turn against him for daring to believe in balance, and by the end of the game he has exactly two active allies left: the heroine and an old man.
Shin Megami Tensei II's protagonist isn't much better off, as he discovers his whole life was a lie, his friends (at least some of them) will betray him or do a Heroic Sacrifice for him, and this is a game where YHVH himself hates your protagonist, and its implied that one day, he's going to screw you over royally for killing him. Again, walking off into the sunset with the Heroine doesn't make up for a lot of this, especially in the Neutral ending. Also, speaking of the Heroine, even walking off with her is creepy given she's your love interest, and in a Mind Screw way, your mother.
Astaroth from both games is also a woobie. YHVH himself turned him from Ishtar (a beautiful woman) into Astaroth (a fugly guy), and even though Astaroth winds up working for Lucifer (who is actually not nearly as much of an asshole as YHVH), he's still depressed, as all he wants is to be his original self again. Thankfully, the protagonist can finally give this poor bastard a break in the second game.
How has Toroko from Cave Story not been mentioned yet? When the game starts, she's being aggressively harassed by the leader of the village for not turning over her only friend to basically be sacrificed, and Sue really seems to only be interested in just getting off the island anyway, and it only gets worse from there.
Emil. His entire life is nothing but a long string of horrible events, but he still tries to remain cheerfully and innocently optimistic through the entire thing. You want nothing more than to just reach through the TV screen and give the poor kid a hug.
Everyone in NieR is need of a big hug. Even the Shades. Especially the Shades.
The Hero's twin children are left parentless for years, and they're supposed to be parentless until their adolesent ages.
Sancho's feeling guilty for the his master's death and The Hero's disappearance. Do not bring him anywhere near Whealbrook. His Woobie status will be pulled Up to Eleven when you do unless you're playing the original game.
Dragon Quest VIII has Princess Media, who's turned into a horse for the entire game, even if not, she's supposed to marry a Prince Charmless whom before the game event she has never known or seen.
David, one of the Living MacGuffin, is abused as a lowing servent, and is killed off by a dog possessed by Big Bad.
Angelo is a mild example. Orphaned at a young age, he ends up at Maella Abbey. The first boy he meets (his half-brother Marcello) is friendly towards him... until he discovers Angelo's true identity afterward and antagonizes him because of the harsh treatment their father put Marcello and his mother through. Thus, Angelo grows up as a gambling womanizer. And then he gets to be treated to the sight of Dhoulmagus killing his father figure Francisco. Yeah... not cool. Even so, Angelo rises up to become a decent man in his own right, even going as far as to save his half-brother from falling to his death after his attempt to use Rhapthrone'spower for himself, an act that results in Marcello simply spitting in his face (figuratively, not literally).
Even the Godbird Empyrea and her child are turned into these. A demonic griffon named Gemon kidnaps Empyrea's egg (at the behest of Rhapthrone), forcing the party to hound him. In retaliation, he destroys the egg, killing Empyrea's child before he was even born, and driving Empyrea into a hefty state of grief and anguish. In spite of this, spirit of the Godbird's son implores to his mother that he should help out the heroes regardless of what happened.
Alice: Madness Returns makes the title character out to be one a lot more than the original American Mcgees Alice did. To wit - when she was 8 years old, her house was burnt down, killing her entire family,after witnessing her older sister being raped. She then spent a decade nearly comatose in an insane asylum undergoing 'treatments' that would be considered both illegal and inhumane by today's standards. By the time the game starts she has been out of the asylum for a year and seems to have a pretty decent life, although she is still haunted by flashbacks and hallucinations, but then her quest for the truth reveals that her 'therapist' was the one responsible for the fire (and everything else that happened that night), and that he's been trying to erase her memories so she can't call the cops on his ass, and then sell her as a prostitute, as does with his other 'patients'. And that's not even going into what happens to her in Wonderland... And in the end, she just goes fully insane and can no longer tell reality from her delusions, in what is the biggest Bittersweet Ending of forever.
Well, if it's any consolation at all, she did push that monster calling himself her therapist right in front of a speeding train and killed him. All things considered, that was probably as much justice as she was ever going to get.
Fear Effect. Rain is very much this. Why? Her father is the first emperor of China, made immortal and forever rooted to one spot like a statue. Her mother is a scientist who engaged in experiments that transformed her into a monster and eventually an Eldritch Abomination. Her twin sister Mist is trying to help her father get out of his statue pose. Unfortunately, Mist's method of achieving this involves merging herself and Rain to their mother, and pretty much destroy the entire world. Rain ran away from this, and ended up with amnesia, as well as memories, dreams and nightmares that made no sense to her. Rain ends up having to kill off both her mother and twin sister. Hana is an Iron Woobie and Glas is a Stoic Woobie.
Assassin's Creed I has the protagonist Altaďr and his closest friend and Assassin brother Malik. Altaďr's life is a series of tragic events, starting with his fathers execution which he had to witness, the hatred his adopted brother Abbas had for him because he spoke the truth, Adha's death and a series of betrayals which cost him his son, wife and best friend. And that is only to name a few. He's had it very bad and because birds of a feather flock together so did Malik, though to a lesser extend. He had to witness his brother look up to someone he hated, lost said brother and arm because of Altaďr's arrogance, got accused of killing his best friends son, got imprisoned and, after clearing things up with Altaďr, beheaded by Abbas. Altaďr is, probably, an Iron Woobie while one can't be sure about Malik. Then again, the same goes for Altaďr.
Assassin's Creed II has an interesting antagonist example in Dante Moro. The loyal bodyguard of Silvio Barbarigo, who one day decided that he wanted Dante's wife for his own. Barbarigo's goons attacked him, stabbing him three times in the chest and once in the head, but Dante survived. Unfortunately, he suffered brain damage, allowing Barbarigo to convince him to sign divorce papers and continue to use the poor guy as Dumb Muscle. Making it even more tragic, there's a letter from his wife in which she says that she still loves him and hopes that one day he'll recover enough for them to be together again — which you find on Dante's body after you've killed him.
On the subject of Assassin's Creed, there's also Desmond, the main protagonist of the series. Abusive Parents, kidnapped, and animus-induced Sanity Slippage means you've got to feel at least a little sorry for the guy.
As well as Connor from the third game. He goes through so many Break the Cutie moments (including watching his mother burn to death when he was only 'five) anyway, but the real reason it's so effective is that in spite of his terrible life, he's one of the most genuinley nice (and Adorkable) characters in this series.
Although it's not obvious at first, Ethan, the quiet, axe-wieldingamnesiac from Last Scenario, is badly in need of a hug. When he first joins the party, he says he doesn't remember much beyond the fact that he used to work for the Rosehart Kingdom, but was betrayed and imprisoned. This means many of the people he's fighting used to be his friends, but it's a bit worse than that. He used to be the head of a prestigious special-ops group, but he started to suspect that his superior, Castor, was hiding important information from them, and began to investigate on his own. An ambitious internal affairs officer, Helio, found out, and reported Ethan- as punishment, he was locked up as a test subject in Helio's laboratory and spent the next three years buried alive and semiconscious in a magical substance called biorite, which was responsible for his memory loss. Even early on, he worries that maybe since the things he remembers most clearly are the ones he wanted to remember, the ones he forgot were things he wanted to forget; when a few things start coming back to him, you find out he was right. Fourteen years ago, his entire hometown was razed by the Imperial army, leaving him and his older brother as the only survivors. He wound up killing a soldier in a panic to protect his brother, and only avoided being killed himself by the timely intervention of Zawu. His older brother? Castor, the guy who had him sealed in a pile of rocks for three years, and the Big Bad of the game. Naturally, he remembers this just as Castor has started going into a full-scale mental and emotional breakdown which he was indirectly complicit in. And the man he killed when he was fourteen? His name was Wolfram, and his father and best friend are in the party. Ethan's guilt-stricken and awkward attempts to tell Randolph are simultaneously heartbreaking and adorable. All in all, his life kind of sucks. A lot.
Fiona Belli from Haunting Ground. Not only did one of the stalkers kill her parents, but he kidnapped her as well, and is trying to impregnate her in order to be reborn with her Azoth. She is also pursued by a hulking man with the mind of a child who thinks she is a doll and just wants to play with her, a homunculus maid who wants to cut her Azoth out of her in order to become "complete", and an old man who helps her at first, but then turns out to be the Big Bad, and is also trying to take her Azoth. The only companion she has is a white German Shepherd that is also a Woobie itself due to the excessive amounts of literal Kick the Dog moments.
Hephaestus in God of War III. Created Pandora, an Artificial Human, to serve as the key to opening Pandora's Box, and get roundly mocked by his fellow gods when he comes to love her as a father would love his daughter. When Kratos opens the box for the first time, Zeus punishes Hephaestus by cursing him with an ugly form, and sealing him away in a tiny cave in the underworld. The cave includes a portal so that his wife, Aphrodite, can visit him at any time, but she prefers cheating on him and 'entertaining' herself with slave girls to his company. When he learns that Kratos intends to sacrifice Pandora so that the box can be opened a second time, he tries to use a Uriah Gambit to save his daughter's life, which backfires horribly when Kratos kills him by impaling him on his own anvil. His final words are a desperate, sorrowful plea for Kratos to spare the life of his daughter.
Spiritia Rosenberg, The Heroine of the first game, is going around beating up her friends asking them to cease their part in RKS's rebellion and listen to her, and they usually don't listen until she defeats them (although some of them still refuse to listen to reason, even after their defeat, until a certain cute blond-haired girl in pink-and-white elegant clothing shows her true colors, of course). How do you feel for her that she ends up having to fight those she respects, including the now-undead Sir Raimund Seyfarth, and eventually learns that Iris was USING EVERYBODY for her own amusement? And then we have the part where Iris herself reveals that Tia's the other reincarnation of Rosenkreuz, the "Blade of Rosenkreuz", born with his ability to tap into the strength of others'. Tomato in the Mirror much?
And in Freudenstachel, she gets kidnapped and taken away by the Schwarzkreuz. Turns out this was all part of Iris' plan to have Tia all Brainwashed and Crazy and force her to fight against her own best friend Freu. Wow... just, Wow.
The resident Butt Monkey (until she Took a Level in Badass in Freudenstachel, of course), Zorne Zeppelin, is a moody young girl with a short temper who will not put up with anybody who messes with "Father". She has quite a tough life, seeing how she ended up in a situation that Graf Sepperin saved her from, and she has trouble understanding the meaning of restraint and ends up getting humiliated both physically and emotionally a lot. And what's more, she refuses to get along with Iris, who later makes her suffer by killing her adoptive father whom she yearns for to someday accept her as his real daughter. And in Tearis, she refuses to forgive her for killing him and vows to eliminate her.
In Freudenstachel, it's revealed that Zorne had been a walking puppet ever since her father's death. She had been suicidal for a while, and tried to get herself Driven to Suicide several times, and probably would've succeeded in doing so herself if it weren't for Trau stopping her every time. It took her newfound anger towards the army of the church to boot her back up from her Heroic BSOD.
Grolla Seyfarth becomes this in her own Darker and Edgier side-game, Grollschwert. When Iris humiliates her and makes her look like a traitor to all of RKS, Grolla has to put up with beating up her colleagues just to get them out of her way. Then she fights her undead grandfather in order to master Grollschwert, and after that, she, both infuriated and deeply hurt, declares that she will make Graf Sepperin pay for disrupting his peaceful slumber with his life.
According to her profile, Sichte Meister often frets about her troubled childhood that she had in the past, which leads to having trouble having faith in those older than her. Also, she becomes worried about Grolla when she leaves upon her telling her to lower her guard when she demands answers from Iris. The reason Grolla left was out of knowledge that if she lowered her weapon, she would breathe no more.
Liebea Palesch. Oh, poor Liebea. Her brother Karl was imprisoned by Iris because He Knows Too Much, and worse yet, Graf Sepperin told her that the Empire had taken him captive and that there was no hope to pray for his safe return. Liebea refused to take part in his rebellion because she was against it, but the Count managed to avoid her becoming an obstacle by imprisoning her at the top of the research tower, where it is said that she breaks down and starts crying like mad when people ask her what happened and ask her about Karl, and say things to make her get upset.
As for Schwer-Muta Casasola Merkle: Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds much? Before being placed in RKS's care, she ACTUALLY had to put up with subsiding in a barren, bestial environment, a trauma of her upbringing that burdens her to today, making her suspicious of everyone that she meets. She feels that her only friend is her pet squid Zeppy. When confronted, Schwer will declare either that the bonds that tie people together are nothing but an illusion or that everyone should just fall apart before fighting to kill whoever breaks their word.
And last but not least...believe it or not, IRIS HERSELF, who becomes reduced to a Jerkass Woobie in Tearis. After having lost the final battle to Tia, Iris finds herself under Tia's care, laying in bed thinking that Tia probably hates her for everything she had done in the game and wondering by whose hands she may die. When Zorne and Freu start fighting, Iris, knowing of said battle, desperately asks Tia to end her life to truly end the chaos. Naturally, of course, Tia refuses, because she believes that killing Iris anyway may just make things worse than things already did by her hands in the game.
The Girl of Asura's Wrath fits this trope to a T. Upon first meeting her all she is trying to do is protect the small infant, who may or may not be a relation. She is forced to watch helplessly as Asura defends her from Gohma and the armies of the gods. When he loses his arms in the fight against Augus she desperately tries to stop Asura from continuing fighting, only for the player to be forced to perform a quicktime event to shove her away and run off to battle. She tries to follow but is unable to keep up. Later, she re encounters Asura and attempts to help him again but ultimately dies under Olga's orbital bombardment. Asura, upon recovering, sees her corpse and flies into such a rage that his roar of fury destroys ships in orbit!!!The player is then treated to a wonderful sequence offuckmurderingthe people who caused it.
Asura himself is one of these. Underneath all of that rage is an unbearable pain that the world around him just won't let cease. What happens in Episode 12 is the greatest example: it was not only rage that drove Asura into his Berserker form, but absolute despair, to the extent that rage was all he had left. You can hear it in his screams of anguish. It really motivates the player to stop Asura's pain as soon as possible by completing the game...only to find that God himself won't let Asura's pain end...
There are those who find Shirou from Fate/stay night a woobie, though it's a little odd. In the present, his life seems mostly normal but as a child he was the sole survivor of the battlefield that destroyed a large section of Fuyuki. His parents were killed and he saw hundreds of people die in front of him before being saved by Kiritsugu. In the present, this has left scars on him that even he is only marginally aware of that drive his entire life leading him to have a rather casual attitude towards death and having no sense of self preservation at all. Whether or not this is truly pitiful is a matter of opinion: The manner in which he deals with his life is much more proactive than the standard woobie.
And there's Saber. She gives up any chance of a normal life, and spends 12 years fighting constant wars on the front lines and ruling Britain flawlessly. She doesn't develop a personality because she decides Kings shouldn't be swayed by them. And then she's betrayed by everyone and left to die alone by her own kingdom for being too good a ruler. AND THEN she becomes a Servant to erase herself from existence because she doesn't think she did well enough. Girl really could use a hug.
Sakura, who is probably the most woobie of them all, is separated from her family and adopted by a family of former Magi against her will, and is "trained" to become the successor by being sent into a room full of worms every night implant themselves inside her every night since she's five years old. Her adoptive brother, who's not quite right in the head himself, physically, mentally, and sexually abuses her every day. This all comes back to haunt the cast in the route she is Heroine in, Heaven's Feel. Lets just say that karma is a bitch...
Tails from Sonic the Hedgehog usually qualifies in most continuities. He's always depicted as cheerful, but not without implications that he's so cheerful because of how much better his life is. In general, Tails is both an orphan and was bullied. To what extent depends on the continuity, but his rarely-mentioned backstory in the games takes the cake.
The Pikmin. Cute, adorable little plant creatures that gladly put themselves in the line of fire (and water, poison and electricity) and freely face the open maws of carnivorous insects, mollusks, bird-snakes and everything in-between, in order to help you rebuild your ship and profit your capitalist society. But they won't ask you to love them.
Sherry Birkin: Caught in the crossfire in Raccoon City, with zombies galore, and is being chased by her insane parents, moreso her father - he implants an embryo within her that will turn her into a monster.. This all happens when she's twelve, then she gets taken by the U.S government due to hosting a mutated/vaccinated G-Virus within her that gives her a Healing Factor. It's good to see that she grew into a capable agent in Resident Evil 6, but still.
Chris Redfield: Seemingly stoic and capable of getting the job done. It's how he gets his paycheck. Too bad that he loses a lot of important people to him: he nearly loses Jill, who sacrificed herself for him, and she winds up Brainwashed and Crazy.. Then come Resident Evil 6, and he loses a whole platoon commanded by him courtesy of Carla Radames, and later on, he loses his partner, Piers, to the C-Virus. He spends most of the game begging to be hugged.
Jill as well, who sees her entire hometown nuked to stop the Raccoon City incident and three years before and during Resident Evil 5she is in an And I Must Scream state, being forced through mind control to work for Wesker and fight Chris and being fully aware the entire time she was doing these horrible actions, unable to stop herself.
From To the Moon Joey. Having his own mother run him overnote albeit accidentally when he was so young... There's also River, due to her autism. And, depending on how you interept The Stinger, Neil can become a Jerk Ass Woobie.
From Borderlands 2, there's Angel. Her mother either died or vanished when she was very young (and it's hinted that it may be her fault), was forced to be a living computer at around the same age, her father pumped her full of a substance that made her abilities become extremely powerful at the cost of true physical dependence, and forced her to betray the few people she could even consider friends. When you reach her in the last third of the second game, she is actively begging you to kill her, if only to release her from the nightmare she's lived through since childhood.
Claptrap comes off as a bit of a condescending Jerk Ass, but one can't help but feel sorry for him in one of his sidequests where he invites you and other residents of Sanctuary to his birthday party. Of everyone he invites, only you (and your party members, if you have any) attend. The poor guy was looking forward to a big birthday bash, and in the end, you stay just so he won't be so lonely.
Except for Rucks, every character in Bastion has some kind of tragic backstory. The Kid served a turn on the Rippling Walls to raise money for his sick mother, only to find out when he came back that she'd already died and someone ran off with all of the money. Zulf lost his fiancee in the Calamity, and then found out that Caelondia, who he'd been working with all this time to foster peace between them and his own race, the Ura, had accidentally caused the Calamity in an attempt to wipe the Ura off the map. Zia and her father were immigrants to Caelondia and were the victims of racism against the Ura, and her father was forced to be the one who pulled the trigger on the superweapon that caused the Calamity after a failed attempt to take her and flee back to their homeland.
Daniel from Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Even in a survival horror video game can find a Woobie as protagonist, not only because the poor young man was bullied physically for a school bully and for his own father as a child, it also has a number of physical and psychological damage suffered while trying to find Alexander in a castle filled with monstrous creatures. Even, he immediately realizes what a monster he is and it tears him up inside.
Kamila, from Ghost Trick. On her mother's birthday, she decides to surprise her by making an elaborate Rube Goldberg contraption that would end up popping partypoppers. But it is instead rigged by a ghost wanting revenge on her father so that it would instead pull the trigger of a decorative gun, killing her mother. On her own birthday. As if the irony wasn't enough, her father decides to take the blame and is sentenced to death. So now she carries the guilt of being responsible for not only for her mother's death, but also her father's. Bad enough? It gets worse. She's also kidnapped as a bargaining chip to assure that her dad is executed. When her father comes to rescue her, the same ghost who killed her mother decides to possess her and have the girl shoot her own dad. Luckily that doesn't happen... because her dad was already killed elsewhere. Instead, she gets to see the woman who's been raising her as an adoptive little sister die hit by falling ruble and float face down. Oh, and she also witnesses her little dog being shot dead. Ouch. Thankfully, everything gets reverted in the end.
Deadly Premonition has its share of pitiable characters, but the biggest is probably its very own Walking Spoiler, Zach Morgan. In addition to being forced to watch his parents die as a child by life-sucking via parasitic tree and gunshot suicide, he then gets attacked himself by the force which killed his parents, which badly damages his left eye and leaves him stranded in a horrifying red limbo between two worlds. For the next several years, his aloof and emotionally distant split personality lives his life for him, while the two of them slowly forget which of them was the real one to begin with. Oh, and because of all this, he becomes afraid to become close to anyone else in case he happens to lose them again. He falls in love with Emily, but she's in love with his split personality.Then she's attacked the same way as his mother, and he is forced to attempt a Mercy Kill on her. After her death, Zach's alter-ego and Only Friend, York, leaves to be with Emily in a higher plane, leaving him all alone in the real world. Good grief. Even his character design implies woobieness: His lack of suit jacket makes him look small and scrawny, he has dark circles under his eyes, and for much of his screen time, he's covered in bandages.
In Morenatsu, there is a Woobie by the name Shin Kuroi. How is he a Woobie? Well, he secretly loves the main character but hid these feelings and hides his true emotion with a mask of coldness, if you try to romance him then he'll try to shove you away due to abandonment issues and to top it all off his route isn't even canon. He needs a hug and someone to tell him it's all right. And DON'T bring up his bad ending.
If you look at the quantrilogy of games in the Saints Row series Shaundi turns out to be this. Her story is that she had a bad spring break where it's implied she was made a ho for a pimp, who later turns up. She got into drugs with someone she met in college who later kidnaps and tries to kill her, which she has nightmares about. She's too stoned and shagged out to take in much, and when she gets her act together because of Boss' protectiveness and looking up to Gat he seemingly dies, making her so angry at herself for he and Boss feeling they needed to protect her when she should have been there for him and self loathing at her old self because she was weak from the sex and drugs.
In Paradox Interactive games, Byzantium tends to have a bit of a spotlight shown on it, by both the fanbase and the studio. In EU 4, for instance, the first state to get a DLC dedicated to it (before the game was even released, even!) was Byzantium. Especially odd considering they were only around for another 8 years after the start date.
Corvo Attano, the protagonist of Dishonored, fails to prevent the Empress he was sworn to protect (who may also be his lover and the mother of his child) from being murdered. He is then framed for her murder and spends the next six months in prison awaiting execution, all the while being periodically tortured by the men really responsible for her murder in an attempt to extract a false confession. And then just when he's been broken out of prison and is working toward restoring the rightful heir to the throne, his supposed allies betray and try to kill him. He's left for dead in an open sewer, and then picked up and imprisoned by the gang of assassins who killed the Empress. Just to top it off, as the outcome depends on gameplay, it's also possible for the final mission to feature him receiving an absolutely brutal What the Hell, Hero? from the only one of his former allies who truly had his back, who basically calls him a monster, and then end the whole thing by seeing the rightful heir to the throne (who, lest we forget, is probably his daughter) fall to her death.
Namco High: Meowkie. Her parents are former Mooks who wanted to give her a better life, so they moved to Namco Land and enrolled her in the eponymous school. However, because her parents are former Mooks, most of the other students - even ones who are usually nice - treat her like crap, frame her for their misdeeds, and refuse to associate with her. She also thinks that the anger she feels when this happens is evil and tries her very best to repress it, leaving her as an Extreme DoormatStepford Smiler. It's not uncommon, during Meowkie's route, for players to have to remind themselves that the school is fictional and cannot be burned down.