Sain from Fire Emblem Elibe acts as though he's the knight in shining armor in a fantasy story, forgetting that he's trapped in an RPG, leading to getting hit with an ax a few times in order to explain how Sain wasn't following the game mechanics. More specifically he was using a lance (weak against axes) since "Lances are more heroic. Don't you think that a knight should always appear heroic?" before being told that his attitude is going to get him killed.
Balthier of Final Fantasy XII constantly refers to himself as "the leading man." Though he never admits it, he's "actually more of a supporting role" which is similarly mentioned in his appearance in the Final Fantasy Tacticsremake.
Despite that, his Genre Savviness does not fail him when he needs it most when doing stupidly dangerous and heroic at the game's climax, having previously predicted that, as the leading man, he might have to do just that. "You know what they say about the leading man? He never dies." When confronted with the fact that he's actually a supporting character, Balthier rejects such pessimism out of hand. He doesn't die.
Seifer of Final Fantasy VIII at one point declares his and Squall's roles to be, respectively, the heroic Knight and the evil mercenary. Later, having finally realized that the Big Bad has been using his aspirations toward knighthood to manipulate him, he declares himself a "young revolutionary" instead, although by that point he's less Wrong Genre Savvy and more just plain in denial.
It's ultimately subverted by Snow in Final Fantasy XIII: his conviction that he is The Hero in an idealistic setting where determination and a just cause will see him through any setbacks seems woefully out of place throughout the first two thirds of the game, and causes more cynical characters like Lightning and Hope no end of frustration. By the final battle, however, he proves to have been entirely right about everything except his own role in the party (he's The Big Guy).
Zack at the start of Crisis Core displays this with a mix of Genre Blindness. He initially seems to think he's just a straight up hero and doesn't get how cynical the world he's in is. The Genre Blindness comes from not getting that Shinra, the corp he works for, is evil, or that Professor Hojo is a heartless sociopath despite him constantly locking you in a room with monsters For Science!.
Garland in Final Fantasy IX was aware of the likelyhood that his creation [[Big Bad Kuja would, if left alive for too long would be too dangerous and likely betray him. His method for this was to put a very short limit on his lifespan. Good idea, except that he assumed that TELLING him that would cause a Despair Event Horizon, instead, it caused a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum that made Kuja even more of menace than he would have been otherwise.
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth! who appears to be entirely unaware that he's not the main character until Laharl teaches him otherwise. Hard.
Flonne makes the same mistake about once a chapter. Apparently magical girl and tokusatsu shows are the only thing on in Celestia. However, she is right when assuming that demons aren't evil, and that her being around Laharl will cause him to turn good.
Meanwhile, Laharl is under the impression that he's Villain Protagonist. He's WAY wrong, with even his worst (canon at least) actions putting him as Anti-Hero.
Adell in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories assumes that he's a hero saving the world from the Evil Overlord Zenon, since he's wasn't affected by Zenon's curse that turns everyone in his world into monsters. He's mostly right, but the real reason Zenon's curse didn't affect him is because he was born a demon.
Most of the cast of Disgaea 2 with the assumption that after Zenon's behavior is a sign that he's an imposter, along with the one they saw killed by Etna. On the latter they're wrong, Zenon just survived thanks the curse he has effecting Veldime. On the former, they're right, but not in the way they expect. The demon they think is Zenon is actually just an imposter using his name, his daughter Rozalin is actually the real Zenon but suffering from Laser-Guided Amnesia.
Disgaea 3: Despite how it may seem to some, Mao is right on the money. In the good ending he does win, it's just that he fails to realize that he's at the beginning of his story, and needs to go through The Hero's Journey before he can beat the Big Bad. In the same game, Aurum actually invokes the trope upon realizing that he's become the Big Bad.
Fuka in Disgaea 4 assumes that all the outlandish things she sees are a sign that she's just dreaming. In truth, she's dead and was sent to the Netherworld, and is only not a Prinny because there weren't enough materials to manufacture her a full costume. Desco when she appears at the end of Episode 3 assumes that she's the Final Boss, and while she's the last boss of the episode, the game isn't even half over by the time she appears.
Asagi does this throughout the franchise, as an ever escalating in-joke. She started as test character for a canceled game, and developed into an unlockable character whose shtick is to believe she's the main character and try to take over. Though at this point she appears to just be insane.
The Prism Rangers, a recurring group of gag characters, who show up believing that they are the heroes of the story, ready to defeat those nasty demons and save the day with The Power of Friendship. The real heroes of the story inevitably kick their asses with no difficulty. Etna even shot them before they could do their Transformation Sequence.
Ryotaro Dojima of Persona 4 is remarkably intelligent and perceptive regarding a number of plot points in the game, such as figuring out that Mitsuo is a copycat killer, how the victims are selected, and even the player's involvement, but he assumes he's in a standard Police Procedural or whodunnit. He's really in an Urban Fantasy, leaving him with some very large and unfortunate blind spots, and he's never able to figure out that he's in the latter rather than the former since he doesn't come into contact with most of the game's supernatural elements. When told the truth about the murder mystery, he has the same reaction that any rational person would and denies that it's the truth.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion does this to the player. One of the early contracts for the Fighter's Guild has you going to a batty old woman's house to take care of a "rat problem" in her basement. However, unlike beginner rat-based missions from other RPGs, your job is to save the rats from mountain lions that have gotten into the old woman's basement. It makes sense in context, trust me.
This is actually an in-joke — the first FG mission in Morrowinddoes involve slaying rats for an identical-looking woman in Balmora, who shares her surname.
Which is dating back as far as Daggerfall, where the first FG mission is also a rat-killing one. (Which also has Fighter's Guild missions that involve killing beasts such as lions in the client's house.)
Midori of Devil Survivor convinces herself that she's some sort of hero of justice once she gets her hands on a COMP that lets her summon demons, and that the power of love always prevails over evil. How wrong is she? So wrong that she will get herself killed by an angry mob looking for a scapegoat if you don't make the right decisions.
What's really funny is that she gets a monster convinced it's a Magical Girl Warrior show too! And play your cards right, the same monster reappears as the Badass Black Frost — doing the hero of justice shtick for the other demons
BlazBlue: Bang Shishigami, HAMMER OF JUSTICE, thinks he's in a shonen anime. Itshows. Seriously, one of his win quotes is "Tune in next week!"
Eversion manages to pull this off on the player. The game goes from a Sugar Bowl to horror surprisingly quickly. And then manages to end cute (if in a way a Nightmare Fetishist would enjoy) in the secret ending anyway.
In the Professor Layton games, Inspector Chelmey acts like he's the main character and that Layton is the arrogant rival that tries to stop him from solving the crime by looking after an answer is found. In reality, Layton is the main character and Chelmey is the arrogant rival who instantly follows the first instinct he has.
The Universe CompendiumSymposium of Post-Mysticism reveals that all three of the new powers in Gensoukyou (Kanako, Byakuren and Miko) have no idea of how the region works, nor of how everyone likes the current situation of restrained belligerence and that the changes they want to implement would only create confusion and unrest. Indeed, the very fact of them meeting to calmly discuss their goals was Wrong Genre Savvy, as it ends with Reimu arriving and threatening to beat them up if they don't leave, which is exactly what happens in the games.
In Dragon Age: Origins, King Cailan establishes himself as a great admirer of the Grey Wardens, and expresses his eagerness to fight alongside them to defeat the darkspawn like in all the stories he has read. Unfortunately for Cailan, Dragon Age is not that kind of fantasy.
Anybody who has read A Song of Ice and Fire and is aware that it was a great influence in this game will dub King Cailan "King Redshirt III" after hearing him speak for about 10 seconds.
Loghain initially seems to be under the impression that he's in a Political Thriller. He believes that Cailan was part of a conspiracy along with the Grey Wardens, to return Ferelden under Orlesian rule and was using the false rumors of a Blight to gather his forces. The Return to Ostagar DLC reveals Loghain was partially right. Cailan did intend to forge an alliance with Orlais, but the Grey Wardens were not involved. They were there to deal with the Blight, which is very much real.
Played with as well, as various characters speculate that Loghain masterminded several plots that take place through the story that the Warden barely foils, in order to weaken his opposition. In reality, while Loghain did apparently have Eamon poisoned, he obviously had no idea this would end up leading to Eamon's son getting possessed by a demon and raising the demon to attack Redcliffe. Furthermore, while he conspired to get Uldred to become First Enchanter, he had no idea he was a Blood Mage, would lead a coup at the Circle and would end up getting possessed by a demon for his troubles. Finally his decision to abandon Cailan at Ostagar is hotly debated even in-universe, whether it was a deliberate act or a snap-decision, as well as if the battle could have been won or was lost even before he signalled the retreat.
In Dragon Age II, Cassandra Pentaghast adamantly tries between narrations to pin the blame of all the events of the game on a Big Bad. There is none. Varric even says that Meredith, corrupted by the Artifact of Doom, was irrelevant.
Knight-Commander Meredith seems to be fully convinced that she's The Hero and that Hawke is nothing more than a foreign upstart, spreading anarchy and dissent through Kirkwall and attempting to undermine her authority by openly consorting with Mages. During her Villainous Breakdown at the end, she only accuses Hawke of masterminding everything that has gone wrong in Kirkwall over the past several years, intending to use the chaos to seize power for themselves. If Hawke is a Mage, she goes on to accuse them of using Blood Magic to enthrall her Templars, when in truth, they're actually rebelling because they realise that Meredith has finally gone off the deep end.
Eddie Riggs of Brütal Legend approaches the game from the perspective of a Heavy Metal roadie. This sometimes works — as he ends up in a place and time that runs on The Power of Rock — but other times, it falls squarely into this trope; for instance, he's the lead character and The Chosen One, but his immediate inclination is to assume he's supposed to play Hypercompetent Sidekick. Which is understandable, because even in a world like that, Eddie believes that he's the best roadie, and nothing more. In the end, he makes that work, because "I'm a roadie! I keep the trash off the stage!" Cue DECAPITATIOOOOOOOOOONN!
Zoey from Left 4 Dead, she's becomes a bit frustrated that the "zombies" aren't shamblers, but are instead violently insane people who can run, climb ladders, scale fences, etc.
"I can't get over how fast they all are, it's not even fair. I'm calling zombie bull—— on that, you know? [Giggles nervously] They're not...allowed to be so fast."
Worse than that, the The Sacrifice comic reveals that her wrong-genre-savvy-ness led her to mistakenly Mercy Kill her father after he was bitten. She has something of a Heroic BSOD when she finds out he was actually immune to infection like her.
Most of the Survivors believe themselves to be people who are immune to the "outbreak", which they are. Unfortunately whatever agent that causes the outbreak is still within them, making them "carriers" who would unintentionally spread the disease to everyone they came in contact with.
Clone Shepard, the Big Bad of the Citadel DLC has deluded themselves into believing they are really the hero of the story and Shepard is the villain that must be defeated in order for them to save the galaxy. Furthermore, despite being a Clone of Commander Shepard attempting to Kill and Replace them, they repeatedly fail to take into account they are dealing with Commander Shepard.
The Quarians got hit by this pretty hard in the Morning War. Seeing the Geth becoming more intelligent and fearing a Robot War, the authorities began rounding them up, but some Quarians protested. When these individuals were attacked or rounded up, the Geth, who were otherwise fine with what the government were planning, stepped in and protected the Quarian protesters from them. En masse. In their attempt to prevent a Robot War, they inadvertently caused one. Oops.
Most of the cast of Tales of Symphonia initially believe themselves to be escorting Collete on her journey to revive their dying world and seal off an evil army called the Desians. Fairly soon they find a girl from a parallel world Sheena, and that both worlds are vying for each others mana and they most likely can't save both of them, but they keep their hopes up and try anyways. Then comes the Wham Episode moment that is tradition for the series, they find the angels that were setting up the whole thing are evil and are in league with the Desians, and they actually can save both worlds.
In Tomb Raider Anniversary, Pierre runs off with a piece of the Scion with Lara in hot pursuit. The statues outside of the tomb come to life and focus their attention on Pierre. Pierre then throws the Scion to Lara, thinking the monsters will go after her instead of him since she has the Scion. He gets attacked and killed by the monsters anyway.
Unlike most examples, Groose figures this out (after a short Heroic BSOD) and redefines himself as the Side Kick, becoming useful and likeable by the end of the game.
Ralph from Oracle of Ages had a very similar storyline, initially believing that Link was The Load for his tendency to run errands for others instead of only trying to rescue Nayru. Link's "errands" ultimately equip him with the means to actually save Nayru, while Ralph accomplishes nothing. Again, he eventually does realize he's in over his head, and by the end credits he's taking swordsmanship lessons from Link.
Osfala from A Link Between Worlds also believes that he is the hero who will defeat the Big Bad and protect Zelda. It takes him getting kidnapped by Yuga and rescued by Link to come to terms with his role as a Sage and a helper for the real hero.
In Pokémon Black and White, N believes that he is destined to recreate the story of the hero who founded Unova by befriending the legendary dragon. This was deliberate by his father Ghetsis to mask N's true nature as a Tyke Bomb, to take control of Unova and ban Pokemon husbandry so Ghetsis could rule the region unopposed. When N picks the player character to play the role of the hero's rival twin in his story, giving them the resources and motivation to summon the other legendary dragon and oppose him, he unwittingly enables them to befriend him, disprove his cause, and thwart Ghetsis's plans. Is it possible to be dangerously Wrong Genre Savvy?
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines has a few cases where characters new to the supernatural side of things think the world they are in works by common horror tropes. Most notable would be one of the thin-bloods, who thinks a full blood transfusion or killing the head vampire can cure him from vampirism. The player can milk his gullibility for all it is worth. Another example would be when you get a mission to keep the zombie population at a local graveyard under control for a bit.
Romero: Whatever you do, don't let them bite you.
Player: Why? Will I turn into a zombie then?
Romero: Nope. It just hurts like a bitch.
Spec Ops: The Line is a very interesting game because it serves as a deconstruction of typical shooter games like Call of Duty. The story revolves around Captain Martin Walker, a Delta Force operator who seems like your typical action hero, who thinks that he is an American war hero will sweep in and save the day. However things get progressively worse despite — and even because of — his actions. The game goes to great lengths to show that simply being well intentioned and fighting as hard as you can to save everyone doesn't always make everything alright in the end, the action hero doesn't always succeed. Walker realizes the negative consequences of his actions completely too late to correct his mistakes.
God of War: After being locked in a room with the former War God Kratos, Greek hero Perseus has a minor breakdown when its clear that Kratos will not help him escape. Perseus reasons that the Sisters of Fate have sent Kratos (who is vilified throughout Greece) to him as a test of strength. Donning his Cap of Invisibility, he resolves to kill the Ghost of Sparta to get in favor with the Sisters. Kratos impales Perseus on a huge hook, letting him know that it's not that kind of video game.
To further drive this in, Perseus is voiced by none other than Harry Hamlin, which gives the impression that Perseus believes he's still in his own movie. He isn't.
The Matter of the Monster, a fairy-tale-inspired game by Andrew Plotkin, has a scene in which the current player character has to decide whether to help a mysterious old man in a forest; if the player chooses not to help, the character turns out to be just the wrong amount of Genre Savvy:
"Don't be ridiculous," she said. "Everyone knows that it's helpless old women in the forest that turn out to be disguised fairies. Not madmen with ice cream on their hats."
In Danganronpa, the player can sometimes be this at one crucial moment. If one's played similar murder mystery games like the Ace Attorney series or Persona 4, then they know how the pursuit of the truth no matter what the cost is the most important thing. There's one point, though, where going through with this mindset sets the player on the fast track to the Bad Ending.
Flynn: Sorry love, but this isn't a movie. And you're not the plucky girl who reforms the villain and saves the day.
Legacy of Kain: Defiance: By the time of the final act, Raziel has realized that everyone has and probably will keep trying to manipulate him into trying to do their dirty work for them or further their plans. Unfortunately, when Kain approaches him and tries to tell him the actual truth, Raziel automatically assumes that it's another trick and attacks him. It ends badly.
Sonic Lost World: Sonic disposes of Eggman's Cacophonic Conch because he assumes it's trouble, remarking to Eggman afterwards that it's never a mistake to "throw his toys away." Unfortunately, in this case it was a mistake: said conch was actually a Restraining Bolt that Eggman was using to keep the Deadly Six under control.