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** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' served as this not only for Bioware, but also the medieval fantasy genre as a whole. Before ''Origins'',, the genre was dominated by the relatively-optimistic ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', ''Franchise/{{Warcraft}}'', and ''VideoGame/ElderScrolls'' games. They may have touched upon darker issues, but rarely did they dwell. ''Origins'', meanwhile, unflinchingly explored mature topics like [[FantasticRacism racism]], rape, religious persecution, and GreyAndGrayMorality.

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** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' served as this not only for Bioware, but also the medieval fantasy genre as a whole. Before ''Origins'',, ''Origins'', the genre was dominated by the relatively-optimistic ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', ''Franchise/{{Warcraft}}'', ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', and ''VideoGame/ElderScrolls'' ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' games. They may have touched upon darker issues, but rarely did they dwell. ''Origins'', meanwhile, unflinchingly explored mature topics like [[FantasticRacism racism]], rape, religious persecution, and GreyAndGrayMorality.



** [=BioWare=] somehow managed to outdo even ''Dragon Age II's'' bleak ending with the ending to ''Dragon Age Inquisition's Trespasser'' DLC, which stings all the more due to how optimistic and hopeful the main campaign's ending was. [[spoiler:''All'' of the Inquisitor's accomplishments in the main game are undone, Fereldan and Orlais have descended into political and military chaos, both countries are on the brink of war with both the Qunari ''and'' a revived Tevinter Imperium, Solas/Fen'harel is plotting TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, and the Inquisition itself is either severely weakened or disbanded. The game ends with the Inquisitor and their party grimly acknowledging that there is little to no hope that Thedas will be able to survive the rapidly approaching chaos.]] Indeed Leliana goes from a playful [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot ninja/minstrel/nun/hero]] to a grim and serious spy, and the NightmareFuel scenes in the third game are of the Formula 1 standard.

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** [=BioWare=] somehow managed to outdo even ''Dragon Age II's'' bleak ending with the ending to ''Dragon Age Inquisition's ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition's Trespasser'' DLC, which stings all the more due to how optimistic and hopeful the main campaign's ending was. [[spoiler:''All'' of the Inquisitor's accomplishments in the main game are undone, Fereldan Ferelden and Orlais have descended into political and military chaos, both countries are on the brink of war with both the Qunari ''and'' a revived Tevinter Imperium, Solas/Fen'harel is plotting TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, and the Inquisition itself is either severely weakened or disbanded. The game ends with the Inquisitor and their party grimly acknowledging that there is little to no hope that Thedas will be able to survive the rapidly approaching chaos.]] Indeed Indeed, Leliana goes from a playful [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot ninja/minstrel/nun/hero]] to a grim and serious spy, and the NightmareFuel scenes in the third game are of the Formula 1 standard.


* ''VideoGame/DeltaRune'', the spin off successor to ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', is a bit darker than what ''Undertale'' was, but downplays it so it's not completely gritty. While ''Undertale'' had characters that were mostly misguided and could be befriended with a bit of work, ''Delta Rune'' puts you with a school bully that thinks violence solves everything and relies on threatening people to get her way while also refusing to listen to you until she goes through some CharacterDevelopment. ''Undertale'' gave you encouragement with how your choices matter and how you can ultimately resolve things peacefully. ''Delta Rune'' goes for a more "cynical, but grounded" route where you are told many times that your choices do not matter in the slightest and that sometimes violence is the only way to solve a problem if the people causing said problem will not listen to reason. Death is also talked about more frequently and is used as a threat more often in ''Delta Rune'' while ''Undertale'' rarely touched upon it unless you went for the No Mercy route. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Also, there is more cursing in it than before.]] Ironically, however, ''Deltarune'' is never as dark as ''Undertale'' ''can'' be, as you can [[NonLethalKO never actually kill anyone]], meaning there's no [[KillEmAll Genocide route]].

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* ''VideoGame/DeltaRune'', the spin off successor to ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', is a bit darker than what ''Undertale'' was, but downplays it so it's not completely gritty. While ''Undertale'' had characters that were mostly misguided and could be befriended with a bit of work, ''Delta Rune'' puts you with a school bully that thinks violence solves everything and relies on threatening people to get her way while also refusing to listen to you until she goes through some CharacterDevelopment. ''Undertale'' gave you encouragement with how your choices matter and how you can ultimately resolve things peacefully. ''Delta Rune'' goes for a more "cynical, but grounded" route where you are told many times that your choices do not matter in the slightest and that sometimes violence is the only way to solve a problem if the people causing said problem will not listen to reason. Death is also talked about more frequently and is used as a threat more often in ''Delta Rune'' while ''Undertale'' rarely touched upon it unless you went for the No Mercy route. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Also, there is more cursing in it than before.]] Ironically, however, ''Deltarune'' is never as dark as ''Undertale'' ''can'' be, as you can [[NonLethalKO never actually kill anyone]], meaning there's no [[KillEmAll Genocide route]].route]].
* In addition to having [[AnyoneCanDie one of the higher body counts]] in the ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' series, ''VideoGame/AceCombat7SkiesUnknown'' touches on some fairly dark themes such as the usage of convicts as military assets, the efficacy of drone warfare, and the utter chaos of war in general and its effect on the civilian population. As well as deconstructing the typical ''Ace Combat'' player through the character of Mihaly. [[spoiler: This trope especially comes into play in the last act when the collapse of Usea's satellite network plunges Erusea into civil war, sparks refugee crises across the continent, and very nearly allowed two highly advanced drones to launch an apocalyptic RobotWar.]] There is also a lot more swearing.


** Before ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' stole it, the title of darkest ''Mario'' game went to ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime''. It is based around an alien invasion of the past Mushroom Kingdom and, has places like Toad Town and Princess Peach's Castle turned to ruins by the Shroobs with some rather creepy things as background detail and music. It actually introduces a Christmas-themed village solely to destroy before Mario and Luigi even get there. Toad Town is just pieces of rubble tossed around; compare it to Toad Town of ''Bowser's Inside Story''. Even Peach's Castle from the latter isn't as devastated and dangerous as Shroob Castle.

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** Before ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' stole it, the title of darkest ''Mario'' game went to ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime''. It is based around an alien invasion of the past Mushroom Kingdom and, and has places like Toad Town and Princess Peach's Castle turned to ruins by the Shroobs with some rather creepy things as background detail and music. It actually introduces a Christmas-themed village solely to destroy before Mario and Luigi even get there. Toad Town is just pieces of rubble tossed around; compare it to Toad Town of ''Bowser's Inside Story''. Even Peach's Castle from the latter isn't as devastated and dangerous as Shroob Castle.



** The Adventure Mode for ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosUltimate'' has one of the darkest opening sequences in the series history, such that it has drawn comparisons with ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'': all of the characters face off against a mysterious entity known as Galeem and it's army of Master Hands, only for the hands to suddenly convert into energy bolts and launch out at the heroes, [[KillEmAll wiping out almost the entire playable cast]] [[ApocalypseHow/ClassX4 and every other living being in the entire universe]]. The SoleSurvivor is Kirby, who just barely managed to escape with a Warp Star, but now he finds himself alone in a desolate universe, his friends forced to make a clone army for Galeem, and nothing but disembodied Spirits for company.

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** The Adventure Mode for ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosUltimate'' has one of the darkest opening sequences in the series history, such that it has drawn comparisons with ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'': all of the characters face off against a mysterious entity known as Galeem and it's army of Master Hands, only for the hands to suddenly convert into energy bolts and launch out at the heroes, [[KillEmAll wiping out almost the entire playable cast]] [[ApocalypseHow/ClassX4 and every other living being in the entire universe]]. The SoleSurvivor is Kirby, who just barely managed to escape with a Warp Star, but now he finds himself alone in a desolate universe, his friends forced to make a clone army for Galeem, and nothing but disembodied Spirits for company. That alone is dark enough, but it's not even getting into [[spoiler:the second half of the story mode that sees the story and title of BigBad getting hijacked by Galeem's dark counterpart Dharkon, who is quite possibly one of the most terrifying-looking villains that Nintendo has ever created, and [[DownerEnding the two bad endings]] you receive if you defeat Galeem or Dharkon but not the other. The losing Big Bad is violently finished off by the surviving one, who then goes on to destroy the heroes and the rest of the world. Galeem's ending is more of a ShootTheShaggyDog ending where Galeem finishes what he started, this time with not even Kirby able to escape. Dharkon's ending features a shot of Mario silently dropping to the ground (either [[DespairEventHorizon in despair]] or [[TheHeroDies dying]]) all alone as the universe around him decays and falls into eternal darkness.]]



* ''VideoGame/SpyroTheDragon'', when you remember that the original games have a cute dragon fighting hilarious freaks who mostly ran away from him, and you regained health by collecting butterflies, it's difficult to see how it progressed to the level of Grim-Dark in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro''. However, Spyro has since moved to ''VideoGame/{{Skylanders}}'', which is on the lighthearted side.

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* ''VideoGame/SpyroTheDragon'', when you remember that the original games have a cute dragon fighting hilarious freaks who mostly ran away from him, and you regained health by collecting butterflies, it's difficult to see how it progressed to the level of Grim-Dark in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro''. However, Spyro has since moved to ''VideoGame/{{Skylanders}}'', which is on the lighthearted side.side for the most part, and fully returned to the series' more goofy and whimsical roots with the ''VideoGame/SpyroReignitedTrilogy''.



* ''VideoGame/SlyCooper'' had a major shift between [[VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRAccoonus the first]] and [[VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves second game]]. The first had ''Franchise/SpyroTheDragon'' and ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot''-like gameplay with a slightly darker story, while the second had actual thieving, a [[GRatedDrug "spice"]] smuggling business, an evil FBI authority that tried to brainwash Carmelita, and so much more.

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* ''VideoGame/SlyCooper'' had a major shift between [[VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRAccoonus the first]] and [[VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves second game]]. The first had ''Franchise/SpyroTheDragon'' and ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot''-like gameplay with a slightly darker story, while the second had actual thieving, a [[GRatedDrug "spice"]] smuggling business, an evil FBI authority that tried to brainwash Carmelita, and so much more. The to-date [[VideoGame/SlyCooperThievesInTime final installment of the series]] features [[spoiler:Penelope, a major protagonist going through a sudden FaceHeelTurn and leaving Bentley crushed]] and infamously ending on a DownerEnding cliffhanger.


* Take a look at most of the executions for ''VisualNovel/NewDanganRonpaV3'' and you will believe that [[spoiler: Leon]]'s execution from [[VisualNovel/DanganRonpa the first game]] (which counts as an EstablishingSeriesMoment) was basically way more peaceful than those executions.

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* Take a look at most of the executions for ''VisualNovel/NewDanganRonpaV3'' and you will believe that [[spoiler: Leon]]'s execution from [[VisualNovel/DanganRonpa [[VisualNovel/DanganronpaTriggerHappyHavoc the first game]] (which counts as an EstablishingSeriesMoment) was basically way more peaceful than those executions.


** The takes on the Disney films also tend to make their plotlines either darker or lighter than the original story. The most noticeable examples are ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' and ''Film/TronLegacy''; the first has the evil stepfamily try to ''murder'' Cinderella before they suffer a KarmicDeath at the hands of the very monster they summoned through ThePowerOfHate. The second has Sora being forced to fight Tron, which is a PlayerPunch given how close they've become in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. Oh, [[spoiler:and Clu then ''murders'' Tron in cold blood right in front of Sora]]! The third features [[Disney/{{Frozen}} Hans]] going OneWingedAngel and attempting to destroy not only the heroes [[OmnicidalManiac but also Arendelle itself]] after being prevented from killing Elsa.

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** The takes on the Disney films also tend to make their plotlines either darker or lighter than the original story. The most noticeable examples are ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'', ''Film/TronLegacy'', and ''Film/TronLegacy''; ''Disney/{{Frozen}}''; the first has the evil stepfamily try to ''murder'' Cinderella before they suffer a KarmicDeath at the hands of the very monster they summoned through ThePowerOfHate. The second has Sora being forced to fight Tron, which is a PlayerPunch given how close they've become in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. Oh, [[spoiler:and Clu then ''murders'' Tron in cold blood right in front of Sora]]! The third features [[Disney/{{Frozen}} [[AmbitionIsEvil Hans]] going OneWingedAngel and attempting to destroy not only the heroes [[OmnicidalManiac but also Arendelle itself]] after being prevented from killing Elsa.


* Regarding DC Comics, they agreed to make a crossover game called ''VideoGame/MortalKombatVsDCUniverse'', being a lot more violent than other games of the license (but less violent than the ''Mortal Kombat'' brand due to ExecutiveMeddling). And if that weren't enough, then came ''VideoGame/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'', another DC game by the same studio, which is a sequel to ''MK vs DC''. It doesn't have any ''Kombat'' characters or setting (or gore, for that matter), but it does have the darkness - the story, for instance, features half the heroes entering HeWhoFightsMonsters territory. The premise of the game is "What would happen if ComicBook/TheJoker [[DespairEventHorizon breaks]] Franchise/{{Superman}}?"

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* Regarding DC Comics, Creator/DCComics, they agreed to make a crossover game called ''VideoGame/MortalKombatVsDCUniverse'', being a lot more violent than other games of the license (but less violent than the ''Mortal Kombat'' brand due to ExecutiveMeddling). And if that weren't enough, then came ''VideoGame/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'', another DC game by the same studio, which is a sequel to ''MK vs DC''. It doesn't have any ''Kombat'' characters or setting (or gore, for that matter), but it does have the darkness - the story, for instance, features half the heroes entering HeWhoFightsMonsters territory. The premise of the game is "What would happen if ComicBook/TheJoker [[DespairEventHorizon breaks]] Franchise/{{Superman}}?"



* ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' had a major shift between [[VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRAccoonus the first]] and [[VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves second game]]. The first had ''Franchise/SpyroTheDragon'' and ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot''-like gameplay with a slightly darker story, while the second had actual thieving, a [[GRatedDrug "spice"]] smuggling business, an evil FBI authority that tried to brainwash Carmelita, and so much more.

to:

* ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' ''VideoGame/SlyCooper'' had a major shift between [[VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRAccoonus the first]] and [[VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves second game]]. The first had ''Franchise/SpyroTheDragon'' and ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot''-like gameplay with a slightly darker story, while the second had actual thieving, a [[GRatedDrug "spice"]] smuggling business, an evil FBI authority that tried to brainwash Carmelita, and so much more.


* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}''zig-zags the trope. It is considered the silliest game in the series and has an abundance of wacky humor, but is also not shy about showing aspects like slavery, rape, child killing, drug addiction and cannibalism, which were only hinted at in the first game. Also, the villains in ''Fallout 2'' are far more sinister and powerful than the AntiVillain that was the main antagonist in the first game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', on the other hand, was much darker by comparison, being set in and around a [[CrapsackWorld sparsely populated and desolate Washington D.C.]], which was directly hit by the bombs, where every day is a fight for survival as towns and groups barely manage to stay alive. Because of this, it is generally considered the darkest and most depressing game in the series.

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* ** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}''zig-zags 2}}'' zig-zags the trope. It is considered the silliest game in the series and has an abundance of wacky humor, but is also not shy about showing aspects like slavery, rape, prostitution, child killing, drug addiction and cannibalism, which were only hinted at in the first game. Also, the villains in ''Fallout 2'' are far more sinister and powerful than the AntiVillain that was the main antagonist in the first game.
* ** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', on the other hand, was much darker by comparison, being set in and around a [[CrapsackWorld sparsely populated and desolate Washington D.C.]], which was directly hit by the bombs, where every day is a fight for survival as towns and groups barely manage to stay alive. Because of this, it is generally considered the darkest and most depressing game in the series.


* Although the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series isn't exactly cheery to begin with (what with being set in a [[AfterTheEnd post apocalyptic wasteland]] and all), the first 2 games mainly focus on various towns and civilizations rising from the ashes and trying to rebuild, and contained a lot of dark humour and pop culture references, especially ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', which is considered the silliest game in the series (though ''Fallout 2'' is in many ways darker than it's predecessor, in spite of the abundance of wacky humor). ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', on the other hand, was much darker by comparison, being set in and around a [[CrapsackWorld sparsely populated and desolate Washington D.C.]], which was directly hit by the bombs, where every day is a fight for survival as towns and groups barely manage to stay alive. Because of this, it is generally considered the darkest and most depressing game in the series.

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* Although the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series isn't exactly cheery to begin with (what with being set in a [[AfterTheEnd post apocalyptic wasteland]] and all), the it still manages to play with this trope a lot.
** The
first 2 games game mainly focus focuses on various towns and civilizations rising from the ashes and trying to rebuild, and contained a lot of dark humour and pop culture references, especially albeit of a fairly dark sort.
*
''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', which 2}}''zig-zags the trope. It is considered the silliest game in the series (though and has an abundance of wacky humor, but is also not shy about showing aspects like slavery, rape, child killing, drug addiction and cannibalism, which were only hinted at in the first game. Also, the villains in ''Fallout 2'' is in many ways darker are far more sinister and powerful than it's predecessor, in spite of the abundance of wacky humor). ''VideoGame/{{Fallout AntiVillain that was the main antagonist in the first game.
*''VideoGame/{{Fallout
3}}'', on the other hand, was much darker by comparison, being set in and around a [[CrapsackWorld sparsely populated and desolate Washington D.C.]], which was directly hit by the bombs, where every day is a fight for survival as towns and groups barely manage to stay alive. Because of this, it is generally considered the darkest and most depressing game in the series.


** The takes on the Disney films also tend to make their plotlines either darker or lighter than the original story. The most noticeable examples are ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' and ''Film/TronLegacy''; the first has the evil stepfamily try to ''murder'' Cinderella before they suffer a KarmicDeath at the hands of the very monster they summoned through ThePowerOfHate. The second has Sora being forced to fight Tron, which is a PlayerPunch given how close they've become in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. Oh, [[spoiler:and Clu then ''murders'' Tron in cold blood right in front of Sora]]!

to:

** The takes on the Disney films also tend to make their plotlines either darker or lighter than the original story. The most noticeable examples are ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' and ''Film/TronLegacy''; the first has the evil stepfamily try to ''murder'' Cinderella before they suffer a KarmicDeath at the hands of the very monster they summoned through ThePowerOfHate. The second has Sora being forced to fight Tron, which is a PlayerPunch given how close they've become in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. Oh, [[spoiler:and Clu then ''murders'' Tron in cold blood right in front of Sora]]!Sora]]! The third features [[Disney/{{Frozen}} Hans]] going OneWingedAngel and attempting to destroy not only the heroes [[OmnicidalManiac but also Arendelle itself]] after being prevented from killing Elsa.


* ''VideoGame/AliensVsPredator(2010)'' shows the full extent of Weyland Yutani's actions regarding the Xenomorphs and the Predators. People are shown being harvested en masse to create Xenomorph specimens, and it is heavily implied said specimens are tortured to learn more about their biology. The Predator campaign shows the company's staff being murdered because they know too much, and the Marine campaign makes it clear that these situations are incredibly common, while showing how sadistic and evil some Weyland Yutani officials are, something the films and the comics have rarely shown so directly.
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'' gets progressively darker and more serious through each installment. And it already started bleak with the murders of his wife and daughter. This is apparent with the decreasing amount of humour - in the first game it might still be pretty goofy and comical at times (particularly the unintentional humour). The second one still has humour, but it is more [[GallowsHumour caustic and somber]]. The third game is almost void of it, were it not for some in-universe funny quips.

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* ''VideoGame/AliensVsPredator(2010)'' ''VideoGame/AliensVsPredator (2010)'' shows the full extent of Weyland Yutani's actions regarding the Xenomorphs and the Predators. People are shown being harvested en masse to create Xenomorph specimens, and it is heavily implied said specimens are tortured to learn more about their biology. The Predator campaign shows the company's staff being murdered because they know too much, and the Marine campaign makes it clear that these situations are incredibly common, while showing how sadistic and evil some Weyland Yutani officials are, something the films and the comics have rarely shown so directly.
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'' gets progressively darker and more serious through each installment. And it already started bleak with the murders of his wife and daughter. This is apparent with the decreasing amount of humour - in the first game it might still be pretty goofy and comical at times (particularly the unintentional humour). The second one still has humour, but it is more [[GallowsHumour [[GallowsHumor caustic and somber]]. The third game is almost void of it, were it not for some in-universe funny quips.



** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' served as this not only for Bioware, but also the medieval fantasy genre as a whole. Before ''Origins'',, the genre was dominated by the relatively-optimistic ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', ''Franchise/{{Warcraft}}'', and ''VideoGame/ElderScrolls'' games. They may have touched upon darker issues, but rarely did they dwell. ''Origins'', meanwhile, unflinchingly explored mature topics like [[FantasticRacism racism]], rape, religious persecution, and GreyAndGreyMorality.

to:

** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' served as this not only for Bioware, but also the medieval fantasy genre as a whole. Before ''Origins'',, the genre was dominated by the relatively-optimistic ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', ''Franchise/{{Warcraft}}'', and ''VideoGame/ElderScrolls'' games. They may have touched upon darker issues, but rarely did they dwell. ''Origins'', meanwhile, unflinchingly explored mature topics like [[FantasticRacism racism]], rape, religious persecution, and GreyAndGreyMorality.GreyAndGrayMorality.



* ''Franchise/MetalGear'':

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* ''Franchise/MetalGear'':''VideoGame/MetalGear'':



* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''

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* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':



** ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles'', despite being very bright and colorful, is terrifying in many ways compared to the previous games that were more on the whimsical side. The very first level, taking place in a jungle, has one of Eggman's mechs ''napalm the whole jungle'', forcing you to press on in what is now a firestorm where even the blue skies in the background is replaced by an orange haze from the fires. If you are playing ''Sonic 3'' alone, the FinalBoss battle has the skies grow dark as [[https://youtu.be/bc-lK-psNy4?list=PLvNp0Boas721ZhOX_U084B4Jrxdr8rJOj meanacing music plays for the fight]]. (The same music also plays for the second to last boss fight in the complete version of the game.) If you collect all the Chaos and / or Super Emeralds in the complete game, the climax of the battle between Sonic and Eggman takes place in outer space with Super or Hyper Sonic giving chase as [[https://youtu.be/E0kssRYUFBI this music plays]]. Should Sonic run out of rings here, he falls to his death with the world below him. Knuckles' final boss fight itself isn't horrifying, but the background event during the fight is; Angel Island is tilting side to side as if it's struggling to stay in the air and is slowly falling down as the fight drags on. The 10 minute time limit you usually get for each level also doubles as the time limit for the island before it falls down completely. Yikes.

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** ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles'', despite being very bright and colorful, is terrifying in many ways compared to the previous games that were more on the whimsical side. The very first level, taking place in a jungle, has one of Eggman's mechs ''napalm the whole jungle'', forcing you to press on in what is now a firestorm where even the blue skies in the background is replaced by an orange haze from the fires. If you are playing ''Sonic 3'' alone, the FinalBoss battle has the skies grow dark as [[https://youtu.be/bc-lK-psNy4?list=PLvNp0Boas721ZhOX_U084B4Jrxdr8rJOj meanacing menacing music plays for the fight]]. (The same music also plays for the second to last boss fight in the complete version of the game.) If you collect all the Chaos and / or Super Emeralds in the complete game, the climax of the battle between Sonic and Eggman takes place in outer space with Super or Hyper Sonic giving chase as [[https://youtu.be/E0kssRYUFBI this music plays]]. Should Sonic run out of rings here, he falls to his death with the world below him. Knuckles' final boss fight itself isn't horrifying, but the background event during the fight is; Angel Island is tilting side to side as if it's struggling to stay in the air and is slowly falling down as the fight drags on. The 10 minute time limit you usually get for each level also doubles as the time limit for the island before it falls down completely. Yikes.



*** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' zig-zags once again, with a much lighter ''atmosphere'' in terms of the game's brightness and wider color palette. However, it's largely a CrapsaccharineWorld that is quickly involved with an invasion by the LegionsOfHell led by a DestroyerDeity. Oblivion also has the [[MurderInc Dark Brotherhood]] faction questline wherein the player character can actually become an assassin who follows a ReligionOfEvil, with all that that entails. In terms of gameplay, ''Oblivion'' takes a step toward the softer side from ''Morrowind'', making quest essential characters unkillable and quest related items undroppable.
*** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' zig-zags back to the "Crapsack" feeling of ''Morrowind''. You're the last hope of the mortal world facing down the BeastOfTheApocalypse, all [[DuringTheWar set during]] the [[GrayAndGreyMorality Gray and Grey]] Skyrim {{Civil War}}, with the [[AntiHumanAlliance Aldmeri Dominion]] (led by the [[ANaziByAnyOtherName fascistic Thalmor]] looming in the background. In terms of gameplay, it is also zig-zagged. The quest essential characters and items from ''Oblivion'' remain, and the only ways to truly ''fail'' a major quest are to die or encounter a bug. However, the combat is quite a few shades darker, with ''Skyrim'' introducing "kill cam" style finishing moves including beheadings and neck-snappings.

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*** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' zig-zags once again, with a much lighter ''atmosphere'' in terms of the game's brightness and wider color palette. However, it's largely a CrapsaccharineWorld that is quickly involved with an invasion by the LegionsOfHell TheLegionsOfHell led by a DestroyerDeity. Oblivion also has the [[MurderInc Dark Brotherhood]] faction questline wherein the player character can actually become an assassin who follows a ReligionOfEvil, with all that that entails. In terms of gameplay, ''Oblivion'' takes a step toward the softer side from ''Morrowind'', making quest essential characters unkillable and quest related items undroppable.
*** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' zig-zags back to the "Crapsack" feeling of ''Morrowind''. You're the last hope of the mortal world facing down the BeastOfTheApocalypse, all [[DuringTheWar set during]] the [[GrayAndGreyMorality Gray {{Grey and Grey]] Gray|Morality}} Skyrim {{Civil War}}, with the [[AntiHumanAlliance Aldmeri Dominion]] (led by the [[ANaziByAnyOtherName fascistic Thalmor]] looming in the background. In terms of gameplay, it is also zig-zagged. The quest essential characters and items from ''Oblivion'' remain, and the only ways to truly ''fail'' a major quest are to die or encounter a bug. However, the combat is quite a few shades darker, with ''Skyrim'' introducing "kill cam" style finishing moves including beheadings and neck-snappings.



** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyType0'' is easily one of darkest games in the series, and definitely its darkest spin-off. The game takes place in a world plunged into war, with the opening animation sparing no expense in showing a violent, [[PuttingOnTheReich vaguely Nazi-esque]] army viciously slaughtering ChildSoldiers. The hits don't stop there; shortly into the game, players are treated to a heart-rending scene of one child soldier and their [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter chocobo]] dying painfully in a pool of their own blood, and it gets worse as the the game continues. The dark subject matter, in conjunction with [[BloodierAndGorier violence the likes of which the series had not seen before]], made this game the first M-Rated ''Final Fantasy'' in the series's long history.

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** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyType0'' is easily one of darkest games in the series, and definitely its darkest spin-off. The game takes place in a world plunged into war, with the opening animation sparing no expense in showing a violent, [[PuttingOnTheReich vaguely Nazi-esque]] army viciously slaughtering ChildSoldiers. The hits don't stop there; shortly into the game, players are treated to a heart-rending scene of one child soldier and their [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter chocobo]] dying painfully in a pool of their own blood, and it gets worse as the the game continues. The dark subject matter, in conjunction with [[BloodierAndGorier violence the likes of which the series had not seen before]], made this game the first M-Rated ''Final Fantasy'' in the series's long history.



** Creator/SquareEnix announced that ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'' will be the darkest game in the series, even when Tetsuya Nomura (known for ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' and ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', both games on the idealistic end of the scale) was the director. Tabata took over, but he did not disappoint in delivering a game that truly forced the protagonist to work for his happy ending as the world gets worse and worse. What's more, [[spoiler: He didn't even get that happy ending]] to boot. Given that Tabata's resume includes two games featuring the protagonists dying at the end (And the afformentioned ''Type-0''), this does ''not'' disappoint.

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** Creator/SquareEnix announced that ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'' will be the darkest game in the series, even when Tetsuya Nomura (known for ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' and ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', both games on the idealistic end of the scale) was the director. Tabata took over, but he did not disappoint in delivering a game that truly forced the protagonist to work for his happy ending as the world gets worse and worse. What's more, [[spoiler: He didn't even get that happy ending]] to boot. Given that Tabata's resume includes two games featuring the protagonists dying at the end (And the afformentioned aforementioned ''Type-0''), this does ''not'' disappoint.



** The series continuously bounces between this and LighterAndSofter. The lighter games are ''VideoGame/StarFox64'', ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures,'' and ''VideoGame/StarFoxZero'', all containing [[NarmCharm amusing dialogue]] spoken in rather dire situations. The darker games are ''Assault'' (following ''Adventures'') and the original SNES game to a degree; in the latter, virtually no humor exists, and when your wingmen are shot down, they're KilledOffForReal. The former features a HiveMind assimilation plot leading to [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt The End of the universe as we know it]], and rather painful sacrifices [[spoiler:on the parts of Peppy and the [[AntiHero Star Wolf Team]], but they manage to survive]]. ''Command'' is somewhere in the middle; cheesy dialogue and story with [[BittersweetEnding rather]] [[DownerEnding questionable]] MultipleEndings.

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** The series continuously bounces between this and LighterAndSofter. The lighter games are ''VideoGame/StarFox64'', ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures,'' and ''VideoGame/StarFoxZero'', all containing [[NarmCharm amusing dialogue]] spoken in rather dire situations. The darker games are ''Assault'' (following ''Adventures'') and the original SNES game to a degree; in the latter, virtually no humor exists, and when your wingmen are shot down, they're KilledOffForReal. The former features a HiveMind assimilation plot leading to [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt The End the end of the universe as we know it]], and rather painful sacrifices [[spoiler:on the parts of Peppy and the [[AntiHero Star Wolf Team]], but they manage to survive]]. ''Command'' is somewhere in the middle; cheesy dialogue and story with [[BittersweetEnding rather]] [[DownerEnding questionable]] MultipleEndings.



* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon''

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* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon''''VideoGame/HarvestMoon'':



* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries''

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* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries''''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'':



** The first game had your standard crime themes and motives for killing. ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyJusticeForAll Justice For All]]'' cranks it up by making introducing more complex themes and motives for the murderers; a con artist panics seeing a police officer nearby so he kills him out of fear, snapping the guy's neck from a fall. [[spoiler:An overworked nurse accidentally causes 14 patients to die under her care. A woman who lost her place of power plans to pin a murder on her niece just so her daughter can take her place. A wheelbound circus actor plots to kill a young and childlike girl who accidentally caused his brother to go into a coma and she remains oblivious to the dire situation, but the killer accidentally kills his father figure instead by dropping a bust on him]]. A woman hangs herself after being dumped by an actor she used to date and then being dumped by another actor when he found out she used to date his rival, which also causes her confidant to commit suicide as well, but fails. And then there is the deconstruction of the series premise in the final case, where [[spoiler:your client [[BitchInSheepsClothing really is guilty]] but you still have to defend him or your best friend will die. And he is not a SympatheticMurderer at all, but the [[TheSociopath sociopathic]] BigBad]]. Yikes.

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** The first game had your standard crime themes and motives for killing. ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyJusticeForAll Justice For All]]'' cranks it up by making introducing more complex themes and motives for the murderers; a con artist panics seeing a police officer nearby so he kills him out of fear, snapping the guy's neck from a fall. [[spoiler:An overworked nurse accidentally causes 14 patients to die under her care. A woman who lost her place of power plans to pin a murder on her niece just so her daughter can take her place. A wheelbound circus actor plots to kill a young and childlike girl who accidentally caused his brother to go into a coma and she remains oblivious to the dire situation, but the killer accidentally kills his father figure instead by dropping a bust on him]]. him.]] A woman hangs herself after being dumped by an actor she used to date and then being dumped by another actor when he found out she used to date his rival, which also causes her confidant to commit suicide as well, but fails. And then there is the deconstruction of the series premise in the final case, where [[spoiler:your client [[BitchInSheepsClothing really is guilty]] but you still have to defend him or your best friend will die. And he is not a SympatheticMurderer at all, but the [[TheSociopath sociopathic]] BigBad]]. Yikes.



** The fact that Season 2 managed to [[UpToEleven completely overshadow its predecesor in terms of bleakness]] is nothing short of impressive. While Season 1 was dark and had it's bleak moments, it at least managed to overall keep a tone of hope as well as a group that, despite plenty of infighting, was more or less was able to function. Season 2 in it's entirety begins with Omid dying for really no reason beyond telling the audience "[[DespairEventHorizon Yep it's going to be THAT kind of story]]" and Clem needing to [[KickTheDog kill a dog after briefly bonding with it]], and then almost entirely boils down to a disorganized dysfunctional group of jerks bickering and even killing one another for petty reasons while characters die almost constantly. It actually received heavy criticism for being [[DarknessInducedAudienceApathy so unpleasantly dark]], even within the realms of a ZombieApocalypse, that it was nearly impossible to [[EightDeadlyWords care what happened to the survivors]].

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** The fact that Season 2 managed to [[UpToEleven completely overshadow its predecesor predecessor in terms of bleakness]] is nothing short of impressive. While Season 1 was dark and had it's bleak moments, it at least managed to overall keep a tone of hope as well as a group that, despite plenty of infighting, was more or less was able to function. Season 2 in it's entirety begins with Omid dying for really no reason beyond telling the audience "[[DespairEventHorizon Yep it's going to be THAT kind of story]]" and Clem needing to [[KickTheDog kill a dog after briefly bonding with it]], and then almost entirely boils down to a disorganized dysfunctional group of jerks bickering and even killing one another for petty reasons while characters die almost constantly. It actually received heavy criticism for being [[DarknessInducedAudienceApathy so unpleasantly dark]], even within the realms of a ZombieApocalypse, that it was nearly impossible to [[EightDeadlyWords care what happened to the survivors]].

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* ''VideoGame/AliensVsPredator(2010)'' shows the full extent of Weyland Yutani's actions regarding the Xenomorphs and the Predators. People are shown being harvested en masse to create Xenomorph specimens, and it is heavily implied said specimens are tortured to learn more about their biology. The Predator campaign shows the company's staff being murdered because they know too much, and the Marine campaign makes it clear that these situations are incredibly common, while showing how sadistic and evil some Weyland Yutani officials are, something the films and the comics have rarely shown so directly.

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** The base game of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' takes place after a [[AfterTheEnd devastating apocalypse]], but depicts civilization being rebuilt and [[HopeSpringsEternal the people being hopeful for the future]]. Once the expansions move beyond the Eorzean mainland, however, the world is shown to be a dark and imperfect place. ''Heavensward'' takes place in Ishgard, a theocracy with UrbanSegregation between the nobles living in posh neighborhoods and the downtrodden commoners, caught up in a ForeverWar against dragons [[spoiler:which is eventually shown to have been caused by the Ishgardians' ancestors]]. ''Stormblood'' focuses on efforts to liberate the conquered nations of Ala Mhigo and Doma, both shown to suffer gravely under imperial rule to such a degree that the people have [[ConditionedToAcceptHorror grown accustomed to the horrors of occupation]] and fear reprisals from any rebellion.

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** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestBuilders'' is also quite dark for a spinoff, taking place in a BadFuture where the hero of the original game decided to side with the Dragonlord, thus kickstarting a ([[SugarApocalypse still bright and colorful]]) [[AfterTheEnd apocalypse]].


** ''VideoGame/Doom2016'' is straight up BloodierAndGorier, and introduces shades of GrayingMorality with Argent Energy, which is harvested from Hell itself and obviously inviting disaster, but one character insists it's the only way to sustain an Earth that's exhausted every other possible energy resource.

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** ''VideoGame/Doom2016'' is straight up BloodierAndGorier, and introduces shades of GrayingMorality with Argent Energy, which is harvested from Hell itself and obviously inviting disaster, but one character insists it's the only way to sustain an Earth that's exhausted every other possible energy resource. The soundtrack is also a hard barrage of metal mixed with industrial and dark synth.


* Compared to the original ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Doom 3}}'' is definitely darker in the [[WhoForgotTheLights literal sense]], but it also includes a storyline and several [=PDAs=] one can find to expand on how [[{{Pun}} Hellish]] UAC became. It also introduces a lot more Survival Horror elements and contains jump scares, and makes combat a bit slower.

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* Compared Each main game in the ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' series tries to one-up the original ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Doom 3}}'' is definitely darker in the [[WhoForgotTheLights literal sense]], but it also includes a storyline and several [=PDAs=] one can find to expand on how [[{{Pun}} Hellish]] UAC became. It also introduces a lot more Survival Horror elements and contains jump scares, and makes combat a bit slower.different ways:


Added DiffLines:

** ''VideoGame/{{Doom 3}}'' is definitely darker in the [[WhoForgotTheLights literal sense]], but it also includes a storyline and several [=PDAs=] one can find to expand on how [[{{Pun}} Hellish]] UAC became. It also introduces a lot more Survival Horror elements and contains jump scares, and makes combat a bit slower.
** ''VideoGame/Doom2016'' is straight up BloodierAndGorier, and introduces shades of GrayingMorality with Argent Energy, which is harvested from Hell itself and obviously inviting disaster, but one character insists it's the only way to sustain an Earth that's exhausted every other possible energy resource.

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