Follow TV Tropes


History ShellShockedVeteran / VideoGames

Go To

** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel'' has [[TheHero Rean Schwarzer]] whose had to experience at least three wars (the CivilWar in ''II'', the war for Crossbell in ''Divertissment'' against Calvard, and the off-screen North Ambria campaign before ''III'') that by the third game, he'd rather prefer to stay as a military instructor. Unfortunately for him, the government still has his number and orders him to do their bidding with him just plain giving up and accepting his assignments because of his status as a [[FakeUltimateHero national hero]].


** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel'' has [[TheHero Rean Schwarzer]] whose had to experience at least three wars (the CivilWar in ''II'', the war for Crossbell in ''Divertissment'' against Calvard, and the off-screen North Ambria campaign before ''III'') that by the third game, he'd rather prefer to stay as a military instructor. Unfortunately for him, the government still has his number and orders him to do their bidding with him just plain giving up and accepting his assignments because of his status as a [[FakeUltimateHero national hero]].hero]].
* The Veteran from ''VideoGame/TownOfSalem'' is described as "A paranoid war hero who will shoot anyone who visits him." by the game. His ability is to go on alert at night and to kill anyone visiting him, FriendOrFoe.

Added DiffLines:

* Auron in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', he's even [[GoodScarsEvilScars got the scars]] to prove it.
* Cyan Garamonde in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' is a rare example of having their HeroicBSOD happen in-game.
** Shadow from the same game is also implied to be of this trope. Just have him sleep at the inn while playing as him and you'll see dreams relating to his past.
* Cloud from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' is a prime [[TraumaCongaLine candidate]] for post-traumatic stress. He even spends a large portion of the game [[HeroicBSOD in a coma!]]
** Although he gets better by the end of the original game, ''[[Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren Advent Children]]'' shows that he's far from fully recovered from his traumatic experiences.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' is made up of these characters. Solid Snake, in particular, was nearly completely emotionally crippled by war by the age of thirty and had to work his way out of it again. Big Boss's StartOfDarkness showed the beginning of his slide, but he didn't recover. [[spoiler:Even the young Raiden gets in on it, having been one of Africa's ChildSoldiers]].
--> '''Snake''' (''laying a cloth over the face of a woman[[note]]Sniper Wolf[[/note]] he just killed''): I don't need a handkerchief.
--> '''Otacon''': Why?
--> '''Snake:''' I don't have any more tears to shed.
* Kratos from ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' displays traits of a Shell-Shocked Veteran. This may be one of the reasons why he is such a ruthless SociopathicHero.
* Kratos from ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' exhibits tendencies of this trope from the very beginning. As you get further out in the game, the party learns that he has a very, ''very'' long and rocky history to explain it.
* Most of the main cast of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'', one way or another, though it seems to be played straightest with Basch.
** [[GenkiGirl Penelo]] lampshades how the party are a group of this trope, pointing towards the war between Rozarria and Arcadia as the cause of it. Rightfully so actually.
* Spoofed in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'', where one of the guests on a radio talk show, ''Entertaining America'', is a washed up action movie hero who earnestly believes everything that happened in his movies, including his friend dying in Vietnam, happened for real. And the host gets shot and killed by him when he calls him out on it.
** Also in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'', the player is tasked with sneaking into Colonel Fuhberger's house to steal his stock of Cold War era weapons. Anytime the player makes a noise that slightly stirred the old soldier from his sleep, he can be hear yelling things like "GET OFF MY RIDGE, YOU COMMIE BASTARDS!" In his dreams, he is back in the war.
** Then turned around and played ''terrifyingly'' straight in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'', with Nico Bellic. You don't need to come up with complex justifications for any crimes he's committed; fighting in Eastern European civil wars, he's seen the very worst a human being can do. It says something about how bad a place is when going to Liberty City ''is an improvement''.
--> '''Niko Bellic:''' You remember, during the war... we did some bad things, and bad things happened to us. War, is where the young and stupid are tricked by the old and bitter into killing each other. I was very young, and very angry. Maybe that is no excuse.
* The Psychopath Cliff in ''VideoGame/DeadRising'' is a Vietnam vet caught in a flashback; he ambushes you from the vents and wields a machete. Once you take him down, he comes to his senses, and tells you as he dies that he went back to the war on seeing zombies devour his granddaughter.
* ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'':
** Marcus Fenix.
--->'''Carmine:''' Hey, are you ''the'' Marcus Fenix? The one who fought at Aspho Fields?\\
'''Marcus:''' Yeah.\\
'''Carmine:''' Hey, ''cool''!\\
'''Marcus:''' Not really.
** Dom, too.
--->''[after encountering some grub holes]''\\
'''Carmine:''' I used to have nightmares about those things when I was a kid.\\
'''Dom:''' Shit, I still do...
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI'', Leon occupies this role, having changed his name (from [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Squall Leonhart]]) out of guilt over being unable to save his world from TheHeartless.
* Ciel in ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'' claims to be one of these, but we only see her through the eyes of Shiki. From the reactions of others to her and some of what she does even to him, it's likely true. After all, she goes [[EvilLaugh fufufufu...]]. Oh, and she's actually in her mid twenties despite looking the same age as Shiki or younger, and unlike Arcueid has actually lived for most of that time.
* After [[spoiler:a nuclear explosion kills 30,000 American troops]] in ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDuty Call of Duty 4]]'', the sequel introduces General Shepherd, who turns out to be [[spoiler:TheChessmaster who essentially started World War III just so he could avenge his fallen troops and exploit the full military might of "the most powerful fighting force in the world" on anyone and everyone he wanted]].
-->'''Shepard''':[[spoiler: Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye, and the world just [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] watched.]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' universe has several. [[MemeticBadass Varok Saurfang]] and [[IronWoobie Farseer Nobundo]] come to mind. (Those two even qualified by being on opposite sides of the same conflict.)
** Drek'Thar feels remorse for the atrocities he committed as part of the Old Horde, and because the Forsaken commit similar deeds without feeling anything, he refuses to help them.
* Bao-Dur from ''Franchise/StarWars: VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords''.
** It's heavily implied that the Exile has this even worse then Bao-Dur; the game doesn't even allow (canonically) her to recount her experiences in the war, or any other part of her life. Other characters remark on this in her absence.
-->'''Kreia:''' Do you speak of all your battles? Or are there some you wish to forget?
* It was hinted at in ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'''s manga although how much was actually Samus's PTSD is never elaborated, especially when the ending has her defeating and mocking Ridley. Another hint at it was in the ending of ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime 3: Corruption'', where she sits in thought reflecting of the allies she was forced to kill.
** This was supposed to be the source of Samus's [[DullSurprise uncomfortably emotionless behavior]] in ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM''.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** Depending on dialogue choices, [[PlayerCharacter Commander Shepard]] from the series can fit this trope. If the right dialogue is chosen, [[KnightInSourArmor s/he's cynical and bitter with major emotional scars]] [[IronWoobie from his/her past experiences]]. And s/he's '''especially''' this in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' where [[NotSoStoic it becomes pretty clear]] how [[HurtingHero emotionally burned out]] s/he really is. Particularly since ''3'' really highlights the fact that Shepard never really dealt with the trauma of ''dying'' in the previous game and has been simply putting on a [[StepfordSmiler brave face]] for everyone's benefit. Joker once mentions his concern that Shepard's vitals recorded by their armour registered them as being presently under more stress than they were at [[MultipleChoicePast Elysium/Torfan/Akuze]], just in their normal ''[[HeroicWillpower resting]]'' state. Fortunately, though, after two games of playing WarriorTherapist to his/her party members, Shepard's friends return the favor this round. The next line after the page quote is:
--->'''Garrus:''' ... Before your friend picks you up, dusts you off, and tells you you're the best soldier he's ever known.
** Also a few of the background characters, most particularly Corporal Toombs, the only survivor of [[BugWar the Akuze incident]] (except possibly Sole Survivor Shepard). His appearance in the game consists of holding the man who engineered Akuze at gunpoint, and if you don't talk him down, he can't even find peace in death.
** There's a volus in Noveria who exhibits a particularly bad case after [[IDidWhatIHadToDo Doing What He Had To Do]]: sealing an asari colleague in the hot labs with the rachni so they wouldn't escape and kill him and the others. Two years later in the sequel, you receive an email from him saying that he hopes this is his purgatory and that he "really" died trying to save her (but if not, thank you).
** There are several side-quests and NPC's dealing directly with post-traumatic stress, with one NPC's name literally being "PTSD Soldier", an Asari commando who was forced to kill a young girl ([[spoiler: heavily implied to be Joker's sister]]), after her crying from a broken leg threatened to alert Reaper forces. If Shepard uses their Spectre authorisation to grant her request to carry a gun "for defense", upon returning to the Citadel she's revealed to have [[DrivenToSuicide turned the gun on herself]].
* ''VideoGame/FearEffect'': Glas, especially since he was a soldier, and has now taken to binge drinking and playing games of Russian Roulette.
* In ''VideoGame/QuakeIIIArena'' this trope applies to many of the characters from previous Id games, especially from the Slipgate and Stroggos wars. Wrack, Grunt and Major are [[AllThereInTheManual said to be this]].
* ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' delves into this, particularly in the later games.
** Chris Redfield is portrayed as such in the ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' viral campaign, which focuses on him trying to put the traumatic events of the game behind him. The next entry, ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' doubles down on this, with Chris's campaign heavily focusing on the heavy toll his work has taken on his psyche. After losing his squad during a mission, he spends several months as an amnesic drunk until his NumberTwo, Piers, drags him back into action.
** Jack Krauser is strongly implied to be this in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilTheDarksideChronicles''. To put it simply, he held a long, extensive, and distinguished service in the military as a SOCOM operative, and also underwent mercenary business whenever he had any days off from SOCOM, he has spent enough time on the battlefield to sense something is terribly wrong in an area due to it "smelling like a battlefield," and lastly is unable to function in regular society and thus needs the battlefield to function. This last part is ultimately what drives his FaceHeelTurn by the time of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', as [[spoiler:a serious injury to his arm that he received during his fight against Hilda Hidalgo essentially resulted in SOCOM firing him due to it never recovering]].
** Even Leon S. Kennedy is not immune to this trope, particularly in the [=CGI=] film ''Vendetta''. Similar to Chris's situation in ''6'', Leon is traumatized by a botched mission that killed his entire team and forced him to put down their reanimated corpses. Chris and Rebecca find him making friends with an empty bottle of liquor and not in the mood to help. It takes Rebecca being kidnapped to bring him back to his senses.
* By the end of the game in ''VideoGame/RadiataStories'' in the human path, [[spoiler: Jack leaves Radiata, too shell-shocked with what he's done after being reinstated as a Radiata Knight by killing a lot of nonhuman characters, Ganz leaving him after finding out that he killed his father while being semi aware that Gawain may not have killed his father, and finally Ridley dying on him]].
* in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'', one of your [[TheGoodKingdom Gallian]] militia snipers, Catherine O'Hara, was also a sniper during the first Europan war. Despite her friendly demeanor, [[TheWoobie she clearly has a number of mental scars from her experiences]]. [[spoiler:It's later revealed that she once ran out of ammunition and was helpless to watch a friend of hers get killed; [[CrazyPrepared She always has more ammo than the other snipers]], but [[HeroicBSOD she panics if she ever runs out]]]].
* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' has John Konrad and quite a lot of his 33rd infantry battalion suffering from various stages of PTSD. [[spoiler:Your squad quickly picks it up as well -- Martin Walker is already implied to have initial stages of PTSD from his past in Afghanistan, which blossoms during the game into full-blown mental degradation. By the end, Walker is either dead by suicide or essentially catatonic]].
* [[BrokenBird Lara]] is this at the end of ''VideoGame/{{Tomb Raider|2013}}''. A crewman of the fishing boat that picks up the ''Endurance'' survivors specifically mentions Lara's ThousandYardStare, and WordOfGod is that one reason for her drive to continue her adventures is to "keep running" and avoid having to come to terms with [[BreakTheCutie the things that happened to her]] and [[IDidWhatIHadToDo what she had to do]] to survive on the island.
* ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite'': Booker was traumatized when he participated in the Battle of Wounded Knee -- to put it in perspective, it was more of a massacre than a real fight.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'' 3 features a Sorceress named Gem, who suffers this quite badly, judging by her dialogue in the Shadow of Death campaign. Through the urgings of one of her friends, she moved to the continent of Antagarich to escape the horrors she had endured during the Succession Wars. In the very first mission we get treated to infrequent prompts between in-game weeks of Gem's nightmares, starring her Rampart forces being butchered by the undead.
* In ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' your dwarfs can attain the personality trait "doesn't really care about anything anymore" if they witness too much violence. Players ''[[CruelPlayerCharacterGod actively try]]'' to make their dwarfs like this, because dwarfs who ''do'' care can be driven AxCrazy if too many of their friends die.
* The player characters of ''VideoGame/{{NAM 1975}}'', as shown in the intro and the back cover.
* Implied to be the fate of [[spoiler:everyone]] in ''VideoGame/RiskOfRain'', if they survive.
* ''VideoGame/CliveBarkersUndying'': Patrick's former profession as a soldier left him with some psychological scars, the Gel'ziabar Stone, and a life debt owed to Jeremiah Covenant.
* When your Roman party ambushes a few goblins resting by a campfire in ''VideoGame/{{Nethergate}}'', they are surprised that the greenskins act like war-weary veterans instead of behaving like savage beasts they are supposed to be.
* In ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' Teemo's "Omega Squad" skin plays this trope straight, as a {{darker and edgier}} version of Teemo after so many fights.
* Non-combat variant: In ''VideoGame/TheLostCrown'', the Station Master's account of the Apple Train derailment suggests his father became this after witnessing that terrible calamity. The fact that his father was the one who'd ''tried'' to shift the stuck tracks and to warn the train off with a lantern, but failed in both attempts, more than justified such a diagnosis.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'': It's taken a very long time to surface thanks to both Chief's mental training and his sheer force of will, but by the time of ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians'', some cracks are beginning to break through. The Chief has been pushing himself non-stop instead of taking some time off, and in Blue Team's intro cutscene, he can't stop his hands from shaking as he pilots his Pelican. Both are telling signs of PTSD. Considering that he's experienced the loss of nearly all his fellow Spartan-[=IIs=] and [[spoiler: Cortana]], his going AWOL to [[spoiler: follow a dream of Cortana]] is a relatively mild response.
* Slim of ''Videogame/{{Evolve}}'' is one of these, with good reason. The events of The Third Mutagen War killed all his friends, turned him into a HalfHumanHybrid, placed his homeworld under strict rule, put a massive bounty on his head, and apparently involved 'hurtling naked through deep space'. By the events of the game, he's hiding in the wilderness of[[EverythingTryingToKillYou Shear]] and suffers severe PTSD, repressing all memories before and of the war, including his own name.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Firewatch}}'', it turns out that Ned was this. He served in the war and was discharged due to personal issues.
* At the very end of the classic ''VideoGame/TrafficDepartment2192'', player character Velasques has become one of these. Particularly stands out since she starts the game as a full-on HotBlooded CowboyCop on a non-stop RoaringRampageOfRevenge - seemingly determined to singlehandedly wipe out every last soldier of the Vulture Cult Army for killing her father in front of her when she was 11. But after several campaigns, seeing [[KillEmAll countless fellow officers and friends die during the course of her crusade]], narrowly avoiding death numerous times (including being [[StuffBlowingUp blown up]] and [[WeCanRebuildHim patched back together again as a cyborg]] at one point) and more or less directly causing the [[ApocalypseHow destruction of her homeworld]] - all for her vengeance... she's just so, so tired.
* Bastion from ''{{VideoGame/Overwatch}}'' is a robot, and the LastOfHisKind from the Omnic War many years ago. His origin story, "The Last Bastion", reveals that he reverts to his original KillerRobot programming after hearing or seeing anything that reminds him of the Omnic Crisis. He reverts to his sentry mode and starts shooting everything in sight after mistaking a woodpecker for machine-gun fire, and downloading the memory of one of his fallen Bastion units shows him a vision of the war, with a Crusader clearing away many of his kind. After the vision, he reverts back to his programming, intent on hunting down humans, but his new bird friend Ganymede snaps him out of it.
* [[TheRedBaron The Bloody Baron]] from ''VideoGame/TheWitcher3WildHunt'' is one of the most WartsAndAll portrayals of this trope in gaming, as the horrors of what he'd seen on the battlefield [[DrowningMySorrows drove him to]] become TheAlcoholic. This, [[DisasterDominoes in turn]], [[spoiler: causes him to become distant from his wife, which causes her to cheat on him, causing ''him'' to kill her lover in a jealous rage before hitting her (as she was trying to kill him for this)]], and thus starts roughly 20 years of an absolutely ''wretched'' relationship for everyone involved.
* Quite a few characters in the ''VideoGame/KisekiSeries'' end up becoming this thanks to the events of the series that have ravaged the land.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsInTheSky'' has Loewe and Joshua, being the survivors of a DoomedHometown which started the Hundred Day War, ends up being shell shocked at the horrifying experience that Joshua, who was still a child at this point, was mentally catatonic and Loewe had nowhere else to go but to join with Ouroboros to judge humanity.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel'' has [[TheHero Rean Schwarzer]] whose had to experience at least three wars (the CivilWar in ''II'', the war for Crossbell in ''Divertissment'' against Calvard, and the off-screen North Ambria campaign before ''III'') that by the third game, he'd rather prefer to stay as a military instructor. Unfortunately for him, the government still has his number and orders him to do their bidding with him just plain giving up and accepting his assignments because of his status as a [[FakeUltimateHero national hero]].

Showing 2 edit(s) of 2


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: