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Be Careful What You Wish For / Video Games

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  • In Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal you get the wish spell. It's a lot more powerful than the limited wish spell and also level 9. It's also extremely tricky to cast, as the Djinn that you summon is a grumpy so-and-so who's out to get you and as such you will need a very good Wisdom score to be able to handle him okay. A WIS of 18 is nigh-on essential to get the most out of this spell, and anything under 9 WIS is catastrophic. When you cast the spell, time is stopped and the casting character negotiates with the Djinn for some hours - finally he presents you with "a list of 5 ways I can interpret your wish - choose one".
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine:
    • In Chapter 2, Sammy Lawrence wants Bendy to free him from the ink. Bendy frees him from the ink, as Sammy begs him not to kill him. This leads into a Gory Discretion Shot.
    • In Chapter 4, Henry solves puzzles in a half-built theme park called Bendy Land. Its designer, Bertrum Piedmont, wanted to build the biggest theme park ever and receive all the glory for it. When Henry meets him, he's become one of his theme park rides, driven insane by the Ink. Instead of a celebrity, he goes down a monster instead.
  • Beyond: Two Souls: Jodie Holmes always wanted to be free of Aiden, the poltergeist that has been tethered to her since birth, and be a normal girl. Should the player choose the "Life" ending at the end of the game, she gets her wish, only to realize that without Aiden, she's completely miserable and feels like a part of her has been cut away. Ultimately subverted in three of the Multiple Endings, where Aiden eventually returns.
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  • Dead End Road: Unsurprisingly for a horror game, a few endings involve your wishes backfiring. Want money or control over the world? You die in a black void of infinite money or end up dethroned and assassinated.
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: During Flonne's introductory scene in a garden, she tells Seraph Lamington "I want to be like these flowers." Right before the final boss battle, Lamington turns her into a flower as part of her punishment for helping Laharl invade Celestia.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: The villain of the main game, Corypheus, seeks to make himself a god by entering the Fade in order to reach the Black City. At the climax of the final battle, the Inquisitor grants him his wish... by opening a rift into the Fade inside his skull, ripping apart his physical form and permenantly banishing his spirit into the depths of the Fade.
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  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Daedric Prince Clavicus Vile is a Jackass Genie who loves corrupting wishes. To speak to him you have to get through a cave full of vampires. Those vampires were his worshippers who wanted a cure for their vampirism, and he's quite grateful to you for helping him provide one by murdering the lot of them. He couldn't have planned it better if he tried. In fact, he did much the same thing in the past: A man came to him and asked him for a cure to his daughter's lycanthropy. He got a greataxe with werewolf faces engraved on it.
  • Eternal Darkness has this happen once. Bored Cambodian temple dancer Ellia finds herself all alone with nothing but what she thinks is an innocuous book of legends to entertain herself, wishes that something exciting would happen to her, and ends up immediately getting locked inside the temple, finding herself entangled and directly involved in the book's "legends," and killed as a result of all this. Now, was that exciting enough for you, Ellia?
  • Fallen London: The Duchess and the Manager of the Royal Bethlehem both sold their cities to the Masters of the Bazaar in exchange for saving the lives of their lovers. Their lovers did indeed live the price of a Fate Worse than Death for both. The Duchess' husband became the barely-human, lethally poisonous Cantigaster and the Manager's lover became a sentient city with a heart splintered into a hundred fragments among the city's buildings and inhabitants. It bears mentioning this is less that the Masters are evil, and more that they were rather incompetent at it back then; the Traitor Empress made the same deal much later on and seemed to have gotten better off.
  • In Fate/Grand Order (spoilers for Arc 1 ahead), King Solomon's wishes backfired on him twice. First, per source material, he prayed that God would make him a wise ruler for Israel. God gave him clairvoyance, which made Solomon hyper-aware of the troubles of his people and that he could not solve them all, driving him into despair. Millennia later, Solomon was summoned to win a Holy Grail War, and because of that despair, wished on the Grail that he could become a normal human unburdened by power or knowledge but his clairvoyance activates one last time, showing him the end of the world and burdening him with the knowledge that it would end and having no abilities whatsoever to act against it. Only by returning both the gifts of God AND his human life to completely erase himself from the Throne of Heroes is Solomon able to weaken Goetia for the protagonist to defeat.
  • One of the random events in the game Fhtagn has a woman selling her late husband's possessions at the local magic shop, including a monkey's paw, which you have an opportunity to buy and use. When you get the chance, you wish for wealth, magical power, and sexual appeal. Unfortunately, you also get your legs broken by a loan shark you owe money to, you lose your voice while trying to summon something, and you realize that you have the brain of an Adonis as well as the body of one. To add further insult to injury, when you throw it into the river, a random sound startles you, causing you to lose Sanity, as well.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII fame did not like the fact that he was a muggle and a mook, and envied his Super Soldier friend and his Super Prototype perfect warrior commander, wanting to be like them. His wish was fulfilled, but not in a good way: the Mad Scientist Dr. Hojo, the creator of Shinra's superhuman project, press-ganged him into his experiments and turned him into another human-Jenova hybrid at the cost of his memories and sanity. Cloud got the cool powers he wanted, but it damaged his personality, partially fusing it with that of his aforementioned friend, and made him vulnerable to mind control, which had a huge impact on his later life. Hojo thought Cloud to be a failed experiment, however Cloud ended up as the only successful human-Jenova hybrid on the side of good.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Noel mentions that he wanted the Power of Chaos that Caius had so that he could be a "true guardian." In one of the Paradox Endings, you find out what happens if he actually gets it: he's driven nearly catatonic by it, and mentions that having it is the beginning of a nightmare.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has a group of kids who wish they can live in the fantasy world that their video game (which is also called Final Fantasy) presents. Their wish is granted, though Marche isn't keen on the idea of staying in a fantasy world forever: he comes to the realization that they've all just run from their problems, rather than actually dealing with them.
      • And, on a sub-note, the game is infamous for its perceived Grey and Grey Morality, and so there are quite a few people who got their wish on a morally ambiguous JRPG hero and villain.
      • Quick notes on the positives and negatives that result from this scenario: Ritz gets hair that isn't prematurely white as a teenager, Doned is no longer wheelchair-bound and hospitalized, the both of them get to live super cool lives as adventurers, and Mewt's mother returns to life as he becomes a prince. It all sounds really good, except Ritz is so obsessed with her hair color (her HAIR. COLOR.) she hates the idea of returning home, Mewt devolves to barely above the maturity of a five-year-old child clinging desperately to his mama, and Doned actually tries to get his brother arrested (if not killed) to avoid returning home.
      • That said, FFTA 2 implies that at least some of them returned to Ivalice on occasion as the years passed. Marche never really had a problem with visiting Ivalice (in fact, their experiences there helped all of them move past their problems in the end - most notably, Mewt's father realizing how bad a job he'd done keeping it together combined with his experience as the Judgemaster AND helping Marche to restore the real world helped him claw his way out of his depression); it was just the idea of staying in fantasy land forever and hiding away from all their problems that worried him.
  • Jak and Daxter:
    • The Precursors offer to turn Jak into one of them as thanks for his services. All of a sudden Count Veger arrives with a gun demanding that HE be turned into one instead. The Precursor says "Be Careful What You Wish For" and does something to Veger. Shortly afterwards it's revealed that the Energy Being they were talking to was just a hologram and that the Precursors... are ottsels. Cue Karmic Transformation when Veger realizes the implications of this.
    • Later, Daxter, finally in peace with his ottsel appearance, asks for a set of pants. His girlfriend then says that those pants are so cute, she wished she had a pair of them herself. Cue the precursors' "Be Careful What You Wish For" a second time, and the girl getting a pair of pants just like that... and turned into an ottsel so she could fit into them.
  • Left 4 Dead:
    • This was the case on the production level for Left 4 Dead 2. Valve is notoriously known for their Valve Time due to how long they take to produce games in order to perfect them and/or delaying games after they get close to a release date. People got sick of Valve taking too long to produce anything, so Valve made Left 4 Dead 2 nearly one year after the first game was released in order to prove to people that they CAN release on time and on a fixed schedule. While Left 4 Dead 2 was generally well received, the more dedicated fans complain to this day about random bugs and balance issues with some people stating Valve Time is actually a good thing and Valve should not be rushed.
    • Similarly, corner camping became a huge issue in Left 4 Dead 1; it was a technique used by survivor players where they huddle in a corner or in a closet and mow down all infected that came their way. People complained about the exploit and started to make suggestions to counter corner camping, which Valve implemented for Left 4 Dead 2 with new infected that dealt with survivors that holed up in a spot (Spitter, Charger, and Jockey), allowing common infected to rush in from more places, and included gauntlet crescendos where survivors have to keep moving through a never ending horde and stop the source (such an an alarm). This worked too well since now most survivor players will always rush the maps and hardly stop, making it difficult for zombie players to be able to spawn in time or attack effectively. Naturally, people are complaining about the changes and want even more special infected that has the ability to stop a survivor from running.
  • In Life Is Strange, Chloe blames her dad for dying five years ago, and all her social relations becoming strained. Her closest friend Max has the power to change history. Max successfully saves Chloe's dad five years ago. Now Chloe gets a brand new car from her dad, and gets into a car accident, paralyzing her from neck down. The new Chloe is quadriplegic and dying from respiratory failure, and her parents are sinking in debt due to exorbitant medical bills. But Chloe is no longer resentful; she is very calm when not undergoing waves of debilitating pain.
    • Later in the game, Max gets a chance to set things straight from the get go. She makes sure to speak all the right words to everyone and to set up a bright future to herself as well. Yes, she is no longer abducted by a serial murderer, and she wins the Everyday Heroes photography contest and gets a free ticket to San Francisco. But the tornado still wipes out her hometown and kills many if not all of her closest friends. Clearly the plan backfired, so she makes another change, making sure to eliminate that particular mistake in her plan. The change was successful. The mistake – her being out of town – did not occur. Instead, she was abducted by the serial murderer again.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny: As Levi mentioned with her dying breath, Lord Dearche finally got the nigh-unlimited power that she had always wanted. However, it came at a price she was never willing to pay, namely, the lives of Stern and Levi, her two loyal retainers. Unsurprisingly, her main motivation for the rest of the game is to reverse this so she could get Stern and Levi back.
  • There's a wish-granting Mana (the main character) in Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis. The first wish it ever granted was death, although, in a subversion, that wish was exactly what the person who wished it was asking for.
  • In Mass Effect 3, Wrex proves that he was the most badass Krogan in the galaxy by curing the genophage, which led to basically the entire female population of Tuchanka requesting to breed with him. You can catch up with him during the Citadel DLC, where he has to put an ice pack on his quad for the sheer amount of breeding requests he has to deal with.
  • This is one of the main subtexts of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, as the game shows exactly what the players who wanted to be Solid Snake would have to go through with Raiden.
    • The creation of the Les Enfantes Terribles. The Patriots wanted the legacy of Big Boss as their soldiers. So, Solid Snake went from their stooge to their most dangerous enemy, and Liquid Snake's ideas and influences eventually led to the end of the Patriots themselves.
  • In NetHack, it is possible to be granted a wish. A common choice is to wish for a blessed Archon figurine, which when used has an 80% chance of netting you an extremely powerful pet. There is, however a 10% chance that it will instead be generated hostile. Have a Nice Death!
    • You can also wish for any powerful quest artifact that's not your own role's such as the incredibly useful Platinum Yendorian Express Card that's normally obtainable only by tourist characters, but it will blast you for damage every time you touch it due to you being of the wrong role, so if you make this wish while low on HP...
  • PAYDAY The Heist has the Cloaker, a special SWAT unit who can instantly down players by kicking them. The sequel was supposed to have Cloakers, but they were Dummied Out due to them causing the game to crash if they kicked a player. The Cloaker was MIA for several months and everyone kept demanding for the Cloaker to return. The Cloaker eventually was brought back, still doing his instant takedown kicks. Most of the people that wanted the Cloaker now don't want him anymore.
  • Persona 2: Innocent Sin puts a spin on this. You don't so much have to be careful what you wish for, as be careful about wishing at all. Having your wildest dreams handed to you without struggle or effort will eventually rob you of your ideal energy, causing you to fade away to nonexistence.
  • Planescape: Torment utilizes a classic and particularly chilling incarnation of the trope. An NPC named Yves Tale-Chaser will trade stories with the Nameless One and his companions. One of them begins with a man who comes to in an alley, remembering nothing. An old woman is in front of him, and she asks, "And your third wish?" He says he doesn't understand, and she explains she had offered him three wishes, and he'd already used two - and the second wish was to undo and forget his first wish. So, for the third, he asks to know who he is. She cackles softly as she prepares to grant his wish, and he asks what's so funny. "That was your first wish." It's heavily implied in another part of the game that this actually occurred between the Nameless One and the Night Hag Ravel Puzzlewell.
  • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 2 does this too, subtly. In the Special Episode "Bidoof's Wish", Bidoof finds and wakes Jirachi, who grants him a wish because that's how wish gods work. His wish is for a new apprentice that he can show around and be friends with. He gets his wish in the form of the hero and partner, but the wish's implementation causes Darkrai's evil scheme and the entire Time Gear crisis to bring the hero in from the future. At least he's happy with what he gets.
  • Ragnarok allows you to make wishes if you can find the wand of wishing. However, if you don't have sufficient luck, or you wish for certain unique items you will get an evil item instead.
  • Most of the "bad" endings in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl consist of this, with the player character succumbing to the temptation to make a wish to the mysterious artifact in the middle of Chernobyl (the wish chosen depending on certain conditions). All of these wishes end up backfiring on him:
    • "I want the Zone to disappear": the PC goes blind
    • "Mankind is corrupt, it must be controllednote ": Images of war and death flash followed by the PC standing in a black void
    • "I want to be rich": the PC sees gold coins falling from the sky...which turn out to be an hallucination: the "coins" are actually bolts falling from the ceiling which collapses on the PC, killing him.
    • "I want to rule the world": the PC is absorbed into the C-Consciousness.
    • "I want to be immortal": the PC is turned into a metal statue.
  • Tales of the Tempest: Caius just wanted to be allowed to see the world. As soon as he voices this a dying knight gives him a MacGuffin, his village gets attacked, and his father gets kidnapped by the Corrupt Church, prompting Caius to go rescue him.
  • Calypso, from the Twisted Metal games. He grants the winners of his competitions their wishes in a manner that either kills them or results in an outcome different from what they had envisioned.
    • A case of the former in Twisted Metal: Head-On is when the driver of Spectre, Chuckie Floop, wished for a lot of money and was then buried alive underneath a massive pile of cash. In Warthog's ending for Twisted Metal 2, Calypso delivers a sickeningly brilliant example of the latter when he grants the 105-year-old Captain Rogers' wish for a youthful body ... sans the head to match.
    • Occasionally, Calypso will grant a wish straight, only for the winner to experience the inevitable or natural consequences of their wish. Mr. Grimm wishes to satiate his addiction to human souls by accelerating the death rate? Humanity is eventually wiped out and he's left without a fix. Amanda Watts wishes for the ability to drive at light speed? She ends up travelling backward through time until she runs out of gas and is killed by a dinosaur.
    • He's also quite fond of Exact Words. Ken Masters wishes for the whole world to know his face. Calypso complies by literally stretching his face around the entire planet.
    • And for all his trickery, Calypso has indeed suffered a reversal of this (Sweet Tooth in Twisted Metal: Black).
    • Carl Roberts (Outlaw) to his sister Jamie: "I wish you'd shut up!" Jamie's mouth grows shut.
  • In Wishbringer, one of the wishes you can make with the titular stone is for flight... straight back to the Magick Shoppe, which nets you an automatic Game Over because you won't have the owner's asked-for pet with you at any time you're capable of making the wish.
  • Hearts of Stone, the first DLC for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has Geralt helping the victim of this trope.

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