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Break The Haughty / Video Games

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Break the Haughty in video games.

  • Word of advice in Pro Gaming: unless you have the skill to back it up, DO NOT call any long-time player a washout. You'll just end up on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle, complete with becoming a joke.
  • Princess Kara goes through this in Illusion of Gaia. At the start of the game, she's a complete and total snob who never stops complaining about the trip, never seems to do anything useful, and needlessly gets herself into trouble. She gets called on this several times, by different characters, at length. Player Character Will even gives her a few when they're stranded together on a life raft when she refuses to eat the fish he catches for them, because she doesn't want to kill it. The game really starts rubbing it in Kara's face when her pet pig, Hamlet, jumps onto a fire to be roasted rather than let Kara be eaten by starving cannibals. Thankfully, all of this is part of her Character Development, and by the end of the game, she at least acknowledges what a load she's been to the rest of the group.
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  • Kolorado from Paper Mario is a famous and respected archaeologist... by people who've merely heard of his accomplishments. However, "He's bold, I'll give him that! Bold and certifiably insane..." as anyone who actually has to work with him can attest. He often runs into situations where it'd be more prudent to stand back and take stock of things before proceeding. This tendency burns him a few times in Mt. Lavalava, Yoshi Island's volcano. To be fair, it's made clear that it isn't because he's a bad guy, but just because he's really excited about discovering these artifacts and would do near anything to get them. Plus he kind of wins in the end.
  • Luke Fon Fabre in Tales of the Abyss: He first gets a minor Pride Before a Fall in the beginning when he's teleported halfway across the globe and stranded without any friends or resources in a place where his family name is a death sentence. This doesn't do much except inconvenience him. Then, he's betrayed by his mentor, chewed out and abandoned by his True Companions, and finally discovers he's a clone of one of the villains who was created to die in the villain's stead. At which point, he snaps. Also worth mentioning that the betrayal noted above provokes Luke into accidentally causing an entire city to collapse, killing thousands of people in the process. Yeah, that probably also had something to do with that BSOD. It's worthwhile noting this is a massive deconstruction as Luke is shown to be very messed up afterward (a massive atoner, huge Guilt Complex, and Heroic Self-Deprecation that leads into him being a Death Seeker) and the truth that he's really seven years old means Luke is mentally a total mess for a good chunk of the game.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Sonia in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade at the moment of her death, when she discovers she's actually one of the morphs she despises so much and has been duped by Nergal all this time into thinking she was the one perfect human.
    • An even more tragic example in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War: Arvis. First he's a Magnificent Bastard/Well-Intentioned Extremist who successfully kills Sigurd (after stealing his wife Deirdre), turns other Grannvale rulers against each other, kills them and becomes emperor of all of Jugdral, and instead of making it a tyrannical empire, he made it an actually benevolent empire and it works. Then Manfroy intervenes and soon Arvis has lost his children, the woman he loved (aka the aforementioned Deirdre), and control of his empire, and turn it to a tyrannical empire far beyond his worst imagination. Oh, and his beloved brother Azel died at some point and his own son Julius is trying to usurp his throne, whereas his daughter Julia has been missing for a while already after said son attacked her and killed their mother. He also found out at some point during the seventeen-year-time skip that Deirdre was, in fact, his half-sister. No wonder he's so haggard by the time we see him again in the second half of the game. (It's speculated that he pretty much allowed Seliph to kill him, in hopes of finishing his miserable existence.)
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    • One of the best examples comes from Fire Emblem Awakening: King Gangrel of Plegia. After Queen Emmeryn of Ylisse undoes his Sadistic Choice with her Heroic Suicide in front of both his and the enemy troops, pretty much all of his followers desert him, he has to resort to blackmail and trickery to keep some allies, and by the time the Ylissean armies led by Emmeryn's extremely pissed off younger brother and heir Chrom reach for the Plegian capital, he's pretty much all alone against them. And later we find out that after Gangrel's defeat, the only ones willing to sorta take him in are bandits, who treat him like absolute shit. And even if you manage to make him join Chrom's Shepherds — well, Chrom is still pissed off at Gangrel for what he did to his older sister, and the Avatar is not convinced about his Heel–Face Turn for quite a while either.
  • The Deponia trilogy could easily be re-named "Break The Haughty: The Game". Main protagonist Rufus undergoes all sorts of torture, humiliations, and beatdowns, both moral and physical, because of his enormous ego and his arrogance.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines:
    • The Camarilla ending has your Bad Boss Prince Lacroix reduced to the level of begging at your feet for the game's MacGuffin, sniveling and whimpering about the inevitable Kuei-Jin invasion until he's finally arrested.
    • The Anarch and Lone Wolf endings feature him first being slashed half to death with a letter opener, then reduced to sniveling and whimpering, before finally finding himself on the business end of one of the most explosive plans in history.
    • In the same game there's also Imalia, a female Nosferatu, who used to be a model. She was so hot that she was elected by a men's magazine the "The Most Ridiculously Hot Girl of The Year". Things changed drastically when she was Embraced by Gary and became a hideous vampire.
    • This is also standard practice for the Nosferatu in the tabletop version of Masquerade. There's a whole subset of Nosferatu nicknamed "Cleopatras" — beautiful people who got everywhere on their looks alone and who were Embraced to teach them a cruel lesson about what the ugly people went through. Imalia and Gary (known in his time among the living as "Gorgeous Gary Golden") are both textbook Cleopatras
  • Hangvul the Holier Than Thou leader of the Dwarven Rune Priests from Heroes Of Might And Magic V goes through a pretty epic case of this in Tribes of the East. You know you've screwed up big time when your magma dragon god denounces you as a faithless moron and proclaims that the rival you considered to be a heretic will be the new king of the Dwarves.
  • Knights of the Old Republic:
    • Bastila Shan endures this; when she fights Revan on the Star Forge, she's sure she'll win; Revan promptly kicks her ass three times in a row, which forces Bastila to face that she was wrong to choose the dark side, and that the only thing holding her back was herself. It sort of made her into the Woobie. Before her Face–Heel Turn, many of her interactions with her more experienced teammates (especially the player and Carth) are attempts to poke holes in her massive ego/overconfidence complex. The scene with Mission sort of backfired, though.
    • Both encounters with Atris in the sequel. You can contradict almost every single self-righteous and hypocritical statement of hers as she gets more and more angry. The second encounter will result her losing it and start attacking you.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Kingdom of Gilneas and its king, Genn Greymane are notorious for isolationism, believing that their country could withstand any enemy force without aid. After the Second War, Greymane angrily pulled Gilneas out of the Alliance and erected the Greymane Wall, to prevent anyone from entering or leaving the country. The wall managed to protect the country from the plague that created the Scourge, and also coldly shut out any Lordaeron refugees from entering. However, it did not protect them from the worgen curse emanating from nearby Shadowfang Keep, resulting in the people of Gilneas slowly being transformed into worgen. The Greymane Wall will be broken down in the upcoming expansion Cataclysm, and in a desperate attempt to save his people, King Greymane will turn to the very Alliance that he shunned so long ago.
    • Cataclysm, now released, really ran with this one hard, with Greymane especially. The worgen starting quests are watching Gilneas getting broken. Gilneas was already in a form of civil war when the worgen problem broke out. On top of that, the Forsaken invaded Gilneas, then on top of THAT Deathwing commenced the shattering which blasted a large portion of the country and broke the wall down. Greymane shows increasing levels of humility. He finally ends up teaming up with the head of the other side of the civil war after begging him and humbly showing that both were afflicted with the Worgen curse. After an unsuccessful attempt at taking the city back from the Forsaken, where Genn's son takes the arrow for him and dies. he turns to the Alliance he spurned and mercilessly left to die years ago.
    • Mist of Pandaria is shaping up to do this epically with Garrosh Hellscream, who has started to almost systematically alienate the leaders of the other factions of the Horde, and has already been announced to be the Big Bad of the expansion and final Raid Boss.
    • Warlords of Draenor has (as of 6.1) been one long Break The Haughty for the Iron Horde. After their vanguard made it through and took Blackrock Spire, a small force of Alliance and Horde champions destroyed the Dark Portal, preventing them from sending any more troops to Azeroth. Since then, most of the clans (Shadowmoon, Thunderlord, Blackrock, and Warsong) have been decimated and most of the leaders of the Iron Horde (Garrosh, Blackhand, the Iron Wolf/Fenris, Ner'zhul, and Kargath) have been killed. Unfortunately, this convinces most of the remaining Iron Horde to drink demon blood and join Guldan.
  • In Jak 3: Wastelander, Veger gets his comeuppance when he discovers the Precursors (who he idolized) are ottsels, gets turned into an ottsel, and becomes Kleiver's sidekick. Almost makes you feel sorry for him... oh, wait, no it doesn't.
  • Donny Vermillion in Starcraft II suffers this big time. Before he's arrogantly and smugly defaming Jim Raynor and propping up the Dominion; when confronted with proof that the Dominion caused his brothers death and that Mengsk is just a power hungry asshole, he undergoes a mental collapse and is reduced to sitting in a hospital room in his underwear while eating peanut butter out of the can in one hand and holding the dominion manifesto in the other. Damn, karma's a bitch ain't it?
  • In Mass Effect, Saren gets an extended case of this that actually started before the game when he discovered Sovereign. He started out as an arrogant Knight Templar racist with ambitions to rule the galaxy using Sovereign's power. By the time you meet him in the game he is already just another indoctrinated slave to Sovereign's will. It's also arguable that the discovery of Sovereign sent his ambitions from galactic conquest to saving it thanks to pure fear. Too bad he had no idea he was being influenced by Sovereign the entire time.
  • In Portal 2, GLaDOS has some of this come her way. She's beaten by a corrupted idiot, gets put into a potato, almost eaten by a bird, travels with Chell extensively for 3 chapters, learns that Chell is a decent person, finds out who she is, and sees how insane the new controller of the facility is, in a parody of herself. The irony is that in the end of the game she deletes all this information and goes back to being her old self, for better or worse, but still lets Chell go to her freedom. It's possible that GLaDOS did learn something after all and considers Chell a friend, and if not, then she's simply getting rid of her biggest problem by sending it away.
  • Altaïr of Assassin's Creed is broken at the start of the first game. After violating all the clauses of the Assassin's Creed, he is publicly humiliated by Al Mualim and demoted to novice. His initial incentive in the game is to restore his previous high standing.
  • Prince Harry/Henry from Dragon Quest V, a spoiled prince who lives his days pulling pranks on everyone, is kidnapped into slavery one day by the bad guys, and it completely cures his bad attitudes. His future son is still a brat, though.
  • Pokémon:
    • Cheren from Pokémon Black and White goes through a variant of this; while not arrogant, he has some ego issues and an obsession with being the strongest. After Alder makes him question what strength means he suffers a Heroic BSoD and ends up re-evaluating his stance.
    • And then there's N, who gets the full brunt of a Break The Haughty moment and a Break the Cutie moment combined when he learns his cause was false all along and he was meant to be a disposable Tyke Bomb.
    • From the original Pokémon Red and Blue, there's The Rival Blue (or whatever you named him) Oak, an arrogant, snotty, narcissistic, smart-mouthed brat with the really arrogant-sounding catchphrases of "Bonjour" and "Smell ya later!", who takes every opportunity to brag in front of you. After being defeated as champion, he gets schooled with a short "Reason You Suck" Speech by his grandfather Professor Oak as the player claims his previously held position, and the end of FireRed and LeafGreen possibly shows him in a rare moment of introspection, as if thinking over what the professor told him. By the time Pokémon Gold and Silver rolls around, he's mellowed out and in fact acts quite mature for his age of 14, having learned how to lose more gracefully for one, albeit still keeping his arrogant streak due to it being a signature part of his character.
    • A more sinister example in another rival, from the sequel Pokémon Gold and Silver, as well as Crystal and the remakes; Silver (or, again, whatever the player decided to call him), a thieving, abrasive, violent, arrogant, and abusive trainer who treats everyone around him, Pokemon and human alike, like utter trash, and sees only value in the strength of Pokemon and nothing else. He constantly calls the player weak, seeing friendship as mere weakness, infamously strips off your disguise just when you were about to sneak into the Team Rocket hideout for the fact he hates Team Rocket and is all around extremely unpleasant to be around. Naturally, the player defeats his team every time, and he gets schooled by Lance on top of it. By the end of the game, he's majorly Took a Level in Kindness, trying his best to become a nicer person, with his Golbat even evolving into Crobat, something that can only be achieved through high friendship, not to mention he apparently tried to return the starter he stole offscreen in the remakes.
    • In the original Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and Emerald, Brendan, the opposite gender player character when the player is female. While he's nowhere near the amusingly obnoxious brat that is Blue or the violent antisocial Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy that was Silver, he still kind of acts like a jerk to May (the player), with somewhat of a sexist streak and Tsundere tendencies around her. By the end, however, he's completely humbled out. In the remakes, he's more of a straight Nice Guy.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legendof Zelda The Wind Waker: Windfall Island's rich girl Mila and her father behave quite arrogantly with Link. Then after Mila is abducted (and rescued) his father falls into poverty and she's even forced to steal.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass's Linebeck gets a bit of this at the end of the game. Bellum corrupts him and forces him to attack Link. Once the player defeats Bellum, Linebeck has a My God, What Have I Done?? moment before dropping to his knees and apologizing for his jerkassery.
    • When Osfala is first encountered in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, he's incredibly egotistical and self-confident. Then Yuga kidnaps him and transforms him into a painting. Once he's freed, he solemnly accepts that he was never meant to be the hero.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Groose gets in on this too. He starts out as a typical bully, pushing Link around and trying to sabotage his training since he feels that he's the one that deserves Zelda's affections. Then when she's kidnapped, he blames Link for the incident, and much later, when he reaches the surface of the planet, he tells Link to go back home and let him handle the rescuing business. However, The Old Lady tells him that he's not meant to be the hero, which is already enough to make him throw a temper tantrum, but once he witnesses the first breakout of The Imprisoned and Link's resealing it, he gets hit by a minor Heroic BSoD and finally acknowledges that Link's the one cut out for the job. He gets better, though.
    • Princess Zelda and Revali in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild both resent Link for being chosen by the Master Sword and they go out of their way to be dismissive of him. Zelda feels worthless compared to Link since Link was able to wield the Master Sword with ease while Zelda herself couldn't unlock her sealing powers, which made her look incompetent in front of her people. Revali is jealous at how easily Link was able to rise up and is the chosen one to defeat Ganon, which made Revali's accomplishments as a Rito warrior look worthless. Both characters get bit in the ass hard that breaks them of their haughtiness; Revali dies fighting against Ganon's minions and spends the next century having his spirit trapped in a Humongous Mecha. Zelda gets attacked by the Yiga clan and is saved by Link, which gets her to warm up to him. Once Ganon breaks free, Zelda loses her entire kingdom, her father, and nearly loses Link as well. It's from there that Zelda gets over her inferiority complex and seals Ganon and herself away at Hyrule Castle for the next 100 years. She is relieved to see Link alive and well once he finally saves her.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In the backstory, the Altmer (High Elves) were delivered a massive blow to their collective ego when Tiber Septim used the Numidium to destroy their armies and sack their capital city of Alinor in less than one hour of fighting. This was the first time in their thousands of years of history that the Altmer had been conquered by an outside force.note  Severely weakened, many of the most extremist Altmer groups (including the Thalmor) were content to wait out Septim's 3rd Empire and then rose again once it fell completely apart at the start of the 4th Era.
    • The Dunmer (Dark Elves) also went through this in various ways. To note:
      • In general, for thousands of years, they were a highly xenophobic, arrogant, slave-holding race. Following the events of Morrowind, their culture went into a sharp decline and was dealt a devastating blow between Oblivion and Skyrim, when the Ministry of Truth crashed down causing Red Mountain to erupt which destroyed most of Vvardenfell and rendered much of Morrowind uninhabitable due to choking ash. Then, one of their former Slave Races (the Argonians) invaded and captured much of what was left of habitable Morrowind. The Dunmer have paid for their hubris and then some, now scattered with many of them settling on the frozen, barren island of Solstheim and in Skyrim, where they are treated as second-class citizens (at best) by the native Nords. Luckily, they seem to have learned a little well-deserved humility in the process. As one Dunmer puts it to a Dunmer Dragonborn in Skyrim: "We're all Ashlanders now."
      • Great House Hlaalu had the closest ties to the Empire and, as a result, were the most powerful and wealthy Great House during Morrowind's time in the Third Empire. Many of the more conservative Dunmer, especially Houses Redoran and Dres, hated this fact and held House Hlaalu in contempt as traitors to the Dunmer traditions. When the Empire withdrew during the Oblivion Crisis, House Hlaalu was left without their strongest ally and fell well behind the other Houses in terms of power and prestige. Eventually, they were scapegoated for the suffering of the dunmer, booted off of the Dunmer Council altogether, and their members are frequent targets of execution by the other Houses.
      • Great House Redoran had very close ties to the Tribunal Temple, as well as the xenophobia and dogmatism that came with it. During the Oblivion Crisis, the Redorans were the hardest hit, having their capital city completely destroyed and much of their land razed. And that's before the Argonian occupation. They seemed to have learned some humility, however, and reformed to become the strongest of the Great Houses and leader of the post-Red Year Dunmer Council.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, Dr. Hugo Strange gets one when Ra's al Ghul runs him through with a scimitar, then starts gloating that, despite everything he's done, he's still inferior to Batman.
  • This is Aire's character arc in Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light. Although she will help people in need when she sees them, she's a full-fledged Royal Brat who introduces herself by berating her poor knight for not saving her fast enough. Then when she's in Liberte with Jusqua, Aire treats him like a servant, ordering him around and complaining that refugee life isn't stylish enough, dragging him and a fairy she rescued into a dangerous dungeon for an obviously cursed treasure for no reason besides greed. The "treasure" turns her into a cat, so she's unable to speak to anyone but the fairy, who shortly performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save her life. The guilt gives her a real kick in the Character Development.
  • Minor examples in Fallout 4, both delivered by Nick Valentine to the player, of all people. While he usually appreciates gratuitous use of the [Sarcasm] dialogue option, use it one too many times when you're looking for Shaun, and he snaps and tells you that "if all it took to solve problems was a smart mouth, we'd have found your son by now." Later in Far Harbor, if DiMA dies and you choose the [Sarcasm] option, Nick is not happy with you and tells you to shut the hell up. Makes sense, considering you're making jokes about his brother's death.
  • In Sonic Forces, this along with Small Name, Big Ego was Infinite's Start of Darkness. He went from being a highly confident, self-proclaimed "Ultimate Mercenary" to losing all his comrades and then in trying to avenge them being effortlessly defeated by Shadow in three hits and being called pathetic enough that he was Not Worth Killing. He felt so humiliated from his defeat that he went Ax-Crazy and practically sold his soul for the Phantom Ruby's power so he would never feel weak again.


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