But Thou Must! in MMORPGs.
Examples where giving the "wrong" answer makes it impossible to proceed until you give the "right" answer (including giving Non-Standard Game Overs):
- The Matrix Online simply closes the game if you pick the wrong pill. If you don't see it coming, you might think the game crashed.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Sometimes averted; many quests have more than one way to complete them. Otherwise, the only way to avoid doing things you don't like is to refuse quests. Which you don't get XP for. But at least you have the opportunity to refuse quests.
- Done painfully in The Lord of the Rings Online in the Mirkwood Expansion. You are chastised by Celeborn for making the foolish decision to allow Mazog to live. A short while later, you actually rewind to the part where you were given that choice. However, selecting the option to kill him gets you overruled. You can practically hear the writers laughing.
Examples where giving the "wrong" answer has little or no effect:
- An interesting example turns up in the MMORPG Phantasy Star Universe's Story Mode. Up until 'Episode 3', the plot has given, occasionally, a chance for a player character to express an opinion which is then summarily ignored. However, as of Episode 3's fourth mission, the developers have begun to go back through the story mode missions and edit things so that many of the responses, and player's actions during missions, can lead into entirely new branches of the story, as well as adding these conditional branches to newly released missions as well.
- However, the trope is played straight in the prelude to the Episode 3 story mission Ambition's End 2: After some boring chatter, you're given the option of taking one of four different NPCs. Now, the AI being what it is in PSU, they're all useless to a variety of degrees, but each one is at least capable of soaking up some damage and dealing some in return, or providing you with some decent support to help keep you alive. No matter which you pick, you're forced to take a little girl with no damage potential, no useful support abilities, and who has proven herself to be an utter moron by, among other things, chasing after her brother when he chases a thief, loudly announcing her presence to said thief and his two thug brothers after said brother has caught up with them, telling him off when he tells her to run, and then meandering away when the biggest of the brothers comes to grab her. Later on in the same mission, when threatened by the Big Bad, she opts not to take the smart of option of fleeing, she skips over the option of using her (admittedly worthless) TECHNICs, and instead stands there and lets him beat her down. "Liability" doesn't even begin to cover her uselessness.
- In zOMG, you are given the choice between going into the woods to fight monsters with ninjas, or to go back to check on the head Ninja's niece (despite the fact that the previous quest established the fact that she was 100% safe). If you choose "adventure" over "loyalty", the Ninja will call you foolish, and will force you to go check on his niece. (This is because the Forest area isn't actually in the game yet, and checking on said niece unlocks the Wish Tree Quest, which provides a nice piece of exposition if you clear it.)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic has a creative use of this trope in the Imperial Agent questline, where the player character has been brainwashed, and no matter what dialogue option you choose, your character will say the same thing which conveys a sense of not being in control of your own mind.
- Star Trek Online does something of the sort in the Romulan captain mission "Mind Game" where your character is captured and conditioned. You can resist all you want, but you're gonna end up doing some horrible things.
- Kingdom of Loathing does this in its re-tooled Halloween event. You find an empty house with a giant bowl of candy. If you choose to steal the bowl, you get away with it, and there's no punishment. If you try to be honest by not stealing it, the homeowner appears, announces that it was a Secret Test of Character, and gives you the bowl.
- The Lord of the Rings Online has a choice in Rohan where you are asked if you want to encourage a Thane's son to attack a group of orcs (allegedly against King Theoden's will), or encourage the Thane to follow his mother's advice in leaving the orcs alone per Theoden's decree. The Thane's mother is actually in league with Wormtongue, and believes that betraying Rohan is the only way to save it. This trope comes into play because even if you choose to side with the traitor, you end up performing the same quests against the orcs anyway, leading to the Thane's Mother getting increasingly upset with you as she's hiring you to do X and you keep doing Y instead.
Examples where there is no "wrong" answer available to choose:
- Browser-based MMORPG Travians lives on these, but one particular instance was at least more amusing than most:You attempt to give Lorena a letter from the main villain of the game.
Lorena: Should I read it? You decide for me!
Choice #1: I'll rather keep the letter with me for a while.
Choice #2: Goodbye! (Standard conversation-ending choice)
And if you choose the only choice available:
Lorena: I trust your common sense.
- Parodied for a throwaway joke at least once in Kingdom of Loathing: when you encounter Dr. Awkward the second time, the game offers you three choices of Battlecry, all of which have exactly the same effect (i.e. entering combat).
- KoL does this quite often, in fact. The options given at the door to Felonia's chamber:Enter the chamber
Enter the chamber (No other possibility)
Enter the chamber (Seriously)
- KoL does this quite often, in fact. The options given at the door to Felonia's chamber:
- Early quests in World of Warcraft will automatically be placed on your list of accepted quests as soon as you talk to the quest-giver, without needing to accept them. However it's subverted as you could easily just abandon the quest.
- Very few quests (maybe three or four out of all of them, such as keeping the Chained Essence of Eranikus or not, saving or killing the Human Seedlings in Hillsbrad, letting Marion Wormwing go free or killing her, and whatever this is) have any sort of choice at all, forcing your character to sometimes make odd decisions to keep the story moving.
- Recently a few more quests give you options on which dialogue you can use, but it makes little difference what you say.
- For example in the 'Battle for Booty Bay' arc, you have to kill Bossy the cow to convince a pirate you're on his side. You can give Bossy a long, inspirational speech about how Booty Bay needs her - now more then ever - or you can just say "Moo." Either way, Bossy agrees and if you don't chop off her head, you can't continue.
- As of Cataclysm, one of the last quests in Westfall forces you to fly to Stormwind to tell the king that the Defias Brotherhood has reformed. Even if you're max level and could kill every one of the Defias with a single attack while naked.
- Part of the Warlords of Draenor legendary questline has But Thou Musn't. At one point Cordana Felsong asks you for the ring you and Khadgar have been making throughout the expansion, realizing something is very wrong, your options are "No." and "Oh, HELL No!".
- Three guesses as to which was most often picked.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- It applies to a T with companion characters during the class questlines. After Bioware removed the option of killing companion characters during beta, recruiting them is mandatory with a variety of "Yes" answers. It doesn't matter how badly their personalities clash with your character (and can lead to a rather startling Out-of-Character Moment). Skadge and Gault, companions of the Bounty Hunter, are particularly egregious examples. Similarly, as a Sith Warrior you can't kill Malavai Quinn after he tries to kill you on Baras' orders. The Dark Side option is simply to Force Choke him out before giving him a spot back on your crew.
- Even if your Imperial character is an alien who is sick of racism and politicking of the superiors, they can't join Darth Malgus's New Empire on Ilum, even though Darth Serevin gets to.
- Done painfully straight in Star Trek Online. Your Federation crew is asked to invade a Romulan base in search of superweapons and you're accompanied by the admiral who gave you the orders. As it turns out you just ruined Undine-spotting programs and the admiral was an Undine! And the worst thing is that you've probably figured something was wrong much sooner...
- And again in the mission "A Step Between Stars". First, you're told that you need to fly your ship towards an outpost that controls the Solanae Sphere's ability to warp towards different places. Which is located near an artificial sun. Your choices are, paraphrased, "Sure, I'll do it", "Absolutely not, my ship can't take it" and "Why can't we just cloak?" Choosing the cloak option reveals that your opponents, the Voth, are getting smart towards those tricks and choosing No will have the mission giver tell you that you'll be safe as you'll be outfitted with a shield modification that will protect you for a short while. With that, you're given the standard "okay" or a begrudging "okay". You find out, later, that the only way to shut down the Solanae Sphere's ability to jump, and thus unleash a horde of Omega molecules that would destroy subspace, is to activate an Iconian gateway. The scientist with you, Dr. Eric Cooper, tells you there's no other way and Tuvok gives you the honors of shutting it down. You can sit there and tell Tuvok that you're not shutting it down, but it's getting shut down, even if that Vulcan has to.