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  • Miles Edgeworth in Ace Attorney. His father was murdered when he was ten and Edgeworth spent 15 years believing he was responsible for his death. He was adopted by the honorable and kindly Manfred von Karma, the one who really murdered his father, and brought up to be a cold and ruthless prosecutor with no regard for whether the people he prosecuted had actually done anything wrong. Just like von Karma planned. It's surprising he came out as well-balanced as he did.
    • Godot. In his first appearance, he claims he's come back from Hell to challenge Phoenix, and he's not exaggerating hugely. He was poisoned by Dahlia and fell into a five-year-coma, during which his beloved Mia Fey was murdered. The poison also took his sight, and is implied to have done other damage as well.
  • Archer's dark and troubled past in Fate/stay night inspires him to prevent it from occurring by murdering Shirou, his pre-Jade-Colored Glasses self, and thus possibly prevent himself from existing as well.
  • Every character in Higurashi: When They Cry starts out seeming normal, but ends up having one of these - even Keiichi:
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    • Keiichi was a friendless boy who was overly stressed due to school. He took out his aggression and frustration by shooting at people with a BB gun. After he accidentally shot a young girl in the eye, he was transferred to Hinamizawa.
    • Rena's mother cheated on her husband with another man and later divorced him. Rena moved away from Hinamizawa, which worsened her Hinamizawa Syndrome. She began hallucinating things afterwards. Rena ended up beating up three classmates with a bat after they tried to rape her (or at least, she perceived it as such) and smashed a bunch of school windows in her rage. She later tried to kill herself.
    • Shion and Mion were born into a yakuza clan where if twin heirs were born, the youngest was killed. Shion was let live but was ostracized and later shipped off to boarding school. As children, Shion and Mion would often switch places. One day, they did it at the wrong time and couldn't switch back because Mion was given a tattoo. The current Mion was born Shion and vice versa. Shion fell in love with Satoshi but was later made to have her finger nails torn off as a punishment (which is also something her mother and grandmother also went through when they were younger, and which Mion volunteered for after Shion went through it).
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    • Satoko and Satoshi's parents died a few years before the series. Satoko was suffering from high levels of Hinamizawa Syndrome, thought they were trying to kill her, and killed them. They were taken in by their aunt and uncle, who beat them and abused them. Satoshi later killed his aunt and ran off, which in reality is due to him being put in a coma and hid away due to his high level of Hinamizawa Syndrome. This is all on top of the siblings being ostracized by most villagers because they're parents supported a dam project that would have destroyed the village.
    • Rika's parents died prior to the series. Rika has been stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop for centuries. She must live the same month over and over again. By the end, she ends up brutally murdered by either the Big Bad (who she doesn't learn the identity of until the end of the series or one of her friends. Rika must also watch at least one of her friends grow apart and end up killing the others in each universe.]]
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    • Hanyuu made her daughter sacrifice her in order to try and atone for the other villagers sins. It didn't work for long, making her death in vain. She spent centuries as a lonely ghost until Rika was born. Rika could see her. Unfortunately, Hanyuu has to constantly see Rika and her friends die repeatedly while all she can do is watch and apologize, which makes their paranoia worse.
  • And in "Bad Boy's Love", the Higurashi pastiche plotline in Hatoful Boyfriend, the exact same thing happens in reference to this. The cast of mostly normal Otome Game archetypes (with one cartoon villain) all turn out to have dark and troubled pasts, with at least one seemingly nice character actually being outright psychotic.
  • Nameless has Tei revealed to have one. His previous owner was obsessed with cleanliness and only let him out of his box for one hour a day. Despite this, Tei was happy. One day, someone else took him out of the box and dropped him, causing his legs to get scarred and his owner to freak out. Since then, his owner hasn't touched him, repeatedly talks about how dirty and disgusting Tei is and eventually sold him. This left Tei convinced he was 'dirty' and horrible, twisting his feelings into thinking he's incapable of loving someone without destroying them, turning him into a Stepford Smiler.
  • A significant plot point in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is figuring out what exactly happened to Akane after she was separated from Junpei. Turns out she was kidnapped, locked in an incinerator, and burned to death.
  • Sunrider has a few examples:
    • Icari Isidolde was orphaned at a young age when her family’s ship was boarded and destroyed by a PACT patrol, and she spent the next five days helplessly drifting through space in an escape pod before anyone found her. This tragedy drew her into a life of crime, and she became a highly-skilled assassin and bounty hunter with a burning desire for revenge.
    • Sola di Ryuvia was born the bastard child of a Ryuvian prince, who abandoned her peasant mother before Sola was born. Her mother died while Sola was still young, leaving her to fend for herself. Three years later, Sola was spirited away by agents of her father and she was acknowledged as the Sharr, a warrior-princess expected to fight and die for the Ryuvian Empire… not because her father cared about her, but because he was fighting a civil war and his legitimate daughter refused to risk her life in combat.
    • Kryska Stares grew up in poverty on a Neutral Rim planet whose corrupt government terrorized its own citizens while doing nothing to protect them from pirate raids.
    • Cosette Cosmos grew up in an overcrowded slum on the planet Ongess, where constant exposure to toxic chemicals mined from the planet’s surface stunted her growth so that she looks like an eleven-year-old. By the time she was ten she had already killed two men. Her abusive mother would also whore her out to pedophiles for a quick buck, which went on well into her teenage years until Cosette finally killed her. Small wonder that she turned out so vicious and unhinged.
  • Demonheart: All of the player's love interests.
  • Grisaia no Kajitsu: Everyone has this at Mihama Academy.
    • Yuuyi: He was not loved by his parents, in fact his father actively despised him. The only person who valued him, her sister, died in accident that caused his family to collapse ending with both of his parents dead. He was taken by a friend of his father who was "a bit of a bad guy" (terrorist, murderer and pedophile). After being rescued from there he was traind as a child soldier, to become a piece of disposable defense equipment, for a secret government organization.
    • Amane: Her entire basketball team were stranded in a ravine for weeks after their bus crashed there, where the situation gradually went to hell. Her classmates died one after another, until starvation drove the rest to resort to cannibalism, and when trying to escape from her crazed classmates she was forced to leave behind her best friend, making her the sole survivor of the accident. Even after being rescued, thanks to malicious media coverage, everyone suspected her only surviving by resorting to cannibalism and leaving everyone else to die, earning her the nickname: The cockroach.
    • Makina: Her family, an extremely influential and wealthy one, was completely corrupted, so when the only half-decent person, her father, the only person who ever loved her, decided to come clean and expose their corruption, they had Makina kidnapped, to bait out and assassinate her father. After witnessing the kidnappers execute him, she was left there tied up for a week, where she was forced to watch as her father's body slowly rots away. Getting her hospitalised for 6 years.
    • Michiru: She was never a bright student, so when she underpreformed with her private tutors, her father always blamed and humiliated them. Out of petty revenge her tutros took out their fustration on her, abusing her both mentally and phisically, forcing her to admit being comletelly useless, which left her with severe depression and criplingly low self-esteem. Which then lead her parents growing distant with her. When she went to a normal school and finally managed to make a friend, her friend commited suicide. She had a bad hearth, which had to be replaced, however when the hearth donor girl's conscience awakened inside her even being capable of taking controll of her body, she tried to commit suicide, which caused her to be locked in a psychiatry. From where she only got out by faking a different personality.
    • Sachi: She had a loving family, however once they started to get buried by work they grew distant with each other. Her best firend abruptly left her. On her birthday when her parents tried to throw a party, in a fit of anger at their previos neglecting behavior, she ran away. Just as her parents found her they were run over by a truck right in front of Sachi's eyes, something she convinced herself to be ultimately her fault. Leading to constant PTSD attacks, which she could only cope with by faking a new personality and developing a severe case of OCD. After getting back to a normal school, her OCD made her obey any and all kinds of requests, after getting an order the get rid off a school test, something she could not reasonably fulfill, she set fire to the school.
    • Yumiko: Her father never loved her or her mother, which led her both mentally and physically weak mother to be hospitalised, and her to be shipped to her mother's parents. Her grandparents only saw her as an asset, as only her extermely wealthy father kept their business afloat. It was always bemoand for her not to be born as a boy, because then she would have been able to become a proper heir to her father. When her mother started to get better and they started to get their relationship normalised, first since her birth, her father had concived a bastard, and planned to divorce her mother, of which the mere news of it completely broke her. Then her father took back Yumiko, acting resentful of his actions, only to turn out, that his bastard died and he needed an heir again. Even in school she had to find out that her classmate only pretended to be her friend to screw with her, which led her to attack said classmate with a box cutter.
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