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Deconstructed Character Archetype / Video Games

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  • Fallout: Deconstructs the Idiot Hero. You can reduce your INT to 3 and play as a character who is mentally stunted. It leads to some of the funniest dialogue in the game, but locks you out of most of the game's sidequests (most people recognize you as the imbecile you are and don't give you the time of day), and the few sidequests you can do often end with you screwing people over in your poorly-conceived attempts to "help" them.
  • Rockstar Games likes to do this:
    • Grand Theft Auto IV: Niko Bellic of the Villain Protagonist from the GTA series. Sure, he may not have had a choice in the beginning, but his acceptance of being a Professional Killer leaves him feeling pretty miserable about himself. He also criticizes the idea behind the previous GTA protagonists. The game points out that all you'd get if you were a lone, anonymous hitman working for but unaffiliated to any part of the criminal underworld in a place like Liberty City is a whole load of suffering and the deaths of your loved ones. In so doing, the game manages to subvert Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster! in the darkest, most depressing way possible.
    • Grand Theft Auto V deconstructs the mindset of GTA characters with its three protagonists:
      • Franklin represents a new GTA protagonist, one who is trying to improve his lot in life. In Franklin's case, he works to achieve this by leaving behind the gang-banger culture he grew up in and rolling with professional criminals, first a morally bankrupt used car dealer, and then the bank robber Michael who earns him far bigger scores than he used to.
      • Michael represents the GTA protagonist who "won". He has it made and can comfortably retire, but has found life after crime to be boring and wants desperately to get back in "the game".
      • Trevor is representative of the GTA protagonist who eschews story missions in favor of doing whatever he likes: Video Game Cruelty Potential incarnate. At the same time, though, he never really accomplishes anything: his best-laid plans fail spectacularly, and the only real successes he sees are when he teams up with Michael and Franklin. Personality-wise, he's also an utterly repulsive human being, living in a filthy trailer in the desert and destroying the lives of everyone around him with his antisocial behavior.
      • Together, the three protagonists deconstruct the mythology behind several GTA protagonists, as well as the idea behind easy money. Outside of the heists, very few missions offer satisfying rewards, showing how petty, self-destructive and selfish anyone would have to be to behave like a GTA protagonist, along with how ultimately depressing the lifestyle itself is. Eventually, this game does this, showing that getting into this lifestyle will either bring you nothing but pain for years and destroy all your dreams (in the case of Michael) or leave you Lonely at the Top (in the case of Franklin in the non-Deathwish endings). On the other hand, Trevor's life is shown to be pretty depressing all around, and he only finds enjoyment in it because he's too unhinged to care. The mission "Mrs. Philips" is a reminder of how depressing his life really is behind his Comedic Sociopathy and Cloudcuckoolander behavior. That said, all three protagonists can end up with all of their problems solved, ridiculously rich, and with no real repercussions to their actions... only due to the fact that they decide to work for themselves instead of cutting deals with anybody else to survive. Throughout the game, working for petty, pathetic criminals is a thankless and penniless affair. Every job they do for someone else ends with them being ambushed or betrayed. This is highlighted in the non-Deathwish endings where the survivors are cast aside as pawns and their clients get the far better end of the deal.
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    • Red Dead Redemption 2: Dutch is a deconstruction of the Just Like Robin Hood character archetype. Whether or not he was Evil All Along is left open to interpretation, since his gang in its early days only robbed from the rich. However, by the events of II, he’s so obsessed with playing the hero that he’s got delusions of grandeur and makes terrible decisions, leading to the gang disintegrating. Turns out he just can’t stop being a criminal, no matter how noble he thinks he intentions are. He gets damn near every member of the gang killed for it (every active member at the beginning of II is dead by the end of I and they lost two right before II), including himself.
      • For RDR2 we have Sadie Adler, who becomes one of the typical Action Girl. Her violent nature is a consequence of some serious emotional trauma (it's heavily implied that the O'Driscolls raped her after killing her husband), with the terminally-ill Arthur Morgan outright stating that he and Sadie are "more ghosts than people." It eventually reaches the point that she tells John in the epilogue that she seeks out dangerous situations because she wants to die. She gets a bit better by the final mission and end credits, where she decides to leave for South America and find some measure of peace.
      • Arthur Morgan of the Villain Protagonist from your typical Wide Open Sandbox. Once again, Rockstar Games shows us, as in Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V, how depressing the life of our Villain Protagonist could be from their respective context. Sure, he may not have had a choice in the beginning, but his acceptance of being the "bad guy" leaves him feeling pretty shitty about himself. Reading his journal reveals that he is also under a lot of stress and that he feels that he can't help prevent everything from spiraling out of control. After he finds out he's dying, then he's wracked with guilt; desperate to make what amends he can, having realized that all he's done has not been worth it. The final nail in the coffin is if the player chooses to help John and has good karma, his last words will be "I tried. In the end... I did." Arthur may be a killing machine with over dozens, perhaps hundreds of kills to his name, but the game goes to great lengths to detail how toxic and harmful living a life of constant conflict is for anybody. Even if you're a particularly nasty player, never at any point is Arthur's lifestyle treated as something awesome. As a result, he dies as he lived: fighting petty, pathetic criminals who are worse than him.
      • Like John, he's one of an Action Dad. How do you balance between a loving, long-distance relationship with your girlfriend and her son, and an unpredictable criminal lifestyle in the 1800's? You don't.
  • Under Night In-Birth:
    • Hilda is the deconstruction of the Femme Fatale. Everyone doesn't deny that she has a lot of sex appeal and every word she speaks sounds like an orgasm. However, she's too dumb to use her sexiness to her advantage and she's also Ax-Crazy and quite the bitch, so no one would want to do anything for her. The only one she manages to seduce is Hyde Kido, which isn't much of an accomplishment.
    • Nanase deconstructs the violent Tsundere girls who quickly jump to conclusions that have overrun anime and games for years. Having been rescued from a Void by Hyde, Nanase developed a huge crush on him, but responded to that by chasing him across the city claiming he had done something perverted to her because she thought In-Birth powers were transmitted through sex. Instead of being endearing or having heartwarming moments with her dere side, she only causes trouble for Hyde by making his female friends believe he actually did molest her, and when the misunderstanding is cleared up, it's clear they have little patience left for her. It's still Played for Laughs, but her multitude of negative traits land her solidly in Joke Character territory.
    • Phonon, or rather Yoshiko, deconstructs the cute young Chuunibyou girl character. Unlike typical examples of this, where the girl is kind and harmless but sometimes needs to be pulled back to reality, Phonon's delusions are strong enough to make her a physically violent Jerkass who is so into her made up identity and worried about being seen as normal that she went into the Hollow Night specifically to gain superpowers and make herself look cooler. Everyone else sees her as a moody teenager who thinks she's smarter than she actually is, and some are worried that she'll become the next Hilda.
  • God of War: Kratos is a deconstruction of the classical Greek hero and Spartan archetypes: a person who is defined by using his physical strength to do whatever he wants, seeks revenge for any affront, has a "Might Makes Right" morality and has divine parentage is less likely to be a paragon and more likely to be a violent psychopath hellbent on killing his enemies — at the expense of the whole universe. Of course, this also ignores another key archetype of the classic Greek hero and Spartan: to never commit hubris and think yourself above the gods, or face divine punishment. Kratos shows what happens when they don't care and manage to get past that: killing all the gods and destroying the universe.
    • God of War (PS4) goes further. Kratos' violent past and upbringing still haunts him and hampers his ability to function as a father. His internalization of Greek values versus Norse values drives a wedge between him and his more emotional son. While he does want to atone for his past, he also still doesn't fully understand how his selfishness and inability to recognize the consequences of his actions continues to plague his behavior. Overcoming his flaws and his own violent tendencies is essential if he's going to make sure his son doesn't follow the same path he did.
  • Metal Gear:
    • The series as a whole deconstructs the most basic Archetype in Hollywood: the badass Action Hero who blows bad guys to hell and gets the girl. Rather than being a hardcore larger than life hero, Solid Snake ends up becoming a traumatized mess of a man in response to the hell he's put through throughout his adventures. And, while several women do show some interest in him, the closest he comes to being in any sort of long-term relationship is with Otacon, while the one woman who had the closest connection to him eventually gets frustrated with him and they end up as friends.
    • Big Boss, who Solid Snake is a clone of, takes the deconstruction even further. While we initially meet Snake as a seasoned soldier, Big Boss's first mission turns him from being a Wide-Eyed Idealist with Patriotic Fervor into a Shell-Shocked Veteran who felt that he became an Unwitting Pawn to the government when the mission's true nature was revealed to him — a petty political affair carried out to kill an innocent soldier (who served as his mentor) and ensure that the United States made off with a fortune. As such, he left the United States to start his own private military company that became involved with increasingly morally-questionable operations, which eventually led to him being branded as a terrorist in spite of the fact that his actions successfully prevented nuclear war. After his base of operations was destroyed for the first time, he became a shell of a man that decided to embrace his role as a war criminal as long as it meant he could create a Heaven for soldiers like himself — which, of course, would come at the cost of making the rest of the world a living Hell for everyone else. Interestingly enough, this would retroactively make Solid Snake a Reconstruction of this archetype: while he's still an emotional wreck, he serves as a Knight in Sour Armor that still chooses to fight with the government because he believes that it's the right thing to do, even if Being Good Sucks, instead of pursuing his own selfish and ultimately self-destructive goals like Big Boss.
    • The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater deconstructs the Hero Antagonist and the Fake Defector, in the most heartbreaking way possible. It all turns out at the end of the game that The Boss was a double agent sent by the US Government to infiltrate Volgin's unit and acquire The Philosopher's Legacy; when this plan went sour after Volgin used a nuclear weapon on Russian soil, to prove its innocence and avert World War III, the US Government had to declare The Boss a rogue agent and pin the nuclear attack on her, and she knowingly goes along with this plan because it's for the good of her country. In the end she dies by the hand of her student, going down in history as a traitor and a war criminal on both sides of the Cold War, and worst of all the sheer callousness of how she was used and discarded is what causes Big Boss to become disillusioned by governments and gradually become the Big Bad of the series.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Cecil in Final Fantasy IV is a deconstruction of the hero of 80s JRPGs like Dragon Quest, who would go out, steal things from distant kingdoms and kill dragons because a king asked him to. Cecil starts the game miserable about his chosen career path but unable to bring himself to quit; later, the Mist Dragon he is sent to slay turns out to be connected to the life force of a young mother who dies as a result, leaving her daughter an orphan. He eventually decides to quit his job, and most of the game is his attempts to undo as much as he can of his damage.
    • Cloud in Final Fantasy VII is:
      • A riff off the classic RPG image of the young man with the sword who heads out from the city to save the world by killing the bad guy. In his case, his reason for wanting to travel the world is a weird compulsion that nobody is able to figure out, spurred on by hallucinations and his own insistance, that is eventually revealed as being a form of mind control courtesy of the Big Bad needing him to further his goals. He's able to be mind-controlled due to something in his blood, but his mental breakdown is not because the Big Bad controlled him, but because of the mental stress he takes in The Reveal, leaving him in a wheelchair and dribbling.
      • A riff off the stoic, experienced badass Mercenary '90s Anti-Hero who acts like a Jerkass because he's so deep. Cloud is ridiculously strong, charismatic and good-looking, a veteran who's been through unspeakable horrors that give him mental problems, and performs stylish feats of badassery like riding around on motorbikes and doing unnecessary backflips to get off things. But his continual insistence that he doesn't care about anything but the job, while striking poses and flipping his hair, only fools a couple of characters. Mostly, it's seen by the other characters as strange, annoying behaviour, and he's constantly put in ridiculous situations that reveal it as the adolescent posturing that it is. (The game was made during the mid-90s, at a time when it was fashionable for real-world twenty-somethings to act disaffected.) When Cloud becomes a bodyguard to Aerith and starts obsessing about saving her, it's obvious Aerith doesn't need his protection, and she's only going with it because she's attracted to Cloud and it gives her the excuse to follow him around and flirt with him. Eventually, Cloud's attempts to ignore his mental problems while denying his true self causes him to have a mental breakdown, and it's revealed that the whole personality is based on self-delusion. Once Cloud becomes comfortable with the fact that he doesn't have to be a cocky action hero and allows his real personality out, he turns out to be pretty dorky but likeable.
    • Final Fantasy VIII deconstructs the Kid Hero by overt comparison to Child Soldiers. Your party of heroic 16 and 17 year-olds is just as mentally damaged and scarred as child soldiers tend to be in real life, not helped by using Phlebotinum which erases their memories, thus taking time to deconstruct the Amnesiac Hero as well.
    • Lightning of the Final Fantasy XIII games deconstructs the "strong female character" trope. When her and Serah's parents died, she tried to make herself "strong" so that she could care for herself and her sister, creating her "Lightning" persona by shedding the parts of herself she viewed as "weak". This ends up alienating Serah from her, causing strife between her and the other party members, and influences Hope to fester his desire for revenge against Snow. She realizes along the way how her "tough" persona has only caused her problems. After Serah dies in Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII sees her as once again distant and cold, not due to Bhunivelze's influence but her own desire to seal away her "weaknesses", which also causes the creation of Lumina. She defrosts over the course of the game, and ultimately is saved from her intended Heroic Sacrifice by simply calling for help.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Kid Hero is deconstructed through Zelda and Link in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. While Zelda was clever and knowledgeable, her plan to protect Hyrule unintentionally ended up helping the villain because she didn't know as much as she thought she did. While the nine year old Link managed an impressive kill count, Ganondorf painfully establishes that Link is still not strong enough in a Final Boss Preview. The kids thought they could be heroes and save the day (perfectly understandable kid behavior) but they did not have the maturity or understanding to be heroes yet and the consequences were severe. Zelda acknowledges this after the time skip and it is perhaps why the Master Sword waited for Link to grow up first before letting him wield it, as he was simply a child and not strong enough to defeat Ganondorf at that point.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker deconstructed The Chosen One in the backstory. Hyrule was inspired by the legend of the Hero of Time and relied heavily on a hero to spontaneously appear in their time of need to save them. But when Ganon returned without a Link to oppose him, the people of Hyrule are unable to defend themselves and the gods flooded the land to stop Ganon from taking over. The Link in this story has no connection or relation to the older heroes and must earn his status as a hero through his own initiative.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also takes apart The Chosen One and the struggles one would have to face to live up to the expectations. Both Zelda and Link face immense pressures from family and civilians to protect the kingdom from destruction due to a prophecy, dedicating their entire lives to this single cause and when they failed and Hyrule is in ruins, they suffered resentment from some of the surviving races even a hundred years later.
      • Link felt it was necessary to hide all emotion, and constantly maintained a cold and stoic front, to cope with the huge amount of responsibility he were given and keep from cracking under the pressure. He even refused to speak too much, out of fear of saying anything unbecoming of the Chosen One. All of which made him feel very alone.
      • Zelda was severely admonished by her family for her inability to summon her divine power to seal Ganon without any guidance from anyone to learn how to do so, leading to frustration, self-loathing and self-doubt. Her family dismissed any interest in other activities, and fractured the relationship between them. When Calamity Ganon returned and Zelda was unable to use her powers, her father and the other Champions were killed and the entire kingdom was destroyed, she blamed herself for failure despite doing everything she could.
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon
    • The villains, Team Skull, deconstruct Kid Hero. They are made up of teenagers who have failed the Island Challenge. This gives them severe self-esteem issues and means many of them have become homeless because they are ashamed to return home; they are forced to turn to crime precisely because they can not return to society.
    • Lusamine deconstructs a typical Pokémon protagonist. She wants to acquire all Pokémon, much like how the protagonist may capture all Pokémon for the Pokedex. When a new, unidentified Pokémon appears, she becomes obsessed with having it. When the heroes call her cruel for treating her Pokémon like exhibits or trophies after seeing her collection of cryogenically frozen Pokémon, she counters that the heroes have likely caught a bunch of Pokémon solely for the sake of having them and have ignored said Pokémon since.
      • In perhaps a grand moment of Irony, the game also introduces a feature allowing your PC Pokemon to partake in fun activities like harvest berries, train, relax, mine and so on, allowing you to subvert what Lusamine does. The guy who runs it, Mohn, is a little eccentric, but loves Pokemon. He's Lusamine's husband and Lillie and Gladion's father who ended up being sucked into a portal before arriving in Poke Pelago and losing his memories. His disappearance was what led to Lusamine's Start of Darkness in the first place.
    • Mimikyu deconstructs the Pika-clone. Pika-clones are made to be a regional knock-off of Pikachu to ride off its popularity. Mimikyu does just that. It creates its own knock-off costume of Pikachu to ride off its popularity only because it's an Eldritch Abomination that wants someone to be its Trainer.
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield has three.
    • First, there's Hop, who deconstructs Hau before him. Sure, he's happy-go-lucky just like Hau, he starts his adventure alongside you just like Hau, and he has a relative that's a major influence in his home region, just like Haunote . However, unlike Hau who was just there for the ride, Hop genuinely wants to better himself as a Pokémon Trainer, and his constant losses actually get to him. This becomes most evident when he loses to Bede and ditches his Wooloo and Corvisquire for two battles in a row, with the second battle involving a Trevenant and a Heatmor, indicating that he's serious about beating the player. After the post-game, he decides that instead of being a Trainer, he'll work to become a Professor.
    • Meanwhile, Bede can be seen as a deconstruction of the Jerkass rival, specifically Blue. Yeah, he's a cocky ass whose comeuppance you would likely enjoy giving personally, but some of it might stem from the fact that he's an orphan and had no one to care for him. Thus, when Rose took him in and sponsored him for the Gym Challenge, he gained a bit of a superiority complex unaware or unwilling to be aware of the fact that Rose sees him as expendable. After he gets disqualified, he can best be described as a shell of who he was before. When Opal takes him in, his personality does a complete 180. Sure, he's still overconfident in his skills, but it's the sort of overconfidence that might be more reminiscent of Barry than Blue.
    • While Leon is probably the most active Champion in the series, he still follows the series' trend of the champions being largely hands-off when it comes to certain regional threats. He was so hyper-focused on retaining his title that he ignores Chairman Rose's pleas of the potential tragedy in Galar, which would end up being the catalyst for the latter's Face–Heel Turn.
  • In Detective Pikachu, the titular Pikachu is a deconstruction of how Pikachu are portrayed, being cynical and sarcastic rather than cheerful and playful, due to being frustrated over nobody but The Hero being able to understand his Pokémon Speak.
  • As for being a game about deconstructing Dungeon Crawler tropes, Darkest Dungeon gives a few examples when certain classes go through the Despair Event Horizon:
    • The Hellion begins to showcase what happens when The Berserker cracks; she either goes from being a Blood Knight to Ax-Crazy and begins downright scaring her companions with her brutality instead of supporting them, shows that behind all her bravado that she is as scared witless as the rest, or she uses her blood lust toward Self-Harm tendencies and actively challenges her opponents to try and hurt her, putting herself at great risk while doing so.
    • The Jester becomes one for the Plucky Comic Relief, as he is the class that normally gives stress heals with song and jokes. If he undergoes afflictions like Abusive or Hopeless, he starts using his jokes to spite the rest of the group, or straight up stops trying to be funny and ask them if they really thought that the mission was going to go well. Otherwise, his jokes simply become too dark and he begins to worsen the situation instead of lighting it up. Naturally, this starts to cause stress as opposed to healing it.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has a couple examples:
    • Sonic Lost World deconstructs Sonic's Leeroy Jenkins tendencies and 1-Dimensional Thinking. As if to parallel his bullet like speed, Sonic kind of has a one-track, arrogant mind, and when he sets his mind on a goal, he will not rest until it is carried out, and this can make him do some very impulsive, foolhardy stuff. Lost World shows just how this type of mindset can backfire. Sonic impulsively kicks away Eggman's Cacophonic Conch, and allows the Deadly Six to rebel against Eggman. They use Eggman's Extractor machine to drain the world of its energy, and nearly kill Amy and Knuckles. It happens again later in the game where Sonic's recklessness causes Tails to be captured and nearly turned into a robot.
    • Infinite from Sonic Forces is a deconstruction of the Sadist and Darker and Edgier archetypes. Infinite is extremely dangerous, but his constant need to relish in the pain and suffering of others screws him and Eggman over on several occasions, such as letting Sonic live when he could have easily finished him off, or killing the Avatar's teammates but sparing the Avatar, an act that would inspire the Avatar to become stronger and ultimately be the one to foil Eggman's plan to incinerate the Resistance with a virtual sun. His motives also turn out to be due to him being little more than The Bully, reveling in pain to support his own wrecked confidence after Shadow killed his squad and handily beat him.
  • Halo:
    • The Elites and Brutes are Proud Warrior Races who delighted in the glory of battle and war. But after the end of the Human-Covenant war and the Covenant had fallen, the two alien races found themselves struggling to adjust with the removal of their religion, culture, politics and military. Without the Prophets to give them answers, many Elites don't know what to do now that everything they used to fight for was proven a lie. The Elite society struggles to self-govern and have a self-sufficient military while trying to deal with a civil war with a faction that wants to re-establish the Covenant. The Brutes are having a harder time than the Elites, more prone to fighting among themselves than with their enemy, the Elites.
    • The series also shows the lengths needed to gain a Super Soldier, such as the Master Chief. Six year old children were kidnapped from their families, put through a Training from Hell before they were fourteen and then subjected to experiments and augmentations that killed and crippled a good portion of them. Master Chief is one of the few SPARTAN-II to survive after a decades-long war against the Convenant, as the Spartans were humanity's best hope at preventing their extinction. But as a result, Master Chief's humanity is sacrificed as he is arguably more robot than human, having muted emotions and an inability to interact with regular people. One of Halsey's interrogators even goes as far as to say that Master Chief's success was due to the fact he is a broken shell of a human being.
  • The entire Life Is Strange saga is a deconstruction of the rebellious teenage daughter. Chloe is a by the number rebellious teenager: Reckless behavior? Check. Hard to get along with? Check. Listens to antisocial music and dresses the part to match? Check. Disrespectful to her mother? Check. And even though she is given a tragic backstory of losing her father in a car accident, and having to face the reality of her mother moving on with another man, it doesn't change the fact that Chloe's own choices and behavior is responsible for her constantly getting in trouble, which are often life threatening, and results in her possibly dying, if Max choose to let life take its natural course and not interfere at the risk of destroying all of Arcadia Bay. The Prequel Life Is Strange: Before the Storm give more examples of this, and also reveals that Rachel Amber was even more rebellious than Chloe, despite her popular good girl image at school. She wanted to leave Arcadia Bay and her parents behind because of her own issues with them, which are just as tragic but for different reasons. And her actions between the two games results in her getting kidnapped and tragically murdered at the hands of a serial killer, which becomes a major plot point in the original game.
  • In Mass Effect 3, Shepard is seen as the Hope Bringer for the rest of the universe as the person who could stop the Reapers. However you can see how the pressures of saving the galaxy and how all the races are depending on him/her are slowly breaking Shepard down who starts showing signs of worry, stress, fear, exhaustion and loneliness and wonders if he/she can actually pull it off. Shepard starts having recurring nightmares of being unable to save the little boy in the vent and other fallen friends and it's apparent how exhausted Shepard is and there is barely any fight left in him/her as the game progresses. It's arguable that Shepard has become a subtle Death Seeker as someone not actively looking for death but welcomes it as a relief.
  • Cassius Bright from The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky deconstructs One-Man Army, Memetic Badass and Retired Badass. Cassius almost single-handedly saved Liberl from Erebonia's invasion in the 100 Days War, and his achievements as a Bracer are so great he's treated like an in-universe God-Mode Sue. The main plot of the first Sky game hinges on one question: what happens when someone like that retires? In short, the game's antagonist is a former protege of Cassius who saw him as the one thing holding the country together. When he left the army, he felt Liberl was defenceless against foreign powers. So he became a Well-Intentioned Extremist, starting a coup d'etat and making deals with a shady secret society to obtain a piece of dangerous ancient technology. When Cassius returns, he literally beats it into his former student that, for all his achievements, he's just one man, and treating him like the one thing that held the army together is incredibly dangerous for the country's future. Cassius is forced out of retirement in order to clear up this mess.
  • Rean Schwarzer from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel deconstructs a few archetypes:
    • He has a tendency to sacrifice himself for someone else's sake, even if it brings him a lot of harm. This is at first played for Fanservice when he gets a face full of boobs from Alisa after trying to save her from a Trap Door but this isn't explored till the second chapter where he jumps right in to take a hit for Jusis and Machias who were bickering while the monster isn't dead which results in harming his dominant sword hand. Jusis has to call him out on his Martyr Without a Cause tendencies.
    • Being The Chosen One to pilot a Super Robot sounds good and all but when the country that he's in forces him to fight against a country that he doesn't have any reason to fight against and yet still has to go to reduce the bloodshed from citizens and soldiers alike, this ends up making him a miserable man. As a bonus, he's also a national hero, giving him no escape from the responsibilities of being one. That's not even starting on some of his students who don't like him mainly because he participated in conquering their countries and homeland at the start of Cold Steel III.
    • His Superpowered Evil Side is a big deconstruction on how to master and control the powers especially when the source of those powers, his heart, doesn't even belong to him but from him but from his father who gave him his heart. And said father is also the Big Bad who can control him at will. Several times people have told him to master those powers except said people have no idea of what they're even talking about, making him lose his powers at the worst possible moments when it gets too powerful for him to control.
    • He's the first character onscreen to kill off one of the goddess Aidios' seven guardians who are guarding her treasures, the Sept-Terrion. This ends up being a bad idea because the guardian he killed is the only reason why the curse of Erebonia hasn't spread all over the Erebonian empire and beyond. And as a side bonus, he winds up with an amnesia by Cold Steel IV.
  • The Walking Dead deconstructs The Load in Season 1's Ben Paul. He makes everything worse off for Lee and co. after joining them, but knows it, and after one fuck-up too many for his comfort ends up becoming passively suicidal.
  • LISA deconstructs Damsel in Distress, Living Macguffin, Mysterious Waif, and Gender Rarity Value through Buddy. She is the last girl in the world, Brad finds her as a baby and raises her while having no idea who she is or where she came from, and she gets kidnapped by a gang led by a scary guy wearing a skull mask. Throughout the entire second game, she’s sought after by everyone, and even her own adoptive father Brad doesn't respect her individuality — in fact, his obsessive desire to protect her, as with many waifs, drives her away when she sees all the horrible things he does in pursuit of her. The third game, which stars her, shows exactly what kind of mental effect might be inflicted on a girl who is treated as little more than a trophy or a plot device — she snaps and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the world, killing off every last human and leader she can find intending to conquer Olathe while fully embracing the twisted philosophy of her birth father Dr. Yado, who set everything up. Ironically, Rando, the aeformentoned gang leader who was initially portrayed as the Big Bad is the only person who treated Buddy with love (possibly too much).
  • In Little Nightmares, despite their skittish behavior, the Nomes are the only friendly and docile creatures in the Maw and they try to make friends with other inhabitants. Unfortunately, residing in the Maw, they are often killed by the other inhabitants for being nice. In fact, they are not even safe from the protagonist Six who then eats a Nome after it offers the former some food.
  • Until Dawn:
    • Jessica acts like a Proud Beauty but reveals to Mike that she has a lot of self-esteem issues and insecurities over her looks. She plays up her confident sexpot act because it's what people expect of her.
    • Emily is an Alpha Bitch but similar to Jessica, it's implied she is actually very insecure and is afraid of failure and her self-centered and rude behaviour is a mask to hide it.
    • Hannah is a Hopeless Suitor towards Mike despite knowing he is already dating someone else and the few romance tests she took indicated that they were incompatible. She continues to openly pine for him. Her friends notice this and pull a prank on her because of it, leading to dire consequences for Hannah and everyone else.
  • Yakuza is in many ways a deconstruction of the romantic and idealized view of the Yakuza. Kiryu is a prime example of the romantic yakuza, a powerful and noble figure who protects the common people against brutal thugs and overbearing powers-that-be, and shows a lot of this attitude too. The games are mostly about what happens when this ideal runs headfirst into the realities of organized crime in the 21st century.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine deconstructs The Wonka through Joey Drew. His insistence on using the titular device put a strain on the animation department, who had to suffer through pipe bursts, loud noises and constant interruptions, as well as the finances (and may have possibly driven the company accountant Grant Cohen to insanity). This, combined with Joey's other issues and a simple decline in Bendy's popularity, ended up speeding up the downfall of the studio.
  • The Deponia series takes the behavioral traits of your average adventure game protagonist: rampant theft and regular screwing over of random people for their own benefit, and gives them to Nominal Hero Rufus, who's exactly the kind of selfish, unlikable sociopath you'd expect to have them.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: The Monster Clown trope is deconstructed in an alternate version of The Joker. While known to be Laughably Evil, nobody finds his jokes funny, especially when they're full of references to spreading anarchy, Black Comedy, or the pointlessness of life, on top of being responsible for the chaos in the Injustice-verse just For the Evulz. The sheer horror of his misdeeds prompts revulsion even in other villains in this game and its sequel, and even Harley Quinn (who is usually depicted as his lover) is absolutely done with his antics after realizing how his actions have made the Injustice-verse more miserable by causing Superman's Face–Heel Turn posthumously. Also, the Joker's rants about society's "inner ugliness," and assume others are Not So Different from him reveals how insane and messed-up he truly is.
  • Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom deconstructs the Evil Chancellor archetype through its initial villain, Mausinger. In a kingdom full of Cat People, he's a rat and the king's most trusted advisor, who one day murders him and then stages a coup against his young son in order to take over the kingdom. However, as you progress into the game and learn more about his backstory, you learn that: He really was the king's closest friend and confidante. The mouse people in Ding Dong Dell had been systematically oppressed for centuries, and King Leonhard had wanted to right those wrongs; he chose Mausinger to be his advisor specifically because he knew the man cared deeply for his people, and he knew that appointing a mouse to a position of power was a powerful gesture. However, Mausinger sometimes wondered if King Leonhard had chosen him only as a gesture. Outside forces preyed upon these doubts to turn him against his friend, and made him believe that a coup was the only way to truly free the mouse people.
  • No Straight Roads deconstructs Aloof Big Brother through DK West. From what can be gleaned by the lyrics during his boss battle, Zuke used to tag along with him all the time when they were younger to his annoyance, and in the present he doesn't respond to any of Zuke's attempts to reach out to him. This, combined with his inability to accept responsibility, demonstrates that DK's aloofness is a shield against emotionally difficult situations, thereby making it inherently selfish, as well as the cornerstone of the breakdown of his relationship with Zuke.
  • The Shantae series deconstructs Mayor Pain through Mayor Scuttlebutt. Like most characters in this trope, he makes several boneheaded moves throughout the series. Unlike these characters, however, his actions don't go away as Status Quo Is God is not around to save him. Due to him not wanting to risk fighting both Risky Boots and Ammo Baron, he sells the town to the latter, letting him press assault charges against Shantae and get her placed under house arrest, and later trying to turn the town into a base to attack the Sequin Land Palace from. Him deciding to replace Shantae on a whim with Holly Lingerbean leads to the town getting their memories wiped and nearly eaten by a sandworm. His constant firing of Shantae for random reasons leads to her having some serious self-esteem problems. Because of all these reasons, he gets little to no respect from any of the townsfolk and a few even wonder why he still has his job in the first place. Case in point, in Risky's Revenge, after Shantae is fired, he tries to launch a smear campaign against her, but literally no one in town buys into what he says.
  • Urizen in Devil May Cry 5 is a deconstruction of the Generic Doomsday Villain. He appears to be a brutal monster seeking power for power's sake, which ends up being his Fatal Flaw. Apart from seeking power, he doesn't have any motivation, and this eventually ensures that Dante defeats him. Dante points out that just fighting for the sake of something, like defending his friends from Urizen, makes him more powerful than Urizen himself could ever be. And the reason Urizen's so single-mindedly obsessed with power? He's the demon half of Dante's antagonistic brother Vergil separated from his human half, with all his power hunger, but none of his humanizing qualities, like Vergil's love for his family, and because Urizen doesn't have any idea what he's going to do with his power apart from gain more of it, he's basically a mindless brute. Additionally, by separating his human and demon halves into two separate beings, Vergil is slowly killing both of them, which is why Urizen has to keep himself alive by coating himself in the bark of the Qlippoth tree. So he's not just a Generic Doomsday Villain, he's a Dark Lord on Life Support.
  • Mythra in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 deconstructs Tsundere. While she appears a textbook example of the trope, it's shown from the start that her prickly attitude makes her very hard to get along with, and results in her being The Friend Nobody Likes to the party for a while. Later revelations imply that her cold demeanour stems from severe self-loathing (and outright Death Seeker tendencies) over being a living Weapon of Mass Destruction who was responsible for a lot death 500 years ago. She feels she's pushing others away for their own good, because they'd be better off not being associated with someone like her.
  • Isaac Clarke from the Dead Space series shows what would really happen if a Badass Normal were suddenly forced to fight Eldritch Abominations all the time. By the end of the series, Isaac is a certifiable badass, able to take on Necromorph and human targets alike with only his engineering skills, unique weaponry, and fast thinking; he's even brought out of "retirement" in the third game because he knows the most about the Necromorphs out of every human in existence, and he even ends up killing a freaking moon in the finale. He's also a traumatized, broken, wreck of a person who inherently distrusts everyone around him out of sheer paranoia, is willing to do absolutely anything to come away alive, and can barely tell the difference between reality and his own hallucinations; he may come away from the series alive, but that's all that can really be said for him considering how broken he is by that point.
  • Age of Empires II is nothing short of brutal towards the idea of the Working-Class Hero for the Ivaylo campaign in the Definite Edition. In a classic fairytale, the valiant swineherd fighting for the peasantry's rights gets to topple the tyrant, marry the empress and ruling instead, right... But for Ivaylo, the corrupt nobility loathed him for having the gall to rise against his betters, immediately jumping on the first opportunity to usurp him and exile his pregnant wife. And when the poor guy tried to gain support in order to retake the kingdom, the people whom he needs to address are connected through politics and blood to his enemies and ultimately murder him.
  • Wandersong: Audrey Redheart is a deconstruction of the typical RPG hero. Much of her character can be easily compared to that of a human player going through a video game in the sense that, while she's doing heroic things such as defeating monsters and saving people, she doesn't care at all for the people she saves, using unnecessary force to get her way. During the end of the game, she even refers to the Nightmare King as the "Final Boss" that she must kill, when it's clear that he is a Tragic Monster who could possibly be saved.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 deconstructs the edgy, uncompromising, unnaturally cool badass in the form of Johnny Silverhand; when he was alive, Johnny was a hardass who didn't take shit from anyone, casually pissed off everybody he met, and refused to back down from his fight against the corrupt corporations that rule the world, even when it involved literally dropping a nuke on Night City. As a direct result of his toxic actions, Johnny's remaining fans are aging manchildren who worship him as a god but don't actually take up his fight themselves, and his body is buried under a featureless slab of concrete in the middle of a derelict oilfield because all his "friends" wanted was to forget the asshole they were forced to prop up. It takes the entire game for Johnny, now a Virtual Ghost sharing V's brain, to realize how miserable and self-absorbed he was, but it hits hard and can turn him into The Atoner.
  • Ghost of Tsushima deconstructs the idea of Honor Before Reason, a trope embodied by no-one more than Lord Shimura, Jin Sakai's uncle. Lord Shimura trained Jin to follow the honourable ways of the samurai ever since childhood, and serves as a Reasonable Authority Figure towards Jin, but that doesn't change the fact that he is an inflexible adherent to a worldview that doesn't line up with the harsh realities of war against the Combat Pragmatist Mongols. Even when the Mongols adjust their tactics to get the better of the rigid samurai, and Jin adjusts his own tactics to counter them, Lord Shimura stubbornly refuses to fight the Mongols any other way than his own, and it costs the lives of countless soldiers. Additionally, Deliberate Values Dissonance creeps into Lord Shimura's motivations: part of the reason why he admonishes Jin's Combat Pragmatist ways is that he fears that Jin will end up teaching the common people of Tsushima not to be reliant on the samurai nobility to defend them, and such things could incite them into rebelling and overthrowing the caste system that Lord Shimura sits on top of. Because of this, Lord Shimura ends up becoming a Broken Pedestal to his nephew.
    • There is another character deconstructed by the game: the perfectionist Sink-or-Swim Mentor who puts his students through Training from Hell. That character is Sensei Sadonobu Ishikawa, a man unpopular with Tsushima's nobility because of his unrelentingly high standards for accepting students- standards most students couldn't fulfill in his eyes. He appears progressive for taking the commoner Tomoe as a student, but she didn't have the psychological durability to get through Ishikawa's training, and eventually she ended up going evil. Ultimately, all Ishikawa ended up producing with his high-minded perfectionism was a useful ally for the Mongols and a cynical, temperamental hermit.
  • Death Stranding:
    • Sam deconstructs a typical I Work Alone protagonist. Sam's unwillingness to engage with other people comes not from looking down on them, but due to his crippling fear and social anxiety stemming from a lonely childhood and a tragic accident that costed him his wife and unborn child. While he manages to overcome his fear of touch at the end of the game, he still decides to leave the friends he made throughout his journey behind and come back to living as essentially a hermit, because making a few friends didn't magically cure his social phobia.
    • He also deconstructs the common video game Action Hero protagonist. While Sam crosses dangerous terrain and fights with enemies, he doesn't find it fun, and instead you can often see him falling down on all fours and heaving after an enemy encounter. While he's strong like an ox, he has the kind of strenght and body type a physical laborer has, not the one an action hero would. He's also incredibly sensitive emotionally, frequently shown crying in fear, pain or stress and bonds with his BB almost immidiately. It's also shown quite overtly that his job exhausts him and he can't just go on forever without rest. His skin is covered with cuts and bruises, and he often complains about being tired or in pain.


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