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Despair Event Horizon / Visual Novels

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  • Doki Doki Literature Club!: Sayori crossed this either after you friendzone her or the morning after you confess to her, leading her to hang herself.
  • Fate/stay night has a couple of primary examples:
    • In the backstory, Kirei Kotomine crossed the Despair Event Horizon after the death of his wife Claudia, abandoning his attempt at living a 'good' life and fully embracing the fact that he can only feel happy through hurting others.
    • Archer crossed the Despair Event Horizon after being betrayed by everyone he ever knew and finally, his own ideals. This leads him to try to kill Shirou, his past self and living embodiment of his misguided ideals, at any cost. In the end, he is beaten by Shirou despite being the superior opponent, his acknowledgment that those beliefs were not so mistaken after all.
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    • Finally, Shirou goes through this in the Heaven's Feel route. He gives up on his ideals to save Sakura, who happens to be eating people and is about to turn into a world destroying monster. He's not one to sit around, though, so he just takes up another cause with gusto.
      • He permanently crosses the horizon in one bad ending when Rin kills Sakura. He abandoned his dream to protect Sakura and failed to do even that, leaving him with nothing to live for.
    • Sakura also crosses this line somewhere in the final battle against Rin, most likely around the time when she gives Rin her speech about how much her life had sucked. Rin then responds with, essentially, "tough shit", sending her nuts. Depending on the player's choices, she either follows this up by capturing and torturing Rin via making her experience the HELL she went through, or by being saved by her utter despair at (seemingly) killing her sister immediately after Rin finally realised that she couldn't bring herself to kill Sakura after all, and instead hugged her.
  • Umineko: When They Cry:
    • In EP7 it's revealed that Kinzo crossed this line some time after his secret lover Beatrice Castiglioni's Death by Childbirth. As for how he crossed it, it turns out that he eventually raped their illegitimate daughter Beatrice Ushiromiya, since she grew to look so much like Beatrice Castiglioni that Kinzo deluded himself into thinking that she was her mother's reincarnation.
    • This is hinted to have occurred to Sayo Yasuda, alias Shannon, Beatrice and Kanon after realizing that Battler would come back to the island exactly the same year George was going to propose to Shannon. S/he instigates the murders that occur on the island and throws away everything for a chance of a miracle and make Battler realize his sin.
  • Kohaku of Tsukihime also crosses the Despair Event Horizon after being raped several times by SHIKI and his father in order to stop their inversion impulses and becomes utterly broken, as revealed in the Far Side routes.
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  • Keisuke's death in Togainu no Chi is this for Akira on Shiki's route. Even though he still puts up a bit of a fight against Shiki, it's nowhere near the same defiance he had before. He also doesn't care whether he lives or dies and decides that whatever happens to him is punishment for killing Keisuke.
  • Three Bad Endings of Katawa Shoujo imply that, if the player takes the wrong choices, the girls might reach this extreme. Some examples are: Rin's bad (where she and Hisao have a terrible fight and she ends up alone in her atelier) and neutral (in which she accepts a scholarship in Tokyo but at the cost of breaking all bonds with Hisao and everyone else) endings, Shizune's bad ending (with Misha reaching it first via asking Hisao to sex her up due to her hidden loneliness, and then Shizune following when she breaks up with Hisao thinking that she is ruining his and Misha's lives — and the last view of her that he has is Shizune sitting all alone in the stairs), and Hanako's bad ending (with her blowing up at Hisao as she realizes that he and Lilly only view her as a child whom they have to protect, thus breaking her already smashed self-esteem and making her splinter)
    • Subverted in Lilly's Good Ending. How so? After failing to catch up with Lilly at the airport due to an inconveniently timed heart attack, Hisao realizes that he has lost Lilly for good and falls into despair. He snaps out of it once he finds the music box he gave her next to his hospital bed, signifying the fact that she never actually left.
    • The path to Rin's Good Ending requires Rin to hit this point. After spending so much time and energy destroying herself to become a real artist and do her exhibition at the local gallery, Rin ends up leaving partway through it because she gets overwhelmed by all the questions. This earns her a What the Hell, Hero? from the art teacher later on (including an Atomic F-Bomb), and she breaks down into tears because she doesn't know what's wrong with her to deserve it (bear in mind Hisao has also lost his temper with her twice). Luckily, she gets better after realizing it's okay to be herself after all, even if that means never becoming a real artist.
    • Also, if the beta that was leaked a while ago is to be believed, Hanako's Bad Ending would've had her killing herself in front of Hisao (via jumping in the path of a train after their last talk) instead of blowing up at him. And for worse, Shizune's path would've had two possible DEH crossings: Misha throwing herself in front of a car on Shizune's range of view after the Sex for Solace scene... followed by Shizune falling into catatonia, with two possible options for Hisao-as-the-player: helping her regain the will to live, or being unable to stop Shizune's Death by Despair.
  • Zero Escape trilogy:
    • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors:
      • Junpei goes through this in most of the Bad Endings, but none more so than in the "Submarine Ending", where all of his friends get murdered including his love interest... And then he himself gets killed.
      • Clover is completely devastated after her brother is found blown up to bloody pieces in the shower room. She takes a 180-degree turn in behavior and barely says anything from that point on. In one of the endings, this goes to its natural conclusion when she grabs an axe and murders Seven and Santa because she suspects they killed her brother, June because she was trying to defend them, and Junpei because he wasn't willing to escape with Clover after what she had done.
    • Zero Time Dilemma: Akane passes it in any timeline where Junpei dies.
    Akane: There is no point in living once you lose the one you care about most.
  • Danganronpa's Monokuma is all about bringing DESPAIR to the world, and pushes the buttons of his victims in order to try and drive them over this and to murdering one another. (And personally executing them if they do kill and are caught.) He succeeds in the case of Sayaka Maizono, an Idol Singer with hidden insecurities who freaks out massively after she's shown a video where she's told that, if she doesn't "graduate" of Hope's Peak via killing others, she'll be abandoned and forgotten; and is this close to succeed too with Aoi Asahina, a sweet sportswoman whom he manipulates into getting everyone framed for the murder of her best friend Sakura. The other students manage to bring her back.
    • Kiyotaka Ishimaru crosses the DEH and becomes a mute Empty Shell after the execution of Mondo Owada, his best friend. After Alter Ego's simulation of Mondo gives him a pep talk, he is apparently possessed by Mondo's spirit and their personalities merge, but he's murdered shortly afterwards.
    • The Good Ending of the first game is all about Makoto picking up his Messianic Archetype ID and actually keeping the remaining students (Aoi, Kyoko, Byakuya, Touko and Yasuhiro) from reaching the DEH at the hands of Monokuma... or better said, Junko Enoshima, who is the one behind him. He actually screams "DON'T LOSE HOPE NOW!" at them while Junko eggs them to cross the DEH. Alternatively, in the Bad Ending, after Kyoko's execution, the five remaining kids (or four, since Touko has died) have crossed it, but they're now living peacefully in the Gilded Cage that Hope's Peak is for them, alone in the world save for themselves and their children...
    • Taken Up to Eleven in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. It's revealed that 15 of the students (Chiaki is excluded because she was an AI and the real one didn't fall into it) had all crossed both the DEH and the Moral Event Horizon before the events of the first game when they joined Ultimate Despair, all thanks to Junko Enoshima, who murdered the real Chiaki in front of them. In fact, the students were so far beyond the DEH and MEH that they all had to be placed inside a virtual reality program in order to overwrite their memories of Ultimate Despair. Unfortunately, Junko is still able to spread her despair inside the program, and temporarily pushes the surviving students past the DEH again in the climax. She's only thwarted when Hajime overcomes his after a Rousing Speech from Chiaki encourages him to overcome their terrible past and write their own futures.
    • Danganronpa Zero: Yasuke Matsuda crosses it as he's dying. He was probably already on the way to crossing it when he realizes Junko Enoshima was just using him as an Unwitting Pawn, in spite of his efforts to bring her back as the girl who supported him after his mother died. But Junko fully pushes him over the DEH simply by suggesting that she may have had something to do with his mother's death, and then refusing to say anything more than that, leaving him to die in total despair.
    • Taken to the highest degree in the whole franchise to date with the final twist of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. Despite being led to believe the events of the previous franchise installments happened and everyone outside the Ultimate School for Gifted Juveniles is dead after them (itself already one of these), ALL of them are actually fiction in the world of V3 (possibly), and all of them were actually a TV show for the masses of the world to watch to escape the boredom of modern everyday life (again, maybe), to the point it goes on for 53 seasons. This revelation crushes Shuichi's spirit to the point where he sees both Hope and Despair as portrayed by the rest of the series as complete bullshit, going against Kiibo, the Ultimate Hope Robot, and disputing him that hope will not stop the killing games of their world.
  • Little Busters!: Riki passes this at the end of Rin's route in the timeline where he and she run away together. Rin's been taken away from him forever, passing a Despair Event Horizon herself offscreen, and his best friends and only family - especially Kyousuke, whom he used to look up to more than anyone else - have proven themselves untrustworthy. Thankfully, Kyousuke is able to reset this timeline, though the consequences were so extreme that it has much a much bigger effect on later timelines than any other.
    • Not to mention that the whole plotline happened because Kyousuke was convinced that the bus crash killing him and the others would push Riki and Rin over it, such that he was willing to do anything at all that might make them strong enough to withstand it and not give in to despair.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Rena crossed this in her backstory, after her mother revealed she was leaving her father for another man (whose child she was carrying), and after a subsequent (heavily implied) rape attempt by three of her male friends, leading to a berserk rampage. This leads to an attempted suicide.
    • She also appears to cross one in the Atonement Arc, around the time she starts believing her friends - specifically Mion - are working against her. Unfortunately, it serves to fuel her growing madness.
    • Rika and Hanyuu are revealed to have spent the majority of the story this way; after centuries of failure, Rika eventually gave in to her fate of dying in June 1983, and stopped trying to fight it.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Any time you get one of the more detailed bad endings in any of the games, there's usually someone crossing the horizon, usually Phoenix or Apollo.
    • Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth uses this as a game mechanic: Since there's no judge to be penalized by and to automatically hand out a guilty verdict if you make too many mistakes, instead the Life Meter is a "Truth Meter" that indicates Edgeworth's motivation to continue pursuing the truth of the current case. If it runs out at any point, Edgeworth decides that "the truth is lost for all eternity" and gives up.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies
      • A brief crossing, and therapy (and a timely revelation) helps him cross back, but at the end of the DLC case Marlon Rimes has been utterly broken by the revelation the orca he was trying to kill (because it had supposedly murdered his girlfriend a year ago) was different from the one actually involved in the incident, and thus he had been trying to kill an entirely innocent animal the entire time. And not only that; in the attempt, his best friend's attempt at stopping him ended in the lethal accident that was mistaken for murder at the start of the whole case; Jack Shipley came running to stop Marlon, but slipped and fell over sixty feet into the empty pool, with Marlon unable to catch him in time. Unable to avenge his girlfriend, unable to save his friend and employer from an incident he himself caused, and all to try and kill an innocent orca, he stopped caring about what happened to him and concealed the "accident" part so he could get the death penalty he thought he deserved.
      • Athena Cykes enters into one after believing that she killed her mother and tried to "take her apart" with a robot-fixing machine, therefore mutilating her corpse on top of already committing matricide. However, Phoenix uses evidence and logic to prove this to not be the case.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice gives one to Apollo Justice after his adoptive father, Dhurke, is found dead. When Apollo finds this out in court, he realizes that the Dhurke he was talking to was Dead All Along, channeled by Maya. The revelation causes Apollo to slam his head down and let out a Big "NO!" before he can snap out of it.
      • In Case 4, Geiru Toneido ended up crossing this one as a motivation for the case's murder. She had put up with harsh lessons and a balloon artist job she absolutely despised to try and follow in her father's Rakugo tradition, and become a storyteller herself. But then her teacher snubbed her in what he thought was an attempt at letting her choose her own destiny rather than be constrained by the family tradition, and thus passed her dad's "name" on to another disciple entirely. This broke her so thoroughly she murdered him shortly after by suffocating him with the udon dough he was preparing later on. Remarkably, if he had been preparing soba dough (more likely), which she was deathly allergic to, she would have died on the spot as well, but she was so mentally shattered she never stopped to think about that.
  • The Fruit of Grisaia:
    • In her bad ending Makina goes through this after watching Yuuji die right in front of her. She snaps and proceeds to keep his rotting body in a trash bag talking to him, believing he is still alive.
    • On her route Michiru crosses this when her cat Meowmell dies, worsening her depression to the point that she attempts suicide, and only at the climax of her route does she finally gets better.


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