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Evil Is Not A Toy / Video Games

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Examples of Evil Is Not a Toy in video games.


  • Arc the Lad gets a moment of this when the King of a country that has been manipulated by demons willingly sets free the Big Bad and gets as far to say 'My first act shall be...' before he is vaporized for 'Serving his purpose'.
  • In chapter 5 of Baldur's Gate II, a drow priestess summons a powerful demon lord to aid them with their planned assault on the surface elves. The protagonist has the option of tricking the priestess into offering the wrong sacrifice, upon which the demon promptly obliterates her. Her daughter then attempts the same, and again the protagonist can tamper with the sacrifice and have the demon kill her as well.
    • You then have the option of making the sacrifice yourself if you want to. If you pick the right dialogue option you'll get a cool weapon, pick one of several wrong options and you'll get incinerated. Most walkthrough guides recommend keeping your stupid mouth shut.
  • BlazBlue: During his training, Jubei constantly reminds Ragna that the power of the Azure Grimoire is not truly his power, and that it will never truly be under his control. As the creator of the Azure Grimoire(s), both of them, Yuuki Terumi seems to think he can easily control the power of the Azure. It backfires when Lambda performs her Heroic Sacrifice, enabling Ragna to overwhelm Terumi's Grimoire and halt Mu-12's rampage. This was all according to Terumi's plan and he takes advantage of this situation and uploads a virus that freezes Takamagahara, the reality warping supercomputer that held his leash. Granted, this did come at the cost of his monopoly over the Azure's power and Mu-12.
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    • This trope also applies to Takamagahara, who paroled Terumi from his Hakumen-enforced imprisonment in the Boundary as a pawn for their plan to destroy the Master Unit. He proceeds to infect them during a blind spot in their omniscience.
    • Lotte Carmine so believed that if he could harness the knowledge of the Boundary, he could come up with something beneficial to humanity, even if it costs the lives of many people. Even his Mad Scientist mentor Kokonoe did not approve, and the result of that is that he gains nothing, and the Boundary corrupts him into Arakune. Even worse, his girlfriend Litchi decided to dabble on that as well to save him, and on the sign of first symptoms, when Kokonoe refuses to even help her, she decided to dabble with another Evil: NOL and Hazama, aka Yuuki Terumi. It's still unclear which one is Eviler Than Thou in this case: Boundary corruption or NOL/Hazama. Lotte at least managed to learn his lesson and managed to pull himself together enough to warn Litchi to stay away from him and get Kokonoe to help her with her own Boundary corruption. Although even Litchi herself realizes that she already dug too far, and just letting it be as everyone else told her to will not make her problem go away. It's complicated.
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    • One of the Six Heroes, Nine, also fell to this. She just banished Terumi after the murder of her would-be brother in law Tomonori, who tried and failed to kill Kazuma Kvar before Terumi could merge with him. When the Black Beast arrived, she decided to free Terumi and enslave him with Mind Eater, thinking she could control him well. That backfired, Terumi killed her and in irony's sake, she would get turned into Phantom, practically Terumi's slave.
      • To be fair to Nine, Terumi could not break the geas on his own, and he needed to con her close friend and his (body's) love interest, Trinity Glassfield, into having it lifted. Once it was, he shanked them both and tossed them into the nearest cauldron.
    • Chronophantasma reveals that, ironically, both Yuuki Terumi and Relius Clover are on the receiving end of this trope. Both of them were so confident in their ability to carry out their plans that they left control of Takamagahara to Imperator Librarius, with the intent of using them — and her — to draw out the Master Unit and have her expire in the process. Given they both abducted her from Celica's church explicitly for use as a vessel in Wheel of Fortune, they had no intention of keeping her longer than they desired. By the end, she reveals her true identity as Izanami (and Phantom's REAL boss instead of Terumi as he thought above) and leaves them to their fates whilst she seeks to destroy the Master Unit or eliminate those with the power to challenge her world of death. Long story short, you don't fuck with a god.
  • In Chrono Trigger it's a common belief that Magus attempts to awaken Lavos to play with it before being foiled by the heroes. If given a chance, he explains that he really wanted to summon Lavos to destroy it. Given the fact that unaltered history went on to having the Mystics lose the war due to Magus' disappearance while Lavos' influence was temporarily lessened due to the summoning, it would seem he fought Lavos and succeeded in weakening it at the cost of his own life.
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    • Also in Chrono Trigger we have a highly magical floating city of Zeal, whose ruler tries to harness the power of the world-destroying Lavos. As a result the queen goes insane and the city comes crashing down when Lavos gets angry.
  • Chzo Mythos has the druid Cabadath, who intends to open a portal to Another Dimension in order to take control over Chzo, an Eldritch Abomination and a god of pain, and have him fight the invading Roman forces. He fails miserably, and is subjected to an eternity of horrible torture. He is subsequently turned into The Tall Man, a sort of Dragon, and is used in a similar fashion by other minor villains.
  • This happens many times in the MMORPG City of Heroes. In every single case, it's up to the player characters to clean up the mess.
    • Most notably, happens to the players during the Barracuda Strike Force.
  • Summoning demons or Sleeping Ones in Conquest Of Elysium 2 is far from risk free. Anything can rebel against you if you're not generous enough with the sacrifice, and even massive sacrifices don't completely negate the risk. Considering that some beings can wipe out armies on their own, you better be prepared.
  • In Dark Cloud, Colonel Flagg releases the Dark Genie from the Urn. The genie proceeds to eat the leader of the Curse Dancers simply because he was hungry. When the genie is defeated, it turns out to be just a mouse that was sealed into the Urn with the true Dark Genie and managed to absorb some of its power. The real Dark Genie has long since possessed Flagg and kills him the second his body begins to falter.
  • The Ancestor in Darkest Dungeon never seems to learn despite repeatedly causing problems by meddling with Things Man Was Not Meant to Know.
  • Dead Rising 2: Any Mega-Corp that thinks using zombies to further some goal is a good idea is asking for trouble, but the folks behind Terror Is Reality deserve mention for keeping an army of zombies around for a gameshow. Naturally they escape and destroy Fortune City.
  • The Wish spell in Dominions can be used to summon any unit you can think of. But if you summon a Doom Horror, it only has a 50% chance of being controllable instead of hostile, and the Horror that responds to your call may not be the one you asked for.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age II Merrill knows making a deal with a Pride demon — the most powerful and cunning breed of demon — to restore the Eluvian is dangerous, but thinks the risk is worth it. Nearly everyone around her disagrees, including her mentor Marethari, Anders, Fenris, and Rival!Hawke. In the end her detractors are proven right. The Pride demon was going to use the restored Eluvian to enter the real world and Merrill would have been its first victim. Only Marethari's sacrifice prevented this outcome. This is actually a fair bit of an averted trope however as Merrill is actually immensely aware of the risks — which is why she brings Hawke and co with her to speak to the demon just in case she becomes possessed so they could put her down. Marethari however intervened and became possessed instead — as Merrill said, it was her mistake to make, not Marethari's, and Merrill actually took capable backup in case things went wrong and she needed to be dealt with. So Marethari's sacrifice was completely avoidable if she'd just let Merrill go along with her plan. It's just everyone criticizes Merrill but ignore the fact she's actually VERY aware the demon is dangerous.. Anders is also guilty of this. He believed that becoming Justice's host wouldn't be too bad, since Justice was a "good" spirit. Merrill gently tells him that there is no such thing as a "good" Fade spirit — all spirits are dangerous.
    • And in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, the expansion to the original game, it is revealed that (weapons-grade spoiler) the Architect, a darkspawn born with free will, accidentally caused the Fifth Blight when he awakened the Old God Urthemiel and tried to turn him into a free-willed darkspawn like himself, with the intention that this could prevent future Blights. Instead, he spread the darkspawn taint to Urthemiel and turned him into the Archdemon, causing the very Blight he was trying to prevent. Oops!
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, after being inadvertently blasted forward in time by a misfired spell cast by a member of a violent nationalist Tevinter cult, Dorian notes the tendency in Tevinter to completely fail to grasp this trope.
      Dorian: It's the same old tune. [mocking] "Let's play with magic we don't understand, it will make us incredibly powerful!" [serious] Evidently, it doesn't matter if you rip apart the fabric of time in the process.
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse: During the Beerus Saga, Demigra attempts to use his Black Magic to take control of Beerus. It initially appears he's succeeded, with Demigra even taking the time to indulge in some Evil Gloating ... but as it turns out, Beerus was only faking it in order to draw Demigra out of hiding, and subsequently helps the Future Warrior fight him off, all while lampshading how stupid Demigra was to think he could use him for his plans.
    Beerus: Trying to control me? That's blasphemous.
  • Dragon Quest VI: You can visit the ruins of Graceskull Castle, and later see why it's in ruins. The king hit on the bright idea of summoning a giant demon to beat the Archfiend, the game's Big Bad. Astoundingly enough, this fails and results in the destruction of the castle. As it turns out, the demon they summoned is the game's Bonus Boss. If you're sufficiently overleveled and can beat it in a few turns, the demon acknowledges your strength and cheerfully curb stomps the Big Bad for you.
  • The Elder Scrolls has a number of rules and guidelines for Daedra summoning that are designed to prevent this (at least in story; it's less of a problem for the player). One in-universe book, for example, tells the story of a boy who summons a Dremora to practice his Conjuration. The Dremora says the boy will need a soul gem to advance further, and hey! He just happens to have one on him that the boy can use. The boy accepts the soul gem... and the Dremora demonstrates how to use it by tearing the kid's heart out and trapping him in the gem. The book ends with the moral that you never accept a freely given gift from a summoned Daedra, because this breaks the magical bond that keeps them from killing you.
  • In Final Fantasy V the Big Bad Exdeath has the ultimate goal of gaining power over this thing called "the void" and take over the world with it. He laughs at people saying the Void couldn't be controlled and is seemingly using it without any problems, but after you beat his tree form in the game's final dungeon, he loses control of the Void and it possesses him, which for you is also bad (the form Voided Exdeath takes, Neo-Exdeath, is the Final Boss of the game and an Omnicidal Maniac who wants to destroy all of existence, and then himself).
  • In Final Fantasy VII, Jenova was excavated by Shinra and used in genetic experiments to create Super Soldiers. Of course, using a poorly understood Cosmic Horror in unethical human experiments turns out really badly. Most of the SOLDIERS (including the top three) go mad and Turned Against Their Masters. The cumulation of this is Sephiroth whose hatred and will combined with Jenova's destructive instincts and power lead to the destruction of ShinRa and the near destruction of the Planet. Although Hojo, at least, was so crazy that he probably intended all this to happen from the start; he certainly isn't upset when it happens.
  • The artificial moon Dalamud in Final Fantasy XIV TWICE. Built by the Allagan Empire as a giant solar collector using an imprisoned Bahamut, it caused cataclysmic earthquakes destroying their Civilization. Later the Garlean Empire decides it would be a good idea to cast Meteor and call Dalamud down to destroy the Three Kingdoms not knowing that it's artificial or that it contains Bahamut. It broke open in the atmosphere and released Bahamut wiping out both battling armies and causing a massive reshaping for a good section of the world. Moral of the story: don't try to use the power of what is essentially an elemental god whether you know it's there or not.
  • Fire Emblem; repeatedly. Spoilers ahoy!
    • Fire Emblem 7's Big Bad Nergal fully devoted himself to the dark arts in order to rescue his wife. Said dark arts consumed his free will and caused him to forget why he wanted power in the first place.
    • In Sacred Stones, Prince Lyon of Grado tries to use his country's sacred stone to heal his ailing father. Good idea, except he knows the Demon King's soul is imprisoned inside, but he's sure he can control it. Not only does it control him, but it kills his father, resurrects it as a zombie, and promptly declares war against the world. Oh, and it consumes Lyon's soul by the end of the game. Oops.
    • In Path of Radiance, Mad King Ashnard declares war and pisses everyone off so he can generate enough chaos to unlock Lehran's Medallion and free the dark god inside. Luckily you stop him before it happens.
    • Averted in Radiant Dawn. Lehran is still alive and well and he starts another war, hoping to break the medallion. He doesn't want the god trapped inside but if she wakes up, her counterpart will wake up and turn everyone to stone. That's exactly what he wants. Radiant Dawn also retroactively averts Path of Radiance for this trope: the "dark god" imprisoned within the medallion is actually not a dark god at all, merely the embodiment of chaos, emotion, and free will. Which means Ashnard was never using evil like a toy to begin with.
  • In Gauntlet Legends, the wizard Garm summons the demon Skorne in a bid to outdo his brother Sumner. The demon quickly overpowers Garm and has him chained up and tortured for his amusement. Subverted in the expansion Dark Legacy after the heroes defeat Skorne. Garm uses the last of his strength to merge with the pieces of the fallen demon and is reborn as an even more powerful monster that serves as the true final boss.
  • In Grand Theft Auto V the protagonists themselves are this: a gang banger wanting to become a more professional criminal, a retired bank robber who had been one of the most wanted men in America and an unhinged maniac. And a corrupt government agent and an extremely sleazy billionaire use them for their purpose, and then make every attempt possible to screw them. Depending on the player's choice, the protagonists can kill them when the billionaire and the agent attempt to use of them to kill the other.
  • In Gunstar Heroes The 4 Treasure Gems fry General Gray after completing the Boss Rush and reveal the real final boss.
  • Homeworld Cataclysm has The Remnant of the once-powerful Taiidani Empire team up with an extra-galactic viral entity called the Beast. Once the Imperials repair the Nagarrok, the Beast has no more use for the Imperials and starts to devour their ships, adding them to its fleet. Realizing they've been duped, the Imperials flee, leaving the Beast's superweapon defenseless.
  • The arcade game House of the Dead reaches its climax as the Big Bad Doctor Curien unleashes his most powerful creation, Magician Type 0, and commands it to attack the main characters. Within minutes, the Magician kills the Doctor.
  • Iji is a rare case of the protagonists doing this: after the planet is devastated by an alien invasion, they try calling in another group of aliens they heard was opposed to the first. Turns out that the first aliens just wanted somewhere to hide and regroup. The other ones are out to conquer the universe, one Earth-Shattering Kaboom at a time.
  • The entire Aurum arc in Kid Icarus: Uprising was revealed to be part of Pyrrhon's plan to take control of the aforementioned Borg expies. It goes as well as you'd think. Notable in that Pyrrhon himself is a god, albeit a minor and not very respected one.
  • Killer Instinct 2013: In Season 3, Kan-Ra comes across the corpse of Gargos' old rival Eyedol and uses necromancy to bring him back to live, planning to use him as a weapon against Gargos. The minute Eyedol stands up, he attacks Kan-Ra before going to pursue Gargos for revenge.
  • This is a recurring theme in Kingdom Hearts.
    • Riku gives himself over to the Darkness at the very beginning of the game, thinking it's an easy way off his world and into the adventure he craves. It ends up separating him from his friends, destroying his homeworld, and apparently devouring the heart of the girl he and his best friend like. Oh, and it also denies him a glorious destiny as the wielder of the Keyblade, but he doesn't learn that until later. He only blunders worse from there on. Having not yet learned his lesson, he makes a deal with Maleficent so he can try and find his friends, and he actively dives into the power of darkness to try and find Kairi's missing heart. When that doesn't work, he makes another deal with some figure he can't even see for more power, which winds up costing him possession of his own body. He finally starts saying "No to Drugs," but it takes him the rest of the first game, all of the next, and most of the third to deal with the consequences.
    • In addition to all this is Ansem's story (which is really Xenanort's story, as it turns out "Ansem" was really someone else posing as Ansem) in trying to get into Kingdom Hearts, where he plunged headfirst into the Darkness and turned himself into a Heartless. But apparently, he actually needs a physical body to open the door to Kingdom Hearts. Oops. When he finally manages to open the door, the Light within Kingdom Hearts proves to be his undoing. Oops again.
    • Strangely enough, played straight by Maleficent, of all people. She is shown warning the other Disney villains about relying too heavily on the power of Darkness, pointing out how many have fallen to it and lost themselves. While she does eventually get overtaken herself, she had to be forced into it by Ansem. Apparently being the "Mistress of all Evil" means one has an understanding of how dangerous Evil can be even to oneself.
    • Birth By Sleep reveals that Evil really is not a toy. Use of Darkness be it for good or evil weakens the body's natural Light defenses against other darkness users. Hence trying to fight a stronger darkness user with darkness won't work very well and will just make them hurt you more. Hence Terra who mastered his own power of darkness and swore to wield it against evil and for the sake of his friends (manifested in gameplay by him acquiring a dark Keyblade and an attack called Dark Impulse) uses it against the Big Bad and defeats him with it and then Xenahort unlocks his own heart and sends it into Terra, which Terra whose light defenses are weakened from the use of dark power is unable to resist, causing Xehanort to take control of Terra's body. Evil Is Not A Toy or in this case something that can be used without consequence kids!
      • While Dark Is Not Evil, Evil is still not a toy, and neither is darkness. It is possible to control the Darkness (Riku finally managed it in his story in game 2) but it is NOT something to take lightly. There's a reason that King Mickey told Riku that losing the power of darkness was a good thing, despite all the past talk about it not being evil.
      • Vanitas is Ventus's Superpowered Evil Side which was extracted from Ventus's heart and body by Master Xehanort. At the end of Birth By Sleep, he possesses an unlimited army of evil underlings and a nigh omnipotent weapon capable of bending reality and plunging the worlds into neverending war. This is especially distressing because 1) he's a maniac and 2) earlier in the game he showed no remorse over disobeying Master Xehanort's express orders. In all likelihood, he would have just killed his "master" and wreaked havoc all over the universe had Aqua and Ventus not stopped him.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: The Big Bad wants to bring a Dragon God back to life in hopes of being her main servant. He succeeds only for the Dragon God to reward him with death.
  • This is the eventual fate of Chancellor Cole in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. During the final battle, he and Malladus (the Demon King whom he had earlier released from his seal) seem to make a good enough team together, but toward the end, once their getaway train has been wrecked and the Demon King is forcibly removed from Zelda's body, Cole makes the grave mistake of ordering Malladus to get back into her. Presumably fed up with all the nonsense that had occurred up to that point, Malladus simply eats him, hijacking his body to transform into his final form.
    • This also happens to Byrne, The Dragon for Chancellor Cole. He demands Malladus give him power, and it should be no surprise when he gets sent flying across the room and knocked out. It also leads to his Heel–Face Turn. Cole even mocks this.
    • It also happens in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Yuga attempts to revive Ganon and take control of him. He succeeds, but then Hilda thinks she can use Yuga to revive Ganon and rebuild Lorule with the power of the Triforce... She's very wrong. Yuga had his own plans for world conquest, and turns on her with the help of Ganon's power.
    • Subverted in the backstory for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask; an ancient tribe did use the titular mask for curses and hexes, right up until they realized exactly what they were "playing" with. Played straight with the Skull Kid from the same game, who stole the mask from the Happy Mask Salesman without really understanding what it was, and used it as a tool to play sadistic pranks right up until it betrays him at the end. In fact, the mask was influencing Skull Kid's mind from the very beginning, twisting his playful nature into cruelty.
  • Pops up a few times in League of Legends.
    • The champion Kayn chooses to wield the Sinister Scythe Rhaast. Rhaast is a Darkin, a race of living weapons with the power to possess whoever wields them (There are two other Darkin champions whose wielders learned that the hard way). Kayn is aware of all this (his master Zed, who's The Unfettered, originally sent him to destroy Rhaast because the Darkin was just too dangerous), but he's arrogant enough to think that he can turn the tables and expel Rhaast instead, and his will is strong enough that Rhaast can't just outright take him over. Gameplay-wise, it can go either way- the player starts the game as base Kayn, and can choose to go either Darkin (Rhaast wins) or Shadow Assassin (Kayn wins). If the Darkin route is chosen, Kayn has one moment to realize how screwed he is before Rhaast impales him and goes on a rampage for the rest of the game.
    • In the lore of the games past, the rebellious Shuriman vassal state known as Icathia started poking at The Void, a realm of infinite hunger inhabited by Eldritch Abominations, to tip the balance of their rebellion. It worked and they won their freedom from Shurima... but the Void consumed them soon after.
  • In the LucasArts adventure game Loom, the head of the Guild of Clerics makes ominous plans to rule the world with an army of the dead. As soon as he opens a portal to the world of the dead, its ruler Chaos floats through and kills him in a rather gruesome manner. Chaos then proceeds to take over the world by himself.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Fawful attempts to harness the Dark Star, a being of raw evil, to gain ultimate power, but it overpowers him to become the real final boss.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bowser and Antasma (a being of Nightmare) team up. You can see where this is going... but not quite the way you might expect. Bowser turns out to be the evil that isn't a toy and betrays Antasma, even mocking Antasma for thinking it might be the other way around.
  • Saren Arterius in Mass Effect finds Sovereign's mind-control powers quite useful in acquiring minions, but has the foresight to set up a research lab to find out how it really works. He's Properly Paranoid, because Sovereign is also influencing him.
    • Researching the rachni, the krogans, the geth or AI in general has a tendency to backfire spectacularly, even if none of them are evil per se.
    • In Mass Effect 3, The Illusive Man attempts to take control of the Reapers. But as much of a Magnificent Bastard as he is, he was still out of his league there and ends up indoctrinated.
    • Javik claims that something very similar happened during their Reaper Cycle. A fringe group tried to take control of the Reapers, became indoctrinated for their efforts, and screwed over everybody else. There's a reason the Reapers leave tech all over the galaxy.
    • According to Vendetta, there is evidence of certain patterns manifest and repeat in every previous Cycle of Reaping, suggesting that renegade groups rise up to try this plan — only to fail miserably, get Indoctrinated, and hamper everyone else's efforts — Every. Single. Time!
  • There's only one Mega Man (Classic) game where Dr. Wily is a final boss, but fails to be the final one: Mega Man V for Game Boy, in which he pulls his usual hijacking routine only to fall victim to this trope. The ancient robot Sunstar has no interest in following Wily's orders (though he's happy to kick Mega Man around anyway).
  • Anyone trying to harvest Metroids is usually unlucky enough to find out that they are untameable. This is particularly evident in the first Metroid Prime where the Space Pirates have Metroid stasis tanks and then Samus cuts the power and they run amok and sap the life force of their researchers. Metroids aren't all bad, though, since Metroid Fusion reveals that the Chozo had cultivated the creatures in order to prey on the X Parasites, which are even less friendly to organic life. And the Federation tries to weaponize both over the course of the game (so far nothing bad has happened with their attempts but Samus blows up the space station she's on in order to destroy everything on it because the Federation don't seem to get the message that they're messing with something they can't control).
    • Also during the Metroid Prime Trilogy there's Phazon, the highly radioactive substance that can corrupt anyone who comes in contact with it. The Space Pirates see it as a power source while Samus just wants to get away from the stuff as it ruins planets. By Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, it's been forced on her by Dark Samus so she makes the best of a bad situation by channeling its power through a special suit that can use Phazon that her body produces, though heavy reliance on it also has potentially lethal effects. At the end of the game she manages to destroy all of the Phazon in the galaxy by destroying its source.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode: Ivor planned to show everyone that Gabriel was a loser by summoning a controllable Wither and making it fight him. Unfortunately for him, slapping a Command Block into a Wither assembly does not make a controllable Wither, but a Wither that can control the landscape around it and assimilate it into itself, giving birth to the Wither Storm.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • An odd case of this happens in Mortal Kombat: Deception; Big Bad Onaga tricks Shujinko into bringing together the Kamidogu to revive him, then takes them all for himself afterwards in order to fuse all the realms into one. This, in turn, turns out to be another ploy by an even bigger Big Bad, the One Being, who is manipulating Onaga into doing so to revive it, with Onaga's ultimate "reward" being non-existence. And, as a backup plan, the One Being also manipulated Onaga's traitorous successor, Shao Kahn, into conquering realms to fuse with Outworld to achieve the same goal. So far only Ermac, Shao Kahn's former enforcer, seems to be aware of his presence. The Elder Gods also know about the One Being (they did the sealing, after all), however, they are idiots.
    • Mortal Kombat X: In Jason Voorhees' arcade ending, the revenant menace of Friday the 13th catches the attention of the Netherrealm's new ruler, Liu Kang. He offered Jason a plentiful bounty of victims in exchange for his fealty. Jason's response? He doesn't like this arrangement, and simply disembowels Liu Kang and strangles him with his own innards, as Jason's loyalty lies only with one person: his own mother.
  • Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark has a drow queen bind one of the nine lords of Baator. This does not end well. Baator is Fire and Brimstone Hell. Don't mess with the entities living there.
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the Shadow Queen blows Grodus up after he commands her after freeing her. This all happened because the Shadow Sirens, the Shadow Queen's true servants, had deliberately tricked him into thinking it was possible to command her.
    • It also parodies this trope. Throughout the game, the player encounters four black treasure chests with a voice inside them, each of which begs the player to open them and set them free. When freed, the beings in the chest laugh evilly, change the background music to sound more evil, and then gloat about how they have tricked the player and will now curse him. In each case, the "curse" is actually a new ability. This is actually intentional on the part of the "evil" beings, who were the former heroes who sealed the Shadow Queen.
  • Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia: The Big Bad unleashes the legendary Dark Pokémon Darkrai, and tries to sic it on the hero after cranking up the energy of his Incredible Machine beyond its limits to Level "Dark". Darkrai then goes berserk and swallows him and his sycophantic henchman inside a Dark Void.
  • Quest for Glory IV brings us Katrina, a deeply lonely and incredibly powerful vampire and sorceress who desires to unleash a Cthulhuesque Eldritch Abomination called the Dark One, and plunge the world into permanent darkness so vampires can walk abroad at all hours of the day without fear of the sun. It's never really seen what would happen if she had succeeded, as Katrina sacrifices herself to protect the Hero from Ad Avis while the Hero subsequently banishes the Dark One back to where it came from. However based on the Nonstandard Game Over message if the Dark One is released, it probably would not have ended well for anyone.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Subversion; at the end of the first game Albert Wesker tries to unleash the most powerful of the Umbrella Corporation's virus born monsters (the Tyrant) on the main characters. He gets a claw to the torso for his trouble but in the later games it turns out he planned it all along and injected himself with a virus which put him in a deathlike state and gave him superhuman abilities.
    • Played straight in Resident Evil: Outbreak File #2. In the last level, "End of the Road" a visibly nuts Umbrella researcher releases a Tyrant to destroy the loose hunters, over the objections of the only competent Umbrella employee in the whole series. Guess how it ends.
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Katarina resurrects Heinrich, who turns her into some sort of weak zombie slave.
    • Earlier in the same game, Helga von Bulow is turned into ground meat by the creature she resurrects.
  • In Runescape, an elf lord and a human king join forces as Co-Dragons in service to an evil god called the Dark Lord. They make a Deal with the Devil, offering it Human Sacrifice to empower it so it can aid them in their conquests. The Dark Lord ultimately devours their souls.
  • In Sacrifice, part of Eldred's backstory is that he summoned a powerful demon called Marduk to destroy the armies of his enemies. Marduk, revealing himself as an Omnicidal Maniac, fulfilled the exact letter of the bargain by destroying Eldred's entire world. Eldred flees to the world the game is set in, and is dismayed to find that Marduk arrives there not far behind him (one of the local gods had the same idea he did). Marduk himself says there's enough idiots willing to summon him that he has destroyed countless worlds.
  • Every time someone stumbles on Filth in The Secret World they will try to harness it, only to be turned into mindless Ax-Crazy Humanoid Abomination or enslaved by Dreamers and trapped in their delusions. Apparently, their whispers are very persuasive.
    • Slightly subverted for Powers That Be, but played straight for everyone surrounding them: Lilith has wards that are effective against Filth, but each of her tries has gone wrong, with the latest bringing The End of the World as We Know It to previous iteration of reality.
      • Played straight with her attempts in creating a Cult: puppet leader goes rogue and associates directly with Dreamers, trying to assassinate her in the process.
      • Subverted somewhat with The Host — even though they originally harnessed Dreamers' power to create Earth in first place and know, how to control it, they understand dangers. Grigori are opposed to touching Dreamers at all, while Nephelim want to wake them with all precautions and full control.
      • Well, Lilith already tried it.
    • So far averted with Philip Marquard: while he's working on releasing Dreamers, he's not planning to control them, he only wants to throw the world in their maws and join them at the feast. Judging by John's transformation, he actually has a good chance.
  • Everyone who uses the Emigre Manuscript in Shadow Hearts assumes that, unlike the poor bastards before them, they'll be able to hold it together long enough to bring their loved ones Back from the Dead. They usually end up a statistic. The only time it works properly, it requires a Heroic Sacrifice and still produces an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Shadow of the Colossus: At the beginning, Dormin clearly tells Wander that resurrecting Mono will have unpleasant consequences. But played with in that Dormin does keep Their promise, and it's ambiguous whether or not They're evil.
  • Shin Megami Tensei has a very simple law of magic-you can attain ludicrous amounts of power by taking demonic (or angelic) essence into your body. Your mind, either because of the power, or because of how you abuse it, is going to degrade to the point you end up doing incredibly stupid stuff and killing yourself through sheer idiocy. Or being enslaved to a divine being for all eternity. Your choice, folks.
    • In an early chapter of Shin Megami Tensei II, you are sent to track down the scientist Harada, and find him opening a gate to the Abyss so he can access an unlimited supply of demon servants. He directs the first demon he gets to kill you... and it immediately kills him instead. Turns out he botched the ritual...
  • When the Sonic the Hedgehog series got into more complex plots, Dr. Eggman got into the notable habit of doing this.
    • In Sonic Adventure, Dr. Eggman releases Chaos and feeds it Chaos Emeralds. It obeys him for a while, but eventually turns on him.
    • Also, Eggman releasing Shadow the Hedgehog from his suspended animation in a military base in Sonic Adventure 2.
    • Dark Gaia was released from his can (which was the planet, no less) within the first few seconds of Sonic Unleashed, only to break apart and be of no use to anyone, at first. Yet when fully restored, Dark Gaia immediately sends Eggman flying when he tries to control it.
    • In Sonic Generations, Eggman averts this, as he takes control of a time-erasing creature by mechanizing it and it never turns on him.
    • In Sonic Lost World, it actually happens to him early in the game when he attempted to harness the Deadly Six's power. It was caused by Sonic himself disposing of the Restraining Bolt Eggman was using to control the Six without even bothering to find out what it was.
  • Averted in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters, thanks to proper estimation of the threat involved and planning how to deal with it. Layna manipulates the main character into awakening the Omnicidal Maniac Gig who sleeps inside an Artifact of Doom, and then shields him/her from the ensuing Demonic Possession. This forces Gig into co-inhabiting the protagonist's body, producing a fused being possessing the power needed to Save the World. In short, it works.
    • ...Except for in the Demon Path, in which it turns out that the protagonist isn't a very nice person and immediately goes on a genocidal rampage with Gig's powers, starting with her.
    • Played straight in the normal path anyway, in an unrelated incident. Put short, controlling a World Eater is unfathomably stupid. For the long explanation, King Strauss VIII bought a Crimson Tear with intent to use it to control World Eater Feinne (who is almost completely mindless, so it should tell you how bad it would be to try to control either of the other two). His attempt at fusing with Feinne in an attempt to control her starts with a "hiccup" — Feinne simply blows straight to oblivion the back half of the Kingdom of Raide! He attempts to continue despite this, and, well... OM NOM NOM.
      Gig: If you want to know why they're called World Eaters, well... there you go.
  • In StarCraft:
    • Confederacy believed the Zerg were just animals and that it was a good idea to use them as a weapon by putting Psi Emmiters that would attract them on any planet they wanted. They were wrong. And they learnt it the hard way.
    • The main reason why the Confederacy was unable to control the Zerg was that Arcturus Mengsk stole the Zerg-controlling technology and turned it against the Confederacy; but notably, Mengsk himself didn't have to deal with his pets running amok, probably because he knew about this and never tried to use the Zerg again after the fall of Tarsonis. Nonetheless, the fact that he used the Zerg on Tarsonis and particularly that he abandoned Kerrigan there hit him pretty hard in Brood War and even harder in Starcraft II.
    • The UED came to sector with the goal of enslaving the Zerg, and using them to annihilate the Protoss. They succeed in gaining control of the (admittedly juvenile) Overmind, but still have difficulty controlling the Zerg, particularly over great distances. On one mission special scientists are sent to control them, and upon their deaths the Zerg immediately turn on the remaining UED forces. Admiral Gerard Dugalle seems aware of this in the opening cinematic ("Dissecting a dead Zerg in a lab is one thing, unleashing them on men another"), and openly acknowledged this in his final message to his wife. "The creatures we were sent here to tame are untameable" indeed.
  • In StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm:
    • This is directly invoked by the protagonist. After curing Sarah Kerrigan from her Viral Transformation in Wings of Liberty, Valerian Mengsk finds out she still has some Zerg mutagen inside her, and asks her to control Zerg Drones to see how much of her powers remain. Kerrigan quickly grows an army of them, wrecks the entire lab, and then takes them back to their cages to show to Valerian how dangerous it is to think you can control such a chaotic species. Fortunately, Valerian is smart enough to get the message. This in turn bites Kerrigan when she and Raynor then have to escape the facility, and are forced to fight their way past the Zerg Kerrigan created. Aware of this trope, she refuses to try to control them again.
    • Furthermore, Mengsk has been creating a Hybrid army to use against the Protoss and Zerg. He thinks he can control them; Stukov (who had previously tried to help the UED control the Zerg) is less optimistic.
    • Then finally in StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, the Moebius Foundation was also breeding hybrid, which turned them into a Psycho for Hire army. Alarak even comments how frequent this is within the Terrans.
      Alarak: You wander too close to a black hole, and it'll crush you.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The Dark Forces Saga has it as a recurring trope — you get a "We Can Rule Together" proposal and either decline it or reply "I Can Rule Alone."
      • In the Dark Side path in Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight, Jerec succeeds in his attempt to turn Kyle to the Dark Side... only to have Kyle immediately try to kill him. Now that he's evil, Kyle doesn't have to hold back or worry about innocent bystanders getting in the way. Though Jerec survives that particular attack with no trouble, and ultimately Kyle kills Jerec no matter which path you choose.
      • In Jedi Academy, Tavion has it bad. In the Dark Side route it goes the same way Kyle's Dark Side did — you slaughter both Jedi and Sith on your way to Tavion, kill her, claim her artefact and take over the Empire remnant after evading Katarn. In the Light Side, the ghost of Marka Ragnos whom she was trying to resurrect carelessly possesses her and puppets her body as a last ditch effort to fight you off.
      • And in a smaller example, one mission starts with the bad guys releasing an unstoppable mutated rancor into a spaceport with the intention of looting the city after its passing. It immediately starts killing and eating them (while they for some reason try to fight back instead of stepping aside and letting it do its thing).
    • Knights of the Old Republic:
      • Averted: Darth Revan unearthed an ancient Artifact of Doom known as the Star Forge, which functioned both as a powerful enhancer of dark side power and as a ship production facility — but never thought to use it as the former, which was good, as it had caused the downfall of its creators when they'd started to use it in that manner. His apprentice, who tested things and decided to try it, didn't live long enough to have the long-term bad effects happen to him.
      • Tilt your head and squint, and you can see Bastila and the Jedi Council's efforts to use the greatest weapon — turning someone to their cause, hoping to get the locations of the Star Maps — as this trope. Whether it's averted or not depends on the player. The Jedi were wise enough to know that this was a dangerous gamble but they were smart enough to send a pretty Light-side woman along...
  • In Stellaris, if your empire is taking the Psionic Ascension path, then one event has an entity contact your leaders through the Shroud and offer you a deal: a long list of unbelievable bonuses to your empire that last fifty years and would make you an unbeatable Game-Breaker, "if we will only bring forth the end". It's not made explicit what that means, but the bold red text next to it saying "DO NOT DO THIS" implies nothing good. You may think you can fight it with your massive fleet, just like you can the various other forces in the galaxy that are trying to kill you. Nope. After the fifty years are up, it's over. Every ship, every base, every planet you control is immediately destroyed by an Eldritch Abomination that spawns in the center of your empire, save for a few refugees led by a scientist who saw it all coming and organized an emergency expedition to an uninhabited planet at the far edge of the galaxy out of this thing's reach. Worse, said Eldritch Abomination now seeks to scour the galaxy of life, saving your little refugee colony for last, and you'll get no help from the other empires given that you now have a -1000 diplomatic penalty with all of them for dooming them all; even if they somehow manage to beat that thing back, they'll be coming for you next just for revenge. When it says it will bring forth the end, it means it.
  • Superhot has an interesting example since the game itself considers it this. Around mid-point of the game, the action briefly pauses with the red text telling the player that it's not a game, it is a tool. To enforce this belief, it forces the player character (AKA you) to punch yourself in the head to see if it hurts. After doing so, it tells you to stay away and closes out. The player doesn't listen.
  • Tales of Phantasia: Mars burns down the protagonists' town just to get one of the keys to unseal Dhaos. The first thing Dhaos does when unsealed is to disintegrate Mars. Well, that's the second; the first thing is to reveal that he himself had manipulated Mars to unseal him.
  • In Undertale, both Flowey and Frisk get this in the Genocide Run. Flowey doesn't realize that Chara doesn't care about them until just before the end, at which point he makes a failed attempt to warn Asgore and then an equally unsuccessful attempt to convince Chara he never betrayed them. After the completion of the run, the player sells their soul to recreate the world, which leads to Chara killing your friends in any future pacifist run.
  • Double Subversion in Wild ARMs and the Alter Code F remake. The Sealed Evil in a Can, Mother, was being awakened by her Demon children. But once she was released, she told them that she was going to destroy the world, which is at odds with her children's desire to rule the world. So these Demons then betray Mother, helping the heroes to destroy Mother so that it will clear the way for them to rule the world. Mother turns out to be Not Quite Dead; she possesses the leader of the Demons, thus fulfilling the trope.
  • In the World of Warcraft instance of The Arcatraz, the end boss fight consists of a guy releasing monsters to attack the players. In the end he unleashes a big alien/demon/god and gets promptly killed by it.
    • Similarly, high-level Warlocks can summon creatures which may break free of their bonds and attack the player themselves, though they rarely succeed in killing them.
    • The warlocks of Auchindoun are particularly bad about this, apparently spending their entire time summoning up things they can't control and desperately trying not to get killed by them. One boss has a room full of people keeping it banished so it can't kill them. And the final boss has a bigger room full of people attacking it and being killed as they try to stop it getting out.
    • Also, the second boss of Trial of the Crusader is a demon summoned by a Gnome Warlock. He accidentally summons an Eredar Lord, however, who promptly kills him.
    • Zigzagged with the troll shaman Jin'do the Hexer, one of those serving the Blood God Hakkar the Soulflayer in Zul'Gurub. After his defeat Jin'do's spirit is taken to be tormented by the spiteful god, as one might expect. Less expected is that three expansions later Jin'do the Godbreaker returns to Zul'Gurub and life having enslaved Hakkar. However, his control is still unstable, and if the players manage to break the chains binding Hakkar the god obliterates his treacherous servant immediately.
    • Demon hunters use demonic powers against them, and have to constantly fight back the demons' influence over them. If they fail (as often happens to non-important NPCs), they either explode or become complete demons themselves.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses, Seto orchestrates the events of the entire game to resurrect a Card Guardian who had struck a deal with his ancestors. Seto expects that the Guardian will help him rule the world. Predictably, the Guardian is NOT HAPPY. And then you find out that Seto has been awakening Card Guardians for years looking for the right one. Dude clearly doesn't learn from his mistakes.


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