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Gory Discretion Shot / Video Games

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Gory Discretion Shots in video games.


  • The majority of the cut scenes at the beginning of Ace Attorney cases use this (when it actually shows the murder, that is.) It is often made up of a series of still or only partly animated images, only to have the screen flash to black/white as the victim is killed with a single shot/strike. Most of the time this serves as a double purpose, to not only censor the gore and violence, but also to hide how the murder really happened.
    • Slightly subverted later on, as in most cases you either have to examine the crime scene or the photo of it... in all its bloody glory.
    • The very first case in the first game is a good example of this trope, as you see the victim on the floor with blood everywhere, but you don't actually see her getting hit.
    • A good example of a blood splatter cut away comes in the fourth game's first case, in which we see a bottle being swung, then it cuts to blood splattering on the floor. This also serves as a good example of the double purpose of this cut away: The swing of the bottle we see wasn't what killed the victim, with the scene we see being a series of short events pieced together to mislead the player.
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  • Ao Oni: In most versions, there is an early scene where you can walk past the clouded-glass door of the bathroom in time to see a large shadow pass by, with some very heavy breathing. Activating the door several times results in Hiroshi entering, but the camera staying outside. All we see is a smattering of blood on the glass before the game cuts out.
  • In Batman: Arkham Knight, Oracle's fear-toxin-induced suicide is obscured by a Joker hallucination that passes in front of the camera and mimes shooting himself in the head just as Oracle actually does so.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine: Although Player Character Henry can see the ink that flows under the door, he doesn't actually see Inked Bendy killing Sammy Lawrence.
  • BioShock:
    • BioShock uses Non-Gory Discretion Shots to hide its violence against children. When you "rescue" a Little Sister, the veins of light that cover you and her during the process magnify to a blinding flash that obscures the actual scene of her reverting to human and the parasite inside her dying. Meanwhile, if you "harvest", noxious-looking green-black mist inexplicably forms to cover up the scene of you snapping her neck and tearing a parasitic sea slug out of her body.
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    • Interestingly, in BioShock 2, if your decision to harvest Little Sisters influences Eleanor to do likewise, a similar mist appears to conceal the act.
    • In BioShock Infinite, if you choose to Mercy Kill Cornelius Slate at the Hall of Heroes, Booker takes his gun, cocks it, and looks away while Slade holds it up to his forehead. Booker pulls the trigger as blood splatters the statue behind Slade, and Elizabeth gasps, yet Slade doesn't even have a hole in his head like you'd expect. This is rather odd, given that they had no problems showcasing you mashing a man's face into a Sky-Hook and Booker getting stabbed through the hand if you make the wrong choice during a quick time event.
  • BlazBlue:
  • In the Japanese Playstation version of Breath of Fire IV, Soniel's decapitation by Fou-lu is shown in a black-on-red "silhouette" washi-screen variation (which could also be considered a Shadow Discretion Shot)...which makes the complete Bowdlerisation of this scene in both international Playstation versions and the Windows port (only released in Europe and Asia) much more mind-boggling (especially considering a bloody Vomit Indiscretion Shot resulting from Fou-lu being at ground zero of a Fantastic Nuke was kept in (with no censorship) in all versions).
    • When the Comic-Book Adaptation of Breath of Fire IV came out...this trope was subverted oh so very much in what was apparently a very deliberate Take That! in response to the original censorship of the scene, with everything including decapitation depicted very graphically. (In comparison, the depiction of Cray's euthanasia of princess Elina, who has been turned into a near-Eldritch Abomination is depicted in the manga via a Discretion Shot that is actually less graphic than in the original game.)
  • Whatever horrible, squishy, meaty event occurs towards the end of The Darkness video game when Jackie — by now a shadowy tentacle monster — takes out the last of Paulie's crew. The last you see of them, they are crowded in a corner, begging for their lives, framed by the Darkness tentacles — and then the screen goes black and violent sound effects happen, leaving behind a huge black stain.
  • Played straight in Dead Rising 2, sometimes to a ridiculous extent. In one cutscene, the characters find a man dead from a gunshot to the forehead. You'd never know it, however, unless you went back to the body and looked at it after the cinema, because the body is only shown from behind and out of focus, and the characters' comments on the subject amount to, "Hey, look at this!" and "Well, look at that."
  • The worst ending of Disgaea 2 where Adell brutally kills and eats Taro and Hanako.
  • The first Dragon's Lair had Dirk's sword or helmet hitting the ground in some of the death scenes.
    • In one of them, the scene cuts to said sword on the ground, as one of the weapons smash the sword.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics:
    • Cardinal Delacroix expresses dissatisfaction with Ludovich, head of the Baert Trading Company, after the latter fails to acquire the Zodiac Stone. Then the camera pans upwards, there's a horrible crunching sound, and Ludovich's strangled scream. It's heavily implied that Delacroix transformed into the Lucavi Cuchulainn and ate Ludovich.
    • Later on, when Folmarv transforms into Hashmalum, all Alma can hear from her cell is the dying screams of Duke Barrington's guards, until one of them staggers into the cell and dies, terrified.
  • Near the end of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Ike and his laguz allies discover a secret dungeon below the castle they just captured. Ranulf comments on the hideous stench coming up the stairs, and the screen is completely black, only showing the character portraits and dialogue boxes as they express their shock and horror at the twisted and deformed corpses of laguz who had been experimented on by Daein. When the picture does finally return, the CG still is an empty cell full of chains and collars, with a bloodstained floor and bricks torn from the walls, leaving the rest to the player's imagination.
  • Gears of War:
    • Just before the first Berserker fight, the one surviving Red Shirt squadmate freaks out because there's a Berserker in the area, runs away. All the camera shows is a lot of blood splattering everywhere. Noteworthy, because you can graphically tear enemies apart with a chainsaw rifle in Gears.
    • Strangely enough for a game where you can mulch enemies with a shotgun or turret, Tai's suicide in Gears 2 is completely off-screen, not even showing the aftermath. Dom's mercy kill of Maria is also treated with discretion, switching focus to Marcus who is off away from them when the shot rings out.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, Rocco's decapitating of Woltz's horse is shown only from the wrong side of a door.
  • A very significant one happens in Grandia II when High Priestess Selene releases a portion of the game's version of the Devil from inside of her.
  • In Grim Façade 6: Hidden Sins blood seeps under the door to the local judge's private chambers when the player character first enters his office.
  • Grim Fandango has a somewhat unusual variation of this trope with the sprouting of the main villain, Hector LeMans. It shows him being sprayed with Sproutella-infected water, then cuts back to the outside view of his greenhouse, with Hector screaming in the background. Approaching the greenhouse results in a scene where a horrible flowery mass splatters against the door, complete with Hector's trademark Nice Hat rolling out. Whatever was between those two shots is not shown, but by the game's standards it definitely was very messy.
  • In Guilty Gear, Baiken's "instant kill" technique uses the translucent washi screen version.
  • Halo:
    • Halo: Combat Evolved, despite being a fairly graphic game, tastefully focuses the camera on Master Chief when he slams his hand into Captain Keyes' head and pulls out the neural chips.
    • At the end of Halo: Reach, we never directly see the killing blow on Noble Six, leading some to speculate that He's Just Hiding!.
  • Parodied in the PC game Harvester. The game itself is ludicrously violent, complete with axes to the face, exploding eyeballs, and so very much more. The game's only Gory Discretion Shot occurs in shadow, when the sheriff smacks a man repeatedly with a rolled-up magazine.
  • Basically everything to do with gore happens off screen in Haunting Ground.
    • Most notably, the general Game Over screen has the camera move away from the protagonist and her stalker, everything tint red and horrible squishing sounds to boot.
    • One has Fiona impaled by several iron nails; all we see is blood splatter on a wall of similarly impaled dolls behind her, with one's head falling down (as if dead).
    • Another has an Iron Maiden activated - with Fiona inside. The only things seen are the level's stalker pulling the lever, and a pool of blood forming on the floor.
    • The goriest shot in the game has a close-up of the Canine Companion, who has a gunshot wound in his leg. And even the shooting itself was off screen.
  • Several instances in Jurassic Park: The Game, most particularly when one of the main characters comes across Nedry's remains. There's another particular case when Gerry looks at D-Caf's body and discovers that the Troodon have laid their eggs within his stomach. Fortunately, we don't get to see the stomach thanks to the judicious placement of leaves, nor do we get to see Gerry pick one out.
  • In Little Nightmares, if the first chef grabs Six in the first room of the kitchen, he puts and holds her on the chopping board, raises his cleaver, and the scene fades to black, letting the player guess what happens next - most probably Six getting beheaded. It's important to mention that this is the only death in the game that would actually spill blood if it went through, and the only one getting this treatment.
  • Mass Effect:
    • In Mass Effect all the suicides use this except one.
    • Mass Effect 2 uses this with the outcome of the duel between Samara and Morinth. If Shepard helps Samara, she straddles Morinth after gaining the upper hand and delivers a full strength biotic punch to her face. Morinth's body is clearly visible, but the angle is such that you can't see her head at all.
      • Also happens in Samara's introductory scene, where Samara snaps an Asari mercenary's neck with her Combat Stilettos. The camera remains fixed on Samara the whole time. The result was probably not pretty.
      • There's also one in the intro. After Shepard was killed by being on the Normandy as it was destroyed in orbit over a planet, the following Resurrection Monatage has an X-Ray scan of the skeleton, which consist of nothing but small shattered bone fragments.
    • Mass Effect 3: The Citadel DLC uses this for the Shepard Clone's death. When he/she falls from the Normandy, the camera cuts back to the cargo bay of the ship just before his/her body impacts the side of a skyscraper at high enough velocity to reduce him/her into a red smear.
  • Mastermind World Conqueror: when Mastermind's mooks are assassinating we see the victim, the gunman in a window, and then a tight closeup of the smirking mook who stopped the target in the alleyway. A couple of drops of blood spatter against his sunglasses to the sound of gunfire.
  • Metal Gear:
    • After executing Sniper Wolf, the camera pans up from her until Snake covers her face with her handkerchief. Presumably this was a late decision, as a (rather gory) texture still exists in the game files of Wolf's face after having been shot.
    • Used with great effect in Snake's suicide in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, in order to hide the fact that he doesn't.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • The American version of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe avoids showing the Joker's gun fatality and the second half of Deathstroke's impale-followed-by-headshot fatality (though oddly enough, the impalement is shown onscreen.)
    • Another example that appears in the franchise is in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 with Scorpion's "Annihilation" Fatality. Scorpion assumes his victory pose, then the arena changes to Scorpion's Lair, where many of his dead Shirai Ryu allies rise from the ground to utterly destroy the opponent. However, the screen fades to black, and all you hear is the opponent's scream, never seeing what actually happens.
    • UMK3 features another example in Sub-Zero's spine-rip fatality. Sub-Zero grabs his opponent's head and the screen fades to black, followed by a gory sound effect, a scream and Shao Kahn's laugh.
  • Played With in Neverending Nightmares.
    • The game has a lot of ridiculously violent scenes and Gorn, but if Thomas should die (or inflict Self-Harm) the game will cut to him waking up in a bed... right in the middle of watching his throat be bitten out, his hand reduced to a bloody pile, having his intestines pulled out, et cetra.
    • Played straight in a later scene, where an unseen monster will kill a younger Thomas in the dark. We hear the action and his screaming, but the most one could make out in the dark is a blood puddle if they're truly observant.
  • In Persona 5, the screen turns blood red and your characters can be seen blasting holes in their enemies' silhouettes when you perform an All-Out party Combination Attack.
  • Portal
    • If you are shot by one of the turrets in Portal, the screen will tint red till you get out of the way — and if you look behind you, all you'll see is blood on the wall (and possibly floor) behind you. Somewhat justified because it is a first-person game, and the only enemies you 'kill' are robots. This was further changed in the sequel. While your screen still tints red when you take damage, bloodsplatters no longer appear on the walls. This is to warrant the game an E10 rating.
    • The Core Transfer scene in Portal 2 is largely hidden from view. Although there is no blood to be hidden, GLaDOS getting decapitated was hidden behind panels to prevent the game's rating from rising. Don't worry though, the screams speak entirely for themselves.
  • In Resident Evil 5, decapitations, such as those by chainsaw, are moved off-screen with only blood splatter being shown. Watching in multiplayer mode reveals that there's no actual beheading animation. Averted for Duvalia bite attack, it eats away the upper half of your character, leaving the lower half of your body shown on screen.
  • Saints Row 2 uses this in the cutscene where Jyunishi beheads Aisha. Jyunishi's body blocks the carnage; the decapitation itself is implied through a nearby vase full of flowers losing their heads.
  • While Samurai Shodown usually averts this, a couple of characters use this for particularly gruesome Finishing Moves.
    • Kusageredo, for example, hauls the enemy offscreen before devouring them, and he then lumbers back onscreen and coughs up their skull. Another character (Suija) lifts his enemy offscreen, crushes and liquefies him/her and let their blood rain down on him!
    • And then there's another (Basara's) in which the killer pulls the foe with them into a pit where we see blood... and eventually the defeated foe's HEAD fly up from, cackling madly the entire time...
  • In Sands of Destruction the camera follows the rest of the party leaving the room while Morte kills Rajiv for torturing Agan. It's implied that she took her time.
  • The bit from Silent Hill where, if you fail to use a specific item to keep a fridge locked, then the icebox underneath explodes open, "something" grabs Harry, drags him underneath, and presumably eats him... all off screen, just to completely freak you out. The fact that the best scream in the game happens right there helps.
  • Star Wars Legends: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast uses this for dramatic effect. It seems that Jan is killed by Tavion on Desaan's orders, but Tavion later reveals that it was a Fake Kill Scare and Jan is still alive. When Kyle angrily insists that he watched her die, Tavion retorts "What did you really see? What did you really hear?"
  • In Street Fighter, Akuma's "Shun Goku Satsu" attack has him grab his opponent and—if the grab connects—the screen turns black and a flurry of Hit Flashes are shown. If the attack finishes off the victim, when the screen lights back up, they're laying on the ground, presumably not just K.O.'d but outright dead. The idea is it's not just any ordinary flurry of blows; Akuma sends his victim and himself into Hell where they're assaulted by demons.
  • The Arm Arcus' Doppelgänger Attack in Super Robot Wars W ends with the copies rapidly closing in on the target being held by the main mech, then a sudden pan upwards to a full moon (which is odd, seeing as this happens even when you're fighting on the Moon) as splashes of fluid and bits of material splash upwards (note that this is usually done to a Humongous Mecha here), Then it finishes with them flying away from the silhouetted victim, clearly shown with several of their blades still stuck in its body.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The video "Meet the Sandvich" is shot entirely in a fridge, camera pointed at a sandwich. The door bangs open from time to time on what looks like lots and lots of blood as Soldier and Scout scream in comical agony:
      Scout: My blood! He punched out all my blood!
      Soldier: You call that breaking my spine? You RED team ladies wouldn't know how to break a spine if*SNAP CRACK* Auuugh, my spine!
    • Also happens in the "Meet the Spy" video, towards the end:
      Heavy: So... ve still got problem...
      Soldier: Big problem... All right, who's ready to go find the Spy?
      Spy; [after removing his scout disguise] Right behind you.
      Soldier & Heavy: Huh?
      [cries of pain and stabbing sounds as the video ends, the sounds going to the beat of the music]
  • In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, the camera has the POV character looking up at True Ogre after they lose to him during the Continue screen sequence. As the Continue screen reaches it's last few seconds, the camera goes behind True Ogre and if you don't choose to continue, your player characters will be eaten.
  • Subverted in The Thing (2002). When one of the squad mates early in the game commits suicide, it seems like the game won't show it...and then he blows his brains all over the wall in full view. And you can examine the massive hole in his head after you regain control.
  • Under Night In-Birth shows death by having the screen wash to solid red briefly and then back again, usually alongside an appropriate sound effect. This is used to keep the tone under control in a game that also contains a lot of light-hearted scenes and interactions, especially given things like Merkava eating Hilda alive in Orie's arcade ladder.
  • In Warcraft 3 at the end of the Human campaign you get this as Arthas impales his father on Frostmourne seeing the act play out in the shadows on the wall and watching the broken crown clatter to the floor.
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, game mechanics can unintentionally cause this trope to happen. If your soldier manages to shoot and kill an alien, the camera possibly attempts to zoom in on the soldier as they make the shot. If you have multiple soldiers on overwatch at the same time while an alien appears from around the corner and all of them manage to hit it, the camera may attempt to zoom in on any number of them with comical results - quick closeup of a MEC trooper lining his minigun with a charging alien's head, then the camera turns just enough to show another soldier taking aim and leaving the alien out of the frame while a hail of gunfire is heard.


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