A setpiece of the Corneria mission from Star Fox is when Fox flies between rows and rows of twin towers collapsing above him.
During the Fragile Cargo mission from Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere, you have to prevent an airplane packed with anthrax by a bunch of terrorists from crashing against some huge chimneys that look a bit too much like the World Trade Center. In order for that blimp to safely land on water and not crush the chimneys, the player must shoot the chimneys in the way.
The original Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 packaging had artwork of the Soviet attack on New York, with the burning Twin Towers prominently displayed. Needless to say, said packaging was pulled off the shelves after 9/11.
The first Soviet mission sends you to destroy the Pentagon, which was attacked the very next day IRL. The third has you guarding a superweapon built right next to the Twin Towers. Yes, you can destroy the towers with your tanks (they are better utilized as garrisons for your conscripts). To make matters worse, the game rewards you for this by dropping boxes of cash for you to pick up once the towers are destroyed. Later patches would change the names of these buildings (and other famous monuments) to generic ones. And then fan mods reverted the names because as we all know, people don't like censorship.
In the opening to The Combatribes on the SNES, the center of all evil in New York is run by a group called Ground Zero. They became "Guilty Zero" in the Virtual Console version.
The first level of King of the Monsters 2 has the Twin Towers, which can be thrown or destroyed for giggles.
In the opening levels of Deus Ex, set in NYC, the WTC towers cannot be seen in the distance due to an engine limitationnote basically, the skybox for any given level, rather than showing the full 360 degrees of art, only show 180 degrees of it and then mirror that for the other half; the half that is shown for the NYC levels just so happens to be the half that doesn't include the towers. The in-game explanation? Terrorists.
The fact that one of the main plots portrays a government orchestrating terrorists acts to get pretense for freedoms-curbing legislation doesn't help either.
Then there's the Statue of Liberty being C4'ed by terrorists, which makes the absence of the WTC even more disturbing. On the other hand, Statue of Liberty has been decapitated by French freedom activists who have deliberately chosen such act to perform a symbolic action without any human casualties. Although it is strongly implied that the main villains framed them for it, which makes it possibly more disturbing.
Another one from Deus Ex: One of your missions reflects the in-universe gas prices. The gas station in question has something in the lines of $4.50 a gallon (this was back when gas was still under $2/gallon). Now take into consideration that average price of gas now in the U.S. has reached that point. American shows referring to the price of gas are always Harsher in Hindsight for British audiences. The price of gas in the UK, as of 2012, is $12/gallon.
Dialogue from the NSF and their supporters regarding income disparities and the power corporations have wouldn't be unheard of in Occupy Wall Street circles. Dialogue from the resistance forces involving governmental power wouldn't be unheard of in Tea Party circles.
One older character is a veteran of a war that involved him against Afghans. The War in Afghanistan would start just about a year after the game was released...
One of the possible things that could happen in SimTower was for terrorists to plant bombs inside your tower, which you then have to stop. Ouch.
The Electronic Arts game Urban Strike was set in the year 2001, according to the intro. A cutscene in which Malone's laser fires and blows up part of the World Trade Center is shown right before the seventh campaign, which takes place in New York City. When you reach your destination in the mission to rescue the survivors, there is a huge smouldering hole in the side of one of the towers. If you fail the mission by incorrectly defusing the bombs that have been set in the towers, the whole thing comes crashing down. The fact that some crackpots do believe that placed explosives brought down the Twin Towers makes this even harsher. It originally came out in 1994, a bit Too Soon after the 1993 car bomb attack.
The 1990 Neo Geo game The Super Spy ends with a warning on the increase in power of terrorism, complete with an image of the Twin Towers in the background. Then come 9/11...
Aero Fighters 2 features New York as the backdrop for level 2. While the Statue of Liberty can be shot for a powerup, there is no physical damage, though this is not the case with both of the World Trade Center's towers. Not only that, but there's money inside each! Paid to destroy the Twin Towers. Golly.
A rare example of it happening before the game is released, so the moment really only happened to the developers: Metal Gear Solid 2 had a scene showing Arsenal Gear crashing into New York, including a detailed scene where the towers were destroyed. It was supposedly going to be one of the best scenes in the game - but just before the game was set for release, 9/11 happened, causing them to hastily edit the scene and leave it rather disjointed.
More specifically, the landfall of Arsenal Gear purportedly destroyed all of New York City's financial district. The prow made it so far inland as to toss the protagonist and his nemesis onto the roof of Federal Hall, which, as anyone who has been to Wall Street knows, is quite removed from the coastline. Early concept art shows the devastation, with the south end of Manhattan reduced to smoldering rubble. The final version cuts away to black as Arsenal Gear approaches the Brooklyn Bridge, then shows the mobile base already at rest at Federal Hall.
The 2010 oil spill off the US coastline makes one wonder when BP is gonna put up a Big Shell over the Gulf of Mexico...
The game also introduces the main villains of the series with the Nebulous Evil Organization of the Patriots, which has been in full control of American politics apparently for well over a hundred years with the ultimate goal of stripping the population of its civil liberties and turn them into mindless slaves that are completely oblivious of their control. Given that the game was released in November 2001, any similarities to the PATRIOT Act and its aftermath are probably completely coincidence.
Way back in the first Metal Gear, released in the late Eighties, Snake must reach Metal Gear by crossing an electric floor. All the other electric floors in the game have had panels which can be shot with missiles in order to prevent Snake getting zapped; this one had no such thing. In order to reach Metal Gear, Snake has to eat Rations to regain his draining health meter while he blinks in eight-bit damage. If you have played Metal Gear Solid 4, this simple gameplay puzzle will likely bring you to tears, for its similarity to the microwave tunnel scene. Only there, Snake can't restore his health with rations.
This becomes even closer Book-Ends if you've played the NES Reformulated Game which replaced Metal Gear with 'the supercomputer' - in which case both Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid 4 end with a forced walk through a corridor that causes pain and Snake destroying a computer.
Also, wince at a line where the Colonel informs Snake that if he refuses to co-operate, he'll be 'in the stockade until [he is] a very old man'. Considering Snake's accelerated aging as a clone and how he looks as of 4, he wouldn't have to be there very long.
In SimCity 2000, if you build your airport too close to your big cities, your planes can and will crash into your skyscrapers, sparking fires and the collapse of said skyscrapers. Yeah. Plane crashes were removed from future installments for obvious reasons.
In the first level of the forgotten NES game Tetrastar: The Fighter, aliens destroy the Statue of Liberty and then go for the World Trade Center, whose destruction the player can prevent.
Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear: Black Thorn originally had the eighth mission set in a airport terminal. After 9/11 it was changed to a bus depot, but the developers actually sent the level designs to modders who wanted to restore the original level.
Rogue Spear itself had Perfect Sword, where terrorists hold an airliner hostage.
The third mission in Silent Scope 2, which came out less than a year before 9/11, has a cargo plane being hijacked, and it crashes at the end of the mission. Worse, the PS2 version was released on 9/11.
In Final Fantasy Tactics, the guy who founded the corrupt church of Glabados, Ajora Glabados, who was also implied to be the Anti-Christ or at least under Demonic Possession of the Lucavi Ultima, was born on September 11. His actions in the game alone are bad enough as it is. It gets worse approximately three to four years later, with the real-life 9/11.
Hydro Thunder, a game released in 1999, features the New York Disaster course, which is set in a flooded, apocalyptic version of New York.
In Pokémon Gold and Silver it is said that 700 years before the game, two skyscrapers were built in Ecruteak City, but one was later destroyed in a massive fire that raged for three days. The remaining tower is referred to in-game as the Tin Tower. It was changed to the Bell Tower in later generations, though for translation reasons rather than avoiding a reference to the WTC.
The obscure, mediocre Taito shmup Master of Weapon not only states in the opening crawl that it is set on "September 11, 199X", but, more eerily, features several couples of skyscrapers that can be shot and will crumble in a cloud of dust.
Aleste 2 begins with the Vegant empire invading Earth, and New York was the first major city destroyed.
Harsher because of other real world events
The 2014 invasion of Crimea and civil war-like situation in Eastern Ukraine is uncannily similar to the scenario and plot of the 2008 tactical shooter ArmA II (which in return was very loosely based onThe Yugoslav Wars); A radical Russian minority with a Communist bent in a post-Soviet Central-Eastern Ruritania bordering on Russia wages war against weak government forces (after the latter declare to distance themselves from their Cold War sphere of influence) and occupy government buildings. Then Russia personally intervenes, marching over the border in a semi-black-op manner. Then the government forces team up with radical nationalist militants. The only part that has yet to happen in Real Life is a US-European military intervention.
Another case that involved the death of Liam Neeson's wife: the character he voiced for the game Fallout 3 loses his wife in the intro sequence.
One of the missions in Shadow the Hedgehog requires the player to complement a(n alien) terrorist attack by detonating five large bombs planted around a city centre. The game was actually released after the attacks on London, but the mission would have been completed well before.
In 1998, the makers of Doonesbury released Doonesbury Flashbacks: 25 Years of Serious Fun, which contained an archive of every strip published up until that point, as well as numerous extras. Each menu on the disc featured "fun" little animations. The menu for the archive itself was an exterior shot of the White House. One of the many "wacky" things that goes on if the viewer leaves the menu on long enough: an airplane crashing on the White House lawn.
Modern Warfare 2 was highly controversial at its release for including a level in which the player is part of a terrorist attack on a Moscow airport as an undercover agent. In January 2011, actual terrorists also decided that the airport would make an excellent target. However, they used explosives instead of machine guns (which had been used in a terrorist attack on an airport in India earlier).
An earlier example would be the first Modern Warfare, which was made in 2007, but took place in 2011. Now that the actual year 2011 has rolled around, the events of the Arab Spring, especially the stuff going on in Libya, make the depictions of civil unrest, a violent coup, and subsequent Western intervention across the course of Al-Asad's rise to power seem chillingly prophetic.
In 1994, there was a Troy Aikman NFL Football for Sega Genesis with a commercial that touted "They stole Troy Aikman's brain!" After the NFL concussion controversy, considering Aikman was concussed many times during his career (multiple times in his final season, 2000), him saying "homina homina homina" doesn't seem so funny anymore.
Sonic Adventure: Water-god Perfect Chaos laying waste to Station Square in his fury is much harsher after the flooding of New Orleans and the tsunami at Tokyo. It gets harsher with every such tidal disaster that happens.
Madonna (a scrapped human character, probably based on the singer by the same name) was planned on being Sonic's girlfriend early on, but the idea was dropped because of fear that American viewers would be disgusted with the human-animal relationships. Come Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), and it turns out that they were right, as the Elise and Sonic romance scenes was one of the most criticized aspects, especially with Elise kissing Sonic to resurrect him after getting killed by Mephiles through the power of the Chaos Emeralds, which is stated to be the single worst moment in the whole game.
Infinite's theme from Sonic Forces is incredibly reminiscent of Linkin Park's music, and the singer has stated that the song is heavily inspired by them. Sadly, the song was publicly released on July 20th 2017, the same day that Linkin Park's singer Chester Bennington commited suicide by hanging.
Anders blowing up the Chantry in Dragon Age II is rather uncomfortable in the wake of the 2011 Norway attacks, especially since the perpetrator happens to share the same name with him and even look surprisingly similar.
The Asian-themed level "Tsunami" in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex in which you evade a small tsunami and then explored around the flooded remains. Granted the game's levels were themed around natural disasters, though at this point in time, it's hard not to view it in a rather grim fashion.
In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the player is charged with fighting water- or fire-themed villains. The villains want to use the games' legendary Pokémon to their various ends, but the legendary Pokémon turn out to be too powerful, and end up causing torrential downpours threatening to flood the entire world (in the case of the water Pokémon) or causing massive worldwide droughts, threatening people with starvation (in the case of the fire Pokémon). It all looks like a standard case of Gone Horribly Right, but takes on a new meaning if you consider that some of these things are happening (or threatening to happen) nowadays as a result of global climate change.
Take a look inside the Pewter City Museum in the first-gen Pokémon Red and Blue(and Yellow). Among the displays is a space shuttle, labelled Space Shuttle Columbia. The name is removed in the remakes.
The Kanto region also features an abandoned and ruined power plant, in about the same spot where the Tokai Nuclear Power Plant exists in Real Life. Tokai was one of the plants which faced meltdown after the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami. Since Pokémon is implied to occur in a parallel universe, It makes one wonder where Pokémon reallycamefrom, and how long the ruins have been there...
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2: About half of the Unova region (based on the New York City area and part of New Jersey) is frozen over by a tremendous snowstorm, forcing many characters to relocate and leaving the fates of others uncertain. In 2012, a good chunk of New York City and part of New Jersey was flooded and/or otherwise damaged by Hurricane Sandy, forcing many people to relocate and leaving the fates of others uncertain. It gets even more accurate with the Polar Vortex in 2013.
In Ghost Recon, released in 2002 and set in 2008, a war between NATO and an Ultranationalist Russia starts off with the Russians backing Georgian separatists in an invasion of Georgia. Fast forward to 2008 and...
As the years go by and more interesting, amusing, and worrying news about real cybercrimes mount up (Bitcoin activity of questionable nature, hacking of embedded systems in everything from smart lighting systems/toilets to Baby Monitoring IP Cameras and possibly even hospital ECG systems with network connectivity, Stuxnet, Flame, and suchlike), Mega Man Battle Network has slowly become more worryingly realistic with each new iteration of malware rising from the depths the Internet each and every year.
In 2007, the creators of Deus Ex: Human Revolution thought up a story of having the city of Detroit suffer from an automotive industry collapse, but would then become one of the most economically thriving cities in North America by the time of 2027 thanks to the Bio-Technology industry that it built up. In 2008, Detroit suffered an automotive industry collapse. The game was released in 2011, and in 2013, the entire city declared official bankruptcy. Ouch.
The Division is a video game set in New York 3 weeks after a big pandemic that had wiped out a big percentage of the human population and in real life a massive pandemic happened in West Africa that wiped out a lot of the population there during the game's development.
The game, released in 2003, is about a massive terrorist army, the Global Liberation Army (GLA) rampaging across the Middle East and Central Asia, toppling national governments, and obtaining WMDs, with joint American and Chinese efforts required to combat them. At the time, this was considered over-the-top and really exaggerated. Then in 2014, 11 years later, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was established, and is a terrorist army hundreds of thousands of men strong rampaging across the Middle East and using the same tactics the GLA did, such as murdering civilians indiscriminately, routing the Iraqi army, nearly destroying a dam, and looting hundreds of millions of dollars from banks in conquered cities. Furthermore, their leader is calling for recruits from areas as far away as Africa, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. America's military has gotten sucked back into the Middle East just when it thought its business in Iraq was done, and there are calls for China to send military forces to Iraq to help combat ISIS.
The Expansion Pack then prophesized that the GLA will defeat the USA and drive them away into isolationism, then invade Europe with both sleeper cells awakening and open shipment of hardware, and finally China will come in and defeat them, at the cost of having to use nuclear weapons on European soil. While an actual invasion had not happened in reality since the Americans managed to drive ISIS into a corner, sleeper cells and terrorists pretending to be refugees did manage to slip into Europe and caused horrible crimes.
In Tony Hawk's Underground 2, there is a level that take place in New Orleans. The player can trigger an event that, through some voodoo magic, changes the city to be full of death and destruction (wrecked buildings, zombies walking around, etc.). This would seem much harsher after Hurricane Katrina, which occurred less than a year after this game was released.
The 2004 James Bond video game Everything or Nothing has a sequence of Bond trying to stop the villains from destroying the levees around New Orleans, M saying that without those, the city will be flooded. Less than a year later, Hurricane Katrina hit.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Modern Warfare 3, and Battlefield 3, amongst other games, all featured terrorist attacks in Paris. In 2015, Paris was hit by two horrible terrorist attacks, one at the Charlie Hebdo offices in January and another city-wide attack in November, and was hit again in 2017. Following these three tragedies, especially the November 2015 attack, the games become very dark to watch. And the date of the attacks in Battlefield 3 was November 13, 2014 — exactly one year before the city-wide attacks.
Caesar's Legion from Fallout: New Vegas is disturbingly similar to the Islamic State of the Levant.
Seeing the name of one of Drive Club's (possibly) final DLC expansion tours, "Finish Line", stings quite a bit harder knowing that it was released the very same day Evolution Studios was shut down.
Two in Mario Super Sluggers, both relating to the "close play" feature. At third base and home plate, if a fielder receives the ball just as a baserunner approaches, the runner can attack the fielder thereby jarring the ball loose. Since the game was released, Major League Baseball instituted two rule changes, both unpopular with fans. In the 2014 season, MLB brought in the Posey rule which prevents catchers from blocking the plate unless they have the ball. Two seasons later, a rule was added prohibiting takeout slides unless the baserunner makes contact with the bag.
Part of the plot of Sly 2: Band of Thieves is how the villains are distributing illegal spices that, when eaten, drive the eater into horrible rages in order to manufacture a Hate Plague to fuel the parts of Clockwerk. The use of literal spices was done in order to mask the usage of drugs in the game. Unfortunately, about a decade after the game's original release people have been selling "legal highs" of synthetic cannabis which has become a serious issue is several countries, with a popular brand of these legal highs being called Spice.
A hidden audio file in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has then-Nintendo President Satoru Iwata lament that no one seems to believe he's taking his role as head of the company seriously, as he doesn't appear to be physically affected by the stress of the job. Fast-forward to 2015, where Iwata died due to surgical complications with a bile duct growth. In the months prior to his death, fans could see him physically deteriorating in each new Nintendo Direct as a result of his tumor and the stress of running Nintendo during a financially rough period.
The ending of Affordable Space Adventures has the player send a final desperate message to Uexplore informing them of their situation. It turns out nobody is currently in the Uexplore building, and the message is left unread alongside numerous others, all sent by other players. Unfortunately, the act of sending the message (and retaining those of other players) employed the Wii U's Miiverse functionality, so once the service shut down in November 2017, the act of sending a final plea for help became equally futile and unacknowledged in reality.
The long pre-final boss cutscene in Metal Gear Solid 2 discusses the antagonist's plot of using AIs to control and censor information in the digital age in order to manipulate events of the populace. Presumably for the greater good. Cue 15 years later after the game's release and machine learning has been the hot tech topic of the year. And while some of the results are promising, it has led to issues like social media using algorithms to effectively tailor content so news feeds show selective information. While not exactly censoring and controlling it like in MGS2, it has had similar impact of manipulating people.
In the "House of Cards" mission of Hitman: Blood Money, Agent 47, who by this point in the game has a sizable bank account, checks into a Las Vegas hotel while carrying several concealed guns, including, if the player chooses, a sniper rifle. A fun mission to play, but still rather cringeworthy since the 2017 Las Vegas massacre. Even more cringeworthy when one of the methods to get the highest rating for the completing the mission is to lure the target out onto the open, and use the sniper rifle to take him out from an upper floor of the hotel.
The Amazon Trail has one scenario in which you are expected to listen to both sides of an argument, both between the Indigenous peoples, and the oil companies who legally purchased nearby land from Ecuadorian government. However, given the environmental damage that happened in South America, it can be hard to take it seriously.
In Groove on Fight, the Distant Finale title of Power Instinct series, the plot is for first time in the series, Goketsuji sisters has to open the tournament to the public because of the lack of family members in their family to join after 20 years of the tournaments of the first games. Today in Japan, this country has to open their doors to foreign citizens because of the lack of local workforce and to uprise the birth rate. Also 20 years after the release of this game (1997).
In Max Payne 3, Max gets caught up in the political corruption in Brazil. The main antagonist, Victor Branco, is a fascist who promises to fight the corruption while secretly benefitting from the scandals. In 2018, the country's population elected Jair Bolsonaro as their new president; a politician who openly praises the former military dictatorship of Brazil while promising a brutal crackdown on corruption and crime. Fans were quick to find similarities between Branco and Bolsonaro.
Final Fantasy VII has environmentalism as one of its themes due to Shinra polluting Midgar with its mako reactors and sucking up the planet's energy to power the city. The company's meddling with nature has lots of plants and animals dying and vanishing entirely. While the real world did have the same issues, it grew so out of hand that in the late 2010s, scientists report that nearly a million species on the planet will face extinction due to human interference.
Other: Harsher because of in-universe examples
An in-game example comes from Tales of Symphonia. Close to the beginning, there is a cutscene about Lloyd's Exsphere in with Genis says something about his mother protecting him through it. It feels way heavier the second time you play it since you then know that the Desians imprisoned his mother's probably still conscious soul in the stone, which gives it its power.
These are everywhere in Tales of Graces because of its prologue structure. Playing the game again and seeing how much everyone changes is one thing, but there's also lots of awful Foreshadowing around. Probably the worst one is when Asbel tells Hubert that he's pretending Richard is his older brother, and Hubert asks "What about me? Am I still your brother?" Pathetic on its own, but even worse once you know that Hubert's about to be adopted by the Oswell family, and he makes it very clear in the beginning of the adult arc that because of the adoption, he doesn't consider Asbel his brother anymore.
Invoked between Tales of Zestiria and distant prequel Tales of Berseria. In Zestiria, the party venerates Shepherd Artorias, discussing his heroic efforts against the first Lord of Calamity. Berseria reveals Artorias to be utterly ruthless, murdering his child brother-in-law for the sake of a ritual, maiming his sister-in-law and leaving her to die, and instead imprisoning her for three years when she gets a useful mutation; meanwhile, his Abbey proceeds to effectively take over world politics thanks to controlling the royal family and having good PR. (None of this is a spoiler, by the way - this is Berseria's prologue. It gets worse from there.) The Lord of Calamity Velvet, natch might have selfish motivations but she's at least aware of her own hypocrisy. It makes Sorey's party chatter cringe-inducing in hindsight.
In-universe example of this trope is the premise of Alan Wake, as the eponymous writer gets caught up in scenarios eerily reminiscent of the books he wrote.
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2: There's a mild in-game example of this: Before you get your first Pokémon, your rival's little sister tells you to make sure you take good care of it. When you reach Nimbasa City, you learn that her Pokémon was stolen five years ago by Team Plasma, and your rival is hell-bent on getting it back and taking revenge on them.
Tron 2.0 and its sequel comic Ghost in the Machine came out in 2003, well before TRON: Legacy was even written. 2.0 is even considered Canon Discontinuity or Alternate Continuity. Still, about half the game's plot straddle the line between this and Hilarious in Hindsight when it comes to light that in both timelines, Kevin Flynn and Tron vanished under mysterious circumstances. There was also a plot element with a Tron upgrade code (which is called the Tron Legacy code...) with an unfortunate bug in it that turns the Program it's installed into Ax-Crazy.
Even one of the weapons counts. The Sequencer disc allows Jet to split his disc into multiple parts and fight with them. Remember who fights with multiple discs in the canon sequel?
The Energy Claw resembles a Sith Force-Choke. Appropriately enough, it's a Datawraith (digitized User) weapon.
The Rod Primitive is an improvised melee weapon using a lightcycle rod. Sam Flynn had the right idea, but the wrong execution.
One of the story drivers is Alan and Jet's rocky father-son relationship; lots of love, but very little understanding. Queue TRON: Uprising where Tron and his apprentice Beck have a creepily similar relationship. note Given that, in the first film, Programs strongly resembled the humans who created them, this has led to some speculation that Beck might actually be Jet's Program
And for more unfortunate moments in TRON games, check out the Intellivision games. In TRON Deadly Discs Mattel got an early, incorrect draft of the script. They screwed up and made Tron an orange (bad guy colored) sprite, cutting through hordes of blue (good guy colored) enemies. A simple mix-up in 1982 gets much nastier when you factor in "Rinzler." The other one is from Maze-A-Tron. You're playing Flynn, trapped on a circuit board and trying to navigate the maze - alone, with no way to win...
One of the most gut-wrenching is this quote from Diego Armando/Godot when he is describing Maggey Byrde's supposed guilt: "Using the dark, aromatic depths of coffee to conceal the poison...classy lady!" It really hits home when you find out Armando himself was poisoned by the murderous Dahlia Hathorne and fell into a five-year coma, during which time Mia Fey, the love of his life, was murdered. Poor guy really had in rough...
In Investigations 2, it's a Running Gag for everyone to call Sebastian an idiot. Even Larry, the resident dumbass does this. This loses all the fun after case 4 showcasing that calling him an idiot is the main form of abuse he suffers from his father. At the climax of the case, his father gladly tells the whole room about how he bought Sebastian's teachers and judges to give him good grades and that he is even more idiot than he thought for not realizing, leading to a "Well Done, Son!" Guy like him to dash out crying out of the room, which leads him to be kidnapped by his father's men.
Another example comes in Rise from the Ashes in the first game. Phoenix being accused of illegally withholding a piece of crucial evidence and having Gant say his badge will be taken away becomes a lot more apparent and foreshadowed when Phoenix is disbarred in the fourth game after he unknowingly presents forged evidence during a murder trial. This could however be a deliberate foreshadowing since Rise from the Ashes was made and released in the DS port for the first time while the fourth game was probably already in development.
Dual Destinies has a extremely dark example. The first case features a bombing of a courtroom, where the courtroom was cleared in time before the explosion. This was thanks to Ted Tonate alerting everyone to the bomb. Later on, Ted Tonate is fingered by Phoenix as being the real bomber, and that he detonated the bomb to hide a murder, leading the player to conclude that Tonate must have tried to clear the courtroom out on purpose. The fact he killed someone, blew a courtroom up, and risked killing innocent people is bad enough for this to a dark case. But it gets a whole lot worse much later on in the game when the player learns that the actual bomber wasn't Ted Tonate, but someone else who stole the remote switch and then detonated the bomb with it. In other words, the actual bomber did mean for everyone to still be in the courtroom when the bomb went off. It was simply by luck that Tonate noticed the bomb was activated and alerted everyone, making the bombing of the courtroom a whole lot harsher and darker in hindsight.
Another in-story example from Halo: Reach: Noble Six is notified to be a soldier with a hyper-lethal skill set and a lone wolf personality. Carter, Noble Team's leader and Noble Six's new commander, upon meeting Noble Six tells them that he is happy to have a soldier with Noble Six's skill set on the team but that those lone wolf tendencies should stay behind now that he/she is part of a team. Near the end of the game Noble Team is assigned to defend the Pillar of Autumn and all of Noble Team dies in the process except for Noble Six (and Jun who escaped with Dr. Halsey according to Word of God) who stays behind on Reach to make sure the Pillar can escape Reach. Carter's statements become sadly ironic as Noble Six is left alone as the only Spartan, or UNSC soldier period, on Reach and all he/she can do is watch as Reach is glassed by the Covenant. Forced to become a lone wolf once again Noble Six's final actions are to fight against unrelenting waves of Covenant forces in a Last Stand that lasts for several hours until he/she is finally subdued and killed. Decades later, the only reminder on Reach that any sort of conflict had ever occurred is the shattered remains of Noble Six's helmet, a lone wolf but a noble and courageous one indeed.
An in story example for Assassin's Creed: Revelations. On the final mission Ezio goes into the library in Masyaf, there are absolutely no books or anything at all, save a ring of chairs with only one occupant: the skeleton of Altair. You then have an Altair Memory, of him dousing all of the torches in the hall to the library (mirroring Ezio relighting them as he goes into it) and then hiding the Apple of Eden behind a wall. The final mission statement? Take a seat and rest for a bit.
Comes again in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, when you realize that he had lost another loved one in the city he lived in and watched helplessly as his father and brothers were executed. He had every reason to brutally execute Savonarola for the death of Cristina. It took a lot of self control to not give him the same fate he had given Vieri and Uberto
In Mass Effect, Ashley writes an e-mail to her sister warning her not to fraternize, as she doesn't want to have romantic feelings come into play when deciding which of her subordinates lives or who dies. On Virmire, where you must choose between saving Kaidan and Ashley, both of whom can be romanced, it's possible to sacrifice Ashley to save a romanced Kaidan or save a romanced Ashley at the cost of Kaidan's life, making Ashley a potential victim or reluctant beneficiary of this kind of thought.
In Mass Effect 3, if you choose to allow the quarians to destroy the geth, EDI will criticize the logic behind your decision, suggesting that if given the choice, Shepard would save Joker over her. This gets even harsher if, at the end of the game, you take the Destroy ending, which not only destroys the Reapers, but all synthetic life in the galaxy, EDI included.
During Act 3, Leah's journal mentions how the spirits she's trying to keep trapped within the black soulstone are starting to wear on her, but comforts herself by remembering that once Asmodan is dead and captured, and the black soulstone is destroyed, she'll be herself again. At the end of the act, before the soulstone can be destroyed, Diablo's spirit is freed from the stone and placed into Leah's body, turning her into the Prime Evil and the end boss of the game, whom the player must then destroy to save the day.
Also during Act III, a Westmarch messenger tells Tyrael that he will not send men to fight "imaginary" demon lords, which is rebuked by Tyrael coldly stating "Perhaps he'll believe when his kingdom burns to ashes around him!" Come Act V, angels are burning Westmarch and King Justinian is dead.
Shooting down the Gesselschaft, the Bonne's flagship in Mega Man Legends is pretty satisfying because it's easily the most difficult battle in the game... unless you play the prequel game The Misadventures Of Tron Bonne where you learn not only did Tiesel almost die for them to acquire the ship, but the family inadvertenly saved the entire world from Lex Loathe in their efforts to save him.
An in-story example occurs in Hatoful Boyfriend. At one point during Nageki's route, Hiyoko tells him (in a non-malicious way) that he's like a friendly ghost that hangs around the library. Then later on it's revealed that Nageki reallyisa ghost (having committed suicide 5 years ago), and is unable to leave the library.
The game makes the original Organization XIII arc much harsher as it reveals that the members were actually growing new hearts. It makes you feel sad for Demyx, "Oh, we do too have hearts!".
Demyx's infamous sudden compotence as a boss fight along with the very uncharacteristic "silence, traitor" line before said fight is a lot harsher now that we know Xehanort was using Organization XIII as vessels in a Grand Theft Me plan. It's likely Demyx, who was later confirmed to be a Dandelion, was mostly assimilated by Xehanort by then. Though by Kingdom Hearts III, Xehanort opted to "bench" Demyx for his incompetence, triggering Demyx to defect and help Vexen rescue Ansem the Wise.
Sora's heart shattering from darkness due to his inexperience with it and causing his Disney Death (and, ultimately, his disappearance in Kingdom Hearts III. It's hard to take after recalling this line: "The closer you get to the light, the greater your shadow becomes."
Notre Dame's destruction by fire on April 15, 2019 added more weight to Riku's battle with the Wargoyle in La Cité des Cloches, as the cathedral's two frontal towers were also shown to be on fire, causing more destruction than in the film.
Quark gives Sigma a letter about how he met his adoptive grandfather and how he gushed about getting a chance to have root beer float which none of his friends ever had. This is actually a hint that the world has pretty much gone post-apocalypse.
There's a moment when Sigma's monologuing about how he can't see a reason for his kidnapping. The first first two of examples he gives, he goes on to do during the game. Considering his special ability, this might not have been a coincidence. The characters' dismissal that they're in quarantine facility due to none of them obviously not having radical-6 becomes harsh when you learn that some of them do have radical-6. And even harsher when you learn that EVERYONE has radical-6, but didn't notice due to the fact they're all on the moon, so the effects it has [slowing your brain's processing speed down by a root of root-one-sixth] got cancelled out. There's also the bad ending in which all of the cast, including the protagonist, kills themselves in quite gruesome fashion due to the effects of radical-6.
Sigma: Had I started a fight with a new and powerful religion? No... Had I hacked into a terrorist group's server? No...
Knights of the Old Republic has a bucketful if you've played Star Wars: The Old Republic. That Hope Spot (and lightside boost) on Taris with those Outcasts? Yeah, instead of a quick death by orbital bombardment, you instead condemned the lot to be picked off by disease, rakghouls, starvation, and finished off with toxic waste. Playing the "canonical" option as a Light Side Male with a Bastila romance? Well, your character knocks Bastila up, has a Force vision about the Humanoid Abomination Sith Emperor, and runs off to try and stop it, leaving their friends and loved ones behind without so much as a holocron warning them about the threat or telling them why you had to leave. They spend the rest of their lives waiting and you never return. Even worse is if you go canon with the sequel, which is already running on this Trope. Exile hooks up with Revan, they try to take on the Emperor. Lord Scourge literally stabs Exile In the Back, Revan ends up with the same fate Malak put all those Jedi in, then goes insane and tries to commit genocide of anyone with a trace of Sith blood before the Imperials save the galaxy by putting him out of his misery. Canderous's people become vassals of the Sith again (with those who followed his teachings hunted down by the Imperials), and the Sith charge in and lay waste to half the Republic anyway - so everything in both games turned out to be near-completely pointless. And Revan's final fate is to become a crazed cult leader trying to resurrect the aforementioned Emperor, and is finally put down like a rabid mutt by an Enemy Mine coalition of characters from both factions - including, for irony's sake, two of his descendants.
In Earthbound, Ness can randomly get Homesickness, a crippling condition which causes him to waste turns in battle thinking about home. The only way to cure it is by calling Mom. Good thing this doesn't happen to Lucas in MOTHER 3!
Any and every time Samus's narration mentions Adam in Metroid Fusion, after Metroid: Other M was released. A more specific instance is when an AI asks Samus, "Did this Adam care for you? Would he sit in a safe Command Room and order you to die?" Years later, you have Adam seeming to barely care about Samus, sitting in a safe command room, and ordering Samus to not use weapons or protective gear while being chased by monsters through boiling lava. So... yes, then.
During the years between the release of the Katawa Shoujo demo and the full game coming out, an enormous amount of the Hanako centered fanfics followed the formula of "[character] comforts Hanako, protecting her, cuddling her and tells her she's beautiful, and Hanako falls in love with them forever." Cue Hanako's route from the game, which revolves around an absolute deconstruction of that very same idea, showing that this type of behavior would cause terrible emotional damage to both parties involved. The fanfic writers had a lot of painful introspection to do.
In-universe example in Guilty GearXrd. During a flashback sequence, Sol and Aria are sitting together and Aria talks about wanting to be like a bird, flying through the sky carefree, to which Sol responds that he imagines being like a roach, having no natural predators, no concern for socio-political bullshit and being very hard to kill. Of course, this also sums up his future life as an unwillingGear.
Just before the final boss fight, Joker turns his TITAN gun on himself while talking like he'd been Driven to Suicide: "I have nothing left to live for." Fast-forward to Batman: Arkham City, and his death by TITAN poisoning.
In addition, there's Batman briefly getting infected by the TITAN formula himself near the end of Asylum, but is able to successfully overcome the effects. He wouldn't be as lucky the second time around, this time getting infected with the tainted batch of it mixed with Joker's blood, leading to far more devastating effects on his body.
Batman: Arkham Origins sees as a key part of the plot Bruce learning that he can't do everything alone and he has to trust other people to help him. Not only did he seem to forget this lesson seem by City, but Batman: Arkham Knight sees that the lesson not sinking in is ultimately what does Bruce, his career as Batman, and the Wayne legacy in.
Try playing Time Crisis II after finding out about the plot twist in the fifth game that Robert Baxter, the second player, is now the VSSE traitor and the Big Bad of the game.
In Halo 4 Cortana saying "I'm not doing this for mankind" revealed how much she cared for Master Chief. In Halo 5 This takes on a much darker light when it's revealed how callous she can be to humans who aren't John.
Part of the game's plot involves Peter dying and coming back from the dead—something he'd experience a couple of years later with the events of Superior Spider-Man
Likewise, part of the plot of the game is Alchemax being founded years before it should've been. Part of the finale for Superior Spider-Man features Alchemax being formed earlier than it was before.
Miguel telling Mary Jane that her and Peter would stay together in light of the game being released years after One More Day.
In Rumu, at one point Rumu has to clean up the house's lab, with the main mess being a chemical spill. This is made all the more tragic later on, when it's revealed that that same spill was the cause of both David and Cecily's deaths.
In universe. In Yakuza 4 Saejima uses woodworking for his Revelations in a humorous manner. In Yakuza 5 Kugihara, an inmate and enemy of Saejima uses a woodcutting to wound one of the inmate and accuse Saejima with it. Sparking him off into a rage and attacking Kugihara.
In Heavy Rain, all of Scott Shelby's interactions with the parents of the Origami Killer's victims, which seem genuinely kind and caring at the time, become this when it's revealed that Shelby is the killer, and is just using them to get his hands on any evidence that might implicate him.
The WonderSwan in 1999 does not have a headphone jack unlike many other portable entertainment devices of its time, instead requiring the user to use an adapter to use headphones. A little over 15 years later, Apple began dropping the headphone jack from its iOS devices, most notably the iPhone 7, a design decision with high enough publicity to warrant worldwide controversy.
Valkyria Chronicles already prompted some Values Dissonance with its Valkyria Alicia, who pitches a hysterical fit and ultimately disavows her war-changing superpowers essentially because they make her stand out too much, which made her Unintentionally Unsympathetic, particularly to western audiences. Valkyria Chronicles 4 features Valkyria half Alicia's age who are turned into the living cores of warships ultimately expected to painfully sacrifice themselves, including one who learns all this and refuses a chance to walk away if it would mean leaving her friends in the lurch when she has a chance to end the war, and a contrasting retread of Alicia's situation with another Valkyria who had such a shitty life the player is probably pleased the antagonist got a happy ending, if they can read through their tears. In hindsight, in all makes Alicia look like a whiny coward.