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Idiot Plot / Video Games

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Some kinds of video games really can't get away with these, as they can cause brutal Gameplay and Story Segregation, but developers try anyway. If the player character is the idiot, see Stupidity Is the Only Option. Plot-essential NPC stupidity can go here. note 

Other kinds of games thrive in this scenario, especially action games. Why is it up to you? Because you're the only character or team with any intelligence and skill related to adventuring (or whatever the game is about).


Of course, the alternative is a bare-bones plot that only exists so that there's an in-universe reason why you're doing what you're doing.

Games with their own page:

  • The Bard's Tale:
    • The modern version had an Idiot Plot, that only revealed itself to be an idiot plot at the end. It turns out the Damsel in Distress is really an imprisoned demon queen and the Druids did not warn The Bard that he was being manipulated to unleash a great evil (not that it would be the first time the Bard did it). If anyone stopped to explain anything, then, well, there goes the whole game.
    • And that the cute little dog that the Bard adopted wouldn't have been killed in the game's major Kick the Dog moment.
    • And with the kind of things he does pull while conscious of his actions, Finstown and the Nuckelavee for example, one could argue that he'd make things worse, or possibly just go through with it anyway since you'll find that the evil ending is one sweet deal for the bard, while being good gets him nothing. The bard is a self-serving liar and crook, hardly a hero in any case.
  • Near the end of Bravely Default, the story starts veering into this territory. This is primarily because as Ringabel regains his memories, he remembers Airy killing the party. Throughout the story, it's clear through conversation that Ringabel doesn't trust her anymore, and for good reason. He even tells this to Tiz. There's also the fact that, as noted by Ringabel in D's Journal, the party has eventually caught on to the fact that each time they enter the Holy Pillar in one world, they're creating the Great Chasm in the next. So with all of this knowledge, you'd think that they'd kill Airy where she stands, or at least stop awakening all of the crystals. Do they do any of that? Nope. They just continue awakening the crystals, then are shocked, shocked!, that Airy really WAS evil. The game attempts to Hand Wave this by saying that Ringabel was too "afraid" to take action, but not only is that a bullshit excuse, even if he really was afraid, he should've known that continuing down this path would eventually result in the party's death, specifically Edea's, and that would put his priorities in order.
    • This is a player induced idiot plot. You have the option to undo Airy's evil plan at any point after chapter 5 you choose to. If you keep picking up damning evidence against her while still following her plan you only have yourself to blame. Even choosing to end the plot mid way through will add on the characters commenting on the evidence you've gathered so far and how it convinced them to take action saying that the characters are fully aware of the situation, but how and when they act on it is the player's choice.
    • Ultimately zig-zagged between player and plot as the perceived sensible option (destroying the crystals) isn't actually the true ending and at best only delays Ouroboros' plan, while blindingly awakening the crystals, despite the numerous hints at how much of a bad idea this is, is viewed as the better choice at the end and not only stops said plan in its tracks, but also results in said villain's demise.
      • Seeing how the Golden Ending requires you to enforce the Idiot Plot, though, that makes it an Idiot Plot by canon, even if you as the player can attempt to subvert it.
      • On the other hand, at one point in he story, the character flat-out states that they know what's happening, but they need to see it through to fight their 'true enemy' (Ouroboros).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Much of the conflict from Sonic Adventure 2 comes from the fact that people can't tell Shadow and Sonic apart. Although the two are fast, the same height, and share similar facial features, their color patterns are vastly different (Sonic is blue, Shadow is black and red, and the two aren't mirror images of each other, such as Shadow's chest hair vs Sonic's stomach) and their spines are shaped differently, making it very easy to see the difference between the two, and Shadow is clearly seen on a news report that Robotnik is watching.
      • To make matters worse, while it could potentially be handwaved that Shadow was primarily seen by officials at night where the blue/black difference would be harder to notice, at one point Amy mistakes the back of Shadow for Sonic in broad daylight and close up where the difference is VERY apparent.
      • There's the possibility that the military was aware Shadow was the one who committed these crimes, and was using Sonic as a scapegoat, though.
      • Amy also makes a similar mistake with Silver in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) when she spots him and immediately pounces on him, thinking he is Sonic and then realizing that he isn't. Silver is an (obviously) silver colored hedgehog. Sonic is a blue hedgehog. You'd have to be blind to mistake the quills, too; Sonic's quills point straight back, while Silver has five that point straight up and to the side to form an arc around his head.
      • Somehow even Shadow HIMSELF has on numerous occasions stated that he and Sonic look alike, despite the two in actuality barely resembling each other. In particular, Heroes has an amnesiac Shadow saying that Sonic "looks like (his) twin."
    • Also the majority of Knuckles the Echidna's appearances after his debut in Sonic 3 & Knuckles count for this considering that he learned that Eggman only befriended Knuckles initially so he would fight Sonic, while Eggman stole the Master Emerald, and yet Eggman manages to trick Knuckles in almost every other game to fight or somehow slow down Sonic due to Knuckles being so gullible. His friends have to stage an intervention in the anime. The only reason Knuckles isn't fooled that time is because Eggman just took advantage of them being busy arguing about not repeating this mistake yet another time.
    • The plot of the original Sonic Riders begins with Dr. Eggman appearing on public TV screens worldwide, announcing he's holding some races where entrants need to give him a Chaos Emerald. In what can only be explained as this, Eggman manages to get all seven of these all-powerful jewels, one of them from Sonic himself, in this manner.
    • Basically the entire plot of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), which depends heavily on the characters taking every single bit of information given by known villains at face value, a completely helpless princess getting repeatedly snatched away by the same exact villain within minuscule time intervals (one time even going back to him of her own free will the instant Sonic turns his back after the previous rescue), and everybody completely failing to comprehend the potential applications of their ability to time travel at will.
    • The plot of Sonic Labyrinth. Eggman manages to successfully break into Sonic's house and...merely slows him down by replacing his sneakers with fake slow-down shoes rather than simply killing him in his one moment of weakness.
  • Similar to the Sonic Adventure 2 example above, Mario and Shadow Mario in Super Mario Sunshine.
    • Shadow Mario looks like he's made of dark blue water, while Mario is Caucasian with a red shirt and hat (although the overalls are blue).
    • Of course, even worse is the fact that Mario wasn't even on the island when the crimes he's accused of were committed, and there were numerous witnesses right there who could attest to that. During the trial, you see a movie with Shadow Mario committing numerous crimes which proves he looks nothing like the regular Mario.
    • Add in to Super Mario Sunshine that the point of the game is that the inhabitants of the Isle Delfino are in a panic because of the disappearance of their Shine Sprites... and a good chunk of said Shine Sprites are in the possession of said island inhabitants. If the various people would just give Mario the damned Sprites instead of making him win the watermelon contest or bringing them a pineapple or breaking all of the crates in the room, or forking over blue coins, the game would be over a lot faster.
    • Then there are the repeating segments where Mario fights Shadow Mario and the Piantas are in the same place at the same time, but no one thinks they may not be the same person after all.
    • The premise of the plot is that Mario has been framed and is forced by the law to clean up the dangerous goop that's consuming everyone. The people of Delfino 1.) apparently trust the guy who they believe to have caused the whole mess to go around fixing it unsupervised; and 2.) make no apparent effort themselves to actually get rid of the goop despite the fact all it takes is splashing water on the stuff. It seems like their only means of water transportation are barrels that you have to smash open and sprinklers.
  • Super Mario Maker 2 has another example: after Mario and the Toads are done building Peach's Castle, Undodog spontaneously gets the idea to step on the Rocket button (making matters worse is that they're next to each other in Edit Mode). Everyone freezes like Deer in the Headlights, with nobody even trying to get Undodog off the button (made worse by the countdown being longer than in Edit Mode), and just let the rocket wipe out the castle. At the ending, Undodog starts sniffing at the rocket and we hear everyone yelp in surprise/fear.
  • Another really good example is Tales of the Abyss. A very large portion of the plot can be credited to most, if not everyone involved being either hypocritical, self-centered and short sighted, or astonishingly stupid.
    • The game is basically a Deconstruction of this - Luke is a complete idiot for the first part of the game, and the characters get pissed off at him for it, and he only stops when thousands of people die because he thought he could solve everything with his hyperresonance. The explanation being that Luke literally has a mind that's only 7 years old. The characters are pissed off at him because he acts 7 but appears to be in his late teens so he comes off like a complete jerkass. It's after he's gone too far that be begins to mature into a more sensible person and the party eventually learns about his full situation and become more patient with him.
  • During the first act of Telltale's Game of Thrones, Ethan (the new lord of House Forrester) must choose a new Sentinel to see to the defense of Ironrath Castle. The position is prestigious and conveys a little extra authority. The two men suited for the position, however, are both high-ranking servants of the house who were already doing their utmost to preserve Ironrath. Whoever Ethan chooses appreciates the gesture, while the other feels extremely slighted and ultimately turns traitor. It ultimately feels like the only purpose in naming a Sentinel is to stir up jealousy and divisiveness.
  • Many of the Story Arcs in City of Heroes, especially when Nemesis gets involved. A lot of it involves blatantly misplaced trust in blatantly villainous organizations with proven track records. None of it quite compares to the free comic books involving the Freedom Phalanx, however. They are depicted as total caricatures of their in-game selves, completely incompetent to a level that makes one wonder how they could have become the premier superhero group. They also get defeated by opponents that, in-game, would just go squish in a single attack from them. It has to be seen to be believed. It still bothers a majority of the players that these comics are, sadly, canon.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons computer game Death Knights of Krynn featured a stunning moment of idiot plot. For most of the game, the party have been accompanied by Sir Durfey, a veteran knight and expert undead hunter. Bear the latter in mind. During the penultimate dungeon (an evil tower in this middle of undead-infested countryside), the party rescues Lenore, a (very large and muscular) serving girl who is blatantly Kitiara (minion of the Arch-boss) in disguise. Durfey immediately volunteers to leave the party and escort her home on his own. Repeat: The expert undead hunter wants to lead the thinly disguised henchwoman home through undead country. He leaves (the player can't control this; he will leave the party regardless) and is, unsurprisingly, ambushed by the undead, killed and bought back as a zombie to fight the party. Note that he's only two rooms ahead of the room that he left from. That's right, he was killed, bought back as a zombie and positioned with an army of minions to fight the players in the time it takes to cross two rooms. Imagine a Necromancer Nascar Pit Crew. Able to zombify a person in 12 seconds.
  • Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
    • Made especially egregious when you realize it's an action-adventure remake of Mortal Kombat II, where our heroes aren't nearly as moronic. Whereas our heroes' foolish actions in MK2 is forgivable due to their unfamiliarity with Outworld and distractions of other important things (like taking revenge for the death of an entire shrine or rescuing a fallen comrade), Shaolin Monks presents everyone so brick-stupid as to fall for a Gambit Pileup that could've only succeeded if they weren't smart or perceptive enough to realize their "friends" are not themselves. Well...Johnny Cage realized what was going on, but his keen insight unfortunately didn't rub off on anyone else.
    • In particular is the fact that "Raiden" makes a big point of the fact that Shang Tsung grows more powerful the more people die, and then sends Liu Kang and Kung Lao to go kill a bunch of powerful warriors - that should have been a huge red flag on its own when dealing with a shapeshifter, but it gets even dumber when you consider how often he got angry at the two for asking any questions whatsoever and actively worked to turn them against each other.
    • Also Deception, the plot of which basically happened because Shujinko was so gullible.
  • Albert Wesker in the original Resident Evil, despite being an alleged genius, throws a couple of three-pointers with the idiot ball. He blackmails Barry (in Jill's game) and decides to gloat evilly about his plan when he could have very easily just unleashed the Tyrant and let it kill them. Then when he finally gets down to releasing it, he decides it is a good idea to stand right beside the untested experimental monster and just hope that it doesn't decide to kill him as well. At least the REmake and later retconned it so being impaled was part of his master plan, but still...
  • In Resident Evil 4, Saddler wants to overthrow America with the Plagas by inserting them into positions of power. To do this, they kidnap Ashley and implant the plagas parasite in her. They keep thwarting Leon's attempts to take her back to the states to enact phase 2 of the plan. Their plan could've worked just by surrendering Ashley and enjoying the rest of the night off.
  • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica
    • In his spectacular Let's Play, The Dark Id takes colossal fuck-up Steve Burnside to task - noting that the game is significantly longer due solely to his screwing up...
    • He refuses to hand over gold-plated guns needed to open a door unless you can give him "something fully automatic" - which sends you on a wholly unnecessary Fetch Quest.
    • Not to mention, taking those gold-plated guns triggered a death trap. When Claire did it, she was smart enough to put them back and escape. Steve is too stupid to figure this out and requires you to save him. After that, he still won't give up the guns!
    • When he has an opportunity to shoot the unarmed villain, he completely freezes up because it turns out said villain is an insane whacko with split personality disorder. At one point, he looks in the mirror and is shocked at what he sees; giving Steve a good thirty seconds to pump the guy full of lead and doesn't. This gives him time to set the self-destruct system and force you to go to Antarctica when you do escape.
    • While trying to escape Antarctica, Steve screws up operating a crane and flooding the room you're in with poison gas. Because he's too busy staring at the player character's butt.
    • And yet despite Steve's idiocy, Claire still goes home with the gold. This all kicked off because she got caught while trying to find her brother Chris. At one point, she discovers that Umbrella is keeping tabs on him, and she contacts Leon with the request to warn her brother about it. She didn't know where to find Chris, but she had an ally who could get in touch with him the whole time, and to make it worse, she already knew that.
  • Clock Tower 3:
    • Alyssa gets a message from her mother which amounts to "Whatever you do, don't come home for your fifteenth birthday" and just disregards it. When she arrives, an obese cadaver-looking man hints that he's killed her mother and basically threatens to rape and/or murder her. Her reaction? "I have to save Mum!" Later, when the Big Bad is revealed, things get ever more idiotic, such as Alyssa's grandfather's name apparently being Dick — not Richard, but Dick. Someone with the last name of "Brown" actually named their son Dick. And this leads him to believe in a totally ridiculous set of myths which require him to murder his granddaughter with no real hope of reward. The Dark Id has quite a lot to say about this one too. Mostly invectives.
    • It gets worse when combined with the fact that it is made clear very early in the game that this totally ridiculous set of myths requires exact timing to work as intended - the whole villainous plot can only even start because of Alyssa's refusal to stay away as she was instructed, and it only reach the point where it's nearly complete because she likewise refuses to just walk out the front door once the survival-horror things start happening. TDI accurately sums up every problem with the game's plot when, about five updates away from the end, he explains why he doesn't hate Dennis, despite him currently being strapped underneath a swinging pendulum blade and otherwise having every hallmark of a Steve Burnside-caliber annoyance, but makes up for it simply by yelling at Alyssa to forget about him and run away:
      "The bad guys are making no effort to chase Alyssa. She can literally just walk out the front door and be done with things. She can thwart the entire evil plan of her grandfather by just hanging out in an arcade playing Street Fighter 3 for the duration of her birthday.

      The entire plot hinges on Alyssa being too fucking stupid to just leave."
    • A more gameplay- than story-oriented example is the fact that most of the game's puzzles that do not involve finding keys are only puzzles thanks to what TDI dubs as Alyssa's "Mind-Numbing Politeness". For instance, the opening puzzle of the game where you are prevented from entering an abandoned concert hall in a bombed-out ghost town - not because of some magical barrier preventing her from entering until she acquires the right trinket, as the game is perfectly happy to do for several later puzzles, but because Alyssa refuses to enter until she finds a regular old invitation. Or another puzzle where the way to progress turns out to be by way of straightening a painting on the wall - a course of action she suggests to herself on first examining the painting, but refuses to do so until twenty pointless minutes of trawling the rest of that part of the stage before the game outright tells her "straighten the painting, dumbass". The entire game gives the impression that Alyssa is an overly-polite git who, even as she has Magical Girl-esque boss battles with several undead villains, never seems to truly become aware that she's fighting and running for her life — note that you can read no less than five files where Dick openly contemplates murdering her on her fifteenth birthday for this strict-timing-required ritual, and she will still act like she has no idea who she's fighting against or what he wants from her until both points are individually spelled out by the villains.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: Almost every problem in the second half of the game that isn't strictly the war itself could have been easily solved by someone, anyone, looking at Alicia's Valkyria abilities and the effects they would have on her from an objective standpoint, instead of making assumptions based on the bad example set by Selvaria and her first traumatic power eruption. Welkin only manages to come close by tying it in with his love confession, and of course this only happens at the most dramatic moment possible rather than taking her aside to reassure her when she first expressed how overwhelmed she was. By the time she decided to attempt the Suicide Attack on the Marmotah, Alicia had clearly gained control over her new abilities, and could use them as much or as little as she chose. Everyone could have avoided a lot of trouble if someone had just pointed that out early on and attended to her emotional state for five minutes, instead of Welkin waiting until the last minute while everyone else ignored her repeated cries for help.
    • It could all have been avoided if either of the Valkyria had realized that the reason they're so prized as warriors is because they're the most devastatingly powerful creatures in the known world. If either of them had stood their ground and said "No," there wouldn't have been a damn thing anybody could do about it.
    • More "Idiot Subplot", but the attempt to kidnap Princess Cordelia is probably the dumbest thing in the entire game. Firstly, Cordelia is a figurehead at that point and it's implied that the corrupt nobility all know it, so taking her doesn't give the kidnappers any more power than they had before, and secondly, the culprits use a slow, noisy land vehicle in a cramped network of city streets... in the capital... which is where the Princess lives... and is full of guards and militiamen.
    • The war itself is an Idiot Plot. Maximillian has a Freudian Excuse for wanting to prove himself, but it's actually a resource conflict over Gallia's abundant Ragnite, which is an extremely valuable mineral that can be used for almost anything. It powers cities, it runs engines, it heals wounds, it sheds light, it can generate and siphon heat, it serves as stone media for sculpture and weaponcraft, it can be made into explosives, and it's all 100% clean energy. Gallia has so much of it that they actually use it for all of those purposes at once and then some. Entering a trade agreement would have been the much wiser option for Max, especially considering that Gallia reveres the Valkyria just as much as everybody else in Europa. If he'd sent Selvaria as an ambassador instead of just deciding to kill his way across the countryside, he would have been able to not only distribute ragnite to his subjects instead of using what little of it he had left to build and fuel massive military vehicles like the Marmotah, he would have had plenty of opportunity to court Cordelia openly (which would have been a sound political move for both of them), and fund his own research into artificially replicating Valkyria powers. As for Gallia, they could have practically demanded any price they wanted for their ragnite because of how essential it is to daily living, and the Empire is many times over larger and more productive industry-wise than Gallia. Choosing diplomacy over pointless slaughter would have solved a lot of the problems both countries were facing.
      • Valkyria Chronicles 4 addresses this: the Gallian government had already let The Burning of Hafen slide long before Maximillian's offensive, much to the population's displeasure. If Gallia even suggested negotiating with the Empire, they would have had both a Civil War and Gallian Eagle Squadrons marching home under their new flags to make Gallia join the Federation by force. Gallian nobility are at least smart enough to keep the militia's rifles pointed the other way. Further, it's implied X-0 did this on purpose to screw Maximillian out of a peaceful conquest and so get the prince out of their hair.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, the major town in the second act has a castle under generally heavy guard. The chapter would be SO much easier if the king in your party would just come right out and say, "I'm King Albert, here's my proof, and I can vouch for these people." But he never does. Oddly enough, he even comes right out and says he will not bring up his royalty to get around, despite the rather massive stakes.
  • Suikoden. For fuck's sake, they straight-up call it Robber's Tea! Even if the Heroic Mime main character is suspicious, the Boisterous Bruiser will still drag him along. It all wouldn't be so bad if the character in question didn't usually seem to be so clever as to be utilizing Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. The game would be much, much shorter if everyone wasn't busy eating dangerous types of mushrooms given out by a stranger who happens to be Fawful. In games when he isn't the Big Bad (and sometimes even then) Bowser's always portrayed as a bit of a moron and ends up as the Butt-Monkey.
    Bowser: “TOO MANY WORDS.”
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind expansion, Tribunal. It is way too obvious during the main quest of Tribunal that Almalexia is becoming insane, yet the Player Character is supposedly clueless until The Reveal at the very end. Until then, you have no choice but to carry out all of her crazy commands if you want the game to progress. Granted, this can be subverted by just killing her on the spot, but only if you don't mind cutting the expansion's main questline very short.
  • One has to wonder about the Pokémon world.
    • Very rarely does anyone find the teams suspicious, even when they're clearly stealing things (like Teams Magma and Aqua, who are so obvious that it's almost painful). It's never explained why few people other than some ten-year-old Pokémon trainer ever bother to do anything in a world that is full of people who have been using Pokémon for much longer. It's understandable that said ten-year-old is apparently a prodigy (since all other Champions are at least five years older), but someone other than Lance, Cynthia, Looker, and Steven should have at least noticed.
      • This reaches new levels of stupidity in Pokémon X and Y when the Big Bad announces to the world that he's going to murder everyone. This is a good time for the authorities or Lookernote  to arrive, right? Nope, he doesn't arrive until after you beat the big bad, and even then he's pretty useless. And no police, nor officials, or really anyone cares enough to stand up to this publicly-announced genocide.
    • The Forbidden Land of Orre is a bit of a mixed bag. Sure, the police are bloody failures, but Cipher heeds the First Rule of Warfare - "don't let the enemy know what you don't want them to know". The only way the player character (a rogue Snagem goon in the first game, a prodigal agent in the second) can learn anything is to engage Cipher firsthand, and everyone else is left in the dark. This is highlighted in Pokémon Black and White when a Plasma grunt notes that Teams Rocket and Galactic failed because they were too overt.
    • The apocalyptic late-game events of Pokémon Sword and Shield happen because Chairman Rose was too impatient to wait one day to try to solve a problem that wouldn't be a problem for a thousand years. As a result, Rose unleashes Eternatus without Leon nearby to handle it, causing Eternatus to grow out of control.
      • To a lesser extent, the player ends up invading Rose Tower because of several bad plays from multiple people. Leon didn't call Hop to tell him he was talking to Rose and wouldn't be attending dinner, which leads Hop to worry about him and attempt to fetch him from Rose Tower. Oleana gets overly zealous at trying to keep the player and Hop out, deploying a bunch of shady League staff to halt their advance, which only succeeds in making her and Rose look bad when she could have just explained the situation. Finally, Piers and Team Yell get too overeager to cause some chaos in their effort to help the player, which escalated things with Oleana's staff.
  • Bully:
    • At least during chapter one, Gary was giving Jimmy a couple good reasons to trust him and didn't openly stab him in the back until the end of Chapter one. However; had Jimmy simply looked for Gary to get revenge instead of trying to get the other cliques to respect him in chapter two, he could have avoided most of the game. Worse, Pete repeatedly tries to point this very thing out to Jimmy but Jimmy brushes it off. The player can attempt to subvert this by looking for Gary themselves, but there's not a lot of point in it since he never spawns after that point.
    • None of the game would have happened if Crabblesnitch himself weren't a useless moron from the beginning, but that's pretty much the point of his character.
    • If the entire cliques are wise enough to not trust Gary's words and lies, there wouldn't have a need for most of the conflicts that happen in the story. The only person who is immune to this is Gary himself, making himself look smart when really it's because everyone else is an idiot to trust him in the first place.
  • Saints Row: The Third. The first two games were intentionally over the top, but at least things made sense in the bizarre world where police reality shows involve chainsaws and gang conflicts are solved with radioactive waste. The third game does away with realism altogether and relies on every NPC being an idiot.
    • At one point the military gets involved. They occupy the city, erecting roadblocks and conducting a large scale search of the city to find you. Where are you? Maybe at the wheel of the luxury car that is blatantly painted in Saints gang colours. Or maybe in one of the obvious strongholds with the obvious fleur de lis logo on them. The only anonymous stronghold is the one that actually gets attacked.
  • The plot of Magna Carta 2 is driven by the fact that everyone believes everything that the villains say without question, even after it becomes bloody obvious how evil they are.
  • Luigi's Mansion: If Mario and Luigi didn't think Luigi had won a mansion in a lottery he didn't even enter, then there'd be no game. Or if Mario hadn't walked straight into said haunted mansion rather than waiting for Luigi to arrive. Or if Luigi didn't end up releasing the Boos and King Boo by pressing the ominous red button in the store room... Basically, the whole game wouldn't have happened if the Mario Bros didn't buy straight into the fantasy version of your average lottery scam.
    • On the other hand, it's mentioned that Mario went ahead to the mansion to see if it was legit (possibly even seeing that their winning the mansion without entering the contest was suspicious and that something was obviously wrong) and was captured because he wasn't expecting himself to be effectively defenseless against the ghostly enemies. Luigi's freeing the Boos is more of an example of Stupidity Is the Only Option, since they drop the key to the next area, without which you'll never be able to progress and therefore never rescue Mario.
    • This game plays with the trope fairly well considering that even the Big Bad King Boo lampshades it.
    King Boo: "What do they feed you Mario Bros. anyway? Gullible Soup?!"
  • The iPhone game The Secret of Chateau de Moreau has this. The entire game revolves around the main character trying to prove his own innocence after his stepfather died and left his entire will to him instead of his actual children. Normally, this would be understandable, but the main character was at a boarding school when his stepfather was killed and didn't even have any means to kill his stepfather. The entire game could've been prevented if they just tried to put two and two together and realize the main character couldn't kill someone far away without any means to so much as contact him aside from mail.
  • Played for Laughs in Conker's Bad Fur Day. It takes the Panther King and Ze Professor a ridiculous amount of time to realize the reason why the king keeps spilling his milk; the table he rests it on is quite obviously missing a leg. This is also pretty much the only reason Conker becomes involved with them and the game turns out the way it does; Ze Professor determines the best solution is to find and capture a red squirrel to replace the missing leg, using far more resources than would have been needed to just buy the king a new end table. Or fix the leg using the duct tape.
    • Though, the game actually uses the trope and plays it quite cleverly. The whole purpose of the professor staging a hunt for Conker was the intent to buy time. The real plan hatched by the professor is to take over the world via the Tediz and had something waiting for the Panther King, but needed time for the plan and the monster to grow.
  • The plot of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War can be split about evenly into three parts of about equal length, but not equal intelligence. The gist of the first portion is: Enemy planes open fire on your country for no reason, sparking a war when you defend yourself. At some point, the President of Osea is attacked while trying to hold talks with the other nation's leader to end the war, and is left to be rescued by a squad called the 8492nd. The second part starts when the President disappears and the war unexpectedly escalates; early on the player's squad overhears the 8492nd attack a civilian complex to spur the enemy further on. The player's squad is promptly blamed for the attack, since the 8492nd apparently doesn't exist and the attack was where the player's squad was supposed to be operating. This angle is dropped for a bit (other than every other briefing ending with your commanding officer telling you, basically, "if you really are innocent prove it by slaughtering more Yukes"), up until the third part of the story starts - the apparently-nonexistent 8492nd comes up again and accuses the player's squadron of being traitors. Does anyone question what, exactly, your squadron did? Do they have any faith in the squadron's hitherto-unwavering dedication to their country, or in the insane amount of skill they have? Do they even wonder why the hell the squad that supposedly doesn't exist is the one telling them this, or remember that said squadron was the one Wardog blamed the initial civilian attacks on? No, they take everything they say at face value immediately.
    • The plot is revealed to have been orchestrated by the Belkans as revenge for the sound thrashing they took fifteen years ago. If what we see of the Osean government in this game is any indication, this means that in just fifteen years the entirety of both the Osean and Yuktobanian governments, excluding the former's President and the latter's Prime Minister, have become composed solely of traitors who want nothing but to ruin their own country.
  • The ending of Fallout 3 potentially has a whole group of people making a really dumb decision. The Lone Wanderer is forced to either make a Heroic Sacrifice or make another human character do it (depending on the player's chosen place on the Karma Meter). Either way, someone has to get doused with a lethal amount of radiation. However, three of the possible companions in the game are a super mutant, a ghoul, and a robot, who are all immune to radiation. The characters could send one of them in (if any one is present) with no loss of life. Yet they both state something along the lines of "This is something you must do" in the base game.
    • However, if you have the Broken Steel DLC installed before finishing the game (a DLC that has quests that take place after the main game is over), the Idiot Ball and the plot-ending sacrifice can be averted by sending in an immune companion, though the game still regards this as a coward's way out.
  • In 7 Days A Skeptic, almost everyone on the ship carry their own Idiot Ball, and the engineers who built the ship brought theirs to work. The whole plot relies for one part on everybody being inefficient at their jobs (the engineer refuses to repair anything, while the security chief sends you to track down a missing person, then arrests you when you find the body) and for another part on the ship being an incompetently constructed deathtrap. (Escape pods that take hours to prep? A cabin with a lock override that can only be accessed from the inside? Radio antennas capable of skewering an unwary bystander? Also, no railings around the edge of the engine pit, and a fancy glass-domed observation deck with no signs of protective bracing or ways to seal it off if it breaks.) And of course, when the ship is haunted by a killer and you have to wait a few hours to get the pods ready, you should definitely split up and take a nap. Granted, Yahtzee does admit that if everyone used their common sense, then the plot wouldn't work, but still...
  • The entirety of Starcraft: Brood War is this plus Poor Communication Kills.
    • When he realized that Kerrigan was controlling Raszagal and using the Protoss for her own ends, Aldaris started a civil war instead of voicing his concerns to Zeratul, who already suspected something was wrong with Raszagal.
    • Kerrigan persuades the Protoss of her repentance by bringing word of the new overmind, saying that she wants to help them stop it. Not three missions later the Protoss assault said overmind while on a fetch quest, yet for no apparent reason decide not to kill it despite having every opportunity. (Of course, the actual reason is that it would short-circuit the rest of the plot.)
    • After the UED find and take control of the Psi Disrupter, which would cripple the Zerg, Duran convinces Du Galle to destroy it to prevent the Dominion from using it for their own ends. Even though the Zerg are a much larger threat and the Dominion had written the Disrupter off as an urban legend.
    • When Stukov realizes Duran is a traitor and probably infested after Raynor and Mengsk escape, he takes his own men to operate the Psi Disrupter, which he'd left standing despite orders to destroy it. He doesn't explain to Du Galle where he went or why the mission failed. Meanwhile, Du Galle is having his own moment of contrived stupidity, taking Duran's advice to order Stukov, his childhood friend, arrested or executed, without asking what happened in the previous mission or realizing that the Disrupter might be useful. Throughout the briefing, the Player Character, who saw Duran commit treason and let the previous mission fail, doesn't say a word.
    • Once they do have the Disruptor up and running, the UED leave only a couple of Siege Tanks and a half-dozen Marines to protect its sole power source. No backup generators, no attempts to duplicate the Disruptor, and when the Player Character comes to destroy it in the Zerg campaign, the UED doesn't immediately scramble all their troops to defend it. On the other hand, it does explain why they never previously thought of leaving a garrison to protect the Disruptor, since they obviously don't get the concept.
    • Because apparently one group of characters inexplicably trusting the infested mass murderess just long enough for her to stab them in the back isn't enough, Kerrigan gets Reynor, Fenix, Duke, and Mengsk to do her dirty work with almost ridiculous ease in the zerg campaign.
    • The base game's campaigns also come in for their share of idiot plot moments as well. The Protoss conclave practically seem to have replaced their pylons with idiot balls with how thoroughly they set out to sabotage their own defense of Aiur, and after Tassadar spends several missions convincing the player to help him find the Dark Templar and bring them back to save Aiur, him inexplicably deciding to surrender himself to the conclave is jarringly stupid. Not to mention how the confederates spend much of the first campaign more concerned with putting on mustache-twirling displays of 'repressive regime callousness' than with protecting anyone (including themselves!) from the zerg. Starcraft 1 seems to have a fondness for idiot plots.
  • Remember Me suffers from this in a pretty bad way. Nilin is a Memory Hunter with a special talent for "remixing" memories, the ability to edit a person's perception of a past event to alter their perceptions and behaviors. She knows this. So after she's brainwashed, she doesn't question anything anyone tells her and just blindly follows orders, even after it's become very, very obvious that Edge, her mission coordinator, is a terrorist.
  • Battlefield 3 suffers equally from this as well as never bothering to explain a lot of things. Virtually everything the campaign leads up to is advanced by people in charge making grievous mistakes in protocol, causing serious problems by simply not speaking to anyone or ignoring anyone that tries to speak, and the CIA unironically believing at face value that the Russians are the bad guys simply by virtue of being Russian. That, and refusing to even briefly entertain the hero that a terrorist group has obtained nukes and may be planning to detonate one in New York... despite the fact that they already did just that in Paris! You'd think that they'd want to avert a second nuclear disaster, but apparently the CIA's dedication to idiocy knows no bounds.
  • Dante's Inferno has Beatrice betting the devil that her paramour Dante will remain faithful to her while he's off fighting in the Crusades, wagering her soul to Satan in exchange for... nothing in particular. It turns out to be completely for naught.
    • Not to mention that Dante is only in the Crusades because the Obviously Evil bishop convinced him to enlist. He even completes his moment of idiocy by adding, "Would a bishop lie?"
  • Metroid: Other M is ostensibly about a team of elite soldiers led by the "greatest military mind", but the soldiers wander around like the Space Trucker crew from Alien and Adam has some form of short-term memory loss given how often he forgets to direct his troops properly or pay attention to the backstabbing assassin that's infiltrated his unit.
    • The entire game could have been resolved much more easily if Adam would just let Samus use her equipment. Yes, power bombs might have been a bit dangerous to his troops (this is the only time in the game he shows much concern for their survival), but there's no motivation given as to why he felt the need to restrict literally anything else, other than perhaps a desire to force Samus into line. Or, conversely, if Samus had just told him to screw himself and did her own thing - he does say if she does anything out of line he's kicking her off the mission, but realistically, with as much gear as Samus carries around and how skilled she is with it, there's no way he could force her to do anything if she didn't want to.
    • The Federation believes the best way to keep the whole thing hushed up is to let Adam's team explore the station with a single aforementioned assassin inserted on their team to eliminate them one by one. As opposed to, say, replacing Adam's entire team with their assassins or agents, or better yet, just telling Adam to back off and stop asking questions.
  • Yoshi's New Island would have us believe that the entire reason we're hauling Baby Mario across all of creation for a third time is because the Stork delivered the babies to the wrong house. Somehow. Despite, you know, having a map.
  • Played for Laughs in Octodad. The entire premise is about people being too dumb to realize that the protagonist is not a human, but an octopus. Granted, they can get suspicious about it, but the flopping about and lack of fingers tips them off only so much that they can become 99.99 percent sure that he's an octopus, but not act on it until they're 100 percent sure. There are only two people who know you're an octopus: the villainous sushi chef, with even that turning out to be a case of Right for the Wrong Reasons (he thinks everyone might be a fish pretending to be human) and your daughter, Stacy, who never mentioned it because they thought Everybody Knew Already. The protagonist too has his dumb moments, like when he's fooled by a decoy of his wife made out of food. Said wife also fails to recognize a guy who tried to kill her husband just a few years ago, and hilariously punctuates a harrowing assassination attempt on the protagonist out in broad daylight with "Honey, what's going on over there?"
  • A Creepypasta game called It Moves, the protagonist is constantly stalked by an unknown creature under his bunk bed. He is too afraid to talk about it to his parents but after what seemed like the third night, you'd think he'd just really tell his parents that there is something crawling under his bed. Instead he keeps it to himself for almost a year, constantly being watched and stalked by the unknown thing. His eventual solution for it is to move his bed away from the wall, and the thing stopped stalking him.
  • Rough Ranger, a Shoddy Knockoff Product of Rolling Thunder. The intro depicts the protagonists sitting at a table with a woman, then terrorists suddenly barge in, wander around like idiots for ten seconds (one even randomly decides to jump on the table for no reason), then capture the woman. The two heroes sit there and do absolutely nothing and wait until the woman gets kidnapped before they finally decide to stand up. The worst part: these were ordinary mooks they could have easily dispatched.
  • Star Trek Online:
    • The now-deleted mission "Divide et Impera" has you pick up a Starfleet admiral, Zelle, and attack what she says is a base where the Romulan Empire are developing weapons of mass destruction. It quickly becomes apparent you're actually attacking a legitimate research hospital, but due to railroading you're not allowed to call a halt... until it turns out Admiral Zelle is actually an Undine infiltrator and was using you to get to the base commander so she could Kill and Replace her. Zelle gets away clean, and there are no serious consequences for any of this. Cryptic once explained that the mission was supposed to be My Greatest Failure for the Starfleet PC and the opening of a three-mission arc, but parts two and three were never completed due to the game's legendarily Troubled Production. Eventually the Foundry mission "Divide ut Regnes" was written as a Fix Fic.
    • "House Pegh". The player is railroaded through a mission with Klingons who claim to be black-ops specialists... who then immediately beam in Kahless, the Klingon Empire's ceremonial emperor. Later in the mission he sees an Iconian, T'Ket, on a security camera and gets it in his brain to challenge her in "honorable combat". You are not allowed to offer any serious protests to this, even as a Federation or Romulan player. Kahless's attack is exactly as unsuccessful as you'd expect, and it takes a Klingon scientist technobabble'ing down the Iconian's shields to allow him to harm it. Then, with T'Ket on the ground and injured, Kahless takes the moment to gloat at length about honor. Predictably, T'Ket recovers and kills him while he's busy bragging, leaving the Sword of Kahless just lying there as the PC and the incompetent so-called elite hit team run away in terror from a couple of low-level Herald mooks. Backlash on the forums was intense: even most of the Klingon fans hated it.
    • "Broken Circle". Protip: A Zerg Rush against a fortified target, like, say, a Dyson Sphere, generally only works when the attackers have a significant numerical advantage, because fortification is a force multiplier for the defense (it limits the attackers' ability to attack the defenders). The defenders have the numerical advantage in this mission, and that leads to a failed Zerg Rush.
    • All of the temporal missions could have been avoided if Daniels just went back a few more weeks in time and stopped Noye from stealing the timeship.
    • Both the Iconian War and the Temporal Cold War turn out to be caused by a string of misapplied retribution scenarios, causing Stable Time Loops where one side attacks to pay the other side back for attacking them in the past, which in turn provokes the first attack and so on. Furthermore, the Temporal Accords attempt to designate some such time travel as desirable and some not, when according to Cryptic's blog no one version of events is actually more "correct" than any other. Hence, the Time Police are Unintentionally Unsympathetic because they're basically just trying to protect the version of events that put them in power, the Na'Kuhl are Unintentionally Sympathetic because they just want to put their ruined home planet back the way it was before all this nonsense started, and the Tholian delegate to the Temporal Accords signing ceremonynote  can come off as the Only Sane Man for calling for a ban on all time travel.
  • Stella Glow is built on this. The excuse is that Hilda had tried to explain what was going on in the past, it's just that no one believed her. The problem is that not only does she never try to explain it to the heroes until after the shit hits the fan, even though she has a corroborating witness who is held in high regard in the Lambert royal court, she also has no problem with her subordinates gleefully reveling in violence. You know you have this trope when someone is shocked to hear that a village-destroying spell called the Song of Ruin might be misconstrued as a bad thing.
  • Heavy Rain:
    • The entire plot hinges on the idea that several children have been kidnapped over the course of several years, each one followed shortly by the disappearance of the victim's father. None of the dads ever went to the cops, which might be forgivable in that the killer instructs them not to go to the police, but the police never manage to link the deaths of the children to the disappearance of the dads even after multiple victims.
    • Then you have Madison's chapters, where she spends most of her time doing things that any reasonable person would find stupid, dangerous, unreasonable, or some combination of the three. It doesn't help that all but the worst ones are But Thou Must! moments.
    • Just about everyone believes that the main character is the Origami Killer (even the main character himself, by way of suspecting a Split Personality)... despite the fact that he was in a coma when most of the murders occurred. His ex-wife and therapist, two of the people who should immediately be able to point this out, even tell the police they think he's suspicious!
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles X:
    • In the main quest, the team uncovers conclusive proof that a character is a traitor. The protagonist (not the Player Character) comes to this fact and tells the traitor's best friend, but NO ONE ELSE. Predictably, the best friend decides to give the traitor the benefit of the doubt and take a "wait and see" attitude. The very next mission, your Commander expresses concerns that there may be a traitor, but said protagonist never tells the commander about the evidence she has. These two baffling moves allow said traitor to later on make off with both humanity's ace-in-the-hole against the aliens who want to Kill All Humans and the data everybody needs to survive a ticking clock situation that will cause the entire human race to drop dead if unresolved.
    • In a side quest, you learn that there is a Human Shifter somewhere in town that has infiltrated human society in order to help secure their downfall. Realizing the threat posed by a character that can look like anyone at any time, your team decides to...split up immediately. Further, no Trust Passwords or other means of identification are set up before every character agrees to let each other out of their sight. Predictably, you find a character whose form had been assumed by the shifter and immediately try to take him under arrest. The guy, however, swears to you that he's totally not a shifter, but you should definitely take a look at some evidence he found way on the opposite end of town. Your character buys this. Of course, when you go to see the evidence, it's the read dead body of the person you just talked to. Fortunately for everyone involved, it turns out there are TWO shifters and the character who tricked you was the "good" one.
    • More generally, there are several missions where your party has a character helpless and then watch as they run away, screaming how they'll get their revenge. Despite everyone on your squad being armed and (possibly) piloting transforming battle mechs, no one takes any effort to shoot or impede the escaping character. Without exception, this always comes back to bite you—it's only a question of it's going to be during the same mission or some later one. If the game even gives you the chance of pursuing said character, they've sometimes covered an entire continent of ground before you even start going after them.
  • Done deliberately in Day of the Tentacle. The sludge that turns Purple Tentacle evil was produced by a machine that produces toxic sludge and nothing else, complete with a shutoff valve that is never used. After the prologue, Dr. Fred then decides that sending 3 trespassing 20-somethings back in time is the logical solution, rather than ask the police or military for help.
  • Jet Set Willy. Why didn't Willy just fire Maria, then hire a new housekeeper when fresh from a good night's sleep?
  • Rabi-Ribi. Trying to recruit a major character? Apparently, "okay, sure, I'll come to town and help out with whatever Master Rumi needs help with!" or "sure, if you'll do something for me in return" isn't satisfactory by this game's standards. Instead, one of two things will generally happen:
    • Said character will freak out and accuse Erina and Ribbon of aggression, even though Erina is clearly too sweet and passive to make such a move. Cue Bullet Hell boss fight to convince the person to come to town. In fact, attacking under impulse is how Ribbon greets Erina in the first place. It doesn't help that people with bunny ears are usually "those bunny-loving weirdos" at the UPRPRC, whom everyone hates, so Erina is constantly mistaken for a member.
    • The character is nice and level-headed for a change...until a brainwashing spell takes over and causes her to try to capture Erina. Cue Bullet Hell boss fight to break the person free of the spell. The brainwashing is in and of itself an Idiot Plot point, as this is part of a greater effort by Irisu, who additionally formed a club of bunny lovers who have since occupied the entire island much to the dismay of the island's residents. All because she wanted a bunny.
  • The X: Beyond the Frontier game as well as the X3 trilogy and X: Rebirth sequels (X2: The Threat is a completely different story altogether) would have never happened in the first place had the developers not written the backstory that made responsible the existence of an Idiot Plot. Had the Terrans possessed the common sense to take their time to meticulously and thoroughly fix that one buggy software update meant for the Terraformers, there would be no rampant genocidal self-replicating robots out there to menace the galaxy, if not the universe, and there also would not have been made possible the birth of an offshoot faction of the Terrans who would end up becoming a Lost Colony and then get locked into a Guilt-Free Extermination War with their parent faction over seven centuries later because of paranoiac xenophobia of Artificial General Intelligence ships. It's not like there was some sort of deadline to test it out on the Terraformers or something (although we may never know if there was a something like that). However, since the virtue of patience isn't found on the Terrans, we all knew what happened next. It seems the developers decided to make an Idiot Plot the driving force of the X-Universe games as we know today.
  • The plot of Kirby: Squeak Squad is driven by Kirby trying to get his stolen strawberry shortcake back, and it gets more ridiculous when Meta Knight takes a chest from the Squeaks and Kirby believes it has his cake inside. Meta Knight could have completely shut down the last portion of the game if he had spent a couple of minutes to explain things to Kirby, but nope! He chooses to make off with the chest, and Kirby chases after him, leading to Dark Nebula's release.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Snake has been told by both the DARPA chief, Anderson, and the Armstech president, Baker that they each gave up their half of the nuclear code necessary to launch a nuke. Anderson says they got his half by reading his mind, but Baker says that they both have implants in their brains to prevent this very thing. Snake is confused, but quickly moves on. Then he finds himself in a cell with Anderson's corpse, which has clearly been rotting for days, despite the fact that Snake spoke with him hours ago. Snake is confused, but quickly moves on. Then, as Raven is dying, he tells Snake that the man who he spoke to, the man who told him that the terrorists had his code was not the DARPA chief, but Decoy Octopus, a master of disguise. Campbell even mentioned this guy during the mission briefing, but the possibility was never broached before then. Snake is confused, but quickly moves on. It never occurs to him that everything Octopus said is suspect, including that the terrorists have the codes needed. Otacon even tells him that the card keys Baker gave him are two-way - if the system is unlocked, they lock it, and if it's locked, they unlock it - and specifically mentions the fact that they're a one-use-only deal and can't, say, immediately re-lock the system after they're used to unlock it. Snake doesn't catch on until it's too late. This guy has an IQ of 180?
    • Play the entirety of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and count the number of times Snake has a completely clear, uninhibited shot at Liquid Ocelot and doesn't simply pull the trigger. The events of the game could have been solved as early as the first act had Snake just shot the guy. It's idiotic enough even when you don't factor in how Snake has to try to get close the first time, because he insists on using his pistol for the job - despite invariably having picked up at least one long arm that could easily make the shot from much further away, without leaving him in the midst of five dozen of Ocelot's soldiers who would have immediately reacted to the old guy taking a shot at their leader - or that when he does realize the potential of a long arm for a long-range assassination, only does so for The Dragon who's already been visibly demonstrated multiple times to not be killable by any conventional means. Then the next time Snake gets a chance to take Ocelot out, he decides to just stupidly wander up to him instead of just shooting - not only resulting in him getting the supreme shit kicked out of him via CQC, but this is also what allows Liquid to achieve his Near-Villain Victory to begin with.
  • Played for laughs in Horatio The Third Senior Manjensen With Knuckles. Horatio runs off to begin his adventure before Morgan Treeman could give him a weapon that would apparently have given him the ability to beat the game instantly.
  • Pikmin 2 only happens because everyone with agency is a moron, and everyone who's not a moron has no agency. Olimar returns from a near-death experience only for his ship to be repossessed to repay company debts (the ship Olimar privately owns, mind). These debts happened due to an extremely unlikely incident involving a "ravenous space bunny", according to Louie (who's just covering his own ass, since he ate the entire cargo of expensive food). It turns out even with that Hocotate Freight is still circling the drain thanks to his boss walking into the wrong building and getting finance from a company actually called "All Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks". So minutes after Olimar's return, he and Louie are shoved into the company junkpile and flown back to the hostile alien planet. Olimar doesn't have the spine to object to any of this. Once making planetfall, they reunite with the pikmin, who are the smartest characters in the plot as they manage to not get themselves killed a solid 60% of the time. After gathering enough treasure to get the company out of the hole, Olimar blasts off... and somehow neither he nor the sentient ship notice they left Louie behind. When they get back, the Manager hears there's still money to be had, and with barely an afterthought to finding Louie, forces Olimar back to the distant planet with him AGAIN. After going through numerous dangerous dungeons and fighting possibly lethal bosses, all in the name of naked greed, they "rescue" Louie (who was hinted to have been attacking them intentionally) and finally leave for good. 90% of this could have been avoided if the Manager just paid more attention to street addresses and didn't hire a gluttonous, possibly murderous slacker.
  • Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon: As if the game didn't have enough problems, the entire plot could have been avoided if it wasn't for the King of Hyrule making a monumentally dumb decision in the opening cutscene. To be exact, he discovers that the island of Gamelon, ruled by his cousin Duke Onkled, is under attack by the forces of Ganon. What does he do? He goes down to the island pretty much by himself to non-specifically 'aid' the good Duke, with only the Triforce of Courage to protect him (without any indication of what sort of the protection the Triforce actually gives), instead of, say, invoking his royal authority and sending an army down there (and if he was willing to go there personally, then he clearly thinks Gamelon and/or the Duke is worth the trouble). Or, better yet, sending his highly-qualified adventurer BOI, Link, to take care of the problem (this is even more galling when you consider Link: The Faces of Evil, where the King's reaction to Ganon attacking a different island is to do exactly that), or at least bringing Link along as backup; instead he orders Zelda to only send Link if they don't hear back from him for a whole month, during which time he could have easily been killed or subjected to a Fate Worse than Death, placing the entire kingdom in jeopardy. The only person who's even the slightest bit concerned about this plan is Zelda, but her warnings get blown off because the Triforce of Wisdom (which acts like a Crystal Ball here for some reason) predicted the King would 'safely return'. To its credit, the King does safely return... after Duke Onkled betrays him to Ganon, who takes the Triforce of Courage (for all the good it did), keeps him prisoner and presumably tortures him for two months, forcing Zelda herself to come over and clear up the whole mess once Link screws up his rescue attempt and somehow gets trapped in a mirror (and he only gets free because of, essentially, a last-minute Deus ex Machina). If this version of Zelda wasn't a One-Woman Army, Hyrule would have been screwed.
  • Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back presents one of these from multiple angles. The plot happens because Crash Bandicoot is gullible enough to listen to Dr. Cortex when he says he needs Power Crystals to save the world from a disaster so that Crash will collect them all for him (which you have to do to beat the game), when in reality he wants to use the Power Crystals to power a new Cortex Vortex with which to hypnotize the entire world (this is not a spoiler, by the way; the opening cutscene has Cortex expositing about his new evil plan, if the game's title didn't tip you off already - it's only a secret to Crash). This is somewhat justifiable for Crash, since he's an Idiot Hero who runs on the Rule of Funny, but by Warp Room 4 Cortex seems to be going out of his way to tell Crash that he's evil, including a blatant Freudian Slip followed by N. Gin attacking Crash on sight when he comes to collect the crystals - if he hadn't done that, it's possible Crash might have just handed them over willingly. Then Cortex acts surprised when Crash defeats N. Gin in self-defence and still expects Crash to hand over the crystals. This is made worse in the N. Sane Trilogy remake, where Cortex is shown holding one of the crystals during the final boss chase - implying that Crash actually handed over the crystals after all even though Coco told him about Cortex's plan moments beforehand. Then there's N. Brio, who pulled a Heel–Face Turn after the first game and is working to foil Cortex's plan, and sends the first three bosses to take out Crash - but if you find a Gem, which can happen as early as the first level, N. Brio will contact Crash, but doesn't think to just tell Crash what Cortex is up to while acting just as Obviously Evil as Cortex; the bosses he sends don't say anything, either. In all fairness, N. Brio is completely off his rocker, and the later games - especially Twinsanity - suggest that Cortex and N. Gin aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed, either.
  • Octopath Traveler: Alfyn's Chapter 3 runs on its main characters making stupid decisions. Ogen doesn't tell Alfyn that Miguel, whom he'd refused to treat, is a thief and a murderer, instead insisting that he has the right to treat whoever he wants. As a result, Ogen comes off as a self-centered jerk, so Alfyn, who doesn't like or trust him, then saves Miguel's life. Alfyn's decision is more excusable, since it's the result of a character flaw, but it's still not very smart, since he stands by it even after learning the truth. Even the Arc Villain, the aforementioned Miguel, gets in on this, as he almost immediately kidnaps a child for ransom, even before his wounds fully heal, rather than continue to act as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. Alfyn catches the villain in the act, chases him down, and in the ensuing fight, Miguel's wound reopens, resulting in his death.
  • Yakuza 3: A large portion of the plot involves a 100 billion yen land deal involving the land Kiryu's orphanage stands on, and which Kiryu doesn't want to leave. A fraction of a percent of that money would have been more than enough to find and buy a new house outright instead of renting it, and keep all eight kids fed, clothed and housed until they turn 18. But instead of offering him a cut to move out, the Nakahara family try to muscle Kiryu off the property (which goes as well as can be expected) and the Tojo clan insists of turning down the deal in its entirety to not risk offending Kiryu, which, in turn, forces the Tojo chairman to side with the bad guys in Yakuza 4 just to keep the lights on at Tojo HQ.


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