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Informed Wrongness / Video Games

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  • Many players feel that a lot of the "evil" player choices in the The Force Unleashed series just veer too far into this territory instead. The first game's Light Side ending paints Starkiller as He Who Fights Monsters if he kills Palpatine... Never mind that (A) Starkiller has repeatedly used Dark Side methods and powers for good purposes before (including in this very battle) anyway, (B) he clearly just wants to finally be rid of this complete Sociopath rather than outright replace him, (C) Palpatine has frequently proven throughout the Star Wars franchise that his continued survival is only an overwhelming negative for the Galaxy, and (D) Palpatine is not above feigning defenselessness to throw the good guys off guard, which means he remains an active threat so long as he's alive, and he proves this less than ten seconds later in this very scene, forcing Starkiller to make a Heroic Sacrifice that would have been unnecessary if he had just killed him without distraction when he had the chance. Likewise, the respective Dark Side ending paints Starkiller's decision to kill Darth Vader as a Moral Event Horizon deserving of a Fate Worse than Death... even though (A) Starkiller has already suffered plenty in advance because of the guy; (B) Vader here retains little-to-none of his famous Noble Demon qualities from other parts of the franchise; and (C) Starkiller still tries to help the good guys afterward, thus being more of an Anti-Hero instead of actually invoking Face–Heel Turn. And the sequel's Dark Side ending doesn't even give the main Starkiller clone the chance to act on anything remotely consequence-worthy, simply giving him a Diabolus ex Machina death right then and there (in the form of another Starkiller clone, the Dark Apprentice — who, mind you, makes absolutely no appearance in the respective Light Side ending — suddenly appearing and stabbing you from behind with his lightsaber)... In addition to this, the Dark Side ending also somehow results in the death of Juno; instead of merely being unconscious like she was during the Light Side ending, she's inexplicably dead.
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  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Master Eraqus is painted as a narrow-minded Knight Templar who's too biased toward Light and against Darkness. However, while he definitely suffers from Poor Communication Kills, his beliefs themselves keep being reinforced by the franchise's very mythos — which always paints Darkness as the dangerous force and Light as the protective force, respectively — with the exception of one single character (Riku) who eventually learns to use Darkness without corrupting himself (but even then, he still cuts it close more than once, and he ultimately favors Light anyway). Additionally, it's that same Light Is Good mindset that enables Eraqus's Heart to ultimately reinforce Terra's against the full brunt of Master Xehanort's Dark Is Evil possession, as revealed in the Blank Points secret ending.
  • World of Warcraft
    • Arthas is framed as being in the wrong for culling Strathholme, as Jaina and Uther leave him because he crossed the In-Universe Moral Event Horizon and even stripped Uther of his rank and exiled his knights when he refuses. However, the majority of the fanbase agrees with Arthas, because not only did Uther and Jaina not see how quickly the plague spread and infected people, but neither give Arthas any advice, alternative suggestions, or even try to help him when it was clear he was suffering a Sanity Slippage and didn't want to purge the city, but felt he had to. Uther instead condemns Arthas for doing so, and Jaina pulls a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! and leaves, leaving Arthas with no one to try and help him besides his troops. Plus, Arthas ended up being right and doing so saved the kingdom from falling to the Scourge (though he would be the one to undo that later), and many would argue that Arthas made the right call in a bad situation. Blizzard's inability to settle on the issue doesn't help either; Jaina sees herself as wrong for not staying and stopping him, but in Shadowlands Uther is framed as in the right while Arthas was the one who was wrong, meaning that fans often side with Arthas regardless.
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    • During the Rage of the Firelands patch, the Night Elf Druid Leyara switched sides with Fandral Staghelm and became a Druid of the Flame because her daughter had been killed in one of the Horde's attacks on Ashenvale, an attack she felt could have been prevented if Malfurion Stormrage had taken a more proactive stance against the Horde. When he learned of this, Malfurion seemed to believe she was being unreasonable, but many players felt her anger was justified (and perhaps even agreed with her line of thinking, at least right up until she jumped off the slippery slope).

      The funny thing is that Leyara was supposed to be a Take That, Audience! towards the Alliance players who'd been complaining about the Druids' neutrality, but the way she was presented made players sympathetic to her and caused them to view Malfurion as even more of a Jerkass than they had before.
    • In the novel Wolfheart, King Varian is the only Alliance leader to refuse membership to the Worgen of Gilneas. Why? Not because they're Worgen but because Gilneas stood by behind their great walls and let their former allies be destroyed by the Undead, the Legion, and then later the Forsaken. Everyone tries to tell Varian not to be unreasonable, but Varian was forced to see the fall of many nations in the North while Gilneas buried their heads in the sand and refuses to offer aid when needed, so it isn't unreasonable he has reservations about giving help to someone who formerly refused to help you when you needed it. Naturally, Varian not only ends up liking the Worgen by the end of the novel but even leading them to counter-attack the Horde. His original reservations are simply brushed aside.
    • In Garrosh Hellscream's final confrontation with Thrall, he accuses Thrall of forcing the title of Warchief on him when he wasn't ready and making him into what he is. The writers obviously intended this to be a desperate case of Never My Fault on Garrosh's behalf. However, many players sympathized with Garrosh, feeling that Thrall had failed him as a mentor. Despite obviously wanting to build him up as a right-hand man and protégé, Thrall never made any serious attempts at reining in Garrosh's racism and warmongering, he romanticized Garrosh's father Grom as a great hero despite those same flaws being present in him, and he continuously rewarded Garrosh with higher and higher positions within the Horde, culminating in him being named Thrall's successor as Warchief over better-suited characters like Cairne and Vol'jin, something that was seen as a bad idea by many even at the time. While Garrosh should certainly be held responsible for his actions, Thrall both enabled him by putting him in a position of power, and failed to teach him how to lead wisely, so to see him just brush off all wrongdoing rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.
    • Xe'ra is said to be controlling and prejudiced against those who use powers besides the Light. The writers even intended to make her a case of exploring that not every Naaru is good from the player's perspective. Given that Illidan is coming close to He Who Fights Monsters and both Fel and Void often induce The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, she has a point about an aversion to non-Light powers; while it was wrong of her to omit that Naaru can turn into Void Gods, if she wanted to avoid that fate herself it makes her aversion to anyone using the Void understandable. Yet this purported prejudice didn't stop Xe'ra from recruiting people like the non-Light-using player characters, NCP Archmage Y'mera and Alleria (prior to Alleria's using the power of the Void, and even then Turalyon and Lothraxion talked her into being merciful. The fact that Turalyon and Lothraxion were both able to talk Xe'ra out of a more merciless approach proves that she's not controlling anyone, even the Lightforged Draenei). She's also a Naaru who's rallying people to help people fight the Burning Legion. Not only does it turn her into a Base-Breaking Character, the story treats her as if she's some Holier Than Thou fundamentalist and nearly everyone involved ends up disagreeing with her (except Turalyon). Despite Velen needing her help and being devoted to her cause (as recently as the Battle for the Exodar scenario, he suddenly switches face and doesn't object to Illidan killing her, only criticizing her decision to try to force the Light on Illidan. No one else called him out on this either except Turalyon. It's also egregious as the story is obviously Character Shilling for Illidan, but Xe'ra doing it is treated negatively.
    • The destruction of Theramore is considered a great crime of the Horde because Theramore was officially fairly neutral, had been aligned with the Horde before and their leader, Jaina Proudmoore, had strong ties to several Horde leaders. However, if you look at the path from Theramore to the Southern Barrens, you can see it's covered in steam tanks and soldiers who are pouring into what is undeniably Horde territory. The war in the Barrens doesn't seem to be going well for the Horde, either, including the burning of Camp Taura'je, the destruction of a tauren camp, the construction of a dwarf fortress on top of it and numerous other losses. Putting the end to this incursion by striking at the city that is at best allowing them to pass through unchecked is not an unreasonable response. Theramore had violated their neutrality first, but you won't see any (good) characters defending retaliating against them.
  • Valkyria Chronicles has the flinders of its moral lessons all over the place, but the Valkyria in general get the gold star for this one. We're told in no uncertain terms that Valkyria powers are Bad News, but we're never really given a good explanation for why that is; the closest we get is the fact that one guy in the entire world would want to exploit them for personal gain. One guy. Who dies at the end of the game after his homemade artificial Valkyria power-armor crapped out on him. But, since Ambition Is Evil and the Valkyria make tanks look like tinker toys, everybody who doesn't think that those powers are evil ends up crushed to death by raining anvils.
  • In the Ar Tonelico series, we're repeatedly given examples of Reyvateils being treated like trash...but we're supposed to assume the fault lies with them for "not trusting in others" enough, thus requiring the main characters to fix what's wrong with their heads. For the most egregious example that comes to mind, Misha didn't want to be locked up in a room all her life singing, and for this the game wants us to assume she's a whiny brat (and we're also supposed to assume The Hero was in the wrong for telling his father off for this, since it was his father's idea).
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma has Kokonoe wanting to sacrifice Celica to activate the Lynchpin needed to defeat the Imperator near the end of the story. Ignoring the fact that Celica is a clone and will die in six months regardless of what Kokonoe does, the only option other than doing what Kokonoe suggested would be to unleash an arsenal of nukes and render Ibukido uninhabitable that may solve the problem that everyone is trying to solve, the protagonists' plan is "hopefully we'll think of something" despite the fact that if they waited so much as half an hour, Ikaruga would be destroyed and the rest of the world would be next.
  • Metroid: Other M:
    • Samus leaving Adam Malkovitch's command to become an independent bounty hunter against his will note  is treated as a terrible decision and an act of betrayal toward her father figure (yet Adam doesn't really act like one in the flashbacks). Adam clearly resents her for this and this is why he's reluctant to work with her when they meet again years later. Samus belittles herself saying "I was young and naive" then proceeds to "redeem" herself by acting extremely obedient to Adam including one infamous instance where she doesn’t activate her Varia suit in a lava-filled area because Adam hadn't authorized it. It is later revealed in the game that her decision was motivated by the death of Adam's brother Ian with whom she was very close. Still it doesn't explain how quitting a job is something of an irreparable black mark especially when according to the other games her career as a bounty hunter was quite successful (she defeated the space pirates and saved the galaxy more than once) and when she said that she felt uncomfortable among her misogynist teammates who looked down on her.
    • The Big Bad Melissa Bergman/MB was a clone of Mother Brain created by the Galactic Federation to control their bioweapons. Despite this, they became a sympathetic figure until her developing personality and independence made them decide to reprogram her, with her parental figure failing to stand up for them causing her to snap. Samus pities her staying it was the wrongful treatment of her that pushed to villainy, except it doesn't seem that wrongful given she was one of the most dangerous villains reborn displaying all the red flags for A.I. Is a Crapshoot and attempted galactic genocide for the actions of a few.
  • This trope is why people began Rooting for the Empire from the initial previews of XCOM 2. Yes, the aliens have taken over Earth... and they've created advanced futuristic cities that people are offered the choice to move to, where they will be free of poverty, hunger and homelessness, they have shared incredibly advanced technology with humanity, and even provide free hospitals where genetic tailoring has severely reduced, if not eliminated, all manner of ailments and afflictions, like many genetic defects, cancer and AIDS. Even their Police State actions are justifiable since, y'know, there's a bunch of xenophobic conspiracy theorists running around blowing up hospitals, assassinating government officials, and murdering law enforcement officers. Really, the Advent initially comes off as being no worse than most human governments and in many ways better than they are. The informed wrongness completely disappears, however, when you discover that the aliens are still using humans as fodder for their experiments instead of treating them like people, and their hospitals and gene clinics are merely fronts for harvesting genetic material in order to find psy-capable gene sequences. A note is made by the XCOM resistance that all of the cases of missing persons last went to the clinics before vanishing.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: Inverted. Word of God is that the four paths to completing the core game (NCR-Aligned, Legion-Aligned, House-Aligned, Wild Card) were supposed to be a case of Grey-and-Gray Morality, with every faction having its downsides and its upsides. In practice, however, it comes off as a case of Black-and-Gray Morality: none of the apparent "benefits" of Legion rule are much more than referenced in-game, and all of its downfalls, like being host to a murderous band of neo-barbarians who make heavy use of slavery, brutally abuse women, wield torture and death as the "big stick" to force compliance, deploy Child Soldiers, practice Human Sacrifice in honor of Caesar and engage in cannibalism, are shown to us. Even much of their "good side" is undercut by further admissions of things like how the "peace" in their land is pretty much only the "peace" to be worked to death or fight and die for Caesar's will, or how it's guaranteed that they will fall apart once Caesar dies and slaughter themselves into irrelevance.
  • Sonic's alliance with Eggman in Sonic Lost World. After accidentally freeing the Deadly Six from Eggman’s control and they start to suck the planet dry of its life-force, Sonic accepts Eggman’s help to disable the extractor. This isn't an unreasonable decision since Eggman created the machine and does not want the world to be destroyed however Tails berates Sonic for trusting Eggman more than him. Although Eggman later turns against Sonic, this happens after they successfully stop the Deadly Six. Yet for some reason the game sides with Tails and ends with Sonic apologizing for "doubting him".
  • Invoked and played for laughs in Tropico 5 when Socialism is researched:
    Penultimo: (heavyhearted) Presidente, don't research that. Don't you know that if you do, you will then research Socialism. Which everyone knows is bad. We should stick to our current model of capitalist cronyism. I, my friends, and and all my relatives think is the best model for government.
  • If the protagonist of 80 Days considers helping the Black Rose with a robbery but doesn't go through with it, he will feel guilty for some reason when the Rose confronts him about it. And his "betrayal" is so shocking that it convinces her to never trust anyone ever again.
  • In Persona 5, there's the Phantom Thieves stealing Kunikazu Okumura's heart, which has the unintended consequences of Okumura being murdered by his co-conspirators, who proceed to frame the Phantom Thieves for his death, and which the Phantom Thieves believe is proof that they've become so preoccupied with their fame that they've lost sight of their goals. The problem is that Okumura is at least as bad as most of the Phantom Thieves' major targets, having run his food corporation in an exploitative way, and setting up an Arranged Marriage between his daughter Haru and the son of a Diet member in order to launch his political career, despite knowing that his soon-to-be son-in-law is an enormous creep that views Haru as a plaything. The Phantom Thieves are initially hesitant to steal Okumura's heart, even with possible evidence that connects him to being behind the mental shutdowns (he didn't do it, but he did request some of them, which is just as bad), since they don't know for certain whether he's guilty. That only changes once they meet Haru, who reveals that she's known about her father's misdeeds for some time, and that she'll soon be forced to move in with her fiance. While it is revealed that the Conspiracy hacked into Mishima's site to make Okumura the most requested target, the Phantom Thieves had good reason to target him.
  • The protagonist of Undertale's decision to kill some attacking monsters during a Neutral Run tends to cross into this territory, as they tend to be judged for killing monsters who were trying to kill them first. While it's true it's entirely possible to win every fight passively, it's not like the protagonist attacks NPCs or monsters who leave them be making it clear the protagonist understands the difference between combatants and civilians and is acting out of self-defense, nor does the protagonist have any issue interacting with or even befriending non-aggressive monsters cementing that they don't view monsters as a threat due to Fantastic Racism.
    • From a meta-standpoint the criticism is more justifiable as the protagonist's in-universe ability to rewind time including in the event of their death means they are never truly in mortal danger and can simply try again if they accidentally get someone killed, but most monsters aren't aware of this yet still hold a seemingly-normal lost child to an impossibly high moral standard.
  • At the end of Grand Theft Auto IV, Niko is offered a chance to work with Dimitri Rascalov for a butt-load of money. If Niko decides to put aside his grudge against him and do the deal, Kate gives him shit for abandoning his principles for money when all he really did was abandon common sense for money. You can even argue that he shows something akin to moral fiber by making an earnest attempt to let bygones be bygones so they can both benefit.
  • During Detroit: Become Human, robot-protagonist Connor is given the option to shoot a hostile, errant stripperbot involved in a murder, who turns around to charge at him after a vicious brawl. This is, all things considered, textbook self-defense, but Connor never describes it as such and his partner Hank will chew him out for an unjustified application of lethal force.
  • Harvest Moon: Back to Nature: If you build a fence out of Gold Lumber, the entire town will hate you. Everyone, including the kids, will berate you at your home because they feel insulted. Harris threatens to arrest you, Carter claims the gods will punish you, and the Harvest Goddess herself gets angry. The only thing the protagonist has done "wrong" is flaunt their wealth.
  • Assassin's Creed: Odyssey:
    • The end of the Fate of Atlantis DLC tries to paint Layla skewering Otso Berg as proof of her being corrupted by the artefact she's holding. Except he's the leader of a black ops team who's just revealed he's been following Layla since the game began, has tried to kill her teammates as recently as a few days ago, actually did kill Layla's best friend, and violently refused an attempt at a truce just two minutes prior, hence the skewering. Layla fighting back and badly injuring the guy is more like basic common sense.
    • Before that, there's Victoria taking the staff, demanding that Layla is being corrupted and needs to make a choice between the staff or her. Yes, the staff's effects on Layla are clearly concerning, and Layla taking the staff back does result in Victoria's death, but the staff is also an item that may well be vital in the saving of the planet, while Layla's actions are in the name of attempting to master its power - rather than just rip Layla out of her Animus session that is providing the teaching for this mastering attempt and demand she make a choice, one would think Victoria would pick a better moment to discuss this. Instead, though, this is played as Layla falling prey to the corruption of the staff, instead of a horrific accident caused by one person pressing an issue at a really bad moment.
  • The "Protocol 10" that the bad guys who run the titular prison in Batman: Arkham City keep counting down to turns out to be a plan to use the excuse of a prison riot to kill all the prison inmates. The game treats it as a given that Batman, and by extension the player, should stop this. But while Kill 'Em All would normally qualify as a Moral Event Horizon, within the game's universe there don't seem to be a whole lot of alternatives. The Enemy Chatter you hear from the prison inmates throughout the game is split between Expo Speak to guide the player, saying how much they love murder, torture and rape, and saying how much worse their supervillain bosses are. Imprisoning them doesn't work, as all these inmates are already in prison and that isn't slowing their villany down much (the Joker for instance engineers a massive bio terrorism attack that endagers thousands of civilians outside the prison, just to motivate Batman to find a cure for him), even if they don't feel like escaping from Arkham this week. And the audio recordings of therapy sessions with Batman's villains you could find in the last game showed that therapists never succeed and rarely survive unharmed, so rehabilitation and treatment are out too. It honestly seems better for Gotham to evacutate the 0.1% innocents who are trapped (always about to be brutalized by the other 99.9% when Batman gets there) and let the prison burn. But when you get the option to do that while playing as Catwoman, the game just drops a Diabolus ex Machina on you, then literally rewinds so you can make the "right" choice.
  • Final Fantasy IV: When the party first meets Prince Edward he's in tears, having being the sole survivor of a massacre that killed his family and his girlfriend. Their response to this? Shaming him, slapping him and ordering him to stop crying. That's right, he's treated as a spineless weakling for daring to grieve after having just witnessed all his loved ones getting slaughtered.