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Iron Woobie / Video Games

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  • The Wayne brothers from Battle Garegga: two Gadgeteer Geniuses who produce advanced machines for the government in exchange for riches, only to discover said government using what they created for malicious conquest and aggression. Nonetheless, they take off in their Super Prototype Cool Planes and destroy their own war machines in order to stop the government, by themselves. The most emotion they show is some stoic pondering in their endings in Armed Police Batrider.
  • BlazBlue:
    • Dr. Litchi Faye-Ling. She is a kind doctor who knew she's slowly being corrupted by the Boundary in exchange of a great power that she uses for fighting and trying to discover a cure for her lover turned Eldritch Abomination. And for that, she even left her previous job as scientist and endangers herself with a court-martial. Interaction with the townspeople where she resided, townspeople that looked up to her, would make you think that they'll make good moral support for her quest, but she never tells them her situation, which means she's carrying her burden alone. Then, when she sought help from her superior and got refused, the corruption is catching up to her limit, her only option to continue was to join the rival organization, which stores one person that she knew to be a Devil in Plain Sight, and she did so anyway, knowing that her previous organization would do even worse than court-martial from that point on if they ever catch her. And while at first she thought the organization was just 'normal' or better than her previous one, she starts seeing that it is rather... shady and questionable, but she decided to bear all that. In her own words... "I can't go back. Even if I have to sacrifice some of my humanity."
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    • One of the main characters, Ragna the Bloodedge was a young man who lived happily with his brother Jin and his sister Saya. Then a psychotic hipster named Yuuki Terumi burned down his home, killed his adoptive guardian, brainwashes Jin to have him chop his arm off and stab him through the chest, and kidnaps Saya for good measure. He gets a new arm called the Azure Grimoire from a girl who rescues him, which grants him awesome power but will probably one day kill him horribly. He also has many people out to capture him either for his arm or the enormously huge bounty on him for going against the NOL and a psychotic Yandere clone of his sister whose method of showing affection toward him is to repeatedly stab him with the hundreds of blades she has on her disposal. Yet, despite these horrible events, he still goes on to keep kicking ass (preferably Terumi's).
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  • Ayane from Dead or Alive qualifies. She was born from her biological father, Raidou, raping her mother to get back at one of his enemies, and was hated and mistreated by her village of origin as a result, with the only two that ever treated her well being her friends Hayate and Kasumi, and her adoptive father Genra. Though she and Kasumi are friends and she's crushing on Hayate, the rest of the village tries to keep her away from them due to associating her with Raidou. Then she finds out from her mother that Kasumi and Hayate are her half-siblings, and that while they're treated like ninja royalty, she's outcast because her mother didn't claim her due to the trauma of her birth circumstances. Then Raidou comes back to the village seeking a technique they guarded, and while she's beaten aside easily, Hayate is crippled when she fails to protect him. Kasumi then leaves the village to seek revenge, and Ayane is assigned to kill her for breaking the code of secrecy surrounding the village. And this is all before leaving the backstory! She proceeds to have to face off with both her best friend andher amnesiac love interest when Hayate is brought back by DOATEC as Ein as part of Project Epsilon. Then in the third tournament, she finds out that her adoptive father has been kidnapped by DOATEC and turned into the monstrous bioweapon known as Omega, forcing her to enter the tournament, whereupon she defeats and kills him to set him free of DOATEC's slavery. And past that, with Hayate back as of the fourth game, Kasumi is still marked for death due to Honor Before Reason, and Ayane is still loyally serving her clan to take her down. And through all of this, the only hint of the pain we ever see going through her is a single tear when she's cremating Genra's body after he dies. One really wonders how Tecmo could hurt her worse if the series had gone on.
  • Poor, poor Isaac Clarke of Dead Space is just an engineer who was sent on a clean-up job in space. What he finds is a ship simply filled bow-to-stern with Nightmare Fuel. Yet, in spite of it all, he goes through Hell and back to not only complete his repairs but also save his girlfriend Nicole, who, it turns out, has been Dead All Along. After the spoiler makes him undergo a Heroic BSoD (that lasts for about five seconds), he sucks it up, moves forward, destroys an Eldritch Abomination, and escapes, unfortunately haunted byhallucinations of Nicole. He is confined to a mental institute, where the government keeps him in and out of stasis for three years, using his madness to construct another Artifact of Doom. Another Necromorph outbreak later, Isaac not only has to worry about the space zombies, government agents out to kill him, and the Church of Happyology trying to kidnap him, but also the hallucination of his girlfriend trying to drive him to suicide.
    • The worst part about it all? Isaac tried as hard as he could, but in the end, The Bad Guy Wins, with the Brethren Moons arriving to consume the human race
  • The main character of Dragon Quest V. No other character in the entire Dragon Quest series compares to him. Where to even begin. His father is murdered right in front of him as a child. He lives as a slave for the next ten years constructing an icon of blasphemy. He and his wife are turned to stone for another seven years, mere days after his twin children are born. They get separated during this, and she does not get unpetrified until well after he is. And as probably the biggest Player Punch in the entire series, his mother, who he and his father had been searching for the entire game, is murdered right in front of him just minutes after he'd finally found her. And yet despite all this, he NEVER breaks down. If that's not an Iron Woobie, what is?
  • Craig Boone of Fallout: New Vegas. You poor man. Take off your stoic sunglasses and let us see your pain. He was present at the Bitter Springs Massacre and suffers immense survivor's guilt and PTSD as a result. He meets a girl who accepts him and becomes his wife but she doesn't get on with Boone's only friend causing tension between them. His wife, pregnant with his child, is sold into slavery by someone in their town. Boone tracks down the legion slavers to one of their biggest outposts where they are planning to sell her and faced with no other option kills his wife and flees (being outnumbered several hundred to one). When he gets back to Novac he can't trust anyone because any of them might have been the one to sell his wife and he can't fix his relationship with his friend. In various dialogue with him, he outright states that he's stopped expecting a break and thinks the universe is just waiting for him to let his guard down so it can screw him over again.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy IX:
      • Zidane Tribal is the 16-year-old Chivalrous Pervert hero of the group. As the story begins, he falls in love with a princess named Garnet. On the way to Lindblum, Zidane sees the horrible misdeeds of Queen Brahne. As he continues his journey, he witnesses many deaths at the hands of Vivi's race, The Black Mages. By the time Zidane has found out about the true author of the war, his hometown of Lindblum is destroyed and his adopted brother, Blank, is turned to stone by the Evil Forest. When the remaining group of Zidane, Vivi, Dagger (formerly Princess Garnet), and Quina head to the Outer Continent, Zidane discusses his Calling the Old Man Out to Baku, his abusive adoptive father, and how he was looking for his home, with the only clue being a blue light. When Zidane finds out he is an Artificial Human from the neighboring planet of Terra, he falls under Garland's mind spell causing him to reject his friends. It is only after Dagger saves him that he realizes that he was under a mind spell and his resolves grow to stop both Kuja, now revealed to be his brother, and his actual father, Garland. In spite of all this, the kid still manages to keep a smile. When the Iifa Tree threatens to consume the world, and Necron tries to absorb the souls of it, Kuja pulls a last-second redemption and dies in the process, causing even Zidane to feel sorry for him. At the end, when Zidane is thought to be dead, it turns out he survived, and the ending has Queen Garnet embracing him.
      • Freya Crescent starts off the game as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold dragon knight to the Kingdom of Burmecia. Throughout the game, both her entire hometown (including the women and children) are massacred by Kuja's black mages with only a few survivors. Upon heading to the neighboring settlement of Cleyra, Freya's resolve to protect it grows, especially when the stone creating the sandstorm protecting the village shatters. When the Alexandrian Army and Kuja's mages invade Cleyra, Freya witnesses even more death of innocents from her hometown, and meets her boyfriend Sir Fratley, who sadly doesn't remember her at all. When Brahne summons Odin to destroy Cleyra, Freya is among the few survivors of her hometown and Cleyra both in ruins. After all this, Freya barely keeps it together, having lost everything.
    • Final Fantasy X:
    • Final Fantasy XIII: Fang. She became Ragnarok to crack Cocoon's shell to complete hers and Vanille's focus. She mentions on several occasions that Pulse has a fear of Cocoon just like Cocoon has a fear of Pulse. Forgetting everything about her time as Ragnarok, she's tortured in front of Vanille by Orphan, watches helplessly as her friends are transformed into Cie'th, and decides to go through with becoming Ragnarok to save Cocoon at the end of the game, becoming a crystal again. This woman has had it rough.
  • All the Future Children from Fire Emblem: Awakening count in, in one way or another. All of them come from a HORRIBLE Crapsack World that is actually their home's Bad Future, are terribly traumatised by what they've witnessed and many have added trauma for what came before that... and yet all of them, even the weaker ones like Brady, Noire or Yarne, are determined to fix what's wrong in the past and save their parents from dying before it's time. And nothing will deter them from such a decision.
  • Fire Emblem Fates:
    • Having lost everyone she loved and cared about in the village destroyed by the Faceless (and having to watch her mother die right in front of her), one really has to feel sorry for Mozu. And despite all of this, she's a competent Magikarp Power Plucky Girl. Not to mention that while she does occasionally cry about it in her supports, Mozu always ends up becoming even more useful to the army.
    • Princess Elise has had a very hard life, barely knowing her father Garon before he underwent Sanity Slippage, having a mother who never loved her and drifting apart from Xander, her Big Brother Mentor with a side of Promotionto Parent, due to his duties. And if playing Birthright, things get even worse for her, ending with her being accidentally killed by said brother. Despite all this, she still manages to be one of the kindest and most optimistic characters in the game and the only sibling who never fights the Avatar under any circumstance, fully believing in peace between both kingdoms until the end. This shows even in her last words in Birthright: she dies believing that the worlds need less war and more kindness.
    • Princess Sakura was traumatized by her father's death and the Avatar's kidnapping, especially because she later learned about some rumors that say SHE was supposed to be kidnapped by Nohr, not him/her. She has almost crippling anxiety and insecurities. She loves her siblings a lot, but is emotionally distanced from Hinoka (and it takes Hinoka a while to realize it) and, in Conquest and to lesser degree towards the end of Birthright, she can't do lots to help the very troubled Takumi. And yet she learns to become a White Mage and miko (which, according to Azama, is rare among Hoshidan nobles), refuses to just give up even if the Avatar doesn't choose Hoshido, takes up arms in Conquest despite hating warfare, is the first of all the siblings to join the Avatar in Revelation, gains the love of several of her love interests for her Silk Hiding Steel traits rather than her cuteness (including even the Nohr Princes in Revelation) and remains sweet, helpful, kind and loving no matter what.
    • Queen Mikoto has not had a very good life. First, she was the lover of Anankos' good side and had his child, but Anankos eventually left her and their child for their safety and she went on to marry King Sumeragi. Then her husband was killed and her child was taken from her. Shortly after being reunited with said child, she dies protecting them. The assailant? The reanimated corpse of her husband Sumeragi, being controlled by her former lover Anankos. But this woman never really lost her gentle smile, ruled wisely over Hoshido itself, raised the Hoshidan siblings plus her protegée Azura lovingly as if they were her birth children, was among the few who accepted Orochi the way she was despite her family's bad fame, and even as she died, she did so calmly and telling the Avatar that she was relieved they were safe.
    • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has the Deliverance's Supporting Leader, Clive. He watched as the kingdom he had dedicated his life to serving fell into chaos thanks to the King's incompetent rule, and then after that as Desaix took the throne. He formed the Deliverance to fight back along with his lover, his sister, his subordinate/friends and his best friend, but it was clear from the start that it was a losing battle. Ultimately, he loses Zofia castle, seemingly rendering everything the Deliverance had done up to that point moot, and what is left of his ragged forces are forced to take refuge in Terror infested catacombs. Sometime after that, his girlfriend Mathilda was captured by Desaix and held hostage; he refused to surrender but was also too afraid to make any sort of move, leaving the Deliverance in a stalemate. It's little wonder that multiple characters note that the war and leading the Deliverance is taking a toll on him. He eventually tried to pass his role as leader off to Mycen and then Alm, but even that didn't fix everything: Fernand, his friend from childhood (and who has his own issues), betrays him and calls him a mockery of his former self. He can potentially lose the love of his life and his beloved sister over the course of the game, and no matter what Fernand will die in his arms with Clive powerless to save him. Yet in spite of all of this, he always acts kind and understanding towards all his troops and only ever shows outward distress in the direst of situations.
  • Leon from F-Zero X onward. The kid was no more than four when invaders ransacked and virtually razed his home planet of Zou. Leon lost both his parents and his left eye that day. Eleven years later, the F-Zero GP races are gearing up for a revival and the people of Zou choose him to be their representative. All he has is a second-hand machine created by a guilt-wracked rebel soldier from the big war years ago. His chances of winning are slim and Leon wants to make the children of his planet happy again. Yet, he never complains about the hardships he's had to endure even once and instead stays optimistic and cheery, standing head-and-shoulders above the rest of the cast as the most selfless character of the series.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn: Lost your parents in the war? Surrounded by the hostile thoughts, words, and deeds of paranoid warmongers on all sides? Forced into destroying the country and endangering the world? Brother commits a Heroic Sacrifice to prevent you and a friend from doing the same? Saddled with responsibility for an entire nation without the understanding to help them? Welcome to another day in the life of Sveta Czamaral.
  • Axl Low from Guilty Gear is a funny, friendly British Nice Guy who was torn away from his friends and his girlfriend Megumi to be a pawn in the conflicts of cosmic beings from another timeline. He doesn't care about any of their shit and just wants to go home, so he reluctantly follows along while looking for anyone who can get him out of his predicament. He finally does meet this person, for them to tell him he's not even human, but a sentient bundle of time magic, and his girlfriend, if she ever existed, has probably been wiped from existence along with his original timeline because of his own actions. To twist the knife further, he even eventually gets a chance to go home to his time, but he can't bring himself to leave his new friends and their timeline to their fate. So he instead uses his power to help Sol Badguy seal the deal in his fight to save the timeline.
  • The title character in ICO has been through a lot. He's been taken away from his family to be sacrificed for God knows what reason, he is trapped in a castle without knowing a way out, and he probably hasn't eaten or drank in a while. However, he is still strong-willed enough to find a way out of the castle, fight monsters, and help a girl — whom he doesn't even know — from getting her body taken over by her powerful and evil mother even if he has to fight her.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Everyone Mickey Mouse knows either dies, disappears, goes into a coma, or falls to darkness, he's an utter failure at protecting the worlds and his friends and loved ones from the encroaching darkness, and his life is best described as "hell". He is also frequently compared to prequel trilogy era Yoda in combat prowess, and despite over 12 years of constant defeat and failure, refuses to give up, and stays pretty optimistic. Well, at least he still has his supporting cast of the Disney cartoons.
    • The Beast lives in a cold and dark castle in the middle of nowhere with a curse that had made him into a vicious-looking monster for several years can be depressing, no less with the fact that the curse can only be broken if a woman loves him for who he is. Depressed and angry for many years, a woman finally comes to his castle and after some hard time they learn to get along and Beast finally finds some happiness in his life. And then the castle gets destroyed and the woman kidnapped by The Heartless, and Beast ends up in nowhere of the universe. Through sheer force of will alone he ends up in Hollow Bastion and with all his strength fights through the forces of darkness to save his beloved without complaining or whining.
  • Nautilus from League of Legends. Oh boy. He was a sailor who was left to die by his fellow seamen after he dived into an unidentified, pitch-black section of the ocean and was grabbed by something and dragged down. When he awoke after who knows how long, his heavy diving suit had been fused with his skin, and he was lost in complete darkness. With nothing else left to do, he walked. Too heavy to swim and weighted down by the suit, he walked along the ocean floor until he eventually hit the shores. However, he found that there was nothing left for him on the surface. No home, no family, no friend, nothing. The only reason he joined the eponymous League of Legends is that someone might be able to help him discover something about himself.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Jack from the second game. She was kidnapped as an infant from Cerberus, forced into an experiment that was pure horror day in, day out, for the sake of finding out if trauma increases biotic power. When she escaped, she flew with pirates, was used as a sex object repeatedly, dropped a moon onto a colony...
      Jack: ...and that's the boring shit.
    • The amount of suffering that Commander Shepard can be put through (losing the entire family to Batarian slavers/growing up an Earthbound orphan, losing a squad on Akuze, facing routine accusations of being crazy by the very people he/she's trying to protect, losing a love interest in either game, dying at the beginning of the second, being forced to work with the people responsible for Akuze, facing the consequences of The Arrival, and possibly dying for real during the Suicide Mission) is almost comical, yet none of this will stop him/her from shrugging it all off and saving the galaxy. In Mass Effect 3, S/he experiences an enormous amount of losses, experiences serious Survivor Guilt, and is forced to carry the fate of the entire galaxy on his/her shoulders. Joker notes at one point that while resting s/he's under more stress now than s/he was in his/her background (which involves either holding a platoon by him/herself, watching his/her squad get devoured by Sand Worms, or leading a suicidal assault against an enemy fort). By the end, s/he's so exhausted that s/he can barely keep his/her eyes open, has suffered third-degree burns, is bleeding to death from a stomach wound, and got caught in a blast from HARBINGER, but when Admiral Hackett calls him/her, s/he immediately gets back up and responds.
      Shepard: [through labored, steadying breaths] W...what do you need me to do?
    • Javik, the downloadable Prothean survivor squadmate, never seems to be anything less than calm and in control. However, talking to him reveals a lot of suffering in his past. Not only is he the last of his species, but if you tell him to use the Echo Stone, he shares with you the fact that he was the commander of a ship like the Normandy... except that, when the Reapers had it attacked and the crew carried off, they got everyone except for Javik himself. He singlehandedly stormed a Reaper fortress, desperately trying to save his people... but they were already indoctrinated by then, and he was forced to Mercy Kill them all to escape.
  • Metroid's own Samus Aran. The toughest warrior in the galaxy, destroyer of worlds... and everyone she knows and/or cared about dies in front of her. She has been forced by circumstance to wipe out entire species of super-predator (the sole survivor of one died saving her life), and spends most of her time on-screen either wandering the crumbling ruins of the civilization she was raised in and its allies or hunting down the ones responsible.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • Scorpion. Dear god, yes. His entire clan gets killed, and he himself falls to the elder Sub-Zero, Bi-Han. Then after being brought back as a spectre, he's forced by Shang Tsung to work alongside the guy who killed his family. In life and in death his story is an endless stream of tragedy, and his game endings are usually bad, right down to becoming the vessel of Dark Kahn's rebirth in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Yet he still continues on. Even worse, the Elder Gods are dicks to him. In Mortal Kombat: Deception, they make Scorpion their Champion to deal with the threat of Onaga. He agrees on the terms that his family and clansmen be revived by the Elder Gods. When he delivers, the Elder Gods uphold their end of the bargain... by reviving the Shirai Ryu as undead abominations in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. No wonder he goes all Rage Against the Heavens afterwards.
    • Mortal Kombat II: Not only is Kitana's father is killed by Shao Kahn during his bloody takeover of Edenia, her mother Sindel commits suicide out of grief for her departed husband. Shao Kahn then manipulates the poor girl into serving as one of his assassins and makes her falsely believe that he is her birth father. He also creates a disfigured clone of her to act as her "sister" and ultimately off her should Kitana prove to be unreliable. Who knows how long this lasted for, seeing as Kitana is over 10,000-years-old. When she finally breaks free, Kahn then revives her mother and brainwashes her as a tool for his invasion of Earthrealm. Eventually, all of this is sorted out. Then comes Shinnok. And after that is resolved, Kitana proposes to her love interest Liu Kang, only for him to reluctantly decline due to his status as Earthrealm's Champion. Then Quan Chi and Shang Tsung get the jump on him before Deadly Alliance and kill him. And then she dies in battle with Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, and is later revived by Onaga and — you guessed it — brainwashed to serve him. The one time she breaks down (her Unchained ending) is justified, as her premonitions about the end of the world are coming true (as seen in Armageddon). The girl's got it rough. It gets more devastating in the 2011 reboot when she finds her "sister" and hears from her so-called father that he killed her real father and nearly gets executed. Then her mother gets brainwashed and unlike last time in the original timeline, she gets killed by her brainwashed mother who doesn't realize what she has done and is an undead warrior who is brainwashed.
  • Aribeth de Tylmarande from Neverwinter Nights, whose entire life story is a Trauma Conga Line of epic proportions best summed up as the tale of a woman who tried very hard in the face of a universe that hated her and ended up failing anyway, fighting tooth and nail to get an Esoteric Happy Ending at the end of the last expansion pack. She somehow puts on a calm public face through a series of tragedies that would make strong men weep in spite of all this.
  • In Octopath Traveler, Primrose Azelhart best embodies the trope out of the eight heroes. When she was a young girl, she watched the father she dearly loved get murdered by three men. She spent the following years alone and destitute with no clues about the killers' identities and nothing but the possibility of revenge to keep her going. Eventually she heard a rumor that one of the killers would occasionally patronize a certain tavern, so she got a job as a dancer there, enduring the owner's perverted advances and the scorn of her fellow dancers for a few years more. And this is before the game's story properly begins. When she finally gets a proper lead on one of the killers, the tavern's owner punishes her for going off behind his back by murdering the only friend she had there before Primrose kills him. She hunts down her father's killers one by one until she reaches the mastermind, her childhood crush who turns out to be a sadistic sociopath. The whole time she's fighting him, she endures psychological attacks while a play he wrote recounting all of the worst moments of her life goes on in the background. In the end, despite having gotten her vengeance, Primrose doesn't feel happier. Nevertheless, she decides to keep soldiering on until she finds something to live for.
  • Overwatch: Oh baby, let me tell you about Mei-Ling Zhou. She's an Overwatch scientist at a research point in Antarctica that goes into cryogenic sleep with her friends because an ice storm makes a resupply impossible. So she goes to sleep, wakes up, everything seems relatively normal... and then everything goes horribly wrong. First, Mei learns she's been asleep for 9 years, way beyond any reasonable expectation of rescue. Why? On to number two: Overwatch was disbanded while she'd been asleep, so never mind being out of a job, nobody even knows Mei and her friends are still there. And then, the ultimate cherry on top: she realizes she's all alone in the station, and that's because all of her friends' cryochambers suffered a malfunction and they all died a horrible frozen death. So Mei's the lone survivor on the South Pole in a research station with barely any power, supplies, no means of communication with the rest of the world, no way to get out as all the vehicles are frozen, and only her robot companion Snowball to keep her company. Despite all this, not only does she vow to take the years worth of climate data to the world in the name of her dead friends, she actively creates her endothermic blaster Tony Stark-style with odds and ends around the station and sets off on foot to rejoin and save the world.
  • Parasite Eve:
    • At a young age, Aya Brea's mother and sister died in a car crash. Many years later, her spontaneous urge to see a play lead her to be the sole survivor of Eve's initial massacre. Throughout the game she consistently arrives just too late to save anyone from Eve, at best being able to comfort some of the victims in their last moments. On top of this, she's saddled with the enormous responsibility of being the only one who can fight Eve. Despite all this she carries on, not only saving New York from Eve but also returning for two sequels. The second game allows Aya to save many more people (although several of these people can die if the player fails to do certain things). However, she also receives the revelation that all of the mutated monsters she's been fighting throughout the game were originally human and were mutated by being injected with Aya's own cells. Despite all this, she goes on to have a seemingly happy, normal relationship with Kyle Madigan.
    • Eve Brea is no slouch either. She's a clone of Aya, held in a secret underground facility where she's treated as little more than a living weapon and is manipulated by the Big Bad to try and kill Aya. Still she survives, and is later Happily Adopted by Aya...until the third game, where Eve spends the entire game believing she's Aya Brea, only for it to be revealed at the end that Aya was Dead All Along and that Eve was the one who killed her, thus triggering the events of the game, culminating in the player being forced to personally pull the trigger and kill the real Aya. On top of that, she's forced to kill most of her closest friends and has recurring nightmares of her wedding day. But at the end of the game Eve-as-Aya commits herself to continue her work as a government agent to carry on Aya's legacy, even though the original Aya has been erased from the timeline and Eve is the only one who remembers.
  • Take Marona from Phantom Brave. Now take all the hate, and loathing directed at her; and take Ash away. That's Carona. Willing to be considered a villain, willing to save the world anyway. Willing to train the people she's being forced to bring into a trap so that they're strong enough to break out of it. Willing to go back to her world even though Marona and Ash would have welcomed her in theirs and she refused to take Ash with her when Marona offered.
  • Cubone is more of a straight-up woobie, having lost its mother and filling her empty skull with tears. However, the evolved form Marowak is pure Iron Woobie material: a badass club-wielding warrior who's gotten over mama's death and uses past anguish as fuel for its ferocious battling.
  • Recette, the protagonist of Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, Not only was she abandoned by her dad in all but name, & her mom might be dead, she also lived alone for 3 months, might've been starving by the time the game's events roll around, and has to perform child labor in order to pay off the enormous debt her dad left her (and she loses her house, & has to live in a box, if she fails)]. It's amazing she's able to put up such a friendly smile each day.
  • Steppenwolf: The X-Creatures Project: The Steppenwolf himself, Alan Kane, was forced into hiding after the Heruka Incident, which led to the massacre of every scientist on the Gene-X research team. He was led to believe that his wife was killed in a plane crash when in reality, she had been transformed into the bloodthirsty Heruka. He wandered the world in search of the X-Creatures, eventually coming to realize the truth about his wife and watching her die in front of him before he finally earned his revenge against Donovan.
  • Ryu of Street Fighter fame becomes this in the Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind anime OAV, the prequel to the Street Fighter IV game. He has been dealing for years already with a horrifyingly strong Superpowered Evil Side known as the Satsui no Hado, said Superpowered Evil Side has begun to become stronger, he gets involved in a massive conspiracy due to such a side, almost loses himself to it when one of his friends is beaten within an inch of her life and is terribly shaken when that happens and it turns out he could've severely beaten his Hero-Worshipper while under the SES's influence... but ultimately he refuses to fall in despair and anger, and with his friends' help he comes out stronger than he was before.
  • Strider: The NES Version of Strider Hiryu gets it worse than his manga counterpart. After being forced to kill his insane sister Mariya, he retired to a village in Mongolia to live in peace, until his former superior at the Striders, Vice-Director Matic, called him back into duty demanding Hiryu to take on a mission to assassinate his(Hiryu's) friend Kain/Cain after he was captured during a mission in Kazakh. However, Hiryu denounces killing him right away and instead rescues and brings him back to the Blue Dragon Station. As Hiryu learns of Enterprise's/the Syndicate's ZAIN brainwashing Project from Kuramoto, the Striders' Director, he was forced to defend himself from his friend Cain, getting the latter injured in the process. Learning that his sister Mariya and his friend Cain were guinea pigs in the Project along with Matic's involvement in it, Hiryu sets out to kill everyone involved. But as he travels the world to destroy ZAIN's terminals, Cain escapes. Later, Sheena, trying to find Cain, ends up being mortally injured. Moments before she dies, she asks Hiryu to get Matic. A dying Cain would later send a last message to Hiryu on the location of Matic's station, the Red Dragon Base. After killing Matic and stopping him.
  • Asriel Dreemurr from Undertale. He loses both his SOUL and his best friend, causing his existence to be one of indescribable loneliness. And while he doesn't exactly take it in stride as Flowey the flower, upon being briefly restored to his true form and getting his compassion back, he seems happy to let you and your friends go, even though this means he will have to go back to living this way.
    • It runs in the family. His father Asgore made a promise in the heat of the moment that has the biggest contribution to the basic plot of the game. It's a promise he can't take back, since it revived the hopes of his people who were once again on the brink of despair after what happened to Asriel, but it means he has to kill seven innocent humans and harvest their SOULs, of which YOU are the latest, and the last. And yet, despite this, he can put a genuine smile on his face, acknowledge a good day, and is all around the big loveable goat-dad that Papyrus and Undyne say he is.
  • Valkyria Chronicles:
    • Selvaria Bles. It's hard not to feel sorry at the way she willingly put herself through hell (and later sacrifices herself) for a man who doesn't care about her — and she probably knows it. The way she faces her fate with pride and keeps leading her soldiers to the bitter end makes her very admirable. Even in her final defeat, all she asks of the Fat Bastard who came to take her as a prize and steal Squad 7's merits is that he spares her men...
    • Imca from Valkyria Chronicles III. Suffered from Doomed Hometown, is put into a penal legion, endures the standard crap Darcssens live with, and is driven by a singular purpose: KILL SELVARIA. That she knows is waaay out of her league.
      Imca: I ain't need no help from anyone.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Rex is quite the chipper young lad, but he's had to put up with a lot in the 14 some years he's been alive. His parents died not long after his birth on the outskirts of the Leftherian Archipelago, he had to take to being a professional Salvager from a young age to keep Fonsett Village from going broke without realizing that Bana's transportation methods took a majority of his donation cuts, Jin outright killed him upon reaching the Ancient Ship, he witnessed firsthand the death of Vandham, he lost Pyra to Malos at the Genbu Crown and nearly quit his adventure out of the guilt of failing to protect her, he was betrayed by Amalthus when trying to scale the World Tree, the Architect put him under a brutal Secret Test of Character that caused him to feel as though he was a bad friend before the façade was lifted, and most painfully of all, he was unable to prevent Pyra and Mythra from committing suicide, with Poppi promising them to prevent Rex from going back for them.
  • The protagonist of Zettai Hero Project, a Heroic Mime who appears to be nothing but an O.C. Stand-in and over-the-top example of This Loser Is You, especially as a superhero. In Chapter 9, it's revealed that he actually has a backstory, and the countless Hopeless Boss Fights of the game are a reflection of his primary character trait. Eight years ago, he and his sister were captured by a serial kidnapper/cannibal, and he protected her by getting the crap kicked out of him repeatedly until the police and Unlosing Ranger arrived. But she was so traumatized that all she remembers is him getting beaten up and crying, causing the whole family to blame what happened on his weakness, and completely tearing them apart. As in, his parents are getting divorced over who raised him to be such a wimp and his sister wants him to just die. After becoming humanity's Butt-Monkey, he continues to protect everyone in the only way he knows how, even if they all mock him for it.