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Living Emotional Crutch / Video Games

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  • .hack//G.U. had Endrance, whose entire world reflects around Mia and only Mia while everything and everyone else were too ugly, weak and boring to care for. After Haseo reveals his cat as an AIDA and destroys her while fishing for Endrance to get back on his feet, Haseo becomes this for Endrance instead. However, his views on the rest of existence slowly become more positive in doing so. Also do note, Endrance is played by Elk's player. His dependancy on Mia goes all the way back to the original games, though not to this extent, and possibly put Kite in this role After Mia awakened as the Phase Macha.
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  • Amy has the main character, Lana, to Amy.
  • In Blaze Union, Siskier was the first person to befriend Garlot when they were little kids, and worked hard to ensure that he had a place to enjoy himself and act his age so that his father's abuse wouldn't destroy him completely. Even now, he sees her as something of a mother figure, and relies on her support whenever he has doubts. In the route where she is killed, Garlot nearly goes berserk on the spot, with the only thing stopping him being the seal on his powers, which cuts his rampage short as soon as it starts. He develops severe PTSD afterward, his personality becoming quite a bit harsher, although the rest of his True Companions still serve in this role. In Yggdra Union, he really does go berserk after every single one of them is killed.
  • Dead or Alive: Ayane's relationships with Hayate and Genra are indicated to be as such in Dimensions. When Genra makes a Face–Heel Turn and she offends Hayate during an argument over Kasumi, Ayane ends up thinking that Hayate hates her now and is so distraught over it that she almost kills herself.
  • BioWare's first, and most comedic example. Minsc in Baldur's Gate is reliant on his "miniature gigantic space hamster" Boo, meaning he has one less inventory slot. Less comedically, he is devoted to protecting his witch, and takes it badly when she dies.
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    • A cut questline in the second game (restored in the "Unfinished Business" fan mod) had Boo being stolen and the player character tasked with tracking him down while Minsc became even more unhinged than usual.
  • In the Dragon Age games, the player character often fills this role for their followers.
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden is everyone's emotional crutch, but bonus points go to Zevran (who goes utterly to pieces if he loves and loses you, and whose shot at redemption hinges on whether you build up a strong relationship with him or not) and Alistair (who counts on you to lead the team and deal with his parental issues, and with a little luck, follows your leadership example and becomes a good king). Most characters will show development and stop using you as an emotional crutch once you've slain their personal demons/dragons...
    • In Dragon Age II, Hawke fulfills this for a Friendship path Anders and Merrill. Fenris has elements of this as well. Over the course of the seven years the game covers, Hawke can help them work through their troubled pasts and personal issues but will be unable to save Anders from crossing the Moral Event Horizon. On the Rivalry path, the companions take a more proactive stance in their life, and rely less upon Hawke. Whether this is a good thing is a personal matter.
      • On Rivalry paths for Anders and Merrill, Hawke serves as basically the opposite of this. Instead of enabling them, s/he constantly questions what they are doing which, even though they don't like it, eventually leads them to change their ways. (Unfortunately, Anders isn't alone in there, and Justice resents the interference.)
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    • It's less obviously present in Dragon Age: Inquisition than in the previous installments. However, the Inquisitor is still the emotional linchpin of the companions, and in particular has a lot to do with the personal demons/issues of Dorian, Blackwall, Iron Bull, and Cullen. Three of the four will be dead by the end of the Trespasser DLC if their issues are not resolved correctly.
  • Although it's not entirely obvious from the beginning, Mia's crutch in Duel Savior Destiny is her brother. Without him, she becomes deeply unstable and jealous culminating in her attempting to kill her allies in her own route. She sorta gets better, in the sense that she gets to have her brother around all the time, meaning she won't go all crazy again.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it's heavily implied that Hope feels this way about the whole group (including Serah), but it's most noticeable when he mentions Lightning, Fang or Vanille. Given his implied feelings of abandonment after his mother left him to fight the Purge (she had his safety in mind), and how much of a motherly figure the women in the previous game (especially Lightning) became to him, it's understandable.
    • The fact that Serah, Snow and Sazh all disappeared (on their own adventures to find Lightning and into a paradox, respectively) after the loss of the aforementioned four sure as hell made it worse.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has Ike as one to Soren; not only did the former treat the latter like a person when everyone else treated him like he didn't deserve to exist, but he even saved his life as a child. Ike is almost always on-screen when Soren smiles, is the only one Soren shows a softer side to, and is the only person Soren seems to actually care about as more than just another soldier or formal position-holder.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, both Mikoto and especially Sakura are this to Takumi. After Mikoto dies in Chapter 5, Takumi clearly starts to lose his marbles...and eventually begins to emotionally rely on the ensuring safety of his younger sister. In the Birthright path, it is because of Sakura that Takumi manages to break free from Iago's control. And what happens in the Conquest path is the opposite: Takumi becomes increasingly unstable, resulting in him absolutely losing it after learning that Sakura has been defeated and captured by the Nohrian army, and since this comes after he's lost an extremely important battle, it opens the gates for him to be completely subjected to Psychic-Assisted Suicide and More Than Mind Control thanks to Anankos.
    • In Shadows Of Valentia, Valbar is this to Leon. In the past Valbar befriended Leon during a very harrowing time in his life, so Leon became completely devoted to him and even fell in love with the guy. In the game itself, if Valbar is killed in battle, Leon will be left completely distraught and lost and he will angrily tell Celica he is going to protect her so Valbar at least didn't die for nothing; if Leon himself lives to the end, the mostly happy ending he gets with a living Valbar changes to a bittersweet one stating that he recovers from Valbar's death, but never fully gets over him.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Byleth is this to Edelgard and Dimitri in particular, as in the routes where Byleth is not by their side, they increasingly lose themselves to their inner darkness until they hit a point of no return. In the Black Eagles route, Byleth is effectively Edelgard's emotional anchor, preventing her from becoming (in her own words) "a harsh leader with a heart of ice"; among other things, the prospect of Byleth's death is one of the few things capable of breaking Edelgard's unflappable persona, and their presence alone substantially tones down her Knight Templar tendencies. In the Blue Lions route after the Time Skip, Dimitri's Survivor's Guilt still initially leads to him becoming an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight hostile to even his own allies, but Byleth is able to provide him the support needed for him to take a better path and become the benevolent king he was always meant to be.
  • In Freedom Wars, Accessories are created both to surveil sinners and to act as an emotional crutch, since it is forbidden by law for sinners to have any relationships with other sinners outside of casual friendships.
  • In Halo 4, the Master Chief gives Cortana hope and the will to fight against her impending insanity/death due to rampancy. At the end, after her Heroic Sacrifice, John-117 reveals that her partnership with him was allowing him to hold onto his humanity.
  • Kinder:
    • Yuichi Mizuoka was one to his mother. Ms Mizuoka herself was an emotionally fragile woman, who was suffering from suicidal depression and living in an emotionally neglectful marriage, with her husband also cheating on her. Her only son, whom she affectionately calls Yuu, was the only thing to keep her slightly sane, though she was emotionally abusive herself, taking him along when she had one of her depressive episodes and planned to commit suicide in front of him. Yuuichi reached his limit with being used by his mother this way, paralyzed and pushed her off the roof.
    • Hiroto specifically mentions this aspect to Shunsuke, before they confront Yuuichi once and for all. He says that Shunsuke has to really mean it when he says he wants to help Yuuichi, and be prepared with it being a long and tiring task, as Shunsuke would become the crutch for Yuuichi.
  • Commander Shepard of Mass Effect is the only reason most of his/her crew do not kill each other.
    • Anderson orders Joker to act as this for Shepard in Mass Effect 3 because once the Reapers show up, Shepard is under greater stress in his/her resting state than s/he's ever been in his/her life.
      • As s/he moves closer to the Despair Event Horizon over the course of the game, many of the interactions in the game and dialogue options can have Shepard reveal that s/he is relying just as closely on some of his/her closest teammates/friends, especially Liara, Tali, and Garrus to keep it together.
      Shepard: There is no Shepard without Vakarian.
  • Onmyōji: Shirodōji is this to his friend Kurodōji, being protective of him and helping him regain his speaking.
  • The protagonist of Persona 5 becomes one to Futaba after the team rescues her and her confidant starts; to the point that she even refers to him as her "Key Item" early on. Justified, as she's a recovering agoraphobic with severe PTSD.
  • Hikari from Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth has two:
    • The first one is Nagi, the curator of the theater that acts as the hub of the game. Much like Zen from the previous Q, she is indeed trying to protect her...by preventing her from touching the things that Hikari thinks will make her receive more pain by exposing her to the things that actually harm her.
    • The true one is actually her father, who is the only person who actually cared about her. Her father is one of the very few Good Parents in the Persona series, as he is a projectionist who would often invite her to watch movies, which influenced her mindset positively and would make her an aspiring movie director. When his daughter was feeling down due to an emotional abuse, he would always give emotional support to her. It's only him trying to do so using the exact phrasing as her Trauma Button phrase "Why do you have to be like that" which fully convinced her that everyone hated her to the point that even he considered her a bother and put her into the Despair Event Horizon.
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness, you are one for your partner, to the extent that after you are removed from time and space, the god of time sees fit to make an unstable paradox by putting you back rather than have your partner sad.
  • In Solatorobo, Elh becomes this to Red when he starts Hearing Voices, providing another voice to focus on instead of the one trying to convince him to kill everyone.
  • Tales of Graces has Sophie acting as this to resident self depreciating Asbel (who thinks he's a Failure Hero). By being the father figure she needs, she gives him a reason to not wallow in guilt and self-pity.
  • In Pillars of Eternity, the Watcher may just be one for Aloth, even if he doesn't openly admit it, and most players probably won't be cruel enough to find out. Being rejected at a crucial point leads to the worst ending for him: "After the Watcher sent him away, Aloth found himself cut off from every authority and ally he had ever known – his family, his homeland, the Leaden Key, and, finally, the Watcher." He wanders away and effectively commits suicide a few days later.
  • Undertale's Papyrus is this for his brother, Sans. His extremely jovial and optimistic personality is pretty much the only thing that can put a (genuine) smile on Sans's face. If you kill him, Sans makes it clear you won't be welcome in the world of monsters anymore.

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