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Love Redeems / Video Games

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  • Ace Attorney: A platonic example (depending on who you ask) with Phoenix and Edgeworth. Phoenix's devotion to and faith in Edgeworth is what prompts the latter's Heel–Face Turn. (Granted, he was somewhat of a Jerkass Woobie even before this, it just wasn't really shown until towards the end of the first game.)
  • Back to the Future: The Game: When Marty and Doc return to 1986 at the end of the game, Edna Strickland and Kid Tannen are happily married and have changed for the better.
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  • Aveyond has several examples of this, including Rhen and Dameon, Ean and Iya (and Ishtar), Mel and her friends, and Boyle and his dog.
  • Baldur's Gate II has a few instances of this, whether in the original game or added through mods.
    • One possible love interest is Viconia DeVir who, being a drow, has an evil alignment. However, a non-evil protagonist can eventually convince her to change her alignment to True Neutral in Throne of Bhaal.
    • In the well-regarded Throne of Bhaal mod Ascension, one way you can prevent Sarevok from betraying you in the final Boss Battle is by using a mod to complete a romance with him. May be downplayed or played straight, depending upon whether you successfully caused him to do a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Speaking of Sarevok, even in the base game, his is a rare example of a non-romantic version of this, as Gorion's Ward of either gender can win Sarevok over by being a good example and treating him like family, helping him through his conflicted emotions and thoughts. In this case, familial love redeems too.
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    • Irenicus completely skewers the concept, pointing out that even if Ellesime had not robbed him of his ability to feel love when she took his soul, the idea that he would still love her after she stripped him of his soul and left him soulless, exiled and no longer immortal is laughable.
  • In Borderlands 2, Krieg the Psycho's motivation for joining the Vault Hunters? The sane side of him is in love with Maya, and thinks that she might be able to, one day, help him act like a normal person again, instead of a rampaging lunatic who constantly screams about riding bicycles made of meat.
    Good!Krieg: Now tell her "thank you". Tell her that because of her, we might actually one day be able to act like a normal person again.
    (Another beat, then Maya smiles at him.)
    Good!Krieg: (understandably surprised and delighted at the same time) Heh... Close enough.
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  • Breath of Fire IV: Averted. The Big Bad, Fou-lu, is beginning to nurse a soft spot for the girl that took care of him when he's injured. The girl, Mami, tried holding off soldiers from the Empire that are hunting Fou-lu just so he can escape, and gets captured herself. She's later used as a Sacrificial Lamb for the Nightmare Fueled Carronade, aimed at Fou-lu himself. Even before the cannon was fired at him, Fou-lu feels compelled to Kill 'Em All more than ever...
  • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness: Zigzagged and then played straight by the end. It's Hector's love for Rosaly that sees him descending into a murderous vengeful spree against Isaac when she's murdered, prompting St. Germain, a time traveler, to hint against pursuing him because of the consequences it would have if he succumbs to his hate. By the end, his growing love for Julia, who he notes is the spitting image of Rosaly, is what saves him when at the very last minute, he breaks free of his rage when he remembers her last words to him: to not let the curse overtake him.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Johnny Silverhand's whole character arc revolves around him growing to love (platonically or romantically, it's up to player's interpretation) V and him wanting to make them proud.
  • Subverted in A Dance with Rogues if the Princess romances Vico. He begins to treat her much nicer then and looks after her, but remains the same bloodthirsty killer as before and doesn't change his beliefs or ways.
  • Dark Souls: Eingyi was a nasty little joker, and is implied to be the reason why the swamp below Blighttown is poisonous. However, after meeting the Fair Lady and her saving his life at the expense of her own health, he happily resigned himself to serving the Ill Girl faithfully and carrying her eggs for her.
  • Dark Souls II: In the DLC Crown of the Ivory King, Alsanna, The Silent Oracle of Eleum Royce, had originally sought out the titular character in order to anchor her existence to the world because she's actually one of the Children of Dark, born of a Soul Fragment of Manus, Father of the Abyss, specifically his fears. However, the Ivory King's love for her and his eventual Heroic Sacrifice to stop Old Chaos caused her to stand guard forever over the cathedral in memory to him, even aiding the Bearer of the Curse when he/she arrives.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Zevran Arainai in Dragon Age: Origins, if treated kindly, will turn his back on the Crows for love of the Warden (either platonic or romantic). Subverted for Morrigan, who sees this trope coming and backpedals desperately to stay a bitch... and then double-subverted in Dragon Age: Inquisition: Morrigan offers to surrender without resistance to Flemeth out of love for her son.
    • Dragon Age II viciously subverts this with Anders. As his sanity slips away and Vengeance corrupts him further and further, he pleads with Hawke to help him find the ingredients to create a potion that will separate him from his demon side. It turns out that the ingredients are actually components for a bomb, and Hawke's love or friendship has made him/her an unwitting accomplice rather than his redeemer. The same thing happens whether or not you romance him, but it hurts a lot more when it telegraphs and then snatches away this trope.
  • Dragon Quest IV: In the DS remake, beating the boss at the end of the Bonus Dungeon for the first time allows the player to obtain a Yggdrasill flower, which is used to resurrect Rose, the Big Bad's girlfriend. Bringing her to where Psaro was will not only cause him to revert back to his normal self after a nice flashback, but he will join your party.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series' mythology, this trope falls under the sphere of Mara, the Aedric Divine Goddess of Love. She is a Love Goddess focusing more on the familial, matrimonial, and fertility aspects of love (compared to Dibella, the Goddess of Beauty, who focuses more on the sexual and carnal aspects of it). Her teachings state "those who offer their love to the Divines will never be forsaken." Also covers The Power of Love, as she gave the gift of love to mortals and her teachings indicate that it can change their destiny.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • Knights of the Old Republic contains both straight and subverted examples:
    • A male protagonist can redeem Bastila more easily if they've fallen in love during the game. However, if you fail, she tells you that her feelings for you helped to hasten her fall to the Dark Side. However, if the male protagonist chooses to go Dark Side then him and Dark Side Bastila go on to become a happy little Sith couple, thus subverting the trope again.
    • Meanwhile, if a female protagonist turns to the Dark Side, Carth attempts to offer her a Last-Second Chance. The official version of the game subverts the trope at this point, as the PC can't be redeemed through Carth's love and the player's only options are to have the PC kill him herself or to allow Bastila to cut him down. A third option cut from the official release, however, would have allowed the PC to be redeemed.
    • This is also (in a more subdued manner, due to cuts fueled by Executive Meddling) shown in the sequel with Atton and the female Exile, if she's Light-Sided. Of course, if she's not Light-Sided...
    • The sequel also contains Visas, who starts as a Sith apprentice and ends up abandoning her Sith ideology if the player is light-side. This is an example of the Power of Friendship if the player is female, though.
    • Jolee's backstory subverts this trope. All the same, though, he maintains that love will save you, not condemn you; it's unrestrained passion that is dangerous.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Impa's bodyguard Dorian was once a member of the evil Yiga Clan before he met the woman who became his wife, starting a family with her afterward. The Yiga Clan retaliate by killing his wife and threatening to kill his daughters unless he spies on Kakariko Village for them.
  • Mass Effect:
    • There's also Thane Krios, although he was aware of this trope before he meets Shepard, with his wife, who dies. It can be presented to him again, if a female Shepard decides to romance him.
  • Implied to be the reason why Richard Ames allowed Nastasha Romanenko to live through the operation as well as supply evidence against the Patriots in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty's in-game novel: In the Darkness of Shadow Moses: The Unofficial Truth. Suffice to say, he also ended up paying for it dearly in the game when the Patriots decided to off him during the Big Shell Incident.
  • Neverwinter Nights contains an example near the end with Aribeth. That scene is so similar to the one mentioned in the Knights of the Old Republic section that it seems like they just rewrote some of the dialogue to make it make sense in the Star Wars context, in addition to recycling the character.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has something like this with Neeshka if a male player has enough Influence with her in the ending sequence of the main campaign.
    • And in Mask of the Betrayer, love is the primary thing that gives people the strength to challenge the monstrous injustice of the Wall of the Faithless.
    • And the cut conclusion for Bishop's romance arc.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Tec falls in love with Princess Peach. After spending most of their subplot trying to study this phenomenon, he decides to betray his creators and help her escape.
  • This can be achieved at the climax of Pathfinder: Kingmaker, as The Man Behind the Man, Nyrissa, can only be redeemed if successfully romanced. She's willing to enter Enemy Mine with you to fight The Lantern King, but will only commit to a Heel–Face Turn if successfully romanced.
  • Psychonauts 2: Raz's big brother Dion is a Big Brother Bully who is prejudiced against psychics. He also has some Ship Tease with Gisu, one of the Motherlobe interns. In the Playable Epilogue, Raz can find them together and Dion says she helped him dispel some of the false notions he had against psychics.
  • In Quest for Glory IV, the Big Bad is Katrina, a mysterious young woman who is the very first character you meet in the game. Towards the end of the game she is revealed to be an extremely powerful wizard and vampire known as the Dark Master, who seeks to release the Dark One, Avoozl, and throughout the game she slowly attempts to seduce the Hero into helping her. However you eventually learn that she truly fell in love with the Hero, and she ultimately sacrifices her life to protect him when Ad Avis attempts to kill him.
  • Radiant Historia: The true ending of the game has the Big Bad Heiss finally accepting his place as the Sacrifice to spare Stocke, whom he truly loved as a nephew, the same fate.
  • Red Dead Redemption: Played straight and subverted as John Marston's love for his family ultimately leads him to evacuate his wife and son while the army guns him down, knowing that they won't be safe until it's over. Subverted in that Jack was corrupted by the time he spent with John, using the lessons he learned to become a man like his father, exactly what John died trying to prevent.
  • In the Resident Evil series, it's implied that Ada's meeting with Leon (and her feelings for him) are what changed her from a spy who works for the highest bidder to a full-blown Anti-Hero.
    Ada: Something about the meeting with Leon changed me...
  • Rise Of The Third Power: Prince Gage is initially loyal to the Arkadyan Empire and follows the country's twisted darwinist ideology, but he falls in love with Arielle and turns against his country to protect her. This leads to him realizing that his country isn't practicing the virtues that they claim to preach, so he openly protests against the government and is jailed for it. Played with in that while his love for Arielle makes him change sides, she and the party don't fully forgive him for being complicit in Arkadya's atrocities.
  • Sacred: One of the Player Characters is a Dark Elf warrior who sets out with a bunch of mates to capture a sacrifice. They end up taking a Wood Elf (also a Player Character) prisoner, but as they're carting her back to her grisly fate, the Dark Elf ends up developing a bit of affection towards his newfound captive. He eventually betrays his comrades and sets her free, before becoming a full-blown Defector from Decadence.
  • Super Paper Mario: Count Bleck/Blumiere actually ends up saving the world more or less thanks to this. After being reunited with his true love that he previously thought was dead, he pulls a Heel–Face Turn that is powerful enough to recharge the Pure Hearts and break the Final Boss's invincibility.
  • Super Robot Wars: Original Generation give Wodan Ymir Sanger Zonvolt's clone redemption in this manner. He originally was given the mission of protecting "Magus" as a way of tethering his persona and keeping him under control, but when he actually fell hard for her, his creator, Lemon, more or less told him to follow his own will and do what he thought was right. As a result, he does a Heel–Face Turn, joins up with Sanger, and together kick an EPIC amount of ass, with Wodan dying, but having the eternal respect of Sanger, the woman he loved protected (and Sanger taking up the mission to do so in Wodan's place per dying request), and he got to die as his own person, not just an enslaved construct.
  • Virgil from Xenosaga. What makes this interesting is that the person that made him have a case of Love Hurts (Febronia) is also the one that redeems him.