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You Lose at Zero Trust

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"Due to this extreme mismanagement you have not only been impeached and thrown out of office but you have also been declared 'National Fink' !!"
— One of the endings in Hamurabi if you starve more than 45% of the population

Some games reward you for pursuing romance and sex. Others punish you for neglecting it. Naturally, some do both.

Punishing you for neglecting your relationships means that You Lose at Zero Trust. If you don't maintain a relationship in-game, the consequences range from losing special abilities to a Heroic BSoD or worse.

This also works in games with an Alliance Meter, if you anger every faction and they all come after you.

Related to Level-Up at Intimacy 5 and Deus Sex Machina. Compare Mate or Die.


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    Action Adventure Games 
  • The CSI: NY video game gives Mac or Stella a meter while questioning NPCs. If you ask too many irrelevant questions (ie asking about the wrong evidence), your confidence meter drops and if it empties, you have to start over. Your end-of-case score is also affected.
  • In Grand Theft Auto (starting with GTA San Andreas), you can date certain girls; once they like you enough, each one provides a special service (e.g., getting your weapons back when you're arrested, removing Wanted Levels, etc.). GTA IV added platonic friends — who basically work the same way, except for the lack of sex at the end of the date. If you don't take each NPC out on a regular basis (or you do things they don't enjoy when you do take them out), they'll stop being your friend/girlfriend, and you lose their special ability.
  • Inverted in Life Is Strange episode 4 "Dark Room": Whether or not you succeed in warning Victoria about Nathan Prescott's intention to kidnap her depends on how nice or mean you've been to her in the previous episodes. However, failure turns out to be a beneficial result, as success drives her to unwittingly seek out Nathan's co-conspirator/mastermind for protection, resulting in the very kidnapping you hoped to prevent.
  • In Paperboy, if all customers cancel their subscriptions, caused by you failing to deliver the paper directly to their doorstep, you get fired.
  • The GBA version of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron has you gaining the trust of wild horses and leading them through various areas. To keep their trust, you had to give them food and water. If trust got low enough, they'd refuse to let you ride, and would eventually run away from you. You can imagine how fun this was in the desert level.
  • In Star Control 3, insulting a particular faction results in an immediate Non Standard Game Over.

    Management Games 
  • In King of the Castle, if the Kingdom's Authority, Stability, or Treasury reaches zero, the King automatically loses because their staff thinks they're incompetent, and whichever noble house was closest to winning becomes their successor (or, if two were equally close, a vote is held to determine the successor).

    Role Playing Games 
  • Alpha Protocol: Averted; zero trust is a valid strategy. As Westridge says during orientation, "there are no good or bad choices, only results."
    • Negative relationship values with certain characters net Michael different bonuses than positive relationship values. This can also be used to manipulate characters into doing what you want them to do since the game encourages you to be a Manipulative Bastard.
    • Inverted with Marburg in Rome. The only way to have him fight you to the death (instead of running away) depends on several factors, one of those is having a very low reputation with him.
  • Each settler in CIMA: The Enemy has a trust meter that goes up or down either for story reasons or because the player protected them from CIMA (or failed to). If a settler has negative trust, they're unable to craft items for the player.
  • In Cyberpunk 2077, a few of V's allies have specific points in their questlines where you piss them off enough to cut ties with you altogether.
    • Panam's questline is pretty straightforward and you have to actively try to make her hate you; namely by simply abandoning one of her quests. This locks you out of the Golden Ending.
    • For Judy, you have to side with Maiko near the end of her questline and accept the reward she gives you. You don't lose much besides an achievement (and obviously Judy's respect) if it's your first run.
    • For Claire you have to side against her during the Friend-or-Idol Decision, which makes you lose her as a vendor as she'll refuse to serve you at Afterlife.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins:
      • If you annoy your party members enough or make too many choices that they don't approve of, then they will either leave your party or attack you. The only character who will never leave is Alistair, but that's only because the mission to destroy the Archdemon is more important to him than anything else. However, if you choose to spare Loghain (which offends Alistair), Alistair will leave forever.
      • If Zevran's approval is not high enough by the time the Crows come for him, he will leave you for them and fight alongside them against you. Similarly, if Sten is in your party and his approval is not high enough in Haven, he will challenge you for leadership of the group.
    • Averted in Dragon Age II. Companions gain different bonuses if they have high friendship or rivalry values. It's entirely possible to romance rivals as well, and maxing out a companion's rivalry will earn their Undying Loyalty as effectively as friendship. Presumably this is because they either respect you despite your differences (Fenris, Sebastian), want to keep an eye on you (Aveline), enjoy messing with you (Varric), or want to prove you wrong about them (Anders, Merrill, Isabela).
    • Played with again in Dragon Age: Inquisition, though only Blackwall and Cole will leave the party of their own accord if their approval gets too low. A storyline quest involves a grand Orlesian party; if your court approval hits zero, you get thrown out of the party and receive a Non Standard Game Over.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Throughout much of the series, it is possible to make an NPC hate you to the point of refusing to speak with you further by lowering their disposition enough, such as by failing multiple speech checks. If you do this with a plot-important NPC, you can cut yourself off from the questline that NPC is involved with (including main quests). Thankfully, there are ways to recover which make this less troublesome, such as boosting your Personality Attribute which will make them like you more. As of Skyrim, the disposition mechanic has been dropped from the series, averting this trope.
    • In Daggerfall, your reputation with your various guilds can decline if you stay away from them for a while and, though you can never lose guild ranks, you can be ejected from the guild until your reputation with them zeros out.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas:
    • Some companions will leave you if your reputation with a faction drops too low or goes too high if you do things they feel are wrong, or in Cass' case, if your karma drops too low. This generally happens if you associate with Caesar's Legion since all the human companions hate them though the non-human companions are ambivalent at best.
    • Prepare for an instant drop in approval if you activate ARCHIMEDES II instead of distributing power to the inhabitants of the Mojave with Arcade Gannon present.
    • Similarly, eliminating the Brotherhood of Steel at the Hidden Valley bunker before you meet Veronica for the first time, will cause her to attack you. Wipe them out after recruiting her, and she just leaves you for good.
  • In Fallout 4, if you get a character's Relationship Value too low by repeatedly doing actions they disapprove of, they'll let you know it. The first time, they'll give you a warning. The second time, they'll leave for good unless you pass a hard difficulty check. The third time after, they won't care what you have to say; they're gone. Also, companions directly affiliated with a certain faction will break things off and even oppose you once you make an enemy of said faction. And if a Settlement's Happiness level drops too low, they will break alliance with you and possibly even become hostile. Shooting a settler dead instantly drops many companions’ relationship value to the lowest possible and they leave you for good. Some, such as Hancock will even attack you.
  • Geneforge 5 utilizes the Alliance Meter variant, provoking an Enemy Mine and an automatic game over if you piss off every faction.
  • Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis: Avoiding spending the free time sessions with your classmates, to the point that none of them can reach maximum trust with the protagonist, will get you the bad ending.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Being enough of a jerk to your team members in Mass Effect can alienate them to the point that Kaidan and Ashley will find excuses not to talk to you, and Tali will outright inform you that she's only sticking around for the mission and doesn't want to speak to you. Wrex, on the other hand, seems to like you a little better if you're a jerk to him. He probably sees it as Shepard having more of a backbone, being that Wrex comes from a society of Blood Knights. That said, it's also a lot harder to keep Wrex alive through the kerfuffle on Virmire if you haven't become buddies and done his personal quest. However, it's impossible to truly lose at zero trust even if you work towards itnote  due to Developer's Foresight.
    • Mass Effect 2 takes things further. The only way to make it through the Suicide Mission against the Collectors with everyone in your crew alive is for everyone to be loyal to you by doing their loyalty missions after recruiting them. And even then, this only gives you a fighting chance — making the wrong choices during the final mission and/or not upgrading your ship could very easily lead to you losing squadmates no matter how loyal they are. Even if you have her loyalty, Samara still tells Renegade Shepard that she's going to kill him/her after the mission is over. You can avoid this by killing her first. (Also, she doesn't actually kill you in the game.) In addition, there are character-based conflicts where Shepard will have to take one side or the other (Miranda vs Jack and Tali vs Legion) if your Karma Meter is not high enough in either direction to overrule their argument on personality alone, meaning the other's loyalty will be lost.
    • Plays out on a larger scale in Mass Effect 3, with Shepard being dispatched to gather allies to help Earth against the Reapers, your actions throughout the game (as well as your performance in the multiplayer, and in the two tie-in mobile games) add War Assets to your side, or even lose them, to varying degrees. Some assets are mutually exclusive (that is, you have to favor one faction over another). Finish the game with insufficient War Assets, and you'll get the Bad Ending.
  • In NetHack, turning your back to your god is a very, very bad idea. It will lead to a Downer Ending in the best case, and in being electrocuted and disintegrated on the spot in the worst.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2:
    • At one point, if you don't have enough influence with Elanee, she will leave your party and wander away (assuming you don't kill her instead). At the end of the game, The Dragon will try to lure some of your companions away from you, and those you have low influence with will fight at his side against you.
    • Bishop turns against you whatever you do, although he will bow out of the following fight if your influence with him was high (by explaining to him that he'd just be a pawn in the King of Shadows' eyes). Qara, Sand, Ammon Jerro, and Neeshka are all offered the opportunity to turn on you if you were a jerk to them. If you choose to side with the King Of Shadows, a high influence will get Bishop to help you in the fight against your former teammates.
  • OMORI: Refuse to open the door to any of your friends and not only will Sunny experience a Death of Personality, but it will also become impossible to save Basil from being Driven to Suicide.
  • Pandora's Tower. If you neglect Elena in spite of being reminded several times that The Power of Love is one of the few things that keeps her curse at bay, she will die (by your hand, no less) and net you a Game Over before unlocking the last two towers. A slightly better relationship with her will lead to another Downer Ending, with her turning into a mindless war machine, and Aeron joining her and the Towers' monster army.
  • If you manage to reach the end of Romancing Walker without being nice enough to (and getting enough events of) the other members of your party, you'll get as far as the second-to-last room in the game... after which the game will scold you for not trying to court the women. The only two recourses are to load a slightly earlier game and grind out enough secret points to make an eighth member available (whose existence is a Guide Dang It! in itself) or to load a much earlier save file so that you can get relationship values high enough to have a partner going into the final battle.
  • In Septerra Core, there are two pairs of party members — Led and Lobo and Corgan and Selina — that hate each other's guts, and any of them may randomly attack the other one during combat if you travel with both of them. You need to go on two subquests to repair their relationships. It's possible to avoid the trouble by not travelling with both of either pair at the same time, but not getting subquests done will bite you back hard at the very end of the game, when the party splits into three teams — and people who hate each other will end up in the same one.
  • Persona:
    • In Persona 3, neglecting to pay attention to certain Social Links may lead to them becoming Reversed, which means you'll have to repair the Link before it can be leveled up again (you usually have a month after they request some attention to return it). Screw up once a link is reversed and it will Break completely, leaving you unable to summon Personas of the relevant Arcana. This is particularly an issue with romantic Social Links: if you date more than one girl at the same time, the amount of time you can spend not seeing your lover before her link reverses is cut by a quarter each time you see a different girl. There are five such links in Persona 3 that will seem mutually exclusive if you don't have extensive knowledge of this mechanic. Good luck! And the Moon Social Link appears to reverse at one point regardless of your decisions, but the game's just faking you out; shortly afterwards it will Rank Up.
    • Persona 4 mostly removes this mechanic, so two-timing is no longer an issue — especially with the fact the player doesn't have to accept a romantic attachment from the eligible girls to complete the link, unlike in the previous game. However, it's still possible to reverse Moon and Fortune, or even break Moon by making particularly bad decisions along the waynote  The PSP Updated Re-release of Persona 3 uses 4's mechanic, but it's possible to break the female protagonist's Star link by being especially insensitive, though the game does tell you to carefully consider your answer.
    • Persona 5 completely removes this mechanic altogether, since your relationships with your Confidants are as much mutually beneficial business deals as they are genuine friendships.
  • In The Shrouded Isle, if you antagonize a noble house to the point of becoming rebellious, they stage a coup and murder you.
  • A slight example exists in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time if you don't have high enough affection with another character to get their paired ending, the Superboss in the Bonus Dungeon, Urssa Cave Temple, will be Fayt and Luther Lansfeld, who are significantly stronger than the same for a paired ending (where you fight Fayt and whoever he was paired with at the end of the main story).
  • At Zero Approval in the first Valkyrie Profile game, the goddess Freya attacks you. Win or lose, it's game over.
  • A large part of the story in Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land revolves around interparty trust, which is what determines your access to the combos that are far better than individual actions and absolutely required to get very far. They also influence the success rate of resurrections... which, given how often people will die if you don't keep your trust up... Oh and if the res fails twice, that character is Forever Dead. Even if it works, though, dying and coming back negatively affects stats, in particular HP (so that they're more likely to die again) and trust (so you have a much harder time breaking the cycle). Screwing up your trust can effectively force you to restart the entire game.

    Simulation Games 
  • You have two values to keep track of in Frostpunk: Discontent and Hope. Discontent rises if your people are stuck in cold workplaces or living spaces for too long, have to work long shifts, have terrible food or not enough food, or if you fail to keep promises. Hope falls when people die (more Hope is lost when a child dies). Hope can be restored when you use a Purpose structure's ability (e.g. a Watch Tower's Patrols or a Prayer Building's Prayers). If either value goes too far in the wrong direction, your people give you an ultimatum: either restore hope/lower discontent within two days, or they'll kick you out and find a new captain. Taking the Purpose branch to the end removes Hope as an issue, replacing it with either Obedience (Order) or Devotion (Faith).
  • In Hamurabi, if more than 45% of the population starve in a year, the player is deposed and "declared 'National Fink'."
  • Harvest Moon:
    • Several games punish you for not befriending (or romancing) certain characters by taking them away forever. In Harvest Moon 64, you could lose one of your potential brides and a rival this way, and that also meant not completing your recipe book since they had recipes they'd take with them.
    • In A Wonderful Life, losing townspeople meant that you'd lose their "influence" over your child's interests. Either way, they'd be generally lost for good as NPCs. A Wonderful Life also requires you to be married to continue the story. So if you blow off all of your potential love interests at the beginning of the game or drive away your spouse later on, you get a game over. If you build up one potential love interest only to abruptly marry another, the jilted love interest will visit you and tell you what a jerk you were.
    • Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland has this, too. Completing endings requires you to make friends with certain characters, the most notorious being The Treasure Hunt I, where you need to befriend the whole town.
  • If you don't exterminate enough "subhumans" in KZ Manager, public opinion will drop until you are revoked from your post of concentration camp commandant.
  • Being unpopular in Lakeview Valley means that the locals won't treat you too kindly. You can pretty much forget about getting any financial aid from Easy Bank; being even a single point in the negative range causes the teller to yell at you for daring to show your face in there. And the Sheriff's going to be keeping a close eye on you…
  • If you don't maintain a good relationship with your monster in Monster Rancher 2, it will be more likely to misbehave (losing you fights and precious training time) or even run away.
  • In the SimCity series, you get fired if your approval rating goes too low, or if you are in debt for too long. The first game rubs it in your face by having you thrown out of office by a mob of angry citizens led by your own mother.
  • In Tropico, if either of the world powers gets mad at you, you'll not only lose trade and foreign aid from them but get them angry enough and they'll invade your island, causing an immediate game over. You also have to make sure the factions on your Banana Republic (capitalists, communists, intellectuals, etc.) at least tolerate your rule, or you'll run the risk of rebels popping up. The third and fourth games added faction-specific disasters that strike if one or more factions is upset at El Presidente for too long: intellectuals will organize student rallies that shut down schools, environmentalists will blockade one or more of your factories, the religious will declare El Presidente anathema and cause church-goers to lose respect for you, and so on.
  • We. The Revolution requires the player to keep two (later three) different groups satisfied through a variety of methods, mainly by passing verdicts they like. If Alexis' reputation with a group gets too low, game over.
  • Dead In Vinland has an Alliance Meter (or, rather, enmity meter, or possibly Wanted Meter) with the game's Big Bad bandit lord Bjorn Headcleaver. Raising it past certain thresholds means he sends goons to attack your camp. Fail to pay him tribute (and insult his minions) enough, and you'll get a Non Standard Game Over where he slaughters your party.
  • Pharaoh: Having a Kingdom rating of 0 isn't an instant game over, but it's nigh-impossible to recover from as it usually entails other cities or even Pharaoh sending huge armies to remove you from power, and is also usually reached because of other dysfunctions in the city (no economy, no workforce, requests going unanswered, other armies marching around to destroy your city...).

    Strategy Role Playing Games 
  • In Agarest Senki 2, if you had a low Relationship Value with the bride you chose, it's heavily implied that you rape her to get the next generation's kid; the music and CG are much darker, her lines to you are different (and not in the good way), and the kid will have terrible stats.
  • In Chroma Squad, if your fanbase reaches zero fans, your studio's contract will be cancelled.
  • In Digimon Survive, the survival of certain characters is tied to how high the player's affinity is with them. Specifically, Ryo and Shuuji's survival is dependent on Ryo's affinity being the highest of the group at the end of Chapter 3 of a New Game Plus run; all other potential character deaths are dependent on which of the ending routes you choose.
  • There is one isolated instance in Fire Emblem Fates. If you're playing the Birthright path and you don't pursue Kaze's Support chain with the Avatar to rank A, then he will sacrifice his life to save theirs at the end of chapter 15, because he blames himself for not preventing their kidnapping as a child. If you do unlock his A Support with the Avatar, he'll reveal this to you before you're both dangling off a cliff, and you'll forgive him, meaning he's got that weight off his chest and is able to think clearly enough to spot a way to save both the Avatar and himself, even if it's a total Hail Mary. It can come as a huge Player Punch if you're not expecting it because no other character across all three routes has this sort of condition. Kaze is one of the few characters recruitable in all three routes, and his Support ranks have no bearing on the story in any other scenario.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, if you're leading the Black Eagle House and don't obtain Edelgard's C+ support before Chapter 11, you'll miss out on the chance to attend her coronation by talking to her in the monastery (she won't show there during the month leading to said chapter otherwise). Attending to that event opens the option to access the Crimson Flower branch of the Black Eagles path at the end of Chapter 11, otherwise, failing to do so locks you by default into the Silver Snow route where you're taken into a storyline where your House Leader and her retainer abandon your character roster for the rest of the story.
  • Rune Factory Frontier inverts this trope in one case. Pursuing one of the potential brides, the maid Tabatha, will at one point cause her sister to arrive. By continuing to pursue Tabatha and completing the final task required to marry her, her sister will then permanently leave.
  • This is a significant aspect of Sacrifice. At the beginning, you are able to perform missions for any deity whenever you choose. As you accomplish these tasks and the plot progresses, you gradually fall out of favor with those you ignore, until the endgame leaves you permanently aligned with one of them and opposed to the four others.
  • In Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, the Ogre Battle spin-off, your troops have a loyalty meter that will change based on your decisions in battle and during story scenes. Though you can't lose by having troops with low loyalty, your troops will begin to leave you if they don't agree with you or aren't treated well. In a game where Anyone Can Die and the enemies you fight level up with the highest-leveled member in your team to ensure you never get an easy fight, having the strong surviving warriors in your party leave you can be crippling. Combining this with the fact that you don't always know which actions will affect which characters, and the fact that your actions will always prompt a range of different reactions within your team, and that things as simple as not letting your units move during battle, or attacking an enemy unit of the same nationality of one of your characters can result in a drop in loyalty, and the fact that loyalty is a relatively well-hidden stat that can never be measured exactly makes this game Nintendo Hard.
  • In Vanguard Bandits, on the main story path, you get the Bad Ending if the average Morale of your units is under a certain number.
  • This is the normal Game Over condition for XCOM: Enemy Unknown: If a country's panic meter escalates to anarchy, you permanently lose support from that country (and their funding). Lose enough countries, and they shut you down, going to Plan B and attempting to make peace with the invaders. It ends as badly as you expect.
    • XCOM: Chimera Squad: City 31 is divided into 9 districts, each with their own panic meter. Any district at full panic increases the city's anarchy meter by one unit per day. If the city reaches 13 anarchy, you automatically lose as tensions devolve into riots.
  • Yes, Your Grace: The people's general contentment with King Eryk will dictate how much taxes he gets each week in the form of both gold and supplies. If that score dips into negative values, Eryk will be visited by a Torches and Pitchforks crowd that will demand a quantity of gold and supplies that he's unlikely to have at hand if things got that bad in the first place. If they can't be spared, the last thing the player will see is the crowd converging toward Eryk's throne, and a black-and-white version of a screen usually only seen at the end up the game bemoaning the fact that Eryk wasn't able to keep his people happy.


    Survival Horror 
  • The Thing (2002) is entirely based on this. Everyone in the game is so paranoid that if they lose all trust in you, they immediately assume you are the Thing and start shooting at you. To make matters worse, they won't cooperate if they don't trust you enough. You can partially fix this by giving them guns, running blood tests to prove your humanity, or killing a member of the group that is a Thing and allowing it to expose its horrid form.
  • In Until Dawn, this is in effect for one of the characters. Chris will twice be put into a Sadistic Choice situation where he has to choose if Ashley or another person (Josh the first time, himself the second) will die. While Ashley will survive no matter what you do, if you choose to sacrifice her both times, she will refuse to open a door for Chris, allowing him to be eaten by Wendigoes.
  • In The Walking Dead, being nice and doing good deeds for other characters earns you trust from them. Without this trust, they are less likely to help you out or side with you in critical situations, such as Kenny's choice to go or not go with Lee to search for Clementine in Season 1 Episode 4. Other characters will also treat the player character with disdain if they feel like they have been not treated well enough.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Bliss Stage is the Trope Namer. If your Trust in any relationship is ever reduced to zero, that relationship "breaks". A broken relationship earns you a ton of Bliss points, more if you have higher Intimacy. Getting more than 108 Bliss is very bad.
  • Maid RPG has this as one of the main features (that and the weirdness, of course). Although the GM can choose to simply assign you to a different mansion, you are getting removed from the campaign either way.
  • If a Relationship Boosted check in Monsters and Other Childish Things fails, or if a monster drawing upon the power of a relationship is PWZNED in a fight, then the relationship is "Shocked" and suffers a penalty as a result. Failure to repair the relationship in time can permanently damage it.

    Third Person Shooters 
  • Only relevant in missions, but in both Mercenaries games, if you do enough to become an enemy of the faction you're doing a mission for, you automatically lose the mission. Enemy factions also won't give you missions, which is the only way to get information on bounties (although that doesn't make the game unwinnable).
  • In Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Sam will lose if he reaches zero "trust" with either the JBA or the NSA. As the name suggests, you're playing a Double Agent, so losing the trust of the organisation you're infiltrating gets you kicked out or executed and fails the mission while losing the trust of your own agency gets you blacklisted as a rogue agent.

    Visual Novels 
  • The health system in Ace Attorney games is referred to as the "Confidence Gauge", a literal measure of how much faith the court has in your ability to make an argument.
  • It is possible to get a Non Standard Game Over in Analogue: A Hate Story by pissing off the AI you're interfacing with so much that they kick you out of the system — permanently.
  • In Black Closet, you play the president of the Absurdly Powerful Student Council. There are two "life bars", which are essentially the trust in the student council and the good name of the school. As is explained in the tutorial, if you lose too much of either one, they'll restore their reputation by blaming everything on you and kicking you out.
  • Danganronpa:
    • Justified with the Life Meter, called the "Influence Gauge" in the game, that represents how willing the other characters are to listen to you. Making mistakes reduces that gauge, and when it runs out, the other students will lose all trust in you and vote for you as the killer, which you aren't, and if the wrong person is chosen as the killer, then the killer wins their freedom while everyone else is executed.
    • Spending free time with your classmates can unlock special skills, used during class trials.
  • This is basically the entirety of Façade. If Trip gets very upset with you, he'll kick you out, leading to a Game Over.
  • Fantasia: Requiem of the Abyss: It ends with you being murdered in your bed if you fail to get on a guy's path by Chapter 3.
  • In Fate/stay night, there are certain checkpoints where not having enough affection points with the heroines automatically leads to a Bad End. While it's tough to keep affections high in the final route for the two heroines (Sakura and Illya), you really have to go out of your way to piss off Saber and Rin in their respective routes. The hint corner even indirectly accuses you of looking it up to reach Saber's Bad End, as it's nearly impossible to get this ending when playing blind unless you want 'Fate' to be Rin's route or you don't care about Saber. It's necessary to get this Bad End for reaching 100% Completion (and thus unlock Saber's Golden Ending).
  • Inverted in Full Metal Daemon Muramasa. Up to the middle of the game, you have to take a path where no one among the heroines has higher points than the others, or else you will have to kill her.
  • In Hakuouki and its prequel game Hakuouki Reimeiroku, failing to develop sufficient levels of affection with at least one of the various members of The Shinsengumi inevitably has dire consequences ranging from Survivor Guilt to your death to an outright "Everybody Dies" Ending.
  • Personal relationships affect the mystery plot of Hotel Dusk: Room 215. Certain characters distrusting you (such as Dunning, the hotel owner) leads to a Non-Standard Game Over. Thankfully, the game is really obvious about what you did wrong and just sends you back to the last checkpoint.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend: Ends with the genocide of the entire human race if you fail to complete a romance with anybirdie.
  • Fail to have a high enough Nerve score by the end of It Lives In The Woods and Noah forces you to become the next Redfield.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, if you don't make enough of an impression on one of the five girls by the end of the first week, you're forced to spend the School Festival with Kenji, resulting in you falling off the roof and dying. This also happens if you make a critical mistake and alienate a girl at one of four points.
  • In Kira-Kira, in addition to points with each girl, the band as a whole has Relationship Values. If you don't have any band points by midway through the game, you get a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • Long Live the Queen tracks hidden values for Elodie's approval ratings amongst the nobility and the common citizens. These values can actually go into the negatives, with having -40 or worse at two crucial checks leading to a potential game over:
    • If Elodie's noble approval is extremely low in the midgame, several duchies will declare civil war, and if Elodie can't either win the war by military force or negotiate without giving up her right to rule, she'll be overthrown.
    • In the final weeks of the game, if her commoner approval is -45 the citizens will revolt and either imprison or kill her. The only ways to avoid a game over are to either be a powerful or intimidating enough Lumen to scare them off, or to successfully placate them the previous week by getting advance warning of the revolution (which requires foresight and takes resources away from being able to detect other potential threats).
  • In Mystic Messenger, failing to get high enough affection with any pursuable character by the end of Day 4 causes you to get a bad ending where the party the player character was planning is canceled.
  • How one gets the infamous endings in School Days.
  • The Tokimeki Memorial series punish you hard if you totally ignore all characters except your target love, as they will be all too willing to "bomb" you, i.e. spreading bad rumours about you, and if you don't take measures to defuse those bombs, they will explode, heavily damaging relationships with all the characters you know. It's very hard to recover from a gone-off bomb with regular characters, and an essential Game Over with Nintendo Hard characters such as Shiori Fujisaki or Kei Hazuki.
  • In Tsukihime, if you take a very specific path, you'll ignore all main girls to such an extent that you'll get a Non Standard Game Over, and in the hint corner afterwards, you'll get told to "give the girls more attention". Additionally, game over can occur at several points in Tsukihime if character affection isn't high enough.
  • Zero Escape:
    • In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, it's impossible to get the two endings necessary to beat the game unless Junpei chooses to console Clover, who is hurting over the apparent death of her brother. If this is not done properly, it leads to an ending where Clover goes insane and kills everyone.
    • In Virtue's Last Reward, choosing to Betray a sympathetic character generally leads to disgusted reactions from the rest of the group, especially if this person is currently incapacitated and unable to vote. Which makes the one instance in which betraying the unconscious Alice is the correct decision a massive wham episode for the player. In all other situations, choosing to Ally with an unconscious character is the logical decision. But if you choose to Ally with her, she kills you. The game expects you to ally with her first, and if you do and pick Betray next, due to the nature of the plot, Sigma will actually remember the events from when you chose ally. Though he won't know what to make of it at the time.

    Other Games 
  • Applied to a factional rather than a personal level, this trope can be found in just about any grand strategy game/political simulator that tries to model the Cold War from the perspective of one of the superpowers. If the other superpower distrusts you too much, the nukes fly, usually leading to The End of the World as We Know It. Alternatively, a non-aligned nation that distrusts you too much may align itself with the other superpower bloc, which is less catastrophic but still damaging.
  • Parodied in A Hat in Time where after Hat Kid meets Moustache Girl and decide to be friends, a friendship meter pops up and fills halfway. After the first boss however, Moustache Girl immediately falls out with Hat Kid since she doesn't want to use the Time Pieces to fight crime like Moustache Girl and instead just wants to use them to get home, the same meter pops up again, only for the progress to reverse offscreen and it explodes, declaring the both of them as "enemies".
  • In The Oregon Trail II, if your party's morale goes too low, you either get demoted to a Greenhorn (if an Adventurer) or kicked out of the wagon train altogether (if a Trail Guide).
  • In Rebel Inc. if you lose all Reputation, you're fired and the insurgents win.
  • Soldier of Fortune II: Continually jeopardize the soldiers' mission in Colombia, and they will execute you on the spot for treason.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Tag Force Series, if you can't get a tag partner before the tournament, you get a game over and must start again.