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  • In Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom, there is a point where Admiral Tolwyn is captured by your marines and you have the choice to release him or hold him as a prisoner of war. This turns out to be meaningless since he'll get released no matter which choice you pick.
  • In the first Marvel Ultimate Alliance: In Mephisto's Realm, you are faced with the Sadistic Choice of letting either Nightcrawler or Jean Grey fall to their death (and it's impossible to save them both).note  At the end of the game, if you chose to save Nightcrawler, Jean comes back as the Dark Phoenix. On the other hand, if you chose to save Jean, Mystique (Nightcrawler's mother) murders Charles Xavier in revenge, and the X-Men consequently disband. Either way, the Watcher will tell you that "It was unfortunate..."
  • Telltale's Game of Thrones
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    • In Episode One, Ethan is forced to make a choice whether to try to rescue his sister from Ramsay Bolton. If Ethan tries to rescue his sister from Ramsey Bolton Ramsay says Ethan is too brave and stabs him in the throat, killing him, but if Ethan does not try to save his sister from Ramsay Ramsay says Ethan is too weak and stabs him in the throat, killing him.
    • In Episode Six, Mira is forced to either accept blame for stealing some of the Queen's wine or admit that Sera took it. If Mira accepts the blame, Margaery dismisses Mira from her service and without Margaery's protection, Mira is thrown into prison. If Mira blames Sera, Margaery keeps Mira in her service, but distances herself. Without Margery's protection, Mira is thrown into prison.
  • Deus Ex
    • It doesn't matter if you kill Anna instead of Lebedev. You'll end up fighting UNATCO anyway, Lebedev will be hunted down and killed by Majestic 12 later, and they'll pin his death on you.
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    • After the mission to save Paul, if you investigated UNATCO, you know too much, so UNATCO turns against you. If not, you saved Paul, so UNATCO turns against you.
  • In Star Trek: Borg, while on the Borg ship you are given two options: fight the Borg or try to access the computer. Either way gets you assimilated. However that gives you the codes so when the next Snap Back happens you can access the computer properly.
  • All over the place in The Walking Dead. Even though many of the choices seem to be plot-defining moments, the outcome is nearly identical no matter what you choose. For example:
    • In episode 2, the gang ends up locked in a room while Larry is apparently dying from a heart attack; keep in mind they had just learned that you become a zombie no matter what your cause of death, and Larry is over 300 pounds of ex-military trouble. Lee has the choice of either helping his daughter Lilly administer CPR, or restraining her while Kenny smashes Larry's head with a salt lick to prevent him from reanimating. Even if you don't take the second choice, Kenny kills Larry anyway; the only real choice is which character you want to take a hit in Relationship Values with. And since Lilly ends up leaving the group in the next episode while Kenny stays until the end, about half of the fandom considers helping her to be pointless.
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    • At the end of Episode 2, the group comes across an abandoned vehicle, full of supplies they will need to survive. Some players may wish to do the moral thing and not steal from it, in which case the rest of the group takes it while they do nothing. When you meet the owner of the car in a later episode, he chews you out for stealing his supplies regardless of whether or not you actually did it.
    • While fleeing a herd of walkers by train, the group encounters a couple of survivors named Christa and Omid; Lee and Omid end up having to jump onto the train from above, but Omid is hesitant. Whether Lee pushes Omid, encourages him to jump, or just remains silent, Omid ends up falling off the roof of the train and hurting his leg.
    • Inverted when you have to get onboard the train: Lee has a choice between helping the injured Omid or Christa (who is tougher, but heavily implied to be pregnant) onto the train. He gets briefly chewed out no matter his choice, but the one you don't rescue catches up anyway.
    • In Episode 1 of Season 2, Clementine has the option of sharing some beans with a stray dog. If she doesn't, the dog attacks her for denying her food. If she does, the dog will grab the whole can, and attack Clem when she tries to stop him eating all of it.
    • Later in season 2, at the end of episode 3, the player has a choice with Sarita, whether to either cut off her arm or kill the walker attacking her. No matter what, Kenny blames Clementine for letting it happen. Either way, Sarita dies from the attack; cutting off her arm gets her killed immediately, while killing the walker still gets her infected, and she dies early into episode 4.
    • Also, in episode 4, Clementine has to choose between trying to save Sarah or Jane. No matter what, Sarah ends up trapped under rubble and gets savagely torn apart by walkers, even if Clem convinces Jane to try and help her.
  • The most infamous quest in Fallout 3, Tenpenny Tower, has no good resolution. If you side with the bigots inside the Tower, you go off and massacre the Ghouls (most of whom, aside from Roy Phillips himself, were actually pretty decent people). If you side with Roy Phillips and storm the Tower, all the Tenpenny residents get massacred (again, most of them other than Tenpenny and Burke were decent if snooty people). If you think you're clever and try to Take a Third Option by using diplomacy to convince both sides to live together inside the Tower peacefully, it initially seems like a happy ending, but after a couple weeks Phillips flips out and massacres all the humans anyway. Not to mention, the humans die even if you kill Phillips before he does so.
    • The DLC Point Lookout also has this: When you have to choose whether to kill Desmond or Calvert, in both options Calvert will kill you (or try to do so).
    • Fallout 3's karma system also presents one, though it isn't obvious: If you have good karma, Talon Company mercenaries will randomly attack you, if you have bad karma, Regulators will come after you. Either way, you're pissing somebody off, unless you manage to walk the razor's edge that is neutral karma. And that means never straying. The random attacks start if you drift either way even once. Worst case, you swing both ways and up with double trouble as you get attacked from both the Talon Company and the Regulators.
  • This happens frequently in Fable I. For example, you are given the choice between sparing and killing the bandit leader Twinblade. If you spare him, he sends assassins after you shortly afterward. If you kill him, assassins come after you shortly after for revenge.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords:
    • A beggar asks you for money on your first visit to Nar Shaddaa. Whether or not you give him anything, something horrible happens, ending with someone getting stabbed. The only difference is if the beggar is the stabber (if you didn't give him money) or the stabbee (if you did give him money). Kreia uses this as evidence for her Ayn Rand-esque personal philosophy.
    • On Dantooine, the Sullustan shopkeeper has been stealing droid parts to pay for a relative's medical treatment. Give him money to pay for the treatment and Kreia will yell at you. Murder him in cold blood and Kreia will yell at you. She is the only character who loses influence from both light-side and dark-side actions (only once each, fortunately).
  • In the ending of Grand Theft Auto IV, whether you choose to take the money or kill Dimitri in the penultimate mission, you will lose Kate. If you kill Dimitri, the mob boss you were working for gets pissed at you for souring the deal and kills Kate in a drive-by shooting. If you take the money, Kate will call you out on abandoning your morals and will leave you anyway. Taking the money also results in Dimitri betraying you for no reason and sending someone to kill you, which results in Roman getting killed. Though if you do take the Deal option, after Roman is killed, you get a phone call from Kate and she reconciles with you.
  • The morality choices in Army of Two: The 40th Day are infamous for being like this; picking the obviously "bad" choice has negative consequences, but the seemingly "good" choice usually also results in a similarly crappy outcome later on.
  • None of the three endings to Singularity are "good": two are obvious bad endings while the third, seeming Golden Ending is also revealed to have negative consequences in a twist at the very end. More specifically, the endgame gives you the choice of either killing Barisov and ruling the world alongside Evil Overlord Demichev, killing Demichev and Barisov, or killing Demichev then sacrificing yourself to restore history to its rightful course.
    • If you kill Demichev and Barisov, the world descends into chaos as the Soviet Union collapses while you rise as a ruthless dictator launching a campaign for world domination from the United States.
    • If you kill Barisov and side with Demichev, the two of you take over the world under a totalitarian dictatorship and ultimately start a new Cold War against each other.
    • If you kill Demichev and try to restore the original timeline by going to the past and stopping yourself from saving him in 1955, the world seems to return to normal and you're warped back to the beginning of the game, only this time your helicopter flies off into the sunset without incident instead of getting shot down by temporal distortion. However, The Reveal shows that it is not the original timeline, but rather one where Barisov took over the world himself under Soviet principles (although, given what you know of Barisov and your teammate's reaction to his statue, it's suggested his rule is at least possibly benevolent). The Achievement was called "Good of the Many" as the Soviet regime actually works.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VI, the Show Within a Show Opera has the main character Maria stuck between those. If she chooses her lover Draco, he will be killed by her fiancé Raul. If she chooses Raul, then Draco will kill himself out of heartbreak. She takes a third option and loudly laments that she can't choose, resulting in the men dueling, Draco winning and the two lovers leaving as Raul laments that he had truly loved Maria.
    • If you try to skip Cosmo Canyon for the first time in Final Fantasy VII, you can either try to proceed on foot and discover that you need the buggy to cross the river, or try to proceed in the buggy and have it break down before you get to the river. Either way, you cannot progress past the river until you visit Cosmo Canyon.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Mewt suffers one relating to bullying, similar to what's described in the Real Life section. During the snowball fight, the three bullies almost exclusively target him, relentlessly pelting him with snowballs. When Marche and Ritz protest, Mewt says he's fine. The bullies claim that Mewt saying this proves that there's nothing wrong with what they're doing, but Ritz points out that Mewt knows that they'd only make it worse if he complained.
    • This is basically the essence of being a l'Cie in Final Fantasy XIII. Fail your Focus or give up on it? You get turned into a nightmarish shambling monster called a Cie'th, that eventually degrades into a Living Statue, and suffers forever. Succeed in your Focus? You get turned into a crystal statue forever, or until the fal'Cie decide to give you another Focus. Admittedly in the sequel a character that was decrystalized at the end of the first game notes having had pleasant dreams while in that state so it's not quite as bad as being a Cie'th, but it's still means you are pretty much going to lose everything and have no life other than being a slave for the fal'Cie, so you are still pretty much screwed whatever happens.
    • A much harsher example in Final Fantasy XIII-2, regardless of whether Caius succeeds in killing the goddess or dies trying, time/the world is still ultimately screwed, making all of your efforts pointless. In specific, after the final battle, much is made of a "choice" one has (whether to kill Caius or spare him), and the revelation that being killed was actually his goal all along. But whether you choose to kill or spare him, he dies anyway: choose mercy, and he grabs Noel's sword and impales himself on it, with the exact same results. Which raises the question, "in what sense was it accurate to say 'only Noel could kill him', if we aren't talking about Noel's volition but rather Noel's sword?" Note that throughout the plot no mention is ever made of Noel's sword having any special property vis-a-vis killing Caius; the reference is always to Noel himself, as if there is some mystical quality to him as a person that allows him to kill Caius. And yet, if the player chooses mercy, Caius is able to kill himself with Noel's sword.
    • The Ishgardians in Final Fantasy XIV deal with suspected heretics in a manner reminiscent of historical witch trials from Real Life. The accused heretic is flung into a ravine at Witchdrop. If they're innocent, they'll die, and be considered to have died with honor. Those who actually consort with dragons, it is believed, will sprout wings or call upon their draconic allies to save them, and will then be killed by the Inquisitors. This of course gets even worse when one of those same Inquisitors is revealed to be a dragon in disguise, murdering innocent Ishgardians by planting false evidence of heresy, and anyone who points out this fact is of course accused of heresy.
  • Alpha Protocol's entire story up until the last level. Every world location gives you a Sadistic Choice at some point. No matter what you do, the outcome is practically the same, as the Evil, Inc. behind it all set up careful Xanatos Gambits. Taipei? You let Ronald Sung get assassinated, which destabilizes the region and worsens Chinese-Taiwanese relations, or you let the Chinese plan to incite nationalist riots happen, which kills hundreds of people, destabilizes the region, and worsens Chinese-Taiwanese relations. Rome? Either you let the bomb explode, killing hundreds of people and tightening the EU's security policy, or you let Madison get killed, which renders her a martyr that, you guessed it, makes the EU tighten its security policy. Moscow? Almost no matter what you do, it's clear that Halbech won't have much problem finding another mafia boss to smuggle weapons for them... Unless you go with Surkov, which means the rise of a Russian equivalent to Halbech under his leadership instead.
    Although downplayed in Taipei and Moscow in that intervening is the better option than just letting things be. Taipei: the original plan was to assassinate Ronald Sung and incite nationalist riots, so at the very least you saved either Sung or hundreds of people's lives and kept Chinese-Taiwanese relations from becoming even worse than just one incident or the other. Moscow: Halbech may not have much problem finding another boss to smuggle weapons for them, but it will still cause delays — and that gives you more time to stop Halbech closer to the source. Furthermore, intervening in each place allows you to break or subvert a tool that Halbech used to carry out each plan: Taipei puts you in contact with Ronald Sung's assassin, whom you can befriend, and whom can turn on Leland at a crucial moment, Rome puts you in contact with the mastermind of the bomb plot, whom you can either kill (with everything going exactly right) or befriend, who will then turn on Leland at a crucial moment, and Moscow puts you in contact with Halbech's weapons supplier, whom you can kill or befriend, either way becoming independent of Halbech. Not too shabby for a Spanner in the Works.
  • Alone in the Dark (2008): Let Sarah live, and she becomes a Tragic Monster. Kill her, and you become the monster.
  • In Freedom Wars, when Hourai launches an all-out assault on your Panopticon, you have to choose between either an enemy elimination operation or an Abductor liquidation operation. If you choose the former, Ann will be killed in action. Conversely, if you choose the latter, her older brother Hal will die instead. This is subverted in the endgame, when you can wish for the one who died to be brought back by Simeon.
  • In Mass Effect, Shepard and Garrus confront a doctor who illegally harvested and sold organs. The player has the choice to either let Garrus kill him for his crimes, or convince him to stand down so the doctor can be peacefully arrested. However, if one goes for the latter option, the doctor will attack you, thus leading to him dying anyway. Unusually, this is immediately discussed. Garrus asks what was the point of attempting to spare the doctor; Shepard replies it's What You Are in the Dark.
  • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels has two warp zones out of nine that actually send you back. If you don't want to go back, the only other way is to jump into the pit. Of course, if you are playing for a high score, this is actually beneficial.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, there's the boss fight with Big Massif. Big Massif can, as a free action, summon fans to his side to help with his attacks. Your main two options are to defeat his fans (which enrages him and boosts his attack) or let him build up enough fans to perform his strongest attack. Even if you defeat his fans, at low heath, he may simply summon enough fans to use his strongest attack anyway, only enraged.
  • In the "Dong Zhuo in Luo Yang" scenario in Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires, you get the option of participating in the Alliance Against Dong Zhuo after the first turn. If you take part and win, Dong Zhuo dies and his kingdom collapses. If you lose or don't take part, about a couple turns later Lu Bu kills Dong Zhuo and takes over his kingdom. Given Dong Zhuo's moral outlook, no doubt a lot of players approved.
  • In L.A. Noire, the protagonist tries hard to maintain the image of a By-the-Book Cop in a city full of Dirty Cops, so the Golden Butterfly Case presents a challenge. You have two suspects, the victim's abusive husband and a suspected pedophile. While most of the evidence points to the first, it's clear that the other is far more hated, and not arresting him will make everyone mad at you. Unfortunately, neither of them is the killer, meaning both choices will result in an innocent man spending some time in jail. (Well, innocent of the murder; both are rotten people, so it's hard to feel bad.
  • One of the many sidequests in Xenoblade requires you to fetch a jewel used as an engagement present and give it to one of two corners of a love triangle. However, Shulk's precognition tells him that there's no happy ending. If you give it to the girl, she gives it to the Manipulative Bastard she's in love with, but the remaining part of the love triangle is heartbroken and furious — plus indication that the guy may end up leaving her, though it's not clear if that will actually happen once you go through with it. In the other case, the precognition warns you that the woman will be trapped in a loveless marriage, regretting impulsively doing what seemed right at the time instead of following her heart.
  • A small side quest in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind's Tribunal expansion deals with a down on his luck elf who asks you for some gold. If you give him gold, he'll demand more and more until he finally declares you're lying about having that much gold and are trying to mock him with your kindness. If you turn him down at any point, he declares you to be a heartless bastard. If you attack him, he vanishes. Either way, he reappears later as a Boss in Mook Clothing.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
    • The Civil War is this, to the point that neither side has a completely happy ending for the province should they win: If the Empire wins, they have consolidated their power in the region and can now focus on rebuilding their military strength against the Thalmor, but at the cost of deeply dividing the province along political lines and dealing a massive blow to Nord traditions and independence. If the Stormcloak Rebellion wins, they have won Skyrim's independence from the Empire and Thalmor, but now they are ruled by nationalists who see nothing but contempt for non-Nords, especially non-humans, and doom them to a lifetime of persecution, if they're not executed or run out of the country by the Stormcloaks themselves first, and have further fractured the already-struggling Empire, which would make a war to rid Tamriel of Thalmor all the more difficult.
    • Also what basically happened to High King Torygg before the events of the game: by Nord tradition, any warrior can publically challenge the High King to a duel and become the High King if he wins; Ulfric was the challenger in this case. Accept, and surely be killed by a man who was ten times the warrior he was even without the Thu'um; refuse, and be shamed throughout Skyrim and give Ulfric grounds to call a moot which would likely make Ulfric the High King anyway. Torygg chose to accept, and he literally earned his ticket to Sovngarde for it.
  • There's a really, really nasty one that forms part of the main villain's incredibly complex Evil Plan in the Kingdom Hearts series.
    • The Big Bad, the original one, 'died' and became two beings, said two beings being incredibly powerful and destructive evil psychopaths themselves (though weaker than the original man). Killing both of them, due to the cosmology of the verse, will result in the Big Bad coming Back from the Dead to resume his Omnicidal Maniac ways. But at the same time, neither can the two beings be left alive, otherwise their own evil schemes and plans will also result in Apocalypse How. Devilish little conundrum. If you're wondering how it's resolved, the answer is that so far in the series, it's not. Taking a third option was unfortunately not possible due to the heroes not realizing what was going on with the 'dying' and the splitting due to other facets of The Plan, hence they killed both of the other evil beings before they realized that doing so would result in the Big Bad being resurrected. So it remains to be seen how the villain will finally be dealt with.
    • Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance reveals that the situation is just a little bit worse than that. The Big Bad is working towards the ultimate goal of gathering seven hearts of light, and thirteen hearts of darkness, and forcing them to merge into a keyblade that can open the true Kingdom Hearts. Now that he is whole again, he is actively working towards that goal. However, both of his composite beings were each working towards that same goal when they were active; one gathering the lights, and one gathering the darknesses. In short, the "choice" was "allow these two psychopaths to work towards their ultimate goal", or "kill them and let the psychopath that spawned them to work towards the same goal."
    • The current incarnation of his plan, as stated above, involves pitting seven hearts of light against thirteen hearts of darkness. While in KH3D, the protagonists manage to prevent Sora from becoming the thirteenth vessel of darkness, there is a strong implication that the Big Bad will still get his thirteenth one way or another. Once that is accomplished, he will set upon procuring the seven hearts of light. The obvious choice for this is the Princesses of Heart, seven maidens with hearts of pure light. The protagonists realize that defending the Princesses is of utmost importance, and that having seven defenders of light is the best way to do so, primarily because even in the best case scenario, seven is all they can manage. However, they realize that in doing so, they are gathering another potential group of candidates for the seven hearts the Big Bad is looking for. The choice here becomes to either let him gather the Princesses and forge the χ-blade from them, or defend the Princesses, which has the potential to forge the χ-blade when the two forces combat each other. Yen Sid even comments that due to the big bad's natural talent for Xanatos Gambits, he has already probably planned out everything the protagonists will do and sets it up to benefit him no matter what. At this point, the only possible way to beat him is to somehow act in a way he could not predict.
    • In Kingdom Hearts II Sora discovers halfway through that every time he kills a Heartless he sends its heart back to Kingdom Hearts, increasing its power, which is exactly what Organization XIII wants. Of course, if he doesn't kill Heartless they will keep rampaging through the multiverse. He ultimately decides to keep doing what he's been doing, knowing that he's helping the bad guys but thinking the alternative is even worse, and preferring to trust that he'll be able to fight his way through whatever they throw at him and beat them all in combat before they accomplish their goal.
  • Saints Row: The Third has a mission where your goal is to save a group of women from a trafficking ring that forces them into prostitution. You are then presented with two options: sell them right back to the traffickers, or force them into prostitution yourself. Both options end with the girls in forced prostitution, and you making a lot of money off them.
  • At some point in In Famous you are given the choice to either save Trish or six doctors from being thrown from a tall building to their death. If you choose to save the doctors, Trish will die. If you choose to save Trish, you'll be tricked, as she will be among the doctors, so she will die either way.
  • The two endings of Kane and Lynch: Dead Men. Either Kane leaves his men to die and saves his daughter, who will now hate him for the rest of his life; or saves his men, at the cost of his daughter's life. Lampshading this, the official names for the two endings are "Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't".
  • Most of the "moral choice" moments in Spec Ops: The Line are anything but, and really moments where every choice the player makes will result in equally terrible consequences.
    • The final (or semifinal) two choices are an exception, since the first of the two is either massacring civilians with your own guns or just making them flee, and the second is essentially committing suicide.
    • One choice is rather egregious in this. At one point, Konrad forces you to choose between killing a civilian who stole water (the game takes place in the desert in the middle of a sandstorm; water is an extremely precious commodity) or a soldier who apprehended the civilian, but killed his family in the process. It doesn't matter which one you choose (even if you try to Take a Third Option and shoot the snipers who are forcing you to make the choice, where you fail to rescue both of them anyway) because at the end of the game, it's revealed the entire scene was a hallucination, which means your choice meant diddily squat.
  • Tactics Ogre: Denam really can't win if he becomes ruler of Valeria. Chaos frame too low? Someone assassinates him. Chaos frame high? Then Lodis invades and takes over Valeria.
  • One of the plot-changing decisions in Call of Duty: Black Ops II is one of these, for the most part - Kravchenko is still alive and ends up captured and interrogated by Woods and Mason. Whichever way you play the scene, it ends with Kravchenko dead - either Mason shoots him during the interrogation, or Woods shoots him after it. There is a difference in that, if the entire scene is played, Woods and Mason learn of a potential mole within the CIA, but other events later on that that info would logically be connected to don't change based on whether you know that.
  • In The Feeble Files a freighter pilot is accused of transporting contraband material, and tries to talk his way out of it by claiming he was forced to transport the contraband by anti-government rebels. The security officer carrying out the interrogation decides that if he's telling the truth, he deserves death for knowingly conspiring with rebels; otherwise he's lying to a security officer to save his own skin, which is also an executable offence, and shoots the freighter pilot dead.
  • 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand has the game's two endings. When 50 Cent invades the Big Bad's HQ, he has the option of going through a shutter that'll take him straight to him, or taking the long way around. Going through the shutter, however, will trip an alarm that leads to Leila getting swarmed by Mooks and outnumbered. No matter which one you choose, though Leila turns out to have been working for the Big Bad all along. The only clear difference between the endings is that if you take the long way, Leila escapes with the diamond-encrusted skull, living through to the end of the game but left stranded in the middle of the desert; if you open the shutters, she gets into the helicopter the Final Boss fight puts you up against (thus dying with the Big Bad when you destroy it) and you still have to have the final chase sequence, this time chasing another generic mook.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon X and Y: In Lysandre Labs, Xerosic presents you with a red button and a blue button, which will respectively activate the Ultimate Weapon or leave it dormant. If you press the blue button, Xerosic will remotely activate the weapon anyway. When you go to Team Flare's secret base in Geosenge Town later on, Lysandre will apologize for the Ultimate Weapon being activated despite your choice.
    • Played for Laughs in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Kiawe's trial requires you to watch a trio of Alolan Marowak dance twice and identify what was different between them three times in a row. The third time the Marowaks and Hiker pose like they're taking a photo, one of the Marowaks is even pantomiming a camera, the outlier in the second dance is... the Totem Salazzle. ALL of the possible options are only hernote , and then you fight her.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask offers a gameplay one during the subquest to defend the farm from "them". You're free to do it with or without the Song of Inverted Time in effect, but the time also affects the speed of the enemies. With it on they move at about one-third speed but the night takes three times as long to complete and they have more time to respawn more often. Your choice amounts to a quick mission with fewer fast enemies or a prolonged mission with a lot of slow enemies, both where a single misstep is all it takes to fail, like the video game equivalent to choosing to rip a bandage off quickly or slowly.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword,
    • During the Gratitude Crystal sidequest, Cawlin has a crush on Karane but is too shy to say it to her face, and so asks you to deliver a love letter. Here the quest branches off in two directions: you can either give the love letter to Karane, in which case she ultimately ends up with another student and Cawlin is upset, or you can give it to the disembodied hand living in the knight school's bathroom, in which case Cawlin is upset and is later haunted by the appendage in his sleep.
    • During another sidequest, you have to lead Peatrice the Item Clerk along with having feelings for Link. The sidequest only has two endings; admit Link likes her back which means he's now two-timing Zelda, or utterly and completely crushing her spirit by saying she's "just a shopkeeper" to him, there's no third option to let her down gently and you can't keep her from falling for Link to begin with without dead-ending the sidequest before getting the rewards.
  • The druid in the first Simon the Sorcerer game explaining how to determine whether someone is a demon. The only surefire way is to thrust a silver dagger through its heart. If the creature dies, it is a demon. If the creature lives, its heart is pure, and so it needs to be sacrificed.
  • The Star Trek Online mission "Acamar System Patrol" has the PC assigned to defuse an Acamarian clan dispute. While there are two ways to complete the mission, they both end violently. If you screw up the negotiations, the Acamarians attack you. If you succeed, the Romulan Tal Shiar who covertly caused the whole thing attack you.
  • Chrono Trigger has the trial scene where Crono is falsely accused of kidnapping Marle. Either he's found guilty and sentenced to death, or he's found innocent...at which point the Evil Chancellor tries to have him executed in secret anyway. Either scenario ends with Crono in a cell awaiting his execution and having to make his escape, although getting found innocent earns you some rare and valuable items (at least for that point in the game).
  • Undertale:
    • Shortly into Waterfall, you're presented with Schrodinger's Fork. If you spared and befriended Papyrus, you'll see him meeting with Undyne, the head of the Royal Guard, about you, then later he'll call you asking you if you're wearing [armor you're currently wearing], because "a friend of his" wants to know. If you lie to him or tell the truth then change afterwards, he'll cover for you and lie to Undyne that you're wearing something else... which just happens to be whatever armor you're actually wearing/switched to. If you were honest, told him the truth and kept that armor equipped, however, then Papyrus will also tell the truth, reasoning that, because his motives were blatantly obvious, you would have been smart and lied/changed clothes. Either way, he'll give Undyne an accurate report of what you end up wearing when you encounter her a few screens later, despite having absolutely no idea of what you did and no intention of betraying you.
    • Also in Waterfall, regardless of how violent or pacifistic you were, Undyne will always find a reason to fight you, the only real change between each path is how genuine her anger and convictions are, depending on how many and which monsters you killed. If it's pacifist though it's clear she's spouting her hero of justice schtick to try to justify fighting you to herself though, which is what opens her up to spare and befriend later.
    • Finish a Genocide Run, and The Fallen Child will offer you a chance to destroy the universe. Regardless of your decision, they kill you and do it anyway.
    • After you restart the game when completing a No Mercy run, The Fallen Child will ask you if you think are above consequences. If you answer yes, all they'll say is, "Exactly." If you choose no, they'll ask what you're doing here. Either way, they'll still try to make a deal with you to bring the game back.
    • About halfway through the game, you will be attacked by the Mad Dummy, who wants to avenge the ghost inhabiting the dummy you encountered at the beginning of the game. The catch is that he'll find some reason to want to get back at you no matter what you did. If you attacked it, he’ll note that you destroyed it, rendering it uninhabitable. If you did as Toriel suggested and talked to it, he’ll say that you said something hurtful to upset the ghost. If you try to Take a Third Option and repeatedly do something else, like attack and miss, until the dummy wanders off, Mad Dummy will chew you out for being so infuriatingly boring and still attack you.
    • After defeating Asgore you'll have the option to either spare him or kill him. If you spare him, he'll be happy and wonders if he can start a family again with you being a part of it. He's then killed by Flowey who then steals his soul and gains tremendous strength with it and the human souls. If you decide to kill him, he accepts his fate and his soul is released. Flowey then comes along and takes the soul anyway.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire: Emperor Valkorion will offer you A Taste of Power throughout the game. Whether or not you give in to your short-sighted ambition changes nothing:
    • Chapter 1: Valkorion offers you half the galaxy. If you reject him, Arcann will help you kill him (then screw you over shortly after). If you accept him, Arcann will backstab him (and claim that you did it).
    • Chapter 4: Accepting help to save Lana means you save her with a dark force pulse, while Koth catches up moments later, then she later admonishes you for using Valkorion's power even if it was to protect her. If you reject the temptation and leave Lana to fend for herself, she'll be injured and Koth will save her for you.
    • Chapter 8: You battle Arcann and are given the choice of either accepting Valkorion's help, which will result in his power ravaging your body, or you can turn him down, which will result in Arcann impaling you on his lightsaber.
  • The fate of the Starter Villain General Lionwhyte in Brütal Legend. When a giant falling mirror is about to crush him to death, he "saves" himself by shattering the mirror with his voice... and is Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by one of the giant glass shards instead.
  • The Forerunners in Halo, and Bornstellar/IsoDidact in particular, face this at the climax of the Flood War. Ultimately they only have two options: to fight the Flood in more conventional, but ultimately futile methods (allowing the Flood to destroy all life in the galaxy), or fire the Halo Array and destroy all life themselves (but which gives them the chance to reseed everything back afterwards). Whatever the choice, the IsoDidact must face the crushing guilt that ultimately, it was the Forerunners who brought about the horrific events that came to pass, and regardless of the outcome, the Flood will take delicious pleasure in knowing the Forerunners must face it. In the end the Halos are fired and the Flood is defeated, but billions of years' worth of knowledge is lost as the Precursor structures containing them are destroyed, and by no means was every life-bearing planet cataloged: Halo: Silentium makes it clear that many unknown sentient species were been wiped out with no trace of having ever existed.
  • A non-negative version occurs in King's Quest (2015) Chapter 3: King Graham goes to rescue a princess from a tower and ends up finding two: one level-headed and serious and the other cheerful and adventurous. There is no "wrong" choice; whomever the player chooses will turn out to be Valanice, Graham's wife from the original King's Quest games.
  • Dark Souls II shows that the Multiple Endings from Dark Souls I are one of these in practice; No matter whether you choose to Link the Fire or let it fade and become a Dark Lord, you're only perpetuating the Cycle of the Curse that was started by Gwyn's initial linking of the fire that will eventually lead to the option you didn't take. Vendrick and Aldia realized this and tried to Take a Third Option that required harnessing the First Flame and the Dark Soul in tandem to conclusively break the Cycle entirely, but Aldia slowly went mad trying and Vendrick was stymied by Nashandra and wound up contracting the Undead Curse himself for his trouble. Scholar of the First Sin reveals that Aldia did manage to break the Cycle for himself, but to do so is another fork in and of itself; do you stay within the Cycle and risk Hollowing trying to find a better solution, or do you do what Aldia did and leave your humanity behind to become an immortal, soulless Eldritch Abomination, sacrificing that which defines you in order to stick it to fate?
  • In the Portal 2 Game Mod, Portal Stories: Mel, this is Played for Laughs as you're presented with an elevator with stairs spiraling around it in an unstable salt mine shaft.
    Take the elevator: The place is exploding, rocks are falling everywhere, and you're taking the elevator?! What if the power went out?! You'd be trapped!
    Take the stairs: Your life is at stake, and you're going to walk up the stairs?! With falling rocks everywhere?! I get that you're an Olympian track runner and all, but what's wrong with you?!
    • "Morton's Fork" is also the title of the level/map immediately preceeding the final boss fight of the main game, because you're presented with the option of either jumping into a masher at the end of a fast conveyor belt, or solving the puzzle and continuing onward to the boss battle.
  • Arc Style: Baseball!! 3D:
    • When you line out hard to the pitcher and there is someone at first base, you'll have to decide whether to let the game handle the baserunning for you or to tag up as soon as you see the ball approaching the pitcher. What's the best choice? You never know, because if you tag up and the ball isn't caught, both runners may get out at first base; and if you don't tag up and the ball is caught, the pitcher will have an easy time throwing you out for the double play as well. However, taking the tag up attitude will save you from rundowns between second and first where your non-batter runner would otherwise get involved, so it might be a little bit wiser to retreat immediately and hope that the ball is caught and nothing else happens.
    • Man on first, less than two outs. A fly ball falls behind second base or nearby. If you tag up, two things can happen: either the ball is caught, which gets the batter out and the runner safe, or the ball touches the ground, which means the batter is safe and the runner is thrown out at second base. One out, like it or not. If you decide to Take a Third Option and not tag up, you will be risking a double play at first base.
  • In Dishonored, the Big Bad and his henchman do this to Corvo via the methods of witch trials. They torture him for months, saying he can either confess he killed the empress (which he didn't) or die while staying silent. Averted, they don't plan on killing him since they need his confession to have a scapegoat and claim unchallenged innocence themselves.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode
    • Once you recruit either Magnus or Ellegaard, and whoever you didn't choose was recruited by whoever you left behind, whoever you recruited will want to get moving to find Soren right away to avoid the Wither Storm catching up, while the other will want to wait until morning to avoid monsters. However, if you wait until morning, the Wither Storm will appear and block the sun, making it dark enough for monsters to spawn and forcing you to fight them anyway.
    • During the endgame of Episode 3, regardless of whether you choose to take Ellegaard's or Magnus's armor, whoever you took the armor of will get killed by the Wither Storm swatting them into a tree.
    • In Episode 6, you can choose to either accuse Stampy of being the White Pumpkin or not. If he's accused, then Dan TDM will be killed by either a group of Spiders or the White Pumpkin. If he's not accused, then LD Shadow Lady will be killed by either a group of Spiders or the White Pumpkin.
  • Batman: The Telltale Series does this at the end of Episode Two. During the ending, you're given the choice of either saving either Catwoman or Harvey Dent, with the one you don't help out getting injured but still surviving. If you save Catwoman, Harvey receives his trademark Facial Horror and develops the Two-Face Split Personality. If you save Harvey, he still develops the Two-Face personality, which is arguably made creepier by his face being perfectly intact.
    • Quite a few occur in Episode 3, while Bruce is in Selina's Apartment recovering from his wounds. Harvey Dent comes in for a surprise visit. You can choose to show yourself and have him deduce what happened or to hide behind the door...and then the cat opens the door and reveals you anyways. That's fork number one. The part before that, you could have chosen to sleep with Selina or simply reject her advances. Either way, Harvey flips out and gets angry at Bruce and Selina. That's fork number 2. Once he attacks you, you can choose to fight back with all you've got or simply avoid his attacks and let him get tired. Either way, and even if you've been real nice to him thus far, he'll end going up against you later on and you being with Selina will be mentioned. That's fork number three. Finally, and this is shared between Episode 3 and 4, even if you manage to calm Selina down and convince her to go with you to Wayne Manor instead of running away, she'll end up doing so anyways by Episode 4. And even if you've been nice to her, she'll betray you anyways. That's fork number fourk.
    • You have a choice between stopping Two-Face or Penguin at the end of Episode 4, with whomever you don't pick becoming the Starter Villain of Episode 5. Despite the choice changing up a whole lot of details you'll be unable to use your suit, and have to confront said Starter Villain as Bruce with none of your toys. Oh, and Commissioner Grogan will die at the start of Episode 5 regardless.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, there are several examples. One of the biggest happens in the first act, when the Inquisition must decide whether to recruit the mages or the Templars to help close the Breach. Whichever faction is not recruited is basically destroyed, as its members either die or become enslaved by the Big Bad.
  • In chapter 3 of Bendy and the Ink Machine you're faced with the "choice" of working for Alice Angel. The "choice" in question being to either not work for her and she'll kill you or leave you for the Searchers, or to work for her with her probably going to kill you later and sure enough at the end of the chapter she crashes your elevator, trying to do just that. At most you're buying yourself time.
  • There's a point in BattleTech - The Crescent Hawks' Revenge where you have to choose between defending a besieged city or obeying orders and rejoining the rest of your unit to haul ass to your main objective. It doesn't matter what you pick, your CO will find something to chew you out about either way. If you stay to defend the city he'll yell at you for wasting valuable time when the capital world of one of the great powers is under attack, and if you abandon the city he'll yell at you for allowing a valuable 'mech repair facility to be destroyed by the enemy.
  • Civilization 6: Each civilization leader has two "agendas" that define their likes and dislikes, one pre-defined and one randomized. The latter can sometimes be diametrically opposed to the former — like disliking both strong and weak militaries — meaning that that civilization will dislike you no matter what you do.
  • Choice of the Vampire: In St. Charles, the vampire Player Character is starved for blood and hears a child crying for help in the wilderness. If they try to help, they lose control of their Horror Hunger and murder the child; if they don't, they abandon the child. Either way, the townspeople learn, blame them, and run them out of town.
  • In Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg, if you are playing as the United States, the Second American Civil War event chain features dozens of possible choices you can make, and only a single outcome prevents war. If you come down too hard on the CSA or the AUS, you provoke them and they start the war because they have nothing left to lose. If you placate one faction, you risk alienating the other because they are totally opposed ideologically and they start the war. And if you try to pursue a compromise, it leaves everyone unsatisfied and makes the Federal government look weak, and the war starts anyway. The only way to avoid the war is by implementing a version of Huey Long's economic policy with enough labor democracy to get the CSA to back down, and then extralegally ordering Long's assassination.
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