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Properly Paranoid / Video Games

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Justified paranoia in video games.

  • In Shoot Em Ups, a common strategy amongst players is to fire Smart Bombs at even the slightest hint of danger of losing a life. Since dying traditionally resets the player's bomb stock back to 3, rendering any bombs left over prior to death wasted, it's generally accepted that it's better to waste bombs over overestimated danger than to waste lives over overestimated safety.

  • Early on in Alan Wake, you meet an old woman who always carries around an electric lantern, won't walk down a hallway because the light's burnt out, and frequently talks about getting faulty bulbs replaced. Then you go through the Washington forests at night, get attacked by creatures of darkness, and find out there's a very good reason for this. Even more than you think: the woman's the Lady of the Light, giving you the means to defeat the darkness.
  • Steven Heck from Alpha Protocol. He repeatedly references various crazy sounding conspiracy theories, such as operation Acoustic Kitty, which supposedly involved CIA operatives sticking receivers to the tails of cats for use in spying, which is actually Truth in Television.
    • The conspiracies he references falls into three categories: Truth in Television (like Acoustic Kitty), Confirmed In Universe (like a scheme to manipulate the price of strawberries for testing purposes) and finally stuff that, because of the other two categories, there is that niggling feeling that maybe it isn't entirely wrong, after all...
  • Every Assassin's Creed assassination target who voices concern about the Assassin's presence — since all are done within earshot of the Assassin.
    • In the first game there's a model example in Sibrand who is first seen (by Altaïr) threatening a Scholar whose white robes are similar to those of the Assassins. Unfortunately, although that's why the Assassins wear those robes—which the scholar correctly points out—Sibrand cuts him down anyway. Eventually, this isn't enough "security" for Sibrand, who then flees to a boat that's quite off-shore, correctly believing that the Assassins are still hunting him. There's also a conversation between two Templar troops who are discussing the Assassin and Sibrand's growing paranoia, only to have Sibrand stomp up toward them and berate them for being so suspiciously secretive. Then Sibrand turns around, convinced that Assassins are watching them, and yells at the passing crowd at the top of his lungs that he knows the Assassins are out there, listening and watching right now. The hilarious thing is that Altair actually is listening in right at that very moment, so Sibrand's paranoia is justified.
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  • In Baldur's Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal, meeting Gromnir Il-Khan causes him to spout paranoid ramblings about how Melissan is an evil backstabbing witch trying to manipulate all the Bhaalspawn into killing each other before he attacking you for thinking you're out to get him. As it later turns out, he was right: Melissan really was trying to kill all the Bhaalspawn and sent you after Gromnir because she knew he'd try to kill you.
  • It's always fun to slowly make the henchman paranoid and terrified enough to shoot off wildly at the tiniest noise in the predator sections of the Batman: Arkham Series. Some of their buddies will try to calm them down saying Batman's not all that. But boy oh boy do you get to prove them wrong.
    • Also, people tend to question Batman's possible overestimations of The Joker's plans.
  • In Harebrained Schemes' Battletech, the Marauders' navigation officer Sumire Meyer is extremely vary around all signs of Lost Technology, repeatedly asking that the crew avoid getting involved in hunts for it as it will inevitably get the big players of the Inner Sphere involved on the sheer off-chance that there's any actual LosTech to be found. Not only is Sumire absolutely correct in-game, as a hunt for an SLDF cache causes the Taurian Concordat to get involved in the civil war on the other side (Sumire is more resigned than gleeful at being proven right), but in the lore ComStar is actively hunting down and confiscating any LosTech they can find as part of Operation Holy Shroud, and frequently engage in Killed to Uphold the Masquerade shenanigans.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine:
    • In Chapter 1, there's an audio recording of Thomas Connor, a repairman who is creeped out by the ink everywhere in Joey Drew Studios. He says it's unnatural. By the time Henry returns to the studio, there are monsters made of ink, and any standing ink could potentially form into a monster and attack.
    • In Chapter 4, there's an audio recording of Lacie Benton. Henry finds it where she used to help build Bendy Land, an amusement park that was never completed. She complains about an animatronic version of Bendy that gives her the creeps and swears that it's moving when her back is turned. It's unknown if she was right about that in particular, but there are a lot of monsters to worry about by the time of the game. A Hostile Animatronics version of Bendy isn't implausible, and in fact there is another machine moving around and trying to kill someone on its own - Bertrum Piedmont.
  • BioShock has Peach Wilkins. A fisherman and smuggler who has holed himself up in Fontaine Fisheries, he believes you are just a troublesome agent of his supposedly dead boss Frank Fontaine, who he currently has a VERY low opinion of (justifiably, Fontaine was a crook and a slimeball). He was right. Sure, you didn't know it at the time, as Fontaine was masquerading as the sympathetic Irishman Atlas.
    • Starting at Fort Frolic, the Properly Paranoid player will develop a habit of shooting any frozen splicers, statues, or suspicious corpses he comes across. Because you never know when one of them might spring to life and assassinate you.
  • Takumi in Chaos;Head is correct about a surprisingly large amount of his paranoid thoughts, thought not all of them. Like that Yua had ulterior motives for being nice to him, some invisible godlike presence is watching him or that some sort of conspiracy surrounding Shogun is targeting him. Even about the idea that someone always seems to be watching him and that he is the avatar of someone else the same way Knight-Hart is his own in ESO.
  • In Crusader Kings and its sequel, the "Paranoid" character trait gives a slight boost to that character's Intrigue stat, which dictates how vulnerable they are to assassination. However, it's a net loss; because a paranoid character constantly suspects his spouse of adultery and his court of plotting to murder him, it becomes difficult to sort out your character's paranoid fantasies from legitimate threats. Overreacting and becoming a tyrant or hermit is dangerous, but equally dangerous is assuming your paranoid character is jumping at shadows when someone actually is looking to put a knife in their back. As a general rule of thumb, if you're a paranoid character, hire a competent, non-paranoid spymaster who likes you. Then, don't assume any plot is real unless your spymaster says it is.
  • In Crying Suns, Emperor Oberon feared the possibility of a machine uprising and took many precautions against it, one of which was a set of restrictions that would prevent the OMNIs from communicating with each other. The ending shows that he was right to do so: the Shutdown was caused by someone removing these restrictions, allowing the OMNIs to form a consensus and ascend to godhood.
  • Dark Souls:
    • After a certain point, players will get into the habit of poking every single treasure chest they see with a weapon before opening it. The Mimic enemies do a fantastic job of disguising themselves as chests, and getting tricked by one is almost guaranteed death. Poking them beforehand will damage them if they're a Mimic, and cause them to get up and attack.
    • The series is very good at teaching players to anticipate ambushes. The designers in particular seem to love the old "2-3 enemies in plain sight, one hiding off to the side" trick.
    • Dark Souls II teaches players not to take anything for granted. In all three games, you can see the ghost images of other players running around the same areas, but in some areas of DSII, those ghost images can turn out to actually be enemies pretending to be ghost images. Similarly, at least two areas of the game have enemies who are completely invisible unless you have the Priestess's Eye from Eleum Loyce, teaching you both to fear empty space and to treat treasure chests as an opportunity for an enemy you can't even see to stab you in the back.
  • Deadly Premonition has Harry Stewart, a wheelchair-bound old man who always wears a gas mask. Turns out that he wears the gas mask so that the purple fog that is still in the ground and arises will not drive him insane. Late in the game, it certainly proves to be helpful.
  • Dead Space: Look at every corpse you pass by (and there are a lot of them). Is it mutated at all? Did you kill it? Does it have all its limbs attached? It's a Necromorph playing dead, mutilate it. The occasions the player comes across an intact Necromorph that is actually dead can be counted on one hand, across all three games.
  • In both Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you will run into people frequently who will claim that the government and corporations are behind some plot to take over the world and to enslave the masses. Given the plot of both games, they aren't crazy at all...
    • More specific examples are if you kill the gatekeeper or Joe Greene before being asked to. Characters will comment that you are becoming more like the Illuminati (paranoid), but will also comment that your method of thinking is correct.
  • In Double Switch, Eddie set up traps all over the building out of apparent paranoia. The scary thing is that he is both right and wrong. He is right because there are Mafia goons as well as secret society members who start running loose in the building. He is wrong because he is dangerously insane and wants an Egyptian statue that everyone is after.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins has Loghain, a national hero who along with King Maric, helped free Ferelden from Orlesian occupation decades ago and still harbours his old grudge towards their former conquerors. This brings him into contention with Maric's son, Cailan, who desires to foster peace with their former adversaries, particularly when Cailan desires to bring Orlesian forces to aid in the battle against the Darkspawn. Compounding on that, Cailan also wishes to include Grey Wardens in the battle and bolster their numbers with the large contingent of their order from Orlais. On the eve of battle, Loghain deserts the field with his forces, leaving the King and most of the Wardens to die and pinning the blame for the King's death on the Wardens. It's implied that he did so believing he foiled an Orlesian plot to prevent an invasion, using the Blight as an excuse to enact a coup. In the Return to Ostagar DLC, it turns out he was partially right. Turns out Cailan was attempting to forge an alliance with Empress Celene and possibly intended to turn Ferelden into a client-state of the Orlesian Empire. But Loghain's belief that Cailan was planning to enact a coup with Orlesian forces at Ostagar wasn't right and the threat of the Blight was very much real. Similarly, the Wardens had nothing to do with whatever Cailan may or may not have been planning. Presumably, his belief that the Wardens were traitors was fostered due to their failed rebellion against King Arland, two centuries earlier, which given his constant allusions to their Order's exile, seems very likely. In particular, Cailan was planning on divorcing his wife (Loghain's daughter) and marrying Celene. Alistair and Wynne list this as prove that he was working towards peace. Loghain immediately pegs it as Orlais trying to regain control of Ferelden, and dismisses peace as "fighting someone else's enemies in someone else's war for someone else's reasons." The Masked Empire reveals Orlais is trying to reconquer Fereleden, and Celene only pursued the marriage so she could use Ferelden troops to fight her wars.
      • Loghain's distrust towards the Wardens comes from another source. The order was only recently allowed back into Ferelden, meaning their numbers were very small. With a Blight brewing, the Wardens had planned to bolster their strength by bringing in their forces from Orlais. This made Loghain decidedly uncomfortable.
      • To top it off, the one he SHOULD have been paranoid about causing a nation-decimating coup was Arl Howe, who is literally responsible for half of the issues that the factions of Ferelden are dealing with: HE planned the betrayal of Cailan and the Wardens, convincing Loghain and making him think it was his own idea, hired a young blood mage to assassinate Arl Eamon AND teach Eamon's son dangerous demon magic, sold elves to the Tevinters to raise funds, and hired an unstable (ready to be demonically possessed) mage to assault the Circle tower. And murdered a family of nobles, including the youngest son. And all so that he could obtain the land that he felt was rightfully his, even if it had to be razed to the ground first. Confirmed in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening: his daughter calls him a monster, right in front of her brother. So it's a case of being properly paranoid, but choosing the wrong allies and methods to deal with the situation.
    • Played with using Knight-Commander Meredith in Dragon Age II, who becomes more stringent in her measures to crack down on apostates and blood mages, and is highly suspicious that First Enchanter Orsino is sheltering some of them himself. While Kirkwall does have plenty of blood mages, and Orsino was covering up some shady stuff, the common counter-argument is that most of those mages only turned to blood magic in the first place because of her brutality. By the end of the game, she's accusing any Templars who dare to question her command of being blood mage thralls. It doesn't help her case that the lyrium idol that she fashioned into a sword is also affecting her judgment.
  • Drakensang: Archmage Rakorium sees Lizardmen conspiring behind every corner. Turns out the first game's main plot actually is about a huge conspiracy spearheaded by Lizardmen!
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The loosely historical In-Game Novel 2920: The Last Year of the First Era series shows Emperor Reman Cyrodiil III going through increasing paranoia starting from the first book. Played with in that the plot against him that leads to his assassination arises out of his own paranoid lashing-out, including having his mistress executed because he thought she was plotting to poison him. She wasn't; she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He also probably trusted the Akaviri ambassador a little too much, but the Potentate seems to have exploited the existing plot rather than having been directly involved in it.
    • In Morrowind, Balmora Mages Guild Stewardess Ranis Athrys has a major grudge against the Telvanni, likely due to them having killed her parents, and believes that they have spies within the Guild. As a later quest reveals, she is absolutely right about that.
    • Oblivion:
      • Most of the evil that Conspiracy Theorist Glarthir thinks is brewing exists only in his own mind... but reading his notes reveals that somehow, he managed to work out that the Mythic Dawn, the main quest's primary antagonists, are the most dangerous group out of everyone he was "investigating".
      • Syl, Duchess of Dementia from the Shivering Isles expansion, is paranoid. When you first meet her, she gives you a quest to rout a conspiracy in New Sheoth. She is right too — the office of Duke of Dementia is gained by killing the previous Duke. As part of a quest, you can end up killing her and becoming Duke (or Duchess) yourself. She is prepared.
    • In Skyrim, most players develop the habit of smashing, shooting, burning, etc., any entombed Draugr who isn't naked, as they tend to come to life and attack you (this is also pretty good way to get a sneak attack on them).
  • Played with in Eternal Darkness during Maximillian Roivas' chapter. He's right to believe that body-snatching Eldritch Abominations are out to get him; some of his servants are possessed, and he is forced to kill them. However, the encounter leads him to actual paranoia and insanity, and he comes to believe all his servants are monsters. One round of cold-blooded murders later, he is committed to an insane asylum.
  • Tsugumi of Ever17 is convinced the entire disaster is some sort of setup. Obviously since it's on this page, she's right. Tsugumi and Sora's routes have Lieblich trying to cover up they just released Tief Blau onto the world by shutting in any survivors, and You and Sara's routes have the disaster being entirely a Gambit Roulette based on a real event that Tsugumi was involved in before.
  • In Fallen London, it can turn out that your character is in the habit of beating their pillows with a poker every night, just in case. This comes in handy during the Rattus Faber infestation story, when this saves them from a rat hiding in the pillow with an ear-drill and an ether-soaked napkin.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, one of the Vaults was filled with almost nothing but former mental patients who were drugged until they forgot that they were ever insane, and then split into red and blue factions who lived on opposite, locked sections of the Vault filled with HAL-esque security cameras to fuel their paranoia. Naturally, one of them figured it out, but he could no longer trust himself when he knew he was insane.
    • Also, Mr. House was able to predict the war before it happened and had defense systems set up all over Vegas. He would have completed it too had the war not happened a day earlier than his completion date causing him to never receive the Platinum Chip that would've upgraded his defense systems. Still, his defenses were effective enough that Vegas is left mostly intact. Another example of him is his non-negotiable request for you to wipe out the Brotherhood of Steel. While it may just seem like Kicking the Dog, it's shown in the Wild Card ending that without the NCR actively curbing them, the Brotherhood of Steel will start stealing any bit of advanced technology they find from anybody they meet. That and the fact that House relies on robots to enforce his authority means that the Brotherhood would naturally oppose him.
    • Also, Regis of the Great Khans is the only one to actively distrust Caesar's Legion and be opposed to the alliance. However, he will not speak out unless you can give him evidence he can use.
  • In Fallout 4, Piper Wright's articles accusing Mayor McDonough of being a Synth spy come off as accusatory slander that borders on yellow journalism. Eventually however, McDonough is revealed to be an Institute Synth, which proves her right (even if it was just her relying on her paranoia).
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
    • Hubert is the poor bastard whose job it is to protect the tenth crown heir of the Adrestian Empire from assassins. We say 'tenth', because everyone before her in the line of succession has been brutally murdered. So Hubert's willingness to threaten literally everyone she talks to and subvert her more merciful commands kind of makes sense. Kind of. The story doesn't judge either way.
    • Seteth strongly distrusts Byleth at first, strenuously objecting to Rhea's decision to make them a teacher at the Academy and later entrust the Sword of the Creator to someone with a largely unknown history whose motives cannot be vouched for. Not an unreasonable position, all things considered, and should you take the Crimson Flower route his fears are borne out as you side with Edelgard to destroy the Church.
    • After the birth of the main character Byleth, their father Jeralt became fearful of the Archbishop Rhea as Byleth’s mother had died giving birth and the fact that Byleth never cried once as a baby, being completely silent and missing a heartbeat despite seeming perfectly healthy. No longer trusting the church he served, he faked both his an Byleth’s deaths and moved around the continent to avoid being found. While Byleth’s condition wasn’t Rhea’s fault, as Byleth was actually stillborn, causing their mother to get Rhea to transplant the crest stone in her heart to act as Byleth’s own, resulting in Byleth’s Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour and their mother’s death, Rhea did plan on taking advantage of the situation by attempting to use Byleth as a vessel to resurrect Sothis, justifying Jeralt’s fears.
  • God of War III: When the ghostly Athena confronts him in the Underworld and states her intent to help him kill Zeus, Kratos is suspicious, since in the previous game, Athena had sacrificed her life to save Zeus from Kratos' wrath. Athena claims she sees truths she didn't before, but during the ending, it turns out Kratos was right to be suspicious; Athena was just using him to take Zeus out so she could become the sole god of Greece and rule over mankind for herself.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has The Truth, who at first glance looks like your average perpetually stoned New-Age Retro Hippie. But as the game goes on, more and more of the weird, seemingly random and/or insane stuff he talks about turns out to be true.
    • In Grand Theft Auto V Online, players in one of the heist quests have to rescue Avi Schwarzmann, a Cloud Cuckoolander engineer who went into extreme hiding on an island after his phone calls were intercepted by police agents who have him surrounded.
  • Father Grigori in Half-Life 2 mentions that he built most of his anti-zombie traps before the zombies ever hit.
    • In that same area, players get into the habit of shooting corpses a couple of times before walking past them. If they're really a "hibernating" headcrab zombie, this will wake them up. This is because most players have had just a few too many times when the innocent-looking corpse they just passed walks up behind them and knocks their head off.
      • There's an easy trick to figure out which are still alive. Did you not kill them yourself? Do they have a headcrab still on their head? Is the corpse intact? If all 3, then they are still alive. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • As in the original short story, Ted in I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream game is described as being pathologically paranoid. However, he does not come across any more suspicious as any of the other main characters. When you are in a world controlled by an insane godlike AI who has been torturing you for over a century, being paranoid is completely warranted.
  • In I Wanna Be the Guy, the first hint that the player needs to develop this mindset if he/she wants to get through this game is Delicious Fruit that falls up and kills you. The only thing in this game that is perfectly safe is water.
  • JumpStart Adventures 4th Grade: Haunted Island players frequently used the map to warp around the island. Not just because it was faster, but because if you walked around the island, you might get jumped by Repsac. Answer his question wrong, he'll steal your health — and lose enough you get warped into the labyrinth... and he can still jump you inside the labyrinth. Use the Warp Whistle? He can't get you.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep gives us Eraqus, whom both the narrative and the Xehanort Reports would have you view as a blinded Knight Templar of Light. However, Balance Between Light and Darkness has repeatedly proven to be a Broken Aesop throughout the entire franchise, with Light Is Good heroes and Dark Is Evil threats indeed being the predominant themes. Additionally, Xehanort himself, while not entirely wrong about Eraqus's "absolutes", is far worse of a Sociopath of Darkness and repeatedly engages in Kick the Dog behavior via said power, meaning that Eraqus doesn't have any actual reason to change his mind. And while Eraqus does end up finally snapping and trying to kill Ven and Terra for the greater good, it retroactively turns out to be a mercy compared to their eventual fates... and even then, Eraqus still ultimately invokes My God, What Have I Done? and decides to atone by using his Heart to later shield Terra's from the full brunt of Xehanort's Darkness — which, by the way, wouldn't have even remotely worked if Eraqus wasn't indeed so devoted to Light.
  • Rean Schwarzer from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is always paranoid and scared that his Superpowered Evil Side will one day go out of control and will harm his friends and family or even just random strangers. He ends up being correct come Cold Steel III where he loses control of his powers at the worst possible way and kills the corrupted Divine Beast that was the only reason why the curse of Erebonia is kept at bay.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Urdnot Wrex practically wears this trope as a hat.
      • When he was younger, Wrex advocated that the Krogan should stop fighting so much and focus on breeding efforts to sustain their dwindling population. His father, who did not agree with his ideas, demanded a meeting. Despite this meeting taking place on sacred ground where violence was forbidden, Wrex went in expecting a trap anyway. He was right; he was forced to kill his father in self-defense.
      • Wrex once worked for Saren as a hired gun for a job. However after actually seeing his employer for the first time, his instincts gave him such a bad feeling about Saren that he left without even waiting to get paid. He was right again; every other merc from that job was found dead within a week.
      • Wrex knows the Salarians will never allow the genophage to be cured, even with the Reapers knocking on the galaxy's door and every species needing to work together to fight back. With the cure as a condition for the Krogans' aid in the war, Wrex fully expects the Salarians to attempt to sabotage it anyway. Three for three, Wrex.
    • Saren himself is paranoid that his ship Sovereign is indoctrinating him. He's right.
    • When Kaidan/Ashley appears in Mass Effect 2, they warn Shepard that Cerberus is very likely manipulating them using the threat of the Reapers and Shepard's gratitude toward Cerberus for bringing them Back from the Dead. In the penultimate mission of Mass Effect 3, the player finds a video detailing the Illusive Man's plans to do exactly that. Kaidan/Ashley is the only party member to display no surprise at this.
  • In Mega Man X5, Lifesaver begins to suspect a connection between Zero and The Maverick Virus after Zero shows odd reactions to it. In the good ending, his theory leads to X and Zero fighting each other. The bad ending proves him right.
  • In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Miller is quite adamant on his distrust of Quiet and Huey Emmerich, as the former was an agent of XOF and the latter was complicit in the downfall of Militaires Sans Frontieres. Turns out, he was completely right: Quiet was sent to infect Big Boss's new private army with a biological weapon, only stopping after having a change of heart; while Huey was secretly working to repair Metal Gear Sahelanthropus for Eli, as well as releasing a biological weapon upon Big Boss's army to sell to their nemesis, Cipher.
  • In Minecraft, most of the mobs create this feeling for players. All of the common ones like Skeleton Archers, Zombies, and Spiders can spawn anywhere that is large and dark enough, even if it's been previously explored. Creepers are especially dangerous: Remember to properly light up explored areas, or your character will suddenly come face to face with an imminent explosion.
    • Also, if you're playing on a server without very active admins, adopting a paranoid play style (to the point of coating ones subterranean obsidian bunker with lava and iron/coal ore) is the best defense against thieves and griefers.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode: Magnus refuses to leave his tower because he thinks the Griefers will try to usurp him. Guess what happens when you become king?
  • Nuclear Throne has Steroids, a scientist who did a lot of steroids in preparation for the apocalypse. It definitely paid off for him.
  • In Pandemic, Madagascar is well-known for quarantining itself well before any other nation, thus foiling the player's efforts at getting their custom-designed disease past their borders. "A person is coughing in Brazil!" "Shut. Down. EVERYTHING!"
  • In the Portal universe, Douglas Rattmann is a paranoid schizophrenic who works as a researcher for Aperture Science. When off his meds, he imagines all sorts of odd things, like inanimate objects talking to him and that the AI Master Computer who runs the facility is out to murder everyone. He's exactly correct about the latter (and possibly correct about the former), allowing him to survive the purge and provide surreptitious aid to the series' protagonist.
  • RuneScape has a whole quest series where an ex-zookeeper, Larry, was fired for claiming penguins are trying to take over the world. They are. After the first quest in the series, you can see him squirming in a straitjacket outside the zoo where he once worked.
  • Bosco from Sam & Max: Freelance Police. (Obscuring the name doesn't make this much less of a spoiler, because he is SUCH a perfect example of this trope that I couldn't possibly be talking about anyone else.)
    • In the 4th game of Season 1, "Abe Lincoln Must Die", you find that there is a homing beacon for ICBMs hidden in his store. Earlier on, he built a satellite missile defense system and if you try to launch a nuke at him this system will kick in and stop the missile. There's also a spy camera in his store.
      • In season 2, it's revealed his mother has (inadvertently) had him under surveillance since before he was born... There's also a PI spying on him.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Knights of the Old Republic: Carth never passes up an opportunity to voice the opinion that something stinks in the setup; that it's a little odd your character survived, that it's also really odd that Bastila made the request to transfer you aboard, that the Jedi Council is up to some dirty trick... Turns out, he's dead right.
    • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: The Peragus Security Officer suspected that someone was sabotaging the facility to sneak you off to turn you in for your bounty. He hid a stealth field generator in a footlocker, tied an override switch to the droids on the administration level AND the prison's forcefield, stocked security with sonic and ion charges and suspected that someone would turn the droids on them, so he asked to know the damage the droids could do to them. Didn't help him survive much longer, but he was right.
    • In The Force Unleashed, General Rahm Kota's backstory is that he never fully trusted the Clone Troopers, and preferred to use his own militia during the Clone Wars. This allowed him to be one of the few Jedi who managed to escape Order 66.
  • While there is much confusion among the crew members, very few people realize that something has actually taken over the UNN Von Braun in System Shock 2. Security Chief Melanie Bronson, however, draws this conclusion despite the ridicule of her men. Delacroix also has her suspicions.
  • Team Fortress 2 has the Spy. That guy who looks like he's guarding the intelligence could be a Spy. The Sniper on the sniper deck could be a Spy. Your own team's Spy could be a Spy. It could be you. It could be me! It could even be—oops, a Spy just killed you.
    • Which justifies one of the most ubiquitous actions in the game: shooting your allies to find Spies. Since team-mates don't take damage when they shoot each other, but Spies do, firing a few shots at your allies ("spy-checking") can be a life-saver.
      • That spy checking is easy, effective, and ubiquitous, and yet Spies are still one of the most popular classes gives you some idea of what we're dealing with here...
      • The Dead Ringer item for the Spy makes this even worse. When a Spy receives any damage with the Dead Ringer activated, they will drop a fake corpse and instantly turn invisible. If you killed a Spy in one shot, you probably didn't. Experienced Spies can activate the Dead Ringer at the very last second before death, making it nigh impossible to determine if you actually got him.
    • Also in a level of irony, a Spy is pretty paranoid at all times on whether the other team knows he is a Spy or not.
    • Then there are Pyros. While it is usually a standard to spy-check suspicious teammates, a Pyro can take it to the extreme. Since their primary weapon (the flamethrower) allows them to make continuous sweeps and Spies who catch on fire often die from it due to their low health, that Pyros will often set aflame everyone they come across or just burn empty space in case a Spy is cloaked and hiding there. The class is almost required to play like this since they are the Spy's natural enemy.
      • Added the fact that when an enemy spy is set aflame, they'll also glow on the color of their true affiliation. This might look like unnecessary fluff, because receiving damage is all the evidence a player will need to hunt down a spy, but remember that a corner or a fray is all they need to switch costumes or go invisible. This little effect will ensure that not even that will help them, as everyone around will notice, not only the attacking player.
  • Sam, one of Lara's friends and crewmates in Tomb Raider (2013) began recording a video diary because she thought that Dr. Whitman would take credit for any discoveries Lara made, which Lara brushes off. Later on, you can find a letter Whitman wrote to his wife asking her not to divorce him just yet... because Lara found something and he's going to get rich by claiming the discovery as his own. An undead Japanese soldier got to him, though.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines there is a conspiracy theorist who is a constant caller on a late night radio station. His calls start off with conspiracies regarding aliens and area 51 but at the end of the game he reveals the entire plot of the game so far and the Vampire conspiracy but gets laughed off as being crazy.
  • In World of Warcraft there's reference to an assassin known as The Bonebreaker who broke the legs of her targets after killing them, because one time a target wasn't actually dead yet and came after her for revenge.
    • Sargeras' personal assassin Akaari kidnaps Rogue players and locks them in her citadel. Even after being empowered by Kil'jaeden, she sends her guards after the player, including detectors, in an attempt to make sure the player can't reach her. Contrast most Legion agents who believe themselves invincible only to die at the player's hands, not that it saves her.
  • If this trope does not describe your mindset while playing and of the X-COM series, you'll soon find yourself thinking like that.
  • The Terrans in the X-Universe are terrified of artificial general intelligence, because their own terraformers wiped out all their colonies after a software glitch, then started throwing asteroids at Earth.
  • In Zombieville USA, the survivor is said to have stockpiled beans and shotgun ammo for the Zombie Apocalypse. Clearly, it was a good idea.
  • In The Outer Worlds Phineas Welles will never leave his bulletproof glass room when you're around, making him the only character you can't kill whenever you want. If asked, he'll state that he doesn't trust you to suddenly turn violent and will even use your actions to prove his point if you've resolved the Edgewater questlines by killing the faction leaders. Of course, in the ending where you betray Welles, he's out of his glass room, and you can kill him.


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